Most Wanted Summer Mascara

If I could wear one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. A bunch of new ones for summer? Yes please! I constantly change my mascara based on my mood or look I want to go for. These four have been in a pretty heavy rotation lately.

Cover Girl Total Tease Mascara

I’m personally not a fan of Cover Girl mascara in general. I like a big fibre brush and theirs are usually hard plastic which hurts my eyes. Total Tease does have a hard, plastic brush but it doesn’t bother me as much. That said, there’s a serious learning curve to using this interesting wand. Once I got the hang of it, I was rewarded with a ton of length and nicely separated lashes. The little comb helped me get every tiny lash. I found Total Tease way a lot easier to remove than other Cover Girl mascaras.

Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara

Again, my issue with Revlon mascaras was similar to my Cover Girl problem. But Mega Multiplier completely blew me away. Mega is actually a good word for the results I got. The brush gave me massive volume and length and the formula forms little tubes around each lash so there’s no flaking to worry about. Seriously, I feel asleep with this one and woke up to perfect mascara. I have a feeling I’ll be replacing this one when I run out.

MAC Bold & Bad Lash Mascara

If you’ve used MAC’s Haute & Naughty mascara in the past, you know they love to shove brushes in other brushes and give you a ton of lash options. Bad & Bold is a little different in that there’s not only two brushes but also two formulas. The big brush gives you major volume (no clumps!) and the smaller brush is supposed to give you smudge-proof definition to your bottom lashes. I don’t put mascara on my bottom lashes so I use the smaller brush to get all the little lashes on top and to comb through. The results I get are pretty close to fake lashes.

L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara

Of all the mascaras I’ve tried recently, Lash Paradise is hands down my ideal brush. It’s big, it’s fluffy and it gets my lashes huge. It also fills in the little eyelash gaps on my left eye without looking like I have an eyeliner smudge. I don’t have a ton of experience with L’Oreal mascaras but if Lash Paradise is any indication, I can see why they’re so popular.

Londontown Kur Nourishing Cuticle Oil Quickie Review

It took me a long time to use this cuticle oil. I finally took out this oil to pamper myself with a home manicure. This oil was going to be the last step. I love that it comes with an eyedropper and brush so that you can choose how you want to apply. I picked the eye dropper. Less is more with the Kur Cuticle Oil. On my first nail, I applied two drops and it was way too much. For the rest of my nails I barely applied one whole drop and it was enough. It has a bit of a gel consistency that is thicker than most nail oils. At first, I wasn’t sure about it, but by the end of all of my fingers, I really liked it. It was thick enough that it felt like it was really moisturizing, but still a light oil based liquid that didn’t leave anything feeling sticky. It doesn’t even really leave my fingers feeling oily like most. I could see the difference in my cuticles almost instantly. I am excited to see what will happen after daily usage.

Bleu Lavande Face Cleansers

The Bleu Lavande Cleansing Water and Cleansing Milk give your face the kind of clean that even the softest and gentlest skin will love. This pair of gentle face cleansers are soothing and gentle on your skin while cleaning.

The Bleu Lavende Cleansing Water is thin and leaves no residue on your face. It has the properties and scent of lavender water which really soothes your skin and makes it feel refreshed. It makes your skin feel clean without drying it out or irritating. As a micellar water, you don’t need to rinse. It’s really easy to use, no matter how lazy you are.

If you can’t get enough, you can also try the Cleansing Milk. This Bleu Lavende face cleanser is a creamy version, but still just as easy to use. Because it’s creamy and milky, I was worried about not having to rinse. It turns out it’s just as light on your skin. This cleanser was more moisturizing, probably thanks to the addition of honey.

No matter which gentle skin cleaner you choose from Bleu Lavende you can’t really go wrong.

SensatioNail Express Gel Kit

Sensationail has taken the cost of keeping your nail looking perfect to a minimum with their new Express Gel One Step Polish kit. This set comes with everything you could need including the promise of 19 day nails in five minutes.

Right off the bat, I like that these sets come with a nail polish colour, so you don’t have to purchase that separately. There are a few options for the colour to get, but you can also choose from 20 other colours to buy separately. I was really surprised to read that this polish needed no base coat or top coat. It seems impossible to get polish that stays on for 10 days without these elements.

Applying a beautiful manicure, yourself, with the Sensationail Express Gel Kit is actually as easy as they promise. I know, it’s hard to believe! I swear though, it’s so simple. You just apply the polish and pop your fingers under the light. The light is motion activated and automatically turns off after 30 seconds, the right amount of time. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for tips on how to apply. It’s best if you do your thumbs first and then the rest of your fingers as it says. Also, you may need an extra 30 seconds on some of your fingers. Once you pull them out of the lamp though, tadaa they are done. And bonus, they are dry! You don’t have to wave your fingers around waiting. The finish is beautiful and so shiny! They look like salon quality nails.

Now onto their other claim of a 10 day manicure: In all of my trials and times applying, my nails never made it to 10 days. My nails didn’t make it to three days without chipping. I am unusually hard on my nails, so I also gave the Sensationail Express Gel Kit to someone else. This girl also didn’t make it more than three days without chipping.

What does this mean for Sensationail Express Gel Kit? I don’t know. You do get a beautiful, fast, salon worthy manicure. On the other hand, no pun intended, your manicure might not last long. It is so simple to do touch ups. I touched up my nails in the morning before I left for work. But that’s not my ideal scenario. Is it worth it, I honestly don’t know.

Makeup Most Wanted June 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

I’ve used so many new products in the past month that this list could be massive. Which makes these five pretty great considering how much they stood out to me. June is always a weird month for my skin and considering how humid Toronto has been, it’s needed all the help it could get.

Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter

I’ve been using this body wash since winter, sometimes in other scents but mostly this one. The super creamy formula works for both winter AND summer. It’s really hydrating, doesn’t leave me sticky and just makes my skin feel really smooth. We have a couple body washes to test out but this is probably always going to be the one I buy when I run out. I particularly love the Shea Butter scent but there are really so many options.

Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes

I haven’t used a ton of Yes To products before, but I’m completely obsessed with these facial wipes. They might actually be the softest wipes I’ve ever used, but I guess that’s where the cotton comes in. Made with recycled cotton and cottonseed oil, these wipes are great for sensitive skin and for people who have a ton of allergies. There is a scent but it’s pretty faint and these get all my makeup and grime off. I definitely need to try more of this line.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Peach-Infused Highlighting Palette

I don’t do contouring or highlighting as a general rule. I’m so fair that all bronzers look muddy or dirty and most highlighters just make me shinier or disappear into the redness of my cheeks. So I was mainly using this palette for the peachy blush in the middle (my favourite blush shade right now). Until I decided to try contouring with it just to see. It worked! Sweet Peach Glow is officially the only palette that I can use for contouring. Both the highlighter and bronzer are subtle enough for my fair skin but are also buildable. Everything just looks natural. And it smells like peaches!

Vichy Mineral 89

If you’re like me and you live off of Vichy’s Thermal Water all summer, you definitely need to try this gel version. Vichy calls it a skin booster, I call it a refreshing gel version of the water. It’s basically just Vichy’s Thermal Water with some hyaluronic acid. A skin brightening, hydrating gel if you will. You can use it on literally any part of your face including the eye contour and lips. I tend to use it right after I wash my face, before I use anything else. You can use it with a cotton pad, but I use my fingers. I still use the spray throughout the day but I find this much more effective as part of a skin care routine.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Actively Hydrating Daily Lotion

Since my skin is a bi-polar version of combination, the moisturizer I use for my super dry skin in winter, does not work for my mostly oily skin in summer. This moisturizer is light enough to help my oily skin, while still balancing out my dry spots. It absorbs really quickly and is great for sensitive skin. It’s also fragrance-free for those of you who need it. This is a seriously great summer moisturizer for me.

Dove Complete Fortification Collection Quickie Review


There are shampoo and conditioner collections for literally everything now. Coloured hair, fine hair, frizzy, coloured…you name it. So it was nice to try a line that just wants to give you healthy hair and that’s exactly what Dove’s newest Nutritive Solutions line, Complete Fortification, does. I have fine, frizzy, wavy, dry hair; so obviously I don’t expect miracles out of a shampoo bottle. But after using this  shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks (with rotating various styling products), I noticed that my hair felt stronger, more moisturized and looked a lot shinier.

It has a nice fruity, floral scent and since it’s Dove, it won’t cost a fortune for me to repair my hair when it needs it. Will I use it on a daily basis? No. But if I notice my hair getting damaged or needing a break, it’ll definitely be one of my go-to’s.I usually have a lot more to say about hair products, but when something works as well and as simply as Dove’s Complete Fortification line, I don’t really have to say much. In this case, that’s a good thing.

The Magic Pads Review

Do you remember your days as a teen using acne pad to clear your skin? When I started using The Magic Pads, I felt like I was having a flashback of those days. Back then those pads used to severely dry out my skin and even give me a rash, so there was definitely some concern in my head. Luckily this was a much better experience. The Magic Pads are SO easy to use. You can literally use them any time that you need a quick cleanse. I loved using them in the morning to refresh my skin before my routine. They don’t have an overpowering smell. They don’t dry out my skin. They help with pesky blemishes and tighten up your pores. They aren’t just for your face either. You can use them anywhere. I love them for my neck and chest. I even read reviews about people using them on their feet. I feel like Magic Pads are one of those little secrets that beauty editors and makeup artists keep to themselves, but it’s time for these to be in everyone’s arsenal.

Avène Ysthéal Intense Quickie Review

Since I hit my mid-thirties, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to anti-aging skincare. I have a lot of issues yet but I know they’re coming. Avène’s Ysthéal Intense is just that, intense. Made for anti-aging, people who have had recent skin treatments and people who just want better looking, hydrated skin; this nighttime moisturizer seriously covers all the bases. I have combination skin with definite dry patches and a couple tiny lines but other than that I didn’t really think I had anything that had to be corrected. The first week I tried Ysthéal Intense, I didn’t notice much of a difference. Sure my skin felt really nice in the morning and looked pretty good but two weeks later, all that changed.

All of a sudden, I noticed that my skin looked way more even and smooth. I didn’t even know I wanted it to be more smooth! After almost a month of using it on a fairly regular basis, I’m seriously impressed with the results. That said, if I’m going to continue using Avène for anti-aging, I might consider switching to the regular Ysthéal because the Intense formula is a little too much for my combination skin, especially in this crazy Toronto humidity. I can literally feel it drawing the moisture into my face, to the point where I look like I’m sweating. I’m definitely retrying this one in the winter because I feel like it’ll be perfect then. Until then, this is going to be my little secret for times when I want my skin to look amazing.

Essie Summer 2017 Collection

Inspired by all the sparkly, pretty pastel desserts of Paris, Essie’s summer collection fits right into that description and are some of the sweetest shades I’ve seen for hot weather. We received three of the six shades to try and while I still need to get my hands on S’il Vous Play, I do love these shades for summer. They’re so different from the typical neon polishes we get around this time of year. Unfortunately, Toronto is in the middle of a crazy humid heatwave and not all the shades cooperated.

Blue-la-la

Normally this ‘pastel Parisian blue’ would be my favourite of the bunch. I don’t know if it was the formula, my specific bottle or a combination that caused me to have major settling issues. I had to redo my ring finger three times before I could get it presentable enough for a photo. I’m betting on humidity being the culprit, so I’m hanging onto this bottle to try again later. Because it’s so, so pretty.

Fondant Of You

Lately, when I’m presented with an orange nail polish, my initial reaction is ‘another one?’ But this ‘shimmery apricot marmalade is so much nicer than I expected. Two thin coats were all I needed and while I saw more of the gold shimmer in the bottle than on my nails, I really like this for summer.

Baguette Me Not

This was the biggest surprise for me. This ‘pastel lilac macaron’ actually makes me think of french macarons and summertime. Two thin coats were perfect and it was a tiny bit patchy but settled down well. I’ve worn it out once and got a ton of comments about how pretty it is. Sold.

I wish I had the other half of the collection to try out but I’m really happy with the three I tried. Well, I will be if I can get Blue-la-la to cooperate.

Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Leave-In Conditioner Quick Review

My hair has been struggling this year. It’s frizzier than ever before and doesn’t want to comply with any style. Enter this leave-in conditioner from Garnier. I’ve always liked Garnier’s styling products. They are affordable and leave my hair looking good without feeling like I have a ton of product in my hair. I would always prefer hair that I can run my fingers through versus a great complicated style. I like the natural feel. That’s what this coconut and cocoa butter leave-in conditioner gives me soft hair, less frizz and something that I can work with throughout the day without having to add a ton of products.