Phyto Reviews: Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment, Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray, and Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream with 7 plants

Phyto is one of those niche hair brands that not many people really know about but actually has a lot of really great hidden treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. Today I have 3 products from Phyto to share with you – the Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment, the Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray, and the Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream with 7 plants.

Of the three products, the Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment is the most interesting product that I’d recommend trying, especially if you have an imbalanced scalp.

Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment

Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment review

The Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment (C$50) is a blend of essential oils to treat imbalanced scalp. It contains essential oils of rosemary, sage, and cypress to tone the hair bulb and stimulate microcirculation; lemon oil to purity the scalp; and corn oil to soothes the scalp with a cooling sensation. It is a pre-shampoo, meaning you apply this and rub it into your scalp about 10-20 minutes before you shampoo.

I really enjoy using this scalp treatment because I find that it really does help to rejuvenate my scalp. I’m a long time sufferer of dry scalp, especially when I’m stressed or not getting enough sleep, and when I use this treatment on a semi-regular basis (sometimes once a month, sometimes once every 3 weeks or so, depending on how often I wash my hair), it really does help to alleviate dryness. The essential oils also help to create a cooling sensation on the scalp, which is very refreshing, especially if I’m feeling like my scalp is congested and needs a deep cleanse.

The downside to the blend of essential oils is that it is very hard to wash off. You’d likely need to use a clarifying shampoo, or at least a shampoo that suds up really well and rinses off very clean, otherwise you will end up with greasy roots and thus greasy hair. The other downside is that it is quite expensive, but being an essential oil blend, you really don’t need much to achieve good results. Despite these, I really like like this scalp treatment and will continue to use and repurchase it until I can find something better.

Ingredients: Corn Germ Oil, Fragrance, Citrus Lemon Peel Oil, Limonene, Melaleuca Leucadendron Cajaput Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Sage Oil, Cupressus Sempervirens Leaf/Nut/Stem Oil, Linalool, Citral, Isoeugenol, Geraniol, Eugenol, Coumarin, Citronellol.

Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment review

Phyto Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray

Phyto Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray review

The Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray (C$32) has been my best friend ever since I got my hair coloured. It’s one of the two hair products I’ve been using on a regular basis, after each hair wash, after towel drying and applying the Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream, and before I blow dry or use heat styling. It containing botanical keratin to repairs the hair’s inner structure; hyaluronic acid to hydrates the hair; Yun Zhi mushroom extract to seals the botanical keratin and provide thermal protection; and ceramides to seal the hair’s cuticle.

The texture of this thermal protectant spray is almost like a milk that’s spritzed on; it’s denser than most sprays I’ve used in the past, but I also find that this coats the hair strands to better protect the hair, rather than getting absorbed into the hair strands. I feel like this, coupled with the Phyto 7 Day Cream, has made my over-processed hair a lot more manageable and looking relatively healthier than it really is.

Ingredients: Viola Tricolor Extract, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Water, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-37, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Atelocollagen, Chitosan, Sphingolipids, Cyclodextrin, Dextrin, Chlorphenesin, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid.

Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream with 7 plants

Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream review

The Phyto 7 Hydrating Day Cream with 7 plants (C$32) is a daily hair cream that you can use on damp or dry hair for a touchup. The 7 plants contained in this day cream are mallow, soybean, burdock, rosemary, sage, calendula, and willow, all of which hydrate and protect the hair.

I use this after each hair wash, before using the Phytokeratine Thermal Protectant Spray, and before blow drying. You’re supposed to use only a peasize amount each time, but I found that it wasn’t enough for my super dry hair, so I usually use double the recommended amount. It absorbs almost instantaneously and leaves no residue on the strands of the hair. It is moderately hydrating, meaning my hair is left manageable and relatively smooth considering the dry state that it’s in, but it isn’t hydrating enough to keep my hair from static. I do have to reapply this each morning if I want the full hydrating and protecting benefits. While I like it, I can’t say I love it, and I’d recommend this more to people with normal to somewhat dry hair, but not for those who have really dry or processed hair.

Ingredients: Althaea Officinalis Extract (Mucilage Végétal), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Lecithin (Soja), Arctium Majus Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Roseary) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Leaf Extract, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Parabens (Butyl, Ethyl).

Have you tried any products from Phyto? Which ones would you recommend?

Sun protection: physical versus chemical sunscreens, featuring Avene, Vichy, and Arbonne

As  follow up to my last sunscreen post where I talk about sun safety and the importance of sun protection and also some good sunscreen options from La Roche Posay, I have a few other sunscreen options to share with you. In today’s post, I will also be defining the difference between physical and mineral sunscreens. Both types of sunscreens provide protection against the sun, and it mostly boils down to personal preference and skin sensitivity as to which type to use. I personally prefer chemical sunscreens because I find them to be lighter in texture and don’t give off that white cast.

Physical (AKA mineral) versus chemical sunscreens – we hear the terms thrown around, but what does that mean? The easiest differentiator is that physical sunscreens contain ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide that form a protective and reflective layer on the surface of your skin which reflects sunlight and the accompanying UV rays. Chemical sunscreens (Dr. Jennifer Beecker, the National Chair of the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Awareness Program, says the term is misleading because everything is a chemical – it’s more like organic sunscreen) contain ingredients that absorb the UV ray and neutralizes them. The most common ingredients in chemical sunscreens are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

Physical sunscreens are more recommended for those with extra sensitive skin, such as increased sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation or if you have allergies to certain ingredients. The issue is that most physical sunscreens often come with that ghastly white cast that’s hard to get rid of. Thankfully, recent technological improvements have diminished that white cast, or have added tints to the sunscreen itself to lessen the effect of a white cast.

Arbonne's Liquid Sunshine

In terms of purely mineral options, Arbonne’s Liquid Sunshine line is great. In this range, there is a Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 For FaceMineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 For Body, and Lip Balm Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15. The Lip Balm is excellent because most people forget that your lips need sun protection as well. I found that the white cast is a lot more minimized with the Liquid Sunshine range, which is great. You also get that SPF 30 full spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. The Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 for Body contains Zinc Oxide 7.9% as the active sunscreen ingredient, and the Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 for Face contains Titanium Dioxide 1.7% and Zinc Oxide 4.4% as the active ingredients.

Arbonne's Liquid Sunshine
avene sunscreen review

I’ve also used the new sunscreen range from Avene. The range includes Very High Protection Mineral Lotion SPF 50+ (with Titanium Dioxide 18.99%), which is a purely mineral sunscreen; High Protection Lotion SPF 50+ (with Titanium Dioxide 2.6% and a mix of chemical sunscreen ingredients), which is a mix of physical and chemical blockers; and High Protection Spray SPF 50+ for face and body (with Titanium Dioxide 3.4% and a mix of chemical sunscreen ingredients). I have to say that I really dislike the Very High Protection Mineral Lotion SPF 50+ because it leaves a really thick and really opaque white cast that’s extremely hard to blend out. I used this on myself as well as my mom, and while I liked that it must have really good sun protection (because it’s so opaque), it’s just not entirely wearable for every day. I plan on taking this with me on vacation when I really do need that very high sun protection. The High Protection Lotion SPF 50+ is a tinge better, while it still leaves a cast, it has more of a light beige tone rather than pure white. This makes it a lot more wearable. The High Protection Spray SPF 50+ is great for the body because you can easily spray it on your friend or your child and just rub it in the skin to help it absorb (yes, that rubbing step is necessary).

avene Very High Protection Mineral Lotion SPF 50+ review
avene High Protection Spray SPF 50+
Vichy Ideal Soleil review

For those who prefer chemical sunscreens (I am one of them!), I really enjoy using the new Vichy Ideal Soleil line. Vichy has a lot of marketing around its signature patented Mexoyrl XL-SX sun filtering system, but the low down is that it is a chemical sunscreen system that provides protection against short and long range UVA rays, and UVB rays. The Ideal Soleil range comes in a huge variety of creams, mists, lotions, and sticks with SPF 30 or 50, depending on your personal needs, as well as a product for kids, a tanning care product, and after-sun care. The Face Ultra Light Lotion in SPF 30 and SPF 50 are both among my favourites in terms of Western sunscreen products (I generally prefer Japanese sunscreens, but I use Western sunscreens when I’m going to be outside for a long time because they seem to protect for longer periods of time compared to Japanese brands).

Vichy Ideal Soleil review
Vichy Ideal Soleil review

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or dermatologist, and I’m not a specialist in sun care. Information presented here was gathered from my online readings as well as my conversation with Dr. Jennifer Beecker at the La Roche Posay event. For further information about what I’ve written about, please do your due diligence and do your own online research. It’s the only way of being (more) certain that whatever information you read is correct. You should never take information from one source as the be all and end all.

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.10: ​What are essential makeup brushes everyone should own?

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.10

What are essential makeup brushes everyone should own?

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.10 Authors

MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
Last year I put a little overview of my favorite make-up brushes for the eyes and face on the blog and now more than a year later I still stand by my choices. MAC and Sigma are my two favorite brands for eye make-up brushes. And one of my all-time favorite face brushes is the (crazy cheap) e.l.f. Stipple Brush and – of course – my trusted Beauty Blender. For a detailed review on all of my favorite brushes you can click hereand here!

ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
Of course, the essential brush is very much dependent on the makeup you wear everyday. But looking at the ones I reach for the most, I recommend everyone owning one of these:

– A flat eyeshadow brush for packing on color or pigments
– A fine liner brush for gel liners
– A blending brush for, well, blending
– A fluffy blush/bronzer brush
– A dense Kabuki for face powder
– A BeautyBlender (or dupe) for foundation

The exact number you need of each depends on your consistency in cleaning them. I for one need a lot…

SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog
1) MAC 217/Hakuhodo J5523. It’s great for applying a wash of color, blending eyeshadows out, and even buffing undereye concealer into the skin. Basically, you will have a hard time finding anything 217 cannot do!

2) MAC 219: I use it to highlight the inner corners, smudging eyeshadow over the gel liner on my lower lash line, and sometimes laying a darker eyeshadow in my outer v. If you want to do any detailed work to make your eye look more polished/finished, you need 219.

3) Let me cheat by adding Dior Backstage Blender to the list!

SHEILA | Canada | Maddy Loves
Wayne Goss 02 – a good quality yet relatively inexpensive substitute for the Suqqu cheek brush. It’s SO soft and the size is perfect to use as a blush, bronzer, contour, or small powder brush. Super versatile.

MAC 239 – my go-to eyeshadow brush for applying eyeshadow

MAC 219 – my go-to brush for applying colour to the inner corner, and along the upper and lower lashlines

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner brush – the only brush I use for applying gel/cream liners, it’s just so easy to use, either to tightline, normal line, or create a cat eye

ERIN | USA | Clever Girl Reviews
I personally love a lot of different brands, but you can’t beat Real Techniques or Sonia Kashuk for beginners and experts alike.

1. Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques
2. The eye kit from Real Techniques
3. Sonia Kashuk Crease Brush
4. Sonia Kashuk Small Eye Shadow Brush
5. Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Brush.

Some of my high-end faves are from Chanel, Armani, and Jane Iredale. I’m looking to expand into Tom Ford and Japanese brands!

LAARNI | Philippines | Xoxo Laarni
I love multi-functional brushes because they’re best for travels and they’re time savers! I am picking my best two! (1)MAC 239 Brush Eye Shader Brush: for pack, shade, and blend eyeshadows. (2) Sigma Beauty 3DHD Kabuki Brush: for cream, liquid and powder foundation application. Also best brush for under eye concealers and for hard-to-reach places like the side of the nose and mouth. Very modern and innovative!

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
For eye makeup, my recommendations include MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush (lid color), Chanel Eyeshadow Blender #19 (outer corner), MAC217 Blending Brush (crease and blending), Smashbox Crease Brush #10 (all-over blending), MAC 219 Pencil Brush (smudging), and MAC 211 Pointed Liner Brush (lining). See more.

For face makeup, my recommendations include Hourglass No 2 Blush/Foundation Brush (foundation), Tom Ford Bronzer Brush(setting), Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush(highlighting), NARS Ita Kabuki Brush (contouring), Tom Ford Cheek Brush and MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush (cheek color), and Real Techniques Setting Brush (concealing). See more.

Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*


Review + swatches + look – Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10, Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 & Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03

burberry makeup review canada

Burberry is one of my favourite high end designer brands. I own two Burberry coats, and they’re both some of my most prized possessions. In recent years, Burberry makeup has been revamped, being designed in sync with the seasonal runway collections released by Burberry. Today I’m sharing with you three Burberry products that have so far been winners in my books – the Complete Eye Palette, Light Glow Blush, and Effortless Eyebrow Definer. All packaged in a gorgeous bronze compact with the classic check print, the design of these products embody the true spirit of the classic and modern look of Burberry.

You can purchase Burberry makeup products in Canada at the Bay Richmond Centre, the Bay online, as well as at Nordstrom Calgary and Ottawa.

Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10 review

Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10 (C$64) is a neutral palette with a rose touch. The shades are shimmery silver, shimmery champagne, shimmery taupe, and matte rose-pink. The texture of the Burberry Complete Eye Palette is super smooth and almost creamy, with the bottom two shades giving off excellent pigmentation. The eyeshadow quality is really excellent, blending super easily and looks very classy on the eyes. The top two shades look extremely similar once applied on the lid, which is kind of pointless. It would have been nice to include a deeper plum or a matte light pink or something to be more unique. Another downside is that because the eyeshadows are so soft, they seem to be a lot of loose powder flyaway, even if I just lightly pat my brush against the powder.

With all of the large neutral palettes coming out with 10-12 shades, this four-pan neutral palette is actually a nice change for once. In deciding which colours to use, it’s really foolproof and easy since there are only 4 colours (and I mean that in the nicest way possible!). I didn’t get into neutral palettes for the longest time, even giving away the Urban Decay Naked 1 palette right after getting it as soon as it came out, so for years I relied on these smaller neutral palettes instead. The pink and taupe combination is super girly and romantic, but still grown up. I foresee myself wearing this lots, especially for more formal occasions where I don’t want to wear something too over-the-top in terms of makeup.

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 review

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 (C$49) is a beautiful bright matte fuchsia blush. I absolutely love Hydrangea Pink – it gives off the most natural flush of colour and just blends in the skin so well. This is my first and only Burberry Light Glow Blush but I’m already wanting to collect more – you really can’t go wrong with the matte but glowy formula and the soft texture of the blush. Pigmentation is also excellent, and a little bit goes a long way. I like to use a fluffy blush brush to apply this – just lightly press the brush on the surface of the blush, tap off any excess, and then blend on the cheeks. The brush that comes with the blush is well made and is actually quite soft (unlike Chanel’s!). I could see myself using the accompanying brush if I take this with my on travels, in case I didn’t want to pack too much extra.

Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03 review

Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03 (C$33) is a dark brown, hard pencil-type eyebrow pencil. I tried swatching this on my hands but it won’t swatch at all, but on the eyebrows it’s super easy to apply and looks effortless. I love the double-ended design, with a chiseled pencil on one side and a very well-made spoolie on the other. The pencil is super pigmented – a little goes a long way. I also feel like it contains a tiny bit of wax content to help my brows stay in their place. The spoolie is very firm, allowing me to brush my hairs into place. I’ve been using this all the time since I received it, and I’ve only used a tiny bit off the tip of the pencil, a testament to its “a little goes a long way.” The colour Ash Brown is slightly too dark for me now that my hair is more of a dark cherry, but it doesn’t look too unnatural. Ash Brown is a good colour for people with black hair, anything lighter than that and you should try Sepia 02, the next colour down.

Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03 review
Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03 review
Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03 review

Overall, all of these Burberry products are incredible and must-haves for any makeup lover. You may not love the colours shown here, but Burberry makeup comes in a plethora of colour options, so you should at least check them out in store to see if there are options that better suit your needs. While they are expensive (luxury brand!), you really get that luxury experience that comes with the price tag. I know I enjoy my makeup application process way more when products are packaged so nicely.

The swatches

Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10

Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10 swatches
Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10 swatches

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 swatches
Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 swatches

The look

Wearing Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Rose Pink No. 10 on the eyes (all 4 shades, blended sheerly), Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink No. 10 on the cheeks, and Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ash Brown No. 03 on the eyebrows.

Also wearing Burberry Fresh Glow Compact Foundation in Rosy Nude No. 31 as the base, and Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Military Red No. 109 on lips. Reviews for these products to come soon!

Burberry makeup look with eye palette in rose pink and burberry kisses lipstick in 109 military red
Burberry makeup look with eye palette in rose pink and burberry kisses lipstick in 109 military red
Burberry makeup look with eye palette in rose pink and burberry kisses lipstick in 109 military red

Review: Firma Signature brushes S102 Oval Powder and S103 Fan Shaped Blush


I’m excited to show you today brushes from local Vancouver company Firma Beauty. The Signature line of brushes are hand made in Kumano, Japan, where the best artisan brushes are made in Japan. The fibres are first-cut goat hair, which is ultra soft with tapered ends. The handles are made of lighweight wood, and the logo Firma and brush number are carved into the handles.

Firma brushes S102 Oval Powder review
Firma brushes S102 Oval Powder review

After using these for the last two months, I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed. The S102 Oval Powder (C$69.99) is a tapered powder/contour/blush/bronzer brush, and S103 Fan Shaped Brush (C$65.99) is a flat blush/powder brush with a slight taper at the end. Both are incredibly soft, definitely two of the softer brushes I’ve used. They are much, much softer than MAC brushes, and about the same softness as Wayne Goss brushes. I’ve washed these a few times and neither of them shed very much, maybe 1-2 hairs when they’re being washed, but they don’t shed at all when being used, which is very impressive.

firma S103 Fan Shaped Blush brush review
firma S103 Fan Shaped Blush brush review
firma S103 Fan Shaped Blush brush review

I’ve been using S103 mostly as a powder brush because I prefer smaller powder brushes for precision powdering, and the S102 as either a contour, highlight, or blush brush. These brushes are also very versatile, as the shade is not too small and not too big in that you can use them across multiple functions. I’m finding that’s more important now with brushes that they can do multiple things, especially if I’m investing a lot of money in my brushes. Even though S102 is soft, the tapered point allows it to deposit colour very precisely on the face, and then the softness allows it to blend and diffuse the colour to create a natural look.

firma beauty tweezers review

Overall I’m very happy with the brushes. In terms of price, they are on the high side, but the quality is impeccable so I’m happy to pay the higher prices for the product. Firma Beauty also has nail polish and tweezers.  The tweezers are made from medical-grade stainless steel, and provide an incredibly sharp tip for the most precise tweezing.

Other things to note is that Firma brushes are made ethically and cruelty-free; animals aren’t harmed during the process of making the brushes, and workers are paid a fair and equal wage. Firma Beauty is based in Vancouver and you can also find them on Facebook.

Sun protection series: practicing sun safety with La Roche Posay’s #SkinChecker campaign, and interview with Dr. Jennifer Beecker, the National Chair of the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Awareness Program

la roche posay Anthelios sunscreen

In association with the World Congress on Dermatology in Vancouver, La Roche Posay hosted a sun safety information session for media. The Skin Checker initiative, helping Canadians and people across the world take action against one of the top cancers in Canada, melanoma. This new platform has been commended by the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) and is growing with over 17 Million people already signed up globally in pledging that they will be more aware of checking themselves and others for signs of skin cancer. I also had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Jennifer Beecker, the National Chair of the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Awareness Program.

dr jennifer beeckerDr. Beecker is a Dermatologist certified by both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Dermatology. Dr. Beecker is also certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in Family Medicine with Special Competence in Emergency Medicine. She practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology. In her role as the national chair of the CDA’s Sun Awareness Program, Dr. Beecker is working with La Roche Posay to create sun awareness among consumers, namely ensuring that consumers understand the risks of sun exposure, are educated on how to mitigate those risks, and also how to identify signs of skin cancer.

In terms of tips on how to protect yourself against sun exposure, Dr. Beecker recommended:

  • Wearing SPF 60+ on a daily basis, not just while being outside because UVA rays (the longer of the two UV rays) can easily penetrate glass and are also the ones responsible for premature signs of aging, as well as long term damage to the deeper layers of the skin. SPF 60+ is recommended because most people do not apply enough sunscreen, so if you’re using SPF 15 or 30, and you’re only applying 1/4 to 1/2 of what the recommended dosage is, you only end up getting 1/4 to 1/2 of the protection. SPF 60+ will ensure that even if you only apply half of the recommended dosage, you can still get good protection.
  • Making sure that your sunscreen offers both UVA and UVB protection, in addition to it being certified by the Canadian Dermatology Association (there will be a logo on the box).
  • Wearing enough sunscreen to cover your face, neck (and sides/back of the neck) and ears. People often forget the neck and ears, but it’s important to remember to also apply there.
  • In terms of reapplying your sunscreen after a few hours, especially if you’re wearing makeup, some tips include patting on a light mist with the palms of your hands (don’t rub), and using a sun protection stick (La Roche Posay has one with SPF 60).
  • Staying in the shade when you can, cover yourself up with clothing, wear a hat, and wear sunglasses or prescription glasses with UV protection. Dr. Beecker explained that even a tan is considered skin damage because a tan is your skin cells creating melanin to protect your DNA from UV rays. A tan is the earliest indication that your skin is starting to be damaged.

In terms of practicing safe sun, it’s also important to check up on yourself as well as others for potential signs of melanoma. Dr. Beecker said the vast majority of skin cancer is detected by the person who developed it, or by a loved one. By participating in the SkinChecker campaign, or by educating yourself and the people around you on the signs of early stage skin cancer, you can prevent it from worsening and potentially save a life.

La Roche Posay offers the Anthelios sunscreen line, which is contains a mix of chemical and physical sunscreens, offering both UVA and UVB protection. The Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50 is new for 2015 and AHMAZING. This is the stuff if you’re lazy (like me) and need high sun protection, but still need to look good in front of others. Its a mineral sunscreen formulated with 11% Titanium Dioxide, but it also contains a nice tint which masks the white cast that mineral sunscreens can give off and provides light coverage to even out the skintone. The Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 is a 100% chemical sunscreen that is one of the top sellers in terms of sunscreens in Canada. It provides lightweight, but high sun protection, that’s great for a day hike or a mid-day stroll in the city. Anthelios XL Lotion SPF 60, also new for 2015, is another chemical sunscreen that’s good for the face and body, which is great for mid-day touchups because you just have to carry one bottle around. Lastly, the new Anthelios Mist SPF 50 is ultra lightweight and great for men or children as it’s convenient to spray on then rub in, without too much fuss.

la roche posay Anthelios sunscreen

Paula’s Choice Skincare – customizable skincare to suit all your needs! + GIVEAWAY

Paula's Choice Skincare Resist review

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to try out Paula’s Choice Skincare, a skincare brand that began with a commitment to customer advocacy and education, which continues to be a part of their product development. The brand is based out of Seattle, Washington, and the products are all made in the U.S., with the ingredients even sourced in the U.S. They also have a focus on ethical products, including no animal testing, as well as no added fragrance, dyes or harmful ingredients.

I started my new skin journey with an over-the-phone consultation with a Paula’s Choice Skincare specialist. She asked me questions about my skin type, concerns, as well as product preferences such as texture and skincare habits. She curated a skincare regime for me that combines products from a number of different ranges from Paula’s Choice Skincare, designed to help address my main skincare concerns of dehydration and surface oil production, all while using products that hydrate the skin but aren’t heavy (especially with the upcoming summer weather!).

Paula's Choice Skincare Resist Perfectly Balanced Cleanser review
Paula's Choice Skincare Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner

Resist Perfectly Balanced Cleanser (US$18 for 190mL) – This advanced anti-aging cream cleanser lightly foams up to effectively remove excess oil and makeup without disturbing skin’s barrier. I quite like this cleanser as a light makeup remover (i.e. doesn’t remove heavy makeup as well) and a night-time cleanser. It doesn’t foam up as much as I like my cleansers, but it does a good job at cleaning. I do find it slightly stripping though, which is odd for a cream cleanser, thus I don’t use it in the mornings when my skin doesn’t need such a deep cleanse.

Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner (US$23 for 118mL) – An anti-aging toner designed for combination/oily skin types, it aims to improve skin’s color and texture while shrinking pores and calming redness from breakouts. This is a refreshing toner meant to help clean the last bit of makeup or dirt off your face, while helping to shrink pores with mild oil control properties. I’m on the fence about this toner because I find it a bit too refreshing and not hydrating enough. It does really do a good job at cleansing, and doesn’t feel drying or stripping.

Paula's Choice Skincare Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster review

Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster (US$45 for 20mL) –  This liqui-gel treatment contains a specialized mix of hyaluronic acid plus other key repairing ingredients which work immediately to visibly plump skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. I LOVE this. It’s such a versatile product that I’ve been mixing with both my night-time moisturizer as well as my daytime serum. It just helps to boost the hydrating properties in those products, while still keeping them lightweight, fast absorbing, and comfortable on the skin. The only qualm I have is with the dropper – the hyaluronic acid is quite thick so the dropper doesn’t seem to work well to dispense the product, it just seems to get stuck in the dropper. Otherwise I seriously love this and recommend it to anyone with dehydrated skin.

Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 review

Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (US$34 for 30mL) – Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is light as water, but is packed with high concentrations of powerful antioxidants including Vitamin C, as well as soothing anti-irritants that can significantly reduce inflammation to help reduce and heal sun damage. This is my daytime serum, which I use in conjunction with the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense. It’s designed for combination and oily skin, and feels ultra lightweight on the skin, absorbing almost immediately and leaving zero residue. I really like this serum for the daytime because it is so lightweight and absorbs so quickly, meaning that I don’t have to wait before applying makeup. It’s not the most hydrating serum, and on days that I’m feeling extra dehydrated, I will combine a drop or two of the Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster to give my skin a boost of water.

Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 (US$29 for 60mL) – This tinted daily moisturizer and sunscreen in one protects skin from sun damage, but also fortifies it with potent antioxidants to repair and stimulate collagen production for firmer skin. I use this moisturizer in combination with the Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum during the day. I absolutely love how lightweight it feels and how instantaneously it absorbs into my skin. What I love most about it is the SPF 30 and how it’s just slightly tinted so that it helps to warm up and even out the skintone just slightly. On work days, I still use a foundation on top of this for that extra bit of coverage, which also works extremely well, leaving my skin looking very even toned and brightened. This is the ultimate lazy person’s daytime moisturizer because you have the moisturizer, sunscreen, and light coverage in one. On ultra lazy days, I will apply double my usual moisturizer quantity to build up the coverage a bit (which works really well) and increasing the sun protection. This is one of my favourite products, along with the Hyaluronic Acid Booster.

Paula's Choice Skincare Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid review
Paula's Choice Skincare Resist Intensive Repair Cream review

Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (US$30 for 50mL) –  Formulated with 5% glycolic acid with a 0.50% boost of pore-penetrating salicylic acid, this anti-aging exfoliant reveals youthfully radiant skin and gently counteracts sun damage. I’ve been using this in my nightly routine after cleansing and toning, and I have to say this is a quick and convenient, way to exfoliate and tone the skin. I wake up in the morning with incredibly smooth skin, tightened pores, and an overall glow from the 5% AHA. My skin is relatively sensitive but I found the 5% AHA to be still gentle enough to use on my skin.

Resist Intensive Repair Cream (US$29 for 50mL) – A rich, luxurious facial cream created with antioxidants and retinol smooths fine lines and wrinkles and firms the skin by stimulating collagen production—all while protecting against moisture loss. This is my night-time moisturizer, which I use after cleansing, toning, and Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment. This is designed for dry, dehydrated skin to help replenish moisture at night. Resist Intensive Repair Cream delivers the perfect amount of moisture to my skin, leaving it feeling smooth and plump in the morning. It took me a few days of trial and error to figure out how much of this stuff to use – I started with too little and woke up with dry, tight skin, and then used too much which resulted in a very sticky surface. After a few days, I managed to figure out that half a pump is just enough for my face and neck. You can also use this cream for the eye area, which is convenient for those days when I’m feeling extra lazy or tired.

Paula's Choice The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette

The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette (US$40) – A 12-pan matte neutral eyeshadow palette designed in collaboration with Youtube guru and professional make-up artist Wayne Goss. This contains 11 matte shades and 1 shimmery shade to add highlight.

Paula's Choice The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette

In summary

I’m impressed with Paula’s Choice Skincare. While it’s my first foray into the brand, I’m already very happy with what I’ve experienced. The products are targeted treatments that give luxury product results without without the luxury product price tag – you can get an entire day and night regime for around $200 when in the past, I would spend $200 on just a few products. Paula’s Choice Skincare is committed to customer education and finding the best products suitable for every skin type, from those with acne, rosacea, enlarged pores, dehydration, aging, et cetera. Your skincare specialist will work with you to mix and match the different ranges to create something that’s especially designed for you, like my skincare specialist did for me. If in the end you’re not 100% satisfied, Paula’s Choice also offers a 100% money back guarantee (within 60 days).


SPECIAL OFFER: As a Power Primper with Pretty in my Pocket (download their app here!), Paula’s Choice is offering my readers 20% off Paula’s Choice Skincare with the code PRIMP20, which also includes your free skin consultation with a Paula’s Choice specialist, and free shipping! The promo code expires June 30, so take advantage of it now and pick up a Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster or Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF30.


I’m working with Paula’s Choice and Pretty in my Pocket to give away The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette. Giveaway open to Canada and US, and ends June 30, 2015, midnight PST.

Enter via Rafflecopter here!

This post was written by me and sponsored by Paula’s Choice Skincare through Pretty in my Pocket. As always, all opinions are my own.

Review: L’Occitane en Provence Almond Velvet Serum for the Body

L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum review

Today I’m reviewing my first ever body serum, the Almond Velvet Serum by L’Occitane en Provence, newly release for spring 2015. This body serum claims to improve five different skin concerns for the body:  dryness, skin slackening, lack of tonicity, fine lines and skin irregularities. It’s formulated with four different components of sweet almond – the oil, seed extract, leaf cell extract, and bud extract, all sourced from the south of France, as well as rosa centifolia (provence rose) bud extract.

The L’Occitane Almond Velvet Serum (C$52) is truly a luxury product. From the heavy glass bottle to the silky rich texture, it just feels like an expensive product that’s a pleasure to use. It has the texture of a gel-lotion with a light powdery-floral scent that dissipates quickly after a few minutes. I’ve been using this off-and-on for a few weeks (mostly after gym workouts when I could benefit most from additional skin toning), and I’m on the fence about it. I haven’t noticed any tightening of the skin, or relief from fine lines or stretch marks. It does leave my skin feeling silky smooth and very nicely hydrated, diminishing the appearance of any skin concerns but not eradicating them.

My biggest concern with this product is that it’s quite pricey. It is a body serum, and you get 100mL of product for C$52. I was applying this on my whole body before but I ended up using about 10 pumps, which is the equivalent of approximately 1.5cm shaved off the top of the bottle. I went through this stuff very quickly, to say the least. I ended up just applying it to placed where I needed more toning, such as my thighs, stomach, and upper arm area – this definitely helped me cut down on the amount of product I used.

It does contain a lot of good ingredients, so I can see why it’s so expensive, but I don’t think I will repurchase because I will probably go through many bottles of this before seeing real results. As such, unless you have a lot of money to burn, I wouldn’t recommend this product. The texture is really lovely but I really can’t justify the price, given how fast I went through the bottle.


L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum ingredients
L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum review
L'Occitane Almond Velvet Serum review

Review + swatches + look: Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review

Because a girl can never have too many good, neutral palettes, I am here to review the Too Faced Cosmetics Natural Matte Eye Palette! This delightful little palette retails for $48 CAD, and comes with six smaller, darker shadows and three larger, neutral shadows. The palette offers a whole arsenal of warm-toned nudes that are universally flattering on all skin tones.

I simply cannot say enough good things about this palette! As someone who typically prefers shimmery eyeshadows, I am incredibly impressed with both the versatility and the ease of application of these matte shades. To create a quick, simple look, you really can’t go wrong with sweeping one of the larger, nude shades across your entire lid and then picking a single color from the right-hand side to accentuate your crease.

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review

Heaven is likely my least favorite shade of the bunch, as I find it a little too softly pigmented for a highlight shade. Meanwhile, Honey Butter has very orange pay-off when applied to the lid, so I often find myself skipping it altogether.  The payoff on Lace Teddy also isn’t quite as nice as on the other shades. On the other hand, I can’t get enough of Risqué and Strapless! Generally I use the two shades together to create a smoky eye, but if I need something a little more natural I simply pair Strapless with Nudie for a more day-friendly look.

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review

My only reservations with this product are mostly related to its packaging. The compact itself is a metal tin, however the top lid is fragile and flimsy. I try to be extra careful when opening it up because I can easily see the hinge breaking if you weren’t being delicate with it. Additionally, I don’t love the names of the shadows – I know it can’t be easy naming all the subtle variations of an entire brand’s eyeshadow line, but these names feel really silly and young to me. “Sexspresso”, “Strapless”? They seem to be shades that would appear on makeup for teens, rather than for an adult brand.

That being said, the shadows themselves perform exceptionally well and strike the right balance between being pigmented enough on their own, while still allowing you the option to build-up their intensity with multiple coats. Overall, these shadows stay put through a busy work day and provide an excellent range of matte, nude tones that can be played either up or down. For $48 CAD, I think the Natural Matte palette is an excellent choice and a great value.

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review

The swatches

Heaven, Lace Teddy and Nudie

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette swatches

Cashmere Bunny, Sexpresso, Strapless, Risque, Honey Butter, and Chocolate Cookie

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette swatches

The look

In the images I am wearing “Lace Teddy” all across my lids, with “Heaven” as a highlight for my inner crease and brow bone. In my outer crease I am wearing “Cashmere Bunny”, with a hint of “Risqué” for emphasis.

Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review
Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review
Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette review

Have you tried any of the Too Faced palettes?

This post was written by Liza

Welcoming Charlotte Tilbury to Canada with “The Bombshell” Look

charlotte tilbury bombshell set review

I am so incredibly happy to share with you that Charlotte Tilbury makeup is now available in Canada at Holt Renfrew on Bloor in Toronto, and will be available next month in July at Holt Renfrew Vancouver. To celebrate, I wanted to share with you my interpretation of the Bombshell Look, one of Charlotte’s 10 iconic looks. The Bombshell Look is inspired by the glamour of Hollywood, think Marilyn Monroe and her classic red lip.

Charlotte Tilbury 10 iconic looks

The Bombshell set (C$245) comes with the following products, all housed in a very cute lip print canvas makeup pouch:

  • Color Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze, a metallic bronze eyeshadow pencil
  • Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire, a deep rose blush with some pearly shimmer
  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in So Marilyn, a creamy deep blue-toned red
  • Feline Flick Eyeliner in Panther, a black matte liquid liner with a felt tip applicator
  • Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black, a black volumizing mascara
  • Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Kiss ‘n’ Tell, a matte red lip pencil
  • Lip Lustre Lip Gloss in Red Vixen, a high-lacquer red gloss

charlotte tilbury bombshell set review
charlotte tilbury bombshell set review

The stars of this collection are the Color Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze, Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire, and K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in So Marilyn. Amber Haze is a beautiful metallic bronze eyeshadow pencil that’s extremely smooth and pigmented; the colour deposit with just one swipe is rich and intense. With the hot summer weather we’ve been having, I have found that it migrates just a smidge on the lids after a whole day of wear. It’s extremely minor, but I would have expected it to stay put for the entire wear. Sex on Fire has an outer ring of shimmery pink and an inner circle of shimmery deep rose. the powder is very finely milled, and the powder goes on and blends into the skin like a dream. Swatched, it’s not too pigmented – both shades required multiple swipes in order to get the colour to show up on my arm, but on my cheeks it was quite pigmented and a light hand is required in order to maintain a natural glow rather than create clown cheeks. So Marilyn is my favourite product (of course) and is a gorgeous blue-based true red with a satin finish. I absolutely LOVE this red, it’s just a beautiful, true red. My swatch photo below shows just one swipe of colour and it is truly intensely pigmented.

charlotte tilbury bombshell set review
charlotte tilbury bombshell set review

The Feline Flick Eyeliner in Panther is a black matte liquid liner. The felt tip applicator is stiff and deposits rich colour in just one swipe. While I dislike how stiff that felt tip applicator is, it really does do a good job at creating that cat-eye flick that is the liner’s namesake. After a full day of wear, though, it does migrate a bit to the top of my eyelid fold, which is somewhat disappointing. Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black is a nice mascara that creates good length, but is a bit lacking in terms of volumizing. It does a good job at maintaining a curl, and also leaves lashes feeling soft. It does feather a bit and bits of black mascara will end up on my lower lashline after a long day, but this is quite minor. Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Kiss ‘n’ Tell is a good red lip liner that’s relatively soft in texture so it’s easy to use. Lip Lustre Lip Gloss in Red Vixen is a beautifully vibrant gloss. It’s definitely not too sticky or thick, which is great for people like me who prefer lipstick over gloss due to that lack of stick factor.


Overall, my favourite products in this kit are the Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire, which creates just a very natural looking flush of glowy colour on my cheeks; K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in So Marilyn, which is a wonderfully creamy lipstick formula that I’d definitely want to buy more of; and Color Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze, which even though it didn’t stay put for the entirety of the wear, I love the colour and how easy it is to blend this out on my lids to create that smokey look.

The swatches

From left to right: Feline Flick Eyeliner in Panther, Color Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze, Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Kiss ‘n’ Tell, K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in So Marilyn, Lip Lustre Lip Gloss in Red Vixen, and Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire (outer ring, inner circle, then blended).

charlotte tilbury bombshell set swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell set swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell set swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell set swatches

The look

On eyes: wearing Color Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze on lid and Feline Flick Eyeliner in Panther to line. Lashes are coated with Full Fat Lashes Mascara.

On cheeks: Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire

On lips: wearing Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Kiss ‘n’ Tell to line and fill in the lips, K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in So Marilyn to colour the lips

charlotte tilbury bombshell look set review and swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell look set review and swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell look set review and swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell look set review and swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell look set review and swatches
charlotte tilbury bombshell look set review and swatches

Recreate the Bombshell Look with Charlotte Tilbury