Cleansing with Oil/Oil Cleansing

Oils in skincare have become immensely popular as of lately, and people are slowly letting go of the horrible idea that it’s bad for your skin.

It is no secret at all (I will scream it from the top of the CN Tower!) that I’m completely, and totally in love with oils when it comes to skincare/hair care. I use it to shave, as a makeup remover, in my hair, as a moisturizer – it is so versatile! This is the only thing in my skincare routine that I have ever stayed loyal to.

The theory behind Oil Cleansing is that like dissolves like – oil breaks down oil. This is such a controversial idea (or theory) in this here beauty world and anyone who tells you that there is no place for it in skincare – well, they’d just be wrong. Granted, I am no doctor. Or a dermatologist (not that they do much anyways – at least mine don’t). However, that’s besides the point. Most people are so set on the idea of oil-free because that’s what they’ve been told their entire life – I was one of those people for a long time. Thankfully, I no longer believe that oils ARE NOT beneficial to oily skin or any skin. I’m proof of that.

The reality of it is that most cleansers are actually fairly harsh on your skin, and some even contain harsh soaps and even detergents. They’re very drying and most will completely strip your skin of all the natural oils that keep your skin balanced, moisturized and youthful. Continued use can make your skin very dry, and it will overcompensate and produce more oil. Using an oil as a cleanser, gently removes all makeup, excess sebum, and will soften clogged pores.

Please keep in mind that all oils are very YMMV (your mileage my vary). Like any other product in the world, what works for one person may not work for you. There is no product in this world that is one size fits all. This should not discourage you from discovering the BEAUTY of beauty oils. Using oils means a lot of trial and error, and you may break out, but I truly believe it’s a matter of finding what oils work for your skin. I strongly recommend that you patch test any oil, prior to using it in order to avoid reactions. I use oil as a makeup remover, and if I’m feeling rather dry – I opt to not use a cleanser after to keep the moisture. This does not make me extra oily.

Benefits of Cleansing with Oil

  • Effectively removes stubborn makeup (sunscreen, foundation, waterproof eyeliner/mascara) without harsh tugging.
  • Cleanses skin without stripping healthy, natural oils.
  • Will dissolve the excess sebum in pores, and unclog skin for those who are acne prone.
  • Provides excellent moisture to those with dry skin.

What’s the Difference Between Cleansing with Oil and Oil Cleansers?

Cleansing with oil means to use a straight carrier oil on damp skin and wiping it off with lukewarm water.

Cleansing with an oil cleanser is very similar, in the sense that you are still cleansing with oil – the difference being it’s on dry skin and the oil rinses way.

What Oil Should I Use for Oil Cleansing?

I won’t get into the science of it all (because, literally – I can’t) but Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid are unsaturated fatty acids that are found in almost all oils. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid and can be obtained through foods. Linoleic is an omega-6 fatty acid, which is necessary for the human body yet cannot be created by the human body. Oils rich in oleic acids tend to be heavier and richer, which can cause someone who is acne prone to break out. Oils rich in linoleic acid, tend to have astringent properties to them. I’ve created the table below to show popular skincare oils and their percentages of Oleic and Linoleic Acid.

Higher in Oleic Acid

OilOleic AcidLinoleic Acid
Sweet Almond Oil70%21%
Safflower Oil72%17%
Avocado Oil65%14%
Emu Oil50%11%
Olive Oil55-83%3.5-21%
Macadamia Seed Oil53.8%1.8%
Marula Oil70-80%4-7%
Shea Oil73.15%13.7%
Sunflower Seed Oil72%5%

Higher in Linoleic Aicd

OilLinoleic AcidOleic Acid
Grapeseed Oil66.8%20.9%
Evening Primrose Oil72%8.4%
Rose Hip Seed Oil44.1%13.9%
Wheat Germ Oil58.4%12.1%
Passion Fruit Oil77%10-20%


OilOleic AcidLinoleic Acid
Pumpkin Seed Oil36.3%47.2%
Castor Oil
Sesame Seed Oil39.21%45.69%

If you are prone to acne – the best oils you can choose for your skin type are those that are higher in linoleic acid because they will be a tad lighter for your skin and less likely to break you out. I have seen so many people recommend coconut oil for pretty much almost everything – as if it’s the cure all for acne and all skin conditions. It’s not. It is one of the most clogging oils and if you’re acne prone, I would try to avoid using it. Like I said earlier though, oils ARE very YMMV and what may work for one person, may not work for you and vice versa.

How to Cleanse With Oil

Cleansing with oil is, most often, using a straight carrier oil – or a mixture of 1 or more – massaging the oil into damp skin for at least 1 minute – I’ve done less, I have lazy moments – and removing with a warm damp cloth. I like to use a soft microfiber cloth to remove the oil because it softly exfoliates. You can, if you’d like, use a gentle cleanser after to remove the residue left behind if you’re unsure.

How to Use an Oil Cleanser

Oil cleanser is very similar, in a sense that you are still cleansing with oil – with a change to the method. Oil Cleansers will contain an emulsifier which causes the oil to mix with water, instead of separating. For this method, you massage the oil into dry skin, and add water so that the oil forms a milky cleanser and rinses off clean. The trick to oil cleansers, is to massage for a minute or so, add a little bit of water, massage, continue to add water – don’t massage and then just rinse it off. That won’t be nearly as effective.

There are tons of high end brands that carry oil cleansers. MAC has the Cleanse Off Oil, Boscia’s Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, Shu Uemura, Philosophy – there are tons of different options out there for Oil Cleansers.

There’s a lot of cheaper drug store options as well, in case you don’t want to spend upwards of $35 on an oil. Garnier has the Nourishing Cleansing Oil, Neutrogena has one available as does Burts Bees.

Oil as a Moisturizer

I have been using oil for years in tons of my routines. I use mineral oil to shave, I use argan oil, macadamia oil, and jojoba oil for my hair. I’ve been using oil to remove my stubborn foundation and sunscreen. I also use it as a moisturizer as well. A few drops in my moisturizer at night definitely adds an extra boost of moisture. Sometimes I used the Tarte Maracuja Oil, or a drop of Rosehip oil.

Popular Oils and Cheaper Alternatives

The use of oil in skincare has certainly sky-rocketed over the last few years – considering most people spent their whole lives believing oil was the enemy. If you’ve gone to a Sephora in the last year or so, you’ll notice that a lot of major brands now have an oil cleanser or a face oil in their product lines. These face oils also come with major brand prices and any beauty blogger or makeup addict knows it gets very pricey. Even though face oils do last for long periods of time, and a little goes a long way, a big price tag on a product you get so little of…kind of sucks. Just like clothes though, you’re paying for the brand name on that cute little bottle you just bought. Some brands may give you the value of the product, by adding anti-oxidants and other beneficial ingredients – others won’t.

Tarte Maracuja Oil

I have this product and I do use it – it came with a Tarte value set that I purchased a while back. It comes in a cute little dark purple dropper bottle (mine broke by the way, boo). It’s sold at Sephora in 2 sizes – the larger is about $53.00 CND. The ingredients: Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Tocopherol. Simply put, Maracuja Oil by Tarte is Passion Fruit Seed Oil and Vitamin E.

A great resource that I buy my oils from is Garden of Wisdom. You can get Passion Fruit Seed Oil – a 4 oz bottle for $17. That’s a little over 3 ounces MORE than you get with Tarte. Experiment a little with adding some Vitamin E and it can absolutely be a cheaper alternative.

Josie Maran Argan Oil

I have never tried this product – it’s too heavy of an oil for my skin. I do know that her product is 100% pure argan oil which you can buy from Garden of Wisdom or any natural/vitamin shop for around $7.

If you’re ever looking for cheaper alternatives, I definitely recommend googling the ingredients and finding out what oil is actually in a product.

I think oils can be beneficial in skincare for almost anyone  if you take the time to trial and error. Finding the right oil is the hardest part. Keep in mind, they are YMMV and you may break out so I suggest spot testing prior to using any oil and see if you have any kind of reaction. A great resource for those new to oils is Garden of Wisdom. They offer tons of information on oils, recommendations on which oils are better for different skin types and conditions and they have oil sample packs – so if you want to try more than one the option is available to you.

There are also TONS of drug store options for oil cleansers as well.

Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Oil Cleanser

MYTH: Baby oil and Mineral oil are NOT the same thing, and they are not interchangeable. While Baby oil CONTAINS Mineral oil, it also contains fragrance. Mineral oil is straight Mineral oil.

Disclosure: I do not follow the “Oil Cleansing Method” and I don’t recommend it. This method requires the use of very hot water and/or steam to open your pores. This “method” could cause broken capillaries or damage to your skin.

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NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Primer

The NARS Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base is without a doubt, a cult classic in the makeup world – it is well loved by beauty bloggers all over. I can only guess it’s by people who do not have oily eye lids, like myself – #firstworldproblems?

I wish I could say that group included me – but sadly, it doesn’t. I have a bear of a time keeping makeup on my face so when I find something that truly does work, I tend to stick with it for as long as I can. Of course though, like any normal human being I sometimes get antsy to try something new and sometimes it doesn’t always work out.

Naturally, without primer of any kind – my makeup will last on my eyelids for maybe 2 or 3 hours. It will then start creasing like a beast and all I’ll be left with is a minuscule amount of shadow on the outer portion of my eye – so anything outside of where my eyelids touch when my eyes are open.  Beauty.

I have been very loyal to Urban Decay Primer Potion ever since I first tried it. It keeps my eye makeup flawless all day, and only after I’ve gotten home after maybe 12 -15 hours does my makeup start to crease. That’s a little more realistic. It’s always held up for me, and it truly is a fantastic product. Does what it claims and extends the staying power of any look. I was to see what else was out there and I’ve heard SO many positive reviews about the NARS Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base and I was lusting after it hardcore. I picked it up at Sephora – it was fairly expensive – $30.00 CND for .26oz of product. In comparison, I pay $6 less for Urban Decay Primer Potion which is 0.33 oz – it’s a trade off.

However, this product didn’t work for me – quite possibly, my eyelids produce far more oil than everyone else’s.

I knew when buying it that I wouldn’t like the fact that there was a wand – it’s not very hygienic. I bought it anyways. (lol!) This was never a game changer for me though.

I loved the consistency of the product. It went on smooth and silky, and my makeup went on flawlessly. This is probably the reason it is loved so much by normal skin people.

However, my love for the product came to an abrupt halt when I looked at my creased/barely there eye shadow a few hours later. Sadly, it just didn’t have the power to stand up to my oily lids. I really wanted to love this product, but I will continue to be loyal to my UD Primer Potion for now.


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This image does not belong to me.

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

I discovered the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops one day browsing the Sephora site like I do so often when I’m bored and I was intrigued by the idea of it – almost like creating your own foundation that is perfectly customizable. THAT’S SO COOL….in theory.

What it is:

Cover FX Custom Cover drops are supposed to be a revolutionary product in this here Beauty World. It’s a dropper bottle that contains concentrated, pure foundation pigment. This product is not intended to be used alone in place of foundation, but it is designed to be mixed with any liquid product you’d normally use on your face: serum, moisturizer, oil, primers, foundation, tinted moisturizer. You can mix it with any base as well – sillicone, water or oil. You can use this to increase coverage, change the finish to what’s preferred, or colour correct an existing foundation.

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

First of all, in Canada this product is NOT available in any store – it’s only available on Sephora’s web site and Cover FX’s web site. If you’ve ever tried to purchase foundation from a web site and you don’t know your shade – it can be quite difficult.

I ended up ordering 2 different shades – G20 and N20 – a yellow toned and neutral toned, respectively. In Canada, these are $44 CAD. I tested both shades out and decided to stick with G20.

I found the texture of this product to be almost identical to that of a foundation – if a little thinner.

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops Swatch

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops Swatch

What I love:

The idea.

What I don’t love:

The dropper bottle that the product comes in is actually quite messy and I found that the product ended up all over the sides and my hands and foundation really doesn’t come off clothing if you should happen to get it on your clothes. Really, it wasn’t as much fun as it seems.

For me, it didn’t matter what I mixed this product with (and maybe it’s just a matter of experimenting some more) it never seemed to cling to my skin the way that I wanted it to. If I used my beauty blender, my FAVOURITE Sigma F80 – it always just seemed to wipe away with every pass.

I experimented with the coverage aspect of the product and sadly, it didn’t seem to work out for me either. If I mixed one drop with foundation to colour correct – it came out cakey. If I mixed 3 drops with moisturizer for medium coverage – it came out cakey.  If I mixed one drop with moisturizer – it actually did nothing.

I don’t feel like it ever increased my coverage to what I EXPECTED it to. I feel like there was so much hype for this product, and so excitement behind the idea for me. Sadly, this product just hasn’t worked for me yet. I will keep experimenting with other things to mix it with – if you guys have any suggestions. I’m definitely up for that!

This product has so many fantastic reviews, and I’ve seen so many beautiful before/after pictures using this product – so it does work, I won’t debate that. Just for my skin, at the moment, I prefer my MAC Nourishing Water Proof Foundation.

I definitely recommend you give it a try though, because if it works for you – the idea is still incredible. Definitely give it a try.

I’m very sad that I haven’t found a way to wear this product yet, but I will.


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Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm - Oil Cleanser

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm – Oil Cleanser

To say that I love oils (except the naturally produced one’s that are the bane of my existence) would be a vast understatement. There’s such a wide variety of oils on the market nowadays since every one is bandwagon jumping and no longer clinging to the idea that oil is bad for your skin – they are becoming extremely popular with most brands and tons of products are formulated to include many essential/carrier oils. And now, people are no longer making that horrible WTF face when you mention using oil on your skin – like you’ve just told them you committed a crime.

This product got tons of good reviews over at MakeupAlley and most of the people over there love it. I generally prefer using a straight carrier oil – Grapeseed Oil – most often. However, this method isn’t always all that convenient, so I like having an oil cleanser with an emulsifier  (so it washes off clean) on hand for those times.

What I love:

I love the idea of this product, mostly because it isn’t a liquid – it’s a balm that turns to an oil when you warm it in your hands. The beauty of this is that it’s great to travel with. I never have to worry about it leaking and getting over everything in my bag – oil sucks when it’s all over your clothes. Side note: It’s never melted either.

I have really sensitive skin at the moment, and it gets really red, dry and irritated so I have to pay extra close attention to what I’m putting on my skin, as not to exasperate it further. I do not like putting product on my face with fragrance, IF I can avoid it.  Clinique formulated this product completely fragrance free – there is no scent whatsoever. This is great for those who have skin like mine.

For the most part, this product worked for me. It did exactly what it claimed to do and removed all my makeup, eyeliner, mascara with very little tugging. It went on smooth and washed off clean. I didn’t find it to leave any kind of residue.

What I don’t love:

I love the balm, but it is also something that I don’t like. I like the idea, but the idea also means that it would need to be kept in a jar of some sort – this is almost a game changer. I tend to stay away from products in jars because it’s not very hygienic and like I said, very sensitive skin.  It’s a love/hate kind of relationship.

I found that this product made my dry patches just a little bit worse, as opposed to using straight oil with no emulsifier. I don’t by any means have “dry” skin. Even in those dry patches, my skin is quite oily. Keratosis Pilaris makes your skin feel rough and scaly, and I try not to use products that make it feel more rough. However, this one did just that.


I still absolutely love the idea of Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm – it’s a mess free alternative to using straight carrier oil.  I still wish it didn’t need to be in a jar – but thems the breaks. It does what it claims, removes everything right down to my glued to your face, hard to remove sunscreen and a little goes a long way (like with most oils) so it will last.  It’s $35 CAD, which I find to be reasonable in comparison to others I’ve seen. It claims to be for dry/sensitive skin – I honestly can’t substantiate that claim for you. I have sensitive skin and it didn’t make it horribly worse, but seemed to cause some dryness. If you’re oily, with no weird skin conditions – this should work normally for you or even dry with no drying skin conditions.

I still use this product when it’s convenient (that’s bad, probably) until I find something better – or go back to my MAC Cleanse Off Oil.


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Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation Swatch & Review

Urban Decay’s Naked Powder Foundation Swatch & Review

If you read my previous posts then you know that I have an addiction to foundation – this is mostly due to my seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea – and so far, my inability to control them along with my constant need to hide it.

Problem is, I have really oily skin and most foundations don’t have the staying power I need. Also, a lot of foundations tend to oxidize on me (they get darker) when my face gets oily.

I ‘ve always wanted to try Urban Decay’s Naked line because I need the coverage without the cake face, unfortunately, their foundations just didn’t have the coverage I needed on their own.

I saw Urban Decay’s Naked Powder Foundation online and I’m generally not big on powder foundations because like I said, I do have seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff on my face) and powders tend to cling to those spots (mostly in between my eyebrows)…it’s SO attractive. The point of this line is to appear natural and it’s the consistency and the texture of the powder that actually sold me.

There are 13 different shades of this product, I picked it up in Light Warm. In Canada, at Sephora it’s $43 and it’s 9 grams of product.

It comes in this totally cute, purple floral bag and the packaging is very similar to the Naked line – dark, mirrored chrome-ish (I’m really bad at this). When you open it, it has a sponge that is 2 sided – one softer side for dry application and then the other side is for wet application.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation Swatch & Review

Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation Swatch & Review

It’s a very fine , smooth, silky powder and it has a very creamy feeling when you swatch it. What’s great about this product is that you can use it both wet and dry. Using it wet, will significantly reduce the powder/dry look. I personally wouldn’t use water – but i’ll swirl my brush in the product and then spray it with a setting spray or mist.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation -Swatch

Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation -Swatch


First, I use MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC 20 under it just to hide a lot of my redness (it stands up FLAWLESSLY to my oil). I apply this with my Sigma F80 Foundation brush and be sure to blend, bend, blend…blend until it hurts, my friends! You don’t want to be the one with a very harsh, tell-tale “I stopped blending here”, line of foundation – cause it ain’t pretty.

This foundation DOES appear a tad on the powdery side at first but I always spray my face right after with Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix and that completely fixes the powder look for me.

This is a demi-matte foundation, which works great for my oily skin. It holds up for at least 5 hours in my t-zone and doesn’t even BUDGE anywhere else on my face – even with water.

I have completely fallen in love with this foundation and I can’t see myself using anything else this summer – it will absolutely be my saving grace, my holy grail in this humid Canadian weather.

I absolutely recommend this product if you struggle with oily skin and you’re having a hard time finding a foundation that doesn’t further accentuate that.

So far, this has a 10 in my books!

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