Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Evening Skin Care Routine

After sharing my Morning Skin Care Routine with you I figured I had better share my steps at night as well!

1. Cleansing Water - I start off by removing all of my makeup with this Marcelle Cleansing Water. It's important to remove your makeup before actually cleansing, so that you can clean your skin, rather than just move around that layer of makeup on your face.

P.S. The one that I linked to is actually different from the one I have pictured. Funny story - this is my absolute favourite cleansing water. Bioderma has nothing on it. There, I said it. Anyway, at one point I kept seeing my lovely cleansing water on sale, but the tags kept saying "clearance" and since I knew the products weren't close to expiring I kind of freaked out thinking that they might have decided to discontinue the product. Next thing I know I'm heading to every London Drugs, Shoppers Drugs Mart, and even Target (before their exit from Canada) near me to stock up on as many bottles as I could carry. I knew I would have to find another brand to replace it, so I tried out different ones that failed miserably, but I did so while I still had my favourite brand to take over when the other ones failed. At a much later date I was browsing the cosmetics aisle at Shoppers (a favourite - but expensive - habit of mine) when I came across a bottle like the one I linked to and then it all became clear - they were just re-releasing the product in fancier packaging so they had to clear out the older ones. Imagine my relief! I have yet to try the new one because, as I said, I am pretty well stocked on my old favourite. As far as I can tell it will be the same - the naming changed slightly, the packaging seems to have vastly improved, and I know the cost went up, but it's still very affordable in my opinion. Once I try it out I will be sure to share about it. Also, if you ever want to hear about my process of trying to find a replacement cleansing water let me know! I tried out quite a few brands (Bioderma is still awesome - it's definitely my second favourite).

2. Cleanser - Just the same as my morning routine, I enjoy using this Garnier cleanser at night. This is the one I use if I'm washing my face at the sink, but if I shower I generally use a scrub or a different cleanser that I keep in my shower (I have so many cleansers in my shower - it's bad!).

3. Toner - Another item that is the same as my morning routine, this ProActiv toner does the trick, but I'm going to try out a different toner once this one is finished up. I used the toner from the seaweed line at The Body Shop previously and someone's comment on my Morning Skin Care Routine reminded me of how much I enjoyed it, so I might go back to that. If you have any other suggestions, though, I would love to hear, I'm still not totally decided! By the way, if you're interested in trying out the seaweed line, I highly recommend getting the Seaweed Skin Care Starter Kit so you can try a bit of everything. I bought it twice!

4. Serum - Currently my nighttime serum is the Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. I bought this on a whim online from Sephora one time, and it's not horrible, but I'm really just using it to get through it. It looks like this exact product has been discontinued, but it has been replaced by the ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream - maybe the new product is better? I really enjoy gel-like consistencies, so it actually sounds pretty appealing.

5. Eye Cream - This Hydrating Eye Cream from Bobbi Brown is fantastic! I use it at night because it is a little heavier - it's still totally wearable during the day, but I like to use different ones in the morning and night to get different benefits. This used to be a pain to get in Canada, especially living in Saskatchewan, but I did a little looking around online while writing this post and it looks like you can now get Bobbi Brown shipped to Canada, so that's awesome! When I first found this eye cream I bought it in Las Vegas and I had been waiting for months to be able to buy it. My second jar was bought once Bobbi Brown was finally carried at my Sephora in Saskatoon, but it still couldn't be ordered online.

6. Moisturizer - The Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins came in that first set I bought with the GinZing Moisturizer, and I have been hooked since. I still haven't had to replace my first jar because I sometimes use pure coconut oil as a moisturizer at night instead, so I don't go through it as fast. They have two formulas, one for combination-dry skin and one for combination-oily skin. I don't know if there was an option with the set, but I ended up with the one for combination-dry skin and, even though I definitely am more of the combination-oily skin type, I really like this formula. It's super moisturizing for night and even though it feels a bit heavier when I put it on, I wake up with lovely, dewy, youthful, glowing skin and that I am absolutely a fan of. The smell is super great too!

Do you have a different skin care routine from morning to night? What are your favourite products? Any recommendations for something I should try?

**This is not a sponsored post - all items mentioned were purchased by me for use by me. All opinions are 100% my own**

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Morning Skin Care Routine

I love everything beauty related, but I have realized that I don't share much in this area on the blog. I'm hoping to change that, starting with today's post!

A little bit of my beauty-related history for you: I have kind of been beauty crazy since I was very little. I remember being about five or six getting ready for a dance show. Mom would get a brush ready with my makeup and tell me where to apply it. I would take the brush, run to the bathroom mirror, apply the swipe, and run back for more. My grandmother would also teach me all about beauty at a very young age whenever I would have a sleepover with her and she took me to my first manicure when I was about five years old. I grew up loving makeup and learning all about it as my parents slowly let me wear it to school and also when I would apply it for dance. I ended up working in the cosmetics department at London Drugs for a couple years while going to university, and after that I worked as a product representative for a makeup line. I am no longer working directly in the cosmetic industry, but I do a bit of freelance makeup for weddings and events - it's mostly just word of mouth right now, but I'd love to do more in the future!

And now on to my morning skincare routine! I have used some sort of variation of this for years and years, but these are the products I am currently using for each step.

1. Cleanser - If I'm showering in the morning, I usually use one of the scrubs that I keep in my shower, but if I'm not showering in the morning I like to use a super gentle cleanser. Since I remove my makeup before bed, I don't have to worry about having something targeted for makeup removal, but this cleanser from Garnier does a wonderful job of making my face feel fresh, even if I'm trying to get a bit of makeup off on those mornings that I wasn't that thorough in removing my makeup the night before. I have used this cleanser for years. It is so simple and I love the fresh smell. I have tried higher end cleansers and just keep coming back to this one.

2. Toner - I used ProActiv for a very short time but for some reason I was left with a huge amount of the toner. I actually enjoy this a lot, but this is my last bottle and I'm not too sure if you can get the old formula now that they have re-formulated their line. I'll probably be switching this out once it's done, because I'd like to give some more natural solutions a try. If you have any toner or toner substitute suggestions please let me know!

3. Serum - This is the step that I sometimes don't do, simply because I don't have any on hand. I do think that serum makes a huge difference, but it's also the first step for me to drop for the sake of time, space, or money. I am currently using the Intensive Renewal Serum from Arbonne and it is fantastic! I have used some of this line before, but I hadn't used more than a sample of the serum and I wish I had gotten it earlier. It helps my moisturizer go deeper, it helps regulate my skin, and it adds to a more radiant complexion.

4. Eye Cream - I tend to switch up eye creams a lot, but I've gone back to the Corrective Eye Creme from Arbonne more than once. The product goes so far, with only half a pump needed to do both eyes. I have noticed the skin around my eyes is firmer, plumper, and fine lines are reduced.

5. Moisturizer - I bought the Origins GinZing Energy-boosting Moisturizer in a set from Sephora and the moment it was gone I had to return to purchase the full size product. A little bit goes a long way with this moisturizer, and I love the smell - especially in the morning when I need a bit of a pick-me-up. The gel-like consistency allows the product to sink in quickly, and there is no oily or greasy residue on the skin.

Those are my favourite morning skin care products in the order that I use and apply them. If you would like more of a review about any of the products I have mentioned, please let me know! I would also be happy to go into more depth about my skincare process and why I go through the steps that I do and the benefits each step provides, just let me know!

What are your favourite skin care products for your morning routine?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

More Than a Memory

You know that feeling, when a picture takes you back - not just to a memory of a time or place, but to the smell, the sights, the feelings you were experiencing? I love these deeper memories. The photo above always brings me back to the Mediterranean cruise I went on with my cousin Kathleen and her dad (my uncle). Right behind me, just out of the frame on the left, were wide open doors to the deck overlooking the sea. There was a cool, salty breeze making it's way over us as we posed. The statue (fondly named Ligon by myself and Kathleen) was quite ornate and every time I see this photo my fingers feel the cool, mosaic-like texture once again. I even remember the pain from my awkwardly layered bobby pins at the back of my head, which I fixed only moments after the photo was taken.

Sometimes it's even a photo that I wasn't actually present for, but of a place that I have been many times, or of a setting I have experienced before. I just came across a photo of a girl I vaguely know in the hills with the Stations of the Cross by Lebret, SK in the clear blue summer skies and the crisp afternoon sun. I was instantly transported to the last time I was there. The smell of the summer heat, the tall grass, the soft breeze, and the dirt path crunching underfoot. The tension in my calves from climbing the slight incline, and the mid-day sun beaming down on me, burning me.

I relish these moments, because I feel as though they are more than simply a memory.

Do you have any photos that bring you something a little more than a memory?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ten Items You Don't Want to Forget for a Dance Competition

I'm in the thick of dance competition season over here, with my students having danced in one with one more on the way and also having danced in one myself with two more on the way. Over the years I have become a veteran dance competition packer, so I thought I'd share with you my top ten things to make sure you pack amidst all the excitement and nerves. The following list is geared towards dancers, but as a dance instructor I also ensure I have these on hand when at a competition, in case a student is in need.

Ten Items to Bring to a Dance Competition

10. Safety Pins - You will need these. Even if your costume is perfect and you don't have to pin it, you will. Something will come loose, your bra won't stay put, or someone else will need one.

9. Comfy Clothes - You'll want to pull a pair of sweats or yoga pants over your tights between dances to run to the concession or to warm up. Make sure you choose clothing that will not transfer fuzz to your tights or costume.

8. Normal Outfit - You'll also want a normal outfit that you can change into when leaving the competition. There were so many times that I found myself without a suitable outfit to wear because I just wore my costume to the venue. You never know when a group of you will decide to grab a bite to eat or if the competition runs behind schedule and you need to rush somewhere else after. Don't be stuck in a costume or sweats.

7. Static Guard - Costumes cling, enough said.

6. Hair Stuff - Hair pins, bobby pins, hair ties, hair nets, hair spray, gel, brushes, combs, straightener, curling iron, etc. Whatever you need to get your hair done for your different numbers, bring it with you! Even if you only have to have your hair one way and you do it at home or at the hotel before arriving at the competition venue, you never know when you will have a freak hair accident (or someone in your group/studio will), so be prepared for the worst.

5. Makeup - In the same vein as the hair point above, bring all needed makeup and makeup tools you need. Even if you do your makeup ahead of time, you never know when it will need to be touched up or completely washed off and re-applied. I'm not saying bring absolutely every bit of makeup you own if you've got quite the collection, but bring what you need to have an acceptable stage makeup face. Especially your red lipstick. You'll need to reapply that no matter how "long wearing" your formula is.

4. Snacks - You're going to get hungry, and most concessions don't have the best options available, but they do have crazy long lines. Bring a little cooler or lunch kit with some healthy snacks to keep your energy up, and if you want you can bring a little treat to share with your team (I'm always a fan of gummy worms).

3. Multiple Water Bottles - I say multiple because sometimes you don't have the best access to a water fountain when you need to be changing. Sure, you could go searching for one, but when you're pressed for time you'll be happy to have that second (or third) water bottle when the one before it runs out.

2. Proper Undergarments - Too many times have I had a student show up to competition expecting to wear her bright blue bra underneath her costume. Nope! No matter how not-see-through you think your costume is when you're trying it on at home or at the studio, remember that the bright stage lights bring on a whole new level. Stick to nude if you must wear something underneath.

1. Costumes - The most important part - don't forget your costumes! This includes the tights required for each dance, the accessories, the shoes, and any additional items specific to each dance (props, different coloured makeup/lipstick).

What is a must-have for you at competition? Anything that I missed?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Recipe: Kale Chips

I have absolutely been loving kale chips lately. They're super easy, but for some reason I was almost afraid to give them a try until recently. I served them at my Arbonne Party and I also made some for the girls night at Jessica's last weekend and I figured I could share how I make them with you!

As I said above, these are super simple to make. There are plenty of variations available online, but the only thing I looked up was what temperature to roast the kale at and I settled on 425 degrees Fahrenheit - I like roasting veggies at a higher heat for a shorter time to get them crispy, and I definitely wanted these crispy.


  • Fresh Kale - As much as you would like (remember that it shrinks substantially while roasting)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While it is pre-heating wash the kale and remove it from the hard stem in the center. Shred kale into bite-sized pieces and discard the stem.

Toss shredded kale with about 1 tsp of olive oil then place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.

Add garlic powder, pepper, and salt to taste (I like a lot of each).

Cook for about 15 minutes, checking often and flipping/moving each time.

You'll know they're done when they look like they're about to burn. Leave them in for at least one more minute after that point - let them get super crispy! As they cool they get less crispy and sometimes soggy, so avoid that by making them extra crispy to start. A bit of browning is a good thing.

How do you make kale chips? Any other fun kale recipes you would recommend?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cathedral Bakery - Regina, SK

As you may have seen in my recent post about my recent visit to Regina, I stopped in at the Cathedral Bakery for some treats for our girls night. I've been to Cathedral Bakery before, but I haven't really highlighted it here on the blog.

Cathedral Bakery is located in Cathedral Village in Regina, right off of 13th Avenue (which is definitely an area you should visit if you're ever in Regina). I first came across this bakery one summer when I was wandering the area on a beautiful, sunny day, and after walking in and seeing the awesome selection of cupcakes I was completely hooked. This time around I went with a dozen cupcakes for the girls night. We cut them into halves so that we could try more flavours. I wasn't able to try all of the ones I picked up (it's a good thing I had to share), but they were all hits with the group.

Have you ever been to the Cathedral Bakery in Regina? Any other dessert or treat recommendations for next time I visit?

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