25 September 2013

Witchcraft Nail Hardener Review

I once again, decided to get acrylics done on my nails because I'm just a sucker for the way it looks, but this time I had them taken off as opposed to ripping (literally. ouch!) them off by myself to try and save some of the nail underneath. That didn't really happen. They were still destroyed but they are starting to grow out now!

I would usually use my Essie Fortifying Nail Treatment, but I discovered Witchcraft's Nail hardener and I wanted to go ahead and give that a shot.

Witchcraft Nail Hardener

I have a sneaking suspicion (am I the only one who thinks scorpion when they see suspicion?) that my weak nails are more of an internal problem than just my acrylics, but nail hardeners definitely help...they just don't completely solve the issue.

Side note: If your body can handle it, (mine couldn't, it broke me out) Biotin is a really great supplement for hair and nail growth. I was on it for 2 weeks and my nails were significantly stronger. It worked better than anything I had ever tried. I wish that my acne didn't flare up when I was on it. See my Biotin review here.

Witchcraft Nail Hardener was roughly $10 here in Canadia! I bought it at my local drug store. I have seen it at Walmart but I do not believe it's available at Target. I use 2 coats of it before applying any nail colour and I use it twice a week (if I have the time!).

One thing that I liked about this product over Essie Grow Stronger was that it didn't chip nearly as much as the Essie one did and it takes a little more work to remove it - so it lasts longer if I need it to.

As far as nail hardeners go, I think I would reach for this one over the Essie one that I have been using. It goes on clear - the Essie one goes on slightly pink, which I would like if I wasn't putting a colour over top.

After 2 coats, it does make my nails stronger, but I think I naturally have weak and brittle nails - so nail hardeners will only do so much for me. If you're starting out with relatively health nails..it would probably work much better! Unfortunately, where I work...my nails get pretty damaged.

That's all beauties :) xx

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19 September 2013

Yasmin changed my life forever.

Today has been quite a hard day for me. I have been looking at and filling out paperwork and release forms for the better part of the afternoon and it has taken me a long time to actually get to this point.

This will be more of a lifestyle post than a beauty post, but with the recent events in the case - I feel like it's necessary to share this story and in the end this will come full circle, right back around to beauty and self-confidence, because beauty isn't skin deep - it's not everything. I hope that's something that you can take from this story.

I'm not sure how many, if any, are familiar with the class action and individual lawsuits right now against Bayer - I know they settled in the states and there are cases in the UK and Canada as well. Basically, the case is suggesting that Bayer didn't provide sufficient warnings and risks on their oral contraception Yaz/Yasmin and their generics. Suggesting that the oral birth control pills that contain drospirenone are 50-80% more likely to cause blood clots, PE's or serious complications - and that is understated while the benefits are overstated.

I am one of many people who developed serious, nearly fatal, complications while taking one of these birth control pills. When I started it, I was taking it solely for one reason - acne. I was younger and I just wanted my acne to go away at any cost. It was ugly, unsightly and painful. Unfortunately, at the time I wasn't aware of what that cost might have been or how insignificant the acne is or would become.

I was on this pill for nearly 2 years before I started to notice any symptoms at all, and even when I did - no one had any reason to believe that they would end up as serious as they did. I was not high risk to develop serious complications - I was 23, I was active and I didn't smoke. As my symptoms got worse, and I started to feel worse - stomach problems, I got off the pill and switched to another. Unfortunately, by this point the damage had already been done. At the time, I was very active..I was going to the gym on a daily basis and as days went on it got harder and harder for me to complete a work out. I knew something was wrong and went to my family doctor - his resident had put my bouts of difficult breathing and chest pain down to panic attacks. I took that and thought nothing of it. Symptoms got worse and I went back to my doctor who told me I should have a CT Scan done to be on the safe side as my symptoms were that of a pulmonary embolism- it was booked a week later.

It really wasn't that easy though. That night, I was rushed to emergency with the worst chest pain I had ever experienced so far. I thought I was having a heart attack. The ER doctor did a D-Dimer blood test (which tells if you have fragments of a blood clot in your system) and told me that it was muscle spasms and sent me home and told me to take tylenol.

That's what I did. The next morning, I spoke with my family doctor who told me absolutely not, that blood test is not accurate and told me to go for the CT Scan scheduled. I went to the scan as scheduled, and my doctor called me the next day to tell me that something came up on the scan and that I needed to have a VQ Scan and chest x-ray right away. I went for both and the VQ Scan came up intermediate probability, which meant that my blood was not flowing normally to my lungs.

I had a pulmonary embolism. I was put on treatment right away - Innohep (blood thinner) injections to start. I had to give myself an injection daily in my abdomen for 8 weeks before I could get an appointment with an internist. These were painful. The longer you're on them, the more painful they get. My abdomen was black and blue and had marble sized lumps underneath the skin. By the end of the 8 weeks, I could barely get the injection into my skin because my skin was so tough from previous injections.

I was then put on oral blood thinners, Warfarin. With this came lots more needles and blood tests. When you're on blood thinners, your INR (indicates whether your blood is too thick/too thin) has to be between 2-3. It's a very small range and it required blood tests 3-4 times a week and a lot of dosage changes to regulate it.

I was on these for 6 months and it took 4 months for doctors to regulate my INR - this meant that I had to get my blood checked regularly, 3-4 times a week for 4 months. I looked like an abused, junkie for a very long time. My arms were constantly bruised at the site and even switching arms day to day, the bruises never healed before another blood test came and I bruised that much more easily while on blood thinners.

Even months after I started treatment, I still dealt with the tell-tale chest pains and shortness of breath. It took me almost a year to get back to the level of activeness I was at before the incident.

Due to my reaction to this particular pill, and my history now, I will never be able to take any oral contraception again - nor will I be able to use the Depo-Provera shot, the patch or the like.

It has now been a year since I stopped treatment - September 4th, 2012. The reason I am writing this now, is because the class action lawsuit is underway and Bayer's motion to appeal the certification was denied 2 weeks ago.

I never thought in a million years that something like this would happen to me - apparently, I am not invincible! I took this pill because I had acne and it nearly killed me. I know that people believe that it couldn't happen to them, and that they are not high risk and the chances are low. Hell, I've had people tell me that it's completely 100% my fault and that I should have known better. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be cautious.

For any girl that reads this post and is on birth control, especially this particular one, I beg you to educate yourself. Make yourself aware of the symptoms and the complications. Know your body. Don't take anyone's word to heart. If I had listened to the resident, or the ER doctor who put my condition down to nothing, I wouldn't be here right now. That is what scares me the most.

Keep smiling :)

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17 September 2013

September 2013 Topbox Unboxing

I am very, very, VERY sad to say that this will be my last Topbox that I will be receiving. I have cancelled my subscription with the company - but rest assured, this was not a mutual decision. It was all me. I love Topbox, but I have decided to try a few other beauty subscription services right now. We had a nice run Topbox.

Anyways! I am also VERY, very impressed with my last box ever!

I knew that when I got the box in the mail (which is odd, because it never comes in a box!) that it was going to be a lot different than any previous Topbox's that I had received, and boy was I RIGHT?

I received the 'Chatelaine Picks' Topbox this month and to say that I am in LOVE with it, would be a total and complete understatement.

In my box I received:

  • The Porefessional - 3.0 mL
  • Katy's Perry's Killer Queen Sample - 1.5mL (also comes with 8,000 extra Shopper's Optimum points if you purchase from Shopper's Drug Mart - WOO!)
  • Redken Diamond Oil Shampoo - 1.7 fl oz.
  • Redken Diamond Oil Conditioner - 1 fl oz.
  • Zyderma HS Clarifying Cream - 30 mL
  • Cover FX Matte Setting Powder - 4.5g
  • Chatelaine Special Double Issue (I am so excited to read this by the way!)

I had received a POREfessional in an earlier box (and am still using it!) I actually really like it and will continue to use it.

I was really excited when I saw the 2 Redken products. I absolutely love the Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat. It is actually one of my go-to, HG, absolute favourite conditioners and because I only buy it every once in a while (it's kind of pricey.) my hair never really has a chance to get used to it - so it works fabulously, and flawlessly, every time.

I have never heard of Zyderma before, but I did quick Google search and I'm intrigued. I will have to give this a try and see what it does!

The absolute BESTthing ever about this box - and I mean BEST - is the Cover FX Matte Setting Powder. I have been yearning for this product for months, MONTHS I tell you. I was honestly still a little iffy on it because most setting powders never really do what they claim to do. So when I got this fairly large sample of it in my Topbox (which JUST so happens to be in LIGHT - my shade) I was really really excited.

Topbox how did you know I was wanting that product so bad? Y'all must be psychic!

Also, the Katy Perry perfume, it smells really good. I'm definitely going to have to try it out and see what it smells like on!

Reviews will be coming up from these products soon!

Keep smiling, beauties :)

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15 September 2013

Liebster Award!

Hey beauties!

I was just recently nominated for a Liebster Award by the beautiful Bex over at http://www.bubblyb.co.uk/ AND Tara over at http://taras-imperfect-perfect-beauty.blogspot.co.uk/. A massive thank you to BOTH of them for nominating me! :)

The Liebster Award is an award that's given to bloggers with less than 200 followers and it's to help promote their blog and encourage other bloggers.

The rules for the award are as follows:

1. You must link back to the person that nominated you

2. You have to answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you

3. You must nominate 11 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers

4. You have to come up with 11 questions for your nominees

5. You must make the bloggers you have nominated aware that you have done so

6. You can include 11 facts about yourself (this is optional)

Bex's 11 Questions:

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? 
I would like to see myself still blogging - successfully! This is something that I am so passionate about. If I could blog as a career about music, my life would be completely. The two most important things in my life.

2. What piece of technology could you not live without?
My phone, definitely! My phone has my schedule and I have a very busy schedule. If I had to try and remember it...I'd probably crawl in a hole and cry.

3. How would you describe yourself in 4 words? 
Passionate, friendly, dedicated and outgoing.

4. Would you prefer staying in and watching a movie or going out to a club?
It would depend. I love going out with my friends, but sometimes you just have to stay in!

5. If you could go anywhere in the World where would you go?
London, England and Italy. I couldn't choose just one. One day I will make it to both places!

6. What was your favourite TV show as a kid? 
Probably Figure It Out and Clarissa Explains it all on Nickelodeon. Does anyone remember those shows!?

7. What would be your dream job?
I went to the MMVA's in 2009 (Canadian music award show) and we got kind of a backstage look at everything that went on and we got to see how everything worked in regards to marketing and that's when I fell in love with it all. My dream is to work in marketing for Much Music.

8. What's your favourite meal?
Oh my god, fast food would be the Smokehouse Turkey panini from Panera. We don't have a Panera..but when I go to the states! My friend and I have this list of all the places that we want to try that we DON'T have here in Canada...In-N-Out burger is number one!

9. Do you prefer Summer or Winter? 
I prefer fall, actually. I know that wasn't the question..but I would choose it over both. If I had to choose, summer. I don't like winter, and winter doesn't like me - we're enemies.

10. What's your favourite colour? 
I am going to be a little abnormal, but I love coral. It's definitely my favourite colour.

11. Did you have a favourite boyband when you were younger?
I was an Nsync girl when I was really young. I am a definite fan of the Jonas Brothers, yes, EVEN NOW! They were a big part of my life and the reason I even know the friend I mentioned above. I am so grateful for them even though I've never met them!


My 11 Questions:

  1. What is your all time favourite song?
  2. What is your favourite TV Show currently?
  3. What is the best book that you've read recently?
  4. What's been your biggest accomplishment so far?
  5. Are you a lipstick or lip gloss kind of girl?
  6. What beauty and/or fashion product are you wanting right now?
  7. What is your number 1 beauty tip?
  8. What's your favourite candy?
  9. Beauty Product you can't go a day without?
  10. Top 3 online shopping sites.
  11. Do you have any pets?

I really enjoyed writing this out, so I hope all the girls I nominated enjoy it as well!

Night beauties :)

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8 September 2013

August Empties

I had a collection of empty containers hanging around and I figured I might as well do an empties blog!

Urban Decay De-Slick - I have finally finished this XL bottle of De-Slick and have decided not to repurchase it...yet.

Batiste Dry Shampoo - I have not repurchased this either. I still love this product and it's still one of the best, but for now I will keep using Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo - click here to see my review.

Smashbox Photofinish Primer Light - I have gone through 3 bottles of this and I still absolutely love it. It's my absolute favourite primer and I will be repurchasing this.

Bioderma - I absolutely LOVE this product and have already repurchased it, but not the oily/combination formula.

Epielle Cucumber Cloths - I picked these up for $2.00 at a Big Lots, and I love them. They stay moist and they remove my makeup when I don't have the time to oil cleanse.

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4 September 2013

Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Dry Shampoo Product Review

I believe I have discovered a NEW (to me, anyways) dry shampoo that definitely ranks as one of my favourites. I bought the

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

a while back in the states (in my haul blog) and I LOVE it. It is definitely one of my favourite dry shampoo's that I have discovered.

I was on a mission for a good amount of time to find a dry shampoo that I loved - and wrote a blog about it here. At the time that I wrote the blog, Batiste Dry Shampoo was one of the best one's that I had tried (the same one Harry Styles uses - just in case you needed to know!). I have since found this dry shampoo which could possibly give Batiste a run for their money!

There are 3 things that attracted me to this product.

1. The package design. I am a marketers dream and my own worst nightmare - the fresh and bright packaging is always the first thing that draws a consumer's attention.
2. The price. I pay at least $10 for Batiste and paid $4.75 for Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry shampoo
3. The amount of product you get FOR the price. Obviously I noticed the size of the product before the price, but seeing the price after seeing the size of product...I think it blew my mind.

I tend to use this product a lot and I find that I go through it pretty fast and $10 for not a lot of product kind of sucks, actually.

I had never used a Not Your Mother's product before I had purchased this product, so I didn't know what I could expect as I had no previous experience with it.

First Impression:

  • Batiste instantly shows up white on your hair, and I have jet black/blue black hair. Not Your Mother's did not appear to do this BUT it still worked!
  • It did not leave my hair sticky or dirty feeling, like I found most dry shampoos to do (generally if they're claiming volume).
  • I found that I used less product and I have been on the same can since I bought back in May!
I actually really love this product and have opted for this one over my Batiste (which has actually never happened!) for the last 3 months. I love the price, I love the product size, I love the product. I love the design. 

I definitely recommend this product to anyone who uses dry shampoo, I don't have to leave the house wondering if I have any white patches in my hair that I may have accidentally left...oops!

This is definitely a favourite for me!

Have a BEAUTIFUL day! :)
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