Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Christmas is next week and I’m excited to celebrate. We have all survived another year of the pandemic and deserve to have a happy holiday season with the people we love, delicious food and great gifts. 

If you still have some shopping to do, you’ve come to the right place! This year’s guide features luxurious pampering products and delicious treats your friends, family, spouse and co-workers will love!
Let’s kick things off with intoxicating fragrance. For the ladies on your list one of the hottest scents of the season is Very Good Girl Eau de Parfum by Carolina Herrera ($130.00 / 50 ml).
This seductive perfume is infused with fruity florals, red currant, lychee, rose, lily, vanilla, bourbon and vetiver. The aroma is soft, sophisticated, iconic, feminine and irresistible – great for daytime and evenings out. 

Very Good Girl comes in a sexy red stiletto bottle and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart

The men on your list will love Aqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani ($95 / 50 ml). This classic cologne has notes of citrus, marine, bergamot and cedar wood for a refreshing, earthy, masculine scent that is perfect for any occasion. (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart).
Whether you are hosting a holiday party or invited to one, a beautiful charcuterie is something everyone will enjoy. 

My favorite charcuterie in Toronto is Star Fusion Eats. Their gourmet grazing box is beautifully designed and makes a thoughtful hostess gift. 

The company uses premium meat, fresh herbs, ripe fruit, real flowers and an assortment of high quality cheese, jam, honey and desserts. They even bake their own bread! Vegetarian, vegan, keto and halal options are available and you can customize your order.

This gorgeous box retails for $75 at starfusioneats.com.
Pampering self-care products are always appreciated, especially during the winter when cold weather wreaks havoc on your skin and people spend more time indoors. 

7th Heaven has fabulous gift sets featuring their bestselling vegan, cruelty-free masks enriched with natural botanical extracts. 

The Beauty Box of Treats ($24.21) comes with a keepsake box, 1 cleansing cloth and 8 face masks – Dead Sea Peel, Pink Guava, Green Tea, Dead Sea Mud, Strawberry Cream, Pink Cactus, Cucumber and Black Clay Charcoal. (Available at amamzon.ca)
This year I’m giving my bestie the 7th Heaven Superfood Set ($16.95) which comes with a linen toiletry bag, plush body sponge and four of my favorite masks – Avocado Clay, Matcha & Chai Clay, Blueberry Mud and Canabis Sativa. The essential oils and fruit extracts cleanse, purify, soften and replenish blemished skin. (Available at shophali.com).
For stocking stuffers, Shoppers Drug Mart’s Life Brand offers budget-friendly options like this Revitalizing Sheet Mask for just $3. 

The Face It Makeup Remover Cloth ($12.50) is eco-conscious and reusable. Simply add cleanser, mix with water and lather up to eliminate dirt, oil and impurities. (Available at shophali.com).
I love receiving sweet treats during the holidays and What’s Poppin Elle makes some of the BEST gourmet popcorn in Canada! 

What makes this popcorn unique (and highly addictive) is the taste, texture and quality. The big fluffy kernels are perfectly coated and the mouth-watering caramel is fresh and crunchy so it never sticks in your teeth. The sweetness is well balanced and the flavors are delicious!
The Holiday Box retails for $27 and includes: Vegan Coconut Salted Caramel, Nutella Caramel and OG Salted Caramel mixed with pretzels and crunchy Cheetos. If you place an order make sure to try the OG Salted Caramel Pretzels. They are one of the best snacks you’ll ever eat!

Visit the website at whatspoppinbyelle.com (pick-up in Oakville Ontario).
I couldn’t write a gift guide without featuring one of my favorite skincare products by Estee Lauder. Advanced Night Repair Serum is a bestseller worldwide. The formula works wonders on wrinkles but I use it to moisturize, renew and boost radiance.
Enriched with 8-hour antioxidant power and a 72 hour hydration complex derived from hyaluronic acid, it strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier while firming, plumping and reducing the appearance of pores. After a few weeks skin appears smooth, supple and clear. 

The 3-piece Youth Generating Gift Set ($128) includes a full-size serum (30 ml) and two deluxe travel size serums (15 ml ea) so you can keep one and gift the others to friends. Estee Lauder is available at esteelauder.ca, Sephora and department stores nationwide. 

It Cosmetics is another one of my go-to brands and I think everyone on your list (men and women) will benefit from using the Bye Bye Lines Concentrated Derma Serum this winter. The lush vitamin-rich formula contains 1.5% hyaluronic acid and powerful peptides to smooth fine lines, plump and deeply hydrate all skin types (even the most sensitive). It was developed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons and retails for just $35. (Available at Shoppers and itcosmetics.ca).
For those looking for a raunchy gift or couples who want to spice things up, Lelo makes high-end adult toys that enhance intimacy, relieve stress and increase the libido. 

Their newest innovation is the Enigma ($269.10) – a luxurious sonic massager designed to simultaneously stimulate her inner and outer erogenous zones for mind-blowing pleasure.
The internal flexible arm provides ultra powerful vibrations while external waves create rhythmic flutters in all the right places. 

I like that Leo’s products are high-tech, ergonomic and not designed to look phallic. They also come in a range of beautiful colors. 

This device has 8 different settings and is made with soft waterproof silicone for easy cleaning. It comes with a 1 year warranty, USB charging cord, satin storage pouch and detailed instructions. The company also offers discrete shipping. This is one gift that keeps on giving. She’ll love it! Visit lelo.com for more details. 

Another way to relax and unwind after a long day is by taking a warm shower. The next few products will definitely make your spa day more enjoyable. 

The Alo Fruits and Passions Shower Gel ($19.99) is great for gift baskets or secret Santa. The bottle is huge (950 ml) and the formula is biodegradable. It contains vitamins to keep skin healthy and the scent is clean and refreshing. (Available at avon.ca)

The Avon Senses Shower Gels ($9 ea) make great stocking stuffers and I always buy a few extra for myself. The hooked bottles are easy to hang in the shower which is also ideal for travel.
For those who prefer long comforting baths, the cute Bubble-t Rainbow Macaron Bath Fizzers ($10.99) are designed to replenish moisture. These colorful little pastries smell like lime, orange, strawberries, raspberries, jasmine and creamy vanilla. Your friends will love them! (Available at shophali.com).
The ladies in my family receive a Quo Pull Cracker in their stockings every year! The six pack retails for just $15 and each one contains a sheer mini gloss that keeps lips soft and hydrated. (Available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart).
Continuing with stocking stuffers, the Invisibobble traceless hair bands are available in festive packaging. I wear these all the time because they look cute on my wrist and don’t yank, break, dent or damage my hair. If they ever stretch out simply apply some heat from your blowdryer until they shrink back to their original shape. Unlike traditional hair bands and scrunchies, they don’t trap sweat, moisture, bacteria or odor. 

The candy cane set ($15) comes with 10 pink and white clear rings while the Crayola set for kids includes 10 minis. Invisibobble is available at Pharmaprix, London Drugs, Shoppers, walmart.ca, shophali.com and well.ca.
If you’re looking for the perfect couples gift, Ginza Stefany has released his and hers fragrances inspired by eternal love and forbidden passion. 

In My Arms ($58) is the feminine scent which features notes of black currant, gardenia and sparkling peach. It is light, fresh and sweet – great for women of all ages. 

Wish You Were Here ($58) contains sweet hawthorne berry, juicy pear and sensuous patchouli. It smells clean, alluring and masculine. You can find these at avon.ca
The makeup junkies on your list will love the Quo All The Glitz Brush Set ($25). It comes with a gold canister and six sparkly travel-size synthetic cruelty-free brushes for the eyes and face. (available at Shoppers).
It was difficult to narrow down my top hair care products of the year but I decided to go with a brand I used all summer – Sebastian Twisted. 

The Curl Magnifier is my absolute favorite for maintaining shape and bounce while managing frizz but the entire line caters to the health of waves and spirals. 

The styling spray holds hair in place without crunch or residue while the conditioner and mask treatment softens, moisturizes, strengthens and detangles. These products will leave your curls shiny and smooth. You can find them at amazon.ca, Chatters and Trade Secrets.
Give the gift of a trendy holiday manicure with Bio Sculpture’s nourishing “ten-free” polish. The lacquers are formulated with a seaweed calcium base, UV filter, multivitamins and plant-based hardening agents derived from aloe, lemon and ginseng. They are also vegan, cruelty-free and do not contain harmful chemicals. 

The two shades seen here are 212 Jewelled Opulence and 278 Casablanca. This set retail for $29.98 at biosculpturenails.com
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Antipodes Skincare | Fall/Winter Essentials

It’s that time of year again. Time to update your skincare routine and prepare for the harsh winter ahead...unless you live in a tropical climate, in which case, please extend an invitation (it’s freezing here in Canada). 

No matter what time of year it is, climate change is real and quality skincare is essential for fighting free radicals and the damaging effects of pollution.
Antipodes is a family owned, scientifically validated organic brand from New Zealand and it is one of my absolute favorites! The products are infused with the healing power of locally sourced plant-based ingredients. Everything about this company screams healing, eco-conscious, beauty - from their vegan formulas to the clinically proven botanical extracts that keep skin balanced and healthy. 

The Antipodes Halo Skin Brightening Facial Mud Mask ($38 USD / $50 CAD) will take your complexion from dull and congested to radiant, clear and clean!
The mask contains an abundance of restorative oils but the main ingredients are jojoba, antioxidant rich vinanza grape, kiwi and volcanic mud from geothermal New Zealand. The extracts work symbiotically to smooth, renew, fade discoloration and target redness which is particularly beneficial for blemish prone skin. It also purifies and brightens by gently removing dead surface cells to reveal your natural radiance. 

All it takes is 15 minutes 1-2 times a week and your skin will look reborn! 

Everyone should incorporate some form of Vitamin C in their daily routine because the antioxidants protect skin cells from UV exposure and prevents hyperpigmentation. 

The Antipodes Glow Ritual Vitamin C Serum with Plant Hyaluronic Acid ($48 USD / $62 CAD) is 100% natural and contains 100x the Vitamin C of oranges. Think of it as your all-day golden hour glow in a bottle.
The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly with no greasiness. It contains kakadu plum, vinanza grape, kiwi and bakuchiol - a natural retinol alternative that provides anti-aging benefits. Together these ingredients brighten, protect, rejuvenate, smooth, firm and plump with a lovely citrus scent. It also works well under makeup. 

Your body and cells heal and regenerate while you sleep so it is important to establish an effective night time routine and get enough rest. 

The Divine Face Oil with Rosehip and Avocado ($48.00 / $62 CAD) is one of the brand’s bestsellers and after using it for a few months I totally understand why. Avocado oil is one of my favorite natural moisturizers. It always leaves my face incredibly soft and supple.
This lush organic formula contains avocados grown in New Zealand orchards blended with rosehip and macadamia oil to replenish tired, dehydrated skin. It is scientifically shown to stimulate type 1 collagen by up to 51% for visible anti-aging results. 

The oil is luxurious and smells like an apothecary or high-end spa. It has totally transformed my complexion. My skin looks smooth, even, clear, radiant and youthful with fewer blemishes. Apply a bit extra to sun damage, lines and scars to diminish their appearance. It works wonders! 

If your complexion needs extra hydration this season, I highly recommend the Antipodes Culture Probiotic Night Recovery Water Cream ($50 USD / $70 CAD). The refreshing gel texture is like a drink of water for parched, rough, stressed skin and the high performing probiotics increase elasticity, firmness and collagen production.
Night Recovery is loaded with skin quenching hyaluronic acid and it is suitable for all skin types (including sensitive). After a few applications my face looks refreshed, plump and clear with no more dry itchy patches or peeling. 

If you only try one organic vegan brand this season, it should definitely be Antipodes. You can find it at antipodesnature.com, well.ca and socialitebeauty.ca, joyviva.ca and other online retailers. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Mary Kay 2021 Fall/Winter Collection & Holiday Gift Guide

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have, and this year Mary Kay has made gift giving simple with their beautiful holiday sets for men and women.
Let’s begin with the trendy limited-edition fall line-up featuring stunning jewel tones and glamorous sparkle. 

The Shimmer Liquid Eyeshadow ($18 ea) infused with color-intense metallic pearl pigments is perfect for creating quick show-stopping looks with the swipe of a wand. Wear them alone or layered over eyeshadow for a gorgeous multidimensional effect. 

There are 2 shades available – Amethyst (iridescent purple-pink shimmer with a silver base) and Graphite (deep grey with silver shimmer). The texture is smooth, creamy and flexible for comfort and durability. Allow the pigment to dry and set before completing your look. It stays in place all day with no fading and very little fallout.
The Highlighters ($18 ea) have a bright, frosty finish that is quite festive and the texture is soft and silky for grit-free application. I love the light reflecting particles - they create a soft luminous glow with buildable coverage.

The two shades available are: Canary Diamond (brilliant champagne) and Rose Sapphire. The magnetic interchangeable case is sold separately for $21.
I'm obsessed with the new Sparkle Lipsticks ($21 ea). They look like they’ve been encrusted with glittering diamonds but the smooth formula has no chunky particles.

Ruby is a sexy burgundy/garnet hue and Sunstone is a bright shimmery gold that can be worn alone or applied on top of your favorite shades.
If you prefer a subtle hint of color with extra hydration, the Intuitive pH Lip Balms ($21) are a must this winter. Formulated with nourishing oils, these buttery, comfortable balms adjust to the natural color of your lips so they look different on everyone. The translucent hue transforms into a bright pink while the deep berry appears burgundy.
The Nail Polish ($12) this year is also metallic and prismatic. Emerald looks more like a frosty blue and Rose Quartz is a soft pink with silver shimmer. The formula is rich and application is a breeze. 
When you have such pretty makeup, you will want to keep it in something cute. The Precious Gems Trend Collection Bag ($10) is the perfect size for all your essentials. Pop it in your purse or travel bag and you’re good to go.
I have been using the Mary Kay Lash Love Fanorama Mascara ($21) all year! The applicator grips, coats, combs, lifts, separates and fans your lashes so they look long, thick and fluttery without clumps. It is great for everyday wear and makes a wonderful stocking stuffer for the makeup lovers on your list.
Some of my favorite body products released this season are the new Mary Kay Lotions and Shower Gels ($18 ea). If you want to smell incredible and have baby soft skin this winter, you should definitely try these! 

The Berry & Vanilla scent is to die for! The shower gel lathers into foamy, fragrant bubbles that cleanse without stripping and the lush cream provides long-lasting hydration. Apple & Almond smells good too but it seems to contain more perfume.
Speaking of pampering winter nights, the Special-Edition Pink Clay Mask ($20) is great for a relaxing spa day. Infused with plumeria extract, minerals and antioxidants, the clay exfoliates, protects against free radicals, smooths, softens and renews to boost your natural glow.
Mary Kay has also released trendy gift sets that your friends, family and co-workers are sure to love! 

Spoil the special men in your life with the Skin Savers to the Rescue Bundle ($65). Packed in a grey monochrome travel pouch, this exclusive set includes the MK Men Advanced Night Cream and Facial Hydrator with SPF 30.
The guys in my family love cologne so I will be popping the Men’s Fragrance Set ($39) into a few stockings this year. The box contains 3 scents: Cityscape, MK High Intensity and Intensity Sport. The slender glass bottles are ideal for travel.
There is also a lovely Fragrance Set for Women ($39) containing: Live Fearlessly, Love Fearlessly and Dream Fearlessly Eau de Parfum. These timeless, universal scents smell fabulous and fit in any purse.
The new Mary Kay Matte + Shine Lip Sets ($30) are exactly what I want in my stocking this year and they are great for Secret Santa. Each set includes a highly pigmented Matte Liquid Lipstick and a lustrous oil so you can transform your look from opaque to ultra shiny. The shades available are Rose and Cinnamon.
Another gift that my loved ones receive every year is the bestselling Mary Kay Satin Hands Pampering Set ($51). 

I keep the Citrus Rose Refining Shea Scrub in all my bathrooms because it cleanses, exfoliates and smooths rough hands. Follow up with the Nourishing Shea Hand Cream to treat ragged cuticles and dryness or use my husband’s fave –the Fragrance-free Protecting Softener which has a thick balm consistency.
One of my favorite deals of the season is the MK Vitamin C + E Serum ($67.00). It comes with a FREE rose quartz facial roller to enhance the anti-aging benefits of your skincare. 

The serum is enriched with powerful antioxidants to brighten, firm, plump and enhance radiance. It makes a great addition to your daily routine.
These products and gifts are available online at marykay.ca

 Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Teaology Skincare | NEW Trilogy of Serums

I haven’t tried anything new from Teaology since our collaboration a few years ago but their skin softening body scrub, hydrating sheet mask and sumptuous face cream are among my favorite natural beauty products on the market. 

If you value eco-conscious ingredients, healing botanical extracts and essential oils, you will love this brand!
Teaology has recently launched an exciting trilogy of serums that contain powerful active ingredients backed by science and governed by nature. The formulas are up to 99% natural and do not contain any parabens, paraffins, mineral oil, synthetic color, sulphate, formaldehyde or phthalates. They are made in Italy and ideal for all skin types. 

Use them individually or layer in any combination you like to customize your routine and target specific skincare concerns.

The Hyaluronic Infusion Hydrating Serum ($33) is made with 100% Organic Blue (Oolong) Tea and a biocompatible pH. This means that it is easily absorbed by the body with no adverse reactions. 

The lightweight serum brightens and plumps dull, dehydrated skin while lifting, toning and supporting elasticity.
I love the texture. It looks like a rich, refreshing gel but disappears into the skin with a smooth, supple finish that works well under makeup. 

In my family Vitamins C is a part of daily life. I take supplements to boost my immune system and my mom swears that it keeps her skin even and blemish free (she is in her late 50’s with no visible wrinkles or lines). 

The Vitamin C Infusion Serum ($33) can be used on the face, neck and under eye area during the day or at night as a powerful bedtime treatment that promotes cell turnover. 

Strengthened with antioxidant-rich black tea, the serum counteracts cellular ageing without redness, irritation or photosensitization - (adverse reaction to light). It also moisturizes, brightens and regenerates.
Vitamin C is great for fading scars, dark spots and discoloration while protecting from sun damage and other environmental assaults. 

The Peptide Infusion Intensive Serum ($33) with White Tea is silicone-free. It improves cell turnover, collagen synthesis, and elasticity with botox-like firming action. 
Similar to the other two serums, this one has a rich, fast absorbing consistency with no stickiness or residue and I love how plump, supple and rejuvenated my skin looks. 

These formulas feel incredibly luxurious yet the price point is quite reasonable. The smoothing and moisturizing benefits are evident immediately! I love them. 

Teaology is available at Jean Coutu, Brunet, Familiprix, Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay and teaologyskincare.ca

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Mary Kay 2021 Summer Beauty Collection

This season I’ve been traveling the country and enjoying the weather. To prepare for all my summer soirees, I’ve been using Mary Kay’s latest beauty essentials.
Let’s start with my favorite items – the Limited-Edition Pink Eyeshadow Quads which retail for $26 each. There are 4 shades per palette with both matte and shimmer finishes and they are magnetized so you can pop them into any refillable compact. 

Cool Pink reminds me of sunsets on the beach. It features a range of bronze pink, champagne pink and two burgundy pinks I can’t get enough of! The shadows are velvety smooth, highly pigmented, easy to blend and stunning on all skin tones.
The other palette is sultry and warm with rose gold and deep bronzy pink. These gorgeous hues are perfect for a night out and the quality is fantastic. You can use them all summer and transition right into fall. 

The unfilled compact for both of these palettes retails for $21 at marykay.ca.
I have enough makeup brushes to last a lifetime so the Limited-Edition Mary Kay Blending Brush + Brush Organizer Bundle ($29) definitely comes in handy. 

The soft bristles are great for blending crease colors and creating a seamless finish. The holder can fit up to 68 small brushes and about 25 medium to large brushes. I love that pink top pops out for easy cleaning.
The Limited-Edition TimeWise Moisture Renewing Softener ($24) might be something we all need this summer. The refreshing alcohol-free formula minimizes the appearance of pores, softens, smooths and boosts radiance for a healthy glow. 

Apply the Softener morning and night using the new MK Makeup Remover Rounds ($16). These soft, reusable pads can be washed up to 200 times (depending on use and care) and they come with a machine-friendly mesh bag so you won’t lose them in the laundry. You can also use the pads with makeup remover, toner and micellar water.
I’m obsessed with Mary Kay Lip Gloss, if you haven’t seen my review on the last collection, click HERE to check it out. The quality is fantastic and the luscious formula makes my lips plump, juicy, healthy and super moisturized! 

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mary Kay’s charitable foundation, they’ve released two limited-edition shades for $18 each. My favorite is Hopeful Lilac – a beautiful deep plum with a subtle iridescent purple sheen. The finish may be sheer but the color payoff is bold and vibrant.
Confident Pink is a soft, shiny, simple nude –great for everyday wear. 

The Limited-Edition Body Care Set ($35) has a sparkling cherry scent that is perfect for warm summer days.
The body spray has the potency of a good perfume with top notes of juicy black cherry, sparkling mandarin and pink rhubarb. The middle accords are wild freesia, velvet gardenia petals and magnolia blossom rounded out with a touch of musk, tonka bean and Tahitian vanilla. The Body Cream has the same enticing scent and you can pop it in your purse for dry skin emergencies. 

Everything here is available online at marykay.ca
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