Monday, February 20, 2017

Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Metallic Retractable Lipstick Crayon Review

If you haven’t tried the TwistUp Lipsticks from Annabelle you're missing out on some seriously gorgeous pigment. The cherry shade is one of my all-time favorite deep reds for a night out and the thin crayon design is perfect for lining, shaping and filling in color.


The recent popularity of bold lip trends like color-blocking, ombré, and glitter have inspired me to step-up my game and try the new Metallic Lipsticks. Available in 6 dazzling shades these crayons glam-up your pout with shimmering finishes and vibrant pigment. Although the effect is beautifully reflective, the sparkly particles embedded in the formula are well blended for smooth, consistent coverage. The creamy texture glides on effortlessly with no glittery mess and adheres well for hours of comfortable wear.


The metallic effect definitely adds a unique twist to these bright, flattering colors and the infusion of omega oils and shea butter keeps lips moisturized and soft. The crayons don’t require sharpening and the buildable color allows you to layer and enhance to full-coverage saturation. The only shade that applies sheer is Nude of Fame but the finish is still very luminous.

My favorite lipstick is Heartbreaker because the mesmerizing red reminds me of Dorothy’s ruby slipper from the Wizard of Oz. I also love Rock & Rose since the vivid fuchsia looks great on all complexions and Cozy Coral is perfect for spring/summer.


Swatches from left to right: Purple Panache, Rock & Rose, Heartbreaker, Nude of fame, Cozy Coral and Heavy Petal

Annabelle Cosmetics is available at drugstores nationwide and online at annabelle.com (with shipping to the U.S.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

L’Oréal Infallible Lip Paint: Review & Swatches

Bold, show-stopping lip paints are taking over the beauty scene and I love this vibrant trend! A few weeks ago I attended a press event to preview the new Infallible Paints by L’Oréal and since then I’ve been putting the collection to the test and transitioning my look into next season with brilliant spring hues.

This line has something for everyone and the spectrum ranges from pretty purples, flattering neutrals, vivacious pink, bright orange and sexy red. The tubes come with standard gloss applicators for precise shaping and distribution plus I have no issue with feathering or bleeding. Whether you want to go dark and vampy, fresh and light or shockingly vibrant, there is a shade to suit your style, outfit and mood.


Although many of the shades are dramatic, they are easy to pull-off and the scent is pleasant. The lightweight formula glides on smooth and starts off sheer to medium with the ability to be amplified to fuller coverage by adding more layers. I do have to blend well for consistency and enhanced saturation but once spread evenly the cushiony color makes lips appear plump and juicy (which is also very on-trend).

The purples range from light, medium and deep so you can mix, match and experiment with color blocking or ombré effects. The lilac has a pastel finish and grey base which is quite unique.  


I have a love-hate relationship with nude hues, but these soft shades have pretty undertones which make them very flattering.


The comfortable formula is a gloss-cream hybrid with lots of moisture and a lovely high-shine, non-sticky finish. Because of the texture, the pigments do tend to transfer with wear or during meals but they hold up for a few hours, reapply well and don't really stain.

The vivid pinks are great for spring and look ravishing on all skin tones.


Although I would have preferred a bit more lacquer-like richness and hold, the versatility to customize intensity is generally more favorable. The formula is easy to work with and application only takes a few seconds so you can gloss-up on the go.

Coral and orange is always a good choice for summer.


I like that the brand included both classic red and deep wine to accommodate different complexions.


Swatches left to right: Lilac Lust, Violet Twist, Bewitching Bordeaux, Taupeless, Nude Star, Spicy Blush, Wild Rose, Fearless Fuchsia, Cool Coral, Orange Envy, DIY Red and Sultry Sangria.


The Lip Paints retail for $12.99 each and L’Oréal is available at drugstores nationwide.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Marcelle Cosmetics Eye Shadow Quad Review

Packing for travel is tricky when you have a large makeup stash and fighting the urge to take everything with you is a struggle only a beauty junkie understands. I’ve become somewhat of a packing expert over the years and I’m always on the hunt for products that conveniently slip into my carry-on, tote or weekend bag yet still provide the versatility to create professional looks. The Marcelle Eye Shadow Quads are great for a girl on-the-go and they come in a wide variety of shades to suit your style.


The collection includes 9 luxurious quads in a beautiful range of color combinations that can take you from soft day looks to deep smoldering effects for a night out. The shadows are so well matched that creating the perfect look is practically foolproof and the silky texture applies smooth, lightweight and crease-free. The color payoff is exquisitely rich, highly saturated and buildable so you can go from subtle to dramatic with a few layers and I love the brilliant satin finish! I always recommend using a good primer to enhance pigments but these need very little help reaching their full potential and the shimmer has a metallic tinge for bold accentuation.

Midnight Seas appeals to my dramatic side with a lovely contrast of bright blue and sultry navy. I use this quad for events, parties and date night but I’m also brave enough to show them off during the day.


It seems that every time I choose palettes I go for the gold but the Sundance compact is irresistible! I wear these shades on a daily basis because they are very flattering and adding sharp winged liner and classic red lipstick amps-up the glam.


Ultraviolet has a lovely mix of light pink-purple and deep plum with refined glittery flecks. This combo is great for spring and looks amazing on most skin tones. The shadows are also paraben and perfume free making them safe and gentle on sensitive eyes.


This may be drugstore makeup but the quality of these quads is comparable to some high-end brands and they retail for $15.95 each.


When you’re checking out the pretty shadow palettes make sure to head over to the blush section because Marcelle has a fabulous range! The satin finish Monochromatic Blush in the shade Raspberry is my new go-to cheek pigment and the formula is paraben and perfume free. In the photo the color looks quite light and basic but once applied it is actually deep and rich with a hint of bronze and a touch of radiant shimmer that highlights, sculpts and defines. It adds a beautiful pop of silky color that fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum (not too light or too dark) and it is highly pigmented so I can even use it as eye shadow! The blush is hypoallergenic and retails for $15.95.


You can find Marcelle Cosmetics at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Rexall, London Drugs and more plus order online at marcelle.com (shipping available to the U.S.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Eminence Organic Skincare Review

Many people are trying to live healthier lifestyles and cut out as many preservatives as possible which is why finding amazing, all-natural skincare is so exciting! Recently I’ve been testing the organic, handmade products from Eminence and I’m totally obsessed with the efficient formulas and luxury ingredients. The skincare is made in Budapest Hungary (a top destinations on my travel bucket list) and the brand utilizes the most natural cultivation methods and nutrient rich soil to capture high levels of fresh fruit extracts and vitamins. The process of biodynamic farming yields a potent concentration of active ingredients which enhances regeneration of the skin for a healthy, youthful complexion.


I usually begin my skincare routine with a refreshing blast of the Stone Crop Hydrating Mist infused with essential minerals. This soothing tonic alleviates dryness, balances uneven skin tone by reducing pigmentation, removes impurities and prepares my skin to absorb moisturizer and serum. The liquid looks like a nutritive green smoothie but dries clear with no residue. I also spritz it on before makeup application and keep it at my work desk for an invigorating boost of moisture throughout the day. It retails for $46.00.


As I write this article heavy snowfall is blanketing Toronto and the harsh weather can cause dry, flaky skin. To counteract the effects of winter or any extreme seasonal weather, the Rosehip & Lemongrass Repair Balm makes a fabulous reparative treatment. Enriched with Vitamins A, C, D, E, antioxidants and a variety of minerals, fruit extracts, rich oils and nourishing herbs - the balm improves texture, deeply moisturizes, heals and protects from environmental stress. It also minimizes pores, firms and revives dull, tired skin. The texture is a bit thick and chunky when you dig it out of the jar so it does take some time to melt as you massage it in. Once the formula liquefies and absorbs, my skin feels supple, soft and bouncy all night! The consistency isn’t ultra lightweight but it isn’t pore clogging or heavy either and as it sinks in the residue tends to dissipate. The balm also makes a wonderful cuticle and hand treatment and I like to rub the excess into my lips. It retails for $88.00 and even though the jar is small, a little goes a long way.


My dehydrated skin cannot get enough of the lush Stone Crop Masque! This indulgent formula is loaded with vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, antioxidants, honey, fruit and many other incredible ingredients that fight free radicals, correct skin tone, hydrate, recuperate damaged areas and boost overall health. Looking at the jelly-like masque you can actually see the fresh fruit pulp and smell the aromatic herbs. After 10-15 minutes (or longer depending on your preference) the formula boosts hydration levels for ultra silky, incredibly soft, resilient skin. The slick texture is a bit tedious to rinse off (I prefer to do it in the shower) but it has fabulous brightening effects. This is one of my new favorite moisture masks because I see and feel results immediately after treatment. It retails for $46.00.


Calendula Oil has become a popular ingredient in skincare because it contains high concentrations of Beta Carotenoids, antioxidants and vitamins that enhance the skin’s natural healing process for smooth radiant results. For me the oil has also helped reduce the occurrence of breakouts while keeping my complexion clear, soft, even and blemish-free. I’ve also noticed gradual lightening of discoloration and the disappearance of dry patches. I prefer to layer the oil with moisturizer and use the excess on my hands and cuticles. It retails for $36.00.


After a relaxing shower when skin is still moist and warm, a good body oil locks in moisture and improves skin texture. The Eminence Apricot Oil smells deliciously sweet, and candy-like with a juicy fruit formula and reconstructing oils that drench skin in lush layers of moisture. The light finish creates a radiant sheen that doesn’t transfer or feel greasy and the hydrating effects last all day. The oil also protects the cell membrane, heals and reduces lines, wrinkles and roughness while boosting elasticity, clarity and suppleness. The other oils in the formula are: grape seed, jojoba, seabuckthorn, pomegranate and carrot plus a long list of essential vitamins. It retails for $29.00.


My night time routine always includes a comforting eye gel since dark circles are prevalent in my family and I do some of my best work late at night. The Cucumber Eye Gel ($68.00) is light, cooling and loaded with organic ingredients that relieve stressed eyes.
The main components include:
Cucumber: reduces puffiness and rehydrates
Shea Butter: moisturizes and revitalizes
Bearberry (antioxidant): evens skin tone
Eyebright: reduces irritation and swelling
Atlas Cedar: calms the skin
The gel rejuvenates and lifts while diminishing signs of fatigue and aging. The darkness under my eyes seems to be improving (especially when used my Foreo Iris Massager) and the entire area is smooth and well hydrated.


Eminence is available online at thefacialroom.ca and for more information or to find a retailer near you visit eminenceorganics.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Angel Eau Sucrée Perfume Review

Happy Vanlentine’s Day everyone! Today many couples are celebrating their love and an alluring fragrance enchants the senses, sets the mood and puts the finishing touch on any outfit.

When Mugler released Angel it became a signature scent for many women and a cult favorite. I was one of the few who thought the aroma was oddly pungent, a little masculine and unappealing which is why I’ve never reviewed it. Recently the fragrance was re-launched and re-formulated with a deliciously sweet twist! The base is still quite robust to retain the depth of the original but this formula is well balanced with appetizing candy, ripe fruit and tantalizing tanginess that lightens the blend and makes it easier to wear. The new interpretation is wonderful and I think Angel fans will love it!


The dazzling bottle is designed to represent a shooting star with delicate shimmer evoking the glaze on a gourmet chocolate cake.

Eau Sucrée translates to “sweetened water” and the scent is described as indulgent, addicting and utterly desirable. “The ingredients provoke contrasting effects with a profusion of taste sensations that echo hot and cold, sweet and crisp and melt-in-your-mouth freshness” to arouse the appetite.

The decadent, dreamy notes include: sparkling berry sorbet, scrumptious caramelized meringue, voluptuous patchouli and enchanting vanilla for a hint of seductive femininity. The fruity gourmand makes the perfume suitable for an elegant night out yet soft enough for day wear.


Many of the fragrances in my collection smell familiar and trendy (which is not a bad thing) but this scent breaks the mold with its unique intermingling of playful elegance and sharp contrast of sugary warmth. The 50 ml bottled retails for $82.00 and is available at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, Nordstrom, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu and Murale. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

NYX Full Throttle Shadow Palette Review

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow so if you haven’t decided on a makeup look yet, NYX has a variety of quality pigments at affordable prices to help get you ready for date night.


Recently I’ve been obsessed with the Full Throttle Palettes because the size is convenient for travel and the shades are gorgeous! Daring Damsel is perfect for seductive, neutral looks with classic gold, deep bronzy garnet and 2 mattes to highlight and transition. Bossy contains 2 satin hues - steel grey and deep purple, one creamy matte and bright pink-purple with refined glitter.


The gold palette is creamier in texture so the shadows apply buttery smooth and highly saturated. I love the color contrast and when you add a sexy red lipstick the results are stunning! I wear this color combination on a weekly basis because it is easy to pull off and very flattering. The pigments are long wear with little fallout and because the shades are expertly matched, you can create pretty looks in little time with minimal effort. For date night finish the look with a bold black liner (wing it out for more drama), smudge the bronze shadow under the lower lash line, use the gold to highlight the inner tear ducts and you’re good to go!


Most of my readers know that I love purple and a playful pop of pink is very V-Day appropriate. These shadows are quite buildable but the grey has the strongest pigmentation and the glittery pink is sheer to medium. The formula is silky and applying the deep purple under the lower lash line amps-up the sensual vibe by creating a smoky effect. The Full Throttle Palettes retail for $12 each and come in an assortment of trendy shades.



Lately I’ve been into peachy tones and the NYX Ombré Blush in Soft Flush is perfect for spring! The beautiful coral instantly brightens the complexion for a fresh, vibrant finish and the gradient ranges from light to vivid so you can control the intensity. The top hue has a silvery-peach tint that makes a nice highlight if you don’t want to carry a separate product for creating a glow and the bottom is highly concentrated for more coverage. The blush retails for $13.00 and is available in 7 other lust-worthy shades.


No look is complete without a sultry pout and the NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick is a cult favorite! The range is very versatile with bold finishes and full coverage, intense color. For Valentine’s Day, Pink Lust is a great choice but the neutrals and shocking purple are also nice depending on the look you’re going for. They retail for $10.00 each.


NYX is available at drugstores nationwide, free-standing stores and online at nyxcosmetics.ca

Rachel’s Box Tights Subscription Review

Every woman needs a good pair of tights or stockings in her wardrobe and in the winter they protect the legs so you can still wear skirts and dresses. While attending beauty events I receive many inquiries about where I purchase my stockings and when it comes to personal preference, I always go for durability and comfort because rips and tears aren’t cute (unless that’s the look you’re going for).

(Photo Credit - lecoffretderachel.com)

A good pair of tights can last years (if you choose wisely) and since I’ve been rocking my miniskirts through the snow and ice, I need a variety of warm, well fitting options. Rachel’s Box is a subscription service that provides 2 pairs of tights each month (or as often as you like) for $27.00. You can pause or cancel at anytime and the products coincide with your personal style for a customized experience.

While browsing the website I noticed that the designs and pattern selection is very eclectic, including everything from office appropriate, sexy pin-up, casual comfort, elegant, knee-highs, eye-catching geometrics, prints and solids in various shades.

Photo Credit - lecoffretderachel.com)

I chose the Ultra Black Opaque Tights ($14.50) because they are thick yet breathable, tear-resistant, comfortable and perfect for keeping out the cold. This style compliments many outfits and the flexible material moves with my body instead of restricting or squeezing and stretches to accommodate my height without rolling down around the waist. The top portion around the hips, stomach and butt, hugs and supports the body for a slimming effect and the soft cotton blend fits my legs nicely for a sleek look. 

Photo Credit - lecoffretderachel.com)

I also wanted something a little more sheer and fashionable so I chose the Black Triangle Print ($17.00) which is bold yet still very classy. These look great with bright colors and accentuate your legs without being too busy or loud. This style isn’t as thick as the opaque pair so I have to be a little more cautious when washing them but they fit well and look fabulous!

Photo Credit - lecoffretderachel.com)

You can find a sizing chart on the website but most designs are available in small, medium, large and extra large. For more information head to lecoffretderachel.com

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Essentials Eye Makeup Palette & Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil by Clarins: Review & Swatches

When I first laid eyes on the Essentials Eye Makeup Palette by Clarins I knew it was a match made in makeup heaven. These bold, brilliant shades coincide with my style perfectly and whether I’m in the office or heading to a swanky event it provides the versatility to create a variety of fashionable looks. The development of these products also supports the Pur Project - dedicated to helping the Amazonian Indian community preserve their autonomy and culture. The packaging is eco-friendly and traditional plant ingredients in the formula nourish, heal and comfort the skin.


The finishes range from neutral, satin, matte, shimmer and glitter for an interesting assortment of textural contrast and the 10 flattering hues are suitable for all complexions. The first half of the palette contains neutral, soft tones that are great for daily wear and fresh spring looks. The pigmentation varies by shade but for the most part the shadows are buildable (when used with a good primer) for more vibrancy. The glittery hues are bright and luminous but tend to apply a bit chunky so blending is necessary and the particles do create some fallout.


The grey-purple hue in the middle is very sheer and difficult to enhance but beyond that, towards the deeper end of the spectrum things really start to pick up! The dark, smoky purples are gorgeous and I love the shimmery rose-gold purple, matte plum and blackened purple with red flecks. The texture is quite smooth and some shades are a bit creamy for easy blending. This side of the palette is also more concentrated for full-coverage, crease sculpting and definition. Overall I think certain colors could use more pigmentation, consistency and intensity but I am able to create some stunning effects. The Essentials Palette retails for $62.00.



The Lip Oil in the shade Red Berry smells sweet and delicious! I love the seasonal packaging and the juicy color makes lips appear healthy, plump and luminous. The consistency of the oil is a bit thick when removing the wide paddle applicator (great for one-swipe coverage) but it spreads well, melts in and nourishes instantly with no stickiness or grease. For dry, peeling lips and winter care, the formula heals, protects and alleviates with loads of long lasting moisture.

I also use it as a hydrating lip treatment prior to applying full-coverage lipstick, lacquer or matte formulas. Start by applying a generous amount to coat the lips, let it soak in for about 10 mins (or until you finish your makeup) and blot off the excess. The oil retails for $25.00 and Clarins is available at clarins.ca, department stores and select drugstores including Hudson’s Bay and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lise Watier Spring 2017 Limited Edition Blossom Beauty Collection: Review & Swatches

When spring rolls around many makeup lovers will adjust their beauty routine and replace deep vampy shades for soft tones more fitting for the season. The Lise Watier Spring Collection will lighten-up your look with radiant neutrals and petal perfect hues that coincide with recent trends.


The Rose Nudes 12 Color Eye Shadow Palette is luminous, sophisticated and great for everyday wear. The shade selection includes the right balance of smooth mattes, shimmer and satin finishes for highlighting, crease contouring, definition and contrast. Although many of the colors are fresh and neutral, the deeper shades create smokiness and depth for bolder effects. I love the dark burgundy-brown which pairs well with a wide variety of shadows and Golden Peach is bright and beautiful! The cool greys seem to be a seasonal trend and the slivery-champagne tones are flattering on all complexions.


The color payoff is good and the shadows can be enhanced to full-coverage saturation for more vibrancy. Every shade has a creamy, blendable texture that applies velvety smooth so they layer well and stay put all day without fading, especially when used with a good primer. I also like that the colors are easy to match so they look great in almost any combination! The palette is handy for travel and comes with a mirror and double-ended brush for $65.00.



The 24 Hrs Glam Eye Shadow Sticks ($23.00 ea) are available in 3 neutral hues - Ivory, Petal and Urban. They have a rich, creamy texture that is very spreadable for efficient coverage and once set they are waterproof and long lasting with no transfer. These shades are not really primary lid colors that can be worn alone but they do make a great base for crease-proof, anti-smudge results and even application.  


The Bicolor Lipstick ($25.00) represents the hottest Korean trend - Ombré Lips! This beautiful clash of color features two expertly matched hues with a luminous satin finish and a hint of eye-catching shimmer. You can apply the lipstick in fluid swipes so the colors show up separately (frosty pink at the top and bright fuchsia at the bottom) or blend them together for a pretty mix. Using a lip brush helps accentuate each color more efficiently and although it is a bit difficult to differentiate the two shades in the photo, they make the perfect spring combo!



Lise Watier can be purchased at department stores and drugstores including: Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, and lisewatier.com.
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