With so many spring nail polish collections looking pretty similar, it’s always nice when we get a collection that stands out. And while Essie’s India inspired Resort collection might not technically be a spring collection, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air. There are only four shades in this collection and they’re mostly kind of on the pastel side or bordering on neon. Either way, they’re gorgeous!
Pretty much nothing about this spicy apricot marigold shade worked for me except the formula. But even that couldn’t save this too yellow shade for me. I’m sure it will look fantastic on someone but definitely not me.
I adore the colour of this mediative mint lime but unfortunately the formula didn’t live up to the gorgeousness. It was both thin and clumpy at the same time which made it really hard to get it to look presentable. I love it so much though that I’m probably willing to go through it again. Probably.
Essie calls this a silky sari pink and I just call it pretty. It’s a perfect bright pink for spring that could also work in the summer. I’m not usually a pink person, but I’m obsessed with this one.
Nama-Stay The Night
Oh look, another blue is my favourite. I’m sure no one is surprised but there’s just something about this energetic Goa blue that makes it stand out. The fact that one coat was almost perfect was a bonus.
I might have had issues with a couple of the shades but I really do love Essie’s Resort 2016 collection, which really, could’ve been spring collection part 2. I also love how totally different it is from the Bridal collection (post coming soon) which I received at the same time. If you want to brighten up your nails, you definitely have some options now.
When we received an email from Demeter on April 1st about a new scent with the secret ingredient, bacon; I really wasn’t sure if it was an April Fool’s joke. Even if the email started with, this is not a joke!
Bacon as a secret ingredient isn’t so unusual in the grand scheme of things but when it’s the secret ingredient in a fragrance called Zombie Dog? To say I was hesitant is an understatement. One of the things Demeter is known for, is how true their scents are. And while I don’t know anyone that can actually tell me what a zombie dog smells like, I can imagine it’s not pleasant.
Zombie Dog showed up as part of a trio that included Zombie For Her; Think forest floor. A combination of dried leaves, mushrooms, mildew, moss, earth and the dregs of a wine barrel and Zombie For Him; Death and decay on the forest floor. Dying vegetation, mushrooms, mildew, moss and earth.
Zombie Dog’s description has the same notes as Zombie For Him but with the added bonus of smoked bacon. What do these scents actually smell like? Well, Zombie For Him basically smells like dirt, Zombie For Her smells like dirt with something pretty hidden in the background and while these aren’t something I’d actually want to smell like, ever, they also didn’t make me want to immediately puke.
Zombie Dog on the other hand I literally couldn’t smell for more than a second and I refused to sniff it a second time. It was that disgusting. I honestly couldn’t tell you if there was a bacon note in there.
These are limited edition and are leaving pretty soon, so if you want to get something for Halloween or a Walking Dead party, you’re going to need to jump on these. In the meantime, I’ll be off with my other pretty smelling (way less gross) Demeter fragrances whose posts are coming soon.
Both Stephanie and I are going on vacation in the next few months and we decided to do a series of travel essentials posts to help us figure out what to bring with us. I figured we should start off the series with Wander Beauty, a new company that was inspired by travel and has made it easy for us to take less products. We got to try four of their products and I was really impressed overall, but I have definite favourites.
Exquisite Eye Liquid Shadow in Dove Grey
I love the idea of taking one eyeshadow with me on a trip but let’s be honest, if you’re going out at night, you’ll need more. Luckily, this liquid shadow is great one it’s own or as a base. Dove Grey isn’t really a true grey, it’s more of a beige grey, which means it’ll work with a ton of other colours. Unlike a lot of liquid shadows, this one doesn’t get sticky and uncomfortable and lasts hours without creasing. I could do with a little less shimmer but I do really like it enough that I would try other shades.
Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe
My eyebrows are so pale that they’re basically white, so I usually pick the lightest brow shade possible. When we got the Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe instead of Blonde, I was hesitant but with a light hand I managed to pull it off. The pencil wasn’t too soft, letting me make short, quick strokes. This is my favourite kind of brow product and I love that there’s a spoolie on the end, making it truly travel friendly.
Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick in Light
Again, I would’ve normally picked the fair shade instead of light, but with summer coming, I know I’ll be getting a little colour in my face and this shade wasn’t really too dark for me to begin with. The stick is extremely creamy and easy to blend and the formula is comfortable to wear. It’s more of a sheer coverage but you can build up to more of a medium coverage if you want. This is definitely one of my favourites.
Wanderout Dual Lipsticks in Nikki Beach/BB
This is really such a genius idea for travel makeup. You get two shades of lipstick that click into the same case, one on each end. Nikki Beach is a bright watermelon shade and BB is a rosy nude. I would normally go for BB alone but mixing it with Nikki makes the perfect summer shade and since they’re already attached, it’s so easy to get.
I’m really loving the products I’ve tried from Wander Beauty. Right now it’s only available online at Sephora in Canada and we don’t have access to all the products just yet, but I’m hoping they add more. Stay tuned for more travel essentials.
My hair is big, thick and sometimes seriously unmanageable. I have spent years dreaming of thin, straight hair. As I grow older I have learned to embrace all of my hair. That means finding products that work with my hair instead of fighting against it. Here are a few products that have been helping through this season.
Pantene Airspray – Because I don’t wear hairspray very often, I am quite picky about what I use. I have been using the same hairspray for years. Since getting the new Pantene Airspray, I have been finding myself reaching for hairspray more often than ever before. I used to only use hairspray when I straightened by hair. This hairspray is light enough to use even on my curls. Pantene’s spray doesn’t weight down my waves. It also leaves my hair feeling just as bouncy as it should! I guess I have been just using the wrong hairspray all along.
Sebastian Resintek Liquefied Sap – Flyaway hairs be gone with help of this innovative new product from Sebastian hair care. This gooey gel is a wax that you can apply to dry hair to help mold it and shape it into place. I used the sap to help stick down my annoying short hairs that just won’t stay put. The best part about this product is that everyone is going to use it in a different way. It’s flexible and can be used to define and hold your hair as you need. Do yourself a favour and just try it out!
Nexxus Oil Infinite Collection – No one ever has an excuse to have dry hair again now that this Nexxus hair collection exists. With babassu oil, which is a type of vegetable oil from the babassu plant, this shampoo and conditioner packs so much moisture into every wash. After using this line, it was impossible to deny that my hair was shinier than ever. If you still need extra nourishment, there is an oil to help tame frizz and smooth flyaways. My hair isn’t overly dry even at its worst, so this collection was slightly overkill for me. That doesn’t mean I’m not taking advantage of all of this shine while I have it!
ColorProof Crazy Smooth Anti-Frizz Treatment Masque – I swapped out my regular conditioner for a few weeks to try this masque. With my wavy, thick hair that could have been dangerous. This masque is supposed to defrizz, moisturize and repair. I applied this lemony cream to my hair after shampooing and left it for a few minutes. It left my hair feeling great. I don’t think it made my hair feel any better than my normal conditioner though. Since we are currently in the sweet spot between winter dry frizz and summer humidity frizz, I don’t think I gave it the right chance to really perform. I will be saving this cream for a bit later.
I already love Butter London nail polish, so getting this set wasn’t about knowing how the polish went on and how long it lasted. I really wanted to know what this new “Waterless” Manicure was all about. I was also excited to try out some of Butter London’s other nail products.
Butter London’s Waterless Manicure System is a 7-piece kit for those just starting to give themselves manicures at home. Honestly, I’m not sure what “starters” they mean. Girls start playing with nail polish at a young age. I think this set is more a stepping stone into full on nail enthusiast.
The person who will appreciate this kit most is someone who knows the salon manicure process well, but doesn’t necessarily enjoy it. The idea behind the waterless manicure is that the soaking and cutting of your cuticles may not be that great for your nails and your manicure. Since I’m not professionally trained, I can’t speak to that. I do know that when I am at home, there is no chance that I’m going to be getting out a bowl of water to soak my hands in. That is too much work!
This kit includes Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator, a nail file, Scrubbers 2-in-1 Prep & Remover Wipes, Nail Foundation Priming Basecoat, Hardwear Shine UV Topcoat and one small bottle of Butter London Nail Polish in Trout Pout pink. I wasn’t crazy about the colour, but it’s spring, so it’s time to get back into pretty pinks!
The steps are pretty simple. Walking through the instructions, I’m not sure what makes this so different from most other at-home manicures. The cuticle exfoliator may be a new step for beginners, but those of us who are well versed in nail products will be very comfortable with the steps.
I am so impressed by the other nail products from Butter London. The Scrubbers get all of the grime off your nails in a swipe. I didn’t even know my nails felt dirty until I knew what they like clean. You can get them on their own and I am going to be investing in a LOT. I am obsessed. The basecoat is also amazing. It gives your nails a quick dry matte finish. You can feel how this is going to help your polish stay put!
If you are thinking about making the plunge into a nail obsession this kit is a great way to get your feet wet. If you are already crazy about nail polish, I recommend finding the individual pieces that you want to try and investing in those. Either way, you are bound to find something you love.
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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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.
We get a ton of packages, but usually we know what to expect. So when we received a hair care line with zero information last month, we didn’t know what we were dealing with. The package contained travel size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and a leave in treatment with instructions and mentioned that they were for frizzy and dry hair.
At first sniff, I was convinced this line was Garnier Fructis and mentioned to a few people that I would put money on it. Add in the fact that the colouring of the info card was white and green and that even furthered my suspicions. I used the products off and on for a few weeks and was pretty happy with the results. The shampoo was great and I really liked the leave-in treatment but there were days when I wished the conditioner was a little thicker.
And then this box arrived. Suspicions confirmed. By the time we got this box, I almost stopped caring what the brand was and just kept using them. But it was going to be nice to know what they were if I wanted to replace the empty bottles.
Inside the new box were full size versions of the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. I wish we had received the leave-in treatment as well or at least have mention of it so I knew exactly what it was, but I’m sure I can figure it out. Of all the Garnier lines, I haven’t tried this one but I’ve been a fan of the brand for years and I’ll definitely make use of these.
Even though this was supposed to be a mystery brand, it was almost comforting to be able to guess what it was almost immediately. I know Garnier has a whole new line of hair products out now but it’s nice to know what Garnier Fructis isn’t going anywhere and that they’ll always have something for my dry, frizzy hair.
I have a ton of nail polish. More than I can actually wear, let alone finish, but I’m always on the hunt for new shades. And even though I know I don’t need more polish (we get sent a lot), I keep buying more. But picking shades is a problem for me. If I’m paying money for a polish, I want to know it’ll look good on me and Formula X’s The Match Clix is a fantastic way to do that. Each set has a pink, nude, gray and blue, all chosen to compliment your skin tone. The kits come in Fair/Light, Light/Medium and Dark. While I normally would’ve used the Fair kit, I was so happy to be send Light/Medium because they were my favourite shades. All four shades went on perfectly in two coats.
Alive is a gorgeous peachy-pink that really flattered my skin tone. Its also on sale on the Sephora Canada site right now and I’m thinking about picking up the full size bottle because I like it so much.
Monumental was the only shade I had an issue with and I honestly think it was because of my skin tone, it didn’t look good on me at all. Formula X calls it an ivory gray but it looked beige on me.
Gray Matter is a charcoal gray that might be one of my favourite gray polishes ever. I’ve worn this one the most out of the set.
I knew I would love Free Spirit but I didn’t realize just how much I would love this cornflower blue. Or how many compliments I’d get on it.
I love this kit for a lot of reasons. It’s a great way to try new nail polish (where else can you try four shades for $19?) and it’s great to throw in a makeup bag when you’re travelling. I wish they had more sets with different shades. I would love to see a set with a purple and a green, or seasonal ones like neons for summer.
Here’s the thing; my hair is a complete pain to deal with. Nothing about it makes sense. It’s fine, flat, dry, wavy, extremely frizzy and generally does what it wants. Which results in me throwing it in a ponytail or bun roughly 99% of the time. I always want more volume but at the same time, my hair desperately needs something to weigh down the frizz, which is a total contradiction.
Enter TRESemmé’s new Beauty-Full Volume collection. It starts with conditioner (which I’ve tried before and didn’t like), followed by shampoo and ending with a couple styling products. The premise is that you won’t weigh your hair down by conditioning last and you’ll have super volumized, bouncy hair. Before we go any further, keep in mind that I hate to write bad reviews and try to find the positive in any product.
From the very first time I used this system, I didn’t like it. Stephanie and I have clearly been having bad luck with hair products lately (followed by good luck, I promise!) but this system was everything my hair didn’t need. The conditioner/shampoo system did a decent enough job of keeping my hair from drying out, but it could’ve been better. My biggest problem was that Beauty-Full lives up to it’s bouncy volume promise a little too much.
My hair literally had zero weight to hold it down, which meant my frizz was the most out of control it’s ever been. It was like having a permanent puffball around my head and there was nothing I could do to fix it. When I’m testing a hair line, I like to only use what I’m given and use nothing but that for at least two weeks. With this collection however, I literally had to force myself to use any of the products and ended after a week and a half. I just couldn’t make myself use them anymore and considering how huge the bottles are, I feel like they’re going to waste.
I don’t know how this line will work for others, but I imagine the only people who will have any success with it are people with stick straight, super fine hair with zero frizz. They can have the rest of mine.
It’s almost the middle of April but in Toronto we still haven’t seen spring. Which means my skin is still a dry, itchy mess and hasn’t started it’s yearly transition into greasiness. I’ve come up with my five Most Wanted products that have made winter bearable for my skin.
Lotus Aroma Hand Soap in Pomelo Flower
I wash my hands pretty constantly and while all anti-bacterial soaps are banned from my house, most regular soaps are still pretty drying. Lotus Aroma’s hand soap is almost gel like but lathers beautifully. It also cleans really well and doesn’t dry out my hands even a little bit. The Pomelo Flower scent is really light but still fruity and I really want to try the Jasmine and Grapefruit scent. There are so many good things in this soap, and all the bad has been taken out. But those lists are really long so if you’re interested, you can find out here.
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion De Rose Nourishing Creme
We use so many things on our faces that usually they’re not quite as dry as the rest of us. But if you’re like me and get patchy areas, you need a really good face cream. Laura Mercier’s Nourishing Creme has Mango and Shea butters added into the cream to really get your face hydrated. The gorgeous rose scent is an added bonus.
Lush Dream Cream
I had somehow never used Dream Cream until this winter and now I’m hooked on this lightweight cult fave lotion. I was relieved that it doesn’t just smell like lavender and while it does take a while to absorb, I use this on my more sensitive skin areas, like my legs. This is one of those year round products that you’ll be able to use for any skin sensitivity like dryness or sunburns.
StriVectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask
I love a good overnight mask and this new one from StriVectin is probably my favourite. While it dries pretty quickly, I usually apply it half an hour before I go to bed and I wake up with really soft skin. It also leaves me looking pretty radiant and it smells amazing. I love that I can get results when I’m sleeping.
L’Occitane Shea Ultra Rich Body Cream
While anyone can use this cream, this is my hero product for anyone with super dry, itchy skin. Literally nothing else has worked as well for me. I was already a fan of L’Occitane’s Shea line (I went through the 150ml Shea Butter Hand Cream this winter alone) but I’d never tried the body cream. It fixed everything I put it on. Dry, scaly legs? Fixed. Rough Elbows? No problem. Any issue I could find with my skin, I could fix with this cream. And while it’s really thick, you only need a tiny little bit and it sinks in almost instantly. I’m going to start making sure I always have some in the house.
Hopefully spring shows up soon and gives our skin a break, but in the meantime at least we have some relief.