Let me tell you a tale of this little Essence mascara: The Forbidden Volume Mascara. This review started out very differently.
I received this essence product in a bag full of eye makeup for a glam night out. It had silver eyeliner and liquid liner. Everything a girl could ever want for serious drama. That’s why I was so surprised when I applied this to my lashes. There was no drama here. My lashes looked weak.
I downgraded this to a day product, but still wasn’t thrilled. After 2 or 3 coats, it would work as my office makeup look, but I don’t like having to work so hard for this.
I used this mascara for weeks. For some reason I wasn’t willing to give up on it. The colour was great on my eyes. I liked that it wasn’t waterproof, but stayed put. It came off easily at the end of the day. It never irritated my eyes. It was a bit clumpy sometimes, but I could usually clean the wand to fix it.
Finally it came time to write this review. I brought the Essence mascara to my computer. I started writing. I wanted to make sure that I got the name correct, so I looked at the package. Essence Forbidden Volume False Lash Mascara Topcoat. Wait a minute! Topcoat? I had no idea it was a topcoat. The instructions on the side of the bottle say to apply it over your favourite mascara.
You mean this is to enhance your favourite mascara? I was never supposed to wear this alone! This changes everything. As a top coat, this essence mascara is perfect to add thickness and colour to your lashes. As a bonus, you can also wear it as your daytime mascara in a pinch. 😉
Cake Beauty Rush Brush Dry Shampoo Powder Volumizing Brush – I love dry shampoo, but I have always been more drawn to spray shampoos over powders. I’ve used a number of powder dry shampoos, but I always had a big problem with applying powder to my hair. The Rush Brush fixed that. This powder has a brush attached to it, so that you can brush it into your hair. The powder has a bit of a sweet smell and a little golden shimmer, but nothing that will be irritating or change the colour of your hair. I am having so much fun with this powder. Bonus it’s small and easy to travel with!
No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum – I’m not a huge fan of serums, but No 7’s advanced serum is more than just your average serum. My main issue with serums is that the request too much dedication. This serum has more going on than just long term effects. This one also gave my face serious moisture when I applied it. It absorbs really quickly and leaves my skin feeling surprisingly smooth. My skin felt amazing just days after using it.
Biotherm Aquasource Everplump – When I do turn to a moisturizer, this is one of the ones that I always keep close at hand. Biotherm makes one of the best moisturizers on the market. Their gel moisturizer actually changed the way I think about my skin. It doesn’t surprise me that I love the Everplump variety of one of my favourite moisturizers. From the new plumping formula to the smoothing feel to the pine scent, it all combines to leave my face looking beautiful and feeling great.
Clinique City Block Purifying Collection – I have loved the new Clinique charcoal clay-based collection this fall. There is a cleansing gel and a mask + scrub and both have a fun black colour that are fun to use. The gel cleanser is for everyday use. It’s really thick and, well, gel-like in its consistency. You will need a lot of water to get a good lather and texture on your face. I found it easier to use in the shower. The payoff is great, because your face feels clean and soft. For a deeper clean try the scrub. This one is great to use as a mask, because you can feel it working on your skin as it dries. I don’t know about you, but nothing beats a good clay mask in my books.
Bosley Healthy Hair Rebalancing & Finishing Treatment – This bottle of hair oil doesn’t look pretty or fancy. That’s why it took me so long to use it. Once I read the bottle I was impressed by everything it claimed to do. You can use it on damp hair, dry hair or your scalp. I’ve had scalp issues for months, so I knew I had to try it. And now I will never go back! Rubbing this oil into my scalp after a shower helped my head stop being so dry and itchy after just two uses. I have been suffering for months and the solution was in this little bottle. The bonus is that I can use it on the rest of my hair to make it smooth and shiny. Thank you Bosley!
Toronto’s humidity really isn’t conducive to good summer hair. The amount of frizz we’ve come up with has been pretty scary, so these are our Most Wanted summer products for combating the evil frizz.
Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Renewal Deep Conditioner
When the summer leaves my hair extra dry and frizzy, I have been replacing my regular conditioner with this special deep conditioner. I like that I can just swap this into my regular routine without having to make any big changes. You can use it daily or weekly depending on what your hair needs. My hair’s pretty thick, so I used it at least once a week, but I can see how it could weigh down lighter hair. My hair looked great while using it, so I am keeping it close at hand for emergencies.
Kérastase Laque Couture Hairspray
This hairspray is great for people who aren’t sure what they really need for their hair. The spray is a very fine mist that is easy to start light and layer it on in stages. I found that it dried in my hair extremely quickly, so I wasn’t just spraying blindly. It’s easy to spray and then instantly know if you need a little more. The first time I used this I misjudged the power and sprayed a bit too many layers. Trust Kerastase and know that it has got you covered.
Kérastase Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk
This summer has been rough on my hair. It has been frizzier than usual from day one. There was no question that I was in need of this! This Kerastase Milk is easy to. All that you have to do is apply it to your towel dried hair. It says to apply extra on really dry parts, which for me was pretty much my entire head. Then you have to blow dry it. I opted to straighten it as well to ensure my waves we sleek. My hair looked awesome and stayed manageable for almost an entire week. At about the 5 day mark I hit it with some dry shampoo and knew the magic was over. Five days of easy to control hair is better than none!
Sebastian Dry Clean Only Instant Refreshing Spray
This dry shampoo from Sebastian is for serious emergencies only! It’s for days when your hair needs a real pick-me-up. It does have a very light, almost white colouring, so be ready to brush it through well. I love how well it absorbs all of the oil in my hair, but it is strong, so save it for the worst days.
Fave 4 Up For Air
I air dry my hair 99% of the time and I haven’t had a ton of luck with air dry creams in the past. So when we received a travel sized version of Fave 4’s Up For Air air dry cream, I didn’t have high expectations. Boy was I wrong. This stuff is amazing! You only need a tiny bit to run through your hair and just let it work while your hair dries. My hair hasn’t been crunchy or sticky since I started using it and it has a really nice tropical smell. My frizz has cut down significantly and I’m already on the hunt for a full size version.
Biotherm Body Milk Sun Protection
Moisturizer meet sunscreen. With an SPF rating of just 15, this isn’t the kind of sun protection that you are going to wear on a trip out to the beach. For those days, we have stocked up on lots of serious sun protection. This is the super moisturizing body product that also happens to protect your skin while you’re out. I love it for work days when I will probably be indoors most of the time, but still want protection. It will also be great for the winter when you sometimes forget to wear sunscreen. It does have a tangy lemon scent that smells a bit like cleaning products, so be sure to have perfume ready if you aren’t crazy about lemons.
Clarins Sun Care Milk-Lotion Spray
I’ve had some bad luck with spray sun screen this summer. None of them have the right spray with the right power. Clarins is getting closer to perfection with their milk-lotion. The spray is a bit weird. It doesn’t spray evenly, so you have to spread it around. The SPF is also just 20, so it’s not strong enough for many people I know. That said, everytime I wore it my skin was totally protected. I didn’t burn anywhere and started to feel really confident in this sunscreen. It goes to show sometimes you have to give things a chance.
Garnier Ombrelle Sport Endurance Sunscreen
It’s been so hot this summer that you need a sunscreen that is going to last through everything. Garnier’s new sunscreen is not just water resistant, but also sweat resistant. I love how quickly it absorbs into my skin and it doesn’t leave any weird residue. My skin still feels like my skin.
Banana Boat Sun Comfort Sunscreen Lotion
Somehow I’ve made it this long without ever using Banana Boat sunscreen lotion. It might be one of my new faves now. I love the faint smell. I love how it makes my skin feel moisturized. I love how strong it is to protect me from the sun. I’m not sure how I feel about the claim that sand will brush off easily. While I’ve only used it at the pool, I doubt that this is true. Regardless it’s still my new favourite sunscreen.
Mac Cosmetics is always on point, but this season more than ever before I am in love their new products. I was going to write a bunch of different posts about each product, but if you are heading to Mac this season I wanted you to have one place to go for everything.
MAC Zac Posen Haute Contour Powder Blush
First of all, the name! Yes on all levels! Second, the colours! They make me want to be on a beach somewhere. The bronzer is dark and golden and dreamy. The blush is pink and shimmery. I appreciate that this is a light pink without a hint of coral. It is perfect for contouring your face for a sculpted look, but it can also be used in any of your looks. I like that it’s so versatile to work with your look.
Mac Brooke Candy Eye Gloss in White-Yin and Black-Yang
Rapper Brooke Candy is back for another collection with Mac and this one is daring. Honestly, a lot of this collection makes me feel old. I just don’t think I can pull off dark purple lipstick at my age. The Eye Gloss is very cool though. Transform any regular eye shadow with a top coat of this glossy finish. There is a white and black, so that you can choose whether you want a darker look or a shimmery light look. It stays gloss to give you that wet eyeshadow look. It’s a weird sensation to live with. I’m not sure how I feel about having sticky wet eyelids, but the look is very cool!
Eye Shadow X 9: Dusky Rose Times Nine Palette
If you’re more of a traditional eye shadow girl, the Eyes On MAC is all you’ll ever need shadow wise. We already tried one when they first came out and now they’ve added more shade combinations. Dusky Rose is my favourite for spring (although Pastel Times Nine is a close second) because it’s just so pretty. You have everything from pink to brown to silver that all are rose tinged. I also love these palettes because you get so many look options in one place and they’re so affordable that you can pick up multiple shades if you want.
All The Right Angles Contour Palette
At first, I wasn’t really sure how to use this contour palette. I needed to look it up to see what each of the pots contained. Once I had mastered the idea, I became absolutely obsessed with this palette. The Cream Colour Base is such a nice product. I don’t even need foundation with this. It has a bit of a shimmer and leaves my face looking amazing without a lot of work. Then I add on sculpting and shaping powders to shape my face and give me those cheek bones I wasn’t born with. This might be one of the best products that I’ve ever owned, let alone the best of the season.
MAC Pro Beyond Twisted Lash
Take your lashes from straight to ultimately twisted with this new mascara. The mascara is the same quality mascara that you expect from MAC, it’s the wand that you will want to talk about. This mascara wand is flexible, so you can bend it up to 90 degrees. This means you can apply mascara to all of your lashes a LOT easier without having to be a contortionist to do so. I don’t do as well with change, so it’s going to take me a while to get used to apply mascara from a new angle. It’s such a cool design and I can just imagine how this will change things for makeup artists.
I am the worst at keeping regular salon appointments. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hair or waxing appointment. I am always a few weeks later than I should be. I save up my Sweetease Waxing Kits in case of emergency. Sweetease has developed these little easy to use waxing kits for your legs, face and bikini area at home.
Using a Sweetease Waxing Kit is as easy as it sounds. The first step is to warm a strip between your hands. Don’t skimp on the warming time. You want to be sure that it’s very warm so the wax sticks. I found it helpful to sit on the strips that I wasn’t using yet to start warming them up early.
Next peel apart the wax strips slowly. If they aren’t warm enough, you won’t be able to get them apart. You will smell the delicious vanilla scent when you peel them apart.
Now press on the strips in the direction of the hair growth.
Make sure that they are good and stuck! And rip them off quickly in the opposite direction quickly, just like they do in the spa. The success of how well they work depends on how long your hair growth is, how well you stuck it down, how well you ripped it off and your own hair texture.
Overall, it did a great job at getting the hair off. My only complaint is that to do my whole leg, it took quite a long time. I kept trying to find shortcuts to make it go quicker. Like I mentioned, I tried sitting on the strips to warm them. Because my hair is thin, I was also able to use some of the strips twice on the lighter areas.
I don’t think that I would ever use the Sweetease strips for my entire leg again, but they are perfect for touch ups when need be. You can use them on date night or vacation when you don’t have time for a full shave.
Garnier shampoo and conditioner has been such a reliable standard for so long that I was surprised to hear they were doing something new. If it ain’t broke, right? I used to be a very loyal Garnier hair care user. For a while in college, it was the only line I would use. It was the only thing that could handle my thick, frizzy, wavy hair.
The new line is a more natural collection using ingredients that you are familiar with. The collections are paraben free, which is nice, but they aren’t ALL natural. They have natural extracts. The idea behind this line actually makes me a little sad. I wish that Garnier wasn’t playing on the more organic and natural trends in beauty. Since this line isn’t all natural, I kind of feel like I am being duped. Regardless, I wanted to give them a fair shot, since I have love for Garnier in my heart.
I tried the Colour Care line which includes argan oil and cranberry. I was actually really impressed with its performance. The line has a nice consistency and smell. It’s subtle and creamy. My scalp has been so dry this winter and nothing seems to fix it. I was shocked that after a few used to this line and my scalp wasn’t itchy any more. I was so busy thinking about the colour care aspect and whether it stopped frizz, that I almost didn’t even notice how moisturized my hair felt. I have tried a million products. Who would ever believe this Garnier line would be the one to solve all of my issues?
Now that I’m hooked, I am excited to try more from the Whole Blends line!
Whether you’re going out with a significant other or hanging out with the girls, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean super complicated makeup. So we’ve come up with some great products that’ll make your life a little easier.
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Vintage Vamp
Charlotte Tilbury makes her eyeshadow quads really easy for us. All the shades are colour co-ordinated, there’s a little diagram to show us where to use what shade and they pretty much work for any skin tone. I’m in love with The Vintage Vamp. I use the top two shades for every day and the bottom two for added drama. This pink, gold and plum palette goes on so smoothly that I barely need to blend. Plus it’s really pigmented so you can get away with one pass of a brush. The bonus is these shadows last for hours, so I’ve never had to use a shadow primer with them.
Yves Rocher Top Coat For Eye Makeup Fixing
Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t glam up your makeup. These gels transform any old eye makeup into something with more wow factor. It’s easy to use! First you apply your makeup as usual. Second, choose your finish whether it’s glossy, metallic or pearly. Apply the gel using the applicator brush on your lids over your makeup. When I used it with powder shadow, I found that it wiped off my eye shadow. It worked best for me with liner or something that was stronger. The finishes are fun and perfect for any celebration look.
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick in One Of A Kind
This winter I have been all about dark lipsticks this winter. I love them so much. My biggest decision has been red or purple lipstick. Rimmel’s new shade and formula is the perfect mix of both. This lipstick is a rich berry that will satisfy your need to go to the dark side, in a day appropriate way. The lipstick even smells like berries. If you see me around, expect to see the shade!
Clarins 3 Dot Liner
This liner is supposed to make applying the perfect eyeliner easier, but for someone who isn’t confident applying liner it’s terrifying. The three dot pen tip looks like I will just make more mistakes rather than less. Instead it’s easy to get a slick black line. My own line is a bit thicker than I would normally apply it, but it looks great, so I’m not going to complain. Anyone who is trying find their perfect black eye liner should give this innovative pen a try. If you are more skilled than I am, you might be able to create some amazing looks.
FLOWER Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder
I get a little shiny, so I love a finishing powder and FLOWER’s new Miracle Matte powder is fantastic. It’s really silky and easily blends into your skin. It gives you a great matte finish while covering up any imperfections and really does a good job minimizing my pores. It’s the perfect way to finish up the makeup process and it’s a really easy way to make your skin look amazing without a ton of product.
We could all use a little more comfort in our lives. L’Occitane is here to help with new products for soothing and comforting your skin during the driest and harshest skin season.
Replace your regular moisturizer with the L’Occitane Soothing Fluid. I’m not sure why it’s called a fluid. This is a moisturizer with a similar creamy formula as some of your other favourites. It’s here to both comfort and protect sensitive skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I don’t usually use these types of products, but I have to say this is really nice. This moisturizer is extra light and airy. It has a light powder scent that is, dare I say, comforting. It dries very quickly on the skin and leaves no residue or dewiness on my face. I love moisturizer that leaves no trace. I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t notice your moisturizer. That makes this product a winner in my books!
For the evening, we have the L’Occitane Comfort Oil. Oils are the biggest thing in moisturizing right now. Every brand is releasing an oil to add serious moisture to your skin. This product is 100% natural and perfect for all skin types.
While it says you can apply this oil morning and night, I find it a little too thick and oily for day time under my makeup. It leaves residue on your hands that you have to wash off. It’s ideal for applying before bed though to get your moisture while you sleep.
So curl up with L’Occitane this winter to get nice and cozy.
Essence Cosmetics has been quickly pulling ahead of the pack in Canada as the best makeup brand for girls who are new to makeup. With these new makeup boxes they are setting themselves even further apart from other brands. Essence has developed makeup boxes for a variety of different parts of your everyday makeup routine. I tried the How to make Brows Wow box and the How to make Smokey Eyes box.
Both boxes contain everything you will need to get the look they are promising including small brushes, tweezers and step-by-step tutorials. It’s perfect for anyone who’s unsure of themselves when it comes to makeup.
The brows box has a few different colours of powder, so you can match your hair colour. The step-by-step is crucial for anyone who has never shaped their own brows. It’s great to get tips to ensure that you do it right.
The Smokey Eye box has six sparkling eye shadows to get not just a regular smokey eye, but a glammed up version. Again, there is a step-by-step tutorial for newbies. Since how to do a smokey eye is probably one of the most google makeup searches of all time, we know there are lots of people out there who could use this reminder.
Overall these little makeup boxes are a great idea. We hope that essence keeps on developing these kits for all of the makeup newbies out there.