Apr 29, 2011

DIY Beauty Fridays: Banana Hair Conditioner

The only word that can accurately describe my hair would be over-processed.

I know, I know, I shouldn't be so hard on myself but seriously I color my hair every 5 weeks, flat iron it everyday, blow it dry every second day and even flat iron my hair when it's full of product. (Shame on me....) As you can see, my hair takes a beating which is why a fantastic conditioner, in my case, is a must. My absolute favorite hair treatment is MOROCCANOIL Restorative Hair Mask. I adore this product because it keeps my hair shiny, nourishes my split ends and improves the overall texture of my extremely thick hair. Of course, all of these positives come with a negative and that is the price - $60 is a lot to spend on a small tub of conditioner which is why making your own conditioner is fantastic:

Banana Cantaloupe Conditioner

1/2 of a banana (without skin)
1/4 of a cantaloupe (without peel)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Plain Yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well until combined. Once done, remove from blender and apply on freshly washed hair, saturating from roots to tips, leaving on for 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Why this works?: Bananas are an amazing natural product for your hair and scalp. They improve manageability and shine while moisturizing your scalp to prevent dandruff. Plus, they smell great AND cost next to nothing.

I actually forgot I had this recipe and as I was going through my computer last night, I re-discovered it. It brought back all the memories of when I would make this at home during my home spa nights. Seriously, I am so excited to go home tonight and make this!

Enjoy ladies

Apr 27, 2011

My Phenomenal Palette Giveaway

***************Closed May 27th at 11:59 PM PST *********************

Before I get to the good stuff, I just wanted to give a big shout out to all my followers. Thanks again for all your amazing comments and advice. You guys are awesome! Now, on to the info you really want. Since I just recently hit 200 followers AND have been raving about palettes lately, I thought it's time to giveaway a few of my new ones....

This giveaway includes:

Sephora Color Play - 5 in 1 Limited Fashion Edition Palette (check out pics here)
ELF Studio Mini Makeup Collection (check out pics here)
Mark It Kit Trend Color Compact (check out pics here)
Marcelle Wet & Dry Eye Shadow Quad in Teal Chic (check out pics here)

Now for the long-winded babble. Please ensure that you are over 18 OR have your parents permission to enter this giveaway. Also, only one comment per person. (It can be very difficult to add up entries if you are leaving multiple comments). I should probably mention that this giveaway is open to everyone (International friends included). Here's how you enter:

- Follow me publicly through Goggle Friend Connect (1 entry)
- Follow me on twitter, tell me your twitter name and tweet about this giveaway (1 entry)
- Follow me on bloglovin' (1 entry)
- Add this post to your sidebar using the picture above and link back to my blog (2 entries)
- Write a blog post about this giveaway, link back to my page (2 entries)

In your comment be sure to include your name, your google friend connect name, your email address, your twitter name (if applicable), your blog post link and sidebar link (if applicable AND so I can check that you've actually done it) and, the most important thing, what your favorite lipstick is...

**Random.org will be used to determine a winner and this giveaway is open until May 27th at 11:59 pm PST.

Good luck my fellow beauty junkies!


Apr 26, 2011

Olay Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub: A Review

Ladies, I did a horrible thing Sunday night.

I slept in my makeup. And even worse than that, I actually went to the gym, worked out, sweated on my face and STILL didn't take my makeup off before bed. Shame on me, I know.

I woke up Monday morning to the alarm beeping madly at 5:15 AM (poor Allan had to work yesterday whereas I didn't) and the only thing I could think about was how gross my skin felt.

It was overly dry to the touch which should be expected since it was covered in the previous day's cosmetics and, color-wise, my skin looked slightly yellow. (Again, to be expected.) However, the worst part was the texture. My skin is usually very smooth but, this morning, it was bumpy and felt almost scaly. Ewwww....just writing this is grossing me out

After cleansing my face with Neutrogena Naturals Face Bar (loooovvvveeeee this), I grabbed a container of Olay Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub from my shower, squeezed an extremely large amount of scrub into my hand and went to town applying it on my face. I left the product on for 20 minutes and when I washed it off my skin was AMAZING. Gone was the gross scaly feeling and in its place I had my normal skin back. (Yay). My face was unbelievably clean, smooth and even looked more radiant. Typically, cream scrubs are much too mild for my combination skin or never seem to give me that clean feeling. However, this scrub is different. Though it's mild, I still feel like it's cleaning my skin without being abrasive and it contains little blue microbeads that really got down and dirty to give me a beautiful clear complexion. Love it!

I am so happy that I tried this product out and will continue to use this as my cream scrub staple. Just in case you're wondering, I purchased it from Shoppers Drug Mart for under $10. Such a good deal.

Has anyone tried this product before? If so, what were your thoughts?


Apr 25, 2011

Palette Love

I, literally, have a major compulsion with buying palettes.

I don't know exactly why this is BUT it probably has something to do with the multitude of colors and beauty products combined in a cute, portable (even purse-sized) compact. As I'm sure you can tell, I adore palettes hence why I have over 20 different types.

Here are a few of my faves occupying space on my vanity table:

Sephora Collection Color Palette - I am a huge fan of the Sephora Collection for numerous reasons but the main one is the price. This palette was only $30 and is well-worth that small investment because it contains 32 eye shadows, 16 lip colors, 3 blushes and 1 shimmer bronzer.

Lancome Absolu Voyage Makeup Palette - How handy is this cute little thing right? I got this at the duty free shop about 5 months ago and am still surprised that it was only $66. The palette contains a concealer, powder, blush, 6 eye shadows, a black kohl liner, mascara, a lip liner and 3 lipsticks.

Tarte "The Jewelry Box" Palette - I've mentioned this palette before on my New York recap post here but this palette deserves quite a bit of praise. I purchased this when I was on my trip for only $58 and, for those that know the Tarte line, this is a wonderful deal. It contains 32 shimmer and matte eye shadows, a bronzer, a highlighter, 8 lip glosses, 5 liners and a gold necklace (not shown here).

Sephora Loves Canada Minibag Palette - This palette is super tiny and actually fits right in the palm of my hand and best of all, it can be tucked into a small clutch bag when out for an evening. It contains 9 eye shadows, 4 lip glosses and 1 blush that are all either pink or nude tones. A huge bargain at only $18

Tarte's Ten Limited Edition Collector's Palette - I wanted this palette for eons and finally purchased it on Wednesday with a gift card. I will say this palette is a bit expensive ($57) but again, if you're familiar with the Tarte line, than you know the shadows are long lasting and created without parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes or fragrances. This palette is gorgeous as all 10 shadows are limited edition shades and the palette also has both a brown/black duo eyeliner and a mascara sample.

Dior Travel Studio Makeup Palette - I blogged about this already a while back as Allan picked this palette up for me as a surprise but I can't sing its praises enough. This palette is light-weight and contains everything you need to create your perfect look. It has a foundation, 3 eye shadow duos, 3 lip glosses, one mascara, 1 eye liner and 1 lip liner.

Last but not least, the Spehora Collection Color Flip - As you can see, I only paid $18 for this bad boy. It's a very well designed palette as each level contains something new and you flip back and forth between the levels you need. It contains 8 eye shadows, 8 lip glosses, 1 blush and 1 bronzer. I am so in love with the turquoise color from this palette and can not wait to wear it!

I should probably mention that my next giveaway will include a selection of different palettes, following this theme so stay tuned ladies! On another note, what do you think of these palettes? Have you used any of them before?


Apr 22, 2011

DIY Beauty Fridays: The Blueberry Face Mask

Who, honestly, doesn't love blueberries right?

I'm the girl who'll buy a carton of blueberries for the sole purpose of putting them in my freezer and eating them once they're frozen solid. (Yummy, frozen blueberries.) Not only are they tasty little bobbles but they're jam packed with some fantastic health benefits for both your body and your skin. Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C, E and many other skin friendly nutrients but, most of all, they have the highest antioxidant capacity of any fruit. These little berries are also known to reduce inflammation and have an antiseptic effect. Needless to say, there isn't a better fruit to use in a facial mask.

Blueberry Facial Mask

2/3 cup blueberries
2/3 cup plain yogurt (I always use plain greek gods brand yogurt)
2/3 cup honey (pure)
1 tsp. oatmeal

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend thoroughly. Once done, pour mask into a reusable container (which you must store in the fridge between uses) and apply to face with either fingertips or cotton pads. Leave on for 15 minutes and, once dry, remove with a warm cloth.

Ladies, your skin will feel amazing after using this mask. Not only will your skin be more smooth but the redness or problem areas will seem to have disappeared completely.

**Note: I made a mask without using oatmeal this time around. I didn't have any in the house and didn't feel like running out to grab some. The mask still turned out well!**


Apr 20, 2011

My First ELF Haul

Have you ever hidden a makeup purchase from your boyfriend or partner?

I have....a few times. Like today for example, because it was my birthday yesterday Allan got a me a gift card to Sephora (even though we JUST had to buy a brand new washer/dryer....sigh) and Sephora was having a 15% off everything sale SO I went shopping right after work. I spent WAY too much money on some amazing things (more on this purchase later) and since Allan is out for dinner with clients at the moment, I hid my beautiful new items under my vanity table.

Take my recent ELF purchase for example. Allan knew I was ordering a couple things and he knew how much I was spending. However, I had know idea that all of my products from ELF would be individually wrapped in a big box, thus making it look like I bought their entire warehouse. As you can probably tell, this is my first time ordering ELF. I'd heard so much about this product line from all the other blogs I follow that I thought it was time to test a few items myself.

Here is the box of doom. I know it doesn't look that big but it's filled to brim with tons of different items and it's been extremely difficult hiding this box from Allan.

Oh look! Everything is packed separately which I like very much but it's going to be very difficult sneaking this garbage out the door...

ELF Duo Smoky Eye Kit - Loved this product because it came with all four eye shadow duos and a brush. I am really liking the purple/shimmery black duo.

ELF Studio Mini Makeup Collection - This product was the reason I placed my ELF order to begin with. However, when I went to pick my order up originally, this product was missing so they re-sent it out and I got it two weeks later. Aside from that, I love the shimmery eye shadow colors and even the lip glosses. Such a great buy at only $14 USD.

ELF Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder - Liked this product because of the blush color. It's a gorgeous shimmery peach and I can not wait to wear it in the summer.

ELF Studio Complexion Perfection - I am so wearing this tomorrow morning! It's a pressed powder that blends all four complexion perfecting colors in one. I'll let you know how this product fairs for sure.

ELF Studio Under Eye Concealer and Highlighter - What a brilliant combination! Now, I don't really suffer from under eye bags but I still use a highlighter under my eyes most days. I'm eager to see the consistency of the concealer on the opposite end as well.

ELF Studio Shimmering Facial Whip - You know, this product, and in particular the color on the bottom right, has won many "best of" awards in quite a few beauty magazines. I purchased (from top left) Camilla, a nude shimmer, Pink Lemonade, a beautiful rosy shimmer, and the heavily awarded Toasted, a bronze shimmer.

ELF Mineral Lipsticks in Runway Pink, Party Pink and Nicely Nude. Are you catching a trend in my lipstick choices?

Swatches from left to right: Runway Pink, Party Pink and Nicely Nude. Sigh, they're all gorgeous.

And, since this post is getting verrryyyy long, here are the last few items in a group shot. From left to right: ELF Eyelid Primer, ELF Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 in Watermelon, Malt Shake, Pink Kiss and Goddess, ELF Brightening Eye Color in Butternut (my free gift), ELF Duo Powder Eyeshadow in Mocha Swirl, ELF Natural Radiance Blusher in Shy and Innocence and last but not least the ELF Studio Shimmering Palette.

Whew, quite a haul. BUT, I would like to say that all this only cost me $55 including shipping. Not too much at all. Have any of you ever tried any of these products? What did you think of them?


Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution: A Review

New products fascinate me, they really do.

About three weeks ago, I popped by Shoppers Drug Mart after getting my haircut. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because my hair was cut a lot shorter than normal so I was desperately feeling the need to buy something special. After wandering up and down the aisles for a good 10 minutes, I saw a new display advertising Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution.

For those new to Bioderma I'll give you a quick rundown. The Bioderma laboratory (laboratoire dermatologique) is based in Lyon, France and is among the most frequently prescribed laboratories by French dermatologists. Bioderma, the line, is favored by many physicians and pharmacists because it's in touch with every type of skin issue available. They have lines specifically for sensitive skin (sensibio), iritated skin (cicabio) and dry skin (actoderm) just to name a few. Needless to say, Bioderma is very well-known for a reason.

Anyway, back to shopping....

So, I snatched up the Sensibio H2O and, after reading the label, realized that it's a cleanser/make-up remover all in one. And, because I love products like this so much (I really do) I bought it.

I used it that night on both my eyes and face and initial thought was good. I liked that the cleaner/make-up remover was clear in color and had virtually no odor. (Actually, it was like using water, but more efficient.) I soaked a cotton pad and went to town on my eye make-up. It took a little bit of effort but all of my make-up did come off AND, best part was, there was no irritation. I then soaked another cotton pad and used it on my face. I found that it took off my make-up fairly well but didn't quite cleanse my face. After about three more cotton pads (and I really don't wear much make-up), I finally got to see how it would cleanse my face. I liked the feel of my skin after using the product, it felt a lot more smooth, but still didn't think it got my skin as clean as I wanted.

Do I think this product was worth the $22 I paid? Unfortunately, it's a no for me. As much as I liked the "make-up remover" portion I think that the cleanser side fell flat. So, I guess this is one product I won't be running out and buying again anytime soon.

Have any of you tried anything else in this brand before?


Apr 19, 2011

Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy

I adore TLC's What Not To Wear.

I love everything about this TV show from the sarcastic banter between Stacy and Clinton, the many horrific wardrobes to the fantastic transformations. But, most of all, I love Carmindy, the makeup artist. She's bubbly, fun, knows sooo much about makeup application that I want to shove her in my pocket, take her home and force her to teach me everything she knows. Ha

Needless to say, while out and about on one of my many shopping adventures, I discovered Sally Hansen Natural Beauty. I should probably clarify because the reason I was interested in this product line after such a long time of never even glancing at it were the words "inspired by Carmindy". I instantly pulled out my trusty iPhone, googled Sally Hansen Natural Beauty and was met with Carmindy's face. Yes, MY Carmindy from What Not To Wear.

So, like any celebrity obsessed woman, I began grabbing everything I could see that matched my skin tone. (Okay, this is definitely an exaggeration but I did grab a couple items.) The items I grabbed were Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Airbrush Spray Makeup in Light and Luminous Matte Pressed Powder also in Light.

From left to right: Luminous Powder and the Airbrush Spray Makeup which is, yes, an aerosol can.

Though I grabbed the lightest shade of the Spray Makeup, it still seems to have a very yellow base color. The foundation itself though is very lightweight and has almost a cinnamon-y scent. (I can't explain the scent exactly but I really like it.) Another great thing about this foundation is that it's buildable. By this I mean you can either spray it in your palm and apply with you fingertips for sheer coverage or spray it on a sponge and apply for when you need just a bit more help.

Here, the product is rubbed in my hand. As you can see, that yellow tone has disappeared. Instead, it actually matches me perfectly.

The powder, though, is very fair, even for me. I am always the girl that buys the fairest shade in anything but for some reason, this powder is just a bit too light.

I have used the foundation a couple times and really like it. However, I'm eager to see what it looks like with a bit more depth so I'll be using a sponge applicator very soon. The powder, though, is not my favorite. It's great for reducing oil (on top of foundation) but I would never use this product alone. (I'd end up looking like a ghost.) I have been spending quite some time looking at the Sally Hansen website and though this pressed powder didn't hit home for me, I'm really looking forward to trying the loose powder.

Have any of you ladies tried this line before? If so, what have you tried? Did you like it?


Apr 18, 2011

Bar Soap for Your Face???

I can almost guarantee that every person here has used bar soap to cleanse their face at least once. Ha, I know I have.

My first encounter, aside from using Dove Bar Soap as a child, was with Clinique's Facial Soap. Looking back, I realize I didn't give this product a fair shot. At the time, I was beyond obsessed with any cleanser that came out of a pump and thought that bar soap was much too simple for my "under 14 year old" skin. I used to watch my mother use this soap and even though she had (and still has) fantastic skin, I instantly decided that bar soap wasn't for me. And, to be honest, this was my last encounter with facial bar soap.

Ummmm, until last week I guess.

I was, again, in the States with my friend, checking out Rite-Aid. (I love this store so much. Do they really carry anything different than Canada? No, but the store never seems to be busy and it's really cheap too.) While looking through the skin care section, I saw a little and very lonely looking facial bar by Neutrogena Naturals. It was on sale for $4.39 and since I'd just recently read a magazine article about Kristen Bell, who is now the new face of Neutrogena Naturals, really loving this product, I added it to my cart.

Now the Neutrogena Naturals Face & Body Bar is made with both avocado and olive oil (2 great ingredients known to nourish your skin) and best of all, the entire naturals line is void of chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes and phthalates. So, in other words, they really are natural products. I was so eager to try this bar out that as soon as I got home from the States, I washed my face. First impression was the smell. It was nice, crisp, fresh and very apparent was the lack of chemicals. (Very nice for a change.) The soap lathered up extremely well and didn't feel harsh on my skin. Sometimes, cleansers can aggravate my skin for no reason and this one did no such thing. And perhaps the biggest plus about this soap is that it washes off completely. There wasn't any residue left behind and my skin felt very clean and moisturized.

I've been using this soap ever since that day and my skin looks and feels so much cleaner than it used to. I never thought I'd say this but I'm officially a fan of a facial soap bar and highly recommend this brand. Have any of you ladies tried this before? Have you ever used a facial soap bar?


Apr 15, 2011

DIY Beauty Fridays: Preventing Pimples with Aspirin

I'm a twenty-something year old woman and I still get pimples. There, I said it.
I should be thankful, I guess, that I don't break out all the time but when I do, my zits are rather large. (Big red horrible bumps would probably be more precise.) I've tried everything to prevent getting these red visitors: drinking more water, not eating chocolate or anything deep fried, changing my pillowcase every night before bed, not touching my face during the day, and, my personal favorite, spot treatments. My problem is that for all the water I drink, I'm unable to stop eating chocolate, french fries and am ALWAYS resting my chin on my hands at work...Needless to say, I need a spot treatment that actually works and to think I found it in my medicine cabinet.
Aspirin Mask
3 - 4 uncoated aspirin (the box will specify if it's coated) 5 little drops of water 1/2 tsp. warmed honey Let the aspirin sit in the drops of water and dissolve. (You'll know when it's dissolved as the pieces will be floating around the water.) Add the honey and mix everything together. Apply to clean face and let dry about 15 minutes. Wash off, gently, with a warm cloth, dry face and add a moisturizer promptly.
Aspirin Spot Treatment
1 uncoated aspirin 2 little drops of water Again, like above, let the aspirin dissolve in the water. Once done, dab the mixture on your pimple and let air dry for 10 - 15 minutes. Rinse off gently. Apply moisturizer immediately once face is dry. Why does this work? The active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, is very similar (but not the same) to salicylic acid which is used in almost every acne product on the market. It's also an anti-inflammatory which reduces swelling and redness. For all you skeptics out there, I was exactly in your shoes last week. I was sitting at work, eating lunch at my desk, and could literally feel a small country growing on my chin. After work, the pressure was getting worse and I looked in my car mirror and was met with a massive zit. I got home, created this mask and was completely blown away by how much my skin glowed and how the redness of the pimple had actually dissipated. I woke up the next day to find the pimple 7 times smaller than it was and very easy to cover with some concealer. I highly highly highly recommend this easy concoction to anyone who suffers from minor breakouts or the occasional pimple. It helped me drastically. **Quick note: do not use this mask more often than once a week. The aspirin will dry out your face and unless you have very oily skin, you may end up flaking.**

Apr 13, 2011

FOTD: Office Appropriate

I was really nervous about doing my first FOTD post. I've honestly been humming and hawing about a post like this for such a long time, and then, as I was getting ready for work today, I randomly snapped some pictures (and think they actually look pretty good, if I say so myself.)
Hi everybody!! You finally get to see a pic of me while wearing my leopard-print robe....aren't you all lucky???

My typical office makeup look includes: FACE: Youngblood Natural Mineral Foundation Youngblood Ultimate Concealer Physician's Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick (green) CHEEKS: Clinique Precious Posy Blush Revlon Skinlights Face Illuminator Powder (Discontinued...sigh) LIPS: Avon Tri-Lip Gloss in Onyx Luster EYES: Mark Custom Pick Eye Shadow in Biscotti Wet N Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Single in Nutty (one of the easiest bronze colors to wear) Onyx from Smashbox's Cream Eye Liner Palette

Lancome Definicils HIgh Definition Black Mascara
Because of what I do, I need to look professional and put together at all times and I feel this look does exactly that. Not only do I look polished but this look takes me all of 13 minutes to accomplish. It doesn't get better than that! Have any of you used any of these products before? What are your thoughts? XO

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