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Spring Favourites

With just a couple more weeks of Spring left (helloooo Summer!), I wanted to share some of the products I’ve been loving for the past few months.  Let’s get started!

1. Beauty With a Twist Daily Shampoo and Conditioner*

Created in 2013 by celebrity stylist Oliver Ifergan in an effort to capture the essence of the California lifestyle (palm trees, sandy beaches…basically everything I dream about), Beauty With a Twist’s products are formulated with only the highest quality, certified-organic ingredients.  Their products are not tested on animals, and a portion of their sales are donated to The Beagle Freedom Project to help end animal cruelty.  Their Daily Shampoo and Conditioner smell amazing, (notes of coconut and soft peach), and leave hair feeling soft and moisturized.  Both are formulated without parabens and are sulfate-free, ensuring they protect and preserve colour treated hair.  Beauty With a Twist products can be purchased in Canada exclusively on Amazon.ca.

2. Sahajan Discovery Kit*

This Discovery Kit is like an adult goodie-bag full of nourishing treatments for your face, body, and hair.  All of Sahajan’s products are natural and organic, and are developed and made in Canada (Toronto to be exact!) with eco-friendly and sustainable practices.  This kit is the perfect way to test out some of Sahajan’s products and includes: Nourish Face Cream, Restorative Eye Cream, Protective Face Serum, Nurture Hair Oil, and Ritual Body Oil (plus a handy linen makeup bag and a natural-wood mirror).  All of the products in this kit are impressive; they are nourishing, lightweight, and smell beautiful.  If I had to choose just one favourite (and trust me, it’s hard), it would have to be the Restorative Eye Cream.  A good eye cream is hard to find, and this one left the skin under my eyes feeling soft and moisturized, and looking brighter.  You can purchase this Discovery Kit, or the individual Sahajan products at Toronto’s Blossom Lounge.

3. Skechers Flex Appeal Sneakers in “Floral Bloom”

For me, these sneakers were love at first sight (um, hello, do you see those flamingos!?).  Not only are they bright, adorable, and perfect for Summer, they are also extremely comfortable, thanks to their memory foam insoles and stretch mesh panels.  They are light-weight (a women’s size 7 is just 6oz!) and are super flexible, allowing them to bend and flex naturally with your feet.

4. NYX Lip Lingerie in “Corset”

After reading positive reviews about this colour and formula online, I decided to give it a try.  This product is a matte liquid lipstick with a griege-ish tone.  It is long-lasting, and, as is commonplace for the NYX brand, is affordable without compromising on quality. If you’re looking for a super-unique yet wearable tone to add to your makeup collection, this is it.

5. Prada Candy Eau de Parfum

I’m one of those people who likes to switch up their scent on a daily basis, so it’s not often I find one that ends up on repeat.  I received a sample of this scent about a year ago, and brought it with me on a trip to Mexico.  Now, maybe it’s that every time I smell this scent I recall sandy beaches, warm breezes, and pina coladas, but since purchasing a full-sized version a couple of months ago, I still can’t get enough.  With notes of caramel, musk, and vanilla, this scent is soft and sweet with a nice warmth to it, just like a Summer night.

What have you been loving these past few months?  Let me know in the comments below!

Note: products indicated with an asterisk (*) were received for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

Review: Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Face, Body, and Hair Mask


ZakiasMorocco

After reading about Zakia’s Morocco Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder, I was excited by its versatility: you can use it as a face mask, a hair mask, a clarifying shampoo, or as a whole body treatment.  This product is made of 100% pure, natural clay mined in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and has cleansing, toning, detoxifying, and rejuvenating properties.

So how does it work?  All you need is the Ghassoul powder and water (and of course, a small bowl and spoon for mixing).  After testing out this product as a facial mask, I found the best ratio for me was 3 tablespoons water to 1 heaping tablespoon of powder (so that it becomes a pasty texture).  Simply apply it to your face, let dry for around 10 minutes, and rinse off! Use this mask weekly for the best results. Want the full-body experience? Just make more!

For the hair mask, simply follow the same directions to create the paste, apply to your scalp and hair, and leave on for 5-10 minutes.  For the clarifying shampoo, simply mix a palm-full of your favourite shampoo with an equal amount of Ghassoul powder, mix it together, and shampoo your hair as you normally would.  This is not something I’ve tried yet, but is next on my list as I love a good clarifying treatment!

My experience. I found the mask super easy to prepare and apply, and simple to wash off.  All it took was a few splashes of water on my face to rinse it all away, leaving my skin feeling toned and refreshed.  As someone with really oily skin, I loved that it left my face feeling smooth and matte.  The instructions state that you may notice your skin becomes slighly reddish for 15-30 minutes after use (as the skin is detoxified), but personally I didn’t experience this.  What’s also great is that this mask is gentle enough to naturally treat common skin irritations such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Overall, the Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Mask is both effective and a great value for money: it’s basically 4 products in one!  Want to give it a try?  Zakia’s Morocco is offering 20% off their entire store, just use the code: ZMBLOG-214.  In addition to this, Zakia’s Morocco will be giving away 10 gift certificates valued at $50.00 each! To enter, click here.

Have you tried this mask? Or are you going to be purchasing? Let me know in the comments below!

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

 

 

January/February Favourites!

Jan-Feb 2015 Faves

I can barely fathom that it’s already March…where did January and February go?!  Wherever it went, it did leave me with some awesome new favourites to share with you.  Let’s get started!

1. American Eagle AEO Soft & Sexy Jegging V-Neck T-Shirt

I know what you’re thinking: Elyse, a t-shirt is a t-shirt.  But trust me, these shirts are perfection.  Part of AE’s new collection, these tees are the perfect length, are extremely soft and silky, are tagless, and come out good-as-new when washing.  I purchased my v-neck in black, (they are available in other colours), and the “Soft & Sexy” line also includes other styles (muscle tees, baseball tees, zip ups, and more!).

2. Arm & Hammer Pro Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste

For me, a good toothpaste is hard to find.  Sometimes I don’t like the texture, sometimes I don’t care for the taste, and sometimes I’m just not happy with the results. But for me, this toothpaste has it all: sensitivity protection, whitening, and a great “clean” feeling after you use it.  I’m especially impressed with its whitening ability, and noticed a significant difference after just a few days of use.

3. Tetley Chai Tea

I tried this tea after I found it in my pantry on a day when my go-to, Orange Pekoe, had run out.  When it comes to home-brewed tea, this is definitely one of my new front-runners.  A combination of, “cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise and cloves”, I find it to be extremely smooth tasting and aromatic (just smelling it calms me down at the end of the day).

4. MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in “Hip ‘n’ Happy”

Lip pencils have become one of my favourite beauty products as of late (check out my Valentine’s day post here).  I was introduced to this MAC classic when I went to pick up the new Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick and Tinted Lipglass.  The makeup artist at the MAC counter was wearing a gorgeous colour on her lips, and she informed me that it was actually this lip pencil underneath the Miley lipglass.  She had received so many compliments on her lip combo, that her store at the mall (and the MAC counter in The Bay) were all sold out.  So, three MAC counters later, I now own and love this lip pencil.  Wear it on its own, with a lipstick, or under a gloss.  Any which way, you’re sure to love it too!

5. Aldo Accessories “Olaoviel” Necklace

Aldo Accessories is one of my favourite stores, and I frequent it often to check out their sale section (usually buy one, get one free).  This fun statement necklace, made of multifaceted black rings woven into braided black fabric, is perfect for jazzing up the neckline of a simple crew neck tee (or LBD).

6. Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Exfoliating Scrub

I’ve already raved about this product in my previous post: a review of the Aveeno Fresh Essentials line.  So to summarize, this scrub: a) smells amazing, b) feels awesome on your skin, and c) works like a charm.  Highly recommend!

  “Spring is when life’s alive in everything” ~Christina Rossetti