Intense Winter Skin Care Most Wanted

How do you keep your skin moisturized in cold weather? This winter has been cold, really cold! Your skin is probably feeling it, just like mine. There isn’t much of a secret weapon, but hopefully theses more intense skin care products can give your dry skin a little moisture and help this winter.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue – Get serious with dry skin with this moisturizing duo for day and night. This Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue set leaves you with silky feeling skin all day. I love how plump and moist my face feels after just a few uses. The night moisturizer has a soft lavender scent that is relaxing for the end of a long day.  Both of the moisturizers absorb quickly, but leave your face feeling cool and refreshed. It’s also a great price, because no one should have to deal with dry skin.

M-61 Power Glow Body Butter – Your regular body butter might moisturize, but they don’t have the power of this skin care product. This body butter is super strengthened to re-texturize and smooth bumps on the skin. It also does the regular moisturizing things and packed with aloe, it helps to even the skin tone. It doesn’t smell the greatest, but beauty comes with some sacrifices. This is one I will take.

Nia24 Pro-Niacin Powered Skin Care – You will have to head to the dermatologist for this next skin care line, but if you have sensitive skin it’s worth the trip. This new skin care collection is made with some serious behind it. All you need to know is that it protects and repairs against environmental and age damage. Some of my favourites in this wide range include the soft Gentle Cleansing Cream, the Eye Repair Complex and the Sun Damage Prevention Sunscreen.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream – My hands are suffering the worst in this cold weather. Neurogena must have seen this cold weather coming because their Norwegian Formula Hand Cream couldn’t come at a better time. This super thick cream is for extreme dryness and chapped broken hands. You only need a little everyday to help repair. Even my boyfriend who works outside in the cold was addicted to this hand cream. It’s definitely a winter must!

Most Wanted of 2017

Happy 2018 everyone! It feels like 2017 went by in a minute but we still found time to try a ton of products, some new, some new to us. These are our Most Wanted of 2017

Lush Scrubee

The first time I tried this scrub/body butter combination, Stephanie brought one back from London for me before they were available in Canada. I’ve been using it ever since and it’s hands down my most replaced product of the year. The combination of cocoa and shea butters and ground almonds and coconut shells leave you with incredibly smooth and moisturized skin. The little bee shape is adorable and the honey scent is delicious. It’s such a fan favourite that this originally limited edition product became part of the permanent Lush collection.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Glossier coming to Canada was a huge deal this year and we’ve had a chance to try a number of products but this cleanser has quickly become my go to face wash. The super light texture doesn’t dry out my skin and leaves it soft and calm. I usually use this after I’ve taken my makeup off but it does a decent job of getting off makeup in a pinch. I love that the scent is just as gentle as the texture and that it works amazingly well with my Clarisonic.

Invisibobble Meow & Ciao

I’ve been obsessed with Invisibobble since the first one I tried. I wear my hair up nearly all the time and this hair band doesn’t give me headaches but holds my hair in ponytails or buns without my fine hair coming out of them. Meow & Ciao is from the holiday I Live In Wonderland collection and the pretty purple shade is a nice change from the boring neutrals I’ve been using.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

This mascara has been a cult fave for years and I honestly don’t know how I hadn’t used it before. We received one in a Benefit holiday gift and I’ve been using it almost exclusively ever since. I don’t know where this mascara has been all my life but it’s consistently given me the best lashes I’ve ever had. I get a ton of length and volume and don’t have to use my eyelash curler if I don’t want to. This is going to be in my makeup bag forever.

Garnier Whole Blends Illuminating Moroccan Argan and Camellia Oils

I know both Argan and Camellia oils are used a ton in hair products and I’ve tried quite a few of them but something about this combination is just a winner. The shampoo has a unique texture (you can feel the oil) but it lathers really nicely and if a shampoo can be called comforting, this is it. The conditioner doesn’t feel really thick until it hits your hair, which means you don’t need a lot at all and you should use less than you normally would (trust me). The Illuminating Oil gets rid of most of my frizz and leaves my hair soft, manageable and shiny. This is probably the best drugstore shampoo line I’ve ever tried and I’ll definitely pick up more when I run out.

 

Sothys Paris Reflet – 2017 Limited Edition Make-Up Collection

Sothys Paris, a French based company known for their high performance skin-care lines, has released a limited edition makeup collection Reflet. This set is gorgeous and everything you’d expect from a company like Sothys! It’s sophisticated, elegant and creates the perfect timeless holiday party makeup look.

The collection consists of a dark smokey eye in either dark grey (10 – Gris Zinc) or plum (20 – Feutrine Prune), rose coloured blush (not in this review), bright lips in either red (320 – Rouge des arts) or a lighter rose (310 – Rose Lepic), and a red nail polish (310 – Rouge des arts). If you are looking for a super bold holiday look, combine the grey smokey eye and red lip, or swap in the plum smokey eye or lighter rose lipstick to soften things up just a tiny bit.

For all the makeup beginners out there, or anyone looking for some tips, Sothys also has a super helpful online video that shows you how to apply the Reflet collection.

The eyes – The smokey eye pencils are thicker and used for the base colour on your eye lid. Both the dark grey and plum contain shimmering glitter for a metallic, almost iridescent look. The smaller pencils are the eye contour pencils and used for shading the outside corners of the eye. The grey contour pencil has the same shimmer as the smokey eye pencils, but the plum is just a regular matte plum. These pencils applied so smoothly, it was almost as if they melted when touching my skin. They were also really easy to blend, making it one of the quicker and easier smokey eye looks. For a flawless finish I would finish the smokey eye off with a really thin application of black eyeliner.

The lips – The lip sticks come in a bold red and a lighter rose colour, both being matte. These were my favourite part of the entire set. They applied so smoothly, and once dried, the colour had minimal fade or transfer. The application felt so weightless and moisturized my dry chapped lips so well, I actually forgot I was wearing lipstick. If you’ve been looking for the perfect stand-out bold lipstick for a formal occasion, the red is perfect.

The nails – After trying out and loving the rest of the collection, I had really high hopes for the red nail polish, which is the same shade as the red lipstick. The formula is just a tiny bit runnier than I’d like, which means you’ll definitely need two coats for a flawless application, but on the bright side, it dried pretty quick and matched the red lipstick perfectly.

The verdict – Every piece of the collection I tried was a hit, with the red lipstick being the absolute must have star. I’d recommend this collection to anyone looking for an easy and seductive holiday party look.

Holiday 2017: Makeup Gifts

Makeup gifts are literally my favourite beauty anything. I love to see the different sets and minis. I find a ton of new favourite products this way every year and if I could only get makeup once a year, I’d choose December.

Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda

People constantly ask if I get certain products and if they can have them. This hands down the most requested thing all season. Everyone wants one of these pretty palette/agenda combinations. I actually think it’s such a great idea and a nice change from Too Faced’s holiday products from the past few years. The agenda is useable and the palette has some great shades. Plus you get a mini lipstick and mascara.

Benefit Eye Heart SF

Benefit released a bunch of these trippy snow globe shaped gifts this year, but this one is my favourite. It includes three full sized products (They’re Real! Mascara, Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Gimme Brow – both in shade 3) and two minis (the POREfessional and They’re Real! Tinted Primer). This is a great way to try Benefit for the first time and I love how fun the packaging is.

Artis Brush Craft The New Classics

These might not be makeup but you definitely need good brushes for your makeup. If you know someone who really wants to try Artis’ brushes but can’t afford them, Brush Craft is their more affordable sibling. For $100 you can get this brush set as well as the cleaning pad and cleansing foam, and if you’ve never tried cleaning brushes like this, it’ll change your life. These Brush Craft brushes are a little different from what we’re all used to but once you get the hang of them, you’ll never go back.

Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set

This is one of the few things I’ve bought myself this year. There were at least three shades I wanted to try and I figure why not try the minis so I know if I like them. With eight shades including one exclusive (Madrid), you get a ton of shade selection. Just keep in mind, these are all on the darker/neutral side of things. If you’re looking for bright lipstick, skip this one but there are some great winter colours in here. Also, Madrid needs to be a permanent shade.

Tarte Treasure Box

As far as I’m concerned, this might be the best gift set that Tarte has put out. With 24 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 2 bronzers, a highlighter, a full size Sex Kitten eyeliner and a mini mascara and lipstick, you could be set for the whole year. I really love the shades in this box and if you know someone who’s just starting to use makeup or doesn’t know what colours to use, this is a great way to try things out.

Holiday 2017: Skin Care Gifts

Skin Care gifts are some of the most coveted presents but also sometimes the hardest. Everyone has a different skin type or need, so this list has a little something for everyone.

Sunday Riley – Bright Young Thing


Winter does a great job of drying out our skin and make it look dull. This adorable set of minis from Sunday Riley will brighten you right back up. Start with the Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment to exfoliate, add C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum and finish off with Tidal Water Cream and you’ll end up with skin that glows. Even in the middle of a snow storm.

Avon A Box For Fall Moisture

Fall might be over but this little kit will take care of a good chunk of your skin care issues. With cuticle and lip conditioners, a hand cream and a Moisture Therapy body wash and lotion duo, you’ll be covered head to toe. I love the triangle box it comes in as well.

Fresh Picture Perfect Mask Set

If you’re like me and love Fresh’s face masks, you’re going to adore this gift. It includes their Rose Face Mask, Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask and Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask. Plus you get two coloured pencils to colour in the gift box while you’re waiting to take off your masks.

Korres Greek Beauty Sleep Set

There’s really nothing I love more than skin care that works while I sleep (less work for me!) and  this little gift set is amazing good at hydrating and brightening your skin while you sleep. It has their Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Oil and the matching Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. If you want to wake up to magically transformed skin, you need to get this.

Burt’s Bees Travel Essentials

If you’re shopping for someone who travels a lot, this is a great little bag to help them take care of their skin. Inside the carry-on friendly bag is Milk & Honey Body Lotion, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Facial Cleansing Towelettes, Beeswax Lip Balm and a Coconut & Pear Lip Balm. It’s great for a family trip because kids can use these as well.

Beauty Gifts For Under $20

Gifts for under $20? It can’t be real, right? We know how expensive the holidays can get. So these gifts and mini-stocking stuffers are perfect for a tight budget.

Hard Candy Party Ready Set – Fuel the makeup passion of the next generation with this fun glam set. For under $10 you can get this eyeshadow palette, setting spray, eyeliner and liquid lip colour. It also comes with a cute silver bag. The makeup is all fairly neutral to allow new makeup lovers to experiment without going overboard. It’s the perfect affordable gift.

Schick Intuition Winter Gift Set – Every girl has gotten one of these razor gift sets on Christmas morning, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. They are a staple present. This year Intuition has upper the game with a pair of coy fluffy pink socks that I can’t wait to get my toes into. Every girl will love this!

Lipsmacker Disney Holiday Gift Sets – Lipsmacker has the cutest Disney co-branded products for the holidays. They are perfect for beauties of all ages from young to old. I will be adding the little Lip Balm Trio Bags into all of the gifts for my nieces. I know they will love it! I might just snag a few for myself too.

Scunci Hair Accessories – Find all of the stocking stuffers you could ever want with Scunci’s wide range of hair accessories. Skip the basics for the holidays and share some of the more unique products that will help friends try different styles or trends. You could try hair shimmer spray, a fun head wrap or a rose braid accessory that they can use to go glam on New Year’s Eve.

 

Calgon Bath Products – Calgon is another holiday staple that you can share with just about everyone. This year they have more great products and scents at an affordable price. I love the bag of Lavender & Honey Bath Fizzies as an unexpected choice. Their new Costal Gardenia scent is perfect to transport you away to warmer climates for a few seconds. It comes in everything from body spray to moisturizer for pure pampering.

Curly Hair Products Most Wanted

My thick, curly hair has been hell this summer. It’s been dry and frizzy, while also being oily in the heat. Keeping my hair manageable has been nearly impossible. I have tried out a number of curly hair products this season to tame this mane. Here is how they performed:

Aveda Smooth Infusion Hair Care – I have fought with my curls for my whole life. With this collection from Aveda, I don’t need to fight with them anymore. This smoothing hair collection helps my hair stay smooth through every element.  My favourite part is the Naturally Straight cream, which loosens curls for a straighter and smoother look with every use. It’s like the answer to all of my wishes.

TreSemme Botanique Curl Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner – You will feel like you are at the salon when you use this shampoo and conditioner combination. Even the smell reminds me of getting my hair professionally done. This shampoo and conditioner is packed full of shea butter to help nourish dry curly hair. It turned my frizz into thick curls instead. My hair felt surprisingly hydrated and moisturized after using this regularly. Now all I need is someone to give me a scalp massage too.

Pantene Pro-V Dream Care Shampoo & Conditioner – If the summer sun is making your hair dry after days on the beach, this hair care duo from Pantene is here to help. There are deep conditioners and masks to go along with this regular shampoo and conditioner set, but I found I didn’t need it. My hair felt more hydrated and silkier just using it. Bonus points that it’s easily and readily available, so you don’t have to hunt out niche product.

 

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie – If you are looking for something to give serious moisture and definition to your curls this is the product for you. It’s packed full of coconut oil, so you know it’s going to leave your hair feeling sleek and soft. It even helps define your curls too. Warning though, it can get a bit greasy, so use lightly and less is more.

Redken All Soft Megamask – I mentioned that my hair was super dry this summer, so I took it to the next level with this mask. It has been perfect for between shampoos to keep my hair moisturized. Make sure that you press the container on the target on the back because this mask has a cream and oil element. If you don’t press in the right place, then you won’t get the right mixture. What you will be left with, if you have curly hair, is refreshed locks and curls that actually behave…. For now.

Fragrance Gift Guide 2017

Give them the gift of unforgettable scents with this 2017 fragrance gift guide:

Katy Perry’s Indi – Katy Perry fans are going to love the next generation in the pop stars fragrances. Unlike her old scents, this perfume feels a bit more mature and grown up.  This perfume has a strong musk scent that makes it feel like the female version of your boyfriend’s best cologne. It’s not quite masculine, but there isn’t that girly flirty feel to it. It’s really rich, but does fade. The black and white bottle are striking making it a great gift idea.

Clean Skin Eau de Parfum – Clean has redesign their bottles making it the perfect time to share this amazing fragrance line for the holidays. The new bottles are colourful and sleek. They are, pardon the pun, clean. The fragrances themselves still have that same rich, inviting scent that makes you want to wrap yourself up in a fluffy bathrobe.

Maison Martin Margiela Beach Walk Fragrance – If you really want to splurge on someone extra special, this fragrance, or anything from the Replica collection, is where to turn. The line is made of scents meant to replicate scenarios to evoke memories. Beach Walk was the sweetness and saltiness of a day on the beach in the sand. I love that fresh ocean air feel when your spray it. You can’t go wrong with this collection!

Viktor And Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume – Does it get anymore iconic than Flowerbomb? Just the look of this pink box with that black stamp gets me excited. Any lover of floral scents will adore this perfume. It’s also a great scent to transition from girly throwaway scents to classy and elegant designer fragrance.

Makeup Most Wanted Beauty Advent Calendars 2017

I didn’t grow up with advent calendars but beauty advent calendars have become some of my favourite things about the holiday season. Not only can you try a bunch of products at once but you’re also more likely to try things you wouldn’t normally buy and end up with new favourites. These are my favourite options this year.

NYX Lippie Countdown

If you love lipstick as much as I do, or know someone who does, this is the advent calendar of your dreams. With 24 different lip shades and finishes, there’s literally something for every look. From their iconic Soft Matte Lip Cream to Butter Gloss and nudes to reds to grey, it’s a fantastic way to find new lip shades and maybe find something you would never think of trying. That is, if you can still find one of these.

Biotherm Advent Calendar Christmas Set

This set has something for everyone. From moisturizer and lip balm to body care and men’s products, this is the gift that the whole family can share. But you’re probably going to want to keep it for yourself.

Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box

If anyone wants to pick one of these up for me, I won’t say now. It’s the perfect Charlotte Tilbury starter kit, or the perfect travel kit for things you already own. There’s makeup (eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara) as well as skin care (moisturizer, mask, makeup remover). This 12 piece box is the ultimate luxury gift and I’m still trying to talk myself out of buying one.

The Body Shop Countdown To New Year’s 

The Body Shop has a number of calendars this year but I love this take on the traditional ‘end on Christmas’ calendar. Instead this one goes to New Years. It has night cream, body cream, lipstick, glitter and a bunny headband, plus a couple other things that are necessary for all the parties between Christmas and New Years.

Makeup Most Wanted November 2017

It literally feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing my Most Wanted of October and now I’m onto the November list. We have a ton of posts coming up this month with all things holiday, so it was fairly hard to narrow down the list of what I used in November, but it turns out these have been taking up space next to sink for quite a while and that means I’ve been using them a lot.

Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray with Lavender

I’m constantly looking for anything that’ll take away my frizz and this lightweight spray does a good job of minimizing it without making my hair crunchy or sticky. I find I need to use this one with another product for various styling issues but I can use it to touch up dry hair and it smells really really good. That said, if you’re not a fan of lavender, I’d stay away.

nia Sunday Detox Whipped Clay Peel-Off Mask

nia is StriVectin’s millenial friendly skin care line that’s available at Ulta in the U.S. or Shoppers Drug Mart/Murale in Canada. All the products have really cute names and better yet, they work. This mask has a definitely learning curve. It starts off as a foam and dries down so that you can peel it off. You need enough product that you’re able to peel it off but the foam makes that tricky. The best way I’ve found to do it is layers. I do about three thin layers of foam (you’ll have to wash your hands between each one) and let them dry for about 30 seconds before adding more. Once it’s dry though, it’s the gentlest peel-off mask I’ve ever used. I can get the whole thing off in one piece and even if I get a bit in my hair line, I don’t feel it tugging off. If your skin is on the drier side, you might need a richer moisturizer after.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

As someone who generally prefers a powder blush I was really surprised at how much I love this cream one. I shouldn’t really be too surprised though, I haven’t tried anything I haven’t loved from Glossier. I prefer the Dusk shade, it’s a peachy shade that’s really neutral, even on my super fair skin. You really only need a tiny bit of Cloud Paint. Squeezing the tube is going to get you way too much, so I just gently shake it over my finger. Layering is super easy and it’s extremely blendable.

Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette

I am really not a fan of this red/pink eyeshadow trend, so I wasn’t sure if I would love this palette as much in person as I did online. But I really do. Peach Butter makes the perfect base shade, while Fresh-Picked and Peach Cobbler are great crease shades for me. I still haven’t really gotten into the darker shades yet but I’ve been using this delicious peach-smelling palette exclusively for daytime. As usual with Too Faced, the shadows are really creamy, blendable and have zero fallout that I’ve seen.