Thursday, March 31, 2016

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette: Review & Swatches

Recently I’ve been adding quite a few Too Faced products to my collection because the delicious smelling formulas and pretty pigments are totally addicting! Like the Chocolate Bon Bon Palette I reviewed recently, this one is also wrapped like a scrumptious candy bar and infused with natural antioxidant rich cocoa powder that is a treat for the senses and the skin!

Like the bestselling Chocolate Bon Bon Palette, Semi-Sweet contains many neutral hues that are ideal for everyday wear but these shadows are deeper, warmer and a little more chocolaty! The 16 gorgeous pigments range in finishes from matte to shimmer and include a seductive array of warm caramels, deep mochas and bronzy cocoa hues with a fun pop of blueberry! With names like Butter Pecan, Nougat, Rum Raisin, Caramel and Frosting I just knew it was going to be good!

Last year there was a surge in the popularity of nude and smokey palettes and it seemed that every brand jumped on the neutral trend by creating their own collection of must-have shades. It’s handy to have a selection of versatile hues for daily wear but not all of these palettes were worth the splurge. Semi-Sweet however ranks among the best because the pigments are luxuriously smooth, easy to blend, velvety and slightly creamy for exceptional color pay-off and application. I recommend using a good primer to enhance the shades to their full potential but if you prefer a soft, romantic effect or sheer coverage then skip the base.

I get a lot of use out of this palette because the browns are deeper and there is a matte black, champagne shimmer, pretty gold and matte cream which are my go-to shades. The inclusion of brightening highlights and gorgeous transitions colors make this range complete and if you don’t have a a selection of  neutral shadows that mix and match well with many others in your collection Semi-Sweet is an excellent option.

You can also create smoldering smokey looks and glamorous bombshell eyes with the alluring shimmers and matte black plus Butter Pecan doubles as a face highlight for glowing cheekbones. These flattering, universal pigments don't crease or fade and they stay put all day!

If you want to find out why beauty gurus everywhere are raving about this palette you can pick it up at Sephora and TooFaced.Com, it retails for $67.00 CAD / $49.00 U.S.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Garnier Whole Blends Avocado & Shea Butter Review

While passing through Walmart the other day I noticed an entire isle devoted to the fruity, tantalizing formulas of Garnier’s new hair care products. This colorful range is infused with reviving ingredients that target your specific hair concerns and I find the natural elements very enticing.

The blends include:

*Honey - to strengthen and heal damaged hair
* Indian Coconut Water & Madagascan Vanilla Milk - quenches and softens
*Argan Oil & Cranberry - to protect color and reveal radiance
*Coconut Oil & Cocoa Butter - tames and controls frizz
*Avocado Oil & Shea Butter - to deeply replenish and restore
*Green Apple & Green Tea - to revitalize and boost shine

Since I love fresh avocado facials for seriously supple skin I decided to try the Avocado & Shea Butter line. The ultra nourishing, healthy fats have amazing moisturizing benefits for hair and skin and the only reason I don’t use avocados in my treatments more frequently is because I also love guacamole and end up devouring them! The shea butter is an added bonus and the richness intensifies the replenishing properties of the formula.

Photo source: (via google images)

The avocado in this collection is sourced from South Africa and the Shea is from West Africa. Although the shampoo does contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate (which I’m not a big fan of), the formula doesn’t dry out my hair or make it unnaturally squeaky clean. I think the oils and fats from the avocado and shea counteract the harshness of the sulfates to balance the cleansing experience and leave the hair and scalp fresh and build-up free. I also like that the texture is creamy, much like a shampoo-conditioner combo and it lathers well without stripping or making my hair brittle. Although avocados don’t have a pungent aroma it isn’t a scent most people want in their products. The good news is that this collection smells nothing like avocado, it has more of a light shea scent that smells great.

The conditioner is what really helps restore moisture to make hair feel soft, smooth and fortified. This formula is thick and lush to coat each strand without weighing down the hair. I like that the texture has some slip which makes shower detangling a breeze and when you leave it on for 5-10 mins the ingredients do help rejuvenate dry, rough areas for body and shine.

After using these (paraben-free) products my hair felt good but for more softness, bounce and silkiness it would be beneficial to have the avocado deep treatment that comes with this collection. For weekly shampoo and conditioning I like it!

You can find Garnier hair care at drugstores nation wide

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo Review

I’ve talked about glowing skin and strobing a lot here at Diary of a Trendaholic because I just can’t seem to stay away from highlighting products that awaken dull, tired skin and make the cheekbones pop! When you have one of those long, grueling days or a sleepless night nothing perks up the complexion like luminous powders and as we shed those winter layers and transition into spring glowing skin is all the rage!

The Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duos do not disappoint, in fact these beauties have gained a permanent place in makeup bags worldwide and have quickly become bestsellers. The awesome pigments come in cute compacts with a large mirror that makes application and touch-ups on the go a breeze!

I hate when powders are chalky, flaky or difficult to blend and who wants a streak of pronounced shimmer that looks oddly placed or too sparkly!? With the Candlelight Glow highlights you get none of that! The texture is extremely soft, velvety and slightly creamy for smooth application and a seamless finish. You can build them up to your desired effect and go from soft and pretty to red carpet bombshell.

Rosy Glow has a sheer golden powder and a frosty rose or pink.

There are two duos available – Rosy Glow and Warm Glow but in my opinion there isn’t much difference between the two. The warm compact isn’t very golden or bronzy and is still quite cool and silvery. That being said both duos are gorgeous and highly pigmented so just choose the one that best compliments your skin. The “Photolite Technology” diffuses and refracts light to make skin seem lit from within and helps blur the appearance of imperfections and blemishes under any lighting. The effect is soft, romantic and whimsical for youthful looking skin with the perfect amount of shimmer and no chunky glitter.

The mesmerizing highlights can be applied individually or together for a bright, healthy sheen. They look beautiful on the cheekbones, nose and brow bones and you can use them to accentuate the shoulders and legs for a head-to-toe glow that is perfect for spring and summer!

Warm Glow has a champagne and peach combo for sunny, flattering luminosity.

I can definitely see why these powders are bestsellers because as far as highlights go they are terrific!You can pick them up at Sephora and TooFaced.Com for $41.00 CAD / $30.00 U.S.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Vichy Ideal Body Aqua Sorbet Review

When you have a busy schedule jam packed with meetings, events and errands skin can lose that feeling of freshness and become dry. For me the last few weeks have been very busy, I had a press trip to humid Fort Lauderdale, another press trip to frigid Quebec, a vacation to Florence, Fashion Week and never ending beauty events. All the traveling, extreme climate fluctuations, long drying flights plus lack of time and sleep has taken a toll on my skin. When you factor in the effects of winter I definitely need products that can effectively revitalize so I’ve been using the nourishing Aqua Sorbet by Vichy.

One of the first things I notice when applying this lightweight, non-greasy lotion is an instant burst of coolness. This unique formulation automatically decreases skin temperature for an invigorating sensation of freshness. 

The name is quite fitting because the cream does have a subtle sorbet fragrance that lightly scents the skin without bring pungent enough to overshadow your perfume. The smooth gel texture distributes well and leaves skin silky, hydrated and supple with no residue or oil.

The key ingredients- Ginko Biloba, natural oils and Hyaluronic Acid protects and moisturizes while the mineralizing water sourced from French volcanoes rebalances, fortifies and regenerates for that confident, just showered feeling all day! It also promotes micro-circulation and tissue drainage to prevent the feeling of “body heaviness” and bloat.

The natural oils – jojoba, apricot, sunflower, macadamia, passiflora, rose, coriander, corn oil, black currant and rice bran work beyond the surface of the epidermis to harmonize skin tone, firm and smooth. After a hectic month my tired, lackluster skin is revived, supple and luminous!

To deliver the most informative article possible combined with my personal results I read through the impressive research which Vichy has been perfecting for 5 years! The thermoregulation benefits are fabulous especially since the weather will be warming up soon and it softens and soothes rough, peeling sensitive areas affected by harsh climate. 

From young to old and every skin type in-between I think many people are going to enjoy this new blend. Although it was formulated to keep you fresh through your grueling day, the cool texture is also very calming before bed. The Aqua Sorbet retails for $29.95 and Vichy can be found in major drugstores worldwide. You can visit the website by clicking HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bon Eye Shadow Palette Review

When it comes to satisfying your cravings for sweetness, pretty color and irresistible packaging few do it better than Too Faced Cosmetics. The brand has been dishing out delectable palettes, and scintillating pigments for years which is why their candy inspired cosmetics are favored by beauty experts and trendsters everywhere!

One palette that has quickly become a cult fave is Chocolate Bon Bon. These alluring shadows come wrapped in cute candy bar packaging that would entice Willy Wonka himself and the aroma is to die for! Not only does it look chocolaty but it smells like it too which boosts your mood and titillates the senses.

Chocolate Bon Bon includes 16 heart shaped matte and shimmer shades in cool pops of color, sugary bights and everyday neutrals all infused with antioxidant rich cocoa powder. If this isn’t a good way to indulge in more chocolate without the added calories I don’t know what is!

The names of the shadows are also candy inspired including - Almond Truffle, Sprinkles, Cotton Candy and Dark Truffle to name a few. The shades are all quite fresh and usable if you like trendy, complexion friendly hues that compliment your wardrobe and style. The neutrals are great for subtle looks and the basics – brown (Bordeaux & Malted), beige (Almond Truffle), bronze (Dark Truffle), light brown (Mocha), light grey (Pecan Praline) and cream (Cashew Chew) are great for defining the crease, transitioning, blending and highlighting.

You also get popular lid colors that look great on everyone – Molasses Chip (metallic gold-bronze), Cafe au Lait (shimmery silver) and Satin Sheet (golden pink).

The bright colors include: fuchsia pink (Totally Fetch), shimmery amethyst (Black Currant) and light pink (Cotton Candy) to amp up your looks. The deep navy or sapphire (Ear Grey) is ideal for creating sultry smokey eyes.

What I like about this palette is that all of the matte and shimmer finishes correspond to the right shades. You don’t get any shimmery creams or sparkly browns when all you really need are solid contour shades to shape and blend. The palette doesn’t have a matte black which is always handy for increasing depth and deepening but this isn’t a deal breaker.

The texture of the shadows is very silky and smooth with little to no fall-out so they are easy to use and you don’t have to be an expert to make them look good. Although they do have great pigmentation I achieve best results when I apply them over primer for enhanced color and coverage. The palette is free of parabens, gluten and sulfates and also comes with a Glam Guide if you need a bit of inspiration or guidance.

I had no issues with fading or creasing and the colors lasted as long as my day did. The shadows blend beautifully and although many of the shades are quite simple I find myself reaching for them on a weekly basis and even pairing the pigments with others in my collection. The quality is great and you can create a wide variety of looks for all complexions and seasons. It is also handy for vacation and quite versatile since the shade Satin Sheets double as a face highlight!

I can definitely see why this is a favorite among makeup lovers and if you don’t have this combination of colors in your collection it is a great investment. Chocolate Bon Bon retails for $67.00 CAD / $49.00 U.S and you can get it at Sephora and TooFaced.Com which now ships to Canada!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wycon Cosmetics Review: Italian Makeup Haul

If you follow me on social media then you are probably aware that I recently went to Italy! This was my third trip to the beautiful country but my first time touring Florence and the surrounding countryside of Tuscany

The last thing I expected to find on the ancient, almost medieval streets of Sienna (home to the first bank in the world) was a modern, upbeat makeup shop, but that is exactly what I stumbled upon as my tour group shopped for souvenirs. As our guide continued to educate the group my sister and I made a mad dash into the store, unable to resist new makeup.

~ Sienna Italy ~

I was unfamiliar with Wycon Cosmetics but the helpful sales ladies informed us that it is a new brand produce exclusively in Italy. Since Wycon is just gaining momentum there aren’t many locations around the country.

I love discovering brands from the places I travel and Wycon is definitely unique! In a city known for its beautiful ruins, architecture and old traditions I found intersterallar baked eye shadows and rich pigments that stopped me in my tracks. Looking back I wish I hadn’t contained my inner beauty junkie and allowed myself to purchase more because I’m totally smitten!

This drop dead gorgeous shadow that looks like it fell from space is called 04 Smearaldo. It is part of the brand's Disco Collection and has an amazing shimmering emerald, pearlized finish that I find irresistible! As you twist the globe in the light you can see flecks of blue, lime shimmer and deeper greens that all blend together to create a truly mesmerizing hue. I have nothing like this in my collection and for around 5 € it was a steal!

The pigmentation is wonderful with or without primer and on the skin it shows up as a deep, bold emerald with a black base and a light layer of metallic sparkle (not chunky glitter). I didn’t have any issue with fallout and the color builds beautifully if you want to layer and intensify.  

I also picked up a Baked Eye Shadow in a pretty frosted purple. These can be used wet or dry and there are two numbers on the back to identify the shade - (100/5215) but no name. I am obsessed with this color and recently wore it to fashion week. I created a bombshell smokey look by pairing it with a deep plum-purple in the crease.

The texture of this formula is very silky, soft, slightly creamy and extremely pigmented! You can achieve full coverage, knock-out color without using a base and a little goes a long way. Just one swipe with a brush picks up enough shadow to deliver high impact, stunning color.

In certain light the purple can appear a tad pink with a strong silver undertone and it looks beautiful on its own or paired with a deeper crease color. If I ever come across these beauties again I will definitely stock up!

The brand also sells skincare, fragrances and accessories and you can visit the website by clicking HERE although if you don’t speak Italian you will have to translate it.

For me no trip to Europe is complete without a stop at Kiko! I am totally obsessed with this brand and wish they would make their way to Canada but we are always last to get the good stuff.

The Kiko stores around the area of Florence where I stayed (Piazza del Duomo) weren’t as well stocked as the shops in Spain where the selection is more versatile. I did however pick up a gorgeous purple lipstick! To be honest I didn’t NEED another purple lipstick and this one isn’t unique but it was just 3,90 € and I like the shade - (931). The finish is semi-matte with subtle shine and a pink undertone.

Admittedly I have more nail polish that I know what to do with and they seem to be taking over my beauty shelves. There are shades I’ve had for years and never used so I don’t usually buy lacquer. That being said I buckled and got a couple more (don’t judge). I love Kiko’s polish and these amazing shades were gorgeous and too unique to pass up!

I picked up 530 (on the left) which looks like the solar system and reminds me of mermaids. It is a stunning blend of blue, green, silver and gold shimmer! The formula is one of the best I’ve used because the consistency is slightly thicker yet non-gloopy and it applies almost gel-like. It also adheres well without pooling or bleeding all over the place and one dip was enough to opaquely cover 3 nails.

The sparkly aqua green to the right is number 531 and the color is bright and cheerful! The shimmer polishes from Kiko are great and even if the shade isn't full coverage in one layer you can usually build it up to achieve opaqueness without too much thickness or long drying time. The polish retails for about 2,50 €.

If you are in Europe or traveling to a country in Europe and you see either of these brands I definitely recommend checking them out!

Aveeno Skin Relief Collection Review

Spring has officially begun and in some cities the cherry blossoms have already sprouted their pretty blossoms! We can finally shed the heavy layers, ditch those puffy jackets and show a little more skin.

Before you delve into your spring wardrobe just yet, it is a good idea to do a little winter recovery and like many of you my mission is to recuperate tired, dry skin.

Frequent traveling, events, long nights and little time to indulge in my beauty rituals has made my skin is a little lackluster. Thankfully I can always count on Aveeno to diminish the effects of my busy schedule and environmental aggressors with a blast of hydration and nutritive conditioning agents. The Skin Relief Collection is clinically proven to soothe extra dry, itchy, cracked skin with a fragrance-free gentle formula.

Aveeno has been delivering quality skincare for over 60 years and for the members of my family who suffer from sensitivity and eczema these products have been effective and reliable. The antioxidants, vitamin E, proteins and rich fatty acids provide a lush, protective barrier that lasts as long as your day does!

To battle dryness every step of your routine should support the maintenance of moisture so using a shower gel loaded with stripping detergents only makes matters worse. The Skin Relief Body Wash however is soap-free, dye-free and hypoallergenic to remove dirt and excess oil for an invigorating cleanse. The soothing oatmeal and rich emollients lock in moisture to alleviate uncomfortable itching and tightness so skin is soft, fresh and clean. I like lathering the gel into a bubbly foam on my bath puff and allowing the amazing aroma to lull me into relaxation. There is something warm and calming about the natural fragrance of this gel so it makes the perfect bedtime or morning ritual. It retails for $7.99 - $8.99.

For 24 hours of hydration the Moisturizing Lotion infused with shea butter and oatmeal provides lasting protection from dehydration. The lotion works quickly to restore lipids and the rich formula is fast absorbing and non-greasy. It works wonders on rough, flaky skin, dry elbows, ashy knees and even cracked heels for touchably soft, supple results. It also has a luscious, cooling sensation that feels amazing and leaves my entire body silky and rejuvenated. Compared to most drugstore body lotions and even some high-end creams this one ranks among the best because I see and feel immediate results that lasts all day. It is a great fortifying treatment for the winter months yet light enough to keep your skin looking healthy all summer and whether your skin is extremely dry or normal to oily it is suitable for all! (Retail price: $19.99).

The cold weather combined with frequent hand washing, drying, alcohol based sanitizers and acetone polish removers is a recipe if parched skin so my hands always need extra attention. The Aveeno Skin Relief Hand Cream is a savior for dry skin and nails plus it helps treat and improve the look of damaged cuticles! I really like that it absorbs quickly with a non-greasy formula and no stickiness so it doesn’t make my hands feel sweaty or slick. The tube is a bit bulky and not as purse friendly as I’d like but because it keeps my hands supple and mani-worthy I still slip it in larger totes for use on-the-go. The hand cream retails for $9.99.

If you crave soft, supple skin then I definitely recommend trying this collection. These products are available in drugstores nationwide and you can check out the website by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Zoella Beauty Review

As a Beauty Expert, Blogger and Editor I test and review many brands but its nice when I get the opportunity to support the success of others in the industry. Zoe started her YouTube channel back in 2008 and has gone on to become a digital megastar! She has successfully channeled her love of beauty into a fun, playful range of bath goodies that inspire people to indulge in some “me time” and submerse into a stress-free, wonderfully scented environment.

The Soak Opera Bath Soak & Shower Cream can be used for a relaxing bubble bath when you need to unwind and retreat or lather it up on a bath puff and let the bubbles foam away oil, dirt and pollutants. The pearl pink formula cleanses well and calms the senses with soothing floral notes and an intoxicating sweetness that makes bath time an invigorating experience. It is also enriched with vitamin E, aloe sunflower, pomegranate and shea butter extracts to soften and condition the skin. The Shower Cream retails for $11.99.

Like many of the products in this collection the makeup bags are adorable and playful! I like this bag because it is large enough for my essentials and small enough to keep on a desk for quick touch-ups. It also slips into a travel bag or tote and what makeup addict wouldn’t love the aqua green design with pink polka dots and glamorous almond eyes! This bag retails for $16.99.

The Zoella Blissful Mistful Fragranced Body Mist has the same cute branding and cheerful vibe as the other products and the scent is subtle and modern. The aroma is very similar if not the same as the Body Cream – fruity, floral and fresh and the notes evoke the essence of spring. Although the bottle does resemble perfume it really is more of a body mist with a light scent that mingles well with your body chemistry and fades nicely throughout the day. The scent is quite youthful but I think it can be enjoyed by women of all ages. I also like that the composition represents the style and flare of the UK and the notes are quite different from what you’d expect from North American fragrances which adds versatility to my collection! The mist retails for $16.99.

You can find Zoella Beauty select London Drugs and Pharmasave, you can also check it out by clicking HERE.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Annabelle Big Show Lip Lacquer Review

Annabelle Cosmetics is inspiring makeup lovers to chase away the winter blues and show off our pretty pouts with their new long lasting Lip Lacquers! Nothing reminds me of warm weather and spring flowers like a gorgeous pop of color and this stunning collection is definitely bringing sexy back!

When we think of the word (lacquer) what often comes to mind is vibrant color but some formulas can dry flat and enhance lip texture and lines. I am happy to report that there is nothing flat or boring when it comes to these beauties, in fact when I first opened the box I was very impressed with the gorgeous yet modest range of pigments.

There are only 6 shades in the line but the brand really showcases the most intense, trendiest hues to suit a variety of preferences. They’ve included one nude for those who like to keep it simple plus pinks, red, coral and an amazing pink-purple called Hypnotize Deeply that will knock your socks off!

What you’re getting with this collection is a triple threat: lacquer, gloss and stain all-in-one! The formula is rich, creamy and bold plus they smell absolutely scrumptious! The applicator is standard but works well to spread the lush color across the lips and the shiny, mirror-like finish makes your pout look full and plump!

Annabelle really hit it out of the park with this collection, the shades are outstanding and quite versatile. If you crave sheer coverage then layer thinly and if you want more saturation just swipe heavier. The vivid show-stopping colors are lightweight and non-sticky with good pigmentation.

One of the great things about this brilliant formula is that it doesn’t sacrifice comfort for color. The lacquer stays rather moist for a sumptuous veil of hydration and as they wear away my lips feel soft and supple. Although the color does last quite a while they tend to smudge during eating and drinking which is standard with most glossy textures.

If you only pick up a couple shades may I suggest Love Fiercely which is a sexy, multidimensional red with a stunning finish that seems to have a chromatic effect and Hypnotize Deeply which I mentioned earlier. These two are the deepest pigments in the collection and are great for every season and skin tone. The only shade that fell a little short was Adore Simply which sadly got washed out in the swatch photo above due to lighting. This color didn't quite build up to the opaqueness of the others but if you like silvery, frosted hues then go for it.

Annabelle Cosmetics can be found at major drugstores across Canada and the lacquers retail for $9.95. For more info you can visit the website by clicking HERE.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

L’Oréal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss Review

Recently I’ve reviewed and tested an abundance of new lip products and amidst all my swatching I noticed a common trend, it seems to be the season of matte lip creams and liquid lipstick! More brands are recognizing our love of vivid, stand-out color combined with comfort and style and in true L’Oréal fashion the brand has knocked it out of the park with a collection of magnificent matte gloss.

When it comes to bold, sassy color these babies have your back! Don’t let the word “gloss” fool you; this formula glides on velvety smooth, intense, rich and full-coverage for pouty lips that don’t quit! Just one swipe delivers lush, vibrant pigment and a moisturizing texture that keeps skin soft and comfortable for as long as the color lasts.

Although the packaging is gloss-like the consistency is creamy, silky and whipped and the finish is semi-matte as they are a tad shiny. The brand decided to kick it up a notch with a flattened, spade shaped applicator for enhanced dimension and I love that the formula is supple and mousse-like for easier spread and consistent coverage.

In terms of drugstore lip creams these rank among the best and the ten available shades are nice. There are 4-5 neutral hues and the rest fall within the pink to berry range. Although there isn’t a lot of color differentiation in the collection the vivacious pigmentation makes them irresistible and there is a shade for every preference and complexion.

If you are browsing the makeup section at your local drugstore I definitely recommend checking out these fabulous liquid lip colors, they are great for all seasons!

You can visit the website by clicking HERE
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