Thursday, March 22, 2018

Moroccan Oil Hair Care – Nourish, Hydrate and Repair

A couple months ago I was considering a trip to Morocco but ended up in Florida working on a tourism article instead. The exotic destination is still on my bucket list because aside from the cultural highlights and delicious cuisine, the continent is known for its bountiful natural ingredients. Moroccan Oil is one of the rarest in the world since it is derived from the Argan Tree which grows sparsely throughout the region. This “liquid gold” is high in fatty acids, Vitamin E and antioxidants which makes it a popular treatment for damaged hair.

Thankfully you don’t have to travel all the way to Africa to get your hands on this precious oil. The Moroccan Hair Collection is readily available and replenishes dull, dry hair that has been exposed to heat styling, dye, chemicals, extreme weather, pollutants and daily stress.

After a cold winter, the Moisture Repair Shampoo ($26.00) and Conditioner ($27.00) resurrects weakened strands with a color safe formula free of sulfate, parabens and phosphate. This collection smells incredible (I can’t stop sniffing my hair) and the shampoo transforms into lavish, bubbly foam that cleanses without stripping or causing brittleness. As you lather-up, the reconstructive protein strengthens keratin to restore elasticity, moisture and shine. It also purifies the scalp without irritation and eliminates product build-up, excess oil and impurities. The Moisture Repair Conditioner has a light, creamy texture that coats each stand and helps detangle. I recommend leaving it on for a few minutes as the shower steam enhances absorption and deeply replenishes.

I continually stress the importance of deep conditioner because it is one of the most important steps for healthy, moisturized hair that grows long and strong. Enriched with proteins, fruit extract, antioxidants, oils and butters, the Restorative Mask ($48.00) and Intense Hydrating Mask ($64.00) prevents split-ends, fortifies damaged strands and deeply nourishes. The formulas are slightly different but the results are quite similar. Both treatments are fragrant, velvety and rich - enveloping each strand and restructuring the cuticles to protect and polish. After use my hair feels incredibly silky, soft and smooth with lots of movement, bounce and body. If you need to rejuvenate dull, rough hair that has been burnt, broken and dried-out, these masks work wonders! After a long winter of repeated flat ironing, the nutritive ingredients helped re-vamp my curls and improved styling results.

Most of us style our hair after washing and conditioning so the Smoothing Lotion ($35.00) is a blow-dry essential for a sleek, glossy finish. Simply apply to damp hair and use your tools as usual. It dramatically improves texture, protects against humidity, tames frizz and leaves hair more manageable.

The Hydrating Styling Cream ($39.99) creates versatile definition while eliminating frizz, flyaways and static. You can use it on damp or dry hair and it keeps natural curls well formed, moisturized and springy.

The Oil Treatment ($49.99) comes in a dark bottle to protect the integrity of the argan so it stays fresh and potent. This luscious formula is lightweight and smells incredible so you can use it to refresh and fragrance your hair. It also speeds up drying time, boosts shine, smooths, controls frizz and detangles. Apply a generous amount prior to shampooing and let it soak in for a couple hours or overnight for a nutritive oil treatment. I apply a small amount to damp hair before blow drying and again after styling for a neat finish with lustrous sheen. Dab it on parched ends to prevent splits and breakage or smooth it on unruly curls for more definition. After flat ironing the treatment keeps my long hair straight, sleek and chic with no poof.

Moroccan Oil Hair Care is available at salons and spas throughout the GTA, Sephora and online at

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Loreal Colour Rich Shine Lipstick – Review & Swatches

When spring begins and the weather warms up we can finally shed our heavy clothing and opt for bright, cheerful colors. Loreal’s new Colour Riche Shine Lipsticks ($12.99 ea) may be just what your makeup bag needs this season – the pigments are fresh, light and fun with buildable coverage and chic packaging.

These juicy lipsticks are creamy and ultra hydrating to keep lips supple, moist and smooth. Some of the shades provide sheer color payoff while others have medium pigmentation and fuller coverage. The laminated shine formula is infused with natural oils to create the illusion of plumpness and each reflective hue can be intensified by layering.

When you have no time for lip liner or matte formulas, these lipsticks come in handy. The color glides on effortlessly and drenches your pout in glistening gloss without accentuating rough skin or lines. The pigment does transfer and fade with wear but reapplication is easy and there is enough nourishment to replace your lip balm.

Swatches from left to right: 922 Laminated Fuchsia, 924 Enamel Red, 926 Glassy Garnet and 928 Gleaming Plum.

There are 12 vibrant shades in the collection and Loreal is available at drugstores nationwide.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Pandora Shine Collection – 18K Gold Plated Jewelry

Last week I spent a glittering evening dining with Pandora to celebrate their new gold plated jewelry collection. The press event was hosted in a few cities simultaneously and together we sipped wine and marveled at the glamorous accessories (I love my job).

My favorite pieces are the trendy stacked rings and bangles but the collection also features elegant necklaces and the brand's iconic charm bracelet. I received my first piece of gold arm-candy (the Shine Smooth Bracelet $195.00) with a sparkling crystal pendant ($110.00)...thanks Pandora!

Photo credit:

On my birthday (last Christmas Eve) I received a Pandora gift card so I stopped at the mall after the event (already wearing my new gold bling) and picked up the Sparkling Love Heart Ring ($80.00). The center stone is stunning and the shine is incredible! 

Since Mother’s Day is just around the corner, you might want to check out the new collection before the lines start to form. Visit the website by clicking HERE.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Avon Limited-Edition Skin So Soft Comforting Shea Collection

Spring is in the air so it’s time to rejuvenate dry winter skin with a blast of nourishing moisture. One of the most hydrating ingredients on the market is Shea – known for its incredible ability to condition, comfort and deeply moisturize. Avon’s decadent new collection will leave you supple, smooth and refreshed from head-to-toe with a pampering selection of oils, butters, shower creams and lotions at affordable prices.

The Body Wash ($10.00) is creamy and fragrant to help you relax and foam away pollutants, impurities and oil after a long day. I drizzle it over my mesh bath pouf and create a bubbly lather that cleanses without leaving skin dry, tight or stripped. There is also a large bottle of Shea Bath Oil available if you crave an indulgent soak.

The Body Lotion ($10.00) smells delicious without being too sweet and the lightweight, luscious texture seeps in quickly so skin feels soft and silky with no greasiness. If they removed the parabens it would be even better but for dry, flaky skin it works! The cream is also available in a Body Butter formula ($9.00) if you prefer something richer.

The driest part of my body is probably my hands because I wash them frequently and often forget my gloves. The Shea Hand Cream comes in a large tube for just $6.00 and instantly softens and soothes brittle nails, damaged cuticles and rough skin. I keep it at my desk to moisturize throughout the day and it is perfect for your guest bathroom or powder room.

With Mother’s Day coming up these products are great for care packages and gift baskets! Avon is available online at or through independent sales representatives.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Roasted Cheesy Cauliflower Recipe

It’s Sunday evening, I don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing dinner and I’ve had a cauliflower sitting in the fridge for a few days. Thankfully I caught this morning’s episode of Barefoot Contessa which inspired me to try something different and healthy (win, win).

Cauliflower has been gaining popularity recently and people are even using it to make pizza dough! This brain-y looking veggie is one of my favorites because the mild flavor makes it easy to season in a variety of delicious ways. It is also high in vitamin C and fiber with very few calories.

Instead of steaming my cauliflower and devouring it ravenously like I usually do, I roasted it. This method gives the florets a dry, crispy texture instead of that squidgy, wetness is usually has.

1. Cut the stem off, slice from the bottom and pull apart the florets.
2. Wash thoroughly.
3. Dry cauliflower with paper towel and lay on a baking tray covered in parchment paper.
4. Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings – I used garlic powder, Mrs Dash Original (unsalted), seasoning salt (instead of regular salt), onion powder and black pepper.
5. Drizzle with Olive Oil and mix.
6. Bake for about 25 mins at 350˚ or until cauliflower is crispy and cooked to perfection.
7. Remove tray from oven and sprinkle with your favorite cheese (I used cheddar).
8. Pop it back in and bake until cheese is melted. I went light on the cheese to cut calories but feel free to go crazy.
9. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve right away (it tastes better hot).

Voila – a yummy side dish that your family will love! Cheese makes everything better.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Too Faced Chocolate Gold Collection Review

Like most women I love chocolate and gold has been my go-to shade since I started wearing makeup so naturally I needed this collection. The Chocolate Gold Palette ($49.99) is the star of the show featuring dramatic shades that will inspire you to create magnificent looks and strut around like a total diva. For even more glam, the shimmery loose pigment, warm bronzer and Liquefied Gold Gloss will make you gleam like a queen.

I always talk about how scrumptious Too Faced products smell and this gorgeous palette is extra cocoa-y (your stomach may rumble with cravings but your eyes will look sexy). The color scheme is right up my alley featuring a variety of gold tones, bright pink, deep purple, icy blue, sparkling green, silver and more. The shadows are extremely vivid, ranging from shimmer to metallic with amped-up radiance but there are a few neutral mattes for crease definition, highlighting and blending.

The packaging is flashy and decadent with melted gold drizzled over a chocolate bar. Too Faced is known to dazzle us with prettiness and this palette makes your vanity look so much cooler.

The shadows have a rich, velvety texture for smooth application, easy blending and fantastic saturation. You can layer to enhance the intensity but the colors are highly pigmented, long-lasting and flattering on all skin tones. The formula is infused with real gold to create a high-shine, foiled finish that enhances the eyes with lustrous sparkle. Like most of my Too Faced palettes, the quality is top-notch and I have no problem with creasing or fading.

I wore the vivid pink to a recent media event and everyone loved it! The vibrant colors add pizzazz to your everyday looks and I’m not afraid to rock these shades anytime, anywhere. With a little crease sculpting you can pull these off day or night and gold is an elegant hue that never goes out of style.

The Pure Gold Loose Glitter ($17.00) gives you that Goddess glow from head-to-toe. It is also infused with real gold and can be used on the face and body. I have a love-hate relationship with glitter because it looks amazing but gets everywhere! This sparkly dust isn’t so bad, you can contain the particles by using fluid application strokes to attain concentrated highlight. Use a lot and you will gleam like the sun but make sure to layer over primer to prevent transfer and scatter (it doesn’t adhere very well otherwise).

The Best Selling Chocolate Matte Soleil Bronzer ($30.00) smells delicious and provides a medium tan with buildable color. 

There are a few different bronzers in this collection including a dark matte finish and a gold shimmer powder which is more my style. This shade is too light for my skin tone but the texture is smooth and silky.

The Melted Gold Liquefied Lip gloss ($21.00) reminds me of Midas – everything it touches turns to gold! This ultra shimmery, high impact color drenches lips in layers of glittering shine. The formula is supple, highly pigmented and hydrating with smooth, comfortable glitter and no streaking. The effect is eye-catching but a tad eccentric for everyday wear. I’m saving it for a fun party or glitzy event where it is perfectly acceptable to dip your lips in gold.

Too Faced is available at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and online at

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dior Foundation Review

A few weeks ago I had breakfast with Dior to preview the new makeup, skincare and fragrances. Among the pretty pigments and irresistible scents, there was a new line of foundation called Forever Undercover which inspired me to round-up a few of the brand’s best formulas.

Finding a foundation that suits my complexion always seems like an impossible task. I’m probably more likely to land on the moon or win the lottery than I am to find an exact match, but in pursuit of flawless skin, I will persist! Today I’ll be reviewing color, texture, application and longevity to determine how these products compare.

First up is the Diorskin Nude Air Serum ($66.00) which has a velvety, fluid texture. This liquid makeup is designed to feel “light as air” with an undetectable film and soft-focus glazed pigments that provide a sheer, radiant finish. The medicine dropper applicator deposits the perfect amount of color where you need it most while vitamins, minerals and cranberry oil revitalize, nourish and hydrate. Dior has also added “Oxygen Activ Technology” for breathable freshness and no caking.

There are only 9 shades available in this collection so I tested number 50 Dark Beige which is the second deepest hue. The color is too warm for my complexion but it layers thinly and the liquid-y consistency applies very silky. Although this foundation provides light coverage, it still corrects and evens skin tone for a natural effect with SPF 25.

The Dior Airflash Foundation ($72.00) is quite unique since it dispenses as a light spray to create an air-brushed glow. Before application, shake the can for 5 seconds to mix the pigments and then spray directly onto the face or in the hand at a 20 cm distance. With this method things can get a bit tricky. Similar to an aerosol spray, the pigment rises into the air which makes it easy to inhale or ingestion. It can also get onto clothing if you aren't careful and I experienced mild throat and nasal irritation. When spraying it onto my face (with closed eyes) application was a bit difficult and inconsistent. That being said, the silky liquid is easy to blend and the lightweight texture seems to melt in effortlessly and evaporate with no visible texture. The color appears dewy and healthy (like a second skin) with no heaviness or caking and the coverage is sheer to medium with buildable saturation.

The Diorskin Forever Fluid ($64.00) is probably one of the brand’s more popular foundations. There are 28 shades available - I have 45 Hazel Beige with a neutral undertone for easy matching. This formula provides a full-coverage matte finish for excellent blemish coverage and tone correcting. It is a bit heavier and thicker than the foundations above but it seems to last longer (up to 16 hours) and camouflages imperfections for a flawless effect. The consistency is smooth, comfortable and flexible so skin appears refined and luminous.

The new Forever Undercover Foundation ($64.00) provides maximum complexion control and 24 hour touch-proof, kiss-proof, life-proof coverage. This is the type of makeup you can dance all night in without sweating off and you don’t have to worry about touch-ups. The color does not dry right away so you have time to blend seamlessly and once set, the finish is velvety smooth and matte. The high concentration of pigments covers everything including blemishes, redness and irregularities for flawless skin that feels light, hydrated and comfortable. The color does not settle into lines and appears very natural with no greasiness. Compared to the other formulas, this one is by far my favorite! I have the shade 045 which looks a bit darker in the bottle than it does on the skin so I suggest swatching all possible matches.

For travel I’ve been using Dior’s Fix It 2-In-1 Prime & Conceal ($45.00) for face, eyes and lips. There are 3 shades available (Light, Medium and Dark) inspired by backstage makeup techniques. This skin perfector is handy for touch-ups and erases under eye circles, fills pores, corrects blemishes and covers dark areas. It also primes lips for color and I love how easy it is to swipe on for a revitalized, restful effect. The creamy texture is easy to blend and layer so I keep it in my purse.

The Dior Forever Undercover Concealer ($42.00) is a one coat camouflage that provides waterproof wear for up to 8 hours. You can apply it prior to foundation to cover redness, hyperpigmentation and acne or use it to sculpt and accentuate facial contours. It covers dark circles with a high dose of concentrated pigments and instantly brightens dull, tired skin.

Dior is available at The Bay, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and Holt Renfrew

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Urban Decay Vice Metal Meets Matte Lipstick Palette - Review & Swatches

If you haven’t picked up the Urban Decay Heavy Metals Eye Shadow Palette yet have you really lived? The pigments are rich, striking and chromatic – perfect for everyday glam or special events.

During the holiday season UD also released the Limited-Edition Metal Meets Matte Lip Palette ($45.00) featuring an eclectic selection of sultry, must-have shades.

This addictive little palette offers a great variety - you get 6 metallized shades and 6 mattes finishes that range from deep plum, nude, sparkly fuchsia, dramatic purple and bright bombshell red. It also comes with a retractable lip brush and hard plastic sheet that helps preserve the lipsticks.

The matte hues provide medium to full-coverage intensity while the metallics appear glossy with sheer to medium color payoff and varying amounts of glitter. The rows are lined up so that the top shades match the complimenting colors directly below. For a multidimensional effect, layer the shimmers over the mattes.

The pigment can be applied with a finger but for neatness and definition I prefer to use the brush. The glossy purple palette is small enough for travel and slips into larger handbags or totes but it is more inconvenient than a traditional tube of lipstick. I don’t usually carry around a 12 color lip kit but to reapply on-the-go you have to.

The lipsticks all have a smooth, supple texture for comfort, hydration and buildable saturation. There is something for every skin tone and you can smudge them on your cheeks to create pretty blush!

Urban Decay is available at free-standing stores, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and online at Don’t forget to sign up for the Beauty Junkies Rewards Program to earn and redeem points.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

L'Oreal Pure-Sugar Scrubs & Pure-Clay Mask Review

A new season has begun to bloom so it’s time to shed that dull winter skin and reveal the soft, dewy complexion underneath. To help you slough away those rough layers, L’Oreal has created a collection of delectable scrubs made with 100% natural sugars, nourishing fruit extracts, botanicals and oils.

Let’s start with the Kiwi Scrub for oily skin because it looks cool and smells delicious! This blend is formulated to cleanse, tone and unclog pores for total annihilation of blemish causing bacteria. It also doubles as a replenishing face mask and there are real kiwi seeds floating around in the fruity green gel. The micro-fine granules gently polish and retexturize while Peppermint and Lemongrass Oils soothe, purify and balance. Let the gel sink in for about 10-15 minutes after exfoliating and rinse with warm water to reinvigorate and renew your complexion.

The Cocoa infused scrub for dry skin smells yummy and feels creamier than the other formulas. It contains Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter to moisturize and soften while the grains gently buff away dead cells to eliminate dirt, sebum and impurities. For a grittier texture, I use the scrub on clean, dry skin but for less intensity I dampen my face first. After treatment skin feels silky, rejuvenated and better prepared to absorb serums and creams.

The Pure-Sugar Scrub with Grapeseed, Acai and Monoi Oils, brightens and refreshes dull, tired skin. This exfoliant has the grittiest texture in the collection for effective resurfacing and cleansing. It instantly removes dry, flaky patches to reveal baby-soft skin that looks plump, bright and renewed. I use scrubs at least once a week for best results and I usually follow-up with a clay or moisture mask.

The scrubs can also be used on the lips to prevent and treat chapping, peeling and roughness or use the excess to exfoliate dry hands and cuticles! They retail for $14.99 each at drugstores nationwide. 

The Pure-Clay Mask ($14.99) is not a scrub but it does purify and smooth uneven skin tone to enhance your natural glow. Enriched with 3 powerful clays and Yuzu Lemon Extract, it eliminates pollutants, toxins excess oil and dead cells to cleanse and prevent breakouts. As the clay dries, it lifts out embedded debris, makeup and blemish causing dirt to keep pores clear and healthy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dior Capture Youth Serum Review and New Age-Delay Advanced Creme

There is no way to turn back time and since the “fountain of youth” does not exist, aging is inevitable. You can’t avoid getting older but you do have control over how well you age with Dior’s new Capture Youth Collection. This daily regime is inspired by predictive medicine that delays the signs of aging before they appear so you can love the skin you're in.

Many products on the market aim to soften lines and wrinkles or diminish problems that are already present and persistent. They may be effective to some degree but it is easier to prevent than treat and this luxurious collection is packed with powerful natural ingredients that control and improve the way your skin ages. The high concentration of antioxidants, botanicals and emollients, stimulates the epidermis, strengthens and retexturizes for a youthful appearance.

There are 5 serums available to customize your routine: Glow Booster, Plump Filler, Matte Maximize, Lift Sculptor and Redness Soother. Each formula is designed to work with the Captured Youth Creme for optimal results. They can also be mixed, matched and layered to create intensive treatments.

I’ve been using the Glow Booster Illuminating Serum ($120.00) to restore radiance and enhance moisture. This formula is 100 times more concentrated in Vitamin C than oranges and contains AHA to even skin tone, fade blemishes, brighten, correct, and improve texture. During periods of stress, jet lag or sleeplessness, the serum energizes and rejuvenates dull, lackluster skin while hydrating and smoothing. I use it to replenish my complexion after strenuous workouts, late nights and long flights. It also works wonders when skin is sensitive, irritated or red.

The serum is lightweight, gentle, non-greasy and comforting with a silky finish. It also absorbs quickly, sinks in deeply and smells great! Dior has perfected the medicine dropper to deliver precise single-drop application so there is no product waste.  

The Age-Delay Plumping Serum ($120.00) is one of my favorite primers for makeup! The luscious liquid feels like a refreshing drink for parched skin and the texture is supple and velvety. Infused with a nutritive blend of botanicals and Hyaluronic Acid the serum restores fullness, deeply hydrates, boosts elasticity, improves resiliency and protects against environmental aggressors. It also helps fill lines and smooth rough patches so skin appears even, dewy and healthy.

I layer the serums with the Captured Youth Creme ($120.00) to create a potent night mask that rejuvenates, repairs and prevents visible signs of aging as I get my beauty rest. The texture is rich, ultra nourishing and moisturizing to combat the effects of impurities, dryness and pollution while the antioxidants prevent free-radical damage. This is a fantastic cream for winter and it leaves skin incredibly soft, sleek and beautiful.

I’ve also discovered a new Miss Dior fragrance called Blooming Bouquet that has quickly become a favorite. The mini bottle ($90.00 for 30 ml) is great for travel and the scent is a refreshing new twist on the original perfume that debuted in 1947. This version is romantic, whimsical, stirring and modern. The dark, earthy notes were eliminated and replaced by a sparkling blend of pink peppercorn, rose, peony, citrus, patchouli and white musk. The result is an intoxicating, seductive aroma that is delicate, radiant and feminine.

Dior is available at The Bay, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, Holt Renfrew and Dior counters nationwide.
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