Friday, January 23, 2015

Fab & Fail: Dual-Ended Mascara


Do you have a favourite dual-ended mascara? After testing out a few options, I decided to compare Wet n Wild's New MegaPlump Double Threat Mascara with CoverGirl's Bombshell Volume by LashBlast.
Wet n Wild is great for a natural, feathery look that I go for day-to-day. The tiny brush is quite similar to Maybelline's Lash Discovery which is a fantastic product for bottom lashes. I'm also a fan of how the tubes have a little click at the end once they're tightened enough.

L: Covergirl  R: Wet n Wild
The left eye lashes are shiny and stuck together,
while the right lashes are matte and separated
To be honest, I can't see anyone liking the Bombshell. I understand the allure of having two types of mascara in one tube (plastic brush for length, classic bristle brush for volume) but the more you layer this formula, the more your lashes stick together. Each time I tried it, I noticed general clumping mixed with my top and bottom lashes sticking together while  blinking. Not to mention how the massive packaging makes you feel like a 3 year old using a jumbo highlighter. Sorry, CG.

Happy mascara shopping!
xx

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lacoste Spring 2015 Fashion Preview


Back in October I had the wonderful opportunity of spending an afternoon browsing through the Lacoste Showroom in Toronto. It was a thrilling experience since Lacoste polos have been in my wardrobe since before I can remember. 


I spent quite some time checking out their lovely new handbags. Both functional and fashionable, Lacoste offers bags and wallets in leather and vinyl.

They are simplicity at its finest with a little metal alligator logo and minimal detailing. The bags are totally up my alley, how gorgeous are the coral and yellow ones? Perfect for that warm weather (slowly) approaching. 


It wouldn't be a Spring 2015 collection without some new tennis wear. These pretty pink hues are just as gorgeous on the court as they are on the street.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: New Wet n Wild Makeup Brushes

Wet n Wild makeup brushes new for February 2015: In Your Shadow, The Louder Powder and Build A Foundation

The three brushes, $4, $4 and $2 with a size comparison to a typical pen
Welcome the sleek trio of face brushes from Wet n Wild, releasing next month. Spoiler alert: they're a fave.

These cruelty-free natural goat hair brushes (the animals are shaved) cost $3.99 for the powder brush, $1.99 for the eye shadow brush and $3.99 for the synthetic foundation brush. Talk about a bargain! 

I must admit, I wasn't expecting much from these brushes. For being so inexpensive I would never have guessed that they'd be so soft. They're practically the same quality as my $20 brushes. 

The shadow brush is fantastic, laying down powder over the entire eye in a cinch. It's silky soft, and really holds up to washing and repeated use. 

The foundation brush (the one synthetic option in the trio) is a real stand-out, since I usually overlook classic foundation brushes as being too streaky for creams. This one proved me wrong! The extra-fine, tapered bristles blend cream concealer like a dream up around the eyes, nose and mouth. I use it to blend out my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, which I've been using in lieu of a foundation. See the video for more details on that. I haven't put this thing down. 

Though the powder brush is a bit more textured, it isn't uncomfortable to use. If anything, the fact that the bristles aren't super soft means that it will pick up and distribute powder more effectively. That's one of the main benefits when using natural hair brushes with powders - they apply dry product very well.




Check out my recent video to see the brushes in action: http://youtu.be/bBvYQ4Kp_aA

You'll be able to find Wet n Wild's new brush line at Loblaws and Walmart next month.

xx

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tropical Vacation Checklist

Tropical Beach Vacation Essentials

When travelling to a warmer climate, it's easy to start throwing a ton of cute stuff into your bag and completely overpack. For a week vacation, only bringing a carry-on luggage is definitely possible. Here are the essentials I brought to Jamaica.

(Of course I also added some makeup, undergarments, toiletries etc. but those are no-brainers!)

On The Plane

Comfort and distraction are key for a plane ride. I always wear leggings or sweats, a comfy tee, and  slip on shoes (see espadrilles below). I download ebooks from the library onto a Samsung tablet, and I keep a water bottle and headphones at close reach. Don't forget to keep an extra bathing suit and change of clothes in your carry-on, in case your luggage gets lost (if you check it).


In The Bag

Want to save space? Use your beach bag as a carry-on handbag! I always bring a wristlet for the room key and hair clips, spray sunscreen for my body, face sunscreen to reapply, inexpensive sun glasses, a lip balm with SPF, a multi-purpose sarong or scarf, and a biiig sun hat. 


Tops

All you need: a few lightweight tees, a low-back top and a cute romper. A cropped tee is great for wearing with a skirt, and I love low back tops to show off a bit of that sun-kissed glow. Rompers are prefect for the beach and can be dressed up in the evening. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Revlon Cream Blush in Coral Reef

Revlon Cream Blush in Coral Reef on Elle Canada December 14 issue p. 184
Confession: I've never really liked the colour orange. Where makeup is concerned, I didn't expect it to bring out the best in my fair, pink-toned complexion. After falling head-over-heels for the beautiful finish of Joe Fresh's cream blushes, I started to warm up to the idea of coral-y orange in my makeup routine.

Revlon Cream Blush in Coral Reef $15
I've seen the Revlon Cream Blushes in store for a while now, but I've always steered clear due to their relatively high price point, and thoughts that they'd be the same sticky consistency as Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge. Boy was I ever wrong! Despite having similar packaging, (Bobbi Brown has now changed their classic twist-top pot to a compact) these two products are very different.

Revlon's Cream Blush is silky. It has incredible pigmentation, and blend flawlessly onto skin with a finish that isn't powdery, sticky or shiny. This is an ideal consistency for those with dryness on the cheeks. Now I don't use my fingers to apply blush, instead I use a densely packed synthetic face brush, similar to the Real Techniques buffing brush or expert face brush, to lightly stipple the colour onto my cheeks.

Watch the video below to see how I apply this new favourite!


xx

Monday, January 12, 2015

What's In My Shower

Shower Essentials

As someone who showers and washes their hair daily, I try a lot of body and hair products. Here are the select few which are currently residing in my shower caddy.

Weleda Citrus Creamy Body Wash
Weleda is a very popular drugstore brand in Europe, and for good reason. Their products are fantastic and quite natural. I am obsessed with this body wash since it foams up to a rich lemony lather, and leaves my skin feeling clean and comfortable- not stripped and dry. The fragrance is all natural, so I don't get irritated or broken out. I don't always care for body scrubs, because the little beads can be harmful to the environment, and often times are too rough.

L'Occitane Arlésienne Shower Cream
Hands down, one of my favourite fragrances of all time. I was introduced to the Arlésienne line a few months ago, and have been using my perfume non-stop. This is a rich and silky body wash for "special occasions" a.k.a. whenever I want to smell like a beautiful garden all day. Love it.

Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo
Mmm green tea and lime! Can you tell I like citrus shower products? This pH balanced shampoo cleans the hair and scalp without leaving any dryness or flakes. It's made with vitamin and antioxidant-rich Argan Oil to strengthen and protect hair. Kiss My Face has only cruelty-free products made with natural ingredients. Read more on their organization here which works to help the women in Morocco who produce their Argan Oil.

The Body Shop Banana Conditioner
This product has been a cult favourite for decades. It disappeared for a few years, but has just recently been put back on the shelf. Hooray! I use a dime sized amount of this banana-smoothie smelling cream all over the bottom half of my hair, which keeps my ends feeling healthy and nourished.

The Body Shop Detangling Comb
After conditioning, I always follow up with a quick comb through to distribute the product and get rid of any little tangles. I rarely brush my hair since it's so straight and short, but when I have to, this is the way to go.

The Body Shop Exfoliating Gloves
These magical gloves are probably my favourite part of the entire shower routine. Especially the day before or after shaving, a gentle scrub using my exfoliating gloves and citrus body wash keeps me smooth, free from bumps, and very clean.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Jamaica


Right after Christmas, beach bags were packed and parkas put to rest as my family and I escaped the blustery northern climate, en route to the Caribbean. After a last-minute change in resort due to overbooking, we were pleasantly surprised with our week-long stay at the (gigantic) Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa near Montego Bay.


This "infinity pool" wrapped around the resort and had a gorgeous view of the crystal clear ocean. It's said to be the biggest pool on the island, and I believe it. Our days were filled with snorkelling, yoga on the beach, and tours around Negril. See my latest Instagram video here to meet my new crab friend. 



The resort had nearly 10 places to eat, ranging from buffet-style to upscale restaurants. The decor was gorgeous, and the food was delicious. Though service was a bit slow in the evening, sitting for 2-3 hours isn't something we could complain about. Overall, we were pleased with the selection and quality that the resort had to offer.

The beautiful Italian restaurant

At night, there was some outstanding fiery beach-side entertainment and lots of music and dancing. We listened to many live bands, including the phenomenal Silver Birds Steel Band. I also must comment on Jamaican breakdancing - wow, just wow. Our evenings often finished with a few rounds of (rather nonsensical) Scrabble, some treats from the café, and tear-worthy jokes. 

Looking out from the Seven Mile Beach in Negril around 5pm
We had fantastic weather for the entire week of our vacation. It was the first time I've seen sun all day every day, paired with the freshest sea breeze to boot. Everyone at the resort and in town were so kind, lighthearted and full of rhythm. I only have fond memories about Jamaica and I can't wait to go back.

xx

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Miracle 10: 10 Day Skincare Challenge


Back in November I was introduced to Miracle 10, a Canadian skincare company partnered with the Plastic Surgery Skincare Clinic in Yorkville. I participated in a fantastic event where we were treated to a customized set of skincare products, and invited to begin a 10-day skincare challenge to see what they could do. Since then, I returned back to the clinic for my first chemical peel, which you can read more on here

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: L'Occitane Shea Comforting Cream Light

L'Occitane Shea Comforting Cream Light

L'Occitane's range of Shea Butter skincare is truly iconic, receiving worldwide praise for over 30 years. A few months back I featured their most popular hand lotion, which I use daily before jumping into bed. L'Occitane has just released some new lightweight Shea products, one of which I have absolutely fallen in love with over the past few weeks.

The Light Shea Comforting Cream has very realistic claims - it simply works to moisturize, soothe and protect nearly all skin types, morning or night. This has now taken the place of my favourite Avène Hydrance Légère, since it's a bit richer and ideal for the winter.

The cream itself reminds me a lot of Embryolisse's famous Lait-Crème Concentré, which makeup artists around the world swear by. I do find that this leaves my skin feeling more comfortable, and not so oily.

Though jars aren't the most sanitary, I'm always a fan of luxurious packaging. This one is small with significant weight, holding almost 2 oz. inside. Since you only need a tiny amount of this concentrated product, one jar at $30 will last for months.

Another exciting launch from the brand is their cleansing oil, also formulated with 5% Shea butter. Simply massage one pump of the oil onto your dry skin, and watch all your makeup dissolve (waterproof too!). When water is added, the oil turns into a "soft emulsion" which rinses right off. Just make sure to keep your eyes closed tight, or else your vision will become a bit cloudy.

"The success of L'Occitane's Shea Butter is shared with the women of Burkina Faso. Since 1980, Shea Butter has been produced through a sustainable joint-developement programme instigated by Olivier Baussan, the founder of L'Occitane. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officially recognized L'Occitane in 2013 as an exemplary company for its work with and for the women of Burkina Faso."

My expectations were high for this cream, and I have been absolutely blown away. I can now say goodbye to dry skin and redness, without feeling congested and oily. L'Occitane's Shea line for the face consists of lip balm, toner, cleansing milk, soap, serums and an ultra rich comforting cream.

If you're in the market for a new moisturizer, head over to a L'Occitane boutique and sample this lightweight cream. I think you'll be impressed!

xx

Friday, January 2, 2015

Top 10 Mens Closet Essentials

Mens Essentials


Back in December I featured my closet essentials for women, so for a fresh start to the new year, here are my picks for the gents.

1. Plain Tees

You can find good tees all over, but the ones from J.Crew are super nice. They have a great fit and wash well. A wrinkle-free, fitted tee can be taken from day to night (more so in the summer). Look for seasonal colours that go on sale throughout the year.

2. Chambray

A recurring favourite from my ladies post, chambray shirts are flattering and versatile. To clarify: it is not a jean shirt (difference here). This button-down can easily pair with a dark pant for a fancier look, or be thrown over a tee and shorts for day.

3. Comfortable Pullover

This is a winter staple for wearing with a tee or layering over a button-down shirt. Though 100% cotton isn't my first choice, (attracts lint, stretches out, fades) I'd go for a nice merino wool or a cashmere blend for a splurge. Avoid polyester since it can cause excessive sweating. 

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