Friday, March 27, 2015

Make Up For Ever Spring 2015 Collection

Recently I attended the launch of Make Up For Ever’s spring collection where I had the chance to dabble in the new array of colors and textures. This season it’s all about the base as the brand reveals an impressive spectrum of face primers for a wide range of skin types as well as lipsticks, bronzers, mascara and setting spray.


Since the Step 1 Equalizer Primers stole the show let’s get into those first. The collection includes 10 new products: 4 primers formulated for balancing skin texture and 6 for evening and correcting skin tone.

The range includes:

TEXTURE PRIMERS
*Mattifying Base- For shine control and oily skin: smooths and softens.
*Smoothing Base- Evens the skin’s surface, reduces the appearance of large pores and fills fine lines and wrinkles.
*Hydrating Base- For normal to dry skin: softens, protects and smooths.
*Nourishing Base- For flaky, rough skin: moisturizes, replenishes, repairs and smooths for a silky, supple finish.


TONE CORRECTING PRIMERS
*Green Primer- Tones down redness and neutralizes.
*Pink Primer (lifeless fair skin) - Adds rosiness for a fresh porcelain finish.
*Blue Primer (dull fair skin) – Reduces the appearance of blemishes, redness and slight yellowness.
*Yellow Primer (dull medium skin) - Anti-dullness formula illuminates medium to tan skin.
*Peach Primer (medium to dark skin) - Enhances radiance for a soft glow.
*Bronze Primer (dark tanned skin) - Warms deep skin tones.


The primers are designed to work together so you can mix and match depending on your skin’s needs. I chose the Peach Primer to boost my complexion and increase radiance. The Makeup Artist from MUFE also informed me that peach helps correct blemishes and discoloration so that foundation applies seamlessly with no unsightly color discrepancies. I pair the peach primer with the Smoothing Base to even my complexion and create a smooth, silky canvass for liquid foundation. I was instructed to apply the color correcting base prior to the smoothing primer for optimal results. The formula is also infused with Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and firm and the primers feel comfortable and lightweight. 



Although the extensive variety of colors and bases may seem a bit overwhelming, you may not necessarily need 2 primers if you don’t have issues with pronounced undertones. The texture enhancing primers all have a silicone texture for a smooth, velvety finish. I enjoy having a lot of choices and any product that prolongs my makeup for a more flawless finish is a bonus! The primers retail for $42.00 each.

When the warm weather finally touches down I want my skin to look radiant and this year Make Up For Ever has released 2 Pro Sculpting Duos to get the job done! The art of highlighting and sculpting is one of the biggest beauty trends and these fabulous duos are now available in Pink/Beige- light with cool undertones for fair to medium skin and Golden- tan with warm undertones for medium to deep skin.

The talc-free gel-powder formula has a creamy, light texture to help you master the art of sculpting and the pigment is easy to build and blend for seamless coverage. The skin enhancing ingredients include components to smooth and perfect for a silky finish and natural looking definition.


I have the compact in Golden which contains a gorgeous brown contour shade with gold undertones that is great for shading and creating contrast. When used with the flat 156 brush you can easily create dimension and structure for professional results.

Make Up For Ever 156 Large Flat Blush Brush $43.00

The luminous highlight shade can be applied to the cheekbones, cupid’s bow, along the nose, brow bones and even the shoulders to make skin appear healthy and luminous. The duos retails for $45.00 each.

For another one of my recent media events I wanted to create a glam look which gave me the chance to try the new Smokey Stretch Mascara. The short, spiked brush is designed to isolate and adhere to each lash combing the hairs up and out for great separation and definition. 


The intense black pigment coats well and the formula is long-lasting with no flaking, clumping or smudging. This is a great everyday mascara to create volume even if your lashes are short and sparse. I usually apply my mascaras using 3-4 different types and this one finishes off my looks to create that trendy false lash effect! The Smokey Stretch Mascara retails for $28.00

The coveted Rouge Artist Intense Collection gained 2 new pink shades to their impressive range. With 50% more pigment than traditional lipsticks the creamy, hydrating formula glides on buttery smooth and cushiony soft for a wash of fresh, comfortable color.



I have the shade #54 which is a pearly golden pink that appears a bit frosty and quite neutral. The other pink- #53 has a pearly, copper base and shows up a bit deeper. The lipsticks retails for $23.00 each.

After all that brushing, blending and sculpting you may need something to hold all your makeup in place especially when the weather is warm or the day drags on. Every time I have an event to attend, travel plans or a long day ahead of me a good setting spray is a makeup must-have! MUFE has re-launched their cult favorite Mist & Fix with key setting features and moisturizing ingredients.

The Mist & Fix boasts a formula containing an O2 Skin Complex to provide oxygenation and a radiant finish without producing shine or increasing oiliness. It is alcohol free, dermatologist tested and suited for every skin type, even the most sensitive. The mist keeps makeup colors vibrant and prevents them from fading throughout the day.


The setting spray does a great job at keeping my makeup intact all day and the colorless liquid provides an invisible, lightweight shield to protect against pollution and temperature changes. The nozzle dispenses an even blast of cool mist that instantly refreshes and I love how fine the spray is for consistent fast drying coverage. The formula has a light scent that does not irritate my skin or leave behind water droplets that show up on my foundation. The protective comfortable film is non-sticky and resistant to rubbing and sweating which will come in handy in humid climates and days spent frolicking at the beach. The Mist & Fix retails for $34.00 per 125 ml or $14.00 for 30 ml.

The collection can be found at Sephora locations, Sephora.com and Make Up For Ever boutiques


*Press samples featured 

World MasterCard Fashion Week 2015

Now that World MasterCard Fashion Week is wrapping up I can finally take a break and reminisce about the highlights. It was a busy week of press events and battling the midday rush through the streets of Toronto but I had a blast hanging out backstage and meeting some wonderful people including a few popular TV personalities.

It may be difficult to think ahead to fall since spring has just arrived but Canadian designers were propelled to the forefront of the global fashion arena and given the chance to showcase their fabulous new creations.



I kicked off the week at the Ritz Carleton where NeoStrata showcased their new line of products aimed at treating and correcting hyperpigmentation, blemishes and acne scars for a healthy, glowing complexion. I love how dedicated the brand is to helping people improve their skin and using science to continually enhance their formulas with quality ingredients. I will publish a detailed review on the new collection in the coming weeks but to see my latest post on NeoStrata click HERE.


As usual the scene backstage looked a bit chaotic as a sea of cameras, media personnel, models and stylists prepped for the shows but oddly enough everything ran like a well oiled machine. I hung out in the Maybelline lounge snacking on macaroons and cupcake flavored popcorn before heading over to see what lead Makeup Artist Grace Lee was working on. I interviewed Grace at last season’s fashion show and this year she demonstrated how to use Maybelline’s new Rebel Bloom lipsticks on the cheeks for a beautiful flush of color.

Photo of Grace working on last seasons show

It looked like Grace and her team used just about every Maybelline product on the market to get the models runway ready.


I love a bold lip with minimal eye shadow and thick winged liner so this was one of my favorite looks- subtle yet glamorous!


To create this Russian inspired vintage look for the Farley Chatto show Grace used a shimmery shadow from Maybelline's Nude Palette to highlight the face and accentuate the eyes and a fiery red lipstick. 



Maybelline Creamy Mattes Siren in Scarley 690 

Essie generously hooked up our nails at their cute manicure booth, the trendy spring collection fittingly matched the tasty desserts.


Redken Canada had the flat irons sizzling and the blow dryers on standby as they created some ultra chic hairstyles bling and all!



Hilary MacMillan's collection was offbeat and original.

I also went to an exclusive fashion show by Lolë that showcased their new active wear including fun yoga gear and cozy fall fashion. The brand focuses on stylish, feminine pieces to take today's urban woman from the studio to the street offering comfort, versatility and quality fabrics. 




The collection put a spin on traditional workout clothes by adding trendy flare and a simplistic modern edge. 


One of my favorite pieces was the sheer yoga pants that looked like a combination of leggings and cute shorts! These are totally wearable for running errands and they make cute lounge wear!



For more information on Lolë you can visit the website by clicking HERE  and stay tuned for my review on the Rebel Bloom lipsticks from Maybelline. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Anna Sui Lipstick G Review: Spring 2015 Flirting with Flutter Collection

If you like luminous shimmer and fresh spring hues then the new Lipstick G collection by Anna Sui is sure to satisfy your seasonal needs. The shooting star lipsticks are now available in a variety of flirty shades including:

*050 Glitter Silver- Sheer silver infused with sparkle
*051 Glitter Black- Sheer black with gunmetal shimmer
*350 Powder Pink- Soft luminous pink
*531 Paris Pink- Bubble gum pink with subtle shimmer
*532 Rose Pink- Sheer pink with coral shimmer
*650 Valencia- Sheer sparkly coral red
*850 Glitter Gold (sheer)


I am no stranger to Anna’s lipsticks, in fact I have reviewed them on my site before. What I like most about the line is the creamy, buttery texture because it provides supple hydration during the winter and a layer of protection when the weather warms up.  

The base of the lipstick is enriched with nourishing, botanicals that are blended into a smooth film to reflect light and provide a high-gloss finish for a touch of glitz. Vitamin C and antioxidants shield lips from free-radical damage while pearlescent particles provide a beautiful iridescent effect. Sweet almond, grape and fruit oils keep lips pouty, soft and moist with balm-like comfort.

650 Valencia

Once applied the glitter does not appear overwhelming or feel discernible and gritty but when you wipe off or smudge the color while eating and drinking the glitter disperses and tends to transfer which can get a bit messy if you don’t retouch.

The pigmentation shows up less vivid that it appears in the elaborate glass-like tubes but the colors can be enhanced from sheer to medium coverage for more intensity. The lipsticks are infused with Anna’s signature floral-perfume scent which may not be the most modern fragrance but the packaging design is edgy and fun.

352 Rose Pink


The shades I have- Rose Pink and Valencia are flattering and prismatic yet quite vibrant and the glitter adds a little extra glam to jazz up my everyday looks.

The lipsticks retail for $29.00 each and are available at select Shoppers Drug Marts, Pharmaprix, Murale and Hudson’s Bay.

*Press samples featured

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eyes on MAC Eye Shadow Palette Review

MAC has recently released a collection of sophisticated palettes with highly pigmented, expertly coordinated hues designed to offer countless stunning combinations. Each palette incorporates a variety of textures for both day and night with beautiful color themes including- neutral, warm purple, navy and burgundy.


There are four nine shades palettes for $40.00 U.S / $48.00 CAD and two 15 shade palettes which retail for $85.00 U.S / $99.00 CAD. I have the Navy Times Nine palette which contains a blend of cool neutral hues including taupe, silver, brown, blue and grey tones. I haven’t used navy eye shadow in a while but I use to be a big fan and this palette is ideal for creating smokey looks.


The texture of the shadows range from shimmer, satin and cream with translucent sheer coverage and full-coverage matte finishes. The cream hues have a smooth texture that applies velvety soft for solid non-creasing color that lasts all day. Many of the shades do not require the use of a base to maintain the pigment and prevent fading although I do use a primer to enhance and intensify the colors.

The navy in this palette has a charcoal-grey base as opposed to a vivid blue undertones.

The lightest shade in the palette- Silver Fog applies translucent with luminous sparkle that is great for highlighting and accentuating. I would have preferred the black shadow in a matte formula which I find more usable but the palette definitely has some beautiful tints for creating depth, shape and dimension.

Shades from top left to right: Silver Fog (silver grey), Blonde Mink (pale khaki with sparkles), Copperplate (muted mid tone grey), JG Grey (frosty grey blue), Mulled Over (matte cool blue grey), Cast Iron (matte charcoal), Cloudscape (khaki), Club (red-brown with green pearl), Black Tied (black with silver sparkle).


The palettes are small which makes them suitable for travel and they are now a part of MAC’s permanent line so you can pick them up at all locations! Visit maccosmetics.com for more info.

*Press sample featured

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Avon Mega Effects Liquid Eye Liner Review

Rarely a day goes by that I don’t line my eyes and define their shape. There is just something beautiful about the way dark eye liner frames and accentuates the eyes to make them standout and appear more alluring. Adding a little wing on the end can enhance your eye makeup a bit more and a dramatic cat eye adds a touch of glam.


This month in Avon’s spring brochure my hidden gem product pick was the Mega Effects Liquid Eye Liner which creates prominent bold lines. I love the slanted tip of this liner! It precisely delivers vivid, smudge-proof color for beautiful definition and long-lasting results. If you love the way liquid liner looks but don’t have much experience with application the marker design of the Mega Effects is easy to learn with and less messy to use. The formula is not too wet so you don’t get excess pooling that can distort your line and it has an ergonomic grip for control and comfort.


Unlike other felt tip liners that dry out quickly and produce faded lines this one is thoroughly soaked in the jet black formula. One swipe delivers the right amount of pigment and dries quickly allowing you trace the line a few times with no flaking. I've had no issues with the color running and my eye makeup stays intact all day!

The shape of the liner also allows for versatility so you can create a variety of effects. The flat surface is great for wide lines, the slant of the tip creates medium to thick lines and using the very point gives you ultra thinness and subtle contrast.



You can find the Mega Effects Liquid Eye Liner at Avon.ca or through sales representatives, it retails for $10.00.

*Press samples featured

Monday, March 23, 2015

COLAB Dry Shampoo Review

This review goes out to all the lovely ladies and dapper gentleman with busy lifestyles that may not always have time to wash, condition and style your tresses. If you have found yourself strutting around with hair that was less than fresh don’t feel embarrassed! Life happens and when it does there may be no time to stop, drop and shampoo. As someone with long, thick, naturally curly hair that takes hours to cleanse, condition, deep condition and flat iron I know that sometimes you need a product that will keep your do looking great and smelling fresh until you have time to deal with it.

Before Colab Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo I had only tried a few other product that claimed to do similar things and most left a powdery white resin all over my roots. Since then I have resorted to other time crunch methods like a spritz of perfume (drying alcohol and all) plus a quick tousle before I am out the door.

To use- part your hair into sections, spray on the dry shampoo focusing on the roots and limp areas and then massage or paddle brush to evenly distribute. The product is formulated to absorb oil and refresh the roots to leave hair feeling clean and bouncy with a boost of volume and a lovely fragrance.


One of the big selling points for me is the transparent formula, it does not leave behind a visible residue and there is no stickiness or build-up even when I go on a spraying frenzy. I absolutely love how direct and forceful the nozzle dispenses the product because it blasts your roots with a sharp mist to efficiently get in-between all the strands and target oiliness.

I also love the fragrances; London Classic has notes of bergamot, musk and magnolia whereas Rio Tropical contains papaya, pineapple and cassis without being too sweet or fruity. It can be difficult to describe certain scents but these aromas are definitely stylish, clean, invigorating and perfumed just right for the hair. 

As far as dry shampoos go these are some of the best I've tried although I do have to use quite a bit to make a noticeable difference and to get the amazing scents to stick around. Luckily there is a purse sized version for quick touch-ups on the go and you can toss it in your gym bag to use post workout and keep the freshness going all day.


Overall I think this is a great option to spruce up your hair and add a bit of life and vitality when you need a quick fix. The 50 ml shampoo retails for just $5.49 and the 20 ml is $9.99 available at London Drugs, Jean Coutu, Pharamasave and online at FarleyCo by clicking HERE

*Press samples featured 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Vasanti Cosmetics: New Gel Matte Lipsticks, Luminizer Pen and Face Elixir

This is the first review I have published for Vasanti Cosmetics but when I saw the striking colors and read the ingredients of the skin softening elixir I just had to share my fabulous beauty finds. Now that spring has sprung vivid, eye-catching hues are finally back in season and the perfect outfit needs a beautiful lip color to go with it. Matte lips have been all the rage recently and it can be nice to take a break from all the shiny, glossy goodness and embrace a solid, rich pigment that does not glisten or sparkle as you speak.


The new Love Brights – Gel Matte Lipsticks are available in 8 gorgeous shades and although the selection may seem limited the lipsticks are stunning! Vasanti has everything from your basic medium and light pinks to fuchsia, coral, purple-pink, red and a deep vampy plum in case you want to rock the sultry, mysterious look. The pigments also have an extra pop of vibrancy for bold, full-coverage color and they were designed with every skin tone in mind.

Shade- Drunk in Love

I love a scintillating matte finish as much as the next girl but I don’t enjoy desperately rummaging through my bag for a lip balm when the formula dries out my skin. Thankfully these lipsticks are infused with cherry, pomegranate and evening primrose oil for smooth application, decent hydration and long-wear.

The lipsticks have a delicious scent that reminds me of candy and fruit without being overwhelmingly pungent and the shape is very interesting and sleek. They are cut on a very sharp slant or “bullet design” which creates a flat, wide side surface for precise application. The texture is very lightweight yet highly pigmented with enough creaminess to glide on smoothly without layering too thick or clinging to lips.

Shade- Mad Love
*The lipsticks retail for $19.99 each*



When the warm weather hits I know it’s time to break out my highlighting makeup for glowing, luminous skin. The Instant Pick Me Up Luminizer Brightening Pen comes in one universal champagne shade for all skin tones. This soft, liquid highlight can be pumped down directly into the bristles of the brush and applied to the cheek bones, inner corners of the eyes, brow bones, along the nose and anywhere else you desire a wash of radiance.


Enriched with nourishing lychee and mango fruit extracts the luminizer can be applied over foundation and the brush does a decent job at blending the products directly where you want it without having to use your fingers.


Heavily swatched to demonstrate color

The finish has a generous amount of shimmer that catches the light beautifully without being overdone with glitter or sparkle but you do have to work quickly when blending as the color dries and sets quite fast. The highlight adds a lovely, healthy luster to the skin to brighten dull, sallow complexions and retails for $32.00.

I saved my favorite for last because when you use the Age is Only a Number Elixir you may find that you don’t need quite as much highlighting for beautiful looking skin. The innovative 2-in-1 formula combines the incredible benefits of natural face oils with a powerful anti-aging serum and clinically proven active ingredients. All it takes is 1-2 drops twice a day and the rich, nutritive properties go to work with a non-greasy texture.


The serum contains:
* Citrustem- obtained from orange stem cells which firms, tones and strengthens to improve the signs of aging.
*Matrixyl 3000- one of the most popular and effective anti-aging ingredients used to boost collagen and elastin and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
*Ultra filling Spheres- based on the ability of hyaluronic acid and konjac to plump, smooth, fill wrinkles and hydrate.
*Neossance Squalane- derived from sugarcane to penetrate the skin and enhance softness while reducing moisture loss.
*Pomegranate seed oil- fights free radicals with anti-oxidants, regenerates, repairs and strengthens.
*Kalpariane- anti-aging brown algae protects against environmental damage, prevents sagging, repairs, revitalizes and boosts the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid.
*Organic aloe oil- soothes, nourishes and hydrates with vitamins and amino acids.
*Argan oil- hydrates.
*Niacinamide (from vitamin B3)-  prevents water loss, increases elasticity and treats uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and acne.

If you actually read that long list of impressive ingredients then kudos to you! It does seem like a lot to ask of a little bottle of elixir but I have been using it every night for the last few months and I absolutely love the effects it has on my skin! I notice an immediate glow after I massage it in and it makes my face look like I just got a wonderful facial without all the actual work! When I apply it before bed my skin feels soft, and looks radiant and I love how dewy, fresh and healthy my complexion looks in the morning! It also works well layered under the other products I slather on before nodding off at night so I am definitely a huge fan of the formula! The elixir retails for $62.00 

Vasanti products can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and major retail websites such as Birchbox.com and Amazon.com.

*Press samples featured 
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