Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lipgloss Love Affair Belated Bloggiversary giveaway

While looking through beauty blog's I generally follow, I came across one of the best giveaways! This is a huge package of Lipgloss Love Affair's 2011 favourites. I have been following her blog for quite some time now, and highly enjoy all her beauty updates and reviews. Check her page out, and definitely check her giveaway out!

Click here to see her blog, and click here to peek and enter the giveaway!

Feet are nothing without a pair of pumps.

I feel like I've been letting you down and not filling you in with new shoes!

A months after my wedding my husband bought me knee high black Steve Madden over the knee boots (and my first Coach purse!). I was super excited, especially with winter here. I had also received gift cards to Le Chateau as a wedding gift, and purchased blue suede Jessica Simpson pumps. They are definitely my most prized pumps, and went amazing with my Snow White costume! While searching for Xmas presents online, I found $80 heels for $10, silver strappy heels with metal studs and couldn't resist since I don't have silver shoes. Then for my birthday (January 1st!) my husband gifted me blue suede Apple Bottom ankle booties and gorgeous purple sparkly wedges.

Steve Madden Boots

Coach purse

Jessica Simpson pumps

Fashion Labs heels

Apple Bottom booties

Fashion Labs wedges

Pretty sure my shoe addiction has been well fed as of late. Though we'll see how sales are :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

The MASSIVE LUSH christmas gifts/haul + Golden Tickets.

Like my last post, this is far over due. I had so much work with the four award category that this got pushed a side for a while.

To start the story off, I want to let you know I have not one, but TWO GOLDEN TICKETS!! If you don't know what those are, it's a ticket that's in the gift sets for a chance to win something. Each store is given between three and five of these, and they are very hard to come by. I got my first one a few weeks before Christmas, but sadly, wasn't an instant winner. Then, for Christmas, my Mom got me the Wonderful Christmas Time 25 piece box set, which had my second Golden Ticket! I was so ecstatic, but sadly wasn't a instant winner, yet again. Not winning puts you in the running for the $500 gift card grand prize (which I'm hoping both win!!). Sadly, nothing I bought boxing day had another Golden Ticket.

The first ticket:

The second Golden Ticket:

So now lets get into the LUSH stuff!! Wonderful Christmas time had SO much stuff in it!! It was what I asked my mom for (as a xmas and bday gift, since they are a week apart). I was still so surprised when I seen it hiding behind the tree! I don't know how she managed to hide all that scent from me for a week!

What it has: Karma Soap, Twilight Bathbomb, Christmas Eve Bubble Bar, Bubble Gum Lip Scrub, Candy Cane Soap, Candy Mountain Bubble Bar, Ultrabalm Body Balm, Dream Cream Body Cream, Golden Wonder Bathbomb, Hottie Massage Bar, Jungle Conditioner, None of Your Beeswax Lip Balm, Pied de Pepper Foot Cream, Rocketeer Bathbomb, Satsumo Santa Bathbomb, Seanik Solid Shampoo, Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Snow Globe Soap, The Melting Snowman Bath Melt, Superstars Bubble Bar, Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly, The Comforter Bubble Bar, Tiny Hands Hand Serum, Buffy Body Butter and Ultrablast Toothy Tabs.

Phew! Lots to type. So if that wasn't a stock pile and a half, we made a trip on boxing day and got even more goodies!!

I forgot to include my Dream Steam Toner Tab and Stepping Stone Foot Scrub, they were already in the bathroom by this point! Ever thing Christmas was buy one, get one free, and the Emotibombs are "retiring" so I scooped some up.

I scored: Magic Wand Bubblebar, 2 Up You Gets Emotibombs, Too Drunk.. Emotibomb, Dream Time bath melt, Pheonix Rising Bathbomb, 2 Jilted Elf Shower Jellies, Golden Wonder Bathbomb, So White Bath Ballistic and Lil LUSH Pud.

I'll be reviewing lots of these items as I use them, and I've used almost everything once (minus all my bathbombs). I was too excited to test things out! I took pictures with all my bathbombs and such, so except posts in the soon future! I figured I'd share what of this haul I've been loving until those reviews.

Some things I'm really love from this haul:
Bubble Gum Lip Scrub, Candy Mountain Bubble Bar, Dream Cream Body Cream, Golden Wonder Bathbomb, Pied de Pepper Foot Cream, Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Superstars Bubble Bar, Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly, The Comforter Bubble Bar, Tiny Hands Hand Serum, Magic Wand Bubble Bar, Dream Time Bath Melt, Phenoix Rising Bathbomb and Stepping Stone Foot Scrub.

Hope this helps in your future purchases, and hope you had just as great of a LUSH Christmas as I did! I'm sure going to miss the seasonal stuff!!

VFAV Beauty Awards 2011 - Make-Up

So here it is, my last post for 2011 awards! I had a lot of fun doing the these. Hope you've checked out my posts for hair, body and face care awards.

Best face primer: GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer $28.99 CAD

I've only used the clear, not the apricot (it's supposed to firm the face as well). I had only used one by Avon previous to this, and much prefer this one. It's a heck of a lot more expensive, but worth it. It's got a very silky smooth but thick feel to it. It does help fill pores very well, and keep your make up on. It'll make your skin shiny, but once your foundation/powder is on it won't. It keeps my face from melting off in the summer, and I never need to retouch my face (okay, if I'm sweating lots, I need a little powder touch up). I also find I can skip the moisturiser with this, as it's very soft on the skin and gets rid of dry areas.

Best foundation: Covergirl Natureluxe $11.99

I wasn't pleased with the heaviness of my usual brand (Estee Lauder) of foundation, and heard good reviews on this stuff, and figured I'd give it a try. I was also having a hard time finding a really pale shade to match my skin as well. I have been so in love since the first time I used this. It's very lightweight and silky for how great the coverage is, and blends great as well. I never had troubles with it caking (even if I'm wearing it all day) or being to heavy. It's especially great for summer, or when your doing make-up in the blasting heat. I generally don't like budget make-up, and didn't even really like Covergirl before, but this stuff really turned the page on them for me. I also like the smell, a big battle I have with foundations (so many of them smell horrible). This has cucumber water it in, so your face smells nice and refreshing. I have honestly used about 20 different foundations, and this is by far my favourite.

Best concealer:  Mark. Speedway $9.99 CAD

Like foundation, I've used a billion and one concealers. Some are too cakey, some are too oily, some don't work, some are goopy. I had been on a Mark. kick for quite some time, and gave this a go and gave up my coloured concealers. This stick is very silky soft without being oily. It goes on smooth in cream-to-powder form and blends in really great and doesn't create noticable patches under your powder. It works great all over (I generally use it for under eyes, nose and scars). The coverage is great too, I have a very dark scar on my face that it hides remarkably. 

Best powder: Sephora Mineral Matte setting powder $8.99 CAD

This year I gave up pressed powders of all kinds, and even coloured mineral setting powders as well. I thought I wasn't going to find anything I really loved, until I ordered this on a whim on sale. I hadn't used a matte setting powder before, and I think that's what changed everything. I finally had no shine!! Not just that, this stuff is translucent, so matching it to my skin was easy. Plus, being translucent makes you able to wear this year round over any foundation. I found other mineral powders to itch, but this one never did. The way it makes make-up look is just amazing too. Any small brush line from foundation, or spot I didn't blend well in enough is gone! This really pulls everything together for a great, matte perfect face.

Best eye primer: Smashbox Photofinish Lid primer $20 CAD

I've always been an Urban Decay Primer Potion junkie - never strayed. But I ran out, and sadly it's not sold where I live, so I purchased this to get my by. 2 bottles later, I still haven't ordered my Primer Potion. It's the same taupe colour that blends in great, and has the exact same silky texture as Primer Potion. I put my make up through a lot of blood, sweat and tears - okay, just sweat - on lots of occasions, and it ever melts or runs or fades. Sometimes, when I forget to take make up off at night, it's still in place in the morning. This is also a better deal, the shape of the bottle lets you get a lot more out of the product than Primer Potion. It only comes in one colour, but I find it blends well under everything and makes any colour more vibrant.

Best eyeshadow: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Vegas Strip $12.95 CAD

I'm a pretty firm believer that a good gold eyeshadow is your #1 eyeshadow staple. I work golds into so many different looks, whether it's a low key day or a fancy going out look. This palette comes in 5 shades. The pigments are just amazing, and the options from blending are endless. You really can achieve almost any golden colour with this single palette.

Best eyeliner: Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner $8.99 CAD

  This year I took a huge leap! I gave up crayons and liquids for my general eyeliner. I always wear heavy black liner, always have, especially on the tops of my lashes. I loved my Dior Styleliner, but it cost a small fortune given I needed a new one every month. I borrowed this product from a friend, and immediately ran out and bought my own. It's so creamy and pigmented, which I often had a hard time finding in a liquid. The thing I really liked about this was that it's really easy to apply - much easier than a liquid! The brush is very fine tipped as well so you can do different thickness' and cat eye effects with it. It goes on smooth, silky and easy, stays on and is good on the wallet.

Best mascara: Lancome Hypnose Drama $29.99 CAD

Hypnose has always been my #1 mascara. I love trying new ones, but it's always my go to. I was super excited to see a new Hypnose came out, especially called Drama, since dramatic is what I go for with eyelashes. I like them long, dark, thick and just HUGE, which is what Hypnose always delivers. It's never flaky, you can cry through it and it makes the most beautiful lashes ever. Drama upped the awesome and delivered darker, even fuller lashes.

Best blush: Covergirl Instant Cheekbones (Contouring Blush) $8.99 CAD

As much as I experiment with blushes, ranges of pinks are always the best on my skin. A flat light pink isn't enough, and a dark pink is too much. This little palette is great because it blends 3 shades that work perfect for my light skin. It blends in great on skin without looking powdery and has a very natural look. This blush also looks great with any make-up look, which is something I find hard to find. It also lasts a really long time, which I love in a product.

Best bronzer: Physicians Formula Bronze Booster $15.99 CAD

This is another product that rocks for my light skin. I've tried quite a few bronzer's before, and all of them are far too dark for my skin, even the lightest colours they sell. This is very subtle and natural, and creates a perfect sun kissed look. It blends great without leaving noticeable lines and is a perfect touch to any look.

Best lip balm: JR Watkins Weatherproofing lip balm in Pomegrante $5.99 CAD

I suffer from extremely dry lips, and am always on the search for a perfect balm. I've tried it all from Blistex, LUSH, Body Shop, Burt's Bee's with little lasting results. I found this in a sale section, and figured it was worth a try. The taste is great, something I don't find often in a good lip balm. You lips feel instantly moisturised, and it's long lasting. I find a lot of them don't have many long term effects, even if used on a daily basis. When my lips are really chapped, I can put this on at night and by morning I have soft gorgeous lips.

Best lip plumper: DuWop Lip Venom $19.99 CAD

This probably doesn't come as a surprise - it'll probably be my winner for many years to come. I tried a few competing products with nothing even close to results. Lip Venom has a very strong cinnamon taste, a big tingle. I don't find it to be a painful sting, I quite enjoy the tingle. I find it really evens my lip thickness out (I try to focus it on my top lip), and gives me a good, long lasting plump.

Best lipstick: No. 7 $19.99 CAD

I can't pick just one colour from this line, because I love them all! They are very creamy rich formula with amazing colour. I have quite a few from the different lines they have out, and have enjoyed them all. I love the rich reds and the high gloss pinks. They are very long lasting, and smudge proof. An added bonus is that they are very moisturising, so your lips don't look dry or flaky. 

Best lipgloss: Lorac Multiplex 3D Lipgloss $22 CAD

I got my first one in a Sephora sampler box, and became completely addicted after. It has holographic pigments, high shine and long lasting colour. The effect is very holographic, and absolutely amazing. The way they shimmer and have a "colour changing" effect in the light is absolutely wild. I wear it over a light pink lipstick for a boost, and it results in the most to die for pink lips you'll ever see. It's definitely different from anything else you'll find!

What I learned about make-up this year:
Gel liner is longer lasting, pencil's leave such an uneven mess at the end of the day. Colouring in my eye brows is not for me - vege dye at the salon is the way to go! Chances are, your lip liner is going to last longer than your lipstick, at some point, it's going to cause you an embarrassing moment. Never forget to blend your foundation. Over blending is better than under blending. If you don't prime, expect to look nothing like what you did in the mirror in a very short amount of time. It doesn't matter what fancy speciality brush you have - it's how you use them.

Well that concludes all the awards this year ladies. I hope you enjoyed them, hope I found a few new followers, and hope you stick around for some other great new posts coming this year!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

VFAV Beauty Awards 2011 - Hair Care

Here is my 3rd award post. I am a hair junky, so this one was really fun for me. I feel this year I really found my ultimate hair products, and even though the bleaching took a toll on my length, the last 6 months has been great! It's growing, it's healthy, it's shiny. Please check out my last two blog posts, the awards for facial skin care and body care, and be sure to check out my upcoming awards for cosmetics.

Best straightener: Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth Pro Tools Flat Iron $260 CAD
A straightener is a hard thing to review, and unless your like me and have gone through about 10 of them, you probably don't get the mass difference between a store bought and a high end tool. I used to buy mine at Wal-Mart because they did the job. Then I'd sob over having dry frizzy hair. With a little lesson in serums and tools, I've fixed that, and this is by far the best flat iron I've discovered. First off, I love the thicker plates. As well, this heats up just under 10 seconds for me, and unlike other tools, consistently stays the same heat throughout straightening. It's also coated in both ceramic and silicone, so it glides soft and quickly. Now here's the crazy part - the Ion Complex delivers super charged negative ions to break up water molecules and penetrate them into the hair shaft, restoring moisture and sealing the cuticle for longer lasting hair colour. It also has infra-red heat to beat frizz and cause straight up silky straight locks. So does it work? HELL YES! It's the first straightener that seems to not kill my hair at all, not to mention it's amazingly smooth and silky when I'm done. It also used to take about an hour to straighten my hair, it's about a 15 minute job now. This is also the first flat iron that I've been successful at using to curl with. 

Best curler: Conair Infiniti You Spiral Tourmaline Ceramic Styler $54.99 CAD
I have used almost every size and style of curling iron. I'm good at curling, my difficulty is that my hair and my extensions don't curl the same as each other. I actually borrowed one of these from my little sister and am in love with it! I prefer irons with larger barrel widths at the base and smaller at the tip as well. Basically you clip the tip of your hair (it's not even really a clamp) at the base and twist, hold for maybe 10 seconds and voila! This iron works fast and makes a perfect curl every time. Most of all - I don't need any hair spray to keep these in place all day (although I still recommend using something for heat protection - I use one that's for curling). It also heats evenly, no hot spots and maintains its heat. This is also a great tool for beginners, it's pretty fool proof. I always get perfect kink free curls. 

Best blow dryer: Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Hair Designer $39.99 CAD
Blow drying was another step in my day that took forever. I always had to brush while blow drying or my hair would be a disaster, and even then I was a bit frizzy after (even after all those serums). I was happy when I seen a blow dryer with a brush attachment, I figured this would save me a step or two in the mornings. Plus I'm a sucker for Ionic Technology. This has two rows of tourmaline plates, a de tangling brush and a smoothing brush. This thing is amazing! It dries, straightens, controls frizz and leaves hair smooth. Like my straightener, it has Ionic technology to to reduce frizz and moisturise, as well is infra-red to help with natural lustre. The brush also rotates 360° with 8 locking positions so that you can use it on any angle and easily reach the back of your head. I love being able to dry, brush and semi-straighten at the same time, it really cuts down on time for straightening. This in combination with my straighter is a super team made in heaven!

Best frizz tamer: Avon Advanced Techniques Daily Shine and Smooth Capsules $8.00 CAD

I did a review on this product quite a while ago, and I'm happy to say I'm just as happy today as I was 8 months ago. These tone down frizz a drastic amount, as well as give you shine without causing an oily effect. I always use half the capsule while hair is wet, and half a capsule before straightening. It leaves hair unbelievably soft and silky, and amazing to touch. 

Best shine booster: Big Sexy Hair Big Shine Spray $22.99 CAD

I've been using Big Sexy products for quite some time, but found this near the beginning of the year. It's one of those what you read is what you get - BIG SHINE! I definitely recommend using just a little spritz in the hand and rubbing it in when your hair is just straight. When I have it up or in big curls, I spray direction onto my hair. If you use too much, your going to get a greasy look. Use properly it's amazing though. It's very weightless as well. It's definitely the best shine product I've found so far. 

Best hair product: Kaaral Triaction Split End Serum $22.50 CAD

I tried finding a better picture, but typing it into google just brought my blog up over and over XD I guess I've talked about this a lot. I found this at a local salon. I grabbed quite a few of their products, but only two stick around today with me. This is a product you could use in lue of almost all other serums - it softens, adds shine, helps split ends, makes styling easier, helps repair hair, smell fantastic.. It's such a great all round product. It's very non-greasy and you don't need to worry about how much your putting on all, and it doesn't weigh your hair down either. I try to focus this on my tips as much as possibly when wet, and then wrap them in a towl with heat for a while. The outcome is gorgeous! If you have split ends, this really helps repair them and make them not noticeable (which is why I'm not doing a split end serum award, I've covered it with this product).

Best shampoo: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Shampoo $23.99 CAD

If you haven't used anything from the K-PAK line, I suggest going out and finding the whole line for your hair. This is the first shamoo and conditioner that I can use all year round, and my hair doesn't get used to it or bothered by using it all the time. The smell is absolutely to die for, like cupcakes. It's a very, very creamy lather as well. As soon as it touches your hair, you can feel your hair getting silkier soft even in the shower. This has really helped my over processed hair stay thick and shiny. I also have lots of troubles with my hair being really dried out after washing, and this leaves it nice and moisturised. It's also helped boost the elasticity of my hair, which is needed with all the bleaching I do.

Best conditioner: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Daily Conditioner $23.99 CAD

When I bought the shampoo (and majority of this line) I obviously got the conditioner to go with it. Like the shampoo, it's one of the creamiest conditioners I've put in my hair. It really leaves hair smooth and tangle free. This is great for damaged or course hair, it'll leave you looking healthy, shiny, smooth and soft. It also pumps hair full of moisture, like the shampoo. 

Best hair mask/treatment: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Deep Penetrating Reconstructor $29.99 each

 I use both these hair treatments at different times during the week. I find the deep penetrating reconstructor to completely re-hydrate and moisturise hair, leaving it salon gorgeous. This is one of the deepest treatments I've used on my hair - even tops oils. I've heard some people say it dries their hair out, but hair was 100% opposite that from using it. I feel this to be the top lifesaving product from Joico that's help with repairing my hair the most. Even right after bleaching, using this made my hair feel amazing and un-damaged. Best of all - I love not hearing that crunchy sound anymore. 

Best straightening cream: Kaaral Crema Straightening Lotion $24.99 CAD

I can never find any info about this brand online - I just know most salons in town carry it. I've gone through quite a few straightening balms and creams expecting one simple outcome - help with straightening my hair. I've had little to no results with any except this. It helps to straighten, is soft and light weight. 

Best deep conditioner: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Intense Hydrator $29.99 CAD

The Hydrator did something a long the same lines as the deep penetrating reconstructor, but added more shine, as where the reconstructor added more moisture. It does everything the conditioner does, but about twice as much results.

Best hairspray: Brocato Moveable Hold Hairspray $19.99 CAD

I was always on the search for a hair spray that didn't wear my hair down, could be used before and after when flat ironing or curling, and didn't make my hair hard. It's a fine mist that has unbelievable hold, and can be easily brushed out at night. Even if you don't, it doesn't make your hair hard and clumpy when you wake up the next day. It's really great for humid days as well, to keep fly aways down. It also adds a little shine and is non-greasy and not sticky. It's a really great hair spray for all styles and keeps hair looking natural and soft.

Best mousse: Got2B Smooth Operator Cashmere Smoothing Luxery Mousse $6.99 CAD
I've used lots of mousse's before that tend to crust up in my hair, so I was delighted to find something lightweight like this product. This really tames frizz and fly-aways, and leaves hair velvety smooth without build up and grease. I'm really in love with this got2b line!

Best volumizer: RUSK Blofoam Texturizer and Root Lifter $16.00 CAD

I've always been a fan of RUSK products, and had a lot of volumizers do nothing, so I gave this a try. What I first noticed when putting this on my roots was that it instantly boost hair volume. After blow drying, there was a huge visible different in volume, especially when I'm used to flat hair. Not only was it an instant boost, it lasts all day. It also has built in hold that's great, so if you've styled your roots a certain way it'll keep your hold all day.

Best curling cream: Supernatural Ecoly Formula Willow Bark Heat Curling Lotion $15.00 CAD

When I first found this I was a little iffy on trying. Read it was a great product, but after a few weeks of use it caused build up and got crunchy. Well, to all those people that thought that, wash your hair! I never had such problems, but I also didn't use this every day without washing my hair regularly. I really like that this is alcohol free, as alcohol fades colour and is something I can't use. I also tried using velvet rollers again after buying this, and was so happy with the outcome! It definitely helps rollers get their full effect, and keep shine and smoothness locked in while doing so. I also like that it is usable with a blow dryer and "scrunching". This stuff is self done curls best friend!

Best heat protector: Got2B Guardian Angel Heat Protect 'N Blow Dry $6.99

I had been searching for a product that would put a protective layer around my cuticle so I'd stop frying it. Generally if it's done right, you get a "steam" effect when straightening. This was the first product that achieved this for me. I generally use my straightener on a high setting, so I went with the higher heat protection. It also gives some shine, which is always a must for any hair product. I like that I also don't need to "be careful" about how much I spray because it doesn't gunk up, get sticky or grease up. 

What I learned about my hair and products this year:
I probably learned more about my hair this year more than ever before. When I compare pictures of my blonde layers a year ago, they were much longer and even then they are now. I've had a lot of breakage, and learned the damaging effects of bleach. I'm still not quite ready to go back to auburn, but will be soon. I'd like to have my long, full gorgeous hair back. I've also learned the most about products for hair this year, how to use every product to my full advantage to help counter act the damage I've done.

VFAV Beauty Awards 2011 - Body Care

So here's my 2nd post for my personal awards for products this year. I don't use all of them at once throughout the year, I go in routines so that I know what's working and what isn't. Please check out my last post on Skin Care, and be sure to check out my upcoming Hair Care and Make-Up award section.

Best body wash: I Love … Strawberries and Milkshake Shower Smoothie $9.99 CAD

I had run out of body scrub and sent my husband to go get me more, and he came back with this surprise. I didn't find it to be a 'scrub' the way it describes (that or I'm just used to much heavier scrubs), but I really enjoyed it as my body wash between scrubs. I'm not sure what the little scrub particles are in it, but they are really subtle and better used in a wash than a scrub. But, I enjoyed having a little scrub action between my full out spa scrub. This was the first product I've used by them, and giggled when I seen the "Warning: I am not food, do not swallow me" on the back, until I smelt it. It smells exactly what it's called: strawberry milkshakes. It's absolutely delicious.

Best body scrub: Soap and Glory Flake Away Body Polish $19.99 CAD
I seen this brand on the shelve and thought "Hmm, these look cute" (which suckers me into a lot of products) and gave it a go. I also seen the words "spa body polish" and figured I had found something good. I was right. The smell wasn't to die for or anything, nor was the colour. But don't let that fool you. It has a very, very rough and heavy scrub (sea salt and sugar). It felt like getting a body peel. As well, the sea salt and sugar doesn't dissolve or disappear while your scrubbing, so a little goes a long way. After getting out of the shower, while drying off, I noticed too things: I had zero dead skin left and I was more moisturised than a oil wrap at the spa. Lots of scrubs this strong dry me out afterwards, but this doesn't at all. You could even skip body cream after using this. It absolutely made me feel like I just had a massive body peel and wrap at the spa. This is a product I'd probably cry over if I didn't see it on shelves anymore.

Best shave: Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturising Shave Gel $3.99 CAD

I'm not too crazy about using expensive razors, because I tend to through them out after one use to ensure there's no bacteria (an episode of 1000 ways to die helped with that). So I make up for it by using a really good, thick and moisturising shave gel to protect my legs. I really enjoy the scents that Skintimate has, and the thickness. I haven't had any cuts or knicks since switching to this brand either. I always stick to things meant for dry skin as well on my legs, because it's always a random day when dry legs happen - and I like to keep my legs soft and glowy.

Best body cream:  Vasaline Deep Conditioning Cocoa Butter Lotion $3.99 CAD

I actually JUST switched to LUSH Dream Cream in the last week, and I'd love to say it's my new favourite, but this is what I've used religiously for the last year, and it deserves this award. I originally bought it because it was on sale and smelt delicious (I had used the cucumber aloe one in the past and enjoyed it). I generally don't like chocolate or cocoa butter scents, but this one was great. I found it to be very deep conditioning without feeling greasy, and I enjoyed being able to put it on at night and wake up in the morning still soft and moisturised (although that doesn't stop me from lathering a little more on). I also like that it absorbs quick and I'm able to put it on after a shower while still wet. I also use this any time I feel itchy, and it really hits the spot. For the price and great effects, I definitely think this should be a staple for everyone.

Best balm/salve: Mark. The Big Fix 15-in-1 Benefits Balm $10.00 CAD
I used a few salves/balms in the past, many home made, but didn't like the long lasting grease they had. I ordered this from Avon as soon as I seen it was fair trade, as well had some of my favourite ingredients: cocoa butter, olive oil and vanilla. Like everything else from Avon, I used it the second I got it. I've mostly been using it on my elbows, feet and lips. I noticed the biggest improvement on my elbows - it's a dry area I battle with very few product results. I'm not huge on the scent, but it gets the job done. I'm not left feeling greasy and can feel immediate effects on my dry, rough patches. It comes in a really big stick as well, and even though I use it a lot, I feel like I've made barely a dent in the tube.

Best self tanner: Dove Energy Glow Daily Moisturiser and Tanner $8.99 CAD
I'm not sure if this product counts for you, but it's the best I've ever used. I can't use anything that isn't gradual, and given how pale I am, anything too dark just looks fake. I absolutely love the smell of this - it's like actual tanning lotions for sun beds. It's a great moisturiser as well, and immediately gives you a sun kissed glow. I used it every day for about a week, and I could notice a light "tan" that looked natural and gorgeous. It didn't turn me orange and it didn't streak when showering/swimming. I've also had some bad luck in the past with darker, faster tanners and they always streaked, this gradual build is my favourite way to go, and a much more natural look. Plus I love the glow it gives you.

Best sunscreen: Anew Solar Advanace Sunscreen Body SPF30/Face SPF45 $34.99 CAD each

I never really used to wear sunscreen, but the last two summers really taught me a lesson - less than an hour in the sun each time and I had some of the worst burns I ever seen in my life (I also have very fair light skin). I bought a couple different bottles, but was super grossed out by the oily thickness of most of them.  Even though it was nearing the end of summer that this finally came, I was so excited to use it. It was light, had a great fragrance and did what it should - kept me protected. I personally don't have wrinkles anywhere but my under eye nor do I have age spots, so I can't really judge if it helps tighten the body and repair skin. But as I've mentioned before, I'm a firm believer in prevention of wrinkles. The reason I loved this product was because it was light feeling, non-greasy and smelt great. 

Best perfume: Calvin Klein Beauty $89.99 CAD

I usually wear very sweet perfume (like Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson), or florals (like Stella McCartney), and this was one of first 'mature' scents I've ever liked. This scent was to be less seductive and more sophisticated and mature, aimed at an older age audience. I really enjoyed it though, it was a nice change from my cute girly scents. It's weird how something like a scent can make you feel so much different about yourself, like your more grown up or something. It makes you feel fancy without smelling like an old lady.

Best body mist: Sephora Dry Oil Vanilla Cupcake Body Mist $5.00 CAD

I bought this for so many reasons - double acting product, oils, was on sale and CUPCAKE! It was a great purchase, because all those key words played out beautifully. It's not just a spray, it's got very soft oils to moisturise. If your anything like me, you can't get enough moisture and silky skin. It also absorbs quick so you don't have to worry about feeling greasy or staining clothes. I generally don't like smelling like food, but cupcakes are amazing. This had one of the most amazing fragrances I've ever smelt  - vanilla and almond, with hints of cupcakes of course! It's one of the most delicious sprays I've ever come across.

Best nail polish: OPI I Lily Love You $12.99 CAD

I completely fell in love with this sparkle coat the second I seen it. Without an under coat, it's a very subtle pink. The sparkles are really colour changing as well. What really got me is that the sparkles are all different shapes, as well un-even edged (like random flakes). It's like snow flakes with this one - every sparkle is different. I'm quite sure I've never used any one polish as much as this one, every time I do my nails this ends up over top. It just looks great over any thing.

Best hand cream: Nivea Anti-Age Q10Plus Hand Cream $9.99 CAD
I seem to always scoop up these anti-age infused things whenever possible. I seen the commercials and testimonials for this, and really wanted to give it a try. I haven't noticed improvements on hand wrinkles.. but I don't really have any yet. What I did notice is what I always look for in a cream - instant results and long lasting results. As well, a cream that can be put on at night and skin is still soft and moisturised by morning. This cream fulfilled all of that for me. I find it very, very silky without being greasy.

Best hand serum: LUSH Tiny Hands $7.95 CAD
This product almost slipped through my attention, as it was near the massage bars, and given I had 3, I decided to steer clear of that section for a while. I got this as a gift, and immediately gave it a try. The scent wasn't something I can really put my finger on, but I do enjoy it. I absolutely love the way it melts onto hands, and the creamy buttery feel of it. I only use it every few days, but even after a day or two I can still feel it on my hands. It's definitely a deep acting, long lasting moisturiser.

Best bath product: LUSH Dreamtime Bath Melt $5.95 CAD
This was the first of their bath melt I tried, and even now, it's always the one I come back to. The jasmine scent is absolutely relaxing and soothing for the senses. It's also pumped with cocoa butter, and literally makes your bath water feel like silk. I love how moisturising it is because you can hop out of the bath and into bed without worrying about getting dry skin.

Best foot treatment: LUSH Stepping Stone Foot Scrub $3.95 CAD

I'm not a fan of peppermint scented things for my feet, so LUSH was a great find for foot products. It's hard to describe the scent (LUSH describes it as mangoes) but it is absolutely delicious smelling. The first time I used it I was a little iffy, as it was a light scrub and not rough, but after getting out of the shower I noticed clean, exfoliated and moisturised yummy feet! It has sea salt and pumice for scrubbing and Jojoba for moisturising. All you need is a little piece as well for each foot. Another great use is for on your legs to get a really good exfoliation before shaving.

Best foot cream: LUSH Pied De Pepper Foot Cream $16.99 CAD
It's a bit pricey, but worth every penny. I got this in a gift box, and will be sticking with it forever. First off, the smell is amazing - like spices and cocoa. I like a yummy scent on my feet (who wants to rub dirty smelly feet?!), especially something that lasts to keep me fresh all day. It has a slight warming sensation, which is great in the winter. Some people have complained of it staining sheets and feet, but I've had no such problems. Now to where it matters - it's moisturises GREAT! The best is using it before bed and slipping some socks on, by morning your feet will be incredible. It's also great for achy feet - come home, soak, scrub, moisturise and throw some socks on, and your feet are going to love you.

What I learned about my body and products this year:
Never skip a routine body scrub - I personally can't stand drying off and having a single flake of dead skin lingering around. Oils are your friend when used properly. Fake orange tans are out - I don't care what Jersey Shore tells you (not that I ever thought they were in). When starting a new product, always try to keep a minimum on how many products your using, and stick with other things that you've used for a long time while using a new one. Otherwise if you get a rash, you're not going to know which new product caused it. Men are more willing to rub your feet if you've pre-pampered them. Most of all: I am now 100% committed to sparkly nails every day.
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