More Makeup by One Direction and a Giveaway!

Awhile ago I reviewed one of the limited edition Makeup by One Direction kits, Up All Night from The Looks Collection.  One Direction and Markwins have come out with more colors for select hit products, which are now available in type-specific sets.


3o3jMzpOTwm8YoklXKeo_ElectroGlamMascara_comp_Edit_smGive your look a jolt of electric colour, with this limited-edition trio of ultra-bold coloured mascaras for hair and lashes, in three heavily pigmented, buildable colours.   Make a subtle statement by adding a pop of colour to the tips of your lashes, or add coats to your entire lashes for a shockingly chic look. The more the better! Or apply to small sections of hair and swipe through for instant highlights.  Unfortunately, this kit is missing the all-around useful black mascara (which came in all the original Looks Collection kits), but it does include these three colors:

Why don’t we go there- Shock of blue
Does he know?- Pinkest hot pink
Story of my life- Amped canary yellow


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If you remember from my Up All Night kit review, this gloss was my favourite product of the bunch!  Liquilights Glow Gloss sparkles brilliantly during the day and illuminates under UV black light after dark. Enriched with natural oils and vitamin E to keep your lips soft and hydrated all day and all night.  Gloss can be worn alone for a pop of sparkle and color, or paired with One Direction crème lipstick for a bolder look.  It is a surprisingly good dupe for the Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss, one of my favourite lip glosses.  In the set is three colors:

Through the Dark- Electric glitter poppy lip gloss that glows to neon red-orange under UV light
Kiss You- Orange glitter rush lip gloss that glows to neon yellow under UV light
Taken – Powerhouse glitter pink lip gloss that glows to neon orange under UV light

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You know I love dressing up my nails, so I was especially excited about this set.  It features UV-reactive Nail Varnish and UV-reactive glitter that add even more sizzle to your mani, for nails that light up day and night.  Sprinkle the glitter over wet polish for a subtle accent, or go for the glitz and dip your entire wet mani in mega-watt sparkle!   It can be messy (work on top of a big piece of paper!) but coating your polish with glitter will give more zing and be longer lasting than ordinary glitter polish.  In each set is three nail polishes and three bottles of glitter:

Nail Varnish:
Happily– UV iced blue glitter
Moments- UV neon pink
Diana- UV 3D holographic

Glitter Toppings:
Kicks- UV snow cone blue
Not afraid- UV electrified pink glitter
Star– UV holo glitter


You can buy these new kits now at Macy’s, Dillards, Boscov’s, Stage Stores, Beauty Brands, and Lord & Taylor.

Keep up to date by following the official Makeup by One Direction Facebook page.

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DIY Pumpkin Pie Mask

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the US (and yes, as a Canadian I do think that Thanksgiving’s proper place is in October, but hey! When in Rome…), and to me that means pumpkin pie.  I looove pumpkin pie – in fact, it may be my favourite kind of pie – and a warm slice is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner.  I like to bake, so sometimes I make my own pie, and for pumpkin I make it with honey or maple syrup instead of sugar, and lots of cinnamon.  The awesome thing about pumpkin is that it’s not only yummy in your tummy, but good for a skin soak too – so here’s a DIY mask recipe inspired by pumpkin pie.



  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

Combine all ingredients and apply generously to your face.  Leave on for 5-15 minutes.

Pumpkin is choke full of vitamins A and C and also has an enzyme that helps to slough dry skin.  Honey is an moisturizing antioxidant, milk’s lactic acid will help exfoliate, and cinnamon is a natural inflammation fighter that will work wonders on your breakouts.  If you have sensitive skin, go without the cinnamon.

Unboxing From Jeju Special Memebox #46

Jeju sounds like an amazing vacation escape, especially during the dreary winter – but if I can’t go there, this Memebox is the next best thing! Jeju themed spa day at home, woohoo!

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Product Description: Melt away all oil, dirt, and sebum and tighten up enlarged pores with the Volcanic Pore Clay Sparkling Heating Mask. The high concentrate of volcanic clay, sparkling mineral water, and plankton from Jeju Island work to deeply cleanse, soothe, and firm up the skin.

How to Use: Spread the mask evenly over clean face. Rinse off after 15 minutes.

Oh boy, this mask looks like chocolate ice cream!! But don’t let its sweet appearance deceive you, it’s potent.  You can really feel the volcanic ‘heat’ when you first apply.


Product Description: The Yeon Jeju Hallabong skincare series boosts its richly moisturizing and nourishing formula blend with organic hallabong (a sweet orange representative of and cultivated only in Jeju island), kiwi, and broccoli. The Hallabong Ade Energy Peeling Toner is enriched with papaya extracts and black willow extracts which help relieve skin of excess dead skin cells, leaving skin silky smooth and rejuvenated.

How to Use: Wet a cotton pad with toner and gently wipe away from inner towards outer contours.

Mmmmmh this toner smells so yummy!  I’m not a huge fan of fruit-scented products, so this probably won’t become a regular in my routine, but it’s a really nice pick me up.


Product Description: Gently yet effectively cleanse away all dirt, oil, makeup residues, and skin impurities with a cleansing oil infused with 100% Jeju camellia oil. It’s extremely gentle and leaves skin highly moist and supple.

How to Use: Pump out 2-3 times onto dry hands adn softly massage over face. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

I love me some cleansing oil, though this 30mL bottle is strangely tiny for a full size product.


Product Description: Enriched with Jeju complex-organic broccoli, carrot, aloe, and asparagus extracts- Secret Nature From Jeju Serum delivers rich nutrition and instant moisture surge deep down into skin. It’s free of paraben, artificial coloring, benzophenon, talc, TEA, and artificial fragrance.

How to use: Apply directly on the skin and pat it in for full absorbance.

This is my favourite product of the bunch!  I love the faux wood cap and the glass bottle.  The serum feels soothing on the skin, and is here at the perfect time too, as my current serum is running low.


Product Description: A one-time sleeping cream packed with abundant nutrients from green tea cultivated in the Jeju island. It’s highly effective in soothing and moisturizing skin at the end of a stressful day.

How to use: Take out spoon from its package and separate the handle part of the spoon by breaking it apart. Use it as a spatula to scoop up the pack and spread it evenly over clean face. Rinse off with lukewarm water the nest morning. Make sure to apply the pack at the very end of your skincare routine as an overnight treatment.

Super cute! I love the concept, although I haven’t gotten around to using it yet because it’s one-time only, and I’m saving it for a special occasion.


Product Description: Relive, hydrate, and brighten skin with extracts from young green tea leaves, widely acknowledged for their soothing and moisturizing effects. More than anything they’re gentle to skin and can be used by all skin types.

How to use: Unfold and spread sheet mask over face. Remove after 15-20 minutes and gently pat to fully absorb remaining essence. Use 2~3 times per week.

This green tea mask is much better than the one from The Face Shop, although I wouldn’t choose it over a My Beauty Diary mask.  If I were in the mood for a green tea mask, I’d rather put on my homemade match mask.


Product Description: Replenish and nourish dry, roughened hands with honey-scented Jeju Canola Honey Silky Hand Cream. It’ll make your hands silky soft and help maintain a well-balanced moisture level.

How to use: Apply directly to hands as often as needed.

I haven’t used this yet, but I like the slim tube and the shiny gold text.  It’s a great size to throw in your purse!

Unfortunately, this From Jeju box is already sold out by now, but Memebox is always adding new and exciting boxes!  Right now I have my eye on Hair Salon box, hmm…

Click here to get a discount on your very own Memebox!

Use promo code BA26AM to get $5 off any $30 purchase in November.  Plus, when you click through to the link, you automatically get $5 off $100, or $10 off $150 at checkout.


Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System

Last month, an Influenster VoxBox brought me the full Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System.   The Clear Proof set comes with four items and are meant to be used together for the best effect.  Mary Kay also sells a fifth Clear Proof product that is not included in the set, the Pore Purifying Serum, which I did not get to try.  All products in this system are fragrance free.

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I love a nice, cooling, cleansing gel when my face is inflamed in breakouts.  This gel cleanser washes to a lather and rinses away squeaky clean.  I like this cleanser a lot as a dupe for Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser.  It has 2% salicylic acid, which is one of the number one ingrediants to fight acne.  Although the concentration of salicylic acid is pretty good, (compare to Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser, which has 1.5%), keep in mind that since the product is only on your face for a short time and then rinsed away, its effectiveness won’t be as high as a different type of product with the same concentration (for example, a toner…).


This is the worst product in the series – I forced myself to use it for a week for the sake of the trial, but I just couldn’t take it for any longer than that!  It is incredibly astringent and feels/smells strongly of alcohol.  Even if you have oily skin, using skin care products with alcohol overly strips your skin of its protective acid mantle, resulting in dry, damaged skin.  This product has 2% salicylic acid like the cleanser, but according to the Beautypedia, the pH of the toner is too high for it to even function properly (and if /r/SkincareAddiction has taught me anything, its to be careful about the pH of your product!).  Gosh.  For a salicylic acid product that actually has the proper pH and doesn’t make your eyes sting, try Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (click here to get $10 off your order).


This acne treatment gel is medicated with 5% benzoyl peroxide, a heavy hitter when ti comes to killing acne-causing bacteria.  It has a leg up on other benzoyl peroxide treatment gels, in that it doesn’t leave a film (I’m looking at you Clinique) nor does it make my skin itchy (Murad is guilty of this).  As far as spot treatments in general goes, its not as immediately effective as Kate Somerville’s EradiKate (which has sulphur and AHAs), but it does work.  Over the course of 3 days in my first week of use, I saw one of my persistent closed comedones come to a head and then dry up.  Out of this set of 4, this treatment gel is my favourite product.


One of the most persistent misunderstandings about acne prone and oily skin is that because there is too much oil, you don’t need to moisturize.  This is absolutely wrong!  Neglecting to moisturize your skin will cause it to overcompensate by producing more of the very oils that we don’t want (I learned this the hard way).  This moisturizer is a lightweight lotion, and best of all, it contains niacinamide,  which is an antioxidant that also helps your skin to increase the natural production of ceramides, lipids which keep your skin hydrated.  There are only two problems – first, the formula is so lightweight its runny, and its tube packaging makes it hard to not dispense too much.  Second, on the area of my face around my lips, this moisturizer gives me a weird numbing tingle.  Not sure that that is, but it’s a dealbreaker for an otherwise effective moisturizer.

All in all, the Clear Proof Acne System is a generally effective and wallet-friendly set that is suitable for people with mild to moderate acne.   The system takes care of the big essential ingredients for combating acne with products featuring salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and niacinamide.

The Clear Proof Acne System retails for $45, and you can also buy each piece from the series individually.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler

The Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler is one of the coolest things I’ve been sent to review.  This year there has been a lot of excitement about automatic hair curlers, and I’m pumped to get to try one myself!  The InstaWave is a hybrid traditional barrel style curling iron that forms curls automatically by wrapping your hair around the barrel and keeping it there with a plastic guard system.

THIS IS THE EASIEST WAY TO CURL YOUR HAIR.  EVER.  I am not exaggerating – this girl loooooves curly hair and has tried all sorts of things.  I’ve gotten perms and used rollers, non-heat methods, and of course, traditional curling irons.   Kiss InstaWave will give you a tangle-free flawless curl, every time.


It’s easy!  Brush through clean, dry hair, and taking 1 to 2 inch sections of hair at a time, place it in between the barrel and the plastic de-tangler/guard at the point where you would like the curl to start.  If you have thick hair, it may be easier to separate it into layers and clip the section you aren’t working on.  Press the Curl Dial to spin the guard, which will automatically pick up and organize your hair around the barrel.  After 5-10 seconds (experiment!), release your hair by pulling the barrel downwards.  You can alternate between curling right and left to create the most natural looking curls, or curl everything away from your face to really frame it.  To see everything in action, check out Kiss’ video tutorial:


  • Effortless – because everything is mechanized, all you have to do is click a button and hold for a few seconds.  The worst part about any other curling method is the wrist/arm action needed to get everything right, and honestly, after using a traditional curling iron on one layer of hair, both of my arms are too exhausted to continue.  Plus you can use it one-handed on either side, so no more awkward reaching across the face.
  • The curls last for a long time.  I was really surprised at how well they set!  For the past few years, I have been getting digital perms because I just don’t have the time to curl my hair everyday.  I also want to keep my hair from getting damaged, so I don’t use heat stylers more than once or twice a week.  Other methods, like braiding or using rollers, only give you a good curl for a day.  The first time I did a full head using the InstaWave, my curls lasted for 3 days, and while it gradually loosened, they kept looking good.  Granted, my hair is naturally wavy and coarse, and ‘takes’ curls well, so results may vary.
  • Multiple settings means style versatility.  I love every kind of curl, from mermaid waves to princess ringlets, and the Kiss InstaWave is great for a range of styles.  There are two heat settings, low and high (to a maximum temperature of 420), and by combining a particular heat setting with how long you keep your hair on the barrel, you can get different curl intensities.  On my hair, my favourite combination is on high for 8 seconds.
  • Clean – watching video reviews of other automatic curlers such as the Babyliss Miracurl, one annoying thing that stood out was having to clean the tiny compartment inside of the device with a special tool.   Since the InstaWave is ‘open’, you can clean it with an easy wipe down when not in use.
  • Control – with the InstaWave, you can choose where you want your curl to start, where to end, and what direction the curl will be.  On the Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret, which is twice the price of the InstaWave, you don’t have control over your curl direction!  You’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive model for that.
  • At $59.99, the Kiss InstaWave is the same price as a mid-range traditional curling iron, half the price of the Instyler, and a quarter of the price of the Babyliss Miracurl.  It’s the most low cost solution if you’re looking for an automatic curler.


  • when the InstaWave is plugged in, there is a mild high-pitched buzzing which changes frequency from one heat setting to the next.  I contacted Kiss and they assured me that this was part of normal operations (its caused by the circuit to drive the motor), and doesn’t effect the safety of the product.  Still, it’s kind of annoying.
  • storage could be awkward because of the guard – I have mine in a bag, hanging from a hook.

Check out Kiss InstaWave’s website for more info.   At the moment it is available in the US at Target, Ulta, and Amazon, and in Canada at Walmart.

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DIY Green Tea and Tea Tree Oil Facial Toner

In my last post I wrote about Apothecary Extract’s 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil and the versatility of tea tree oil.  Today I’m sharing my favourite homemade beauty recipe using tea tree oil, a refreshing and clarifying facial toner.

This Green Tea and Tea Tree Oil toner is great for everyday use (especially in the AM!) if you are looking for a fresh, blemish free face.  Green tea brightens your complexion and reduces inflammation, while tea tree oil, a natural bacteria fighter, work together with witch hazel to cleanse and clarify. With the addition of soothing lavender, healing bergamot, and balancing jasmine, this toner is an all around winner.   If you suffer from breakouts or oily skin, or need a skin wake-me-up , this is for you!


  • a dark colored or opaque 8 oz/250 ml bottle
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops jasmine oil
  • 3 drops bergamot oil
  • 3 drops lavender oil
  • 1 cup green tea, cooled to room temperature

The bottle you use to store this toner must be dark colored (forest green, navy, brown) or opaque in order to preserve the integrity of the tea tree oil, which reacts to light.  Either a spray nozzle or a regular cap will do.  I re-used my empty spray bottle from Lush, which is perfect because it is black.  This was a bottle of Tea Tree Water, which I enjoyed using – but I find that this homemade recipe is even better!

First, pour the witch hazel into your clean and dry bottle.  Any kind of alcohol-free witch hazel will do; I used Thayer’s in Cucumber (yum!!).  Then, carefully add in each essential oil.  If any of your oils come in a carrier oil (for example, my jasmine absolute oil was in a jojoba base), add twice as much.  Finally, pour in the green tea until the bottle is full.  You may have some left over – drink or discard.  I used Yamamotoyama Jasmine Green Tea, though most kinds of green tea will do, as long as it doesn’t carry fine particles (such as matcha).   Shake well.  Although it is not necessary, you may store it in the refrigerator for an especially refreshing toner experience.

Enjoy on a cotton pad after cleaning, or spritzed on face any time of the day.  Soaked cotton rounds over the eyes will give you an instant perk up to eye baggies and dark circles.

If you’re curious about the properties of these ingredients, check out Organic Facts.

Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of my all time favourite beauty tools – it is such a versatile ingredient, and can be used in a variety of ways!  Tea tree oil products are a staple for me when it comes to acne treatment and aromatherapy (in the bath, as a massage, or in the vaporizer).    So I was thrilled when Apothecary Extracts sent me a huge 118 mL (4 oz) bottle of 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil!

One of these giant bottles will last you a long time!

Apothecary Extracts also sent an eBook with over 50 recipes using tea tree oil, ranging from facial lotion to shampoo to household cleanser!  100% pure means that a little bit goes a long way.  For example, in a recipe for facial toner, only a dozen drops are required for a potent formula.  Tea tree oil can also be spot applied directly onto problem areas such as on pimples (be careful, it’s strong!).  My bottle from Apothecary Extracts still looks full, even after whipping up a couple of recipes with it and using it for spot treatments.  I expect it will last me a long long time.

Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil plus the free recipe eBook can be purchased on Amazon for $24.99.

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