Monday, March 20, 2017

L’Oreal Hydra Genius Skincare Review & New Micellar Water

It’s the time of year when most of us are trying to manage dry skin and maintain a healthy glow despite harsh weather, indoor heating and odd temperature fluctuations as we move into spring. L’Oreal’s new skincare range is light enough for all seasons and formulated with 3 types of Hyaluronic Acid to reduce water loss, plump, smooth and improve skin’s natural moisture barrier.

The products are inspired by Korean skincare and have a light water base that penetrates fast with an invigorating sensation and continuous hydration. The liquid care for oily and normal/dry skin comes in bottles with a rejuvenating gel-serum consistency. One formula mattfies to control shine and smooth skin texture while the other has a radiant, supple finish for a youthful glow. The soothing aloe and cool water infusion feels like a refreshing drink for the skin as it revives parched areas and absorbs quickly with no residue. Once set the hydration is very light so I usually apply more or layer with moisturizer. Since the texture isn’t creamy, I barely notice it on my skin and both formulas help create an even canvass for makeup application without becoming greasy during the day. The Liquid Care retails for $23.99 each.

If you need even more hydration (which I do) I layer the liquid care with the 72 hour comforting cream which has a richer texture and the same cool alleviation for dryness relief. The cream seeps in instantly and nourishes with layers of velvety moisture while protecting against pollution, UV rays and dehydration. Skin feels soft, resilient and silky with a luminous finish and adding a lush oil creates a revitalizing night treatment to lock in moisture. The cream retails for $23.99.

The new Micellar Water removes long wear makeup (including waterproof formulas) and lifts away impurities, dirt and excess oil with no harsh rubbing. It is also gentle enough to use on the eyes and lips without irritation or stinging. The entire bottle is equal to 200 makeup wipes and the solution is free of oil, fragrance, alcohol and soap so it leaves skin clean and fresh instead of dry and tight. Although I still recommend washing your face with cleanser, the Micellar Water is an excellent first step and helps loosen stubborn mascara, heavy foundation and faint lipstick stains. Although I didn’t notice a substantial difference between this formula and a few others I’ve tried, it is quite effective. 

L'Oreal is available at drugstores nationwide

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quo Cosmetics 2017 Limited Edition Spring Collection Review

Quo’s new spring collection features colorful marbled packaging and fresh, uplifting shades inspired by a mellow color palette.

From highlighter, blush, bronzer, shadow and lip crayons, the range includes some of the season’s softest hues contrasted with bright pops of color and warm summery tints.

The Down To Earth Face Palette contains 3 highlighters, 2 bronzers and a peachy-pink blush that is perfect for the season. With the exception of the bottom right bronzer which has a beautiful orange undertone that can also be used as blush, all the powders have subtle pigmentation. The highlighter at the top right has a beautiful luminous finish for a natural glow while the other two are sheer and pale. Although the silky texture is easy to blend, the formula lacks intensity and isn't very buildable. On fair skin these mild shades may work but I prefer richer pigment.

The Heat It Up Palette contains light pastel hues and a pink blush that transmits sheer and vibrant. The shimmery hues (top right and bottom left) provide a lovely sheen but the beige bronzer disappears on my skin tone and the lightest powders are a bit bland and chalky. It’s a shame that the color payoff isn’t better because the packaging is gorgeous! The face palettes retail for $20.00 each.

The Eye Shadow Palettes ($18.00) are a bit better in terms of pigmentation but you still need a good primer and some layering to achieve anything close to full-coverage saturation. No Pressure contains smokey plum and 3 iridescent hues that appear sheer and almost identical on the skin. Although the mint, pink and yellow tints are overshadowed by a strong silver undertone, the frosty finishes can be used to highlight the face.

Rock It includes navy, brown, peach and cream with sheer color payoff. The blue adds more depth for crease shaping and definition but you still need to pack on the pigment and maybe pair these shadows with others in your collection to enhance their effect.

The Brow Palette comes with 2 powders, 1 highlighter, eyebrow cream and a double-sided applicator. The deepest brown is a bit ashy but still rich enough to fill in sparse areas so brows appear natural and full. The sheer highlighter provides just enough coverage to help accentuate the shape of your brows and the cream helps tame unruly hairs to keep everything neat. For just $12.00 the palette is handy for travel and quite stylish!

I didn’t have great results with some of the face powders but I love the Matte Lip Crayons! The slender shape is perfect for outlining and filling in color and the creamy, lightweight texture feels soft and comfortable without drying out the lips. The bright red is stunning and the smooth, velvety texture glides across the skin effortlessly to provide vivid color that can be layered and intensified. The crayons retail for $12.00 each and twist-up for easy access (no sharpening required).

Quo Cosmetics is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick Review

Dior is a trendsetter when it comes to revolutionizing style and the new Lacquer Sticks are effortlessly chic. Inspired by fearless young women who like to experiment with makeup, this unique lipstick-lacquer hybrid combines rich pigment, comfort and liquid shine in one easy to use formula.

Available in 18 show-stopping shades the lacquers are sheathed in elegant plum tubes and the slender sticks are perfect for maneuvering around the lip contour.

The texture is smooth and ultra hydrating with a blend of 5 lightweight, nourishing oils chosen for their radiance boosting abilities. The vibrant color glides across the lips with a fondant-like effect and melts to form a lush, reflective finish. The brightest and deepest shades seem to emit the most color payoff and each lacquer is 44% more transparent than a classic lipstick resulting in sheer to full coverage with the versatility to be enhanced or blurred.

The striking pureness of the richest hues is definitely comparable to a lacquer but the finish is light and moist, similar to a balm with the vividness of a lip cream. The luminosity creates a beautiful, volumizing sheen and the spectrum showcases the coolest trends of the season including: pastel, neon, classic and wild.

With normal wear the lacquers hold up for a few hours but like most lip products they transfer during meals and fade with direct contact. Even as the color wears away, the formula continues to condition dry skin and keep your pout supple with no stickiness. Reapplication is easy and you can adjust the intensity to suit your needs.

The Lacquer Sticks retail for $43.00 each available at Dior counters nationwide including Sephora and Hudson’s Bay.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rodial Smokey Eye Sculpt Eyeshadow Palette & Suede Lip Crayon Review

You may be familiar with Rodial’s innovative skincare but the brand also makes impressive makeup for effortless everyday looks and glamorous occasions.

The new Smokey Eye Palette ($45.00) caters to my style perfectly because it includes flattering shades I wear on a daily basis. If you are looking for a travel-friendly collection of neutrals, deep hues and all your basics then this little compact is great!

I like that the central lid color is shimmery gold while the supporting colors for highlighting, contouring and creating definition are silky mattes. The shadows are well balanced and expertly matched to create depth and contrast with a nice range of crease and transition shades.

I use the deep brown to begin shaping my crease, smoke-out the outer corners and lower lash line with some black, apply the gold to my lids and inner tear ducts, transition upwards with the beige or caramel and highlight under the brows with the matte cream. With this palette you really can’t go wrong and the blendable texture provides long-lasting wear, buildable coverage and versatile saturation to adjust intensity. Slip it in your purse or weekend tote and you have a handy little palette for a night out.  

The Suede Lip Crayon ($30.00) is available in 3 beautiful shades with a full-coverage, creamy formula that saturates lips in intense matte pigment. Enriched with vitamin E for comfort and hydration, the rich color glides on smooth and consistent making it easy to shape and outline the lip contour. I would have preferred twist-up packaging since I don’t like sharpening but I love these crayons!

Rodial is available Murale

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Joe Fresh Beauty Review: 2017 Spring Collection & New Makeup

It has been a while since I featured anything new from Joe Fresh and along with their casual yet stylish fashion, the makeup is also quite trendy! I’ve been using the vibrant lip crèmes and luminous highlighters since the brand's last big product launch and today I’m excited to share some great items that have been released in time for spring.

The Single Eyeshadows Retail for $6.00 each or 2 for $10.00 and the silky shades range from neutrals to deep smoky hues in matte, subtle glitter and shimmer finishes. What I like most about these shadows is their simplicity. The colors are flattering, soft and effortless with the ability to be intensified and layered for more coverage.

The pigmentation is versatile with good color payoff and the formula is easy to work with. You can pick out a few favourites to mix and match or pair them with other shades in your collection. They also come in handy while traveling.

My top picks are Pretty Penny (shimmery gold) and Champagne which is a great neutral for everyday wear.

A pretty tinted balm on a warm spring day provides the perfect wash of complexion boosting color. The Joe Fresh Balms are available in 10 gorgeous shades loaded with antioxidants, shea butter, passion fruit oil, grapeseed, sunflower, rosehip and avocado to soften, hydrate, strengthen and repair damaged lips. I love the sweet fruity scent and the sheer, shiny color is revitalizing, lightweight, non-sticky and radiant. If you like tinted balms you should definitely give these a try, they retail for $12.00 each.

If you love a good highlighter (as most makeup junkies do) then you need to get the Pink Pearl luminizing stick! The smooth, velvety texture glides on evenly and dewy for perfect application exactly where you want it. The finish transforms from a lightweight cream to a satiny powder so it sets well and can be blended out with a finger or brush. The pigmentation is great so you can achieve a subtle glow or a dramatic effect and this shade is suitable for all skin tones. The Highlighter Stick retails for $10.00.

I wasn’t quite sure how The Universal Brow Crayon ($12.00) was going to work for everyone since the shade is light brown and doesn’t seem to adjust. As it turns out it didn’t match my hair color and left behind an ashy streak that wasn’t nearly dark enough. I like that pomade texture holds hairs in place but a few more shades would have been nice.

Joe Fresh beauty is available at Shoppers Drug Mart

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kérastase Nutritive Hair Care Review

When it comes to preventing dry hair it’s imperative to use products that retain moisture, repair and soften. Harsh weather can cause brittleness, split-ends or roughness and when you combine those factors with indoor heating systems, styling tools and dye, hair can become stripped and dull.

The Kérastase Nutritive Collection is designed to nourish severely dried out hair with a complex blend of protein and conditioners. It also protects against styling damage, environmental fluctuations and daily stress by fortifying and repairing.

The Bain Magistral Shampoo ($43.00) smells amazing and gently removes build-up, oil and impurities with a rich, invigorating lather. Although the formula contains sulfate, it doesn’t make my hair feel dry, fragile or coarse. The shampoo purifies and balances from root to tip leaving hair fresh and silky without weighing it down. I also like that and it rinses clean without any film or grease and my long, thick hair feels completely revitalized.

The Fondant Magistral Conditioner ($48.00) is formulated for dry, thin hair and although my hair is far from thin, it still works as a light restorative treatment that hydrates and detangles. I usually apply a generous amount to create slip and use my Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash Brush to evenly distribute the product and coat each strand. I leave it on for about 10 minutes while in the shower which allows the steam to increase absorption, soften and create a smooth glossy finish.

If you have dry hair, one of the most effective products is a good deep conditioner so I use a masque at least once a week to reduce breakage, promote new growth and maintain a healthy mane. The Nutri-Thermique ($66.00) protects hair fibers, strengthens, intensely hydrates and rejuvenates. The recommended treatment time is 5-10 minutes but I leave it on for 30-40 minutes to smooth and completely revive parched ends. After use my hair is incredibly soft, sleek and lustrous for days!

Whether I’m flat ironing my hair straight or embracing my natural curls, a good leave-in is essential for maintaining moisture. The Crème Magistrale ($48.00) can be applied to damp, clean hair prior to styling or as a finishing product. The lush, fragrant formula works like a revitalizing lotion to hydrate, prevent breakage, tame frizz and flyaways, improve the appearance of split-ends, and instantly soften. Curls and waves appear neat, bouncy and well formed with added shine and body.

For more info or to find a list of salons for purchase click HERE

Friday, March 10, 2017

Clarins Spring 2017 Makeup Collection Review: Contouring Perfection

The Clarins Spring Collection is not your average range of pastels and florals. The brand has strayed from conventional color palettes and incorporated cool grey tones elegantly contrasted with fresh blush, subtle contouring and innovative multi-functional liners that are perfect for the modern woman.

The Face Contouring Palette includes a highlighter, shading powder and neutral blush in 3 universal, easy-to-use shades. All of the powders have a silky matte texture that is easy to blend, layer and enhance for seamless coverage. The highlighter seems to have a subtle pink undertone that makes it more flattering on the skin and although it starts off quite sheer, the formula is buildable for more illumination. At first glance I wasn’t convinced the contour shade would be deep enough on my complexion but I was pleasantly surprised! The pigment may seem a bit light but it can be intensified into a rich mid-tone brown that creates natural definition or deeper sculpting for a chiseled profile. The blush also appears darker on the skin and emits a gorgeous flush of soft pink and berry-bronze with a radiant finish. To fully appreciate these simple yet stunning pigments you may have to swatch them for yourself but the palette works wonders and is perfect for beginners learning to contour. It retails for $49.00 and also comes with a handy little brush.

The Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipsticks ($29.00) are smooth, buttery and hydrating with 3 new shades to choose from. Tender Nude has a pearly pink undertone that enhances the natural shade of your lips and nourishes dry skin with mango seed oil. The sheer, luminous finish is beautiful and compliments most makeup looks effortlessly.

The 4-Color Eyeshadow Palette in Smoky is my favorite item in the collection. The range of grey tones with silver, platinum, and charcoal create a variety of stunning effects that can go from light and fresh to dark and sultry. The texture isn’t ultra creamy but the pigments have good color payoff and dampening them increases saturation. The deepest shade is great for crease definition and accentuating the lower lash line while the iridescent pearl highlights and brightens. The palette retails for $45.00.

The Ombre Iridescent Flash of Light Single Shadow in the shade Silver Grey is luxurious and reflective. The soft, creamy texture glides on rich and highly saturated for ultra shimmery, full-coverage color that lasts all day without fading or creasing. The dazzling micro-glitter particles reflect light to create mesmerizing metallic shine and paired with a deep crease shade like charcoal or navy, the effect is glamorous. The shadow retails for $26.00 and come in a variety of shades.

The 4-Color All-In-One Pen is one of the most innovative products to hit the beauty scene. It contains 3 eyeliners (dark brown, navy and black) plus one nude lip liner. 

To use simply push down on one of the interchanging colors, twist to reveal more of the pencil (no need to sharpen) and then click another color to snap it back up. This sleek pen is ideal for travel and the liners glide on smoothly with great pigmentation to outline, shape and define. Although the pencils don’t seem to be waterproof, they still hold up well and retail for $44.00.

Clarins is available at department stores nationwide, and Sephora

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette Review

It's almost time to put away the winter clothes and break out your spring wardrobe so today I'm exploring seasonal trends with the elegant 5 Couleurs Shadow Palettes from Dior. What initially caught my attention (aside from the stylish puffed fabric design with intricate stitching) are the expertly coordinated color combinations. Each flattering collection is designed around the signature shade in the center with the versatility to create 2 stunning looks: light and neutral or sultry and sophisticated.

The finely milled, silky formula is lightweight, radiant and soft for sheer to medium coverage and the intensity can be enhanced by layering over primer. The top pigments in each palette are ideal for sexy day looks while the bottom shades create dramatic smoky effects perfect for a night out. The shimmery finish is refined and soft for mild luminosity that isn’t glittery or overdone and each shadow applies effortlessly with little to no fallout.  

Carré Bleu is my personal favorite because I love the balance of icy blues and grey tones against the deep navy which can also be used to sculpt, define and accentuate the lash line. The vivid contrast and cool color scheme is beautiful on all skin tones.

For sophisticated subtlety, the Montaigne Palette combines beige, peach and cream shadows with smoldering bronze. The colors may be sheer and reserved but they enhance the eyes just enough for everyday elegance and with a streak of sharp black liner, the effect is quite exquisite!

The 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes retail for $72.00 each at Dior counters nationwide including Sephora and Hudson’s Bay.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Marcelle Cosmetics Lux Color Rush Lip Lacquer Review

If you like vibrant, hydrating lip color then you need to try the Lux Color Rush Lacquers! There are 7 trendy hues to choose from with reflective mirror finishes that make lips appear full and pouty.

Although these are classified as “lacquers” the formula is similar to a high-impact, vivid gloss with sheer to medium coverage. The non-sticky pigment glides on effortlessly and coat lips in bright, juicy color that is comfortable, hydrating and fragrance-free.

Some of the shades contain subtle shimmer for an extra hint of radiance while others are solid and rich. The color selection may seem limited but the lacquers are all universally flattering and the smaller size is great for glossing-up on-the-go. You can also mix and match your favorites to create custom blends and they layer well over lipstick.

My top picks are Scarlet which is a vivid red, Ruby Rose (neutral pink) and Uptown Pink (bright fuchsia). Although the lacquers don’t quite have the intensity of a lipstick (as described on the website) they are easy to wear and quite lovely! Some hues are more saturated than others but the color still shows up enough to provide a brilliant, moisturizing tint.

Bottom to top: Bubbly Gum Pink, Scarlet, Ruby Rose, Uptown Pink, Summer Flame & Universal Nude

The lacquers retail for $11.95 each and Marcelle Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, London Drugs, Walmart and various drugstores nationwide. You can also order online at with shipping to the U.S. 

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