Category Archives: Fashion + Beauty

Facial Favourites

I am one of those people who have combination skin on my face and I’m not really sure if that’s a blessing or a curse! My skin gets really dry in patches (especially during the winter) around my chin, nose, and forehead but then my t-zone can get really oily during the day and I can break out with pimples if I’m not careful. I don’t have a specific skincare regimen but I do have some skincare favourites for my face that I’ve found really helpful in different situations, depending on what I’m experiencing. This is really a mish-mash of products, so I hope you find one that works for you!

Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser
Best For: Daily cleansing

I recently got eyelash extensions again (LOL if you’ve read my post from last summer about why I wouldn’t get them ever again) but I’m enjoying them a lot more this time! I’ve been taking better care of them and am more knowledgeable about how to make them last longer and so far, so good. I also tried out a new esthetician, which helped as well. OKAY. So, Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser is my ride or die when it comes to cleaning my face and lashes. This is a “do-it-all” cleanser that seems to work with any skin type, so, no discrimination here. It removes makeup and dirt and leaves your skin feeling soft and fresh. I love it because I use it to clean my eyes and ‘scrub’ my lashes. I also love the fresh cucumber scent. It doesn’t get really sudsy either, so it’s easy to wash off.

Foreo – LUNA
Best For: Deep, gentle cleansing

The hype on this LUNA is well worth it! I ended up buying this over the Clarisonic for a few reasons, but mainly I liked how small and portable it was and I liked that there were no brushes or pads to be replaced. I have the LUNA Mini and it has a few different speed options and two different scrubber bristles (on the front and back). I find it really does give me that deep clean and when I pair it with the Fresh cleanser or Philosophy’s Purity, I am able to really scrub my skin without it feeling raw and I also find it helps clear up dry spots and breakouts when partnered with the right cleanser.

LUSH – Oatifix
Best For: Softening skin

Every few days I like to treat my skin with a fresh face mask and lately I’ve been loving the ones from LUSH (of course). Oatifix does a great job when my skin is extra dry or irritated and helps fluff away the dead skin. It has banana, almonds, and oats to help scrub in the most gentle way possible and is finished off with vanilla so it legit smells like cookies (YUMMY).

LUSH – The Sacred Truth
Best For: Brightening up your skin

*praise hands emoji* for this bad boy. FOR REAL. This mask makes my dry and dull skin feel bright and soft! It has papaya to help with the dryness and wheatgrass to give a nutritious boost. There’s also yogurt, primrose oil, extra virgin coconut oil, and shea butter to help hydrate. This stuff is AMAZING. Go get it now – your skin will thank you later.

LUSH – Dream Cream
Best For: Hydrating your sensitive skin

I always finish off any skincare routine with LUSH’s Dream Cream (post shower, face wash, hand wash … anything)! It says it right in the name – it’s dreamy. It has oat milk, lavender, and chamomile and works to soothe sensitive skin. It is super effective at eliminating dry or chapped skin, even if your sensitive (I have eczema and I never have issues).

Tarte – Frxxxtion Stick 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser
Best For: Exfoliating

This guy is small and mighty. It’s in a twist stick format so it’s easy to apply and use. It’s got charcoal in it (hi, all the rage right now!) and gritty pieces that feel like sand to help you eexfoliate You just rub it on your skin right from the stick and then scrub with your fingers and rinse away. This will leave your skin (almost literally) squeaky clean and shiny (in a good way – you just buffed away all your dead skin cells!). I picked this up in a travel pack with a mini scrub brush and 2nd cleanser and loved the combo of the three!

Beauty Review – LUSH’s Brazilliant Shampoo Bar

Apparently, I’m late to the ‘bar shampoo’ party, but whatever. Better late than never, right? I’ve purchased a few bar shampoos from LUSH but this has been the only one I’ve gotten a chance to try. It’s called “Brazilliant” and is a little orange disk that smells unbelievable (as all LUSH products do, I guess). It’s a solid bar that is supposed to ‘tame unruly locks’ with it’s strengthening andiroba oil, specifically thick and curly hair. No one believes me until they see pictures, but my hair naturally is the definition of unruly. It’s frizzy, it’s curly, it’s all over the place and I can’t control it. I’d give this bar a solid (no pun intended) 6/10 and here’s why:

Smell

Can’t be beaten in the smell category – it smells heavenly and delicious but you rarely find a LUSH product that would fail in this category

Consistency

I feel like if my shampoo doesn’t suds, it’s not working. This is a fairly sudsy bar and I loved the lather, so I thought it worked well

Price Point

For a bar of shampoo, it was decently priced. 55g bar costs $10.95, which is way cheaper than the shampoo I usually buy from the salon (Kevin Murphy is always shampoo king).  I wash my hair almost every day (gym life) and this bad boy lasted me a good month and a half. I did store it in the metal container I got from LUSH, which helped keep it away from moisture that could speed up it wearing down.

Results

Although it bragged to make my hair tamer, I didn’t find it to be the case. My hair was definitely soft but in no way did this tame my wild lion mane.

Cons

There’s no good way to store this thing. You can buy metal containers at LUSH that store their bar soaps, but the round container just fits the soap and once it gets wet then dries in the container, it’s hard to get out with wet hands. The associate recommended I put a piece of string underneath so it was easier to lift out but I’m not looking to MacGyver my shampoo experience, so I never did. I basically just rubbed the bar on my head while it sat in the metal container.

The other con was that I found the oil separated from the bar itself and sat on the top in a sticky pile and if I got a chunk of that in my hair, it took forever to get it out because it just kept lathering.

Have you tried bar shampoos? Did you have better luck than me? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Wedges, Wedges, Wedges!

I was lucky enough have an excuse to buy the Jeffrey Cambell Rayos Wedges this summer. I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding and was desperately looking for comfortable wedges that could last me all day through lots of walking, standing, and picture taking.

The amazing Jessica Garvin of Garvin & Co. wore these last year to a wedding (and coincidentally was wearing a similar dress) and claimed they were the comfiest wedges she had worn. I am in 100% agreement! They are amazingly comfortable and well worth the investment. If I could have these in every colour, I would. I rounded up a few look-a-likes and linked the Jeffrey Campbells below. These wedge cut-outs are the perfect pair for any wedding outfit.  Are you ladies down with this trend?

Wedge Heels
Top Row
Jeffrey Campbell – Rayos Perforated Wedge Sandals
Middle Row (left to right)
Yoki – Donya Laser-Cut Wedges // Yoki – Donya Suede Laser-Cut Wedge Sandals // Dolce Vita – Lamont Wedge Sandal
Bottom Row (left to right)
Jeffrey Campbell – Del Sol H Wedge // Shoespie – Apricot Cut Out Wedge // Dolce Vita – Langley Wedge

 

Dresses, Darling.

Summer weddings can be a tricky thing to dress for – you might be going to a ceremony in a church, which means you may need to be a bit conservative, it could be outside in the heat and humidity, it could be a casual rustic affair or a black-tie event. The options for dresses can be endless, which makes the task at picking one even more difficult. I’ve rounded up some of my favourites (bonus, some are even rentals!) for you ladies – enjoy!

 

Formal Affair
Marchesa Lace Gown // Angelina Gown // Pinny Extreme Tulle Mesh Midi Dress

 

Conservative + Chic
Maximillian Jumpsuit // Beaded Mesh Sheath Dress // Starting Over High

 

Outdoor + Rustic
New Look Cutwork Lace Dress // Beaune Dress // Rahi Vali Vineyard Off-The-Shoulder

Beauty Review: ‘Blousey’ Shampoo by LUSH

Guys, I’m on a major LUSH kick right now. I’ve tried their bar shampoo, multiple face masks, face scrubs, and creams. I’ve reviewed or will review a ton on the blog, but my favourite LUSH product hands down is their ‘Blousey’ shampoo. This shampoo is described as being best for “damaged, overprocessed, coloured, bleached, and fragile hair”. They might as well have written, “for Nicole’s hair”. This shampoo is super gentle, non-stripping and locks in moisture with mashed bananas, cocoa, and cupuacu butters. My hair is seriously damaged. I colour it, dry it, straighten it, curl it, everything and anything that’s bad for your hair, I do it. Let me tell you, this shampoo is a life saver.

Smell
It smells a bit like shampoo and banana bread, but in a really good way. I’ve got no complaints about the smell on this guy.

Texture + Formula
It’s a bit thick, which is why they sell it in a pot (which I hate) but is still thin enough to pour out of a shampoo bottle (that’s what I do). I’ve gotten into the habit of reusing an old empty bottle for my Blousey because I found it’s easier to portion out when it’s in a squeeze bottle vs. scooping it from the pot. I have mentioned previously that I love a good lather with my shampoo and I found this one doesn’t lather as much as I would like. However, I found it works best to soak your hair, evenly distribute the shampoo, then soak and massage again.

Price
I would say that some people might find it a bit pricey for shampoo – a 240g pot will run you $28.95 (however I swore by Kevin Murphy, which is equally as ‘expensive’ and I’m a huge advocate of paying more for better quality). On the plus side, it lasts a long time. I wash my hair almost every day thanks to that #GymLife and one jar lasted me over a month. I only use about a toonie sized amount.

I’ve tried a handful of “repairing” and “moisturizing” shampoos, from drugstore brands like Pantene to hair masks to salon quality products and this is by far the best one for my hair. It’s gentle enough for colour treated hair but strong enough to make my fried locks buttery soft. Trust me, ladies, you’ll want to take this one for a test run!

Beauty Comparison: Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D vs. Creamy Matte Lip Paint by Tartiest

Look, I get it – I’m late to the whole ‘Kat Von D Makeup’ party. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not having a good time! I also must confess that I have this terrible habit of perpetually purchasing ‘nude’ or ‘nude pink’ lipsticks in various brands and formulas that all seem to be roughly the same colour. I can’t help it, and I’m sorry I’m not sorry. So before joining on the Kat Von D bandwagon, I sang praises hardcore to Tartiest’s Creamy Matte Lip PaintI tried a lot of matte lipsticks, in liquid and your typical pencil or solid stick, ranging from Marc Jacobs, to Bite, to Nude Stix … the list goes on, and on, and on .. (as does my Sephora receipt). I thought when I found Tartiest, my search was over for the perfect matte lipstick. The formula, colour, packaging, even the smell – I was all about it.

But obviously, based on the title of this blog, I eventually ventured out and tried something else. Enter: Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. I’m going to compare the two for different categories, since it’s hard for me to pick an overall favourite, and highly recommend you try it for yourself (if you haven’t already and are slow to the game like I am).

Packaging:
KVD: I personally hate all KVD packaging. The terrible print on the outside of every container makes me almost not want to buy it. It’s a shame the product is too damn good. But seriously, the KVD comes in a thin, tall tube with her signature print on the outside – nothing too spectacular. I’m all about how something is displayed though, and the print is a major downside for me. Hence why it hides in my purse all day.

Tartiest: Shorter, ‘stumpier’ packaging compared to KVD but the outside of the container looks a bit less ‘gaudy’, which I much prefer. The only downside, and you’ll notice this with the testers at Sephora, is that the lipstick tends to build up around the top of the container and get messy as you use it over time. Mine hasn’t gotten like this, as I’m careful not to get extra formula around the edges, but I can see it happening if you’re not expecting it.

Winner: Tartiest

Colour Selection:
KVD: Currently there are 28 different colours to chose from, ranging from pale nudes, to deep purples, to even black.

Tartiest: There are 25 colours, including a line of five dedicated exclusively to ‘naughty nudes’. In the traditional range, the colours vary from pink nudes, to reds, purples and maroon’s. No daring colours here.

Note: With Tartiest, I love the colour ‘TBT’ and KVD’s infamous ‘Lolita’ is a great copy cat of that. I also just purchased ‘Double Dare’ by KVD, which is a brighter pink. Also, apparently Bow N’ Arrow by KVD is a pretty close dupe to Kylie Jenner’s lip kit colour.

Winner: Tartiest (I find the choices to be more ‘wearable’ colours)

Price Point:
KVD: $24 (CAD) for 0.22 oz.

Tartiest: $22 (CAD) for 0.20 oz.

Winner: It’s really hard to compare price, as they’re essentially the same ($2 more for .2 oz more seems like a moot point to me)

Formula:
KVD: Your typical liquid matte lipstick – the sponge brush applies a smooth lipstick that goes on wet and dries to the perfect matte. There’s very little smell, but what I am exposed to reminds me of a dull paint – probably not the most ideal, but it goes away once it dries. The formula is thicker than Tartiest, which I personally don’t like.

Tartiest: Same sponge brush applicator as KVD, just a slightly fatter sponge tip. I would describe it as a soft, airy mousse formula that I would die for. It feels light as air when you put it on. Heavenly.

Winner: Tartiest 

Wearability:
KVD: For trying time, I find it is extremely fast. Once I apply it, it’s only a few seconds (10-15) before I see it noticeably drier. If I were to sip my Starbucks after 30 seconds, I wouldn’t see any transfer to the cup. I don’t find it dries out my lips at all, even while I wear it all day sans lip primer (one of the main things I look for in a matte. In all honestly, wearability is where KVD wins time and time again – it stays like no liquid I’ve ever tried and makes it through the kiss on the cheek test, which my boyfriend appreciates. I will also add that I put it on when I get to work around 9am and when I head out at 5pm it shows little signs of wear or transfer and I identify don’t even need to touch it up before I head out for the evening.

Tartiest: The drying time on Tartiest is a bit more than KVD – I find that once I apply, I need a good 5-10 minutes before it stops transferring hard core to a cup or napkin. Throughout the day I also notice that it transfers more easily (read: when I kiss my boyfriend, he’s concerned he’s now wearing lipstick). It’s not drying in the slightest. By 5 o’clock it’s barely there and I’m ready for a touch up. On the bright side it does last through lunch!

Winner: KVD

Beauty Review – Eyelash Extensions

Okay ladies, I’m finally getting around to writing a beauty review on my experience with eyelash extensions. I got them about two weeks ago (I blame my delinquent posting on the lack of a working computer – but I’m back, thankfully) and have already started to take them out. Why, you might ask? Because I hate them.

Let me break it down for you because no one did for me. I only ever heard the positives.

  1. They’re a lot of work: I had to change my eye makeup from waterproof to regular, which I hated. I also use makeup wipes to take my makeup off but this way I had to carefully wipe around the eyelashes. You also have to brush them quite a bit because they get tangled and look less bombshell more tired hooker (unless that’s what you’re looking for).
  2. They’re expensive: The average cost of a full set is somewhere between $150-$200 depending on how full you want them, the material (synthetic or mink), and where you get them done. I was fortunate enough to get a big deal on mine and only had to pay $60, but that’s the actual cost for refills not the full set. So think about this: Week 1 you put them on, by week 2-3 you’re ready for a refill, and that keeps going every few weeks. That adds up to an expensive habit.
  3. They grow out and fall out quickly: They’re attached to your natural lashes and therefore grow out and fall out when those ones do, too. So within a week and a half mine were growing out and starting to get itchy and poking my lash line when I blinked and started to get more unruly. They were getting tangled more often, too. The itchy part was the worst because I couldn’t itch them. As they grew out, I could feel them poking me as I blinked and that made it more itchy .. then I blinked more … it was just a vicious cycle.
  4. They’re hard to take off: The process includes steaming your face for a good 10-15 minutes and then wiping them off with olive oil or coconut oil. Or, do what I did and get drunk and frustrated and start itching them and they just fall out, taking all your regular lashes with them (ALERT: do not do this. It’s really, really bad. It hurts and then you’re left with naked lashes, which is also not good at all. Trust me. My poor lashes are more sparse than before I started).

image1

On the bright side, they look fantastic when they’re brand new. I felt put together and pretty even without makeup because my lashes looked so full. They were a bit fuller than my natural lashes but didn’t look like I was ready to go out to the club. I will also add that my experience had nothing to do with the person who put them on. She did a great job – she was professional, worked out of a hygienic salon, and they looked amazing once everything was said and done. My reasoning for not getting them again is strictly personal preference once I tried them out.

If you’re in the Toronto area and are interested in lash extensions, I will definitely put you in contact with the woman I used. I assure you that your experience getting them put on will be a good one.

I hope you have a better experience than I did and don’t end up itching them off in a drunken haste.