Seche Vive Quickie Review

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I’ve never replaced any nail product as much as Seche Vite. I use it so regularly that I have the refill bottle and the matching thinner. Nothing has ever matched it as a top coat for drying speed or the gorgeous shine it gives my manicures. Seche recently introduced Seche Vive, another quick drying top coat that gives an instant gel effect. So how does Vive stack up against Vite? Pretty well actually. Vive is slightly thicker and takes a tiny bit longer to dry (maybe an extra thirty seconds) but it gives off seriously shine that lasts for weeks.

I’ve used it on a bunch of different types of polishes; colours that chip quickly, ones that last a while on their own and ones that just don’t last. I’ve had major success with all of them. I wore a red polish that drives me crazy because I get so much tip wear with it and I went for two weeks with virtually zero change and a ton of shine. If I didn’t have nail growth at my nail beds, I could’ve left it on longer. The only drawback to Seche Vive that I’ve found, is even though you take it off with regular polish remover, it’s definitely more difficult to get off than Seche Vite.

If you have issues getting your polish to stay looking good and don’t want to go get a gel manicure, this is seriously the next best thing. I’m still loyal to my Seche Vite but this is my new backup.

Dessange Paris Balancing Collection

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Dessange Paris is bringing the salon feel to your hair at home with this balancing collection. If you are looking for something totally different, then keep on reading.

This hair care line starts very different than any other hair line you use. You start with the Dessange Paris Purifying Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask. This hair mask is made to help oily scalps by absorbing all of that oil before you get in the shower. You have to use a little brush to apply this green clay all over your scalp. You are going to look silly and probably make a bit of a mess. That is just a warning! Now you have to wait about five to ten minutes before you hop in the shower to rinse it all out.

Once you get in the shower, it’s now time for the Balancing Shampoo. When all of the mask is rinsed out, you can continue to wash your hair with this shampoo. It’s interesting to think of the shampoo as what is conditioning your hair, but this cleanser does add back in some of that moisture. It is especially nice one the ends of your hair.

It was really hard to not condition my hair after using both of these products. Everything I know about my hair leads me to want to condition, so I resisted the urge.

My hair still felt nice and soft once it had dried like normal. I feel like the routine a woman has before a shower is a sacred thing. Everyone has little things that they do to get ready and this Dessange hair mask interrupts that. It’s fun to do it once, but I don’t know if I am willing to mix up my whole routine for this.

OPI Infinite Shine Iconic Shades

OPI has been around for so long that I can’t remember when I started using their polishes. Some of their iconic shades are also some of my favourite polishes. Last month OPI released the first batch of their new Infinite Shine Iconic Shades which are basically the most popular OPI polishes but in an Infinite Shine formula. I don’t love the IS line (mainly the base and top coat) but I was very curious to see if these shades would hold up in this new formula. To be honest, I don’t really understand why they’re releasing older shades that are still available in the regular formula but I do know there are a lot of people who love the long-wear, gel-like Infinite Shade line. I tried ten of the thirty shades available and since these are all established shades, I’m not going to do a ton of descriptions on colour. All the photos are no base or top coat.
Funny Bunny
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This cloudy white was really not a great way to start. It was extremely sheer and patchy and three coats still didn’t even it out. Luckily, most of the other shades held up much better.
Bubble Bath
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I did 2 coats of this really pretty pink nude. I could’ve gone for more opacity but I actually like this type of shade a little sheer. I had a couple little formula issues but nothing that I wasn’t expecting from a shade like this.
Dulce De Leche
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Somehow I’ve never used this shade before and I have no idea why. This formula was pretty great, it was the first of the one-coaters (yes there are several). I really loved this nude shade.
You Don’t Know Jacques
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This taupe-brown went on perfectly in two coats and there’s a reason this shade is so popular. But it looks pretty much the same as my regular formula.
Strawberry Margarita
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This is one of my favourite summer pinks and I have to say the shine on this one is really great. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two just looked better.
Cajun Shrimp
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I didn’t expect to like this orange red but I really did. Two coats were great but for some reason I found this one stained quite a bit.
Big Apple Red
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One coat of this classic red was absolutely perfect. I didn’t have any staining issues and if I wore red polish on a regular basis, I’d reach for this one for sure.
Malaga Wine
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This deep wine shade is so perfect for fall and again, one coat was perfect. This one stained really badly though.
I’m Not Really A Waitress
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I’m Not Really A Waitress is one of the few OPI shades that I’ve replaced more than once. I’m in love with this shade. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two was so much better. I actually think I like the Infinite Shine version better than the original. The photo is without topcoat and it’s even better if you add some.
Lincoln Park After Dark
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This is the other shade that I use all the time. The photo is one coat but two would definitely make this dark purple more black. It all depends on the look you’re going for.

Considering how much I previously didn’t like the Infinite Shine collections, I’m so impressed by these shades. Maybe the base and top coats just don’t get along with me, but considering the shine on all of these without a topcoat, maybe I can get away without using one. I can’t wait to try some of the other shades they’ll be releasing but if you don’t want to spend the extra couple bucks for the IS versions, you can always buy the originals.

Makeup Most Wanted September 2016: Alyssa’s Picks

Where did September go? No really, I swear yesterday was August and I couldn’t wait for fall. At least it’s mostly here now and I can cool off a bit. While we work on our fall posts, here’s what I used the most last month.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm
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I’ve been using this solid cleanser non-stop since I got it. It starts off as a solid balm that you rub into dry skin and as you add water it turns into a cleansing milk. It’s so gentle and seriously effective that I’ve been using it on my eyes without a problem and it’s great for when I’m swatching, especially tough lipsticks and waterproof eyeliners. Also, it smells really good.

GROOM Hair Pomade
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We have a lot of stuff coming up about Montreal based Les Industries GROOM but we’re starting off with the Hair Pomade. This is a men’s grooming line, so I didn’t try it personally but I had a friend test it out and he was super impressed. These are his thoughts (made a little more readable by me). ‘The pomade has a little bit of grit to it which makes it easy to work with and it wasn’t greasy. You only have to use a little bit of it and it’ll last a long time and it has really good hold, almost too good. Your hair isn’t going anywhere.’ He loves the smell of it, I love the smell of it and I can see girls with short hair using this one along with the guys it’s aimed at.

Algenist REVEAL Concentrated Color Correcting Drops in Green
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I can’t count how many green products I’ve used to neutralize the redness in my skin and most things just do an ok job. I had a Sephora makeup artist use this on me when she was doing my makeup for a wedding and I bought it instantly. It literally gets rid of every tiny bit of redness that I want to hide. I use a drop (just one!) in my moisturizer before I put my makeup on or whenever I want to look less red. You can also add it to foundation, primer or even on it’s own. The drops also come in blue, pink and apricot for different issues. This is the first time I’ve used anything by Algenist and if all their products work as well as these drops, I need to get my hands on more.

Live Clean Vanilla Oatmeal Soothing Liquid Hand Soap
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I’ve been using Live Clean’s Liquid Hand Soap almost exclusively for over a year. It’s a little creamy, very moisturizing and doesn’t make my skin crack when I wash my hands a million times a day. They’re vegan and free from silicone, dyes, sulfates and roughly a million other bad things. The newest scent Vanilla Oatmeal wasn’t quite as oatmeal smelling as I expected (I get an almost coconut scent from it) but it smells delicious and works really well. There’s a matching body wash but that’s a post for another day.

Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Matte Lipstick in M401
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Make Up For Ever has a ton of new lipsticks out in their Artist Rouge line both in matte and satin finishes. I love this bright, classic red in the matte formula. MUFE teamed up with Icona Pop for this shade and it’s definitely a new classic. The formula itself is great. It’s extremely smooth and pigmented and stays where you put it, so you don’t have to worry about lipstick travelling places it shouldn’t. Although the lipstick is matte, it never fully dries down, so it won’t suck the life out of your lips. There are quite a few other shades I want to try but I’m really loving this one for fall and winter.

OGX Coconut Most Wanted

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If you think that dry, frizzed out hair belongs exclusively to winter then you haven’t lived through a ridiculously hot Toronto summer, where your hair is basically fried the entire season thanks to the sun. Especially if you have curly hair that has any kind of bleach in it. OGX has two coconut hair collections; Nourishing + Coconut Milk and Quenching + Coconut Curls, and it wasn’t until I put them together that I started having really good hair days again. Here’s what I used to save my hair.
Nourishing + Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner
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I’m actually not a huge coconut fan, I can basically take it or leave it but these smell delicious. The shampoo is a thicker, almost jelly like texture that lathers really well. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped and I can actually go without conditioner if I have to. The conditioner though, is fantastic. It’s also thick and really soaks into my hair. I use very little at my roots, something that’s strange for someone who likes to slather conditioner everywhere, and just use a bunch on the bottom length. I leave it in my a couple minutes and have significantly more moisture and less frizz.
Quenching + Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter
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I use this curling butter for everything. I put it on dry hair as a pre-wash treatment, use it as a deep conditioner (although not if I’m using the Coconut Milk conditioner) and use it as a leave-in conditioning styling cream. It’s a lot thinner than it looks and doesn’t have a straight coconut scent, it’s more like a tropical pina colada scent. But it gets rid of more frizz than nearly anything else I’ve tried and doesn’t leave me with a crunchy or greasy feeling.

Although my hair was mostly in a ponytail this summer, I probably would’ve chopped it off completely without this regime of OGX products. I knew I liked OGX before but I didn’t expect to love them this much.

Vichy Spa Shower Gel Head to Head

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Vichy is the master of skincare, but I don’t usually think of them as my whole body skin. Vichy is known for face skin care. They are moving from face to body with their new shower gels. We tried both the oil and the cream to see which Vichy Shower Gel reigns supreme.

I started with the Oil version of the shower gel. This one is for all skin types from dry to oily and even sensitive. It has magnesium, copper and zinc to help your skin glow. It has a light soapy smell that is fairly subtle. I found the gel-oil to be very difficult to get out of the bottle. No matter how much a squeezed, I could never get a good stream out. Since it doesn’t really froth up a lot that made for some tricky showers. I felt like I could never get a good clean.

I didn’t give up though, because I had another Vichy cleanser to try.

Next I moved the Vichy Spa Shower Gel –Cream. This one has the same distinct smell so if you like it (or don’t) then you will have an easy decision. It’s also for all skin types, so everyone is in luck. The Cream has shea butter and white clay in it for intense comfort and hydration and to help soften your skin. Unlike the oil, this cleanser comes out of the bottle easily and gets nice and frothy. I love how soft this cleaner is on my skin. My skin feels almost instantly smother and softer after using it.

I am so glad that I didn’t give up on Vichy, because I love this Gel-Cream. I am sure that some people will prefer the oil version, so go with your gut on what you think you will like best!

Ceramic Glaze Core Collection Additions

I’m all over fall nail polish right now, it’s my favourite nail polish season after all but this year Ceramic Glaze isn’t releasing new shades for their fall and holiday collections. Instead, they’ve added a bunch of new core shades and we have a couple that fit right into fall anyways. Ceramic Glaze is only available at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada but if you’re stateside you might be able able to find similar shades with another similar brand. Those are all the clues you get.
Island Getaway
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I was honestly convinced that I had already tried this bright, hot pink shade but after a search through my archives, I couldn’t find it. I love this pink as a transitional shade, since Toronto still feels like it’s summer and not fall and some of us aren’t quite ready for cooler weather (I’m so ready though). Island Getaway was extremely runny, which led to pooling, which really wasn’t fun. But two coats were good for opacity, just be prepared for a ton of cleanup.
Sweet Temptation
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The formula for this dark berry was much better and there was a lot less cleanup involved. Two coats of this super pretty pink was perfect. It’s a really nice year round shade.
Raisin Biscotti
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If this dark plum shade looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s very similar to OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark. Like, almost exact. But I wore this one for a week with basically no chips or tip wear and it’s definitely on my favourites list for fall. That said, this one needs a top coat, it really needs that glossy finish. The first coat of this one was very patchy but the second was perfect.
Forever In Love
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This was the last of the four polishes I tried and I really didn’t think anything could top Raisin Biscotti for me in terms of favourites. This gorgeous burgundy just screams ‘fall shade’ and I could’ve gotten away with one coat but did two for depth. I still can’t decide if Raisin Biscotti or Forever In Love won as my favourite but I’m already trying to decide how I can wear both at once.

Tarte Tarteist Metallic Shadows

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One of my favourite things about being a beauty blogger is trying new products that are destined to be instant classics and aren’t an eyeshadow palette. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good palette, but there’s something to be said for eyeshadow singles and the ability to put whatever shades you want together. Until now, I’ve only used Tarte shadows in a palette and most of them have been matte, which is my shadow preference. I’m really not a sparkly, glittery kind of girl so I tend to gravitate toward matte anything. But Tarte has just majorly stepped up their shadow game with Tarteist Metallic Shadows.
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With eleven shades that are all fairly neutral (so far), there’s a shadow that can fit into any look whether it’s day or night, dramatic or subtle. The packaging is pretty flimsy but you can pop the shadows out and put them in a magnetic palette. The star of these shadows is the formula. These are buttery and pigmented and shimmery but not glittery. They’re smooth and blendable and work really well together. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of fallout but you’re definitely going to want to use a primer with these. The colours are pretty spectacular. I personally love Poker Face (silvery lilac) and Dame (dusty rose) but I really liked all five I tried. There are a couple others I have my eye on (Sinful, Speakeasy) and I’ll probably end up grabbing them.
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I love Tarte but it’s been a really long time since I was blown away with a new launch by them. This whole Tarteist line has been great but these shadows are the winners for me.

Crush By Rihanna Eau De Parfum

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When perfumes come out in September, they’re usually on the heavier, winter based side of things. Rihanna’s latest fragrance Crush, has a little heaviness to it but it’s also sparking and pretty, making it a great transition fragrance from summer to fall. I’ve never tried a Rihanna fragrance before so I didn’t know what to expect from them but I really find Crush to be the kind of scent that you can wear all year and for people of all kinds of personalities.

The bottle is a heavy glass that has a jewelry inspired top. Because it’s so wide, it’s a little hard to hold but I got used to that pretty quickly. The scent itself has a ton of notes. Considered a floriental, it opens with bergamot, mandarin and pink peppercorn followed by pink rose, ylang ylang and red berries. It finishes with patchouli, creamy musk and cedarwood.
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On paper, these scents don’t all completely make sense to me but somehow they really work. I definitely smell the red berries and musk but so far I haven’t been able to pick out any of the others individually. I find that a good thing though, that means they blend well together. The effect you’re left with is something a little flirty, sexy and definitely feminine. At the same time, I can see Crush appealing to both teenage girls and older women, there doesn’t seem to be one demographic that I can see wearing it over another.

If Crush is a good indication of Rihanna’s fragrances, I think I may have been missing out. At least I have a new scent for fall.

Lipstick Queen Most Wanted

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Cult fave British lipstick company, Lipstick Queen is finally going to be really accessible in Canada. As of today, they’re officially at Murale and available on the Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique site which means more Optimum Points for all the lipstick lovers! I’d only had a chance to try one Lipstick Queen lipstick in the past, so I was really excited when we received a package from them ahead of the launch. These are our Most Wanted Lipstick Queen shades.

Jungle Queen

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This is the shade I’d tried previously and I still love it a lot. It’s been two years since I first tried it and somewhere along the line it went missing so I was thrilled for a replacement. I actually wear a lot more lipstick now than I did then and this papaya-coral shade is really flattering on me. I’m still not wearing it with leopard print like it was intended but it’s a great summer shade and will transition really well into fall. I love that I can wear a super bright shade without drying out my lips.

Medieval
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Speaking of going into fall, this sheer red is going to carry me way into winter. Inspired by medieval times when women used lemon juice to bring the red out in their lips, this red is going to look good on everyone. It feels almost like you’re wearing a tinted lip balm but with a touch more colour.

Hello Sailor
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Dark blue lipstick is definitely a trend right now but this lipstick isn’t actually dark blue. It’s a deep blackberry tint that makes your teeth look whiter. I’ve actually started using this one as a lip balm because it’s so moisturizing, gives me a hint of colour and won’t melt when it’s hot out.

Frog Prince
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Frog Prince (and Hello Sailor) is one of the reasons I love Lipstick Queen, you just never know what to expect. Does this lipstick look green? Yes. Does it go on green? Not even a little. This is one of those colour adjusting lipsticks that turns into the best shade of rosy pink for your lips. It also turns into a stain, so you get colour for hours. Obviously the swatches below won’t be exactly the shade you’ll get on your lips but it’s a rough idea.

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Jungle Queen, Medieval, Frog Prince, Hello Sailor

There are tons of other Lipstick Queen shades that we love (another post coming soon) and that we’d love to try (I need to get my hands on Black Lace Rabbit), and now that Canadians can get them at Murale it’ll be so much easier for everyone to discover their favourite shade as well.