Gosh Contour’N Strobe Kit

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I like the idea of these contour kits that give you all the powders that you need in one place, but Gosh is joining my contour game pretty late. I have spent the past year trying contour kits from every other brand and I only just got the Gosh palette now. Trying to get me to change my favourites at this point is a challenge.

The first thing that I notice is that the colours in this palette all seem to have a bit of a golden sparkle. Luckily for me, that tone suits me, but be careful if gold isn’t your colour. Even though gold suits me, I don’t always want to sparkle. That kept me away from this makeup kit more than anything else.

I want to contour, but not to sparkle. The powders themselves are ok. The darker contouring powder was too dark for me, so I was thankful for two options.

The blush and the highlighter gave me the glow I expected. Overall this palette was ok, but as I said it’s coming last in the contour trend and I already have my makeup bag favourites set. If it isn’t offering me something new, I don’t know why I would replace it.

Halloween Makeup Most Wanted

Get invited to a last-minute Halloween costume and now you need some makeup to go along? This makeup is the perfect finishing touch to any Halloween night!

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Ramy OMG! Over Mascara Glitter & Liner – Add that final touch of sparkle to any costume with Ramy’s sparkly mascara. Apply your regular mascara and then use the purple or blue glitter to add glam to your lashes or as an eyeliner.

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MAC Cosmetics Liptensity Lipstick – Yes, MAC does have a Halloween collection, but I am more in awe of their new Liptensity collection. While you are picking out your new favourite red, pick up a Halloween suitable colour. Why not the Beat Blue, Heelborne purple or Stallion black!

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Make Up For Ever Fluo Night Black Light Pigment – How often do you have an excuse to wear black light reacting makeup? I say you run to the nearest Make Up For Ever counter to get this no matter what your costume is.

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Lise Watier Sculpting Trio Wet & Dry Powders  – I know that this powder trio is supposed to be for contouring and highlighting your face, but it is dark enough that you could do some great Halloween makeup with it as well. Use the darker shades of grey and beige to get the sunken in eyes and cheeks of a skeleton or zombie.

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Lush Pumpkin Bath Bomb – If you aren’t into looking scary or going out, stay in with this cute bath bomb. Who doesn’t want to get all wrapped up in the smell of pumpkin spice in the tub?

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Marcelle 3-in-1 Eye Make-Up Remover – When the night is done, use this makeup remover to remove all of that eye makeup you’ve applied. This makeup remover will get rid of the makeup you didn’t even know you were still wearing.

Makeup Most Wanted Interview: Les Industries Groom

One of the biggest things in beauty right now is men’s grooming. There are tons of companies popping up all over the place to help men groom their beards and generally keep them looking great. Les Industries Groom is a Montreal-based company started by three friends Julien Blanchard, Maxime Leclerc, and Etienne Côté. We’ve already had a chance to check out a few of their products and we have more on deck. In the meantime, Julien took the time to do our Makeup Most Wanted interview and tell us a little bit of their story and what they have coming up next.

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Do you remember your first experience with grooming products?

I do remember my first time shaving. As a boy growing up, you know it’s one of these milestone moments of life. It’s acknowledging that your body has changed in such a way that you have to adapt how you approach it, and there will be no turning back!

In a way you’re prepared for it since shaving is such a universal (maybe I should say « man-versal ») action. You see it on TV and films (Home Alone features a great scene of how NOT to use aftershave!) Still there is a lot of unknown and expectations are high.

I think I was disappointed after that first shave; the way my father taught me was too quick, too simple and it seemed to lack meaning.

Shaving being such a harsh treatment on the skin, it turned out to be a painful experience that I would repeat only when I had no choice. It took many years of sporting trimmed stubble before I actually discovered how to shave the right way, with the right tools and products.

How did Groom get started?

Groom really happened by chance, and still today, we three co-founders are still surprised by how it happened, and how quickly it happened! I decided to grow a full-on handlebar moustache, and at the same time I met a new flatmate, Maxime, who had decided to grow a full-beard; that was just before beards and moustaches made their real comeback. We quickly figured out that there was some maintenance to be done… but no available products for it!

We found some online from the USA, but each moustache wax or beard oil/balm that we ordered seemed to be just a bit off: either the feel wasn’t quite there, or the fragrance not just right. Gradually we knew what quality products should be like.

It took Étienne, whom we met by chance in a cocktail bar, to throw the idea of making some products ourselves. Since we had other occupations and none of us any background in business management, it started out as a fun thing to do: registering a business, learning how to run it, enjoying the thrill of its growth. It gradually took more time in our lives, so we moved it into a commercial space and hired some of our friends to help with production. Now it’s a full-time occupation for us three and a part- to full-time job for 5 other people.

Did any of you have experience making any kind of shaving product before?

No experience whatsoever. We made dozens and dozens of tests for each product, changing dosage here, switching an ingredient there, tweaking the fragrance. In regular business thinking we probably wasted a lot of time developing the products ourselves since we first had to teach ourselves how to do it. However, it allowed us a solid slow-growth approach during which we as persons grew to learn and adopt our roles within the business. Now it allows us to stand in full confidence behind our products.
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Do you have a favourite out of all the Groom products?

It’s hard to have just one favourite! I don’t have children but I can imagine it’s similar to being a parent: you love each child equally for who he/she is.

Since my arm is being twisted, I would have to say that I have a little something special for our old-fashioned shaving products: the aftershave splash and the shaving soap. They resonate with that moment when I discovered – over ten years after my first experience – the true pleasure of shaving with the right products.

 With all the men’s lines around right now, what makes Groom different?

There seems to be a strong trend in marketing strategies for men’s lines. They tend to prescribe their vision of manliness by building their campaign around high-profile athletes, motorcycles, attractive women, etc. The psychology behind it has proven to be successful: you choose the products according to what you wish to identify with, carelessly subscribing at the same time to questionable stereotypes.

Since our approach is rooted in the use of traditional products, it made sense for us to foster a genuine, inclusive approach. Becoming a man is a thing that takes time, requires thought that turns into maturity, and grooming reflects that principle.

In our photo shoots we wanted to put forward a diversity of genuine men. Our models are friends or relatives that have a life story: cooks, artists, barbers, carpenters, fathers. They couldn’t be more different from each other, yet they share an essence of masculinity. This is what we want to put forward: be the best man you can be, whoever that is.

Are there any new products coming up?

This year has been a hectic one, with the development of 2 brand new products: a shaving cream and an aftershave balm. They will be the keystone of our shaving line, finalizing a chapter that has required tons of efforts. We’re also looking forward to offering a Trial Kit and a Gift Box for our shaving products, and some branded items (shaving brush, hand towel, dopp-kit) are on the way.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Groom?

In the past few years, we have witnessed a deep and durable change in how men approach their masculinity. There seems to be a search for the authentic, digging out old traditions and tools in the process. We’re ecstatic to see this happening; our goal is to encourage this movement by providing products, tools and knowledge.

As a Canadian brand that uses natural ingredients, manufactures its own products and puts forward an inclusive image of grooming and masculinity, we strive to be recognized as a genuine agent in that new era.

* Les Industries Groom will have a new shaving collection available as of November 1st that includes shaving cream, aftershave balm and shaving kits. For more information on Les Industries Groom or any of their products you can head to their Les Industries Groom.

Most Wanted Fall Eyeshadow

Fall is really my favourite time of year for makeup. I love the warmness of the shades and I love that you can play around with different finishes and colour combinations. Other than fall nail polish, fall eyeshadow is my absolute favourite, so these are our Most Wanted Fall Eyeshadows
Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy
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This metallic copper bronze shadow just screams fall to me. I’ve gotten to the point where I generally like single shadows better than a palette because I can mix and match. Kat Von D’s Metal Crush shadows are some of my favourites because they’re so creamy and blendable and I find there’s minimal fallout. They also have incredible staying power for a metallic shadow, especially if you use a primer first. I have two Metal Crush shades I love an insane amount and Synergy is one of them.
Paul & Joe Eye Color CS 102 Les Feuilles Morte
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If you’re going to do a post on fall eyeshadow, you have to include one where the shades are inspired by autumn leaves. You can wear each shade of this trio individually, but if you mix them together you get this gorgeous dark rose gold. I love Paul & Joe’s packaging, especially the limited edition designs and the light paper packaging. You just have to be careful not to leave it too close to the sink or get it wet.
Lise Watier Chic & Rustique Palette
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I adore Lise Watier’s palettes, especially around the fall and holiday seasons and I especially love this one. Three of the shades are matte and three are shimmery. The colours range could be the definition of fall, with green, rust and brown. What sets these shadows apart is that their formula is half cream and half powder, so you get the best of both. They’re really creamy and blendable and there’s virtually zero fallout.
Quo Cosmetics Clean Sweep Eyeshadow Palette
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If you’re looking for shades that aren’t typically fall, this Clean Sweep palette might be what you want. With shades ranging from gold to grey to blue, there are a ton of options for different looks here. The shadows are a little on the powdery side, so you’ll need a primer to get good coverage but this palette is a great option for someone who loves to play with different shadows.
GOSH 9 Shades – To Be Cool In Copenhagen
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To Be Cool In Copenhagen is pretty much my essential matte palette. It has a great range of shades from nudes, to browns to black which makes it something I use on an almost daily basis, even if I’m using it as a base under other shadows. The shadows are powdery but not chalky and they’re a good size for a palette. There are a few other palettes in the 9 Shades collection but I really like this one the best and can see myself replacing it if it ever runs out.

Flower Beauty Sunshine Fragrance

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I’m the kind of person who changes my perfume according to my mood. And season. I basically just like changing up my scent all the time but it’s pretty rare for a fragrance to change my mood for me. When we received Flower Beauty’s Sunshine, it was heading into fall and I was convinced that I would categorize it as a summer scent. Well I was partially right but what I didn’t expect was for Sunshine to automatically put me in a good mood every time I put it on.

With top notes of clementine, lady apple and white freesia; heart notes of yellow peony, pear blossom and jasmine sambac and base notes of golden amber, sweet cassia and clean musks; this fruity floral scent could’ve also been named ‘happy.’ There’s a strong alcohol scent that takes a while to mellow but once it does, it just smells delicious. The box it comes in is pretty huge so I was really surprised to see a tiny 30 ml bottle inside, but this is an Eau de Parfum so a little goes a long way. It’s also $19.99 at Walmart and in my experience, a fragrance this nice usually costs a lot more. Sunshine lasts about four hours on me before I notice it starting to fade but if I spray it on a hoodie, it lasts a really long time.

I’ve tried a lot of fragrances that describe themselves as smelling like sunshine. And while that doesn’t really have a scent, Sunshine is probably the closest it’s come to what I imagine.

Seche Vive Quickie Review

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I’ve never replaced any nail product as much as Seche Vite. I use it so regularly that I have the refill bottle and the matching thinner. Nothing has ever matched it as a top coat for drying speed or the gorgeous shine it gives my manicures. Seche recently introduced Seche Vive, another quick drying top coat that gives an instant gel effect. So how does Vive stack up against Vite? Pretty well actually. Vive is slightly thicker and takes a tiny bit longer to dry (maybe an extra thirty seconds) but it gives off seriously shine that lasts for weeks.

I’ve used it on a bunch of different types of polishes; colours that chip quickly, ones that last a while on their own and ones that just don’t last. I’ve had major success with all of them. I wore a red polish that drives me crazy because I get so much tip wear with it and I went for two weeks with virtually zero change and a ton of shine. If I didn’t have nail growth at my nail beds, I could’ve left it on longer. The only drawback to Seche Vive that I’ve found, is even though you take it off with regular polish remover, it’s definitely more difficult to get off than Seche Vite.

If you have issues getting your polish to stay looking good and don’t want to go get a gel manicure, this is seriously the next best thing. I’m still loyal to my Seche Vite but this is my new backup.

Dessange Paris Balancing Collection

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Dessange Paris is bringing the salon feel to your hair at home with this balancing collection. If you are looking for something totally different, then keep on reading.

This hair care line starts very different than any other hair line you use. You start with the Dessange Paris Purifying Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask. This hair mask is made to help oily scalps by absorbing all of that oil before you get in the shower. You have to use a little brush to apply this green clay all over your scalp. You are going to look silly and probably make a bit of a mess. That is just a warning! Now you have to wait about five to ten minutes before you hop in the shower to rinse it all out.

Once you get in the shower, it’s now time for the Balancing Shampoo. When all of the mask is rinsed out, you can continue to wash your hair with this shampoo. It’s interesting to think of the shampoo as what is conditioning your hair, but this cleanser does add back in some of that moisture. It is especially nice one the ends of your hair.

It was really hard to not condition my hair after using both of these products. Everything I know about my hair leads me to want to condition, so I resisted the urge.

My hair still felt nice and soft once it had dried like normal. I feel like the routine a woman has before a shower is a sacred thing. Everyone has little things that they do to get ready and this Dessange hair mask interrupts that. It’s fun to do it once, but I don’t know if I am willing to mix up my whole routine for this.

OPI Infinite Shine Iconic Shades

OPI has been around for so long that I can’t remember when I started using their polishes. Some of their iconic shades are also some of my favourite polishes. Last month OPI released the first batch of their new Infinite Shine Iconic Shades which are basically the most popular OPI polishes but in an Infinite Shine formula. I don’t love the IS line (mainly the base and top coat) but I was very curious to see if these shades would hold up in this new formula. To be honest, I don’t really understand why they’re releasing older shades that are still available in the regular formula but I do know there are a lot of people who love the long-wear, gel-like Infinite Shade line. I tried ten of the thirty shades available and since these are all established shades, I’m not going to do a ton of descriptions on colour. All the photos are no base or top coat.
Funny Bunny
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This cloudy white was really not a great way to start. It was extremely sheer and patchy and three coats still didn’t even it out. Luckily, most of the other shades held up much better.
Bubble Bath
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I did 2 coats of this really pretty pink nude. I could’ve gone for more opacity but I actually like this type of shade a little sheer. I had a couple little formula issues but nothing that I wasn’t expecting from a shade like this.
Dulce De Leche
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Somehow I’ve never used this shade before and I have no idea why. This formula was pretty great, it was the first of the one-coaters (yes there are several). I really loved this nude shade.
You Don’t Know Jacques
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This taupe-brown went on perfectly in two coats and there’s a reason this shade is so popular. But it looks pretty much the same as my regular formula.
Strawberry Margarita
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This is one of my favourite summer pinks and I have to say the shine on this one is really great. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two just looked better.
Cajun Shrimp
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I didn’t expect to like this orange red but I really did. Two coats were great but for some reason I found this one stained quite a bit.
Big Apple Red
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One coat of this classic red was absolutely perfect. I didn’t have any staining issues and if I wore red polish on a regular basis, I’d reach for this one for sure.
Malaga Wine
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This deep wine shade is so perfect for fall and again, one coat was perfect. This one stained really badly though.
I’m Not Really A Waitress
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I’m Not Really A Waitress is one of the few OPI shades that I’ve replaced more than once. I’m in love with this shade. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two was so much better. I actually think I like the Infinite Shine version better than the original. The photo is without topcoat and it’s even better if you add some.
Lincoln Park After Dark
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This is the other shade that I use all the time. The photo is one coat but two would definitely make this dark purple more black. It all depends on the look you’re going for.

Considering how much I previously didn’t like the Infinite Shine collections, I’m so impressed by these shades. Maybe the base and top coats just don’t get along with me, but considering the shine on all of these without a topcoat, maybe I can get away without using one. I can’t wait to try some of the other shades they’ll be releasing but if you don’t want to spend the extra couple bucks for the IS versions, you can always buy the originals.

Makeup Most Wanted September 2016: Alyssa’s Picks

Where did September go? No really, I swear yesterday was August and I couldn’t wait for fall. At least it’s mostly here now and I can cool off a bit. While we work on our fall posts, here’s what I used the most last month.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm
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I’ve been using this solid cleanser non-stop since I got it. It starts off as a solid balm that you rub into dry skin and as you add water it turns into a cleansing milk. It’s so gentle and seriously effective that I’ve been using it on my eyes without a problem and it’s great for when I’m swatching, especially tough lipsticks and waterproof eyeliners. Also, it smells really good.

GROOM Hair Pomade
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We have a lot of stuff coming up about Montreal based Les Industries GROOM but we’re starting off with the Hair Pomade. This is a men’s grooming line, so I didn’t try it personally but I had a friend test it out and he was super impressed. These are his thoughts (made a little more readable by me). ‘The pomade has a little bit of grit to it which makes it easy to work with and it wasn’t greasy. You only have to use a little bit of it and it’ll last a long time and it has really good hold, almost too good. Your hair isn’t going anywhere.’ He loves the smell of it, I love the smell of it and I can see girls with short hair using this one along with the guys it’s aimed at.

Algenist REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops in Green
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I can’t count how many green products I’ve used to neutralize the redness in my skin and most things just do an ok job. I had a Sephora makeup artist use this on me when she was doing my makeup for a wedding and I bought it instantly. It literally gets rid of every tiny bit of redness that I want to hide. I use a drop (just one!) in my moisturizer before I put my makeup on or whenever I want to look less red. You can also add it to foundation, primer or even on it’s own. The drops also come in blue, pink and apricot for different issues. This is the first time I’ve used anything by Algenist and if all their products work as well as these drops, I need to get my hands on more.

Live Clean Vanilla Oatmeal Soothing Liquid Hand Soap
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I’ve been using Live Clean’s Liquid Hand Soap almost exclusively for over a year. It’s a little creamy, very moisturizing and doesn’t make my skin crack when I wash my hands a million times a day. They’re vegan and free from silicone, dyes, sulfates and roughly a million other bad things. The newest scent Vanilla Oatmeal wasn’t quite as oatmeal smelling as I expected (I get an almost coconut scent from it) but it smells delicious and works really well. There’s a matching body wash but that’s a post for another day.

Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Matte Lipstick in M401
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Make Up For Ever has a ton of new lipsticks out in their Artist Rouge line both in matte and satin finishes. I love this bright, classic red in the matte formula. MUFE teamed up with Icona Pop for this shade and it’s definitely a new classic. The formula itself is great. It’s extremely smooth and pigmented and stays where you put it, so you don’t have to worry about lipstick travelling places it shouldn’t. Although the lipstick is matte, it never fully dries down, so it won’t suck the life out of your lips. There are quite a few other shades I want to try but I’m really loving this one for fall and winter.

OGX Coconut Most Wanted

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If you think that dry, frizzed out hair belongs exclusively to winter then you haven’t lived through a ridiculously hot Toronto summer, where your hair is basically fried the entire season thanks to the sun. Especially if you have curly hair that has any kind of bleach in it. OGX has two coconut hair collections; Nourishing + Coconut Milk and Quenching + Coconut Curls, and it wasn’t until I put them together that I started having really good hair days again. Here’s what I used to save my hair.
Nourishing + Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner
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I’m actually not a huge coconut fan, I can basically take it or leave it but these smell delicious. The shampoo is a thicker, almost jelly like texture that lathers really well. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped and I can actually go without conditioner if I have to. The conditioner though, is fantastic. It’s also thick and really soaks into my hair. I use very little at my roots, something that’s strange for someone who likes to slather conditioner everywhere, and just use a bunch on the bottom length. I leave it in my a couple minutes and have significantly more moisture and less frizz.
Quenching + Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter
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I use this curling butter for everything. I put it on dry hair as a pre-wash treatment, use it as a deep conditioner (although not if I’m using the Coconut Milk conditioner) and use it as a leave-in conditioning styling cream. It’s a lot thinner than it looks and doesn’t have a straight coconut scent, it’s more like a tropical pina colada scent. But it gets rid of more frizz than nearly anything else I’ve tried and doesn’t leave me with a crunchy or greasy feeling.

Although my hair was mostly in a ponytail this summer, I probably would’ve chopped it off completely without this regime of OGX products. I knew I liked OGX before but I didn’t expect to love them this much.