Holiday gifts for the entire family from Conair

Conair Turbo Extreme Steam and Turbo Trim review

This post isn’t sponsored, I just wanted to share some products that me and my family have been using lately and they all happen to be from Conair!

The first is a revolutionary hair product – the Meta e Meta (C$140) – which is an automatic hair curler and straightener in one! Meta e Meta means half and half in Italian, and this nifty device is great at doing both. It’s super easy to use – pick if you want straight or loose curls, put a strand of hair in, the device will neatly suck your hair up into the roller, and then depending on if you picked the straight or curl, it will come out perfect. I don’t know how to curl my hair using a straightener, and I’m also too lazy to curl my hair using a regular curling wand, so this is perfect because it’s so quick and easy. I will be going to a few destination weddings next year, so I will be taking this along with me. Also, did I mention that the device has rose gold accents?

The next one makes a fantastic housewarming or hostess gift. The Turbo Extreme Steam (C$89) is a nifty little tool that is fast and efficient at keeping your clothes smooth and wrinkle-free. I use this all the time, on both my clothes as well as the boyfriends, and each water refill is enough to steam multiple shirts. The steam is very strong and I find that I don’t have to go over each area too much in order for it to smooth it out. It also heats up very quickly, so I can finish up steaming and go spend more time with family. The only thing is this is quite heavy, so I don’t enjoy using using it for long periods of time. This is a great gift for men as well because steaming is faster and less precise than ironing.

Lastly, for the men in your household, this Turbo Trim Cordless Beard and Mustache Trimmer (C$25) is great for keeping your man’s facial hair well-groomed. It comes with two interchangeable heads, as well as a selection of combs. The sleep design is perfect for taking with you on the go (in its own travel pouch), or for use at home. It’s also super affordable, and comes with a nice box that you can easily gift wrap.

You can purchase all of these products at London Drugs!

Product provided for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

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Gadget review – FOREO ISSA Silicone Toothbrush with Sonic Pulse Technology

FOREO ISSA Hybrid review

A few months ago, I was contacted by the representatives at FOREO to try out their products. I was really curious about the LUNA but I already have lots of face cleansing gadgets so I thought to try my hand at the ISSA. The FOREO ISSA is an electric toothbrush that features Sonic Pulse Technology with an all silicone brush.

They recently also launched the Hybrid brush head, which features a combination of medical-grade silicone and PBT polymer bristles for a deeper clean. The basic gist is that because the silicone is ultra soft, it is very gentle on your gums, while still keeping your teeth clean as the plaque and other gross mouth stuff sticks onto the silicone. The silicone environment also makes it hard for bacteria growth, so it is also a hygienic option. The entire ISSA device is waterproof, so you can use it in the bath, during your shower, or wherever else you brush your teeth.

I received the ISSA with both the regular silicone brush head, as well as with the Hybrid brush head, in the girly Lavender colour, which I am loving. This is also a good time to mention that I absolutely ADORE my Philips Sonicare Diamondclean toothbrush that I purchased about three years ago and still love to death. I have very sensitive gums that bleed a lot if I use a normal toothbrush, so I like to look for these gentler alternatives that still keep my teeth clean.

FOREO ISSA Hybrid review

I tried the normal silicone brush head first, but I just felt like my teeth were not clean and I constantly had a layer of grime on top of my teeth. It was a huge step down from the Sonicare, and just a big shock for me as I switched toothbrushes. I switched over to the Hybrid brush head and since then, I haven’t looked back. The Hybrid brush head, while still gentle, provides a much deeper clean than the full silicone brush head because it has the PBT bristles in the centre of the brush head, so while the outer rim is still silicone to help protect and gently massage your gums, the inner centre bit gives you a very nice, deep clean without any gum damage.

With the Sonicare, you just gently glide the brush head around the mouth, applying little to no pressure, to get a very deep clean. However with the ISSA, you basically use it like a normal toothbrush, applying pressure and also moving it from side to side and up and down. There is a very gentle sonic pulse sensation, but it’s not strong like the Sonicare where you can’t keep your mouth open when you’re brushing your teeth, so the learning curve on the ISSA is a lot lower than for the Sonicare.

FOREO ISSA Hybrid review

The handle is ergonomic, and the brush itself is a lot more lightweight compared to the Sonicare. The good thing is, while the brush heads are C$24.90-29.90 each, you only need to replace it once a YEAR, or whenever you feel it’s worn out. I’ve been using mine for a few months now and I don’t see signs of wear at all. You might be thinking wow that’s really gross, but again the silicone prevents bacteria growth, and the bristles are very high quality so it doesn’t wear out as fast as conventional toothbrushes.

Overall, I think the FOREO ISSA is a great option for those who have sensitive gums but still want deeply clean teeth. I’ve been using mine for the last few months and I can see myself continuing to use this in the coming future. Even though my Sonicare basically lives right next to my ISSA on the bathroom counter, I still only reach for my ISSA each morning.

You can purchase the FOREO ISSA at Sephora and Murale locations across Canada for C$229, plus $24.90-$29.90 for the replacement brush head.

FOREO ISSA Hybrid review

Gadget review: Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System

Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review

Another year, another electric facial cleansing brush! I was first introduced to the Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System (C$149.99) at the London Drugs beauty event in 2014. Representatives from Philips showcased this product’s effectiveness at removing makeup and deep cleansing the skin, all in one step. I’ve been a long time user of the Philips Sonicare toothbrush and even enabled my entire family (brother, mom, aunt, uncle, you name it) to purchase their Sonicare toothbrushes, so I was looking forward to see this technology translate into facial care.

First off, the brush handle is a very pretty blush pink shade that not only is a popular colour in 2015 and 2016, but also one of my favourite colours. The brush head is round, slightly smaller than the Clarisonic and Clinique Sonic Brush brush heads, and the bristles are ultra soft. The gadget looks extremely sleek and polished, and a great addition to my bathroom vanity top.

Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review
Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review

This product equipped with unique Sonic Technology and Advanced Dual Motion to thoroughly remove makeup, dirt and residue. The company claims that it’s as gentle as hand cleansing, but 10 times more effective at removing makeup and impurities from the skin. The “dual motion” in this case is both a sonic vibration as well as a spin. I’ve never used a brush that spun, so this was interesting to me.

I’ve been using the Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System approximately every other night for the last four weeks, in conjunction with the Guerlain Blanc de Perle Foaming Cleanser (this baby lasted me a more than a year!), and I felt that the dual motion action helped to foam up the cleanser very nicer, creating a nice plushy cleanse that provided a cushion for the brush bristles to glide across. My face was left feeling clean, never tight or irritated, and definitely not sensitive (unlike my experience with the Clarisonic, but similar to my experience with the Clinique Sonic Cleansing Brush).

I haven’t tried removing makeup with this, generally because the idea of vibrating foundation back into my pores scares me, but my general sense is that it’s not going to work very well. I feel that this provides just a moderately better cleanse compared to hand cleansing because despite using this for the recommended amount of time, I still see some leftover dirt on my cotton pad when I use my toner. Even on days when I didn’t wear makeup, there was still a bit of dirt left for my toner to pick up, so I wouldn’t say it’s a significantly better cleanse.

In addition, I found the brush head to be slightly too small because despite it being great for the nooks and crannies around my nose and chin area, I felt that it required significantly more effort to get full coverage on my forehead, cheeks, and neck. Sometimes my efforts to glide this across my entire face actually resulted in overcleansing, and I had to be extra conscious about where I’ve already cleansed.

In general, I felt that this provided a slightly better clean compared to just hand cleansing, but not significantly better that I would say it’s an absolute must have. I do use it as an exfoliator, so it’s definitely an option for those out there looking for a cleansing brush/exfoliating brush. I would say this is comparable to the Clinique Sonic Cleansing Brush, and performs significantly better than the Clarisonic. If you are in the market for a cleansing brush, this is one to consider!

Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review
Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review
Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review
Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System review

Gadget review: Emjoi Micro Nail nail buffing, smoothing, and shining tool

Emjoi Micro Nail review

The Emjoi Micro Nail is a super convenient tool that buffs, smooths, and shines your nail beds. I’ve been playing with this for a few months now and I’ve consistently been wowed by the outcome each time I use it. Powered by AA batteries, it comes with two different textured rollers that buffs and smooths your nail bed to either keep them looking shiny and new, or to prepare a smooth surface for polish.

It is extremely easy to use, just turn it on, lightly press the moving buffer roller (the grey one) against your nail bed, and let it do its magic for about 2 seconds on every millimetre surface of your nail, switch to the smoothing roller (the white one), repeat the process, and you’re done. The only thing I have found challenging was that because the rollers were moving very fast, it was hard to keep it still on the nail without it attempting to roll off or roll onto my cuticles. While any buffing taking place on my cuticles wasn’t painful, it wasn’t exactly the most pleasant of feelings.

All in all, I really like this device and what it can do. Taking into consideration the price though, it’s quite expensive for what a $3 buffer from the drugstore nail aisle can also do. The time savings with the device compared to buffing manually isn’t significant, so at the end of the day, I wouldn’t repurchase this.

The Emjoi Micro Nail comes in a kit with two replacement Smooth Roller buffer heads, two replacement Shine Roller smoothing heads, 2 AA batteries, instructions manual, and a drawstring bag to keep everything together. It is priced at $59.99 at regular price and is available online and at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Emjoi Micro Nail review
Emjoi Micro Nail review

Gadget review: Aria Beauty Truffle Ionic Mini Blow Dryer

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

I was recently offered the chance to try the Aria Beauty Mini Blow Dryer (in the color ‘truffle’) which is a nifty little gadget by a local company, and it retails for $69.99 CAD. I’ve been incorporating this blowdryer into my routine for about a month and a half now, and I am very pleased with its performance!  It is meant to be a small, travel-sized item that packs quite the punch at 1200 watts.

It’s no secret that I wear hair extensions, and because mine are sewn-in via the weave method, it’s incredibly important for me to get the spot where the wefts meet my scalp to be absolutely dry after a shower. I’ve been using the straightening attachment to direct the stream of air right into the base of the hair weft, and it’s done a marvellous job of ensuring that my extensions are properly dried and cared for.

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

I am also a fan of the product’s velvety finish! Upon receiving the dryer I was initially worried that it would attract all sorts of product residue due to its subtle texture, but it has amazingly stayed as clean and product-free as the day I first opened the box.  Additionally, the packaging is simply gorgeous and has a magnetic closure, for that small added hint of luxury. It would make a beautiful gift! From the photos where I’m holding the dryer, you can see that it’s quite tiny. Although it is not as powerful as a full-sized dryer, this little guy is still more powerful than I had anticipated. It’s the perfect item to take travelling with you (did I mention that it’s a dual wattage product? Because it is!) and a great upgrade to the built-in hairdryers commonly offered at hotels.

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

When I round-brush my hair using the Aria dryer, I find that my hair feels softer and less frizzy than it does after being dried with my drugstore model, so it does deliver on its promise for a static and frizz-free look.

My only issue with the product is what appears to me to be a very jarring design flaw – why doesn’t it have a fold-up handle? For something that is designed to be small, light-weight and travel friendly I simply don’t understand why there isn’t a hinge on the handle to facilitate space-saving. I feel like this dryer could have easily gone from “I will put this in my suitcase” to “it would fit into my purse” if there had been just a tad more thought put into its design.

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that I was also given the Aria 25 mm Tourmaline Ceramic Clipless Curler (C$139.99), and I was not satisfied with the product at all. The curls unraveled and refused to keep their shape mere moments after finishing each section, and despite attempting to urge them along with both mousse and hairspray I could not manage to get the wand to work for my hair. My hair is very fine but also very stubborn when it comes to curling, so I need a tool that does the job quickly and effectively. After some struggling, I found that I ultimately missed using a traditional curler with a clip, as the amount of time I would have needed to keep my hair wrapped around the barrel of this wand before the style actually lasted would have probably sooner burned my hair right off.

So while I would definitely recommend the Aria Beauty Mini Blow Dryer, especially as an item to take travelling with you to save your hair from the damage of the built-in hotel dryers, I would recommend passing on the Tourmaline Ceramic Clipless Curler altogether. At the hefty price of $139.99, I feel you could accomplish a more long-lasting curl or wave with a $30 Marcel Iron (which is my ultimate go-to curling iron of choice, by the way).

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review
Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

Gadget review: Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Clinique Sonic Brush review

I’m super excited to share with you the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush! This new cleansing brush is powered by sonic movements and uses a dual-fibre brush for deep and gentle cleaning, depending on the area of your face. Designed to work with the Clinique 3-Step program and its facial soaps, it promises to deliver smoother and more radiant skin, with fewer clogged pore.

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

I’ve been using the Clinique system for a few weeks, in combination with the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap and other foaming cleansers, and I am very impressed with the results. The sonic pulsations help create a nice dense foam to cleanse with, and the brush glides against my skin really easily with the foam. The dual-fibre brush is a genius design, because I can use the gentler white bristles on my cheeks, and the green firmer bristles on my T-zone area and chin.

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

The main thing about the Clinique system is that it doesn’t promise to treat anything or cure anything miraculously. It is good for one thing, cleaning and removing dirt and makeup from the skin. It has definitely achieved that, because my skin feels super clean at the end, but it has never, not once, felt tight or stripped. When toning, I don’t see any left-over dirt or makeup on the cotton pad, which means that the brush has helped to remove everything. I don’t notice any tightening of pores or eradication of fine lines, but I didn’t expect that from something that is supposed to just clean the skin.

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

I do find that my skincare products are absorbing better and my skin feels softer from the gradual, gentle exfoliation. I do still deep exfoliate my skin 1-2 a week, either with a physical scrub or with a chemical exfoliating enzyme mask, and it has just helped to further the benefits of those products because the top layer of my skin is free from gunk, so the other products can penetrate the skin more easily.

After 2 weeks of using this every day, I can say that my skin is smoother, more radiant, softer, and looks overall better. Even my mom (who is usually my worst critic) says my skin looks super radiant, even with the change the weather normally wrecking havoc on my skin. Also since I got this and started using it, I haven’t had to charge it once – my first charge has lasted me this long!

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

Another bonus is that the gadget is extremely light, and very travel friendly – I plan on taking this with me to Mexico at the end of November! The charging base is also equally light. A single charge can last up to 3 hours of usage, which considering each usage is 30 seconds to a minute, it will last for a long time on a single charge.

The downside is that distribution is relatively limited, as you can only purchase this at Clinique counters or online at Sephora. The brush replacement heads are even harder to find, and are available only at Clinique counters.

The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush is available now at Clinique counters, online at Clinique and Sephora for $95 for the brush, and $29 for the replacement brush head. It comes with a 2-year warranty, and Sephora also has an excellent return policy for those who want to try this out! I definitely highly recommend trying this, especially if the Clarisonic just isn’t doing it for you.

Update 12/30/2014 – after 3 months of using this cleansing brush six out of the 7 days in a week, I have yet to have to recharge it since the initial charge. That’s 3 months of near daily use on the same charge! That is incredibly impressive and I wonder how much longer it can last without a charge…

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

Comparison with the Clarisonic

I’m not a huge fan of the Clarisonic. I had the Clarisonic Mia, which is your basic, run-of-the-mill model for just cleansing and nothing else. Even while using the Delicate brush head, I felt it was just too abrasive for my skin to be used once a day, let alone twice a day like they recommend. I was using it for 2-3 times a week and still felt it was too abrasive so I gave it up after approximately 6 months of use. The main difference between this Clinique system and the Clarisonic is definitely in the softness of the brush fibres, and also how long and often they recommend you use this for.

Like I mentioned before, Clinique system’s dual-fibre brush is ultra soft (the white part), and the green part is more deep cleansing for use on the T-zone. The Clarisonic’s Delicate brush is composed of the same bristles and is a lot harsher compared to the Clinique brush.

Clinique recommends that you use the tool for 15 seconds on cheeks and another 15 seconds on T-zone, and this was to be done once a day. Clarisonic recommends that you use their product for 20 seconds on the forehead, 20 seconds on the nose and chin, and 10 seconds per cheek, but this was to be done twice a day. I found that the Clarisonic method was too much for me, especially combined with the harsher brush. My skin became really sensitive and turned red easily, whereas it hasn’t happened with the Clinique brush yet.

Overall, I prefer the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush to the Clarisonic, and I can see myself continuing to use the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush as my experience has been extremely positive so far.

Have you tried this, and what are your thoughts?

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush review

Gadget review: Baby Quasar Pure Rayz for Wrinkles anti-aging light therapy tool

review of Baby Quasar Pure Rayz for Wrinkles

Today I’m reviewing Baby Quasar’s Pure Rayz anti-aging light therapy tool.I’m going to start off by saying this product is for anti-aging, and since I’m currently in my mid-20s, there isn’t much aging to combat, but I have been using this to as a preventative measure for the last few months. Also I’m not much of an expert in light therapy tools, so I can’t compare this against anything else. My review is based solely off of my thoughts from using this product over a few weeks, and not any expert advice or testimony.

review of Baby Quasar Pure Rayz for Wrinkles

Pure Rayz is the more economical of Baby Quasar’s light therapy tools (the more expensive models being Baby Quasar PLUS and Quasar MD Plus). Priced at $249, it is the entry level model for those who are thinking about trying light therapy tools but don’t want to make the big commitment just yet. Composed in plastic shell casing, it includes four distinct wavelengths of light for even penetration into the skin.

As the first (or second step) of your skin regime, you use Pure Rayz either right away after you wash your face at night, or I like to use it after applying a toner because my skin gets dehydrated quickly. You hover it [update] lightly press the tool on your face and neck for a maximum of 4 minutes, spending 30 seconds in each area of the face. There is an auto shut-off after 4 minutes you never have to worry about overusing this. The light being emitted from the tool is red and is quite bright, so I usually aim this away from my eyes to prevent discomfort. If you do get it in your eye, it is gentle enough that it’s not going to cause any damage. I use this for 30 seconds each around my nose, both cheeks, chin, forehead, and for a minute on my neck.

review of Baby Quasar Pure Rayz for Wrinkles

I’ve been using Pure Rayz for a few weeks and the bottom line is, I really like it. Like I mentioned before, I don’t really have any wrinkles to eradicate, but I found that this tool is actually also great for just smoothing out the skin in general and tightening pores. My skin felt smoother, tighter, and my products absorbed more easily. The ergonomically designed egg shape of the tool is very comfortable to use. Being made of plastic, it is also light enough for travel. I feel like I’d have to revisit this in a few years after I’ve developed some fine lines to see what the anti-aging qualities are, but in the meantime I will be giving this to my mom to use.

I can see that this would make a great gift for mom or that beauty-obsessed favourite aunt. Men can also use this, as it is appropriate for anyone who want better looking, smoother skin. Pure Rayz comes with a 5-year warranty and a 60-day month back guarantee for those of you who are still on the fence about trying it. You can purchase Pure Rayz on the Baby Quasar website for $249.

Would you take the leap and try anti-aging light therapy tools?

review of Baby Quasar Pure Rayz for Wrinkles
review of Baby Quasar Pure Rayz for Wrinkles