Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Brief Review: Every Man Jack Gift Set

Uh-oh. Valentine's is less than 12 hours away. Were you lost in a fog of chocolate-induced romance, forgetting to snag your guy a great gift? Or maybe you've just run out of time and/or ideas?

Well lucky for you, Every Man Jack has assembled a manly gift pack just in time for the big event. Even luckier, it's available at Target, which is open late tonight and early tomorrow!

Perfectly straddling the line between macho and metro, this kit has all the essentials to get your man lookin' fine. It comes with a Hydrating Shave Gel, Post-Shave Lotion, and Cedarwood-scented body wash and body-bars. The shave gel and post-shave lotion are both fragrance free, and everything in the line is paraben-free. Plus, it's all packaged in a classy looking faux-wood grain box. Definitely a step up from Old Spice!

I've got my own guy testing out some of Every Man Jack's offerings, and his tentative verdict is that everything seems great, but he won't commit to a full review until he's tried it a few more times. (Are we a match made in heaven? Or has he just been overly influenced by my blog-talk? Let's go with the former.) He's been using the shave gel and lotion for a couple of days, and I can at least verify that his skin feels much smoother and more moisturized.

But since I can't keep my hands off fun new products, even if they're not meant for the fairer sex, I nabbed some of the Citrus Scrub that he got. The salt scrub is of a light-to-medium scrubbiness, and the fact that it's mixed in with a shower gel means you cleanse and exfoliate in one zippy step. The scent is very invigorating: it's a lot like the Body Shop's Satsuma scent, but slightly less sweet. A bit deeper, and more unisex. If the Cedarwood line smells as good as the Citrus Scrub, then it'll be a surefire hit.

Look out for a guest post soon by the male guinea pig. And if you are looking to get this for a lucky man in your life, rest assured that the entire kit will only set you back $16 USD!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Product Review: French Kiss Gum & MAC Rougette Mattene Lipstick

Hello lovelies! Hope you're all doing well? I'm feeling a bit feverish over here... I'd like to say that it's "love's light burning upon my brow" or something equally poetic. Or that I'm all frenzied with excitement over my upcoming super duper awesome Boston trip. I LOVE Boston! (Any Bostonian readers? Would love your rec's about what to do/see/eat/drink while I'm there!)

Alas, I think it's just the normal kind of fever.

Anyway, enough about being sick... today's post is all about stuff that might get you a little action on Valentine's Day.

I was watching this ridiculous show on TV last night. It's called Keys to the VIP, and the premise is that 2 or 3 guys are tossed in a random nightclub and given insane "assignments", through which they prove how they are the ultimate playa.

It is completely preposterous. For example, one assignment demanded that the guys pick up a girl after insulting her by offering a piece of gum for her bad breath. No joke. One guy was stupidly good-looking, and the other had a hot Aussie accent, so they actually managed to pull it off. Mere mortal men might have more trouble though, and thus might need to rely on a prop like this:

French Kiss Gum. Created by Dr. Harold Katz, breath guru to the stars (who knew?) and the man behind Therabreath, just pulling this little packet out of your pocket is bound to create a stir.

This sugar-free gum promises to fight bad breath better and for longer than regular gum. I put it to the test one day by eating a big hot dog loaded up with mustard and onions immediately before a meeting with my supervisor. He didn't faint or start crying or demand that I leave his office, so I must assume the gum worked.

Seriously, while I don't know that this works that much better than traditional gum, I do enjoy the flavour. It's a sweet berry with a tiny bit of spice to it (think Christmas rather than Cayenne). I like that there's no tell-tale "I'm-trying-to-hide-my-coffee-breath-with-mint-gum" scent, although I would have liked the taste to last a bit longer. (Note: according to the website, the gum's bad-breath fighting abilities continue even after the flavour's gone) Plus, it's a heck of a lot cuter than pack of Juicy Fruit.

I did propose to a male friend that he try to pick up girls at bars by offering them a little French Kiss, and he promptly went into a very exaggerated and gay impression of how (badly) that would go. Right. So if butch gum is more your thing, don't worry, Dr. Katz has got you covered too. GUY GUM, I kid you not. ("Now with chain-link fencing in every package!")

As for the action-getting lipstick? One night, when I was mad at my usually-wonderful boyfriend over some silly thing, he walked in, stopped in his tracks and said "I know you're mad and you probably don't want to hear this right now... but that lipstick is really f-ing hot."*

The culprit? MAC's Mattene lipstick in Rougette. I've already raved a little bit about it, even calling it the "PS Kiss of pinks". But a lippie this good deserves a full review.

The swatch from the MAC site is close, but not 100% accurate... it's bit less purpley and bright than that. Rougette is a medium-dark, rich, cool raspberry pink. This semi-matte formula is really lovely... smooth and velvety with that trademark vanilla MAC scent. It's comfortable on, but I like to prep with a good lipbalm since I have dry lips.

Wear it with minimal makeup, a white shirt and blue jeans for a celeb-style casual look. Or wink at the 80's and do it up with big full lashes and a little black dress for a night on the town (easy on the smokey eye though... the look is fun, not trampy). You could even pair this with work clothes if you work in a not-too-conservative office, and if you keep the rest of your look restrained.

The Mattenes are limited edition, but Rougette and some other shades are still available on the MAC website.

Despite this Valentine's themed review though, I would not recommend kissing while wearing this, unless you love the smeary-faced look (hello Lucy Liu in Cashmere Mafia!). But ain't it nice to know that a little lipstick could help get you there?

* Men, if you're reading this, that is wrong. We ALWAYS want to hear it! ;)

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Fashion Week!

Hey guys, you know what's better than having like 60 cm of snow fall in your town in 1 week?* Well, most things. But I for one, would've been all in favour of ditching all this slush and salt on the roads (my boots!!! my pants!!!) for Fashion Week!

Alas, I was stuck here at home, but fortunately I got to live vicariously through the lucky bloggers from the Beauty Blog Network who are at the tents. Check out the new Fashion Week widget on the sidebar, to get all caught up on the most recent Fashion Week related posts from BBN members. You'll get both runway and backstage coverage, and maybe even some celeb-artist interviews!

As for me, it's time to battle the elements and attempt to go outside. Maybe I can pretend that the treacherous sidewalks are a runway challenge, a la America's Next Top Model...

* Er, not having tornadoes rip through your home, like in some parts of the US, I suppose.

Product Review: Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship


That, my friends, is the sound of a certain blogger last night, sitting back, eating junky take-out, and watching "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (those 2 are so gonna get it on in real life any day now)... just chillin' after a crazy few days. It's amazing how much half a bottle of wine can relax a girl...

It felt goooood.

But yes, I've been so busy that February's snuck up on me! All of a sudden, it's all Valentine's this and major-freak-snowstorms that (Ontario readers, you know what I'm talkin' about). Needless to say, I'm not yet in a very Valentine-y mood, and I only have a week to get in gear!

One sure-fire way to get me in the spirit is to break out the Cupid themed items. Give me a plush red sweater and some frilly pink-and-white confection and I'm ready to sling heart-tipped arrows with the best of 'em.

To appropriately pretty-up your bathroom, you could scatter rose petals in your tub. Me, I prefer a more functional solution (who has time for a bath, anyway?) -- check out Herbal Essences' newest release, Long Term Relationship.

This new combo is meant to protect long hair from breakage and frazzled split ends. The pearly pink shampoo builds a nice creamy lather, while the conditioner (also pink!) is thicker than normal, and coats strands without dripping off like some thinner conditioners can. The warm Red Raspberry scent has a hint of amber or musk... it totally reminds me of a body spray that Victoria's Secret or Bath and Body Works might have.

My favourite part about this new line though might actually be the packaging! I love how the sleek, crimson, curvy bottles sort of fit together. They're like a couple of Cupid's Bows. Or... like... soulmates. (Sigh!) It's vaguely sexy, and with the words "Long Term Relationship" scrawled right on the bottle, it's the perfect not-so-subliminal message, which is why I leave it in my boyfriend's bathroom, along with a bridal magazine flipped open to an ad for a Tiffany's promise ring, and some card stock samples for potential wedding invitations. (I kid, I kid!)

There's also a leave-in-conditioner / heat protector in the line, and I'm pleased to report that it smells just like the original Herbal Essences that I used to love. (You know the smell: it was a totally organic experience!) It might be a bit thick for fine hair, but it's perfect for my heavy, straight hair ... a quick pump leaves my hair softer and smelling divine, and provides a welcome barrier against the nasty winter winds we've been having.

The best part is that all three combined will set you back less than the cost of a dozen roses, leaving plenty of room in your budget for a nice bottle of Chianti and a romantic movie rental, just in case Freudian packaging isn't quite enough to put you in the right mood.

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