Gucci Bamboo Eau De Toilette

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I always like a scent that’s a little heavier going into fall and winter and when we received a couple fragrances from Gucci, I was pretty sure these weren’t going to be lightweight scents. The word bamboo makes me think light however, so I really have no idea what to expect before trying this. A woody-floral with notes of mandarin essence, ylang ylang, casablanca lily, comoros sandalwood and gray amber accord; nothing screamed heavy to me.

At first spritz, it seems light and a little different but still just a tiny bit too floral for me. Most scents seem to mellow out with time but this one almost seemed to intensify for me. The longer I wore it, the more I could smell it and I got a couple headaches because of it. There technically isn’t anything that I shouldn’t like about Bamboo but maybe there’s a note I don’t know about that I just don’t like or just the combination of them. I shoujld mention that I tried the Eau de Toilette, so I don’t know what the Eau de Parfum smells like, but apparently it’s different, and I’m assuming, even heavier.

I really wanted to like Gucci Bamboo, but I was definitely defeated by it. That said, my mom loves it and already asked me for it.

Wander Beauty Slide Liner & Carryon Lip and Cheek Gel

Slide Liner

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Eyeliner is one of my favourite makeup products and I prefer a pencil over anything else. Kohl, gel, it doesn’t matter, I just like the control I get with a pencil. I’d also prefer to not have to sharpen it. Enter Wander Beauty’s Slide Liner Automatic Gel Eyeliner. I was already impressed with the initial Wander Beauty products I had tried, so I had high hopes for these pencils. I was given Black Sand and Tan Line to try and I was really happy with these pencils. They’re unbelievably pigmented and creamy, which makes applying them a breeze. They’re a little soft, so the pointed tip goes away pretty quickly but I can live with that. What I love the most is how long they last. On my upper lash line, these didn’t budge for hours and while my waterline didn’t fare as well, these did last longer than most gel eyeliners. Use an eyeshadow primer and you’ll be golden.
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Carryon Lip And Cheek Gel

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I love blush almost an unreasonable amount for someone with so much pink in my skin but I hate travelling with it. When I’m away, I keep the brushes to a minimum. Carryon Lip And Cheek Gel is an interesting hydrating stain balm concoction that actually does what I want it to. I tried Pink City (mauve) and Island Hop (bright pink). These work really well as a blush and are extremely buildable but also natural looking, so you don’t have to worry about looking a little clown-like. Because these are part stain, they last a really long time. I do like them for my lips as well but more as a tinted lip balm than an actual stain.
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Wander Beauty just keeps impressing me and you could totally hit the road with just the Slide Liners and Carryons and get a decent look out of it. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with.

For more information on Wander Beauty products you can go to their website but you can only buy them in Canada at Sephora.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Quickie Review

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There’s nothing I love more in skin care than an overnight mask but a lot of them don’t work quite as well as I want them to. I’d never used anything from Origins before and we received the Breast Cancer Awareness version of their Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask a few months ago. We get so much skin care to review that this honestly stayed on my shelf until a couple weeks ago when I started getting my seasonal dry, scaly patches near my mouth. I tried about ten new products to help me get them cleared up with zero success and then I tried Drink Up Intensive.

This overnight mask felt a little different right away. It’s a little bit thicker than I’m used to and took a good twenty minutes to fully absorb (so wait a little while before you go to bed) but it smells amazing, like rose and apricots and felt soothing right away. I woke up with seriously radiant skin, so much that people kept telling me that my skin looked amazing. And those scaly patches? One application turned them into simple red patches and the more I use it, the better they get.

I’m really happy I tried Drink Up Intensive before winter gets into full swing because this mask is going to save my skin and I’m already wondering what other Origins products I’m missing out on.

If you want to try this mask, you can get the Breast Cancer Awareness version until December 31, 2016 and as part of the The Estée Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign, $5 off each one will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation up to $40,000.

October Makeup Most Wanted

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Cake Beauty Rush Brush Dry Shampoo Powder Volumizing Brush – I love dry shampoo, but I have always been more drawn to spray shampoos over powders. I’ve used a number of powder dry shampoos, but I always had a big problem with applying powder to my hair. The Rush Brush fixed that. This powder has a brush attached to it, so that you can brush it into your hair. The powder has a bit of a sweet smell and a little golden shimmer, but nothing that will be irritating or change the colour of your hair. I am having so much fun with this powder. Bonus it’s small and easy to travel with!

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No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum – I’m not a huge fan of serums, but No 7’s advanced serum is more than just your average serum. My main issue with serums is that the request too much dedication. This serum has more going on than just long term effects. This one also gave my face serious moisture when I applied it. It absorbs really quickly and leaves my skin feeling surprisingly smooth. My skin felt amazing just days after using it.

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Biotherm Aquasource Everplump – When I do turn to a moisturizer, this is one of the ones that I always keep close at hand. Biotherm makes one of the best moisturizers on the market. Their gel moisturizer actually changed the way I think about my skin. It doesn’t surprise me that I love the Everplump variety of one of my favourite moisturizers. From the new plumping formula to the smoothing feel to the pine scent, it all combines to leave my face looking beautiful and feeling great.

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Clinique City Block Purifying Collection – I have loved the new Clinique charcoal clay-based  collection this fall. There is a cleansing gel and a mask + scrub and both have a fun black colour that are fun to use. The gel cleanser is for everyday use. It’s really thick and, well, gel-like in its consistency. You will need a lot of water to get a good lather and texture on your face. I found it easier to use in the shower. The payoff is great, because your face feels clean and soft. For a deeper clean try the scrub. This one is great to use as a mask, because you can feel it working on your skin as it dries. I don’t know about you, but nothing beats a good clay mask in my books.

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Bosley Healthy Hair Rebalancing & Finishing Treatment – This bottle of hair oil doesn’t look pretty or fancy. That’s why it took me so long to use it. Once I read the bottle I was impressed by everything it claimed to do. You can use it on damp hair, dry hair or your scalp. I’ve had scalp issues for months, so I knew I had to try it. And now I will never go back! Rubbing this oil into my scalp after a shower helped my head stop being so dry and itchy after just two uses. I have been suffering for months and the solution was in this little bottle. The bonus is that I can use it on the rest of my hair to make it smooth and shiny. Thank you Bosley!

Gosh Contour’N Strobe Kit

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I like the idea of these contour kits that give you all the powders that you need in one place, but Gosh is joining my contour game pretty late. I have spent the past year trying contour kits from every other brand and I only just got the Gosh palette now. Trying to get me to change my favourites at this point is a challenge.

The first thing that I notice is that the colours in this palette all seem to have a bit of a golden sparkle. Luckily for me, that tone suits me, but be careful if gold isn’t your colour. Even though gold suits me, I don’t always want to sparkle. That kept me away from this makeup kit more than anything else.

I want to contour, but not to sparkle. The powders themselves are ok. The darker contouring powder was too dark for me, so I was thankful for two options.

The blush and the highlighter gave me the glow I expected. Overall this palette was ok, but as I said it’s coming last in the contour trend and I already have my makeup bag favourites set. If it isn’t offering me something new, I don’t know why I would replace it.

Halloween Makeup Most Wanted

Get invited to a last-minute Halloween costume and now you need some makeup to go along? This makeup is the perfect finishing touch to any Halloween night!

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Ramy OMG! Over Mascara Glitter & Liner – Add that final touch of sparkle to any costume with Ramy’s sparkly mascara. Apply your regular mascara and then use the purple or blue glitter to add glam to your lashes or as an eyeliner.

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MAC Cosmetics Liptensity Lipstick – Yes, MAC does have a Halloween collection, but I am more in awe of their new Liptensity collection. While you are picking out your new favourite red, pick up a Halloween suitable colour. Why not the Beat Blue, Heelborne purple or Stallion black!

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Make Up For Ever Fluo Night Black Light Pigment – How often do you have an excuse to wear black light reacting makeup? I say you run to the nearest Make Up For Ever counter to get this no matter what your costume is.

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Lise Watier Sculpting Trio Wet & Dry Powders  – I know that this powder trio is supposed to be for contouring and highlighting your face, but it is dark enough that you could do some great Halloween makeup with it as well. Use the darker shades of grey and beige to get the sunken in eyes and cheeks of a skeleton or zombie.

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Lush Pumpkin Bath Bomb – If you aren’t into looking scary or going out, stay in with this cute bath bomb. Who doesn’t want to get all wrapped up in the smell of pumpkin spice in the tub?

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Marcelle 3-in-1 Eye Make-Up Remover – When the night is done, use this makeup remover to remove all of that eye makeup you’ve applied. This makeup remover will get rid of the makeup you didn’t even know you were still wearing.

Makeup Most Wanted Interview: Les Industries Groom

One of the biggest things in beauty right now is men’s grooming. There are tons of companies popping up all over the place to help men groom their beards and generally keep them looking great. Les Industries Groom is a Montreal-based company started by three friends Julien Blanchard, Maxime Leclerc, and Etienne Côté. We’ve already had a chance to check out a few of their products and we have more on deck. In the meantime, Julien took the time to do our Makeup Most Wanted interview and tell us a little bit of their story and what they have coming up next.

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Do you remember your first experience with grooming products?

I do remember my first time shaving. As a boy growing up, you know it’s one of these milestone moments of life. It’s acknowledging that your body has changed in such a way that you have to adapt how you approach it, and there will be no turning back!

In a way you’re prepared for it since shaving is such a universal (maybe I should say « man-versal ») action. You see it on TV and films (Home Alone features a great scene of how NOT to use aftershave!) Still there is a lot of unknown and expectations are high.

I think I was disappointed after that first shave; the way my father taught me was too quick, too simple and it seemed to lack meaning.

Shaving being such a harsh treatment on the skin, it turned out to be a painful experience that I would repeat only when I had no choice. It took many years of sporting trimmed stubble before I actually discovered how to shave the right way, with the right tools and products.

How did Groom get started?

Groom really happened by chance, and still today, we three co-founders are still surprised by how it happened, and how quickly it happened! I decided to grow a full-on handlebar moustache, and at the same time I met a new flatmate, Maxime, who had decided to grow a full-beard; that was just before beards and moustaches made their real comeback. We quickly figured out that there was some maintenance to be done… but no available products for it!

We found some online from the USA, but each moustache wax or beard oil/balm that we ordered seemed to be just a bit off: either the feel wasn’t quite there, or the fragrance not just right. Gradually we knew what quality products should be like.

It took Étienne, whom we met by chance in a cocktail bar, to throw the idea of making some products ourselves. Since we had other occupations and none of us any background in business management, it started out as a fun thing to do: registering a business, learning how to run it, enjoying the thrill of its growth. It gradually took more time in our lives, so we moved it into a commercial space and hired some of our friends to help with production. Now it’s a full-time occupation for us three and a part- to full-time job for 5 other people.

Did any of you have experience making any kind of shaving product before?

No experience whatsoever. We made dozens and dozens of tests for each product, changing dosage here, switching an ingredient there, tweaking the fragrance. In regular business thinking we probably wasted a lot of time developing the products ourselves since we first had to teach ourselves how to do it. However, it allowed us a solid slow-growth approach during which we as persons grew to learn and adopt our roles within the business. Now it allows us to stand in full confidence behind our products.
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Do you have a favourite out of all the Groom products?

It’s hard to have just one favourite! I don’t have children but I can imagine it’s similar to being a parent: you love each child equally for who he/she is.

Since my arm is being twisted, I would have to say that I have a little something special for our old-fashioned shaving products: the aftershave splash and the shaving soap. They resonate with that moment when I discovered – over ten years after my first experience – the true pleasure of shaving with the right products.

 With all the men’s lines around right now, what makes Groom different?

There seems to be a strong trend in marketing strategies for men’s lines. They tend to prescribe their vision of manliness by building their campaign around high-profile athletes, motorcycles, attractive women, etc. The psychology behind it has proven to be successful: you choose the products according to what you wish to identify with, carelessly subscribing at the same time to questionable stereotypes.

Since our approach is rooted in the use of traditional products, it made sense for us to foster a genuine, inclusive approach. Becoming a man is a thing that takes time, requires thought that turns into maturity, and grooming reflects that principle.

In our photo shoots we wanted to put forward a diversity of genuine men. Our models are friends or relatives that have a life story: cooks, artists, barbers, carpenters, fathers. They couldn’t be more different from each other, yet they share an essence of masculinity. This is what we want to put forward: be the best man you can be, whoever that is.

Are there any new products coming up?

This year has been a hectic one, with the development of 2 brand new products: a shaving cream and an aftershave balm. They will be the keystone of our shaving line, finalizing a chapter that has required tons of efforts. We’re also looking forward to offering a Trial Kit and a Gift Box for our shaving products, and some branded items (shaving brush, hand towel, dopp-kit) are on the way.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Groom?

In the past few years, we have witnessed a deep and durable change in how men approach their masculinity. There seems to be a search for the authentic, digging out old traditions and tools in the process. We’re ecstatic to see this happening; our goal is to encourage this movement by providing products, tools and knowledge.

As a Canadian brand that uses natural ingredients, manufactures its own products and puts forward an inclusive image of grooming and masculinity, we strive to be recognized as a genuine agent in that new era.

* Les Industries Groom will have a new shaving collection available as of November 1st that includes shaving cream, aftershave balm and shaving kits. For more information on Les Industries Groom or any of their products you can head to their Les Industries Groom.

Most Wanted Fall Eyeshadow

Fall is really my favourite time of year for makeup. I love the warmness of the shades and I love that you can play around with different finishes and colour combinations. Other than fall nail polish, fall eyeshadow is my absolute favourite, so these are our Most Wanted Fall Eyeshadows
Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy
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This metallic copper bronze shadow just screams fall to me. I’ve gotten to the point where I generally like single shadows better than a palette because I can mix and match. Kat Von D’s Metal Crush shadows are some of my favourites because they’re so creamy and blendable and I find there’s minimal fallout. They also have incredible staying power for a metallic shadow, especially if you use a primer first. I have two Metal Crush shades I love an insane amount and Synergy is one of them.
Paul & Joe Eye Color CS 102 Les Feuilles Morte
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If you’re going to do a post on fall eyeshadow, you have to include one where the shades are inspired by autumn leaves. You can wear each shade of this trio individually, but if you mix them together you get this gorgeous dark rose gold. I love Paul & Joe’s packaging, especially the limited edition designs and the light paper packaging. You just have to be careful not to leave it too close to the sink or get it wet.
Lise Watier Chic & Rustique Palette
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I adore Lise Watier’s palettes, especially around the fall and holiday seasons and I especially love this one. Three of the shades are matte and three are shimmery. The colours range could be the definition of fall, with green, rust and brown. What sets these shadows apart is that their formula is half cream and half powder, so you get the best of both. They’re really creamy and blendable and there’s virtually zero fallout.
Quo Cosmetics Clean Sweep Eyeshadow Palette
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If you’re looking for shades that aren’t typically fall, this Clean Sweep palette might be what you want. With shades ranging from gold to grey to blue, there are a ton of options for different looks here. The shadows are a little on the powdery side, so you’ll need a primer to get good coverage but this palette is a great option for someone who loves to play with different shadows.
GOSH 9 Shades – To Be Cool In Copenhagen
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To Be Cool In Copenhagen is pretty much my essential matte palette. It has a great range of shades from nudes, to browns to black which makes it something I use on an almost daily basis, even if I’m using it as a base under other shadows. The shadows are powdery but not chalky and they’re a good size for a palette. There are a few other palettes in the 9 Shades collection but I really like this one the best and can see myself replacing it if it ever runs out.

Flower Beauty Sunshine Fragrance

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I’m the kind of person who changes my perfume according to my mood. And season. I basically just like changing up my scent all the time but it’s pretty rare for a fragrance to change my mood for me. When we received Flower Beauty’s Sunshine, it was heading into fall and I was convinced that I would categorize it as a summer scent. Well I was partially right but what I didn’t expect was for Sunshine to automatically put me in a good mood every time I put it on.

With top notes of clementine, lady apple and white freesia; heart notes of yellow peony, pear blossom and jasmine sambac and base notes of golden amber, sweet cassia and clean musks; this fruity floral scent could’ve also been named ‘happy.’ There’s a strong alcohol scent that takes a while to mellow but once it does, it just smells delicious. The box it comes in is pretty huge so I was really surprised to see a tiny 30 ml bottle inside, but this is an Eau de Parfum so a little goes a long way. It’s also $19.99 at Walmart and in my experience, a fragrance this nice usually costs a lot more. Sunshine lasts about four hours on me before I notice it starting to fade but if I spray it on a hoodie, it lasts a really long time.

I’ve tried a lot of fragrances that describe themselves as smelling like sunshine. And while that doesn’t really have a scent, Sunshine is probably the closest it’s come to what I imagine.

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.