Thursday, February 27, 2020

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color and Hyper Matte Lip Mousse | Review and Swatches

It may not feel like it right now but spring is right around the corner and soon it will be time for soft makeup and bright lipstick.

Revlon has a great selection of trendy pigments to choose from so today I'm featuring a few of my favorite new shades.


There are actually two collections of matte liquid lipstick that differ in texture, color payoff and consistency. The Ultra HD Matte Color looks like lip lacquer with a shiny vinyl finish that takes a while to dry. Despite gradual transfer it holds up well and the stain is quite pretty.

If you prefer creamy formulas, the Matte Lip Mousse is soft, shine-free, lightweight, buttery and buildable but it may take two layers to achieve consistent coverage. Once dry the color usually stays put for a few hours with no dryness or flaking.


I prefer the regular Matte HD formula because application is easier and it doesn’t slide around as much as the mousse. It also shows up better on medium to deep colored lips.

No matter what finish you choose there are trendy hues for all occasions including deep red, bright pink, coral, neutral and everything in-between.

The mango and whipped vanilla scent smells wonderful and the doe-foot applicator helps you navigate around the lip contour with ease. You’ll love how plush, hydrating and smooth the lipsticks feel, especially during winter.


Revlon is available at drugstores nationwide

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mary Kay Naturally Skincare Collection

In world filled with harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients, many of us are more aware of what we put in and on our bodies. We eat well, exercise and try to stay hydrated while living a balanced lifestyle.

Mary Kay recognizes the importance of clean, eco-certified skincare which is why their new collection is inspired by nature. The naturally derived formulas are free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, dyes and SLS/SLES to keep your complexion healthy.


Start with the Purifying Cleanser ($29.00) infused with cornflower water, vitamin E and glycerin to calm, soothe, condition and protect against environmental aggressors. Apply the milky cream on a cotton pad or makeup wipe and massage it in to emulsify foundation and impurities before rinsing. The formula is 99.49% natural and safe for sensitive skin.


When most of the oil and makeup has been removed, double-cleanse by slathering your face in more Purifying Cleanser and use Mary Kay’s rechargeable Skinvigorate Sonic Brush ($85.00). In just 60 seconds the powerful vibrations abolish dirt and pollutants trapped deep within pores and you can switch between 3 settings to customize your beauty routine.

For a clear complexion it is important to remove dull cells and Mary Kay’s Exfoliating Powder ($39.00) gently resurfaces with a blend of citric acid, hydrogenated castor oil and rice starch. Simply mix the powder with water, add a couple drops of MK Nourishing Oil (optional) and massage in circular motions to buff away roughness. For less friction add more water and for more grittiness add less. My skin is sensitive to over-exfoliation so I do not use the powder on the same day I use the Sonic Cleansing Brush.


If you want to look well rested, energized and alert, Mary Kay’s Hydrogel Eye Patches ($45.00) are a must! Apply the cool masks on clean dry skin for 20 minutes and relax as the lush serum soothes, depuffs and revitalizes.


After masking use the Moisturizing Stick ($32.00) to soften, protect, hydrate and replenish dry skin. The emollient-rich squalane formula melts in with no greasiness and the tube is great for travel.


Once you apply a layer of balm, pop the Facial Massage Head ($28.00) on the Skinvigorate and use it to tighten, lift and soften fine lines. 24,000 gentle pulsations tone and rejuvenate your profile in a single session.


Last but not least, apply two drops of Nourishing Oil ($55.00) before bed. This is my favorite product in the line because the formula is 100% natural and boosts radiance.


The nutritive blend contains:

*Olive Oil – soothes, prevents premature aging and sun damage, treats psoriasis and eczema, eliminates bacteria, and moisturizes with powerful antioxidants.

*Squalane Oil – supports the skin’s barrier, balances oil production, diminishes common signs of aging, reduces inflammation, boosts blood circulation, controls acne and deeply hydrates to reduce dryness.

*Sweet Almond Oil (high in fatty acids, vitamin E and A) – softens, smooths, prevents blackheads and acne, blurs find lines, heals chapped lips, alleviates irritation, and conditions.

*Vitamin E – potent antioxidant that protects against environmental damage, combats free radicals, reduces UV damage and supports healthy cell function.

You can find these fabulous products at marykay.ca

Friday, February 21, 2020

How to Get Clear Glowing Skin | 3 Products You Need to Try

As an Travel Editor, Blogger and Beauty Expert I’ve worked with over 350 well known global brands and tested countless products. My face has been slathered in more cream, serum, oil and elixir than most people buy in their lifetime and I’ve tested everything from $20.00 moisturizer to $5,000.00 dollar face masks.

After much trial and error my skincare routine boils down to 3 simple products I can’t live without – Egyptian Magic’s All-Natural Healing Cream, CeraVe’s SA Cream and Mary Kay’s Naturally Nourishing Oil.


Although there are many other products on my favorites list, these 3 formulas are all I need for clear healthy skin. I will not be sharing my cleansing routine today (nobody has time to read that much) but I will give you a discount code.

Egyptian Magic ($31.00 - $48.00)
I first heard about Egyptian Magic from my sister Amanda. She purchased it to treat her eczema and discovered that it also fades blemishes and discoloration.

Egyptian Magic has been on the market for 27 years but the formula was created thousands of years ago in the land of the Pharaohs. The cream is widely endorsed by celebrities and makeup artists because it does not contain additives, preservatives, parabens, chemicals or fragrance.

The consistency is more like a balm or salve composed of nature’s most powerful moisturizing ingredients – olive oil, besswax, honey, bee pollen, bee propolis and royal jelly. Seems simple but the healing properties are amazing! 


When I have a terrible rash Egyptian Magic stops the itching and discomfort in less than two minutes! It nourishes and softens my face, lips, body, hands, nails, cuticles heels, scalp and hair so dryness, chapping and flaking is never a problem (even during harsh Canadian winters).

The replenishing emollients quickly alleviate redness, irritation and sensitivity while fading scars, acne marks and hyperpigmentation. With continual use my complexion remains blemish-free and radiant.

Before discovering Egyptian Magic I used to get blotchy hormonal spots that developed into flat red bumps. Now they rarely appear and random zits are a thing of the past. These results are most likely due to the potent combination of bee by-products known to have antiseptic, restorative and balancing properties. They effectively eliminate bacteria, decongest pores and reduce inflammation.

Royal jelly and bee propolis are also high in vitamins B, C and E, amino acids, minerals and antioxidants that fight visible signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles and premature skin damage.

I prefer to use the balm at night because it melts in like rich facial oil with a bit of greasiness. Don’t be alarmed by the shiny finish. Most of it absorbs by bedtime and won’t transfer to your pillow. Although I layer Egyptian Magic with other products on this list, you may not need to. It functions as an all-purpose all-in-one moisturizer, serum and oil.

To hydrate severely dry skin you can use a small amount during the day but don’t overdo it or your makeup might slide off.

Other uses for Egyptian Magic:
*Eye cream
*Makeup remover
*Sun burn / UV damage
*Heal minor burns, sores, scrapes and cuts
*Eczema and psoriasis treatment
*After-shave/post hair removal balm
*Vaginal moisturizer and lubricant
*Massage
*Tattoo aftercare
*Pregnancy: stretch marks, cracked nipples
*Baby cream: diaper rash
*Skin ulcer and bedsore treatment
*Acne cream

Simply put - Egyptian Magic transforms skin. I’ve been purchasing this product for years without any sponsorship or affiliation but I finally teamed up with the brand to offer you a discount and stock-up for vacation (I never leave home without it).

To purchase visit egyptianmagic.ca and use coupon code NF69J6GT for 10% off. There is no tax added and if you select regular shipping they will upgrade it to expedited shipping at no extra cost. 

CeraVe ($24.00)
I discovered CeraVe’s Renewing SA Cream ($24.00) while attempting to treat small itchy bumps that spread across my cheeks and forehead. I wasn’t sure what was causing them (my skin is usually quite clear) but the condition persisted for months and got so bad that I started searching for a Dermatologist (thankfully that was not necessary).

The ceramides and acids in the SA Cream gently resurface, exfoliate and hydrate. I applied a generous layer every night and in 3-4 weeks the unusual bumps disappeared! 

The jar specifies that the SA Cream is formulated for “extremely dry, rough, bumpy skin” so you will notice a major improvement in texture and tone. It also prevents and reduces the re-occurrence of itching, flaking, redness and razor bumps.


Although my skin is now smooth, supple, even and bright (without having to use abrasive scrubs), I still apply the cream 2-3 times a week to prevent blemishes and remove dry surface cells. 

The active ingredients are:

*Cetearyl Alochol (fatty alcohol/emollient derived from plants) – conditions, protects and softens.

*5 Ceramides that replenish natural lipids, help retain water, diminish signs of aging, shield from pollution and eliminate bacteria.

*Hyaluronic Acid – absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water to keep skin lubricated and healthy. It also firms and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

*Lactic Acid – renews surface cells.

*Nicinamide (Vitamin B3) – improves the appearance of enlarged pores, brightens, fortifies and evens skin tone by fading dark spots, hyperpigmentation and scars.

The SA Cream comes in a large jar and the rich texture feels like body cream because you can use it everywhere. I apply a thick layer on my face before bed and use Egyptian Magic on top to create a fantastic regenerating night mask with a smooth velvety finish.

During the day or while traveling I use a thin layer under makeup. It helps prevent symptoms of jet-lag, irritation and acne on long drying flights with no greasiness. It can also be used to treat blemishes, discoloration, blackheads, whiteheads, sun damage, excess oil production, keratosis pilaris, eczema and psoriasis.

Sometimes I experience mild tingling around my nose (probably due to the acids) but the sensation does not last long. You might want to refrain from using the cream after clinical procedures, microdermabrasion or exfoliation.

CeraVe is available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart and beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca.

Mary Kay Naturally Nourishing Oil ($55.00)
There are many brands that make great facial oils (Korres, L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, Estee Lauder etc) but one of my new favorites is Mary Kay’s Nourishing Formula composed of 100% natural oil.

I haven’t been using this product for years like Egyptian Magic or CeraVe but in 6 months it has done wonders for my complexion.


The blend contains:

*Olive Oil – soothes psoriasis, eczema, itching and irritation, eliminates bacteria and deeply moisturizes with powerful antioxidants.

*Squalane Oil – strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, balances oil production, diminishes signs of aging, reduces inflammation, boosts blood circulation and controls acne.

*Sweet Almond Oil (high in fatty acids, vitamin E and A) – softens, smooths, conditions, prevents blackheads and acne, blurs fine lines and heals chapped skin.

*Vitamin E (high in antioxidants) – protects against environmental damage, combats free radicals, treats UV damage and supports healthy cell function.

I don't mind looking like a grease ball before bed, especially if it means waking up to flawless skin. These products can be used in various combinations and sometimes I layer all three. 

The Naturally Nourishing Oil is available online at marykay.ca and you only need 2 drops per night for visible results.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Romantic Date Night Essentials From Avon

This year Valentine’s Day was on a Friday which means we had the entire Family Day Long-Weekend to indulge in sweet treats and romance.

Spending quality time with your partner should always be a priority (V-Day or not) so it’s a good idea to stash a few products away for special occasions or spontaneous date nights.


For a night on the town I like to shower, shave and clean my teeth before applying makeup. Avon’s Periore Himalaya Pink Salt Toothpaste ($13.00) removes plaque and stubborn stains with a gentle cruelty-free vegan formula. There is no floride, parabens or artificial color and the icy mint flavor keeps your breath fresh for hours.


The pump dispenses the perfect amount of mineral-rich cream to maintain healthy gums and prevent cavities. I actually have a Himalayan salt lamp on my bedside table for air purification and it is the only salt I cook with. When consumed regularly, pink salt may help balance electrolytes and pH, increase hydration, regulate water content in the body, prevent muscle cramps, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, eliminate toxins and improve circulation.

Enjoying a relaxing soak with your love is always a good idea and Avon’s fragrant Strawberries and Cream Bubble Bath ($12.00) and Bath Petals ($12.00) help set the mood. Light some scented candles, make sure there is a substantial amount of fluffy foam and sprinkle in the soap petals. Your partner will think they’ve died and gone to heaven.


If you plan to go out for date night you’ll need some pretty makeup and Avon always has a great selection. The Send Roses Eye Palette ($22.00) features 16 elegant shades infused with radiant shimmer and metallic flecks. The gold, champagne and silvery hues pair well with the soft neutrals and I’m obsessed with the pink garnet.


For best coverage, use a good primer and spread the color evenly. The shadows are well pigmented, vivid and velvety.

Avon has managed to successfully combine two of my favorite things – lipstick and gelato! The adorable One More Scoop Lip Tints ($15.00 ea) smell exactly like the delicious flavors listed on the wrapping. The color of the ice cream scoop does not indicate the actual shade but the tints are vibrant, buildable, creamy, moist and highly saturated. The deeper hues leave behind a prominent stain so apply them within the border of your lips for a neat finish.

The yellow cone (Raspberry Limoncello) and the brown cone (Chocolate Cherry) are my favorites.

You know when Beyonce said “if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it?” well she might have been talking about Avon’s Limited-Edition Put a Ring On it Lip Tints ($13.00 ea). They remind me of the colorful Ring Pop Candy I ate as a kid.


The pigments are bright, lightweight, buildable and comfortable with a delicious scent. Although the texture is a bit liquidy, the color spreads evenly, dries quickly and stays put all day – similar to the stain you get after eating a cherry popsicle.


You can’t show off your rings without moisturizing your skin and this is a great time to stock-up on spring hand creams. Right now you can get 2 pretty floral tubes for just $5.00 online. The formula nourishes dry skin, damaged nails and ragged cuticles with no greasiness and I love the soft vanilla scent. Get one for yourself and a friend.


These products are available at avon.ca

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Catrice Cosmetics Winter Rescue Lip Treatments

If you celebrated Valentine’s Day this weekend you may have spent the evening smooching by the fire or braving the cold to enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner at your favorite restaurant. I wore glitter shadow and sultry matte lip lacquer but getting ready took a bit of prep work.

Although I escaped to Miami for the week, winter in Canada has taken its toll. I need effective lip care that prevents dryness and chapping so my bold lipsticks apply smooth and even.


Thankfully Catrice sent me a few replenishing products that have recently become part of my beauty routine.

The night before our big date I cleansed my face, applied moisturizer and used the Catrice Sugar Lip Scrub and Balm ($7.99) to prep my pout. The fine sugar particles gently buff away rough crusty skin for a soft, supple finish.


Prior to applying makeup I slather my lips in creamy Coconut Balm ($7.99) infused with argan oil and vitamin E. The tropical scent smells delicious and the lightweight formula melts in quickly to alleviate dryness, tightness and discomfort. FYI my husband thinks it tastes great.


Before bed use the Lip Plumping Mask ($9.99) enriched with hyaluronic acid. The tube is small but a thin layer is all it takes to plump, condition and heal weather-beaten, dehydrated skin. The non-greasy luminous finish makes lips appear healthy and radiant – perfect overnight treatment for special occasions.


Try applying the Lip Oil ($9.99) on top of the mask to improve texture and tone. The renewing formula contains sweet almond, apricot and jojoba oils to repair and protect. If you experience soreness in the corners of your mouth from dryness, peeling, extreme weather or cracking, these products will quickly soothe and renew damaged areas. My lips have never looked this plush!


The Catrice Lip Treatment ($9.99) is a rich balm that drenches your pout in creamy shea butter and locks-in moisture for hours. I usually wear it on long flights and cold winter days because it clings to skin and protects against environmental aggressors. 


After a few days of proper hydration and exfoliation you’ll be able to wear any lipstick with confidence. To show off your pretty rejuvenated lips try the Catrice Power Plumping Gel Lipstick ($9.99). The shades range from neutral, deep and bright with a high-shine moisturizing finish and sheer color payoff.

Catrice also makes beautiful matte lipsticks. For more information on those click HERE.


These products are vegan and cruelty-free. Catrice Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Valentine’s Day 2020 | Date Night Beauty Essentials

If you follow me on social media you’ve probably seen my vacation photos of Miami. My sister and I are enjoying a romantic couples retreat with our amazing husbands. We’ve been yachting on Biscayne Bay, strolling along Ocean Drive and dining under the stars.

To prepare myself for date night I packed a variety of skincare and makeup essentials that are beautifully packaged and perfect for creating soft, radiant looks.


The Fresh Beauty Limited-Edition Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum ($212.00) helps counteract the effects of jet-lag, sun exposure and late nights. Lychee extract, fermented tea, peptides and honeysuckle leaf inhibit free radicals, improve elasticity, firm, moisturize, smooth, brighten and fade dark spots for an even complexion.

The dispenser resembles a hair dye nozzle and when you press the tip, it releases one dewy drop at a time to prevent waste.


The limited-edition red and gold bottle commemorates lunar New Year and makes a fabulous Valentine’s gift for anyone who loves effective anti-aging skincare.

If you haven’t tried the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments ($32.00) you should! The nourishing formula contains meadowfoam, grape seed and black currant oils to keep lips kissably soft, supple, protected and hydrated. Use it to refresh matte lipstick or apply on bare skin for a burst of sheer juicy color. Fresh Beauty is available at Sephora.

You’ll need an incredible moisturizer to go with your skin perfecting Black Tea Serum so I recommend Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream ($133.00 / 50 ml) for a luminous natural glow.


The rich, cruelty-free formula contains a powerful blend of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, camellia oil, rosehip, shea butter, aloe, peptides and frangipani flower to restore radiance, minimize wrinkles, calm, hydrate and soften for up to 24 hours. It melts in quickly with a lightweight silky finish and works wonders under makeup.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Luxury Pillow Talk Eye Shadow Palette ($70.00) is soft and flirty. The brilliant pink, shimmery champagne, rose gold and coppery bronze look beautiful together but the finish is sheer and subtle with a rough texture. For more vibrancy, use a good primer (a glitter base might work too), dampen your brush with setting spray and pat the shadow on in heavy layers for more sparkle. The bronze hue is the only one that applies full-coverage.


The CT Superstar Lip Color ($39.00) is my favorite product from the brand. The cushiony sheer pigment moisturizes and replenishes dry, rough skin with healing oils, diamond powder, hyaluronic acid and peptides (I always have one in my purse). On cold winter days the buttery texture keeps lips plush, comfortable and smooth for hours (it feels better and last longer than most lip balm).

Charlotte Tilbury is available at Sephora, Holt Renfrew and charlottetolbury.com.
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