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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Decluttering Series: Weekly Beauty Product Testing With #Reviews- Week of Aug 3 + 10th


I'm still working on using up all of my samples, but I am making a lot of progress along the way. After this week, I mostly have some skin care samples to try out.. here's hoping that my skin wont freak out!

I tried out quite a few products so I'll try and make the reviews brief and to the point. ;)


John Frieda Colour Renew Tone-Correcting Shampoo for Colour Treated Blondes

This shampoo claims to neutralize brassiness for colour-treated blondes in 3 uses. It's your typical purple shampoo that you find in blonde shampoos that remove brassiness. Some of these types of shampoos can be VERY drying for your hair. I didn't find this one very drying and the results were subtle. I wouldn't say this one is very powerful at reducing brassiness. 



Korres Wild Rose 24HR Moisturizing and Brightening Cream

I found this to be more of a lotion consistency than a cream, despite this, it was fairly hydrating. I was surprised that I didn't have any breakouts as many rose based products tend to make my acne-prone skin breakout. I used it in conjunction with my usual serum and oil and although I would rate it as good, it didn't blow me away so I wont be purchasing it.



Dove Go Sleeveless Beauty Finish 48 Hr Antiperspirant

I really liked the scent, not sure how to describe it but I really liked it, and it wasn't a powdery smell (which is great for me). This is definitely a little more powerful than my aluminum free deodorants. I never wore it for 48 hours, so I cannot attest to that claim. I prefer to use products without aluminum, so I will stick with my aluminum free deodorants and save this for special occasions when I need a little more power.



Novex Queratina Brasileira Hair Food Keratin Treatment

After using this product my hair had a slightly different texture to it. It felt a little bit more coarse (maybe stronger?) but I found it a little too heavy for my fine hair when I left it on for 25 minutes with a shower cap on. However, when I used it as a regular conditioner in the shower and only left it on for a few minutes, my hair was not weighed down and I liked the results much more. I am curious to see if it would have any long term benefits though. And, I'd be willing to sacrifice weighed down hair for a day each week or month if it meant healthier, stronger hair. My hair wasn't particularly soft, so I doubt I'll ever find out if there are long term benefits unless I'm able to get my hands on a few more samples.



John Freida Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo

This product definitely brightened my blonde hair. I noticed it after just one use. It did leave my hair feeling more unmanageable when it was wet, but it was fine once styled. I would say this product lives up to it's claims. However, unless my hair needs some lightening, I will probably be sticking to my purple shampoo to tone down any brassiness.



Mario Badescu Skin Care

Special Cucumber lotion: Forget about it! This is full of alcohol. I will not be using this. I damaged and dehydrated my skin for enough years when I was trying to combat acne and didn't know any better. Luckily, now I know better and I don't dry out my skin!

Peptide Renewal Cream: I don't know if I got a bad one, but this smelled of some horrible gas or engine oil, it was very strange (and awful). It was really thick and very difficult (almost impossible) to blend into my skin. I would be willing to give it another chance if I could get my hands on another sample and see if I just got a bad one. I find it hard to believe they'd make something that smells so horrible and doesn't absorb into the skin.

Peptide Renewal Serum: This serum had a nice slip to it and seemed hydrating. Unfortunately, after using it for a week, I ended up with small, painful bumps under the skin on my forehead!  Nuff said. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! 

Let me know if you've come across any fab products lately..

ps. Come and join a bunch of fabulous bloggers at fabulousandfunlife

Amy 
xx

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tag, You're it! The Blogger Interview






This is my very first tag blog post. I was tagged by the wonderful Nerida at Space of Beauty to do the Blogger Interview Tag.

How did you get into blogging?


It's ironic because I never knew what a blog was. I had heard the term before but had no idea what it was. I worked for one of the biggest airlines for over 17 years and believe it or not, we were not allowed Internet access! I know, barbaric!  So, I only had Internet when I was at home (which wasn't much) and I would basically check emails, use google and that's about it. 

After I took a package and left my job, I found myself on my computer a lot. I had always searched for product reviews, but now, I suddenly discovered the world of YouTube and blogs, plus Twitter and Instagram! It was a whole new world for me. I was amazed at this massive online community of people who also had a love for all things beauty, fashion and health. 

I never actually considered starting a blog. It was as spontaneous as you can get. I couldn't sleep one night and I was bored and restless, so I just decided right then and there to start a blog, and i did. I didn't know what I was doing, but I just went with it and had a lot of help from google.

What advice would you give to beginner bloggers?


Well, I am a beginning blogger. I've only been blogging since March of this year, so I still have a ton to learn. But, I have definitely learned a few things in the months I've been blogging. Here are a few suggestions.


Don't try to be like any other bloggers, just be you. Take inspiration from others but put your own spin on things and let your own personality shine through.  We are all unique and special in our own ways. 

Schedule time to blog. When you're starting out, blogging can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning when you are setting up your blog. If you're not careful you can end up working late into the night and wearing yourself out. As they say, your inbox will always be full. So, set aside a specific amount of time to work on your blog and then shut the computer down. Even if you have a lot more work to do, write it down and get back to it with a fresh mind the next day.

I had no idea how much time blogging takes, I definitely developed a respect for bloggers when I found out how much time and effort it takes. I suggest to either set a schedule for  when to blog and post, or just write when you are inspired. I do have somewhat of a schedule but I prefer to blog when I'm inspired. I don't enjoy the process if it's forced. Do what works for you!

Bring readers back. Create some series with some of your posts and link back to other posts in your series. For example, you could do some sort of challenge or favourites where you would post weekly or monthly on the topic. This is not only fun (IMO) but also gives your readers something to come back for. 

What would be your dream campaign?


At this time, I can't think of a dream campaign. I'm just happy to be doing what I enjoy and doing it on my own time. I love being my own boss for once and being able to create anything I want. I really appreciate that having a blog gives me a platform to be heard and to share information with others. 

In the future, I would love to work with socially responsible companies in the health, fashion, and beauty industries.

Do you have a plan for your blog?

My only plan for now is to continue blogging for as long as I'm enjoying it. Who knows where it may go, if anywhere. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the creative process, and along the way I've been getting to know some of the nicest people I've ever met, even if it is through the interwebs.

Thanks again for tagging me Nerida!

I would like to tag:

fabulousandfunlife 
katscolourings  and raincouverbeauty

Anyone who wants to do the tag is more than welcome, I tag you!!

Amy

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Product Empties #3: Makeup, Beauty, Skincare and Health + #Reviews



My last empties post was back in June. If you missed it you can check it out by clicking here.

I love seeing what people have used up (or not) and what they thought of the products after using them up.  I have a lot, so I will try and be brief with my reviews. I hope you enjoy this post and find some of it helpful.


Makeup



Covergirl Clump Crusher- It was a good mascara but not I'm in love. I would rather spend $2.99 on Jordana's Best Lash Extreme.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Tint- These are a great all natural product. I only used them as blush though and I enjoyed them but I rarely reached for them. Like a lot of people, I tend to neglect my cream products. These came in 3 pack, purchased back around 2009. I know cream products aren't supposed to last that long but these seem okay (no funky smell etc.) However, I decided that I'm only keep the one that I do reach for, and get rid of these two that I never wear, especially since they're so old.

Wet n Wild's Wild Shine Nail Colour- These don't have name's on them, just numbers. They have separated to the point where even if I shake them up they stay separated. I have repurchased the pink colour as I love that one!

Wet n Wild Coverall Pressed Powder (light/medium)- I really liked this powder and it's only about $2.99. I used this daily over my BB creams. Although I initially love the finish (more dewy, less matte) I do find that in a short time I look shiny and my pores become very visible. I am now testing out a loose powder by ELF to see if that works better for me. My HG (holy grail) powder for flawless/poreless skin is by Doris Dalton, but I save that one for special occasions as it's very pricey.

Sonia Kashuk Lash and Brow Enhancer- I only used this on my brows, to groom them and keep them in place. I paid only about $1 at Target's liquidation sale here in Canada. I would not buy it at it's regular price (approx $7 or $8). I will stick to my Elf Clear Brow Gel for $2, and you get two sides to use with the Elf one.

Elf Lip Balm Tint- I bought this in the colour Nude and found it too orange for my liking. I did like the feel of it so I would consider purchasing it in another colour. For only $2, you can't beat the price. I do prefer Elf's Nice & Natural Nude Lip Balm from their Studio line for $3, it's a much better nude for me, a pinky-brown.

LA Colors Lip Gloss Swirl- I found this at the Dollar Store and thought for only $1 I'd give it a try. It's super sticky, thick and unnatural looking- so it's going bye-bye.

Skincare




Balea 3 in 1 Cleansing Cloths- This is a brand carried by Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. It's a good value if you pick it up when it's on sale. I usually grab some when they're on sale for $7.99, and it comes with 2 packs of 56 wipes. These and Costco's Kirkland wipes are both my go-to makeup remover wipes. Sometimes, I'll just use them as a quick cleanse when I'm too tired for the whole wash my face routine. They are gentle and work really well.

George's Always Active Aloe Spray Mister- This is holy grail for me! I've been using it for years and can't go without it. At less than $6 for 8 oz, it's a great deal too. It comes out as a super fine mist so it feels great and one bottle will last a good while. It's very soothing and hydrating and has so many uses. I use it when layering my skin care, to set my makeup and to hydrate or soothe my skin anytime.

Pure + Simple Algae Serum- This is another holy grail product for me. I do prefer Pure + Simple's Collagen Elastin Plus serum, but that is much pricier and not currently in the budget. This algae serum is a great serum for all skin types.  It hydrates and soothes my dehydrated and acne prone skin, and prepares it for my moisturizer.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum- I received this product for trial purposes from Chick Advisor ( a great place to look up reviews and test out products for free). This is a great serum for sensitive, acne prone, and aging skin. I didn't have any sensitivity or breakouts from it and it was very hydrating. I probably would not purchase just because of the price and I used it up quite quickly.


Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer- I found this product very hydrating but it seemed rather basic other than that. It got the job done in terms of hydration but if you want the bells and whistles this didn't seem to have any. This was my first experience with PC. I found a $10 off coupon on another Blogger's website so I thought I would give it a try. If you want to give Paula's Choice a try, here is a $10 off coupon:  Paula's Choice $10 off Coupon

Home Health Goji Berry Eye Cream- This is another holy grail product for me. At only $11 for a whole ounce of product it's a great buy. Not only that, but after trying countless eye creams from high end to drugstore, this one works the best for me, and it's the only eye cream that actually made a difference on my crows feet!

Body care



Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion- I get this product in the Ylang Ylang scent every summer. I start to crave the scent of this at the beginning of every spring. In the winter I get the same product in the lavender scent. This is another holy grail product for me. I've been using it for years. It's very hydrating without being greasy at all and my skin just drinks it in. I find that it gets rid of those pesky bumps on the back of my arms with regular use. My only gripe is that Iherb keeps raising the price of it, it's now about $9 for 12 oz.  I guess I shouldn't really complain seeing as I only go through 2 bottles a year.

Andalou Naturals Argan + Mint Age Defying Lip Remedy- I was so excited to try this product out. Andalou Naturals is a great brand with great products. I have horribly dry lips all year and this lip treatment is chocked full of great ingredients it even uses fruit stem cell science. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with it. It wore off very quickly and it didn't do anything for the look or feel of my dry/dehydrated lips. At $7 for 12 ml I was definitely expecting a lot more.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment by Eucerin- This works great on my dry lips. I always go back to this one and and love to slather it on at bedtime. It's even great in the cold winter months. $5.99 for 2 tubes isn't bad, especially because it works! I would love to find something natural that works as well.

Health



Nature's Answer Rhodiola 100mg- This is a great adaptogen; meaning it helps the body adapt in times of stress. It's also the only thing I've found that prevents me from waking up at 5 am every morning and not being able to go back to sleep. I've tried other brands and doses and this is the one that works for me. At $11 for 60 veg caps ( I take one a day), it's worth it's weight in gold!

Hugo Naturals Calming French Lavender Mist- I use this every night to spray my pillows before bed. I also use it to spray the bathroom when I'm having a bath or just want to create a spa-like, calming environment. It's only $2 for 2 Oz's, so you can't beat the price. I plan on re-purposing the bottle and making my own lavender mist since I happen to have some pure lavender essential oil on hand. (DIY Tip: add 30 drops of your favourite essential oil to 2oz of water, shake, and voila, your homemade essential oil mist).

Cococare 100% Tea Tree Oil-  I've already repurchase this. It's the best deal on Tea Tree oil that I've found. I love to use it in my bath, it only takes a few drops (don't use too much or it will burn your behind- trust me). It's also good to have on hand for any type of skin issues, from bug bites, acne, feet issues and more. You can read more about Tea Tree oil on Wikipedia here. 

Now Foods Xyliwhite Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste- I chose to stay away from fluoride years ago and have been using this line of toothpaste ever since. My dental check ups have also improved since I switched to this Xyliwhite line. I'll definitely be sticking to this product even though it's pricier than your average tube of fluoride ridden toothpaste. But, it's totally worth it!

I feel like I've been collecting my empties forever, I was just waiting to finish up a few last products before posting this. Thank goodness I can now throw everything in the recycling bin!

I love reading empties posts or watching empties videos. If you have one to share let me know so I can come over and have a look.

ps. Come on over to  a fabulousandfunlife to share your beauty post and/or find some other great beauty blogs!

Amy

*note: All products were purchased by me unless otherwise stated. Some links are affiliate links




Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Decluttering Series: Weekly Beauty Product Testing With Reviews- Week of July 27


Back to my weekly Product testing and decluttering series. This week I tested out some skincare and hair care. If you missed the original post in this series, you can find it by clicking here.


TRESemme Platinum Strength Shampoo & Conditioner

I remember hearing or reading a while back that this product was rated highly on Paula's Choice website. It's such an inexpensive product (and the bottles are huge) that I really just kept passing it by at the drugstore. I had these samples collecting dust in my samples stash and today was their day to shine... and they did!

Today was probably the hottest day of the year, it was over 34 degrees Celsius and that's without the humidity factored in.  So these were really put to the test. The shampoo had a pleasant scent and I didn't detect any scent from the conditioner. I was very pleasantly surprised! On this super-hot day, I let my naturally curly/frizzy hair air dry and I couldn't believe the results! My hair had virtually no frizz and it was actually shiny! Blonde hair and frizzy hair rarely have shine without a shine spray or something, but there I was with shiny, frizz-free curls. Well, the curls wont be here for long. Even though my hair may have shine to it and no frizz, it doesn't mean I look good with curls, far from it. So, I'll be breaking out my Instyler in the morning! :)



Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel

This cleanser does not contain soap, fragrance or dyes.  I found this cleanser to be very gentle and it removed my makeup and cleansed my skin really well. Due to it's gel consistency, I prefer to use it with a baby washcloth than use it on it's own. It didn't leave much makeup behind, if any, using this method. I love that it doesn't have any irritating fragrances and appreciate that they left that out along with dyes- I mean, really, who need those?  I think this would be a great option for those with sensitive skin.




Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex

I used Olay products for years! Probably through most of my 20's and it always agreed with my skin. A lot of people would comment on my skin and ask me what I  used. Not sure if the credit should have gone to Olay, luck or genetics. Years ago, I moved on to more natural products and have been trying various products ever since.

Until I received these samples, I had never heard of Olay's Wrinkle Revolution Complex.
It has a subtle fragrance and layers nicely with my current serum and oil. However, I did not find it moisturizing enough for my liking. The small tubes of product that I received only stated how to apply them-basically like a moisturizer, so I assumed it was one. After going to Olay's website for more info on this product, it turns out it's actually a wrinkle fighting primer!? Here is some info from Olay's website: "Formulated with a bio-peptide and B3 complex, this primer instantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and smoothes skin texture and allows makeup to go on smoothly."

My makeup did go on nicely on top of this product, but I would rather stick to a more moisturizing product and use a regular makeup primer (which I only really use on special occasions). Somehow it seems like an unnecessary step to me. It may be the right product for someone with very oily skin who needs a light, anti-aging moisturizer with a primer built into it.



Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Shampoo & Conditioner

I have to say, I was a little nervous about trying this volumizing shampoo and conditioner after the last few volumizing products that I tested out, where I ended up with a giant, uncontrollable, frizzy mane! I was surprised that I didn't have that problem with these products. But, I also didn't notice any volumizing to my hair, so I was a little perplexed. I also found that my blonde looked a little more yellow after using this duo, even though it says that it's safe for colour-treated hair.  I will be staying away from this line for that reason alone.

Have you tried out any new products lately and perhaps found some gems out there?

Thanks for stopping by,

Amy
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