Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Smooth & Silky: Bath and Body Works: Foot Care Items Review

For the last month I have renewed my Bath and Body works obsession and have been trying to get my feet in sandal ready mode. 
Since they keep on sending me coupons and promotions I have given into the gimmicks and been lured back in the store and have been scoping out new items.
Wintery Canadian weather keeps my feet looking not so cute, so I have been battling to get them just how I want then in time for the feet showing months. 
I had marked down a few items on my to get list and finally after eyeing them for awhile and getting reviews on them I decided to give it a whirl.
I purchased True Blue Spa Malibu Beach Pedicure Foot Cream in Avocado Butter, True Blue Spa Strength Callus Treatment - Tough Love, and True Blue Spa Smoothing Foot Scrub - Toe the Line.
I was happy because I got to take part in the promotion where I buy 2 get 1 free! I also got to use a coupon that allowed for $10 off the purchase. So far I have used them and enjoy them and am quickly seeing improvements in the feel and appearance of my feet. I will go through what each product is suppose to do and how they are suppose to be used. 
From Left to Right: True Blue Spa Malibu Beach Pedicure Foot Cream in Avocado Butter,  

True Blue Spa Strength Callus Treatment - Tough Love, True Blue Spa Smoothing Foot Scrub - Toe the Line.

  • True Blue Spa Malibu Beach Pedicure Foot Cream in Avocado Butter : is a thick creamy lotion that you can apply to your feet for every day use to moisturize them prior to putting on sandals or shoes. I have found this product great to use because it has a thick consistency that sinks into the skin. Also it isn't greasy as some creams tend to be so allow for immediate wearing of shoes or sandals  The smell is very pretty with a slight avocado smell to it. You only need a pea size for each foot and very little goes a long way with this product. I scored this one for only $5.00 CAD at the cash so was very excited.
  • True Blue Spa-Strength Callus Treatment - Tough Love: This callus treatment is cream that you apply to your feet after you have scrubbed your feet with an exfoliator or soaked your feet in warm water. It works by rubbing the product on your heels or callused areas and smooths them out. This product contains Glycolic acid and helps to remove any dead skin cells on the feet. This cream also contains Eucalyptus Oil which provides a refreshing feel to your skin and Glycerin helps skin retain moisture. It works really well I have only used it for a little over a week and I can already feel a difference. I can already tell this is a product that you will have to work with over time to see results in the long run. The product is very watery and I wish they could change the packaging to a pump because the product tends to ooze out the tube. The smell of the product is a little odd but very bearable. I put it on in the night with some socks because I wouldn't be able to tolerate the smell in the day. This is worth every penny because it does what it says it is going to do. Retails for $15.00 CAD
  • True Blue Spa Smoothing Foot Scrub - Toe the Line is a exfoliator for the feet that removes dead skin cells and rough patches from the feet. This scrub is infused with Walnut shells to remove thick dry patches from the bottom of the feet. It also contains peppermint oil to provide a soothing feeling to the feet. You apply the product to your feet in the shower and rub it all over your wet feet to get them soft and silky. I dab a bit of the product on a pumice stone and apply it to my feet to smooth them out and it works like a charm. This is one of my favourite product out of the three that I have purchased and I would definitely repurchase it again. Retails for $15.00 CAD
All in all these are good products to check out if your are trying to have your feet silky and avoid ashy feet for the summer months. You can purchase these products in store at Bath and Body works or online. Bath and Body Works constantly have promotions on products so sign up for their mailing list or check out their website to take advantage of the sales. I now have my eye on True Blue Spa Cracked Heel Treatment - Heel of Approval because I have heard rave reviews about it. 

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Lush Toner: Eau Roma Water: Product Fail

In my previous blog about Toner The Body Shops Seaweed Clarifying Toner I went on to talk about
Lush Toner: Eau Roma Water
how I was happy to find a Toner that makes my face feel refreshed and more clean and balanced after washing with drying soap.
Prior to that I went to Lush to find a toner that was natural, soothing and something I could use daily. I was starting to break out from a foundation I had been trying out and wanted to switch my face products I had been using.
I did my research on Lush toners and decided that I wanted to get the Tea Tree toner since I had a lot of success with my pimple zapping product that contains tea tree as its base ingredient Lush's Grease Lightening Tea Tree Cleanser.
I walked into the downtown Toronto Lush store and was searching for the product and was notified by a young worker that they where out of stock. She suggested that I try out Eau Roma Water since I have combination skin and its ingredients are good for combating oil. I reluctantly purchased the toner figuring she probably knew that product line better then me, but when I used it I truly felt nothing. I tried it for a few weeks but didn't feel as though it removed any excess makeup that I was unable to get off my face, nor make me feel refreshed. I felt like I was spraying sweet smelling water onto my skin. Personally I think this toner would be nice as a refresher or even to mist the face to prep it for makeup application. Even refreshing the face through out the day when the air is dry weather is warm would be good. However I just didn't feel like it was doing it's job and I felt like it was a waste of money. I still recommend getting a small sample of the product or giving it a try in the store because I have seen many reviews on it and people like it so many it is just me?
On Lush's website they describe this toner as being good for dry, sensitive  or mature skin that needs a gentle touch. This toner is suppose to be the most moisturizing out of all of the toners they sell and are infused with rose water and lavender essential oils. These oils are known to be good for redness, irritation and dryness. I purchased the 100ml bottle for $9.99 CAD from Lush and it can be purchased
Lush Skin Care Productson their website as well.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Getting your Hair clean: Shampooing your hair

Cleansing the hair is another important part of building your regiment. Washing your hair removes dirt, build up, dust and product from you hair and is a big step when deciding on what direction your regiment needs to go in. 
The first thing you will have to decide when picking your shampoo of choice is what are you personally looking for in your shampoo? 
Do you have dry brittle hair? Do you have itchy dry scalp? Do you have hair that tends to be oily? You must ask yourself these questions to determine the best suited shampoo for your own personal use. 
If you have dry and brittle hair you likely will need a shampoo that is moisturizing. 
If you have itchy and dry scalp you may need a shampoo that combats that and has tea tree oil. 
If your hair tends to be oily and greasy you will need to find a shampoo infused with aloe, fruit extracts and olive oil.
It is also a good idea to purchase a clarifying shampoo treatment that can be used once a month to rid of the excess oils and build up that regular gentle shampoos won't remove. 
This is something you will need to research, trial and error is really the only way to do that. 
Now you have decided what type of shampoo you will be looking for another decision you have to make is do you want one that is sulfate free? Or is that important to you? Now I am sure you have gone in the stores and noticed some brands boasting that they are sulfate free. What is a sulfate you ask? 
I will provide you a little background as to what a sulfate is and why a lot of people are opting to go sulfate free with their shampoo.

  • Sulfates which are usually written out as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), dium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) is a chemical used to provide foam and lather to many household items. Now I'm sure you are thinking that exactly what I want?! However this is an chemical that has been in the spotlight for causing issues with users
  • Sulfates tend to cause a lot of irritations to the skin, and scalp and a lot of people who have stopped using products containing sulfates have seen a lot of improvements 
  • Sulfates tend  to be very drying on the scalp and removes a lot of the natural oils your scalp produces and dryness of the scalp can also lead to dandruff, itching,  and boils on the scalp
  • Sulfates are also blamed for causing a lot of frizz in hair and users who stop using sulfate infused shampoos tend to notice hair is much softer and frizz free
  • Sulfates on color treated hair is a bad mix because color treated hair tends to be much more dryer and the detergent that are in sulfates tends to suck out any remaining moisture from the hair shaft
For me personally I aim to steer clear of shampoos that contain sulfates because I have noticed a difference when I use ones that are without. However if you opt to use shampoos that contain sulfates try to take a peak at the ingredient list and go for the shampoo that has it towards the end of the list because that means that it contains a much less concentration of it. 

So now you have chosen the shampoo you want to use and are going to cleanse your hair. Pre pooing is very helpful because it puts moisture in your hair and allows for more moisture to remain even after you have shampooed your hair. 
During washing there are a few tips to keep in mind.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo once versus twice because this can combat the dryness of using shampoo. Remember washing with shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils and you do not need your hair to be squeaky clean. Take your time on your first wash to concentrate on the scalp and roots of your hair then wash out.
  • Gently massage your scalp and let the shampoo do the cleaning. Do not bunch your hair up like you are in a Herbal Essence commercial it really is unnecessary and tangles hair and makes for a mean de-tangling session in the end.
  • Try to concentrate shampoo on scalp only and try not to apply shampoo directly on the ends of your hair. The ends of your hair are the oldest hair on your head and generally need a lot of moisture. Do not suck all the moisture away from it, allow the water to gently have the shampoo flow to your ends. 
  • If you have long, or thick hair try washing your hair in sections to reduce the amount of tangles. If you need to bring claw clips into the shower to separate your hair don't be scared! Do what you must. 
  • Try to limit the use of shampoo to no more then once a week
  • If you need to wash your hair a few times a week try using conditioner to wash your hair (co washing) to cleanse your scalp to combat drying
  • Immediately select your conditioner you will use after shampooing and apply it
Overall selecting a good product will aid in making wash day easy. 
For myself I use Creme of Nature that is infused with Argan oil and can be purchased at most beauty supply store or drug stores. 
I few other brands I have used and really liked are:
  • Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo (can be purchased at Honey Fig, Target, Beauty supply stores and Amazon)
  • Kinky Curly Come Clean (can be purchased at Honey Fig, Target, Beauty supply stores and Amazon)
  • Dr. Bronner Peppermint Liquid Soap (can be purchased at Honey Fig, Target, Grocery stores, American Apparel, Whole Foods and Amazon)
Next on my list to try are:
  • Sunny Isle YlangYlang Jamaican Black Castor Oil Moisturizing Shampoo (can be purchased at Honey Fig and Amazon)
  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil Moisturizing Shampoo with Shea Butter (can be purchased at Honey Fig and Amazon)
  • Blended Beauty Soy Cream Shampoo (can be purchased at Honey Fig and Amazon)
  • DermOrganic Conditioning Shampoo (can be purchased at Winners, Marshall's, Trade Secrets, and Amazon)

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NYX Matte Lipstick Review

A few months back I purchased NYX matte lipsticks from Cherryculture.com and was so excited to get them in the mail and wear them. 
The funny part about my excitement is when I got them I actually swiped the lipstick on my hand and put them in my makeup bin and totally forgot about them. Yesterday I was going through my makeup stash before going out and glanced them sitting there untouched and decided to give them a go! 
I'm glad I dusted them off because they are pretty good for $5.00 USD and they are extremely pigmented. 
Now I won't lie and say I'm a die hard fan and that I'm going to run and repurchase because that likely will not happen. I am partial to this product but believe for the pricing I think they are worth a try and are good considering the price. 
I purchased 3 shades: Indie Flick, Shocking Pink, and Merlot.
Left to Right: Indie Flick, Shocking Pink, Merlot

Indie Flick: Is a bright coral red that looks more on the orange side. It is pretty opaque and pigmented and even though is a matte formula has a nice texture that is not drying. For me personally I don't think it suits me well and am going to attempt to tweak lip liners with it to make it work but so far I'm not thrilled with it. 

Shocking Pink: Is a blue toned bright pink. It is very opaque with one swipe and extremely pigmented as well. Is applies beautifully on the lips and even though matte feels very comfy and moisturizing  On the blogs is is compared to cult favourite Candy Yum Yum from Mac but I personally like it better then CYY because it wears comfortably and suits my skin tone a lot more without looking abrasive. To me the comparison isn't the best but it is a good substitute if you don't want to spend Mac money on this shade. This one is my favourite out of the 3 purchased.

Merlot: Is a plum red that is very opaque with one swipe and like its counterparts are very pigmented. I like this one as well because it applies smoothly on the lips and feels moisturizing even though it is a matte formula. It is perfect for the fall/winter because it has a very vamp look. I like it but feel this color can be purchased at any drug store so wouldn't be something I hunt for when I finish it. 

All in all if you are looking for an inexpensive lipstick that is loaded with color this is a good choice and worth checking out. For me personally I wasn't in awe of the product but believe it is a good bargain and worth taking a look at. I purchased mine online at Cherryculture for $5.00 each. They also can be purchased at Target and drug stores internationally. 

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My Lipgloss is Popping! Victoria Secret Lip Rush Lip gloss

Left to Right: Candy Baby, Double Truffle, Dandy Cane, Tiny Bubbles, Red Delicious,Hottie Cider
When I first started wearing any form of makeup lip gloss was my favourite product of choice. When you are a teenager or college student your budget tends to be limited for makeup and you need to find items that are high quality and low cost. 
Although my holy grail lip gloss is Mac clear lip-glass I needed something more affordable and something I could keep readily available in my stash. 
Victoria Secret is one of my favourite stores ever and they have a lot of sales that keep me engaged. 
Lip Rush lip glosses where selling for $2 each at the semi annual sale so I picked up one and reluctantly tried it out. I am very picky with my lip gloss because all are not created equal and I am looking for a specific look and feel.
 Some  glosses make my lips very irritated, some are way to thick and don't provide the high shine gloss I prefer however when I tried lip rush I was amazed. For such a low price it was comparable to my Mac gloss but was way cheaper and less sticker!  Below is an outline to my personal pros's and con's of Victoria Secrets Beauty Rush lip glosses.


  •  Lip Rush lip glosses come in many different flavours and tints
  • There are a few that come infused with sparkle (not the abrasive tacky type)
  • They have clear glosses with no sparkle
  • Very inexpensive and high quality
  • Very nice scents that are not overbearing
  • Readily available online for $9 USD each/ 2 for $15 USD/ 4 for $20 USD 
  • May bother you if sensitive to scents 
  • Do not have much color payoff looks sheer upon application
  • Comes in a squeeze tube vs doe foot applicator
All in all I recommend trying these out if you are looking for an inexpensive lip gloss that can be worn alone or on top of lipstick. 
Do keep in mind that the packaging has also changed slightly from the pictures I have posted. 

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Co Washing Time: Live Clean Professional Damage Therapy Conditioner

I love to co-wash my hair when I wear it curly. What is co-washing you ask? Co- washing is when you
Live Clean Damage Therapy Conditioner
wash your hair only using conditioner.
It is beneficial because instead of using shampoo that is drying on hair you are using only conditioner that is cleaning your hair but still moisturizing it in the mean time.
This is very beneficial if you are a person who suffers from dry hair, damaged hair, or weak hair because it nourishes the hair and packs it with moisture.
Hair that is moisturized is one of the keys to healthy hair and combats against split ends and brittle hair. I like to go between Suave, Tressemme, and various conditioners for co-washing and stumbled upon Live clean in Walmart on sale.
I have always seen this brand in the store but overlooked it because I wasn't interested in it particularly. Put a sale sign beside something and now you got my attention.
Live clean is a Eco friendly brand that prides its self on using natural plant based ingredients. On the website they say that there formulations are made with a minimum of 96% replenishable, renewable and sustainable plant ingredients and are great for the earth so come packed with many benefits.
This line has many different formulations but I decided to go with the Professional Damage Therapy Conditioner. I love getting conditioners who work to help damaged hair because I find they are the most moisturizing in the entire line. This one is loaded with benefits described on Live Clean's website:

  • Enriched with Kendi Oil which has strengthening omegas
  • Avocado Oil which is moisturizing 
  • Quinoa to deeply nourish and protect the hair shaft and fortify the hair
  • Vita-Bond Complex™ technology builds hair’s intrinsic layer treating and preventing damage caused by heat styling, chemicals, and environmental exposure.
  • Certified Organic Botanicals
  • SLS/sulfate free
  • Petroleum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Pure Vegan
Those listing alone got my attention because I tend to lean towards products that are natural and have limited chemicals in them. They tend to make my hair feel really good and produce the best results for me personally. A few things I noted about the product with my personal use.
  • Has a nice light smell
  • Has a nice thick consistency
  • Does penetrate the hair
  • Good enough for co washing but didn't find it left my hair really soft as other products have
  • Curls where nice and tight after use
  • The bottle a bit small considering the amount I personally use
  • Pricing reasonable: $4.95 CAD on sale
  • In most drug stores readily available
  • Great product listing
All in all I was satisfied with my purchase. I wasn't blown away, this won't be added to my holy grail product listing but I would definitely purchase it again if I am unable to get ahold of my usual suspects or it is on sale again. 

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Light and Natural: Mac Face and Body Foundation Review

I think the addiction of searching for a foundation that provides a flawless canvas is on the look up. I try so many different foundations and strive to find a light weight, natural looking, beautiful foundation that suits me. 
Mac Face and Body Foundation 50 ml C7

I have been researching more and more and I know you may ask haven't you found your holy grail YSL, and Laura Mercier? The truth is I always feel I can find better and love variety and don't always feel to drop $50 and $60 on an item. 
With that said months back I stumbled upon YouTube with a lady raving about Mac's Face and Body foundation, and I loved the finish she had when she applied it so decided to look for it on my next visit to the mall. 
I visited a counter and was astonished at how watery it sounded when I picked up the bottle. I had my doubts and scepticism right then. What would this watery foundation be able to cover? Well glad I gave it a whirl because I really like how natural it looks and feels surprisingly. 
Mac's face and body is a water resistant foundation that is said to wear up to 8 hours. It can be worn not only on the face but on the body as well. Makeup artists apply it to the neck, shoulders, and backs to cover imperfections on models during shoots and now consumers have that option too. 
Since it is water resistant it is perfect for the summer time or for people who live in warmer climates. 
Due to the water consistency of the product it applies sheer but can be layered on to get a heavier coverage. I would say that this is light to medium coverage but if you want something lightweight and still need extra coverage then concealer paired with this foundation will work very well. 
There are 13 shades offered in face and body collection and they go well with different undertones and blend into the skin great. 
This foundation doesn't oxidize so try to get a tester to get an idea of how it will wear on your skin. If you decide to purchase do remember to keep the receipt in case you have a change of heart.
This foundation is great applied with fingers, sponges, or a stippling brush.
Sephora Stippling Brush 

I purchased color C7 in the 50 ml bottle but when this finishes I will purchase N7 because I feel this one has a little too much red in it and I need something more neutral or golden for my skin.
The foundation does have a odd smell to it that is sort of plastic-ish, so if you are sensitive to smell this might be something that bothers you. I say definitely give it a try especially if you are going on vacation soon or prepping your stash for the heat! 
Face and Body retails for $32.00 CAD and can be purchased on Mac's website online or in store.  Follow on Bloglovin No Pain No Beauty

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Lets Get it Started in Here: Pre poo Tips, Tricks and Info

Alright so you have decided to create your hair regiment and you are thinking to yourself "dammit google is giving me some information overload!" Yes I know how this feels and I felt like this the moment I decided I wanted to give some of the information I got a try.
By the time I gave my long list a try I was spending hundreds of dollars and many  hours on the weekend putting my regiment into action.
I personally do not recommend going out and going crazy like I did and purchasing every bush, tree, and ingredient you read up on, it is not worth it. However researching a few inexpensive, common items is the best bet, and trying it out for a month or two is going to be the best way to see if there are improvements with your hair. One of the first parts of a regiment and planning to get your hair on the healthy track is pre- poo. What is "pre poo" you ask?
Pre-poo is a treatment done prior to shampooing your hair that moisturizes the hair and scalp to combat dryness associated with washing and use of shampoo.
Almond Oil
Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
  • Various aids can be used for pre poo but typically they are oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, virgin olive oil, etc. There are MANY different oils with MANY great benefits that you can try, so do not be limited to my list.
  • You apply your treatment to your hair and scalp and let it sit on for 20-30 minutes (or as long as you want depending on the condition of your hair)
  • Some of my personal favourites are castor oil, argan oil, almond oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and coconut oil to name a few, but these days as I tend refer to my coconut and castor oil mix http://nopainnobeauty.blogspot.ca/2013/03/hair-talk-deep-conditioning-with.html
  • Pre pooing protects the hair from the drying that generally occurs after washing and shampooing. It aids in adding moisture to your hair. 
  • Typically applying conditioner to the hair dry allows for the oil to penetrate the hair better and reap the benefits. 
  • There are many ways to go about applying a pre poo to your hair.
  • It can be warmed up to provide a hot oil type of treatment to scalp.
  • It can be applied at room temperature and you can wear a warm towel or wear a shower cap to provide a green house affect (where humidity builds up and moisture is locked in)
  • You can also just use a plastic bag and put in on your head and cook, clean, read or surf the web! Multi-tasking is a must.
  • Typically I use the coconut oil and Castor oil in my hair and go to bed with it, but be weary because my hair is extremely thick so takes this method very well, thinner and weaker hair my not appreciate this and cause limp or weakened hair if on too long. 
  • A few other mixtures that can be considered for the pre poo are cheap conditioners mixed with avocado, honey, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and safflower oil.
  • Pre pooing can be done as frequent as you would like but generally once a week will be beneficial.
  • Try oils and different mixtures for a month or two to determine if you are seeing improvement 
  • Pre pooing can be done for any texture of hair and aids with the health of hair.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hair Care Tips Volume 1: The Quick Pick List

Hair care regiments are important if you wish to venture on a hair care “journey” as it is called in the hair world. It is similar to weight loss, muscle building or anything that requires constant work and dedication, you need a regiment in place to achieve your goals. With that said there are a few things you must keep in mind to get your goals on the right track.
I have been asked to cover some topics about hair care and I figured instead of only writing about my reviews on products it is also a good idea for me to add my research and findings so that my readers can have some ideas on how to start their own personal regiment and some good tips and tricks to use.
 I will break this up into volumes so that each subject can be written about in depth.
At first I was going to say this is catered to natural hair girls but in truth this can be applied to anyone that wants to improve the health of their hair whether be natural, relaxed, texlaxed or color treated! 
Keep in mind these are my own personal suggestions and what I have done for myself so tweak your routine based on your preference and hair needs.

First thing first there are 5 things that you need to think about prior to finding a regiment for your hair.

 Determine what your goals for your Hair Are
 Now this may seem simple at first, but "I want long hair" or "I want hair like my friend" will not cut it. The goals should be realistic and attainable goals such as: " I want to prevent split ends", "I want to retain growth in my hair", etc. You have to pin point what is preventing you to getting to your overall goal with your hair. 

 Determining what needs to be done to get to the Goal
Now this is a little more easier with the aid of the Internet and books and this plethora of information we have at our finger tips. If your hair is constantly shedding, or thin in spots, or has a lot of dandruff in areas there are tons of helpful guides and information that are readily available to help. You need to decide which one might be something you are willing to try and give it an honest shot for some time to determine if it is right fit for you.

 Put your plan into action and stay consistent 
We can all say we will deep condition our hair every week and stop using the flat iron daily, but it takes determination and serious effort and dedication to do the same thing with our hair through busy schedules, work, family life and life! Making little changes or at least incorporating some in between your week can make a huge difference.

 Looking at some of the bad hair habits you Have 
Determining some of the bad hair habits that your have acquired over the years and  reducing or stopping them all together to maintain your hair as you go forward. Curling your hair everyday, or colouring your hair every other month are damaging and you need to reduce or stop some habits all together if you want to see a difference.

Enrich your mind with information and ask for advice when needed
Products only help to maintain your hair. They do not grow your hair, make it healthy, or  do magic without the aid of you doing the right thing. So learn techniques, research foods, vitamins, and natural ingredients that you can use towards your regiment that will help you in the long run.

Now that that housecleaning is out of the way there are a few topics I will discuss in length:
  • Prepoo
  • Shampooing
  • Conditioning
  • Deep conditioning
  • Leave in Conditioner
  • Co Washing 
  • Styling aids
  • Hair Abuse
  • Hair Maintenance 
  • Tips and Tricks 
  • Products
These are topics are easy breezy ways to determine the right regiment for yourself. Also do realize your regiment will be altered and change from time to time but keeping some basic principles in mind are essential. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Soft Paws: True Blue 60 second manicure hand scrub Review

I always love the feeling I get when I used to get my nails done at a nail salon. They would use sugar to exfoliate my hands prior to applying my acrylic nails and manicuring it to perfection.
Now that I am working on a tighter budget with age I have retired the nail salon and taken the salon to my house and I am always on the hunt for a product can help acheive a salon like feeling.
I had a coupon for Bath and Body works to buy one item and get another for free when you spend $10 or more and decided to give this scrub a try.
True Blue 60 second manicure is a sugar based exfoliant that is suppose to make dull, dry, cracked hands smooth, silky and radiant.
Prior to doing my at home manicure I followed the instructions on the tub and damped my hands and rubbed and scrubbed the sugar crystals and rinsed hands off and was left with smoother hands amazingly.
My hands felt really great after I patted them dry and I added my favourite cream to them and was surprised at how well this little product worked.

A few highlights on this hand scrub:

  • A very little goes a long way and a quarter size can really do a lot for your hands. 
  • The sugars dissolves and turns into a foam
  • The scrub has a very nice citrus smell
  • Can double up as a foot scrub as well
  • Makes hands look radiant 
  • Can see a different in just one use
This scrub can be purchased in store at Bath and Body works or online and retails for $13 CAD. 
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Matte is Back: OPI Matte Top Coat Review

While checking out at the cash in my local beauty supply I noticed OPI Matte top coat coat and was intrigued. 

The funny part about my interest with this top coat is normally I am trying to make my nails as shiny and glossy as possible but now I'm interested in making my nails matte the total opposite!
Earlier in the year OPI released a matte top coat that instantly transforms glossy nail-polish to a smooth matte finish and I wanted to give this top coat a whirl to try something new and exciting.
This matte nail polish is suppose to seal the nails without shine and provide protection against chips, and lengthen a manicure as well.
I was doubtful on how this would appear but am happy to report that this looks great and has a velvet edgy look to it that looks unique.
So far I have washed dishes and did a few activities and have noticed that so far my nails are intact after a couple of days and no chipping has appeared. Also have noticed that this top coat dries very fast and seals in your nail polish. 
This polish retails for $9.99 CAD and can be purchased at boutiques, beauty supply stores and online. 

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Moisture Maniac: Hair Talk: Shea Moisture Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Constantly I am asked about the hair products that I use to maintain the health of my hair, and I really try and keep it very simple. Keeping my hair moisturized and feeling soft and manageable is crucial and finding a product that does all the above and doesn't break the bank is like hitting the jackpot. 
Shea moisture Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is a all natural leave in conditioner, styler and cream that moisturizes curls and leaves hair with a beautiful shine and defined curls. It helps with minimizing frizz in the hair as well as enhancing the curls. 
In the summer months when I want to do a wash and go and don't mind my hair getting big I use it on its own and it holds curls. When I want tamer more defined curls I apply my argan oil, this enhancing smoothie and a gel or butter to my hair and it works like a charm. I have gone through my 4th tub of this moisturizer and absolutely love it. I was so excited when it could be purchased in Canada, because for the longest time I had to get family or friends to bring it over for me. There are many positive things to note about this leave in conditioner:

  • Curl enhancing smoothie contains coconut, Shea butter,Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado), Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Silk Protein, Ammonium Salt, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot), Sorbitol Esters, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Caprylyl Glycol, Essential Oil Blend, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) which are all found to help with hair growth, hair maintenance  and many other benefits to hair. 
  • The smell of the product is very nice and sweet and stays in your hair for quite awhile. 
  • The consistency of the product is thick but penetrates the hair very nicely and is light weight
  • Mixes well with many different products
  • Great for woman with relaxed hair, as well as natural hair
  • A little of this product goes a long way
  • Also another great thing about the product is that it is paraben free, silicone free, sulfate free, and organic. 
  • Can be purchased in: Honey fig (Toronto), Clore (Toronto), Amazon, Target, etc and retails for $19.99 CAD

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sale Alert: Bath and Body Works

All Nude: Nude Lipsticks and Gloss

So in previous posts I have covered all bold lip colours such as pink, reds, and purples but it is time to focus on nudes. Nudes are great for wear when you are wearing bright coloured eye looks or you just want a quick low maintenance look. 
Now nudes may seem like an easy breezy subject but the fact it takes a little more effort to find the perfect nude for every complexion. 
For lighter skin tones nudes that are light brown, light mauve's and pinks are the most complimentary. 
For ladies with deeper skin like myself some nudes can look ashy, stark and weird all together. Nudes that have brown, peach, or mauve shades and undertones are the most complimentary.
Lining your lips with a light brown, burgundy or dark brown lip liner can provide definition on the lips, can down play some of the colour of the lipstick and can appear much more wearable. The truth is a good liner can save the day with any lipstick. Also sticking with a matte formulation, formulations that have slight shimmer or adding a nude gloss can also enhance a nude lip instantly. I have put together some of my favourite nudes.
Left to Right: Revlon Brown Sugar, Mac Velvet Teddy, Mac Faux, Korres Golden Brown, Mac Viva Glam V, Mac Cremesheen Over Indulgence
Left to Right: Revlon Brown Sugar, Mac Velvet Teddy, Mac Faux, Korres Golden Brown, Mac Viva Glam V, Mac Cremesheen Over Indulgence

  • Revlon Lip Butter- Brown Sugar:  is a creamy, buttery lip balm that has a warm brown shade with yellow undertones. It is formulated with some shimmer so is very wearable for deeper tones. It is so creamy and comfortable on the lips and can be paired with a lip gloss for extra pop. It can be purchased in drug stores globally and retails for $7.99 CAD
  • Mac- Velvet Teddy: is a matte lipstick that is creamy. This lipstick is a pink beige shade and is very wearable on all pigmentation's when paired with a light or dark lip liner. Even though it has a matte finish it wears very comfortably on the lips and looks great paired with a lip gloss or alone. This lipstick has no sparkle so looks great with colourful makeup. It can be purchased at Mac counters or online for $18.00 CAD.
  • Mac- Faux: is a muted mauve pink that has a satin finish and wears very comfortably on the lips. It is a little different from the typical nude lipstick because there is a slight pink in it. It wears beautiful especially paired with a dark brown liner. It can suit both lighter skin tones as well as deep tones when paired with the right liner. It has no sparkle in it so can be paired with bolder eyes and colours. This lipstick can be purchased at Mac counters or online for $18.00 CAD.
  • Korres Cherry Lip gloss- Golden Brown: is a shimmery gold/champagne coloured lip gloss that is nude and adds extra punch to a nude lipstick or can be worn all alone. It is infused with cherry oil that hydrates the lips and vitamin E and C.  Also contains no parabens or sulfates or synthetic fragrances. This lip gloss can be purchased at Winners, Marshalls, and Sephora. Retails for $22.50 CAD
  • Mac lip glass- Viva Glam V: is a neutral pink lip-glass that wears beautifully alone or paired with a nude lip-glass  This is my favourite lip-glass by far and also is a part of Mac's Viva Glam campaign that donates all proceeds earned towards the fight against AIDS. Retails for $18.00 CAD and can be purchased at Mac counters or online.
  • Mac Cremesheen glass- Over indulgence: is a warm peachy brown that is creamy and opaque  It is great worn alone on the lips as well as paired over lipstick. It is very wearable on lighter skin tones as well as deeper skin tones. It can be purchased at Mac counters or online and retails for $23.00 CAD

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Putting in Work -Nars The Multiple: South Beach Product Disappointment

Nars: South Beach
Nothing makes me happier as a consumer then when a company creates cosmetics that can be used in multiple ways. The fact that I can purchase one product all bundled up in a one stop shop is what made me particularly interested in purchasing The Multiple and ending my internal debate over purchasing it.
Nars The multiple is one of those products that have been introduced and allow for use all over use.
This stick is a cream to powder cosmetic that can be used to apply to bronze to cheeks, eyes and lips and provides a beautiful highlight to the skin.
This product has turned into a bit of a disappointment and I had to make a decision on if it is worth the hype, and money. I also debated if truly needed in my collection. I personally love the the consistency of the stick when used as a highlighter, however my issue with it is that it doesn't show up on my dark skin as well as I thought it would and it tends to fade throughout the day. 
I also tried applying it to the eyes but due to the fact I have oily lids the product slipped and slid all over even with a great eye primer. 
On the lips it made them feel a little dry, and I suppose I'm not really into muted lips so didn't find that it could be used successfully or frequently.
 I have tried to apply this product with a brush and directly from the tube and just have yet to get a look I desire that makes me completely content so have decided to return it.
 This product retails for $46.00 CAD and can be purchased at The Bay, Sephora, Nars website or other department stores globally. 

Cult Beauty Ltd.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To go Natural or Not: A few things You must think about before taking the plunge

Two and a half years ago I decided to go natural. It was a spur of the moment decision due to me being at a friends house and seeing her nieces hair looks so beautiful. She flat ironed her hair and it was long, thick and healthy and I loved the look. I enquired about her hair and she told me she was natural. I was in awe that hair could look that way and be natural with no aide of relaxer (perm) or harsh chemicals. The actual sign, seal, delivered decision to go natural was after seeing the movie "Good hair" by Chris Rock and I was instantly on board.
To give you an idea of my mindset at the time is a little hard, but my main plan was that I was going to research to the death (which I did) and transition until my hair was at a length I felt comfy with and cut off my relaxed hair (which I became impatient and cut early) I at the time wanted long, flowing hair similar to my friends family and was going to do whatever it took. Reminiscing I realize I wish I could have known some of what I know now when I began my hair journey and decided I will share that for any readers that are making that decision.  I love being natural and I think it is the best decision I have ever made in my life but I personally do not believe it is for everyone and I am very open to all hairstyles and choices. Overwhelming information is available online and so much jargon and beliefs are there too. Do whatever makes you feel happy and do what works for you.
 Now let me start, to big chop (BC) or to transition is the question.

  • Big Chop is cutting off all your hair and starting your growth journey over from scratch. It is a bold move and requires a lot of confidence on your part. Keep in mind it sounds easy but depending on your family, friends, spouse etc you might get a lot of heat and backlash when you do it. Now I believe in doing what you want and not to let peoples opinion effect you but sometimes it can be nerve racking and without support can be very controversial.
  • Transitioning is instantly stopping any use of relaxer, texturizer, or chemical agents. It involves letting your hair grow out and cutting off chemically hair gradually. This is definitely the safe way to go and I think it is a good idea if you are not as bold or as comfortable with short hair. I did this but I only transitioned for maybe a year or less and got impatient and cut my relaxed ends off. Deciding how long you wish to transition for it the hardest part because some are impatient and just want to start the journey instantly so it is something you must decide, but really no rush. 
Now that we have covered some of the basics I will go over some house keeping that is imperative on the journey.
  • Changing the way you handle/mistreat/style hair is a must. The days of the flat iron daily, applying heat frequent, colouring frequent and avoiding trips to your hairdresser, cuts and regular maintenance are gone. With natural hair comes a little more work and TLC if you want it to be healthy and grow, and mistreating it will leave you with the same results you had when relaxing your hair.
  • Using good quality shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that help moisturize and style kinky, curly hair. Also being familiar with the ingredients that are contained in the product, and avoiding some ingredients that come in a lot of beauty supply hair products all together. Also researching oils, and butters that are good for the hair and aid with styling
  • Moisturizing the hair is going to be a MUST. The thing is regardless of hair being natural, relaxed, etc this is really the crucial step in haircare and seeing hair growth that counts. The hair ends are the driest and oldest and need constant care and product being added to prevent breakage. Water or water based conditioners are the best and sealing the hair with oils such as almond oil, or argan oil are helpful to retain the moisture in your hair. 
  • Conditioning your hair is also another crucial part that woman tend to skimp on. Picking moisturizing conditioners, applying deep conditioners to your hair, and selecting leave in conditioners that help add moisture that is lost from day to day outings or washes is very important and creating a decent regiment that allows for that is going to be the most helpful part of the journey. 
Detangling your hair is/and will be the most time consuming, dreadful part of being natural. You will need to give yourself plenty of time to carefully and gently detangle your hair after you wash it and remove any knots or tangles through the hair. Detangling when wet and soaked with product is good because there usually is a lot of slip to your hair and allows for easier sessions.
  • Comparing your hair to others will not get you far through your journey. Every one's hair is totally different and no matter what products are used, heritage they are, or maintenance given to the hair will not determine how your hair will look, feel or act. What may work for me may not in fact work for you and trying products is the only sure fire way to determine if it works. I get asked frequently for recommendations of products, and I see natural hair mavens show you products they are using and get totally different results and that will be a part of the journey. If it was so easy that everything would work for each of us we would have no journey so try things out and go with the flow of YOUR hair.
  • Everyone will not like or support your decision to go natural. So do not look from validation from family or friends because you may not get it. Our society has been conditioned to seeing long, bone straight hair as beauty and some people can't look past it and thats fine but do not let it detour you or your end goals. Try not to allow negative opinions of your decision stop you from embarking on your hair journey you have set out for yourself. Really allow yourself to learn your hair, and research different products, oils, and styling that you can do for yourself. 
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Foundation Review: Makeup Forever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation

Makeup Forever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation
The weekend is one of those things that whizz past in full speed especially when you are enjoying beautiful weather and time away from work. I ended up visiting the local mall and Makeup Forever was having an event where you can sit down for free with a makeup artist and they help you get tips on makeup application for 30 minutes. I am a sucker for these things because it is clear that they are  merely trying to sell you tons of products but I was down for it and joined the fun. While getting some lessons on placement of highlighter the artist put a powder foundation on me and I was in awe. She marked down the number and I decided I would visit the store and give it a whirl.
Makeup Forever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation
Makeup Forever's pro finish multi use powder foundation is a light powder foundation that can be used both wet or dry on the face and provides light to medium coverage. I so far have tried the product dry and love the look of it on my skin. It is said to be a matte finish but for me gives more of a satin finish on the skin that comes across very natural and allows your true skin to shine through. On the box is says you can use it wet as well but I feel like wet would provide more coverage on the skin then I would like so have been avoiding using it like that thus far. 
I was very surprised with this foundation because literally you feel like your wearing nothing and it really matches the golden tones in my face very well. I purchased shade #177 Neutral Carmel and it is a dead on match for me. I apply the product with a Kabuki brush to and buff it 
Tarte Kabuki Brush 
into the skin the foundation blends so well. I have always avoided powdered foundation because I figured it might look heavy or cakey on my face but I
 really like it  so far. If you have a lot of acne marks on your face I would skip this because it doesn't cover anything much on the face it just makes your face look even. This foundation is also paraben free, comes in a sleek compact that can be carried around in your makeup bag or purse and has a makeup sponge for touch ups. It retails for $42.00 CAD and can be purchased at Sephora, Sears, and any other retailers online. 

*Update May 8th 2013 I have since debated and have returned this item to Sephora. Although I was truly in love with the finish and look of the product I noticed my face started to get an extremely itchy reaction to this product so I returned it to the store. 

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