Friday, May 25, 2018

Avon True Color Summer Collection

Recently I’ve been testing Avon's new summer products and the brand seems determined to have us all glowing like sunkissed goddesses this season. The highlighter is brilliant, the pigments are vibrant and the lipstick is sensational!


The Limited-Edition Sunset Beach Face & Eyes Palette ($15.00) is small enough for travel and loaded with beautiful pigment! There are only 4 shadows but they deliver a bold punch of color to create a variety of gorgeous looks. The texture is soft and silky with buildable coverage and effortless application. I recommend using a good primer for better adhesion but the shadows are crease and fade resistant. The tropical hues make me want to lounge by the pool and sip Pina Coladas in the warm breeze. Each shade is saturated enough to be worn on its own or mixed and matched in interesting combinations. The blush instantly brightens dull skin with a natural flush and the pink is universal.


To make your eyes appear even more dramatic, try the Limited-Edition True Color Tropical Breeze Multi Liners ($9.00 ea). Cool Waters matches perfectly with the blue shadow in the Sunset Beach Palette while Strawberry Parfait looks great with my favorite pink lipstick and Key Lime adds a vivid flash of color to the waterline. The creamy texture is easy to work with but I don’t think the formula is waterproof so you might need a touch-up when the weather heats-up.


Every woman who craves glowing skin should get the Limited-Edition-Edition Beach Bronzing Palette before its gone ($18.00). The velvety shades are rich, saturated and radiant on all skin tones. Simply sweep the color across the face and body for a luminous sheen that looks stunning in sunlight. The powders blend seamlessly with no messy glitter. 


If you prefer liquid highlighter, Avon has created the Dazzle Drops ($18.00) for a candlelight-strobing effect. The formula is packed with light reflecting particles and a touch of moisture but use it sparingly, the finish can be quite intense. If you’re brave enough, add a drop to foundation for a glittery look or dab it onto the cheekbones for more dewiness.


Bright lipstick and summer go hand-in-hand so if you’re looking for the perfect pop of color why not contribute to a good cause in the process? Avon’s #Powerof Lipstick campaign is all about supporting women and for every 2 True Color Lipsticks purchased for $9.99 a pair, they will donate a lipstick to Dress for Success – a non-profit organization that helps women achieve economic independence.

These 3 shades are perfect for the season – Pink Dream has bronze shimmer, Poppy Love is a vibrant sunset orange and I’m calling the last shade bright pink because the sticker came off and I have no idea what the name is. These hydrating, satin lipsticks glide on effortlessly and drench your pout in sheer, supple color.



For a subtle, lit from within effect, try the True Color Highlighting Powder in the shade Quartz. ($18.00) You will want to keep this compact in your makeup bag or tote at all times because the natural glow is perfect for everyday wear and workplace attire.


While loading up on summer makeup, you might as well get a trendy new makeup bag. This one is called Avon’s Favorites - honoring a few timeless products. There is enough space for all my essentials and it's cute enough to keep on my desk. Get it at avon.ca for just $12.99.


Visit avon.ca for more great summer finds!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Summer Beauty and Fashion Essentials

Last weekend I hosted my first barbecue and patio part of 2018 and everyone had a blast! This year I have a long list of exciting things planned so I’ve rounded-up a few great products to help everyone enjoy the season with style and confidence.


First up are these fun printed kicks called Seas the Day! For just $24.99 (at avon.ca) you can get a variety of trendy summer designs that are great for any outing - whether you are going on a cruise or heading to the park. The inside is lined with Avon’s Cushion Walk insert for soft, supportive comfort and they are very lightweight.


In February I decided it was time for a new black bag that was stylish enough for every occasion and well structured. Let’s ignore the fact that I had just received a $500 leather bag and have a closet bursting at the seams with accessories (I convinced myself it was a necessity). I first spotted this Caroline Neron Large Camden Handbag ($446.00) at a press event and just had to have it! I absolutely love the different patterns, studs and velvet accents on the leather plus the inside has enough pockets and compartments to help me stay organized. This chic purse is perfect for work and events yet fashionable enough for an evening out. The only downside was the ordering process. The company seems to run out of online merchandise very quickly. My first order was cancelled after a week of not receiving a shipping confirmation because the bag was sold-out and customer service failed to inform me. It took a lot of emailing, waiting and phone calls but I am quite happy with my purchase. You can visit the website at carolineneron.com.


Olivia Burton Watches are delicate, trendy and sophisticated. This beautiful 3D honeybee design in rose gold is stunning and unlike anything else in my collection. The brand even engraved my name on the leather band as a personal gift and the feminine patterns and colors make each piece truly unique. The watch below retails for $319.00 at Hudson's Bay and if you are looking for a thoughtful gift for that special someone, this collection does not disappoint.


On sunny summer days you need an awesome pair of shades. I found these unique sunglasses at a small beach shop in Portugal for just €10. The distinctive navy frame is eye-catching and experimenting with shape can add variety to your look.


Avon has a lot of vibrant summer accessories at affordable prices like this pretty multi-colored Flower Market Necklace and Earrings Set ($11.99 at avon.ca). The matching flower ring ($9.99) completes the look and makes a stylish statement.


Mosquitoes are an unfortunate side-effect of being outdoors in the summer and they carry many diseases you should try to avoid at all costs. To protect myself against these annoying little blood suckers, I always stock-up on Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus ($7.99 - $14.99). This is one of the best bug sprays on the market and it works without irritating my skin. Despite the fresh breeze fragrance it does smells like bug spray (no surprise there) but I don’t mind the aroma and who cares about a little repellent scent when you’re protecting your health?! I’ve taken this spray on every vacation and it makes a huge difference! When I forget to wear it, I get bitten and when I remember, I don’t get any bites. I spray it directly on my skin or over clothing and the formula is now available in portable wipes which are perfect for your purse or pocket. For even more protection I also use the OFF Clip-On Fan with refillable pads. Simply attach it to your clothes or purse and the fan emits repellent around your body for 360˚ of protection – those pesky little buggers don’t stand a chance!


For a night out, MesmoreEyes False Lashes ($12.00) are thick and luscious. The 3-pack also comes with a simple pair for daytime wear. The lashes are made with 100% sterilized human hair for authenticity and comfort. (Available at: amazon.ca, Pharmasave, Guardian IDA and Value Drug Mart Stores.)


Some of the fragrances you wear in the winter may be too strong for summer so lighten things up with a refreshing body spray. Body Fantasies and Bodycology have created new scents that are feminine, sweet and charming. Hearts & Daisies ($7.99) is fun, flirty and floral – great for strolling the farmer’s market or date night (available at Shoppers Drug Mart June 2018). Cherry Blossom ($6.97) is popular for spring with an alluring splash of fruit and floral.


Heat and humidity isn’t always fun, especially when it makes your hair puffier than a poodle. For straight styles, bouncy curls and sexy updos, you’ll need finishing products that keep your mane neat and sleek. Finesse Ultra Hold Hairspray and Control + Define Styling Gel retail for just under $3.00 each and provide superior control to tame frizz in all weather.


Avon’s new Radiant Glow Collection will have you glistening in the sun like a golden Goddess.
Start with the creamy Polish ($9.99) to buff-away dead, dull layers with a blend of moisturizing oils and Vitamin E. When skin is smooth and soft, spritz on the Dry Oil Mist ($9.99) infused with nourishing emollients and golden shimmer for a glittering finish.

Another new product I love is the Anew Gold Peel Off Mask ($39.00) infused with Vitamin B3, real gold, silver extract and botanicals. The formula enhances your glow by evening skin tone, smoothing and reducing the looks of blemishes and age spots. It dries in about 15 minutes and as you peel it off, you can feel the dirt, impurities and sebum lifting out of your pores! (Available at avon.ca).


Most of us keep hand cream in our bags but the Purple Tree Miracle Balm with Pomegranate Oil ($6.99) moisturizes parched skin, soothes cracked lips, alleviates irritation and heals brittle nails and cuticles. You can also use it to tame unruly brows and condition dry lashes which makes it great for travel. I suggest using a small amount and letting it absorb before applying more since there is a bit of residue. (Available at: Rexall, Pharma Plus, London Drugs and more).


I've tried many sunscreens that have irritated my skin, caused excessive greasiness and cast a weird blue or white film over my face with stickiness and disgusting scents. Prevention + from Image Skincare ($90.00) is the only sunscreen that works for me and the antioxidant rich formula creates a healthy glow with a lightweight finish and no residue. The tint melts into my complexion evenly and blends seamlessly with outstanding protection. It also works well under makeup without oxidizing. For more information visit the website at imageskincare.ca.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

10 Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

No matter how much I travel, I can’t get used to nerve wrecking turbulence and the thought of plummeting to the earth, but the thrill of adventure is stronger than fear. The worst part of vacationing is usually the airports, especially when you factor in delays or cancellations. No one likes waiting in those long lines, having your body patted down by strangers and not knowing if you’ll ever see your luggage again, but being trapped in an aluminum tube for 16 hours can seem like a nightmare.

When I went to Asia I took 8 flights to various countries and cities which added up to about 43 hours in the air. After the first 5 hours from Toronto to Shanghai I felt confident, calm and collected. I was thinking – this isn’t so bad, I totally got this! But after the 10th hour restlessness started to kick in and I started thinking – I don’t got this at all...someone get me off this thing...what the hell was I thinking ...will I ever see the ground again?...what is that weird sound?...oh my God is that the engine?... 

On the next few flights I was determined not to lose my composure so I decided to make the journey as pleasant as possible. Below are some helpful tips for coping with long, international flights.


1. Rest before Departure
As much as you want to believe in super human strength, you are not the Incredible Hulk so sleep as much as possible before the flight to help counteract jetlag. There is no guarantee you will be able to rest on the plane with people moving along the aisles, babies crying and clunky food carts rolling past. Pamper yourself with a relaxing bubble bath, get a massage or go for a run before you leave – anything that helps you mentally prepare.

2. Upgrade Your Seat
If you can suffer through a 16 hour flight (or even an 8 hour flight) scrunched up in economy with your neck contorted and someone hogging the arm rest, than more power to you! There is no way I would consider going to Asia if I couldn’t lie down and get a good night sleep. Those first class personal pods are like having your own little room! The food, service and comfort level is definitely better but it can cost up to $6,000 for an overseas flight. If you don’t have that kind of dough lying around then use your travel miles for an upgrade. On longer flights, airlines tend to be more generous with moving people up front so it never hurts to ask.


3. Prepare Your Body
Hydrate as much as possible on the days leading up to the flight by drinking water or beverages infused with electrolytes and immune supplements like Vitamins C. The air on the plane is usually dryer than the Sahara Desert (literally) so you should also drink a lot during and after the flight even if it means using that disgusting little airplane bathroom. Trust me, your body, brain, hair, and skin will thank you for it - dehydration can make you feel very ill.

To prevent dry mouth and a sore throat, bring some candies to keep the saliva flowing. Eye drops also come in handy.


4. Keep Busy
The worst thing you can do is sit idly in your seat and stare at the head in front of you. Bring some work or a few gadgets to stimulate your mind and distract yourself from the fact that you’re pretty much trapped. Books, games and an iPad loaded with movies and music always seems to do the trick. When all else fails, sleep as much as possible to help pass the time and whatever you do, don’t focus on the clock or ten minutes will seem like an hour.


5. Keep Your Blood Flowing
Cabin pressure can affect your circulation so to prevent swelling and blood clots get up every couple hours to walk and stretch. Compression garments may also be a good investment.

6. Divide One Long Flight into Two
Instead of one long, exhausting flight divide the trip into two more manageable flights. For example - if you are on your way to Dubai, stop in London England for a day or two. If you are heading to China (like I was) stop in Vancouver and do some sightseeing before continuing on.

7. Bring Food
When traveling first class, snacks are unlimited and food is in abundance (it’s awesome) but in coach, you may need to provide your own sustenance. Meals can be bland, small and scarce so bring snacks, drinks and even a few sandwiches. It is also helpful to note that some countries will enforce hefty fines for bringing certain fruit and foods through immigration so finish everything onboard. 


8. Get Comfortable
Accept the fact that you’re in it for the long-haul and bring items that will keep you cozy. Noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs, an eye mask to block out the light, slippers, a neck pillow and toiletries are just a few things that can help make the journey more bearable. Remember to wear loose fitting clothes so you can move freely and ladies leave the high heels in your carry-on, no one looks cute after 16 hours of confinement.

9. Misery Loves Company
Traveling with friends or family helps pass the time and gives you someone to talk to for moral support. Watch a movie together, stroll the aisles after dinner or start a good old fashion card game (like the days before Candy Crush), just try to have fun. You are on vacation after all.

10. Book Early
When making reservations, choose your seat online before checking-in at the airport. This may ensure that you aren’t stuck in the middle of two space hogging travelers determined to make your life more miserable. To cut back on stomach-churning turbulence, pick a seat in the middle of the aircraft or over the wing.


Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Vasanti Cosmetics Do It in Bed! Night Time Skincare Routine

Did you party a little too hard over the long-weekend? Maybe you had a bit too much Sangria like I did or woke up at 4 am to watch the Royal Wedding. After a long day, the last thing I want to do is remove my makeup and undergo a long beauty routine but going to bed without cleansing can lead to clogged pores, blemishes and nasty breakouts.

With Vasanti’s Do It in Bed Skincare Set you won’t have to wake up with a greasy complexion or an apple-sized zit. The cute little box comes with makeup wipes, eye cream, face serum and lip balm – all the essentials you need to refresh your skin without parabens or sulphates. Keep the box on your bedside table so you can simply reach over to cleanse and nourish without ever having to leave your cozy sheets. There is even an extra slot for your favorite cream, I usually add Vasanti’s Brighten Up Amplified Moisturizer which has all the benefits of a glow boosting exfoliant (you can read more about the Brightening Collection HERE).


The Makeup Magnet Wipes ($12.00) are soaked in Micelle Water to eliminate dirt, oil and impurities without residue. The soft, pore cleansing cloths are gentle, refreshing and effective at removing waterproof formulas without irritating the eyes – perfect for days you don’t have the energy to wash your face.


The Eye Wonder Cream ($42.00) has been one of my favorites for years! The velvety texture is hydrating and rich so it trends to stay put without seeping into my eyes. A little goes a long way and the formula is clinically proven to reduce the look of dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles with a potent blend of peptides, vitamins and botanicals. Use it nightly to appear youthful, rested and revitalized. The cream also moisturizes dry eyelids, brows, lips and cuticles.


The Age is Only a Number Elixir ($62.00) is one of the very first products I tried and it is still fantastic! The oil-serum blend is lightweight, super hydrating and loaded with natural extracts, botanicals, antioxidants, vitamins and anti-aging ingredients that undo damage, improve elasticity and enhance your natural glow. It also helps rebuild collagen, increase firmness, fade wrinkles and brighten. I love how supple, plump and smooth my skin feels and the dewy finish is non-greasy.


After you’ve wiped off your lipstick, make sure to layer on the Rise and Shine Balm ($19.00) infused with a healthy dose of Shea, Mango Butter, Abyssinian Oil and Vitamin E. The lush texture acts like an overnight lip mask, alleviating parched skin and locking in moisture for a kissably soft pout.


This incredible collection retails for $135.00 and comes with a free daytime skincare travel kit! The products are 95% natural, vegan and cruelty-free making it a great gift and an excellent way to maximize your beauty rest.

Vasanti Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and online at vasanticosmetics.com

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dior Addict Lacquer Plump Review & Swatches + NEW Limited-Edition Lacquer Sticks

While touring Asia a few weeks ago I saw posters of Dior’s new Lacquer Plump Lip Color on billboards all over China and Thailand. It is no surprise that these bold, summery shades are quickly becoming a cult favorite with women all over the world – the formula is light, refreshing and long-wear.


The radiant pigment shapes, smooths and plumps your pout with a nourishing blend of hibiscus extract and hyaluronic acid. The oil-water emulsion feels cool, hydrating and comfortable as the vibrant color glides across the skin - increasing moisture levels up to 78%. The lacquer applies lightweight, bright, and sheer so you can layer for more coverage or let it dry like an ink and stain your lips a beautiful bold hue.

Once set, the color and shine fuse into an airy film making lips appear voluminous and juicy. Use the foam applicator to blend, outline, eliminate streaks and amplify intensity. The lush liquid melts in for up to 8 hours of cushiony wear.


There are 2 finishes available – pure color and sparkle for a boost of radiance. I love the metallic, shimmery effect but the glitter tends to scatter as the color fades and the particles cling to the skin making removal a bit tedious. There are 19 flattering shades to choose from including nude, coral, peach, red, burgundy and violet. The lacquers retail for $43.00 each and the packaging is gorgeous!


I also received a few limited-edition Lacquer Sticks ($43.00) in pretty seasonal shades. Rising Star is a shimmery bronze that looks sexy on sunkissed skin, while Star Girl is a sheer glittering lavender with blue flecks. If you prefer something bright and dramatic, Studio is a vibrant orange with a blaze of golden glitter – perfect for romantic summer nights. The luscious formula has the color and shine of a lacquer with the comfort and hydration of a balm so I always keep one in my purse.


When you’re in the mood for something simple, light and moisturizing, try the limited-edition Dior Addict Lipstick in Nude Chill ($43.00). The color payoff is sheer and soft with a luxuriously creamy texture that envelops lips in comforting oils and luminous mirror-like shine. The hydra-gel core instantly alleviates dry skin and prevents chapping for a smooth, youthful finish.


Swatches (Bottom to top): Lacquer Plump - 868 J'adior, 677 Disco Dior, 648 Dior Pulse and 347 Dior Freak. Dior Lacquer Sticks - 202 Star Girl, 647 Studio and 627 Rising Star. Dior Addict Lipstick - Nude Chill.

Dior is available at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, beautyboutique.ca Holt Renfrew and Dior Counters nationwide.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Garnier SkinActive – New Summer Products

The trees on my street have finally started to bloom, tulips line the walkway and dandelions are out in full-force. Summer is just around the corner which means it is time to change my skincare routine. I love thick, lavish creams but they don't mesh well with warm weather and the heaviness triggers perspiration. This season Garnier has created some lighter options along with a few refreshing cleansers and toners that absorb grease and keep your complexion cool as a cucumber.


Whether you have a hot date, patio party or dinner with the girls, a quick facial is always a good idea. Garnier’s replenishing masks come in a variety of skin saving formulas that take just 15 minutes! For dull skin try the Moisture Bomb Super Hydrating Glow-Boosting Mask with Sakura Extract. The serum-packed sheet softens and enhances radiance for a silky finish. After a long weekend and lots of cocktails, the Anti-Fatigue Mask with Lavender and Hyaluronic Acid refreshes, plumps and revitalizes tired skin. My favorite is the Super Purifying Charcoal Mask with Algae Extract. It minimizes the look of pores, purifies, detoxifies, smooths and abolishes excess oil. The Sheet masks retail for just $3.99 each and come in handy on vacation. 


Garnier is killing-it with their 96% naturally derived vegan formulas and they are super affordable! The Refreshing Facial Cleanser with Aloe Juice ($10.49) is the perfect way to clear your pores and get rid of makeup and pollutants after a long day in the sun. It refreshes the skin by eliminating sebum and impurities with no parabens, silicone or dye. 


Toners are always part of my cleansing routine and the SkinActives Collection includes a mattifying formula with Green Tea Extract ($10.49) and a refreshing Aloe Leaf blend for all skin types. The toners remove the last traces of makeup and dirt to help prevent breakouts, oiliness and shine without causing dryness. They smell great and cleanse the pores without any stickiness or residue.


The SkinActive Creams ($20.99) come in large jars and can be used 3 ways – as a day moisturizer, night cream or mask. The Soothing Balm is richer than the Hydrating formula but they both absorb quickly to soften and smooth with no greasiness. I like the supple, lightweight finish but there is no SPF so remember to apply sun protection. 


In July and August things really heat-up in Toronto and the humidity can be a total drag. While attending press events downtown and battling midday traffic, I like to keep a facial mist in my tote to refresh and hydrate my complexion. This soothing blend ($10.49) contains fragrant rose water and I love how cool and alleviating it feels on parched, sensitive skin. There is no residue so you can mist-away whenever you need a little pick-me-up throughout the day.


Garnier is available at drugstores nationwide

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pur Cosmetics On Point Eyeliner & Eye Polish

It’s been a while since I featured anything new from Pur but they never cease to amaze me with their vivid pigments and beautiful long-wear formulas. Today I’m revisiting the metallic Eye Polishes, a fabulous new brow cream and eyeliners that won’t smudge or run.


The Eye Polish ($28.00) is available in a range of complexion flattering shades and comes in a jar covered by thin mesh.


Application is a bit odd – you have to dip the silicone paddle onto the net screen and try to pick up some of the pretty color. The creamy part of the polish kind of sits at the bottom in a clump and doesn’t flow through the mesh very easily which makes it difficult to reach. I even tried to remove the screen with little success so I may have to cut it out. Packaging flaws aside, I actually like the pigment. It feels thin and watery because I can’t mix it properly but the color is intense and saturated. I love the flecks of glitter and it dries quickly – transforming into a light satin powder that looks radiant and lasts all day! You can dab these over your favorite shadows or layer them full-coverage for a glamorous effect. 



Twist-up liners are my favorite! There is no sharpening required so you don’t end up with a wonky pencil and broken tips. The On Point Eyeliner ($19.00) is reshaped into a neat, structured point each time you recap it so you can draw straight, consistent lines that glide on effortlessly. The creamy formula is enriched with a rejuvenating Ceramide – Essential Oil Complex that nourishes and prevents lash-loss plus the dramatic color lasts up to 10 hours without fading.


I usually line my eyes with pencil and then reinforce it with the On Point Liquid Liner ($19.00) for more intensity. The flexible felt tip is easy to manoeuvre for creating the perfect wing and varying line thickness but the matte finish is a bit dull for my taste (I prefer something with a hint of shine). The color is jet black, well pigmented and infused with the same Lash Rejuvenation Complex to preserve your precious hairs.


I really wish the Sculpt a Brow ($24.00) came with instructions because the pigment is in a twist-off cap at the top of the tube and the angled brush seems too large to fit inside and extract it. I wasn’t sure if the cream was supposed to eject onto the brush or if I had to take everything apart and dip but eventually I got the hang of it. There are 3 shades available and I like that the deepest hue is dark enough to match my hair. The cream-to-powder formula has great color payoff and blends easily to fill in sparse areas, thicken shape and sculpt. I really like this product for creating Instagram-worthy arches but the packaging needs improvement and it should come with more pigment.


Last but not least is another skincare product. I know I’ve been on a skincare craze recently but this one is good! The Blue Agave Energizing Peel-Off Mask ($26.00) is enriched with green tea, ginseng, aloe, basil, fruit extract and Vitamin B to refresh, plump, hydrate, cleanse and tone. This is a great mask to apply while you’re reading or getting ready for the weekend. It softens, smooths and revives your complexion with no messy clay or hard to remove granules. Simply peel off the bright blue film and apply moisturizer.



Pur Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, beautyboutique.ca and purcosmetics.com 
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