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February/March 2016 Favourites!

Happy Easter! It’s hard to believe that the end of March is already upon us, and Spring has finally arrived. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving for the past couple of months:

1. Yankee Candle Company Tumbler Candle in “Chocolate Layer Cake”

If you want your house to smell like the most delicious chocolate cake ever baked (who doesn’t?), this is for you.  It’s rich, decadent, and incredibly fragrant (you can smell it without even lighting it!).  I purchased this candle along with an adorable cake-stand holder (that I featured on Instagram here) for Valentine’s Day, but I plan on burning this candle through Easter and beyond.

2.  NYX Micro Brow Pencil in “Ash Brown”

I’ve mentioned my love for the Anastasia Brow Wiz in a previous favourites post, and it’s still one of my favourite brow products to date.  Late last year, I attended the grand opening of the NYX store in Square One Shopping Centre, and decided to try out their Micro Brow Pencil.  It’s very similar to the Brow Wiz in performance and design (one side is a thin retractable pencil, and the other is a spooley), but it’s a fraction of the cost at just $12.00 (Brow Wiz is $27.00)!

3. Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer

I received this product in a gift bag during last year’s Spark Sessions conference and stored it away in my “products to try” drawer.  Recently, the life of my beloved Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna” came to an end, and I decided it was time to take this product for a test drive.  Truthfully, I was a little intimidated at first by the layer of gold shimmer on top (I’ve never been one for sparkle in my face makeup).  I simply took a tissue, and was relieved to discover it was simply a light layer on top of the product (for presentation purposes I’m assuming; it’s beautiful!). Once the gold sparkles were removed, the product applied beautifully and evenly, and created a subtle glow on the skin.  As the name suggests, this bronzer is actually infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, which nourishes, conditions, and brightens skin.  It comes with a mirror and small brush, but I prefer to apply mine with a big, fluffy one.  You can purchase this product right now on Well.ca for just $13.99 (the Nars bronzer is $52.00)!

4. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo

I don’t get to read as often as I’d like to (time: there’s just never enough of it!), but occasionally, I ‘ll find a book that sparks my interest and I’ll slowly make my way through it after work or before bed.  I’d seen this book in stores and on social media, but was curious to read it for myself after checking out an article on a mother who had implemented the practices of this book on her home.  It’s undeniable to me, how many things we (more specifically, I), own that we keep “just because”.  The premise of this book is that you should declutter your life, keeping only things that “spark joy”: that, when you hold them, make you truly happy.  It seems like such a simple, almost obvious, concept when it comes to cleaning, but it’s one that is so easily and commonly overlooked.  This book is a short, easy read that’s definitely worth checking out.

5. Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Smoothing Cream

Now, that is a mouthful!  Using the power of Argan Oil, this product promises to hold hair “straight, frizz-free and shiny for up to 3 days”.  I’ve never really been one to use a blow dry cream, but received a sample in my monthly Ipsy Glam Bag, and decided to give it a try.  I really do notice that my blowout lasts significantly longer when I use this product.  My hair stays smoother, has less fly-aways, and is easier to manage.  I simply apply it when my hair is damp, focusing mainly on the ends of my hair.  This product is made for all hair types, and, if your hair tends to be especially frizzy, you can even reapply to to dry hair on days 2 or 3 for touch-ups.

What have you been loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!    

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Chic for Cheap: Dry Texture Spray

Dry Texturizing Spray

I consider myself lucky to have hair that straightens fairly effortlessly, however once straightened, it tends to just fall flat.  I’d been looking for a product that would provide volume and texture without weighing my hair down or making it look greasy.  A few months ago, I purchased Bumble and bumble’s “Thickening Dryspun Finish” styling product.  According to the Sephora website, this product claims to create “instant fullness and texture to spin hair into an airy silhouette. Raw silk powders with light-holding polymers adhere instantly for a softly interlaced texture to make hair look weightless and effortlessly full—and keep it that way”.  To use this product, you simply spray it in your hair similar to a hairspray, and then tousle with your fingertips.  The truth is, I love this product (especially its scent), however what’s not so loveable, is that it hits your wallet hard at $37.00 for a 4oz bottle.

I was excited to see that Garnier Fructis Style has recently come out with a similar dry-touch finishing product, “De-Constructed Texture Tease”.  I tested it out, and let me tell you, the results are extremely similar.  It doesn’t have the musky scent that I love about the Bumble and bumble spray (however it does have a pleasant smell), but can we talk about how it is less than 1/5th of the price at just $6.99 per 3.8oz bottle?!

Both products use a similar technology, and I found they both lasted the same amount of time (you may need to touch-up your hair mid-day).  This product is not only great for the days you wear your hair down, but also for when you’re looking to create voluminous ponytails and updo’s. Tried either of these products? Let me know in the comments below!

Chic for Cheap: Leopard Loafers

 

Photo on right courtesy of Avon.ca

Photo on right courtesy of Avon.ca

I recently purchased a pair of gorgeous leopard Sperry Top-Sider loafers, (picture above left, or view them hear on Instagram), at the Canadian National Exhibition.  The style name is “Hayden Penny Leopard”, and they are leather with a calf-hair upper, and skid-resistant bottoms.  I purchased them for $60.00 (including taxes).  I’m already a fan of Sperry Top-Siders, and love the quality and durability that comes with owning a pair.

When browsing the latest Avon book, I couldn’t help but notice the striking resemblance my Sperry’s have to penny loafers found in the most recent campaign.  For about half the price (currently on sale for $29.99), these are an awesome vegan alternative which are sure to be just as comfortable (they are part of Avon’s “Cushion Walk” line). And, if you’re not into leopard, they also come in classic black!