3 Things: Trying out stylist fave hair products

Current haircolour for winter 2017
Ever since I had my hair coloured professionally for the first time last spring, I’ve been attempting to make a more dedicated effort towards keeping my tresses in shape. Yet from learning how to smooth the frizzies to battling my round brush, it’s a whole lot harder than I thought. In celebration of this weekend’s Canadian #Contessa2018 Awards held on November 12th in Toronto, which honours those who keep our colour shinning and our hair coiffed, I was challenged to step up my own hair routine using some stylists approved products! Here’s my thoughts on 3 products from the week.
For anyone who’s ever gone lighter, you’ll know that the biggest looming fear is brassiness so my attention immediately gravitated towards the Oligo Blacklight Blue Shampoo* which contains argan oil, amino acids and is also sulfate free. From the first use, I was impressed with the intensity of the purple lather as most of my previous products foamed up white despite appearing coloured in the bottle. I prefer starting off with a clarifying shampoo for the scalp then using this as a second step cleanser and colour refresher but was easy to work with and definitely a step up from your average drugstore option. For conditioning, I reached for one of my favourite brands and their newest blonde enhancing range, the Joico Blonde Life Brightening Masque* which applies as a lightweight cream and gives a great smoothing effect for fine to medium textured hair. I’ve always been pleased with the texture of Joico’s products and this one is no exception and while many people prefer a complete purple set, I do think simply using one colour depositing product in your routine is enough for regular maintenance. To perk up second day hair, I’ve also started incorporating the Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo* in my morning prep and have been loving the aerosol free pump system! With a quick squeeze of the bottle, a light puff of herbal scented powder dispenses through a nozzle hole in the cap. This smart thinking solves the dichotomy of choosing between messy sprays or messy pour out powders and is both travel friendly and eco friendly. While I wouldn’t categorize this as a texturing or heavily oil absorbing product, it does make a great post wash refresher for normal to dry hair and would be an excellent office drawer staple which is exactly where I plan to keep mine. 
Happy hair day,

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.

SEPHORA | Ultimate Hair Essentials Kit is… everything.

Sephora Ultimate Hair Essentials

…and quite literally it is. 
If there’s one thing I absolutely adore from the beauty heaven that is Sephora, it has to be their incredibly valued and awesomely curated favourites boxed sets. I’ve had a few of these over the years from seasonally themed to product themed and it’s a great way to try a hyped up item before committing to the full sized bottle. Importantly, products in here are usually travel sized versus true sample sizes so they allow me to get a real feel of how an item would fit into my beauty routine. (Doesn’t it drive you mad when you get single use samples that really tells you nothing?)
Sephora Ultimate Hair Essentials 2
Filled with 11 of their most coveted hair products, it has everything from treatment shampoos to smoothing oils and styling sprays. Seriously, how does one resist such a perfect box.
  • Wen by Chaz Dean | Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner – 2 oz
  • Alterna | CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Shampoo – 1.35 oz
  • Alterna | CAVIAR Anti-Aging® Replenishing Moisture Conditioner – 1.35 oz
  • Living Proof | Prime Style Extender – 2 oz
  • Phyto | Huile Soyeuse Lightweight Hydrating Oil – 1 oz
  • Living Proof | Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment – 2 oz
  • Drybar | Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant – 1.7 oz
  • Bumble and Bumble | Thickening Hairspray – 2 oz
  • Living Proof | Flex Shaping Hairspray – 3 oz
  • Drybar | Triple Sec 3-in-1 – 1.67 oz
  • Bumble and Bumble | Prêt-à-Powder – 0.5 oz
Sephora Ultimate Hair Essentials 3
Still a bit of a hair novice, I actually do not have any doubles nor have even sampled any of these products but I’m sure this box will go a long way in building up my hair arsenal. In particular, the LIVING PROOF Perfect Hair Extender has been high on my Sephora wishlist for months now and this set actually preps with an entire 60ml to test. Now, if this Ultimate Hair Essentials Kit was in your hot little hands, which 3 products would you pop open first?
 Stay Beautiful.

Diving into luxury hair products – Oribe, Bumble Bumble, Pureology

oribe bumble purology haircare A
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair. Yet lately my attention has frequently been diverted to the haircare side of Sephora. Now all this hair on my head usually ends up in one of two situations; a lopsided ponytail or a 10 minute messy curl (this one is much more likeable). But on the days when my hair falls just right and swishes nicely as I walk, I feel extra sassy. So in attempt to keep the sass, I’ve been indulging a little in the luxury side of haircare.

First up, I’ve been stalking the Bumble and Bumble line of products for years. My stylist Kazue uses them every time I go in for a cut and my hair would have that perfect “I woke up like this” look for days (of course until I have to reluctantly wash it down the drain). I decided to start off small and picked up the Does It All Styling Spray which is a heat protecting, light holding, brushable setting mist for all your daily needs. It sounded great for those days I’m not into layering a ton of product and just want something quick, easy, done. Next came the Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray I picked up at IMATS after being generously misted by the sales lady at the booth. Not only did it smell delicious (and I assume this would be exactly what JLO smells like on the regular as the range was created by her stylist), I loved how it gave my curled hair great definition without feeling gritty or sticky. In the bag it went. Lastly, in a new experimental hair routine, I’ve been testing the Pureology Precious Oil* as a hair conditioning treatment in lieu of conditioner on days where I am just not in the mood to smother myself in thick heavy products. It’s formulated to be super versatile as a pre-treatment, hair mask booster or a styling aid. More experimentation is still in progress but I’m sure loving that my hair smells amazing every day.

So for all you hair masters out there, what is your favourite high end hair product or what hair item makes you feel extra sassy? I want to know!


The Spring Haircut

Spring time is the season for many new beginnings and after a long winter hibernation, it was time for a hair update as well. For the past few years, I’ve usually stuck to a 2-3 times a year haircut routine; once in the spring/summer, once in winter/holidays and sometime a spur of the moment salon visit sometime in between.
This time, I decided to try my luck in the chic downtown residential area, a place called Sakura Salon (Vancouver) which is small space run by 4 lovely Japanese ladies. With only 4 chairs and 2 washing stations the atmosphere was none the less airy and inviting. Walking into my morning appointment the salon was already filled with customers; an elderly lady getting her hair set for the week, a middle aged woman getting a perm and another understated stylish woman getting a precise geometric bob.
Length: Before – After
Without my usual arsenal of photos and ideas, I sat in the chair with my bubbly short haired stylist Chieri who suggest cleaning up my (now straggly) grown out layers, loosing a few inches at the bottom and creating a more natural looking healthy and full style.
“Go for it” I said.
She sectioned my hair swiftly and with a confident snip, cut into my long hair. After a dry cut with regular and texturizing shears, I had a quick washing session, a much needed shoulder/neck massage and a bouncy yet natural blowout. No tools, no fuss. Just some Moroccan oil to prep, a round brush and some shine spray.
555 Bute Street, Vancouver
Stylist: Chieri
Woman’s Cut (wash & style): $42CAD (tax incld.)
The final result was a casual style that’s more polished than before but still preserving the thickness of my hair while while giving me some photo shoot worthy bounce. From the longest length, I’ve probably lost no more than 4 inches. Now I’m not sure if this is some magic Japanese stylist skill (as my other Japanese stylist did this too) but I adore the way that she was able to create this slightly wavy/soft curl in my hair with single small boar bristled brush (no ceramic, no curling irons). I’d say, money well spent. Highly recommend this place for a quick and efficient haircut if you’re not looking for the bells and whistles of a fancy shop front. Besides, take your savings and treat yourself to one of the (way too) many hipster coffee houses down the street.

Tutorial: Easy Messy Glam Hairstyle + Video

It’s a familiar scene.

I’ve just spent too much time doing my makeup (usually because I get fidgety with my eyeshadow) but my hair is still clipped up in a bun and absolutely not on par with my glam lashes and glowing cheeks. I glance over at my phone and there’s just about 10 minutes before I have to leave.

Usually this would make me out in a cold sweat in panic and likely just throw my hair up in a ponytail and hope no one notices. But these days, I have my going out hair routine down to 10 minutes and I’m telling you I can probably do this in my sleep. If you’ve been wondering about the hairstyle I wear most often in my videos and photographs in the past year, here is how it’s done!


  • L’OREAL | Elnett Satin Hairspray
  • JONATHAN | Dirt Texturizing Paste | reviewed
  • JONATHAN | Silky Dirt Shine & Define Cream
My aversion to having styling products in my hair should be no secret to you by now. While I keep trying to work them into my routine (and buying loads of them through out the years), most of them don’t pass the test to truly stay in my everyday routine. These three items however, have been favourites for quite some time!

Elnett Satin Hairspray is probably my most used setting product in the last few years because the fine mist is just incomparable for a drugstore item and it brushes out quick and easy for those casual hair days. It never clumps my hair together and you can use it for building texture or keeping your curls in place without weighing them down. But to really give my hair that slightly messy effect I love, the JONATHAN Dirt products are just as good as they say. Not only do they smell like a delicious vanilla dessert but they are both non-sticky while still providing a bit of worn in effect instead of princess curls.
Thanks to discovering this routine (and mostly my beloved InStyler), I never have an excuse for a bad hair day on my way out to an event or out for brunch with my friends. For me this is truly quick multi-purpose hair that I wear for almost anything. It looks a little done up but never too perfect and all under 10 minutes. Even if you don’t have long hair, I’ve worn this style when my hair was just below shoulder length and it still looks great!

Do you have a quick fix hair routine? I’d love hear your hair secrets!


Review: Clairol Nice&Easy Haircolour & The time I flew to TO for my hair

What did you all get up to on a Sunday morning?

I spent mine doing some DIY beauty maintenance on my hair, the kind that involves some serious gloves and leaving the window open on a wintery day. Now I do love having coloured hair and have been around much of the (natural) hair rainbow but I’m just not keen on the lengthy colouring process…even after 10 years doing my own hair out of a box I’m still looking for the easiest way to get the job done.

This fall I’ve been sporting a new hair colour which has gotten so much love from everyone that even I was surprised! There was someone asking about my hair almost every other week!

Above is a recent photo of my hair. The top has grown a little “rooty” with my natural colour showing through but the length of my hair is coloured a medium brown shade with some soft highlights and low lights. No extra work here, this is actually a single process hair colour. Let’s talk about it.

Brand: Clairol
Product: Nice & Easy Hair Colour
My Colour: 6A Natural Light Ash Brown*
Entire Colour Range: 40 shades (via Clairols website)
Type: Permanent Haircolour
Price: $9-10CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I repurchase: Probably not (but only because I’m in love with another Clairol product)
Website: www.clairol.com

Clairol’s Nice&Easy hair colour is made for easy, simple and natural results. Though I previously had the professionals do my hair with this exact product (scroll down for that adventure), I wanted to wait until it was time for me to touch up my hair in order to see its true potential.

The box came with the usual products; hair pigment in the form of a liquid, a developer liquid, gloves, instructions and as a new addition to the Nice&Easy range, the conditioning CC cream for post colour and upkeep. The formula mixed into a gel consistency that started out almost semi-translucent that turned into a darker shade of brown in about 10minutes. Don’t worry, the changing shade of the dye doesn’t do affect the results, your mixture is good to go as soon as it’s shaken up properly.

Root Touch Up Process

Time Chart: 15-20min on roots, 5 minutes worked through shaft of hair.

I started applying my colour first around the perimeter of my hair line as well as to my parting as these are the areas were colour needs to be as prestine as possible. Then, splitting my hair into length wise sections, I applied colour to the rest of my roots leaving the shaft and ends bare. Since I was merely doing a little root touch up, one box of dye was plenty and I even had a little to work through the ends for a 5 minute refresh. However if are completely changing your hair colour, you will need 2 boxes for hair my length.

Note: Chemical hair colour can cause allergic reactions in some people so please take caution and remember to perform the allergy test in order to minimize any surprise allergic reactions.
The results came out very shiny and with the CC cream applied as conditioner, my hair was also silky. However I did notice that with both times using this product, my hair would tangle quite easily so it would be imperative to use some serum or detangling product in order to keep it manageable for the next few weeks. If I were to be very critical (as I suppose I should be after so many years of colouring my hair), one part near my crown came out a little patchy (the colour didn’t take evenly) and there is a bit of “hallowing” around the root (where the area close to my scalp came out lighter than the rest of the colour).

The photo above isn’t my immediate “after” result as the weather has been too awful to get anything decent but my colour came out exactly the same and very consistent. The colour tone was beautiful and the overall results were good. The colour lasted very well post colouring with minimal fade.

Natural blend? Yes!
Nice & Easy? Not quite.

Personally, I still prefer the Clairol Perfect10 hair colour. The dye was a creamier and easier to control, the scent was less harsh (all permanent hair dyes will smell but this one was masked better) and it was quicker and easier to apply for even results. Plus it got the job done quicker. On caveat, the colour doesn’t last as long as the Nice&Easy but I don’t mind.

Now onwards to story time….

Recall the wild weekend I had in Toronto back in November that I posted on social media? 30 hours. Round trip. Toronto to Vancouver.

Well, the story behind it was that I had been kindly invited to attend a Clairol #shiftashade beauty event. The extra cherry on top? I was going to meet celebrity hair stylist Luis Pacheco, who’s going to help me pick out a colour… since I didn’t manage to get snap with Luis, here’s a fun one from his Instagram.

His salon Hair on the Avenue is located in a trendy vintage part of downtown Toronto and is decorated with an eclectic mix of neo-french decor which I simply adore!

Luis chatted to me about my skin one and colouring (I’m apparently cool on the inside but warm on the outside) then chose 6A in the Nice&Easy range to refresh my haircolour for fall. One of the stylists sectioned me up, applied the colour to my roots and then worked some more through the rest of my hair just as I did back at home.
A quick mirror snap before a stylist came to help blow out my hair and put a wave in with a curling wand. He made it look too easy! Back there caught in the mirror is one of the lead makeup artists who came to help do our makeup for the before and after photos. Loved hearing all their stories, especially his of doing makeup on Anna Wintour.
Before: Left | After: Right
Now here’s the results from the salon courtesy of the event photographer and my “after” makeup/hair by the professionals. They used the exact Clairol Nice&Easy hair colour in 6A at the salon. Still seems to be a bit of hallowing around the crown but the colour did come out very natural and shiny. 
Do you use boxed hair colour at home? And does the professional touch make a huge difference?
Let me know in the comments section below!

Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. 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. For more details on how I blog, visit my blog policy page.