Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lush Karma Soap

I started using a new soap last week, and of course it's from Lush! I love their soaps, and I try to always treat myself to a slab of soap each time I visit a store. Lush's Karma Soap ($7.95/100g) has been my most recent treat, and today I'm telling you all about it!

Lush Karma Soap

 Lush makes a few products in the Karma scent, but this soap is the first product that I've tried in the range. If you've never been to a Lush store then you should know that they have huge slabs of soap sitting on tables. You can ask for the sales assistant to cut you a piece of soap - you can specify either by how much weight you'd like, or by how much you're wanting to spend. The piece in the pictures is 100 grams, which should last my about 3-4 weeks in the shower.

Lush Karma Soap

Karma is a beautiful fragrance, so I'm not sure why I'm only discovering it now! This soap combines notes of
patchouli, lemongrass, orange oil and pine oil to create a spicy yet lively & uplifting scent! The scent does linger on my skin for a few hours, but I normally apply lotion after showering anyways, and that kind of covers up the scent. This formula gives a nice lather, but nothing crazy. This just means that the soap won't melt away very quickly, and that you get more bang for your buck. Even though you don't get a crazy lather, this soap still does moisturize my skin very well. My skin isn't left with that horrible squeaky clean feeling, it just feels cleansed, hydrated, and lightly scented - perfection!

Lush Karma Soap

If you already love any of Lush's other Karma products, then you should definitely check out their Karma soap! I'm loving this scent, and I think that you will too :) What's your favourite Lush soap?

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial

I'm a huge fan of sheet masks, so I'm always ready to try out new formulas! My latest masking experience has been with Montagne Jeunesse's Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial* ($2.49). This sheet mask infuses aloe vera and green tea, making it both soothing and cleansing!

Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial

"Is your skin in need of a quick boost? Burst to life with our refreshing blend of juiced Aloe Vera and invigorating fresh picked Green Tea. The ultimate pick me up leaving your skin soothed and cleansed." - Farley Co.
Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial

This face mask comes on a large piece of fabric that is white with green aloe vera leaves printed onto it. This design is a bit busy, and I think that I would have rathered a plain white mask. The mask is a bit large, and I have a bit of trouble getting it to lie properly on my face. No pre-cut sheet mask is going to fit you perfectly, but I did have more troubles with the size of this one compared to others that I've tried. The mask didn't sit nicely on my chin, and I kept having to press it down.

Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial

Sizing issues aside, this mask was actually quite lovely! It had a nice calming aloe scent, and was very cooling. I think that this would be a great mask to use after being out in the sun all day! I kept the mask on for 10 minutes (the directions say to leave it on for 5-10 minutes). I then removed the mask, massaged in the remaining product, and lightly rinsed my face. My skin was left feeling very soft, and my face had a nice natural radiance to it. 

Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial

I think that Montagne Jeunesse's Aloe Vera Face Spa Reviving Fabric Facial would be great for anyone with dull or stressed skin. Like I said, this would be a great mask to use after a long day in the sun, as it's very cooling and calming. The sizing of the mask wasn't perfect for my face, but that will be different for everyone. Have you used a sheet mask before?

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Finesse Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo

I'm no newbie to dry shampoo - it's a product that I use very regularly. I wash my hair every other day, and I like to use dry shampoos on my "off" days, just to freshen up my locks. Finesse has recently come out with their new Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo* ($4.49 CAD/150g), which promises to deliver a clear formula. Ever since I started dyeing my hair dark brown, I've really been able to tell which dry shampoos spray clear and which spray white. When I was blonde I couldn't really tell the difference, but now I definitely prefer clear dry shampoos!

Finesse Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo

Finesse's Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo comes packaged in a tall blue aerosol bottle. This formula contains keratin proteins, which work to provide added conditioning and shine to the hair. Keratin also works to strengthen your hair, and prevent split ends. To use, shake up the can, and spray onto your roots from about 20-30cm away. True to claims, Finesse's Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo sprays clear. I found that if I use too much, you can start to see a bit of a white powder, but that's only when I get very heavy handed. I leave my hair alone for about a minute, and then I brush out the product and style as usual.

Finesse Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo

 I was surprised by the boost in volume from this dry shampoo, even though I don't really need any added volume. This formula does hide my oily roots to a degree, but it isn't the most effective dry shampoo that I've used. I find that I have to use a bit more product to get my roots looking great, and my hair isn't that oily to begin with. I don't think that this formula would work on third day hair, but it is a good product to lightly refresh your hair. The scent is very nice and reminiscent of a salon and it does linger in my hair for a few hours. 

Finesse Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo

I do think that Finesse's Kertain Protein Dry Shampoo is a good drugstore option. This won't become my holy grail dry shampoo, but I do still love that it sprays clear and gives a boost of volume. Are you a dry shampoo addict, like myself? What's your favourite dry shampoo formula?

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Wedding Wednesday: I Said Yes to the Dress!

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Last Wednesday I shared Dominique Levesque's Bridal I Found the Gown Bridal Sale, and on Saturday I checked out the sale for myself. I was very lucky to have two of my bridesmaids as well as Dylan's aunt and grandmother join me on this very special day.

The bridal salon opened at 10:00am, but we arrived at 9:15 and we were actually the first in line! When the door opened at 10, we were greeted by the incredibly friendly staff. My bridal consultant was Kesley, and she made the entire experience an absolute pleasure. She started off the appointment by introducing herself and asking me a bit about the wedding and my relationship with Dylan. We then discussed my budget, and she brought me over to the dresses to pick out a few starting options.

The first dress I tried on turned out to be a huge hit! I absolutely loved the dress - it wasn't what I ever would have imagined for my wedding dress, but it was gorgeous. The fabric was a white satin that gathered at the side with intricate beading. The dress had a strapless sweetheart neckline, and a long train. Everyone agreed that the dress was gorgeous, and it would go on to outshine the next few dresses that I tried on.

The next dress was fairly simple, and I was surprised by how much I loved it. It had thin straps, a lower neckline, and a flowy skirt. While the dress was beautiful, I didn't feel like a bride while wearing it. I went to try on 3 or 4 other dresses, but I honestly don't remember too much about them. They just weren't the dress. All of the dresses were lovely, but they weren't my dress. Then Kelsey pulled a dress and asked me what I thought about it. It was hard to tell while the dress was in the clear plastic garment bag, but I thought that I would give it a try. I stepped into the dress, and I instantly fell in love. I've watched enough episodes of Say Yes to the Dress to know that there's this magical feeling that you need to look for while dress shopping. That you'll just know when you've found the dress. Well, I knew. However, this dress was very different from all of the other dresses that I've been trying on. I was nervous that my family wouldn't also love the dress. I know that this was 100% my decision, but I still wanted the support and excitement from my loved ones.

I stepped onto the pedestal, in front of the mirror and my loved ones. I couldn't keep the ear to ear grin off of my face - it was obvious that I loved this dress. I could tell that my bridesmaids and Dylan's aunt were loving the dress, but Dylan's grandmother wasn't sold. She was still loving the very first dress. Kelsey brought over a veil, put it on me, and I instantly felt the tears coming on. That was the first time during my entire appointment that I felt like a bride. Kelsey was quick to hand me a tissue, and she passed them around to the crowd, where tears had already started to flow. I was in love, this was my dress. This was the dress that I had always dreamed of, and I felt like a princess in this gorgeous gown. But, just to make sure, I tried the first dress on again. As soon as I stepped out in that first dress, everyone agreed that it wasn't the one. I couldn't wait to get back in my perfect dress, so that's what I did! Now, Dylan's grandmother was sure that this was my dress, and I was so happy to have everyone's approval. We were able to send pictures of me in the dress to my remaining bridesmaids who were out of town, and to Dylan's mom. Everyone agreed that this was my dress, and when Kelsey asked me if I was saying yes to the dress, I was able to say "Yes!!" with 100% certainty.

Kelsey explained to me all of Dominique Levesque Bridal's payment and storage options, and rang me up. I would love to share a picture of my dress - I'm dying to share the news with everyone! - but I don't want to risk Dylan seeing me in the dress before I walk down the aisle. What's great about Dominique Levesque Bridal is that you're able to walk out with your dress, right then and there! My dress fits perfectly - I literally only need to get it hemmed!

Wedding Dress Shopping
Me walking out with my dress!

I want to extend a huge thank you to Kelsey at Dominique Levesque Bridal, you were absolutely amazing! Kelsey made me feel comfortable, beautiful, and special. She didn't try to pressure me, up-sell me, or rush me at all. If you're a bride in the Ottawa or Gatineau area, I would highly recommend stopping by Dominique Levesque Bridal, I don't think you'll be disappointed! I'll definitely be bringing my bridesmaids back to Dominique Levesque Bridal when we're ready to shop for their bridesmaids dresses. I was surprised that I found my gown so quickly, but when you know, you know. 

If you're married, I would love to hear the story of how you said yes to the dress! :)

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Travel Diaries: The Haunted Walk Ottawa

I've been living in Ottawa for four years now, and I think that it's about time I share some of the cities' gems with you! Ottawa is the capital city of Ottawa, and sometimes it gets a bit of a bad rep for being boring - but I couldn't disagree more! I absolutely love this city, and I want you to fall in love with it too :) Something that's been on my list of things to check out for the past four years has been the Haunted Walk Tours. My fiancé, Dylan, is really into reading about ghosts and the supernatural, so I'm surprised that it took us this long to take the tour. A few weekends ago, my best friend Jenny, and her boyfriend Wes were visiting, and we all decided to take The Haunted Walk Tour. 

The Haunted Walk Ottawa

What is a "haunted walk" you ask? Well, it's basically a walking tour of downtown Ottawa, and the tour guide points out haunted locations, and tells you stories of ghosts and other supernatural events. We really lucked out with our tour guide Margo - she was incredible! You could really tell that she was passionate about the tour, and she kept the group moving at a comfortable pace. The tour starts on Sparks Street, and you walk to the Bytown Museum, the elegant (yet haunted) Fairmont Château Laurier, & many other historic sites. If you're new to Ottawa, this is a great way to check out the downtown core. 

The Haunted Walk Ottawa

The Haunted Walk Ottawa

All of the tour guides do dress the part - check out Margo's get up! The tour is lantern-lit, but since we did the 8pm tour, it wasn't quite dark enough to need the lantern. The tour lasts 90 minutes, and by the end of the tour the sun was setting. 

The Haunted Walk Ottawa
Haunted attic!

The Haunted Walk Ottawa
Me and Margo

Margo told us that all of the stories that she tells have been researched, but it's up to you whether or not you want to believe in them. Most of the stories were scary, but I don't think anyone was trembling with fear. Since this is a walking tour, I would recommend it only to those in good health, and who will be able to keep up with the group for the full 90 minutes. 

The Haunted Walk Ottawa Selfie
Me and my maid of honour, Jenny

Cost: 
Adult $14.75 
Student $12.75
Child (6 - 12 yrs) $8.75
Note: We bought our tickets on Groupon, so check out sites like that for a good deal!

Rideau Canal Sunset
Sunset over the Rideau Canal - great way to end off the tour!

All in all, I would highly recommend checking out The Haunted Walk in Ottawa. They do have other locations in Kingston and Toronto, which I'm also wanting to check out. I think that this tour is a great way to get to know the city (at least the downtown core), and we all had a ton of fun! 

Have you visited Ottawa before? Do you believe in ghosts?

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