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October Empties

I must be bored, lonely, or starting to settle in for the winter, because apparently I can’t step away from the blog.  I’ve been de-cluttering like crazy around here, and a simpler house and lifestyle leads plenty of time for fun things.  In my case, that is cooking/baking, exercise, knitting, and blogging!  I stopped saving empties for awhile, but decided to start again in October.  I still have far more beauty and skin care items than I would care to have, but I have been very careful in minimizing my purchases.  I am still sticking by the “no purchasing more until I have absolutely run out” rule. Or at least, I was until I found out about a $25 off The Shopping Channel code.  It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye maaaay have made it’s way to my vanity, despite still having a 1/4 full Benefit Erase Paste, a nearly new Fake Up and a brand new Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer.  I’ve been so good though!

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So this month, I have a lot of full size products.  After focusing on samples in August for Sample Killah, I wanted to move on to some bigger items.

Pantene Pro V Ultimate 10 BB Creme

In a nutshell, this just wasn’t for me.  The line wasn’t moisturizing enough for my curly hair, and it was too lightweight, leaving me with a frizzy, poufy ‘do.  These bottles aren’t actually empty, but I passed them along to a family member who could use them, along with the BB Creme.  See my review here.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Foaming Cleanser

   I usually use The Bosy Shop’s tea tree line during the summer, but found myself purchasing some Neutrogena products at Target to use after working out in the morning.  This cleanser is a thick white paste that foams nicely – pea size amount was enough for my entire face.  I didn’t find it overly drying, and found it helped with my problem areas (chin!), keeping enlarged pores at bay.  Most blemishes I noticed were gone within a few days, which I attribute to this cleanser.  I’m back to my tree tree cleanser for now, but would likely repurchase.   I had to cut the tube since about 1/3 of the product was still inside.

Bath and Body Works Black Raspberry Vanilla

   I’m actually not a big fan of B&BW products anymore, aside from the True Blue Spa line, and the candles.  I have a TON of lotions and shower gels left, as most of the parents at work will give out B&BW at Christmas time.  I’ve been using them as bubble bath, and can’t complain.  As a shower gel, I find them very drying.

True Blue Spa Shea Cashmere Hand Scrub

This has to be one of my favourite scents from B&BW – it smells amazing!  A very rich vanilla/almond scent.  The lotion leaves my hands feeling so soft.  While this scrub isn’t the best (the sugar is very coarse), it came in a set with the hand lotion so I was happy to use it up.

Maskeraide Sheets Masks

   Love these!  Check out my review here.

Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes

    I really like these wipes, and a just using up a few more packs of sample size ones before I repurchase.  I may get the grapefruit kind – I like to keep them in my bedside table to use on nights were I can’t seem to find the energy to wash my face.

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Philosophy Hope In a Jar

I purchased this in a set from Sephora online.  The jar was sealed, but I think it was off – the top layer was a bit yellowed, and didn’t absorb into my skin well at all – it would leave little bit of lotion that were almost solid.  Once I got toward the bottom of the jar, the consistency was much lighter and absorbed well.  The scent was a little strong.  The lotion absorbed quickly, but it just wasn’t amazing for the price.  I’m still in search of a new daily moisturizer, though I’ll probably revert back to my tried and true Aveeno Positively Radiant.

Lancome Teint Idole Fresh Wear

   This is my all time favourite foundation ever.  Which means I shouldn’t be surprised that it has been discontinued. I managed to order a new ones off eBay to get me through the next few months, but then I will have to find a new favourite!

MAC Trace Gold

   This was my bronzer of choice for the spring and summer – it didn’t read as orange on my skin, and a light dusting over my nose, forehead and cheekbones left me looking sunkissed and radiant.  It does have some shimmer, but it was very fine and read more as a glow on me.  I’ve moved on to some other bronzers for now, but it is a contended for repurchase next year.

Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex

   I liked the texture, it absorbed quickly, no dry skin under my eyes – I love my Philosophy Miracle Worker eye cream for night, but this was a great alternative for day.  I’ve moved on to Origin’s GinZing eye cream, but it was a great few months with Olay!

M Asam Perfect Teint

I read that a lot of people loved this product, so I swapped for a small pot it.  A little went a long way, but I just didn’t love the product.  I have nothing bad to say about it, but if I am to purchase another primer in the future, I want it to have a pump or tube so I don’t have to dip into a pot each day.

L’Oreal Voluminous in Blackest Black

   My all time favourite mascara – this with the Lancome lash primer = my ideal lashes.  I’ve been using it since it first came out, and always have another tube waiting.  I usually have 1-2 other tubes open at any given time for variety, but Voluminous is my favourite!

Thank you for joining me for another monthly favourites.  I’d like to try to write an overview of what is left in my stash before the end of the year, as I would like to try to continue working away at my products in 2015.  Hopefully my blogging gusto continues and I will actually get around to it!

Some of the products featured were provided for review.  All opinions are my own.

 

Pantene Pro V Ultimate 10 Review

I don’t often write about products that didn’t work for me, as I like to write about those I would recommend to others.  However, sometimes it’s no necessarily that the product itself is bad, it’s just that it didn’t work for you.  This was the case with the Pantene Pro-V Ultimate 10 line, which was sent to me by Bzz Agent to review.  I had the opportunity to try the Ultimate 10 Shampoo, Conditioner, and BB Creme, and gave all three products a two week trial during which  used no other products.

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I found the shampoo, conditioner, and BB creme to appear to be a thick consistency, but when I actually applied them to my hair, the texture was quite light and not as thick as most Pantene lines.  The shampoo lathered well and left my hair feeling clean, but the conditioners thinner texture just didn’t moisturize my dry ends as much as I like.  The BB Creme is also a thin consistency, and it did not proide the shine, frizz fighting, and split end repair that I usually get from my usual hair serums and oils.  My hair was left frizzy, poufy, and dry at the ends after my two week trial with the line.

For reference, my hair is long, curly, dyed, and dry at the ends.  I decided to give the remaining bottles to my sister in law, who has chin length, fine, thin hair.  Her experience with the line was the exact opposite of mine.  She found the line moisturized her thin hair without making it look oily, or weighing it down.  She also found that her hair had a bit more volume than usual.

The Pantene Ultimate 10 line claims to:

1) Repair for Rough Hair
2) Strength Against Damage
3) Silky Softness
4) Brilliant Shine
5) Smoothing
6) Moisture
7) Frizz Control
8) Heat Protection
9) Manageability
10) Tamed Flyaways

I thought this would have been perfect for my hair type, but ultimately, it wasn’t the best match.  If you have thinner hair that is in need of repair and shine, it may be a good option for you.  I myself will continue using Pantene’s other lines for now, as I still love how most of their shampoo and conditioners work for my hair.

The products featured were provided to me for review by BzzAgent.  All opinions are my own.

Obsessed Canada

While many of you may be familiar with Nail Polish Canada (the same company that ran an awesome promotion when Glymm jumped ship), you may not have heard of their newest sister site, Obsessed Canada.  Obsessed Canada has more of a beauty focus, carrying over 125 brands including The Balm, Sigma, Lime Crime,Velour Lashes, Eco Tools, and many more.  Shipping is free for orders over $25, and $3 for orders over $25.

Obsessed Canada recently contacted me, asking if I would like to try out a few varieties of Maskeraide masks.  Already a fan, I happily agreed, and soon after “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”, “Detox Diva” and “All Nighter” arrived at my doorstep.  It actually took a little longer than expected to receive them, but I did not order them through the website, so I can’t speak to what the usual speed of delivery would be.

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I usually try to do a mask each Sunday, so it was easy enough to incorporate the masks into my routine.  I’ve tried several of Maskeraide’s other varieties in the past, and find them very effective in producing short term effects.  Upon removing the mask, your skin is smooth, hydrated, and even toned.  I try to save them to use several hours before an event, leaving my skin prepped for makeup application.

The All Nighter mask contains peppermint oil, aloe, argan oil, and a variety of other ingredients meant to detoxify, depuff, and refresh your skin.  This mask smelled of mint, and felt refreshing on.  I used it the morning after a late night study session, leaving it on long past the recommended 20 minutes as I sipped coffee and knit in bed.  My skin felt great afterward, and I decided to forgo makeup that day to give my face a break.

The Detox Diva mask contains geranium oil, seaweed, and green tea leaf extract to help minimize pores and fight impurities and free radicals.  Thanks to an, ahem, hormonal surge, my skin was less than cooperative the weekend I used this mask, and the blemishes I did have calmed down some after the mask was off.  I left this mask on longer than the 20 minutes recommended as well, with no negative effects.  While my skin felt clean, it did not feel stripped, as it sometimes does after I use some of my tea tree skin care when I am breaking out.

The I Don’t Wanna Grow Up mask contains a variety of ingredients meant to help reduce fine lines.  I feel that the entire line of Maskeraide masks helps to hydrate skin in the period shortly following, which does “plump” your skin, helping fine lines to appear less prominent.  I don’t notice any long term effects, but do enjoy the experience of the mask, as well as the impact it has on my complexion shortly after application.  I used this mask before a wedding last weekend, and love the glow my skin has afterward – no dry, flaky skin to be seen.

The masks come very well saturated in a thin, clear gel.  I like to use the remaining gel on my chest, neck, and the back of my hands.  I’m also sure to rub in any leftover serum after I remove the mask.

Maskeraide masks can be purchased from Obsessed Canada here for $6 each. My only wish?  I would love to see the ability to bundle and save, such as four masks for $20  I’m a girl that loves to get the best value for my dollar, so I would also love to see the addition of a Hot Deals tab, much like the one on Nail Polish Canada.

This post features products sent to me from Obsessed Canada for review.  All opinions are my own.

Montagne Jeunesse Influenster Prize Pack

This past Tuesday, I recovered from my head cold.  This past Thursday, I was awoken rudely by the flu at 2 am.  It decided to stay and keep me company until early this morning.  In the midst of all things the flu entails, a knock came at my door.  The poor delivery man gave me a double take, and without me acknowledging how sick I was, he said “Don’t worry, I’ve got three kids at home, I know how it is”.   I’m not sure if he meant the fly bug had visited his home as well, or that I looked like I had just wrangled three kids off to school, but either way, it’s been rough!

I opened up the box, and inside was a lovely mix of products from Montagne Jeunesse.  Upon visiting their website, I’ve found that Farley Co is actually host to a number of other well known brands, including some of of my personal favourites, Real Techniques, Batiste, and Eco Tools.

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Body Smoothies and Scrub  – $9.99 for 200 ml

First up is a selection of the new Body Smoothie’s.  I received Buriti, Acai, and Goji Berry Smoothies, and the Black Raspberry Scrub.  I love the scent of the Smoothie’s, they are strongly scented, and quite tropical.  The Black Raspberry scrub smells a little … off to me, similar to other raspberry scents but something in the mix just isn’t right.  The formula seems to be thick like body butters from The Body Shop and Bath and Body Works, but is actually more of a gel texture.

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Foot Tottle Bottle’s – $5.99 for 80 ml

   I also received four of the foot care tottle bottles (a cross between a tube and a bottle).  These include a Foot Scrub, Foot Lotion, Cooling Lotion, and Tired Leg Gel.  I haven’t seen these available locally.

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Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks – $1.87 each at Walmart.ca

   These face masks will be coming to work with me, and given to my lovely coworkers who have been covering for me while I’ve been away sick.  I’m sure they will love the opportunity to pamper themselves a bit!  None of Montagne Jeunesse’s chocolate options made it in the gift package, which I was looking forward to trying, but I can’t complain.  I’ll have to add them on to my next online order, as I’ve yet to find a place locally that carries the line.

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   Lastly was a selection of items meant to help me have my own spa day at home, including some Eco Tools items (yay!), Scottish Fine Soaps Au Lait Milk Bath (I’ve already dipped into these), and a hair wrap and eye mask.  My husband took the Montagne Jeunesse tshirt that isn’t pictured, it had a pop art inspired comic on the front.

   I received the above items courtesy of Montagne Jeunesse and Influenster.  They required no review or blog post on my behalf, but I would like to say THANK YOU! for the wonderful pampering supplies.  They were very much needed this week, and the milk baths have been lovely in relieving my cold and flu symptoms!  I will be sharing with family, friends and coworkers, so I’m sure they will be thankful as well.  Influenster has only recently started offering Canadian Vox Boxes, but I can’t wait to be part of many more.

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Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Review

I write to you today from the comfort of my bed.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  It was on Monday, but after a week in bed with the flu, I would absolutely LOVE to leave the confines of my home and venture out into the snow.  To make matters worse, I have an assignment worth 30% due Sunday, so I have been doing little bits of that whenever my stomach settles long enough for me to think straight.

I seem to be on the tail end of whichever bug I caught, so what better time to write a review on the new hair products I have been using.  You may remember several weeks ago, I was trying out a new L’oreal hair care line sent to me courtesy of Influenster.  Last week, the follow up box ended up on my doorstep.  It was a little late, likely due to the blast of cold air that decided to blow through the area (reaching under -40 C!).  I don’t blame the postal workers from not wanting to go out to deliver packages!

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   The package contained full sizes of the Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Shampoo, Conditioner, Split Ends Bandage and Strength Reconstructing Butter.  The line contains Phyto-Keratin Complex with plant based proteins and fruit concentrate, Cupuaçu Butter, and natural lipids, which work together to repair dry and damaged hair.

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   I’ve been using the line for about three weeks now.  I was my hair daily at this time, since I’ve been going to the gym before work.  The scent isn’t too strong – I’m horrible with scents but my best description of it is a light floral/citrus mix.  I’m going on three months without a trim and haven’t felt the urge to call my hairdresser yet, which must mean it’s doing something.

   The Fortifying Shampoo (384 ml) lathers well and leaves my hair feeling clean but not stripped.

   The Fortifying Conditioner (384 ml) is wonderful – I apply it from midway down my hair to the ends, and let it soak in while I wash my face and body.  It is quite thick, and it allows me to de-tangle my hair with a quick run through of my fingers.  It doesn’t seem to build up over time, and my hair doesn’t feel weighed down after the shower.  My curls still show through if I let my hair air dry, which a lot of conditioners don’t allow for.

   The Split Ends Bandage (125 ml) did a fair job of repairing my split ends (or at least masking them until the next washing).    I don’t find the serum to do anything amazing in terms of softness, shine, or decreasing drying time, as my other serums do.  However, the packaging says it is meant to preserve your hairs strength, so maybe I will see improvements with time.  I do love the twist and lock cap, which means I can throw this into my gym bag without worrying about a sticky mess.

   The Strength Reconstructing Butter (250 ml) is very thick, meant to be used in place of the Fortifying Conditioner as needed.  I found it to be very moisturizing.  As with the Fortifying Conditioner, my hair was not weighed down, and it didn’t have any product buildup after several uses.

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  The most notable products in this line definitely has to be the conditioners.  I was surprised with the brand reveal, as the conditioners are quite effective, and to be able to purchase them at drug store prices is quite a steal.

The Split Ends Bandage left a little to be desired, and I found myself mixing it 50/50 with argan oil each time I applied to get all the qualities I look for in a hair serum.  I appreciated that it is working to strengthen my hair, but I would also like to see more shine and quicker drying time.  My hair wasn’t as soft and silky as it has been with other brands in the past, but for a drug store brand, the Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser line holds its own.

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   I haven’t been able to find the line in town yet, but the American Walmart site sells them for $2.97-5.97 each.  I’d imagine Canadian prices will be within the same range, if not a bit higher.

   I was sent the above products from Influenster for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

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L’Oreal Canada Mystery VoxBox

Last week, a surprise package arrived at my doorstep from Influenster.  Inside were three tiny bottles of a mystery L’Oreal line, promising to strengthen my hair, repair the damage that has been done, and prevent further damage.  The credit for these claims is given to the Phyto-Keratin Complex and Cupuaco Butter the line contains.

I received 50 ml each of Shampoo, Conditioner and a Split-End Serum.

photo 2I found the shampoo to smell nice, not too fruity or floral.  It didn’t stand out as amazing, but lathered nicely and left my hair clean without feeling stripped.  It was a pretty standard shampoo consistency, and was a pale yellow with a bit of sheen.

The conditioner was nice and thick, more-so than the usual drug-store conditioner that isn’t marketed as a “deep repair mask”.  I found it really moisturized my hair, leaving it tangle free.

The split end serum was quite thin, but still effective.  I used about a quarter sized amount from about mid length to the ends while my hair was damp, and tried both blowdrying and air drying.  While I usually use a hair oil, I skipped it this week to try to get the full effect of this mystery line.

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The results?  I thought my hair looked fine before, shiny yet a bit dry at the ends.  As I was editing the before and after pictures, my husband said aloud “Wow, what a difference!”.  While I think that my hair is definitely shinier before thanks to the hair oil, it also has quite a few split ends and flyaways.  After using the line for one week, my hair looks more nourished.

I’d be interested to see what the long term impact would be, as usually when I switch to a new product my hair behaves nicely for awhile.  While my hair feels clean and soft, it doesn’t have as much shine as I would like, and I’ve had to mix a hair oil with the split end serum.  I also found that the split end serum didn’t cut down on drying time like my hair oil does.  When I’m getting ready at the gym in the morning, any minutes spared with the blow dryer are much appreciated!

The conditioner is what I am the most curious about.  If this is a drug-store brand, I’m hoping it will be an affordable choice for winter conditioning.  I find regular conditioners just don’t cut it in Northern Ontario winters, especially when I have to wash my hair daily after sweaty gym workouts.  Spending upwards of $40 for a tub of deep conditioner isn’t ideal, but neither is having to chop off my hair due to dry ends.

My guess for the brand?  L’Oreal has many different brands under them, and this entire campaign is set up to be super mysterious.  My first through was something from an international market, such as L’Oreal Elvive.  After doing a bit of googling for the Phyto-Keratin Complex and Cupuacu Butter, I found many links to the Garnier Damage Eraser line (mostly from other bloggers who were quicker to the draw than I was!).  While not new to the US, this line hasn’t yet released in Canada.

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Looking forward to the big reveal!  As always, thank you to L’Oreal and Influenster for providing me with these products for testing purposes.

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Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas

This morning I tried out a hybrid between a clay mask and a sheet mask.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, and haven’t used Montagne Jeunesse products in the past.

photo 1 The mask was Montagne Jeunesse’ Glacial Clay Spa variety.  It’s made of glacial clay spa, red grape and arctic cloudberry to help clean pores.

It seemed simple enough to apply – they even have directions on the back of the package in case you can’t figure it out, haha.

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The mask itself was folded tightly and full of the clay mask.  It was a bit more watered down than regular clay masks, but it didn’t drip out of the mask at all as I applied it.

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I found the mask unfolded easily, but that it didn’t fit my face exactly.  There was about an inch of overhand around the perimeter of my face, which was easy enough to tuck under my chin, but a bit messy around the hairline.

The mask also didn’t fit perfectly around my nose and eyes, and when I pulled it to fit against the skin, it would pull from another area on my face.  Eventually I just figured it was good enough and left the mask on for the recommended 15 minutes.  I removed the mask, and found very little product left on my face.  I rubbed this in a circular motion on my skin, then wiped it away with a damp cloth.  This took only one go, compared to several times with  a regular clay mask.

The verdict?  It was fun and innovative, but not something I would repurchase.  It’s not that I don’t like the product itself, I just wasn’t a fan of the format.  I prefer a mask that I can paint onto my face, making sure it comes into contact with all of my problem areas (along my t-zone, sides of my nose, the dip on my chin under my bottom lip). Even though the masks are only $1, I find that I can usually get several uses out of each packet, but with this mask, I am limited to one use.

Will I try Montagne Jeunesse again?  Definitely!  They are much cheaper than the masks I usually buy from Shoppers Drug Mart, and they have a ton of variety!  I’m particularly intrigued by their chocolate collection:

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My favourite part of this product?  If you read way down at the bottom of the package, in tiny print: “We’re vegetarian and animals are our friends – that’s why we don’t bash bunnies or add bits of animals”.  Go Montagne Jeunesse!  Love that you aren’t using this as a selling feature by boasting it, and that you have a bit of a sense of humour.

If you are interested in learning more about Montagne Jeunesse, you can visit their website, their other website, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All opinions are my own.

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