Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yves Rocher Summer 2014 Collection- Bath and Body

I recently reviewed the wonderful summer makeup collection by Yves Rocher, today I am featuring the fresh new fragrance and floral shower gel which are also inspired by the beautiful, blue Mediterranean Sea.

The Eau De Toilett encompasses the essence of summer with its sparkling, lush scent. The fragrance is inspired by mandarins from Sicily, Bergamot from Calabria, sun kissed fruit and bright flowers. The top and middle notes contain citrus and the bottom notes are woody and soothing.

I love how soft and refreshing this perfume is and the light, inviting aroma is perfect for a summer day. If you dislike heavy, deep scents or extremely fruity scents then this fragrance is well balanced to satisfy all preferences. Although feminine and mild it is also warm, slightly sweet and naturally alluring. The fragrance retails for $29.00

I love engulfing myself in the rich, foamy lather of this floral infused shower gel. The scent is sweet, tangy and slightly citrus with 98% natural ingredients! The soapy bubbles are invigorating and the botanical based formula contains no animal products or parabens.

The gel cleanses thoroughly without drying the skin and is pH balanced to hydrate. It retails for just $3.95!

When used together the foamy gel and the wonderful fragrance makes skin smell captivating and irresistibly fragrant! You find these products online by clicking HERE and they also make a great gift for women of all ages.

*Disclaimer: Products provided for review

Monday, August 18, 2014

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge Review

Over the last few years sponge applicators have become increasingly popular. At first I didn't buy into the sponge obsession that flooded the beauty market, especially since the concept wasn't  new, but then I found the Miracle Complexion Sponge by Real Techniques. Many people have compared this sponge to the popular Beauty Blender but the design and texture is more efficient for my application needs.

The most popular way to use the sponge is to dampen it. I do this by holding it under running water and then squeezing out the excess. Since the Complexion Sponge is very absorbent I also blot it into a towel or paper towel before use. The sponge should be slightly damp but not soaking; it should not smear or apply makeup with a messy wet finish. Once damp the sponge does expand in size, I recommend allowing it to air dry after use and cleaning it often to prevent the growth of bacteria. Using the sponge dry also works quite well. 

Unlike traditional makeup sponges this one has a tapered egg shaped end and one slanted flat end. Both sides work well for full face application and around the eyes and nose. I prefer the flat side because it covers more surface and blends evenly. To apply liquid makeup use quick dabbing or stippling motions and avoid swiping or streaking. The sponge applies liquids and creams efficiently and I found the dabbing method easy and less time consuming.

I like that the sponge does not absorb too much makeup but I found that applying foundation directly to the face and then blending absorbs even less. Compared to some of my brushes, the sponge does tend to provide lighter coverage but with some work full coverage can be achieved.

I primarily use this product to apply BB creams, primers and base formulas and it does get the job done! If you are interested in trying a beauty sponge this one is good.

The Miracle Complexion Sponge retails for $9.99 and you can find it HERE and at select retailers.

**Disclaimer: This product was provided for review. 

The International Dermal Institute: Professional Skin Analysis with dermalogica

As consumers who value looking our best and having a healthy complexion we invest a lot in skin care. There are countless brands and products on the market that promise excellent results, but do you really know what your skin needs? At The International Dermal Institute skin experts take the guess work out of your daily beauty routine and provide knowledge and personal product prescriptions to treat your skin’s unique needs.

I was given the wonderful opportunity to have a professional analysis and skin treatment done by one of the Institute’s trained Skin Therapists. I gained a wealth of knowledge and a deeper understanding of how to care for my skin.

When I arrived at the facility in downtown Toronto I didn't know what to expect but the wonderful staff welcomed me warmly. I began by filling out a comprehensive questionnaire detailing my skin’s health and concerns and was then lead into a Zen like room with relaxing lighting and soft music.

After getting prepped my Skin Therapist Amanda discussed my concerns, the products I used and my skin care routine. She gave me enough time to ask all the questions I wanted and was incredibly personable and highly educated. Lying on the soft bed with warm towels around my hands and feet was very calming and my body was comfortably wrapped to keep me warm and cozy.

After removing my makeup with a natural, soothing oil and deep cleansing my skin she proceeded to map my face. Facial Mapping is a technique used by the Dermal Institute to examine the different sections of your skin under high magnification and bright lighting. This technique allows specialists to see deep into your pores and identify your trouble areas. My treatment was then based on my results.

All of the products used smelled wonderfully natural, my face was gently steamed to open my pores and a mask was applied to remove impurities and debris. Amanda explained each step of the process and the soft mediation music lulled me into relaxation. After the mask there was mild exfoliation and a deep tissue neck and shoulder massage to release tension and knots. The final steps were more invigorating steam and lots of hydration.

Following the treatment we had another discussion about my skin, and she wrote me a non-medical skin prescription of recommended dermalogica products designed to improve my complexion.

I received the dermalogica precleanse: a deep cleansing oil that melts impurities, waterproof makeup, sunscreen, oil, pollutants and residual product build-up. It is formulated with olive, vitamin E and apricot with a natural aroma therapy scent. The addition of water transforms the oil into a milky emulsion that rinses debris from skin and promotes efficient product absorption. I absolutely love this cleanser; it melts makeup right off leaving my skin feeling revived and soft. It retails for $52.50 and you can find it by clicking HERE

Since my skin is sensitive to exfoliation the dermalogica daily resurfacer is ideal. Rice extracts, green teas and hydroxyl acid and enzymes work to reduce the signs of aging, enhance moisture, brighten and even skin tone. The tin comes with 35 pads that gently resurface without causing irritation or redness. They are also travel friendly and make exfoliation quick yet very effective. This product will greatly improve my routine for beautifully polished, supple skin. The tin retails for $97.00 and you can find it by clicking HERE.

Overall this experience was very informative, my face has never felt so fresh, clean and renewed! I learned things about my skin I didn't know and I highly recommend booking a treatment with dermalogica to gain new perspective on the health of your skin. The professional treatment and analysis is $95.00 and makes a great gift for both men and women! Facilities are located worldwide and to find a location near you click HERE. Visit dermalogica at: dermalogica.ca

For those interested in contacting the Dermal Institute in Toronto for additional inquiries or appointments you can do so at: (416) 368-3832 they are located at: 720 King Street West, suite 300

*Disclaimer: skin treatment and products were provided for review

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mary Kay True Dimension Lipstick Review

This summer Mary Kay has launched some great new products and I recently reviewed the wonderfully fruity Triple Layer Tinted Balms. Today I have a review on the new luxuriously creamy True Dimension Lipsticks in an array of gorgeous shades!

The lipsticks provide good pigment with a buttery smooth texture and the formula is ideal for those who suffer from dry lips or prefer extra hydration. They drench lips in a blanket of rich, light-weight, long-lasting moisture with a touch of pouty shine. 

The 20 beautiful shades ranging from neutral to bright is enough to entice any lipstick lover and the line contains some of the trendiest colors including: fuchsia, coral, orange and berry.  

The formula nourishes lips with: castor seed oil, jojoba, sunflower, mango butter, meadowfoam, orange peel and shea butter. Because the lipsticks contain so many beneficial, natural oils I recommend keeping them in a cool dry place to prevent condensation. 

The packaging is also very sleek and the lipsticks have an innovative new design. To open you push down on the top of the tube and the lipstick slides out, this mechanism provides secure closure.

I like the finish of the lipsticks; they provide just the right amount of color without being sticky and they seem to melt into lips with velvety softness. They also glide on consistently and mixing shades can create pretty customized colors!

The lipsticks can be found online by clicking HERE and retail for $19 each.

**Disclaimer: These products were provided for review. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain Review

I have been a big fan of Revlon lip products for years; in fact the classic formula of the Super Lustrous lipsticks is one of my favorites! Since I usually prefer bold, highly saturated hues I was excited to try the new Colorstay Moisture Lip Stains available in 12 fetching shades. The stains are inspired by some of the world’s greatest cities and since I enjoy travelling I appreciate the exotic theme and great range of color.

The shades I have are: Barcelona Nights- which is a bright pink with a hint of plum, Miami Fever- a fun tropical orange, Rio Rush- a fiery pink and Stockholm Chic-deep bronze/brown. 

The stains are formulated to be light-weight, non-sticky and provide a high gloss finish. The texture is quite unique, it feels creamy and wet, like cool water touching your lips and they moisturize like a balm with vitamin E and soothing aloe. I can definitely feel the moist, dampness of the formula and although they are categorized as stains they don't leave behind heavy color.

I love the bright pigmentation and application is simple though I do have to rub my lips together to spread the color and achieve consistent coverage. Like most wet formulas they do tend to transfer a bit however they are quite long-wear for lip gloss.

The wide, tapered brush is designed for easy application and does seem to cover more surface area per swipe. I am able to intensify the color by layering it on heavier for a dramatic effect. 

If you haven’t stopped by the Revlon isle to check these out I recommend heading over there and starting a swatching frenzy! The stains retail for $12.95 Canadian.

***Disclaimer: Products were provided for review

Thursday, August 14, 2014

BA STAR Tropical Eye Shadow Palette Review

BA STAR is a cosmetic company that has been featured in a few recent beauty subscriptions and is branching out from stage makeup used for cheerleading and dance to professional and everyday use. This brand offers a range of products including: glitter, blush, bronzer, mascara, eye shadow, accessories and more!

Today I have a review on the stunning Tropical Palette which includes five fun, shimmery shadows that were selected by a Makeup Artist. The palette is designed to incorporate bright, show-stopping, complimentary colors that look great individually or mixed and matched to create a variety of bold looks.

For those familiar with my artistry style you know that I love intense color and these shadows are formulated to be highly pigmented and long-lasting. The texture is smooth and easy to blend producing minimal fall-out and non-crease coverage. Although the colors are solid they first apply in the light to medium range and can be layered to increase saturation.

My favorite shade has to be the bright lime green! Paired with the vibrant blue the effect makes me reminisce of strolling down the beach in the Bahamas and sipping a tropical cocktail! When used with a good primer and applied heavily the colors can be enhanced for a dramatic effect.

The palette does come with a duo sided applicator equipped with a sponge and what appears to be some sort of blending brush that is quite coarse and oddly shaped. I don’t usually use a sponge applicator so this didn't bother me. The silver shade looks lovely when paired with a deeper crease color for a sultry smokey effect.

For $8.75 this is a great palette especially if you are just starting out with bright shadows and you want to experiment with creating different looks. It is also ideal for everyday wear or themed events and is small enough to pop in a bag for use on the go and travel. You can find this palette on BA STAR's website by clicking HERE

**Disclaimer: This product was provided for review. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Makeup by One Direction: Midnight Memories Collection Review

When I was a teenager I use to rock out to popular bands, get excited when my favorite song came on the radio and admittedly like many of the girls today I was a bit enthralled with the members of the group. Screaming at a concert with friends, lining up for autographs and sticking a creased poster from a magazine on the wall seems like a rite of passage for every generation of teens. One of the biggest pop bands of this generation is undoubtedly One Direction and Markwins has created an awesome limited edition makeup collection inspired by the group! Whether you are rock n’ roll, a party seeker or the girl next door these kits have something for everyone.

Brand Information:
Makeup by One Directions celebrates youth, style and an uninhibited spirit. The three available kits contain vivid shades, premium formulas and fun limited edition collectable packaging that fans are sure to love! The commemorable tins each incorporate different colors and unique themes inspired by the albums and you can even show off your personal style by decorating yours with the cool doodle stencils.

Midnight Memories Collection

The Midnight Memories Kit is designed to create the rocker girl look with bold shades. Best Song Ever and is a gorgeous, deep red lipstick with a luscious crème formula. This shade makes lips pop with intense color and the texture provides solid coverage and a comfortable matte finish.

If you are in the mood to shine then the Liquilights Electric Poppy lip gloss has beautiful pink shimmer with medium coverage. It is designed to bring out your inner rocker by glowing neon red-orange in UV light! The pretty micro glitter dispersed throughout the formula illuminates beautifully for radiant looking lips.

No look is complete without eye shadow and this kit includes a dazzling palette to create a variety of fun looks. I love how the shimmery pink compliments the charcoal grey and deep black which create a beautiful smokey effect. These eye shadows have great pigmentation and you can also use the middle square for body glitter.

The Liquefied Metallic Steel Nail Varnish called Right Now is edgy yet pretty. It contains flashy sparkles for a trendy, concert-ready manicure.

To help intensify your smokey eye shadow or to decorate yourself with fun One Direction Art the Better than Words black eye & body pencil works like a charm. This creamy, highly pigmented crayon glides on smooth for long-lasting, smudge proof color.

Finish off your eyes with the Little Black Dress Volumizing Mascara for naturally enhanced lashes.

Overall I really enjoyed this playful kit, it includes fantastic colors and the pigmentation is good. The entire collection is a great value and contains everything you need to complete your stylish look. I think the kits are great memorabilia or collectors items for fans.

The makeup will be available starting in the U.S. and for the ultimate One Direction fans just itching to snag a kit the release dates are as follows:
*Macy’s - August 11th
*Stage Stores – August 25th
*Dillards – August 25th
*Beauty Brands – August 25th
*Lord and Taylor – August 25th

For more information and international release dates visit the Facebook page by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Clarins Fix’ Makeup-Up Setting Mist Review

Since the weather began getting warmer and the days stretched longer and brighter I have been making the most of it! Events, walks by the lake, afternoons on the patio and a European and Caribbean vacation! All that fun in the sun calls for some efficient products to keep makeup from displacing and melting off! I recently reviewed the Clarins very high protection sunscreen which you can find HERE, today is all about keeping makeup intact through warm humid days and perspiration.

The Fix’ Make-Up Mist by Clarins is a wonderful beach bag and summer essential because it sets and pro-longs the wear of makeup and the cool pleasantly scented formula is uplifting and refreshing. I have combination skin and in humidity my face tends to get shiny and a tad oily. With a blast of freshness the mist enhances the longevity of matte makeup and reduces the need to blot or powder.

Unlike other sprays I've tried which distribute excess amount of liquid and leave behind a lot of wetness, this spray mists the face lightly and coats evenly and consistently. If you use too much you may see water droplets but usually it dries quickly for an oil-free, matte finish. The mist is formulated to be gentle leaving skin soft and supple and you can also re-apply throughout the day when you need a little rejuvenation.

It also holds up well during mild to moderate physical activity and perspiration by locking everything in place with a comfortable texture that does not tighten the skin with a sticky film. I experienced no irritation, breakouts or dryness on my sensitive skin and I actually prefer this spray to my many of my others.

The Fix’ Make-Up Mist retails for $30 and you can find it online HERE or at participating retailers.

**Disclaimer: Product was provided for review

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Blush Review

Today we are going to delve into the world of blush to examine a unique new product from L'Oreal. Many of you have heard of pressed, mineral, cream and baked blush but have you seen blush in a tube?! L'Oreal has launched a new line that involves “Opti-Blur technology” designed to fade lines and dullness and to deliver the anti-aging benefits of visible lift.

Initially I thought blush in a squeeze tube was a bit strange but you get so much gorgeous pigment in the packaging and the texture is wonderful! At first the blush feels like a light, fluffy cream but once blended it spreads beautifully over the skin and seems to transform into a powder with a dry consistency and silky finish.

I was very impressed with the ease of application, unlike some cream formulas that can be dewy and thick or even mess up underlying foundation this blush goes on like a dream. I barely have to touch it to my face while blending to achieve even, consistent color and you can even use one finger to gently rub it on for seamless coverage.

I have the blush in the shade Soft Pink which provides a sheer, rosy glow and contains quite a bit of shimmer to highlight the face. The color applies quite subtle and the shimmer seems to wash over the layer of pink to beautifully reflect light. Although I like a luminous glow I would love to have this formula in a solid, matte shade as well.

There are only three colors available and they all seem to have pink undertones, this is the middle shade in the line but there is also Soft Peach which is the lighter hue and Soft Berry which is the darkest pigment. The blush retails for $12.99 and I would definitely recommend checking them out. You can view the other shades online by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: product provided for review
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