This Thursday I’m going to be covering a product that is still relatively new to me — which only speaks to how quickly I’ve fallen in love with it. While I only received the Dry Bar Prep Rally Spray in my Winter FabFitFun box only two months ago, I already know that I’m going to be repurchasing this product as soon as I use it up.
Before receiving this product in my box, I’d been searching for a long (like, seriously long) time for a good, go-to heat protectant spray. For the longest time my go-to was the Pureology Colour Fanatic Beautifier Spray — my hairdresser sold it to me, and I really didn’t know enough about hair products to know if I even liked it or not. While it certainly was a good product — in retrospect it became heavy and sticky quickly just by spraying in the tiniest bit too much. However, upon switching to a Vancouver hairdresser Pureology became increasingly harder to find (a huge struggle, since it literally used to be the only brand I used on my hair). Ever since then, I’ve just been switching around from one heat protectant to the next, never really settling on something long term.
I was just finishing up a sample bottle of Bumble&Bumble’s Thickening Spray (which was actually pretty good) when I received this bottle. And while the Bumble&Bumble spray was good — this one was better. I believe the hallmark of a good heat protectant is that once your hair is all dried and styled, it should be as if you never sprayed any in at all. There shouldn’t be any stiffness, greasiness, heaviness or stickiness to your hair — but there also shouldn’t be any heat damage whatsoever. Dry Bar’s Prep Rally spray, so far, has met all of these requirements.
Not only does this spray smell fantastic, it’s nice and light too — once you’ve dried your hair, there’s no evidence or feeling you ever sprayed it in to begin with. Really, the only evidence I’ve been using it at all is that my hair remains undamaged since I’ve started using it. While I’ve used products in the past as heat protectants that I felt didn’t leave behind much of a residue — this one really seems as though nothing remains behind at all. My hair just feels like smooth, shiny, soft and healthy hair — as if it were au natural.
Does this sound like the heat protectant you’ve been needing in your life? Be sure to check out DryBar’s Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler at Sephora here!
I hope you’re all having an amazing week — we’re just about one week out from the end of January, so be sure to hustle towards achieving all of your monthly goals! Personally, I’m having a bit of a rough week — I came down with the flu on Tuesday and it’s really been taking a toll on me. If you guys have any tried-and-true flu remedies, I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment and let me know what makes you feel better quickly when you’re sick. I have a long week ahead of me — especially considering that I’ve had to take two days to recover already — so I have a lot of catching up to do, on top of next weeks tasks. Wish me luck!
Welcome to my LAST EVER Favourites post of the year — I can’t believe we’ve made it! I’ve been doing this segment weekly since I started my blog in May and I can already see such a difference in the quality of my writing over the course of the last few months alone. When I started my blog, I was really unsure where to start and what direction to take it in — I actually got my domain back in February and sat on it for a few months out of uncertainty.
However, as this year is coming to an end I’m really proud of how far my blog has come, the milestones I’ve reached, and how well I’ve kept up with a regular posting schedule. Thank you guys all so much for your support so far — every comment, message, post share, and more means so much to me. I really didn’t think this blog was going to take off at all when I started it, so every time I reach a goal of mine I really am touched by all your support. Thank you all so much, and fingers crossed I’m able to achieve new goals in the New Year!
For my last product of the year, I wanted to share a product I recently tried and loved — the Ouai Scalp And Body Scrub. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Ouai is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands. I tried a sample box with my Sephora points a month or so back, and fell in love with all the products it contained (which really is a first for me — usually when I spend my points on a brand box at least one of the products ends up being something I really don’t care for). One of these products was the Scalp And Body Scrub — which I just recently purchased full-size.
Now, you guys already know I’m basically married to my Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Body Polish — but for me, Ouai’s exfoliator has had a totally different purpose. Since it’s not just for body exfoliation, when I got the sample, I decided to give exfoliating my scalp a shot. I’m so glad I did, because I never realized what a difference it could make until I did it.
Not only has it had the results you would expect, such as decreased dandruff, it had benefits I never even considered. First of all, as soon as I even started shampooing, I could feel a huge difference. My hair felt so much lighter, and it made shampooing a much easier task. When I went to go blow dry my hair, I really started to notice the change. This scrub had cleared away all kinds of built-up residue I didn’t even notice I had. My hair felt so much lighter, and looked more voluminous that it had in forever.
I’ve since been using this stuff regularly, and I’m so happy I got the chance to try it. Exfoliating your scalp isn’t something that’s wildly discussed, or something you’d really even consider. However, it really made a world of difference to my hair. Now that I’ve tried it, it’s safe to say I’ll never go back. Just for my newfound volume alone, I’m sold on scalp exfoliating for life.
Dandruff and residue getting you down? Check out Ouai’s Scalp And Body Scrub on their website or at Sephora!
I hope you all have a fantastic final week of 2019, and here’s to good vibes for 2020!
2020 is quickly approaching, and I’m not sure about you guys but I am SO ready for it. I love fresh starts, and New Years is the ULTIMATE new beginning.
To wrap this year up, I wanted to do a little round up of all my favourite and least favourite products of the year. I love discussing all the products that worked best for me on my blog — but until now I’ve avoided discussing what didn’t. I was trying to avoid being too negative in my reviews and content — but at the same time, I feel it’s important to discuss what doesn’t work. If nothing else, hopefully I can save others from learning from mistakes I’ve made.
So before we get into it, this is going to be a two part post: the first part is going to cover my ten favourite and five least favourite products of the year, and the second is going to be my top five favourite skincare and makeup brands, as well as the top five brands I’m excited to try in 2020!
One last little disclaimer — all my reviews, obviously, are personal to me. If one of my “least favourite” products is a product you use and love, or were hoping to try, don’t let my opinions stop you! Some things work better for some people than others, and just because I didn’t like something doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. As well, I do not have any bad will for the brands I’m discussing — many of them are brands I love, and while they’re other products are absolute favourites of mine, some just didn’t cut it for me, and that’s okay! The brands I’m discussing, overall, are still wonderful.
So, let’s get into it!
The Best (And Worst) Of 2019
The Best: Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil
This product single-handedly changed my skincare. Not only is this the most mega-hydrating serum OR product I’ve ever seen — the squalene content in it really helped to rebuild my skin’s protective barrier. The amount of clogged pores and breakouts I’ve had since starting this product has gone down so significantly that this is officially a staple in my nighttime skincare routine until the end of time. While I do find it a little too heavy to apply in the mornings, I do find applying it before bed and letting it sink in overnight is perfect — my skin feels so soft the next day AND there’s no residue. A lot of heavy moisturizing products won’t absorb fully and leave behind traces the next day, but not this one. Plus, you know that feeling you get when you’re using a new skincare product for the first time and you’re always excited to apply it? A year later, and I still get that feeling every night.
There are very few products, no matter how much I love them, that I would deem “perfect” — but this one is one of them. I love everything about this exfoliator; from how gentle it is, to how easy it is to apply and remove. No harsh scrubbing or long mask wait times required — this stuff exfoliates your skin instantly and effectively, and leaves your skin soft and clear.
It really hurts me to add anything by Biossance to this list, they’re one of my all-time favourite brands. Sadly, this product was a serious let down. I bought it on a bit of a whim in the Sephora check-out line, thinking that a) Biossance could do no wrong and b) I should really switch to natural deodorant anyway. When reading up on reviews after I purchased this product, there were a lot of fairly low ratings, however, there were also a lot of people saying that these comments were from people who didn’t wait out the two week “detox period” you have to go through when switching to aluminium-free deodorant. So I waited out the two week period, smelling absolutely terrible but waiting to love this product once my detox was over. And then the two weeks were up, and I kept waiting. However, I kept sweating through this product within an hour; as well, the scent — which I can only describe as very weird and a little earthy — only made me smell worse when mixed in with my natural body odour.
Finally, my manager at work literally had to confront me about how bad I smelt — which was incredibly embarrassing but also a wake up call that after a month, it was time to call it quits. This deodorant simply did not work for me (and honestly, actually kinda made me smell worse). I wasn’t quite ready to give up on natural deodorant, however, so I switched brands and now find aluminum-free deodorant works better than any other I’ve used in the past. Plus, as Biossance’s product was $17, I was saving a lot of money by switching, so win-win, right?
The Best: Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish
Okay, I know I’ve already discussed this product so, so many times before, but it really is amazing. First of all, it smells like lilacs — one of my all time favourite scents. Second of all, it does a fantastic job of exfoliating, and unlike many other exfoliators, the grains do not melt away as you scrub. One of my largest pet peeves with salt- or sugar-based exfoliators is how quickly the exfoliating elements of the product simply dissolve as you use it, meaning you use a lot more product. With this product, I guarantee you, you won’t have that problem. Not only that, but it exfoliates evenly and isn’t too harsh — plus it’s packed with all kinds of hydrating oils, leaving your skin feeling soft as every when you’re done.
The Best: Function Of Beauty Shampoo + Conditioner
You guys already know how much I love this product. After years of bleaching out my hair, I had resigned myself it would likely be damaged beyond repair until I grew it out. I already put so much effort into caring for my hair that I couldn’t imagine what else I could do to revive it. Function of Beauty totally changed that. Not only is it super fun getting the chance to totally customize your own shampoo and conditioner — but it shows real results, too. My hair is SO shiny and smooth now, seriously, it feels healthy for the first time in years. I actually can’t remember the last time, if ever, my hair felt this healthy. Give this product a shot, healthy hair or not, and trust me — you won’t regret it.
Read more about this product in my reviews here and here!
The Worst: Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara
As I’ve discussed before, I rarely branch out from my select few favourite mascaras, and when I do — I tend to regret it. I’ve made this mistake one other time this year with Milk’s Kush Mascara, however, nothing has ever been as much of a disappointment as Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara. It’s advertised as some kind of magical all-in-one product that will lengthen, curl, and volumize your lashes — but I really didn’t find this to be the case. Frankly, not only was this the clumpiest mascara I’ve ever tried, but it hardly did anything to accentuate my lashes whatsoever. With it’s fancy curved applicator and incredibly steep price, you’d think this mascara would be a godsend. I really hate to say it, but I found it the complete opposite — it was honestly the worst mascara I’ve ever tried at any price point.
My idea of “living my best life” would be owning one of each colour of all of these palettes. They are hands down THE most beautiful and pigmented eyeshadow palettes I’ve ever tried. They’re creamy instead of powdery, allowing them to blend seamlessly. My favourite aspect is how they cover every shade you’d need to blend out a full look in each specific colour set in only nine shades. I’ve seen a lot of people who get offset by how “small” these palettes are for their price — but they’re absolutely worth it. Not only are they pigmented enough to give you enough bang for your buck — but they also contain just about as much shadow as any nine pot palette. They’re just arranged in a way to make them purposely compact — making them perfect for travel.
This year, I finally got back into contouring. I fell out of favour with it back when it was hugely popular, as I often found that powder contour did not give me a natural look — it fact, it often looked muddy. However, after seeing enough videos watching artists use cream and stick contour instead of powder, I felt inspired to try again.
This contour stick is absolutely perfect for getting a seamless blend and natural look. I’ve not once had it look muddy or fake, it applies SO easily and flawlessly creates contour anywhere you apply it. I’m so glad I took the leap to get back into contouring with this product, it’s really upped a lot of my makeup looks!
After my first ever Kylie Cosmetics haul earlier this year, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of so many of the products I tried. This one, however, was incredibly disappointing. I absolutely adore liquid eyeshadow products for their incredibly pigmented look and easy application — but this product did not live up to others I had tried. It was dry and flaky; it didn’t even last until the end of my eyeshadow application before it had managed to flake off entirely. Not only that, but it took absolutely ages to dry and washed off with only the smallest amount of water. Even if you manage to apply this product well, it would never last a day without flaking or melting off in rainy weather. I’m sad because it was so beautiful, but definitely not at all worth it.
Lilly Lashes, along with Sephora’s Luxe Lashes, are one of my two all-time favourite lash brands. If you know me, you know no look is complete without lashes — I literally feel naked without them. While Sephora’s lashes do give an incredibly flawless and real look, Lilly Lashes are bold and long-lasting. Seriously, so long as you take good care of these lashes, they’ll last you forever. For something as delicate as lashes, that’s pretty impressive.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this when I say dewy skin > matte skin makeup. For the ultimate dewy skin look, I love Cover Fx’s Custom Beauty Drops! Not only do they give THE most natural yet blinding highlight — they’re extremely versatile. These drops can be added to foundation for a natural glow, applied underneath or on top of your makeup for a subtle or bold look, used as an eyeshadow, inner corner highlight, mixed into gloss and more! The possibilities are pretty endless — you can really use this product however you want. If you ever get the chance to test this product out, you’ll be sold in a heartbeat — they have so much depth to their colour and blend so flawlessly. They’ve become an absolute staple in my makeup routine.
This might be a hugely unpopular opinion, but I’m not crazy about Glossier. While some of the products I’ve tried have been pretty great, it’s certainly not my all-time favourite brand or anything. While I do adore the Balm DotCom, and I do find the Cloud Paint/Haloscope duo gives me a great little glow if I’m in a rush to do my makeup — I really was not a fan of their skin tint product. This product really doesn’t do anything at all for your skin — I honestly couldn’t even tell where I had applied it or not as it made such a little difference. Nothing else about it is inherently bad, per se, but I feel like I would have been better off saving my money and just not wearing any kind of product on my skin, as it looked the same either way.
Urban Decay has been my go-to setting spray since I started even using setting spray at all. Seriously — I’ve never used another brand. I have, however, tested out just about all their setting sprays (and even some of their spray-on primers) and I have to say, this one is the best. While their other setting sprays are all wonderful — there’s a reason All-Nighter is their most well-known (and yes, its because this product will literally make your makeup last all night). However, when I decided to branch out and try their “Environmental Protection” spray instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It lasts every bit as well as the original All-Nighter spray, but I did notice an improvement in my skin after use. This product is designed to help keep out harmful pollutants in the air we all come into contact with every day — and based on my skin’s appearance alone, it definitely holds up to that promise.
This concealer has been my holy grail under-eye product since I first ever started using it. I chronically suffer from dark, baggy under eyes — seriously, no matter how much sleep I get and how much stress I avoid, they always look like I haven’t slept in weeks. Not only is this concealer super pigmented, it has a thick yet creamy formula that helps to hide all discolouration and dark circles — no colour corrector required. On top of that, this concealer does a MUCH better job of not settling into fine lines and creases than any other product I’ve tried. It lasts all day without wearing off even a little, so once you’ve got this applied your under eye area will look as flawless as if you’ve just gotten back from a month-long uber relaxing spa get-away. Seriously, this stuff is that good.
Liquid eyeliner is another trend I’ve really started to get back into this year. Back in high school winged eyeliner was literally my “thing” — my friends even coined a nickname for me because of it. (It was “Nike” if you’re wondering). I kind of stopped with the liner for a few years, but this year I was ready to give it another shot. Back in high school, I had two go-to liner brands — Stila and Kat Von D. When I went to Sephora, however, they were out of Stila’s liquid liner, so I went for the latter. I know Kat Von D may not be the best role model, but I honestly didn’t even know which other brand to try. The result? I honestly cannot remember why I loved this liner so much in high school. It’s strange brush-type tip makes it incredibly hard to achieve a sharp point at the end of your wing, and it easily gets overwhelmed with eyeshadow — causing it to apply unevenly, dry out, and appear more of a dull grey rather than a nice, black line. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough at makeup in high school to really notice, but this product was a major let down.
And that’s a wrap on everything from 2019! It’s crazy to think we’re officially two days away from the new year and a WHOLE NEW DECADE. I, for one, could not be more excited to see what the new year will bring. This upcoming year should be one of new beginnings, and it’s definitely for the best! I can’t wait to see what goals I accomplish and what changes will be made by this time next year.
Do you agree or disagree with my reviews? I’d love to hear it — especially if you love something I didn’t. As well, I’d love to hear all of your favourite brands of 2019 and what you’re hoping to try in 2020 — I’d love a little extra inspo!
Stay tuned next Sunday to hear all about how to make the perfect, maintainable and achievable New Years Resolution! A lot of people feel all kinds of pressure to completely redo themselves come each new year — which can have a lot of negative impacts. If you’re interested, I’m going to be sharing next week how I set attainable goals for each year that help push me in a positive direction towards being the best version of myself.
Happy end of December, y’all, hope the holiday season has been treating you all well!
It may not feel like it in the dark and cloudy winter season, but sun protection is a huge part of maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Lately, I’ve been trying to change up my skin routines a little, in hopes of tailoring my morning and nighttime routines to fit both my skin’s and schedule’s needs a little better.
Generally, with skincare, it’s best to keep it simple in the morning and do all the heavy lifting at night. This is true for a couple reasons — first of all being if you intend to apply makeup, its best not to apply it to skin that’s oversaturated in serums and such. Some skin products don’t mix well with makeup, and may cause your makeup to fade or wipe off as the day goes on. Even if you aren’t wearing makeup, a lot of skincare products can appear oily after application, and may look a little strange if you don’t allow them time to properly absorb into your skin (as well, you may not reap all the benefits!). Not only that, but it’s better to rinse all the day’s dirt and pollutants out of your pores before sleeping to help keep your skin feeling fresh.
Amongst other changes to my routine, I switched up my morning moisturizer to ensure I get a little SPF to protect my skin from sun damage. Applying sunscreen to your face daily can be a pain — many sunscreen products can be irritating, greasy, or clog up your pores. However, UV damage can often cause your skin to age prematurely, and can cause a whole host of cosmetic and medical issues, ranging from hyperpigmentation to skin cancer. An easy way to get in daily SPF is to buy skin products and makeup that have SPF added to the product so you can forgo daily sunscreen application.
This is why I recently started trying out Origin’s A Perfect World™ SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea. Not only does it feel great knowing its high SPF content is protecting my skin from UV damage, it comes packed with all kinds of benefits important to morning skin care. It includes all sorts of antioxidants and environmental pollution protection, all while being formulated without over 50 harmful ingredients and being oil-free (!!!).
While I’ve only been using this product for a couple of weeks now, I’m already so in love. The oil-free aspect means it doesn’t mess up any makeup I apply on top following moisturizing. As well, this stuff is SUPER hydrating — which my poor, dry skin is pretty excited about. Overall, I’m really glad I made the switch. I still use my Clinique moisturizer religiously every night (we all know how much I love it). However, I feel a lot better knowing I’ve finally found a smart way to incorporate SPF into my morning routine.
Trying to avoid sun damage, but don’t know how? Be sure to check out Origin’s moisturizer for a little added protection!
As always, hope you guys are absolutely killing this week. We’re less than one week out until Christmas, so if you’re still stuck on Christmas shopping, be sure to check out my Holiday Gift Guide for self-care, skincare, and makeup gift ideas!
Winter is in full swing, and I know just as well as anyone else this season’s weather can be hard on your skin. No matter where you are, the switch to colder, or drier, weather can really do some damage. Not only that, but sometimes the cloudy, grey days can be a real bummer.
If you or your skin is needing a little pick-me-up, though, look no further! This week, I’m going to be sharing with you all one of my all-time favourite single-use masks by Dr. Jart+ — the Shake And Shot Rubber Masks!
These masks really combine fun, trendy skin care and results. Rubber masks were all the rage a while back — and for good reason. These masks are not only super interesting to mix up yourself, but they also provide something sheet masks don’t — they actually conform perfectly to the shape of your face. I really do love the simplicity of sheet masks, but sometimes I find they fit your face so poorly they end up being annoying to wear and drip product everywhere. It ends up kind of deterring me from using them — while I love the results they give and how easy it is to go purchase one targeted to your skins immediate needs, actually using them sort of drives me nuts.
With careful application, however, these rubber masks can provide all the benefits of a sheet mask, minus all the mess. They dry quickly enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about them dripping everywhere, plus peeling them off is beyond satisfying.
However, the most important part is that these masks seriously work wonders for your skin. Every time I’ve used them, I’ve been blown away by the results. You can see clear, immediate changes after one single use — so while they are a little pricey for a single-use mask, they’re well worth it. I usually purchase these before special events or holidays, as I know whatever problems my skin has been suffering before will be cleared up with these masks better than any other mask product I own — leaving my looking my best when I need to.
If you’ve been needing a little self-care pampering and an effective single use mask lately, be sure to check out these masks on Sephora! They come in a wide range of formulas, including Hydro (Moisturizing), Brightening, Firming, Soothing, Pore Minimizing and Purifying! (If you were wondering, Hydro and Brightening are 100% my all-time faves.)
Hope you guys are all having a lovely week, and be sure to stay tuned for next Thursday’s product!