Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mary Kay Runway Bold Collection for Fall 2016

Fall collections are here! Mary Kay's limited edition Runway Bold Collection features shimmering metallics with bold blue hues. It's a fairly small 5-piece beauty collection with eyeshadows, an eyeliner, and three nail lacquers. 


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

THREE THINGS: Dr. Roebuck's POLISH, TONE and FACE

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend the fall preview for Dr. Roebuck's, an Australian made and owned skincare line. I was unable to attend (*shakes fist at school*) but Dr. Roebuck's was kind enough to send along a few goodies for me to test out! 


The story behind the brand gives me all the feels. Dr. Roebuck is an actual, real person. In 1978, Dr. Roebuck, an Australian physician, searched for an effective and safe Eczema treatment for his newborn identical twin daughters. He couldn't, so instead he decided to create his own by combining an old English dermatological formula with his clinical and practical knowledge. 

The result, now known as PURE, is a treatment for very dry skin formulated without fillers, colours, scents and harsh chemicals. It was only in 2010 that the two twin daughters Kim and Zoe Roebuck brought the product into commercial production. Now, Dr. Roebuck's is a whole line of gentle face and body products formulated for sensitive skin and free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colour and BPA. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Formula X: The System XCEL to Go in Impeccable

The Formula X the System XCEL is a no-cure gel nail polish system that promises to extend the wear of any Formula X polish for 10 days of flawless colour.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Klorane: 50 Years of Caring For Sensitive Eyes

My first encounter with Klorane was when I received the Klorane Dry Shampoo for Christmas in July from Rae of theNotice.net. The product is now my all time favourite dry shampoo. But little did I know that the Klorane brand also made skincare products as well. 


Klorane Laboratories is a is a well-established French beauty brand founded in 1965. It prides itself in its pharmaceutical ethics, botanical expertise, and authenticity. For 50 years, Klorane has extracted and included cornflower floral water as the star ingredient in its eye products. Cornflower water supposedly has soothing and decongesting properties. It's suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, as it has a pH level identical to tears so that it does not sting the eyes. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

BVspa Pink Grapefruit Sugar Scrub and Body Lotion

In the world of accounting and finance education, BV = Business Valuations. Thank goodness I'm done school because BV has a new, less stressful, better smelling meaning - Bon Vital. BVspa by Bon Vital is a line of luxury spa experiences that can be enjoyed at home. 


The BVspa collection is simple and easy to navigate. There are 4 products, 2 for exfoliation and 2 for hydration at two levels of exfoliation and two levels of hydration: 
  • BVspa Sugar Scrubs, Exfoliation Level: Moderate
  • BVspa Salt Scrubs, Exfoliation Level: High
  • BVspa Body Lotions, Hydration Level: Moderate
  • BVspa Body Butters, Hydration Level: High

Friday, August 26, 2016

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue Nourishing Cleansing Milk

During the summer, I feel the need to wash my hair everyday because whether I like it or not, I'm a sweaty human being. But shampooing everyday makes the ends of my hair feel dry and my scalp feel itchy. So instead, I've been using the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue Nourishing  ($56 CAD) every other day as a gentler alternative to shampoo. 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mary Kay Semi-Matte Gel Lipsticks

New lipsticks from Mary Kay? I'm always excited. For Fall 2016, the released Mary Kay Semi-Matte Gel Lip Lipsticks ($21 CAD) just launched in 8 shades and I'm happy to report that they're worth a look!  

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

INGREDIENTS: 
  • 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 Well.ca 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 Echoo.ca) on Echoo.ca, 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. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

HAUL: Blippo.com Kawaii Shop

Blippo.com has to be one of the cutest things on the internet. From DIY candy food to stationary and phone charms. You can find all things cute on Blippo. That's why its mission is to spread happiness, cuteness and kawaii culture all corners of the world. Sweet, right? 

* Sidenote: Kawaii = Cute in Japanese! 

Blippo Kawaii Haul

Blippo offered to send me a selection of adorable little products to play with (and review) and of course I obliged. I'm often a fan of cute things but what is truly important is that they are useful. So, I've assessed everything on the criteria of quality, cuteness and usefulness. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sephora Formula X #ColorCurators Collection 2016 with MakeupByRoseXOXO (August)

Interrupting your regularly scheduled blog post to bring you the latest from Formula X (a nail polish post that's not on a Monday). Another month, another Color Curators Collection from Formula X ($16 each). This month's curator is Rose Siard, otherwise known as MakeUpByRoseXOXO and @roseandben on the interwebs. She's also a beauty blogger, makeup artist and singer, so what's not to love?

The collection is full of ~romantic classics~, so really... it's a collection that almost anyone can appreciate. In typical Formula X fashion, all three colours are easy to apply, opaque in 2 coats and wear for 5+ days with a decent top coat. They're exclusively available at Sephora for $16 CAD. 

Make Up by Rose XOXO Color Curators Collection for August 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

What Should Have Been In My Camping Makeup Bag?

In an ideal world, these are the beauty things that I should have brought with me on a recent camping trip. In actuality, I couldn't stuff all my stuff into my makeup bag and had to bring two. And the cherry on top was that I didn't even use half. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quo Back to School Limited-Edition Collection

It's that time of the year again (already). Quo Cosmetics is back with another limited edition collection. There are 4 pieces, 3 of which I have to share with you today - the Quo Daily Beauty Palette ($42 CAD), Quo Taking Notes Beauty Palette ($32 CAD), and Quo Hall Monitor Clutch ($22 CAD). 

Quo Taking Notes Beauty Palette

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

EVENT + HAUL: MUJI Back to School Stationary and Organization

New school year, new school supplies and stationary (even if you're not going back to school)! The feeling of a fresh, new notebook and pen is indescribably good. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Vinsource Facial Treatment at the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie

The Vinosource Facial Treatment at the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie was 60 minutes of pure bliss. I remember it clearly because it was a sweet escape from the perils of my day-to-day school life. 



The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie is located on the 5th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto. From the intricate dragon sculpture outside, to the beautiful tiered stands of afternoon tea sandwiches (which I highly recommend), the Shangri-La Hotel is a luxury in itself. 

If you're not familiar with the skincare brand, Caudalie is a natural skincare brand. Grapes sourced from Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy are the main ingredient in all of Caudalie's products. Since the spa and the brand are affiliated, the facials feature Caudalie skincare. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Formula X Sheer and Full Strength Treatment Nail Colors in Undeniable, Phenomenal, Less is More and Turnt Up

The latest trend in nail polish formulations is... two-in-one treatment and colour polishes. Sephora recently released the Formula X Sheer Strength Treatment Nail Colors and the Formula X Full Strength Treatment Nail Colors ($16 CAD each). 


Both the Sheer Strength and Full Strength formulations are enriched with "treatment" ingredients (plant-based proteins) including bamboo, keratin, safflower seed oil, sorbitol and licorice extract, meant to nourish, strengthen and protect the nail while preventing splitting, cracking and peeling. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

HAUL: Korean Sunscreen, Face Masks and Tattoos via Echoo.ca

In case you missed it, I've been working with Korean importer Echoo.ca to bring you reviews of some of the latest and greatest Korean beauty goodies! For the months of August and September, I picked out a few things and Echoo.ca also sent along a few new arrivals for me to test out. 


Laneige Water Lip Sleeping Mask ($27.68 CAD) - My lips are dry and flaky all year round, so I'm hoping this lip mask will be the cure to all my liquid lipstick woes. 

RE:CIPE Crystal Sun Spray ($26.99 CAD) - Spray-on sunscreen + setting spray? Sounds like a summer dream. 

Clio Tinted Tattoo Kill Brow Set in No. 3 Dark Brown ($31.99 CAD) - This is a two in one kit containing the Clio Kill Brow Tinted Tattoo and the Clio Tinted Lip Tattoo. Apparently, 1 million Kill Brow Tinted Tattoos have been sold. I've already swiped these tattoo things all over my lips and brows and they're different from what I'm used to... in a good way! 

JayJun 3 Steps Real Water Black Mask Refine to Shine ($3.99 CAD) + JayJun 2 Steps Skin Fit Aqua Brightening Mask ($3.79 CAD) - JayJun is a new-to-me brand. There are very few English reviews floating around online but from what I could find, JayJun is well-liked as a skincare brand and is actually a plastic surgery clinic in Korea. Nervous and excited. 

Which products do you want to see reviewed first? Have you tried any? 
Press samples featured
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Friday, August 5, 2016

KYE for Shu Art of Hair

A few weeks ago, I covered the k-beauty inspired makeup from the Kye for Shu Uemura Collection. Today, an overview of all things Art of Hair from the collaboration! 

The Kye for Shu Art of Hair Collection includes three conditioners - the Kye for Shu Uemura Color Lustre Conditioner, Kye for Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Conditioner and Kye for Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Conditioner ($56 CAD each). 


The packaging has so much WOW factor. The patterned bottles are cute but classically Shu Uemura with a handy dandy pump and semi-opaque plastic (so I can see how much product I have left!). To be honest, after I'm done the conditioners, I'll probably refill them with soap. I don't want these limited edition pieces to go to waste. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Month in Nail Art - July 2016

July was a crappy month for nail art (sorry). School's been a bit rough and I've actually been wearing solid coloured manicures for entire weeks. Bohhhh-ring. My feeble attempts at nail art through the month are as follows... 

Corgi Nail Art

My friend Lucy is high key obsessed with corgis and can typically be spotted in class googling pictures of the small, fluffy, short-legged dogs. Oh. And she writes a parody beauty blog at https://lucyblogsaboutbeauty.wordpress.com/. She will also be doing my makeup at a later date. 


Products Used: ArtDeco Couture Dark Queen, OPI Can't Stop Myself, OPI No Stopping Zone, Essie White Page

Who's that Pokemon? Nail Art 

In light of the hit augmented reality video game, Pokemon Go... it's Pokemon nail art! Inspired by cutepolish. To those that are playing Pokemon Go, watch your step! 


Products Used: Ceramic Glaze Pineapple Breeze + Little Black Dress + Pure + Russian Rouge

Nude + Negative Space

My roommate Lisa requested a white half-moon manicure for her b-day. I ran out of white nail polish at the Waterloo apartment (...tsk tsk, right?), so we settled for a light nude. I recreated the same manicure on my own fingertips! 



Got a request? Leave it below!

Press samples featured
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Foundation Brush, Precision Powder Brush and Setting Powder Brush

Along with the new Kat Von D Lock-It Creme Concealer and new shades of the Kat Von Do Lock-It Concealer, Kat Von D Beauty has also released 4 new base makeup brushes - the Edge Foundation Brush ($43 CAD), Edge Concealer Brush ($30 CAD), Setting Brush ($47 CAD) and Precision Powder Brush ($38 CAD). 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Contour Trio Stick in Blush and Bronze

Are you #InstaReady? Because if you're not the Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Contour Trio Stick in Blush and Bronze ($15.79 USD) are products that meant to help you "express your #selfie" through "#FoolproofContouring". I received both products in the Generation Beauty Toronto swag bag and thought it would be fun to give them a whirl. 


Monday, August 1, 2016

OPI Washington DC x Kerry Washington

My dreams have come true. OPI just released their 15-colour Fall/Winter collection, inspired by Emmy and Globe nominated actress Kerry Washington (and the hit show Scandal). 


If you haven't watched the show, let me paraphrase a Wikipedia blurb for you. Set in Washington DC, Scandal is a Shonda Rhimes (known for Grey's Anatomy and How To Get Away with Murder) political drama centred around the life of Olivia Pope (played by none other than Kerry Washington) and her crisis management firm. *Spoiler alert* She's having an affair with the President. It's so juicy. There's also a whole lot of subtle nudges of social commentary and the show reflects quite a few real world issues (#BlackLivesMatter, white privilege, a character that is eerily similar to Donald Trump, etc.).