Category: Hair Reviews

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.

Makeup Most Wanted April 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

Thanks to going on vacation and Passover, I’m super behind on a lot of my posts but now that things have slowed down, I have a lot of new products that I’m using on a regular basis and in April, these ones were used more than most.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus

Before I cut my hair in March, using a dry shampoo was a tricky thing for me but if I used one, it was generally Batiste related. We received a couple new scents just in time for me to start using dry shampoo on a regular basis and Lotus is hands down my favourite Batiste dry shampoo yet. The description is pretty and opulent but all I can say is that it smells completely amazing. It’s a little fruity, a little floral and I really want to use it as a room spray (but I won’t waste it). It also works at giving me major volume, while freshening up my roots.

Vichy Idéalia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream

I loved the original Idéalia line, but Vichy recently reformulated and added new products to it. While, I’ve noticed most people pick the Night Peeling as their favourite, mine is this lightweight moisturizer. Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream is pretty much the perfect description for it. It comes out really soft and refreshing like a sorbet, melts into your skin instantly and keeps me pretty matte. It also gives me a really nice, subtle glow and has the same gorgeous almost raspberry like scent that I associate with the Idéalia line. This is going to be a great moisturizer for my combination skin this summer.

Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-In-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler

Now that my hair is shorter, it’s much easier to style, especially since I generally let it air dry. But it’s still curly and frizzy and this leave-in treatment from Garnier Fructis helps me detangle it gently and starts to minimize frizz. I do use other styling products with it but I can use it on it’s own and still like how my hair looks. The matching Moisture Lock shampoo and conditioner are good too but I like this detangler the most of the three. Using it on dry hair to refresh my curls also works, but if it’s too close to when I have to wash my hair, it gets a touch greasy.

Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in From Prude To Nude

I’m really a big fan of multi-tasking makeup and the Kiss & Blush Duo Stick from YSL gives you a ton of options. The YSL website alone has twelve suggestions for cheeks and lips, not to mention you could totally use this as eyeshadow in a pinch. From Prude to Nude is a rose nude/mocha nude combo that combined gives me both a nice blush shade and a great nude lip for my complexion but I generally use it as a blush. It’s super tiny but you really don’t need to use a lot and it’s so easy to throw in your purse for touchups. And you’ll probably need a couple touchups in the summer because of the super creamy formula. The price is a little steep at $40, but not surprising considering it’s YSL, but you can get a ton of uses out of it, so it might actually save you from buying a couple other things in the long run.

March Makeup Most Wanted

Spring into a new season with these March makeup products that I have been obsessed with this month.

Covergirl Outlast All-Day Custom Reds Lip Color – I have tried a lot of lipsticks that said they were going to last a long time, but Covergirl has finally done it. This two-step lip color is the longest lasting lipstick that I’ve ever tried. It’s really simple, you just apply the colour first, wait a minute and then apply the clear coat over top. Boom! You have lipstick that will last all day. I even had a hard time getting it off of my lips. I fell asleep with lipstick on one night and it was still on the next morning! This lipstick is UNREAL! The red shades that I tried were quiet bold, but really beautiful.

Rodial Baking Powder – I’m not going to lie, I don’t really get the idea of baking. I also don’t have time to bake my makeup before leaving the house. That doesn’t make my love of this powder any less. Instead of baking my makeup and dusting it off later, I have been using it as a finishing powder. I just dust a light layer over my foundation before I leave the house for a minor bake. Forget the long lasting powder of the bake, I love the matte finish that my skin gets when I use it. Clearly this powder is super versatile, making it key in my makeup bag.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream – Finally, a super moisturizing gel cream for extra dry skin that doesn’t feel heavy on my face. I fell in love with gel moisturizers because it is perfect for my skin. I get dry skin, but I also have acne. I need all the same anti-aging and boosting properties, but my skin can’t handle heavy thick moisturizers. I get greasy very easily. Neutrogena lets me get a major moisture boost without that issue. It absorbs into my skin leaving it feeling dry and matte, but also soft. This one is for anyone who is sick of fighting with moisturizers and their skin. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is the saving grace this winter.

Sebastian Volupt Spray High Impact Volume – I used to love spray gel in high school. It was probably the only product that I used, and I used it every day. Since then I’ve moved on to other products, but getting this newer product was like meeting an old friend. I love this product because it gives you hold without making my hair stiff. It’s really nice on curls or beach waves to get a hold without the crunch of mousse.

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Shampoo & Conditioner – Herbal Essences new hair care collection Bio:Renew sounds very fancy in the description. It’s made with a special blend of antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp. It’s supposed to bring your hair back to life in 21 days (although it doesn’t say how many washes that is). I love it because, while it has all of those great properties, it still feels like classic Herbal Essences. The Coconut Milk scent smells amazing. My hair looks great, it’s shiny and easy to manage. I can’t ask for anything else!

Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Collection


We try so many hair products that’s it’s pretty hard for me to be blown away by any. I was already a huge fan of Shu Uemura, so I had fairly high expectation for my first time trying one of their hair lines. Ultimate Remedy is for ultra-damaged hair, so winter is probably the best time to try it. My fine, wavy, frizzy, highlighted hair gets pretty dried out in winter and definitely needs some extra help. Unfortunately most extreme hydration lines also weigh my hair down a lot. We received the shampoo, conditioner and duo-serum and there’s also an extreme restoration treatment (hair masque).

The entire line has a lotus infusion and the scent of the collection is peppermint. I honestly don’t smell mint and didn’t really like the scent at first but the more I use the line, the more I love it. The bottles are a really pretty green but the shampoo bottle is a little hard to squeeze due to the shape and how heavy the plastic is. I love that the conditioner is a pump though. The shampoo is a really interesting consistency. It’s kind of a gel-oil texture and doesn’t get a huge lather but enough that you know it’s there. I have to say, to me, this is the hero product of the collection. The shampoo feels so silky and nourishing and I’ve even thought about not using conditioner after it because I think I could get away with it. I’m used to loving conditioners or styling treatments but this is the first time I seriously love a shampoo.

The conditioner is a little on the thinner side and you feel like it’s not doing much until you rinse it out but it’s made my hair really manageable and hydrated. The duo-serum is an interesting styling product. One side is a texture-oil and the other is a cream. You have to pump the bottle just right to get both at the same time but it’s great for detangling and getting frizz out. Once it dries, you don’t even know it’s there. I find that I have to use quite a bit of it though and at a $56 CDN price tag, that’s a little bit of a bummer.

I really like the Ultimate Remedy collection as a whole but I love, love, love the shampoo and if I’m going to buy anything once I run out, it’s that.

Winter Hair Most Wanted

These winter hair most wanted products will help you say goodbye to frizz, get smoother hair and manage those locks this winter.

l-oreal-professionnel-mythic-oil-shampoo

L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil Hair Collection – You’ve probably already tried, or at least heard of, the original Mythic Oil for hair. I didn’t know that there was a whole line of Mythic Oil products just waiting for my hair. I tried the Shampoo, Masque and Oil Detangling Spray all with the same Mythic Oil care for my locks. I found the whole collection very soft and moisturizing on my hair. After using the collection my hair looked because and was really easy to manage.

pureology-style-care-smooth-perfection-infusion

Pureology Style & Care Smooth Perfection Infusion – Lately I haven’t had great luck with pre-blow dry frizz products. It took my a long time to dare to use this product. I love that it’s a gel and cream combo – a styler and a leave-in conditioner. I think it’s that combination that helped it work to keep my hair looking great for longer. I did find that it made me have to wash my hair sooner than usual, because it got greasy faster. But that said it was great from wash to wash.

redken-pillow-proof-blow-dry-collection

Redken Pillow Proof Blow-Dry Collection – Redken wants to help keep your blow out for a few days longer with their new Pillow Proof collection. I tried the combo of the Express Treatment Primer and the Two Day Extender Dry Shampoo. The primer was supposed to help your hair blow dry faster than usual. I’m not entirely sure that it worked, because I don’t blow dry my hair enough to know the regular amount of time. But my hair did feel and look great afterwards, so I will call that a win. The dry shampoo is your average dry shampoo. It left my hair looking good for at least two more days. It’s also nice and cool and smells good! Bonus!

pantene-pro-v-intense-repair-collection

Pantene Pro-V Intense Repair Collection – I don’t really think that my hair is damaged, but you can never protect your hair too much can you? It smells and feels like something that you would get in a salon. It’s luxurious feeling and leaves your hair very soft. I don’t know about the damage, but I definitely have less frizz and more silky hair that i don’t have to throw in a ponytail to hide. It will be perfect for protecting my hair from those sub-zero temperatures.

invisibobble-hair-ring

Invisibobble Hair Ring – These little spiral hair ties have an interesting back story. They were inspired by phone cords, back in the day when people had home phones. They are meant to give you less headaches, stop that annoying hair crimp and be simple to use. I find them a bit clunky, but they are definitely softer on my hair. They don’t feel like they are hold my hair so tight it hurts. I kept thinking that they were falling out. It’s a weird feeling to get used to, but you just have to trust the Invisibobble. It could change your ponytails forever.