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Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe that 2014 is already here?

Yesterday I rounded up some of my favourites for you, including my top ten polishes and top ten nail art looks. Today I will share some of my favourite beauty and hair care products! Believe me when I say it was tough to narrow them down to just a few. Hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them, and let me know in the comments what some of your favourites are!!

 

 

This year I finally tried Butter LONDON’s Lippy, a liquid lipstick/gloss hybrid, and fell in love. My favourite of them was Wine Gums, second from left below.

ButterLONDON-LIPPY_2013

Two products that  I cannot live without are from my manicure essentials post: cuticle oil, like Qtica’s amazing Solid Gold and a cuticle eraser stick like the one below. (Get both at Nail Polish Canada.) Another great cuticle cream is Lemony Flutter from Lush!

SolidGold Cuticleeraser

A product I was excited to try this year, and absolutely cannot live without now, was Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour® Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm. I use this product religiously before bed, and it has helped so much, especially through the winter months. Speaking of which, it’s time to hit the EA counter for a backup….

EA_intensiveLiprepair

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is another must-have, not only because of the non-greasy texture that helps your skin look refreshed every morning, but because of its delicious, soft, natural essential oil scent. I literally inhale deeply as I apply this each evening – dare I say it is intoxicating?

Kiehls-Midnight-Recovery Con

Another new line I had the pleasure of trying this year was Kevin Murphy, an Australian hairstylist’s innovative hair care line. My favourite was the Young.Again.Masque, a deep conditioning treatment that my processed hair just loves. Another great product with a delicious, soft scent!

KevinMurphy-YoungAgain2

If you have long, especially chemically-processed hair, you must know that daily washing is a no-no. Dry shampoos are what saves us, and two I absolutely love are göt2b’s Rockin’ it Dry Shampoo and OSiS+ Refresh Dust by Schwarzkopf Professional! Both come in a handy spray bottle (so nice for keeping one in your gym bag), and both bodify your hair in the process. OSiS+ was even released in a triple-size bottle and was named “best dry shampoo” in Salon Magazine’s 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards!

g2b_RI_CAN_DryS_HRNWSKP-Osis-RefreshDust-TextShamp1One more hair product favourite this year was BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Finishing Treatment. Offered in regular and light versions and containing Marula and Argan oils, I never skip applying this to towel-dried hair. It helps protect your hair from heat styling, and moisturizes those pesky ends. And again, it smells so amazing!

BC_OilMiracle_finishing

 

I confess a love for… Dior. 2013 saw Dior launch the incredible Diorshow Fusion Mono eyeshadows, single pots of a gel-mousse eyeshadow formula that can be used wet or dry… and when used wet, they leave behind a metallic, high-shine, incredible finish. I am head-over heels! (Think it would be wrong to collect the other 4 metallics that I don’t have?)

Dior_FusionMono_shadows

And speaking of Dior… are you a Dior Addict? With the Mystic Metallics launch, Dior added a few more Dior Addict Gloss shades, including the lovely, nude yet sparkly Charm. These glosses are phenomenal for the range of shades that are offered, from wisps of colour to saturated hues that smell amazing, apply and wear phenomenally, and best of all, offer a non-sticky finish. Absolute favourite!

Dior_AddictGloss_364_Charm

Just a couple of months ago I discovered Dior’s Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil, applied to a wet or dry face to dissolve all traces of makeup, including pesky eye makeup. Rated as one of InStyle’s Best Summer Skincare Products for 2013, it is a godsend, allowing me to rub my makeup off and not leaving behind any oiliness. Love!

dior_CleansingOil

Finally, another new discovery for me was the Lip Glow from Dior – a lip balm that hydrates and also enhances the natural colour of your lips (in its original pink formula)! Below is the newest addition to the Lip Glow family, a Coral shade to be launched on January 15th!

Dior_Spring2014_LipGlow

I hope you enjoyed my 2013 Favourites posts!

 

What are some of your favourite beauty products?

~xo

 

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So today I am going to share a post that I’ve been wanting to write for a while… Some of my manicure and nail beauty regimen, in hopes that you will find it useful or even beneficial.

Please note: I am not a nail technician or a pro in any way, and don’t deem to be professional, but wanted to share some tips and tricks that work for me. 🙂

Nails and Hands:

Many bloggers who focus on nails are often asked how we keep our cuticles tidy and pushed back. It’s not always easy, especially when you have cold, dry winters like we do in Canada! My number 1 tip is to use a good cuticle oil daily (at a minimum). Even better, keep a bottle or tube by your bed and at your workplace, if possible, so that you never have an excuse not to reach for it. : )  Two of my favourite products at the moment are Qtica Solid Gold Cuticle Oil Gel (less runny and more of a gel consistency) and California Mango Magic Cuticle Treatment Oil available at Sally Beauty (which also happens to smell deliciously fruity!).

SolidGold

 

SBS-486022source and source

On a weekly or biweekly basis, I also perform some cuticle maintenance, which includes removing or pushing back cuticles. Massage in a cream cuticle remover (I am currently using this one from Star Nail) after you’ve had a shower or bath, when cuticles are soft. Let it sit for 2 – 3 minutes, and using a sandstone cuticle eraser (like this one from Star Nail), gently start to push the cuticles back, toward the knuckles. I love that the cuticle removing cream helps to slough off dead skin/overgrown cuticles.

Cuticleeraser

After washing hands, you can use your towel to gently push back cuticles once more. Utilizing the towel method alone is also great for those that don’t like using tools or nippers. Once my hands are dry, I sometimes do use cuticle nippers to cut only loose or hanging cuticle skin, nothing more! Please do not cut into your skin as that is very painful and can cause infections. (Trust me lol.)
My favourite thing to do next is to exfoliate my hands, using a hand scrub by brands like OPI, Qtica, or any line you prefer. I love the feeling of freshly exfoliated skin. : )

I generally also gently buff the nail surface after cuticle maintenance as I like to smooth the surface, especially where cuticles might have been. Want to take this a step further? Pour some olive oil in a hand soak bowl, enough to cover your nails and fingertips, and soak your nails in the nourishing oil for 5 or 10 minutes. Finish up by rubbing the olive oil into your smooth hands! (Note that this is not a good time to apply polish. If you need to polish, wash hands and rub a cotton pad with some alcohol over nail beds.)

Do you have ever get dry cuticles or skin around your nail? For that, I use a medium-roughness emery board, on dry skin only, near the nail without touching the nail bed. This is a golden trick that works like magic for me, especially when I am not at home and only have a nail file! Do not file your nail surface or sides as that will cause ridges and can damage the nail bed.

Make your manicure and hand care a part of your beauty routine, and you will see a difference in a short time. Most of all, remember that everyone, bloggers and nail pros included, gets hang nails, dry cuticles or nail chips!

Did you enjoy this post? And would you like me to share more tips and favourite products?

~xo
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