Happy 2018 everyone! It feels like 2017 went by in a minute but we still found time to try a ton of products, some new, some new to us. These are our Most Wanted of 2017
The first time I tried this scrub/body butter combination, Stephanie brought one back from London for me before they were available in Canada. I’ve been using it ever since and it’s hands down my most replaced product of the year. The combination of cocoa and shea butters and ground almonds and coconut shells leave you with incredibly smooth and moisturized skin. The little bee shape is adorable and the honey scent is delicious. It’s such a fan favourite that this originally limited edition product became part of the permanent Lush collection.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
Glossier coming to Canada was a huge deal this year and we’ve had a chance to try a number of products but this cleanser has quickly become my go to face wash. The super light texture doesn’t dry out my skin and leaves it soft and calm. I usually use this after I’ve taken my makeup off but it does a decent job of getting off makeup in a pinch. I love that the scent is just as gentle as the texture and that it works amazingly well with my Clarisonic.
Invisibobble Meow & Ciao
I’ve been obsessed with Invisibobble since the first one I tried. I wear my hair up nearly all the time and this hair band doesn’t give me headaches but holds my hair in ponytails or buns without my fine hair coming out of them. Meow & Ciao is from the holiday I Live In Wonderland collection and the pretty purple shade is a nice change from the boring neutrals I’ve been using.
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara
This mascara has been a cult fave for years and I honestly don’t know how I hadn’t used it before. We received one in a Benefit holiday gift and I’ve been using it almost exclusively ever since. I don’t know where this mascara has been all my life but it’s consistently given me the best lashes I’ve ever had. I get a ton of length and volume and don’t have to use my eyelash curler if I don’t want to. This is going to be in my makeup bag forever.
Garnier Whole Blends Illuminating Moroccan Argan and Camellia Oils
I know both Argan and Camellia oils are used a ton in hair products and I’ve tried quite a few of them but something about this combination is just a winner. The shampoo has a unique texture (you can feel the oil) but it lathers really nicely and if a shampoo can be called comforting, this is it. The conditioner doesn’t feel really thick until it hits your hair, which means you don’t need a lot at all and you should use less than you normally would (trust me). The Illuminating Oil gets rid of most of my frizz and leaves my hair soft, manageable and shiny. This is probably the best drugstore shampoo line I’ve ever tried and I’ll definitely pick up more when I run out.
I recently dyed my hair a daring new colour and wanted to make sure it lasts as soon as possible, so I turned to the hottest new hair care line in stores, Gliss. This new line of shampoo and conditioner promised to protect my colour from fading and keeping it brighter for longer. Using Gliss Color Guard didn’t feel any different from any other regular drug store brand. It was only when I stopped using Gliss that I noticed a different. I switched back to my other brand of shampoo and within a week or so, I noticed that my colour looked faded. It wasn’t as bright and vibrant as I was used to. Check out our review for some of the other Gliss Hair Care lines for more reviews on their many different types of shampoo and conditioner.
I really don’t know where October went. For one of the longer months of the year, it really flew by. But I did manage to use a couple products and this is what I loved the most.
Marvis Wonders Of The World
I really hate mint toothpaste and it’s becoming harder and harder to find non-minty ones. Luckily Marvis has released a gift set with three flavoured toothpastes that don’t have mint as the first ingredient. Royal is a lemon-rose flavour that has a hint of mint but not enough to bother me. Karakum is orange, peppermint and cardamom and Rambas is a combination of peach, pineapple, mango and mint. I really love Royal the best but they’re all fantastic alternatives to a regular mint toothpaste. My dentist cousin is a little concerned about the lack of fluoride in the formula but I have to say, I’m enjoying brushing my teeth a lot more with these toothpastes.
Veil Cosmetics Sunset Skin Foundation in 1P
I’m pretty sure my skin knows when October hits, because it automatically gets much drier and I can’t use the same makeup that I was in October. Sunset Skin is a foundation that literally feels like you’re not wearing makeup. It’s a super light, whipped texture that melts into your skin immediately. It’s oil and paraben free and keeps my skin moisturized while leaving sheer to medium coverage. I’m using shade 1P, which is the absolute lightest and it’s the perfect winter shade for me. I really love using this foundation and I generally hate foundation.
Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner
Drugstore hair brands are really stepping up their games recently and now that Herbal Essences have introduced bio:renew (essential antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp), the bar is raised even further. The argan oil line falls under repair and while my hair doesn’t really have much damage, the shampoo and conditioner do a great job keeping it healthy. The conditioner isn’t too heavy and both have a slightly spicy scent that I love. There’s a matching oil infused styling creme that I think is too heavy on my fine hair but the shampoo and conditioner are enough to keep me happy.
La Roche-Posay Respectissime Volume Mascara
I’ve used a few La Roche-Posay products in the past but I have no idea they had any kind of cosmetics. I’m always on the hunt for a great mascara, so when this one showed up, I was more than happy to try it and I’m so happy I did. Considering this mascara comes from a mostly skin care company it far exceeded any expectations I had. I get major volume, a good amount of length and a little curl. The black shade is dark enough for me and I like my lashes as black as I can get them. It even smells good. The skin care company comes through in the gentle, fluffy brush and the ceramides in the formula. It’s also designed for sensitive eyes. At $20 CDN, I’ll definitely be buying another one when I run out.
I was basically housebound for most of August, so my favourite things for August are pretty much my necessities. I’m so happy September is here.
Le Petit Marseillais White Peach & Nectarine Shower Gel
La Petit Marseillais has been around in France for years and now we get a tiny taste of their product line in Canada. I had a chance to try all of the shower gels available in Canada right now (hopefully we get more products soon!) and the White Peach & Nectarine just blew me away. It’s so juicy and fruity smelling but it really mellows out in the shower. It’s also a lot more moisturizing than I expect from a shower gel. I’m actually able to get away with not applying body lotion without getting dried out and itchy and that’s never happened before.
Avène Couvrance High Tolerance Mascara
I love bold mascara but since I wasn’t going out much, I was really looking for something a little simpler but that would make my almost white lashes a little darker. From the first time I used this mascara, I was completely sold. I was already a fan of Avène’s thermal water and suncare products but this mascara really surprised me. It’s made for people with extremely sensitive eyes and I can understand why it works. For a hard plastic brush, it’s actually really gentle. The formula is really pigmented and black and you can get away with one coat. It also gives me a ton of length. Not a lot of volume, but it really separated and curled my lashes. This is my new go-to mascara for daytime.
Joico Blonde Life Collection
A lot of us go blonder in the summer, so it makes sense that Joico would release a collection for blondes just in time. I have some bleach left in my hair from the last balayage highlights I got and I was really skeptical that this collection could make them brighter but it absolutely did. The shampoo on it’s own isn’t moisturizing enough for me (I heard squeaking) but the conditioner makes up for it. It’s a fairly light conditioner, that smells incredible, and it really moisturizes your hair and gives it a nice texture. I haven’t been blow drying my hair, which is what the Brightening Veil is intended for, but I’ve been using it as a leave in styling treatment and it does a pretty good job of eliminating my frizz. I’ll also randomly respray my hair with it because I love the scent so much.
La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Melt-In Cream SPF 60
We’ve received tons of sunscreens to review this year and unfortunately for the first half of the summer, Toronto was a rainy mess and I was stuck inside for most of the other half. When I did venture out, I found myself always reaching for this sun cream over all the others. I’d heard a ton of good things about La Roche Posay’s suncare over the years but this was the first time I got to try it and to be honest, not much lives up to it for me. It’s a traditional cream texture with very little scent but it absorbs instantly and doesn’t leave any kind of greasy feel. For a mainly physical sunscreen base, it also doesn’t leave white streaks everywhere. But the biggest part is how well it works. I’m almost paler now than I am in January and this is the first summer ever where I haven’t even gotten a hint of a sunburn. For someone as fair as me, that’s a major win.
There are shampoo and conditioner collections for literally everything now. Coloured hair, fine hair, frizzy, coloured…you name it. So it was nice to try a line that just wants to give you healthy hair and that’s exactly what Dove’s newest Nutritive Solutions line, Complete Fortification, does. I have fine, frizzy, wavy, dry hair; so obviously I don’t expect miracles out of a shampoo bottle. But after using this shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks (with rotating various styling products), I noticed that my hair felt stronger, more moisturized and looked a lot shinier.
It has a nice fruity, floral scent and since it’s Dove, it won’t cost a fortune for me to repair my hair when it needs it. Will I use it on a daily basis? No. But if I notice my hair getting damaged or needing a break, it’ll definitely be one of my go-to’s.I usually have a lot more to say about hair products, but when something works as well and as simply as Dove’s Complete Fortification line, I don’t really have to say much. In this case, that’s a good thing.
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.
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.
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!
We try so many hair products that’s it’s pretty hard for me to be blown away by any. I was already a huge fan of Shu Uemura, so I had fairly high expectation for my first time trying one of their hair lines. Ultimate Remedy is for ultra-damaged hair, so winter is probably the best time to try it. My fine, wavy, frizzy, highlighted hair gets pretty dried out in winter and definitely needs some extra help. Unfortunately most extreme hydration lines also weigh my hair down a lot. We received the shampoo, conditioner and duo-serum and there’s also an extreme restoration treatment (hair masque).
The entire line has a lotus infusion and the scent of the collection is peppermint. I honestly don’t smell mint and didn’t really like the scent at first but the more I use the line, the more I love it. The bottles are a really pretty green but the shampoo bottle is a little hard to squeeze due to the shape and how heavy the plastic is. I love that the conditioner is a pump though. The shampoo is a really interesting consistency. It’s kind of a gel-oil texture and doesn’t get a huge lather but enough that you know it’s there. I have to say, to me, this is the hero product of the collection. The shampoo feels so silky and nourishing and I’ve even thought about not using conditioner after it because I think I could get away with it. I’m used to loving conditioners or styling treatments but this is the first time I seriously love a shampoo.
The conditioner is a little on the thinner side and you feel like it’s not doing much until you rinse it out but it’s made my hair really manageable and hydrated. The duo-serum is an interesting styling product. One side is a texture-oil and the other is a cream. You have to pump the bottle just right to get both at the same time but it’s great for detangling and getting frizz out. Once it dries, you don’t even know it’s there. I find that I have to use quite a bit of it though and at a $56 CDN price tag, that’s a little bit of a bummer.
I really like the Ultimate Remedy collection as a whole but I love, love, love the shampoo and if I’m going to buy anything once I run out, it’s that.
These winter hair most wanted products will help you say goodbye to frizz, get smoother hair and manage those locks this winter.
L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil Hair Collection – You’ve probably already tried, or at least heard of, the original Mythic Oil for hair. I didn’t know that there was a whole line of Mythic Oil products just waiting for my hair. I tried the Shampoo, Masque and Oil Detangling Spray all with the same Mythic Oil care for my locks. I found the whole collection very soft and moisturizing on my hair. After using the collection my hair looked because and was really easy to manage.
Pureology Style & Care Smooth Perfection Infusion – Lately I haven’t had great luck with pre-blow dry frizz products. It took my a long time to dare to use this product. I love that it’s a gel and cream combo – a styler and a leave-in conditioner. I think it’s that combination that helped it work to keep my hair looking great for longer. I did find that it made me have to wash my hair sooner than usual, because it got greasy faster. But that said it was great from wash to wash.
Redken Pillow Proof Blow-Dry Collection – Redken wants to help keep your blow out for a few days longer with their new Pillow Proof collection. I tried the combo of the Express Treatment Primer and the Two Day Extender Dry Shampoo. The primer was supposed to help your hair blow dry faster than usual. I’m not entirely sure that it worked, because I don’t blow dry my hair enough to know the regular amount of time. But my hair did feel and look great afterwards, so I will call that a win. The dry shampoo is your average dry shampoo. It left my hair looking good for at least two more days. It’s also nice and cool and smells good! Bonus!
Pantene Pro-V Intense Repair Collection – I don’t really think that my hair is damaged, but you can never protect your hair too much can you? It smells and feels like something that you would get in a salon. It’s luxurious feeling and leaves your hair very soft. I don’t know about the damage, but I definitely have less frizz and more silky hair that i don’t have to throw in a ponytail to hide. It will be perfect for protecting my hair from those sub-zero temperatures.
Invisibobble Hair Ring – These little spiral hair ties have an interesting back story. They were inspired by phone cords, back in the day when people had home phones. They are meant to give you less headaches, stop that annoying hair crimp and be simple to use. I find them a bit clunky, but they are definitely softer on my hair. They don’t feel like they are hold my hair so tight it hurts. I kept thinking that they were falling out. It’s a weird feeling to get used to, but you just have to trust the Invisibobble. It could change your ponytails forever.