Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sparkly Heaven with Inglot's The Star in You Collection

Hi, everyone! When I first got into high-end makeup (think late '90s), I was all about pigments and loose shadows. I loved the multi-faceted, shimmery finishes, the bold colour, and the ability to mix the powders in a number of ways (e.g., into lipstick for a metallic effect or with a mixing medium for a liquefied, extra pigmented effect). For whatever reason, loose shadows had totally fallen off my radar over the past two years and what a shame! Yes, they can be messy, but they are so fun to use and can really create the most unique, stunning eye looks. So when Inglot released their glitzy The Star in You collection, which includes a range of rich, luminous pigments and glitters, I was more than happy to delve back into that medium! 


The Star in You collection was released late last month and features the most beautiful promo photos. There is glitz and shine everywhere, but with a total ethereal super hero way (like one part She-Ra, one part disco fairy), which caught my attention, of course! 



The collection contains six shades of AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow ($20 CAD), which are loose powders that promise 90% pure pigment with versatile effects- you can wear them dry for a sheer, shimmery look or mixed with Inglot's Duraline for a bolder, saturated liquid metal effect. These are definitely pigments, as opposed to glitters, but definitely have glittery and shimmery bits throughout. The shades range from white gold to peach to olive and are all quite beautiful! They're housed in sturdy plastic pots that allow you to see the product inside. 


The range also includes six shades of Body Sparkles ($20 CAD), which are multi-dimensional coloured glitters that can be used on nails, lips, and body (just not safe for eyes). They can be mixed in with nail polish, lipstick, or body lotion to customize a glitter effect or lightly patted over skin or lips. The pots are quite tiny, but a little goes a long way if you're not looking for opaque coverage. 


I was lucky to receive four products from the launch- AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadows in 121**, 122**, and 126**, and Body Sparkles 47**. I definitely oohed and ahhed as I opened the pots- such stunning colour and shine and a perfect range of shades that allowed me to properly test out the collection! 



Here are swatches of the Pigments and Body Sparkles I received: 

(L-R): Inglot AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadows in 121, 126, and 122 and Body Sparkles in 47


The textures are definitely grittier than other loose pigments I've tried (MAC's, for instance), but smooth over skin fairly easily and the shine is undoubtedly stunning! When mixed with water, the pigmentation goes sky-high and they take on a more metallic, rather than glittery look. If I had Inglot Duraline or MAC Mixing Medium, I think the effect would be even more dramatic and the texture, more adherent. I must buy one of those soon! 

And for some close-ups and shade descriptions of each:

AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow 121**- a warm, pale yellow gold with prominent ivory shimmer


AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow 126**- a warm apricot coral with gold shimmer


AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow 122**- an olive-tinged antique bronze with golden shimmer


Body Sparkles 47**- berry pink glitter in an orange-coral base


A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to get the royal treatment at the Toronto Yonge and Dundas Inglot store- lovely makeup artist LJ demonstrated the collection for me by creating a stunning warm, smokey, glittery eye look. She used a variety of matte, warm neutral Freedom System Eye Shadows to sculpt the eyes, then primed my lids with AMC Eyeliner Gel 68 (a nude shade) and topped it with a mix of Duraline and Pure Pigment Eye Shadow 121. She created a striking cat eye with AMC Eyeliner Gel 77 and coated my lashes with Secret Volume Mascara. On the lips, she opted for a modern neutral shade from the What a Spice collection- HD Lip Ting Matte 37- a neutral chestnut brown. 

Here are some shots from our playtime! 

Some of the lovely ingredients of my makeover!

With my lovely makeup artist, LJ
Post-makeover selfie

And here are some shots of the makeover from later that day- while my skin is a bit shiny, my blush is bolder (I popped on some extra colour at Sephora) and the lip colour is partially worn off (though I have to say I'm way impressed with the wear of the HD Lip Tint Matte 37- what you see lasted through a meal and coffee), the eyes still looked like perfection hours later! 



And a couple close-ups of the eyes: 



So whether you are looking to rekindle your love of pigments (like me), are a tried and true glitter-a-holic, or are wanting to try loose shadows for the first time and like some sparkle, the Inglot The Star in You collection is totally worth checking out! The shade selection is beautiful and, especially when combined with water or a mixing medium, the AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadows produce a metallic sheen that really is quite breathtaking. I have yet to try the Body Sparkle (it would have been so perfect for my bachelorette parties in the Fall), but next time I head out to a festive makeup event or out on the dance floor, glittery skin awaits! 

You can find The Star in You collection at any Inglot Store or on the Inglot website

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo



**Products marked with these asterisks were given to me as PR samples for consideration and review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% authentic and my own! 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A Shoppers Beauty Boutique Haul ft. Urban Decay, Smashbox, and BeneFit!

Hi, everyone! There are few things I love more than perusing beauty shops, spritzing and swatching away. That said, there are certain times (the dead of winter, for instance), where some cozy online shopping in my PJs is just what I need. Luckily, the Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique has recently launched their online shop and, since that's one one of my favourite places to snag great beauty in-person, it was no surprise that browsing their virtual store was also a treat! 



The Beauty Boutique online store has been adding some fantastic brands lately, and when Urban Decay joined the lineup in December, I knew I had to place an order. I spent awhile sifting  through the options, but I ultimately selected goodies from UD, BeneFit, and Smashbox

The products arrived in an adorable, luxurious Beauty Boutique box with a pretty blue lid, with everything tucked in neatly. The added attention to detail was very nice! 

Here's a peek at what I chose:


Precisely, My Brow Pencil in Shade 02** ($30 CAD)

"Oh my WOW… precise & defined eyebrows! Go from shapeless & undefined to filled & defined eyebrows with a few strokes of this precision eyebrow pencil. The twist-up, ultra-fine tip draws incredibly natural-looking, hair-like strokes and the rich, smudge-proof colour lasts for 12 hours." (from beautyboutique.ca)


If you've ever seen one of my makeup-free selfies, you'll know that my brows are so, so sparse. Thanks, the '90s, and your pencil thin brows. Blah. So while I've been pretty loyal to my Anastasia Brow Powder Duo over the past decade, I'm always on the lookout for an easy to use brow pencil that'll also do the job. While people sometimes recommend thicker pencils for ultra sparse brows, I still like a thin tip because I still want to be precise. That's why Precisely, My Brow was so tempting! I have to say that Shade 02 is a perfect match for my cool-toned dark blonde hair, the narrow shape really creates an ultra precise application, and the waxy formula really makes for ultra long wear! The only downside that I've found is that because the formula is more waxy (as opposed to creamy), it takes a while to layer the product to desired intensity, so application takes a little while. As such, I don't think this will become my daily brow product, but it's now snuggled in my on-the-go makeup bag and is absolutely perfect for touch-ups! 


As with all BeneFit products, Precisely, My Brow comes in cute colourful packaging with fun, girly, circus-themed graphics and some photo depictions of the product in action. The product itself comes in a thin, shiny silver tube with pink lettering and a handy twist-up mechanism. 


Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Babe Alert** ($28 CAD)

A featherweight, non-drying, liquid matte lipstick that stays put and keeps colour looking fresh and flawless as the first swipe for up to eight hours." (from beautyboutique.ca)

I'm at a funny place with the matte liquid lipstick trend- part of me rolls my eyes with every new release and shakes my fist at how dry these formulas can leave my lips; on the other hand, I can't help but still be ultra curious when a liquid lipstick launch offers amazing, unique shades. I'd heard nothing but good things about the Always On formula from blogger friends and the promise of a lightweight, non-drying formula with actual moisturizers like jojoba really tempted me! 

Despite several bold, unusual shades in the range, I opted for a more wearable colour that I could sport on the regular. I chose Babe Alert, a warm coral-tinged nude that brightens my complexion and pairs so well with smokey, colourful, and neutral eye looks alike. It does indeed feel light and comfortable on the lips and the wear time is impressive! 


The Always On Liquid Lipsticks come in black cardboard boxes with a colour-coordinated swatch on the box matching the shade inside. The tubes are square shaped and made of ultra sturdy plastic that allows you to see the colour of the product. The applicator is unique and handy- like a flattened doe foot with a pointed tip that really lets you get into every corner of the lips! 


Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks in Crisis and Mrs. Mia Wallace** ($21 CAD each)

"Prepare to get hooked. Vice Lipstick comes in a massive lineup of 100 addictive shades and six indulgent finishes—Urban Decay’s biggest lineup yet! Vice has it all: Bold brights. Dark, sexy shades. Super-versatile neutrals. With so much variety it’ll make your head spin, there’s something for everyone—from new shades to cult favourites you thought you’d never see again." (from beautyboutique.ca)

I've been an Urban Decay fanatic for 15 years, so when they released this epic collection of lipsticks last year my head started spinning. There were so many shades to choose from and the promise of bold pigmentation and and a comfortable texture were extra tempting. I didn't know where to start, so I held off until recently. It was so difficult to narrow down my picks, but I ultimated opted for a stunning bold red with an amazing movie reference, Mrs. Mia Wallace, and a modern neutral plummy brown, Crisis. Both are of the brand's Cream formula (which they describe as "the original- creamy, badass luxury") and feel so smooth and hydrating on the lips with a wonderfully pigmented finish. 


The Vice Lipsticks come in ultra cool, colourful black boxes with lipstick graphics and gold lettering. The tubes are sleek with gold and silver metal and the bullets are imprinted with the UD logo- a fun touch! 

Here's a closeup of Mrs. Mia Wallace:


And Crisis


And here are swatches of all three of the lip colours from my haul on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone): 

(L-R): Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Babe Alert and Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks in Crisis and Mrs. Mia Wallace 

The Beauty Boutique also offers three samples with every online order. There were a great variety of brands and products to try and I opted for the classic Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, a soothing serum from the Nuxe Creme Fraiche range, and an oil-free hydrator from the new Philosophy Breathe collection. I can't wait to give them a try! 


I am so, so happy with my picks (I clearly didn't need any more lipsticks, but that's beside the point) and my Beauty Boutique online experience was great! The brand selection is fab (it now even includes Chanel!) and the shipping was ultra quick (it came in a few days in late December, which says a lot). So if you want to snag some luxe, colourful makeup from the comfort of your home this winter, the Beauty Boutique is a solid way to go :)

What are your favourite brands at the Beauty Boutique? Did I tempt you with anything?

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo



**The products in this post were purchased with a promotional gift card provided to me at a PR event for Shoppers Beauty Boutique. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% authentic and my own! 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Creating #MySkinCocktail with Odacite Hydra-Treatment Mist!

Hi, everyone- happy weekend! If there's one brand in the green beauty realm that I've gushed about the most over the past couple of years, it has to be Odacite. They are just such a solid brand with products that are unique, a total pleasure to use, and, most importantly, ultra effective. The line may be most known for its Serum Concentrates (little black bottles of pure organic goodness for any skin care concern you could imagine), but also offers a complete range of skin care products from cleansers to face creams, to masks, and beyond. With a commitment to integrity, purity, and effectiveness, all Odacite products are vegan and cruelty-free and completely without fillers, parabens, nanoparticles, petrochemicals, and artificial dyes and fragrance. The result? Fresh, potent formulas that are true natural beauties.

So when I heard that Odacite was expanding the brand to release a new trio of toners- the Hydra-Treatment Mists- I was on the edge of my seat! 


The Hydra-Treatment Mists are designed to be versatile and are moisture-rich and nutrient dense. The have an aloe vera base that is not only hydrating, but also packed with more than 200(!) natural actives that work to treat, repair, and moisturize the skin. The range offers three formulas:

Aloe + Immortelle Hydra-Repair Treatment Mist- to repair mature, dry, and sensitive skin with anti-aging benefits

Rose + Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist- to enliven normal, combination, and sensitive skins

Mint + Green Tea Hydra-Purifying Mist- to clear and mattify oily and acne-prone skin

All three formulas can be used in a number of ways:
*To instantly refresh the skin
*To aid in the absorption of serums and creams
*To set makeup
*In the place of a serum or cream if you want lighter hydration
*To add a quick hit of moisture on the go
*To ground and calm with aromatherapy benefits

Also, the fact that these new mists come in three varieties means you can truly customize your skin care routine with Odacite. By mixing and matching the Hydra-Treatment Mists with the Serum Concentrates most suited for your skin conditions, the possibilities are endless. We all know that I love anything customizable, so I was excited to take on the challenge to create #MySkinCocktail!


The option that was sent my way was the Rose + Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist** ($49 CAD), which is the brand's formula for normal to combination, sensitive skin. Just perfect for me, especially in Wintertime when my skin is not quite as oily. It comes in a sleek white box with black lettering and pink highlights. 

The bottle itself is a thing of beauty. It's made of weighty black glass (to protect the precious ingredients inside) with a label that matches the packaging and a spray nozzle for easy misting. 



As per the packaging (which has a super helpful amount of information), this formula contains rose water because of sebum-balancing properties and fresh aloe vera juice for hydration and protection against environmental threats. It also touts aspen bark, which acts as a pore-minimizing astringent and neroli to clear and regenerate the skin. 



Here is a full list of ingredients: 


Along with the Hydra-Treatment Mist**, I received two of the brand's amazing Serum Concentrates, tailored for my skin type this time of year. The Serum Concentrates are ultra potent facial oils that can be mixed into any skin care to boost the effect or used on their own as an intensive treatment. They are made with the freshest of organic oils and smell utterly amazing. 


One of these was the Jo + L (Jojoba Lavender) Facial Serum Concentrate** ($39 CAD), which is an all-time favourite of mine. This is my third bottle! Touted as their Clogged Pores Booster, it contains jojoba to clear the pores (since it mimics the skin's natural sebum, it flushes out pores rather than clogs them), lavender to purify and soothe, and Vitamin E to hydrate. 




The other I received was the Po + R (Pomegranate Rose Geranium) Facial Serum Concentrate** ($52 CAD). I'd yet to try this formula and since my skin can get quite dehydrated in wintertime, I thought testing the Hydration Booster would be a perfect idea! It includes pomegranate oil, which is rich in nourishing fatty acids that help protect the skin's natural moisture barrier, and rose geranium, which further nourishes and balances the skin. And like all the Serum Concentrates it has a hydrating base of Tocopherol (Vitamin E).  




I have to say that the Hydra-Treatment Mist and Serum Concentrates work so nicely together! First off, the Rose + Neroli** mist is lovely to use- the spray is fine, but not wimpy (i.e., moistens the skin but with no intense blasting action) and leaves the skin feeling instantly hydrated and relieved. It has a beautiful modern rose smell (the neroli prevents the scent from being too dated) and doesn't leave skin greasy despite its hydrating properties. While this does work nicely to set makeup, I don't like the idea of potentially wasting the ingredients on skin that's been totally sealed by foundation and powder. Instead, I apply it as a mist post-cleansing to rebalance the skin and leave the complexion ultra receptive to any products applied on top. 

And, as expected, the Serum Concentrates are just lovely. I use the Pomegranate Rose Geranium** serum in the morning time to act as a hydrating barrier against the harsh winter weather. It smells fruity and floral and I can tell it nourishes my skin deeply. Despite this, it doesn't seem to lead to any level of greasiness that would negatively impact my makeup. Win! And why I'm happily on my third bottle of the Jojoba Lavender** serum is that it does a fabulous job at soothing my sensitive skin while minimizing the appearance of pores and breakouts overnight. Plus, the calming lavender scent lulls me to sleep! 


So if you couldn't tell, I think the new Odacite Hydra-Treatment Mists are quite the lovely, sophisticated, versatile new product. With the three different formulas, there is an option for everyone. Also, they would definitely fit into any skin care routine (I mean, who doesn't love a face mist, let alone one packed with nutrition?!) but pair especially beautifully with the brand's Serum Concentrates

You can find these brand new beauties (released just today!) on the Odacite website or at The Detox Market

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

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**Products marked by these asterisks were sent to me as PR samples for consideration and review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% authentic and my own! 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A May Lindstrom Haul

Hi, everyone! There's no denying that May Lindstrom is one of the most covetable brands in the green beauty world. And with good reason- there's lots to love. No only is May herself an ethereal beauty that's also super knowledgable and passionate about the brand (can you tell I'm a fangirl?), but the brand offers products that are truly unique. The packaging is weighty and chic (and also designed to protect the precious elements inside), the ingredients consist of organic wild-crafted oils and spices, and the scents and textures are intoxicating and seriously such a pleasure to use. I am a huge fan of May's The Problem Solver mask and The Jasmine Garden mist, and it's only the price point of her products that had prevented me from delving further into the line. 

Building on the above gushing, here's the May Lindstrom ethos in a nutshell: It is a line aimed at both sensual pleasure and visible results. The products are designed to smell and feel great on the skin, as to transform your skin care routine into a truly enjoyable ritual. The ingredients are also carefully selected (many of them organic and wild-crafted, all of them ethically and sustainably sourced) to perform specific functions in and on the skin. The brand is cruelty-free and also omits a variety of unhealthy ingredients like parabens, glycols, petroleum, sulfates, silicones, artificial dyes, fragrances, and known carcinogens. If you look at the ingredient listings, you'll likely get a bit hungry- elements like honey, cocoa, vanilla, sweet orange, and macadamia oil abound. 


We all know that I'm always on the lookout for an excuse to treat myself, so when the brand offered an amazing gift with purchase deal over the American Thanksgiving weekend, I finally took the plunge! Here was the offer (directly through the May Lindstrom website): with any $150 purchase, you received a free full-sized The Clean Dirt cleanser ($60 USD value) as well as a deluxe sample of The Honey Mud and a sneak peek sample of the brand new (then, yet to be released) The Pendulum Potion. Given that I had been stalking The Blue Cocoon for years (which is $160 USD, perfect for the promotion), I decided to pull the trigger. 

The package arrived in true May Lindstrom luxury: 


Not only were the products laid out carefully with love, the package also included a handwritten note from May, as do all orders that come directly from the brand's website. 


I love that the packaging is not only beautiful and sturdy, but also put together with so much care. Even the little samples were tucked away neatly in a little velvet pouch. 

All May Lindstrom products come housed in weighty gold-highlighted dark glass packaging that both keeps the ingredients safe and looks lovely on your bathroom vanity. The boxes are each adorned with the brand's logo: a gilded dandelion flower ready to take flight. 



So let's take a deeper look at the products I purchased, starting with the main reason I placed the order.

The Blue Cocoon has been on my wishlist for two years because a) it is designed to soothe sensitive, reddened skin (one of my main skin plights) and b) the first time I smelled it in store I literally swooned. It has the most unique, beautiful smell that is utterly intoxicating in its tranquil, sexy quality. 


May describes The Blue Cocoon as "Tranquil. Intoxicating. Deep Calm". Its a balm-to-oil texture designed to calm both the nerves and the complexion. It gets its unique blue hue courtesy of blue tansy (an ultra soothing floral extract), hydrates with shea and cacao seed butter, and offers antioxidant protection with ingredients like camellia seed oil and marula oil. It was designed to deeply nourish the skin while reducing redness and irritation on even the most sensitive of skin types. 


To use, simply take a small amount (half a pea-sized dab) and massage onto skin, which transforms the balm into a luxurious oil. I primarily use it at nighttime, as it leaves a lightly oily finish, though I am tempted to try it in the morning as well with this harsh winter weather we've been having. As the final step in my skin care routine, it seals everything in, instantly reduces redness in my skin, and the scent seriously lulls me to sleep. In my opinion, its effectiveness combined with the pleasure of use (I take several mindful breaths of the scent before applying it) make this product worth every penny. 


The first free gift with the order was a product I've also been dying to try for ages- The Clean Dirt. Described as a "brightening exfoliating treatment" that serves as a "microdermabrasion. power button. magic dust", The Clean Dirt is a powdered clay-based cleanser that, when mixed with water, creates a luxe mousse that both cleanses and polishes. Not only does it contain natural clays for a deep cleanse, it's packed with vitamin C for brightening and a mix of stimulating spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and ginger, to stimulate the skin, encouraging blood flow. It also contains rose and calendula for soothing and toning the skin. 




To use, you simply mix a teaspoon of powder in the palm of your hand with equal parts water to create a bubbling paste. When massaged on the skin, you instantly feel a stimulating tingle and are struck with a warming, spicy scent. Because my skin is quite sensitive, I cannot use this one a few times a week, but once a week it works wonderfully as a deep, rejuvenating cleanse that totally satisfies my love of spicy fragrances. 


The free gift also included adorable minis of The Honey Mud and The Pendulum Potion.

If you have never smelled The Honey Mud, do yourself a favour and take a whiff. I think it might be the best-smelling skin care product I've ever tried. While the scent of The Blue Cocoon is unique and complex, The Honey Mud smells like the most delicious spicy vanilla honey dessert you could imagine. I want to take a spoon to it every time! What does it do? The Honey Mud can be used as a gentle daily cleanser or a cleansing and hydrating mask. The raw honey acts to provide vitamins, enzymes, and nourishment while clays gently clean the skin. It includes macadamia nut oil to moisturize, witch hazel and sweet orange to tone, and is perfumed with vanilla, ylang ylang, cedarwood, frankincense, and myrrh. These beautiful ingredients blend together to create a pudding-like texture that's an absolute pleasure to massage into the skin. 

Finally, The Pendulum Potion is the brand's newest treasure. It's touted as a "hypnotic. sensual. grounding" cleansing oil that removes makeup and debris with an antioxidant-rich, softening, and decongesting formula. It's also a multitasker as it can be used as a serum as well! For cleansing, it can be massaged into dry skin, then blended with water and removed with a warm, steamy towel to lock in the goodness. It includes a lovely blend of oils, including tamanu, camellia seed, macadamia nut, avocado, olive, cocoa absolute, and sweet orange, with extracts and essential oils of jasmine, lemon, ylang ylang and more. The smell is earthy and complex and is a true pleasure to use! 



Yes, May Lindstrom products are pricey. But in my mind they're worth every penny. The formulas are unique, thoughtful and effective, and each product is a complete delight to the senses. I resonate with the idea of skin care being self-care, and it is easy to slip into a place of serenity and mindfulness when you are using products with such beautiful scents and textures. As such, I look at May Lindstrom goodies as investments in both my skin health and my mental health. And what better investment is there?

If I've tempted you to treat yourself, you can check out May Lindstrom products on the brand's website, here or at The Detox Market, here

Have you used May Lindstrom products? Any favourites? Any other favourite green beauty brands at the moment?

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

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