Skincare & Hair Favourites of 2015

skin and hair care favourites of 2015

I did a round-up of my favourite beauty products of 2015 (here), but I've tested so much skincare throughout the year that I thought it'd be best for my skincare faves to have it's own post (+ 2 hair care products). I have here, 10 skin and hair care favourites of 2015 to share with you!

I've had ombre hair for roughly a year now. Clairol Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo was the first thing I bought after my hair was dyed. Definitely a HUGE help in keeping the ends less yellow/orange, I use it every week or so. Philosophy Purity Foaming Cleansing Gel* removes my makeup so easily! Definitely a great alternative if you don't want to use makeup wipes or a cleansing oil. But cleansing oils are a huge trend now and great for hydrating the skin while removing makeup. Jurlique Nourishing Cleansing Oil* is one of my favourite, even though I haven't tried many. The ingredients are so lovely, and it just works so well on my skin and I don't have to rinse after if I don't want to. Vichy Purete Thermale Micellar Oil* is another great one. Probably the best at removing makeup out of all the cleansing oils I've tried, but it does sort of sting the eyes if not used carefully. 

I've used plenty of new moisturizers in 2015. The Bioderma Hydrabio Light Cream* is great for night time, but it was too hydrating in the summer to apply in the mornings. Since winter started, this has been moisturizing enough and not too oily for day and night. I always (always) use a primer before applying my foundation. I don't see a difference in my pores, but the Bioderma Pore Refiner* just feels great and absorbs into the skin so quickly so it's ready for foundation.

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Philosophy Amazing Grace* is such an absorbent moisturizer. I was surprised at how quickly it absorbed into my skin and for that reason I love it! It makes my skin feel soft and silky, although I'm not too big a fan of the scent for bed-time wear.

So another great facial moisturizer I had the opportunity to test was the Indeed Labs Fillume Volumising Moisturiser*. It is supposed to sort of fill out aging skin and give it a plump or healthy look. Even with my large head/face, I love this on my skin. It smells great, the jar is so innovative, and it absorbs so quickly.

I don't get the opportunity to try a lot of eye products, so since testing the Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for Eyes*, I've been using it consistently ever since. It isn't a miracle product, but I feel like it does the trick in helping to hydrate the under eye. And lastly, Phyto Extreme Exceptional Mask* has been a huge helper in getting my bleached hair back to (almost) normal again. Phyto is a great, but super pricey hair care brand.


Products marked with an asterisk were received for review or consideration.

Indeed Labs Fillume & Nanoblur Review

indeed labs fillume mosturiser and serum and nanoblur primer

Indeed Labs is a somewhat newly introduced brand, a Canadian skincare company with a focus on products with results rather than spending all of their money on advertising and marketing. The company uses active ingredients from Switzerland, Spain, France, and the United States in their products.

The Fillume Volumising Moisturiser and Serum are the newest launches and were designed with aging skin in mind. "They target the appearance of subtle facial volume loss and leave skin looking plumper, firmer, and smoother with every use." - A topical alternative to many well known cosmetic treatments like botox and fillers. Very ideal for women who are afraid to go under the needle (or knife!) or just don't want to spend the cash, but want similar results.

indeed labs fillume mosturiser and serum and nanoblur primer

At first I wasn't sure of the claims of the Fillume Moisturiser (30ml $24.99). I mean, so many products claim to help combat aging but a lot really fail at it. Although I can't confirm that the science behind the product works (I wish I had the scientific results to!) I do really like this moisturizer. It works well with my skin, and it surprisingly absorbs so quickly! I loveee using it in the morning before applying my makeup and I can even go without a primer. And it doesn't break me out or clog my pores which is a major +.

I do think I see it. The volumizing aspect of the moisturizer. I notice my face will look slightly healthier when using this in the morning. At first I was skeptical because I don't want to volumize my already large face, but didn't turn out to be a problem for me. (Like, it won't swell your face or anything if you're worried about that!) And the scent! To me the moisturizer smells of a light cinnamon scent.... (I could be delusional).

Official Benefits: 
- Increase hydration, improve overall tone and texture.
- Sym3D Ingredient: stimulate fat cells to rebuild volume.
- Synhycan Tripeptide: helps to generate hyaluronic acid, to increase volume and improve radiance.

indeed labs fillume mosturiser and serum and nanoblur primer

Oh but can we note the packaging before I forget? Like what is this!? I'm amazed by the way they've kept the jar packaging so sanitary with this "press-pump" (I don't know what to call it). Just push for as much product as you need and apply.

indeed labs fillume mosturiser and serum and nanoblur primer

The Fillume Serum (30ml $29.99) is most beneficial when used with the moisturizer together. It provides your skin with the same ultimate goal; to improve signs of aging, loss of firmness, moisture and elasticity. I haven't used this product much, actually. I find the Fillume Moisturiser to be enough and I'm typically lazy and want to keep my routine to as little steps as possible. It feels sort of like a primer, it goes on light and absorbs very quickly. If you are looking for a daytime serum best suitable for aging skin, I would recommend trying this.

Official Benefits:
- Five clinically proven peptides to help visibly plump trouble zones (smile lines, nose and mouth wrinkles).
- Linefill: Natural active produced from seeds of sesame to help enhance fat cells for a wrinkle smoothing effect.

indeed labs fillume mosturiser and serum and nanoblur primer

Nanoblur (30ml $19.99) is Indeed Labs skin perfecting cream or primer, that works to blur fine lines and hide pores. The formula is water based, and it is meant for 'on camera' wear. Indeed Labs says Nanoblur is not a primer, but it that because it is the best way to categorize it. 

It is designed to pat on top of a liquid foundation, or to be applied (as a regular primer) underneath makeup. They say to use it underneath powder makeup, but I have used it under liquid as well! Liquid foundation applies best on top of Nanoblur using a wet sponge or Beauty Blender. 

I really like this! I can definitely see a huge difference with this primer. Something about it makes it different from your typical face primer. It instantly mattifies the skin and blurs imperfections. It dries and absorbs very quickly. It can be a bit too mattifying for a regular day, but I love this for a night out. Plus the tube is so small, so I'd like to use it for special occasions or long days when I don't want to worry too much about touch ups.

Official Benefits:
- Advanced Optical Prism Technology
- Micro prisms diffuse light, creating a smoothing effect on the skin.

indeed labs fillume mosturiser and serum and nanoblur primer

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with Fillume and Nanoblur. I think the products are well researched and put together, and I would love to try more of their stuff. The price points are pretty mid-range for drugstore, and I think they are worth it. Out of the 3 products, I would likely purchase the Fillume Moisturiser for $24.99. It does seem to go quick but I am cutting down to only using it in the mornings. And I've actually already purchased 2 backups of Nanoblur from a recent sale I went to! Indeed Labs is officially available at Shoppers Drug Mart throughout Canada, and select Loblaws in Ontario.

These products were received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates. 

Clean & Clear Pore Perfecting Routine

clean and clear pore perfecting routine review

When it comes to skincare, the hardest thing is to choose the products that best suit your skin. It takes trial and error, but it is inevitable that eventually, you will find what works for you. When I was younger, I had the toughest time trying to find skincare products that work for me and went through countless products to find something suitable.

I went through what every teen goes through, a bit of acne trouble, mainly due to my sensitive skin and my tendency to eat unhealthy foods (in high school.. Twinkies were my break time snack! I was terrible!). As an adult I don't have too many problems with acne. I think as you get older, you become more perceptive of others around you and the problems can sometimes become more mental, rather than physical. But one of my biggest insecurities is actually something physical.

I am insecure with how skinny I am; how small my bust, butt, hips, and thighs are. I've always wanted to be a bit bigger but my genes just don't seem to allow it. I've tried for years to gain weight, and I have to eat what seems like over 3000 calories a day just to gain a bit of weight. To be honest, this is really hard for someone who has a small stomach to begin with. It really has been a huge struggle for me, and I've dealt with people making fun of it my whole life. It probably sounds a little weird, who doesn't want to be skinny? I guess it's a little like the whole curly vs. straight hair. I've had straight hair and have always wanted curly (and vice versa from what I've heard). I've been told that my eating habits will catch up to me in my 20's, but it hasn't caught up yet! I think by the time my habits catch up, I won't want them to! So I've come to accept the skinny gene I've inherited, and I've found ways to make it look like I'm a little bigger when choosing the right clothing! You can say that I have accepted the "Real Me". 

clean and clear pore perfecting routine review

Now onto the products! I've recently had the opportunity to test out a Clean & Clear skincare routine consisting of 3 products; a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Clean & Clear have always had a focus on finding the perfect routine, and finding the products that work perfectly for our skin type. I have here the Pore Perfecting 3-Step Routine..

clean and clear deep action cream cleanser review

Clean & Clear's Deep Action Cream Cleanser is designed to remove dirt, oil, make-up, and is oil-free so it won't be clogging pores. It has very minimal ingredients and might work well for sensitive skin types (note that it does contain salicylic acid). It does have a cream consistency and did remove a bit of my makeup but I prefer to use a makeup remover beforehand. I prefer using this pore cleanser in the mornings only because it feels light and minty cool on the skin. I personally don't prefer the minty fresh feeling on the skin after rinsing but my friend did, and he's been using it daily!

clean and clear blackhead clearing astringent review

Again, the Blackhead Clearing Astringent contains minimal ingredients and will help to remove any stubborn leftover dirt. It is a toner designed for blackheads, and formulated to remove dirt and oils (the leading causes of blackheads) and also contains salicylic acid (1%). It won't be too drying on the skin as long as you moisturize afterwards. I didn't notice a decrease in my blackheads, but I did notice slightly tightened pores. I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to using toners, I've used a lot of harsh ones as a child so I am sort of afraid of them.. if you're like me then I'd suggest using this one every other day or so.

clean and clear dual action moisturizer review

The Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer also is a minimal ingredient product, oil-free, and contains salicylic acid as well. It works to moisturize the skin and prevent any future breakouts and pimples. I like to use this as a spot area treatment, rather than all over the face. Salicylic acid can be a little drying, so I'd suggest using a regular moisturizer, and this face moisturizer on top or like I do, as a spot treatment. It contains a small amount of salicylic acid (0.5%) so it might not be as effective at treating pimples, and might be more effective at trying to prevent them. 

As a teenager, I actually used quite a few Clean & Clear products because they were so easily accessible at my nearest drugstore. Honestly, I think their products are most suitable for teens just getting into skincare and discovering what works for them! Clean & Clear offers many various products, there is sure to be something that works for everyone. I think it is evident that not everyone's skin will work with every product, as we are all made differently.

Product Provided as promotional consideration by Johnson & Johnson Inc.

Annabelle Smokey Nudes Palette Review & Look

annabelle smokey nudes eyeshadow palette review

If you've passed by the drugstore lately I'm sure this Annabelle palette has caught your eye. It is the new Annabelle Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, featuring all super easy to use, neutral eyeshadow shades. There are quite a few drugstore palettes and eyeshadows coming out in neutral or nude shades, that are of pretty decent quality! Does this one match up?...

annabelle smokey nudes eyeshadow palette review
annabelle smokey nudes eyeshadow palette review

I'm going to tell you now, of COURSE this palette does not match up to the coveted Urban Decay Naked Palette. The shades are simply not as pigmented as higher end brands, but I personally was somewhat impressed with this palette, and it exceeded my drugstore quality expectations. 

The shades in the palette are unnamed, so I will just refer to them by number, from #1-10, from the first row, top left and across. All of the shades are quite shimmery, with the least amount of shimmer in the black (#5, pretty matte). 

annabelle smokey nudes eyeshadow palette review

#1: a light pink shade, somewhat matte, I absolutely hate it. This is the worst colour in the palette and really doesn't show up on me at all. Off to a bad start, but the shades improve as we go on.
#2: a decent shade for the lid, but I don't see myself using this often as there just isn't enough pigmentation.
#3: A light taupe. Also ideal for the lid or for the crease if you're going for a light shadow look. Again personally not my favourite.
#4: Now we're talking...a gorgeous grey for creating a smokey eye, the pigmentation really improved here!
#5: I feel like if the black had a little more shimmer the payoff would be a bit better. Not as dark of a matte black as I'd like, but it is workable. 
#6: Beautiful satin white for highlighting the inner corners of the eyes or the brow bone.
#7: This gold is probably my favourite. Looks gorgeous on the lid and it does stay put.
#8: A gorgeous warm brown, ideal for starting the crease and using to blend out shadow. 
#9: A darker, more sparkly shade, also good for adding into the crease.
#10: The least sparkly shade, with a little less pigmentation than #9 but it is almost matte (besides a bit of shimmer). I think it could double for use on the brows if it's your colour!

annabelle smokey nudes eyeshadow palette review
Other main makeup products used: Annabelle Eyeink Liquid Liner, Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner and Annabelle Browshow in Light, Flower Beauty Mauve Over Lip Suede, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in 52 Vanilla, Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette to contour.

My favourite shades are #4 (grey), #6 (white), #7 (gold), #8 (warm brown), #9 (ash brown), and ok, I guess I can include #10. If I recall correctly, I created this look with those shades. Overall the colours were blendable and I would definitely recommend the palette for someone looking for an affordable, neutral drugstore palette.

Retail price is $12.95, I would suggest going to Walmart if you're looking for the best deal on this palette, they typically offer the best prices unless you can spot a sale at Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall!

This product was received for consideration. All opinions stated are my own and are not influenced by any affiliates. 

Beauty Favourites of 2015

beauty and makeup favourites of 2015

Merry (super late) Christmas and Happy New Year! I had a great relaxing holiday, spent a lot of time with family and saw a few relatives I haven't seen in quite a while, which is always nice. I actually didn't get much, I typically just am given giftcards since I am so hard to shop for!

Of course with the new year I have to do a year-round favourites post. I don't get around to doing many favourites posts because I am guilty of taking a little too long to test products (sometimes..). I actually forgot to do a 2014 Favourites but I did do one for 2013, you can see here. Actually, a lot of the products featured in that 2013 favourites post I still use to this day.

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I find it kind of funny that I managed to find 15 Beauty Favourites of 2015, and I didn't even do this on purpose! To start off, I discovered the Tarte Eyeshadow Primer on Sephora's website, decided to give it a shot and I think it's now my holy grail eye primer. The Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush* I've been obsessed with for applying any kind of eyeshadow in my crease, and my Mac 109 Brush has been my baby for contouring. I have fallen in love with Becca X Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop despite thinking it was too dark for my somewhat pale skin. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation has been my everyday HG foundation. I am almost onto my 3rd bottle. And despite the controversial thoughts on Maybelline's Master Conceal, I am on my 2nd tube, it has gotten me through most of 2015 no problem. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again, it's a great drugstore concealer. Next up Anastasia Brow Wiz* and Dipbrow Pomade both in Chocolate are my go-to for doing my brows. Lately I have been testing other products, but I always manage to come back to my Brow Wiz. It's very forgiving for drawing out your brows. Mac's Paint Pot in Soft Ochre has also become a staple this year, for days where I want to conceal some eyelid darkness and add a little bit of shadow too.

I am sorry but I have 4 favourite lip products this year! First is my eos lip balms*, I've used these for a few years now but I have so many and they are just so easy to use that I've always got one on hand. Next is my Colourpop Lippie Stix! I've been obsessed with the colour Lumiere (created by Kathleen Lights) but have started to branch out to other shades as well! Lippie Stix are so drying on me but I can't stop wearing them... they have great pigmentation and staying power. My Flower Beauty Lip Suede in Mauve Over, from Walmart, was my go-to lip colour before I kind of outgrew the shade. It is decently pigmented, non-drying, and I wore it a lot this year, especially over my Mac Lip Liner in Spice. Very ideal for lining or overdrawing the lips.

Finally, my two favourite palettes would have to be the Lorac Pro Palette, picked up from the US for me by the lovely Shawna of Spill The Beauty. This palette is life! I use the mattes of the top row religiously. Lastly is my Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette. I've been using the 2 lighter shades in this palette to contour, and the yellow shade to highlight, also religiously.

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I didn't include any skincare because I may do a skincare favourites of 2015! I want to see or hear about your 2015 favourites and what you got for Christmas! Feel free to share below :)


Products marked with an asterisk were received for review or consideration.