Friday, September 19, 2014

August 2014 Empties

It's that time of the month again... empties time!



* = Disliked the product - would not repurchase
** = Liked the product - might or might not repurchase
*** = Loved the product - would repurchase

Note: Similar to last month, I'll provide my thoughts on full size products or deluxe samples (versus 1-3 time use samples, which I'll just list).

1. Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Total Care Daily Conditioner
Source: Free sample
Thoughts: I liked the scent of this and it was ok in terms of conditioning my hair
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: No


2. Joico Body Luxe Conditioner
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I've had this HUGE 1 litre bottle of conditioner for upwards of a year and I finally finished it. This conditioner is supposed to provide fullness & volume but it didn't work for me. I definitely learned my lesson and will not be buying jumbo products in the future without trying them first!
Rating: *
Cruelty Free: No


3. Les Notes de Lanvin Orange Ambre Shower Gel
Source: Sofitel NYC
Thoughts: I really liked the scent of this shower gel and I found it pretty good at cleansing my skin without leaving it feeling dry.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Unknown


4. Filthy Farmgirl Filthy Squirrel Soap
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: Filthy Farmgirl is one of my favourite soap brands - I love the scents, the packaging, the cheeky names, the way the soap looks... the list goes on. Most of all, I like that these soaps cleanse without drying out my skin and the soaps are relatively big so they seem to last quite a long time.
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: Yes






5. Ella's Botanicals Beauty Bar Soap in Lemon Zing
Source: 2014 BlushPretty Beauty Board
Cruelty Free: Yes


6. Ocean Breeze Beauty Bar
Source: Hotel sample
Cruelty Free: Unknown


7. Udderly Smooth Body Cream
Source: Sample from Well.ca
Thoughts: I liked the texture of this cream but not the scent (it is unscented).
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Yes


8. Judith Jackson Spa Tenderly Hand & Body Lotion
Source: Hotel sample
Cruelty Free: Unknown


9. Bath & Body Works Rainkissed Leaves Body Lotion
Source: Free sample
Cruelty Free: Yes


10. Etro Body Lotion
Source: Hotel Moresco (Venice)
Cruelty Free: Unknown




11. Kaia 24hr Booster Serum
Source: Kaia event at BlushPretty
Thoughts: I enjoyed trying this serum. It contains argan & Moringa oils, which the owner mentioned were dry oils. They are very fast absorbing and non-greasy on the skin. I found this serum a little too light for evening use though as I prefer something a little heavier for my nighttime skincare routine.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Yes


12. Complex 15 Daily Face Cream
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: One of my favourite light creams! I've finished bottles and bottles of this in the many years I've been using this product. Sadly, we will be parting ways as this product is not cruelty free.
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: No


13. Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet
Source: Free sample
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this cream! It had a bit of a whipped texture. I was surprised how strong the scent was though... especially since this is supposed to be for sensitive skin.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: No


14. Julep Daylight Defense SPF 30
Source: Julep Gold Glamour Mystery Clutch
Thoughts: When I finally got around to trying this product, it quickly became my favourite sunscreen... so of course I found out it was discontinued. :(
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: Yes


15. Face Q Ocean & Aloe Mask X 2
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I really love sheet masks! I just noticed though that these did not fit my nose well. There is a little flap that hangs over my nostril and I had to keep folding it back.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Unknown


16. My Beauty Diary Mexico Cactus Mask
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: Love this!
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: Unknown


17. J.R. Watkins Natural Beeswax Lip Balm
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: It took me a long time to finish this lip balm because I wasn't really a fan of it. The texture was really hard and I didn't find it very moisturizing or soothing on my lips.
Rating: *
Cruelty Free: No


18. Almay Liquid Lip Balm in Blooming Balm
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: One of my favourite lip products - it has reached holy grail status but alas I will have to finish up the other 2 in my stash and then part ways as Almay is not cruelty free. This liquid lip balm does a great job in moisturizing my lips and also has a light pink tint that warms up my face a little bit. I have never found a tinted lip product that I've enjoyed as a lip balm so this product is truly unique for me.
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: No




19. Claire Burke Sparkling Citron Verbena Candle
Source: VitaBath event
Thoughts: I enjoyed trying this candle but the scent wasn't very strong. The burn time is supposed to be "up to 15 hours" but I think my candle only burned for around half that time (over 2 days).
Rating: **




That's it for my August empties. I feel like I haven't been doing very well with empties but my September bag is feeling rather full so hopefully I will have more next month!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vlogust - Days 21 to 31

August has come and gone and I just realized I hadn't posted the last instalment of Vlogust so here it is. Vlogust was so much fun but it was also exhausting! Going forward, I am vlogging around once a week and I hope you'll tune in. Happy September!










Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Heart Vlogust - Days 11 to 20

Vlogust is coming to a close so I thought I'd post the next instalment. Vlogging every day has been crazy but it's also been so much fun. I'm going to have so much free time after Vlogust that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself!










Hope you're having a great long weekend! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Yup, I was nominated.



Thank you to Aleeza from Stylish and Literate for nominating me! You can watch her video here. :)

Travel Tuesday . Truffle & Chianti Tour . April 2014

One of my favourite days during our adventure in Italy was spent on the Tuscan countryside. We booked a Truffle & Chianti tour based on all the great reviews on TripAdvisor and it definitely lived up to our expectations! The day started when we met our tour guide, Vittorio, at the Central Library in Florence. There was only one other couple on the tour with us and they were so much fun! We got along well as we shared a love for good food, nice wine, and photography.



Our first stop was Tartufi Nacci, a truffle farm in the San Miniato region. We were treated to a walk with a truffle hunter, Ricardo, and his happy and exuberant dog. We (or rather they) found a handful of small truffles, worth only 1.05 euros in total, but the experience was truly priceless. We meandered through the fields and woods for some time and then headed back to Ricardo's home, where his wife, Monica, prepared for us a huge spread of appetizers and steaming bowls of pasta with very generous portions of shaved truffles. After our delicious lunch, Ricardo and Monica presented us with some chocolate truffles that were literally infused with truffle. The combination of chocolate and truffle is heavenly.
















Our next stop was to a winery specializing in Chianti Classico and Super Tuscan wines. Torre Alberghieri is located on a picturesque hilltop and the proprietors are artists and winemakers. Rodolfo (one of the brothers who owns Torre Alberghieri) and Vittorio provided us with a tour of the winery. They explained to us the winemaking process and the differences between Chianti, Super Tuscan, and Vin Santo. We were treated to an amazing wine tasting in Rodolfo's villa, which is beautifully furnished with antiques and paintings. The amazing chef's kitchen features a fireplace and a huge table, which quickly became filled with many glasses of wine and plates of nibbles. Vittorio gave us a mini lesson on wine tasting and I did not want the day to end. After the extensive tasting, Rodolfo gave us a tour of his villa, where he also holds art workshops and he even has a room you can rent! Then we headed to the shop to purchase a few bottles to take home. Hubs and I were particularly drawn to the hand painted bottles and the bottles with handmade fresco labels.
























This was such a special day and definitely one of the highlights of our entire trip. Thank you to Daniella and Ari for being such wonderful companions (and for the restaurant recommendations) - if you would like to read their recap of this amazing tour, you can visit their blog here.



Happy and full, Vittorio took us back to Florence to enjoy the evening. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

July 2014 Empties

It's been a crazy month! I've been so focussed on Vlogust that I haven't had a chance to blog about my July empties until now. I haven't done an empties post since May because pretty much all of my June empties were inadvertently thrown out... and then today I had a bit of a nervous moment because I thought I formatted the memory card containing the photos of my July empties but thankfully I found them. :)



* = Disliked the product - would not repurchase
** = Liked the product - might or might not repurchase
*** = Loved the product - would repurchase

Note: Similar to last month, I'll provide my thoughts on full size products or deluxe samples (versus 1-3 time use samples, which I'll just list).

1. Kerastase Bain Satin & Lait Vital
Source: Limited Edition Topbox
Thoughts: I liked the scent of these products but found them just ok in terms of effectiveness.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: No


2. North American Hemp Co. Volumega Volumizing Shampoo
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I am not a fan of this shampoo. It didn't work well to cleanse my hair and gave me zero volume. Plus the scent was a bit off.
Rating: *
Cruelty Free: Yes


3. Les Notes de Lanvin Orange Ambre Shampoo & Conditioner
Source: Sofitel NYC
Thoughts: I loved the scent of these products! They did a decent job cleansing and conditioning my hair.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Unknown




4. Fabulous Frannie Mineral Bath Salt in De-Stress
Source: January 2014 SeasonsBox
Thoughts: I thought these salts were alright - I liked the scent (lavender) and I also liked the all natural ingredient list. The only thing I didn't like about these salts is that they didn't dissolve very well in the bath, leaving little clumps of salt.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Unknown


5. Eco-Dent ExtraBrite Toothpowder
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: The Eco-Dent toothpowders have reached holy grail status for me. The flavour takes some getting used to because it is minty/salty versus minty/sweet but I love how clean and fresh these toothpowders make my mouth feel. I didn't notice my teeth getting any whiter after using this product on a daily basis but I would still repurchase this.
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: Yes


6. Glysomed Hand Cream
Source: Purchased by me or my hubby
Thoughts: This hand cream is greasy and slow to absorb but it works like a charm. I usually slather this on my feet before I go to bed, and in the morning, my feet are baby soft.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: No


7. Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Wipes
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: Love this product! This will be the last time I show this product as an empty because it's not cruelty free and I've switched to Clean Well wipes.
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: No


8. BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: This cleanser did not work very well to clean my BeautyBlender. It did not remove the surface stains and I felt like I was using a lot of cleanser without any result. Some of my viewers mentioned that the solid cleanser works better so maybe I will try that down the road. I currently clean my BeautyBlender with my Dr. Bronner's soap and it works much better!
Rating: *
Cruelty Free: Yes


9. Revlon Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I love this lippie! It's one of my favourite lip butters as the light pink is right up my alley and looks nice on my skin tone.
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: No


10. GlamGlow Mud Mask
Source: Glossy Party
Thoughts: I've used this mask a few times in the past and I've loved it. I totally forgot I had this product and when I pulled it out to use in July, I found that it had dried out completely. Oops!
Rating: ***
Cruelty Free: No


11. Fresh Rose Face Mask
Source: Sephora sample
Thoughts: I liked trying this mask. I found it did a good job at moisturizing my skin.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: No




12. Fluffs Cotton Pads
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I love these cotton pads - they are really soft. Even better, they are only $1 from Dollarama!
Rating: ***


13. Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Hand Cream
Source: Gift from my sisters
Thoughts: I really liked the hand cream and it worked well to moisturize my hands. Only issue was the scent was very strong so I was a little self conscious using the cream at work... I think it would have been better if I had kept it for at home use. :)
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Yes


14. My Beauty Diary Bulgarian White Rose Mask
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I love sheet masks. This one isn't my favourite scent but it worked well to add back some moisture into my skin.
Rating: **
Cruelty Free: Unknown


15. Les Notes de Lanvin Orange Ambre Soap x 3
Source: Sofitel NYC
Cruelty Free: Unknown


16. Philosophy Purity Made Simple x 2
Source: Sephora samples
Thoughts: I'm not a huge fan of this cleanser. I find it to be a little drying and the scent to be slightly medicinal.
Rating: *
Cruelty Free: No


17. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
Source: Kiehl's sample with purchase
Cruelty Free: No


18. YSL Intensive Skin Supplement (I think - I tore off part of the name of the product)
Source: YSL sample with purchase
Cruelty Free: No


19. Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream
Source: Sephora sample
Cruelty Free: Yes




That's it for my July empties! :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome to Vlogust - Days 1 to 10

I've been a busy little bee this month! I mentioned in my last post that I would be embarking on Vlogust - basically a vlog a day in the month of August. I've posted 10 vlogs so far and it's been very time consuming but also a lot of fun. I'm going to take a little break on day 11 and upload my July empties video instead but I plan to be back with daily vlogs as of day 12. In the meantime, here are the first 10 days of Vlogust. :)












To watch the entire Vlogust series (hehe), click here for my playlist on YouTube. :)

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