Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My 3 Favorite MAC Lip Glosses

I finally did it!!! After months of thinking and putting it off, I finally cleaned my makeup stash and got rid of what was too old to use anymore. This also led to the rediscovery of some old favorites. A few years ago, MAC was all the rage, every YouTuber and blogger used to go crazy for all the limited edition collections. Don’t get me wrong, MAC still does beautiful collections but I think their permanent products deserve some love too. So today I thought I’d share with you my 3 favorite lip glosses from MAC.

The first ever lip product I purchased from MAC was the amazing Venetian Lustreglass. This is a classic red shade that gives you color but it’s still not a full on red lip, perfect for those wanting to get into red lips. The lustreglass formula gives really nice shine to the lips and it’s not as thick or sticky as the Lipglasses. However this gloss is thicker than a lot of other formulas on the market, but that also means it has great lasting-power.

If you prefer something a bit more natural or a great layering color Pinkarat Lustreglass is perfect for you. The color is a gorgeous light pink that’s not too cool-toned and it has a lovely gold pearl and shimmer running through that gives it a little something special. Pinkarat adds great dimension to your lips when worn on its own and because the color is sheer you can wear it on top of lipsticks or stains for a boost of shine.

Lastly I have the Dazzleglass in Smile, a peach color with fuchsia pink shimmer. I had a look online I couldn’t find this specific color (maybe it’s still available in stores?) but they have loads of other colors. They have very interesting combinations of base colors and shimmers that make the gloss really pop on your lips. Dazzleglasses are not very pigmented lip glosses but they offer incredible glass-like shine and the shimmer in them really sparkles. These are quite thick and a bit sticky but they are so long-lasting that they are worth it for the gorgeous shine you get for hours.

MAC has such a great selection of colors and lip gloss formulas that everyone can find something to suit their fancy. Also they are quite reasonably priced for such good quality products. I know MAC packaging is quite basic but it is worth looking past it to discover amazing colors you simply don’t find in other brands. MAC Lustreglasses and Dazzleglasses are available from the MAC website and at any of their counters. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#TeaTuesday Stash Acai Berry Herbal Tea

In honor of trying to be very healthy this January I bring you a nice antioxidant herbal tea for today’s #TeaTuesday. Stash is a brand of tea I always go to for tasty brews and this lovely Acai Berry Herbal Tea is no exception.

This is a truly lovely blend of hibiscus, rosehips and acai fruit powder (among other ingredients) that creates a real fruity tea. By fruity, I mean there is a berry quality to the tea, you know that perfect balance of slightly sweet and tart? It does not taste sugary and it’s not tart to the point where you need to add loads of honey to make it less acidic. It is very enjoyable both hot and cold so it’s a great option all year round. Also this is caffeine-free so you can enjoy it at night time without compromising on your sleep.

One thing I found very interesting about this blend was that it contains actual acai fruit powder. Now acai berry is very rich in antioxidants and a superfood many experts recommend adding to our life. Obviously I am not an expert/health professional so I don’t know if drinking this tea will really give you a boost of antioxidants, but hey it tastes delicious so why not give it a try?!

You can find Stash Acai Berry Herbal Tea on the Stash website and many grocery and health food stores carry it. 

Disclamer: I am not a health specialist/doctor and before making any changes in your diet/lifestyle you should speak with your physician. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub

For most of us, Sunday is the perfect pamper day to get ourselves ready for the week ahead and while I think it’s nice to do the same during the work week as well, there is something special about Sundays. In order to get my skin super soft and smooth I love using a great scrub, I find it’s a very invigorating treatment and my favorite by far is the incredible Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub.

Caudalie brought out the Crushed Cabernet Scrub after it was developed as part of their spa treatment at the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa in Bordeaux, allowing us to recreate the spa experience at home. It is made of brown sugar, honey, grape seeds and essential oils that come together in one of the most luxurious and efficient scrubs I have ever used.

I love sugar scrubs in general but sometimes they leave me wanting for a bit more you know? I just need more exfoliation and the sugar melts too quickly. Well with this Crushed Cabernet Scrub you get all the skin softening benefits of brown sugar as it melts, but then you are left with all the grape seeds so you can really buff away any stubborn roughness and dry skin. The combination of ingredients is actually nicely moisturizing so your skin feels supple afterwards but it does not leave any oily residue making perfect to use before applying self-tanner. The unique formula also makes it super long-lasting because you only need a little to get great results!

You can get the Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub from their website, Caudalie stores, Sephora and Feelunique

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Favorite Cream Cleansers: Innisfree Green Barley Cleansing Cream and Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter

As much as I love skincare, I’m not the most adventurous when it comes to moisturizers and serums, but I do love testing out new masks and cleansers because I’m less scared they will mess with my face. This has led to some hoarding of various cleansers and in an effort to declutter my home this January I have reviews for two gems I have discovered in my stash. So let me introduce you to my favorite cream cleansers, the Innisfree Green Barley Cleansing Cream and the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter.

The Green Barley Cleansing Cream is a great multipurpose cleanser, you can use it in the morning or as a second cleanse in the evening for supple skin that doesn’t feel stripped. It is also great at removing makeup in a gentle but really efficient way (though I don’t use it on my eyes). The main reason for this is that while it comes out as a light cream/thick lotion it actually melts instantly onto your skin and turns into a light oil-milk that you can really massage into the skin and it simply dissolves makeup. I really love how this affordable cleanser can double up as a makeup remover and it leaves my face feeling soft.

Now let me start by saying that the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter is NOT a foaming cleanser (I have no idea why the named it that), it is actually a really lush cream cleanser. It comes out quite a thick cream from the tube, but you can massage it in and it turns into a watery milk once you add water to emulsify it. There’s no oiliness at all with this one but the Shea butter adds moisture back into the skin making it a perfect cleanser for cold winter mornings. On a side note, this smells amazing!! It’s a light, creamy and slightly sweet scent that I find quite addictive, I wish they had a body lotion with the same scent. As usual Clarins really knows how to make great cleansers.

The Innisfree Green Barley Cleansing Cream is available from their website and the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter can be found at Clarins counters and online.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Saavy Naturals Jasmine Natural and Organic Body Wash and Natural and Organic Body Cream

I briefly mentioned Saavy Naturals back in December when I talked about Christmas giftideas. Today I wanted to go into more details of my two favorite products from the brand. Saavy Naturals offers natural body care products (with some organic ingredients), but what sets them apart from other brands on the market to me is their scent selection. You don’t have to settle for basic scent like coconut or lavender, they offer a wide range of scents in all their product like mango and green tea. Everything smells AMAZING and the variety is what keeps me from going back to synthetic products because you cannot get bored by using the same old scent. My favorite is their Jasmine scent, so let’s talk about their incredible Natural and Organic Body Wash and Natural and Organic Body Cream in the Jasmine Range.

The body wash has the best formula out of all the natural products I have come across. Usually sulfate-free body washes don’t lather up very well and you need to use a lot to get clean. Well this is one creates the most luxurious fluffy lather but it’s not drying at all! It’s amazing stuff really. A little goes a very long way and the jasmine scent is divine, it has a bit of sweetness that prevents it from being too heady. Really this scent is unbelievably good and I don’t think I’ll get tired of it. It’s that lovely.

As for the body cream, it is everything I want from a richer moisturizer. The texture is very creamy but not thick so it’s easy to apply and it won’t leave you feeling greasy. It feels like you are wrapping yourself up in a cashmere blanket. The shea butter makes this cream very hydrating and gives it serious skin softening properties. Best thing is though, the more you use it, the better your skin feels and look! The effects are long-lasting so it’s not just your typical quick-fix. Just like the body wash, it smells great and I love that it comes in a bottle with a pump instead of a pot, it makes it easier to apply and store.

I am seriously in love with the affordable Saavy Naturals and their Jasmine Naturaland Organic Body Wash and Natural and Organic Body Cream are the stuff dreams are made of. You can find them online here and I have seen the products in local health food shops. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Book Haul: Cassandra Clare, Charlotte Cho, Sophie Kinsella and More

2015 was a major reading year for me, this was very welcomed because I used to love reading but reading too many textbooks in university made me less inclined to read in my spare time. Well that is now over and I hope 2016 will be as good book-wise as 2015. This is why I let myself be tempted during all the Holiday sales (and asked for some for Christmas) and got myself a nice selection of new books to start the year right.

1. The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho: a lovely book on Korean skincare full of fun anecdotes and useful information whether you are new to Korean skincare or not. I am half-way through it and I’m really enjoying it, Charlotte’s writing style is great!

2. Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella: I have not read the blurb of this one because I have not finish the previous book yet, but I love the Shopaholic series. Sophie Kinsella is an amazing writer (more about her here) so when I saw this on sale for 10$ instead of 34$ I had to get it.

3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: this was mostly a case of judging a book by its cover, isn’t it gorgeous!? It won the Pulitzer Prize last year and the story looked quite interesting so I really look forward to reading it.

4. Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier: these are the last 2 books in the Ruby Red Trilogy, a young-adult fantasy fiction involving time travel. I actually watch the first movie based on the series and decided to read the books. I am enjoying it so far and I would recommend the films as well.

5. City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare: I’m loving Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, these are the fifth and sixth (last) books in this amazing fantasy series. The whole story centers on half-angels that fight demons to protect regular humans. It is super funny, well written and quite addictive to be honest. I loved the movie they made on it a few years ago and ABC Family is releasing a new TV series based on it later this month.

All these books are available in most bookstores, Amazon and iBooks. I hope this inspires you to get back to reading this year and do let me know if you have been enjoying any new books recently. 

Innisfree Camellia Essential Hair Oil Serum

Continuing with my battle against the drying cold weather, I decided to move on to hair today to mix things up a little. I recently started paying more attention to hair treatments and little extras I could add to my routine to keep my hair healthy and static at bay. In the past, I have not been very impressed with drugstore products because they tend to be too heavy or make by hair oily. I do love the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue but I wanted to find something a bit more affordable (though it truly is amazing and worth every penny). Obviously the first brand I turned to was Innisfree, so let’s have a look at their Camellia Essential Hair Oil Serum.

This serum is basically a light-weight oil with a minimal ingredients’ list and it contains camellia oil which is great for the hair. I was also pleasantly surprised that while it contains silicones, I don’t feel like it coats my hair or leave a residue the way other silicon based hair products do. You can use the serum as a treatment to help hydrate and revitalize your hair, giving you silkier locks.

Personally, I actually love using it on dry hair to make it more manageable, tame frizz and just give it a boost. This serum just gives you the most beautiful shine without making you look greasy, it reflects light beautifully. What’s more is that you only need a tiny amount to get results (even with long hair like mine) so you can use it frequently and it should last you a long time. Lastly, it smells really good, it has a light floral and green that’s very delicate and let’s not forget the gorgeous red bottle. I love the design and the pump works really well.

You can find the Innisfree Camellia Essential Hair Oil Serum on their website

Monday, January 4, 2016

#TeaTuesday: Traditional Medicinals Organic Hibiscus Herbal Tea

The last few months have seen me watching a lot of shows on The Food Network, most specifically Jamie’s Super Food (really great show by the way). In one of the episode, he made a really nice drink with hibiscus that he suggested as a great replacement for sugary drinks and sodas. It looked delicious and it turned out to be the perfect push to get me to try the Traditional Medicinals Organic Hibiscus Herbal Tea. So let’s get this #Teatuesday started shall we?

I’d had my eye on this for a long time, mostly because I love the hibiscus flower and I thought it would probably taste good. Well people, it is delicious! This herbal tea has the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. It is slightly fruity and great to serve either hot or iced. The hibiscus also gives it a gorgeous red color and serve cold in a large pitcher, it can totally pass as fruit juice!

If you are looking for a great way to stay hydrated or want to cut down on your sugary drinks, this is a lovely tea to try. Traditional Medicinals makes really good affordable teas and I appreciate that they use organic ingredients. Their Organic Hibiscus Herbal Tea is available on their website and I found it in many health food stores. 

How to Keep Dry Hands at Bay this Winter

When the cold weather hits sometimes just using hand cream does not cut it. My hands have been super dry lately and even though I apply hand cream multiple times a day, I felt like I needed a boost. So I have put together the perfect combination for a super moisturizing night treatment that will keep cracked skin at bay!

First you need a good quality hand cream, not just something with loads of silicon that makes your hands feel soft, you need emollients and ingredients that can actually hydrate the skin, not just coat it. For this purpose I love the Innisfree Hand Creams, they contain loads of great ingredients like shea butter, olive and coconut oil as well as different antioxidants like orchid and green tea extracts. They are really good for daily maintenance but combined with the product below you get an even richer treatment. 

The trick to boost your hand cream is to add The Honest Company Organic Healing Balm and mix them together for extra moisture. This balm contains loads of great organic oils like sunflower, olive and tamanu as well as chamomile and beeswax for an all-around soothing and nourishing product. The reason why I do this treatment at night is because the balm is very rich. You could use it on its own, but it can make your hands quite oily which is why I love to combine it with a cream to get all the benefits without any drawbacks.

This treatment really helps keep my hands soft and I feel like they don’t get as dry during the day! You can get Innisfree Hand Creams from their website, the ones shown above are from the limited edition 2015 Green Christmas Perfumed Hand Cream Gift Set available here. As for the Honest Organic Healing Balm, you can find it on the Honest website.  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Favorite Workout Videos for January 2016

Can you believe we are the 3rd of January already? Like most of you have probably done, I took the time to write down my resolutions for 2016 and obviously being healthier and in better shape made the list. To help all of you take full advantage of that new year motivation, I thought I’d round up my favorite workout videos to inspire you if you are also looking to be stronger and fitter this year.

First up we have two videos from Blogilates, I love Cassey’s videos and she is actually the one that got me into Pilates. I love how all the exercise are fairly easy to do and you don’t need any equipment besides a yoga mat. The Bubble Butt Workout and the Butt Lift and Slim Thighs Workout from the Beach Series are a great way to start working on getting those lean muscles and a perky behind.

Next are the Cardio Kickboxing Workouts from XHIT Daily videos. I love doing those for cardio, they look easy enough but they leave you sweaty which is exactly what I am looking for in a quick cardio session. I am not a runner so I love how this is a great way to get my blood pumping without the stress running can put on my body.

Last but not least, is the Exercise TV Incredible Abs Video, this is actually the first ever workout video I did. It is a great ab routine for beginners and a good starting point if you are just wanting to get into the fitness world. I also love that you can download it for free on iTunes which is where I first discovered it.

I hope this will help you harness that motivation you are currently feeling to develop new fitness habits and be healthier in 2016.

Disclaimer: I am not a health/fitness expert, the workouts above are only suggestions to help inspire you. Before starting any new fitness or diet regime you should always check with your healthcare professional to make sure they are suitable for you. 
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