Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Hair Color! My Adventures with Clairol's Natural Instincts

When I went to Toronto a few months back for the Beauty United Launch, I had a chance to speak with Clairol's Expert Colorist Luis Pacheco who gave me a personal consultation advising me what hair color would suit me best. Never one to shy away from experimenting with hair color, I was thrilled when he suggested a deep brown color (#31 in the Clairol Natural Instincts line) as I was already thinking of going darker for the fall.

If you don't already know this, I actually have greys coming in. I just turned 26! But given that my father went completely grey quite young, and my mother as well, I was kind of doomed. I have enough greys that I feel the need to color them but my conversation with Luis taught me something new. He told me that I probably didn't need to keep coloring my hair with permanent hair color but that semi-permanent color would most likely keep the greys covered. That way, my hair would stay less damaged as well.

So, feeling brave last week, I picked up the color I was suggested.
I needed two boxes (and could have used another one!) to cover my whole head of hair. I have really really thick hair.

The contents of the box. I love that they have a color refresher packet to use a few weeks after your hair is colored! The formula of the dye was easy to work with. I've actually used Natural Instincts in the past and like their new creme formula much much more. It's a lot less liquid than the previous formula and it is easier to manage.

And here are the before and after pictures!
What do you think? I'm loving my new hair color! Actually, I'm loving it even more after a few washes. The warm brown really works for fall, and brings out my blue eyes! I got a hair cut after this picture was taken, so it looks even fresher with my dry ends cut off!

Are you changing your hair color for fall/winter?

Oh and it might be worth mentioning another Clairol product. If you're not satisfied with the results of the Clairol Nice n' Easy expert highlights and lowlights, your next salon visit is on Clairol. That's right, they'll send you a $90 CAN prepaid card towards your next color. If you're interested in this salon challenge, the link is here. The offer expires on December 31st and only the first 3000 entries will be eligible. But seriously, how cool is that?

*Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Nail Favorite: Essie's After School Boy Blazer

I love nail polish, and I own a lot of it, but it's been a while since I've found a gem like Essie's After School Boy Blazer.

It's the perfect deep navy color that almost looks black.

The formula was amazing and the color was perfectly opaque in two coats.

The best part? I had no chips and only a little tip wear after a week. That never ever happens!

After having a hard time locating it in my city, I decided to order it from Nail Polish Canada who happened to have free shipping (and still do). It seems like all the good shades from the Holiday collections get picked over pretty fast around here, so I'm sure I'll be back to Nail Polish Canada before the end of the year!

What do you think of navy polish?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Estee Lauder Vivid Shine Lipstick Chrome Metal Effect in Guilded Honey

Estee Lauder has long been one of my favorite brands for lipsticks. Their lipsticks are always moisturizing, pigmented, and they even smell amazing. Keeping in with the trends for fall, Estee Lauder has recently released their The Metallics collection in store. This collection features the Metallic Magnified Eyes Trios of eyeshadows, the Liquid Molten Lip Lacquers, the Chromatically Hued Nails, as well as what's up for review today, the Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick in Chrome Metal Effect. I was sent the shade Guilded Honey for review.

While my first reaction to a chrome effect lipstick would be to back away slowly, I'm quite impressed with this lipstick. The effect isn't too "chromy" shall we say, and the heavy shimmer doesn't seem to settle in my lip lines too much. The chrome effect is actually flattering and it makes my lips appear a bit fuller. However, a chrome colored brown lipstick really isn't for me.

Truthfully, I can't say I would ever pick out brown lipstick for myself - the shade just never suits me. However, I can see this honey shade suiting someone who has a more olive skintone (like my mom, hi mom) perfectly. Just make sure to try the shade on in the store before purchasing if you're not sure!

* I have received this product for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Mani Routine

A few weeks ago, it was my birthday. I turned 26! We were hosting a little gathering that night (we played Card Against Humanity and it was awesome) and I wanted to give myself a good manicure. It was the perfect excuse for picking out a new nail polish and because metallics are kind of a thing right now, I thought I could rock a copper color for my special night. But not just a copper polish, copper polish with a copper glitter accent nail. I was going all out. I ended up choosing Essie's Penny Talk and Sally Hansen's Salon Manicure in Copper Penny.

When I rounded up all my usual mani essentials, it dawned on me I should take a couple pictures and post this on my blog. I don't think I have ever explained my manicure routine before!
Here are the polishes, in all their glory.

And my supplies!
The pile includes:
- My Chosen Ones (the polishes)
- A Sally's (the store, not the nail polish brand) nail file
- CND Base Coat
- Nubar's Diamond Topcoat
- Nail Q-Tips. I think I found these at Wal-Mart in the nail polish section. They are incredibly useful for when you paint over your cuticles.
- Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover
- The Body Shop Almond Hand Cream
- Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

I usually start every mani by using my Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover. It's a necessity for me to obtain a smooth finish on my nails. I push back my cuticles after the product has worked its magic, then I wash my hands.

Then, it's time to shape my nails. I usually go for a square-ish shape.

I follow up by applying hand cream generously and then wiping off any oil off my nails with nail polish remover and a cotton bud. That way, I know my nails have no excess oils and are ready for my favorite basecoat of all time, the CND Base Coat.

After the base coat is dry, which only takes a few minutes, I apply my polish.

I then clean up any mistakes with a cotton bud. For some reason, my application was pretty difficult with this polish!

It was really runny, and because it was a metallic formula, I had a hard time not making it look streaky.

I added my accent nail on my thumb and ring finger and after a coat of Nubar's Diamond Topcoat, voila!

Birthday mani!
As much as I love the look of a metallic polish, it isn't the easiest to work with! I actually chipped my mani pretty badly after this picture was taken.

Do you have any staples in your manicure routine? Any favorite topcoats and basecoats? As much as I love mine, I'm not opposed to trying something new.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Need Something Extra Bright on Your Lips? Try Annabelle Twist Up in Bazooka Pink!

Hi everyone! Today I'm bringing you a quick review of the Annabelle Twist Up in Bazooka Pink. I'm sure you've been overloaded with swatches through the 24 Days of Annabelle promo going on on social media this past month, but I got curious about the product and decided to give it a go myself. Even though there were plenty of neutral colors up my alley to choose from, I decided to give something out of my comfort zone a go!

First off, the packaging has pros and cons. I love that the actual product can be "twisted-up" as the name suggests. However, a freshly opened tube does not "twist down" which makes putting the cap back on a bit of a pain.

I do really like that shape of the lipstick gives a clean and precise application. Bonus points for that.

Bazooka Pink applied on my hand, photo taken in shaded daylight. The formula is VERY opaque, only needing a few swipes for full coverage.

And on my face.

Truthfully, I don't find this color terribly flattering on me. I've never been a fan of bright (barbie) lipsticks. However, I'm quite content to having it in my collection to use when my mood does want something bright and cheerful. Heck, I've worn it a few days so far and it has grown on me. Maybe I can do brights after all?

Which Annabelle Twist-Up is your favorite? I'd love some suggestions for other shades!