Wednesday, 31 January 2018

December 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I have been an Ipsy subscriber for over an year. I was a bit skeptical about a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box because I didn't want to end up with a bunch of products I couldn't use or didn't know how to use. Each month you get full size or deluxe-sized products in a cute makeup bag, and I was sold after checking out their previous bags. If you're not very adventurous with makeup like me, it's a great way to build your makeup collection on the cheap and expand your makeup expertise!


The December 2017 glam bag theme was snow globe and I was really feeling the Elsa vibe with the shimmery blue and silver bag design. I prefer the "plain" bags over the graphic ones so I was happy to have a nice holiday inspired bag :)

In my bag:
Smashbox Cosmetics Always On gel liner
MAC Extreme Dimension mascara 
First Aid Beauty face cleanser 
SLMISSGLAM highlight brush
Trèstique mini brow pencil

I was thrilled to get the First Aid Beauty cleanser because I've been loving the products I've tried from FAB for a looong time :) I rate the December Ipsy Glam Bag a 5/5 and I'm happy to end the year with an awesome bag of samples.




Click here to sign up with Ipsy and get your very own Glam Bag! 

More about the products inside:

Smashbox Cosmetics Always On gel liner- I've been disappointed with many gel liners but I was pleased to see that the Smashbox liner held up to its claims. It's long lasting and waterproof so you don't have to worry about reapplying throughout the day. Yass!

MAC Extreme Dimension mascara- This sample was teeny tiny so I'll be saving this for my travel bag. I loved the way the wand made my lashes look fanned out but not clumpy. The formula was a bit too thick for my taste and smelled too much like paint. I can tolerate the smell for gorg lashes though ;)

First Aid Beauty face cleanser- One of my faves! I can't tell you enough how much I love First Aid Beauty and keep the face cleanser and moisturizer stocked for everyone in my home. It's gentle enough for the kids but gets deep down to where I really need it after a long day. 

SLMISSGLAM highlight brush- This brush is one of the prettiest brushes I ever got from Ipsy. It looked gorgeous on my vanity and c'mon...it's one of my fave colour combos! It's a synthetic brush that can be used for cream, liquid, or powder formulas. Perfect for anyone looking for an all-in-one brush! 

Trèstique mini brow pencil- I've been a Benefit Ka Brow snob since last year so I'm very picky with what I use on my brows. I must say, I didn't think I'd be impressed with a brow product like this since I find some pencils don't offer the lasting power as pomade-like brow products.  I'm thrilled that this mini brow pencil can actually fit in my travel bag and the angled tip is great! I can finally give Ka Brow a break (maybe!)

I was happy with the December glam bag and can't wait to see what 2018 has in store! Tell me...what was your fave subscription for 2017 and what are you hoping to try this year? I'd love to discover something new!



Wednesday, 24 January 2018

My PM Skin Care Routine


Routine is defined as a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program or regimen. Sometimes my skin care routine feels more like a ritual- a solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. I truly do find that I'm more relaxed at night while I'm following my skin care ritual. Maybe it's because I can have some time for myself, or maybe it's because I know sleep usually follows!!

My PM routine is fairly simple and there are usually ONLY 7 or 8 steps. Here's my most recent faves:

Step 1- Cleanse

I love the Orenda Illuminating face wash with vitamin C because the gel formula is light but gets the job done perfectly. After using this cleanser my face feels fresh and oh so clean! I like that this face wash is vegan and pH balanced for all skin types. I've been using this cleanser for a while now and it's my "go to" for when I need a deep clean after a long day.

Step 2- Tone/Exfoliate

I discovered First Aid Beauty last year from Sephora and it's a staple in my household because it's gentle enough for my kids to use. I like using the Facial Radiance Pads after cleansing because it contains lactic and glycolic acid which help tone and exfoliate the skin. On days when my lips need a little extra love, I also use a lip scrub to help exfoliate my lips and keep them looking lush.  My current fave is the Indi Beauty buttercream lip scrub. It smells so so good (maybe because the first ingredient is organic sugar) Yes please!!

Step 3- Mask

Once my skin has been thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated, I apply a mask. There are some days I like to wear a sheet mask, but most days I like using wash off masks. My current obsession is the Prairie Bloom Botanicals charcoal and marshmallow mask aka the black one. This mask is a waterless mask that you have to mix yourself in order to use. It's a white clay, calendula powder, marshmallow root powder, and activated charcoal concoction that easily mixes with water to create a paste. I felt a gentle tingle while this mask was on and it did dry fairly quickly. I found very little flaking during drying. After rinsing, my skin was glowing! I'm obsessed.

Step 4- Serum

I usually don't fall for beauty trends, especially if I see products EVERYWHERE, which is what I experienced with The Ordinary. Nonetheless, I've decided to jump on the most recent skin care bandwagon after reading about the brand and their values. I've recently incorporated a new product into my routine- The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion.  I loved how it absorbed well and left my skin looking supple and smooth. This product has done wonders for my skin and I can't wait to incorporate other serums and tonics from The Ordinary in my routine. 

Step 5- Eye cream

I never go to bed without applying eye cream and I'm loving the results from the Virginia Stone cream. Its super luxe but melts easily. This superfood complex is designed to stimulate cell renewal, inhibit oxidative stress, combat free radical damage, and awaken tired skin. There are so many potent ingredients in this eye cream... I'm amazed! I'm also impressed with Virginia Stone's commitment to wildlife conservation and every Virginia Stone product is proudly vegan. Effort is also made to protect the integrity of the ingredients by using a "slow-cook" approach because after all, products are only as good as the quality of ingredients within. My absolute fave thing about the cream is that it's stored in a little concrete box called a stone Luxador. Yup. The stone does an excellent job of protecting active ingredients and prevents UV damage. 

Step 6- Sleeping Mask

The last step in my nightly routine is a sleeping mask or night cream. If you follow my Instagram account (@alittlebitofgloss) you may have seen my recent post on niacinamide. This sleeping mask from Soo AE is formulated with niacinamide, acai berry, and blueberry which are all fantastic ingredients that help combat the appearance of dull skin. You can find this mask for only $4 on the sooae.ca or at your local Walmart. This is an affordable way to add some much needed nourishing ingredients to your winter skin care routine. 

I love waking up to super soft skin so it's worth the effort to follow a multi-step routine. My ritual isn't as crazy as some I've seen on other blogs and 6 or 7 steps is manageable for me. How many steps are in your regimen? I'd love to know if you have more than 7 steps!





Tuesday, 23 January 2018

My First Time using Soo AE Masks

It's no secret that I've become a bit of a skincare junkie. Like really...I'm obsessed. There are some days I truly look forward to ending my day with my skincare routine because it's become a welcome and much needed ritual that helps me unwind. There's nothing I love more than finding great masks that leave my skin soft and radiant so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I got a lovely care package from the Soo AE team :) To celebrate the Soo AE Canadian launch, I got to try the full catalogue and I narrowed down my favourites to just three (which was REALLY hard to do!!)



The Charcoal Clay Bubble Mask was the most fun to use. I have tried all sorts of bubble masks but the Soo AE bubble mask has Binchotan charcoal, kaolin clay and bentonite clay for an amazing purified feeling after you rinse it off. The bubbles weren't overwhelming like other bubble masks I've tried and actually smells ok. That could be because Binchotan charcoal (also known as white charcoal) was traditionally used by Japanese chefs because it does not release unpleasant odours when used for cooking. My skin was left feeling thoroughly clean and fresh. 



I'm not usually a fan of hydrogel masks because some of the ones I used fall off too easily, but the Soo AE Supreme Gold mask fit very well. This product promises to help minimize the look of fine lines as well as boost moisture and soothe dryness. While I didn't notice an immediate benefit to the lines around my eyes, I did feel nourished. I was interested to learn that this mask contains peat water (helps improve cell turnover and increases sin elasticity), bamboo water (fights free radicals, moisturizes, and helps fade dark spots), and birch sap (reduces inflammation and is hydrating). My skin was glowing after using this mask!




Another fave is the Purifying Black Charcoal Mask. I love the texture of this mask and found the fit to be near perfect. This was my first time using a mask that contained green caviar extracts which is said to provide instant clarity and moisture to relieve dry and tired skin. Also known as the "Sea Grape", green caviar has many benefits that make it perfect for skin care. It can rejuvenate and improve the skin, as well as delay signs of aging.  I liked the serum of this mask because it absorbed well and left my skin visibly brighter. 

I've seen Soo AE masks in many beauty stores and I'm happy I got the chance to see how amazing they are. You can find these masks at Wal-Mart or the Soo Ae website at https://sooae.ca/ As a special treat to all my readers and followers, I'm also including two masks in my next Instagram giveaway so stay tuned to find out more!!  

Have you tried any of these Soo AE masks? Let me know which one is your fave! 









https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binch%C5%8Dtan
https://theklog.co/meet-peat-miracle-working-anti-aging-ingredient/
http://www.beautifulwithbrains.com/bamboo-extract-skincare-benefits/
http://asia.be.com/beauty/skincare/know-birch-sap-skincare-benefits-159476.html#item=1
http://www.isoi.com/product/greencaviar.php

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

SUBSCRIPTION BOX REVIEW- Extraordinary Man Box

Sometimes that special guy in our life might need a little pampering too. I'm terrible for finding creative ways to say "thank you" and there's only so many Best Buy gift cards I can buy, you know what I mean!?! Wouldn't it be nice if there was a subscription box that catered to that fantastic guy that enjoys carefully selected goodies? Well look no further than the Extraordinary Man Box by BC Living- seriously...it is just as good as it sounds. I got the winter Editor's box for review (thanks so very much!!) and my hubby loved every single item in the box. I was happy to see that this box featured a wide range of lifestyle items. 

In the box:

Wolf Clothing Co. socks
Barber and Co shave oil
Domenica Fiore olive oil
Vitality Relax + herbal aid
2 Simply Beautiful copper mugs
Clear the Mind for Success by Brad J. Liski
Avventura Outdoors Flashlight 

My favourite items were the copper mugs since I'm loving Moscow Mules lately. I was also surprised that the olive oil was so tasty. My hubby drizzled some oil on top of homemade pizza and let me tell you...I couldn't stop eating! I was really impressed that this box featured so many high end brands. Out of all the items, my hubby found the flashlight most useful because there are multiple settings like strobe and SOS mode.  This box is valued at $162 CAD and is a great deal if you're looking for some useful items to add to your collection. There were 7 items in the winter 2017 box and every item will be well loved. 


More about the products inside:

Wolf Clothing Co. socks- My hubby loved the Wolf Clothing Co Marquise socks because the diamond pattern and two tone detail look great with both dressy and casual attire. These socks are both comfortable and stylish- a win-win!

Barber and Co shave oil- This shave oil does a fantastic job of prepping the skin for the razor's blade, and I should know since I tried some on my legs (Sorry...not sorry!) My skin gets so dry in the winter so it was nice to try this hydrating and calming elixir. Oh and it worked great on my hubby's face too HAHA! 

Domenica Fiore Olio Veritas olive oil- One of the many things my hubby and I can just drink from the bottle. This olive oil is So. Damn. Good! Domenica Fiore oils are stored in a stainless steel bottle, which I now know is the best material for preserving olive oil's nutritional and flavour characteristics. Not only is the Olio Veritas oil hand harvested and cold pressed, it won gold honours in Beijing, New York, Palermo and Tokyo. And for good reason! I'm a sucker for little details and I was thrilled to learn that each bottle is hand signed, dated and numbered by the producer. If you know someone that likes collecting olive oils then this one's for you (or them!)

Vitality Relax + herbal aid- The holidays can be both a joyous time and a stressful time, so it was nice to have an herbal aid to support the madness. Relax + can help relieve tight muscles while calming the mind. It can also encourage a more restorative sleep since it can reduce restlessness. 

2 Simply Beautiful copper mugs- Perfect for these cold winter nights, these copper mugs are useful AND look fabulous in my liquor cabinet. You can use these mugs for any drink- not just Moscow Mules but as with any copper mug it's important to hand wash and dry as soon as possible to keep the copper looking it's best. 

Avventura Outdoors Flashlight- 1,200 lumens, three power levels, field-width settings, SOS mode, and strobe mode...seriously this is the flashlight of my dreams. I can't wait to take this baby out with us when we go camping and since its surprisingly durable, my hubby can take this on his fishing trips. The uses for this flashlight are many and that's why it's an excellent addition to any home. 

I'm very pleased with this box and would recommend getting the subscription for any special guy that might need a little lifestyle update. And HELLO...Valentine's Day is coming up so if you wanted to get something that screams "I put so much thought into this!" check out the EMB at https://www.bcliving.ca/Buy-the-Extraordinary-Man-Box



Wednesday, 10 January 2018

CURRENT OBSESSION- The Six Watches

There is so much beauty in things that are simple. More and more do I love things that don't have all the bells and whistles. I'm a bit of a minimalist, especially when it comes to clothes and accessories, so I was thrilled when I was gifted the super trendy Chelsea watch from The Six Watches team (thanks so very much for the love!) I love repping my city and the SIX logo is perfectly placed so I will always be reminded of home no matter where I am.

This watch features gold accents and a grey leather strap. I wear all sorts of colours and funny enough, the Chelsea watch worked well with any outfit in my wardrobe :) I'm happy to have such a versatile watch! At 36mm, its also perfect for my small wrist.  The leather felt very soft and was super comfortable. I'm currently obsessed with this watch! I wore this watch on a casual night out but it also looked great when I dressed up. The gold and grey complement each other well. Watches make perfect gifts, and the Chelsea watch came in a sleek black box that looks just as pretty as the watch.



If you're one that likes to get technical about what's inside a watch, the Chelsea watch uses a Japanese Quartz movement. What does that mean? 

A quartz timepiece is powered by a battery that sends an electrical signal through a piece of crystal quartz. The quartz vibrates 32768 times per second, creating a signal with a precise frequency. The vibrations are measured by the circuit and converted into a single pulse every second. The consistent movement of the watch hands is a result of this pulse.

So what are the benefits Of Quartz movement anyway?

Accurate Time: A quartz mechanism barely veers from the exact time, ensuring superior accuracy.

Ease Of Use: Quartz watches are battery-powered and do not require human intervention to keep ticking.

Low Maintenance: The low number of moving parts and the presence of a battery ensure that quartz watches are lower maintenance.

Less Expensive: Mechanical and automatic watches require more watchmaking hours and skill. Quartz watches are hence cheaper.

Durability: A quartz timepiece has fewer moving parts that may require repairing, making it more durable than a mechanical watch.

I am by no means a watch collector, but I was impressed with the manufacturing of the Chelsea watch since it feels very well made. The Six Watches would be my pick if you're looking to satisfy the need for a well made, minimalist watch that works well with any wardrobe. 

If you'd like to learn more about what The Six Watches has to offer, visit their website https://www.thesixwatches.com/  You can use promo code: alittlebitofgloss12 to save $$$ off your purchase!

Do you like to wear watches? What are some accessories you can't live without?? Let me know in the comments :)

Source: https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/quartz-mechanical-automatic-movements/

My First Time using The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask

When you live in the city, it’s easy to miss how much dust actually stays on your skin...especially if you live around a construction z...