Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Lise Watier X Fashion Makeup Collection: Review and Swatches

The holiday season is right around the corner so I’ve started shopping and planning my makeup looks for glam parties and events.

This year Lise Watier teamed up with Fashion Magazine to create 3 trendy palettes that are perfect for gift-giving season and inspired by the elements: fire, water and air. They retail for $59.00 each or you can get all 3 in a chic gift box for $150.00.

The beauty books have large mirrors and simple instructions for creating well coordinated looks (in case you need a little help). You also get 4 shadows, 1 blush, 1 highlighter and 2 iconic lip colors (Rouge Intense Supreme and Rouge-Fondant Supreme) suitable for all complexions.

Winds Of Liberty is great for fall. It contains smokey plums and a gorgeous pink orchid that compliments the purple undertones beautifully. This look is soft, seductive and feminine, especially when paired with the dewy plum-red lipstick and shimmery champagne highlighter.

The shadows apply velvety smooth for consistent coverage with minimal fallout, and the rich color lasts all day with no creasing or fading. You'll love the versatile finishes. They range from matte, satin and metallic for excellent illumination, contrast and depth.

Go With The Flow is perfect for Christmas parties. It contains a creamy gold highlighter and vibrant jewel-tone aqua that makes the eyes pop. I just wish there was a deeper blush and a matte shade to match the greens.

The sheer pink lipsticks balance the bright shadows and deep olive tones wonderfully!

I’ve also been testing the Annabelle V.I.P Lipsticks ($9.95 ea) infused with moringa butter, vitamin E and guava perfume. There are 3 finishes available: lustrous, matte and metallic.

My favorite hue (Fab 777, 3rd from the top) broke in half as soon as I swatched it but the others remained intact. Most of the shades are ultra sheer and don't show up the way you'd expect. Gambler (2nd from the bottom) looks like deep plum infused with a galaxy of stars but it is actually clear glitter. Monte Carlo (2nd from the top) looks like a simple overlay but applies creamy and well pigmented – very similar to gold highlighter.

The lightweight formula melts in like a nourishing, tinted balm and hydrates dry skin on cold winter days.

Annabelle Cosmetics is available at drugstores nationwide and Lise Watier is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, department store counters (including The Bay) and online at

Monday, October 28, 2019

Vichy Mineral 89 Booster and NEW Mineral 89 Repairing Eye Fortifier

Since its debut a few years ago, Vichy’s Mineral 89 Booster ($49.95) has become a Canadian bestseller and one of the most popular products of its kind on the market. I’ve been using it to enhance my skincare routine and fortify my cells for years but it is also very helpful during cold winter months.

Boosters should be applied after cleansing and toner. They lock-in moisture and increase the efficiency of your other skincare products for faster results and a youthful glow.

Mineral 89 with hyaluronic acid contains 89% mineralizing thermal water from deep within French volcanoes. The concentrated gel hydrates dry skin and protects against visible signs of stress, fatigue, pollution, sun damage, aging and dullness.

With repeated use skin appears plump, tone, smooth, luminous and even with no greasiness or sticky residue. In fact, the refreshing formula absorbs so well that I don’t even feel it. For very dry skin and during winter, I recommend layering it with serum and moisturizer. Before bed I also use face oil so my complexion looks amazing in the morning.

Since the effects last 24 hours, it is a good idea to apply a few drops under makeup as well. For long flights, I pack the bottle in my carry-on to prevent dehydration, excess oil and breakouts – what I refer to as vacation skin. The formula is free of oil, alcohol, fragrance, parabens and silicone so it should be safe for all skin types.

If you really want to get the most from your booster and look like you’ve just returned from a relaxing retreat, pair it with Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Night Spa ($44.95). This velvety, lightweight sleep mask quenches and rejuvenates haggard, dehydrated skin so you look absolutely radiant. It contains Vichy’s signature thermal water with 15 potent minerals and the maximum concentration of hyaluronic acid to strengthen and regenerate. You will never have to worry about flaking or itchy dry spots again! In less than a week my skin was soft, smooth and renewed so now I use it every night.

If you love the effects of the booster you should also try Mineral 89 Eyes ($34.95). The gel contains similar ingredients – 89% mineralizing thermal water, hyaluronic acid and pure caffeine to brighten dark circles, deeply hydrate and reduce puffiness.

After using the treatment for a few weeks, my eye area is refreshed and smooth but there have been no significant improvements in dark circles. To reduce bags and signs of exhaustion, keep the bottle in the fridge so the gel remains cool.

Vichy is available in drugstores nationwide and you can visit the website at

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Evil Witch, Voodoo Priestess Halloween Makeup

On Thursday I attended the NYX Halloween party which is always an epic event. This year the theme was Wonderland After Dark – depicting a creepier side of the classic Alice in Wonderland fairytale.

The venue was decorated like the Mad Hatter’s tea party and surrounded by mysterious jungle foliage and psychedelic neon lights. There were odd Wonderland characters slinking around as the DJ played awesome music and the bar served drinks all night. I particularly enjoyed the candy stations serving chocolate dipped apples and cotton candy burritos.

Most of the guests were dressed as Alice, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts or the White Rabbit so I decided to do something a little more evil.

Last year I went as an Egyptian queen (you can see that look by clicking HERE) but this time I only had 2 days to decide on a costume.

I drew inspiration from the Vampire Sisterhood on Netflix’s Van Helsing series and a few images from the internet. Most of my friends thought I looked ready to cast a curse, like some kind of spooky voodoo priestess.

If you’re looking for last minute Halloween inspiration, this makeup is quite simple. All you need is lots of black eye shadow and a good black lipstick.

I used the Too Faced & Kat Von D Better Together Palette because it contains a rich matte black that was perfect for my eyes, cheeks and brows. Make sure to layer heavy and blend well towards the brows and below the lower lash line. The shadow doesn't have to be neat, in fact the messier it is, the crazier you look LOL.

On my lips, I used the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Kiev. For the dots and symbols, you can change it up and get creative. For this I used Lise Watier's Dramatique Gel Liner in Ultra Noir (their retractable pencils and brow products are fabulous). If you’re planning to dance the night away, make sure to use a waterproof formula.

To achieve a deathly pale complexion, apply foundation and powder that is lighter than your skin tone. It is perfectly acceptable to look a little grey and ashy on Halloween.

I also went to Michael’s and picked up some 3D spider stickers for a little more drama.

My hair is already long and naturally black so thankfully I didn’t have to wear a Halloween wig. I simply brushed it forward to amp-up the witchy vibe.

The Ardell Fright Night falsies retail from just $7.99 - $11.99 and this year's collection includes a fun webbed design, fairy witch with little red bows and bat girl. With proper care they can be reused several times and the eccentric bottom lashes look fabulous! Pick up your favorite pair at drugstores nationwide and take your Halloween makeup to the next level.

I also wore a pointy witch hat, waist length spider web cape and long mesh gloves to complete the costume. 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Revlon Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Polish: Review & Swatches

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Revlon makes beautiful lip products and the Ultra HD Vinyl Polish is no exception.

There are 12 trendy shades to choose from including fuchsia, classic red, sultry berry, violet, nude, deep burgundy and bright orange – a little something for everyone.

If you love lush, dramatic color with a bold lacquered finish and plump, scintillating shine then look no further! Infused with rich pigment, vitamin E, shea butter and aloe extract, these glossy vinyls keep lips moist and supple with no feathering or fuss.

The color glides on full-coverage, consistent and dramatic in one coat and hugs the curve of your lips to create a voluminous, juicy pout. I can wear these for hours without having to reapply because the rich texture clings to skin without stickiness, mess or discomfort.

After testing most of the shades, I think it’s best to use one layer and a little extra if necessary. When applied excessively, the color doesn’t look as neat.

Left to right: 950 Act Natural, 975 Rule The World, 935 Berry Blissed, 925 Birthday Suit, 910 Cherry On Top, 915 So Shady, 920 Power Up and 960 Date Night.

The delicious whipped vanilla scent is a bit strong as you pull the wand out but I love the candy aroma. Even as the color begins to wear away, my lips remain smooth, soft and hydrated which makes the polish perfect for chilly autumn days.

My favorite shades for fall are: Berry Blissed, Cherry On Top (blue-based bright red), Power Up (great orange-coral for Halloween) and So Shady (dark burgundy-wine).

Act Natural is the lightest shade in the collection with a soft pink finish while Birthday Suit is a neutral pink. Date Night has a mauve - dusty rose undertone that looks amazing on medium to deep skin.

Rule The World is a summery hot pink that looks gorgeous on everyone.

If you prefer shine-free, creamy lipstick, check out my review of the Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Is Everything Collection.

The Lip Polish retails for $11.49 CAD and Revlon is available at drugstores nationwide.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Mary Kay TimeWise Matte 3D Foundation Review

2019 is shaping up to be a good year for foundation. I’ve found a few formulas that work wonders for my complexion and today I’m sharing another fantastic product from Mary Kay.

I love when brands mix skincare into their pigment because on workdays I tend to wear makeup for at least 8 hours and up to 20 hours while traveling overseas. Due to my busy schedule, I am always looking for products that don't clog pores, look oily or cause breakouts, and Mary Kay’s new Matte Foundation checks all the boxes.

The Age Minimize 3D Complex ($28.00) is available in 28 shades that contain encapsulated resveratrol, vitamin B3, age defying peptides and antioxidants that strengthen collagen and elastin, fight free radicals, improve the look of wrinkles, brighten uneven skin tone and protect against environmental damage. The formula is suitable for combination, oily and sensitive skin.

I have not tried any of the previous MK foundations but I am quite impressed by the lightweight, smooth finish. Keep in mind that the appearance of your makeup (flawless or uneven) is directly related to the health of your skin so results may vary.

The color does not crease, flake or settle into fine lines and the liquidy texture blends seamlessly for a natural finish – much better than thick creams.

At first the coverage seemed a bit sparse but I didn't have trouble finding a match (Bronze is my preferred shade). The second time I used a bit more product and concealed everything I wanted to hide. Throughout the day I didn’t need any touch-ups and there was no greasy build-up or oxidization – the color appeared even with no harsh undertones.

If you have very dry skin, the matte effect may not be ideal this season. To change the finish, layer the foundation over a supple moisturizer or try mixing in a drop of facial oil for more dewiness. All I do is pat on a bit of setting powder and it lasts all day. I prefer a shine-free finish because my skin tends to produce sebum as the day wears on.

The anti-humidity and sweat resistant properties are great for long summer days and I’ve even tested it while working out with no major mishaps.

I always use primer to achieve the most flawless finish possible but TimeWise makes my skin look great – no complaints. I can customize the coverage for any occasion and it does not clog pores or cause irritation no matter how long I wear it.

A damp beauty blender seems to works better than a makeup brush but application is quick and consistent. I’m not sure about the 3D effect (didn’t notice any difference) but the small tubes are ideal for travel.

Mary Kay is available online at

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

K-Beauty Skincare Routine: The Case Full of Seoul

K-Beauty has taken the skincare industry by storm and has quickly become mainstream in North America. There are countless products to choose from and a never-ending stream of tutorials and reviews.

While vacationing in Asia I saw huge shopping centers dedicated to achieving beautiful skin but many people (myself included) have no idea where to start or what actually works. Thankfully Umma Beauty has meticulously curated a selection of the best Korean creams, serums, toners and masks to take your skincare routine to the next level.

As many of you know, K-Beauty is all about using a multi-step layering approach and this beautiful hibiscus case contains 8 core products that target common skincare concerns.

There are also 4 specific beauty plans to get you through the week including: Morning Glory, The Sleeping Beauty (nightly ritual), Get Ready With Me and Spa Sunday which I used yesterday after the Thanksgiving long-weekend.

Step 1 is always the 9 Wishes Rice Foaming Cleanser with micro-ground rice powder that gently exfoliates dead skin and rinses away impurities. The nutritious ingredients leave skin bright, refreshed and smooth with no residue or tightness – perfect for dry winter days.

Step 2 is also the same for each routine. It includes the travel-size May Coop Raw Sauce Toner composed of 93% maple tree sap, natural moisturizers, organic grain extract, herbs, vitamins and humectants. I’ve never used a toner quite like it. The consistency is similar to a nourishing serum yet it abolishes dirt, absorbs excess oil, eliminates bacteria, prevents blemishes and protects against free-radical damage without causing dryness.

Step 3 in each beauty plan is always the Urang True Rose Repair Essence Serum with essential oils, vitamins C and A, jojoba and organic floral water. This is an intense hydrating glow complex that plumps and rejuvenates dull, dehydrated skin so it appears youthful and radiant. The formula absorbs quickly and penetrates deeply with anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and protect. Due to its natural composition free of fragrances, synthetics, chemicals and preservatives, it must be used within 6 months.

After applying the serum Step 4 is usually the May Coop Raw Moisturizer containing 70% maple tree sap, baobab extract, cactus and a long list of fruits, cloves and botanical ingredients that deeply moisturize and replenish for 24 hours. The velvety formula is rich, lightweight and non-greasy with healing components that seem to minimize scars and discoloration. My skin looks supple, fortified and completely renewed so I use it morning and night to maintain a dewy glow.

If you’re enjoying a spa day at home, Step 4 would be the I Woke Up Like This All-In-One Sheet Mask instead of the moisturizer (the mask provides enough hydration on its own). After a busy week or long flight, this concentrated treatment revitalizes the complexion with a combination of pearl powder, vitamin C and niacinamide to brighten, tighten, soften, hydrate and restore elasticity.

When you’re getting ready for bed, apply the Tov Camellia Wrinkle Free Eye Solution before moisturizer. Infused with shea butter, niacin, guava, star fruit, lime, elderberry and macadamia oil, the balm hydrates, plumps, blurs fine lines and reduces puffiness. It also helps lighten dark circles while protecting against UV damage so you look well rested. The syringe applicator makes it easy to target problem areas and the cream stays where you put it.

If you’re heading out for the day, apply the Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer prior to toner, serum moisturizer and makeup. This might be one of the best primers I’ve ever used! The gel is light, supple and silky with no slick silicones or shine. It shrinks pores, evens skin texture, fills lines and creates a protective anti-pollution barrier. My makeup looks flawless and the vegan friendly, cruelty-free formula contains no parabens, sulfates or phthalates so it is definitely a keeper!

Last but not least in the night and spa regimes is the luscious Urang Vitamin Oil Serum packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, jojoba, lavender, myrrh, frankincense and rosehip oil. This lush elixir regenerates, strengthens, softens and hydrates so you awake to a dewy, youthful glow. It also works wonders on other parts of the body like dry heels, elbows, hands and cuticles.

The Case is valued at $345.00 but retails for $159.00 at Costco.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Cirque du Soleil Alegria Review

A couple weeks ago I attended the 25th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil’s Alergia – a new adaptation of their most iconic production seen by more than 14 million spectators. The modified version is fun, silly and daring with even more color, suspense and death-defying stunts.

The big top was abuzz at Ontario Place as guests walked the red carpet sipping champagne and snapping photos with brightly costumed performers. Popcorn and drinks were provided before we piled into the tent and took our seats in anticipation.

This wasn’t my first night at the circus but it was my favorite location. The venue is spacious, easy to access and set against Toronto’s beautiful skyline. No matter where you sit, the stage is positioned to give everyone a clear view and the actors always make you feel like part of the show.

Every aspect of the production is enticing – the incredible music, whimsical costumes, props, lighting, ambiance and well crafted sets. When it all comes together you are transported to a magical realm like no other - something Cirque seems to do effortlessly. 

Photo: Marie-Andree Lemire / Costumes: Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019

I am not usually a fan of the slapstick clown comedy (I mainly go for the jaw-dropping gymnastics and beautiful imagery) but this time they were funny. The odd characters pull you in, make you chuckle and create an immersive world of wonder.

The snow globe scene (as I like to call it) was exhilarating! To the audience’s amazement one of the clowns suddenly starts a whirlwind snow storm that engulfs everyone in an endless shower of fluttering white flecks. Caught up in the excitement I almost forgot it was a warm summer night.

Photo: Marie-Andree Lemire / Costumes: Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019

As usual the acrobats are amazing. The synchronized trapeze is graceful while the acro poles, hula tricks and high bar aerial playground left us speechless. Performers vaulted through the air, diving from the ceiling, spinning inside wheels and contorting their bodies in incredible, unimaginable positions.

Photo: Marie-Andree Lemire / Costumes: Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019

Some artists formed human ladders - balancing meticulously, while others twirled on silk scarves as the singer's powerful melody enhanced the drama. It is my favorite musical rendition to-date.

Photo: Marie-Andree Lemire / Costumes: Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019

The knife and fire dance is one of the most impressive performances I've seen in a Cirque show. Wearing a realistic tribal costume the flame thrower plays with fire like it is coming out of his body! He places the flames on his feet and hands before lapping them up in his mouth. Sizzling sparks graze his bare torso as he smiles, totally unscathed. I have no idea how he did it but I held my breath in awe, terror and wonder. He wins the award for greatest showman ever!

Photo: Marie-Andree Lemire / Costumes: Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019

Alegria’s story-line wasn’t straightforward but Mr. Fleur (the ringleader) seemed to be manipulating the kingdom and characters with his magic stick, forcing them to perform in an attempt to gain power. I could be wrong but one thing I learned after seeing seven shows is to relax and just let it happen. Don’t try to make sense of the unusual scenes. It’s about giving in to the fantasy and letting your imagination run wild.

Photo: Marie-Andree Lemire / Costumes: Dominique Lemieux / Cirque du Soleil 2019

Alegria is fantastic for all ages and occasions. If you're looking for date night ideas or family fun, the show runs until November 24th and tickets are available at
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