Start and maintain your New Years resolutions with the GoodLife Fitness 3-month challenge + GIVEAWAY

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I’ve never been a super fit person, but one of the things I’ve noticed about getting older is that I can no longer just maintain or lose weight via portion control. Also ever since I started dating my boyfriend more than two years ago, I’ve gotten more, ahem, happy fat. This year, one of my personal resolutions is to live a healthier life overall – both through regular exercise and also through healthy eating – which is why I’m partnering with GoodLife Fitness to jump start my healthy lifestyle.

I will be participating in the 3-month challenge, this challenge includes an initial life changer assessment which will review my life habits such as sleep, diet and exercise, and then create a weekly action plan incorporates cardio, strength training, classes and more. My initial assessment will be used as a benchmark for any progress, and then at the end of the 12 weeks I will (hopefully) see some improvements in all aspects of my life.

GIVEAWAY

I’d like to invite one of you to share this journey with me, so I am working with GoodLife Fitness to give one lucky reader a FREE one month membership to any GoodLife Fitness location across Canada.

You have several ways to enter:

The giveaway is open to Canadians over the age of 18, and will end on Tuesday, March 1 at midnight PST. Good luck!

ENTER HERE

Celebrating Chinese New Year’s reds and golds with Charlotte Tilbury, La Prairie and Guerlain

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch

It’s no secret that every since the brand has launched in Canada, I’ve been completely and utterly obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury. Today is Chinese New Year, and I’m sharing with you my Chinese New Year look featuring reds and golds from Charlotte Tilbury, accompanied by some of my favourite gold-based products from La Prairie and Guerlain. Valentine’s Day is also nearing, and this look with the soft eyes and lip will also make a great romantic look for a night out with your partner.

P.S. Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who celebrates!

On face:

  • La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold to prep skin (review to come)
  • Guerlain L’Or Radiance Concentrate to prime skin
  • Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation to cover (review to come)

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch

On eyes:

On cheeks:

On lips:

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch
charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch
charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch

The Vintage Vamp palette is the star of my look; it is a beautiful palette containing four coordinating shades to create mesmerizing eyes. The shades are:

  • Prime shade: a shimmery metallic pink that feels ultra creamy and smooth
  • Enhance shade: a shimmery light burgundy that’s very smooth and pigmented
  • Smoke shade: a metallic dark burgundy that’s also beautifully smooth and pigmented
  • Pop shade: a glittery gold that has the hardest texture out of all of these. It has barely any base colour, and mostly is just chunky glitter

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch

I love Charlotte Tilbury’s coordinating eye palettes because they are very easy to use with foolproof instructions, as well as excellent quality in terms of texture and pigmentation. I can also see why the Vintage Vamp palette is one of Charlotte’s more popular palettes. The colours are just absolutely beautiful together, with the ability to create a very soft and romantic look or an intense rock-and-roll look, depending on your mood of the day. Since I received this, it has quickly become one of my favourite eye palettes to use.

The light pink Prime shade is absolutely beautiful, applies smoothly (almost creamy) and adheres very well. There was a little bit of powder fallout with the two darker Enhance and Smoke shades, but it cleaned up easy. The only colour I wasn’t super fond of was the Pop shade of this palette because it felt a lot drier and was chunky compared to the other shades, but even then it adhered very well to the middle of my eyelid. For the Chinese New Year look I put together, this pop of gold glitter worked really well with the rest of the look.

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch
charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch

How would you recreate your own red and gold look?

Easy velvety skin with NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Finland, Alaska and Groenland

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review and swatch

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (C$54 for 50mL) is a new matte tinted moisturizer for Spring 2016. NARS promises instant and easy blendability, effortless application, with a soft-focus matte finish. The formula is oil free, and contains Rose Fruit Extract to minimize the look of pores and control shine, as well as vitamins C and E to protect against harmful free radical caused by environmental stress. The formula also contains Transparent Blurring Powders to create a cushion on the skin which results in a velvety, comfortable feel. It touts SPF 30 sunscreen protection using ingredients Octinoxate 7.5% and Octisalate 3%, both chemical blockers for protection against UVB rays. This does not contain blockers for UVA rays.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review and swatch

The Velvet Matte Skin Tint is essentially a matte-finish tinted moisturizer. It comes in a very handy and easy-to-use squeeze tube (seems like companies now like complicated packaging but simpler is better!) with the brand’s name printed on the front, as well as the shade conveniently printed on the back.

The texture that comes out of the tube is a thick-ish mousse. It blends out very easily into my skin and the finish is semi-matte with medium coverage. It does a great job at evening out my skin tone and controlling oil, but it’s not the best at covering redness. I like that despite its matte finish, you can layer this for higher coverage before it dries down completely. Another positive is that each tube contains 50mL, which is 40% more than the usual 30mL sized foundations.

In terms of downsides, I felt that it didn’t really do much to smooth out skin texture though – my pores weren’t smoothed out. It also oxidizes slightly, which is most noticeable in the afternoon. In addition, it’s not the most hydrating product so it clings to any dry spots on my face. Lastly, despite claiming to be a matte-finish, my skin felt tacky to the touch unless I powdered. I don’t mind powdering since I do it with my other foundations, but I had hoped that it’d be a one-step product.

The NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint comes in 12 flexible shades – I can wear both Finland and Alaska. Alaska is closest to my natural skin colour but because it oxidizes a bit and turns too yellow, I prefer using Finland. For reference, my NARS shade is Santa Fe (Guerlain 02, Chanel B20 and Dior 020).

  • Terre-Neuve (Light 0) — lightest shade with neutral pink undertones
  • Finland (Light 1) — lightest with neutral yellow undertones
  • Alaska (Light 2) — light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Groenland (Light 3) — light medium with a neutral pink/peachy undertone
  • St. Moritz (Medium 1) — medium with a neutral yellow undertone
  • Cuzco (Medium 1.5) — medium with a neutral pink/peachy undertone
  • Annapurna (Medium 2) — medium with a neutral peachy undertone
  • Cuba (Medium 3) — medium with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Malaga (Med/Dark 1) — medium-dark with warm caramel undertones
  • Seychelles (Med/Dark 2) — medium-dark with golden olive undertones
  • Martinique (Med/Dark 3) — medium-dark with warm red undertones
  • Polynesia (Dark 1) — dark with warm chocolate undertones

I’m not gonna lie – I find NARS’s foundation naming system extremely confusing because they are just random place names/words. I do prefer a numbering system, and even though NARS does use a number system as a secondary name, most internet sources only list the main place name. It’s just a general preference though and it doesn’t affect how I feel about the product itself.

Overall, I’m not sure I would recommend this product. It has a lot of benefits such as the medium coverage, blendability, oil control, and finish, but it also has a lot of drawbacks such as oxidization, and its inability to cover pores or smooth out skin texture. That being said, I have read several raves of this product by other bloggers so I feel like it has to be one of those products you try out for yourself. You can purchase the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint at Sephora, Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom and other NARS counters across Canada.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review and swatch

Swatches

Finland, Alaska, then Groenland

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review and swatch
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint review and swatch

Featuring supplementary skincare – essence lotions, pre-serums, facial oils, eye serums, and more!

skincare

This year, one of my blog goals with regards to skincare is featuring more supplementary skincare products. We all have our usual routine, which normally consists of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, and for good measure I’ll also throw serum in there because more and more people are seeing serum as something of a necessity. In recent years, especially due to the rise in popularity of Japanese, Korean, and other skincare products, we have seen an increase in what I like to call “supplementary products.” These are products such as the essence lotion, pre-serum, eye serum, facial oil, et cetera. Basically any products that don’t fit into our usual cleanse, tone, moisturize routine.

In the prior years, I have covered these products to an extent, but in 2016 I really want to make it a goal to feature more of these products. I’m finding more ways of incorporating these products in my skincare routine, including my recent luck with facial oils by mixing them with my nightly moisturizer.

Essence lotions are watery lotions that essentially replace your toner. They normally have hydrating properties, plus anti-aging, spot reduction, brightening and more. I LOVE Essence Lotions, and this is a staple in my morning skincare routine when I need something hydrating to help my skin combat the dryness of the office air. My current go-to is the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment which really helps to give me plump, supple skin that creates an even canvas for foundation, and also helps my base makeup stay on longer.

Pre-serums are a new trend that started with Shiseido Ultimune a few years ago. You use this after cleansing and toning, and before applying anything else. The gist is that it’s supposed to help maximize the potency of anything else you apply after this. Ultimune itself claimed to improve the skin’s immunity by targeting the Langerhans cells in your skin, however that’s not the case with all pre-serums. Elizabeth Arden recently also released a version of the pre-serum which I haven’t yet tried, but it’s a similar idea.

Facial oils are usually a blend of essential oils (either with or without a carrier oil) that you apply directly on your face. Depending on the blend of essential oils, it can provide hydration, as well as anti-aging, spot reducing, brightening, and other properties. I used to have terrible luck with facial oils because they just don’t like to sink into my skin, always leaving a greasy mess. However recently I discovered Odacite, which is used mixed into your moisturizer, and I’m absolutely in love! Reviews to come.

Sleeping masks were a huge Asian phenomenon a few years ago, and just in the last 1-2 years that they’ve become popular in North America. Basically these products are hydrating masks that contain intensive ingredients that replace your nighttime moisturizer a few times a week.

Eye serums are like a facial serum and are gaining popularity in recent years, especially with the anti-aging crowd. The eye area is very thin and delicate, so extra care must be taken to ensure that the products used aren’t too heavy, otherwise you may cause clogged pores. Eye serums are designed specifically for the eye area, using lightweight ingredients that pack the most punch in order to gently repair the eye area.

Look out for reviews and features of products in these categories in the coming months!

What are your thoughts on incorporating these supplementary products in your skincare routine?

Image via Google

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder – a must-have for all Chanel lovers!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Chanel releases a Le Blanc collection each spring. Historically this collection has been an Asia-exclusive or Nordstrom anniversary sale exclusive, but this year distribution of the Le Blanc makeup collection has been widespread. I’m extremely thankful for that because this year the star product of the collection is the gorgeous Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder. I’m warning you now because this product is an absolute must-have for all and any Chanel fans.

The Chanel Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder (C$76) is a dual highlighter in one pan. The left side is a frosty white highlighter and the right side is a pink highlighter with peach and gold pearl. The pan is pressed with a pearl necklace embellishment and the Chanel signature double-C logo – it is truly a work of art. I purchased mine from Nordstrom, but it should also be available at Holt Renfrew.

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

I’ve read some mixed reviews of this highlighter – some people love it, some people think it’s just okay – but I have to say that I am in the love camp. The highlighter is absolutely breathtaking. The white side is a frosty white that is extremely pigmented; a tiny bit goes a long way. It kind of reminds me of Becca Pearl in a white that it’s just a pure silvery white highlighter. The pink side is even more beautiful. In addition to being a very soft texture that’s finely milled and very smooth, the pink also has a gold and peach pearl that’s almost a duo-chrome. The colour is a lot softer than the white side in that it’s just a beautiful shimmer and not frosty. The two colours mixed together also work well, even though the white is more dominant because of how frosty it is, so you get less of that peach and gold pearl from the pink.

One thing to note is that this highlighter is quite cool-toned, so if you’re a warm-toned lady then it won’t work as well on you. Burberry has a new highlighter for Spring/Summer 2016 that’s in a pale gold shade that would work well for my warm-toned friends; I’ll be reviewing it soon so keep your eyes out!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Even the box is beautifully embellished with the pearl necklace design. The details on this highlighter is just so incredible. I already own at least five other highlighters, and I’m not one to buy dupes of products but I just had to have this. So after all that, are you convinced that you need this?

The Chanel Perles et Fantaisies Illuminating Powder is available now at Holt Renfrew or Nordstrom counters across Canada!

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Swatches

Left white side, right pink side, then subtly mixed

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

In alternate light so you can see the gold and peach pearls in the pink side

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Chanel Perles et Fantaisies review and swatch

Review + swatch: Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner

Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner review

In my quest for long-wearing eye makeup for my oily, mono-lids, I’m always on the lookout for a good quality liquid liner. My current favourite is the Paul & Joe Liquid Liner which I’ve been using for the past year and is still going strong. I was recently contacted by Vancouver-based but internationally-renowned beauty brand Amaterasu (previously known as Geisha Ink) to try out their popular Liquid Eyeliner. After reading that it has a brush tip applicator, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to see how this matches up to my beloved Paul & Joe.

Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner review

The Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner (C$30/US$24) is available in black and espresso. Like I mentioned above, it features a brush tip applicator that’s very fine. The applicator is flexible enough to easily draw its way around my lash line, but is firm enough to get deep between the roots of my lashes to create the most sultry lined look. Application is an absolute breeze and I was able to get a cat eye done in under 10 seconds per eye.

The formula itself is also very easy to work with, as it is very black and with a matte finish. I don’t have to go over the line too many times to get a deep black line. The liner itself is very fluid, but dries quickly so that you don’t have to hold your eyelids half open to wait for them to dry. The most impressive thing is the wear. My Paul & Joe liner is my go-to liner for when I want a long-wearing line, but the Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner is now my new best friend because it wears even longer than the P&J without smudging. The Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner does claim 24-hour wear, which I have not tested out and do not plan on test out, because lasting through a whole day from morning to night without smudging is already good enough.

I also compared this to the Make Up For Ever Graphic Liner which has a felt tip applicator. The major differences were that the Amaterasu liner’s brush tip liner gave me a lot better control in where I applied my liner whereas the MUFE’s felt tip applicator was firmer and difficult to use when drawing a softer line. The Amaterasu liner also had much better wear time and was more smudgeproof. Of my three preferred liners (i.e. ones that didn’t smudge upon 10 minutes of applications), the Amaterasu Liquid Liner is my newfound favourite, followed by the Paul & Joe, then lastly the Make Up For Ever.

If you also suffer from mono-lids that can get oily and wreck havoc on your eyeliner, look no further than the Amaterasu Liquid Liner!

Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner review

Swatches

Left two are Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner, followed by Make Up For Ever Graphic Liner and Paul & Joe Liquid Liner

Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner review

Amaterasu Liquid Eyeliner review

Canadian beauty online shopping with Scarlet & Julia

scarlet & julia online shop review

Scarlet & Julia is a newcomer in the beauty e-commerce scene. Based in Montreal, Canada, Scarlet & Julia is a combination of a discount beauty hub, hosting limited-time sales of luxury beauty brands such as Chloe, Lise Watier, Burberry, and more, and high end beauty boutique, featuring regular-priced beauty products. The website offers free shipping for orders over $75, and claims “orders are delivered within 4 to 8 business days from the receipt of your order for products in La Boutique and within 8 to 12 business days for products in Private Sale.”

I was sent a $50 gift card from Scarlet & Julia to get my shop on. Since the shop is relatively new, there is a limited number of brands available. I zoomed in on some of my favourite brands such as REN and Nuxe, as well as specialty niche brands such as Lipstick Queen and Coola.

My first impression is that the website design is very clean, organized, and easy to navigate. However I really wasn’t impressed with the ordering/check-out process. I wasn’t a fan of how there’s a separate landing page for each brand before clicking on ‘Shop this brand,’ because it just created another necessary action on my part (note: by the time this blog post was published, they had thankfully removed this landing page). I also found the check out process to be a bit slow. It took a few tries to add things to my cart, and each time it took about 10 seconds to load the page.

Lastly, I found the shipping time to be extremely slow. I ordered my products from the regular boutique (not private sale) on December 8, but it wasn’t shipped until December 18, and it didn’t arrive until December 23. I understand that because of the Christmas season it could be longer than usual waiting times, but I felt that a 10-day shipping delay was just not acceptable, especially because there are places like Sephora that ship next day, Amazon where products are delivered to your door within 48 hours, and other online shopping options that deliver a lot faster.

I ordered an Anna Sui Beauty Tray, a Consonant Natural Foaming Face Wash, and a Lise Watier Structure Eye Brush. The products arrived safely packaged, and I have nothing but good things to say about the products themselves.

Overall though, I am quite disappointed with my first experience with Scarlet & Julia. I do most of my shopping online and it’s a shame that one of Canada’s first and premier online shopping destinations didn’t perform as well compared to their competitors. I note that they are quite new, as they just opened in 2015 so there may be some growing pains at first. I anticipate that most, if not all, of these issues will be resolved as they grow their business, and that the shopping experience will become smoother over time.

scarlet & julia online shop review

Love Asian skincare? Check out Taiwanese brand For Beloved One, now available in Canada!

for beloved one Bio-Cellulose Mask review

Taiwanese cosmeceutical brand For Beloved One has launched in Canada via fifteen T&T Supermarket locations. I used to be completely obsessed with Taiwanese celebrities and skincare products, and I first heard about this brand back in 2008 from Taiwanese socialite and actress Barbie Hsu, who swears by the Melasleep Whitening Mask to help her create her signature fair-skin look.

The brand is most known in Asia for being the inventor of the Bio-Cellulose Mask (C$63 for 3 pieces), which is created using compoud bacteria that goes through a fermentation process to create one of the finest bio-fibres. The texture is extremely unique, being almost a jelly-cloth mask that is very adhesive to the skin. I’ve used this mask to vacuum and do other household chores and it will not fall off, so I can attest to how well it sticks to the face. In addition, the fibre is waterproof but breathable, meaning that your skin can still get oxygen while you have this mask on, yet the serum concentrate will not evaporate through the fibres (unlike paper masks that dry via evaporation within 10-15 minutes).  In addition, each mask contains the equivalent of 1 bottle of serum (33g), so you are getting the full facial benefits.

You can see the mask fibre below on my Instagram picture:

The three mask types I received were:

  • Extreme Hydration Bio-Cellulose Mask – for hydration and great for pre-event makeup prep;
  • Hyaluronic Acid GHK-Cu Moisturizing Bio-Cellulose Mask – containing copper peptide aimed at locking in moisture and revitalizing the skin; and
  • Melasleep Whitening Bio-Cellulose Mask – aimed at brightening the skin, reducing blemishes, and smoothing and moisturizing the skin.

Since receiving these, I’ve used the Extreme Hydration and the Melasleep. I’m extremely impressed with the Melasleep and can see why it is a top seller – it leaves my skin feeling hydrated but my skin tone is evened out and my skin also feels smoother in texture. It has been really hard to use this only for the recommended 20 minutes, but any leftover serum in the package or on the mask, I will use as a body lotion so I don’t create any waste. The Melasleep mask’s serum is an opaque milky cream, and it actually feels more hydrating than the watery clear serum that’s in the Extreme Hydration mask.

for beloved one Bio-Cellulose Mask review

In addition to their popular face masks, For Beloved One also launched their top-selling skincare lines:

  • Hyaluronic Acid line – for hydrating the skin, aimed at those with dry skin types;
  • Mandelic Acid line – for acne and blemish control;
  • Brightening – for those who want a more radiant complexion; and
  • Firming and Anti-Aging – for erasing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as lifting the skin.

for beloved one hyaluronic acid serum review

Each skincare range comes in a set with toner, serum, moisturizing gel and moisturizing cream, as well as peripheral products such as facial oil and eye cream. You can mix and match the products in the set to create your personalized regime, aimed at targeting specific concerns that you may have. The Hyaluronic Acid GHK-Cu Moisturizing Serum (C$68 for 30mL) is an all-in-one serum that not only hydrates the skin, but also contains copper peptides to help fight the first signs of aging and stimulate the production of skin collagen, as well as three types of hyaluronic acid. This serum is ultra lightweight but a tiny bit carries a very large punch in moisture to the skin. My face feels ultra plump whenever I use this, and not only does it help to keep my skin looking and feeling healthy, it’s great worn underneath foundation to increase wear time.

for beloved one bb cream review

Lastly, For Beloved One launched their popular makeup base products in Canada, with the BB and DD Creams. The difference between BB and DD Creams is that BB Creams are foundation/tinted moisturizers – it contains a higher concentration of pigments to give you medium coverage with a matte finish. Whereas DD Creams are more like skin perfecting products that have minimal pigment, but has a light tint to help correct sallowness or increase brightness. DD Creams also contain SPF30 or SPF45, which can be used to replace your daily sunscreen. The Melasleep Whitening BB Cream (C$49.50 for 50mL) contains skincare ingredients such as ascorbyl glucoside (vitamin C for brightening), rose hip oil (to nourish and repair the skin, as well as improve skin elasticity), and job’s tear extract (to lighten dark spots). It comes in two shades – Ivory and Natural.

I’ve used the Ivory every day since I received it and I’m really not a fan. I find that it dries out my skin and leaves flaky patches even after removal. I’ve stopped using this because I keep having to rescue my skin every night, and it’s just not worth the hassle. That aside though, the BB Cream has a gel-creme texture that isn’t the most lightweight, but not heavy either. It provides medium coverage with a dewy finish. The Ivory shade, despite looking very light swatched, blends into my skin so that it’s not too different from my natural skintone. I do have to blot after a few hours, as usual, but I don’t find that this oxidizes after a day’s wear. Overall I still wouldn’t recommend this to dry or dehydrated skin types because it is quite drying.

I highly, highly recommend checking out the Bio-Cellulose masks, they are simply amazing and despite being a little pricey, each treatment does wonders. It’s like getting a real facial with each mask!

For Beloved One is currently available in Taiwan and across South East Asia, China, and Australia, as well as in Canada at T&T Supermarket locations.

Roger & Gallet new Vancouver boutique opening and feature of some popular products!

Last month, I was invited to the opening of the new Roger & Gallet boutique located inside Hudson’s Bay, Downtown Vancouver. This is the first boutique in Canada for this mid-luxury French perfumerie founded in 1862. The brand is well known for their collection of fragrances, hand-milled soaps, and decadent hand creams. It’s also my first foray into the brand, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first stepped into the boutique.

Roger & Gallet products are divided amongst different scents, and so is the boutique design. The most popular scent in Canada is Fleur d’Osmanthus (osmanthus flower), a refreshing white floral, and the most popular scent outside of Canada is Fleur de Figuier (fig flower), a scent that’s both sweet and fruity. Both of these scents are just divine, and I have trouble picking out which one I like more. My personal favourite is Gingembre Rouge (red ginger), which contains scents of lychee fruit! Each scent contains multiple products, including soaps, hand creams, perfumes, shower gels and body lotions, as well as some more specialized products such as body oils and shaving foams for men.

Roger & Gallet Vancouver

I love that the brand only sells luxury body care products. I gifted a few of the products to my friends for Christmas and everyone was in love with the way the products smelled as well as the simplistic presentation.

One of my favourite products is the Huile Sublime, from the Sublime Or collection which features citrus oils and scents. This oil contains orange essential oil for toning, and vitamin E for its anti-oxidant properties. The fragrance is a blend of Mediterranean citrus fruits (mandarin, orange and bigarade petitgrain), sweet fruited orange flower, feminine notes of jasmin and notes of Atlas cedar. The best thing about this oil is not the scent or the oil blend, but that it contains Citronella and other citrus essential oils which makes it a very effective, yet natural, insect repellent! I’ve yet to try this though, because in the winter here there are no mosquitos, but I look forward to keeping my skin nicely hydrated and mosquito-protected with this oil.

Roger & Gallet Vancouver

Another standout product is the Hand and Nail Cream. It comes in a variety of different scents (including my favourite Gingembre Rouge) and contains nourishing ingredients such as shea butter and pomegranate oil. I’m constantly buying and comparing hand creams and the Roger & Gallet version is a quick winner for me. It’s ultra moisturizing but never sticky or greasy, and doesn’t feel heavy either. While I love L’Occitane en Provence’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, it has more of a dry texture which isn’t great for when your hands need more emollient. The Roger & Gallet Hand and Nail Cream is equally hydrating and yet provides a protective shield to keep it hydrated over a longer period of time.

Despite being a mid-luxury brand, Roger & Gallet prices are very reasonable, at $10 for a 30mL tube of hand cream, $23 for a set of three soaps, $40 for a bottle of body dry oil, and $55 for a large bottle of eau de parfum. I can attest first hand that they make amazing gifts, and the receiver will be overwhelmed with joy at whatever products you choose. You can pick up Roger & Gallet in Canada at the Bay online, as well as in store at their Vancouver boutique.

Roger & Gallet Vancouver

Experiencing Canada’s first Drybar at Nordstrom Vancouver

drybar vancouverI was first introduced to Drybar earlier this year and they’ve quickly become one of my favourite haircare product brands of all time. I previously wrote about Drybar’s story and history, along with some product reviews here, in case you’re not familiar with the brand. A little bit goes a long way, and despite using Hot Toddy and 100 Proof Treatment Oil every time I wash my hair, I’ve still only made a dent in the bottles. I also use Triple Sec on a daily basis to freshen up my hair and add some texture and volume, in between washes. I seriously cannot imagine living without Drybar now, because there are so many different products that work well with my hair, in addition to having adorable packaging and an amazing smell across the board.

Drybar opened their first salon in Canada at Nordstrom Vancouver and even though I wasn’t able to make it out to their opening event to meet founder Alli Webb, I was offered an opportunity to experience Drybar services in person. I selected to go with a Cosmo Blowout (C$50) with an added Floater, which is a 10 minute head massage during the wash (+C$15). The Cosmo is lots of volume with loose curls, which looked great with my newly short hair.

My experience lasted about an hour with the wash + head massage, blowdry, and style. My stylist used Happy Hour Shampoo to clarify, and the Sake Bomb Shampoo and Conditioner to nourish. She also used Hot Toddy before blowdrying, and stopped halfway to apply 100 Proof Treatment Oil and spray some Mai Tai Sea Salt Spray. She finished off the rest of the drying with the Full Pint Medium Round Brush, creating a lot of volume. Before curling my hair with the 3-Day Bender Digital Curling Iron (this thing is SO COOL!), she sprayed some Money Maker Flexible Hold Hairspray to keep my hair looking curly, longer.

I love Drybar products, and I was very happy with the whole Drybar salon experience. The highlight of it was that not only was the styling great, but also the products they use are ones that I would use myself and find reliable. I think a blowout is definitely a special occasion thing though, so I wouldn’t recommend it for every day (unless you have a lot of dough…). They also do updos and braids using Drybar products, and are flexible with your request.

You can easily book and manage your appointments with Drybar online without hassle, and you will get a confirmation e-mail the day before your appointment asking you to confirm. This is perfect for the busy professional who prefers to manage everything electronically.

How often do you get your hair professionally styled?