Give the GiftofGOLD with Kérastase

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kerastase Gift of Gold

I like to get all of my holiday shopping done before, if possible, the second week of December. It’s a great setup: you start planning in July, finish up in November, and then you have all of December to bake cookies, hang tinsel, and pick a tree.

That being said, “like to” and “actually do” are two very, very different things. So, if you’re just starting your holiday gift acquisition right now, here’s a little something to help you get started!

Kerastase Bain Densité shampoo review

Kérastase PARIS is running a great promotion in all Kérastase PARIS salons and on the website right now: buy a styling product and conditioner and get the corresponding shampoo free!

They’re calling it the Gift of Gold promo, and it’s a haircare lover’s dream. The gift sets start at $83 CAD, and there are eleven sets available, including:

Kerastase Densifique Masque Densite review

There aren’t a ton of silicone-free Kérastase PARIS products, but I’ve been testing some of the Chronologiste and Densifique ranges this month.

Densifique comes packaged in simple, pretty, champagne-beige packaging, and the Mousse Densimorphose, Bain Densité (shampoo), and Masque Densité (conditioner) are all ‘cone-free. I’d like more hydration for my already-dry prairie hair, but a little goes a long way with this range! I use about 1/3 of my normal amount of shampoo with Kérastase, and it’s still more than enough.

Kerastase Chronologiste Scalp Exfoliator

The coolest product that I tested from the gift sets, however, was definitely the Chronologiste Revitalizing Exfoliating Care Rinse-Out Pre-Shampoo treatment. The Chronologiste line is gorgeously packaged to begin with (that black! That gold!), and the treatment is silicone-free.

To use, you take a large dollop of the Revitalizing Exfoliating Care, work it through your hair in sections, and massage it onto the scalp for five minutes before rinsing out. It’s a little hard on the arms, but quite unique overall: the product is flecked with gold and red for a great sensory experience, and it does a great job of exfoliating away any little scalp-flakies that the winter has “gifted” upon you!

Kérastase Chronologiste review scalp and hair exfoliator (more…)

September Birchbox (CA) review & unboxing! | Davines Sea Salt Spray, Japonesque Eye Shadow, 100% Pure Eye Cream, and more

Saturday, October 3, 2015

September 2015 Birchbox review

The product: Birchbox (Canada), September 2015 box

I’ve always been wary of monthly subscription boxes. I mean, I’ve tried one or two in the past, but subscription boxes tend to be full of silicone-y products that I can’t try and creamy eyeliners that just wouldn’t work for me.

But when I was asked to try the September Birchbox, I had to say yes. It’s the company’s five-year anniversary, and I’m on the site all the time — it’s chock-full of reviews, funny product descriptions, and (most importantly) ingredients lists! I figured I was probably long overdue to try an actual box.

Birchbox unboxing review canada september 2015

The overall box: September is customer appreciation month at Birchbox, so my box came with the usual five products (actually, it came with six by mistake; there was a double of the Japonesque eyeshadow) plus a 20% off code for the store.

For $14.95 including shipping, the contents of this year’s September box really impressed me. The box itself was just gorgeous (I’m using it to store stuff now!) and it contained a sheet mask, a full-sized eyeshadow, a VERY generous haircare sample, and two “regular” samples. I did the math for comparison’s sake, and compared to the full-sizes based on ounces, the samples in this box are valued at $44.20.

Tocca Giulietta scrub review, 100 percent pure coffee bean eye cream

The products: Honestly, the most important factor in all of this was luck. I happened upon a box that was perfect for me, so I got to use all five of the silicone-free, paraben-free goodies — and two of them, again, just so happened to be products that I’ve been meaning to try for a while anyways.

(My mom always tells me that I’ve got horseshoes up my butt, which I can assure you, I absolutely do NOT. That sounds dangerous and also horrifically painful.)

  • 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($26 CAD full-sized) – I had a hell of a time opening this one (it still had that little bud-thingy that needed to be cut off), but it smells JUST like sugary breakfast cereal! It’s smooth and rich, and definitely best for vanilla-lovers.
  • BioRepublic Skincare Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Sheet Mask ($21 CAD for 3) – I’m not really a sheet mask girl, but if I was, this would have been the perfect mask for me! It’s a fiber mask (so it’s all ready to go), and it’s perfect for dry, sensitive skin like mine.

Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray review

  • Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray ($30 CAD full-sized) – Okay, so I maybe actually squealed a little bit when I saw this in my box. The sample itself is practically full-sized, and I’ve been meaning to buy a salt spray for months. Now, I won’t have to: the This is a Sea Salt Spray, which smells deliciously like vanilla and coconut, gives my hair lots of texture and body and makes it feel lush and full. 
  • Japonesque Velvet Touch Eye Shadow in Shade 02 ($12 CAD; this is full-size) – This was the other product that I really wanted to try! It’s a light green/gold with a soft metallic finish, but honestly, I’m glad I didn’t spend $12 on it alone — it’s smooth and blendable, but definitely on the sheer side.
  • TOCCA Esfoliante da Corpo in Giulietta ($38 CAD full-sized) – Am I going to get heckled if I admit to not really “getting” the TOCCA line? All of the scents seem so watered-down and dated to me, and while I love the packaging… I need a little more punch. Giulietta smells, to my nose, kind of like generic green apple hand soap in a mid-range restaurant, but I do really like the scrub itself — it’s a lovely, gritty sugar scrub that leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.

Japonesque 02 eyeshadow review

The verdict?

With a box whose contents change on a monthly basis, there’s no way that I can tell you that you’re going to love the Birchbox every month. What I can tell you is this: I was really happy with my box, and it contained only full-sized products and deluxe samples — nothing that you could just pick up a sample of at Sephora.

I found two products that I loved, two products that I’m glad I got to try (so that I could learn that they’re not really for me), and one product that I’m still looking forward to trying, which… I mean, isn’t that kind of the whole point of a sampling subscription? To get to try a bunch of stuff that you’re interested in without spending a lot of money, and find some loves and losses along the way?

Availability: $14.95 CAD shipping/month. I would love if you used my friend referral (I’d get “Birchbox points,” but no actual $$), but it’s up to you!

Burberry Beauty at Nordstrom Vancouver, The Bay, & Sephora

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Burberry Beauty launches Canada Vancouver Nordstrom

I remember when Burberry Beauty first stepped onto the scene. It wasn’t too long ago, but the brand was one of the first high fashion lines (other than Chanel, of course) to step outside of fragrance and start producing luxury cosmetics, too.

And, despite making up just a tiny morsel of the brand’s overall sales, the Burberry cosmetics line has done well for itself–well enough that other fashion brands, like Gucci and Michael Kors, have followed suit. Bloggers and consumers alike have been smitten with the products’ smooth formulas and chic packaging for the past half-decade, and the love just doesn’t seem to be waning.

Burberry Ash Brown eyebrow definer review

Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown ($36 CAD)

Burberry Poppy Black nail polish review

Burberry Nail Polish in Poppy Black ($23 CAD)

So, dear reader, it’s been particularly exciting to slowly watch Burberry cosmetics become available in person across Canada this year.

There are quite a few high-end makeup brands that are next to impossible to find in Canada, but you can now find Burberry Beauty at the brand-new Nordstrom in Vancouver. Or, if you’re outside of Vancouver, look for the brand at Nordstrom Ottawa, select Hudson’s Bay locations, and online at and

Happy shopping!

Burberry Khaki Green Nail Polish review

Burberry Nail Polish in Khaki Green ($23 CAD limited edition)

Burberry kip cheek bloom poppy review

Burberry Lip & Cheek Bloom in Poppy ($33 CAD)

Photographed here: Burberry Cashmere Foundation in Porcelain ($60 CAD), Lip Velvet in Honeysuckle ($38 CAD), Lip & Cheek Bloom in Poppy ($33 CAD), Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown ($36 CAD).

Additional photos & more »

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré review | The BEST primer for dry skin

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre review moisturizer

The product: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturizer

I don’t typically buy products due to hype, but when the Pixiwoo sisters say something is really good… I have a tendency to believe them & buy. (What? Anyone with that much makeup prowess and standards high enough to make my favourite brush range is to be trusted implicitly.)

Net a Porter Embryolisse review

The Lait-Crème magic 

I was pulled to the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré because it was one of the only cult-followed, silicone-free moisturizers that I had left to try, but the real magic (and the thing that pulls most people in) is how brilliantly it works as a primer.

This “milk-cream” formula is the silkiest skincare product I’ve ever tried, and creates a gorgeous, hydrating veil over my dry skin. It does a better job smoothing over my dry patches than even the popular Korres silicone-free primers (available at Beautylish), and multi-functions as a moisturizer and primer in one.

Embryolisse review lait creme concentre

Embryolisse says the Lait-Crème Concentré can be used on all skin types as a moisturizer, makeup remover, mask, after-shave cream, or baby-care product, but I think where it really shines is as a moisturizing primer. I use it on my “bad skin days” and whenever I feel like giving my skin a bit of a treat; with its French pharmacy packaging and subtly perfumed formula, it feels simultaneously utilitarian and luxurious. 

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre primer review

The verdict?

Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré is French pharmacy goodness at its best. I love the silky, glossy texture of this moisturizer, and it is both the best primer I have ever found for dry skin and the best silicone-free primer I’ve ever tried.

To top it all off, the Lait-Crème Concentré is delicately scented and extremely affordable, and currently ships free at both Look Fantastic and Birchbox (US)!

Availability: 30 ml for $16 USD at Net-A-Porter, $20 with free shipping at Look Fantastic (use code LFNEW for 10% off); $16 USD with free shipping at Birchbox; $16 at Beautylish.

Keep reading! »

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD (shade Y225=117) foundation photos, launch party

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid stick foundation range shades

While I was in Toronto this summer, I got to check out a pretty cool new product: the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($50 CAD), which launched this July in liquid format, and the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation ($50 CAD), which launches this month.

I wanted to share a really quick little recap of the event, because (a) blogger love!, and (b) the new foundations are pretty darn cool.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation review, stick foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD liquid & stick/cream foundations

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD steph fun size beauty

I’ll just be over here, pretending to be one of the cool girls… | with Zubie, Steph, and Jenn

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Amy Bratty B

Amy (who just started Bratty B)! I can’t even put into words how much I love this girl.

Made for use with 4K camera technology, the new Ultra HD foundations are an update on Make Up For Ever’s original HD foundation, which has been the top selling foundation at North American Sephoras since it launched in 2008. (Unfortunately, like the original, both of these foundations contain silicones!)

The key makeup artist at the event demonstrated both of the new “invisible” foundations on his model Ashley, pairing them with the brand’s correcting primers — the translucent Skin Equalizer primer in the centre of the face to reflect and bounce light, plus the yellow primer to add brightness.

UltraHDGeneration launch party

The technology: the new Ultra HD foundations use hyaluronic spheres to make the foundation blend automatically, so the makeup artist at the event recommended a bit of a traditional application method: apply (2 pumps of the liquid is enough for full coverage), let bake, then blend. 

The foundations also include light-diffusing sericite, made to “act like an Instagram filter!” as well as amino acid coated pigments, which blur flaws as they cover. They pair well with the brand’s matte skin equalizer, too: just pat it on top (yes, on top!) of your foundation when you’re finishing up your makeup.

MUFE Ultra HD launch party

The utterly gorgeous Chelle, from Makeup Your Mind

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Jenn a beautiful zen

Jenn, as in “A Beautiful Zen Jenn”! (The beauty blogging world has more Jenns than we know what to do with.) I’m so sad that this girl isn’t gonna be there the next time I go to TO :(

MUFE Ultra HD Zubie

Zubie is pretty much the coolest cool girl. She basically always (ALWAYS) looks like she’s just fallen out of a photoshoot.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation 117 y225 review photos

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid Foundation in Y225 (117 shade match)

The formulas: Make Up For Ever recommends their Ultra HD Liquid Foundation for a natural finish in a lightweight, oil-free formula, and their Ultra HD Stick Foundation for medium-full coverage, touch-ups, and contouring.

The liquid, which is lighter than the original HD liquid, is supposed to be better for normal to oily skin, while the super-smooth stick formula is targeted toward normal to dry skin.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD stick foundation 117 225 review photos

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation in Y225 (117 shade match)

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD launch party shades

The shades: The new foundations have a wider shade range than the original, and a new shade numbering system to go with it. I was matched to Y225 Marble (the old 117) in my summer tan, which was the brand’s lightest yellow-based shade… until now.

Y225 is still the lightest shade in the stick foundation, but for the super-pale guys and gals out there, Make Up For Ever now also offers Y215 Yellow Alabaster and Y205 Alabaster in liquid format! (The pink-based equivalents are R210 Pink Alabaster and R220 Pink Porcelain.) The stick foundation will be available in 15 shades, and the Ultra HD liquid is available in a whopping 40 shades

Additional photos & more »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...