primer

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! 

Advertisements

“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! 

Beauty Innovations to Make Your Fall Days a Breeze

Fall Beauty Innovations

As someone who’s not much of  a “morning person” to begin with, Fall’s late sunrises certainly do not make things any easier (not to mention the cooler, drier temperatures that wreak havoc on your hair and skin).  The good news, is that there are some awesome (and fun) products available to help you make your Fall mornings and days easier, and some that may even allow you to catch a few extra zzz’s.

1. Deborah Lippmann “Genie In A Bottle” Illuminating Nail Tone Perfector

In Fall especially, I love a gorgeous oxblood or navy nail polish.  But we all know the frustration that is removing it: stained nails and cuticles, and yellowed tips…ugh.  However this handy polish by Deborah Lippmann is changing the Fall nail game.  Simply apply a coat under your favourite polish to  protect and enhance your natural nail tone.  You can also wear it on its own for natural, luminous looking nails.

2. Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil

Much like my choice of nail colour, Fall also inspires me to bring out my darker berry, brown, and purple lipsticks and glosses.  After all, what better way to change up your look than with a statement lip, right?  The problem is, sometimes the “statement” is that your carefully-applied lipstick is now feathering and bleeding outside the lines (grrr!).  Solution? Urban Decay’s Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil.  Line the outside of your lips with this clear pencil for long-lasting lip colour that stays where it’s applied.  Want even more staying power?  Apply it under your lipstick to help it last all day.  But wait, it gets even better.  You can also use this product as a primer when covering up blemishes and fine lines, and as a beauty eraser to correct any makeup mishaps (example: for those fun times when your mascara ends up on your cheek instead of your eyelashes).  This multi-tasker is a Fall must-have!

3. Conair InfinitiPro “The Ultimate Brush”

The dry air this time of year means there’s a good chance that your freshly straightened hair is going to be visited by Fall’s good friend: static electricity.  And no matter how much product or water you add, sometimes it just seems as if it’s never going to leave.  This handy hair innovation by Conair, “The Ultimate Brush“, contains a battery-powered (2X AAA) ionic generator that acts to “neutralize the static charge, smoothing the cuticle for an instant shiny, frizz-free finish” (conaircanada.ca).  That’s right, the static in your hair can now be turned off with the slide of a switch. Dreams do come true.

4. Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer

Now that we have our dry, static-y hair problem solved, it’s time to show some love to our skin.  There’s two things about applying moisturizer that frustrate me: 1. waiting for your skin to dry after the shower, and 2. waiting to get dressed while your moisturizer soaks in.  Luckily, this Wet Skin Moisturizer by Jergens solves both of these problems.  Simply apply to your skin before you exit the shower, and then pat dry with a towel (no need to rinse!)  Because your pores are open from the heat of  the shower, your skin is more receptive to absorbing moisture.  In fact, studies have shown this product actually moisturizes 2X’s more, and in half the time, than with ordinary lotion.  In a nutshell, this means you can sleep in a little longer and have gorgeous, moisturized skin.  Where can I sign up for a lifetime supply?

Have you tried any of these products?  Are there any beauty innovations you’re loving?  Let me know in the comments below! 

May, June, and July Favourites!

July August 2015 Favourites

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but hey, better late than never, right?! Here’s what I’ve been loving for the months of May, June, and July!

1.  Alex and Ani “Zest for Life” Charm Bangle

I’ve blogged about my love of Alex and Ani bracelets before, and this newly released, limited-edition version is no exception.  Each Alex and Ani bracelet has a special meaning, and this particular one, called “Zest for Life“, is a “reminder that when life hands you lemons, you have the power to take positive action, sweeten the situation, and make lemonade.The power to create a desirable outcome is always within reach.” (Alexandani.com) Not only is the meaning super-positive, for each purchase of this bracelet, Alex and Ani will donate 20% of the purchase price to a charity benefiting childhood cancer patients and help fund pediatric cancer research.  I love that this bracelet stands for positivity and helps others, and so it was well worth the drive to the USA to pick one up.  Check out more about this bracelet, and where you can purchase Alex and Ani products here.

2.  Too Faced Shadow Insurance Champagne Eye Shadow Primer

I love a product that multitasks.  Not only is this primer the perfect base for both shimmery and matte shadows, helping to bring out their pigmentation and last all day long, it’s also a gorgeous product to wear on it’s own (for those lazy mornings we all have now and again…or every day).  This product is crease-proof, waterproof, and lasts all day.

3.  Mark’s Work Warehouse Denver Hayes Romper in “Black”

I recently posted about my love of this romper on Instagram, and how I’d been searching for one with longer-length shorts for what seems like the entire Summer.  I want to be able to do normal human things (walk, bend over, sit down) without having to worry about showing off too much (if you know what I mean).  I wanted a romper that was classy, comfy, and fashionable, and this one from Mark’s Work Warehouse has it all.  Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s currently on clearance for only $14.88!?

4. Urban Decay Naked Smoky 

The Urban Decay Naked palettes never need much of an introduction (I’ve blogged about previous palettes here, here, and here).  As someone who lives for a good smoky eye, this newly released “Smoky” version is close to my heart.  With 12 gorgeous neutral, smoky toned shadows, not to mention the beautiful packaging, this palette is an essential for any makeup lover’s collection.  It even comes with a dual ended brush, and a lookbook to help you create 4 (of endless) looks using the palette.

5.  Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes-Pink Grapefruit

I’ve always tended to prefer face wash over wipes, however after receiving these as a gift, I decided to give them a try.  Needless to say (as they are in my favourites after all), I fell in love.  Not only do I use these to remove makeup, I also like to use them mid-day (especially on weekends when I don’t typically wear makeup) to remove oil and freshen up.  I love the fresh, grapefruit scent, and that they leave your skin feeling smooth and clean (no greasy residue).

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