Saturday, January 17, 2015

|| Aveeno Fresh Essentials Skincare Line Review ||

A little while ago, I was sent these products by the PR company for Aveeno to test out and review. I didn’t want to just open up, sniff, and use the products once before reviewing, so it’s been a while, but I feel like I have a good grasp on these products now, so let’s get to the review!

So what they sent me was three products from their new Fresh Essentials line: the Daily Exfoliating Scrub (which was mentioned in my 2014 favourites), the Daily Nourishing Moisturizer, and the Hydrating Night Cream. I’m pretty happy with all of these products, and I just want to state now, before I get into my individual reviews, that this whole line has a really lovely, light, clean scent.

Daily Exfoliating Scrub

This product claims to be a deep facial scrub with natural luffa and coconut pulp, which is supposed to remove dirty and makeup from your skin and pore. As a scrub, I expected this to have a lot more of a grit to it, but it is very smooth, with just a very fine, gentle scrub to it. I definitely agree that this is gentle enough to be a daily scrub, and I love how soft and clean my skin feels after washing with this product, without the tightness that a lot of other products leave my skin feeling. I also love that this is a sort of two-in-one product, being a wash and scrub, making your face routine just a little faster and easier.

Daily Nourishing Moisturizer

This daily moisturizer contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as having SPF 30. Another great product that makes your skin routine a little faster, as you don’t need to use a sunscreen as well as your day lotion. Of course, this product does have a slight sunscreen scent—it’s basically unavoidable—the great scent of this line does a bit to help cover it and make it a little less obnoxious. I find it to be one of the least greasy-feeling sunscreens that I’ve used, and I don’t think it adds a white cast to the skin. It’s oil-free and works great for me under makeup. Although if I were picking favourites, this would be my least favourite part of the line, the main reasons are because I really dislike sunscreen products, as much as I know I should be using them, and also because I just really like both of the other two products in this line! Definitely still worth a try!

Hydrating Night Cream

This night cream is so nice! It has the same vitamins as the daytime formula—A, C, and E—but obviously without the sunscreens. It comes in this little pot, and it a bit of a thicker, creamier formula, but in another way it seems to feel much lighter on the skin than the day formula because I feel like the sunscreens take a bit longer to absorb properly into the skin. This moisturizer not only helped to clear up a couple of dry patches that developed on my cheeks and forehead last week, but I also was using this on my peeling palms, and I feel like it helped a lot! (I was also using L’Occitane’s 20% shea butter hand cream and Bath and Body Work’s True Blue Spa Paraffin Super Softening hand lotion as well, but those three products have almost completely fixed my hands!) This is probably my favourite of all three products in this range!

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So that’s everything for today! I hope you found this quick little review helpful, if you were looking for a new skincare line to try or wondering about these new products! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and also let me know what you’re loving for your skincare routine right now!

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

|| Book Chat #2 || Oct-Dec 2014 || {video}

It's that time again! (Actually, its probably a little past time, but ignore that!) Here's another round-up of all the books I've read from October through December. I only have 5 to talk about in this video, as that was a busy time for me, but I hope you enjoy it!

Your options, should you choose to accept one: click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

|| Kiss Me Organics Matcha Review ||

I recently received this product through BrandBacker to test out and review for you guys. As you can guess by the brand name, this is an organic Matcha powder, and it is the first result that pops up at the top of the search results when you search "matcha" on Amazon.ca. This sells for $29 CDN on Amazon for a 4 oz (113g) bag, but anyone who has bought or used matcha before probably knows that is a pretty expensive product, so honestly, $30 for 4 oz isn't bad. (To compare, DavidsTea charges $29-39 for 100g, depending on the matcha you choose) Also, because it is over $25, Amazon.ca ships this product for free if you choose the Super Saver shipping option, which is pretty awesome.

If you aren't familiar with matcha, I'll give you a quick description, though I'm guessing you know a little bit about it already just because it is so big right now!

Matcha is the product that makes your green tea latt├ęs and frappucinos green. It is a powder made from grinding whole green tea leaves, and rather than steeping the leaves in hot water like regular tea, matcha is prepared by blending this powder into hot water (or hot milk for a creamy treat!). Since you are ingesting the whole leaves, you get a lot more of the antioxidants that are naturally in green tea (the packaging for this brand claims that it is 137 times the amount found in brewed green tea). Kiss Me Organics claims many of the benefits that has made this product such a fad right now on their packaging, such as: 1) all day energy, 2) metabolism boost/burns calories, 3) increased focus, 4) improved skin health/anti-aging. Obviously these claims are a little hard to test, so I won't be discussing them in this review, and whether you believe these claims or not, they apply to all matcha, not just this brand.

I just want to preface my actual review by stating that I love matcha! I think it's delicious in drinks, candies, food, etc. I'll tell you my particular favourite way to use matcha a little later, but for now, let's get into my thoughts on this product:

1. I've already mentioned that the price for this brand is at least comparable to others, so it isn't overpriced, nor is it particularly inexpensive.

2. This really doesn't affect the product inside, but I think some of the choices that Kiss Me Organics made with their packaging are a little off-putting, and I probably wouldn't have picked this product up in a store. The largely printed health benefit claims on the front make it look a little like a gimmicky health food or supplement, instead of an ancient and delicious way to drink tea. I would much more happily pick up a matcha powder at a tea shop or in more aesthetically pleasing packaging. That said, I don't think now that I've tried it, that the packaging should scare you off. If you read the ingredients on the back, this really is just matcha powder, with no additives!

3. Matcha powder can be a little hard to mix into hot water, tending to clump together, so it can be a bit of a pain to work with. I also don't have the fancy matcha whisks you can buy at tea shops, so that might be partly why. Still, this was no harder than others to mix, which is good.

4. The flavour of this matcha is excellent for drinks, and would likely be awesome in baking as well, though I haven't yet tried that. It is a good, strong green tea flavour without being harsh or bitter. This is good quality tea.

***

Now, just to conclude, I wanted to let you know my favourite way to drink Matcha. It's super simple. Also, I like drinking big servings, but you could easy cut the amounts in half for a smaller serving! This will make about 16 oz. Basically, it's a lazy matcha vanilla latte. All you need is:

1 teaspoon Matcha Powder
1 cup Hot Water
1 cup heated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugar to taste. (I use 1-2 teaspoons, depending on my mood, or you could leave it out all together)

Mix matcha and hot water until you get out as many of the lumps as possible. Add milk, vanilla, and sugar. Enjoy! This almost tastes like Green Tea KitKats to me... Soooo good!

***

Anyways, I hope you found this review helpful. If you would like to learn more about this product and Kiss Me Organics, you can check them out at kissmeorganics.com. You can also click the links below to find this product on Amazon for your country:

Canadian Amazon

US Amazon

UK Amazon

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

|| My Christmas 2014 Present Haul! ||

I like to do these posts every year as much for my own memory and records, as to be a fun post for you guys. I'm not trying to brag; I honestly think some of you will wonder why I'm so happy with some of my presents this year as I am, but I'm really quite happy with the gifts I was given. I'm so thankful to my wonderful family and friends for the gifts that they gave me. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!

I'm going to do this in two sections: from my family and from my boyfriend. My boyfriend likes to buy me things, and around Christmas he likes to call most of the things he gets me Christmas presents, so his section may look pretty impressive :p... Enjoy!

***

From actual Christmas, from my family

Sorry for some of the poor quality in this section. I stupid took all these pictures with my phone, in my dark room...

Overview:

Some random stuff:

Above: some bath stuff, mini nail polish remover, tiger and flying piggy socks, a LOL necklace, toothbrush and toothpaste, a manicure set, some Simple face wipes, etc.
Below: Lint rollers, more socks, makeup bags, tiny deodorant, loofah.

Keurig/tea:

Three teas you can't see the labels on (2 Holiday Chai and 1 Decaf Pumpkin Spice from Stash), Raspberry Chocolate Truffle keurig, Kahlua keurig, Vanilla hazelnut keurig, and bailey's keurig, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a starbucks ornament and $10 giftcard, a $10 Subway giftcard, some Bailey's chocolates.

Snacks:

Candy cane oreos, All Nuts Pot of Gold, Walker's shortbread, gum, Ferrero's, and peppermint chocolate sticks. And a panda stuffy from Ikea. So soft!!

Clothes:

Moose pj pants with a cell phone pocket, a teal shirt, Captain America shirt, Disney princess shirt, two simple tanktops, a slouchy grey sweater, and a fleece pj set!

Books and Movies:

My favourite section! A bulldog picture book, Hobbit pt. 2 Extended edition DVD, Divergent DVD, Marvel and Bravest Warrior pins from my sister, and Tolkien's translation of Beowulf (because I'm a nerd)!

***

From David

Naked on the Run palette, JustFab boots (Alyssa), a Guess wallet, a box set of the Game of Thrones books, and a Jasmine+Orchid candle from Superstore (they have shockingly nice candles!).

There are also two things missing from this picture: a $50 Metrotown giftcard which I already spent (if you want to see what I got, check out my recent haul video), and a dress which is still in transit. This is the design the dress is based off, though I did make some style changes to it.

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Thanks for reading! Let me know down below some of the cool things you got for Christmas, and link me if you did a Christmas haul video or post this year as well!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

|| REVIEW || Urban Decay's Naked on the Run Palette || {video}

I know, I know, it's about 3 days and 12 hours late, but it's here! My review of the UD Naked on the Run palette! Watch, and then let me know what you think! Have you tried this one out?

Your options, should you choose to accept one: click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

Thanks for watching!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

|| Best Products of 2014 || My Yearly Favourites!

As I mentioned in my last post, I meant to have a video to go with this post this year, but I just haven’t had time, and it really needs to go up soon!

I’ll be following the same formula that I used last year for this post, with some additional categories, and couple I’ve excluded. Also, you may notice that a lot of my favourite products haven’t changed, so I’ll note those as undefeated (by bolding them and adding stars) as we go along. There are 8 categories, so I guess this could be long-ish. Hope you find it interesting, let me know if you want proper reviews for any of the products mentioned!

Skincare

1. Facewash/scrub: Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Scrub.

2. Toner: Witch Hazel

3. Moisturizers: a) Serum: Lise Watier Lift & Firm 3D Night Serum

**b) moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Gel Moisturizer

5. Makeup remover: Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

***

Face Makeup

**1. Foundation: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation (in N115)

**2. Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

**3. Concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser

**4. Blush: Benefit Coralista

**5. Bronzer: Too Face Milk Chocolate Soliel Bronzer

**6. Highlighter: MAC Soft And Gentle

7. Setting Spray: Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray

***

Eye Makeup

1. Primer: Essence I Heart Stage Primer

2. Single Eyeshadow: Prestige True Metals shadow in Copper

**3. Liner Pencil: Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero

4. Liquid/cream/gel liner: Lise Watier Feline Liquid Liner pen in Brown

5. Mascara: Maybelline Rocket Volume Express Waterproof

6. Brow Product: Sephora Retractable Brow Pencil in Midnight Brown

7. Palette: Urban Decay Vice3

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Lips

1. Balm: Bonne Bell Lipsmacker in Bubblegum

2. Lipsticks: a) neutral: Limecrime Babette

b) bright: MAC Amplified Lipstick in Morange

c) dark: MAC Satin Lipstick in Cyber

3. lipgloss: Urban Decay Naked Lipgloss in Sesso

***

Scent

1. Perfume: Clean Warm Cotton

**2. Body Wash: The Body Shop in Satsuma

3. Lotion: (more for usefullness than scent) L’Occitane 20% Shea Butter Hand Creme

***

Nails

**1. Base coat: Essie Millionails

2. Colour: Peace & Love & OPI by OPI and LA Moss by Butter London

**3. Topcoat: INM Out the Door topcoat

**4. Tool: Burton Crystal File

***

Brushes

1. Eyes: Tweezerman Blender Brush

**2. Face: Real Techniques Buffing Brush

***

Miscellaneous

**1. Candle: Bath & Body Works’ Marshmallow Fireside

2. Drink: Coffee

**3. Food: Chicken

4. Books I read in: Game of Thrones 1-3 (A Song of Ice and Fire, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords)

5. Movies from 2014: The Fault in Our Stars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Mockingjay pt. 1

6.Shows I watched in 2014: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Game of Thrones, and True Blood

Thanks for reading! Be sure to let me know some of your 2014 favourites in the comments! =)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

|| Random Mini Haul! || {video}

Sorry it's been sooooo long! But here is a new video! Just a quick little haul video, but I hope you like it. I swear I'm trying to be better! I also have a couple of blog posts coming up, including my best of 2014 post. I wanted to do it as a video this year, but it would just take much too long to do it and get it up for you guys! Sorry. Look forward to that soon, and for now, check out this haul:

Click here to watch in HD, or watch below:

Thanks for watching!

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