Fall Skincare Most Wanted

Fall is my favourite time of year but it’s also the trickiest time for my crazy combination skin. I get greasy and dry patches all at the same time. It’s also not really time for a heavy duty moisturizer but my lightweight one just doesn’t feel like enough. Here’s how I’m changing up my skin care for fall this year.

Nivea Creme Care Facial Cleansing Wipes

There’s nothing I like more than a facial wipe but I’ve noticed some of them are drying out my skin a little more, now that it’s slightly less oily. Enter Nivea’s Creme Care wipes. These are super soft, get every bit of my makeup off and yet don’t leave my skin dried out. I would even go so far as to say they’re comforting. I’m going to be using these all winter.

m-61 PowerGlow Peel

The word peel has always terrified me in terms of exfoliation. My skin is so sensitive that burning is always a fear in the back of my mind but at the same time, I love trying new things and I figured if I had a bad experience with these, I could always hand them off to Steph. To my absolute shock, not only did these exfoliating wipes, not burn, they barely even tingled. The glycolic and salicylic acid wipes also have vitamin K, bilberry and chamomile and are meant to help reduce pore size, reduce the appearance of fine lines, help dry patches and basically just even out your skin tone. Boy, do I love when things work as promised. My dry patches are way smaller, my skin is more even and my pores, well, they’re never going to look great, but they look a little better.

L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Overnight Perfecting Mask

On nights that my skin needs a little more, something, I use this overnight mask from L’Occitane and wake up with brighter, smoother skin. To say this mask is perfecting is kind of a perfect description. I’ve even used it mid-afternoon to get nicer looking skin for a night out. You can buy these individually or in a six pack but you really don’t need a lot. I can get three or four uses out of a pod and just tape it shut until I’m ready to use it again.

Tarte Pout Prep Lip Exfoliant

With fall comes more liquid lipsticks and my lips are pretty much a mess, thanks to certain ones I’ve been testing out. Eventually I’ll do a lip scrub post but lately the only one working for me has been Tarte’s Pout Prep. It gives me a really good sugar scrub while the maracuja and shea butter moisturize. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to stock up on these for winter.

Olay Age Defying Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

Finding a good moisturizer for fall always seems to be an issue for me. Either they’re too moisturizing in spots or not enough in others. So far, Olay’s gel moisturizer is doing the job really well. It’s lightweight and oil-free, which is great for the oily parts of my skin and the hyaluronic acid is good for the drier parts. Will I be able to use it into winter? I’m not sure yet. But considering September in Toronto still feels like summer, this refreshing gel-cream will last me a while.

Essie Fall 2017 Collection (Partial)

The 90’s have very clearly come back and Rebecca Minkoff (Essie’s Global Colour Designer) wanted to bring some of the iconic nail polish shades back with it. As someone who really discovered nail polish in the 90’s, I have some very specific colour memories. There had to be a vampy, blood red and a silver chrome. Those definitely didn’t make an appearance in this collection but the six shades that are here do make sense to me. We got to try three shades in the collection.

Mix Taupe

can you feel it? you’re totally picking up what this warm ivory with a dash of pink is putting down
To say this ivory was a complete pain to work with is an understatement. The only way I could get it to look even remotely passable was to apply two coats, let it completely dry and then add a third, plus a top coat. If you look at my ring finger in the photo, you can still see the wrinkles. And the pinholes. On top of that, I hate the shade. Love the name though.

Knee-high Life

hey, little misfit. those socks and this deep wine red with purple undertones are gonna take you higher.
This berry shade is the closest I’m going to get to a real vamp red but taking the 90’s out of it, this is a fantastic fall red. I got this coverage in one coat. Two would look amazing as well but I like the brightness you get in one.

Dressed To The Nineties

red carpet event? all you need are a plaid mini skirt, this dark purple with a green-blue shimmer and a rockstar attitude.
This is definitely a 90’s shade but maybe late 90’s and not the grunge era. Either way this shade is stunning. It photographs a little dark, even in natural light, but get it outside and in the sunlight and just watch the shimmer. Gorgeous. 1 coat was decent but two really brings out all the colours. I didn’t want to take this one off.

I’m really happy that we received Knee-high Life and Dressed To The Nineties to review. I could’ve definitely passed on Mix Taupe and tried As If! instead because that blue is absolutely 90’s. I might just have to pick that one up.

Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Shampoo & Conditioner

When I heard about this new natural line of hair care from Matrix, I was instantly excited. I needed to try it. Unfortunately, this R.A.W. line only has three different types of shampoo and conditioner, none of which are exactly what my hair needs.

There is the Nourish for dry and dull hair, Uplift for flat and fine hair and, the one that I tried, Recover for stressed and sensitized hair. It wasn’t exactly what my hair needed, but it was closer than the other two. It was a bonus that I liked the berry fresh scent of the shampoo.

The first thing that I noticed was that the shampoo is really thin and watery. This is probably the most watery shampoo I’ve ever used. It almost made it hard to apply. Once it was on it worked well, but it was hard to keep in my wet hands. I ended up using a lot more than usual in each shower than I intended.

Otherwise, I really liked the Matrix Biolage Shampoo and Conditioner. It left my hair feeling good and looking good. It just didn’t always do what I needed it. So I am waiting patiently for the day when they added more to this natural hair care line for thick, wavy hair, so I can have product for my hair too!

Dove Shower Foam Quick Review

Dove has always made amazing skin care products that moisturize, cleanse and nourish your skin. I think that most of us would agree that we trust our skin with Dove. That’s what made this Dove Shower Foam so surprising. This soap is missing that extra soft and gentle skin care feel that I am so accustomed to with Dove soap. The foam feels thin and airy. I know that’s what it should feel like, but when applying it also feels too thin. It doesn’t spread well with your shower puff, so I need to use a lot of soap for just one shower. Post-shower this Dove soap made my skin feel dry. I still love Dove soap, but this one came up short.

Makeup Most Wanted August 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

I was basically housebound for most of August, so my favourite things for August are pretty much my necessities. I’m so happy September is here.

Le Petit Marseillais White Peach & Nectarine Shower Gel

La Petit Marseillais has been around in France for years and now we get a tiny taste of their product line in Canada. I had a chance to try all of the shower gels available in Canada right now (hopefully we get more products soon!) and the White Peach & Nectarine just blew me away. It’s so juicy and fruity smelling but it really mellows out in the shower. It’s also a lot more moisturizing than I expect from a shower gel. I’m actually able to get away with not applying body lotion without getting dried out and itchy and that’s never happened before.

Avène Couvrance High Tolerance Mascara

I love bold mascara but since I wasn’t going out much, I was really looking for something a little simpler but that would make my almost white lashes a little darker. From the first time I used this mascara, I was completely sold. I was already a fan of Avène’s thermal water and suncare products but this mascara really surprised me. It’s made for people with extremely sensitive eyes and I can understand why it works. For a hard plastic brush, it’s actually really gentle. The formula is really pigmented and black and you can get away with one coat. It also gives me a ton of length. Not a lot of volume, but it really separated and curled my lashes. This is my new go-to mascara for daytime.

Joico Blonde Life Collection

A lot of us go blonder in the summer, so it makes sense that Joico would release a collection for blondes just in time. I have some bleach left in my hair from the last balayage highlights I got and I was really skeptical that this collection could make them brighter but it absolutely did. The shampoo on it’s own isn’t moisturizing enough for me (I heard squeaking) but the conditioner makes up for it. It’s a fairly light conditioner, that smells incredible, and it really moisturizes your hair and gives it a nice texture. I haven’t been blow drying my hair, which is what the Brightening Veil is intended for, but I’ve been using it as a leave in styling treatment and it does a pretty good job of eliminating my frizz. I’ll also randomly respray my hair with it because I love the scent so much.

La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Melt-In Cream SPF 60

We’ve received tons of sunscreens to review this year and unfortunately for the first half of the summer, Toronto was a rainy mess and I was stuck inside for most of the other half. When I did venture out, I found myself always reaching for this sun cream over all the others. I’d heard a ton of good things about La Roche Posay’s suncare over the years but this was the first time I got to try it and to be honest, not much lives up to it for me. It’s a traditional cream texture with very little scent but it absorbs instantly and doesn’t leave any kind of greasy feel. For a mainly physical sunscreen base, it also doesn’t leave white streaks everywhere. But the biggest part is how well it works. I’m almost paler now than I am in January and this is the first summer ever where I haven’t even gotten a hint of a sunburn. For someone as fair as me, that’s a major win.

Get The Perfect Organic Smokey Eye With Antonym Cosmetics

So many of us are trying to be more conscious about what kind of makeup we’re buying. Cruelty free, organic, vegan are all words that a lot of us are looking for but sometimes the quality just isn’t up to the standards that we expect. In 2010 makeup artist Valerie Giraud launched certified organic and cruelty free Antonym Cosmetics. With the recent launch of some of their products at Sephora, we were sent some press samples to try and found the perfect, organic smokey eye! Here’s how we did it.

Certified Organic Quattro Eyeshadow in To The Moon & Black 

Obviously eyeshadow is an important part of a smokey eye and this palette is really all you’ll need. With an off-white, black and two grey shades, you can mix and match to get the look you want. The shadows are pretty well pigmented and creamy enough that I didn’t see a lot of fallout. The sustainable bamboo packaging and cruelty free double ended brush are an added bonus.

Natural Eye Pencil in Noir

I never expect much from an organic eyeliner. Actually, I do, I expect them to be a pain to work with. These eyeliners are a dream to work with though. With jojoba oil and shea butter as just two of the ingredients, you can just imagine how easily these glide on. It comes with a removable sharpener that sits on the end of the pencil when you’re not using it. They’re waterproof but they do move around a bit (which helps with getting that smudged, smokey look), so a setting spray is probably a good idea anyways. I’m completely in love with the brown shade and I’ll definitely be buying more when I run out.

Certified Organic Mascara Lola Lash TOO

I usually have issues with plastic mascara wands hurting my eyes but Antonym’s wand is so flexible and soft that I can use it with no problems at all. The formula is a little too wet for my personal taste but if you let it dry in between coats, you’ll end up with both volume and lengthened lashes without that stiffness that most of us hate. It doesn’t smear or get clumpy but I did have to be careful while applying to not get it on my upper eyelid.

All of these lasted hours in summer heat fairly well and came off easily with a makeup wipe, which is something I want in a smokey eye. So if you’re looking for a smokey eye that’s also good for the environment, you might want to try these.

Be Yourself With Avon Eau De Toilette

I’ve just discovered some adorable and affordable perfume from Avon that are going to look great on your makeup table. Be Fun, Be Romantic and Be Daring Eau de Toilette are light and fresh perfumes that anyone can appreciate.

I love the bottles for their adorable prints. I almost don’t even care what they smell like. The colourful dots on Be Fun, pink hearts on Be Romantic and purple arrows on Be Daring are perfect for displaying.

Be Fun is the lighter of the three scents in my opinion. It has a refreshing pear scent to it off the top that is light and clean. It smells a bit like what I imagine a pear mimosa would smell like if you could bottle it up.

Be Romantic is a rose based scent. This one smells like someone’s idea of a sexy and feminine perfume for the sweet feminine women. The problem with it for me is that it isn’t really sensual or sexy at all. It has too much rose. It almost makes it smell fake and chemically. I far prefer the Be Fun fragrance from Avon.

Be Daring is a combination of bergamot, magnolia and musk and while I usually hate the smell of bergamot, I love this scent. The fruity, floral fragrance is unique and fun.

These perfumes don’t last a really long time on your skin. But you have to also remember that they are just $26 each! I have slightly lower standards for perfume when it’s that affordable, plus I don’t mind if I also use it as a room spray.

Camping Beauty Most Wanted

I know it sounds crazy to think of beauty products when you are camping, but brands definitely make products that you are going to covet when you are miles away from civilization. So make sure that you pack these products in your duffel bag:

KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray – You probably won’t be spending a ton of time in the shower, so your hair might need a refresh while you are away. Dry shampoo is essential for feeling fresh, especially if you are heading in to town for the day. This little spray is perfect for feeling refreshed even in the deepest woods. Bonus is that it smells great, so you will smell refreshed too.

Alba Botanica Spray Sunscreen – This spray sunscreen has been a staple in my summer beauty bag for the past two years. The light spray of the SPF 50 doesn’t feel like much, but it gives surprisingly reliable coverage. I’ve wore it to the beach all day long without any burn. Just remember to reapply, the same way you would with any sunscreen. It’s vegetarian and doesn’t use animal testing, so you can be proud to use it on your family too.

Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Insect Repellent Towelettes – It might seem weird to have bug spray on a beauty blog, but this is an essential purchase when you’re getting your next Avon order. This isn’t bug spray, these are towelettes with bug repellent. One bag has 8 individually wrapped towels. One towel goes quiet a long way and can work on numerous people. I took these with me while I was camping and I can saw that they saved me from many bug bites.

Gold Bond Anti-Itch Lotion – It may not be new, but I just rediscovered the power of Gold Bond this summer. It’s great for a whole bunch of summer skin issues. First of all, it’s great for bug bites and the itchiness that come along with it. It’s also perfect for sunburns because it is full of aloe vera. It’s great on super dry or chapped skin and rashes, it’s good for all of those wear heat rashes, skin rubbing or other awkward and uncomfortable skin issues that you don’t want to talk about. If you have it nearby, you don’t need to worry about it or talk about it.

Benefit The Pore-fessional Pore Minimizing Makeup

Benefit Cosmetics is taking away pores forever with their new face makeup. Instead of having to buy a makeup, pore concealer and beauty blender all in one.

Follow the instructions carefully though because there are a few steps that take this makeup from lame to amazing. First of all, shake this makeup up good. It’s really thin and watery, so you will want to make sure that it’s shaken up. If you don’t shake it, you could end up with just a weird clear liquid.

Next remove the sponge from the bottom and apply a few drops of makeup to the sponge. Don’t be tempted to apply it right to your face. I tried it, it doesn’t work as well. I don’t know why it works that way, but it does.

Finally just blot away! Blot this face makeup all over your face the same way that you would your normal makeup. Benefit’s Pore-fessional gives you that beautifully airbrushed look without having to spend a lot on different tools and layers of makeup. This makeup is really simple to use. Anyone can get a flawless look. This is coming from someone who loves makeup, but has minimal skill in actually applying it. It you can dab your face, you can get a great look. I love that it has a really matte finish without “shine” or “glow.” It really does help to eliminate some of those pores. It even dries into a nice smooth feel on your face so your skin looks and feels great!

June Makeup Most Wanted

Summer is in full swing and with it comes some fun new products that I have been enjoying. Check them out:

Tarte Glow With The Faux – I already love Tarte makeup, so it didn’t surprise me when I fell in love with their tanner as well. I have been trying to be really smart and good with my sunscreen this year, but I miss my tan. Just carefully apply this foam with the glove and you will have a beautiful dark tan. While it promises streak free colour, that doesn’t mean you can be too relaxed about applying. I almost ended up with streaks because I was being careless. So apply it as if you are very concerned.  My only issue with this tarte tanner is that my skin smelled like fake tanner for longer than usual. Most of the time the smell fades after you wash it off, but this lingered for a while. So stock up on body lotion that smells great and tan away!

Nuxe Nuxellence Eye Contour – Don’t judge a product by its size. This slim little eye cream is one of the best that I’ve ever used. This cream helps you get instant results for tired looking eyes. My under eyes instantly felt softer and more moisturized. The dark circles look less prominent and blend into my skin more. My eyes really seem to pop more in all the right ways.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump XXL Lip Plumping Gloss – Soap & Glory makeup is not common in Canada, but if you can get your hands on it, jump at the chance. This Pillow Plump lip gloss is one of my new faves that goes with me everywhere. It leaves a glossy clear (maybe slightly pink) finish on the outside, but what everyone can’t see is what’s happening on the inside. It has a “3XL Peptide Plump” ingredient that gives your lips a serious tingle. With that comes lips that look fuller than ever. It’s a look, and a feeling, that you are going to want to try for yourself!

Covergirl Vitalist Elixir Foundation – Sometimes you just need a good, trustworthy foundation without all of the tricks. This new Covergirl foundation is exactly that. It just gives you a great finish on your skin that looks natural. It’s nice to know that sometimes there are brands that you can just trust to make reliable products.