Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Simple Wedding Eye Look - Smoky Brown Eyes

I hope all my fellow Canadians had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend! I took a brief break and it was good to unplug and spend time with friends and family.

Yesterday was officially one month since my maid of honour got married! So, today I'm sharing with you the eye look I did on the bridesmaids. It's been highly requested, so I apologize for taking so long to finally write a post about it.

My maid of honour wanted me to do a natural smoky look that wasn't too smoky, but wore well from morning to night. I used 3 palettes to achieve a neutral, brown smoky eye - Urban Decay Naked Palette, Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1 - Nudes, and Bobbi Brown Warm Eye Palette.

I started off with patting Bone from the Bobbi Brown palette all over the lid, then layered on I-514 from the MUFE palette. Then, I took Naked from the Urban Decay palette and buffed it into the crease. To smoke out the eye, I mixed together I-544 and D-652 from the MUFE palette and placed it on the outer-v of the eye and along the lower lash line. 

For the finishing touches, I patted I-514 on the centre of the lids to bring light to the eyes. I used Virgin from the Naked palette as the inner corner and brow bone highlight. 

I then used the Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil in Black to line the eyes (this stuff doesn't budge!) and used S-102 (a matte black eyeshadow is essential in any eyeshadow collection) on top to set the liner. For mascara, I used Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara on the girls, but Shu Uemura Lash Petal on myself. 

There you have it! A simple neutral smoky eye that will work for anyone. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful for creating your own smoky eye for any occasion. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Current Makeup Rotation: October 2015

makeup products flatlay

September came and gone quite quickly, which means an update on the products I'll be using for the month of October.

Since I started my no-buy, I've been shopping my stash and seeing what I need to show some love to. In my earlier posts, I talked a lot about how much I love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, then I tried out the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and loved it just as much, if not more. Well, I ran out of the Urban Decay concealer. Now, I'm back to using one of the back ups of the NARS concealer. I'm still somewhat tanned, so I'm currently using the shade Ginger. 

Though I'm shopping my stash, there are some new products that I've acquired in recent months that I'm trying to use more. I'm giving the Bobbi Brown Warm Eye Palette a rest and trading it for the Chanel Entrelacs Palette (review). I'm so hesitant in using this palette because of the beautiful embossing, but it would be such a waste if I bought it to collect dust. Then I made a cheeky little purchase - another eyebrow pencil. I know I already have so many other ones that I need to use up, but I really wanted to try it! Don't worry, I bought it way before I decided on the no-buy. It's the Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ebony. It seems like the best of both worlds with the wedge shape that I like and a shade suitable for those with naturally black or very dark brown hair. 

open makeup product flatlay

For the complexion, I've switched out Tarte Exposed and rotated in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. For the fall season, I'm really liking Mood Exposure. My skin does tend to look duller when the weather gets colder and this blush helps brighten and give my cheeks a lifting effect. It does tend to look different on various skintones and looks more plummy on my cheeks, versus a cooler satiny pink when swatched.

Lastly, I'm rotating my highlighters. As much as I love the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight, it's been a bit too subtle for my liking. In comes the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal for a more obvious highlight and glowy cheeks. Again, I'm tying to counteract some of the dullness I typically get in my skin when the cold weather hits.

hourglass mood exposure and becca opal swatches

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Review: Irresistible Me Sapphire 8-in-1 Complete Curling Wand

This post contains PR samples

Irresistible Me Sapphire 8 in 1 Complete Curling Wand

If you know me in real life, you'll know that I don't really do anything to my hair. Even for weddings and special occasions, I keep my hair straight, with maybe the exception of tying up half my hair. I like to think of it as being minimal and simple. But really, I'm just not very good at using hair styling tools. 

Over the years, I've come to own a flat iron and a curling iron and pretty much only use the flat iron. I've tried many times to master using the curling iron, but I can't seem to work out using the clamp and getting those perfect curls and waves that YouTubers and bloggers so effortlessly create. 

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Irresistible Me Sapphire 8-in-1 Complete Curling Wand*. I've always wanted to try out a curling wand, but couldn't bring myself to shell out the money for a curling wand that includes various attachments. So, how did this one fare with a hair noobie like myself?

First off, this set comes with 8 interchangeable ceramic, tourmaline infused barrels to create many different curls and waves of your choice. Also included is a glove, roll-out case and a heat-resistant stand. The 8 barrels are more than all I'll ever need to curl my hair! I personally would really only use the widest barrel since I like soft, relaxed waves.

Irresistible Me Sapphire 8 in 1 Complete Curling Wand laid out

For such a beginner with hair styling tools, I found this wand to be quite user friendly. It's easy to change the barrels, the cord swivels so you can curl your hair from any angle and the wand heats up within seconds. The digital display also tells you when the tool is ready to use when it lights up.

Below are before and after pictures of my uncurled and curled after. You can see that my hair is naturally very straight, with some wave due to the layers in my hair. For this post, I used the 32mm barrel. Also, excuse my makeup-less face in the after photo! I was testing out the wand after work and I like to remove all my makeup right when I get home. Side note: it's crazy how much of an impact makeup can have on how your face looks with just a bit of makeup.

Irresistible Me Sapphire 8 in 1 Complete Curling Wand Before and After

I'm still getting the hang of using the wand, but it probably took around 15-20 minutes for me to curl all my hair! Which is crazy! I have a ridiculous amount of hair. Even the hairstylist at my maid of honour's wedding was passively complaining about how much hair she had to curl. Also, my hair doesn't hold a curl very well. I have to spray A LOT of hairspray and texturizing spray just to get my hair to hold anything for even a few hours. But with this wand, my hair somehow holds the curl by itself for 4-5 hours. You can also see the frizz in my hair is tamed after being curled.

And can you see how much volume my hair has? I find my hair is pretty flat, so any kind of volume in my hair makes a huge difference.

So, if you're looking to purchase a curling wand that does it all, try this one out! It regularly sells for $199, but it's currently selling for $149. For $149, I think that's a pretty awesome price for essentially 8 curling wands. If you're not looking for a curling wand, Irresistible Me also offers a flat iron and a great selection of hair extensions. 

The products included in this post were sent to me for consideration. I am not affiliated with the company and am not being paid for this post. Opinions expressed are based on my own personal experiences with the products. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #8

empty sample skincare products

Not a lot of samples were finished again this month. It's all because of the wedding. I keep using the wedding as an excuse, but when it comes to weddings, you don't want to disturb your daily skincare routine the few weeks leading up to it!

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Eye Serum: I've always wanted to try out some Jurlique products, but they're quite pricey. So, I was pretty excited to try this sample. It claims to reduce signs of fatigue, minimize the appearance of fine lines and protect from environmental aggressors. Because this is a serum, it has quite a thin, runny texture and you don't need a lot of it. On its own, it's not hydrating enough, so I would recommend layering an eye cream over it. I have found that it has helped a bit with minimizing this one pesky wrinkle under my right eye, but I only started seeing this once I started layering it with the next sample I finished off. 
Purchase: No

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado: I've actually used up the full size of this eye cream and really loved it. After using up this sample, I remember why I love it so much. It's not too thick, but still hydrating enough. I've been told that my undereye area tends to be dry, but this really helps with putting that moisture back into the delicate area. As mentioned above, I really loved the combination of a serum and eye cream for my undereye area, but I really could do without the serum and just use this cream. 
Purchase: Yes

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate: I'm still trying to figure this product out. I love the scent and how soft it makes my skin after application, but it really is quite an extra item for the skincare routine. I thought my skin was doing really well while using this - I was getting less breakouts and thought this was why, then I pimples starting popping up. I'd say it's a good boost of hydration, but you really don't need this in your routine. I'll gladly use it if I have samples of it lying around.
Purchase: No

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster: One of my favourite serums, so I was sad to finish off this sample. It has helped with brightening skin and keeping it soft and plump. The scent and the fact that it sinks in so quickly are awesome bonuses of this product. I've already used up a full-size bottle in the past and I'm close to finishing another full-size bottle. 
Purchase: Yes, but I still have a lot of other serums I need use up! 

I've used up 62 samples now. There's still 3 more months to go this year, so I'm hoping to finish off at least 10 more samples. I hope you're all doing well in using up samples!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 2015 Favourites

makeup and haircare products

This year is seriously flying by! I can't believe there's only 3 more months left of 2015 and there's less than 100 days until Christmas! Crazy.

This past month, I wasn't too inspired makeup-wise since all I could really think about was the look I did on the bridesmaids for my maid of honour's wedding. What surprised me was how much I relied on the haircare products I'll be sharing about today.

I like switching up my shampoo every couple of months, or rotating shampoos after I've finished a bottle. I tried out a new one this month, the Live Clean Healthy Balance Shampoo. I really didn't know what to think of it, since I usually stay away from the clear gel-like shampoos and opt for the creamy ones. This shampoo, despite its somewhat odd scent, has been pretty awesome. I wash my hair every other day and use dry shampoo on the second day to try to soak up the oil, but my hair still ends up looking and feeling quite oily by the end of the day. With this shampoo, I can confidently leave the house with 3rd day hair.

shampoo and dry shampoo

I realized I haven't really featured any of the dry shampoos I use in my monthly favourites, so here they are! First is the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. I've used the Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo before, but this one has a tint to it, so it's supposed to be better for people with dark hair. I find they both work quite similarly, and they both blend easily into the hair. Second is the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I love this stuff. My hair is quite slippery and can get weighed down very easily, so this helps with putting in the grit my hair needs to hold some volume. I also use this as sort of a dry shampoo on the back of my scalp, because I still haven't mastered applying white powder in a place I can't see.

makeup products

My makeup favourites this month are pretty boring, so I won't get too into detail about them. I talked about the Bobbi Brown Corrector and the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in my August Favourites, so head over there to read more about them.

Since fall is officially here, I've brought out the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed - one of my go-to's for the fall season. It's the perfect shade for a natural flush on the cheeks. To keep with the fall vibes, I've been reaching for the Bobbi Brown Warm Eye Palette. For fall, I do tend to go for a smokier look and that can be achieved with the various brown shades in this palette. To complete the eyes, I've been loving the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. I'm sure you're all sick of me talking about the Ink Liner, the felt tip version, but the Tattoo Liner has been pretty awesome. This changes my view on using brush tip liners! It has the right amount of stiffness and flexibility to make it easy to draw the lines you want. Also, how cute is this mini? I actually like how short it is! It gives so much more control for drawing lines.

Bobbi Brown Warm Eye Palette close up

Lastly, I've really liked using the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I used it on the bridesmaids for the wedding and their makeup stayed in place all day and night, with very minimal touch-ups. I also had longer work days this past month, so this spray really helped with keeping my makeup stay in place during the busy days.

What were your favourites for September?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bridal Makeup: Lessons Learned

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of being a makeup artist for a day and do the makeup for my maid of honour's bridesmaids, which included myself. We got up at 5:00 am for the big day and we had until 9:00 am to get ready before the groom and groomsmen arrived. It was hectic, rushed, but ultimately a beautiful and super fun day.

Today, I wanted to share some lessons I learned from doing bridal makeup!

1. Don't underestimate how much time is needed to do each person's makeup. Even though we were up at 5am, I didn't start doing the bridesmaids' makeup until approximately 6:30am. I also had to wait for each bridesmaid to get their hair done. I did end up finishing the other two bridesmaids' makeup, but rushed on my own. Try to allocate at least an hour per person. 

2. Even if you pack a lot of makeup that you think you'll use, you'll probably only end up using 1/3 of what you brought. I probably packed 5 or 6 blushes, but I ended up using just the Hourglass Ambient Blush palette on the three of us. 

3. Don't wait until the last minute to match foundation shades. Unfortunately, we couldn't find time to meet up and do the foundation match at Sephora, so we did it the night before the wedding. For one of the bridesmaids, there was barely enough foundation in the sample bottle at Sephora to do a full face. We were lucky that there was just enough, but it would've been bad if we couldn't find matches in another foundation. 

4. Relating to 1., because I was doing the makeup as a friend and not as a vendor, I was asked many questions. Questions about what product I used, why I used that product, and what that product was used for. I also had questions about how to do certain things like, how to use gel liner, how to keep pencil liner from smudging, how to do a smoky eye, and so on. With so many questions, make sure to allocate even more time per person. 

5. While doing the bridesmaids' makeup, they kept saying I should consider doing it full-time and asking whether I've thought about it. Let me tell you, I thought about it at least a couple times that morning! But at this time, makeup is just a hobby and not something I feel could do at a professional level.

6. Prepare a makeup bag for touch ups in advance of the wedding day. I thought I would have time to pack all the essentials for the day, but I was already so rushed in finishing everyone's makeup. So, I just threw whatever brushes and powders and products I thought we would need for the touchups later in the day into a big makeup bag.

7. Corrector and setting spray are essentials. Corrector is necessary after staying up late the night before and getting little sleep, and setting spray will help the makeup last a lot longer than without the spray.

8. You get such relief and such joy when you hear from the bride that she loved the looks you did on the bridesmaids. Then it makes all the stress and pressure so worth it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

No Buy For The Rest Of 2015

Well, the title of this post says it all. I've put myself on a no-buy for the rest of the year. I've come to a point where I recognize I have too much makeup - much more makeup than I really need. The same goes with skincare products. There was even a point this past week where I looked at the promotions for holiday collections and I didn't feel any want or temptation to get anything. I had more thoughts about what items in my beauty stash I want to get rid of.

For the past couple of months, I used my maid of honour's wedding as an excuse to go out and buy more makeup, even if it was duplicates of products I already own. It was the excitement of being able to open new products and using new products, but now I have way too many of multiple products open at the same time. However, I will still save these duplicate products to use at my own wedding on my bridesmaids. 

I'm at the point where I'm more than satisfied with the amount of items and what I have in my beauty collection. But, I'd also like to pare down my collection to only the items I really like and can foresee a future in using them. I've already pulled out a few items I know I want to give away or rid from my collection.

As you might know, I'm getting married in 8 months, which means I'll be moving out in 8 months. That means I need to start thinking about what to pack and what needs to be disposed of or donated. So, hopefully a no-buy will help with curbing my hoarding tendencies and further piling up of beauty products.

Of course, during the next 3.5 months, I'll have to restock on everyday essentials. That's the only exception to this no-buy. Though, I have so much stuff stockpiled, I probably won't need to buy anything for next little while.

For anyone else that's also on a no-buy for the rest of the year, good luck! I hope this no-buy will help each of us realize what products we truly love in our collections. I don't know if I'll be posting about my decluttering or my progress in paring down my collection, but there may be an update post here and there. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


THEFACESHOP sheet masks, konjac cleansing puff, bright eye modeling gel patch

After having the opportunity to try out some of THEFACESHOP's sheet masks (review), I wanted to try out some more of THEFACESHOP's products. 

I'm a fan of the sheet masks, the fabric ones, not the hydro gel ones. So, I got 3 new ones to try out from the Real Nature Mask range - Lemon, Blueberry and Rice. I'm always on the hunt for products that help with softening, brightening and illuminating the skin. I'm hoping these one work out well for my skin. I also got the Bright Eyes Modeling Gel Patch mostly because I've always wanted to try out some eye patches and to see if these will help with brightening my dark circles.

Aside from all the masks I got, I bought a Konjac Cleansing Puff. I'm always looking for better ways of clearing my skin of the dirt and blackheads in my pores. This seems to be a trend in skincare and honestly, I really like how squishy it is. So, we'll see how well this really works!

Have you picked up anything from THEFACESHOP lately?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Eyeshadow Palettes for Weddings

make up for ever artist palette volume 1 - nude, urban decay naked palette, bobbi brown warm eye palette

Today's the day. By the time this has been posted, I'll already have been awake for at least 2 hours and gotten my hair done for my maid of honour's wedding and have begun doing the makeup for the other bridesmaids. So, for today's post, I thought it would be fitting to show the eyeshadow palettes I've brought along with me to do the bridesmaids' makeup.

I decided on doing a soft smoky brown look. Something that was simple and classic and wouldn't be too complicated to do.

To achieve this look, you'll need a good mix of various shades of light, medium and dark browns that are both warm and cool. You'll also need some shimmery and matte shades so it doesn't look too one-dimensional. I personally don't have one palette that includes all of these shadows, so I'm using a mixture of 3 palettes.

make up for ever artist palette volume 1 - nude, urban decay naked palette, bobbi brown warm eye palette

The Urban Decay Naked Palette, Bobbi Brown Warm Eye Palette and Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1 - Nude. Both the Urban Decay and Bobbi Brown palettes contain a mixture of shimmery and matte shadows with predominantly warmer shadows. Actually, when you compare the two, they contain 3 very similar shadows - a light matte brown, medium matte brown and shimmery champagne pink. However, I find the UD shadows are a tiny bit cooler. This will be good to cater to those who have cooler or warmer skintones.

The third palette, the Make Up For Ever Artist Palette - Nude contains iridescent, satin and metallic eyeshadows, with one matte black shadow. I find that this palette leans more on the neutral to cooler side of eyeshadows, but still works well on any skintone. They're quite pigmented, so they'll have to be blended out well. An important shadow included in this palette is a matte black. It'll be useful for setting eyeliner or for further smoking out the look later in the evening. Or, if you find black is too harsh, the dark matte brown in the Bobbi Brown palette is an excellent alternative.

With all 3 of these palettes, you'll have all the necessary eyeshadows you'll need to create a simple smoky brown eye.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Preparing for a Wedding - Part 3

makeup brushes, sponges, wipes

It's now less than a week until my maid of honour's wedding and I'm super excited for her! You can also read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven't already done so! Today, I'm continuing with part 3 of my series on preparing for a wedding. I'll be talking about some of the necessary tools and items.

Let's start off with the brushes. I definitely had some gaps in my brush collection and needed to purchase some new and extra ones. I got a couple of the Sigma E25 blending brushes because you can never have enough blending brushes! These are kind of like the MAC 217 in that it's flat but fluffy. You can pack on the colour, but also blend out eyeshadow. Just don't make the mistake of ordering from the Sigma website, like I did. I discovered Obsessed Canada after ordering my Sigma brushes and paid for the consequences due to the poor Canadian dollar.

From Real Techniques, I got a couple more of the Setting Brush and the Retractable Lip Brush. The Setting Brush is such a great multi-purpose tool. You can use it to of course, set your makeup, but also to blend out concealer, apply highlighter and for touch ups. The Retractable Lip Brush is pretty self explanatory. I didn't have any, so I thought it would be good to get one to apply lipstick or any other lip products.

Then, I purchased two eyeliner brushes from Joe Fresh. One is an angled liner brush, which also be used for the eyebrows. The other is a bent liner brush. This will be good for creating fine lines and getting into the inner corners, which can be tricky to reach.

Lastly, the miscellaneous but necessary items. A pack of makeup sponges and makeup wipes. I certainly don't have the money to shell out for a Beauty Blender to use on each person, so some cheap makeup sponges will have to do. The makeup wipes will help with some minor cleaning because I expect to be using my hands as my palette and things will get messy! 

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Preparing for a Wedding - Part 2

makeup products and bobbi brown hydrating eye cream

About 2.5 weeks ago, I posted Part 1 of this series - preparing for a wedding. I'm back today with another post detailing some additional products I've picked up in preparing to do my maid of honour's bridesmaids' makeup one week from now.

One of the products that I think is really important to have is a good eye cream. One that gives enough hydration to the undereye area but also primes the area. After finishing a sample of the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, I really wanted to get a full-sized pot of it but I still had a whole bunch of other eye creams to finish. But the wedding was a good reason (excuse) to get an eye cream that does it all - hydration and prime.

makeup products and bobbi brown hydrating eye cream

With doing other people's makeup, I need to be aware of keeping things sanitary and rubbing alcohol can only do so much. I picked up the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger so I don't use the open concealers I've been using on myself. This concealer is just as it's named - radiant and creamy. It provides great coverage while still being moisturising. And, I picked up a new Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ebony. This is a really good shade for those with naturally black eyebrows and dark brown to black hair. My own Brow Wiz in Ebony is really dirty and I've already used up a lot of it! So, this new one will last for doing the makeup of two weddings.

Stay tuned for the next post that includes tools I've picked up in preparation for the wedding!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

August 2015 Favourites

2015 is just flying by! The start of September signals the end of summer for me, so I'm starting to get into fall mood. Before we get to that, here are my favourites from August.

august 2015 favourite beauty products

I wasn't feeling too inspired in my makeup looks this past month, i.e. I was kind of lazy. I kept things pretty simple, but there were definitely some staples in my routine. Because of another heatwave, I was loving the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (review). I really don't need to say much about this facial mist! It's a wonderfully herbal-scented refresher and toner all in one. It really helped a lot in cooling me down during the hot days.

august 2015 favourite beauty products open

For makeup, there were 4 products that I used pretty much every single day of August. I previously mentioned in my July favourites that the Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Peach has been such a great discovery. I'm still loving how awesome it is to use on dark circles and scars. Then, I layer on the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I'm still loving how lightweight it is without sacrificing the amount of coverage it gives. I've used it so much that I'm almost done the tube. With these two, my scars and blemishes don't stand a chance!

After all the hard work of applying the corrector and concealer, I've been using the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. As I mentioned in my August makeup rotation, this powder is so good. A little bit of this goes a long way and it sets concealer very well while providing some brightening properties for the undereye area.

Lastly, I started using the Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Booster Eyeliner + Serum again. I prefer felt tip liners a lot more than brush pen liners, but this is the only brush pen liner that I feel like I have full control over. I don't find this formula is as black as I want it to be, but it can be built up.

What were your favourites for the month of August?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #7

Guess what? This is my 100th post! Can you believe I'm into the triple digits now? I didn't have a specific post planned for my 100th post, so it's business as usual in today's post. Since it's the end of the month, it's time for another sample challenge update.

This month, I was concentrating on finishing off a lot of full-sized products that were close to being done. So, I didn't use up too many samples.

empty used up beauty and skincare samples

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes: This is one of those random samples that companies send to households to try out. I've used these before and have repurchased them multiple times. I like how effective they are without leaving the skin feeling stripped. These facial wipes are one of my favourites!
Purchase: Yes

Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Toner: I got two uses out of this little sample, but two uses really isn't enough to see any difference in my skin. This toner is a brown colour which kind of threw me off. I like using clear toners so I can see what leftover dirt is being wiped off my face, but it's just a preference. This toner is alcohol-free, so my skin didn't feel stripped after using it and it did feel soothed, as it claims to do.
Purchase: No, because the smallest bottle is $30. Too expensive for me!

L'Occitane Amande Milk Concentrate: This was a nicely scented light lotion. It didn't feel heavy and it sank into my skin pretty quickly. It's a great lotion to use during the hotter months if you don't want to use something too thick and heavy. Unfortunately, L'Occitane products do tend to be on the more expensive side.
Purchase: No

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream: I already really like the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, so I figured I would like this too. It's a nice cream that can double as a primer. When I first used it, I wondered why my skin felt so smooth. This is due to the high amount of dimethicone (I think it's second on the ingredient list!). If your skin is sensitive to this ingredient, I would suggest you avoid this, but I have no problems with it.
Purchase: Yes

Lancome Genefique Yeux: One of Lancome's cult skincare products, I was excited to try this out. First off, my sample didn't come with much product - maybe about half the bottle was full. But it's a sample, so I'm not too fussed about it. I like the metal applicator which helped with massaging the undereye area, while helping with de-puffing. The thing is, because it is a little on the thicker side of a serum, I would apply it then leave it to sink in a little before massaging the rest into the skin. My undereye area did feel hydrated and less puffy, but I didn't see too much of a difference.
Purchase: No

We're now up to 58 samples! I'd like to think I'm doing pretty well in getting through my collection of samples. I hope you're also having success in getting through some of your samples!

Thursday, August 27, 2015


This post contains PR samples

THEFACESHOP sheet masks

I was recently sent three sheet masks from THEFACESHOP to try out. Now, I'm already familiar with the brand and have tried a couple of their other sheet masks in the past. But, the ones I was sent were all new to me.

I love that the THEFACESHOP is popping up in many locations which makes Asian skincare more accessible to the Western market. I remember when Pacific Mall and T&T grocery stores were the best places to find sheet masks, but now you can get a whole range of them at THEFACESHOP in many of the bigger malls.

Of the many sheet masks that THEFACESHOP offers, I was sent the Real Nature Face Mask Honey, Real Nature Face Mask Mung Bean, and Hydro Gel Mask Sheet Vita B.

Real Nature Face Mask Honey* ($2):
This mask claims to leave the skin moisturised and radiant after being used and letting the serum soak in. Due to the honey extract, with its nourishing properties, it's supposed to reveal younger looking, invigorated skin.

Verdict: I really liked this mask! My skin felt so smooth, plump and soothed after using it. It did look a bit more radiant the next day, moreso than just using the products in my daily skincare routine. Like the other sheet masks that I've tried from THEFACESHOP, this one came soaked in serum. I like to squeeze out a little bit of the excess serum before putting it on my face. I find it makes it easier to stay on my face and for my skin to be able to absorb the serum without having excess sitting on top of the skin.

Real Nature Face Mask Mung Bean* ($2):
Another one of THEFACESHOP's fabric sheet masks, this one contains essence of ground mung bean to eliminate impurities that clog pores, while also smoothing the skin and leaving it clear and radiant.

Verdict: This felt nice on the skin and was a good way of injecting some moisture into the skin, but I don't think it helped with clearing out my pores. I prefer to use a clay mask when my pores are feeling clogged, or even a pore strip. Whether this mask purified my skin or not, I'm not entirely sure. My skin did look a bit clearer and scars were tiny bit lighter, but that could've easily been the combination of scar fading and lightening products I use. Just like the honey face mask and the other sheet masks I've tried, I had to squeeze out a little of the excess serum or else it would drip down my neck and everywhere.

Hydro Gel Mask Sheet Vita B* ($3):
Part of the Hydro Gel Mask range, this mask contains starfruit extract and vitamin B derivatives to nourish and soothe the skin. The skin is supposed to look luminous and feel silky soft after being used. 

Verdict: This post came in two halves, with each half protected in a plastic covering. Unlike the above two masks, this mask is more of a gel/soft plastic mask, rather than fabric. I found it was hard to line up the halves, with the top half being too big for me (or my forehead's just tiny) and the bottom half too small (couldn't wrap around my jawline). After using the mask, it left a sticky residue on my face, but my skin did feel and look plumper. Again, it's probably because of the added moisture from the serum and having the mask on my face for about 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, I didn't see much of a difference.

All in all, I really do enjoy using THEFACESHOP's sheet masks and think the prices for them are pretty good. If you want extra moisture and hydration in your skin, you can't go wrong with any of their masks. Personally, I would stick to the fabric sheet masks mostly because they're cheaper and I feel like they work better than the hydro gel range of masks.

Disclosure: The products included in this post were sent to me for consideration. I am not affiliated with the company and am not being paid for this post. Opinions expressed are based on my own personal experiences with the products. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Chanel Fall 2015 Entrelacs Palette

Chanel Fall 2015 Entrelacs Palette

Fall is my favourite season out of the four, but I'm not all that ready to let go of summer yet. That is, until I saw how gorgeous the palette Chanel released for this fall season is! I've always wanted to own a Chanel palette, but didn't see one where I love all of the shades. The Entrelacs palette is very much me in a palette (if that's even a thing).

The Entrelacs palette includes a combination of matte and satin neutral eyeshadows that are embossed with the design that inspired the double-C Chanel logo. It's so beautiful that I don't want to use the eyeshadows just to keep the embossing intact. 

There have been so many neutral brown eyeshadow palettes that have been released, but this is the first palette that I've seen where I truly know what to do with each shade. The palette contains a good range of light to dark shades, so it's easy to create both day and night looks. The shadows are soft and buttery and blend out easily. Some of the shades do have very subtle micro-shimmers to give a pearly finish.

Chanel Fall 2015 Entrelacs Palette closeup

The palette features 5 neutral shades that have been thoughtfully put together:
-Light shimmery white gold, perfect for the inner corner highlight and on the browbone 
-Light medium brown with warm undertones and matte finish, best for the crease and as a base shade
-Medium-dark brown with warm undertones and subtle golden shimmer, can be used as an all-over shade or to add depth to the outer-v
-Dark taupe brown with cool undertones, sparse gold shimmer and satin-to-matte finish, best for the outer corner 
-Light shimmery golden peach with a sheer finish, great for patting over the other shades as a finishing touch

Chanel Fall 2015 Entrelacs Palette swatches

These shadows aren't the most pigmented ones out there and I don't think that was the intention. They give more of a subtle look, but they are buildable to a certain extent. 

The Entrelacs palette is an extremely beautiful palette that will work for anyone. It's definitely not a must-have if you already own some brown neutral palettes, but for the collector and those obsessed with makeup, you need this!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hauling For The Points

sephora makeup product haul

sephora makeup product haul

I have to admit, I got sucked into the whole 2x/3x/4x the points event that Sephora held in order to get one of their epic rewards. Unfortunately, I didn't get one of them, but I did end up hauling a few goodies!

too faced baby love blush, becca shimmering skin perfector opal, hourglass ambient lighting powder dim light

I ended up getting quite a few face products. I got the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation. I've never tried the old formula, but I'm super excited to use this and test it out! Then, I got a trio of products for the finishing touches for the complexion. I heard such great things about the Too Faced Love Flush blush in Baby Love from Sandra, that I had to get it and try it out for myself. The second of the three, is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal. After using Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight for the past few months, I wanted to try a highlighter that's more glowy and apparent on the skin. Candlight is beautiful, but is quite subtle on my skin. And the third is a product I'm giving a second try. I talked about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light in my Return to Sender #1 post, but I loved the finish on my skin enough that I'm willing to give it second chance. The best thing is it comes in a mini version now!

bumble and bumble surf infusion spray, make up for ever ultra hd foundation

And the odd bits - Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Spray and a couple of the new Laura Mercier Lip Parfaits. I've wanted to try out the Surf Infusion Spray for a while now. My hair is pin straight which can get quite boring day in and day out. Hopefully it'll give some character to my hair!

For the new Lip Parfaits, I got Cinnful and Pink Grapefruit. I'm sure you all know by now I like lip formulas that are hydrating and moisturising that can be applied as a sheer wash of colour or by its full-on pigment. These seem to fulfil both of those criteria, so I'm excited to try these out!

Did you end up getting anything during the Sephora multiple points event?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preparing For A Wedding - Part 1

makeup products and cinema secrets makeup brush cleanser

In less than a month, my maid of honour will be getting married and I have the honour to do her bridesmaids' makeup (myself included). I'm no makeup artist, but I think I've learned enough over the years and hoarded enough makeup to be able to do this. I'm extremely excited for this opportunity, which also means an excuse to buy new makeup to play with!

Between the three of us bridesmaids, two have dry skin. Since I have products that's mostly suited to normal to combination skin, I've had to get some skincare products suited to dry skin. I bought the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate and the Make Up Forever Hydrating Primer. The Embryolisse lotion is supposed to help restore balance to the skin and nourish areas of dryness, while the hydrating primer will give some additional moisture in the skin so it doesn't suck up the base products I'll be applying. 

makeup products and cinema secrets makeup brush cleanser

Then there's the YSL Touche Eclat. I have to admit this was a splurge item that I've wanted to try for a long time. It's a good thing the three of us are pretty similar in skintone and colour that I can use it on all three of us! This will be a great way to conceal and brighten the face. 

For the tools, I needed to get a bottle of brush cleanser. Despite owning many brushes, it'll be useful to have a brush cleanser to spot clean eye brushes. After reading numerous reviews of the Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleanser, I figured this would be the best one to get. And since I won't be using too much of it, I got a smaller bottle.

These are just a few items that I've bought to prepare for the wedding (and my own upcoming wedding in May!). Over the next few weeks, I'll be gathering even more items and hopefully you'll get some insight into what's needed to do wedding makeup for the non-makeup artist.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

New Look!

picture of old blush and simplicity layout

It's been a long time coming. If you haven't already noticed, my blog has gotten a refresh and I'm loving it so much. It makes me so happy to have a layout that looks exactly how I want it to look. I really wanted a simple and clean look that's easy on the eyes. And I hope you all feel the same way!

The previous layout was really blah and it looked like a whole bunch of things slapped together and it never looked cohesive, as you can see above. Because I didn't really like how my blog looked, I always felt like I forced myself to blog on something that didn't really reflect my tastes and style. Now that my blog actually looks nice (to me at least), I feel encouraged to keep creating and writing.

I hope you all like this new look as much as I do!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review: Beauty Origin Lab

This post contains PR samples

Beauty Origin Lab products

I'm not the pickiest person about using organic and natural ingredients in my skincare routine, but I do recognize that using products that have organic and natural ingredients can have great benefits. I don't actively seek out such products, but when they do contain more natural ingredients, it makes me feel better about the things I put on my face and body. 

Recently, Beauty Origin Lab reached out to me to try some of their products. They are a Canadian company that's based in Toronto (support local companies!) that produces a range of handcrafted skincare products using organic and natural ingredients.

Beauty Origin Lab products

Beauty Origin Lab detoxifying mask, pumice exfoliant, lavender body butter

I was kindly sent the Detoxifying French Green Clay Mask, Face Exfoliant with Extra Fine Pumice, Lavender Body Butter, and two lip balms. 

I was quite excited to try out the Detoxifying French Green Clay Mask* ($23). I already use and love the Aesop Parsley but it's quite expensive. The French Green Clay mask is a great alternative and works exactly like the Aesop mask. Apply it to clean skin, wait for it to dry, and watch the clay suck out the excess oils and impurities in the skin. After rinsing off the mask, my skin felt quite smooth and clean. Because this is in a jar and quite loose, it's hard to take out with your fingers. I used a spare flat foundation brush to apply which helped with getting around the eyes and in crevices on the face. 

Next is the Face Exfoliant with Extra Fine Pumice* ($19). I've never used an exfoliant containing pumice, but I was quite intrigued. The first thing I noticed was it smelled quite peppery, but nothing that bothered me. I expected this to be extremely rough on the skin, but because it's extra fine pumice, I find it's gentle enough on the face, but still abrasive enough to use on the body, if you choose to do so. You just have to be careful with gently rubbing the exfoliant on the face so you aren't too rough on the skin. My skin on my face and body were so smooth after using this!

I have never tried a body butter that's 100% natural, so I was quite interested in the Lavender Body Butter* ($24). First off, I love the scent of this body butter - it's a light lemony lavender scent and I do find it's quite calming. Because this contains mostly oils (coconut, olive, mango, jojoba, almond and lavender) and shea butter, it actually feels like you're spreading soft butter on your skin. It's quite oily feeling on the skin and can take a while for it to fully absorb into the skin. I'd suggest using this at night and leaving it to soak into the skin overnight. I do find it's quite moisturising. 

And lastly, the lip balms* ($4.50). I was sent the Cherry and Coffee flavours (scents?) and both of them contain oils to keep the lips moisturised. I find they last for about 2 hours before I need to reapply. As for the scents, they smell so good that it makes me want to lick my lips! I expected them to have that fake artificial scent, but they're quite close to what the actual food/drink smell like.

Beauty Origin Lab product swatches
L-R: Face Exfoliant with Extra Fine Pumice, Detoxifying French Green Clay Mask, Lavender Body Butter

I'm really glad that I got the opportunity to try out some of the products Beauty Origin Lab offers. I feel good about using them on my skin since they contain natural and organic ingredients. Their full range of products can be found and ordered online if you're interested in reasonably priced organic and natural skincare products that are made locally in Toronto. 

Disclosure: The products included in this post were sent to me for consideration. I am not affiliated with the company and am not being paid for this post. Opinions expressed are based on my own personal experiences with the products. 

Friday, August 07, 2015

Scents for Summer

bottles of perfume

If you know me in real life, you'll know that I always have some kind of perfume or scent on me. It all goes back to this one specific incident that happened when I was a teen, but that's not something I'll get into right now.

I wear perfume all year round in hopes of always smelling nice. I tend to wear scents that are appropriate regardless of the time of year, but there are specific ones that I'll only bring out during the warmer summer months.

I personally like light fresh, floral and slightly fruity scents. My holy grail perfume is DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom, which unfortunately, is discontinued. It's fresh, floral and fruity all in one. It contains notes of rose, jasmine petals, and grapefruit, and I appreciate that all elements are nicely balanced. This is the one scent that I use year-round and could never tire of.

Another wonderfully fresh scent is Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia. I find that even though it's quite fresh, it's a little heavy on me. If I spray on a little too much, it can give me a headache, but I can't give this scent up! This perfume contains jasmine, peony, lemon, mint, brown sugar, pink pepper, cedarwood and labdanum.

The next two scents are my most recent additions. I have a mini rollerball of Elizabeth and James Nirvana White and I became obsessed with it the first time I used it. This scent has notes of peony, muguet and tender musk. Much like Nirvana White, the newest addition to my perfume collection also has notes of peony. Stella Eau de Toilette actually smells quite similar to Nirvana White from the bottle, but on the skin, it has a little more depth and the masculine undertone is more revealed.

What are your favourite summer scents?

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Current Makeup Rotation: August 2015

makeup products

This month's makeup routine contains a mish-mash of old and new items. I'm sure you're already quite sick of me talking about certain items, so I won't ramble too long about them.

To prep the skin, I'll be using the Benefit Porefessional, one of my favourite primers. It smooths the skin to allow base products to apply better. Because it's been quite hot lately, I'm sticking to minimal makeup - Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer for the dark circles and Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer for any redness, blemishes and scars. To set everything, I've started using the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder and oh my goodness, this stuff is good! It's possibly one of the best setting powders I've used lately. Everything just stays in place with very minimal creasing by the end of the day. I also find this helps brighten the undereye area a little.

For the eyes, I'm keeping it simple, once again. A sweeping of Burberry Pale Barley all over the lids and a couple of layers of Shu Uemura Petal Lash (review). Even though this mascara isn't marketed as a waterproof mascara, it stays on the lashes for so long, with no smudging, but it is pretty hard to remove at the end of the day.

Last month, I found a combination that I'm still currently loving and talked about in my July favourites. It's Benefit Coralista and Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight. A beautiful peachy coral paired with a soft golden champagne highlight which gives me the perfect glowy cheeks.

To top it all off, I've dug out an oldie but goodie - Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Peach. I wish Revlon would bring back this lipstick range! Peach is exactly what it sounds like - a peach shade that doesn't lean orange. It's comfortable to wear, isn't too pigmented, but also gives a sheen to the lips.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Samples Challenge Update #6

What? New posts two days in a row? This week, my goal is to post everyday. Hopefully you'll enjoy all that I have to write about!

used skincare samples

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation: One of my favourite moisturisers that I use as part of my evening skincare routine. It's an oil-free moisturiser that's light on the skin, but works well to hydrate the skin. I don't know if using this alone helps with lightening up scars and hyperpigmentation, but combined with other brightening and lightening products, it works. I used this sample up when I did a mini staycation for my friend's bachelorette party.
Purchase: Yes 

Origins Planscription Anti-aging Power Serum: I really liked this serum! Considering this is an anti-aging serum, it's not too thick or heavy. I woke up with super plump skin the morning after, however I couldn't see any other visible differences since this one sample gave me about 2 uses.
Purchase: Yes

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate: I've been wanting to try out this serum for a long time! For some reason, I didn't expect this to be an oil, despite all the reviews I've read about it. It took me a few times to adjust to using an oil, rather than a serum. I'm not used to using oils on my skin. But I loved the effects of this concentrate. My skin always looked better the morning after and felt so much smoother and plump.
Purchase: Yes

Lancome City Miracle CC Cream - 02 Peau de Peche: I didn't have any expectations for this, but I was hoping it would work well for me. It is quite a light and easy-to-blend formula with SPF 50, but those are the only good things. Now for what I disliked - it's heavily fragranced and this is technically the medium shade but it is very dark and ridiculously orange for what it is. This also didn't last very long on my skin.
Purchase: No

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector: I used up 6 of these samples and got most of them from a wedding convention. I used this as sort of a serum before my daytime moisturiser. I did find it helped give some luminosity to my skin, but I don't think it did anything to even out my skintone or lighten up any of my scars and hyperpigmentation. The finish of this product is like a primer, so I think it would be appropriate to use this after your moisturiser. Even after using up 6 samples of this, I'm not convinced of all the claims it has.
Purchase: No

We're now up to a total of 53 samples! I'm quite excited to see the final number at the end of this year!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

July 2015 Favourites

makeup and skincare products

It's been a while! Yesterday was a holiday, which meant a day off from work and some much needed rest, but also time to focus on some wedding planning. It's now 9.5 more months until the wedding day and I still have yet to feel the pressure to continue planning certain things.

Today, I'm bringing you my favourites from July. It's was a hot month. One weekend saw days reaching 40 degrees and we had a heatwave just last week. 

makeup and skincare products

I've been relying on the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30 as my moisturiser and sun protection all in one. I love how light it is and how well it sits under my makeup. Which leads me to my foundation of choice this past month - the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte foundation. I wore this during the 40 degree weekend while running around doing a scavenger hunt for 2 hours and pretty much being outside and baking in the sun for at least 8 hours. This stuff did not budge and my makeup still looked pretty awesome by the end of the day. 

Another favourite during the hot days was the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (review). It's a fine mist that helps with refreshing and giving a cooling effect. I use this to help refresh my makeup, but also after cleansing and using it as a toner. 

My other favourite bits and bobs include the Bobbi Brown Corrector (Light Peach). I recently got a pretty bad scar from a pimple and I've been using the corrector on my scars before applying concealer. It has made such a huge difference in covering up my dark scars (and dark undereye circles!). Why haven't I used this sooner?! 

For the eyes, I've been using the Tom Ford quad in Cognac Sable* (review), but mostly the 2 left shades. I use the top left shade all over the lid, with the bottom right shade in my crease and outer-v. If I want to darken my look even more, I'll use the bottom right shade in the outer-v. Then, there's the Benefit Gimme Brow (Medium/Deep). I couldn't be bothered to use a pencil this month and this has been a great product for quick brows. Though, I do find that I sometimes go back with a pencil to fill in some sparse areas if I'm being nitpicky. 

To finish off the face, I've been loving the combination of Benefit Coralista and Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight. Coralista already gives a really pretty sheen and highlight, but I like the added highlight that Candlelight gives. I also find that on my darker skin, the highlighter is subtle enough for everyday wear. 

What are some of your favourites from July?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Empties #3

empty beauty products

empty makeup products

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer - Ginger
I use this shade when my skin has gotten darker and it covers up scars and hyperpigmentation pretty well. This is is definitely up there in my favourite concealers, but the new Urban Decay one could be beating it out!
Repurchase: Yes

Nivea A Kiss of Milk & Honey Lip Balm
I finally finished up the last one I have of this lip balm. It's an ok pick from the drugstore, but I have a bunch of other lip balms/lip butters that I want to get through before considering buying more.
Repurchase: No, not right now

empty skincare products

Biore Nourish Moisture Lotion SPF 15
I bought this as a backup when I was in university and I graduated from university 3 years ago. The lotion in this bottle started separating and I'm pretty sure the SPF would've expired by now. I enjoyed this lotion when I was using it almost 5-6 years ago, but I've moved onto better daytime moisturisers that contain higher SPF levels.
Repurchase: No

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-Up Remover
This was my favourite drugstore makeup remover for a long time until I discovered something even better! This does a pretty good job at removing waterproof mascara, but you do have to hold the soaked cotton round on the lashes for a good 10 -15 seconds to work better.
Repurchase: Yes

Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes
This is the better drugstore makeup remover I just mentioned above! Seriously the best at removing waterproof makeup. You only have to hold your cotton round on the lashes for around 5 seconds and it magically removes waterproof mascara. So good! I wish the travel size was more readily available so I can bring it with me on vacations!
Repurchase: Yes

Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
I absolutely love this scrub and I'd say it's the most consistent skincare product I've had and used since I became serious about my skincare routine. Unfortunately, this contains microbeads, so I hope Aveeno will be able to reformulate it without ruining the gentle exfoliation and cleansing properties.
Repurchase: Yes

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
I finished this cleansing balm quite a while ago, but I enjoyed it. I find it's more of an extra step in my cleansing routine since it does leave my skin feeling a bit oily. I prefer having just one cleanser that removes makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean.
Repurchase: No

cotton pad packaging

Muji Cut Cotton Pads
I'm not too picky with the cotton pads I use. I tried out the Shiseido ones and was quite disappointed with it considering how expensive they are. The Muji ones are very similar, if not the same as the Shiseido ones and at a fraction of the price (around $3-4). I liked how soft the cotton felt against my skin, but I do prefer cotton pads that have quilting since it helps to scrub off makeup. However, if there were more Muji stores in Toronto, I'd consider buying these more often since it's quite inexpensive.
Repurchase: Yes

Quo Cosmetic Pads
I've finished so many packs of these, since they're one of the cheaper options at the drugstore. It has the quilting which helps with removing makeup.
Repurchase: Yes

empty haircare products

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist
One of the best anti-frizz leave-in conditioners I've used. This helps keep my hair smooth during the hot humid summers we get here in Toronto. I've done a more in-depth review and featured it in my summer haircare essentials.
Repurchase: Yes - already repurchased!

Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray
This is the only heat protection spray that I've ever used. It works well and smells great after applying  heat to the hair. Plus, it's readily available at the drugstore. I still have one bottle left to get through and it's going to last me quite a while since I don't typically heat style my hair.
Repurchase: Yes

Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo for Fine, Flat Hair
I loved the scent of this shampoo! It's a nice fresh scent and I felt like it only did an ok job at giving some life to my flat hair. It is a decent shampoo, but not the greatest at giving some volume. I would repurchase this for the scent, but not so much for the results I expected.
Repurchase: Yes

Living Proof Full Shampoo
This actually used to be my favourite frizz-free shampoo, but over time, I found it left my hair pretty limp, even though it helped with taming the frizz. I also found that this shampoo started aggravating my dandruff after using my dandruff shampoo to help control it. I still have one more bottle to finish, but after that, I'm moving on to other shampoos. Also, did the price for this go up? I remember it being around $26, but it's now $30 for a bottle. I definitely don't think it's worth the $30 price tag.
Repurchase: No

Herbal Essences Honey I'm Strong and Touchably Smooth Conditioners
These are staples in my haircare routine. Just like I've said in my other empties posts, these are cheap, smell good and get the job done. The Touchably Smooth conditioner is probably my favourite scent out of all the ones I've tried.
Repurchase: Yes

empty bath and body products

Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath*
This was part of a holiday set of 4 shower gels that I received from one of my previous managers. Overall, this did what it was supposed to, but the scent got old and annoying and I just couldn't stand it anymore. I'm glad this is done.
Repurchase: No

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme
Lovely rich, but airy body cream that smelled wonderful. I only use this at night, or else the scent is much too strong for my liking during the daytime. I prefer to use it at night so it doesn't make all my clothes smell like it and clash with my perfumes during the day.
Repurchase: Yes

nail polishes

Dior Nail Vernis in Incognito
This is a nail polish that I'm trashing. It is one of my holy grail nail polishes. The perfect nude pink shade for me. It's not too nude, but not too pink and makes your nails/hands look put together. I finished more than half of the bottle, but it eventually got quite thick and goopy that it was hard to get a thin even layer. It could be the old formula that contributed to it getting thick, but we'll see how long it takes for my new bottle in the new gel shine formula to get thick.
Repurchase: Yes - already have!

Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar
Another one I'm trashing. It's almost done anyway and it got too thick and goopy as well to continue using it effectively. It would also leave a ton of bubbles after I applied it. However, when it's a fresh bottle, it's the best top coat I've used to date. It gives the nails high shine, with a really short wait time and the best part is the really thin consistency of it. This is actually the old bottle, which I purchased for $5.99 when Shoppers Drug Mart was clearing out all the old bottles.
Repurchase: Yes - already repurchased!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Skincare and Haircare Essentials

summer skincare and haircare products essentials

This weekend is probably the hottest weekend we'll have this summer in Toronto. With temperatures hitting the low-40s with humidity, the products I'll be talking today are must-haves. If you haven't already read about my summer makeup essentials, read about them here!

Let's start off with the haircare products. There are two absolute must-haves for me during the summer months. First is the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist. This is a leave-in conditioner that's a dry oil. Because it's a dry oil, it doesn't leave the hair feeling oily and weighed down. At the same time, this dry oil magically controls the frizz, even with the high levels of humidity we get here in Toronto.

My second haircare must-have is the Klorane Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo. I try to wash my hair every other day or every third day and to keep my hair looking fresh, dry shampoo is the best thing to use. The Klorane dry shampoo is my favourite one to date. The powder does come out white, but it's so easy to blend in and does such a good job at absorbing the excess oil in my hair. This dry shampoo and the Alterna dry oil mist were my two biggest haircare discoveries of 2014 and it's no wonder I'm still using them! They're just that good.

Now for the skincare products. Sun protection is extremely important all-year round, but even more so during the summer. My top picks for SPF for the face are the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF30 and the Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF 50. I use the Kiehl's moisturiser as my daily facial moisturiser. It's light weight, absorbs easily and makeup sits well on top of it. As for the Shiseido sunscreen, I use it on all other occasions where I won't be wearing makeup, especially when I'm doing things outdoors. I really like the high SPF and the fact that it doesn't break me out.

Continuing with the sunscreen, I will use pretty much any sunscreen that has a high SPF level, doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky, and isn't expensive, on my body. One of my favourites is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen. The one pictured is SPF 45, but I've seen it go up to SPF 100. Since I started driving long distances for work, I've been religiously applying sunscreen to my arms and hands when I drive to and from the office. This one absorbs so quickly and doesn't make my skin feel sticky afterwards.

Then there are the lips. I think a lot of people so often forget to apply SPF to their lips, but they're just as important as the skin on the rest of the body. I have multiple lip products that contain SPF, but at the moment, I'm using the Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 in Grapefruit. It's kind of like vaseline in texture, but it keeps the lips quite moisturised, while providing much needed sun protection.

What are your summer skin and hair product essentials?

Blogger Template designed By The Sunday Studio.