Sweet treats: Three sweet sets to gift for the holidays

Well guys, it’s officially the holiday season. And, with the holiday season comes holiday gift sets, so obviously it’s my favourite time of the year.

If you watch my stories on Instagram, you would’ve seen all the magical sets arriving here. Basically my condo is like a mini Sephora store, which as you can imagine makes me very happy to come home to everyday.

Anyways, I will be doing some brand-specific holiday posts, but I wanted to change it up a bit this year with gift guides as well.  Which brings us to today’s post.

One of my favourite holiday scents is anything sugary, so when I got these goodies come in I had to compile them as a sugary sweet gift guide. From an irresistibly-smelling candle to a cake of makeup goodies (sans calories), anyone you gift these items to will surely not be able to keep their sweet tooth in check.

Nest Sugar Cookie Three-Wick candle and reef diffuser

Nest Sugar Cookie Candle and Reef Diffuser

You guys know I absolutely adore Nest, both their fragrances and their home scents, so I was super excited to give their Sugar Cookie candle and reed diffuser a smell.

Sugar Cookie is actually like how you think it would smell. It has notes of vanilla, bourbon, caramel, sugarcane crystals, and amber.  You know that scent when you bake cookies? Yeah, it’s like that. Except that you don’t have to actually consume any calories after giving this a whiff.

If you haven’t tried Nest candles before, they are made from highly refined, cosmetic-grade wax that infuses a room with an amazing scent.  Nest candles are very expensive (the three-wick shown here is C$90), but if you are looking for a luxurious gift for someone who is hard to buy for, then these definitely do the trick.  The candles also have a very long burn time, which definitely helps with the cost. This candle will last you 80 to 100 hours, which is incredible.

If candles aren’t your jam, you can pick up or gift the reed diffuser (C$64), which gives you that sugar cookie scent 24/7. The reed diffuser consists of a jar of high-quality fragrance oils, which are released slowly and evenly in the air for approximately 90 days.  Just place it on a shelf, bedside table, coffee tables, etc. and bask in the warm, sugary scent.

Sugar Cookies and Sweet Peach Too Faced mini palettes

Too Faced Sugar Cookie and Tickled Peach Eye Shadow Palettes

Following on the sugar cookie trend, Too Faced has the sweetest little eyeshadow palette which would be perfect to gift to your bestie who is always on the go.

The Sugar Cookie Eye Shadow Palette (C$32) is a small palette that features eight eyeshadows in both matte and shimmery shades. The shade range in here ranges from glittery silvers to matte browns, shimmering pinks, and more. Best part is, in true Too Faced form, this palette smells like fresh-baked cookies, so every time you open it you’ll feel a wash of sugary goodness that’s quite a treat.

Look featuring the Too Faced Tickled Peach palette

If your gift recipient is a fan of the Too Faced Peach line, then take a look at the Tickled Peach Mini Eyeshadow Palette (C$32), which also features eight matte and shimmering shadows housed in a tin palette reminiscent of the original Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Palette.

The shades in this palette lean more on the side of corals and browns (see photo above), which I find to be a little more wearable than the Sugar Cookie one. There are a variety of looks you can do with this palette (and Sugar Cookie), and just like the other Peach palettes, this one also has that sweet Georgia Peach scent.

Benefit 2018 Holiday gift sets

Benefit Cosmetics Triple Decker Decadence and Confection Cuties gift sets

Benefit Cosmetics is taking their love of sweets to a whole new level with their holiday sets this year.

Housed in a collectible tin that looks like a wedding cake, the Triple Decker Decadence set (C$52) has three full-sized products, plus a mini of their liquid cheek tint. Open up the tin to reveal full-sizes of their BADgad BANG! mascara, The POREfessional Face Primer, High Brow brow highlighting pencil, and a deluxe mini of their Gogotint lip and cheek stain.

The three full-size products alone will cost you C$104, so for essentially less than half the price, you are getting an amazing deal here.

Benefit Triple Decker Decadence gift set

If you are looking for a smaller gift (think Secret Santa or that friend you’re kinda friends with, but not full-fledged besties), then Confection Cuties (C$25) will be right up your alley.

Like the Triple Decker Decadence set, this one also comes in a multi-layer cake-shaped tin, but on a smaller level. There are no full-sized products in here, but instead you get travel-friendly sizes of The POREfessional, Gimme Brow+ brow volumizing fibre gel, and Roller Lash curling and lifting mascara.

Since these are all travel-sized products, I think this is a nice gift topper (as in, you bought one expensive gift, but it might be small and you’re looking for something else to round out the whole present). For $25 though, I would invest the cash into one of the larger sets since it’s definitely more bang for your buck. Although I haven’t tried Roller Lash (I do love the other Benefit mascaras though), I have tried The POREfessional and Gimme Brow and love both of those products, so at least you get some real winners in here.

Benefit Confection Cuties holiday set

If you usually surprise your friends with some holiday baking, then you may want to think about tacking some of these sets on to their gifts this year. You really can’t go wrong with anything sweet and sugary, and when makeup is involved, well it’s just icing on a calorie-free cake.

Please note, products provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

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No sweat: Clinique Fit workout makeup

I work out a lot. Like everyday a lot. Sometimes even twice a day.

Although there are major physical benefits in working out, for me it’s mostly about the mental stuff. I just don’t feel like myself if I don’t go to the gym or do something to get my body moving. In fact, when I’m not attending a fitness class, I’m usually teaching one, something I’ve been doing since 2011.

Although I don’t usually wear makeup when I work out, since it’ll just come off anyways as I sweat it out, when I saw Clinique’s workout makeup line last year I was super intrigued.  Just like how workout clothes have transcending the fashion world (in that you don’t necessarily have to hit the gym to wear Adidas), Clinique is transforming the makeup world for those of us that want to look extra cute while running that 5K on the treadmill.

Clinique Fit Makeup Items

I’ve been a huge fan of Clinique for years now, in fact it was the first department store skincare line I ever used religiously, so when I saw they had this collection I was instantly drawn to it since I love the brand already and I love working out (double whammy).  Although it’s been out for a year now, I got my hands on it last week and couldn’t wait to put it to the test in a sweaty step class.

If you aren’t familiar with the line already, CliniqueFit is a line of athletic-inspired, sweat-proof skin care and makeup that is long wearing and designed to fit seamlessly with your workout routine.  There are seven items total, ranging from foundation to mascara to a moisturizer, hydrating spray, and more.

Prior to my class, I applied the CliniqueFit Workout Makeup SPF 40 (C$39), which is a lightweight foundation available in four different shades that is billed to last 12 hours. In addition to its long wear, it also has sunscreen in it, making it perfect for those outdoor workouts. Next, I applied the CliniqueFit Workout 24-Hour Mascara (C$25), which separates, lengthens, and curls lashes without flaking or smudging for 24 hours.

Clinique Fit items Clinique Fit waterproof mascara

As you can see in the photos below, the foundation gives you great coverage and the mascara really defines your lashes. I didn’t actually expect these to be as great as they turned out to be.  Since the mascara wand is so thin, I was shocked to see how much it lengthened and defined my lashes. Best part was, both of these products held up quite well through my class and usually I find mascara tends to burn my eyes as sweat gets in them while I’m lying down and doing a core workout. This wasn’t the case, everything held up quite well for the hour.

After the class, I cooled down with the CliniqueFit Workout Face + Body Hydrating Spray (C$19.36 at Nordstrom), which is a water-based travel spray that refreshes and hydrates the skin. This stuff feels amazing after a gross sweaty class and is definitely a breath of fresh air.

Once I got home, I removed the makeup using the CliniqueFit Post-Workout Face + Body Cleansing Swipes (C$19), which are pH-friendly towelettes that removes excess dirt, oil, makeup, you name it.  They are also gently exfoliating and moisturizing. I was actually quite impressed with how well these took everything off. They were super hydrated, so all the makeup came off quite well, even the mascara, which I found was quite surprising. I really loved these.

Clinique Fit Mattifying Moisturizer Clinique Fit Workout Face and Body Hydrating Spray, Cheek and Lip Tint, and Workout Makeup SPF 40

Once the makeup was off, I jumped in the shower, and then after I applied the CliniqueFit Post-Workout Mattifying Moisturizer (C$40.80 at Nordstrom), which is a double-action moisturizer that hydrates skin for up to eight hours while mattifying the skin.

Other items in the line include the CliniqueFit Lip + Cheek Flush (C$29), which is an oil-free sheer gel that tints lips and cheeks with a fade-resistant stain, designed to give you a post-workout glow, and the CliniqueFit Post-Workout Neutralizing Face Powder (C$39), which is a yellow colour-correcting loose powder that neutralizes the look of redness and reduces shine.

So overall thoughts on the line? The products I would recommend you pick up are the foundation, the mascara, and the wipes.  I absolutely love all three of these products and recommend picking them up even if you don’t workout. The foundation is a light coverage but I did find that it covered up any blemishes or redness in my skin and left it looking flawless in general. Same with the mascara. Although these are both designed for working out, if you are into the whole natural look, then you’ll love how these make your lashes and skin look. The wipes are also amazing as they take off everything and are a touch texturized as well, so you are also exfoliating your skin prior to your cleanser.

Clinique Fit put to the test before and after swatches

What I would skip is the Post-Workout Neutralizing Face Powder. This thing looked really cool, since it’s this little jar with a mirror on the lid and you apply it by twisting the top which has a sponge on it.  There are no directions on the packaging, so I had to look up how to use it. Apparently you unlock the product then shake it so the powder gets into the sponge which you dab on your skin. This did absolutely nothing for me, I shook it like crazy and I could kinda see three yellow dots appear on the sponge, but I don’t think that the powder fully got into the sponge which was disappointing.

The other post-workout products were cool, but usually post-workout I’m either going to bed or I’m getting ready for work, so I wouldn’t necessarily need a cheek or lip tint, or a mattifying moisturizer (since I would just apply my normal one).

I really love the idea of the line and I think that Clinique came out with some cool products (they also come in some pretty cool packaging).  I was at Hudson’s Bay on the weekend and I didn’t see the line at the Clinique counter, so I’m not sure how easy it is to spot this collection, however, a number of items are available online at Shopper’s Beauty Boutique.

This line officially launched last year, so I would love to know your thoughts on it if you have tried out some items.

Do you wear makeup when you workout?

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Refreshed, recharged: Three skincare products you need as we head into the winter months

I know it just turned fall, but guys I’m already thinking of winter.

Aside from keeping my skin moisturized, I’ve also beed dealing with a bit of acne on my chin thanks to that dreaded Clarisonic purge (which I talked about this past Friday).  When it comes to skincare products, you really can never have enough and you can never try enough products. I get so many items in and although it can be hard trying them all out, I love slathering my face with something new, whether it’s a new serum, eye cream, spray, you name it.

Anyways, if you are looking for some new skincare products for this season, I have you covered.

Tula Acne Clearing and Tone Correcting Gel

Tula Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel

You guys know I adore Tula (score 20% off your order with code SHAYNA), but when I received the Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel, I was like great, what am I going to do with this? I pride myself on having amazing skin, and although I do get the occasional breakout, I don’t have acne.  Luckily (well, not so lucky for my skin), I recently broke out with the new Clarisonic Mia Prima, so I could actually put this to the test (is it weird that I was happy I broke out?).

This acne gel contains two per cent salicylic acid to clear up skin, prevent breakouts, and brighten marks left by past acne. Although it is most suitable for acne-prone skin and oily skin, I did find it worked on my normal skin as well.

Since Tula is cruelty-free, it contains probiotics in the formula that are clinically proven to calm the look of inflammation and soothe skin. It also has azelic acid for fading marks left behind by past acne, and willow herb and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and prevent dryness and flakiness.  You apply this gel on clean skin morning and night before your serum and moisturizer (I’ve been using their Illuminating Serum and the Hydrating Day & Night Cream) and it will help clear up acne, as well as prevent future breakouts.  If you don’t have acne anymore, but have scars from it, it will also help to fade those.

Like I said, I have good skin already, so I used this more or less as a spot treatment. I did find that it helped to clear me up and left me looking radiant. Like all of Tula’s products, I highly recommend picking this up if you have this skin concern.

Also, FYI, I have a Tula giveaway happening on my Instagram, which includes this product, at the moment that closes on Wednesday, so go enter!

Naneette de Gaspe Essence Noir Treating & Cleansing Facial Cloths

Nannette de Gaspe Essence Noir Treating & Cleansing Facial Cloths

In case you haven’t heard of Nannette de Gaspe, the line is known for their ridiculously expensive face masks. Since the line is Canadian and pricey, I was super excited to give these C$45 facial cleansing cloths a try.

Just like other drugstore facial cleansing cloths, these come in a package of 30 and are a rinse-free wipe that gently removes all impurities and traces of makeup in one swipe. What makes them so luxurious are the ingredients. They contain Caviar Lime (brightens the skin and improves elasticity), and Silver Mushroom and Beetroot Extract to help nourish, plump, and smooth the skin, as well as Alpha Hydroxy Acids to leave skin looking visibly smoothed, glowing and revitalized. Since it’s part of the Art of Noir collection, it also has a proprietary infusion of Black Tea Ferment, Black Superfruits, and Black Tahitian Pearl extracts.

As you can expect, the cleansing cloths are actually black, which makes them look and feel luxurious, but if you get a kick on seeing how much of your makeup came off, then unfortunately these won’t do it for you.  They have a wonderful smell to them, and although they feel fabulous on the face, I have to say that there are a few drugstore versions I prefer more than these. I don’t find them to be all that wet, so when it comes to taking off eye makeup, especially mascara, I don’t feel that it does that great of a job.

I wanted to say that these were the greatest things ever (especially at $1.50 a cloth), but when if you are using these to remove makeup, then I would look into a different cloth or cleanser. If you are using them for skincare benefits, then definitely invest.  The scent and overall look of these are incredibly luxurious and if you don’t wear a lot of makeup but are looking for a treat, then definitely take the plunge!

Reversa Radiance-C Concentrate

Reversa Radiance-C Concentrate

I love adding new serums into my skincare routine (especially cocktailing them for a custom skincare regime), so when I got this new one from Reversa, I was pumped to start rotating it in.

The Radiance-C Concentrate (C$60) contains 20 per cent pure vitamin C that will help your skin with new collagen formation and prevent and reverse sun damage. It will also help to brighten your skin tone and increase its natural radiance. Just like so many other skincare products in the market right now, this concentrate is great to prevent against environmental stressors, such as UV rays and pollution, which is linked to premature skin aging. In addition to the supernatural vitamin C, this serum also has hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and vitamin E.

I like applying this morning and night after my Shiseido Ultimune serum and before my other serums. I’m told that your face should be damp prior to application and that you should apply some sort of BB cream with SPF or sunscreen to your face if you are applying it in the morning. I’m also told to apply this after your cleanser and toner. It is a creamy formula, so I have found that you don’t need a lot for it to go a long way. It also has a super pleasant citrusy scent to it.

So far I have really been enjoying how this makes my skin feel. It is a bit of a thicker formula and I feel like there is a touch of some texture in there as well, but I love the fact that it’s adding so many awesome benefits to my skin, morning and night.

I have so many more skincare products to go through especially as we head into the winter season, so you’ll be seeing more skin posts rotating in here more often.  Let me know if there is a certain item you are dying to try out. You can really never have too many items when it comes to the skin on your face.

What’s your favourite skincare products right now?

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