Category: Reviews

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.

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!

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.

 

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.

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.

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!

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes Quickie Review

pinkgrapefruit_cleansing_towelettes

I have loved a lot of face cleansers in my time, but none as much as these from Burt’s Bees. The grapefruit scent is so refreshing. My face feels just as clean as if I had used a regular face wash. Since it’s for normal to oily skin, it leaves my face feeling nice and dry. There is no residue or moisture leftover to clog my pores. My face is just dry and clean. The cleanser can’t stand up to strong waterproof makup, but it will remove any normal makeup and dirt from your average day.

New Soaps From Lush

Lush Soap Bars
Stephanie and I both have a huge love for soap, especially Lush soap. So when I found out they were introducing five new ones, I was pretty excited. They recently discontinued a couple of my favourites (I’m not over it yet), so I was hoping to find a new favourite. I got the inside scoop when I recently had a chance to go on a tour of the Lush factory a month ago but now that they’re available online, I get to talk all about them.
Layer Cake
Lush Layer Cake Soap
Every colour in this soap is made from a different juice (grape, orange, blueberry, pineapple and raspberry), hence the layer part of the name. Obviously this is a really fruity soap that’s colourful and fun for everyone.
Respect Your Elders
Lush Respect Your Elders Soap
Respect Your Elders has a really gorgeous elderflower and elderberry scent that’s light and fruity. It smells close enough to my discontinued Godmother soap, that this might make my new  favourite list.
Maypole
Lush Maypole Soap
I honestly would’ve never thought to combine peppermint oil and maple syrup in anything but the combination is surprisingly delicious. The mint balances out the maple sweetness, while the maple stops the peppermint from being too strong.
Serendipity
Lush Serendipity Soap
I overloaded on lavender scented everything a few years ago and can’t really tolerate the smell of it most of the time. For some reason though, I love Serendipity. Maybe it’s because they use real lavender or maybe because it’s mixed in with chamomile, either way, this is the most calming soap I’ve tried in a long time.
Outback Mate
Lush Outback Mate Soap
If you’re missing Demon In The Dark (who isn’t?), Outback Mate might fill at least part of the void. Made with eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint, this will leave you both refreshed and smell amazing. I had a chance to help make one of these and I took some pictures so you can see all the hard work that goes into it.
IMG_1123IMG_1124IMG_1126
If you don’t have a favourite Lush soap yet or are looking for a new one, you now have five more options to try.

Spring Makeup Brushes & Tools Most Wanted

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your brushes and makeup tools are just as important as the actual makeup you buy. This season, I did a little spring cleaning and updated my brush collection with some new winners.

Sephora Tough As Nails

Sephora Tough As Nails – This is the most bad ass nail set I have ever seen. The second I saw it, I knew I wanted it. The square case had a faux leather, black patent finish and industrial zipper that makes it look so cool to hold. I wish this was a clutch. The tools inside are just as tough. There are 7 tools inside that can transform even the roughest and toughest nails. They aren’t going to crack under pressure. When you hold them in your hands, you can feel that these are heavy duty. Since my boyfriend often steals my nail clippers, I appreciate that now I have a pair strong enough for a man too.

Tweezerman Mini Face Contour Brush Set

Tweezerman Mini Face Contour Brush Set – Since contouring is no longer just for makeup artists and beauty pros, it’s time we all fully understood the proper brushes to use. This set has so many functions. Since I am heading out on a trip soon, all I can think is that it’s ideal for travel. The mini-size and bonus beauty blender are perfect for taking on-the-go. It’s also great for giving you options for face brushes, so that you can test out a few varieties. The flat and pointed brushes, plus the blender, help someone not as familiar with brushes understand the different types. If it was the holidays I would even call this a perfect stocking stuffer. Hopefully, these little sets stay around for a while.

wacoal brush set

Wacoal 30 Years Of Beauty Brush Set – This little set is so luxurious feeling, no one will believe that it came from a lingerie store. The brushes are so soft and fluffy. All I wanted to do the second I got them was brush light powder all over my face. They are also a nice weight, not too light or heavy. The black container is perfect for giving the brushes that luxe feel. You will love the ritual of unwrapping them and putting them away.

Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush

Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush – Calling a brush perfect is daring, but when you have foundation like Shiseido does, you don’t need much to make it feel perfect. Shiseido’s little foundation brush is different from a lot of other brushes that I have used. It makes me feel like I am moving up to the next level of makeup brushes. The short bristles are soft, but not too flexible making it easier to spread cream foundations. I am usually not partial to mini-brushes at home, but in this case I feel like I have more control with this brush.

Cetaphil DermaControl Review + Giveaway

My New Year’s resolution is to take better care of my skin and a big part of that is using a lot more skin care products than I do right now. So we’ve teamed up with Canadian Beauty Bloggers and Cetaphil for their Think Zinc campaign. We’re giving away a set of Cetaphil’s DermaControl Oil Control Foam Face Wash and Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30.
Cetaphil Dermacontrol
Both these products are aimed at combination, oily or blemish-prone skin and have a Zinc Complex that absorbs oil and shine while still leaving your skin hydrated. I fall under the combination category but my skin is a lot more dry than oily in the winter so I was a little scared to try something made for much oilier skin.

Luckily, I really didn’t have to worry. The Foam Face Wash isn’t too thick a foam and it’s really gentle. I didn’t have any redness and it even got some pretty stubborn makeup off. My skin did feel a tiny bit tight after washing my face but not nearly as much as I expected. The Oil Control Moisturizer is really light and you don’t need a lot. It left my skin feeling amazingly soft and all the tightness from washing my face was gone instantly. This moisturizer also leaves a matte look to your skin so you don’t have that greasy moisturizer look.

I can’t wait to use this set in the summer when my skin is much oilier and harder to control.
You can find more information on Cetaphil’s DermaControl here.

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