Thursday, February 28, 2019

How to Grow Long Healthy Hair | Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Collection

I’ve written many articles about healthy hair growth but a nutritious diet is just as important as the beauty products you use.

Viviscal is known for their dietary hair growth supplements that help reduce shedding, but for people like me who hate taking pills and prefer to eat well, the Gorgeous Growth Densifying Collection with Biotin, Keratin and Zinc may be an easier alternative to getting the hair you've always dreamed of.

I’ve had long hair for most of my life. As a child my mane was healthy, flowing and hip length with a beautiful curl pattern. Things were good back then, way before I became a teenager and discovered flat irons that fried my ends until they snapped. It took years to reverse the damage but eventually I learned how to care for my luscious locks which are now strong, shiny and healthy.

Understanding How Hair Grows
If you’ve decided to grow your hair, there are some biological factors you should understand first. Not everyone can have the Kardashian’s long dark waves (or whichever long haired mogul you look up to). Your natural length is predetermined by genetics and the anagen phase of your hair follicle. This means that each healthy hair will grow to a specific maximum length before shedding and being replaced. This cycle differs for everyone, which is why some people can never seem to grow hair past their shoulders and others have ankle length tendrils.

Other factors that can affect hair growth and thickness include: stress, malnutrition, improper care, medication, hormones and age. My hair doesn't usually grow past my hips/tailbone region and I’ve learned to accept it.

How to Enhance Hair Growth – The Do’s and Don'ts
Although genetics play a big role in the structure and life cycle of your follicles, heat and chemical damage can greatly influence health and length. Hair that is dry, brittle or weak will split, break and shed much quicker which makes retaining length nearly impossible. Below I’ve listed a few tips and tricks that support optimal growth.

*Eliminate chemicals and hair dye.

*Take multivitamins and eat well balanced meals. I take Nature’s Bounty Hair Skin and Nails Strawberry Gummies ($9.79 – available at Walmart). They contain Biotin to help with the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums while metabolizing fats and protein.

*Drink more water (lots more!).

*Improve your sleep quality – for more information check out my article on How to Improve Your Beauty Sleep.

*Reduce heat styling, update your appliances to prevent burns and air dry when possible.

*Always use a thermal protectant to prevent damage and shield from UV.

*Shampoo less to maintain natural oils and refrain from using cleansers that are harsh or drying. If you need to wash frequently, try co-washing - cleansing with conditioner.

*Apply a treatment mask for at least 1-3 hours weekly or bi-weekly to strengthen and replenish moisture.

*Wear your hair in its natural state and use hydrating leave-ins, serums and oils.

*Sleep with your hair tied up or braided and invest in a satin pillowcase to prevent breakage, friction and oil absorption.

*Wear protective styles, comb gently or use your fingers to detangle with lots of slippery conditioner.

*Try a protein treatment if you notice excessive breakage.

*Trim individual split-ends, fraying strands or single strand knots with sharp professional shears but do not cut off any length.

*Perform weekly scalp massages to increase circulation and blood flow to the roots.

*Use products that are formulated to promote growth.

Viviscal Gorgeous Growth
As mentioned, my hair is already very healthy so I maintain it by using the right products. Viviscal’s growth formula contains a unique Ana:Tel proprietary complex with pea sprouts, grape seed, bitter orange, patchouli, bark oil, lavender, nutmeg, hydrolyzed keratin, eucalyptus, coriander seeds and more!

The Densifying Shampoo ($19.99) eliminates build-up, excess oil and impurities while cleansing the scalp and fortifying ends to promote growth. It is suitable for everyday use and all hair types including dry, damaged, color treated, thin and fine. Right away I noticed that my hair felt a bit heavier but not weighed down, limp or stripped.

The fragrance is quite strong but the scent isn’t bad. It reminds me of vintage perfume that has been left out in the sun too long, like something a grandmother would wear. After styling, the aroma seems to fade and my hair smells great so it doesn’t bother me.

The conditioning phase is where most of the transformation happens and the formula is surprisingly rich and hydrating. It nourishes parched strands, boosts shine and helps detangle. I leave it on for about 10 minutes and my hair feels noticeably different. The treatment dramatically changes the natural texture of my hair which is the first time I’ve ever experienced such immediate results. My strands seem dense, soft, smooth, replenished and thick. My curls are springy, supple and well formed.

I was a bit shocked the first time I used this collection. My hair has never felt so different and it took a while to get used to the change. The effects lasted a few days but eventually wore off when I washed my hair with other products several times. This system definitely strengthens the hair fiber to reduce shedding, breakage and split-ends and it seems to invigorate flat lifeless strands.

I also tested the Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir ($29.99) which is a leave-in that can be applied on damp hair or used as a styling aid. The serum helps increase body and thickness while smoothing flyaways, taming frizz and hydrating. Use it as a spot treatment on areas that are thinning, dull or damaged.

Compared to some of the high-end salon products I’ve tried and a few drug store growth formulas, this collection produced the most visible results. I’m still deciding whether or not I like the textural change I experienced but I'm going to finish the tubes and see what happens.

Viviscal is available online at, The Shopping Channel and various drugstores including: Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, London Drugs, Loblaws, Jean Coutu, Lawtons and more.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter and NEW Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

When it comes to liquid lipstick and glitter eye shadow, few brands can outshine Stila and the Heaven’s Hue Highlighters ($42.00 ea) have been cult favorites for years.

The collection includes 8 iridescent shades with a variety of undertones to suit every complexion. Two of my top picks are Kitten - a universal gold and Brilliance - a subtle pink that brightens and accentuates.

The powder is infused with ultra-fine light reflecting particles that melt in seamlessly and produce a soft, glamorous effect. Because the texture is weightless, the pigment sweeps across the skin effortlessly without gathering in fine lines. I love the natural candlelight glow but resist the urge to over-blend as the shimmer may scatter.


These silky highlighters are also buildable and versatile so you can take your look from soft and subdued to dramatic.


The Heaven’s Dew All Over Glimmer ($36.00) is currently sold-out at and because makeup junkies are obsessed! The pearlescent shimmer with micro-glitter has a translucent cream to powder base that can be used on the cheeks, eyes and body for a super-lustrous glow. Wear it alone for extra frostiness or layer over highlighter for a dazzling multi-dimensional effect with no creasing. The silvery particles disperse widely for more transparency and diamond-like sparkle!

I have a love-hate relationship with liquid eye shadow but The Shimmer & Glow - Vivid & Vibrant ($31.00) formula is amazing! The pigment is extremely saturated with incredible longevity and once dry, the color stays put all day with no fading or smudging. I usually apply a bit of pressed shadow first (similar to whatever shimmer I’m using) and dab or swipe the color onto my lids (depending on how much coverage I want). These two shades – Vivid Garnet and Vivid Sapphire are must-haves if you like sultry jewel tones.

Stila is also available at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and

Click HERE to see some of my favorite Stila lipsticks

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Pour Moi Skincare Review: How to Change Your Skincare Routine for Every Climate and Season

As the seasons change and temperature fluctuates, do you adjust your beauty routine to maintain a healthy complexion? If the answer is no, you’ve come to the right place!

It is important to understand that skin reacts differently to specific environmental conditions like humidity, heat, dry air and cold. In order to maintain your natural moisture barrier and defenses, you should hydrate and nourish with products that work with the climate you’re in. For example, the creams and lotions you use during the summer may be less effective in autumn or winter and when you travel, sudden temperature changes and poor air quality can cause excess oil production, premature aging, sun damage, dryness and blemishes.

With so many products on the market it can be difficult to know what to use and when to use it so Pour Moi has created an innovative skin balancing system that works with your busy lifestyle.

For travelers like me, this collection is essential when exploring new destinations. In the past 5 months I’ve been to Miami, Key West, Mexico, Valencia, Madrid and Malta. I’ve also spent hours on planes soaking up the dry desert-like air while going from one extreme to the next – ice storms in Toronto and scorching island heat.

The Temperate Day Cream ($35.00) is a great daily moisturizer for mild weather like autumn and spring. It contains encapsulated retinol, antioxidants, seaweed extract and Vitamins A, C and E to promote cell production, address premature aging and protect against UV damage, free radicals and pollution. It is also infused with anti-wrinkle peptides and powerful emollients like hyaluronic acid, white truffle extract and squalane to trap moisture from the atmosphere and keep water in. The lightweight, fast absorbing formula is non-greasy and smooth so it works well under makeup.

My entire family was using the Polar Day Cream ($35.00) on our last trip because the night time low in Malta was 14˚C with cool dry winds. This specialized blend is loaded with natural butters, oils, botanical extracts and vitamins to seal in moisture, boost radiance and address wrinkles. Because the texture is lightweight and gentle with no residue or oiliness, the cream does not feel as hydrating as it actually is. Initially I didn't think it was doing very much but my face feels soft and silky with no chapping or discomfort.

If you’re escaping to a beautiful beach destination, you’ll need the Tropical Day Cream ($35.00) for heat and humidity. Coconut acid keeps pores clear from irritants while humectants draw and trap moisture from the air to prevent dehydration. This formula contains many of the same anti-aging ingredients and even adjusts to air conditioning.

The Desert Day Cream ($35.00) provides skin saving results when you’re in a hot, dry atmosphere (like when I went traveled to Dubai, Thailand and Singapore). The water and oil-based hydrators reduce Transepidermal Water Loss and neutralize temperature variations so your skin has time to acclimatize. It also softens, plumps and energizes while shielding from pollution.

These 4 products are pretty much all you need to get through the year but for even more hydration, layer them with the White Serum ($65.00). This silky formula is highly concentrated and suitable for all skin types. It absorbs very quickly with no heaviness and helps control oil production while deeply conditioning, rejuvenating and improving skin texture.

The brand has also updated their packaging so the opaque BPA free bottles are leak-proof and come with an airless lockable pump to ensure that you get every last drop. The cap seals tightly to prevent bacteria contamination and the inner tubes have double lined walls to preserve the active ingredients. The formulas are also non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free.

Pour Moi is available at and The Shopping Channel.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Eye Shadow Palette: Review and Swatches

Nude makeup is one of the hottest beauty trends on the market and there are countless versions of neutral palettes and lipsticks to choose from. The colors usually range from beige and taupe, to ivory, gold, brown and a selection of warm flesh tones that create effortless definition.

You probably have many of these compacts in your collection (I know I do), but Urban Decay has redefined neutrals and designed something fun, bold and universally flattering.

Naked Reloaded ($55.00) is not your average nude palette. There is nothing flat, washed out or boring about it. Under the beautiful silk cover you will find a gorgeous array of shimmers, baked metallics with playful glitter, smooth satins and silky mattes. For maximum use, UD has expanded the size of 4 pans so you get a little more bang for your buck.

The versatile pigments are very daytime appropriate and when you’re ready for a night out, the smokey hues create depth and contrast. The balance of contour shades, highlighters, transition hues and statement colors make it easy to create stunning looks that define and accentuate the eyes.

The rose gold (Reputation) and coppery bronze (Burn) are my go-to shades for quick everyday looks but I also like the bright champagne and silvery gunmetal for dramatic effects.

For the most part, the shadows are velvety, highly saturated, buildable and easy to work with but the chunkier metallics (Angel Fire and Dream Weaver) produce fallout and need to be smoothed out.

To prolong the wear of your shadows, increase vibrancy and prevent creasing, apply a layer of Urban Decay Primer Potion – my all-time favorite base! No matter how humid it gets or how long I travel, this formula keeps things in place all day with no fading.

I am a huge fan of Naked Heat and the latest release – Naked Cherry but I’d definitely choose Reloaded over Naked 2 and 3. The colors are edgier, stylish and more intense. 

If you don’t own a neutral palette that you’re crazy about, Naked Reloaded may be just what you’re looking for. You can find it at Urban Decay Freestanding Stores and It will also be available at:
*Sephora online March 4, in-store March 7
*Shoppers Drug Mart online March 4, in-store March 7

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Avon Crave Lip Gloss Review

Remember when going to the store to buy new lipstick or cute gloss was a big deal? As a kid I used to save up my allowance and blow it all on delicious smelling balms and shiny color that made my lips look reflective and pretty. Nowadays it’s all about high-end brands, expensive trends and contouring the heck out of your cheekbones so they match the sharpness of your perfectly arched brows.

Thankfully Avon is kicking it old-school and simplifying beauty by reminding us that makeup can be fun and affordable. They’ve recently launched a new collection of Craze Lip Gloss featuring 12 deliciously scented shades including: Chocolate Brownie, Strawberry, Cherry, Honey Tea, French Toast, Birthday Cake and Sangria.

The playful packaging takes me back to high school, when shiny lips were all the rage and everyone had a squeeze tube in their bag. The sheer juicy color provides layers of glistening moisture infused with a nourishing burst Vitamin E.

You can also apply the gloss over lip stains and matte formulas to keep skin supple and smooth with a hint of shimmery sheen.

There is nothing complicated about these. Just choose your favorite shade (there isn’t much color payoff), gloss up and go! The sheer tint is a bit more exciting than plain old balm and the frosty finishes make lips appear healthy, plump and radiant with no stickiness.

Everyone can use more hydration in their life (especially during winter) and Crave Gloss is great for girls and women of all ages!

Get them for $8.00 each or three for $12.99 at

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Province Apothecary Dual-Action Jade Roller Review

After years of reviewing skincare devices I’ve accumulated enough equipment to open my own spa! My drawers are filled with anti-aging radio frequency gadgets, hair removal zappers,  LED face mask machines, various skincare applicators with thermal technology, vibrating eye massagers and more cleansing brushes than I know what to do with.

When jade rollers started gaining popularity I was skeptical. I wasn’t convinced that such a simple gadget could produce visible results but after months of testing I am totally hooked!

You might think all rollers are created equal but they’re not. The Dual-Action design ($44.00) by Province Apothecary has a smooth end to tighten and lift slack skin and a studded roller that energizes and stimulates deep dermal layers. Use it morning and night to maintain suppleness and diminish visible signs of aging, fatigue, pollution and daily aggressors.

The studded roller can also be used to:
*Reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles
*Plump and soften
*Boost and maintain elasticity
*Improve circulation
*Tone and firm
*Enhance product absorption

The smooth roller:
*Cools and soothes
*Eases muscle tension
*Reduces the appearance of puffiness and under eye bags
*Encourages proper lymphatic function

It is difficult to describe the cumulative effects of daily treatments but in simplified terms - it keeps my complexion and profile radiant, rejuvenated and youthful. For more efficiency, hold the device in your left hand to treat the left side of your face and use your right hand to massage the right side while adjusting pressure and intensity. Initially there was some squeaking but eventually my skincare products lubricated the rollers.

After cleansing and using toner, I apply an antioxidant serum or essence booster and face cream before rolling with the studded side. There are technique instructions on the box but any back and forth kneading motion helps detoxify, tighten, lift, reduce redness and promote blood flow. Follow-up with the smooth side to refresh, soften, cool and invigorate. The jade tends to remove some product so I apply more serum or oil after treatment.

This winter has been extremely cold and dry so I usually complete my routine with a hydrating vitamin mist to lock in nutrients before turning on my Clean Mist Humidifier for a dewy glow.

If you’re thinking of purchasing one of these handy little beauty tools this model is definitely more advanced than the rollers with 2 smooth ends. The only thing that would make it even better is a small interchangeable roller for under the eyes and a carrying case for travel.

Province Apothecary is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Klorane Nourishing Mango Butter Hair Care Review

If winter has dried out your hair and skin, you’re not alone. The polar vortex that has plagued most of North America brought icy winds and frigid temperatures that forced many of us to crank up our heating systems. When the air outside is cold and dry, and the air inside is even drier, your beauty routine may need some tweaking.

Klorane’s new hair care collection has harnessed the power of mango butter and transformed it into a 4 step system that deeply replenishes parched strands. This delicious fruit is packed with fatty acids, vitamins and healing emollients that lock in moisture and nourish the scalp to prevent dandruff, itching and irritation. The luscious butter also protects the hair follicle from environmental damage and heat styling while improving texture and body.

Start with the fragrant Shampoo ($13.99) that looks and smells like a scrumptious mango smoothie! The paraben free formula foams into a rich, gentle lather that eliminates oil, sweat, dirt and impurities for a squeaky clean finish. It also removes build up without stripping the hair fiber and you only need a small amount.

The ultra-rich Mango Butter Conditioner ($13.99) coats each strand in creamy moisture that rejuvenates brittle areas, balances oil production, softens and boosts shine. It also helps detangle pesky knots and when left in long enough, my hair feels smooth, strong and supple. For fine hair or mild damage, the conditioner makes a great weekly treatment that revives parched strands on frosty winter days.

If you need intense hydration and replenishment, try the Nourishing Mango Butter Mask ($15.49). The thick formula repairs, fortifies and softens straggly dry hair while preventing split- ends and breakage. The directions indicate a treatment time of just 20 minutes but I apply a generous layer (using my Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash Brush for even distribution) before covering my hair with a plastic cap and leaving it on for 1-3 hours. While I’m deep conditioning I usually get some work done, complete a few chores, do a facial or maybe watch TV. After rinsing, my hair feels incredibly silky, bouncy and resilient! I always tell my followers that using a mask weekly or bi-weekly greatly improves the health of your hair so it can grow, thrive and shine.

The Leave-In Cream ($13.99) is another dry hair winter essential. The lightweight formula forms a protective coating that binds split-ends, smooths roughness and shields from heat damage without weight or limpness. Before blow drying or flat ironing, I apply 3-4 pea sized squirts focusing on my ends which usually need more care. For natural curls, use a generous amount to keep spirals well formed, springy and frizz free. The nutritious butter acts like a restorative moisturizer that tames and softens all day long.

This fabulous collection is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu and online at

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cute Valentine’s Day Gifts Ideas

It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas but we are well into February and it’s time to talk about love. My husband and I just got back from Europe (check out my Instagram feed for photos) so right now we are more interested in recouping from jet lag and getting back into our daily routine.

He actually called while I was writing this article and asked me to be ready by 4 pm. I have no idea what he has planned but spending time together never gets old.

In my teens and early 20’s I expected my boyfriends to pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day. Nowadays I don’t care very much about dinner reservations, expensive flowers that I’ll surely kill or big teddy bears that will sit in a corner collecting dust. My hubby is always surprising me with spontaneous dinner dates, romantic outings and luxury vacations. Everything we do together is fun, memorable and special so we don’t really need a specific day to celebrate our love. I am totally content snuggling up in bed, watching Netflix, eating pizza and falling into a blissful junk food coma.

Even if you don’t have big plans tonight, you can still buy yourself a little treat. Makeup is always a great gift because it doesn’t wilt and it won’t make you gain weight.

Avon’s lipsticks are usually under $10.00 and the Queen of Hearts Collection is beautiful! The colorful tubes are decorated with pretty feminine artwork and the satiny pigments drench your pout in kissably soft color. The shades I have are Red Hot and Berry Romantic. Both are creamy, lightweight, moisturizing and vibrant but if you plan to do a lot of smooching, you will need to reapply.

If you’re more of a lip gloss kind of girl, this little compact might be more your style. The lips are filled with small heart cut outs and inside there are two sheer shades.

The texture is quite sticky but it stays put and locks in moisture to prevent dryness. This is a nice gift for anyone who is obsessed with adorable gloss.

Available at

If you’re planning a sexy bubble bath, the Be Mine Conversation Bath Bomb ($8.99) is sure to get the party started.

Arbonne also has some sassy lip colors to put you in the mood. The Glossed Over Lip Gloss in the shade Cardinal ($32.00) makes your pout appear bright, plump and sensual. The smooth, non-tacky formula contains a moisturizing hydro-lipid water layer that helps the pigment disperse evenly for longer wear and loads of nourishment with no smearing. The color is sheer yet vivid so I often use it to refresh my lipstick.

Available at and through independent consultants.

Subtle pinky-nudes are very trendy so you might want to get your hands on Arbonne’s Double Take Matte and Shine Lip Duo ($41.00). The creamy matte side is called Petunia and the color is infused with mineralized clay which gives it a highly saturated velvety finish. At the other end you have Hydrangea – a flattering nude that can be worn alone or applied over the matte. Both textures are hydrating, comfortable and gorgeous on every skin tone. Arbonne also sells retractable lip pencils ($32.00) that define and accentuate.

Tonight I’m going for a bold red lip, shimmery gold eye shadow and dramatic jewelry. Have fun and stay warm!
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