Friday, August 24, 2018

Lise Watier Fall 2018 Haute Nature Collection: Review & Swatches

The sun is out, the birds are chirping and there is a cool breeze blowing through the trees. This is my first autumn post of the year and I’m excited to transition my makeup and embrace warm, sultry shades. (Goodbye humidity and hello fluffy scarves...I can’t wait!)

The Haute Nature Collection is packaged in elegant bronze casing splashed with a beautiful floral motif designed to look like a painting.

The Eye Shadow Palette ($48.00) combines the perfect balance of seductive neutrals and cool smokey tones to take your look from day to night. The colors are effortlessly chic and the velvety texture is ultra pigmented to deliver bold saturation and buildable coverage. Although they may look soft and neutral, the beautiful gold and deep bronze have a hint of shimmer to accentuate the eyes and add a pop of scintillating highlight. Lise Watier frequently releases understated palettes that are much more than they appear! The creamy color glides on smooth and consistent with no creasing or fading and the matte ivory looks great on the brow bone.

To amp-up these alluring shadows, use the Intense Waterproof Eyeliner ($24.00) on the lower and upper lash line. The burnt burgundy is trendy for fall and adds dramatic definition to make the eyes appear larger. The buttery pigment glides on evenly with no skipping, smudging or dragging and lasts all day! (Too bad it isn't retractable). 

The combination of gold shadow and red lips is very red carpet glam. For a night out gloss-up with the Gourmand Glow Hydrating Lip Balm ($23.00) with a hint of glistening shine. The sheer plum-wine compliments all complexions with a hydrating formula that keeps lips soft and comfortable. 

The Haute Nature Blush Trio ($35.00) illuminates, lifts and sculpts with three universal shades. The color payoff is quite faint so I mainly use it to highlight. More pigmentation would have been nice but the silky powder brightens dull skin for a natural glow.

Lise Watier is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, London Drugs, Hudson’s Bay and online at

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

CNE 2018 – Food, Shows and Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Well it’s that time of year again, the end of summer is near and the Canadian National Exhibition is buzzing with games, rides and delicious scents. As mentioned in last year’s guide – Tips for Visiting the CNE – How to Make the Most of Your Visit, I’ve been attending the Ex before I was tall enough to go on the big kid rides and I still look forward to it every year. For the fair's 140th anniversary there are delectable new treats to sample (usually deep fried and doused in sugar) plus brilliant exhibits that will knock your socks off!

One of my favorite new attractions is Legends of the Silk Road Lantern Display celebrating Chinese tourism. The 17 illuminated installations feature mythical scenes in a kaleidoscope of mesmerizing color.  

I couldn’t choose just one photo so get ready for a dazzling display of lights!

Aquarama is a fast-paced Vegas style show taking place on the lakefront. Performing on water skis is hard enough but these daring artists tackle jaw dropping pyramid formations (balancing on each other’s shoulders) and exhilarating aerial stunts that will leave you speechless.

All that excitement might make you hungry so head over to The Royal Crepe (just behind the ferris wheel and Orbiter ride) to try the mouth-watering Rainbow KitKat Crepe. This colorful French pastry is stuffed with creamy Nutella, KitKat bars, banana and strawberry. It also comes with a scoop of ice cream drizzled in various sauces (doesn’t get much better than this).

The crunchy Potato Spuds are still a midway classic, try them with a dusting of garlic powder or a dollop of ketchup.

The CNE is the place to satisfy your craving for wacky food concoctions like deep fried Mars Bar, frog legs, rainbow grilled cheese and chicken feet but this year they've kicked it up a notch by offering the mother of all burgers. For $100.00 you get a juicy patty crowned with a 24K gold bun. This edible mountain is available at Bacon Nation. 

Photo: Canadian National Exhibition

I always look forward to the Aerial Acrobatics and Ice Skating Show which is a magical mash-up of Cirque du Soleil and Stars on Ice.

The Sand Sculpture display is impressive and this year competitors from all over the world are showcasing their skills.

For more awesome sculptures check out the butter carvings done by hand!

There is also a new booth of animal figurines made entirely from recycled flip flops!

The Food Building is always jam packed with bizarre culinary combinations, new flavor fusions and hearty favorites. This year I tried the Stuffed Doritos from Farm to Fryer which were crispy and loaded with gooey cheese.

If you missed it last year, Frans is still cooking up their famous Thanksgiving Waffle stuffed with seasoned turkey and gravy.

At the CNE it seems mandatory to eat dessert with every meal and Chimney Stax serves delicious ice cream stuffed into sweet rotisserie baked bread.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, the Nook of Gnomes is pretty neat. These 12 foot garden dwellers are crafted out of moss and colorful foliage.

After a morning of rides and games, head to the International Stage for a line-up of cultural performances or browse the Arts & Crafts Building to spruce up your decor. I found these beautiful handmade wood roses for just $1.00 each! 

The pavilions also have a wide selection of clothing, electronics, multicultural booths, appliances and more. The Farm Building offers educational activities and lots of adorable animals.

Food Truck Frenzy and Craft Beer Fest always draws me in for a second visit. My favorite is the butter chicken poutine but there are many scrumptious dishes to try (make sure to come hungry).

If aviation is your thing, don't miss the Air Show (Sept 1-3 Labour Day Long-Weekend).

Bandshell Concerts have always been a big hit at the Ex. Sit back, sip your beer and enjoy great music by internationally acclaimed artists.

The fun never ends at Busker’s Corner. Shows including captivating fire tricks, comedy, dance and acrobatics. 

Photo: Canadian National Exhibition 

For more information visit

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Mary Kay 2018 Fall Collection – Makeup & Skincare

It has been very humid this summer so I am looking forward to cool weather and rich fall colors. Mary Kay’s new collection is all about Instagram-worthy brows with shades to suit every hair color and complexion.

We all know that thin brows are out and thick, luscious arches are in so May Kay has created a fool-proof system to help you achieve the fullness you crave. Start with the Precision Brow Liner ($16.00) and trace the natural contour for more definition. You can also use it to fill in sparse areas with short feathery strokes. The retractable pencil is available in 5 shades: blonde, dark blonde, brunette, dark brunette and black brown. The pigment is not very creamy but it glides on consistently with very little smudging.
Tip: Do a few strokes on the back of your hand first to loosen up the color for smooth application.

For more thickness and color, use the Volumizing Brow Tint ($16.00) and sweep it through the hairs while outlining with the applicator tip. The small spoolie delivers the perfect amount of pigment so that anyone can achieve bold, beautiful brows in under a minute! With just a few well placed strokes my brows look thick, defined and natural with minimal fading throughout the day. If you’re late for work, just brush on and go! The tint is available in 4 shades: blonde, dark blonde, brunette and dark brunette. (This will definitely be in my travel bag).

The Limited-Edition Gel Eye Liner ($19.00) with retractable brush is available in Espresso Ink and Ornate Orchid. Gels are ideal for people who don’t have the patience or dexterity for thin-tipped liquid liner. The brush is tapered so simply dip, draw and intensify (no fuss or mess). There are fewer mistakes and lines appear even. The deep purple has a metallic tinge to make the eyes pop while the brown compliments your autumn wardrobe. Smudge them under the lower lash line for a dramatic smokey effect. The formula is long-lasting and fade-proof so it stays put all day. 

To beat the stress and fatigue of a long hectic day, try the Reviving Facial Mist ($22.00). Infused with coconut water, vitamin B3 and a trio of energizing minerals, the formula awakens tired skin while cooling, moisturizing and invigorating. It feels refreshing after a gruelling workout and I keep it at my desk for a quick pick-me-up throughout the day. Spritz it on as a hydrating primer or use it to set makeup for up to 16 hours of staying power and smoothness. The scent is light and uplifting - like a tropical breeze.

Since I am currently packing for a trip, the Botanical Effects Hydrating Scrub ($21.00) is an essential for clear, renewed skin.
The formula is packed with:
*Dragon fruit extract - high in antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamin B, iron, calcium and phosphorus.
*Aloe (the most nutritious plant in the world) – with 20 minerals and 12 vitamins that promote cell turnover.
Along with buffing away dead surface cells, the gentle scrub also softens, smooths and hydrates with no sulfates, parabens, oil or fragrance.

Mary Kay is available online at and through independent consultants.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Vasanti Cosmetics Locked In Liquid Lipstick – Review & Swatches

When the mailman delivered my beautiful box of Vasanti Liquid Lipsticks I knew they were going to be good but I didn’t realize they’d be this gorgeous! If you haven’t tried this brand yet, stop by Shoppers Drug Mart and start swatching (but be warned), the new colors are highly addictive!

One of the best things about Vasanti is the love that goes into each product. The creators are passionate about testing every pigment to ensure the highest quality and best results. They also cater to all complexions so women of color can find shades that make them feel sexy, empowered and beautiful (girl power!).

The packaging is sleek, simple and sophisticated but it can get a bit messy when the pigment collects heavily on the wand or under the cap. The applicator is standard but evenly distributes the color in fewer passes and helps shape the lip contour for a voluptuous pout. For more precision you can use a liner but the point is small enough to trace a neat outline.

Matte Liquid Lipsticks are my favorite because of the rich intensity they produce and this formula is ultra velvety and dramatic. The color glides on satiny-smooth and retains moisture to keep lips soft and comfortable with no flaking, caking or gathering in the corners. You get the coverage and saturation of an incredible matte pigment without dryness or chapping and the shade selection ranges from neutral to mid-tone and deep.

The lipstick holds up relatively well (about 6- 8 hours) with gradual transfer and fade but to prolong the color, simply apply one coat, allow it to dry and reinforce it with another. The supple liquid does not accentuate lines but exfoliating the night before may improve the finish.

I don’t wear neutrals very often (even though the trend is still going strong) but these colors are anything but dull and boring. The underlying tones make them flattering on all complexions and they increase in depth from light, medium and dark to suit your mood and makeup. The trick to finding a good nude is to make sure the color does not wash you out (the corpse look isn’t cute) and these shades enhance the skin while remaining very basic.

Date Night, Infatuated and Lust at First Sight are in the pink and burgundy spectrum. They are vivid and seductive without being too bright or harsh and the mild fruit scent smells delicious! These particular shades are my go-to for an evening out and the names are super cute!

The vegan formula is also cruelty and paraben free and the lipsticks retail for $23.00 each at Shoppers Drug Mart and online at

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Soap & Glory 2018 Bath & Body Collection

If you want to smell amazing this summer check out the Soap & Glory skincare at Shoppers Drug Mart. This colorful collection in vintage-style packaging makes bath time much more enjoyable with a variety of fun, uplifting scents.

Start with the Rich & Famous Dual Body Wash ($14.00) that smells like sugared almonds. The formula contains a delectable blend of raw flower honey, almond milk, oat and skin softening conditioners that boost moisture. “This is not your average bubble stuff,” the suds are fluffy, creamy and abundant for total rejuvenation. Use it as bubble bath to soak your troubles away or lather it up on your bath puff to abolish dirt, oil and impurities.

The new Fizz-A-Ball Bath Bombs ($7.00 each) are bursting with yummy fragrance like rose and bergamot, vanilla musk and sweet lime zest. Simply drop one into a warm bubble bath and jump in after it. I like to grab a glass of wine and relax as the water shimmers and fizzes around me. The scent is so strong that I can leave the bombs on my counter (that doesn’t sound right) to make the entire room smell amazing!

These products all have a very strong fragrance that lingers on the skin like perfume which is why I adore them. If you have sensitive skin I suggest doing a patch test before dousing yourself head-to-toe in body wash and cream (just in case). The Righteous Butter Body Lotion ($16.00) is similar to the brand's bestselling body butter but the formula is lightweight and non-greasy for fast absorption (perfect for summer). Soften, smooth and chase the flakes away with a nourishing blend of shea butter, almond oil, aloe vera, glycerine, rosehip seed and Vitamin E for 24 hours of silky hydration.

Soap & Glory is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork Skincare Review

In a few days I will be heading to a sunny destination which means UV exposure, junk food, chlorine, salt water, late nights and maybe a little jet lag. To prepare my skin for the journey, I’ve started a new skincare routine with Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced Prepwork Collection. The products are formulated with a nutritious blend of extracts, botanicals and oils that deep cleanse, protect, hydrate, correct and revitalize to promote a healthy complexion.

The Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork Cleansing Polish ($32.00) is a refreshing superfood cocktail infused with:
*Pea protein and antioxidants to moisturize firm and support elasticity.
*Raspberry ceramide - loaded with omega oils and vitamin E.
*Sunflower and apple extract to nourish and repair.
*Crushed lingonberry powder and apricot seed to remove daily impurities, oil, makeup, blackheads and dirt without stripping essential moisture.

As you rid the pores of blemish causing bacteria and buff away rough surface cells, skin looks bright, smooth and radiant with no residue. I am a bit sensitive to exfoliants so I prefer to use the cleanser every other day or at least 3 times per week. The granules are small and gentle to prevent irritation and prepare the skin to efficiently absorb cream, oil or serum.

I never leave the home without proper sun protection and the Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork Soft Focus Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($44.00) is my first line of defense against UV, photo damage and premature wrinkles. The light, breathable formula creates a soft filtered effect to blur the look of lines and pores (similar to a primer) while the natural-looking mineral tint blends seamlessly. I was told by a Dermatologist that tinted sunscreens are most effective because they shield against all types of light and the flesh tone shades don’t leave behind a white film. This formula is particularly good because it feels comfortable, mattifies to prevent greasiness, compliments a wide variety of skin tones and works well under makeup.

We’ve all had sleepless nights and stressful days which is why you should always have a good eye mask among your arsenal of beauty tools. In my experience, eye masks actually brighten and rejuvenate the skin faster than daily creams for a quick pick-me-up when I need it most.

The Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork Gel Masks ($50.00) are awesome because there are 60 in each jar! I keep them in the fridge for an extra blast of coolness and the soft gels are thoroughly soaked in a solution of Vitamin C, strawberry, blackberry, acai, cranberry, blueberry, caffeine and Vitamin B3. The ultra-nourishing serum helps reduce the look of fatigue, lines, dark circles and puffiness so you appear well rested and alert (even when you aren’t). I pop these on right before a big event and they work wonders after a long flight or busy day.

Arbonne's RE9 Advanced Prepwork Hydrating Dew Cream ($46.00) is a great daily moisturizer that eradicates dryness while mattifying, smoothing and softening. Like the other products in this line, it contains an abundance of seed extracts, fruit, omega oils, antioxidants, vitamins and ceramide to fortify the lipid barrier, improve texture, boost radiance and deeply condition. The fast absorbing formula is lightweight and supple with no greasiness or heavy scent. Use it under sunscreen for an extra layer of hydration.

Arbonne is available online at and through independent consultants.
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