I don’t know about you guys, but lately, I have been seeing these new silicone hair brushes absolutely EVERYWHERE. Maybe it’s just me, but they’ve been catching my eye all over different platforms, from different creators — and the more I heard about them, the more interested I became.
They’re a pretty simple concept, but the more I heard about them, the more genius they sounded. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided to just bite the bullet and try one out for myself. It probably doesn’t even need to be said, since I’m sharing this with you today, but I’m pretty glad I did. These silicone brushes are little multitaskers — and I absolutely love them for it. This one (cheap AND durable) brush not only helps you to deep-clean your scalp, it also helps to exfoliate away potential dandruff and give you a little head massage while at it.
I’ve shared all the benefits of exfoliating your scalp in the past — and how, interestingly enough, it’s not a more popular concept. I mean, we already exfoliate pretty much the entirety of the rest of our bodies — why not your scalp as well? After all, not only does it help to combat dandruff, it helps to really deep-clean your hair like it’s probably never been cleaned before. Seriously — if you haven’t tried exfoliating your scalp before, you should give it a shot.
While I did love Ouai’s Scalp and Body Exfoliator (it does work wonders), I eventually fell out of purchasing it due to not really having the time to exfoliate my scalp regularly. While I loved their product, it took time to work it into your hair deep enough to reach your scalp, and washing it out wasn’t the quickest process either. I kind of forgot about scalp exfoliating at all, honestly, until I came across these silicone brushes on social media — but it’s quickly reminded me what a game-changer deep-cleaning your hair can be.
What I love most about this brush is how easy it is to use — it doesn’t add any extra steps to your shower routine. I was honestly worried it would be difficult to use before I tried it — I pictured it tangling my hair or being unable to reach my scalp whenever I imagined what it was like to use. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to realize that not only does it reach through your sudsy strands with ease, but it actually hasn’t caused me any issues with tangling my hair yet. As well, since it’s used to lather shampoo into your hair, it doesn’t add any extra time to your shower routine, which is a HUGE bonus IMO.
From the first time I used this brush, I could feel what a difference it made to my hair. My hair felt SO clean and fresh compared to how it normally feels, and I noticed less issues with dandruff following it’s use. However, I especially loved how it gave me a little scalp massage — I tend to get a lot of facial/scalp tension as I have issues with clenching my jaw, and it really helped to actually relieve some of the tension and improve how I feel overall. You guys already know how much I love and regularly use skincare tools to massage out my face, so why doesn’t my scalp deserve a little love too?
You can find these silicone brushes all over the internet, but the one that I purchased (and would totally recommend!) was by Ethradia. If this sounds like the scalp massager you’ve been needing, be sure to check it out on Amazon!
I hope you’re all having a good week to wrap up the end of August! The last week of August is always such a bittersweet time for me — on one hand I love summer and I never want the warm weather to end, but on the other I love so many things about fall, from the fashion, to the holidays, to the cute and cozy fall vibes and most importantly, the sense of change it inspires. And while I am going to miss summer, and we all certainly have an interesting fall ahead of us with COVID-19 this year, I’m kind of excited to shake things up and hopefully get a fresh start. Anyone else with me?
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!
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.
So, for this week, I figured I’d elaborate a little more on a product I wrote about after trying, but fell more in love with the more I used it. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you may remember when I posted my blog about Function of Beauty back in June. (If not, feel free to click the link and read all about it!). At the time, I gave it a week to test it out before sharing the results with you guys. I hadn’t switched hair products in years, and didn’t really consider how long it would take to start seeing changes being made — a week certainly wasn’t enough time to see full results.
However, two months later it’s safe to say I’ve now thoroughly tested out this product, and I love it. As in, I’m so sold I honestly don’t know that I’ll ever switch shampoo or conditioners again — and with Function of Beauty’s model, I probably won’t have to. When choosing your products, you select your hair type — including texture, structure and moisture, as well as your five main concerns you wish to see improvements in your hair. Meaning, if you see something you want to change, all you have to do is select a different concern more applicable to your current needs in your next batch!
On top of all this, you get to choose from a variety of scents and colours, truly customizing the products and making them your own. You even get to label the bottle with a nickname — everything about it makes it feel so personal and cute.
I heard about this brand months before I got the chance to test it out — I literally waited as patiently as I could for my old products to finally run out so I could give these a try. As I noted in my initial post, I certainly saw some immediate effects — enough to keep me interested in buying more. I wasn’t sure if it was just that I was so hyped up about trying out this brand, but at first even with the results given, I still felt it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
Unfortunately, I sometimes tend to be a bit impatient. The fact that I saw immediate results, really, should have said it all. Two months later, my hair is the healthiest it’s been in — well, possibly forever. It’s smooth, shiny, and constantly looks the best it ever has. On top of that, even though its been a few months since I had a hair cut, my hair almost feels as fresh as if I had just returned from the salon — I have minimal problems with split ends and tangling, which is almost always a problem for me. Furthermore, my ends look just as healthy as my roots, which is a nice change from what my hair has been from the last few years (especially with all the bleaching I put it through) — fried at the top, and fried-to-straw at the bottoms.
This product, no joke, has transformed my hair. It is the most beautiful and healthy it’s ever been — I always envied girls with long, shiny, healthy hair, but for the first time in years my hair is finally transformed into one of my favourite features. Plus: their products are Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Cruetly-Free and Vegan! This means these products are better for you, your hair, the animals AND the environment! It’s a win-win.
If this sounds like the change your hair has been needing, be sure to check out Function of Beauty here!
So today I’m gonna be sharing my review of Function of Beauty’s customized shampoo and conditioner. I’m gonna do it in two parts — my immediate reaction as well as results after a week. I feel like shampoo/conditioner is the type of product where you have to wait and see results with time, so I want to be able to share both parts with you. I’ve been seeing ads for these products all over the web and have been waiting for my old products to use up for months before purchasing these, so I’m super excited to try it out!
So to start off, obviously these products are highly personalized and the results will vary depending on what you choose for yourself. For mine, I chose volumizing, strengthening, hydrating, shine, and root nourishing. For my hair type, I put fine, wavy and dry. As for scent, I went for pear — I love the ability to choose your scent so you can switch it up, but so far I have to say the pear scent is lovely!
Obviously, the real test will be how this stuff holds up to the weather in South East Asia, which at the time that I post this will be starting tomorrow (!!!) but I have faith. On top of the customizable aspect of these products, they’re also vegan, cruelty-free, sulphate-free and paraben-free, meaning that they’re both excellent for your hair, AND our planet.
Okay so after my first use, I have to say this stuff seems pretty legit. I’m always nervous about trying new stuff out on my hair, as it’s so damaged after bleaching it for so many years. However, the products certainly FEEL high quality, and there doesn’t seem to be anything weird happening with my hair yet. One thing that threw me off was how thick the shampoo was, versus how thin the conditioner was. I’ve been using the same shampoo and conditioner for about 4 or more years now, so I’ve gotten pretty used to their consistency. I was kind of worried the thin conditioner wouldn’t provide enough moisture for my dry ends, but so far it actually seems to have worked just fine. However, I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes over the next week!
One Week Later: Impressions
Okay, sorry about the delay with this post but this week has been crazy. Overall, my impressions with these products are still pretty great. My hair has increased in shine so much, as well as feeling nice, clean, and moisturized without feeling greasy at all. I do kinda find my hair has been looking (slightly, slightly) frizzier but I’m really not sure if it’s always been that way and I just noticed or not. Either way, it’s still so far so good with this stuff. If you’re looking to upgrade your hair routine, or have very specific hair needs, be sure to check this brand out!