The idea for the Maison Martin Margiela Replica fragrance line is amazing. Replicate familiar moments and locations in life in a fragrance to help bring you back to those times in your life. Since scent is such a huge trigger for memory, I’m surprised that this is the first luxury brand to do this.
The collection include scents like ‘Flower Market,’ ‘Lazy Sunday Morning,’ and ‘Jazz Club.’ I tried ‘Beach Walk’ to take me back to warmer days on the boardwalk. Beach Walk combines notes of bergamot, lemon, coconut and pepper to replicate that smell.
It’s funny because when I read the ingredients, I was surprised. In my mind, it’s the smell leftover on your skin after a day on the beach. The most prominent smell is the salty ocean spray. It’s a sharp saltiness with a hint of a fresh breeze.
I know how cheesy this all sounds. I probably wouldn’t believe it either, but I swear when you smell Beach Walk you are going to smell all of this too. My only regret is that I don’t have all of the other fragrances. They are all available in rollerballs at Sephora now, so you could get the whole line without a huge investment.
If you need a little on the go touch up, try Canadian made SST Power Stay makeup sticks. SST has a stick that you can throw in your purse for anything you might need. They have the perfect combination of qualities being long lasting, waterproof, and highly pigmented.
The Power Stay line includes two lipsticks, one eye shadow, one highlighting stick, and a brow pencil. All of these makeup sticks have some serious colour and staying power, so apply with a light hand because they aren’t as easy to smudge as you might think. The shadow is especially tricky because the long lasting formula doesn’t have much give.
These SST sticks are perfect for travel. I love how they give big power in a small package. I can bring along everything I need to go from day to night in the bottom of my purse. Forget carrying around big heavy makeup bags. That is a thing of the past!
Of all of them, my favourite is the Highlighting Stick. It’s great to apply under your brows or on your cheekbones for a bit of shine.
I can’t wait until they have more colours of shadow and lipstick to give more diversity too.
Obviously it’s important to exfoliate our skin all year round but with winter’s dryness comes dead skin, flaky patches and uneven skin tone. Luckily, I love a face scrub so I put together a list of my Most Wanted. Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream With Microbeads
This gentle exfoliating cream gets the job done and takes it easy on your skin. You get a deep clean from the microbeads but Mimosa extract stops it from drying out your skin. It’s not too harsh for sensitive skin but I would use it less often than the twice a week they suggest. Vichy Pureté Thermale Skin Renewing Screamy Scrub
This is probably what most people expect from a face scrub. A cream with new environmentally friendly Jojoba beads. It’s extremely gentle but does a great job of exfoliating. This is the one you could probably use more often without irritating your skin. Laura Mercier Face Polish
I was really expecting this to be a little too harsh for my sensitive skin, it’s really grainy. But I didn’t have any redness or irritation. It did such a great job of clearing out my pores, I found blackheads I didn’t know were there. Lush Ocean Salt Face And Body Scrub
This is such a classic product that I’m pretty sure anyone who loves Lush has tried it at least once. The salt, lime and vodka combination are fantastic for clearing out your skin and the avocado and coconut stops it from drying out your skin. Just a tip for anyone with sensitive skin, try a patch test first to see if you’ll react, salt can be irritating. StriVectin Oxygen Infusion Smoothing Mask
When this product was suggested to me as an exfoliator, I was hugely skeptical. I’ve heard of scrubby masks but this one isn’t scrubby at all. It’s also the coolest mask I’ve ever tried. You apply the cream to your face, watch it foam up and while it dries into a clear film you can feel it get all the crap out of your pores. This has become my most recent obsession and it does such a great job, I was glowing when I rinsed it off.
There are obviously tons of other face scrubs out there, but to get a really good exfoliation, these are my picks.
Around six months ago I got to try Vichy’s Idéalia line and I was instantly in love with it. I’m still using the whole line and I’m on my second tub of Skin Sleep. I’m not someone who uses one skin care line from start to finish. I like to mix and match my products to what suits my skin the best or to what I’m in the mood for. But if I wanted to stick to one line exclusively, Idéalia is definitely missing some core products. While Vichy does carry other cleansers and toners, there aren’t any for Idéalia. But now there’s a day moisturizer.
I haven’t had Idéalia Day Care that long so I can’t really talk about long term effects, but the short term ones have been pretty fantastic. From the first time I used it I noticed my combination skin, that’s been extremely dried out by winter, was hydrated right away and stayed that way all day.
Idéalia Day Care has Kombucha from black tea and Vitamin E among it’s good for you ingredients and is supposed to address fine lines and pores while making your skin radiant. The radiance comes right away. My skin has been a lot more glowy (for lack of a better word) than usual. I don’t have a ton of fine lines so I can’t speak to how that part is going and while I haven’t noticed a major difference in my pores, I really haven’t been using it long enough to see real results but I have good expectations.
This cream is light enough for a day cream but strong enough to use at night if you wanted to. It also has the same delicious scent as Skin Sleep, which makes me really happy. Idéalia Day Care is a perfect addition to the Idéalia line. I’m just hoping they keep adding to this collection because this has quickly become of my staple skin care lines.
We’re still loving the matte lip but it’s hard to find one that’s not sucking the life out of our lips. Laura Mercier’s Velour Lovers Lip Colour has a satin matte finish but it’s infused with mango butter to keep our lips hydrated.
We received three shades to try; An Affair (deep plum), Temptation (brick red) and Infatuation (creamsicle pink). The first shade I tried was Tempation and I wanted to see how well it performed without any touch-ups. So I applied it before I left the house and left the tube at home. One swipe of the extremely creamy Velour Lovers gives you a ton of pigmentation and I didn’t have to go over my lips again to get the depth I wanted.
It lasted about four hours before I ate something and the lipstick went with it, but those four hours were extremely comfortable. I actually forgot I was wearing lipstick until I walked by a mirror and until I ate the colour stayed put. Velour Lovers isn’t transfer-proof but there was very little lipstick coming off on my coffee cup.
Unlike most matte lipsticks, Velour Lovers didn’t leave my lips super dry once it was gone. Do I wish it lasted longer? Yes. But I’ll take comfort over longevity any day when it comes to lipstick. It doesn’t hurt that there’s over a dozen gorgeous shades to choose from.
Nothing warms you up in the winter like Apple Cider, so why not add it to your beauty routine too. If you’ve been following us for a while, you will know that we are huge fans of Live Clean. If I could recommend anything to beauty fans, it would be their hair care products.
Clarifying Shampoo is perfect this time of year. In the New Year everyone wants to detox their body, so why not detox your scalp as well. This Clarifying Shampoo helps to get rid of all of that residue leftover on your hair. It will leave your skin squeaky clean.
Make sure that you follow up with the conditioner though too. Clarifying shampoos in general strip your hair of all of the residue, so it’s important to put some of that moisture back into your hair. Live Clean’s Apple Cider condition is light, so it doesn’t add anything back into your hair that you don’t want.
It’s been pretty well established that I’m pretty bad at nail art, but I’ve never tried nail stamping before. To be honest, it seemed really difficult and messy and I hadn’t really ever put much thought into trying it. When we got a invitation to visit the Trade Secrets head office (they’re the only place that carries MoYou London in Canada) to try MoYou, I was curious enough to try it out.
Getting your nails stamped by a pro is one thing (my nails looked amazing) but trying it on my own was something completely different. So when I was sent home with the Illusion starter kit, I was excited and a little bit scared.
The kit comes with everything you need. An image plate (Illusion 02), a stamping polish (Black Knight), a stamp, a scraper and a hugely helpful instruction manual.
I figured a kitchen table would be the best place to spread everything out and give it a try. I also had nail polish remover and a roll of paper towels with me. I was a little overconfident, I mean the lady who did my nails made it look so easy, so I could figure it out right? Well, sort of. Figuring out how much polish to apply to the image plate and how to position the stamp on your nail is definitely going to take some time to get the hang of. And every time I had to clean the stamp the rubber came out of the holder, so there’s definitely a learning curve.
I used Essie’s Blossom Dandy under the stamping, thinking it would be a good contrast to the black stamping polish. I obviously didn’t get the right amount of polish on the stamp on my first try but I liked the faded effect so I didn’t redo it.
For my very first try, it was a pretty decent attempt at nail art and I have a couple more image plates to try out. I’m going to do some practise runs on paper before I go for my nails again. MoYou London has an insane amount of image plates to choose from and I’m going to pick up more stamping polish because you can’t use regular polish for this.
Nail stamping might be the only way I can get the hang of nail art, luckily I have tons of options to choose from. Stay tuned for more attempts.
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.
With winter finally making an appearance in Toronto our hair has changed with the weather. It’s getting dried out, frizzier (who knew that was possible?) and harder to manage. Luckily we’ve rounded up some help with out Sebastian winter hair essentials. Sebastian Drench Shampoo
Made for dry or frizzy hair, the Drench line adds moisture to hair while giving you body and keeping hair silky. The shampoo is pretty typical of a high end shampoo. It lathers really well and smells fantastic and doesn’t make my hair feel stripped at all. The first time I used it, I actually considered skipping conditioner but I figured that would probably be a bad idea. Sebastian Drench Conditioner
This conditioner is a lot thicker than you’d expect. What comes out of the tube looks pretty normal for a conditioner but when you start spreading it through your hair, it’s actually more of a mask like consistency. Because it’s so thick, it’s hard to get out of the bottle. Luckily I need way less of it than I thought, so I don’t have to work quite as hard. This conditioner has definitely improved the moisture levels in my hair. I haven’t had any significantly bad hair days since I’ve started using it and I’ve noticed a lot less frizz. Sebastian Potion 9
Made of nine botanical extracts, this cream is pretty much the only only styling product you’ll need. It does everything from adding moisture, to eliminating frizz to prepping your hair for blow drying. It also doesn’t get crunchy and when I let my hair air dry (almost always), it feels like there’s nothing in it.
My hair has benefited so much since I’ve started using the combination of Drench and Potion 9. I have less frizz, my hair is silky and holds a style way longer. The downside is my hair feels greasy a little faster, but that’s what dry shampoo is for. If your hair is completely dried out because of winter, you need to give these products a try.
We know it’s a little late to be posting a holiday collection but to be fair we didn’t receive the Lise Watier Majestique collection until a couple days before Christmas. Luckily, all of these products are still available on the Lise Watier website and you can probably find some in Shoppers Drug Mart as well. This collection is pretty big, with lots of colour choices and we got to try a good chunk of it.
There are two palettes in this collection and we got to try Luxury Lady. I’m completely obsessed with this palette. It’s a great neutral palette with both lighter and darker shades. But it’s the texture of the eyeshadows that blows me away.
They’re all extremely pigmented and so creamy that it just takes one swipe of a brush to get full coverage. They blend beautifully as well. I’ve been using this palette almost exclusively for a couple weeks and I haven’t even made a dent in it.
Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Love Spell is so light and airy that you’re going to want to use your fingers. I don’t recommend it though, if you want to get any kind of colour on your lids you need a brush. It’s a gorgeous shade though, and makes a great base colour.
I love the amount of options there are for lips. There’s Haute Couleur Full Coverage Lip Lacquer in Royal Couture, which is not only long lasting and not sticky but it has a light in the cap which makes application in darker areas a breeze. Next up in Rouge Gourmand in Fortune Cookie. This is my favourite of the bunch. It’s so creamy and easy to wear and it’s a great neutral shade. Last is Rouge Gourmand Velours in Fatal Potion. If you love a dark, matte lip, this is a great option since it’s extremely comfortable to wear.
I’ve never tried a Lise Watier nail polish before and Red Heart was a great place to start. A classic red, it had great opacity and was pretty good with tip wear.
I just wish the bottle was a little bigger because it was a little hard to work with.
This is one of my favourite holiday collection from last year. I always forget how much I love Lise Watier products until I start using new ones. But since Luxury Lady is in heavy rotation in my eyeshadow drawer, I think I’ll be remembering more often.