Saturday, October 25, 2014

Agave Oil Treatment

Watching beauty mavens on youtube leads to shopping... it's a fact. This is one of those purchases. She showed it in one of her hauls, and her description of it made me want to put oil in my hair as well. Hers is long, blonde, and lustrous, mine is fine, short, with more grays by the day :) I had nothing to loose. I placed my order with Sephora.

I've been using this for months now (9), and I'm about half way through the bottle. Eventough the oil is described as light-weight and non-greasy I don't want to take chances, and use a tiny amount each morning on my toweled dried hair along with some Alterna Caviar CC Cream (my hair is fine and thin to begin with, I don't need much). Since then my hair has been soft, and no dry, split ends in sight (I also try to get a trim/cut every 3-4 months).

The oil is clear, and has nice viscosity to it. One thing that I will disagree on with this vlogger, is that she described the scent as coconut. Nope sorry, no coconut for me in this bottle, to me it just smells sweet, like agave syrup. This is great because the scent doesn't compete with anything else I put in my hair, it just sweetens it :)

This is the description on Sephora.com:  
"Restore and rejuvenate unmanageable, frizzy hair with the hydrating and color-restoring sugars of the agave plant. Unlike heavy nut oils, this plant extract conditions hair with a light touch, building strength and resiliency, while helping boost vibrancy and color. Other natural botanicals like coconut, vanilla, sunflower, and safflower are blended with madagascar baobab seed oil to nourish and transform hair’s outer layer. "

With near perfect 5-stars, it seems after 283 reviews (at the time I'm writing this) majority agrees with these claims, and so do I.

I should run out of this in another 9 months... I'm not sure if this is what I'll repurchase, I like to switch up my products, but I do know there will be a replacement hair oil on my bathroom shelf.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love - Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Quartet

This is my favorite time of the year. From Oct to New Year's Eve I'm in seasonal bliss. I love the weather (fall to winter), but more than that I love all the holiday sets that makeup companies put out.

There is a few that I would like, but I'm trying to keep a tight rein on my wallet. So far so good :)

One set that I knew I couldn't resist, and I wasn't going to even fight it is the mini caviar eye sticks from Laura Mercier. I already own a one is full sized version called Sandglow, and I absolutely love it. The formula is outstanding, super creamy, beautifully pigmented. It glides on, depositing color evenly, without any tugging, and it blends seamlessly. I highly, highly recommend Laura's caviar sticks... that is if you can justify the price point. Each regular sized one, retails for about $34 CAD.
Now the reason I wanted this set, is for one color... Amethyst, because all of the beauty bloggers and vloggers who I follow who own it, just rave over this shade. The other 3 are a sweet bonus. Made even sweeter by the fact that none of them is Sandglow... so no dupes for moi. Below comparison between the regular and the minis.
The colors included in this mini collection are:
Rose Gold - rosy gold shimmer
Moonlight - metallic champagne beige 
Amethyst - soft mauve with pearl
Cocoa - chocolate brown with bronze pearl
The set cost me $46 CAD (with taxes $52 CAD)... a splurge for sure. But supposedly the actual value is $74 CAD... so I couldn't help but do some math.

A single full sized caviar stick costs $34 and you get 0.05oz of product.
The mini set gives you 0.03oz of product in each stick (a whopping 0.12 oz all together :)) for $46.

So each 0.01oz in a full sized version sets you back $6.80, and the same amount in the mini set works out to be only $3.83. Which means the mini set is a deal for sure, as long as you like and will use at least 3 out of the 4 shades.

I don't see how you wouldn't, see below for how gorgeous these are. On the left the shade blended out, on the right in it's full pigmented glory. Now I understand the love affair everyone seems to have with Amethyst...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's OK - Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara

My original thought was to repurchase Smokey Eye by Bobbi Brown, but Penelope Cruz ads swayed me just a tad and I decided to  finish of 2014 with Grandiôse.
As I've mentioned in my videos, I purchase 4 mascaras a year. On schedule every 3 months I replace the old with something new. This is how I justify a mascara splurge, and tend to stay away from drugstore brands.

Now Grandiôse has received a  bit of hype and press, especially within the beauty community, and so I wanted to experience it for myself.

This is one of the pricey ones, $35 CAD and I got mine at Sephora.

First off the packaging is gorgeous. I'm of the same opinion as a certain beauty maven who compared it to a nail polish bottle. I do agree, it does look like something polish could be housed in. Beautiful shape, from the black Lancôme rose in the cap to the gently rounded belly.

 But its what's inside that really matters. First of, the wand and brush. The "swan neck" shaped wand is fantastic; design genius. When you hold the brush near your eye, the angle of the wand allows the brush to hit your lashes at the perfect angle, allowing you to easily sweep the formula from roots to tips, from inner corner to outer corner.

But the formula and the brush itself leave me wanting. Combined they're not really good at separating the lashes. In the first days the formula was a tad too wet for my liking, and it was a struggle not to end up with spidey lashes. It's not a look that works for me or one that I like. Now after three weeks of use, the formula is less wet, the clumping easier to manage, but it's still a daily morning struggle. I have mascara on my eyes, but I don't feel as if this has added any volume, length, and it definitely fails at separation.

I will not repurchase and I would not recommend it. At $35 a pop, it's not something that I'll throw away either; it would eat away at me to waste money like that. I take comfort in the fact that in just a little bit over two months, I'll be going back to a favorite. Because this mascara isn't horrible by any means, it's just not anything fantastic either... and at that price point it should at least come close.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Love - Alterna Caviar CC Cream - 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-in Hair Perfector

So first I got that little sample (left) by trading in some points at Sephora. You can see how much of it I've used up before I decided I needed the full sized version; and the Allure magazine agrees by stamping its red sticker on the tube.

I haven't gotten onto the CC cream for the face bandwagon, but if there is one for hair, I'm all for it. Daily, I scrunch some of this into my damp hair. It adds a little bit of definition without any weight or crunch. My hair feels soft and conditioned, although I must point out that I mix this in with a bit of oil that I'll talk about soon. So it might not be all because of the CC cream, but I'll still re-purchase it.

Alterna claims that is has 10 benefits, and here they are:
1. Moisture - sure I'll agree with this one. I color my hair every 3 months or so, and wash it daily. It doesn't feel like straw to the touch.
2. Shine - not as much as I like.
3. Smoothness - my hair is naturally wavy, and I don't bother to straighten it. So can't really comment on this claim, but my hair isn't as frizzy as it is without this.
4. Softness - yup, a definite yup.
5. UV Protection - I'm not a sun worshiper, but if I ever go on another beach vacation, I'll pack this along.
6. Manageability - I feel as if Alterna is straining to reach 10. But ok, I do find my hair manageable :)
7. Strength - maybe after a few more tubes. My hair is thin and fine, so I'll buy into this claim because I need/want to .
8. Anti-Breakage - true in my case. If my hair is on strike it just falls out, it doesn't bother breaking first :)
9. Heat Protection - as the only time my hair experiences a blowdrier is at the salon. This claim doesn't play much of a role in the day-to-day life of my hair. Out of laziness and lack of motivation/skill I let my hair air dry.
10. Light Hold - yes totally agree with this.

Lastly and I'm making this an honorary benefit #11, this has a lovely, simply lovely light lemony scent... so fresh... citrus rules :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths

In the beginning I did not understand the purpose of wipes, then I did and I purchased regularly, then I found them a waste of money and stopped... and you guessed it they're back in my life once again.  What can I say.... I'm a face wipe waffler.

Picked these up at Murale, because strangely I happen to confuse REN and Skyn Iceland... I don't know, but something happens in my brain. I want REN, I see Skyn and I buy Skyn thinking I bought REN... can't even explain it... Does REN even make face wipes? :)

Anywho I bought these and I've used them. These wipes are basically sink and soap on the go. Take a sheet out, rub the sides together between your hands, and a lather will form. Then sweep it over your face until you feel clean and refreshed. No water needed, no rinsing.

Some great ingredients in there like, white willow bark, cucumber extract, Icelandic kelp, alpha bisabolol, and Icelandic Glacial Water.

I like these for their ease of use, and efficiency. My face feels clean and comfortable after use; no tightness, no dryness, and no sticky or greasy residue.

What I'm having hard time getting used to is the scent. It's not unpleasant, but it is very strong. That's coming from a person who likes her fragrance. I could get used to the initial perfume punch in the nose, but the thing is, the scent lingers for hours on your skin. I suppose I could help the issue by rinsing my face after use, but then where would the convenience of these wipes be. So I don't, and I put up with it, and whine about it :)

$16 CAD for 30 sheets (I believe).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love - Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Matifying Fluid

Picked this up sometime in May I think.... but now it's mid-October and my tube is near it's end. Time I told you a little bit about it.

My face tends to be more oily than combination, and that shine/oil can get quite annoying especially during summer months. That's when I did some research and decided to purchase this lotion. Now maybe I should have told you about this then, but there will be another summer in about 9 months :)

Simply put, I love this lotion. True to name this is matifying. If you like a dewy/glowy finish from your face lotion, then pass this by. It would be a complete opposite of what you'd like.

It feels light, and smooth, and absorbs very quickly, resulting in the best matte finish ever. Of course after a few hours, oil wins again, but that is my face.

A light refreshing scent, perks me right up when I smooth this on first thing in the morning. It gave me the matte finish I love, as well as the moisturize, which weirdly even oily type girls need. 

Harsh Canadian winter weather is approaching. Once I use this up, I won't be repurchasing right away, but when summer rolls around if nothing else has caught my eye, this might make a re-appearance. 

Caudalie thanks for another great product... loving this brand.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Canadian Beauties :)

Hope your long weekend was as beautiful and delicious as mine :)
 This is the apple pie I contributed to our family feast... love me some apple pie :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love - Gehwol Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream

So I have another foot favourite. This time from Gewhol, a brand I used to favour above all others a few years back; when if a foot cream/lotion didn't smell like peppermint and pine I wasn't interested. 

Then I branched out, and so did my scent preferences.  

And one day I spotted this on a spa shelf and couldn't resist. The brand was familiar but the product itself was new to me. 
Boy, am I glad I bought this. The scent alone is worth the purchase; delicate and sweet. I wouldn't mind if this came in a 1L body lotion tub. Texture is rich and balmy. My soles feel instantly nourished, softened, and protected. 
This is one of those "so glad I bought it" products. I'll be rotating this into my repurchase list.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Project Make a Dent #1 - Update #2

So in March I joined this challenge going around the blogosphere: trying to use up products in my stash while not completely giving up acquiring new stuff or playing with everything else that I own.

I chose these six from my collection at the beginning of the year, and I've been doing my best to use them up.
Here is a picture of where I stood in March...
 And here is an October state of things...
As you can see one product is missing from the latest update.  Pür Minerals primer is all gone, and I've made serious headway everywhere else. It seems Laura Mercier's concealer and powder will be next to go. Then my Shiseido quad, because my love with purple is going strong this fall. But eventhough I feel I've made serious headway with Nars Orgasm and Anastasia's brow palette... those two will be around for a while... I think I might grow tired of them first.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Love - Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

I think I found my favourite mascara. I don’t know how long this love affair will last, but I’m already contemplating a repurchase.

Bobbi Brown mascaras were not on my radar. I had no plans to purchase one. But after 2 weeks of trying to get used to my 3rd quarter choice, and hating it, I reached into my sample stash and came up with this.

I did not have any high hopes for it, I was just wanting it to be better then this disappointment. Well after the first drag through my lashes, I was smitten.

Description on Sephora.com informed me that this is a kohl-pigmented mascara ideal for smokey eye looks (I suppose the name should have clued me in). I don’t wear a smokey eye very often, if I do it’s a very natural one, or an accidental one. So while maybe marketed for a dramatic eye look, I like this for my everyday.

I love the creamy formulation of this mascara. It applies without clumping, and after 2 coats my lashes are nicely separated. I don’t experience any smudging or flaking throughout the day, and after it dries down my lashes still feel soft to the touch.

I absolutely love this stuff, don’t love the price ($37 CAD with taxes… one of the most expensive for me), but still I think this is the one I want to go back to.

I read some reviews, in which the reviewers totally disagreed with everything I wrote. Glad that happened after I gave it a try, otherwise this personal gem might have never been found.

I'm sorry I don't have any actual lash shots for you... but somehow I never got around to it. I might update this post in 2015 when I make my re-purchase. Although I don't know if I actualy have any sway in any of your decisions :) Bobbi Brown counters (at least the one at Holt Renfrew on Bloor in Toronto) has little samples; ask for one... $37 is a lot to pay for something you might hate :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Love - Aveda's Green Science™ Friming Eye Creme

I've been using this religiously every single night for approximately 3 months now. My little pot is more than 3/4 gone so it's about time I threw my 2 cents about it out to the internet. (Speaking of cents... we no longer have them in Canada, seems they were more expensive to make than their actual worth :))

But about the cream. I had a coupon for Aveda that needed using up before it expired. Eye cream is a daily staple of mine that I also love to switch up a lot, and so I gave Aveda's Green Science™ Firming Eye Creme a  go. I must say this was a good un-researched buy on my part.
From the marketing material.

"Moisturizes, helps smooth fine lines and reduces appearance of puffiness and dark circles.

Lady's thistle, organic argan oil and cactus formula helps to moisturize skin and smooth fine lines. Peptides and plant-derived buckwheat wax help to minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Organic argan oil*, one of the key ingredients in Aveda's  Green Science™ skin care, comes from the nut of the fruit of the argan tree, which grows in Morocco."

Sounds good, doesn't it... This is a pale green cream with a barely there scent, that I can only describe as green as well. It is extremely smooth and soft. Taps in quickly without any greasy residue. The best part... this cream can also be used on your eyelids, which I do.
Do I look younger? Well... first thing in the morning I'd say yes.. but it might be because I'm still sleepy while gazing at myself in the mirror, in which I see smooth orbital skin. As the day progresses, fine lines seem to accumulate around the eye area... although dare I hope not at the rate they would have without this cream :) At the end of the day I discern a fine criss-cross mesh that I erase overnight with the  Green Science™ ... and the cycle continues :)

Price? Approx. $50 CAD, to some expensive, to some affordable, to me somewhere in-between... I'd pay it again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Giovanni Eco Chic Hair Care - Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo & Conditioner

I’m becoming more economical in my shampoo and conditioner purchases, meaning I am going for the 1L behemoths I can find at Winners :) Why? you may ask. Well because I shampoo my hair every day. I know it’s considered unwise, but I workout and my scalp gets sweaty.  The idea of putting dry shampoo on after makes me gag. I wouldn’t feel clean, just more gunked up. Also Winners carries some great brands and for so much cheaper.

Case in point the Giovanni duo I picked up recently. Combined cost $30CAD… I’ve spent more on a 250ml shampoo alone, and it wasn’t that great (talking about this one). So this is a total score just in terms of amount vs price alone.

Not only is this purchase wallet wise, it’s health-wise as well; as this is an organic, vegetarian (no animal testing), eco friendly brand.

Of course there are different formulations for different hair types, but I settled for the good old fashioned “all hair type”. One, because I couldn’t find the matching conditioner for “normal to dry” shampoo, and two, I do love mint scented hair products so.

So a bit about the product from info that I glanced on the bottles. This particular combo is called "Tea Tree Triple Treat", an "invigorating" duo that contains a blend of botanical oils of peppermint (tingly), rosemary (conditioning), and eucalyptus (clarifying).  It promises to:
- increase scalp circulation
- strengthen hair
- alleviate dry, flaking scalp
- encourages natural shine and resiliance

I am buying into all those promises. On top of it, Giovanni products do not contain any parabens, lauryl or laureth sulfate, or dyes, and I know that matters to some of you.

I’ve been using this duo for a few weeks now (well I do mix in a bit of Phyto Phytobaume with the conditioner, because I have it, and liliac-mint combo is delicious), and I’m happy to report that Giovanni makes great “all hair” type shampoo and conditioner, as tested on my fine, highlighted, prone to frizz locks.

On daily basis hair has been left clean, soft, bouncy, tangle-free, and I’m hoping smelling sweet (isn’t it nutty that we can’t really smell ourselves?)

This duo will last for quite a bit. The old me used to have 3-5 different bottles of shampoo at the same time, because I like to mix it up. The new more economical me, still wants that, but due to the size I think I might have to settle for just 2.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder

I love Boscia's cleansing oil... love it... love it. I've repurchased countless bottles; and so when a new Boscia product appeared on Sephora shelves I couldn't wait to try it. 

Before this purchase I was exfoliating daily with Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, really like it. Thought about a repurchase then decided to try a new exfoliating powder, and so Boscia ends up on my bathroom shelf.
The packaging is beautiful and tickles my girly side. The product does settle quite a bit.
The opening is sealed; so if you ever buy one that's missing it, return it.
But once you pop the seal, the opening is a tad too big for my liking. Personally I feel too much product comes out each time, it's a tricky thing to control.
As for the product itself.... well it's sort of like the Microfoliant and nothing like the Microfoliant. It's a powder that  you mix with water to form a paste. Then you gently smooth it over your face in circular motion. So that's sort of like the Microfoliant. But it feels completely different. It is extremely creamy and it foams really well. It feels.... soft. The exfoliating granules are few and feel big, I don't get the feeling that they did much exfoliating, I was actually worried they might scratch my skin instead.

This morning I used the last little bit of it. So it took me approx 3 months to finish this bottle... and I'm on the fence. I like it because I love Boscia, this didn't break me out, and felt really nice... I didn't like it because I just didn't feel like it actually exfoliated, the foaming action weirded me out, and I'm just not won over.

So at this time, no repurchae... but there might be one eventually... just so I can makeup my mind one way or the other...

Friday, September 26, 2014

it Cosmetics Liner Love Waterproof Anit-Aging Creme Gel Eyeliner in Midnight Navy

The second gel eyeliner that was on my list to acquire, was Midnight Navy. No tiny shimmer particles in this one... but I'm loving this blue.
Even when fully dried this liner has a pretty shine to it that I like.
shade
direct sunlight
flash
Now I just need a beautiful jade one or maybe forest green...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

it Cosmetics Liner Love Waterproof Anit-Aging Creme Gel Eyeliner in Rich Plum

Along with the showstopper I've included a couple of it Cosmetic gel eye liners. I already own two: Silk Taupe and Graphite and alternate between them daily. Seriously these are awesome, and I wanted to expand my color range.

Rich Plum is a beautiful multi-dimensional aubergine. It looks so pretty in the sunshine.
Just like my previous two, the formula is outstanding. Creamy and richly pigmented. Applies smoothly without pulling or tugging. Lasting power is unbeatable, no smudging or fading throughout the day. This means when the time comes to remove it, you'll need an oil based makeup remover. Water just won't do it.
direct sunlinght
shade - the shimmer disappears, and excuse the pink arm... it was a chilly day
flash

Monday, September 22, 2014

it Cosmetics Showstopper

The weekend of Sept. 13th, it Cosmetics was back on The Shopping Channel... and you know I just live for their deals. I've passed on a few but this time around I couldn't deny myself. They have a new product I can't wait to try.

So for about $60 CAD ($59.95) these are the products you will see on this blog in the coming months.
1. CC+ Veil Beauty Fluid Foundation SPF 50+ - This is the product I had to try. IT foundations are the best. I've loved every single one that I've tried to date. I  hope this will be no different.

2. Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector Concentrate Cream - I have a version of this that used to come in a tube, good stuff. This is packaged in a jar, but I'm confident the quality and coverage will be the same.

3. Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil with Brow Enhancing Technology - wow so many words to name a product. Once again I have a version of this pencil (regular sized not skinny), so I know what to expect, and it's all good.

4. Dual Airbrush Foundation Concealer Brush - I love their brushes, I just hate dual ended ones. But for $59.95 I'll learn to deal with it.

5. CC+ Lip Serum Hydrating Anti-Aging Color Correcting Creme Gloss - I am obsessed and addicted to this product. Color included in the showstopper is the original Love, that you can see here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wishes, Wants, and Needs Vol. 3

I had a plan of doing this kind of post every 6 months or so, but then decided against it. I usually don’t have a whole bunch of stuff I want all at once. Sometimes my wants = my needs and I just acquire the product. But it’s been a while, and things have been adding up… so here is my third list. I plan to acquire majority of the stuff because what’s the point of the list if I don't :)
1. Running Shoes - instead of style, I’m referencing a store I’ll get them at. A Toronto based store dedicated to runners. I hope their knowledgeable staff hooks me up with some kick ass kicks.

2. NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow. Either Casseopeia, or Andromeda, or Dione, or Desdemona, or Callisto... or .... :). It would be lovely to have at least one in my collection. (image from the http://www.thenonblonde.com)

3. Those rings in Revlon nail polish magazine adds. One word, OBSESSED. Who are they by? Where can I get them? Most importantly how much are they? Can I even afford to fantasize about them?

4. iPhone case. This is the one. So freaking awesome. My fingers are practicality itching to place the order.

5. Bag Balm. I hear it’s great for nails; and at approximately $12 a pop, I don’t know why it’s on this list and not in my stash.

6. Sisley-Paris single eyeshadow in Dune. Because it’s called Dune. In eyeshadow world this is on par with Louboutin nail polish. The most ridiculously priced shadow I know of.

7. Sigma Beauty brush cleaning glove. I said I didn’t need it, didn’t want it. But I lied… I think I need it, and I want it.

8. Louboutin nail polish. Every single bottle. My 3 year goal :)

 ..... and that's it for Vol 3... expect to see some of this stuff in future blog posts :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Aveda Shampure Shampoo

For a period of time in my life I used to frequent a salon that only stocked and used Aveda products. I was loyal to a stylist, who's hands were magic. She knew my hair, knew my likes, knew my quirks, and my social awkwardness.  Then my stylist left, and shortly after so did I. No one there had quite the deft fingers she did. Sometimes I find myself missing that Aveda salon scent, but not enough to venture back.

Few months back, I needed a shampoo and my nostalgia led me to buy this one. I don’t think this scent will have a universal appeal, it’s quite herbal and strong, but I like it.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it. Even with online research I could not figure out if “Shampure” means this shampoo is pure and therefore gentle and good for everyday use… or if “Shampure” means this shampoo is clarifying, as in, use once in a while to remove build up. Since I wash my hair daily, I just decided to interchange it with others that I have so that I won’t overdo it in case it’s the second one.

At this time, my bottle is running dry, and I have to say all in all great stuff. After each use, my fine hair has body and bounce; and I’m a fan. I used it in conjunction with some Phyto conditioners I have (this one and this one); and it was an excellent hair cocktail.

I want to repurchase, but I don’t want to spend the money :) Hoping to find it on sale at Winners or Home Sense one of these days… fingers crossed :) If I don't find it on sale, I still might splurge... it doesn't take much for me to talk myself into a "need" for a product :)

UPDATE: ummmm don't know how I missed it, but prior to this post going up I checked Aveda website again and the shampoo is described as "gentle daily shampoo", so there is my answer. I decided to add this update instead of re-writing this post... lazy are I.