Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Favorites

It is that time of month again… favorite time. Usually I reflect about how busy I was but whole heartedly I was not that busy this month. Come to think about it I spent most of the month just hanging out at home and I am completely okay with that. So while some months feature exciting red lipsticks or brand new bright pink blush this month favorites really reflect my laid back life style.  If you’re looking for an eye popping favorites this might not be it, but nonetheless these are the tried and tested goodies I have loved this month.

NUXE Reve De Miel Moisturizing Stick
The original Reve De Miel is a gritty, matte lip balm loved by so many of us. While it is nourishing, due to its gritty texture I find it best used as a treatment before bed. Don’t get it confused with the stick version because the two are very different. The stick version is just as hydrating as the original however the texture is smoother and thinner. In terms of fishing the Moisture Stick leave a subtle natural shine to the lips. Personally I love the stick version better for day time use. Not only is it more sanitary then the original but the texture is more day time friendly.

Chanel Beige De Chanel
This month I have been really focusing on lightweight powders that give the illusion of healthy glowy skin. The first powder is the Chanel Le Beige. Personally I like using this to set my tinted moisturizer, because while it does set my makeup it also helps bring a natural glow to the skin and has the added benefit of having an SPF. If you were looking for a full coverage powder    this might not be for you, however if you were of something perfecting yet bare skin looking I totally think this would be right up your alley.
Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating Pressed Powder    
This is was a limited edition, but Guerlain does have the tendency to re-release things so I thought I would mention it. I use this translucent powder to give my face a glow too. Unlike the Chanel, the Meteorites is completely colorless but is more luminous. If you had the regular Meteorites Pearls this version gives the same glowy effect.  I love using both powders over my tinted moisturizer the Chanel perfects and sets, while the Guerlain has that beautiful glow.
Two powders might seem like a lot but trust me they look like beautiful radiant healthy skin.

MAC Plumful
The plummy lipstick is a winner! I bought this around Christmas time and I instantly fell in love.For myself I love bright lipsticks, but at while work I like to tone things down. I always like a little colour on my lips but I don't want to hit people over the head with it either. Plumful is really great at this because it's  bright yet not too punchy. I have a strange feeling that I am going to be getting some good really use out of this colour. 

Aveeno Fresh Essentials  Daily Exfoliating Scrub
All I can say about this daily scrub is it's so good! It's gentle, not drying but it doesn't leave your skin greasy either, kind of making it perfect for every skin type. Considering this scrub is around $10.00 and you get more then 4 times more product then the average scrub it's a bargain considering the quality.
Prepare to hear more about this scrub in the near future.

What have you been loving this January? Leave me a comment. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Actual No Makeup, Makeup

 A new trend this upcoming spring season has to be the no makeup look, seen at shows like Alexander Wang and Mark Jacobs. The no makeup look has been done time and time again, but not like what we’ve seen for the upcoming spring. Literally these fresh faced models look like they’re not wearing an ounce of makeup. As easy as no-makeup looks it’s a hard one to master. So here are my tips and tricks to looking mastering the bare face yet steering clear from that disheveled “I just woke up” look.

A Non-Makeup Base
There are a wack of perfecting bases out there that are impeccable at mattifying skin and others that work wonders at hydration. Oily skinned girls I highly recommend using your favorite mattifying primer to blur out pores and to control oil production. For my dry skin sisters my favorite option is the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. This creamy skin perfector not only hydrates, but it naturally illuminates, tightens and diminishes redness. If you were looking for a makeup free base Beauty Flash Balm is your girl!

There is a difference between no makeup and looking like you just woke up. Basically what I am saying is if you want to look bare skinned but still pulled together concealer is your best friend. For me my area of concern is my dark circles. A great natural brightening, light-weight concealer is the Clinique Air Brush Concealer.  Unlike other concealers this one looks like skin and doesn’t settle into fine lines too.
If you have spots I would suggest using concealer sparingly where you need it.

Facial Mist
How do models get luminous dewy looking skin? Facial Mists!
I love keeping a facial mist handy to freshen up my skin. While they physically add a glow to the skin many are packed with great ingredients to help nourish the skin. The one I am using right now is the Caudalie Grape Water mist. Made from 100% plant water this mist soothes, refreshes and hydrates all at the same time.

Don’t have a facial mist, no worries! Use your favorite toner in a spray bottle and mist as you go. Not only does this give you that dewy look but also has great skincare benefits.

I didn’t see any of the models wear an ounce of mascara, which is fine and dandy. However, I am not a model and I don’t treat life like a runway, well I wish I did, but what I am saying is give me the freaken mascara.  The mascara I happen to be using right now is the Guerlain Maxi Lash. 
I think it’s important when replicating any makeup trend to stay true to your beauty roots. If this means eye lashes, do it!

Lip Balm
What looks more natural on the lips then lip balm? My personal favorite at the moment is the NUXE Reve De Miel moisturizing stick. I love the potted Reve De Miel before bed however I love the convenience of the tube during the day. There are a ton of great lip balms out there and a no makeup look is a perfect excuse to give your lips a little TLC throughout the day.

There we have 5 products to achieving that barely there makeup look. What is great about this actual no makeup look is 1. It’s on trend, 2. It takes barely any makeup ability and 3. It’s perfect for rushed mornings. Quick, easy simple makeup is totally up my alley now I just have the ability to call it “on trend”.
What are some of your favorite beauty trends leave me a comment!  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Hair = New Hair Things

I can honestly say my everyday hair routine started with a wash and ended in a ponytail or maybe a bun if I was feeling fancy. In all serious my belly button length hair took hours to dry and decades to curl. For me it just made the upkeep boring and not enjoyable. Why grow my hair so long you ask? My goal has always been to donate it and with the New Year here I thought what better time than now. So with over 12 inches off and a fun new look I wanted to get some new hair products to help me with my new do.

Milk Shake Leave in Conditioner
Perfect for all hair types, I thought this leave in spray would help me maintain my new soft locks. It also has the added bonus of smelling mind blowing-ly amazing. I haven’t tried it enough to contest to its quality as of yet but in terms of scent the Milk Shake leave in has it going on.
Is this safe to drink?

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Last year the whole beauty industry was raving about this product. Personally I think the full sized Oribe is crazy expensive to just try on a whim. So I settled for the mini, yes it was still expensive but I thought it would be fun to try with my new haircut. 

Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oleo 
I am a drugstore hair care girl through and through. Sure I have a passion for the Klorane Oat Milk shampoo, but even that is more on the affordable side of things. Kerastase on the other hand is not affordable in the slightest. There shampoos start at $40.00, which is great if you can afford it but a little crazy for me! 
So why do I have this luxe product you ask? I picked it up for $3.00! Again I have yet to use this but I am interested to see what makes this luxury shampoo so luxury. 

Totally not like me to do a hair care haul, but I was just so excited about my hair I couldn't help my self. On the other hand chopping off my hair feels great, not only is it less maintenance but knowing it can potentially help someone makes me really happy. 
What are some of your favourite haircare products, leave me a comment! 

If you in Canada and have been thinking about donating your hair look here for more information. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

3 Things to Try NARS

Founded in 1996 by infamous makeup artist Fran├žois Nars, NARS has to be one of my favourite makeup brands ever. Not only is it a favourite but I reach for NARS products more than any other makeup brand in my collection. So when I was thinking about my “3 Things to Try” posts I knew NARS was a brand I really needed to touch on. Honestly, I could do a top 10 from NARS because there products are just that amazing. So with a lot of thought and consideration here are my 3 products to try from NARS.

Laguna Bronzer
So many people love this and for good reason, it kicks some serious bronzing butt! As a pale girl finding the perfect bronzer can be tough as most of them turn orange or muddy on me. Laguna on me looks like a natural sun kissed bronze that adds definition and warmth to my pale face. While this works wonders for my pale skin I’ve seen women much darker then me swear by Laguna too. Laguna is super blendable, pigmented and I love the glow it gives too.
I’ve gone through well over 10 Laguna’s over the years and can’t be without.
It’s is my every day, always flattering, go-to, fail safe bronzer.  

Multiple Copacabana
This champagne-y highlighter gives the illusion of healthy skin. I love using this on the highest point of my cheek bones, on my eyes and in the center of the lips (gives you that pouty look). I think what separates Copacabana from other highlighters is finish. Some highlighters leave you slightly streaky, frosty or a combination of both, Copacabana simply looks natural. It’s the kind of highlight that tricks the eye to thinking you have a brighter healthy complexion.  As far as texture goes I draw on Copacabana straight from the tube and pat it in with my fingers. Unlike others Copacabana’s dry texture doesn’t interfere with your foundation, it just kind of magically melts into your skin.
Natural looking and easy to apply Copacabana is a must have.

Orgasm Blush
Last but definitely not least is the cult classic blush Orgasm. I think I’ve seen this featured in just about every magazine, blog, YouTube, newspapers …literally everywhere! Actually even people who aren’t into makeup know about NARS Orgasm blusher. The thing is  Orgasm blush is well worth the hype, it’s universally flattering, brightening and simply beautifying. There are tons of dupes for Orgasm but none of them have the depth of color, pigmentation or blend-ability as the original. 

(Orgasm being the coral shade out of the two) 

Was that 3 already? I think, I can talk about NARS all day.

What are some of your favourite NARS products? leave me a comment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Around the Tub

After moving into our house 6 months ago, I can proudly say I love our bathroom. Not only is it bigger than our previous bathroom but the separate shower and tub combination is something I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do. As I have been taking more baths then ever I have naturally been purchasing more bath products then ever. So here are some products that I keep around the tub.

Fresh Sugar Lemon Sugarbath
These fizzy bath cubes are a good zingy option for morning bathers. As I am a night time bather I find these a little too invigorating in contrast to my soothing night time scents. Don’t get me wrong I love lemon everything but I find I don’t reach for this as often as I should. There is nothing wrong with these cubes but my next high end bath purchase will be something a little more in the vanilla soothing category.

The Body Shop Bath Jelly in Vanilla Brulee
I reach for this bubble bath all the time, like well over 10 times and it boggles my mind that I still have half left... Bubble magic! Seriously this is really good stuff, the bubbles last forever in the tub, it leaves your skin soft but best of all it smells seriously indulgent. This limited edition product comes highly recommended!
On a side note, I would check your local Body Shop to see if they have any left over from Christmas.

NUXE Oil Prodigieuse
This lovely scented multipurpose oil is perfect for hair, body and face. However a couple of squirts into the bath is another great use for this luxurious oil. It makes regular bath water smell divine and leaves your skin baby soft.

Blithe and Bonny Honey Almond Bath Salts
I have to be honest I have never heard of this brand before. However between the packaging and the scent alone I was compelled to make a purchase. This Epsom salt based product is amazing at treating tired muscles and the scent is a really nice sweet almond, soothing vanilla sort of smell. If I take a bath before bed this is my calming, comforting go to!

I am digging this whole bath thing and thoroughly look forward to relaxing in the tub.
New to the bath game what are some of your recommendations?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday The Beauty Upkeep

I love the world of beauty. There are constantly new products being realised and amazing reviews being posted. However, just when we thought everything was fun and games we get hit by the reminder … the beauty upkeep reminder that is. So with my favorite playlist playing and a tea close by here is my list of today's daunting beauty tasks.

Washing Brushes
I hate washing my brushes! I mean if we really think about it we have cutting edge anti-aging moisturizers but we don’t have self-cleaning brushes … crazy!  Beauty innovations aside we all know makeup brushes must be cleaned on the regular. Not only do clean brushes make makeup application easier but brushes can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Bacteria can mean a slew of bad things such as eye infections, rashes, pimples etc.
Years ago I use to kill… I mean clean my makeup brushes with alcohol. This quick fix cleaning method left me with dry, brittle brushes which eventually caused them to shed, fray and loose shape. These days I’m much more careful with my brushes so I opt for a gentle cleansing yet hydrating soap like the Dr. Bronners Magic Soap in the Unscented Mild Baby formula. Yes this method undeniably takes longer but it leaves my brushes soft, clean and ready to use.

Eyebrow Maintenance   
 I suppose this is a self-inflicted upkeep because I could just go and get them threaded or waxed. My thoughts on getting someone to do my eye brows changed after unexpectedly getting pencil thin brows years ago, then the esthetician telling me my thick brows were ugly. Horrible experiences… now I just do them myself. To avoid over plucking I never use a magnified mirror, nor do I pluck above the eye brow. I literally just pluck the stray hairs and let my natural shape shine.  Annoying task but it must be done…

Cleaning Out and Organization
My makeup collection is a revolving door of products. You can bet as soon as something new comes in something old leaves. All my favorite commonly used products stay in my vanity while un-loved staples end up in my back flow drawers. As for the rest it goes to my friends and family or in the garbage if it’s expired… I love cleaning out my collection because I feel more organized. On the other hand I hate it, it throwing out an old tube of lipstick that I paid full price for makes me realize I’m wasting money. I hate wasting money!

Between plucking eye brows to washing brushes sometimes the world of beauty is not so glamorous.What are some of your dreaded beauty tasks? leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Miracle 10 AHA Cream

We all know regular exfoliation routine is critical to beautiful youthful looking skin. I use to think that exfoliation was done only gritty physical scrubs. To be honest if you would have told me to exfoliate with an acid 10 years ago I would have asked you if you were crazy. How naive I was…
In reality chemical exfoliators are nothing to fear and actually can be more gentle then there gritty counterparts.

Drum roll please…

New to my exfoliation routine is the addition of Miracle 10’s AHA Cream. While I have tried chemical exfoliates in the form of toners and cleansers adding a cream in the dead of winter made sense to me. This AHA cream is a lactic acid based moisturizer. The lactic acid slowly eats away at dead skin cells leaving you with fresh, brand new skin. Yes, this sounds gross but it’s completely painless! 

As an added benefit the good people at Miracle 10 have added anti-oxidants and (my favorite skincare ingredient) hyaluronic acid to the mix. So in practice this AHA cream is both exfoliating yet hydrating making it suitable for dry and sensitive skin types. 

Unlike anything I’ve ever tried this nourishing exfoliator makes my skin look bright, radiant and perfectally hydrated all at the same time.  Kind of makes me wonder why haven’t more brands caught on? Without any irritation but with all the skincare benefits of exfoliating and moisturizing I can’t recommend the AHA Cream enough.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seasonally Dry Skin Remedies

Usually I like to get my skin ready for the cold. I start by gradually introducing richer and richer products as the weather progressively drops. I slipped this year, because a couple of weeks ago it wasn’t that cold. Actually, Christmas in Toronto this year was green and balmy and in Canadian standards that is a one hot Christmas. So as the weather has dramatically dropped my skin is showing the signs of severe dryness. With the weather sitting in the double digit negatives here are some of my favourite dry skin remedies.

The Body
L'occitane Almond Shower Oil is a product that I heard about for years. People claimed this product to be the answer to dry winter skin. So I thought I would get the mini bottle to see for myself self.
DARN… this is like nothing I’ve ever tried in my life. This shower product starts off as an oil but once it hits the water it turns into a rich creamy lather.  Not only does it leave you smelling  amazing but it leaves your skin so hydrated you won’t even need a moisturizer. Total body winter must have and perfect for sensitive skin types too!

The Face
Not only does my skin get dry during the winter but it gets sensitive too. My winter go-to is Avene’s Skin Recovery Cream. This is the only cream I’ve encountered to date that is nourishing enough for my eczema yet light enough for the rest of my face. If you’re an eczema sufferer Avene is a brand that has worked wonders for me, I can’t recommend there products enough.

The Hands
This post wasn’t supposed to highlight only french brands but damn they seriously are the winter skin experts. For the hands I highly recommend NUXE’s Reve de Miel hand cream. This hand cream features shea butter, coconut butter, honey and a slew of other amazing ingredients. It leaves your hands instantly hydrated, but doesn’t leave a nasty residue. It also has the added benefit of smelling amazing, to the point where I wish they can somehow bottle the scent and sell it as a perfume.

The Lips
There are so many excellent choices out there such as Avene’s Cold Cream Lip Balm and the cult classic NUXE Reve De Miel. Even the Burt’s Bee’s lip balm is a solid choice. BUT my all-time favorite cold weather lip balm is the Blistex Lip Medex. Yes, I totally get there are fancier choices out there but nothing sooths chapped burning lips like the minty Lip Medex. If you’re a fan of minty lip products trust me you will love this!

So ladies since we can’t battle to cold with blow dryers, lets beat it with hydration.
What are some of your favorite hydrating products? leave me a comment.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mastering the Makeup Counter

Going to a makeup counter can be absolutely horrifying. While the majority of the beauty employees are helpful, kind and beauty enthusiasts just like us, there are some that ruin a really good thing. As someone who use to work on a beauty counter I can say can honestly say I've seen service ranging from amazing to just downright rude. So here are my top tips to remember when buying makeup. 

Employee Kick Backs 
Sometimes brands have employee incentives when they sell a certain item. These can range from a bonus of money to free product, it depends on the brand. If you notice yourself being persuaded to purchase something you don't want stick to your guns and get what you do want. 

Ask for Samples
Companies provide makeup counters with samples to give to customers. So if you have a genuine interest in a product there is nothing wrong with asking for a sample. Some companies don’t send enough samples to counters. So if the sales associate says there’s no samples take her word for it. Remember when asking for these prized minis to never be pushy or rude…

Have a question? Ask!
If you want to learn what the hottest lip colour for spring is or if you want to master the smoky eye ask. If you like an associate’s lip colour, ask what it is! There is nothing wrong with asking questions and many of the women and men working in cosmetics have been trained accordingly to answer them.

Get to know the product. 
Always, always, always swatch a product before buying it. Chances are if you try something in a store and you’re not sold on the quality you’re probably not going to like it when you come home. 
If you can't swatch in a store look online for swatches and reviews. 
For skincare, I would also recommend trying it on the back of your hand. When trying  skincare keep in mind texture and scent.

Bottom line...
 Shit Service Go Somewhere Else 
In many department stores employees are offered commission for each product they sell. If you are not satisfied with the service from that particular store take your money somewhere else. 

I have tons of friends and family who dread going to the makeup counter. Actually even though I’ve worked in the industry I can sometimes dislike it too. But beauty world is changing my friends! Gone are the days of snotty statuesque women standing behind a glass counters refusing to give service to anyone under the age of 35. With stores like Sephora and more open concept counters companies want you to touch, feel and play with their products. So the next time you fear the Chanel counter remember these tips to ensure the best beauty experience possible.