Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Quo Cosmetics Fall 2018 Collection

Autumn is the perfect season to experiment with bold color and create seductive runway inspired looks. This year Quo’s collection features smokey shadows, matte lips and subtle pops of shimmer. They’ve also included a luxurious gold brush set that will be the envy of all your friends.

The Lunar Eye Shadow Palette ($20.00) contains soft neutrals and dark mattes to create both classic and playful looks. Blend the deeper hues for a dramatic effect and use the shimmers to brighten and highlight. The texture is silky and soft with buildable saturation and versatile coverage. I wish the colors were more vivid but the compact is travel-friendly and the large mirror is great for application. 

The Sweet Magnolia Face Palette ($18.00) has sleek packaging and comes with 2 highlighters, 1 blush and 1 bronzer. The deeper highlight is soft, lightweight and radiant for a natural glow but I’m not crazy about the bronzer. The pigmentation is faint and monotone so the color doesn't really enhance, define or sculpt. Fair complexions might have better luck with these shades.

The Face Palette doesn't work for me but the Matte Lipsticks ($14.00 ea) are to die for! Seduce is a peachy coral hue that looks amazing on all skin tones, Addict is a pink tinged burgundy that I can’t get enough of and Date Night (my favorite) is an irresistible brick red that makes your pout smolder. The texture is rich and velvety for smooth creamy glide and buildable lightweight coverage (you definitely need these in your life).

If you you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for makeup lovers, don’t miss out on the new Brush Set ($55.00). It comes with a powder brush, blush brush, foundation brush, all over shadow brush, and concealer brush (almost everything you need for full-face application). The sophisticated gold handles, incredible craftsmanship and soft fluffy bristles are impressive but I was even more ecstatic about the stand!

The brushes stick to a magnetized bar so you can store and display them on your vanity. Standing them upright also prevents germs and makeup from transferring between brushes and keeps the bristles in their original shape so they last longer. 

This collection is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Kerastase Resistance Extentioniste Collection Review

There are many factors that can affect the health of your hair including heat styling, environmental aggressors, hair color and improper care. My hair care regiment includes a balanced diet, multi-vitamins, thermal protection and avoiding harsh chemicals. I’ve also incorporated the new Kerastase Resistance Extentioniste Collection - formulated to heal and rebuild weak over processed strands. Although my hair is healthy, I use reparative products to nourish and maintain length. As a step-by-step treatment, Extentioniste helps prevent breakage and split-ends to improve resiliency.

Before lathering-up I apply the Resistance Soin Premier Therapiste Pre-Shampoo Conditioner ($48.00) to prime and protect during shampooing. Think of it as a fortifying barrier that prevents cleansers from stripping away too much moisture.

The Shampoo ($67.00) smells amazing and transforms into a rich foam that thoroughly eliminates oil, impurities, product build-up, dust and dirt. Usually I only lather my scalp and let the bubbles trickle down to avoid drying out my ends but with this gentle formula I can lather, rinse and repeat from root to tip and my hair actually feels softer after cleansing. Most of the Kerastase shampoos maintain the integrity of the cuticle so hair feel supple and light instead of brittle and squeaky clean.

The Fondant Extentioniste Conditioner ($48.00) detangles and strengthens slow growing damaged lengths with a powerful fusion of Creatin, Ceramides and Maelic Acid. The small particles penetrate, reinforce and seal cuticles with a uniform coating that protects against heat styling and extreme weather. I love how the lush texture envelops each strand to soften, smooth and hydrate. It revives the bounce in my curls and doubles as a deep conditioner if you leave it on longer.

I always stress the importance of monthly hair treatments because they effectively restore brilliance, moisturize and improve texture. Resistance Masque Extentioniste ($65.00) contains the same active ingredients as the conditioner with a richer cream that mends and restores from the inside out. The directions recommend that you leave it on for 5-10 minutes but for lasting results I need at least 1-2 hours. Apply it before blow drying and flat ironing for silky tendrils.

The Scalp and Hair Leave-In Serum ($57.00) can be massaged in to stimulate circulation and promote healthy growth. It also seals ends to prevent splits and breakage. I usually apply it on damp hair before styling and it absorbs quickly with no stickiness or residue. Use it mid-week to refresh and perfume your scalp (it smells wonderful).

For more great products, holiday gift sets or retail information, visit kerastase.ca.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Conair Infiniti Pro 3Q Flat Iron Review

Heat, humidity and perspiration makes it nearly impossible for me to keep my hair straight, neat and frizz-free, so during the summer I let my curls flow wild and free. For 5 to 6 months I take a break from heat styling, cut back on sulfates and nourish my ends with oils, conditioner and leave-ins so weakened strands recuperate and grow.

Now that the weather has cooled down, I’m changing my look and updating my styling tools to minimize heat damage. When it comes to healthy hair, quality appliances are essential and the 3Q straightener ($120.00) has cutting-edge safety features to help protect your mane.

Designed with intelligent sensor technology, the temperature automatically adjusts to the characteristics of your hair to limit excessive heat exposure. I have no idea how it monitors hair type or texture but there are 12 digital heat settings up to 235˚C / 455˚F for customized results. I recommend starting at a low level and increasing gradually if necessary. To prevent burns never exceed 450˚. The plates take just 30 seconds to reach optimal temperature and the swivel cord allows you to manoeuvre the device around your head with ease.

It is always best to start with clean fresh hair so I cleanse with the Kerastase Bain De Force Vita-Ciment Topseal Shampoo ($45.00). This fortifying formula reinforces and resurfaces the outer fiber making each strand more resistant to breakage and split-ends. It also removes oil, scalp build-up and impurities without stripping.

Gently detangle, rinse and apply a treatment mask for softness and hydration. Cristalliste ($65.00) primes, nourishes and reinforces against external aggressors with a mix of active ingredients.

1. Brush the deep conditioner through thoroughly focusing on the ends.
2. Pin your hair up, cover with a plastic shower cap and wrap with a microfiber towel to trap in heat and enhance absorption.
3. Leave on for 1-2 hours (unless you have thin hair prone to limpness).
4. Rinse and air dry or use the cool setting on your blow dryer to save time.

Before styling I use a combination of serums and heat protectants. The Kerastase Oleo-Relax ($48.00) smooths dry rebellious hair into submission by eliminating frizz and boosting shine. Apply before or after straightening as a finishing product. 

Kerastase is available at salons nationwide. To find a location near you visit to kerastase.ca.

To make flat ironing easier, part your hair into manageable sections. The 3Q has ionic conditioning technology and luxurious titanium plates for effortless glide and smoothing. It also helps eliminate static, frizz and flyaways with every pass for a lightweight silky finish. 

You will notice a faint humming or whirling noise when using the flat iron which is normal for this model. There may also be some steam as water or products evaporate.

Conair has definitely upgraded their styling tools to a professional level and I am very pleased with my results. The Infinity Pro is available at conair.ca.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lise Watier Dress Code 5-Color Eye Shadow Palette Review

Ready or not the holiday season is almost here and soon everything will be covered in tinsel, bows and glitter. I love fall/winter trends, makeup and decor, especially when the colors are versatile and stylish.

Lise Watier’s Dress Code Palettes ($39.00 each) are sophisticated, easy to use and available in 7 stunning color combinations that are tailored to create custom looks. Whether you want to glow like a golden goddess or rock out with a smokey eye, there is something for every skin tone and occasion.

The two palettes I chose are perfect for autumn afternoons, holiday events, work and everyday wear. Pink Corsage contains an irresistible garnet, brilliant champagne, radiant silver, charcoal and snowy ivory. No matter how you choose to wear them, the velvety colors enhance your eyes with stunning contrast, highlight and definition.

The soft saturated pigment glides on effortlessly and transform from a smooth cream to a rich powder with no creasing, fading or scattering. As soon as you touch the silky shadows you will fall in love! The texture is luxurious and long-lasting with incredible hold and smoldering intensity.

Prune-a-Porter is my go-to when I’m in the mood for a simple look. The colors are not as vivid as Pink Corsage but I like blending the deep purple, light pink and mauve. For something more glamorous, layer the shimmery grey on your lids, contour the crease with a splash of plum and accentuate with jet black liner. Both palettes are great for travel and transition from day to night.

The Aqua Terra Blush Duo ($36.00) has two universal shades that can be worn individually, blended or layered to customize coverage. I mostly use the bottom color because the pink is a bit faint. The silky lightweight power applies seamlessly without embellishing lines or skin texture.

Lise Watier is available at Hudson's Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and online at lisewatier.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

NEW Mary Kay Limited-Edition Matte Lipstick | Review & Swatches

If you love bold lips and velvety color, Mary Kay’s limited-edition “It Lipsticks” will make a vibrant addition to your collection. Inspired by the trendsetters of Milan, these pigment-packed shades drench lips in supple moisture for hours of cushion-y comfort.

These are some of the best lip products the brand has ever released! The texture is luxuriously rich and creamy for smooth glide and excellent coverage with no flaking, bleeding or dryness. Application is quick, convenient and neat (even without liner) and the saturated color makes lips appear lush, plump and well contoured for a dramatic effect.

There are only 4 shades in the collection but they all make a fashionable statement and compliment all skin tones. For autumn I recommend Puro Mirtillo and Red Roma. The deep wine has a smoldering merlot undertone that may require a few layers for even coverage but I love the vampy finish. The bright orange-y red will turn heads at holiday parties and it looks stunning with glamorous eye shadow – gold tones, glitter and shimmer.

Grazie Violet is my favorite! The purple-y pink orchid is soft, trendy and easy to wear (day or night). If you’re feeling a bit daring try Orange Mio - an electric orange that will definitely make your lips the center of attention.

These beauties retail for $20.00 each at marykay.ca

Friday, October 5, 2018

Avon True Color Lipstick Review | NEW Shades & Fall Trends

Scattered around my work desk, tucked in my vanity and stuffed in almost every purse I own you will find a beautiful variety of Avon True Color Lipsticks ($10.00 ea). The collection has an incredible range of affordable moisturizing pigments in almost every trendy shade you can imagine so today I’m featuring enticing new hues and a few fall classics.

When the temperature drops you won't have to worry about dry chapped lips. The supple formula is infused with jojoba oil, vitamin E, collagen and conditioning wax to seal in moisture and keep skin soft all day. There are 3 pretty finishes to choose from: creamy satin with sheer to medium coverage, velvety matte with bold saturation and radiant shimmer.

Left to right: Marvelous Mocha, Toasted Rose, Tender Kiss, Wild Ginger, Buttered Rum, Perfect Red, Wild Cherry, Red Supreme, Crush, Cherry Jubilee, Vamp, Berry Berry Nice, Sangria, Wine With Everything, Hot Pink and Hot Plum.

I’ve already started wearing my cute ankle boots, billowing scarves and stylish leather jacket so the shades below are perfect for my autumn wardrobe. There is a sultry red for every skin tone and the seductive wine or vampy purple are great for a night out. My favorite is Wild Cherry – a beautiful combination of deep pink, red and berry. Buttered Rum is a must this season and Cherry Jubilee is a bestseller that looks amazing on everyone!

Left to right: Buttered Rum, Perfect Red, Wild Cherry (matte), Red Supreme (matte), Crush, Cherry Jubilee and Vamp.

When I’m in the mood for something flirty and fun, I drench my pout in these beauties. The bright pink, berry and purple tones are always a good choice and the lightweight color glides on effortlessly with no drag or bleeding. I can’t get enough of Hot Plum. It was my signature shade all summer.

Berry Berry Nice, Sangria, Wine With Everything, Hot Pink, Hot Plum (matte)

If you prefer long-wear lipstick I recommend the matte finish because it lasts longer with less transfer. The satiny True Color Nourishing Lipsticks provide a hint of luminous shine but they aren’t as durable so you may need to reapply more frequently.

Nudes are always popular and if you aren’t ready to retire the bright corals, these two orange-y hues may be just what you’re looking for.

Wild Ginger, Tender Kiss, Toasted Rose and Marvelous Mocha (matte)

This amazing collection is available online at avon.ca

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Silk’n Silhouette Body Contouring and Cellulite Reduction Device Review

Today I'm addressing a topic that many people find embarrassing and downright depressing. It is estimated that 90% of women will develop cellulite at some point in their lives and exercise alone is not enough to cure the underlying cause of rippled skin. If you are experiencing unsightly dimples just remember, you’re not alone and cellulite does not discriminate. It affects women of all ages, ethnicities and body types - thin, thick, tall and short.

What Causes Cellulite
Cellulite tends to worsen with age as connective tissue slackens and fat cells push their way to the surface creating an uneven appearance. Before resorting to painful clinical procedures or extreme dieting, try the Silk’n Silhouette Body Contouring Device ($289.00) to help whip puckered skin back into shape!

It is important to remember that cellulite can be caused by a number of factors including: diet, lifestyle choices, genetics (if your mom has it you are more likely to develop it), aging and hormones. Although fit women also suffer from cellulite, strength training and regular exercise helps reduce the number of fat cells in the body which may results in leaner extremities and less bulging.

How Silk’n Silhouette Body Contouring Works
The Silk’n Silhouette provides effective clinical reshaping treatments from the comfort of home with no down time. The device is easy to use and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the hand for optimal maneuverability.

It works by merging 3 powerful but gentle energy sources:
*Bipolar Radio frequency – penetrates deep into the tissue and projects heat to stimulate collagen and eliminate fat cells.
*LED Light Therapy – rejuvenates, restores and triggers cell renewal.
*Infrared Heat Energy – increases circulation to improve tone, texture and structure.

By penetrating and heating the epidermis from the surface deep into the subdermal fat, skin begins to appear firm, tight and smooth. Use the device to treat common problem areas (thighs, butt, stomach and upper arms) for 10-20 minutes twice a week for at least 10 weeks and then once every two weeks for maintenance.

How to use Silk’n Silhouette
Like many Silkn’ products, the Silhouette can only be activated with a slider gel to help the plates glide across the skin. To get the most from my treatments, I prefer to use cellulite gel creams that moisturize and smooth with active ingredients. My favorites are the Clarins Body Fit Anti-Cellulite Contouring Expert ($68.00) formulated with essential oils that lift and reshape. I also like Mary Kay’s Timewise Body ($38.00) to soften and reduce imperfections.

Apply a layer of cellulite cream to clean dry skin, plug in the device and start at level 1 before increasing the intensity. There are 3 modes that you can switch between to customize your treatment for different areas of the body. Move the plates slowly and gently across the skin alternating between vertical and circular motions to boost the lymphatic system.

The treatment feels warm and relaxing but don’t press too hard. I made the mistake of vigorously over massaging during my first session and my thighs felt sore afterwards. For best results remember to use the Silhouette continuously over several weeks for visible results and stay dedicated to prevent the skin from reverting.

My Results
Although I don’t have severe cellulite, dimples or rippling, I began using the Silhouette because I’ve noticed that my inner thighs are not as toned as they once were. My goal was to tighten the flesh, improve texture and keep underlying fat cells from becoming a real problem.

After weeks of using the device (and altering my diet) I’ve definitely noticed a tightening effect and an improvement in the shape of my legs. My results gave me the confidence to wear miniskirts again without worrying about how my thighs look when I sit down. I hope to prevent long-term collagen loss by keeping my problem areas in tip-top shape.

The Silk'n Silhouette is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca, London Drugs and silkn.ca.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

KiiPix Smartphone Picture Printer Review

In the age of digital technology and social media we may have lost our appreciation for print photography and spontaneous Polaroids. I’m a bit old-school when it comes to keepsake photo albums and commemorating special occasions. I like to share fun memories and use snapshots to decorate cards, scrapbooks and other mementos.

Photos don’t just capture important moments, they also tell a story and with the KiiPix ($49.00) you can instantly print your favorite pictures directly from your cell phone. I don’t consider myself very “tech savvy” but this device is easy to use. There are no batteries, cords or special apps and you don’t even need Wifi. Simply load the film (it takes just a few seconds), pop open the panels, set the frame, align the shot and press the shutter.

I played around with the printer and discovered that the photos turn out much better when my screen is clean and the brightness is turned all the way up. Make sure to adjust your screensaver settings so it doesn’t time-out and go dark.

The frame that your phone rests on tends to slide around so be careful when manually cranking out the pic. Just like a regular Polaroid, the film will be blank for a few seconds before the photo begins to appear. Initially there were white streaks on all of my shots but they fade gradually and completely disappear by the next day.

The printer only works with FUJUFILM Instax mini film ($13.99 for 10 pics) and the photos have a retro-stylized effect that gives them a faded vintage look. The filter is nice but I prefer sharper images with vibrant color and the option to buy more than 10 prints per roll (they tend to go fast).

The KiiPix makes an awesome gift for gadget lovers and you can take it anywhere! Use it to decorate any room in the house, personalize gifts or create a mini photo booth for weddings, showers and birthdays. It comes in handy for capturing your baby’s milestones or a fun night out with the girls. I use mine to print vacation photos for my office and makeup pics for my vanity. The small prints are also perfect for marking special events in my day planner.

KiiPix is available at Toys R Us

Monday, October 1, 2018

Veriphy Skincare Review

When it comes to natural cruelty free skincare, Veriphy is doing amazing things! The brand’s name originates from the French word “vert” meaning green and the Greek word “phy” meaning from nature. So far there are only 3 products in the collection but that’s all you really need to achieve beautiful skin.

The formulas are infused with high performance effective ingredients and a breakthrough new Phytoglycogen called PhytoSpherix. This plant-based component helps energize skin cells so they can heal, regenerate and thrive!

I try to test skincare for at least 3 weeks before sharing my final verdict but this range is so simple and refreshing that I’ve been using it for several months. The products are very easy to incorporate into your daily routine and they contain no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, silicones or fragrance, making them safe for sensitive skin.

Start with the Power Trip Facial Serum ($105.00) to soothe, revitalize and gently exfoliate with AHA. Hyaluronic Acid and other emollients penetrate deeply to fortify and retain moisture while the Phytoglycogen strengthens collagen and elastin for youthful vitality. Arnica and Calendula Extracts also help reduce the appearance of redness and hyperpigmentation for an even complexion. The serum is great for balancing all skin types and the lightweight gel absorbs quickly with a supple finish that smooths the appearance of roughness, fine lines, dry patches and wrinkles.

The Self Absorbed Facial Moisturizer ($85.00) layers well with the serum to create a velvety veil of hydration with no greasiness. This incredible duo keeps my skin soft and silky all day with a nourishing blend of avocado oil – rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Algae, Green Tea and Licorice Root Extracts visibly brighten, diminish blemishes and help fade discoloration for enhanced radiance. When my skin feels extra parched, I layer the serum and cream with a lightweight oil so my skin looks totally replenished the next morning.

The 20/20 Eye Cream ($82.00) has been in my travel bag all summer to revitalize tired eyes. Infused with Peptides, Niacinamide and Cucumber Extract, the formula helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. Tap a small amount under and around the eyes (don't forget the outer corners and lids) to plump and refresh. I also use the excess to moisturize my brows. The formula is non-irritating so it does not burn.

Veriphy is available online at veriphyskincare.com and amazon.ca

Friday, September 28, 2018

Urban Decay Naked Cherry Collection: Review & Swatches

Over the last few weeks you’ve probably noticed Urban Decay dropping tantalizing hints about Naked Cherry. They were very elusive about the release date and of course panic ensued on social media. I predicted that it was going to be one of the hottest fall trends and many beauty junkies were instantly tempted by the warm metallics, shimmering coppers and sizzling plums. UD anticipates that these vamped-up cherry hues will bring out the most seductive eye looks ever and they might be right.

After Naked Heat (which I use almost every day), sultry cherry seems like a natural progression. The packaging is to die for with a row of metallic fruit adorning the crimson case.

I was hoping for a delicious cherry jubilee scent when I lifted the lid but no such luck. Instead I was happily bombarded with a dose of smoldering burgundy (my favorite autumn shade), bronzed cherry, pink cherry, garnet, a deep brown referred to as “black cherry” aka Privacy and what I describe as irresistible golden cherry (Ambitious). Feelz and Juicy are creamy neutrals with peachy beige undertones that help balance the bold hues. They are also perfect for transitioning and seamless crease sculpting.

The left side of the palette is a good reason to stop what you’re doing and add it to your collection immediately! These vivid colors are going to be on my eyelids all season and the rich velvety texture is easy to blend, very buildable and intensely pigmented for all the drama you could ever want. If a few of the neutrals (like the silvery shadow in the middle) were replaced by dark cherry red, the palette would be even better!

I am a bit underwhelmed by the first two pigments (Hot Spot and Caution). Having a light base or brow highlight is important but they don’t differ very much from previous naked shadows. UD never skimps on quality so you don’t have to worry about creasing or fading especially when you use the Primer Potion (highly recommend). If you aren't impressed at first glance swatch it! The seductive shadows look even better on the skin and compliment all complexions. Naked Cherry retails for $66.00.

There are also three Vice Lipsticks ($22.00 each) to help coordinate your look. Devilish and Juicy have metallic finishes with a dose of frosty glitter. I’m on the fence about these colors because they aren't very dramatic and the pigmentation is quite sheer despite the moisture, comfort and consistent shimmer dispersion. The shade Cherry is more my style. The deep wine enhances the sultry fall vibes of the eye shadow with a pop of satiny sheen.

The 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils ($25.00) intensify your cherry look with an award-winning cream formula that applies evenly, sets quickly and stays put all day. I could have done without the sharpening (retractable is more convenient) but I'm obsessed with the metallic burgundy and the pigmentation is excellent!

Urban Decay is available at freestanding stores, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, and online at urbandecay.ca. Don't forget to sign up for the Beauty Junkies Rewards Program to earn and redeem points.
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