March Loves & Letdowns

March Loves & Letdowns

I’m a little behind on this month’s favourites – but on the bright side I’m actually doing it this month.  I completely forgot to do February favourites!  Oops!

I’m going to jump right in – here’s what I loved this month:

Gap Open Front Cardi: I love cardi’s any time of year, but especially for Spring and Summer.  This one is super lightweight so it’s perfect to throw overtop of a t-shirt or tank in the morning when it’s still a little chilly out.  They offer this sweater in a wide variety of colours; I selected it in Heather Grey colour but I’m tempted to pick up another in Turquoise or Blue.

claassic maggie

Bath & Body Works Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla Hand Soap: I can’t get enough of this hand soap – it smells exactly like my favourite warm drink from Starbucks – their Cinnamon Dolce Hot Chocolate.  Love it!

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Tarte Maracuja Oil: This was included in a Tarte set I bought on Black Friday and I was a little hesitant to use it as I haven’t really had much success with using oils on my face.  My skin is super sensitive and I usually break out when I try to use them.  This one is different though!  I’ve been using this off and on throughout the month as a night-time moisturizer and mixed into my foundation in lieu of primer and it works so well!  I totally expected it to leave me greasy and oily by the end of the day when I mixed it into my foundation but it just made my skin look glowy and healthy and my foundation applied like a dream.  Used as a nighttime moisturizer, I couldn’t believe how supple and smooth my skin felt the next day.  I’m about halfway through my little mini bottle of it but I plan on purchasing the full size, or at least another of the same size.

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CoverGirl TruBLEND Blush (Light Rose): This might be one of the best drugstore blushes I’ve ever tried.  Be warned this particular shade is quite light so it probably wouldn’t work well for those with darker skin tones.  But for any of my fair-skinned friends, I’d recommend this.  It’s a really soft pink-ish peach and you can build it to your desired intensity.  On top of that the formula is great – it’s silky, soft and buttery.  Highly recommend this!

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Frilly Lilly Argentinian Lemon Shea Butter Creme:  I’ve found my new favourite hand cream!  Frilly Lilly is a local mani/pedi/waxing boutique with locations in Alberta & British Columbia, and California.  I’ve been using this cream for probably a month and a half and it has really helped my chronically dry hands.  It’s not at all greasy – it absorbs quickly but moisturizes really well.  I also love that it doesn’t leave white marks on darker clothes if you touch them before it’s absorbed (one of my biggest pet peeves with hand cream!).  I picked up the Argentinian lemon scent and at first I wasn’t sure about it but I’ve grown to really like it – it’s very refreshing.

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NYX Butter Gloss (Angel Food Cake / Strawberry Cheesecake): I’ve talked about how much I love the NYX Butter Glosses before and that hasn’t changed.  I gravitate towards lip glosses and these are some of the best I’ve tried.  They’re glossy and pigmented and so easy to wear.  Angel Food Cake is a lovely nude/mauve shade and Strawberry Cheesecake is a warm medium pink.  I really haven’t been wearing any other lip products aside from these this month!

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L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer (Blonde):  I have to admit I’m kind of lazy when it comes to brows – half the time I forget to do them.  However this eyebrow pencil is so good I’ve pretty much done my brows every day this month.  I can’t believe the difference between this and my previously beloved e.l.f eyebrow pencil – they don’t even compare!  Not only is the shade perfect for me, the precise tip makes it so easy to fill and define my brows (hence the name).  I’ve heard others say that this is a dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz – not having tried it, I can’t confirm but if that’s true, but I see why everyone was going crazy over them if they are indeed similar.


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NYX HD Concealer: I’ve been researching new concealers for a while and I had heard some good things about this one.  Unfortunately this did not work for me.  The reason: it’s ridiculously drying!  It seemed a little dry when I initially applied it but it only got worse as the day went on.  I used this to cover blemishes so I can’t imagine using this as an undereye concealer – it would totally emphasize and enhance any fine lines.  So this was a disappointment and the search for a new concealer continues…

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Maggie’s love: Pet Kind Wild Pacific Salmon Treats

Maggie wanted to join in and share her love for the month.  She’s really been enjoying these salmon treats that I found at Homesense for $6.99.  Love that these are a Canadian product and made with wild pacific salmon.  And they stink so of course Maggie just loves them.  This is the second bag we’ve gone through and I haven’t seen these again at Homesense, so I’m going to have to track down a retailer here that sells them.

What were your loves and letdowns for March?

Thanks for reading!

Used & Abused – Product Empties


It’s been a while since I did one of these posts so I’m long overdue.  As you can see from the picture above, I’ve been hanging on to all these empty and used up products for a while and it was time to finally throw them out – and share my thoughts on them with you!  I’ve combined products into categories for ease of reading.



Batiste Dry Shampoo:  I’ve used up 3 bottles of this (possibly more – I may have inadvertently thrown out a couple) so I obviously like it.  I’ve tried others, and they just don’t compare.  I can get away with only washing my hair 2-3 times a week versus every day (my hair is fine and greases up easily).  It absorbs oil and gives me a little bit of volume and it smells great.  I used to be able to get the Cherry scent here but for a while now I’ve only been able to find the floral, fresh and tropical scents.  The fresh scent isn’t my favourite – reminds me of laundry soap.  I don’t mind the floral version, but out of the 3, the tropical scent is my favourite.  Lastly, you can’t beat the price of these – I typically purchase them at Winners or Homesense and pay $6.99 a bottle.  A bottle typically lasts me 2 weeks, which given how much I use it, is impressive.

Repurchase: Yes

Amika Undone Texture Spray: This past summer I visited the Birchbox store and made my own Birchbox.  I included this in my box and was really excited to try it out.  My first impression of this wasn’t great and unfortunately my opinion didn’t change after I finished this up.  It kind of clumped and tangled my hair together and left it a matted mess.  You can read the review here.

Repurchase?: No


Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo:  The salon I go to is an Aveda exclusive salon (meaning they only use Aveda products) and my hairdresser uses this shampoo on me every time I’m in for a cut and colour.  This isn’t the first bottle I’ve gone through – I’ve used this off and on over the last few years.   I’ve usually been pretty happy with it but going through this last bottle made me realize that it dries out my hair. And my hair already tends to be dry given that its colour-treated and subjected to heat styling each day.  So I finished this up but I don’t see myself purchasing this again.

Repurchase: No

Kenra Volume Spray Super Hold Finishing Spray 25: This is another product that I’ve been using for quite a while – at least two years  I think.  I bought it after hearing Kate Bryan from the Small Things Blog (one of my favourite bloggers who has the most fabulous hair) rave about it and highly recommend it.  And when I first started using, I did like it.  It’s a very fine finishing spray that provides a medium to strong hold.  It takes a lot to get this to build up and feel stiff or sticky.  Which is a good thing!  But my hair is weird and after a while products just seem to stop working for me.  Which is what happened with this.  About halfway through this can, I just couldn’t get it to hold my bangs in place, or my style in place.  So I finished it up and looked for something else.

Repurchase: No

Living Proof Prime Style Extender: This is the first product I ever tried from Living Proof.  Initially I was intrigued by this because my hair tends to fall flat with even the slightest bit of humidity or with a tiny gust of wind.  Given that ‘stye extender’ was in the name, I thought I could benefit from this.  And it definitely does work.  I’d apply a dime size of this to freshly washed hair before any using any of my usual styling products and then I’d style as usual.  Despite adding an extra product to my lineup, I appreciated that doing so didn’t add any buildup or greasiness to my hair (which I’m prone to).  And, my style definitely lasted longer (although it wasn’t completely fool-proof).  The only thing I don’t like about this is the price.  Unfortunately none of Living Proofs’ products are cheap and the full-size of this runs for about $25.  I always purchased the travel size for $15 and it would last me about 6 months.  So given that this lasts a while, I can justify the price.

Repurchase: Yes

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner:  I picked these up for travel purchases and because I wanted to give their no frizz line a try.  I typically don’t experience frizz when humidity hits – my hair just goes flat.  This specifically stated it blocked humidity so I was interested to see if it would work for me.  Unfortunately I didn’t find it worked great for that particular purpose.  I still suffered from flat hair on humid days.  I did notice that this made my hair feel noticeably smoother though.  So perhaps if frizz is your nemesis, this may work great!

Repuchase: No



Sephora Collection Triple Action Cleansing Water: I did a full review on this earlier this year and nothings changed, I still love it.  This is my go-to makeup remover and I’ve been using it for years.  It’s a little pricey but it’s gentle on my skin and so effective!  I use it daily.  Love that it comes in pump form too!

Repurchase: Yes

St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub: This was one of products I first reviewed on my blog and at the time, I loved it.  It smelled so.freaking.good, it was just the right amount of scrubbiness and the price was right.  Then I discovered (surprise, surprise!), it was causing breakouts.  Seriously, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing I can use! So I stopped using it on my face and used it in the shower instead, just to use it up.  I honestly think if you can use this and not breakout from it that its one of the best drugstore scrubs out there though.

Repurchase: No

L’Oreal Sublime Soft Gentle Micellar Solution: When I ran out of the Sephora makeup remover/micellar water noted above and I couldn’t make it to Sephora, I picked this up at Shopper’s Drug Mart to hold me over.  I didn’t really expect to like it but I was pleasantly surprised.  I felt this performed similarly to the Sephora option, although it didn’t quite take off my eye makeup as well.  In addition, I hated the packaging.  There’s no pump, so I had to “pour” it onto a cotton pad and rarely did it always go where I intended, or distribute as much (or as little) as I wanted.  I think I got this on sale for $6.99 but I definitely wouldn’t pay more than that for it – if you’re comparing it to Sephora’s version , this actually ends up being more expensive so I probably wouldn’t re-purchase this unless I was in a bind.

Repuchase: Yes and no (explanation above)



Bath & Body Works Deep Cleansing Hand Soap (Bourbon Street Buttercream): I love BB&W hand soaps but I won’t purchase the deep cleansing type any longer.  I didn’t realize these contain polyethylene (aka microbeads), which if you weren’t aware, are super bad for the environment (read more about it here).  I now only purchase the foaming hand soaps and hopefully B&BW will take action to remove microbeads from all of their products soon.  FYI this scent is no longer available but it was nice but nothing special – similar to a vanilla cupcake.

Repurchase: No

Bath & Body Works Body Scrub (Vanilla Bean Noel): This is by far, my favourite BB&W scent.  I love it so much that last year, I purchased this body scrub.  I didn’t realize this had glitter in it – which at first I thought I would hate but it didn’t stick to my skin so that wasn’t an issue.  Unfrotunately this also contains polyethylene so I won’t be repurchasing it.  Which is too bad because I actually felt like it worked pretty well.  Not worth sacrificing our oceans for though!

Repurchase; No

Cake Supremely Rich Bath & Shower Gel (Desserted Island): I’ve spoken about these bubble baths/shower gels previously and how much I love them.  I find these giant bottles at Winners or HomeSense for $14.99 and they last me months of religious use.  They work really well as a bubble bath or as a shower gel but I mainly use them for bubble bath.  Using just a dollop in the bathtub results in a generous amount of frothy bubbles that last a while.  Plus these all smell amazing – this particular scent smells slightly sweet and of coconut.  Highly recommend these guys!

Repurchase: Yes



The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream: If you can’t tell, I go through a lot of hand lotions.  This one was a bit of a letdown for me.  First impression was that I liked it – it seemed moisturizing and the scent was pleasant.  But the more I used this the more I realized how overpowering the smell of this was. It’s supposed to be almond scented, but in my opinion it was more perfume-like.  Plus, I HATED the packaging – I could never get the cap back on and when I neared the end, trying to squeeze the last drop out of this squishy foil material is next to impossible.

Repurchase?: No

L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream: This is a classic hand cream that I always end up going back to…because it actually works.  It has a very light, pleasant scent and the shea butter moisturizes my hands without feeling greasy or oily.  You can’t go wrong with this.

Repurchase: Yes

EOS Hand Lotion (Berry Blossom): I’m not a fan of EOS lip products so I’m not sure why I bought this.  Figured it would be easy to throw in my purse I guess.  And it was.  And it smells good.  But that’s where the positives ends.  This could possibly be one of the worst hand lotions I’ve ever used.  It had such a thin consistency that I barely felt like I had put hand cream on; plus it had zero moisturizing benefits.  I hated the hard plastic bottle too – guaranteed there’s still product in there but it’s so hard that you can’t even squeeze it out.  Wouldn’t recommend this.

Repurchase?: No

The Body Shop Coconut Hand Cream:  I love coconut scented things and this was a pretty good one!  It smelled authentically like coconut but it was a light scent, nothing too strong.  The lotion itself was light but it absorbed well and left my hands feeling soft and moisturized – for a couple hours anyway.  I wouldn’t say it’s the most moisturizing lotion I’ve ever used but it was a good one for the summer when I don’t need intense moisture.

Repurchase; Yes

Soap & Glory Hand Food: Soap & Glory is not a widely available brand around these parts; a few of the Shopper’s Drug Marts close to me have a small selection of their products, usually situated on an end of an aisle. I came across this travel sized hand cream in the clearance section and it sounded interesting so I bought it.  I think I paid $4 for it which was reasonable.  What I loved most about this was the scent – it smelled like sparkling lemonade.  The hand cream itself was pretty good too – it was thicker so I definitely noticed a difference after using this.  This did take a bit of time to absorb into my skin though. Despite that, if I can ever find this again, I’d definitely re-purchase it.

Repurchase?: Yes

Nivea Smooth Replenishing Hand Cream : Another travel sized version to throw in my purse.  This to me was just your everyday drugstore hand lotion.  Had the slight perfumey scent and was pretty basic, despite having macadamia nut oil in it.   I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it.  Don’t see myself picking it up in the full-size though!

Repurchase?: No



Maybelline the Colossal Volum’ Express: I did a review on this back in the Spring (read it here) and I don’t really have anything new to report.  I still think this is a really good mascara, the only thing I don’t like about it is that it can flake off a bit and it has a scent (which confuses me).  You don’t get intense volume or length with this but it its a good everyday mascara.

Repurchase: Yes

Maybelline the Mega Plush Volum Express: Another decent mascara that I reviewed back in June (review here); in short I wasn’t too fond of the flexible brush but overall it got the job done.  This didn’t give me mile-long, super thick lashes by any means but I like having mascaras like this on hand when I just want something fool-proof and easy to apply.

Repurchase: Yes



Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (Rose):  I’ve gone through a few of these tinted lip balms over the years and I must say that I do like them.  They are super moisturizing and they add a nice hint of colour to your lips (in this case a light rosy hue).  I think they’re a good thing to have in your purse, in the event that you forgot your lipstick or other lip product.  What deters me from buying these regularly is the price – I just find $26 steep for what this is. Plus it annoys me that the lettering rubs off.  And I didn’t like the rose scent of this.  Still, I’ll probably continue to purchase these once or twice a year – usually as an impulse buy.

Repurchase: Yes

Lancome – Baume In Love: I have no idea why I purchased this or even when.  Am I the only one that does that?  I think this may be the only Lacome product I’ve ever owned, perhaps ever own.  It’s not a brand I tend to gravitate to – but maybe I’m missing out?  Anyway, this was another sheer tinted balm; don’t see myself re-purchasing this one though.  It left my lips a slightly toned down version of a hot pink so I wasn’t fond of the shade.  It provided okay moisture but I feel like I must have had rocks in my head when I decided to pay $32 for this.  I can get similar results with something way cheaper.

Repurchase: No

And that’s all of it!  Phew, that seemed like a lot.  If you tried any of these products let me know how they worked for you!  And if you read right until the bitter end or even if you just skimmed through, as always, thanks for reading!


Fall Essentials


Links: one; two; three; four; five; six; seven; eight; nine; ten; eleven

Today I have a quick post on my essentials for Fall.  We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather here which I’ve really enjoyed because usually we have a month of Fall and then it’s winter for six straight months.  It’s definitely nice to ease into cooler weather for once!

I’ve put together a collection of things that I feel are essential for the season.  Some of these I own or a own a similar version, and some of these I wish I owned (or may own soon…shhhh 😉 ):

Classic Trench Coat: A good trench coat never goes out of style and I’ve definitely made good use of mine over the last few weeks.  It goes with absolutely anything and mine is light enough that I don’t overheat on the way home, but keeps me just warm enough for the crisp morning air.

Super Soft Scarf: I’ve seen this scarf in store and I’m waiting for it to go on sale because I love, love how soft it is.  They have this in various colors but I like the combination of the pink, white and gray in this one.

Suede Ankle Boots; Given the climate here, suede is probably not the most practical material for boots; taupe suede in particular.  But sometimes you have to throw practicality to the wind and just buy what you love.  I’ve been eyeing up several versions of beige ankle boots for a while now and these offer everything I’m looking for.  Plus they are Tom’s so I’m feel like they should be comfortable. I also love the stacked, wood heel.  These will be mine at some point!

Cozy Plaid Shirt: There’s nothing cozier on a cool day than a plaid shirt.  I love pairing one with leggings and a tank and boots.  It’s pretty much the uniform of Fall in my opinion.  I like the orange and blue hues in this version, plus I appreciate that it’s a little longer in the back!

Woodsy Scented Candle: One of my favorite scents ever has to be the smell of a burning campfire/wood fireplace, especially during fall/winter. I never thought I’d find a candle that actually mimics that scent without smelling fake or overpowering but I did!  Having a real wood burning fireplace is a dream of mine, but until then, I’ll just have to burn this.

Monogrammed Mug: I’m not a coffee or tea drinker, but in the cooler months I definitely crave something warm to drink.  Hot chocolate is my go-to drink and drinking it from a large mug, especially one with my initial on it, makes it that much better!

Neutral Nail Polish: Essie’s Merino Cool is my top fall nail polish.  The shade is a greyish purple and it just goes so well with everything!  Two thin coats of this and I’m done, plus it lasts quite a while before I start seeing any wear or chips.  I always get compliments on my nails when I wear this!

Versatile Eyeshadow Palette: This is an oldie but a goodie for me.  I love the versatility of this palette – I can do a really neutral, natural eye or an all-out, dramatic smokey eye depending on how I’m feeling.  These shadows are a great quality and last forever.  Definitely worth the high price tag!

Hydrating Hand Cream:  Hand cream is a staple for me no matter what the season, but as the weather gets colder and the air gets dryer, I definitely need a thicker cream to help with my chronically dry hands.  Cake makes my favorite version with the perfect hint of coconut and vanilla.  It’s thick and creamy, and I usually only have to apply this twice a day to keep my hands feeling soft and supple.

Moisturizing Lipstick: Okay, I know matte is all the rage but meh, I like to break the rules.  My lips are naturally quite dry and matte lip products only intensify my dryness so I prefer moisturizing formulas.   I have a limited edition shade of this Bite Beauty lipstick and I’m so impressed in how moisturizing and creamy it is, while still providing long-lasting, pigmented color.  The shade I own is a very intense magenta so I’d like to add this more neutral, toned-down version to my collection.

Comfy Throw: What is Fall without a warm, cozy blanket to snuggle up on the couch in?  I usually gravitate to the faux fur versions, but this cable-knit version reminds me of a well-worn sweater.  Plus the fur accent can transition into winter/Christmas easily.

And those are my essentials!  What things do you need to get you through the season?  Let me know below!

Thanks for reading!


Weekend Purchases!


I hit up the mall this past weekend without any kind of goal in mind, which is always somewhat dangerous.  Here’s what I found:

ONE: Express Black Cami Sundress ($41.93 CAD – SALE!)

The minute I tried this on I knew I had to have it – it’s the perfect sundress for summer!  Unfortunately the pic above really doesn’t do it justice and it was basically impossible for me to get a good picture of it myself.  Anyway, empire waist dresses can be tricky on me – sometimes they make me look pregnant (#nope).  This one is cut perfectly so doesn’t flare out too much at the waist. I also love the length because it’s not too short and not too long.  I feel like it’s versatile too – dressy with a cute cardigan and heels or casual with a denim jacket and wedge sandals. It’s super comfy, the only issue being is that I’d need to wear a strapless bra with it, which is a slight annoyance.

This comes in a wide range of colours and I really wanted it in this blue floral print but they didn’t have my size; they do have it online though so I might just order it.  They have some really nice lighter colours too but I didn’t like how sheer the material was.  I suppose you could wear some kind of slip underneath but that seems like too much work for me so I’ll just stick with the darker versions.

TWO: Splendid Bandeau Top & Tunnel Side Tie Bottoms ($44.40 & 33.60 CAD – SALE!)

Ugh bathing suit shopping.  #torture You may remember this post a month or so I did on bathing suit inspiration.  Shortly after I went into H&M and grabbed a bunch of their suits to try on.  They looked great online, they looked decent in store but they were horrible on.  They were nowhere near close being true to size (even though I picked up some tops that were sized according to bra sizes), the materials were thin and I felt like they could potentially disintegrate after one use.  I’m not sure what I was really expecting coming from H&M but they were a huge disappointment and I walked out with empty hands.

I also gave Victoria’s Secret a try again, despite not really loving anything in their swim line this year.  As mentioned they have lots of slinky, skimpy suits this year which is fine if you like that kind of thing but they were really not for me.  I didn’t have any luck there either and I was feeling pretty discouraged.

Until this weekend when I went into the Bay and was actually kind of surprised at the variety of swimwear they carry.  I picked out a few options from Oakley, Jessica Simpson, BCBG and was about to head into the fitting room when I noticed this suit on a rack:


What drew me to it was the adorable corset-like back.  I’m also a fan of stripes so I added it to my haul and headed to try them all on.  I made my way through my choices which were all pretty disappointing and then I got to this one and I loved it immediately!  Both the bottom and top fit perfectly which I was really surprised at – I’m usually not a fan of side tie bottoms nor bandeau tops as I rarely get them to fit properly.  This comes with a removable neck strap so that’s nice to have that as an option if I so choose.  The material is nice and thick and it feels really well made.  Because it fits so well I actually feel pretty confident in this suit and I’m looking forward to wearing it!

Links to where its sold on the Hudson Bay’s website: Top & Bottoms

THREE: OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo ($9.99 CAD)IMG_7905Lately I’ve been really frustrated with my hair – if its raining, there’s a chance of rain or if there’s even a bit of humidity in the air my hair just falls flat and frizzes right up.  So I thought I’d try a new shampoo specifically meant for frizz as I was running low on my regular shampoo. I came across this and thought I’d give it a try.  I’ll do a full review on this once I’ve had a chance to fully vet it.   FYI the entire OGX line is on sale for $6.99 @ Shoppers the week.

FOUR & FIVE: The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil – $12.00 CAD / Almond Hand & Nail Cream – $10.00 CAD


This really isn’t a purchase I made on my own per-say but my mom picked up for me (thanks Mom!).  I’m in LOVE with this almond cuticle nail oil from the Body Shop!  I keep one at my desk at work and apply it while I’m on the phone or when I have a few spare minutes and it keeps my cuticles moisturized and my nails smooth and shiny. I love the brush applicator as its such a simple and mess free way to apply it!  I’m going to keep this one on my nightstand so I can apply this before I go to bed.

I also received a tube of the Almond hand cream which so far I am also loving.  This is light and creamy but super moisturizing and non-greasy.  It also absorbs quickly which for me, is important in a hand cream. I really like the scent too – it’s fresh and not overpowering.   I’ve only used this a couple of times but so far I’m feeling like this is going to be topping my list of favourite hand creams!ntil next time!