Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HAUL: Free People Beauty & Wellness - Smith & Cult, RMS, Eyeko and Juice Beauty

Free People just added a beauty and wellness section to its website! The online store includes a myriad of well-known niche and beauty brands with a focus on cruelty-free, natural and organic products (i.e., RMS, Dr. Alkaitis, Eyeko, Juice Beauty, Smith & Cult, Pai Skincare, Rahua, and the Beauty Chef). 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Savouring Summer: The Body Shop Pinita Colada and Honey Bronze Drops of Sun Holiday Glow Creator

There's only one more month of summer. *Commence sad face*. Thankfully, I've got a few products from The Body Shop to keep me in a summery mood until next year comes. 

TO SMELL LIKE SUMMER there's The Body Shop Pinita Colada Shower Gel ($10 CAD). I'm not a fan of all scents from The Body Shop but the Pinita Colada is spot on. It's crisp, fruity, and smells good enough to drink. The notes of passion fruit, pineapple and coconut really sing in this body wash. Other than that, it's just a good ol' body wash - paraben-free and soap-free with a decent lather. The scent lingers in my shower but not so much on my skin. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Quo by Orly Breathable Treatment + Color

Didn't I tell you at the beginning of August that treatment + colour polishes were going to be all the rage? The Quo by Orly Breathable Treatment + Color ($10.99 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart) is a drugstore option for the healthy and pretty nail polish formulation trend. 

The Quo by Orly breathable Treatment + Color features technology that is similar to that of a contact, in that it allows oxygen and hydration to pass through the polish to promote nail growth. Like the Formula X Sheer/Full Strength Polishes, the breathable polish is filled with oils and vitamins including Argan Oil, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C to heal, hydrate and grow the nails. 

What's special about this particular polish is that it's meant to be an all-in-one formulation (no base coat or top coat necessary). So of course, I put it to the test. 

The polish applies quickly and evenly, as the brush is HUGE. It's not ideal for nail art but it is very effective at getting polish on your nail in one fell swoop. All the shades I received (including the light pink) are opaque in 2 coats and dry at nor nail polish drying times (~10-15 mins). 

Quo says that the polish includes a top and base coat. My nails are typically fine with the omission of a base coat and it works alright with the Breathable polish as I suspected. You can omit topcoat too but my nails didn't look as shiny as I wanted them to when I did. In terms of wear, the polish was okay. It took four days until the polish started showing minor chipping at the tips. I didn't find any particular improvements to my nails but they didn't break or peel after removing the polish. 

Pamper Me || light pastel pink

Nail Superfood || bright coral pink 

Pick-Me-Up || dark cool purple 

Have you tried a treatment nail colour yet? 

Press samples featured. The Quo by Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Polishes are available in 18 shades. 
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

DIY Bug Spray Recipe with Tea Tree and Rose Geranium Essential Oils

Inevitably, spending time away from my computer and outside in the wilderness means that I will get bitten. My blood must taste pretty darn delicious because bugs LOVE me. 

Anyways, I'm scared of the junk in traditional bug spray so on my first ever camping trip, I got a little crafty and concocted my own DIY bug repellent using the help of the internet. 

I was particularly fearful of ticks because my friend told me a spooky story which prompted me to google "tick bite". It was a bad idea because *graphic warning* those things are creepy and crawly. Google also told me that Tea Tree and Rose Geranium Essential Oils are the most effective for ticks. chiggers and mosquitoes. 

In my 3 days in the wilderness, this stuff really worked. The only caveat is that you need to reapply every 2-3 hours, especially if you're gone swimming or something. I forgot to reapply after swimming and got 7 bites (one on my butt... ouch!). 

WARNING: exercise caution when using essential oils on pregnant women and young children. This particular recipe was created for adult use, so do your research before spraying on kids! 

DIY Bug Spray Recipe

  • Spray bottle 
  • 2 tbsp vodka
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, almond oil or jojoba oil
  • 4 oz distilled water
  • 30 drops of Aura Cacia Rose Geranium Essential Oil (Get $10 off $40 on with the code DIYSTEPH)
  • 30 drops of Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Essential Oil*
  • Other essential oils you can use: 
    • Lavender
    • Eucalyptus
    • Citronella
    • Lemongrass
    • Peppermint
    • Bergamot
    • Lemon
    • Clove

It's as easy as pie. Pour everything into a spray bottle, shake well and spritz all over your body to keep those creepy, blood-sucking crawlies away. Reapply every 2-3 hours and that's it! 

Thursday Plantation kindly sent over their three essential oils, which sparked the idea for bug spray. Essential oils have thousands of uses and bug spray is just one of them! Thursday Plantation Eucalyptus, Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils are  available in Canada in store and online (i.e. Well.Ca, Abundance Naturally, and more!). 

Do you have any tips for keeping bugs away? 

Press samples featured and denoted with an asterisk (*). Coupon code is referral. 
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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Laneige Water Lip Sleeping Mask

You may have heard of a sleeping mask for your face before, but what about a sleeping mask for you lips? Koreans have some of the best, most interesting skincare so when I spotted the Laneige Water Lip Sleeping Mask ($27.68 CAD on on, I knew I had to try it. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wax On, Wax Off

I could care less about hair removal. I'm lazy, hair removal is always uncomfortable, and my facial hair, leg hair, arm hair, hair down there don't deserve my valuable time and effort. I think I've epilated my legs and arms once or twice in the past 4 months. 

The only time I'm truly bothered by my hairiness is when it messes with my makeup application. I have tons of teeny tiny, thin, peach fuzz hairs that make my foundation look weird and are difficult to remove. 

Enter the Sweet Ease Facial Waxing Kit ($5.99 CAD). It's cheap, it's easy and it gets the job done. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara

 X-Rated mascara? The first thing that I wondered when I read that on the tube was if my lashes were going to look scandalous or audacious or racy or sexy. I'm not sure what "scandalous eyelashes" even means, but I received a baby sample of the Smashbox X-Rated Mascara ($25 CAD) at Generation Beauty Toronto and went on a little mission to find out... (and by mission I mean apply the mascara to my eyelashes and wearing it for a day). 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

TRAVEL: Camping at Silent Lake Provincial Park + VLOG

I survived my first camping trip! A few weeks ago I headed to Silent Lake Provincial Park for 3 days and 2 nights with Charles (my boyfriend), my friend Zubie, and her husband Zameer. 

Silent Lake Provincial Park is a 24km south of Bancroft, Ontario. It's a fairly small park spanning 16.1 square kilometres featuring forest, 2 beaches and a system of small lakes. "Silent Lake" is a most fitting name because motor boats and electronic motors are prohibited on the lake. 

Can't take credit for this photo! It's a Charles Cheung Photography extraordinaire - check him out @charcharb1nk on Instagram 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Rouge Lipsticks in C105, C211, M401, C506, C603 & C502

Make Up For Ever just released the Artist Rouge Lipsticks ($27 CAD each) - a collection of 45 lipsticks with new and improved packaging. The Artist Rouge Lipsticks are a bold colour formulation, with 25% more pigment than the old Rouge Artist Lipsticks

MUFE collaborated with Swedish electropop duo, Icona Pop, to create 2 limited edition shades of the Artist Rouge Lipsticks - a dramatic midnight blue (C603) and a bold hot red (M401). 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat Reformulated + new shades!

About two years ago, Revlon released the ColorStay Gel Envy polishes, an at-home, no cure, 2-step system with salon-quality results. Two years later, Revlon has reformulated the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat ($8.99) and claims that it leaves manicures with shatter-proof strength and diamond-like shine. 

It's been a while since I went through an entire bottle of the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat. It's free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, DBP, toluene and camphor. The previous version was my favourite drugstore top coat EVER. Super shiny and no chipping for 10+ days on top of any nail polish formulation. Not just Revlon's.