Vita Liberata Summer Self Tanners

I have been keeping my skin safe this year, which means more self tanner at home and less soaking in the sun outside. I have been trying out Vita Liberata’s products for an enviable summer tan.

Illuminaze Complexion Veil

Until I received the Illuminaze, I only thought of Vita Liberata as a tanning company. I am now realizing that there is so much more to them. This is somewhere between a moisturizer and a primer. It does moisturize the face, but calling it moisturizer would be cheating it of all its other great properties. The sheer cream also helps to control the skin tone to give you a beautiful, natural tone. It really helps to enhance the good parts of your skin. It couldn’t have come at a better time, since now is the time when I want to stop wearing heavy foundation. Vita Liberata Illuminaze stops the need for a ton of products in favour of emphasizing what you’ve got.

Beauty Blur

This is the primer for people who want more from their makeup base. Vita Liberata Beauty Blur is a primer that moisturizes the skin while giving a natural bronzed colour and glow to your face. Unlike the Illuminaze this Vita Liberata product does give you a sun-kissed and bronzed tint to your skin. This makes it a perfect solo base for the summer when you don’t want to wear a lot of makeup. You can also get colour without the concerns of tanning or self-tanner.

Invisi Foaming Tan Water

When it’s time to go the traditional route of self-tanning, Vita Liberata has innovated in this space with their new Tan Water. This totally clear liquid actually gives you a great smooth tan that’s easy to apply. The water looks clear and even applies clear, but will tan you. Because it goes on your skin clear, you need to be conscientious about application. I found that the Vita Liberata Tan Water made me feel safe in application, so I missed a few spots that I normally wouldn’t. I left harsh lines that weren’t blurred in, because I couldn’t visibly see where the product stopped. My tan though looks great though. It’s really natural and doesn’t have any weird orange tinge.

St Tropez Self Tan Express Face Sheet Mask

Meet the first ever self-tanning sheet mask. Of course, my friends at St Tropez innovated this one of a kind tanning tool. Now you don’t have to fuss with using your self-tanner on your face. This sheet mask is infused with their same self-tanning product, so you know it’s good.

St. Tropez’ instructions for this mask are very easy. Clean your face, put on and smooth out mask, leave it on for up to 15 minutes, remove and massage in. It is actually that easy to use.

The mask is white, so you can’t actually see the tanner on the mask while you are applying it, but you can smell that self-tanner scent faintly. The package does give instructions for how long to leave it on for. I chose the Medium darkness option of 10 minutes to be safe.

My 10 minutes flew by and when I removed the mask, I didn’t notice any difference. Sure, my face was dewy and moist. It was also covered in the mask gel, so I would actually say it was wet. I resisted the urge to rinse it. Then I waited. St. Tropez says the colour will develop over the next 8 hours, so I will see you in 8 hours….

So, it’s been longer than 8 hours, but I needed some recovery time, before writing. I doubted the St Tropez mask, but that was a mistake. After 8 hours my face was dark! It probably wasn’t as dark as I thought, but it was dark enough that I didn’t want to go to work. Dark enough that I was too embarrassed to take a picture! Dark enough that I googled “how to fix a bad self tan” and actually did the things others recommended. So I would recommend starting light! You can always add more self tanner, but it’s really tough to get rid of it. Your face is the one place you can’t hide a fake tan.

Another tip, when you remove the mask, blend in the leftover gel really good. I don’t think the package emphasizes that enough. I had tan lines around the outside of the mask. Be sure to blend it into your hairline and way down your neck.

Despite the fact that I had a bit of a mishap, I would definitely recommend this mask to anyone who is tanning. It’s one of the easiest products that I’ve ever used and gave me the biggest results. Just know what you are getting in to!!!

Makeup Most Wanted June 2018

It seems like the weather in Toronto went from winter to middle of summer in two days. As a result June was hot and sticky and the products I loved the most definitely reflected that.

Live Clean Mineral Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

Like my skin, my hair goes a little crazy in the summer. My roots get incredibly oily and itchy and my hair just dries out. Live Clean’s Rebalancing Shampoo has done a really good job of keeping my scalp itch free while moisturizing my ends. The combination of three mineral clays (Kaolin, Montmorillonite and Bentonite) along with apple cider, witch hazel and tea tree have really succeeded in balancing out my head where other products have failed. There’s a matching conditioner that I use along with it but the shampoo is really the star.

L’Occitane Citrus Verbena Moisturizing Body Foam

I really look forward to the new verbena products that L’Occitane releases every summer and this Moisturizing Body Foam might be my favourite yet. I’ve used a few body foams in the past but nothing that’s ever blown me away or seemed like more than a gimmick. L’Occitane’s version however is both cooling and extremely hydrating. It’s like a hair mousse in texture and a little goes a long way. The iconic L’Occitane verbena scent is perfect for summer (and keeps the bugs away) and it’s really easy to throw in a bag if you’re going to the beach or on a road trip.

Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick in Brunch

I’m generally a matte liquid lipstick person but in the summer I like things a little lighter. This lipstick has insane colour payoff, I got full coverage in one swipe and even when I blotted it down a bit, I still have a ton of colour. There are eight Color Intense shades but my favourite is Brunch, a tawny pink with a hint of coral that comes out when it blots down. Beautycounter calls this long wearing and while it’s a lot better than some creamy lipsticks, you’ll definitely have to reapply. That said, this lipstick is incredibly creamy and comfortable and there’s peppermint oil in it that keep your lips feeling cool. And I love that Beautycounter doesn’t have a whole lot of crap in their products.

Invisibobble Magic Mermaid in Ocean Tango

Onto another one of my all time favourite products. I love Invisibobble so much that I haven’t used another kind of hair tie in about a year. These keep my hair secure and I don’t get headaches from them like I do with other hair elastics. For the summer they’ve released the Magic Mermaid collection that changes colour in UV light. There are two shades; Ocean Tango (light blue to dark blue) and Coral Cha-Cha (pale pink to hot pink). I love the Ocean Tango colours and even though I can’t see it changing colour, it’s fun to know that it does.

Body Fantasies Hearts & Daisies

When the weather is hot, I tend to like a body spray over a perfume since they’re generally lighter. And just in time for summer, Body Fantasies have released Hearts & Daisies, a light, fruity and floral scent. With notes of green apple, pink peony, daisy and creamy woods, this is a great summer body spray.

Summer Perfume Most Wanted

Clean Fresh Linens

I honestly don’t know how Clean does it. Every perfume that they make is very specific and right on target. The yellow bottle came to me at the perfect time. It smells like sheets that have been hanging out on the line and put on the bed still warm from the sun. Or fresh warm towels out of the dryer after having a long bath. Unlike other perfumes that have notes of different fruit or florals, this scent is multi-sensory. It’s all about memory and the feeling that it gives you. It’s giving me the feeling of wanting to relax.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Twinkle

Marc Jacobs has developed a new limited edition version of his classic Daisy perfume once again. Daisy is one of my all-time favourite perfumes, like so many other people. I have found that most of the updated versions of the perfume were too light for my tastes. This time, Marc Jacobs has added wild berries and violet to give the perfume a sweet start. It smells a bit more interesting than previous versions of Daisy. It feels like something that would be great for those hot night in August, when you want a rich, but summery perfume.

Thierry Mugler Angel Shooting Star

This limited edition perfume bottle is really impressive when you see it. It’s a bit impractical to actually store, since it doesn’t stand up, but nevertheless it looks amazing! The perfume is spicy and sweet, not what I imagine when I hear the name Angel. The notes of bergamot and patchouli really stand out to me with the sweeter elements being more subtle underneath. It does finish much sweeter, so don’t judge this book by its cover. It’s intriguing and mysterious, maybe great for a late night dinner on the patio with someone special.

Chloe Nomade

This is probably the most elegant perfume that I’ve ever owned. It makes me think of designer runways, chic tailored clothes, expensive shoes and handbags. This is what I imagine Anna Wintour smells like. Unlike other Chloe perfumes, this one has something more raw about it. It isn’t floral and feminine. It has wood tones, without being musky. There is some type of fruit hidden in there, but no one would ever say this is a fruity scent. This is the scent of a modern woman who owns the boardroom and cocktail hour. It’s not just a summer scent, but potentially a new classic.

Stella McCartney Peony

I’ve been using Stella by Stella McCartney as a go-to fragrance for years and it’s the scent I get complimented on the most. That said, I haven’t tried any of the other Stella scents including the previous incarnation of Peony. This new version is a gorgeous woody floral with peony, black pepper, cedar, amber, patchouli and a few others. Peony isn’t quite as girly a scent as Stella is, but it’s interesting and a little daring. While I could wear Stella anytime of day, Peony is more for nights out. It’s a delicious smelling addition to my summer scents and the rest of the year as well.

Summer Face Products Most Wanted

Summer means my face is going to be in the sun, rain, sweating and who knows what else, so having skin care products for your face that you can trust is extra important. Here are some of the things that I’ve been using this season.

Nivea MicellAIR Micellar Water

The new Nivea Micellair Micellar Water promises a new way to cleanse your face. If you are anything like me, then you have used a lot of other face washes and micellar water. I had a hard time imagining something new in face wash. Nivea has made one of the lightest cleansers that I’ve ever used on my face. It has a faint alcohol smell, but it’s so light that you probably won’t even notice it. When I used the Nivea MicellAIR Water on my face, I honestly thought I had made a mistake. It just felt like wiping my face with a damp cloth. I didn’t feel the product at all. My face just magically looked and felt totally clean and fresh. My makeup was off. It even worked on my mascara!

The Body Shop Roots Of Strength Firming Shaping Essence Lotion

‘Tis the season for lightening up my face routine and I always want a lighter moisturizer in the summer. The Body Shop Essence Lotion is a new take on moisturizing. I honestly thought this was a toner the first time I saw it. It is light as a water, but is actually a moisturizing gel lotion. It’s made for more mature skin, because it’s also for firming your skin, but I love the lightweight freshness on my face!

 

The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask

I know that I’m giving a lot of love to The Body Shop lately, but they have really upped their skin care game. This gel based eye mask is great for summer. The cooling gel feels wonderful under my eyes. My dark circles look a little less prominent after using it. It’s light enough that you can use it during the day or as an overnight treatment.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Purifying Mist

I’ve been waiting for the summer to use this purifying face mist. It’s like those oil blotting papers that I keep in my purse (but always forget about), in spray format. I’ve been using it at all different times to help my skin feel fresh and clean. Use it on those no makeup days to just freshen up. You can also use it over your makeup those to reduce shine. I’ve even used it under my makeup as a first step to reduce the look of pores. There is no need to rinse your face or even wipe it off. The mist is so fine you will barely even notice it. Summer can’t win this year!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50

I’ve been a massive fan of Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost line since it was released a few years ago and Neutrogena is also generally my go to brand for drugstore sunscreen, so when I heard there was a Hydro Boost sunscreen coming I was all over it. I’m extremely fair, burn easily and have already dealt with melanoma once, so sunscreen is a pretty important part of my life. I have at least one in my purse at all times and slather it on before I leave the house, even if I’m just driving around the corner. I have a few requirements for a sunscreen to make it into my routine.

It obviously has to work, it can’t leave a white cast behind (I’m pale enough on my own), it can’t have a funky smell and it can’t leave my skin dried out. This Hydro Boost sunscreen checks every box and then some! We have a number of sun care posts coming up but this sunscreen blew me away so much that it had to get it’s own post.It’s not a physical sunscreen, so there isn’t any zinc goop leaving a film and while I don’t really love chemical sunscreens, this one works ridiculously well.It has the same light, fresh scent as the Hydro Boost Moisturizer and it’s fairly runny and absorbs instantly. But it also has Hyaluronic Acid and leaves my skin on my face and body super moisturized and I love that I can use it on both and not break out. I’ve used it in the car and walking around outdoors and I have to say, this is my favourite new sunscreen in a long long time.

It’s a couple dollars more than a typical drugstore sunscreen (at least when I’ve seen it in stores) and at 88mL, it’s not a big tube but results will have me replacing this every time I run out.

 

Olay Luminous Whip Moisturizer Quick Review

Olay has always had fantastic moisturizers. There is a reason why they are one of the most trusted beauty brands in the country. The new Whip Moisturizer is the same quality as all of the other Olay products. Whip Moisturizer is actually light as air. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It does leave a bit of a residue on my skin that’s noticeable to the touch. It also has a little perfumed smell that for some might not be so pleasant. To me though, this is a great addition to the Olay family. It has everything I want and expect from Olay moisturizer.

Garnier Fructis 1 Minute Hair Masks

Garnier’s new 1 Minute Hair Masks have been such a fun way for me to experiment this spring. The new treatments of easy to use hair masks covers a wide range of needs and an equally wide range of delicious scents.

There is the Avocado Smoothing Treat, Coconut Nourishing Treat, Papaya Damage Repairing Treat, Banana Strengthening Treat and the Goji Color Vibrancy Treat. They all smell amazing in the containers and equally great when you apply them in the shower.

There are a few ways that you can use these masks, which makes them even more valuable in my mind. You can use them like a mask and rinse after a few minutes in the shower. You can use it like a regular conditioner. You can also use it like a leave-in conditioner by applying it to damp hair.

I used a variety of the masks and got completely hooked. The banana and avocado quickly bubbled up as my favourite hair treatment. The thing is, despite all of the different types of treatments, I felt like they were all doing the same thing for my hair. They all gave my hair a silky and conditioned finish on my hair despite the labeling.

The Garnier 1 Minute Hair Masks made my hair look and feel great, just don’t get too hung up on the details.

The Body Shop Spas Of The World Most Wanted

Both of us recently had the chance to visit different Body Shop locations to get acquainted with their new products and to take some home to try out. Luckily both of us left with different products and it just so happened that we received items that both of us loved. Our most favourites so far are all in the ever growing Spas Of The World range, so we thought we’d do a post on our new Body Shop loves.

Alyssa’s picks

French Grape Seed Refining Body Scrub

I have really sensitive skin, so I’m always on the hunt for a good body scrub that will do the job and won’t tear up my skin. When I tried this scrub on my hand in the store I was amazed at how scrubby yet gentle it was. With a combination of French grape seed powder and sugar from Paraguay, you can really get that dead skin off without feeling like you scrubbed yourself raw. The scent, that I assume comes from the grape seeds, is amazingly fresh and because it’s got a creamy consistency, you can decide on the level of scrub you want. If I have a super dry area, I use a washcloth with the scrub to get really smooth skin. This is going to be a necessity for the next few months of shaving and waxing season and then in the winter when my skin gets flaky. One word of warning, this is way too strong for your face, so don’t try it.

Ethiopian Green Coffee Firming Body Cream

If you’re going to use a scrub, you’re going to need a good moisturizer after and this body cream is a match made in heaven with the French Grape Seed Scrub. I’m a coffee person, so I was already sold on this cream just by reading the name but it’s so much more than that. It’s a really lightweight cream that has Italian olive oil and Ethiopian green coffee that just melts into your skin and leaves you hydrated and smelling delicious but not greasy whatsoever. The consistency really surprised me because I usually find Body Shop moisturizers too heavy for me, but this one is absolutely perfect! It’s been a really long time since I’ve loved something from the Body Shop this month. I’ve already made a huge dent in the giant 350 ml tub and I already know I’ll be replacing it when it’s gone.

Stephanie’s picks

Tahitian Tiare Bath & Shower Oil-In-Gel

This body wash is so soft and silky. The oil-in-gel body wash is just the right consistency. Given the name, it’s understandable that you might worry that it would be too oily or even greasy. It’s just smooth on the skin. The scent is really faint and lush. There is a hint of florals, but I wouldn’t call it a floral aroma. There is coconut oil in it, but this isn’t another coconut body wash. After a couple of uses, I was surprised at how soft my skin was. It was undeniable.

Hawaiian Kukui Body Cream Moisturizer

This is the type of moisturizer that I associate with The Body Shop. It is thick and rich. In the past, body moisturizer from the body shop was always thick, but it didn’t absorb well into the skin. It always left some residue on my body. It feels like The Body Shop has corrected those mistakes with this cream. It still has the same thickness, but this time it really sinks into my skin. It works on even the toughest skin like elbows and knees.

Brazilian Cupuacu Exfoliating Scrub-In-Oil

I’ve used a lot of exfoliators, but none as gentle as this exfoliator. The sugar in this scrub is so fine that it works on everything from the sensitive parts to your rough spots. The oil is probably the most surprising part of this. It is better quality oil than a lot of the other drug store exfoliators that I’ve used. It leaves your skin feeling protected and highly moisturized. When paired with the other two products, it’s the perfect trio!

R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion

Toronto is starting it’s descent into humidity hell, otherwise known as summer and at this time of year, my fine, frizzy hair generally goes nuts and I give up and leave it up all summer. Even with my hair in a ponytail or bun, the frizz and fried ends need extra care or they poke through, so I’m always on the hunt for something that will make my life a little easier. Enter R+Co’s Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion. Made for fine to medium, long hair (me!); this super light lotion gives you intense moisture without leaving greasy, weighed down hair.

I use it on damp hair as a leave in conditioner/styler and on dry ends to throw some moisture back in my hair. Does it get rid of all my frizz? No. But it gets rid of a good chunk when I use it on damp hair and even more when I apply it to the frizzy areas on my dry hair. I really appreciate that someone gave us fine haired girls something that won’t turn our hair into a greasy mess when we use it on dry hair, because that’s the result of almost anything I put on my hair once it’s dry.

R+Co has a number of scents in their products (you can actually just buy the fragrance sprays) and this one in Waterfall is called Serious Gaze and it’s delicious. R+Co calls it a ‘bright Oriental essence’ and it has juniper berries, blood orange, rhubarb, leather accord, violet and dark woods. The combination of the lotion and the scent are going to make Waterfall one of my hair must haves this summer. And maybe I’ll let my hair down once in a while because of it.