Daily Archives: December 17, 2011

My Holy Grail Beauty Items

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As I mentioned in my previous posts, I have struggled with my skin for much of this year.  I’ve tried both going to see estheticians and dermatologist. Then, after 6 long months, I finally found a skin regime that worked for me.

These are my “holy grail” items that I always have come to love and have a permanent home in my washroom vanity.

Spectro Jel

This gentle (and very inexpensive) cleanser has stuck with me through thick and thin.  It’s nothing fancy; it doesn’t have a perfume scent and it doesn’t foam, but it cleans my skin gently without stripping it.

I bought a 900mL bottle from Costco for $16.99

DIY Make-up Remover

I always double cleanse.  That means I remove my makeup first, and then cleanse my face with a cleanser.  I’ve tried other store brand make-up removers and I  prefer making my own.  It’s inexpensive and super gentle.

In a 100mL bottle, I mix one squirt of baby oil with 2 squirts of baby shampoo, then fill the rest of the bottle up with water.  Shake.  A bottle usually lasts me a month.

Martina Gerbert Black Mud Lotion

I use this lotion as a night cream and I LOVE it.  It’s light scent makes me feel like I just came back from a spa, and my face is always so supple and moisterized the next morning.  Plus, it’s meant for more oily and acne prone skin (like mine!).

It’s a bit pricer at $65 for a 100mL bottle.  I usually try to get in on sale from Pure and Simple for 15 – 20% off specials.

Pure & Simple Algea Serum

I use the serum at night for an extra boost of moisture to my skin.  Keeping my skin moisturized is key to keeping it healthy.  I put this on my face after cleansing while it’s still a little damp. It’s super light and is absorbed so easily by my skin. Then I layer on the Differin Gel (acne medication) and black mud lotion.  This is the most inexpensive serum in the Pure and Simple line, and it works great for me.

This serum is fairly reasonable at approximately $43 for 100mL.

Neo Strata 8% Glycolic Acid Toner with 2% Clindamycin Phosphate & Differin XP Gel

These are both prescription medication prescribed by my dermatologist.  I use the Differin Gel at night over my serum, and under neath my black mud lotion.  It treats my acne and prevents new ones from forming.  I use the glyolic acid toner in the morning, and it helps with exfoiliating my skin.

My health benefits cover 80% of the cost so this is more affordable to me.  Approx. full cost is $80 for the Differin Gel and $45 for the Neo Strata.

Cover FX Matte Primer

My face can get really oily, so this primer really helps my make-up last longer.  I usually apply a small amount in my t-zone only.  This primer is pretty pricey for ~$40 for 30mL, and I never see this brand on sale.

Cover FX Natural Foundation

This foundation is medium coverage and I use it as a spot concealer instead of an all-over foundation.  It doesn’t irritate my skin and gives me great coverage, which can be layered on.

There is also a great shade selection to match your skin colour.  Also a bit on the pricey side for ~$40 for 30mL, but since I use it as a concealer, it’s fairly reasonable.

MAC Blotting Powder

I have been using this since forever and I always go back to this.  It’s a translucent powder that does a great job absorbing oil.  I like to keep it in my purse for touch ups during the day.  It doesn’t clog my pores and does a great job setting my concealer.  It’s a bit pricey at $30 for a compact that lasts me 3 – 4 months.

Sour Cream and Honey mask

I don’t make this mask enough, but I LOVE it.  My skin is always so radiant after using this mask.  It’s inexpensive, as a tub of sour cream will last me close to a month and I use it to cook with, as well.

The sour cream contains lactic acid and the honey fights bacteria and soothes my skin.

Kiss my Face Shampoo

I am trying to use products that are better for my body, and one of the things I’ve done is cut out sulfates and parabens from the things I use everyday.  Kiss my face is a paraben and sulfate free shampoo.

I love it because it is gentle and cleanses my hair without stripping it.  It’s also got a lovely light scent that is not overwhelming.  It’s more expensive than most drugstore brand shampoos, but well worth it. I buy the 1L tub for $16 from my local health food store.

Baking Soda deep clean rinse

I’ve been training my hair for a while now to be washed every other day.  But sometimes, the oil builds up in my hair, so I use this rinse to clean out build up and residue.

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with 50mL of water and just work it into your scalp after your shampoo, then rinse away.  Works every time.  Just make sure you condition afterwards.


I find that when I get enough sleep, and consistently go to bed at the same time every night, my skin always looks healthier and feels better.  I like to get at least 8 hours a night and I usually retire to bed around 10:00 – 10:30 and wake up at 7:00am.  I like to sleep a lot 😉

What are some of your holy grail items that keep you feeling and looking your best?


PS.  Enter my Grown-up Christmas wish Giveaway for a chance to win Gail’s book and support a charity!!


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