Battle of the Natural Deodorants

I’ve been having some serious skin issues the past few years and it’s sent me on a search for aluminum-free deodorants that actually work. I don’t necessarily need to switch over to a natural deodorant but I figure it can’t hurt. I definitely have some criteria if I’m going to be spending more money though (natural deodorant is notoriously more expensive than traditional ones). It has to smell good, or at least keep me from smelling bad, it needs to last at least a couple hours and it needs to not cause more skin issues for me. I put three natural deodorants to the test and here’s how it all worked out.
Lafe’s Bliss Iris & Rose 

Scent: 2/5 Iris & Rose
Texture: 4/5 Smooth and easy to apply stick
Longevity: 2/5 4 hours max
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, GMO’s
Total score: 8/15
Where to buy: Lafe’s website

I didn’t get to choose the Lafe’s scent that I used and to be honest, it’s probably throwing off my opinion.While I love most rose products, this one just smells like old lady to me and while the scent lasts a really long time, the actual deodorant doesn’t hold up nearly as well. The texture and stick are nice enough that I would definitely try another scent and see if I like it better.

Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant

Scent: 5/5 Sweet Vanilla
Texture: 4/5 Cream to Powder roll-on stick
Longevity: 3.5/5 roughly 6 hours
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Gluten, Phthalates and it’s vegan
Total score: 12.5/15
Where to buy: Tarte.com, Sephora

I’ve loved Tarte makeup for years but I haven’t tried a ton of their skin care. When I heard they were bringing out a natural deodorant, I had to try it. It smells incredible but I wish the scent lasted a little longer. Some days I can still smell it after a couple hours and some days it disappears on me almost immediately. The star of this deodorant is the formula. It takes a second to dry down but once it does, it keeps me dry and stink free for hours. I still need to reapply on sweatier days but it’s definitely cute enough to keep in my purse.

Schmidt’s Rose & Vanilla Deodorant Pot

Scent: 4/5 Rose & Vanilla
Texture: 3/5 Cream to powder pot (spatula included)
Longevity: 3.5/5 depends on if you have a reaction to the baking soda
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, Parabens, Phthalates. It’s also vegan, gluten free and cruelty free
Total Score:10.5/15
Where to buy: Schmidt’s Naturals

I’ve never used a pot deodorant before and while I did have a couple of the Schmidt stick versions, this one interested me more. The rose scent in this one is much more to my liking but I did have a couple issues with it. This is the only deodorant of the three that’s baking soda based and my skin does not react well to it. While some people get rashes, I find that after a few hours, the scent turned on me and really became gross. To the point that I had to wash it off and put something else on. That said, it was much easier to apply than I expected and only ran into issues if I wanted to reapply and didn’t have a counter handy but I would definitely use this if they made it in their sensitive skin formula which doesn’t have baking soda in it. This could’ve been the winner for me, but my skin didn’t agree.

The verdict:

I had issues with the scents of both the Lafe’s and Schmidt’s deodorants for different reasons but the formulas themselves were decent. I just need to look into other options from both those companies. Tarte was the clear winner for me but at $18 CAD, it’s a little pricey. I’ll see how long one stick lasts and then decide if I’ll use it on a regular basis but I’m really liking it right now, so I think that it’s pretty likely I will.

It’s nice that we have so many more options for natural deodorant and if there’s another one you think we should try, let us know.

March Makeup Most Wanted

Spring into a new season with these March makeup products that I have been obsessed with this month.

Covergirl Outlast All-Day Custom Reds Lip Color – I have tried a lot of lipsticks that said they were going to last a long time, but Covergirl has finally done it. This two-step lip color is the longest lasting lipstick that I’ve ever tried. It’s really simple, you just apply the colour first, wait a minute and then apply the clear coat over top. Boom! You have lipstick that will last all day. I even had a hard time getting it off of my lips. I fell asleep with lipstick on one night and it was still on the next morning! This lipstick is UNREAL! The red shades that I tried were quiet bold, but really beautiful.

Rodial Baking Powder – I’m not going to lie, I don’t really get the idea of baking. I also don’t have time to bake my makeup before leaving the house. That doesn’t make my love of this powder any less. Instead of baking my makeup and dusting it off later, I have been using it as a finishing powder. I just dust a light layer over my foundation before I leave the house for a minor bake. Forget the long lasting powder of the bake, I love the matte finish that my skin gets when I use it. Clearly this powder is super versatile, making it key in my makeup bag.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream – Finally, a super moisturizing gel cream for extra dry skin that doesn’t feel heavy on my face. I fell in love with gel moisturizers because it is perfect for my skin. I get dry skin, but I also have acne. I need all the same anti-aging and boosting properties, but my skin can’t handle heavy thick moisturizers. I get greasy very easily. Neutrogena lets me get a major moisture boost without that issue. It absorbs into my skin leaving it feeling dry and matte, but also soft. This one is for anyone who is sick of fighting with moisturizers and their skin. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is the saving grace this winter.

Sebastian Volupt Spray High Impact Volume – I used to love spray gel in high school. It was probably the only product that I used, and I used it every day. Since then I’ve moved on to other products, but getting this newer product was like meeting an old friend. I love this product because it gives you hold without making my hair stiff. It’s really nice on curls or beach waves to get a hold without the crunch of mousse.

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Shampoo & Conditioner – Herbal Essences new hair care collection Bio:Renew sounds very fancy in the description. It’s made with a special blend of antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp. It’s supposed to bring your hair back to life in 21 days (although it doesn’t say how many washes that is). I love it because, while it has all of those great properties, it still feels like classic Herbal Essences. The Coconut Milk scent smells amazing. My hair looks great, it’s shiny and easy to manage. I can’t ask for anything else!

Brompton & Langley Hand Cream: Quick Review

If you are looking for a fun imported product that isn’t going to break the bank. Check out Brompton & Langley. I tried their Hand Cream and Body Wash with equally lovely results. This UK brand comes in soft scents like Sweet Pea Jasmine, Almond Milk and Vanilla Honeysuckle. The scents are really subtle, but leave your skin feeling soft and lush. They make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Spring Bath Products

Scrub off winter dry skin with these three bath products that will have you relaxing and soft in no time!

Lotus Aroma Bath & Body Wash Rose & Indian Geranium – If you love florals then this is the body wash for you. You can always count on Lotus Aroma for creating new scents that really fill up a room. This body wash is no different. The rose and geranium smell really surrounds you and makes you feel all girly and flowery. The scent doesn’t linger on your skin, which is a bit disappointing, but you still feel all lovely and clean.

Caress Body Wash – I didn’t think much of the Caress Body Wash when I saw them. I admit that I judged them because they are affordable (under $5) and available at value stores like Walmart. I tried the Silkening and Exfoliating soaps with pleasant results. The Silkening soaps are so soft and gentle on your skin. It’s hard to deny that your skin feels softer when you get out of the shower. Meanwhile the Exfoliating soap is gentle enough that you can exfoliate regularly, which is so important to stop dry winter skin.

Bleu Lavande Sea Salt Scrub – Unlike most sea salt scrubs, this one is all in. This scrub is packed full of salt to give you a serious exfoliation. The soft lavender scent also makes it perfect for those before bedtime showers. Your skin will feel smooth and soft and you will be relaxed.

Lipstick Queen Smokey Lip Kit

Tired of your smokey eye? The smokey lip is promising to be the next big trend. Lipstick Queen is making this trend easy with their new sets.

Both Smokey Lip Kits include two lipsticks, a colour and a smokey top coat. For now, the sets come with pretty neutral lipstick tones. I tried the Bright Natural Sinner as my base coat, but you can also choose the Pinky Nude Sinner. I wish there were more options. Maybe something a bit bolder, but I think this was a wise choice for the brand to start neutral. This makes the trend easier to dive in to.

Both sets also come with the Black Lace Rabbit. It’s a sheer black lipstick top coat with a slight shimmer. You can wear it alone, but I think it’s more fun when you layer it over your lipstick.

Don’t freak out when you see the black colour. It doesn’t turn your lipstick black. It just gives it a light, well, smokey finish. It turns neutral tones a bit more sultry.

Because this is just a lipstick top coat effect, the possibilities are endless on how you can use it. Try it over your favourite lipsticks to make old colours feel new again.

My one qualm is that I do wish it lasted a bit longer on my lips, but I don’t mind reapplying in this case.

At-Home Spa Day Most Wanted

Sometimes a girl just needs an at-home spa day for a little pampering with all of your favourite new bath, body and beauty products, candles and a glass of wine. Here are a few products to add to your supple for the perfect spa day at home:

Live Clean Dead Sea Salts – Soothe tired muscles on your at-home spa day with a long bath with these Live Clean Dead Sea Salts. They have Epsom salts, green tea extracts, aloe vera, Eucalyptus essential oils and Ginger. All of this combines for soothed muscles. The scent is strong, but really relaxing at the same time. It’s perfect for helping you forget that busy week.

Avon Foot Works Clay Mask – A spa day wouldn’t be complete without a little foot pampering. Short of having someone to give you a pedicure in your living room, this foot clay mask is the best thing to do. I’ve tried lots of clay masks for my face, but never for my feet. The feeling is pretty similar. Be sure that you are sitting somewhere good, because you won’t be able to walk around. You will need to clean your feet off wherever you are. The lavender smell is nice and relaxing while you wait. I didn’t expect much in the way of results, but my feet were very soft after just 10 minutes or so with this on.

Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set – You don’t usually get to pamper your lips, but it feels so good when you do. The Lip Smoother is a coconut exfoliator that will help clean up all of that dead skin from winter. The Lip Salve is an oil based balm that softens and moisturizes. It’s a nice treat for your lips to feel soften and fresh.

Claus Porto Soap Gift Box – This is the MOST beautiful soap that I’ve ever owned. The white box with the art deco logo is the first signal that you are in for a treat. No matter how many times I opened it to see the three soaps inside, I was never not in awe. The packaging for each of these German soaps is a work of art in itself. Almost too beautiful to use. When you have had your time with the box, be ready for a nice treat with this soft smelling soap in the tub. Spoil yourself, or someone that you love a lot, with these soaps for every occasion.

Skyn Iceland All Eyes On You Treatments – Skyn Iceland has some of my favourite eye products. They always make them nice and cooling and soothing so that my eyes feel relaxed. This set includes an Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Glacial Cleansing Cloths. This means you can pamper yourself with the gels now and have the cloths and pen for your regular everyday use.

CND Vinylux Rhythm & Blues Spring 2017 Collection

This has really been the weirdest winter I can ever remember Toronto having. But even with the unseasonably warm days, I’m more than ready for the cold fronts to disappear. Luckily I have a bunch of spring nail polish collections to get me ready for spring. First up is CND Vinylux’s Rhythm & Blues collection. There are six creme shades that are almost all available in Shellac as well (Vinylux’s Splash Of Teal is replaced by Shimmering Shores for the Shellac collection). Vinylux cremes are consistently some of my favourites, so I was thrilled to get a collection full of them. Every single shade was also two really easy coats and with the Vinylux Top Coat, they all dried super fast. These shades aren’t all traditional spring but they’re definitely putting me in the right headspace for it.

Mambo Beat

Mambo Beat is a bright, slightly sheer coral. You could probably get complete opacity with more coats but I really liked the effect of two. This is a fantastic not quite red, not quite orange shade and can carry you into summer.

Shells In the Sand

This white-ish peach is the only formula I had any kind of issues with. It was a touch patchy but thicker coats and the top coat definitely helped.

Ripe Guava

The only notes I have for this bright berry shade are two coats, perfect. That pretty much says it all. This is definitely a spring polish I can get behind.

Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane is somewhere between a light pistachio and a lime shade. With a little too much yellow for me. The first coat was pretty patchy but the second one evened it out.

Palm Deco

I really love this dark forest green. I was half expecting a one-coater here but the first coat was super sheer, luckily the second coat was perfect.

Splash Of Teal

I really wasn’t expecting to love this deep teal blue quite this much but I really, really love it. It’s a little brighter than the photo but Toronto’s natural light has been a pain lately. The formula was slightly runny but two coats went on perfectly. And no staining! For the entire collection.

StriVectin Spring Most Wanted

There are very few products I’ve tried from StriVectin that I didn’t automatically love but the combination of their newest products is pretty fantastic. The Multi-Action Active Infusion You Serum combined with the Multi-Action Stress Defense Water Gel did things for my skin pretty much immediately.

The Youth Serum has has encapsulated NIA (StriVectin’s propietary technology) spheres that release into a thin serum. I find it a little sticky until it dries, which isn’t long at all, but once it absorbs you really can’t feel anything on your skin. This serum is supposed to smooth lines, firm, strengthen the skin barrier and give you instant luminosity. I don’t have a lot of lines on my face but I can definitely say that my skin is definitely luminous. Of course after any serum you need a good moisturizer.

The Water Gel was definitely nothing like I was expecting. It literally looks like a gel made of water and absorbs so quickly, sometimes I wonder if I ever got it on my face. Luckily it smells so good that I can tell. I find I need a little bit more than I usually apply for a moisturizer but considering it starts working within seconds, I’m ok with that. The Water Gel leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated and it seriously glows. If you have extremely dry skin though, this might not be strong enough for you. On my drier days, I find I have to use a much stronger moisturizer at night but I have a feeling this will be perfect for spring and summer.

It’s really the combination of the two products that I love. When I use the Youth Serum before the Water Gel, my skin just looks incredible. I’ve noticed dry patches disappearing and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on my skin. I really love when skincare does what it says it will and so far StriVectin has kept their promise with everything. If you’re looking for some freshness in your skin for spring, this might be the duo for you.

Lipstick Queen Chess Collection


There’s really nothing I like better than interesting makeup collections that aren’t eyeshadow palettes. Lipstick Queen’s newest offering is the Chess collection, six matte lipsticks that Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King says is ‘beauty and brains combined in a lipstick!’ Each lipstick is named after a chess game piece and has a personality description attached to it. Now, I have zero knowledge about chess, so I don’t know how well they actually fit with the game but it’s really fun picking a lipstick based on shade and/or personality.

Lipstick Queen really thought of everything for the Chess collection’s packaging. The boxes have the game pieces on them and half the lipsticks are in white tubes and the other half in black. Just like the game. All the lipsticks are matte and apply extremely smoothly. These are not transfer-proof and will definitely require touch ups but they also really moisturizing and feel like you’re just wearing lip balm. I actually have a really hard time picking a favourite shade. I was initially drawn to Bishop but there isn’t a single shade that isn’t flattering on me.

Pawn, Bishop, Knight, King, Rook, Queen

Pawn (Loyal) is a deep nude, Bishop (Determined) is a determined mauve, Knight (Courageous) is dashing mocha, King (Noble) is a rich berry, Rook (Unpredictable) is brick red and the ever famous Queen (Supreme) is ruby red. The bonus of getting all six shades as a press sample, is that I can decide which shade I want to wear depending on my mood. I don’t know if I could actually pick just one.