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.

L’Occitane Terre De Lumière Eau De Parfum


L’Occitane is one of my favourite brands, but I’ve always had a hard time finding a perfume that I love. With the exception of a limited edition holiday scent from a few years ago, none of them have really been my thing. When the package with Terre De Lumière arrived, I was definitely excited, especially since my initials are engraved on the back of the bottle. But when I first sniffed the bottle, I wasn’t quite as sure. Terre De Lumière is a gourmand fragrance with notes of honey, almond and lavender that’s supposed to evoke the feeling of France’s Golden Hour (the time right before the sun sets).


Luckily, once I sprayed it on, I was much happier. It’s a warm scent but not heavy or overpowering and because it’s an Eau de Parfum, the staying power is pretty fantastic. It’s also not one of those perfumes that’ll make people choke in an elevator (assuming you don’t use half the bottle at once). Two quick spritzes and I’m good for the day. This is the kind of fragrance that’ll be great for summer nights. It’s not too strong but it definitely makes a statement.

As far as I know, Terre Le Lumière isn’t limited edition, or maybe I’m just hoping it’s not, because I really love this perfume more the longer I wear it.

Maybelline Spring 2017 Most Wanted

We’re halfway through spring and I’m just getting into the lighter makeup that’ll continue into summer. Maybelline has released a bunch of new products in the past few months that are perfect for getting an easy spring look.

Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation On-The-Go

This easy to carry compact was much more than I was expecting. It gives a medium-to-full coverage when I was expecting more of a sheer one. Because the Ivory shade is a touch too dark for me in the winter, it’s only now that I can get a lot of use out of it. It’s extremely easy to apply and keep in your purse for touchups but if you have a shine issue, you’re definitely going to want to keep a powder on hand with you. This is definitely not mattifying but it also doesn’t dry out my skin and it’s really comfortable to wear.

FaceStudio Master Blush Color & Highlight Kit

Contouring and I don’t get along, but give me a blush and I’m happy. This blush palette is definitely my happy place. With four blushes (one that can also be used as a highlighter), you get a ton of options. You can use each blush separately, or mix them up to make a new colour. The darkest shade is way too dark for me but I’ve been playing around with the other three a ton. I love how bright the shades are and the pigmentation is great. You don’t need a lot to get good colour.

Color Sensational Shaping Lipliner in Pink Coral

I haven’t been using a lot of lipliner in the past couple years but this colour is basically what I’ve been wearing for the past month lipstick-wise and this shaping lipliner is so easy to use. Since it’s a twist up, you don’t need to worry about sharpening and it’s precise tip gives you a ton of control. Don’t feel like going the whole lipstick route? Just add a lip balm on top of this.

Volum’ Express The Colossal Big Shot Mascara

Do you see that brush? It’s massive! Maybelline mascara has been my go-to since high school, I love nearly all of them and the Colossal Big Shot is right in there. The huge, soft brush gives you a ton of volume and some length and when I layer it with another Maybelline mascara for extra drama, it plays well with others. I find this one just slightly not dark enough for me for night time but during the day, it’s perfect.

The 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

This was the only palette that came on vacation with me last month and within the twelve shades, there’s a colour for every look you want. It’s not the most pigmented palette I’ve ever used but it’s really soft and buildable, plus there’s very little fallout. It includes a little foam eyeshadow brush but I use my brushes instead. This is a great palette if you want pretty nude shades but don’t want to spend a fortune.

I’ve used all of these for a good number of looks without any extra products, which makes them perfect for spring makeup in a hurry.

Tarte TarteGuard Tinted Moisturizer

It’s been a long time that I have loved a product as much as I love this new Tarte Tinted Moisturizer. Unlike a lot of products, it literally does everything that I want it to and it arrived on beauty shelves just in time for summer.

Once you start using Tarteguard Tinted Moisturizer, you will be protecting your skin on so many levels. First as a moisturizer, it keeps your skin moisturized without getting oily. It absorbs quickly leaving your skin glowing, but not moist. It has very little scent, which is nice for those of us who hate perfumed moisturizers.  It’s also packed full of great ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin E and apple extract, all protecting your face from the day.

As a tinted face product, this has just the right amount of coverage. I am a solid foundation lover. I usually avoid tinted moisturizer because it leaves me wanting more. This one has the perfect amount of sheer coverage. Pair it with a dab of concealer on those problem areas and you are ready to go. It gives a nice even look that lasts all day. The light-medium tone was good for winter, but as I have been getting more sun lately, I am going to move up to the medium. I am surprised there isn’t a darker option for people with darker skin, who still want a Tarte Tined Moisturizer. I think that’s a huge miss from Tarte, that should be addressed.

Finally, since it’s a part of the TarteGuard collection, this also has SPF 20 Sunscreen included. You might think that’s nothing, but as far as tinted moisturizers from makeup companies go, this one is pretty good. I took this on vacation to Miami with me this spring and didn’t get a burn on my face at all. Usually my face is the first place to show colour.

Overall, since the first time I used this Tarte moisturizer I have been hooked. Now I just have to make it last all summer.

Quo Makeup Most Wanted

Quo has been releasing some really great products lately that I super impressed by. It’s even better because all of Quo’s makeup is available at Shopper’s Drug Mart for a really reasonable price. If you want to update your makeup for Spring at any budget, make sure to include some of these products:

Quo Matte Revolution Foundation – This thick full coverage foundation is impressive. I love matte foundations and this one is top notch. It feels and wears like a product that is much more expensive. It does go on quite thick, so you have to want that. It felt like wearing a moisturizer, foundation and concealer all in one. This is more of a heavy duty foundation, so it doesn’t really disappear on the skin. It’s like a second layer – One that makes your skin look perfect.

Quo Bronzer Duo – Quo released a line of bronzing powders recently, including these Bronzing Duo powders. The powder is a bronzer with a highlighter in the center. You can get the bronzing and highlighting all in one. Depending on the shade that you get, the center might be a shimmering gold or matte pink. Warning, these bronzers are pretty dark. If you are light skinned, you might want to skip them. Everyone else can enjoy.

Quo Concealer Palette – By some coincidence, I tried many new concealers this month, but Quo’s palette is by far the best. It has four different shades, meaning that you don’t have to worry about finding the right hue. It also means that you can still use it if you have a tan or some darker or lighter parts. It is quite a thick concealer, but I like that. It ensures that I get complete coverage on the first application. It makes me almost want to give up foundation altogether.

Battle of the Natural Deodorants

I’ve been having some serious skin issues the past few years and it’s sent me on a search for aluminum-free deodorants that actually work. I don’t necessarily need to switch over to a natural deodorant but I figure it can’t hurt. I definitely have some criteria if I’m going to be spending more money though (natural deodorant is notoriously more expensive than traditional ones). It has to smell good, or at least keep me from smelling bad, it needs to last at least a couple hours and it needs to not cause more skin issues for me. I put three natural deodorants to the test and here’s how it all worked out.
Lafe’s Bliss Iris & Rose 

Scent: 2/5 Iris & Rose
Texture: 4/5 Smooth and easy to apply stick
Longevity: 2/5 4 hours max
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, GMO’s
Total score: 8/15
Where to buy: Lafe’s website

I didn’t get to choose the Lafe’s scent that I used and to be honest, it’s probably throwing off my opinion.While I love most rose products, this one just smells like old lady to me and while the scent lasts a really long time, the actual deodorant doesn’t hold up nearly as well. The texture and stick are nice enough that I would definitely try another scent and see if I like it better.

Tarte Clean Queen Vegan Deodorant

Scent: 5/5 Sweet Vanilla
Texture: 4/5 Cream to Powder roll-on stick
Longevity: 3.5/5 roughly 6 hours
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Parabens, Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Gluten, Phthalates and it’s vegan
Total score: 12.5/15
Where to buy: Tarte.com, Sephora

I’ve loved Tarte makeup for years but I haven’t tried a ton of their skin care. When I heard they were bringing out a natural deodorant, I had to try it. It smells incredible but I wish the scent lasted a little longer. Some days I can still smell it after a couple hours and some days it disappears on me almost immediately. The star of this deodorant is the formula. It takes a second to dry down but once it does, it keeps me dry and stink free for hours. I still need to reapply on sweatier days but it’s definitely cute enough to keep in my purse.

Schmidt’s Rose & Vanilla Deodorant Pot

Scent: 4/5 Rose & Vanilla
Texture: 3/5 Cream to powder pot (spatula included)
Longevity: 3.5/5 depends on if you have a reaction to the baking soda
What it doesn’t have: Aluminum, Propylene Glycol, Parabens, Phthalates. It’s also vegan, gluten free and cruelty free
Total Score:10.5/15
Where to buy: Schmidt’s Naturals

I’ve never used a pot deodorant before and while I did have a couple of the Schmidt stick versions, this one interested me more. The rose scent in this one is much more to my liking but I did have a couple issues with it. This is the only deodorant of the three that’s baking soda based and my skin does not react well to it. While some people get rashes, I find that after a few hours, the scent turned on me and really became gross. To the point that I had to wash it off and put something else on. That said, it was much easier to apply than I expected and only ran into issues if I wanted to reapply and didn’t have a counter handy but I would definitely use this if they made it in their sensitive skin formula which doesn’t have baking soda in it. This could’ve been the winner for me, but my skin didn’t agree.

The verdict:

I had issues with the scents of both the Lafe’s and Schmidt’s deodorants for different reasons but the formulas themselves were decent. I just need to look into other options from both those companies. Tarte was the clear winner for me but at $18 CAD, it’s a little pricey. I’ll see how long one stick lasts and then decide if I’ll use it on a regular basis but I’m really liking it right now, so I think that it’s pretty likely I will.

It’s nice that we have so many more options for natural deodorant and if there’s another one you think we should try, let us know.

March Makeup Most Wanted

Spring into a new season with these March makeup products that I have been obsessed with this month.

Covergirl Outlast All-Day Custom Reds Lip Color – I have tried a lot of lipsticks that said they were going to last a long time, but Covergirl has finally done it. This two-step lip color is the longest lasting lipstick that I’ve ever tried. It’s really simple, you just apply the colour first, wait a minute and then apply the clear coat over top. Boom! You have lipstick that will last all day. I even had a hard time getting it off of my lips. I fell asleep with lipstick on one night and it was still on the next morning! This lipstick is UNREAL! The red shades that I tried were quiet bold, but really beautiful.

Rodial Baking Powder – I’m not going to lie, I don’t really get the idea of baking. I also don’t have time to bake my makeup before leaving the house. That doesn’t make my love of this powder any less. Instead of baking my makeup and dusting it off later, I have been using it as a finishing powder. I just dust a light layer over my foundation before I leave the house for a minor bake. Forget the long lasting powder of the bake, I love the matte finish that my skin gets when I use it. Clearly this powder is super versatile, making it key in my makeup bag.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream – Finally, a super moisturizing gel cream for extra dry skin that doesn’t feel heavy on my face. I fell in love with gel moisturizers because it is perfect for my skin. I get dry skin, but I also have acne. I need all the same anti-aging and boosting properties, but my skin can’t handle heavy thick moisturizers. I get greasy very easily. Neutrogena lets me get a major moisture boost without that issue. It absorbs into my skin leaving it feeling dry and matte, but also soft. This one is for anyone who is sick of fighting with moisturizers and their skin. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is the saving grace this winter.

Sebastian Volupt Spray High Impact Volume – I used to love spray gel in high school. It was probably the only product that I used, and I used it every day. Since then I’ve moved on to other products, but getting this newer product was like meeting an old friend. I love this product because it gives you hold without making my hair stiff. It’s really nice on curls or beach waves to get a hold without the crunch of mousse.

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Shampoo & Conditioner – Herbal Essences new hair care collection Bio:Renew sounds very fancy in the description. It’s made with a special blend of antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp. It’s supposed to bring your hair back to life in 21 days (although it doesn’t say how many washes that is). I love it because, while it has all of those great properties, it still feels like classic Herbal Essences. The Coconut Milk scent smells amazing. My hair looks great, it’s shiny and easy to manage. I can’t ask for anything else!

Brompton & Langley Hand Cream: Quick Review

If you are looking for a fun imported product that isn’t going to break the bank. Check out Brompton & Langley. I tried their Hand Cream and Body Wash with equally lovely results. This UK brand comes in soft scents like Sweet Pea Jasmine, Almond Milk and Vanilla Honeysuckle. The scents are really subtle, but leave your skin feeling soft and lush. They make a great Mother’s Day gift.