Thursday, April 27, 2017

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lip Color, Ultra HD Skin Booster & Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder Review

Make Up For Ever has been feeding my addiction for incredible lip color by releasing one amazing collection after the next. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than the Acrylips I was introduced to the Artist Liquid Matte pigments in a variety of trendy shades. There is also a reformulated version of my favorite setting powder and new skincare to help prep and prime.


The Liquid Matte formula is light, lush, comfortable and highly saturated for one-stroke application and opaque coverage. Infused with kaolin powders, mineral clay and silicone oil they provide a sharp, pure finish to beautifully accentuate your pout. The texture starts off rich and creamy for superior glide, even coating and smooth lines but the color dries completely matte.


The wand is a standard gloss applicator that delivers enough pigment to get the job done but the stick tends to collect a bit of product (especially with repeated use) so I simply clean it off with a lip brush. The hues in the neutral spectrum range from light, medium and deep with complexion flattering undertones and incredible intensity.


If you’re in the market for long lasting color then look no further. This formula clings to lips like a second skin hugging every curve and contour without bleeding or feathering. The color doesn’t smudge, budge or transfer for hours of wear and the infusion of nourishing avocado oil helps retain a light layer of moisture to prevent dryness and chapping. Although the cream is very durable, longevity may be reduced by consuming greasy foods and when used with primer, balm or gloss as these things may loosen the color. I also recommend exfoliating before application since the pigment can emphasize skin texture. They retail for $25.00 each.

From left to right: 109 (deep mauve brown) 105 (flesh tone nude) and 203 (neutral pink)

109, 203 & 105

The Make Up For Ever loose translucent powder has been my holy grail product for years so I was very excited about the new Ultra HD formula. This is the best setting product I’ve used because the lightweight micro-particles blend in seamless and invisible on every skin tone to instantly blur imperfections, smooth skin texture (including lines, wrinkles and roughness), absorb excess oil and reduce shine. The silky particles work like magic over any foundation reviving the skin so it appears youthful, even and lifted for that just-applied, fresh faced effect. The key to using this product is to avoid caking it on. A light dusting is enough to mattify and diffuse camera light for capturing the perfect selfies. After a long day in the same makeup the powder also refreshes my look and minimizes pores so I appear less tired. I prefer the loose formula ($44.00) because I find it more effective but it is available in a pressed version also compatible with 4K technology.


Many makeup brands have been dabbling in skincare and MUFE has created an Ultra HD Booster infused with Hyaluronic Acid to increase moisture by up to 400% and prep skin for makeup application. Argan, collagen and Vitamin E nourish, plump and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to create a smooth, even canvass. The formula is light, silky and water based so it absorbs quickly with no residue or grease. If you need a bit more hydration you can layer over moisturizer or apply more generously but the serum makes a great addition to your beauty routine and retails for $51.00.


Make Up For Ever is available at sephora.ca and Sephora locations nationwide. If you are attending The Makeup Show NYC this year make sure to stop by booth G1 May 7-8  for a chance to learn more about the new pro products and get great discounts! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NEW Avon Eye Dimensions Palettes & Mark Hook Up Eye Shadow & Blush

Avon is constantly launching beautiful new makeup but with so many products to choose from it can be difficult to decide what to try. Today I will be sharing a few fabulous finds with dazzling finishes that are perfect for all your summer soirees.


The Eye Dimensions Shadow Palettes may be small but they pack a bold punch of glitter enriched with Vitamin E. For the most part the shadows are silky, non-creasing and smooth with brilliant, eye-catching sheen. Although the longevity is decent, I highly recommend a primer for better adhesion, intensity and blending. You can also dampen your brush and apply them wet for a little more drama. Sweetheart Plum (bottom palette) is my favorite trio because of the iridescent garnet-purple with great color payoff. The middle hue is sheer and glittery requiring a few more layers to amplify and the silver has a matte base with sparse glitter and a drier sheer finish. Neutral Haze (top left) contains a beautiful frosty pink-purple, deep bronze shimmer and bright snowy silver which are all well pigmented. When you’re in the mood for something seductive, the Sultry Smoke Palette has a flattering contrast of sparkly grey, black and silver. These palettes are expertly coordinated, great for travel and retail for just $10.00 each.


For a quick, simple smokey eye using just one shade try Avon’s Midnight Shadow ($6.00). This deep navy with refined blue glitter starts off sheer and can be layered for more intensity. I apply it heavier on the lids, blend it lighter in the crease and smudge some under my lower lash line. It creates a stunning effect and the blue glitter twinkles in the light.


The new Cheek Magnet Hook Up Blush Compacts are available in a variety of complexion flattering shades including a few that aren’t in the bright pink spectrum. This Berry Minute (on the right) has a pretty rose undertone that is deep enough to create some contour and the shimmer is very subtle so the pigment still applies velvety and smooth. Mauve forward has a matte finish with a soft, rich texture that blends well and helps define. Both palettes are magnetized so you can click them together side-by-side or back-to-back and they retail for $18.00 each.



The Smoke and Mirrors Hook Up Eye Shadow Palette ($18.00) is another mini that is great for travel. There are 9 mix and match crease-proof shades that are blendable and silky. With a dazzling selection of multidimensional shimmer and glitter you can create many stylish looks and although the pigmentation is sheer, the shadows are buildable for more saturation.  


The True Color 8 Shadow Palettes have been cult favorites for years and now there are a few new color collections to choose from. Smoky Nights contains all of the shades you need for an evening out including shimmery purple, gold, garnet, glittery navy and black. The color payoff ranges from sheer to medium and full-coverage so you can play around with different effects and go as glam as you dare. The palette retails for $15.00 and is small enough to slip in your purse.


These products are available at avon.ca and through independent consultants

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spa Day with Masque Bar by Look Beauty, 7th Heaven & Bliss

Nothing replenishes the skin like a nourishing mask and today I'm featuring a great selection for the face, eyes, hands and feet created by a few brands I’ve been using for years.


Masque Bar by Look Beauty is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and their treatments are an effective way to target different skin concerns with potent active ingredients. I use the Brightening Mask to help lift my tan and revert back to my natural skin tone after vacationing in the tropics. It also corrects dark spots, balances and hydrates without the use of bleach making it safe for all complexions. The Anti-Blemish Mud Mask is formulated to smooth bumps, eliminate excess oil and purify irritated skin while the Pore Refining Crème is loaded with antioxidants and Coenzyme Q-10. The Wrinkle Reducing Sheet is great for a Mother’s Day gift basket - infused with collagen it helps soften, diminish lines, hydrate and refresh. The masks retail for $9.99 each.


It’s almost sandal season so pamper your feet with a rejuvenating treatment and fresh pedi. The Exfoliating Foot Mask eradicates rough skin and smooths calluses within 2 weeks. Simply slip your feet into the socks, let the formula soak in for 60-90 minutes and in a few days all the dead skin will start to peel away revealing the soft, healthy skin underneath. The mask retails for $9.99.


I use an eye cream every night but they tend to work best overtime with repeated use. For immediate results I pop on some eye masks to lighten dark circles, minimize puffiness, smooth and brighten in just one treatment.


For dry, rough hands the new 7th Heaven Glove Masques are a must! Infused with hydrating rose, shea, argan, seaweed, goji berry and many other natural plant extracts, the gloves revive chapped hands in 15-20 mins. After treatment skin feels supple, brittle nails are healthier and damaged cuticles are nourished so you can show-off that trendy spring mani. 7th Heaven is available at farleyco.ca and drugstores, the gloves retail for just $5.99 per pack.


The Bliss Mask a-Peel is like no other I’ve used! The powder comes in a little cup which you add water to and mix to form a thick paste that transforms into a rubber once applied. The mask dries quickly and locks in all the skin conditioning ingredients including seaweed, tea tree and willow extract. After 15 mins the rubber peels off easily revealing soft, moisturized skin! One treatment retails for $15.00 but it is enough for 2 applications so you can try mixing half at a time. The mask is available at London Drugs, Sephora, Hudson’s Bay and online.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Matrix Total Results Hair Care Review: So Long Damage & Curl Please

Now that winter has finally ended many of us are breaking out our summer wardrobe and trying to replenish our skin and hair. When the weather is colder I usually wear my hair straight which means blow drying and flat ironing but as things heat up I revert back to my natural curls to give my stressed strands time to recoup.

Matrix has launched a complete care and styling system for every hair challenge including: Mega Sleek, Hello Blondie, Rock It Texture, High Amplify, Moisture Me Rich, Color Obsessed and the two I will be reviewing today – So Long Damage and Curl Please.


The Damage Collection is formulated to repair weak strands and fortify against styling, heat, chemicals/dye and environmental elements by reducing breakage by up to 88% and allowing hair to grow strong and healthy. The shampoo ($12.99) smells fantastic and does what any good cleanser would – eliminate build-up and gunk on the follicles and scalp, foam away grease and lift substances that cause weight and residue like oils, leave-ins, dry shampoo, dust and grime. Although it does contain sulfate my hair still feels sleek and glossy instead of stripped and brittle. To prevent dryness I limit lathering to my scalp and allow the suds to trickle down towards the ends.


I love the ceramide conditioner in this collection because the consistency is lush and creamy with the perfect level or richness to coat, nourish and soften without making my strands limp or heavy. It also has great slip which makes detangling a breeze and my hair looks and feels revived, sleek, healthy and shiny with less breakage and split-ends. Letting the conditioner seep in and saturate damaged areas while in the shower is effective but the formula is also hydrating enough to be used as a deep treatment mask. I leave it on for 15-30 mins to substantially boost moisture, smooth and repair rough areas. I recommend that you comb it through or use the Aqua Brush by Tangle Teezer for even distribution. I also enhance absorption with the steam from my shower or a dryer attachment cap to warm the conditioner. It retails for $13.99.


Since my hair is very long (tailbone length) it gets caught in car doors, hooked on clothing and tangled in the wind which causes breakage and damage. To heal and tame my unruly mane the Break Fix Leave-In Elixir ($17.99) reconstructs brittle fibers, prepares hair for styling and works with my blow dryer or flat iron to create a lustrous finish with body, movement and bounce. I notice a dramatic difference in appearance and texture plus it helps control fly-aways and frizz while smoothing split-ends.


The Curl Please System moisturizes and defines waves and ringlets to control frizz. The shampoo ($12.99) works much like the damage formula for an invigorating cleanse but since curly hair is naturally drier it contains nourishing jojoba oil and protein to maintain the integrity of your spirals. Most curly girls know that a good leave-in is essential for preventing poof and frizz so I’ve been using the Contouring Lotion ($16.99). This creamy conditioner enhances definition, body and bounce while providing some hold to keep coils neat and moisturized. I also find that applying a light oil helps smooth and improve texture.


To find a list of salons near you please visit matrixprofessional.ca

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mark Lipclick Full-Color Lipstick Review

This season Mark Cosmetics is stepping-up their game with a stunning variety of trendy lipsticks that are sure to knock your socks off! These sassy shades range from deep and daring to classic red, fresh pink and neutral to compliment all outfits and show-off your personal style.


Using state of the art pigment technology Mark has developed a formula that delivers high-impact, bold saturation with smooth glide, excellent coverage and a light comfortable texture. There are 6 velvety mattes with rich color payoff and 8 cream finishes with beautiful satiny shine.

This amazing collection includes some of the most vibrant hues the brand has ever created with flattering shades for every season, skin tone and budget. The innovative magnetic case clicks shut securely to prevent purse catastrophes and once applied the color adheres well for hours of wear without bleeding or feathering.


The matte shades are just as comfortable as the creams providing lush layers of hydration to keep lips nourished and supple even after the pigment has faded away. Compared to traditional designs, these lipsticks have a smaller application surface with a sharper point making it easy to manoeuvre around the lip contour and create a nice outline. The delicious scent reminds me of chocolate and the outer tubes are simple yet chic!

On the deep end of the color spectrum there are some unique options including: Mischief (vampy blackberry with a deep aubergine base), Rebel (matte indigo with blue undertone), Vineyard (rich berry-wine) and Vixen (deep berry). The indigo has a drier texture and is the only shade that applies inconsistently so blending and layering may be required for even coverage.


The glamorous reds and orange range from bright, medium and deep including: Salsa (vibrant tangerine), Siren (mid tone vivid red) and Inferno (classic ruby).


In the pink category you have: Starlet (fuchsia/hot pink), Mwah (electric pink) and Rose with a coral base.


There are two nude hues that are almost identical – Goddess and Stripped, plus one pretty lavender called Wrath.


left to right: Goddess, Siren, Wrath, Rose, Vixen, Inferno, Mischief, Mwah, Vineyard, Rebel, Salsa, Starlet and Stripped

For just $12.00 each these swoon-worthy lipsticks accentuate your pout with pure, dazzling color that looks and feels high-end. Mark is available at avon.ca or through independent consultants.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dior Hydra Life Skincare Review

Along with releasing a variety of gorgeous makeup this season Dior has also made impressive breakthroughs in skincare to help regulate and enhance hydration for a fresh, healthy complexion. The Hydra Life Collection is infused with 90% natural ingredients including a variety of fruit extracts, oils and clay to help shrink pores, prevent blemishes, firm and create a natural glow.


After wiping my face with a cleansing cloth I begin my night routine with the Oil to Milk Cleanser enriched with sweet almond oil. This lightweight formula glides across the skin to gently lift and remove heavy makeup, pore clogging dirt, excess oil and impurities which helps prevent breakouts and imperfections. Although the directions indicate that it is safe for the eyes, I avoid using oils in that area because they tend to cloud my vision. As foundation loosens your makeup may start to look muddy but when you add water the cleanser transforms into a creamy emulsion that rinses clean with no residue. Unlike soapy face wash this blend leaves my skin soft, moisturized and smooth. It retails for is $49.00.


I treat my skin to a rejuvenating mask 2-3 times per week and the Extra Plump Smooth Balm Mask is highly concentrated in natural pine oil and nourishing botanical ingredients to drastically boost moisture levels in just 3 minutes.


The mask has a rich, creamy texture that feels amazing on parched skin and it seeps in deeply to soften, firm and soothe. Usually when I do my weekly facials I set aside enough time to leave the mask on for up to 25 mins while I relax, meditate or read. You can simply remove the excess with a cotton pad (no rinsing required) to maintain optimal hydration all day. The mask retails for $79.00.


The Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence with Mallow and Harberla Flower is like a refreshing drink for the skin! The lightweight gel texture feels cool and energizing with a nice light scent. It absorbs quickly and provides a silky base for makeup by minimizing pores, toning, smoothing and brightening. Skin feels plump and moisturized without any residue and I love how clear my complexion looks. Although you can wear the sorbet during the day, it also works wonders at night when layered under the Sleeping Mask to create a lush, reviving treatment that is highly effective. The Water Essence retails for $88.00.


One of the most important things you can do for your face is use powerful products before bed to enhance your skin’s natural healing and repairing process while you seep. My favorite product from this line is the Hydra Life Jelly Sleeping Mask infused with juicy apricot and citrus fruit.


The jelly feels light and comfortable yet it clings to the skin creating a nutritive cloak of moisture that restores, balances, fortifies and boosts radiance. Unlike some night masks, this one doesn’t transfer or stain your pillow and it makes my skin feel supple and silky while alleviating roughness, dry patches and irritation. Sometimes I layer natural oil on top of the Water Essence and Sleeping Mask to create an amazing blend and when I awake in the morning my complexion is dewy, clear and luminous. The Mask retails for $79.00.


These products are available at Dior counters nationwide including Sephora and Hudson's Bay

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Essence Cosmetics The Glow Must Go On Bronzing & Highlighting Palette + Shape & Shadows Eye Contouring Palette

With the launch of new matte lipsticks, liners, mascara and gloss there are a lot of new summer goodies to choose from at the Essence kiosk in Shoppers Drug Mart. If you find yourself browsing the isle make sure to check out the new face, eye and brow multi-purpose palettes designed and approve by international beauty bloggers.



The Glow Must Go On Bronzing and Highlighting Palette ($9.99) is one of the best products Essence has launched here in Canada. This pretty luminizer has 3 strips of radiant pigment (champagne, gold and bronze) to flatter all skin tones. With these gorgeous tones you can adjust your glow intensity from fresh and light for day wear to intense and warm for wild summer nights. The color payoff is smooth, silky and buildable with enough saturation to dramatically enhance the cheekbones and be used as eye shadow. The 3 colors surrounding the highlighter compliment the shimmer shades to create a complete eye look. I use the deep brown in the crease to create definition and the cinnamon/orange is a pretty transition color. The palette also comes with a small brush and mirror which makes it great for travel.


The Shape & Shadows Eye Contouring Palette is also well made and multipurpose. It contains 3 shades (light, medium and deep) to fill in and shape the brows plus a metallic eye shadow, shimmery highlight and brow wax to keep hairs in place. The deepest brow shade doesn’t contain ashy undertones which makes it dark enough for my hair. Since the pigmentation is good, you can layer and blend to achieve the level of coverage needed for full, well sculpted brows and all of the powders can also be used as eye shadow! I apply the brown hues in the crease, the golden shade on my lids and the shimmery silver to highlight. The set also comes with a dual-ended spoolie and angled brush for $9.99.



The new Concealer Palette ($6.99) comes with 5 correcting shades that target different discoloration issues. Beige covers imperfections, pink brightens tired skin, green neutralizes redness and yellow conceals dark circles. You can also mix and match to create the perfect blend.


The creams are not full-coverage but they are buildable and the texture is quite light so the color shouldn’t crease if you blend well. I use it as a blemish blocking base under my MAC concealer. 


Essence Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws and Ulta Beauty in the U.S. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Avon True Color Glossy Tube Lip Gloss Review

Now that spring is finally in full-swing and summer is just around the corner you may want to take a break from heavy lipstick and lighten things up with sheer, juicy gloss. When I prefer something simple I toss a couple Glossy Tubes in my tote for supple, radiant lips.


Although the colors appear vivid the tint is very subtle with a high-shine translucent finish. The reflective effect makes lips appear plump and healthy plus the formula clings to skin for long lasting hydration. As the gloss gradually wears away, lips continue to feel soft, smooth and nourished. 


The fun squeeze tubes remind me of products I used as a teen and the sweet candy sent is nice. Since the gloss is allergy tested it should be safe for sensitive skin and the oil-free formula is also enriched with vitamins to alleviate and replenish.


I like to use these during long flights or harsh weather because the creamy consistency holds up well in dry environments and creates a moist, soothing layer that I don’t have to touch-up or reapply very often. The only time I do notice a bit of stickiness is when my lips come in contact with something but the gloss feels comfortable and stays put.


The Glossy Tubes retail for $6.00 each and Avon is available through independent consultants and at avon.ca.
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