Review

When life gives you lemons…

I first learned of ILYMIX when I came about their account on Instagram, and was drawn to their pictures of beautiful, bold statement necklaces and earrings.  This one in particular stood out to me: it’s bright, fun, and kind of reminds me of something Kate Spade would release.  I love the adorable lemons and lemon slices paired with starfishes and pearls (I mean, it pretty much screams Summer).

I paired mine with a J.Crew Factory sweater, American Eagle jeggings, and Payless Shoe Source pumps (shown below).


I definitely recommend checking out ILYMIX.  Their products are reasonably priced, ship quickly, and are of good quality.  There are tons of other items on my wishlist, from sunglasses, to scarves, to bracelets (and how cute is this watermelon clutch!?).  If you’re interested in making a purchase, ILYMIX has generously offered to give my readers 20% off your purchase: just use the code Elyse20.  Happy shopping!

*Note: Necklace provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.
Advertisements

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.

Year-End Gift Ideas for Teachers Featuring Foxy Originals (+Giveaway!)

When I learned that one of my favourite Canadian jewelry brands, Foxy Originals, created a teacher-inspired collection, I just knew I had to share.  A love of teaching is something I’ve always held close to my heart, (I originally went to school to be one, after all!).  I think it’s such a kind and meaningful gesture to give back to a teacher who’s made a difference in your year (or perhaps your life).

Foxy Originals have created 2 necklace designs (both of which come in gold or silver), that arrive ready-to-gift on a card that reads “Live. Love. Teach”.

The Inspire Teacher Necklace reads “Inspire” one one side of a circle charm (1.38″ diameter), and “Live Love Teach” on the opposite side.  This necklace comes on a 17″ chain is just $20.00 Cdn.

The second necklace (and my personal favourite) is the Teacher’s Charm Necklace.  The front of the charm (1.25″ x 0.75″) reads, “It takes a big heart to teach little minds”, and the back reads, “Live Love Teach”.  Also on this necklace is a tiny heart charm, and small beaded charm.  This necklace is also on a 17″ chain, and retails for $25.00 Cdn.

Both of these necklaces are made from fine pewter, and are then plated in gold or silver.  Every item Foxy Originals makes is lead-free and is produced locally.  Both of these necklaces are affordable, meaningful, and versatile gift ideas (you can wear each of them 2 ways!) that a teacher will truly appreciate and use.  They’re also great for dance teachers, singing teachers, and beyond!

Giveaway! 

Foxy Originals has generously offered to host a giveaway of their Teacher’s Charm Necklace in gold to one of my readers!  To enter, simply click the “a Rafflecopter giveaway” link below and follow the instructions.  This giveaway is open to residents of Canada only, and will close on Tuesday, June 14th at 11:59pm EST. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For Skin that Glows, and Makeup that Lasts All Day: Farmacy Skin Dew

I recently reviewed one of Farmacy’s Lip Blooms, and was given the opportunity to test out another one of their products: Skin Dew, a hydrating essence mist and makeup setting spray.  The name alone sounds super luxurious, and a product like this is perfect for the hot summer months ahead.  As mentioned in my previous post, the foundation for all of Farmacy’s products is GreenEnvy, (a variant of Echinacea Purpurea), which is a natural antioxidant that protects, firms, and evens skin tone.  In addition to GreenEnvy, Skin Dew is also formulated with kiwi fruit extract (to improve the skin’s barrier function, and improve tone/pigmentation), glycerin (for hydration), Horsetail Juice (an antioxidant and skin-smoother), and a blend of essential oils (Rosemary, Peppermint, Bergamot) that act as a light astringent (and smell amazing!).

Skin Dew can be applied in the morning before or after moisturizing, or after applying makeup as a setting spray.  Because it creates a light veil over the skin, it prevents oil-migration, and is perfect for those who often find their makeup shifting on their face throughout the day (i.e. me!).  It can also be re-applied throughout the day to freshen skin and increase radiance, or to help touch-up makeup.  The sleek, frosted plastic packaging is beautiful and is compact enough (3.3 0z) to tuck in your purse or beach bag.  To use, simply hold the product 8 inches from your face and spray, starting at your forehead and working downward.

Free of artificial colors, formulated with natural ingredients, and not tested on animals, this product is one that is good for both the environment and your skin.  You can purchase this product on Farmacy Beauty’s website, or online/in-store at Sephora.

Have you tried Farmacy Beauty’s Skin Dew, or any of their other products?  Let me know in the comments below!

Note: Product received for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own. 

My Top Picks: Quo’s 2016 New Product Release

I recently had the opportunity to attend Quo’s Sweet 16 party, which was by far the chicest birthday party I’ve ever been to.  There were gorgeous flowers, treats that were almost too pretty to eat, and, of course, makeup as far as the eye could see (I pinched myself to ensure I wasn’t dreaming).  Besides celebrating 16 years of Quo, (Shoppers Drug Mart‘s makeup line), it was also an opportunity to get a sneak-peak at the new products for 2016.  I am incredibly grateful to have been sent home with a bunch of goodies to test out, and have chosen my top 3 picks to share with you today!  Also, stay tuned at the end of this post for some pictures of the event!

1. Quo Brow Kit, $18.00

This kit comes with everything you need to create the perfect arches: 2 brow powders, an applicator, and a brow gel.  Why 2 powders, you ask?  This allows you to create the perfect shade to match your brows, and takes the guessing out of choosing the right colour for you while at the store (one size fits all!).  Simply mix the powders, apply to your brows using the applicator, and finish with the brow gel to keep everything in shape.  This set is an amazing value for money, and is also great if you change your hair colour frequently (your brows will always match!).

2. Quo Colour Spectrum Refillable Lip Gloss, $12.00 (Refill: $10.00)

Available in 6 different shades ranging from nude to pink, this lip gloss is rich, creamy, and beautifully pigmented. What’s most unique about this product however, is it’s packaging.  Purchase the full lip gloss to start, and then simply purchase refills at a lesser cost!  This product is a fun, innovative way to reduce packing waste (and recycle!) without sacrificing style.

3. Quo Contour Kit, $23.00

If you’re anything like me, the idea of contouring can be a bit scary.  As someone with oily skin, I worry that by the end of the day, my makeup will have shifted and I’ll look like a watercolour painting.  But this kit actually inspired me to give contouring a try.  Why is it any different?  The products in this kit are powder based, which is perfect for oily skin (as opposed to thick, creamy products). It also comes with fool-proof instructions built right into the packaging!  Included in the kit are a bronzer, highlighter, and contour shade, as well as a super-soft brush to achieve the perfect look.  There’s also a built in mirror for when you’re doing your makeup on the go, or touching up throughout the day.

Pictures from the Event

Have you tried any of the products from Quo’s new collection?  What are you most excited to try?  Let me know in the comments below!

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.  

Arbonne Cosmetics: A “Poppy” of Colour

My love of lipstick is no secret: pinks, purples, reds, nudes, I love them all! More recently, I’ve also been interested in finding cleaner, more natural products to work into my lifestyle.  So, when I was recently offered the opportunity to test out a product from Arbonne, it was somewhat serendipitous!

With botanically based ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and a shipping process that is certified carbon neutral, Arbonne really is taking the lead in the cosmetic industry with regard to being earth-friendly.  They sell everything from supplements, to bath and body products, to makeup, and all are formulated with pure, safe, and beneficial ingredients.  There’s even an ingredient guide on their website, so you’ll always have the peace of mind of knowing what you’re putting on or in your body.

The product I chose to test was Arbonne’s Smoothed Over Lipstick in the colour “Poppy”: a gorgeous reddish-orange hue.  The first thing I noticed about this lipstick was how smoothly it applied.  It’s got a rich, creamy consistency that feels super luxurious (it’s formulated with natural butters), and it left my lips feeling soft and moisturized throughout the day.  It’s richly pigmented and has a glossy finish that makes your lips appear fuller and plumper.  Because it’s vegan and formulated with natural ingredients, (botanical extracts, fruit oils, and etcetera), you’ll want to apply it gently to avoid damaging the product.  Arbonne also recommends storing it in a cool, dry place (because no one wants a melted lipstick in their purse or car!).

The Smoothed Over Lipstick comes in over 15 different colours ranging from neutrals to brights, and retails for $34.00 CDN.  Some others I have my eye on? “Dream”, “Peony”, “Dahlia”…and pretty much every other colour (it’s a problem!).

Have you tried any Arbonne products? What’s your favourite?  Let me know in the comments below!                             

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

Farmacy Lip Blooms: Natural Ingredients for Soft, Smooth Lips

A good lip balm is hard to find.  You want something that moisturizes and protects your lips, but also one that looks and feels nice (and if it can double as a lipstick or gloss, even better!).  Personally, I use lip balms around the clock: before bed to moisturize overnight, in the morning to prep my lips for lipstick, and during the day to revive my lip colour.

I was presented with the opportunity to review Farmacy Beauty’s Lip Bloom in “Lavender Mint”, and was excited to give it a try.  I’ve seen their products at Sephora, and have heard great things about their skincare made from farm-grown, hand-picked ingredients.  Their trademarked ingredient (and one that can be found in their Lip Blooms) is Echinacea GreenEnvy (a variant of Echinacea Purpurea), which is a natural antioxidant that helps protect and firm the skin, and inhibit collagen breakdown.  In fact, the Echinacea GreenEnvy is cultivated in upstate New York and travels only 2 hours to the Farmacy lab, where it is then cold-pressed.  Farmacy’s Lip Blooms also contain Castor Seed Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil for hydration, smoothness, and protection of the delicate skin on the lips.

So what do I think of the Lavender Mint Lip Bloom? Aside from the pretty (not overpowering) scent, what I love most about this product is its versatility.  You can wear it as a lip balm on its own, pair it over top of a lipstick for a glossy shine, or even wear it on the eyelids over top or underneath eye shadow for a high-fashion, dewy finish.  The packaging is simple, chic, and compact, making it perfect to throw in your purse or makeup bag.  It applies smoothly and evenly, is a nice (not sticky) consistency, and leaves lips feeling soft and moisturized.

Lip Blooms are available for purchase on the Farmacy Beauty website and also in-store and online at Sephora.  Other flavours include Strawberry Basil, Honey Ginger, Vanilla Mint, Citrus Lemongrass, and Apple Rosemary. Yum!

Have you tried Farmacy’s Lip Blooms, or any of their other products?  Let me know in the comments below!

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

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.

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.