Category: PR Sample

Tarte Mermaid Collection Most Wanted

Mermaid and unicorn makeup are everywhere right now and I totally get it. Between the pastels, metallics and all the colours in between; they’re just pretty and fun. Tarte’s new Mermaid collection is pretty big and has everything from an eyeshadow palette, tons of lip options, brushes and skin care and it’s all got mermaid themed packaging. It’s hard to cover a collection that large in one go, so these are my Most Wanted from the Mermaid collection.

Palettes are usually the focus of most collections and the Be A Mermaid & Make Waves collection is definitely a star. There are fourteen matte and metallic shades that range from neutrals to some pops of colour and the pigments are pretty great. Tarte’s shadows are generally my go to’s from day to day and this palette is definitely getting a spot in my routine.

Two of my favourite lippies from the collection are the Limited Edition Tarteist Quick-Dry Matte Lip Paint in Exposed and the Holographic Lip Gloss. Exposed is a gorgeous neutral pink that doesn’t leave your lips feeling dried out and while I don’t love lip gloss, the Holographic Lip Gloss isn’t sticky or tacky at all and so, so pretty.

Exposed, Holographic Lip Gloss, Gloss over Exposed

You can use these separately or layer the gloss over Exposed as a topper.

My absolute favourite from the entire collection is the Mermaid Skin Hyaluronic H2O serum. This vegan serum is packed with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5, Algae and marine extracts and keeps your skin super hydrated and glowing. It doesn’t have a strong scent and literally melts into your skin. It’s on the watery side, so you have to be quick applying it but it’s so worth it. It feels so nice.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I look into how to become a mermaid full-time.

Pretty Vulgar Bury Them With a Smile Matte Lipstick Collection

With spring finally here and the weather in Toronto slowly becoming bearable again, I’ve started to come out of my winter hibernation ‘blah-mode’ and have gone into full blown ‘cute-mode.’ You know that mode, where everything pretty and girly and pink just speaks to you on a ‘that would be sooooooo cute – I totally need that’ kind of level.  That mode where you finally want to dress up in cute spring outfits, let your gorgeous locks fly and rock a smile-worthy lip colour. This is where Pretty Vulgar’s Bury Them With a Smile Matte Lipstick Collection comes to play.

Pretty Vulgar is a relatively new brand that has become well-known for their glamorous vintage inspired packaging that never fails to bring that wow-factor. No boring black tubes here, instead the packaging is laced with delicate details that give the collection a feeling of old-time enchantment.

Once I got past the adorable exterior and actually tried out the vegan and cruelty free matte lipstick line, I was impressed. The attention to detail the company puts into packaging definitely wasn’t lost on the lip colour’s formula itself. I thought the lipstick was delicate and creamier than your average brand and a little went a long way. My lips also didn’t dry out at all using this line, probably thanks to the mango seed butter, shea butter, and avocado oil in the ingredients list. Staying power was slightly above average but don’t expect these colours to last through a full meal or night of drinks.

So my Spring search for all things cute has started off with a successful huzzah. My favourite colour of the line is easily 11 – Mood Swing, it really adds an adorable and bright pop of pink to my look and gives me one more reason to smile.

 

 

 

 

Most Wanted Relief For Dry, Itchy Scalp

We’re back! I’ve spent the past four month stuck in my house due to illness and it’s been taking a major toll on my skin. But it’s also been doing a number on my scalp. My scalp is dry and itchy all year long but once you add in how dry winter has been in Toronto this year and having the heat blasting constantly, my scalp has gone from dry and itchy to unbearable. I have oily, greasy and itchy scalp with super dry hair. So I was on a mission to find something that would help.

Kératase Spécifique Bain Divalent

I’m a huge Kérastase fan, so when I heard they were bringing out Spécifique, a line just for scalp issues, I was super excited. Unfortunately most of the products contain soy and I’m allergic, so I couldn’t try anything but this shampoo. Luckily Bain Divalent was exactly what I was looking for. It balances out my oily roots and my dry hair. It doesn’t fix all my scalp problems but it definitely helps with my hair issues that come from them. It’s really light and fresh and smells delicious.

IGK LOW KEY Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub

I originally got a tiny sample of this scrub from Sephora and the first time I used it, I hated it. It turns out there’s a learning curve to this one and I ended up buying the full size (the only actual beauty product I’ve bought so far this year). Once you get the hang of how to get this scrub to your scalp, it’s the most refreshing thing your head will ever feel. The walnut shells aren’t too large and the minty scent is cooling. I definitely recommend following up with a different shampoo and conditioner after but your scalp will feel amazing immediately after using this. I’m fairly certain this is going to be one of my staples going forward.

Garnier Whole Blends Oat Delicacy collection

Sometimes dry, itchy scalp just comes from sensitive skin and if that’s the case for you, this Oat Delicacy line is hands down the gentlest shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever used. The Oat Milk and Rice Cream blend are super soft and hydrating, while leaving your hair soft and not weighed down. It actually feels gentle when you’re using it. I honestly can’t think of another word for it. I don’t really care for the scent but the results are worth it.

Moroccanoil Dry Scalp Treatment

I’ve been using Moroccanoil for years but I haven’t tried too many of their other products. Unlike the other treatments I’ve used, this one starts before the shower. You apply this to your scalp in sections, wait up to ten minutes and then get in the shower, rinse it out and shampoo and condition as usual. Since this is an oil, I really expected it to get greasy but it really doesn’t. And the more regularly you use it, the less you’ll have to. Moroccanoil also recommends this for anyone sensitive to hair colour before they head to the salon to prevent itchiness and to protect the scalp.

If you use anything for dry, itchy scalp that isn’t on this list, definitely let us know. We always looking to try something new!

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm 2018

Happy International Women’s Day! I’ve started to really look forward to this day every year, not just because it’s all about celebrating women but also because it means L’Occitane’s Solidarity Balm is coming. Each year, L’Occitane releases a shea butter balm in a different scent for under $10 (it’s $7 CAD) and all the profits go towards women in Burkina Faso. This year the program for Women’s Leadership in Burkina Faso has three goals:

1. Writing a better future
L’OCCITANE has helped more than 10.000 women to learn how to read and write since 2008. It also supports the education of 450 girls for four years at secondary school.

2. Boosting ambitions
L’Occitane has allowed 8,000 women to benefit from micro-credit since 2009.

3. Revealing leadership
L’OCCITANE launched the “L’OCCITANE pour Elles” program, in 2016, to boost entrepreneur women’s actions and scale up their business.

The scent of the Solidarity Balm this year is apricot and while last year’s violet is still my favourite, this one is a really warm, happy scent. I literally use these balms on everything from cuticles to scrapes to random hair frizz. I currently have the cold from hell and I’ve been using on the chapped skin around my nose and my dried out lips. These last forever too. I still have a lot left of last year’s and even a little from the year before.

For $7, you’re going to want to stock up here, especially if you love this year’s apricot scent. So far I haven’t seen them repeat themselves scent wise. And you can help other women while you’re saving your own skin.

I can’t wait to see what scent comes out next year.

Lipstick Queen Dating Game Collection

I adore Lipstick Queens collections and their newest one, Dating Game is a set of four pink lipsticks perfect for Valentine’s Day. With the tagline flirt, date or fall in love – have a fling with pink! there’s a pink for every mood.

I have to say, I’m really not a pink person but these four shades are seriously pretty and super flattering. They’re all really creamy and comfortable with major colour payoff. They’re not transferproof but do a decent job sticking around but reapplying is going to be necessary, especially if you’re eating. The names of the shades are adorable as well; Good Catch (soft, rosy blush), Bad Boy (fuchsia), Mr. Right (warm, rosy pink) and Mr. Right Now (bold magenta).

I personally love Mr. Right but Good Catch and Bad Boy are close behind and Mr. Right Now is probably going to be Stephanie’s favourite spring lipstick. Even if you don’t manage to hunt these down for Valentine’s Day, you can always plan ahead for next year.

Most Wanted of 2017

Happy 2018 everyone! It feels like 2017 went by in a minute but we still found time to try a ton of products, some new, some new to us. These are our Most Wanted of 2017

Lush Scrubee

The first time I tried this scrub/body butter combination, Stephanie brought one back from London for me before they were available in Canada. I’ve been using it ever since and it’s hands down my most replaced product of the year. The combination of cocoa and shea butters and ground almonds and coconut shells leave you with incredibly smooth and moisturized skin. The little bee shape is adorable and the honey scent is delicious. It’s such a fan favourite that this originally limited edition product became part of the permanent Lush collection.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Glossier coming to Canada was a huge deal this year and we’ve had a chance to try a number of products but this cleanser has quickly become my go to face wash. The super light texture doesn’t dry out my skin and leaves it soft and calm. I usually use this after I’ve taken my makeup off but it does a decent job of getting off makeup in a pinch. I love that the scent is just as gentle as the texture and that it works amazingly well with my Clarisonic.

Invisibobble Meow & Ciao

I’ve been obsessed with Invisibobble since the first one I tried. I wear my hair up nearly all the time and this hair band doesn’t give me headaches but holds my hair in ponytails or buns without my fine hair coming out of them. Meow & Ciao is from the holiday I Live In Wonderland collection and the pretty purple shade is a nice change from the boring neutrals I’ve been using.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

This mascara has been a cult fave for years and I honestly don’t know how I hadn’t used it before. We received one in a Benefit holiday gift and I’ve been using it almost exclusively ever since. I don’t know where this mascara has been all my life but it’s consistently given me the best lashes I’ve ever had. I get a ton of length and volume and don’t have to use my eyelash curler if I don’t want to. This is going to be in my makeup bag forever.

Garnier Whole Blends Illuminating Moroccan Argan and Camellia Oils

I know both Argan and Camellia oils are used a ton in hair products and I’ve tried quite a few of them but something about this combination is just a winner. The shampoo has a unique texture (you can feel the oil) but it lathers really nicely and if a shampoo can be called comforting, this is it. The conditioner doesn’t feel really thick until it hits your hair, which means you don’t need a lot at all and you should use less than you normally would (trust me). The Illuminating Oil gets rid of most of my frizz and leaves my hair soft, manageable and shiny. This is probably the best drugstore shampoo line I’ve ever tried and I’ll definitely pick up more when I run out.

 

Sothys Paris Reflet – 2017 Limited Edition Make-Up Collection

Sothys Paris, a French based company known for their high performance skin-care lines, has released a limited edition makeup collection Reflet. This set is gorgeous and everything you’d expect from a company like Sothys! It’s sophisticated, elegant and creates the perfect timeless holiday party makeup look.

The collection consists of a dark smokey eye in either dark grey (10 – Gris Zinc) or plum (20 – Feutrine Prune), rose coloured blush (not in this review), bright lips in either red (320 – Rouge des arts) or a lighter rose (310 – Rose Lepic), and a red nail polish (310 – Rouge des arts). If you are looking for a super bold holiday look, combine the grey smokey eye and red lip, or swap in the plum smokey eye or lighter rose lipstick to soften things up just a tiny bit.

For all the makeup beginners out there, or anyone looking for some tips, Sothys also has a super helpful online video that shows you how to apply the Reflet collection.

The eyes – The smokey eye pencils are thicker and used for the base colour on your eye lid. Both the dark grey and plum contain shimmering glitter for a metallic, almost iridescent look. The smaller pencils are the eye contour pencils and used for shading the outside corners of the eye. The grey contour pencil has the same shimmer as the smokey eye pencils, but the plum is just a regular matte plum. These pencils applied so smoothly, it was almost as if they melted when touching my skin. They were also really easy to blend, making it one of the quicker and easier smokey eye looks. For a flawless finish I would finish the smokey eye off with a really thin application of black eyeliner.

The lips – The lip sticks come in a bold red and a lighter rose colour, both being matte. These were my favourite part of the entire set. They applied so smoothly, and once dried, the colour had minimal fade or transfer. The application felt so weightless and moisturized my dry chapped lips so well, I actually forgot I was wearing lipstick. If you’ve been looking for the perfect stand-out bold lipstick for a formal occasion, the red is perfect.

The nails – After trying out and loving the rest of the collection, I had really high hopes for the red nail polish, which is the same shade as the red lipstick. The formula is just a tiny bit runnier than I’d like, which means you’ll definitely need two coats for a flawless application, but on the bright side, it dried pretty quick and matched the red lipstick perfectly.

The verdict – Every piece of the collection I tried was a hit, with the red lipstick being the absolute must have star. I’d recommend this collection to anyone looking for an easy and seductive holiday party look.

Holiday 2017: Makeup Gifts

Makeup gifts are literally my favourite beauty anything. I love to see the different sets and minis. I find a ton of new favourite products this way every year and if I could only get makeup once a year, I’d choose December.

Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda

People constantly ask if I get certain products and if they can have them. This hands down the most requested thing all season. Everyone wants one of these pretty palette/agenda combinations. I actually think it’s such a great idea and a nice change from Too Faced’s holiday products from the past few years. The agenda is useable and the palette has some great shades. Plus you get a mini lipstick and mascara.

Benefit Eye Heart SF

Benefit released a bunch of these trippy snow globe shaped gifts this year, but this one is my favourite. It includes three full sized products (They’re Real! Mascara, Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Gimme Brow – both in shade 3) and two minis (the POREfessional and They’re Real! Tinted Primer). This is a great way to try Benefit for the first time and I love how fun the packaging is.

Artis Brush Craft The New Classics

These might not be makeup but you definitely need good brushes for your makeup. If you know someone who really wants to try Artis’ brushes but can’t afford them, Brush Craft is their more affordable sibling. For $100 you can get this brush set as well as the cleaning pad and cleansing foam, and if you’ve never tried cleaning brushes like this, it’ll change your life. These Brush Craft brushes are a little different from what we’re all used to but once you get the hang of them, you’ll never go back.

Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set

This is one of the few things I’ve bought myself this year. There were at least three shades I wanted to try and I figure why not try the minis so I know if I like them. With eight shades including one exclusive (Madrid), you get a ton of shade selection. Just keep in mind, these are all on the darker/neutral side of things. If you’re looking for bright lipstick, skip this one but there are some great winter colours in here. Also, Madrid needs to be a permanent shade.

Tarte Treasure Box

As far as I’m concerned, this might be the best gift set that Tarte has put out. With 24 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 2 bronzers, a highlighter, a full size Sex Kitten eyeliner and a mini mascara and lipstick, you could be set for the whole year. I really love the shades in this box and if you know someone who’s just starting to use makeup or doesn’t know what colours to use, this is a great way to try things out.

Holiday 2017: Skin Care Gifts

Skin Care gifts are some of the most coveted presents but also sometimes the hardest. Everyone has a different skin type or need, so this list has a little something for everyone.

Sunday Riley – Bright Young Thing


Winter does a great job of drying out our skin and make it look dull. This adorable set of minis from Sunday Riley will brighten you right back up. Start with the Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment to exfoliate, add C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum and finish off with Tidal Water Cream and you’ll end up with skin that glows. Even in the middle of a snow storm.

Avon A Box For Fall Moisture

Fall might be over but this little kit will take care of a good chunk of your skin care issues. With cuticle and lip conditioners, a hand cream and a Moisture Therapy body wash and lotion duo, you’ll be covered head to toe. I love the triangle box it comes in as well.

Fresh Picture Perfect Mask Set

If you’re like me and love Fresh’s face masks, you’re going to adore this gift. It includes their Rose Face Mask, Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask and Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask. Plus you get two coloured pencils to colour in the gift box while you’re waiting to take off your masks.

Korres Greek Beauty Sleep Set

There’s really nothing I love more than skin care that works while I sleep (less work for me!) and  this little gift set is amazing good at hydrating and brightening your skin while you sleep. It has their Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Oil and the matching Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. If you want to wake up to magically transformed skin, you need to get this.

Burt’s Bees Travel Essentials

If you’re shopping for someone who travels a lot, this is a great little bag to help them take care of their skin. Inside the carry-on friendly bag is Milk & Honey Body Lotion, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Facial Cleansing Towelettes, Beeswax Lip Balm and a Coconut & Pear Lip Balm. It’s great for a family trip because kids can use these as well.

Beauty Gifts For Under $20

Gifts for under $20? It can’t be real, right? We know how expensive the holidays can get. So these gifts and mini-stocking stuffers are perfect for a tight budget.

Hard Candy Party Ready Set – Fuel the makeup passion of the next generation with this fun glam set. For under $10 you can get this eyeshadow palette, setting spray, eyeliner and liquid lip colour. It also comes with a cute silver bag. The makeup is all fairly neutral to allow new makeup lovers to experiment without going overboard. It’s the perfect affordable gift.

Schick Intuition Winter Gift Set – Every girl has gotten one of these razor gift sets on Christmas morning, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. They are a staple present. This year Intuition has upper the game with a pair of coy fluffy pink socks that I can’t wait to get my toes into. Every girl will love this!

Lipsmacker Disney Holiday Gift Sets – Lipsmacker has the cutest Disney co-branded products for the holidays. They are perfect for beauties of all ages from young to old. I will be adding the little Lip Balm Trio Bags into all of the gifts for my nieces. I know they will love it! I might just snag a few for myself too.

Scunci Hair Accessories – Find all of the stocking stuffers you could ever want with Scunci’s wide range of hair accessories. Skip the basics for the holidays and share some of the more unique products that will help friends try different styles or trends. You could try hair shimmer spray, a fun head wrap or a rose braid accessory that they can use to go glam on New Year’s Eve.

 

Calgon Bath Products – Calgon is another holiday staple that you can share with just about everyone. This year they have more great products and scents at an affordable price. I love the bag of Lavender & Honey Bath Fizzies as an unexpected choice. Their new Costal Gardenia scent is perfect to transport you away to warmer climates for a few seconds. It comes in everything from body spray to moisturizer for pure pampering.