Category: Hair Reviews

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 products.

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.

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.

Gliss Color Guard Shampoo & Conditioner Quick Review

I recently dyed my hair a daring new colour and wanted to make sure it lasts as soon as possible, so I turned to the hottest new hair care line in stores, Gliss. This new line of shampoo and conditioner promised to protect my colour from fading and keeping it brighter for longer. Using Gliss Color Guard didn’t feel any different from any other regular drug store brand. It was only when I stopped using Gliss that I noticed a different. I switched back to my other brand of shampoo and within a week or so, I noticed that my colour looked faded. It wasn’t as bright and vibrant as I was used to. Check out our review for some of the other Gliss Hair Care lines for more reviews on their many different types of shampoo and conditioner.

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 Complete Fortification Collection Quickie Review


There are shampoo and conditioner collections for literally everything now. Coloured hair, fine hair, frizzy, coloured…you name it. So it was nice to try a line that just wants to give you healthy hair and that’s exactly what Dove’s newest Nutritive Solutions line, Complete Fortification, does. I have fine, frizzy, wavy, dry hair; so obviously I don’t expect miracles out of a shampoo bottle. But after using this  shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks (with rotating various styling products), I noticed that my hair felt stronger, more moisturized and looked a lot shinier.

It has a nice fruity, floral scent and since it’s Dove, it won’t cost a fortune for me to repair my hair when it needs it. Will I use it on a daily basis? No. But if I notice my hair getting damaged or needing a break, it’ll definitely be one of my go-to’s.I usually have a lot more to say about hair products, but when something works as well and as simply as Dove’s Complete Fortification line, I don’t really have to say much. In this case, that’s a good thing.

Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Leave-In Conditioner Quick Review

My hair has been struggling this year. It’s frizzier than ever before and doesn’t want to comply with any style. Enter this leave-in conditioner from Garnier. I’ve always liked Garnier’s styling products. They are affordable and leave my hair looking good without feeling like I have a ton of product in my hair. I would always prefer hair that I can run my fingers through versus a great complicated style. I like the natural feel. That’s what this coconut and cocoa butter leave-in conditioner gives me soft hair, less frizz and something that I can work with throughout the day without having to add a ton of products.

Tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo

Until this arrived I didn’t know that Tarte made hair products, but I was excited to be introduced to their hair care with a dry shampoo. I feel like you can really learn something about the line through a dry shampoo. You can’t hide anything. It’s when I need help the most!

Tarte’s Dry Shampoo has a great smell. It’s a bit perfumed, but not in an obnoxious way, just subtle enough. Like most other dry shampoos, the aerosol sprays out a bit aggressively, and you need to really tousle your hair and mix it up good. I found that if I left it for too long, it was hard to brush through and left a little residue in my hair.

It DID really help to boost the volume and dry up any oil in my roots. I would avoid the ends of my hair moving forward. It dried those out a little too much.

From writing this I am thinking that maybe less is more with the Tarte Dry Shampoo. Once you have learned the tricks to it, you are ready!

May 2017 Most Wanted – Steph’s Picks

This month has been one to remember thanks to amazing makeup from these four brands!

Strivectin Hair All Smooth Collection

This might be the best smoothing and frizz controlling hair care line I’ve ever tried. I’m not joking at all people! The shampoo and conditioner don’t foam up in the shower the same way your other favourite products do, but just believe. I think I ended up using a bit too much on my hair in every shower, but it still worked. Post-shower I have been getting even more protection power with the Strivectin Hair All Smooth Frizz Control Mist. It doesn’t matter whether I air dry or blow dry, my hair has been looking amazing afterwards no matter what. The mist does make my hair a bit stiffer than I would like, but it is worth it. It’s not just one day of frizz protection, but multiple days of amazing looking hair. I’m not done yet folks, because there is also the Overnight Frizz Serum. This is the best to apply a few days after your wash when frizz is threatening to return. You just apply it all over your hair before bed. When you wake up, you have nice smooth bed head without the morning frizz fight.  It’s hard to describe when something just works exactly like it promises and fulfills all of your dreams. Strivectin has done that.

NYX Ombre Blush

I love ombré blush. I wish all blushes were ombré. I love ombré blush because my face isn’t one colour. It has different tones and levels. It needs products with that same feel. Regular blush is good, but sometimes you have to apply it specially to get it to be different tones on the different areas of your cheek bones. Ombre blush has depth, that same way that my face has depth. This NYX blush in Mauve Me has the rich mauve tone that moves into a shimmery light pink. It’s like combining your highlighter and blush all in one. It isn’t one colour, because I’m not one colour.

The Face Shop Multi Stick Contour

In all my time using contouring makeup, I have rarely come across a contouring stick. I was worried that it would be too harsh or wouldn’t blend enough. The Face Shop’s Multi Stick is actually a really easy to use contour tool. The makeup is somewhere between a grey and beige. It should be versatile enough for many skin tones. Unlike a lot of contouring makeup, The Face Shop contour stick is quick and easy to use. Simply swipe it under your cheekbones, jaw line and nose for contouring in seconds. I used to save contouring for special occasions only, but now it’s an everyday thing. For just $15, this is an amazing investment.

Maybelline Master Camo Color Correcting Kit

While you are getting your skin all beautiful with blush and contouring, why not finish the job with a great concealer too. This set has 6 different creams to ensure your skin looks amazing. There are two correctors, two concealers and two highlighters. I really liked the concealers best. In all of my time using this little palette, there wasn’t a single blemish that I could find that didn’t give in to the colours. Blemishes were no match.

Kérastase Aura Botanica Collection


I’m a massive Kérastase fan, to the point where I hoard my products so I don’t run out. Their Discipline line is one of my favourites for combatting frizz. Maybe until now. Their newest release is the Aura Botanica collection, the company’s first foray into natural hair care products with over 95% of the ingredients listed as natural origin. The line comes with four products Shampoo Bain Micellaire, Conditioner Soin Fondamental, Oil Essence D’Eclat and Oil Concentre Essentiel. All of the products have coconut and argan oils and are supposed to eliminate frizz for 72 hours and make your hair 4x shinier. There are also zero silicones or sulfates and they’re 99% biodegradable. Everything sounds good so far, so let’s see how it went.

The shampoo and conditioner are definitely different than I expect from Kérastase. The shampoo has a gel-like consistency and where I normally use a dime size amount of shampoo with Kérastase, I need more with this one if I want to get any kind of lather at all. Even with more of a quarter size amount there isn’t a ton of lather, but my hair definitely feels better. You absolutely have to use this shampoo with the conditioner, you don’t get nearly enough moisture on it’s own. The conditioner on the other hand is very, very thick. Almost masque like, but it doesn’t weigh down my hair. I leave this one on for around 5 minutes and it leaves my hair incredibly soft and easy to manage.

The best part of the collection for me though are the treatments. The Essence D’Eclat is a bi-phase mist that you shake up and apply on damp hair. It’s formula of coconut, argan, jojoba and avocado oils plus Damascus Rose floral water; detangle, de-frizz and make your hair super soft and shiny. If you need a touch up, you can use it on dry hair as well and it won’t leave your hair crunchy. And then there’s the Oil Concentre Essentiel. I adore pre-wash treatment oils and this one is pretty spectacular. You can use it on your scalp if you have dryness or on the ends if your hair is thicker. You can also mix it with the conditioner. When I use it as a pre-wash, I leave it in for about ten minutes and because there aren’t any silicones, it washes out easily.

Aura Botanica might be the best natural hair care line I’ve tried. But if you have super fine hair like I do, it might be best to leave this one for winter. It’s a little too much for my hair right now and I’ve changed over to using just the treatments or my roots get greasy pretty fast. With the whole line, the day I wash my hair looks amazing and frizz-free and shiny and the next day, not so much. With just the treatments, I can go three or four days between washings. It looks like I’ll be continuing my Kérastase hoarding and pull these out next winter. And I can’t wait.

GLISS Extra Volume and Ultra+Moisture Collections

When a company releases a bunch of new hair lines within one collection, we usually get one, maybe two of them for review. But in the case of Schwarzkopf’s new drugstore GLISS collection, we received all five lines. Under the GLISS umbrella (available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart) the five lines are: Ultimate Repair, Ultra+Moisture, Oil Nutritive, Color Guard and Extra Volume. Obviously we can’t use all of them at once, but the first two I tried were the Extra Volume and Ultra+Moisture. Here’s how it went.

Each line comes with a shampoo, conditioner and some kind of treatment and the shampoo and conditioner bottles are fairly large at 400 mL. The treatment in the Extra Volume collection is the Extra Volume Lift-Up Spray. The shampoo and conditioner were pretty nice, smelled really good and didn’t leave my hair feeling stripped. I have very fine, thin hair and always need added volume, so that’s what I was looking for from this line. I did notice that my hair felt a bit thicker when it was wet. I would use both of these again with other styling products. When I test hair lines, I initially only use whatever products I’ve been given and don’t add any outside products and that’s what I did in this case as well. My biggest issue came with the volume spray. It’s pretty similar to other types like it, and I did get some volume from it. But I also got a whole lot of crunchy hair with a very weird greasy texture. I let my hair dry naturally, so I’m not sure if the spray works better with a blow dryer, but it was really an epic fail for me. Luckily, I liked the next collection a lot better.

I cut my hair just over a month ago and it’s still in really good condition, so I don’t need a ton of repair. With my frizz though, I always need a ton of moisture so the Ultra+Moisture was definitely something I was looking forward to. The shampoo and conditioner were extremely moisturizing and felt really nice on wet hair and again, they smelled really good. The treatment for this line is the Express Repair, which is basically a leave-in conditioner. It’s also amazing. It prevents hair breakage, gives you moisture and in my case, gets rid of frizz. I literally don’t have to use any other styling treatment when I use this one to let my hair air dry. I’ve also used it on dry hair and it refreshes my hair without leaving it greasy.

So far with the two GLISS lines I’ve tried, we’re even with an Ultra+Moisture hit and an Extra Volume miss but both of the deciding factors were with the treatments. I liked both the shampoos and conditioners. Now, on to the other three lines.