Monday, January 22, 2018

Avon Savannah Blooms Beauty Collection: Spring 2018

Spring is in the air...well not yet but its close! Mild temperatures inspire fresh new color trends and Avon’s Savannah Blooms Collection incorporates bright yellow, vivid blues and a little shimmer for good measure.


The True Color Matte Eye Shadow Quad (On The Vine) has a simple selection of blues with varying intensity to accentuate and define. The deep navy can be used to create depth and smokiness and the pigments are expertly coordinated to take the guess work out of mixing and matching. This is a great on-the-go palette for creating quick, effortless looks and the silky texture is easy to blend and layer.


The Gel Finish Nail Enamel in the shade Clover compliments this palette perfectly and the pastel finish is stylish for spring.

You’ll need a mascara to make the shadows pop and the new wash-off waterproof formula is durable yet easy to remove at the end of a long day. This isn’t one of those wands that will give you 10x the volume or a falsies effect but the corkscrew brush thoroughly coats each hair to make lashes look more noticeable and naturally lengthened.  


If you decide to go heavy with the blues then try a refreshing color on the lips. The Glazewear Lip Gloss in the shade Citrus Shine provides a wash of iridescent shimmer that makes lips looks radiant and plush. The base is sheer but the pink-coral shimmer adds a touch of glamour without heavy pigment so it feels light, non-sticky and moisturizing – I absolutely love the finish!


These two polishes are not in the Savannah Collection but they compliment the color scheme. The enamel is easy to use and provides a shiny gel finish with base coat, top coat and strengthener. They are also free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.


One of my favorite items is the Floral Print Bag with cute tassel zipper and royal blue lining. It is the perfect size for my everyday beauty essentials.


This collection retails for $35.00 and Avon is available online at avon.ca or through independent consultants.

Friday, January 19, 2018

T3 Convertible Curling Iron Review

Whether you crave loose flowing curls, carefree waves or bombshell ringlets T3 has you covered. This curling iron is the ultimate styling tool and the only one you’ll need to achieve everyday elegance and glamorous volume for all occasions.


The unique Convertible Base ($100.00) is the core piece of the collection. It has a built-in locking mechanism that allows you to interchange the barrel attachments and create different types of curls.

Enhanced with Single Pass Technology, heat is distributed evenly so you don’t have to repeatedly re-curl each section. An internal microchip controls temperature fluctuations to help prevent damage and ensure beautifully formed waves.


Unfortunately the curling iron does not have a digital readout to show the exact temperature at each level but there are 5 heat settings to accommodate all hair types. One (200˚F) and two (300˚F) are suitable for fine, damaged or chemically treated hair. Setting three (350˚ F), four (390˚F) or five (410˚F) work best for normal to thick hair. You can adjust the temperature by using the power button and remember to apply a thermal protectant prior to styling.

Changing the barrel attachment was a bit tricky at first so refer to the user guide included in the box for proper alignment and locking instructions. It becomes quite easy once you get the hang of it.

Along with the base, T3 sent me the entire range of interchangeable curlers so I was able to try different styles and techniques. It is important to note that some of the curlers do not have a barrel clip to grip the hair so you may need the Styling Glove ($15.00) to protect your hand as you wrap each section.


The attachments retail for $85.00 each and include:

Cascading Waves

Voluminous Curls

Tousled Waves

Undone Waves

Loose Waves

Polished Curls

Defined Curls

For date night I used the Cascading Waves attachment and finger combed my hair to loosen the curls and create volume. The barrel heats up very quickly and I found it simple to use. I have long hair which usually takes forever to curl but this tool did the job quickly and efficiently. I like that I didn’t have to hold each section around the barrel for too long so there was no damage and the high-tech ceramic helps seal cuticles for shiny, frizz-free results.


What I like most about the curling iron is that I don't have to use a holding product after styling so there is no drying crunch from hairspray, mousse or gel. My bouncy, soft curls lasted all night and before bed I applied some serum to re-hydrate them, twisted my hair into a bun and awoke with fresh, soft waves that lasted 3 days!

One of my favorite attachments is Defined Curls which makes beautiful elongated ringlets. The curls lasted a few days and transformed into silky loose waves. The individual barrels cannot be used without the Convertible Base but there are so many options!

I’m not sure there is enough distinction between some of the curling barrels to justify having all of the attachments – for example Polished Curls may not be necessary because the curlers all produce a polished look. Lose Waves, Undone Waves and Cascading Waves resulted in similar curls with varying diameter but Voluminous Curls created much larger ringlets. When choosing a curler it’s best to determine which shape and finish you prefer. I recommend starting with both a small and large barrel for more variety.

I wish the curling iron came with some type of carrying case for travel but overall it is one of the best stylers I've tried. T3 is available at Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Urban Outfitters and online at t3micro.com and amazon.ca.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Maybelline Total Temptation Makeup Collection: Review & Swatches

I’ve been using Maybelline since I started wearing makeup and over the years their beautiful shadows, trendy lipsticks and lengthening mascaras have helped me perfect my technique. I'm always excited when the brand reveals something new and this January Total Temptation debuted on drugstore shelves. The radiant collection is all about soft, wearable shades that create quick, simple looks to compliment all complexions.


The “hero of the family” is the mascara but being more of an eye shadow girl I had to try the palette first. The shades are expertly coordinated with a variety of finishes that accentuate and define. The radiant shimmers contrast nicely with the soft mattes and pops of glitter add glamorous sparkle for a night out. The texture is quite impressive – the pigments are light and velvety for effortless blending and long-wear without creasing. I always suggest using primer to enhance saturation and longevity but even without one the color payoff is good.


On the golden/neutral side there are champagne tones offset by coral and brown to help shape the eye contour. The highlighter is frosty and illuminating with a full-coverage finish very similar to the eye shadow formula.

The other side of the palette features pink and soft mauve tones which I love! The black is great for creating a smokey effect but the glitter shade (second from the top) has a sheer base. I prefer to use the highlighter on my lids for more coverage but the colors are beautiful! I hope Mayeblline extends this collection to include even more shades because I would love some jewel tones. The palette retails for $17.99 and is suitable for travel.



The Total Temptation Mascara ($11.99) is all about increasing volume, separation and length. The whipped pigment is infused with coconut extract to preserve, protect and moisturize. Traditional waterproof mascaras tend to dry down and bind hair together resulting in lash loss but this washable formula can be removed with just water. You can also apply several layers without much clumping and the jet black color thickens and elongates for a lovely fanned out effect. I think this may be one of my favorite Maybelline mascaras and it smells delicious!


The Total Temptation Brow Definer ($11.99) comes with a retractable crayon and a small spoolie brush. The Deep Brown shade is perfect for my dark hair and I love the shape and angle of the point for creating sharp lines and definition. At first the pigment is a bit dry so you may have to do a few swipes on the back of your hand before it starts gliding smoothly. The pencil fills-in sparse areas for a thicker look and lasts all day without smudging.


The Total Temptation Collection is available at drugstores nationwide
(PR samples provided for review)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pantone Color of the Year 2018 – Ultra Violet

The Beginning of 2018 inspires new trends and Pantone’s color of the year is Ultra Violet – “a dramatically provocative shade that communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.” I’m quite happy with this year’s choice because I love purple! It was the color scheme at my wedding and the shade I am usually drawn to when choosing products.

Avon is always at the top of their game when it comes to stylish pigments and they already have a variety of great makeup to showcase this mystical hue.


As a lipstick junkie and Beauty Editor I have a lot of purple in my makeup collection including the Velvet Lip Paint in the shade Fantasy ($12.00). This fresh, energetic hue may be a little too bold for the office (depending on where you work) but in the evening it makes your pout standout. The pigmentation is highly saturated and dramatic with a lush non-drying finish. To see the other pretty shades read my full review HERE.


If you prefer lipstick to liquid paint then check out the mark Lipclick in the shade Wrath ($12.00). This version of violet is a gorgeous combination of mild pink and flattering orchid that is perfect for spring. The smooth, satin finish is lightweight, full-coverage and hydrating for cushiony comfort and hours of wear. The Lipclick collection was actually one of my favorite releases of 2017 and you can check out the entire range + swatches by clicking HERE.


I’ve been too busy to paint my nails recently but Purplicious will definitely be my next mani shade. The Gel Finish 7-in-1 Nail Enamel ($9.00) is perfect for my busy lifestyle because the formula includes base coat, protection, strengthener, vivid color, gel-like finish (no UV required), shine and top coat. The polish is also easy to apply and does not contain formaldehyde, toluene or DBP.


If you love a good multi-purpose product then try the Anew Platinum Eye & Lip Cream ($45.00). It comes with an applicator to help soothe tired eyes and massage the ingredients in thoroughly for better absorption. The formula contains anti-aging proteins responsible for youthful cell shape and it helps diminish fine lines around the eyes and mouth while moisturizing, firming and rejuvenating.

                        
To fully embrace the Ultra Violet theme and contribute to a good cause, the Peaceful Spaces Ombré 4 Piece Glass Set is a must ($25.00). I love the contrast of purple tones and the gold butterflies delicately etched on the glass represent eternal freedom and peace. With every purchase Avon will donate 10% of the proceeds to domestic violence programs for women.


Avon is available online at avon.ca or through independent consultants

Monday, January 15, 2018

Eau Thermale Avene Skincare Review: TriXera Collection

When the temperature plummets to -30˚C (-22˚F) you know it’s time to step-up your skincare routine. On Saturday night the winter wind was especially bone-chilling as I ran from the car to the movie theater so I knew it was time to break out my Avéne products. This brand is family friendly, hypoallergenic and formulated for sensitive skin which means everyone in your home can use it including children 3 and up. The first ingredient in almost every bottle is 80% Thermal Spring Water – valued for its hydrating properties that protect and soothe.


I enjoyed the movie we chose for date night (The Commuter) – Liam Neeson never disappoints but I was looking forward to getting out of the cold and into a warm, relaxing shower. There aren’t too many products on the market that can be used on the face and the body but the Nutri-Fluid Cleanser (24.00) can. The bottle is quite large and the fragrant gel is soap-free so it does not strip or dry out the skin. The light, refreshing lather gently eliminates oil, dirt and impurities that can build-up from outdoor pollution. When used as face wash it also helps remove stubborn makeup to clear pores while maintaining your natural moisture barrier.


The TriXera Nutri-Fluid Lotion ($30.00) is available in two formulas – dry sensitive skin and very dry sensitive skin (fragrance-free). The creams can be used on the face and body to make bath time easier for everyone and the delicate scent is very pleasant. Usually in the winter I opt for thick body butters but this formula is lightweight and milky which makes it easier to spread consistently. Although the texture isn’t rich, the moisture is! Dry, uncomfortable skin and itchy patches are alleviated quickly for smooth, supple results that last all day. Along with Thermal Water there are also plant extracts and oils that fortify, replenish and heal with no greasy residue. On rough hands, elbows, knees and feet the lotion keeps skin supple and flake-free.


Avéne is available at pharmacies throughout Canada and online at beautyboutique.ca

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm Review – NEW Shades

I love vibrant lipstick and bold matte finishes but sometimes my pout needs a break and a blast of moisture. When I first tried the Dior Lip Glow Balms I was instantly hooked and now I always keep the pretty plum shade in my purse for dry skin emergencies.


Every 3 seconds around the world one of these luxurious balms are sold and backstage it has become a favorite among models and artists. The translucent pink packaging with silver emblem adds simple sophistication to your beauty routine and the sticker swatch on the cap makes it easy to identify each shade.


This nourishing treatment is the perfect combination of lip care and makeup. “Color Reviver” technology makes the formula react to the pH level of each person’s lips resulting in a customized shade that enhances your natural skin color. Even as the pigment wears away (which takes hours) it leaves behind a lovely flush that makes my pout look healthy, rosy and rejuvenated.

With a nutritious dose of mango butter, the lightweight, supple balm makes lips feel incredibly soft, plump, smooth and moisturized with a hint of luminous shine. The creamy formula glides on effortlessly and quenches without stickiness so lips get the protection they need all winter.

The Matte Glow finish has a subtle tint with a blurred effect to enhance lips without giving the impression you’re wearing makeup. The transparent color is juicy, voluminous and flattering on every skin tone. In the photo below there are 3 soft pinks (left to right): 008 Ultra Pink, 007 Raspberry and 102 Matte Raspberry. If you prefer prominent color the matte Raspberry has more pigmentation while the other is translucent with brilliant shine.


The Halo Glow shades have an iridescent effect with a wash of radiant shimmer that makes lips appear dazzling. I like to apply the matte balm first and then top it off with a few layers off the halo for a multidimensional effect that reflects light and provides the velvety lushness I crave.


The Lip Glow Balms retail for $41.00 at Dior counters nationwide

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon: Review & Swatches

Lip Crayons are a great way to line, shape, define and accentuate your pout in one easy step because the slender point makes it easy to manoeuvre around the lip contour and neatly fill in the corners. Bite Beauty has a gorgeous collection of vivacious shades to compliment all skin tones and enhance your makeup. I love the retractable packaging – no sharpening = less product waste.


The color spectrum includes everything from subtle nudes, vibrant reds, sultry wines, trendy plums and even deep blackberry. I would classify the finish as semi-matte, the pigment is velvety and moist with a hint of scintillating shine to keep skin plush and hydrated. Instead of drying down completely, the crayons retain some creaminess which makes the color slightly more susceptible to transfer but much more comfortable on the lips. I still get a few hours of fade-proof wear before needing a touch-up and the supple shades appear smooth and polished. The pigmentation is buildable so you can adjust the saturation to create the perfect level of intensity.

When the tip starts to dull simply pop out the sharpener hidden in the colored end. Instead of shaving down the crayon it reshapes it so you always have a sharp point for superior precision. Licorice is my favorite shade in this bunch – it drenches lips in a dark berry stain that is suitable for all occasions.
TIP: To avoid breaking the tip don't wind the crayon down too much.


Molases is a great neutral for medium to deep skin tones and Sugarcane (the lighter nude) works well on fair to medium complexions. Black Truffle is a bit unconventional but dark lips are trendy for a night out and looks great with minimal eye makeup or sharp winged liner. The black is mixed with a hint of purple to make the color more wearable. 


I didn't swatch the lightest nude since it doesn't really suit my skin tone and I might give it to a friend but I love the vividness and quality of the formula.


The Lip Crayons retail for $28.00 each and Bite Beauty is available exclusively at Sephora

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Unite 7Seconds Condition Leave-In Detangler Review

When you find the holy grail of hair products there is no going back to whatever you were slathering on before. Unite 7Seconds Conditioner is widely used by celebrity hair stylists and even stars like Kim Kardashian, Nina Dobrev, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Aniston and Katy Perry can’t seem to get enough. There is no denying that these gorgeous women all have beautiful locks and who doesn’t crave the sleek shine of Kim K’s luscious mane.


This hydrating conditioner infused with fortifying protein is the ultimate frizz tamer and detangler. Just spritz some on (the scent is fabulous), wait 7 seconds and comb through. Pesky tangles are loosed and eliminated with minimal hair loss and no pain which makes the process less tedious. It also speeds up blow drying while polishing staticy strands for a neat, professional finish.

I prefer to use Unite as a finishing spray because it is one of the best on the market. After styling/flat ironing, I apply a small amount to my lengths and finger comb for even distribution. I have no idea what magic is at work here but this formula instantly transforms my mane from root-to-tip. My long hair appears silky, smooth and shiny with no frizz and fewer flyaways. I didn’t expect such incredible results but I now know why so many celebs use this product before strutting down the red carpet.

I haven’t tested it on natural curls yet but after creating ringlets with a curling iron it helps keep them well formed and lustrous. Although Unite is a conditioner, there is no stickiness, heaviness, build-up, flakes or residue so you can use it repeatedly before wash day.


My trick for creating more texture is to flat iron, lightly apply the spray and then clip my hair up or twist it into a bun until I finish doing my makeup. When I take it down approximately 1-2 hours later (it takes me a while to get ready) my hair is soft, glossy and bouncy. It feels great, looks healthy and smells fantastic!

You can order the conditioner online through various retailers including amazon.ca for about $30.00 and on the website shop.unitehair.com for about $28.00. After the first spritz I was totally hooked and now I never do my hair without it! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

NEW Maybelline SuperStay Full Coverage 24 Hour Foundation: Review & Swatches

Finding a foundation that matches my skin tone is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I’ve tested a wide variety of brands and formulas from high-end to drugstore and everything in-between without much luck. Currently I’m using MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation which I’ve been relying on since I started wearing liquid makeup. It isn’t an exact match and tends to oxidize (deepen/change color) but it is the closest I’ve come to not looking like an Oompa Loompa or Flaming red Cheeto.  

You can imagine how excited I was to try the new SuperStay Full Coverage Foundation by Maybelline. The shade selection is good and the level of concealment is amazing! If you have blemishes that need hiding, the rich liquid blends smoothly and camouflages like a dream. For a natural look and seamless finish don’t cake it on too heavy - less is definitely more. I don’t even need concealer, the foundation dries completely matte clinging to the skin to boost longevity.


I have combination skin (oily in the summer, dry in the winter) and although the formula does not provide a lot of hydration it still feels quite comfortable. If you have dry skin I suggest applying a generous dose of moisturizer first.

This is the kind of foundation that will hold-up on hot summer days and resist fading during perspiration, physical activity and humidity but it was difficult to find the right undertone. The closest shades to my complexion are probably 334 Warm Sun and 330 Caramel Toffee but after testing both I suspect that 320 Honey (lighter than both of these) may actually work better.


In the photos these bottles look very similar but the colors are quite different. On the color spectrum Warm Sun comes after Toffee but actually appears lighter with a golden undertone. At first it seemed like a decent match but after layering and allowing it to dry, the pigment deepened (perhaps a little too much) and developed an orange tinge which was too warm for me. Caramel Toffee also appears lighter when first applied but after drying the foundation darkens substantially and is much deeper than my complexion.


To find your perfect match swatch and wait until the liquid is completely dry for best accuracy. If you find a shade that works grab it because for just $14.99 it provides a flawless finish.

Maybelline is available at major drugstores nationwide

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mark Rebel + Ice Bath & Body Collection by Avon

This season Avon is transporting you to the new South West with a collection of irresistible body products and fashion accessories inspired by tranquil blue skies. Rebel + Ice is fresh and invigorating with notes of cool mountain air, winter iris and white birch wood.


The pretty packaging, billowing scarf and crisp scent reminds me of sailing in Saint Tropez as the brilliant blue water sparkled beneath the sun and the Mediterranean wind whipped around the boat. 


After a long, cold day, relax with a warm shower and the Rebel + Ice Body Wash ($10.00) to soothe tired muscles and deeply cleanse. These fragrant shower gels (available in various scents) are some of my favorites from the brand because they lather well on my bath puff and create a lush foam that rinses away impurities without drying out the skin.


Follow up with the extra-rich Body Lotion ($10.00) that quenches, softens and heals dry skin with layers of silky hydration. This formula also works well on hands and feet or any areas that need more nourishment to combat frigid temperatures.


Finish with the energizing Body Mist ($14.00) which enhances the wonderful scent and lightly locks in hydration with castor oil.


The What a Scene Scarf ($18.00) has the same pretty print as the bottles featuring shades of blue and hints of crimson. This limited-edition set makes a great care package to help friends and family survive winter.


 Avon is available online at avon.ca or through independent consultants
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