Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Avon Holiday 2018 Collection and Gift Guide

When it comes to holiday shopping many of us prefer to sit back with a cup of coffee and purchase incredible gifts from the comfort of home. Avon.ca is one of my favorite websites because it always has a wide variety of products for everyone on my list. You can find everything from perfume to kitchen appliances while checking out new makeup trends and snagging great deals on home decor, skincare and clothing.

The Ooo La La, Fa La La Eye Palette retails for just $14.99 and features a subtle range of everyday neutrals for all complexions. The soft, silky colors are easy to blend and for a night out spice things up with the smokey shades. This is a great gift for your favorite aunt, co-workers, friends and even grandma! The lightweight pigments are simple and easy on the eyes so anyone can wear them.

The Iconic Lipsticks ($12.00 ea) are decked out in chic packaging and classic prints that are sure to impress all the ladies on your list. The weightless satiny color glides on effortlessly with excellent color payoff, loads of hydration and a hint of voluptuous shine. The shades below are Sugar Plum (deep wine), Merry Mauve (frosty pink) and Holly Red – totally gorgeous!

Everyone loves an ethereal Christmas glow and Illuminate the Holidays ($12.99) has 3 creamy highlighters that light up the face. Use your finger to blend the shimmer on the cheekbones, nose, and forehead or where light naturally touches the skin. The effect is radiant, seamless and glamorous!

The Holiday Makeup Collection also includes the Sparkle & Shine Eyeliner Set ($25.00) with 6 Glimmersticks and cute silver case. The retractable pencils have a creamy formula that glides on evenly so you can neatly draw any size line. The subtle hint of diamond glitter is perfect for parties and the shade selection is great.

I love when my makeup and nails are color coordinated and I’ve found the perfect holiday pair. Avon’s Gel Finish 7-in-1 Enamel ($9.00) in the shade Roses are Red looks amazing with the True Color Lip Glow ($10.00) in Spark. The nail polish provides a high-shine gel mani without UV light and the built-in top coat strengthens and protects. The sheer, glistening lip gloss is infused with nourishing chia seeds and rose hip oil to keep skin soft, moisturized and chap-free with no stickiness.

I have about 100 perfumes on beautiful glass display trays in my room and over the years I’ve gifted countless bottles. Avon makes some of the best universal scents around and they are always very affordable. The new Velvet Eau de Parfum Spray ($35.00) is crafted from the finest ingredients in the world – fig and pomegranate from the Mediterranean, rose from Bulgaria and velvet patchouli from Java. The exotic blend is elegant, feminine and captivating. I really hate to part with the sexy burgundy bottle but my mother will love it!

These fabulous products are available at avon.ca

Monday, December 17, 2018

Real Techniques Limited Edition Brush Crush Volume II Collection

The countdown to Christmas is on and after wrapping countless gifts, trimming the tree and planning a holiday feast, you deserve fabulous new brushes to ring in the New Year. Instagrammable beauty tools have become very trendy so many brands have found creative new ways to style their handles, bristles and packaging. I’ve seen unicorn shades, mermaid motifs and tons of glitter but the Real Techniques Brush Crush Collection is decked out with icy metallic frost.

I own many Real Technique Brushes but these beauties exceed the quality of previous designs. The bristles are dense, durable, less floppy and extremely silky. The plush texture and fine fibers feel soft against the skin with no shedding.

The Powder Brush ($17.99) is my favorite! It was engineered to apply product with a smooth, even finish and help blur the look of pores. The Foundation Brush ($17.99) has an angled cut and flat surface to help buff in liquids and creams. Use small circular motions for flawless seam-free coverage. The Blush Brush ($17.99) is a great size for precisely blending color on the cheeks.

My preferred method of application is a Beauty Blender but the Diamond Sponge ($13.99) is ingenious! Use the bottom surface all over the face and switch to the pointed tip for application around the nose. The long triangular sections are perfect for applying powder, contouring bronzer or concealer and blending translucent powder after baking. Don't forget to dampen your sponge so it plumps up and softens for a smooth finish.

The Cosmic Sponge Duo ($14.99) resembles distant planets and the pack comes with 2 sizes. The material isn't as soft or as porous as the Diamond but if you prefer smaller applicators and don’t have many blemishes, they get the job done.

Real Techniques is available at: Jean Coutu, London Drugs, Walmart and farleyco.ca.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Lise Watier Holiday 2018 Neiges Collection

Lise Watier always adds a touch of elegance and glamour to the holiday season and this year the festive collection features an iridescent highlighter, luminous lipsticks and shimmery shadows that are perfect for a night out.

The Neige Highlight Powder ($45.00) resembles a beautiful snowflake encased in a sparkly silver palette. The smooth, creamy texture glides on consistently with no scatter or chunky particles so it doesn't flake or settle into fine lines. Use the soft pink, golden taupe and champagne to glaze the cheeks in frosty shimmer and awaken dull skin. On deep complexions, the silvery undertones may appear a tad white but they can be balanced with the center shade.

The Neiges Face and Corsage Brush ($32.00) has a glittery handle and luxurious tapered bristles that feel soft, dense and durable. The very tip is great for contouring and the flat surface is ideal for patting on powders, blending blush and sweeping on highlight.

I have several of the Lise Watier Dress Code 5-Color Eye Shadow Palettes ($39.00) and they never cease to impress. This brilliant motif is cool and wintery with soft pops of shimmery mauve, champagne taupe and mossy brown. The formula is incredibly rich and velvety with intense color payoff and excellent longevity.

When investing in a lip palette, it is best to chose something functional and small enough for travel. The Neiges Dress Code 5-Color Lip Compact ($29.00) contains lightweight universal shades with a supple moisturizing finish. I like that the palette slips into my evening bag and comes with 2 small applicator brushes for touch-ups on-the-go. The deep wine-red can be layered for more saturation but the other shades are sheer and glossy – pretty but not very pigmented.

If you prefer traditional lipstick, the Lip Fondant Collection has gained some buttery new shades. These beauties are part of the spring 2019 line-up but the silky neutrals compliment all skin tones and the bold berry looks great with the holiday shadows. Even in extreme cold, the hydrating formula keeps lips soft, smooth and chap-free with a lustrous finish loaded with tea extract and healing antioxidants. They also smell fantastic!

Lise Watier will also be releasing new Waterproof Lip Crayons ($23.00 ea) this spring and the existing collection is stunning! The shade selection is extensive so I can always find a match and the creamy texture fills in the entire lip.

This summer I attended a media event for the Toronto International Film Festival and the makeup artist from Lise Watier retouched my blush and glamed-up my pout with the Baiser Metal Matte Lipstick ($28.00) in Fatal Kiss. It was love at first swatch and I am still obsessed with the high-coverage glittering color that applies as a rich cream and sets like a stain. These show-stopping shades make my pout look red-carpet ready!

If you really want to wow your guests this Christmas, accentuate your eyes the new Ombre Soufflé Supreme Eye Shadows ($27.00). The texture is surprisingly bouncy, soft and mousse-like but they transform into silky powders with remarkable luminosity. Don’t bother with a brush, you’ll have much more control smoothing the color out with your finger. I expected some mess but application is quite neat with minimal lid to crease transfer.

Lise Watier is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, department store counters including The Bay and online at lisewatier.ca.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holiday 2018 Gift Guide | Great Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Christmas is in less than 2 weeks, the malls are crowded and many people are still searching for the perfect gifts. If you’ve started to panic, take a deep breath, have some hot cocoa and re-group. There is still time to get everything done and bake a batch of sugar cookies.

To help you survive the holiday season without having a meltdown, I’ve rounded-up a great selection of beauty items and gift sets for everyone on your list.

For the Tea Drinkers
There is nothing better than a warm cup of tea on a cold winter’s night and David’s Tea has cute Advent Calendars full of tasty blends. 24 Days of Tea ($49.00) is stocked with festive favorites and each box contains enough loose leaf yumminess for 2 cups. The calendar is a great way to discover delicious medleys and test new flavors. My top picks are apple cider, caramel shortbread, Santa’s secret, festive peppermint, s’mores chai, candy cane crush and red velvet cake.

To complete the set I highly recommend the White Starcut Nordic Mug ($23.00) with stainless steel diffuser and saucer/lid. (Available in stores and online at davidstea.com)

For the Spa Lovers
After a long December day I love sinking into a warm bath and soaking my stress away. For those who need a little down-time, the Zoella Cosmic Star Bather Set ($29.99) is an indulgent gift. The box includes bubble bath, body lotion, bath milk and exfoliating gloves to soften, cleanse, nourish and hydrate with scrumptious vanilla and peppermint. (Available at London Drugs, Familiprix, Pharmasave and farleyco.ca)

The I Love...Festive Joy Gift Boxes ($9.99 ea) are available in delicious scents like Pink Marshmallow and Blackberry-Raspberry. They can be used as shower crème or bubble bath and the fluffy foam rinses away dirt and impurities without causing dryness. Each set also comes with an exfoliating bath puff so you can lather up and relax. (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix and farleyco.ca)

Your loved ones will go crazy for the Fruits & Passion Alo Shower Gel ($8.50), Hand Cream ($4.50), candles and body lotions. The delectable formulas gently cleanse and moisturize with a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and citrus. (Available in stores and online at fruitsandpassion.com)

Recently I was vacationing in beautiful Isla Mujeres Mexico where my husband booked a luxurious suite with a large ocean view balcony and deep jacuzzi tub. We spent our evenings lounging in the warm water while looking out at the peaceful sunset, it was absolute bliss! The Me!bath Bath Bombs are a great addition to your spa treatments or romantic getaways. They are free of artificial preservatives and infused with a unique blend of 6 essential oils, indulgent fragrances, purifying minerals and healing Epsom Salt. Submerge them in water and kick-back as they soften and soothe your body. The Christmas sets include Santa’s Cookies, Snow Kissed Cranberry, and Candy Cane.

For the Fragrance Connoisseurs
Scent is very subjective so finding the right perfume for friends and family can be quite challenging. Atelier Cologne makes the task easier by offering seductive unisex fragrances. The 30 ml bottles retail for around $90.00- $100.00 each and this vibrant set comes with 3 bestsellers: Clementine California (sweet, citrus-y and fruity with a hint of pepper, vetiver, sandalwood and cypress), Vanilla Intense (rich oak-y moss, jasmine, vanilla, spicy coriander, lime and amber) and Iris Rebelle (Moroccan iris, orange flower and seductive woodiness). (Available at Sephora)

For the Gadget Enthusiasts
Hair removal can be a hassle so any tool that makes the job quick and easy is a beauty essential! The Veet Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler Expert ($29.96) helps you prepare for holiday parties and New Year’s Eve with a functional design for both wet and dry grooming. The device comes with 2 comb attachments, cleaning brush, battery, storage pouch and 2 changeable heads. The two-sided blade is great for eyebrow shaping and gentle hair removal on the face while the large blade can be used on the bikini area and under arms. Since there is no direct contact with the skin, you don’t have to worry about cuts or razor bumps and the trimmer is great for vacation. (Available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Amazon, Jean Couttu and Uniprix)

The Amope Electric Foot File with Diamond Crystals ($39.97 - $44.99) is the gift that keeps on giving! The rotating files swiftly remove rough peeling skin while buffing down hard calluses and dry heels. This set includes 3 roller refills with varying degrees of coarseness to keep feet soft, healthy and pedi-perfect all year long! (Available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Amazon and amope.ca)

For the Health Fanatics and Gym Members
In the New Year most of us make resolutions to be healthier and improve our diet so why not kick-start your plan with the Arbonne Essentials Protein Shakes ($38.00 per box - 10 servings). Each packet is loaded with vitamins, minerals and amino acids to help support muscles and bone. I recommend gifting the beverages with the new BPA-free Shaker Cup ($11.00) which thoroughly mixes all the ingredients. I also filled the cup with Arbonne’s Energy Fizz Sticks in various flavors to help promote mental alertness and cognitive functioning. These are great for busy mornings, travel and sleepless nights.

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin and Nails Strawberry Gummies ($9.97) are delicious! Each fruity piece contains biotin, vitamin C and Vitamin E to support the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. They also help metabolize fat and protein so make sure to slip a bottle in everyone’s stocking. (Available at drugstores nationwide)

For Skincare Advocates & Outdoorsy Types
Winter can be harsh on the body causing dryness, peeling and chapping. Those dealing with specific skin ailments may need products that are medically proven to relieve irritation and sensitivity which is why I give the gift of Flexitol. For diabetics like my mother-in-law, healthy feet are very important and Heel Magic ($14.99) softens and protects with rich emollients, vitamins, shea butter, beeswax and olive oil. She also loves the Flexitol Ultra Moisturizing Lip Balm ($5.49) because it is the only formula that heals soreness, discomfort and severe dryness.

For my workaholic husband and those who love the great outdoors (even in December), the Flexitol Very Dry Skin Cream ($12.99) provides optimum hydration for ashy patches and winter itch. The replenishing ingredients improve texture and boosts suppleness while alleviating symptoms of Psoriasis and Dermatitis. The Eczema Cream ($16.00) is effective for mild to moderate episodes of irritation, redness or pain and the formula does not contain cortisone, steroids or parabens. (Available at drugstores nationwide)

Aveeno has been keeping families moisturized for years so their products are great for gift baskets and care packages. 

Some of my favorites include:
*Positively Radiant Exfoliating Body Wash ($11.49 - gently eliminates dry flaky skin, dirt and impurities with a hypoallergenic, soap-free formula.
*Positively Radiant Body Cream with natural walnut powder ($9.49) - absorbs quickly without greasiness to hydrate and soften for 24 hours.
*Ultra Calming Cleanser for sensitive skin ($9.97) - gently removes oil, pollutants and stubborn makeup without disrupting the moisture barrier.
*Ultra Calming Sensitive Skin Nourishing Night Cream ($25.00) - regenerates, hydrates, calms redness, minimizes pores and soothes irritation for a glowing complexion.
(Aveeno is available at drugstores nationwide)

For the Stylists
If you know someone who takes pride in their hair, KMS offers a fabulous selection of products that prevent dryness, breakage and split-ends. The Moist Repair Collection includes the balancing shampoo ($20.75), restructuring conditioner ($44.95) and Leave-In Detangling Spray ($23.50) designed to improve elasticity, strengthen, restore the cuticle, moisturize and boost shine. (Available at Trade Secrets and salons)

Don’t forget to include a stylish new Wet Brush Pro Detangler ($13.99) with flexible bristles that undo pesky knots with ease. They can be used on wet or dry hair, (curly and straight) to smooth, neaten and distribute natural oils that keep fragile ends nourished and healthy. I love how the durable teeth glide through my long mane without causing static and the brush is great for applying deep conditioner.

For the Lip Balm Junkies
If you’re like me and have a lip balm stashed in every room, it is a good time to stock up on Limited-Edition eos Gift Sets. The holiday line-up includes: First Snow, Fireside Chai, Pomegranate Raspberry and Sugar Plum – perfect for stuffing the stockings! Each organic balm is infused with natural fruit extracts, butters and lavish oils that keep your pout mistletoe ready! (Available at drugstores nationwide)

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Shiseido Holiday 2018 Collection | ModernMatte Powder Lipstick Expressive Deluxe Mini Set: Review & Swatches

As a trend expert I’ve tested the hottest makeup and beauty products on the market so I know that makeup junkies will be delighted to find Shiseido’s ModernMatte Mini Gift Set ($68.00) under the tree this Christmas. Each vivid lipstick draws inspiration from Japan’s captivating nightlife and the collection is packaged in a chic frosted box for storage and display.

The luxurious formula is lightweight, hydrating and incredibly velvety for supple comfort and dryness relief with no feathering. They may be small but these luscious pigments glide on buttery smooth, drenching lips in full-coverage high-impact color for a dramatic, voluptuous effect.

The rich, saturated shades range from neutral to bright pink, bombshell red and deep wine – perfect for all skin tones and occasions.

Use the small square edge to shape, line and contour with precision. The conditioning emollients soften, protect and prevent chapping. 

Shiseido is available at Hudson’s Bay, Rexall, Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sephora and online at shiseido.ca.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Mary Kay Chromafusion Collection | Review & Swatches

A few weeks ago I received a large box from Mary Kay and inside there were two large bags filled with beautiful eye shadows, trendy blush, radiant highlighters and rich bronzer – it was makeup heaven! We rarely get to customize palettes to suit our needs but having the option to choose flattering shades for my complexion with the versatility to mix, match and redesign makes so much sense!

Bold New Shades
Mary Kay’s Chromafusion Collection is formulated with Matrix Technology to create rich, luxurious pigments with no messy fallout, irritation or creasing. The finely milled, premium colors are wrapped in a silky layer of cream to amplify the finish and enhance application. You'll love how the lightweight velvety powders glide on and move with the skin for 12 hours of fade-proof wear. Each shade was meticulously evaluated on an extensive range of skin tones to generate a balanced lineup of gorgeous mattes and brilliant shimmers. With such an extensive range you can now build the palette of your dreams!

The unfilled Pro Palette ($28.00) is slim, sleek and magnetized with a secure snap closure for travel. You can design it any way you like but I used my favorite shadows, blush and highlighters (no bronzer because I don’t usually contour). The process takes time but I had fun customizing my compact and the end result is gorgeous!

*Tip: Keep the small plastic packaging for individual shadow storage when not in use.

Each eye shadow cost $9.00 and there are 33 shades to choose from. Even though the quality is good I still recommend using a primer to help intensify and layer the color.

*Tip: Be careful when laying the small pans next to each other and moving things around. My nail gouged a few shades while re-positioning them which is my palette looks a bit smudged. It may be helpful to create a layout prior to placing them.

I went with the most glamorous and dramatic hues – brilliant silver, deep navy, bronze and gold with pops of emerald frosty purple and eggplant. The mattes are smooth and ultra vivid – great for creating depth, contrast and crease definition.

The blush ($15.00 ea) and highlighters ($15.00) are soft, seamless and buildable with luminous satin finishes. I highly recommend the cranberry and corals but the flushed pinks are also very wearable.

*Tip: Create complimentary color groups for a harmonized gradient . This makes your palette look cohesive and helps you create quick, well coordinated looks.

If you want to downsize and keep a few shades in your purse or gym bag, the Petite Palette ($17.00) holds 4 shadows or one blush/bronzer and one shadow. The great thing about magnetized compacts is that you can include other refillable faves from your collection – mixing brands, textures and finishes to really make it your own. For makeup lovers this is the ultimate holiday gift!

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

Monday, December 10, 2018

Too Faced Holiday 2018 Collection | Tickled Peach & Sugar Cookie Eye Shadow Palettes

Shopping for your bestie can be challenging so Too Faced has created a selection of cute palettes and trendy gift sets your friends are sure to love!

These bite-size compacts are bursting with delicious aromas and shimmering colors that look stunning on all complexions. The packaging is totally adorable and perfect for jet-setting.

Sugar Cookie ($26.00) includes 8 yummy shades ranging from cool coco brown, soft mauve, glistening bronze, golden taupe and smokey plum. The pigments are smooth, silky and easy to apply with buildable coverage and rich color payoff. I can't get enough of the sweet cookie fragrance and there is enough variety to transition your look from day to night. For those with sensitive skin, the cruelty-free shadows are formulated without parabens or gluten.

Tickled Peach ($26.00) is a bit more glamorous with chocolatey brown, brilliant coral, radiant gold and bold purple. The shadows smells like a basket of juicy peaches and the velvety texture blends effortlessly with minimal fallout and no fading. For quick looks on-the-go, this purse-sized beauty does not disappoint and it is perfect for date night or holiday parties.

Too Faced is available at Sephora and online at toofaced.com

Friday, November 30, 2018

Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet Lipstick | Review & Swatches

Last week I attended a glamorous holiday soiree and I wore shimmering gold eye shadow paired with Clarins Deep Red Velvet Lipstick. The rich color saturates my pout in creamy moisture and accentuates the curves of my lips to create a voluptuous effect. The new formula is exquisite so today I’ve swatched 7 of my favorite must-have shades.

Infused with conditioning emollients, apricot extract and glasswort, the sumptuous pigment glides on buttery smooth and envelops lips in layers of nourishment. The lightweight finish is incredibly comfortable with amazing saturation and stunning vividness. Each seamless swipe delivers full-coverage pure color that instantly enhances the complexion.

The quality of these lipsticks encompasses everything you’d ever want in a non-drying matte formula with beautiful shades that range from nude, pink, sexy red, zesty orange and ultra-chic plums.

Although the color isn’t transfer or fade-proof, it hugs the lip contour without bleeding and lasts a few hours before having to reapply. The classic shape defines and accentuates but you can also use the matching Velvet Lip Pencils for more precision.

The deep plum and seductive reds are my favorite for the holiday season! 

Dusty rose and soft pink are very trendy and these beautiful hues look ravishing on all skin tones.

Swatches from left to right: 754V Deep Red, 737V Spicy Cinnamon, 756V Guava, 738V Royal Plum, 732V Grenadine, 742 Joli Rouge and 760V Pink Cranberry.

The Joli Rouge Velvet Lipsticks retail for $29.00 each and Clarins is available at department store counters, Shoppers Drug Mart and online at clarins.ca.
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