Friday, December 30, 2016

Serpentine Beauty Luxe Crème Lipstick Review

Before Christmas I introduced Serpentine Beauty by featuring all of the Bold Lip Glazes and today you’ll get a sneak peek at the new Luxe Crème Lipstick Collection before it officially launches! While this up-and-coming Canadian brand puts the finishing touches on their website and packaging, let's sit back and marvel at these luxurious pigments that will surely leave their mark on the makeup community.

Designed to promote confidence and produce professional results, the new range showcases 10 brilliant shades with half the spectrum catering to neutral lovers and the other half consisting of rich, scintillating hues in a variety of bright and deep undertones.

The packaging is chic and elegant with a push-button top to release the lipstick from its capsule. Some of the inner tubes are a bit stiff in the cap and don’t always pop out all the way but the secure closure ensures that they won’t open in your purse.

If you are on the hunt for spectacular, pouty lip color without sacrificing comfort then look no further! These hues are vivid and pure for optimum pigmentation and there is just enough creaminess to lock in moisture and prevent dryness without bleeding or feathering. The satin finish will satisfy both matte fanatics and shine lovers since it falls somewhere in-between with a solid base and a hint of luminous sheen for eye-catching radiance.

Most of these shades last longer than your average lipstick because the weightless color adheres well and fades gradually without smudging. Applying the pigment sparingly gives you a lighter stain and layering allows you to boldly enhance the color for full-coverage saturation. The sweet vanilla scent is pleasantly mild and the formula is enriched with Vitamin C, Jojoba and conditioning Shea Butter to keep lips supple, smooth and nourished.

The variation of color is not extensive but it is classic and flattering so there is something for all skin tones. I don’t wear nude hues very often but surprisingly these all work for me. On my complexion the most flesh tone shade is Nude Awakening and my favorite neutral with its beautiful pink-coral undertone is Cheeky Minx. Among the deeper hues I tend to favor Code Red which is very Hollywood glam and Red Reaper which caters to my vampy side with a stunning wash of sultry wine. As far as pinks go I think many of you will love the shade Koúkla because the brightness is balanced with a blue undertone that makes it very wearable.

The quality of these beautiful lipsticks is on-par with popular high-end brands and they retail for $28.00 each at

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Avon Makeup Artist Palette Review

Over the years Avon has released many beautiful pigments but when you name a color collection the “Makeup Artist Palette” expectations are high. 

Although the packaging is unassuming and simple, the spectrum of color inside is very impressive!

The palette includes 30 eye shadows, 1 contour, 2 highlights, 3 blushes, 5 lip glosses, applicators and a large mirror. The shade selection is stunning with a beautiful range of deep smoky blues, vivid greens, bronze, copper, black, grey, purple, brown, nude, gold, silver, cream and more! There isn’t one shade in here that I don’t like and the contrast of solid mattes and dazzling shimmer allows you to create countless looks.

In terms of basic artistry you get fabulous lid colors, transition hues, crease contours and highlights with the versatility to go deep and smoldering or bright, bold and neutral. Overall the pigmentation varies slightly by shade and finish but for the most part the shadows are highly saturated and buildable. The shimmers have amazing color pay-off with a silky smooth texture that glides on effortlessly and appears radiant. The mattes are creamy, soft and easy to blend while the few glittery hues are soft and sheer. (To intensify the shadows apply over primer)

The quality of the formula is very good and if you ask me these are some of the best eye shadows Avon has released to date (excluding the mark brand) which is still my fave!

Below I've swatched a few shadows to demonstrate vibrancy. Compared to some of the higher-end palettes Iv'e tested recently, many of these pigments are comparable, especially the gold and champagne hues.

I wish the color palette above had the same formula as the shadows but they aren't as impressive. The matte bronzer is not really deep enough for contouring but with only one shade to handle this task catering to every skin tone is impossible. The silver and pink highlights are mild, shimmery and sheer but they still provide a faint natural glow. The blushes are probably the only downside to this collection because they are sheer to the point of non-existence. I was not able to generate any color from them which is unfortunate since the shades are nice. Despite this shortcoming I still think the palette is totally worth it for the eye shadows alone!

The glosses are very creamy and hydrating with luminous finishes and just enough sheer pigmentation to produce a pretty tint.

Although I don’t think the gloss, blush and bronzer is a high selling point, the eye shadows are beautiful and ideal for professional or personal use. The palette retails for $30.00 and is currently on sale for $24.00 at

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ban.dō 12-Month Planner Review

2016 seemed to fly by but I’m ready to embrace 2017 with positivity and I'm excited to see what amazing opportunities lie ahead. One thing you may not know about me is that I am very organized and meticulous about detail. My year usually consists of work, media and high-profile red carpet events, many press trips and personal vacations, girl’s night and family fun, date nights with my hubby, festivals, shows, grand openings, parties and a very busy publishing schedule. To help me keep organized the fab PR ladies at Mary Kay sent me a cute ban.dō planner for Christmas and since I’m attracted to anything pink, girly and sparkly (don’t judge) I absolutely love it!

This agenda is larger than the average purse-size variety (8 in. X 10 in.) but it does fit in larger totes. What I like most is the functionality and design. The colors and artwork is vibrant and fun with inspirational messages before each new month in case you need a little pick-me-up.

Each month is also separated with colorful dividers which makes flipping back and forth super easy and the glittery elastic band closure also functions as a bookmark.

If you like using stickers to decorate your planner and commemorate special events, this one has 2 full pages of them although I would have liked a few more practical, everyday designs.

There is a double-sided pocket at the front for extra storage, a nice notebook at the back plus a lot of additional space at the end of each month for jotting down whatever you want.  

I also use agendas like this as a journal. I record my thoughts and goals with photos, souvenirs from my travels, drawings, postcards and more plus you can break out the pencil crayons and doodle away! It also makes a nice keepsake to reflect back on everything you did and accomplished.  

The planner retails for just $26.00 and is available in a variety of colors and styles. You can visit the website by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Belif The True Cream - Moisturizing Bomb & Aqua Bomb Review

Korean skincare is taking the beauty industry by storm and since embracing the trend I've tried many popular brands. With so much to choose from it can be difficult to decide what to try but the Moisturizing Bomb Face Cream by Belif is ranked the #1 beauty product in Korea across all categories! Being the best in a highly competitive market is no small feat. It means delivering impressive ingredients and amazing skin transformations to gain a permanent place in our daily routine. 

I’ve been testing these coveted moisturizers for a few months and I'm excited to announce that Belif has finally launched here in Canada! 

Belif is known as “the true herb cosmetic brand” for inheriting 150 years of British Herbalist traditions and manufacturing expertise stemming from Scotland. The skincare is formulated with medical herbs and excludes harmful irritants such as mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, dye, preservatives and animal bi-products making is safe for all skin types. To ensure true quality the company focuses more on effective ingredients rather than fancy packaging so the jars and bottles are quite simplistic.   

Whether your skin type is dry, normal, combination or oily, there is one thing we all have in common - we need moisture! To maintain optimum epidermis health the Moisture Bomb Face Cream envelops the skin in lush, cushiony hydration that lasts up to 26 hours! The indulgent, pampering formula soothes on contact and is loaded with skin softening ingredients like comfrey leaf extract - known for its healing and regenerative effects. The light, non-greasy texture leaves my complexion silky and resilient without causing excess oil production throughout the day. It also takes care of rough, peeling skin caused by harsh climate.

Under makeup I use a thin layer and for a quick emergency moisture treatment apply a generous amount, leave it on for a few mins and then tissue-off the excess. 

The Aqua Bomb is perfect for those who prefer a refreshing gel texture that is a tad lighter and more water-based. Similar to the cream, this product provides a blast of moisture infused with antioxidant rich Lady’s Mantle – a natural herb used for anti-aging. For my skin I've come up with an incredible blend: after cleansing I use a booster to increase product absorption, apply a layer of gel and finish up with the cream. The layering method creates a fabulous night mask and I awake to supple, dewy skin!

The cream and gel retail for $47.00 each at THEFACESHOP, Fruits and Passions stores across Canada and in the U.S.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Too Faced 2016 Christmas in New York Holiday Collection: Merry Macarons Palette & Let It Glow Highlight & Blush Kit

Christmas is officially just one day away and tomorrow (Christmas Eve) is my birthday! To celebrate I have one more holiday post to share featuring one of the cutest collections of the season.

Too Faced has been all the rage recently as beauty junkies everywhere load their digital carts with chocolate and peach scented faves. The Holiday in New York Collection showcases glitzy pigment and great gift sets in various price points to satisfy every makeup lover on your list. The Merry Macarons Palette is packaged in an adorable pop-up box displaying a girl ice skating at Rockefeller Square as a little dog watches on in front of a macaron stand. The box can also be used for holiday decor and comes with the brand’s popular mascara.

The palette itself is lightweight and small but the shadows are large which makes it great for travel. There are 12 gorgeous shades ranging from nude, beige, brown, caramel, cream, gold, navy-black, champagne and silver with matte, shimmer and glitter finishes. As usual I love the selection even though there are a few colors that are very similar to shades in other Too Faced palettes. Although this is a seasonal item, the shadows can be used year-round for creating dazzling effects and it is perfect for holiday events, get-togethers and New Years Eve parties.

Overall the pigmentation is great! The shimmers apply vivid, velvety and saturated with the ability to be layered and enhanced for a dramatic pop of radiance. The creamy mattes blend smoothly for a seamless finish and are also very buildable. With this range you can mix and match colors in many flattering combinations and they compliment all complexions. Compared to the Grande Hotel Cafe Box Set, I had better luck with this collection in terms of color pay and coverage (didn’t even need a primer to boost intensity) and I experienced little fall-out with no creasing or fading. The palette retails for $39.00.

Just because its winter, doesn’t mean you should settle for dull skin. The Let It Glow Highlight & Blush Kit makes a great gift and includes: the Candlelight Glow Highlight Duo in Rosy, Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer and the Love-Flush 16 Hour Blush in the shade Love Hangover.

I use the full-size version of this highlight all the time so I’m happy to have a mini version for travel! The silver and pink hues are silky and provide a soft sheen that makes skin look healthy and bright.

The Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer is really more of a highlight powder with 4 strips of color. Because the compact is on the smaller side, isolating each shade can be tricky so I just swirl my brush over them all. The pigmentation is fainter and the texture isn’t as smooth but if you layer well the effect is quite pretty.

I own most of the Love Flush Blushes except for this shade which might be my new favorite! The bright orange-coral instantly perks-up the complexion with vibrant, fresh color reminiscent of summer and the pigmentation is great! This set retails for $32.00.

To see more items from the Christmas in New York Collection click HERE 
Too Faced is sold at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and online at

~Happy Holidays! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette Review

Embracing the power of makeup means expressing creativity, exuding confidence and enhancing your best features. Contouring allows you to sculpt, chisel and slenderize the face and body to achieve any look you desire. One of the most popular palettes on the market is Kat Von D’s Shade + Light and today I'm going to discuss what all the hype is about.

This simple yet highly usable color collection is packaged in a Gothic case and features 3 contour hues from light, medium and dark and 3 highlighters with beige, cream and peach undertones.

When it comes to exceptional quality, and impressive pigmentation no one does it better than Kat. What makes these powders so popular among makeup artists and beauty junkies is the smooth, creamy texture that blends in buttery soft for a seamless, velvety finish. Each shade is highly saturated so it doesn’t take much effort to go from light contouring to deep definition without any harsh streaks or lines. At first glance I assumed the shades would be a bit too soft but the rich formula and matte finish makes the colors appear bold, deep and pure with the versatility to be dramatically enhanced and layered.

The darkest shade is the only true brown in the palette so I use it to sharpen and slim. It also makes a great eye shadow for sculpting the crease with little fall-out and no chalkiness. 

The other two pigments appear very similar to each other on my skin tone so I’d prefer more color variation by deepening the middle shade. They also have a beige-nude tint which can work for light facial contouring or highlighting deeper skin but I mainly use them as eye shadow for transitioning and creating shape.

Using lighter shades under the eyes and down past the cheekbones in a V formation brightens the face, amplifies dimension and creates radiance. The highlight powders are all quite basic in terms of color but they get the job done and I love the smooth, silky texture. I also use them as eye shadow base or brow bone highlight. The matte effect is great but in this case one shimmer would have been a nice addition for that frosty illuminated glow many of us crave.

Overall this is a good contour palette since there are options for most complexions and although you may not use every contour shade for sculpting (depending on your skin tone) you can use them in other ways. The palette retails for $43.00 at Sephora and

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas From: Lush, Philosophy, Eos & Dermalogica

There are just a few more days until Christmas...don’t panic! If you haven’t checked everyone off your shopping list, today’s post is dedicated to great gift ideas from brands that are easily accessible and very popular.

Our lips can take quite a beating in the winter so to keep your pout kissably soft eos has released a limited edition festive collection. These balms are my favorite because the formula is smooth, creamy, healing and long lasting plus I love the shape and design.

The trio ($12) includes yummy flavors like Passion Fruit, Wildberry and Honey Apple while the duo ($7.99) consists of warm Vanilla Bean and sweet Winter Berry. The all-natural organic formula is packed with rich butters, oils, extracts, vitamins and anti-oxidants to nourish, protect and deeply moisturize. You can find eos at major drugstores and supermarkets.

The holiday season is a special time at Lush and their natural products are always a hit with friends and family. One of my favorite sets is the Sugar Plum Fairy. The black currant Lip Scrub ($8.95) is infused with jojoba, wild orange and delicious sugar granules that buff away rough skin for smooth, supple results. After exfoliating you simply lick off the excess and apply the berry Lip Tint which provides moisture, radiant shimmer and a pop of vibrant color. It retails for $9.95 and is flattering on all skin tones.

The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar ($7.45) is totally adorable, although I did mistake him for a melting snowman at first. Crumble him under the tap for a foamy, fragrant swirl of mandarin oil, bergamot and citrus. The Shoot for the Stars Bath Bomb ($6.95) creates colors of the night sky in your bathtub and the sweet, scrumptious scent and shimmering midnight blue swirls calms the senses as you soak the stress away. These items also make great stocking stuffers!

To help you relax before bed and heal rough winter skin, the Sleepy Hand & Body Lotion ($23.95) is rich, fragrant and soothing. Infused with lavender, almond oil and cocoa butter it makes skin feel soft and silky. You can find these great products at Lush stores and at

This year Philosophy has some pretty gift sets inspired by the Nutcracker – a holiday classic.

The Fresh Cream Collection includes the all-in-one shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath which smells like sweet vanilla cupcakes and cleanses well to eradicate excess oil, sweat, build-up and impurities. You also get the Glazed Body Soufflé which is light, non-greasy and hydrating. This scrumptious skincare makes a fabulous treat for the season. It retails for $35.00 at Sephora, and Hudson’s Bay.

Philosophy’s bestselling fragrance Amazing grace got a Christmas makeover and comes in a cute ballet inspired box with pink tulle around the bottle's nozzle – similar to a ballerina’s tutu. The composition includes bergamot, blossoms and musk for a fresh, clean scent that is light and refined. The perfume retails for $60.00.

Dermalogica is ideal for men, women and all skin types because the products are gentle, highly effective and formulated without fragrance, colors or parabens for a neutral aroma. The Power Rescue Masque Trio is a great starter kit for anyone who is new to the brand. It contains my personal favorite – the Charcoal Rescue Masque that draws out impurities, promotes cell turnover and brightens dull skin, the Multivitamin Power Recover Masque: fights free-radicals for damage recovery and the Hydrating Masque: infused with hyaluronic acid to relieve parched skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The gift set retails for $80.00 and is available at Dermalogica spas, salons and skincare centers or online at

For more great gift ideas check out my precious posts
Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

THEFACESHOP 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

During the holiday season THEFACESHOP releases some of the cutest beauty and skincare sets so it’s a good time to stock-up and snag great gifts for family and friends.

The Mini Pet Hand Cream Trio Set is perfect for animal lovers! The little flower pots are topped with festive kittens that resemble Japanese cartoon characters and they look adorable atop a vanity or work desk. Each cream is lightly perfumed with baby powder, white floral or fruity scents and enriched with nourishing ingredients like shea, mango butter, milk protein, jasmine, lilac and sweet cherry. The non-greasy formula deeply hydrates thirsty skin and rough cuticles plus you can reuse the little jars for small keepsakes or refill them with cream. The trio retails for $20.00 and makes a great stocking stuffer.

The Holiday Beauty Blender Trio is another great idea for the makeup lovers on your list and the sponges can be used wet or dry. The elliptical shape evenly blends foundation, concealer, cream blush, primer or powder while accessing hard-to-reach areas. The latex-free material is quite dense and firm but if you are looking for an affordable alternative to the original Beauty Blender you may want to give these a try. The set retails for $20.00 but is now on sale at for $12.00.

I love getting makeup wipes in my stocking and these small packs are perfect for use on-the-go and travel. The Herb Day Lip & Eye Tissues are loaded with natural plant extracts including sage, witch hazel, apricot, thyme, ginseng, horse chestnut, licorice and more! The cloths smell great and are thoroughly saturated in cleanser which removes the majority of my makeup. They also leave my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. The 30 pack retails for about $5.00.

While battling frigid winter weather my skin usually craves moisture and serious replenishment. The Solution Sheet Masks are available in a variety of treatments to suit your skincare needs including brightening, hydration, pore care, smoothing and anti-aging. Each formula contains different active ingredient like hyaluronic acid, fruit extracts, peptides and pearl powder to rejuvenate the complexion and they retail for just $2.00 each.

For soft, supple skin and daily cleansing the Konjac Puff is great! The soft jelly texture is gentle on the skin and the super absorbent, porous material retains water and nutrients from the konjac to moisturize, de-clog pores, and eliminate blackheads, bacteria and blockages that can cause blemishes. You can also use the sponge with foaming face wash to enhance lather and exfoliation. It lasts for up to 3 months and retails for $5.00.

The Calendula Essential Moisture Eye Cream soothes the sensitive skin around the eyes with 6 different herbs – chamomile, cornflower, rooibos, lily, sage and borage. It retails for $17.00.

You can find these great products at THEFACESHOP stores and
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