Friday, June 30, 2017

Quo Cosmetics 2017 Summer Collection

While browsing Shoppers Drug Mart this summer, you may notice the pretty seasonal patterns in Quo’s new collection – inspired by sunny, tropical vibes. Like many of the brand’s previous palettes, most of these pigments are soft and feminine, offset by a few deep hues for contrast. The range also includes lip color, bronzer and brush sets.

The packaging is chic and trendy – reminiscent of wild travels to exotic destinations.

Everyone loves a good summer bronzer and this pretty compact includes a trio of shades to lightly highlight the skin. The shimmer is quite subtle – more like a dusting on top, while the bottom pigment is matte, creamy and smooth for easy blending. The effect is mild radiance rather than high-impact strobing and the illumination or brightening effect seems to come from the color itself rather than the shimmer particles. None if these shades provide a bronze look on my skin tone but they do create luminosity that looks pretty in the sunlight. The bronzer retails for $22.00.

There are 2 shadow palettes in the collection – Sunset Eyes features bronze, pink and champagne shades while Garden View contains browns, navy, pale pink and yellow. It would have been nice to see a bit more variation and vibrancy for the season, but soft hues can be quite elegant.

With these shadows you definitely need a good primer for adhesion and color enhancement since they are light, sheer and silky. Some of the powders initially apply a bit chalky but simply smoothing them out creates an even finish and I love the dusty rose color at the end. The first 2 neutral shadows are suitable for blending and highlighting while the last 3 are your statement shades – well matched but a little faint for my taste. To amp-up the color, I deepen the crease with bold pink and create a nice gradient. With a base and a few layers, it is possible to intensify the colors a bit more.

Garden View has a few deep shades (which is nice), and 2 mild hues that seem a little out of place. I don’t think I’d wear yellow or baby pink with ashy brown or navy so I’m not quite sure how I’ll use them together. The dark hues can create smokey looks and the texture is quite soft. The palettes retail for $16.00 each.

Quo makes fabulous, synthetic brushes and the Flawless Face 3-Piece Set ($40.00) includes a foundation brush, powder/bronzer brush and highlighter brush with a red cosmetics bag. The brushes are soft yet taunt enough for precise stippling buffing and blending – suitable for powder and liquid. The quality is good (with minimal shedding) and they provide a nice, even finish for everyday use or professional kits.

 Quo is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Too Faced Natural Love Eye Shadow Palette Review

As many of you know I love Too Faced Cosmetics and many beauty junkies share my obsession, but when I first heard about the new Neutral Palette I couldn’t help wonder if we really needed another one. It seems like every brand has jumped-on the neutral trend bandwagon recently but if you’re thinking this palette is like all the others, you’d be wrong!

This collection goes above and beyond your run-of-the-mill beige, taupe and brown hues because we already have those. Instead it contains 30 mesmerizing pigments that range from radiant gold, luminous pink, champagne, coppery-garnet, bronze, deep chocolate and more. The versatile finishes include matte, shimmer, glitter and chrome to create beautiful depth, contrast and illumination.

Too Faced definitely pulled out all the stops for this one and the best thing about the shadows is the amazing color payoff! The pigments are rich, buttery, smooth and soft for excellent blending and buildable intensity. They layer effortlessly and adhere well for long lasting coverage with no creasing or fading (especially when used with primer) and they look ravishing on all skin tones.

The shade selection is fabulously fool-proof because no matter how you mix and match, the results are gorgeous eyes! The collection includes everything you need to create a variety of looks to suite your style, including dark crease shades for sculpting, transition hues and highlighters.

I love the mix of pale and bright pink with different undertones and the other half of the spectrum features brilliant, metallic finishes that make a make a bold statement. With this range you have the option of going soft and sexy or smokey and seductive plus with so many stunning combinations, the palette is ideal for everyday use and travel.

Natural Love retails for $69.00 and Too Faced is available at Sephora and online at

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Flickable Lip Gloss Review

And the award for cutest lip gloss of the year goes to (drum-roll please)... Flickable! Okay, so there may not be a real beauty award for this category but when it comes to adorable packaging, Flickable sets the bar pretty high. I was actually able to trick a few people into thinking these were candy, but the delicious lollipop lippies aren’t just about creativity, what’s inside is good too! The vegan, cruelty-free formula has officially launched in Canada with 5 delicious shades to compliment all skin tones.

In case you were wondering how they work - the lolly stick is the applicator and the candy ball holds the sheer, juicy pigment that glides on smooth and ultra shiny for a luminous finish. The non-greasy, moisturizing color feels more like a luxurious oil-gloss hybrid, enriched with a blend of nourishing jojoba oil, Vitamin E and meadow foam oil.

The lightweight, comfortable texture drenches lips in dazzling shine and alleviates dry skin for hours – much longer than the average lip balm. I also notice a cool, refreshing sensation and a slight plumping effect with no tingle or stickiness. The gloss helps prevent cracking, peeling and roughness so lips feel soft, healthy and replenished.

Each color has its own scrumptious scent and flavour (with no calories) and the subtle shimmer makes lips appear radiant.
Left to right: Fight for Your White to Party (Sugar Cookie), Toffee Talk (English Coffee), Do ya Pink I’m Sexy (Passion Fruit), Citrus How We Do (Tangerine) and Berry Off Red (Red).

Sometimes a girl just needs a boost of hydration without all the drama and these provide soft, translucent coverage with a faint tint. You can also wear them over your favorite lipsticks and use them to revive matte pigments when they become stiff. The formula is paraben and gluten free making it safe for sensitive skin.

The gloss retails for just $6.00 each at Hudson’s Bay locations and online at

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Makeup Show Chicago 2017 - Event Coverage

Last weekend I went on a press trip to cover The Makeup Show and media event in Chicago and learn about exciting new product launches from experts in the industry. What I love most about the show is that it isn’t just about buying discounted makeup and topping-up your kit (although it is a fabulous opportunity to do so) it’s also about making business connections directly with brand owners and furthering your career.

Attendees also had the opportunity to sign up for workshops/classes and seminars to help expand their brand, improve their skills and learn how to keep clients happy with a well-stocked kit. The show is open to professionals in the industry which provides an opportunity to meet a diverse community of artists. There was also a play area specifically designed for artists to gain hands-on experience with new products.

At the press event, celebrity Makeup Artist - James Vincent explained that this year’s show was about diversifying the business and celebrating artists and women of all ethnic groups, religions and backgrounds. He also showcased some of his favorite products of 2017.

In the press kit:

In the press kit this year, James included a variety of makeup and skincare from popular drugstore brands to high-end and products used behind the scenes at some of the hottest runway shows.

The Mehron Celebré Pro-HD Correct It Palette ($21.95) is great for neutralizing various skin discolorations and the formula is infused with Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and antioxidant-rich pomegranate for smooth blending, great coverage and hydration.  
-Deep orange: (for dark skin tones) conceals under eye circles and hyperpigmentation.
-Tangerine & pink: brightens olive complexions and diminishes signs of fatigue.
-Green: neutralizes redness, acne marks, scars and windburn.
-Yellow: hides purple or blue discoloration, bruises, veins and under eye circles.
-Purple: eliminates yellow undertones.

NYX was a new vendor at the show so James included the bestselling Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette ($19.00) with a variety of silky shades to compliment all skin tones.

Note Cosmetics is one of the few brands I hadn’t tried prior to the show but the Terracotta Blusher ($17.95) is one of their most popular items. This shade is called Vintage Pink, although it emits a beautiful golden tint. The sheer, bronzy hues provide a natural glow with seamless, buildable coverage and the soft, weightless texture blends effortlessly.

We all know that Bdellium has great brushes and their booth at this year’s show was huge! They also make a variety of matte lipsticks - the deep purple below is called Dark Carnival ($16.00). Crown (also popular for their makeup tools) has a line of creamy, matte lipsticks that glide on smooth, vibrant and full-coverage. They retail for $13.99 each and this gorgeous shade is called Crown Me.

In terms of skincare, there was a wide range included in this year’s press kit.

-The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil ($13.00): nourishes blemished skin, treats acne, blackheads and irritation.
-First Sanitzer ($16.00): removes bacteria and cleans makeup brushes, lipstick and cream formulas with an all-natural, organic formula.
-Mustaev Mood Therapy Mask – Moisture Lifting ($4.00): replenishes and refreshes dry, tired skin.
-Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17.00): Award-winning formula that dries-up whiteheads and pimples overnight.
-Embryloisse Lait-Crème: “24-hour miracle cream” used by Makeup Artists, models and celebrities to restore the skin’s natural glow and deeply moisturize.
-Twinmedix Vitamin Skin Sprays (samples): to balance, hydrate and protect before makeup application.
-Bioderma Makeup Removing Micelle Water ($24.90)

We also got Michael Devellis’ new book called Ten Words - focusing on building a stronger career, meaningful connections and a focused life. The book is available on his website - for $12.00.

Last but not least is the Kevyn Aucoin Molten Lip Color Top Coat ($39.00) which can be used alone for a radiant, metallic glow or on top of your favorite lip colors to create an ombré effect.

There were over 70 top pro-focused brands including: Make Up For Ever, Temptu, MAC, Danessa Myricks Beauty, Smashbox, Senna, Graftobian and more offering fabulous deals, discounts and bundles so artists have all the tools needed to succeed.

For more information on The Makeup Show or to buy tickets for the next show visit the website at

Antioxidant supplements, Immunity Support & Energy Boosters

The last cold and flu season hit me hard and knocked me off my feet (literally) so I decided to make a contentious effort to boost my immune system. I should also mention that I’m not a fan of swallowing pills (particularly large vitamins) which is why I find it difficult maintain a regular supplement regiment. Thankfully Arbonne, Image Skincare and the makers of Emergen-C have created formulas that are easy to incorporate into my daily routine.

These products are formulated to support a healthy lifestyle so I also try my best to consume nutritious foods and exercise regularly. It can be a difficult process but even small changes make a big difference!

Vitamin C is essential for fighting the cold virus, boosting immunity and even helping our skin thrive, which is why Emergen-C has become a staple in my pantry. The powder comes in individual, single serving packets that you mix in water and they are great for travel. Along with a whopping 1,000 mg of Vitamin C (more than 10 oranges) it also contains essential antioxidants and B Vitamins. The powder is available in delicious flavors like Acai Berry, Orange, Cranberry and Strawberry to jazz-up your water. Unlike many vitamins, this formula actually tastes good so I usually mix it in my water bottle and drink it after my morning workout. There are 30 packs per box retailing for $11.97 at drugstores nationwide.

When I don’t take Vitamins C, I usually opt for the Energy Fizz Sticks from Arbonne which is also a great post-workout supplement that taste delicious! There are 30 stick packets per box and you simply mix the powder in water. 

My favorite flavor is Pomegranate and the formula contains antioxidants (to boost the immune system), Green Tea, Ginseng, B Vitamins, Caffeine, Niacinamide and more. It also helps promote alertness, enhance cognitive functioning, temporarily relieve fatigue, increase endurance, improve motor performance and metabolize carbohydrates, fats and protein. The box retails for $54.00.

Arbonne also sells Antioxidant & Immunity Support Liquid Packets for the maintenance of good health. You simply tear the pack open and drink directly from the pouch (no need to add water) but it is recommended that you take it with food. The supplement is a great source of Vitamins and herbal medicine including: Milk Thistle to support liver function and boost energy. I’m not really sure what flavor this is but it tastes fermented with a hint of yeast – not the greatest but not terrible either. The box contains 30 packs and retails for $90.00. I should also mention that I do not mix or take all of these supplements on the same day, I alternate between each product depending on my daily needs. Arbonne is available online at or through independent consultants.

Image Skincare is a brand that is fairly new to me but I’ve been testing their products for a few weeks now with fabulous results. The company is medically based - created by a Plastic Surgeon, so the products are highly concentrated and more effective. The Collagen Supplement can be taken as a shot followed with water or mixed into smoothies and juice. The collagen used is derived from cows so our bodies can actually absorb it (unlike plant-based collagen derivatives) and it supports healthy hair, nails and skin. The liquid is easy to take (just 15 ml per day) and it also increases skin firmness, reduces wrinkle depth, boosts radiance and restores hydration with a blend of peptides, antioxidants and vitamins. I don’t have wrinkles or lines but since incorporating the supplement into my daily routine, I’ve noticed stronger nails, more hair growth and a clear complexion.

The liquid tastes like a mixture of vitamins and Orange Tang and keeping it in the fridge improves the flavor. The bottle contains 16 oz (1 month’s supply) and retails for $99.00. Image Skincare is available at a number of Toronto Spas and Salons including The Four Seasons. You can  check out the website by clicking HERE.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cavalia Odysseo Review – Mississauga Premiere

One week before Cavalia Odysseo was scheduled to amaze spectators with jaw-dropping equestrian performances and graceful aerial acrobatics, the four-legged stars made their debut on the red carpet - healthy, happy and well groomed. The 38 meter high tent (the size of a CFL football field), stood proudly in my hometown of Mississauga, glistening in the midday sun as the scent of fresh popcorn and cotton candy wafted through the air. 

I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive press event to meet the horses of Odysseo, speak with performers backstage and see a 40 minute media preview of the show before it debuted on June 21st. After spending some time with the cast/crew and beautiful horses, it was apparent how much work and dedication goes into each production.

In the training tent, horses gathered (freshly bathed, brushed and braided) to stretch their legs and enjoyed some bonding time with their trainers.

Backstage there is a makeshift gym and an array of beautiful silk costumes, handmade wigs and practice equipment for the gymnasts.

On opening night the excitement was palpable as guests of all ages entered the tent with wonder. After a quick stop at the concession stand for a snack, it was off to the theater!

There are almost 2,000 seats available with a clear view of the stage, so whether you buy a general admission ticket or opt for the VIP experience, you are sure to have a fabulous night.

The cast and crew gather for photos after the media preview

Odysseo unveils a magical journey of man and horse exploring exotic destinations and extreme climates including an enchanted forest, Nordic glaciers, mountainous valleys and the wild African Savannah. The audience is instantly transported to beautiful landscapes with virtual waterfalls, high-tech theatrical effects and 3D backdrops accompanied by gravity-defying acrobatics.

Photo Credit: Lynne Glazer

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill tent or show - the experience is truly unique and spectacular. The big top supports 80 tons of equipment, and covers one of the largest traveling stages - featuring 150,000 liters of recycled water to create a magnificent lake and 10,000 tons of sand. There are 65 horses, 50 artists including riders, trainers, Chinese pole acrobats, stilt walkers, dancers and musicians who use 350 finely made costumes each night. The breathtaking decor is supported by a screen 3X the size of a movie theater - displaying exhilarating graphics and mesmerizing special effects that bring the fantasy to life.

The endearing moments in the opening scene where horses roam free and frolic in the forest, creates intimate engagement with the audience - truly unique to Odysseo.  Although the horses obey their trainers with a series of small gestures or commands, occasionally they wander off and do their own thing, much to the audience's delight. 

The mix of elegant aerial silks, mystical waterfalls and dream-like carousels that descend from the ceiling creates an amazing contrast of serenity and excitement. Odysseo successfully ignites the imagination and you won’t be able to look away as the 3 story hill rises up under the mountains with a flow of horses galloping majestically towards you.

Photo Credit: Dan Harper

The production is two and a half hours (including a 30 minute intermission) and there are lengthy segments of trotting, basic riding and gymnastic tumbling that seemed a little prolonged and repetitive at times albeit extremely skillful. The poetic music helps accentuate the mythical setting but there isn’t really a story – it’s a lovely series of adventures focusing on human-animal interaction.

The ring scene was by far the most thrilling display of skill as riders hung upside down under fast galloping horses and clung-on sideways in what appeared to be death-defying manoeuvres.  

Photo Credit: Jak Wonderly

In “Tempête,” the sky is adorned with hoops and billowing fabric as artists flip, fly and soar above-head like angles.

In the final scene, the stage is flooded with water as horses race through the lake, playfully splashing the front row. Performers convene for one last jaw-dropping spectacle of talent and everything crescendos to a close. It’s like watching the last moments of a fireworks display with all the best parts saved for last.

If you’re looking for a delightful evening, Odysseo is a treat and I dare you not to fall in love with the horses!

The show is in Mississauga until July 16, 2017 and tickets can be purchased online at
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