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.
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.
Most of us have at least a little bit of frizz to our hair and some of us have it way worse than others. But finding the right product that actually makes a difference is easier said than done. Redken have decided to make it a little easier with their Frizz Dismiss line. The first thing you have to do is find your Frizz Protection Factor, or FPF. The range goes from 10-40 and my hair is really frizzy but also really fine. According to the chart, I shouldn’t go over FPF 20. I love the idea of this because we all have different hair needs and when I ventured into the products that were FPF 30+, I definitely noticed they were too heavy for my hair.
My regular routine with the Frizz Dismiss line is the sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner (these are also sodium chloride-free) followed by the Smooth Force spray. The shampoo and conditioner have a relatively mild scent and the shampoo lathered up really nicely. The conditioner looks thin coming out of the bottle but once you use it, it’s much thicker than I expected. Before I got highlights, I had a good amount of moisturization going on from these products. And after, well…they didn’t hold up to the bleach. If you have severely dry hair, you’re probably going to want to use the hair mask as well.
My favourite product is the Smooth Force. I use it as a leave-in conditioner/styling product and let my hair air dry. I have to say, it does a really good job preventing frizz from forming while my hair is drying and an ok job once the frizz is already there.
Considering how humid Toronto has been this summer, it would take a miracle to completely get rid of all my frizz but Frizz Dismiss gives it a good effort.
I can’t believe this year is flying by and it’s already June (but it feels like July in Toronto). Here’s what I used the most in May.
Clarins Multi-Active Day and Night creams
I’ll be honest and say I don’t always follow the moisturizer day and night cream rules. I find them interchangeable for the most part and just go by what my skin feels like it needs. But the Clarins Multi-Active Jour (day) is just light enough for daytime while keeping my skin feeling really hydrated while the Multi-Active Nuit (night) is a little heavier for night but not as heavy as a lot of night creams are. Using both of them has really helped keep my combination skin moisturized while not letting it get greasy. These smell so amazing but if you have issues with scent, keep away.
Live Clean Multi Boost Shampoo and Conditioner
Spring is a weird time for my hair. It’s not as dried out, the humidity makes my frizz pop and my roots get a little oily. Live Clean’s Multi Boost line kept it looking healthy and it stayed pretty manageable. I would recommend this to someone whose hair falls into the normal category. It’s not quite enough for really dry hair and those with oily scalps might have some greasiness. I love that I can add vitamins to my hair though and that it’s sulfate and paraben free.
Clinique Pop Glaze Sheer Lip Colour + Primer in Sprinkle Pop
I’ve been wearing most matte liquid lipsticks lately but on days when I don’t want to bother but still want a pop of colour on my lips, I reach for Sprinkle Pop. It’s a really pretty, medium bright pink that goes on super sheer but still leaves some colour. It’s not a traditional lipstick, more like a tinted lip balm that you apply like a lipstick. Even after the colour wears off, it leaves a slight hint of colour but tons of moisture. I can leave my lip balm at home when I put this one on. My lips are moisturized for hours.
Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder
With spring and summer come humidity and my skin ends up on the oilier end of the spectrum and I get seriously shiny. Rimmel’s Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder is one of the few powders I’ve tried that actually leaves me looking matte for a long period of time without getting cakey. I wish it came with some kind of applicator so I could throw it in my purse but even when I put it on before I leave the house I know I won’t look shiny for most of the day. It’s also supposed to minimize breakouts thanks to it’s Pureskin complex.
Maybelline Colour Tattoo Concentrated Crayon in Bronze Truffle
I love the original Colour Tattoo shadows but I hate applying them for my fingers. From the first time I tried the Concentrated Crayon, I was hooked. You get the same colour payoff and staying power as the pots but it’s so much less messy and you can throw it in your purse for touch ups. Bronze Truffle is a great shade that takes me from day to night. I use a little in the morning and layer on more at night for more intensity. I have a couple shades of the crayons and this one is by far my favourite.