Shoppers Drug Mart

What I’ve Been Loving Lately…

It’s been a while since my last post, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back into the swing of things!  The products I’ve discovered these past few months are some of my all-time favourites, and I hope you’ll love them, too!

1. MantraBand “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly” Bracelet

I discovered MantraBand during a trip to the USA this past summer.  Being someone who loves motivational quotes, I was immediately intrigued by these bracelets, which are sleek and simple in design (available in silver, rose gold, or yellow gold), and adorn various fun, inspirational messages.  In particular, I was drawn to the saying, “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly“.  The MantraBand website describes this bracelet as a reminder to, “Remember to focus on one thing at a time and give it your all. Stay calm, look on the bright side, and keep going. Because it’s all about the journey, not the destination.”  I, like many others, often times find myself rushing to get things done, and I can easily forget to slow down and enjoy the process.  Naturally, I’m now hooked on these bracelets and have a handful of others on my wishlist: “Hakuna Matata“, “Ohana“, and “Que Sera Sera“, just to name a few!

2. L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve waited a long time for an affordable shampoo and conditioner that were specially formulated for oily roots, and guess what?  It’s finally arrived! L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Clay line is perfect for those who have hair the equivalent to “combination skin”: an oily scalp, with ends that could use some love.  These products use the power of various clays (white, blue, and green) to cleanse, moisturize, and revitalize the hair and scalp, leaving hair balanced for up to 72 hours!  The shampoo lathers beautifully and leaves your hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed, and the conditioner is super moisturizing and lightweight.  Oh, and both products smell amazing.  Using the shampoo and conditioner, I noticed a difference in my hair within just two uses.  Next on my list to try is the Pre-Shampoo Clay Mask.

3. Benefit Cosmetics Dallas Box o’Powder Blush

I’d always heard great things about Benefit Cosmetic’s boxed blushes, but had never actually purchased or tried one for myself.  I decided it was time to hop on the bandwagon, and chose the shade “Dallas” (described as a rosy-bronze hue).  Trust me, the shade you see in the box does not do this product justice.  Once applied, it wears as a gorgeous, warm bronze that gives you a healthy glow, and is perfect for Fall.  You can even use it as a bronzer, or to contour, and it suits nearly every skin tone.

4. Quo Effortless Curl Mascara in “Black”

I’m someone who’s lucky enough to have long lashes naturally, but if I don’t use the right mascara, they just fall flat and can end up looking sparse.  I’m therefore always on the lookout for affordable options that give volume and hold curl.  I received this particular mascara in a gift bag from a Quo event, and was hooked after trying it just once.  The formula is glossy and super pigmented, the curved silicone brush adds curl, and it apples clump-free and lasts all day.  This mascara easily compares to high-end versions, and is just a fraction of the price. Definitely recommend!

5. Michael Kors Eau de Parfum in “Sexy Amber”

This is a perfume that has been on my wishlist for a long time, but due to it’s higher-than-average price tag, I always hesitated.  When Shoppers Drug Mart hosted their recent redeem your points event, I decided to finally take the plunge.  First off, this product is an Eau de Parfum, meaning a little bit goes a long way (making it a good value for money). It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with gold accents, and the signature Michael Kors logo.  The scent itself has notes of warm amber, sandalwood, and white flowers.  It’s warm and musky but still feminine, and it’s perfect for the colder months ahead.

6. Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar”

Surprise! Another warm, musky scent that I can’t get enough of.  Until it was recently discontinued, Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods” was always one of my favourites.  However their new scent, “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar” has now replaced it as my number one.  It has notes of almond creme, Bartlett pear, brown sugar, toasted hazelnut, silken vanilla, and decadent pistachio mousse (hungry yet?).  It’s a pretty, sexy scent, but is also subtle and not overpowering.  I pair the shower gel in the same scent with the Ultra Shea Body Cream for an extra scent boost.  Note to self: stock up on this before it’s gone!

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

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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!

“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! 

WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day Nineteen

Photo and logo as seen on Shoppersdrugmart.ca

Photo and logo as seen on Shoppersdrugmart.ca

Today’s gift is sold exclusively in-store at Shoppers Drug Mart, and the concept is both simple and brilliant.  Step 1: gift this Fragrance Sampler set ($75.00) to your friend or family member (there are both male and female versions). Step 2: they then choose their favourite of the 10 samples, and step 3: they redeem the included certificate for a full-size version!  For some, selecting a new fragrance can be a very personal endeavor, and this gift is perfect in that it gives the person choice, variety, and ultimately, a full-size bottle (plus all the handy samples for their purse or briefcase)!

Previous Days:

Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Day Eight, Day Nine,Day Ten, Day Eleven, Day Twelve, Day Thirteen, Day Fourteen, Day Fifteen, Day Sixteen, Day Seventeen, Day Eighteen

 

 

 

March/April Favourites!

March-April Favourites

Can you believe it’s May already?! That means summer is slowly but surely on it’s way.  It also means it’s time for me to share some of my favourite things from the months of March and April.  Let’s get to it!

1. Hue Ultra Wide Waistband Leggings

For me, these are the crème de la crème of all leggings.  First, they are amazing quality: a thick cotton/rayon/spandex combo ensures you don’t have to worry about sheer tights that give the world a peep-show.  Second, the ultra-wide waistband hits your waist at the perfect height allowing for ultimate comfort (and, because no one likes “muffin-top”!).  Yes, they may cost you a little more than your typical $10.00 leggings (these retail for $35.00 CDN), but I promise you, once you try these, you’ll want to invest in a pair in every colour (navy, black, and brown), and purge the rest of your legging collection.

2. Phillips Sonicare HealthyWhite Rechargable Sonic Toothbrush

I’d been toying with the idea of purchasing a Sonicare toothbrush for quite some time.  After a bad experience with whitening strips (major, painful tooth sensitivity), I started looking into Sonicare’s HealthyWhite model.  The HealthyWhite toothbrush comes with claims that, with everyday use, you “can get two shades whiter in just two weeks”.  I was a little hesitant because of the price (average price being $130.00-$150.00 CDN).  I’d only ever spent $3.00-$5.00 on toothbrushes at the drugstore.  So, I combined by sale-watching and couponing skills, and waited for the perfect moment to pounce.  Here comes the fun part.  I purchased my Sonicare at Shoppers Drug Mart (the Walgreens or CVS of Canada).  The regular price of this toothbrush was $149.00, and it went on sale for $119.00.  Then, I used a manufacturer’s coupon for $15.00, and combined it with a one-day-only store coupon for $20.00 (the total cost now down to $85.00).  I then redeemed $80.00 worth of Shoppers Optimum Points (rewards program), and ended up paying $5.00 for this baby (97% off of retail!).  Great deal aside, this toothbrush is life-changing, and looking back, (and knowing what I know now), it is totally worth its full retail price. The built-in timer (2.5 minutes in whitening mode) ensures that you’re brushing the dentist-recommended amount of time, a single charge lasts a very reasonable amount of time, and the way your teeth feel after brushing is exquisite.  In terms of whitening, I can definitely say I (and other people, yay!) have noticed a difference.  All in all, this toothbrush comes from me to you as highly recommended.

3.  Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fuchsia

You know the saying “a little bit goes a long way”?  It’s probably a good idea to keep that in mind  when it comes to this product.  All you need is a teeny-tiny amount, and you’re good to go (for the whole day).  Not only is this liquid lipstick extremely pigmented, it’s also extremely long-lasting.  I’ve been loving this gorgeous fuchsia colour, which is the perfect combination (and statement-maker) with a simple wing-lined eye.  Another thing I love about this product, is the great built-in applicator, which ensures you’re able to “colour within the lines”.  Because you need so little product, one tube should last you a very long time.  The next colour on my wish list is “Melted Violet”.

4.  bareMinerals READY™ Eyeshadow 2.0 in “The Top Shelf”

Perfect for everyday, this duo comes with 2 buildable eyeshadows: a shimmery champagne colour, and a rich bronze.  These shadows apply as a cream (thick, pigmented colour), but wear as a powder (long wear, blendable, and anti-creasing).  Even better? They are formulated to have anti-aging and de-puffing benefits!

5.  Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in “Fig Jam”

In the tube, this colour looks a smidge intimidating (a deep burgundy/brown tone), but personally, I see these types of lipsticks as a fun challenge.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the everyday wearability of this lipstick (think deep-neutral), not to mention the amazing moisturizing benefits.  Much like Clinique’s Black Honey, it’s unique colour makes it universal for almost any skin tone.  I’ve mentioned my love of these lip butters before, and I’m happy to have added this beauty to my growing collection.

6.  Gillette Satin Care Lavender Kiss Shave Gel

For some reason, I fell off the “shave gel” train a long time ago, and ever since, have been using basic body wash to shave my legs.  Recently, I decided to purchase this beautifully-scented (pink roses, calla lily and lavender) shave gel and was forced to ask, “where have you been all my life?”.  This product allows for the closest, smoothest shave possible, prevents annoying cuts, and leaves your skin perfectly moisturized.

 “Despite the forecast, live like it’s Spring” ~Lily Pulitzer