Monday, December 22, 2014
Hello fellow last minute shoppers—if you're like me and still wondering what special something to get for someone in your life, here are a few quick and easy gift ideas.
How adorable is the new holiday collection from Starbucks? They have tons of cute (limited edition) designs for tumblers, cold cups, and mugs. My favourites are the Gold Dot and Black Hearts ceramic tumblers. Unfortunately, these guys are both sold out online… but you may still be able to find it in stores! Don’t forget to check out Target… their Starbucks Stores also carry selected items from the Dot Collection. It also pays to be a last minute shopper because the Dot Collection is on major discount right now on Starbuck.ca! If it's too late for that... Try a gift card! Who doesn't want a free latte to warm up this season?
Blush is my favourite beauty product, so it’s no surprise that I would recommend the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. Funnily enough, I do not own this… There’s a good reason, I promise. I passed on this palette mainly because I own both of the permanent shades in this palette, so I didn’t want to neglect them & buy this palette unnecessarily. I will say though that the formulation of these blushes is so silky and smooth and long-wearing. Don’t get too hung up on the veining, just be sure to give your brush a good swirl in the product. Give them a swatch, I promise, they’re good.
I love watches! Even though I bring my phone everywhere and I could just as easily check the time on it, there’s just something so satisfying about wearing a watch. I actually feel naked without one on. The Citizen Eco-Drive World Time A-T is the watch I’ve been wearing and loving for pretty much the last year & I adore it! It doesn’t require batteries—all it needs is sunlight. It’s radio controlled, so it pretty much keeps the time for you (literally), you never have to adjust the time.
The Jord Ely watch is an elegantly understated time piece. Plus, it’s made of wood! Yes, it’s a wood watch. Pretty cool, right? I love that’s it has a slim (more feminine) design. They’re splash resistant, but like most things, are not meant to be submerged in water (especially for long periods of time).
I love a good pen. I always carry a pen around with me in my handbag, so why not have a really cute one for others to ooh and awe over? Chapters / Indigo is my go-to for unique (and adorable) stationery sets… they rarely disappoint. These pens come prepackaged in ready-to-gift boxes and also have the most charming designs. One is a black & white polka dot with “hello” scribbled on it (here), while the other is a striped design with “hello lovely” in cursive writing (here). They’re perfect to keep in our purse for signing important documents, or to clip into an equally adorable agenda.
You don’t really need to be a health fanatic to appreciate this gift, but it sure does help. The UP24 is wearable technology (at it’s simplest). It keeps track of your steps, activities, and sleep. I wear mine everyday, all day. It wirelessly connects to your smartphone and give you real-time updates throughout the day. Persimmon is my colour of choice, although be warned… it does show stains easily.
I love the feel of a new agenda. There’s something exciting about getting a fresh one for a new year. Again, Chapters is always my go-to for agendas… they stock the cutest ones! I’ve been using the Kate Spade Agenda for the last couple of years and I really like them. The design are always adorable and they have a functional layout—I typically keep this one at work to jot stuff down in. If you’re looking for a simpler design, you could try this one from Eccolo. The stripes are classic and again, the layout is practical for everyday use.
The men in our life love a little pampering, too! Especially when they’re shaving. This set from the Art of Shaving will help your guy (or any guy in your life) get that perfect clean shave. It comes with a pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm, and a shaving brush.
If you’re beau is looking for a lightweight, yet warm jacket for the winter season, then try the Marmot Ama Dablam Jacket. They have an 800 down fill (i.e., super warm) but it doesn’t feel heavy to wear. If your guy likes to stay toasty but still wants the mobility to lay their arms flat against their side, then this the coat for him.
Vinyl is coming back in a big way. The Crosley Vinyl Record Player has a vintage-inspired turntable that actually has the capability to fine-tune the audio from vinyl records with strobe & pitch control. Pair this with a couple of his favourite vinyls and you’re set. Urban Outfitters has some cool ones.
Not just for the ladies, the UP24 band is great for guys, too! Get one for yourself and your guy so you two can stay up-to-date with each other’s goals and also motivate each other if to maintain a more healthy lifestyle.
Guys can never have too many watches. Purses to us, is what watches are to them. I love the Citizen World Time A-T for men. Again, battery-less and self-adjusting. Also, the Jord Fieldcrest series. The monochromatic wood face looks so classic, yet modern (I mean, come one… the watch is made of wood! How cool, right?)
What's on your holiday wish list? I don't really have anything particular in mind, but I do love surprises.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
These came out earlier this year (May, I think) and I am still loving them! So much so that I though I'd dedicate an entire post to them.
The Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are in that new category of hybrid lip products. I think this is one of the better lipstick / gloss / balm fusions on the market right now. They feel so plush and cushiony on the lips and, depending what shade you get, it offers a rich opaque application.
Plus, can we take a minute to admire the packaging? Even the packaging is a hybrid between gloss and lipstick. I love that!
The applicator, on the other hand, is a simple tapered doe foot that feels soft and smooth on the lips. I love the pointed tip because it helps get into all the crevices (weird word to describe lips, right? It's the best one I could think of).
I picked up three shades on the first day they hit the Dior counters and as I'm writing this post, I'm asking myself why I haven't picked up more since I really do enjoy them so much.
Nonetheless, I'm content with the ones I have right now, which are (below, l-r) #219 Whisper Beige (a warm nude), #338 Mirage (a coral nude), and #689 Vertigo (a rosy / berry hue). My absolute favourite is Vertigo. I think that goes without saying as this colour family is the one I gravitate towards most in every lip product (Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Rose or Burberry Lip Glow in Blush). I will definitely be busting this out for an upcoming holiday soirée.
Mirage is a gorgeous coral shade that I loved busting out during the summer. It paired beautifully with apricot cheeks (courtesy of NARS Lustre). I will say that Whisper Beige probably wasn't my best pick. While the application is great, the colour is a little light for me ten months out of the year. I feel like it washes me out a lot when I wear it.
The line boasts 14 gorgeous shades that are definitely worth a swatch, although at CDN $36.00 each, they're best bought in moderation.
Monday, December 01, 2014
Happy December! I don't need to tell you how quickly this year went by... so, let's all just take a minute to pause and enjoy one of this year's Limited Edition Winter Luxe Boxes.
Loose Button has curated three different limited edition versions this year that you can upgrade to: the Enchantress, the Zoomer Edition, and the Chalet Chic (which Loose Button was kind enough to send over for me to play with).
The Chalet Chic Luxe Box contains eight beautifully curated products to help ring in the winter season.
EVulcano | Hair Wash & Hair Cream
This cleansing shampoo and smoothing conditioner contains olive oil extracts and the strong antioxidant benefits from Volcanic Minerals. I used it once and it left my hair looking shiny and feeling soft. The scent is also amazing (must be those Sicilian Lemons).
Paula's Choice | Clinical KP Treatment Cloths (10 Pack)I adore Paula's Choice products. Many of the products I've tried from them have been a hit with my skin and this Clinical KP Treatment Cloth is no exception. This works well at reducing redness in my skin (typically around areas with blemishes).
Suki Skincare | Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
I love using exfoliators, especially in the Winter. This Suki Cleanser is a hybrid between a scrub and a foam cleanser. It is the strangest combination, but it works! It feels great on the skin, it's gentle enough to avoid irritating the skin and it left my skin feeling fresh. This also smells great! I love the citrus notes.
Model Co. | Power Lash Mascara & Loose Button | Eyelash CurlerThe Model Co Power Lash Mascara is a lengthening mascara. The formulation is fairly smooth and easy to apply. I used it once & I've pretty happy with the longevity... no racoon eyes at the end of the day. The huge brush takes a second to get used to, but it coats every lash evenly. Coupled with the Loose Button Eye Lash Curler and you're set.
Nicole by OPI | Profoundly PurpleI wish all nail polishes came in such cute and tiny packaging. I love this mini polish and the colour is gorgeous, too. A dark plum shade with a hint of a metallic shimmer. Can't wait to wear this on my tips.
Biotherm | Aquasource Cocoon
There's nothing like a silky, smooth, hydrating moisturizer (especially during the winter). Described as a "balm-in-gel," it feels incredibly hydrating on the skin. The gel formulation is lightweight and (surprisingly) leaves no oily residue on the skin).
There are only a couple more days to pick up your Winter Luxe Box, so if you're interested in this box (or the the other limited edition boxes), head over to Loose Button's site to check them out (link!)! If you're already a subscriber to seasonal Luxe Boxes, upgrade your box to a the Chalet Chic box here (link!) Or if you want to treat someone to a Luxe Box, gift one here (link!)
Remember, you only have until December 3rd to pick up a Winter Luxe Box! :)
Friday, November 14, 2014
I have been having trouble with my skin lately. I had a bad reaction to something. While my skin is slowly healing, I still get the occasional blemish and I'm left with lots of dark spots. I typically rely on BHA or benzoyl peroxide products to help heal blemishes, but lately I've been loving a more natural remedy—tea tree oil. Here are a few products I've been loving:
The Body Shop | Tea Tree OilThis is a concentrated oil to help target blemish-prone skin. Many people think this little bottle contains 100% tea tree oil, but it only contains 15%. Even so, it’s very effective—especially when you consider that a 5% concentration is enough to see results.
I love this oil because I see immediate results. It helps minimize and treat breakouts. It absorbs quickly into the skin and it doesn’t feel dehydrating.
The packaging isn’t the best design . It’s hard to regulate the amount of product you get & it’s also difficult to get drops out once you’re used up 75% of the bottle. Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth that little hassle.
Thursday Plantation | Tea Tree CreamThis light weight face cream from Thursday Plantation* is a balanced combination of tea tree oil, macadamia oil, rose hip oil, vitamin E, and shea butter to help maintain clear skin and restore moisture. It absorbs quickly into the skin and it doesn’t feel greasy or oily. I apply this right after cleansing my skin and it leaves my skin looking slightly matte but not dry. I’ve had no problems with applying tinted moisturizer over this face cream, either. It sits well on the skin without sliding off.
Thursday Plantation | Tea Tree Blemish StickFor on-the-go treatment with a convenient sponge tip applicator, I turn to the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Blemish Stick*. It’s a blend of tea tree oil, spearmint oil, and vitamin E. The spearmint helps mask the smell of tea tree if you’re not a strong fan of that scent. It comes in clear tube so you know how much product you have left and the clear gel dries invisible so you can reapply without having a weird spot on your face. It's a great spot treatment to help target any blemishes you get—it's a great daytime remedy.
The Body Shop | Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night LotionWhenever I get a blemish, it is always accompanied by a dark sport. Without fail. This Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion from the Body Shop works well to help lighten the darks spots and any other scarring. It doesn’t work as quickly or effectively as other hydroquinone products I’ve tried, but if you have the patience, you will see results. This not only fades dark spots, but the tea tree oil helps prevent future blemishes. Win, win.
The Body Shop | Tea Tree Face MaskIf you want an instantly cooling and refreshing face mask, the Tea Tree Face Mask from the Body Shop may be for you. It feels so good on the skin. It helps absorb excess oils and soothes the skin. It does leave a tingling sensation on the skin, which is normal as long as it doesn’t feel painful… but if you have sensitive skin, this may not be for you. It’s great for a weekly treatment to help clarify and soothe your skin, especially if you’re like me & acne-prone.
Beware, this product is bright green, so don’t use it while wearing anything you’d like to wear out in public again.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Cleansers have come a long way from what I started with back in the day (i.e., a bar of soap). When I was younger, I was perfectly content with scrubbing my fave with a Dove bar (actually, I still practice this occasionally), but I have definitely stepped up my cleansing game.
I ooh and ahh over new cleansers every chance I get. This one is soap-free, this one is 100% natural, this one is an oil, this one is a foam... there really are so many to choose from. Today, I'm focusing on my current obsession: cleansing oils (and I threw in a balm, a gel, and a milk cleanser for kicks).
Shu Uemura - High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil
It's only fitting to start with the one who paved the way for a new clean: Shu Uemura's cleansing oils.
This is the first cleansing oil I've tried and it will forever hold a special place on the top shelf. I have always loved this stuff, it's pricey but so worth it. They come in a range of different versions to target different concerns. The High Performance Balance Cleansing oil is one of my favourites (probably tied with the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil).
I love that cleansing oils are applied to dry skin. It's like giving your skin a massage while getting a perfect cleanse. It removes all face and eye makeup without drying your skin.
Garnier - Nourishing Cleansing Oil
This is one of the first products that opened the door for drugstore cleansing oils. It's great for dry skin and combination skin.
It takes off all my face makeup and eye makeup, although I would still recommend a separate eye makeup remover.
I like it & I would buy it again. It still doesn't measure up to the high-end cleansing oils, but for the price point, it's hard to go wrong.
Not a fan of the packaging. The pump is very handy but it's a bit messy. The oil seeps out a little & makes the bottle a bit slippery.
Shoppers Drugmart, Walmart | C$11.99
L'Oreal Sublime Radiance Sensational Cleansing Oil*
Another economical cleansing oil that removes face and eye makeup well without irritating the skin. This one works great with waterproof mascara, too.
It feels great on the skin (especially if you enjoy a mini facial massage with your cleanse). Once you rinse it off, your skin feels balanced and hydrated. I love that this, like many cleansers, doesn't strip your skin from its natural oils while maintaining a non-greasy finish. No double cleanse necessary... this one does the job in one go.
Shoppers Drugmart, Walmart | C$10.99
Marcelle - Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel*
This gel cleanser will not be for everyone, but it has its benefits.
For one, you can use it on dry skin using a cotton pad or massage it into wet skin and rinse with luke warm water. It doesn't foam or lather like other cleansers, but that's one of the reasons I like it (and I'm sure those with sensitive skin will like it also).
It is very gentle on the skin, but it still gives you a thorough cleanse. It's oil free, fragrance free, soap free, sulfate free, and non-comedogenic—this basically means it really is good for all skin types.
Shoppers Drugmart, Walmart | C$12.99
Clinique - "Take the Day Off" Cleansing BalmWhile being the first and only cleansing balm I have tried, I have to say this stuff is great.
The pros? It doesn't break me out, it removes face & eye makeup very well, it travels well (much easier than an oil), it's great to use for a facial massage and it works great with all skin types.
The only con, and I'm grasping at straws here, is the price.
Avon Elements Nourishing Cleansing Milk Cleansing Milk*
This is another oil-free alternative. This is another dry or wet cleanser. I usually prefer to wet my face but it is nice to have the option. This oil-free cleansing milk works gently cleanse the skin. It's great for face makeup and even eye make up... just be careful not to get this into your eyes (or any cleanser for that matter).
It feels moisturizing and luxurious on the skin. It leaves your skin feeling soft, hydrated, and fresh.
I also like using this with my Clarisonic for those days where I really want to feel like I'm getting a deeper clean.
You've probably noticed how MIA I've been in the blogging scene... The last few months (and even now) have been really hectic but I am dedicated to bringing you a great blog experience with at least a couple posts a week! Thanks so much for reading & I will see you in the next one! x
Monday, November 10, 2014
It's that special time of the year again—the Sephora VIB Sale. Of course, 20% off our favourite brands is bound to cause a hectic frenzy, but who knew it would cripple Sephora's website? Yet, it did... for more than 24 hours, in fact.
Nonetheless, I was able to take advantage of the sale (a couple times, actually). I popped into the store during the VIB Rouge soirée and I also picked up a few things online (ebates was just too good not to). I didn't really need anything... I mean, I never really need anything, but there were a few things that I wanted to try out. Plus, this is the best time for sets and kits.
I have my eye on several First Aid Beauty products and I'll probably knock off a few more things on my list before the end of the sale, but I couldn't pass up on these two sets. The FAB Faves To Go Kit and the FAB Hydrating Duo, while acutely similar, are the perfect travel companions. I'm kind of obsessed with the Ultra Repair Cream, so I don't mind having two.
I haven't really heard a lot of things about the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil, but it looks promising. It is a 100% plant-based dry oil. I've used it a few times already and so far so good. It's a lightweight formulation that keeps my skin hydrated throughout the night and refreshed when I wake up in the morning. The scent isn't my favourite, though—I can't quite describe it, but it's strong. Fortunately, it fades quickly.
I picked up another NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. This stuff is awesome. It lasts all day, it doesn't cake up, and it's really easy to apply. I use Ginger under the eyes, but I decided to pick up Bisquit for blemishes and dark spots. Bisquit is a bit too dark on it's own, but mixed together with Ginger does the trick.
These are the few online purchases that I am still waiting on:
- I adore the Elizabeth & James Nirvana White fragrance! I've actually already finished a bottle. That says quite a lot. It shows how much love I have for this fragrance and how quickly you can use up the bottle. I do wish that it lasted longer on me (it only lasts about 5 hours), but it is so good while it lasts. This set comes with a small bottle of the perfume oil and I can't wait to try it.
- Minis and masks... does it get any better? I have a full-size of the Charcoal Mask, but this Origins Mini Mask Marvels is a great way to test out some of Origins' sought-after masks without committing to a full tube.
- A couple months ago, I dabbled with the Foreo Mini because I felt like I needed a change from the Clarisonic. Unfortunately, the Foreo Mini was kind of underwhelming. I didn't feel like it cleansed or invigorated my skin in any way. Needless to say, I ended up crawling back to my trusty Clarisonic. I still craved a change so I decided I would swap my go-to Delicate / Cashmere brush heads for the new Radiance one. After a bout of breakouts, I definitely need something to perk up my skin & I'm hoping this won't disappoint.
- The #12 brush from Anastasia is the perfect companion to the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade. The brush you use for application really makes a difference and this brush has just taken my love for the DipBrow to a whole new level.
That's all I've picked up for myself during the sale. Like I said, I'll probably pick up a couple more things before the day is over—by the way, today is the last day of the sale!
Let me know what you've picked up or if you're planning to make any last minute buys!