Friday, March 21, 2014

Self-Care: Beauty Essentials for the Face + Body

Last week I posed the question: what is self-care, really? We talked about what it isn't, what it means to me, and how it plays out in my life. I gotta say - your responses were really beautiful and I absolutely loved reading them. If there's any one takeaway it's this: no matter what self-care means to you and what it looks like in your life (which is to say - it's unique for everyone), it's the key ingredient in the magic that is the flow of life. It's essential.

Since I'm a passionate believer in the realm of all things self-care, we're gonna jump in with both feet.

This week? My beauty essentials. The products that make me go back for more.

Truth be told: I'm not a product junkie. I'm not a big fan of endless browsing, experimenting, and purchasing the newest item on the market. I'll invest my money in quality products but I won't waste it by picking up items for the sake of scooping up something shiny and new. 

I just want to know what works, and get on with it.

So let's get on with it, shall we?


1. Kosmea Rose Hip Oil: I'm convinced this stuff is made of magic and magic alone. It's my saving grace for dry skin and fine lines. This baby is rich in antioxidants, organic, and has a gorgeous, light formula that feels (and is) ultra-hydrating.

2. Vichy Thermal Spa Water: This is an item that I just throw in my purse for on-the-go hydration. A little spritz here and there when my skin is feeling the effects of dry air (in the winter/ traveling/ staying in hotels) and feels incredibly refreshing on scorching hot days. Think of it as your own personal mist-machine.

3. Dermaglow Vitamin C Microdermabrasion: I started using this bad boy last year a few months before I got hitched. I was searching for that fresh, vibrant glow and needed a wicked exfoliator to get there. And yep - this is it. I recommend using it maximum once a week and definitely wouldn't park it in the "light scrub" category. It works and it works well.

4. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mask: A hefty scrub is always best followed up with an awesome moisturizer and this rich, thick hydrating mask will definitely do the job. The instructions tell you to apply on your face for about 10 minutes, followed up with a rinse but on days when my skin is feeling particularly dry and in need of some extra love, I just leave it on. My skin always seems to absorb it right up and is so thankful later.

5. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm: I'll just say this: I don't go anywhere without lip balm and you can bet that this is always within arm's reach of me at all times. (I've been known to empty this container out and fill with vaseline or coconut oil, but that's our secret.)

6. Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm: When you want to add a dash of colour to your lips. The shade I use is hibiscus, and I love how soft and subtle it is. (I'm not a huge lip stick lover - it always seems to get ev-er-y-where and I think I'm cursed.) Plus: these products are all natural so I don't feel like I'm eating chemicals whenever I wear 'em, so HUGE bonus!

7. Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser: Let me just say: I have a legit crush on Lush, and while I was searching for a more natural face cleanser, this was my first stop. The pros? It works like a charm (when followed up with a toner), doesn't sting (even if you get it in your eye!), and it's a natural product that I know I can trust. The cons? It feels like a bit of a 'process' to wash my face. The texture is a bit too thick for my liking, which means it takes me longer to rub it in and wash it off. I'll be keeping my eye out for more natural options.

8. Lush Eau Roma Water Toner: News flash! If you're not using a toner after you cleanse, chances are you still have a TON of make-up on your face. When I started using toner, I was shocked at how much my cleanser left behind. Get on it. (And this stuff is good - either spray a little on a cotton pad and gentle apply to your face or if you want to just spritz it on throughout the day here and there, that's cool too.)

9. Body Shop's Tea Tree Gel: Get this. Just do it. Has a little blemish popped up unexpectedly? Yep, you need it. Spot treatment extraordinaire. (I've also used 100% Tea Tree Oil. Both do the job.)


1. H2O: If you want a clear skin, a razor-sharp mind, and a body that works, then you, my sweet friend, need to enter the hydration station. Starting your day off with a bit of lemon in warm water will give your immune system a boost, aid in digestion, cleanse your system, and give you energy, for starters. Another tip? Switch from refrigerated to room temperature water, as cold water will slow down digestion. Your body will thank you for it.

2. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil: If I could marry coconut oil, I think I would. (Don't tell my husband!) If coconut oil was a band, I'd be the first groupie front row and centre. It is seriously ahh-mazing and can be used, I'm convinced, for everything. (Yep - not only for cooking, but also for your hair/ skin/ lips.) Did I mention it smells divine? This is my go-to moisturizer for both face and body. (Go buy some right now - just make sure it's organic.)

3. Lush Ocean Salt: Speaking of scents that will send you over the moon, ocean salt. Want baby soft skin? You've met your match. Unlike the face microdermabrasion scrub mentioned above, this is a light scrub that can be used daily (if you wish). Slather generously on both the face and the body (think silky smooth legs, mhmmm...) Warning: There's no turning back. You will be hooked.

4. Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner: Luxurious. Subtle (but delicious) scent. Silky smooth. Supremely soft. Whenever I want to give my body a little treat (particularly in the winter months), I lather up with this body conditioner. And if you tend to skip the post-shower body lotion, then I would totally suggest picking this one up.

5. Dry Body Brush: (Not pictured: I have this one, which is a little 'rougher' and this one, which has soft bristles, which I use most often.) Our skin is the largest organ of the human body and often it gets neglected, so adding dry brushing into my routine always feels like the ultimate form of self-care. Herre are some of the benefits: boosts circulation, promotes energy flow, opens the pores to release toxins, reduces cellulite/ rough skin, calms the mind, reduces muscle tension, and activates the lymphatic system. For me, it's a time when I can slow down and connect to my body, creating a loving relationship with my body. (It can be done anywhere from 2 - 20 minutes, depending on how much time you have.)

And that's my round-up! What products are you currently loving? Any moisturizers/ cleansers/ face serums that you just can't get enough of? Any recommendations? Spill the beans!

Also: check back next week for the insider scoop on self-care for the mind xx

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