NOTD: Misa Polka-Dot Bikini

One of the items in my April 2012 Topbox was a nail polish from Misa.  I’ve never heard of this brand before, but according to the note that came with my “box” it can be found at Trade Secrets.

The colour is called Polka-Dot Bikini and it’s a very pale neutral pink.  The colour itself, when applied, is very sheer and subtle.

I put two coats of the lacquer on and although it was still a bit transparent, I didn’t mind because it’s subtle enough that I kind of liked it less opaque.

When I first got this colour I wasn’t that impressed with it, but once I painted it on it’s actually very nice.  This shade is perfect for workplaces where nail polish is frowned upon.  Honestly, this colour looks like my nails but with a hint of colour so you know that you are actually wearing polish.

I took a look on Misa’s site and they have some fab colours listed.  I love fun, bright colours, but subtle, soft shades like this one are always good to have too.

Have you tried Misa’s Polka-Dot Bikini?  If so, what were your thoughts?

Also, don’t forget to enter my huge Dove giveaway!  * Canadians and Americans only, must be a subscriber!

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Blown away + Dove giveaway (CLOSED)

So when I was in Vegas last August one of the things I had to do was visit a blow out bar and get my hair coiffed.  Blow out bars have been popping up left and right around the continent but unfortunately there is no location here in my city.  Obviously salons offer blow outs but the service may not be the stylist’s specialty.  Not that, you know, it’s mine either, however, I have been obsessed with giving myself at-home blow outs.  I grab my round brush and hair dryer and go nuts on my hair, leaving my tresses smooth and shiny.

I was lucky to sit down with Dove celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend this week when he was in town for the Real Canadian Hair Challenge.  Townsend has coiffed the tresses of practically every it-girl in Hollywood, as well as a few Oscar winners, and amongst giving out star secrets (Glee‘s Lea Michelle’s has the hardest hair he’s worked on; her heavy fringe is because of her major cowlick) and telling me about his famous friends and clients (he calls Elizabeth Olsen “Lizzie”) he shared that he’s obsessed with blow outs (we have so much in common!).

Mark and I - he said I had fabulous hair!

“With Jennifer Lawrence doing The Hunger Games press, when I blow out her hair I go into another world,” says Townsend. “A good blow out makes the hair shiny soft and full of volume.”

So what’s his key to the perfect blow out?  Dove’s Style + Care Anti-Frizz Serum, a product that instantly smoothes frizz and revitalizes shine without weighing hair down.  The product’s lightweight formula is enriched with a blend of Argan and Almond oils.  It instantly absorbs to leave no greasy feel and deeply nourishes to smooth and tame even the most unruly hair.  Townsend himself says that he hasn’t done a blowout in the past two years without an anti-frizz serum.

The first step to glamourous voluminous hair is to start with it damp.  Using a few pumps of the Anti-Frizz Serum, distribute the product throughout your hair evenly.  

The next step is something that I always do to add extra volume.  Grabbing a volumizing mousse, like Dove’s Style + Care Amplifier Mousse, flip your hair upside down and moisturize it into your roots.

Using your fingers, trace along the top of your scalp into a horseshoe shape and pin that up.  When I usually do a blow out on myself I will often section the hair starting at the bottom, however, Townsend recommends to just tie the top part of your hair up to begin and then blow dry the bottom part.  This way your arms don’t get tired by the time you reach the most important part – the top, as that is where you want the volume to be.

“When women are doing their own hair take a horseshoe part, clip that away and rough dry everything else and then blow dry the top part with a round brush.  The top layers are really what will be seen the most. For the underneath part, you can even concentrate on the mid-shaft down if you want to, especially if you are going back with an iron, it can smooth that underneath.”

Once the bottom part is dry, grab a round brush.

“The brush is super important. I love mixed-bristle brushes.  Round brushes are ideal, it creates all the luminosity in the hair.”

Using your brush (I use two, a medium-sized and large one), grab small-to medium-sized sections and pull it down the hair shaft while twirling the brush up concentrating at the roots to get that sky-high volume.

Once your hair is dry, don’t wreck the volume by weighing it down.  Finish the look with a leave-in smoothing cream like Dove’s Style + Care Frizz-Proof Cream-Serum.  First, warm the product up with your hand then rake it through your hair.  The product gently nourishes for long-lasting shiny, satin-smooth hair.  Best of all, it will leave your hair moveable, soft, and touchable.

To finish the look, grab a flexible hold hairspray (like Dove’s Style + Care Flexible Hold Hairspray) and give a gentle spray all over.  To tame fly-aways if you have any, Townsend recommends using a wooden toothbrush or even throw-away mascara wands sprayed with extra-hold hairspray and brush it over those naughty fly-aways.

From there you are good to go!  If you so choose you can always flat iron your hair or grab your curling iron to create some movement. If you choose the curling iron route, Townsend recommends a big two-to two-and-a-half inch curling iron.

“Spray the flexible hold hairspray on a four-to five-inch section of hair and then wind small sections of hair around the barrel.  By using a giant curling iron it gives movement. Summer is all about swinging the layers around.”

As for up-keep, it is recommended that you don’t wash your hair everyday (plus who would want to give themselves a blow out everyday anyways?).  Grab a dry shampoo, like Dove’s Style + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo, and spray your hair all over to create lasting volume, bounce, and a fresh new look.   Dove’s new dry shampoo has already gotten a cult following in the blog and YouTube world (Townsend says that Mary-Kate Olsen always steals them from him when he works on her hair) and it is quite different from it’s counterparts.  Your typical dry shampoo will be powder based, thus leaving you with white roots.  Now if you have white hair, this isn’t a problem, but if you are like me and are a brunette, this can cause more of a problem than just greasy roots and flat volume.  The Dove dry shampoo has starch in it, as well as no colour.  It adds instant volume and attaches to the hair.

Now onto the fun part! Want to win the entire Dove Style + Care and Nourishing Oil Care lines?  One lucky winner will win receive all 12 products from both of these fabulous lines. To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment below with the product you are most excited to try.  You must be a subscriber as well (to subscribe please visit the homepage and enter your email at the top of the right sidebar). Contest will be open to residents of the United States and Canada ages 13 or over (if you are under 13 please get your parent’s permission) and will close on May 18, 2012.  Winner will be chosen using random.org. (CLOSED)

Good luck!

Also, don’t forget to enter my May Loose Button Luxebox giveaway! ** Canadians only! Ends today!

*Please note I did receive these products for review purposes.  All opinions are my honest own.

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April 2012 Topbox

So one of the many things I love about Topbox is the fact that they always send out their boxes (erm, tubes) on the same day every month, so you basically receive it at the middle of the month consistently.

I got my April Topbox on the 16th (it was supposed to be here on the 13th – darn you Canada Post!) and ripped open the tube as soon as I laid eyes on it.  This month Topbox has a special Earth Day theme to it where the tubes are carbon neutral (according to a note from them, all tubes from Topbox from here on out will be carbon neutral).  It’s a nice touch to the box, knowing that they are trying to make their product more earth friendly.

So on to the box!  Here’s what I got:

  • Benefit – The POREfessional – 7.5 ml (full size 22 ml retails for $34)
  • Principessa Beauty – Notte/Bianco Breeze Dry Shampoo 30 g (full size 125 g retails for $24)
  • Misa Nail Lacquer in Polka Dot Bikini – full size ($8.99)
  • Bella Pella Tropical Flowers Body Lotion – 30 ml (full size 175 ml retails for $15.95)
  • Cargo Blu Ray Pressed Power – sponsored ad, one-time-use sample

Overall, I thought the March box was better than this one.  I did enjoy the products that were in the box, but Topbox is supposed to be all about samples from top beauty brands. I don’t think that Misa and Bella Pella are top brands.  Sorry to be harsh here and I know that these boxes are supposed to be all about introducing new products and brands to consumers, but if you guarantee one thing I think you should stick to it (for example, on their home page there is a photo of Chanel, Stila, Benefit, and NARS products).  I believe they sell Principessa at The Bay and of course I’m happy to get a Benefit product, although I already have a sample of The POREfessional from my Benefit Big 10 box that I got around Christmas time.  Plus, not going to lie, I’m so sick of receiving lotions, like enough already (although this one does smell quite yummy).

Although this post does sound negative, this box was fairly good considering that I didn’t know two of the brands.  Topbox has definitely done better boxes than this one and they have also done worse.  No product made my heart beat faster by just looking at it but I will use these items (I mean, who doesn’t need another nail polish)?  Plus, I’m excited to try this dry shampoo, I have the OSiS one but I find that it can make your hair look ashy and this one by Principessa is tailored to darker hair colours.

Did you receive the April 2012 Topbox?  What were your thoughts?

Also, don’t forget to enter my May Loose Button Luxebox giveaway! ** Canadians only! Ends Friday!

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