Author Archives: stephanie

the season of giving : you get what you give …

I have to say, it’s super-funny to be wishing people on the street a happy holiday season when there isn’t a flake of snow on the ground and our weather has been non-committal to one steady temperature. As I type this I need a toque and gloves, but also some shades and sunscreen. My entire being – mind and body – is having a bit of trouble adjusting to the season.

It’s also around this time, that our skin begins to have problems adjusting as well. It doesn’t know if it wants to be oily or dry, calm or irritated. Many will just let it be, thinking it’s just part of the seasonal change and that eventually it will work itself out. In the meantime, they hide behind scarves and maybe a bit more makeup and bronzer to liven up their complexion. But in the spirit of the season, you GET what you GIVE … so really, you should be GIVING your skin a solution!

Here are a couple of things to consider as we start to curve around the start of winter :

1. Maintain your routine and don’t get lazy! With all the holiday parties and meet-ups with friends and family you might be tempted to fall asleep without cleansing or toning or moisturizing after a late night. Don’t give in. Continue your proper routine without fail and you’ll make it though the holidays alive.

2. Switch products to address your winter skin issues. You don’t need to buy out your nearby Sephora and overhaul your vanity; but you might need a creamier cleanser to combat dryness. Or maybe, you need a gentler toner to address any skin sensitivity to windburn or chill. Whatever the issue is, identify it, address it, and treat it.

3. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Temperature drops and all we want is an extra large coffee morning and afternoon, a tumbler of tea every hour, or a tasty hot chocolate topped with whip cream. We fill up on hot beverages and our water intake drops a bit because, hey?!?! Who needs to go tot he bathroom THAT often, right? DON’T forget your water. A tall glass morning and night is a must … and try to add one or two more glasses throughout the day at least.

4. Protect your skin when you’re out and about. Shovelling daily outside? Visiting outdoor Christmas Markets? Enjoying a day of tobogganing? When your outside, don’t forget to protect your skin. The obvious: Sunscreen. The sun hasn’t stopped shining, so you shouldn’t stop protecting. I’m also a big fan of using a light layer of skin salve or skin balm across the cheeks and nose when outside. It can prevent chapping and irritation from harsh winds and wooly scarves!

5. Give your skin what it needs, and get glowing. Your skin will let you know when it likes and doesn’t like something. It will also let you know what it needs. YOU JUST NEED TO PAY ATTENTION. Adjust your routine and products throughout the entire season as needed, and your skin will glow straight past the holidays and well into spring!

-xo
s

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What you should really be looking at when determining your skin type …

Whenever you hit up a Sephora or a beauty department sales associate looking for a new foundation or the latest moisturizer the first thing they will ask is what’s your skin type? This is without fail … and with good intention because really, they just want to make sure you’re getting the right product for your skin type and needs. However, if you aren’t a regular at a dermatologist’s office or a facial bar … you might not know yourself!

Image : Jacks Beauty Department, Berlin

Sales associates and makeup artists are trained to help you determine this but not without asking you a few questions that only you would know. So the real question here is … do you know the answers?

If you’re trying to determine your skin type before making a big skincare purchase, try to look and find the answers to these five important questions :

When you wake up in the morning, does your skin feel :

  1. dry and tight
  2. oily and heavy
  3. the same as when you fell asleep

Ten minutes after cleansing and moisturizing, your skin feels like :

  1. you need more moisturizer
  2. you put on too much moisturizer
  3. you can no longer feel the moisturizer but also feel fresh and clean

When you apply your makeup :

  1. you are unable to get a nice smooth application and powders feel like they are dragging on your skin
  2. you are unable to get liquid or cream makeup to stay in place and it slides around too much
  3. you get a nice even application and don’t have too much trouble with makeup

By midday, your makeup looks :

  1. patchy, and needs some adjustments
  2. shiny, and like it has disappeared or has started to migrate to other areas of the face
  3. the same, but you might need to add some lipgloss

By the end of the day, your skin feels like it is :

  1. inflamed, irritated and/or itchy
  2. greasy, shiny and in need of a good cleanse
  3. tired and ready to be cleansed, but otherwise fine

If you answered mostly 1′s, chances are you’re dry or dehydrated. Mainly 2′s, you’re a candidate for an oiler t-zone. Strictly 3′s, and you’re what most would consider normal.

Knowing the answers to these questions will lead you to making better choices in your skincare and makeup products, and in the end a much happier you with respect to your purchases! But keep this in mind – rarely is anyone just one thing. In fact, it’s more common to be a combination skin type! So, when taking this quick questionnaire keep in mind what your second answer would be if your first answer didn’t exist. Let the makeup artist or sales associate know your answers and see what they recommend!

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getting married? this prep trick will ensure flawless makeup!

In the hustle and bustle of getting married, it’s easy for a bride to put her beauty needs on the back burner as she nears the wedding date! Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and lots of additional stress combined can create a complexion nightmare come the walk down the aisle and that’s why the common advice for brides is to sleep more, drink more water or eat well, and to delegate wedding day tasks! But there is one piece of advice that brides rarely get that is really important to bridal beauty :

START EXFOLIATING!

While its always a good thing that a bride maintains a steady cleanse and moisturize routine throughout, it isn’t enough to provide an even, smooth “canvas” for your bridal makeup. Exfoliating at least once weekly can resurface the skin in a really good way by removing dead skin cells and dry patches, revealing a brighter and more even complexion. The more even the texture, the easier your foundation, blush and setting powders glide over the skin for a more polish and blended appearance. Almost like you were photoshopped brushed!

Exfoliating regularly is also important if you want that fresh, dewy makeup glow. If your skin is dull, dry or patchy your makeup artist will need to use plenty of product from corrector to powder to mimic the look which in the end won’t feel dewy or fresh at all. Basically, think of it this way : the less imperfections or blemishes you have the less makeup your artist will need to apply letting more of you shine through!

There are plenty of DIY recipes on the good old Internet for you to try and it can be as simple as some brown sugar and coconut oil scrubbed on once weekly. Affordable products are available at your local beauty boutique, or if you have the budget for it, seeing a professional once a month can do wonders! The key takeaway here is that its time to step it up a bit and introduce one more step to your weekly routine. The payoff will be tenfold when you’re in your white gown!

Posted in brides, cleanse, exfoliating, expert advice, face, facials, skin, skincare, tips | Comments Off

15 days to better skin : YOU DID IT!

Day 15: January 15

You did it!

You completed our 15 days to better skin guide and I couldn’t be any more
happier that you chose to follow along.

I hope that by following along that you learned a few new things about
your skin, skincare, and yourself; that you are seeing positive changes in your skin
and that you are looking forward to seeing more.

For today, you just need to take the tips and tricks that you learned and continue to put them into positive action. I hope that you are inspired to continue finding new ways to treat and pamper your skin, and that you have a newfound interest
in maintaining a healthy complexion.

Here’s to better skin from Day 16 onward …

xx,
Stephanie+the fresh.beautiful teamĀ 

Posted in beauty OFF duty, better skin guide, face, facials, fresh.beautiful, natural, organic, skin, skincare, tips, toronto | Comments Off

15 days to better skin : brows, bangs, and lashes …

You’re skin is on it’s way to smooth sailing, so today your job is to create the perfect frame to show off all your hard work!

Day 14 : January 14

Trim your bangs. Tweeze and groom your brows. Curl your lashes. Wax any unwanted facial hair.

Take some time today to clean up and groom theses areas that highlight and frame the face – or at least book an appointment with a professional whom can take care of it for you.

Grooming your brows and curling your lashes will highlight the eyes, which are probably brighter and looking lifted thanks to all the extra care you’ve taken in the past two weeks. Trimming the brows and cleaning up their shape will frame your glowing skin; and removing any unwanted facial hair will further emphasize your complexions smoother appearance.

It’s all about the details, and these little tweaks just help the process a long. Plus, you’ll just look super cute!

Have a great day pampering yourself!

TIP : Don’t be afraid to experiment with brow and lash timing too … these simple tricks can help you look awake and made up instantly with no makeup. Less makeup equals more better skin days!

HOMEWORK : Learn how to trim your bangs and groom your brows yourself. This will help to save more money in your pocket which can then be saved up and spent on more skincare products!

Posted in be beautiful, be fresh, better skin guide, face, facials, hair, natural, organic, tips, toronto, treatments | Comments Off

15 days to better skin : choose the right protection …

For most of this guide, we’ve focused on repairing and renewing the skin because the key is to get your skin back into shape. But what happens once you meet that goal?

Day 13 : January 13

Protect your skin.

Today, I want you to grab your tablet (or laptop, or smartphone) and start researching on your options for SPF. This is especially important if you’ve been relying on a moisturizer or foundation base that claims to have SPF included. You need a standalone SPF if you really want to protect your skin. While the SPF included in your products can help to protect, it’s not their #1 goal. An SPF-specific product is your best bet for fighting off increased and future sun damage and aging.

Before you think “okay – I’ll just pick up some Coppertone” … no no … plenty of cosmetic brands have SPF that will fit a bit better with your daily skin and beauty routine. They are lightweight in texture and feel, making it much easier to wear day in and day out. Choose one with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. You’ll want to apply your SPF at the end of your skincare routine, but before makeup.

Never forego sun protection. Even in the winter months, your skin needs its SPF. Be very diligent about it to prevent a plethora of skin issues down the road.

Have fun in the sun!

TIP : Ask for samples and try them all out under your makeup. While all may protect equally, some might create a better base for your makeup than others.

HOMEWORK : If your budget allows, you can pick up an extra SPF product in stick form. You can stick this in your purse and reapply as needed throughout the day especially when you’re outside more than expected.

Posted in be beautiful, be fresh, beauty, better skin guide, crystal microdermabrasion, expert advice, face, facials, low level light therapy, tips, toronto, treatments | Comments Off