Beauty

A Trip to the Beach (In your Shower!)

I love pretty much anything that reminds me of the beach: Pina Coladas, pineapples, seashells, and, of course, coconuts (fun fact: I used to wear sunscreen to school in the Winter because I loved the scent that much).  Thanks to Hask Beauty, taking a trip to the beach is as easy as taking your morning shower with their Monoi Coconut Oil collection.  So what is Monoi Coconut Oil, you ask?  It’s a mixture of pure coconut oil and Tahitian gardenias; a combination commonly used by Polynesian women to nourish and protect their hair from the elements (sand, wind, and sun).  Even better? All of Hasks’s products are free of sulfates, parabens, gluten, artificial colours, and drying alcohols.  Their products are also used on many film and television sets (more than any other brand!).   I mean, who doesn’t want to use the same styling products as Olivia Pope?!  You can find their products in many countries throughout the world; visit their website to find a retailer near you! But for now, keep reading to learn more about the products pictured above from the Monoi Coconut line (which are safe for all hair types).

1.Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shampoo

This shampoo is perfection:  from the scent, to the formula, and the results.  As someone with oily hair, I’m always looking for products that won’t add any weight or residue.  This shampoo lathers nicely and evenly, leaves hair feeling clean, and obviously, smells amazing.

2.Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Conditioner

As I mentioned before, having oily hair means that conditioning products can sometimes be a little scary.  I want my hair to feel soft and look shiny, but most importantly I want it to look and feel clean.   I apply this conditioner in the shower after shampooing, and leave it in for a few minutes while I wash my body, shave, or sing (come on, you do it too!).  When I wash it out, my hair is left feeling soft, detangled, and moisturized without any extra weight or greasiness.   Oh yeah, and did I mention these products smell fantastic?…

 3.Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Deep Conditioner

Used 1-2 times per week, this deep conditioner helps moisturize and repair damage.  Just apply to wet, clean hair, leave in for 10 minutes or so, and rinse well.  My preference is to start by applying it to the ends of my hair (where I have more damage) and work my way up to my scalp.  This product (along with the SHINE Oil below) is so popular that one is purchased every 5 seconds!

 4.Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing SHINE Oil

I’ve always used and loved hair oils because of their versatility.  You can use them on wet hair to help moisturize and detangle, or you can use them on dry hair to help tame frizzy hair and add shine.  This oil is the perfect consistency and weight, allowing it to absorb quickly and work its magic without making hair greasy or oily.  Just remember to use a small amount, and concentrate on the ends of your hair (avoid applying directly to your roots).

Have you tried any Hask Beauty products before?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Products provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

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Falsies in a tube?! Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+

Chances are, if you wear mascara, you’re looking to enhance the something about your lashes.  Maybe you want more volume?  Perhaps you want more length? And, if you’re anything like me, you love the way false lashes check-off both of these wants, but hate the process and time it takes to apply them.  But what if you could apply your mascara and falsies, all at the same time?  Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+ ($35.00 Cdn) allow you to do just that. In fact, they can increase your average lash volume by up to 400%!  This product comes with 2 tools of the trade: the first is a Transplanting Gel, and the second is a tube of Natural Fibers.  Simply apply a coat of the Transplanting Gel, followed by the Natural Fibers, and finish with one last coat of Transplanting Gel.  You can keep repeating the process as desired.  The result?  Kardashian-worthy lashes that will leave you saying, “I promise, they’re real!”.

You may have heard (or seen the incredible results on social media) of Younique’s previous Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes, and are wondering, “what’s changed?”.  The answer is an enhanced formula, a new brush, and a chic update in packaging, all making this mascara more impressive than ever before.  As someone with sensitive skin and eyes, I also like that this product is hypoallergenic. So, after giving it a try, what do I think of this highly-coveted mascara?  Keep reading to find out!

My Results

No Mascara:

No Mascara (left) Vs. 3D Fiber Lashes+ (right):

3D Fiber Lashes+ on both eyes:

In sum, this product is impressive (even my boyfriend looked at my lashes and said, “Whoa!”).  It’s quick and easy to apply, lasts all day, and washes off easily at night.  There was some minor fallout of the fibers when applying, but I simply wiped them away with a fluffy brush.  I had no irritation or discomfort, and I like that you can apply additional coats for more drama: 1 coat of fibers for work, or 2 for a night on the town.  And, if you’re someone who already wears false lashes frequently, this product is a more affordable (and simpler!) way to get the look falsies provide.  I highly recommend giving this product a try.  Younique is so confident you’ll love their product, they even have a “Love It Guarantee”: if you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can obtain a full refund within 14 days, an 80% refund within 15-30 days (or a credit/exchange), and a credit or exchange up to 31-90 days from delivery!  Ready to purchase? Just click here!

Have you tried Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Product provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

Miracle 10 for Acne Prone/Oily Skin

Whether it is uneven skin tone, wrinkles, breakouts, or dryness, we’re all looking for a miracle when it comes to our skin.  More recently, I’ve been facing my own struggle with acne.  So, when Miracle 10 reached out to me, asking if I’d like to review their kit for acne-prone skin, I couldn’t have been more excited and optimistic.  The kit includes 5 products: a cleanser, solution, serum, AHA gel, and veil, all specially formulated for oily, acne-prone skin.  But the benefits go far beyond just blemishes and oiliness; they also helps with hyperpigmentation and scarring, minimizing pores, and fighting signs of aging.  So why Miracle “10″, you ask?  Because the brand is confident that you’ll see real results quickly: an increase in smoothness and clarity in just 10 hours, a decrease of discoloration and dullness in 10 days, and a lessened appearance of wrinkles and pore size in 10 weeks. There are also products and sets specially formulated for Normal/Maturing Skin, and Delicate/Dry Skin.  Keep reading to learn more about my experience and personal results, and also, to get a sneak peak of an upcoming Instagram giveaway!

The Products:

Cleanser II:

This cleanser leaves my skin feeling smooth and clean, without any residue.  Antioxidants deep clean and exfoliate skin without any irritation (thanks to its pH balanced formulation).  This product is used morning and night.

Solution I:

To be honest, I’ve never really used toners (they tend to irritate my skin).  But what I loved about this product is that, thanks to Glycolic and Lactic acids, it is more of an exfoliant (with pore-minimizing and antibacterial benefits) than a toner.  It leaves my skin feeling extra clean and balanced without any redness or irritation. This product is used morning and night.

Light Serum:

This is my favourite product of all.  It gives your skin the moisture it needs without being heavy or greasy.  Vitamins A, B, D3, E, and K replenish and balance your skin, and makeup applies beautifully overtop.  This product is used in the morning.

AHA Gel I:

Formulated with Glycolic and Salicylic acids, this gel helps resurface skin while also combating acne bacteria while you sleep.  The gel feels light and applies evenly, and a little bit goes a long way.  This product is used at night.

Veil:

This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer soothes and calms the skin while working to re-texture and reduce oily skin conditions.  This product is used at night.

My Experience and Results:

My favourite thing about all of these products is that they are super light-weight, which is something oily-skinned individuals such as myself really appreciate.  Every single step left my skin feeling calm, smooth, and clean.

Within just a few days, my skin’s texture and appearance had dramatically improved and my makeup was lasting longer throughout the day.  The scarring from previous acne was disappearing (I even stopped using a concealer!), and each morning I’d wake up to a face that was better than the day before (which I credit in part to the AHA Gel I; I love it!).  I also appreciate that each of the products applies evenly and easily, and you only need a small amount of product for your entire face.  I like that the packaging is simple and chic, and that most of the products have their own pump for easy application and reduced waste of product.

All in all, these products truly are impressive.  They are high-quality, made of effective ingredients, and are part of a foolproof system tailored to your skin type.  They are all fragrance-free, paraben-free, not tested on animals, and made in Canada, and are developed by skincare experts themselves: The Plastic Surgery Clinic, which specializes in non-surgical skincare. There’s a reason why these products are raved about in magazines, on TV, and beyond!  If you’re curious about learning more, or want to determine your own skin type, simply visit miracle10.com, or visit a Miracle 10 boutique if you’re in the greater Toronto area.  And don’t forget to sign up for emails to get 15% off your first order!

The Giveaway:

Miracle 10 has generously offered to provide one of you with your very own travel kit customized to your skin type (a $135.00 value)!  This giveaway will be hosted on my Instagram account in the coming days, and will be open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Stay tuned!

*The products in this post were provided by Miracle 10.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

January 2016 Favourites

There are many great things about Winter (personally, I can’t name any but Christmas), but with it tends to come dry and dull skin, frizzy hair, and hands you want to hide in your gloves.  My January favourites happen to be products that help with all of these problems (plus a little glitz).  Let’s get to it!

1. Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer

I received a sample of this primer a few months ago, and didn’t start using it until recently.  With all the acne products I’ve been using, there have been days where my skin just needs some serious moisture (dry skin + makeup = not fun).  It applies more like a moisturizer, with a yummy, coconut scent.  As someone who has very oily skin, I typically go for a primer that will mattify.  But what I love about this primer is that it gives you a soft, dewy finish without the oil and shine.  It absorbed quickly on my skin and makeup applied easily over top.  This primer is silicone free (a common allergen), cruelty-free, and vegan friendly.

2. Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturizer

While I typically tend to choose a moisturizer more based on scent than anything, this Winter I’ve been more focused on finding a high-quality product that soothes dryness and lasts all day long.  This moisturizer by Jergens does just that.  It’s got a soft, clean scent, a rich and luxurious consistency, and applies evenly.  I wasn’t sure it would live up to its claim of leaving skin more radiant, but it honestly does.  It leaves my skin with a dewy sheen, but dries quickly.

3. Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Hairbrush

This brush is as fun to use as it looks.  On wet or dry hair, the soft, flexible bristles gently fight tangles while fitting perfectly into your hand (thanks to its ergonomic shape).  You can even bring it with you in the shower to comb through your conditioner or hair mask.  Because it requires less pulling or tugging than a normal hairbrush, you’ll notice less breakage and increased shine.  Even better? It comes in a variety of colour combinations.  Which one will you choose?

4. Olive and Piper Floret Crystal Studs

I promised glitz, didn’t I?  I received these earrings in my gift bag at the Spark Sessions blogger conference late last year, and have worn them countless time since.  I love that they have a vintage-inspired look, and that they dress up nearly any outfit.  I’ve paired mine with sweaters, dresses, even a leather jacket…I just can’t get enough!

5. FarmHouse Fresh Marshmallow Melt Shea Butter Hand Cream

This hand cream smells good enough to eat (even my boyfriend asked “what is that?”).  But aside from it smelling amazing, it’s also seriously effective, leaving my hands soft and easing any itchiness or dryness (I love applying this at night before bed).  You can purchase this cream in-store at Blossom Lounge in Toronto’s Distillery District (or online), and can choose from a variety of (adorably named) scents including “Fluffy Bunny” and “Front Porch Punch”.  The compact 2.4 oz size means you can keep one in your purse, your car, your bedside, and beyond!

What have you been loving for the month of January?  Let me know in the comments below! 

“Fresh” Finds: Joe Fresh Beauty Arrives at Shoppers Drug Mart!

Joe Fresh

I am excited and grateful to have been invited to attend a preview of the new Joe Fresh Beauty collection last week (available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores now!).  There were yummy treats, fancy drinks, gorgeous flowers, and lots of amazing new beauty products to test out.  The collection is seriously impressive, with products that will take you from a day at the office, to a night out on the town, without breaking the bank (products range from just $8.00 to $18.00).  The brand even has a signature “Five Minute Face” routine that’s simple, effective, and will enhance your natural beauty.

So let’s be real, as a beauty lover I wanted everything I saw at the preview.  There were so many innovative, fun products, and I’d love to tell you about all of them.  But, for this post I thought I’d highlight my top 3 must-haves from the new collection (plus a few extra honorable mentions!), alongside some pictures from the event. Products are shown above in order of discussion below.  Let’s get started!

1.Joe Fresh Highlighter Powder $8.00

I was drawn to this product right away (let’s just say it was love at first swatch).  This highlighting powder is a rich, velvety consistency with impressive colour payoff.  Available in two colours: Champagne (pink-toned) and Luster (gold-toned), simply apply to your cheek or brow bones with your fingers or a brush for an instant, gorgeous glow.  I also love that it can double as an eyeshadow!  And, while we’re on the topic of highlighting, I can’t help but talk about my love of the new Joe Fresh Illuminating Primer (shown to the left of the Highlighting Powders in the picture below).  At just $16.00, these primers are a gorgeous, light reflecting formula that hides imperfections and creates a glowing canvas for your makeup. Choose from “Pure Glow” or “Champagne”; you can even use it on your body as well!

Joe Fresh 5

Joe Fresh 6

2.Joe Fresh Lip Crème $12.00

Well known-fact: I’m a lip-product junkie.  The bolder the hue, the better.  These Lip Crèmes are beautifully pigmented and long-lasting, and come in 6 different shades.  With the colour payoff of a lipstick, and the application of a lipgloss, these fun hybrids help condition your lips while providing a medium-shine finish.  And, if you’re someone who prefers a more natural look and wear for your lip products, be sure to check out the Long Wear Lip Veils: lighter weight and sheerer than the Lip Crèmes with a natural looking finish.

Joe Fresh 3

3.Joe Fresh Precision Liquid Eyeliner $8.00

I use a liquid liner nearly every single day, changing up the style to match my mood: feeling fancy? Winged, obviously! What I love about this liner is it’s unique triangular shape, allowing it to sit perfectly and steadily in your hand.  At just $8.00, this liner is an incredible value for money.  It produces a rich, pigmented black line without needing to tug or pull on your lids.  It’s also water resistant, formaldehyde free, and paraben free.  And, while we’re on the topic of eyes, I also recommend checking out the Joe Fresh Tinted Brow Fix ($12.00): a wax-based cream that makes grooming and filling in your brows as easy as the swipe of a wand!

What will you try from the Joe Fresh Beauty collection?  Let me know in the comments below!

5 Products to Help Heal and Hide a Breakout

Breakout Survival Kit

First off, happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season.  My holidays were filled with lots of food, fun, and family activities, and unfortunately, a breakout that proved trying on my nerves and emotions.  I’d struggled with acne for a few years in my late teens and early twenties, but have been lucky enough to have it under control for the past 5 years or so.  In early November of last year, my skin went crazy.  After changing all of my makeup, skincare, laundry detergent, even pillows, I finally came to the realization that it was likely a hormonal breakout (lucky me).  Let’s face it (pun intended): acne is not fun, but the good news is that there are some amazing products out there that can help you treat, heal, and hide your breakouts.  Today, I want to share with you 5 of the products that have helped me out these past few months; ones that I’m super happy to have found and will continue to use long after I’ve broken up with my breakout.

1. Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub

What I love about this scrub is that it’s gentle but effective.  Naturally derived salicylic acid treats your breakout while also exfoliating by removing dirt, oil, and dead skin.  When you have a breakout, you’ll want to resist the urge to use harsh, grainy exfoliants which will only irritate and inflame your skin.  This cleanser leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean, and calm.  Aside from a few ingredients to help maintain freshness, it is 93% naturally derived, meaning it won’t harm the environment on the way down the drain, either.

2. Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask

While you can use this product daily as an exfoliating cleanser, my preference is to use it as a mask (1-2 times per week).  Clay, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid create a “peeling effect” on your skin to help with uneven texture, acne, dilated pores, and excess oil (results that last up to 3 days!).  Simply apply the product to cleansed skin, leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse with warm water, moving your fingertips in circular motions to help further exfoliate the skin.  Oh, and don’t attempt to carry on any serious conversations during the 5 minute drying time: this mask seriously dries and hardens (which is actually really fun to experience).  A soothing agent avoids any dryness or discomfort once the mask is removed, and it is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.

3. Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

I was lucky enough to receive samples of this product during the most recent Spark Sessions blogger conference, and haven’t looked back since.  Whether you have acne or not, this product is impressive (for all skin conditions).  Hydrablur locks in moisture (thanks to Abyssinian Seed Oil), decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduces the appearance of pores (courtesy of Mushroom Extract), mattifies, and enhances skin’s radiance (Wu-Zhu-Yu Fruit Extract boots microcirculation).  Essentially, it creates a soft blurring effect on your skin helping to hide imperfections, while also helping skin look and feel moisturized throughout the day.  You can pair this primer with your favourite foundation, or, thanks to micro-encapsulated tint, you can also wear it alone.  It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and really does create the perfect canvas for makeup application.  Because of all these amazing benefits, this product has proved especially helpful in covering up acne and other imperfections.

4. Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation

This foundation has become one of my all-time favourites.  I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of a high-coverage foundation (my exact words: “I’d like the highest coverage humanly possible”), and was recommended this product by the Beauty Boutique representative.  Note: new packaging means you might find it as Dermafinish instead of Dermablend.  This foundation is extremely lightweight, but provides impressive, full coverage (so much so, that you might not even need a concealer).  It boasts an impressive 16 hour wear, has SPF 30, and is non-drying.  It’s hypoallergenic, allergy tested, and is safe for sensitive skin.  I wear the shade 25 Nude and like to apply this product with my fingers.  I apply a base coat first, and if needed, go over any visible imperfections with a second layer.  Highly recommend!

5. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Until recently when my breakout started, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the coverage abilities of this product.  It applies evenly, is non-drying (in fact it moisturizes the skin), and builds from medium to full coverage.  I pair mine (in the shade “Custard”) over top of the foundation above, and they blend perfectly.  This concealer is also effective at covering dark circles, hiding fine lines and wrinkles, and reducing redness.  Perfect for all skin types and in a range of 10 shades, there’s a reason why it’s a blogger, vlogger, and makeup artist favourite!

Have you tried any of these products? Are there other must-have products that help you with breakouts?  Let me know in the comments below! 

Gift Guide Day 9: A Luxury Balm for your Lips (and Beyond!)

GG 2015-9

With the colder temperatures (and the mistletoe), a great lip balm is a must.  Today’s gift, Henné Organics Luxury Organic Lip Balm, is not only an amazing (trust me!) lip product, it can also be used for hands, elbows, heels, and more!  Made with coconut oil, shea butter, avocado oil, and beeswax, it’s certified organic and contains 99% organic ingredients.  It’s long lasting, non-greasy, and feels light-weight on your lips or skin.  This product is a luxe gift that anyone will enjoy, and because it’s colourless, it’s great for men, too!  You can purchase this product online (free shipping on orders $75+) or in-store at Blossom Lounge in Toronto’s Distillery District.

Missed the first 8 days of the Gift Guide?  Check them out below!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Gift Guide Day 8: The Little Gift that Does A Lot

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We are all aware of the fashion and beauty emergencies that can happen when you’re on the go: a run in your tights, hair that won’t stay put, a broken nail, a hem that has fallen loose, or an earring back that has gone M.I.A.  We know these emergencies can (and do) happen, but we simply don’t have enough room in our purses to carry all the items we’d need to solve these problems…at least until now, that is.  Pinch ProvisionsMinimergency Kit for Her” holds 17 beauty and fashion emergency fixes in a cute pouch, all while being able to fit in the palm of your hand.

Included in kit are the following:

– Adhesive bandage
– Safety pin
– Earring backs
– Deodorant towelette
– Nail polish remover pad
– Stain remover pad
– Clear elastics
– Lip balm
– Emery board
– Tampon
– Hair spray
– Clear nail polish
– Dental floss
– Mending kit
– Breath freshener
– Double-sided tape

You can purchase the kit shown in the picture above on the Sephora website, or you can visit the Pinch Provisions website to see even more styles and products, including a kit for men.  There are even Minimergency kits for brides and bridesmaids!

Missed the first 7 days of the Gift Guide? Check them out below!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Gift Guide Day 3: A Pretty Pout

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Bite Beauty has been on my beauty-radar quite often this year.  Their products are made solely of food-grade ingredients (and are gluten-free), and the colour payoff is always impressive.  This Best Bite Rewind set is the perfect way to try out the brand (if you haven’t already), and includes 4 matte-finish mini lip crayons (0.031 oz each).  The kit includes a fun range of colours: nude (Cafe), rose (Torte), raspberry (Coulis), and eggplant (Aubergine).  Orange peel wax protects and seals in moisture, while triple milled pigments provide light but serious colour payoff.  The pointed crayon tips allow you to perform precise, liner-free applications on the go.  This set comes ready to gift in a cute holiday-red tin, or you can divide it up into 4 individual gifts!

Miss the first 2 days of the Gift Guide? Click below!

Day 1 (+ Giveaway!)

Day 2

Gift Guide Day 2: The Perfect (Pink) Coffee Table Book

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For me, books have always been fascinating.  They are read and enjoyed, perhaps one day past along to someone new, and come to have not only their own story to tell (the one between the pages), but also those of the lives it has touched along the way (deep, I know).  In fact, it fascinates me so much, that I have my own personal collection of old books with strangers’ signatures and well-wishes on the inside covers.  So much history and so much mystery: I love it.

So naturally, I’ve chosen to add a book to the gift guide this year, and it’s one that’s perfect for your girlfriends, mother, sister, and beyond (it’s also a perfect housewarming present!).  All in Good Taste from Kate Spade New York is a gorgeous pink hardcover book (yes, that wine stain is intentional!) that shares fun recipes, how-to’s, personal essays, and more.  Topics covered include: how to shuck an oyster, the proper way to set the table, how to write the perfect thank-you note to the party hostess, what to have on-hand for your at-home bar, and Instagram etiquette at dinner.  This book is fun to read, but is also a great conversation piece to have on your coffee table or bookshelf.  Just write a cute note on the inside, place a bow on the outside, and gift!

Missed Day 1 of the Gift Guide? Check it out here (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!).