May 2017 Most Wanted – Steph’s Picks

This month has been one to remember thanks to amazing makeup from these four brands!

Strivectin Hair All Smooth Collection

This might be the best smoothing and frizz controlling hair care line I’ve ever tried. I’m not joking at all people! The shampoo and conditioner don’t foam up in the shower the same way your other favourite products do, but just believe. I think I ended up using a bit too much on my hair in every shower, but it still worked. Post-shower I have been getting even more protection power with the Strivectin Hair All Smooth Frizz Control Mist. It doesn’t matter whether I air dry or blow dry, my hair has been looking amazing afterwards no matter what. The mist does make my hair a bit stiffer than I would like, but it is worth it. It’s not just one day of frizz protection, but multiple days of amazing looking hair. I’m not done yet folks, because there is also the Overnight Frizz Serum. This is the best to apply a few days after your wash when frizz is threatening to return. You just apply it all over your hair before bed. When you wake up, you have nice smooth bed head without the morning frizz fight.  It’s hard to describe when something just works exactly like it promises and fulfills all of your dreams. Strivectin has done that.

NYX Ombre Blush

I love ombré blush. I wish all blushes were ombré. I love ombré blush because my face isn’t one colour. It has different tones and levels. It needs products with that same feel. Regular blush is good, but sometimes you have to apply it specially to get it to be different tones on the different areas of your cheek bones. Ombre blush has depth, that same way that my face has depth. This NYX blush in Mauve Me has the rich mauve tone that moves into a shimmery light pink. It’s like combining your highlighter and blush all in one. It isn’t one colour, because I’m not one colour.

The Face Shop Multi Stick Contour

In all my time using contouring makeup, I have rarely come across a contouring stick. I was worried that it would be too harsh or wouldn’t blend enough. The Face Shop’s Multi Stick is actually a really easy to use contour tool. The makeup is somewhere between a grey and beige. It should be versatile enough for many skin tones. Unlike a lot of contouring makeup, The Face Shop contour stick is quick and easy to use. Simply swipe it under your cheekbones, jaw line and nose for contouring in seconds. I used to save contouring for special occasions only, but now it’s an everyday thing. For just $15, this is an amazing investment.

Maybelline Master Camo Color Correcting Kit

While you are getting your skin all beautiful with blush and contouring, why not finish the job with a great concealer too. This set has 6 different creams to ensure your skin looks amazing. There are two correctors, two concealers and two highlighters. I really liked the concealers best. In all of my time using this little palette, there wasn’t a single blemish that I could find that didn’t give in to the colours. Blemishes were no match.

Kérastase Aura Botanica Collection


I’m a massive Kérastase fan, to the point where I hoard my products so I don’t run out. Their Discipline line is one of my favourites for combatting frizz. Maybe until now. Their newest release is the Aura Botanica collection, the company’s first foray into natural hair care products with over 95% of the ingredients listed as natural origin. The line comes with four products Shampoo Bain Micellaire, Conditioner Soin Fondamental, Oil Essence D’Eclat and Oil Concentre Essentiel. All of the products have coconut and argan oils and are supposed to eliminate frizz for 72 hours and make your hair 4x shinier. There are also zero silicones or sulfates and they’re 99% biodegradable. Everything sounds good so far, so let’s see how it went.

The shampoo and conditioner are definitely different than I expect from Kérastase. The shampoo has a gel-like consistency and where I normally use a dime size amount of shampoo with Kérastase, I need more with this one if I want to get any kind of lather at all. Even with more of a quarter size amount there isn’t a ton of lather, but my hair definitely feels better. You absolutely have to use this shampoo with the conditioner, you don’t get nearly enough moisture on it’s own. The conditioner on the other hand is very, very thick. Almost masque like, but it doesn’t weigh down my hair. I leave this one on for around 5 minutes and it leaves my hair incredibly soft and easy to manage.

The best part of the collection for me though are the treatments. The Essence D’Eclat is a bi-phase mist that you shake up and apply on damp hair. It’s formula of coconut, argan, jojoba and avocado oils plus Damascus Rose floral water; detangle, de-frizz and make your hair super soft and shiny. If you need a touch up, you can use it on dry hair as well and it won’t leave your hair crunchy. And then there’s the Oil Concentre Essentiel. I adore pre-wash treatment oils and this one is pretty spectacular. You can use it on your scalp if you have dryness or on the ends if your hair is thicker. You can also mix it with the conditioner. When I use it as a pre-wash, I leave it in for about ten minutes and because there aren’t any silicones, it washes out easily.

Aura Botanica might be the best natural hair care line I’ve tried. But if you have super fine hair like I do, it might be best to leave this one for winter. It’s a little too much for my hair right now and I’ve changed over to using just the treatments or my roots get greasy pretty fast. With the whole line, the day I wash my hair looks amazing and frizz-free and shiny and the next day, not so much. With just the treatments, I can go three or four days between washings. It looks like I’ll be continuing my Kérastase hoarding and pull these out next winter. And I can’t wait.

Most Wanted Summer Eye Creams

Since this is an eye cream post, I should probably start off by mentioning that I don’t get dark circles or bags under my eyes, but I just turned 35 and I’m starting to notice tiny lines so eye cream is my new obsession. I find most eye creams a little on the heavier side and super moisturizing, so I went on a hunt for something a little lighter for summer.

Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream

Fresh makes some great products for sensitive skin and rose infused gel cream is great for someone with sensitive eyes. Since it’s a gel cream, it’s really light and you don’t need a lot of it. It doesn’t absorb as quickly as some of the others but that makes it feel like you’re getting moisture for a long time. It’s also great if you want to brighten up your eyes a bit.

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream

If you need more of an anti-aging eye cream but want something a little lighter, I love this Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream. It comes in a tube that looks like a lip balm and absorbs almost instantly which works extremely well under makeup. Even though it has a blackberry complex, it doesn’t have a scent at all. Honestly, it just feels really nice.

MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream

Stephanie recently did a post on a bunch of MyChelle products that happened to include her new favourite eye cream. Well we both tried different eye creams and it looks like we each got the right one for us, because the Fabulous Eye Cream is hands down my favourite eye cream. It’s not heavy but feels substantial and has a gorgeous botanical, floral scent. The best part though, are the results. When you apply it, you can literally feel it firming up the skin around your eyes. I’m going to be using this one year round.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye

If you’re like me and overheat in the summer, take this gel cream and throw it in the fridge. Applying it cold will be the most refreshing experience of your life. If you want to leave it in your bathroom, it’ll still cool you off and the hyaluronic acid in this cream will give you a ton of moisture without being too heavy. But trust me, cold is the way to go. This is called fragrance free but I still get a hint of a light, fresh scent and it leaves my eyes feeling moisturized for hours.

OPI Infinite Shine Fiji Spring 2017 Collection

We’re way behind on spring nail polish, but we’re working on it. OPI’s spring collection this year is Fiji and it comes in the regular polish, Infinite Shine and GelColor. Infinite Shine has quickly become my favourite type of OPI polish, so I was really happy that those were the ones we got. While I love the new IS base and top coats, all of these photos don’t use any.

Coconuts Over OPI

Go native and do Fiji in the buff with our subtle and toasty taupe.
This is a really nice taupe for my skin tone and two coats were perfect. I don’t know if I would call this spring, but if you’re looking for a good nude polish this is a good one.
No Tan Lines

What better way to complement a flawless island tan, then a warm sunrise orange?
This papaya shade had good coverage in two coats but did have slight pooling issues. It’s a little too yellow for my personal taste but I can imagine it could be a very popular shade.
Exotic Birds Do Not Tweet

They bask in their own golden glow, which is just what you’ll do in this radiant yellow.
I really hate yellow nail polish but if I had to wear one, this is a nice, bright one. It’s a tiny bit patchy but otherwise went on well in two coats. For a yellow, this is a great formula.
Getting Nadi On My Honeymoon

Not just for blushing brides, this pretty hibiscus pink has everyone feeling the heat.
This pink is really pretty but boy did it have patchiness problems. Even with two coats, you can see the unevenness and I really tried to get it smooth. I tried it was a top coat afterwards and it didn’t help much, so the photo is without.
Two-timing The Zones

Why stop with just one? More zones mean more time to flaunt this vibrant pink.
This bright pink was two easy coats and just gorgeous. It’s a great spring shade and definitely one of my favourites.
Living On The Bula-vard!

It’s “Well Hello There!”  up and down when this punchy red pops in for a visit.
I really liked this orange-red more than I expected to. One coat was good, but two was better. This one’s definitely an attention getter, but watch out, it stains.
Polly Want A Lacquer?

The paradise perfection of this lovely lavender has island birds all a chatter.
This really screams spring to me and I basically looked at it and thought ‘aren’t you pretty?’ Good formula, two easy coats, perfect for spring.
I Can Never Hut Up

And why should you? You’re mesmerizing in this iridescent, edge-of-dawn grey.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to photograph the hidden shimmer in this polish, but I’m really happy I was able to capture a little of it. In the sunlight, this is stunning. It was a very runny formula though, so I had to apply the two coats very carefully. Worth it.
Suzi Without A Paddle

Who needs one when you’re up a creek with this cool and tranquil blue?
While I like the colour of this one, it was both runny and patchy. That’s not really a fun combination. Even though I managed to make this pretty blue presentable in two coats, there are too many similar shades to make this one worth it for me.
Is That A Spear In Your Pocket?

But of course everyone’s happy to see you in this lush, tropical teal.
I loved the last three shades so much that I have a bunch of hearts all over my notes, so let the gushing begin. This teal is not only a one-coater, but it’s pretty amazing. I haven’t found a teal this good in years, but it’s a stainer.
Super Trop-i-cal-i-fiji-istic

Take a day trip to get lost and found in this bottomless reflection of Sea and Sky.
The name of this polish takes way too long to type but the formula is basically the same as Is That A Spear In Your Pocket? One coat? Yes. Perfect Formula? Yes. Staining? NO! Plus it’s a fairly decent match to my Toronto Blue Jays jersey. This polish has win all over it.
Do You Sea What I Sea?

It’s easy to sea why this  shimmering ocean blue is the right color for you.
I don’t even have words for how much I love this one. It’s very sheer so I was wondering how many coats it would take me until I hit opacity. Turns out I only needed two. It’s just spectacular. Did I mention this is without a top coat?I just love it.

I’m really impressed with the Fiji collection and how good the Infinite Shine formulas were. I’ve heard some of the regular polishes weren’t quite as good, but I really had very few issues. More spring polishes coming soon.

Spring Skin Care Most Wanted

Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum – This eye serum isn’t just small in size, but also price. It’s unique, in that it is more like a gel than any other eye product I’ve used before. It feels really moisturizing around my eyes. Skyn Iceland says it’s meant to relax the skin and boost collagen, all meaning you can say goodbye to lines. I’ve had such success with Skyn Iceland in the past, I don’t doubt them at all.

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil – If you want a little splurge that will last a long time, try this face oil from Dermalogica. You already know and trust the brand when you get a facial. Get that same moisture with this little oil. You can wear it alone or add it to your daily moisturizer to add a massive boost of hydration to your skin. This face oil is a little bit oily on my skin when worn alone, but you don’t notice it as much when mixed with other products. It does feel refreshing and give my face that nice dewy feel that I just want to touch.

Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Gentle Smoothing Scrub – Garnier’s Skin Active Smoothing Scrub is everything my face wants in a daily face wash. It’s gentle enough to use every day, but tough enough that I feel really clean afterwards. I like that it’s not heavily scented. It even uses sustainable argan, so I can feel a bit better about using it. I do find that it dries out my face a bit, but that just gives me the opportunity to use some of those really super moisturizing creams. For this price, it’s just what my wallet wants for skin care too.

Strivectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask – When in need of a burst of just straight moisture, this Strivectin Overnight Mask is an easy solution. Apply a generous layer on your face before bed and you are sure to wake up feeling extra moisturized. If you are like me, you might worry about getting cream all over your pillow. The Strivectin cream does absorb enough that by the time I was actually putting my head down, my fears were pretty much gone. I feel like this mask is the perfect secret skin care weapon. Personally, it’s not something that I need to use 2 or 3 times a week, but maybe once a month I could get my moisture on with Strivectin.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Most Wanted

Everyone wants to be eco-friendly and natural nowadays, but MyChelle Dermaceuticals has been doing things the sustainable way for years. They were making natural beauty products before it was a buzz word. I’m excited to have finally been introduced to MyChelle, because it’s better late than never to join in the MyChelle revolution. All of the products that I’ve tried so far have been stars, but here are some of the highlights.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser – This cleaner uses real sugar to get a deep clean on your skin. Real Sugar! You can smell the sweetness mixed with the other ingredients. You can also customize how rough you want this cleaner on your face. Use just a little water for deep exfoliation with those grains of sugar. If you want a gentler wash, add more water and it turns into foam with soft exfoliating.

MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Serum – Most serums I find too heavy for my skin. I hate layering things on in the day. But this MyChelle serum is different because it’s made to apply at night! Even better is that I didn’t wake up with greasy feeling skin. It absorbs nicely leaving me fresh faced in the morning.

MyChelle Supreme Polypeptide Cream – Of all of these products, this is probably my least favourite. It’s not because it is bad. This is the least unique and different product. This is more of your standard face cream. It’s really moisturizing and thick. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed without residue. It’s here because it is a strong product, but it’s not outstanding like some of the others.

MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Eye Cream – I never would have thought that I would stumble upon my favourite eye cream of all time here, but this is it. This is probably the first time that I’ve applied an eye cream and seen results within hours. This cream you also apply before bed, and I could see results in the dark circles by the time I woke up. A few days into using it and I am still seeing great results. Bravo MyChelle!!

Essence Forbidden Volume False Lash Mascara Topcoat

Let me tell you a tale of this little Essence mascara: The Forbidden Volume Mascara. This review started out very differently.

I received this essence product in a bag full of eye makeup for a glam night out. It had silver eyeliner and liquid liner. Everything a girl could ever want for serious drama. That’s why I was so surprised when I applied this to my lashes. There was no drama here. My lashes looked weak.

I downgraded this to a day product, but still wasn’t thrilled. After 2 or 3 coats, it would work as my office makeup look, but I don’t like having to work so hard for this.

I used this mascara for weeks. For some reason I wasn’t willing to give up on it. The colour was great on my eyes. I liked that it wasn’t waterproof, but stayed put. It came off easily at the end of the day. It never irritated my eyes. It was a bit clumpy sometimes, but I could usually clean the wand to fix it.

Finally it came time to write this review. I brought the Essence mascara to my computer. I started writing. I wanted to make sure that I got the name correct, so I looked at the package. Essence Forbidden Volume False Lash Mascara Topcoat. Wait a minute! Topcoat? I had no idea it was a topcoat. The instructions on the side of the bottle say to apply it over your favourite mascara.

You mean this is to enhance your favourite mascara? I was never supposed to wear this alone! This changes everything. As a top coat, this essence mascara is perfect to add thickness and colour to your lashes. As a bonus, you can also wear it as your daytime mascara in a pinch. 😉

Weleda Jardin de Vie Perfume Quick Review

The Weleda Jardin de Vie Perfume is a miss for me, but I wanted to share, because am heartbroken about it. I wanted to love the Weleda perfume. I didn’t even know they made perfumes, so I was excited to smell it. This perfume is made with pure essential oils and inspired by natural products.

Unfortunately, I just can’t get behind this scent. The citrus smell is supposed to have notes of seabuckthorn berry. I can’t say that I know what a seabuckthorn smells like to compare. I do know that the citrus smell reminds me more of cleaning products, than nice perfume.

That said, I do think there will be people who love this smell. I can imagine some people thinking the Weleda scent is very summery and refreshing. That’s just not the case for me.

GLISS Extra Volume and Ultra+Moisture Collections

When a company releases a bunch of new hair lines within one collection, we usually get one, maybe two of them for review. But in the case of Schwarzkopf’s new drugstore GLISS collection, we received all five lines. Under the GLISS umbrella (available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart) the five lines are: Ultimate Repair, Ultra+Moisture, Oil Nutritive, Color Guard and Extra Volume. Obviously we can’t use all of them at once, but the first two I tried were the Extra Volume and Ultra+Moisture. Here’s how it went.

Each line comes with a shampoo, conditioner and some kind of treatment and the shampoo and conditioner bottles are fairly large at 400 mL. The treatment in the Extra Volume collection is the Extra Volume Lift-Up Spray. The shampoo and conditioner were pretty nice, smelled really good and didn’t leave my hair feeling stripped. I have very fine, thin hair and always need added volume, so that’s what I was looking for from this line. I did notice that my hair felt a bit thicker when it was wet. I would use both of these again with other styling products. When I test hair lines, I initially only use whatever products I’ve been given and don’t add any outside products and that’s what I did in this case as well. My biggest issue came with the volume spray. It’s pretty similar to other types like it, and I did get some volume from it. But I also got a whole lot of crunchy hair with a very weird greasy texture. I let my hair dry naturally, so I’m not sure if the spray works better with a blow dryer, but it was really an epic fail for me. Luckily, I liked the next collection a lot better.

I cut my hair just over a month ago and it’s still in really good condition, so I don’t need a ton of repair. With my frizz though, I always need a ton of moisture so the Ultra+Moisture was definitely something I was looking forward to. The shampoo and conditioner were extremely moisturizing and felt really nice on wet hair and again, they smelled really good. The treatment for this line is the Express Repair, which is basically a leave-in conditioner. It’s also amazing. It prevents hair breakage, gives you moisture and in my case, gets rid of frizz. I literally don’t have to use any other styling treatment when I use this one to let my hair air dry. I’ve also used it on dry hair and it refreshes my hair without leaving it greasy.

So far with the two GLISS lines I’ve tried, we’re even with an Ultra+Moisture hit and an Extra Volume miss but both of the deciding factors were with the treatments. I liked both the shampoos and conditioners. Now, on to the other three lines.

Makeup Most Wanted April 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

Thanks to going on vacation and Passover, I’m super behind on a lot of my posts but now that things have slowed down, I have a lot of new products that I’m using on a regular basis and in April, these ones were used more than most.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus

Before I cut my hair in March, using a dry shampoo was a tricky thing for me but if I used one, it was generally Batiste related. We received a couple new scents just in time for me to start using dry shampoo on a regular basis and Lotus is hands down my favourite Batiste dry shampoo yet. The description is pretty and opulent but all I can say is that it smells completely amazing. It’s a little fruity, a little floral and I really want to use it as a room spray (but I won’t waste it). It also works at giving me major volume, while freshening up my roots.

Vichy Idéalia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream

I loved the original Idéalia line, but Vichy recently reformulated and added new products to it. While, I’ve noticed most people pick the Night Peeling as their favourite, mine is this lightweight moisturizer. Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream is pretty much the perfect description for it. It comes out really soft and refreshing like a sorbet, melts into your skin instantly and keeps me pretty matte. It also gives me a really nice, subtle glow and has the same gorgeous almost raspberry like scent that I associate with the Idéalia line. This is going to be a great moisturizer for my combination skin this summer.

Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-In-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler

Now that my hair is shorter, it’s much easier to style, especially since I generally let it air dry. But it’s still curly and frizzy and this leave-in treatment from Garnier Fructis helps me detangle it gently and starts to minimize frizz. I do use other styling products with it but I can use it on it’s own and still like how my hair looks. The matching Moisture Lock shampoo and conditioner are good too but I like this detangler the most of the three. Using it on dry hair to refresh my curls also works, but if it’s too close to when I have to wash my hair, it gets a touch greasy.

Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in From Prude To Nude

I’m really a big fan of multi-tasking makeup and the Kiss & Blush Duo Stick from YSL gives you a ton of options. The YSL website alone has twelve suggestions for cheeks and lips, not to mention you could totally use this as eyeshadow in a pinch. From Prude to Nude is a rose nude/mocha nude combo that combined gives me both a nice blush shade and a great nude lip for my complexion but I generally use it as a blush. It’s super tiny but you really don’t need to use a lot and it’s so easy to throw in your purse for touchups. And you’ll probably need a couple touchups in the summer because of the super creamy formula. The price is a little steep at $40, but not surprising considering it’s YSL, but you can get a ton of uses out of it, so it might actually save you from buying a couple other things in the long run.