Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Review – New Shades

My house is all decked-out for the holiday season, it’s Thursday afternoon which means Friday is on the horizon and tonight I’m making cheesy pasta and watching Christmas movies. The only thing that could make today even better is new lipstick! I know what you’re thinking (doesn’t this girl have enough lipstick) and the answer to that is no...maybe...probably but who cares! When it comes to top beauty brands I’ve tried just about every lip formula out there and Bite Beauty is one of my all-time faves. I just can’t get enough of the bold, beautiful shades and rich, sultry finishes. They glide on buttery smooth and the pigmentation is out of this world!

I’ve never been to the Bite Beauty Lab but I’m sure I could live there because they definitely know how to make amazing lipstick. The shades I’m featuring today may not necessarily be new releases (there are 34 colors available) but they are new to my collection.

If you haven’t read my previous article about how incredible this formula is let’s do a quick recap. Bite lipsticks are hand-crafted in small batches using a low heat process to ensure that the omega oils, vitamins, butters and nutrients are fresh and well preserved to retain their nutritional value. Each scintillating shade is enriched with a nourishing, skin quenching blend of castor oil, jojoba, shea butter, argan, sesame, sunflower, grape seed, olive oil and other emollients that drench your pout in loads of creamy, supple moisture.

I prefer bright, vivid color or deep sexy tones and for the holiday season these 3 hues are showstoppers. Spiced Plum is a stunning bronze with light reflecting shimmer that makes lips look ethereal. If you’re going for a golden Goddess look this shade is perfect. Cayenne is a fiery red that is very trendy for the fall/winter season and great for Christmas parties. Liquorice is a gorgeous blend of deep berry and wine that looks great on all skin tones and creates a dark vampy effect.

I don’t usually go for the neutral shades but these are quite flattering. Gingersnap is a peachy-pink that reminds me of spring flowers – very soft and feminine. Pepper is a lovely caramel brown that creates a nude effect on my skin tone and Sugar Cane is a great nude for lighter complexions.

Most of these colors have a semi-satin finish with subtle shine but Gingersnap is a creamy matte. The lipsticks retail for $30.00 each and Bite Beauty is available at Sephora.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Must-Have Holiday Gift Sets from Fresh Beauty & Burt’s Bees

Every year I start my holiday shopping early and gift wrapping sessions begin on a positive note with pretty paper, flashy ribbon and cute tags. After an hour or so things take a turn for the worst. I lose patience, the tape mysteriously goes missing (for the millionth time) and the last few boxes look like they were hit by a train. Thankfully Santa thought of everything this year and delivered some beautiful gift sets from Fresh and Burt’s Bees that don’t require fancy wrapping. In fact, the Fresh Holiday Collection is covered in whimsical illustrations that you can color and customize with pencil crayons included (how cool is that!).

Lip Balm is a necessity, especially in the winter but when you add a pretty pop of color lips look totally luscious. The Fresh Sugar Treatments have been a cult favorite for years (I have one in my purse all the time) and the Beauty Box ($54.00) will make someone on your list very happy. The reusable tin comes with 6 nourishing shades from deep pink, neutral and berry to compliment all complexions.

Infused with a nourishing blend of meadowfoam, black currant, olive oil, jojoba, grape seed, avocado, sunflower and apricot oil, the treatments soften, smooth, hydrate, heal and protect. They also counteract dullness and loss of firmness for a more youthful pout plus the formula is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

The Best of Beauty Bundle ($90.00) pampers the complexion to combat the season’s worst blizzards and indoor heating. It features a full skincare ritual packaged in a box that you can color and targets dryness, dark spots, uneven skin tone and wrinkles. The Soy Face Cleanser is suitable for all skin types and removes impurities, makeup, dirt and excess oil without stripping away essential moisture.

The star of this set (and my personal favorite) is the Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask loaded with natural fruit extracts and antioxidants. It looks like orange jam, smells delicious and makes skin appear bright, healthy and refreshed.

You also get the Advanced Therapy Sugar Lip Treatment, Black Tea Age-Delay Concentrate (to firm the eye area) and the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream featuring a potent blend of botanicals and extracts that moisturize and minimize signs of aging.

When stuffing the stockings don’t forget to pick up some Fresh Hand Creams ($18.00). These pretty, purse-size tubes soften dry hands, heal brittle nails and moisturize rough cuticles with a reviving dose of Vitamin E and shea butter. Honeysuckle and Citron makes hands smell amazing and the fast absorbing formula is non-greasy.

Fresh Beauty is available at Sephora.

Another great stocking stuffer is Burt’s Bees Mixed Fruit Gift Set ($12.99). The balms are packaged in a beautiful little gift box with delicious flavors like Wild Cherry, Pink Grapefruit, Coconut Pear and Strawberry. Formulated with natural ingredients, these creamy, mouth-watering treatments drench lips in soothing hydration to shield and protect against harsh weather, peeling and chapping.

The Face Essentials Kit ($22.99) is always one of my top picks for the holiday season. It comes with a lip balm, Deep Cleansing Cream, Deep Pore Scrub and Cleansing Cloths so after a long day you can remove pore clogging makeup and rejuvenate your skin with gentle ingredients. Burt’s Bees is available at drugstores nationwide.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ooobaby Urban Bag Review

Every woman needs a reliable, high quality bag that can handle everything life throws at it and still look stylish. From traveling around the world to battling traffic in the city and jetting-off to high-profile press events, my Ooobaby Urban Bag holds all my essentials and gets me through hectic days. 

When I first met Tulin (the brand founder), one thing was clear – she understands the needs of hardworking, modern women and designed her collection based on functionality, organization and luxury. As a busy mom and successful entrepreneur, she needed a multipurpose bag that could go from the boardroom to the playground and when no other purse lived up to the challenge, Tulin created her own.

What makes this bag different from all the other unused totes piled high in my closet collecting dust is its versatility. There are 6 internal compartments with waterproof lining to store all your valuables and the sturdy zipper sits under the flap for safety and security.

For work I can easily slip in my tablet or laptop along with my cell phone, makeup bag, wallet, documents and even a snack. The design is fashionable yet professional, making it suitable for the office, running errands or a much needed trip to the mall for some retail therapy. It also comes in 3 neutral shades: Manhattan Midnight, Parisienne Taupe and 1969 Woodstock Brown – all very flattering colors for modern men as well and much trendier than a boring old briefcase. The fellas will also love the design because it compliments a tailored suit and is very practical for business trips. 

How many times have you dug around a messy purse frantically searching for your keys? We’ve all been there (some of us more than others) which is why the Urban Bag has an interior key holder (crisis averted).

When I first unwrapped the bag I could tell that it was well made and expertly crafted. The Italian leather smells rich and the soft grained pebble feels expensive and supple. Polished nickel hardware adds modest embellishment for beautiful contrast and pegs on the bottom support the bag's structure like a built-in stand when resting it on the floor. I use the side pockets for my cell phone, umbrella or small water bottle and it also works for quick trips to the gym.

The exterior has 2 more handy pockets that are great for storing items you need quick access to and the flap closure is very chic.

As a Travel Editor I am always on-the-go and as a Beauty Writer it is nearly impossible for me to pack light (don’t judge, I like lipstick). This bag is fantastic for trips and I chose the black because it goes with everything and transcends all seasons.

I love that the Urban Bag holds all my carry-on items and the sturdy strap is thick and adjustable to fit comfortably on the shoulder and stay put without constantly slipping down. You can also wear it as a crossbody bag (my preferred method while vacationing) and it conforms to your body the way only high quality leather can.

Despite the awesome material, the bag is lightweight and durable enough to handle a heavy load. New moms can even use it as a snazzy diaper bag without compromising on fashion or downplaying their ensemble.

I wish I had a bag like this when I was in University cramming for medical exams and leading group therapy at the hospital. For studious students this makes a fabulous book bag that will hold-up through the hustle and bustle of each crazy semester.

The Urban Bag retails for $498.00 and comes with a dust bag for storage and preservation. This is not just another tote, it is a classic investment piece that will withstand the test of time so you should definitely add it to your wish-list. With every purchase the company makes a donation to help needy children around the world.

For information and orders visit

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lush 2017 Holiday Collection

If you want to put a smile on someone’s face this holiday season pop a Lush Bubble Bar or Bath Bomb in their stocking and watch them light up with joy. No matter how hectic life gets slipping into a warm bath filled with colorful suds and cheerful scents helps melt the stress away.

Today I’m sharing a few limited edition items from the Lush Holiday Collection that have been sitting on my desk and filling the entire room with mouth-watering aromas. One of my favorite combinations ever is mint-chocolate (whoever decided to pair these two ingredients was a genius). The ice cream flavor is to die for and so is the Thundersnow Bath Bomb ($6.95). It froths up into a delicious blue-green foam that smells like hot chocolate (try not to eat it) and the healing oils make your entire body feel velvety smooth.

If you haven’t tried a Lush Body Conditioner what are you waiting for?! These decadent butters nourish, soften and deeply hydrate to leave you feeling supple and silky all winter. Buck’s Fizz ($13.95) is perfect for a little self-pampering and relaxation. The yellow flower pot (that’s what it looks like to me) contains an abundance of natural oils with a yummy citrus-champagne sent that tantalizes the senses. Simply rub the creamy bar onto damp skin, rinse lightly and pat dry.

In the words of Lush “Christmas ain’t complete without your two front teeth” (I’m laughing so hard right now). This delectable little Bubble Bar ($7.95) is almost too cute to use but the sweet vanilla tonka bean bubbles smell like candy and a heavy helping of neroli and lavender oil revitalizes you from head-to-toe. Crumble this funny looking bar under running water and watch with pleasure as your bathtub fills with pink bubbles!

Who could resist a shower gel called Berry Berry Christmas? I mean come on, it’s just too adorable to pass up and the festive cranberry infusion is loaded with antioxidants, blueberry juice and other scrumptious ingredients. I mostly smell citrus (maybe orange) but the color and shimmer makes bath time a lot more enjoyable with cascades of fruity lather. The 250 ml bottle retails for $23.95.

These products are available at Lush stores nationwide for a limited time only and online at

Friday, November 24, 2017

Mary Kay 2017 Winter Collection – Gel Semi-Shine Lipstick Review & TimeWise Lifting Repair Bio-Cellulose Mask

You know the feeling of excitement you get when uncapping a pretty new lipstick? Well Mary Kay’s Gel Semi-Shine Collection includes 12 beautiful shades that are sure to be a hit this holiday season. Before the mailman had time to make it back down the driveway, I was already covered in swatches from elbow to wrist and deciding which colors to wear this weekend. The winter range also includes Korean-inspired sheet masks that protect the skin from winter’s wrath.

The Semi-Shine formula encompasses everything you’d want in a good lipstick. It glides on creamy, cushions the lips, stays true to color and feels very lightweight with balm-like smoothness. I don’t see any butters or oils in the ingredient list but the nourishing texture leaves my pout soft, supple, plush and resilient (who wouldn't love that).

I also like that you don’t need a liner for neatness and precision because the color applies effortlessly without running or bleeding. The finish emits a radiant sheen (without glossiness) so lips appear luminous and chic. Some shades are solid while others have a wash of iridescent shimmer for a glamours, multidimensional effect. The deeper hues are bold and intense with more saturation but many shades provide sheer to medium coverage that can be enhanced by layering. For long lasting comfort the gel stays moist to prevent dryness and the collection has something for all skin tones.

I call this the pink group – from left to right and light to deep you have: Love me Pink, Raspberry Ice, Luminous Lilac and Haute Pink. No matter what season we’re in you can never go wrong with pink lips.

I always go for rich, vibrant tones which is why these shades are my favorite – Spiced Ginger, Red Smolder, Scarlet Red - (my top pick for the holiday season because it looks like Dorothy’s glittering ruby slipper), Apple Berry and Berry Couture.

Neutrals or nudes are very popular (I’m still trying to embrace the trend). This end of the color spectrum includes: Naturally Buff, Rosewood and Sunset Peach which is soft and flattering.

The lipsticks retail for $21.00 each

A good sheet mask is like vacuuming packing your face in nutrients that rejuvenate and revive. The Bio-Cellulose Masks are drenched in coconut water, oat kernel extract, orchid extract and potent skin conditioners that lift, firm, hydrate, repair, smooth, brighten and refresh for a wonderful pampering experience and anti-aging results. Before starting the treatment make sure to read the instructions carefully. The gel portion of the mask is sandwiched between 2 layers of protective mesh which need to be removed. Once you achieve proper application and alignment, the gel clings to the skin and seals in the active ingredients for proper absorption. I don’t like that the eye area is not completely cut out or that the mesh dividers are also soaked in so much serum because it seems wasteful to throw them out but after 30 minutes my skin is soft, even, moisturized and dewy – perfect winter treatment. The box retails for $75.00 and comes with 4 masks.

Mary Kay is available online at and through independent consultants. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Ultimate Holiday Fragrance Gift Guide – Best Perfumes for Women

Everyone is on the hunt for the perfect presents so don’t be surprised if you’re walking through the mall and get spritzed with a random mist of perfume (someone needs to stop those people). The fragrance sales reps tucked into every nook and cranny of department stores are annoying but perfume is still one of the most popular gifts during the holiday season. It may seem personal and a bit risky since the perception of aroma is very subjective but some brands are experts at crafting amazing blends that satisfy even the pickiest recipients on your list.

I have an extensive fragrance collection (seriously, it’s bursting out of cabinets and buckling drawers) but smelling as good as you look is important. To help narrow your search this Christmas I’ve rounded-up some of my top picks of the year with a vast range of ingredients and intensities. This guide is for women (sorry guys, I’ll get to you later) and the list I’ve compiled can also be used for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and any other special occasion since many of these perfumes will be available for years. 

Giorgio Armani Because It’s You ($115.00 for 50 ml)
Whenever I wear this perfume I get a lot of compliments (that's how you know it's good) and the scent is absolutely intoxicating with notes of warm vanilla, musk, ripe raspberry, sensual rose and neroli. The sophisticated sweetness of juicy fruit contrasts nicely with the deep, scintillating musk to create an amazing combination that I can’t get enough of! (Available at Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, department store counters and online at

Clean Warm Cashmere ($54.00) and Cool Cotton ($95.00)
I love the soft, simple ingredients in Clean fragrances and Warm Cashmere reminds me of cozy fall days and eggnog by the tree. The spicy aroma is laden with bergamot, orris, ceadarwood and musk creating a sweet nostalgic scent that is simple yet modern. If you love the freshness of sun-dried linens, clear blue skies and sunshine, then Cool Cotton may be more your style. This invigorating perfume is bursting with bergamot, sparking mandarin, crisp green apple, lemon zest, mint and peach - very airy, pure and soothing.

Miss Dior Eau De Parfum ($165.00 for 100 ml)
Miss Dior is described as “the scent of love” – a mix of seduction, style, high-fashion and refinement. Honeyed damask rose, sparking blood orange, mandarin and bergamot contrast beautifully with pink peppercorn and Guyanese rosewood creating complexity and intrigue. (Available at Sephora, The Bay and Dior Counters nationwide)

Dior Poison Girl ($72.00 for 30 ml)
I'm willing to bet that Poison Girl will be an instant hit with all the ladies on your holiday list. The luxurious scent is a bit more playful than Miss Dior with bitter-sweet ambiance that tantalizes the senses. Notes include: sweet Sicilian orange, neroli, rose and vanilla for a creamy, delicious composition that is perfect for an evening out. (Available at Sephora, The Bay and Dior Counters nationwide)

Lancome La Vie Est Belle L’Eclat ($85.00 for 50 ml)
This elegant bottle is a masterpiece in itself featuring 221 twinkling facets designed by the best French glass maker. The liquid seems to be encased in crystal and the scent is radiant, bold and feminine with notes of delicate rose iris, sweet pear, ripe blackberry, luminous orange blossom, fresh jasmine and patchouli essence. (Available at The Bay, Sephora , Shoppers Drug Mart, Lancome Counters and online at

Jason Wu Eau De Parfum Spray ($145.00 for 90 ml)
Beautifully crafted from the inside out this heavy glass bottle is simple and sleek while the perfume is infused with rare jasmine, sensual woods, pink pepper, fig and iris for an extravagant floral bouquet. The fragrance is sexy, robust and light with a subtle fade – perfect for daily wear. (Available at The Bay)

Alien Eau Sublime by Mulger ($82.00 for 60 ml)
Usually fragrances have familiar accords that are quickly distinguishable but this composition rises to a higher level of complexity. Eau Sublime is a new interpretation of the original, inspired by the solar Goddess and infused with mandarin, bitter orange, jasmine, tiare flower and heliotrope. The powerful scent is very similar to its predecessor with a sweet, luminous aroma and perhaps a little more zest.

Mugler Angel Étoile Des Reves Eau De Parfum ($146.00 for 100 ml) and Angel Perfuming Body Cream ($120.00) by Mulger

This year Mugler celebrated its 25th anniversary and released a collectible new fragrance and body cream to commemorate the occasion. This intimate blend is a night time representation of Angel – delicious, tender, captivating and silky.  The facets include: bergamot, praline, hedione, patchouli, vanilla and musk which form a sweet, intriguing essence that is long lasting and powerful.

The body cream comes in a magical, interstellar glass jar that resembles a space ship surrounded in dazzling glitter. The formula is enriched with shea butter and smells exactly like the perfume with the same intensity. It is very strong for a cream so I wouldn’t layer it with fragrance. (Avialable at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, Sephora and Nordstrom)

You might also want to check out Angel Eau Sucrée ($82.00) – another deliciously sweet twist.

Roger & Gallet Extrait De Cologne – Cassis Frénésie ($40.00)
This fresh fragrance reminds me of a French garden in spring with notes of honeyed blackcurrant, pepper essence and rose. If you like energetic, floral scents, this blend is very mature, crisp and natural. The classic cologne bottle is representative of the Victorian era to complement the pure, sophisticated ingredients within. (Available at The Bay and online at

My Burberry Blush ($130.00 for 90 ml)
The original My Burberry and its predecessors are my favorite perfumes (along with Azzaro Pour Elle of course). I reach for Burberry when I have a big event to attend because the fragrances smell distinctive, expensive and vibrant. The Blush version is composed of geranium, glazed pomegranate, crisp apple, rose petal, jasmine and wisteria for a softer, lighter rendition. It is perfect for day wear or date night with a sparkling fruity-floral essence that is feminine and flirty. (Available at The Bay, Sephora and department store counters)

La Femme Prada ($165.00 for 100 ml)
Prada is another brand that has a great track record with fragrances. This glamorous scent is classic, bold, summery and bright with a dreamy floral base and sweet nuisances. The notes include: spices, beeswax, frangipani flower, tuberose, iris, ylang-ylang, vanilla and vetvier while the curve of the bottle is wrapped in white Saffiano Leather for a luxurious look.
(Available at The Bay and online at

Viva La Juicy Glace ($110.00 for 100 ml)
Just in time for winter Viva La Juicy has launched an icy new scent that combines sparkling freshness bursting with mandarin, sweet pear, white jasmine petals, sumptuous vanilla and milky sandalwood for a little warmth. I’ve never encountered a Juicy perfume that I didn’t like – they are very appealing to women of all ages and the sweet, youthful notes are suitable for daily wear. Glace is enchanting, fruity and covered in glitter! When you rotate the bottle, the pearly snowflake shade transforms to iridescent pink and the playful princess bow is adorable. (Available at Sephora, Jean Coutu,, London Drugs and department store counters)

L’Occitane Terre De Lumiere – the gold edition ($89.00 for 50 ml)
L’Occitane never ceases to amaze me with their use of luxurious ingredients that capture the beauty of France. Terre De Lumiere – meaning “land of light” is inspired by the golden hour – the peaceful moment at dusk when the sun sets and the sky fills with spectacular light. This elegant gourmand is fresh, warm and sweet, showcasing robust notes of lavender, honey and almond – suitable for both casual and formal occasions. (Available at L’Occitane boutiques and online at

Givenchy Dahlia Divin ($112.00 for 50 ml)
Dahlia Divin launched last year but the classic notes of sweet mimosa, creamy vanilla, jasmine, rose and woody sandalwood is still one of my favorite blends. The warm, comforting ingredients are perfect for fall/winter and you only need 1-2 spritzes since the facets are potent and long lasting. (Available at Sephora, The Bay and

Jimmy Choo L’eau Eau De Toilette ($107.00 for 90 ml)
Jimmy Choo is a master when it comes to creating incredible fragrances and L’eau is elegant, adventurous and alluring – great for date night or an evening out with the girls. The harmonized notes are whimsical, sweet and youthful featuring bergamot, hibiscus, peony, nectarine, musk and cedarwood for a delectable balance of woody sweetness. (Available at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and Nordstrom)

Lancome La Nuit Tresor ($108.00)
This has to be one of the most beautiful fragrances Lancome has ever released and each time I spray it there are delicious waves of dreamy passion fruit and warm vanilla-caramel. This magical elixir also brings forth the seductive side of the rose to embellish provocative power and femininity. Patchouli, lychee, praline and strawberry are also present without being too sugary.
(Available at department store counters and

Admittedly, these are just a few of the fragrances I’ve received and tested over the last year or so. There are many other wonderful scents that would have made the list if I hadn’t condensed this article into something more readable. If you have any suggestions or faves please comment below and have a wonderful holiday season!
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