beauty/makeup – holiday ideas to make you shine  

A Christmas party is a good excuse to go full on GLAMOUR

with products to help you out
with products to help you out

These six will help to put your best face forward so you can go from the desk to the dance floor

1)  Show some polishmakeup1

Dazzle them with this new fabulous glitter crimson shade from Essie that looks good on everyone.

2) Silver/Gold makeup3

Dior’s Grand Bal makeup palette will add some zing to your lids and comes enclosed in a beautiful gold case with a jet-black eyeliner pencil and 2 shimmer glosses.  Bonus: it fits perfectly in your purse.

3)  Diamond Dustmakeup4

Guerlain’s Limited Edition Liu Perfumed Body Powder lightly dusts on glitter in a glamorous fashion – in a spray bottle. Looks indulgent and smells fantastic.

4)  Smoky Hotmakeup8

This new limited edition palette from Georgia Armani has a gorgeous silver highlighter, sophisticated grey eye shadow and a red-hot lip to give you a sexy beauty look – in one go.  Go for it!  Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette

5)  Golden Goddessmakeup5

Clarins limited edition Christmas face palette has gold coloured mother-of-pearl to give you a sexy goddess glow.

6)  Silver Starmakeup10

This intense cream formula from Estée Lauder has staying power without creasing so it’s perfect for an all-nighter.  It can be worn as a base, highlighter or eyeliner. Estée Lauder – Pure Colour Shadow Paintmakeup6Really, you don’t need much.  You’ll look BEAUTIFUL with just a little extra effort!

  beauty: breakup makeup

Just broke up with your boyfriend or husband?  I know a few of those.  And you think a trip to the cosmetics counter will immediately make you feel better and help heal your broken heart? Not!

Photo: Dolce & Gabbana
Photo: Dolce & Gabbana

But it can help perk up your spirits along with your daily workouts to obtain a great new bod so you also look better.  And it takes your mind off of the obvious.

You will be over your ex soon enough who doesn’t deserve you anyway and be so ready and in tip top shape for your new lucky fellow.  Believe me, he’s out there.  Next!

In the meantime some revenge glam after a breakup makeup ideas that might help:

Maybe you didn’t wine enough!

This season’s array of merlot-colored lipsticks will make a happy home on your lips. There’s a range of hues suited to every palette.  Raise your lipstick tube for a toast!

I Bette you’ll love this one.

Nars Audacious in Bette
Nars Audacious in Bette

NARS Audacious lipsticks are something of a gem among the lipstick-obsessed.  From first swipe, you’ll notice how well the color sticks to your lips and the creamy matte formula feels like air.

(NARS Audacious Lipstick, $32 at  Sephora)breakup2
Maybe you need a different kind of push-up.  This one from Benefit “They’re Real” push-up Liner.

After all, you want something with staying power, unlike your ex. There’s a lot to love about gel liner. This one has all those benefits without you having to wield or carry a brush. It won an Allure Breakthrough Award for taking the hassle out of getting the results of a classic gel. breakup3You just twist the small dial on the bottom to release the perfect amount of gel into the flexible slanted tip of the pen; as the waterproof formula seeps out of a narrow slit in the skinny end of the tip, the wider base gently pushes lashes out of the way so you can get as close to the lash line as possible. Some tricks we learned the hard way: To avoid clumps and uneven application, wipe the tip before each use. And once it goes on, it stays on—so be sure to have an eye-makeup remover nearby for touch-ups.  Available at Sephora or Shopper’s Drug Mart.

breakup4What about Serious Volume Spray?  Limp locks are so not sexy.

Use It to: Channel Brigitte Bardot’s locks by adding spray to your roots for that glamorously tousled look.

24K Root Envy Ultimate Root Boost,Sally Hershberger $32

Available at most drugstores

 GET GLOWING with something that makes you blush naturally.

 Paul & Joe Beaute
Paul & Joe Beaute – $18

Available at:

How about trying something new and scentsational:  


It’s all personal but you might consider starting this new chapter with a perfume that lets your olfactory senses know that a change (for the better) is happening.

That said, enjoy the search.  Let me know if you tried any of these and what you thought of them.flirt5

Beauty biz: hidden beauty

Some things are just better covered uptheBalm_timeBalm_Concealer_7_5g_1370527094

“time Balm” concealer review.

A friend of mine in the know told me that this was “the best concealer ever” so I went on a hunt for it.  When I couldn’t find it at Sephora I stopped searching but as luck goes I recently came across it by accident in a local boutique.

My thoughts:

Texture – soft and creamy but it stays put and doesn’t cake.

Naturalness – It has absolutely no shine to draw attention to the area and looks natural.

Coverage – medium to full (you can build coverge but a little will go a long way).

Ingredients – Packed with beneficial ingredients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Soybean Oil, Panthenol, Linoleic Acid and Phospholipids.

Packaging – so-so but it is easily portable which makes it perfect for travel.  It comes with a little sponge but you don’t really need it – fingers are fine.  Maybe the sponge helps to make the product last longer.

*A lot of women use concealer to cover up dark under eye circles but I tend not to use it for this reason as I’m always worried it will bring more attention to the area.  I’ve read that this works well for under eyes but can’t vouch for it myself. Great for spot coverage and redness.

BONUS: the company makes a perfect face primer – on my wish list for next time.

Where to get:  In Vancouver – Wish List Boutique (2811 West Broadway) $20

beauty biz – Pacifica LIP products

Give your lips the love they deserve!

banner from their website
Banner taken from website (details below).   Whenever possible, go for NATURAL!

20140618_112655I’ve been a fan of Pacifica’s Tuscan Blood Orange, Indian Coconut Nectar and Tahitian Island Vanilla body butters ever since receiving all three (lucky me) as a gift from a friend who couldn’t decide.  They were rich and decadent and smelled exactly like they sound….exotic.  So you can imagine my excitement over discovering  their new lip butters and tints on a recent trip to the U.S.  I was drawn to the colored quench lip tint called “sugared fig” for only $7.00.  It hydrated my lips without a sticky feeling and left a healthy hint of natural color without too much shine.  The scent is incredible. I love it!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: 20140618_112702

All Natural Color Quench lip tints packs major lip moisture, nourishing naturals and gorgeous, sheer lip color into one perfectly portable, 100% recyclable tube. Essential fatty acids from rich and amazing avocado and coconut oils leave lips luscious and healthy. Natural flavor and 5 perfect shades that are 100% vegan cruelty free and gluten free. Does this mean NO calories?

DETAILS: Free of carmine, beeswax, lanolin, phthalates, parabens, mineral oils, GMOs, triclosan, propylene, glycol and petroleum.

Here is the link to my Pacifica Body Butter review (from exactly 1 year ago):

To buy:

beauty biz – RETINOL really!

Getting older is natural, looking older is not!

cream1So you want to delay getting a facelift for as long as possible or even avoid it (like me) entirely.  So here’s what you need to do – use retinolHere’s why: this one ingredient boosts collagen, softens skin, evens texture, and fades dark spots.  The data is clear (we hope whoever is controlling the data is clear on this) that women who regularly use retinoids age better than women who don’t.  Here are a few key things to know before getting started:

You don’t have to use it every night.  Start with twice weekly and follow up immediately with you regular moisturizer or face oil.  After a few weeks, step it up to three times a week.

It should be an “at bedtime-only” thing.  Retinoids are photolabile, meaning they break down in the presence of sunlight.

A little irritation is OK.  Redness and flaking are signs that the active form of retinol, a compound called retinoic acid, is working in the skin to make more collagen.  Just give your skin a few days to recover between applications.  I recommend trying RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream if you’re not sure or you experience burning or stinging.  Fyi – I have sensitive skin and I was using the regular Roc with retinol night cream, then followed up with face oil after waiting a few minutes for it to sink in. cream2 I took a long break so I’ll have to start using it again.

Have patience – it takes at least a few months to work.  Your patience will be rewarded.  I just found out that even if it doesn’t look like the retinol is doing anything, it’s building collagen stores in the skin that will help as you get older.

TIP: do an at-home peel a few days before starting retinol.  This will get rid of dead skin cells allowing the retinol to penetrate faster and the fresh, new cells to benefit most from the ingredient.  I like the Vica-C exfoliating peel by Mica Beauty.

What you don’t know about Retinol:

It doesn’t work by exfoliating.  Even though they can make skin flaky (at first) they work by increasing the activity of enzymes in the skin that make more collagen.

It doesn’t make skin more sun-sensitive.  Your skin might become more heat-sensitive, but that means it may feel hotter and look a bit redder if you go outside on a hot day, but that’s not burning.  That said, don’t forget to apply sun protection for the obvious reasons.  cream4My favourite sunscreen is La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted SPF 50.  It does the trick and gives a healthy glow.

You can use it around your eyes.  This is where your skin really needs the collagen boost.  Try not to get it in your eyes but if you do, don’t freak out.  It won’t do any harm, just rinse your eyes with water. RoC makes a specific one for eyes.

cream1 (2)Mica Beauty Vita-C Exfoliating Peel 

available at:

There are other skin creams available with Retinol.  Go to the beauty counter or do some research yourself.  Maybe you can pick up a few samples somewhere like “Sephora” to try out a few and decide which works best for you.

Have you tried any?  What do you recommend?

beauty biz: concealer review – priced high & low

concealer1Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Versus L’Oreal True Match Color Concealer


Two cover-up pencils – Two prices – Too alike?

Not that I’m trying to hide anything except for every little flaw on my face…but last week I posted about my favourite (the best) under eye concealer and now I want to mention two incredible cover sticks for general use.  You know those little spots here and there on my our faces that need to be dealt with.  Not every freckle (because we shouldn’t make everything disappear – it’s who we are) but a zit or red spot or little discoloration we want to be gone.

The Similarities:

Both are creamy and blendable.  Anything that comes in pencil/stick form is usually more convenient, I find. The ease of keeping a pencil for touch-ups is much better than having to pull out a pot concealer and brush.  The shades in each that match my skintone produces almost exactly the same results.

Both offer customized coverage from the tiniest of blemishes to larger areas of imperfections.  The tip of the crayons allow for precise application, while the side of the crayons can easily canvas a larger area of skin. At first I purchased the Urban Decay pencil and loved it, but then I switched for this new one from L’Oreal for half the price. Here are my thoughts:

The Differences:

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil – tried this at Sephora and loved the creamy texture and smooth coverage. However, once I bought it, I went through it quickly and it made a mess in my non urban decay pencil sharpener. Why should we always have to buy a specific sharpener for a product – can’t a generic one do?  It does not sharpen smooth and breaks off certain pieces so you’ll never get the tip as precise as it first started out.  But the top goes back on much more securely than L’Oreal so you can take it with you everywhere.  Does it stay on for 24 hours as advertised? No, at least not for me. If you care about packaging then this one is nicer. Available in 8 natural shades. ($18 USD / $22 CDN).

L’Oreal True Match™ Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer – Their moto is “conceal it all – big to small.”  The innovative formula provides sheer to full coverage that blends easily and won’t look cakey. For a drugstore concealer, this is probably the best I’ve tried so far. It provided an almost perfect color match as the Urban Decay stick and of course the convenient chubby pencil is great.  The main drawback is that once you take the top off, it does not seem to go back on tight enough whereas there is never a problem with Urban Decay.  This is no big deal if you don’t mind keeping it at home but it might get messy if you travel with it.  Available in 6 natural shades.  $8.95

They’re both wonderful products however….

Based on this information, which one would you choose?


beauty biz – testing, testing

testing2Product Reviews and Testing Methods

This is a great ad
This is a great ad

No matter how effective a product is and no matter how many people swear by it, I’ve got to tell you that I won’t put anything on my face or body that has been tested on animals – even if they’re rats.  No exceptions here……..unless I didn’t know about it beforehand.

I was about to do a product review on a very well known product (they claim to sell this item every 20 minutes) by a very well known French company that’s been around for eons whose products claim to be all “plant” based. I decided to do a bit more research on it and found out to my surprise and shock that this particular product has indeed been tested on animals. What’s upsetting is that I’ve been using it and like it.  To be fair, I read that it was animal tested on someone else’s beauty blog so just to be sure I contacted the company.

I just received an e-mail from them claiming that they no longer provide detailed product lists on animal testing and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.  I’m confused.

So let me ask….if you’re a vegetarian and you’ve been eating a brand of veggie burgers that you loved and then found out that there was actual meat in the burger how would you react?

It goes on….”we do not conduct animal testing on our finished products or ingredients except in exceptional cases, when required locally by law.  What law…..where??

The company’s commitment to the protection of animals is also the reason why testing on animals no longer takes place (was that before or after I bought this product?).  The company supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives.  Product safety control is carried out on cell culture in accordance with substitute in vitro methods that are internationally acknowledged and approved by experts.

Still confused, but to be on the safe side I won’t review this particular product because I’m still not sure if it is (or has been previously) tested on animals.  But you would be astounded to find out which of the companies are still testing.

So I guess this post is about awareness of what you put on your skin.  Which leaves me to want to research what goes in to “keeping” your cosmetics…because many people want to avoid chemical preservatives in beauty and personal care products.  I’ll reserve this for my next beauty post.

Signs to look for
Signs to look for

What are your thoughts about this?

beauty biz – Food for the Skin

Product Review: Weleda Skin Foodweleda1 has been proven as a secret weapon against dry skin.

What the product claims to do:

It’s a unique, ultra-rich whole-body cream that deeply hydrates, restores and protects your skin. This product helps maintain skin’s natural balance thanks to its potent plant extracts. It moisturizes and soothes skin all over the body, especially dry areas like knees, elbows and feet. I’ve even used it on my face at times.

What I liked about this product:

Loved the indulgent moisture this deeply hydrating natural cream (there’s a lotion too) provides and the smell.

I would recommend this product for:

women who are natural product junkies. It feels great knowing that your lotion is made up of safe ingredients! Also, anyone who needs a deep hydrating formula for their dry skin.

What’s in it?

Stubborn dryness on elbows, hands and feet are moisturized and conditioned with the essential fatty acids and vitamin E in organic sunflower seed oil. Organic pansy is known for its mild antiseptic properties that calm dry irritation. Soothing rosemary leaf extract’s mild antiseptic properties and the anti-inflammatory properties of organic calendula flower extract gently nourish and care for your skin. Deeply moisturized and protected, your skin looks soft and supple with a healthy glow. It’s your recommended daily allowance of radiance, and it’s just what you and your skin are craving. weledapansyextractKey Ingredient Pansy (Viola Tricolor) Extract

But is it really POSH enough for her?

She may be a well-known devotee of facials made from sheep placenta and gold flakes and be the proud owner of one of the largest Hermes bag collections, but Victoria Beckham has proven she’s a down-to-earth girl at heart with her latest revelation.  The former Spice Girl, known for her immaculate style and beauty look, has revealed one of her secret beauty weapons; Skin Food by Weleda.

Adele, Alexa Chung, Rihanna, Peaches (and cream?) Geldof, Helena Christiensen, and Erin O’Connor are also fans of the bargain beauty product.

  • Adele explained her reason for using the product. She said: ‘Because I wear a lot of makeup when I’m working, I like to use Skin Food by Weleda because it makes my skin feel really replenished.’   This part taken from the Daily Mail U.K.

because people like to know who else, besides me is using the products I recommend.

beauty biz – Rose Day Cream = LOVE

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet – Romeo and Juliet ( Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter, only what things “are”).rose1

Product Review – Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream 

I’ve used the cleansing milk and now I’m addicted to this product.  It smells like……roses!

Soothes and protects

A rich, luxurious daily moisturizer. Soothing rose ingredients nurture and renew sensitive, dry and weather-damaged skin. Protects skin against dryness and soothes red, irritated skin and couperose.

  • Protects the delicate outer layer of the skin against dryness and irritation
  • Avocado oil with extracts of rose petal and rose hip soothe and renew red, irritated, sensitive skin
  • Seals in moisture to help prevent dryness
  • Thirty rose flowers go into each tube of Rose Day Cream.
  • Used as directed, Rose Day Cream lasts approximatley 3 months

Dr. Hauschka has been in existence since 1967 and has gained an impressive celebrity following, including Julia Roberts, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Jack Nicholson, and now The Girl who would be King.

Hollywood Tips you want to know:

Actress Julia Roberts, plagued like many of her colleagues by stressed skin due to having to constantly apply and remove make-up, discovered Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Cream in her make-up artist’s cosmetics case.  She swears by the cream because it stimulates the skin’s own resources and does not cause allergies. When Julia Roberts was asked, yet again, at a press conference what was behind her radiant complexion, she whispered into the microphone: ”Dr. Hauschka.” And soon Cate Blanchett was bathing in Dr. Hauschka’s lavender bath oil, Madonna underwent a two-hour Dr. Hauschka treatment in the chic New York Sanctuary Spa, and the whole world wanted the rose cream. At Sephora in New York, it is to be found right next to the Kiehl products.  

The special thing: Most of the medicinal plants used are not only grown under strict organic conditions in the company’s own garden, they are also processed according to an 80-year-old recipe which respects nature’s rhythm: light and dark, movement and rest, heat and cold.

Shhhhh….Here is a short list (so I’m told) of who uses what:

Stars that love the entire Dr.Hauschka line include:

  • Annette Bening
  • Elle Macpherson
  • Julia Roberts
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Naomi Watts
  • Rebecca Romijn
  • Robert Downey Jr

 Other celebs covet particular products. They include:

Celebrity / Product
Amy Poehler – Lavender Body Oil  
Brad Pitt – Lip Care Stick  
Chloe Sevigny – Neem Hair Oil  
Jennifer Aniston – Moisturizing Day Cream  
Katie Holmes – Cleansing Cream / Facial Toner  
Keri Russell – Neem Hair Oil
Kerry Washington – Rejuvenating Mask  
Kirsten Dunst – Blackthorn Body Oil  
Madonna – Rose Day Cream / Facial Toner  
Martha Stewart – Regenerating ProductsNicole Ritchie – Neem Hair OilNicole Kidman – Neem Hair Oil / Rose Day Cream

Nora Ephron – Lemon Bath

Rachel Hunter – Normalizing Day Oil

Rachel McAdams – Rose Day Cream

Rosie O’Donnell – Rose Day Cream

Vivienne Tam (designer) – Revitalizing Eye Cream

How About You –  Have you tried any of these products?  If so, which do you personally recommend?




Beauty Biz – no more Bleeding

nobleeding3ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE who right after carefully applying lipstick run out the door only to find out later (when catching yourself in the mirror) that your lipstick has run all over your mouth? Not so attractive right?

The simple solution: A CRAYON. nobleeding

I’m always skeptical about these new products (some work well – others a waste of money) but ended up buying one at Shopper’s Drug Mart for only $14.99 and it seems to work very well for darker shades especially…you know, the ones you definitely don’t want to run.  And it’s very easy to apply.                

This indispensable Secret Lip Liner is new in Canada, first introduced in New Zealand and quickly expanding around the world.  No Bleeding Lips™ Secret Lip Liner stops lipstick and lip gloss from bleeding & feathering, and creates a sheer defined lip shape.

no bleedingThe No Bleeding Lips™ Secret Lip Liner offers a super-glide formula that is soft & creamy ensuring even product deposit around the lips.

It’s waterproof and long-lasting (5+ hours), non-transferable and smudge-proof so you can wear your lipstick & lip gloss with confidence.

Goes with any shade of lipstick or gloss (as it’s clear), especially bright and bold colors, creating a sheer defined shape.

The Huffington Post has this to say:

The Downfalls: There are none. It works — really, really well. The only catch is if you don’t wear lipstick a lot, it may not be worth buying.  If you’re a lipstick lover, you will become obsessed with this product.

Can’t say I’m absolutely obsessed with it but it is useful and worth buying. Just don’t try to get more of the product out by winding it too much – it will not go back.

Have you tried it?