Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Clarisonic Mia And A Cheaper Alternative


I first got my Clarisonic Mia nearly 3 years ago, and have loved it ever since. I use it every night with the sensitive brush head and it cleans my face better than anything else I've tried. The brush does all the work, you just need to add a drop of cleanser and move it around in small circular motions. Clarisonic skin brushes and Sonicare tooth brushes were developed by the same people, with the same incredible technology. Instead of telling everyone to invest in a Clarisonic, I recently tried the Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion system, which is a third of the price, to see if it is comparable. Here are my thoughts on both products.

What is the Clarisonic cleansing brush and why use it?
This is a fully waterproof electronic skin cleansing brush. The very fine plastic bristles "oscillate" back and forth very quickly, removing "up to six times more makeup than cleansing with hands alone" - Clarisonic site. This face washing device gently exfoliates dead skin cells, allows your skincare to absorb better, and leaves a very smooth feel. Also, the battery life on the Clarisonic Mia is INCREDIBLE. I barely charge it. Both the Clarisonic and Sonicare charge via a magnetic cord or base to ensure their waterproofness.

How often should it be used?
Although the company says you can use the device twice per day, I would strongly recommend only using it once. Over-exfoliation can cause more harm than good, resulting in wrinkles, dryness and thinning skin. If you crave more sloughing action and a brighter appearance, opt for something like an enzyme exfoliating peel, AHA acid, or BHA acid. These will all exfoliate the skin on a chemical level, which requires no scrubbing. For more information on this topic, check out Renee Rouleau's post here.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

An Afternoon Of Shopping


A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon downtown with Elena, one of my beautiful besties. We first stopped off at the Jessica Jensen sample sale, hosted at Toronto's Soho House. Jessica is a Canadian handbag designer whom I've been following on Instagram for a while now. Although I couldn't snap any photos of the event, here is a quick look at the gorgeous venue.


I decided to wear one of my absolute favourite shirts which was featured here in my springtime haul. This cute french print button-down is J.Crew, skirt is H&M, bag is Banana Republic and my shoes were some little leather driving moccasins from Aldo in a similar shade of tan as my bag.

I ended up finding a few cute gifts at the sale, and scooped up a gorgeous Saffiano leather wallet for myself. It's the Lauren wallet, in a bright coral shade which you can see pictures of here. Jessica designs all of her pieces with precision and detail, only using the finest materials and hardware. All of the items were up to 80% off, which made them absolute steals. 

Melanie Cruickshank, the lovely lady behind eco-friendly DaLish cosmetics, was also at the sample sale. I picked up one of her lip and cheek balms in a pretty pinky orange shade, which is actually quite similar to my wallet colour. I've been testing it out for the past two weeks and will definitely do a review since I love trying new multitaskers.


We finished up the day munching on some bruschetta with a side of white wine sangria at Joe Badali's Restaurant on Front St. The little kick of passionfruit and some tasty tomatoes outside on the comfy patio was just perfect. 

Enjoy the sunshine!
xx
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Products I've Used Up #2


Every few months, I like to look through the bucket of empty products growing in my washroom and film a little video in the process. Not only does this task help me to recycle dozens of bottles, it is also a great reflection of what products I love, and what ones I wouldn't consider repurchasing. This round in particular was heavy on the duds, so I hope it helps you to weed out the not-so-great options next time you're looking for a beauty or skincare item.

Products Mentioned:

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original
Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo
Goldwell Extra Rich Color Shampoo
Kevin Murphy Angel Rinse
Softsoap Body Butter Coconut Scrub
Garnier Intensive Shea Butter Repairing Lotion
Nivea Visage Express Eye Make Up Remover
Bioré Make-Up Removing towelettes
Satin Care with a Touch of Olay Sensitive Shave Gel
Yves Rocher Lavande Essentielle Effervescent Bath Beads
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II
Reach Total Care Easy Sliding dental floss
Vichy ProEven Daily Eye Corrector
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eye Brightener
Nailtiques Formula 1
Zoya Charisma
Essie Guchi Muchi Puchi
Revlon Top Speed in Cloud


Watch the video here:


You can see my first empties video from February 2014 here:

Have you gone through any products lately?
xx
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Comparison & Review: Dry Shampoo


only look to drugstore brands for my dry shampoo because since my hair is so short, I usually just opt for washing it the old-fashioned way. Although most use dry shampoo for its hair-refreshing properties up to 5 days after a regular wash, some use it solely for additional volume. Personally, I find that my hair ends up feeling far dirtier when I begin spraying these powdery products through my tendrils, so the longest I go sans soap and water is usually 48 hours. As you'll see in the breakdown, some of these sprays I'll use predominantly as an after-wash volumizer as opposed to a refresher.

Here are my thoughts on each bottle, moving left to right from my most to least favourite.

1. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle Extract 92.5 g  $13
I am a loyal fan to most French Pharmacie brands, Klorane being one of them. This classic dry shampoo leaves a light, fresh scent on your hair and has quite the powerful spray. It does leave a white cast on darker hair, so beware of this and really massage it in. Since the price is pretty steep on this one, I'm always clipping the $3 off Klorane coupons from my magazines. They happen to show up quite often so when this baby goes on sale at Shoppers, I scoop one up for around $9 flat. Despite there being a relatively small amount of product in the can, the results really last when I use my Klorane. Love this.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Paint Nite Toronto


Last week I tried out Paint Nite for the first time with my lovely sister Lauren. We enjoyed a night of "drinking creatively" at Osteria dei Ganzi, a gorgeous bar/restaurant located at Jarvis and Wellesley in Toronto. The venue itself is an old house tucked away behind some beautiful greenery- not a very common sight in downtown Toronto! I'd love to go back for dinner one day since I heard some pretty good things about the food.


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Monday, June 16, 2014

What's In My Handbag

For a few years now, I've been known as that girl who keeps everything one could possibly need tucked away in her bag. I proudly accept that distinction, particularly because I've found some adorable miniature products to tote around, and it's rare that I find myself in a sticky situation with no means of fixing it (see: hand wipe below for all sticky situations). Without further ado, here's a look inside my bag.

Coach Madison Small Madeline East/West Satchel in Raspberry Leather

Clockwise starting from the top:
  • Postcard wristlet pouch from Quebec City which shamelessly corrals all of my coupons
  • Keys featuring smiling cupcakes, a talking moustache a bejewelled M, puffy heart from Italy and a frog prince. Naturally.
  • Navy leather wallet from Banana Republic 
  • In&Out portable charger for my iPhone which holds 3 full charges
  • Little french-inspired pouch from my auntie to keep business cards on hand
  • Optional mini umbrella 
  • The best Sony headphones in an Icelandair pouch which also holds earplugs for impromptu naps
  • Gap sunnies
  • Sweets to keep my pep up- York Peppermint Patties are so classic.
  • Not featured: a pack of Kleenex which also resides in my postcard pouch. You'll always find a use for some Kleenex! Oh, and some spearmint gum.
And yes, the most important part has yet to come... the official sac of bits and bobs! Read on,

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Friday, June 13, 2014

The Small Madeline Handbag From Coach

Credit goes to my wonderful father who took these photos.

The moment I laid eyes on the scrumptious berry toned leather of this exquisite bag, I knew it was for me. Not only is it a vibrant magenta, but we also share the same name.

I've always loved Coach. Although I've moved on from their classic CC print, as it brings me back to my early teens, I've never encountered more durable leather from even the most expensive designer brands. That being said, I don't own expensive designer handbags, simply because paying a premium for a designer's stamp isn't a very good investment at my age. This is the small version of the East/West satchel from the Coach Madison collection, ideal for carrying as both a daytime cross-body and an evening handbag. I have a 5 year old Classic Leather Duffle from them (similar, larger version here) which, even after years of toting around, literally looks good as new. There is something to be said about a company whose quality improves with age. Not only does their luxe hardware never seem to tarnish, their prices have also stayed in the reasonable range as the brand has grown to maintain their classic style and aesthetic.


Heels- Nine West, Pants- Old Navy, Blazer- H&M, Tee- Banana Republic, Belt- Gap, Scarf- Vintage

Believe it or not, this bright yet sophisticated hue pairs easily with hundreds of colour combinations. It doesn't even need to be matched to anything since it speaks for itself. I love pairing this bag with bright mint pants, soft navy accents and some nude pumps. This was a fall 2013 colour but you can see a few other shades of the Madeline handbag on Coach's website, here.

Want to see what I keep inside? Check back on Monday!
xx
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

HowTo Achieve The Perfect Brows By Feri

For years my sisters and I have been going to see Feri for all of our aesthetic woes. It takes courage to put your skin and hair in someone else's care, especially when cleanliness and professionalism are crucial. I always feel extremely comfortable around Feri regardless of which treatment I'm getting done. Not once have I been disappointed in my results, seeing as how she listens carefully to all requests and knows how to arch brows like none other. And let me just say, this lovely lady turns everyone's woes into beautiful, (near) painless masterpieces.

"Before" and "after" differences are hard to see, but much shaping was done.
And our nail colours look so pretty together! Big thanks to Elena for the pics.
For the threading process, Feri asks you to gently pull the skin taut, which you can see in the photos to the right. She uses thin thread twisted into a coil to carefully pull out the hairs when spun. This is an acquired skill, which you don't want to trust just "anyone" with. Eyebrow hairs are some of the most delicate on the body, and once the roots have been damaged, it's hard for them to grow back the exact same. Moral of the story: don't over-pluck!

I prefer threading over waxing because even though it is slightly more painful, threading will take out all hairs regardless of their thickness. Not only does waxing pull the skin and cause more wrinkles overtime, I find that the results aren't as long-lasting since many hairs can get left out if they are too thin. I also wear little makeup to my appointment to make things easier.

After the threading is complete, Feri cleans and conditions the area. I then leave my brow area alone until I wash my face that night. I make sure to do a gentle yet deep clean using my Clarisonic Mia and Froosh Go Deep cleanser, then follow up with Thayer's Rose Witch Hazel (by her request) and some Paula's Choice 2% BHA liquid, which I have recently been loving. I find that it is gentle enough for my sensitive skin, and really helps eliminate the opened follicles from collecting dirt/oil and becoming blocked. I also pop a Tylenol 20mins before my appointment to keep my skin from getting too red and irritated.

The Added Beauty salon is at 5151 Yonge St. in North York, right on the north-east corner of Yonge and Empress, which is directly outside of North York Centre subway station. When visiting the salon, remember to use the side door off of Empress, not Yonge, since you'll want to go upstairs. She is currently offering a discounted rate of $15 for both brow and upper lip threading, all in, cash only. Brows only is $12 cash. She also offers manicure, pedicure, body waxing, facials and more.

"Like" her new Facebook page here to stay in the loop!
To make an appointment, call Feri at: 647-892-7575

Her hours are:
Mon-Fri- 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat- 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Sun- Closed
Believe me, you'll be a client for life once you experience Feri's professional and affordable aesthetic services.

Keep those brows in check!
xx
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Blue Ombré Nails With Silver Stripes

blue ombre nails

It's a fact: I love blue nail polish - but it has only been within the past few years that my attraction towards these shades has truly grown. If you asked me 5 years ago, there wouldn't have been a hint beyond pinks and corals in my nail polish collection. Not only are these icy blue hues extremely eye catching, they're also a nice compliment to my warm-toned skin. After trying my first Ombré manicure in pink (see first here), I knew that a few more renditions had to be created. Read on to see how I incorporated silver striping tape to create a subtly cool design.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Favourite Skin Treatments


I'm a shameless pamper queen, but I rarely spend money on salon and spa services. I've never gotten a facial, for example, so I try to provide my troublesome skin with the care it craves on my own. Within the past few years, I've done a lot of reading and research on skin chemistry, and the ingredients which actually make a difference. Luckily, I've been able to control my breakouts, but I still require a few weekly treatments to combat texture issues.

I use each of these products after I cleanse my face using my Clarisonic Mia and Froosh Go Deep cleanser, featured here. There's no real rhyme or reason for how often I use each of these three treatments, simply because my skin changes so quickly. On average, I use each product about 1-2 times per week. Here is a detailed breakdown highlighting what the products do, how I use them, and why I love them. Please read this post for more details on my skin type. 

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top 10 Rules For Dressing Like A Lady


As summer finally begins to creep up on us, down filled jackets are now a thing of the past. Since the higher temperatures are calling for less layers, here are the top 10 rules I always have running through my head when I'm purchasing new clothing or piecing an outfit together.

1. Invest in good basics that really fit and flatter. A $30 tee might seem ridiculous at the time, but if it has that perfect stretch and a great neckline, it'll end up being priceless.

2. Your skirt should end at least at the fingers, not before. Shorts- different story.

3. A very visible midriff is typically not pretty, but could be "sexy" if only 1-2 inches. Simple solution: get your grandma's opinion.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

My Perfect Polish

NYC In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in Sunset Park Pink

I've hit a real pinnacle in nail polish collecting. Not only have I scaled down my shopping, I have also come to realize which colours and formulas I truly enjoy wearing. This has allowed me to get rid of my old shimmery separated shades, and indulge in more creamy pastels. It's incredible how much more I enjoy doing my nails now that my collection is smaller, cleaner and filled only with my favourites.

Just last week, while browsing around my local Rexall Pharma Plus, I spotted a teeny display of New York Color's Spring 2014 Collection. There was one pretty pink polish left, and I couldn't help but pick it up. After realizing that it was under $2, I was sold. This is one of their "In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish" in the shade Sunset Park Pink. The colour is absolutely ideal for my skin tone. It doesn't wash me out, nor is it too vibrant. Just the perfect shade of muted, sweet pink.

The polish lived up to its name, seeing as how each coat (I applied two) dried quite quickly. I experienced no smudging and the application wasn't very streaky. Not only was this creamy, near opaque finish easy to work with, the brush is also pretty great quality. This is a limited edition "Color Crush" shade from the City Bloom Collection. I just recently featured Zoya's Dot in a nail art post, seen here, which is a good high-end dupe. Dot is slightly cooler and less peach toned, which makes it a bit more vibrant on my skin. If you happen to pass by a drugstore that could potentially be carrying this collection, I'd highly recommend checking it out. There are a few other shades in the display, including a minty blue, light lilac, and possibly a yellow. Although I purchased this bottle just over a week ago, it should still be available. 

Happy painting!
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