Friday, January 29, 2016

Avon True Color Perfectly Matte Lipstick Review & Swatches

There is something glamorous about swiping on a bold, sultry lipstick that effortlessly ties a makeup look together and accentuates your pout with an alluring pop of color. Matte lipsticks sometimes get a bad rap for being uncomfortable, drying and difficult to reapply but the rich finish enhances lips so beautifully they are totally irresistible! 

(Makeup bag from Sephora)

Avon’s Perfectly Matte Lipsticks have become a new obsession of mine and their motto is “never cakes, cracks or compromises” for a 100% true matte look! These babies are simply stunning and the color selection is very trendy! I don’t care much for flesh tones so I chose a variety of bright shades that are perfect for every season and flattering on most complexions including: deep burgundy, red, bright pink, coral and plum.

Unlike some matte lipsticks that look a tad shiny in the tubes and still produce a hint of luminosity these do not! They look completely matte and gloss-free when uncapped yet the formula is one of my favorites. The creamy texture that glides on effortlessly and bathes lips in vivid pigment for hours of wear.  

If you tend to shy away from drying lip products (and I don’t blame you during the winter) you don’t have to fear these bodacious hues. The finish may be perfectly matte but the formula feels ultra lightweight, supple and quite hydrating without any slickness. I love that the texture doesn’t suck the moisture out of my lips and make them look parched and cracked; in fact they feel fabulous with no flaking or uncomfortable tightness.

Avon definitely hit it out of the park with these buttery pigments and as they begin to wear away the color fades nicely for a soft, flushed effect, similar to that blurred Korean beauty trend that was so hip last summer. The pinks and deep reds are perfect for Valentine's Day next month and Hot Plum is totally swoon worthy! 

Shades (left to right): Adoring Love, Red Supreme, Perfectly Nude

The packaging is classic Avon, very sleek and simple. The black tubes are adorned with silver trim and have clear tops so you can see the shades without opening them. These do have a light fruity scent but they smell delicious!

Wild Cherry, Ideal Lilac, Coral Fever

For best results I use liner and primer first to intensify and prolong wear but they look gorgeous simply applied right out of the tubes and the pigmentation is wonderful! Avon did not skimp on color when they formulated these. What you see is what you get and the lush, luxurious color distributes well for amazing full coverage.

Ravishing Rose & Hot Plum- (my personal fave!)

The lipsticks retails for just $10.00 each and will be available at or through independent consultants in February. I highly recommend getting your hands on some!

Wearing Hot Plum

*Press samples featured

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Must-Have Skincare from Vichy

Today I am going to share some fabulous products from Vichy that can be incorporated into your skincare routine for deep cleansing, blemish control and revitalizing the complexion.

First let’s discuss one of the most important steps in skincare, especially for makeup lovers which is cleansing and more specifically deep cleansing. This step is imperative to preventing breakouts, clogged pores and unhealthy looking skin. That’s where the Normaderm Cleansing Mattifying Foam comes in; this fluffy, invigorating formula gets the job done without soap, parabens, alcohol or oil! I do see Sodium Laureth Sulfate in the ingredient list which is not the best cleansing agent for maintaining optimal moisture but the foam is formulated for blemish prone, sensitive skin.

I don’t always need a mattifying face wash during the winter since my skin tends to get quite dry this time of year but for pimples, excess oil and makeup build-up this product gets rid of the gunk and impurities while fighting zits. I like that the foam is light, distributes well and does a fabulous job prepping my skin for night treatments without any tightness. Just make sure to moisturize well after use. It retails for $19.95.

After thoroughly removing all that oil based makeup it’s time to rehydrate with the Aqualia Thermal Boosting Essence Water. You apply this refreshing gel formula after cleansing and allow it to dry before applying moisturizers and serums. It works to soothe, regenerate and “enhance the efficiency of all skincare products by promoting the penetration of ingredients and boosting their overall benefits.”  I recommend using it sparingly to cut down on drying time as the texture is a bit slick. The Essence Water can be used morning and night but I prefer applying it before bed, prior to layering my serum and night mask for best results. It retails for $29.95.

After prepping skin for bed, a boost of hydration is a must, which is why I love the Idéalia Skin Sleep Night Gel-Balm. I’m one of those people who can’t shut my brain off in bed so I don’t always get enough beauty sleep. This smooth, creamy formula goes to work while you snooze and mimic’s the skin’s natural regeneration process to improve dull, uneven, rough texture so you awake with a radiant, rested complexion. The cream feels refreshing and cocoons skin in a layer of lightweight moisture that melts in and eradicates dryness. Combined with a facial massage this is the perfect balance of rejuvenation and relaxation for tired looking skin. You can pick it up for $52.00.

I am going to move on to BB cream since I’ve been having more luck finding formulas that work! At first I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of another correcting product but lately I’ve been enjoying the extra layer of camouflage to create that flawless finish.

The Normaderm BB Clear takes it a step further with a built-in acne treatment! When a bad skin day strikes and you want to hide and treat those pesky pimples while still wearing some makeup this is a great option. The formula contains salicylic acid + mineral pigments to blur imperfections, mattify to control shine, unify texture, reduce the severity of blemishes and promote radiance. Although I didn’t notice a huge improvement in the appearance of my pimple I do like the added protection and the soft coverage helps conceal blemishes and brighten.

Shade: Medium

The BB Cream is only available in 2 shades: Light and Medium (which is the one I have) and although it blends in seamlessly and works well with my skin tone if you have a deeper complexion there isn't really a shade option. The cream retails for $29.95.

You can find Vichy at most major drugstores and online by clicking HERE

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Beauty Box Five January 2016 Review

The First Beauty Box Five of the year is dedicated to hair and nails! It came stocked with some handy travel size items that are perfect for my upcoming trips!

Before I delve into the box let’s review how the service works. Beauty Box Five is a subscription that starts at $12 for the monthly box, $30 for the quarterly subscription and $99 dollars for a year. You receive a mix of luxury items and common brands with products for: hair, skin and nails as well as fragrances and beauty accessories. The box contains 5 products and usually includes 1-3 full sized items. It is a great way to sample a variety of new brands!

Not Your Mother’s Hair Care Plump for Joy (sample includes) & Salon Grafix Hair Spray (sample)

I am all for voluminous hair that is full of bounce and body so the Plump for Joy Thickening Hair Lift Spray is a great addition to the box and one I haven’t tried before. The formula is made to strengthen and add life to limp strands and I like that it can be used on both damp and dry hair. I can see this coming in handy between wash days when hair is a tad greasy and flat or when you crave luscious beach waves. It also has a delicious fruity scent that is great for spring.

The mini hair spray is not very interesting but when you need mega hold it works! I have a few upcoming trips planned and this maximum hold, humidity resistant formula enriched with antioxidants and vitamins is definitely coming with me to help keep stray hairs in place as I soak up some sun.

Novex Bamboo Sprout Deep Conditioning Treatment (sample pack/one treatment)

The first time I received a Novex sample in my BB5 I was overjoyed with how well it worked to fortify and soften my long hair so I was happy to sample another formula! This treatment is rich and nourishing to help silken dry, brittle hair for serious winter rescue! 

Bodipure Keratin Gloves (full size included: $5.00) & Nails Inc. Polish (full size included: $9.99)

Along with the deep conditioner this was also one of my favorite items in the box. With frequent hand washing and the drying winter air my hands have taken a beating! My moisturizer application has nearly tripled and when all else fails a revitalizing treatment that strengthens nails and heals cuticles is always a fabulous option.

The Nails Inc Polish I received this month in the shade Hyde Park Place was disappointing. Some of you may appreciate the grey-green stone-like hue but I for one am not feeling it. It is just too boring, plain and totally blah for my taste which is unfortunate since the last few polishes I got were also shades that didn’t really stand out.

Scratch Custom Accent Nail Wraps (full size/ comes with four: $6.00)

The nail wraps in this month’s box kind of made up for the mundane polish but it didn't come with very many. The gold and white patterns are stylish, pretty and delicate which make great accent nails and compliments many shades of polish.

This month’s box was decent but if I’m going to get any more nail polish I’d like some brighter hues. I’d also like to see some high quality makeup!

For more information on this beauty subscription you can visit the website by clicking HERE

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Yves Rocher Anti-Age Global Skincare Review: Complete Anti-Aging Cure

Today I am sharing an anti-aging treatment by Yves Rocher for those interested in a “highly concentrated, exceptional cure” designed to yield quick results. Personally, I don’t believe in overnight miracles or a “cure” for aging as it is a natural process that cannot be stopped but I do believe in aging gracefully and taking measures to keep skin looking youthful and healthy.

The Anti-Age Global collection is formulated for an “intense, one time treatment” although I would advise that you continue your everyday routine and preventative measures once completed. The Anti-Aging Cure comes in a white case (that also doubles as a keepsake box or jewelry box once the products are finished) and contains four bottles of potent serum meant to be used over a 28 day period (one bottle per week) to regenerate the skin.

The active ingredients are 40 Botanical Native Cells (plant extracts, fruit components and oils) which stimulate the renewal of your own cells to reduce and prevent the signs of aging including: sagging, dark spots, blemishes, loss of collagen and elasticity, slackening facial contour, enlarged pores, wrinkles, fine lines and dryness. Think of it as a mini face lift without the pain plus the bonus of improved texture, tone, softness and radiance.

The formula has a pleasant scent and a fast absorbing gel texture to sooth and moisturize on contact. It works best at night when skin heals naturally and promotes a radiant, youthful glow. Although the treatment is designed to be used over a 28 day period, if you don’t finish within that time just continue until you do.

I am a big fan of face masks so the Complete Anti-Aging Mask is a fabulous addition to this treatment process. The refreshing sheet mask was inspired by Korean beauty secrets and soaked in a lush serum to help boost radiance, pump, hydrate and of course help reduce the appearance of aging including wrinkles. The formula is described as “highly natural” which makes it easy to absorb and no rinsing is required.

Despite my lack of wrinkles and lines I think everyone’s skin can benefit from total rejuvenation every once in a while and I am all for preventative products. My mom doesn’t have wrinkles or lines either, (maybe my luck has to do with genetics) but she since she loves testing anti-aging products and they obviously seem to be working I will let her have a crack at this collection as well.

This range makes a great gift for the women in your family including grandma and with any treatment if you keep working at it and taking the right steps you are bound to see improvements!

The serum set (28 day supply) retails for $42.50 and the face mask is $8.00. You can find these products at Yves Rocher stores or online by clicking HERE.

*press samples featured

Monday, January 25, 2016

Nip + Fab Viper Venom Extreme Night Fix and Dragon’s Blood Plumping Serum Review

Some of you may have glanced at the title of this post and decided to reread it a couple of times for clarification. You are probably wondering why I’m talking about dragon’s blood and venom and it doesn’t have anything to do with Game of Thrones. 

Recently I’ve been testing a couple of skincare products from Nip + Fab. This is the first time I’ve used the brand and admittedly the odd names peaked my curiosity. I already use products with bee venom so kicking it up a notch to viper and dragon seems like the obvious next step! All joking aside I’ve been enjoying these skin enhancing formulas and the much needed boost of moisture!

If you appreciate a good face mask then The Viper Venom Extreme Night Fix may be for you! Since I’ve been using it I have noticed that my facial contour appears a bit firmer but not in an unnatural, (I just had a little work done) kind of way. Since my skin isn’t showing signs of aging yet (thank goodness) my results are similar to a total rejuvenation treatment. The formula brightens the complexion, awakens tired looking skin and refreshes for a healthy, radiant finish.

The name Viper Vemon comes from the addition of SYN®-AKE Peptide which is known to banish wrinkles as effectively as face freezing injections. In fact this nifty little peptide is considered by some to be an alternative to botox because it replicates the Malaysian Templar Viper’s venom to diminish wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet and other signs of aging. Unlike botox injections however your face won’t actually appear stiff and unmoving. It works and feels like most night masks but with an extra blast of potency for anti-aging benefits. I can’t attest to the reduction of wrinkles as I don’t have any but I did a little digging on the internet and the consensus seems to be positive.

The mask has a refreshing gel consistency, absorbs quickly and coats the face efficiently. I also like that it locks in moisture to hydrate without being greasy although I usually layer it with a bit of serum or moisturizer for more hydration.

One thing I found a bit strange was that the jar wasn’t full. It looked half-full when I opened it so they could definitely add a bit more product. The formula also contains hyaluronic acid and retinol which has great anti-aging benefits and can help improve the appearance of blemishes. The mask retails for $19.95 U.S.

The Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum is just want my face needs this winter as I battle dryness. The name “Dragon’s Blood” sounds a lot scarier than it is and don’t worry we aren’t talking about actual blood or collecting secretions from a Komodo dragon. The sinister sounding ingredient is really an extract from the Croton Lechleri tree (aka “dragon bloods tree”) which secretes red sap. The extract is used to help protect skin cells, reduce redness, swelling and other bacterial, viral and fungal conditions. It is also known to help heal tissue (cuts, wounds, burns, stings, rashes and sores).

With this serum winter and dry skin doesn’t stand a chance and it is ideal for use during the summer to help protect against environmental damage. I also noticed that the hormonal pimples I occasionally get don't occur as frequently since I began using this.  

The formula also contains velvet flower and hyaluronic acid to plump, smooth, intensely hydrate and reduce wrinkles. The serum retails for $19.95.

You can find Nip + Fab products at Shoppers Drug Mart, Target and online by clicking HERE

Friday, January 22, 2016

Anna Sui Makeup Box and Cosmetics Review

I am a sucker for beautiful packaging with a touch of glam and aside from makeup's ability to transform I also like when it appeals to the senses. Anna Sui’s cosmetics line does just that, her artistic deigns have a touch of mysterious elegance resulting in products that become the focal point of your vanity.

Every cosmetic junkie desires more storage and what better place than a beautiful makeup box etched with intricate patterns! This enchanting metal box with handles is a fabulous accent piece for your bedroom and can store makeup, jewelry, polish or special keepsakes. If you plan to gift the box there is no need for wrapping as the gold, purple and teal snowflake mosaics are pretty enough to stand alone and with Valentine’s Day around the corner what girl wouldn’t love this!

The goodies inside the box (sold separately) are just as pretty. The lipsticks are housed in translucent, glass-like tubes with a shooting star design. Like all products from this brand there is a signature floral scent. Personally I find the aroma classic and vintage rather than modern but I don’t mind.

This lipstick (601) is a bright, bold orange with sheer coverage and lightweight moisture. The glossy texture glides on effortlessly to quench dry lips with a nourishing blend of flower extract, olive, sweet almond, grape seed and rose. The shiny, luminous finish makes lips appear pouty, alluring and vibrant which is great for spring!

The Rose Cheek Color is available in 6 pretty shades and the delicate floral design is stunning! I like the combination and versatility of deep, medium and light hues that can be applied individually or blended together for one unique, uniform shade. This palette (400) contains mauve, dark coral and neutral champagne-beige with the added bonus of a silvery highlight to lightly accentuate the cheekbones and nose.

The pigmentation can go from sheer to intense to suit your preference and applies silky, smooth and seamless for a beautiful healthy flush that instantly brightens dull complexions and adds a touch of radiance.

I also have the blush in 602 which is a pretty medley of champagne, orange and coral, the perfect combo for transitioning into next season!

I am fairly new to Anna’s foundation and when it comes to these types of products I am usually a bit skeptical of performance, coverage and color matching. I have the loose powder foundation in the shade 203 which is the darkest in the range. Usually I’m in the middle zone between light and dark so I guess if you have a deeper complexion you may be out of luck.

As mentioned the packaging is very cute and comes with a decent amount of powder plus a small application brush. The formula is incredibly soft, light, finely milled and airy with one of the silkiest textures I’ve encountered!

This shade works well for me because it isn’t extremely pigmented nor does it have harsh undertones so it blends in seamlessly and seems to transform to match my complexion.

Although the lightweight pigment doesn’t provide much coverage or camouflaging it makes a fabulous finishing powder for a matte, “just applied look” and keeps your face looking fresh longer. I like that it helps diminish the appearance of minor blemishes, discoloration, excess oil and redness with a smooth, luxurious finish.

Last but not least is the Anna Sui Glittering Lip Gloss in the shade 200. I have a couple of these glosses and although they are in the high-end price range I usually take them on vacation because the formula is long-wear and keeps my lips hydrated during exhausting flights. The texture is on the thick side so it clings well to the lips and the slight stickiness isn’t bothersome. This shade appears pink in the tube but applies completely clear and although there is a bit of shimmer it isn’t chunky or discernible so nothing to worry about. The available colors are all quite basic but the moisturizing oils feel great and the shine makes lips appear healthy.

Anna Sui Products can be found at Sephora

Thursday, January 21, 2016

CND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish Review

When I saw the words “weekly polish” on these Vinylux bottles I was excited! As someone who loves a fresh mani but doesn’t enjoy the tedious application process I am always on the lookout for a fabulous new formula that lasts more than a couple days. This range includes 12 shades from pink, blue, green, shimmer, gold and nude which is a decent selection since the brand also has other collections that offer more choices.

The formula includes a self-adhering color coat which eliminates the need for a base and they are “7-free” which means that they don’t contain some of the harsh chemicals found in regular polish like disgusting formaldehyde. The name suggests that the color is formulated to last up to a week with a durable finish.

Digi-Teal is a bright sky blue which I am not usually attracted to but in the swatch it looks very wearable and applies opaque in just two coats. I love how Nordic Lights looks in the bottle, the deep purple embedded with varying sizes of chunky glitter and micro shimmer is mesmerizing! Unfortunately this shade was a bit difficult to work with and the larger glitter particles are overlapped by the color with each coat instead of sitting on top which results in a bumpy finish. Untitled Bronze is a pretty gold that applies opaque in 2-3 coats.

Magenta Mischief is a gorgeous bright pink and Glacial Mist (my personal fave) is a beautiful frosty green with silver shimmer. Winter Glow has a nice neutral tone perfect for a French manicure.

Mauve Maverick is neutral with a subtle touch of mauve, Tuti Fruti is your basic bright, playful pink and Art Basil pleasantly surprised me with its vibrant green and light dusting of shimmer.

Sienna Scribble and Tundra have a pretty metallic finish and are both quite neutral whereas the rose hue is common but still vibrant and suitable for every complexion.


Most of the shades apply beautifully in two coats but there are a few that may need an extra layer to intensify the color. For the most part the formula (which varies in thickness) is easy to work with and I didn’t have to wait very long for my nails to dry which is always a big selling point. Some of the shades are quite similar to polish I already own but there are a few that offer a unique twist and an eye-catching finish.

I also want to take a minute to talk about the top coat which is designed to pro-long your manicure and increase durability which is great but the bottle reads - “avoid skin contact” which is almost impossible unless you have an extremely steady hand. Since most ingredients are eventually absorbed through the nails anyway I’d like to know a bit more about this.

As far as longevity and wear, these hold up as well as expected. Most didn’t quite make it to day seven but some shades did hang on for 4-5 days which is pretty good! I probably could have pushed it a bit longer had I re-applied the top coat.

Overall I thought these polishes were quite nice. I liked the colors, formula and finish so if the brand decides to release a few more awesome shades I’d definitely try them.

You can find these polishes at Trade Secrets, Chatters and local salons for $11.90 each.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Multi Correcting Cream and Beauty Sleep Perfector Review

When it comes to skincare Lancôme is one of the world’s leading brands and this winter I've been battling dryness day and night with the Visionnaire Collection.

I pamper my complexion daily and diligently perform weekly replenishing treatments but this time of year when temperatures drop to -20˚C it is difficult to keep peeling and flaking under control. The Visionnaire dynamic duo has been helping me fight environmental assaults and improve the texture of my skin for layers of moisture and great anti-aging benefits.

After light cleansing in the morning and prior to makeup application I use the Visionnaire Advanced Multi-Correcting Cream and layer on as much or as little as needed. The lush texture is decadently rich and immediately soothes my skin without leaving behind a greasy residue. Once applied the fast absorbing formula takes my skin from dry to silky smooth and helps even out any roughness and flaky patches to prep my skin for makeup.

For those who have wrinkles and fine lines this formula was developed to help reduce their appearance overtime while reinforcing elasticity but for me the selling point is the layer of lightweight moisture and the slight plumping effect for a healthy complexion. The cream eradicates dullness and is designed to visibly transform skin with a subtle light reflecting sheen that boosts radiance. Although you may not notice the anti-aging benefits overnight it smells great and makes a fabulous addition to your daytime routine if you are looking for something that awakens dull skin for a fresh, vibrant finish and a beautiful, supple glow. The Multi-Correcting Cream is made in France and retails for $92.00 per 50 ml.

After deep cleansing at night I like to use products that are richer and much more hydrating since skin heals and restores itself during sleep. For efficient absorption I use my Clarisonic with a foaming cleanser prior to applying my skin softening products like the Visionnaire Beauty Sleep Perfector Gel-In-Oil. This cooling gel formula instantly relieves tight, dry, tired looking skin and locks in moisture all night without any residue transferring to your pillow.

If you use the cream first and then layer the gel on top the combinations is a match made in skincare heaven as the layers of moisture help heal the stripping effects of dryness and completely revitalizes. The nutritive gel penetrates deeply to nourish and the innovative texture is infused with micro-droplets of oil which makes skin feel incredibly soft, satiny and smooth with a luminous finish. The night cream retails for $97.00.

Together this collection kicks winter’s butt and is light and refreshing enough to use all year. You can find Lancôme products in department stores, Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora. Visit the website by clicking HERE.

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