Sunday, 15 December 2013

Make Up For Ever / Midnight Glow Gun Metal 15 Glitter Review


I've just discovered Make Up For Ever  glitter, a perfect solution for a hint of sparkle, shimmer, and glam for the Holiday look. Wow! While I have never used much glitter before, this high quality option is versatile for both body and face, and it doesn't look cheap nor tacky.  The new Midnight Glow glitter in Gun Metal 15, at $20, is lightweight, made of fine reflecting particles, and very easy to use. I'm very impressed with it's effect and performance, and can't wait to try the others. Take a look.


How to apply:
Apply using a brush, sponge applicator or the fingers. For optimum hold, wet the brush, sponge or fingers with water or Mist & Fix. Aqua Seal may also be used to create a waterproof hold.

Pros:

  • A little bit goes a long way
  • Adds fun to your look
  • Highly pigmented
  • Blends easily
  • Multi-use
  • Easy to use
  • Shows beautifully in photographs
  • Non-irritating!
  • Affordable & lasts awhile

Cons:
Hard to clean up and can be messy if not used properly

What else you need to know:
"Sprinkle onto lip gloss in the evening to emphasize lip volume. To make glitter adhere to the body or hair, first spray these areas with water, then place a small amount glitter in the palm of your hand and gently blow onto the dampened areas."—Dany Sanz, Make Up For Ever founder

Value: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Effectiveness: 5/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: $$


Overall: 4.5/5  Lovely!

Would I use it again? Yes.

4 comments:

Friday, 13 December 2013

Favourite Looks / Holidays 2013 / Expressive and Festive

Getting ready for the Holiday parties? Don’t despair. Dressing up, looking sexy yet smart and sophisticated feels great. Vain and superficial? In all honesty, why can’t we freely and humbly choose to dress up and look our best, and perhaps be the center of attention just for a day.

Now is the perfect time to glam it up with smokey eyes, glitter, and bold lips! I have searched through Style.com 125,000 runway looks and found inspiring, trendy Holiday looks.

This season, take the centre stage with fierce, smokey eye - opt for gunmetal greys, deep browns, purples, and navy blues. Give it some extra sparkle with glitter. It’s fun, sexy, and festive. Plus, don’t be afraid to add-in the falsies.

The lipstick is in. While the lipstick may scream ‘femininity’ don’t be afraid! It doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is subservient to a man. Many makeup artists would argue that lipstick illustrates that a woman knows how to show herself as sharp, smart, and sophisticated.

Bold, strong colours are a definite must. Matte lipsticks are excellent - they’re beautiful, soft, velvety, and retro glam. My personal favourite formulas are by Chanel, Dior and M.A.C. Some of the popular colours this season are the wine stained-berry burgundies, the classic bright or deep reds, and metallic golden coppers. The darker colours, while may seem intimidating at first, make a strong, fashionable statement and get people talking.
Here are my favourite looks:







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Monday, 9 December 2013

Get in the Festive Mood with Fruits & Passion / Holiday Gifts

Brr! It's been freezing for weeks, and with the dropped temperatures outside came the flu. So unlucky. I've been sick with for so long, staying warm soaking in a bubble bath while sipping on hot coco is my go to remedy. For my baths, I've been using festive, colourful foaming bath gels and salts from Fruits & Passion. Disguised as Christmas ornaments, these cute stocking stuffers are deliciously scented for a hot winter soak.








Some of the available scents include:
  • Orange Cantaloup - A scent that combines sparkling orange with fresh cantaloupe surrounded by floral musky notes.
  • Pear Peony - This fragrance starts with sophisticated pear leaf notes and a touch of magnolia, then follows with green tea base notes to form a subtle and utterly original blend.
  • Grapefruit Guava - The scent that combines the tangy aspect of grapefruit with the smooth sweetness of guava.
How to use: Simply add a few pearly crystals to bath water to enjoy a soak deliciously scented.

Now it sure feels like the Holidays are just around the corner! If you're looking for fruity gift sets and stocking stuffers, take a look at the gorgeous 2013 Holiday Catalogue by Fruits & Passion, or read my initial review of some of the products available.


Another great gift idea is a fragrance set. Fruits & Passion carries an array of fruity and delightful sets ideal for any occasion. The sets contain a complete ritual of scented, moisturizing body care products. I have recently received Lily, a delicate, feminine fragrance, and now my new favourite. It's stunning! The packaging is quite lovely and makes it a stylish gift. What does it smell like? The scent is perfect for the office and special occasions. The fragrance opens with notes of light, fresh peony, like a delicate layer of morning dew. As these elements linger, more pronounced floral notes intertwine little by little with the musky, woody base. The feminine, sensual character is slowly unveiled to reveal an unforgettable scent.





Stay tuned for an in-depth review of Lily. I'm planning to wear it to the office for the rest of the week.


Special Thanks to Dustin H. Photography

3 comments:

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Festive & Stylish: The Holiday Collection by Fruits & Passion / Part 1

It's that time of the year again, Christmas is coming! We're flocking to the malls and into the stores despite of frustration, crowds, traffic, and long line ups. Our holiday gift giving rituals are very complex, and so complicated that we may even opt-out from the gift-giving tradition altogether.

Giving is in our nature. We especially value something practical, meaningful, and at the same time aesthetically pleasing. So, if you're looking for unique Holiday Decor or Welcoming Ambiance gifts there are festive and contemporary, yet not overbearingly Christmassy gift options.

Take a look at the Fruits & Passion Holiday Collection (click here to view catalogue) or their Gift Guide. One of many classy products available is the Kitchen Trio on a slate. This modern, beautifully designed set adds a trendy, decorative touch to any kitchen.








Made from first cold pressed olive oil and an olive derivative with moisturizing properties, Cucina soap and hand cream scent and soften the skin. Practical and chic, the dish detergent completes this indispensable kitchen ritual.

This trio comes with a slate plaque to go under the bottles and add a dash of style to your kitchen.
This trio contains :
  • Hand Soap with olive oil 265 ml
  • Regenerating Hand Cream 150 ml
  • Concentrated dish detergent 265ml
  • Decorative slate
This aromatic fragrance opens with vibrant rosemary notes that give way to a delicately spiced cardamom and pink pepper heart.
Retail: $44.50

Looking for non-drying, high quality hand-soap for the kitchen? Fruits & Passion also carries limited edition hand soaps which come in decorative glass bottles inspired by vintage Italian wine. Specially designed for use in the kitchen, the biodegradable Cucina Hand Soap cleans hands effectively and gently. Available in Rosemary and Cardamom, Coriander and Olive tree, Pinot Grigio, and Lime Zest and Cypress. View it here. Retail Cost: $22.00 CAD





Fruits & Passion Frosted Birch diffuser is another excellent addition to your home for the Holidays. 
This decorative set is the ideal way to create a holiday feel! It diffuses Fruits & Passion fragrance that evokes the woody freshness of birch in winter and the comforting warmth of cotton with a touch of jasmine for a statement of elegance. The scented liquid is absorbed by the diffusing components and, through capillary action, then perfumes the air. A great gift -or keep it for yourself!
This set contains:
  • One vase filled with diffuser liquid 75 ml (2.5 fl oz)
  • 10 reeds
  • A decorative accessory
Extend the life of your Decorative Diffuser Set with our reeds and fragrance refills.

Retail: $28.50




Stay tuned for Part 2 featuring Fine Fragrances & Body Care.

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sneak Peek: Naturopathica Enzyme Peels and more!


How exciting! I have recently received even more amazing Naturopathica products since my last purchase. If you haven't heard of this company, Naturopathica designed certified Natural and Organic products for very sensitive skin. In the next few days, plus during the month of December, I will be testing out the following products:

Pear Fig Polishing Enzyme Peel: A nourishing mask that helps smooth and rejuvenate dry, devitalized skin. Formulated with hydrating Fig, smoothing Jojoba Beads and exfoliating Pear Puree for glowing, polished skin.

Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel: Formulated for dull or congested skin, this clarifying mask exfoliates with Pumpkin Enzymes to promote a clear and radiant complexion.

Sweet Cherry Enzyme Brightening Peel: An exfoliating mask that helps brighten and smooth sun-damaged skin. Sweet Cherry Puree is a vitamin-rich anti-inflammatory while Resveratrol helps brighten and even skin tone.

Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum: A potent daily serum formulated to firm, brighten and protect the skin while helping reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A powerful blend of 15% L-Ascorbic AcidVitamin E and Oat Beta Glucan helps correct skin tone and stimulate collagen production. Hyaluronic Acid adds essential moisture and helps calm irritation.

Stay tuned for individual reviews of each product! Meanwhile, check out Naturopathica.com, and learn why it's a great brand: 

- Formulas use the best proven innovations in science and nature, including Peptides, Retinols, L-Ascorbic Acid, Matrixyl® synthe’6®, Glycolic Acids and Plant Stem Cells
- Naturopathica never use toxic or irritating ingredients such as sulfate detergents, PEGs, DEA, TEA, parabens, glycols or urea in any of their products.
- Certified Natural and Organic, the products are audited and certified by ECOCERT.
Adding the ECOCERT seal to a Naturopathica product ensures that it has gone through a rigorous review process from ingredient sourcing and formulation, all the way through to manufacturing and packaging.
- All products are allergy tested to ensure that they are free of any ingredients that could harm sensitive skin.
Every formula is developed to be as enjoyable as it is effective.
- Custom glass bottles are reusable and recyclable. 
- Tubes are made from 70% post-consumer recycled plastic. 
- Naturopathica partners with fair trade organizations and community farmers to source our ingredients.
The products are never tested on animals. Naturopathica is a member of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics and all products are Leaping Bunny-certified as cruelty-free.
- The brand is committed to supporting small, local farms in the USA—All Naturopathica products are made in the USA.







1 comments:

Monday, 18 November 2013

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intense Age-Renewal Creme & Eye Creme


While I only had a chance to test out 5-7ml sized samples of Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Age-Renewal Cremes, it was just enough to last for a few months to notice any improvement. Being such a generous amount, these exclusive samples alone are worth $80. Yes, I know...it's pricy! The Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv collection is ultra-luxurious, claims to renew the skin for a smoother, younger looking complexion, and with a price tag of $125+ per product - so I was definitely hoping it would work. 

Re-Nutriv claims to use multi-benefit technology that helps dramatically reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Supposedly so potent, this creme improves cell survival and delivers exceptional anti-oxidant power. So pampering, it soothes and calms skin to protect its natural youthfulness. The formula, indeed, is outstanding for dry skin. The special molecules are designed to repair, recharge, and restore skin's already damaged appearance. 

Sadly, the majority of users reported online their disappointment in the creme, stating it certainly isn't worth the price, a rather shocking price at that! 

PROS:
  • Great for dry skin
  • Contains nutrients, extraordinary algae, and precious extracts
  • Skin feels smoother
  • Gives a glowing look
CONS:
  • Very expensive 
  • Poorly designed jar container - the constant dipping adds bacteria and deteriorates precious ingredients
Overall, after a few months of use my skin felt more supple and firm, however, both of the Re-Nutriv cremes are very expensive and in turn difficult to justify.  I believe there are many other products that can do a better job for a much lower price. Plus, there are better options even among Estee Lauder products.

Re-Nutriv Intensive Age-Renewal Creme Super Creme. Super Potent. $220 CAD
Re-Nutriv Intensive Age-Renewal Eye Creme $125 CAD

Value: 3/5
Quality: 4/5
Effectiveness: 3.5/5
Packaging: 2/5
Price: $$$$$


Overall: 3/5  Works very well for most skin types, but very expensive! $$$

Would I use it again? Probably not.

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Friday, 8 November 2013

SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub for Oily Skin


Not too long ago I've been introduced to one of SkinCeuticals best-selling products in the U.S. - Micro-Exfoliating Scrub with Biomedic Microbead technology for combination or oily skin. Having to wear makeup all day, plus, having oily skin is not ideal and certainly leads to clogged up pores. This mild, non-abrasive exfoliating gel designed for congested skin - such as mine - combines Diatomaceous Earth Microbeads (a naturally occurring, soft, chalk-like sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder) with cleansing and hydrating agents to gently, but effectively exfoliate dead skin cells. And as a result, this exfoliating process promotes healthy cell renewal without damaging or drying your skin. Evidently, my skin did not feel dried out nor flaky as it does from most exfoliators. Also, there are other ingredients including Glycerin and Aloe which moisturize and soothe the skin, which in turn helped my skin feel instantly smoother, refreshed and purified. It works!

USE: APPLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF SCRUB TO A DAMP FACE. GENTLY MASSAGE FOR A FULL MINUTE. RINSE THOROUGHLY WITH WATER.


PROS:
  • The gentle microbeads thoroughly cleanse pores
  • Highly rated 
  • Promotes cell renewal 
  • Leaves skin soft and polished 
  • Optimal for congested and rough skin 
  • Reasonably priced at $30-$34 - you only need a little!
  • Soothing gel texture 
  • Made from fossilized sea algae
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Convenient tube packaging
CONS:
  • Contains parabens 
  • Not ideal for very sensitive skin
Value: 4/5
Quality: 4/5
Effectiveness: 4.5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: $$$


Overall: 4.5/5  Works very well for most skin types. I would recommend this to friends with oily/combination skin. 

Would I use it again? YES.


Note: SkinCeuticals is available through selected distribution channels via dispensing doctors, medical-spas and high-end spas across Canada. For store locator visit: www.skinceuticals.com/canada.


4 comments:

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque for Radiant Skin



And once again, I'm up late at night, working away, sipping espresso, staring tirelessly at the screen of my smart phone, worrying that I won't get enough sleep, and yet fully aware of the fact that I'll look terrifying in the morning. The fatigue is written on my face and the lack of sleep is certainly taking a toll on my skin, but, thankfully there is hope! 

SkinCeuticals developed this deeply hydrating masque, enriched with Vitamin B5 to aid the skin in restoring a healthy appearance - exactly what my skin craved after a long restless day. The masque contains high concentrations of the infamous Hyaluronic Acid at 1% to replenish critical moisture levels depleted in dehydrated and stressed skin. The result is a much more radiant, healthy complexion.

I have used the Hydrating B5 masque for a few weeks now, at night, and twice a week. After cleansing and toning, I have applied a generous amount evenly across my face and neck, and allowed for it to absorb for 10-15 minutes. Because the instructions did not note if I had to wash it off, I have left it on overnight for ultimate results. In the morning, I have thoroughly rinsed off the masque...and Voila! there you have it - a much more energized, hydrated skin. 

PROS: 
  • Ideal for all skin types, including eczema prone
  • Plumping effect and a quick fix
  • Weightless gel texture
  • Quickly absorbing
  • Softens the appearance of wrinkles
  • Convenient tube packaging
  • Can also be used on other dry areas such as hands, neck, chest, elbows, knees, and feet
  • Non-oily
CONS: 
Can be pricy at $62 CAD or $54 USD

CLAIM:
Inspired by the award-winning Hydrating B5 Gel, this highly concentrated masque infuses dehydrated and stressed skin with optimal amounts of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to replenish depleted moisture levels.
  • Contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5
  • Optimizes moisture infusion in targeted areas
  • Improves skin's tissue repair function
  • Leaves skin supple and smooth
  • Ideal for all skin types

Value: 4/5
Quality: 4/5
Effectiveness: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: $$$


Overall: 4/5  I would definitely recommend this to friends with dry skin. 

Would I use it again? YES.


Note: SkinCeuticals is available through selected distribution channels via dispensing doctors, medical-spas and high-end spas across Canada. For store locator visit: www.skinceuticals.com/canada.




1 comments:

Monday, 21 October 2013

Halloween Makeup Safety Tips

Gareth Pugh for MAC
It's that time of the year again, a time when we urge to dress up and look scary or as sexy as possible. Applying Halloween makeup sure is a lot of fun, experimentation, and we always try to impress others. However, there are several safety issues we should always keep in mind.

Fake blood dripping into your eye? Could be hazardous. Sharing makeup? Absolutely never! And of course, never ever share contact lenses! Here are a few more tips I've collected from various sources, including Health Canada and the FDA, so please keep these in mind:
  • Follow all directions carefully. 
  • Don't decorate your face with things that aren't intended for your skin. 
  • If your face paint has a very bad smell, this could be a sign that it is contaminated. Throw it away and use another one. 
  • Like soap, some things are OK on your skin, but not in your eyes. Some face paint or other makeup may say on the label that it is not for use near the eyes. Believe this, even if the label has a picture of people wearing it near their eyes. Be careful to keep makeup from getting into your eyes. 
  • Even products intended for use near your eyes can sometimes irritate your skin if you use too much. 
  • If you're decorating your skin with something you've never used before, you might try a dab of it on your arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction BEFORE you put it on your face. This is an especially smart thing to do if you tend to have allergies. 
  • NEVER buy colored contact lenses without a prescription and a proper fitting! Yes, this is a very serious issue. Severe scarring permanently impairs vision and sometimes leads to blindness. A warning from the health authority: "Without a valid prescription, fitting, supervision, or regular check-ups by a qualified eye care professional, decorative contact lenses, like all contact lenses, can cause a variety of serious injuries or conditions. For example, lens wear has been associated with corneal ulcer, which can lead rapidly to internal ocular infection if left untreated. Uncontrolled infection can cause corneal scarring, which can lead to vision impairment, and in extreme cases, blindness or the loss of an eye. Other risks include conjunctivitis; corneal edema (swelling); allergic reaction; abrasion from poor lens fit; reduction in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and other visual complications that can interfere with driving and other activities."
  • Be careful of those fake eyelashes. The fake lashes form a perfect environment harboring bacteria which can lead to fungal infections. Try to avoid wearing false eyelashes for more than 4 hours. Improper use and attachment of  fake eyelashes can lead to permanent damage of natural lashes and hair follicles, in other words stopping your natural eyelashes from growing.
Now here is the most obvious tip: You should never sleep while still wearing makeup.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Perfect Body Butters by Fruits & Passion / Ocean Flower & Grapefruit/Guava


There are hundreds of various body butters, lotions, and cremes and yet it's becoming increasingly difficult to find the right one for my sensitive skin. After trying out even the most popular body butters, including those designed by body care giants such as Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, I began looking for products without irritating ingredients and overpowering scents. And recently, I was given an opportunity to try body butters by Fruits & Passion, a master perfumer that offers scented body care products made with natural ingredients.

To be honest, I am very impressed. The packaging and branding is lovely, plus it smells naturally fresh and delicious. The formulas are effective and create an experience inspired by nature. I believe Fruits & Passion has some of the best body moisturizers in Canada, and I will definitely come back for more.

At this time, I am using the new 24H Moisturizing butter for the body in Ocean Flower and Grapefruit & Guava. The non-greasy and easily absorbing formulas are perfect for most skin types, especially the Ocean Flower formula as it has worked wonderfully for even the most sensitive, eczema prone skin. In fact, I have given it to my boyfriend in order to test it out and he loves it: "Smell good, and actually works!" If you have dry or itchy skin, or if you suffer with eczema you may give it a try. 

Grapefruit / Guava:
  • Made in Canada 
  • Enriched with shea butter, grape seed oil and coconut oils, plant based glycerin and 7 fruit extracts Creamy and non-greasy 
  • Spreads and penetrates easily 
  • Mineral Oil and Silicone free 
  • Toning effect 
  • Smells fresh and not overbearing 
  • Lightly fragranced 
  • Affordable
Ocean Flower: 
  • Made in Canada 
  • Enriched with shea butter, coconut oil, mineral water from Canada and a mineral complex 
  • Softens and revitalizes skin 
  • Mineral oil free 
  • Rich, yet non oily leaves a protective film on skin 
  • Delicate scent
  • Easily absorbing
  • Affordable
  • Works on eczema prone skin
How to Use: Apply all over the body and massage in circular motion to aid absorption.
Where to buy: Visit www.fruits-passion.com

Value: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Performance: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: $$


Overall: 5/5 

Would I use it again? YES.

0 comments:

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel Antioxidant Treatment / Product Review


Have you been staying up late? Well, with all that chronic stress and busy lifestyle, how can we possibly get enough rest? I stay up late quite often, and sure enough end up looking like a mess the morning after. The worst side-effect, of course, is the fatigued puffy skin around the eyes, and sadly, I couldn't find promising remedies until now.

A few weeks ago, I've been introduced to SkinCeuticals Advanced Professional Skincare and the AOX+ Eye Gel, an eye treatment to combat signs of fatigue. This daily antioxidant serum-in-a-gel is specifically optimized for the anatomy of our delicate and thin under-eye skin. The product contains an array of antioxidants like phloretin, L-absorbic acid (also known as Vitamin C), and ferulic acid to help protect the delicate eye area from stress. Other ingredients include Ruscus aculeatus (derived from an evergreen shrub native to Western Europe), which revives the skin and reduces the appearance of puffiness, and caffeine assists in reducing the look of under-eye bags.


So does it work? Ultimately, it does! It works wonders on tired and puffy eyes, and certainly helps with dark circles, giving the skin more of a fresh, vibrant, & illuminating appearance. Now a part of my daily morning routine, the AOX+ Eye gel is definitely worth a try. Plus, one can always benefit from using a daily antioxidant treatment, especially this particular one designed specifically for the sensitive and delicate eye area

CLAIM:
This breakthrough serum-in-a-gel contains a synergistic antioxidant combination to help protect the delicate eye area from oxidative stress, while targeted actives revive under-eye skin and reduce the appearance of puffiness.
  • Prevents signs of aging.
  • Corrects signs of photodamage.
  • Helps reduce the appearance of puffiness and under-eye bags.
  • Combats signs of fatigue to restore a fresh, vibrant appearance.

PROS:
  • Best used for prevention and correction
  • For Women aged 25+
  • Protects delicate area under the eyes
  • Skin immediately becomes illuminated
  • Designed for daily use
  • Easy to use packaging
CONS:
  • May be rather expensive for some at $80+ per 15 ml
Directions: Once in the morning, apply under the eyes and around the brow area avoiding eyelids.

Where to buy:
SkinCeuticals is available through selected distribution channels via dispensing doctors, medical-spas and high-end spas across Canada. For store locator please visit www.skinceuticals.com/canada





Value: 3.5/5
Quality: 5/5
Performance: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: $$$$


Overall: 4/5 

Would I use it again? Very likely.


Other Reviews:
Amazon.com - 4.5 stars
Makeupalley.com - 3.6 stars, 71% would buy it again

1 comments: