Monday, March 19, 2018

Avon Limited-Edition Skin So Soft Comforting Shea Collection

Spring is in the air so it’s time to rejuvenate dry winter skin with a blast of nourishing moisture. One of the most hydrating ingredients on the market is Shea – known for its incredible ability to condition, comfort and deeply moisturize. Avon’s decadent new collection will leave you supple, smooth and refreshed from head-to-toe with a pampering selection of oils, butters, shower creams and lotions at affordable prices.

The Body Wash ($10.00) is creamy and fragrant to help you relax and foam away pollutants, impurities and oil after a long day. I drizzle it over my mesh bath pouf and create a bubbly lather that cleanses without leaving skin dry, tight or stripped. There is also a large bottle of Shea Bath Oil available if you crave an indulgent soak.

The Body Lotion ($10.00) smells delicious without being too sweet and the lightweight, luscious texture seeps in quickly so skin feels soft and silky with no greasiness. If they removed the parabens it would be even better but for dry, flaky skin it works! The cream is also available in a Body Butter formula ($9.00) if you prefer something richer.

The driest part of my body is probably my hands because I wash them frequently and often forget my gloves. The Shea Hand Cream comes in a large tube for just $6.00 and instantly softens and soothes brittle nails, damaged cuticles and rough skin. I keep it at my desk to moisturize throughout the day and it is perfect for your guest bathroom or powder room.

With Mother’s Day coming up these products are great for care packages and gift baskets! Avon is available online at or through independent sales representatives.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Roasted Cheesy Cauliflower Recipe

It’s Sunday evening, I don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing dinner and I’ve had a cauliflower sitting in the fridge for a few days. Thankfully I caught this morning’s episode of Barefoot Contessa which inspired me to try something different and healthy (win, win).

Cauliflower has been gaining popularity recently and people are even using it to make pizza dough! This brain-y looking veggie is one of my favorites because the mild flavor makes it easy to season in a variety of delicious ways. It is also high in vitamin C and fiber with very few calories.

Instead of steaming my cauliflower and devouring it ravenously like I usually do, I roasted it. This method gives the florets a dry, crispy texture instead of that squidgy, wetness is usually has.

1. Cut the stem off, slice from the bottom and pull apart the florets.
2. Wash thoroughly.
3. Dry cauliflower with paper towel and lay on a baking tray covered in parchment paper.
4. Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings – I used garlic powder, Mrs Dash Original (unsalted), seasoning salt (instead of regular salt), onion powder and black pepper.
5. Drizzle with Olive Oil and mix.
6. Bake for about 25 mins at 350˚ or until cauliflower is crispy and cooked to perfection.
7. Remove tray from oven and sprinkle with your favorite cheese (I used cheddar).
8. Pop it back in and bake until cheese is melted. I went light on the cheese to cut calories but feel free to go crazy.
9. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve right away (it tastes better hot).

Voila – a yummy side dish that your family will love! Cheese makes everything better.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Too Faced Chocolate Gold Collection Review

Like most women I love chocolate and gold has been my go-to shade since I started wearing makeup so naturally I needed this collection. The Chocolate Gold Palette ($49.99) is the star of the show featuring dramatic shades that will inspire you to create magnificent looks and strut around like a total diva. For even more glam, the shimmery loose pigment, warm bronzer and Liquefied Gold Gloss will make you gleam like a queen.

I always talk about how scrumptious Too Faced products smell and this gorgeous palette is extra cocoa-y (your stomach may rumble with cravings but your eyes will look sexy). The color scheme is right up my alley featuring a variety of gold tones, bright pink, deep purple, icy blue, sparkling green, silver and more. The shadows are extremely vivid, ranging from shimmer to metallic with amped-up radiance but there are a few neutral mattes for crease definition, highlighting and blending.

The packaging is flashy and decadent with melted gold drizzled over a chocolate bar. Too Faced is known to dazzle us with prettiness and this palette makes your vanity look so much cooler.

The shadows have a rich, velvety texture for smooth application, easy blending and fantastic saturation. You can layer to enhance the intensity but the colors are highly pigmented, long-lasting and flattering on all skin tones. The formula is infused with real gold to create a high-shine, foiled finish that enhances the eyes with lustrous sparkle. Like most of my Too Faced palettes, the quality is top-notch and I have no problem with creasing or fading.

I wore the vivid pink to a recent media event and everyone loved it! The vibrant colors add pizzazz to your everyday looks and I’m not afraid to rock these shades anytime, anywhere. With a little crease sculpting you can pull these off day or night and gold is an elegant hue that never goes out of style.

The Pure Gold Loose Glitter ($17.00) gives you that Goddess glow from head-to-toe. It is also infused with real gold and can be used on the face and body. I have a love-hate relationship with glitter because it looks amazing but gets everywhere! This sparkly dust isn’t so bad, you can contain the particles by using fluid application strokes to attain concentrated highlight. Use a lot and you will gleam like the sun but make sure to layer over primer to prevent transfer and scatter (it doesn’t adhere very well otherwise).

The Best Selling Chocolate Matte Soleil Bronzer ($30.00) smells delicious and provides a medium tan with buildable color. 

There are a few different bronzers in this collection including a dark matte finish and a gold shimmer powder which is more my style. This shade is too light for my skin tone but the texture is smooth and silky.

The Melted Gold Liquefied Lip gloss ($21.00) reminds me of Midas – everything it touches turns to gold! This ultra shimmery, high impact color drenches lips in layers of glittering shine. The formula is supple, highly pigmented and hydrating with smooth, comfortable glitter and no streaking. The effect is eye-catching but a tad eccentric for everyday wear. I’m saving it for a fun party or glitzy event where it is perfectly acceptable to dip your lips in gold.

Too Faced is available at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and online at

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dior Foundation Review

A few weeks ago I had breakfast with Dior to preview the new makeup, skincare and fragrances. Among the pretty pigments and irresistible scents, there was a new line of foundation called Forever Undercover which inspired me to round-up a few of the brand’s best formulas.

Finding a foundation that suits my complexion always seems like an impossible task. I’m probably more likely to land on the moon or win the lottery than I am to find an exact match, but in pursuit of flawless skin, I will persist! Today I’ll be reviewing color, texture, application and longevity to determine how these products compare.

First up is the Diorskin Nude Air Serum ($66.00) which has a velvety, fluid texture. This liquid makeup is designed to feel “light as air” with an undetectable film and soft-focus glazed pigments that provide a sheer, radiant finish. The medicine dropper applicator deposits the perfect amount of color where you need it most while vitamins, minerals and cranberry oil revitalize, nourish and hydrate. Dior has also added “Oxygen Activ Technology” for breathable freshness and no caking.

There are only 9 shades available in this collection so I tested number 50 Dark Beige which is the second deepest hue. The color is too warm for my complexion but it layers thinly and the liquid-y consistency applies very silky. Although this foundation provides light coverage, it still corrects and evens skin tone for a natural effect with SPF 25.

The Dior Airflash Foundation ($72.00) is quite unique since it dispenses as a light spray to create an air-brushed glow. Before application, shake the can for 5 seconds to mix the pigments and then spray directly onto the face or in the hand at a 20 cm distance. With this method things can get a bit tricky. Similar to an aerosol spray, the pigment rises into the air which makes it easy to inhale or ingestion. It can also get onto clothing if you aren't careful and I experienced mild throat and nasal irritation. When spraying it onto my face (with closed eyes) application was a bit difficult and inconsistent. That being said, the silky liquid is easy to blend and the lightweight texture seems to melt in effortlessly and evaporate with no visible texture. The color appears dewy and healthy (like a second skin) with no heaviness or caking and the coverage is sheer to medium with buildable saturation.

The Diorskin Forever Fluid ($64.00) is probably one of the brand’s more popular foundations. There are 28 shades available - I have 45 Hazel Beige with a neutral undertone for easy matching. This formula provides a full-coverage matte finish for excellent blemish coverage and tone correcting. It is a bit heavier and thicker than the foundations above but it seems to last longer (up to 16 hours) and camouflages imperfections for a flawless effect. The consistency is smooth, comfortable and flexible so skin appears refined and luminous.

The new Forever Undercover Foundation ($64.00) provides maximum complexion control and 24 hour touch-proof, kiss-proof, life-proof coverage. This is the type of makeup you can dance all night in without sweating off and you don’t have to worry about touch-ups. The color does not dry right away so you have time to blend seamlessly and once set, the finish is velvety smooth and matte. The high concentration of pigments covers everything including blemishes, redness and irregularities for flawless skin that feels light, hydrated and comfortable. The color does not settle into lines and appears very natural with no greasiness. Compared to the other formulas, this one is by far my favorite! I have the shade 045 which looks a bit darker in the bottle than it does on the skin so I suggest swatching all possible matches.

For travel I’ve been using Dior’s Fix It 2-In-1 Prime & Conceal ($45.00) for face, eyes and lips. There are 3 shades available (Light, Medium and Dark) inspired by backstage makeup techniques. This skin perfector is handy for touch-ups and erases under eye circles, fills pores, corrects blemishes and covers dark areas. It also primes lips for color and I love how easy it is to swipe on for a revitalized, restful effect. The creamy texture is easy to blend and layer so I keep it in my purse.

The Dior Forever Undercover Concealer ($42.00) is a one coat camouflage that provides waterproof wear for up to 8 hours. You can apply it prior to foundation to cover redness, hyperpigmentation and acne or use it to sculpt and accentuate facial contours. It covers dark circles with a high dose of concentrated pigments and instantly brightens dull, tired skin.

Dior is available at The Bay, Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and Holt Renfrew

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Urban Decay Vice Metal Meets Matte Lipstick Palette - Review & Swatches

If you haven’t picked up the Urban Decay Heavy Metals Eye Shadow Palette yet have you really lived? The pigments are rich, striking and chromatic – perfect for everyday glam or special events.

During the holiday season UD also released the Limited-Edition Metal Meets Matte Lip Palette ($45.00) featuring an eclectic selection of sultry, must-have shades.

This addictive little palette offers a great variety - you get 6 metallized shades and 6 mattes finishes that range from deep plum, nude, sparkly fuchsia, dramatic purple and bright bombshell red. It also comes with a retractable lip brush and hard plastic sheet that helps preserve the lipsticks.

The matte hues provide medium to full-coverage intensity while the metallics appear glossy with sheer to medium color payoff and varying amounts of glitter. The rows are lined up so that the top shades match the complimenting colors directly below. For a multidimensional effect, layer the shimmers over the mattes.

The pigment can be applied with a finger but for neatness and definition I prefer to use the brush. The glossy purple palette is small enough for travel and slips into larger handbags or totes but it is more inconvenient than a traditional tube of lipstick. I don’t usually carry around a 12 color lip kit but to reapply on-the-go you have to.

The lipsticks all have a smooth, supple texture for comfort, hydration and buildable saturation. There is something for every skin tone and you can smudge them on your cheeks to create pretty blush!

Urban Decay is available at free-standing 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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

L'Oreal Pure-Sugar Scrubs & Pure-Clay Mask Review

A new season has begun to bloom so it’s time to shed that dull winter skin and reveal the soft, dewy complexion underneath. To help you slough away those rough layers, L’Oreal has created a collection of delectable scrubs made with 100% natural sugars, nourishing fruit extracts, botanicals and oils.

Let’s start with the Kiwi Scrub for oily skin because it looks cool and smells delicious! This blend is formulated to cleanse, tone and unclog pores for total annihilation of blemish causing bacteria. It also doubles as a replenishing face mask and there are real kiwi seeds floating around in the fruity green gel. The micro-fine granules gently polish and retexturize while Peppermint and Lemongrass Oils soothe, purify and balance. Let the gel sink in for about 10-15 minutes after exfoliating and rinse with warm water to reinvigorate and renew your complexion.

The Cocoa infused scrub for dry skin smells yummy and feels creamier than the other formulas. It contains Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter to moisturize and soften while the grains gently buff away dead cells to eliminate dirt, sebum and impurities. For a grittier texture, I use the scrub on clean, dry skin but for less intensity I dampen my face first. After treatment skin feels silky, rejuvenated and better prepared to absorb serums and creams.

The Pure-Sugar Scrub with Grapeseed, Acai and Monoi Oils, brightens and refreshes dull, tired skin. This exfoliant has the grittiest texture in the collection for effective resurfacing and cleansing. It instantly removes dry, flaky patches to reveal baby-soft skin that looks plump, bright and renewed. I use scrubs at least once a week for best results and I usually follow-up with a clay or moisture mask.

The scrubs can also be used on the lips to prevent and treat chapping, peeling and roughness or use the excess to exfoliate dry hands and cuticles! They retail for $14.99 each at drugstores nationwide. 

The Pure-Clay Mask ($14.99) is not a scrub but it does purify and smooth uneven skin tone to enhance your natural glow. Enriched with 3 powerful clays and Yuzu Lemon Extract, it eliminates pollutants, toxins excess oil and dead cells to cleanse and prevent breakouts. As the clay dries, it lifts out embedded debris, makeup and blemish causing dirt to keep pores clear and healthy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dior Capture Youth Serum Review and New Age-Delay Advanced Creme

There is no way to turn back time and since the “fountain of youth” does not exist, aging is inevitable. You can’t avoid getting older but you do have control over how well you age with Dior’s new Capture Youth Collection. This daily regime is inspired by predictive medicine that delays the signs of aging before they appear so you can love the skin you're in.

Many products on the market aim to soften lines and wrinkles or diminish problems that are already present and persistent. They may be effective to some degree but it is easier to prevent than treat and this luxurious collection is packed with powerful natural ingredients that control and improve the way your skin ages. The high concentration of antioxidants, botanicals and emollients, stimulates the epidermis, strengthens and retexturizes for a youthful appearance.

There are 5 serums available to customize your routine: Glow Booster, Plump Filler, Matte Maximize, Lift Sculptor and Redness Soother. Each formula is designed to work with the Captured Youth Creme for optimal results. They can also be mixed, matched and layered to create intensive treatments.

I’ve been using the Glow Booster Illuminating Serum ($120.00) to restore radiance and enhance moisture. This formula is 100 times more concentrated in Vitamin C than oranges and contains AHA to even skin tone, fade blemishes, brighten, correct, and improve texture. During periods of stress, jet lag or sleeplessness, the serum energizes and rejuvenates dull, lackluster skin while hydrating and smoothing. I use it to replenish my complexion after strenuous workouts, late nights and long flights. It also works wonders when skin is sensitive, irritated or red.

The serum is lightweight, gentle, non-greasy and comforting with a silky finish. It also absorbs quickly, sinks in deeply and smells great! Dior has perfected the medicine dropper to deliver precise single-drop application so there is no product waste.  

The Age-Delay Plumping Serum ($120.00) is one of my favorite primers for makeup! The luscious liquid feels like a refreshing drink for parched skin and the texture is supple and velvety. Infused with a nutritive blend of botanicals and Hyaluronic Acid the serum restores fullness, deeply hydrates, boosts elasticity, improves resiliency and protects against environmental aggressors. It also helps fill lines and smooth rough patches so skin appears even, dewy and healthy.

I layer the serums with the Captured Youth Creme ($120.00) to create a potent night mask that rejuvenates, repairs and prevents visible signs of aging as I get my beauty rest. The texture is rich, ultra nourishing and moisturizing to combat the effects of impurities, dryness and pollution while the antioxidants prevent free-radical damage. This is a fantastic cream for winter and it leaves skin incredibly soft, sleek and beautiful.

I’ve also discovered a new Miss Dior fragrance called Blooming Bouquet that has quickly become a favorite. The mini bottle ($90.00 for 30 ml) is great for travel and the scent is a refreshing new twist on the original perfume that debuted in 1947. This version is romantic, whimsical, stirring and modern. The dark, earthy notes were eliminated and replaced by a sparkling blend of pink peppercorn, rose, peony, citrus, patchouli and white musk. The result is an intoxicating, seductive aroma that is delicate, radiant and feminine.

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

Friday, March 9, 2018

Lise Watier Spring 2018 Urban Velocity Makeup Collection

While browsing the makeup isle at your local department store, you may notice that spring is finally in the air. This year’s theme is all about radiant shimmer and a combination of soft hues intertwined with pops of daring color. Lise Watier’s Limited-Edition Spring Collection may seem small but the intricate patterns and wearable pigments instantly draw you in.

The Urban Velocity Baked Eye Shadow Trio ($44.00) is sultry and luminous, featuring 3 gorgeous pigments that you will want to wear all the time. I couldn’t wait to swatch the deep garnet-plum (my favorite) and the velvety gold is my go-to shade for creating quick, effortless looks. These shadows are ultra-silky and luxuriously creamy with pearlescent pigments that provide a beautiful iridescent finish. The color payoff is buildable and concentrated for easy application and longevity plus there is little fall-out and no creasing. This palette is great for travel and the colors look good on everyone! You can also sweep the silver or gold onto the cheekbones for a beautiful highlight.

The Urban Velocity Marble Lipstick ($25.00) resembles a work of art with a blend of two trendy colors. I was excited to see how each shade would transfer onto the lips and hoped for a multi-colored effect. Unfortunately the plum overpowers the pink swirls completely but the formula is infused with nourishing Shea Butter to quench parched skin and keep lips soft and supple. I wouldn’t really classify this as “lipstick” because the finish and texture is similar to tinted balm with a faint wash of neutral color. If you layer generously, the purple darkens even more and compliments the garnet-plum shadow.

The Baked Blush ($34.00) has the same swirl motif as the lipstick but the predominate shade is coral-pink. The pigmentation is soft so you may need a few swipes to enhance the vibrancy but the color flatters all complexions and the silky texture blends seamlessly.  

The Rouge Fondant Supreme Lipsticks ($27.00 ea) are not part of the Urban Velocity Collection but they do complement the color scheme. Chloe and Amelia are both neutrals with sheer pigmentation, sensational shine and an antioxidant-rich formula that protects and conditions. Labrador Tea and soothing emollients make lips feel plush, hydrated and smooth with no stickiness. These “lipsticks” are also similar to tinted balms in terms of texture and color payoff with a lightweight, comfortable finish.

Lise Watier is available at Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sears, London Drugs, Jean Coutu and online at

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mary Kay Spring 2018 Collection: Makeup & Skincare

Winter may be coming to an end but it is still cold and dreary outside. After the icy winter winds have done their worst, it may be time to break out the conditioning moisturizers for total body rejuvenation. Mary Kay’s bath and body collection with African Shea, White Tea and Citrus, is ultra-nourishing, healing and soothing. There is also a new collection of makeup brushes and radiant eye shadows for all skin tones. 

The Satin Body Collection includes everything you need to pamper your skin with indulgent spa-like formulas that smell amazing! Start with a revitalizing shower to unwind after a long, hectic day. The Shea Scrub ($22.00) gently buffs away dead cells to leave skin soft, smooth and renewed. The polishing granules work wonders on elbows, knees and feet, exfoliating roughness and dry patches.

As the warm water and steam loosens tired muscles, lather-up with the Shea Wash ($22.00). This refreshing cleanser foams away impurities, oil and environmental debris while enveloping you in an intoxicating scent.

Towel-off and treat your body to a blast of hydration with the Whipped Shea Crème ($26.00). The smooth, buttery texture is rich and ultra-nourishing to instantly alleviate parched, sensitive skin. If you love body butters like I do then you will definitely appreciate how supple, plump and fortified your skin feels after using this lush formula. I like to apply it right after shaving so my legs feel irresistibly silky.   

I use the Whipped Crème at night before slipping into my pajamas and plunking down in front of the TV but during the day I prefer something lighter. The Shea Lotion ($22.00) melts in instantly for immediate dryness relief and a soft, velvety finish. The formula is non-greasy, fragrant and long-lasting so you can embrace the last few days of winter with total confidence and protection.

I travel frequently so the Essentials Brush Collection ($75.00) is ideal for creating a range of stylish looks on-the-go and it comes with a chic portable clutch. As you run your hand over the luxurious bristles you will notice that the high-grade, synthetic material is durable and flexible for seamless application. The handcrafted fibers are compatible with liquid, cream and powder formulas plus they feel soft against the skin. The kit includes: a fluffy Powder brush, Eye Smudger Brush to create detailed accents and smokiness, All-Over Shadow Brush, Crease Brush, Cheek Brush, and a Lip Brush.

No matter what your skin tone, Mary Kay’s new Mineral Eye Color Quads ($21.00 ea) are sure to add a little pizzazz to your day. The shades are expertly coordinated, easy to blend and very wearable for quick everyday looks or a romantic evening out.

The Shades of Jade Palette features cool, iridescent hues and a pop of deep navy for a little drama. The shadows are nicely pigmented with buildable coverage and although the colors are simple, they create soft, elegant looks.

Berry Haute is my favorite of the two palettes. It contains a pretty bronze, silvery-pink, glistening garnet and light pink-mauve that blend together to create a stunning effect. The shadows are silky, non-creasing and long-lasting plus the magnetic backing allows you to transfer them to a variety of portable palettes.   

Mary Kay is available at and through independent consultants

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pixi Beauty Liquid Fairy Lights Glimmery Eye Shadow - Review & Swatches

These days shimmer and glitter makeup is very trendy and you no longer have to wait for special occasions to amp-up the glam and get a little sparkly. To help you reach maximum radiance, Pixi has created a collection of Fairy Light Shadows that glide on liquid-y and dry quickly for a glow that doesn't quit. 

I actually prefer liquid glitter to pressed powder because it tends to be neater with minimal fallout and creasing. These pretty colors seem extra luminous with buildable coverage that allows you to gleam like a disco ball or tone things down to a soft glimmer. The micro-particles reflect light for diamond-like brilliance with very little transfer.

Use them on their own for a sheer wash of sparkle or layer the color for more intensity. The gold and bronze shades are more saturated with better color payoff whereas the silver hues have a translucent base. I prefer to apply the glitter over my favorite eye shadows as a top coat and this week I will be wearing the Rose Gold to Loreal’s Women of Worth Award Ceremony and Dinner hosted by the beautiful Helen Mirren.

Once dry, the glitter stays put all day and the doe-foot wand delivers a generous dose. The formula is quite comfortable with a nourishing infusion of natural botanicals to soothe, moisturize and help reduce fine lines (not many glitter shadows can do that!).

The Fairy Lights Shadows retail for $20.00 each and Pixi is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix and online at
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