Friday, December 21, 2018

Sephora Holiday 2018 Collection | Last Minute Gift Ideas

There are only 4 more days until Christmas so it’s time to finish your holiday shopping, sit back and enjoy some quality time with the people you love. If you’re still looking for a few last minute gift ideas, your best bet is to find the closest Sephora and pick up a few makeup sets from the holiday collection. Guys, if you don’t know where Sephora is, just follow the mob of women at the mall, chances are that’s where they’re heading.

As a travel editor I am always transporting my makeup from one country to another so I love the Sephora Collection Starlit Large Train Case ($138.00). It is a bit heavy to lug through the airport but on short trips it keeps me organized with a variety of compartments and pull out doors that open to reveal all my brushes and essentials.

The Moon Phases Face Palette ($34.00) has a beautiful variety of blush duos and highlighters that range from warm to cool and matte to shimmer. The smooth pigments have great color payoff and blend effortlessly for a seamless fade-proof finish. I like the unique combination of deep terracotta-orange, purple-y pink, rich brown and champagne.

Makeup lovers will go crazy for Sephora’s limited edition Cream Lip Stain Collection ($34.00). The high-coverage color glides on smooth and velvety before transforming into a saturated stain that stays put for hours! The texture is lightweight, silky and supple with a dose of avocado oil to prevent dryness. The only shade I don’t care for is the nude pink but everything else looks stunning!

The Enchanting Glow Palette ($13.00) has 4 luminous shades to brighten dull skin and enhance the cheeks with a natural flush. The bronzer and blush are a tad light so they may appear more prominent on fair to medium complexions.

For girls who love sexy lashes, there is no shortage of falsies at Sephora. If you’re on a budget I recommend the Double Down Set that retails for just $15.00 or the Fringe Lash Set with glittery gold case and glue for $25.00. If you’re in the mood to splurge, try the Lilly Lashes Set ($75.00) with 2 pairs of bestselling mink lashes and rose gold applicator.

You can never have too much sparkle during the holidays and the Sephora Loose Glitter Pots ($17.00) are sensational! This festive set shines like diamonds and comes with gold, green, silver and rose gold for the eyes, lips and body. Make sure to use an adhesive so the particles stay put.

The Wish Upon a Star Mini Brush Set ($17.00) comes with 4 small eye brushes you can toss in your purse for quick touch-ups or weekend getaways. It also makes a great stocking stuffer!

My favorite gift is the Rising Star Brush Set ($49.00) with gorgeous handles, soft bristles and a stand up glittery canister. It comes with brushes for the complexion, highlighter, shadow and smudging to create a complete look.

The Glitter & Chill Cooling Mask ($10.00) infused with rose gold glitter is a beauty essential! Pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes and use it to alleviate tired eyes, puffiness and headache symptoms.

The Tinsel Time Clutch ($18.00) is currently in my suitcase filled with holiday jewelry. You can also use it for makeup or sheet mask storage.

The stockings are always the first gifts my family opens on Christmas morning and I would love to find the Glowy Surprise Cracker ($19.00) tucked inside. It comes with a cream lip stain, blush and luminizer for all skin tones.

You can find these great products and more at but since Christmas is just a few days away, it is probably best to visit the store.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Body Shop 2018 Holiday Collection and Gift Guide

When it comes to simple gift giving, no one does it better than The Body Shop. Even last minute shoppers can walk into a delicious smelling store and emerge with an armful of beautifully packaged presents for everyone on their list. The company has done an excellent job creating gift sets that feature bestsellers and delightful new scents so today I’m sharing my top picks to help make your job a bit easier.

The Strawberry Festive Picks Gift Set ($28.00) is packaged in a beautiful red box and comes with a bath puff, shower gel, bar soap, body polish and body butter to replenish dry skin. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love strawberries so this gift is great for all the ladies on my list.

For those dealing with rough winter skin, the Berry Bon Bon Body Scrub ($22.00) is here to save the day! Enriched with cranberry seeds from North America, organic cane sugar from Paraguay and Brazil nut oil from Peru, this exfoliating jam-like jelly buffs away flaky patches with ease. 

If I had to choose one amazing set for myself it would be the Peppermint Candy Cane Delight Festive Sack ($29.00) and I wouldn’t even wrap it. The cute burlap bag is stuffed with shower gel, body butter, body scrub and hand cream that smell like Christmas morning!

For those who love a good face mask (which is literally everyone), don’t miss out on the incredible Facial Mask Duo ($40.00). The Himalayan Charcoal enriched with tea tree oil purifies the skin by eliminating dirt, oil, makeup and pollutants trapped deep in the pores. I’ve been using it all year to keep my face clear and blemish-free. The British Rose Gel Mask with real flower petals and organic aloe vera helps smooth, plump and moisturize for a youthful complexion.

The Enchanting Body Butter Trio is just $15.00 so everyone can get a luscious cream in their stocking this year. The set comes with Almond Milk & Honey, Mango and Coconut which smell scrumptious! I usually pack these for vacation since the non-greasy formula alleviates dry skin and makes a great hand or foot cream.

Forest Retreat ($18.00) includes a bit of everything for a pampering spa day. Inside you'll find a Fuji green tea shower gel, wild argan body scrub, banana shampoo and body butter - cute gifts for friends, family, colleagues and teachers.

If you’re hosting Christmas dinner and want your home to smell inviting, set the mood with a festive candle. Enchanted Forest ($22.00) is infused with essential pine oil to evoke the scent of fresh fir trees.

I can't share my holiday faves without including some pretty lipstick. The Lip Liquid Parade ($50.00) comes with 3 creamy matte shades for all skin tones, 2 sheer glosses that smell like candy and a roll case for travel. The lipsticks are smooth, creamy, vivid and highly pigmented with enough moisture to protect your pout all season.

All of the products I’ve mentioned so far are awesome but if you really want to heal dry skin for good, treat yourself to a Spa of the World Escape Gift Set ($50.00). The African Ximenia Body Scrub is enriched with beeswax, natural oil from Namibia, gentle exfoliating beads and velvety butters that condition, seal in moisture and slough away roughness. After a warm shower slather on the Japanese Camellia Body Cream. The rich texture rejuvenates and transforms dull skin from flaky to silky.

These products are available online at but since Christmas is only a few days away, it is quicker buy them in-store.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

YSL Beauty | Holiday 2018 Collection

Over the last few days I’ve been wrapping gifts as quick as an elf, stuffing stockings, and planning a festive feast with my family. My birthday is on Christmas Eve so I’ll be partying well into the night wearing glamorous holiday makeup.

The Limited Edition Gold Attraction Makeup Palette ($100.00) is packaged in a glittery black book with shades that “light up your face.”

I expected more vibrancy for the holiday season but the shimmery gold, champagne and pearly black are definitely radiant. You get 3 shadows, silver eyeliner, two pretty blushes and a cream highlighter with good pigmentation and silky textures. The palette is small enough for travel and creates simple one color looks but there isn’t enough variety for anything more extravagant. You’ll probably need shadows from other compacts if you plan to mix colors, contour the crease and create more drama or contrast.

The Rouge Pur Couture Gold Attraction Lipsticks ($44.00 ea) are available in beautiful shades that compliment all skin tones. The black cap can be personalized with an engraving and is decorated with sparkly gold letters. As the buildable color glides across the skin, it drenches lips in luminous shine, antioxidants and conditioning emollients that protect, soften and prevent dryness.

If you plan to attend any Christmas events glowing skin is a must! YSL has two holiday highlighters – Touche Éclat Gold Attraction Edition ($51.00) and a mistake-proof Face Highlight Stick ($40.00). The pen is a favorite among makeup artists and can be used to banish signs of fatigue around the eyes while illuminating the nose, cheeks and lip contour. Blend it lightly for a natural pop of radiance or layer generously for more intensity. The mini stick has 2 shades (bronze and champagne) which can be applied individually or swirled together for a gorgeous candlelight glow.

I’ve seen the commercials for Black Opium Eau de parfum ($112.00 / 50 ml) and at the Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday Party they surprised me with a beautiful engraved bottle! The aroma is sensual, exciting and edgy with an intoxicating balance of sweetness and warmth. The main accords include vanilla, coffee, white flowers, orange blossom, cedarwood and patchouli which blend to form a bold scent.

YSL Beauty is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay, Sears, Sephora and

Square One Shopping Center Merry & Bright Holiday Market | Unique Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time at the mall because Square One is a one-stop shopping destination with great gifts for everyone on my list. The large shopping center has undergone many recent changes and upgrades including trendy new stores, renovated spaces and delicious restaurants. Last weekend a live band played Christmas carols as my sister and I had lunch at the food court and after enjoying some retail therapy you can take a photo with Santa.

With all the holiday excitement you may have missed Square One’s Merry & Bright Christmas Market tucked away in the Grand Rotunda. This year there is an eclectic mix of vendors selling everything from eco-friendly furniture, handmade crafts, essential oils, apparel and lavish desserts. Other services include a gift wrapping station and a fun workshop where you can learn to make stylish wreaths, cards, vision boards and custom tea blends with complimentary hand treatments and samples from Kiehl’s.

I love that the market promotes peace, love and acceptance through the KINDness Tree. Everyone who visits can write an inspirational message and hang it on the board to encourage others.

If you love beautiful things, Catalyst & Co makes stylish sterling silver jewelry adorned with pretty gemstones.

Don’t miss the scrumptious display of éclairs at Nugateau or the artisan shortbread cookies at Laine & Lola’s PONPON.

Pick up some delicious Square One Honey harvested from the mall’s rooftop beehives to support the declining bee population or treat your loved ones to an all-natural vegan candle from The Good Soy - they smell amazing!

One of my favorite booths is Alison Gordon Studio because she hand paints exquisite high-fashion notebooks, cards and art work with a modern Parisian-style motif. I'm obsessed with her chic makeup bags, decorative pillows and silk scarves.

Fleur de Reine is doing incredible things with roses. The company has found a way to treat the flowers so they last up to 5 years without withering and the shade selection is gorgeous!

If you're looking for something really interesting, Purniture makes eco-friendly furniture out of durable paper! The company designs chairs, benches, tables and beds that are flexible enough to be extended, light enough to be moved around the house and compact enough to fold up accordion style for easy storage.

Over at Chocollata Gourmet Brigadeiro I watched the baker put the finishing touches on his crème brulee bite-size Brazilian Truffles. The strawberry flavor with delicate pink pearls is a decadent gift!

After you’ve finished browsing, snap an Instagram photo in the colorful yarn room and use the hashtag #thatOnemoment for a chance to win awesome prizes including an HP Pocket Plus Smartphone Printer.

The Holiday Market is definitely a great place to find unique gift ideas and discover innovative new brands. I just wish the dessert shops provided samples so visitors could try their yummy treats. Next year I think they should set up in an open area of the mall with more vendors, decorations, festive music and maybe a hot chocolate stand to liven things up.

The Market is open until December 24th during mall hours. For more information visit the website by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Avon Holiday 2018 Collection and Gift Guide

When it comes to holiday shopping many of us prefer to sit back with a cup of coffee and purchase incredible gifts from the comfort of home. is one of my favorite websites because it always has a wide variety of products for everyone on my list. You can find everything from perfume to kitchen appliances while checking out new makeup trends and snagging great deals on home decor, skincare and clothing.

The Ooo La La, Fa La La Eye Palette retails for just $14.99 and features a subtle range of everyday neutrals for all complexions. The soft, silky colors are easy to blend and for a night out spice things up with the smokey shades. This is a great gift for your favorite aunt, co-workers, friends and even grandma! The lightweight pigments are simple and easy on the eyes so anyone can wear them.

The Iconic Lipsticks ($12.00 ea) are decked out in chic packaging and classic prints that are sure to impress all the ladies on your list. The weightless satiny color glides on effortlessly with excellent color payoff, loads of hydration and a hint of voluptuous shine. The shades below are Sugar Plum (deep wine), Merry Mauve (frosty pink) and Holly Red – totally gorgeous!

Everyone loves an ethereal Christmas glow and Illuminate the Holidays ($12.99) has 3 creamy highlighters that light up the face. Use your finger to blend the shimmer on the cheekbones, nose, and forehead or where light naturally touches the skin. The effect is radiant, seamless and glamorous!

The Holiday Makeup Collection also includes the Sparkle & Shine Eyeliner Set ($25.00) with 6 Glimmersticks and cute silver case. The retractable pencils have a creamy formula that glides on evenly so you can neatly draw any size line. The subtle hint of diamond glitter is perfect for parties and the shade selection is great.

I love when my makeup and nails are color coordinated and I’ve found the perfect holiday pair. Avon’s Gel Finish 7-in-1 Enamel ($9.00) in the shade Roses are Red looks amazing with the True Color Lip Glow ($10.00) in Spark. The nail polish provides a high-shine gel mani without UV light and the built-in top coat strengthens and protects. The sheer, glistening lip gloss is infused with nourishing chia seeds and rose hip oil to keep skin soft, moisturized and chap-free with no stickiness.

I have about 100 perfumes on beautiful glass display trays in my room and over the years I’ve gifted countless bottles. Avon makes some of the best universal scents around and they are always very affordable. The new Velvet Eau de Parfum Spray ($35.00) is crafted from the finest ingredients in the world – fig and pomegranate from the Mediterranean, rose from Bulgaria and velvet patchouli from Java. The exotic blend is elegant, feminine and captivating. I really hate to part with the sexy burgundy bottle but my mother will love it!

These fabulous products are available at
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