Brand name vs Off brand Facial Exfoliators

I’m sure everyone knows what I mean when I say that the winter completely dries out my skin, it doesn’t matter how much coconut oil I use or heavy duty moisturizer my skin is still always dry. That’s were exfoliating comes into play, it’s such an important part in any skin care regimen but especially during the winter months.

I prefer a harsher exfoliator, I know most people tend to use a less grainy formula but for my skin, the only way to truly get the dry skin off is to use something harsh. Another very important key factor to me about an exfoliator is price. I’m all about saving money, some would call me cheap and y’know what? I’m okay with that so I’m always looking for the best cheap dupes for most products; below I’m going to talk about four different exfoliators, two actual drugstore brands and two dupes for them. I’ll rank them 1,2,3,4 to which one I liked the best and which was my least favourite. 

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub-  IMG_3398This product is a fan favourite. It’s the first exfoliator I ever bought and for the price you can’t beat it! You can find it at the drugstores but I get mine at Walmart because it’s the cheaper of the places coming in a $4.57. I love the smell of this product, very fruity and I love the exfoliating little particles in it. The ingredients actually state that the exfoliating parts are walnut shells. Keep that in mind if you or your spouse is allergic to nuts. Mind you, mine is but the walnut shells don’t bother him but just something to watch out for. I find this product gets most of my dead skin off but doesn’t leave my skin feeling too dry afterwards which some exfoliators can do. 

Equate Apricot Scrub- IMG_3400So this exfoliator is the off brand of the St. Ives one mentioned above, only it’s the Walmart brand. I can’t find it online to post a link or price but I think it was around $3.50 when I bought it. I found that this scrub was more grainy than the St. Ives one so I actually prefer it more just because it’s a little more harsh on my skin. I compared the ingredients and they are almost the same. This one uses walnut shells too so keep that in mind with this one too. 

 

 

Freeman Beauty Facial Creamy Scrub Apricot- IMG_3399This scrub would be perfect for someone who doesn’t like anything harsh, it’s super soothing and doesn’t have large exfoliating particles in it. It smells amazing too, which is always a plus in my books. I tend to use this more in the summer months when my skin just needs a little polishing but nothing too harsh, just a little perk up. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who has super dry skin just because I don’t think it will get enough of the dry skin off. You can buy this at drugstores but once again I get mine at Walmart for around $5, I’m not sure if this sell this version any though because they have been re-branding and marketing their product. 

Dollar Tree Apricot Scrub- IMG_3397his one is the cheapest of the group only 1.25$ at the Dollar Tree or just 1$ if you live in the USA. I really liked this exfoliator, it made my skin super soft afterward but I did find that it was a little slimy on the face after I washed it off. For the price you can’t go wrong either the only problem is living in Canada we only have the Dollar Trees on the West Coast so with me living on the East Coast it’s impossible to get unless I’m out West or go to the states. 

 

Rating 

1- Equate Apricot Scrub

2- St. Ives Apricot Scrub

3- Freeman Beauty Creamy Scrub

4- Dollar Tree Apricot Scrub

Kenzie XOXO

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Water Ice Levin Suction Black Mask

I hope everyone had the most amazing holidays! I know ours were wonderful. I’m so so sorry that I haven’t posted in a few months, things have been insanely busy lately. I’ve been working two jobs and we recently got ENGAGED whoot whoot which means I’m in the middle of planning a wedding! I’m going to be posting about the wedding planning and wedding as well so stay turned for those posts! As one of my 2018 New Year Resolutions i’m going to try to post atleast twice a week! Hopefully I can stay on track. 

So let me start by saying I’m always up for trying new skincare. Since I was 12 or 13 I’ve had acne. I had it so severely when I was younger that I was on antibiotics and I was always using masks and creams to try to clear the acne up. I was given this mask for Christmas from my dad and I couldn’t wait to try it! I’d never tried a peal off mask before because I tend to go for the clay or overnight ones. 

I haven’t been able to find this mask anywheres but the Wish app and The Showcase store which is where my father purchased it from. I do find it a little concerning that there is no ingredients listed on the packaging or bottle. I like to know that I’m putting on my skin. I even tried looking them up online but they didn’t come up…probably shouldn’t have put it on my face but I wanted to give it a shot anyways, beauty is pain right?

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First off, this mask is super powerful! It will pull out everything in your pores as well as the little tiny baby hairs on your face, also, it hurts like a mother trucker when you pull it off. I mean like really really hurts, I cried and ended up having to wash it off with warm water because I couldn’t bare to pull anymore off. I think I made the mistake of putting it all over my face when I should have use put it on my nose and T-Zone area. Last night I decided to try it again and this time I only put it on my nose and T-Zone, this time it was much easier to pull off and didn’t hurt near as bad. I noticed when I woke up this morning that where the mask was it almost looks as if it burnt the skin a little, it was extremely red and dry. 

All in all I will probably wait a while before testing this mask out again. Although it did pull all the gunk out of my pores, I just found that it hurts too much to pull off and I don’t like the idea that maybe there is a chemical in the ingredients that may have burnt my skin a bit. 

If anyone else has tried this before let me know in the comments what you thought of it! 

Kenzie Xoxo

AOA Highlighter Review (Shop Miss A)

Once again I’m reviewing highlighters, you guys are probably so sick and tried of hearing about them but I can’t help it, I’m obsessed, especially when they’re only 1$! I ordered this off the Shop Miss A website from there own line, AOA Studio and I wish I would have ordered more! They are amazing! They’re a baked formula which honestly I don’t normally like because I find they’re dry and not much pigmentation but these bad boys are totally different. I can use them wet or dry and they give the nicest shine to the cheekbones. They are too glittery which normally I wouldn’t like because the more glitter the better in my opinion but these surprised me and made me realize that sometimes just a bright shine is okay too.  I broke one but accident ( tripped over the darn cat) but it still works fine, just have to be a little more careful when handling them now.

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DRY SWATCHES 1) Icing 2) Sno 3) Cupcake

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WET SWATCHES: 1) Icing 2) Sno 3) Cupcake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICING- This one is my favourite because of the icy blue and silver undertones. I’m all about the cool IMG_3174highlights, I’m not always so keen on the warmer tones. I love how this makes my cheeks pop and it isn’t too dark on my fair skin. I prefer to use this color while it’s wet because I just find it has more pigmentation than when it’s dry.

 

 

SNO- This color is super pretty! It has very pink undertones but it isn’t too over powering.img_3175.jpg This one looks amazing dry or wet so I tend to use it dry just because I’m lazy and don’t always like to wet the brush haha. I tend to reach for this one when I’m doing a simple makeup look but still want a little pop of color on the cheek bones, I normally pair this with a peachy blush because I feel those two colors really compliment each other.

 

 

Cupcake- I love this color but it’s probably my least favourite out of the three just because Iimg_3176.jpg find it a little too dark on my skin tone. It’s extremely gold and would look beautiful on someone with a deeper complexion it just pulls way too golden on me. The pigmentation is amazing though, the best out of the group. I love using it as an eye shadow though because it’s the perfect lid color!

 

 

Kenzie XO

Bitzy Body Glitter review

I’m obsessed with glitter, I will fully admit it. If everything in my life could be covered in glitter I would be on cloud 9! I’ve been looking for some good loose glitter eye pigments for a while now and when I found them at Sally’s Beauty Supply for only 2.69$ CDN each I couldn’t pass them up! I only got three of the seven colors because I wanted to see how they worked but I’ll be going back for sure to get all of them! The brand is called “Bitzy” I believe it’s a brand created by Sally’s because when I googled it ( because google knows everything right?) the only place it came up was on the Sally website. These glitters are so darn beautiful it isn’t even funny, I’ve been adding them to all my eye looks since getting them and I plan on using them for my Halloween costume for handing out candy. Can everyone say MERMAID ( yes, there will be a post about that)! Anyways let’s get on with this review.

Aqua Shimmer- This color is probably my favourite because of how bright it is and how it img_3161.jpggives any look a pop of beautiful shimmer. You have to use a good primer or it won’t stick to the eyelids and I put a little setting spray on my brush or finger to help pick it up. This color has specks of silver and I believe some gold in it maybe even some green, it looks different in every light but if you’re looking for something a little out there try this color for sure.

 

Flashing Lights- This is such a unique color because it has a silver base to it but it also has img_3162.jpgsome purple and gold in it in certain lights. It’s probably the most bold in terms of how it shows up on the eyes out of the three I bought. This would be perfect for a New Years look or even for just a special night out or if you just want to feel like a princess, eh I don’t judge!

 

 

La La Lavender- This is more of a finely milled glitter than the other two which I actually img_3164-e1509203099721.jpgreally enjoy because I find it was easier to apply to the eyelids. This color is literally straight up lavender in the container, like when you think of the color lavender, this is what should pop in your head. BUT when you put it on it comes out multi colored, like a rainbow almost. It’s beyond pretty and makes any look just a little more fun! It has some pink in it, silver, green, blue, purples!

 

I would totally recommend these to anyone looking for killer glitter! Plus the price is right which is always helpful to the purse strings. Below are a few swatches of the glitter on my arm!IMG_3166

  • Aqua Shimmer
  • Flashing Lights
  • La La Lavender

 

 

 

 

 

Kenzie XO

ColourPop Highlighter Review!

As you can probably already tell I LOVE HIGHLIGHTERS! They are my favorite makeup product and I think they can honestly bring fun and life to every makeup look. ColourPop has the nicest glittery cream highlighters that I have ever found. They apply so smoothly and have amazing staying power. I think that the moussey texture in the pan is so darn cool too, I’m so easy amused by strange products.

Honeymoon- This one is my all time favorite. I love the blue and silver in it, I’m all about IMG_3156the cool tones in makeup so this one is right up my alley. I use this one more than any other highlighter in my collection. I’ve hit pan on it and I’ll be buying a back up next time I put an order in! Please please please try this highlighter, you won’t regret it at all! 

 

 

Stole The Show- This is such a unique color. I has a yellow base to it but also has gold and IMG_3151green reflects in it. I think this one would be flattering on all skin tones because it isn’t too dark but it also isn’t too cool toned. I find this one is also less patchy then the others when applied because there is more of a shine to it and not so much of the glitter. 

 

 

 

 

Hippo- The name of this highlighter says it all. It’s a beautiful purple color with gold IMG_3153reflects in it. This isn’t for everyone but if you’re looking for something too add some pop to your makeup look give this a try! I normally use two layers of this though just because I don’t find that the one layer gives enough shine to my cheek bones. 

 

 

 

 

Below are some swatches of the highlighters, I used flash for them! 

  • Honeymoon
  • Stole The Show
  • Hippo

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Topbox- Beauty box subscription

I’ve always loved the idea of a monthly beauty subscription box. I love trying new product but living in Canada, we don’t have many subscription boxes available and the ones from the USA have super expensive shipping. I was so excited when I found Topbox because it’s fully Canadian! Whoot whoot! It’s 12$ a month with free shipping so with tax is comes to 13.80$ which is a wicked price when you get to try 4-5 samples a month. Below I have posted the pictures of the products I got for October and what I thought of them! P.S I was super impressed and plan on keeping the subscription for a long time! Hope you guys like it!

 

Elizabeth Arden Push Up Lip Gelato- I thought these were really pretty colors but the IMG_3087package just isn’t practical, I never carry lip brushes in my purse during the day so I couldn’t re-apply these but I really enjoyed the texture of them and may consider buying a full size of a color if it comes in tube form.

 

 

 

 

IMG_3088Skin & Co Roma Truffle Therapy Face Toner– This is such a pretty bottle and it literally smells so darn good, it has Lavender in it which I love and it just makes my face feel so clean and soft after I use it. It’s made in Italy too which makes it feel even more luxurious. I probably won’t buy the full size just being I don’t use toner very much but if you’re someone who does, this is for sure a product you need to try.

 

 

IMG_3090Smashbox Photo Finish Primer– I had always heard so much about this primer but I’d never tried it until now so I was super excited to find it in my beauty box this month. It makes my skin feel so smooth and my pore so blurred. It helped keep my foundation from getting oily as fast and helped to keep my dry spots from poking through. I’ll be buying the full size of this for sure!

 

Eyeko London Black Magic Mascara– I love me a good mascara, I’m always trying to IMG_3089find one that gives me tons of volume and length so I was pumped to see this in the box. I’ve never heard of the brand before but let me tell you this mascara is the bomb.com. I gives so much length and makes them look so full! I probably won’t buy the full size though just because I like trying out new ones and I don’t want to spend that kind of money on just one.

 

 

Kenzie xo

Boyfriend does my makeup!

If you’re anything like me, you love watching Youtube, I honestly waste so much time watching beauty videos when I should be doing chores or getting work done but I learn so much from them and some of them are hilarious! I love love love watching the “boyfriend does my makeup tag” some of them do really well and then others…well they struggle a little, okay a lot but eh, at least they tried! The other night I was once again watching Youtube videos and I asked my boyfriend if he’d be down to do my makeup so I could do a blog post on it, he was actually down for it!

I layed out some of my less expensive makeup….I won’t lie, I was worried he might ruin some of it ahaha, it turned out fine though! Here is the list of makeup and brushes I gave him to use;

  • Ulta eye shadow palette
  • AOA Shop Miss A concealer
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Moonstone
  • Kleancolor eye brow powder in Brown
  • Maybelline Fit Me stick foundation in Fair
  • Essence eyeliner in Black
  • Elf blush palette
  • Kleancolor mascara
  • Real Technique’s foundation brush
  • AOA highlight brush
  • Random Icing brushes

I gave him the basic items and just told him to go for it, honestly he did a pretty good job, I mean not perfect but not too shabby, pretty proud of my man! Below are some of the pictures, I hope you guys have a good laugh, I know I did!

Kenzie xo

Disappointing beauty products

I always get super bummed out when I spend money on products that don’t work, now sometimes I know they just don’t work with my skin types or for the kind of look I’m going for but other times I just think it’s not a great product. I always love reading these reviews because I don’t enjoy wasting money so I thought I’d give everyone a helping hand to save a few bucks.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush- I’d always heard great things about this product so I was IMG_3049super excited to try it when I got it in a minis kit last Christmas, unfortunately I found it not be very pigmented and it was super patchy too. I wouldn’t re-buy it because if how expensive it is.

 

 

 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Moonstone- I have the IMG_3051Opal version of this and I love love love it. I get the best glowing from within look but I found the Moonstone to just not work with my skin tone, it didn’t show up at all on me and I found the product to be a little chalky. 

 

 

 

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome- I found this product just to be udder IMG_3053useless. It didn’t show up on my skin at all and it had no color pay off to it. Just wasted money.

 

 

 

Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter- This highlighter wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t amazing IMG_3055either…I just found that it wasn’t overly shiny or glowy and it didn’t last very long. I got it for free so I’m not too upset but I don’t reach for it very often. 

 

 

 

 

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara- This mascara did nothing for my lashes, I did IMG_3061find it to get a little better as it dried out but I just found the formula to be too wet and it didn’t lengthen my lashes at all. I like something that gives lots of volume and length, this did neither. 

 

 

 

 

Ulta Plush Drama Voluminous Mascara- I loved the formula of this mascara but I hatedIMG_3063 the brush. I was one of those cheap ones which did nothing for my lashes, if it would have had a better brush I think it would have worked a whole lot better. 

 

 

 

 

Nyx Trio- I loved the colors in this palette but they had no color pay off and they were IMG_3058extremely chalky. Normally I love Nyx eye shadows but this was just no good for me. I’ll probably pass it along to someone else. 

 

 

 

 

Joe Fresh Matte Sheer Tint- THIS IS HORRIBLE. It’s so yellow and it doesn’t stay on at all,IMG_3056 it breaks down with all the oil on my face and it’s so yellow it makes me look like a banana. Please no one waste their money on this. 

 

 

 

Kenzie xo

Fall Cold Essentials

Happy Thanksgiving to my beautiful Canadian readers! Let me start by saying that I love fall but I HATE the colds and flu that comes with the weather change, and if you live in Canada you know that our weather changes every five minutes so you are bound to get IMG_3009at least one cold a season. I’m lucky enough to work in a place that has GNC on one side of my store and Walmart super close so when I was feeling terrible at work last week I took a quick run to both and grabbed everything that would help me feel better in a flash because every Thanksgiving, my self, my boyfriend and his whole family all go camping so I knew I had to be feeling better by this weekend, and let me tell you I am! So here is the list of stuff that helped to cure this nasty cold!

GNC

  • Chewy C Soft Chews– These are so so so yummy. They taste like starburst but are actually just orange flavor and Vitamin C. I’ve been having three of these a day and I think they really made a difference in me being able to fight the cold off quickly.
  • Ener-C– I bought two of these little packets that have 1000 mg of Vitamin C in them so I mixed them with water and sipped on them during work, they don’t taste the best but I was pretty congested so I didn’t really mind.
  • Omega-3 Soft Chews– I haven’t opened these yet but they were on for buy one get one 50% with the Vitamin C chews so I thought I’d grab them anyways because I heard they help with heart health and we have heart disease in the family so it’s always good to have some protective measures.
  • Probiotic– These were on sale and there has been a lot of talk about how your health starts in your gut so I thought I’d start taking these too, they’re easy to swallow and I take them in the morning so they don’t interfere with my other pills.
  • Aloe Lotion– This was only 1.50$ so I grabbed it up, I use it in the morning under my makeup and it makes my skin super soft.
  • Vitamin E Ointment– My lips get dry anyways this time of year but it’s way worse when I have a cold because I’m breathing out of my mouth so I’ve been putting this on in a thick layer at night to help moisturize them.
  • Vitamin C Lotion– My skin was super dry and Vitamin C lotion is good for acne scars but I think it caused me to have a crazy bad acne breakout so I’ve stopped using it.

Walmart

  • Our Finest Lemon Ginger Herbal TeaThis tea is delicious and I find the lemon really soothing on my throat when it’s sore. It’s really cheap as well and you get 20 tea bags in a pack which is a great value.
  • Our Finest Mint Blend Herbal Tea– This tea is my favorite. I love having it after dinner and I love it for when I’m congested because I find it helps relieve some of the pain and swelling.
  • Blistex Lip Conditioner– Blistex is always my go to lip balm, it helps treat my dry cracked lips and it tastes great and gives that tingling feeling. It’s cheap and works really well.
  • Breathe Right Nasal Strips Extra Tan– I found these worked really well but I had to cut them because they were way too big for my nose and didn’t stay on. I found they fell off in bed too so I think next time I buy them I’ll get the kids size because I have a tiny nose. It did help me breathe better though, I could feel it opening my nose up.
  • Freeman Beauty Infusion Manuka Honey+Collagen Hydrating Cream Mask– My skin gets so dry when I’m skin so I found this when I was looking in Walmart and I thought I’d give it a try. I LOVE IT! It melts into my face and makes it so smooth and clears all the dry skin away. I love that it has honey too because it helps my acne. It’s only around 9$ too for a big bottle and you don’t need much so it’s easy on the purse strings.

 

 

 

 

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Review

I’m pretty sure I have the itchiest scalp in the world…okay probably a bit of an IMG_2992exaggeration but seriously, I’ve had an itchy flaky scalp for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the country which meant we were on well water without a water softener so our water was harder than rocks and full of minerals, which is great for your health but terrible on your hair and skin. I’ve spend a crazy amount of money over the years looking for shampoos, conditioners and oils that would help my dry dehydrated scalp. I was in Lawtons the other week, actually picking up body wash for my boyfriend when I found this brand called Thursday Plantation. I had never heard of them before but they had a couple different products on the shelf so I decided to grab the shampoo that was meant for dry, itchy, flaky scalps. I was drawn to the bottle because of the bright green color on it, I always associate good things with the color green, don’t ask me why because I have no sweet clue but anywho, I loved the idea of tea tree in it because I’ve always heard how good it is for a dry scalp but it’s something I’ve never tried. I’ve used this a few times now and I thought I’d share with you lovey people what I think about it. 

So let me start by saying it’s more expensive than most drugstore shampoos, it was $9.99 CDN which isn’t crazy by any means but it is more than I would normally pay, but if it keeps the itch away like it has been then I’ll keep paying that price. I love love love the smell of this shampoo! It has such a natural clean fresh smell it to without being over powering, I actually find it super calming, you can smell the tea tree in it for sure. 

It doesn’t lather very much because it has pretty natural ingredients in it but it does IMG_2993leave a cooling sensation on the head which I love. I do find it drys out my hair a little bit though so I have to use a deep conditioner afterwards but I don’t mind. The flakes on my scalp have been a lot less which is amazing so I’m hoping with continuous use that they will go away completely. I would recommend this 100% to anyone who is struggling with a dry itchy scalp and I will do an update in a few weeks to let everyone know if it’s still working or not! Fingers crossed it is!

 

Kenzie xoxo