Friday, March 27, 2015

3 No-Heat Lob Hair Styles


Natural loose waves are the first trend listed for Spring 2015 on Byrdie.com (read the article here) and I couldn't be more excited. I've been sporting the now popular #lob (long bob) style for a few years now, and I have finally mastered my favourite no-heat, sleep-in styles.

I wash my hair daily with the Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo. This gentle and natural product is made with green tea, lime and moisturizing Argan oil. I usually skip conditioner, but The Body Shop Banana Conditioner is my go-to if I have extra tangles. I always comb my hair in the shower with a Body Shop comb, featured in my "what's in my shower" post that you can see linked here.

After showering, which usually happens at nighttime, I immediately throw my hair into a micro fibre hair wrap ($3 from Dollarama) and wait about 5-10 minutes before I remove it. This fabric allows more water evaporate, compared to a regular cotton towel which keeps hair damp. 

Check out the video linked at the end of this post for more information and product recommendations.

1. Natural Waves


  • Don't brush after removing the towel unless you're going for a straight look. Loosen up your natural waves with your fingers, which you can see in the photo above
  • Massage the cream throughout the hair from the ends up to the roots. This product provides flexible hold with a matte and tousled effect, which doesn't get greasy as fast
  • Let your hair air dry or run a blow drier through the natural waves on a low setting

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Luxurious Beauty Products: L'Occitane Amande Velvet Balm


L'Occitane has just released the most decadent body cream that easily passes as a piece of decor. The Youthful Body Velvet Balm is formulated with entirely unique compounds derived from the fruit, bud, and "native cells" present in the almond tree

Formulated with a regenerating complex of almond native cells, this rich and silky body cream acts on 5 key signs of body aging: dryness, skin slackening, lack of tonicity, fine lines and skin irregularities. Its flowery and powdery almond tree flower scent leaves a feminine and sophisticated veil on the body. L’OCCITANE is committed to purchasing almonds from producers in the South of France so that the almond tree, which had long been forgotten in the region, once again becomes a familiar element in the Provençal landscape. - L'Occitane site


Though this is not the most essential step in my skincare routine (unlike my life saving Immortelle Cleansing Oil) the product itself absolutely lives up to its claims. My skin looks smooth, even, and very well moisturized after using only a small amount of this concentrated cream. I love applying the balm after my Almond Shower Oil, which is one of L'Occitane's best sellers for a reason.

I can't stand that sticky feeling left behind from many body products, so I was amazed by the soft and "velvety" finish that this body balm left on my skin. It's rich and soothing, but still light and pleasant. The fresh floral fragrance will be perfect for springtime. There is also a Velvet Serum in the range, which includes Vitamin C to help even out any sun spots or texture issues on the body.

If you love beautiful products with even prettier pots and packaging, I'd highly recommend the new Velvet Balm or Serum from L'Occitane. They would make a perfect gift for anyone who needs that extra bit of pampering, especially now that Mother's Day is soon approaching.

xx

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Parissa Organic Sugar Wax

I love this stuff so much, I almost had to review an empty jar.

Parissa's brand new Organic Sugar Wax is everything I want in a hair removal product. Fool-proof application, easy clean-up, and long-lasting results. As a regular leg-shaver, I've been hesitant to wax my legs at home. I've had it done professionally before, but the financial burden is real. I really don't like when at home wax doesn't remove all hairs, and it's a pain to scrub off the sticky bits after everything is done. 


This sugar wax warms up in under a minute (in the microwave) and is water soluble. Any traces can be rinsed away, and the strips will come clean after soaking in a bit of warm water for a few minutes. The most incredible part about this whole waxing experience, is that it doesn't hurt. I really hate painful beauty treatments, and this wax formula removes the hair without tugging at the skin.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Top 10 Favourite Blogs


I'm at nearly 100 on my Bloglovin' subscription count, and that's after a major clear-out. I've been reading fashion, beauty, lifestyle and interior design blogs for at least 6 years now, and I still love coming across new gems. Here are my Top 10 at the moment, and a few extra classics at the end.

1. Apartment Therapy

I feel like I can successfully own a house after reading Apartment Therapy. You can find all things home-related here, with topics ranging from detailed organization to quick and easy decor.

2. Byrdie

This has been my go-to site for the best beauty articles over the past few months. I'm currently loving their hottest spring trends and ideas for styling short hair.

3. The Coveteur

Who doesn't love designer interviews and nosy photos into the closets of fashion/beauty industry idols? I can't get enough of The Coveteur.

4. Life, Set Sail

Brittany is probably one of the most naturally beautiful people I have ever seen. I am so inspired by her style and her crisp photos are just lovely to look at.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Splurge Or Save: Benefit They're Real! vs. CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom

They're Real vs. Lash Bloom
I'm very selective when it comes to mascaras, since I like a natural effect with minimal flaking and clumping, but a long lasting curl with good volume.

Some of my favourites include CoverGirl Flamed out, WetnWild MegaPlump Double Threat, and Clinique High Impact.

Anything with a classic, soft brush seems to work really well on my lashes, since spiky plastic brushes tend to irritate my lash line. I like to get my mascara wand right to the root of my lashes, so the firm spiky brushes (like these I'm about to talk about) will painfully poke around.

That doesn't keep me from testing them out though!

It took me a while to try the Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara, but when I finally did, I was relatively impressed. It made my lashes dark black and full of impact, lasting all day. Then came along CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara with its claim of having a "non-flaking mousse formula" that's lightweight and can layer easily. The brushes are almost identical, except the top spikes of They're Real are longer than those on Full Lash Bloom.



Monday, March 16, 2015

HowTo Heal Acne


The majority of people experience blemishes and acne breakouts on the regular and we've become obsessed with trying to get rid of them. In attempts to "dry out" the situation, we usually make everything far worse. Alcohol*, clearing gels, harsh toners, etc. elicit that stingingtight feeling which only means trouble. Irritation on blemished skin causes deeper scars, too much oil production, and very red skin.

Along with maintaining a daily cleansing and moisturizing routine, it is absolutely necessary to sleep 7-9 hours regularly (with clean skin!), reduce stress, drink lots of water, and eat a diet rich in fresh food.

Note: This is not called "how to cure acne"- I am no MD.! Those are only my initials. Possible acne cures include a change in lifestyle or diet, temporary antibiotics, or other prescribed drugs. These are simply tips to heal and prevent surface breakouts.
  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

CHANEL Runway Shows - FW 2015/16

Photo via chanel-news.chanel.com

The Chanel Fall-Winter 2014/15 Ready-to-Wear runway show last year caught me completely off-guard. Compared to the brand's typical decorated runway, the supermarché theme was so fun and entirely unique. Housed in Paris' Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, this classic venue was given a temporary face lift to look like the (now iconic) Chanel Shopping Center.


Photos via Luxury Daily (linked)

After the success of the last F/W collection, I was so excited to watch the 2015/16 show. The video popped up in my YouTube subscription feed, and I was immediately transfixed. Once again, The Grand Palais was transformed into the most elaborate and realistic set that I have ever seen. I've been lucky enough to visit Paris twice already, and by simply watching this show online, I felt as if they cut and pasted a real Brasserie from the centre of Paris right into the middle of the runway.

The Grand Palais Runway Photo via chanel-news.chanel.com

I love the classic, realistic vibe that this show presented, since many fashion shows seem to air more on the side of whimsy. Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel's creative director summed up the F/W show perfectly: "This is a collection about down to earth women."
One big OUI from me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wet n Wild - Wild Shine Nail Polish Swatches


wet n wild wild shine nail polish - newly reformulated and repackaged for 2015

Back in 1979 these pretty polishes were released from wet n wild and they've been top-sellers ever since. From satin-y cream finishes to metallics and glitters, these Wild Shine polishes are so worth the $1.99 price tag.

First featured here last December, I tested out the Matte Top Coat alongside 487E Grape Minds Think Alike, 458C Yo Soy, and 470B Ready to Propose. Click here to see that review.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Renewal Program


Back in high school I went through a phase where I couldn't stand how shiny my skin would get. I was washing it 3x daily, applying a mattifying gel lotion over top, and overdosing on gel spot treatment for any visible blemishes. My makeup looked cakey, my skin was flaky, and most of all, my skin was red, blotchy, and super sensitive.

I vividly remember the first day I decided to ditch the "oily skin" products and dive into my stash of serums and moisturizer samples that I had started to collect from Sephora orders. After only one day of using a moisturizer containing oil, I was hooked. Next came a daily Argan oil serum, and within one week my skin had repaired itself to a whole new level of radiance and clarity.

Ever since, I've barely skipped a day of rich moisturizer or straight-up oil since my sensitive, dehydrated skin craves it. I wash once daily, at night (just a splash of water works for me in the morning) and I always look forward to a quick face massage before bed using one of these sacred oils.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Plaid Scarf And Menswear Inspired Coat

Unbranded Plaid Scarf, H&M Jacket, Payless Boots, Roots Bag, J.Crew Belt, Gap Sunglasses, Pierre Cardin Mens Shirt, Della Mora Designs Necklace



Last weekend I went on a lovely dinner date to Sassafraz in Yorkville and wore one of my favourite winter outfits. I find dressing up in the winter to be so challenging, since there are always a million factors to take into account. Will your shoes get salty? Will your pants be warm enough? Do you need a hat? How many sweaters will suffice?

I love bundling up, but I hate immediately overheating once I enter into a building. I've had great luck with winter clothing made of classic cashmere or wool, since these materials keep me very warm, without causing the instant sweat that polyester fabrics bring upon us. Cotton is great for layering, and I always keep a thin tank underneath any tees or sweaters that I put on top. (My favourites are from Uniqlo.)

I also must give a shout-out to my MEC thermal leggings that I literally only take off to wash. Then they go right back on. #GreatWhiteNorth



Still dreaming about my Quail appetizer

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Jealous Body Scrub

Jealous Body Scrub - Coconut + Coffee

A few weeks ago I was introduced to the Jealous Body Scrub, a fun Canadian beauty product that is smoothing, hydrating and made with great ingredients.

Here's how they describe it: "In each package, there’s a mixture of ground coffee (that has never been brewed before), cold pressed coconut oil, sea salt, raw brown sugar, vitamin E & minerals. All of our scrubs are made in Vancouver, Canada (with lots of love of course)." - You can purchase it here for $17.95 CAD, shipping costs included.


Monday, March 2, 2015

February 2015 Favourites

This month flew by, and I can honestly say that I don't really mind. I can't wait to bid farewell to the harsh winter wind, and my equally as harsh university midterms. Thankfully I've had a bunch of new and exciting products to brighten up my beauty routine.


E.l.f. Bronzer Brush and Defining Eye Brush (part of a set linked here)

It took me so long to try these brushes, but I'm so thankful that I finally did. For $1 each or $12 for a set, these makeup brushes are the stars of my daily routine. Check out the video below to see how I use them to apply multiple powder products.


OPI Nail Envy Matte

This is the only base coat that I'll use now a days. It strengthens your nails and protects them from turning yellow, while keeping the polish chip-free for days. I will probably never buy a different base coat again.


INM Out The Door Top Coat

I like this stuff so much, I bought the monster size. The brightening blue tint of this top coat (which you can't see on the nails) is really nice, and I am a huge fan of how thinly it applies. It dries quick and keeps my polish shiny and strong for the entire week. You can find Out The Door at most beauty supply stores.


L'Occitane Immortelle Oil Makeup Remover

This is how magic happens: on a dry face, take one pump of this oil, massage it all over your makeup for a few seconds, then rinse with warm water. All of your makeup will wash right off in a milky lather, and you can follow up with a cleanser and skincare if you wish. The Immortelle flower oil smells amazing and it leaves my skin super clean and calm.


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