Archive | November, 2012

Face the Facts with Clarisonic

28 Nov

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I find it difficult to stay on top of my basic beauty needs; especially since my skin is the first thing I neglect at the onset of holiday mayhem. This year however, I vowed to keep my proprieties in check with proper hydration, exfoliation, (and advanced technology!)

After reading several reviews on twitter, I decided to further investigate the Clarisonic to uncover what all the hype was about; turns out, not only did it cure my winter skin woes, but it’s quite possibly the best investment in beauty I’ve ever made!

I opted for the Clarisonic Mia which is the basic, and least expensive model. It cost me $140 at Sephora, although prices vary between $119 – $149 depending on features such as speed and brush heads. Despite it’s simplistic design, the one-button, one-speed Mia particularly appealed to me because it’s the most compact of the Clarisonic variety. It is cordless, waterproof, portable, and has a battery-life of about 5 days which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway.


Clarisonic Mia in “Graphite.”

The company website provides insight into the science of sonic cleansing.

Here’s how it works:

Clarisonic cleanses the skin 6x more effectively than by manual cleansing which allows toners, moisturizers and other serums to absorb into the skin more effectively. This is because skin circulation is properly stimulated by means of micro-massaging, facilitating the removal of dirt, oil and makeup from pores. Using a similar patented-technology as the Soniccare toothbrush, it massages the skin at a sonic frequency of about 300 movements per second! Now this is what I call cutting-edge technology 😉

Initially, I was skeptical about the brand considering there were so many other (cheaper) options that claimed to do the exact same thing. However, I instantly noticed Clarisonic’s precision and efficiency through its T-Timer, a pulsing feature that signifies when it’s time to cleanse the next area of your face. My package also included the brush-head for ‘normal’ skin types which I find powerful enough to clean oily skin, yet gentle enough to avoid irritation. Clarisonic suggests that you change the brush-head every 3-4 months based on your individual skin needs and frequency of use.

To maximize results in the most natural way, I use it to refresh with a red-wine facial, or post-exfoliation with a natural face scrub like this Bombay cleanser from the Green Beauty Team:

  • 1-2 tablespoons of oatmeal (or colloidal oatmeal)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of witch hazel
  • a few drops of water

Dampen the oatmeal then, add the witch hazel and a few drops of water to make it moist. Apply to face with a upward and outward circular motion. Splash with lots of warm water, removing all surface dirt. This recipe can be adapted for all skin types; if your skin is extra dry, add a little vegetable oil.

Green Beauty Teams’ DIY Scrub Recipe for Dry Skin


The Sonic Skin Cleansing Systems approach has dramatically changed the texture of my skin like never before! I highly recommend the Clarisonic and honestly believe it’s worth every penny.

I’d love to hear about any of your experiences with this fabulous product.

– Lina

Heating Up the Winter Blahs

27 Nov

Winter blues and winter blahs; we know them all too well. As soon as temperatures drop, our skin dries up and our complexions get pale. I can certainly attest that my fair complexion and sensitive skin are no match for old man winter!

That said, despite the bone-chilling winds and dark days, winter is the best time for glamour and is definitely my favourite season for beauty trends. The cool colours of winter are the perfect contrast to fiery red and rich burgundy, which can be adapted to suit any complexion.

So spice things up a little, wear that rouge lipstick, and go glam for winter! Here’s how:

Ilia lipstick is an organic brand established by Vancouver native Sasha Plavsic. Her concept was simple; create an organic product with the same quality as commercial brands. I love this! Ultimately, there is no need to sacrifice a hot trend or product performance in order to use the green and clean alternative. I was at the Environmental Defence Eco Beauty Market the other day and picked up Ilia’s lipstick in “Wild Child”. It’s a fantastic fiery red, perfect for the season and exactly in line with this year’s trends. Bold red lips with minimal makeup were showing everywhere on London and New York’s Autumn/Winter 2012 runways including Marc by Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen.

Ilia Lipstick in “Wild Child”

“Wild Child” Application

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2012-RTW

The texture is creamy and quite moisturizing –something that is extremely important for me especially in the winter when my lips get very chapped. The moisturizing component is attributed to jojoba, sunflower, sesame and castor oil, which make up the lipstick’s main ingredients.

The colour is highly pigmented, which is great for impact but can be a bit messy. The colour stains clothing quite easily and will appear on every cup that you use. (Thank goodness it’s organic!) The good news though, is the deep pigment can create a long lasting lip stain. So if you are worried about leaving a lipstick trail, you can create a stain instead by applying a coat on bare lips, blotting with a tissue, then repeat.

Another colour that is showing up everywhere this season is oxblood – it’s not really the blood of an ox, but it is vampire inspired and meant to channel that inner vixen. And great news, Ilia carries the perfect colour in line with this trend and is appropriately named “Femme Fatal”.

Oxblood lip colour is great for both fair and dark complexions and just like the fiery reds is best worn with minimal makeup. If you have fair skin like me, I recommend a light sweep of blush on the cheekbones since this colour can easily wash you out. If you are new to such a dark, rich colour, try dabbing a bit on your lips first for a softer look.

Ilia Lipstick in “Femme Fatale”

So go channel that inner vixen and fight the winter blues with fire and oxblood!

– Seanna

Trade Secrets from the Caribbean

15 Nov

Hola! Last week, I was lucky enough to celebrate my 28th birthday eating coconuts in the Dominican sun!!

Having been on a juicing kick recently, I was curious about the other kinds of produce that were available in this part of the world. I ended up frequenting a juice bar which featured an array of local fruits and ultimately scored my chance to indulge in the freshly-squeezed, vitamin-rich delicacies that this country has to offer.

Juice Bar – Riu Merengue


While these exotic cocktails did wonders for my oily skin, they could only go so far in terms of protection against the harmful effects of the sun. I brought along some relatively clean beauty products that would allow me to work on my tan while keeping my skin hydrated and supple (as naturally as possible).  Additional goodies in my beauty regime included: a non-irritating, non-comedogenic sun lotion by Aveeno which minimizes oil buildup that clogs pores, L’OREAL’s Ever Pure sulphate-free leave-in treatment to prevent UV damage to my locks, and “Karma”, a classic, gently-cleansing soap from Lush Cosmetics. Okay, these  items are not hypo-allergenic, or fragrance-free; however, I find they effectively care for your complexion throughout extensive exposure to the sun. They are also widespread and transitional, easily accessible any time of year regardless of when you choose to embark on your tropical getaway.

Organic juicing, along with some sea-salt, sunblock, and lots of Vitamin D allowed me to *safely* achieve the sun-kissed glow my body desperately needed 😀

Early Morning Juicing in the Dominican Republic sans makeup… Eek!

Hope you’re enjoying your week!

– Lina

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