Pretty In Bronze: skincare
Showing posts with label skincare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skincare. Show all posts

Friday, October 09, 2020

Wedding Skincare Routine ~ Lead up to the wedding
October 09, 20200 Comments

 Hello again!

Welcome to the second post in my wedding series! I recently—finally—got married and I wanted to document everything I did beauty wise (and also planning wise if people are interested) on the day of, and also leading up to it. This post is all about what I've been doing as skincare for the lead up to my wedding. Since it's pretty much the most important time in my life to be serious about skincare and care about how it looks, I thought I'd share my routine.

I have fairly normal to combination skin (sometimes a slightly oily t-zone and a few notorious dry patches around my face). I do have cystic hormonal acne that is on my face for three weeks out of every period cycle and unfortunately this included the week of my wedding. I actually had one huge cystic zit on my forehead and three on my chin. 

We all know there's no possible way to get rid of cystic acne overnight and it requires a lot of hard work (sometimes antibiotics). Unfortunately, I never got onto medication in time so I've been trying to manage it as best as possible without any prescriptions. I didn't care much about it existing as long as it mind if it wasn't super enflamed or noticeable under makeup so the pictures will still look nice, but of course I'd much rather not having it at all.

Nighttime Skincare routine:

Every single night in the few weeks leading up to the wedding I was using the first four products. The order in which I used those four is actually the same way they're laid out. 

The Ordinary's "Buffet" serum has lots of great ingredients and while most of the reviews I saw about this mentioned anti-aging (I even bought it for my mother-in-law a few years back), I did find a few claiming it helped with acne. I'm pretty much 25 now, so while that's young, my skin definitely doesn't look like it did on my past Seventeen-year-old self so the anti-aging benefits are a plus for me. 

The Dermalogica "Barrier Defense Booster" and "Calm Water gel" are a pair made in heaven. The oil isn't too light or too heavy and definitely makes my skin feel more plump and the moisturizer is pretty light on its own, but paired with the oil it's perfect. They are very expensive to me and I probably wouldn't have purchased them for the wedding if I didn't already own them since I have tried more affordable skincare since that's similar enough (not quite as good), but the price tag makes those products more worth it. If I didn't own skincare that had similar results I would've for sure bought these for the wedding.

The Ordinary "Salicylic Acid 2% Solution" was my spot treatment of choice, and it was used pretty much every single night since I started this routine.

The last product in my nighttime skincare routine started being incorporated about a week before the wedding. Because of my skin changing based on what part of my cycle I'm at, my skin became very dry next to my nose, closer to the cheeks. It was to the point where the oil and moisturizer weren't enough and it'd feel dry to the touch. This is a sample of the Skinfix Barrier+ Lipid-Peptide Creme that I got as a free sample from Sephora. I've tried a peptide creme before and LOVED it so when I found this in my sample area I instantly knew that it would solve my problems and boy did it ever! I started applying this on the dry patches next to my nose and all around my eyes, focusing underneath them and the crevice near the inner corner. Within two days the dry patches disappeared, so I kept it up because makeup applies way better when my skin is moisturized.

Cleansing Products:

These are my very basic washing/cleansing products! If you've read my past skincare posts, you'll know I love the Cetaphil Cleanser for Oily Skin and the Foreo Luna Mini has been amazing for my skin. This may seem random to post after my actually skincare routine, but I put this between because I was actually using this every night and every morning leading up to the wedding.

Daytime Routine:

My daytime skincare routine is going to seem boring and that's because it is. I didn't use any unique products from my nighttime skincare routine at all. The only difference is that I was only using The Ordinary's "Buffet" followed by the Dermalogica "Calm Water Gel." Yup, that's it. I told you it'd be boring.

I've actually reviewed several of these products before on this blog so I'll leave a link here for you to look through my skincare reviews. 

This was my face before doing my makeup on the wedding day! You can see all the fun cystic friends that joined me in my nuptials.

Tips and Tricks for better looking skin:

While I never stopped using the skincare routine for even a day, I did sometimes do something different to help out. When my four giant cystic acne spots decided to invade my face, I quickly ripped off a piece of aloe from my plant and started applying it to my skin at night. This worked especially well for the huge eczema flare up I experienced on my right hand (yay allergies).

On the morning of the wedding the acne was still very visible, so I packed a sandwich bag with three ice-cubes and held them on all of my spots the entire way to the wedding venue (a bit over an hour). Ice helps a lot with the swelling of the acne, so while it won't get rid of it, it makes it look much smaller. This helped significantly and it now looks like I just had small little breakouts instead of the massive ones they truly were.

I have allergies all year round and they get really bad between August and November. Right when my wedding was happening. It's to the point where i have a prescription for what's essentially Reactin (same drug, just not brand name) that I can take every single day. I made sure to take it every day leading up to the wedding, as well as on the wedding day to make my eczema less itchy, my nose less runny and my eyes less watery. I also took an ibuprofen the morning of the wedding because that can also help with inflammation, which was great for my eczema and acne.

Here's a picture of me on my wedding day from my Instagram page (go follow me!).

That's all I have for you regarding what I did skincare wise leading up to and on my wedding day! I hope some of it was helpful or at least interesting to read. I'll be posting more wedding-related posts when I have all of the pictures back so you can actually see my makeup, dress, hair tools etc. For now I'll leave you here.

See you soon!

Disclaimer: Affiliate links were used in this post. I barely make any money from them and primarily use Magic Links to make linking easier. Seriously. I've made 20 cents in the last 4+ years of blogging and doing YouTube.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Winter Empties Mini Reviews - Would I Repurchase?
March 30, 20200 Comments

I thought I'd do a beauty/lifestyle related post rather than talking about wedding things, even though I have an update post surrounding that, which will likely be up next or in two posts! Today I wanted to share my empties from the past few months. There aren't many as I've rarely been wearing makeup and even more rarely buying new things. I want most of my content to be on this blog and Instagram since during this time I won't have easy access to my camera (self-isolation and all that) and this is much more manageable for me.

My first category is makeup + tools

The Beauty Blender makeup sponge is my favourite sponge that I've used so far. I've tried sponges from Quo, Real Techniques, and a few other affordable ones and they just don't compare to the Beauty Blender in my opinion. The BeautyBlender Pro is my favourite and I've used this one for a bit more than two years (I know, that's crazy!) I clean mine really well and have never had a problem with them growing any mold. Even when I used the pink original ones, I made sure to check and would normally keep one for an entire year and cut it open when throwing it out. Never any mold, but the sponge itself would start to disintegrate and leave little pieces all over my face.

The L'Oreal Bambi mascara was really nice for an everyday mascara when not wearing a full face. It definitely gave a doe eye effect and was really good at separating my lashes. I received that one for free to test out, which was also the case for the Revlon brow pencil. I really like the Revlon pencils and so far it's my favourite from the drugstore. This was the thin pencil one (I'm not a fan of their chubbier one), but I wasn't a fan of the powder portion that  is easy to miss. That's a bit too messy for me. The spooley works, but nothing compares to my ABH eyebrow brush spooley.

Now for the lips!

 I go through lip-balms quite quickly and rarely lose them anymore. Out of these three there's only one that I would re-purchase and that's the Cuter Cuticles lip balm. I have two more of these in different flavours. This was the watermelon flavour, which wasn't my favourite in terms of scent since it's a natural watermelon scent instead of the fake candy scent that I love. The lip balm itself is amazing and I bought it at the 2019 Indie Expo. I'm on the vanilla one now!

The Laneige sleeping mask is nice, but I don't understand all of the hype around it. I personally don't think the price tag is worth it at all, and much prefer my Catrice Shea Butter lip treatment, at a fraction of the price with MUCh nicer packaging. It just works way better. The scent is nice and I might consider purchasing if it was in the $5 range, but it's not so I wouldn't recommend this one.

The Softlips lipbalm is really old, but I decided to finish it up. It's nice and smells really good and at one point was a favourite, but it doesn't compare to my Cuter Cuticles and especially not to my favourite lip balm of all time from Surya Brasil. Natural lip balms work way better for me, which isn't a big shocker.

Face and body moisturizers

These were all samples, which makes it difficult to give a proper review. Out of these three, the Caudalie (which I got as a Sephora Birthday Gift a few years back) is my favourite. It was great for the daytime and I kept it in my bag for days that I forgot to moisturize, or needed extra hydration.

The North American Hemp Co face cream was good for night time, but the sample was too small for me to be able to tell if it actually helped much with lines. As a regular moisturizer it's nice, but I don't love it as much as my The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors (which is super affordable too). I got this one for free in an old Blogger Box that I received for consideration.

The Renewed Hope moisturizer was all right, but nothing special. It was super small so I think I only got a handful of uses out of it, only using it on trips where I brought my travel skincare bag. It was so small that I can't recommend or not recommend it.

I've purchased and have been sent so many moisturizers these past few years, but my favourite has always been Cetaphil. I know there are mixed opinions on the brand. Some people absolutely love and swear by it and I fall into that category as it's great for my sensitive skin, doesn't contain added fragrance and their face care products have helped majorly with my acne issues. Some people hate it because of their parent brand (not cruelty free I'm pretty sure), the higher price tag and it doesn't seem to work the same for them. I love it and will always recommend it, but like with everything else, do your own research!

The North American Hemp Co. body lotion is the same size as the face cream sample I reviewed above. I maybe got two uses out of this so it definitely wasn't enough for me to give a review. It didn't irritate my skin, likely because it doesn't have added fragrance. I can't tell you much else so I'll end it on that note.

Face and body wash!

I think I've reviewed this on this blog (and if not, I have a review on my Instagram page), but this is a huge favourite for both myself and especially my Fiancé Steven. I love this for when my skin is extra greasy, sometimes after a bigger workout or on a heavy makeup day (which are rare). It's a bit too drying for every day use, but Steven loves it because he believes drying your skin out is better for acne, despite my years of begging him to moisturize (he absolutely refuses).  This smells nice, foams up a lot (so a little goes a long way) and I repurchased one to put in Steven's stocking before this one ran out. We're staying at his parent's house as during this self-isolation period since I've been working from home (a week or two before it even started) and Steven ended up taking vacation days before finally being given a laptop to work from home as well. We live in a condo building, so it isn't as safe considering we have to leave to walk the dogs a few times a day, and this is the only face wash we brought since it's less bulky. I've been putting on more moisturizer to combat it, but it's been nice because my skin has been a huge break-out filled mess from all the stress of re-scheduling our wedding and being on my period, etc. This is also affordable so we highly recommend it!

I got this body wash for free either from Influenster or from Topbox a long time ago. I used to be bad about using body wash and would just use whatever bar soap was nearby, but this winter I was good about it and finally went through this big boy. Steven uses his own body washes so this large one took me a while to go through myself. I LOVE how this one smells and it's not only fairly affordable but it's very natural, cruelty free and vegan! If we hadn't bought a costco-sized package of a different body wash months ago (on sale) I would've likely purchased a new one of this, or one of their other scents. It'll probably be another year or so before I go through all of the bodywash I currently own, but when I do I'll be sure to look out for this. I highly highly recommend it and I'm curious about their other products!


One of the products I've most been sent to review has been Shampoos and Conditioners. This is great for me because I don't use regular drug-store shampoos on my hair since it's been very damaged in the past, and it's naturally curly. I also only wash my hair once a week to keep it as healthy as possible, so I need a good shampoo to do its job. I was originally sent a set of Saryna Key haircare products a few years back, but I loved them so much that I repurchased the Shampoo, which I'm already halfway through as I've exclusively used it for the rest of the winter since finishing this one up. This is hands down my all-time favourite shampoo and likely the one I'll use on my wedding day because I know it'll make my hair look and feel its best. There are many others I love, and my hair is the type where it needs to switch products every once in a while so for self-isolation I brought a different set to give my hair a break from this one, but once the wedding is near I'll definitely switch back to this one a week or two before so my hair is ready to look its best! This is very natural and is great for damaged hair and even though it's not drug-store priced, it's 100% worth it. I highly recommend and will continue to repurchase!


Ok this is a bit of a weird category, but recently I've seen a lot of people talking about these types of products again. The Secret gel antiperspirants are my favourites for how it feels and smells. They don't make the underarms of my clothes go all weird and they feel fresh (with many different available scents. Whenever they're on sale I'll buy them because I'm a super sweaty girl.

The Degree motion sense aerosol antiperspirant was really good, but I almost choked every time I sprayed it. It worked really really well, but I know aerosols are bad for the environment, and getting it in my lungs at a time like this isn't the best idea so I likely won't repurchase. I hope they can make a stick or gel version of this that works the same way because I'd definitely purchase it myself for workout days. I'm currently using a completely different brand I've never tried before so we'll see how that one goes.

I'm excessively sweaty so I NEED an antiperspirant to keep my clothes from not being completely drenched, so simply using a natural-deodorant isn't an option for me unfortunately. However, do your research into it. Some people say they're deadly and others say they're completely safe. Look into actual scientific data so you can make the best decision for you!

That's all for this empties review / would I (re)purchase. I hope you enjoyed and will stick around to see my future posts!

See you soon!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Shea Noir Natural Ivory Shea Butter Review
February 20, 20200 Comments

Several weeks ago I received a package from Shea Noir, a family owned local brand (a mother and her sons) that sells completely natural shea butter. I love being able to promote local brands because they're normally very good, but are underestimated because we're used to buying products from out of country here in Canada. I often find that the products are more natural and work way better and it's great being able to support local businesses, especially as a woman who is also an immigrant here in Canada!

I've never tried pure shea butter before this product and have always heard positive things since there are so many benefits to using it, so when Shea Noir reached out to me on Instagram, I was interested in giving it a go!

The package was very well protected and is much larger than I imagined. Because it's natural, the shea butter is kind of like a soft brick that crumbles, but if you warm it up with your hands it melts. Some of the claims on the packaging and on the brand's Instagram and Facebook page include that the product can help with acne and blemishes (mainly for lowering redness), reduce the look of wrinkles and other signs of aging as well as reduce itchy/peeling skin. I'm not surprised since shea butter is very moisturizing, so it makes perfect sense to me that those would all be true. This particular brand of shea butter is also very natural so it is chemical, preservative, paraben, phthalate and sulfate free, which makes it even better for sensitive skin! The brand is also cruelty free, so that's always nice.

The picture below shows what the shea butter looks like when I rip a small chunk off before I melt it with my hands.

This can be used in SO many different ways. At first I was just using it all over my face. The day after I received this, we were working on cars all day out in the cold, which meant it was also very dry. Because of this, I wasn't going to spend time making myself look pretty, so I decided to slather it all over my face to see if it would keep my skin nourished. It did! I feel like it also helped calm my acne down a bit since it didn't get irritated from the dryness. I don't know that it really made it go away faster, but it definitely didn't allow it to become aggravated.

I also sometimes put a bunch in my hair 30–60 minutes before washing it. I only put it on my ends since I only wash my hair once a week so the roots don't really need help. This definitely made my ends feel less dead and I'm interested in using this in conjunction with a few other hair products to make a DIY treatment to wear in my hair prior to washing it.

I can see myself using this a lot so I was very pleased when I saw that the price is only $15.99 CAD! There's A LOT of product so you're definitely getting your money's worth. This is something I definitely see myself purchasing in the future, particularly for when I get pregnant so I can keep my bump super moisturized to attempt preventing stretch marks and the uncomfortable itchy feeling that comes along with the stretching.

Go check out the Shea Noir website as they have so much more information there, and even fun recipes you can make with your shea butter!

See you soon!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Daytime Skincare Routine ~ Summer 2019
July 19, 20190 Comments

My last post was focused on the products that I use every night for my skincare routine, but this one is for what I use every morning, or at least after I wash my face during the day. I didn't include sunscreen in this post since I'm terrible and don't wear it on a daily basis (and I only own two that I switch between), but I'll do a post comparing them at some point this summer!

Clearly I've been trying to stick to the same line of products, which is why I've also been using the Dr. Belmeur Panthenol Soothing Gel Cream. As the name states this is a gel and it does feel quite soothing. I just keep this under the sink with the other skincare I use on a regular basis, but it somehow feels a bit cool to the touch. This is very hydrating and very spreadable so you really don't need a lot. I really enjoy it, but I definitely feel like the moisturizer I use at night from the brand is harder to replace and I can easily switch this one out for something else in my collection. I reviewed the full line in an old post here if you're interested in more a more in-depth review than my nighttime skincare routine post.

I mentioned this same IQ Natural Rested Eyes gel in my last post so I won't go into this one here. It's great and works well under concealer so I'm happy with it!

The unique product here is clearly The Ordinary's Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I featured this product in a post about my favourite The Ordinary products a long while back and still love it! I give a full review there, but I truly believe this works for my skin. I went a long time without using it so that stinging pain (which definitely isn't a light tingle like the website claims) did happen again for the first few days, but after using it for a week straight my skin got used to it and now it's just another product I use and don't think about since it no longer hurts. Beauty is pain, right?

I don't see myself adding in any new products to this routine on a daily basis because it has been working so well, but because the eye cream is running low and I'll eventually run out of the moisturizer, I'll do an updated post since the routine will be changing at that point.

That's it for my morning/daytime skincare routine! It's kind of boring, but I'm really proud of myself for being consistent with my skincare. I know many don't worry about it in the daytime, but if you do, let me know some of your favourite products to use!

See you soon!

Friday, July 05, 2019

Nighttime Skincare Routine ~ Summer 2019
July 05, 20190 Comments

It's been a very long time since I've done a blog post focusing on a skincare routine of mine. Now that I think of it and scroll back, it's been a while since I've made a post dedicated to a range of skincare products.

Summer is finally here in Toronto and while my skin tends to do better this time of year, I have no intentions of slacking on my skincare again considering how much it's been acting up for the past year. While my wedding may still be closer to a year away, I need my skin to be in its best condition.

Skincare is going to be the focus of this blog and my Instagram for the month of July. I've realized that I depend on buying new beauty products or receiving them in PR in order to put out posts when I have perfectly good products that already exist in my collection—even if I've already mentioned them before. Most of these have been mentioned on this blog at one point, but I'm using them differently and it's been really working for me.

This is my nighttime skincare routine that I have been using every single night for the past month and a half. Some of you may think this is over the top, but I also know some of you think this is tiny in comparison to your routines. The only products not mentioned here are my cleansers, but I'll mention those later on in this post since I cleanse my face every morning as well.

I use my Foreo Luna Mini every single night when I cleanse my face and this has probably made the biggest difference in my skin. This is very gentle, but gets my face super clean without irritating it. My coworker and friend gave this to me because her skin is really sensitive and can't even use this one and I'm super grateful because these things are expensive. However, now that I've used it extensively, I can truly say that it's worth the money and would purchase one myself if something happened to mine.

I did a blog post on this Dr. Belmeur skincare line a while back, but at the time I wasn't super blown away with it after only testing it out for a few weeks. While I use these both every night, the Cica Recovery Cream is my favourite from the line. I honestly can't tell if the serum is doing much, but the cream really sinks into my skin and hydrates it after washing all of the bad stuff off in the sink. You only need the slightest amount to cover your whole face so mine is going to last me a very long time. In my last review I didn't think I would purchase this on my own once I ran out, but now I think I will unless I opt for an old favourite instead.

My IQ Natural eye cream has been a favourite ever since I received it years ago from the brand. Yes, you read that right. YEARS. This stuff lasts for ever and still works amazingly well at moisturizing my under eye. If I do my whole routine and skip this step, I can really feel that it's missing. This just makes my undereye area feel a lot nicer. It doesn't help with brightening, but definitely at keeping the area from becoming dry.

I got this Divine Essence Rosehip Oil in an old blogger box over a year ago and never paid much attention to it because I thought it would make my skin oiler. But one day RawBeautyKristi mentioned that she was using Rosehip Oil in her skincare routine and that it made a huge difference. Ever since I've been using it and am in love! This is the second last step of my nighttime skincare routine when I have active breakouts, but the very last one when I don't. After doing some research, I learned that oils should be the last step at night. I'm not sure if that truly works, but I've just been listening to that. This stuff also lasts forever.

Last, but not least, I use the Clean & Clear Salicylic Acid on top of any active breakouts that I may have. I usually always have two, but for a few days out of every month my skin will go without any and those are the days that I ignore this step. I've tried many salicylic acids and although they are technically the same ingredient and strength, I feel like this one along with my The Ordinary one work the best. The packaging on this sucks though, but it's affordable so I can't complain too much.

For my cleansers at night, I mainly use my Cetaphil 'Oily Skin Cleanser', but two to three days a week (very rarely four) I will use my Neutrogena 'Pink Grapefruit Pampelmousse Rose Cream-to-Foam Cleanser' for acne-prone skin. I pretty much gave a full review on both on my Instagram so I'll just post the photo below.

View this post on Instagram

I'm hoping for July to be a skin focused month on here and my blog so to kick things off are my favourite cleansers! I have combination skin, but love my @cetaphilcanada oily skin cleanser for a majority of my face washing (morning and night). It's very gentle, but does a great job of cleaning my face and helping keep my acne to a minimum. I also have eczema a few times a year and this is the only cleanser I can use that doesn't irritate it. I won this particular bottle in a giveaway, but I've purchased it many times in the past and will continue to in the future! My @neutrogena cleanser (also for acne-prone skin) is what I use after the gym (three times a week) or after very heavy makeup days (maybe once every 1–2 weeks). This one gets everything out, but is heavier than what I need on a daily basis and especially mornings. This is Steven's favourite so he uses this a majority of the time and sometimes used the Cetaphil. I got this from @chickadvisor for free months ago, but will definitely purchase if it's still around when we finish it! #bbloggersCA #beauty #bblogger #canadian #beautyaddiction #canada #canadianbeautyblogger #torontoblogger #youtube #discoverunder1k #skincare #instaskincare #skincarejunkie #skincareaddiction #bodycare #cleanser #drugstorecleanser #drugstoreskincare #sensitiveskin #acneproneskin #adultacne #pinkpower #cetaphil #gotitfree
A post shared by Amy Sousa (@beautybyamysousa) on

That's it for my nighttime skincare routine! I'm not sure how long this will stay the same considering some of the products are running out,  but if it keeps working well then there's no point of changing it up too much aside from maybe trying a new eye cream and using my The Ordinary salicylic acid once this one runs out completely.

See you soon!