Mika for Shu Uemura Review

Photographer Mika Ninagawa’s collection for Shu Uemura is one of the few that pretty much has everything going for it. The packaging alone makes it one of the most gorgeous collections I’ve ever seen and it could probably just sit on my bathroom counter for me to look at, let alone use it. The fact that the products are just as great makes it so much better.

I’ve been using the Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil as my cleanser. It balances the oily spots, doesn’t dry out the dry spots and at 450ml, I’m going to be using it forever since you just use a tiny bit.

The Mika Eyeshadow Spiro Duos don’t offer a whole lot in colour selection but the Beige/Brown duo is the perfect shimmery neutral for daytime.

What the eyeshadow may lack in shades, the Tint In Gelato lip and cheek colour more than make up for. CR 01 (Blood Orange) is my personal favourite. It’s a orangey coral that’ll take me from spring into summer. The formula might be the creamiest lip anything I’ve ever used and it has a ton of pigmentation.

If you want your nails to go with the line’s whimsical feel, the Mika nail stickers are the way to go.

Whether you want the whole line, just a little piece of it or an empty box to just look at. Mika’s line for Shu Uemura is one we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

My Experience With L’Oreal Paris Feria Wild Ombré


I recently joined the lovely ladies of L’Oreal Paris at Del Monaco Salon to try out the Feria Wild Ombré at home hair dying kits. I had dreamed of ombré hair since it first got trendy, so to say I was excited was an understatement. I had seen the at home ombré hair dye kits in stores, but I had also seen the horror story pictures of ombré hair gone wrong, so I had steered clear until now. This time I had the skilled hands of celebrity hair stylist Eric Del Monaco and his team to get it right.

When I arrived at Del Monaco, I had a choice to make. Did I choose the subtle Ombré Touch, bold Wild Ombré or one of the coloured copper ombré? I was warned that the coloured ombré kits do not mix well with hair that has been previously coloured. After seeing the wild shades it produced on some other hair in the room, I asked for the Wild Ombré. I asked the team for a bold colouring that went very blonde on the tips.

Daniel started applying the ombré dye to my hair. He used the applicator from the Ombré Touch box to show me how it worked. It’s a little comb the sticks on the end of your finger. You apply the dye onto the applicator and brush it on. Daniel suggested being casual with it and pull at strands all over. You don’t want every piece to line up or else you will end up with one of those hair fail pictures. If you have thick hair like me, Daniel recommended dying your hair in layers.

While he was dying my hair I noticed a few things. First of all this is some potent hair dye. I’ve been dying my hair since hair school and this was the first time that the fumes stung my eyes. It wasn’t bad enough to make me want to stop, but it was strong. Second, if you have thick or curly hair, be careful of the touché comb. It’s supposed to stick on your finger, but Daniel kept losing it in my curly locks. He eventually went to the brush that is stronger and comes in the Wild Ombré box. Finally, I noticed that nothing was really happening on my hair. I know it’s hard to judge how your hair is dying while the dye is in, but my hair didn’t look any different.

After it was applied I had to wait for over 30 minutes to let it sit. I’m not sure if that is average time for ombré hair, but that is a long time compared to other box dyes. When it was finally washed out, I still didn’t see a change. My wet hair looked the exact same.


Finally after a blow dry, I could see the ombré in my hair. I had a few blonde flecks, but overall I was underwhelmed. There was nothing wild about this ombré. It was so subtle that it was barely visible. My hair looked pretty. I had a gorgeous blow dry and it looks like I had some highlights from the sun. This wasn’t ombré though. The one side of my head had no new colouring at all.

I honestly don’t know what went wrong with my Wild Ombré. I don’t know if I didn’t apply enough hair dye, if the dye just wasn’t meant to dye my hair to a bold blonde or some other anomaly. I doubt that I would try the L’Oreal Paris Wild Ombré at home dye again. Not because it didn’t work, but mostly because I doubt that I could do it on my home. It is definitely a two person job, and no offense to my friends, but I don’t really trust them that much. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try it because if you are brave then you should, but go in with low expectations.

Essence Cosmetics Makeup Review


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 Clean+ Cleansers For Combination Skin Review

GarnierClean+Combination 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: Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Your Products

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.

lush bath bomb cocktail beauty

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.

4. Shampoo
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?

Makeup Most Wanted April 2014: Alyssa’s Picks

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.

Sister Sin’s Liv Jagrell Shares Her Most Wanted Makeup

SisterSinBand 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.

neutrogenamakeupremoverwipes 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 Glam Bag April 2014 Review

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?

The Secret To My Gorgeous Hair: Head & Shoulders


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?

Soap & Glory Sit Tight Review


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.