Monday, September 30, 2013

Kevin Murphy Hair Care

I've suffered with thick and super oily hair my entire life and it’s been a hard road finding a good shampoo and conditioner. I've tried probably everything at the drugstore and everything makes my scalp produce more oil faster or just makes my hair heavy. I used to have to wash my hair every day (which I know is horrible and makes my hair problems worse) because the Dove products I was using were not helping at all and by 10 pm the night before my hair felt greasy and heavy. So when I thought I was never going to find anything that would work I was introduced to the wonderful world of KM hair products through my aunt. She bought me a sample set of his hydrating shampoo and condition and this is when the love affair began.

Even though it is a lot more expensive  then the drugstore alternatives, I only replace my bottles twice a year so I think yearly I save tons of money – I probably bought at least 10 bottles a year at the drugstore prior to this since I had to use it daily. I think the cost ranges on the actual hair salon you purchase it from I think I pay around $20-25 per bottle of shampoo or conditioner. I usually get it when there’s deals going on like buy one get one 25% off or whatever.  Oh and just a note all these products are paraben and sulphate free as well as cruelty free!

In the winter I tend to use the luxury wash and rinse which is specifically for thick coarse hair, I love how it’s a bit more hydrating during those cold months when my hair needs it. During the summer I use the Born again essential treatment and Balancing Wash.  All of these products are great for colour treated hair and actually protect your colour from oxidizing which is perfect for my blonde hair. Even though I have only tried a few shampoos, rinses, hair spray and some leave in products I would practically recommend to try anything that suits your hair type from this line. I think it’s an incredible line and every product made my hair feel way better and now I only have to wash my hair 2-3 times a week max with some of my dry shampoo in between.

Have you tried any of Kevin Murphy products? Which ones are you favourites?
Follow me on Google Friend Connect so you can keep up with all of my new posts!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Top 5 Drugstore Products

I was rummaging through my makeup dresser today trying to figure out what I should write for you guys today and I realized that even though I love my high end products I have a ton of drugstore favourites that I just can’t live without. I thought I’d share with all of you these beauty related favourites that won’t break the bank.

First I’m going to talk about my facial cleanser. I use two different ones morning and night but after relentless searching I can say that so far Cetaphil really has to be the best.  I find that it cleans well without making me feel tight and dry after, I have noticed some of my spots went down dramatically after I implemented this into my skincare routine. It really is a dermatologist recommended product and I can see why. I think this cost me $11.99 at my local Shoppers Drug Mart but I’m sure you can find it loads of other places for cheaper as well.  Definitely check it out if you’re looking for a drugstore alternative to a gentle face cleanser!

Next I’ll talk about blushes and for $2.99 I really think it is a must have for people on a budget. These Wet n Wild color icon blushes are just as pigmented and creamy as the eye shadow quads. This colour is in heather silk and I think it’s a gorgeous deep pink.  The packaging is a beat cheap and as you can see I did drop it and the blush did chip but for the price you can’t really go wrong. I barely need to touch my brush to the pan in order for me to pick up colour. I think it’s a great product especially for the price.

Cream eye shadows have become a huge thing in the makeup world and I think Maybelline really got it done right with these Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow. This colour is in Inked pink and it’s from their Metal collection (I’m not sure if it is still available). They go on silky smooth and mine is still great and I've had it for a super long time. I typically still use a primer underneath because my eyelids are super oily but I do find they last all day. These are great as a base or even as just a quick lid colour if you’re in a rush.

Keeping with the theme of eye products, the NYX jumbo eye pencils are like my most used eye products I have to say. I almost always use them as a base unless I’m using a cream shadow. Milk is the one shown here and it probably has to be my favourite because the white is just the perfect base for any colour to pop on top of. I want to go and buy the whole set of them because I think they’re just incredible.

Lastly, this has probably got to be the cheapest mascara I've ever bought and it’s actually become one of my favorites recently. One of my favourite Youtube Gurus EmilyNoel83 (also known as Beauty Broadcast on her blog) has raved about the essence I <3 Extreme crazy volume mascara so I figured I had to go out and try it. She was right; my lashes look extremely thick and even long. This mascara holds a curl really well and I really enjoy this mascara.

Are any of these your favourites and if not what are your favourite drugstore products?
Don't forget to follow me on Google Friend Connect to keep up with all my posts! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

ORIGINS Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pore

The name of this product pretty much says it all; it’s a deep cleaning charcoal face mask that is supposed to help open clogged pores up. ORIGINS is known as a brand that uses a lot of natural ingredients so it’s safe to use on sensitive skin. This was my first time experimenting with the brand and I have to say I am IMPRESSED. At the same time of this I also asked for a sample of GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment and to be quite honest I noticed similar results. The ORIGINS mask retails at Sephora for $28 CAD which is less than half the price of the GlamGlow one that retails at $69. Now don’t get me wrong I think that the GlamGlow one is amazing, I love how I can see where the dirt’s being extracted from and my skin always looks great after it’s removed but I found that the ORIGINS mask worked great as well (plus it fits within my student budget). 

To get the same great results I found it best to put the mask on either directly after I exit the shower when my pores have been opened or to directly steam my face over a bowl of hot water. This allows the charcoal mask to easily clear out all your clogged pores and start the healing process faster. The mask is in a squeeze bottle which is great because I think it’s more sanitary and a little product goes a long way. It goes on a dark grey/blackish colour and dries to a lighter grey.  There is a light fragrance to the product but I don’t mind it, I actually love the smell. I leave it on roughly 10-15 minutes or until it completely dries and then I wash it off gently with warm water and follow up with my toner, serum, eye cream and moisturizer. This mask has saved me a few times when I saw a new acne spot coming. I chose to try out the steam and mask combination before bed and when I woke up I barely even noticed a dot there anymore because it had jump started the healing process on it. 

This is my go to mask when I feel like my skin is in a really bad state and is in need of a makeover. I planned my busy week around when I am going to make a run to the Sephora in my area to pick up some of this mask. It's homecoming weekend coming up so I can guarantee on Sunday I will need a serious deep clean mask to clear up the poor food and drink choices I made. 

I think this product is definitely worth the $28 price tag it has because as I mentioned before you really don’t need a lot and it really does clear your pores. I have tried so many different face masks over my life that I can really tell when a product is a stand out one. I would recommend this product to anyone who wants a mask that will deep clean their pores – especially those with acne prone and oily skin.

What are some of your favourite masks to pamper your skin with?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ultimate Beauty Wish List

Lately I've been thinking about tons of products that I don’t have but wish I did! I decided I’d write up a blog post on it so you guys can leave a comment down below if you've tried any of them and what you think of them.  So this is my dream list of beauty products that I would totally have purchased eons ago if I had an unlimited budget. (All these photos are grabbed either from Sephora's website or the actual brands website) 

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE COSMETICS: Lip Tar Trio Set in Vivid. I am a lip product junkie and anything that allows me to experiment with a personal lip colour is absolutely fabulous. I've seen numerous reviews on how long wearing it is and I love how you can mix it with other shades to make it more pink, more red or more neutral! I love how it’s cruelty free and there is so much product in each tube I feel like it would last me forever.

Michael Todd True Organics: Charcoal Mask and Honey and Oat Cleanser. This brand is the biggest skincare trend on YouTube and through the blogging world. Everyone uses these products and I really want to try out this cleanser and mask which are apparently amazing for oily/acne prone/ sensitive skin like mine. I’ve heard great things about the cleanser reducing acne and I love charcoal masks to deep clean my pores so this seems interesting. It’s just a bit annoying because it’s only online and I have to pay for shipping to Canada. Have any of you had good experience with this skincare line?

BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector™. This was recently shown on GlamLifeGuru’s top 5 primers on her YouTube Channel… She said it is amazing for oily, acne prone skin and it is the best matte primer if you are oily all over. I love my primers and this one can be used on top of makeup as well to clear up some shine without having to cake on more powder.  The only negative is that this product costs $44 CAD and I’m pretty sure it’s not in the Sephora near me so I can’t try it out with sample before.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine. The packaging on these is beautiful and I feel like if I owned one of these I would leave them out on display. This is my ultimate lip product that I am dying to get my hands. Products like these make me feel classy and elegant when I wear them and  I know that sounds weird but to me an amazing lip product can turn a bad day into a fabulous one. I don’t think I need to talk much more about them because practically every girl knows about these and dreams about them. For $40 it really is a luxury lip product.

Sigma Crème de Couture Eye shadow Palette.  The packaging is ADORABLE, all the shades are matte pastel colours and they’re in a box that is meant to represent pastry style packaging. There are 16 shades and each row is placed together by colour. The first row starts with a bright pink and ends with a light pastel pink and this continues with oranges, blues and greens. The shadows are said to be super creamy and apparently the palette doesn’t have one dud shade in it. It’s limited edition and only $32 USD but shipping to Canada can get crazy and so I haven’t even considered it. I may have to let this one go.

So those 5 products fill my ultimate beauty wish list at this current time. I would love to know your thoughts on any of these if you have tried them or heard anything about them. I am hoping that soon these will join my  lonely makeup collection but my wallet isn’t looking too happy about that right now… XOXO 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip

This past weekend I went home for my dad’s birthday and I got surprised by mom with a gift! Of course it was a makeup one and so I had to share it with you for this Monday’s blog post. It is Sephora Favourites Give Me Some Lip Set. It retails for $30 CAD at Sephora and it is such an amazing deal! It contains 6 travel sized products as well as one full sized product (Tarte LipSurgence).

From Sephora’s website:
This set contains:
- 0.10 oz Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Bare Pink 
- 0.07 oz Buxom® Full-On™ Lip Polish in Dolly 
- 0.14 oz NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight 
- 0.08 oz Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment 
- 0.05 oz Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb 
- 0.10 oz Tarte LipSurgence™ Lip Luster in Glitzy

I love sets like these that let me test out different products I might not typically buy for myself. My student budget doesn't allow me to splurge on high end lip glosses or lip treatments so this set is amazing and plus it takes me forever to get through travel sized lip products! I really am a lip product junkie. I’m going to show you swatches below with all the products (don’t mind the fuzziness or glare – I’m working with an old camera that I don’t know how to work very well / it’s not the best!). 

I love how they organized the lip products from smallest to largest. Although the rose gold packaging is cute the box does get easily fingerprinted which is kind of annoying.

Swatches are in order: Sugar Rose, Laura Mercier, Buxom, Nars, Bite, Tarte

I've tried out the Fresh lip treatment before and I love it. It’s basically a super sheer lip balm treatment that feels great on the lips and smells good. It is an expensive lip balm as it retails for $26 CAD (0.15oz is the full size). Overall I feel that the travel size is still going to last me a while and this was a good choice for this set.  
I've never tried a Laura Mercier lip gloss and to be completely honest I probably never would have if it didn't come in this kit. I really am more of a high end lipstick and drugstore lip gloss kind of girl. As you can see it goes on super sheer with only the slight hint of peachy tint. The formula isn't sticky and it smells really sweet.  I think this would be a perfect topping to my MAC shy girl lipstick to give it a bit of sheen and add that slight peachy tone!

 Out of the 3 lip glosses included in the kit the Buxom full on lip polish had to have been my favourite. It’s pretty pigmented, not sticky and smells good as well. It’s just the perfect fall lip gloss and I think it would be pretty alone but particularly beautiful on top of the Bite pencil that I’ll be talking about soon. Definitely would consider purchasing these in other shades.

I've heard all the hype about the Nars lip glosses, especially this one Turkish delight which was famous for being Kim Kardashian’s lip gloss of choice. It’s a super sheer lip gloss that is extremely milky as you can see in the swatches. I’m extremely pale compared to Kim and can’t wear a super nude lip without looking dead so this lip gloss won’t be used as much as others but I think I can work with it if I don’t lay it on thick. The smell of these is kind of chemically but the formulation is pretty good.

Now this had to be my favourite of the bunch and at first I wasn't 100% sure if the colour really suited me. The Bite pencil in Rhubarb is literally my new favourite colour for fall. I love my burgundy shades but have never felt super comfortable wearing them on my lips for the fear of looking too vampy with my fair skin. Well this changed all that and I find myself wanting to wear it all the time paired with a basic eye look. The pencil feels awesome on the lips and not drying at all, although pairing it with the buxom gloss is beautiful as well if you want a glossy and fuller lip look. I had only tried Bite lipstick before and now I definitely want to go try out some more of these pigmented lip pencils! Also a bonus of this is that it is twist up and you don’t need to sharpen.

The only full sized lip product in the set is this Tarte LipSurgence in Glitzy and I find it to be extremely wearable. It has shimmer in it which you can definitely detect when it’s on but somehow it just works. I actually love the natural/shimmery look of this jumbo lip pencil. It feels super comfortable and doesn't dry out the lips. It smells like peppermint and does feel a bit tingly (in a good way) on the lips. Like the Bite pencil it is also twist up which means you don’t waste product. I’d definitely love to try more of these pencils – maybe some of the deeper shades to see how good the pigmentation is.

I’m super happy with this set from Sephora because it let me test out products that I never had tried out before and I found some new favourite formulas! $30 is not a lot for what you’re getting and it let me try out more neutral shades that maybe I wouldn't pick up on my own. Next I want to try the Sephora Favourites Give Me More Lip kit that retails for $71 CAD and contains 16 products featuring an OCC Lip Tar which is my dream lip product to try. I can’t wait to test out more products for you again soon!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Top 5 Favourite Lush Products

Lush is one of those stores that feels scary to go into but once you do you’ll always stop in when you walk past it. I was one of those people that could smell it from a mile away and never had the desire to go in and well, obviously that changed. I don’t even know why I decided to go in one day, I just did. I’ve tested out a lot between samples and full sized products so I wanted to give a top 5 list for people who may be unsure about what to purchase there or just want to find out about specific products.

My number 1 product would have to be the Mask of Magnaminty ($12.95-24.95 CAD) hands down. It’s a green mask with chunks of exfoliating adzuki beans in it. Also a bonus of this product is that it can also be used to combat body acne on the chest and back! It smells minty and you can feel it extracting the dirt from your pores the second you put it on.  It’s one of those masks that I’ll stop using for a while and test out others but in the end I will always come back to this one.  I found it worked way better for my acne prone/sensitive skin than any of the fresh face masks I've used from Lush plus it’s good for around 3 months instead of 2 weeks so it doesn’t feel like a chore to use. I wear it for about 10-15 minutes but if I feel that my pores are super clogged and I feel gross I’ll wear it longer. It’s a bit messy when you wash it off because of the adzuki beans in it. Although the beans are super good for exfoliating when washing you have to be careful with your drains because they are super chunky and will get clogged in your sink. I have a catcher in mine so I just empty that out every time I rinse off the mask. This mask can work for people with normal to combo skin as well, especially if you’re having a not great skin day. This is my top rated lush product!

Coming in 2nd place would have to be the Sexy Peel soap ($6.40 CAD per 100g). Yes, I know soap doesn’t sound like the fanciest thing from Lush but seriously if you suffer from body acne this will be your best friend. As you know my skin is so sensitive that some brands of sunscreen and body wash will make me break out in spots all over my chest and back.  I had tried using everything from natural washes to plain Dove soap. I was recommended this bar of soap because it’s basically just loaded with citrus and it smells like a dream (there are even citrus peels within it to gently exfoliate). The only problem with this is that the soap bars will break down in the shower from the steam so I typically don’t have this in my shower all the time but whenever I get bad reactions I always go in and buy this product. Even if you don’t have acne on your body, the smell is amazing and Lush has awesome soaps!

Following with the theme of products for skin trouble, my 3rd choice is the tea tree water toner ($9.95 – 21.95 CAD). It feels amazingly refreshing and I can spray it on my chest and back daily as well to keep the breakouts away. It’s a good toner for anyone who does break out because of the tea tree oil that’s inside of it. It comes in a spray bottle so it’s super easy and convenient especially when I want to spray it directly on my body post shower or whatever. 

Don’t think that I don’t love my Lush bath products … because I definitely do. Now one of my favourite all time bath products from Lush has got to be Ro’s Argan body conditioner ($32.95 CAD). It’s my favourite scent and it’s amazing. You put it on after washing your body, basically like a hair conditioner. Rub it on and just leave it for a few minutes and then rinse it off. You will smell amazing and won’t need to put body lotion on after.  The only con is that it is very expensive and you can only get it in the big size. It’s more of a luxury product for me but I LOVE it.

The last product I’m going to talk about is the Rose Jam Bubbleroon ($6.40 CAD). These bath products look like macarons and they are filled with Turkish roses according to the website. They smell similar to Ro’s Argan which is probably why I am OBSESSED with it. It looks expensive for one but it also lasts me several baths. I break it up and put it in one of those pantyhose stockings and tie that over the bath tap. I find this gives me way more bubbles than trying to break it up directly under the water flow. It’s a heavenly scent, completely adorable (who doesn’t love macarons) and makes your skin feel so soft.

I hope this review gave you some insight into a few of Lush’s hundreds of products and makes it a little easier for you when you go in to shop for a few.  The sales people are always amazingly nice and always ask for samples because they are extremely generous with them. Samples are my favourite thing about Lush! Post a comment down below if you've tried any of these products and what you think or let me know what you’re favourite products are from Lush. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

My New Holy Grail Skincare Product

Kiehl's was a brand I had heard of but never even considered going in and asking for samples or demos. That was until I saw missglamorazzi on YouTube ( talk about Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and how she noticed a difference in one week. On the website says the product is supposed to do: “Clinically-Demonstrated* to Rapidly Help Reduce the Look of Dark Spots and Brighten Skin Tone”. I decided to get some samples when I stopped by a Kiehl's store because I do suffer from acne prone skin and typically my spots do fade into scarring. I know how self-conscious you can get when you have scarring/dark spots on your face especially when you’re as fair as I am. This product can also be used on your chest area and anywhere else that may have dark spots or acne scarring.

Picture taken directly from the Kiehl's website. The bottle is completely clear and super hard to photograph because of the writing on the back.

 I use this product morning and night following my toner and before my moisturizer and eye cream. You can put it on just on the dark spots but I prefer to layer it all over my face for brightness. I could not believe after 5 days of using samples how my dark spots were noticeably lighter, at least to my eyes they were. As soon as I could get to a Kiehl's store I went and purchased it for $52 CAD. You only need 2-3 drops for your entire face and so I know this product will last me a long time even when using it two times a day. Now I have been using it for a total of two weeks and I can’t imagine not using it. My skins appearance is brighter and more even overall and I have noticed my dark spots fading. I also think that it’s a good preventative for any other acne scars that could potentially develop. This products scent does not bother me.. I actually like it because I can smell a tiny bit of lavender which I love.

This is a product I would recommend to anyone who suffers from dark spots, acne scarring and uneven skin tone. I think the price is amazing because I’ve spent tons of money trying to reduce acne scars from spa treatments and nothing has worked as well as this. There’s 30mL of product in the bottle and you barely need any to cover your whole face if you choose to use it that way. This is my new favourite product in my skincare routine and if you don’t own this product and suffer from dark spots/scarring you seriously need to go out and buy this product. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review of Stila Stay All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm

           Now that the summer is ending I feel that I have tried enough face primers to truly review them. Sometimes I think I like a product the first time I use it and then realize after a few tries that it is not working with my skin at all! Just so you know I have the most sensitive and oiliest skin possible and if I didn’t wear a primer foundation would literally slide off my face.  I went to Sephora on a hunt to ask for samples and I was given the new Stila Stay All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm ($39 CAD) to try. This primer is basically a solid that you rub your finger into or use the sponge that is provided and pat it on your face prior to foundation application. This is the strangest primer I have ever used but you get used to it, although it does feel a bit unsanitary (only use clean fingers!).  It is not recommended to pat over top of makeup if you get shiny throughout the day if that is what you’re looking for I would recommend the Porefessional by Benefit.  

This primer glides very easily onto the skin and I did not experience pilling with it like I have with other brands. A little goes a long way so I think it will last me quite a while which is a benefit – I do find that with liquid primers I tend to squeeze out too much and waste product.  I tested this out for 2 weeks straight so that I could get enough of an idea how I like it with different products. I have used it under my Mac Studio Fix Fluid as well as under my Estee Lauder Day wear BB Cream and I found that it worked amazing with both.  I did powder my face after applying foundation because I do have such oily skin that no primer can completely prevent all the shine I tend to get. After a few hours I am noticeably less shiny than with other primers I have tried , although if it has been a busy day in the heat I do have to blot mid-day. If you are someone with extremely oily skin like mine I would suggest setting your foundation and maybe expect to blot once or twice by the evening. By the end of the day my foundation has stayed on without moving around or getting patchy and if I plan on going out at night without changing my makeup I will blot again and maybe spray some Mac Fix +.
 Overall, I found that it really helped my skin stay more matte and I only dealt with a bit of shine in my chin and forehead which are my extremely oily areas of my face. This has been the best primer for anti-shine that I have tried so far. I think combination to oily skin types will love this primer because of its anti-shine properties and its silky texture on the face. Girls with dry skin beware that this is a product to combat shine and not hydrate so I would definitely not recommend this for you.  If you have dry skin I would definitely not suggest this because it is meant to combat oil and not hydrate. I am definitely going to be purchasing the full size next time I am at Sephora.  If you know of any cheaper primer alternatives that are good for extremely oily skin let me know in the comments! I always love trying out new products.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review of Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer

My obsession with finding the perfect lipstick has me wanting to try almost all of the lip products that my wallet will allow me to get my hands on. When I hear good reviews on drugstore products I know I have to go and pick them up because who doesn't love a good formula at a good price. I have heard rave reviews about the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer line that just recently came to Canada and when I saw them on sale for $7.99 CAD (regular $9.99 CAD ) at Shoppers Drug Mart I knew I had to pick one up.They have a good colour selection ranging from more neutral pinks and nudes to brighter shades.  I ended up choosing the shade Stellar because I am a huge fan of wearing a bright lip colour on an everyday basis.

Note how the colour swatch on the bottom of the tube is very similar to the actual colour of the lip lacquer. I love this colour!

I haven’t had great experience in the past with liquid lipsticks, as they have always been way too drying resulting in horribly chapped looking lips that even a lip gloss topcoat couldn't fix.  I have to say that I am really impressed with the Apocalips lip lacquers.  They are highly pigmented and not drying whatsoever, as long as you put on a lip balm prior to this and let it sink in. The lip gloss applicator also has a tiny hole in the center to collect more product each time you pull it out and the shape of the applicator is really user friendly! I found it best to put it all over the lips and let it dry for about 60 seconds while smiling so that it did not settle into the cracks of my lips. 

The main reason I wanted to try this product was because my lipstick always gets all over my drinking glasses when I go out and I found after waiting close to 10 minutes I had absolutely no transfer. They also last a very long time when you are just drinking. You will have to reapply after eating because it tends to get patchy on the center of your lips and is pretty noticeable. When reapplying the lacquer I found that layering without removing the previous coat worked quite well and did not look patchy.

Although I really am a fan of the Apocalips lip lacquer I find that they do still transfer onto my hand way past those 10 minutes. So even though it won’t transfer onto the glass it will most likely transfer if you kiss someone. This product smells similar to artificial fruit but I am not entirely sure and it is quite strong so if you prefer no scent this might not be for you. Just a note, the smell does go away once the product sets into your lips.   Overall, I really do think Rimmel did an outstanding job and I really haven’t seen a product like this in the drug store. I am definitely going to go back and purchase more colours because I love the formula and the shades.