In case we’ve never met in person, you should know that I have some pretty crazy hair. It’s big, it’s wild and it takes a lot to manage. I have found a few new products that have been keeping these locks in check while the winter winds are trying their best to break.
OGX Keratin Oil Collection – This four step collection includes a shampoo, conditioner, 3 minute miraculous recovery mask and instant repair weightless healing oil. I don’t know if it is always like this, but the shampoo and conditioner in my bottles is seriously thick. It’s almost chunky. Ignore the weird texture though, because these products have an argan oil base that makes your hair so shiny and manageable. If you want some added help, try the 3 minute miraculous recovery mask. Unlike some other hair masks, it’s really easy to use in the shower as a part of your regular routine. It doesn’t try to change your routine. The Keratin Oil is perfect for right when you get out of the shower as the final step towards strong manageable hair.
L’Oreal Professionnel Wild Stylers Next Day Hair – Everyone’s hair looks better the second day, and now I don’t have to wait for my hair to get that look. This hair spray gives your hair that second day matte feel without getting greasy or sticky. You can spray this on your hair without restraint until you get the look you want. It doesn’t make your hair feel weird, just look great. I found it was perfect for getting beach waves on a cold fall day.
Kerastase Fix Fabulous Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray – Kerastase has created a hair spray that is easier to use than the classic aerosol can with a simple pump. Instead of having that continuous spray, you can spray this hair spray directly onto where you need it. You can also spray it all around your head. It also eliminates frizz even on the worst of frizzy hair days.
While most people are obsessed with Urban Decay’s Naked palettes, I find them just a little too neutral. When I saw the Vice 3 palette, I knew it was the one I was waiting for and when I got it, well, there might have been a little squealing. Vice 3 literally comes with everything. Not only do you get the 20 eyeshadows that go from neutral to bright to dark, but you also get a massive mirror, a dual ended shadow brush and a makeup bag to hold everything in.
In Vice 3 you get the neutral shades you expect from Urban Decay palettes but you also get a lot of colour. I love Sonic, a metallic red-copper and Freeze, a metallic blue that has microglitter in it. I’ve swatched the shades I’ve used the most so far, but I have no doubt that every shade in this palette will get used.
The shades are all highly pigmented and go on really smoothly, but be prepared for a lot of fallout. I usually do my face makeup first but because of all the cleanup, I now do it after I do my eyes when I use the Vice 3 palette. I’m definitely getting a ton of use out of Vice 3 and I’ve only had it a few weeks, this has easily become my new favourite palette.
A lot of non Canadian subscription boxes ship to Canada but until now, Glossybox wasn’t one of them. Now for $21 a month plus $5 shipping for Canadians, we get to subscribe to one of the most popular boxes. There are also 3, 6 and 12 month plans. In each box you receive 5 luxury beauty products and I don’t know how many options there are every month but it looks like you get sneak peeks of a couple guaranteed products (the November box had previews of OPI and Juice Beauty). Glossybox generously sent us a sample box for review.
The box itself is super sturdy and I’ll definitely be reusing it for storage and it was wrapped really nicely. It comes with a card that gives you quite a bit of information on what’s inside the box. My contents however were super sticky because something leaked.
My November box included:
Kneipp Herbal Bath: Balancing In Lavender
12 Benefits: Instant Hair Treatment
So Susan Cosmetics: Universal Blush
OPI: Pink Outside The Glossybox
Juice Beauty: Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer
I was definitely most excited about the OPI shade which was made specifically for Glossybox and it’s a pretty, neutral pink. I’ll probably end up trying everything except the herbal bath since, not only do I not take baths but I pretty much hate lavender. Overall I’m pretty impressed with the box, leaking aside, and I can’t wait to see what’ll be in upcoming boxes.
For more information on Glossybox you can check out their website. Will you be subscribing?
I’ve been loving CND’s collections lately and their mini holiday collection is no exception. The Gilded Dreams collection is available in both the weekly, at home Vinylux and the longer wearing salon version Shellac.
Grand Gala is a light gold that has enough pink in it that it may as well be a duochrome. It was a little tricky to get full coverage but three thin coats got it done. I love how it’s subtle but holiday at the same time.
Chiffon Twirl is almost the exact opposite of Grand Gala, it’s a rose shimmer with some gold in it. Application was a lot easier, it was almost a one-coater. If brush strokes showing up bothers you, you might want to be a little careful with this one but it’s so pretty I barely noticed them.
Dazzling Dance is a super sheer blue-purple shimmer that barely shows up on it’s own. I took a chance and layered it over CND Indigo Frock from the Modern Folkore collection and I’m so happy I did. This ended up being my favourite look of the collection, it’s got a very starry sky look to it and I got a ton of compliments on it. I was going to try adding it on top of other shades but I don’t think I’m going to love anything as much as this one.
CND’s Gilded Dreams collection is probably the most cohesive collection I’ve seen in a long time. These shades make perfect sense together and play well with others. And the Dazzling Dance/Indigo Frock combo is one of my favourite nail looks in a really long time.
CND has quickly become a fan favourite polish company with offerings that include Shellac and Vinylux. CND Education Ambassador Jenn Mather gave us some great advice on what shades we should be wearing this season and how to keep our nails looking great during the harshness of winter.
What are your favourite nail shades and trends right now?
Right now, rich and indulgent colours like Indigo Frock, Rose Brocade, Crimson Sash, Fine Vermillion, Plum Paisley and Locket Love are favourites for fall. This is our Modern Folklore collection and can be used in VINYLUX and Shellac to create some of the season’s best looks that showcase detailed and intricate patterns, transforming nails into miniature masterpieces.
What shades should we be looking at going into the holiday season?
The colour palette for the holiday season includes magically iced and luxurious colours – think rose gold, icy blue and silvery pastels. Our Gilded Dreams collection can be used to create scene-stealing and glamorous nail designs.
Is there a trick to doing nail art so I have both hands looking great?
Start by painting your dominant hand first and keep a Q-Tip handy to clean up any errors made. Using thin layers of nail polish also helps!
What are the nail essentials we all need to have?
If there is one thing I can’t live without its SolarOil®! Daily application of SolarOil® penetrates deep in the nail, creating stronger, healthier nails and hydrated cuticle area. l call it liquid gold because it helps your mani stay fresh longer. It’s a miracle treatment for all year round.
For winter it’s important to remember the three C’s:
Care- see your manicurist every 7-10 days for a manicure (at least a few times before the big day)
Condition – daily use of SolarOil to care for the cuticles and nails and applying a hand lotion like CND Scentsations, will keep your hands supple and soft throughout the cold winter months
Coat – Whether it’s CND VINYLUX Weekly polish or CND Shellac, a coating will help to protect the nail!
I started using Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick while I was in high school in the ’90’s but I haven’t been using it much the past few years. Now that all things 90’s are coming back Clinique released a Sephora exclusive Black Honey Wardrobe, a Black Honey Affair All About Shadow Palette to go along with it’s cult fave Almost Lipstick.
The shades are exactly what you’d expect to go with the Black Honey Almost Lipstick. The left four shades are warm neutrals (including a shade called Black Honey) and the right four are on the purple end of the spectrum. It also includes a dual ended brush.
Black Honey Affair, Black Honey Almost Lipstick
I’ve been using the left side almost exclusively for daytime and the right side for night. But all the shades work really well together and blend seamlessly. The actual Almost Lipstick is just as great as I remember. A sheer wash of colour that’s totally buildable, I really wonder why I stopped using it.
I wish the shadow palette wasn’t limited edition because I’m going to want another one when I empty the one I have but at least I’ve redisovered my love for the Black Honey Almost Lipstick. And since they sell one every three minutes, I’m guessing it won’t be a problem to replace it when I run out.
With winter coming, it’s time to pull out the thick, skin loving moisturizers. There are a new gang of BB creams and CC creams that are thick and creamy and perfect for dry winter skin. See which ones we want on our team:
Olay Total Effects CC Cream – If you want a CC cream that you can trust with your face then Olay’s Total Effects CC Cream is your best bet. This cream smells like your favourite Olay moisturizer with a light perfume smell. Olay’s CC Cream is thick, but not so thick that is it clumpy. It easily spreads over your skin in a thin layer that you can barely feel. It absorbs into your skin quickly leaving you with a dewy glow. It’s perfect for those no makeup days.
Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream – Aveeno newest BB cream does double duty. First it is a powerful moisturizer. With it’s light floral scent, it doesn’t even really feel like makeup. This BB Cream is surprisingly thick. It doesn’t spread as easily as some other BB creams, but it feels great on your face. It almost seems to illuminate your face. Aveeno’s BB cream has hidden powers though. It is also made to help reduce the appearance of blemishes, marks from past acne and help prevent future breakouts. I thought my skin was just getting better naturally, but when I realized it was Aveeno’s BB cream helping out, I was sold.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Cream – This CC Cream is the least like makeup and the most like an everyday moisturizer. Of all of the new winter makeup, this one was the most fragrant. If that kind of thing is a problem for you, steer clear of this cream. When it comes out of the tube, it doesn’t look thick at first glance. When you go to spread it, then you realize how thick it is. It leaves a protective layer on your skin that you can feel, but not in a bad heavy way. You need to give it a minute to dry and then it leaves your skin feeling moisturized and healthy. It doesn’t give much in the way of makeup coverage. It’s perfect for weekend days when you want moisturizing without something too heavy.
Marcelle BB Cream – This BB Cream actually feels like a balm. If you have sensitive skin, especially in winter, this is an essential product. It’s a moisturizer, a primer and it gives you an even skintone all in one step. In typical Marcelle fashion it’s hypo-allergenic and recognized by the Canadian Dermatology Association. It also comes in six shades which is pretty much unheard of for BB Creams, so they’ve got almost everyone covered. And it feels amazing on your skin.
My hair has never felt cleaner and I would like to thank L’Occitane for that. I had no expectation for the Aromachologie Revitalizing Fresh Shampoo and Detangling Spray when I got it. I had never used L’Occitane’s hair care products before.
The first thing you are going to notice about the Revitalizing Fresh Shampoo is that it has a very strong smell. It’s packed full of essential oils (thyme, cedar, lavender, mint and grapefruit) to give you hair a deep clean. That makes for quite a smell in the bottle. I actually warned the other people in my house about it, because I didn’t want them to get a shock if they used it.
The smell is worth it though, because my hair has never felt so clean. It has a light foaming that doesn’t get really bubbly when you lather it in, just enough to let you know that it is worked. As I rinsed the L’Occitane shampoo out of my hair, I could actually hear that my hair was squeaky clean.
There is no Conditioner in this hair care collection, so I wasn’t sure what my next step should be. My hair felt clean and soft, but I’ve never not used a conditioner on my thick, curly, unmanageable hair. I used my regular everyday conditioner, but I was instantly sad that I was covering up my freshly clean hair.
Post-shower and mornings after, I used the Detangling Spray on my hair. It has the same strong scent. I sprayed it all over my morning hair. My hair was definitely easier to brush after a quick spray. If you have thick hair like me ensure that you spray on top and underneath your hair to allow your brush to glide through easily. It works well enough, but I probably wouldn’t go out and buy it again like I will the shampoo.
If you need a seriously deep clean L’Occitane is going to get all of that residue out. Be warned though, delicate hair might not be able to stand up to this hardcore shampoo and the smell is really really strong. If you are tough and want something deep clean, this is hands down the best detoxifying shampoo that I’ve ever used.
I’ve always loved essie polish and I rediscovered just how much I loved it when I tried the summer collection, so I was really happy to try four shades of the essie Winter ’14 collection. Of the four shades, two were amazing and two were well, not.
Tuck It In My Tux
I don’t know why pale neutral shades are so notoriously hard to work with but this ivory creme shade was no exception. It was so patchy and while the second coat helped level it out a bit, it’s still more miss than hit. If I want a white shade from essie, I’m sticking with Blanc.
Back In The Limo
essie calls Back In The Limo a sheer, bright, ripe melon but on me it looked more like I painted my nails with that flesh coloured crayon. I had the same application issues that I did with Tuck It In My Tux but three thin coats seemed to help a bit. Luckily I had more luck with the darker shades.
Jump In My Jumpsuit
This bright, classic red was a dream to work with. I had zero application issues and two thin coats were perfect. Jump In My Jumpsuit is a great red for the holidays.
Double Breasted Jacket
Double Breasted Jacket is the hero of this collection for me. essie might call it ruby but to me it seems more like a fuchsia tinged red. I literally didn’t want to take this one off to do other swatches and I can’t wait to put it back on. Two coats was all I needed to get the perfect coverage and just wearing it put me in a good mood.
I might not have loved half the shades I tried from the essie Winter ’14 collection but I don’t wear a lot of pale neutrals so I’m much happier that the darker shades are so fantastic and that I’ll be wearing them a lot.
Part of what I love about holiday sets is the packaging but Clé de Peau takes the packaging to their Celestial Beauty holiday collection to a whole new level. Swash London designed it all based on key words celestial, journey, eternity, true beauty and light and boy did they deliver. But the outside is only part of what this makes this collection great. The inside definitely matches the outside.
Celestial Beauty Makeup Coffret
The Makeup Coffret is everything you could need to get your holiday makeup done. It comes with three shadows, two blushes (and brushes for both), a lipstick and a mascara. The shadow shades range from golden to a plummy brown, which could also double as a liner. There was a little fallout from the shadow, so you might want to be a little careful with application.
Shimmering Lip Gloss Trio
I love the shades of these lip glosses, between peach and pink this trio has you covered. What I didn’t love was the lip gloss wand, which is basically a plastic stick, and I ended up using my fingers to apply which worked much better.
This is my favourite from the whole collection. This is the powder compact I want in my purse always. It’s so pretty and the translucent powder inside isn’t too drying and really silky.
These are perfect gifts, even if all you do is look at them. Luckily they products inside work just as well.