manicure

Spa Day Essentials Featuring Blossom Lounge

With a long weekend just a couple of days away, it’s the perfect time to prepare for some rest and relaxation.  And hey, why not make your extra day off feel like one spent at the spa?  Today, I’m featuring 3 fun products to help you do just that.  All can be purchased at Blossom Lounge, located in Toronto’s Distillery District (I’ve featured them previously here and here). Be sure to follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) to stay up to date on new arrivals and more!

1. Graydon Clinical Luxury Superfood Mask + Scrub

This unique mask gently exfoliates and brightens skin, and is formulated with 19 superfoods (including papaya, matcha green tea, white willow bark, cinnamon, activated charcoal, and more!).  Each mask is individually portioned in a vegetable-derived capsule to ensure the product stays as fresh as possible, without oxidizing.  So how do you use it?  With clean, dry hands, simply break open a capsule (learn more here), mix it with your favourite creamy cleanser, soap, or face oil, and massage it into your skin.  Leave it on for as long as you’d like (try for at least 3-5 minutes), and then rinse off with water.  Repeat up to 3 times per week.  For an even more natural touch, try mixing the mask with ingredients such as full-fat yogurt, raw honey, coconut oil, or mashed avocado instead of your cleanser!

 2. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in “Subtly Sassy”

This nail polish is the perfect everyday, cool-toned, nude (seriously, it matches everything).  But aside from being the perfect shade, it’s also an impressive, long-wearing polish: mine lasted a week with just a basic base and top coat.  The rich, creamy, 7-free formula only requires 1-2 coats, which, let’s be real, is a rarity in the light-toned, cream-polish world.  Another perk?  It’s also vegan and cruelty free.

 3. Coal and Canary Candle in “Gimme Some Sugar”

This candle’s unique notes of brown sugar, honey, yam, and vanilla, make it the perfect cozy-up-and-relax scent (and may also make you crave baked goods!).  Hand poured and made in small batches, these Canadian-made candles are created with only the highest quality soy/vegetable wax blends and fragrance oils.  The wooden wick burns cleanly (no smoke or soot here!) and provides a soothing crackle when lit. What I love most about the brand, aside from their unique scents, are their fun, catchy product names.  Some examples: “Good Beats & Eatin’ Sweets“, “Hiking Trails and Breaking Nails“, and “Peach Pies & Cute French Guys“.   Coal and Canary candles are 8 ounces each, and the burn time is an impressive 45-50 hours.

Which product are you most excited to try?  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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WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day Eleven

Photo as seen on prettypleasenailpolish.com

Photo as seen on prettypleasenailpolish.com

Let’s admit it: a cute name doesn’t hurt when trying to pick out a shade of nail polish.  Pretty Please Nail Polish allows you to personalize your shade by giving it a fun, customized name.  Simply choose one of the 25 colours on their website, come up with a name (up to 2 lines of 14 characters each, which gets put onto the front of the bottle), and purchase. One bottle of polish costs $12.00 US, and the price decreases with the more bottles you purchase (of the same name and colour).  The polish is cruelty free, vegan friendly, and made in the USA.  These would make great holiday party favours, placeholders at the dinner table, stocking stuffers, or a fun gift to exchange with friends (why not make a full “line” of nail polish inspired by inside jokes, experiences, or vacations?).

Sample created on prettypleasenailpolish.com

Sample created on prettypleasenailpolish.com

Previous Days:

Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Day Eight, Day Nine, Day Ten

My Top 6 Nail Polishes for Fall

Fall Nail Polishes

While I’m definitely a Summer-weather kind of girl, there are many things I love about Fall: pumpkin pie, Bath and Body Works scented candles, and a richer, darker colour pallet when it comes to fashion.  This includes nail polish, which I try to switch up on a weekly basis.  Below are my top picks for the perfect Fall nail polish; which one will you be wearing while sipping your Pumpkin Spice Latte?

1. Julep “Jet”

I never seem to get tired of black nail polish.  This one by Julep is described as a “Jet black crème”, and is like a little black dress: it’s great for anytime, anywhere, and goes with anything.  Enough said.

2. O.P.I “Ice-Bergers and Fries”

This creamy, brown tone is from O.P.I’s new Nordic Collection.  Truthfully, this wouldn’t be a colour I would normally pick, however after discovering it was Cosmopolitan’s recent award winner for “The Best Nude”, I decided to give it a try (you can check out my Instagram post about this here).  It applies beautifully, keeping it’s rich colour and creamy texture.  It’s also long lasting, and removes easily.  Definitely give this polish a try!

3. Essie “Wicked”

Spotlighted on the Essie website for the month of October, this polish is described as a, “strident, striking and bold, blood red lacquer”.  The description alone makes it the perfect nail polish for the month of Halloween, but aside from that, it is also a gorgeous, deep, oxblood red colour that will take you all the way through to Spring.

4. Julep “Karmen”

The colour red is a given when it comes to the Fall and Winter months.  But what I love about this one in particular, is that it’s unique.  Julep describes it on their website as a “Golden crimson microglitter” polish.  The result?  A cross between Fall leaves and Dorothy’s red slippers.  Gorgeous!

5. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “Jungle Gem”

I once read that this polish is a universal tone, in that it matches nearly every skin tone.  I decided to put it to the test, and it’s definitely become a top pick of mine.  It’s a rich, creamy, dark teal colour, that is long lasting and can work as either a blue or a green when pairing with outfits or accessories (though if I’m being honest, I barely ever worry about matching my nails to my outfit).  Try it out and let me know if it worked for you too!

6. Essie “Style Cartel”

Just like black nail polish, I also love a gorgeous rich blue, and this polish is definitely has that box checked off.  Described on the Essie website as an, “inky, cobalt blue”, it is blue enough to be a for-sure navy, but also dark enough that it can be a “neutral” and pair well with nearly anything.  It’s also a nice Fall switch-up from another one of my favourite Essie blues: “Butler Please“.

 

 

Fab New Find: Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

imPress Manicure

When I used to think of press-on nails, I always pictured the sticker nails that little kids use.  You know…the kind that last 5 minutes and then fall off.  Notice I said “used to“, because I ladies and gentleman, am a changed woman.  I decided to test out my imPress Manicure on a Sunday night, and see how far into the week I could get before they a) fell off, or b) effected my daily activities.  I tried the style “Over the Moon“, a fun, leopard-style pattern in hot pink and purple.  Can we also talk about how adorable the packaging is?  Made to look like a bottle of nail polish, one package includes 24 press-on nails in 12 sizes, as well as a small nail file and a prep-pad to get your nails ready for their manicure.  Prices range based on whether you choose a single colour ($8.99) or a patterned set ($10.99).  You can purchase them at a variety of stores including WalMart, Target and Loblaws.  I’m thoroughly “imPress-ed” (too cheesy?) by the application, wear, and removal of this product.  Keep reading to learn more about why you’ll love them too. (more…)

Review: Gel Nails For Less!

Loreal Gel Lacque

On a recent trip to Wal-Mart, I saw a display for the new L’Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 nail polish system.  Basically, you purchase the gel primer (base coat) and gel glaze (top coat) as a set (I got mine for $9.99) and then choose your own colour (which you purchase separately, around $5.00-$7.00).  I decided on a dark, navy blue colour called “Don’t Shy Away”.  According to L’Oreal’s website, “New L’Oréal Paris Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque provides high-gloss, and resilient shine while protecting nail color from dings, dents and scratches. Get the high-shine of a UV-Gel and the perfect nail shape without harmful UV rays.” I was bit skeptical, but figured I’d give it a try.

Application

The gel primer applied easily, and dried quickly (you only need one coat).  I then applied 2 coats of the gel colour, which proved to be a little trickier (but nothing unmanageable).  The consistency of the coloured polish is much thicker than a normal polish, and I found that you need to dip the brush in the polish more often (once per fingernail).  The colour is extremely pigmented: after applying one coat, you can’t imagine needing to apply another (though you should).  I found it was really important to let the coloured polish dry prior to applying the gel glaze.  I say this because the polish is so pigmented, I found it smeared a bit and dyed the brush applicator of the gel glaze.  I did find that total drying time was very reasonable, and the finish was glossy, rich, and definitely looked professional (after I cleaned up the edges with nail polish remover of course!).

The Wear

Below is a picture of my nails on day 4.  At this point, I’ve put these nails through cooking, fitness classes, typing, pretty much anything.  And, minus a few tiny chips around the ends of my nails, these babies are still looking freshly manicured.

Day 4-1

Next, is a picture at day 6.  At this point, normal nail polish on my nails would be extremely chipped and un-wearable.  Impressively, minus a few minor chips here and there, they are still completely wearable and could easily make it to the 1 week mark!

Day 6-2

Repurchase?

Would I repurchase this set, or recommend it? Definitely. This is one of the most effective, reasonably priced gel-nail sets I’ve seen.  It lives up to its promises and even comes in a full collection of colours, so you’ll have an option for every mood or outfit.  Next up, I’m thinking of trying “Diamond in the Buff”, a gorgeous peachy-pink colour, just in time for Valetine’s Day!  What’s even better about these polishes?  They remove easily with regular nail polish remover!

A woman is helpless only while her nail polish is drying