Friday, September 13, 2019

YSL Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain | Review and Swatches

As someone who has hundreds of liners, lipsticks and lacquers, I know that lip gloss can seem a tad boring. How can they make a sheer, shiny formula any better – add more moisture? Change the scent? Who cares!

Well YSL Beauty has created something wonderful - a versatile stain, gloss, lacquer formula that looks gorgeous and feels incredibly comfortable.


The Vernis À Lèvres Water Stains ($49.00 ea) are available in 18 stunning shades that make your lips appear juicy and plump. The unique moisturizing base is composed of 40% water for smooth glide and even layers that drench dry skin in supple color.

The finish is non-sticky but the stain adheres well and hugs the lip contour to prevent feathering. I love the lush texture, it feels like a soft, replenishing balm that repairs and accentuates. The light, luminous finish can be amplified from sheer to medium coverage and I was able to achieve amazing opacity.

You may need to reapply after eating or drinking but the applicator distributes the perfect amount of color that usually lasts for hours.


I have a few of the red, pink and orange hues but there are flattering shades for every skin tone including nude, wine, violet and deep berry.

The only shade that lacks saturation is 605 Bain De Corail because the color is quite light. If you prefer bold pigment, stick to the bright and deep tones.


I love wearing these while traveling because they hold up well during long flights and actually make parched lips feel soft and healthy. 


YSL Beauty is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay, Sears, Sephora and yslbeauty.ca

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Get Fuller, Thicker Hair with Nioxin’s 3 Step System

Beauty experts and stylists have told me that I have fine hair “but lots of it” – meaning that each strand has a small diameter but there are many of them so my mane appears full, healthy and abundant.

Many people will be surprised to learn that I’ve been using Nioxin - an advanced system designed to rejuvenate thin, lifeless hair. The treatment works by stimulating the scalp to promote healthy growth which is one of the reasons my tendrils are waist length and thriving.

Since we are all starting the process at different phases, I'll begin by giving you a quick health assessment of my hair. Most consumers purchase the kit to stop thinning but my goal is growth and volume.


My hair is shiny, silky, strong and soft with minimal breakage or damage. It is actually quite heavy when wet and I do not experience excessive shedding. Throughout this article I will not be revealing miraculous results but like most people I do have areas that need extra care.

The great thing about these kits is that anyone can use them, whether you have fine, thin, straggly strands or thick glossy hair with a few areas that need rejuvenation.

During the winter I flat iron frequently and even though I use a low setting to prevent frying my ends, heat styling can make hair appear thin, flat and dry. In the summer, I mostly wear my hair in a ponytail which can cause tension at the roots.


Other factors that may cause thinning include: chemical treatments and hair dye, repeated use of harsh sulfates, hormonal imbalance and pregnancy, genetics, aging, improper care, poor diet/nutritional deficiency, stress/anxiety, medication and other health related ailments.

Achieving more body, bounce and fullness is always a good thing so I’ve been using these products to make my roots appear plush, full and lifted. Each system consists of 3 simple steps that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

System 6 is designed for chemically treated hair and progressed thinning. I have never used chemicals or dye but the products are also formulated to “intensely hydrate” which is great for natural curls.

The shampoo cleans very thoroughly eliminating build-up, impurities and oil but it left my hair feeling squeaky clean and a bit fragile. During the second lather, I only shampooed my roots and used another product on my ends to prevent further brittleness. The cleanser is effective but quite drying so I probably won’t use it very often. 

The conditioner seems to be much more concentrated in active ingredients because as soon as I put it on, my scalp began to tingle intensely. The sensation wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t pleasant either. The formula has a strong menthol/peppermint aroma and I’m assuming the stinging sensation is meant to stimulate the follicles and promote growth. If it stays on your head it isn’t painful but you wouldn’t want to get this stuff in your eyes or near your nether regions while showering. Leave it on for a few minutes but keep your head upright so the suds don't run down your face. 

The last step is the Scalp and Hair Treatment which is color safe. The light foam is supposed to be applied all over the roots but I only use it on the small section I'm treating.

After 8-10 applications the hair in that spot did appear to be growing in thicker but I also experienced intense itching for about 2 weeks. I’ve never suffered from dry scalp or dandruff but after using this system, I spent a lot of time scratching my head which resulted in some irritation. This could have been a side effect of new hair growth but it was quite annoying.

Kit 2 is designed for natural hair and progressed thinning. The shampoo purifies the scalp and the conditioner moisturizes, strengthens and enhances density. The products have the same menthol scent and tingling sensation so the active ingredients are probably similar.


The foam leave-in treatment increases the diameter of each strand and contains UV protection to shield your locks from further damage.

I try not to shampoo my hair too often but for visible results you should stick to the program for at least 2-3 weeks. The more you use it, the thicker your hair will appear but I highly recommend a weekly treatment mask to counteract the drying effects of the shampoo.

Nioxin is available at amazon.ca, Walmart, Chatters Hair Salon, Trade Secrets, Winners (in varying quantities), select salons and online at nioxin.com.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Nivea Urban Skin Detox Collection Review

As I make my way around the city for the Toronto International Film Festival, I will be attending media events, gifting lounges and red carpet parties including a fancy producer’s ball. I am also preparing for a weekend trip to Niagara Falls and an anniversary trip to Europe.

With all the traveling and late nights, I need products that effectively defend my skin against pollution and keep my complexion radiant, clear and healthy.


Nivea’s Urban Detox Collection includes cleansers, moisturizers and masks designed for busy people. The revitalizing formulas help fight the damaging effects of pollution so you can tackle your day with confidence.

The 3-In-1 White Clay Cleanser ($11.99) with organic green tea saves me a lot of time. It functions as a wash, mask and scrub that quickly removes impurities morning, noon and night. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes to detox and unclog pores. The micro-fine exfoliating granules buff away dead cells so your face feels smooth, supple and refreshed.


The Day Moisturizer ($11.99) contains SPF 20 which is enough for me since my It Cosmetics Foundation contains SPF 40. The cream is extremely lightweight, fast absorbing and non-greasy with a 48 hour moisture boost complex that nourishes dry skin. I love the fragrance, texture and finish. It works well under makeup, never makes me look greasy and protects against free radicals that cause wrinkles and dark spots.


The Skin Detox Clay Masks ($11.49) are available in a Purifying formula and a mattifying peel-off. The first contains white clay and magnolia to abolish dirt, bacteria and pollutants trapped deep within your pores. It is great for busy mornings because treatment time is only 1-5 minutes. I use it before showering, while I’m getting ready for work and before bed. Slather some on whenever you need a quick, rejuvenating facial.


The Peel-Off Mask with green tea and black rice eliminates dry flakes and excess oil to prevent blemishes, acne and greasiness. As the thin film is lifted off, you can feel it extracting sweat, dirt and debris that has accumulated throughout the day.

The Night Gel Moisturizer ($11.99) feels cool and soothing on tired skin. As you sleep, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties replenish and repair to promote a healthy glow. I usually layer the gel with serum or oil for even more hydration because there is not enough moisture to completely eliminate dryness.


When dealing with long, international flights and bad skin days, I like knowing that I have these products in my suitcase.

Nivea is available at drugstores nationwide.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Lise Watier Limited Edition Romance Sauvage Collection | Fall 2019

I hate to break it to you but summer is almost over. I don’t know what happened to June, July or August but they flew by in a blur of vacations, patio parties and fun festivals.

The evenings are getting cooler, kids have gone back to school and Starbucks has reintroduced their Pumpkin Spice Latte. I even saw Halloween decorations at the mall a couple weeks ago.

Autumn is my favorite month for many reasons but one thing that always excites me is the makeup. Deep sultry colors are back and I’m kicking things off with Lise Watier’s Romance Sauvage Collection.


These colors are inspired by danger, daring adventure and taking risks for love. Fashionistas will appreciate the stylish snake skin casing with pops of bright teal.


The Romance Sauvage Eye Shadow Palette ($60.00) is gorgeous! In fact, it may be one of my favorite palettes the brand has ever created. It contains 10 seductive shades that complement each other perfectly and look amazing on all skin tones.


The mattes are incredibly soft, smooth, buttery and blendable while the metallics are velvety, rich, dramatic and long-lasting.

The pigment glides on vibrantly with intense color payoff and excellent durability. I always use primer so I didn’t experience any creasing or fading and the formula is paraben-free.


The Blush Duo ($36.00) is embossed with the same pretty pattern as the outer packaging and comes with 2 “universal” shades designed to illuminate, lift and sculpt. Unfortunately the pink is too subtle and the deeper hue lacks pigmentation, I can barely see it on my skin. If you layer heavily it might work but the color isn’t prominent.


Lise Watier makes amazing lipstick and the Baiser Metal Mattes ($28.00 ea) are now available in sexy autumn shades. Toxic Kiss is a stunning combination of mauve, pink and wine with a lightweight finish that dries down into a long-wear lacquer. The metallic effect is luminous and bold without being sparkly or gritty and the color applies highly saturated in one swipe.


If you’re looking for pretty shadows suitable for travel and every occasion, check out the Dress Code Solos ($24.00 ea). There are 20 scintillating shades to choose from and each one comes with an applicator and small mirror.


These high quality pigments are similar to the shadows in the Sauvage palette – smooth, silky and buildable. They are available in matte, shimmer and metallic finishes that range from neutrals to jewel tones.

Lise Watier is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, departments stores (including The Bay) and online at lisewatier.ca.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

NEW Burt’s Bees Natural Body Wash

Life can be stressful and chaotic so many of us develop coping methods to prevent mid-week meltdowns. Some people like to meditate while others choose to take their frustration out on the treadmill or yoga mat. I enjoy soothing showers to clear my mind and relax before bed. The warm water and comforting steam has a calming effect and I always emerge feeling refreshed.

To make bath time more enjoyable, Burt’s Bees has created 3 nourishing formulas that are 98.7% natural and plant-based. The moisturizing ingredients keep skin healthy and there are no parabens, phthalates, SLS or petroleum.


On Monday mornings when you feel like crawling back into bed, Energizing Citrus Ginger helps perk you right up. The invigorating scent awakens the senses while gentle bubbles cleanse and soften dry skin.

Rosemary Lemon smells like a luxurious spa with uplifting aroma therapy benefits. To alleviate tired muscles, pour some shower gel in the bath under running water and get comfy as the botanical extracts pamper your body.

Before bed use the Calming Lavender & Honey blend. The tranquil fragrance prepares you for a good night’s sleep while ridding the skin of dirt, oil, and impurities. There is nothing artificial, irritating or drying – just a lightweight, stress reliving lather that makes you want to put on your pajamas and get under the covers.


The body washes retail for $12.49 each at well.ca, London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and amazon.ca.

Burt’s has also improved their satin lipstick formula to include more hydration and smoother application.

Enriched with moringa and raspberry seed oil, the pigments are 100% natural and made from 60% recyclable material.


There are 18 rich hues to choose from including pink, coral, nude, mauve and berry tones. The lipsticks look and feel more like a lightweight, tinted balm with a glistening finish that conditions for hours.

For more info head visit burtsbees.ca

Monday, September 2, 2019

How to Hide Dark Circles like a Pro with Vasanti’s Liquid VO2 Color Correcting Concealer

One of the biggest issues I face when applying makeup is how to hide dark circles. I always strive for a flawless finish but no matter how much sleep I get or how much eye cream I use, they never go away completely.

Darkness around the eye area is caused my many factors including genetics, fatigue, veins, melanin, allergies, ageing and thinning skin. Most people in my dad’s family have them so I work extra hard to prevent the shadows from getting worse.

Aside from going to bed early, using weekly treatments and taking time to relax, I also camouflage my dark circles to look and feel my best.

If you’ve tried to disguise the problem without success, you might be going about it the wrong way. The mistake most people make is pasting on tons of concealer that sits on top of the skin and draws more attention to the area. To effectively mask dark circles you must first correct the discoloration which is why VO2 is a makeup bag essential. This lightweight, non-greasy formula is easy to blend with no dulling, creasing or caking.


VO2 Color Corrector is a universal orange that works on most complexions including medium to deep skin. Over the years I’ve had difficulty finding a corrector that isn’t harsh, thick or oily so I’m happy someone finally got it right!

Use the VO2 Stubby Brush to apply the pigment exactly where you need it most. Creating a V shape is the best method for achieving full coverage. Deep undertones around the eyes (brown, purple and blue) are instantly neutralized so your concealer can actually do its job without any darkness showing through. I also use this brush to apply powder and set liquids. The bristles are sturdy, flexible and soft – perfect for smoothing and eliminating shine.


I usually give the corrector a minute or two to set before applying anything else. If you do require an extra layer, the versatile formula is buildable and won’t clog pores. It also stays where you put it so your face doesn’t look orange or red on warm summer days.

Vasanti’s Liquid Cover Up Foundation & Concealer works well on top of the corrector. Together they create a seamless veil that mimics skin’s natural texture and lasts all day without becoming ashy or thick. These products are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. In under 2 minutes my under eye area looks bright, even and totally rejuvenated!


I also like that the pigment hydrates and plumps dry skin. For extra nourishment use it on top of Vasanti’s Eye Wonder 2.0 Cream to reduce puffiness with a blend of peptides, botanicals and vitamins.


Unlike most correctors, I don’t have to use a lot to see amazing results and since one tube can last up to a year, it is very cost effective. Those with sensitive skin will be happy to know that these products are vegan, cruelty free and paraben free with a hint of olive leaf extract to condition and protect.

I keep the corrector in my carry-on luggage to use on all my vacations and press trips. After long flights, I simply swipe or dab some on to look well rested and alert.

If you are a makeup artist, VO2 makes a great addition to your kit because the color is versatile and flattering. I use it every day for radiant, youthful looking skin.

For unsightly blemishes, dark spots, acne scars or hyperpigmentation that won’t fade fast enough, the orange pigment balances the complexion so your foundation looks amazing! Use it to brighten your eyelids or shape, define and contour your brows. A thin layer makes a great base for eye shadow.


I don’t have wrinkles (thank goodness) so I let my mom test my orange corrector and she loves it too! Her skin tone is much darker than mine but the peachy color works wonders without accentuating the areas she wants to blur. If you have mature skin, don’t be afraid to use as much as you need. The natural finish improves the appearance of bags and sallow grooves without settling into fine lines.

GIVEAWAY
I’ve featured a lot of amazing makeup from Vasanti (their lipsticks are gorgeous) and after reading this review I’m sure you’ll want to try VO2 for yourself.

Head to my Instagram account @DiaryOf aTrendaholic and enter for a chance to WIN a $150.00 online gift card for vasanticosemtics.com. Contest rules are listed under the photo and you have until August 9th to submit your entry.


Vasanti Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca and vasanticosmetics.com.
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