Category: Bath And Body

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.

Battle of the Natural Deodorants

I’ve been having some serious skin issues the past few years and it’s sent me on a search for aluminum-free deodorants that actually work. I don’t necessarily need to switch over to a natural deodorant but I figure it can’t hurt. I definitely have some criteria if I’m going to be spending more money though (natural deodorant is notoriously more expensive than traditional ones). It has to smell good, or at least keep me from smelling bad, it needs to last at least a couple hours and it needs to not cause more skin issues for me. I put three natural deodorants to the test and here’s how it all worked out.
Lafe’s Bliss Iris & Rose 

Scent: 2/5 Iris & Rose
Texture: 4/5 Smooth and easy to apply stick
Longevity: 2/5 4 hours max
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, GMO’s
Total score: 8/15
Where to buy: Lafe’s website

I didn’t get to choose the Lafe’s scent that I used and to be honest, it’s probably throwing off my opinion.While I love most rose products, this one just smells like old lady to me and while the scent lasts a really long time, the actual deodorant doesn’t hold up nearly as well. The texture and stick are nice enough that I would definitely try another scent and see if I like it better.

Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant

Scent: 5/5 Sweet Vanilla
Texture: 4/5 Cream to Powder roll-on stick
Longevity: 3.5/5 roughly 6 hours
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Gluten, Phthalates and it’s vegan
Total score: 12.5/15
Where to buy: Tarte.com, Sephora

I’ve loved Tarte makeup for years but I haven’t tried a ton of their skin care. When I heard they were bringing out a natural deodorant, I had to try it. It smells incredible but I wish the scent lasted a little longer. Some days I can still smell it after a couple hours and some days it disappears on me almost immediately. The star of this deodorant is the formula. It takes a second to dry down but once it does, it keeps me dry and stink free for hours. I still need to reapply on sweatier days but it’s definitely cute enough to keep in my purse.

Schmidt’s Rose & Vanilla Deodorant Pot

Scent: 4/5 Rose & Vanilla
Texture: 3/5 Cream to powder pot (spatula included)
Longevity: 3.5/5 depends on if you have a reaction to the baking soda
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, Parabens, Phthalates. It’s also vegan, gluten free and cruelty free
Total Score:10.5/15
Where to buy: Schmidt’s Naturals

I’ve never used a pot deodorant before and while I did have a couple of the Schmidt stick versions, this one interested me more. The rose scent in this one is much more to my liking but I did have a couple issues with it. This is the only deodorant of the three that’s baking soda based and my skin does not react well to it. While some people get rashes, I find that after a few hours, the scent turned on me and really became gross. To the point that I had to wash it off and put something else on. That said, it was much easier to apply than I expected and only ran into issues if I wanted to reapply and didn’t have a counter handy but I would definitely use this if they made it in their sensitive skin formula which doesn’t have baking soda in it. This could’ve been the winner for me, but my skin didn’t agree.

The verdict:

I had issues with the scents of both the Lafe’s and Schmidt’s deodorants for different reasons but the formulas themselves were decent. I just need to look into other options from both those companies. Tarte was the clear winner for me but at $18 CAD, it’s a little pricey. I’ll see how long one stick lasts and then decide if I’ll use it on a regular basis but I’m really liking it right now, so I think that it’s pretty likely I will.

It’s nice that we have so many more options for natural deodorant and if there’s another one you think we should try, let us know.

Brompton & Langley Hand Cream: Quick Review

If you are looking for a fun imported product that isn’t going to break the bank. Check out Brompton & Langley. I tried their Hand Cream and Body Wash with equally lovely results. This UK brand comes in soft scents like Sweet Pea Jasmine, Almond Milk and Vanilla Honeysuckle. The scents are really subtle, but leave your skin feeling soft and lush. They make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Spring Bath Products

Scrub off winter dry skin with these three bath products that will have you relaxing and soft in no time!

Lotus Aroma Bath & Body Wash Rose & Indian Geranium – If you love florals then this is the body wash for you. You can always count on Lotus Aroma for creating new scents that really fill up a room. This body wash is no different. The rose and geranium smell really surrounds you and makes you feel all girly and flowery. The scent doesn’t linger on your skin, which is a bit disappointing, but you still feel all lovely and clean.

Caress Body Wash – I didn’t think much of the Caress Body Wash when I saw them. I admit that I judged them because they are affordable (under $5) and available at value stores like Walmart. I tried the Silkening and Exfoliating soaps with pleasant results. The Silkening soaps are so soft and gentle on your skin. It’s hard to deny that your skin feels softer when you get out of the shower. Meanwhile the Exfoliating soap is gentle enough that you can exfoliate regularly, which is so important to stop dry winter skin.

Bleu Lavande Sea Salt Scrub – Unlike most sea salt scrubs, this one is all in. This scrub is packed full of salt to give you a serious exfoliation. The soft lavender scent also makes it perfect for those before bedtime showers. Your skin will feel smooth and soft and you will be relaxed.

At-Home Spa Day Most Wanted

Sometimes a girl just needs an at-home spa day for a little pampering with all of your favourite new bath, body and beauty products, candles and a glass of wine. Here are a few products to add to your supple for the perfect spa day at home:

Live Clean Dead Sea Salts – Soothe tired muscles on your at-home spa day with a long bath with these Live Clean Dead Sea Salts. They have Epsom salts, green tea extracts, aloe vera, Eucalyptus essential oils and Ginger. All of this combines for soothed muscles. The scent is strong, but really relaxing at the same time. It’s perfect for helping you forget that busy week.

Avon Foot Works Clay Mask – A spa day wouldn’t be complete without a little foot pampering. Short of having someone to give you a pedicure in your living room, this foot clay mask is the best thing to do. I’ve tried lots of clay masks for my face, but never for my feet. The feeling is pretty similar. Be sure that you are sitting somewhere good, because you won’t be able to walk around. You will need to clean your feet off wherever you are. The lavender smell is nice and relaxing while you wait. I didn’t expect much in the way of results, but my feet were very soft after just 10 minutes or so with this on.

Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set – You don’t usually get to pamper your lips, but it feels so good when you do. The Lip Smoother is a coconut exfoliator that will help clean up all of that dead skin from winter. The Lip Salve is an oil based balm that softens and moisturizes. It’s a nice treat for your lips to feel soften and fresh.

Claus Porto Soap Gift Box – This is the MOST beautiful soap that I’ve ever owned. The white box with the art deco logo is the first signal that you are in for a treat. No matter how many times I opened it to see the three soaps inside, I was never not in awe. The packaging for each of these German soaps is a work of art in itself. Almost too beautiful to use. When you have had your time with the box, be ready for a nice treat with this soft smelling soap in the tub. Spoil yourself, or someone that you love a lot, with these soaps for every occasion.

Skyn Iceland All Eyes On You Treatments – Skyn Iceland has some of my favourite eye products. They always make them nice and cooling and soothing so that my eyes feel relaxed. This set includes an Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Glacial Cleansing Cloths. This means you can pamper yourself with the gels now and have the cloths and pen for your regular everyday use.

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm 2017


Today is International Women’s Day and just like last year, L’Occitane has released another Solidarity Balm that goes right along with it. This year’s balm is Shea Butter Violet and it smells amazing. I was first introduced to the yearly Solidarity Balms last year with the rose scent. I literally use this stuff for everything; lips, cuticles, scrapes, chapped and broken skin. I haven’t found a limit to what I can use it for and I still haven’t finished last years. I love nearly anything rose scented so for me to love this violet scent even more in unprecedented.

What I love even more about the actual balm is that L’Occitane will use 100% of the profits to fund NGO’s projects to support women’s leadership in the world in partnership with UN Women and the L’Occitane Foundation. Not all of us can or will participate in women’s marches around the world but we can all try and spend $6 on this balm to try and support other women.

You’ll probably want to pick up more than one though because the Solidarity Balms are amazing and you’ll feel like you’ve contributed a little.

You can find the Solidarity Balms on sale on the L’Occitane website.

Most Wanted Winter Skin Relief

My skin takes a serious beating in the winter. All the forced heat indoors and extreme dryness outside, I get extremely dry, cracked skin. Even the combination skin on my face dries out completely during winter. These products have saved my skin this year and given me some major relief from dryness.

Dr. Roebuck’s Ultimate Hydrating Serum
Dr. Roebuck's Ultimate Hydrating Serum
This serum has an almost gel-like texture and a few drops goes a long way. It absorbs into your skin instantly and doesn’t leave you with that greasy feel that you can get from some serums. I definitely feel a moisture boost when I use this one and when you add your moisturizer on top of it, it’s amazing. This is the only Dr. Roebuck’s product I’ve tried but I like it enough that I want to try more.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm
When this first showed up, I was convinced it would be too strong for my combination skin. I mean, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial was almost too strong for me and this sounded much richer. But I had a week where my skin was so dry, nothing I had was helping, so I tried this out and it worked. The texture is a little like butter, fairly thick and spreadable. But it absorbs much quicker than I expected. Plus the moisture lasted hours and hours. I don’t need to use anything else for a full 24 hours when I use this. I also didn’t have any issues with my sensitive skin and it didn’t make me break out, but if you’re concerned, get a sample first.
Aveeno Gentle Scent Skin Relief Body Wash and Lotion in Chamomile
Aveeno Gentle Scent Skin Relief Body Wash Chamomile
The skin on my body gets much more dry than the skin on my face and I’ve used numerous things over the years that didn’t really help. Aveeno’s Gentle Scents line comes in Chamomile and Coconut options and the Chamomile smells amazing. It’s not a strong scent but it’s really fresh. The body wash doesn’t make my skin feel stripped of moisture and is soap and dye free and allergy tested, so it doesn’t irritate my skin. The addition of Colloidal Oatmeal gives you a boost of moisture. The matching lotion has the same scent and absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy. The combination leaves my skin feeling hydrated and way less itchy.
L’Occitane Intensive Hand Balm
L'Occitane Intensive Hand Balm
I honestly don’t know how many L’Occitane hand creams I’ve gone through over the years and I was convinced that nothing would work better on my dry, cracked hands than their classic Shea Hand Cream. Well when this hand balm arrived, it was clear I was wrong. This is quite a bit stronger than the hand cream but not much thicker. It takes a little longer to absorb but in under a minute, I can go back to whatever I was doing. I find if I use this before I go to bed, I don’t have to use hand cream until the next afternoon and it’s healed the cracked skin in my hands and cuticles. It might be a couple dollars more than the regular hand cream but if winter is killing the skin on your hands, it’s worth the money. I would actually go so far as to say, if you only buy one thing for winter skin, L’Occitane’s Intensive Hand Balm is what you need.

St. Tropez Everyday Tinted Body Lotion

st-tropez-everyday-tinted-body-lotion

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of St. Tropez. I’m not loyal to many brands, but St. Tropez is the only one that I trust my tan to in the off-season. It wasn’t surprising to me then to find another winner in the St. Tropez line with this Everyday Tinted Body Lotion.

I usually avoid tinted moisturizers because I think they are a bit of a waste of time. I would rather invest my time and money in actual tanners. This time, I thought about it differently. I got my regular St. Tropez tan. Once I noticed my tan starting to fade, I opened my container of the Tinted Body Lotion.

It’s easier to think of this like a moisturizer than a tanner. It smells like a moisturizer, it applies like a moisturizer and it feels like a moisturizer on your skin. The only difference is that after you apply this moisturizer, you need to remember to wash your hands. It dries quickly on the skin and after a few hours you can see the golden glow on your skin. The colour lasts for a few days and helps to rejuvenate your tan.

This product is perfect for that transition period between tans. It was great on parts where my tan faded faster or that are too pale. It’s a great product to keep in your arsenal over the winter when your skin feels a bit too pale.

Vichy Spa Shower Gel Head to Head

vichy-spa-gel-oil-soap

Vichy is the master of skincare, but I don’t usually think of them as my whole body skin. Vichy is known for face skin care. They are moving from face to body with their new shower gels. We tried both the oil and the cream to see which Vichy Shower Gel reigns supreme.

I started with the Oil version of the shower gel. This one is for all skin types from dry to oily and even sensitive. It has magnesium, copper and zinc to help your skin glow. It has a light soapy smell that is fairly subtle. I found the gel-oil to be very difficult to get out of the bottle. No matter how much a squeezed, I could never get a good stream out. Since it doesn’t really froth up a lot that made for some tricky showers. I felt like I could never get a good clean.

I didn’t give up though, because I had another Vichy cleanser to try.

Next I moved the Vichy Spa Shower Gel –Cream. This one has the same distinct smell so if you like it (or don’t) then you will have an easy decision. It’s also for all skin types, so everyone is in luck. The Cream has shea butter and white clay in it for intense comfort and hydration and to help soften your skin. Unlike the oil, this cleanser comes out of the bottle easily and gets nice and frothy. I love how soft this cleaner is on my skin. My skin feels almost instantly smother and softer after using it.

I am so glad that I didn’t give up on Vichy, because I love this Gel-Cream. I am sure that some people will prefer the oil version, so go with your gut on what you think you will like best!

Weekend Getaway Makeup Most Wanted

When you are heading out of town with friends or maybe for a romantic weekend away, you don’t want to have to pack your whole arsenal of makeup. Here’s a little glimpse at some of the things I packed to hit the road for a weekend in Boston!

the-face-shop-mango-seed-cleansing-wipes

The Face Shop Mango Seed Cleansing Wipes – Everything about these wipes is moisturizing. I have been addicted to these wipes this summer because they are perfect no matter where the day takes you. The moisturizing wipes are perfect after a long day in the sun to dry out your face. They do leave a little bit of a residue, but it didn’t bother me most of the time. Everything feels nice and dewy.

travel-kit

Leonor Greyl Luxury Travel Kit – I hate going away and not being able to take my favourite shampoo and conditioner with me. This travel kit is really the next best thing. It comes with a shampoo, conditioning mask and oil. My first thought was, why do I want a hair mask while I’m on vacation? It’s nice because you can cheat and use it like a regular conditioner as well. When I was away recently I became hooked on the oil, which is perfect on wet or dry hair. You can find this luxe set for volume, dry hair or curly hair (or even just pick up the travel size oil solo), so you can get exactly what you need.

juara-candlenut-obsession-trio

Juara Candlenut Obsession Trio – Since you are in the shower, you also have to take care of that body. I don’t know what a candlenut is, but I can tell you I really am obsessed. This trio box has a Body Polish, Hydrating Shower Gel and Body Crème with this new scent. It’s got a mix of shea butter, coconut, and something musky underneath. It smells a bit like men’s soap. I can’t even describe it properly. All I know is it made this weekend away even better!

sephora-collection

Sephora Collection Look Color In The Eye Brush Capsule – I hate travelling with my regular brushes. I always get worried I will lose them, break them or otherwise ruin them while on the road. This little brush capsule is perfect to take instead. It has all of the eye brushes I could ever want. The pretty capsule keeps them clean and protected in my luggage.

mac-cosmetics-shes-a-model-eyeshadow-palette

Mac Cosmetics She’s A Model Eyeshadow Palette – Lately MAC has released some crazy, bold and beautiful colours, but that doesn’t always work for my real life. Enter this palette. While the eye shadows can be worn together in more daring ways, it’s also work appropriate. You can use the nice neutral tones for the office once you get back to reality. Then glam up your look with the sparkly silvers or better yet, the daring teal eye shadow. This collection also comes with some bright pink lipsticks and nail polishes, so there will be no shortage of colour when you enter the room.

essence-pure-nude-highlighter

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – Get a little shimmer and shine with the new highlighter powder from essence. I’ve gotten really into powders this summer. The idea of wearing heavy foundation in the heat is just too much for my skin. This highlighter has been good to add back a little shine where I want. I think that highlighters are seriously under-used makeup, at least by me. I have been applying this highlighter on my cheeks above my cheek bones and nose for a little natural shine. Paired with my blush and bronzer, it gives me the natural glow you want, not the one you get on a humid summer day.