nest eau de parfum rollerball trio | indigo, verde, dahlia & vines

Only recently has Black Friday become a "thing" up here in the Great White North. Sephora was no exception to offering some special limited deals to their customers. There was one set that caught my eye - the nest eau de parfum rollerball trio. I have heard only good things about this perfume and at the affordable price of $13 cdn for three rollerballs, it was an easy decision. 

The Breakdown
3 x 0.2 Mini Rollerball in Indigo, Verde, Dahlia & Vines

Moroccan tea, kashmir wood and black cardamom are enhanced with hints of wild fig and bergamot.
This scent brings me back to the summer Julian and I spent roaming the Moroccan markets. With notes of sweet and spicy, pepper and fig, this aroma is simply divine. It's stronger than the other two scents in this set and borders on the line of masculine.
A blend of wild fern and Himalayan cedar in an invigorating balance with verbena leaves and vetiver.
A sharp, crisp and clean scent of fern. This smell reminds me of winter in the woodlands. This scent is more masculine, rustic and natural.
Dahlia & Vines
Dewy daffodils, peony and rose are blended with the essences of garden vines.
This is the most traditional of the three scents. It has a soft floral fragrance that isn't overpowered by the roses like so many other scents tend to do. Dreamy and wearable for both day and night. This scent is more feminine.

The Packaging
The sleek, matte and simple design is what made me pick this set up on a whim. The size of the bottles are perfect to throw into your bag; I wouldn't worry about leakage as the rollerballs are solidly built.

I love how unique all three fragrances are. Indigo is vibrant, Verde is woodsy and Dahlia & Vines is traditional. There are so many options when it comes to fragrance sets as you can use them individually or layer them on top of one another to create a more personalized scent.
NEST fragrances is a rising brand that creates at home candles, home fragrances and perfumes. They've done an exceptional job and I wouldn't hesitate to pick some of these scents up for my home as well!

rating: 9/10 
At this price point, this set is a wonderful sampler. If you're looking for a change to the generic floral perfumes out there, I recommend trying out NEST fragrances. Unfortunately, this set isn't part of the permanent collection so you will have to wait for another deal before picking this trio up. The positive side is that they do offer additional fragrance sets and larger bottles if you prefer a single scent.

[buy here]

holiday gift guide 2015

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. I'm not generally a last minute shopper, but this year the days leading to Christmas have flown by so quickly! With less than two weeks away, here are my top five holiday gifts for women all priced under $50. Happy Shopping!

a wonderful collection of nine Christmas themed teas perfect for a cozy night in.
enjoy a well deserved spa night at home with this made in France mini candle.
a great collection of mini rollerballs for the girl on the go.
for the makeup lover; this silky smooth blush that is swoon worthy (review here).
the most darling gold studs that are beautiful day or night.

L'Occitane x Pierre Hermé - Pamplemousse Rhubarb Voyage Set

L'Occitane x Pierre Hermé - Voyage Set [click here]

This year, L'Occitane has brought two of my favourite worlds together - beauty and food, resulting in one of the prettiest limited edition collections out there this holiday season. Oliver Baussan, founder of L'Occitane, designed the packaging for this collaboration while his long time friend, pastry chef Pierre Hermé expertly crafted the fragrances. The inspiration behind this collaboration is Summer nights in Corsica. The moment I sampled the two fragrances, it brought back memories of late night dinners had with family and friends while Julian and I vacationed in Italy. I don't know what it is about certain scents, but they do a great job of bringing back memories of an exact time and place. I can definitely see why this collection was curated with the thought of summer nights in mind. 

The Breakdown
Pamplemousse Rhubarb Lip Balm 12ml
Pamplemousse Rhubarb Hand Cream 30ml
Pamplemousse Rhubarb Perfumed Soap 50g

The Scents
There are two scents crafted for this collection - Jasmin and  Pamplemousse Rhubarb, however, I opted for the latter to add to my growing collection. Both scents are equally lovely and long lasting on the skin. 
Jasmin Immortelle Neroli has a soft and airy floral scent that leans towards feminine. If you're like me and have tons of clean floral scents, you might want to try out Pamplemousse Rhubarb instead.
Pamplemousse Rhubarb starts off super fragrant; smelling strongly of a mix of grapefruit and rhubarb. If you're not into grapefruit or prefer a soft feminine scent, you will want Jasmin. However, if you don't mind a more masculine scent with strong cedar undertones, this one is for you. It's unlike any other fragrance I own and I have been absolutely loving it!

The Packaging
Can we take a moment to admire the packaging?! The colours used are totally on point for the summer nights vibe they were going for. The voyage set includes an adorable reusable tin can that will make a perfect gift for this holiday season. 

If you're looking for fresh, vibrant scents then look no further. The prices are reasonable and the packaging, adorable. 
A perfect holiday gift for that special someone on your list.

rating 10/10

Shop here:

hourglass ambient lighting blush review: mood exposure

Handmade in Italy, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes are something truly special. Those beautiful swirls of pigment and highlight mean that no two blushes are alike. Swoon. I feel as though Hourglass cosmetics came storming through, sweeping us off our feet with their elegant packaging, beautiful pigments and handmade products. Would you believe that I put my favourite NARS blush on the back burner for this little gem? Because I totally did

Mood Exposure is made of a finely milled, super silky powder that blends easily onto your cheeks. The beautiful soft plum colour is literally my go-to colour for all my fall and winter looks. The blush is super pigmented so a little goes a long way. You can't help but get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time your brush touches your cheeks with this blush; it gives off a natural and flawless finish with an almost blurred effect. In terms of the product, there really isn't anything bad to say. It is fairly pricey but when you factor in the quality of the product and keep in mind that it is handmade, all I can say is you get what you pay for.

rating: 9.5/10
If the price was just a bit lower (under the $40 mark range), this would have definitely received a perfect score. 

soaking it all up: mamonde sheet masks

I didn't expect something so simple could make you look both scary and hilarious simultaneously. The first time I put on a sheet mask I was reconsidering the entire thing. A wet cloth on my face?! As I turned the corner wearing this soaking wet sheet, Julian looked up in initial shock then bursted out in laughter causing me to do the same! Sheet masks have been around for a long time in the Asian world of beauty. The end goal is to help your skin become the best it can be by allowing the sheet ingredients to lock and absorb within your skin. 

This past weekend, my mom and I spent the afternoon at Pacific Mall eating and shopping. This was the perfect opportunity for me to pick up a few sheet masks from a brand called Mamonde. I chose four masks from the flower essential line ($2.50 - $3.00 Cdn each): Lotus Cooling & Soothing, Sun Flower Nutrition, Pomegrante Anti Aging and the Dual Gel Meadowsweet Pure Brightening. Mamonde is yet another label under the umbrella of Korean based skincare products by Amore Pacific. Sheet masks are a great pick me up that should result in brightening, tightening and hydrating your skin. I try to use sheet masks weekly during the dry winter months to bring as much moisture and life back into my skin as possible.

Sheet masks come in all forms of material from rubber to cloth. The Mamonde masks are a cloth like material that are ultra wet to the touch, however, not so wet as to cause a mess all over your floor. The shape of the mask may not be suitable for all face shapes as I noticed that a few places around my nose needed to be constantly patted down. If you're in the market for something instantly hydrating with no hassle, I recommend trying a sheet mask out. Would I tell you to run out and pick up a Mamonde sheet mask because it's a game changer? No - they're not out of this world amazing but they do the job of instant hydration. I'm also not thrilled that a few of the masks I picked up have alcohol on their ingredients list. I personally didn't experience any negative effects or irritation from the alochol, but I know a lot of people do. 

Sheet masks vs. Clay masks. 
Ultimately, it comes down to preference. I prefer sheet masks because they're perfect to just throw on for a little pick me up. I also like that I have the option to make facial movements without worrying about cracking. Clay masks are super restricting and at times, messy. As mentioned earlier, Julian and I crack up in laughter, similar to my face when the clay starts to dry.

rating: 6/10
They're hydrating but nothing out of the ordinary. If I have them, great, but sadly, I won't be in a panic if I run out. There are better masks out there.

in review: NARS one shocking moment cheek palette

NARS comes out with holiday palettes each year but this Steven Klein one shocking moment cheek palette is life. The palette includes a contouring duo, a bronzer and four blushes in the colours robotic, blasphemy, luster and dolce vita. Whether you want to explore the world of NARS further or you need a travel friendly palette to venture the world with, this palette has everything you're looking for.

The Breakdown: 
2 x 0.12 oz Contour Blush in Paloma I and Paloma II
0.29 oz Laguna Bronzer
0.12 oz Robotic Blush
0.12 oz Blasphemy Blush
0.12 oz Luster Blush
0.12 Dolce Vita Blush

The Details: 
Contouring Duo in Paloma: includes the soft and silky pinky-beige highlight and a deep rose contour. Great for medium skin tones and glides on effortlessly. It seems dusty in pan but doesn't look powdery when applied.
Laguna Bronzer: a colour many narsissists (nars fans) most likely own or have at least tried. A perfect natural finish that works for light to medium skin tones. This does have shimmer for a radiant finish, so if you prefer matte, this isn't for you. I adore this bronzer and reach for it on the daily.
Robotic: the lightest shade in this palette. More on the light side of pink but still in the medium toned range. A silky soft application that needs a firm hand as it applies lighter than the others. Exclusive to this cheek palette.
Blasphemy: a shimmery rosy medium pink that blends beautifully and gives a natural finish. Exclusive to this cheek palette.
Luster: a gold shimmery toned blush that gives off a radiant finish. More on the orange-brown side. Gives off a sheer finish.
Dolce Vita: an easily blended dusty rose/plum shade with a hint of gold shimmer. Perfect for a holiday season look. A beautiful and natural silky finish.

Left to Right: Dolce Vita, Luster, Blasphemy, Robotic, Laguna Bronzer, Paloma II, Paloma I

NARS is a makeup brand that generally can do no wrong. There are many products within their line that I can't live without - particularly their blushes. From their sleek packaging to the finely milled and super blend-able powders, I feel that the quality of their products is what keeps you coming back for more and this palette is no exception.

Rating: 9.5/10
If you are a super fan of Nars, you most likely own the majority of products in this palette which is why I didn't give this a perfect score.

in the spotlight: laneige | korean skincare

Korean skincare has arrived to North America and I couldn't be more thrilled! Last year, Sephora gave me a few skincare samples from Amore Pacific that I instantly became obsessed with. Amore Pacific is a great lightweight and hydrating skincare line that unfortunately for many, has a hefty price tag. After finishing the last drop of my Amore Pacific products, I decided to branch out and try another brand from Korea called Laneige Skincare. To my surprise, Laneige is owned by Amore Pacific but at a third of the price!

I ordered their trial set (just before they literally sold out everywhere!) that provides a great introduction to six products from their line. This entire line is ultra hydrating - perfect for the dry winter Canadian months. If you have dry to combination skin, this line is absolute perfection. Oily skin may want to avoid this line all together. I should note that these products are scented so for those who prefer non-scented products, I wouldn't recommend trying this out. 

The trial kit comes with the following: 
Multi Cleanser: builds into a creamy lather that provides a squeaky clean feeling. It removes makeup and dirt all in one step. 
Power Essential Skin Toner: a great smelling refreshing toner that gives you a radiant finish.
Balancing Emulsion: Super lightweight and hydrating. The only issue is that it doesn't come with a pump so the dense consistency of the emulsion is a bit tricky to get out.
Water Bank Serum: Another lightweight product that has quickly become my favourite. So refreshing!
Water Bank Moisture Cream: Ultra hydrating with a thicker consistency. I love that this is not greasy but prevents dry patches from forming!
Water Sleeping Mask: A must! The large sized bottle is an absolute steal of a price for what it does. A gel mask that hydrates your skin while you sleep. I can't even stress how amazing this mask is!

This line has quickly become part of my morning and night routine. After using this line for over three months, I have noticed a huge difference. It seems that my t-zone has become less oily and my dry patches are non-existent. If I were to pick my top three products from the trial kit, they would be the Multi Cleanser, Water Bank Serum and Water Sleeping Mask as I feel that these three products alone have won me over time and time again. In fact, I have already repurchased all three of these products in the larger size! Holy Grail stamp of approval.

rating: 10/10
If you have dry to combo skin, this line may be your life line during the upcoming winter months!