Whats Up Nails Graveyard Nail Vinyl Giveaway


I love Halloween and I always want to do really cool nail art, but I’m completely terrible at any but painting my nails a solid colour. When Nail Polish Canada offered us a chance to give away ten sets of Graveyard nail vinyls from Whats Up Nails, I jumped at the chance. Not only are they a fairly easy way to get really cute Halloween nails for myself, but for anyone reading this as well.

My vinyls got here a little late so I haven’t had a chance to use them yet but this photo is a good example of what they look like. I’m personally planning to use them as nail stickers on top of gray polish.

If you want a set of these vinyls free (and free shipping!), head over to this Nail Polish Canada page and use the code KK1G9C7E0. The first ten people get a free set.

Happy Halloween nails! We want to see how you use them.

Nivea Body Oil

We’ve all known for years that body oil is great for you skin in so many ways. Nivea is finally joining this game with their own body oil. I feel like for the most part this category doesn’t have many big brand names, but instead cult products. It will be interesting to see how the Nivea Body Oil holds up in the long run.

Nivea’s Body Oil has a light perfumed scent. I do hope that they bring out an unscented version, because I would rather have more natural smelling oil.

Nevermind the smell though, because it’s more about the oil performance on the skin. I love that the bottle releases this body oil only a few drops at a time. There is minimal risk of pouring out too much. It goes on the skin really smooth. It dries much quicker than I expected. As long as you don’t use too much, it doesn’t even leave any type of residue on your skin and hands. It just leaves your skin with a natural looking glow.

I can’t speak to the effectiveness of reducing stretch marks or firming the skin. If it works like other body oils though, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Those are fairly common benefits of using oils.

Nivea impressed me with their Body Oil, but people already have their favourites, so I don’t know if they will be willing to make the switch.

Tiffany & Co. Eau De Parfum Quickie Review


Fragrance is one of the few things that can change my mood in an instant and I constantly change up what scent I wear depending on how I feel that day. With Tiffany and Co.’s debut scent, you immediately get a sense of class, luxury and elegance. The bottle is shaped like a gemstone and housed in Tiffany blue box and is a sparkling floral musk. The heart note is Noble Iris and is surrounded by top note Vert de Mandarine and base notes of Patchouli and Musk.

None of these are scents I really enjoy on their own but together they make a sophisticated, long-wearing scent that’s neither too heavy or overpowering. While this isn’t a fragrance I’d choose for warmer weather, it’s perfect for fall and winter and on cold days where I need a little luxury, this is an easy way to get there.

Tarte Highlighters Head To Head

Tarte is lighting up the season and adding a little sparkle and shine with a few new highlighters. There are two types of Tarte Highlighters for all of your needs:  Tarteist Pro Glow Liquid Highlighter and Tarte Twinkle Stick. These highlighters are very different, and I feel like people will prefer one or the other, but not both.

I prefer the Tarteist Pro Glow Liquid Highlighter. These little tubes have beautiful colours that perfectly complimented my skin. The two shades (Exposed and Sparkler) have a slight bronze metallic hue. This is perfect for giving me a highlighting glow to my cheeks that almost looks sunkissed. As you might expect when you see the petite size of these highlighters, a little goes a long way. Start with just a drop on your cheeks and add on. This Tarte Highlighter blends well, but makes a big impact.

The Tarte Twinkle Stick isn’t my fave, but it’s going to be popular with a lot of people. I actually expected to like it more. This stick style makeup looks adorable in the packaging and the silver shimmer stick just makes you want to apply. Obviously with the stick format, it’s simple to use. Just swipe, blend and go. You can literally add highlighter to your cheeks, or anywhere else you want, in about two seconds. The reason I don’t like it as much is that I don’t find the highlighting shimmer as prominent in this stick makeup. The Tarte Twinkle Stick is much more subtle. On my skin tone, it doesn’t make as much impact. I think if you had darker skin than me, it would create a beautiful shimmer.

Sally Hansen x Crayola Insta-Dri Collection

I love a good nail polish collaboration but I wasn’t really expecting anything that had to do with crayons. Released in August, Sally Hansen released twelve of their Insta-Dri polishes in Crayola crayon shades. The result? Better than I expected. It’s been years since I’ve used the Insta-Dri formula but I remember loving it in college. It’s exactly what it says it is, a polish that dries almost instantly, no base or top coat needed (though depending on your personal preference, you may want a glossy or matte topper). These shades are fairly self explanatory so I’m not going to say much about them except every shade was one coat and they were all completely dry in under a minute. I may have to start looking at the rest of the Insta-Dri shades again…

Wild Strawberry, Sunset Orange, Carnation Pink, Dandelion

Wild Strawberry was one of the few that stained, but boy did it not want to come off. I really loved Carnation Pink, I would use that in the summer for sure.

Granny Smith Apple, Cerulean, Vivid Violet, White

I had a few issues with Granny Smith Apple, but that was the bottle. I adore Cerulean and White is absolutely my new go-to white. I’ve never had a one coat, no issues white before. This is my favourite group of the bunch.

Razzmatazz, Scarlet, Denim, Purple Heart

Here’s my biggest issue with Insta-Dri, the brush. It’s a massive brush and I have fairly narrow nail beds. That creates a massive problem but apparently I remembered how to angle the brush to get it to go on in one stroke with minimal cleanup. If you don’t know how, it’s a major learning curve that you might decide isn’t worth it. Have wider nail beds? You’ll love it.

These shades really took me back to my childhood and colouring and I’m amazed at how good some of these look as nail polish.

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.