Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Marcelle Velvet Gel Liquid Lip Color | Review & Swatches

Today many people will be celebrating Halloween and right after the costumes are put away and the pumpkins are composted, everyone will be preparing for the holiday season. I’ve already attended a few Christmassy events and with many more to come I will definitely need an arsenal of vivid lip color that can withstand cocktails, sweets and late night treats.

The new Velvet Gel Lipsticks ($12.95) by Marcelle are available in a variety of trendy shades that range from neutral to bright. On cold days the lush pigment locks in moisture to keep lips smooth, nourished and protected with a blend of healing oils, antioxidants and vitamins. The formula is also hypoallergenic, fragrance free and gluten free making it safe for sensitive skin.

Shades (left to right): Coral Pink, Rosy Nude, Lotus Pink, Velour Red and Vivid Plum

I wanted festive colors so I chose some of the brightest hues in the collection. The pigment glides on smooth and creamy for excellent color payoff, buildable coverage and rich intensity. 

Use the point of the drop-shaped applicator to outline and define the lip contour for precision and neatness. The semi-matte finish makes lips appear plump and dramatic with no stickiness.


The saturation is incredible and I love the lightweight supple texture. Skin feels soft, hydrated and comfortable but the color is not transfer proof so you will need to reapply after eating or drinking. Despite not having the durability I was looking for, the ink-like vibrancy and advanced skincare benefits are important qualities in a good lipstick.


Marcelle is available at drugstores nationwide including Shoppers Drug Mart and online at marcelle.com.  

Monday, October 29, 2018

Fruits & Passion alo Collection

My hectic life usually consists of juggling deadlines, late night editing, travelling, managing clients, attending press events, organizing photo shoots and balancing a busy social life. Bath time is me-time, a chance to relax, unwind and pamper my body with great products.


When I opened the cute parcel from Fruits & Passion the delectable scent of citrus and fresh flowers filled the room. The pretty packaging is perfect for guest bathrooms and gift baskets.

The Pear Peony Shower Gel ($8.50) is my favorite! Squeeze some on your bath puff and let the aromatic lather cleanse your body of dirt, oil and impurities. The foaming bubbles soften and smooth without causing dryness and the formula is enriched with green tea, vitamins and antioxidants. If you prefer a warm soak, toss in a fragrant Bath Bomb ($8.00) infused with nourishing oil and witch hazel.


Winter is coming so don’t forget to drench your skin in luscious moisture. The Grapefruit Guava Whipped Body Cream ($13.50) smells divine and locks in hydration for up to 24 hours. Shea butter and prickly pear oil keeps skin silky and supple with no greasiness and the buttery texture works wonders on cracked heels, dry hands and ashy elbows.


From Halloween to Christmas we host a lot of parties so cute hand soap is a must! The alo Orange Cantaloupe Foaming Soap ($9.50) is gentle, loaded with vitamins and extra bubbly to eliminate germs and bacteria. 


This indulgent collection is available at Fruits & Passion stores and online at fruits-passion.com.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Annabelle Edge Lipstick | Review and Swatches

Most days I have to apply lipstick in the car while sitting in traffic. As soon as the light turns red I slather on whichever pigment matches my eye shadow and hope for the best. When you have no time for liner, Annabelle’s new Edge Lipsticks ($9.95 ea) may be your best bet for neatness and precision.


The unique diamond / square shape (depending on how you look at it) helps define and outline the lip contour for volume and dimension while the flat surface drenches your pout in supple color. Since I always use the sharpest edge to trace my lips, this design makes the task much easier.


The lipsticks are available in 12 shades from neutral to bright so there is something for every complexion and season. I received the collection in this cute little box and it came with a lip scrub to prep and smooth.


I tend to prefer a full matte finish but the luminous shine accentuates poutiness and feels comfortable on cold days. The lightweight formula is enriched with a hydrating blend of jojoba and argan to keep lips soft, moist and healthy with no chapping or staining.

Left to right: Winnie, Taylor, Kelly, Rita, Soo and Gabrielle

The color glides on smooth and creamy with minimal smudging and after a few hours it fades evenly. It isn’t the most durable or transfer-proof formula but the pigment is easy to reapply and quite  buildable. Adjust the saturation by layering or try a dramatic ombré effect. Sometimes I outline with one shade and fill in with another to create a gorgeous gradient. 

Lip Scrub, Kristen, Anna, Brigitte, Michele, Serena and Iris

Annabelle Cosmetics is available at drugstores nationwide including Shoppers Drug Mart and online at annabelle.com.

Kristen, Anna, Brigitte, Michele, Serena, Iris, Winnie, Taylor, Kelly, Rita, Soo and Gabrielle


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

THE BODY SHOP Body Yogurt Collection

Have you ever been in such a rush that you hopped out of the shower and decided to skip the body cream? Some formulas take forever to absorb while others leave you feeling so slick and moist you can’t even pull up your favorite pair of jeans.

For busy mornings and dry skin, The Body Shop has created a delectable selection of Body Yogurts ($16.00 ea) that are lightweight, fast absorbing and 100% vegan! The delicious formulas smell like ripe fruit and sweet flowers on a sunny spring day. If you are sensitive to strong fragrances you might want to take a whiff before purchasing but I think the scents are lovely.


After showering, apply the non-sticky refreshing gel on damp skin to soften, smooth and hydrate for up to 48 hours. Each formula is enriched with organic almond milk from Spain and sustainably sourced natural ingredients from Rwanda.

Strawberries don’t last very long in my house and although this scent smells more like candy than fruit, the whole family enjoys the indulgent aroma.


Moringa is a plant that contains a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This luscious blend smells like a bouquet of fresh flowers enveloping you in nourishment.


The Mango Yogurt reminds me of peach lollipops (resist the urge to eat it).


British Rose is uplifting and fresh but not very floral. It reminds me of an amazing hair conditioner, the kind you put on and can’t stop smelling.


Almond Milk is my favorite because the scent is mild and the formula is safe for sensitive skin. To treat dry flaky patches, apply generously. There is no build-up or residue so use as much as you like.


These cute jars make great gifts and stocking stuffers for all the ladies on your holiday list. The collection is available at THE BODY SHOP stores and online at thebodyshop.ca.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Shoppers Drug Mart Makeup Haul & NEW Beauty Website

Online shopping is more popular than ever because many consumers rather browse the web than deal with crowded malls and long lines. For a customized hassle-free retail experience, Shoppers Drug Mart has recently launched a beauty website (beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca) where you can browse all your favorite brands and order luxury products or sale items with a click of a button.


I received a gift card to explore the latest high-end options including: Coach, Burberry, Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Ferrari, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and more! They also have a great selection of trendy brands like Urban Decay, Stila, Smashbox and Nude by Nature. Since everything is organized by categories, it is very easy to navigate the site and quickly find what you’re looking for.

I’ve read many positive reviews about Daisy Love by Marc Jacobs ($69.00). The effervescent sent is an uplifting blend of radiant florals and sparkling gourmand - great for every day wear.


Foreo is one of my favorite brands so I’ve been dying to try the ISSA Play Electric Toothbrush ($59.00). With 9,000 sonic pulsations per second, the flexible bristles remove plaque, food and bacteria while gently massaging the gums. It also lasts up to 800 uses without having to change the batteries and the waterproof coating is made of antibacterial silicone. The brush head is not interchangeable and you can’t recharge it like the regular ISSA but it is great for travel. (Read my review on the Foreo Luna Mini Face Brush).


I also picked up the L’Oreal Paradise Enchanted Palette ($22.00) for my sister and the beautiful rose gold Nude by Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick ($28.00) which glides on with a luminous cream to powder finish.

I never do my nails without the Essence Express Dry Drops ($3.49). The gentle formula works with all polishes and conditions cuticles with hydrating oil.


I couldn’t place an order without getting a couple lip products so I chose Rimmel’s Matte Factor Lipstick in 810 (on sale for $4.49) and the NYX Strip Tease Liquid Lipstick in Madame Tease (on sale for $8.99). Shoppers also sent me a few FREE lippies just for placing an order over $80.00 – Essence Glossy Color ($4.49), L’Oreal Color Rich Lipstick in 102 Matte-ly in Love ($10.49) and Revlon Super Lustrous Toast of New York ($9.49).


Also included in the free gift bag was a bunch of samples, masks, makeup wipes, the Pixi Glow Tonic, Cake Beauty Dry Shampoo, Sally Hansen Nail Polish, primer, mascara and more!


While you’re browsing the website, I highly recommend checking out the following must-have beauty and makeup essentials:



Smashbox For 25 Years Our Lips Have Been Sealed Lipstick Palette ($79.00) and Photo Finish Primer ($50.00).



For more information visit the website at beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca. It is a great place to do all your holiday shopping!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Egyptian Queen Halloween Makeup

The Pumpkins are carved, the house is decorated and I'm trying not to eat all the candy before the tick-or-treaters arrive later this month. Tonight I'm attending the NYX Cosmetics Halloween Party so I've created a simple yet dramatic Egyptian Queen look that I will also be wearing to a couple other ghoulish events.

Coincidentally, “Erica” means eternal ruler and I’ve been captivated by Ancient Egypt since grade 5. Maybe one day I will visit the pyramids and explore the museums in Cairo but for now I’ll settle for cocktails, delicious food and a spook-tacular night with the girls....you're allowed to be corny on Halloween.

I found the accessories for this theme at Party City and it is quite easy to make your own costume. The beaded necklace inspired my color choice and bold eyeliner is a must when channeling your inner goddess. Since my hair is long and black I don't need a wig but a headband or hair jewelry adds the perfect finishing touch.


If you’d like to recreate this look I've listed the products and shades below. The great thing about Halloween makeup is that there is no right or wrong. Just have fun with it and unleash your inner artist. 


Eyes
Brows: NYX Brow Gel (Espresso) and Vasanti Brow Powder Pencil (Dark Brown)
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion (lots of it)
Crease: Sleek Makeup Nautical Palette (light blue)
Eyelids: inner lid - Estee Edit Gritty Eye Palette (gold), mid lid - Silk Naturals Eye Shadow (Ruffian), outer lid - Silk Naturals Shadow (Paranormal)
Brow bone highlight: Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette (Chaser)
Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil (Black Market), ELF Liquid Eyeliner (Black)
Mascara: YSL Vinyl Couture and It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara (my current fave!)

Face:
Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish
Under Eye Concealers: Rodial Heavy Duty Foundation Paste and MAC Pro Longwear (NC 45)
Face concealer: MAC Prolongwear
Powder: MAC Studio Fix Powder NC 45
Highlight: Stila Heaven’s Hue (Kitten)

Lips:
NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream (Speed of Light)


Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Poppy and Peonies Fall 2018 Accessories | The Stella Tote

When autumn begins and the leaves undergo their vibrant metamorphosis, my family takes a road trip up north to witness the astounding transformation. I love being surrounded by nature and capturing beautiful landscapes but no matter where life takes me, my wardrobe and accessories always reflect my style and personality.

Autumn is the perfect time to embrace rich sultry color and this season Poppy & Peonies has a fantastic selection of bags, wallets and travel essentials in a variety of fabulous fall shades. The brand designs high quality handbags that are incredibly functional for busy fashionistas and the website is frequently updated with the trendiest must-have pieces to keep your wardrobe fresh.



The Stella Tote ($139.00) is an absolute stunner! I can fit my entire life in the large, well structured interior and it is perfectly sectioned to keep me neat and organized. This bag is wonderful for work, travel or errands and everyone loves it! I’ve never received so many compliments on my purse before. Both men and women have commented on how stylish it is.

Since it arrived on my doorstep I’ve been taking it everywhere and for weekend road trips I am able to pack a makeup bag, extra clothes, day planner, iPad, pens, notebook, camera and other essentials without having to cram anything in. This beautiful bag is extra roomy with lots of zippered pockets, two internal water bottle holders and a built-in 14 inch padded laptop compartment.


And if that wasn’t good enough it also comes with two detachable tassels and a coin purse! I highly recommend the matching Essential Berry Wallet ($70.00) which has lots of room for cards, cash and coins.


Unlike most totes with wide open compartments, this one has a sturdy zipper that closes the entire bag to keep all your belongings safe and the straps are long enough to wear comfortably on the shoulder. While traveling I can also use it as a carry-on to store my cell phone, snacks, sunglasses, important documents and everything else I need.

The back features a large slip pocket which is handy for quick-grab items. If you only buy one bag this season the Stella is a great choice and the website has beautiful gifts for all the ladies on your holiday list. For more information, bag dimensions and additional photos visit poppyandpeonies.com.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Quo Cosmetics Fall 2018 Collection

Autumn is the perfect season to experiment with bold color and create seductive runway inspired looks. This year Quo’s collection features smokey shadows, matte lips and subtle pops of shimmer. They’ve also included a luxurious gold brush set that will be the envy of all your friends.


The Lunar Eye Shadow Palette ($20.00) contains soft neutrals and dark mattes to create both classic and playful looks. Blend the deeper hues for a dramatic effect and use the shimmers to brighten and highlight. The texture is silky and soft with buildable saturation and versatile coverage. I wish the colors were more vivid but the compact is travel-friendly and the large mirror is great for application. 


The Sweet Magnolia Face Palette ($18.00) has sleek packaging and comes with 2 highlighters, 1 blush and 1 bronzer. The deeper highlight is soft, lightweight and radiant for a natural glow but I’m not crazy about the bronzer. The pigmentation is faint and monotone so the color doesn't really enhance, define or sculpt. Fair complexions might have better luck with these shades.


The Face Palette doesn't work for me but the Matte Lipsticks ($14.00 ea) are to die for! Seduce is a peachy coral hue that looks amazing on all skin tones, Addict is a pink tinged burgundy that I can’t get enough of and Date Night (my favorite) is an irresistible brick red that makes your pout smolder. The texture is rich and velvety for smooth creamy glide and buildable lightweight coverage (you definitely need these in your life).


If you you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for makeup lovers, don’t miss out on the new Brush Set ($55.00). It comes with a powder brush, blush brush, foundation brush, all over shadow brush, and concealer brush (almost everything you need for full-face application). The sophisticated gold handles, incredible craftsmanship and soft fluffy bristles are impressive but I was even more ecstatic about the stand!


The brushes stick to a magnetized bar so you can store and display them on your vanity. Standing them upright also prevents germs and makeup from transferring between brushes and keeps the bristles in their original shape so they last longer. 


This collection is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Kerastase Resistance Extentioniste Collection Review

There are many factors that can affect the health of your hair including heat styling, environmental aggressors, hair color and improper care. My hair care regiment includes a balanced diet, multi-vitamins, thermal protection and avoiding harsh chemicals. I’ve also incorporated the new Kerastase Resistance Extentioniste Collection - formulated to heal and rebuild weak over processed strands. Although my hair is healthy, I use reparative products to nourish and maintain length. As a step-by-step treatment, Extentioniste helps prevent breakage and split-ends to improve resiliency.


Before lathering-up I apply the Resistance Soin Premier Therapiste Pre-Shampoo Conditioner ($48.00) to prime and protect during shampooing. Think of it as a fortifying barrier that prevents cleansers from stripping away too much moisture.


The Shampoo ($67.00) smells amazing and transforms into a rich foam that thoroughly eliminates oil, impurities, product build-up, dust and dirt. Usually I only lather my scalp and let the bubbles trickle down to avoid drying out my ends but with this gentle formula I can lather, rinse and repeat from root to tip and my hair actually feels softer after cleansing. Most of the Kerastase shampoos maintain the integrity of the cuticle so hair feel supple and light instead of brittle and squeaky clean.

The Fondant Extentioniste Conditioner ($48.00) detangles and strengthens slow growing damaged lengths with a powerful fusion of Creatin, Ceramides and Maelic Acid. The small particles penetrate, reinforce and seal cuticles with a uniform coating that protects against heat styling and extreme weather. I love how the lush texture envelops each strand to soften, smooth and hydrate. It revives the bounce in my curls and doubles as a deep conditioner if you leave it on longer.


I always stress the importance of monthly hair treatments because they effectively restore brilliance, moisturize and improve texture. Resistance Masque Extentioniste ($65.00) contains the same active ingredients as the conditioner with a richer cream that mends and restores from the inside out. The directions recommend that you leave it on for 5-10 minutes but for lasting results I need at least 1-2 hours. Apply it before blow drying and flat ironing for silky tendrils.


The Scalp and Hair Leave-In Serum ($57.00) can be massaged in to stimulate circulation and promote healthy growth. It also seals ends to prevent splits and breakage. I usually apply it on damp hair before styling and it absorbs quickly with no stickiness or residue. Use it mid-week to refresh and perfume your scalp (it smells wonderful).


For more great products, holiday gift sets or retail information, visit kerastase.ca.
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