It still doesn't feel like 2017 should be over. Where has the time gone ?! I decided I wanted to share with you all, my favourite beauty products I've been using for a few months and have been enjoying!
My friend introduced me to the Mr Bean Body Coffee Scrub. It smells amazing, makes your skin super soft, feels really clean and helps target cellulite, age spots and stretch marks! This makes a mess in the shower but it's so worth it when your skin feels so hydrated and smooth. Just have a Mr.clean Magic Eraser on hand ! Reasons I love it : Organic Ingredients, Vegan, Cruelty-Free and No Parabens!
With this -40 weather we have been experiencing for 2 weeks, it has put a toll on my hands. They are already dry from constantly being in water (I don't know why I still refuse to wear rubber gloves) but to add the extremely dry winter air, they're feeling a little blah. I am usually very picky when it comes to hand cream because I strongly dislike the feeling of slimy, greasy hands. This cream however is a repair cream made with Shea Butter. It is much thicker and takes a little longer to absorb but I have little moisturizer gloves I pop on for a few minutes until it soaks in. As a bonus, I have been using it nightly on my feet before bed and it has made a difference there too!
I came across the brand Surface Hair when I went in to get my hair cut at a local salon in Saskatoon. I'm clueless when it comes to hair so I always ask for advice. The girl who did cut and style my hair showed me this Protein Repair Tonic. It's a bit of a one product fits all for me. It is meant to help detangle (for brushing), repair hair (to limit frizz), helps to give ease for styling and gives your hair protection from the sun and other external environmental factors. This company is Vegan and Paraben Free, as well as free from Sulfate. Best of all, I get to support a local company which makes it even more awesome.
The Bubblegum Lip Scrub by Lush is an all time favourite. It tastes SO damn good and is a great exfoliator for my lips. I try to use it as often as possible. It's great for using in the morning before putting on lipstick or chapstick to get rid of any rough skin. This is an inexpensive scrub and I love Lush, who doesn't...Ethical buying, 100% Vegetarian as well as Vegan products, no animal testing and handmade!
I'm always into trying new and natural products as all this stuff goes down the drain or is absorbed by our skin. We have a responsibility to protect our marine life as well as take care of our bodies from what we consume to what we put on our skin.
If you have any all natural products you've been loving please share! I love learning about new things !
Summer is still here and so are some events where I need a nice dress. I have been obsessed with my new dress from Le Chateau so I wanted to share it with all of you! It's super cute because you can wear it at a summer BBQ but you can also dress it up for a little more of a formal event.
This retailed for $129.95 + Tax CAD and it's a comfortable cotton sateen fabric with a flattering fit and flare shape. It has a zippered back with a liner underneath the skirt. I love the length of this dress which is just slightly above the knee. In most stores I am a Medium but in Le Chateau I was able to get this dress in an X-Small so if you're purchasing online make sure you double check their Size charts. There's also pockets and I'm obsessed with dresses with pockets even though I never use them, it gives you options, right?!
I love this dress so much I wore it for my engagement photo's! Right now, Le Chateau has a $5 flat shipping fee rate so If you love this dress as much as I do, grab it while you can. You can find the direct link to it right here. This dress is so amazingly comfortable and doesn't feel tight fitting yet it accentuates your waist !
All these engagement photo's were taken by the amazingly talented lady, Kayla Lee Artistry! If you do buy this dress share photo's with me on my social media, #nicolekroutil
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I am bringing you along to have a peek at some of my favourite pieces I wore while on holiday.
To start off I am going to talk about the swimsuits I packed, both from The Wildflower Shop online. The swimsuits are an affordable price but by no means are they high end quality, unfortunately for me, I can never get success with online swimsuits. I am considered "curvy" when it comes to clothes, the top needs to be smaller than my bottoms so I either have to compromise on the top being slightly too big or the bottoms being too small. The struggle is so real and I know lots of other women out there can relate!
Pineapples are really taking the world by storm right now and I am not fully sure why, but hey, it's cute and i'll join in. This swimsuit is a very cute two piece with a halter tie and a cheeky bottom. I know for me, on the top it doesn't give you much room for protection so just make sure you don't plan on doing any cliff jumping in this one or boobs will be everywhere. This is my "poolside" swimsuit. You can find this for sale here !
This swimsuit is so simple but very cute. Not everyone's cup of tea with the slit down the middle but that seems to be the trend right now to jazz up the younger generations idea of a one piece. It's got a nice full bikini bottom with two straps up around your shoulder. Another outfit that's cute for pictures and lounging. If I didn't have the issue of needing a bigger bottom fit, the top would've sit better but the quality of it is still just fine for the price. Get this one piece here !
I've been so obsessed with these shorts. They are a comfortable length, I was never a fan of the short shorts. They have cute embroidery on the fronts of roses. I wish I had gotten one size down (but again that's online shopping for me! I really need to learn a lesson or two..) Want them? You can get them here !
I bought this dress from Forever 21 summer of 2016 and it's one of my favourites. Flirty cuts up the skirt with the flowy spaghetti strapped top. The one thing I wish I could change about this dress is the length of the lining underneath, it's very short so I find I am constantly having to adjust it every time I get up from sitting. They no longer sell this dress (as far as I can see) so if you want to see something that's similar kind of style, you can look here !
Every time I write about my vacation... I miss being on vacation! Keep an eye on my blog in the upcoming weeks, I will be showing off a summer dress that I have been loving and finding every occasion to wear it to!
Packing for a vacation is always so exciting. I used to be the person to pack way too much and I end up not using half of what I brought. However, NO MORE. I make it a goal to try and pack only the "essentials" and that goes for my cosmetics too!
My biggest tip when packing your beauty bag is to try and get sample sizes of products (if you can). For me, I have tons of sample products from work, it's perfect for perfume because why lug around a full 50ml fragrance when I can bring a little spritzer or 5ml of it.
Think logically about what you're bringing, if you are going to an event and not just lounging on the beach everyday then bring that bold lipstick and setting spray but if you're going to be in a swimsuit for a week, do you really need to pack 2 eyeshadow palettes and 5 different highlights? Probably not. Hurts to hear that doesn't it?
Let's break it down, what I bring when on vacation :
|| Clarains Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 - Got to keep that skin youthful !
|| Cover FX Illuminating Primer - Gives your skin a nice base glow.
|| Stila Perfecting Concealer in shade B- I don't like sitting in the sun baking, so this should hopefully stay the right shade as long as I don't get too dark.
|| Clinique Superbalanced Makeup Foundation in 32 Breeze (N) - Same goes for this, if my skin tone doesn't change this will be ok still.
|| Vichy Derma Blend Setting Powder - I LOVE this powder especially when I'm in extremely hot temperatures, my makeup doesn't budge!
|| Smashbox Contour Palette - 3 in 1, your contour, bronze and highlight and it's so compact!
|| Nars Blush in Orgasm - The perfect pink shade with golden highlights perfect for a beach vacation.
|| Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in #4 - It has the brow pencil on one side and a spoulie on the other, excellent for travel and even better that it doesn't require sharpening !
|| Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in Riviera - Because we all want to glow like a goddess on vacation, right?
|| Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer - No matter where you travel, you don't want creasing eyeshadow.
|| Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette - This is my favourite travel palette because it has my everyday neutral colours as well as my go to evening colour looks, plus I still can't get over how good it smells.
|| Lancôme Artliner in 01 Black - My go to for travel, long lasting and you don't have to pack an extra brush for something like a gel liner.
|| Lise Watier Smokey Kohl Velours in Nude Velours - To make my eyes appear wider and more awake.
|| Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara - My favourite mascara ever, this is just an obvious to pack, if I could only bring one item it would be mascara.
|| ROC Enydrial Repairing Lip Care - Always pack chapstick, you could always use a little moisture and protection from external factors.
|| Clarins Lipliner Pencil in 02 Nude Beige - A favourite nude lip liner, it works with the natural shade of your lips.
|| Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick in 747 Rosy Nude - An enhanced colour to my natural lip shade and paired with the lip liner is a fantastic look.
I also obviously pack my beauty blender, brushes, eyelash curler and tweezers. Depending on where I am going I may pack a pair of false lashes and adhesive but I stopped bothering when I never took the time to wear them! To most people this is a lot to pack but I am a makeup artist after all so when I do wear makeup I like to put 110% into it ;).
Makeup is always something that I couldn't just bring a couple of items. If you were only allowed 2 products on vacation, which would you choose and why?
So in my last review I wrote about a primer I am using and it has broken me out, probably the worst its been in a while (that was caused by cosmetics as opposed to my MS treatments). They're all over my face and deep, painful ones. So I went straight to what I find to be the best blemish treatment I've come across : Burt's Bees Natural Anti - Blemish Targeted Spot Treatment.
This product retails for about $14.99 CAD and you can get it at Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and on Well.ca. There's a lot of product in this little guy and it smells great too. The mixture of ingredients such as Tea Tree, Witch Hazel and Willow Bark Extract help to reduce the size and redness of zits.
I put this on all of my acne before I went to bed and I woke up this morning with them half the size. The painful ones don't hurt anymore it's amazing! I've tried other brands and even the toothpaste treatment but nothing ever compares to this one. Side Note : Make sure you don't put it too close to your eyes, if they're sensitive, the fragrance may irritate them.
If you've never tried Burt's Bees before I really recommend them. They have baby products, makeup and skincare that is all about being good for the environment and good for us.
"We've committed ourselves to making the world a little greener, a little cleaner, by doing what bees do best: working hard on natural products that people love—and leaving only goodness behind." - Burt's Bees Website
If you want to find out more about their initiatives and all aspects of their company including ingredients, packaging or carbon footprint, check them out here !
If you have a favourite Burt's Bees product, post it down below !
It's been a little while since my last beauty post so I am back with another review!
What Is It? : This is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil that popped up on shelves recently.
What Is the Price ? : $50.00 CAD
Packaging : The packaging is a nice glass bottle with a sleek glass lid. Minimal look which I like and with the benefit of the dropper you can't go wrong.
Purpose : This product is a dual function. It was created to act as a deep moisture serum to help with dry skin, fine lines etc while performing as a primer before applying your foundation. When using as a serum, give your skin about 4 weeks to start to see any difference.
Wear : I have a very oily T - Zone and I found this primer unfortunately made me extremely shiny by the end of the day. To many, this is a great product but for me, I can't buy any product without being specifically made for oily skin otherwise I look like I sweat it out at the gym for 2 hours earlier.
Photo from Sephora.com
I don't think I will continue to use this as a face primer but rather a serum before I go to bed at night. It has a blend of 15 essential oils, each with many benefits for the skin making it fantastic to also use on your cuticles, elbows and even on the ends of your hair! I usually break out in smaller pimples but since using this product, I have been breaking out in very painful ones, it's too much oil for my skin.
I think I would still buy this regardless as the price for an all over body oil is still cheaper than some other brands for the same type of product. Plus an extra bonus is when you travel this is a multi function product so you don't have to pack as much in your makeup / toiletries kit!
Overall, I think it is worth it if you have normal to dry skin or even as a person with an oily complexion and you know your skin can tolerate oil but this isn't for me! I will continue to use it up and still love Smashbox but if you need an extra push, it's cruelty free :) Have you tried this product before, what are your thoughts on it?!
Recently I went through my makeup room (yes, I have a makeup room) and did a HUGE overhaul of everything I own. I've collected tons of makeup over the years so I went and threw away old and expired product, empties I've been hoarding and product I just genuinely don't like. I feel like I can breathe again! I can see everything so much better now, products that were hidden at the back of drawers have now made their comeback.
I however, was out of my "basic" face essentials including my foundation, concealer, brow pencil and mascara. So I headed on over to Shoppers Drug Mart and scooped up some items with my Optimum Points!
I came home with Clinique Super balanced Makeup, Stila Perfecting Concealer, Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil.
I'm the kind of person who as soon as I've finished one product, I go out and buy a different kind whether it's from the same brand or not. This allows me to get a feel for everything that's out there.
Super Balanced Makeup
The Super Balanced Makeup is one that I genuinely love on my skin and have recommended it a few times to clients and friends.
Colour : They have a great range of colours, even for the lightest of skin tones. I used to be 02 Fair but have switched to a lighter shade 32 Breeze with it now being the winter time.
Coverage : Light to medium is what they advertise for however if you need a little extra coverage in those trouble spots, this product can easily be built up without looking cakey or heavy.
Texture : It's a liquid and it has a great smooth feel to it on your skin, It feels light weight and sinks into your skin well.
Wear : I consider this a long wearing foundation, I set it with a translucent powder and it will last me throughout the whole day. I am very oily on my forehead and cheap but find my nose to be a little more on the dry side. The best part about this foundation is the ability to provide moisture to oily areas and soaks up oil where needed. Perfect for those who half way through the day struggle with shine!
Packaging : The packaging is a basic glass bottle, I do like the look of it. My only downfall is with how to get the product out. It requires a little bit of banging on the end of it. They've tried to combat this problem with selling pumps separately but this adds another $7 to your purchase. It can be a little hard to make that call and get it if you're someone who is unsure if you'll even like it.
They have taken this product one step further and created a new version of this foundation - the Super Balanced Silk. Has a little more of a matte finish but they've added an SPF to give you that extra protection.
This was a new product for me but bought it on the recommendation of a friend. I needed something to hide my forever darkening under eye circles.
Colour : Their colour range is decent, I would like to see a couple more available, but overall I was able to find a shade that can work ok for me which is Shade B (Fair Golden).
Coverage : I'd say it's a medium to full coverage. I was hesitant it was going to conceal the darkness as well as neutralize some red blemishes I had but it did it beautifully. I was pleasantly surprised! You definitely only need to start with a little and it gives you the ability to build up coverage where needed. Bonus : It can be used as a foundation as well! If you're in a pinch, just add a little moisturizer to your skin to help it smooth on better in bigger areas.
Texture : I am not 100% sold on the texture of this product, it is obviously a little bit thicker and I find that it's a little trickier to work with. To me, it's not a concealer where you can apply it to all the areas and slowly work them in. If you're putting it on your under eye area work on one side at a time.
Wear : I find this to be a great long wearing product. For my full face it's great but I wouldn't wear it if I was in a hurry and only had time to do my under eyes because the rest of my race has redness so on me personally, It would look off. I tend to touch my eye area a lot because my eyes are always watering and it doesn't seem to budge this product at all!
Packaging : This product is in a package that doesn't have anything fancy to it, just your basic silver. I like the style container it is as it allows you to really get use of as much of the product as possible, even if that means snipping the top end and scraping every last bit out!
I am definitely going to be continuing using this product as I'm overall happy with the results and I would recommend it to anyone needing that little bit of extra coverage.
Huge Extreme Lash Mascara
I have never repurchased a mascara before as many times as I have this one! Love, love, love it!
Colour : It is a beautifully black mascara, One of the darkest i've come across. One day I hope they expand on it and bring in a brown because I think it would look stunning.
Coverage : This mascara really coats every lash really well and never a lash out of place. I start out with one coat and that's really all you need but if you're like me and want BIG lashes, add that second one!
Texture : Extremely moisturizing, glides on so smoothly and never dries and makes your lashes feel brittle. If anything they feel silky!
Wear : Perfect for long wear, I can put this on in the AM and more than 8 hours later, all my lashes are still in place with the same drama and volume they started with at the beginning of the day.
Packaging : It's a simple and sleek gold tube however with the metallic gold writing on top can make it hard to read. Personally, with the dramatic name I would've expanded on that to make it stand out more. I like that it has hair like bristles and the unique brush shape where it slims down through the centre is fantastic.
Amazing for those who want all the Drama on their lashes with the extra benefit of lift and curl. This mascara is so great and I know I'll continue to use it for as long as they have it on the shelf or until something can top it, but so far this takes the cake!
Goof Proof Brow Pencil
This brow pencil is great for anyone who wants a more natural look or to be able to wear it alone.
Colour : The colour range of these pencils are pretty good! They've got 6 different shades and I picked up 04 Medium. This is surprising to me because I'm usually quite a bit lighter of a shade in other brands. They have shades with more of a red undertone which is perfect for those with that hue in their brow hairs.
Coverage : I really enjoy the coverage on these pencils. The Goof Proof is perfect for a light application but allows you to be able to darken it considerably whilst still looking natural.
Texture : I enjoy the texture of this pencil, it was creamy but without it affecting the product. You don't have to tug on the skin as it smooths right on, it's effortless.
Wear : Long wearing and waterproof. 12 hours into wearing it, my brows look the same as when I first did them. I rubbed my face the other day forgetting I had a full face of makeup on, thinking I smudged my eyebrows all over the place. Thankfully, my brows didn't budge! Perfect for those summer days where you just want a little something at the beach so your face doesn't feel naked!
Packaging : It is definitely growing on me. At first I wasn't a fan of it, but when I reflect back on what their other pencils in their line are designed, this became more appealing. It's the ultimate brow pencil, never needing to haul a sharpener with you go away and there is a spoolie attached to the other end of it.
I am really enjoying this product so far and I'm glad I tried it out and think you should too!
I suggest putting at least one of these products on your list if you are in the market for some new makeup. If you've already tried any of these products, I'd love to know your thoughts. If you haven't, which one caught your eye that you want to try next?
Is there a man in your life who has a birthday or special occasion coming up but you have no idea what to get him? I'm going to share with you a personal favourite for gift buying for those men who are bound to love it.
Every year Shoppers Drug Mart brings out what they call Fragrance Sampler Boxes. Inside the box has mini spritzers of 10 of their most popular fragrances of the year. What makes this the perfect gift is the recipient can take their time to test out each of the scents on them and determine which one is their favourite. Once they decide there is a certificate on the inside cover of the box which can be taken in to their closest Shoppers Drug Mart and redeemed for a full size fragrance of their choosing.
The best part is they get to keep all the little spritzers which are great for travel or a weekend away, saving them from having to haul a full size bottle with them. These retail for $80 CAD (each full size bottle will retail for equal or slightly higher value) and the coupon never expires. This is great for that person who takes forever to make up their mind, but be mindful that the longer they take to decide, there is a higher chance of their fragrance being discontinued and no longer available.
You can purchase this at your Shoppers Drug Mart that has a Beauty Boutique or if you don't have one close by they have recently launched an online Boutique website : www.beautyboutique.ca
They bring new ones out around Fathers Day and for Christmas. (They also have one for women too, so make sure you let your man know!)
If you have a little bit higher of a budget they also have the same type of gift however it only comes with 7 fragrances but they are significantly bigger bottles, which many men who are on the road a lot enjoy! These retail for $97 CAD and the coupon never expires.
So there you have it, an easy but fun gift idea that is sure to be a huge hit!
(Photo's from the Beautyboutique.ca website)
Polyethylene Beads, a name that you've probably heard before but don't know what exactly it is. They are tiny plastic beads that are found in products from your daily exfoliators, hand soaps and even toothpaste. Many cosmetic companies use natural alternatives such as nut shells and fruit pits but are much more abraisive. Polyethelene beads were created smooth, tiny and more gentle to allow for it to be safe for everyday use. Safer short term, yes, long term? These plastic beads travel down our plumbing lines, then hitting the ocean as sewer filtering systems can't catch them due to the miniscule size. Eventually, the marine life suck them in, trapping them in their gills, lungs and essentially disrupting the ecosystem. All the fish that come out the waters that we buy from shops and cook have toxic chemicals in them from these beads they've swallowed. What goes around comes around everyone, we as a species are putting it into the waters only to be injesting it ourselves!
Now, I'm no professor or scientist, and this isn't a normal post I do but this is just something I've been reading up on as I care about the future of our planet. Now you start to think, looking at your soaps, your exfoliators and toothpaste that these beads are so small they can't really be affecting our waters that much. Put it in this perspective, you use toothpaste twice a day, a daily exfoliator twice a day and your handsoap four or five times a day. Now multiply that by a week, then a month, then a year. Then calculate how many people in the world are doing the same as you...does that change your look on it? I know it did for me.
It has come to my attention when I went to a Biotherm schooling that they are reformulating all their products that have the Polyethylene Beads to get rid of them and I hope this will encourage the rest of the companies out there to get rid of them! I've read many articles about how "we don't even know if this really affects our environment, so who cares", why wait until it's too late to do anything? If we have any inkling that it could harm us and logically speaking it makes sense, why wouldn't we try find alternatives to stop it from happening. There's a lot of drought happening in the world, drinking water is becoming low, why wait until we have none left before coming up with a solution on how to get it back. We as a planet need to be more proactive, and all it takes is for one person to spread awareness to someone else about the potential products that have it and educate people!
There is an organization based out of the Netherlands with a Campaign known internationally as "Beat The Microbead". They created an app in 2012 where you can scan the barcode of a product using your smartphone. It will pop up with results to tell you and if that particular product isn't in their database, they give you all the keywords to look for in the ingredient list to indicate plastic. When you've determind if it has any or not you can add your product to their database so in the future if someone scans the same product you did the information will pop up for them! It's a genius app and a great way to get more awareness out there. Go to your App Store and seach "Beat the Microbead".
Please share this article and get the word out to even more people than it already has! Lots of countries are on board with the movement however there are still some States in the U.S and others around the world who have yet to agree on banning the manufacturing and selling of products containing these plastics!
We can have beauty products but let's not let it be at the cost of our environment!