Experience review: Skoah Power Facial

Skoah facial review

I recently booked a facial with Skoah, a Vancouver-based skin care company. Their motto is “personal training for your skin,” and I don’t think you can describe their services any better; Skoah focuses on skincare personalized for your needs. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I booked the service because I’ve had facials before and they were all mediocre at best, even when using my favourite products such as ones from the Dermalogica brand. At worst, I’ve come out with cystic acne, at best, my skin was just dry at the end, but the Skoah facial was definitely rave-worthy.

The following review contains rambles, but the short version is that my skin has never felt smoother, more plump, and more glowy. My pores are nearly invisible, my skin looks calm and there’s no redness in sight (after the redness from the extractions has subsided), and it just looks incredibly healthy.

My facial at the Skoah Yaletown location started off with a short consultation with Ashley, my skin trainer. She asked me what were my skin’s major concerns, and then gave me a short description of what she plans on doing. My Power Facial also included a head and shower massage, in addition to the facial, so it was a really nice treat for the end of a work day.

Ashley started off by cleansing my skin and removing my makeup with the Kleansing Lotion. I have dehydrated skin and Ashley said I should use a lotion or cream-based cleanser interchanged with a foaming cleanser, instead of a foaming cleanser all the time like I am doing now. The Kleansing Lotion removed all traces of foundation from my skin, as well as most of my mascara. She followed by toning my skin with Tonik, a pH balancing toner which is cooling and refreshing.

After cleansing and prepping the skin, Ashley used the AHA Mask to clear off all the dead skincells from my skin. I normally don’t use mask-based chemical exfoliators because my skin is relatively sensitive and a mask-based chemical exfoliator may cause more redness. While this one tingled and stung a bit at the beginning, it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry or extra sensitive.

After exfoliating, Ashley calmed my skin down with more Tonik, and then proceeded to do gentle extractions on my skin. She used rubber gloves (must haves!) and gently squeezed my skin to extract all the trapped oil and gunk in my pores. While it was painful, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. She followed the extraction with more toner to calm the skin down.

Next, Ashley used a combination of the Kalm Down Mask and the Hydradew Mask on my skin to replace the moisture, and to plump up my skin. She massaged the two masks on my face and after a few minutes, it was removed with a hot damp towel (it felt SO good). Ashley finished off by applying Eye Kandy to the contours of my eyes, Kontrol Serum to control the sensitivity and redness in my skin, more of that Hydradew Mask as a moisturizing serum (it’s water soluble so it can be used right underneath moisturizer, like a leave-on mask!), and Dewlux Face Kream Lite 30 with sun protection so that my skin is protected when I leave there.

I am absolutely hooked on the Skoah facials. While they are relatively pricey, I could see benefits after just one treatment (not like other places who claim you need 5-10 treatments to see effects). I can definitely see myself returning, especially before important events just to perk up my skin a bit more.

Have you tried Skoah before? What were your thoughts?

Skoah facial review

Photos from the Skoah website

 

Limited edition – Guerlain Rouge G in 864 Rose Grenat… engraved with my name!

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The moment I saw that Guerlain was releasing the Rouge G in the limited edition rose lacquer case in 864 Rose Grenat, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Holt Renfrew was doing a special promotion where you can get your name engraved at no additional cost with any purchase of a Rouge G, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to purchase it.

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The lacquer case is metal with a beautiful pink overspray of paint, so when the letters were engraved, it rubbed off the top layer of pain to reveal the silver metal underneath. Definitely collector worthy!

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Review: Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25 PA+++

review of Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream

BB creams are perfect for summer as they are lighter, helps to brighten the skin, and looks more natural due to the lower coverage. The Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream is one of my favourite newly discovered base products for when I want a more natural look. I’ve been using this a lot on the days when I just don’t want a fuller coverage foundation, and it wears really well for a day at the office.

The Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream is a relatively goopy cream, almost like the consistency of a creamy makeup primer. Its not as fluid as other BB creams I’ve tried, so it spreads out a little harder, BUT that’s offset by the medium coverage it provides (unlike other BB creams that have more of a light coverage). Not only does it help to cover redness and dark spots, I also found that it smoothed out my pores and helped to brighten my skin overall. The finish is semi-matte, but I always finish off with a dusting of powder.

In terms of wear time, it generally wears well during the day up until hour 6-8 and then it starts to fade away (or eaten up by my skin). Oil control is just slightly above average, as I don’t find that I grease up as quickly as other foundations or BB creams, but not fantastic as I still need to blot throughout the day.

The shade I received is 00 Fair, which surprisingly is a pretty good match for my NC25 skin once it’s blended out. I found that it does adapt to the skintone of the wearer, and even though Fair leans slightly pink, it didn’t turn my skin ashy – rather it helped to brighten my skintone just a little bit more.

I also love that it comes with SPF 25 and PA+++ for full spectrum protection. I always (ALWAYS) wear a sunscreen as the last step of my daytime skincare regime, but if you are tight for time and need some sun protection, you can use this as your backup plan.

Recommend? definitely, if you can find a match to your skintone.

Priced at C$43 for 45mL, you can purchase Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream at The Bay, Sears, and other Clarins counters, or online.

Comparison swatches – Clarins 00 Fair, Chanel B20, and Guerlain 02

swatch and review of Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream

Ingredients:

review of Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream

Review: Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Shiseido Ultimune review

The Shiseido Ultimune serum is one of the most promoted Shiseido products I’ve ever encountered. I attended the Shiseido VIP Ultimune tour when it arrived in Richmond, and was given a presentation of the product, which is touted to help improve the skin’s immunity by targeting the Langerhans cells in your skin. You use it before your serum and other skincare products, and it will help to heighten the benefits of those products. I won’t focus too much on the claims of the product, and will test it for efficacy in improving my skin quality.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from The Bay): Time. Exposure. Stress. What if your skin had immunity? Like your body, your skin has its own immune system. Now, after 20 years of research, Shiseido makes the first direct approach to skin’s Langerhans cells, the immune power source behind healthy, damage less skin. Strong skin becomes your beautiful reality at any age. Immediately your skin feels smoother and more supple. Firmness and resilience improve. Finally, the skin you were always meant to have, strong and beautiful, now and over time.

Price: C$78 for 30mL or C$115 for 50mL

Texture/Scent: Light gel-like fluid, scented with rose and lotus

How to use: The Shiseido Ultimune serum is a “pre-serum,” as in you use it after your cleanser, toner and before your serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. One pump is enough for the face, or 1.5-2 pumps for your face, neck and decollete area.

The good: The Ultimune serum absorbs quicky and I felt that it made my skin feel more hydrated. It is very light in texture, and was a pleasure to apply on the skin. It also smells amazing – so soothing when used before bed. I love the packaging of it, housed in a glass, semi-translucent red bottle with a pump, it is super luxurious yet practical.

  • Hydrating
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Smells great
  • Beautiful packaging

The bad: I didn’t notice any improvement in my skin’s texture, tone, or overall. I didn’t use this with Shiseido products, so it might just be that it only works the best with other Shiseido products (which naturally, could be true).

  • Didn’t notice any benefits to the skin

Overall: This product is very “nice to have” but not must have. If you already use Shiseido products in your skin care regime, then I would recommend that you at least check this out as I’ve heard phenomenal things about it from people who do use Shiseido products. Unfortunately, I don’t use other Shiseido products in my current regime so I wasn’t able to reap the maximum benefits of it.

Product: 12/20
Packaging: 5/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 21/30 | B-
Repurchase? No

Ingredients:
Shiseido Ultimune review
Shiseido Ultimune review
Shiseido Ultimune review

Review: North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo & Moisturizing Conditioner

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioner review

North American Hemp Co. is a Canadian company that produces natural hair, skin and body care products that are also cruelty-free and vegan. The common ingredient in its products is, you guessed it, hemp oil. Both of these products feature awesome ingredients such as hemp seed oil, orange oil, grape seed extract, green tea extract, ginseng extract, and more (see ingredients lists below).

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo 

Housed in a tall rectangular bottle, this shampoo suds up really well, cleanses well, and also smells of yummy coconuts! It leaves my hair feeling clean but not stripped, and feeling stronger and healthier. I also like that the bottle is really soft plastic, which means you can squeeze out every last drop of the product.

If you’re in the market for a new, affordable shampoo outside of the usual generic drugstore brands, I would recommend that you check this out!

Ingredients:

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioner review

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Conditioner

This conditioner a thick cream, housed in a tall rectangular bottle with pump. The Moisturizing Conditioner also has the added power of oat protein, which will help make hair strong and healthy.

My hair reaches the middle of my back and I use two pumps to cover everything from below my ears to the ends. It spreads really well, and absorbs quickly, but I feel that while it is moisturizing, it leaves my hair feeling weighed down. This would be a good conditioner if you have very dry hair, or for winter. The ingredients, though, are fantastic, and I can see myself using this as a weekly treatment instead of daily conditioner.

Ingredients:

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioner review

You can purchase North American Hemp Co. products at London Drugs and other drugstores.