Top 4 tips for buying Chanel

I’ve purchased a few Chanel pieces in the last years. I am in no way a Chanel expert, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way which can help you find the style that you are looking for. I found that buying Chanel isn’t anything like buying other luxury brands. It can be like buying Hermes, where the styles are extremely hard to find, especially in Canada. Whereas I find buying Louis Vuitton or other brands much less stressful because they don’t tend to limit the number of styles that come out each season. Chanel comes out with a very high number of bag styles each season, but each style only comes in a limited number of pieces, which can be annoying when you have your eye on a certain style. Hopefully these tips can be helpful if you are looking to buy your next Chanel piece!

1. Work with a salesperson

As a luxury brand, Chanel primarily works on relationship sales. I.e., if you have a good relationship with one or many salespeople, they will try harder to get you the styles you want. This is especially true if you are looking for a highly sought after style, for example a Classic Mini. Salespeople will always, always save the best stock for the people they already have an existing relationship with.

Now in order to build a relationship, you can either buy lots from a single salesperson, or if you are just looking for a specific bag, go visit the store often and chat with a particular salesperson. You want them to get to know you as a person and not just as a customer, and once you’ve built up that relationship, you can see if they are willing to find things for you. Keep in mind that each salesperson works with many clients, so they’re not going to remember which styles you are looking for – you really have to proactively ask them, and ask often, in order to get them to remember you and the style you’re looking for.

2. Check Purseforum

I am obsessed with Purseforum’s Chanel subforum, which may or may not be a good thing. Chanel releases a plethora of bags and accessories each season, but not every store will order the same things. Purseforum has an abundance of users who post what they see at boutiques, as well as what styles are available based on what their salespeople share with them.

Vancouver, and Canada in general, is like a Chanel deadzone because the stores here don’t order much of each season’s stock, so if you want to plan ahead to what is going to be available, check out the Purseforum. Not only does the U.S. get way more stock that us, they also get it a few weeks earlier so you can see what’s available and then call up your salesperson to ask for stock availability.

3. Call Chanel to check stock

Each Chanel product has a dedicated product code that comprises of three parts – the style code, leather code, and leather code. The code is something like 15 or 18 characters long, and is unique to a particular style, in a specific leather and colour. If you are having issues finding the stock you want, you just need to do a bit of internet research to figure out what the code is for that style, and then you can actually call Chanel’s phone number listed on their website to find out which store has what stock. I am 99% sure this is how personal shoppers help their customers find products. Save yourself that personal shopper mark-up, and find it yourself!

4. Buy pre-loved versus new

There comes a time when you need to decide to pick up a product new or pre-loved. You’d be surprised that buying pre-loved doesn’t always mean you can save money – a lot of times very popular pre-loved styles can come with a steep mark-up. Leather type can also affect the pre-loved price, for example pre-loved lambskin will usually not sell as well as caviar, so if you are looking for a lambskin style, you can likely find one in good condition for a good price.

Some styles you have no choice but to buy pre-loved, for example if you want one with hardware that is real gold plated versus just gold coloured. Also some styles are so popular that you’ll end up waiting more than a year for it, so you might have to buy pre-loved if you are wanting to get your hands on it sooner rather than later.

Depending on the style you want, it’d be a good idea to stalk consignment sites such as Fashionphile or Ann’s Fabulous Finds to see the trend of prices for the style you are looking for.

Just based on what I’ve seen, some styles that have pretty good pre-loved prices include any lambskin styles, and the classic Medium/Large flap in beige clair caviar leather in either gold or silver hardware. Styles that are very marked-up on the pre-loved market include the rectangular and square minis in caviar, as well as any coveted seasonal colours, such as the oil slick rainbow hardware Boy bag from a few seasons ago, and any styles in the light gold / rose gold chevron caviar from last year.

Hope these tips were useful for you!

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Essence lotions, what are they, how to fit them in your routine, and some recent discoveries from Tatcha, La Prairie, Sekkisei and Omorovicza

Essence lotions have been in Asian skincare for as long as I can remember. Back when Western skincare brands were heavy on the alcohol-rich astringent-type toners, Asian skincare was all about that enriched essence water. Long story short, an essence lotion (or essence water) is basically a supercharged, nutrient-dense watery serum. There are a ton of them on the market, but the most famous one is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. In recent years, a lot of Western brands have also started to release more of these essence lotions, or global brands have started to bring their previously Asia-exclusive essence lotion products to Western countries. What makes these different from an acidic toner (such as Pixi Glow Tonic), is that in general essence lotions tend to be more on the hydrating side, and you also are encouraged to apply this by patting it into your skin with your palms rather than using a cotton pad.

In terms of how to fit this into your usual skincare routine, generally you want to use the lightest/most watery products first in your routine. I use my essence lotion after cleansing and after my exfoliating toner (such as the Pixi Glow Tonic), or to replace my exfoliating toner. Then I apply my serums and moisturizers, and sunscreen during the day. You can use essence lotions during the day and at night, and I love it for both.

Tatcha The Essence (C$114 for 150mL) was probably one of the launches by the brand that I was the most excited about. It contains 98.7% of Tatcha’s proprietary blend of Japanese superfluid made with green tea, rice, and algae. It is marketed as a skin plumping skin softener, which is a very Japanese skincare concept. I’m not sure if it was the hype or how much I was looking forward to this, I was actually just okay about it. It is completely scent-free, which I appreciate in the morning when my senses are just waking up, and it does do a pretty decent job at hydrating and softening my skin, in preparation of the next steps. That being said, for something to be called an essence, I expected a bit more than just basic hydration. I didn’t notice that it did anything to help smooth fine lines or firm my skin over time. It’s decent, but didn’t blow my socks off.

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion ($330 for 150mL) contains primarily Caviar Water, which is active water infused with Caviar extracts. This is the thickest of all the essences here,it felt more like a light serum than a water essence. It used this on a trip to Toronto on a cold spell and I was very happy to say that it kept my skin feeling very hydrated, plump, and smooth. My skin was also smoother and more radiant after a few weeks of using this. That being said, it has a super strong scent that is very fragrant. I generally love La Prairie’s scents but this one seemed too potent and was a bit bothersome after a while. It does work, so if you are able to stomach the strong scent (and the price), then I would recommend this.

Newly released last year from Omorovicza is the Omoressence (C$150 for 100mL), a product developed in collaboration with a Hungarian Nobel-prize winning lab. This product contains primarily Hungarian Thermal Water, which will help to balance, hydrate, and prepare the skin for other products. It also helps to guard against environmental stress throughout the day. I love the way it smells, very fresh and energizing. I also love that it’s very nicely hydrating and helps to smooth my lines. It leaves my skin feeling moist, which is what I want after using an essence, and then other products cling onto it for better absorption. I’m a little bit disappointed that the bottle is a bit smaller than I was hoping – it comes in only a 100mL size, compared to other essence lotions which tend to come in bigger sizes.

An oldie but serious goodie is the Kose Sekkisei Lotion (C$57 for 200mL) and the Sekkisei Enriched Lotion (C$77 for 200mL). These were one of the first essence lotions that I was ever exposed to, so I’m very happy that they are now available in Canada through Shoppers Drug Mart. These lotions were designed by the Japanese to create luminous, smooth skin. I use this as a toner at night because its not the most hydrating of essences. It contains quite a bit of alcohol, which may not be great for sensitive skin folks. It does a fantastic job at keeping my skin clear, even-toned, and also improving brightness.

I’ve also previously reviewed the Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence, Pixi Glow Tonic, as well as some essences in spray form.

Do you use essence lotions in your routine? Which ones are your favourites?

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Treat yourself with a Garnier SkinActive Sheet Mask… without breaking the bank!

Sheet masks are the fastest and easiest way to treat yourself to a salon-quality facial without leaving the comforts of your own home… and without breaking the bank! Today I want to share with you three sheet masks from Garnier SkinActive that I’ve recently been introduced to. At $3.99 a piece, these sheet masks are incredibly affordable, and still deliver fantastic results.

The first one is the Moisture Bomb Glow-Boosting Super Hydrating Mask with Sakura Flower Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. This incredibly juicy sheet mask is chock full of serum, so much so that after 15 minutes, the mask is still dripping wet. It smells very fresh, with a light floral scent that isn’t overpowering. The mask textile itself is nothing special, like a cotton-fibre weave, but the fit is perfect for my face. It sticks to the contours of my face very well, and I didn’t once have to adjust it. I can do stuff around the house without worrying about it falling off. The serum is very lightweight and super skin-plumping. After one 15 minute session, I felt like my skin indeed felt a bit brighter, and significantly more hydrated.

Next we have the Moisture Bomb Anti-Fatigue Super Hydrating Mask with Lavender Essential Oils and Hyaluronic Acid. This is such a wonderful face mask to relax in after a long day at work. Similar to the Glow-Boosting Mask, the mask fits very well to the contour of my face, and is also drenched in hydrating serum. Again, this is a great face mask to use if your skin is feeling dry or dull. The amount of serum in the pack also makes it a great mask to use on airplanes because it won’t dry up as fast.

Lastly, for those who are looking for some skin purification, the Super Purifying Charcoal Sheet Mask with Black Algae, LHA and Hyaluronic Acid is amazing for those living in the big city and are in need of deep detox. It contains charcoal powder, pineapple fruit extract, and papaya fruit extract to exfoliate and purify the skin. For regular use, I found this to be a bit too drying for my dehydrated / dry skin type. That being said, I can see this mask being amazing for those who live in Toronto / Montreal during the summer where it is very hot and humid and there is significant pollution. I would probably also take this on vacation with me if I were to visit China or somewhere else that has a hotter climate with elevated levels of pollution.

For just $3.99 per mask, you really can’t go wrong with any of these. My top pick out of these three is the Moisture Bomb Glow-Boosting Super Hydrating Mask – it really helped to brighten and plump my skin.  You can pick these up now at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada, including London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, and more.

Product received for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Dior Summer 2018 Cool Wave collection

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

I was super lucky to receive a few products from the Dior Summer 2018 Cool Wave collection to share with you. Dior’s summer collections usually tend to be similar to fashion’s resort collections, featuring bright colours and beautifully tanned skin.

The first two products I want to share are the Dior 5-Couleur Eye Shadows (C$73) in shades 367 Cool Down and 597 Heat Up. Cool Down is, of course, the blue-toned palette, featuring all shimmery shades of blue. Heat Up is a beautifully warm-toned palette featuring shimmery corals, gold, and warm browns.

For a blue-based eyeshadow palette, Cool Down is actually surprisingly beautiful. I used to be drawn to blue shadoww palettes way more when I was younger, but I’ve fallen out of love in the last few years. I’ve also owned a number of Dior blue shadow palettes and this one is probably the best quality I’ve seen in a few years. Normally Dior blues tend to be chalky, sheer, and not very blendable, whereas Cool Down applied and blended beautifully.

Heat Up is my absolute favourite though out of the entire collection. I was gawking at how beautiful the shades were, and how smooth and buttery it all applied. The burnt red-orange in the middle of the palette had a bit of gold flash as well, which worked very well to tie all the colours together. The one shade that was a low-performer was the highlight shade on the top right – Cool Down also had a similar highlight shade and it was also not the greatest.

Next, we have two new products, the Diorshow Cooling Sticks (C$41). These are creamy eyeshadow sticks that feel cooling upon application. The two shades I have are 001 Bronze Wave and 003 Fresh Pink. Bronze Wave is a pretty neutral-toned bronze, and Fresh Pink is a metallic cool-toned light pink. I love Bronze Wave as I can wear this on its own as a quick eye look – it blended so seamlessly to create an easy neutral eye. Fresh Pink is a bit too cool-toned and a bit too light for me so I don’t really use this as much on its own, but it does look nice as an inner corner highlight.

There are a few lip products to pick from to complement the eye look. The three formulas available this season are the Dior Lip Maximizer in a limited edition 011 Pool Blue shade, as well as the Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in four different shades, and the Dior Addict Lipstick in two shades. The Lip Maximizer (C$42) in the limited edition Blue Pool is really cool. Its a super sheer baby blue gloss with subtle shimmers, and it also has lip plumper properties. A few years ago, blue gloss was super popular and several brands released blue glosses, and I remember really wanting one to try. The blue tint helps your teeth look brighter, which is pretty cool. This gloss isn’t too sticky either, which is good for someone like me who isn’t too into gloss.

The Dior Addict Lip Tattoo (C$37) shade I have is 571 Cranberry, which is a really nice mauve-y dark pink. The other shades are 341 Litchi, 551 Watermelon, and 641 Orange. I love the Lip Tattoo formula – it is an incredible lip stain that feels cooling on the lips and leaves a stain that lasts all day, through meals. The Dior Addict Lipstick (C$44) comes in two shades – 040 White Splash and 411 Nude Chill. White Splash is the one I have and it’s a clear lipstick with mint extract and subtle blue shimmers, which again helps to plump the lips and brighten teeth.

For the nails, there are also three Dior Vernis (C$34) shades available 404 Splash, 541 Wizz and 894 Blop, in blue, orange-coral, and pink tones, respectively. Lastly, for your face, you can also upgrade your bronzer to the Diorskin Mineral Nude Bronze (C$58), available in four shades to suit most skin tones.

My top picks are the 5-Couleur Eye Shadow in 597 Heat Up, Diorshow Cooling Stick in Bronze Wave, and Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in 571 Cranberry. I would skip the Dior Addict Lipstick in White Splash since it’s basically just clear.

The Dior 2018 summer Cool Wave collection is available after April 13 in Canada, at Holt Renfrew, The Bay, Nordstrom, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and other places where Dior Beauty is sold.

P.S. My apologies for the quality of today’s photos. I could not find my SD card so I had to use my phone to take photos instead…

The swatches

5-Couleur Eye Shadow in 597 Heat Up

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

5-Couleur Eye Shadow in 367 Cool Down

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

Diorshow Cooling Stick in Bronze Wave and Fresh Pink, Lip Maximizer in Blue Pool, Dior Addict Lipstick in White Splash , and Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in 571 Cranberry

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

Product provided for review consideration; opinions are my own.

Holy mother of serums – La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir

Honestly, if you had told me that I would be sitting at an exclusive banquet dinner to launch the new La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir, I would have said that you must be dreaming. But alas, this did come true and in February, 2018, I attended a launch event for this serum of serums – a C$1,555 night elixir that promises to encourage skin detox, improve skin respiration, provide life-infusing skin nutrients, and boost the skin’s self-defense capabilities as you sleep.

The Platinum Cellular Night Elixir is probably one of the most expensive skincare products on the market, containing the highest concentration of La Prairie’s exclusive Cellular Complex, combined with the Advanced Platinum Complex that is exclusive to La Prairie’s platinum line. Each bottle contains only 20mL, but a tiny bit goes a very very long way (thank goodness because this stuff is $78 per mL!!!). It comes in the most beautiful bottle – designed to look like a purple diamond, with a platinum-hued dropper.

I was sent home from the event with a 3mL sample bottle, which, to be honest, I haven’t opened. If this stuff is unicorn tears, then I will be saving it for a special occasion, like for my wedding or the month after I have my first child (and need my skin to bounce back despite lack of sleep).

If you have $1,750 to spare (after tax), then get yourself to a La Prairie counter. La Prairie also offers complimentary mini-facials where you can experience this magical elixir applied on your skin first before you make the investment. I’ve had amazing results with pretty much every La Prairie product I’ve used in the past, so I’m expecting that my socks will be blown off by this one as well.

The La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir is available now at Holt Renfrew Vancouver, as well as other La Prairie counters across Canada.

Thanks to the La Prairie team for inviting me to the dinner, and for gifting me with the product.

NEW at The Body Shop, featuring Roots of Strength, Drops of Youth, and Spa of the World!

A few years ago, The Body Shop released their Oils of Life collection and everything changed for them. The Intensely Revitalizing Cream was one of my go-to moisturizers for a while, and it was comparable to a lot of the high end moisturizers that I’ve used. At the time, I was really excited to see what The Body Shop will come out with in the years to come, and I haven’t been disappointed. I was recently invited to The Body Shop to check out some of their new collections in person, and I really have to say that a lot of these products are excellent.

The collection that I was most excited to see was Roots of Strength. This multi-step range of firming and lifting products that contains your core products – an Essence Lotion (C$22), a Shaping Serum (C$42), and a Day Cream (C$34). It harnesses the power of traditional Chinese medicinal concepts using ginger root and ginseng root to strengthen and lift your skin. This range is 100% vegan, is free of mineral oil, paraffins, and petrolatum, and the serum also contains 99% ingredients of natural origins. I really like the Essence Lotion; it’s lightweight and non-sticky, and really gives my skin a good dose of hydration.

Next we have Drops of Youth, which is not a new range but is introducing some new products. Namely, a Youth Bouncy Eye Mask (C$32) and a Youth Gentle Foaming Wash (C$20) to round out the collection. The cooling Bouncy Eye Mask contains cucumber extract which is refreshing and depuffing. It’s super light and silky, so you can apply this lightly during the day, or as an overnight night mask. The light texture actually feels okay over makeup too. The Gentle Foaming Wash isn’t something I’m super into as I don’t really like self-foaming cleansers anymore, but this would be a good product for someone with combination or oily skin and still want a bit of that anti-aging.

Lastly, we have Spa of the World, which is one of my favourite The Body Shop lines. For a relatively inexpensive brand, The Body Shop does luxury spa so well. Celebrating exotic ingredients and beauty traditions from around the world, Spa of the World released four new shower products – Tahitian Tiaré Bath & Shower Oil-In-Gel, Brittany Coast Algae Bath & Shower Gel, Balkan Juniper Bath & Shower Gel, Adriatic Peony Bath & Shower Cream (C$14 each). These amazing shower products are so luxurious, despite the completely reasonable price tag. I have the Tahitian Tiaré Bath & Shower Oil-In-Gel, which smells fresh and floral, and is super hydrating. It contains honey as well as coconut oil and other oil extracts, to keep your skin nice and supple in and out of the shower. From the same collection, I also have the Brazilian Cupuaçu Exfoliating Scrub-in-Oil (C$32) which is the most decadent body scrub but with the most reasonable price. Every time I smell these products, it brings me to somewhere warm and sunny.

These new The Body Shop products are available in stores and online now!

 

Product received for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Celebrating 50 years of cleansing oils with Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

I can hardly believe that it’s already been 50 years since the creation of the cleansing oil by Shu Uemura. Indeed, Shu was the first brand of cleansing oil that I’ve ever tried, over 10 years ago. At the time, there were only a few formulas available, so it’s amazing that there are so many different variations available for different skin types. I was generously sent a beautiful gift box containing the top four formulas, made for specific skin types.

Shu’s cleansing oils are made to effectively remove makeup and impurities from the skin, and prepping the skin for the follow-up steps. Shu claims that double cleansing is not necessary since it rinses completely and doesn’t leave behind any residue (although I personally still prefer to double cleanse).

The four formulas I received are:

  • Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil – the richest formula created by Shu, this is the all-rounder product that targets all skin products. Created primarily for those with dry or aging skin types, the Ultime8 is made with traditional Chinese medicine in mind. This is an amazing cleansing oil, particularly in the winter, as it is very effective at removing all makeup, including eye makeup, without getting into my eyes. It smells a bit medicinal, like something that would be good for you. It’s not stripping at all, unlike some cleansing oils, and is great for all skin types except the super oily types. Shu often makes limited edition bottles of the Ultime8 so if that’s also something to be on the lookout for.
  • Anti-Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil – created for those living in highly populated big cities with pollution, this cleansing oil is anti-pollution and will remove polluting impurities from deep within your skin. It contains the potent anti-oxidant green tea extract, as well as moringa, to improve skin dullness and sallowness. I really enjoy this one, as it is not too rich and not too light. It’s a very effective makeup remover, and doesn’t strip the skin. I’m not sure how good it is at anti-pollution, but my skin usually looks pretty good when I use this (in combination with other products). The Anti-Oxi is one of my top picks in terms of a cleansing oil from Shu.
  • POREfinist2 Sakura Fresh Cleansing Oil – the lightest Shu cleansing oil, made for oily skin types. Blended with sakura and cinnamon bark extract, it helps to regulate oil production as well as shrink the appearance of pores. This is probably my least favourite cleansing oil – not surprisingly because I have dry skin. It feels too light on me and also strips my skin a little. The lightness of the oil also means that if I am removing eye makeup, the oil migrates into my eyes and then it stings. Regardless, it’s an effective cleansing oil for removing base makeup, and because of the slip, a little goes quite a long ways.
  • Nutri-nectar Cleansing Oil in Emulsion – this is a brand new formula for this year to celebrate Shu’s 50 years in the cleansing oil market. Created for sensitive skin types in mind, it blends together acai, magnolia, and reishi mushrooms. It has a thicker jelly-like texture that is really fun to use. Because of the thicker consistency, I find it a little bit harder to rinse off (you’ll need a bit more water and a bit more effort to massage the skin and emulsify the jelly). I also prefer to use this on days where I am not wearing so much eye makeup because it doesn’t have as much slip compared to one of the lighter oils. That being said, it feels really nice and gentle on the skin.

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

My top pick is definitely the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil.

Lastly, of course everyone knows Shu Uemura also for its lash curlers. Over the years, I’ve purchased and repurchased this lash curler a number of times, and it’s still my #1 go-to lash curler that I bring with me everywhere I go. I’m a fan of the classic silver design, as well as of their various limited edition designs such as gold, black lacquer, and more. A lash curler is such an essential part of the makeup kit, and Shu’s version is definitely a top cult classic.

You can pick up Shu Uemura cleansing oils and lash curlers, as well as other Shu Uemura products, at The Bay and Sephora.

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

Product provided by PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Brighten up your spring nails with CND Chic Shock

It’s no secret that CND Vinylux quickly made it as my favourite nail polish formula. This is the only formula I wear regularly now, and I’m loving the variety of shades that get introduced every season. For Spring 2018, CND releases Chic Shock, an Easter candy and K-beauty inspired collection that contains four beautiful pastel shades.

The four shades are :

  • Candied – a cool-toned baby pink creme
  • Taffy – a light turquoise mint creme
  • Jellied – a muted yellow creme
  • Gummi – a light violet creme

In the photo above, I’m wearing the Shellac equivalents of Candied, Taffy, and Jellied, dotted to look like a cute French manicure. It reminds me of candy, marshmallows, balloons, and Tsum Tsums at the same time! Thanks to Onyx Aesthetics Studio for the amazing manicure, as always.

In addition to the new shades, CND also revamped its bottle design, which correlates with its reformulation of the Vinylux formula. Vinylux now contains more conditioning oils to keep your nails healthy while still looking chic. The brush is also redesigned, featuring a wider and flatter brush that makes application super easy.

Vinylux polishes are super long lasting – I literally wear mine for 7-10 days and the only reason I need to remove and reapply is because of growth. I rarely get chipping, and the colour stays shiny throughout the entire time. You can now find CND Vinylux at Shoppers Drug Mart too, which is super convenient.

Chic Shock is now available wherever CND products are sold!

Products provided for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

You are invited to the La Prairie Pop-Up Lounge at Holt Renfrew Vancouver!

I wanted to share with everyone an exciting event that’s happening right now at Holt Renfrew Vancouver – a pop-up La Prairie Lounge to celebrate the launch of the White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire, the newest addition to the La Prairie White Caviar range. This amazing cream launched yesterday across Canada (I was sent a bottle of this amazing White Caviar Creme so I will be reviewing it in detail in a separate post).

This lounge is open to everyone, and will include interactive and social media-able moments, as well as an “Art of Illumination” service. In addition, the event will offer:

  • Refreshments and light bites on opening day and Saturdays & Sundays
  • mySkin dermograph appointments (you can read about my experience doing the demograph
  • Black & white portrait photography
  • Various complimentary skin and hand treatments using the White Caviar products, including a by-appointment 45 minute White Caviar facial.

I visited the lounge to check out the space and also to get the White Caviar Facial Treatment. The lounge is such a cool pop-up space where you can sit and chat with your friends, and learn about La Prairie’s White Caviar products. All of the products are on display, and it’s an informal way of experiencing La Prairie, especially if you’ve never tried the products before or if you feel a bit more intimidated to visit the actual counter. It’s located next to the elevators on the beauty floor at Holt Renfrew, behind the Christian Louboutin counter and across the the Diptyque / luxury fragrances spaces.

The White Caviar Facial Treatment was such a treat! It came at the perfect time because I will be travelling next week and my skin has also been super out of wack from the change in weather. Even though it is a complimentary facial, you actually get to experience a real La Prairie facial inside their facial room. The products used are all White Caviar products, which help promote brightness and skin luminosity, as well as instant lifting and smoothing. The two main products used were the 3-minute peel, as well as the Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask.

If you want to try out a La Prairie experience but don’t have 45 minutes to spare, you can also walk-in for a quick 5-10 minute treatment as well. Check out the treatment options below.

The La Prairie Lounge is a pop-up only and is available at Holt Renfrew Vancouver (737 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver) from today until March 31, daily from noon to 6PM. You can also call Holt Renfrew at (604) 681-3121 to book one of the complimentary treatments.

Thanks to La Prairie for inviting me to check out the Lounge!

Top 4 favourite foundation formulas of ALL TIME, featuring La Prairie, Guerlain, Dior, and Too Faced

IMG_7129

As a beauty blogger, I go through so many products. One of the things I love testing out the most is foundation. In addition to great skin, it’s also important to start your makeup with a beautiful and smooth complexion, with the help of a good foundation. Today, after nearly 10 years of blogging and foundation testing, I want to share with you my top four formulas.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation

If money was no issue and I could have an unlimited supply of any foundation, it would be this one. My go-to foundation for when I need my skin to look flawless for endless hours, the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation never ceases to amaze me with how amazing it can make my skin look and feel. It does an incredible job at smoothing out my fine lines and pores, and also hides any dryness really well. Every time I use this, I am basically guaranteed to have good skin. It’s so expensive though, so I really only use this when my skin needs it, otherwise I’m so scared to run out because the high price means I am likely to pick up another one. I did a full review here. I wear the shade Warm Linen, which is the perfect match for me.

Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation

My second favourite foundation, and something I am actually very likely to repurchase is the Parure Gold Foundation by Guerlain. Again, this is something I use when I need good skin, whether its for an event or wedding, or maybe I have something after work and I need my makeup to look good all day. This doesn’t have as good staying power as the La Prairie, but it does make my skin look lit from within. This is my go-to foundation to take with me when I travel, because flying wrecks havoc on my skin so I need a good foundation to balance out the dryness and also give back some of that glow. You can check out my full review here. I wear the shade 02, which is a 95% good match to my skin.

Diorskin Air Nude

My go-to foundation for when I need to cover a bit of redness, or on a good skin day, the Diorskin Air Nude is a “serum foundation,” super lightweight, easy to apply, and generally foolproof. It doesn’t have very good coverage, so I only really wear this when I have nowhere fancy to go, and it’s also great in the summer when I want something lighter. The only thing is because the foundation is so light, I tend to go through this very quickly. That being said, it’s not too too expensive that I can definitely repurchase this when the time comes! I wear the shade 020.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

I was so in love with this foundation when it first released that I wore it nonstop for months. I was later introduced to a few other foundations and then forgot about this in the back of my foundation drawer. I recently took it back out because I remembered how much I loved it, and alas, it was like falling in love all over again. The Born This Way foundation is the most high coverage of all the ones here, and in addition to being a high coverage foundation, it also soft focuses my skin and blurs out all of my imperfections. I can layer this over itself and it never looks or feels heavy or cakey. It is also extremely long wearing – after a full day’s work without touchups, it is still mostly intact on my face. I wear the shade Warm Nude, which is a great match for me. You can see my previous review here.

You can purchase La Prairie, Guerlain, and Dior at Holt Renfrew, and Too Faced at Sephora.

What are some of your favourite foundations?

Products provided by PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own. My original Diorskin Air Nude was purchased by me, but then the Dior PR graciously sent me another one.