Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide For Men - Here's What You Can Buy For Him!

Some of my picks for a few amazing holiday gift sets for men, under different price points! Finding the perfect gift for men is no longer that difficult. Here are some skincare and fragrance sets that make for an amazing and practical gift for him!

The Finest Shave Deluxe Sampler For Him ($25) - I picked this up at Sephora a while back and thought they had a fine selection of products in there. The kit also includes a gift voucher that you can redeem for any of the products in full size, which is pretty awesome. The price point is perfect too! Available at Sephora and

Jack Black The Lip Balm Quad ($25)A limited-edition set of four, full-size tubes of Jack Black’s moisture-packed lip balms in Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Grapefruit & Ginger, Black Tea & Blackberry, Lemon & Chamomile. Considering how a lot of women like this lip balm, maybe you can steal one too! Available at Sephora and

Anthony Logistics for Men The Perfect Shave Kit ($55)- An expert shaving and skincare set with some of the brands best selling products all packed in a portable travel bag! Available at Sephora and

The Art Of Shaving 4 Elements Of a Perfect Shave Mid-Size Shaving kit in Unscented ($60) - The kit comes with a Pre-Shave Oil, Shaving Cream, Genuine Badger Hair Shaving Brush, and After-Shave Balm. My husband loves this kit & says that he had a shaving experience like no other :-) The Art of Shaving being a luxury brand that leans towards the pricier side, this kit is an amazing value and the perfect gift with quite a few shaving essentials! Available at The Art of Shaving boutiques and and Sephora.

Calvin Klein Men's Coffret ($35) - A small gift set packed with CK's best selling men's fragrances in 0.5 oz bottles. The scents include Euphoria, ETERNITY, ETERNITY Aqua and OBESSION all in travel size bottles! A great gift for fragrance lovers! Available at Sephora and

What do you think of these Holiday Gift Sets for Men? Will you be picking any of these up?

Disclosure - The Art of Shaving kit is a press sample, Sephora The Finest Shave Deluxe Sampler For Him & CK Men's Coffret bought by me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LUSH Sultana Of Soap

Sultana Of Soap ($6.40 for 3.5oz) is a creamy, moisturizing soap from LUSH made with dried apricots, Blackcurrants, Cranberries and Citrus extracts in a buttery base. It is also one of the sulfate-free options LUSH has.

Sultana Of Soap looks like a tiny piece of dessert, topped off with dried fruits and nuts. The fancy nut topping actually serves no use in the shower and finally tends to fall off as the soap melts. The soap itself has quite a few gritty, exfoliating bits that dissolve with the lather. Sultana Of Soap is one of the creamiest soaps LUSH has and melts like butter, when it comes in contact with water. Since it is super creamy, it also dissolves extremely fast, so be sure to drain all the water out, keeping it away from the shower. I usually cut these kinda soaps into a few smaller pieces, taking one at a time into the shower. Since Sultana is sulfate-free, it doesn't lather up really well. I only see a soft, creamy lather that also washes off extremely easily. It somehow manages to leave skin feeling soft and really clean, without drying it out too much. I would still recommend following up with a body lotion/butter though.

Ingredients : Water (Aqua) , Propylene Glycol , Rapeseed Oil , Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Helianthus annuus; Cocos nucifera) , Sodium Hydroxide , Perfume , Dried Apricots (Prunus armeniaca) , Dried Currants (Ribes rubrum) , Titanium Dioxide , Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) , Olibanum Oil (Boswella Carterii) ,Bergamot Oil (Citrus bergamia) , Sodium Chloride

Overall, Sultana Of Soap is a really nice, luxurious treat for those of you who have dry skin and like to go sulfate-free. The smell is divine and lingers on for a couple of hours, leaving your skin and shower smelling fantastic. It is a tad pricey and also doesn't last that long because of how creamy it is. My biggest gripe with Sultana though, are the big chunks of dried fruits that remain on the bathroom floor, making a mess. Other than that, it really is a rich, sweet smelling, shower treat!

Have you tried Sultana Of Soap by LUSH?

ZOYA Ornate Collection - Review, Photos & Swatches

ZOYA's new Ornate Collection for Winter/Holiday 2012! Ornate features six gorgeous colors in shimmery, holographic and metallic finishes. The colors include - Holographic Shades in Aurora, Blaze, Storm, Metallic Foils in Ziv, Logan and Bar Glitter in Electra. I'm so happy ZOYA finally came out with these three Holos - all that shimmery goodness without the actual chunky shimmer that is also super easy to remove!

First up is Blaze, a cranberry red with fine holographic glitter. The glitter is rather scattered through and doesn't feel chunky. The base feels a little sheer needs a good two coats for opacity. Blaze is also a perfect pedicure shade and looks lovely layered on top of any red based shade.

Aurora is a purple plum loaded with holographic glitter. This one probably has the most closely packed, multi colored holos compared to the other shades in this collection. The purple base has a jelly texture so drying time in between coats is a little more and two coats gives you a complete opaque finish. The overall effect is glossy even without using a top coat.

Storm, a multi colored crystal and holographic shimmer in a black base. My favourite amongst the holos. I love back nail polish with a kick and this one is just gorgeous. I only needed two coats for full coverage and the overlall effect is stunning!

Electra, a multicolored bar glitter packed in a clear base that can be layered for a special effect or worn on its own. One coat does deposit quite a few chuny, bar glitter crystals but is also difficutlt to apply. With a lot of patience, it makes for a chunky, shimmery, festive manicure. It is also quite difficult to get off so be sure to use a saturated cotton pad with lots of remover.

Logan, a green-gold duo chrome with a foil finish. It is extremely shimmery with a beautiful foil finish and is completely opaque in one coat. Again, the closely packed crystals in a shimmery base make removal a pain, but it is so worth it with color as gorgeous as this. The metallic, foil effect doesn't even need a top coat to look shiny.

Ziv, a gold foil with gold crystals in an opaque base. Ziv is a one coater and dries super fast too. The teeny tiny gold crystals make it a very special gold polish. My only problem with Ziv is the tiny gold shimmer particles it leaves behind. Other than that, I absolutely love everything about this rich, gold color!

Available now at

Price : $8 each

Zoya Nail Polishes are 5-free (Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP and Camphor).

What are your thoughts on the ZOYA Ornate Collection?

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

For The Home : Thymes Frasier Fir Home Fragrance Collection

"The aromatic snap of crisp Siberian fir needles, heartening cedarwood and relaxing sandalwood forms a refreshing bed of crisp, just-cut forest fragrance. Undertones of rich floral musk deepen and soften the resinous woody notes, for a scent that’s mountain fresh, yet cozy and comforting."

One of the most fresh, crisps scents I've tried, Frasier Fir, is Thymes' newest launch just in time for the holidays. The range features scents in every way you could make your home smelling fresh and green, right from Candles and Home Fragrance Mists to Soaps and Reed Diffusers. The packaging is beautiful, very appropriate for the holidays, that makes for an amazing gift too. A couple of products I got to try are the Home Fragrance Mist ($18) and the Poured Candle Tin ($18.50, Limited-Edition) both of which I absolutely love. The Home Fragrance Mist is a tad mild, but smells like freshly cut grass, a green scent that will leave the whole room smelling fresh.  The scent turns slightly more woody after a while and helps a great deal with cutting down and neutralizing food odors. As for the Candle Tin , it is a poured candle, packaged in a recyclable double-walled tin that looks as pretty as it smells. I've tried some scented candles where only a slight hint of fragrance is released, even after burning it for hours together. With this one, it only takes a few minutes for the whole place to be filled with a sharp, clean scent that isn't one bit artificial.

Overall, if you like green, fresh, crisp scents that have a hint of woodiness, but also smell as aromatic as fresh balsam, you would love this! The scent lingers around for a while without being too strong or overwhelming, but is sharp enough for someone to detect a whiff of it when they enter a room. It is pricey, but definitely worth trying!

Available online at and at select stores that carry Thymes.

Have you tried anything from the Frasier Fir Range by Thymes?

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Splurge vs Steal - Primer, Tinted Moisturizer & Foundation

Splurge vs Steal, a small series that I want to make it a regular around here. I try my fair share of mid, high-end and drugstore products so there's always something I stumble across for half the price of what you pay at a department store that is just as good, if not better. Let's kick off the series with Primers, Tinted Moisturizers and Foundations!


As someone with dry skin, I look for primers with a gel-creme consistency. Something more hydrating, but also something that takes care of my large pores and creates a good canvas for makeup. Some of my favourite from the pricier side of the spectrum include the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer and the Tarte Clean Slate Flawless 12-hr Brightening Primer. A really good alternative is the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer. It has a lovely consistency and works just as well! I reach out to the Rimmel a lot and haven't had any reactions to it. A real steal for the price I'd say!


Now, foundation is not something I wear a lot. I lean more towards the tinted moisturizers and BB creams. But, a couple of foundations I absolutely love are the Bourjous Healthy Mix and the Make Up For Ever HD foundations. Bourjois is slightly more sheer than the medium-full coverage MUFE HD. A couple of good picks from the drugstore include the Neutrogena Healthy Skin for sheer coverage and the Revlon Colorstay for medium-full coverage. That being said,  I would rather spend quite a few dollars more on a pricier foundation as drugstores make it really difficult to get your perfect shade matched. If you live in the US, check for availability of Bourjois from time to time!

Tinted Moisturizers

As far as tinted moisturizers go, it can be rather hard to splurge on something that only provides sheer coverage and a little moisture. I'm more of a tinted moisturizer person and one of my all time favourites is the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer which is quite the splurge. But, I've recently been loving the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream just as much. Its no BB cream, but a fantastic tinted moisturizer that I absolutely love. Both have a creamy consistency, the Laura Mercier one being slightly more thicker with a wider shade selection. But, they are the perfect bases if you like the sheer, dewy look with some sun protection. I love them both.

So, what are some of your tried, tested products that you have some affordable choices for? Do tell!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Laura Mercier Holiday 2012 - Mini Lip Glacé Collection in Rich Berries

Laura Mercier's Holiday 2012 Mini Lip Glace Collection ($48) features two sets of five mini Lip Glacés in Rich Berries and Soft Nudes. Rich Berries is a mix of pinks, shimmery browns and berries. The colors include - Violet, Rose, Cerise (Limited Edition) , Sangria (Limited Edition) and  Brownberry.

L-R : Sangria, Cerise, Rose, Violet, Brownberry

The colors in the Rich Berries set complement my skin tone very well and I can see a lot of medium/dark skin tones loving the shades. The texture of the Lip Glacé is like no other! It it smooth, the shimmer isn't chunky and feels ultra nourishing. There is a slight caramel scent, but definitely far less compared to some other lip products I've tried so, I don't have a problem with that. The colors are gorgeous and show up quite well even on my pigmented lips. As for the lasting power, it lasts a good 3 hours on me and leaves my lips feeling soft and supple. I absolutely love the non-sticky texture and the light weight feel of these Lip Glacés. They aren't overly glossy which is great when you want to look very polished and put together. 

L-R : Cerise, Rose, Violet, Sangria, Brownberry

Wearing Rose
Overall, the set is a great way to try some amazing shades of the Lip Glacé that otherwise retails at $24 each. I love the texture, pigmentation and more than everything else, the beautiful formula. They are just perfect to be worn any time of the year and look effortlessly beautiful! 

This limited-edition set is available online at and at select Laura Mercier counters.

What do you think of the Laura Mercier Lip Glace set in Rich Berries?

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Elizabeth Arden's "Pin It To Give It" Campaign

You’ve heard of ‘Pin It To Win It’ contests on Pinterest. Now, Elizabeth Arden revolutionizes social giving with Pinterest’s first-ever ‘Pin It To Give It’ campaign to help women in the fight against cancer. The iconic beauty brand is in the midst of a spa-inspired repositioning that’s transforming and modernizing the look and feel of the brand across every touch point. And through October, Elizabeth Arden is making being a ‘do-gooder’ as simple as selecting the “repin” button on their newly launched, official Pinterest page.

For their digital charity campaign, Elizabeth Arden teamed up with longtime partner Look Good
Feel Better, a non-medical, brand-neutral organization that offers female cancer patients beauty
techniques for managing the physical side effects of treatment. For every image repinned from Elizabeth Arden’s ‘Pin It To Give It’ board, the beauty brand will donate one Elizabeth Arden eyeliner to the charity with a total of 10,000 eyeliners.

Here’s how it works:

2.Repin any image from the ‘Pin It To Give It’ board and keep the #PinItToGiveIt hashtag in the caption
3.Elizabeth Arden will donate one Elizabeth Arden eyeliner to Look Good…Feel Better
4.Help women with cancer look their best!

Elizabeth Arden’s involvement with LGFB began at the program’s inception in 1988. To date the US market has contributed over 3.6 million dollars in donations and products. More than 700,000 women have participated in the LGFB program in the United States, which now offers 14,500 group workshops nationwide in more than 3,000 locations.

To find out more about Look Good Feel Better, visit

Have you pinned yet?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Launches from Sally Hansen & New York Color

A couple of Halloween themed collections from Sally Hansen & New York Color!  Available now at all drugstores!

New York Color has quite a few pieces out as part of their Sweet & Devilish limited-edition collection for Halloween. Featured here are the City Duet Eye Shadow- Devilish ($2.99), Demon Glow Top Coat ($2.49), Self Adhesive Eyelashes ($2.99), City Duet 2-in-1 Lipstick in Spellbound ($2.99) and In a New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in Blackula (Not part of this year's Halloween collection) ($1.99). I haven't gotten around to playing around much with any of these products so these are just some swatches. So far, the eye shadows and the lipsticks feel really buttery and smooth! The lipstick especially seems like a pretty nice formula and the color seems to be great for layering! If you are going for the whole devilish look, all these pieces with the self-adhesive falsies, the dark, vampy eye shadows and the glow in the dark topcoat over black polish fit the look perfectly!

City Duet Eye Shadow- Devilish

                    City Duet Lipstick in Spellbound
As for Sally Hansen, the Salon Effect Strips ($9.99) come with the cutest Halloween themed prints. Numbskull and How Corny, both of which are limited-edition are a couple of my favourites. How Corny was a little more thinner and difficult to apply than Numbskull. I do like the prints on these but they started peeling off within a few hours. Not sure why since I do get about 5-6 days of wear from these usually. They might last longer on you, so be sure to pick up if you like a print soon, as they're available only for a limited time!

Top to Bottom : How Corny, Numbskull

Will you be picking up any of these Halloween offerings?

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

BITE Beauty Honey Lip Lacquer

A high-shine, long-lasting waterproof lip lacquer made with pure manuka honey, BITE Beauty's new Honey Lip Lacquer ($24) comes in 8 shades of pinks, berries and nudes. They can be worn alone or layered on top of lipsticks and lipstains too.

L-R : Valencia, Gamay

Texture wise, these lip lacquers are in between that of a liquid lipstick and a gloss. They are thick enough go on like a liquid lipstick and have the shine of the gloss. The shine does wear down quite a bit after an hour or so making it look more like a lipstain. Valencia - a shimmery nude pink that feels almost like a clear gloss and Gamay - A rosy pink with just a slight hint of shimmer are two shades I tried.  Packaged in a glass case, they feel heavier than a lot of lip products would. I think they would have been better off in a squeeze tube as the wand makes it extremely difficult to get product out. I need to dip it in a couple of times to get a decent amount of color. The product itself is quite pigmented and goes on smooth but, I like to apply a lip balm when my lips are extremely dry. Texture wise, it is quite sticky and lasts about 4 hours on me and wears very comfortably. 

Ingredients : Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Polypropanediol Dimer Dilinoleate (Vegetable-Derived), Triisostearyl Citrate (Vegetable-Derived), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka) Mel, Natural Flavor, Trans-Resveratrol, Carmine (CI 75470), Siraitia Grosvernori (Monk Fruit). May Contain: Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77891, CI 77492, CI 77499), FD&C Blue No. 1 (CI 42090), FD&C Yellow No. 5 (CI 19140), FD&C Yellow No. 6 (CI 15985), FD&C Red No, 40 (CI 16035), D&C Red No. 6 (CI 15850), Manganese Violet (CI 77742).

L-R : Valencia, Gamay

Overall, the amazing selection of colors and the 99% natural ingredients list sans parabens and other nasties are two things I love about the Bite Beauty Lip Lacquer. If you don't like the heavy feel of certain lipsticks and the gloppy texture of glosses, these Lip Lacquers are a right mix that might work for you. The colors go on slightly more sheer on the lips than they look in the tube, but is perfectly buildable and doesn't feel overly thick or heavy even after a couple of layers. 

Available at select Sephora stores and online at

Have you tried the BITE Beauty Honey Lip Lacquer?

Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.