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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser: Fortifying Shampoo, Conditioner, Strength Reconstructing Butter & Split-End Bandage Serum

Hi Beauties! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I spent the last few days in paradise? I went away with five friends that I've known for over 2 decades. We had such a great time....we ate, drank and quickly learned that "everything's irie" when in Jamaica. I spent a lot of time relaxing out in the Sun and frolicking around in the pool but despite wearing my trusted SPF 60, I somehow managed to get a bit roasted. It's kind of surprising actually since I'm Italian (I tan easily) and I was sitting in a sheltered beach lounger or under an umbrella most of the time. The weather was great (ok....minus some rain showers) but the humidity was out in full force, and my hair....well....it took some serious abuse. For the next week (at least), I'll be putting the new Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser products to the test. I'm hoping that the range will help take my dry, damaged locks and transform them back to the healthier state that they were in before the trip. The Damage Eraser hair products are formulated with plant based proteins, fruit concentrate and CupuaƧu Butter. I've read mixed reviews on the shampoo but everyone seems to really love the conditioner, mask & serum so I'm excited to give this new range a try. 

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Product Range Details:

> Formulated for distressed/damaged hair
> Ideal for women who use heat stylers on a regular basis 
> Products have the power to reconstruct hair's strength by 90% (root-to-tip)
> Produce strong, highly nourished hair with improved shine & flexibility
> Leave hair feeling soft and manageable 
> Revitalize & rejuvenate hair
> Packaged in "eco-fructis" bottles that contain 30% recycled plastic  
> Affordable & easy to find at drugstore and mass retailers

Shampoo & Conditioner
> Both formulated with Phyto-Keratin® Complex
> Shampoo is not sulfate-free so it should work up a good lather

Split-End Bandage Serum
> Claims to reconstructs hair’s strength and helps prevent future split-ends
> Apply to towel-dried hair 

Damage Eraser Strength Reconstructing Butter
> Rich, indulgent butter designed to intensely reconstruct/repair hair’s strength
> Use weekly after shampoo for strong rejuvenated and shiny hair
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Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser: Fortifying Shampoo & Conditioner - $5.99 CAD each
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Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser: Split-End Bandage  
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Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser: Strength Reconstructing Butter

Saturday, August 16, 2014

REVIEW: Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection Fall 2014 #MrsMiaWallace

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Quentin Tarantino's crime comedy Pulp Fiction! To help celebrate the occasion, Urban Decay is coming out with a limited edition makeup collection inspired by the film's memorable character, Mrs. Mia Wallace played by Uma Thurman. In the movie Mia sports an edgy beauty look complete with smoky eyes and blood red lips. The collection includes everything you need to recreate Mrs. Mia Wallace’s look from the film.
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Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection Fall 2014
Pulp Fiction Eyeshadow Palette
The limited edition palette includes 5 shades of eye shadow, each featuring Urban Decay's Pigment Infusion System - a proprietary blend of ingredients that gives every shade its velvety texture, rich color, serious staying power and blendability. Two of the shades look sort of familiar while the other three are completely new to me. The shiny black case features the Ezekiel passage voiced by Jules (aka Samuel L. Jackson) in the film. Inside, there’s a good-sized mirror & a double-ended brush. As with all other Urban Decay eye shadows, the ones in this palette are also smooth and easy to blend. They provide good pigmentation and are long-lasting. Upon first glance, this palette looks pretty ordinary but it isn't until you start to play with it that you realize how compatible these shades truly are. I love this palette but wish it was slightly smaller (with less cardboard packaging) for travel. If you are looking for a good basic neutral palette with mostly mattes, you will like this one. I sure do!

Righteous
Described as a "light cream matte". This shade was slightly powdery when I applied it is a gorgeous bright yellow-toned beige, and works well as a highlight.

Tyranny
Described as a "warm brown matte". This shade has good pigmentation and is a good base or transitional color. It has orange undertones, is quite versatile and it performs well. 

Vengeance
Described as a "deep taupe-brown matte-satin". This shade is my favourite in the palette. It has great color payoff and the same soft, velvety texture as the others, but I find myself reaching for it more often.

Furious
Described as a "white satin". This shade has a pretty pearly sheen to it but I do wish it was slightly more opaque. Aside from that it functions well as an inner corner highlight.


Anger
Described as a "black satin with slight tonal sparkle". This shade was my least favourite of the bunch because it seemed harder to work with/blend. Regardless it could be used to smoke out the crease or can also be used as a liner.
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Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Eyeshadow Palette ($34 USD/$40 CAD)
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Revolution Lipstick in "Mrs. Mia Wallace"
Described as a "deep blood red", this rich medium-dark red lipstick is the perfect complement to an edgy eye look. The lipstick's long-lasting formula contains nourishing oils so it applies creamy on the lips while also being hydrating. What I like most about it though, is its shine. The pigmentation is quite bold so one single swipe is all you need to achieve the colour in the swatch below. 

24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in "Mrs. Mia Wallace"
Described as a "blood red", this medium-dark red shade was designed to match and be worn with the lipstick above.  It has a lovely matte finish that isn't drying on the lips at all. I'm not much of a lip liner connoisseur, but this one functions quite well and compares to the 24/7 eyeliners (also by Urban Decay) which I use and love. I really like that this formula is waterproof so there is no need to worry about feathering or bleeding. 

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Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace ($22 USD/$26 CAD)
& 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Mrs. Mia Wallace ($20 USD/$24 CAD)
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Swatches: Revolution Lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace (L)
24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Mrs. Mia Wallace (R)
Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in "Gunmetal"
Described as a "black with black & silver sparkle", this liquid liner is a combination of black & silver fine glitters in a clear base. The water-based formula is semi-opaque but it can be built up if desired. I would caution using too much though, since glitters can get clumpy on the lash line. The liner dries quickly and doesn't budge once it's dry. 

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Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Gunmetal ($19 USD/$23 CAD)
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Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Gunmetal (note brush)
Nail Color in "Mrs Mia Wallace"
Described as a "deep red with slight shimmer", this intense ruby/blood red has a 3-free formula and applies fully opaque in 2 coats. It produced no streaking and was easy to apply. I experienced no issues with this formula and really liked how shiny the formula was when I swatched it. The packaging is also very edgy and features a black cap with skull top. So cool!
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Urban Decay Nail Color in Mrs. Mia Wallace ($15 USD/$18 CAD) 
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Urban Decay Nail Color in Mrs. Mia Wallace 
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Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Collection Fall 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy Featuring Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment

After a hot Summer, our hair is often in need of some TLC. Months of being exposed to chlorine, salt water, humidity and/or the Sun can certainly take its toll and cause breakage and other unflattering effects to the hair.  Below are some hair tips that I find make a huge difference all year long when it comes to keeping my hair healthy & strong. 

1. Don't Wash Your Hair Every Day

Our scalp produces oils which help to keep our hair shiny and healthy. If you over wash your hair, it sends your oil glands into high gear which makes your hair look greasy. Washing your hair every day though can also dry it out (especially if you use hot water!). To help restore its balance, I only wash my hair about 3 times a week and use warm water (although washing with cold is recommended). 

2. Protect Your Hair from Heat Styling

If you blow dry or flat iron your hair, never do so without pre-treating it first. There are tons of heat protectants on the market that protect your hair from the adverse effects of heat styling.  

2. Don't Over-Process Your Hair

If you colour your hair, make sure to wait between 4-8 weeks before colouring or highlighting it again. You should also invest in products designed to work best on colour-treated hair.

3. Take Care of Split Ends
Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner and give your hair a weekly hair treatment at home. Also, wrap your wet hair in a towel for a few minutes to allow the moisture to absorb in the towel. This step eliminates the need for rubbing and protects your hair from breakage. Getting regular haircuts is also important!

4. Skip the Ponytail 
Ponytails can damage your hair and even give you headaches. If you must wear them, don't pull your hair back too tightly. Taking it out throughout the day to give your hair a break also helps reduce breakage.
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Moroccanoil Treatment, Moisture Repair Shampoo & Moisture Repair Conditioner
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As mentioned above, a good shampoo & conditioner is key to keeping your hair healthy and shiny. Moroccanoil's Repair Essentials Collection features nourishing Argan oil, reparative keratin and fatty acids that condition and repair, leaving hair strong, lustrous and more manageable. It was designed to restore and revive weakened hair and is safe for use on colour-treated hair. The Moisture Repair Shampoo is sulfate, phosphate & paraben free and gently cleanses the hair while infusing each strand with nutrients. I massage it through my wet hair just like I would any other shampoo but I find it does produce less lather than most. The Moisture Repair Conditioner gently detangles and softens hair while restoring elasticity and manageability. I like applying this to my hair about half way down and tend to focus most of the product on my ends - leaving it in for approximately 3 minutes. I find with most conditioners, applying too much product near the scalp leaves hair feeling and looking lifeless and even unmanageable. Once I've removed most of the moisture from my hair by either towel, blow or air drying it, I usually add a few drops of Moroccanoil Treatment – a conditioning, styling and/or finishing product rich in argan oil and reparative proteins. (again staying clear of my scalp).

What do you do/use to keep your "lovely locks" looking their best?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Almay Practice Makes Perfect WORKSHOP Beauty Tips & Giveaway! #AlmayPicnic

I love learning new makeup application techniques so when Almay Canada recently invited me out for their #AlmayPicnic I was more than happy to attend. The interactive workshop was led by the brand's National Trainer Jacquie Hutchinson, who has over 20 years of training/experience as a makeup artist and also happens to be one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met! 

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When we first arrived at the event we received an adorable lunch bag filled with Almay products and were asked to remove our existing makeup. While some people chose not to partake in the fun....I was all over it. To remove my eye makeup I used two Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads and for the rest of my face I used one Makeup Remover Towelette. Both products are oil-free and were generously saturated with enough liquid to effectively remove all my dirt, oil and makeup. 
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Once my face was squeaky clean, I proceeded to apply Almay's CC Luminous Primer. I've always said that a good primer is crucial to making your look last..... especially when it's hot out. "It creates the perfect base...a beautiful veil on the skin", says Jacquie. I really liked the "glow" that the primer gave my skin. It instantly brightened up my complexion and made my skin look nourished and healthy. This was hands down my favourite product of the night. 

The next product we were asked to apply started off white (with greyish dots - aka shade-sensing beads) then magically adjusted to my skins tone when I blended it out. Jacquie recommended applying the Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup with SPF 20 with our fingers so that the warmth from our fingertips helped achieve the most natural looking coverage. Using your fingers also helps the ToneMimic technology in the product work. The coolest thing about this product is that it matches your complexion and adjusts itself so everyone gets a natural looking finish.Almay Luminous Primer, Almay Skintone Matching Makeup, Almay Giveaway, Almay Practice Makes Perfect, Almay WORKSHOP, #AlmayPicnic, Beauty Tips, Almay Review

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For the eyes, Jacquie recommended blotting eye shadow on the back of your hand first so that the moisture on your skin binds the shadow together resulting in less fall out. I used the Intense i-Color Smoky-i Kit for brown eyes which includes a trio of shadows expertly coordinated to suit your eye colour. 

For eye liner, I applied a thin layer of the Intense i-Color Liquid Liner in Purple Amethyst along both lash lines. Jacquie recommended using the side of the brush on the upper lash line and the tip of the applicator for more precise lower lash application. Jacquie also suggested that we pull the side of our eye like a ruler to level out any loose skin. This step helps the liner glide along a smoother surface. I completed the eye look with 2 coats (applied in a zig-zag motion from base to tip) of the Intense i-Color Volumizing Mascara in Plum which I have to say, I'm still getting used to. I really prefer wearing black mascara so Jacquie suggested that I apply my favourite black mascara underneath and then top it off with the plum shade for a more dramatic look. The mascara's formula is great though and gives lashes tons of volume. 

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To help highlight my cheekbones and give my skin a sun-kissed flush, I applied the Smart Shade Bronzer in Sunkissed to areas of my face that the "sun hits". Jacquie reminded us to not forget our ears and neck when applying bronzer for a more natural look. Finally, I finished the look by applying some Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm to my lips. I simply adore these glosses. They are not sticky, they are super pigmented, they hydrate your lips and feel great on the lips.

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DEAL ALERT: Almay has a $3 off coupon which can be used on any of their products at drug and mass retailers nationwide. Also, now until October 2014, you can pick up any Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup and mail in your receipt for a full cash rebate worth $17 + taxes. Check your local drugstore for details. 

Want to try these products out? My friends at Almay have generously offered to send all of the products I just mentioned above to one lucky MomsMakeupStash reader! Here is what is included in this amazing prize pack:

Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup (Regular or Anti-Aging)
Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer
Smart Shade Powder Blush Bronzer in Sunkissed
Intense i-Color Volumizing Mascara
Intense i-Color Liquid Liner
Intense i-Color Smoky Shadow Kit
Oil-Free Makeup Remover Pads
Makeup Remover Towelettes
Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm

To win this customized prize pack valued at $115 CAD, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. Open to Canadian Residents only. Good luck beauties!



Sunday, August 10, 2014

OPI Glitter Off Peel-Able Base Coat (Remove Glitter Nail Polish in Seconds!)

Every now and then I like wearing glitter polish as an accent to my manicure. I'm even a fan of sporting trendy glitter tips and/or using glitter for different types of nail art. But..... removing glitter polish has always been a pain and often involves heavy duty removers or scrubbing your nails raw. Umm, no thanks! A few months ago, OPI launched their new Glitter Off Base Coat, designed to be worn on your natural nails to help protect them from staining. Not only does this new base coat protect your nails but it also makes it SUPER EASY... yes easy to simply peel off hard-to-remove glitter nail polish in seconds.
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OPI Glitter OFF Peelable Base Coat - $10.95 CAD/15 mL (0.5 fl. oz) 
Product Details:
> Applies white (think Elmer School Glue), dries almost clear & peels off
> Allows for quick & easy removal of nail polish (including stubborn glitter formulas!) when worn underneath lacquers
> Eliminates the need for nail polish remover
> Protects your nails and leaves them clean & stain-free
> Makes some polishes look brighter

Application Tips:
> Apply a thin coat & allow to dry completely before adding polish/glitter 
Use a cuticle stick to gently "push up" & peel the layer of nail polish off of the nail
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OPI Glitter OFF Natural Nail Base Coat 
Have you tried this new base coat?
 How do you typically remove glitter polish?

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