Can You Pull Off Orange Nail Polish?

Orange Nail Polish Swatches: Zoya Beatrix PixieDust

Orange is the theme of the month over at Canadian Beauty Bloggers.  I am not huge into orange makeup, but I can give orange nail polish a go.

Zoya Beatrix

The most wearable of orange nail polishes for me is Zoya Pixie Dust in Beatrix, a tangerine orange nail polish with a gold sparkle against the matte textured base.  Beatrix was released as part of the Summer 2013 Pixie Dust collection and you know I can’t resist Pixie Dust polishes.

This colour just works for me, I don’t look at my nails and think OMG Orange! As with all Pixie Dust polishes, it lasts well and is opaque in two coats.  Pixie Dust polishes are also easier to remove than most glitter type polishes and Beatrix is no exception.

Orange Nail Polish Swatches: Zoya Beatrix PixieDust

You can really see the glitter in this picture of the bottle of Zoya Beatrix.  The muted gold glitter doesn’t show well on my nails above, but it is what makes Beatrix such a wearable orange nail polish.

Essie Roarrrrange

Orange Nail Polish Swatches: Essie Roarrrrange

Going brighter and no texture with orange nail polish is Essie Roarrrrange.  That is four Rs in the middle if you were checking!  This one is from Essie’s summer 2014 collection and takes some getting used to.  No one is going to miss the fact that you are wearing a bright orange nail polish with Roarrrrange.  This is not quite neon bright but really bright and probably more suited to darker skin tones.  That being said, something about it just works for me.  It is much brighter than most creme polishes I would wear but I don’t hate it either.

Orange Nail Polish Swatches: Essie Roarrrrange

It does however make an amazing polish for Halloween with Layla Bubbly Effect Black Forest over it.

Orange Nail Polish Swatches: Essie Roarrrrange Layla Bubbly Effect Black Forest

For me, orange has always been more of a nail art colour.  Essie Roarrrrange works great as a gradient nail with a yellow for a summery look but Zoya Beatrix works great all by itself.

These are older polishes, but likely available at Nail Polish Canada.

What is your favourite orange nail polish?


L’Oreal Total Repair Extreme Ultra-Concentrated Urgent Repair Care Review

L'oreal Total Repair Extreme Ultra-Concentrated Urgent Repair Care: Review

I put my hair through a lot.  I always straighten it at high heat, it takes ages to dry and I colour my hair regularly. I am the poster child for damaged hair.  Typically, I find these little tubes of hair stuff gimmicky.  Many are just conditioner in cutesy expensive packaging but a friend recommended L’Oreal Total Repair Extreme Ultra-Concentrated Urgent Repair Care (woah that is a mouthful) so I thought I would give it a try.

I picked up the little pink tube of Urgent Repair Care for under $2 at Walmart (even better, there are coupons for $1 off any L’Oreal Hair Expertise product).  You use it after shampoo and conditioner, leave it on for a few minutes then rinse out.  Use Urgent Repair Care once a week for best results.

L'oreal Total Repair Extreme Ultra-Concentrated Urgent Repair Care: Review

L’Oreal’s Ultra Concentrated Urgent Repair Care is enriched with LAK 1000 containing reconstructing gel that deeply penetrates the hair fibre and this little tube really lived up to L’Oreal’s claims.  After washing, my hair was super soft.  It was easy to style and dried quickly.  Usually my hair is really frizzy and after drying, feels crunchy dry but it takes that long to actually dry it.  This time, my hair was sleek, it dried more quickly and friends commented thinking I had got my hair “done” before our night out.

My hair was cut recently so I don’t have split ends, but I still deal with a lot of frizz that makes the ends look messy, I did not have that issue at all after using Urgent Repair Care, the ends straightened and flipped like I wanted them to, and the softness lasted even after the next wash.  Even better, I needed less product to keep my hair styled too, which made up for the money spent on it.

L’Oreal’s Ultra Concentrated Urgent Repair Care smells great too, kinda fruity, bubblegum but not so much that you smell like a kid.  I have long-ish thick hair and there was plenty of Urgent Repair Care Treatment in the tube to cover all of my hair.  If you have fine/really short hair, you might even get two uses from each tube.

L’Oreal also has a Total Repair line of shampoo and conditioner, if they are as good as the Urgent Repair Care concentrated treatment, they would be well worth buying.

 Buy L’Oreal Total Repair Ultra Concentracted Urgent Repair Care

Slimquick Pure Zero Berry Drink Mix Review + Giveway

Slimquick Pure Zero Review

As some of you may remember, one of my goals was to lose weight this year.  The cold weather left me pretty much hibernating and not moving as much as I should so now I am making a real effort.  Slimquick gave me the opportunity to kickstart my diet with Slimquick Pure Zero drink mix to help speed my loss so I thought I would give it a go.

how slimquick pure zero works

Slimquick Pure Zero is specifically designed for women.  The BioGreen Tea in a berry flavoured drink with no artificial flavours or colouring while having zero calories promises to increase metabolism, reduce appetite, boost your energy, reduce excess water and more.  The main ingredient is the BioGreen Tea but it also includes some caffeine (so drink it earlier in the day) and vitamins/minerals.

Slimquick Pure Zero Review

You simply add the Slimquick Pure Zero drink mix to two cups of water and drink with a meal.  The powder dissolves fairly easily, but you do need to stir it for a bit.  The drink doesn’t taste chalky like some and is definitely better tasting than thick protein powder type diet drinks.  It does contain aspartame if you are avoiding it, but most diet drinks do – so…

I am into my third week of these, two packets in the morning and one in the afternoon and have lost 6lbs.  I have been eating healthier and moving more too, I am not promising a diet miracle, but if you need something to kickstart your metabolism, Slimquick Pure Zero may work for you.  Compared to last month when I really got serious about eating healthier, I lost 5lbs the first week (mostly water weight, I am sure) but only 3lbs for the rest of the month.

I wouldn’t say it necessarily gave me more energy, but not being a coffee drinker, I feel the caffeine boost in the morning!  It has however helped curb my appetite, I am not snacking as much and it is a good way of making sure I get lots of water as I am guzzling 4 cups just with my drink mix.

Click here to find out more about Slimquick Pure Zero or to join their 25lb challenge!

Want to win a box to try Slimquick Pure Zero yourself?  Enter here:

I received a box of Slimquick free of charge for testing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

If You Could Only Have Three: Essie Edition

If you could only have three nail polishes essie top three favourites

As I mentioned last week, I am trying to narrow down my polishes as if I could only have three to last me a month.  Last week, I looked at my top three Zoya polishes.  This week, it is time to choose my top three Essie polishes:

Essie Mochacino Bottle

Essie Mochacino

My nude was a toss up between Essie’s Chinchilly and Mochacino but Mochacino wins. Channel café cool with this taupe shimmery polish.   It is a chic, sleek and simply modern nail polish that pairs well with any outfit.  I find it leans more brown with my skin tone than the gray they claim it is.  The shimmer makes it really wearable and it is my go to neutral polish when I have to wear something work appropriate.

Essie Mint Candy Apple

Essie Mint Candy Apple

I think most Essie fans would have Mint Candy Apple on their faves list.  As bright as the bottle image look, the colour is a bit more muted and it picks up blues or greens around it for that perfect Tiffany Blue inspired look.

Essie’s adorable crème de menthe mint nail polish is perfect in any season. don’t be fooled by its sweet exterior, this apple bites back.

I don’t wear many pastel polishes, but Mint Candy Apple will always be a favourite.  It really brightens up your look without that overly bright look that puts people off the polish.  Do not be put off by your first coat of Mint Candy Apple, it always appears streaky but evens out to a great finish with the second coat.

Essie Coat Couture Bottle

Essie Cashmere Matte Coat Couture

For my third, I should probably go with Smooth Sailing, I love it and wear it a lot but since I already have Mint Candy Apple, another blue with only three polishes would be a bit much.  I am going with one of the Cashmere Matte collection, Coat Couture.  It is a deep purple shimmer over compelling greige that tops off any look with an air of mystery.  The shimmer is a pretty teal blue that takes the purple down a notch and helps the grey undertone not seem too boring.  Although this is a semi matte polish, it looks amazing with a shiny top coat and it really brings out the shimmer (base and top coat do not count towards my three polishes, that is unfair).

A special mention goes to Essie’s Effect polishes.  While I wouldn’t have them if I could only have three polishes, they can change the look of any polish and you should have at least one (or five) in your stash.

Essie polishes are available at Nail Polish Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and various other outlets.

Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches

Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

I love Essie’s blues and probably would have only picked up the two from the Peach Side Babe collection, but I am so glad I got the whole set.  The others suit me better than I would have thought.

Essie Private Weekend

Private Weekend Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

Pristine and pretty. sparkling and crisp. infused with subtle shimmer, this radiant white is a lovely luxe getaway from the everyday.

Private Weekend Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

I am not a fan of white polish, I only really use it for nail art.  I find it just looks too stark against my pink toned skin.  Essie’s Private Weekend, however, is beautiful.  The shimmer shows better in the bottle than on the nail, but it tones down the white on the nail to make is more wearable.  It seems more “real” white compared to many that have a slight silver look to it.  The formula is good for a white.  Let the first coat dry before the second coat or it gets a little bumpy and I had a few bubbles.  They smoothed out with a third coat but two was fine for opacity.

Essie Chillato

Chillato Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

totally chill out. cold and refreshing this pretty, frozen cream pistachio sends shivers down your spine.

Chillato Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

I really did not think I would like this so was surprised when swatched it and a friend said “oh that is super cute”. The photo does not do it justice.  Frozen pistachio is a great description, I can’t think of a dupe to compare it too, it is fairly unique.  The formula is a little patchy but evened out with top coat.  As you can see, it makes my skin look very pink, something to consider depending on your skin tone.  It would probably look amazing against tanned skin.

Peach Side Babe

Peach Side Babe Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

Sweet. Gorgeous. Hot. This sun-ripe peach tempts every sense with freshly-picked beauty.

Peach Side Babe Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

This might be my favourite coral/peach polish ever.  Peach Side Babe has a great formula.  It is a creme peach-coral without that chalky look that many corals suffer from.  This one was fairly opaque in one coat but does need the second coat.  Allow the first coat to dry or you get bubbles (I find this with most Essie polishes).  In different lights, this appears a little more pink than shown above which is probably what makes it so wearable.

Essie Sunset Sneaks

Sunset Sneaks Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

When the sun sinks low, kick off the evening in the height of cool: an opulent sneaker and this vibrant crimson red.

Sunset Sneaks Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

This one is like Flip-Flop Fantasy.  Not in colour, just in that my camera just hates it.  It is not as bright as the swatch shows.  It is bright though, think a geranium pink/red but the pink undertone stops it from being too bright in person. It leans towards coral without quite getting there. It has a great formula, less bubbling than many Essie polishes.  Again, one I would not have thought of picking up, but love in person.

On to the blues.  I have a lot of blue polishes, but these caught my eye when I saw the early press information.

Essie Salt Water Happy

Salt Water Happy Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

Soft and inviting, nothing says summer on the ocean like this sugar-sweet atlantic blue that stretches on and on.

Salt Water Happy Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

This is by far my favourite of the collection.  When I saw this, I was pretty sure it would be a dupe of many of the light blues I have but it is really unique.  This light creme blue has a grey undertone making it so wearable, even if you do not usually wear colours like it.  The formula is a bit thicker than many Essie polishes.  You can see the edge on my ring finger, it is noticeably thicker.  Not thicker than many polishes, just thicker than most Essies.  Think light denim blue.  The bottle shows some shimmer, but it is not noticeable on the nail.  Probably what makes it so wearable.

Essie Pret-a-Surfer

Pret-a-Surfer Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

Ready to suit up? Snap up summer’s chicest accessories – a surfboard and this immersive marine blue- and hit the waves in style.

Pret-a-Surfer Swatch - Essie Peach Side Babe Collection Swatches - Tea & Nail Polish

Essie Pret-a-Surfer is similar to Suite Retreat, a bit brighter and less purple/grey undertones.  This colour would look amazing with nautical themed outfits, jeans and is so wearable too.  Unlike most Essie polishes, you can get away with this being a one coater.  I left the second coat a bit further away from the sides on the middle two fingers so you can see how it is in one coat.

Essie Peach Side Babe is available from Essie, Nail Polish Canada and most drug stores.

Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere May 2015

Birchbox Cupcakes & Cashmere May 2015 Subscription Box Canada

My regular mailman retired recently, the new one is not impressed with the amount of mail I receive,  When my Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere box arrived last week, he knocked on the door, and stood there saying “you have a package, again”.   Considering they are complaining about mail declining, you think they would like the business.

So here is my Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere unboxing, reviews to come later

BeeKind Body Lotion

Bee Kind Body Lotion Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere May 2015

Taking a personal timeout to apply moisturizer is always an act of kindness toward our skin. But BeeKind’s products let us show some TLC to ourselves and the world at large. Made with natural skin conditioners like honey and organic chamomile, this natural hydrator absorbs instantly without greasy residue, leaving behind a zesty lemon verbena scent. Plus, every BeeKind purchase helps support a healthier honeybee population, which in turn supports a greener, more sustainable planet.

BeeKind Body Lotion is $19 for 8oz

LAQA & Co Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Menatour

Laqa&Co Lip Lube Menatour Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere May 2015

LAQA & Co. aims to arm women everywhere with not only the highest quality lip and nail products possible, but also the most convenient lip and nail products possible. From a day of errands to a friend of a friend’s house party to an impromptu selfie, this easy-to-use lip pencil provides high gloss and sheer color, no sharpener required.

Menatour would not be my first choice of colour, but it surprisingly suits me quite well.  I guess Birchbox knows what looks good on me better than I do!

LAQA & Co. lip lubes are $25 and available in a variety of colours.

W3ll People Expressionist Mascara

W3LL People Expressionist Mascara Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere May 2015

From splurging on extensions to stocking up on our favorite drugstore falsies, we go to great lengths to get the kind of lashes we wish we were born with. Now, thanks to W3LL PEOPLE’s all-natural, pro-grade formula, we can take our less-than-fluffy natural lashes to new extremes without subjecting them to harsh chemicals or dyes. The clump-resistant wand lifts and separates lashes, while the nutrient-rich formula coats them with luxe, glossy color.

W3LL People Expressionist Mascara is $27

RUSK Paste

RUSK Paste Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere May 2015

We can’t exactly go shooting webs from our hands like Spiderman—but this styling product’s superhero-esque action is, if you ask our opinion, better than what we’ll probably see in some of the big-screen sequels. The formula is filled with stretchable fibers that bind to each hair for maximum lift and separation. The web-like texture provides flexible hold without freezing hair, which means you can easily change up your style mid-afternoon.

RUSK Paste is $18 for 40z

Raw Spirit Desert Blush Fragrance

Raw Spirit Desert Blush Birchbox Cupcakes and Cashmere May 2015

Inspired by the Western Australian desert, this floral scent definitely brings the heat. It’s based around Australian boronia, a tiny pink blossom known for its sweet, citrusy aroma. Other notes include jasmine petals and violets mixed with warm musk, cedarwood, and sustainably harvested Australian sandalwood. The resulting fragrance is equal parts romantic and airy. Bonus: A portion of all sales helps support sustainable agricultural projects among Indigenous Australians.

Raw Spirit Desert Blush Fragrance is $50 for a 7.5ml rollerball

Do’t subscribe to BirchBox?  Click here to sign up.

If You Could Only Have 3: Zoya Edition

If you could only have three favourite zoya nail polishes

I was recently helping a friend plan what to pack for a month long trip.  She is using budget airlines in Europe so has to pack really light.  The thought of a month without nail polish is too much but she also wants some variety.  She got it down to three polishes and laughed at the thought of me managing a week with only three colours.

My first is an easy one

Zoya Nidhi Bottle Pic

Zoya Nidhi

Zoya Nidhi is my go to red nail polish.  Zoya describes it as fire-engine red with a subtle metallic shimmer.  It looks tomato red on me and the duochrome shimmer takes away from the OMG red nails look.  In the shade, the shimmer is gold, in bright light, it brings out the blue which for me makes it a keeper as many reds look terrible with my skintone.  I have loved this one for years, it was released in 2010 in the Sparkle collection.  Every girl needs a red polish and for me, this one is a keeper.  Plus, it dries quickly, is a two coater with great coverage, the glitter removes easily and no one else is ever wearing it!

Zoya Godiva Bottle Pic

Zoya Godiva

Vespa is actually my go to PixieDust but Zoya Godiva, from the same collection, is the one I would choose if I could only have three polishes.  The green on Godiva, while pale, is less neutral and doesn’t go with as much.  Zoya Godiva is a soft nude with a sugared PixieDust sparkle that makes it an amazing neutral/nude polish.  The sparkle gives it that oompf needed to wear on special occasions but is not so in your face that it cannot be worn all of the time.

This is where my plan of choosing three falls apart!  I have a red, I have a nude.  I have some sparkle.  What else do I need?  I love Zoya Edyta, it is dark and mysterious and shimmery but it is not the most wearable.  I am not a huge fan of nudes so as wearable as they are, Godiva would fill that hole in my stash.  I could pick pretty much any PixieDust, I love them but I should choose a creme (yes, I know, it didn’t happen,  I love glitter).  I would go with Zoya Tove if it looked as blue on me as it should.  Zoya Zuza i beautiful, but again, doesn’t go with everything and I think I need a dark rather than a bright since I have a red?  I adore Aurora, it is purple and sparkly and what is not to love which reminded me of Storm.

Zoya Storm Bottle Pic

Zoya Storm

Storm by Zoya can be best described as a full coverage black with a high concentration of micro fine diamond holographic glitter. Storm is elegant, powerful and versatile.  The glitter takes away from the vampy look, it goes with almost anything and is long lasting for a darker polish.  I remember the first time I wore this.  I had a manicure booked with friends and this had arrived before I left and I had to wear it.  They don’t carry Zoya at that spa but I brought it with me and asked if they would use it.  They were all oohing and aahhing over the colour.  Yes, it must be Storm!

I won’t get into the fact that deciding on Storm made me spend an hour trying to choose between Nidhi and Zoya Blaze!  If you could only have three Zoya polishes, which would you choose?

Zoya nail polishes are available from Nail Polish Canada or select salons in Canada.

Dollarama Buy: Neat & Easy Deep Cleansing Nose Pore Strips Review

Dollarama Neat & Easy Pore Strips Review

I was running low on Biore strips recently and headed out to buy some while shopping, only to find that they were really expensive that weekend.  I recalled seeing Neat & Easy Deep Cleansing Nose Strips at Dollarama for $2.50 and thought they would be worth trying.

I get gross blocked pores on my nose.  Noticeable blackheads, so I go through a lot of pore strips trying to keep it blackhead free.  The Neat & Easy Deep Cleansing Nose Strips package claims to “remove blackheads, oil and dirt” and also “diminish the appearance of large pores.”  Worth trying right?

Dollarama Neat & Easy Pore Strips Review

The ten strips are individually packaged.  To use, just wet your nose (they should only be used on your nose), remove the strip from the plastic backing and place on nose.  The Neat & Easy strips are a bit smaller than Biore Strips but still cover your nose easily.  Leave the strip on for 10-15 minutes while it dries and feels stiff.  Then, like waxing, rip that sucker off and look at the mess on the strip.

While I realize that some people do not find these as effective as Biore strips, I am in love with them.  It hadn’t been that long since my last application of a Biore strip, yet the Neat & Easy strip pulled out quite a bit more than I would usually see.  I put this down to the warmed weather and needing more sunscreen blocking my pores, but a second application a few days later found the same and already my pores are much less noticeable.

Dollarama Neat & Easy Pore Strips Review

For maximum impact, use after a shower when your pores are open to let these strips work their magic even better.  The only bad thing I can think of is that they bunch a little at the edge of the nose and could do with some slits to fit better.  You could easily add them yourself if you are quick about it as they start working once the package is opened.  They are stickier than Biore too, so be prepared for removal too.

Buy Neat & Easy Deep Cleansing Nose Pore Strips

You can pick up a pack of ten Neat & Easy strips for $2.50 at your local Dollarama compared to over $1 per Biore strip.


Essence Gorgeous Bling Bling Swatch

Essence Gorgeous Bling Bling Swatch & Review

I just joined Canadian Beauty Bloggers and the beauty theme for May is orange so I thought I would put on one of my favourite orange polishes, Essence Gorgeous Bling Bling.

This is an older Essence polish, and one of the few that I have used so much that I had to buy a new bottle.  It is a great burnt orange colour with a mix of larger and small gold flakies.  One of the things I love about Essence’s flakies is that they are not chunky and the polish feels fairly smooth even before any top coat is used.

This was one of the first colours with the newer shaped bottles so has that great stubby flat brush.  Gorgeous Bling Bling has full coverage in two coats.  Shown above with no top coat.  It is a great fall colour, but bright enough to wear now too.

The only thing I don’t like about it is the name, it just isn’t very Bling’ish no matter how gorgeous people may find it.

Find out more about Essence polishes here or check out your local Shoppers Drug Mart to pick some up.

Sally Hansen 18K Gold Cuticle Eraser

Sally Hansen 18k Gold Cuticle Eraser

I am hard on my nails, even more so on my cuticles.  I envy the nail bloggers who post photos of their immaculate looking nails.  No cuticles, perfect manicures and pretty polishes.  Sadly, that isn’t the case for many of us and we have to work hard just to make our cuticles look tidy.

Gold has become the new it thing in beauty products.  Gold in beauty products can help stimulate collagen, boost elasticity and increase firmness.  These are all must haves in most skin and nail products.  Sally Hansen’s 18K Gold Cuticle Eraser contains real gold along with quartz to exfoliate and moisturize your cuticles.

Sally Hansen 18k Gold Cuticle Eraser

Sally Hansen’s 18K Gold Cuticle Eraser is a squeezey pen with an applicator nib.  The lid contains a cuticle pusher with a exfoliating surface.  Simply squeeze the pen type applicator to release the cuticle remover.  Push the liquid onto your cuticles with the nib as the cuticle eraser is released.  Then wait a minute and push your cuticles back with the lid.  The exfoliating surface allows you to scrub away the cuticles with no damage.

Before scrubbing/pushing with the lid, I like to use my fingers to really distribute the cuticle eraser and scrub it in well.  This helps with target areas where the larger cuticle pusher may not get to.  It dries fairly quickly and you can see the shimmer of gold and the whiter quartz.

This cuticle eraser doesn’t make the cuticles come off as quickly as some.  Rather than leaving ragged skin and almost burning them off like many, it left the visible cuticle looking and feeling much healthier.  I originally tried this after removing a soak off gel polish, so you can really notice the difference after 5 minutes of acetone drying out your cuticles.

I still used a cuticle oil (I am a huge fan of CND Solar Oil) after using it, it doesn’t leave them that moisturized, but I apply cuticle oil regularly after any nail treatment anyway.

Sally Hansen 18k Gold Cuticle Eraser

Buy Sally Hansen 18K Gold Cuticle Eraser

  • Available almost everywhere Sally Hansen products are sold.  The cuticle eraser retails for $8-11 depending on sales/location.
  • More information here