As a blogger, I receive a ton of new makeup, haircare, skincare and beauty products each month. While this is amazing, in the sense I’m able to test out new goodies to share my thoughts and opinions on with you guys, a lot of these products end up getting donated to my friends and family, as I know I’ll never get around to using them all. I’m so appreciative of these amazing perks and I take pride in knowing that I’m always honest with you guys. I only showcase and promote items I truly believe in, but that being said…which ones would I spend/ have spent my hard earn money on? I thought this would be a fun series for my blog, maybe every few months sharing items that I’ve been loving and that I’m going to repurchase.
The Makeup Remover
I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t tried or at least heard of micellar water? I remember years ago, attending a private breakfast with Bioderma CEO David Durand, who’s brand arguably started this revolution, and thinking…what’s all the hype about? After my first use, I was hooked. Although other brands have tried to compete, Sensibio H2o is still my personal fave. This makeup removing and skin-perfecting product is legit and everyone needs to try it at least once. It’s packed with soothing and decongesting ingredients that wash away all traces of dirt, oil, makeup and daily grime. It quickly became a staple in my daily, evening skincare routine simply because of the fact how easy it is to remove my makeup at the end of the day.
Unlike other micellar waters that leave a nasty, oily residue, Bioderma Sensibio H2o eliminates all traces of water-resistant and waterproof makeup without a greasy film. Simply soak a cotton pad with its lightweight, ultra-mild formula and cleanse and remove makeup from the face and eyes. It’s a non-rinse remover that doesn’t sting or irritate the eyes. It helps to soothe, decongest and add moisture back into the skin. It also helps to soothe skin, leaving it soft, clean and hydrated. For those that are in a rush in the evening or don’t want to fuss with several products, this will remove in one simple step. It retails for $19.99 for 500ml.
I love that Pixi is widely available at Shoppers Drug Mart now. I quickly fell in love with their Glow Tonic, but until now, it was hard to get a hold of. It’s formulated with 5% glycolic acid making it a gentle, yet aggressive exfoliating toner. Immediately after a single use, you’ll see brighter, more toned and hydrated skin. A quick swipe around your entire face will help remove all dead skin cells to reveal a more radiant and glowing complexion. After each use, skin will become softer and smoother than before. Since it’s also formulated with aloe vera, it’s slightly less irritating than other acids. It has a slight cooling, almost refreshing tingle that’s gentle and safe enough to use daily.
Pixi Glow Tonic is an affordable way to achieve a more youthful, plumper and hydrated complexion in as little as a few days. It’s no wonder this quickly became a cult classic and beauty bloggers fave around the world. It’s an instant glow enhancer that’s suited for all skin types. I already have a few backups in my collection to ensure I never run out. It’s one product that no matter my skincare routine, I always include. It retails for $20.
I was late to the Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment bandwagon, but as you guys know, I’m obsessed with it. When the brand sent me their Bright Young Thing Visible Skin Brightening Kit, I was beyond thrilled. I have already repurchased the Good Genes bottle twice, which is found within this kit, but I hadn’t really experimented with anything else from the brand. This power trio features the Good Genes, along with a brightening enzyme water cream and rapid flash brightening serum. When used together, it will help retexturize, brighten and illuminate the skin for a healthier, younger-looking appearance.
Obviously, the star of the show is the Good Genes, thanks to its lactic acid formula that helps to instantly exfoliate dry, dull skin, while removing clogged pores for a smoother, softer complexion. The Rapid Flash Brightening Serum contains advanced vitamin C which helps to visibly illuminate dull areas of the skin, while brightening discoloration. It also provides amazing anti-aging benefits that can smooth fine lines and wrinkles over time. Finally, the Brightening Enzyme Water Cream features alpha-arbutin and papaya enzymes to not only help with dark spots but provides a slight plumping effect. You’ll also find hyaluronic acid, which helps keep skin nourished and moisturized the entire day. If you’re looking to turn back time and achieve a healthy, radiant and luminous glow as when you were a teenager, this kit is for you. It retails for $115.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard me talk about Jouviance Glyco/Laser Soft Peel Mask 5% Glycolic Acid before. Out of all my skincare products, this is probably the one I’ve repurchased the most, and the one I’ve been using the longest? A mild exfoliating mask, like this one, can help reveal cleaner, revitalized and younger-looking skin by gently “peeling” away impurities and dead skin. It’s formulated with both AHA and BHA, along with 2 earth clays, to help deliver a superior multi-action exfoliation. Unlike strong chemical peels that you receive at a salon, the ones that tend to leave your skin feeling incredibly dry and dehydrated, this peel features a slow-release system containing hyaluronic acid and jojoba seed oil, to help ensure skin stays moisturized.
Start by applying an even layer of Jouviance Glyco/Laser Soft Peel Mask 5% Glycolic Acid all over your face and then wait 10 to 15 minutes. It instantly exfoliates the skin, sloughing away all dead skin for a fresher, brighter and more even complexion after the first use. Your skin will be left visibly smoother, baby soft and with a healthy, radiant glow. It helps to diminish pores, reduce hyperpigmentation and sun spots, all while clearing up any current breakouts and eliminating future blemishes. Its non-drying formula helps to ensure skin stays hydrated without irritating the skin. Continue a few times a week for youthful, healthy and glowing skin. It retails for $40 for 100ml.
By now, I’m sure you’re sensing a theme, I like brightening products. You’re heard me go on and on about the OLEHENRIKSEN Power Bright 3-Step Professional Brightening System, so although I wanted to include it into this post, I thought I’d share a recent new discovery. The OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Advance Moisturizing Crème was sent to me just before the holidays, and I’m about ready to purchase a second bottle of it. For someone who is looking for luminosity and hydration, this is like a match-made in heaven. It’s formulated with vitamin C and tri-peptides-5 to not only keep skin incredibly soft, supple and moisturized all day, it also helps to create a youthful and radiant glow.
OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Advance Moisturizing Crème lightweight, non-greasy formula helps to nourish and hydrate the skin for all day protection. It instantly penetrates deep down into the skin’s surface to help improve texture and elasticity after a single use. It immediately helps to hydrate, soften the look of fine lines and plump the skin. This silky-smooth cream takes years off your skin age after one treatment. It adds a touch of radiance to the skin, without looking shiny, perfect for applying under foundation for that healthy glow. In the evening it quickly goes to work to nourishing the skin and provide a moisturized and dewy finish by morning. It retails for $48USD.
For someone who has dry skin, 365 days of the year, a hydrating mask is a crucial part of my weekly beauty routine. I’ve tested my fair share of sheet masks, and For Beloved One Melasleep Brightening Mask always comes up on top. These aren’t your typical paper sheet masks, they’re actually made up of organic fibres that go through a fermentation process to ensure it bonds and adheres to the skin tightly. Although the mask can be left on for upwards of 2+ hours without it drying out, the optimal time is only 20 minutes. The masks feel incredibly soothing once applied to the skin, with an almost slight cooling sensation. It then begins to tingle, while the brightening agents do its thang. After desired time, peel and remove.
Beloved One Melasleep Brightening Mask immediately leaves your skin looking and feeling plump, hydrated and silky smooth. The tone of your skin is noticeably brighter and with less redness. Since each mask contains an entire bottle of serum, it leaves skin feeling touchably soft and moisturized for days to come. It rejuvenates dry, dull skin into a healthy, youthful and luminous glow. It does an amazing job at restoring your skin’s natural radiance in as little as a few treatments. It retails for $63 for a box of 3 at T&T Supermarket.
I never really understood thermal spring water until I was sent one from Avène. I always thought it was a gimmicky and unnecessary step in my beauty routine. It seemed like these French brands were just selling water inside a can and charging a small fortune for it. I started using Avène Thermal Spring Water in the winter of 2013 and have been hooked ever since. The bottle said to use as often as necessary, which for my dry, dehydrated and irritated skin, meant all the time (especially in the cold winter months), so that’s just what I did. I now spray it whenever my skin is feeling extra thirsty and it’s a travel must-have. I tend to buy the baby bottle for travel and the larger size for home use.
For those that don’t drink enough water, especially during travels, the Avène Thermal Spring Water will help to instantly hydrate and revitalize the skin. Even if you don’t suffer from dehydrated skin, it’s a lovely mid-day pick-me-up. It can be spritzed onto freshly cleansed skin or overtop of makeup. It soothes, refreshes and calms dry, irritated skin and is an excellent way to freshen up dull, tired and over sun-exposed skin. If you spray on immediately after applying your favourite moisturizer, it allows your skin to soak up all the benefits. If you apply throughout the day, it helps to keep your foundation looking fresh and locked into place. It’s also quite soothing in the evening after a long and stressful day. If you’re looking to keep your skin happy, soft and hydrated, give this water a try. It retails for $16.25 for 150ml.
Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel sadly to say, is one of those products that seems like it’s going to be in my skincare collection forever. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to kick those nasty blemishes. I’m lucky enough that I don’t suffer from acne, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get the odd breakout from time to time. I was sent this clearing gel years ago and have already repurchased it a handful of times. It’s formulated with salicylic acid that helps exfoliate the skin for healthier cell turnover. It clears away any dead surface cells that can cause clogged pores, while helping to normalize excess oil production.
Although it can be used daily to help prevent future breakouts, I use the Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel more as a spot treatment. Its unique alcohol and water base absorbs into the skin immediately, while witch hazel water helps to minimize surface oil to prevent new blemishes from forming. It works fairly quickly, overnight you’ll start to see dramatic improvement with less redness, and by day 3 the pimple is completely..
After walking around with my Gucci Marmont bag for almost 6 months, I think it’s safe to say, it might be my favourite bag of all-time? I’m obviously obsessed with the colour, it goes beautifully with every single piece in my wardrobe, but my love goes way beyond just the colour. I hummed and hawed over the size, for what seemed like forever, but finally decided on the small. It fits all my daily essentials perfectly, without being too oversized or heavy. I have no problem fitting my iPhone 8 Plus, sunnies, regular size wallet, a mini agenda, keys, hand cream, lipstick, etc. without it being too full or stuffed.
The versatility of this bag is where it really shines. It has a slightly softer structure than other bags, but its almost “squishy” material allows you to get in and out of the bag with ease. Simply push together the clasp to get in and then lift the flap. The spring closure ensures your bag stays closed when not in use. The long and durable strap not only allows it to be worn on your shoulder but can quickly convert into a crossbody style to leave your hands free. It’s comfortable to wear all day.
As for wear and tear, it’s only been 6 months, but it’s still in excellent condition (and I wear it all the time). Although the leather may feel soft, luxe and oh-so delicate, it’s holding up nicely. You wouldn’t want to get caught in the rain or spill something on it, but I haven’t seen any colour transfer yet. I’ve worn extremely dark clothing, even dark-wash denim, and nothing has worn off on it. The stunning antique gold toned hardware hasn’t scratched or become dirty or worn. The bag still looks in mint condition even after a ton of use and travel.
A designer bag is all about the detail, and the Gucci Marmont is no exception. The heart detail on the back of the bag is adorable, the gorgeous grey microfiber grey lining is luxe, and the hidden inside zipper is perfect for hiding small valuables.
What I Wore- Dress- c/o Sears, Jacket- c/o Na-kd, Purse- Gucci Marmont, Sunglasses- Karen Walker, Watch- c/o Daniel Wellington , Over-The-Knee Boots- Browns
I must admit, there’s no real wrong way to wear sneakers. With that being said, there is a sure way to fall into a sneaker rut, if you will. Grabbing the same old pair of jeans and paring it with your basic tee that you’ve been wearing for years, is a sure way to lose your fashion groove. Combing the same old look, day after day, may feel comfortable and safe, but it sure does get boring.
Sometimes all it takes is a little fresh fashion inspiration to get you excited about sneakers again. The spring is the perfect time to try something new and it might just be a wonderful way to shake things up in your closet. Sneakers have been the comfortable- cool footwear choice for years and an excellent way to finish off any outfit for both work and the weekends. No matter what you’re up to, adding fresh new pair of kicks in the mix, is sure to spice things up.
Give your “almost” spring style a chic upgrade by throwing on your new sneakers with a statement, oversized jacket. A little distressed in your jeans is a sure way to create that street-style effect with pieces you already own. If you do plan on wearing it with a basic tee, elevate your look with a designer handbag. Combing high and low pieces is an amazing way to add a luxe feel to even the most causal looks. Also, opt for a pair of sneakers in a bright, bold or colourful hue. Shades that stand out from the crowd, like there pale pink kicks from Skechers, add an unexpected element to your look. Besides these sneakers being incredibly comfy, they play on the Millennium trend that’s still going strong. There’s no denying that pink is still one of the hottest shades, so why not have fun with it in your kicks?
What I Wore, Tee-The Gap, Jacket- Ever New, Purse- Gucci, Watch- c/o Oliva Burton, Necklace- Fossil, Sunglasses- Forever 21, Jeans- The Gap, Sneakers- c/o Skechers
Blush, bubble gum, petal, pastel… call it whatever you want, but we can all agree that light pink hues have been popping up everywhere lately. Millennial pink is an Instagrammer’s dream, this soft, romantic shade is a go-to colour for clothing, shoes and accessories, but we’ve also been seeing a lot of beauty products adopt this colour as well. Skincare, haircare and makeup brands have been jumping in on this trend and incorporating it into their packaging, shade selections and even fragrances. For a die-hard pink gal myself, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share my fave pink products.
Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel is one of those cleanser that gently cleanses and purifies the skin of daily grime and makeup, yet leaves it feeling refreshed, cool and moisturized. Unlike other cleansers that strip your skin of its natural oils, this one actually helps to provide added hydration. It instantly reduces redness and calms dry, irritated skin for all day comfort. The advantage of using it daily is it ensures skin stays healthy, and with a touch of a radiant and luminous glow all day. It retails for $19.90.
Another favourite cleansing product is the Origins Original Skin Cleansing Makeup Removing Jelly. Its unique jelly formula transforms into an almost milky consistency once in contact with water. This helps to instantly melt way all traces of makeup, dirt and excess oil, while helping with dullness and uneven skin texture. It’s formulated with a unique blend of willowherb to not only leave skin soft and smooth, but it helps to boost skin’s natural glow for a lit from within effect after washing. It retails for $29.
On days when you’re wearing full-coverage, long-wearing or waterproof makeup, Wet N Wild Makeup Remover will effectively remove stubborn eye and face makeup, while keeping it moisturized. This micellar cleansing water washes away all traces of dirt, oil and daily grime without an oily or greasy residue. Simply shake the bottle to combine the liquid bi-phase formula together and gently swipe over entire face with a cotton round. Even when using over delicate eye area, it never stings or irritates. It retails for $14.99.
I can’t tell you how hooked I am on my Clarisonic. Its unique sonic technology design helps to gently deep clean the skin by removing impurities that traditional methods, like your hands or washcloth leave behind. With several different devices to choose from and 6 different brush head options, effectively cleansing the skin has never been so easy. Whether you’re looking to target enlarged pores, brighten uneven skin tone, have sensitive skin, or prone to breakouts, the device can help cleanse skin up to 6x better than your hands alone. The Mia 2 is a personal favourite thanks to its two speeds customization option. It retails for $219.
When my skin is feeling a little dull and dehydrated, I like to treat myself to a facial mask. Life Brand Deep Cleansing Facial Sheet Mask with Rose Oil and Cherry Blossom is the perfect way to achieve a brighter and more youthful appearance in the matter of 15 minutes. Each sheet is infused with botanical ingredients to help remove impurities, while leaving skin feeling refreshed, hydrated and ultra-smooth. Not only does it help create a radiant glow, it actually helps other products you apply overtop penetrate deeper into the skin. All your daily moisturizers and serums seem to just drink it up and soak into the skin quicker. It retails for $1.99.
The Pixi by Petra Rose Flash Balm is a unique little product in the sense it’s a 3-in-1 product. It can act as a daily moisturizer, a treatment mask or even a primer before your makeup. It instantly helps to boost radiance and diminish the appearance of fatigue; perfect for those early mornings or late nights. It features a special blend of rose water, rose extract and olive leaf extract to help maintain a perfect pH balance, prevent redness by calming the skin and soothing and comforting dry, irritated skin. This no fuss, no muss multitasking skincare product lets your natural beauty shine, while creating a completely flawless finish. It retails for $29.
For shampoo and conditioner, my favourite duo lately has been the Moroccanoil Fleur De Rose. You guys know I’m obsessed with the original scent, I mean, who isn’t, but this rose scent is a burst of fresh air. Not only does it gently cleanse my hair of dirt, oil and product buildup, its antioxidant enriched formula helps to keep hair hydrated and conditioned. It also contains vitamins to help provide mega shine and volume for hair that’s full of body and bounce. Finally, it’s also formulated with coconut oil to help lock in moisture, leaving hair looking and feeling silky smooth, sleek and nourished all-day long. Its delicate, yet luxe rose scent is sensual, sophisticated and oh-so erotic. Each bottle retails for $30.
I’m not sure how we survived without dry shampoo in the past, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t freshen up my hair. Garnier Whole Blends Oat Delicacy instantly absorbs grease and oil for a fresh clean hair experience without actually having to wash it. Its ultra-fine and lightweight mist helps to not only refresh my hair, it helps to add volume at the roots. Its fresh and clean scent gives a “fresh out of the shower” smell without having to get it wet. I love that it’s safe enough to use daily, without stripping my hair of its natural oils, perfect for my colour treated hair. It retails for $9.99.
Keeping with the rose scent from the shampoo and conditioner, my bubble bath is also coming up roses. I’m all about that bubble bath life and the Body Shop British Rose Petal Soft Bath Foam has been a favourite of mine for years. It allows me to relax and drift into a bliss thanks to its rich, lush and creamy bubbly formula. A few drops and I instantly escape to a lavish rose garden of bubbles. It helps to calm my senses, mind and soul for a spa-like experience at home. It also helps to leave skin feeling softer and smoother than ever. It retails for $12.
Immediately after getting out of the shower, while my skin is still damp, I apply a generous amount of Moroccanoil Fleur De Rose Body Buff. This intensely rich body butter penetrates deep down into the skin leaving it soft, smooth and hydrated. It soaks into the skin almost instantly, without a greasy or sticky residue and quickly goes to work calming any irritation and clearing up any dry patches. It helps diminish redness and those tiny annoying red bumps that you get from shaving, while leaving the skin silky smooth, radiant and glowing. Deeply nourished skin for upwards of 24 hours. It’s no wonder it’s a cult favourite. It retails for $58.
eos Berry Blossom Body Lotion is one of those lotions that you apply and forget about. Its incredibly lightweight, yet rich and creamy formula absorbs into the skin instantly yet leaves your entire body extremely moisturized. Skin will be left feeling softer and smoother, with a fresh floral and fruity scent. If you’re looking for added hydration, or a lotion that will keep your skin comfortable all day without that greasy, or sticky feeling, this ones for you.
I’ve lost count on how many tubes of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara I’ve bought, but until I can find another mascara that can hold a curl, add mega length, create definition and provide unlimited length like this one can, I’ll continue to re-buy. Its unique hourglass shaped brush is inspired by the curves of a woman’s body and pairs beautifully with its extra stiff bristle to help enhance your lashes. Its carbon-black, collagen-fueled and film-forming polymer formula not only adds volume and length, it also keeps your lashes curled all day and night. A single coat provides dramatically intense lashes, whereas two coats provide award winning..
I’m no stranger to pink. In fact, I usually try to incorporate a little pink into my everyday life. Although some may think this shade is a little intimidating for daily life, its easy to style. Don’t save your pale pink bottoms for spring and summer, they are perfectly acceptable all year round. It’s a bold look that’s totally worth trying. Combining neutrals that are already found within your wardrobe, with pink, is an excellent way to add visual interest to any look. A modest white top can look effortlessly chic with pink pants, but don’t be afraid to add some contrast to your look too. Try something printed or with a fun pattern to make a bold impact.
Pink is probably one of the most girly colours, which is just one of the many reasons why I love it so much. I think you either hate it or love it. No real in between on this shade. There are so many ways you can wear pale pink pants during the winter, even if its not your first option. You can instantly create fun and playful outfits, or stay chic and sophisticated, depending on what you style with it. A classic white button down, black pumps and a grey blazer is a beautiful option for the office, whereas tossing on your favourite skinny or boyfriend jeans, a military jacket and white kicks are perfect for causal weekends with the girls. For a more rocker effect, try it with a killer black moto jacket and over-the-knee boots for a night on the town.
It seems like every few years there’s a beauty trend that everyone jumps on. Some make totally sense and some just seem like a waste of money. I’m a 90’s baby, which means I have pretty much no eyebrows. We thought it was a good idea to pluck every eyebrow hair, until we were pretty much bald. I’m now (or was) left with non-existent brows because of it. If you’re a millennial, you probably know what I’m talking about.
How long do you spend in front of the mirror each day filling in your brows? I was spending a minimum of 10 minutes a day, at least 350 days a year, for a grand total of 60 hours a year just “trying” to fix my brows…yes, I did the math. I kept hearing about the benefits of microblading, but I honestly just thought it was another trend that would come and go. The thought of someone tattooing my eyebrows on, kinda made me nervous. It’s not like you can hide them if you end up hating them or they turn out wrong (besides bangs). With a ton of misinformation and hefty amounts of misconceptions about what microblading really was, I was left to do my own research.
The first step in considering if microblading is right for you, is to do your own research. You need to find the right person to microblade your brows, and with this, comes a ton of investigating. You don’t want to get your eyebrows done by just anyone, the key is finding someone who’s talented and someone you trust. If you’re living in a major city, you’re lucky. Chances are you have several top-notch salons to choose from, but for those living in tinier towns, you may have to travel.
Although London has many professionals, claiming to be the best in their fields, I couldn’t find any that were showing “real” before and after photos, so I started looking outside of my city. Social media platforms are an excellent way to see the artist’s work, along with reviews and a detailed description of the microblading procedures offered. The detailed work from Amanda, from Brows By Lao on Instagram, instantly caught my eye. Even though she’s from Toronto, after looking at her work and getting to know her level of expertise, I knew it would be worth it. Amanda not only does microblading, she specializes in brows. “I’ve been brow obsessed for as long as I can remember. I’d always been the one friends and family would turn to for help. Whether that be waxing to correcting shapes, or teaching them how to pencil them in, I was their go-to”. As you can see, I knew I was going to be in good hands with Amanda. Remember, you don’t want someone who can do it all. It’s better to be an expert in one thing, like Amanda is, rather than mediocre in a handful. You don’t want someone who does waxing, facials, nails, lashes, hair, etc. doing your brows, you want someone who’s main focus is brows.
This leads me to my next tip, don’t just look for the cheapest option. Microblading isn’t cheap, so I’d be leering of the ones offering to do it for a few hundred dollars. It takes hundreds of hours of experience to be able to deliver flawless results like Amanda, and for that, you’re going to pay for it. Amanda got certified in microblading over a year ago, and because she already had a pretty good reputation with brows, she picked up the techniques quickly. Although it’s a lot of money to drop on one procedure, it’s a skill that requires training, patience, practise and a mass amount of talent. If you’re going to get a semi-permanent tattoo on your face, this isn’t the time to be frugal.
After months of stalking Amanda’s page and chatting over Instagram, I was ready to book my consultation. This is a step you don’t want to skip, for many reasons. First off, this is the time you will talk with your brow specialist about your wants and needs. You’ll discuss your ideal brow shape and what you want your eyebrows to look like in the end. Amanda will voice her options, but also takes your ideas into consideration when creating that perfect brow shape. Amanda was able to fill in my brows with tiny pencil strokes to get an idea of what the end results were going to look like. She spent the first 30 minutes mapping out my brows. The goal was to find symmetry and fill in areas that were over plucked in the past.
After my first appointment
Microblading is only semi-permanent, in the sense it’s not a tattoo. Unlike tattoos that are created with ink and penetrates deep into the skin, microblading is done with a special pigment that doesn’t penetrate as deeply, meaning it lasts upwards of 3+ years. This is perfect as you can make changes as you see fit throughout the years, or as your hair colour or style changes. Amanda mixed both warm dark brown and a maroon colour to ensure my brows healed to a nice rich, warm shade.
It takes about 2 hours, from start to finish. This will also depend on how sparse your brows are and how thick and full you want them to be. As far as pain, although not completely painless, it’s less invasive and less annoying than a tattoo. The blade itself if so incredibly tiny that it feels more like a scrapping feeling than pain. I found it incredibly tolerable and would rank it about a 2 out of 10 for uncomfortableness.
If you’ve had a tattoo in the past, the aftercare is just as crucial as the procedure itself. If you want your brows to heal properly and without premature fading, taking the necessary steps to ensure your brows heal completely is highly important. Amanda went over everything with me, but the two main things are, don’t get them wet or sweaty or expose them to too much direct sunlight for a minimum of 2 weeks. Around the one-week mark, your brows will start to peel, revealing the true colour underneath. This will be about 50% lighter and look more natural. It should look about the same colour at your natural brows and create the effect of penciled in brows.
I’ve heard horror stories about how dark and intense your brows look afterwards, which is why some people want to pick or hurry along the healing process, but it’s important not to pick. Let it flake off naturally. I actually loved how bold mine looked for the following weeks, enough so, that when I go back for my yearly touch-ups, I might ask Amanda to go even darker. What can I say, I love a strong brow. Amanda will have you back at the 6 to 8-week mark, just for minor touch-ups and to see how everything is healing. This is where she will adjust or re-shape your brow as needed. With proper care, your semi-permanent brows can last upwards of 3 years, but yearly touch-ups can help prolong the results and keep your brows looing as fresh as the day you got them microbladed.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum
Long, dull, dry days of winter have left my skin looking red, itchy and irritated. It’s also left it feeling extra tight and dry this year. At the beginning of February, I went on the hunt researching some of the best hydrating products on the market today. Although we all think a rich and creamy daily moisturizer is enough to keep our skin comfortable, it’s only half the battle in keeping your skin healthy and happy. Everyone can benefit from a nourishing and hydrating skincare routine, myself included. I was looking for a skincare brand that could not only hydrate my skin but improve the overall appearance. I found my answers with the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide collection. In as little as a few weeks, it completely transformed my skin. My complexion is now youthful, glowing and more radiant. Continue reading to find out which products I’ve been loving this month.
As much as I know the importance of drinking plenty of water and incorporating hydrating foods into my diet, my skin sometimes needs that extra boost of hydration…especially during the long, cold winter months. Since I wash and rinse my skin so well in the evening, I don’t feel the need to go in with a daily cleanser in the morning. Over-washing tends to strip my skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling even more dry and dehydrated. Before I have my morning cup of coffee, I start by applying a small amount of the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Youth Restoring Essence. This water-based treatment is so incredibly lightweight, it’s the perfect product to add to any skincare routine. It’s formulated with 73 minerals, which are naturally found within your body, along with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, to help retain hydration, aloe vera, to help calm and soothe the skin, and a unique blend of ceramides for added moisture.
Although you can apply a small amount of the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Youth Restoring Essence to a cotton pad and then press into the skin, I find you end up wasting more product this way. I just apply a drop or two into the palm of my hand and blend into the skin with my fingertips. Its slightly water consistency almost melts into the skin, absorbing within seconds and leaves my skin more receptive to other products I apply. Don’t think of this as a toner, it’s so much more than that. Not only does it leave behind a healthy and radiant glow, it also helps to optimize the efficiency of any product you apply overtop.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Youth Restoring Essence instantly helps replace moisture loss, while calming and reducing redness. It helps to soothe irritation and dryness, for all day comfort. It has a slightly cooling, almost stimulating effect that’s quite refreshing in the morning. I’ve noticed a huge improvement on how much my daily moisturizer absorbs and how smoother my foundation lays on the skin. My skin is left not only looking, but feeling soft, supple, hydrated and ready to take on the day. It retails for $73 for 140ml.
The star of my new skincare routine, is the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum. These tiny little pods are jammed packed with a unique blend of botanicals and Tsubaki oil, enhanced Ceramide lipid complex and sea fennel extract and phytosphingosine, to help smooth, firm and moisturize the skin. These powerful anti-aging capsules help to create a healthy, luminous and youthful appearance in as little as two weeks.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…there’s no magical serum that can transform your skin in only a few short weeks, but I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong. I didn’t believe it myself when I heard other bloggers, Youtubers and influencers talking about it last year, which is why I was excited to take the two-week challenge. Each pea-size pod promises to help moisturize, target fine lines and re-texturize the skin. It does this by trapping in the moisture and keeping the daily grime, that causes premature aging, out. Now I’m not sure what I was expecting, but when you break open the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum pods, they have a fairly thick consistency… in a good way. As soon as you apply and blend it into the skin, it immediately goes to work, deeply penetrating the skin’s surface for all day and all-night hydration.
I’m not one to get too excited after only a few short days of testing out a product, as I know it takes time to see results, but after the very first night, I saw a difference. I woke up to softer and smoother skin. By day 3, I was noticing less dry patches and that my foundation was applying almost effortlessly, with no dry flakes. By the end of the first week I was noticing a healthy glow and enhanced hydration. Before the end of my second week, my skin was looking firmer and more youthful. Now in terms of reducing wrinkles, I can really testify to this (as I get Botox), but since it helps to plump up the skin, I can see this helping with fine lines? I love that it leaves no sticky, greasy or oily residue behind, allowing me to use it in the morning before my foundation. I have no fear of it separating my foundation, nor do I see any pilling or balling when combined with other products. It retails for $98.
Speaking of a flawless makeup look, your makeup only applies as seamless as the skin underneath. To keep my skin hydrated, and protected from the sun all day, I’ve been reaching for the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Day Cream SPF 30. This anti-aging moisturizer not only plumps up my skin, hydrates and firms, it also shields it from harmful UV rays that can cause more damage to the skin. Its unique blend of peptides and collagen instantly goes to work smoothing the appearance of surface lines and targets wrinkles overtime.
Because it’s the winter, and because I have dry skin, I went for the ultra hydrating cream version, but the brand also offers a lighter lotion formula as well. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Day Cream SPF 30 helps to nourish, hydrate, energize and calm my skin, while keeping it supple, refined, smooth and radiant. Its almost whipped- moussey texture is extremely soft and silky smooth and applies like a dream. It fully absorbs into the skin within a few minutes, leaving behind no greasy or oily residue. It’s extremely lightweight on the skin, yet highly hydrating. I only need a dime size amount to cover both face and neck and it does an amazing job at refreshing the skin in the morning. This daytime moisturizer keeps my skin feeling refreshed and hydrated the entire day, with a slight brightening effect. It combats dullness, while adding a touch of radiance to my lifeless complexion. It retails for $55 for 50ml.
As much as I like the ease and convenience of a cleansing cloth or micellar water, both never fully cleanse my skin of makeup. I also find them quite drying, which is why cleansing oils tend to be my Holy Grail when it comes to makeup removal. For the most part, I thought all were created equally, until I started using Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil. Not only does it cleanse my skin of daily grime, dirt and oil, it does an excellent job of breaking down full-coverage foundation, long-wearing eyeliner and even waterproof mascara. It’s formulated with essential lipids, Omega 3,6 and 9 and vitamin E, to help nourish and hydrate the skin.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil, of course, can be used on dry skin, by pumping out a drop or two into the palm of your hands and rubbing together before applying to the skin. It really shows off its magic when used in conjunction with water. It instantly transforms into a milky consistency, immediately dissolves all traces of impurities and makeup. It leaves the skin squeaky clean, soft and smooth. Not only does it help cleanse the skin, it helps revitalize for a more radiant, nourished, refined texture. It rinses clean away with no oily residue or greasy film, perfect for those that are prone to breakouts as it won’t clog pores. Unlike other makeup removers that leave skin feeling parched, this helps to moisturize and leave skin feeling soft and smooth. It has a light and refreshing scent that isn’t too strong or overwhelming.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil is the perfect makeup remover for dissolving and melting away waterproof mascara. No need to tug or pull on your delicate eye area, nor will you have the fear of it stinging or irritating the eyes. Since there is no oily residue, you won’t have to worry about your eyes becoming blurry. It does an amazing job at removing all types of makeup with only the smallest amount and perfect for those with dry skin. It retails for $45 for 195ml.
Keeping with the dry theme, as much as we all know about the benefits of using a toner, I find most of them to be too drying for my skin style. I know the importance of adding it to your skincare routine, but if its going to cause more damage than good, what’s the point? Not going to lie, I was a little sceptical to try the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purifying Toner, but after having success with the rest of the Ceramide Collection, I thought…what do I have to lose? It’s unlike any other toner I’ve tried, thanks to its two-step process. When shaken, the two phases activate together, helping to gently cleanse and purify, while soothing and calming the skin. It contains botanical extracts
Unlike other toners that trigger extra oil production, causing blemishes, the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purifying Toner seems to instantly unclog and tighten pores, while keeping my skin incredibly hydrated. Its lightweight formula provides a squeaky clean and completely smooth texture, while refreshing and moisturizing the skin. During the cold winter months, my skin tends to get extra dry, itchy and flaky, but with the help of this toner and the Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum, my skin is no longer red and irritated. Its visibly smoother, more toned and less congested. It retails for $38 for 200ml.
Did you embrace colour this season? In a sea of all black, a pop of colour can instantly make your day. I know finding that perfect colourful coat can come with its challenges, and maybe even a little intimidating, but brands are really incorporating this season. This means you should be able to find a unique and unusual winter coat with ease. Look for something that flatters your complexion and goes with most items found within your wardrobe.
If you’re not into bold and brights, try soft pastels. This hue will still make a huge impact, without being too overly obnoxious. A colourful coat can be paired with all your basic neutrals for that instant playful and fun appearance, yet still looks amazing with other colourful pieces in your closet. Follow any street blogger and you’ll see winter coats don’t have to be boring. A fun coat will immediately brighten up your appearance on a dark and gloomy day. When styled correctly, it can literary change the entire look of your outfit. It will challenge you to think outside of the box when it comes to styling your winter clothing. It doesn’t have to be pink, just have fun when shopping for outerwear this season.
What I Wore, Sweater- H&M, Pastel Pink Coat- Zara, Purse- Gucci, Sunglasses- Forever 21, Necklace- Fossil, Watch- c/o Olivia Burton, Skirt- Banana Republic, Heels- Nine West
When you think of a traditional fur coat, your grandma’s vintage, extravagant, glamourous and expensive jacket comes to mind. Or maybe that’s just me? Fur coats have been a controversial topic for decades, as they should be. Not only do they come with a crazy price-tag, making them a sign of wealth, or maybe just keeping up with The Jones, but animals are harmed in the making. Maybe people believe it’s cruel and unfair to danger innocent animals for style. Luckily for us, fashion has come a long way in these past few years, and now allows you to get the look of real fur without the guilt. Faux fur is an excellent alternative for those looking for the same luxe vibes that a fur jacket provides without emptying your bank account. Faux fur has been huge these past few years and I don’t see it going anyway any time soon.
There are a ton of ways to incorporate faux fur into your current wardrobe, but my favourite way is on the tip of a jacket. It instantly adds a real warmth and cozy effect, perfect for those cold, chilly days. Although it may seem a little intimidating or over-the-top at first, but it’s an amazing way to add visual interest to any look. Whether you’re looking for a classic wool coat or a utility jacket, or a trendier and street-style oversized jacket, adding a touch of faux fur is a sure way to make a statement. Its an extremely versatile way to up your coat game this season.
What I Wore- Blouse- The Gap, Sweater- J.Crew, Sunglasses- c/o Zero UV, Jacket – Ever New, Watch- c/o Wittnauer, Clutch- Neiman Marcus, Jeans- Smart Set, Booties- Banana Republic
With March Break just around the corner, you may be thinking about packing up your bags and traveling somewhere tropical. Whether your planning a trip with the kids, your partner or flying solo, it can be extremely stressful on where to go…not to mention expensive. Spring break is a great time to beat the winter blues, recharge and unwind. With high-price flights and over-populated hotels, hopping on a plane might be out of the question. In fact, many of us think we need to travel somewhere out of the country to create lifetime memories, and that just isn’t the case. Canada is filled with so many hidden gems, like Woodstock, Ontario in Ontario’s Southwest . Only a short drive from both London and Kitchener-Waterloo areas and less than 1 ½ hours from Toronto, Woodstock, the dairy capital of Canada, might be a fun option.
Depending on where you’re coming from, plan to get into Woodstock around lunch time. Refreshing tastes await you at Finkle St. Tap & Grill and is the perfect place to start after being in the car for awhile. Come taste their famous woodfired pizza, trust me you won’t be disappointed, or browse their array of vegetarian options. It’s a great spot to hit the reset button in a casual and welcoming atmosphere. The extensive menu is full of fresh, flavourful items, with a large variety of alcoholic beverages to make anyone happy. The staff is friendly, fun, playful and knowledgeable and even offered to make us our own vegetarian meal. This is the perfect place to catch a game, on one of their many TV’s, or enjoy lunch or dinner with friends and family.
I don’t like to play clothing store favourites, but Scotch & Lace has to be the cutest boutique I’ve ever been in. The décor is feminine, elegant and an Instagrammers’ dream. Local artisans Marnie and Lish couldn’t be any sweeter, and although they are still in their first year, I see this store growing and being around for years to come. They provide their customers with a unique shopping experience full of beautiful and trendy fashion pieces. From chunky wool sweaters, to funky fine jewelry, knitted hats and scarves, to skirts, dresses and handbags, this store has it all. There is also a large selection of pieces made by Marnie and Lish themselves. You’re sure to find some one-of-a-kinds and unlike anything you’ve seen before. I dare you to walk out empty handed…even Derek found a few pieces.
Did you know that each chocolate bean has a different flavour profile for endless possibilities? Either did I. Chocolatier, Phillippe, of Habitual Chocolate, will walk you through the chocolate process, talk about the ethically sourced beans that he offers in all his chocolates, and even let you sample as many as you like. Wine tasting is a thing of the past (okay, not really), but I promise you, chocolate tasting is just as satisfying. If you have a sweet tooth or just looking for a mid-day pick-me-up, Philippe is there to serve you the finest chocolates you’ll ever have. Be sure to test them all, each one is just as unique and flavourful as the next. Sugar-high here you come!
Nestled in the heart of the countryside, Chateau la Motte is a gorgeous historic mansion run by the lovely Alida. The charming bed and breakfast is located in the historic Carbide-Wilson home and offers all the amenities you’d expect from a high-end hotel, but on a more personal level. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and stay in elegant and restored rooms, you’ll love this chateau. From soft, deluxe beds, to a roaring fire, while curling up with a good book and listening to soft music, you’ll feel right at home. In the morning, enjoy a delicious home cooked breakfast from a large selection of local ingredients. This peaceful, quaint and relaxing bed and breakfast is the perfect way to spend the evening after a busy day of exploring.
On day two, start your morning off right with a locally roasted cuppa joe from Beantown Coffee. Owner Janet, brings in a great selection of artisanally roasted beans like Kintore Coffee (roasted right in Oxford) and Las Chicas (roasted in neighbouring Elgin County) every week. The unique blend options are endless, think Red Eyes, chai lattes and more. As much as you’ll want to stick with something you know, I highly suggest branching out, and trying something new. I ended up trying the Beantown’s Night Owl, which consists of espresso, peppermint and chocolate, and let me just tell you, this is one yummy drink that will warm you up on a cold morning. If java isn’t your thing, select from a wide range of loose leaf tea options and homemade baked goods from Confectionary Cousins in New Hamburg.
One of the main reasons I love visiting art galleries, is you get acquainted with artists and their work before they become famous, or even while they’re growing in popularity. The Woodstock Art Gallery is a hidden gem within the city where you’ll find local, national and even international work. The staff is friendly, hands on and extremely knowledgeable. They can tell you about the art and the pieces you are looking at, along with additional info on the artist themselves. You can’t help but feel inspired and stimulated as you walk around. There’s something about being around art and in the company of such talent that leaves you feeling imaginative and creative. It’s also an excellent way to support small businesses and young talent.
Crisp tablecloths, romantic lighting, soft music playing in the background, sixthirtynine is everything you’d expect from a fine dining experience. I highly suggest grabbing a seat at The Chef’s Table, where you’ll be able to have a kitchen-view, watching the masters in action as they prepare your delicious meal. The menu features this season’s freshest and local ingredients, ensures your taste buds are in for a real treat. The servers are educated and experienced with the entire menu and can explain everything without using notes. They can offer suggestions and take out ingredients you’re not too keen on, while guaranteeing your meal is flavourful and appetizing. I highly recommend the smoked ricotta agnolotti, which comes alongside brown butter sweet potato puree, maple roasted sweet potato, sage, shaved pecorino cheese, pickled walnuts and maple vidal reduction… it’s honestly one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
After visiting the art gallery, you may be feeling extra crafty, which is why you should pop in to see Julie Hawkins. She is an interior designer by trade but left that life behind so she could focus on her love of colourful abstract art. Julie now creates stunning canvas art, that honestly just needs to be seen in person to fully appreciate the talent that goes into each piece. The wonderful thing about abstract art, is everyone sees and interprets each painting differently. Her pieces require you to have an open, inquiring mind and allow your eye to take you where it wants to. From form, colour, lines, textures, patterns and composition, each piece is truly unique and magical. I highly recommend checking out her studio while you’re in town and watch a master at work.
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