Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BeatQueen Cosmetics ~ Queen Matte Lips and Vinyl Liquid Lipstick ~ Review + Swatches

BeatQueen Cosmetics is an up and coming cosmetics company that sells quality, paraben-free and cruelty-free makeup at a very affordable price (their lippies are only $12 each!)

"BeatQueen Cosmetics was born to bridge two things that we love with something that we feel very strongly about.
The Beat describes our love for both Makeup and Music.  We all love a good beat, whether is be in the form of a musical tune or a face beat.  We love to see people express themselves with makeup, and find it to be a fun hobby (or job) for all, especially when music is involved!
The Queen speaks to representing and empowering women to think of themselves as royalty.  We believe that all women are beautiful Queens, and we want to do our part to ensure that it is known to the world!" /source/

BeatQueen currently has two lipstick lines available and according to their website, they plan to add more items to their collection. Today I'm going to be reviewing one item from each line; Queen Matte Lipstick and Vinyl Liquid Lipstick.
The Queen Matte line currently has 8 shades available ranging from neutral to bright and bold. I have the shade Vino Noir and it is as delicious as it's name (who doesn't love a good red?)
Vino Noir is a deep cranberry shade that is cool toned and has a matte finish. Not only is it a beautiful shade, but the blue undertone will give the illusion of whiter teeth; perfect for all of us wine drinkers ;)

For a matte it's quite comfortable to wear and I got just over 4 hours of wear before I needed to touch it up. It isn't smudge or transfer proof but it holds it's own fairly well when drinking (not as much when eating). When left to fade, it does so gracefully and leaves a beautiful cranberry stain on my lips.

BeatQueen Cosmetics also has a liquid lipstick line, aptly named Vinyl Liquid Lipstick. This line offers 4 shades and the lipstick itself can be used as a gloss or lipstick. It doesn't dry down and it has a shiny finish. I have the shade Safe Bet and I couldn't think of a better name in relation to the colour. It's a rosy, nude brown that is universally flattering. The shade is stunning and it works with so many looks (hence the name). I found this formula very comfortable but I had some issues with the wear. It bled out a lot, more so when I wasn't wearing foundation. I tried to compensate by using a lip pencil and it helped..a bit. I feel like it needs a barrier, one of those clear lip liner thingies that I've seen and have been meaning to buy. I will continue to tinker with it to see if I can find a way to avoid it from bleeding. Perhaps one of my lovely readers has a tip?

To learn more about BeatQueen Cosmetics or to purchase their products, visit them online at they currently have a 20% off promo code available on their site although I'm not sure when it expires. You can also find them over on Instagram @beatqueencosmetics 
Have you tried any products from BeatQueen? Any tips on preventing lipstick from feathering/bleeding out? I'd love to hear your thoughts and tips below!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Luv Your Skin Company Mineral Makeup ~ Review, Swatches + Look

I was recently approached by an Indie Canadian beauty brand named Luv Your Skin Company to review some of their products and I couldn't resist! I love trying up and coming brands and I love to support Canadian companies. A total win-win situation!

Luv Your Skin Company is a Toronto based company and all their products are made in Canada. They focus on creating effective natural and organic products that are cruelty-free. All of their skincare is made using natural & certified organic ingredients and their makeup is mineral based.

I was sent a lovely box with a wide selection of their mineral makeup and I have to admit I'm pretty impressed with the quality of the products. The outer packaging isn't overly desirable; but as they say, it's what's inside that counts!

As an eye shadow junkie, I just had to try Luv Your Skin Company's Mineral Eye Shadow ($19) first. I was given the shade Naked Shimmer and it's a lovely pale pink shade with a hint of shimmer (glitter). This shade makes a great brow highlight due it's light and shimmery hue. I also like to wear it when I want a no-makeup-makeup look. It brightens up my eyes while looking natural. When paired with my trusty Double Wear eye primer, it lasts almost all day. This shade is so hard to swatch and photograph because it's light and I'm a lovely shade of pale-winter-white right now. It's much more noticeable when worn on my eyes.

One of my beauty goals for this year is to perfect winged eyeliner. I've been wearing makeup for nearly two decades, but somehow still can't do a wing. Honestly just lining my eyes evenly is a challenge. In my quest to find the perfect eyeliner, I stumbled across gel liners. I thought that gel liners would prove more challenging but I've discovered they're not. I was very happy to see that there was one in my beauty box from Luv Your Skin Company. I received the Creme Eye Liner ($19.99) in Brown and I have to say, it's quickly become a favourite. It's the most gorgeous espresso coloured shade and it's absolutely perfect for every eye look I've created with it so far. Now what sets this eyeliner apart from others is how easy it is to work with. It's very creamy and glides so smoothly. It dries quickly (but not so quick that you can't correct any mistakes) and it stays in place - all day! It is waterproof (very waterproof) and can be used to tightline as well as line your lower, inner lash line. I seriously love this eyeliner!

(Heavy finger swatch of Sand Pink on top of primer)

I've gotten back into blush again recently so it was nice to see one in my beauty box. I received a Pressed Mineral Blush ($29.99) in the shade Sand Pink. It's a very soft and delicate shade that would be perfect for spring. Unfortunately, I had some issues with it. When I went to use my Real Techniques Blush Brush on it I had an incredibly hard time picking up the product on the bristles. When I tried my Marc Jacobs Blush brush (it's slightly denser and not overly soft) I was able to get some blush on it. When applied to my face sans foundation, you can see it a bit (likely do to the natural redness on my cheeks) but when worn over top of my foundation, you can't. Sadly this one was a miss for me, but that doesn't mean that it won't work for you!

Luv Your Skin Company also sent me one of their Hydrasheer Lip Colours ($19) in the shade Cherise, which as you can see is a very pretty pink. This shade is so pretty and wears so comfortably on my lips. It can be applied lightly for a sheer hint of colour or layered on for intensity. Personally, I prefer my lipsticks on the bold side so I gave this a few passes on my lips for opaque coverage. I found that this Hydrasheer Lip Colour wore for a few hours before it needed touching up and it faded evenly. I did find it to have a bit of an odd smell to it, not overpowering or intrusive but certainly noticeable. For the colour and comfort, I can certainly live with it.

Last but not least, is the Hydrasheer Lip Gloss ($17). I received the shade Sapphire and no, it's not blue! I don't really get the name but anyways..It's a shimmery pink shade that offers just a hint of colour with a bit of sparkle and shine. It feels like a gloss but not overly sticky. The Hydrasheer Lip Gloss is infused with sunflower and jojoba oils, shea and cocoa butter to nourish your lips all day long. Hydrasheer Lip Gloss does feel very hydrating on and once worn off, the feeling of hydration remains.

I couldn't end my post without showing you all a look I created with all the Luv Your Skin Company products I received! This is a very natural, daytime look that's perfect for spring. The best part? It only took 5 minutes to do!

To learn more about Luv Your Skin Company or to purchase their products, visit them online at

Do you wear mineral makeup? Have you tried anything from Luv Your Skin Company? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

*PR samples were sent to me for editorial consideration. As always, all opinions are my own!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My Daytime Skincare Routine Featuring Reversa ~ Review

After a not-so-pleasant experience with a luxury face cream (see here) my face was in desperate need of some TLC. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to test out a daytime routine courtesy of Reversa. For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, Reversa is manufactured in Canada by Dermtek Pharma Ltd., a company that established its scientific credentials by developing the widely acclaimed Ombrelle brand of sunscreen //source//

Reversa is based in Dorval, Quebec and their products are not only affordable, but widely available across Canada in drugstores such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix. Reversa has a variety of products available to suit your skincare needs and today I'm going to share with you my daytime routine that has helped heal my skin and is actively protecting it from future breakouts and sun damage.

As some of you already know, I have combo skin that is prone to hormonal breakouts. I don't have overly sensitive skin, however some products don't work with me and can contribute to breakouts. I also tend to get a lot of blackheads.

The first step in my Reversa routine is cleansing. Since I do such a thorough cleanse in the evening, I can (on occasion) skip washing my face in the morning. Instead of constantly stripping my skin with cleansers, I often use Micellar water. Reversa's Cleansing Micellar Solution (300ml for $23) is gentle yet effective and I've been reaching for it often. I also use it in the evening to remove my makeup. It doesn't require rubbing to remove my makeup, however, I do have to let it sit (on a cotton pad) on my eyes to remove stubborn mascara and waterproof eyeliner. This gentle micellar solution comes in a handy pump bottle which I absolutely love. It's convienent, hygienic and easy to store. Reversa's Cleansing Micellar Solution is fragrance, oil, alcohol and paraben free and suitable for sensitive skin.

After cleansing, I apply Reversa's Acnex Purifying Solution (200ml for $29). Formulated with both BHA (2% Salicylic Acid) and AHA (8% Glycolic Acid) this solution effectively exfoliates the surface of the skin as well as deep within the pores. The combination of BHA and AHA is widely recognized as an effective method to treat and prevent acne. After using this product for the past month, I whole heartedly agree. When I started this product I had a few cystic pimples and some regular pimples. Within a week, the regular pimples disappeared and the cystic pimples started to shrink in size and were much less painful. Even more impressive is that I have seen about a 90% reduction in blackheads. I used to have so many on my chin and now I only see a few. Obviously I'm quite amazed! Reversa's Acnex Purifying Solution contains the highest level of AHA and BHA allowed in an OTC product. It's also paraben, perfume and oil free!

Once my skin has dried I apply Reversa's Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 30 (50ml for $46). As the name suggests, this cream has an SPF of 30 which helps to reduce the signs of photo aging. One of the biggest contributers to wrinkles is sun damage, which means that the most powerful wrinkle reducer is prevention (aka sunscreen). Sometimes I forget to apply my sunscreen (oops) so having a facial cream with SPF protection is very beneficial to me. This cream also contains 8% Glycolic Acid which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and unclogs pores (score!) I find this cream absorbs very quickly and is hydrating. It doesn't leave a white cast nor does it feel greasy. It also comes in a handy and hygienic pump bottle which I absolutely love. 50mls doesn't sound like a lot of product but it is. I've been using this daily for over a month and I still have a lot of product left. Reversa's Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 30 is paraben-free, oil-free and perfume-free.

The final step in my morning routine, and arguably the most important is eye cream. I have been applying eye cream since I turned 20 and have been using it religiously since. I can honestly say that its paid off because I am only starting to see the beginning of (two) fine lines and I just joined the 30's club. The only time you can see them is if I squint or when I smile. Once I stop smiling/squinting they practiaclly disappear. High five!

I apply Reversa's Anti-Wrinkle Eye Contour Cream (15ml for $33) to my entire eye area as the final step in my routine. This cream spreads well, dries quick and hydrates. I can apply my eye makeup directly on-top of it with no smudging or sliding. One of my favourite features of Reversa's Anti-Wrinkle Eye Contour Cream is that it has an SPF of 15. It is somewhat rare to find eye creams that contain sunscreen and it's such a smart (and practical idea). I always wear sunglasses but it's nice to know that I have a little extra protection from the sun. Reversa's eye cream also contains Glycolic Acid (4%) to gently exfoliate and promote the renewal of cells. Reversa's Anti-Wrinkle Eye Contour Cream is opthalmologist-tested, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, perfume-free and oil-free.

A note on Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid can occasionally cause sensory irritation to those with sensitive skin. Some people report stinging, burning or itching. When using Glycolic Acid for the first time it's best to start slowly to see how your skin reacts. All Reversa products that contain Glycolic Acid feature the patented Time-Release Glyco-Comfort System, that releases the anti-aging formula over an extended period of time. To learn more about Reversa's Time-Release Glyco-Comfort System click here

Reversa has a wide variety of skincare products to suit everyones needs. Visit their website to learn more, to locate a store near you that carries their products or to shop online.

*PR samples were sent for editiorial consideration but all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Von Blair Beauty's Velvet Liquid Matte ~ Review

Today I've got a short and sweet review of Von Blair Beauty's latest liquid lipstick, Velvet Liquid Matte . This isn't the first time I've reviewed Von Blair (see here, here and here) and I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on my favourite Von Blair lippie to date.

Smother is a gorgeous deep pink shade that is universally flattering for all skin tones. It's one of those pinks that will suit pretty much everyone. It's also a shade that is deep enough for fall and winter, yet totally wearable in spring and summer.

Now we all know that matte lipstick can be drying, so I was expecting to feel a bit of dryness once I wore this for a few hours. Lo and behold I didn't experience any dryness, cracking or uncomfortable flaking while wearing Von Blair's Velvet Liquid Matte. Now that is a big deal!

As far as wear goes, Von Blair's Velvet Liquid Matte wore for the whole day even after eating and drinking. I experienced minimal transfer while it was drying and it didn't affect my finished lip look. As long as whatever your eating isn't oily, this lipstick will hold it's own.

Von Blair Beauty's Velvet Liquid Matte is available online at for $26.70 and the shade Smother is currently on sale for $24.

For all things Von Blair Beauty, be sure to follow Erica on Instagram @vonblairbeauty

Have you tried Von Blair cosmetics? Would you like to? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

*PR sample sent for editorial consideration but all opinions are my own!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

MAKE UP FOR EVER'S Star Lit Powder ~ Review

If you want your highlight to shine to the heavens, look no further than MAKE UP FOR EVER's Star Lit Powder. Available in 8 show stopping shades ranging from neutral to bold, this multi-tasking, loose pigment is literally what dreams are made of!

MAKE UP FOR EVER's Star Lit Powders are essentially ultra-fine, shimmering powders that can be used as eyeshadow, to highlight your face or add a little oomph to your lips. This multi-faceted formula includes Mother Of Pearl to add light-catching colour and shine. Micronized ingredient technology allows for easy application of the Star Lit Powder wet or dry, to customize coverage intensity.

In my humble opinion, MAKE UP FOR EVER makes some of the best highlighters on the market. I constantly reach for their Pro-Light Fusion (read review here) so when I heard that they had introduced the Star Lit line, I just had to try them!

I have the Star Lit Powder in shade 02 Frozen Gold and 05 Frozen Purple which I will be fan-girling over in this post. Believe me when I say the hype is real.

First up, 02 Frozen Gold. As the name suggests, this is a warm, golden shade. The possibilities with this shade are truly endless. I have used it as an eye shadow, brow bone highlight, face highlight, lip highlight as well as a lipstick topper. I can see myself using it on my decollete come Summer time as well.

05 Frozen Purple is a beautiful, iridescent lavender shade with cool undertones that looks gorgeous as an eyeshadow but even better as a highlighter. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be so in love with a purple highlighter, but here we are..

MAKE UP FOR EVER's Star Lit Powders are incredibly pigmented. Most highlighters need to be built up to achieve greatness, but not these ones; they're pigment-packed and ready to shine (to the Gods). If you want a subtle glow, you will need a very light hand and be prepared to blend, blend, blend. Surprisingly enough, there's little to no fallout (unless you over-load your brush). I was prepared for some fallout, but didn't experience any at all. The application is smooth and easy.

Best of all? The Star Lit Powder is really long wearing! When applied on top of primer (eyes) and foundation (face) they last the whole day with no need to touch up. I really, really can't be bothered to touch up my makeup during the day so naturally this makes me incredibly happy.

Peep that highlight in natural sunlight! (Star Lit Powder blended out for a subtle highlight)
Star Lit Powder in 05 on eyelids and used as a highlight

The one and only thing I don't love about MAKE UP FOR EVER's Star Lit Powder is the container that it comes in. First of all, it's small. It's not the amount of product that's the issue (a little goes a looong way) It's the tiny hole where the powder comes out from that bothers me. It is quite small and difficult to get a brush into. I have to use a small eye shadow brush to pull product out and it's a bit time consuming. That is literally the only complaint I have.

MAKE UP FOR EVER's Star Lit Powders are available exclusively at Sephora, both in-store and online for $25 CAD

Have you tried anything from the Star Lit line? Would you like to? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

*PR samples sent for editorial consideration but all opinions are my own!

Saturday, March 11, 2017


DERMAFLASH is a revolutionary new tool that brings the art of DermaPlaning into the comfort of your own home. For those of you who have never heard of DermaPlaning before, it's essentially a medical spa treatment to exfoliate facial skin and remove vellus hair (peach fuzz). DermaPlaning is performed by an esthetician or dermatologist with a scalpel and a delicate touch. Although it sounds invasive, it isn't. In fact, there is little to no risk involved.

So where does DERMAFLASH come in?

DermaPlaning can get costly and realistically, who has the time? As much as I love to go to the spa, I rarely do. With two youngsters at home, trips to the spa are a luxury I rarely get to experience nowadays. Thanks to DERMAFLASH, I can experience the art of DermaPlaning at home.

DERMAFLASH is a small, handheld device that incorporates gentle vibration with a safe and hygienic edge (blade) to exfoliate the skin and remove vellus. From start to finish, the procedure takes no more than 10 minutes (although you need to charge the device for a minimum of 5 hours before each use). The first step is to thoroughly cleanse the skin using the Prep Cleanser that's included in the box (and in the refill kit). After cleansing and thoroughly drying your skin, you begin step 2 which is using the DERMAFLASH unit. Removing the unit from the charging base, you slide it onto one of the edges in the holder until it clicks. Being careful not to pull backwards (this will remove the blade and render it useless) you gently lift the handle up. To turn on the unit you hold down the hummingbird button for 2 seconds to turn it on. Once on, the DERMAFLASH will slightly vibrate and is ready for use on your face. You have 30 minutes to use the device before the battery runs out (so they say- I've never had it on for that long during a session). After you have completed your treatment you finish by applying the Soothe Moisturizer (also included in the kit).

So what did I think of DERMAFLASH?

I was very intrigued by the whole concept of DERMAFLASH. I have peach fuzz (we all do; whether you're aware of it or not) and it irritates me to no end. Sure it's light and soft, but it's very noticeable in daylight. Take a selfie outdoors and you'll see what I mean.

In all honesty, as excited as I was to give it a try, I was also a bit nervous. It sounds silly considering we all know it's an old wives tail, but I was worried that my peach fuzz would grow back in darker and coarser..

I'm not one to back down, so I went for it. First of all DERMAFLASH is so easy to use! I got the hang of it quickly and became a pro in minutes. The first time I used it I was able to complete my whole face in less than 10 minutes. The sound it makes when you're using it is very satisfying. I can't explain it; but it's pleasant. I could see the hair and dead skin cells on the edge as I was going along. I love seeing it all come off! I should also note that I didn't experience any redness or irritation during or after my treatment.

The end result? Soft, beautiful skin! I found my creams absorbed quicker and my makeup applied smoother. It took about a week before I noticed vellus starting to grow back, and for the record, it DID NOT grow back in any darker or coarser.

My only complaint about DERMAFLASH is that the edges are only good for a single use. You can't charge the unit with the edge on, so you have to remove it. When you remove the edge, it self-destructs. I understand that it's for hygienic reasons, but I don't throw my razors out after a single use. It would be nice to be able to use it a second or third time.

You can purchase the DERMAFLASH kit both in-store and online at Hudson's Bay for $236. Each kit includes the DERMAFLASH unit, Charging Base with Cord, Prep Cleanser (0.8oz), Soothe Moisturizer (0.8oz) and 6 edges (blades).

There are also refill kits available at Hudson's Bay which contain 6 edges, Prep Cleanser (0.8oz) and the Soothe Moisturizer (0.8oz) and they sell for $49.

Although it seems a bit steep, DermaPlaning starts at around $65 per treatment and the cost per DERMAFLASH edge is roughly $8 so you definitely save money in the long run.

Have you used DERMAFLASH? Is it something you would like to try? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

*PR sample sent for editorial consideration

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bite Beauty's #TheLipPencil ~ Review + Swatches

If you follow me on social media than you already know that I was one of many lucky Influenster's to receive *Bite Beauty's The Lip Pencil voxbox. As a huge fan of Bite Beauty, I was extremely excited to test out their new lip pencils (and matching Amuse Bouche lipsticks!)

I received two pencils (020 and 044), Amuse Bouche Lipstick in the shades Honeycomb and Whiskey as well as a Sephora branded bio-degradable pencil sharpener. Before I get into my review, let's talk a little bit about the brand.

Bite Beauty is a Canadian Company whose focus is lip products. From lip scrubs to lipstick and glosses, Bite Beauty creates highly pigmented products made with food grade ingredients that are free of petrochemicals. They also have Bite Labs in Toronto and New York where you can go to create your own lipstick. So neat!

The Lip Pencil is available in 22 neutral, lip-tone inspired shades ($20 each at Sephora). From pinkish-nude to rich mahogany, there is neutral shade for everyone!

In typical Bite Beauty fashion, The Lip Pencil is long-wearing and very comfortable. It glides smoothly across my lips and isn't drying at all. The formula is quite creamy unlike a lot of lip pencils which can be stiff. I found that 020 is creamier than 044, not by a lot, but there is a definite difference in texture. I found that 020 applied perfectly opaque and evenly whereas 044 applied slightly uneven.

Top - Bottom
The Lip Pencil 020
The Lip Pencil 044
I love the wooden barrel that houses The Lip Pencil. They're lightweight and have a simple, classic feel to them. What I love even more than the barrel is the caps - they're very tight fitting which ensures they wont fall off in my purse or makeup bag (there is nothing worse than smudged/broken lip/eye liner all over your purse!)

Bite Beauty and Influenster also included two shades of Amuse Bouche lipstick to go alongside The Lip Pencil's.

Honeycomb (beige-nude) pairs perfectly with The Lip Pencil in 020 and is also the perfect nude shade for me! I absolutely love this duo and will be reaching for them often!

Whiskey (rich mahogany with red) pairs perfectly with The Lip Pencil in 044. Although they work well together, it's not a combo that I love on me. I will wear them, but not often and likely only in the fall/winter.

I already own a few Amuse Bouche lipsticks and I am a huge fan of the formula. It's creamy, pigmented and fairly long lasting, as far as bullet lipstick goes. I really don't reach for them as often as I should (mental note- reach for them more often!)

Last but not least, the bio-degradable sharpener from Sephora. I love that it has a slot for jumbo pencils as well as traditional sized ones. I don't have much to say other than it works. I have no idea how it bio-degrades, but I like the sounds of that!

Did you receive this voxbox? Are you a member of Influenster?  Have you tried any products from Bite Beauty? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

*I received these products complimentary courtesy of @bitebeauty and @influenster. All opinions are my own!

**If you aren't a member of Influenster and would like to join, feel free to sign up using my referrral link (I get brownie points from them anytime someone uses my link 😉)

Wearing The Lip Pencil in 020 and Amuse Bouche lipstick in Honeycomb