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    2018’s Valentine’s Day Sex & Beauty Gift Guide

    Valentine’s Day SEX picks

    • Womanizer 2GO ($169 USD). This lipstick-shaped air pulse toy cracks me up to no end. It’s theoretically discreet, but its massive size makes it simultaneously very, very obvious. I prefer the Womanizer Pro 40 to the 2GO (it’s cheaper and easier to hold), but the 2GO is a good alternative! Use code “theNotice” for 10% off your Peepshow Toys order.
    • Bijoux Indiscrets Skin Jewelry ($11 USD). I love these: they’re fun, sexy, and discreet. (Actually discreet, this time.) The Mimi starburts appliqués come in a number of cute colours, and are even offered as metallic skin transfers. Get 30% off all Bijoux Indiscrets Valentine’s Day picks until the 14th.
    • KinkNerdToys The Original Rug Beater Paddle ($40 USD). This heavy paddle delivers firm contact with a stingy finish. It’s made from vinyl coated steel cable and has a copper handle, and leaves beautiful swirling welts behind. I bought this years ago, and KinkNerdToys still offers a lifetime replacement warranty on all of their products.

    Valentine’s Day BEAUTY picks

    • Garnier Whole Blends Oat Delicacy Gentle Dry Shampoo. This sweet-smelling, silicone-free dry shampoo is brand new, and it is… Amazing. It’s small enough in stature that it fits into my overnight makeup bag, and it is 100% invisible. Every other dry shampoo I’ve tried gives my hair a slight grey, gritty finish, but this disappears entirely and leaves my hair looking shower-fresh.
    • Tom Ford Violet Blonde. Soft, powdery, and full of violets.
    • Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil ($25 USD/$35 CAD). I date too many people with beards. Trust me; they’re better conditioned.
    • Kiss Lashes Little Black Dress ($5.99 USD). These look, feel, and wear like mink lashes – but they’re cruelty-free and have a drugstore price tag. I really love the length and design of this lash style, and it’s become my most-worn pair! (I even pick them over my Esqidos.)
    • Lise Watier Urban Velocity Blush ($34 CAD). What says love like marbled pink hues? (Chocolate. The answer is chocolate.)
    • ISA Professional Digital Flat Iron Hair Straightener ($129 USD). My #1 shortcut to a femme fatale look is softly curled hair, and this red-and-black flat iron is the perfect way to get those waves for Valentine’s Day. (I can finish curling my hair in 3 minutes if I try really hard, which is my current claim to fame.) The ISA Digital Flat Iron features tourlamine ceramic plates, temperature controls from 175-450 degrees Fahrenheit, and an auto shutoff feature.

    Valentine’s Day LIP picks

    • Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in Pioneer ($9.49 USD/$11.99 CAD). My honey had just one request this Valentine’s Day–a red lip!–so how could I say no? I reviewed these lipsticks on Thursday, and I stopped into Shopper’s the very next day to add one more shade to my collection. Pioneer is a stunning true red, and it stays on just as well as the rest of the bunch… But I guess I’ll be testing that for certain on Wednesday.
    • Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm in Berry ($34 USD/$41 CAD). I managed to simultaneously finish and misplace my favourite “nothing” lip product (YSL Rouge Volupté Sheer Candy in Framboise Craquante), so here’s something new to theNotice. This is my first Dior Addict Lip Glow, and it could not be prettier.
    • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Opium Noir ($39 CAD). Charlotte is bringing out her Film Noir Nights lipstick out as a solo product, and it is… Lovely. This rendition of Opium Noir is the exact same as the one that was included in the set, with one exception: you no longer have to buy it with yet another black eyeliner. See it worn here.

    Valentine’s Day LOCAL picks

    • JACEK Chocolate Limited Edition Heart Box ($26 CAD). Seasonal pie truffles (their Razzleberry Pie is mind-blowing) and Valentine’s Day-themed Oozy Salted Caramel H’Arts (I would die happy if these were the last thing I ate.) Local find – JACEK is based in the Edmonton area and owned and operated by Jacqueline Jacek.
    • Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Fast & Female Soap ($5.50 CAD). Want to show the Olympics-lover in your life that you not only love them, but also the opportunities that they could have been given? Rocky Mountain Soap Co.’s floral-mint February feature soap promotes keeping girls in sports, where they currently drop out at a rate 6x that of boys in their early teens. Local find – Rocky Mountain Soap is handmade here in the Canadian Rockies.

    What are your plans this Valentine’s Day, and how much food do they involve?

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    Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink review, swatches: Voyager, Believer, Dreamer, Loyalist

     

    The product: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink in 05 Loyalist, 10 Dreamer, 40 Believer, and 50 Voyager 

    There is one thing that you NEED if you’re getting your lip on this Valentine’s Day, and it’s a tube of Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink.

    These liquid lipsticks are everything that I’ve ever wanted out of a lipstick. They’re opaque, comfortable, and affordable, and most importantly: they do. Not. Budge.

    Maybelline Voyager 05

    The Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink formula

    The Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink formula is a total dream. It applies with a modified doe-foot applicator, drying totally matte within 90 seconds. And once it’s dry… It’s there to stay.

    The formula smells lightly of vanilla, which fades quickly. It feels a little tight after about 3 hours, but it’s not significantly drying. Though my lips are usually parched, the Matte Ink lipsticks are comfortable without lip balm underneath. (Which is a good thing, because they don’t set if you’re wearing a greasy lip balm.) I couldn’t wear them every day, certainly, but they never leave me with cracked lips or dry patches.

    Maybelline Dreamer 10

    Maybelline Believer 40

    The Matte Ink formula lasts for 7 hours on me, including two messy meals. The hardest wear test I put this through included bubble tea, pho, and tooth brushing, and my lip still looked great 5 hours in. After that, I wanted to touch up, but I didn’t think it looked necessary until the 7th hour.

    But it’s not just food that this formula stands up to. Even when wearing Voyager, the darkest shade of these four, I can get through a heavy makeout session and only end up slightly smudged. The Super Stay Matte Ink formula totally does away with messy kissed lips, staining a ring around the outside of my lips but never smearing.

    Maybelline Voyager 50

    The same thing applies for my partners, too. Zero lipstick transfer occurs during a standard peck on the lips, and there is only minimal transfer if you’re really getting in there. This is by far the least messy lipstick I’ve ever worn – and I love it for that.

    I’ve always had this picture in my head of a woman who can wear a powerful, dark red lip on a date, but up until now, I’ve rarely done it. It always just seems like too much hassle to have to eat around your lipstick, or to have to wipe it off before food or sex. But with the Maybelline Matte Inks, you can apply your lip and go about your day totally normally. 

    No matter what that day entails.

    Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink swatches L-R (indirect sunlight): Loyalist, Dreamer, Believer, Voyager

    Maybelline Matte Ink in Loyalist, Dreamer, Believer, and Voyager

    05 Loyalist is an easy-to-wear medium pink. 10 Dreamer is a creamy light nude; it has good opacity and wears evenly. (I’m pretty pale, and it was a good “eraser lips” shade on me.) 40 Believer is a gorgeous, bright, wild berry shade – sort of a berry-magenta mix. I find this one to be the hardest to apply, but as long as you apply it carefully and in thin layers, it stays in place once set.

    50 Voyager is the shade that I’ve been wearing around almost non-stop. It’s a beautiful brown-red that’s… Kind of my perfect vampy red, really, looking simultaneously goth and sultry.

    I really love Voyager because it’s sexy without being bright. It doesn’t leave me feeling as exposed as a true red lip does, but it still makes me feel really alluring. Like, I could totally wear this to class and no one would ask me where I was going afterwards, but they’d still be like, “hey, I like your lipstick.”

    It’s that kind of good.

    Maybelline Voyager review, swatches, photos

    The Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink verdict?

    Totally. Totally get your butt out to the drugstore and pick up a tube of Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink. I wasn’t a fan of the original SuperStay formula back in the day, but the Matte Ink formula is really comfortable. It doesn’t leave my lips feeling like tight, saran-wrapped plastic the way the original SuperStay lipsticks did, and it doesn’t flake.

    I heartily recommend Voyager for everyday wear, date night wear, or Valentine’s Day wear, but I liked the other three shades I tried, too. There are currently ten shades available, but I would love to see more in the future. (I kind of want Pioneer? But also it’s like, mega bright, and that’s not my thing.)

    Availability: $9.49 USD/$11.99 CAD. Permanent at Ulta, Walgreens, Target, and most major drugstores and mass market retailers.

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    Sweater weather | Getting cozy for the winter like…

    2018 has been, so far, pretty stellar. But I’ve been struggling with my fibro since the start of the year, and it’s been tough to get posts up on time.

    So, for today, I’m falling back on an old photo that I love but never got around to posting. It was (and still is) my go-to sweater weather outfit: a cozy knit with a pair of stretchy pants.

    I’m wearing the Dynamite Kate Dark Wash High Rise Skinny Jeans ($49.95 CAD) here, and I bloody love mine. I’m not sure if they’re being made in traditional denim or legging-like super stretch this season, but these are SO comfy! They stain lightly and stretch out over time, so they’re not the perfect pant, but it’s totally worth the trade-off for my hip tension. (If anyone wants to recommend a legging-like pair of denims that don’t bleed colour, I’m all ears.)

    This sweater weather-approved top is a chunky cotton knit from Banana Republic. It’s from a couple of seasons ago; similar at Nordstrom/ASOS.

    Snapped by Bryan Tran last winter (and held onto for 11 months because let’s be honest, I’m a trash fire). 

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    Funkit Toys NoFrillDo BC silicone g-spot dildo review

    The product: Funkit Toys Nofrilldo Silicone G-Spot Dildo

    I am… Not the best consumer. I don’t always want the newest thing, or the shiniest toy, or the sparkliest glitter. (That last one’s a lie. I totally always want the sparkliest glitter). But I feel a lot of guilt when I purchase things from big companies, and I do my best to buy ethically. I’m a big fan of small businesses, locally designed products, and genuinely good humans.

    Kenton of Funkit Toys may not be a genuinely good human, but if he isn’t, he’s at minimum a chaotic neutral with body bag full of very good puns. And I’ll take that. I’ll totally take that.

    “Every NoFrillDo has a shape causing them to occupy a set amount of space. This means they can be put in a hole, and the flared base means your doctor doesn’t have to know.” -Funkit Toys

    Why buy a silicone sex toy?

    I talk about this often, but it’s never too late to add more information! While jelly and PVC sex toys (you know, the floppy $10 “novelty adult toys” you can pick up at a soggy-floored Love Boutique) can leak phthalates and have porous surfaces that foster bacterial growth, pure silicone sex toys do not.

    All surfaces are technically “porous” on a molecular level, but silicone is referred to as non-porous because its pores are so small and hydrophobic that, when washed with soap after every use, it won’t play host to microbial cultures. Basically, once you wash it, it’s clean; the same cannot be said for jelly toys.  

    You’ll need to be careful not to use silicone-base lubricants with your silicone sex toys (the only thing that’ll degrade solid silicone is similarly-bonded liquid silicone), but it’s more durable than most soft materials: solid silicone can be heated to 125˚C for short periods of time in order to be fully sterilized. 

    But don’t take my word for it. Lilly at Dangerous Lilly has a great, in-depth post on silicone sex toys that will tell you all these things and also like, six million other, very interesting things.

    NoFrillDo B/C vs the BS Atelier Small G-Spot Ella

    The Funkit Toys NoFrillDo concept

    Silicone toys are expensive for brands to produce, and they’re a burgeoning niche. As a result, it’s tough to find affordable silicone. (Blush Novelties’ Luxe Cici line offers some of the only other options for silicone dildos under $30 USD. My favourite dildo, the Vixen Creations VixSkin Mustang, is $99 USD.)

    But here’s where indie makers are your true friends. Kenton, my fave internet pun bro, started an Indiegogo campaign last month to make an affordable silicone dildo. (Kenton’s regular Funkit line looks more like this). He ended up raising 465% of his funding goal, which helps fund things like buying a massive amount of silicone, making moulds, and completing orders.

    “NoFrillDo is the “Cup Ramen with Veggies and an Egg” of dildos. If you can afford a fancier dildo, support the creation of fancier dildos. It’s worth it. If not, though? I think you should be able to buy a safe, non-toxic sex toy without worrying about rent.” –Funkit Toys

    There are three NoFrillDo shapes, which come in CYMK colours. (Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). They’re a mind-blowing $24 USD each, no matter the shape or colour – which is insane.

    My thoughts on the NoFrillDo Bluetini G-Spot Dildo (or, the B shape/C colour)

    I am super, super picky about my dildos. And this one was good, but… It’s really not for me.

    The NoFrillDo B is the line’s shorter, thicker model. It’s 6.5″ long and 1.36″ thick, with two bumps on the end. The NoFrillDo models are all made from shore 20A silicone, which is described as “similar to medium steak.” 

    I’m going to level with you right now. I really like Kenton, and I think the NoFrillDos are really good toys. But I’m a super picky person, and I don’t love using my B/C.

    “NoFrillDos come in colors, making them visible to the human eye. Several of these colors are not pink.” -Funkit Toys

    This lightly translucent cyan is a beautiful colour, and the smooth finish does well with a lot of lube. But the firmness of this toy means that its 1.36″ diameter is slightly too wide to be comfortable for me. I don’t like my steaks done to medium, and I don’t like my dildos to be that solid, either. I love a LOT of squish, and though I hope every day that someone is going to start producing a low-cost soft silicone dildo, I’m doubtful that that’ll happen anytime soon.

    The Funkit Toys NoFrillDo verdict?

    I have a list! If any of the following are you, you totally need a NoFrillDo:

    • My meatsuit enjoys using firm silicone toys
    • I enjoy either: medium-wide girth (get the B), curved dildos (get the G), or helical designs (get the R)
    • I want to buy my first sex toy, but have been putting it off because they’re all so damn expensive
    • I like sex toys, and I want to support a punny, thoughtful, genuine creator

    And here are the reasons in which you may not need a NoFrillDo:

    • I am swimming in money. Swimming in it. I can barely find my bed beneath all of these piles of money. (Get a Funkit Toy instead.)
    • My bits are picky and demand softness. (Get some VixSkin instead.)
    • I like insertable toys, but I want them to vibrate. (Dude, why have you gotten this far in this review? Go here.)

    Availability: $24 USD from Funkit Toys or SheVibe. $20 USD for a surprise NoFrillDo.

    PS: I’m hankering for an excuse to try the G/M, so leave me a comment or send me a tweet if you’re curious about it, too! I’d love to have a reason to buy and test an appropriately-sized NoFrillDo, selected in advance instead of in an excited flurry.

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    NYX Wild Spirit, True Vixen, Flashy, Wisteria, Smoke Me review, swatches, photos | PURPLES

    The product: NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipsticks in True Vixen, Flashy, Wild Spirit, Wisteria, and Smoke Me

    Last fall, I started playing around with a few of NYX’s Pin-Up Pout lipsticks. And by “a few,” I mean “the entire gosh darn range,” so I’ve been playing with them and swatching them for a… While. (Spoiler: NYX Wild Spirit is by and far my favourite shade of the entire range, which is why I’m starting with the purple shades.)

    What? I get overloaded when there are too many things happening at once. It’s not like anyone is surprised by this information.

    NYX Wild Spirit Lipstick swatch

    The NYX Pin-Up Pout formula

    It’s been a while since I’ve worn a traditional opaque lipstick (dry-touch liquid formulas like NYX Liquid Suede and Maybelline Matte Ink have been keeping my food-oriented priorities and me occupied), but I… Actually really enjoyed these. The purples are all surprisingly easy to wear, and they totally deliver on the “extra plush” formula that NYX promises.

    NYX True Vixen Lipstick swatch

    The NYX Pin-Up Pout formula is soft and creamy. It wears without stripping my lips of moisture, and it has a really great cream finish (my fave)! That means that each shade feels comfortable and non-gritty, and all of these purples are shimmer, glitter, and gloss-free.

    I’ve been a monster this month and I seemingly can’t go more than two hours without drinking or snacking, so unfortunately, I don’t have a wear time on these for you yet. (It’s at least three hours without getting dry, but I have a feeling it’s more like 4-5.) I’ll make sure to test them more thoroughly before reviewing more shades, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

    NYX Smoke Me Lipstick swatch

    NYX Wild Spirit swatches (Plus True Vixen, Flashy, Wisteria, and Smoke Me, I guess.)

    NYX True Vixen is a sexy, dark cranberry shade. It was my least favourite of these five – the formula is a little more slippery than the rest, which means the berry stain is a little translucent at times. NYX Flashy is a more vibrant berry.

    NYX Wild Spirit is an absolute stunner; a dark violet that pulls blue. It had a perfectly clingy formula, and is best worn with either a blue-violet liner or overtop foundation or concealer, as it’s very much not the same colour as your lips. I would recommend this one five hundred times to anyone with a cool skintone who is on the lookout for a good blue-based purple.

    L-R: NYX True Vixen, Flashy, Wild Spirit, Wisteria, and Smoke Me swatches

    NYX Wisteria is a bright lavender with both blue and red undertones, reminiscent of (but warmer than) NYX Sway. Finally, NYX Smoke Me is a badass grey-violet. It, too, is best worn over foundation or concealer, but it’s pigmented enough that you can get away wearing it on its own.

    The NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipstick verdict?

    At $8 USD a pop, the NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipsticks are truly a steal. They’re a great, cruelty-free, scent-free formula at a really accessible price point, and the packaging is awesome – it’s simple, but each lipstick shows the colour inside with a plastic disk. (I’m sorry, but I like tops like these way more than colour stickers or see-through tops.)

    When I first started blogging, you really only had one good option for drugstore lipsticks: the Revlon Super Lustrous range. Eventually, other things slowly became less utter garbage, and so on and so fourth, but … I don’t know. What I’m trying to say is that I’m very sleepy, and these are just a heck of a lot better than what was on the market ten years ago, and it makes me really happy that they exist.

    And hey, they don’t even have that gross lipstick-smell of drugstore buys of days gone by, so there’s really no excuse for you not to buy NYX Wild Spirit. 

    Availability: $8 USD/$10 CAD at NYX (US/CA), Ulta, Target, and Rexall (CA).

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