The Skincare Line that Changed My Skin: Eau Thermale Avène

Several products from the Eau Thermale Avène line have transformed my skin.

I've always struggled with my skin. If you read this skincare post, you have an inkling of just how much. I mentioned briefly in the post that I had started using some products from Eau Thermale Avène (from here on out, Avène), and the results were promising.

Several months in, I'm fully committed, and probably never going back. I'm hesitant to try new things because my skin is so temperamental. The right skincare is kind of like the right pair of jeans. It's an intensely personal choice, and you really need to go with what makes your butt—er, skin—look and feel its best. No one is exactly the same.

I have a frustrating combination of skin issues. Typically, my breakouts are hormone-related, though breakouts are rare these days, thank goodness. Depending on the skincare I use, my skin can become bumpy and congested. It's also prone to dehydration, and quite sensitive. Fun, right? The trick is to find balance—deal with congestion without stripping the skin of all the good things it needs.

I've noticed two things about most acne solutions: One, they seem better suited to adolescent acne than adult acne. Most teenagers don't deal with the same sensitivity, dehydration, and aging issues than we do. Two, the products are just harsh. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid seem to be the ingredients of choice, and they're just too intense for my fussy skin.

Jessica of Beautezine alerted me to the fact that Avène products fight acne differently, using retinol. The entire line is designed specifically for sensitive skin (YES!), and it's built around water from a thermal spring in France that is perfectly ph balanced. Here is what the website says:

Thermal water originates from a naturally mineralized spring and possesses healing virtues that are highly recommended for therapeutic use.
Its characteristics provide beneficial properties that contribute to the preservation of health and it is recognized as a source of public interest by the French National Academy of Medicine.

French women ARE gorgeous, and dedicated to their skincare, so the claims were intriguing. The idea of a magical spring does sound a little silly, but hey—don't knock it 'til you've tried it, right?

My lovelies, I've tried it, and the results are astounding. My skin rarely breaks out. It glows. It's (fairly) smooth. I still get annoyed by the size of the pores on my nose, but I'm told they're actually not that big. I went for a facial today, and the professional said my skin was in great shape—very smooth, barely congested. (They don't have to say that, right?) I credit Avène. Here's what I use. Note that I'm very intentional about using things from different lines within the brand—in favour of balance, I don't stick to only hydrating products or only acne-fighting products.

Morning

  • I cleanse with any gentle cleanser. I do like this Gentle Milk Cleanser ($23) by Avène, but I'm also a big fan of the Treatment Enzyme Peel by AmorePacific ($66). I'm generally not particularly loyal to specific cleansers. As long as they're gentle and get the makeup off without stripping my skin, I'm happy. After all, you rinse them right off—there's really no need for fancy ingredients, in my opinion. You'll just wash them down the sink.
  • I use the Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner ($24.50). It gets anything my cleanser might have missed off my skin, and deals with any excess oiliness or congestion without stinging. No alcohol for this girl. Nope.
  • I use a generous amount of one of Avène's star products, the Hydrating Serum ($44). It's got a high concentration of the soothing spring water the line is built around. It's got a simple list of ingredients—basically pure hydration. I love it.
  • I finish with Cleanance EXPERT Emulsion ($28.50), a light moisturizer for acne-prone skin, and Soothing Eye Contour Cream ($24).

Evening

  • I use whatever gentle foaming cleanser I have on hand (see above) to remove my makeup and cleanse the skin. (I find milk cleansers aren't great for removing makeup). I use Bioderma Sensibo to remove eye makeup.
  • I use the Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner ($24.50).
  • I use the Ole Henricksen Truth Serum for the brightening, anti-aging properties. I've been finding it a bit sting-y lately, so I'm thinking of just using the Avène serum at night.
  • To moisturize, I use TriAcnèal EXPERT Emulsion ($31.50). Besides the hydrating serum, this is my favourite Avène product. it's the magic. It gently treats any acne I might have, and works to remove pigmentation and marks left over from healed pimples.
  • Under the eyes, I use PhysioLift Eyes. It's an anti-aging product that's a little fancier than the Soothing Contour Cream I use in the mornings. It treats puffiness, wrinkles, and dark circles.

As Needed

Whenever I feel I need an extra boost of soothing, calming, or hydration, I spritz my face with Thermal Spring Water, which comes in varying sizes. It's softening, soothing, and refreshing, and unlike the water out of your tap, there's none of of the extra stuff, and it's ph balanced. Do you need it? Probably not. But I enjoy it.

Things I really like about the Avène line

  • The prices aren't crazy. It's a higher-end drugstore brand, and the prices reflect that. Some of the luxury and specialty prices out there are just stupid. Canadian girls, I recommend buying your Avène products at Shoppers. They often have promotions where if you spend between $20 and $75, you get 20X the points. (Make sure you load your coupons every week.) It adds up quickly, and you can end up getting a lot of your skincare for free!
  • Most of the packaging is sterile. The products with pumps are airless, and most of the moisturizers are also designed to keep air out. Even the eye creams come in opaque tubes, which I like—I'm not a fan of pots, which are unsanitary and make active ingredients unstable.
  • It's all designed for sensitive skin. No extra fragrances, and nothing harsh that makes my skin red or angry. I'm grateful.

What's your favourite skincare line? Have you tried anything from Avène? Let me know on social media or in the comments below!

It's Video Time Again! Presenting my Beauty Anti-Haul

In the beauty blogosphere, we spend a lot of time talking about what we need (read: WANT) to spend our money on. But what about what we DON'T want to spend our money on? Inspired by Kimberly Clark and The Anna Edit, I've decided to try my hand at a makeup anti-haul video. Watch and let me know what you think in the comments! I'd also love to know what YOU aren't planning to buy. Maybe we can save each other a few precious pennies. Enjoy!

A Look With Charlotte Tilbury's Instant Look in a Palette and Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk and Instant Look in a Palette.

Another blog post, another Charlotte Tilbury product. Welcome to my vanity.

If you have more self-control than I do and you haven't already emptied your wallet at the Charlotte Tilbury counter, I suggest trying her Instant Look in a Palette products—they're a great introduction. The look I'm going to show you today features the lighter of the two palettes, called Natural Beauty. It features a three eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter, and two blushes designed to be used together (reminiscent of her "Swish and Pop" blushes). All colours are new—even the bronzer and highlighter, which are just a tad lighter than the colours in Charlotte's famed Filmstar Bronze and Glow. The eyeshadows are perfect for a very natural daytime look: A matte, barely-there pink, a champagne shimmer, and a light, soft brown with a satin finish. The blushes are both warm pinky-peaches with satin finishes.

If you've heard of any Charlotte Tilbury products, you've probably heard of Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, which is not only the perfect lip liner formula, but also the perfect nude for lining and enhancing your lips. Friends, it was a good day indeed when Charlotte released this perfect pinky-nude shade in the form of her Matte Revolution Lipstick, which happens to be the best matte lipstick formula I've ever tried—it's matte without looking flat, and it's incredibly comfortable on the lips. If you buy one nude lipstick this year, it should be Pillow Talk. Trust me. I ordered it about a nanosecond after I got the email, and I haven't looked back!

Here's a basic, light look I came up with featuring these two products.

Eyes:

I brushed the light pink all over my lid, from lash line to brow bone. Then I patted the champagne all over my lid and blended the light brown into my crease. I applied some black eyeliner and mascara, and then softened the black line with a bit more of the light brown shade.

Base:

I warmed up my cheekbones, jawline, and hairline with the bronzer, and applied the highlighter to the high points of my face. Then I swept the lighter peach blush shade up my cheekbone, and "popped" the darker shade on the apples of my cheeks.

Lips:

I finished with a slick of Pillow Talk on the lips—no liner or gloss.

What do you think? Will you be giving the Instant Looks in a Palette a try?

Disclosure: These products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.