3 Things | Best of PIXI Beauty

FLASH REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKSTaking a beauty brand international is no easy feat, never mind making it all the way across the Atlantic Ocean but PIXI – famous for a variety of cult favourites – seems to have solidified it’s spot in our everyday vocabulary. Originally from the UK, these little green boxes are delightfully cheerful but not to be underestimated – packs a few good hidden gems too.

EYELINER PENCIL | These are undoubtedly the first things I tried and immediately fell in love with from PIXI. True to it’s name, these Endless Silky Eye Pencils* come in a rainbow of shades (21 the last time I counted) and are super smooth to use. The creamy texture feels almost like an oil pastel but there’s no greasiness here, it dries rub-proof to the touch in just a few seconds. In one word, this is just easy to use and doesn’t make a fuss. It’s labeled as waterproof and although I’ve never actually taken it out for a dip, I can say these are just as long lasting on me as pricier brands. If you have oily eyelids, these will still require a mid day touch-up but hey, I’ve also never met an eye pencil that didn’t. Continue reading

3 Things | Cold weather scents

FLASH REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKSWinter Fragrances

Welcome to the very wet Pacific West coast version of autumn. Whether you’re the type to go thunderstorm watching or prefer to hygge on your couch, one thing we can all get excited about is rotating our fragrances for the season. I generally sort my collection into summer, winter and neutrals then pick and choose which ones fancy my mood. Currently on rotation are these three beauties.

MYRRH & TONKA : JO MALONE | Nobel, sensuous, captivating – this is how Jo Malone describes this rich dark bottle that is part of their cologne intense collection. This is my first experience with the brand but I didn’t want to go for the usual options, instead I was drawn to the heavier and lavish scents of this range. A tinge of spice wrapped up in the warm of tonka bean, this is one to use sparingly during the day and is perfectly paired with your cold weather woolens. The top note of lavender adds a hint of floral but this certainly reads as an oriental – sophisticated, mysterious and dreamy.

SUEDED OUD: CLEAN RESERVE | Another oriental option but this time with a bright and floral note is this charming bottle from CLEAN. This is a great day time scent that doesn’t weigh you down yet still has that tinge of autumnal freshness; like walking down a city street after the rain with the damp leaves under your feet. Honeysuckle and birch wood great you in the top notes followed by the familiar scent of jasmine and magnolia all cradled by the softness of suede – light, beautiful and classic.

L’ABSOLU: NARCISO RODRIGUEZ | The headier version of my fragrance of the year, this L’Absolu is a seductive take on white florals – tuberose, jasmine wrapped up in musk with a base of sandalwood and patchouli. Less pretty and more sexy, this fragrance really needed the cold weather to tone it down but is powerful when used sparingly. Its the liquid version of a power suit – unabashed, self assured, feminine.

Now it’s your turn, let me know what you’re wearing this fall and winter season.

Chat soon,

3 Things | Expensive Lipsticks

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There is something utterly divine about a lush, elegant and expensive lipstick. As little girls, it’s often the first piece of real makeup that we’re allowed to try on and to this day, lipstick is still my kryptonite and my collection is larger than I have the opportunity to wear. Particularly precious to my stash however are my high end options, not because there aren’t equally fabulous choices in the drugstore but because it just feels luxurious even when you’re wearing sweatpants.

Expensive Lipsticks

T-B | MJ Moody Margot | DIOR Hasard | YSL Nude Lavalliere

Starting off with one that I think is a true classic, DIOR’s Rouge Dior lipstick is the more traditional out of the three but one that I feel has a real timeless quality about it. The rosey pink shade #263 Hasard has a natural satin finish with medium to full coverage topped off with a rose scent. It’s smooth to apply but doesn’t have as much slip as many of the more modern options. This one sits best over my lip lines. 
Now if you want your lipstick to double up as jewelry then I think YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shine range is the clear winner as far as aesthetics go – the intricate detailing is unmistakable and very luxurious. This is a sheerer formula with a balm like consistency, a fruity scent and gives off a fresh, casual colour on the lips. Lightweight and easy to wear, this is a great one for those who want to put on something but doesn’t usually like the feel of lipstick. 
Newer to the luxe beauty game but definitely quickly establishing it’s own place is Marc Jacob’s Sheer Lip Gel* which has a light vanilla scent, is buildable from sheer to almost full coverage which makes it a versatile carry in your purse. It has a effortless glide when swatched but sadly doesn’t sit so well over my textured lips and can look slightly patchy. The colour selection however is lovely from the nude collection so it’s still worth a browse if you don’t share my lip woes. Next up, my first Chanel!
Chat soon,

3 THINGS | Happify your beauty routine

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Fun should always be an element in your everyday beauty routine and while my daily style is quite tame, there’s the few odd products that always brings a smile whenever they catch my eye. Here’s three that’s currently taking up a lot of my attention.
Nails are an easy way to add fun and it’s something I’ve been embracing more myself. As I’m typing this right now, my digits are painted in rainbow dots using the new Sally Hansen x Crayola* nail polish collection which lets you play with some of your favourite childhood colours in grown up way. It’s my first time using the Insta-Dri formula and I am hooked on the pure colour payoff even for tricky shades like the white. If you want to see it in action, check out this week’s #manimonday on my Instagram. In the shower department, I’ve been washing up with this smile inducing Shower Shaker* body wash by Zoella Beauty. Yes, I do feel much too old to be using this but there’s something about the sorbet coloured packaging and sweet peachy scent that makes me pick it up for a little whiff every time I’m in the bathroom – don’t lie, you secretly do this too. There’s an entire line of Zoella beauty bath products coming to Canada (via London Drugs) so some more snooping is in order when I pop by a store. And of course, since we’re all guilty of buying into cute packaging in the makeup aisle, you need to check out the new Essence Eye & Face Palette* which contains 4 shadows, 1 highlight and 1 blush all in a easy to use slim case. I own a few Essence colour products and most of them have been a hit for casual wear when you want an easy look that’s soft, fool proof and 5 minute friendly. This palette has a golden undertone that’s extra fitting for summer but according to the website, there’s also a taupey toned version floating around somewhere…hmmmmm.

3 Things | Drugstore vs. Luxury Bodywash

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Soap. Doesn’t sound all that interesting when you’re washing up the dishes but all of a sudden turns quite snazzy in the beauty aisle. If you’re thinking of trading up your regular shower bar, here’s three options sitting in my shower.

In the more affordable category, OLAY body wash is probably something you’ve seen in every single drugstore around town and for good reason. Always out with new seasonal scents and lathers easily with or without a pouf, I usually go for the sensitive skin version but lately it’s been the Outlast Birch Water & Lavender*. In the summer heat of the summer, when your only salvation is constant cool showers, Olay has been keeping me fresh but not dry. Bonus point, it comes in a few neutral scents so it makes a great unisex bathroom staple.

New to the market but still sharing the drugstore shelf is France’s best selling body wash by the name of Le Petite Marseillais* which prides itself in it’s beautifully concocted shower scents. And true to its name, I’ve never quite smelled something like these before under the $10 mark! With five scents to choose from including Cotton Milk & Poppy, Orange Blossom and the Vanilla Milk currently in rotation, I think they are such a fun step up to enliven your shower experience. The fragrances are based from natural ingredients, doesn’t overwhelm your nose and leaves just a faint trace so you can still layer on your daily perfume. Moisturization factor is on par with Olay but just a little bit more fun.

Now I also think that once in your life time, one should absolutely experience a completely indulgent bath product. Lately mine has been the AERIN Mediterranean Honeysuckle* body wash and if you know anything AERIN’s perfumes, these do not disappoint on that level and the scent lingers for quite a while close to the skin. In a gel consistency, I find this doesn’t lather quite as foamy versus the creamier options and is better suited for oilier skin types or the occasional weekend use. For the luxury price point, I’d really wish they’d upgrade the formula because it would make such a great add on if AERIN is already your scent of choice.

Chat soon,

3 Things | Glycolic for congested skin

By now I’d like to think I have a somewhat decent handle on my temperamental skin; steer clear of mineral oil, pump up the hylauronic and stay faithful to my Clarisonic. Yet between daily pollutants and wearing makeup a few more times a week, my skin can still get the bumps…a sprinkling of clogged pores that threaten to turn into nastier things if left to their own devices. 
Hence the latest addition to my regular routine has been glycolic acid treatments; a type of fast acting exfoliating ingredient often used for those with acne scarring, congested skin and anti-aging. Neostrata is a Canadian brand known for their iconic glycolic range which comes in various strengths and textures. Their Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Lotion 10%* has a light creamy consistency that absorbs quickly, looks matte on the skin, doubles up as a moisturizer and is the one I’ve been using the longest. It takes a good week or two to see visible results and while I wouldn’t call it drying, I certainly didn’t feel drying, it wasn’t the right texture for my winter needs.

My next try was the BLISS Incredi-Peel* resurfacing pads which I kept right by the bathroom sink so I can do a speedy wipe down treatment when I’m out of the shower. I love how quick they are to use and the water-like consistency means it feels like nothing once it dries and I appreciate the individual seals meaning not only does it stay fresh but it’s great for traveling. The results are pretty quick too so they’re great as a pick me up but I wouldn’t recommend using them on a daily basis as directed since I find it quite strong.

My latest experiment is Glycolic Laser 10* by Canadian skincare brand Jouviance, another name who’s built their reputation on anti-aging products. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth yet weightless this hydroxy acid blend felt on my skin and within two days the bumps were smoothed over and my pores looked clear as well. For the record, I wouldn’t recommend using any other scrubs or exfoliants at the same time that you are using glycolic unless you’ve carefully eased your skin into the routine and of course, don’t use everything all at once.

These days, with the deep pool of retinol, glycolic and enzyme options in skincare there’s no reason not to be exfoliating even if you have sensitive skin. So… how have you been shedding?
Chat soon,

3 Things | Combat winter frizz

Sweater hair. It’s the nicer way to describe the annoying frizz that accompanies the season. My long hair is, more frequently than not, flat on top from hats and a complete mess on the bottom thanks to the dry air and the daily routine of pulling on my fuzzy knitwear. Currently on rotation are these three products I’ve been using in an attempt to win the frizz fight.
Post shampoo, I’ve been using a dollop of the Pantene 3 Minute Miracle* as a step up treatment from my usual conditioner. It’s deceiving light in texture and spreads easily but it also does a great job at smoothing the ends of my hair. Compared to other Pantene conditioners, it seems to rinse cleaner but still leave my damp hair sleek and silky. And while I don’t think my hair is super damaged per say, I like how this has been working as my regular winter conditioner. Unlike richer masks which can weigh down finer hair if used too frequently, this one still leaves me with movement and bounce so its a good match for those with oilier hair who need just a little something extra.

For those with coarser or harder to manage hair, the Kerastase Chronologiste Oil* might be your better winter option. Beyond the fact that it smells so sophisticated, this oil has more of a serum like consistency and is both a treatment, protectant and styling product. At the salon, my stylist mixed this with a smoothing cream then round brushed my hair to bouncy perfection but it’s a little rich for me on the regular so I do use it more selectively. However, used on my mother’s permed hair, this lets her air dry with soft definition and less frizz so she’s a fan.

Of course I can’t end without mentioning this cult classic, the Frizz Ease Secret Weapon*. I’ve put off trying this for years because I always thought it would be a heavy cream but if you find the golden ratio (use less, add more) then it just might grow into your daily standby. As a finishing product, I like this to smooth down my fresh curls after fluffing my hair upside down for root volume or as a perfecting product when pulling my hair into a ponytail. With a light texture but no hold, it’s easy to get too product happy but I find a dime sized amount is just right for taming sweater hair and second day frizz.

Chat soon,
I am a Beauty United influencer. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.


3 Things: Dermalogica skin favourites

Taking up prime real estate on my bathroom counter lately has been a few things from Dermalogica. Though I’ve tried a good handful from this cult skincare brand, here’s  my three universally friendly products to consider trying or wishlisting – because I know you’ve been creeping up on holiday gifts.

Now cleansers are something that seem to divide people; those are particular swear by a holy grail and others wouldn’t mind using a bar of soap. The Special Cleansing Gel* is one of my favourite high end gentle and soothing cleansers which offers the satisfaction of a bubbly foam, yet is soap-free and always manages to sooth my skin. Unlike other similar products for reactive skin which either leave you with a film or just feel like they aren’t doing much, this cleanser is the perfect balance between gentle and thorough with absolutely no drying feeling. It doesn’t work quite as nicely with my Clarisonic but is a great choice for using with your hands or a washcloth.

Next up is the Multi-Active Toner* which admittedly I completely overlooked at first but turned out to be a real gem. With a mix of lavender, balm mint and cucumber extracts this feels like a breath of fresh air for the skin without being an astringent or having gimmicky tricksters like menthol. Since I keep most of my skincare in my room (away from the humidity of the bathroom), I do a mist of this to keep my skin moist while I shuffle off to put on my creams in the other room. Moisturizers go on extra smooth post misting and I also find it helps to take down redness after exfoliation or other treatments.

And speaking of exfoliating for radiant skin, I know the change of season can make skin feel super sluggish and just overall dull. My favourite high end exfoliator to date is still the Multi-Vitamin Thermafoliant* (see full review); with it’s oil balm base and great mix of both chemical and physical skin renewing ingredients, I’m pretty excited to say that it’s so that I’m nearing the end of my tube. Realistically I’m not completely convinced by the warming sensation factor but everything else about this is perfect. It’s a fine scrub that offers plenty of friction while the balm suspension means it says on your face for as long as you want instead of dripping down the drain.

As a little FYI, Dermalogica is known for using a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients in their formulations so I do recommend reading up on the additives in case you are allergic.
HAVE A HAPPY SKIN DAY,

3 Things: Spring Beauty Refresh | PG Canada

Fast, easy and effective should be the motto of every busy woman’s daily beauty routine. Starting my mornings at 5:30am means I have little time to fuss about and I need products which can handle the weekday rush. Luckily P&G Canada answered the call with a box of spring goodies at my door and these three have been the most loved so far.

Spring Beauty Picks
Olay’s Daily Facials* dry cleansing cloths has been a lovely rediscovered favourite. For the speediest way to wash up at the end of the day, I saturate one of these cleanser infused dry towelettes under warm water and in a few seconds I’ve got a great lather and washcloth all in one. There’s plenty of product on each sheet for a thorough clean and it rinses off without being fussy. Plus, having to pack myself for travel a couple of weeks ago I was so glad to have these to throw into my tote without worrying about spillage.

Now my second favourite is a real trip down memory lane and just the mere scent of the Olay Complete Moisturizer* reminds me of being a pre-teen and my mother letting me sneak some of her lotion from the nightstand. In fact to this day, my grandma still insists on using her Olay creme (in it’s various incarnations). The light weight lotion consistency feels comfortable on the skin yet provides me enough juice to keep my skin hydrated in the spring weather. While this does have SPF15, I don’t wear this on an everyday basis as I can be reactive to avobenzone (its chemical sunscreen ingredient) but I do sneak this on a few time a week. For those who don’t have such issues and want something affordable and dependable, this long loved formula remains a great pick.

Asian makeup

To get a little coverage on my face during lazy weekends, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the new Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream*. It’s made for oily skin but I found the light non-powdery finish really easy to work with despite my aversion to the word matte. With medium coverage that doesn’t sink into fine lines or pores, I’ve been using this with a beauty blender on slightly moist skin and the result is so fresh and pretty! In fact, after initially trying my pr sample, I was so smitten with it that I went out a few days later to hunt down a lighter shade as the original was just a smidgen off. And while I haven’t had time to photograph a full review post, expect to see this make a reappearance very soon either here or in a Youtube video.

What have you added to your spring beauty routine lately?
Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger and as part of my affiliation with this group I periodically receive products and special access to P&G events. However I am not obligated to participate nor am I monetarily paid to do so. The opinions on this blog are my always my own. For more details on how I blog, visit my blog policy page.

3 Things: Sephora VIB Spring Haul

Sephora VIB Sale Makeup
One of the best spring things to look forward to is definitely the bi-annual Sephora sale. Having spent an alarming amount of dollars in the past year at beauty heaven, I’ve recently been upgraded to VIB status (yes, a silver card!) which means a cushy 15% discount during sale week. Though I have a long rolling list of things on my wishlist, I decided to go with the frivolous wants and ended up with these 3 little beauties.
You’ll recognize the Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation straight away as it received a glowing review from me just a few months ago. Indeed the medium coverage, smooth texture and skin enhancing effect is a rare gem in my powder collection and whilst the stores seems to have stopped stocking this, I was eager to get a lighter shade online. Pick it up if you see it because I have a feeling this is going to be discontinued in favour of their new (and more expensive) pressed powder foundation.
Now for the record, I’ve never actually owned a single Hourglass product (save for a little sample of their primer) and despite the hype all around the blogosphere I was just never completely convinced whenever I stopped by to swatch their compacts. But when the Ambient Strobing Powder series came out it was love at first swipe. Even though I’m not a meticulous contour and highlight fan, there is a truly special ethereal quality about the shimmer in this powder that reminds me of galactic stardust. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before so of course the shade Brilliant went into my basket.
In the hair department, the Alterna Caviar CC Cream has been on my Sephora wishlist forever and I decided it was either now or never to finally try it out. The concept of a do-it-all product for hair sounds perfect for unskilled (and lazy) beauty lovers like me who want a polished look but who don’t have the finesse to put a lot of effort into hair styling. It’s formulated to provide manageability, shine, UV protection plus strengthen and moisturize hair; all while the extra hold formula locks the style in place. This particular version is new (and recommend for thick hair) but I also redeemed for a sample of the original and will report back on which one I liked better.
Did you splurge during the Sephora sale?
Let me know!
 Happy Weekend,
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