Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clarins HydraQuench Cream Review

At the last Press event for Clarins, I had the opportunity to try a variety of their moisturizers and I was extremely impressed. Clarins offers a wide range of luxurious beauty items made in France and all products are put through rigorous testing and trial before they are released. It it is no wonder their products are great quality and favored by women of all ages.

Today I have a review on the Clarins HydraQuench cream formulated for normal to dry skin. It also works well on combination skin like mine. I like to keep my face hydrated morning, noon and night and I am always on the lookout for products that react favorably under makeup. This cream can be used all year and works well to relieve tight, dry skin and flaky patches.

The HydraQuench cream smells amazing and is specifically formulated to "promote softer, more radiant skin." A small dab spreads effortlessly over a large area and covers efficiently. It also has a pleasant cooling sensation that soothes and softens. Once applied, my skin feels incredibly smooth and supple and I love that it eliminates dryness without feeling greasy or looking shiny. The formula is rich but light weight, absorbs quickly and makes my skin feel fresh. It is also ideal for use during the summer and in humid climates.

I use the cream under primers, foundations and concealers. It helps prep my skin for makeup application and provides long lasting hydration without increasing oil production. The formula contains Katafray bark extract and hyaluronic acid to "provide optimal moisture within the skin's layers." It can also be used before bed on the face and neck so you wake up with dewy, revitalized looking skin.

You can find this cream on the Clarins website by clicking HERE or at Sephora HERE. It retails for $49.50 (per 50 ml).

**Disclaimer: This product was provided by Clarins in the Press Kit for a product launch event. I was not obligated to review this product. All opinion are my own and based on my personal experience with the product. Results may vary based on individual use.**

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Candied Cashew Mandarin Orange Salad

Today I thought I would take a little break from all the wonderful makeup reviews and share a healthy salad recipe. Salad doesn't have to be boring, in fact they can be quite appetizing and filling! My candied cashew mandarin orange salad has become a favorite in my family! It contains protein, vitamins and many other essential nutrients, it is also easy to prepare and tastes delicious.

*Mixed field green lettuce (I use organic)
*Finely diced green onion
*Cheddar cheese (small cubes) low fat varieties can be used
*Candied cashews (crushed) 
*Sweet corn (canned)
*Mandarin oranges (canned or bottled variety. There are brands with no added sugar available)
*Seasoned baked pita crisps (or seasoned croutons)
*Avocado (cubed)
* Kraft Greek feta and oregano dressing (or preferred dressing)

Sometimes I make my own vinaigrette dressing but for this salad I like the Kraft Greek feta and oregano. You can use whatever dressing you prefer but I usually opt for the low fat, low calorie variety and this one is great with the salad.

This salad is slightly sweet and savory yet nutritious and satisfying. I also like the crunch from the pita crisps and nuts.

If you have some mandarin orange left over it can be added to a fruit salad the next day as a part of a healthy lunch.

~Bon Appetit! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Plastic Passion Spring Collection

I love when a brand comes out with exciting, fresh new makeup that reflects the changing seasons. This year Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics showcased their spring 2014 collection at The Makeup Show L.A.

In the new Plastic Passion line there are 6 hyper-saturated, technicolor Tars to choose from and these bold beauties are not for the timid! The Tars are seriously bright and OCC claims that they are “the most vibrant line-up of shades to date.” I love a bright bold lip for spring and summer but with the exception of the purple the other two showstoppers are a little outside of my cushy comfort zone of pink, orange, corals and red. With slight hesitation I grabbed my lip brush and painted these babies on to present a visual display of their true uniqueness. 

The shades I have are:
*Roller Girl – vibrant lavender: applies glossy and finishes matte
*Pool Boy- aquatic matte blue
*Mannequin- matte Malibu pink

The Plastic Passion Collection also includes a new selection of nail lacquers and color pencils which I have also tried.  The polish retails for $10 each.

How to use
Since the Tars come in tubes they can be a bit tricky to apply. The formula is quite runny and they do stain a bit, although not as much as the regular line. OCC suggests that you line the lips for definition and then  fill them in with a brush. I found this method easiest as well since using your finger is messy. Because the Tars are matte and extremely vivid it is best to make sure lips are exfoliated and smooth before application.

My favorite shade is the lavender and although the blue and pink are fetching in the tubes they are not very practical for every day wear. The only place I can see myself wearing the blue is to a funky night club, a concert or for Halloween. If you can rock these shades comfortably then more power to you!

These Tars are beautifully pigmented but I prefer the bright, sightly less shocking colors in the regular line and I would love some of those shades in lipstick form. Although these lip products are  favored among many Makeup Artists and beauty aficionados I find the tubes and consistency a bit finicky but still worth the effort. 

The colored lip pencils are easy to work with, have nice pigmentation and keeps everything looking tidy. The clear pencil is made to prevent feathering which is very useful when working with a thin formula. 

Roller Girl

This lavender is a great shade for spring

Pool Boy

This bright blue has a  milky white undertone and even though the color looks gorgeous in the tube I doubt I am going to be able to pull it off on a bright spring day without attracting some quizzical glaces. For the short time I had it on however it did make me feel a little edgy and daring. Shades like this are interesting for editorial work and the color is so electric it looks like I dipped my lips in paint!

After a long dreary winter  it is exhilarating to soak up a bit of sun! I couldn't help breaking out the floral prints and my over sized L.A sunglasses.


I was hoping this beautiful pink would show up as a bodacious bubble gum shade but it has a milky white undertone that changes the color once applied and makes it less wearable. If I do wear this color I will probably mix it with a darker pink and because the Tars apply wet they transfers easily to teeth until dry.

I also have a couple of the Lip Tars from the regular line, to see my review on those click HERE

If you would like to check out more from the Plastic Passion Collection you can find it HERE

*Disclaimer: The Plastic Passion Collection of Tars and lip pencils were provided by The Makeup Show L.A in the Press kit. I was not obligated to review these products. All opinions are my own and based on my experience with the products. Results may vary based on individual use.*

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kevyn Aucoin Cosmetics: Eye Shadow Duo

Spring is in finally in the air and what better time to experiment with beautiful eye shadow!

In life there may be few people who inspire artistic expression and compel you to explore your skills. Kevyn Aucoin was one of my favorite makeup artists. He had the exceptional talent and ability to transform the face and accentuate a woman's natural beauty. He was the master of contouring and was well known for his work with celebrities like Janet Jackson, Cher, Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams and many more. Kevyn's best selling book Making Faces is one of the most popular literary guides for Makeup Artists everywhere and helped many people improve their technique.

Today I am going to review Kevyn's eye shadow duo called Vellum Shimmer #202. This is a great every day palette! The shades are on the neutral side and can be worn alone or easily paired with a variety of other colors.

These shadows are silky smooth and highly pigmented. The golden shade is a great lid color and the silver is suitable for the lids and also makes a beautiful highlight for the inner eye area and the brow bone. Although there are only two shades in the palette they look beautiful simply paired with eyeliner. They also blend easily, don't crease and last all day. The formula is easy to work with and application is quick yet appears lovely with little effort.

These shades compliment many skin tones and can be worn during all seasons. For best results prime the lids with a good shadow base.

Although quite basic the palette is very nice and I love the quality. The look I created is soft and fresh, ideal for a sunny spring day.

I used the golden shade on my lids and darkened the crease with the color Busted from the Naked 2 palette and a matte black shadow. I used the silver shade to highlight around my inner eye area and I lined the top lash line with a liquid liner. I lined the bottom lashes with a pencil liner and smudged out the line for a soft finish. These shadows can be paired with almost any color lipstick. 

On my lips I am wearing a beautiful orange based coral lipstick called Coral Crush by Red Apple Lipstick

The duos also come in many other color combinations and retail for $42 each at Barney's New York. The price is reflective of a high end brand and may be quite steep for the average makeup lover. I recommend comparing prices among retailers. You can find the palettes HERE and you can check out the list of retailers HERE

Have you tried any products from Kevyn's line?

Disclaimer: This products was provided by The Makeup Show L.A in the Blogger Press Kit. I was not obligated to review this product. All opinion are my own. Results may vary based on individual use.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cailyn Cosmetics Line-Fix Gel Eyeliner

I love bold eyeliner and sometimes on a busy morning all you need to do is wing your liner, slather on some gloss and you are good to go. Today I have a review on the Line-Fix gel eyeliner by Cailyn Cosmetics. This brand also sells a great variety of makeup for the face and lips.

I usually use liquid eyeliner because I hadn't found a gel liner that I loved until now! This gel is very easy to work with even if you are no expert with drawing a straight line across your lashes. The formula is very creamy and doesn't dry out immediately after application which gives you time to perfect and alter your line. It glides on velvety smooth and you don’t need much to create an intense, bold look.

I love the packaging because it conveniently comes with a built in brush that is hidden in the handle of the cover. For travel you don’t have to worry about packing a separate brush or forgetting to bring one with you. The box also has simple instructions for creating the perfect line.

Photo courtesy of Cailyn Cosmetics.com 

“Once dry, the gel is smudge proof and water proof for 24 hours.” The fact that it doesn't smudge makes it wonderful for smokey looks and lining the bottom lashes which is something I avoid with most liquid liners. It is also highly concentrated and safe for sensitive eyes. Although ultra pigmented the liner does not have the same finish or inked effect as a liquid liner, I find it similar to a pencil finish with more color payoff. Compared to some of the liquid products I have used this gel creates a neater, straighter line which makes eye makeup look tidier. 

 I would recommend this product for those who are new to gel or liquid liner and need to practice with something simple. Even though the formula is waterproof it is easy to remove with makeup remover or a makeup wipe. I also like that the gel maintains it's consistency and doesn't dry out in the jar.

Color: Black

The brush has a sturdy pointed tip and works well for creating both thin and thick lines. It is recommended that you clean the brush after each use and I also like to smooth the bristles back into the original shape to maintain the point. This has become my go-to eyeliner when I don't have the time or patience to work with liquid products but still want a sharp line.

The liner is available in 13 other shades and retails for $21 each. You can find more information on the website by clicking HERE. I definitely think this liner is worth the price.

Photo courtesy of Cailyn Cosmetics.com 

Disclaimer: This product was provided by The Makeup Show L.A in the Press Kit. I was not obligated to review this product. All opinion are my own. Results may vary based on individual use.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Make Up For Ever High Definition Pressed Powder Review

In the warmer months it’s always a good idea to have a setting powder handy for quick touch-ups. Even while going about your daily activities makeup may smear, transfer or appear a bit oily. My favorite setting powder is the Make Up For Ever high definition loose powder. It sets makeup beautifully and makes skin appear radiant to the naked eye and on HD cameras or recording devices. I also like that it brightens my skin and makes me look fresh and alert even when I feel tired and my skin shows it. Although I love the loose powder the large bulky packaging is not ideal for use on the go so I was ecstatic when Make Up For Ever came out with the new HD pressed powder.

I have the powder in 0.07oz and it is the perfect size to slip in a purse. The products in the HD range are designed to “create makeup that is flawless, natural and invisible.” The powder is also wonderful for eliminating oil and shine to create a matte, luminous finish. Like the loose powder this one is also translucent which makes it great for every skin tone. It blends in effortlessly and revives the look of makeup throughout the day.

“The unique combination of ingredients fades away the appearance of fine lines and imperfections.” I really like the formula and the lightweight texture; it doesn't feel heavy or get cakey. It is also enriched with hyaluronic acid to prevent dryness and a little goes a long way so lightly sweeping it on produces better results. For humid summer days this powder is more efficient at mattifying and absorbing oil and shine than blotting sheets which can pick up foundation and create a blotchy appearance. 

This product is a must for me when I am shooting makeup looks, taking photos or attending events. If you haven’t tried it yet and you are looking for a great setting powder then I would definitely recommend checking this out.

0.07oz currently retails at Sephora.ca for $26 and the larger size (0.21oz) retails for $41.You can check it out HERE and on the Make Up For Ever website HERE 

What is your favorite setting powder?

*Disclaimer: I received this product from The Makeup Show L.A in the Press kit. I was not obligated to provide a review. All opinions are my own and based on my experience with the product. Results may vary based on individual use.*

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gleam by Melanie Mills the Secret to Glowing Skin

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! It’s time to peel off some layers of clothing and tuck the snow boots away. It is also the time of year when we all crave healthy, glowing skin. Today I have a review on some great products from Gleam. Gleam is a brand I was first introduced to at IMATS Toronto last year and then at The Makeup Show L.A I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Melanie Mills, the brand's founder. I like these products so much that I just had to collaborate with Melanie and her team to bring you a review.

Dancing with the Stars, and the Creation of Gleam
Melanie Mills is an Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist for her work on Dancing with the Stars. If you have ever wondered how the celebrities and professional dancers on the show achieve that beautifully bronzed skin that is always highlighted and luminous in all the right places then look no further than Gleam!

Gleam Body Radiance is a body lotion that enhances the skin, prefects skin tone, fills wrinkles and gives skin a healthy glow. "It has been an industry secret for go-to face and body makeup" and is made with natural ingredients. The line also includes the Lip Radiance collection; “seven couture lip glosses that visibly improve lip texture” and the Gleam Radiance Dust.

More on Melanie
Melanie has worked on That 70’s Show, Reno 911, Six Feet Under, The Office and more. She has also worked with celebrities including: “Ariana Grande, Jennifer Grey, Kim Kardashian, Susan Lucci, Pamela Anderson, Nicole Sherzinger, Kelly Osbourne, Lil Kim, Margaret Cho, Toni Braxton, Mario Lopez, Joey Lawrence, and Wendy Williams" to name just a few.

Gleam Body Radiance
Last year at IMATS I missed the opportunity to purchase Gleam at a discount, my mom however purchased the largest bottle she could find. Since then I knew I just had to get my hands on some. At the Makeup Show L.A I had the chance to test many of the products with the help of Melanie and Joanna and I left the show with gleaming skin!
There are four Body Radiance shades to choose from: Light Gold, Rose Gold, Bronze Gold, and Deep Gold.

Gleam Body Radiance is makeup, moisturizer and glow all in one. The unique thing about this line is that there is a shade for every skin tone and ethnicity yet all the colors can be used by everyone! Whether you want to tan, highlight or enhance the lotion makes skin look dewy, healthy and radiant. The deeper shades can darken to create a gorgeous sun kissed glow and the lighter shades illuminate and perfect. It also helps diminish flaws like “small stretch marks, varicose veins and discoloration.” The lotions are scented with natural vanilla essence and smell pleasant. 

How to use Gleam
Gleam can be applied to legs, arms, shoulders, decolletage, the back or anywhere else you want to accentuate and add a beautiful, healthy sheen for every occasion. The shades can also be mixed together to create your own unique, customized look! I absolutely love these product because they appear quite natural and create an alluring effect. The formula is easy to work with, blends effortlessly and covers well.

These cosmetics are cruelty free, and contain no parabens, phthalates, petroleum and sulfates. Once applied and dry the lotion does not transfer, stain or streak.

The tubes come in 3 sizes:

Deep Gold looks fantastic on the legs, arms and shoulders. Those with fair skin tones can use it for a bronzed, tanned appearance and for deeper skin tones it looks great as a highlight for the face and body

I like to use this color on both the face and body as well. 

 I use Rose Gold as a brow bone highlight, cheek highlight and to highlight down the center of the nose. This shade appears most natural on my skin tone and illuminates without much bronzing.

Lip Radiance gloss in the color: Uncontrollable
I have reviewed many lip products but when I swatched the Lip Radiance collection I was impressed. Usually in a line there may be a few colors that don’t appeal to me as much but in this line all the shades are gorgeous!

The color I have coincides with Pantone’s color of the year and is called Uncontrollable. This is a stunning pink/purple orchid that has great pigmentation and is shiny, smooth, non-sticky and anti-feathering. They also contain vitamin E, jojoba and aloe to provide moisture. As far as lip gloss go these have become some of my favorites!

The glosses retail for $24 each and you can find them HERE 

Where to buy
If you would like your skin to gleam this summer you can get these products on the website by clicking HERE

You can also stop by the Gleam booth at IMATS or follow them on the social media accounts below to find out where they will be next!

**Disclaimer: Deep Gold, Bronzed Gold and the Uncontrollable lip gloss were provided for a sponsored review courtesy of Gleam. Rose gold was purchased by me. All opinions stated in this review are my own and based on my experience with the products. Results may vary based on individual use.**
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