Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pamper Yourself with Nivea’s Hydrating Body Care Collection

Being stuck at home during the pandemic is not all bad. I’ve been making more time to pamper myself, exercise and test healthy recipes. I’ve also been putting together spa gift baskets to help friends and family get through this difficult time. Receiving products to enhance your self-care routine can be very uplifting and everyone loves Nivea.


As I’ve said before, enjoying a hot, steamy shower (or bubble bath) eases tension and relaxes the body. On humid days, a cool shower can refresh and rejuvenate, especially before bed.

Wild Berries and Hibiscus with Nourishing Serum is one of my favorite body washes. The delicious fruit fragrance fills your bathroom with the scent of summer and the paraben-free formula is loaded with nourishing plant oils, essential lipids and vitamins to cleanse and soften dry skin.


If you prefer a soothing scent, try Care and Coconut Hydration with jojoba seed oil. The silky, moisturizing foam rinses away sweat and impurities for a smooth, supple finish.

We might not be wearing much makeup these days (with the exception of virtual meetings) but daily cleansing is still important. In the spa baskets I’ve included:

-Niveal 3-in-1 Cleansing Wipes ($9.49) with no added colorants, perfume or alcohol. These soft cloths gently remove makeup, excess oil, pollutants and pore clogging debris trapped within pores.

-Nivea MicellAir Skin Breathe ($9.49) with black tea extract removes heavy, long-lasting makeup, waterproof mascara and lipstick stains with no residue or stickiness. The cool, refreshing liquid attracts impurities, bacteria and oil like a magnet to help prevent blemishes.


-Nivea Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($9.49) is a must if you love eye shadow as much as I do. It wipes away vibrant pigment, glitter, eyeliner and waterproof mascara without irritation. 

My family loves Nivea body creams and a few summer must-haves include:

-Coconut and Monoi Oil Body Lotion ($11.49) - great for extra dry, dull skin that needs a boost of radiance. It provides 24 hours of deep moisture to soothe, soften and protect. Tip: apply a thin layer after shaving for a healthy glow.

-If you plan to wear sun dresses, shorts and tank top this season, Nivea’s Advanced Firming Milk ($11.49) with Q10, creatine, macadamia oil and L-carnitine improves elasticity so your body appears tight and toned. Of course you’ll still need exercise and a balanced diet but the cream helps you look even better!


-If you dislike feeling hot and sweaty during the summer, try Nivea’s Care Collection. These lightweight, intensely hydrating formulas come in travel-friendly packaging and the non-greasy finish is great for humid days. The tube contains a fast absorbing face, body and hand lotion suitable for sensitive skin. I keep the large jar in my bathroom to use after showering and it never makes me feel slick or sticky on hot days.

Speaking of warm summer days, don’t forget your deodorant! For those sensitive to certain ingredients I recommend Nivea’s Natural Comfort Aluminum Free Deodorant with 48 hour odor protection.


For formal occasions and everyday wear, Nivea’s Black & White Invisible Dry Spay Anti-Perspirant minimizes white marks and yellow stains on clothing.

Nivea is available at drugstores nationwide.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

YSL Beauty Must-Have Lipsticks and Fragrances | Summer 2020

As the world slowly begins to recover from the pandemic, it is finally starting to feel like summer. We still have to be careful and practice physical distancing but this weekend I am going on a road trip to enjoy nature and soak up some vitamin D.

Like most people who have been cooped up in quarantine for weeks, I can’t wait to show-off my new makeup including YSL’s latest creation – Tatouage Couture Velvet Cream Lipstick ($49).


These gorgeous pigments plump and moisturize with a supple, cushiony formula that makes lips look plush and seductive. Online they are described as “high coverage” and “matte” but the color payoff is sheer to medium and the finish has a glossy topcoat that creates a voluminous pouty effect. I expected an opaque matte cream but this texture is comfortable and easy to apply. The deeper shades seem to have more color payoff and look great with most eyeshadow.


The Tatouage Collection has sexy shades for all skin tones including deep reds, browns and nudes that compliment tanned complexions. I love the square tip angled applicator. It glides around the lip contour to outline and define with incredible precision.


For collectors YSL has created the cutest polka dot packaging ever! The Limited-Edition Rouge Pur Couture Slim Stud Collectors ($50 on sale for $30) are available in 4 must-have hues. My spring/summer faves are 21- bright sultry red and 13 - a bold orange that is perfect for lounging by the pool.


The powdery matte finish glides on smooth, opaque, creamy and highly saturated with a touch of moisture to revitalize dry lips. If you love vibrant, eye-catching color make sure to get these before they’re gone!


The lipsticks on the outside are the Limited-Edition Pur Couture Stud Collectors ($49 on sale for $34.30). They have a beautiful satin finish with brilliant shine and vivid color that glides on rich and buttery. Shade 99 is a flashy pink and 01 is bright red with an orange undertone.

Light up your lips with the Rouge Volupte Rock N Shine Lipstick ($49). This is the most comfortable, hydrating formula YSL has created! The juicy color applies effortlessly and keeps skin healthy, smooth and soft for hours. The star provides a hint of glitter (no chunky particles) and the texture feels more like a glossy, rejuvenating balm – I’m obsessed!


The caps also have a touch for sparkle and brand’s iconic logo.


Swatches from left to right (my favorites have a star* beside them): Tatouage Couture Velvet Cream Lipstick - 212, *206, *216, and 201. Limited-Edition Rouge Pur Couture Slim Stud Collectors - *21, and 13. Limited-Edition Pur Couture Stud Collectors - 01 and *99. Rouge Volupte Rock N Shine Lipstick - 6 and *10


Since we’re talking about fabulous new products I should tell you about YSL’s summer fragrances which look as good as they smell.

The Mon Paris perfumes have become a staple in my collection (I have quite a few and I love giving them as gifts). This version is called Mon Paris Intensement ($50 - $90) because the scent is robust, mysterious and powerful. The dark fuchsia bottle and elegant black bow reflects the dark woody essence within.


The top notes are: black currant, raspberry, pear, orange and bergamot essence rounded out by floral accords – rose absolute, Bulgarian rose, white peony and freesia. The base is musky with a hint of patchouli to tame the sweetness. When I breathe it in deeply I smell a faint trace of honey from the flowers.

The new Libre Eau De Parfum ($38 - $168) is sweet, fruity, playful and feminine – great for everyday wear. French lavender, mandarin, black currant and Indian jasmine compliment a sensual base of Moroccan orange blossom, creamy vanilla and cedarwood.


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

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Burt’s Bees Matte Stick - Review and Swatches

When it comes to eco-friendly simple makeup no one does it better than Burt’s Bees. Their new Matte Sticks ($10.99 ea) are 100% natural - made with a nourishing blend of jojoba, cocoa butter and kokum to keep lips smooth, soft and smooch-worthy.


When you don’t want to wear heavy, solid shades these lipsticks are a great option for quick summer looks. In the nude category from left to right and light to dark your options are - 410 Rippling Rose, 420 Muted Mauve, 425 Buttery Blush and 430 Canyon Creek.


The mineral rich pigment provides light to medium coverage with a sheer, shine-free finish. If you like tinted balms that soften and condition dry skin, you’ll love these! They feel great and last for hours without feathering or flaking. 

There are 12 shades available with undertones for every complexion and the supple, lightweight formula makes lips appear plump and healthy with a natural flush.

In the pink and red range you have – 465 Rhubarb Rapids, 450 Rush of Raspberries, 455 Liquid Ruby and 460 Crimson Cascade.


The lipsticks are not as creamy as they look so the color does not glide on adequately in a single swipe. It took several layers to achieve the vibrancy I wanted and the finish is much better if your lips are smooth and exfoliated.

The purple and browns remind me of fall – 475 Liquid Honey, 480 Mulberry Mist, 440 Lilac Lagoon and 470 Puddle Plum.


Matte Sticks are great for work, travel and everyday wear. Find this cute collection at burtsbees.ca, Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, health food stores, Whole Foods and more.


Swatches from left to right (my favorites have a star* beside them): Lilac Lagoon, *Crimson Cascade, Liquid Honey, Rhubarb Rapids, Liquid Ruby, *Puddle of Plum, Butter Blush, *Rush if Raspberry, Mulberry Mist, *Canyon Creek and Melted Mauve. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Urban Decay Wired Palette | Review and Swatches

I never shy away from bold color so the bright neon hues in Urban Decay’s new Wired Palette ($59.00) don't scare me.

These pretty pressed pigments are perfect for summer and if you want to experiment with electric rainbow shades, put the neutrals away and unleash your creativity.


The palette is divided into 2 sections – one side is for face, body and eyes and the other is for face and body. This is a little confusing because the model on UD’s website is clearly wearing the hot pink along her bottom lash line even though it is one of the colors “not meant for use around the eyes.”

I love the purple, coral, pink and orange so it's a shame I can’t put them near my eyeballs. How often do people use colors like this on their face and body aside from festivals, concerts and Halloween?

I am not sure why the brand formulated the pigments differently nor do I know what will happen if you use the face and body pigments on or around your eyes. Just to be safe you should probably adhere to the directions. 


Despite the confusion I love these shades (with the exception of Glitch because who needs another chalky white?) My favorites are Chaos, Current, Gravity and Slowburn – a vibrant, full-coverage orangey-coral I never knew I needed. Most of the pigments start off sheer and can be intensified with primer and a few layers.

This isn’t Urban Decay’s finest work. I expected smooth velvety application but the texture is neither rich nor creamy. Jolt, Fluorescent and Switch are sheer, dry and inconsistent so coverage is a bit sparse if you don't apply enough. This could be due to the fact that UD is selling this as “an accessory palette” – “something to add a little spice to what you already wear.” The pigments blend well and the effect is still quite pretty.


If you don’t overthink it Wired can be a lot of fun. Mix and layer the pigments with other shades, use them as eye liner and add bold or subtle pops of color to accentuate and define.

(These swatches were done with primer and several layers of color to demonstrate their full potential). 


Urban Decay is available at urbandecay.ca, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sephora, Ulta Beauty and UD freestanding stores.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Delicious Summer Cocktails | Lone Star Texas Grill Mar-GO-Rita Kit + GIVEAWAY

One of my favorite ways to relax and unwind on a warm summer day is lounging on the deck with a refreshing cocktail. Anything the helps me escape my living room for a few hours during the pandemic is a welcome change and in honor of Cinco de Mayo Lone Star Texas Grill has created easy to use Mar-Go-Rita Kits with everything you need to make tasty margaritas at home.


The kit includes 1 L of classic all-natural margarita mix made with cold-pressed limes, house-smoked mesquite salt for rimming the glass, fresh lime and orange wedges for garnishing and 200 ml of Hornitos Agave Tequila. Each kit ($28.00) makes 6 legendary Lone Star Margaritas and the non-alcoholic kit retails for just $12.00.


Directions and measurements are not included but you get about 4 cups of liquid mix to divide into 6 servings. I customized my drink with a shot of Triple Sec, ice cubes and a splash of Fresca – a sugar-free grapefruit flavored soft drink. I also made strawberry margaritas with frozen berries and they were delicious!

If you have leftover mix I recommend pouring it into an ice tray and keeping it in the freezer for the next time you crave a quick cocktail.

My sister and I whipped up a platter of nachos and enjoyed our margaritas on the deck – soaking up some sun and fresh air.


You can purchase the kit online at lonestartexasgrill.com and it will be delivered right to your door. This offer is only available from May 4th-10, 2020 so don’t miss out.

Lone Star Texas Grill Gift Card GIVEAWAY

For a chance to try the kit yourself or order some delicious food from the restaurant I am giving away a $50.00 Lone Star gift card. Check out my Instagram account to enter - @DiaryofaTrendaholic.

Giveaway is open to residents of Ontario Canada and runs until 11:59 EST on May 10th, 2020.

GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

It Cosmetics Friends and Family Sale | May 5-12

It cosmetics is one of my favorite brands because their high quality makeup and clinically formulated skincare is developed by plastic surgeons to deliver amazing results.

From May 5-12 take advantage of the friends and family sale to repurchase essentials, try new products or buy a few self-care items for loved ones (don't forget Mother's Day). 

Get 25% off sitewide, 30% off orders $90+, 40% off the sale section and click HERE to use my personal link for a FREE deluxe sample of Bye Bye Under Eye Cream (valued at $21.00) with orders $60+.


If you aren’t sure what to get, I’ve listed a few recommendations below.

1. Confidence in a Cream (reg. $63.00 current sale price $47.25) is a bestseller and my go-to daily moisturizer. This rejuvenating concentrate has been referred to as “super cream,” “anti-aging armor” and “miracle in a jar” for its ability to restore radiance, regenerate dull skin and reduce the look of pores, wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration with a potent blend of peptides, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, natural oils and extracts. It also softens, plumps, restores collagen and firms with a supple, revitalizing texture.


2. Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep ($60.00) with rest and restore technology visually improves the top 5 signs of aging in just 7 sleeps! Infused with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, jojoba seed oil and Persian silk tree bark, this rich cream repairs rough, tired skin while boosting radiance and vitality. In the morning my complexion always appears fresh and dewy.

3. Secret Sauce Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($90.00) is formulated with clinically advanced fermented ingredients that increase absorbency, treat visible signs of aging, fade discoloration and deeply condition dry skin with a blend of diamond powder, vitamin C, licorice root, hydrolyzed collagen, plant extracts, hyaluronic acid, peptides and nourishing oils.


4. Miracle Water 3-in-1 Glow Tonic (reg. $50.00 current sale price $37.50) maximizes the results of your skincare products with natural extracts, emollients, antioxidants, vitamins and aquatic plants. I use it to stay hydrated, remove makeup, soothe, cleanse, prevent acne and eliminate oil, dirt, impurities and pollutants.

5. If you buy one makeup product during the sale let it be the Your Skin But Better Oil-Free Matte CC+ with SPF 40 UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection (reg. $52.00 current sale price $39.00). This full-coverage foundation is loaded with color correcting pigments that camouflage imperfections, dark spots, blemishes and redness without creasing or clogging pores. It is also infused with tea tree, detoxifying clay, collagen, anti-aging serum, peptides, hyaluronic acid, niacin, vitamins and antioxidants to renew and protect. I use it every summer and while traveling overseas. 


6. Super Hero Mascara – elongates and volumizes lashes like no other!


7. Bye Bye Pores Pore-Refining Solution (reg. $45.00 on sale for $33.75) is what I am currently using to mattify, prep and smooth my skin before makeup application. I also use to it remove foundation, cleanse, calm and balance my complexion. The solution contains kaolin clay, silk, coconut water and rice protein to control shine, prevent pimples and minimize pores.

8. For flawless makeup try the loose or pressed Bye Bye Pores Translucent Airbrush Setting Powder. They usually retail for $40.00.


9. The Heavenly Luxe Jumbo Powder Brush (reg. $70.00 currently on sale for $52.50) seamlessly sweeps on all your favorite powders with perfect distribution. The bristles are plush, soft and crafted to provide a seamless finish. 


10. Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer (reg. $35.00 current sale price $26.00) is also referred to as “8 hours of sleep in a tube.” This amazing pigment covers dark circles, scars, acne, blemishes and anything else you want to hide with a few small dabs.


To see more sales items and bestsellers visit itcosmetics.ca
Happy Shopping and stay safe.

Monday, May 4, 2020

The Best Avocado Toast Recipe

Avocados have become the trendiest fruit on social media which is probably why guac always cost extra. They are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, potassium, fiber, antioxidants, niacin, folate, magnesium, beta-carotene and cholesterol lowering sterol.

Over the years I’ve eaten a lot of avocado toast (at home and at stylish cafes) but my recipe is the best!

The ingredients below should be added and adjusted to taste – put as much or as little as you like.


You’ll need:

*Bread (I used fresh pumpernickel from a local bakery)

*One avocado (ripe but not overripe)

*Chopped green onion

*Finely chopped cilantro

*Salt (I used Himalayan pink salt because it is much healthier)

*Your favorite hummus (I used President’s Choice Spicy Hummus)


*Black pepper

*Extra virgin olive oil

*Garlic powder or Toum - (creamy Lebanese garlic sauce)
In Toronto/the GTA my favorite garlic sauce is sold at Paramount Fine Foods Restaurant or Paramount Butcher Shop. It tastes amazing in this recipe but use what you have.

*Pepper sauce (if you like it spicy). I added a couple drops of scotch bonnet pepper sauce but you can also use Sriracha, Tabasco, finely diced jalapeƱo or just black pepper.

*Fresh lemon juice

*1 teaspoon of tzatziki (if you are using garlic powder instead of garlic sauce). I use President’s Choice Traditional Tzatziki Yougurt Dip or my sister's homemade tzatziki sauce.


Directions:

1. Cut avocado, remove pit and scoop out the flesh. Put it in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Mix well.

3. Add pepper sauce, green onion, cilantro, tzatziki and a squirt of lemon juice to taste. Mix everything together.


4. Toast your bread until it is crunchy and firm.

5. Spread hummus on toast and add a generous layer of avocado on top.


Enjoy!
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