For my first favourites post of the month, I’ve decided to share with you all Ouai’s Extra Dry Shampoo. Ouai has quickly become one of my new favourite brands — I already took interest to them after receiving their Leave-In Conditioner in my Spring FabFitFun box, but especially after trying more of their products recently — it’s safe to say I’m in love.
December can be a busy month — with the Holidays coming up and the end of the semester for many of you in school, it’s easy to fall behind. If you’re too busy with trying to achieve your goals before 2020 to keep up with your regular hair-wash schedule (we’ve all been there, I won’t judge) dry shampoo can be a real godsend.
I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with dry shampoo — I often find it either is incredibly powdery and noticeable, or does absolutely nothing at all. Seriously, there’s nothing more frustrating than deciding to forgo washing your hair to save time only to have your dry shampoo change absolutely nothing about your greasy stands. It’s one of my all-time greatest pet peeves.
I’ve gone through all sorts of brands of dry shampoos over the years — I’ve never bought the same brand twice. I was always hoping the next one I’d try would suddenly change everything, but after a couple of years I kinda started to give up on the concept I’d ever find a great dry shampoo. That is, until I bought Ouai’s Extra Dry Shampoo!
This stuff is truly amazing — it does come out super powdery at first, which I was worried about when I first sprayed it on. However, Unlike a lot of other dry shampoos, it actually turns invisible as it absorbs all the grease in your hair, meaning it actually works. I’ve finally seemed to find a dry shampoo that walked the fine line between not being a gross, powdery mess that left obvious residue all over my dark hair, as well as actually doing it’s job.
This dry shampoo is even better than that though — it smells FANTASTIC, and it leaves my hair feeling like it’s actually freshly washed. We all love how dry shampoo can help greasy hair pass as not that dirty, but this dry shampoo goes above and beyond. It actually makes your hair feel really clean — no one will ever know you missed a day in your hair wash schedule!
If this sounds like the dry shampoo you’ve been needing to get through the holiday season, you can find it on Ouai or at Sephora.
I hope you’re all having a lovely start to the month! If you’ve been enjoying my Holiday Gift Guide series so far, be sure to stay tuned for the third and final segment this Sunday! (And if you haven’t caught up and are getting a little desperate for gift ideas, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two!)
20 more days until Christmas and just 27 days until the New Year — it’s hustle season everyone! Go out there and achieve any last goals you need to make this year feel like it’s been a successful one.
This week I’m kicking off the first part of my three-piece Holiday segment — Holiday Gift Guides! Each week will have it’s own theme, and comes with plenty of recommendations of all my favourite products and gift ideas! My hope is, for those of you who absolutely hate Christmas shopping, that you’ll be able to find a couple great ideas from this post.
Even at the best of times, Christmas shopping can be an ordeal. Picking out gifts for anyone can be stressful — yet alone those who are simply impossible to buy for. As well, aimlessly walking around crowded malls is unpleasant to say the least. No matter how much you love shopping, when it comes to Christmas crowds, we all have other things we’d rather be doing. Hopefully, with these lists, you’ll be able to go in with a plan, get all the gifts you need — and the reward of seeing how much joy these gifts will bring will make up for all the struggle.
This week’s theme is self-care, so if you have someone in your life who’s been feeling a little overwhelmed this year and really needs to spend time over the holidays relaxing and recuperating before 2020, this list has you covered. Any one of these items would make a great gift, or for a particularly special someone — feel free to package them all together into a little self-care basket!
For Someone Who Loves A Little Luxury
Who doesn’t love a good candle? Candles make the easiest and most ultimate home-decor/self care gift for so many reasons. They’re cute, simple, create a cozy atmosphere in the winter. Plus, they make cute decor even if you don’t want to light them. I personally ADORE Jo Malone candles over any other brand — they may be expensive, but they smell AMAZING, can burn forever. These candles make absolutely stunning additions to any room they’re in, and don’t overwhelm too much with a heavy smell.
Okay, we all already know that I adore the Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Body Polish. It makes the perfect gift for anyone in need of a little extra TLC this holiday season for so many reasons. First of all, weekly exfoliation is super important to maintaining clear, soft, healthy skin — especially in the wintertime. As well, this exfoliator smells like lilacs (!!!!), comes loaded with all kinds of hydrating oils, and provides a fantastic exfoliation. It’s not too rough, nor does it dissolve in water as you use it. There’s very few products in the world I would deem completely perfect — but this is definitely one of them.
Feeling inspired? Check out this product here and at Sephora here!
For Someone Looking To Decorate
I can’t even count how many times I’ve been referred to as a “plant mom”. My apartment has more plants than any other kind of decoration — I can’t help it, I just love them! Plants make a perfect gift for so many reasons. First of all, as decor, they go with just about everything. As well, plants are great for filtering air in stuffy apartments, and have been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. So whether its a little aloe or an extra-large Philodendron, consider plants for anyone in your life who could use a little decor and a pick-me-up!
I’m not going to link to any online shops, but some good plants to consider are aloes, cactuses, snake grass, rubber plants, miniature palms, dracaena, or money trees!
For Someone Who Struggles With Winter Weather
In many places, winter is just a truly brutal time for your skin. Besides the cold, it can often get incredibly dry — leading to all sorts of problems for your skin, face, and lips. Luckily, in Vancouver where it rains all winter, its not too much of a problem — but I still remember how dry winter can get from my years in Toronto very well. So, for anyone who may need a little help tackling winter dryness, I have a couple solutions that would make great gifts!
The first item on this list is the Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm. I’ve been using this lip balm for over a year now, and I’m pretty convinced its the best one there is. This lip balm hits all the necessities for me — it’s ultra hydrating, incredibly smooth, and not a little bit sticky, greasy or heavy. Plus, it smells amazing! I guarantee this lip balm would make a great present for anyone who hates suffering from dry, cracked lips this winter season.
As for those suffering from dry skin in the winter, the “Sleepy” Lush body moisturizer makes a great gift! It’s a little on the heavier side, which I’m usually not a fan of, but it’s not too heavy — and really helps with keeping skin soft if you let it absorb overnight. Plus, it smells like lavender, making it the perfect, relaxing end to any self care night!
As for hand cream, I’ve always been a big fan of Crabtree and Evelyn. Their luxurious hand creams come in all kinds of scents from neutral, to floral, to citrus, to herbal, so there’s guaranteed a scent for everyone on your list. They especially make fantastic add-ons to a gift, or a little gift when you’re gifting for multiple people (ie. teachers, coworkers, etc). Who could ever dislike having silky-smooth hands in the middle of winter, right?
Feeling inspired? Check out the Fresh Sugar Coconut Hydrating Lip Balm here (available in other flavours), the Lush Sleepy Body Lotion here, and the Crabtree and Evelyn hand creams here!
For Someone In Need Of An At-Home Spa Day
Nothing says “self care time” like a long, relaxing bath. For anyone in need of a good night off to unwind, consider bath bombs as a gift!
An absolute classic is the Lush bath bombs, you really can’t go wrong with these. They smell amazing and come in so many fun colours, there’s absolutely one for everyone here. A couple of my personal favourites are “Big Blue” and “Avobath“, but really, you can’t go wrong with any bath bomb from Lush. Plus, they have plenty of holiday-themed options to choose from!
These next two I haven’t tried personally, but I’ve been dying to get my hands on them and both look like they would make absolutely fantastic gifts. For someone looking for a true spa experience, Ouai’s new Chill Pills make the perfect gift! Not only are they supposed to smell amazing, but they’re formulated with Jojoba Oil, Safflower Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil, making them fantastic for your skin. As well, I’ve tried a number of other Ouai bath products and all of them were incredible — so I doubt you can go wrong here.
For someone looking for an insta-worthy soak, consider a bath bomb from WWFCO! I’ve been following them on Instagram for ages, and not only are their bath bombs beautiful — they’re handmade, and come loaded with unique and great ingredients in every bag. They have all kinds of rave reviews, so I’d be willing to put my money on these making an absolutely wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who needs a good, relaxing night off.
Feeling inspired? Check out Lush’s line here, Ouai’s Chill Pills here, and WWFCO on Instagram here!
For Someone Needing To Feel Special
This one is a particularly special one for me, as it was actually a Christmas gift I received last year from my little sister that I wear absolutely every day.
Kate Spade necklaces are so beautiful and simple, all of them make a fantastic gift. However, what makes this one in particular so special is how personalized it is. On the front, it’s engraved with an “M” (for Meredith!) and the back reads “one in a million”. Something this personalized is so sweet and special, and I can tell you firsthand makes an incredible gift for someone who needs to feel a little special this holiday season.
Feeling inspired? Check out this product here (and other Kate Spade necklaces here)!
For Someone You Want To Spend Time With
A manicure day is a great gift because it can also offer the gift of spending time with the person you give it to! A great way to pull this gift off is to make a little coupon to give to whomever you’re sharing it with, make plans to go sometime in January, and enjoy hanging out while pampering yourselves! This gift is also great because it works for just about everyone — whether its for an extra AF friend who want long, blinged out acrylics, someone who never gets their nails done and could use a pick-me-up and a bit of polish, or for guys who like to take good care of their hands. For an added cute touch, if you and the person you’re buying the manicure for are both getting polish, get matching nails!
As An Extra Little Add-On
Gift cards can seem like a bit of a cop-out as a standalone gift, but when added in addition with something else can seem like a nice extra touch. Plus, I don’t know about you guys but I love online shopping — when it arrives it’s like a little gift to yourself, plus you don’t have to deal with crowded stores. For an extra special touch, add a note with something along the lines of “treat yourself to something nice” or anything else you feel works! Some great ideas for gift cards to add on can be Amazon, Sephora, FashionNova, Nordstrom, Aritzia, Glossier, The Bay, or UrbanOutfitters! Obviously, it all depends on who you’re buying for, but hopefully these options give you some ideas.
Hopefully some of you guys got some great inspiration from this post for your Christmas shopping this year, or at least got a little more in the Holiday spirit! Stay tuned for next weeks list — with a new theme and all kinds of new ideas!
Hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend, and are gearing up for a productive week!
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!