Fresh Holiday Picture Perfect Mask Set, Bodycare Besties review, photos

    The products: Fresh Holiday 2017 Picture Perfect Mask Set and Bodycare Besties

    One of the best parts about holiday beauty collections (aside from the abundance of glitter) is the number of sets that come out. I’m pretty sure the word of the moment is “droves:” that is, they come out in them. The brand does quite a few sets each year, but here are two Fresh holiday sets that are paraben- and silicone-free. 

    (Their Fresh Sugar lip sets are another of my favourites. Here are 2013 and 2015‘s!)

    Fresh Picture Perfect Mask Set ($60 CAD/$50 USD)

    The Fresh Picture Perfect Mask Set contains three 30 ml silicone-free masks in colouring book packaging. They’re a trio of products to suit all skin types, including sensitive and dehydrated.

    Fresh’s Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask is a great spot treatment/acne mask that can be used daily as a deep cleanser for oily, acne-prone skin. I use this slightly green-tinted mask mostly in the t-zone, as it dries on the skin to remove impurities. The brand’s Rose Face Mask is a lot simpler; it’s a hydrating gel mask with rosewater and rose petals. It’s almost identical to The Body Shop’s British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask, with less fragrance and a slightly thinner texture. (Honestly, I prefer The Body Shop’s.)

    Finally, the kombucha-rich Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask is made to hydrate, soften, and smooth. It has an odd texture – velvety and matte; almost like there should be silicones in there, but there aren’t. It leaves my skin tingling and fresh.

    I think this Fresh holiday set feels a little pricey for what you get, but it’s a great way to try all three of these – they work out to $20 CAD each in the set, but they’re usually $30 each for 3o ml.

    Get it for: The multi-masker.

    Fresh Bodycare Besties Set ($50 CAD/$38 USD)

    The Fresh Bodycare Besties Set is another great gift idea. Body care is always easier to buy for someone else, and it makes a better host gift in my opinion. It’s a little more “treat yourself!” and a little less “you look tired!” 

    Bodycare Besties features Fresh’s classic Brown Sugar Body Polish, a thin, sugar-and-oil body scrub that’s both exfoliating and hydrating. It also contains two small tubes of Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Body Lotion and Bath & Shower Gel, which both smell deliciously of refreshing grapefruit. I love a good sugar body polish (the oil bases always leave my skin feeling so smooth and hydrated), but the Hesperides body lotion takes the cake for me in this set.

    (My mom, a grapefruit fanatic who is insanely hard to buy for, perked up when she saw these. But I’m loathe to part with these travel-sized tubes … And I know she’s still working through the Bliss Grapefruit & Aloe Body Butter that I gave her, which makes me feel a lot less bad about it.)

    (I’m kinda hoping she’ll just forget these exist if I never bring them up again.)

    Get it for: The grapefruit lover!


    Clé de Peau Beauté Collection Nuit de Chine Eye Color Pencils review, swatches, photos

    The product: Clé de Peau Beauté Collection Nuit de Chine Eye Color Pencils

    You know how every year, there’s always someone on your list who you don’t know what to buy for? Well: these Clé de Peau Collection Nuit de Chine pencils have you covered. They’re gorgeous, luxurious, and so fancy that they can totally stand in for a Diptyque candle.

    (AKA the ultimate no-thought, super bougie, wallet-breaking fallback gift.)

    The Clé de Peau Eye Color Pencil set

    The Clé de Peau Collection Nuit de Chine Eye Color Pencils set contains five mini (0.05 oz) pencils. Each one comes in immaculate plastic packaging, with super-fine artwork and a blunt tip. The bases, which are coloured to match the pigments, twist to push the colour up.

    You know, because sharpening something this pretty would just be a waste.

    Clé de Peau Eye Color Pencil Set swatches (indirect sunlight, no primer)

    The Clé de Peau Eye Color Pencil formula

    What is it with high-end makeup and sheerness? Because these babies are sheer. I feel like the fancier you go (save for Tom Ford and Natasha Denova????), the finer your shimmer particles get, and the more dispersed the pigment. After a certain point, everything gets sort of Into the Gloss-y: a lot of marble, great packaging, and model-esque French girls looking like they “just woke up like this.”

    I live and die for sheer, effortless products, though, so I’m not going to complain. These pencils are super smooth and easy to blend, and the beige makes a great “nothing” lid colour. But they’re a luxury: they’re NOT what I’d use for a punchy eye look, and they’re too wide and sheer to be used as eyeliners.

    I was hoping that this smooth, slightly dry formula would wear well without primer, but unfortunately, these creased on me within two hours. Wear with primer, or live with your creasing.

    The verdict on the Clé de Peau Collection Nuit de Chine Eye Color Pencils?

    These are, as I mentioned, totally a luxury product. They’re great for spoiling, but they go on sheer – so if you’re looking for a high-impact pencil, I’d skip these. (Opt for the Sephora Collection jumbo pencils or the Annabelle Smoothies instead. They come at a fraction of the price, and they both have creamier/thicker formulas that deliver opaque pigment.)

    Availability: $100 CAD at Holt Renfrew, Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Ogilvy’s.


    My must-have comfy winter heels | Geox Inspiration Wedge review

    I’ve always had a hard time finding comfy winter heels, but I lucked out this season with the Geox Inspiration Wedge ($225 CAD). They’re a medium heel that feels much lower, and the wedge style helps a ton with weight dispersal.

    I added two Geox Inspiration styles to my shoe closet this year, but the Inspiration Wedge (get it at Nordstrom/The Bay) is far easier to wear than the high Inspiration boots. I really feel the heel in the boots – enough so that I won’t wear them when I’m walking or taking the train to my destination. The wedges, though, have become my go-to everyday boot. I can wear them to dinner, class, or out shopping, and unless I’m doing a lot of walking (DOG PARK! DOG PARK! DOG PARK!), my feet never feel achey by the end of the day.

    What makes the Geox Inspiration Wedges the perfect comfy winter heels

    A lot of Geox’s fall lineup is on sale right now, making now the perfect time to pick these boots up. They’re a great blend of dressy and casual, adding refinement to outfits with leggings and t-shirts while dressing down things like fit-and-flare skirts. And they’re a standard shoe style from Geox, too: the Inspiration sole comes out every season in a couple new styles, from pumps to tall boots.

    My only point of hesitation with these booties is that I’m noticing more wear than I’d like to. The raw leather edge near the zippers, which rubs against the opposite shoe all day long, is showing wear within just one month – but, to be fair, I’ve worn them almost every day in that timeframe. (The flexible, grippy, breathable soles still look stellar.) If you’re hard on your shoes, it’s worth noting.

    The Geox Inspiration Wedge booties are my second pair of comfy winter heels, and they’re one that I’d buy again in the future. (The other is an old, black pair of suede Clarks, which I honestly regret not buying a backup of). They fit really well, and they’re one of the brand’s best-selling fits. Seriously: when I was in the store, an older woman came in and asked for the Inspiration by name. She had apparently bought her first pair sometime before, and now picks up a new style every season!

    Do you have a favourite pair of comfy winter heels? Or are you a flat-shoes-only person?


    What you need from Sephora Holiday 2017: review, swatches, photos

    With the start of December, we’re knee-deep in the holidays already – so now’s a better time than any to chat about the Sephora Holiday 2017 collection. This year’s collection contains a few great (affordable) finds, and some oil slick products that’ll totally knock your socks off.

    Oil slick rainbows in the Sephora Holiday collection

    I die for oil slick packaging, and it was all over Sephora’s Dark Rainbow collection ($12-$110 USD) this year. Paired with black rhinestones, the resulting look is just fantastic: edgy and pretty and very, very cool. My faves are the sparkly Dark Rainbow Compact Mirror ($12 USD/$15 CAD) and springy Dark Rainbow PRO Flawless Airbrush #56 foundation brush ($32 USD/$40 CAD), both limited edition.

    There’s also a beautiful oil slick covering the Sephora-exclusive House of Lashes Holiday Gem Set ($26 USD/$33 CAD), which is a must for any House of Lashes fan. It comes with one pair of House of Lashes x Sephora Collection Natalia Lashes, two mini lash adhesives in black and white, and the Precious Gem Lash Case. The case is a bit bulky, but it can hold glue, tweezers (not included), and three false lash sets.

    Sephora Collection stocking stuffers

    This year’s Sephora Collection palettes and single items are another treat, and they make great stocking stuffers. At under $20 USD, I’m surprised every year by how affordable the Sephora holiday pieces are.

    My top picks this year are the Sephora Collection Wonderful Stars Eye & Face Palette ($16 USD/$23 CAD) and the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Set ($12 USD/$15 CAD), both of which I used in my 3 x LBD lookbook. The Wonderful Stars palette is a little sheer (these swatches are layered 3-4 times), but it performs well otherwise. It’s not the same quality as a $50 eyeshadow palette, but at $23 CAD, it’s a bloody steal – I thought it was going to be closer to $35. Read more


    The little black (holiday) dress | 3 LBD outfit ideas from Tobi & Bijoux Indiscrets

    Do you know how many holiday parties I have to go to this year? Like, none okay, like probably three. Because I never leave my house. I’ll be going to them in the locally-designed dresses from Workhall that I picked up last week, but I tried out this Tobi dress trio first.

    These three LBDs cover three entirely different parts of the holiday dress spectrum, which I love. I’ve wanted to check out a Tobi dress for a long time, and I was super psyched to finally get to – but though they’re stunning, these dresses didn’t fit the way I hoped they would.

    The holiday chill sesh Tobi dress

    WEARING Tobi Bailey Choker Tee Dress ($38 CAD) with Diesel sneakers. Aveda Lipstick in 31 Orellana Sun.

    What’s more chill than an oversized tee? An oversized tee with a cool-girl choker collar and a deep V.

    I wasn’t sure that the Bailey Choker Tee Dress would fit my vibe, but I think it’s the only dress of these three that I’m actually going to be able to wear out of the house. It’s not too showy, and the huge-but-sheer size of it is just incredibly chill. 

    You know, like, “I’m here and I think you’re cool, but I don’t want you to think that I’m too into you, so I’m not going to dress up for this but I’m still going to look hot.” (Honestly though, I have a tendency to just overdress for everything. If I’m into someone, they should know and they should feel honoured.)

    This Tobi dress is the perfect length for my short-girl frame when paired with sneakers. It’s inordinately wide, so I’d definitely dress up the rest of my look for a party setting – curled hair, a bit of lipstick, and my new go-to lashes are more than enough.

    The maneater Christmas party look

    WEARING Tobi Ava Long Sleeve Bodycon Dress ($94 CAD) with Bijoux Indiscrets Tassel Choker in Brown ($35 USD/$45 CAD). Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in 50 Voyager ($9.49 USD).

    I am all sorts of crazy about this dress, you guys–but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear it out of the house.

    Everything about this Ava look is so extra, from the super dark lip (Maybelline’s Super Stay Matte Inks totally pass the kiss test, even through a heavy makeout sesh) to the tassel choker. But this Tobi dress itself is tiny. I routinely slip out of it from both the top and the bottom, so buyer beware… Unless you’re far more confident with your body than I am.

    That being said, this dress was by far my favourite of these three. It’s unabashedly sexy, with a plunging neckline and a short hemline. The extra small was a great fit for my frame (I’m usually about a size 4), and the sleeves weren’t too long for me, either. It’s just an issue of falling out of it, really: it’s the perfect fit as long as you don’t move or bend at all.

    I’ll definitely be posting more about the Bijoux Indiscrets Tassel Choker that’s paired with this dress, but for now: make space on your holiday wishlists. It’s so much fun.

    The sexy night in LBD

    WEARING Tobi Night Owl Plunging Bodycon Dress ($54 CAD) with Bijoux Indiscrets Wide Choker in Brown ($45 USD). Sephora Collection Creme Lip Stain in 01 Always Red ($12 USD for four).

    The last dress in this trio is honestly my ideal holiday dress, and I was expecting it to be my favourite Tobi dress of the three. And, in the right size, I think it may have been.

    But the Tobi Night Owl dress was a LOT bigger than I was expecting, and I could have easily fit into an XS or (if they made one) an XXS. I pinned the back in three different places to make it work for this shoot, and it’s still rippling out a bit in the side-view photographs.

    It hits a great blend of giving you that super low neckline without a super high hemline, though, and it looks fantastic with a red lip. (This is the classic Sephora Creme Lip Stain in Always Red, which lasts well but doesn’t pass the pasta or makeout tests.) I love it with a nude collar – this is the Bijoux Indiscrets Wide Choker in Brown ($45 USD), without its leash.

    What you need from these holiday makeup looks

    You totally need a tube of Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in 50 Voyager ($9.49 USD), or any of the other colours that it’s available in. The formula feels a little tight on the lips, but it’s incredible: it lasted five hours on me, easy, even through a bowlful of noodles, a bubble tea, and some vigorous tooth-brushing. (It didn’t even start to show signs of wear until seven hours later.) I’ve never been able to make out with someone while wearing a dark lip before, but this makes it possible.

    Which is really all I needed to complete my life.

    I would also definitely recommend the Sephora Wonderful Stars Eye & Face Palette ($16 USD/$23 CAD), which isn’t a super high quality palette, but it’s a steal for the price. The Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes in Shy (~$5 CAD/$4 USD) are a must, too – they’re all I’ve been wearing for the past month.

    Read more