Happy Holidays: Christmas Break & A NOTD

I know it's a little late, but Merry Belated Christmas to all those who celebrate, and Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday and enjoying the super cold weather (or warm, if you're lucky)!

I am such a procrastinator that I actually did my Christmas nails on the day of, while we had family over! I wanted to do something simple using little to no brain power...so I literally just googled 'christmas nails' and chose the cutest design I could find! It was featured on a ton of different websites, but it is still such a simple and perfect design for Christmas.

merry christmas nails 2013 revlon polishes
merry christmas nails 2013 revlon polishes

All of the polishes I used were from different Revlon collections. I used one coat of Revlon Parfumerie China Flower on the entire nail. Then went over the tips with a white polish (Night & Degas). And used a dotting tool (since I didn't have a thin brush) to line Revlon Rich, which is a silver, in between the red and white. 

Also, I wanted to share our lovely tree! Don't hate on the minimal decorations! My grandma originally didn't want to put up a tree, and seemed a little angry when I mentioned it. A few days later I came home to them setting up the tree and decorating without me!! All in all, I am happy that we did get one up this year, although she does get a little possessive when it comes to who gets to decorate the tree, so I let her do most of the work.

I spent Christmas with my family at home, and my dad, stepmom, her father, and my stepbrother came over to celebrate with us. It was nice since I haven't seen them in quite a while and I was happy that everything went well!

toronto ice storm 2013 freezing rain trees

And the infamous Toronto Ice Storm 2013, also known as #darkTO since it put over 250,000 of us out of power last Sunday! My grandparents were out only for about 13 hours but many people and friends were unlucky and had a power outage for up to 8 days. My bf got his power back on 5 days later on Boxing Day! I'm following @TorontoHydro on Twitter and 9 days later they are down to fixing the remaining 400 customers, yay! Above is a shot through a window in my house, it was just too cold to take my camera outside! Did any of you in Toronto lose power, and how did you cope!? I couldn't believe how cold it could get without power! My bf's house was almost at 0℃ on Wednesday!

For Christmas I did end up getting the CHI Elite Gold Rush Flat Iron that I wished for in My Christmas Wish List: Fashion Edition from my bf! :) I mainly received money, so I can buy my own presents, because everyone knows how extremely picky I am...What did you all get for Christmas?

Disclaimer: I was sent products in this post for consideration, but it was completely coincidence that I ended up using all Revlon polishes for this NOTD!

Vichy Idealia Life Serum Review

vichy idealia life serum review
vichy idealia life serum review

Vichy Idealia Life Serum is the first skin idealizer serum that works under your moisturizer in the morning-as a radiance primer and at night, to help combat behavioural aging and improve skin quality. It claims "even and illuminated complexion, refined-looking pores, and rested facial features". The primer is safe for sensitive skin, and suitable for all ethnicities and skin types. It is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and paraben-free.

Upon receiving this product I was a little afraid to use it because I had no idea what LR2412+LHA was (I briefly explain below!) But the though of a product to help prevent and improve signs of behavioural aging was quite interesting! Behavioural aging can include aspects that we all suffer from, whether it is on a daily basis or not, such as... lack of sleep, pollution, stress, unbalanced diet, lack of sport, hormonal imbalances, UV rays, and dry weather. Studies through L'Oreal Canada Research have shown that at least 7/10 women carry out at least one of these daily actions that negatively affects their skin quality. 1/2 Canadian women are affected by both stress and lack of sleep.

LR2412 is actually a jasmonic acid derivative and claims to be one of the most promising anti-aging molecules. It works by accelerating epidermal repair and improves the skin's ability to protect itself. LHA is a derivative of salicylic acid that stimulates cellular renewal in tired skin, and reduces pigmentation flaws. It improves the quality of the complexion by increasing reflection of light on the surface of the skin. Both ingredients together work to improve skin complexion, colour, and elasticity of the skin.

vichy idealia life serum review

First Impressions: I've never given Vichy a second glance before trying this out, but after successfully trying out one of their Aqualia Thermale creams with no break outs, I began using this every morning, before moisturizer and foundation. I fortunately did not break out, and really enjoyed the light floral, jasmine scent. I noticed little golden and pink reflecting sparkles in the serum which is definitely the illuminating factor of the serum. It is non-greasy, feels very light on the skin, and completely dries in a couple of minutes.

Did I like it? I don't even know how to describe this product without giving you the impression that I'm trying to sell it! First of all, after using this for a few weeks, I felt more confident with my skin. I actually have begun going out without makeup on, where I typically wouldn't at all. I noticed when applying this before my makeup that I didn't need a moisturizer, but now that it's much colder and the air is so dry, I do apply a bit more moisturizer along with this serum. It definitely adds radiance to my skin right when applied, and I do notice an improvement in my skin-tone and pores. I seem to be experiencing less redness overall. It works great for my sensitive skin and I did not face any negative reactions!

The best part about this serum is that my friends actually noticed a difference in my skin tone! I have never used a skincare product before that has actually been noticeable to others. I actually had a few friends say that my face looked 'flawless' and 'brighter' after using the serum for a couple weeks!

I've actually switched to an all Vichy routine because I was hoping for even more hydration. I would apply the Idealia Life Serum in the morning, then their moisturizer, and cleanse with Vichy's milk cleanser at night. My skin has been feeling much better than it has in a very long time.

So yes, I love the serum and I would definitely recommend it to all of you if your looking to combat behavioural aging and would like a primer that will illuminate your skin, and give you a brighter complexion. I would recommend maybe asking for a few samples first, so you can try it out before spending the money on it! It is an expensive serum, at $59 for 30 ml, but so far it seems I haven't used too much more than 1/4 and I've been using it for almost 2 months. I will for sure repurchase it (during Shoppers point specials, of course) when I run out. You can find Vichy products at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, or internationally at Boots, Walgreens, CVS, or online at Escentual in Europe and the UK.

Edit: If you are looking for something a little lighter that absorbs faster and is more affordable, I'd suggest NSPA's Illuminating Beauty Serum/Radiant Flash Serum!

vichy idealia life serum review

Disclaimer: I received this product for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.

My Christmas Wish List: Fashion Edition

christmas wish list fashion edition 2013

I have a pair of UGGs, but I want something easier to walk in, and less silly looking for school. Sorel is a slightly more affordable alternative that claims waterproof and warmth!

The blanket scarves by Wilfred are such popular scarves, but I can't help but stare every time I see someone wearing it! I love how versatile it is and I have resisted from buying one for so long. 

My flat iron has been consistently damaging my hair for years, and I think it's about time for me to invest in a new one. After doing research, CHI seems like the best option in my budget, and I love the ombre look of the Elite Gold Rush!

The Mackage Adali really looks like a classic coat that offers warmth and style at the same time. I can't help but want one, after seeing how fashionable it looks on others.

I've loved the look of this Blazer for ages, and although the colour I want is not currently in stock, it is definitely something that I hope I can find on Kijiji or eBay.

Opelle's made-to-order handbags are designed to be functional and fashionable, composed of real italian leather and produced with quality in mind rather than mass production. I saw this bag on Instagram and I immediately wanted it! I love how simple yet elegant it looks, and it looks to be big enough for all my necessities!

Do you like any of my picks? What are you hoping to get for Christmas? 

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes Review

aveeno ultra calming makeup removing wipes review
aveeno ultra calming makeup removing wipes review

I wasn't too fond of makeup removing wipes in the past. I found wipes to be too rough on my skin, and felt more comfortable using a cleanser to remove my makeup. But since buying a new cleanser that doesn't completely remove my makeup, I decided to give these convenient Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes a try.

The package consists of 25 wipes for roughly $9.50 at a Canadian Walmart which equals out to $0.38 per wipe. I'm assuming this is a pretty standard price for a package of wipes. You can find them for more or less depending on your store or country. The wipes claim to be oil-free, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested, and ophthalmologist tested! "They are soft enough for dry, sensitive skin, and will remove dirt, oil, and make-up including mascara while leaving your skin feeling soothed." They also contain an ingredient called Calming Feverfew, which is apparently related to Chamomile and is said to reduce the appearance of redness and calm sensitive skin.

I have both dry and sensitive skin and I found these wipes to be perfect for me. They do not dry out my skin and does effectively remove my foundation, even eyeshadow at the end of the day. They do not remove my waterproof mascara but I typically use an oil-based eye makeup remover for my eyes. The wipes aren't the softest ever, I originally stated they were soft but I have to say, they are a bit rough if you have gentle skin. When I first used these, my face felt a little warm, but with the continuous use I don't notice this anymore, so I'm unsure of what this was. Either way, they did not break me out or cause any reaction. I did notice a slight reduction in redness in my complexion overall, but I changed my whole routine so I'm unsure of what product is helping with this! They are scented which is a downside for me, but the scent is a bit..flowery and I don't mind it at all. HOWEVER, please take note that the ingredient, feverfew, is related to ragweed and could cause similar allergic reactions if you have an allergy to ragweed.

I love the packaging of these wipes. It comes with a recloseable plastic lid rather than a sticker and I think this is what keeps them so moisturized. They have yet to dry out on me, but then again I use them up fairly quickly. I will probably continue to buy these wipes, but I would like to try other brands as well. This is actually my second package of them!

Have you tried Aveeno wipes, or anything Aveeno? What is your favourite Aveeno product?

Make Up For Ever Artisan Brush Collection: 150 & 240 Review

make up for ever artisan brush collection 150 240 review

Make Up For Ever has debuted their revolutionary brush collection, the 'Artisan Brush Collection', featuring 76 brushes for everything from basic every day use to professional artistic brushes. This collection is huge, and is probably the largest brush collection just outdoing MAC, which has roughly 40-50 brushes. Creator & Artistic Director Dany Sanz and her team had spent five years developing an designing these brushes to insure softness and functionality. The construction of each brush was done in 25 unique stages and hand-crafted by 30 people!

make up for ever artisan brush collection 150 240 review

The brushes are all synthetic, and come in three different varieties: straight, wavy, or both straight & wavy, depending on their use. Straight fibers for generous and precise application, or wavy bristles for a lighter and freer application. The fibers are applied with tweezers and not with scissors, and fixed in place very precisely. The handles are made of beech wood and have a beveled end to make it easier to quickly retrieve from your brush stash, and can also be used to help apply false lashes!

The brushes are also categorized by hundreds...
100s: Complexion
200s: Eyes
300s: Lips
400s: Artistic Specially Designed for Professionals (sounds so intimidating!)

The two brushes I have here are the 150 Precision Blush Brush with wavy fibers and 240 Medium Round Shader Brush with straight & wavy fibers.

make up for ever artisan brush collection 150 240 review
make up for ever artisan brush collection 150 240 review

The 240 Medium Round Shader Brush (straight & wavy) is short and extra-dense used to apply eyeshadow on the upper eyelid, and blend on the entire eyelid. It is recommended to be used with cream and powder eye products. I've been using this with various eyeshadow palettes and it definitely picks up product easily because of the dense bristles. I like it for blending, but I LOVE it for packing colour onto my lid. It makes applying a pigmented base colour quick and easy.

The 150 Precision Blush Brush (wavy) is a slanted brush great for precise sculpting, shading, and highlighting. It's recommended to use with loose and compact powders. Although its named a blush brush, it can be used for anything from blush, bronzer, to highlighting. The possibilities are endless, but it works the best for me as a contouring brush. It easily picks up a lot of product and you only need a light application for noticeable results. This is why I don't use it as a blush brush! I don't typically wear too much blush and with this I end up picking up too much product for my already rosy cheeks! As a contour brush, it is great and super soft.

make up for ever artisan brush collection 150 240 review

Yes, I would purchase these brushes and I may just get a few more as a Christmas present to myself! They are the softest brushes that have ever touched my face and are of superior quality than all of my other brushes. They are on quite the pricey side, with the 240 Brush being $32 CAD, and 150 at $46, but then again are very similar in price to other high-end brushes, such as Mac, and feel much more luxurious in return.

You can find these brushes at Sephora stores, online at Sephora.ca, or at any Make Up For Ever Boutique! I'd love to hear your thoughts on these brushes if you have tried any, or any recommendations of which one to get next!

Disclaimer: I received this product for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.

My Christmas Wish List: Beauty Edition

There aren't too many things I want for Christmas...in the beauty department at least. Here are just a few things I've been planning on purchasing! I actually went out for the release of the Naked 3 palette Wednesday night... instead of studying for my exam the next day... *eek* >.< I still wanted to include it in this post because I think it's a must have for fair skin!

1)   NARS Blushes $32
I've been using Nars Orgasm everyday for the past few weeks, and I think it's time to expand my blush collection! I have my eye on Nars Madly for now as I've seen quite a few bloggers rave about it.

2)   Anastasia Brow Wiz $27
With everyone claiming that this is the best brow pencil, it is hard not to want it!

3)   Naked 3 Palette $62
I've been lusting after this since I saw the swatches, and I had to have it! I used my $20 VIB bonus from Sephora and got it the night of the release at Sephora. So far I'm loving it and find that it's a great everyday palette for my light toned skin.

5)   Montagne Jeunesse Red Earth Clay Spa Mask $2.50
I need these masks! I can't possibly find them in stores anywhere!

6)   Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich: 48 Hour Hydration for Sensitive Skin
I love the sample of this that I've been using, this hydrates my skin overnight and doesn't cause breakouts.

8)   Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque $26

What's on your list for Christmas or the holidays? For yourself, or for others?
Click here to check out My Christmas Wish List: Fashion Edition!

Sell Your Unwanted Clothes & Blogger Fashion Week on Trend Trunk

trend trunk blogger fashion week

I'm sure you all have unwanted clothes, bags, or jewellery that you would like to sell, but can't seem to sell on Kijiji without getting ridiculously low offers.. or even worse.. you have buyers that are interested that aren't even in a nearby city to you? I was recently introduced to online fashion marketplace, Trend Trunk, by the founder himself, and I am already pretty addicted to the concept of it!

Trend Trunk is essentially a way for Canadians to safely buy/sell their clothing and accessories. Their membership base includes 30,000+ buyers/sellers so far, meaning there are plenty of items to choose from! They were previously featured on Dragons' Den and did receive an offer, but ultimately decided not to go through with it. 

So you might be wondering what makes this online marketplace any different from Kijiji? Well first of all, there is no inconvenient stress of having to meet up, and the seller will ship the 'sold' item to the buyer using a shipping label provided by Trend Trunk themselves. This is paid by the buyer (flat rate of $8), and is added to the cost of the item the buyer sees on the listing, so there are no additional costs to the buyer. The buyer's payment is held by Trend Trunk and released to the seller when the shipment is received. Trend Trunk only takes a 20% commission from each sale, which is a small percentage in comparison to traditional consignment stores. Trend Trunk offers the buyer and seller both a guarantee, leaving the transaction smooth and allowing you to feel safe.

Trend Trunk lets you give back too! They are actively working with roughly 60 charities in Canada, to which they run a Closets & Causes program. This program allows the seller to donate up to 100% of their net sale proceeds to any charity in Canada!

featured on blogger fashion week on trend trunk

I'd also like to introduce #BFW (Blogger Fashion Week) to you all! From December 9th to 15th (go check it out! its on now), Trend Trunk is hosting the world's first Blogger Fashion Week! They will be featuring about 10 bloggers a day at www.BloggerFashionWeek.com where members will have the ability to visit and conveniently shop their favourite bloggers' closets! 

I will be featured on the last day, this coming Sunday December 15! You can check out my closet here, there will be more items up throughout the week. I've actually just sold a Coach Wristlet that I've been trying to sell for ages in 2 days!

If you haven't already signed up for Trend Trunk, you can use my invite code by clicking here! Otherwise, stay tuned for a potential giveaway for new subscribers!

[Closed] Giveaway: 12 Days of Beauty

12 days of beauty united giveaway 2013 christmas

If you've been following me on my twitterinstagram, or facebook page you may be familiar with some of these products! I have been participating in the #12DaysOfBeauty challenge featuring P&G products in holiday inspired photos, and I'm delighted to be able to offer my Canadian readers (sorry to everyone else >.<) a chance to win a gift package of the same P&G products!

The 12 Days of Beauty Gift Pack consists of:
  • COVERGIRL Flamed Out Shadow Pencil
  • COVERGIRL Glosstinis Nail Gloss
  • COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Mascara
  • Pantene Expert Collection Keratin Repair 60 Second Therapy Ampoule
  • Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Moisture Whip
  • Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Tousling Hairspray
  • Olay Total Effects Line & Dark Circle Minimizing Brush 
  • Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion
  • Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Boost & Lift Hairspray
  • Clairol Free Product Coupon
  • Satin Care Shave Gel with a Touch of Olay 
  • Venus & Olay Sugarberry Razor Cartridge
  • Crest 3D White Holiday Smile Survival Kit

Terms & Conditions:
  • Open to Canadian residents only (for those who aren't eligible for this giveaway, I will be hosting a worldwide giveaway soon!)
  • Giveway ends December 13th at 11:59 PM (Friday night) and winner will be contacted immediately :) Please respond no later than 36 hours or another winner will be chosen. 
  • Winner must provide full name, mailing address, and daytime phone number.

CoverGirl: Catching Fire Capitol Collection Review

covergirl catching fire capitol collection review

CoverGirl launched their new Capitol Collection in collaboration with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a few months ago. The Capitol Collection consists of Lipslicks Smoochies Sizzle Glosses (in 12 shades/flavours), Flamed Up Mega Curl Mascara (in Very Black Blaze), and LE Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstinis (in 9 shades). You may have already spotted these limited edition products in store, but I'd like to share my thoughts on one of each type of product from the collection.

Ooh and CoverGirl also has a fun interactive Capitol Beauty Studio on their website, where you can view 12 unique makeup looks from 12 different districts and try to recreate your favourite one with their video tutorials, before/afters, and time lapses! I recreated a look from District 12 here although my favourite look by CoverGirl would have to be District 10.

covergirl catching fire capitol collection hunger games flamed up mascara review
covergirl catching fire capitol collection flamed up mascara review

Flamed Up Mega Curl Mascara: Very Black Blaze "Max curl and volume instantly. Curl igniter brush adds volume and curl to every lash. Smudge and flake resistant."

I didn't think this mascara was going to work very well before trying it out because it isn't waterproof, and I need waterproof for my straight lashes. I actually found it to be a lot nicer and hold my curl at least a bit, whereas usually my lashes will just fall straight with most non-waterproof formulas. It looks very natural on. I'd like to try this in a waterproof formula though, so that I can actually have a curl! It coats my bottom lashes very well but the thick brush is a bit of a downfall for sparse, thin, or short lashes. 

covergirl catching fire capitol collection hunger games smoochies sizzle gloss review
covergirl catching fire capitol collection smoochies sizzle gloss review

Lipslicks Smoochies Sizzle Gloss: Violet Flare "Sheer colour, moisture, and shimmer shine. 100% smoochable lips."

This is a super sparkle and glittery lip gloss! This colour in particular is light purple but goes on the lips very sheer. Smoochies Sizzle Gloss would be great for younger teens, or those who favour super sparkly lip glosses! It isn't really my thing, and I felt like the sparkles itched because I could feel them on my lips. That is really how sparkly the gloss is.. The good news is, it isn't drying and it didn't dry out my lips, and smells delicious.. like grape candy. I believe the other glosses are much more pigmented, so it's worth a shot to check out the swatches on those!

covergirl catching fire capitol collection hunger games glosstinis seared bronze review
covergirl catching fire capitol collection hunger games glosstinis seared bronze review
A few days after application. No base/top coat.

Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstinis: Seared Bronze "Limited Edition Colours. Perfectly portable size. Glossy colour lasting up to one week."

I love the uniqueness of this polish. It looks like a sparkly rose gold to me, with its pink, orange, green, and gold glitter. My nails look shiny at every angle and alter from a bronze gold, to a pinky gold depending on the angle. The whole collection is super fun because they all contain very glittery nail polish just like this one. What could be improved is the opacity.. I applied 3 coats and still wasn't super satisfied with the opaqueness. Although the lasting time is excellent. I have a few chips around the tips of my nails (I didn't apply a top/base coat btw), but it seems as if it could last longer than a week (if my nails didn't already grow so much!). 

What do you think of the Capitol Collection? Anything in mind that you'd like to try/have tried? 
You can see the rest of the Capitol Collection on CoverGirl's website here.

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.

EOS Hand Lotion Review

eos hand lotion review

EOS (Evolution of Smooth), is so well known for their Smooth Sphere Lip Balms, that the rest of their line can tend to get overlooked! If you haven't already seen them in stores, EOS also offers Hand Lotions, Body Lotions, and Shave Cream. 

EOS hand lotion truly compliments their lip balms because they are both rounded, colourful, and compact items! It comes in 3 different colours and scents: Cucumber (Green), Berry Blossom (Pink), and Fresh Flowers (Blue). The lotion is infused with moisturizing shea butter and oat extract, aloe, natural antioxidants, essential nutrients, and Vitamin C & E. The formula is 96% natural, and contains no animal by-products. For more ingredient information, have a look at their website here.

Ingredients: Water/eau, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Glycine Soja (soybean) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Cocoglycerides, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Triethanolamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (shea Butter), Cocoa (theobroma Cacao) Seed Butter, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Avena Sativa (oat) Kernel Extract, Zea Mays (corn) Starch, Fragrance/parfum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium Edta, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Titanium Dioxide (ci 77891), Bht, Phenoxyethanol.

eos hand lotion review

The number one factor that determines whether or not I like a hand lotion is that it cannot feel greasy. Thankfully, the EOS hand lotions do not feel greasy at all, and are very lightweight! They absorb into the skin super quickly and I can't even feel it afterwards. I love that it is formulated with mainly natural ingredients and in return I feel safer using it on my skin.

I also really enjoy holding the hand lotion in my hand :p It reminds me of Sailor Moon's Tiara right before she's about to attack.. or flattened easter eggs! Even though the packaging is super cute and fun, it can definitely be a pain to open. Due to the shape it can also get messy under the cap.

My favourite scent is surprisingly the blue one, Fresh Flowers. I usually don't like floral scents but this one is so unique and light that I can't stop smelling my hands when I have it on.

The price is actually $1.99 on their website but typically goes for $3.99 and can be found at Target or Walmart (please correct me if I'm wrong!) It is $4.99 on Well.ca but if you are a newly registered customer you can use coupon code ALovelyAllure for $10 off your $40 order (+ free shipping)! For $5 it's quite pricey, but if you can get it for less, I think it's something great to have while on the go, especially during the harsh winter months.

Disclaimer: I received this product for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates.