Friday, September 18, 2020

Enter to WIN the Ultimate Movie Night Snack Platter ($175 Value)

Hi everyone,
I've teamed up with Sugar Mommy Chocolates to give away an amazing Movie Night Platter on Instagram.

One of my favorite things to do on a cool fall evening is invite some friends over for movie night and you can’t have a great get-together without tasty snacks.

This massive platter from Sugar Mommy Chocolates is perfect for any occasion. 


The company has over 30 years of chocolate making experience so their decadent dipped treats are exceptional quality.

They also specialize in decorative arrangements and unique recipes that are perfect for corporate gifts, special occasions, parties and catered events. (Customized themes with nut-free options available). Visit their website at: sugarmommy.ca

Want to WIN this amazing platter loaded with dipped Oreos, premium chocolate, coated clusters, gourmet popcorn, candy and more! (prize value $175)

To Enter: 

*Click the link to my Instagram post below
https://www.instagram.com/p/CFImsidpdKm/?igshid=1c7792fz42ybm

or follow me on IG at @DiaryofaTrendaholic

*Follow the entry instructions under the photo.

Giveaway is open to residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA only) from September 14, 2020 to September 28, 2020 11:59 pm EST.


Good luck!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Lacquer | Review and Swatches

Fall beauty trends have begun and I’ve already found lipstick that I plan to wear all season!

Introducing the NEW Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Lacquer ($49) – a high-shine, vivid pigment that delivers intense color in just one stroke.


There are 10 sultry shades that range from neutral, deep and sexy red. The colors I received are rich, creamy, comfortable and flattering. They glide on effortlessly and never feather or bleed.

The glistening wet effect makes lips appear plump, juicy and pouty with a moist, hydrating formula that prevents dryness and chapping.

The finish reminds me of high-fashion runway makeup and the tacky, non-sticky texture allows the the lacquer to last for hours!



These beauties will look great with your fall wardrobe. Armani Beauty is available at Sephora, department store counters and armani-beauty.ca

Thursday, September 10, 2020

5 Products to Help You Survive Your Period

When that time of the month rolls around PMS symptoms can knock you off your feet, cancel your plans and essentially ruin your life. Many of the side-effects were never discussed in 5th grade health class and most people suffer silently, waiting for it to pass.

The curse (as I like to call it) can affect your ability to function and be productive so over the years I’ve tested several supplements, vitamins and tinctures to naturally balance hormones and lessen discomfort.

Today’s article features 4 products that may help alleviate cramps, PMS, hormonal imbalance, menorrhagia (heavy periods), symptoms of endometriosis and fibroids.

1. Living Apothecary Well Woman Loose Leaf Tea 
($16 - $48)
This herbal tonic is infused with red raspberry, lemon balm and schisandra chasteberry to nourish the reproductive system. It helps balance hormones before and after your period which may lessen PMS symptoms, irregular cycles, cramps, acne, irritability and stress.


I use this blend every month and it definitely helps with hormonal issues during and after that time of the month. The tea is available online at shoplivingapothecary.com

2. EstroSmart ($38 - $46.99)
If you need long lasting results to regulate your body the entire month and improve reproductive health, Estro Smart is incredible. It helps women coping with hormonal imbalance, acne, painful menstruation and PMS symptoms.

This is a natural supplement that balances estrogen and progesterone levels to halt abnormal cell growth including fibroids, cysts and endometriosis. It also helps maintain a healthy cervix and prevents HPV, cervical cancer, irregular periods, breast pain, back aches and more.


You may have to adjust the dosage to suit your needs as the recommended number of daily capsules was way more than I needed. You may also have to hold your nose when you swallow because the pill has a strong scent (a bit like mothballs) but the health benefits are incredible!

Estrosmart is sold at health food stores, drugstores and online at smartsolutions.com

3. Salonpas Pain Relieving Hot Gel-Patch 
($5.98 - $17.06)
To help cope with the aches and pains of PMS these patches work wonders! They are much more convenient than a hot water bottle or electric heating pad because you can wear them under your clothes and go about your day.


The larger patches are great for lower back pain and uterine cramps. Simply peel off the film and stick the pad on dry skin (don’t apply body lotion because it will reduce adhesion). The patches provide a warm, soothing sensation for up to 8 hours! When applied to the base of the skull and neck, the smaller patches help relieve migraines.

My husband uses them to ease his chronic back and joint pain. They may also relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia, sciatica, sore muscles and stiffness.

Salonpas is sold at drugstores nationwide including Walmart.

4. Advil
Painkillers may be a temporary fix but they can effectively dull your symptoms. With Advil (regular, extra strength or liquid gel) I usually only need one pill a day and they are particularly useful at night when I need to rest. 

5. Egyptian Magic
If you haven’t heard of Egyptian Magic read my article - How to Get Clear Glowing Skin: 3 Products You Need to Try – which lists the ingredients and describes the wonderful benefits of this healing balm. 

Recently I discovered that it also soothes and treats sore nipples and tender breasts. Egyptian Magic is sold at egyptianmagic.ca. Use code NF69J6GT for 10% off.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any medication or supplements.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Catrice Insat Bae Eye Shadow Palette and NEW Luminizing Bronzer

Summer is not over yet! There is still time to get your glow on and enjoy some fun in the sun.


The next time you pop into Shoppers Drug Mart, check out the new Insta Bae Palette ($16.99). The colors are very wearable and there is a nice mix of shimmer and matte finishes.

This compact has glamorous metallic shades in brilliant gold, dazzling copper and gorgeous garnet (all my favorites). One deep brown would have sufficed (didn’t need 3) and I could do without the snowy silver, basic cream and boring grey (these shades have been overdone in many palettes). That being said, I do like it. The formula is velvety and well pigmented so the colors stand out beautifully on my skin.


A few shades have specks of glitter so I recommend a glitter primer to ensure adhesion and longevity. Other than that, the shadows are vibrant and good quality.

Due to the pandemic, we’ve all spent a lot more time indoors but there are quick ways to fake sunkissed skin. The Catrice Sungasm Luminizing Bronzers are only $9.99 each and when you sweep them onto the face or body, they highlight and contour in all the right places. The color is buildable but if you have medium to deep skin swatch them first. They might appear ashy on darker complexions.


The Catrice Sungasm Face & Body Highlighter ($11.99) is amazing! The formula is soft, creamy and long lasting with incredible color payoff! Wear a little for a natural effect or shine like a diamond with dramatic strobing. As the name suggests, it can also be applied on your shoulders, arms, back and decolletage for a radiant head-to-toe glow.


Catrice is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and online at beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca

Monday, August 31, 2020

7 Kerastase Hair Treatments You Need To Try

If you’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool or sun this summer, let’s talk about hair treatments. After all that UV, chlorine, sweat and neglect, your mane might be looking a little dry, brittle and dull.

Maybe your issue is hair dye, shedding, dryness, heat damage or insufficient conditioner. Whatever the reason, fragile strands can be saved.


For Dry, Rebellious, Frizzy Hair

If you are hesitant to use oils for fear of looking greasy, Kerastase has you covered. Their light, fragrant Oleo formulas give your mane a sleek, glossy finish with no residue. I recommend Oleo-Relax Advanced Morpho-Huiles ($60) or Nutritive Oleo Relax ($60).

Oleo-Relax suppresses unwanted volume, moisturizes and provides heat protection up to 450˚F. It also makes styling easier and provides long lasting shine with less flyaways and poof. If your hair resembles a wiry birds nest on humid days (we’ve all been there), you’ll love this stuff!


Nutritive Oleo Relax is ideal for wavy, curly and coily medium to thick hair. It seals weak ends, smooths and hydrates with a nourishing blend of shorea butter, coconut oil and rosa muscata fruit oil. Apply it to your lengths for luster and softness. The silky formula is perfect for blowouts because it helps maintain manageability in up to 80% humidity. I often use it to treat and repair my ends.

The wonderful thing about Kerastase oils is that they can all be used to refresh and perfume your hair from root to tip between wash days without weighing it down.

To Fortify and Retain Growth

If you are experiencing shedding or breakage, try the Kerastase Genesis Defense Thermique Anti Hair-Fall ($49). This is one of my new favorites because it makes my hair incredibly soft, smooth, healthy and bouncy with an irresistible scent. The formula is suitable for all hair types (straight, wavy, curly and coily – fine, medium and thick).

It also thickens, protects against heat, prevents split-ends and reduces breakage by reinforcing weak fibers.


You’ll also love Kerastase Resistance Extentioniste Thermique Length Caring Gel Cream ($49). This light conditioner moisturizes and supports weak, damaged strands so your mane can grow long and strong. Use it before blow drying and flat ironing for salon quality results or simply apply it as a leave-in conditioner to improve texture and curl/wave formation.

For Damage Repair, Breakage, Split-Ends, and Dryness

I’ve been using the Kerastase 8 Hour Magic Night Serum ($65.00) for a few weeks and I have noticed a difference in the health of my hair but only when applied correctly.


Tip #1 - Do not apply on dry hair (you’ll waste it). The serum will not absorb and you will have to use way too much to coat your strands. Instead, slightly dampen your hair with water (It doesn’t have to be dripping wet) and massage into roots, lengths and ends. Braid your hair or wrap it into a bun and leave the treatment on for at least 6 hours overnight to really get the benefits of the root extracts and vitamins. Rinsing is not necessary but it depends on how much you use.

Tip # 2 – After washing and detangling, mix some serum into your deep conditioner, use bobby pins to clip your hair atop your head and cover with a plastic shower cap and microfiber hair towel to create heat and promote absorption. Leave it on for 3-4 hours.

A faster method is passing heat from a blow dryer over the plastic cap for 10-15 mins before rinsing thoroughly and styling.

Overtime I noticed fewer loose hairs in my brush (even though I didn’t have a problem with shedding to begin with), increased shine, softness and flexibility.

Summer Must-Haves

For a sexy summer look, try Aura Botanica Silicone Free 99% Natural Beach Effect Wave ($44). It creates texture, body and volume when sprayed on damp hair and the scent is wonderful.

Since I have natural curls, I use this product as a leave-in to give my spirals extra bounce and when my hair is flat ironed, I spritz some on before wash day and scrunch to create cascading waves.


Soleil Sirene Hair Oil Mist is always in my beach bag. The nourishing formula softens curls, defines and boosts shine while protecting hair from sun damage, fading and dryness.

Kerastase is available at salons nationwide, Sephora, kerastase.ca, department stores and select online retailers.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

6 Expert Tips for Long Lasting Eye Makeup

During the summer I get a lot of questions about how to prolong the wear of eye makeup, so today I am sharing a few techniques and products for best application.

1. Use a Good Base
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the primer you use makes a big difference. I’ve lounged in the pool, camped in the dessert and been jet boating over white water rapids without my eye makeup running, smearing, or fading.


After much testing, my two favorite primers are Urban Decay Primer Potion ($32) and NYX Pigment Primer ($9).


*On clean dry skin, apply a generous layer of primer on your lids and crease. Don’t be afraid to extend it right up to your brow bone when using a highlight shade.

*Make sure to apply your shadow immediately, while the base is still creamy and tacky. If you wait, it will dry out and the pigment won’t adhere well.

*When using shimmer, glitter, or metallic shadow, apply a layer of glitter primer on top of your regular primer to keep loose pigments in place and limit lid to crease transfer.

2. Mist your eye shadow brush with setting spray (I like UD’s All Nighter Ultra Matte ($45). It also works well on oily eyelids.

Pat the shadow onto your lid or apply with short, firm strokes. Use a fluffy blending brush for the crease.

For extra hold, close your eyes and mist your entire face with setting spray after your look is complete. To learn how to keep foundation in place all day click HERE.

Makeup tip: remember to clean your brushes regularly for best application. Bristles covered in caked on product become stiff and less effective. 


3. Use good quality eye shadow
Application and finish depends on the quality of your shadow. If you want your makeup to last all day, stay away from chalky, patchy, sheer, cheaply formulated pigment. Avoid shadows with tons of fallout and transfer (matte hues tend to hold up best).

I prefer creamy, dense, highly saturated colors that are easy to intensify and blend. You should be able to achieve good coverage in a single swipe.

Makeup tip: before purchasing a palette read reviews, watch tutorials and swatch every shade to see how they perform and feel.


4. Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara (even in the winter)
Heat, humidity, sweat and long days at the office can cause your makeup to bleed, fade and wear away quickly. Opt for waterproof formulas and use mascara primer for longevity and volume. Don’t be afraid to slap on a couple coats for reinforcement and remember to replace your mascara every 3-4 months.

Makeup tip: line your eyes with a long-wear creamy black pencil and then apply liquid liner on top. This method prolongs wear and helps create a straighter line. 


5. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes and face
 If you must, gently scratch with a tissue.

6. Keep a battery operated fan in your purse
One way to ensure a dry, fresh face and vivid eye shadow is by keeping a fan in your purse. This 4 inch palm-size Opoloar fan ($19.99) is a lifesaver when I start to get hot, shiny and sweaty on humid days. It is rechargeable, foldable and has 3 speeds that are powerful enough to keep me cool and prevent my makeup from melting. You can find it online at opolar.com or Amazon.


Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Monday, August 17, 2020

NEW Mary Kay Unlimited Lip Gloss | Review & Swatches

Now that face masks are mandatory in public spaces, I’ve been wearing no-fuss, lightweight lip color that is moisturizing, comfortable and easy to reapply. In the heat and humidity I prefer simple gloss with a pop vibrancy – something I can whip out between meetings to perk up my complexion as I make my way around the city.

Mary Kay’s new Unlimited Gloss ($18 ea) is available in 14 high-shine, hydrating shades that range from nude, pink, red, and deep purple. They also come in three finishes – cream, pearl and shimmer.


Although the pigments are sheer, you can add a couple extra layers to enhance the color. The glistening wet effect makes lips appear plump, smooth, full and alluring.

It takes a lot for lip gloss to impress me but I absolutely love the cushiony formula – it is super plush and juicy! It feels like a silky lip treatment – hydrating and nourishing without any stickiness or drag.

The doe foot applicator is much more flexible than your average wand. It glides around the lip contour with ease – filling in edges and corners.

Now let’s talk more about shade selection because there are quite a few neutrals.

In the nude category most of the glosses have a pink or flesh tone base so there is something for all complexions. (My neutral match is Unique Mauve).

(My favorite shades will be marked with a star*)

Left to right: Fancy Nancy (shimmer), Pink Ballerina (pearl), *Unique Mauve (cream), Nude Blush (cream) and *Sheer Illusion (pink-gold shimmer).

I like the creams and iridescent pearls but a couple of the shimmers (particularly Fancy Nancy and Beach Bronze) are a tad difficult to remove (glitter particles are always a pain in the butt).

I wish there were more bright hues because they tend to be my favorite, especially during the summer.

Despite the sheer coverage, these shades are bold and vibrant.

*Evening Berry (pearl), *Berry Delight (pearl), *Iconic Red (cream), *Pink Fusion (Cream)

There is also a range of brown neutrals to choose from. The bronze (Copper Aura) and shimmery gold (Beach Bronze) are quite similar (I don’t think we needed both) but chocolaty colors are always trendy in autumn and they look beautiful on deep skin tones.

Copper Aura (shimmer), Beach Bronze (shimmer), Soft Nude (pearl), *Tawny Nude (cream) and Chocolate Nude (cream).

If you’re looking for amazing go-to gloss, you should definitely try these.


MK has also released new Cream Blush Duo Sticks and Foil Eye Shadows. The blush packaging is perfect for travel and the colors are beautiful.

Mauve and Shimmer provides contour, color and definition all-in-one. The pigment is deep (suitable for medium to dark skin tones) and the gold highlighter is stunning! It glides on soft, lightweight and creamy with a natural, seamless finish that lasts all day. Pink and Glimmer has a touch of mauve with a light gold highlighter. It might look best on fair to medium complexions.


The Foil Shadows are bright and dramatic with a dazzling finish and smooth velvety texture. The particles are not chunky or messy but I still recommend using a tacky base or glitter primer immediately before application so the pigment adheres well, stays put and remains vibrant. 

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

Friday, August 14, 2020

Healthy High Protein Jerk Chicken Bowl

Healthy bowled meals have become very trendy recently and many restaurants have added them to their menu. Instead of ordering take-out every week, I created my own tasty recipe.

This jerk chicken bowl with veggies is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats. Once everything is prepared, it can be tossed together for quick meal prep, lunch or dinner and it keeps you full all evening.


Ingredients:

*Coconut basmati rice (you can also use noodles, brown rice, couscous or quinoa).
I use a rice cooker and substitute some of the water with organic coconut milk.

*Lettuce (I use organic field green mix and put some at the top and bottom of the bowl).
Try to add a lot more greens than rice.

*Brown canned lentils (drained and rinsed)
Lentils are very high in fiber. You can also use your favorite beans or peas (I like chickpeas). If you prefer fresh lentils, you will have to cook them.

*Homemade jerk chicken breast with sauce
I use a combination of Walkers Hot & Spicy Jerk Marinade and Cool Runnings dry jerk seasoning (available at most grocery stores). Make sure to add a little at a time and adjust to taste because Walkers is very spicy and both contain salt. 
(Note: I do not recommend Walkers mild or medium marinade because they contain more sodium)

You can cook the chicken in whatever sauce or flavoring you like – barbecue, Cajun, Greek, Tandoori etc. To save time, you can also buy a fully cooked roasted chicken from the grocery store and shred it.

*Pepper sauce (optional)
I used my dad’s homemade scotch bonnet pepper sauce (it’s delicious). If you want your bowl extra spicy you can also use Tabasco or Sriracha.

*Organic Corn

*Roasted garlic and herb sweet potato
Dice the sweet potato in small chunks, coat in olive oil and use a blend of Mrs Dash Original Seasoning, pink salt, finely minced organic garlic, black pepper and Italian herb seasoning.

*Chopped green onion

*Avocado 

*Raw hulled pumpkin seeds (high in iron)

*Tzatziki (I used the President’s Choice brand because I didn’t have time to make my own).

*Arrange everything in a big bowl and enjoy!



If you cook enough chicken and potatoes you can eat this meal for a few days and use the ingredients to make delicious salads, wraps and sandwiches.

~Bon appetite

Thursday, August 6, 2020

NYX Mystic Petals Shadow Palette | Review & Swatches

I always get excited when I receive new palettes from NYX Canada, and today I am testing a range of bright summer hues and earthy autumn neutrals.


First up is Mystic Petals Midnight Orchid ($17). If you like cool purples and bright pink, this one is for you.

I should start by mentioning that some of these colors are not meant for use on the eyes (always check the back of the packaging). This seems to be a reoccurring theme for new NYX releases and honestly, I don’t care for it. How often do people use bright pink or neon shadow on their face? That being said, I have tried these pigments on my eyes with no side-effects but I recommend doing what’s best for you.

Now on to the review...

The purples in this palette are muted (not as bright as I like) but suitable for everyday wear. The pink and garnet are my favorites and the grey toned purple is quite unique. These shades look beautiful in various combinations and create a pretty purple gradient that compliments most skin tones.


The color payoff is light but decent (not the best quality, but not the worst either). The shadows are not dense or creamy so you’ll need a good primer and a few layers for optimal saturation.

Swatches of Mystic Petals and Ultimate Edit Brights

Dark Mystic is warm, earthy and neutral. These aren’t my favorite shades (I didn’t need another taupe, silvery white or black) but the teal, bronze and gold look gorgeous together.


If these hues are a little too tame for you, try the Ultimate Edit Brights Palette ($12). These neon shadows can be worn individually or together to create a dramatic statement eye. The yellow and orange are a tad patchy and the rest are quite dry so you’ll need a good base to enhance them. For the price, it's a fun palette to experiment with.


We all want long lasting makeup that looks fresh all day but heat humidity and perspiration can destroy your hard work. The NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray ($10) has a lightweight, non-sticky vegan formula that prevents caking, creasing, shine, transfer and smears for up to 8 hours!

Lipstick: NYX Suede Matte in Spicy

Two more great summer products are the HD Translucent Finishing Powder ($12) which smooths, mattifies and softens the appearance of fine lines. I use the Glitter Primer ($8) with all my eye shadows (shimmer, loose and pressed) to keep pigments in place all day and prevent lid to crease transfer (which I hate). Just remember to blend it out with your finger to prevent creasing.


NYX is available at drugstores nationwide, online at nyxcosmetics.ca and there are numerous free-standing stores located across the GTA.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Avon Cashmere Complexion Long Wear Foundation Review

This summer has been hot, muggy and humid – it’s the kind of weather that melts your makeup and has you cranking up the AC.

These days we all have to wear face masks to stop the spread of COVID, but showing up to a meeting with smeared lipstick and patchy foundation (what I like to call mask face) is not a good look.

On a quest to find a new long lasting matte formula, I discovered Avon Cashmere Complexion ($35). This breathable, flexible pigment is vegan, water resistant, non-GMO, and free of fragrance, parabens, sulfates and phthalates. It provides 24 hours of comfortable wear with a full-coverage, natural finish that blurs the look of pores and fine lines. For hydration and nourishment, they’ve added antioxidants, botanical extracts, artichoke and butterfly lavender.


The doe foot applicator allows you to swipe the foundation onto your skin and touch-up problem areas with precision. I like the rich consistency and smooth finish. It is easy to blend and tends to stay put all day with no shine or slick oils. The color is buildable but I wouldn’t classify it as “full-coverage.” I still need a bit of concealer to create a flawless finish.


There are 30 shades available with a variety of undertones for most complexions. I chose a few colors in the medium range and my best match is Tiramisu.

Is Cashmere Complexion the best foundation I’ve ever used? – probably not, but it is suitable for daily wear and does not irritate my skin or feel heavy. I reach for it on casual weekends, workout days and non-formal occasions. It may also be good for travel since it does not contain common irritants.

If you need a bit more coverage for discoloration, acne or blemishes, try the Cashmere Complexion Long Wear Concealer ($18.99). The creamy pigment evens skin tone and corrects dark circles with minimal creasing.


Interested in trying Avon’s new foundation? Head to avon.ca.  
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