This mask will really transform your skin! Review: Fresh Rose Face Mask

I still remember when Sephora first opened in Canada – it was a really big deal for us guys! A makeup and skincare heaven where you could try on and play with products undisturbed by snooty department store counter ladies (that were the least bit helpful). Sephora landing in Canada was my first introduction to the brand Fresh. It was a unique brand, their packaging was intriguing and their products smelled oh so good! I came across the Fresh Rose Face Mask many years ago, eyed it, got a sample and went home excited to try it on. Of course I loved it then, but my student self couldn’t justify spending $75.00 on a face mask.

If you haven’t seen this face mask yet, go to Sephora and look at it, smell it! You will be sold by the smell, but just the texture of this mask is amazing! It has rose petals in it – yup, you heard me right, rose petals. It also contains rosewater, cucumber extract, aloe vera and green tea, which is an antioxidant. This mask claims to restore radiance, moisturize the skin, and tone the skin.  Continue reading “This mask will really transform your skin! Review: Fresh Rose Face Mask”

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Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask: Hyaluronic Acid Review

Sheet masks are everywhere these days and I decided to give this one a try from Korean brand Innisfree. This sheet mask is supposed to relieve skin dryness and leave your skin feeling moisturized. As most sheet masks go, you take it out of the package, apply the mask on your skin and then leave it on for 10-20 minutes.  Continue reading “Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask: Hyaluronic Acid Review”

Korean Beauty Product to the Test: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Nose Pack Review

I suffer from blackheads on my T-zone, particularly my nose. I have tried a lot of products to get rid of blackheads, masks, pore strips etc. I have been hearing so much about Korean beauty products lately and wanted to test any blackhead related products I could find. I love pore strips, there is a certain satisfaction you get when you peel off that pore strip and see it filled with blackheads. Anyhow these pore strips are from a brand called Innisfree, which is a natural Korean brand. I am not sure how natural the brand is, I definitely don’t think it is 100% natural. Anyhow, these are pore strips, and I don’t care if they are natural, I just want them to work. The product claims to remove blackheads and keep pores clean. Awesome. It contains Jeju volcanic clay (I am not sure what the Jeju volcano is … but it sounds cool). Apparently it is supposed to help with cleaning the pores. Anyhow, the process is straightforward. Wet your nose, apply the strip on your nose, let it dry and wait and see. The strip has this weird smell to it, almost like glue, which made me freak out and scramble to read the ingredients. Imagine it was really just glue, like in those Youtube videos of people removing their blackheads with glue? Anyhow, no glue in this, just a weird smell, maybe the Jeju?

Once the strip dried out, I removed it and the ultimate test would be, how many blackheads are on that damn strip and is this better or worse than the classic Biore strips? So the verdict is in: they are about the same as the Biore strips in effectiveness. I saw a few blackheads on the middle part of the strip and on the edges, probably just as many as I would see with a Biore strip. Unfortunately people, this isn’t the wonder product we have been waiting for to magically remove our stubborn blackheads. I am going to keep searching!

 

Is this the cheapest and most effective Hyaluronic Acid you can buy? Review: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Solution

So lately I have a love affair with Deciem. I first came across this brand navigating through the Queen Street Bay’s beauty aisles in the basement a couple of years ago. Their beauty supplements and shampoos were on display and I decided to invest in the shampoo. Of course, I wasn’t disappointed. I kinda forgot about Deciem until I came across their store which had opened last year in Toronto. If you haven’t set foot in a Deciem store, please take an extra long lunch and venture to one of their stores. It’s a really fun shopping experience. Anyhow, that is how I came across this hyaluronic acid serum. I had been looking for an effective hyaluronic acid serum and had tried a few serums I had purchased from Sephora. After spending lots of money on these serums and using them for months, I didn’t notice any visible difference in my skin. So when I saw this solution at the Deciem store, and looked at the price, I was like naah, this isn’t going to work – it is only $6.80. Yes, you got that right, this is less than $7.00 for a 30ml bottle of the good stuff!

If you don’t know all the fuss about Hyaluronic Acid, well read up on it on The Ordinary’s website. The molecule of Hyaluronic Acid they use in this formulation offers hydration and also plumping of the skin, compared to other products with Hyaluronic Acid that actually draw moisture out of the skin because they use too large of a Hyaluronic Acid molecule. I had no idea about this, and this explains why those other serums weren’t effective when I used them.

So of course I purchased this serum and tried it the same night. Ok I kid you not, this product INSTANTLY plumps your skin. You actually notice a visible difference. I wear it at night before putting on my night cream and I wake up to amazing looking, hydrated skin! I wear it under my makeup too, and it plumps my skin to the point where people were commenting on how fresh and plumpy (is that even a word?) my skin looked. This product has done wonders for my skin and is definitely being added to my can’t live without products inventory! Happy plumping!

 

 

 

The natural highlighter you have been looking for: MAC Extra Dimension Skin Finish in Beaming Blush

I have had a love hate relationship with highlighters. Yes, I love them in Youtube videos, but on myself … hmm, I love them initially and then after an hour, the pores start to show, and you look like your face is melting. Or, you look so over the top, that you wonder how these Youtube beauty bloggers go outside, during THE DAY, with their insane amounts of highlight on. I have tried a number of highlighters including the holy grail Becca highlighters. They are not bad. In fact, they are beautiful! Can I wear them outside in broad daylight? No. Do they give me a natural glow? No, they don’t. They are best for a night out when you want people to know yes, I have highlighter on and I am proud of it. But then you look at J.Lo and wonder, wait a minute, she is always glowing, but it looks so natural. Now, I don’t know what J.Lo does to get that glow, but I was in search of the oh so natural glow. The glow I could get away with during the day without looking like a light bulb.

That is when I discovered this beauty: Mac Extra Dimension Skin Finish in the shade Beaming Blush. IMG_7320OMG. It was by chance I found this. I was at a Mac store, desperately asking for Whisper of Guilt knowing it was sold out and then t a very helpful Mac gal told me about this shade. I looked at it and was like “wait a minute, this is purple, or silver, or wait is it pink or gold?” She told me to just give it a try. I tried it on, and omg, this was the most beautiful highlight I had ever worn. Natural, a pinkish-gold subtle glow, but so beautiful!

I wear this all the time now, yes, during the day, in natural light. It looks amazing, never over the top, and it doesn’t make my pores show! This baby sells out quickly, so I would recommend purchasing it right about now! It retails for $38.00 and can be purchased from online at the Mac store. Happy glowing!

These are the best natural deodorants I have tried so far …

It is tough to find a natural deodorant that really works for you, especially if you have been using aluminum based deodorants your whole life. I completely switched to natural deodorants a year ago. I am not going to lie, it wasn’t an easy transition. An aluminum based anti-perspirant is hard core. It stops you from not only smelling, but sweating as well. I came to my senses last year, realizing how harmful these anti-perspirants were. If perspiring is a normal reaction of the human body, why are we stopping it from happening? Also, I am sure we have all read about the harmful effects of aluminum.

LoveFresh Deodorant Lavender Tea Tree Natural Deodorant $15.00

Last year, after many unsuccessful attempts at stick based natural deodorant, I tried LoveFresh in the Lavender and Tea Tree scent. My sister purchased it for me and highly recommended it. The first thing I had to get used to was applying this with my hands, since it has a pasty texture, and it comes in a tub. They do have a roll on version, but it kind of crumbles and you waste a lot of product in that version, so stick to the tub. The Love Fresh deodorant smells fantastic. I don’t have to reapply during the day, unless it is really hot. Just to be clear, this will NOT stop you from sweating! No natural deodorant will, so you need to get used to wetness on your underarms occasionally. Let your body do what it is supposed to do people! You don’t smell with this one during the day, maybe at night, when you are taking your clothes off, you may catch a very very faint smell of sweat, which isn’t too bad. Overall, I was really pleased with this deodorant, but I noticed that after wearing it for a few months, it wasn’t as effective. I believe this retails for $15.00 and you can currently purchase it on indigo’s online website .

purelygreat Cream Deodorant $15.00

I came across Purely Great at Essence of Life in Toronto. Let me tell you about this company first, Purely Great is a Canadian family based company. Love supporting local businesses! I tried the lavender scent in this one as well (yes, I love lavender). A tub of this deodorant retails for $8.99 at Essence of Life in Kensington Market in Toronto, it is more expensive if you buy it from Purely Great’s website ($15.00), and you also have to pay shipping. This is also a tub, and has a pasty consistency, it comes with a spatula and you have to mix the product before you apply as there is some liquid in the product. I liked having the spatula to apply it to my underarms, without dirtying my hands. I used this for a couple of months, and honestly it was amazing! I didn’t perspire as much for some reason, and there was hardly any smell at the end of the day. I felt really clean and fresh using this deodorant. The only drawback of this one is that after about two months, the product dried up on me and I couldn’t apply it to my underarms without it flaking and dropping everywhere. It just didn’t stick to my underarms. Overall, this is an excellent deodorant, that actually works!

Consonant Skincare Dealkalizing Deodorant $14.00

My last recommendation is Consonant Skincare. I reviewed this deodorant in a previous post which you can link to here.  This is also a natural deodorant, and comes in a speedstick which makes for easy application. It comes in an unscented and scented version. I purchased the scented version. I loved this at first, it worked really well, but really quickly, I started to notice an odour. I think I got the most odour with this deodorant than with the ones mentioned earlier. I still use this on and off just to mix it up a little bit, and also because of ease of application. It’s good to keep in your bag, if you need to freshen up after a workout, or heavy physical activity. It retails for $14.00 and will last you a very long time! I purchased it from the Consonant store in the Toronto path, but you can also purchase it from Sephora online. I think Well.ca might also sell this. I recall Consonant having a trial size version as well, which is great to test out the product to see if it works for you. I would still recommend this product as a good natural deodorant given the ease of application, and the fact that it is pretty effective for the most part.

The one thing I have learned from trying several natural deodorants is that you need to rotate your natural deodorant. For some reason, after a period of time, the deodorant loses its effectiveness (at least in my experience) and you need to switch up. I would recommend trying all of the deodorants I mentioned above to see if they are effective for you. You just need to recognize that these are not anti-perspirants, they won’t stop you from sweating entirely, and they will not be as effective as your aluminum based drug store deodorant, but they are natural and free of harmful toxins!

 

 

 

Is this the best anti-aging hand cream? Review of Hand Chemistry by The Abnormal Beauty Company (DECIEM)

OMG. OMG. OMG. I didn’t even know I needed an anti-aging hand cream until I walked into the Deciem store in Yorkville. Here’s the deal – I am in my early 30s, my hands are dry as hell, they aren’t plump and soft like they used to be, and well, honestly, they are showing signs of aging (I am in my early 30s). I went in to purchase stuff for my face, I mean who cares about anti-aging for the hands – I honestly didn’t even know anti-aging products for your hands existed. The very helpful sales associate at the store walked me through a number of Deciem’s product lines (there are a lot of them and you actually need someone to help you, otherwise you will be utterly confused). I came across the Hand Chemistry hand cream and asked him what the deal was. He told me that this was one of their best selling products, and it was an anti-aging cream for the hands. Of course I was interested! He then described how you can tell someone’s age from looking at their hands, even if their face looks young – I don’t want to be that someone! I want young looking hands!

So this is what Hand Chemistry claims to do – it is supposed to target 8 signs of hand aging (I didn’t know there were 8 signs of hand aging BTW). It improves brightness, elasticity, firmness, smoothness, density, evenness, hydration and texture – Woah! Also, you can expect visible results in 11 days!

Of course I ended up purchasing Hand Chemistry, and a bunch of other products (which I will be reviewing later). I have been using Hand Chemistry for 3 days now, and honestly, my hands look amazing. My sisters commented on how “nice” and “pretty” my hands look. To put this into perspective, I NEVER get compliments on my hands. I haven’t had a manicure, and I didn’t even have nail polish on. Also, we are in the dead of winter, which isn’t exactly pretty hand season. My hands look a lot smoother and they definitely feel more hydrated. They look brighter too! I can’t comment on firmness, density or elasticity, but I am going to keep using to see what happens at the 11 day mark!

So far I am super impressed, and highly recommend the Hand Chemistry hand cream. Also, this stuff smells amazing!! Did I forget to mention that it only costs $20?

Wishing you all gorgeous hands!

 

 

 

Trying yet another natural deodorant… Let’s see if it actually works! 

I have tried my share of natural deodorants and have mixed reviews about a lot of them. Let’s be clear – these are not antiperspirants. They won’t stop you from sweating like those aluminium filled speed sticks we have all used. But a little sweat doesn’t bother me, as long as there is no odour. 

I landed upon this store while strolling through the Toronto Path. It’s called Consonant Skincare. Their products are 100% natural and also use organic ingredients. The lady at the store told me that this deodorant is really effective and that if it doesn’t work I can return it. So why not give it a go? I was debating the purchase when a guy came in, grabbed two of these bad boys and went to the checkout. Hmmm if this works on men … Then it will work on me?

I made the purchase. 

Check back in a few weeks and I will post a review!

Happy perspiring?!!

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Massage Soap Review

I haven’t shopped at The Body Shop in ages. It was popular when I was in high school, I loved their tea tree oil products and their musk scent. I got over The Body Shop pretty quickly as I entered my 20s and the brand just kind of lost steam. I happened to find myself in a Body Shop store on my way home from work. I came across the Wild Argan Oil Massage Soap and was intrigued.This soap is part of the Body Shop’s Wild Argan Oil collection.  massage soap with Argan oil? What more do you need?

DSC05378

My skin is very dry and I was thinking the Argan oil would provide me with much needed moisture.I really wanted to love this soap. For starters, it is a bit awkward to hold in the shower. I find it a bit too big and it slips easily from my hand. Forget about massaging – as the soap gets really slippery. This soap doesn’t have the greatest scent either (which is not a deal breaker by any means). It left my skin feeling quite parched after I came out of the shower. Wasn’t this supposed to be moisturizing? I am not sure what amount of Argan oil this soap contains, but it is probably minimal at best, given that this soap is currently on sale for $3.60 CDN. Overall, I am unimpressed.

 

Real Techniques Sponge Review: Is this as good as the Beauty Blender?

I have been using the holy grail Beauty Blender for sometime now. I quickly realized that it wasn’t just your regular makeup sponge. It blended my foundation so easily creating a flawless finish. Concealer creasing? Didn’t happen with the Beauty Blender.

So for those of you that have never used a Beauty Blender, well it is an egg shaped sponge. It comes in different colours and two different sizes. The thing with this sponge is you need to wet it before you use it. You wet the sponge, squeezing the excess water, and then dabbing with a towel. After you have wet the Beauty Blender it is ready to use. Wetting the sponge allows the product to sit on the surface of the sponge and not get absorbed.  I knew the Beauty Blender was doing wonders for my makeup when I had people commenting about how amazing my skin looked (they didn’t know I was wearing foundation!). Ok, so now that we know this thing is amazing and an absolute essential, why am I trying other sponges? Well, here’s the thing. The Beauty Blender is pricey! It retails for $28 CDN at Sephora. Oh, and you need to replace it every 3 months. It is no wonder I started looking at similar sponges to see if there were more affordable options.

I had heard a few Youtube beauty bloggers rave about the Real Techniques Sponge and how it was an affordable dupe for the Beauty Blender. The Real Techniques Sponge retails for $9.99 CDN at amazon.ca. Not bad, right? It looks similar to the Beauty Blender, but has a flat edge that is supposed to work for contouring. Same process here, you wet the sponge, and then use it to blend your foundation, concealer etc.

Ok, so I have had this for a month now and given it a number of shots. I don’t love it. It doesn’t work as well as the Beauty Blender, it absorbs all my product, and doesn’t create the same finish. Nothing other than this sponge has changed in my foundation routine, so I know the sponge is the culprit.

So what’s my overall opinion of the Real Techniques sponge? Doesn’t compare to the Beauty Blender. Period.