Thursday, July 20, 2017

Niagara Sunset Cruises Review – Romantic Summer Date Ideas

Niagara Falls is the “honeymoon capital” of the world for a reason. Lovers from all over the globe flock to this picturesque destination to marvel at one of the world’s most spectacular wonders while enjoy thrilling adventures or cozying-up on a romantic dinner cruise. As a Travel Editor, I’ve been to many beautiful cities but Niagara Falls Ontario is still one of my favorite places to spend a warm summer day.


Niagara Sunset Cruises
A short drive away from the traffic and crowds on Clifton Hill, you will find a secluded little hideaway where the Niagara Belle docks on the river surrounded by the magnificent Escarpment. This classic river boat offers lunch and dinner cruises while sailing up the gorge to Lake Ontario.


At the scenic dock we were warmly greeted by the staff and shown to our table with a great river view. We were also able to explore the boat before the cruise and enjoy some sun up on deck while sipping delicious cocktails. Everything seemed to move at a leisurely pace and since the boat wasn’t crowded, there was no problem finding a secluded spot to cuddle-up and savor nature’s beauty.


Dinner was served shortly after we set sail and featured an assortment of bread, salad, veggies, pasta meat and side dishes. There was enough variety to satisfy my picky palette and the traditional home-cooking was quite hearty. I enjoyed the chicken with goat cheese and roasted red pepper Milano Sauce, it went well with the seasoned potatoes and crisp green beans. Guests also had the choice of salmon and roast beef, all served buffet style. (Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are available for an additional cost).


After you enjoy a romantic dinner while being serenaded by live music, head up to the open deck and bask in the warm summer breeze. The sights along the way include historic Fort George, the charming town of Niagara-On-The-Lake, stunning riverside homes and lovely shoreline.


The chairs on deck are perfect for lounging and enjoying some quiet time with your love as the sun sets over the water - casting the sky in beautiful color. Dessert was served later in the evening - refreshing raspberry lemon gelato! The entire trip took about 3 hours which was just enough time to unwind and get ready for a fun night on Clifton Hill!


For more information or to book your cruise visit niagarasunsetcruises.com

Hornblower Tour
For adventurous couples, one of the best ways to see the falls is by hopping aboard the Horbblower cruise which takes you as close as possible. This thrilling adventure is not to be missed and the view is breathtaking! For more information click HERE.



Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Looking for even more thrills? Then try the Jet Boat Tours. I experienced this exhilarating speed boat excursion for myself and it was mind-blowing! The boat flies through white water rapids towards the swirling whirlpool, performing 360˚ turns that leave you breathless! At some points we were sitting in waist-high water as huge waves completely engulfed us! The sensation was like being on a wild roller coaster that plunged into the river – I did need to hold my breath as the water hit us but it was one of the most stimulating and daring experiences of my life. For more information visit whirlpooljet.com


While in the area, I also recommend visiting Niagara-On-The-Lake, home to an abundance of restaurants, cafes, shops and parks. Stop by the local fruit markets for a chance to try fresh produce, delicious jams and yummy snacks. 


One of my favorite restaurants in the area is – The Garrison House. I highly recommend trying the burgers, Cast Iron Cheesy Fire Chicken and the Sticky Toffee Pudding.



Touring the various wineries in the area is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. You can book tours and sample delicious local blends including Ice Wine and wine slushies.


At night, Clifton Hill is lit up and thriving! Sample some creamy fudge at The Fudge Factory or grab some chocolate covered strawberries at the Hershey Store while strolling, shopping and taking in all the sights. From lively patio bars to the casino, water park, Bird Kingdom, mini golf, exciting exhibits, restaurants, shows and a romantic ride on the giant ferris wheel - the possibilities are endless!


Whether you are looking for fun date ideas or you just want to escape for some rest and relaxation, this region has something for everyone! Don’t forget to stroll hand-in-hand by the falls through the mist and catch the light show each night as the cascading water is lit up in vibrant color.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Garnier Summer Essentials

Summer in Toronto is quite short so I’m squeezing every last drop of fun out of the season and enjoying the great outdoors as much as possible. From road trips to amazing vacations, food festivals and patio parties – my weekends are always fabulously busy! While lounging by the pool or having picnics in the park, you need to stay protected and be prepared for any beauty emergency which is where Garnier’s collection of essentials comes in handy. 


Before I begin, I’m going to take a moment to highlight a couple things I’ve been shoving in my beach bag recently, including the Lualoha Towel in light grey tribal print ($55.00). You can probably tell that this isn’t a standard towel. The material is 100% Turkish cotton making it super absorbent, lightweight, fast drying and soft - the perfect travel companion! You can use it as a shawl, beach blanket, bikini wrap, hair towel or wrap dress and they come in many colors, patterns and designs. Visit the website at lualoha.com.


The stylish cat-eye shades (from Le Chateau) keep your pretty peepers protected from the sun while you strut down the boardwalk looking tres-chic! They retail for just $15.00.

To keep your skin healthy and shielded from harmful UV rays, Garnier Ombrelle offers a wide selection of broad-spectrum sunscreens so suit your needs including:
*Sports Endurance ($16.97) – Water/sweat resistant refreshing lotion with SPF 30. This breathable, weightless formula is fast absorbing and free of oils, fragrance and colorants with no white residue.
*SPF 60 Complete ($16.97) – All purpose, light and non-greasy.
*SPF 60 Ultra Light Advanced Tinted Lotion for face ($17.99) – formulated with natural filters and a light tint to prevent burns and enhance your natural skin tone.
*SPF 60 Ultra Light Advanced Body Spray ($19.99) – Provides up to 80 minutes of water resistant protection and prevents sand from sticking to skin.


It is always a good idea to pack some makeup wipes for the beach or weekend getaways and the Garnier Skin Active Towelettes are infused with the brand's popular micelle water to remove stubborn makeup, pore clogging dirt and excess oil. I still need to deep cleanse with face wash afterwards but the soft wipes remove blemish causing bacteria without burning the skin.


After a long day in the sun, or partying a little too hard, you may need to recoup with a good face mask. The Clean+ Pore Purifying Clay Cleanser + Mask ($8.97) is a great multi-purpose product for travel because you can use it to rinse away dirt, oil and makeup or leave it on for 5-10 mins to remove impurities. The charcoal absorbs bacteria and toxins to decongest pores and leave skin smooth and replenished.


Going from humidity and sun to air conditioning feels amazing but it can also be quite drying. For a boost of long-lasting hydration, the Moisture Rescue Daily Lotion ($9.97) has an antioxidant, fruit water complex enriched with Vitamin C and E to defend against external aggressors. The supple, oil-free formula (suitable for sensitive skin) works well under makeup for a lightweight matte finish but I usually need a generous amount to quench my thirsty skin.


For night care the new Moisture Rescue Recovery Gel-Cream ($9.97) with plant extracts is like a refreshing drink for parched skin. It conditions and restores vibrancy with active plant extracts and a fortifying complex that softens, tones and nourishes as you get your beauty rest. Usually I prefer rich night creams but this light formula is suitable for warm summer nights.


When humidity levels rise, I put away my flat iron and let my curls down. The Frizz Guard Dry Conditioner infused with argan oil tames poof, static and flyaways anytime, anywhere! Simply pop it in your weekend tote or beach bag and spray it on when your tresses need to be tamed. The light, fragrant formula does not weight down the hair or cause build-up so you can spritz away.


When you don’t have time to wash your hair, the Pure Clean Dry Shampoo with citrus extract absorbs oil and dirt on the roots and scalp with no white residue or stickiness. Hair looks and feels clean and refreshed with natural movement and softness.

Garnier is available at drugstores nationwide

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to Rock Neutral Lipstick – Maybelline Inti-Matte Nudes & Rimmel Oh My Gloss Review

Nude lips have been very popular recently but it took a while for me to warm-up to the trend. Usually I’m drawn to bright, rich hues or deep sultry shades but sometimes simplicity is beautiful and classy. When wearing deep, smokey shadow or bold shimmering pigment, a neutral lip helps balance and tone down bright color so the look doesn’t appear harsh or too dramatic.


When going nude, it’s important to remember that there are neutral tones for every complexion and they aren’t all universal. Lighter tones look great on fair skin and pink, mauve or chocolate undertones compliment deeper complexions. Flesh tones are a bit tricky – if the shade is too bland, it can wash you out and create what I call - the corpse look. To find the best match, it’s best to swatch and sample.

When you find a good nude, you’ll know it. The shade will look just right and go with almost anything you put on your face. Glossy lips are easier to start with and you can layer the shine over most lipstick. The Oh My Gloss Collection by Rimmel offers a decent variety of sheer, comfortable neutrals with a smooth, creamy formula that provides long-lasting moisture and radiance. The texture is more plush and cushiony than the average gloss and the sheer, non-sticky finish provides a subtle hint of color to accentuate your natural lip color.

Top to bottom: 130 Purr Glossy Cat, 140 Glossip Girl, 730 Cosmic and my personal fave – 330 Snog

The color lasts up to 6 hours and glides on quick and precise when glossing-up on-the-go. It also keeps lips chap-free, luminous and plump with a soft wash of shimmer. As the gloss wears away, it leaves skin hydrated and supple - like there is a built-in layer of lip balm underneath for extra dryness relief and protection. They retail for $7.48 ea.


For solid color and better coverage, you can’t go wrong with a matte finish. The Maybelline Inti-Matte Nudes are available in 10 shades and the formula is wonderful! The velvety lipstick glides on effortlessly and with a few quick swipes I can apply the color perfectly.


Along with good pigmentation, the soft, buttery texture is moisturizing and ultra smooth – enriched with nourishing oils that keep lips healthy. Conveniently, there are also matching lip liners available for creating a neat, defined finish and I like the sweet, powdery scent.


My favorite shades are Almond Rose and Raw Chocolate

The lipsticks retail for $7.49 each and both brands are available at drugstores nationwide.

Monday, July 17, 2017

NEW Jimmy Choo Man Ice Cologne and Jimmy Choo L’EAU Perfume Review

Last night I went out on the town with my husband and we decided to try the new Jimmy Choo fragrances. Fun and flirty for me, seductive and bold for him – a vivacious intermingling of summer scents that still linger in the air and cling to our clothes this morning.


L’EAU is fresh and light yet prominent and sexy. It reminds me of an amazing smelling shampoo I once owned – the kind that you revel in as it blows through your hair on a warm day, with sweet, romantic notes that you can’t get enough of. The vibrant composition includes bergamot, hibiscus, nectarine and peony balanced with an enticing woody base of cedar and musk.


This is a perfume that is suitable for every occasion. It’s elegant and refined yet adventurous and alluring – great for date night or an evening out with the girls. As light dances across the pale pink bottle, it adds feminine ambiance to your decor.

The harmonized blend is whimsical, sweet and youthful without overwhelming the senses. It fades nicely as the day wears on and works with your body chemistry to emit a soft, enchanting aroma that you’ll want to wear everyday! The 90 ml bottle featured here retails for $107.00 and there is a 60 ml available.


By contrast, Jimmy Choo Ice Man is raunchy, masculine and intoxicating – perfect for a day at the office or an unforgettable summer evening. It’s the kind of aroma that turns heads and attracts attention – always leaving you wanting more. The composition is enriched with an abundance of deep, masculine notes including: mandarin oil, bergamot, cedrat essence, vetiver, patchouli and cedar wood offset by robust muskiness.


As the cologne fades and meshes with his natural scent, it gets even better – soft and enticing with bold, sensual undertones. The frosted flask bottle with leather imprinted cap is chic and sophisticated plus it comes with a handy travel essentials bag – perfect for his busy schedule. The 100 ml bottle retails for $95.00 and both fragrances are available at Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom and select Shoppers Drug Mart locations.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquefied Long Wear Lipstick Review

We all know that the liquid lipsticks from Too Faced are fabulous and the new matte collection is very trendy! Recently a few unique shades were added to the range including cool neutrals, pretty summer tones and even deep green - making the selection quite eclectic.



What I like most about the formula is how easy it spreads. The color starts out very fluid and glides across the lips for consistent coverage before the smooth, creamy liquid transforms to a matte finish. It may help to line the lips if you need some guidance but once set, the pigment stays put for hours of wear.

The color applies opaque and vivid with each swipe and although there isn’t a ton of hydration, the formula does retain some moistness to keep lips comfortable and relatively chap-free. I recommend light exfoliation prior to application because as the color dries down into the skin, it may accentuate roughness. With extended wear and after meals, the lipstick may start to flake and fade away which means it’s time to wipe-off the residue and apply a fresh coat.


The rich, solid color enhances your pout beautifully and there is just something sensational about a nice, matte finish that makes lips appear full and sexy!

Holy Chic is very nude and flesh-tone whereas Granny Panties looks unassuming but actually has an interesting taupe-brown-grey undertone that is quite different.


I’m obsessed with the deep green, appropriately named Wicked. It looks gorgeous with simple eye makeup, winged liner and lashes. All I have to do now gather the courage to rock green lips on occasions other than Halloween (I’m working on it). Jaw Breaker is a soft pink-lavender that is very trendy for the season. The matte shades also come in classic hues including: berry, red and pink.



The Liquid Lipstick retails for $21.00 each and Too Faced is available at Sephora and online at toofaced.com.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

$5,000 Tresor Rare Intensive Recovery Japanese Binchotan Zumi Mask Review

Tresor Rare is a luxury skincare brand that makes a variety of potent treatments to rejuvenate the complexion quickly and efficiently for enhanced radiance and health. On a daily basis I use many high-end products but these $5,000 dollar Binchotan Zumi Masks are probably the most expensive treatments I’ve tried. 5K may seem like a hefty price tag but the active ingredient infused in these masks is unique, rare and costly.

To clarify: the retail price covers the entire kit which includes: 12 sheet masks and 1 bottle of charcoal serum packaged in an elegant faux lather case.


Kishu Binchotan is a type of Japaense charcoal – the best and highest quality charcoal in the world.  Due to its highly absorbent, porous composition, the charcoal is able to draw out and absorb environmental debris, dirt and bacteria to purify, cleanse and balance the skin. The Masks from Tresor are made with 100% pure Binchotan charcoal – offering the highest level of detoxification on the market and the most effective purification.

The charcoal is harvested from the hardwood of a tree grown in Japan. The wood is collected, burned and carbonized using traditional methods to preserve its richness and density. The mask fabric is composed of biodegradable plant fibers which are safe for the skin and the environment.


For anti-aging care, these masks provide ultimate penetration and positive ions that lift, tone and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while refining skin texture for a youthful glow. Because the formula absorbs so quickly, the recommended treatment time is just 10 minutes although I usually keep it on for 25 minutes.

To prepare my face and ensure that my skin is highly receptive to the ingredients, I begin by deep cleansing and exfoliating with a foaming face wash, using my Clarisonic or Foreo Luna which utilize powerful sonic vibration. Before applying the mask, I open my pores by using a face steamer for about 5 minutes.
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The sheet mask (which is black in color) is thoroughly drenched in nourishing serum for optimal results and the scent is lovely! Make sure to remove and unfold the mask with care to prevent tearing the delicate material. A thin separator sheet folded into the mask would have made handling it a bit easier but it adheres to the face like a second skin – better than any other sheet mask I’ve used. This fabulous clinging ability ensures that every drop of active ingredient is driven deep into the epidermis to expel toxins.


After about 20 minutes I notice a refreshing cooling sensation and my skin is hydrated, supple, smooth and bright. I’ve also noticed a reduction in irritation, sensitivity and pimples (including hormonal blemishes) and my complexion appears more radiant, clear and even with no dry patches or roughness. It has also helped correct discoloration and repair areas of heat rash and sun damage.

The beautiful bottle contains a luxurious active charcoal serum that starts off black and disappears into the skin with no residue. The directions for this formula aren’t as clear – there is no indication whether it should be applied directly after the sheet mask but that seems to be the most effective method. The serum is light and non-greasy so it melts in quickly and acts as a base for any moisturizer or makeup you layer on top. I like knowing that my skin is being detoxified and protected as I get my beauty rest.


I usually end my treatment by applying my night care products including the amazing Tresor Rare Ultimate Pearl Protecting and Defending Cream which has dramatically improved the overall health and resilience of my skin. You know a product is good when people around you begin noticing how amazing your skin looks and using my Arbonne Genuis Ultra Tool to melt the formula in deeper, works wonders! Since incorporating Tresor into my daily routine my complexion is fresh, replenished and luminous.

Tresor Rare is available online at tresorrare.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tei Spa Beauty - Ojo Renew Review

When it comes to skincare I’ve learned something quite valuable – the method you use to apply products is just as important as the quality of the products used. Since incorporating a few professional tools into my nightly routine, I’ve experienced rapid results and my complexion is clear and blemish-free.

One of the most difficult skin issues to correct (for me personally) is dark under eye circles so when I got tired of slathering on tons of concealer, I decided to try another option. The Ojo Renew device uses microcurrent technology, thermal energy and massage to aid in the effectiveness and absorption of skincare products. The vibration and warmth also helps tighten, firm and reduce tension, redness and inflammation around the eyes and mouth.


I apply my cream or serum and gently pass the device under my eyes, massing the product in slowly. The smooth metal tip glides across the skin reducing puffiness and as it heats up, active ingredients are absorbed deeper into the epidermis. The sensation is stress-relieving and painless – effective for relaxing muscles, increasing circulation and alleviating tired, strained eyes after hours on the computer or cell phone. The shape of the application surface fits into hard to reach areas with ease, efficiently targeting problem areas. The vibration frequency is 158 times per second and the Ojo is easy to wipe clean and maintain.


Although the Ojo Renew is made for at-home use and professional treatments, there are some design flaws with the unit I received. The Function Selection Ring (used to change settings) is stiff and a bit difficult to adjust. The Ojo can only be turned on when the application surface (the silver tip) is in direct contact with the skin – so to start the device, just touch it to the treatment area and begin. This seems simple enough but there doesn’t seem to be an off switch. To stop the vibrations you must stop using the device completely and avoid touching the massage head. It does come with a protective cap that can prevent it from turning on when not in use but mine is very loose and does not stay on at all. There was also no carrying case which would have been handy for travel. I do like that the Ojo is rechargeable – it comes with a USB charging cord and has a run time of aprox 1.5 hours (20-25 uses at 3-5 mins each).


Since I began using this device along with my Foreo Iris, I’ve noticed a substantial improvement and rejuvenation in my eye area. The darkness has been reduced so my skin appears bright, smooth and soft and I can use less makeup. In the morning I use the cool setting to soothe, awaken and refresh my eyes (including the lid area) and reduce any puffiness. At night I switch to the warm setting which feels fabulous after a long day!

The kit retails for $95.00 and also comes with the 24K Gold Firming Serum which sells for $55.00 when purchased separately. The lightweight, silky formula is enriched with brightening agents, rose extract, anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic acid to correct, soften, revive and firm the eye area while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. 


For more information or purchases visit the website at teispa.com

Monday, July 10, 2017

Garnier Fructis Super Fruits – Super Hair Review

A few weeks ago I received a large box of hair products containing 12 bottles of shampoo packaged in cute smoothie bottles infused with fruit protein. It was one of the most delicious smelling packages I’ve ever opened and the new range is paraben-free, vegan and bursting with nourishing vitamins!



Each collection is enriched with a specific fruit extract to target different hair types and concerns. The first set of shampoos I tried included:
*Coconut Oil (Triple Nutrition Butter Rich Collection) – strengthens and quenches dry, brittle hair for revival and strength.
*Citrus Extract (Pure Clean) – infused with antioxidants for daily refreshment and shine.
*Acai Berry (Color Shield Collection) – maintains the vibrancy of hair color for up to 8 weeks with UV filters.
*Pomegranate (Full & Plush Collection) – for thickening, fullness and softness.
*Amala Extract (Damage Eraser Collection) – reconstructs damaged hair to preserve strength, vitality and shine.


I like that the shampoos are paraben-free and very fragrant, but they would have been even better without the sulfates. They all worked well to remove excess oil, pollutants and impurities from root to tip but I had to follow-up with a generous amount of conditioner to counteract the cleansing ingredients. If you have oily hair or scalp build-up, these formulas are great and the shampoo is only $5.29.

The rest of the Super Fruits line includes:
*Avocado Oil (Triple Nutrition Collection) – for silky smooth, luminous results.
*Cactus (Moisture Lock Collection) – strengthens strands, prevents moisture loss and enhances shine for 48 hours.
*Grapefruit (Clean & Fresh Collection) – refreshes and energizes for softness and manageability.
*Argan Oil (Sleek & Shine Collection) – for a sleek, glossy finish.
*Apple Extract (Grow Strong Collection) – fortifies weak, limp hair and brings it back to life.
*Marula Oil (Damage Eraser)


My preferred line is the Citrus Moisture Lock which prevents frizz and provides light hydration to help revive parched ends. Although the formula isn’t rich enough for deep conditioning results, it is light enough for frequent use and comes with a good leave-in for softness and curl revival. The retail packaging does not resemble the smoothie bottles featured here - they are brightly colored and distinguishable so you can quickly identify your faves.


The best thing about this range (besides the fragrance that leaves my hair smelling fabulous for days) is that it you can mix and match treatments if you have more than one concern. I often use a combination of the Argan, Apple and Cactus products for shine, growth and moisture plus the conditioners are good for detangling and daily co-washing.

Fructis is available at drugstores nationwide

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