Thursday, July 24, 2014

Combat Frizz | Live Clean Hair Oils

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I have an addiction to hair oils. I’ve just found that there’s no time of year that hair oils aren’t my best friend. My hair gets frizzy—there’s no other way to put it. During the dead heat of summer (and after spending a little too much time in the pool) or during the blistering winter when the cold air just zaps (or freezes) the moisture out of everything, my hair needs all the help it can get to stay shiny & silky throughout the year.

Why do I love hair oils? Well, it’s great for styling, it makes the frizz disappear and it gives me real-life TV hair (read: glossy but not unrealistically glossy hair).

My foray into hair oils started with the cult favourite, Morrocanoil. I loved it for many years (mainly because I didn’t know what else was out there) and while it’s no longer my favourite, I can’t deny the quick shine it gives.

Since then the hair oil market has boomed and more products have caught my attention… more specifically these silicone free beauties from Live Clean.


Age Resist Miracle Nutrition Oil



I’ve been using this for months now—I’ve already raved about it in a past favourites video.

The Age Resist Miracle Nutrition Oil is a multi-layer oil (much like the Ojon Rare Blend Oil) that can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment or a leave-in treatment. Personally, I love this as a pre-shampoo treatment. I shake the bottle to mix all the layers, massage it into my hair, let it soak in for about 10 minutes, and then hop in the shower to shampoo & conditioner.

The oil is a combination of Jojoba, Avocado, and Rosehip extract leaves my hair feeling so silky and smooth afterwards. To add to the love, it also has a “thick bond protein,” which essentially makes my hair look thicker / fuller. I know… amazing.


Exotic Silk – Keratin Oil Treatment



This Keratin Oil treatment is a combination of phyto-keratin and Buriti Oil infusion with macadamia nut oil and wild flower honey. Fancy, right? It essentially strengthens your hair from root to tip while locking in the moisture to smooth the frizz away.

This one is my favourite as a leave-in treatment. I massage a pea-sized drop into wet hair & then blow dry my hair for a silky, smooth finish.


Exotic Vitality – Monoi Oil Treatment



This Monoi Oil treatment is infused with (yes, you guessed it) Monoi Oil. While this oil is only gaining popularity in North America, people have been using Monoi as a skin and hair softener for years. Monoi is also used to prevent protein loss in hair. This oil treatment is also infused with Jojoba Oil and Bamboo extracts to retain moisture & keep dry hair at bay.

This oil treatment can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment or a leave-in treatment, but I love using it as an overnight treatment. It’s great for strengthening the strands to prevent breakage. I apply a couple drops into my palm & massage it into my hair, really focusing on the ends. Just don’t use your fancy pillow cases when you do this!

If you're interested in these hair oils, you can find Live Clean in a myriad of stores like Shoppers Drugmart, Walmart, Target, or Well.ca



Tips & Tricks

  • Remember that less is more! Hair oils are more effective when you don’t use too much. One to two drops max! This will also prevent your hair from looking like a grease ball—especially if you have fine hair (like me).
  • When applying a leave-in oil, apply it to wet hair. It’s so much easier to distribute evenly this way. Plus, you avoid the oily patches that you can sometimes get when you apply oil to dry hair.
  • Avoid getting the leave-in oil on your scalp! It’s called “hair oil” not “scalp oil.” This will keep the oil from weighing down your hair & it will also extend your second or third day hair.
  • Apply hair oils as often as you like! When using silicone free hair oils (like these Live Clean ones), you don’t have to worry about build-up!


Are you in a love affair with hair oils? Let me know what you’re currently using!


(*) This post contains products sent to Stylish & Literate for consideration. Read disclosure here.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Olay Fresh Effects | Review & Giveaway

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I’m always looking for new ways to tweak and improve my skincare routine. I mean, aren’t we all? Especially after the winter we just had— the frigid temperatures really dried and dulled my skin.

Lucky for me, I've been able to try out a new range of skincare out there that has helped. Enter Olay Fresh Effects— a new line of cleansers and moisturizers that will freshen up your skin and your mood.

"Out of this Swirled" Deep Pore Clean + Exfoliating Scrub


Cleansing is one of the best things you can do for your skin, amiright? Using gentle exfoliators accompanied with salicylic acid is up there, too. This new cream / gel cleanser is a combination of all those things.

Now, it does contain exfoliating microbeads (so if you're not into physical exfoliators then this is not for you), but it’s still gentle enough to use in conjunction with my Clarisonic for an extra deep cleanse. Also, I haven't any problems with the microbeads getting stuck in my eye— I thought I would just put that out there since it's becoming a growing concern of mine with exfoliators.

It comes in three different scents... I can only vouch for the Green Apple & Jasmine Tea one, though. I should also note that this cleanser is also sold as the Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub (says so on the back of the packaging).


Fresh Effects Wet Cloths


While makeup removing wipes aren’t for everyone, it’s hard to deny how handy they are for those lazy nights.

I’ve tried my fair share of these, so I’ve developed a checklist in my head of what I like and what I don’t like.  I like to use makeup removing wipes that remove face makeup well (doy), that feels gentle on the skin, that is not too saturated but not too dry, that doesn’t leave a sticky residue (or any residue, for that matter), and that smells nice.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask, right? Well, this ticks all the boxes.

I've tried two versions in the range— the Fresh Effects Everything off Makeup Removing Wipes and the Fresh Effects As Fresh as New Exfoliating Wipes— and I like both of them.

I was a bit hesitant about the exfoliating one, but I’ve grown to love it. It’s pretty unique (at least I think it is). One side is a soft cloth and the other side is textured, which is actually really handy for exfoliating certain areas of your face. Personally, I love using it for the sides of my nose, my forehead and my lips. It’s a bit too abrasive to use on my entire face, but hey— that's what the other side is for. Nonetheless, the exfoliating side has been really useful.

The regular makeup removing wipes are great for removing face makeup and also what little eye makeup I do wear. I haven’t really tested it with heavy duty eye makeup, because frankly… I can’t even remember the last time I wore eyeshadow. 

I love these wipes because they’re easy to use and they leave my skin feeling cleansed and fresh (not sticky or grimey).


"Bright On Schedule" Eye Awakening Cream


I suffer from dark under eye circles. I'm sure some part is genetic but I definitely don't help myself by sleeping too late and waking up too early.

In the morning, my under eyes definitely need a boost and this gives my eyes an instant pick-me-up. Seriously. The tri-rollerball applicator feels so good on the skin! It’s cooling, refreshing and just the perk I need in the morning or throughout the day— yes... I've been known to take 30 seconds out of my day to massage my under eyes with this (especially after staring at a computer screen non-stop).

The eye cream is nice and fairly hydrating, but I usually couple it with something more potent (like the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado or the Olay Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl). The star of the show is definitely the applicator.



"Dew Over" Hydrating Gel Moisturizer


Skincare (especially moisturizers) are a tricky business because everyone's skin is different (go figure, right? :). This gel moisturizer is great for my skin type (I have normal / combination, btw). It's lightweight, absorbs quickly into the skin, and it doesn't clog my pores. I'm not crazy about the jar packaging, I definitely prefer when skincare products come in a tube with a pump. There's also a strong scent with this product, but it does leave your skin smelling (and feeling) fresh. My favourite thing about this moisturizer is how it minimizes the shine on my forehead. It's bit pricey for a drugstore moisturizer but you only need a small amount to cover your entire face / neck.


"Long Live Moisture" Satin Finish Lotion



This moisturizer is also moisturizing on the skin (but still not effective for very dry skin). The lotion is lightweight and non-greasy, it keeps the dry spots on my face moisturized and the oily spots from becoming too shiny. Satin finish is a good way to describe this... it's not totally matte on the skin, but it doesn't make you look super shiny, either. I especially love using this at night, actually. When I wake up, my face still feels hydrated.



The Fresh Effects line is available at all major retailers (Target, Walmart, Shoppers Drugmart, etc) and the prices range between $7.99 - $15.99 (depends on where you buy).

Have you tried any of the products in the Fresh Effects line? Let me know what you think!


Giveaway

If you haven't tried any of the products, then here's your chance to win some! One person will receive a goodie bag containing five Fresh Effects products (click here to see exactly which ones)...

It's easy to enter, just click on the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will end on June 22, 2014 and I will be contacting the winner via email (and announcing on Twitter // the blog). It's open worldwide, too. Good luck if you're entering!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ps, check out my late night routine & a get ready with me video using some of these products :) x

Late Night Routine //


Get Ready With Me //



(*)  The Olay Fresh Effects line was sent to Stylish & Literate for consideration. Read disclosure here.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Scent Rotation (& Giveaway)

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have a love affair with fragrances. As long as I can remember, I have always been a lover of scents and perfumes. While picking and choosing a scent is a totally personal experience, I thought I would share the fragrances I have on rotation at the moment (beware, I am totally awful at describing scents through text)...

Lolita Lempicka

This is a warm, yet delicately spicy scent. While it has hints of fruitiness, there's an underlying base of licorice. The green ivy note adds a freshness, and the violet mixes great with the licorice. Plus— adorable bottle, right?



Chloe Eau de Parfum

I love the fresh floral mixed with the classic powdery rose scent of this fragrance

With notes of pink peony, freesia, lychee, magnolia flower, lily of the valley, rose, cedarwood, amber, and honey... It's hard to resist. 



Marc Jacobs Daisy

I can describe this fragrance in two words: fresh and feminine. It's a cocktail of strawberry, violet leaves, ruby red grapefruit, gardenia, violet petals, jasmine petals, musk, vanilla, and white woods. A great all season fragrance. 



Nina by Nina Ricci

Think: white flowers, chocolate, vanilla, apples and fun.

I feel like this fragrance is best in warmer temperatures. During the winter, it transforms into a bitter apple scent, but spring / summer days bring out the praline to balance out the citrus of the apple and lemon. A fresh and sweet scent for this season.



J'adore Dior

This fragrance screams femininity and luxury with a hint of sensuality. It's a lovely floral bouquet of ylang-ylang, Damascus rose, and sambac jasmine. I always spritz this on if I need a little confidence boost.



Giveaway

Loose Button was sweet enough to send over the newest (limited edition) fragrance from Nina Ricci called La Tentation de Nina. I don't have this version, but I have sniffed it extensively in store and it's beautiful! It's actually a collaboration between perfumer Olivier Cresp and Vincent Lemains, the master chef of the famous Parisian patisserie Ladurée! Yes... that Laudurée. This fragrance smells good enough to eat!

La Tentation de Nina is a fresh floral - fruity and  gourmand fragrance. It smells like Nina macarons topped with raspberry jam, with lemon drops and rose flavor. The composition begins with citrusy notes of bergamot and goes into the heart of raspberry, almond, lemon and Bulgarian rose absolute, which are connected together in the macaron accord, softened by notes of Bourbon vanilla ,white musk and sandalwood at its base. Doesn't that just sound yum?

If you're interested in winning a bottle, then enter via the rafflecopter below. I will be mailing this fragrance out myself, so it's open internationally (pending any shipping rules regarding the shipment of fragrances).




(*) La Tentation de Nina fragrance was provided by Loose Button for giveaway purposes.

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Friday, May 02, 2014

Brunch Blues

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Midis are my new obsession. More specifically, 50s inspired circle skirts. I can't get enough of them! If you follow my on instagram (insert shameless plug here) then you already know that. I love the way they look— they're so feminine and simple. They seem to be very popular these days, too. I've seen some cute ones at Zara and also Forever21. The one I'm wearing is actually a DIY (they're super easy to make).

There's still a brisk wind circling around (and talk about the rain this week), so I paired the skirt with a chunky-ish knit sweater from Forever21. The crop makes it perfect for high waisted skirts.

The shoes are an awesome find from Walmart. They come in a few colours (I picked up back and blue), they are ridiculously inexpensive, and they're incredibly comfortable! How can you say no? I should note that the sizing runs a bit large (I'm typically a 7, but I had to size down for these).


Top, Forever21 (here) | Jacket, Forever21 (similar) | Skirt, DIY | Shoes, Walmart | Watch, Citizen | Bracelets, Tiffany / Indigo | Ring, Dean Davidson Castle Ring (white agate)


Have you checked out my brunch series? Here's the latest "episode." We've just kind of been winging them as we go along, so feedback is welcome :). Ps, if you want to see this outfit in motion, check out the video because I did a quick ootd.

Happy Friday! x

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Distressed

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Last weekend was such a tease, wasn't it? Beautiful sunshine and warm breezes, only to have cold winds and snow a couple days later.

But hey— let's just put that aside and reminisce about the wonderful weekend that was. And it really was.

For me, it was a great weekend of shopping and brunch. This outfit is what I wore to the latter.

With that, I am adding distressed denim and Sperry boat shoes to my list of obsessions for the spring / summer season to come.

The jeans are from Gap (link here). On top of being the perfect length for me (I bought the "short / petite" version), they are comfortable to wear and easily pair with half my wardrobe (although, that may not be saying much because my wardrobe does consist of white / grey tops galore). Still, I adore them. Plus, the light denim wash is very spring-like to me.

I decided to expand my Top-Sider collection with some new new Sperry's. I love the look of classic boat shoes in the summer, don't you? You can dress them up with flowy skirts and delicate dresses, or down with ripped jeans and patterned shorts.

My new pair are a bit different than the pair I bought a couple summers ago. They're a similar style, except the new pair is all leather. They're incredibly comfy and great for walking around (i.e., shopping).

Top, Target | Jeans, Gap (here) | Jacket, Forever21 (old) | Shoes, Sperry Top Sider (here) | Bag, LV Neverfull MM (here) | Ring, Dean Davidson (here) | Watch, Citizen (here) | Nails, Essie "Spin the Bottle"


Speaking of shopping— does my hair look more volumized in this post?

I hope so because I picked up some new hair products on the weekend. My hair is in dire need of some volume and texture. I have a lot of hair... but it's very fine and it's also straight. That combination is just asking for dull, flat hair.

So, I took advantage (maybe a little too much) of the Sephora VIB sale and one of the things I picked up was the Living Proof Amp Instant Texture Volumizer. Doesn't that just sound like the bomb-dot-com? I've tried a few products from the brand that I've liked, so I figured this would be no exception, and it wasn't.

It has a gel-like consistency that I was a little wary of at first. I was afraid that it would leave my hair feeling crunchy, but it hasn't. The trick is to take a small dollop of product and rub between your hand until it becomes transparent before scrunching it into the layers of your hair (carefully avoiding the scalp). It added a noticeable lift to my hair and that's all I can ask for.



The other product I picked up was the coveted Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.

My oh my, this cost a pretty penny. It's priced at $44—I think that's the most I ever spent on a single hair product. And alas, I do love it.

First of all, it smells great (very handy for those second day hair moments). Secondly, it works. The spray is so lightweight that it doesn't weigh down your hair or make it feel crunchy (or worse, greasy). Yet, it gives your hair texture and a bit of volume. Yes, please.

Here is my de-constructed hair routine as of late:
  • First day: shampoo / conditioner, blow dry, apply a bit of the Living Proof Amp 
  • Second day: spray some Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray to the roots / crown
  • Repeat

It's a combination that works because both products are lightweight and easy to layer without leaving my hair feeling gunky. Yup, I'm in love.

BTW: if you're wondering where I found Oribe products— I bought mine at the Holt Renfrew on Bloor. I'm sure that Oribe products are available in salons and speciality boutiques across Toronto, but Holt's was the easiest to locate. If you're planning on checking it out, they're displayed on a shelf between the Laura Mercier & NARS counter.

Have a great Easter weekend, loves!

PS, I will be starting a (what I like to call) series on my channel on Sunday of my favourite brunch places in Toronto. You can watch the first instalment on Sunday morning— you'll have to let me know what you think & also suggest future series themes x

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Luxe Box | 2014

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The new spring season is (slowly, but surely) bringing us more sun, nicer weather, gorgeous pastels, and.... a new Luxe Box! Yes, it's that time again— a specially curated box of goodies to bring on the new season.

This season's box came packaged in the same sturdy box as previous seasons. I love re-purposing this box for storage— so handy!

Opening the box, there were six (I'm including the shampoo / conditioner combo as one) products tucked inside the soft silk drawstring bag. I also love re-purposing this bag for travel— it's great to pack shoes in.


To start, the hair stuff...

I have always enjoyed using Fekkai products (I've been using them since before they dropped the Frederic). This spring Luxe Box contained two travel sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner from the PrX Reparatives line. I don't know about you, but my hair is in some serious need of TLC from winter. I can definitely appreciate the Argan extract infused in this combo— my hair is eating it up. I love the scent, too!


This box is also feeding my obsession with blush with the Be a Bombshell blush in Love Me. It's a beautiful sheer pink with a bit of shimmer. I have been layering it with a matte counterpart for a luminous effect and it's gorgeous. While it is shimmery, it isn't incredibly pigmented, so the shimmer is subtle on the cheeks. 


I think we all know how much I love Essie Mint Candy Apple. Even though this new bottle is a bit more on the "Robin's Egg blue" than it is "mint," I still love the colour. It's a great pop of spring on the nails.


Dry hands are a way of life for me these days, so I cannot get enough of this L'Occitane hand creme. I've actually almost finished it up, so a repurchase is definitely in order. The shea butter in this smells so good! Plus, it's leaves my hands feeling silky and smooth.


I love Lancome's Genifique Concentrate. It's definitely in my Top 5 "Big Girl" face serums. It's lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. I typically use it at night, but it's also notable to mention that it sits well under makeup, too.


These Loose Button Gel Eye Pads are wonderful. You can use them warm or cool but I've been doing the latter. You can pop them in the fridge for 40-60 minutes... or if you're like me, leave them in there overnight because you forgot about them. Place them over your eyes in the morning (or night) and get ready for a cooling, relaxing, spa-like time. They're great for the morning after those late nights when your eyes are feeling a bit puffy.

Did you get a Spring Luxe Box? What products did you enjoy the most? I think my two favourite products in this season's Luxe Box are the blush and the gel eye pads.

Ps, the Summer Luxe Box is being curated as I type. If you're interested in one, pop over to Loose Button's website!x


Pps, I recently picked up a new Macro lens. These photos weren't shot with it... but I just wanted to let you know you can look forward to some up close, macro goodness soon :)


(*) This Spring Luxe Box was sent to Stylish & Literate for consideration. See disclosure here.

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