Friday, September 28, 2018

Urban Decay Naked Cherry Collection: Review & Swatches

Over the last few weeks you’ve probably noticed Urban Decay dropping tantalizing hints about Naked Cherry. They were very elusive about the release date and of course panic ensued on social media. I predicted that it was going to be one of the hottest fall trends and many beauty junkies were instantly tempted by the warm metallics, shimmering coppers and sizzling plums. UD anticipates that these vamped-up cherry hues will bring out the most seductive eye looks ever and they might be right.

After Naked Heat (which I use almost every day), sultry cherry seems like a natural progression. The packaging is to die for with a row of metallic fruit adorning the crimson case.

I was hoping for a delicious cherry jubilee scent when I lifted the lid but no such luck. Instead I was happily bombarded with a dose of smoldering burgundy (my favorite autumn shade), bronzed cherry, pink cherry, garnet, a deep brown referred to as “black cherry” aka Privacy and what I describe as irresistible golden cherry (Ambitious). Feelz and Juicy are creamy neutrals with peachy beige undertones that help balance the bold hues. They are also perfect for transitioning and seamless crease sculpting.

The left side of the palette is a good reason to stop what you’re doing and add it to your collection immediately! These vivid colors are going to be on my eyelids all season and the rich velvety texture is easy to blend, very buildable and intensely pigmented for all the drama you could ever want. If a few of the neutrals (like the silvery shadow in the middle) were replaced by dark cherry red, the palette would be even better!

I am a bit underwhelmed by the first two pigments (Hot Spot and Caution). Having a light base or brow highlight is important but they don’t differ very much from previous naked shadows. UD never skimps on quality so you don’t have to worry about creasing or fading especially when you use the Primer Potion (highly recommend). If you aren't impressed at first glance swatch it! The seductive shadows look even better on the skin and compliment all complexions. Naked Cherry retails for $66.00.

There are also three Vice Lipsticks ($22.00 each) to help coordinate your look. Devilish and Juicy have metallic finishes with a dose of frosty glitter. I’m on the fence about these colors because they aren't very dramatic and the pigmentation is quite sheer despite the moisture, comfort and consistent shimmer dispersion. The shade Cherry is more my style. The deep wine enhances the sultry fall vibes of the eye shadow with a pop of satiny sheen.

The 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils ($25.00) intensify your cherry look with an award-winning cream formula that applies evenly, sets quickly and stays put all day. I could have done without the sharpening (retractable is more convenient) but I'm obsessed with the metallic burgundy and the pigmentation is excellent!

Urban Decay is available at freestanding stores, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, and online at Don't forget to sign up for the Beauty Junkies Rewards Program to earn and redeem points.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Avon Harvest Treasures Body Care Collection

Yesterday I devoured my first pumpkin spice latte and all was right with the world. So what if I prematurely decided to wear a warm knit sweater that made me sweat off some makeup. I was determined to get into the spirit whether my eyebrows stayed on or not and I’ve already started planning a Halloween party with the girls.

Another way to embrace the season is by layering on delicious scents and Avon’s new limited-edition bath and body collection will leave you smelling decadent and delightful! The range includes Pumpkin Soufflé, Salted Caramel Apple and Autumn Berry Twist formulated with premium fragrance oil.

The sets are great for gifting and the pretty packaging captures everything that makes fall so delicious! 

Pumpkins don’t really have a distinct aroma (not one you’d want to wear) so Avon has added whipped caramel, coconut and vanilla to the Pumpkin Soufflé. After lathering up with the luscious body wash my entire bathroom smells amazing (you won’t want bath time to end) and the foaming bubbles rinse away dirt, oil and impurities. After a warm shower, moisturize with the rich non-greasy body cream to prevent dryness and spritz on the sweet body spray to prolong the irresistible fragrance.

While indulging in a little self-pampering don’t forget to stock-up on seasonal candles ($19.99). I tricked my hubby into thinking I was baking a scrumptious dessert when I lit the Spiced Pumpkin Waffle Candle (he forgave me). This yummy scent makes your home feel cozy and inviting plus Avon’s candles have decorative prints that compliment your decor and lids to shield the wax from dust.

I love all things fun and fruity so I also tried the Autumn Berry Twist Collection. This juicy blend contains ripened blackberries, tart pomegranate and a twist of warm amber spice. I use the body mist to freshen up my bedroom and give the air a tangy sweetness as I curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book.

These products retail for $12.00 each at

Monday, September 24, 2018

Eau Thermale Avène Skincare Review | NEW Products

When the seasons change so should your skincare routine. As a living organism, our skin cells regenerate and continuously shed to protect us from harsh weather and environmental stress but sometimes they need a little help to stay healthy. According to the World Health Organization, 92% of the global population lives in a polluted environment which can accelerate damage and lead to premature wrinkles. Avène has developed an effective collection to help combat daily aggressors and maintain a youthful glow.

One of my favorite things about Avène is their harmonious combination of active ingredients and natural extracts that are safe for sensitive skin. Each product is infused with thermal spring water and undergoes rigorous testing to eliminate all irritants.

Exfoliation is key to healthy cell-turnover which is why I love the Gentle Body Scrub ($25.00) enriched with 3 invigorating plant oils. The lavish soap-free gel contains jojoba wax and exfoliating microbeads made from sustainably sourced wood. As you buff away roughness, the lipid-replenishing agents boost hydration and prevent dryness so skin feels smooth and replenished. Since the beads are ultra fine and non-abrasive, I prefer to use the scrub on dry skin (right before hopping in the shower) for more grittiness and resurfacing.

I wear a lot of eye makeup – waterproof mascara and liner, primer, shadow (usually a few shades) and sometimes a pop of glitter. For quick, hassle free cleansing I use Avène’s Intense Eye Makeup Remover ($20.00). This Bi-phasic formula is a lightweight mixture of spring water and lash strengthening oils that eliminate stubborn makeup without burning the eyes. It also works wonders on long-wear lipstick, gently lifting pigment stains while moisturizing the skin.

After cleansing, exfoliating and a warm bath, the Skincare Oil ($30.00) revitalizes the face, body and hair with a relaxing fragrance that helps me unwind. The dry-touch silky mist deeply nourishes and leaves behind a healthy, non-greasy sheen. I also use it to perfume and hydrate my roots, scalp and ends – massaging it in to stimulate circulation and fortify weak strands.

Glowing skin is very trendy so for an Instagram-worthy complexion, try the Radiance Serum ($40.00) to diminish dullness and signs of fatigue. This little bottle is packed with fruit extracts, antioxidants, vitamin E and blurring agents to smooth, soften, energize and refresh. The finish is ultra lightweight with absolutely no residue so it melts in quickly and makes a great base for makeup.

The onset of fall has brought cold weather and I can already feel my skin being depleted of moisture. The Rich Compensating Cream ($45.50) is a beauty essential this season because it counteracts lipid deficiency, fortifies cells and protects against free radical damage to shield from external aggressors. I layer it generously with serum to heal dry, flaky patches and my skin seems to drink it up!

While you’re bracing for winter, don’t forget to apply some Cold Cream Lip Butter ($12.00) to protect, comfort and heal sensitive skin in extreme cold. This rich balm instantly alleviates chapped lips with repairing oils and lush waxes that add shine and moisture. I’ve also been using it to prep my pout for lipstick and if you apply a thick layer before bed it doubles as a lip mask!

Think of the new A-Oxitive Collection as an urban shield against pollution, stress, junk food, fatigue, radio waves, alcohol and poor lifestyle choices. The exclusive formulas contain a potent combination of stable vitamin C, antioxidants and pure vitamin E to support collagen, brighten and reduce oxidative stress without irritation. The Defense Serum ($50.00) plumps, rejuvenates, shrinks pores and dulls wrinkles with hyaluronic acid while the Water-Cream ($48.00) soothes, softens hydrates and illuminates with mother-of-pearl extract. Use them together to create the ultimate barrier against everything life throws at you.

For those who need a bit more anti-aging help, PhysioLift Smoothing Serum ($57.00) can be added to your night care routine to soften deep wrinkles and fine lines. It also tightens, replenishes collagen, tones, lifts and plumps for a sculpted profile. I haven’t used this product as much as the others and I don't have wrinkles so my results are still inconclusive.

Avène is available at drugstores nationwide including Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs and online at

Friday, September 21, 2018

MVMT Watch and Sunglasses Review

Fashion Week recently wrapped up and many celebrities were also in town promoting their work at The Toronto International Film Festival. The variety of designer accessories on the red carpet was impressive but high-ends trends don’t always have to break the bank.

Inspired by go-getters, innovators and dreamers, MVMT (pronounced Movement) designs high-quality watches, sunglasses and accessories for fair prices. Their sophisticated collections have taken social media by storm, disrupting the overpriced, outdated models in the fashion industry.

While browsing the website you will notice that many of the pieces evoke elegant simplicity with sleek lines, beautiful bands and interesting colors that look bold, classy and expensive.

I chose the Orion Watch ($222.00) because I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The Unique titanium grey and shiny rose gold is an eye-catching combination plus the band sits comfortably on the wrist without pinching. The face is large and easy to read without looking bulky and the clear glass is made of hardened mineral crystal for extraordinary durability and scratch protection.

This distinct design looks great with most outfits in my closet and I get so many compliments! I also like that the colors on the watch seem to change slightly in different lighting.

MVMT also sells exquisite bracelets to match each watch so you can mix and match to create a beautiful stacked effect. The Orion also makes a fabulous gift to celebrate special occasions and shipping is fast.

Along with shielding your eyes from harmful UV, a stylish pair of sunglasses is an easy way to change-up your look and make your outfit appear high-fashion. I have many shades in my collection but I was instantly drawn to MVMT’s Kilo design ($98.00) with a sturdy rose gold frame and deep grey lenses. The interesting geometric shape is a modern take on classic aviators and they look fashionable on most faces regardless of shape.

Unlike my expensive Gucci and Ralph Lauren sunglasses which are loose and ill fitting, this pair is engineered for optimal balance, comfort and durability. I like that the frame is lifted by the nose pads so it doesn’t rest on my face and smear my makeup. Most designs on the website (including this one) are available in various colors and they all come with a beautiful case.

You can find these gorgeous pieces at and use discount code “erica15” to receive $15.00 off your purchase!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fall 2018 Lipstick Trends

This summer I was totally rocking the bright corals and hot pinks but with autumn just around the corner, it is finally time to break out the deep sultry shades.

Matte finishes and neutral pigments are still two of the hottest lip trends, so you can’t go wrong with L’Oreal’s Infallible Paints. These warm browns remind me of changing leaves and the creamy color is saturated and buildable for smooth even coverage with a hint of moisture. The nude collection includes a variety of complexion flattering shades for just $12.99 each.

If you prefer traditional lipstick, L’Oreal’s Color Riche Matte-Jestic ($8.96) is a dark purple-y wine that is perfect for pumpkin spice weather. When applied sparingly, the pigment appears more berry-toned but when layered generously, the finish is dark and vampy with enough hydration to keep lips comfy. L’Oreal is available at drugstores nationwide.

When the temperature drops I can finally start wearing my fluffy sweaters and stylish scarves but cold air can cause chapped skin that makes lipstick look terrible. To keep your pout in tip-top shape, try the moisturizing balms from Winy Lux. The brand is well known for their adorable pill shaped tubes and the formula keeps lips soft and smooth. 

If you really want to dazzle, the Glimmer Balm ($18.00) provides a light layer of galactic shimmer with a faint pop of pink. The glitter is refined and minimal so it never looks chunky or overdone and I love the pretty snowflake effect.

The bestselling Flower Balm Lip Stain ($18.00) is embedded with a real chrysanthemum and the ingredients react with your body’s natural pH to create a unique shade of pink that looks different on everyone! The coconut scent is delectable and the lustrous finish provides a healthy sheen. Winky Lux is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Sephora and

Gloss lovers will go crazy for Avon’s True Color Lip Glow loaded with chia seed and rose hip oil for soft, supple skin. The new shades are paraben-free and available in 3 finishes: cream, frost and radiant shimmer which is great for the holiday season. The sheer color can be enhanced for more vibrancy and you can pick these up at for just $10.00 each.

Lipstick Queen is dedicated to helping you find the perfect color for your complexion and the rich formulas are creamy and bold. Beserk Berry ($25.00) has an unusual grey undertone swirled with a splash of pink to create an awesome two-toned effect that looks different every time you apply it! Nothing But The Truth ($24.00) is a pretty beige formulated with natural waxes, oils, antioxidants and Vitamin E to keep lips smooth and nourished with vinyl-like shine. Lipstick Queen is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty and online at

Monday, September 17, 2018

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Skincare Review

As the seasons change, the weather in Toronto fluctuates from one extreme to the next. There are short cold spells with chilling wind followed by sun, thundershowers and high humidity. Drastic temperatures combined with pollution and lifestyle choices can deplete the skin of essential nutrients and moisture.

To prevent dryness and prepare your complexion for autumn, Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Collection is infused with mineralizing water (from French volcanoes), plant mannose, hyaluronic acid and fruit oils to intensely rehydrate in extreme conditions for up to 48 hours. The formula is 97% natural, allergy tested, safe for sensitive skin and scientifically proven to strengthen, rejuvenate and protect.

The Rehydrating Water Water Gel ($39.95) melts in instantly to plump fine lines and blur wrinkles. The cooling sensation refreshes and invigorates parched skin while the lush texture makes my face feel silky, soft and replenished with no greasiness. It also layers well under makeup and makes a great daily moisturizer.

The Rehydrating Serum ($42.95) is very similar to the Cream with the same nourishing ingredients, lovely scent and dewy texture. Both formulas seem to yield similar results but when layered, they form a velvety moisture barrier that quenches the thirstiest complexions for enhanced smoothness, radiance, suppleness and youthful vitality. I will definitely be using these when winter rolls around and in the summer they don’t clog pores or cause breakouts.

Vichy is available at drugstores nationwide and online at

Friday, September 14, 2018

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Review & Must-Have Shades

While working in the beauty industry I’ve amassed more lipstick than any woman could ever use. There are hundreds of beautiful shades in my collection but when asked to pick favorites, Stila always takes the cake.

The Stay All Day liquid formula is rich, dramatic, smooth and vibrant with excellent coverage and reliable durability that outlasts the messiest meals. The incredible color selection is what makes these lippies so addictive! There are stunning shades for every complexion, occasion and style with sheer, shimmer and full-coverage finishes.

If I had to wear one shade of lipstick for the rest of my life, it would probably be Bacca. If you don’t have this amazing pigment in your collection, stop what you’re doing and rectify the situation immediately! The versatile color makes a bold statement day or night, taking your look from boardroom chic to red carpet glam without smudging, smearing or fading for up to 6 hours. The undertone is a unique combination of deep pink, burgundy, and red that looks stunning on everyone! My second favorite shade in the collection is a sexy pink called Lume (I dare you not to fall in love).

I wasn’t a huge fan of the nude lip trend until recently discovering that I could jazz it up with soft shadow and wined liner for a sophisticated “more is less” effect. In the neutral category you have: Sonata (a bit too light for my taste), Portofino (the only shade that doesn’t completely wash me out) and Carmello which is definitely more suitable for fair complexions since it looks like concealer on me.

For fall, Bacca, Paradiso and Chianti are a must! The velvety formula is ultra smooth and highly pigmented for buildable saturation and phenomenal color payoff. You might need a liner for neatness, precision and definition but once dry, the color stays put and amplifies your pout. I prefer the matte formula for its bold vividness but the sheer pigments can be enhanced by layering.

Enriched with nourishing avocado oil, the texture is lightweight, non-sticky and relatively comfortable. The creaminess transforms into a matte lacquer-like finish but my lips remain soft and chap-fee. At the end of a long day, a touch of gloss instantly revives the color and moisture.

Application can get a bit messy when the lipstick collects heavily on the wand but it's a small price to pay for amazing color.

For the holiday season (yes I went there already), try the mesmerizing shimmers! I have the shade Beso (Stila’s popular bombshell red) infused with a multidimensional metallic effect!

The Stay All Day Lipsticks retail for $29.00 each at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and online at

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Key West Travel Guide | Best Attractions, Tours and Beaches

If you follow me on Instagram (@DiaryofaTrendaholic), then you probably saw my beach-y photos of palm trees, delicious food and sunny skies. After a hectic (but exhilarating) adventure in Asia, I longed for a warm, tropical escape and Florida is just a short flight away. I never tire of the beautiful skyline and picturesque shores along Miami Beach. In fact, my family and I have been looking at vacation homes for extended getaways.

This trip was all about rest, relaxation and fun, so we loaded-up the car and drove to Key West – Florida’s southernmost point. Known for its spectacular sunsets, thriving coral reefs, Mexican bistros and tasty key lime pie, there is something for everyone!

The drive to Key West was long and slow since there is only one highway in and out with a sluggish speed limit of 45 MPH. If you have time to spare, the road trip can be quite scenic. Along the way there are 113 miles of coral and limestone islands connected by 42 bridges suspended over turquoise water. We stopped to snap a few photos among the mangroves and spotted bright green iguanas and colorful fish.

You can also fly to Key West in about 45 minutes or take a leisurely cruise aboard a luxurious ship.

When passing Homestead, take a detour to Robert’s Fruit Stand and try a fresh smoothie or creamy milkshake. There is always a scrumptious array of tropical fruit, exotic jam and delectable honey.

After you stock-up on healthy treats, don’t forget to check out the animal sanctuary just behind the property.

Along the way there are shops, restaurants, beaches and interesting attractions that make the drive more enjoyable.

We stayed at The Perry Hotel just outside of Key West.

As I entered the trendy lobby, I was greeted with refreshing fruit infused water and a spectacular view of the pool.

The room was spacious, clean, modern and comfortable with a stylish bathroom stocked with full-size toiletries made by a local company. 

I loved the marina view from the balcony. It was the perfect place to kick back with a glass of wine after a long day.

One of my favorite features is the outdoor lounge/bar area with hammocks, cozy couches and toasty fire pits. The staff went out of their way to welcome us and the hotel offers a free shuttle to Duval Street.

The Old Town Trolley is a fun way to see most major attractions. You can hop on and off at your leisure or stay put and enjoy the entire guided tour.

Travelers Tip: Keep an eye out for the FREE tourist bus that makes 16 stops around the Duval Loop including the Southernmost Point Buoy.

Duval Street

If you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican food, I highly recommend Amigos Tortilla Bar. Try the steaming fajita platter, mouth-watering tacos (chicken, beef, shrimp, fish or fried avocado) and the loaded corn smothered in creamy garlic sauce, savory spices, feta and onion.

There are great souvenir shops at Duval Village and on the main road you can score incredible deals at the “everything for $5.00” store. I may have gone a bit overboard with the gifts and t-shirts.

One of the most unique shops I visited was The Key West Shell Warehouse. It was like walking through an underwater treasure trove of beautiful trinkets!

The Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden in Mallory Square is a wonderful tribute to legendary historical figures. Stroll through and read the honorary plaques that tell inspiring stories of bravery, courage and innovation.

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum is another popular tourist destination honoring one of America’s most respected authors.  

For those interested in a supernatural experience, you can always try the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour featuring spooky tales, lost tombs and sacred grounds. The trolley departs from the Shipwreck Treasures Museum which is also close to the Aquarium.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not is always chock-full of unusual exhibits with some pop culture tossed in for good measure.

If odd occurrences and possessed dolls aren’t your thing, the Glass Bottom Boat Tour departs from the marina and offers a spectacular view of the coral reefs from a comfortable air conditioned vessel.

After all that excitement, grab a giant cookie from Mattheessen’s or a heaping scoop of gelato and head down to the pier. You will notice an abundance of chickens and roosters strutting about as ships sail in the distance.

No trip to Key West is complete without visiting the famous Southernmost Point Buoy (just 90 miles to Cuba).

Traveler Tip: While waiting to snap photos with the buoy, keep cool with an icy snow cone. The vendors are usually right around the corner.

Most tourists visit Key West to frolic in the warm waves and Smathers Beach has soft white sand and calm swimming conditions. There are also public showers, restrooms, volleyball nets and jet ski rentals.

Travelers Tip: The beach can get quite crowded during peak hours so arrive early and bring food. There aren't any restaurants nearby.

Smathers Beach

Higgs Beach is a great spot to picnic and relax under swaying palm trees.

For thrill seekers, there are a wide variety of water sports to choose from including Barefoot Billy’s exhilarating Jet Ski Tour. This high-speed adventure takes you on a scenic trek around the island with 5 stops at various points of interest. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and other marine life as you coast along the blue shores.

In the evening when most tourists are bar-hopping, I prefer a romantic sunset stroll. The Victorian and colonial homes are an architectural delight!

For more information about the Florida Keys or to plan your visit, head to

Check out my Travel Guide on Miami & Fort Lauderdale by clicking HERE!
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