Give yourself a skin treat with La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

Over the last six months or so, I’ve been using the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation (C$285)This is by far 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 products. Why waste hundreds of dollars and hours of time each week on your skincare routine if you’re going to smother your skin in crappy foundation all day?

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

The Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation contains a top and bottom part. The top cover flips up to reveal a high coverage brightening concealer and high definition mirror underneath the cover, and the bottom is a medium to full coverage foundation that is super lightweight but still offers that nice coverage. You get 30mL of foundation, which is normal, but I’m not sure how much concealer you get. It also comes with a nice mirrored stand, which has a slot to rest the mini concealer brush that comes with the set. Presentation-wise, it is definitely very beautiful, intricate, and luxurious. Even in little details like the mirror, which is clear and high quality with no distortions, you get a sense of luxury.

The foundation itself is in a thick, plastic pot with a transparent side so that you can see how much you’ve used. It comes with a spatula, which rests in the foundation pot, and you can apply by directly dapping foundation onto your face with the spatula. This is my preferred method because it doesn’t waste product (this stuff is $9.50 per mL, which means each time you wear it, you are likely using about $10 worth of product!), but the major downside is that it doesn’t protect the product and the skincare ingredients from oxidizing, and also bacteria can easily get into your foundation since you are directly touching the main pot of foundation each time you use this. That being said though, I only use this product after I wash my face, so hopefully that will prevent bacteria.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

In terms of texture, it is a thicker cream, but still ultra lightweight. I apply with my fingers, again because I want to waste less product, but I also find that the warmth from my fingers helps to blend it in my skin more naturally. It does blend out absolutely flawlessly, and you can also layer it without caking, creasing, or drying your skin out. It does not cling to dry spots at all, rather it is lightly hydrating, and keeps my skin feeling lush and glowy. I don’t always need to powder, especially if I am wearing it in the winter, and it lasts me all day, with minimal fading, until I want to remove it at all. It is one of my go-to foundations for when I want to look my best. I can wear this with light, barely-there coverage, as a tinted moisturizer (by mixing with my La Prairie moisturizer), or as a medium-to-full coverage foundation, depending on my mood. It wears beautifully in all three situations.

As for cons, I’ve mentioned earlier that the pot design isn’t the greatest. I would prefer to see a pump if possible, since there are so many skincare ingredients in the foundation that we’d want to protect. The other con is the concealer – it does not have very good coverage, I feel like I can layer up my foundation underneath my eye area if I wanted similar coverage. It also creases on me, which is a little unfortunate, but most concealers crease so I wasn’t too surprised. Despite the convenient packaging for both foundation and concealer in one, I would actually prefer to see the price reduced and the product coming with only foundation and no concealer.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

Another foundation-like product that is in La Prairie’s collection is the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream. Between the two, I am strongly for the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation, because despite it not having that high SPF protection that comes with the Transforming Cream, the finish and wear times are significantly more favourable in the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation. The price differential is not big, the Transforming Cream is only $35 less than the Concealer + Foundation.

While a $285 foundation is not everyone’s cup of tea, I do firmly believe in taking good care of your skin, over buying nice clothes or going out to the movies. When you’re 70 and with flawless skin, you will continue to be radiant and feel good about yourself.

The shade I wear is Warm Linen and it’s the perfect match for my light medium skin tone with neutral undertone. For reference, I am also a Guerlain 02, Dior 020, Chanel B20.

You can purchase La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation at Holt Renfrew. If you’re not sure what shade you are, please make your way to a La Prairie counter to get matched. They can also provide you with generous samples to try out your chosen shades at home and out and about in your natural environment before making the commitment to buy. La Prairie is expensive, a luxury brand, but it is foremost an experience. I hope you’ll fall in love with the La Prairie family of products like I have.

Ingredients:

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation ingredients
La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation ingredients

This post contains PR samples; all opinions are my own.

Kiss Lashes, the best lashes money can buy!

kiss blooming lashes review

I’m not a big falsies wearer, but the only falsies I wear are by Kiss. I first learned about the brand when their PR sent me a few samples of the “Looks so Natural” line to try. Despite being TERRIBLE at applying lashes (I have really bad hand-eye coordination it seems, and I’m also clumsy and react slowly), these were a breeze to apply. My favourite from that line is the “Flirty” style, which are wispy with a bit of volume and not so much length. In addition to being super easy to apply, I also loved that the ends of the lashes tapered to a point, so that they looked very natural even though they aren’t real.

kiss blooming lashes review
kiss blooming lashes review

A few months ago, I was invited to preview Kiss’s new lash release, the “Natural Flourish Blooming Lash.” Inspired by flowers, these multi-layered lashes also feature the same easy application and tapered ends. The biggest difference between these and their “Looks so Natural” line was that these give you a lot more volume, and the multi-layered fluttery style helps to create that doe-eyed look. It comes in six different styles, my favourite being “Camellias” because they are rounded in the centre, helping to open up the eyes. For extra extra volume, pick up Tulip, which is extra thick and long.

kiss lashes review

In addition to the full sets, there are also easy application individual lashes, which actually come together in pockets of three in three different lengths – short, medium and long – for when you want some extra dimension but not the look of a full set. All Kiss lashes come with lash glue, but I prefer to use my own (from Esqido… so much love!).

kiss nails review

Lastly, Kiss is also known for their press on nails. The ones I have featured are part of their holiday collection and are super pretty. Sadly they were limited edition, but if you see them in store you need to grab them up. I have weirdly shaped nails but I managed to find ones that fit me, and despite it not lasting ultra long, they are relatively durable for the first day or two after application, and then afterwards you can re-stick them on your nails using the included nail glue. They definitely make for a very quick and easy manicure for parties!

Kiss lashes and nails are available at London Drugs, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and a drugstore near you!

Products provided by PR; opinions are my own.

Review – LUSH Valentine’s Day 2017

LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 collection review

For Valentine’s Day this year, LUSH has introduced a number of never-before-seen new products! The good news is that most of these have a beautiful rose scent, the bad news is that this is probably one of the first times where I find the rose scent a bit too potent.

LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 Lovestuck review

The first new product this year is the Lovestruck Bubble Bar (C$8.95). Scented naturally with oils of Sicilian Lemon and Geranium, this bubble bar is smile-inducing! Of all of the products I tried from the Lush Valentine’s Day collection, this one is the most refreshing, and probably my favourite. Lush’s bubble bars are very very sudsy, so I can usually make each one last more than one bath. It was sad to break this into multiple pieces, but it really helps  it go the extra mile.

LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 Rose Bombshell review

One of the repromotes from the prior year Lush collection is the Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb (C$7.95). It contains Rosa Centifolia and Rosa Damascena, as well as Silician Lemon Oil and and Geranium Oil. I really liked the sound of this but the scent is just way too potent. While bathing in this, I felt like I was going to drown in the fragrance. Even inside the paper bag, the scent will fill an entire room, which is a bit too overwhelming. Despite the scent, I love Lush’s bath bomb formulas, and this one is one of the more hydrating ones. If you can stand the scent, I definitely recommend picking one up. The good thing is, there is no parfum / fragrance in the ingredients list, so you know you’re getting pure rose and not synthetics.

LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 Two Hearts Beating as One review

Another new product for this year is Two Hearts Beating as One Bath Melt (C$10.95). It comes in two slices which you stick together to create a 3D model-like thing. This is probably the product I like the least from this year’s collection, because the pink side of this bath melt is so pink that it stains my tub more than anything else I’ve ever used… It also stains my skin just enough that it bothers me.

The issues aside, this bath melt is perfect for keeping your skin from drying out during a hot bath. Despite it being sold as one single bath melt, each side is enough to use during separate bath sessions.

LUSH Valentine's Day 2017 Love Spell review

Lastly, I have Love Spell Massage Bar (C$8.95), which contains a heavy dose of cocoa butter and shea butter, jojoba oil, as well as rosehip syrup, aloe vera gel, carnation absolute, neroli oil, and fresh rose petal. It smells SO GOOD, not as overwhelming as the Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb. In addition to creating a beautiful massage oil, the cocoa butter and shea butter also help to moisturize my super dry skin.

Lush Valentine’s Day collection is available now online and in-store!

Products courtesy of PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, the face oil to end all face oils

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum review

Today, I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to share with you the facial oil that has taken the world by a storm – Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum (C$240 for 30mL). Created by vintner April Gargiulo when she was pregnant with her child, the Active Botanical Serum is an all-purpose, nutrient dense face oil that can potentially replace every other product in your skincare routine. My apologies in advance for this crazy long post. I had an extensive conversation with April about  the Active Botanical Serum, so I wanted to transfer all of that knowledge to you. If you already know everything about this magical serum, then you can jump down to the section titled “My thoughts,” where I describe my experience.

April’s background is in fine wine making, where every ingredient needs to be the truly best quality, and each step of the wine-making process strictly monitored and controlled. The same philosophy was adopted when she created Vintner’s Daughter – there are no shortcuts taken to create the very best product for your skin. The end product is simple, but it’s not at all easy to create or execute. Armed with a background in agriculture, April and the Vintner’s Daughter team works only with the very best producers around the world. Each and every ingredient that passes through to Vintner’s Daughter is tested by the lab to ensure for quality.

While it was designed for April’s acne-prone, discoloration-prone skin, and it can treat everything from dehydration to blemishes, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, deep wrinkles, and elasticity. The product was created to address skin concerns at its very foundation, using skin balancing minerals and omega fatty acids. It contains 22 natural oils and extracts, with no fillers, fragrances, nothing, with each ingredient playing a key role in keeping your skin looking and feeling its best. Each of the ingredients are present in the serum in high quantities, April warns, if you are sensitive or allergic to one of these ingredients then the product will not be for you, because the product is truly concentrated. That being said, if you have sensitive skin in general, then this product is for you because of all the anti-inflammatory ingredients present.

  • Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil – A powerful foundation oil with maximum absorption and anti-oxidant properties.
  • Corylus avellana (hazelnut) oil – A key foundation oil rich in linoleic acids that strengthens skin’s elasticity and its small particle size allows it to reach deep into skin.
  • Citrus aurantium var bergamia(bergamot) peel oil – A time-honored oil that inhibits melanin synthesis; lightens and brightens skin.
  • Persea americana (avocado) oil  – An oil rich in vitamin e and a serious free-radical avenger.
  • Calendula officinalis (marigold) – An oil prized for centuries for its potent healing and soothing powers.
  • Rose damascena (rose) absolute – An ancient skin healer and hormonal skin balancer
  • Daucus carota (carrot) seed oil – An oil rich in vitamin a that is a super charged cell regenerator and wrinkle reducer
  • Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil – A powerful healing and anti -inflammatory oil that also acts as skin balancer
  • Rosa rubignosa (rosehip) seed oil – An oil that uniquely targets damage and discoloration caused by uv exposure
  • Citrus limon (lemon) peel – A botanical that inhibits melanin synthesis to lighten and brighten skin
  • Lavandula x intermedia (lavender) flower – A deeply healing and highly anti-inflammatory ancient botanical
  • Medicago sativa (alfalfa) leaf – A potent detoxifier with dense phytonutrient content for cell regeneration
  • Urtica dioica (nettle) leaf – A botanical with maximum vitamin a and c content to combat wrinkles and sun damage.
  • Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) leaf – A potent detoxifier with dense phytonutrient content for cell regeneration
  • Boswellia carteri (frankincense) oil – A sought after oil that increases blood circulation allowing serum to penetrate skin’s layers
  • Citrus aurantium var amara (neroli) flower oil – A powerful and ancient aromatic for spiritual and skin health.
  • Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract – An anti-microbial botanical that also helps to reduce acne
  • Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) fruit – A deeply nourishing oil that contains the entire family of omegas 3, 6, 9 and the rare omega 7.
  • Curcuma longa (tumeric) root oil – A super-charged anti-inflammatory, skin brightener and free radical avenger.
  • Cupressus sempervirens (cypress) leaf oil – An oil that increases blood circulation, strengthen capillaries and delivers oxygen to skin.
  • Jasminum grandiflorum (jasmine) flower – A rare and sought after oil that promotes skin elasticity and increases cellular renewal.
  • Calophyllum tacamahaca (tamanu) oil – A deeply nourishing oil prized for its rich fatty acid content readily available for skin absorption.

While April herself uses a very simple skincare routine – cleanse, tone with an acid-based toner for gentle daily exfoliation, then apply Active Botanical Serum, and sunscreen if it’s the daytime – she believes that skincare shouldn’t be prescriptive. Everyone should do what feels best for them! If you are using a multi-step, more complicated routine, then the Active Botanical Serum should be applied at the very end of your routine.

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum review

While applying the Active Botantical Serum, Vintner’s Daughter recommends a Push/Press method that allows for deeper and more effective penetration of the active ingredients, which also allows the user to create a 30 second daily ritual where you can relax and enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of the Active Botanical Serum. The Push/Press technique is as follows:

Step 1. Start with clean, damp skin
Step 2. Place 6- 8 drops of Active Botanical Serum in palm of hand
Step 3. Gently rub palms together. This will further activate your serum and evenly distribute serum to both hands.
Step 4. Place full hand on either side of face and press firmly. Push serum into skin by repeating Push / Press technique on entire face, neck and décolleté.
Step 5. Continue to repeat entire process for 60 seconds.

Despite it containing such a long list of active ingredients, April believes that the Active Botanical Serum can be used in conjunction with most other ingredients, including retinols, acid peels, and others.

My thoughts

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum review

I received my bottle of Vintner’s Daughter the day after my offer was accepted on my first ever apartment, and it was a very, very stressful week, to say the least. I was trying to get an inspector in, secure a mortgage, and also review strata documents all in just a few short days. It was also bad timing because it was one of my busiest times of the year for my day job, AND I was also very sick with a bad cold. But that was the true test that I put the Active Botanical Serum under, and it seriously blew my expectations away. Despite the lack of sleep, stress, illness, and everything else on top, the first night I used this, I woke up with incredibly glowy, smooth, luminous, and plumped up skin. I was completely shocked at how good my skin looked.

If you’re not a fan of facial oils, or if you find them too heavy, then the Active Botanical Oil might be a good option for you. Despite the heavy dosage of active ingredients and natural oils and extracts, this oil is surprisingly lightweight – it is one of the fastest absorbing natural facial oils I’ve used. That being said, you still get about 30 seconds to push and press this product into your skin, and also inhale its beautiful scent, but once all that’s done, you get incredibly supple skin.

Since the first day I tried this, every single time I use this on my face I am wowed by how much my skin glows. It looks truly healthy from the inside out. I derive so much happiness from including this product in my daily ritual, but I try not to use this every night because I don’t want my skin to get used to it. I do use it on those nights where I feel like my skin needs some extra TLC. It’s an all-in-one oil for me, so I can use this on its own when I’m travelling, or layered on top of my other skincare products. I’ve also used this during the day, on a particularly cold winter morning, and this oil left my skin feeling nourished and protected against the winter elements.

The only downside that I found with this oil is that I find you need to use more than what you would use in other oils. For example, the May Lindstrom Youth Dew only requires a single pump to adequately cover and hydrate my face and neck. The Active Botanical Serum requires six to eight drops – I did try this with less drops (around four) and it wasn’t enough for full coverage, simply because it absorbs quickly and weightlessly into the skin. Why is this a problem? Well it’s quite expensive, priced at $220 for just 30mL. It is very potent, but I wouldn’t say that a little bit goes a long way, so I can see this needing replenishment quite often.

Lastly, if you are wanting to try out the Active Botanical Serum without committing to buying the full bottle, unfortunately there isn’t a sample program that allows you to do that. Because quality is so important to Vintner’s Daughter, and most sample bottles are clear glass, which may affect the efficacy of the active ingredients, the company has chosen not to do samples until they are able to design a sample program that won’t compromise the quality of the ingredients. However, certain retailers like Clementine Fields offers samples for C$10, which will allow you to test this out on your skin without breaking the bank.

The TL;DR version is that I love my precious bottle of Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum. I’ve been recommending it to everyone around me, so now it’s time for me to recommend it to you too. It’s a wonderful product, and adds an extra layer of depth to my skincare routine. It is expensive, but think about it this way – it’s basically the cost of going to a facial 2-3 times, yet with this one bottle you get that beautiful post-facial glow every time you use it. It’s a product truly worthy of your investment.

Purchase your Vintner’s Daughter direct from their site for the freshest product, or from other online retailers such as Cult Beauty, the Detox Market, and more.

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum review

Ingredients:

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum review and ingredients

The product featured in this post was provided by the company; all opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

In 2017, Guerlain is celebrating the 30 years of Guerlain Meteorites. This iconic product was first launched in 1987, and was one of the first few products on the market that promoted a radiant complexion, instead of a matte finish. Meteorites was also the first product created in the form of pearls, which also sparked this trend that continues to this day.

Despite all of the inspired products on the market, none match the iconic status and effects of the cult classic Meteorites. I know a lot of my beauty lover friends have attempted to recreate that ethereal grow with other pearl products, but it’s just not the same.

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

I am a huge, HUGE Guerlain Meteorites fan. I own the Meteorites in pretty much all of its variations, and the new Meteorites Happy Glow Pearls (C$89) is one of the most beautiful with its pastel shades and the different size balls. It’s housed within a gorgeous hard plastic iridescent pink round case, with an adorable pink fluffy pouf. There’s also a convenient, high quality mirror in the underside of the lid.

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review\7

The Happy Glow Pearls contains a combination of iridescent light pink, mauve, pink, and champagne pearls. Despite it being a 30th anniversary variation, it seems to fall a bit short of my expectations. I personally prefer more of a warmer glow, but this one looks a bit pale and powdery on my skin. I can wear this as a setting powder, instead of as a finishing powder, because it does feel more mattifying than my other Meteorites. My brush picks up more powder as well, making application as a setting powder a breeze. I wish they had included all matte shades though, because the big iridescent champagne balls deposit a lot of almost glitter-sized shimmer. It’s quite noticeable on the face and doesn’t look natural. The smaller iridescent pink balls aren’t as obviously shimmery.

That being said, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous, and if you’re a true Guerlain Meteorites fan, or if you are looking for an alternative to your setting powder, then you’ll likely want to collect this for your stash.

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

There are a few other limited edition Meteorites inspired products released this spring, also with gorgeous iridescent pink packaging. This lipstick is one of the two limited edition KissKiss lipsticks (C$45), in the shade 564 Pearly Pink. It’s a very delicate cool-toned petal pink with some shimmers. The formula is unlike other KissKiss lipsticks I’ve used in the past – this one is sheerer, almost like a lip tint instead of a lipstick.

It reminds me of the KissKiss Roselip in Pink Me Up from a few seasons ago, but without the hydrating formula. The shimmers are also slightly on the gritty side, and not as smooth as I would like it to be. Wear time is just okay; the glossy finish wears off pretty quickly and you’re left with a slight pinky tint, which also wears off if you eat or drink a latte or something. For $45, it’s just okay. Unless you’re wanting to collect this for the iridescent pink packaging, I’d definitely say you’re better off buying a KissKiss lipstick from their regular line, or the KissKiss Roselip in Pink Me Up which is very nice as a hydrating balm / lip tint combo.

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

The one product from the collection that was a disappointment was the new Guerlain Meteorites Powder Brush (C$51). This brush feels a bit bigger than the existing Meteorites brush, but made with the same ombre pink hairs. It feels substantial and luxurious in my hand, but the fibres are just not soft enough. The harsh fibres are great at picking up more powder, but it feels so scratchy on the skin. For a price of C$51, you can definitely find better alternatives for powder brushes.

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

The Guerlain Spring 2017 collection is available February 1, 2017 at all Guerlain boutiques and counters, including Beauty Court, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Murale, The Bay, Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, and others.

The swatches

KissKiss lipstick in 564 Pearly Pink, one swipe, and then layered

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

Products courtesy of PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Review – Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence and Concentrated Brightening Serum

Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence and Concentrated Brightening Serum review

Tata Harper‘s Concentrated Brightening products were the star products of the Tata Harper Brightening Facial that I received a few months ago. I’ve been into brightening products for a very, very long time, and these from Tata Harper are the only ones I have seen on the market that are 100% natural. As my love for natural beauty products grows, I’m so happy that I’m also able to combine my love for brightening products with this newfound passion. Tata’s Concentrated Brightening products are a part of the Supernatural collection, which is a high end collection that contains the highest concentration of quality ingredients to deliver the fastest results, with a primary goal of anti-aging.

Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence and Concentrated Brightening Serum review

The Concentrated Brightening Essence (C$202 for 100mL) is a liquid essence lotion (essentially a serum toner) that combined Alpha and Beta Hydroxy technology to give the complexion a toned and refined look, helping to minimize the appearance of dark spots for a more even, luminous glow. It also boosts the performance of all Tata Harper serums, and can be used with all three of Tata Harper’s Supernatural collection serums. You should use this after cleansing, and before your serum of choice.

The Concentrated Brightening Serum (C$306 for 30mL) is a multitasking age-defying treatment that effectively illuminates, brightens and corrects the appearance of skin tone for a balanced, radiant complexion. It contains a blend of 35 high-performance ingredients which takes a triple-action approach to fighting and minimizing the appearance of dark spots. It claims to reduce melanin by 36% within 24 hours, boost the melanin elimination process by 155% in 3 days, decrease skin pigmentation by 41% in 28 days, and reduce the look of dark spots by 63% in 42 days.

I’ve been using these two products together and within the first week, I was noticing my improvements in my skin. I had just gotten back from my trip overseas, and I was also still in the midst of unpacking after my move so you know my skin wouldn’t be in the best condition. After just a few days, I could definitely see a noticeable an increase in brightness in my skin, as well as a smoother, more even-toned complexion. Despite being brightening products, i.e. full of exfoliating ingredients, my skin didn’t feel dry or dehydrated at all, rather it was quite hydrating and I did not need a second hydrating serum like I did with most brightening serums. It also complemented my choice of moisturizer or facial oil of the day. A little bit goes a long way, I only need 1-1.5 pumps of the Brightening Essence, and one pump of the Brightening Serum.

For those with sensitive skin – I generally have lightly sensitive skin that gets red very quickly. I haven’t noticed any increased sensitivity during or after using this. I definitely recommend using a high SPF sunscreen during the day though, because there are many chemical exfoliating ingredients in the products.

Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence and Concentrated Brightening Serum review

I haven’t put either of these to the test separately, but together I can tell you they work very well. I’ve been using this for the last few months and I can say that there definitely has been a reduction in hyperpigmentation, scarring, and my freckles also appear slightly lighter. My complexion in general is brighter, and my skin is smoother in texture as well. These products together are lightly hydrating, so if you have oily skin you may not even need a moisturizer, but if you have combo, normal, or dry skin, a separate moisturizer is recommended. I’m loving the Tata Harper Regenerating Moisturizer at the moment, which contains honey, my current favourite beauty ingredient.

I’m not going to put it gently, these products are expensive. Tata Harper’s products are already pretty expensive, but the Supernatural collection, which includes these Concentrated Brightening products, are considered the crown jewels of her collection. If you are looking for a nice skincare splurge, and are looking for effective yet gentle brightening products, these are the ones for you.

Pick up your Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence and Serum at TataHarper.com, BeautyMarkGreen & Pure, and Cult Beauty.

Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence and Concentrated Brightening Serum review

Concentrated Brightening Essence ingredients: Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit water*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water*, Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Leucojum Aestivum (Summer Snowflake) Bulb Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Lilium candidum leaf cell extract, Sodium Phytate, Anogeissus Leiocarpus (Akulia) Bark Extract, Xanthan gum, Lonicera japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Extract, Populus tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Gluconolactone, Narcissus tazetta (Daffodil) Bulb Extract*, Brassica Napus Extract, Menyanthes trifoliata (Buckbean) Flower Extract, Ascophyllum nodosum (Norwegian Sea Kelp) Extract, Dictyopteris Membranacea (Sea fern) Extract, Aroma**, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool

*Ingredients from Organic Farming

**Clinical grade Essential Oils blend

Concentrated Brightening Serum ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Glycerin, Rosa damascena flower water*, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,  Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed Oil, Hydroxystearyl Alcohol, Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) ethyl ester, Glyceryl undecylenate, Leuconostoc ferment filtrate (radish root extract), Arachidyl Alcohol, Sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil*, Leucojum aestivum (Summer Snowflake) Bulb Extract, Ascophyllum nodosum (Norwegian Sea Kelp) Extract, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) extract, Narcissus tazetta (Daffodil) bulb extract*, Phoenix dactylifera (Date) seed extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Lilium candidum (Madonna Lily) leaf cell extract, Anogeissus Leiocarpus (Akulia) Bark Extract, Pancratium maritimum (Sea Dafodil) extract, Menyanthes trifoliata (Buckbean) Leaf Extract, Dunaliella salina (Algae) extract, Brassica Napus (rapeseed) extract, Squalene, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed wax, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Daucus carota sativa (Carrot) root Extract, Lonicera japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Populus tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Glyceryl,  Caprylate, Dictyopteris Membranacea (Sea fern) Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan gum, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Hydroxystearyl Glucoside / Glucoside Hydroxystearyl, Cetyl alcohol, Gluconolactone, Aroma**, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Geranioll, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol

*Ingredients from Organic farming

** Clinical grade essential oils blend

The products in this post were provided by PR for review consideration purposes; as always, all opinions are my own.

Swatches + review + look – Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 and Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in Rose Gold

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 (C$52) is new and features nine matte shades out of the Artist Shadow collection. The shades are #M-100 Black, #M-620 Grey Brown, #M-126 Chalk, #M-842 Wine, #M-802 Antique Pink, #M-546 Dark Purple Taupe, #M-240 Prussian Blue, #M-536 Milk Tea, and #M-530 Eggshell. This is the first and only all-matte palette by Make Up For Ever available for purchase by consumers, and it’s also the first of the Artist Palettes that I’ve tried from the brand. I have several other shades of the Artist Shadows in shimmery and metallic finishes, but these are also my first mattes.

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches
Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches

I LOVE the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows. They are intensely pigmented, smooth, very blendable, and so gorgeous. The shades in this palette are so up my alley – I love the plums, pinks, and mauves, accented with that beautiful jewel tone teal. These matte shades are also some of the best I’ve ever tried in terms of texture, colour payoff, and consistency in quality. Unlike most matte shades, I actually got barely any fallout during application, with the exception of the darkest shades.  You also get very good pigmentation consistently across the board with no chalkiness. It almost feels creamy in some ways due to how smooth the powders are. Usually in every palette, there are one or more duds, but this palette wears just beautifully. The shades can also be worn as neutrals, or smoked out for a more exciting look. I seriously love this palette.

Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in Rose Gold review and swatches

Pro Light Fusion Highlighter (C$48) features a “gel formula that provides superior blendability to beautifully sculpt, highlight or simply give the skin a natural radiance.” This formula contains a high percentage of emoillients which results in a beautiful, creamy powder with a gel-like texture. They are the same formula as the previously released Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzers and the Pro Sculpting Duo contour kits. It also reminds me of the Estee Lauder highlighter in Modern Mercury in terms of formula and texture.

Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in Rose Gold / Golden Pink review and swatches

The shade I have is Rose Gold (or Golden Pink on Sephora). I’m not sure how I feel about this shade, it is too cool-toned for me, and is so pale it almost looks white, with a bit of a duo-chrome sheen. It is also very pigmented, so I can see the whiteness translating onto the skin. You would have to use a very light hand, but with the gel-ish formula, I found it difficult to just pick up a bit of product. Because it is so pale, I would recommend this more for those with very fair to light skin. I love the concept of this, but the execution could use a bit more tweaking.

I highly recommend that you check out the Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 palette, it’s one of the best all-matte palettes I’ve tried, and is definitely worth trying out. Both products are available at Sephora now.

The swatches

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches
Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches

Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in Rose Gold

Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in Rose Gold / Golden Pink review and swatches

The look

Wearing M-530 as a base on the inner 1/3 of the eyelid, M-536 as a base on the outer 2/3 of the eyelid, M-546 in my crease, and M-100 and M-842 to smoke out the look on the top and bottom lash line, all from the Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 palette.

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches
Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches
Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol. 4 review and swatches

Review + swatches + look – Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

For Spring 2017, Lancome is releasing new shade extensions to some of their recent eye products. The Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme (C$36) was first introduced for Fall 2016 as an extension to their original Grandiose Mascara. The Grandiose Extreme claims to offer even more volume, curl and length for up to 24 hours of wear. I liked the original Grandiose, but only after a few weeks off testing. The original formula was a bit too wet for my short straight lashes so it wouldn’t build up or hold a curl. I haven’t tried the Grandiose Extreme in the original black, but I have the shade Bleu Nuit to share with you today. In addition to Bleu Nuit, it is also available in Burgundy.

In terms of the formula, this one blows the original Grandiose Mascara out of the water. While it is still a wet formula, it dries down much faster so that you can build up more volume and length to your heart’s content. In addition to it looking fantastic right after application, it is also great at holding a curl. The first time I tried this, I didn’t even curl my lashes because I couldn’t find my lash curler, but this managed to give my lashes a nice lift that stayed in place all day. It also doesn’t flake, smudge, or wear off until I removed it at the end of the day. Removal was easy, as it just melted into my cleansing oil without the need to rub my eye too much.

The Bleu Nuit colour looks very intimidating at first because it’s almost a bright blue coming out of the tube, but it dries down to a dark navy on my black lashes. It gives just the right amount of tint that isn’t too crazy. I would wear this to the office no problem.

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

The Lancome Grandiôse Eyeliner (C$40) was a Lisa Eldridge invention. The applicator bends to a 35 degree angle to help make liquid liner application a breeze. It has a felt tip applicator, but this is different from other felt tip applicators because it is soft and bends with ease. I usually hate felt tip applicators because the stiffness makes it hard to create a cat eye, but I did two near-perfect cat eye flicks (one for each eye) in under 10 seconds, no joke. While it is not a one-swipe wonder, i.e. you do need to go over each section of your lash line a few times to build up the formula, you don’t need to re-dip and each dip will give you enough product to finish one eye.

In addition to easy application, the formula itself is seriously amazing. I have very bad luck with Western brand liners because they usually smudge like no tomorrow on me, even the high end ones. The Grandiose Eyeliner lasted all day on me without fading, creasing, or flaking. It looked absolutely perfect on me until I went to take it off. When I did remove this, it came off in chunks instead of dissolving in the cleansing oil, which actually made removal very easy as well.

The three shades that I have are Fuchsia, Cerulean and Silver Snow. Fuchsia dries down matte, whereas Cerulean and Silver Snow dry down metallic with a wet look. This also comes in a Metallic Green shade. I wear Cerulean all the time, it is a very dark navy blue base with blue metal shine to it – it is seriously the most gorgeous eyeliner I own. The colour brings out the colour of my eyes, and really helps to make my eye makeup pop. The colour reminds me of peacocks!

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

I can’t say enough good things about these two product formulas. I normally don’t wear coloured mascara or liners so I was a bit wary about these, but I’m so happy to say that I’ve found new favourites. I definitely have to check out the original black shades in store.

The new shade extensions for Grandiôse Eyeliner and Grandiôse Mascara Extreme are available January, 2017, at Sephora, The Bay, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Murale, and other places that sell Lancome.

The swatches

Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow, and Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

The look

Wearing Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit and Grandiôse Eyeliner in Cerulean

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

Lancome Grandiôse Mascara Extreme in Bleu Nuit & Grandiôse Eyeliner in Fuchsia, Cerulean, and Silver Snow review and swatches

Products received courtesy of PR; opinions are my own.

SIBU Sea Berry Therapy – good price for great ingredients!

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

Sea Berry, or otherwise known as sea buckthorn is a fruit that grows high in the Himalayas (12,000 feet above sea level). It contains over 190 bioactive compounds, and is an unsurpassed source of Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9. SIBU is a U.S.-brand that focuses specifically on harnessing the power of this magical fruit to create skincare products that heal problematic skin. Today I have three products from the SIBU line to share with you: the Hydrating Face Serum, the Age Defying Eye Cream, and the Sea Berry Seed Oil.

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

The SIBU Hydrating Face Serum ($44.95) is a lightweight serum that is infused with vitamins, hyaluronic acid and Sea Berry (Sea Buckthorn) extract. This serum is perfect for those with dry, normal, or even combination skin. It’s very light and gel-like, which absorbs almost instantly into the skin. I wear this underneath my moisturizer during the day. It helps to replenish lost moisture from the heating overnight, plumps up my skin, and also helps my moisturizer absorb better. I only use one plump and I find that it’s enough to prevent dryness throughout the day.

The SIBU Age Defying Eye Cream ($29.95) contains Sea Berry (Sea Buckthorn) and pumpkin seed oils to help firm the skin and smooth out fine lines. I have bad luck with eye creams because I find that most don’t do much for me. This eye cream is lightly hydrating, but that’s about it. I didn’t find it very firming or smoothing, so it probably won’t be great if you have deep lines or wrinkles. It’s a good entry-level eye cream. I do like that it comes in a squeeze tube to prevent air exposure and bacteria.

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

The SIBU Sea Berry Seed Oil ($19.95) is a concentrated formula that contains only 100% pure sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn oil has historically been used to provide relief of skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, acne, dermatitis and other skin conditions. This oil is definitely an ultra-repairing, ultra-nourishing facial oil for those with dry, sensitive skin, or skin with any of the conditions listed above. A tiny bit goes a very long way, and I would actually recommend not using this all over the face if you don’t require it. I had some dryness and redness on my chin and cheek area, so I applied this overnight only on those spots and my skin cleared up pretty much overnight. Follow up treatments are recommended for maintenance, but I like to use this only when I need it. Alternatively, I found that if you have particularly parched skin, one to two drops in your night time moisturizer will help to replenish your skin very quickly as well.

Overall I like these products, for the price points that they are selling for, they are definitely worth the price. Of the three products, I like the Hydrating Face Serum the most, but those with problematic skin will find the Sea Berry Seed Oil to be beneficial to their skin.

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum, Age Defying Eye Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil reviews

SIBU Hydrating Facial Serum ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Betaine, Hippophae Rhamnoides(Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10Laurate, Sodium Levulinate, Xanthan gum, Sclerotium Gum,Sodium Anisate, Algae Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract,Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate Ψ Sodium Phytate, HippophaeRhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean)Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus AurantiumBergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit)Peel Oil,Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Coriandrum Sativum(Coriander) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Citratus Leaf Oil, HippophaeRhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate

SIBU Age Defying Eye Cream ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Oil, CetearylAlcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables Ψ Sea Water, Benzyl Alcohol, LimnanthesAlba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Levulinate, XanthanGum, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Sodium Anisate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea)Butter Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Phytate, Brassica Juncea Sprout Extract, BrassicaOleracea Acephala Sprout Extract, Brassica Oleracea Botrytis Sprout Extract, BrassicaOleracea Capitata Sprout Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica Sprout Extract, WasabiaJaponica Root Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) FruitExtract, Sodium Hyaluronate

SIBU Sea Berry Seed Oil ingredients: 100% sea buckthorn oil

Products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

Review: Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation, Multi-Perfecting Concealer, and the Foundation Brush

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

To say that I love Guerlain foundations would be a huge understatement. Every single Guerlain foundation I’ve ever tried in my life has been a complete hit with my skin, making me look gorgeous, luminous, and even skin toned. I started my Guerlain foundation journey almost 7 years ago with the Parure Extreme foundation, which was my go-to foundation for YEARS. I discovered the Meteorites Baby Glow in the spring of 2015, and then last winter I discovered Parure Gold, all of which have continued to be staples on my makeup vanity. The one Guerlain foundation I’ve never got around to trying was the Lingerie de Peau. Thankfully, this product is being reformulated and relaunched for this fall, and I was very fortunate to be sent a bottle from Guerlain to try.

The new Lingerie de Peau (C$69 for 30mL) features a new and improved formula. Like its name, it was inspired by the feeling of naked skin, and Guerlain sought out to create the most natural, weightless foundation there was. The new formula contains Bio-Fusion micro-mesh, which is a technology that contains smoothing and shaping stretch fibers to allow the foundation to move with the skin. It also contains natural linen and silk fibers, for soft, weightless, radiant coverage.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

I would describe Lingerie de Peau as a foundation good for people with normal or combination skin types. In terms of texture, I’ve never tried the previous formulation, but the new Lingerie de Peau is very lightweight and fluid. It is the thinnest of the Guerlain foundations that I’ve used, making it very appropriate for the natural-faced look. Don’t let the light texture fool you though, because the coverage is buildable to medium. It covers my redness, but not my freckles, leaving a natural finish. If I powder, wear time is fantastic at over 10 hours of smooth, luminous, hydrated skin.

Application is a breeze, I’ve used this with both the accompanying brush (reviewed below) and fingers, and both work equally well. I get more of a natural finish when applied with my hands, and then a fuller coverage finish when applied with the brush. It feels super lightweight on the skin, and just leaves my skin comfortable.

The new Lingerie de Peau also features a much expanded shade range. I’ve been very fortunate in the past to always consistently wear 02 in any of Guerlain’s foundation formulations, including this one (shade 02N), but I do know that since their shade offerings were so limited, most women are not as fortunate and don’t get matched perfectly to a Guerlain shade. For the new Lingerie de Peau, there are a whopping 14 shades in neutral, cool, and warm tones. That being shade, the shade range still doesn’t expand much past medium-dark, so those with very dark skin will still be out of luck. This is a move in the right direction, though, and hopefully we will see even more shades released in the future.

Two downsides of this foundation are that it clings to dry spots, and you really need to powder otherwise it will get fade quickly and pretty unevenly. I’ve had really weird skin lately, with the previous stresses of moving and then travelling, so my skin has been very unbalanced (dry spots on certain areas and oily bits on others). I find that I wear this foundation much better when my skin is balanced. I can wear the Guerlain Parure Gold foundation without powdering, and it will stay looking lovely and luminous all day, but I need to powder with the Lingerie the Peau. I generally powder with the Meteorites Voyage Compact, so I’m not complaining by all means, but it can still be an extra step of effort.

In general, I like this foundation but not as much I love the Parure Gold. Of course the price difference is pretty big (the Parure Gold is $95), but I think for an extra $30 I want something that I truly love. If you are new to Guerlain foundations though, this one is definitely a fantastic starter foundation.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

In addition to the new Lingerie de Peau, Guerlain is also launching its inaugural (that I can remember) full coverage concealer. The Multi-Perfecting Concealer (C$42 for 12mL) comes in three shades, and two undertones each, for six shade options. I have the shade 01 Light Warm which is too light for the rest of my face, but works well to conceal the undereye area. I have the worst luck with undereye concealers because pretty much all of them crease on me, and this one unfortunately is the same way. I always powder under my eye though, so I don’t know what causes the creasing. If you have tips, please let me know. Otherwise, this concealer does a fantastic job at brightening my undereye area and covering my dark circles. The texture is very cream and slightly like a puddy, so you only need a tiny bit which will go a long way.

Lastly, to complement the release of these new base products, Guerlain has launched a synthetic-fibre Foundation Brush (C$53). This is a fluffy foundation brush, designed to buff the product into your skin. Compared to Guerlain’s past brush releases, this one is very soft, dense, and easy to use. It’s not at all rough on the skin, and can work well to buff in your foundation of choice. One thing to note is that this brush is made in China, which I was surprised to see because I thought all of Guerlain’s products were made in France. Although, don’t let that make you think the quality of the brush is subpar, it is a good quality brush, well made, and relatively weighty. That being said though, I don’t really believe it is worth $53. There are a plethora of other brush choices on the market that would perform very similarly without the Guerlain brand and associated price tag.

Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer review
Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer review

The swatches

Left to right: Guerlain Lingerie de Peau in 02N (see how it’s quite fluid), Guerlain Parure Gold in 02, Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow in 02 (more pink/peach leaning)

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation review and swatch

On the very right: Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer in 01 Light Warm

Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer review

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau ingredients:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation ingredients

The products in this post were provided by PR for review considerations; all opinions are my own.