Friday, July 10, 2020

Hollywood Cone | Delicious Summer Desserts

It has been extremely humid this summer and like most of you, I’ve been looking for fun ways to cool down.

Instead of taking the family out for boring old soft serve, head to Hollywood Cone and treat them to something exceptional.


This trendy cafe in the heart of Whitby makes the most decadent milkshakes and gourmet donuts around. They also serve boozy adult shakes if you want something with a little extra kick.

The Mutant Shake is HUGE and topped with so much deliciousness you’re going to want to snap a few photo for Instagram.


It was difficult making a decision (there is a lot on the menu) but I chose the Strawberry Shortcake Mutant Shake loaded with ice cream, chunks of sweet berries, a few whole strawberries, whipped cream, fruit sauce and a big hunk of cake – it’s like having 2 desserts in one!

The donuts like everything else are massive and topped with a mountain of cake, candy, icing and chocolate. I couldn’t pick just one so they treated me to a box of my favorite flavors:

*Birthday Cake
*Cookies n’ Cream
*Red Velvet
*Ferrero Rocher
*Twix – stuffed with Twix pieces
*Reese – stuffed with loads of peanut butter

Foodie tip: the donuts without holes have so much filling!


The cafe also serves delicious sandwiches with thick cut fries, unique burgers, loaded hot dogs, crepes, waffles and more! Make sure to come hungry.


Check out their website at hollywoodcone.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Miracle 10 Body Collection | Tone, Tighten and Hydrate Your Skin

If you try to eat a balanced diet and workout regularly, you’ll love Miracle 10’s new Body range. The products are designed to compliment your healthy lifestyle by smoothing, tightening and softening the skin.


Even if you don’t have an exercise routine, the lotions and cleanser help kick-start the toning process and provide a slimming effect.

The Miracle 10 Body Cleanser ($49) is formulated with antioxidants, salicylic acid and malachite extract to exfoliate, purify pores, treat body acne, moisturize, reduce inflammation and deep clean. The rich lather feels refreshing after a sweaty workout or humid day and revitalizes skin after every shower.


I always keep body scrub in my bathroom and recently I’ve been using the Miracle 10 Body Polish ($56) to buff away roughness and keep my skin smooth and supple. The foam contains fruit pulp, natural wax beads and aloe vera to improve healing, enhance elasticity, remove dead cells and calm irritation. It also improves circulation and prevents razor bumps. The beads are gentle so I prefer to use the scrub on dry or slightly damp skin for more friction.


 After cleansing and exfoliating, it is important to moisturize. In this collection you have two options – a gel and a lotion that can be used individually or together.

Body Therapy ($85) is great for people who want to show-off their legs this summer. If you are on a weight loss journey or simply interested in body contouring, this product helps shape and tone lumpy areas.

The formula contains:
*Caffeine – to reduce the look of cellulite and increase circulation.
*Butchers Broom plant extract – used to increase circulation, treat redness and tighten dimpled or loose skin.
*Carnitine – an ammonium compound that supports energy metabolism and helps breakdown fat.

I've used this product for a few weeks and I already see an improvement in the jiggly areas of my upper thighs. It leaves behind a sticky residue so I usually apply it at night. 


Body Silk ($59) can be applied after Body Therapy or used as is. This lush, hydrating cream is enriched with caffeine, 2% niacinamide, coconut oil, shea butter, squalane and tocopheryl to reduce water retention responsible for bloating and strengthen the skin's natural moisture barrier. 

We all have hand creams stashed in our purse but Miracle 10’s formula does a lot more than alleviate dryness. Hand Repair ($39) contains lactic acid, hyaluronic acid and powerful antioxidants that soften and hydrate beyond multiple hand washing and hand santizer. It combats harsh environmental conditions while healing and repairing cracked skin, brittle nails and ragged cuticles. For best result apply a generous layer every night before bed.


For more information please visit miracle10.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Shoppers Drug Mart Best Beauty Finds | Summer 2020

We’ve all been cooped up inside during the pandemic, but summer is short and it’s time to enjoy the weather and do a little shopping.

Shoppers Drug Mart has always been my one-stop-shop for the latest and greatest beauty products, so today I am sharing my favorite seasonal finds.


Fabulous Makeup

There isn’t much you can buy for thirteen bucks these days and the Revolution Reloaded Eye Shadow Palette ($12.99) looks way more expensive than it is. The shadows are large, the pigmentation is great and the colors are gorgeous! (I've been using it everyday). Although it is labelled “neutral 2,” the sultry sunset hues are anything but boring. I love the rich orangey-pinks, deep coral and shimmery garnets.


We all want radiant skin this summer and for just $11.99 you can get it! The new Catrice Luminice Highlight & Bronze Glow Palette comes with 3 pretty powders that illuminate your face in all the right places.


The Catrice Retractable Brow Pen Pro ($9.99) is available in 3 long lasting, waterproof shades. The rich, creamy color glides on effortlessly (never dry or ashy) and on humid days it does not run or transfer. The little brush smooths down stray hairs and keeps everything in place.


If you usually sweat off your mascara during a heat wave, try the essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes ($4.99) with smudge-proof black pigment. The brush is supposed to be "volumizing" but instead it adds definition and length. If you want thicker lashes, layer Panda Eyes with the essence Lash Princess Mascara. 


Have you ever finished your makeup and left the house only to realize that your foundation looks blotchy in direct sunlight? With the Catrice Slim’matic Camouflage Stick ($7.99) you can fix your face on-the-go. The small tube slips in any purse or pocket and helps conceal blemishes, cover dark circles and correct discoloration with a creamy waterproof formula enriched with vitamin E and jojoba oil. The pigment is full-coverage, vegan and cruelty-free.


Skincare Essentials

Planning to spend a lot of time in the sun this summer? Keep your complexion healthy and hydrated with Honest Beauty’s Hydrogel Cream ($29.99). It cools on contact, firms, blurs fine lines and drenches skin in layers of supple moisture for an instant glow.

For even more hydration, layer the cream with No7 Firming Booster ($44.00). The applicator is made to target, massage and treat problem areas for visible results in just one week! I may not have loose skin or wrinkles but this formula is definitely defining my jaw line and profile.


The Cocokind Oil to Milk Probiotic Cleanser ($24.99) is cruelty-free, eco friendly and does not contain toxins, fillers, artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil or sulfates. It is formulated with a blend of fermented oat, grape seed oil, and flower oils that balance pH, remove dirt and emulsify makeup while nourishing the skin.

Whether I’m hiking, working or traveling, I always keep a hydrating spray in my bag. The Indeed Hydraluron Moisture Mist ($24.99) is usually on my desk because it protects against pollution and blue light damage (I spend a lot of time on my computer, tablet and phone). The formula contains hyaluronic acid and butterfly bush extract which is rich in soothing antioxidants, amino acids and polysaccharides that detoxify and protect against UV damage.


The Oh K! Chok Chok Hydrating Serum Mist ($13.99) moisturizes, sets makeup and refreshes dull skin.

Don’t forget to stock up on face masks. Shoppers carries a wide variety including this Life Brand Replenishing Seaweed and Ceramide Hydrogel Sheet Mask ($4.99) and Masque Bar’s 99% natural Banana Mask ($4.99) which hydrates, plumps and illuminates.


While you’re at it, make sure to pick up some of these handy Quo Snap Clips ($10.99) to create cute styles and keep your hair in place.

Last but not least, another delicious smelling Body Lotion from Soap & Glory ($16.00) - their new scents are fabulous! This lightweight, fast absorbing cream is perfect for summer. It contains a luscious blend of coconut, Vitamin A, shea butter, almond oil and green tea extract to keep you soft, smooth and flake free.


For more fabulous beauty finds head to your nearest Shoppers Drug Mart or visit beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Crinkle Mingle By Sharie - Homemade Filipino Desserts

Recently my family and I have been enjoying more quality time together. The pandemic has really put things in perspective and reminded us to appreciate the little things in life.

The best part of every dinner party, barbecue, birthday celebration or special occasion is dessert and if you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, order from Crinkle Mingle by Sharie.

I discovered this wonderful home bakery on Instagram and learned that Sharie is a nurse who recently made the switch to stay at home mom. She specializes in traditional Filipino desserts that will knock your socks off. Her crinkle cookies are the BEST in the city (I can’t stop eating them).


These yummy crinkles are dense, rich, soft and extremely flavorful. The texture is a scrumptious combination of cookie and cake and the colorful boxes make great gifts (buy extra because you won’t want to share).

Flavors and colors:
Pink – strawberry
Brown –mocha
Green – pandan - a tropical leaf used in South Asian cuisine
Purple – ube (purple yam)
Deep brown – chocolate

If you’re wondering what my favorite is, it’s ALL of them. Order the assorted box and thank me later.


Summer is pie season and my family is obsessed with Crinkle Mingle’s Buko Pie made with tons of yummy coconut. We also love the Egg Pie stuffed with creamy custard - the texture is combination of flan and cheesecake.


I like that the fillings are not too sweet and the buttery, flaky crust is baked to perfection!

If you show up to the family function with one of these pies, it will be devoured in the blink of an eye.


For orders and inquiries, contact @crinkleminglebysharie on Instagram or Facebook (curb-side pick-up in Richmond Hill).

Monday, June 22, 2020

Mary Kay Spring 2020 Collection

We’ve all had a pretty unusual summer but as the city begins to recuperate from the pandemic, it is finally time for beauty junkies everywhere to break out their new makeup.

We might not be able to attend parties or go to the theater just yet, but we can enjoy provincial parks and do a little shopping.

Mary Kay’s Spring Collection reminds me of what the season is all about – bright pouty lips, shimmery shadow and deep earthy bronzers that transform us into glowing goddesses.


The Semi-Matte Gel Lipsticks ($21) are available in a variety of gorgeous shades but these four are brand new! The silky, nourishing formula delivers the perfect amount of lightweight, vibrant color in a single swipe and keeps lips hydrated for hours. My favorite is Red Stileto because it looks amazing with gold shadow and dramatic winged liner. I love the intense, full-coverage saturation and creamy, no-fuss application.


The Limited-Edition Unearthed Illuminating Bronzers ($22 ea) have a warm base and glow-inducing highlighter to create a multidimensional finish. For sunkissed radiance, sweep the powder just below the cheekbones or all over the face to accentuate and define.


The bronzers look beautiful in the Limited-Edition Unearthed Magnetic Palette – sold separately for $21.


On hot summer days, liquid eye shadow stays exactly where you put it and Mary Kay’s luminous new shades are packed with pigment. They look fabulous with or without a base but I use the MK waterproof primer ($18.00) to smooth the area and prolong wear.


After blending your crease shades to perfection, use the doe foot applicator to layer the liquid onto your lids and wait for it to dry before finishing your look with eyeliner and mascara.

If you prefer pressed pigment, check out the Chromafusion singles ($9 each) and customize your own refillable palette!


I never leave home without applying sultry black liner. It makes my eyes appear larger and improves the overall look of my eye shadow. Recently I’ve been using Mary Kay’s Waterproof Pen ($20) with intense black pigment. It is perfect for precise, neat lines and the no-drip felt tip is easy to use.


Don’t forget to accentuate your lashes with a few coats of mascara. I like to layer Lash Love Fanorama ($21) with Lash Love Waterproof ($21). Individually they provide a natural effect (not very voluminous or dramatic) but together they elongate and thicken.

I’m somewhat of a lip balm addict (I have tubes stashed everywhere) so it’s no surprise that I love Mary Kay’s Intuitive pH Balm ($21) and part of the proceeds to go charity. When you swipe on the creamy color (berry and translucent), the reactive ingredients adjust to the color of your lips creating a unique hue. On me the clear balm became a natural pink and the berry deepens into a sheer juicy blackberry. The hydrating formula keeps lips soft, smooth and healthy with a pop of plumping radiance.


Don’t forget to pamper your skin after spending time outdoors (your makeup won’t look as good if you don’t). I recommend the Microdermabrasion Plus Set ($60) which comes with an advanced exfoliator to remove dead cells and a Pore Minimizing Serum to smooth skin texture and reduce redness.


For more information visit marykay.ca or contact an independent consultant.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Holy Shakes – The Best Gourmet Milkshakes in Toronto

There is nothing better than a cool, frosty treat on a hot summer day and going out for ice cream or shakes to celebrate special occasions is a family tradition.

For the best gourmet milkshake in the GTA, head to Holy Shakes. This trendy dessert shop offers an impressive selection of decadent drinks in just about any flavor you can imagine – red velvet, PBJ, Cookie Dough, Oreo, Strawberry Cheesecake, Pistachio Crème Brûlée, Birthday Cake, Ferrero Roche, Kit Kat and so much more!


You might want to choose a flavor before heading to the store in Brampton for curb-side pick-up because it is very tempting to order everything on the menu!

The rich creamy shakes are blended to perfection before being topped with candy or cake and served in retro glass bottles. My favorite (so far) is strawberry cheesecake but I can't wait to try Coconut Bounty, Reese's and Always Nutella.

For more info or to place an order visit holyshakes.ca.

Spicy food goes great with sweet, refreshing milkshakes so while you’re at Holy Shakes, grab some lunch at The Kathy Roll Express – Toronto's finest Indian fusion street food.

Choose from a variety of tasty dishes like this creamy butter chicken mac and cheese.


Or try their famous Indian burritos stuffed with biryani style rice, beans, butter chicken and savory homemade sauces. The meat is always juicy and the dishes taste homemade and authentic with the perfect balance of heat.


The menu also includes: peri peri chicken, Punjabi tacos, cheesy tikka nachos and samosa poutine!

Order online at thekathirollexpress.com or visit the Brampton location for curb-side pick-up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Elastine PropoliThera Hair Care by Avon

Basking in the sun or taking a dip in the pool feels fantastic, but don't let UV and chlorine damage your hair this summer. Some of us are still recovering from winter dryness and when you factor in hard water, pollution, sulfates and heat styling, you get a recipe for dryness, split-ends and breakage.

Avon’s new PropoliThera Hair Care is formulated to strengthen and repair weak, brittle strands with natural emollients. The products are infused with propolis - a combination of tree sap and beeswax high in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. They also contain honey to restore moisture and royal jelly to enhance shine.


Any ingredient that comes from bees is healing and nourishing. Don’t believe me? Check out my favorite face moisturizer – Egyptian Magic.

The shampoo and conditioner ($24 each) repair damage, shield against environmental aggressors, cleanse without harsh sulfates, remove build-up, unclog follicles, lather away impurities, smooth, hydrate, replenish and soften.


The shampoo has a shimmery formula for an ultra glossy finish and the rich conditioner is great for detangling. I like the perfumey scent but it might be too strong for some.

The Hair Mask ($24) is enriched with ingredients that deeply moisturize and rejuvenate dry, dull, fragile strands. I use deep conditioner twice a month and it makes a substantial different in the health, resiliency, growth and length of my hair.


To get the most from your mask: Coat your hair generously and comb through to distribute evenly. Clip the ends up, cover with a plastic shower cap and wrap your hair in a microfiber tower to trap in the heat. Leave it on for 1-4 hours depending on your hair type and needs. Rinse with cold water and air dry.

The Propli Thera Hair Oil Serum ($24) is great for most hair types unless your scalp and ends are naturally greasy. For everyone else, apply a small amount on damp hair to seal, mend and prevent split-ends. It also helps maintain moisture and elasticity without residue or build-up.


Pro tip: In-between wash days, finger comb some serum through your lengths to refresh, soften and add a wonderful fragrance.

You can find this fabulous collection online at avon.ca

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Boxed Cookies and Co. – Homemade Cookies for Every Occasion

No one can resist a scrumptious homemade cookie, so why not surprise loved ones with a tasty treat while supporting a small local business?

Cate started Boxed Cookies Co. in her kitchen – whipping up delicious recipes loaded with crunchy candy pieces, rich chocolate and sweet marshmallows. Each box comes with 12 melt in your mouth flavors perfect for every occasion (including Father’s Day which is just around the corner).


I can see myself ordering her cute cookie boxes for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, date night, high tea, dinner parties, bridal showers and in times like these, baked goods make thoughtful care packages. 

The signature menu includes a yummy selection of Marshmallow M&M, Confetti Cake, Classic Chocolate Chip, Double Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar (try not to drool).

Single flavor cake boxes are just $15 and a box of two flavors cost $20. Make sure to order with at least 2 days notice (curb-side pick-up available in St. Catherine’s or Hamilton).

From now until June 30, 2020 take advantage of the grand opening sale! Get a box of Classic Chocolate Chip FREE with your first purchase.


If you live in the GTA and want to grab a sweet treat for your road trip to Niagara Falls, place an order and pick it up on the way.

M&M Marshmallow is my favorite! For movie night we like to warm them in the microwave and scoop a little vanilla ice cream on top (try it and thank me later).


To place an order DM @boxexcookiesandco on Instagram

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Face Shop Rouge Powder Matte Lipstick | Review and Swatches

This summer I’ve been wearing bold lipstick and neutral eye shadow with winged liner – it’s my go-to look when I don’t have the patience for a 90 minute makeup session.

If you’re looking for dramatic, vibrant color, The Face Shop has just released a gorgeous range of Powder Matte Lipsticks ($22 ea) that compliment all skin tones.


I can’t get enough of the sultry berry, deep pink and mauve undertones. There is also a bright red (for when you’re feeling sassy), a beautiful rose tinted nude, classic coral and a dark red that is perfect for a night out.

The creamy, moisturizing formula glides on buttery smooth and delivers bright, buildable color with a sexy blurring effect. The texture is lightweight and comfortable but the coverage is not completely opaque (almost but not quite). Make sure your lips are smooth and exfoliated because any roughness will show through.

The pigment tends to transfer easily so you will need to reapply after eating and drinking. Make sure to wipe off any crumbs so the texture remains consistent.


If you’d like to try these pretty lippies head to avon.ca.

Swatches (left to right): Rose Powder, Plum Powder, Berry Powder, Coral Powder, Red Powder and Beige Powder.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation Review

It has been a few months since I reviewed new foundation but drugstore brands are on a roll! My high-end foundations cost upwards of $50 per bottle but lately I’ve discovered many budget-friendly formulas that work just as well.

I love Catrice Cosmetics so it doesn't surprise me that their HD Liquid Coverage Foundation ($13.99 CAD / $10 U.S.) has rave reviews. It has even been compared to the Fenty Beauty foundation.


Choosing a shade online can be difficult but at catricecosmetics.com there are swatches of each shade on three different complexions and when you click on a color, it shows a model wearing the foundation. This gives you an indication of range and undertone but if you need further assistance, the shade finder tool categorizes everything into cool, neutral and warm.

My shade is usually in the middle of the spectrum so I decided to test 060 Latte Macchiato, 065 Bronze Beige, 070 Toffee Beige and 080 Caramel Beige.


My best match is 060 Latte Macchiato Beige. It isn’t perfect, but it works. The color looks quite light through the bottle but the pigment tends to deepen as it dries and when layered. This is not a problem since my setting powder and concealer blends everything together evenly.

I also tested 065 Bronze Beige which is a few shades deeper than my complexion. If I spend more time outdoors (which I plan to do this summer) I might be able to wear it.

The dropper applicator is a good idea (in theory) but it isn’t effective for picking up the creamy liquid. Instead I use it as a scoop to slather the product on - a slight inconvenience for high-definition camera ready skin.


I love the lightweight matte texture and natural effect. The non-greasy, no-shine, 24h formula is great for summer and there is minimal transfer. The coverage is also quite good – medium to full for camouflaging blemishes and discoloration.

This is a foundation you can exercise and cry in since there is minimal creasing and caking. The finish is smooth, streak-free, non-drying and flawless (depending on the condition of your skin of course). I apply it with a Beauty Blender and my face usually looks airbrushed (especially with primer). The consistency is fabulous – liquidy but not too runny, and rich but not too thick. It spreads seamlessly and does not clog pores. For the price and quality, you can’t go wrong!

The Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer ($7.99 CAD / $5.99 U.S.) covers dark circles, redness, hyperpigmentation, blemishes and even tattoos with a highly pigmented, waterproof formula that lasts as long as your day does.

The concealer and foundation are vegan, gluten-free, alcohol-free and oil-free, making them suitable for most skin types.


Like any cream concealer, you should blend well when using it under the eyes and apply setting powder to prevent creasing.

Catrice Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and orders can be placed at beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca.
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