THE BLOG

Three of My New Beauty Obsessions

03/29/2013 05:46 EDT | Updated 05/29/2013 05:12 EDT

When it comes to beauty products, it seems like we're inundated with new innovations and ingredients and -- frankly -- it can be difficult to keep up, and to know what's real and what's a lot of spin.

Plus, our skin, complexion, and ideas about beauty are very individual and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to skincare and make-up. Finding those products that work for YOU is an individual quest. That said, there's nothing quite like a recommendation from a girlfriend to help guide the way! Because my job throws me the way of so many new products and innovations, technology, and myths, I thought I'd share some of my own top picks that have made it into my medicine cabinet as trusted additions to my regimen!

(1) Strataderm

There are many scar-reduction creams on the market now. And I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about this quest for flawless perfection; after all, some of our scars have stories to tell and I think they're part of what makes us individual (imperfections can be beautiful too, after all!)

That said, I think most of us also have a scar or imperfection that we would rather just disappear, whether it's from an accident or operation. Thankfully there are many products on the market that help reduce scar tissue. I've had amazing luck with Strataderm, even on an older scar that's always bothered me. What makes Strataderm stand out is that it's classed a Health Canada Class 1 medical device, developed after first line hospital therapies. Cosmetics need only prove safety, but medical devices must prove safety and efficacy.

(2) Simply the best lip gloss!

You know those products you love so much that you keep one in your desk drawer, one in your purse, one at home, and one in the car (basically EVERYWHERE you might find yourself)... YSL's Sheer Candy lip gloss is that must-have product-of-the-moment for me.

It's hard to find that perfect "Goldilocks fit" when it comes to lipstick: Too glossy and our lips feel sticky; too creamy and it feels like it won't stay put. This balm dresses your lips in a sheer veil of brilliant colour, boosted with vitamin and antioxidant-rich fruit extract. Plus, (and we know this is important when it comes to lipstick), the packaging is completely beautiful - definitely one you'd happily apply in public!

(3) Vitamin C

We've known for a long time that Vitamin C is good for us. In fact, I was talking to a girlfriend recently and she recalled that Body Shop's Vitamin C soap was one of her first "beauty products" way back in the '80's. But, while the nutrient itself is as good as it has always been, what's evolved and developed is the mode of delivery.

The challenge with getting any nutrients into our skin is formulating products that don't lose their nutritional value. Just like fruit flown around the world and sitting in your fruit bowl for a week is less nutritious than one freshly picked, so are creams and lotions, exposure to sun and air can begin to degrade in their potency.

Look for products with a high concentration of Vitamin C (about 10%) and that come in serum form, preferably packaged in dark glass. I've been using Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate as a supplement to my nightly skin regimen and definitely see and feel a huge improvement!

For me, the biggest skincare lesson is to pay attention to your own skin's needs. We tend to look for a regime that works and that we can stick to. But, just as we love routines in our own daily lives, so there are times when we need a break in routine... Similarly, there will be days when your skin wants something more than even the most successful routine you've established -- a little extra hydration, or a deeper cleanser, a day without make-up or irritants. On such days, be prepared to step back from your routine, and cater to your skins special and changing needs.

When it comes to beauty, change is also something to be embraced... with new technologies and formulations out there, it's always fun to experiment with new texture and shades. Make-up is an area where we can all afford to have fun (moreso than with fashion, where whimsical purchases can seem impractical or daunting). So, you can try that seasonal lip or eye shade, or try out that new technique. Plus, there's something so appealing about the promise those little containers of make-up contain... sometimes it's as much about the new packaging as the product, and you know what...sometime that's okay too!

Xo Natasha