Product Review: NARS Pressed Finishing Powder

Today’s product is the NARS Pressed Finishing Powder! NARS is a company that doesn’t disappoint – they have a wide array of products and are up on the latest trends – but not shoving them in your face. NARS provides a nice blend of classy and stylish makeup. And they are cruelty free which is extremely important to me.

The NARS pressed finishing powder will set your makeup and add a luminous sheen to your face – giving it an airbrushed look. It lasts a long time and sets your makeup beautifully. Upon first glance this white powder may be intimidating to some (not me since I’m super pale haha) but it truly does melt into your makeup and lock it in with a gently glowy (not JLo glowy!) look so I’d recommend it no matter what your skin tone is. If your skin is dry it can look slightly cakey – but if you use a finishing spray as well that will help it settle into that no-makeup look.

The first few times I picked up this product I grabbed the loose version – I liked it but found it a wee bit messy (as loose powders can be!), then one time I went to pick some up and my local Sephora was out of the loose, so I picked up the pressed. At first I found the pressed a wee bit harder to work with, since I was used to the loose, but actually found myself re-buying the pressed on my last trip since it is a bit more convenient to work with. It’s easier to travel with as it comes in a smaller container, and is easy to use on-the-go if you need to.

NARS has a wide range of colored pressed powders to match your skin tone, and they are great products, but I prefer this white pressed finishing powder. I find it easier to work with and happier with the results on my skin.

Product Review: Hard Candy Glamoflauge

I have some friends who are professional makeup artists and their kits are loaded up with products from the higher end brands that they work for/prefer…but recently two of them admitted to me that they carry a special, extra low priced secret weapon in their stash…

The secret is Hard Candy’s Glamoflauge! It’s a light, yet heavy duty concealer which can be used to conceal, well, just about anything! I picked up a tube a few months ago and have been quite impressed. I dab just a little on my red areas, and any small breakouts, and it covers surprisingly well, lasts a long time, and most importantly, doesn’t go super cakey – even at the end of a very long day! I’ve also used it on top of a few more serious pimples I battled about a month ago and it covers those well too. Dark circles are a wee bit of a challenge for this product – if yours are light this may be worth a try, but mine are super duper so I need to use a different product.

Glamoflauge is a good sized tube and a steal of a deal – I believe it’s about $6 a tube. This product REALLY holds up to a lot of the fancier, much more expensive brands.

Product Review: Bare English & Co Lip Balm

I didn’t really want to do two lip products in a row for Product Review Friday but a  friend recently introduced me to the most amazing lip balm ever and I just have to share! It’s the Bare English and Co lip balm and it, my friends, is amazing.

This wonderful little tube of joy isn’t sticky but is luxuriously moisturizing and leaves a very gentle sheen to the lips. Available in 12 flavors, there’s truly something for everyone. The company is proud to use only natural waxes, oils and tea infused flavors. I have tried the Fresh Grapefruit, and am now using the Vanilla Coconut – and I am IN LOVE with this lip balm! The flavors are amazing, and the two I have tried have definitely smelled exactly like the description, without being fake or syrupy sweet as you so often find with flavored lip balms.

The only SLIGHT issue I have with the balm is that it is packaged in an oval container so applying it can be a wee bit messy, either overlapping your lips with product or having to manuever the tube sideways. This is something super easy to get over however since it is such an amazing product. And the thing that makes up for it is that THE TUBE WON’T ROLL OFF YOUR COUNTER! Amazing. Brilliant. Buy this product!

Product Review: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Lip Nectar Lip Gloss

Those who know me well – or actually even a little – know how much of a makeup junkie I am! Lipsticks and glosses in particular. My lip collection had grown to 66 shades at last count and I may or may not have picked up a few more this summer. But while it is nice to have many options to grab from I find myself wearing the same shade for weeks at a time, before I move on to another.

This summer my go-to lip gloss was the Body Shop honey bronze lip nectar moisturizing lip gloss. I lost track of how many times I was asked ‘what lip gloss are you wearing?!’.  It’s nothing fancy – it just adds a hint of color, and wears fairly well.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Body Shop. Let me explain – I do like their practices, I always go for cruelty free, their prices are quite reasonable, and I’m surprisingly impressed with most of the makeup products I’ve tried from them. Over the last few years I’ve moved away from their body care products for my own pursuit in using more natural products, but if that’s not something you care about, their soaps foam and rinse well and their body butters do their job to moisturize without being overly greasy.  Here’s where the issue comes in – they discontinue SO many products! Every time I find a product I truly love from them it’s discontinued shortly after. It all started years ago after a teenage love affair with fuzzy peaches and dewberry (although they do offer these products occasionally as re-promotes) then moved to the colored mascaras of the early 2000’s, a leave in conditioner I was quite fond of, the amazing hair brush they once had, the original rose lotion, then the major one I’ve still not been able to get over – the cream eye makeup remover in the bottle (reformulated to the tin, which is not nearly as good of a product IMO). And now here we go again – after buying this lip gloss twice, loving it, and recommending it, it seems to have disappeared from their lineup!

They do have a similar product in actual lip balm (egg shaped) form, which I tried in store. This one seems to be creamier and healthier for the lips while adding a similar sheen to the lips so I may look into this further. However a friend recently told me she saw the original product I’m referring to at her local (Vancouver) store and she picked up 2 tubes, so I’m really not sure if it’s still out there or not.

If you can find it pick it up! It’s a great price, a quick, easy, inexpensive color to add a wee bit of sheen to your lips – and gain a lot of compliments!

Product Review: Lavanila Healthy Deodorant

Happy Fall (my favorite season)!

With fall officially starting this week, today is a great day to review one of my most favorite natural products of all time – the Lavanila Healthy Deodorant.

The jury still seems to be out on whether antiperspirants actually cause health problems, but there is definitely enough grey area to make me think twice about using them. So this is why I have turned to natural based deodorants. I’ve tried no less than 10 kinds and the Lavanila Healthy Deodorant is the one I always come back to because it seems to work the best. Keep in mind that even the best natural deodorant isn’t going to stop sweat if you push it to its limits – so on the hottest days of the year, or if I’m going to be quite active, I slap on the ‘traditional’ antiperspirant, but for day-to-day typical use I use the Lavanila and it keeps me feeling fresh.

I’m quite impressed with the whole Lavanila line (lotions, perfumes, etc) and will likely review all of the products in the future. Each product in the line comes in a vanilla based scent (pure vanilla, vanilla blackberry, vanilla passion fruit, etc…) and also scent free. I have tried most of the vanilla scents but usually buy the pure vanilla the most as it seems to be the most subtle, and it mixes well with other lotions I may be wearing that day.

This product is a wee bit pricy (about $14 US/$20 CDN I believe) but it’s worth it! One tube lasts a while (you don’t need to use a lot) and it provides great moisturizing benefits for your underarms as well as good odor control. The scent lingers a bit but isn’t too overpowering. The roll on goes on as a thin white paste but I’ve never had any issues with it coming off on my clothing – and I wear a LOT of black!

Two thumbs up for this awesome natural deodorant!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Honest Co Shampoo and Body Wash

A few months ago the soap/shampoo combo I was using on my daughter was discontinued. It was a lovely, natural product that worked well, and smelled great. I’m not going to name names but this local company totally fell out of favor with me as this was the second popular product in their line that was discontinued within a few months.

Looking around I found other natural products that either ‘smelled like mud’ as my BF put it, or were at an extremely high price point for just a small bottle. Not wanting to use just any old soap on her I kept searching.

I’d heard about the Honest Company and had some friends who ordered them online and loved them. I didn’t want the hassle of ordering something online (actually more so the waiting for it to arrive!), so I put them out of my mind.

One day while shopping at Costco I spotted an Honest Company display! They were featuring a 2 pack of their Shampoo and Body Wash – and it was a great price – so of course I picked it up!

We’ve since gone back to buy more. We all use it! It has a gentle vanilla orange smell that foams up just enough, and rinses off cleanly. I don’t use it on my hair, but it gets my body clean – and I’ve also been using it as a shave gel for the last few weeks. We do use it on my daughter’s hair and it rinses nicely and leaves her hair fresh. The bottles are fairly large and come with pumps so it’s easy to use and each bottle lasts a surprisingly long time, even with all 3 of us using it daily.

So no matter if you have kids or not head down to Costco – or go online – and pick this up! Two Thumbs UP!honestshampoo

PRODUCT REVIEW: Joe Fresh Fresh Glass

I’m going to go back to my beauty roots and sharing some of my favorite, and least favorite, products with you over the next few months!

First up is the Joe Fresh Fresh Glass lip gloss. Unfortunately we are starting off on a bad foot here because although I usually feel the love for Joe Fresh cosmetic products – they are an innovative brand, who is cruelty free, and sprouting up everywhere at a decent price point – this was not a great product. I’ll have to review some of the other products which I’ve tried and loved at another time because I really do feel this is a great brand, despite this product.

I received a tube for free straight from Joe Fresh, and another tube from Shoppers Drug Mart who is carrying the Joe Fresh line now. Typically free products are top-notch as the companies are looking for a review, and are introducing you to their brand, but this was a HUGE exception.

STICKY is an understatement! I actually don’t mind a bit of tack to my lip glosses (a la most M.A.C. lip glosses) but this product takes it to the extreme unfortunately. And although the color goes on fairly sheer the product is thick, so you get those nasty clumps and strings from even 1 or 2 coats.

In their favor, the colors are nice – in addition to the 2 I’ve tried I’ve swatched all the colors – and it is fairly long lasting…but I just can’t get by the extreme stickiness. I wore this out a few days ago and was constantly conscious of how sticky my lips were. There is a slight minty scent, which was a big thing with companies a few years ago, and while it is better than the chemically, musty smell some lip products give off, this mint scent is more of a gimmick than anything else.

The price point on these is quite low – but in my opinion you can get a WAY better product at the same price point if you are looking to experiment with some new colors.

So sorry Joe Fresh – I’ll shop your line again, but Fresh Glass was a HUGE thumbs down.