Cosmetic Proof : April 2017 | Vancouver beauty, nail art and lifestyle blog

SKINCARE | Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother VoxBox

Ever since getting a VIP facial at Shiseido (here) two years ago, I have always known that when it comes to cutting edge skincare technology, Shiseido is always a couple of steps ahead of the game. You may think their products are just like everyone else's, but once you start trying them out or better yet, getting a massive dose of product knowledge from one of sales associates (the ones in Vancouver always know their stuff!) you realize how much thought has gone into each one of their products.

Shiseido may be viewed as a more mature brand because if their focus on anti-aging, but the IBUKI (Japanese for "inner strength") line is a collection intended for skin stabilization meaning correcting imperfections, dryness and working towards homeostasis (for those biology nerds!) which is for everyone. In today's world of selfies and perfect skin, it was fun to see that Shiseido partnering up with Influenster for a campaign launching their new IBUKI Smart Filtering Smoother* ($29.00 CDN)!  

Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother Voxbox Review

FASHION | Gold Elegance with SOUFEEL

I have mentioned how when it comes to gems and jewels, I am pretty selective and it takes a real quality product for me to go "wow" and dedicate an entire blog post to it, but that was indeed the case with SOUFEEL. Two Christmases ago, I reviewed the cutest sterling silver bracelet (here) and when SOUFEEL reached for another review, I couldn't do silver again because you guys have already seen that they have beautifully made sterling silver bracelets, so this time I went with gold! Mmmm, I love goooold!

Soufeel Charm Bracelet Review

MAKEUP LOOK | Green Beauty with Zorah Biocosmetiques

Last Fall, I reviewed eco-certified skincare from Montreal-based company Zorah Biocosmetiques (here) and was thrilled with the story, ingredients and efficacy of the products. The Ecocert stamp of approval is an extra that I know not all companies do because of the extra cost, but when I see it, I feel completely assured that the products I am using are not just safe, but actually GOOD for my skin.

In addition to some awesome skincare (more reviews to come!), they also have some great eco-friendly makeup!  

Zorah Biocosmetiques Makeup Review

MAKEUP | Dior Addict Lacquer Sticks with Lip Swatches

As much as I am now into satin and matte finishes, I entered the makeup world only knowing of glosses and LOVING THEM. The shinier the better. I remember carting around a clear glitter-filled lip gloss all through my early university years and using it as a top coat for neutral lipsticks. One guy in my Integral Calculus class (MATH 105 at UBC baby!) was staring at my lips and asked how I got them to look so big. I pulled out the tube and told him my glossy secret. And no, we didn't end up dating, but we are still friends!

The old version of the revamped Dior Addict Ultra Gloss was my very first high end lip gloss purchase. I figured that since this was my everyday makeup staple, I should invest! 10 years later, Dior is still managing to wow me with the new Dior Addict Lacquer Sticks ($43.00 CDN)! They look like a lipstick, but once this formula hits your lips, transforms into a liquid shine with an intense saturated colour! Coming in 18 shades, there is something for everyone in here, even those of us who like to experiment.  

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick Review

NAILS | Pearls in Negative Space #ManiMonday

Earth Day may be over, but I promised to keep things as Mother Earth friendly as possible so here is a polish brand never featured on Cosmetic Proof - JINsoon Nail Lacquer! Created by Korean nail artist Jin Soon Choi, these polishes are 5-free and vegan-friendly. Long-wearing nail polishes are never going to be the healthiest, but we can try to get as close as possible with polishes like JINsoon. During my day trip to Aberdeen Centre last summer, I picked up this gorgeous shade of Poppy Blue at my favourite store Green & Pure and have been waiting for the right season and time to christen it!

Jin Soon Poppy Blue Pearl Nail Art

BEAUTY | Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

I love skincare that works while I am sleeping and wish I could get MORE done that way! Asian skincare was the first to introduce the concept of sleeping "packs" or masks and I have been a regular customer of the sleeping mask since I was 25. Every other night was sleeping mask night though once I started blogging, it got harder to stay consistent especially when reviewing a full skincare line. One thing I never stopped though was applying a generous dollop of lip balm to my lips just before bed time so it was really easy to swap my peppermint lip balm for Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask* ($24.00 CDN)

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Review

BATH & BODY | Relaxing with Live Clean Spa Therapy

I'm not one of those lucky ones who gets a real weekend thanks to my retail job, but the weekends are still special because my day is shorter and there aren't any pesky things from head office to deal with as no one is open. It really does feel a little more carefree than during the week and with today being Earth Day, I thought what better tribute than with two relaxing products I have been enjoying and will need more of shortly! Live Clean is so much more than any drugstore brand because it is seriously one my favourite green brands with its 98% plant and natural-based ingredients, biodegradable packaging and SLS/sulfate-free cleansing agents. I am so glad that a brand THIS good is so easily available to everyone because being cleaner with your beauty products shouldn't have to cost more or be elusive to find.    

Live Clean Spa Therapy Review

NAILS | Creating Negative Space with the New Joe Fresh Gel Look Polishes!

So many awesome polishes and so little time! I remember picking up my first Joe Fresh polish from The Real Canadian Superstore 5 years ago because they had one of the coolest flaky polishes around. Now, Joe Fresh has a new gel look formula that has got some crazy intense shine going on! I was inspired by this pin to try out another negative space mani using a few polishes from the new Spring collection and I cannot wait to try more colours now because damn, this formulation is NICE! 

Joe Fresh Negative Space Nail Art

MAKEUP LOOK | Mary Kay Light, Reinvented Spring 2017 Collection

Doesn't the Mary Kay Light, Reinvented collection summarize everything your brain knows as "Spring"? This limited edition collection has got its pinks, pastels and then a wee bit of drama. Of course, I had to try the nail polishes first (here) so now it's time for the face stuff! 

Mary Kay Light Reinvented Spring 2017 Collection Review Swatches

NAILS | "Hoppy" Easter Monday #ManiMonday

I promised one more Easter-themed manicure and I've got one! This one was inspired by nailstagrammer @sensationals4u and I just thought it was so cute! I didn't want to do something with too many bunnies so this one was juussst right!

Easter Bunny Nail Art

BATH | Easter with Lush!

I hope you all have already gotten a chance to grab a few of these Lush Easter goodies because I didn't get a chance to go to the post office until two days ago and then of course I had to work and could not take pretty photos of product. Lush goodies disappear fast, but I'm still seeing quite a bit of stock left online so you should be good if you can't make it to a store! I don't need to say that this year Lush has added some extra cute things to their Easter line up because they literally do this EVERY year with every collection, but really. THIS year is truly the cutest.

Lush Easter Collection Review

NAILS | Going Girly with LACC Nail Lacquer

I love how I have posted one product in honor of Earth Day on April 1st and now it's halfway through the month and I am only featuring the second brand. I feel like I am letting down Mother Earth. I feel like this shorter week has left me scrambling with trying to get things done as I am working my day job the long weekend, but no one else is so much of what I need to get done is going to have to wait  until next week.

Anyway, I digress so let's get back to prettier things "at hand" with this simple, but fun manicure featuring one of the BEST healthy polishes I have come across - La Couleur Couture aka LACC Nail Lacquer! Based in Vancouver with the polishes made in New York, this brand is vegan and 10-free meaning there is absolutely no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, phthalates, fragrance or animal by-products! Owner and founder, Farima Hakkak, is so passionate about her brand and polishes and also one of the most down to earth and NICEST people I have ever met so I wear her polishes with pride!   

LACC Pink and Purple Nail Art

SKINCARE | Naruko Jing Cheng 60 Actives Routine

Alrighty, do you have a cup of tea on hand? If not, go boil some water because this is going to be a bit of a long post, not because I talk too much (if I do, please tell me to hush), but because there is a whole skincare routine to discuss! Last month, I reviewed a couple of masks (here) from Taiwanese skincare company, Naruko, and had such a great experience that I moved right into the hardcore stuff - using them as my main skincare exclusively for 6 weeks!   

Naruko Jing Cheng 60 Actives Skincare Review

NAILS | What Does a Bunny Like to Eat? #ManiMonday

When I was thinking about what to do for today's Mani Monday, it suddenly dawned on me that Easter weekend was THIS weekend. Like, where the heck did time go?! Last year, I got a little busy and only had time for one manicure so maybe this year I will DOUBLE that number to TWO in time for Easter weekend! Maybe three if I'm crazy?

Today's nail shades are from the Spring/Summer OPI Fiji Collection which contains both pastels and brights. As much as I like pastels for nail art, I tend to favor bolder and brighter colours for my skin tone. Then again, when it comes to nail art, a girl really needs every single colour out there because you never know what shade you might need!

Easter Bunny Nail Art

HAIR | The New KMS and First Impressions! #StyleMatters

If you hadn't noticed from my content, I talk a lot about my hair and I love talking to other people about THEIR hair. Just like skincare, I'm starting to get a little religious about haircare and I have learned that coloured hair needs a little bit more TLC. I find that I can't be too lazy with it because it honestly looks terrible without a little help. It's dry and frizzy and always needs a good tame before I can look truly put together. In the mornings I dread that extra time I need to put in when I have just washed my hair so any products that can cut down my styling time while making my hair look like a million bucks is welcome to the family! I mean, let's face it, how much BETTER does Monday feel when you're having a great hair day?

KMS Hair Review

HAIR | My Mermaid Hair Journey with Aveda and Civello Robson

I am an Aveda Vancouver Ambassador. All treatments are complimentary.

January 20th was a momentous and memorable day. It was almost liberating in a way because I finally decided to do something truly adventurous with my hair! I was afraid those closest to me would think I was about to leave my husband or something equally "mid-life crises" because drastic changes are often the result of emotional upheaval. Not the case with me at all! Rainbow hair has been dominating our Instagram feeds for a few years now and you see people of all ages, colours and creeds sporting blue, pink or purple balayages. I personally love the contrast of seeing my mermaid hair with business attire and over the last few months have come to the conclusion that coloured hair can be taken seriously and it all comes down to how you style it and most importantly, OWNING it!

Aveda Civello Mermaid Hair

MAKEUP | The Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets with Lip Swatches

I've been noticing that a number of lip products have been gracing the blog in the last couple of weeks and I think it's because there have been, what feels like, an unusually large number of releases for the lips. I am still waiting for the glossy lip to make its appearance again, but for now the matte lip trend continues with variations on texture and comfort. I thought I was a die hard gloss fan until I realized how much longer a matte lip lasts!

Burberry. This is a brand that never half-asses anything and a number of my daily makeup staples belong to this brand. The Eye Colour Contour Pens (review) are getting down to the nubbins now because they last and look great anytime. Any day. I can never go wrong with them and so when Burberry released the Liquid Lip Velvets ($38.00 CDN) with their bold, matte and whipped texture, I was like "Let's DO this! Momma needs some new lip shades!" 

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets Review Swatches

NAILS | Flowers with a Sprinkle of Glitter #ManiMonday

It is good to be back home in Vancouver where it actually felt like Spring this past weekend! My husband and I were visiting family in Montreal and we got back very late Friday night. We decided to take transit back home to save money on a $60 cab ride only to find ourselves on the seabus with everyone who went to the Canucks game. While I am fine on a plane now, the moment I step off, I feel like total crap. I feel bloated, tired and just disgusting and though we tried to call a cab, none showed because it was freakin' Friday night. I won't lie, I may have cried on the way home because I had the stomach flu and was amazed I even survived the flight without getting sick (thanks to some serious medication and Gravol). I am still feeling a little off, but I am back to work today and hoping that it's only going to get better from here!

I am starting this month's series of Mani Mondays with a truly Spring-like manicure featuring the new CND Creative Play Playland Collection! If this collection doesn't snap you out of that winter funk, I don't know what will because it's got brights, neons and glitters!

Glitter and Flower Nail Art CND Creative Play

HAIR | Silky without the Silicones with the Briogeo Rosarco Oil

In honor of Earth Day this month, I will be making an extra effort to feature healthy and green beauty brands that I have been loving and/or have been introduced to in recent months. Green is HOT right now and though I would never consider myself one of those people who preaches "go the green way or the highway", I am starting to make voluntary conscious changes in my beauty routine and diet that are better for my health and the environment. I almost think of it as doing my civic duty as a citizen of the Earth. Now natural may not always be better, but if it turns out to be better for everyone in the equation of biological survival I will welcome it with open arms!

I was first introduced to New York City-based green haircare brand Briogeo, through the subscription Ipsy three years ago. The product inside was the "Don't Despair, Repair!" Deep Conditioning Mask and after giving it a go, I thought "Well, where can I get more?!" I had no idea where to get Briogeo in Canada and let the idea go until it became available through The Detox Market. In addition to the deep conditioning mask, The Detox Market also carried the Rosarco Oil* (30mL/$35.00 CDN) which at first I didn't think anything of, but then I realized that this was a hair oil without a SINGLE silicone in it. The reason for silky smooth hair is often silicone and while I don't mind them as much on my hair, I always wondered if there was a hair oil that could give me the same shine without the 'cones. We are about to find out!

Briogeo Rosarco Hair Oil Review