kiehl's ultra facial oil-free gel cream


As you know I'm a big fan of Kiehl's products and I was happy to hear that in honour of Earth Day (coming up on Monday April 22) they're doing something special. One hundred per cent of net proceeds of the Limited Edition Label Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream will be donated to Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization that improves the health of our Canadian cities.

This Oil-Free Gel Cream is great for sensitive skin. It's paraben-free, silicone-free, dye-free and fragrance-free. It helps rebalance skin's hydration levels and provides all-day no-shine moisture. If you've got sensitive skin you know that this time of year usually brings on a dry and flaky mess. I've been using this stuff for the past week coupled with my nightly application of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and my skin has never felt smoother (it's almost as smooth as L'il E's).

I say this is the perfect addition to your face care regime as we head into the hot and humid summer months. The gel cream is so smooth and light and it doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky like some of the other gel creams I've tried.

If you're not into earth day celebrations why not treat yourself to a nice little gift instead! It's $56 at your local Kiehl's store and again 100% of net proceeds will be donated to Evergreen. I think it's worth it.

Happy (almost) Earth Day.

midnight recovery concentrate


My tired, winter stained skin is being put to the test over the next 10 days. Kiehl's Canada has hooked me up with with two bottles of their Midnight Recovery Concentrate and challenged me to change my skin.

I'm up for it!

The elixir is a water-free concentration of Squalane (a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids), night-blooming Evening Primrose and essential oils including Lavender (my favourite). It also contains Coriander and Rose Hip Seed Oils, which when combined, provides a complete blend of Omegas (Omega 3, 6 and 9). Omega 3 and 6 Essential Fatty Acids have a restructuring benefit which keeps the skin hydrated.

I didn't know this but your skin gets busy overnight and especially between midnight and 4:00 a.m. No wonder we look so deprived when we've been up all night! Kiehl's specifically formulated this product to boost the repair and regeneration of skin during this time period.

I would snap a close up o demonstrate the before, but I don't want to scare you, so you'll just have to take my word for it when 10 days are up. I'm pregnant so I have really great skin right now (IMHO). For whatever reason pregnancy agrees with my complexion - no oil, no blemishes, but could use more glow and probably some hydration.

If you want to give it a try go pick up a bottle at Kiehl's ($48.00).

Wish me luck!


skincare regimes and a giveaway

Do you ever go through great phases with your skincare regime? I'm never partial to any particular skincare line. In fact I usually have several cleansers and moisturizers on the go at any given time. Sometimes they work together and sometimes they're all wrong, but my most recent combination of products is perfect. It's like the perfect facial storm!

Here's what I'm using.

Morning: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel followed by Avene Thermal Spring Water Soothing Serum and Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream.

I have sensitive skin that tends to be on the dry side, so the serum followed by the moisturizer really locks in moisture. The fact that all of these products are fragrance free also helps my sensitive skin.

Night: Weleda One-step Cleanser and Toner followed by Avene Ystheal + Eye Contour Cream (I should probably be using this in the morning too) and Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

The Weleda One-step cleanser is milky and smells so good, even The Hubs has started using it! I am also totally in love with the Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehl's.  Both of these products are fairly oily, but if you need the moisture you'll love them too. I wake up in the morning feeling like I had a facial overnight!

What's your skincare regime? Any favourite products you recommend? Leave your reccos and one lucky reader will win a bottle of Weleda One-step Cleanser and Toner!

Good luck and happy face-washing!


April 18, 2012 — AlannaB

sunday night ritual


Last night I turned our bathroom into a spa and treated myself to an assortment of lotions and potions. I often have a bath on Sunday nights, just to relax and prepare myself for the week ahead. I'm partial to epsom salts and lavender essential oils in addition to whatever I might have lying around.

Fortunate for me, Kiehl's recently hooked me up with a bottle of Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath with Sea Salts and Aloe. I poured in a few capfuls as I ran the tub and instantly my bathroom was filled with an intoxicating aroma of lavender. It's not really a bubble bath, it really is just a foam, but enough that it creates a layer on top of the water. The scent of lavender is intense, so if you're not a fan I would suggest avoiding this one. If you're like me and love lavender, you'll be in heaven and very relaxed. If only I could draw a bath every night!

Image source

After my lavender soak I lathered on Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter (another hook up!). Honestly girls, this stuff is sooo good. First of all it smells delicious, like so good you want to eat it, and it seriously looks like whipped butter. Initially I thought it was going to leave me feeling really greasy and glistening (like most body butters do), but to my surprise my skin absorbed it in about five minutes and left me feeling super smooth. At $45 for a 235ml jar, it's a bit out of my price range, but totally worth the splurge if you want something to use for special date nights or summery shaved legs. It would also make a really nice gift for a gal pal or for your girlfriend (if any guys are listening).

What's your Sunday night ritual?




face value

Y'all know that I'm a cosmetic junkie so you can imagine how tickled I was when Kiehl's hooked l'il ol' me up with a bunch of NEW products to try. The bag of goodies included Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50 (love it! - read how much), Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (are they trying to tell me something?), and the newest addition to the Ultra Facial Collection - Ultra Facial Oil Free Cleanser, Toner and Lotion. Now that's a lot of stuff so I've given it two months and I am ready to give my honest feedback (aka should you go out and buy it).

Here's what I think (note: I have combination skin - oily t-zone, but sometimes dry with the occasional breakout):

1. Ultra Facial Oil Free Cleanser, Toner and Lotion (yes, yes and yes!).

I feel a little high maintenance using all three of these products on the daily, but you really do need to make the splurge and go for the trio for best results.

  • Cleanser - all you need is a little dot and it foams up like crazy (use an exfoliator sponge to really get the grime). Skin is left feeling very fresh and clean. No more dry patches and my breakouts are gone!
  • Toner -  like most toners, this one does NOT leave your skin feeling like the Sierra Desert. My only complaint is that it leaves my skin feeling a little sticky or tacky, but only momentarily.
  • Lotion - LOVE IT! I find most oil free lotions have a tendency to leave your skin feeling matte and dry, but this one moisturizes my skin and leaves it feeling silky smooth. It's SO lightweight too. One thing: I do wish it had SPF for those days that I don't apply the Super Fluid UV Defense.

2. Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (yes if you don't mind forking over the cash).

OK so normally I would never buy this because a) it's $77 and I can be cheap and b) I'm not sure I'm old enough to warrant line-reducing concentrates, however, I'm totally digging it! I've been applying it around my eyes and to my forehead every night and I think I'm already seeing a difference (could it be true?). My skin is definitely more radiant and those fine lines around my eyes are smoother (no more rubber face!).  Favourite feature: it warms up when you're rubbing it on your face so it feels like magic is happening.

3. Midnight Recovery Concentrate (no).

When I saw this product in the bag I thought it was going to be a miracle treatment (my skin has been pretty tired with all of those middle of the night feedings) but this one unfortunately has wowed me the least. It smells amazing (think lavender and other botanical oils) and I love applying it as I slip into bed, but I haven't really noticed any results. I'll continue to use it on occasion and it might have a different effect once the cold weather arrives. Stay tuned...

So that's what I think. Thank you to Kiehl's for improving my complexion this summer. It went from a dry/oily mess to something rather radiant!

Now go out and give these products a try yourself!

shop for the cause

I love Kiehl's (as you can see here, here and here) so when they contacted me about helping spread the word about their Shop for the Cause event I was like, sure! BUT when I dug a little deeper and I found out that this event would be helping David McKeage's (the Hubs' cousin) camp  - Camp Brigadoon - I was like, hell ya!

Camp Brigadoon is a brand new camp in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley for children and youth living with chronic illness. This camp has been David's dream for a long time, it has taken a lot of hard work and it's finally opening this summer!

So here's the scoop. This Thursday June 23 100% of sales (that's huge people) at Kiehl's locations across Canada between 12:00 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. local time will benefit the Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncology Camps (in Nova Scotia this will benefit Camp Brigadoon). So duck out of work on your lunch break this Thursday (I'm counting on you NSers) and stock up on your favourite products.

I'll be stocking up on mine!

hip father's day finds

So Father's Day is on Sunday and if you're scrambling to find a gift for your hipster dad or your hip hubs look no further. I have rounded up a few treats they might enjoy.

1. Wood sunglasses or should I say Shwood?

Every funky father needs a pair of WOOD framed sunglasses! Available at The Future of Frances Watson (of course they are!)

2. Freitag Bag

Exclusively available in Toronto at InAbstracto this is the perfect alternative to the lame old diaper bag. If the full size bag is over your budget they also make iPad sleeves, wallets and other vessels.

3. GelaSkins (naked devices are so last season!)

A Toronto based company that makes customized skins for your portable device. Choose from their artwork (100+ artists) or create your own with personal photos. Trust me he'll love it! The Hubs bought me one for Christmas using the image from our wedding invitation (swoon!).

4. Facial Fuel Duo

Kiehl's Facial Fuel moisturizer and face wash is a no-brainer. The moisturizer is non-oily and has SPF and the cleanser is refreshing and invigorating (two words you want to describe your man's face wash!). Available at a Kiehl's near you.

5. Brewskies

Just so you know PBR is no longer a hipster beer (wink) so let me suggest something a little more refined. Cameron's Auburn Ale is local (made in Oakville, ON) and it actually tastes great. However, if you know the right people you might be able to snag some Parkdale swill under the guise of Roncessvalles Red, Lord Dufferin and Parkdale Pale Ale, but be warned in order to become a fan you must prove you're "cool" enough - a common symptom of the try-hards.

Still nothing grabbing you?

Go get yourself some sexy lingerie and call it a day (wink wink).



that's hot

As a teenager I was a lifeguard at Professor's Lake and all we cared about was who could get the darkest tan. I would come home from work burnt to a crisp. Now 15+ years later I wish I hadn't been so stupid. You wouldn't catch me lying in the sun without sun block.

Yesterday I headed to Kiehl's to stock up on our summer sun protection. I love their Vital Sun Protection Lotion. It's lightweight, not greasy and it doesn't smell like coconuts and banana so it's easy to use everyday. For the face I picked up Kiehl's new Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50 - it's super light weight (we're talking watery) and it goes on with a matte finish (no oily skin).

If you do suffer from a burn this week or this summer here are a few tips (courtesy of Best Health Magazine):

  • Soak the burn with a cool compress or a green tea compress.
  • Take a cool bath with oatmeal - grind up a cup of oatmeal in your food processor and toss it in.
  • Rub burned areas with cucumber or potato.
  • Try vinegar compresses (it helps ease the pain) and if you're itching soak in a tub with two cups of vinegar.
  • Apply at light coating of aloe all over your skin before bed.

Goodbye sunburns and nasty wrinkles!

dry, chapped hands? you're in luck!

It's the dead of winter and that means my hands have dried up like the Sahara desert. I'm not talking regular old dry hands either, they're chapped, bleeding, itchy (I know disgusting!) and so unattractive. I run into this problem every year so I'm continuously on the hunt for hand cream that will fix it. I've tried Now 100% Pure Shea Butter from Kensington Market, Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Extra Care Cream and Burt's Bees Hand Repair Cream but none of them are effective and they all leave my hands feeling really greasy. I have to wear special gloves while I'm sleeping to keep the grease from staining the sheets (the Hubs loves it).

Fortunately this weekend I think I may have found the miracle hand moisturizing product - Ultimate Strength Hand Salve by Kiehl's! It's a bit pricey ($30) for a 5 oz. tube but, so far it's doing the trick AND it's not greasy! I can slather it on after I wash my hands and go about my business without waiting for it to sink in and I don't have to don the attractive gloves. It's also  got a fresh scent (kind of medicated) like pine needles mixed with mint.

If you suffer from nasty dry hands like me go pick up a tube and let me know what you think. It's only been 36 hours and my hands haven't looked this smooth in weeks!