Monday, August 31, 2020

7 Kerastase Hair Treatments You Need To Try

If you’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool or sun this summer, let’s talk about hair treatments. After all that UV, chlorine, sweat and neglect, your mane might be looking a little dry, brittle and dull.

Maybe your issue is hair dye, shedding, dryness, heat damage or insufficient conditioner. Whatever the reason, fragile strands can be saved.

For Dry, Rebellious, Frizzy Hair

If you are hesitant to use oils for fear of looking greasy, Kerastase has you covered. Their light, fragrant Oleo formulas give your mane a sleek, glossy finish with no residue. I recommend Oleo-Relax Advanced Morpho-Huiles ($60) or Nutritive Oleo Relax ($60).

Oleo-Relax suppresses unwanted volume, moisturizes and provides heat protection up to 450˚F. It also makes styling easier and provides long lasting shine with less flyaways and poof. If your hair resembles a wiry birds nest on humid days (we’ve all been there), you’ll love this stuff!

Nutritive Oleo Relax is ideal for wavy, curly and coily medium to thick hair. It seals weak ends, smooths and hydrates with a nourishing blend of shorea butter, coconut oil and rosa muscata fruit oil. Apply it to your lengths for luster and softness. The silky formula is perfect for blowouts because it helps maintain manageability in up to 80% humidity. I often use it to treat and repair my ends.

The wonderful thing about Kerastase oils is that they can all be used to refresh and perfume your hair from root to tip between wash days without weighing it down.

To Fortify and Retain Growth

If you are experiencing shedding or breakage, try the Kerastase Genesis Defense Thermique Anti Hair-Fall ($49). This is one of my new favorites because it makes my hair incredibly soft, smooth, healthy and bouncy with an irresistible scent. The formula is suitable for all hair types (straight, wavy, curly and coily – fine, medium and thick).

It also thickens, protects against heat, prevents split-ends and reduces breakage by reinforcing weak fibers.

You’ll also love Kerastase Resistance Extentioniste Thermique Length Caring Gel Cream ($49). This light conditioner moisturizes and supports weak, damaged strands so your mane can grow long and strong. Use it before blow drying and flat ironing for salon quality results or simply apply it as a leave-in conditioner to improve texture and curl/wave formation.

For Damage Repair, Breakage, Split-Ends, and Dryness

I’ve been using the Kerastase 8 Hour Magic Night Serum ($65.00) for a few weeks and I have noticed a difference in the health of my hair but only when applied correctly.

Tip #1 - Do not apply on dry hair (you’ll waste it). The serum will not absorb and you will have to use way too much to coat your strands. Instead, slightly dampen your hair with water (It doesn’t have to be dripping wet) and massage into roots, lengths and ends. Braid your hair or wrap it into a bun and leave the treatment on for at least 6 hours overnight to really get the benefits of the root extracts and vitamins. Rinsing is not necessary but it depends on how much you use.

Tip # 2 – After washing and detangling, mix some serum into your deep conditioner, use bobby pins to clip your hair atop your head and cover with a plastic shower cap and microfiber hair towel to create heat and promote absorption. Leave it on for 3-4 hours.

A faster method is passing heat from a blow dryer over the plastic cap for 10-15 mins before rinsing thoroughly and styling.

Overtime I noticed fewer loose hairs in my brush (even though I didn’t have a problem with shedding to begin with), increased shine, softness and flexibility.

Summer Must-Haves

For a sexy summer look, try Aura Botanica Silicone Free 99% Natural Beach Effect Wave ($44). It creates texture, body and volume when sprayed on damp hair and the scent is wonderful.

Since I have natural curls, I use this product as a leave-in to give my spirals extra bounce and when my hair is flat ironed, I spritz some on before wash day and scrunch to create cascading waves.

Soleil Sirene Hair Oil Mist is always in my beach bag. The nourishing formula softens curls, defines and boosts shine while protecting hair from sun damage, fading and dryness.

Kerastase is available at salons nationwide, Sephora,, department stores and select online retailers.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

6 Expert Tips for Long Lasting Eye Makeup

During the summer I get a lot of questions about how to prolong the wear of eye makeup, so today I am sharing a few techniques and products for best application.

1. Use a Good Base
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the primer you use makes a big difference. I’ve lounged in the pool, camped in the dessert and been jet boating over white water rapids without my eye makeup running, smearing, or fading.

After much testing, my two favorite primers are Urban Decay Primer Potion ($32) and NYX Pigment Primer ($9).

*On clean dry skin, apply a generous layer of primer on your lids and crease. Don’t be afraid to extend it right up to your brow bone when using a highlight shade.

*Make sure to apply your shadow immediately, while the base is still creamy and tacky. If you wait, it will dry out and the pigment won’t adhere well.

*When using shimmer, glitter, or metallic shadow, apply a layer of glitter primer on top of your regular primer to keep loose pigments in place and limit lid to crease transfer.

2. Mist your eye shadow brush with setting spray (I like UD’s All Nighter Ultra Matte ($45). It also works well on oily eyelids.

Pat the shadow onto your lid or apply with short, firm strokes. Use a fluffy blending brush for the crease.

For extra hold, close your eyes and mist your entire face with setting spray after your look is complete. To learn how to keep foundation in place all day click HERE.

Makeup tip: remember to clean your brushes regularly for best application. Bristles covered in caked on product become stiff and less effective. 

3. Use good quality eye shadow
Application and finish depends on the quality of your shadow. If you want your makeup to last all day, stay away from chalky, patchy, sheer, cheaply formulated pigment. Avoid shadows with tons of fallout and transfer (matte hues tend to hold up best).

I prefer creamy, dense, highly saturated colors that are easy to intensify and blend. You should be able to achieve good coverage in a single swipe.

Makeup tip: before purchasing a palette read reviews, watch tutorials and swatch every shade to see how they perform and feel.

4. Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara (even in the winter)
Heat, humidity, sweat and long days at the office can cause your makeup to bleed, fade and wear away quickly. Opt for waterproof formulas and use mascara primer for longevity and volume. Don’t be afraid to slap on a couple coats for reinforcement and remember to replace your mascara every 3-4 months.

Makeup tip: line your eyes with a long-wear creamy black pencil and then apply liquid liner on top. This method prolongs wear and helps create a straighter line. 

5. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes and face
 If you must, gently scratch with a tissue.

6. Keep a battery operated fan in your purse
One way to ensure a dry, fresh face and vivid eye shadow is by keeping a fan in your purse. This 4 inch palm-size Opoloar fan ($19.99) is a lifesaver when I start to get hot, shiny and sweaty on humid days. It is rechargeable, foldable and has 3 speeds that are powerful enough to keep me cool and prevent my makeup from melting. You can find it online at or Amazon.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Monday, August 17, 2020

NEW Mary Kay Unlimited Lip Gloss | Review & Swatches

Now that face masks are mandatory in public spaces, I’ve been wearing no-fuss, lightweight lip color that is moisturizing, comfortable and easy to reapply. In the heat and humidity I prefer simple gloss with a pop vibrancy – something I can whip out between meetings to perk up my complexion as I make my way around the city.

Mary Kay’s new Unlimited Gloss ($18 ea) is available in 14 high-shine, hydrating shades that range from nude, pink, red, and deep purple. They also come in three finishes – cream, pearl and shimmer.

Although the pigments are sheer, you can add a couple extra layers to enhance the color. The glistening wet effect makes lips appear plump, smooth, full and alluring.

It takes a lot for lip gloss to impress me but I absolutely love the cushiony formula – it is super plush and juicy! It feels like a silky lip treatment – hydrating and nourishing without any stickiness or drag.

The doe foot applicator is much more flexible than your average wand. It glides around the lip contour with ease – filling in edges and corners.

Now let’s talk more about shade selection because there are quite a few neutrals.

In the nude category most of the glosses have a pink or flesh tone base so there is something for all complexions. (My neutral match is Unique Mauve).

(My favorite shades will be marked with a star*)

Left to right: Fancy Nancy (shimmer), Pink Ballerina (pearl), *Unique Mauve (cream), Nude Blush (cream) and *Sheer Illusion (pink-gold shimmer).

I like the creams and iridescent pearls but a couple of the shimmers (particularly Fancy Nancy and Beach Bronze) are a tad difficult to remove (glitter particles are always a pain in the butt).

I wish there were more bright hues because they tend to be my favorite, especially during the summer.

Despite the sheer coverage, these shades are bold and vibrant.

*Evening Berry (pearl), *Berry Delight (pearl), *Iconic Red (cream), *Pink Fusion (Cream)

There is also a range of brown neutrals to choose from. The bronze (Copper Aura) and shimmery gold (Beach Bronze) are quite similar (I don’t think we needed both) but chocolaty colors are always trendy in autumn and they look beautiful on deep skin tones.

Copper Aura (shimmer), Beach Bronze (shimmer), Soft Nude (pearl), *Tawny Nude (cream) and Chocolate Nude (cream).

If you’re looking for amazing go-to gloss, you should definitely try these.

MK has also released new Cream Blush Duo Sticks and Foil Eye Shadows. The blush packaging is perfect for travel and the colors are beautiful.

Mauve and Shimmer provides contour, color and definition all-in-one. The pigment is deep (suitable for medium to dark skin tones) and the gold highlighter is stunning! It glides on soft, lightweight and creamy with a natural, seamless finish that lasts all day. Pink and Glimmer has a touch of mauve with a light gold highlighter. It might look best on fair to medium complexions.

The Foil Shadows are bright and dramatic with a dazzling finish and smooth velvety texture. The particles are not chunky or messy but I still recommend using a tacky base or glitter primer immediately before application so the pigment adheres well, stays put and remains vibrant. 

Mary Kay is available online at and through independent consultants.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Healthy High Protein Jerk Chicken Bowl

Healthy bowled meals have become very trendy recently and many restaurants have added them to their menu. Instead of ordering take-out every week, I created my own tasty recipe.

This jerk chicken bowl with veggies is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats. Once everything is prepared, it can be tossed together for quick meal prep, lunch or dinner and it keeps you full all evening.


*Coconut basmati rice (you can also use noodles, brown rice, couscous or quinoa).
I use a rice cooker and substitute some of the water with organic coconut milk.

*Lettuce (I use organic field green mix and put some at the top and bottom of the bowl).
Try to add a lot more greens than rice.

*Brown canned lentils (drained and rinsed)
Lentils are very high in fiber. You can also use your favorite beans or peas (I like chickpeas). If you prefer fresh lentils, you will have to cook them.

*Homemade jerk chicken breast with sauce
I use a combination of Walkers Hot & Spicy Jerk Marinade and Cool Runnings dry jerk seasoning (available at most grocery stores). Make sure to add a little at a time and adjust to taste because Walkers is very spicy and both contain salt. 
(Note: I do not recommend Walkers mild or medium marinade because they contain more sodium)

You can cook the chicken in whatever sauce or flavoring you like – barbecue, Cajun, Greek, Tandoori etc. To save time, you can also buy a fully cooked roasted chicken from the grocery store and shred it.

*Pepper sauce (optional)
I used my dad’s homemade scotch bonnet pepper sauce (it’s delicious). If you want your bowl extra spicy you can also use Tabasco or Sriracha.

*Organic Corn

*Roasted garlic and herb sweet potato
Dice the sweet potato in small chunks, coat in olive oil and use a blend of Mrs Dash Original Seasoning, pink salt, finely minced organic garlic, black pepper and Italian herb seasoning.

*Chopped green onion


*Raw hulled pumpkin seeds (high in iron)

*Tzatziki (I used the President’s Choice brand because I didn’t have time to make my own).

*Arrange everything in a big bowl and enjoy!

If you cook enough chicken and potatoes you can eat this meal for a few days and use the ingredients to make delicious salads, wraps and sandwiches.

~Bon appetite

Thursday, August 6, 2020

NYX Mystic Petals Shadow Palette | Review & Swatches

I always get excited when I receive new palettes from NYX Canada, and today I am testing a range of bright summer hues and earthy autumn neutrals.

First up is Mystic Petals Midnight Orchid ($17). If you like cool purples and bright pink, this one is for you.

I should start by mentioning that some of these colors are not meant for use on the eyes (always check the back of the packaging). This seems to be a reoccurring theme for new NYX releases and honestly, I don’t care for it. How often do people use bright pink or neon shadow on their face? That being said, I have tried these pigments on my eyes with no side-effects but I recommend doing what’s best for you.

Now on to the review...

The purples in this palette are muted (not as bright as I like) but suitable for everyday wear. The pink and garnet are my favorites and the grey toned purple is quite unique. These shades look beautiful in various combinations and create a pretty purple gradient that compliments most skin tones.

The color payoff is light but decent (not the best quality, but not the worst either). The shadows are not dense or creamy so you’ll need a good primer and a few layers for optimal saturation.

Swatches of Mystic Petals and Ultimate Edit Brights

Dark Mystic is warm, earthy and neutral. These aren’t my favorite shades (I didn’t need another taupe, silvery white or black) but the teal, bronze and gold look gorgeous together.

If these hues are a little too tame for you, try the Ultimate Edit Brights Palette ($12). These neon shadows can be worn individually or together to create a dramatic statement eye. The yellow and orange are a tad patchy and the rest are quite dry so you’ll need a good base to enhance them. For the price, it's a fun palette to experiment with.

We all want long lasting makeup that looks fresh all day but heat humidity and perspiration can destroy your hard work. The NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray ($10) has a lightweight, non-sticky vegan formula that prevents caking, creasing, shine, transfer and smears for up to 8 hours!

Lipstick: NYX Suede Matte in Spicy

Two more great summer products are the HD Translucent Finishing Powder ($12) which smooths, mattifies and softens the appearance of fine lines. I use the Glitter Primer ($8) with all my eye shadows (shimmer, loose and pressed) to keep pigments in place all day and prevent lid to crease transfer (which I hate). Just remember to blend it out with your finger to prevent creasing.

NYX is available at drugstores nationwide, online at and there are numerous free-standing stores located across the GTA.
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