November 2016 | Samantha Jane

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Swatches and Review


Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette
New to Avon is the Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette and retails for $24.99 on sale from $30. This palette contains 30 eyeshadows, 5 lip glosses, 3 blushes, 2 highlights and a contour powder. 
Avon True Color Makeup Artist Palette
Before we talk makeup, let's get into the packaging. I really like it! It is compact, great for travel, sleek and sturdy. It also contains a nice sized mirror which can always come in handy in this time of all in one palette. It also comes with 3 applicators which are kind of useless if you ask me, I have become accustomed to my own brushes but to each their own. It also contains a clear plastic sheet, which I also could do without. I like for shades to have names but I'd rather just go without if they are going to be on an annoying insert. That being said, it comes perforated so you can rip it off - which I did. 
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Eyeshadows 
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Eyeshadows Swatches
As you can see of the 30 eyeshadows there are only a few duds. The blues surprisingly performed well, and THAT GOLD! Oddly enough, the neutrals that you would expect to be the best were a little bit of a let down. Like most palettes, the shimmers/metallics perform better than the mattes. 
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Face Products
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Swatches
The face products are good. As I have come to expect with most face palettes, they could have a better shade range to suit my NC 42/43 skin. The contour is cool toned which I like, then there is a warmer shade that could be for bronzing. The highlight lacks some punch and shimmer. I understand that it can't work for 100% of people but I just find palettes always lean pale. That being said, they are soft and there are no chunks of glitter. 
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Lip Glosses
The lip glosses are quite sheer, which I don't mind, I actually prefer. They have decent lasting power on the lips but it isn't like I'm going to take this palette on the go to touch up. If it was up to me I could do without lip products in any palette, unless it is a mini I can take on the go. 
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Palette 
 Avon True Color For the Love of Makeup Artist Palette Eyeshadow
For this look I used the gold shade (couldn't resist), with some of the pinks and browns in the crease. I also made use of the pink and orange blush, bronzer and lip glosses. I felt it all had good wear time on my skin, I used an eye primer because I have no choice with my oily lids. 

Overall, I like this palette. If you are true makeup junkie, have stacks of palettes collecting dust this may not be for you. I think if you are new to makeup, want to play around with colour, or have something compact for travel this is good. This only thing holding me back from really like this is the lack of great neutrals for transition and crease shades. 

*This product was sent for my review
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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Curl Keeper Review

Curl Keeper Styling Products (that's a wig not real hair LOL)
Curly hair. It's the best/worst thing. Everyone says they want it and they wish they had that much volume but...do they really?! My hair has been something I've battled with, and continue to battle with to this day. I thought by the time I was an "adult", I'm 26, I'd have it all figured out. I have kinda figured out my routine ..but it is either a sock bun or down and wild n' curly. I'm always on the hunt to find new products to make my life a little easier, add moisture and reduce frizz. I was super excited when Trade Secrets reached out to me to try the Curl Keeper line. As an added bonus, Trade Secrets is offering a free Curl Keeper deluxe sample with a $25 purchase of anything in the line! 

I had never tried this line previously but anything that is directly marketed towards curls is always intriguing to me. In doing my research I discovered this is actually a Canadian brand out of Toronto which makes it that much more exciting. If you're curious about all things Canadian I have a Canadian Beauty Series on my YouTube Channel. 

For reference, my hair is colour treated and relaxed but I wear it curly. I try to keep the use of heat to a minimum. I'm not sure what curl pattern I have, it is a little all over the place. I'm working on undoing a lot of damage from wearing it straight for too many years.

Curl Keeper has a water based formula free of silicone which is great if you are looking to avoid build up on your hair. Silicones mimic the look of shiny, frizz free hair but in reality your hair is no healthier. It's like concealing a blemish, you can't see it but that doesn't mean it isn't there. This line is also incredibly affordable too! Treating your hair well can sometimes seem like an expensive endeavor but Curl Keeper products retail for much less than your average salon products.   

Curl Keeper Original Total Frizzy Hair Control
Curl Keeper Original - Total Control for Frizz Free Hair 240mL $17.50 CAD
A water based formula, containing no silicones with a pH of 4.5. Created to control frizz without further drying the hair and adding definition to your curls. Best used on wet hair. Try not to move your hair too much after application for about 15 minutes to let it dry and set, this will help reduce frizziness as well. 

I really enjoy this product because unlike many other frizz reducing products this feels thin and not sticky. Many products similar to this can have a very thick, gooey texture. This slides through the hair and does not weigh it down. It leaves my curls defined and not crunchy. I still have trouble managing my second day curls but it claims to be reactivated with water to help with the longevity of your style for several days. 

Curl Keeper Beach Mist a Blast of Ocean Air
Curl Keeper Beach Mist - A Blast of Ocean Air 240mL $17.50 CAD
Formulated with 84 trace elements that are brewed from Pink Himalayan Crystal Salts. These salts work like electrolytes to draw moisture from the air to your hair, to moisturize and create volume. Best used on damp hair, followed by a diffuser or air drying to leave a voluminous finish.

I'm not gonna lie, I have never purchased a beach mist, salt spray or anything of the sort in my life, they scare me! However I think my mind has changed. I blindly assumed that salt in my hair would dry it out worse than it already is, I also have no problems achieving volume. However I like to use this at the end of my routine, even though it suggests otherwise. Once my hair is mostly dry I will spritz it through to give it a little extra "fluff". I also like to use it on day 2 curls weather I am attempting to wear it out and curly again, or to help slick it back into a bun. 

Curl Keeper Slip 30 Second Detangler
Curl Keeper Slip - 30 Second Detangler 240mL $17.50
Again, formulated without silicones and a pH of 4.5 to 5.2. Curl Keeper Slip has been created to loosen hair knots, lock in hair colour and eliminate flyaways. There are conditioning ingredients that will leave your hair feeling soft and looking shiny without over-moisturizing. Slip will shut your hair cuticle so it works well to be used just after colour application. Recommended to be sprayed onto clean wet hair, wait 30 seconds and then comb from ends to roots.

I love this! Again another super lightweight product that makes my hair routine that much easier. I personally don't detangle my hair out of the shower. I do it while my hair is still wet, loaded with conditioner and using my Tangle Teezer. However I love to use this out of the shower to add light moisture to my hair, to help control frizz when slicking back into a bun, or on second day curls to refresh them. It never overloads my hair with product, weighs it down or makes it crunchy. 
The way it sprays out of the bottle distributes just enough product too.This is something I can see myself repurchasing over and over again. 

Curl Keeper Tweek Hairspray in a Cream Form
Curl Keeper Tweek - Hairspray in a Cream Form 240mL $17.50
"Tweek is a styling cream that does for curly hair what hairspray does for straight hair". Formulated without silicones and alcohol it does not further dry out the hair or create any build up. It allows you to not only style your hair but also bring back any bounce or smoothness you lost. Because curly hair does not do well with hairspray, oils and pomades this will act as your refresher to ensure your styles last and can be brought back to life. 

I haven't reached for an actual hairspray since my hair was straight so this has been a super interesting and helpful product in my routine. I love using this on my curls in combination with the Original formula. Between the two of them my hair looks voluminous, frizz free and it does not feel crunchy. It is also great when I want to style my hair in a bun or pony tail to ensure there are no unruly bits, and I can use a few less bobby pins. 

Curl Keeper ReMane Straight Straightens and Smooths Hair
Curl Keeper ReMane Straight - Straightens and Smooths Hair 240mL $17.50
A non-chemical hair relaxer that helps to straighten and smooth curly hair. It seals the hair cuticle and prevents the hair from stretching/breakage, reduces frizz from humidity and leaves the hair feeling cleaner for longer lasting styles. Formulated with extracts of oat straw, chamomile, sage and nettle to protect the hair from heat damage. 

I cannot totally attest to the straightening properties, I don't even own a flat iron anymore and only reach for my hair dryer about once a week. I'm on the road to recovery after flat ironing my hair for 10 years straight. That being said I use this product when I rock a sock bun, which is A LOT. It helps to slick back my hair so that it looks smooth. I'll report back if I pick up a flat iron and straighten my hair. If it is anything else like the other products I used I can only assume it's fabulous. 


Overall, I think you know I am totally loving these products. It is only in the past 4 years that I have begun to fully embrace my curls. I'm still learning how to style and take care of them but Curl Keeper is something I can see incorporating into my routine moving forward. Sponsored post or not, I truly love the Slip and see myself buying that again and again. I also want to try their Leave-In Conditioner and Ultimate Gel. 


*This post is sponsored by Trade Secrets. All opinions are my own and honest! 



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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eye Shadow Palettes Swatches + Review

Mary Kay Winter 2016 Pure Dimension Eye Shadow Palettes
New but limited edition for Winter 2016 from Mary Kay are the Pure Dimension Eye Shadow Palettes.  Retailing for $46, there are 3 palettes with 4 shadows in each. Each palette contains 0.6 grams of product per shadow with a unique pattern. I love the clear packaging so that you can see what's inside, not sure if it would hold up to a lot of wear and tear though. Holiday launches can tend to be a bit of a miss, things that are produced to look pretty but not preform but this is not the case.
Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eyeshadow Palette Maui Gardens
Mary Kay Maui Gardens Pure Dimension Eyeshadow Palette
Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eye Shadow in Maui Gardens is my favourite! I've really been into greens and blues lately which is new to me. All of the shades are satin with no real metallic, shimmer or glitter but that doesn't mean they aren't gorgeous! All 4 shades have even pigmentation, one swipe with no primer. 

Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eyeshadow Palette Paris Starlight
Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eyeshadow Paris Starlight Swatches
Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eye Shadow in Paris Starlight features more shimmer than the others. They aren't the kind of shades I generally reach for because I prefer something more warm. But if you are a fan of cool tones, and anything smokey this palette could be perfect for you. 

Mary Kay Moroccan Dunes Pure Dimension Eyeshadow
Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eyeshadow Moroccan Dunes Swatches
Mary Kay Pure Dimension Eye Shadow in Moroccan Dunes is best for anyone who is looking for something simple and everyday. No real standout colours, but the peachy shade is a great way to add some interest without being too bold. That being said I felt on my skin-tone the shades all kind of blended together and lost definition.  
Wearing Mary Kay Moroccan Dunes
Mary Kay Moroccan Dunes Pure Dimension Eyeshadow
Overall I'm super impressed with the formula. Baked shadows can be dry at times but these are creamy and full of pigmentation without giving too much powder kick up. 

*Products sent for review.
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

DIOR Rouge Dior Lipstick Swatches

Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick Collection
One of the latest releases from Dior is their Rouge Dior Lipsticks. Peter Phillips who is the Creative Director of Dior Makeup said "I created this Rouge Dior Collection so women can choose and change shades to express themselves." I would have to agree, with over 40 shades available, satin, matte or extreme matte finishes and some truly bold shades this collection has something for everyone. The Dior Rouge Dior Lipsticks retail for $43 CAD/$35 USD.
Rouge Dior Lipstick
"Get 16 hours of comfort and elegant lip color—without streaking or drying out lips—with Rouge Dior Lipstick. This lasting lipstick features a myriad of colors in iconic reds, vibrant corals, alluring pinks, romantic rosewoods, and bold, unexpected mattes. It’s enriched with hydrating mango butter and aroelat samphira for its revitalizing action and hyaluronic acid spheres for their filling properties, while Decox creates a volumizing effect" 
Rouge Dior Matte Poison
The packaging is of course stunning, as to be expected with Dior. The silver and deep navy blue is incredible chic. The lipstick itself has a nice shape that allows you to be as precise as you need. "Dior" is also embossed in each lipstick, beautiful touch! 
Rouge Dior Lipstick Swatches
I find both the matte and extreme matte shades to be comfortable. I prefer the finish so I'm willing to put up with a little less moisture. If you have dry lips it is always nice to prep with a lip scrub and don't skip out on the balm. As for the satin finish, it is more comfortable and moisturizing but you will lose out on some of the wear time that you'd get from a matte. I don't find either are completely transfer-proof but the matte is more so than the satin. Personally I prefer more nude satin finishes and deeper matte shades. 
Dior Rouge Dior Premier Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior Actrice Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior Classic Matte Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior Miss Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior Exuberant Matte Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior 999 Matte Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior Ambitious Matte Swatch
Dior Rouge Dior Poisin Matte Swatch
Which shade is your favourite?! 

*These products were sent for my review.

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Friday, 18 November 2016

essie Winter 2016 Collection

essie winter 2016 "mod about you"
Brand new from essie is the winter 2016 collection, "Mod About essie". Inspired by London in the "swinging sixties which was the epicentre of chic". Curated by the Global Colour Curator for essie Rebecca Minkoff! 
essie winter 2016 nail polish collection
There are 6 shades in the collection. It includes both frosts, shimmers and creams. Keep in mind I'm not a nail painting expert, so excuse my less that perfect nail swatches. Available now in salons and retailers worldwide for 9.99 CAD each. 
essie 2016 nail polish collection
I really enjoy this collection because it is not a super traditional approach to winter polish. It's got fun twists that are wearable by all. I think they can be worn year round too! They all have a great formula, all swatches below are 2 coats, some you can do just 1. My only complain about essie polish is the smaller brush, personally I like something larger as I have quite large nail beds. They did not apply streaky and dried with a nice glossy finish. 
essie winter collection 2016
essie ready to boa - glistening bronzed mahogany
essie ready to boa swatch
party on a platform - London garnet red 
essie party on a platform swatch
oh behave! -minx peach frost 
essie oh behave swatch
getting groovy - metallic gold palladium
essie getting groovy swatch
satin sister - sleek ebony peacock blue 
essie satin sister swatch
go with the flowy - cloudlike dove grey (my favourite!!)
essie go with the flowy swatch

*These products were provided for my review

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

5 Ways to Use Nivea Creme


Nivea Creme is probably one of the first products I remember coming into contact with. My grandmother has been using it for as long as I remember as a night cream. I used to put it on my lips at night to emulate her. Nivea Creme has been sold since 1911 and sells approximately 100 million jars each year. The original formula is avaialble in the 400 ml, 250 ml and 150 ml tins, 60 ml tube and 25 ml travel jar. 

At a glance this product can seem a little dated, but let's be honest if it has been around for this long there has to be a reason! I recently revisited Nivea and have found 5 ways that I like the make use of it. One overarching recommendation I can make is that it is a great bedside table product, perfect to reach for at night for a multitude of uses. Another tip is to apply to skin when it is slightly damp, just after the shower for example. You'll feel the moisturizing benefits more this way! 

1. Make-up Remover
In a pinch, Nivea Creme can act as a makeup remover. I haven't tried it for face makeup as I am hesitant with my acne-prone skin, but for eye makeup remover it can get the job done. Nivea Creme has some oils and waxes, which helps to break down things like mascara. It also won't leave your eyelashes feeling dry. 




2. Cuticles
Nivea Creme has a very thick texture which is something I prefer to use on my hands and nails. When finishing up a mani or before bed it is fabulous to rub on the cuticles. You could also use it prior to a mani if you'd like to soften them for slight push back or removal. 

3. Elbows and Knees
As mentioned above the texture is quite thick, which isn't something I like to rub all over my body. It would take far to long to sink in. That being said, it's great for super dry or rough areas of skin like the elbows, knees, perhaps even your heels. When this is applied before bed it really "sticks" to the skin more so than a thinner lotion. 

4. Lip Moisturizer
This one is kinda obvious. I can remember standing at the bathroom vanity when I was super young applying this to my lips and it leaving a big white ring around my mouth. I definitely apply it with much more restraint as an adult, but it makes a great night time moisturizer or in the winter when your lips need more protection.




5. Stray Hairs
This especially applies to the travel jar, and if you have unruly hair. I have some crazy voluminous curls, that can get a little out of control at times. If I'm wearing it in a bun there is always a few hairs that want to do their own thing, and I don't always have extra bobby pins on hand. A little Nivea, potentially even diluted with water will help to keep things in order. This is only recommended if you have particularly dry or curly hair. If your hair is more on the thing side the texture could be too greasy for you

In doing my research about this product, to figure out the actual "why" regarding what makes it useful I found some interesting information about potential hazardous ingredients. That being said, many/most mainstream creams, lotions, body washes etc have ingredients in them that once you do your research can sound a little scary. It is up to you to decide what works for you! I know personally, I'm blind to many of the products I put on my face and body. Sometimes it can just be near impossible to avoid. 

What are you favourite uses for Nivea Creme?! 

*This product was sent to me for my review.


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Monday, 14 November 2016

The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping + Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow + Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask Review

The Body Shop Face Masks 
Recently The Body Shop released a line of face masks, they retail for $28 CAD/USD and contain 75mL of product. I'm not sure if it's the fact that masks are so on trend right now but I was so intrigued by this line! So many interesting combinations of ingredients and textures.
The Body Shop Vegetarian Face Masks 
They are all either vegetarian of vegan, which is so odd to think about animal products being in skincare. It is not something I honestly look out for but I am glad this has none. These masks are also formulated without parabens, paraffins, silicones or mineral oils. For reference, my skin is oily and acne-prone but not sensitive. 
The Body Shop British Rose Mask
The first mask I tried in the line is The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask. " Inspired by the European bathing rituals, our 100% vegan refreshing gel face mask is infused with real rose petals, rose essence, rosehip oil and organic Community Trade aloe vera." As someone with oily skin I tend to reach for anything clay, charcoal, detox so this mask was incredibly refreshing in more ways than one! It was so nice to use something that felt cooling on my skin, it adds just enough moisture but by no means leaves my skin feeling greasy. It has a great light gel texture. As for the smell, DELICIOUS. I love everything from the British Rose line and this is no different. Maybe it is the best of the line, it smells like a rose jam without being to floral and "old ladyish". I mentioned this one in a recent Favourites Video
The Body Shop Charcoal Mask
Up next is The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask. Oh baby, this one is glorious. "100% Vegan Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is a beautifying mud-textured exfoliating mask." Key ingredients include bamboo charcoal from the Himalayan foothills, community trade tea tea oil from Kenya and Green Tea Leaves from Japan. I have never spent the cash on a Glam Glow mask but this mask totally satisfies that craving. I've tried a lot of masks over the years and this mask truly left me feeling immediate results. My skin felt so clean, soft and clarified without feeling dry and tight. The only downside is the green tea leaves get stuck to your face and are hard to wash off. That is a small price to pay for how glorious my skin felt after. 
The Body Shop Acai Mask
Lastly is The Body Shop Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask. "Inspired by the rituals of Amazonian tribes, our juicy 100% vegan face mask is a bouncy blend containing acai berry, guarana and babassu oil. This vibrant face mask exfoliates and invigorates sleepy skin to help it look wide awake." I don't have as much experience with this mask as I do the others but the 2 times I used it, it felt great! It looks like straight up strawberry jam and has little grains in it. I did however wake up with a reaction on my face the second time I used it, I am not blaming this mask.. I have been doing a few other new things but just a thought!
The Body Shop Amazonian Acai Mask ..I mean if it looks like jam.. LOL I did not eat this ;)
Overall I think these masks are fabulous. I cannot recommend the whole line but from what I have tried, I'd say figure out which one will work for you and buy it, now! 

*These products were sent for my review.
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