Wednesday, April 11, 2018

NEW Pixi Pretties Palettes – Created by Your Favorite YouTube Beauty Gurus

Many trend experts and social influencers dream of using their beauty expertise to create an amazing makeup collection inspired by personal style. I would love to design and formulate my own products one day but in the meantime I’m testing a few pretty palettes from YouTube’s hottest stars.


I used to watch Dulce Candy on YouTube years ago and her bubbly personality is infectious. Cafe con Dulce ($34.00) features trendy go-to shades for the eyes and cheeks packaged in a portable palette. You get a great variety of pigments including powder to cream blush, radiant highlighter and romantic shadows that blend seamlessly to create an array of whimsical looks. The pale pinks are great for summer and the bronzy hues compliment all skin tones. I love the rich, velvety texture - it applies effortlessly (with almost no fallout) and layers well for buildable saturation and stunning multidimensional effects.


Weylie’s Kit ($28.00) comes with a small shadow palette and dual-ended eyeliner for creating beautiful definition and shape. Some of these colors remind me Urban Decay’s Petite Heat Palette – the sultry burgundy, orange and taupe are great for crease contouring while the subtle shimmers add a pop of radiance. The size of this compact is perfect for travel and the smooth, buildable pigments provide versatile coverage for everyday wear.


Chloe Morello’s Palette ($34.00) is inspired by love and bringing out your inner glow. It comes with 3 large blushes, 6 eye shadows and 3 liner/brow shades. The colors in this set are very neutral and soft to enhance your natural beauty. I like the creamy gold shadow and simple rosy tones but for more variety I mix the shadows with Wylies matte pigments. This kit was designed to be multi-functional so you can go from office appropriate to date night glam.


Pixi is available at shoppers Drug Mart and online at pixibeauty.ca

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Skincare Travel Essentials - The Body Shop Tea Tree Collection

Later this week I am heading to Asia – Shanghai, Singapore, Phuket, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Aside from my trip to Dubai, this is the furthest destination I will be visiting (so far) and I am looking forward to embracing the culture, history and cuisine.

Although traveling is exciting (and a little hectic), it is very important not to neglect your skincare routine which is why I'll be packing a few of my favorite anti-blemish products from The Body Shop.


Factors That Negatively Affect Your Skin While Traveling:

*Long  Flights – According to the World Health Organization, the humidity on airplanes is usually less than 20% which is 5% less than the Sahara Desert and the flight from Toronto to Shanghai is almost 15 hours (wish me luck). To counteract the extreme dryness, skin will usually overproduce oil which can clog pores, make you look greasy and cause pimples.

*Jet Lag, Time Zones & Fatigue – Lack of sleep and exhaustion can compromise the immune system, delay healing and cause dullness and blemishes. I will be dealing with a 14 hour time difference so let's hope I adjust quickly.

*Environmental Changes – Pollution, smog and poor air quality in many large cities can cause irritation, dryness, skin aging, acne, inflammation and rashes. 

*Water Quality – In some cities is unsafe to drink tap water so using it to wash-up/shower can negatively affect your skin.

*Sun – I don't go on vacation to simmer and tan on the beach. Prolonged exposure can actually cause pre-mature wrinkles along with sun damage and burns. I also suffer from heat rash so I wear a big hat, slather on the sunscreen and sit in the shade.

*Bacteria – Swimmer’s Itch is an irritating rash caused by wading in the ocean. Bacteria and parasites from the water’s surface cause redness, itching, and unsightly bumps.

*Makeup – When I get home, the first thing I do is remove my makeup and deep cleanse but on vacation I tend to spend a lot more time in my foundation, especially if I’m awake for 22 hours at a time. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

Tea Tree Oil is great for treating and preventing blemishes and the nutritive collection from The Body Shop is infused with organic ingredients that help generate new tissue and improve healing. The oil also purifies the skin by unblocking glands, disinfecting pores and reducing inflammation, redness, irritation and breakouts. Even a small amount may help fade scars and relieve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and razor burn.

When traveling I always pack the Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil ($13.00) to keep my skin clear and healthy. The formula is super concentrated and smells very strong (like herbal medicine) so I only use it before bed. The oil has powerful antibacterial properties to soothe mosquito bites, eliminate impurities, diminish dark spots, detoxify and treat imperfections. 
Tip: Use a few drops in your face steamer to open nasal passages and refresh dull skin.


Don’t forget to exfoliate while on vacation. Getting rid of all that rough, dead skin will do wonders for your complexion and The Body Shop's 3-In-1 Wash, Scrub, Mask ($21.00) makes the task much easier. The creamy formula gently cleanses to get rid of dirt, oil and pollutants so skin feels soft, smooth and replenished.


The Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask ($23.00) is infused with salicylic acid to eliminate blemishes, tone, mattify, shrink pores, balance, correct and rejuvenate. The refreshing gel feels amazing on parched skin and creates a supple layer of moisture that deeply nourishes as you sleep.


These products are available at The Body Shop Stores nationwide and online at thebodyshop.ca

Monday, April 9, 2018

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Palette Review

When the Naked Heat Palette came out I was obsessed...I still am. Personally, I think it is one of the best eye shadow palettes UD has ever released (if you’re into warm, sultry shades) and I use it almost every day. Recently the brand released a mini sequel – the Petite Heat ($36.00), featuring 6 full-size matte hues in a portable palm-sized compact.



For avid travelers like myself, this little palette is very convenient. You get a great selection of sculpting, blending, transition, base and highlighting shades that follow the same spicy color scheme as Naked Heat. The pretty pigments mix and match with many other shadows in my collection to create beautiful contrast and definition.

The only thing missing is a couple shimmery shadows for the lids (I like a little glam) but other than that, these seductive neutrals are essential for creating smoldering effects, especially when used with gold, bronze and garnet hues (some of my favorite combos).

As expected, the texture is velvety, rich and blendable with fabulous color payoff and longevity. I have no problem with creasing or fading so this palette will definitely be coming with me to Asia later this week.


Click HERE for my review & swatches of the Naked Heat Collection. Urban Decay is available at freestanding stores, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, and online at urbandecay.ca. Don`t forget to sign up for the Beauty Junkies Rewards Program to earn and redeem points.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil Review

Spring has officially begun but as I write this, snow is fluttering down outside my window. Winter weather and harsh climates can cause skin to become dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable so I’ve been using the Shu Uemura Beauty Oils instead of face wash. These luxurious Japanese cleansers have been around for 50 years and they were initially created to remove heavy Hollywood stage makeup without damaging an actor’s skin. Since then the brand has gained overwhelming popularity worldwide, spreading the message that “beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin.”


It takes about 3-4 pumps for a thorough coating and the oil works best if your hands and face are dry to begin with. Rubbing the liquid between your palms can waste product because it does not lather or foam. Simply massage the cleanser onto the skin and then add water to emulsify into a milky solution. It does feel like you are washing your face with a glossy oil, but it rinses clean with a supple, hydrating finish and no greasiness. My face feels soft, clean and refreshed with no uncomfortable dryness and it effectively removes makeup and impurities. 

I haven’t really tested the oils on heavy makeup yet but they are formulated to work on waterproof formulas. When dealing with sensitivity and irritation, the lightweight cleansers gently unclog pores to prevent blemishes while antioxidants and plant extracts sooth, purify, balance and nourish. 

In the green bottle you have the Anti-Oxi + Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Oil ($46.00). This enhanced blend removes micro-impurities deep within the skin to help battle city smog and environmental aggressors. It isn’t my favorite scent but the Green Tea and Moringa extracts help restore dull, yellow skin while gently exfoliating and boosting radiance.


The Nutri Nectar Gentle Oil ($46.00) comforts, heals, strengthens and conditions delicate skin with Acai, Magnoila and Reishi Mushroom which gives the cleanser an earthy fragrance.  


The Ultime8 ($46.00) replenishes and hydrates for a soft, silky complexion and improved makeup application. The botanicals are derived from Chinese medicinal ingredients that detoxify and prevent blemishes.


The Porefinist2 Sakura Refreshing Oil ($46.00) is ideal for oily and acne prone skin. The formula washes away excess sebum and blackheads to refine and smooth.


Shu Uemura is available at Sephora, Hudson’s Bay and online at shuuemura.ca

Friday, April 6, 2018

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick Review - The Un-Nudes Collection

Don’t you just hate it when you have a fun evening planned and by the first fistful of popcorn or second sip of sangria your lipstick is smeared all over your food, glass or face? Well say goodbye to constant touch-ups and hello to Maybelline’s Matte Inks. Apply one of these liquid lipsticks and you can party until the sun comes up and smooch to your heart’s content because the color lasts all day! I’ve already reviewed some of my favorite shades from the core collection so today I’m featuring the Un-Nudes range which includes some unconventional colors.


I’ve tested just about every lip trend and popular brand on the market and none can outlast these bold inks. This is the longest lasting formula I’ve ever tried which is why I’m confident enough to leave home without my lipstick (now that’s some serious trust).

To get the most from your color, let the first layer dry before applying a second coat. Don’t be alarmed by the stickiness, it’s a small price to pay for transfer-proof durability and a perfectly painted pout that doesn’t fade.

The vivid pigment glides on creamy and blendable so you have time to shape and define your lips before it dries completely matte. The color clings to the skin like a paint or lacquer (you will definitely feel it) but the finish is intensely saturated for ultimate poutiness. Surprisingly, the texture does not feel extremely dry, there is just enough moisture to keep my lips comfortable and the tightness wears away. If you require more hydration or suffer from chapped skin, try exfoliating first. You can also use primer or balm underneath but that may affect adhesion and longevity.


The Un-Nudes are a bit unusual. I’m not sure if I will wear the light peach tones or concrete grey but they definitely spice-up my makeup collection. I suggest swatching before making a final decision because some shades are more appealing on the skin. The brown tones (Seductress, Amazonian and Fighter) are quite pretty and although they are neutral, the finish isn’t nude.


At the end of a long day my lipstick looks the same as it did when I first applied it but you’re probably wondering how to get it off. Thankfully all it takes is a good makeup remover and a little soaking. The color comes off rather quickly with very little staining. I use an eye cleanser from Flomar Beauty which lifts the color off with minimal rubbing. Unfortunately this brand is not available in the U.S. or Canada but you can find it in Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa (I discovered it in Madrid).

The deeper end of the spectrum is pretty! I love the dark red (great on all skin tones) and the vampy blackberry and violet are eccentric (in a good way).


If you can get over the initial texture I definitely think you will like these. The formula is incredible and my obsession seems to have worn off on my family because the women are totally hooked! The lipsticks retail for $11.99 each.


You should also try the new Tattoo Studio Brow Gel ($14.99) – available in 4 shades. My mom told me about this product before the brand sent it to me for review and she was right, the waterproof formula lasts all day with no smudging or transfer. The packaging says it can actually stay on for up to 2 days and the deep brown is perfect for my dark hair without being too ashy.


The kit comes with a Sculpting tip for precise application and a grooming spoolie to tame, neaten and blend. My mom showed me a neat trick – she dips a small angled brush on the sculpting tip to coat it in color and then uses it to shape and fill. I actually prefer this method because it provides more definition and the color payoff is fabulous. 


Maybelline is available at drugstores nationwide

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Estee Lauder Perfectionist Pro Rapid Firm + Lift Treatment & Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

Life can be tough on our skin. On a daily basis we are exposed to sun damage, pollution and impurities that can cause blemishes, pre-mature aging and loss off vitality. We have no control over our genetics or the weather but you can fight back with effective skincare.


Estee Lauder’s Perfectionist Pro Treatment ($145.00) targets aging skin to improve the appearance of wrinkles and sagging, fade lines, plump, boost radiance, refine pores, even texture and correct tone. This may seem like a lot of magic in one simple bottle but the concentration is infused with a powerful, custom designed peptide called Acetyl Hexapeptide -8. This potent, fast-acting ingredient helps rebuild collagen and strengthen elastin so the jawline and cheeks look more lifted, toned and defined (ideal for capturing the perfect selfie and repairing the damaging effects of time). When using this treatment, remember to apply sunscreen and limit exposure as you may be more sensitive to UV. The lightweight, hydrating texture makes skin feel soft, smooth and healthy but there is no pump for extraction. I simply dip the stick in and apply directly to clean skin.


The Perfectionist Pro Instant Wrinkle Filler ($72.00) has rave reviews but I can’t attest to the amazing claims because I don’t have lines or wrinkles. That being said, I will explain how the product works in case you want to pair it with the serum for optimal results. The unique formula is infused with a Tri-Polymer blend of advance filling spheres and blurring optics that fade, smooth and plump deep lines and wrinkles. You should see immediate improvement, and overtime it helps amplify natural collagen for more firmness and lift.


I Love Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair formula and if you want a fabulous all-in-one product that makes your skin look healthy, dewy and youthful, you need to try the Synchronized Recovery Complex II ($120.00). The limited-edition “lucky red” bottle commemorates Chinese New Year and makes a great gift (especially with Mother’s Day coming up). The serum works with your body’s natural regeneration process as you sleep to deeply replenish, brighten, improve texture and tone, soften, balance and prevent visible signs of aging. It also nourishes and hydrates dull, skin so you look well rested and refreshed. I layer it with the Advanced Night Repair Mask-In-Oil ($100.00) for more moisture.


If you hate waking up with haggard, puffy eyes then try the new Day Wear Eye Cream ($52.00). Pop the jar in the fridge before application and let the cool, lightweight formula refresh and soothe tired eyes with a blend of cucumber and antioxidants. The complex hydrates for 24 hours, brightens to improve dark circles, de-puffs, protects and minimizes fine lines. I also use it on my eyelids to prevent dryness and improve the look of eye shadow.


Estee Lauder is available at Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay, Murale, Sephora, Saks, Nordstrom and esteelauder.ca.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Marcelle Cosmetics Rouge Xpression Lipstick Review – NEW Shades

Lipstick is one of my favorite beauty products because even on the dreariest days, a pop of vibrant color can enhance the complexion and instantly take your look from drab to fab. I have a lot of lipstick... the other day I found 21 floating around my purse (no woman needs that many on a daily basis) but when I’m running late, I prefer lightweight, simple pigment that glides on effortlessly.


The Rouge Xpression Collection has always been one of my favorites and for just $11.95 per lipsticks you can’t go wrong! There are so many wonderful shades to choose from and Marcelle continually expands the selection so you can always find colors to compliment your skin tone. The new pigments are chic, wearable and elegant with a Maxi-Lip Complex that nourishes and volumizes with no stickiness. Avocado and Omega Oils prevent dryness and deeply moisturize while the velvety texture ensures total comfort. For those with sensitive skin, the hypoallergenic formula is free of gluten and fragrance.

I love the creamy one-swipe application and the satin finish provides subtle shine. My favorite in this bunch is Red Berry - a beautiful deep ruby that looks great on everyone.


The pigmentation is buildable so you can go from medium to intense with a couple layers and lips feel smooth and soft all day. This isn’t a long-wear formula so the color will transfer during meals and gradually fade but reapplication is quick and simple – like putting on Chapstick.

Berry Mauve is a beautiful pink with hints of soft purple while the two neutrals – Berry Nude and Pink Berry have universally flattering undertones. These are very office appropriate for everyday wear but they also transition well for an evening out.


Left to right: Berry Mauve, Red Berry, Pink Berry & Berry Nude

Marcelle is available at drugstores nationwide and online at marcelle.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Nivea Skincare - New Creams, Cleansers & Anti-Aging Formulas

A few weeks ago I attended Nivea’s press event to celebrate the launch of some great new products and meet their beautiful new brand ambassador – Tessa Virtue! If you watched the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang (like I did) then you probably saw Tessa and Scott kick butt and skate circles around the competition to win Canada the gold. I had a chance to chat with Tessa about her experience in South Korea, what competition she’s training for next and decorating her new house. She also revealed some of her favorite skincare products.



I’ve been using Nivea since childhood and their body lotions have always been a staple in my family. The first product Tessa recommended is the Care Nourish Cream which comes in a tube for $9.99 and a large jar for $13.00. The awesome thing about this gentle, non-greasy moisturizer is that it can be used on the body, hands and face to keep you soft and hydrated from head-to-toe. The rich, silky texture absorbs quickly and effectively to deeply replenish and alleviate dry flaky skin with an amazing scent. For travel I love the convenience of having an all-in-one cream and the lightweight formula is perfect for all seasons.


The other day my sister asked if I had any toner and I said – Micellar Water is trending now, get with it! I mean, they sort-of do the same thing but typically Micelles draw out dirt, oil and impurities like a magnet without drying out the skin. Nivea has created the new MicellAir Skin Breathe Water ($8.99) which cleanses deeply to remove stubborn makeup on the eyes, face and lips with no residue, rubbing or rinsing.


After a long day, taking off my makeup is the last thing I want to do but the MicellAir Skin Breathe Eye Makeup Remover ($7.77) makes the task less tedious. The gel gets rid of shadow, glitter, liner and mascara without irritating my eyes and the small bottle is perfect for travel.


I don’t have any visible signs of aging yet but I still use anti-aging skincare. The key to youthfulness is prevention so I’ve been testing Nivea’s Q10 Plus C Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream ($19.97) and Eye Cream for tired looking skin. The products are formulated to reduce the look of fatigue and lifelessness (we’ve all had those days), energize, smooth, hydrate and fortify. I wear the moisturizer under makeup since it has a non-greasy finish and after a long night, the eye cream helps improve the look of puffiness and dark circles with a boost of Vitamin C. 


The Q10 Plus C Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Goodnight Cream ($21.99) works with the body's natural regeneration process to revitalize your complexion during sleep. Co-enzymes and antioxidants support skin’s energy metabolism from within to fight wrinkles, nourish and protect. The supple texture is very hydrating but for night care I usually prefer heavier formulas so I layer the cream with serum or oil. The aluminum tube helps protect the Vitamin C so you get a potent dose with each application and over time dullness, lines and sun damage may be visibly reduced.


Nivea is available at Drugstores and Mass Market Retailers nationwide

Monday, April 2, 2018

13 Helpful Tips to Prevent Illness While Traveling

Over the last few years I’ve been jet setting around the world, enjoying unique cultural experiences, visiting historical landmarks and marveling at the most breathtaking natural wonders on the planet. Travel makes life more exciting and although I am grateful for every wonderful moment, there are hazards and annoyances that come with venturing out of your comfort zone and taking risks. I don’t want to be a downer (especially since I have another big trip planned) but I am going to hit you with some reality today. Exotic destinations are beautiful but they can also be very dangerous so it’s time to talk about the downside of travel and things you don’t see in those picture perfect postcards.


These tips are particularly helpful when traveling to Asia, South America, Africa or developing nations. 

1. Do your research before leaving home
As a general rule it is a good idea to avoid visiting countries with reported outbreaks, viruses or infectious diseases plaguing the area. Check travel advisories to make informed decisions that don’t put you and your family at risk.

2. Invest in travel insurance
No matter how much fun you have planned at that beach retreat always prepare for the worst. To avoid expensive medical bills and unexpected costs, purchase travel insurance – I never leave home without it.

*Make copies of your passport (leave one at home with a family member/friend) and keep the other somewhere safe in case of theft.

3. Get vaccinated and talk to a healthcare professional
Consider getting the recommended vaccinations before your trip just to be safe and consult your doctor. Government websites will usually post travel and health information for other countries. These shots may help protect you from contagions like Hepatitis and Malaria.

4. Boost your immune system before departure
Starting a regiment of multi-vitamins, vitamin C, and other immune supplements may help protect you from nasty travel bugs or at the very least, help you recover faster. Since immune strength correlates to a healthy gut, I take probiotic pills (Ultimate Flora) to support intestinal health. Click HERE to read my article on immune supplements.

5. Disinfect the hotel room yourself
I always book 5 star hotels or resorts (the more luxurious the better I say) but that doesn’t always mean the cleaning lady cares about sanitation as much as you do. Think about how many people have touched the lamp in your room or the light switches and remote control (surfaces that rarely get cleaned). Were these people healthy? Did they wash their hands? How many people have slept in that big comfy bed? Okay, I know thinking about this is utterly disgusting (and a little terrifying) but better safe than sorry.

*Bring Lysol or disinfectant wipes to clean commonly touched surfaces in your room. This may not kill everything lurking in the corners but it will help prevent illness. I usually wipe down the counter tops, soap dish, faucets, door handles, light switches, remote control, toilet flusher etc. This may seem like a lot of cleaning to do on vacation but I saw a hidden camera show that caught a maid wiping the bathroom counter with the same cloth she used on the toilet seat...just saying.

*When booking a private room or residence with Air BnB make sure the home has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


6. Creepy Crawlers
Bed bugs are a traveler’s worst nightmare and you do not want to bring those pesky little blood suckers home. Before bringing in your luggage, inspect the room thoroughly. Check around the bed, behind the headboard, under the sheets, in the pillow cases, around the mattress seam and inspect the other furniture. Remember, even swanky 5 star hotels can be infested.

7. Don’t forget your medications
Food poisoning and travel bugs are a reality many of us must face and I know firsthand just how horrid they can be. In Dubai I contracted an illness that knocked me off my feet for days. Not even my first class pod could cheer me up as I sat shaking and shivering on the 14 hour flight home.

Nothing ruins a trip faster than, projectile vomiting, abdominal pain and spending your vacation in the bathroom. Your destination may not have the same medications you are familiar with or you may not be able to read the language on the packaging.

Things to bring (other than your prescription meds):
*Anti-diarrhea medication and hydration packs to refuel your body after fluid loss.
*Charcoal pills – to absorb toxins.
*Pain Relievers.
*Medication for indigestion.
*Ladies, I recommend packing something for yeast infections.
*Sunscreen and ointments for sunburn.
*After Bite to alleviate the itch and pain of mosquito bites.
*Swimmers Ear Drops.
*Antibacterial Eye drops.
Note: Before bringing any medication into a country check their guidelines and penalties. Some ingredients may require a doctor's note and others may be banned.

8. Be extra hygienic
This is probably obvious but I see a lot of people leaving public restrooms without washing their hands (yuck). I am a bit of a germaphobe so I always double wash (wash, rinse and repeat). Generally you should be scrubbing up with soap for the duration of time it takes to sing happy birthday twice.

Things to bring:
*Hand sanitizer or wipes (use frequently and before every meal). You can also use it to clean utensils before eating.
*I like to bring liquid soap with a pump dispenser because bar soap for hand washing tends to collect bacteria.
*Lysol Wipes (for the hotel room).
*Rubbing Alcohol (I bring a 70% alcohol spray to kill harmful germs and disinfect burns, scrapes or cuts).
*Band-Aids or a small First Aid Kit (you can never be too prepared for an emergency).

9. Bug Spray is your friend
It seems like every year there is a terrible new illness spread by mosquitoes and these tiny little pests kill more people a year than any other insect or animal on the planet (I watch a lot of National Geographic and BBC Earth).

Things to bring and consider:
*Bug repellent - I like Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard Spray and there are wipes available for your purse or beach bag. Remember to reapply as suggested.
*Off also makes a handy Mosquito Clip-On Fan that emits repellent around your body (I have one).
*Make sure your hotel has mosquito netting around the bed if necessary.


10. Be careful where and what you eat
*Resort buffets can be your demise if food has been sitting out too long.
*Be careful of street food – choose stalls that cook fresh food in front of you and avoid seafood and meat that has been improperly prepared. Establishments with large crowds tend to replenish the food more frequently.
*Avoid unwashed leafy greens, salad and fruit or make sure the produce is cleaned with filtered water.
*Research and read reviews to find reputable restaurants. Travelers will often disclose food poisoning experiences.


11. Don’t drink the water
When visiting certain countries you must be mindful of the water quality. Even here in Canada where the water is deemed “safe” I do not drink tap water.

*Always order bottled water and brush your teeth with it.
*To cut down on plastic waste, bring a reusable bottle with a proper filter.
*When ordering icy drinks make sure the cubes are made with filtered water.

12. Dangerous Animals
I watch nature documentaries so I know that there are a lot of poisonous animals and insects that can seriously injure. Exotic destinations are fun to explore but getting bitten by something dangerous can be fatal. In St. Lucia I was stung by a jellyfish. Luckily it wasn’t the deadly kind but the hot, searing pain was like being burned with an iron.

*Do some research on the animals and insects to avoid in the region.
*When traveling to jungles, forests or any wild terrain be vigilant - wear protective clothing and proper footwear.
*Do not venture off the beaten path or through thick vegetation, waterways, ponds, lakes and rivers unless absolutely safe or with an experienced guide. Some water can be polluted or harbor parasites.
*Do not touch or consume unfamiliar meat, fruit or vegetation unless absolutely safe to do so.
*Wear water shoes to protect your feet at the beach - you may not always see what lies beneath the sand.

13. Translation Books and apps
In case of a medical emergency, a translation book or app can help you communicate when there is a language barrier. In Florence my sister got very ill after eating some bad gelato and I had to physically act out her symptoms to a Pharmacist that did not speak English. It was embarrassing but he got the picture.

I hope these tips help you plan a safer vacation.
Bon Voyage! 
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