Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant ~ Review

With Winter in full swing, it's important to prep and protect our skin from the harsh elements. Freezing temperatures outdoors and dry, artificial heat indoors are not ideal for our skin.

Today I'm going to share with you one of my not-so-secret weapons, Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant. This miracle cream is a cult classic for a reason; it works!

Here's a brief description and history of the infamous 8 hour cream as found on the Elizabeth Arden website.

The Legend
Created in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden to soothe skin, Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant became an instant and overwhelming success. What made it so effective is a combination of petrolatum, a skin-soothing beta-hydroxy in one of its first cosmetic uses, and vitamin E. The apricot coloured balm was so beneficial to her clients, Miss Arden used it to soothe her famous thoroughbred horses' legs. Even its name came about thanks to a remarkable performance - a loyal client used it to treat her child's skinned knee and "eight hours later" the skin was all better."

Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Skin Protectant helps to protect skin from the elements, seal in moisture and promote healthy skin. It can be used from head to toe and applied as often as needed.

The cream is rather thick and can be a bit difficult to spread at times. It has an apricot hue to it and it smells almost medicinal. I personally don't mind the scent, but the good news is that it's also available in a fragrance free formula for those who are scent sensitive.

I use it in the winter months to soothe dry skin and to treat my chapped hands. I apply a thick coat before bedtime and allow it to work it's magic.

Its hard to see in the photo below, but my hands are dry, flaky and scaley looking. Yikes! After applying the cream the flakiness disappears and my skin feels much more hydrated. Although my skin looks quite red in the after photo, I can assure you that my hands feel soothed and nowhere near as angry as they look.

I use this cream not only on myself but on my children as well. My daughter recently suffered a minor bout of eczema on her face and nothing seemed to help. I applied Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream before bedtime and the next morning it was less red and irritated. After two nights of applying the cream it cleared up completely.

If you're looking to treat severely dehydrated skin or to prevent your skin from drying out, I highly recommend you give Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream a try!

You can find this cream both in store and online at The Hudson's Bay for $29

Have you used 8 Hour Cream before? Do you have a go-to dry skin saver? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Raspberry Mint ~ Review + Giveaway Info

I recently received a lovely package from Raspberry Mint and I'm going to share my thoughts on a few of the products I received. But before I get into my review, I'd love to briefly introduce you to the brand!

Raspberry Mint is a Canadian company that focuses on creating products that are chic, eco-friendly and organic. They are against animal cruelty/testing and create everything by hand and in small batches.

The first product I tried and my favourite of the bunch, is the Relax Babe Aromatherapy roll-on. Made with 100% pure essential oils (lavender and lime) and blended with a mix of coconut and grapeseed oil, this aromatherapy roll-on is sure to help you relax! When first applied you can smell both the lavender and lime but as it dries down the lime scent is more prevalent. I apply it on my temples, back of neck and wrists before bed. I have become quite addicted to this blend and am happy to have it as a part of my nightly routine.

Next up is the Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask for face and body. This mask contains only 2 ingredients; Dead Sea Mineral Mud and preservative DMDM Hydantoin (0.009%) to prevent the growth of bacteria and moulds.

The mask is easy to spread and dries rather quickly. It is a bit difficult to remove so I use a face cloth soaked in warm water to gently wipe it away. Once removed my face feels slightly tightened and is ready for moisturizer. It doesn't dry out my skin but it doesn't hydrate it either. As with any mud or clay mask, I highly recommend applying cream, lotion or moisturizer after using it.

Finally, the Diva Night Repair Moisturizing Hemp Lips Conditioner. This product is made with Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Beeswax Beads, Organic Flavour Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Vitamin E and Organic Hemp Seed Oil. Although it is marketed as a night time lip product, it can be used during the day as well. Unfortunately, this product didn't quite live up to my expectations. I love the cherry scent and large size tin, however I didn't find it to be particularly hydrating or long lasting. When applied it feels more like an oil and it doesn't last very long on my lips. When it comes to lip balms/oils, I prefer products that will sit on my lips for a while. If you're someone who prefers an oil based product that isn't sticky and won't last too long on the lips, than you might enjoy it.

Now onto the giveaway!

Raspberry Mint is holding a giveaway on their website where you can win a slew of products (25 to be exact!) and entering is super easy. Click this link here to enter! Please note that I AM NOT AFFILIATED with this giveaway - just spreading the word!

Also,  If you're interested in purchasing any products from Raspberry Mint you can use promo code grand50 at checkout to receive 50% off of your purchase! This offer expires March 31 2017

Have you tried anything from Raspberry Mint? Are you entering the contest? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

*PR samples provided

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayons ~ Review

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bite Beauty, their products are handmade in Toronto Canada and are literally good enough to eat! They're made from almost all natural ingredients and the high pigment colourants are all food grade approved. Pretty neat right?! I love to support Canadian brands (especially local ones - I'm from Toronto!) so naturally I was incredibly excited to be given 3 of the Matte Creme Lip Crayons (Red Velvet, Cava and Glacé) courtesy of Influenster and Bite Beauty to review. 

For a matte lipstick they feel very creamy and hydrating which is arguably their best feature. When first applied they feel creamy, hydrating and don't accentuate any dry patches. However they do start to feel a bit drier the longer you wear them, and as they fade any dry spots you have become more noticeable. It's a good idea to exfoliate and moisturize prior to wearing them if you want them to look their best.

All three of the shades I received are pigmented and the pointed, self sharpening tip make them a breeze to put on. It is very easy to get an even edge with these lippies. I did find that the cap on Cava was difficult to remove and it nicked the tip of the pencil the first time I opened it. Not a huge deal, but slightly frustrating.

As far as wear goes, I got a few hours out of them but unfortunately they did transfer while eating and drinking. Keep in mind that they're not advertised as transfer proof..Out of the three, Red Velvet stayed on the longest whereas Cava and Glacé seemed to fade quicker.

Hands down my favourite shade is Red Velvet which is a rich, deep red. Red is my all time favourite lip colour and this particular shade is just perfect! It looks great paired with bold or natural makeup and works well for both day and night looks.

Glacé is my second favourite shade. It's a gorgeous dusty mauve and it looks superb when paired with either bold or natural eye makeup. I love this shade for day looks!

Initially, I was a bit put off by Cava which is a lilac beige shade. I liked it, but when I swatched it I was afraid that it would be too light. To my surprise, it didn't appear that light on my lips and it looks fabulous when paired with a bold eye look.

You can find Bite Beauty's Matte Creme Lip Crayons at Sephora, both in-store and online for $28 CAD.

Wearing Glace
Have you tried Bite Beauty's Matte Creme Lip Crayons before? Do you prefer traditional lipstick, lip crayons or liquid lipstick? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

*I received these products courtesy of Influenster. As always, all opinions are my own!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Eden's Semilla 100% Pure Organic Jojoba Oil ~ Review

With Fall in full swing and Winter on its way, my skincare needs have changed. I have combination skin that leans toward oily in the summer and dry the rest of the year. If I'm not careful to keep hydrated (both inside and out) my face becomes too dry and tends to break out.  It can be hard to find that perfect balance as anyone who has combination skin will tell you. If you don't moisturize, your skin produces excess sebum. If you overdue it with heavy creams, your skin can break out.

For years I was afraid of oils. In my mind, I felt that they would exaggerate the oily side of my combo skin and I was terrified that they would break me out. I was wrong. So wrong. After incorporating beauty oils into my routine I've managed to keep my skin looking great, and mostly blemish free.

The latest beauty oil that has found its way into my repertoire is Eden's Semilla's 100% Pure Organic Jojoba Oil. This particular brand of jojoba oil is 100% pure, organic and cold-pressed to ensure that the natural ingredients are retained.

The oil has a yellow hue to it and it has a very light, almost nutty scent which doesn't linger on my face or body. It comes contained in a box, in a plastic bottle that has a stopper to prevent it from leaking during shipping. There is also a dropper included which makes application mess free.

Eden's Semilla 100% Pure Organic Jojoba oil can be used on skin (face and body), hair and as a nail/cuticle treatment. I have been using it on my face, body and hands and am quite pleased with it so far. I apply it nightly as the final step in my facial skincare routine and on my body after showering. It absorbs far quicker than a lot of other brands of jojoba oil I've tried in the past and it doesn't leave a greasy feeling.

When I wake up in the morning my skin looks amazing! It feels hydrated, looks radiant and there's no greasy or oily feeling at all. The few dry patches I had have cleared up and my skin is much more balanced. I've also used it during the day and thanks to the sebum mimicking effect, my skin doesn't produce nearly as much oil in my t-zone as it normally does. Amazing!

When I use it after my shower my skin stays hydrated for the entire day, without feeling greasy. I haven't tried it on my hair because, in all honesty, it's way too fine for oils. They just end up weighing it down. I'm sure that it would work wonders on curly, dry or over-processed hair though.

You can find Eden's Semilla 100% Pure Organic Jojoba Oil on Amazon.  It comes in a 60ml size for $10.95 or in a 120ml size for $18.95.

Have you tried anything from Eden's Semilla? Are you a fan of beauty oils? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

*PR sample was sent to me for my consideration. As always, my opinions are my own!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Clarins Open Spa, 30 Minutes To A Better You | Grand Opening Event Recap

Clarins recently opened its third Open Spa location and thanks to my favourite beauty editor, Dave Lackie, I was able to attend the official grand opening. There was a lovely group of bloggers, influencers and beauty enthusiasts. There was also a large portion of the Clarins family in attendance. From the PR team to the President of Clarins Canada, we were fortunate enough to meet some of the very important members of the Clarins team.

We experienced the red carpet treatment (literally!) with cocktails, gourmet hor d'oeuvres, complimentary express spa treatments and in classic Dave Lackie fashion, an incredible gift bag!

The back spa room where full face and body treatments take place
The newest Clarins Open Spa (and only the third in the world) is located in beautiful downtown Toronto at the Clarins counter in the Hudson's Bay flagship store on Yonge Street. The Open Spa hosts a variety of services for both men and women. From express spa services to full facials and waxing, Clarins Open Spa has something to suit everyone's needs (and budget!)

Upon arrival our jackets were coat checked and we were offered our choice of red wine, white wine or a signature Clarins cocktail. I decided to go with the Clarins cocktail and let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious!

Us guests were served a variety of hor d'oeuvres by very friendly waiters who were more than happy to stop for photos.

Duck topped with cherry
My personal favourite were the macarons. This lady just can't say no to sweet treats!

Pistachio macarons 
Once all the guests arrived, we were formally introduced to the Open Spa. One of our guests of honour, Eric Antoniotti (International Artistic and Training Director) took the stage to speak about the benefits of Clarins makeup. One of the topics he touched on was the lack of matte lipsticks in the Clarins line. He explained how matte lipstick in and of itself is easy to make, but that it tends to be very drying. Eric wants matte lipstick that hydrates and protects the lips because Clarins makeup is much more than just makeup. It's skincare and it's beneficial to your skin. Clarins doesn't jump on the bandwagon, they perfect their products with science and nature to achieve products that not only look good but deliver results all while caring for your skin.

We were then invited to experience an express spa treatment of our choosing, get our makeup touched up or browse the products and mingle.

Clarins Holiday Palette

The lovely @griechux enjoying the Open Spa

The dashing @AdeleAwright after her makeup touchup

My dear friend Jennifer was interested in finding a new foundation so the pair of us decided to ask the one and only Eric Antoniotti (creative and artistic director for Clarins) to colour match us. With his professional expertise, I learned that shade 107 beige was my perfect match!

The lovely Jen and I (Photo Cred @jenni40)
And thanks to the Clarins philosophy of try before you buy, I was given two samples to take home and test out. I love this. It shows that a company truly stands behind their products. Instead of pushing a purchase on you, they invite you to try it out for yourself. If you like it, you'll come back and buy it.

Near the end of the event I was able to experience the Open Spa for myself and it was everything I thought it would be plus more! The chairs are facing away from the hustle and bustle of the store which makes it easy to tune out what's going on behind you. A lot of thought went into the placement of the Open Spa and although it seems like it would be hard to relax, it isn't.

Photo Cred @griechux
With so many options to choose from I decided to go with the SOS Detox treatment. My makeup was removed and I was given essential oils to smell to help me relax. The treatment consisted of cleansing, steaming, masking and so much more! By the end of my treatment I felt so good I didn't want to get up! And my skin? It was absolutely glowing and felt so smooth and clean. My face hasn't felt that good in a long time.

Photo Cred @griechux

Photo Cred @griechux
At the end of your treatment you have the option of having your makeup touched up at no additional cost. If you're not familiar with Clarins makeup this is a great way to try it. The neat thing about Clarins facials is that you can wear foundation after. Since Clarins makeup can be considered skincare, there is no worry that it will clog your freshly cleansed pores. This is perfect for those who aren't comfortable going home (or shopping!) without makeup on.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Open Spa experience and I'm already looking forward to going back. I'm thinking the eye treatment will be next 😉 I'm thankful to have been invited to such a monumental event. Thanks again Dave Lackie, Clarins Canada and Hudson's Bay for having me and for the incredible gift bag. I won't soon forget it!

The Open Spa treatments will cost you $35 per half hour/service (incredible price point) however they offer many more services and treatments. Click here for a full list of prices and services or pop into Hudson's Bay and speak to a Clarins Aesthetician.

Have you experienced Clarins Open Spa? Would you like to? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dare To Von Blair With Copper Pipe Lip Gloss | Review + Swatches

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to attend the Von Blair Beauty and Fashion mixer held at the Drake Hotel in downtown Toronto.  We drank cocktails, chatted about beauty and played with makeup. It really doesn't get any better than that! Erica (owner of Von Blair Beauty) also released her new fall line of lippies that night and let me tell you, they're absolutely amazing!

I will be reviewing two of the new shades of liquid matte lipsticks soon, but today I'm talking gloss!

Von Blair released 4 new glosses and they're all stunning, but when I saw Copper Pipe I just had to have it!

It's the perfect copper shade that isn't too dark nor too light.  It's very shiny, shimmery and has a metallic sheen to it without being too glittery. Believe it or not, it is universally flattering to all complexions. While at the mixer, quite a few ladies of varying skin tones tried it on and it looked great on every single one of them! From pale to dark, this is a shade that everyone can wear.

The gloss itself isn't overly sticky. Just enough to ensure that it stays on and believe me,  it lasts. It feels nice on the lips and doesn't cling to dry patches. The pigmentation is great and it applies evenly and opaque. You can also apply it over lipstick for a fun metallic look.

This gloss is available on it's own for $20.09 or in a party pack consisting of 4 glosses and the Untamed eye shadow trio for $80.42 (you can read my review of Untamed here)

To purchase this gloss or any other Von Blair products, visit their website by clicking here

Have you tried any of Von Blair's lip products? Do you have a ride or die lip gloss? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Highlighter Addicts Rejoice! MAKE UP FOR EVER Has Released The Pro Light Fusion And It is Literally #Goals! Review + Swatches

I've got some exciting news for all the highlighter addicts out there! MAKE UP FOR EVER has taken their cult classic highlighter from the Pro Sculpting Duo and released it on its own own! Like many fans of the Pro Sculpting Duo, I found myself running out of the highlight shade before I finished the contour shade. Now, instead of having to buy a whole new duo, you can buy the highlighter separately!

The new Pro Light Fusion is available in the same two shades from the Pro Sculpting Duo, 01 Golden Pink and 02 Golden.  It comes in a 9 gram, mirrored compact and retails for $48 which is a great price for the amount of product you get, not to mention the quality. Oh, and it's also worth noting that this formula is talc-free!

Before I get into my review, let's just take a moment to admire the beauty that is the Pro Light Fusion. Just look at those ripples of rose gold goodness outdoors in natural sunlight!

Now that I've shown you how beautiful it looks in the compact, it's time to see some swatches. The following were taken indoors, with natural lighting. As you can see, it is indeed undetectable unless you layer it on.

MAKE UP FOR EVER's Pro Light Fusion highlighter in Golden Pink is seriously one of the most gorgeous rose gold highlighters I've ever used. It's got the perfect mix of gold and pink to suit light-to-medium complexions regardless of undertone. As you can see below, it suits my light, warm toned complexion very well.

I usually have a hard time pulling off pink highlighters (they end up looking like blush) but since this is pink and gold it works.

Photo taken indoors with natural lighting
The silky, gel-powder feels incredibly good on the skin and it blends like a dream. You can apply it with a light hand for a subtle radiance or layer it on for that glazed donut look. Even when applied heavy-handed, it still looks good and it doesn't cake up.

Another very important thing to note is that it sits on top of pores and reflects light away from them. There is literally nothing worse than having your highlighter sink into your pores, drawing attention to them..

The only downside to the Pro Light Fusion is that it doesn't wear for that long if it's not set with a setting spray. Without a setting spray, I only got a few hours of wear. If you're the type of person who can't be bothered with touching up your makeup, I highly recommend you seal it with a setting spray. Otherwise your glow will start to fade throughout the day.

Verdict? Buy it! This highlighter is absolutely stunning and is so incredibly versatile. Whether you like to shine bright like a diamond or prefer that lit from within glow, this luminizer will deliver the results you desire. Just remember to set it with a setting spray to make that ethereal glow last!

MAKE UP FOR EVER's Pro Light Fusion is available in two shades, both in store and online at Sephora and retails for $48 CAD.

Have you tried the Pro Light Fusion? What is your current favourite highlighter? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

*A press sample was sent to me for my consideration. As always, all opinions are my own!