Friday, April 29, 2016

Foreo LUNA Mini 2 Facial Brush Review

One beauty question I am frequently asked is - what skincare products do you use? I’ve met women all over the globe who are curious to know how I maintain my complexion, so today I am going to share one of my newest obsessions.

We all know that creams, serums and active ingredients are essential to achieving radiant skin, but in order for them to work, you need to start with a clean canvass receptive to nutrient absorption and moisture retention. 

Some of the most beneficial tools I’ve added to my skincare routine are cleansing brushes and exfoliation devices. On my quest for beautiful skin, I’ve tried and tested some of the most popular machines on the market including the Clarisonic, various battery operated rotating brushes and expensive microdermabrasion machines. One little cleanser that caught my eye was the Foreo LUNA. Not only does it come in a variety of trendy shades but the mini is exactly what I need for my busy lifestyle and globetrotting adventures.

Color: Sunflower Yellow

The LUNA is available in a variety of sizes and designs but the mini 2 is palm size so I can slip it into my carry-on or weekend bag along with my other beauty essentials. 

Don’t let the cute size and fun color fool you, this little device packs a lot of power! It delivers 8,000 sonic pulsations per minute and 8 intensities for customizable cleansing that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil and makeup residue! Thanks to this helpful little tool I can go to bed confidant that there isn’t any heavy foundation or build-up clogging my pores which also reduces the occurrence of blemishes acne, irritation and general flare-ups.

Unlike many of the cleansers I own, the LUNA does not use traditional brush heads. Instead the bristles protrude directly from the device itself and are made of silicone, which is 35X more hygienic than nylon brushes. There are a few great benefits to this design - you don’t have to spend a lot of money replacing the brush heads every few months and because the silicone bristles are attached to the body, the vibrations feel much more intense! I also noticed that the non-porous material doesn’t absorb water like traditional brushes so drying time is greatly reduced and there is no bacteria build-up. Once you turn it on, you can adjust the speed up or down and the pulsations are incredibly strong to efficiently remove substances lodged deep within the skin.

Although this device is suitable for all skin types (normal, dry, sensitive, oily and combination), I like that the bristles are flexible, gentle and soothing. Unlike my other cleansing tools, this one doesn’t feel abrasive at all, in fact it deep cleans without me even realizing it and my skin feels soft, supple, smooth and completely refreshed with no irritation!

To use, you simple wet your face, apply a liquid cleanser of your choice (I prefer the foaming kind), wet the LUNA and turn it on. It is recommended that you use it for 30 seconds on the lower cheeks, 15 on the forehead and 15 on the upper part of the cheeks and nose. After cleansing, simply rinse and air dry. It is also 100% waterproof so you can use it in the shower or bath and the material makes removing any makeup stains much easier.

The LUNA is rechargeable which is great but the cord is a USB which is not always convenient. I would have liked the option of an outlet charger that plugs into a wall socket but this is only a drawback if you don’t have a laptop. On a positive note, the device charges quickly and you can get up to 300 uses before needing to re-plug.

The Bristles differ in size and are divided into 3 zones. The thinner touch-points cleanse sensitive and normal skin, the thicker touch-points are designed for precision and the broader touch-points on the reverse side are great for oily skin. Although the shape is quite unique and maybe a bit unconventional, slightly turning the device allows it to fit into the corners of the noise and other hard to reach areas with ease. I’m no expert when it comes to designing these gadgets but in my opinion the bristles could have been a tad longer.

The plastic packaging conveniently doubles as a carrying case + cord storage and after cleansing my face feels like it’s been detoxified and replenished. Not only do you get deep pore action, it also stimulates circulation, mildly exfoliates and provides anti-aging benefits for healthy, glowing skin! I love how the LUNA preps my face to absorb products more efficiently so my skin feels silky and hydrated plus all the active ingredients and conditioning agents in my creams, oils and serums are enhanced. I incorporate the LUNA into my weekly facials especially prior to applying a mask or peel and I can use it daily without experiencing any sensitivity.

The LUNA mini 2 retails for $159.00 CAD and you check out the website by clicking HERE

Thursday, April 28, 2016

NYX Review: Pro Lip Cream Palette, High Definition Blush & Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick

When it comes to drugstore makeup, NYX certainly leads the way in trendy pigments and compared to high-end brands of similar quality, the products cost a fraction of the price. When I first laid eyes of the vibrant new colors, the beauty junkie in me just couldn’t resist and everyone knows that NYX has some seriously awesome lip products!

Let’s begin with the item I was most excited to try - the Pro Lip Cream Palette. I got The Reds Collection but it is also available in pinks, nudes and gorgeous plums! I’m not usually a fan of lip palettes for use on-the-go as many require a separate applicator and can be quite large, but this one is small and portable. The variety of flattering hues also makes it ideal for professional use but I do wish it came with a lip brush and mirror. If you don’t mind getting your hands a bit messy you can use a finger but I prefer to keep things sanitary.

The reds in this palette are so rich, bold and versatile, you may find yourself using it all the time! The selection is simply stunning and ranges from bright classic red to medium reds and deep sultry red with a burgundy undertone. If you are looking for a great range of color that you can mix, match and blend together to create a customized bombshell shade this palette is wonderful!

The two orange hues appear very bright and a little electric but once applied they are actually medium tone, soft and beautiful. The pigmentation seems to vary by shade - the orange hues start out sheer and can be enhanced to medium coverage whereas the reds are medium to full coverage with intense pigmentation when applied heavier. You do have to close the case securely because overtime the pigments can become dry, I also found this with the NYX Concealer Palettes. 

The smooth, creamy consistency makes the lip colors moisturizing and easy to apply. I expected a shiny finish but for the most part they seem to be semi-matte with a hint of luminosity and a solid, gloss-free base. The palette retails for $17.00 and is definitely worth the splurge!

Sticking with the theme of vibrant hues, my complexion needs a boost of color for summer. The High Definition Blush in Crimson instantly revives dull skin and although the texture is drier it blends and builds well without caking. This shade may look a bit daunting to those who shy away from striking color but it starts out sheer and you can control the intensity. The lightweight formula emits a beautiful orange-coral pigment with a hint of sparkle and it’s great for all skin tones. The blush retails for just $8.00.

Recently I’ve noticed the Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks all over social media so I thought it was time I got my hands on at least one. Of course I chose one of the brightest shades in the collection - Pink Lust/Passion Rose which is a shocking, Barbie doll hue that is quite intimidating. The pigmentation is seriously fierce and it builds to full coverage in just 1-2 layers. The applicator is a standard gloss paddle and the creamy texture keeps lips moist and comfortable for hours. The Suede Cream Lipsticks retail for $10.00 ea.

Since I first tried the Make Up For Ever brow gel I was hooked. I love the way liquid formulas seep into sparse areas between hairs and fill in spaces for a well shaped arch. NYX has released their own brow gel which is quite similar to the MUFE one I love but it costs just $9.00 instead of $25.00. It comes in an easy dispensing tube and is available 5 popular shades. I got the color Espresso, which is the second darkest before black. The deep, rich color is excellent for defining the brows to create a full, sharp look that inspired the phrase "brows on fleek." I’m not sure if the gel is water resistant but once dry I’ve never had issues with fading or bleeding and my brows stay in place all day!

You can find NYX at drugstores nationwide, Sephora and online by clicking HERE

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Essence Cosmetics XXXL Long Lasting Lip Gloss Review

If you see me in the city, chances are I'd be wearing well executed eye shadow with a unique color blend and a bold, vibrant lip color, (preferably a creamy matte formula) for a glamorous pout. It wasn't until I saw Kendall Jenner rocking shiny lips and a sheer dusting of glittery shadow did the minimal makeup trend catch my eye. For the first time in a long time I decided to try the "less is more approach" for a fresh summery look.

Photo obtained from Google images

To help me play-up the barely-there makeup trend I used Kendall’s new eye shadow palette from the Estée Edit Collection and a whole bunch of XXXL lip glosses from essence. If you’re looking for intense, lustrous shine for that beautiful mirrored effect, then head to the essence display in Shoppers Drug Mart. For just $2.99 ea you can have your pick of glistening pinks, reds, corals, orange, nudes and more with moisturizing, lip loving formulas.

These glosses provide layers upon layers of juicy color with a delicious candy scent and lightweight comfort. The applicator is easy to use and quite flexible, designed to work around the contours of your pout for plumpness. Although the texture clings to skin for prolonged wear, the gloss is non-sticky and quite cushiony.

The look I was going for used neutral tones but I couldn’t resist the petal perfect pinks for spring. The sheer color makes lips appear full and luminous plus they keep dryness at bay.

You can totally use these to replace your lip balm if you want pretty color without sacrificing hydration and you can layer them on top of lipstick for an instant boost of shine.

If you crave a tad more color essence also has some new Liquid Lipsticks with a lush, creamy consistency, and sheer to medium coverage. The moist texture drenches lips in dewy pigment (similar to gloss) but with a little more vibrancy and the mini size makes them perfect for smaller bags and clutches. The shade selection is a tad limited and the colors are mostly neutral and soft. The Liquid Lipsticks retail for $3.99 ea.

02 Beauty Secret, 01 Color Party, 04 Show Off, 06 Make a Statement, 05 Peach Party & 03 Almost Real

Peach Party, Show Off, Beauty Secret, Make a Statement & Color Party

You can find essence cosmetics at Shoppers Drug Mart and Ulta Beauty in the U.S

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Avon True Color Matte Eye Shadow Quads Review

The matte trend has been all the rage recently as the surge of shine-free, solid color and vibrancy continues to dominate the beauty industry. If you are totally obsessed with Avon’s Matte Lipsticks (like I am) then the Matte Eye Shadow Quads may be just what your makeup bag needs. The compacts are available in 5 unique color combos, designed to create a range of flattering looks that can take you from day to night and whatever you have planned in-between.

I had previously tested one of the Quads when I received it in a gift bag from a TV show but that was a few years ago and I wasn’t very impressed with the pigmentation. This time around I noticed a big improvement in the color pay-off and the shadows are vivid, easy to blend, well matched and silky.

The packaging itself is not very cute but it is lightweight and comes with a large mirror which is handy for touch-ups on-the-go.

Desert Sunset (camel, coral/orange, deep eggplant and cocoa)

I like the variety of warm hues and cool tones throughout the collection and aside from a very subtle, (almost undetectable) dusting of shimmer particles seen in a few shades, the majority have a solid matte finish. For the most part the colors apply smoothly but a few of the lighter shades (usually #1 in the palettes) are quite sheer and soft since they are meant to be used as highlight. Initially I found some of the white hues a tad chalky but once blended they do even out.

Smoke & Fog (soft vanilla, cocoa, blue grey and black) 

The deeper hues (labeled 2,3 & 4) are more concentrated and deliver full coverage, intense color. They work well for defining the crease and accentuating the lids plus they can be layered and enhanced for incredible boldness and smokey effects. If you require a little application guidance, the shadows are conveniently numbered to help you create a complete look.

Tranquility (snow, mystic, pool blue and midnight navy)

Admittedly when I first saw the palettes the colors didn't impress or appeal to me much but once swatched I saw how gorgeous they actually are and I love the deep burgundy, browns and rich blues! The quality is not quite on par with the mark eye shadows, which in my opinion are Avon’s best but with a good primer they apply beautifully and I didn’t have any issue with fading or creasing. The quads retail for just $12.00 each and if you haven't tried the matte formula, it is definitely an improvement on the previous compacts plus you can mix and match!

I've also been testing Avon’s MagiX Face Perfector and I absolutely love it. If you need a good base that smooths uneven texture and harmonizes skin tone then this is for you! The pearlized gel glides on ultra silky and transforms to a powder for invisible coverage and high definition results. It also counteracts shine, blurs blemishes and reduces the look of fine lines and enlarged pores with a blend of fleece flower and rose extract. For protection against the elements it contains SPF 20 and the formula is lightweight, non-greasy and suitable for every complexion! MagiX retails for $15.00.

You can get these products at or through independent consultants

Monday, April 25, 2016

Avon Little Black Dress Eau de Parfum Spray

Slipping into a little black dress and a seductive pair of heels for a night on the town can be just the confidence boost you need after a hectic week. There is something transforming and uplifting about dressing to impress and when you want to smell as sexy as you look, a scintillating fragrance is the perfect finishing touch.

Little Black Dress by Avon was inspired by sleek, stylish women everywhere who appreciate the finer things in life and are perfectly polished. The bottle is simple yet elegant with black and gold detailing, peek-a-boo pump and a midnight cap.

The scent captivates with top notes of sparkling Italian lemon, middle notes of fresh jasmine and bottom notes of creamy sandalwood essence. This tantalizing concoction is the perfect blend of light, playful aromas mingled with complexity and warmth for a touch of glamour.

Unlike some of the sweet daytime fragrances I own, this perfume evokes feminine flare and a bold, alluring essence for a higher level of sophistication. Although it smells expensive, it retails for just $26.00 and the body lotion and shower gel enhance and prolong the irresistible scent.

Little Black Dress is a great perfume for events, parties and soirées of every kind. It is also versatile enough for a day at the office, date night or an evening with the girls. With Mother’s Day around the corner this flattering fragrance makes a great gift! The shower gel and body lotion retail for $12.00 each. You can get this set at or through independent consultants. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beauty Box Five April

April’s Beauty Box 5 is all about embarking on a hydration vacation and taking your skin from blah to beautiful by revitalizing the complexion. From great skincare to bright, juicy color, I’m really digging this month’s collection of goodies!

Before I delve into the box let’s review how the service works. Beauty Box Five is a subscription that starts at $12 for the monthly box, $30 for the quarterly subscription and $99 dollars for a year. You receive a mix of luxury items and common brands with products for: hair, skin and nails as well as fragrances and beauty accessories. The box contains 5 products and usually includes 1-3 full sized items. It is a great way to sample a variety of new brands!

Jelly Pong Pong Paradise Pigment in the shade Fig Jam (full size included ~ $19.00)
This pretty pink pigment retails for more than the cost of the box! It also happens to be my favorite product and with a fun name like Jelly Pong Pong who can blame me!? As soon as I saw the vibrant shade of pink I knew it was a match made in lippy heaven and it doubles as a cheek tint! Simply layer on the lips from sheer to medium coverage or lightly dab and blend onto the face for a flush of color. The texture is pleasantly creamy, the pigmentation is great and it smells like candy! You may need a lip brush as finger application can be a tad messy on-the-go but the color is perfect for the season.

Soapbox Sea Minerals Body Wash (sample size included)
I don’t mind receiving sample size body washes because they are great for short getaways and this formula evokes a day at the beach with a soothing blend of aloe, shea butter, sea minerals and deep sea water! I absolutely love the scent, it smells as fresh and invigorating as a summer breeze and each bottle purchased gives soap to someone in need.

Maskeraide All Eyes On Me Hydrating Eye Gels (sample included 1 pair)
I am no stranger to Maskeraide, in fact I have reviewed many of their adorable masks in the past and they were all awesome! The gel eye patches brighten, firm, hydrate and reduce the fine lines and puffiness caused by annoying spring allergies. They make a great addition to weekly facials and can help you recoup after a long trip, sleepless night or a grueling day at work.

Chella Passionate Pink Moisturizing Lip Pencil (full size included ~ $18.00)
I’m not quite sure why this lip pencil retails for $18.00 because it’s mini (half a pencil really) and it doesn’t twist-up. It is also made of that plasticky feeling wood so it isn’t easy to sharpen. The color is nice but it’s more orangey red than pink and it glides on effortlessly with a comfortable formula and good color pay-off. I’m not familiar with this brand (the packaging says made in Germany) but a little more pencil would have been nice.

Global Beauty Care Green Tea Makeup Remover Wipes (full size included ~ $1.99)
When I saw that these wipes were only $2 for 30 I thought it was too good to be true and I expected dollar store quality. Thankfully I was wrong, they are moist enough to remove foundation, lip color and even most eye makeup which puts them on-par with common drugstore brands. The sheets are also infused with vitamins A, C and E to help tone and firm which is an unexpected bonus.

This month’s box was a definite hit! For more information or to sign up for the next box click HERE

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Estée Edit Collection - By Estée Lauder: Review & Swatches

A few weeks ago I attended the Estée Edit press event and launch party which showcased the collection’s innovative new products. Beauty junkies from all genres of media and entertainment gathered in downtown Toronto to sip cocktails and play with the gorgeous new pigments and formulas. The party vibe was upbeat, stylish and fun, just like the brand’s newest beauty editors - fashion muse Kendall Jenner and social media sensation, Irene Kim.

If you haven’t had a chance to stop by Sephora and check out the new products, sit back, grab a drink and let me give you a little introduction.

The line is divided into subcategories to represent different beauty attitudes. The edgy attitude pushes boundaries with bold color and solid pigments, the barest attitude consists of sheer washes of color and neutral hues and the skincare range includes illuminators, eye balm, moisturizers and Flash Photo Powder to create a radiant glow.

As I perused the collection and covered myself in swatches, there were a few items that really stood out. The new blushes are to die for and the daring teal lipstick is a hot trend that may even replace purple as the new “it” shade! Since the collection is coveted by editors everywhere, I only managed to get my hands on a few items but I’m totally obsessed!

First up is the Edit Eye Shadow Palette designed by Kendall herself. I knew I wanted to try this because I love Kendall’s high-fashion, chic style and she even signed the mirror which was a nice touch. There are 14 shades in the palette grouped in complimentary pairs from light to dark. The finishes range from soft matte, satin and shimmer.

When creating this palette, Kendall wanted to incorporate the colors she uses most for an eclectic, versatile selection, suitable for all occasions. She included light, everyday neutrals for that soft no-makeup look, deep sultry shades for smoky effects and dazzling glitters for a fun night out. Each duo is designed to be used alone or together and the two black light shade transformers (the large glitter squares to the left) glow in the dark! These babies are perfect when you want to get your glam-on at the club and can be layered over other shadows to create a dazzling veil of sheer glitter. 

The gun metal black and espresso duos are deep enough to accentuate and shape the crease plus they can be blended and smudged for a seductive smoky eye. Like Kendall, my favorite color is purple so it’s no surprise that I use those shadows most often. The shimmery taupe and rose gold are beautiful although the pigmentation is very sheer, more like a light dusting or glitter overlay.

Throughout the palette the color pay-off differs by shade, some are medium to full coverage with the ability to be enhanced while others are quite translucent. I usually prefer a lot of intensity from my shadows but I like the contrast of soft hues with bold, deep colors. The texture is not as silky as I expected but they blend smoothly and the glitter particles stand out to create beautiful dimension without being messy or difficult to work with. All of the shades are very wearable but they look best when applied over a good primer and the packaging is sleek and portable. The Edit Palette retails for $60.00.

The collection includes many pretty lip colors from vivid and daring to nude and subtle. I have the shade - You’re Welcome: a vibrant, classic red that never goes out of style! The shiny blue tubes are feminine and sophisticated but a little difficult to pop open at first.

When I tried this color it was love at first swipe! The formula is rich, creamy and luscious so it glides on without any drag and drenches lips in bright, high-impact color. I also like that the finish is true matte so you don’t get any of that glossy shine, just solid, true red. The nourishing formula is infused with jojoba to condition, moisturize and prevent dryness.

By now you are probably wondering why there are two odd colors on either side of the red or if sunshine lips are going to be a hot summer trend. Although some of us are bold enough to flash black lips when it isn’t Halloween, not everyone is prepared to enter sassy goth territory just yet. These two hues are actually the Lip Flip Shade Transformers that are made to work with any lipstick. The yellow can be applied to lighten colors and the black darkens them so you can create custom shades.

With the yellow I was able to achieve a pinkish-coral hue and the black gave the red a deep berry tinge. You may have to be sparing with the black because too much can totally overshadow the color underneath but you can pretty much layer the yellow on as heavy as you dare. At first I didn’t like that the yellow lipstick was left stained by the red but when I realized it was easy to wipe off it wasn’t a problem. I think this concept is fun and versatile plus I like the option of getting more from my lipsticks. Each shade retails for $26.00 each.

Last but not least is a product I’ve been using since I got it - the Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack. The mask delivers a blast of hydration as you get your beauty sleep with fresh fruit (goji berry, blueberry and cranberry), hyaluronic acid and flower extract. The water-gel formula feels cool and refreshing on parched skin and along with eradicating dry patches, it makes my skin feel soft, smooth and supple with glow-boosting antioxidants. It retails for $58.00.

You can find the Estée Edit Collection exclusively at Sephora locations and online by clicking HERE

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Eos Spring Collection & NEW Body Lotion

The first spring blooms have finally sprouted and it’s warm enough to show a little skin! I’ve been preparing for the season by slathering my lips in eos balms and moisturizing my body in their fresh new lotions that smell like a summer breeze. 

By now most of you are familiar with these cute, colorful balms and although I’ve tried my fair share of  lip treatments, eos is still one of my favorites! The iconic round shape has become quite trendy but it also makes the balms comfortable to hold and easy to find amidst all the stuff in my purse.

As you uncap the colorful little globes, there is an instant blast of delicious, fruity aroma including delectable flavors like blueberry acai, vanilla mint, coconut milk, pomegranate honeysuckle honeydew, strawberry sorbet and more!

These all-natural, organic blends are packed with lip loving, conditioning ingredients including antioxidant rich vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil to keep skin soft, supple and chap-free. I like that they are long-lasting so I can layer the rich formula on before bed and wake with the product still in place! They also work wonders under lipstick should you crave more hydration.

These lip treatments became so popular that they started popping up in the hottest music videos and films alongside some of the most sought after celebs. A few brands have even tried to replicate the design but the formula could not be beat! The balms can be found in most major drugstores and supermarkets nationwide and retail for just over $4.00.

The new body lotions have sleek, pastel packaging inspired by elegant perfume bottles and feminine flare so you can proudly display them on your vanity or dresser. They are 2 scents currently available - Berry Blossom and Delicate Petals, both very light, pleasant and refreshing.

During the summer months you may still require a high level of  moisture to counteract environmental conditions and these have a lightweight, fast absorbing finish with no greasiness or residue. The formula is enriched with nourishing shea butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, macadamia, soy bean oil, flower seed oil and vitamin E for a healthy dose of  antioxidants and silky, soft skin.

 The large bottle (350 ml) retails for $7.99-$8.99 and the smaller size (200 ml) retails for $4.99-$5.99.

eos has also teamed up with Kleenex to create a cute limited edition set that includes their pink grapefruit balm, berry blossom hand lotion and a wallet size Kleenex pack with pretty floral print. The collection makes a great gift and with Mother’s Day around the corner it is a fabulous edition to a gift basket! You can find eos products at Loblaws, Walmart, London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart and more.

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