I visited New York a few weeks ago and decided to share a few of the beauty finds I picked up over there.
First off the elf store. For those of you who don't know elf is a very affordable makeup brand that sells online at eyeslipsface.com. Most of their products are $1 to $3. If you are like me and it takes elf an entire month to ship anything to you because you don't live in America, you will be pleased to know there is a free-standing elf store in NYC.
I usually buy brushes and tools from elf but the store sold everything they offer so it was interesting looking at everything and testing them up close.
So I have a slight obsession with collecting makeup brushes. The kabuki brush and contouring brush are both wide and flat which I thought was interesting and actually works really well. The pointed foundation brush is also nice. It seems to apply the same as a regular flat foundation brush except it is rounded. I believe the prices of the contouring brush and kabuki brush were slightly more than the brushes in the regular lines. Maybe around $11 - $13 but I think that is still reasonable.
Whole Foods Market
While wandering the city I found myself in a whole foods market. If you love natural, organic, everything this place is a dream. I probably spent 30 minutes in here just looking at everything. The health food stores in Canada have nothing against this place. It was huge and had everything. The store sells the regular line up of vitamins and meds but they also have natural organic soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, creams, work out gear, yoga gear, oils, candles, empty glass bottles, storage and other supplies.
Lastly, I headed to china town in a search to find Japanese hair dye.
If you are east Asian or have dark and coarse hair then I definitely recommend Japanese hair dyes. Brands I like are liese/Prettia and Palty. I actually headed to china town with the intention to find the dye and to be honest it was slightly difficult. Most of the shops did not sell them so I basically just wandered. Luckily, I did eventually find a beauty store that sold the dyes. They had a wide range of colors as well as an assortment of other beauty products and supplies from Japanese and Korean brands. The store is called Meiya Company Organic Beauty Health.
Tea Tree Oil Soap
What is tea tree oil? Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can be used as an antibacterial agent to help eliminate acne and fungal infections. It can also be used for rashes, burns and dandruff. The essential oil can be applied to the body in its pure form, but I personally like to use tea tree oil in soaps. My favorite brand of tea tree oil soap being The Soap Works tea tree soap.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I used to avoid soaps finding them drying but having grown up with sensitive dry skin I began developing acne on my back. For years, I couldn't seem to figure out what was making my back break out. I showered every day. I tried rinsing hair conditioner away from my back. At one point, I even stopped using conditioner. Unfortunately, it didn't change anything. Then one day while I was at my local bulk barn I saw a selection of natural soaps from a company called the Soap Works. I did some research, read rave reviews and decided to try them out. After 3 months the acne disappeared and I haven't had to deal with body acne ever again. Whenever I feel a bump forming on my face or back I just use a bit of the soap on the spot and rinse it. It goes away after a bit.
Goat Milk Soap
I only recently started using goat milk soap but so far I'm loving it. Some benefits of goat milk soap are it doesn't use harsh chemicals, it's anti-aging, the cream and fat content make it moisturizing, includes vitamins A, D, C, B1, B6, B12, and E, and has anti-bacterial properties. I also like using it for shaving as it is creamy and lathers well. I purchased my goat milk soap from Shoppers Drug Mart, but you can probably find it at any health food store or drug store. The brand I am using right now is Alpen Secrets goat milk soap.
You can't get more natural than plain old glycerin soap. Glycerin soaps are very moisturizing and since they do not contain any fragrances or additives it's good for sensitive skin. You can even make your own and add different essential oils to your liking.
I am always open to trying new naturals soaps and bath products. Recently I am loving the soaps from Etsy shop Malee by Nature. Go check them out too they sell natural soy candles and other bath products.
As a girl with dry sensitive skin, I have always been cautious when testing new products. The facial cleansers and makeup removers in the market always seem to dry out and burn my face. And although many sources recommend switching your moisturizer every once in a while I just can’t. I've been using the same moisturizer for over 10 years now and my skin seems fine with it. The reason I decided to give oils a try is the ridiculous dry Canadian winters. My skin was flaking all over the place and no amount of moisturizer was stopping it. So I decided to turn to the natural skincare loving girls at work and ask for advice. They recommended jojoba oil as their go to nighttime facial moisturizer. I decided to do some research and discovered a large range of oils that people use for beauty purposes.
From there I visited a local health food store and picked sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, vitamin E oil, rose hip seed oil, macadamia oil, lavender essential oil, geranium essential oil and lemon essential oil. Hemp seed oil is also on my to-buy list as it has a 0 comedogenic rating. Now I know the girls only recommended jojoba oil and I didn't need to have all these oils but when I try new products I like to try everything.
How I Use The Oils: (note when storing oils it is best to keep it in an amber glass jar)
1. Hair: For daily conditioning take a small amount of the oil and run it through the ends of your hair. Use it sparingly so your hair doesn't end up looking greasy or weighed down.
*After trying out all the oils I have determined that my hair likes Avocado oil the best. It seems to penetrate into my hair quickest and gives it a healthier glow. I still use coconut oil for deep conditioning but for weekly use I prefer the avocado oil. All of the other oils mentioned are also good for hair so try whichever one you like best.
2. Moisturizer: The oils work best when applied under your moisturizer. You can wear the oils individually or mixed together. I mix all of the oils together and so far I have not broken out however I found the jojoba, almond, and avocado oil to be slightly heavy applied on their own. Sometimes during winter I apply the oil mixture in the mornings under my makeup and it gives a nice glow to the skin (note I have very dry skin).
3. Makeup remover:
Steps to wash makeup off:
To my surprise, my favorite use for the oils is as a makeup remover. I previously used (but still love) Bioderma’s Sensibio H2o but needed a cheaper alternative after I ran out. It is so easy to wash with the oils and they leave your face feeling unbelievably moisturized and refreshed. I like to add the lemon essential oil to the mixture to give a refreshing scent.
4. Nebulizer: The nebulizer I own is a humidifier/diffuser that is specifically made for use with essential oils and aromatherapy purposes. It is supposed to purify the air. You shouldn’t use essential oils in a regular humidifier or they may damage it.
I personally like to put a few drops of lavender and lemon essential oil into the nebulizer when I want to relieve stress.
5. Mouthwash: There are a number of mouthwash recipes you can find on other sites but I just add a drop of peppermint and lemon essential oil into a cup of water and swish the mixture in my mouth for a few seconds. Then I rinse with water. You don’t want to swallow the essential oils.
❤❤❤ There are so many more ways you can use these oils. You can create sprays and mists, body lotions, soaps, candles. Experiment and have fun with them.
Basic notes on oils mentioned (all natural and good for moisturizing skin and hair):
*note this is a very general overview and all of these oils have a lot more benefits then mentioned
Comedogenic rating: 2
Comedogenic rating: 2
Comedogenic rating: 2
Vitamin E Oil:
Comedogenic rating: 2
Comedogenic rating: 0
*Essential oils: Please remember to dilute the essential oils with a 2% ratio to carrier oil.
Lavender Essential Oil:
As a girl with pale dry sensitive skin, makeup and skincare has always been an area of interest for me. The beauty section of the blog will share everything makeup, skincare, hair care, nails, bath and body, candles and scents.