Blo Dry Bar & Beautiful Blowouts


blo-me-hair-dry

Like me, there a good chance that you have seen blow dry bars popping up in your town and thought why? I didn’t know why I would need a place to go just for a blow dry that wasn’t my hair dresser. To solve this mystery, I got in touch with the leaders of this hair trend, Blo Dry Bar.

Blo was the first blow dry bar in North America and the leaders with over 40 locations in North America and Asia. Sharmina Rajabali a Franchise Partner with Blo says that “We have become experts at session styling because that’s all we do! Blo is the perfect place to go in between trips to the hairdresser to maintain salon-quality locks. It is a quick, affordable and convenient luxury. After all, perfect hair equals perfect confidence.”

blo-dry-blow-dry

So I booked my appointment and headed to the Blo Dry Bar at Bayview Village in Toronto. It was early and I had a barbecue later that afternoon, so I was excited to see what they could do for my uncontrolled waves. When I went in, I was rushed into a seat quickly and asked what I wanted. I was nervous and I felt a little uncomfortable. I just said straight please, because I wasn’t sure how this worked. I was secretly envying the loose waves and braid from one of the girls working, but I didn’t know if I could ask for that.

I had my hair washed and then when I went back to the chair, I picked up the menu of Blo’s styling options. Blo doesn’t just offer regular blow outs, but an option of styles from classic to waves to straight and even braids, ponytails and buns. I asked if I could change my mind and pick loose waves for something fun.

blo-dry-bar-hair-waves

Cristina went to work. I have had many stylists blow dry my hair over the years, but none were as fast as the crew at Blo. It wasn’t just Cristina, but everyone there was a pro at blow drying. Even though they were all focused and working fast, it didn’t feel rushed or formal. Everyone working was having a good time laughing and singing along to the radio. While at times, I felt a little but left out of the joke. Overall it made me feel more relaxed that I could sit and enjoy their company.

All the while, my hair was turning from crazy to gorgeous. My waves were looking beautiful. As each wave dropped, the smile on my face got wider and wider. When it was all done, xxx stepped back to admire her work and ask me what I thought. I was thrilled! But then she asked me how I felt about her adding a braid to my hair to keep my bangs out of my face, exactly like the girl’s hair that I admired on the way in.

blo-dry-bar-hair-braid

When it was done, it was perfect. I walked out of Blo Dry Bar feeling amazing. I honestly don’t know if my hair has ever looked better.

I can definitely see how this could be addicting. They say there are some clients who come in every other day to keep their blow out looking amazing. I don’t know if I am that addicted yet, but maybe one day.

Bite Beauty BB For Lips

Bite Beauty BB For Lip Swatches
Tawny, Suede, Dolce, Flush

We have so many makeup options for our lips. Lipstick, glosses, stains, balms,  crayons and now Bite Beauty is introducing us to BB For Lips. These are sort of like tinted lip balms except you get a little more coverage colour wise and your lips get repaired while you wear it.
Bite Beauty BB For Lips
BB For Lips comes in five shades. Tawny, Suede, Dolce, Flush and Natural which is clear. I honestly can’t decide which of these I like the most. Each shade is sheer, goes on smoothly and my lips feel fantastic afterwards. Obviously the wear time isn’t very long but unlike lipstick that clumps, reapplying doesn’t have any drawbacks.

Each BB has Shea Butter, SPF 18 and 5 mg of Reservatrol (which Bite is known for) that delivers the equivalent of 5 glasses of red wine of antioxidants to your lips. Considering most of us tend to neglect our lips when it comes to repairing or antioxidants and generally use lip balms that don’t do anything but moisturize, I can’t help but think that Bite is on to something with BB For Lips. While I might not notice most of the effects I like the way these feel as a balm and I love the shades.

And if I get to do something good for my lips while wearing a lip balm I’m all for it.

Mary Murphy Talks Beauty

Ballroom expert Mary Murphy may be best known on So You Think You Can Dance as the ‘Queen of Scream’ and for her ‘Hot Tamale Train’ but we wanted to know how she always keeps herself looking fabulous.
sytycd_Mary Murphy 4
While talking to her we noticed that not only is she just as nice as we expected but she gets just as excited about makeup as she does the dancers on SYTYCD. But that wasn’t always the case. Mary didn’t grow up loving makeup and playing dress-up in her mother’s makeup.

“My mother never wore makeup and I was certainly a tomboy, I wouldn’t be caught dead near any of that stuff. And I grew up in such a small, little rural town nobody was really into any of that. I didn’t really have lipstick on until my junior year  and that was because I was a majorette. And I might’ve put some mascara on but had eyeshadow whatsoever and I just remember seeing a picture of me with red lipstick and mascara. That was my first time being in the spotlight and hearing applause and liking it. I had no idea, I did not grow up dancing.”

After starting dance in college, including modern dance, she didn’t quite get on the makeup train until she started ballroom dance.

“It all really started changing for me when I got into ballroom which was over the top makeup and I flip flopped in my life from being this complete tomboy to going to the other extreme. Since that moment that I went into ballroom and I fell in love with makeup and to this day I think my makeup bag gets about ten pounds heavier every year, the older I get. I love it, I’m not a one line type of person. If there’s a kit involved I’m going to figure out what I need to buy to get that extra eye kit.”
Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm
Mary may not stick to one product line but there are definitely a few beauty products she can’t live without.
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
“I love Smith’s Strawberry Lip Balm, I love the smell. I love Jurlique’s Rosewater spray. I travel with that and there’s nothing that refreshes me more than sitting on an airplane and while my skin is dehydrating I squirt myself with this most beautiful rose water. Every time I get to a hotel room I put it on my pillows and I put it on my face when I get up in the morning. I love Anastasia’s eyebrow pencil. If I have to go out the door without doing anything else I always have to have eyebrows. I feel like you can get by with just a little mascara, some lipstick and some eyebrows and not do anything else.”
EVO Shine Spray
Any So You Think You Can Dance fan knows that Mary’s changes her hairstyle often but how does she keep her hair looking amazing?

“Since I’ve gone blond, in between I use KMS Color Vitality, which one of the hairdressers told me about. People think I’ve had my hair dyed that day once I give myself a little treatment. I also use a company called EVO, I use their shine spray right before I walked out on the show and if I feel my hair getting damaged I’ll wash my hair with their shampoo and conditioner and it really makes my hair feel good.”

Mary Murphy is on So You Think You Can Dance all summer Wednesday’s at 8pm EST on Fox and we can’t wait to see what she’s up to this season!

Father’s Day Most Wanted: Last Minute Gift Ideas

We haven’t done any posts for guys in the past but we have to shop for Father’s Day so we thought we’d put together some last minute gift ideas that dads, boyfriends and husbands will love but are all easily accessible last minute so you don’t have to buy a tie or something equally predictable.

The Body Shop Energizing Face Bundle
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This gift set has everything a guy could need to keep his face looking great without having to borrow the ‘girly’ stuff. The set includes a face wash, a face protector and a scrub.

Braun Cool Tec Shaver
CoolTec shaver front image
This shaver cools down the skin while shaving leaving less irritation and redness. It also features a trimmer.

Oral-B Black 7000 Electric Toothbrush
Oral-B Black 7000 Family_White Background
This high tech toothbrush has 6 modes and a SmartGuide display that gives you feedback while you brush.

L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Moisturizer and Lip Balm
L'Oreal MenExpert_HE_MoisturizerL'Oreal MenExpert_HE_MoisturizerL'Oreal Lip Balm MenExpert Hydra Energetic
Guys love lip balm just as much as we do only now they have one just for them. A 3-Day Beard Moisturizer is great for those guys who hate to shave but love keeping their beard looking great.

We hope we helped with our last minute Father’s Day gift ideas!

Ceramic Glaze Island Paradise Collection

This summer nails are pretty much all about neon. The collections are so similar but Ceramic Glaze’s Island Paradise collection stood out to me for a couple reasons. 1) the colours are gorgeous and they’re all super bright. Like see them from across the street bright. And for the most part they’re all pretty flattering for most skin tones. 2) These not only dry fast but completely matte. For the swatches I’ve done two coats and the Ceramic Glaze top coat. If you don’t want to leave these matte I would suggest using a different top coat, the Ceramic Glaze one was actually my biggest complaint about the whole collection. The brush took out huge chunks of nail polish and I had to redo a lot of nails.

Exotic Dragon Fruit
Ceramic Glaze Exotic Dragon Fruit Swatch
This was used by both of us and is by far one of our favourite shades for summer. It’s the perfect hot pink with a little shimmer and looks amazing both matte and with a shine.

I’m On Island Time
Ceramic Glaze I'm On Island Time Swatch
This is a really pretty summer peach shade, only super neon. I want to go back and use this one with white under it just to see how bright I can get it.

Lychee Cocktail
Ceramic Glaze Lychee Cocktail Swatch
Another hot pink, only this one’s a little more neon and with a little less shimmer.

Moji-Toes
Ceramic Glaze Moji-Toes Swatch
I don’t have a green anywhere close to this in my collection. It’s a full on neon green and it’s BRIGHT. Next time I use this it’ll probably be as tips on a french manicure.

Shell Me About It
Ceramic Glaze Shell Me About It
This is by far my favourite shade in the collection and the first Radiant Orchid shade I’ve seen all season that I love. I’m going to be using this one a lot.

Solar Radiance
Ceramic Glaze Solar Radiance Swatch
This is a super bright true orange. It’s the only one I had opacity issues with, I just couldn’t get away from the visible nail line. And while that usually doesn’t bug me, for some reason it did with this one.

Watermelon Cooler
Ceramic Glaze Watermelon Cooler Swatch
This was a really nice, light teal. It was just as bright as the others but didn’t seem quite so neon.

I love everything about this collection. Every shade is super summery and could work as either a mani or pedi colour. The cream shades go on really smoothly and the shimmery shades were almost as good. I see a lot of empty bottles in my future.

Stayfree Challenge

Stayfree Challenge Box
Everyone’s seen the pad commercials with the blue liquid test. Every company uses them but I’m pretty sure once the commercial’s over you don’t think about it much. When Stayfree offered the chance to do the test ourselves my curiosity won out.
Stayfree Challenge Box Open
They provided everything. A package of Stayfree pads, two competitor pads, vials of the famous blue liquid, blotting sheets and three five pound weights.
Stayfree Challenge Step 1
The test was easy enough. Put the pads on the placement sheet.
Stayfree Challenge Step 2
Add the blue liquid and wait 30 seconds.
Stayfree Challenge Step 3
Add the blotting paper with the weights over them.Wait 5 seconds and voila! Results!
Stayfree Challenge Results
I don’t know what the pad in the middle is and I kind of wish I did because that’s pretty gross in comparison. The Stayfree and Competitor #2 who is almost definitely Always were basically neck and neck for spots. The main difference was that Stayfree kept them in the middle and Competitor #2 had them a lot more spread out.

It was pretty cool playing scientist for the day and the results were pretty surprising. Stayfree is also trying to get rid of granny panties and bring back the cute ones. Their Panty Party website is running a contest and you can also follow them on Twitter. The cutest part of the whole thing is this little video.


 

Let us know if you’re on your way to retiring your granny panties and what you think of the results of our test!

Shenae Grimes Shares Her Beauty Secrets

 

Canadian actress Shenae Grimes has come so far from the halls of Degrassi and Beverly Hills. This beauty has taken the next step in her life, marrying model and musician Josh Beech last year. The pair started a blog together, Two Halves, that explores all of their interests from music, to fashion, and beyond. Along with writing and directing music videos, Shenae Grimes has taken on the role as the face of Canadian beauty brands Annabelle. We caught up with Shenae to find out about her love of beauty and her favourite products.

What is your first makeup or beauty related memory?

Discovering a liquid eyeliner pen and leaving the memory of my smudgy raccoon eyes in my old high school hallways.  I always had a thing about never leaving the house without a heavy dose of black eyeliner pencil, but I never really knew how to apply it well.  Discovering an easy flick of the wrist liquid eyeliner pen was a beauty. Godsend!

What is your everyday morning beauty routine like?

I always cleanse, tone, and moisturize my face thoroughly before bed and in the morning.  I’m not one of those soap and water kinda gals.  Washing my face makes me feel so clean and refreshed and when I maintain that routine well I can usually forego makeup for the daytime.  I like getting dolled up at night, but unless I have a meeting or daytime event, I like to stay fresh-faced during the day if I’m feeling good about my skin.

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What is your budget friendly beauty secret?

Annabelle makeup is an affordable but incredible quality line that makes up my entire makeup routine these days.  I know, as the ambassador, I’m sure you think I’m supposed to say that, but since being reintroduced to the brand since I moved away from Toronto years ago, I’ve fallen in love all over again.  It shocks me how much money I wasted on a makeup routine when their amazing range of products are swimming around all over Canada at 1/3 of the cost or less!

Do you have a signature scent? What is it and how did you fall in love with it?

The only perfume I’ve ever worn is the limited addition holiday scents Escada brings out every year. They’re fruity and delicious.  My mom got me my first bottle for Christmas years and years ago and I wore it religiously so she’s gotten me the new one for Christmas every year since. Thanks for keepin’ me smelling good Mama!

What is your latest beauty obsession?

A fun hair color… I haven’t yet committed but for months I’ve been itching to try something a little out there and fun.  Just booked a hair appointment with my go-to gal in LA so we’ll see what happens next time I’m there!

Marcelle-Xtension-Plus-Mascara

What are 5 products that are always in your makeup bag and you can’t live without and why?

Annabelle’s BB Beauty Balm – It’s like a tinted moisturizer; light creamy consistency with SPF in it but still gives you that little bit of all over coverage we gals like to have!

Annabelle’s Eye Ink – It’s the best liquid eyeliner I’ve tried on the market and trust me, I’ve tried ‘em all!

Rosebud Salve – I’m not very big on lip color day to day but I do always like to keep my lips moisturized.

Shu Uemera eyelash curler – It’s the staple product that all makeup artists I’ve met use because it really does the trick. My husband hates the fake eyelash thing so this is a perfect tool for natural lashes.

Marcelle’s Xtension Plus Mascara is my absolute number one must-have.  This product is magic, makes my eyelashes look 50% longer than any other mascara I’ve tried.

Anna Sui Most Wanted and Giveaway

There’s nothing I like more than great makeup that comes in gorgeous packaging and luckily Anna Sui has combined her makeup and perfumes with absolutely stunning packaging. Our most wanted is a mix of things we already love from Anna Sui and what we want the most.

Anna Sui Loose Compact Powder
Anna Sui Protective Loose Powder
Once you figure out how to use it, this powder is super silky and smells great. It feels like a throwback to the way powder used to be.
Anna Sui Secret Wish Caravan
Anna Sui Secret Wish Limited Edition Caravan
The perfume itself is a really nice fruity floral perfect for warm seasons but really, look at that caravan! It’s so pretty and detailed and would make a perfect addition to any countertop. You can also fill it with all your Anna Sui goodies. Too bad it’s limited edition.
Anna Sui Beauty Tray
Anna Sui Beauty Tray
I don’t have this yet but it’s probably going to be one of the next things I buy. It’s the perfect size for powders and eyeshadows and I could look at it for hours.
Anna-Sui-2014-Lipstick-Limited-Edition
Anna Sui Limited Edition Lipstick
In keeping with the Anna Sui theme of rose in packaging, these limited edition lipsticks are vibrant shades of pink and coral and the rose covered cases are just as nice.

The lovely people at Anna Sui have generously given us a prizepack to give to our readers!
It includes:
Lipstick in shade 600
Lip Balm
Lip Crayon in shade 301
Liquid Eyeliner in shade 500
This giveaway is valued at $110!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ipsy June 2014 Sneak Peeks

A new month means new spoilers for this month’s Ipsy. If you haven’t used Ipsy before it’s a monthly beauty subscription box. For $10 you get 4-5 samples or full size beauty products. The theme this month is Pretty In Paradise. For more information on Ipsy you can go here.
Ipsy June 2014 Spoiler 1
Sneak Peek #1: NYX Butter Gloss
Ipsy June 2014 Spoiler 2
#2: Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
#3: Nicka K Shimmer Eyeliner
#4: Ofra Cosmetics Eyeliner
Ipsy June 2014 Spoiler 3
#5: MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Creme Sunscreen
#6: DermaDoctor DD Cream
#7: Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara
#8: Laneige BB Cushion
#9: Ole Henrickson Truth To Go Cleansing Wipes
#10: Skinn Olive And Enzyme Rich Balm Cleanser
#11: Ofra Absolute Brow Pencil
#12: Clarisea Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant
Ipsy June 2014 Spoiler 4
#13: Marc Anthony Beachy Wave Spray
#14: Dove Pure Care Dry Oil
#15: Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Styling Cream
Ipsy June 2014 Spoiler Bag
Rebecca Minkoff designed the bag this month.

We can’t wait to see what’s in our bag this month! Glam rooms open Tuesday June 10th. Let us know what you’re getting.

 

CND Vinylux Paradise Collection

CND Vinylux Summer 2014
I love the idea of gel nail polishes like CND’s Shellac but I just can’t commit to one colour for more than a few days so I love that they released a weekly polish you can do at home with the same shades. The Paradise collection is their summer edition and the colours are the bright neons you’d expect. You use these without a base coat which scared me a little since I always use one and once you add the Vinylux top coat the polish dries in minutes. It might not be as quick as getting Shellac at a nail place with the UV light but it’s a lot faster than most at home nail polishes. All of the swatches are two coats and the Vinylux top coat.

Bicycle Yellow
CND Vinylux Bicycle Yellow
This was the first shade I tried and it was also the one I liked the least. I don’t know what it is about yellow shades but they never seem to work properly, the added shimmer probably didn’t help. This was streaky and clumpy and definitely not a flattering shade for me, it looked like I painted my nails with mustard. I imagine it would look a lot better on a darker skin tone.

Cerulean Sea
CND Vinylux Cerulean Sea

This shade went on a lot smoother. CND definitely knows how to name their shades, this is a perfect cerulean. It’s a creme and had great coverage.

Electric Orange
CND Vinylux Electric Orange
Another creme, this one had more of a squishy, jelly feel to it only with more pigmentation. I’m still trying to get into orange nail polish and this one was just a little too much for me. I’d like it better for a pedicure.

Lush Tropics
CND Vinylux Lush Tropics
I love all blue and green shades and this is a shade of green I don’t have. It’s pretty much the exact shade of grass. It was really pretty while I was wearing it and a couple people grabbed my hand so they could look at it.

Sultry Sunset
CND Vinylux Sultry Sunset
This was the other shimmer in the collection. It’s a really pretty dark rose shade, almost fuchsia but not quite. It was a lot easier to work with than Bicycle Yellow but unlike the others, it chipped really fast.

I might not be able to commit to a full week with one nail polish shade but I would definitely use most of these shades on a regular basis. I love that you get the option of the full commitment of Shellac and the at home ease of Vinylux in the same shades.