Monday, November 24, 2014

Makeup By One Direction: Limited Edition Liquilights Glow Gloss and Rock Me Nail Varnish Kits

With the holidays just around the corner many brands are releasing great new products. For fans of one of the most popular boy bands in the world, using makeup inspired by their favorite songs or artist is a big deal! One Direction enthusiasts are sure to love their hottest new makeup collections, these sets are so fun, sparkly, bright and bold that you can almost hear the excited gasps as girls across the country open their makeup kits and dabble on some festive sparkle.  

The Liquilights Glow Gloss Set contains 3 dazzling colors with a sheer, shiny finish. During the day the gloss sparkles and at night it illuminates under UV light which is great for concerts and parties! The gloss can be worn alone or paired on top of the creamy One Direction Lipsticks for more coverage.

I like the bright, fun shades included in the kit, they are a bit textured due to the glitter formula but feel quite comfortable on the lips and hydrate with natural oils and vitamin E.

Swatches from left to right: Through the Dark (glows neon red/orange under UV light), Kiss You (glows neon yellow under UV light) and Taken (glows neon orange under UV light).

The glosses are great for fans of all ages and for younger girls the shades are not too heavy, intense or saturated so they can apply a light wash of color for a bit of playful sparkle. The set retails for $21.50.

Rock Me Nail Kit
What girl doesn't want her nails to stand out with a cute manicure?! The Rock Me Nail Kit includes 3 pretty lacquers  paired with UV glitters for creating sizzling nail art! 

The deep blue polish called Happily is paired with an icy blue glitter, Moments- a bright pink polish is paired with a neon pink glitter and Diana- a beautiful silver glitter polish is paired with a 3D holographic glitter.

My favorite shade is Diana, the silver glitter with light reflecting particles of varying sizes and multi-color shimmer. It also contains patterns that look like holiday tinsel making it perfect for the season!

To use, you can sprinkle the glitter directly onto wet polish and let it dry or you can dip the entire nails into the glitter for a rockin, stand-out effect. The formula of the polish is quite thin so you may need up to 3 coats. Applying a top coat helps prolong the wear of the polish and the nail set retails for $21.55.

These limited edition collections are great for creating glam looks and the packaging is sure to satisfy any fan. The great thing about the makeup is that it reflects the youthful style and energy of the band and their influence in pop music. The formula and textures are also easy to work with and good quality. You can purchase the collections at: Macy’s, Dillars, Lord and Taylor, Boscov’s, Stage Stores and Beauty Brands. You can also visit the Facebook page by clicking HERE.

For a chance to WIN one of these awesome kits click HERE
50 winners will be selected! Giveaway ends December 4th 2014 (open to U.S & Canadian residents)
**Disclaimer: products provided by BrandBacker

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yves Rocher Fruits Noirs Blackberries Collection: Holiday Gift Ideas

As we creep into winter and sleigh bells begin to ring, most of us are preparing for the joyous festivities of the holidays! The soft twinkle of lights from the tree, the smell of homemade desserts wafting through the air and a warm cozy fire as snow lightly falls outside makes this season my favorite! This year Yves Rocher has introduced some wonderful new bath and body collections that capture the essence of the holiday to make gift giving simple. The Fruits Noirs Blackberries Collection has a scrumptious, uplifting scent and includes a wide variety of decadent products for everyone on your list.

If you want to smell as good as you look this holiday season while pampering your skin in rich lotions, shower gels and balms this collection is truly indulgent!

The collection includes:

* Shower Gel ($4.00) – With a botanical cleansing base this gel is infused with organic cornflower water for a gentle, invigorating cleanse and is paraben free!

* Exfoliating Shower Gel ($9.00) – This fragrant gel lightly exfoliates with real kiwi seeds and lathers into a delightful blackberry foam that leaves skin smelling wonderful! It also contains apricot, organic water, mint, blackcurrant and essential oils.

*Sparkling Shower Gel ($6.00) – This gorgeous shower gel sprinkles you in glitter and holiday spirit. The dazzling globe reminds me of a beautiful Christmas ornament and the sparkling formula is fun for parties, events and even New years Eve! It contains many of the same great extracts and oils as the exfoliating gel.  

*Silky Body Cream ($9.00) – After lathering up with the aromatic shower gel, the body cream is a great way to add the finishing touches and prolong the alluring fragrance of sweet blackberries. Infused with shea butter, sweet almond oil, peppermint, patchouli, orange and essential oils this cream nourishes, hydrates and protects.

*Body Lotion ($6.00) - The Body lotion has the same great ingredients and hydrating properties as the Body Cream but contains a bit less and is packaged in a bottle rather than a jar.

*Sparkling Body Powder ($14.00) – The powder is formulated to lightly perfume the skin and create a luminous, satiny smooth finish. After a shower the powder is refreshing and helps keep you dry and comfortable.

*Liquid Hand Soap ($5.00) – Add a bit of festive cheer to your powder room this season with the sweet blackberry soap. It cleans hands thoroughly and smells enchanting!

*Hand Cream ($4.00) – After hand-washing, moisturize with the luscious blackberry hand cream infused with organic water, sweet almond oil, mint, patchouli, orange, blackcurrant and extracts. This is a great cream to keep in your purse to help battle winter dryness. 

*Nourishing Lip Balm ($3.00) – The cute blackberry balm with almond oil, jojoba and shea butter alleviates dry, cracked lips, protects against the elements and smells delicious!

*Scented Candle ($9.00) – With fall and winter comes a great selection of scented candles and comforting fragrances. This blackberry candle is decorative and fills your home with the aroma of delicious, mouthwatering blackberry pie!

The great thing about this collection is that you can mix and match any of the items to create great gift baskets, stocking stuffers and customized packages. Every product has a natural fruit scent so there are no unpleasant artificial notes and if blackberry isn't your thing the other collections include: Redberries, Cocoa & Orange, and Pear Caramel! Some of the items also have a slight perfume aroma that is so captivating I wish the collection also included a fragrance! You can find these products in all Yves Rocher Stores and online by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection Review

I have reviewed a few makeup brushes by Real Techniques because they are great value, great quality, hand-cut and are suitable for a wide range of products from: liquids, creams, highlight and mineral makeup. Today I have a review on the duo-fiber set which comes with 3 ultra-plush, cruelty-free, synthetic brushes for both the face and eyes.

I have tried and used many makeup brushes but this type is among my favorite due to the light-weight application. When I want a flawless airbrushed effect I use a duo- fiber brush because the thinly pointed, dispersed bristles are ideal for stippling on product right where I need it. The light dabbing motions allow the fine tips to get directly into the texture of the skin filling in the entire surface. The finish I achieve with these brushes is professional and smooth and they work well with creams, liquids and powder.

The duo-fiber face brush is the largest in the set and designed for powder and pigments. For my liquid products such as foundation and concealer I usually use a flat top fiber brush and although this one is round, the density of the bristles still works well for putting the finishing touches on liquid makeup. The brush is soft but taut enough for consistent coverage and idea for blending blush, setting powder and lightly sweeping on highlight.

The contour brush is medium sized and designed for controlled contouring and sculpting. This brush fits nicely under the check bones and it great for blending bronzer or even blush and highlight.

The eye brush is small but precise! You can use it to blend eye shadow but it also makes a great concealer brush for under the eyes and spot treatments. If you dip the very ends of the bristles into your concealer you can lightly dab it onto the skin and the thin, pointy bristles get right into the texture and grooves to deliver product effectively!

These are great brushes to add to your collection and the set retails for $29.99 you can find it by clicking HERE and at participating retailers. 

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Beauty Box Five Review: November 2014

It’s that time again, another Beauty Box Five has arrived at my door and this month my box contains goodies that have me thinking about my next vacation! The theme is “gracefully grounded” and even with Black Friday just around the corner, taking ten minutes for a little pampering is still a must!

Before I delve into the box let’s review how the service works. Beauty Box Five is a subscription service that starts at $12 for the monthly box, $30 for the quarterly subscription and $99 dollars for a year. In this box you will receive a mix of luxury items and common brands with products for: hair, skin and nails as well as fragrances and beauty accessories. The box contains 5 products and usually includes one or two full sized items. It is a great way to sample a variety of new brands.

Hask Macadamia Revitalizing Shine Oil: $2.99

I am no stranger to Hask oil; in fact their argan oil has become a staple for my parched ends. The bottle may look small but just a dab is all you need to hydrate and nourish dry hair and it actually lasts quite a while. I love applying the oil to damp hair, right after conditioning for extra softness. It reduces frizz, fuzz and fly-aways so it works wonders for my naturally curly hair. When I wear my hair straight, the oil adds extra shine and makes it look sleek and healthy.

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash: (sample size)

This is another product I have tried before and it is actually one of my favorite body washes! I love the clean, fresh scent and it contains great moisturizers that leave skin smelling wonderful without the tight, dryness you may get from other body washes. I also enjoy the rich, invigorating lather and the creamy nourishing formula! This is a great travel size bottle for a weekend getaway or to slip in a carry-on bag.

DenTek Floss Picks + Case: $4.49

Many people may not get too excited to see dental floss in their beauty box but healthy gums is a serious matter to me. I carry floss in my purse and stash it in various rooms throughout my house because I floss a lot! These are simple to use and great to keep in your bag or take on vacation for a quick floss session after a meal, I also like the minty flavor!

Afterfeather Refillable Travel Bottles: $4.47 (comes as a set of 2 for $8.98)

I go through a ton of travel bottles but none of them have been this cute! I love the design and this whimsical container is TSA-approved.

Laura Ashley Body Butter: $3.33 (comes as a set of 6 for $20.00)

When winter hits, I love to indulge in decadent, creamy body butters, this one is rather light but it moisturizes without leaving behind any residue. The scent is Sweet Peony which smells very floral, the aroma is okay but it wouldn't have been my first choice. When I buy body butters I look for ones that incorporate natural ingredients and unfortunately this brand doesn't have much of that. I may end up using it as a hand cream but it is an ideal size for travel. 

Overall this month’s box was decent and quite practical. Many of the items are travel friendly and very usable for my next vacation but there was no makeup this time around which I always want more of!

You can check out Beauty Box Five by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: box was provided for review

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Soften Her Exfoliating Pads Review: For Stubble, In-grown Hair and Razor Bumps

Many of us want soft, supple skin but shaving waxing and other types of hair removal can cause in-grown hairs and sharp stubble. When I first heard about the Soften Her pads I was intrigued by the idea of achieving smooth skin even with a bit of stubble and no shaving! Soon after a tedious hair removal session, hair growth can reoccur quite quickly and these pads are designed to prolong that wonderful smooth feeling simply and efficiently.

Each box contains 3 small pink pads that have a finger strap on one side. To use: simply move the pad in a circular motion, clockwise and then counter-clockwise against the hairs for about 15 seconds. The textured side of the pad gently exfoliates without irritation and I love that it helps slough off dead skin cells and reduce razor bumps!

Although they are not meant for hair removal and designed to work on stubble rather than longer hair, the pads help dull the sharp edges of fresh hair growth which takes your skin from rough and prickly to smooth and silky. It also helps reduce the occurrence of in-grown hairs which can sometimes leave behind unsightly blemishes.

You can use the pads on your legs, arms underarms and bikini area, although I have only used them on my arms and legs which worked great. I prefer to use them on clean, dry skin and follow up with a moisturizer to take care of the white residue left over from exfoliating and removing the skin cells.

I recommend using light pressure and not rubbing one area for too long or too hard to avoid irritation. You will be able to tell when it is time to switch pads because the surface slowly begins to wear away and becomes less coarse. Only one side of the pad is usable, the other side is lined with a soft foam for comfortable grip but it would have been nice to have a double sided exfoliator.

These pads are hypoallergenic and last up to 2 months each; they also make great stocking stuffers for the holidays and retail for $11.99 per box!

For more information and to order you can find the website by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: products provided for review

Monday, November 17, 2014

Schwarzkopf Professional BC Hair Therapy Beauty Boxes

Just in time for the holidays Schwarzkopf Professionals has released collections of their best selling hair products customized in chic leather boxes for individualized hair treatments. Each box has a complete 3 step hair care system including: shampoo, conditioner and styling product and no gift wrapping is required!

If you are on the hunt for a great gift for your mom, aunt or grandmother then the BC Hair Therapy Time Restore box is a great option. These products are designed for mature, fragile hair and the pretty leather box can also be used to hold jewelry and other personal items! With Time Restore, results may yield up to 100% more resilience and vitality for hair that is weak, dry and brittle. 

The other collections available include: Color Freeze (for colored and highlighted hair), Moisture Kick (for normal to dry hair), Repair Rescue (for colored and highlighted hair) and Fiber Force (for damaged, breaking hair).

The Time Restore collection comes with three salon exclusive products: shampoo to thoroughly cleanse and strengthen hair, conditioner with hydrolyzed keratin to provide structure and nourish and a rejuvenating spray to ease detangling and provide natural hold. All of the products smell wonderful and contain a new cell perfector technology called Q10 which works at the cellular level to reduce the signs of aging and fortify each strand!

For those who suffer from dry, brittle hair due to aging, hair dye, environmental stressors, chemicals or heat styling this box makes a great gift. You find these collections for $37.95-$42.90 at Schwarzkopf Professional partner salons or visit the website by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Burberry Eau de Parfum Review and The NEW Burberry Makeup Collection!

Burberry’s fashion, fragrance and classic signature print is known worldwide as an iconic symbol of style and sophistication. Exceptional quality and a renowned reputation continue to strengthen the brand’s place in an ever changing market of high-end fashion and beauty.

This September Burberry launched the My Burberry Eau de Parfum inspired by a London Garden after the rain and the affectionate way people refer to their timeless Burberry trench coats. Similar to the classic yet elegant Burberry check design, the thick glass bottle and hand tied knot represents the brand’s past and future.

The fragrance is described as bright, grand and floral with a deep, exquisite aroma! This perfume adds versatility and alluring uniqueness to any collection and the scent is irresistible! The formula contains a rare blend of exceptional roses; “the delicate damask rose grown in Turkey is only harvested in May and grown at a high altitude.” “The precious centifolia rose is grown in France and can only be handpicked between 4am-10am each morning.”

~Top notes
*Sweet pea and bergamot oil sourced from Calabria in Italy add sparkling crispness.

~Heart notes
*Golden quince and freesia with a dash of geranium from Morocco and Egypt creates contrast and plays up the feminine notes.

~Base notes
*Rose absolute and patchouli oil from Malaysia and Indonesia accentuates the delicacy of the rose facets to provide a fruity accent and warm earthiness.

If you are looking for a wonderful fragrance for women of all ages or a gift for a special someone this holiday season I recommend trying My Burberry. The perfume is suitable for everyday wear and special occasions, it retails for $98.00 (per 50 ml) and can be found online at Burberry.Com and select retailers worldwide. 

Along with the lovely Eau de Parfum Burberry has also launched a beautiful makeup collection featuring foundation, shadow, blush, lipstick and more. The lipsticks are available in different textures and finishes such as: Lip Velvet, Lip Mist, Lip Cover and Lip Glow Balm. 

The shade selection within each group also varies and I chose within the Lip Cover collection which contains 22 gorgeous hues including: nude, purple, red, pink, coral, orange plum and everything in-between.

The shade I have is called Union Red No.17 which is soft as satin, lusciously rich and perfect for every season. The lightweight combination of nourishing oils and gels is formulated to drench lips in consistent coverage that ensures intense moisture and long-lasting color.

The vivid pigment glides on effortlessly and smells lightly sweet. The packaging is magnetized for automatic closure but I did have to line up the cap before it would bind securely. This bright red feels comfortable on the lips and the intensity is stunning! I think it would suit a wide variety of skin tones and I love the bold show-stopping effect. The lipsticks retail for $36.00 each and you can visit the website by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NeoStrata Skin Care: Anti-Aging

October was Fashion Week here in Toronto which gave me the chance to attend some press events and check out all the excitement backstage. This year NeoStrata hosted an informative event dedicated to some of their newest products that incorporate leading-edge technology and have a plethora of anti-aging benefits. I will admit that prior to learning about this great line I wasn't too familiar with the products but now that I've had the chance to try many of them I am very impressed and have been using them every night!

Today I will feature a range of fabulous products dedicated to improving your complexion, so sit back and relax because there are quite a few items that deserve an honorable mention.

Youth Factor GF Total Regenerating Serum
First up is one of my favorites! When this bottle of serum made its way around the beauty panel and I first dabbed it on I just knew I had to have it! The product comes in a convenient medicine dropper bottle and has a beautiful pearl color. A little goes a long way and applied overnight it moisturizes and renews the tone and vibrancy of my skin for a soft, supple glow. The growth factor in the formula is designed to stimulate the skin’s renewal process and regenerate collagen and elastin, it is suitable for all skin types.

Although the serum is recommended for people 45+ I think it is a great preventative measure for younger people as well and there is no age limit to re-building the components of the skin to keep it looking healthy! Other benefits include:

*Improves skin hydration by up to 72%
*Corrects firmness and skin slackening
*Enhances elasticity up to 60%
*Reduces wrinkles up to 69%
*Promotes younger looking skin
*Evens skin tone
*Plumps skin
*Refines texture
*Boosts cell metabolism
*Nourishes and repairs

You can find the serum by clicking HERE, it retails for $78.00 

Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream (5% Glycolic Acid)
Glycolic acid is popularly used in skin care products and professional skin treatments. The glycolic acid in the Soothing Cream is formulated to deliver the ingredient deep into the skin without irritation. Unlike the peels commonly used by Dermatologists, this product uses a mild concentration suitable for sensitive skin and all ages.

Glycolic Acid is commonly used for reducing: wrinkles, acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. This product also: refines skin texture, boosts radiance, evens the complexion, reduces fine lines and mattifies without any tingling. I prefer to wear it at night because the texture is slightly sticky but it provides long-lasting hydration with natural botanical extracts ideal for normal to dry skin. The Soothing Cream retails for $39.00 and is also available in a 10% concentration, you can find it by clicking HERE

Youth Factor GF Total Regenerating Cream
I love a great moisturizer especially one that can nourish and prevent dehydration! This cream has wonderful anti-aging properties and fortifies fragile, mature skin. Although I don’t have mature skin or wrinkles the formula renews and strengthens to improve the look of skin without a greasy residue and it makes a great gift for the women in your family! I love that it makes my skin feel soft and silky and it works well under makeup. (Retail price $66.50, available January 2015)

The cream also:
*Restores density and firmness
*Prevents the loss of elasticity
*Reduce the signs of deep wrinkles
*Stimulates cell renewal and the regeneration of collagen
*Contains calcium, essential amino acids, soy bean and wild yam extract

Aqua Youth Filling Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
Applying an eye cream at night is an essential part of my skin care routine! I want to keep my eyes looking fresh, awake and youthful and NeoStrata has a great selection of creams for the sensitive area around the eyes.

The Aqua Youth eye cream is formulated to quench dehydrated skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a smooth, hydrated complexion. I like the formula because it feels soothing and refreshing and even if you have yet to experience the visible signs of aging it is a great preventative measure! (Retail price: $34.00)

If lack of firmness is your issue then the FirmaLift Eye Contour Firming Cream is for you! This eye cream improves elasticity, density and improves the appearance of under eye bags to reduce sagging and increase resiliency. (Retail price $33.75)

After swatching these formulas I felt immediate suppleness and after using the line for weeks at home I am very happy with these products! As you can see NeoStrata offers a wide variety so there is something for every skin concern. The best thing about the line is that the serums and creams can be used sparingly and they leave my skin feeling wonderful and looking radiant!

Since I've been using the Youth Factor GF Serum and the Glycolic Renewal Soothing Cream I have also been getting fewer blemishes and pimples so I definitely recommend heading over to the website if you are on the hunt for some great items to add to your skin care routine. You can find these products and the rest of the line by clicking HERE and at major drug stores across Canada.

**Disclaimer: products were provided 
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