Friday, November 28, 2014

Avène Hydrance Optimale Serum Review

With December just around the corner, there is no escaping it winter is coming. Game of Thrones jokes aside frigid temperatures and cranked up heaters mean one thing… dehydrated skin. As someone who suffers from dehydration I was ecstatic to see the release of the Hydrance Optimale Serum. 

What I love most about Avène is there products are not gimmicky. They don’t make ridiculous claims of ‘overnight face lifts’ while giving ‘72 hour hydration’ like other brands. If I can speak quite openly Avène just does no bullshit skincare with reputable results, outstanding ingredients and all at an affordable price point. Hydrance Optimale Serum lives up to this standard, it’s effective at treating dehydrated skin.  
Hydrance Optimale hydrates and the skin in two very important ways. The first way is this recreates a shield of hydration to the skin. This hydration barrier not only helps moisturize but it also helps lock in moisture. The second way is actually by hydrating the skin we don’t see, which in return helps ensure our future skin will look healthy and plump. Also, for good measure Avène threw in some of their miracle thermal water into the mix. Dehydrated skin can often be irritated and red and the thermal water does its magic by eliminating that. Genus choice!

I love my product’s that are meant for dehydrated skin. However I can’t escape the feeling that most of these offerings are heavy and sometimes slightly oily. Granted this is might be something my dry, dehydrated skin needs, but most times (especially mornings) I want something quick, easy and effective. Totally unique Hydrance Optimale light gel texture absorbs instantly into the skin making it suitable for oily skin types too. 

Hydrance Optimale is an easy product to love it absorbs effortlessly, has a handy pump dispenser, sets nicely under foundations, smells great, feels incredible, it’s affordable too, but most importantly it works! If you’re a dehydrated skin sufferer I can’t recommend this enough.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chanel Ombre Contraste Duo

Two summers ago Chanel released the most amazing summer collection ever (in my humble option). With really bright oranges contrasting nude-y gold’s this was a summer collection to remember. Right off the bat I was drawn to the nude shadow duo and the summer nail colors  In a perfect world I would have purchased everything but in reality I settled for a one nail polish. I might be a little beauty obsessed but even though I left the shadows behind the perfect duo never escaped my mind. Eventually my local Chanel counter sold out, and the duo was no longer to be found. 

My Mom told me "good things happen to those who wait"
At the time I didn't know this valuable life lesson applied to limited edition Chanel products.

On a trip to Winners I was shocked to see so many Chanel goodies hanging around the beauty department. The next thing I knew the clouds parted and the angels called and I was reunited with my long lost limited edition duo. Dramatic you say? VERY, especially since the price was knocked down to $26.00 from the regular $50.00!

Good deals and fate aside this duo is amazing. Sable is a beautiful warm brown but almost bronze shade. This pretty color works wonders at defining the crease. Yet the slight bronze shimmer makes interesting enough to be worn alone too. 

 Emouvant is a warm toned beige that has golden undertone. I don't usually get excited about light nude colours, but I have to hand it to this one its down right stunning. It's buttery texture and slight golden shimmer makes this shade something worth getting excited for.

Both shades are incredibly pigmented, buttery in texture and wear for hours. The thing I love most about this is both shades work extremely well together. On the other hand both colours are unique enough to be worn alone. 

Even the small fancy lacquered pallet is something worth smiling for.
If you couldn't tell I am completely and whole-heartedly smitten with my Chanel purchase. 

This universally flattering duo should be in everyone’s makeup stash. This was first released in 2010 then again in 2012 so perhaps it might pop up in an upcoming collection. Basically what I am getting to is if you see this get it.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

3 Things

Three things I am currently obsessed with....

The pastry that is!
I remember growing up and my grandmothers whipping up a batch of these each christmas. Darn I have to give the ladies credit because these are a pain in the butt to make. I wouldn't consider them difficult they are just VERY time consuming. For my peaches I opted for a non-traditional approach and left them white. Again deviating from the traditional recipe filled them with Peach Cobbler preserves and gave them a gentle dip in a bourbon vanilla simple syrup. I think the taste is there next time I would just make them smaller. I feel like my look like boulders in comparison to other dainty versions I've scene. 
Must get this recipe down pact before christmas... 

Four O'Clock Banana Cinnamon Spice Tea
If you love banana bread you will be a fan of this yummy tea. With hints of banana, cinnamon, ginger  and clove this tea smells and tastes like a decadent dessert. This is one of Four O'Clocks limited edition Christmas tea's so if you see these around I highly suggest you try them. I get a little crazy with these and buy a few boxes around christmas times so I can enjoy them all year. 

Marshmallow Fireside 
Darn this candle is out of this world amazing. I kind of think Bath and Body Works push the envelope with this one, because on one half its vanilla marshmallow sweet meets smokey campfire warm. 
The two contrasting scents make a room smell amazingly warm and festive. Personally I dislike typical pine scented christmas candles, so I am happy to have something festive yet not pine scented. 

Kind of a different post for me let me know if you would like to see more of these?
Also leave me a comment I would love to know what some of your other favourites are? 

Friday, November 21, 2014

3 Things To Try Clarins

In my late teens I would have told you Clarins was boring. I plainly remember visiting a department store and thinking to myself “who would buy Clarins?” While I credit myself for using skincare from a young age I eventually settled with a gimmicky eye cream that did not work and irritated my eyes.

My next memory of Clarins was while working in cosmetics. At this point I knew about Clarins but what surprised me was how many women and men swore by their range of products. Even fellow co-workers would spurge on Clarins even thou they would get free product from the respective brands. The Chanel lady would purchase the Vital Light line as where the MAC people swore by their Clarins re-balancing oils. Between trying out there makeup and skincare to learning more about the brand I am a complete Clarins fan. Like Avène and NUXE, Clarins is a line that does not disappoint and within each product I try I fall a little more in love.  With that being said here are my three things to try from Clarins.

Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel
I am very open about my love for this fantastic cleansing gel. I honestly don’t shut up about it; I’ve recommended this to friends, family and yes even strangers! It’s gentle, leaves your baby soft, contains no nasty ingredients, smells nice, removes all traces of makeup, smells nice and it’s affordable.  I always forget to add but this neutralizes hard water making it perfect for us non-city girls and cottage goers.
Basically Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel has got it going on! I did a whole review on this here if you’re interested.

Blue Orchid Rebalancing Oil
Back in my cosmetics days I vividly remember this lady that use to come in every 2 months or so and purchase on of of these. Before she would leave she would always confess that she “couldn’t live without this” and thank us gratefully for our help.  
One night while closing a co-worker secretly came to the counter and asked to purchase a bottle. He also claimed nothing worked better for his skin and whispered the brand he worked for did not come close to the results of Clarins. Eventually I noticed, the manager of The Body Shop, an associate from Lush all claimed that the rebalancing oils were life changing, from that point on I gave in.  
My parched skin lead me to the Blue Orchid oil. The Blue Orchid oil is ideal for dehydrated skin types, however it also works wonders on more mature skin types too. With patchouli, rosewood, blue orchid and hazelnut oils you can be assured this not only smells amazing but works miracles too. 
Seriously, this has worked wonders on my winter moisture deprived skin and my eczema too. I love the hydration, the scent, the soothing but most of all I love how amazing soft this leaves my skin. 
Clarins Blue Orchid Oil is a product I can't life without and a product that comes highly recommend too. 

Beauty Flash Balm 
Before I tried this infamous Clarins product I heard buzz that this was "a face lift in a bottle", "sleep in a tube" and more times then not people claim this is there "miracle" product. 
Usually I don't buy into things that sound to good to be true but unlike others Beauty Flash Balm lives up to the hype. 
The first thing you will notice about Beauty Flash Balm is just how amazing  your skin will immediately look. Fine sagging become tight, skin instantly look more awake and luminous and right off the bat your skin feels hydrated. 
Personally I like using Beauty Flash Balm as a makeup primer. Not only does this help extend the longevity of my foundation but this also helps my skin look luminous, feel moisturized and gives my skin an more even tone. Beauty Flash Balm is a totally unique product to the Clarins line, suitable for every age and skin type. 
On a side note it smells pretty darn amazing, heals spots and you can use it as a plumping face mask too. If you haven't tried Beauty Flash Balm do because it is out of this world amazing. 

There you have it my 3 products you need to try from Clarins. What are your favourite Clarins product's leave me a comment?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NSPA Hot Cloth Polish

Like most teenagers I suffered from sensitive acne prone skin. At the time I remember being recommended strong salicylic based products that temporarily helped my acne but dried the heck out of my skin. Actually, I kind of think that is partially the reason why my skin is so sensitive today. If you didn’t fall into the anti-aging or acne-prone skin ranges there really wasn’t much out there for you.  Over the past couple of years drugstore skincare has done a 180. We now see product’s for multi skin concerns, new brands, cutting edge ingredients and product’s that follow the newest skincare trends. One of these new drugstore skincare offerings in Canada is NSPA.

Sold at Wall Mart, NSPA carries skincare, bath & body care and mother–to-be product ranges. Although this brand is new to us here in Canada it has a strong 25 year history. Among there line up of interesting products was this Hot Cloth Polish. The whole hot cloth cleansing fad began with famous Liz Earl but expensive cleanser.  A hot cloth cleanse basically involves a thick cream cleanser that is to nourish the face while removing makeup and dirt. The cream is then removed by a hot muslin cloth which helps not only remove the cream cleanser but also helps physically exfoliate the face.
In my humble opinion I think this works best as the first step to a double cleanse routine. The first step exfoliates, nourishes and removes make up, while the second step aims to really give your skin a good clean.

Okay here is the thing I’ve never tried the Liz Earl Hot Cloth Cleanser. Actually the closest thing I’ve gotten to this trend is THEFACESHOP’s Mango Seed cleanser, which is similar is texture. However even with my limited experience in the “hot cloth” world I can safely say the NSPA kicks some serious ass.  NSPA’s buttery cleanser is conveniently dispensed by a pump, which a winning quality because it’s shower friendly without getting swampy.
Yes, swampy…. shower water + potted product = some seriously questionable stuff.

This creamy formula is comprised of cocoa butter and almond oil which makes it ultra-hydrating and perfect for even the most sensitive skin types. As thick as the formula is its really easy to work into the face and gentle enough for the eye area too. If you wear a lot of eye makeup or water proof mascara this might as well be your best friend because it melts makeup off like a dream.

NSPA’s Hot Cloth Cleanser makes my skin oh- so very happy. With miracle ingredient vitamin E it makes my skin appear brighter and luminous. This also contains Neroli Oil which aids in cellular regeneration. So for those of us who suffer from acne scares or hyper pigmentation you might want to give this a go.

I love this cleanser if you haven’t noticed… The woodsy scent, the quality of ingredients, the results, the packaging heck I even love the muslin cloth it comes with. NSPAS $14.00 Hot Cloth Polish is undeniably luxurious, but without the posh price tag. For a while I gave up on drugstore skincare but NSPA’s Hot Cloth Cleanser is a testament that cutting edge, amazing products can be found at any price point.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What is in my makeup bag?

This is a good question, because I don’t even know what’s in my makeup bag. At the start of every season my makeup bag looks refined, organized and dare I even say cute? This is not the beginning of fall and half way through the fall my makeup bag is looking rather… cluttered.  So brace yourself this is what is in my makeup bag.

Flower Lipstick Petal to the Metal
I was excited to see this Drew Barrymore's new Flower makeup line in Canada, so I decided "what the heck let’s try a lip product".  My first impression is it feels nice on the lips but it starts to look patchy when it wears off. Also, the lid keeps popping off which I hate because I fear it might ruin my purse.
We will see with this one but we are off on a bad start.

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Enchantment
I picked this up last week too and although it’s new and I don’t want to jump the gun but it’s a great lip liner. I love mechanical lip liners there easy and travel friendly. I want to try some more colors from this range because while I love this raspberry color but I am craving something a little lighter.

Essie Good to Go Topcoat
Not really sure how this ended up in my makeup bag but it’s a great top coat. Mine happens to be slightly pink because I have been wearing red and burgundy polishes constantly.

La Vanilla Pure Vanilla Roller Ball
This is empty and I have been totally lugging this around with the intention to replace it.

Guerlain Rose Pompon
I am almost finished this lipstick and let face it, it’s had better days. Probably my favorite lipstick of all time, I already have back up ready to go!
If you’re into sheer, rosy- plum colors this one has my stamp of approval.

Bare Minerals Dare Devil
I got this in a Bare Minerals makeup set and am in love. This is like a pinkier lip gloss version of Guerlain Rose Pompon and it even has a minty tingle. And we all know how much I love a little tingle! I love this lip gloss but the packaging looks abused which is crazy considering I’ve only had it for a month.

Chanel Rouge Allure Extract De Gloss in Merveille
Another rosy plum lip product! In comparison to the two above Merveille is more plum then rose. It’s ever so slightly vampy, but still very wearable. Really pretty, excellent color payoff and super long wearing but like all good things this was a limited edition product!

Chanel Glossimer in 176
This blackish red lip gloss is actually pretty darn pigmented.  Personally I find really pigmented glossimers hard to wear because they always end up all over my face. In effort to finish this before it goes off, I been adding just a touch to the lips and wearing it like a sheer wash of color. With that being said because I use so little I feel like I am never going to finish this. 

Shiseido Automatic Lip Crayon
This pinky red lip liner is surprisingly hydrating and sheer. I did a really bold lip look a few weeks ago and I found this to be a perfect touch up tool that got me though the night. I don't reach for this often so back into my collection it will go.

If you haven’t noticed there is a ton of crap in my makeup bag….

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Antigone
Rouge Coco Shines happen to be one of my favorite lipstick formulas ever. Antigone is a sheer strawberry red and although it’s new I think we are going to have a great future together.

Fresh Sugar Berry Lip Balm
Last lip product but probably the one I reach for the most. This color adds the perfect sheer wash of berry, it’s so very pretty! The best part about Fresh lip balms is there super hydrating and literally feel like a lip balm.

Eye Cream Sample
I love keeping eye cream samples in my makeup bag they are great if you need a pick me up after work.
The one I have now is a Re Vive sample, truth be told I have not tried this yet so I can’t contest to its performance.

Perfume Samples
Right now I am carrying an assortment of Jo Malone and one random perfume sample. Adding to the random things I carry with me half of these are empty and need to be thrown out.  I must add Jo Malone’s Blush Peony and Suede is beautiful.

Not in my beauty bag but still beauty…..
Chanel Compact
This compact I use for the mirror. I got “crafty” one day and took out the old Chanel blush this was holding. Old blush is an understatement this ancient blush was 10 years old.

Selection of moisturizers
This includes my new favorite hand cream Reve De Miel, a body lotion by L'Occitane and Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour cream.  The L’Occitane body lotion is a little overkill but it smells beautiful I just can’t get enough of its vanilla floral scent.

Darn I really carry a ton of crap with me on a daily bases. 
I also think I have a slight lipstick problem… which I’m sure many of you guys to do.
What is some product’s that you carry around? Leave me a comment!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sunday’s Sample Predicament

Last Sunday unknowingly I took place in one of the nicest pampering sessions in my life. I love trying new products, but somehow I always forget to use these samples up. With a good novel in one hand and a cup of tea in the other I came to the conclusion today was the day I would use some minis. I was totally expecting good experience but little did I know I would soon counter one of the best bath experiences ever.

I started off with a scoop full of the Blithe and Bonny Honey Almond Bath Salts. I confess this is not a sample but the soothing, sweet fragrance was definitely a nice touch and added to the whole experience.  Then I did the typical face, hair, body washing routine… From this point on my typical relaxation routine went from nice to amazing…

 Jo Malone Vitamin E Treatment Scrub
Oh dear, I have never felt so posh and polished in my entire life. This gritty salt scrub is infused with Vitamin E. I truly believe the texture of this is what makes it so amazing. It’s one part greasy paste and the other part is salt. While that might be the most appealing description, it works! The thick paste adheres to your skin allowing for the scrub to thoroughly be worked into the skin. Once everything hits the water is dissolves into a rich moisturizing liquid and your left with glowing baby soft skin.
Whole heartedly I have never tried a scrub as effective as this ever!

L'OCCITANE Almond Milk Concentrate
After the Jo Malone Scrub I followed with a good helping of the Almond Concentrate. This body cream is unique in the sense that its extremely hydrating, yet feels considerably light. Not I’m not going to lie I always pictured this to be a thick greasy body butter so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered was light but just as moisturizing. As far as the scent … holy damn! If you’re into almond anything you will be a fan. I kind of feel like a bad blogger when I say this but based on scent alone I want to pick this up. Well maybe one day but more on that later…

Guerlain Super Aqua Cream- Night Balm
Age defying hydration… As a person who likes a little anti-aging and has a whole lot of dry skin this seems like the perfect combination. This feels rich, nourishing and soothes over skin effortlessly. Like so many high eye skincare ranges this smells beautifully fresh with the slightest touch of perfume. How do high end skincare ranges do it? There product’s always scented but never cause irritation to the face! As for the night balm, I woke up the next day with nourished plumped looking skin. Amazing first experience and I’m cherishing the small amount I have in the tube for another spa escape.

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire
My relaxation routine was finally complete with a heavy dose of Guerlain’s Petite Robe Noire. I know some might not finish their pamper routines with perfume. However I love perfume so I couldn’t imagine a spa-like indulgence without. La Petite Robe Noire smells like notes of smoky black tea, almond, cherry and a touch of rose. If you’re into Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noire I think this would be up your ally.

I love getting samples and I am very thankful whenever I get one, but the thing about samples is…
So with my luxurious life changing pamper done I headed straight for the computer to see how much these astonishing products were. I was shaken to see total routine would have cost me almost $500 for full sized products.
The Jo Malone Scrub alone cost’s $90 US dollars… why did I use it all at once??
 So while I am grateful and had a great little spoil session the problem with samples is sometimes there just heart-breakingly expensive.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Leave me a comment I would love to hear.