Friday, February 24, 2017

Mary Kay Spring 2017 Limited Edition Light Reinvented Collection Review

While testing new spring makeup I’ve come across many grey tones, neutrals and smoky hues so the Mary Kay Light Reinvented Collection is like a breath of fresh air! These pretty pastel pigments are soft and bright with luminous finishes that enhance the complexion and help you stay on-trend for the season.


On cool spring evenings the Glistening Horizon Palette makes the eyes pop with shimmery silver, iridescent deep blue, flattering purple and sky blue. The lightweight texture is sleek and easy to blend with sheer to medium color payoff and little fallout. The pigments apply well, last all day (with a good primer) and tend not to crease. I would have liked a bit more creaminess or weight for better adhesion but layering helps enhance saturation and the color combination is vivid, dramatic and eye-catching on all skin tones.


The Sunlight Palette is soft and feminine but still quite radiant. The silky pigments apply sheer to medium with the ability to be intensified and I love the bright Barbie pink, mild lavender and dazzling orange. The magnetic backing makes it easy to transfer the shadows for travel and you can mix and match in various combinations to create interesting ombré effects. The palettes retail for $26.00 each.



Mary Kay was very consistent with the color theme in this collection and the polish matches the lip gloss and shadows perfectly so you can color coordinate! These creamy, full-coverage lacquers come in 4 summery hues: (left to right) Brilliant Violet, New Blue, Luminous Mauve and Vivid Sunburst (my personal fave). The smooth formula applies full-coverage in two coats with a rich, shiny finish. They retail for $10.00 each.


The Glossy Lip Oils are lip treatments with a sheer pop of luminous, plumping color. They contain a nourishing blend of grape seed, jojoba and avocado to keep lips soft, protected and hydrated without stickiness or grease and they melt in deeply for long lasting comfort. The finishes are very subtle yet beautifully reflective and even after they wear away my lips feel supple and revitalized. The oils retail for $19.00 each.


Mary Kay is available online at marykay.ca and through independent consultants.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Too Faced & Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection Review

When two of your favorite makeup brands unite to create one lust-worthy collection, the results are a match made in makeup heaven! Both TooFaced and Kat Von D Beauty are well known for their phenomenal pigments and this stunning collaboration is like two popular styles colliding to create one magical blend – fresh and trendy VS rich and dramatic.


Both brands are also known for their enticing packaging and they definitely amped-up the cuteness for The Ultimate Eye Collection. The kit includes a heart shaped magnetized palette that can be split apart into halves and each side contains 6 beautiful eye shadows. It also comes with a full-size Better Than Sex Mascara and Kat’s cult favorite Tattoo Liner with 24 hour waterproof wear – all for $79.99.


When it comes to high quality, intense pigment few do it better than Kat and this palette is no exception! The shadows are soft, velvety and creamy for full-coverage vibrancy and bold finishes. The shade selection is a bit unconventional (which I love) and they work together harmoniously to create show-stopping looks. The unique shimmery red with radiant metallic undertone is like nothing I have in my collection and although some may find it difficult to pull off, when applied right it looks amazing!


The gold shade called Lovestruck applies sheer to medium but the colors are long-lasting, non-creasing and highly blendable with little fallout. Even without primer these pigments are incredibly intense but I still recommended a good base for adhesion. The matte grey, matte black and shimmery grey are perfect for a seductive smoky effect.


The Too Faced Palette is a bit softer with matte cream, soft pink, sparkling gold, silvery green, deep plum and glittery brown. These shadows are also highly pigmented, vivid, silky and impactful with more versatility for day wear. You can also mix and match both color collections for a variety of stunning creations and the shadows are well formulated for professional results.




The Better Together Cheek & Lip Makeup Bag Set is adorable! The Too Faced side is sparkly pink with a little puppy and Kat’s side is black featuring a doe-eyes kitty. Inside the heart shaped pouch you get the Candlelight Glow Highlighter, the Love Flush Blush in the shade Happy Together, Kat’s Everlasting Lipstick in XO and the Studded Kiss Lipstick in Muse.

The highlighter is one I use frequently and although the blush is soft and shimmery it needs a bit more pigmentation. 


I am totally in love with the liquid lipstick, in fact I think I found my new signature red and the golden-nude tone of the mini lipstick is very flattering. This set retails for $47.00.



Too Faced Cosmetics is available at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and online at toofaced.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Replenish Dry Skin With LUSH Moisturizers & Cleansers

The weather has finally started to warm up and here in Toronto many people are enjoying the transition. Although spring is around the corner, extreme seasonal change can cause all sorts of skin issues and dryness is a problem many of us have to deal with. Today I’ll be sharing some cult favorites from LUSH including cleanser, body conditioner and moisturizer to help start your day off right.


When I wake from my beauty sleep I groggily brush my teeth, cleanse my face and shower before starting the coffee maker. I haven’t always taken the extra time to deal with my skin first thing in the morning but adding this simple step to my daily routine has helped balance and invigorate my complexion. The Angels on Bare Skin Face & Body Cleanser is very unique! The texture is like soft Playdough made from Kaolin Clay and laden with visible pieces of dried lavender, ground almonds, rose, chamomile and more. Simply mix a piece with warm water to form a milky emulsion and massage in. The chunky bits gently exfoliate and soften while refreshing natural elements calm, smooth and hydrate. The scent is quite strong with predominate notes of fresh lavender and herbs that give off a relaxing meadowy aroma. The only downside is that it doesn’t really remove makeup or deep clean (so I don’t use it at night), it is a bit tedious to use on the entire body and cannot be applied on a cleansing brush/device. Although the crumbly consistency can be messy, the formula makes my skin resilient and supple so I use it daily to enhance my natural glow. The 100 g tub retails for $15.95.


Moringa is a “superfood” many people are raving about and in my house we use the organic powder in smoothies. The plant is rich in vitamins, nourishing fatty acids and antioxidants that have amazing anti-aging and healing benefits. The Magical Moringa Moisturizer is a thick, creamy balm loaded with Argan, Rosehip, Shea and Coco Butter for smooth, hydrated skin. Many use it as a makeup primer to create an even canvass and prolong wear. For something that looks and feels so rich in my hands I was surprised at how lightweight and matte the finish is. The balm melts in and creates a silky layer that controls oil and shine while subtly revitalizing the complexion with no residue. If you have very dry skin I wouldn’t recommend layering with oil or cream since it doesn’t seem to mix well other products and can start to flake-up when combined. Other than that Magical Moringa works well and would make a great summer moisturizer. It retails for $24.95.


After reading many great things about the African Paradise Body Conditioner I had to try it for myself. Infused with Shea Butter from Ghana, Aloe Gel from Kenya, juicy mango and nutritive oils, the lush formula softens, brightens and perfumes the skin with a buttery sweet scent that smells very exotic. Unlike a regular body cream, you apply this in the shower on wet skin and lightly rinse. It is always a good idea to use products fresh out of a warm shower while skin is slightly damp as they tend to sink in deeper, absorb more efficiently and last longer. I have also tried the conditioner outside of the shower and it hydrates thoroughly with no sticky film or residue. For winter skincare it greatly improves texture, increases moisture levels, eliminates dry, flaky patches and alleviates discomfort. It retails for $40.95.  


LUSH is available in stores and online at lush.ca

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vichy Idéalia Skincare Review

If you’re 30 or over and haven’t started an anti-aging regiment it’s time to give your beauty routine a makeover. My motivation to invest in good skincare comes from growing up and watching my mom habitually slather on sunscreen, moisturizer and masks. She is always on top of her game which is probably why at age 55 she has the skin of a 30 year old with no wrinkles, sagging or harsh lines (let’s hope I inherit those genes). I began using preventative anti-aging products in my early 20’s and I’m happy to report that I have no visible signs of aging!

To help get you started Vichy had released a luxurious line of  paraben-free skincare infused with the power of blueberries (high in antioxidants), fermented black tea extract (also known as Kombucha) and mineralizing thermal water to shrink pores, smooth fine lines, prevent wrinkles and soften. Blueberries also contain essential vitamins to fight free-radicals, heal sun damage, diminish age spots and brighten skin tone for an even, healthy complexion.


After cleansing I like to start with the Idéalia Peeling Radiance Activating Night Care. The formula contains 4% Glycolic Acid which gently exfoliates and stimulates cell regeneration to smooth skin texture and enhance vibrancy. The concentration is safe for sensitive skin and can be applied with a cotton pad daily. The light water based formula refreshes with no residue and overtime dark spots, acne scars and wrinkles fade. The peel retails for $39.95.


I’ve also been using the Idéalia Smoothness & Glow Energizing Moisturizer which comes in two formulas: one for dry skin and the other for normal to combination. This potent, hypoallergenic blend combines the freshness of a gel with the lightweight suppleness of a cream and it makes my skin incredibly soft, silky and luminous! Upon application I experience an instant boost of hydration and radiance plus the wonderful fragrance has subtle hints of white flower and delicious tea extract. The lush texture eliminates dryness all day and at night I layer it with serum to create a nourishing sleep mask! The moisturizers retail for $45.00 each.


Although I love the Energizing Creams, the ultra silky texture slightly reduces adhesion of my foundation so under makeup I opt for the Smoothing and Illuminating Gel-Cream instead. The non-greasy, antioxidant rich formula makes skin feel smooth and soft while controlling shine, and shrinking pores. The matte finish is suitable for combination to oily skin and creates an even canvass for makeup application. It retails for $39.95.


The Radiance Booster Serum has an extra blast of citrus, licorice root and energizing ingredients that combine with the berry extract to speed up results and transform your skin in just 8 days. The light texture absorbs quickly and seeps deep into the epidermis for long lasting moisture and a beautiful glow. It retails for $49.95.


This collection is also great for women who have busy schedules and suffer from lack of sleep. The nutritive elements help perk-up the complexion and diminish dullness to reduce the signs of fatigue and stress. Vichy is available at drugstores nationwide and online at vichy.ca

Monday, February 20, 2017

Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Metallic Retractable Lipstick Crayon Review

If you haven’t tried the TwistUp Lipsticks from Annabelle you're missing out on some seriously gorgeous pigment. The cherry shade is one of my all-time favorite deep reds for a night out and the thin crayon design is perfect for lining, shaping and filling in color.


The recent popularity of bold lip trends like color-blocking, ombré, and glitter have inspired me to step-up my game and try the new Metallic Lipsticks. Available in 6 dazzling shades these crayons glam-up your pout with shimmering finishes and vibrant pigment. Although the effect is beautifully reflective, the sparkly particles embedded in the formula are well blended for smooth, consistent coverage. The creamy texture glides on effortlessly with no glittery mess and adheres well for hours of comfortable wear.


The metallic effect definitely adds a unique twist to these bright, flattering colors and the infusion of omega oils and shea butter keeps lips moisturized and soft. The crayons don’t require sharpening and the buildable color allows you to layer and enhance to full-coverage saturation. The only shade that applies sheer is Nude of Fame but the finish is still very luminous.

My favorite lipstick is Heartbreaker because the mesmerizing red reminds me of Dorothy’s ruby slipper from the Wizard of Oz. I also love Rock & Rose since the vivid fuchsia looks great on all complexions and Cozy Coral is perfect for spring/summer.


Swatches from left to right: Purple Panache, Rock & Rose, Heartbreaker, Nude of fame, Cozy Coral and Heavy Petal

Annabelle Cosmetics is available at drugstores nationwide and online at annabelle.com (with shipping to the U.S.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

L’Oréal Infallible Lip Paint: Review & Swatches

Bold, show-stopping lip paints are taking over the beauty scene and I love this vibrant trend! A few weeks ago I attended a press event to preview the new Infallible Paints by L’Oréal and since then I’ve been putting the collection to the test and transitioning my look into next season with brilliant spring hues.

This line has something for everyone and the spectrum ranges from pretty purples, flattering neutrals, vivacious pink, bright orange and sexy red. The tubes come with standard gloss applicators for precise shaping and distribution plus I have no issue with feathering or bleeding. Whether you want to go dark and vampy, fresh and light or shockingly vibrant, there is a shade to suit your style, outfit and mood.


Although many of the shades are dramatic, they are easy to pull-off and the scent is pleasant. The lightweight formula glides on smooth and starts off sheer to medium with the ability to be amplified to fuller coverage by adding more layers. I do have to blend well for consistency and enhanced saturation but once spread evenly the cushiony color makes lips appear plump and juicy (which is also very on-trend).

The purples range from light, medium and deep so you can mix, match and experiment with color blocking or ombré effects. The lilac has a pastel finish and grey base which is quite unique.  


I have a love-hate relationship with nude hues, but these soft shades have pretty undertones which make them very flattering.


The comfortable formula is a gloss-cream hybrid with lots of moisture and a lovely high-shine, non-sticky finish. Because of the texture, the pigments do tend to transfer with wear or during meals but they hold up for a few hours, reapply well and don't really stain.

The vivid pinks are great for spring and look ravishing on all skin tones.


Although I would have preferred a bit more lacquer-like richness and hold, the versatility to customize intensity is generally more favorable. The formula is easy to work with and application only takes a few seconds so you can gloss-up on the go.

Coral and orange is always a good choice for summer.


I like that the brand included both classic red and deep wine to accommodate different complexions.


Swatches left to right: Lilac Lust, Violet Twist, Bewitching Bordeaux, Taupeless, Nude Star, Spicy Blush, Wild Rose, Fearless Fuchsia, Cool Coral, Orange Envy, DIY Red and Sultry Sangria.


The Lip Paints retail for $12.99 each and L’Oréal is available at drugstores nationwide.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Marcelle Cosmetics Eye Shadow Quad Review

Packing for travel is tricky when you have a large makeup stash and fighting the urge to take everything with you is a struggle only a beauty junkie understands. I’ve become somewhat of a packing expert over the years and I’m always on the hunt for products that conveniently slip into my carry-on, tote or weekend bag yet still provide the versatility to create professional looks. The Marcelle Eye Shadow Quads are great for a girl on-the-go and they come in a wide variety of shades to suit your style.


The collection includes 9 luxurious quads in a beautiful range of color combinations that can take you from soft day looks to deep smoldering effects for a night out. The shadows are so well matched that creating the perfect look is practically foolproof and the silky texture applies smooth, lightweight and crease-free. The color payoff is exquisitely rich, highly saturated and buildable so you can go from subtle to dramatic with a few layers and I love the brilliant satin finish! I always recommend using a good primer to enhance pigments but these need very little help reaching their full potential and the shimmer has a metallic tinge for bold accentuation.

Midnight Seas appeals to my dramatic side with a lovely contrast of bright blue and sultry navy. I use this quad for events, parties and date night but I’m also brave enough to show them off during the day.


It seems that every time I choose palettes I go for the gold but the Sundance compact is irresistible! I wear these shades on a daily basis because they are very flattering and adding sharp winged liner and classic red lipstick amps-up the glam.


Ultraviolet has a lovely mix of light pink-purple and deep plum with refined glittery flecks. This combo is great for spring and looks amazing on most skin tones. The shadows are also paraben and perfume free making them safe and gentle on sensitive eyes.


This may be drugstore makeup but the quality of these quads is comparable to some high-end brands and they retail for $15.95 each.


When you’re checking out the pretty shadow palettes make sure to head over to the blush section because Marcelle has a fabulous range! The satin finish Monochromatic Blush in the shade Raspberry is my new go-to cheek pigment and the formula is paraben and perfume free. In the photo the color looks quite light and basic but once applied it is actually deep and rich with a hint of bronze and a touch of radiant shimmer that highlights, sculpts and defines. It adds a beautiful pop of silky color that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum (not too light or too dark) and it is highly pigmented so I can even use it as eye shadow! The blush is hypoallergenic and retails for $15.95.


You can find Marcelle Cosmetics at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Rexall, London Drugs and more plus order online at marcelle.com (shipping available to the U.S.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Eminence Organic Skincare Review

Many people are trying to live healthier lifestyles and cut out as many preservatives as possible which is why finding amazing, all-natural skincare is so exciting! Recently I’ve been testing the organic, handmade products from Eminence and I’m totally obsessed with the efficient formulas and luxury ingredients. The skincare is made in Budapest Hungary (a top destinations on my travel bucket list) and the brand utilizes the most natural cultivation methods and nutrient rich soil to capture high levels of fresh fruit extracts and vitamins. The process of biodynamic farming yields a potent concentration of active ingredients which enhances regeneration of the skin for a healthy, youthful complexion.


I usually begin my skincare routine with a refreshing blast of the Stone Crop Hydrating Mist infused with essential minerals. This soothing tonic alleviates dryness, balances uneven skin tone by reducing pigmentation, removes impurities and prepares my skin to absorb moisturizer and serum. The liquid looks like a nutritive green smoothie but dries clear with no residue. I also spritz it on before makeup application and keep it at my work desk for an invigorating boost of moisture throughout the day. It retails for $46.00.


As I write this article heavy snowfall is blanketing Toronto and the harsh weather can cause dry, flaky skin. To counteract the effects of winter or any extreme seasonal weather, the Rosehip & Lemongrass Repair Balm makes a fabulous reparative treatment. Enriched with Vitamins A, C, D, E, antioxidants and a variety of minerals, fruit extracts, rich oils and nourishing herbs - the balm improves texture, deeply moisturizes, heals and protects from environmental stress. It also minimizes pores, firms and revives dull, tired skin. The texture is a bit thick and chunky when you dig it out of the jar so it does take some time to melt as you massage it in. Once the formula liquefies and absorbs, my skin feels supple, soft and bouncy all night! The consistency isn’t ultra lightweight but it isn’t pore clogging or heavy either and as it sinks in the residue tends to dissipate. The balm also makes a wonderful cuticle and hand treatment and I like to rub the excess into my lips. It retails for $88.00 and even though the jar is small, a little goes a long way.


My dehydrated skin cannot get enough of the lush Stone Crop Masque! This indulgent formula is loaded with vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, antioxidants, honey, fruit and many other incredible ingredients that fight free radicals, correct skin tone, hydrate, recuperate damaged areas and boost overall health. Looking at the jelly-like masque you can actually see the fresh fruit pulp and smell the aromatic herbs. After 10-15 minutes (or longer depending on your preference) the formula boosts hydration levels for ultra silky, incredibly soft, resilient skin. The slick texture is a bit tedious to rinse off (I prefer to do it in the shower) but it has fabulous brightening effects. This is one of my new favorite moisture masks because I see and feel results immediately after treatment. It retails for $46.00.


Calendula Oil has become a popular ingredient in skincare because it contains high concentrations of Beta Carotenoids, antioxidants and vitamins that enhance the skin’s natural healing process for smooth radiant results. For me the oil has also helped reduce the occurrence of breakouts while keeping my complexion clear, soft, even and blemish-free. I’ve also noticed gradual lightening of discoloration and the disappearance of dry patches. I prefer to layer the oil with moisturizer and use the excess on my hands and cuticles. It retails for $36.00.


After a relaxing shower when skin is still moist and warm, a good body oil locks in moisture and improves skin texture. The Eminence Apricot Oil smells deliciously sweet, and candy-like with a juicy fruit formula and reconstructing oils that drench skin in lush layers of moisture. The light finish creates a radiant sheen that doesn’t transfer or feel greasy and the hydrating effects last all day. The oil also protects the cell membrane, heals and reduces lines, wrinkles and roughness while boosting elasticity, clarity and suppleness. The other oils in the formula are: grape seed, jojoba, seabuckthorn, pomegranate and carrot plus a long list of essential vitamins. It retails for $29.00.


My night time routine always includes a comforting eye gel since dark circles are prevalent in my family and I do some of my best work late at night. The Cucumber Eye Gel ($68.00) is light, cooling and loaded with organic ingredients that relieve stressed eyes.
The main components include:
Cucumber: reduces puffiness and rehydrates
Shea Butter: moisturizes and revitalizes
Bearberry (antioxidant): evens skin tone
Eyebright: reduces irritation and swelling
Atlas Cedar: calms the skin
The gel rejuvenates and lifts while diminishing signs of fatigue and aging. The darkness under my eyes seems to be improving (especially when used my Foreo Iris Massager) and the entire area is smooth and well hydrated.


Eminence is available online at thefacialroom.ca and for more information or to find a retailer near you visit eminenceorganics.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Angel Eau Sucrée Perfume Review

Happy Vanlentine’s Day everyone! Today many couples are celebrating their love and an alluring fragrance enchants the senses, sets the mood and puts the finishing touch on any outfit.

When Mugler released Angel it became a signature scent for many women and a cult favorite. I was one of the few who thought the aroma was oddly pungent, a little masculine and unappealing which is why I’ve never reviewed it. Recently the fragrance was re-launched and re-formulated with a deliciously sweet twist! The base is still quite robust to retain the depth of the original but this formula is well balanced with appetizing candy, ripe fruit and tantalizing tanginess that lightens the blend and makes it easier to wear. The new interpretation is wonderful and I think Angel fans will love it!


The dazzling bottle is designed to represent a shooting star with delicate shimmer evoking the glaze on a gourmet chocolate cake.

Eau Sucrée translates to “sweetened water” and the scent is described as indulgent, addicting and utterly desirable. “The ingredients provoke contrasting effects with a profusion of taste sensations that echo hot and cold, sweet and crisp and melt-in-your-mouth freshness” to arouse the appetite.

The decadent, dreamy notes include: sparkling berry sorbet, scrumptious caramelized meringue, voluptuous patchouli and enchanting vanilla for a hint of seductive femininity. The fruity gourmand makes the perfume suitable for an elegant night out yet soft enough for day wear.


Many of the fragrances in my collection smell familiar and trendy (which is not a bad thing) but this scent breaks the mold with its unique intermingling of playful elegance and sharp contrast of sugary warmth. The 50 ml bottled retails for $82.00 and is available at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, Nordstrom, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu and Murale. 
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