Friday, December 29, 2017

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Review & Swatches

If you’ve obtained a few pieces of Rihanna’s new makeup collection then consider yourself lucky. The Fenty Beauty isle at Sephora is usually sold out of product and is so crowded that I almost lost an arm helping my mom find a foundation. Even the samples mysteriously disappear as women desperately try to get their hands on coveted items.

Very few beauty brands have created so much excitement on a global scale. In fact when I was in Madrid Spain this September there was a huge Fenty billboard in Puerta del Sol – the busiest square in the city.

It is no surprise that Fenty Beauty is such a success. It seem that everything Rihanna touches turns to gold and fans can’t get enough of her catchy lyrics, edgy style and bold pigments. Admittedly I’ve held off on trying anything from the collection until the chaos dies down but this Christmas I received the most talked about lip product on social media – Stunna.

This pigment is a bright bombshell red that definitely turns heads and not to toot my own horn but this color looks amazing on it does on everyone else. The packaging reminds me of the Christian Louboutin makeup line with a long stiletto cap and a base that resembles nail polish. You get a lot of product for $24.00 and you don’t need much to achieve complete coverage.

What makes this liquid lipstick so popular is the rich saturation that feels incredibly lightweight yet shows up vivid and dramatic with a sophisticated matte finish that is very wearable. The formula glides on effortlessly, in fact this is probably one of the easiest lipsticks to apply. It literally took a few seconds to achieve a perfectly sculpted pout and I barely feel it on my lips (way to go RiRi).

The Defining Precision Wand makes it super easy to drench your lips in intense color that last up-to 12 hours without feathering or bleeding. The finish is consistent and low maintenance requiring very few touch-ups and it even lasts through meals and cocktails making it the ideal shade for an evening out. I love the applicator, it helps line and accentuate to create that plump, poutiness we all crave.

Although this is a matte formula that doesn’t appear to provide much hydration it somehow keeps my lips comfortable and smooth with just enough moisture to prevent dryness, flaking and chapping. I love this lipstick so much that I might brave the elbowing crowds and venture into Sephora to swatch some more makeup.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

5 Tips for Surviving Cold & Flu Season

It might start with a suspicious tickle in the back of your throat or a few sneezes and a runny nose but when a nasty cold knocks you off your feet, life seems to come to a standstill.

It’s that time of year again, the temperature drops and we all become more susceptible to the viruses that plague our communities. Earlier this year when the remnants of last winter were still lingering, I contracted the worst flu I’ve ever experienced. I was too weak to get out of bed and fever wracked my body for day after miserable day. Since then I’ve been sick a couple times which tends to happen with frequent travel but recently my colds have been much less severe. I’ve been fighting back with everything in my pantry and today I’m sharing a few coping techniques that have proven useful.

1. Get Lots of Sleep
This may seem obvious but it may be your immune system’s best line of defense. When I’m sick and weak I drop everything (as hard as that is to do) and sleep as much as possible. If you have to stay in bed for most of the day or even several days then do so and tune out the world around you to recuperate. Try not to stress about work or responsibilities because it can be counterproductive to your health. Just relax and let your body fight for you, if not illness may be prolonged.

2. Strengthen Your Immune System Everyday
Since I started taking immune boosters like Emergen-C (which has more Vitamins C than 10 oranges) I’ve noticed that my colds are shorter in duration and less severe. I take immune boosters and vitamins everyday (not just when I’m sick) and overtime they strengthen my system so that when a virus hits I am better able to fight it off and recover. To read my article on immune supplements click HERE.

It is also a good idea to consume nutritious foods that are high in antioxidants to regain your strength. Drinking healthy smoothies loaded with leafy greens is an easy way to get your fruits and veggies when your appetite and energy is compromised or make a delicious salad. 

I call this creation the energy booster salad. It contains arugula (my favorite), blueberries for a boost of antioxidants, green onion, tomato, mandarin orange, cucumber, sunflower seeds, cheese, avocado and chicken breast. Sometimes I add egg for extra protein and drizzle with a fig balsamic dressing.  

3. Over-The-Counter Meds
Cough and cold meds contain antihistamine and pain relievers that help you cope with the worst symptoms. To break a fever I find Neocitran particularly helpful and to aide with sleep NyQuil is great. It also helps relieve congestion which is the worst! For a sore throat I usually opt for Cepacol Lozenges which numb and soothe with medicinal ingredients.

Please note: Before taking any medications you should consult your family physician. This article is not intended to replace medical advice.

4. Hot Showers, Hot Liquids and Natural Ingredients
You may already know that hot, steamy showers help loosen chest and nasal congestion while relaxing achy muscles but nothing beats hot homemade soup. Warm liquids help rid the body of disgusting mucus build-up that causes stuffiness and coughing.

I usually opt for natural teas with freshly grated ginger or hot water with lemon and organic honey to help eliminate bacteria.

Gargling with mouth wash which contains antiseptic also seems to help reduce the germs and viral symptoms that plague mucus membranes in the mouth and throat. Gargling with warm salt water throughout the day soothes irritation.

Instead of Vicks Vapour Rub I use natural peppermint oil from Saje which can be rubbed around the nostrils, on the chest or put in a facial steamer with water to open the airway.

A humidifier can also help add moisture to the air and natural saline sprays clear the throat and nose to reduce inflammation (I use HydraSense).

5. Spicy Foods
For me eating spicy food is pretty easy because I cook a lot of Indian dishes and I love lots of flavor. It doesn’t have to be a specific type of cultural cuisine (any heat and spice will do) but these foods help break down mucus so you can expel it from the body. Think about it – have you ever eaten a hot, delicious dish that made your nose run? Well that’s because the spice was thinning the mucus and chilli has anti-viral benefits.

I hope this helps, dress warm and stay healthy this winter :)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Too Faced Peach Kiss Lipstick Review

I rarely review just 2 shades of lipstick but these stunners are my favorite colors in the Peach Kiss Collection. I usually opt for rich, glamorous hues that are deep and sultry or bright and show-stopping even though everyone seems obsessed with nude lips at the moment.

No matter what your complexion you can’t go wrong with something in the berry or plum spectrum and Drunk Dial has a flattering blend of pink and purple tones. The peach and sweet fig scent is delicious and the creamy formula glides on full-coverage, ultra-lightweight, smooth and moisturizing for long wear and comfort.

Stop Traffic is perfect for every occasion – think of it as your power color that evokes confidence and high-fashion with every strut you take. This is a red that all women can wear since there are no harsh orange or blue undertones. The dramatic matte finish is nicely balanced without being too bright or dark and red lips are totally on-trend for the holiday season. Both lipsticks are highly saturated for intense color payoff that doesn’t dry out or flake.

Too Faced is available at Sephora and online at

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bite Beauty 2017 Holiday Collection & Gift Sets

My birthday is on Christmas Eve and I’m getting ready to take a long relaxing break. I’ve decided to end my holiday series on a high note with one of my favorite brands – Bite Beauty. If you saw my lipstick post a few weeks ago then you’ve already read my rave reviews about the brand but if not I’ll recap why their smooth, velvety finishes and rich pigments should be a staple in your makeup bag.

Bite products are handcrafted in small batches using a low heat process to ensure that the omega oils, vitamins, butters and nutrients are fresh and well preserved. Each formula is enriched with a luscious blend of moisturizers and skin conditioners to keep your pout supple, and protected without compromising on color.

Winter is a beautiful season but frigid temperatures can cause peeling, chapping and uncomfortable dryness. The Agave Lip Balm ($20.00) soothes on contact with a blend of rare Madagascar vanilla, shea butter, olive oil, jojoba, pomegranate and many other natural ingredients. The creamy balm glides on evenly and coats lips in a blanket of nourishing hydration to restore, heal and repair. It smells delicious, feels amazing and is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates making it a perfect travel essential and a great primer.

For a complete lip makeover I use the Agave Sugar Lip Scrub ($20.00) before moisturizing with the lip balm. This sweet exfoliant is enriched with pineapple enzymes and a variety of exotic oils that gently buff away rough skin and leave lips soft, smooth, conditioned and rejuvenated. It preps your pout for flawless lipstick application and keeps skin healthy all winter long. Together these two treatments make an incredible gift set.

The Amuse Bouche Liquefied Lip Set ($26.00) is a makeup lovers dream and if you haven’t tried the collection this is a good starting point. The box comes with 4 shades - Braised (rich berry), Flambé (bright tangerine) Demi-Glace (deep chocolate brown) and Whip (soft nude). I like the variety in this small kit, you get 2 bright shades that are flattering on all complexions and two neutrals – one for medium to deep skin and the other for fair.

Despite the tubes being so tiny, the applicator is a good size and the color glides on vibrant, full coverage and creamy with a hint of glossy shine. The formula is comprised of natural elements so the lipstick has a waxy scent (which I don’t mind) and the size makes them very portable. You can slip them into a pocket or small party clutch and the color lasts for hours.

The Champagne Discovery Set ($39.00) is a holiday trio for the eyes, lips and cheeks featuring a curated selection of bestsellers. The Cashew Multistick is a gorgeous nude even for people like me who don’t wear neutral lip colors very often and it comes with a matching liner for neatness and precision. The stick has a creamy matte finish which you can apply to the cheeks as a warm blush and on the eyes to tie the look together. I love the Champagne Pearl Crème Lip Gloss – the metallic finish is brilliant and shimmery for instant holiday glam. I use it to highlight the middle of my lips for an ombré effect and it looks amazing against deep purples and matte red. This set makes a wonderful gift for friends, family and secret Santa.

To Read my previous article on the Amuse Bouche Lipsticks click HERE
Bite Beauty is available exclusively at Sephora

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hard Candy 2017 Holiday Collection & Gifts Under $5.00

By now most of us have finished our holiday shopping and are getting ready to spend time with family and friends, relaxing by the fire and sipping eggnog (or in my case peach bellinis). If you still need some small gifts to fill the stockings just pop over to Walmart and pick up a few last minute makeup goodies from Hard Candy. This year’s selection is cute and super affordable with a little something for everyone.

What girl doesn’t love eye shadow (rhetorical question, we all do!) and for just $1.47 the 6 shade palettes create quick, simple looks. For a little holiday glam glitter makes the eyes sparkle and since the pigmentation is sheer you can layer the colors over other shadows or just use them for a little highlight.

Birthday Suit contains matte neutrals that are better for crease definition and blending. There isn’t a lot of intensity but for soft looks they get the job done and the palettes are good for younger girls who want to start experimenting with makeup.

The Neutral Eyes Palette ($3.00) includes all your basics - beige, gold and champagne hues for day wear. You may need a good primer and a few layers but the shades are flattering.

For just $1.47 the Glow All The Way Baked Bronzer is pretty! The color payoff is mild yet buildable and the lightweight golden frost illuminates beautifully. The texture is also soft and silky so it blends well for a radiant finish.

The Bath Oil Trio ($3.00) is packaged in cute little hearts with sweet, delicious scents. Open them under running water to create fragrant bubbles.

The Lip Gloss Set ($3.00) looks and smells like candy! These translucent shades are fun for kids and adults with a hint of shine and moisture for dryness relief.

The Look Pro Lip Artist Collection ($4.97) comes with 6 creamy shades, the Lip Contouring Highlight Wand, a lip liner, application brush and Plumping Serum. The texture and finish looks like sheer, hydrating gloss with a yummy aroma and you can keep the box on your desk for a boost of tinted moisture throughout the day.

Shimmery pink nail polish is always stylish and it is one of my favorite pedicure shades. Putting nail files around the cap is ingenious and handy for travel.  

Globular lip balms are very trendy right now and I love this sweet vanilla scent. For just $1.47 you can pop one in everyone’s stocking.

As mentioned Hard Candy is available at Walmart.
Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

MaskerAide Let’s Face It Purifying Cleansing Stick & New Tell Me Pout It Lip Mask

On long, hectic days I really appreciate beauty products that make life easier. Traveling around the globe and battling Toronto’s mid-day traffic can be tiring so I love the new cleansing stick and lip mask from MaskerAide for convenient makeup removal and a luscious pout.

You can toss the portable stick in a gym bag, carry-on or purse and be ready to refresh your skin whenever the mood strikes. The formula is infused with antioxidant-rich red beet which gives the cleanser its purple hue. Some of the other nutritive ingredients include: pink clay, rose petals (which are visibly embedded in the stick), citrus oil, raspberry, cranberry, blueberry, bergamot, sunflower oil, evening primrose and meadowfoam. It is also free of parabens, artificial pigment, fragrance and preservatives.

I like to wipe off my foundation and shadow with a makeup cloth prior to using the cleanser because I usually have a ton of stuff on my face. Simply swirl the product onto wet skin and massage it in thoroughly to work up a creamy lather. After rinsing my skin feels soft and most importantly it isn’t dry or tight. I did notice some bubbles but don’t expect a soapy foam because there are no harsh sulfates (which is a good thing). The rich emulsion removes all lingering traces of makeup and impurities while balancing and nourishing – pretty impressive for a cleanser made from natural ingredients. Let’s Face It retails for $23.00 and I can take it on the plane without having to pack it in designated liquid bags plus there are no spills or mess.

Dry, flaky lips are not cute especially when topped off with bright pigment that draws attention to chapped skin. Thankfully the Tell Me Pout It Lip Masks help firm, stimulate collagen and diminish the look of fine lines with a hydrating formula. I did notice a slight plumping effect but the smoothing and softening results were even better! With a blend of powerful berries, honey and fermented rose, the mask refreshes dehydrated skin while creating a protective barrier to heal and rejuvenate. It works like a mini-lip makeover and after treatment my pout was supple, healthy and primed for lipstick. I experienced a minor issue with adhesion so make sure your lip area is completely dry before use. The masks could also use a bit more serum since it seems to wear away quickly but other than that they are great for makeup prep and retail for $7.00 each or $25.00 for a box of four.

MaskerAide is available at Trade Secrets, London Drugs, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty and more. Visit the website at

Monday, December 18, 2017

No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil Review

I went outside today and within a few minutes my face froze. Don’t get me wrong I love winter, I was born on Christmas Eve after all but this weather wreaks havoc on the skin. Going from harsh cold and whipping winds to warm indoor heating is very drying and this time of year I have to layer the moisturizers on heavily and reapply before bed. To help counteract Canadian snow squalls, the No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil ($25.00) provides an intense surge of hydration plus anti-aging benefits to tone, smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Admittedly, wrinkles are not a concern for me yet and I don’t have fine lines. I aim for clear, radiant skin that is relatively blemish-free, even and healthy. With a nourishing blend of Rosehip and jojoba, the formula mimics the skin's natural oils to enhance absorption and lock in moisture. I like the lightweight, non-greasy finish, it provides a supple sheen and layers well with my other night care to soften and restore.

You only need a few drops to alleviate and heal dry, itchy skin and I even use it on my nails and cuticles to promote growth and prevent brittleness. Before bed I pat some on my lips for a luscious pout and for a dewy complexion add a drop to foundation. The oil also provides a boost of shine for dry hair – simply dab some on rough ends for a little glossiness.   

No7 is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, online at and at Ulta Beauty in the U.S.

Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide – Makeup & Beauty Sets

I know what you’re thinking and you’d be right, this is another gift guide but it’s a good one, I promise! With Christmas just 10 days away there aren’t many shopping days left but don’t panic. Gift sets are a great option and personally I’m a big fan. Instead of giving one great present you can surprise your loved ones with a few goodies all conveniently package in one pretty parcel. Today I’m sharing a few fabulous finds from fragrance, beauty tools, skincare and makeup.

This season the wonderful people at Pixi made life a lot easier for last minute shoppers by creating a bunch of great sets that showcase their bestsellers. The Peel & Reveal Holiday Set ($20.00) features mini sizes of the Peel & Polish Resurfacing Concentrate to loosen dead cells, the Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner for a smoother complexion and the Rose Flash Balm to revitalize and reduce signs of fatigue. The large set is the Glow Tonic & Glow Mud Cleanser Duo ($49.00). It comes with a Toner infused with glycolic acid to polish and brighten plus the detoxifying mud mask to deep clean and draw out blemish causing impurities.

The Lip Lift Max Trio ($22.00) includes 3 sparkly lip brightening shades that plump and hydrate. Pixi Beauty is available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

The Soap & Glory Soaper Heroes Holiday Set ($24.00) is perfect for preventing and treating dry winter skin and the products smell delicious! The special edition pink tin includes: Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel with mandarin extract, Scrub Off Your Life Body Buffer, The Righteous Body Butter, Hand Cream, Sugar Crush Fresh & Foamy Body Wash Pod and the Rich & Famous Body Wash Pod that is great for travel. After lathering, scrubbing, and buttering you will feel soft and silky from head-to-toe before slipping into those cozy pajamas. Soap & Glory is available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

The I love Raspberry and Blackberry Bubble Bath & Shower Crème Set ($9.99) is perfect for friends, co-workers and secret Santa. It comes with a large shower gel that smells like scrumptious candy plus you get a small bath puff. (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart)

The Body Fantasies Holiday Set ($7.99) comes with 3 body sprays – Japanese Cherry Blossom (my fave), Pink Vanilla Kiss and Twilight Mist which are all very uplifting, youthful and fun. They make great stocking stuffers and you can even keep one in your purse for travel. I also like using my favorite scent as a car or room freshener. (Available at Walmart)

The Real Techniques Color Correcting Made Easy Limited Edition Holiday Set ($17.99) includes 4 Concealer Brushes that are perfect for covering dark circles and imperfections plus 4 Miracle Mini Eraser Sponges that are color coordinated for specific correcting pigments. The brushes get into hard to reach areas while buffing and blending seamlessly. (Available at Guardian, London Drugs, Jean Coutu and Rexall)

Estee Lauder’s Holiday Nights The Red Lip 3 Piece Set ($38.00) will leave the makeup lovers on your list speechless (this one may be hard to give away). I love the festive lipstick with matching liner and the Flirtatious Magenta Gloss is perfect for parties.

For the bath lovers on your list the Calgon Lavender and Honey Fizzies ($6.97) will fill the tub with wonderful fragrances that set the mood for a relaxing evening. There are 8 per pack which means you can pop one in everyone stocking or add it to a gift basket. (Available at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart)

Luxury hair care always makes a fantastic gift and Kerastase has the perfect winter rescue kits to keep your locks long, luscious and healthy. The Resistance Collection is valued at $140.00 but retails for $97.00 and comes with shampoo, conditioner and serum for damaged hair. Although my hair is healthy I still like using products that resurrect and fortify and this formula diminishes the signs of heat styling and patches up rough spots for added shine and bounce. It also smells amazing! For a list of salon retailers please visit

Avon never disappoints when it comes to affordable gifts for the whole family and this year the Skin So Soft Winter Collection is indulgent, soothing and pampering. The nourishing formulas include rich body butters, creamy shower gels, light oils and hydrating lotions. The sets retail for $16.00 each at and through independent consultants.

High quality makeup brushes are always a hit and the EcoTools Highlight & Define Duo ($16.99) has one of the best fan brushes I’ve ever used! The bristles are fluffy, lush and soft - great for sweeping on luminizers. The other brush blends powder and blush like a dream with ultra- supple fibers that feel great against the skin. (Available at London Drugs, Rexall, Pharma Plus, Walmart, Lawtons, Sobeys and IDA)

Beautiful by Estee Lauder is a classic fragrance that many women think of as their signature scent. It is described as rich, romantic and luxurious with a refreshing citrus-floral blend and a warm base of sandalwood, vetvier and amber. This is a nice perfume for your mom, grandmother or aunt since it is a little more classic and mature. The elegant gift box also includes the roller-ball fragrance, shower gel and body wash for $98.00. Estee Lauder is available at department stores nationwide including The Bay and Sephora you can also visit the website at

For more great ideas check out my other gift guides:

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Too Faced 2017 Holiday Collection – Best Year Ever

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the wayyy...Don’t you just love the holiday season!? My favorite carols are stuck in my head, the Christmas decor looks warm and cozy (even though it’s freezing outside) and you have a legitimate reason to shop till you drop while splurging on some makeup for yourself (just write it off as a gift, no one has to know). Recently Too Faced has released a ton of new products that coincide with popular trends, collaborations with beauty gurus and new additions to previous collections that we just can’t get enough of. It can be difficult not to lose control and buy everything but with a Christmas Collection called “Best Year Ever” you really can’t go wrong.

This fabulous set retails for $49.00 and comes with so much! You get 3 palettes: Natural Beauty, I Believe in Pink and Super Fun Night for a total of 18 pretty eye shadows and 3 face products (blush, highlighter and bronzer). It also includes the Better Than Sex Mascara (travel-size) and a cute makeup bag that is perfect for beauty tools and essentials.

The great thing about this kit is that you can give the entire thing to someone special or present it as 3 separate gifts (maybe even keep one for yourself). The color scheme is very wearable with a nice range of shimmers, cool tones, smokey shades and neutrals to create a wide variety of looks. It may not have the glam-factor you’d expect from a holiday collection but the radiant bronze, sparkling gold and garnet pink are great for parties and the matte finishes add beautiful contrast.

The color pairings are well coordinated so whether you’re aiming for office appropriate or a sexy date look, there are enough options to take you from day to night. Overall I found the pigmentation and saturation quite good. The shadows are smooth and silky with buildable coverage and intensity especially when used with primer. They also blend well and resist creasing but I did notice a few similarities between some of the neutrals so a little more variety would have been a nice touch.

I Believe in Pink lives up to its name with that bright blush which could have used a hint of plum or mauve to tone it down a bit. The stars of this palette are the golden pink and radiant bronze shadows which are both stunning!

Natural Beauty includes a golden bronzer which I classify as highlighter and deep, smoldering hues that look wonderful together. I prefer the mattes in this palette because you get a dark chocolate, caramel and cream.

Super Fun Night is what I expected the Natural Beauty Palette to be with mild grey tones, classic black and light slivery hues - everything you need to create a classic smokey eye.

This fun collection is available at Sephora and online at
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...