February Get it or Forget it


Barielle Professional Concentrated Beauty Serum

Skincare is HUGE here at TNL, if you haven’t noticed. Masks, moisturizers, cleansers, serums… you name it we’re about it. Or should I say we bout it bout it? Is that still a thing? No? Well, this is awkward. Moving right along….

So I love a good serum, but do you know what I love more than a good serum? Trying new ones, of course. As soon as I run out of whatever serum I was using, I simply try another one. It’s like I’ve made it my mission to find The Best Serum of Life. I can say that I’m comparing all to Lanoline Manuka Honey Skin Firming Renew Serum I reviewed in May 2015 GIFI – it was awesome.

SO recently, I ran out of whatever serum I was using and skipped along to purchase another one – within budget. I picked up Barielle’s Concentrated Beauty Serum -Rhodiola as my new find.

First things first, let’s Google Rhodiola – shall we?

I got that it’s a plant that can be used in medicine to combat fatigue and help with activity level/performance, and I think I saw something about antioxidants. I didn’t find any real skin benefits, so if you happen upon this post and see this, please enlighten me if you have more info! Or just say hi anyway :-).

Anyway, I use it at night after I’ve cleansed my face. Serums are used to help reduce the signs of fine lines/wrinkles but firming the skin. This serum isn’t as thick as other serums that I’ve used, but it leaves my skin feeling firm and refreshed. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any significant change since I’ve been using it, but then again I’m not quite at the stage where wrinkles are an issue – I’m still in the preventative stage called my 30’s. I can say that I love how my skin feels, even by next morning, and there is a noticeable difference between when I don’t use it (aka too lazy/forgot) to when I do use it. My skin it likes it but it’s not mind-blowing. It’s just a nice addition to skincare regimen, so I’d say give it a try.

I noticed this item was available on amazon for just under $20, but I paid about half (or less) at Winners. If you’re there and see it, pick it up because it’s a GET IT!

ORS Monoi Oil Anti-Breakage Edge Control

I will start by saying that my edges are a source of constant contention. I suffered from alopecia along my hairline some years ago right before I removed my locs, and have spent the last 2-3 years rehabilitating it. It has improved compared to how it was, but with the new growth my edges are now always all over the place! So I see the words “edge control” and I’m all up in that.

I like that it also mentioned “anti-breakage” since I know that my hairline is weak. Also, we see monoi oil in a lot of products now because of the moisturizing benefits for skin and hair.

I apply it in a few spots with my fingertips and then work it along the edge with a dampened toothbrush then tie it down for a few minutes (usually when I’m doing my make-up) to let it set and dry.  It doesn’t get hard and crunchy like some gels and has enough hold to keep the hairline looking neat.

GIFI ORS monoi

I just wish that for my hair it held a little bit longer. It is so forgiving and moisturizing that I find that after a few hours my edges start curl up and lift. This is also knowing that my hair never stays neat – ever. So I need something with more hold especially when I use it for an outing. I have kept using it because it is a good little product and I’m not one to waste anything I spend my money on, but I won’t be repurchasing it. It may work for some, but doesn’t check everything off my list.

This product is a FORGET IT for me!



NYX Cosmetics Intense Butter Gloss in Peanut Brittle

I have always been a fan of NYX products. But until recently , they have been rather elusive. I have had to wait to cross the border or head online to get my hands on the products I wanted. I am happy to report that this is no longer necessary as selected NYX products are now available at Shoppers Drug Mart. Even better, the Greater Toronto Area is now home to two NYX retail stores! Can I just say how impressed I am with how NYX stepped up their game in recent years? A visit to the Queen Street NYX store shows just how far they have come, I never would have pegged NYX as a brand that could rival MAC but this store ( formerly a MAC store actually) showcases products that are every bit as diverse and high quality, usually at lower prices.


On my most recent visit to this location of NYX in the Six, I picked up some staples, along with a  new shade of their intense butter gloss. I am a long time fan of the butter glosses as they feel great on the lips , come in an array of beautiful, vivid shades and wear very well. NYX promises that the intense butter glosses have the same texture, scent and silky feel as the butter glosses but with a more intense colour payoff.

The warm caramel nude toned peanut brittle is right up my alley as I prefer nude shades with peach or orange tones. This is a gorgeous shade.


One of my favourite things about the Intense Butter Gloss is the extra long doe foot applicator. This allows for a smooth and precise application, and because the product is so opaque, there is no need for lip liner.


The gloss itself is thick and not overly sticky . It really is more of a melted down lipstick formula than a gloss. I think companies are hesitant to use the term ” liquid lipstick” for products that are not matte these days.

I have been reaching for this product almost every day. It is so easy to apply and wear and it stays on for hours.

Peanut Brittle is a nice change from the drying matte lip trend that I have been wearing this season.  At $12 for a tube, I also appreciate that it doesn’t break the bank.  I feel Peanut Brittle would be a universally flattering colour. That being said, you should definitely GET IT!

CoverGirl Plumpify BlastPro Mascara

Unless you’re new here, you know that all of my mascara mentions start exactly the same way.

1. I tell you that I have a LOT of mascaras , and I reference this picture of my mascara collection AFTER weeding.


2. I give you a disclaimer, and here it comes: Mascara is such a difficult think to recommend to people because every pair of lashes is oh-so different. I may adore a mascara that you love , and vice versa. Everyone is looking for different things in a mascara so take by advice with a grain of salt. If you have similar lashes to me , it could be uber helpful. My lashes are long but super straight and get easily tangled. I regular lash lifts ( read about my first lash lift experience HERE) to curl them up.

Now that is out of the way , back to our regularly scheduled programming.

As I mentioned, I get my eyelashes lifted regularly because they are so darned straight. This means that I can usually get a pretty good result from most mascaras when my lashes are lifted , as I don’t need for the mascara to curl my lashes at all. As my lashes are already pretty long, I am looking most for definition and a bit of thickness. I have always found the CoverGirl Lash Blast line of mascaras to be pretty good, so I was intrigued when Plumpify came out.


Two things made me actually purchase the Plumpify. Firstly , it’s claim that  it would produce a 50x volumizing effect and the fact that the brush sort of resembles the Bare Minerals Lash Domination mascara that I talked about loving in a previous GIFI post.


The Plumpify BlastPro mascara retails for $10.49, making it cheaper than the Bare Minerals product. So, I had hoped to find a lower priced dupe to share here on TNL.

Here are my lashes sans mascara.


Note to self–> Umm Ash , please get yo life together and comb your brows before the next pic, k?

The ” special double action” brush that CoverGirl says will provide ” plumping without clumping” was basically a pain in my booty.


I found it difficult to work with and finally found that using the wand vertically worked better to paint my lashes without clumping or tangling. It was rather tedious, but I eventually achieved the lash effect I like by working with the brush that way . this essentially just used the tip or the brush , which I could do with any mascara.


The brush worked a bit better horizontally on my lower lashes. Final result:


After working with the Plumpify BlastPro, I eventually had ok results, but I found that they did not come easily and basically required me abandoning the supposed double-action bristles of the brush completely. Methinks its too much work to make this mascara look nice. I will not be repurchasing it.  FORGET IT!







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