Launched in 2002, Essence Cosmetics is a new name in makeup that is starting to gather buzz in North America. There is a lot of buzz about with Essence Cosmetics too. They are affordable, accessible and strictly against animal testing. All of these things are big bonuses in my mind. I received the Essence Cosmetics Sun Club All-In-One Bronzing Highlighter, Soft Touch Mousse Foundation, and Metal Glam Eyeshadow. It seems like the perfect combination for a beautiful look.
My first thoughts are that I love the way Essence sees colour. The mousse is a beautiful, natural, light shade. The highlighter is a mix of light and dark bronzing hues. The eyeshadows are three of the coolest metallic hues I’ve seen in a long time. I wanted to run home with them just to try them on.
When you try Essence Cosmetics makeup, you need to remember that this is an accessible drugstore makeup line. This isn’t some specialized luxury line. The eyeshadow looks amazing in the packaging, and goes on much lighter. I found it was much easier to use my finger to apply it evenly.
I found that I could never get the right shade of bronzer for my skin tone. The powders didn’t mix properly to give a shimmering bronzer shade.
The mousse foundation was my favourite of all the products I tried. It was very light and went on my skin like velvet. It had a great feel.
Essence Cosmetics might not be my new favourite collection, but I am still going to stand behind it proudly. I think it would be the perfect line for girls first trying out makeup to play with. It’s a terrific new option for people who aren’t so serious about makeup. It’s quality at a great price point. So if you want something without a big commitment, get ready to have some fun.
Garnier recently released a new skin care line called Clean+ that’s made for specific skin types. My skin is a little more than textbook combination, it goes to extremes. One day it can be dry and flaky and the next it’s completely oily. And did I mention it’s pretty sensitive. Combination skin has a tendency to be overlooked in favour of oily, dry or normal in skin care lines so I was really excited to try cleansers made for combination skin. What was even better was that I wasn’t disappointed at all.
Clean+ Purifying Cleansing Foam is a typical foaming cleanser. You squeeze the bottle, you get foam, you wash and so on. The difference came in the results. My skin wasn’t tight or dry in the usual spots and it didn’t feel greasy anywhere. I was pretty much sold at this point and then I got to the exfoliator.
The Clean+ Balancing Gel Exfoliator is something I’ve needed forever. I love scrubs but my skin doesn’t always get along with them. This gel exfoliator was gentle enough for the sensitive side of my skin but got the job done. Whatever scrubby bits are in there are small enough to not irritate my skin but also left it balanced and feeling really clean.
I really hope more companies hop on the combination bandwagon but if they don’t at least I’ve found something that works.
Lush products seem pretty straightforward. Bath Bombs, soap, skin care. But there’s so much more you can do with your products that might not be quite as obvious. We recently had the chance to take a tour of Lush Markville in Markham, ON and while the fantastic Winnie and Kathryn were doing some treatments on us, we were reminded of the other things we could do with our Lush Stash.
1. Bath Cocktail
Why use just a Bath Bomb when you can add a Bath Melt and a Bubble Bar for the most extravagant bath ever? You can pick similar scents or randomly mix them up for a new smell.
2. Hand Scrub
I once had a Lush employee tell me that once I tried this hand treatment it would change my life and it did. Mix Lemony Flutter with Ocean Salt and use as a scrub on your hands, feet or anywhere on your body. Rinse off and be amazed at how soft your skin is (and how great it smells).
3. Shaving Cream
The great thing about Lush products is that as a whole they’re generally really moisturizing. I’ve heard of people using Lush Soap, Solid Shampoo, Shower Gels and conditioners as their shaving cream. I use Ro’s Argan after shaving to keep my skin super smooth.
The Lush Solid Shampoo is great for travel but if you really want to cut down on the amount of products you take with you, any of the shower gels can double as a shampoo. The Olive Branch will make your hair smell fantastic
5. Air Freshener
Want to make your room smell good fast? Take a bath bomb and put it in a knot wrap for a long lasting room fragrance.
There are so many other ideas that I haven’t tried yet, using a bath bomb to scent my laundry for example. What are your favourite things to do with your Lush faves?
I’m the kind of person that sticks to a product until it runs out if I love it but I also change colours and textures with the seasons. These are my Most Wanted products this month.
1. Fresh Peony Brightening UV Shield SPF 50+
This goes on so smoothly and just completely brightens up my face. There’s a tiny little bit of colour to it which makes it seem almost like a CC cream, but luckily it isn’t too dark for my fair skin tone. The high SPF is just a total bonus.
2. Nails Inc. Warwick Way nail polish
This is just the perfect bright turquoise colour for spring. I love the way Nails Inc. nail polishes go on and they last a really long time without chipping.
3. Lise Watier Eden Tropical Palette
More gorgeous spring colours that aren’t too bright or pastel. The pigmentation is fantastic and there are so many combinations you can get out of these 6 shades.
4. Julep Pore-Minimizing Blush in Peach Bellini
I recently got this in my Julep Maven bag and it’s so new it still says coming soon on the Julep site. The second I tried it I fell in love with it. The colour is perfect for my skin and gives me a lot of colour while still looking natural. It’s so pigmented you really only need to use a tiny bit. The jury’s still out on the pore minimizing part though.
5. Soap And Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Crayon in Nudist
This has been with me everywhere I go since the day I got it. I’ve already reviewed these crayons here but this is the standout shade for me. It’s great for when you don’t want to wear a bright lip colour or if your lipstick wears off and you need a quick fix. It’s so moisturizing that I’ve used it as a lip balm.
6. MAC Amplified Lipstick in Red Balloon
This is part of the new MAC Playland collection and even though it’s called Red Balloon, on me it looks more like a reddish pink. Just bright enough but not quite neon. It also lasts forever. This is going to be my go to lipstick for spring and probably summer.
We’ve already been telling you what our Most Wanted products are but now we’re going to let others tell you. First up is Liv Jagrell, lead singer from Stockholm band Sister Sin. Liv tells us what her Most Wanted products to take out on tour are.
1: Make up wipes: Since I wear a lot of make up onstage and nights on tour can be very late and exhausting, I always have make up wipes with me to easily take off the make up. I would not survive without them. Whatever kind I can find – usually ends up being Neutrogena!
2: BB cream or CC cream: Because you have limited amount of time and space on tour, this is a really good product. Both daycream and foundation in one. My fave right now is Lumene BB Bright Now.
3: Dry shampoo: You never know when you will have a shower and time to wash your hair, this is a real saver. I use cheap ones like Proffs Dry Schampoo, it’s one of the best if you ask me!
4: Waterproof Mascara: [This is] to use on stage… And why?? Well if you headbang as much as me it’s kind of a cardio workout every time I’m on stage, and I don’t want to look like a panda or Alice Cooper after the show haha. I recommend an Italian brand called Kiko which have very good products for a good price.
5: Small travel kits with body lotions, I can’t live without body lotion, I really hate when my skin is dry! I prefer organic of all kind, today there a lot to chose from, which is good.\
Stockholm’s SISTER SIN are currently hard at work, writing material for their upcoming 5th Victory Records album. Catch them on the road and stay up to date with the latest from Liv and SISTER SIN with the links below!
Ipsy is by far my favourite subscription box. They’re a monthly service that sends out ‘glam bags’ filled with 4-6 full size or deluxe samples of everything from makeup to hair, nail and skin products. I had posted all the spoilers from April’s bag here.
This is my bag for April. I love the actual bag and almost everything in it.
I got the Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet eyeliner, the Starlooks lip pencil, Elizabeth Mott pop! goes the shadow, Dr. Brandt’s microdermabrasion and the Coastal Scents eyeshadow brush.
Ipsy always says they don’t send out duplicates month to month but I’ve never had to think about it before. The day they posted our glam rooms (so you can see what you’re getting while it’s shipping) I got an email from Ipsy customer service telling me they made a mistake because I had already gotten a brush from Coastal Scents. Now, I love brushes and probably wouldn’t have even noticed, let alone cared that they sent me a second one but the fact that they’re so on top of it and offered me a couple different options to make up for it just cements how much I love this company.
I can’t wait to try out all my new goodies! What did you get this month?
I am not trying to be conceited, but I have really gorgeous hair. It’s thick. It’s voluminous. It’s naturally wavy, but can easily be curly or straight with little effort. It holds style and colour well. It doesn’t get greasy or frizzy easily. My only complaint is that there is a lot of it, but when my friends all start losing their hair I will probably appreciate that too.
Hair dressers often compliment my hair when I sit in their chair. Until now, I haven’t revealed the secret to how I keep my hair looking so beautiful. The secret to my hair is Head & Shoulders.
Some people probably won’t believe me. People have told me that Head & Shoulder’s strips your hair or clogs your hair follicles or any other number of issues, while I sit and quietly smile to myself.
With this job, I tend to use a lot of different shampoos and conditioners. I need to try out the latest products for reviews or my own curiosity. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing. Not all of these new miracle products are gentle on my lovely hair. I have had products that dried out my hair, bad dye jobs that needed to be repaired, split ends, greasy products and more. All of these treatments and masks and serums mean that sometimes my hair needs a little help. That is when I turn to Head & Shoulders. Using Head & Shoulders seems to clean up all of the junk I put my hair through. It restores each strand to the right shine. It halts split ends in their tracks.
I love to mix it up depending on how my hair is feeling at the time. In the summer, I use the Refresh Shampoo to give a cooling feeling on my hot scalp. The Smooth & Silky Shampoo to get rid of frizz. Now I have the Damage Rescue collection for dullness and damage.
Some people spend hundreds of dollars on salon products, but I’m telling you that it’s not always necessary. Head & Shoulders is the secret to my hair. What’s yours?
When I read descriptions of Soap & Glory’s new Sit Tight Intense XS Body Firming Serum, I was excited to try it. Clearly I wasn’t alone because the skin firmer has sold out online in some stores. When you have a desk job, you don’t usually think of your behind, even though you are on it all day long. This serum is there to take care of your backside and give you firmer and tighter skin. It looks a little silly in the package and when you first go to try it you will probably feel a bit silly, but luckily you are alone so no one is going to see you working your way to smoother skin on your booty.
Regardless of looking silly, I was excited to see if all of the claims on the back of the box were true. I pulled out the silver bottle and inspected the massage balls on the end curiously. I twisted the top into the on position and squeezed it to see what I would be putting on my skin. I wanted to inspect the smell and consistency before I put it on. Nothing came out, so I squeezed harder. It took almost all my strength to get some of the white cream out. It didn’t have a particularly strong smell or weird feel, so I applied it. It went on smooth. I had to wait a few minutes before getting dressed, but otherwise things seemed fine. I felt a slightly tingling on my skin, but as described on the box. When it dried, it got sticky and my skin felt tacky. My clothes stuck to me all the day. I could always feel it on my skin.
The next morning I soldiered on and picked up the bottle again. I squeezed hard, but nothing came out. I touched the little silver roller balls and could feel that they were stuck. I thought maybe they had dried out and gotten jammed. I squeezed a bit more. This time when I squeezed the bottle, I heard a pop and the back of the bottle exploded open shoot Sit Tight Serum right across my bedroom all over my laundry, my carpet, even my cat. So that ended my skin tightening experiment fairly quickly.
I wish I knew if my skin was going to be tighter, but a giant hole in the end of the bottle made it practically impossible to keep using. I don’t know if this was unique to my bottle or if all of the Sit Tight bottles had this strange flaw.
I love nail art but unfortunately I’m not great at doing it on myself. When I got the chance to try Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up in Margarita, I was all over it. I’ve been a little hesitant to try nail stickers in the past because I have pretty small nail beds and I wasn’t sure any of them would come small enough for my pinky. Luckily the kit’s smallest size fit perfectly. The Mix It Up kits are great because there are two designs that work well together so you can literally mix up how you want to do your nails.
I decided to use the black based design on most of my nails and the really colourful ones as an accent but once I was done I wished I’d done it the other way around. They’re just so pretty. With the Mix It Up kits you have enough to do your nails more than once so I’ll change it up next time.
Being right handed I decided to do my right hand first in case I failed miserably using my left hand. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to apply. There are a couple of tricks I quickly picked up on to make application easier. First make sure there’s absolutely nothing on your nails. Use nail polish remover right before you use Kiss Nail Dress and make sure they’re dry. Second, when you pull the ends under your nail, pull it as tightly against the edge of your nail as you can without tearing. That’ll make the edges comes off more evenly.
I didn’t really like the file included in the kit and I found better results with my own file. I had Kiss Nail Dress on for four days without any problems. I might not use these all the time but they’re great for travelling, random accent nails or when you want to change your nail colour but don’t want to wait for nail polish to dry.
When we first saw the press release for Dippity Do’s Girls With Curls collection, both of us were like wait a minute Dippity Do is still around? Apparently our favourite 90’s hair care line is still rocking! We couldn’t wait to be reunited with our old friend who used to be a staple in our hair care routine.
The Girls With Curls line took me right back to my pre-teens from the second I saw the bottles. The big oversized pink bottles made my inner 12 year old squeal with delight. The sweet candy smell and bright pink hue of the product made her jump up and down. The adult in me was concerned though. Just because it makes me want to put on The Spice Girls doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for my hair.
I swapped out my favourite shampoo and conditioner for these giant pink bottles. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Using no harmful chemicals, Dippity Do’s Girls With Curls collection cleaned my hair gently. It isn’t harsh on my hair at all. I might have liked it to do a little more deep cleaning, but that is more personal preference than fault of the product.
A few hours later, when my hair was dry my curls were gorgeous. Even I envied my own hair. I had lots of big volume and bounce in my hair. People were complimenting me on my wow factor hair. I was in love with Dippity Do all over again. My hair didn’t feel as clean as it could, but it looked gorgeous.
The gel in the collection is another story. While some people might want to keep their curls with this gel, I am not one of them. I understand that it will make my hair hold the curl longer, but it also made my hair stiff and sticky. To keep all of my curls intact, I would have also had a helmet of hard crusty gel. If I was going out for a night or special event, I might employ the help of this gel, but on a day to day, I won’t. Every girl was hair they can run their fingers through. Dippity Do’s Girls With Curls got me halfway there. It’s not my new favourite, but it gave me one day of gorgeous curls that I will remember for a long time.