Wednesday, May 23, 2018

10 Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

No matter how much I travel, I can’t get used to nerve wrecking turbulence and the thought of plummeting to the earth, but the thrill of adventure is stronger than fear. The worst part of vacationing is usually the airports, especially when you factor in delays or cancellations. No one likes waiting in those long lines, having your body patted down by strangers and not knowing if you’ll ever see your luggage again, but being trapped in an aluminum tube for 16 hours can seem like a nightmare.

When I went to Asia I took 8 flights to various countries and cities which added up to about 43 hours in the air. After the first 5 hours from Toronto to Shanghai I felt confident, calm and collected. I was thinking – this isn’t so bad, I totally got this! But after the 10th hour restlessness started to kick in and I started thinking – I don’t got this at all...someone get me off this thing...what the hell was I thinking ...will I ever see the ground again?...what is that weird sound?...oh my God is that the engine?... 

On the next few flights I was determined not to lose my composure so I decided to make the journey as pleasant as possible. Below are some helpful tips for coping with long, international flights.

1. Rest before Departure
As much as you want to believe in super human strength, you are not the Incredible Hulk so sleep as much as possible before the flight to help counteract jetlag. There is no guarantee you will be able to rest on the plane with people moving along the aisles, babies crying and clunky food carts rolling past. Pamper yourself with a relaxing bubble bath, get a massage or go for a run before you leave – anything that helps you mentally prepare.

2. Upgrade Your Seat
If you can suffer through a 16 hour flight (or even an 8 hour flight) scrunched up in economy with your neck contorted and someone hogging the arm rest, than more power to you! There is no way I would consider going to Asia if I couldn’t lie down and get a good night sleep. Those first class personal pods are like having your own little room! The food, service and comfort level is definitely better but it can cost up to $6,000 for an overseas flight. If you don’t have that kind of dough lying around then use your travel miles for an upgrade. On longer flights, airlines tend to be more generous with moving people up front so it never hurts to ask.

3. Prepare Your Body
Hydrate as much as possible on the days leading up to the flight by drinking water or beverages infused with electrolytes and immune supplements like Vitamins C. The air on the plane is usually dryer than the Sahara Desert (literally) so you should also drink a lot during and after the flight even if it means using that disgusting little airplane bathroom. Trust me, your body, brain, hair, and skin will thank you for it - dehydration can make you feel very ill.

To prevent dry mouth and a sore throat, bring some candies to keep the saliva flowing. Eye drops also come in handy.

4. Keep Busy
The worst thing you can do is sit idly in your seat and stare at the head in front of you. Bring some work or a few gadgets to stimulate your mind and distract yourself from the fact that you’re pretty much trapped. Books, games and an iPad loaded with movies and music always seems to do the trick. When all else fails, sleep as much as possible to help pass the time and whatever you do, don’t focus on the clock or ten minutes will seem like an hour.

5. Keep Your Blood Flowing
Cabin pressure can affect your circulation so to prevent swelling and blood clots get up every couple hours to walk and stretch. Compression garments may also be a good investment.

6. Divide One Long Flight into Two
Instead of one long, exhausting flight divide the trip into two more manageable flights. For example - if you are on your way to Dubai, stop in London England for a day or two. If you are heading to China (like I was) stop in Vancouver and do some sightseeing before continuing on.

7. Bring Food
When traveling first class, snacks are unlimited and food is in abundance (it’s awesome) but in coach, you may need to provide your own sustenance. Meals can be bland, small and scarce so bring snacks, drinks and even a few sandwiches. It is also helpful to note that some countries will enforce hefty fines for bringing certain fruit and foods through immigration so finish everything onboard. 

8. Get Comfortable
Accept the fact that you’re in it for the long-haul and bring items that will keep you cozy. Noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs, an eye mask to block out the light, slippers, a neck pillow and toiletries are just a few things that can help make the journey more bearable. Remember to wear loose fitting clothes so you can move freely and ladies leave the high heels in your carry-on, no one looks cute after 16 hours of confinement.

9. Misery Loves Company
Traveling with friends or family helps pass the time and gives you someone to talk to for moral support. Watch a movie together, stroll the aisles after dinner or start a good old fashion card game (like the days before Candy Crush), just try to have fun. You are on vacation after all.

10. Book Early
When making reservations, choose your seat online before checking-in at the airport. This may ensure that you aren’t stuck in the middle of two space hogging travelers determined to make your life more miserable. To cut back on stomach-churning turbulence, pick a seat in the middle of the aircraft or over the wing.

Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Vasanti Cosmetics Do It in Bed! Night Time Skincare Routine

Did you party a little too hard over the long-weekend? Maybe you had a bit too much Sangria like I did or woke up at 4 am to watch the Royal Wedding. After a long day, the last thing I want to do is remove my makeup and undergo a long beauty routine but going to bed without cleansing can lead to clogged pores, blemishes and nasty breakouts.

With Vasanti’s Do It in Bed Skincare Set you won’t have to wake up with a greasy complexion or an apple-sized zit. The cute little box comes with makeup wipes, eye cream, face serum and lip balm – all the essentials you need to refresh your skin without parabens or sulphates. Keep the box on your bedside table so you can simply reach over to cleanse and nourish without ever having to leave your cozy sheets. There is even an extra slot for your favorite cream, I usually add Vasanti’s Brighten Up Amplified Moisturizer which has all the benefits of a glow boosting exfoliant (you can read more about the Brightening Collection HERE).

The Makeup Magnet Wipes ($12.00) are soaked in Micelle Water to eliminate dirt, oil and impurities without residue. The soft, pore cleansing cloths are gentle, refreshing and effective at removing waterproof formulas without irritating the eyes – perfect for days you don’t have the energy to wash your face.

The Eye Wonder Cream ($42.00) has been one of my favorites for years! The velvety texture is hydrating and rich so it trends to stay put without seeping into my eyes. A little goes a long way and the formula is clinically proven to reduce the look of dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles with a potent blend of peptides, vitamins and botanicals. Use it nightly to appear youthful, rested and revitalized. The cream also moisturizes dry eyelids, brows, lips and cuticles.

The Age is Only a Number Elixir ($62.00) is one of the very first products I tried and it is still fantastic! The oil-serum blend is lightweight, super hydrating and loaded with natural extracts, botanicals, antioxidants, vitamins and anti-aging ingredients that undo damage, improve elasticity and enhance your natural glow. It also helps rebuild collagen, increase firmness, fade wrinkles and brighten. I love how supple, plump and smooth my skin feels and the dewy finish is non-greasy.

After you’ve wiped off your lipstick, make sure to layer on the Rise and Shine Balm ($19.00) infused with a healthy dose of Shea, Mango Butter, Abyssinian Oil and Vitamin E. The lush texture acts like an overnight lip mask, alleviating parched skin and locking in moisture for a kissably soft pout.

This incredible collection retails for $135.00 and comes with a free daytime skincare travel kit! The products are 95% natural, vegan and cruelty-free making it a great gift and an excellent way to maximize your beauty rest.

Vasanti Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and online at

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dior Addict Lacquer Plump Review & Swatches + NEW Limited-Edition Lacquer Sticks

While touring Asia a few weeks ago I saw posters of Dior’s new Lacquer Plump Lip Color on billboards all over China and Thailand. It is no surprise that these bold, summery shades are quickly becoming a cult favorite with women all over the world – the formula is light, refreshing and long-wear.

The radiant pigment shapes, smooths and plumps your pout with a nourishing blend of hibiscus extract and hyaluronic acid. The oil-water emulsion feels cool, hydrating and comfortable as the vibrant color glides across the skin - increasing moisture levels up to 78%. The lacquer applies lightweight, bright, and sheer so you can layer for more coverage or let it dry like an ink and stain your lips a beautiful bold hue.

Once set, the color and shine fuse into an airy film making lips appear voluminous and juicy. Use the foam applicator to blend, outline, eliminate streaks and amplify intensity. The lush liquid melts in for up to 8 hours of cushiony wear.

There are 2 finishes available – pure color and sparkle for a boost of radiance. I love the metallic, shimmery effect but the glitter tends to scatter as the color fades and the particles cling to the skin making removal a bit tedious. There are 19 flattering shades to choose from including nude, coral, peach, red, burgundy and violet. The lacquers retail for $43.00 each and the packaging is gorgeous!

I also received a few limited-edition Lacquer Sticks ($43.00) in pretty seasonal shades. Rising Star is a shimmery bronze that looks sexy on sunkissed skin, while Star Girl is a sheer glittering lavender with blue flecks. If you prefer something bright and dramatic, Studio is a vibrant orange with a blaze of golden glitter – perfect for romantic summer nights. The luscious formula has the color and shine of a lacquer with the comfort and hydration of a balm so I always keep one in my purse.

When you’re in the mood for something simple, light and moisturizing, try the limited-edition Dior Addict Lipstick in Nude Chill ($43.00). The color payoff is sheer and soft with a luxuriously creamy texture that envelops lips in comforting oils and luminous mirror-like shine. The hydra-gel core instantly alleviates dry skin and prevents chapping for a smooth, youthful finish.

Swatches (Bottom to top): Lacquer Plump - 868 J'adior, 677 Disco Dior, 648 Dior Pulse and 347 Dior Freak. Dior Lacquer Sticks - 202 Star Girl, 647 Studio and 627 Rising Star. Dior Addict Lipstick - Nude Chill.

Dior is available at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Holt Renfrew and Dior Counters nationwide.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Garnier SkinActive – New Summer Products

The trees on my street have finally started to bloom, tulips line the walkway and dandelions are out in full-force. Summer is just around the corner which means it is time to change my skincare routine. I love thick, lavish creams but they don't mesh well with warm weather and the heaviness triggers perspiration. This season Garnier has created some lighter options along with a few refreshing cleansers and toners that absorb grease and keep your complexion cool as a cucumber.

Whether you have a hot date, patio party or dinner with the girls, a quick facial is always a good idea. Garnier’s replenishing masks come in a variety of skin saving formulas that take just 15 minutes! For dull skin try the Moisture Bomb Super Hydrating Glow-Boosting Mask with Sakura Extract. The serum-packed sheet softens and enhances radiance for a silky finish. After a long weekend and lots of cocktails, the Anti-Fatigue Mask with Lavender and Hyaluronic Acid refreshes, plumps and revitalizes tired skin. My favorite is the Super Purifying Charcoal Mask with Algae Extract. It minimizes the look of pores, purifies, detoxifies, smooths and abolishes excess oil. The Sheet masks retail for just $3.99 each and come in handy on vacation. 

Garnier is killing-it with their 96% naturally derived vegan formulas and they are super affordable! The Refreshing Facial Cleanser with Aloe Juice ($10.49) is the perfect way to clear your pores and get rid of makeup and pollutants after a long day in the sun. It refreshes the skin by eliminating sebum and impurities with no parabens, silicone or dye. 

Toners are always part of my cleansing routine and the SkinActives Collection includes a mattifying formula with Green Tea Extract ($10.49) and a refreshing Aloe Leaf blend for all skin types. The toners remove the last traces of makeup and dirt to help prevent breakouts, oiliness and shine without causing dryness. They smell great and cleanse the pores without any stickiness or residue.

The SkinActive Creams ($20.99) come in large jars and can be used 3 ways – as a day moisturizer, night cream or mask. The Soothing Balm is richer than the Hydrating formula but they both absorb quickly to soften and smooth with no greasiness. I like the supple, lightweight finish but there is no SPF so remember to apply sun protection. 

In July and August things really heat-up in Toronto and the humidity can be a total drag. While attending press events downtown and battling midday traffic, I like to keep a facial mist in my tote to refresh and hydrate my complexion. This soothing blend ($10.49) contains fragrant rose water and I love how cool and alleviating it feels on parched, sensitive skin. There is no residue so you can mist-away whenever you need a little pick-me-up throughout the day.

Garnier is available at drugstores nationwide

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pur Cosmetics On Point Eyeliner & Eye Polish

It’s been a while since I featured anything new from Pur but they never cease to amaze me with their vivid pigments and beautiful long-wear formulas. Today I’m revisiting the metallic Eye Polishes, a fabulous new brow cream and eyeliners that won’t smudge or run.

The Eye Polish ($28.00) is available in a range of complexion flattering shades and comes in a jar covered by thin mesh.

Application is a bit odd – you have to dip the silicone paddle onto the net screen and try to pick up some of the pretty color. The creamy part of the polish kind of sits at the bottom in a clump and doesn’t flow through the mesh very easily which makes it difficult to reach. I even tried to remove the screen with little success so I may have to cut it out. Packaging flaws aside, I actually like the pigment. It feels thin and watery because I can’t mix it properly but the color is intense and saturated. I love the flecks of glitter and it dries quickly – transforming into a light satin powder that looks radiant and lasts all day! You can dab these over your favorite shadows or layer them full-coverage for a glamorous effect. 

Twist-up liners are my favorite! There is no sharpening required so you don’t end up with a wonky pencil and broken tips. The On Point Eyeliner ($19.00) is reshaped into a neat, structured point each time you recap it so you can draw straight, consistent lines that glide on effortlessly. The creamy formula is enriched with a rejuvenating Ceramide – Essential Oil Complex that nourishes and prevents lash-loss plus the dramatic color lasts up to 10 hours without fading.

I usually line my eyes with pencil and then reinforce it with the On Point Liquid Liner ($19.00) for more intensity. The flexible felt tip is easy to manoeuvre for creating the perfect wing and varying line thickness but the matte finish is a bit dull for my taste (I prefer something with a hint of shine). The color is jet black, well pigmented and infused with the same Lash Rejuvenation Complex to preserve your precious hairs.

I really wish the Sculpt a Brow ($24.00) came with instructions because the pigment is in a twist-off cap at the top of the tube and the angled brush seems too large to fit inside and extract it. I wasn’t sure if the cream was supposed to eject onto the brush or if I had to take everything apart and dip but eventually I got the hang of it. There are 3 shades available and I like that the deepest hue is dark enough to match my hair. The cream-to-powder formula has great color payoff and blends easily to fill in sparse areas, thicken shape and sculpt. I really like this product for creating Instagram-worthy arches but the packaging needs improvement and it should come with more pigment.

Last but not least is another skincare product. I know I’ve been on a skincare craze recently but this one is good! The Blue Agave Energizing Peel-Off Mask ($26.00) is enriched with green tea, ginseng, aloe, basil, fruit extract and Vitamin B to refresh, plump, hydrate, cleanse and tone. This is a great mask to apply while you’re reading or getting ready for the weekend. It softens, smooths and revives your complexion with no messy clay or hard to remove granules. Simply peel off the bright blue film and apply moisturizer.

Pur Cosmetics is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, and 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Body Shop Spa of the World Body Wash and NEW Face Masks

Victoria Day long-weekend is coming up so I’ve planned a breakfast party to watch the royal wedding (at 4am) and a delicious family barbecue. After a hectic week of press events and deadlines, I will definitely need a spa day to help me unwind before my guests arrive and The Body Shop has a few luxurious new products to pamper my complexion.

The Spa of the World Body Wash Collection includes an exotic range of cleansers that make bath time more enjoyable. The luxurious gels are soap-free and gentle but the rich formula still lathers into blissful foam that cleanses and nourishes without dryness. Skin feels soft, smooth and hydrated with a wonderful scent.

I chose Tahitian Tiare ($14.00) infused with Ethiopian Honey and Coconut Oil from Samoa – it reminds me of breezy summer days lounging on the beach. If you prefer to soak your tired muscles, simply drizzle some into running water as you fill up the tub, slip into the fluffy bubbles and let the stress just melt away.

Adriatic Peony ($14.00) is a velvety cream that envelops you in lush moisture, refreshing flower extracts and rejuvenating natural oils that will leave your entire bathroom smelling like a high-end spa.

While you’re submerged in the healing water with your candles flickering, layer on a purifying mask for glowing skin. The Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask ($28.00) is 100% vegetarian and formulated without parabens, silicone or mineral oil. This intense treatment removes dullness, evens skin tone, brightens, smooths, balances and corrects. The lovely aroma smells like a botanical garden and the gentle exfoliating beads remove dead cells to reveal the supple skin underneath.

The Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask ($28.00) is packed with Japanese Green Tea leaves and Tee Tree Oil from Kenya for a complete at-home facial. This decadent clay looks like it was scooped right out of a volcanic hot spring and put it in the jar – very natural and healing. The chunky particles provide excellent exfoliation as the other ingredients draw out impurities, pollutants and blemish causing dirt lodged deep within the pores. Once dry, the mask can be a tad difficult to wash off so I usually remove it in the shower. After treatment my face feels clean, replenished and better prepared to absorb moisturizer, oil or serum.

These products are available at The Body Shop Stores nationwide and online at

Monday, May 14, 2018

Kerastase Nutritive Hair Care Collection

I have a lot of hair care (probably more than the drugstore), but no matter what I’m testing, there are always at least 2 Kerastase products in my bathroom. One of my favorite collections is Nutritive because it is gentle, fortifying and super hydrating no matter what your hair type.

The replenishing oils and strengthening proteins in this collection has allowed my hair to thrive in any environment and the scent is incredible! Most shampoos remove dirt, oil, build-up and impurities for a squeaky clean feeling, but this formula is different. Although it contains sulfates and cleanses thoroughly, it does not leave my hair feeling dry or brittle. After each lather, my mane is softer, smoother and more resilient with no scalp irritation or residue. At $45.00 a bottle it is more expensive than drugstore brands but you get salon quality results and a professional blowout. 

Conditioning is a step I never miss and you shouldn’t either if you want strong, silky tresses. The Nutritive Fondant Magistral Conditioner ($48.00) provides a supple texture, enhanced shine, manageability and detangling benefits for severely dry hair. If you use heat appliances or hair dye, you may also notice an improvement in breakage and split ends. It only takes a couple minutes to work (according to the directions) but I leave it on a bit longer in the shower. The lush cream coats every strand and rinses clean with no residue or heaviness so my hair feels ultra sleek and hydrated. The Lait Vital Irsome Conditioner ($48.00) is formulated for slightly dry, fine hair but it seems to have the same key benefits. My hair is not dry or damaged but I still prefer products that offer the most nourishment. While browsing the website make sure to check out the amazing range of Kerastase masque treatments.

Before blow drying, flat ironing or curling, apply some Nectar Thermique ($48.00) to protect your hair from heat damage. This creamy leave-in makes styling easier while smoothing roughness, softening and boosting shine for a polished look with less frizz and flyaways. I also use it to tame and moisturize my ends throughout the week and in the summertime it helps shield your hair from the sun.

Kerastase is available at salons nationwide, to find a retailer near you visit the website at

Sunday, May 13, 2018

L’Occitane Terre de Lumière L’eau Eau de Toilette

When I first experienced the delicate beauty of Terre de Lumière L’eau it reminded me of a warm spring day in a romantic French garden. If you’re in the market for a refreshing new fragrance, this sophisticated bouquet offers the perfect balance of velvety warmth and soft floral sweetness.

The top notes include bergamot, pink pepper and black currant balanced with peony, bitter almond tonka bean and smooth musk. The sensual ingredients blend harmoniously to create a light, airy scent that lingers on the skin and fades beautifully.

The aroma is sophisticated, alluring, and flirty – perfect for daily wear and all occasions. Since none of the notes are overpowering or harsh, it makes a great gift for women of all ages.

The elegant bottle is very similar to the original – simple, chic and geometrically pleasing with blush pink glass that adds a feminine flare. This lovely fragrance will definitely be a hit for Mother’s Day so head to your nearest L’Occitane Boutique and try it for yourself! The 90 ml bottle retails for $99.00 and you can visit the website at

Friday, May 11, 2018

Urban Decay Backtalk Palette – Review & Swatches

Summer is the time to let go of inhibitions, check a few goals off your bucket list and slip into that sexy sun dress you’ve been dying to wear. If you’re looking for a multipurpose palette that can go from formal to fun you should definitely get your hands on Urban Decay’s latest creation.

Backtalk is the kind of palette you will want to take on vacation to create effortless looks and slip in your tote for romantic weekend getaways. It is perfect for daily wear and stunning on all skin tones.

This portable palette has a unique structural design that forms a mini vanity! Pop it open to reveal a row of gorgeous eye shadows alongside 2 must-have blushes and 2 radiant highlighters. Each side is divided by a double-sided removable mirror and when you’re done creating your masterpiece, the whole thing folds-up (pretty neat).

The shadows are luxuriously silky, highly pigmented, buildable, non-creasing and long-lasting. When applied over UD’s Primer Potion, the colors stand-out vividly and blend easily with bold saturation. My favourite shade is Attitude - a dusty rose with a pop of metallic brilliance but there is enough variety to create both neutral effects and dramatic intensity. The only thing I would add is another matte crease shade in deep burgundy or dark brown but I can always turn to my Naked Heat Palette for backup. You also get a nice brow highlight and a couple pretty transition shades to help pull your entire look together.

The Blushes instantly revive dull skin and the rich, velvety texture blends seamlessly! Cheap Shot is a gorgeous pink-mauve that provides a natural flush and Double Take is a soft coral that looks amazing on sunkissed skin. The two highlighters pair well with the blush and the smooth, lightweight shimmer instantly brightens the face for a lustrous bombshell glow.

The Palette retails for $59.00. Urban Decay is available at freestanding stores, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, and online at Don`t forget to sign up for the Beauty Junkies Rewards Program to earn and redeem points.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Dior Hydra Life Skincare – New Products

During my recent vacation I was dealing with a bad case of heat rash and as mentioned in my previous article – the pollution, jet lag and long drying flights didn't help. To recuperate and reinvigorate the complexion after sun exposure, pollution, fatigue and daily stress, The Dior Hydra Life Collection works wonders! The products are 83% natural with no parabens, or silicone and the formula contains a prebiotic to balance, purify and rejuvenate.

No matter how tired you are after a long day, don’t forget to remove your makeup. Clogged pores, bacteria and greasy skin can cause nasty breakouts and irritation. Thankfully Dior has created a Triple Impact Makeup Remover ($42.00) that cleanses, moisturizes and refreshes. I love that you can use the concentrate on sensitive areas of the face with minimal lash loss and no stinging or burning. Use it to loosen long-wear lipstick, pulverize messy glitter and soften crunchy mascara while eliminating dirt, sebum and impurities. The texture is silky and light so it glides across the skin and feels great.

After makeup removal I usually wash my face with a cleanser using my Clarisonic or Foreo before applying the Balancing 2-in-1 Sorbet Water ($52.00). Developed in collaboration with the Dior Asian Innovation Center in Japan, this crystalline lotion moisturizes, strengthens and diminishes minor imperfections including dilated pores, shine, redness and spots. It also helps prep your skin for makeup or night care by replenishing and fortifying. The revitalizing liquid leaves my face soft, clean and smooth with no stickiness.

The Hydration rescue Intense Sorbet Cream ($82.00) is my favorite new product in the collection. The luxurious whipped texture melts in like butter and transforms into a fluid serum that drenches parched skin in layers of moisture with no residue. The formula helps calm irritation, protect from pollutants and keeps water in cells to prevent dryness and damage. My skin feels incredibly plump, supple, dewy and velvety plus the scent is wonderful! After exposure to extreme environmental conditions like heat and smog, this cream feels cool and refreshing on stressed skin.

I always end my night routine with a good eye cream and recently I’ve had trouble readjusting to the time zone and getting enough rest. The Cooling Hydration Sorbet Eye Gel ($70.00) delivers “ice cube freshness” for a quick anti-fatigue touch-up. The formula contains anti-inflammatory water to decongest the lids and reduce puffiness while mineral powders correct dark circles and Abyssinica Oil nourishes and protects lashes and brows. The ceramic applicator has the effect of an ice cube to promote microcirculation, boost radiance and awaken the eye contour so you look well rested. You can also pop it in the fridge to enhance the invigorating sensation.

Hydra Life is available at Dior Counters nationwide
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