So first off, my apologies for having this post ready for you all a day late — I’m still recovering a little from my bout of the flu, and I’ve had a lot of schoolwork assigned this week so unfortunately that took priority. But it’s all good now — and better late than never, right?
Today, I wanted to share with you all another product I was introduced to through FabFitFun and absolutely fell in love with — the Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair. As many of you know, caring for my hair has been a huge struggle for me over the last few years. Back in 2015, I decided to go blonde, and while I don’t regret it one bit it definitely made looking after my hair and avoiding damage a huge challenge. Even now, while I’ve returned to my natural brunette colour, I still have residual damage from my dyed-over bleached ends.
Over the years, I tested out so many products to prevent damage to my hair I almost feel like I’m a bit of an expert now. I tried more masks, sprays, creams and conditioners than I can even count. There was definitely a bit of a learning curve involved — discovering there was more products out there than 10-minute hair masks, noticing how some products worked much better than more for others — and most importantly, realizing that leave-in products should NOT be leaving my hair feeling sticky, heavy, and gross.
For a while, I avoided leave-in products for this very reason. It honestly seemed like most of them were more likely to leave residue behind in my hair than actually fix any problems. To be completely honest — I’m not even sure I would have ever tried a product like this one if FabFitFun hadn’t introduced me to it (but I’m so, so glad they did!).
What really makes this product work is how light it is. It’s not really a cream, or even a gel — its a consistency I’ve never come across before. It’s uber-lightweight and almost seems as though the base is made of water — so as soon as you smooth it over your damp strands, it blends right in.
Honestly, I was blown away by the results the first time I ever used this product — it left my hair so unbelievably smooth and soft. I hadn’t had my hair look so shiny and healthy in YEARS. With time, I’ve only grown more sold on it, too. While I received this product in a Fall 2019 FabFitFun box, to this day I had yet to have this product leave my hair feeling greasy, sticky, or negatively effected in any way. There’s been a couple of occasions where I’ve poured some out before blow drying and thought to myself “whoa, that is DEFINITELY too much product”, and yet I still haven’t had any classic leave-in products results. While so many other leave-in products in the past may have helped with the downside of leaving my hair covered in residue or just otherwise feeling a little nasty — this product has all of the benefits, and so far no downsides.
Does this sound like the hair product you’ve been dying to try? Check it out on Aveda’s website here!
Happy last day of January, everyone! I hope you all had a great month and managed to achieve your goals. I’m personally beyond excited for February — I have a lot of big plans that I can’t wait to put into action! What are your February goals? Drop a comment below and let me know!
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!
Growing up, I honestly never paid much attention to my own hair. I never straightened or curled it, I didn’t choose shampoos based on my hairs needs, and with exception of a brief period in time where I regularly used moroccan oil, I really didn’t add any other products to my hair.
However, as time went on, I began to experiment one product in my hair regularly: hair dye. During high school and my early years in university, all I wanted to do was dye my hair all kinds of colours. My mom wasn’t much of a fan, so I wasn’t allowed to go to crazy — I was mostly limited to colourful streaks (I usually went for purple or red). However, university rolled around and with my newfound freedom came that classic eighteen year old need to do something a little crazy. However, I still to this day haven’t been able to commit to a single tattoo idea (even though I really do want one) and the concept of box dye scared me, so, I went to Lush and bought some henna. (As I’ve discussed before, DO NOT BUY THIS WITHOUT DOING RESEARCH FIRST. You can’t dye your hair again until all the henna dyed hair has grown out and has been cut off. If you have no intention of dyeing your hair otherwise for the next year or so, by all means go for it! Just make sure you consider what you may want in the future and do a little research first.)
However, it wasn’t until I started dyeing my hair blonde that I really realized the importance of caring for my hair. While I loved being blonde, bleaching your hair can be a super damaging process (especially when your hair is as dark as mine is). For the first few months, my hair was always frizzy and dry — and suddenly I was thrown into the world of hair care and hair masks.
Over the years, I’ve used many masks and treatments — some I loved, others I didn’t. While I’ve eventually had to give up on certain brands simply because their products were too hard to find or repurchase, I’ve finally found what actually might be the PERFECT mask — and, I can just get it at Sephora!
As many of you guys already know, Ouai has quickly been becoming one of my favourite brands for hair and body products since I first received their Leave-In Conditioner in a FabFitFun box. In fact, this has already been the fourth time I’ve featured Ouai in a Favourites Post — isn’t that crazy? (If you want to hear which of their other products I’m obsessed with, be sure to check themouthere!).
Similarly to their Scalp and Body Scrub, I was introduced to the Ouai Treatment Masque in one of Sephora’s sample boxes — but I just recently purchased this full-sized and I couldn’t be happier with it. First of all, this product is INCREDIBLY thick and luxurious without being heavy or greasy. Honestly, I don’t know how they’ve done it, but not once have I ever used this and felt like my hair felt weighed down after drying it out. While it is super creamy in texture and hydrating in nature, it doesn’t add excess weight your hair doesn’t need — which keeps it looking voluminous and healthy.
Second of all, I have noticed a HUGE difference in the shine and health of my hair since I started using this product. My hair, no joke, is probably the softest it’s ever felt in it’s life. Since my hair still has bleach damage near the ends, I used to struggle a lot with my ends drying out if I went too long without washing my hair. This mask has completely changed that — my dry, frizzy ends are nothing more than a memory now. (Which makes my life a lot easier, honestly, since if I have to swing a dry shampoo day it makes my hair look and feel a lot less gross overall.)
If this sounds like the hair mask you’ve been desperately needing in your life, be sure to check it out at Sephora here!
I hope you’re all having a lovely week and are still soaking up all that post-new years motivation! I, for one, have been having one of the most productive weeks I’ve had in a while — fingers crossed I can keep up this energy for all of 2020!
Don’t forget to stay tuned for my first holiday vacation post this weekend — I can’t wait to share my trip with you all! Over the next two Sunday’s I’ll be sharing both my trip to West Palm Beach and Disney World, Florida with you guys, so get excited to read all about it!
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!
Quick update — when I started this weekly segment, I simple chose Tuesday because that was the day I wrote my first review on. At the time, I scheduled my other blog posts around this — Sunday’s made the most sense for a weekly post, with a post on Thursday as well to even out the week’s schedule. Since then, however, I took a step back and limited myself to two posts a week — something that has really been working for me and I’m likely going to stick with.
So, now, I’m looking for some feedback. While it feels strange to change the day of a weekly segment I’ve had since the start of my blog, I also feel it would make a lot more sense to move this segment to Thursday and have my posts be spread more evenly throughout the week. What do you guys think? Have my reviews impacted you at all? Do you have a preferred topic — makeup, skincare or haircare? Are you still enjoying this segment, or would you like to see something new? Or, alternatively, would you rather I put all my effort towards one great post a week and abandon this segment entirely? I’d really love to hear from you guys about what’s working for you and what isn’t, and I’ll be sure to update depending on the feedback you guys give me! If you’re really loving the posts and still want one every Tuesday, let me know! Otherwise, I’ll continue the segment on Thursdays from now on (or whatever else your feedback and advice suggests is best!).
Anyways, let’s get into this weeks review. This Tuesday, I decided to discuss some of my hair favourites — the La Biosthetique Expert Treatment Protection Cheveux Complexe Express Care Volume spray and the Ouai Leave-In Conditioner!
As I’ve discussed before, I used to bleach my hair and still have problems to this day with the bleached portion being uber dry and damaged. It takes a lot of effort to care for bleached hair, and for years the products I used just weren’t cutting it. My hair was so dry and frizzy, nothing seemed to help.
With enough time (and a lot of trial and error) however, I found a combination of products that helped my hair grow in healthy and stay healthy, even with all the processing my hair had been through. Since i’ve returned to being brunette, luckily, my hair has already started to grow in more healthy naturally, but these products still do an amazing job of taking care of my bleached-out ends.
The first product, from La Biosthetique, is a leave-in treatment meant to help restructure, strengthen, and moisturize hair. I love this treatment because its so easy — you just spray it into your roots before drying your hair and massage it down to your ends and voila! Since i’ve began using this product, not only has my grown-out, bleached hair become stronger and more resilient, but my hair growing in is so much stronger and healthier than my hair has ever been before, even before I started bleaching it.
The second product, Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner, is pretty self-explanitory from the name. However, what I love about this specific product is how light-weight it is — it doesn’t leave any residue at all, and doesn’t weigh down the ends of your hair one bit. I was nervous to try this product initially for these exact reasons; I had received this product in a FabFitFun box and had never heard of the brand before. I should have known better, because FabFitFun has honestly never let me down, and neither does this product. I spray a little in my ends before blow-drying, and it helps keep them shiny and moisturized despite how damaged they are.
That’s it for this weeks review! If either of these products sound like just what you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out La Biosthetique’s Leave-In Treatment here and Ouai’s Leave-In Conditioner here!
Thanks for reading y’all! I hope you’re enjoying these segments, and I really would appreciate any feedback you could give, big or small, in the comments below so I can tailor these posts to your best interests!
Stay tuned for this Sunday’s post, and to keep updated on what I choose for the future of this segment!