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Sunday, 6 May 2018

LBH April Favourites: Josie Maran Highlighter, Sensodyne Toothpaste, Natracare Panty Liners

My Monthly Favourites is a tad late due to the fact that this past week has been the proverbial week from hell.  The family pet was rushed to hospital and stayed there for 2 days.  Turns out our furbaby has pancreatitis.  Administering the painkillers and meds twice daily has been stressful for him and us.  Who knew he was a champion spitter and is now able to spit his pill halfway across the room?  We've tried everything such as hiding the pill in his food but he is on to us.  Any suggestions, please shoot them my way! Suffice to say that my heart hurts... Anyway, you didn't come here to read about me wringing my hands over the furbaby so let's get on with it.  I repurchased the Josie Maran stick highlighter, called the Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand because I love it so much.

When I am feeling and looking particularly careworn and haggard (which has been quite often of late), this highlighter adds a lovely, subtle glow.  It is a golden peachy shade that is perfect for everyday and not just special occasions.  My first one lasted almost 2 years so it really is good value for money.
Now on to something a little less glamorous.  I was inordinately pleased to see that a Noah's had opened up near where I live.  If you live in the Six, then you will know that Noah's is a local healthy living store.  I popped in and walked out with a box of Natracare panty liners.

I have wanted a more natural, eco-friendly alternative to the usual plastic riddled panty liner for a while so was really pleased to pick these up.  They have an organic cotton cover and are plastic free, perfume free and chlorine free.  The ones shown above are the curved version.  I thought that the term "curved" was referring to the curved sides but it is also referring to the fact that they don't lie flat but are pre-shaped into a slight U shape to conform to your body.  How clever!  So far, so good.  I can't believe that I am talking about feminine hygiene products on the internet (!!) but all in a good cause, huh?
Continuing on with the basic but necessary theme is Sensodyne toothpaste (and yes, a highlighter that makes me look less deathly is a necessity).  A side effect of my rather annoying health issue is inflamed gums and sensitive teeth. They became so sensitive that a cold wind blowing against them would send off twinges of pain.   I was rather doubtful about switching to Sensodyne toothpaste as I have been a steadfast Crest girl for years if not my whole life.

It didn't happen overnight, however, slowly but surely, so gradually that I didn't even notice it, my teeth stopped being so bonejarringly sensitive.  I am most definitely a convert now.

And that's it for April!

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Unisex Skincare and Makeup for Men: The Ordinary HA Blur and Photography Fluid

After listening to me rave about The Ordinary for yonks, Monsieur finally went with me to The Abnormal Beauty Company to check out the goods.  I love the minimal packaging.  No girly colours or flowery ribbons that might send Monsieur running out the door.  Monsieur has really good skin but, like all of us, was becoming concerned about the telltale passage of time.  He picked out The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion.

Monsieur's verdict so far is a thumbs up.  The fine lines on his forehead and around his eyes that were bothering him (let me insert here, in case he reads this, that I never noticed these lines) have softened and the few areas of milia have gone down.
Surprisingly, when I showed him the HA Blur by demonstrating it on the back of my hand, he picked that up as well.  Haha, I should get a sales job there.  Apparently, I can sell their products to men!  It is a silicone product that subtly smooths over fine lines and disguises minor skin discolourations.  It is transparent so it isn't obvious that he is wearing "makeup."  Basically, after smoothing this over the problem areas on your face, you look as if there is a soft focus filter beaming down from the heavens onto your face.  I think we were so bowled over by the fact that Monsieur had finally agreed to go with me to a skincare slash beauty store that we got a bit carried away.  The next pickup was the Photography Fluid.

It is a white pearlescent fluid that is described as a transparent foundation.  Again, this is something that a man could wear to make his skin and complexion look better without looking like he is wearing "makeup."
While I was in the store, I noticed that there was a new Vitamin C product in their Vitamin C lineup.  If you are a longtime reader of this blog, you will know that I love the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%.  It does have a gritty texture that might be off putting to some and makes it difficult to wear under makeup.  So I picked up a tube of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% which has a smooth texture.  I am hoping that I can wear it under makeup without any pilling effects.  I noticed as well that The Ordinary offers Vitamin C powder that you can mix into your moisturizer.  I might pick that up next time I am in the store.

Luckily, The Ordinary is wonderfully easy on the wallet as my home now houses another convert!

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 9 April 2018

LBH March Favourites: Waterpik Complete Care Sonic Toothbrush and Water Flosser, Nude by Nature

Life has been a bit of a bumpy ride of late.   It started with a flat tire and then went rolling downhill at lightning speed.  But you didn't come here to hear me moan and groan, did you?  So, let's get on with it!  I had a milestone birthday in March and received the Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush.


I am obsessed with the toothbrush.  There is something wonderfully soothing about just standing at the bathroom sink whilst half asleep and letting the brush whir away inside one's mouth.  It turns off after 2 minutes and, more often than not, I am roused from my meditative trance by the toothbrush turning off.  The water flosser is just like the ones at the dentist that squirt water into one's mouth.  You can even fill it with mouthwash instead of water.  My teeth have never been so clean.  Honestly, I don't think I will ever go back to a manual toothbrush.
Next up, is Nude by Nature.  This is an Australian brand (woot!) which I have been itching to try out for yonks.  Finally, it is now being carried in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart.  Their claim to fame is that their products are composed of 100% naturally derived ingredients with no synthetics.  They are cruelty-free and PETA certified.  The packaging is gorgeous.  Perhaps I am a shallow creature but I find the cheap plastic packaging and garish labels on cosmetics typically carried in health food stores to be quite off-putting.  

I am currently testing out the Moisture Shine Lipstick in Blush Pink which is a pinky nude.  It has the typical waxy lipstick scent and the formula is not the creamiest I have ever come across but still quite comfortable.  There wasn't a huge selection of shades to choose from.  The lipstick was $23.00 which puts this brand at the very top end of what is essentially a drugstore line. Admittedly, I picked out the lipstick because of the magnetic cap which gives off the most satisfying click.  I am thinking of trying out the highlighter next.

Touch of Glow Highlighter Stick by Nude by Nature

The rose gold tube reminds me of the Josie Maran highlighter stick which is a huge favourite of mine.  If it has a magnetic cap, I am sold!

That's it for March.  Do you have sonic toothbrush?  Let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

LBH February Favourites: Batch Cooking with the Instant Pot, Takenaka Bento Box, NYX Stockholm Palette

With a full time job and a painfully long commute, organizing my free time is more important than ever.  Monsieur bought an Instant Pot a few months back and it languished in a corner of the dining room for weeks while we debated whether or not we had morphed into one of those people endlessly raving about the advantages of a slow cooker.

BUT...this is not your grandma's slow cooker.  Oh no!  It's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute, steamer, and warmer.  It even bakes cakes and boils eggs.  Batch cooking is a lifesaver if you are keen on menu planning and are pressed for time.  We've cooked a whole chicken in it and it was the tenderest juiciest chicken  we'd ever had.  Do you have an Instant Pot?  Suggestions on what to cook in it are welcome!
In days of yore, I used to buy my lunches.  Huge, heavy lunches caused my waistline to steadily creep outward, made me sleepy and was unkind to my wallet.  Now I am determined to bring packed lunches  to work.  I'm obsessed with my bento box.

I really didn't want a bento box that was covered in pictures of Hello Kitty (although I love Hello Kitty) and this white one from Takenaka fits the bill to a minimalist "T".  It has two tiers and the lid clips everything together.

It even comes with a fork.  Packing a healthy lunch is a breeze and opening up my bento box at lunchtime is like opening a present to myself every day.
Last but not least is the NYX Stockholm palette.  I have mentioned this in a previous post but it really has become a firm favourite of mine.   NYX brought out a range of palettes named after various cities around the world and the Stockholm palette caught my eye immediately.

The warm toned colours really suit my skin.  I don't experience any fallout and they are longlasting.  The palette even comes with a matte lip cream.  The lip cream has a doe foot applicator.  There is a strong vanilla scent which I don't mind at all.  It isn't particularly longwearing and my lips do feel a bit dry after awhile but I like the rose nude shade a lot.  The inclusion of a lippie and the incredibly affordable price point makes this palette a winner in my book.  Have you tried any other NYX city palettes?
That's it for February!  I can't believe we are now into March as it snowed a few days ago.  I am already thinking about my Spring Capsule Wardrobe and can't wait to pack away my winter woollies and bring out lighter clothes.  What about you?  Are you experiencing cabin fever like me?

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

LBH Weekly Roundup: Getting My Groceries Delivered and Shopping Online with Grocery Gateway

I have come to loathe shopping for groceries.  There I said it.  Ever since starting the day job which involves hours of sitting in rush hour traffic, any time for procuring groceries has evaporated like the morning mist.  Added to this time crunch was the fact that I could only buy as much as I could carry.  Even that was tough due to health issues.  A couple of full tote bags would cause pain that would last 24 hours and beyond.  However, with an invalid, disabled partner at home, there was no choice or so I thought.  Now, for the longest time, I used to laugh at people who ordered their groceries online.  What?  They couldn't be half arsed to go and get food that would keep them alive?  Well, I eat my words (notice the play on words?).  Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and began ordering my groceries from Grocery Gateway.  

The service is brilliant.  The delivery person will happily bring your order right into your kitchen or pantry.  No more schlepping to the grocery store, wandering the aisles in a daze and then heaving it all back.  You can choose various timeslots and what day you want your order delivered.  They will deliver up to 10pm and you can modify your order up to 11pm the night before delivery.  Yes, my grocery bill has gone up as I am buying what I need from one place instead of going to 2 or 3 different stores, chasing sales.  However, the benefits to my health and sanity are well worth it.  The terrible pains have disappeared and it is one stressful chore that has been eliminated.  I can't recommend it highly enough. This is not a sponsored post but if you leave your email address in the comments section, I can send you a referral email so that you will get $10 off your first order and so will I.

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

LBH January Monthly Favourites: Shopping the Sales, J Crew, Banana Republic

Wow, I can't believe January is winding down. What with starting a new job and a partner who has been housebound for almost the entirety of January, the month has flashed by.  The new job caused a bit of a concern on the wardrobe front.  The thing with having a capsule wardrobe is that any gaps tend to make themselves glaringly known especially if one is starting an office job after a long while working from home.  Thank goodness for the January sales where it is possible to pick up much needed items at a good price.  Perhaps I should have titled this post, "How to Shop the Sales."  Believe me when I say that I have made many shopping mistakes in the past, lured by the low price tag.  Having a shopping list and knowing what looks good on me and what my style is has helped enormously in cutting down on costly mistakes.  Even if the price is cheap, if it is a mistake and you know that you will never wear it, then it is still money wasted. Top of my list was a pair of tailored trousers.  I picked up this basic pair of black wool tailored trousers at J Crew at 50% off.
via J Crew

You can't go wrong with a pair of straightforward tailored pants and they really are a staple item in any wardrobe.  
Next I picked up a gorgeous navy velvet skirt from Banana Republic.

via Banana Republic

What's not to love about navy velvet?  I am crushing hard on this addition to my wardrobe.  It can go from work to evening with ease and the velvet adds that bit of discreet glamour to what would otherwise be a standard pencil skirt. 

That's it for me.  Have you picked up anything in the January sales?

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Last Minute Gifts: Crabtree and Evelyn Biscuits, NYX Wanderlust Palette

The minutes are counting down to the Big Day!  Are you done your Christmas shopping?  Perhaps you are like me, still frantically scurrying around the shops.  This week threw all my plans out of the window.  The washing machine sprung a leak, causing an almighty mess.  I figured that, if I was going to call in a repairman, I might as well knock out a couple of other pressing repair jobs at the same time.  Haha, big mistake.  The promise of "No worries, we'll blast through the repairs in an afternoon" turned into a 3 day marathon.  Herewith are a couple of emergency last minute gift ideas in case you are stuck having to visit your local 24 hour pharmacy (or worse a gas station that has a mini mart attached to it) because the inlaws decided to spring a dropin on you.
Delicious edibles are always a safe bet.  They are gender free and don't involve too much thinking because, at this point, with your brain on overload, too much thought is contraindicated.

The Crabtree & Evelyn shop in Toronto only brings out their biscuits at Christmas time.  Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that, in other parts of the world, their mouthwatering bikkies are available year round.  This year's Christmas special is their All Butter Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits.  The packaging is gorgeous, of course.
NYX came out with a selection of Wanderlust Palettes inspired by cities such as Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Paris, Madrid, London and Dubai.  I was really excited to pick up a few Toronto Palettes to give away but the colours were, in my opinion, astoundingly unwearable.  The lip creme was a dark gray/blue paired with gray eyeshadow.  I live in Toronto and have yet to encounter anyone wandering the streets in gray lipstick.  I suppose the intention was an edgy, goth vibe but it just isn't wearable on the regular unless you want to look like an extra off the set of "The Fifth Element."  I settled for Copenhagen which had a more on point selection of colours.

The lipcreme is a wearable nude and the eyeshadows, blush and highlighter remind me of Urban Decay's Heat Palette but at a price point that is a lot more bearable on the wallet.  Darn those Scandis!  Why do they get all the good stuff?

Wishing all of you a lovely Christmas!  Come and visit me on Instagram tomorrow @lheurebleuewithchloe for the last reveal of my Advent Calendar.

This is not a sponsored post.

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