SKIN | What the hell are peptides?

Image of peptide-rich products including eye creams and serums with peptides

Peptides! What are they? Good question. Plenty of skincare products use them—you might have seen Clinique’s new Pep-Start eye cream, as an example—but no one has ever really explained to me what they are or what they do. I’ve done a bit of research and I’ve got some answers, so if you’re wondering whether peptides are good for your skin, whether they’re anti-aging or just another marketing buzzword, I’m here to help.

SKIN | Really into retinol

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This post has been sitting in my drafts since November, but I’m still really into retinol and I’m still really into these products, and it’s probably better for me to write about them after using them for a while anyway. This is not a comprehensive ‘What the hell is…?’ post, because I have two others of those on the go at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll write one of those in time. For now, though, I’ll just tell you about Indeed Labs Retinol Reface and Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, two retinol-rich products I’ve been loving.

FACE | A love letter to Witchery Beauty

Witchery Beauty Hazel eyeshadow palette, lip pencil and cream shadow
This is less a love letter to Witchery Beauty and more so a love letter to Witchery in general, but I don’t do well with outfit posts so we’ll stick to the bits for your face (and an honorable mention to the socks rounding out the photo). I was meant to write this post over a year ago, when the lovely Megan who does PR for Witchery sent me a couple of Witchery Beauty products as a birthday gift. For my twenty-fifth birthday. And I’m now twenty-six.

A year may have passed and I may be a shit blogger but this year for my birthday (Witchery always gives members a $20 voucher for their birthday) I bought some more of their makeup and thought, jesus, I’m buying more of it, I’m well overdue to write about this.

FACE | Clinique Top 5

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I didn’t work for Clinique for six months without developing a pretty sound knowledge of every damn product they market – and there’s a lot of them. I started writing a Clinique Top 5 list, which expanded quickly into a Top 12, but I’ve chopped it back down to 5 (just as long as you don’t count the individual lipsticks).

Like Ruth from A Model Recommends, I’m not a huge fan of the traditional Clinique 3 Step system: I like a cleanser that can remove my makeup, I like a toner without alcohol, and I like a moisturiser that doesn’t break me out (but that’s my weird skin’s fault, not Clinique’s). I have managed to cobble together my own functional alternative system instead, although I’ve left cleansers out of this post because they’re fairly interchangeable.

FACE | High and Low End Best of 2015

Hyacinth Girl Best of 2015

So I’ve been a shit blogger in 2015 but I’ve still been using products and trying products and having thoughts on them, so I’m still going to write a Best of 2015 post. This time I thought I’d keep it nice and brief with one favourite high end product and one favourite affordable option. Conveniently they also work out to be one makeup product and one skincare product! Nice and symmetrical. If this isn’t enough for you, feel free to read my 2014 and 2013 favourites, all of which I still like.

SKIN | I spent $8 on some bloody fancy Shiseido facial cotton

Shiseido Facial Cotton

Cotton pads fall under the category of ‘beauty tools and accessories you kind of need but are wholly unprepared to spend a lot of money on because you literally use them once and throw them out’, and I shop for them accordingly. I’m usually pretty indifferent to what ones I get, and actually Pams Cotton Rounds are $2 something and more than decent. Working next to the Shiseido counter, though, I see a lot of customers buying the Shiseido Facial Cotton, which delivers moisture, with a luxuriously gentle touch, for $8. This stuff comes in at 13 cents per square (as opposed to 3 cents each for Pams) but holy shit is it worth it. Well, as worth it as spending more money on little squares of cotton can be.

SKIN | Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream

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I’ve had quite an adventure with eye creams: there was the saga with the Clinique one and the bumps, the expensive Apot.Care bought as an emergency solution and a few more besides. While St Paula reckons eye creams are a bit of a stiff, I do think there’s some truth to using a specialised cream around your eyes. The skin there is thinner, with less sebaceous glands (the ones that produce oil), so it is often drier and more likely to have a compromised moisture barrier. There’s also less collagen and elastin in the skin (the stuff that keeps it supple and maintains structure), which is why you get laugh lines and frown lines and all that showing up sooner rather than later.

I’m on the fence about embracing signs of aging: I wrote a breakup letter to my grey hair a few months back, but to be fair I’m too lazy to maintain the colour and now I’m rather enjoying my witchy streaks. I’m not too into the idea of wrinkles around my eyes, though, so I’m trying to use eye cream regularly. I bought the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream when I visited the new Bobbi Brown counter at Queensgate a few months back (read about it here), and it’s pretty dope.

FACE | Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer

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How better to start a series of old-school product reviews than with a review of an old classic? The Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer doesn’t even look like this anymore, which is testament to how long I’ve had it and how long I’ve been into it. It was my first true bronzer – before this, I was using a brownish-pink Rimmel blush with more than a little shimmer in it to contour my face. I bought it when I lived in Toronto; I used to walk over to the Shoppers Drug Mart on Sherbourne St and spend hours ranging around the beauty section and contemplating walls of products which, at the time, entirely overwhelmed me. To be fair, the drugstore offering of matte bronzers was pretty pathetic seven or so years ago, so that Rimmel abomination may have been the best choice available.

Anyway. The /r/MakeupAddiction subreddit that got me into this Too Faced bronzer, and I loved it for a long time before moving on to others that I bought needlessly at the peak of my “I need all the makeup” phase. (That was around when I started this blog, actually, and when I wrote this post about contouring.)