Review: Kérastase Hair Products

(This post is written for The Glosse Posse.) [dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”autopx” height=”” background_color=”#c9efd3″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” inside_shadow=”false” ]This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small compensation if you click on the link and purchase an … Continue reading

Review: L’Oréal Volume Collagen Hair Set*

(This post is written for The Glosse Posse.)

Two weeks ago, I received a package with L’Oreal’s VC shampoo, conditioner and leave-in spray in full sizes by courier. I had completely forgotten that I had agreed to participate in a study to test the products from L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Volume Collagen line earlier last month. The study required that I test the products right away for about two weeks or until I received the survey link. I did as told and saw results on the first day. Read below to see what I thought of the products!

My hair:

  • Straight
  • Flat

What I need:

  • Weightless volume
  • Shine


  • Lathers very quickly. In my case, a quarter (coin)-sized amount is enough to cover the entire head.
  • Rinses out pretty quickly


  • In my case, a quarter-sized amount should be enough to cover the ends.
  • Quickly detangles hair
  • Hair feels a little too soapy like I need to keep rinsing

Leave-in Spray:

  • Sprays on wet or dry hair
  • Immediately gives weightless volume on dry hair (especially if sprayed on roots)
  • Works as a good detangler

It’s hard to tell how well a product works after washing one’s hair. At first, I thought it was like any other drugstore shampoo or conditioner. My hair has maintained a nice shine for a while (when wet) so I couldn’t tell if the products had worked or not.


After blow drying my hair with my head down, I could tell that I suddenly had a lot more volume. It was as if I’d grown more hair without the weight. The only issue is that even my baby hairs were standing on end but that usually happens and I quickly tamed them with my Kerastase hairspray. (At the same time, I can’t remember if hair becomes voluminous when it’s blow dried with the head down.)

I did notice that it seems to hold waves from a hair bun quite well with the volume for at least a a day or two. Since my hair is naturally straight, I was impressed that my hair could hold the waves from a hair bun for a day or two. Usually, the waves would straighten itself by the end of the day, leaving only a curved end, if at all.


For the first two washes, I felt that every second day was fine. After a few washes this past week, I noticed that my hair would need to be washed every day or else it would smell unwashed and feel slightly greasy.

Would I buy this?

Although I have been trying to switch to healthier ways of washing my hair, I have to admit that using VC’s shampoo and conditioner have been very convenient and fast. It’s great for quick hair washes in the morning when I need to rush whereas washing one’s hair with ACV or baking soda or coconut oil requires at least 15 minutes of waiting and are therefore better for evenings. Furthermore, washing with ACV can make your hair smell overpowering. Quite embarrassing, actually. 😦 Otherwise, for the time being, I think my other shampoos and conditioners work just as well for my hair.

Out of the three products, I would consider buying the Body Boost Root Lifting Spray though for its ability to amplify flat hair!

She Said Beauty

Review: Beauty Stores in Canada

This post is dedicated to everyone who likes to get the most out of their beauty (as in skin care, make-up, hair care, etc.) shopping! I will be focusing on some beauty stores in Canada but please note that it is not applicable to all cities. Also note that my reviews are based on the stores I’ve visited in Vancouver, BC.

What I want:

  • discounts
  • deals
  • monetary or gift rewards

Shoppers Drug Mart: BeautyBoutique

I used to go to Shoppers for all my beauty needs, even for my snacks and breakfast groceries. Until 2009 or 2010, it had been really easy to earn Optimum points for $10+ discounts very quickly. Nowadays, I generally shop at London Drugs but not without checking prices at Shoppers first. You never know when Shoppers is having a deal on certain products!


  • Reward cards: Shoppers Optimum (earn points for a $10+ discount) as well as an RBC SDM credit card
  • Optimum Days – These are days when you can earn double or more points on certain products, many of which are also on sale.
  • Some good deals – Since I like to compare prices, I generally compare product prices at the Shoppers and London Drugs on Granville St in Downtown Vancouver. I check Shoppers first and work my way up to LD. If the deal was better at Shopper’s, I just have to walk a few blocks down!
  • Newer or renovated Shoppers have BeautyBoutiques, very similar to Murale (see below)
  • Good 30-day return policy


  • Generally, products are more expensive than at LD
  • Now harder to earn points

London Drugs

I didn’t realise that London Drugs was originally from Vancouver. In fact, there are LD stores in Western Canada only: BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This has been my favourite place to shop since 2010. There are constantly deals on just about everything!


  • Reward cards:
    • Vichy points card – Get a stamp every time you spend $25+ on Vichy products. 10 (?) stamps gets you a free Vichy gift.
    • La Roche-Posay points card – Get a stamp every time you spend $25+ on La Roche-Posay  products. 10 (?) stamps gets you a $20 (?) discount on your next RP product.
    • Lancome points card – Get a stamp every time you spend $50/75? on Lancome products.
  • Generally, good deals (reg. priced)
  • Plenty of deals every week (sale)
  • Price match guarantee (if you see something cheaper at another store, LD will offer the item for the same price or even lower)
  • 30-day refund policy with receipt


  • No reward card for general purchases. Do you know how many points I’d accumulate? Oh well, still worth shopping here! 😉


Sephora is supposed to be the ultimate beauty store for women and men. You’ll find make-up, skin care, hair care, fragrances, nail lacquers, and beauty tools.


  • Reward card: BeautyInsider – earn points on every purchase for sample-sized presents, get a free birthday present (sample/travel-sized)
  • Receive samples on every purchase (e.g. perfume packet) – usually
  • 60-day refund policy. The product didn’t work for you? No problem; get your money back (even if you’ve tossed the packaging or you’ve already opened and used the product).
  • Beauty stations for you to do your own make-up or be assisted by make-up artists
  • Very knowledgeable staff who have plenty of brand/product recommendations
  • Have a make-up artist test products on you (e.g. foundation), teach you how to use products, or even do a make-over (need an appt and costs $)
  • Colour IQ to get the best foundation shade for your skin – send an email to yourself with a list of brands and shades for you.
  • Has its own cheaper but good quality brand of make-up & beauty tools


  • Prices are standard
  • No promotions – no beauty bags from certain brands that have promotions (e.g. Lancome, Estee Lauder, etc.)
  • Doesn’t always have the latest products available
  • Very busy – not easy to have one-on-one consultation

Murale (by Shoppers Drug Mart)

This summer, I resorted to Murale in Oakridge Centre because Sephora was far too busy. I was delighted to find far more brands available, many of which are exclusively sold by Murale, such as Eve Lom and Cargo.


  • Reward card – Shoppers Optimum (earn points for a discount) as well as an RBC SDM credit card
  • Exclusive brands that can’t be found anywhere else
  • Beauty stations for doing your own make-up & nails
  • Make-up artists for specific brands (e.g. Bobbi Brown)
  • Get a make-over & your eyebrows fixed for a fee
  • Very knowledgeable staff
  • Similar benefits as SDM


  • Not much really except that some other stores are cheaper.

The Bay

The Bay’s cosmetics floor (main) is expanding and will be bringing in more brands.


  • Reward card: Hudson’s Bay Rewards Card (earn points for a discount) as well as a credit card
  • Exclusively sold at the Bay: Butter LONDON (also at CurliQue and various small boutiques), Illamasqua (now at Sephora too), Ciate (now at Sephora too), etc.
  • 30+-day refund policy
  • Individual beauty stations for every brand
  • Regular gift with purchase promotions for different brands
  • Generally less busy so more attention on customers


  • Staff can be a bit pushy sometimes to try to get you to buy a product right away. They’ll word everything as if you’re about to make the purchase too.

Holt Renfrew

Unless all of the above-mentioned stores do not have a particular product or brand that HR also carries, I very rarely shop here.


  • Exclusive brands such as Jo Malone is sold here
  • Reward card (I think there is one but it’s not really promoted and they don’t seem to ask you if you’d like one) as well as a credit card.
  • Quieter (at least in Vancouver and more so than the Bay) so more attention on customers


  • As mentioned earlier, I think there is a rewards card but they don’t seem to promote it so there isn’t really anything encouraging you to shop here…


You never know what you’ll find at Winners. Some Winners will carry more name brands and bring in new products every week. The Winners on Robson & Granville in Vancouver, for instance, restocks every Tuesday (or Monday). I was once able to find a Lancome Hypnose mascara for $19.99!


  • Best deals (many are 50+% off)
  • High-end brands at discount prices
  • Discontinued (but still good) products sold here
  • You’ll find quite a few brands that you’ve never heard of here


  • Some opened & tested products (rude customers!). These are usually products from brands like Physicians Formula, Stilla, and OPI.
  • Not all products have the best deals. Some are $2 cheaper and some products are cheaper at London Drugs.
  • No testers – Some perfume purchases are a tad risky. Not sure what the refund policy is for those.
  • 14-day refund policy unless you have a Winners TJX loyalty card (30-day)

I hope that was helpful! Feel free to ask any questions or let me know what you think. 🙂

Review: Dry Shampoos

(This post was written for The Glosse Posse)

I wish I had known about dry shampoos earlier. Prior to 2012, if I had a bad hair day or an oilier hair day, I’d cover my head with a beret (that does NOT mean that every time you see me wearing my beret, it’s my bad hair day). I usually wash my hair every other day so I wasn’t sure what to do when I learned that I would be going on a 4 day camping trip last year – with no showers around (obviously). I didn’t want to stink, even if all of us would smell rather terribly, but I certainly didn’t want to have an itchy or oily scalp either. As I went shopping for some camping toiletries, I saw Klorane’s Gentle and Seboregulating Dry Shampoos on sale.


Thinking the smallest can (travel-size with around 50-55ml) would be enough to test and last for at least 4 days, I decided to go with the Oat Extract. It was a hair-saver! My scalp felt cleaner and my hair looked like it had been washed. The only problem was, after a few uses (3-4 times?), the can was empty. :O That meant the can was only good for 2 days at most, assuming I’d only use it once a day. I had one day left to buy a replacement dry shampoo so I set out to buy Klorane’s full-sized (150ml) dry shampoo. I can’t remember how much it was (maybe almost $20?) but I remember thinking that there had to be a cheaper but natural alternative. So instead of picking up the Klorane can as planned, I went to Lush and was glad to see that they had their own dry shampoo, No Drought. The dry shampoo came in a shampoo bottle (with those caps you can flick up or down) for $13.95, which was much cheaper than Klorane’s and would surely last longer. (I now see that there’s a small bottle (55g) for $6.95 that would have been a much better deal for me but would have still been more than enough for my camping trip.) Because No Drought had a citrus scent, I thought it would be able to frighten the mosquitoes and flies away (it did not) and lightly scent my otherwise would-be smelly hair (maybe?). So I opted for Lush and practised using it before my camping trip.

whereas Klorane’s dry shampoos are convenient aerosol sprays (of white powder apparently), Lush’s No Drought is a bottle of powder (talc, I believe) that you have to massage into your scalp – with both hands. The latter requires only a pinch of powder in your palm but can be rather messy if you’re not too careful. It’s best to be wearing your pyjamas or a bathrobe when you’re massaging the dry shampoo into your scalp. In my case with the camping trip, I ended up having to dust the powder off whatever I was wearing and hope that I didn’t have too much powder in my hair. If I did (I brought a little mirror), I would try to dust off as much as I could before throwing on a summer cap. Looking back, I wish I had gone with Klorane instead. It’s worth the money and saves everyone a lot of hassle. Please note, however that both will leave a powdery residue, though Klorane’s is not as noticeable, assuming you do not spray on a lot.

If both of these dry shampoos are not worth the price for you, you can use baby powder or make your own dry shampoo with items from the kitchen. There are many brands with their own dry shampoos nowadays but I haven’t had the chance to try them out. Another alternative is to use some Moroccan Oil Treatment or Hydrating Styling Cream to revive your hair!