I was basically housebound for most of August, so my favourite things for August are pretty much my necessities. I’m so happy September is here.
Le Petit Marseillais White Peach & Nectarine Shower Gel
La Petit Marseillais has been around in France for years and now we get a tiny taste of their product line in Canada. I had a chance to try all of the shower gels available in Canada right now (hopefully we get more products soon!) and the White Peach & Nectarine just blew me away. It’s so juicy and fruity smelling but it really mellows out in the shower. It’s also a lot more moisturizing than I expect from a shower gel. I’m actually able to get away with not applying body lotion without getting dried out and itchy and that’s never happened before.
Avène Couvrance High Tolerance Mascara
I love bold mascara but since I wasn’t going out much, I was really looking for something a little simpler but that would make my almost white lashes a little darker. From the first time I used this mascara, I was completely sold. I was already a fan of Avène’s thermal water and suncare products but this mascara really surprised me. It’s made for people with extremely sensitive eyes and I can understand why it works. For a hard plastic brush, it’s actually really gentle. The formula is really pigmented and black and you can get away with one coat. It also gives me a ton of length. Not a lot of volume, but it really separated and curled my lashes. This is my new go-to mascara for daytime.
Joico Blonde Life Collection
A lot of us go blonder in the summer, so it makes sense that Joico would release a collection for blondes just in time. I have some bleach left in my hair from the last balayage highlights I got and I was really skeptical that this collection could make them brighter but it absolutely did. The shampoo on it’s own isn’t moisturizing enough for me (I heard squeaking) but the conditioner makes up for it. It’s a fairly light conditioner, that smells incredible, and it really moisturizes your hair and gives it a nice texture. I haven’t been blow drying my hair, which is what the Brightening Veil is intended for, but I’ve been using it as a leave in styling treatment and it does a pretty good job of eliminating my frizz. I’ll also randomly respray my hair with it because I love the scent so much.
La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Melt-In Cream SPF 60
We’ve received tons of sunscreens to review this year and unfortunately for the first half of the summer, Toronto was a rainy mess and I was stuck inside for most of the other half. When I did venture out, I found myself always reaching for this sun cream over all the others. I’d heard a ton of good things about La Roche Posay’s suncare over the years but this was the first time I got to try it and to be honest, not much lives up to it for me. It’s a traditional cream texture with very little scent but it absorbs instantly and doesn’t leave any kind of greasy feel. For a mainly physical sunscreen base, it also doesn’t leave white streaks everywhere. But the biggest part is how well it works. I’m almost paler now than I am in January and this is the first summer ever where I haven’t even gotten a hint of a sunburn. For someone as fair as me, that’s a major win.
So many of us are trying to be more conscious about what kind of makeup we’re buying. Cruelty free, organic, vegan are all words that a lot of us are looking for but sometimes the quality just isn’t up to the standards that we expect. In 2010 makeup artist Valerie Giraud launched certified organic and cruelty free Antonym Cosmetics. With the recent launch of some of their products at Sephora, we were sent some press samples to try and found the perfect, organic smokey eye! Here’s how we did it.
Certified Organic Quattro Eyeshadow in To The Moon & Black
Obviously eyeshadow is an important part of a smokey eye and this palette is really all you’ll need. With an off-white, black and two grey shades, you can mix and match to get the look you want. The shadows are pretty well pigmented and creamy enough that I didn’t see a lot of fallout. The sustainable bamboo packaging and cruelty free double ended brush are an added bonus.
Natural Eye Pencil in Noir
I never expect much from an organic eyeliner. Actually, I do, I expect them to be a pain to work with. These eyeliners are a dream to work with though. With jojoba oil and shea butter as just two of the ingredients, you can just imagine how easily these glide on. It comes with a removable sharpener that sits on the end of the pencil when you’re not using it. They’re waterproof but they do move around a bit (which helps with getting that smudged, smokey look), so a setting spray is probably a good idea anyways. I’m completely in love with the brown shade and I’ll definitely be buying more when I run out.
Certified Organic Mascara Lola Lash TOO
I usually have issues with plastic mascara wands hurting my eyes but Antonym’s wand is so flexible and soft that I can use it with no problems at all. The formula is a little too wet for my personal taste but if you let it dry in between coats, you’ll end up with both volume and lengthened lashes without that stiffness that most of us hate. It doesn’t smear or get clumpy but I did have to be careful while applying to not get it on my upper eyelid.
All of these lasted hours in summer heat fairly well and came off easily with a makeup wipe, which is something I want in a smokey eye. So if you’re looking for a smokey eye that’s also good for the environment, you might want to try these.
I’ve just discovered some adorable and affordable perfume from Avon that are going to look great on your makeup table. Be Fun, Be Romantic and Be Daring Eau de Toilette are light and fresh perfumes that anyone can appreciate.
I love the bottles for their adorable prints. I almost don’t even care what they smell like. The colourful dots on Be Fun, pink hearts on Be Romantic and purple arrows on Be Daring are perfect for displaying.
Be Fun is the lighter of the three scents in my opinion. It has a refreshing pear scent to it off the top that is light and clean. It smells a bit like what I imagine a pear mimosa would smell like if you could bottle it up.
Be Romantic is a rose based scent. This one smells like someone’s idea of a sexy and feminine perfume for the sweet feminine women. The problem with it for me is that it isn’t really sensual or sexy at all. It has too much rose. It almost makes it smell fake and chemically. I far prefer the Be Fun fragrance from Avon.
Be Daring is a combination of bergamot, magnolia and musk and while I usually hate the smell of bergamot, I love this scent. The fruity, floral fragrance is unique and fun.
These perfumes don’t last a really long time on your skin. But you have to also remember that they are just $26 each! I have slightly lower standards for perfume when it’s that affordable, plus I don’t mind if I also use it as a room spray.
I know it sounds crazy to think of beauty products when you are camping, but brands definitely make products that you are going to covet when you are miles away from civilization. So make sure that you pack these products in your duffel bag:
KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray – You probably won’t be spending a ton of time in the shower, so your hair might need a refresh while you are away. Dry shampoo is essential for feeling fresh, especially if you are heading in to town for the day. This little spray is perfect for feeling refreshed even in the deepest woods. Bonus is that it smells great, so you will smell refreshed too.
Alba Botanica Spray Sunscreen – This spray sunscreen has been a staple in my summer beauty bag for the past two years. The light spray of the SPF 50 doesn’t feel like much, but it gives surprisingly reliable coverage. I’ve wore it to the beach all day long without any burn. Just remember to reapply, the same way you would with any sunscreen. It’s vegetarian and doesn’t use animal testing, so you can be proud to use it on your family too.
Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Insect Repellent Towelettes – It might seem weird to have bug spray on a beauty blog, but this is an essential purchase when you’re getting your next Avon order. This isn’t bug spray, these are towelettes with bug repellent. One bag has 8 individually wrapped towels. One towel goes quiet a long way and can work on numerous people. I took these with me while I was camping and I can saw that they saved me from many bug bites.
Gold Bond Anti-Itch Lotion – It may not be new, but I just rediscovered the power of Gold Bond this summer. It’s great for a whole bunch of summer skin issues. First of all, it’s great for bug bites and the itchiness that come along with it. It’s also perfect for sunburns because it is full of aloe vera. It’s great on super dry or chapped skin and rashes, it’s good for all of those wear heat rashes, skin rubbing or other awkward and uncomfortable skin issues that you don’t want to talk about. If you have it nearby, you don’t need to worry about it or talk about it.
Benefit Cosmetics is taking away pores forever with their new face makeup. Instead of having to buy a makeup, pore concealer and beauty blender all in one.
Follow the instructions carefully though because there are a few steps that take this makeup from lame to amazing. First of all, shake this makeup up good. It’s really thin and watery, so you will want to make sure that it’s shaken up. If you don’t shake it, you could end up with just a weird clear liquid.
Next remove the sponge from the bottom and apply a few drops of makeup to the sponge. Don’t be tempted to apply it right to your face. I tried it, it doesn’t work as well. I don’t know why it works that way, but it does.
Finally just blot away! Blot this face makeup all over your face the same way that you would your normal makeup. Benefit’s Pore-fessional gives you that beautifully airbrushed look without having to spend a lot on different tools and layers of makeup. This makeup is really simple to use. Anyone can get a flawless look. This is coming from someone who loves makeup, but has minimal skill in actually applying it. It you can dab your face, you can get a great look. I love that it has a really matte finish without “shine” or “glow.” It really does help to eliminate some of those pores. It even dries into a nice smooth feel on your face so your skin looks and feels great!
Summer is in full swing and with it comes some fun new products that I have been enjoying. Check them out:
Tarte Glow With The Faux – I already love Tarte makeup, so it didn’t surprise me when I fell in love with their tanner as well. I have been trying to be really smart and good with my sunscreen this year, but I miss my tan. Just carefully apply this foam with the glove and you will have a beautiful dark tan. While it promises streak free colour, that doesn’t mean you can be too relaxed about applying. I almost ended up with streaks because I was being careless. So apply it as if you are very concerned. My only issue with this tarte tanner is that my skin smelled like fake tanner for longer than usual. Most of the time the smell fades after you wash it off, but this lingered for a while. So stock up on body lotion that smells great and tan away!
Nuxe Nuxellence Eye Contour – Don’t judge a product by its size. This slim little eye cream is one of the best that I’ve ever used. This cream helps you get instant results for tired looking eyes. My under eyes instantly felt softer and more moisturized. The dark circles look less prominent and blend into my skin more. My eyes really seem to pop more in all the right ways.
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump XXL Lip Plumping Gloss – Soap & Glory makeup is not common in Canada, but if you can get your hands on it, jump at the chance. This Pillow Plump lip gloss is one of my new faves that goes with me everywhere. It leaves a glossy clear (maybe slightly pink) finish on the outside, but what everyone can’t see is what’s happening on the inside. It has a “3XL Peptide Plump” ingredient that gives your lips a serious tingle. With that comes lips that look fuller than ever. It’s a look, and a feeling, that you are going to want to try for yourself!
Covergirl Vitalist Elixir Foundation – Sometimes you just need a good, trustworthy foundation without all of the tricks. This new Covergirl foundation is exactly that. It just gives you a great finish on your skin that looks natural. It’s nice to know that sometimes there are brands that you can just trust to make reliable products.
If I could wear one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. A bunch of new ones for summer? Yes please! I constantly change my mascara based on my mood or look I want to go for. These four have been in a pretty heavy rotation lately.
Cover Girl Total Tease Mascara
I’m personally not a fan of Cover Girl mascara in general. I like a big fibre brush and theirs are usually hard plastic which hurts my eyes. Total Tease does have a hard, plastic brush but it doesn’t bother me as much. That said, there’s a serious learning curve to using this interesting wand. Once I got the hang of it, I was rewarded with a ton of length and nicely separated lashes. The little comb helped me get every tiny lash. I found Total Tease way a lot easier to remove than other Cover Girl mascaras.
Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara
Again, my issue with Revlon mascaras was similar to my Cover Girl problem. But Mega Multiplier completely blew me away. Mega is actually a good word for the results I got. The brush gave me massive volume and length and the formula forms little tubes around each lash so there’s no flaking to worry about. Seriously, I feel asleep with this one and woke up to perfect mascara. I have a feeling I’ll be replacing this one when I run out.
MAC Bold & Bad Lash Mascara
If you’ve used MAC’s Haute & Naughty mascara in the past, you know they love to shove brushes in other brushes and give you a ton of lash options. Bad & Bold is a little different in that there’s not only two brushes but also two formulas. The big brush gives you major volume (no clumps!) and the smaller brush is supposed to give you smudge-proof definition to your bottom lashes. I don’t put mascara on my bottom lashes so I use the smaller brush to get all the little lashes on top and to comb through. The results I get are pretty close to fake lashes.
L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
Of all the mascaras I’ve tried recently, Lash Paradise is hands down my ideal brush. It’s big, it’s fluffy and it gets my lashes huge. It also fills in the little eyelash gaps on my left eye without looking like I have an eyeliner smudge. I don’t have a ton of experience with L’Oreal mascaras but if Lash Paradise is any indication, I can see why they’re so popular.
It took me a long time to use this cuticle oil. I finally took out this oil to pamper myself with a home manicure. This oil was going to be the last step. I love that it comes with an eyedropper and brush so that you can choose how you want to apply. I picked the eye dropper. Less is more with the Kur Cuticle Oil. On my first nail, I applied two drops and it was way too much. For the rest of my nails I barely applied one whole drop and it was enough. It has a bit of a gel consistency that is thicker than most nail oils. At first, I wasn’t sure about it, but by the end of all of my fingers, I really liked it. It was thick enough that it felt like it was really moisturizing, but still a light oil based liquid that didn’t leave anything feeling sticky. It doesn’t even really leave my fingers feeling oily like most. I could see the difference in my cuticles almost instantly. I am excited to see what will happen after daily usage.
The Bleu Lavande Cleansing Water and Cleansing Milk give your face the kind of clean that even the softest and gentlest skin will love. This pair of gentle face cleansers are soothing and gentle on your skin while cleaning.
The Bleu Lavende Cleansing Water is thin and leaves no residue on your face. It has the properties and scent of lavender water which really soothes your skin and makes it feel refreshed. It makes your skin feel clean without drying it out or irritating. As a micellar water, you don’t need to rinse. It’s really easy to use, no matter how lazy you are.
If you can’t get enough, you can also try the Cleansing Milk. This Bleu Lavende face cleanser is a creamy version, but still just as easy to use. Because it’s creamy and milky, I was worried about not having to rinse. It turns out it’s just as light on your skin. This cleanser was more moisturizing, probably thanks to the addition of honey.
No matter which gentle skin cleaner you choose from Bleu Lavende you can’t really go wrong.
Sensationail has taken the cost of keeping your nail looking perfect to a minimum with their new Express Gel One Step Polish kit. This set comes with everything you could need including the promise of 19 day nails in five minutes.
Right off the bat, I like that these sets come with a nail polish colour, so you don’t have to purchase that separately. There are a few options for the colour to get, but you can also choose from 20 other colours to buy separately. I was really surprised to read that this polish needed no base coat or top coat. It seems impossible to get polish that stays on for 10 days without these elements.
Applying a beautiful manicure, yourself, with the Sensationail Express Gel Kit is actually as easy as they promise. I know, it’s hard to believe! I swear though, it’s so simple. You just apply the polish and pop your fingers under the light. The light is motion activated and automatically turns off after 30 seconds, the right amount of time. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for tips on how to apply. It’s best if you do your thumbs first and then the rest of your fingers as it says. Also, you may need an extra 30 seconds on some of your fingers. Once you pull them out of the lamp though, tadaa they are done. And bonus, they are dry! You don’t have to wave your fingers around waiting. The finish is beautiful and so shiny! They look like salon quality nails.
Now onto their other claim of a 10 day manicure: In all of my trials and times applying, my nails never made it to 10 days. My nails didn’t make it to three days without chipping. I am unusually hard on my nails, so I also gave the Sensationail Express Gel Kit to someone else. This girl also didn’t make it more than three days without chipping.
What does this mean for Sensationail Express Gel Kit? I don’t know. You do get a beautiful, fast, salon worthy manicure. On the other hand, no pun intended, your manicure might not last long. It is so simple to do touch ups. I touched up my nails in the morning before I left for work. But that’s not my ideal scenario. Is it worth it, I honestly don’t know.