Summer wedding makeup tips to keep your makeup from lasting longer in the heat, featuring For Beloved One, La Prairie, Tatcha, and Charlotte Tilbury

You know you’re in your late 20s when your summers are spent attending various weddings. Thankfully I’m not one with too many close friends, so I don’t have THAT many to go to, and my boyfriend’s friends also aren’t really at the marrying stage yet, so I haven’t been entirely crushed my wedding season yet. I do enjoy the few weddings a year that I go to though.

My personal philosophy for doing any kind of makeup is that you still want to look like you – this is especially true for wedding photos (either yours or someone else’s) because you don’t want to look like someone else. Looking back at these photos, you want to be able to recognize you!

In general, don’t use any new products a month before the wedding, or any big event, in case your skin reacts poorly to it. As a beauty blogger, this was harder than ever since I am constantly testing out new products, but I did my best!

To prep my skin, a few days before the wedding I like to exfoliate my skin, then apply a hydrating mask the night before. The reason I exfoliate 2-3 days before the wedding is that exfoliation causes skin sensitivity, and oftentimes summer weddings are outdoors so I don’t want to make it easier for my skin to get hyperpigmentation from sun exposure. I exfoliated my skin with Miracle 10 Enzyme Face Scrub, an exfoliator that combines both physical and chemical exfoliation. It’s quite gentle but gets the job done. I used the For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid GHK-Cu Moisturizing Bio-Cellulose Mask, which is extremely hydrating to help keep my skin looking supple and ready for a long day of makeup. I then follow up with my normal routine at night, and go to sleep.

The morning of the wedding, I like to make sure that, again, my skin is properly hydrating. I have dehydrated skin, so any dryness will show through my foundation and create a cakey look, which is what I want to avoid. I will always use a hydrating serum, and then to create an extra bit of glow, I use my La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold. Sun protection is important, particularly if the ceremony is going to be outdoors, but you also want to avoid having that awful white cast in flash photography. Choose a sunscreen that doesn’t use titanium dioxide as its key ingredient – I like the TATCHA Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35. This sunscreen has high enough SPF protection to protect you even in the harshest of sunlight, but it’s still lightweight, making it ideal for a hot day. Bonus, it also doubles as a makeup primer because of its pore smoothing properties.

In terms of foundation, I try to go for something that is lightweight, but still has medium to full coverage. I’m not generally a fan of concealer because I don’t want that full mask coverage effect, but I use some in my under eye area to brighten any dark circles. I’ve been using the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation, which is exactly what I like in a convenient package. The top cover flips up to reveal a high coverage brightening concealer, and the bottom is a medium to full coverage foundation that is super light but still offers that nice coverage. The shade I use is Warm Linen and it’s a good match for my light medium skin tone. The La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation is the most expensive foundation I’ve ever used, and I believe it is also marketed as being the most expensive foundation on the market. Despite it being a makeup product, it contains heavy doses of La Prairie’s signature Cellular Complex, as well as the famous Caviar Extracts, so it doubles as a skincare product. As foundation covers your entire face for often longer than 12 hours a day, you want to make sure that you’re giving your skin only the best ingredients.

This foundation sets down to a satin finish, so I like to set it with some powder. I’ve been using my Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder a lot, and it’s also the first powder I ever hit pan on. The finely milled powder is perfect for setting foundation without leaving any cakeyness behind. I will definitely repurchase this.

In terms of my eyes, I’ve been reaching for my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette a lot. It’s easy to apply, blends out nicely, wears for a long time, and also is crease-proof and fade-proof throughout the day. I also love using my Amaterasu Liquid Liner for a crisp, kitten flick, and then Lancome Grandiose Mascara Extreme for fluttery lashes.

What are your tips for keeping your wedding face looking fresh throughout the day?

Transform your rocker chic look from day to night with Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth’s Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

As you all know my crazy obsession with Charlotte Tilbury’s products, today I’m really excited to share with you the newest Charlotte Tilbury look that I’ve had the pleasure of testing – The Rock Chick! In addition to The Rock Chick, I also enjoy using The Vintage Vamp, The Sophisticate, The Bombshell, and my absolute favourite, The Dolce Vita.

The Rock Chick Luxury Palette (C$66) is coordinated like any other of Charlotte’s palettes to create a desk to dusk, to disco look – from the top left corner in a clockwise direction we have the prime, enhance, smoke, and pop shades, with the top two shades being the desk shades (most daytime appropriate), right two shades being the dusk shades (for after work drinks or events), and adding the bottom two to create the disco look (for those nights out).

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

The Rock Chick is one of Charlotte’s only cool-tone leaning palettes. It contains a shimmery champagne (prime), a shimmery taupe (enhance), a matte grey (smoke) and a glittery silver taupe (pop). The texture of each shade is as amazing as every other Charlotte palette I’ve used – it’s smooth, almost creamy, and extremely pigmented with very good adhesion and staying power. This palette creates an amazing smokey eye that looks great on all skin tones. I don’t generally use glittery shades, but the pop shade in this one really ties the entire look together. The glitter does not migrate, and instead helps to create a very cohesive, funky chic look. I never use primers with Charlotte’s eyeshadows (I have to with other shadows because my lids are oily) and I always get a full day’s wear out of them with just minimal creasing and fading. They’re the one eyeshadow palette that I reach for time and time again.

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

During the day, pair your Rock Chick look with the ultra bright fuchsia Hot Lips lipstick in Bosworth’s Beauty (C$38). This is the most cool-toned lipstick in my collection, and honestly a bit too cool-toned for me. It is fiercely bright, and will definitely create a statement. In addition to it being so bright and cool-toned for my skintone, I actually found the formula to be a bit streaky and settle into lip lines. Sadly this one is a pass, unless you have very pale or cool-toned skin. I would prefer something more neutral like KISSING Lipstick in Bitch Perfect or Penelope Pink, or Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillowtalk.

At night, pick up a more vampy lipstick suck as KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson (C$38). Charlotte’s KISSING Lipstick is one of my all time favourite lipstick formulas – I think I own like 6 of the 10. I love that it applies easily, is lightly hydrating, and is very lightweight on the lips. Night Crimson is a beautiful vampy red that can be worn sheerly like a vampy stain, or with full on coverage.

I highly recommend you check out The Rock Chick palette, or any one of Charlotte’s Luxury palettes. The KISSING Lipstick is also a winner. If you need more Charlotte Tilbury shopping ideas, check out my shopping guide here.

The swatches

Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches
Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, Hot Lips in Bosworth's Beauty, and KISSING Lipstick in Night Crimson review and swatches

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

Review – THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the cutest press kit in the mail, thanks to Dr. Belmeur. Dr. Belmeur is a new line of skincare created by THE FACE SHOP that uses mild, plant-based formulations. It has two lines, designed specifically for dry, sensitive skin, and oily, problematic skin. This is THE FACE SHOP’s cosmeceutical line, which combines the brand’s skincare experience with science and medicine. I received three products from the Dr. Belmeur brand to try from its Daily Repair Line – the Daily Repair Toner, the Daily Repair Moisturizer, and its best seller, the Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream.

The Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Line was created to tacke dry, sensitive, and easily damaged skin. Daily Repair Foam Cleanser, Daily Repair Toner, and Daily Repair Moisturizer form the basic routine, which helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier to aid skin in generating a healthy, hydrated complexion. All of the products are made in Korea.

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review

The Daily Repair Toner (C$28 for 200mL) is used on dry skin after cleansing. It provides moisture deep within the skin’s surface, and helps to relief sensitivity and dryness.

I really love this toner, it’s very hydrating and leaves my skin feeling soft, replenished, and plump. It has a light fragrance that’s actually pretty refreshing. I apply this on cleansed, dry skin with a cotton pad, and in addition to being hydrating on its own, I feel like it helps improve the absorption of the other products I use. I also find it to help reduce my sensitivity. For a mid to high end brand, the price point is also very reasonable for the size. Overall it’s a winner.

The Daily Repair Moisturizer (C$32 for 120mL) is a basic moisturizer that was created to calm sensitive skin, and also to serve as a barrier to protect skin damaged by external environmental aggressors. It contains natural oil ingredients derived from olive leaves. The first thing I noticed is that the value on this moisturizer is amazing. You essentially get 2.4x the volume of a normal moisturizer for a very affordable price. For a basic moisturizer, it’s pretty amazing.

While it feels really fluid and lightweight, the Daily Repair Moisturizer deeply hydrates my skin and also leaves it feeling soothed and less sensitive. My skin feels full of water, if that makes sense. In just a few short days, my skin is significantly less red. This is also a great basic moisturizer for men as they can use it after shaving to relieve razor burn. I’m surprising myself when I say that between this and the Belif Moisturizing Bomb, I actually prefer the Daily Repair Moisturizer because it does not feel so silicone-y.

The Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream (C$42 for 80mL) is one of the best-sellers in the Dr. Belmeur brand. It’s a face cream that was designed specifically for those suffering from atopic eczema. It cotnains 8% dead sea salt, providing deep skin moisture as well as itch relief. It has a gel-cream type texture that spreads easily, absorbs quickly, and leaves a protective barrier on the skin that isn’t greasy or heavy.

My boyfriend has eczema and very dry skin and he’s not the best at applying moisturizers on a daily basis, but this does help to provide temporary relief against discomfort. Normally his dry spots will flake and itch throughout the day, he says if he applies this cream regularly, it eradicates the flaking and also relieves the itching. He says he likes this even better than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream for treating his eczema. Even though it is slightly on the pricier side compared to the Daily Repair Moisturizer, the value is still pretty incredible as most moisturizers come in 50, and at most 60mL sizes. This one comes in a 80mL size.

All three products have been really nice surprises in terms of how they’ve worked on my skin, and also the price for the value. Both my boyfriend and I can enjoy this line together, which is great for when we’re travelling and are short on suitcase space (or when we’re lazy haha). I would definitely recommend checking out the Dr. Belmeur line at THE FACE SHOP stores.

In addition to these three products in the Daily Repair line, there is also the Daily Repair Cleanser (C$17), the Daily Repair Soothing Gauze Sheet Mask (C$6), Daily Repair Cleansing Water (C$25), under skincare, as well as base makeup products Daily Repair Calamine Tone-up Cushion (C$29) and Daily Blemish Balm Cushion (C$29).

The second line under the Dr. Belmeur brand is for those with oily, congested, and acne-prone skin. The Clarifying Line contains a Clarifying Toner (C$28), Clarifying Moisturizer (C$32) and Clarifying Spot Calming Ampoule (C$35), which is a BHA spot treatment.

Dr. Belmeur will be available at THE FACE SHOP stores across Canada and online at starting May 1, 2017.

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review

Daily Repair Toner ingredients: Water/Eau• Dipropylene Glycol• 1,2-Hexanediol• Propanediol• Glycerin• Glycereth-26• Panthenol• Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice• Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Extract• Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract• Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract• Phytosphingosine• Beta-Glucan• Hydroxyethycellulose• Carbomer• Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil• Octyldodeceth-16• Tromethamine• Trisodium Edta• Ethylhexylglycerin• Parfum/Fragrance

Daily Repair Moisturizer ingredients: Water/Eau• Dipropylene Glycol• Gylcerin• Cyclopentasiloxane• 1,2-Hexanediol• Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Extract• Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate• Hydrogenated Polydecene• Cetearyl Alcohol• Peg-40 Stearate• Glyceryl Stearate• Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter• Phytosphingosine• Beta-Glucan• Sorbitan Stearate• Panthenol• Mondarda Didyma Leaf Extract• Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice• Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Extract• Salvia Offinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract• Xanthan Gum• Hydroxyethylcellulose• Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer• Tocopheryl Acetate• Cetearyl Olivate• Dimethicone• Stearic Acid• Carbomer• Tromethamine• Peg-100 Stearate• Sorbitan Olivate• Trisodium Edta• Ethylhexylglycerin• Parfum/Fragrance

Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream ingredients: Water/Eau•Cyclopentasiloxane•Sea Salt/Sel Marin• Glycerin•Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride• Ceresin• Propanediol• Hydrogenated Polydecene• Hexyl Laurate• Peg-10 Dimethicone• Panthenol• Niacinamide• Urea• Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid• 1,2-Hexanediol• Butylene Glycol• Alanyl Glutamine• Dimethiconol• Arnica Montana Flower Extract• Marrubium Vulgare Extract• Linum Alpinum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract• Peucedanum Ostruthium Leaf Extract• Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract• Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract• Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract• Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract• Sodium Hyaluronate• Disteardimonium Hectorite• Distearyldimonium Chloride• Ceramide Np• Ceramide Ap• Ceramide Eop• Phytosphingosine• Cholesterol• Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate• Palmitic Acid• Sorbitan Olivate• Ethylhexylglycerin• Carbomer• Xanthan Gum• Sea Water• Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil

THE FACE SHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Toner, Daily Repair Moisturizer, and Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream review
Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review – Elizabeth Arden Summer 2017 – Tropical Escape Colour Collection

Elizabeth Arden Summer 2017 Tropical Escape Colour Collection review

I’m super excited to share with you today Elizabeth Arden‘s summer 2017 Tropical Escape Colour Collection. My excitement for these collection is heightened because we have just booked a trip to Mexico in September, so the tropical colours are really getting to me.

The Elizabeth Arden Tropical Escape Colour Collection is seriously gorgeous. I’m usually meh about most summer collections because usually they’re full of bronzers and sparkles, but this one just feels different. There are a few new products as well, which is very exciting. The first product in the Tropical Escape Colour Collection is the FourEver Bronze Bronzing Powder (C$45), which is a four-in-one highlighter, contour, bronzer, and blush palette. It comes in one shade – medium – which is perfect for anyone who has light to medium skintones. I wasn’t too wowed by this bronzing palette, the individual shades are a tad on the small side so you won’t have a good time using this palette unless you have a smaller cheek brush.

The key ingredients in the FourEver Bronzing Powder are:

  • Silica, Mica & Sericite – soft focus microfine particles that diffuse light to blur fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dry Flo Starch – absorbs excess surface oils
  • Hyaluronic Acid – keeps skin hydrated
  • Lecithin – is an emulsifier to soften and smooth skin
  • Vitamins C & E – defends against environmental aggressors

Next, we have the Sheer Kiss Lip Oil (C$25), which are balmy, but still pretty pigmented, oily lip glosses. It helps to rejuvenate the skin without giving it a greasy feel, and is absolutely PERFECT for taking along with you on vacation because the packaging is so sleek, and also helps to protect your lips on those windy, salty, beachy shores. The packaging reminds me of those Estee Edit lip balms, but these are definitely way more pigmented. The two shades I got are 03 Coral Caress, which is an orange-based coral, and 04 Rejuvenating Red, which is a skintone brightening milky red.

The key incredients are:

  • Coconut Oil – soothes, hydrates and softens lips
  • Avovado Oil (second on the ingredients list) – moisturises and conditions with antioxidant protection
  • Tsubaki Oil – boosts natural collagen for plumper-looking lips
  • Meadowfoam Oil (fourth on the ingredients list) – balances out the lip’s natural oils
  • Splianthes Acmella Flower Extract – supports collagen for plumper  lips

It also contains peppermint oil, which is also a lip stimulant for plumper lips.

Lastly, we have the Limited Edition Dare to Bare Bronzing Oil (C$45), which is a BEAUTIFUL bronzing oil that also contains a ton of moisturizing oils to keep your body in tip-top shape after swimming in the ocean or the pool the day before. It smells coconutty and has a very warm, tropical scent. The scent also dissipates pretty quickly. I love this because it’s not super glittery, while it’s not only smooth shimmer and you can see some dispersed glitter, it’s still very smooth and not over the top, which will be good when you’re sitting across from someone at the pool and don’t want to blind them.

The key ingredients are:

  • Sunflower Seed Oil (first on the list) – maintains the skin’s barrier and decreases moisture loss
  • Jojoba Oil and Macadamia Oil (second and third on the ingredients list) – hydrate and soften the skin
  • Meadowfoam Seed Oil – helps balance skin’s oil levels for a smooth appearance
  • Pomegranate Seed Oil – soothes and protects
  • Vitamin E – protects against environmental attack

It also contains mineral oil, which is 5th on the ingredients list, plus mica for the shimmer.

While I’m not normally huge on shimmery body oils, my favourite product in this collection is surprisingly the Dare to Bare Bronzing Oil. I can’t wait to see this in Mexico!

The Elizabeth Arden Tropical Escape Colour Collection is available now at Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, and Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Elizabeth Arden Summer 2017 Tropical Escape Colour Collection review

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

The ultimate face balm showdown… May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon // Mahalo The Rare Indigo // Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm

Review of May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo The Rare Indigo and Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm

Face balms are my newest skin addiction. I might love them even more than facial oils because I love the feeling of it melting under the heat of my fingers. Today I have three of the natural skincare world’s most popular face balms to share with you, some of them have reached absolute cult favourite status.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (US$180 for 50mL, or $3.60 per mL) is one of the internet’s most popular skin balms. When May Lindstrom increased her product prices, this was the one that caused the most outrage. I was first introduced to The Blue Cocoon when I made my first May Lindstrom order where I received a very handsomely sized sample of this beautiful blue balm. It contains blue tansy, a prized blue oil that is fantastic at calming sensitivity, irritation, and redness. The Blue Cocoon is known to treat everything from dehydration to acne to congestion and everything in between.

The Blue Cocoon is my number 1 to go skin treatment for when I have any kind of skin irregularity, for example if my skin is feeling extra flakey, or once a few weeks ago when I was trying out a new moisturizer and my skin became completely congested and dry at the same time (how does that work, right?). Just two nights of this magical balm and my skin had returned 90% back to normal. In addition, this product smells AMAZING. It smells like a dream, as in full of beautiful light botanicals that come together to create the most incredible experience ever. I can’t stress how much I love this smell, and one whiff of this smells just calms me down and releases all of my worries and stresses. The scent lasts for at least a few minutes, lingering up for a few hours on the skin, so if you’re not a fan of it, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Since the first time trying this, I’ve gone through one sample jar, and also purchased a full size. I keep a sample jar with me on all of my travels because it is so good at calming airplane air.

Mahalo The Rare Indigo (US$110 for 30mL, or 3.67 per mL) is another internet cult favourite. It’s the one that is a purple-ish in colour. I received a generous sample of this from a friend of mine who is also obsessed with artisanal natural skincare brands like May Lindstrom. She was curious to see my thoughts of The Rare Indigo when compared to The Blue Cocoon, as she prefers The Rare Indigo. It uses a base of hemp seed oil, which is rich in protein and omega acids, and of course it also contains indigo extract, which is where the product derives its name and its beautiful purple-blue hue. In addition to the beautiful essential oils, it also contains coenzyme Q10 (which is also present in May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew but not The Blue Cocoon), and vitamin C.

After a few nights of using this, honestly I still prefer The Blue Cocoon. I could tell my skin had an immediate glow effect after using The Blue Cocoon, which was slightly lacking in The Rare Indigo. I also felt that it wasn’t as healing or moisturizing as The Blue Cocoon. In terms of scent, it is a lot less floral compared to The Blue Cocoon, with a light minty hemp smell. If you’re not a fan of florals (like in The Blue Cocoon), you may want to look into this one. It does still have a light aromatherapy effect on me.

Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm review

Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm (US$160 for 50mL or $3.20 per mL) is one of my newest discoveries. I first learned of this brand through Instagram, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the products are also mixed in small batches with love. The 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm is one of their most popular products, containing Argan, which is rich in Vitamin E and essential lipids that nourish skin and encourages more resilient skin while healing sun damage; marula, which is high in Vitamin C to help repair skin, brighten age spots, and firm; colloidal gold, which promotes firmness and elasticity whiles improving circulation and carrying nutrients down into the dermal layers of skin for deeper absorption; pomegranate – Improves skin’s elasticity and provides a powerful dose of antioxidants; seabuckthorn, which is high in vitamins and phyto-nutrients for rapid cellular renewal and faster healing of acne, scaring, and hyper-pigmentation; arnica, a potent anti-inflammatory that helps soothe the skin and increases healing; and rose, which soothes troubled skin and stabilizes emotions. The balm is a pretty gold colour, which looks rich and luxurious.

My first impression is that I really do not like the way it smells. I reached out to Marissa, founder of Precious Skin Elixirs to inquire about the scent, and she says it comes from rose essential oil, seakbuckthorn berry and cranberry seed oil. That sounds pretty good but for some reason it translates to smelling like Chinese medicine under my nose, like a very herbal medicinal scent. What I do love about this balm though is that is quickly transforms into a beautiful oil upon my touch, which just melts into the skin. I use half a pea size for my face and neck, and it’s fluid enough to cover that entire area. It absorbs very quickly, and I do feel like my skin is hydrated, calmed, and less sensitive after a few nights of using this. Will it ever replace my beloved The Blue Cocoon though? Unlikely.

Finally, in the order of preference, my loves are definitely May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, and the Precious Skin Elixirs 24Karat Luxe Restorative Balm. I don’t really understand the hype behind the Mahalo Rare Indigo, but I will keep trying it out to see  if I get an epiphany. Price-wise, the Precious Skin Elixirs is the most affordable – it was actually the same price of The May Lindstrom before she had a big price increase. Mahalo looks like it’s the most affordable, but you get 2/5 less product compared to the others. If I had to recommend just one balm, you need to pick up The Blue Cocoon.


May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon ingredients: *Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, ***Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, ***Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, ***Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, *Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, *Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, **Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, *Vanilla Planifolia Co2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera Co2 Fruit Extract, *Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil.

* Certified Organic

** Wild Harvested

*** Fair Trade, Raw & Unrefined

Mahalo The Rare Indigo ingredients: cannabis sativa (hemp seed) oil*, astrocaryum murmuru butter*, orbignya oleifera (babassu) butter*, sclerocarya birrea (virgin marula) oil*, vitis vinifera (grape seed) oil*, camellia japonica (thea seed) oil*, aleurites moloccans (kukui) oil*, euterpe oleracea (acai) oil*, in-house biodynamic proprietary infusion (astragalus, chamomile, comfrey, gromwell, hibiscus, indigo)*, polygonum tinctorium (indigo) extract, achillea millefolium (yarrow) oil*, matricaria chamomile (chamomile) oil*, helichrysum italicum (immortelle) oil*, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil*, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot fcf) oil*^, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil*, boswellia frereana (frankincense) oil*, rosa damascena (rose) oil*, ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), daucus carota (carrot seed) CO2 extract*, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C ester), non-gmo mixed tocopherols, vanilla planifolia (vanilla) oil, rosmarinus officials (rosemary antioxidant) CO2 extract, iris pallida (orris butter) oil
*clean ingredients: organic + local and/or wild harvested (when available)
^Bergamot fcf is free from bergapten, it has no photosensitizing effects

Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm ingredients: *Vitellaria nilotica (shea butter), **Argania spinosa (argan) oil, **Sclerocarya birrea (marula) oil, *Borago officinalis (borage) oil, *Punica granatum (pomegranate seed) oil, *Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry seed) oil, *Hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn berry), *Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Colloidal gold, *Calendula officinalis (calendula), *Arnica montana (arnica), *Rosa damascena (rose). *certified organic / **wildcrafted

Review of May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo The Rare Indigo and Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm

I received the Precious Skin Elixirs 24K Restorative Balm for review consideration, May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon was a sample I received with a previous purchase, and the Mahalo Indigo Balm was a sample my friend gave me; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Givenchy Prisme Blush and Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

This Spring, Givenchy is releasing two new face and cheek products designed to improve the convenience of creating that ultimate glow. Givenchy Prisme Blush (C$55) was one of the innovators in the blush palette world. Their original Prisme Blush contained four different shades to help create colour, contour, and highlight, all in one palette. It inspired the creation of countless other similar blush products, such as Marcelle’s quad blush, and Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact.

For Spring, Givenchy reformulated and repackaged this iconic blush palette with the introduction of eight different variations (pictured below) to help create that beautiful complexion. Instead of four shades in one, which used to be a bit tedious to use individually, now each palette contains two complimentary shades that work together to bring light and colour to the face. Each compact is formulated with Black Tahitian pearl powder to create a smoother and more radiant complexion, synthetic pigments varying from shimmers to mattes, and lauroyl and lysine for improved ease of application and greater staying power.

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

The shade I have to share with you is No. 1 Passion, which is a gorgeous coral red. On the left is a lightly shimmery champagne, and on the right is a satin coral red. Blended together, you get this most beautiful natural flush of colour. While I love the colour combination, I found the blush palette to be a little bit chalky and not as smooth as other blushes I’ve used. It is also intensely pigmented, which means that you will have to use a light hand, particularly when using the coral red shade on the right.

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches
Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

Givenchy Prisme Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches

In addition, Givenchy has created a travel loose powder, the Prisme Libre Travel (C$48), but combining the four different shades of its cult favourite Prisme Libre loose powder into a convenient travel case that you can take with you on vacation or in your daily makeup bag. Prisme Libre Travel is available in one shade – 01 Mousseline Pastel – which is also the universally flattering shade of the Prisme Libre powder. This powder is unbelievably finely milled, so much so that it feels like it dissolves on your skin into nothingness, while still creating a beautiful blurring effect.

You can apply this directly with the accompanying sponge (which is SO SOFT, by the way), or you can use a small powder brush. I prefer using the small powder brush, just because I’m kind of OCD about sponges. The brush also allows for a light dusting of powder, which works better on my dry skin.

Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches
Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches

You can pick up both the Prisme Blush and the Prisme Libre Travel at Sephora. Prisme Blush is available both online and in store, whereas Prisme Libre Travel is available online only.

The swatches

Givenchy Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion

Givenchy Spring / Summer 2017 Prisme Blush in No. 1 Passion review and swatches

Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel in 01 Mousseline Pastel

Givenchy Prisme Libre Travel for Spring / Summer 2017 review and swatches

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

Shop for your summer vacation stuff and save money at the same time with Groupon!

Groupon is my favourite website to go to when I want to look for an exciting new activity or restaurant experience without breaking the bank. The boyfriend and I have found several new go-to spots through Groupon. Did you know that not only do they sell discounted coupons for activities and restaurants, they also can help you save money when you shop online at other stores?

I love shopping online, and before I place any order, I always Google the retailer with a keyword “coupon” or “discount,” so that I can save more money in case there’s a discount code out there. Groupon actually posts a lot of these discount codes too through the Groupon Coupon feature. It’s absolutely free to use, and you can save on things like 10-20% off your total, get free shipping, or make yourself eligible for other promotions. With resort season coming up (I just booked a week trip to Mexico, wooot), you’ll want to save some money on the swimsuits and coverrups you buy… so that you can buy yourself a new hat or sunglasses!

Some of my favourite online retailers that work with Groupon include Nordstrom, Amazon US, ASOS, Saks Fifth Avenue (as well as Saks Off 5th), Kate Spade, and Forever 21. There are a ton more, other than the ones I’ve listed. If you haven’t checked out the Groupon Coupon feature, it’s definitely worth a look.

This post was sponsored by Groupon Coupon.

Feature – Sunday Riley Luna vs. The Ordinary Retinoid 2%

I’ve recently been OBSESSED with retinol / retinoids. My friend Angela uses retinol on a regular basis and she has the most amazing, poreless skin that’s babysoft and SO GLOWY. Much jelly. Anyways, I purchased the Sunday Riley Squad Goals kit last December, and I’ve been using the Luna Sleeping Night Oil every few nights, and so far I’ve been loving it. What I’m not loving so much is the price… at C$131 for 30mL, it’s pretty splurgy. That’s when I came across The Ordinary Retinoid 2%. It has the same active retinoid ingredient as Luna – Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate – but priced at only C$9.80. Do they have the same effect on me though? Read on…

I used both the Sunday Riley and The Ordinary on separate occasions 2-3 times a week, and for at least a month. P.S. Sorry for the lack of custom photo, by the time I wrote this blog post, I already gave away one of the two bottles (no spoilers here! read on to find out), so there was no point in taking a photo of just the leftover bottle.


Sunday Riley Luna is $131 and The Ordinary Retinoid 2% is $9.80, both for 1 oz / 30 mL of product. Pretty clear who the winner is here…

Winner: The Ordinary Retinoid 2%

Texture & scent

Sunday Riley Luna is a light oil product that takes a few minutes to absorb. It smells SO good, like a powdery light floral and ultra soothing. The Ordinary Retinoid 2% is a milky emulsion (oil suspended in water) that is very lightweight and absorbs pretty much immediately. It smells… kind of weird to describe, but it’s like a milky chemical scent that isn’t terrible but not fantastic.

Winner: Luna for texture and scent, Retinoid 2% for how fast it sinks in.


Due to Luna’s oil formula, I find it significantly more moisturizing than Retinoid 2%. My skin does have an affinity for oil products though, so I am slightly biased. Retinoid 2% is milky but it’s not nearly as moisturizing as Luna. Since it is winter though, my skin favours Luna more, but I can see it being a bit too heavy on those hot summer nights. Retinoid 2% is definitely more flexible in that most skin types can use it, and on most evening conditions. You can easily layer it under other hydrating products, or other oils.

Winner: Luna as my personal love in colder winter climate, Retinoid 2% for being more versatile and better for all skin types


Yes I know it is impossible to have permanent pore shrinkage unless you go through cosmetic surgery or something. In terms of a product’s ability to temporarily shrink the look of the size of my pores, Luna wins hands down because I have not seen any pore shrinkage from Retinoid 2%. My skin texture is so smooth after a night of Luna that it’s really hard to argue against that.

Winner: Luna

Skin smoothing

Again, Luna wins on this front because I wake up with incredibly smooth and supple skin, even after just one night of using this. Retinoid 2% honestly didn’t do much for my skin in this area.

Winner: Luna

Overall I wasn’t super impressed with The Ordinary Retinoid. I really hoped to see results, any kind of results, but I didn’t see anything. It honestly didn’t do much, if anything, for my skin. I was hoping it’d be mildly hydrating, but it wasn’t even that. Compared to Sunday Riley Luna, where I saw results pretty much overnight. My skin was definitely smoother, more glowy, more hydrated, and just generally looked better when I was using Luna. Honestly, though, Luna is pretty expensive so I doubt I will be repurchasing (unless there’s some kind of promotion). I recently purchased an Eve Lom retinol serum to try as well, so I will be adding that into my skin routine any day now. I ended up passing off my The Ordinary Retinoid to my friend Angela, who I hope has better luck with it.

Have you tried either of these?


Sunday Riley Luna: Persea Gratissima (Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Avocado) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Organic, Cold Pressed Concord Grape) Seed Oil, Rubus Fruticosus (Cold Pressed Blackberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Cold Pressed Chia) Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide (and) Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Tanecetum annuum (Blue Tansy) oil, Anthemis nobilis (English Chamomile) oil, Eriocephalus punctulatus (Cape Chamomile) oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange) oil, Cananga Odorata Flower (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Vetivera zizanoides (Vetiver) oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (and) Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, CI 61565 (Green 6), CI 60725 (Violet 2).

The Ordinary Retinoid 2%: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Bisabolol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sucrose Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Behentrimonium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Review – LUSH Mother’s Day 2017 collection, featuring Elsie the Giraffe, Scrubee, Pink Custard Shower Jelly, and Honey Lip Scrub

LUSH Mother's Day 2017 collection review

Mother’s Day is coming up, this year it seemed to be so soon after Easter. For Mother’s Day this year, LUSH has created a ton of new products to share with your beloved mother, or to keep for yourself to enjoy. I’m sharing four new LUSH products with you today.

LUSH Mother's Day 2017 collection Elsie the Giraffe review

LUSH Elsie the Giraffe (C$9.95) Reusable Bubble Bar is the most adorable thing ever, especially after April the Giraffe made headlines this year with her live stream birth. It contains three different types of citrus oils – lemon, lime, and grapefruit oils – to create the most uplifting and cheerful bath experience. You can use this multiple times, just run under running water to create some happy bubbles, then set aside for next time.

LUSH Mother's Day 2017 collection Scrubee review

My honey obsession continues with Scrubee (C$7.95) Body Butter, an adorable invention. It contains tons and tons of cocoa butter, shea butter, plus honey and coconut oil to create the most luxuriously moisturizing body butter bar ever. It also contains ground coconut shells and ground almonds to create a wonderful exfoliating experience. I love using this in the bath actually (just make sure not to drop the thing in the water), and then I don’t have to use moisturizer after. Also can you tell that it looks like a bee with its alternative stripes! Seriously, who thinks of this stuff?

LUSH Mother's Day 2017 collection Pink Custard Shower Jelly review

Fulfill a girl’s dream with Pink Custard Shower Jelly (C$7.95 for 100mL, or C$12.95 for 240mL). It contains Lavender Oil, Tonka Absolute, Vanilla Absolute, and Neroli Oil, blended together for a dreamy shower experience. I personally find these pretty hard to use whole, so I prefer to cut them up into little pieces and I use it up piece by piece instead. Alternatively I’ve also melted this into a squirt bottle and just have it be squirted out. It smells so bubbly and springy, making each shower experience a happy one.

LUSH Mother's Day 2017 collection Honey Lip Scrub review

Lastly, I was so excited to discover that LUSH now has a new Honey Lip Scrub (C$9.95). My lips are constantly dry, so using a lip scrub like this helps keep my dry bits at bay. Sadly the honey isn’t too high up on the ingredients list, but it does contain a ton of jojoba oil, as well as vegan white chocolate, vanilla absolute, and sweet wild orange oil. It also contains peppermint oil, which I am usually sensitive to, but it didn’t linger on my lips for too much. Overall, it’s a nice addition to the existing line of Lip Scrubs.

LUSH Mother’s Day collection is available now for a limited time only. Pick something up for mom, and don’t forget to reward yourself too!

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

What You Need to Know Before You Get BOTOX®

It’s officially safe to say that BOTOX is the most popular non-surgical treatment on the market. While neither Health Canada nor the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons release statistics, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2016 statistics show that BOTOX was the most widely used injectable in the U.S., with 7 million procedures performed last year.

If you’ve been interested in BOTOX, you’re in luck. Below you’ll find exactly what you need to know before your first BOTOX treatment.

1. You have options

BOTOX is one of several injectable treatments that helps restore a younger-looking appearance. Products such as XEOMIN® and Dysport® work in a similar way by preventing facial muscle movements, but they have different price points and may require different dose amounts to be effective. Dermal fillers are another wrinkle-smoothing option that help plump up deeper lines and add volume to the face. These products often work well in combination, so be sure to talk to your provider about the best treatment plan for your concerns.

2. Do your homework

Not all BOTOX injectors are created equal. Before you commit to a BOTOX provider, do your research. Find out their credentials and ask to see before-and-after photos. A good starting point is to look for a Royal College certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic nurse who specializes in injectable treatments. Experience matters, so ask how long they have been using the product and what their complication rate is. A good place to start is the plastic surgery website and forum, which lets you read reviews of doctors in your area.

3. It’s not just for wrinkles

There’s no question that BOTOX helps smooth facial lines and creases, but it can do much more. According to the website of Vancouver Laser and Skin Care Centre, a medical spa offering BOTOX in Vancouver, BOTOX provides many additional benefits. It can be used to:

  • Reduce a gummy smile (meaning you have an unbalanced teeth-to-gum ratio)
  • Soften the look of a wide jawline
  • Reduce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • Resolve migraine headaches

4. Results take time

Don’t expect to see instant results. The average time for BOTOX to take full effect is about 7 to 10 days. However, you may start to notice improvements within the first 48 hours. Results usually last about 3 to 4 months before a touch-up treatment is needed.

5. There’s no downtime, but there are side effects

BOTOX injections can be performed in a matter of minutes and you can go back to work or home immediately, but there are signs of treatment. Redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site are common, and some people experience a headache afterward. Luckily, these symptoms are minor and usually resolve within a few days. You can also help minimize side effects by avoiding alcohol and blood thinners for 2 weeks before your procedure.

6. If you don’t like it, wait it out

There is no way to reverse BOTOX, but it’s also not permanent. You simply have to wait 3 to 4 months for the effects to wear off. This is why it’s so important to pick a provider you trust and who understands your cosmetic concerns and goals. If you do have a bad experience, don’t panic. There are thousands of skilled providers who can help you achieve the look you want.

This article was written and sponsored by Vancouver Laser & Skin Care Centre.