Monday, July 25, 2016

Hask Kalahari Melon Oil Hair Care

It’s a beautiful summer day and you’re about to head out on a weekend adventure. The cooler is packed with snacks, your beach bag is stocked with essentials and you’ve slathered on the sunscreen but is your hair protected? Exposure to UV can fade color, cause dryness and make your tresses look brittle and dull.

Hask’s new hair care collection utilizes the nurturing benefits of Kalahari Melon found in the African desert. This adaptable fruit thrives in the most hostile conditions and retains moisture in one of the driest environments on the plant which makes it ideal for color-treated, dry or damaged hair. The protective shield complex counteracts everyday washing (which I don’t recommend) and heat styling to prevent dyes from fading. Although I don't color my hair, the UV blockers also help maintain natural color hydration, shine and vibrancy.


The products in the collection are free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens, gluten and artificial colors making them safe for all hair types. The replenishing shampoo smells amazing and is loaded with nourishing cranberry, melon and sunflower oils to gently cleanse and rid the scalp of dirt, oil and build-up. Because the formula does not contain harsh detergents like most shampoos on the market, it won’t strip away too much natural sebum or cause brittleness and irritation. (The shampoo retails for $5.99).


The Color Protection Conditioner has many of the same ingredients as the shampoo with a creamy consistency that efficiently coats each strand to soften, shine and detangle. Since I co-wash frequently (cleanse with conditioner instead of shampoo) the lightweight texture is ideal for daily use and helps maintain moisture, health and resiliency without weighing down my hair or causing limpness. (The conditioner retails for $5.99).


Since my hair tends to be on the dry side, I use a deep conditioner every week to boost moisture, prevent breakage and reduce the occurrence of split-ends. The Hask Treatment Mask has the same UV shield to protect color and prevent damage with a lush, ultra-nourishing formula that puts a little more bounce in my curls so they feel silky and revived. The instructions recommend that you leave it on for 10 mins but since my hair craves intense hydration I usually cover with a plastic cap for about an hour. The packet is great for vacation and contains enough conditioner for 1-2 treatments (depending on hair length and thickness). It retails for just $2.49.


With every Hask collection there is a great treatment oil! The vial may look small but a little goes a long way and the lightweight, non-greasy formula absorbs well to provide radiant sheen and suppleness. I use it on freshly flat ironed hair as a finishing product to help smooth fly-aways and dry spots while adding a healthy luster. In the summer I apply it on damp hair to tame and form my curls. The oil retails for $2.49.


You can find Hask products at select drugstores including Ulta, Walgreens and Walmart. Visit the website by clicking HERE

Friday, July 22, 2016

Urban Decay Moondust Eye Shadow Palette Review

Today’s post will transport you to a galaxy of moondust and glamorous sparkle with a glorious array of vibrant pigment! This palette isn’t for the timid ladies, so get ready to embrace a gorgeous lunar rainbow of glitter!

Since makeup junkies went wild for the single Moondust Shadows, Urban Decay decided to unleash mind-blowing new shades including: dazzling green, vivid blue, bright pinks, purple, and intense silver all in once convenient palette. The 8 shade selection is modest but impressive and each unique shadow is infused with a ton of depth for twinkling, multidimensional movement.


Glitter addicts are going to fall head-over-heels with this glimmering palette and who could resist that beautiful gunmetal case and mirrored cut out!


The most evident sign of a good glitter formula is ease of application and aside from the UD Primer Potion (which I use with all shadows) no special adhesives are necessary. Because the glitter particles are suspended in a smooth, velvety base, the color and shimmer transfers together to create a uniform layer. This balance of sparkle and pigment makes for better application and fabulous buildable color that can go from a sheer wash to bold, highly saturated coverage.


These pretty hues are showstoppers and aren’t really designed to be supporting crease or highlight shades. I layer and pat them onto my lids without blending to avoid dispersing the glitter, fading the color or creating a mess. I did experience some fall-out which was expected but it wasn't substantial. For the most part I was able to contain the sparkle and prevent it from getting stuck in my foundation.


Although the top layer of shadow does contain the highest concentration of glitter, it isn’t an overspray because once you dig in deeper the effect is embedded throughout the pigment albeit with a little more subtlety. Considering the combination of micro-fine and large bits of  sparkle, the texture is still rather soft and smooth with a nice creamy undertone that helps glide everything across the skin. With any glitter you can expect fragments to stray but they seemed to stay put throughout the day and are quite easy to remove with a simple makeup wipe. Getting a bit messy seems to go hand-in-hand with glitter so I always expect to see a light dusting over over my vanity and brushes for a couple days but these shades are totally worth it!


When you layer heavier you may have to smooth out lumps or bumps that may appear but for the most part they don't fade. 


The shadows are highly reflective for a brilliant mirrored effect that glimmers beautifully plus the 3D metallics offer a stunning diamond-like finish. If you don’t own a selection of impressive glittery shades I recommend expanding your collection with these. They look great on their own or paired with a range of matte crease shades to balance the shimmer. The Moondust Palette retails for $70.00 at Sephora, select Shoppers Drug Mart locations and online at urbandecay.ca.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pür Cosmetics Strobe/Highlight Palette Review

This summer I’ve been binging on highlighter and experimenting with contour to achieve that fresh, dewy glow and definition. Along with dabs of mild glimmering shine and subtle everyday accents there is a growing trend of ultra bright face shimmer called strobing. Many brands are joining in by releasing heavily saturated pigments in various shades for an effect I like to call disco ball chic and beauty junkies can’t seem to get enough!


Pür Cosmetics has recently launched two gorgeous palettes with shades designed to enhance the sun and moon’s effect on your skin for a glowing, youthful appearance. While you’re out enjoying the summer temperatures and lounging by the pool, Sun-Kissed Glow compliments all skin tones and captures the warmth of the seasons with classic gold, rose gold and sparkling bronze. 


When the sun goes down and you’re ready to head out for a night of fun, the Moonlight Glow Palette illuminates the skin with cooler tones including soft gold, bronze and shimmery pink.


Initially the highlights have a creamy, silky texture for superior glide and seamless blending but once applied and dry they set well and transform to powder for all day wear. Although the formula is slightly creamy, the pigments don’t have that slick, oiliness that attracts dust particles, hair and other substances so you won’t end up with a smeared mess. They are also very lightweight, smooth and easy to apply with a finger plus they pack a bold punch of high-impact shimmer that instantly brightens the skin for a luminous glow that seems to emit from within.


The shades are all very buildable so you can go from sheer to glam with a few swipes for a pretty strobed effect. Many of the hues have a shimmery base and a dusting of micro-fine glitter fragments so you get a double dose of radiance that efficiently enhances the skin.


All 6 coordinating shades were made to flatter every complexion and you can pick them up for $34.00 ea exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart. The palettes are limited edition so get them before they disappear!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

NEW Skincare Essentials From The Body Shop: Moisturize, Replenish & Brighten!

When it comes to naturally sourced, quality ingredients, I trust The Body Shop to deliver on excellence and efficiency. With each new innovation the brand is improving formulas and staying on-trend with cutting edge technology to improve treatments that target a variety of skin concerns. Today I am sharing a few of the newest additions to my daily routine which have been yielding fabulous results!


The Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion has a water based serum-like consistency formulated for use after cleansing. The light, cooling liquid enhances the complexion with a blend of Wheat Germ Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Argan, Aloe, Antioxidants and Biotin. It also plumps the skin with lush layers of moisture while increasing the absorption and efficacy of all products that follow. Adding this extra step to your skincare routine is definitely worth it because it eradicates dryness, soothes and softens! I use it in the morning before moisturizer and at night before my serums, treatments and oils. Since it is quite watery (in a skin quenching, hydrating way) you do have to wait a minute or two for it to dry before applying anything else but on hot summer days it feels calming and refreshing! The Lotion retails for $20.00.


The Drops of Youth Essence Lotion is similar to the Aqua Boost in that it is also meant to be used after cleansing and prior to product application. Even though both products are categorized as “lotion” they aren’t your typical face creams. The watery base feels like a quenching drink for dehydrated skin and instantly revives your face. You can use one or the other depending on your needs but I’ve been using them together! With an invigorating blend of botanical and plant extracts, this lightweight gel-water formula deeply replenishes, locks in moisturize, plumps and minimizes pores for a luminous finish. Once the formula dries my skin feels rejuvenated, resilient and supple! The Drops of Youth Lotion Retails for $22.00.


Lately I’ve been very fond of Vitamin C for its ability to brighten, protect against pollutants and fade dark spots, discoloration, blemishes and hyperpigmentation for a flawless complexion. The Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer targets “dull, fatigued, grumpy skin” to promote natural radiance, hydration and softness.


This lush orange gel has 60X the Vitamin C power of an orange and coats skin in light, dewy layers that works well under makeup (once dry) or as a night treatment. It retails for $25.00 and a little goes a long way!


I’ve been a big fan of The Body Shop’s Oils Of Life Collection and last Christmas I even gifted the ladies in my family some of the fabulous oils and moisturizers. The new Intensely Revitalizing Sleeping Cream pampers and repairs your skin as you snooze with 7 essential oils sourced globally. This cushiony, anti-aging cream has a silky gel consistency that soaks in and hydrates all night with a potent blend of: Egyptian Black Cumin Oil (high in antioxidants), Chilean Rosehip Oil (high in omega 3 and 6), Chinese Camellia Oil, French Lavender Oil, Tunisian Rosemary Oil, African Geranium Oil, Roman Camomile, Mediterranean Marjoram Leaf Oil, Orange Peel Oil from South East Asia and Lavandin Oil from Provence which stimulates the fusion of elastin and collagen. Because of all the natural ingredients, the cream does have an earthy, botanical scent with hints of spice but I don’t mind the smell because my skin looks smooth, blemish-free and healthy! The Sleeping Cream retails for $44.00.


You can find all of these products at The Body Shop Locations and online at thebodyshop.ca

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

2016 Summer Beauty Essentials

I have a love hate relationship with summer. I love being able to spend more time outdoors and partying with family and friends on the patio but when the heat waves begin and humidity blankets the city, I start longing for fall. To help get me through the season I rely on a variety of great products including skin treatments, body care and hydrating mists to keep me fresh and ready for anything.


The Avon Senses Collection incorporates a delicious array of fruity skincare for summer and the Sparkling Eclat Starfruit & Coconut blend is like breathing in the tropics! The lotion ($8.00) is light, fragrant, non-greasy and hydrating with a scrumptious infusion of coconut water, shea and vitamins for smooth supple skin. When you want to avoid heavy perfumes, the body spray ($10.00) has a sweet Caribbean scent perfect for a day at the beach and the shower gel ($6.00) is great for vacation. You can get these products at avon.ca or through independent consultants.


Tis the season to shed some layers and show a little skin which also means more shaving. To help reduce razor bumps and ingrown hairs the Jack Black Bump Fix is a must! The effective blend of Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid penetrates deeply to exfoliate and free trapped hairs beneath the skin’s surface plus Aloe, Green Tea Extract, Witch Hazel and Chamomile hydrate, refresh and soothe razor bumps. You can use this product on your legs, bikini area or underarms and men can use it on their face. It retails for $30.00 at Sephora, The Bay and getjackblack.ca.


When it’s time to hit the beach or rock that cute summer dress, toned, beautiful legs may be top priority. There is always the gym of course but with a busy schedule and so many summer soirées you might stray from your workouts and need a little extra help. The Elancyl Slim Design Lotion is an anti-cellulite time-release treatment formulated with caffeine to smooth skin and firm. It may reduce the look of cellulite and dimpling in 7-10 days and the hydrating formula makes legs feel soft and silky. For best results and immediate ingredient activation you can apply the cream in the morning and when used at night or before bed it helps burn fat! You can find the lotion at Shoppers Drug Mart for $60.00.


After a long day in the sun my skin is usually in dire need of restoration which is where the Shiseido After Sun Intensive Recovery Emulsion comes in handy. This rich, alleviating formula drenches skin in layers of lush moisture to replenish and balance. You can use it on the face and body and it retails for $38.00 at Sephora or Shiseido.ca.


For a blast of dewy, cooling moisture that revives weather stressed skin and fights dehydration I use the Shiseido IBUKI Quick Fix Mist. The small bottle slips into your purse so you can refresh the skin anytime, anywhere with natural extracts and conditioning emollients. The formula also has an anti-shine complex that can be used over makeup to help prevent that greasy, sweaty look. The mist isn’t really designed to keep makeup from melting off but it feels wonderful so I also keep it in my beach bag and at my work desk. It for $32.00

Sandal season calls for some serious foot care and recently I’ve been enjoying Avon’s Foot Works Pineapple Chill Collection with a twist of lime. It comes with the Exfoliating Scrub ($8.00) to sweep away dead rough skin, the Cooling Lotion ($8.00) to moisturize and soften and a Cooling Spray ($8.00) which can be used on your feet or footwear to refresh and deodorize.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Marcelle Cosmetics Rouge Xpression Lipstick Review: The Essential Pinks

With so many brands at the drugstore it can be difficult to know what’s good but Marcelle has been a steady part of my beauty routine for years and I love their unique pigments. Recently the popular Rouge Xpression Lipsticks got a summery makeover by adding 3 pretty pinks to the collection ranging from soft, mid tone and bright.

The brand totally enticed me with the cute packaging! I’m not a fan of sushi but when it’s really trendy lipstick disguised as lunch in a to-go container I’m all for it!


These hues are fresh and light with a hypoallergenic, gluten-free formula void of irritating perfumes. The packaging is simple and the lipsticks are creamy, velvety and hydrating so they glide on effortlessly with no drag or skipping.


From left to right in the photo below: 960 Show of Pink is a coral-pink that instantly perks up the complexion with layers of vibrant, satiny color. 875 Berry Blossom was a total surprise! In the tube it looks quite basic but once applied it has a gorgeous metallic-pearl finish with a hint of mico-shimmer that makes lips appear dazzling and dramatic! I am totally in love with this hue and the radiant, moist finish is quite unique! I don’t usually get excited about nude lipstick and although 840 Pink Lace appears rather light and beige it has a flattering wash of mild pink that makes it very wearable. I didn’t expect to like this color but the pink and beige mix to create a creamy neutral-mauve that actually looks good on me! I think with the right attitude anyone can pull these off and as I’ve said before, you really do have to swatch each shade because Marcelle always adds an stunning twist.



The pigmentation is fantastic and layers sheer to full coverage in just a few silky swipes. Each shade has a light sheen but they are creamy, comfortable and quite saturated without being slick or glossy. Fortified with nourishing oils and vitamins, the formula is moisturizing, volumizing, silky and plush to promote fuller looking lips and prevent peeling. The lipsticks retail for just $11.95 each and you can pick them up at most major drugstores or at marcelle.com. For online U.S orders please visit
 marcelle.com/us.

Plume Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum Review

When it comes to our beauty rituals many of us make the effort to pamper our body from head to toe. My spa day includes sonic cleansers or microdermabrasion, facial steams, skin treatments, scrubs, hair masks, mani - pedi and even an eye massage but how many of us take the time to treat our lashes? Glamorous eyes and full brows are totally on-trend and if you aren’t one to fumble with falsies and glue each day then taking care of your natural eyelashes should be a priority.

I am a firm believer that lash treatments nurture and strengthen hair because I’ve experienced it firsthand so when I received the Plume Serum a couple months ago, I was excited to test it out. Right off the bat I was impressed with the formula because unlike many I’ve tried, this one is all-natural which is safer for the eyes and it doesn't burn.


The impressive list of ingredients includes: Aloe Leaf Juice, Castor Seed Oil, Honey Extract, Watercress, Sweet Almond Oil and many more organic fruit additives, oils and plant extracts that nourish and protect each hair to promote growth. This expertly crafted blend provides antibacterial properties to prevent infection, rich omega fatty acids for moisture, keratin to strengthen and lengthen and antioxidants to protect against environmental aggressors.

The serum is formulated to enhance what you have in a natural way and maintain the health of your lashes and brows. It hydrates and fortifies the hair follicles to reinforce the roots and increase hydration, longevity and resiliency against breakage which is very useful when removing crunchy mascara. It also lengthens, thickens and volumizes thin lashes and sparse brows for that full, bold look we all crave.

You are meant to apply the serum to the base of the lashes similar to eyeliner but I like to extends it down the entire length of the hairs. The applicator is very small and thin which can make coating lashes and brows a bit tedious but I still get decent coverage with a bit of layering. 


To see maximum results it takes about 6 weeks and in my experience using it every night or at least 5 times a week is beneficial. I notice the enhancement even more when I apply mascara and I love how dense and long my lashes look. I prefer to apply the treatment before bed but you can also use it in the morning prior to makeup application. The most important thing you can do even if you do the very least is keep your lashes hydrated and be gentle to preserve them.

The treatment retails for $95.00 and you can visit the website by clicking HERE

Friday, July 15, 2016

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Review and Swatches

I’m a little obsessed with lipstick and no matter how many I have, it never seems to be enough, especially when tempting new shades hit the market everyday! I'm not too concerned about my overflowing collection because“variety is the spice of life” and when it comes to unbelievable color Urban Decay never fails to disappoint. From eye shadow and primer to blush, gloss and liner, the brand is a master when it comes to luxurious, high-quality pigment which is probably why beauty junkies went crazy for these sensational new shades.


The Vice Lipsticks are as beautiful as the gorgeous eye palettes by the same name and there are 100 shades to choose from with a range of color that will knock your socks off! If you can’t find a few faves in this line, you probably aren’t looking hard enough because there are hues from every point of the color spectrum combined with 6 savvy finishes and 20 Sephora exclusives.


The finishes include a lush cream - which glides on smoothly with a touch of shine, Comfort Matte which is really more of a semi-matte because there is a hint of sheen. Shimmer - has a layer of glistening sparkle, Mega Matte is pure, rich color void of any shine and Metallized - has a mesmerizing dose of rock star glitter.

Big Bang has a very glittery base but applies evenly to coat lips in layers of creamy opaque shimmer without any grit or chunkiness. Menace is a bright, moisturizing pink with a matte finish that is slightly thick but still quite comfortable and light. 


Although the finishes are quite eclectic there is intense pigmentation throughout the entire collection so you get saturated, bold color no matter which shades you pick. The formula is also packed with aloe, avocado, jojoba and babassu oils to nourish and soften lips plus skin conditioning butters provide supple moisture and a blast of antioxidant rich vitamin C. The color glides on effortlessly with no dragging or skipping and the texture is lightweight for hours of comfortable wear. If you fear drying, lip chapping mattes then rest assure that you won't find those here. Each lipstick has a luxurious cream texture to maintain hydration and make your pout look full and glamorous.

From left to right: Pandemonium is a  bright, eye catching matte purple that has become very popular. Although the texture is heavier and application isn't as consistent, it layers well and doesn't dry out. Firebird is probably my favorite shade! It has a bright magenta-pink undertone with hints of purple suitable for all skin tones and seasons. Rock Steady (cream finish) and 714 Mega Matte are beautiful, classic reds bursting with vibrant pigment.




If you visit Sephora or urbandecay.ca each lipstick you click on will also show the matching liner but I had no issue with bleeding or feathering and although some shades leave behind a slight stain they are all easy to remove, even the glitter finishes! I usually pair the deeper, thicker shades with a primer to enhance color and prolong wear.

From left to right: Conspiracy is a unique metallic-bronze that I'm not quite sure how to wear yet but I'm looking forward to experimenting! Disturbed plays into the seductive, vampy trend with a deep red base and the two nudes - (Backtalk & Naked), have mauve and pink undertones which make them more wearable. 


If you still aren’t sure which shades to get you can always try the sample pack that comes with 24 colors and Urban Decay has launched a fabulous free app that shows what each lipstick will look like on you!



 As mentioned you can find these beauties at Sephora and urbandecay.ca, they retail for $21.00 each.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lancôme Audacity In Paris Eye Shadow Palette Review

It feels like just the other day I was strolling the magnificent streets of Paris, sipping wine with my sister under the Eiffel Tower and heading to the boulangerie every morning for fresh baguettes. The street style in Paris is trendy, romantic and high-fashion which is the vibe Lancôme aimed to captured when creating the Audacity In Paris Palette.



The cute packaging is etched with famous city landmarks and inside there are 16 dazzling pigments arranged from light to dark. These shadows were designed for versatility so the flattering range of high-impact shimmers, smooth mattes, soft neutrals and sparkling metallic finishes can take you from day to night. The palette can be used to create soft, neutral looks when you want to tone down the glam and as the sun sets simply kick it up a notch with the rich, smokey hues to create beautiful depth and dimension.


The shimmer fragments make certain shades feel textured rather than smooth but with some layering they do provide medium to full coverage. Although the pigments are not very intense, they are quite striking and the palette includes all the colors needed for contouring, defining and highlighting with a decent blending brush for the crease. 


I had no issue with fall-out, creasing, flaking or fading and the shadows were designed to complement each other in any combination. Audacity also has a nice balance of texture and contrast which is great for all skin tones and seasons. I recommend using a good primer to enhance vibrancy and prolong wear but I think Lancôme did a good job with this one!

I didn't swatch every shade in the palette because the nudes are difficult to distinguish and everyone knows what black looks like. Instead here are some of my faves!



The palette retails for $89.00 and you can find Lancôme at department stores, Shoppers Drug Mart and online at lancome.ca
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