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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish - Sea Bloom Collection Summer 2014 (Photos & Swatches)

Last month, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear released a new limited edition collection called Sea Bloom. Available exclusively at Walmart, the collection includes a beautiful assortment of creamy pastels and at merely $2.47 a polish, you can certainly indulge in a few....heck many even all of them?


"Formulated with Micro-Shine Complex to help strengthen manicures to last up to 7 days, Sally Hansen introduces the new limited edition Xtreme Wear Sea Bloom collection, inspired by the pretty pastels & muted hues found under the sea.

Xtreme Wear polishes are among the most affordable nail lacquers on the market, costing only a few dollars each. This particular collection includes eight oceanic-inspired shades that are not only captivating but completely on trend. Take a look....
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Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish - Sea Bloom Collection - $2.47 CAD/11.8ml



Shades: 

Water Orchid  - pastel lilac with a creamy formula
Wet Suit - bright blue with a creamy, pigmented formula
Kelp Yourself - minty-turquoise green with a fairly good formula
You're Crabby  - pretty pale pink (applied a bit streaky) 
Peach Babe - pinky peach shade with an good formula
Floaties - gorgeous pastel orange - almost peach
Teeny Bikini - muted yellow cream with a good formula
Pearl Upsheer pearl (requires multiple coats for opacity)

All of the shades looked their best when applied in 2 thin coats with the exception of Pearl Up, which required 3-4. The formula of each was good but I'd recommend applying thin coats to minimize streaking. The true colour of these polishes was difficult to capture in photographs but you can get a general idea below.  

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My personal favourite from the collection is Floaties!
Which shade(s) are you loving?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Skincare: Dark Spot Solution, Skin Brightening Exfoliator, Purifying Foaming Cleanser & Brightness-Activating Toner

Kiehl's Since 1851 is a company that is deeply rooted in over 160 years of history. The iconic brand which was founded as a pharmacy in New York's East Village now has countless store locations around the globe. Kiehl's is probably best known for their commitment to customer service and for the "fine quality skin and hair care preparations" that they offer. Have you ever stepped foot into one of their stores? If so, you will have likely noticed components of their heritage lingering about (i.e. vintage motorcycles, planes, skiing), all of which are a part of the brand's legacy. Awhile back, I was on-site when Square One Shopping Centre prepared for the grand opening of their new Kiehl's freestanding store. After chatting up Mr. Bones (just kidding!), I spend a few hours testing and learning all about all of their product formulations. The Square One location is breathtaking and features the well known Product Testing Hub, pop art inspired graphics, and even has a gorgeous antique chandelier hanging from the ceiling! Their "try before you buy" philosophy which allows you to sample products before making a purchase and their simple, no-frills packaging really makes Kiehl's stand out in the crowd.

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Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Products (L-R):
Brightness Activating Toner, Dark Spot Solution, Skin Brightening Exfoliator
& Purifying Foaming Cleanser 
Since my visit to the store, I've been testing out my very own "skincare prescription", which included an assortment of Clearly Corrective products from the Dermatologist Solutions range. The range was developed in 2005 and addresses specific skin conditions such as aging, irritation, sensitivity, acne, sun spots and surface texture. While all products performed extremely well, I particularly loved the Clearly CorrectiveTM Dark Spot Solution, a formula that combats dark spots, discolouration and hyper-pigmentation. The clear formula is 100% active and quickly begins attacking deep-set dark spots immediately.

Product Benefits:

> Clinically demonstrated to visibly correct skin tone & clarity
> "Anti-Cluster" technology swiftly breaks apart discolouration & prevents the formation of new pigment clusters
> Addresses hyper-pigmentation concerns & treats uneven, dull skin
> Reduces post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation
> Diminishes intensity of dark spots 
> Improves skin radiance & luminosity

Ingredients:

All of the Clearly Corrective products contain Peony Extract, which is a traditional Chinese medicinal antioxidant that helps protect against free radical oxidative damage to the skin. When combined with Kielh's Activated C (Vitamin C derivative), the formula also helps inhibit the production of melanin which enhances skin's overall clarity. White Birch Extract also restores hydration and nutrients to the skin and together with Activated C supports and facilitates the appearance of discolouration correction.

Did you know? Activated C works immediately on the skin allowing for faster penetration. It inhibits melanin synthesis and destroys melanin clusters. The faster the activity - the sooner you will see a visible difference. 

People with hyper-pigmentation concerns that visit a dermatologist are often prescribed either Hydroquinone (which should only be used in up to 3 month intervals to avoid unwanted side effects) or topical retinoids (should also be used cautiously, especially in the summer due to photosensitivity). What's great about the Clearly Corrective products is that they are safe to use twice daily, all year-round! 

My Results: 

With every passing year, my skin tone lacks lustre and gets more dull-looking. In addition to that, I am noticing spots on my skin which resemble acne scars but look more like darker pockets of pigment. I explained all of this to the Kielh's educator and that's why she recommended the Clearly Corrective range. I used the cleanser, toner and solution daily & the exfoliator 2x/week before writing this review. In just under 3 weeks, I started to notice the intensity of those pigmented areas become more dull and less noticeable. The overall clarity of my skin had also improved. There is nothing in this formula that irritated my skin in any way, so I think it's safe to say that these products would be great for those of you with sensitive skin. I love the dark spot solution's lightweight yet hydrating texture. It looks and feels like water but it combines some powerful ingredients that surely do what they are intended to do. 
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Kielh's Clearly Corrective Purifying Foaming Cleanser - $30 CAD/150ml &
Clearly Corrective Skin Brightening Exfoliator -  $32 CAD/125ml
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Kielh's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution - $55 CAD/30ml
* 50ml size also available for $75 CAD
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Kielh's Clearly Corrective Brightness-Activating Toner- $48 CAD/250ml
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Kielh's is available in over 39 countries, has 130 free standing stores and 760 points of sale. 

What are your favourite Kielh's products? 
I'd love to hear your product recommendations!

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?

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