Essie Marshmallow – Sheer White Jelly Mani Goodness

Essie Marshmallow – Sheer White Jelly Mani Goodness

Essie Marshmallow bottle

I was admiring a friend’s mani the other day- it was white-ish, crisp and elegant looking. She told me it was Essie Marshmallow, worn with 3 coats for semi-opacity. Even 3 coats doesn’t cover all the nail lines which is ok with me, as I am not a fan of pure opaque white on nails. Jelly polishes have such a squishy texture that is irresistible to me. I find they wear very well – perhaps due to their rubbery texture they are more flexible on the nail? Who knows, I just know I was happy to dig out my Essie Marshmallow and love it all over again!

essie marshmallow swatch

Do you rock the light sheer nail? What are your favourites?

 

Essie nailpolish is available at drugstores in Canada & the US.

 

 

Suresh Royal Jasmine Lip Balm – Kisses Like Flowers

Suresh Royal Jasmine Lip Balm – Kisses Like Flowers

jasmine lip balm

My name is Jane and I am a lip balm junkie. Yes, I admit it! My favourite lip balms are the smooth silky ones that leave a satiny finish on the lips, like La Mer Lip Balm and Chanel Hydramax Lip Care. You may also know that I am a jasmine lover. The scent of jasmine, the queen of flowers, is one of my most favourite perfume notes. So, bundle the two up into one gorgeous product and you have a winner.

From Suresh Beauty website: A decadent balm that intensely nourishes lips. Non-greasy formula infused with Royal Jasmine oil soothes, heals, and protects dry, damaged, chapped lips. Delivers long-term comfort by maintaining optimum hydration levels. Handcrafted with a potent multivitamin complex and moisture-rich ingredients including olive fruit oil, soybean oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax. Accents of Tahitian Vanilla oil calm the senses. Emollient, lip conditioning, and lip brightening.

cleopatra kiss

It feels smooth and gentle on the lips and just glides beautifully on. It feels healing going on and my poor dry lips feel immediately hydrated. But the scent is what takes me over the edge. It smells like beautiful tropical jasmine, like the most delicate perfume. I was rhapsodizing over Suresh Royal Jasmine Lip Balm the other day, calling it “perfume for my lips” when the brilliant Phillip Picardi (Beauty Editor at Lifestyle Mirror) reminded me of something. Legend has it Cleopatra used to dab perfume on her upper lip, so that when a lover kissed her, he would have something to remember her by – I remember reading this in a Vogue piece about a perfume party Shiva Rose hosted with Mandy Aftel. It stuck with me. Did you know legend has it that Cleopatra also scented the sails of her barge?

cleopatra barge

Lips that smell like jasmine? How…romantic.

You can buy Suresh Beauty Royal Jasmine Lip Balm, $21, from the Suresh website or for international shipping, New London Pharmacy in NYC.

Pretty Pretty Lips With Osmia Organics

Pretty Pretty Lips With Osmia Organics

I don’t go out of my way to find organic or natural products. To be honest, a lot of my experience has been with products that are very back-yardy and not good enough to justify me switching. I was intrigued however, by Osmia Organics, and more particularly, their Lip Lustre. Osmia Organics is lovely company that started with a soap making class, then grew to into love and a passion for skincare and ingredients that are good for you. Sarah Villafrano’s background in medicine and her dedication to finding the best and creating luxurious natural products make Osmia Organics a must-try for those of you who are concerned about what you put on your skin. And, for those of you who love luxe products that feel good on your skin and work well.

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I was deep in my beauty blog reading rabbit hole awhile back and read a review on Lip Lustre. It was described as a secret weapon against chapped lips that has the added bonus of adding colour. It uses beet powder as colour, has a healing silky texture and the colour works on “everyone”. I had to try it, as I love to use cheater lip colour that is actually balm. The colour will work on all skin tones and just adds the perfect flush to your lips. Best part? It is my absolute favourite texture for a lip balm/gloss. Meaning soft silky and not super glossy or sticky. I don’t love lots of sticky shine on my lips, but prefer a smooth satin finish, and Osmia Organics Lip Lustre does exactly that.

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Osmia Organics also has an actual official lip balm, their Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair, which is more of a heavy duty healing balm perfect for bed time. Honey is a known moisturizer and myrrh has benefits that include skin care uses, and has been used for centuries to maintain healthy skin, prevent skin aging and sooth chapped or cracked skin.

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The lovely strawberry jam colour of Lip Lustre looks lovely on all skin tones

So these two Osmia Organics lip products work beautifully together – the Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair at night to heal and sooth, and the Lip Lustre during the day to make your lips look just kissed while protecting and nourishing them.

Osmia Organics Lip Lustre is $15 for a .3oz tube and the Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair is $22 for a .28oz jar.

TFK Son Of A Rose – Rose Velvet

TFK Son Of A Rose – Rose Velvet

fist and the rose

From the TFK website:

TFK, The Fragrance Kitchen, is the latest chapter in the ongoing retail legend that began in 2005 by Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah. The Kuwaiti based fragrance house was borne of childhood memories and sensory memories that became associated with his beloved grandmother. Fragrance can be a translation of memories and Sheikh Majed has skillfully combined both via the use of Oud, Taif Rose, and burning Agarwood which were used frequently by his cherished grandmother. TFK is the culmination of a dream to create the “perfect” or dream perfume for each individual. Sheikh Majed has long been associated with the ultimate in luxury having been a member of the international fashion community for over 2 decades.

TFK perfume Son of A Rose Daly Beauty

TFK is a serious perfume line with a sense of humour. One only has to read the names of some of their perfumes to get that they are having fun and being a bit cheeky. Perfume is, after all, enjoyable, and doesn’t have to be so serious and dramatic. I would think this comes from a love of the joy of scent, and this is evident in smelling TFK perfumes. Their website is interesting & interactive, and I really like the way they introduce their “icons” that are behind the brand. Their blog is also fun, and I have to say seeing Jonathan Livingston Seagull mentioned there just made me, well, happy. This is an interesting and intriguing team. I received samples of 3 of their perfumes and could catch wafts of something intoxicating and enticing from the packaging. I left them on the counter, where both daughters chose their favourites. There is nothing wishy washy or middle of the road about TFK perfumes. They have a presence of their own, without being super strong or “loud”. I would suspect this presence comes from the quality of the ingredients.

black rose with dew

Son Of A Rose is, obviously, a rose fragrance, part of TFK’s Exclusive Perfumes collection. I’m not sure if they use the word “son” to denote a masculine fragrance, but I would say this perfume is absolutely suitable for a man or a woman. The rich woodsy base takes the floral sweetness of the rose and makes it deep and rich. Agarwood (oud) isn’t listed in the notes of Son Of A Rose per se but it is mentioned as a note that is beloved by Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah and is part of his scent memory so I think it must be part of the TFK special base. The beauty of this particular oud is the gentle smooth beauty of it. I have a tough time with oud smelling medicinal and have not really enjoyed it- Montale’s oud scents come to mind. Yikes. Any oud in TFK Son of A Rose is tempered with the sweetness of the floral notes. There is geranium along with the rose, and that adds a fresh green almost minty aspect. The rose is a soft green rose note, not strong or sour at all, and it is complimented by a powdery note – and all of these add up to a rich scent that is somehow also clean. But it is kept from veering into soapy territory by wrapping up the floral notes with pepper, amber and woods. Is it the amber that makes this scent so compelling? Maybe? Rose – patchouli scents are everywhere these days and there may be some patch in Son of A Rose but it doesn’t stand out. I think what sets this “dark rose” perfume apart are the powder and amber notes, and the distant clean “feeling”. Maybe it’s an ambergris, likely synthetic but who knows? It’s almost moutwatering, and I have found that certain ambregris perfumes tend to have this effect on me. If you enjoy the sexy amber notes in Hermes Eau de Merveilles or even the softer ones in Hermes Caleche Eau Delicat, then you must try Son of  A Rose.

I’d say that Son of A Rose is probably the best rose that I’ve tried that would work beautifully on a man. And while it is a dense rich scent, there is an airy and delicate feeling to it that makes me want to lean in and smell more. So, are you looking for something different? A perfume that is gorgeous, well composed and enticing, yet something that isn’t worn by everyone around you? I urge you to check out the TFK line.

TFK perfumes are available from their website. The Signature Line is around $125 a bottle, and the  Exclusive and Handmade Line is around $195.

OPI Anti-Bleak from Mariah Carey Collection – Perfect Way to Brighten Up!

OPI Anti-Bleak from Mariah Carey Collection – Perfect Way to Brighten Up!

OPI Anti-Bleak Mariah Carey

I finally found the OPI Mariah Carey Collection and while I did love most of them, Anti-Bleak was the stand out for me. I know I did not have a purple-y purple like this in my collection and coincidentally I have been looking for a purple. I still want a more grape-y purple cream, but OPI Anti-Bleak is pretty and gorgeous and satisfying my purple craving…for now. See comparisons belwo – sorry for the crappy iPhone photo, the colours are not quite as blue/bright as they appear.

OPI Mariah Carey Anti-Bleak coms

Comps left to right: Lippmann Between The Sheets, OPI Anti-Bleak, OPI Manicurist Of Seville, OPI Mrs O’Learys BBQ

Typical lovely OPI application- I am wearing 2 coats, with Lippmann Hard Rock base coat and Addicted to Speed top coat. A couple fingers look like they could have used 3 coats but that is only upon close examination. I think if I had been more scrupulous in my application 2 coats would be just fine. I just love the wide OPI brush, really makes application a dream.

OPI Mariah Carey Anti-Bleak swatch

Banish Winter Dry Skin & Just Be Touchable

Banish Winter Dry Skin & Just Be Touchable

60s fur coats retro ski wear womens

Ugh there is nothing like a cold Canadian winter. The temps dip below zero, the furnace cranks up, and everything becomes dry, crinkly and papery. I actually dry my laundry by draping it all over the place just to get extra moisture in the air. Showers and baths feel good because they are, well, water, and that is what our skin is missing, but we have to be careful to replenish and moisturize our skin once we dry off. I have a foolproof trio of goodies that are getting me through this nasty cold weather:

Lush-Ros-Argan-Body-Conditioner

LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner: Dry skin? If you don’t have this stuff go get some stat. It is miraculous. Perfect post exfoliation in the shower, and ideal for shaving. Seriously, if you haven’t shaved your legs with Ro’s, you will be amazed. You almost don’t need lotion after the shower when you use Ro’s, and it smells like honey & roses. Protip: your underarms will thank you for this.

Lovefresh sugar scrub

Lovefresh Sugar Scrub: Scrub away flakes and alligator skin with Lovefresh Sugarscrub – really. I use this head to toe once a week or so and not only does it prep the skin for moisturuzing by leaving it smooth and silky, but it adds a magical moisturizing treatment to your skin. It smells like a sweet sugary treat but really leaves little scent behind on the skin. Protip: use it where you wax to avoid ingrown hairs. You know what I’m talking about.

lush dream cream

LUSH Dream Cream: The first LUSH product I fell in love with is still one of my absolute favourites. If you apply Dream Cream at bedtime your skin will still be moist and dewy in the morning. I apply it after the shower and when used with Ro’s, dry skin does not stand a chance! It smells like soft lavender and rose, but again, the scent dissipates and does not interfere with perfume or linger.

What are your cold weather soft skin secret weapons?

Hourglass Aura Cheek & Lip Stains In Flush

Hourglass Aura Cheek & Lip Stains In Flush

I am a lover of stains for lips and cheeks. They are a weightless and transparent way to add natural looking colour to your complexion. One of my favourites is the amazing Benefit Benetint – the famous rose scented stain that started it all. But, that colour of red-rose isn’t always what I want to wear. I actually like more of a cool pink tone but rich too – not powder pink but more of a ripe strawberry pink. I’ve been side-eyeing the Hourglass Aura stains for a long time. They are loved by many of my favourite and most trusted bloggers, and there is just something about the quality Hourglass packaging that makes me covet them. They are the type of stain with a sponge applicator so no spillage issues for me those of you prone to accidents.

hourglass swatches

The Hourglass Aura Sheer Cheek Stain has a lovely silk cover on the sponge which I’m sure helps ensure even application. Both stains apply beautifully, and give you a little time to blend before they set. The cheek stain is sheer enough that you can do a few coats to get it right without going OH NO and applying too much. Flush is a lovely colour that would work on many complexions, and I just love the blushy glow it gives me. The Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain is actually quite easy to apply evenly. The sponge applicator glides easily across the lips and is surprisingly easy to control along the edge of the lip lines. I get a few hours wear out of the stain, and I usually apply a balm on top for silky lips. It is the perfect rich pink tone and perks up my whole face when I wear it. Each stain is a little different so even though they are both Flush, they are slightly different. The Aura Sheer Cheek Stain is a little more coral, and the Lip Stain is a little pinker.

Verdict? Love love love. I will use these every day. They are a little pricey, but I’m pretty sure they will last a long time, making the *CPW reasonable.

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* Cost Per Wear

Hourglass Cosmetics are available at Sephora. You can find a store near you here or buy directly from HourglassCosmetics.com. The Aura Sheer Lip Stain is approximately $26 and the Aura Sheer Cheek Stain is around $45.

Klorane Mango Butter Range for Damaged Hair

Klorane Mango Butter Range for Damaged Hair

Klorane Mango Butter shampoo conditioner

I’ve always loved Klorane. It’s an elegant French line of botanical hair products, whose philosophy is a based on a passion for plants and nature. Created in the South of France in 1966 by the pharmacist Pierre Fabre and one of the largest privately owned pharmaceutical companies in France. All cosmetics are designed with the same quality requirements as medicines. They take their beauty seriously, and for me, who has a fetish with all things French pharmaceutical (seriously, I LOVE shopping in French pharmacies) Klorane makes me feel like I am treating my hair to the best of all possible beauty options. So I decided to take the Klorane Mango Butter line for a spin. After spending some time in the sun, chlorinated water, and then back to winter and dry central heating, not to mention a few highlights here and there (ahem), my hair qualifies as chemically treated. I call that “fragile”. Add heat styling, and you have a recipe for doing damage.

Klorane Mango Butter mask

Firstly, the smell! Mangos, glorious mangos! Each of the product in the line smells like beautiful yummy mangos, with any added sweetness or synthetic notes. Just pure and gentle. It lingers in the hair for a few hours after styling, but you can only smell it if you bury your nose in your hair. The shampoo is rich and creamy and was easy to work through my thick hair. It does have some sulfates but by now we all know that there are sulfates that are a) not bad and b) necessary for actually cleaning your hair.  So I have the Mango Butter Klorane Conditioner and Klorane Mask and have used both. The Conditioner would be a good choice for someone with finer or shorter hair than mine, as it just wasn’t detangling enough. But the Mask with Mango Butter was incredible! And I imagine if one had fine hair, the mask might be too heavy so between the Mask and Conditioner with Mango Butter there is something for everyone. I only needed a tiny bit of the Mask to coat the lower half of my hair and I just let it sit while I did the rest of my shower business- scrub, loofah, face mask, foot scrub…etc. The Klorane Mask with mango butter rinsed out and left me with tangle free soft locks that were easy to comb. This is an accomplishment!

klorane-leave-in-fluid-with-mango-3oz Klorane Mango Oil Spray

So before I undertook the gargantuan task of blow drying my hair (which, to be fair, takes less time because of my Goody Quik Style Comb)  I applied the Klorane Leave-In Fluid with Mango Butter to the ends of my hair. It has more of a creamy texture than a fluid, and applied smoothly and easily. I then followed with a few spritzes of the Mango Oil Spray. The Mango Oil Spray is waterproof and protects hair from the sun – I wish I’d had it in Florida! At any rate, it certainly prepares the hair beautifully for heat styling and can be used after heat styling to tame flyaways, static and add a healthy shine that protects the hair. It smells amazing, is silicone free, so it won’t build up, and adds gorgeous shimmer and shine. I am all about shiny hair! And hair that smells amazing? A bonus.

carmen_miranda

I love it when my hairs smells fruity

Verdict? LOVE. Won’t be without. I have several hair care options that I love and the Klorane Mango Butter line is perfect for when my hair needs some tender loving care. And I won’t hit up the beach or the pool again without my Mango Oil Spray!

The Klorane Mango Butter line ranges in cost fro $6-$24 and is available at Klorane.com and select drugstores in Canada, Europe and the US. American buyers can check availability here.

Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo Is Making Me Dizzy

Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo Is Making Me Dizzy

Chanel Le Vernis Vertigo

Whoa. Just, whoa. Vertigo is a gorgeous Chanel nail polish in every possible way. Colour – the perfect not quite black but not grey so lets call it “light black”, with the famous Chanel hidden shimmer. And the shimmer is a soft purple! Again, the shimmer is hidden, is doesn’t really show on the nails but by being there adds a subtle tone that adds a dimension to the colour. Yes, it’s a cream, but it’s rich and not remotely “flat”. The formula- perfection! I got full coverage in, wait for it, one coat!

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When I first saw Vertigo I thought it was similar to Paradoxal and that I didn’t need it. Silly me. Of course, Paradoxal is much more grey with the purple tone being a little more obvious. Vertigo is perfect if you want a dark nail, but don’t want a vampy red and aren’t ready to commit to black. Verdict? Love.

vertigo movie poster alfred hitchcock

Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in Vertigo is available at Chanel counters and boutiques, as well as online 

Hydraluron Serum Works Moisturizing Miracles

Hydraluron Serum Works Moisturizing Miracles

Hydraluron Moisture Booster Indeed Labs

Ok why did it take me so long to try this stuff? Hydraluron, made by Indeed Labs, is a gel-serum designed to boost the performance of any moisturizer. It is to be used under your creams/lotions/serums and is basically full of hyaluronic acid goodness, meaning it draws moisture into the skin, keeps it there, making your skin dewy and plump. Yes. You heard me. DEWY AND PLUMP. First time I used it I loved it but thought I should use it more before freaking out and telling everyone how amazing it is. Well, a few weeks later and I just can’t keep it to myself anymore. If you have oily skin, yay! Hydraluron is perfect for you – it won’t clog your pores or make your face shiny. Just add moisture, and in hot humid weather, you may even be able to get away with using only Hydraluron. Dry skin? Then use Hydraluron under your favourite moisturizer. You will be shocked and amazed at how well it works.

It has a lovely light gel texture, sort of like aloe. It is clear and fragrance free, and sinks into your skin almost immediately with no sticky or greasy residue left behind. You can see the effects almost immediately, but wait. After 2 weeks you will see definite improvement in your skin’s moisture levels.

morning-dew

So- there it is. A short and sweet review. Dry or parched skin -yes it happens to people with oily skin too- then get this. I had a hard time finding cost information for the US, but I know it is around $30 for a tube in Canada. It will last ages, as a small amount goes a long way. And, Hydraluron competes and may even outperform the super expensive department store hyaluronic serums.

I got my Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Booster from Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Get your Hydraluron at Walmart and Duane Reade in the US.