Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Skincare Travel Essentials – Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Collection

Being a Travel Editor is exciting! I have the opportunity to explore exotic destinations all over the world and experience fascinating cultures, ancient civilizations and stunning architecture. It also means a lot of air travel which is my least favorite part of the journey. At the end of a long flight I always emerge looking like a zombie (no matter how comfortable it is in first class) and the dry re-circulated air only makes matters worse. According to The World Health Organization, the humidity on airplanes is usually less than 20% which is 5% less than the average humidity in the Sahara Dessert. These conditions dry out the skin which causes oil glands to overproduce resulting in a greasy, haggard complexion. I also notice that my skin is more prone to abnormal breakouts and irritation during travel which is very annoying.

To help combat extreme climates, dehydration and dullness I’ve been fighting back with Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Collection. I’ve actually been using the original Skin Protectant Balm ($29.00) for years now because it soothes irritation, redness, itchiness, dryness, rashes, burns and hives. Anytime I have a skin concern or problem I slather some on to heal, calm and deeply nourish. I’ve even spoken to celebrity makeup artists and stylists who use the balm backstage at major fashion shows and events – they call it their “secret weapon.” It works wonders on dry hands, nails, rough cuticles and feet while alleviating symptoms of chapping, peeling and windburn. The original formula enriched with Vitamn E and beta-hydroxy is thick and Vaseline-like with a strong scent that reminds me of muscle rub or medicinal ointment. I don’t mind the aroma but an unscented version is also available. The balm melts in quickly and begins repairing and moisturizing right away so I always take it on vacation.

The Advanced Ceramide Capsules ($98.00 for 60) are perfect for travel because they come packaged in little pods that you can pop in your purse or pocket and whip out when your skin feels parched. Ceramide reinforces the skin’s natural moisture barrier to prevent dehydration and a blend of potent botanicals, extracts and oils help smooth, restore and firm to diminish the signs of aging. There is more than enough serum per capsule and I like to apply it before bed as a restorative night treatment.

For head-to-toe hydration you should definitely pack the All-Over Miracle Oil ($36.00) for face, body and hair. The formula smells fantastic and dispenses as a lightweight mist that absorbs quickly with a healthy sheen. There is no greasy residue, heaviness or transfer and it helps replenish damaged hair and flaky skin with a blend of grape seed, avocado, olive and castor oils. Use it prior to take-off and again before landing to maintain a healthy moisture balance.

The Intensive Lip Repair Balm ($29.00) heals, restores and locks-in moisture with a rich blend of oils and lush butters. Before closing the shade and settling in for a nap at 30,000 ft, apply the balm liberally for a soft, chap-free pout.

Elizabeth Arden is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs and online at Visit the website by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Marcelle Cosmetics Smokey Eye Shadow Palette Review

Yesterday was one of those days that seemed to go on and on with no end in sight. I was up at 5 am battling rush hour for an early breakfast with Dior followed by two meetings, a lunch date and a press event for Loreal before spending 3 hours in traffic during a mini snow storm. On busy morning with no time for blending eye shadow I reach for palettes that make life easier like the new Smokey Collection from Marcelle. These subtle, calming hues are simple, chic and effortless for quick looks that are perfect for day wear.

There are 2 color schemes available – Warm Nudes (my personal favorite) features champagne, gold, bronze, cream and brown which looks good on everyone. Cool Nudes contains grey, taupe, silver and cream. The pigments are soft, flattering and silky with both matte and satin finishes for contrast and definition.

I recommend using a good primer to enhance vibrancy and longevity but the shadows can be swiped on quickly for a light pop of radiance. You don’t need to be an expert to make these shades look pretty, simply apply the deep hues in the crease, highlight the brow bones and accentuate the lids with the satin tones. The color payoff is not dramatic or bold but you can layer and smudge the darker shades for more smokiness. Both palettes could use more intensity but they are very office appropriate. 

I had no problem with creasing or fading and the palettes are great for travel! They retail for $16.95 each at drugstores nationwide and online at

Monday, January 29, 2018

Kerastase Discipline Collection Review

The only part of my beauty routine that takes longer that my weekly facial is my hair care regiment. Despite drastic fluctuations in temperature, my luscious mane has remained silky, shiny and strong all winter. One of my secret weapons is the Kerastase Discipline Collection - a professional salon system designed to moisturize, replenish and tame unruly hair.

I start with the Bain Fluidealiste Smooth-In-Motion Shampoo ($45.00) which smells amazing! The lightweight formula foams into a rich lather that thoroughly cleanses from root to tip while eliminating build-up on the scalp. It also rinses away excess oil, product gunk and impurities without leaving my hair dry and brittle. Unlike many drugstore brands, this shampoo produces long-lasting results so my hair stays fresh and clean for days!

Washing your hair too often may result in dryness, itchy scalp, weakened follicles and irritation. You must allow some of the natural oil to spread in order to hydrate and nourish damaged stands. This sounds good in theory but sometimes life has other plans. After a grueling workout (resulting in lots of perspiration) I have to wash my hair but using sulfates everyday is not an option. A great product for those looking to cut back on strong cleansers while enhancing moisture and strength is the Curl Ideal Cleansing Conditioner ($70.00). Even if you don’t have curls or waves this is a great alternative to frequent shampooing. The silky, sulfate-free formula gently cleans and refreshes for smooth, soft hair that smells fantastic with no limpness. You can use it on the scalp without creating build-up and it rejuvenates rough ends while keeping your spirals perfectly formed. It is also free of silicone and helps detangle.

There are few beauty products I love more than a good deep conditioner for total hair revival. If your strands are frizzy, dry or dull then it’s time for a hydration treatment. The Masque Curl Ideal ($65.00) contains Pro Keratine and Elastin to fortify and protect weak over-processed hair. The rich conditioner coats every strand to nourish, heal and soften while minimizing the damaging effects of heat styling, environmental aggressors and coloring. I use a hair mask once a week to maintain length, moisture and health plus this formula leaves my tresses bouncy, glossy and extremely supple with fewer split-ends. It also keeps curls and waves voluminous, neat and manageable. The instructions indicate a treatment time of just 5 minutes but I usually leave it on for 2 hours which seems to work best for me.

After cleansing and conditioning I spritz on the Fluidissime Morpho-Keratin Leave-In Spray ($57.00) to tame frizz and reduce flyaways. It also makes blow drying more efficient and creates a smooth, sleek finish for body and movement.

I use the spray in combination with the Keratine Thermique Taming Milk ($48.00) before flat ironing because applying heat protectant is very important. This light leave-in helps shield hair from thermal damage while maintaining moisture, reducing frizz and protecting from humidity. You may think humidity isn’t an issue in the winter but you’d be wrong. While taking a hot shower (even with a cap on) your hair can get steamed which may undo hours of styling.

Kerastase is available at salons nationwide, to find a retailer near you visit the website at

Friday, January 26, 2018

Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette – Review & Swatches

The Essentials Palette by Clarins got a sultry new makeover with a beautiful selection of icy silvers and sexy midnight hues that range from royal blue to blackened navy. Previous palette designs featured purple hues and everyday neutrals but these smoldering pigments create bold contrast for the perfect smoky eye.

The packaging is simple yet sophisticated and comes with a small mirror and double-ended brush. I’d prefer a magnetic closure instead of the red band but it fastens securely for travel.

The shadows are enriched with plant extracts and there are 4 different textures: 5 pearl shades, 1 silvery diamond pop, 3 satin finishes and 1 matte. The radiant silver shimmer stands out among the other colors because the bright metallic finish is highly saturated and creamy. You can apply it subtly or layer heavier for a dramatic chrome effect but there may be some fallout as you smooth it on. The deep blues are silky and intense for easy blending and long-wear coverage but some of the black undertones appear quite similar on the skin. These shades can be used to define the crease and accentuate the lower lash line.

I always recommend a good primer to enhance color and when using the lighter end of this palette you are going to need it. These shades are much softer (which is fine) but the color payoff is very sheer. The second grey and the light blue beside it appear very faint which makes them harder to intensify. I use the first 3 shadows to highlight but more variation and vibrancy among these shades would have made the palette even better.

If you’re in the market for beautiful blue pigments, the Essentials Palette ($62.00) creates iridescent eyes worthy of the red carpet.

Now that we’ve talked makeup, let’s move onto skincare essentials. There is always an incentive to purchase Clarins products and I’m not just talking about the nourishing formulas that make your complexion look amazing. Sometimes you receive cute gifts with purchase including bestsellers and this month there were 3 beauty routine bags designed for busy women on-the-go.

The Glamour Set comes with a cute beauty bag, SOS Hydra Mask, Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream, Extra Firming Body Lotion and one of my favorite lip treatments – the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil. These are perfect for travel and during a long, drying flight they boost hydration levels and keep your skin balanced.

These products are available at Clarins counters nationwide, department stores (including Hudson’s Bay), Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and online at

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Aura Mugler Perfume Review

The launch of Mugler’s new fragrance was epic. Beauty experts, editors and fashion writers gathered in Toronto for the unveiling of a mysterious new elixir not knowing what to expect. We walked into a jungle-like oasis of wonder - the theme of the night was passion, freedom and femininity which set the mood for the big reveal.

Mugler perfumes have a unique signature blend that forms the foundation of Angel, Alien and all versions that followed. I can close my eyes and recognize the distinctive undertones unlike anything else on the market. Aura seems to follow this pattern, the notes are different yet I can still pick out that familiar Mugler essence which reminds me of its predecessors. It is similar to the other scents yet bold enough to stand on its own – vital, wild and seductive.

The multi-faceted bottle is an elegant work of art representing a hypnotic beating heart – the rhythmic life force of human existence and female intuition. Emerald green is seductive, enchanting and intense – embodying the spirit of women. The heart is elegantly adorned with a silver M for Mugler – a sophisticated signature chiseled into jeweled glass.

The olfactory experience is described oriental, botanical and carnal – bringing forth an innate animal instinct. The beating heart is Tiger Liana which has a sugared almond scent. The botanical heart is composed of crisp Rhubarb and sparkling Orange Blossom while the animal heart features warm Bourbon, buttery Vanilla and smoky Wolfwood.

The velvety aroma seems to transform throughout the day starting off robust and full-bodied before slightly mellowing into a silky woodiness. I detect an unusual note that stands alone and lingers like an aftertaste at the end of a delicious meal. Aura is romantic, powerful, complex, refreshing and bold. It gets better as the day progresses and compliments your body chemistry to enhance its intoxicating allure.

The 30 ml refillable bottle featured here retails for $85.00 and Mulger is available at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, Nordstrom, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, Murale and department stores.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament: Review & Giveaway

Winter can be harsh here in Toronto with temperatures plummeting to -30˚C (that’s -22˚F for my American readers). The cold, snow and ice may be daunting but it isn’t enough to keep me cooped up inside all season. If you’re looking for a great indoor activity for family fun, date night or special occasions, Medieval Times offers a unique dining experience. Attending the tournament is like being blasted back in time and landing in the middle of King Arthur’s Kingdom or a scene from Game of Thrones. As you feast to your heart’s content an epic battle unfolds before you and brave knights clash swords to win favor with Princess Catalina. There is even a sinister villain who must be conquered to save the land from destruction because all good fairy tales need excitement and a little drama.

This wasn’t my first time at the castle, I visited 2 years ago with my sister for a memorable girl’s night out and we had a blast! Our knight kicked butt and the food was delicious. Last weekend I went with my husband for date night and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner you may want to make reservations early. Many people I met while browsing the gift shops were also repeat visitors because who can resist the appeal of a hearty meal and a fantastic show!

Tickets start at $69.95 for adults and $49.95 for children 12 and under. I had the King’s Royalty package which I highly recommend. It comes with priority castle access (no waiting in line), VIP first or second row seating in the center section (as opposed to first come - first serve), cheering banner and small keepsake towel. From now until February 28, 2018 you can also use promotional code WINTER18 to save up to $19.00 per person (see website for details).

Prior to the main event guests have time to explore the hall filled with interesting memorabilia or you can grab a drink and do some shopping. It is always a good idea to arrive early.

When you enter the castle you are cordially greeted by staff wearing costumes from Medieval Times and no matter how old you are its fun to join-in the fantasy. Wave your banner proudly, cheer on your favorite fighter and clink mugs with people around you as everyone becomes part of the show.

In Medieval Times there was no cutlery or fine china at a good old fashion joust so don’t expect any at the castle. When the food arrives there is no formality, simply roll up your sleeves and dig in with your hands. The menu doesn’t change much but the feast is scrumptious. You start with a bowl of flavorful tomato bisque followed by a half chicken dinner roasted to perfection with a side of herb basted potato, buttery garlic bread and a corn cobette. The seasoning was a bit mild for my taste but the food is cooked to suit a wide variety of palettes. A selection of soft drinks and water is brought to the table by a friendly serving wench (yes that is their official title) and of course the best part – dessert and coffee. The service is quick and the kitchen does a great job accommodating most dietary needs which also includes vegetarian options. 

The best part of the show (aside from stuffing your face) is the majestic horses that gallop around the ring as performers compete in skill competitions. The audience was mesmerized by the flacon trainer as he unleashed his graceful bird above our heads and let him swoop and dive around the arena at incredible speeds. Not to toot my own horn but I might be a lucky charm or just really good at cheering because my knight won the tournament again!

Medieval Times takes dinner theater to a new level and if you haven’t experienced this hidden gem at Toronto’s iconic Exhibition Grounds then come on down and join-in the fun! For reservations and more info please visit the website by clicking HERE.

Giveaway - CLOSED
I love the show so much that I am giving away 2 tickets to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Toronto!

How to Enter
Please leave a comment below explaining why you would like to win tickets to Medieval Times.
*Remember to include your Twitter and/or Instagram Handle (whichever you are following me on).

The rules are simple:
*You MUST be following me on either Instagram @DiaryofaTrendaholic, Twitter @EricaChristinaD or both to be eligible. The winner will be contacted on social media by direct message so if you aren’t following you can’t be notified. You can also follow and subscribe to my blog on Bloglovin and Google+ for new articles and updates.

*This contest is open to residents of the Greater Toronto Area (18+) as tickets can only be used at the Exhibition grounds location.

*One Winner will be chosen at random and must provide a valid email address when contacted in order to receive tickets and reservation information.

*ONE entry per person – Giveaway is open until Saturday February 10, 2018.

Special thanks to everyone who supports my blog and entered my giveaway. A winner has been selected at random - congratulations to @Rome_IX I hope you have a fabulous time at the show! If you didn't win this time please stay tuned for more great giveaways!

Good Luck!

Rules Regulation and Disclaimer
This Giveaway hosted by Diary of a Trendaholic Blog includes 2 tickets to Medieval Times Toronto (approximate value $150.00). Tickets provided courtesy of Medieval Times expire on April 30, 2018 with no exceptions. Cash-out options or replacement prizes will not be offered. The winner is responsible for calling Medieval Times Toronto to arrange preferred show and dinner times. One winner will be chosen at random and results cannot be contested. The winner will have 3 days to claim the prize after being notified by direct message on the social media handle provided in the comment entry. An unclaimed prize will result in subsequent random draws until a winner can be verified. Winners must provide their own transportation to and from the venue (parking is not included). Social media accounts dedicated only to contest and giveaway content may be disqualified along with contestants who continually follow and un-follow this blog and its associated social media accounts. You must be following Diary of a Trendaholic on Twitter (@EricaChristinaD), Instagram (@DiaryofaTrendaholic) or both to qualify, only one entry per person will be eligible. Falsified entries or entries that cannot be verified may be disqualified at the discretion of the blog owner and Diary of a Trendaholic reserves the right to cancel or amend this giveaway at any time without prior notice or warning. The giveaway will run from Wednesday January 24, 2018 at around 1 pm EST until Saturday February 10, 2018 EST. A winner will be chosen within 1-2 week after the giveaway’s end date. The promotion of this giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated with Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook or any other social media sites and blogging platforms. By participating you agree to a complete release of any liability for all websites that may be used to promote this giveaway and you will have agreed to all rules and regulations herein.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Winter Skincare and Powerful Anti-Aging Serums

To combat the drying effects of winter and indoor heating you may need to increase hydration levels by drinking more water and using nourishing skincare that prevents moisture loss. I favor products that protect my complexion from environmental elements and rejuvenate cells with a powerful dose of anti-aging ingredients. 

When it comes to wrinkles, lines and firmness I seem to have inherited my mother’s awesome genes. She doesn’t have one crease, crinkle or ripple and fortunately I don’t either. Genes are only part of my secret, I’ve also been using anti-aging formulas since my early 20’s while living by a simple philosophy – it’s easier to prevent than treat. I like creams and serums that keep my skin supple, youthful and vibrant so I’ve rounded up a few great products.

If you need serious winter rescue the Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator ($61.00) is probably your best bet. The gel actually gives your skin the power to hydrate itself so at the end of a long day your complexion feels as good as it did when you first applied the cream and almost twice as hydrated (even after washing your face). I like to re-apply after cleansing but the texture is refreshing, lightweight and soothing with quick absorption and no greasiness. A blend of caffeine, aloe water and humectants reduce water loss, seal in moisture, plump, soften and smooth for a dewy glow. (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Clinique counters nationwide and online at

To feed your skin with organic goodness Juice Beauty’s Signal Peptides Firming Serum ($140.00) can be layered under any moisturizer. This luxurious, lightweight formula shields skin from external aggressors while restoring firmness and elasticity. A potent mixture of plant lipids, rice peptides, vitamins, antioxidants and fruit extracts replenish, lift and rejuvenate while shea butter, olive oil, sunflower and hyaluronic acid hydrate and fortify. The serum sinks in deeply and efficiently with a supple finish and no residue. Juice Beauty is available at Murale Stores – February 2018.

One indicator of dehydration is how dry your lips are and the Veneffect Lip Treatment ($95.00) revives chapped peeling skin while reducing and preventing the appearance of lines. It also smooths the lip area, moisturizes, plumps, promotes a rosy glow and prolongs the wear of lipstick. Those with sensitive skin will love this gentle hypoallergenic formula - it is free of gluten, parabens and fragrance. Veneffect is available at Murale and

The Filorga NCTF-Intense Supreme Regenerating Serum ($120.00) is amazing! This booster is highly concentrated with vitamins, amino acids, minerals, co-enzymes, antioxidants and more than 50 anti-aging ingredients derived from aesthetic medicine to yield visible results. It contains Retinol with a DNA Complex and Vitamin C to homogenize melanin production and enhance radiance. Since I began using Filorga my complexion is clear, smooth, bright and even plus my pores are smaller and blemishes appear less noticeable. The serum smells fantastic and deeply hydrates without residue so you can use it before applying makeup or in the evening layered with moisturizer. The brand is available at Murale and – February 2018.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Avon Savannah Blooms Beauty Collection: Spring 2018

Spring is in the air...well not yet but its close! Mild temperatures inspire fresh new color trends and Avon’s Savannah Blooms Collection incorporates bright yellow, vivid blues and a little shimmer for good measure.

The True Color Matte Eye Shadow Quad (On The Vine) has a simple selection of blues with varying intensity to accentuate and define. The deep navy can be used to create depth and smokiness and the pigments are expertly coordinated to take the guess work out of mixing and matching. This is a great on-the-go palette for creating quick, effortless looks and the silky texture is easy to blend and layer.

The Gel Finish Nail Enamel in the shade Clover compliments this palette perfectly and the pastel finish is stylish for spring.

You’ll need a mascara to make the shadows pop and the new wash-off waterproof formula is durable yet easy to remove at the end of a long day. This isn’t one of those wands that will give you 10x the volume or a falsies effect but the corkscrew brush thoroughly coats each hair to make lashes look more noticeable and naturally lengthened.  

If you decide to go heavy with the blues then try a refreshing color on the lips. The Glazewear Lip Gloss in the shade Citrus Shine provides a wash of iridescent shimmer that makes lips looks radiant and plush. The base is sheer but the pink-coral shimmer adds a touch of glamour without heavy pigment so it feels light, non-sticky and moisturizing – I absolutely love the finish!

These two polishes are not in the Savannah Collection but they compliment the color scheme. The enamel is easy to use and provides a shiny gel finish with base coat, top coat and strengthener. They are also free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.

One of my favorite items is the Floral Print Bag with cute tassel zipper and royal blue lining. It is the perfect size for my everyday beauty essentials.

This collection retails for $35.00 and Avon is available online at or through independent consultants.

Friday, January 19, 2018

T3 Convertible Curling Iron Review

Whether you crave loose flowing curls, carefree waves or bombshell ringlets T3 has you covered. This curling iron is the ultimate styling tool and the only one you’ll need to achieve everyday elegance and glamorous volume for all occasions.

The unique Convertible Base ($100.00) is the core piece of the collection. It has a built-in locking mechanism that allows you to interchange the barrel attachments and create different types of curls.

Enhanced with Single Pass Technology, heat is distributed evenly so you don’t have to repeatedly re-curl each section. An internal microchip controls temperature fluctuations to help prevent damage and ensure beautifully formed waves.

Unfortunately the curling iron does not have a digital readout to show the exact temperature at each level but there are 5 heat settings to accommodate all hair types. One (200˚F) and two (300˚F) are suitable for fine, damaged or chemically treated hair. Setting three (350˚ F), four (390˚F) or five (410˚F) work best for normal to thick hair. You can adjust the temperature by using the power button and remember to apply a thermal protectant prior to styling.

Changing the barrel attachment was a bit tricky at first so refer to the user guide included in the box for proper alignment and locking instructions. It becomes quite easy once you get the hang of it.

Along with the base, T3 sent me the entire range of interchangeable curlers so I was able to try different styles and techniques. It is important to note that some of the curlers do not have a barrel clip to grip the hair so you may need the Styling Glove ($15.00) to protect your hand as you wrap each section.

The attachments retail for $85.00 each and include:

Cascading Waves

Voluminous Curls

Tousled Waves

Undone Waves

Loose Waves

Polished Curls

Defined Curls

For date night I used the Cascading Waves attachment and finger combed my hair to loosen the curls and create volume. The barrel heats up very quickly and I found it simple to use. I have long hair which usually takes forever to curl but this tool did the job quickly and efficiently. I like that I didn’t have to hold each section around the barrel for too long so there was no damage and the high-tech ceramic helps seal cuticles for shiny, frizz-free results.

What I like most about the curling iron is that I don't have to use a holding product after styling so there is no drying crunch from hairspray, mousse or gel. My bouncy, soft curls lasted all night and before bed I applied some serum to re-hydrate them, twisted my hair into a bun and awoke with fresh, soft waves that lasted 3 days!

One of my favorite attachments is Defined Curls which makes beautiful elongated ringlets. The curls lasted a few days and transformed into silky loose waves. The individual barrels cannot be used without the Convertible Base but there are so many options!

I’m not sure there is enough distinction between some of the curling barrels to justify having all of the attachments – for example Polished Curls may not be necessary because the curlers all produce a polished look. Lose Waves, Undone Waves and Cascading Waves resulted in similar curls with varying diameter but Voluminous Curls created much larger ringlets. When choosing a curler it’s best to determine which shape and finish you prefer. I recommend starting with both a small and large barrel for more variety.

I wish the curling iron came with some type of carrying case for travel but overall it is one of the best stylers I've tried. T3 is available at Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Urban Outfitters and online at and
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