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.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

VFAV Beauty Awards 2011 - Facial Skin Care

Here's my 2011 skincare awards! Just so you know, I do use these in different routines and keep a journal of all my success/complaints, so it's easy to tell which product is doing what for me. Here's my years results, enjoy!

Best acne product: Avon Clearskin Professional Acne Treatment System $32 CAD

I don't deal with too much acne, just a few pimples here and there. I've used many drugstore brands and Clinique before to help clear it up without results I'd like. I've been pretty in love with many Avon products lately, and this is another that proves it's excellence - I haven't had a single pimple in over 6 months. Little tingly sensation, but it's also 0.5% salicylic solution, where most brands are 0.2%. Doesn't dry your skin out either, which usually happens, your going to feel sexy and smooth after this. I also mostly suffer from severe inflammation in new pimples over the actual huge pimple, and this calmed it down a lot!

Best face wash: Olay Total Effects Nourishing Cream Cleanser $19.98 CAD

This might be my favourite discovery next to my face cream. I've never washed my face with something that leaves me feeling like silk EVER the way this does. Not to mention the 7 skin+age fighting nutrients? This is a super wash for sure! I recommend this to every woman out there - even men. Go buy this NOW! It's recommended for all skin types. It's hypo-allergenic. It's gentle. It doesn't dry my skin out. It will un-painfully remove make-up. It's rich - but not oily or heavy. Let's the fact that it refines your skin, fights dullness and replenishes radience, minimizes pores, reduces fine lines and wrinkles.. I could go on forever on this product. It's worth every effing penny.

Best Face scrub: St. Ives Exfoliating Apricot $12.99

This product isn't 100% made for your face, but you'll never find anything better. You can get cheaper, smaller bottles, but I always go for the big tub. Used to use it on my whole body til I found Soap & Glory, but this still tops the best face scrubs. Don't be fooled by the roughness - the 100% natural jojoba beads are great for you face! It may seem like a rough scrub for your face but will actually leave your face amazingly soft and fresh - and deadskin free! I've been using this for 7 years now, will never turn my back on it. It's also pumped with Vitamin A and antioxidents. It always amazes me how actually gentle this is on your face.
Best face lotion: Neutrogena Oil Free SPF 15 Moisture Lotion $18.99 CAD

I generally have pretty normal skin, but was always searching for the perfect cream to top it off. Lots of creams are high in oils (which I find good for night time), but this turned out to be a perfect any time of day cream. It's very light, non-greasy, absorbs great and leaves skin soft and smooth. It's also one of the few creams I've found that can be used as a base for make-up. A lot of creams these days make pores pour out sebum, but this doesn't. 

Best eye cream: Anew Ultimate Contouring Eye System $32.00 CAD

Even though I have great skin, Clinique always made me break out, so I switched to this. I used to have what I'd say bad crows feet for 23, and this has visibly reduced it. I still suffer a small amount from them, but this cream has made my creases less visible, especially when make up is on which was my biggest problem. It's very light, great for night or day, and really showed a great improvement. 

Best toner: Sephora Face Soothing Toner $5.00 CAD

I had only tried one toner before this, which dried my skin out (felt more like an astringent). I've read some people think this has a bit of a sting, but I've never felt it. This was a great switch, as I felt my skin wasn't even close to as soft with my wash+ moisturiser. You can feel it doing the last bit of work to clean your face, did a great job cleaning my pores, and my face is left silk smooth. The smell is also great, like a soft rose sent. Sadly, they aren't selling it any more.

Best make up remover: Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action $26.00 CAD

I have tried many make-up removers, maybe around 20. I was using Clinique (unhappy about that one too) when I came apon a bottle in a free gift bag from Sears, and was instantly in love. Lots of other removers with oil like this will break out your skin or irritate your eyes, but this never did either. I also had trouble with having to rub hard to get mascara off, as where this one was simple - holding a facial pad against my eye for about 10 seconds and a quick swipe off. It's soft, conditioning and didn't leave any oily residue. I will never stray or even try another brand, this is the ultimate make-up remover. Not to mention a little goes a long way.

Best anti-age fighter: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream $23.99 CAD
I don't necessarily have wrinkly skin, but I'm a firm believer in preventing it. In the past I have always been very happy with Neutrogena products so I figured I'd give this a try. The first time I used it, I could feel an instant tingle and tightening sensation. Within a week (just like it says) I could visibly notice an improvement in my wrinkles near my eyes. I like creams like this that have instant effects as well as long term effects. Like all Neutrogena products, it isn't oily nor did it clog pores.

Best microdermabrasion: Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion System $19.99 CAD
The first time I used this, I was a little frigthened. But don't let that scare you away. This stuff is really intense first time around. It has a dial so there's different amounts of each liquid as time goes on, so you really need to make sure you use it as directed to get the best results. The first result I noticed was no dry skin - just like the real thing, dead skin layers gone! I also started to notice my face was more evenly toned - something I haven't found in years (I have a hyperpigmented spot on my face that's hard to keep hidden). This was my biggest love for this product - evening out my skin tones. Don't get me wrong, this stuff will get your face clean like you'd never believe. It's a great micro-derm system: exfoliates and cleans very deep without any harsh seeds or sand-paper like particles (although I personally like those kinds). But how deeply it cleans is un-believable. This is really spa level stuff!

Best facial peel: Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel $19.99

Here's another product that may scare you first use. I used it for the first time after washing my face off, and my goodness - she's got some sting to it for sure! It seems to have a very astringent/alcohol scent to it, which I'll assume is what helps with clearing breakouts and blemishes (because it will INSTANTLY remove blemish - no lie!). It's a pretty powerful peel, although not the first to have a bite to it I've used. This definitely has instant and long term effects. It kind of "puffs" the face so wrinkles aren't visible and softens skin beautifully. I noticed that for long term effects, after using this product, my face really started to have a glow about it, kind of like the cover of a magazine minus airbrushing. It's also dramatically cleaned and shrunk pores around my nose.

Best tool: Olay Profession Pro-X Advanced Cleaning System $29.99 CAD

As well as being my favourite tool of the year - this is my favourite skin care item of the year. I have wanted a Clarisonic forever, but couldn't justify spending over $200 on a face cleansing brush. So when this came out, I searched every corner of the internet for reviews and comparisons. To my happiness the internet told me exactly what I wanted to hear - this is a $30 clarisonic, more or less. I don't use this everyday, maybe twice a week. But each and every time I use it is like the first time. It's not just the cleansing, it's the massaging action while cleaning. It leaves your skin feeling relaxed, cleaned and pampered. I do use peels and what not once a week for deep cleaning and moisturising, but my Pro-X really does a good deep cleaning in between peels and is a great every-other-day tool for keeping up a good clean. 

What I learned about my skin and products this year:
I do not have perfect skin anymore, I get dry spots that need constant attention and a cream that could be applied multiple times a day. Astringents have started to fail me, so I had to find other products to clear up blackheads and shrink pores. Avon has great products - wishing I'd of given them chances before. Just because a product has a designer label and price, doesn't mean it's that great (clinique managed to disappoint me many times this year). Don't be afraid to switch it up if a product isn't making you happy, but always stick to what you love when you find it!

Keep checking for my 2011 awards for make-up, body care and hair care categories!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's been a while + holiday Bath & Body Works haul.

So it's been many of months since I made my last post, been busier than hell. First off, we lost our place of residency. But, in better news, me and Kyle got married September 26th. Kyle also started school for Film Production. Santa treated us well - 50" TV, lots of clothes, lots of shoes, mini cupcake baker, Steve Madden bedding, lots of cute video games to play with my daughter, and best of all - 94 items total from Bath & Body and LUSH (I got wonderful Christmas Time from my mom!)

Anyways, I know what you want to see: The haul, lol. I got a massive B&B Works haul, as well as LUSH (grand total of 52 things from LUSH between gifts and boxing day! will post later).

I got the two big Slatkins candles as gifts (Peppermint Marshmellow and Gingerbread), which are two of the best holiday scents ever. I also got a full size Pink Sugarplum body mist (this and Be Enchanted are my current favourite scents) and a mini Secret Wonderland mist. As well, two other little mini's (the midnight pomegrante scents I got are really nice too!).

Then came boxing day, oh goodness. There's way to much to get into detail of each item, so for now I'll just talk about my favorites. I spent a grand total of $79 in there. I got 14 hand soaps, 3 body mists, 2 anti-bacterial hand lotions, 4 pocket bacs, 2 mini lotions, mini body wash, 2 big body washes, 2 big moisturizers and 3 mini slatkins candles. We had 75% off sales, buy 3 get 3 and LOADS of $3 bins.

There was quite a few handsoaps, but I was excited to see the halloween scents on discount - Green Apple and marshmellow are to die for! I also stocked up on my favourite holiday ones - Iced Gingerbread and Ribbon Candy, both make me want to eat my hands after washing! Iced Gingerbread is possibly the best scented soap they have ever released. I also grabbed a bunch of other random ones that were cheap.

I also thought it was a HUGE score to find two of the Vanilla Collection body mists in the $3 bins. The Lemon Citrus from the Vanilla Collection is a big favorite of mine, and they haven't sold it for a while, so finding it was a score.

They also had some new pocket bacs sanitizer scents. I never seen PB&J, Honey Pretzel and Angel Food Cake. All 3 were definitely a great score and smell delicious. Honey Pretzel is by far a new favourite of mine, it's not something I've really smelt in a bath/body product.

The also had mini lotions of the new Escape to the Tropics scent (not currently out yet) for $1. I took a quick smell of them in store, and seem to like Bali Mango the best. I'm really excited for a mist to come out.

I still need to go back, as there's a few things I didn't get that I'd like to - Be Enchanted mist! I'm also glad to see they re-released Black Raspberry Vanilla, it was my favourite mist for a while and I blew through the whole bottle in a summer.

So in total I scored 33 items for $79. Pretty awesome eh? Pretty sure I'm set til next boxing day.. Although I'm sure a few holidays with new scents will bring me into the store again, and my love for body mist. Take care everyone, hope Santa treated you all well, and come back soon for my holiday LUSH haul post!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Avon Skin So Soft Satin Glow - Absolute Glow Gel

Shortly before I used this product, I stopped tanning in beds. I know many people who have got skin cancer, and I've become more aware of my skin. I don't spend more time than I should in the sun without sunscreen, nor do I do tanning beds. I'm super pumped about things that give me a natural tan through a cream. One of the first I'll be reviewing is Avon Skin So Soft Satin Glow Absolute Glow Gel.

I do a lot of fake tanning. I am not down with beds at all! I've been using many products as possible to show a tan off! I am very tan, and this is a product I use often on my legs. I do use other products to get a base tan, or barely there tan, but this really does a super good job on the legs!! Not only does this product help stops obvious signs of wrinkles, it stips scenes of stretch marks, as well as cellulite This stuff made my legs darker and shine a ton!! 

In the end, this stuff makes your legs more shiny and glistening than ever!! Highly recommended!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Avon - Advance Techniques Daily Shine Smooth and Shine Capsules

As you probably know by now, I am an Avon Rep. I've tried many products, some fails and some great success'. These smooth and shine caps - on the success list!

I bleach and tone my hair frequently, so I'm always after a product to counter act the damaging effects. I've ordered quite a few hair products now (I'll review more after more use!), and came to love this one.

This comes in a pack of 16 capsules. You twist the ends, and pour it in the hands, rub together and apply to hair. It can be used before or after you've dried your hair - I prefer to use after blow-drying and before straightening/curling.The only damage repair product I've used in the past was Kaaral Triaction Split End Serum. Surprisingly, I find the Daily Shine Caps more beneficial. The first thing I have noticed since using it, is that my hair feels gorgeous, silky and soft. That's unusual for me, as I have very thick and curly hair, when straightened it's hard to achieve that feeling. The second thing I've noticed is the help with frizz. I get killer frizz, very few products help with that. This product however does a bang up job on stopping it! The next plus side to this product is shine - again, something I never get with other products, my hair looks shiny and gorgeous! Lots of products make your hair greasy apon application, but not this one! I usually pay about $3 after my discount, making this the cheapest, and best product I have ever used! I use a few other products every day as well, but this is one that's made a noticeable difference!

This product gives you what it promises: Healthier hair, more shine, less frizz, silky hair... It's a great product! I recommend it to all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Avon Moisture Therapy Intensive Treatment Collection Review

There's always bonus' to being an Avon consultant, like picking up this 5 piece set for $8.99! Just so I don't have to repeat it for everything, these products are unscented!

 Body Lotion: This lotion is very runny and sticky. I prefer much thicker lotions. Being for extra dry skin, I wasn't very impressed. It seemed to be to be a basic lotion with nothing too special to offer. I find a few hours after application I feel dry again. I also don't like the sticky, tacky feeling of it.

Extra Strength Cream: Now this is a cream for me! With a much thicker consistency, it was easier to apply. I can apply this before bed and wake up moisturized still! It's for extra dry skin, but great for a good, deep moisturizing. I especially like it before bed, you can skin lotion in the morning. Another great thing, it's been helping the spot of eczeme on my shoulder so well!

Hand Cream: I'm actually on my 3rd bottle of this! I find it has a consistency like Vasoline, but non-greasy and smooth. It definitely leaves hands moisturized and feeling silky. What I love most, is that unlike some hand creams, you don't feel dry a few hours later. It does however take quite a while to fully absorb, but I personally love the feeling like I just put it on.

Lip Ointment SPF 15: First of all, I LOVE SPF lip anything! I found this to have a consistency like the hand cream, quite a like Vasoline. It's very slick and greasy feeling, but works so incredibly! My lips were very, very dry before using this, and are gorgeous now! I love putting it on a few hours before lipstick, because it gives me gorgeous lips, and acts quite like a primer as it lasts a long, long time. Also, hair doesn't stick to it!

Moisturizing Lip Treatment SPF 15: This product worked mildly okay, but was basically just a stick version of the above lip ointment, just not as long lasting or good. Felt the same, didn't stick, just didn't work as well.

Over all, I will be buying the Extra Strength Creme, Hand Cream and Lip Ointment again for sure. I do however think the Body Lotion and Lip Treatment stick are a waste of money, much better products out there, even in this line!

Avon Foot Works Thermal Exfoliating Scrub Review

Unlike some, I have pretty great feet. They aren't shaped the cutest, but are very soft. But with summertime coming, I need to get them in prime condition. I walk around bare foot a lot, which some times causes callus', so I have work extra hard to keep them nice. I've been buying quite a few foot products for this reason.

I was super intrigued to try this foot scrub, as it warms as soon as you rub, and is supposed to remove rough, dry dead skin and leave feet soft and smooth.

I tried this out the day it arrived a few weeks ago, and have used about 1/3 of it already. At first, I thought the tube would be easy, but it's difficult to squeeze out, especially after the first use, as it hardens in the cap (I just run it under hot water quick). The scrubbing particles are very small, but powerful! I also immediately felt the warming sensation which felt great and soothing, but it only lasts for about 20 seconds. Don't be worried though, because 20 seconds of rubbing this on your feet is all you need! 

I really enjoyed this foot scrub. The warming sensation, the softness of the scrub and how fast it works. It's great to have your feet looking like you just had a pedicure in 20 seconds! I will definitely keep purchasing this product. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

LUSH Butterfly Ball Ballistic

On my last trip to LUSH (which I've been doing almost every two weeks), I was sadly informed that I had JUST missed their Pinata Party, where everyone got to take a wack at Donkey Oaty for a free gift. Luckily, the girls are FABULOUS, and gave me a free surprise gift to take home - Butterfly Ball Ballistic. I was super excited and intrigued, especially over a product that was unavailable for purchase in the store. Being the fantastic mommy I am, I let my 3 year old daughter enjoy it!

From first impressions, I was in love. Half pink, half purple with flowers erupting from it, I couldn't wait to try it out!

 As it floated and fizzed, it filled the whole bathroom with gorgeous scents of jasmine! The more it fizzed, the more cornflower and larkspur petals came out! I also loved the pink and white foam, it reminded me lots of Mrs. Whippy! I had to hop in with her! The flowers and ylang ylang oil left my skin so smooth and hydrated, I just loved the silkiness of the water!

As time passed, the fizzing stopped, and the bubbles cleared, we were left with gorgeous pink water, filled with flowers! As we played around in the water, we found the best little surprise floating around - a sparkly purple butterfly!

This was a fantastic bath bomb that we both enjoyed! From start to finish, it was wonderful and relaxing! I really wish they carried these in the store, but it was a refreshing and more enjoyable experience knowing it was a one time treat! Haylee and I are total LUSH addicts, as soon as she see's me coming home with my big bag, she asks for her "bath eggs".
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