Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Prep, Pep and Out The Door!

As a busy Mom of two I know how valuable time can be. I'm a huge fan of multi-tasking in general and anything that can help me look my best AND get out the door quicker in the morning will instantly receive holy-grail status. So if your morning's are as hectic as mine, and that extra step in your routine could mean all the difference in getting out the door on time; you'll want to reach for these new multi-tasking products from Clinique.

Expanding on the Pep-Start eye cream (read my review here), Clinique has launched a line of confidence boosting, muli-taskers that will have you looking your best in a matter of minutes!

No time to exfoliate or use your sonic cleansing brush? Not a problem thanks to the new Pep-Start 2 in 1 Exfoliating Cleanser.  This multi-tasker combines cleansing with gentle exfoliation through both physical and chemical exfoliants. This oil-free, gel cleanser is gentle enough to use twice daily and it won't strip your skin. It's also allergy tested* and 100% fragrance free.

After using this cleanser for 2 weeks now I must admit I'm impressed! It starts out as a gel but turns into a rich lather while you wash your face. The physical exfoliants are noticeable, yet small and not at all abrasive. I can feel them working to remove all those dead skin cells, oil and residual makeup. I haven't experienced any irritation,  redness or discomfort during or after using this cleanser. My skin looks polished, glows and feels very smooth.

The next step is to moisturize but why stop there? Clinique's Pep-Start Hydro Blur moisturizer is not only a moisturizer but a primer as well! It preps skin for makeup by blurring imperfections and helping to control oil. This new, innovative formula delivers matte moisturization with the power of HydroBlur technology.  Imperfections and fine lines are diminished while skin is left visibly soft. You can wear it alone or as a primer. The choice is yours!

As a combo-skinned woman I will always appreciate a matte finish and this moisturizer delivers just that. It applies matte and stays that way for hours. Honestly, I've gotten close to 8hrs of shine-free skin thanks to this moisturizer. It's also allergy tested* and 100% fragrance free which is great since I am prone to breakouts.  For the record, I haven't had any new breakouts while using this!

This moisturizer looks and feels very similar to primer and when applied leaves my skin feeling velvety soft. It blurs my imperfections and creates the perfect canvas for me to apply makeup. My foundation applies much more evenly, blends better and stays in place longer. I could go on forever about how amazing this moisturizer is but i'll spare you my ramblings and recommend you try it yourself (you'll love it!)

Finally,  Pep-Start Quick Cleansing Swipes. These handy little wipes are perfect for on the go cleansing, pre and post gym, and those nights when you just want to sit on the couch after a long day and catch up on Netflix.  They're formulated to remove excess surface oils, dirt, debris and dead skin cells all while providing a light dose of hydration. They are also allergy tested* and 100% fragrance free.

Typically I'm not a fan of cleansing wipes. As I mentioned earlier, I'm prone to breakouts, so I always make sure my face is thoroughly cleansed (typically double cleansed) at the end of the day. Having said that, I do keep wipes on hand for days I go bare-faced and need a refresher or to remove makeup prior to cleansing.

When I wear makeup I opt for long wearing, bullet proof products and a lot of wipes can't handle them.  These ones can!  I found them tough enough to remove pretty much everything except for my mascara. Even though they are strong enough to remove all of my products, they remained gentle to my skin and left my face feeling refreshed. Personally I think these would be a great addition to a gym bag to remove makeup pre-workout or to cleanse and refresh post workout.

*Allergy tested and 100% fragrance free. What does it mean? Firstly, Clinique formulates without known allergens. Then they test the product 12 times on 600 people. If even one of those 7,200 applications incite an allergic reaction, they start over.

These amazing multi-tasking products are available exclusively at Sephora nationwide or at www.clinique.ca

*PR samples were provided to me in accordance with my disclosure policy.  As always, my opinions are my own!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#ArdenBeauty With Dave Lackie, Elizabeth Arden and A Lovely Group Of Twitter Friends

Today I will be recapping the #ArdenBeauty VIP Twitter follower dinner hosted by the one and only Dave Lackie and the Arden Canada team. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dave's VIP events, it's basically a chance for beauty enthusiasts to experience product launches the same way that a beauty editor would. There's cocktails, mingling, product displays, mini presentation and a 5 star dinner. Only the best for Dave's followers!

This event was held in a private room at the Aria restaurant in downtown Toronto. Upon arrival I was greeted by Dave and welcomed into the event where I was offered a very pretty cocktail.

I spotted the lovely Maria @BestDayBlogger and Urmi @joshigal and chatted with them before securing my seat at the table. The table was situated in the middle of the room and was full of pretty flowers.

After choosing my seat at the table I began to explore. There was much to see! Prevage skincare, Arden makeup and fragrance filled the room so I started swatching, smelling and reading labels.

Prevage Foundation
After mingling for a bit we were seated at the beautiful table for dinner. The waitstaff came to take our orders and fill our glasses with wine.  While we were waiting on dinner there was a mini presentation about the NEW Prevage City Smart (which I will be reviewing very soon!) and a brief history of the brand. Not long after, dinner was served and it was delicious!

After dinner we received a very generous gift bag full of both new and classic products.  We also got a chic and very iconic red door mirror which I love so much.  Stay tuned for individual reviews on the products we received :)

I am so grateful for for this experience and I can't thank Dave Lackie and Elizabeth Arden enough <3

Friday, August 19, 2016

Getting #FastAndFresh with COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream | Review + Swatches

Welcome back loves! Today I'm talking COVERGIRL's Clean Matte BB Cream. Typically I shy away from BB creams because I find they don't work well with my combo skin but when I heard that this BB cream was made for oilier skin types I couldn't resist trying it!

COVERGIRL's Clean Matte BB Cream is touted as an oil-free formula that won't clog pores, will even skin tone, hide blemishes and keep you shine-free all day.  It comes in 6 shades ranging from pale to deep and they seem to be neutral in tone.  I have been using shade 530* (light medium) and I find it suits me well if I don't keep up with my self tanning (which I haven't been doing).

When I first swatched this on my arm I was a bit concerned.  It looked pink and oxidized quite rapidly.  I find this to be typical of drugstore foundations and one of the many reasons I avoid them...

Unblended swatches
Top is fresh (wet) and bottom is dry (5 minutes)
However when I applied it to my face it seemed to work out ok.  It blended in almost seamlessly and matched my neck pretty good.  It did oxidize slightly darker (more so when wearing sunscreen) but luckily I didn't turn orange.

I have applied it with a brush as well as with my fingers and I have to say that I prefer to use my hands for this one.  It blends in better and looks more natural. I find it does a decent job of hiding old acne scars and redness, but does nothing to cover active blemishes.  It dries to a matte finish and stays that way for at least 4 hours, which is pretty good for a BB cream.

As far as BB creams go, this one was better than a lot of others I've used in the past. It lasted longer, didn't slide off of my face mid-afternoon and it dries to a matte finish.

Have you tried CG Clean Matte BB Cream? Did it work for you?

*Product was sent to me for free courtesy of the brand via BzzAgent.  As always, all opinions are my own!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sample Sunday | TheFaceshop Collagen Pomegranate Pack

Today's sample of the day is The Faceshop's Pomegranate pack.  This was quite a large sample and I got many uses from it. I've been using it nightly as the final step in my routine for over a month and to be honest, I'm not impressed.

Texturally speaking I like it.  It isn't heavy or sticky like a lot of sleep masks.  It absorbs almost completely and doesn't make me stick to my pillow.  It didn't cause me to break out like some others I've used in the past.  However, I didn't see any change to my skin.

As far as hydration goes,  my face didn't feel any more hydrated after using this product. I didn't 'glow' any better with this than it did without it and my skin didn't feel firmer. I saw literally no change in my skin.

This product was a miss for me and I won't be purchasing it in the future.

Have you tried this Pomegranate pack? Did you see better results than I did?  I'd love to compare notes!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Von Blair Beauty | Part Two | Liquid Matte Lipsticks | Review + Swatches

Hello lovelies! I'm back with part 2 of my Von Blair Series and this time we're talking liquid lipsticks. If you missed my first post on Von Blair's eye shadow trio you can read it here.  But back to the lipsticks..

Currently Von Blair has 4 shades of liquid lipsticks to choose from.  According to their website, they are highly pigmented and dry to a flat matte finish.  They have a brush applicator with a twist bottom to get the lipstick up to the bristles.  The website also lists that a little goes a long way,  something that I quickly discovered after the first use (spoiler alert, I overdid it lol).

I received two shades,  Danger (red) and Relevant (violet).  Although they are from the same line, there are a few differences between them so I decided to do a mini review of each.

Danger is a timeless red and I absolutely love it! When it comes to red precision is everything and thanks to the brush tip it applies like a dream.  The lipstick itself is very creamy and once it sets (which is very quickly) it is highly pigmented and flat.  As far as wear goes, it stays on through eating,  drinking and humidity.  I got a good 5 hours out of this lipstick.


I must admit that I'm not usually one for purple.  I love it on others however I feel much more comfortable/confidant in reds, pinks and nudes.  Having said that,  this lipstick has converted me! Relevant is a beautiful violet hue that isn't too light nor too dark and it matches the Untamed eye trio perfectly.  It is very vibrant and unlike most mattes, it has some shimmer to it which is a nice change from the typical flat matte.  Out of the two lipsticks, this one was a bit more of a challenge to apply. It is a bit thicker than Danger and as I mentioned earlier, I definitely over did it the first time. This led to an uneven finish with some streaking.  Since realizing that less is more,  I've had an easier time applying it.  This is a shade that needs a few minutes to get perfect however once it's on,  you're set for the day!  It is very long-wearing and isn't overly 'drying'.  I did notice that it clung to dry patches so I would recommend exfoliating and moisturising well before applying.  On a side note,  I've also worn this shade with gloss and it looks stunning!

Relevant with clear gloss on top

You can vist Von Blair's website here to purchase these lipsicks for $24 or browse their other products.  There's an assortment of cosmetics,  skincare and hair products to choose from.

*These products were given to me free via a giveaway win.  As always,  my opinions are my own!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sample Sunday | Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream

Is it Sunday already? Time sure does fly when you're having fun!  Today's sample is Clinique's pep-start eye cream.  I received this in last month's topbox and although it looks small,  I've gotten a few weeks use from it!

This eye cream is ophthalmologist tested and suitable for sensitive eyes.  As someone who has a VERY sensitive eye area, I can attest to that!  It claims to hydrate,  brighten and perk up your eyes in 3 seconds.  So does it? Short answer,  yes!

I find it to be very hydrating and after using it for a few weeks my eye area does appear slightly brighter.  It isn't heavy or greasy and it hasn't caused my eye makeup to slide off.

In all honesty, it's hard to do a proper review of a product based off of a sample. Having said that,  I am impressed with it so far.  Impressed enough to purchase the full size.

You can purchase pep-start online here or pop into your local Hudson's Bay or Sephora store.

Have you tried pep-start?  If so,  has it worked for you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Von Blair Beauty | Part One | Untamed Eye Shadow Trio Review + Swatches

Hello lovelies! I have a new brand to share with you today,  Von Blair Beauty!  I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway via Babe Box in which I won a beautiful eye shadow trio as well as two liquid lipsticks from Von Blair Beauty.

I'm dividing this post up into two, one for the eye shadow and a second for the liquid lipsticks.  First up, the eye shadow trio!

Untamed is a trio of easy to wear shades that work well for day or night.  They're pigmented and very blendable. You can create many looks with these shades and they're quite wearable for most skin tones and eye colours,  especially brown eyes! I do recommend wearing a primer with them to help them pop and last the day.  In my opinion, you should always use primer!

My favourite of the three is Fixated (middle shade).  It's a rich neutral and it's gorgeous.  I like to sweep this across my eyelid and use a bit of Satin Doll (left) on the inner corner of my eye to brighten it up a bit.  I use Rumour (right) as a liner and in the crease.

This trio sells for $21 on the Von Blair website.  Click here to visit the website and learn more.

Stay tuned for part two!