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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Eco-Friendly Nude Lipstick Perfection: Treat Collection Lipcolour in Eat Me

Hi, everyone! Though I will likely never fully ditch my much-loved conventional makeup brands, I am always on the lookout for eco-friendly, natural makeup products that perform and feel equally luxurious. While I had been eyeing Treat Collection's huge selection of non-toxic nail polish for a while, it wasn't until they released extensive ranges of lipstick and lip glosses that I finally took the plunge! Treat Collection features products that let you indulge while not harming the environment or your body. Their products are free from several toxins including parabens, petrochemicals, and GMOs, are cruelty-free, and are designed to have an aesthetic of understated luxury. 

Treat Collection's range of Lipcolours ($32 CAD each) includes an impressive 32 shades from bold reds to purples to nudes. They promise rich, creamy colour with a lightweight feel and hydrating effect. They are gluten-free (do any lipsticks have gluten? now I'm curious...) and include natural oils and extracts (like jojoba and honeysuckle) that treat and protect the lips. The Lipcolours are packaged in weighty metallic golden tubes that look and feel high-end. Each lipstick contains 4.5g of product, compared with 3g in a regular MAC lipstick. 

When perusing the range of shades, I was way tempted by the several bold reds, fuchsias, and corals, but I ended up seeking a more everyday colour that I could wear on the regular. After swatching and testing a few, my ultimate choice was Eat Me, which Treat describes as a "classic rosy brown". I would call it a rosy mauve with subtle brown undertones that falls somewhere in between a true nude and a "my lips but better" sort of shade. Just as fun is the shade is the shade name itself- cheeky and cute! 

I find the texture of the Treat Collection Lipcolours to be just as promised- creamy, hydrating, and colour that it semi-sheer in one swipe and full-on with a couple passes. The lush formula makes my lips look full and moisturized and the wear time is generally what you'd expect from a creamier lipstick formula- 4-5 hours, with notable, but not complete fading following a meal. At the end of the day, my lips feel calm and comfortable, not at all parched or sore. All good things!

Here are some swatches of Eat Me on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone), first swatched lightly, then more heavily. 

And here are a couple photos of me wearing Treat Collection Eat Me Lip Colour in the context of a completed makeup look! 

Overall, I am way impressed with this lipstick! The formula is most definitely on par with other higher-end lipsticks from conventional brands; the pigmentation is impressive, the texture is comfortable, and the wear time is good. Plus, Eat Me really is such an incredibly flattering everyday sort of shade. Wearable and versatile, but still quite unique in my collection! And the name is cheeky and fun. I really cannot wait to try more from this range!

If you're interested in trying Treat Collection products, you can find them at The Detox Market

Have you tried any brands of eco-friendly lipsticks? Is Eat Me a shade you would wear?

Hope your weekend is fantastic! xo


+Contains affiliate links, but product(s) purchased by me!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty Haul

Hi, everyone! If you read my last post or have been following me on Instagram, you'll know that I've been a tad bit preoccupied with the recent launch of Saks Fifth Avenue here in downtown Toronto. Yes, the beauty department (the only floor I've properly traversed so far; go figure) offers all the high-end luxury that you'd expect from a Saks, but it also features some neat niche/cult/eco-friendly brands that really give the store some unique character. Plus, the arrival of Saks also meant the landing of makeup brands that had not before been available in the city. Few things more exciting in my books, especially when those brands are among the likes of By Terry and Trish McEvoy, labels that I've been stalking for years during trips south of the border! 

Given my excitement, I of course could not leave the store empty-handed. And I certainly didn't. First off, there really is a feeling (however superficial) of luxury toting around one of Saks' iconic bags all tied up with a ribbon. Classy all the way ;)

While Saks Queen Street offers several brands that excite me, like Cle de Peau, Chantecaille, Tata Harper, Aesop, and Indie Lee, I wanted to focus my first purchases on the brands that were completely new to Toronto. As such, I gravitated quickly to the By Terry and Trish McEvoy counters. In addition, although Tom Ford is available in Toronto at Holt Renfrew, I absolutely could not stay away from the TF Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Tom Ford's ultra limited edition offerings get me every time! 

Here's a shot of my loot, all sprawled out. I love a good makeup sprawl! You'll notice that, in addition to the full sized products that I purchased (which I'll describe in further detail below), I also came home with a fair amount of samples. As much as you would expect an ultra high-end department store to be stingy and snobby about making samples, this was not at all the case at Saks. There was not one ounce of hesitation from any sales associate when I explained the sad story of my finicky skin and how I always prefer to sample first, especially when the prices are intense. As such, I was happy to take home samples of Trish McEvoy's face and eye serums, fragrance #9, and Triangle of Light under-eye masks, Chantecaille's Jasmine and Lily Healing Emulsion, Tammy Fender's Purifying Luculent Mask and Clarifying Dermagel, and By Terry's exorbitantly-priced, but incredibly beautiful Densiliss foundation. 

So to shrink down the sprawl to a more manageable size, let's take a peek at the full-sized products I purchased! 

The items I snagged were (left to right):

By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush Illuminating Flawless Foundation Brush in Rosy Light
Trish McEvoy 24 Hour Shadow and Liner in Dove and Smokey Quartz
Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Colour in Exposed and
Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift Shade #1

First off, the By Terry Light-Expert foundation was not something I'd been eyeing previously, but rather something that my makeup artist buddy Roberto, who was in town for the launch, convinced me that I needed (he's good at doing that). Turns out the pinky hue of Rosy Light actually tones down my redness, without competing with it, and the foundation itself gives such a beautiful luminous, non-greasy finish. The shade is too pink to wear on its own, but it's fabulous to wear underneath or mixed with the more yellow-toned foundations in my stash. 

The foundation is released via a click-pen mechanism, like some liquid lipsticks on the market, and one click goes a long way! The attached brush actually works quite well (and is designed to use for quick touch-ups on the go) and can be easily removed for a proper wash. Quite ingenious! 

Next up we have my new goodies from Trish McEvoy! I picked up her 24 Hour Shadow and Liner in Glamorous during my last visit to NYC and totally fell in love! These creamy eye shadow sticks work amazingly well as washes of colour all over the lid or as smudgy, long-wearing eyeliners. This time around, I picked up the two shades that were used on me during a makeup touch-up at the counter: Smokey Quartz- a mid-tone cool plummy brown and Dove- a shimmery blue-toned silver grey. 

I also picked up one of Trish's most popular products, the Instant Eye Lift. It's designed to create a "triangle of light" underneath the eyes and has a peachy salmon tone to cancel and brighten shadows underneath the eyes. I didn't have any under-eye brighteners in my collection, so when I saw how awake this made me look, I had to  snag it! 

Lastly we have my obligatory limited edition Tom Ford purchase- I just can't help myself with his seasonal collections! While I was tempted by the new eye shadow quads, it was the Patent Finish Lip Colours that truly drew me in . The range was rife with my favourite sorts of lip shades- rich reds, hot pinks, and berries, and they offered the most beautiful pigmentation, shine, volume, and a yummy scent. I ended up selecting Exposed, a bold cool-toned fuchsia cherry shade. They come in a click pen design (you have to click them many, many times to prime them), with a handy fabric applicator. Here's the money shot of the gloss first coming through ;)

And finally, here are some swatches of my new goodies! 

(L-R): Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift #1, By Terry Light-Expert foundation in Rosy Light, Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Colour in Exposed, and Trish McEvoy 24 Hour Shadow and Liners in Dove and Smokey Quartz

If you couldn't already tell by all of the hyperbole and exclamation marks in this post, I am way excited with my new goodies- both full-sized products and samples alike! It has been quite the treasure hunt exploring these new-to-the-city brands and, aside from the expected opening weekend rush and some long lines, I've had nothing but good experiences with the makeup artists and sales associates in the Saks beauty department. Heaven help my wallet, but I'm sure I'll be a regular there :)

Have you ever shopped at a Saks Fifth Avenue? Tempted by any of the brands or products I featured here? What is your favourite department store for buying makeup and skin care? Any of these products that you'd like me to feature in a fuller review?

Have a fantastic day! xo

Monday, 22 February 2016

Toronto Welcomes Saks Fifth Avenue (and its Dreamy Beauty Department)

Hi, everyone! It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a little bit of luxury. So when it was announced some months ago that a Saks Fifth Avenue was to open in Toronto in 2016, my interest was instantly piqued. While visions of high-end bags and clothing crossed my mind, my main curiosity (not at all surprisingly) was whether Saks would bring with it anything new to the Toronto beauty scene. That is, would it feature any brands not before available in the city? Would it offer any sorts of unique shopping experiences? Well, the Saks grand opening was this past Thursday and I eagerly bounced into the shop on the very first morning. All in the name of beauty research! 

What first struck me was the elegant, but not stuffy decor. It is as fancy as you would expect a Saks to be, but also features modern, whimsical touches that give it an interesting, approachable feel. 

First impressions aside, I immediately started scanning for brands. Anything new and exciting? I first spotted three of my favourite dangerously high-end brands, Tom Ford, Chantecaille, and Cle de Peau, which are also available in town at Holt Renfrew, but remained a sight for sore eyes. Can't tell if I'm thrilled or dismayed that these brands are now located just blocks away from my work. My wallet says dismayed, but my heart says otherwise ;)

And then as I turned the corner, my heart stopped. I realize this sounds incredibly dramatic, but I've literally had dreams about stumbling across this brand in Toronto (yes, somebody help me)- it was a By Terry counter! By Terry is one of the brands that I make sure to visit every time I'm in NYC and that forever dominates my Cult Beauty wishlist. The products are top-notch, unique, and incredibly luxurious. So thrilled to now have easy access (though, as above, my wallet weeps).  

Another exciting discovery was the Trish McEvoy counter! I'd encountered this brand for the first time during my last visit to New York and had totally fallen in love with their shadow/liner crayons and concealers. I believe this is the brand's first foray into the Canadian market and I couldn't have been more excited to welcome them! 

To quench my other beauty obsession (i.e., pampering and treating my complexion), Saks Queen Street also features some incredible skin care brands. I was happy to see Aesop occupying a beautifully designed corner of the shop.

I was also excited to spot Tammy Fender, a luxurious, organic brand that I'd read about on Into the Gloss and had been stalking on Cult Beauty for a couple of years. Tammy Fender had not been available in Canada until now. so it is definitely a welcome addition! 

The beauty department also includes a few other natural, organic, and niche brands (a welcome site in addition to more standard, stuffy lines like La Mer and La Prairie), including the lush, luxe Tata Harper...

... and an absolutely drool-worthy Apothecary section stocking Indie Lee (a new fave of mine) and Mario Badescu (an old reliable, more affordable option). 

While I'm far from a fragrance connoisseur, I also completely swooned over Saks' selection of perfume brands. First off, the department is stunning, with modern geometric shelving and multitudes of tiny lights. Second, it offers a neat mix of classic fragrance houses, like Guerlain, and more niche, hard to find labels like Le Labo, whose chemist/apothecary feel totally appeals to me. There is also a sizeable Jo Malone counter, which is absolutely beautiful! 

Oh yeah, and did I mention Diptyque? Candle heaven!

As for my experience with the sales associates and makeup artists at Saks, I was generally very happy! Yes, things were incredibly busy and hectic during the first few days (I may have visited a few times during opening weekend), but employees were eager to provide makeup touch-ups and brand orientations. 

My first such experience was at Trish McEvoy, where a friendly makeup artist sat me down to play with some of the brand's star products. Here I am below sporting Trish's (yet to be blended) "triangle of light" underneath my eye, using the lovely Instant Eye Lift, which simultaneously conceals and brightens. 

I told the makeup artist that I was a huge fan of Trish McEvoy's 24 Hour Shadow and Liners (the shade Glamorous has been one of my most-used products over the past several months), so she reached for two shades, Dove (a silvery blue-grey) and Smokey Quartz (a mid-tone plummy brown) to create the eye look seen below. She also used Trish's staple liquid liner that is supposed to support lash growth. I was super happy with the eyes! 

Given that the Trish McEvoy artist had layered some products with the foundation I was already wearing, I did leave that counter feeling that my base looked a bit cakey. So when I skipped over to By Terry, I was happy when the artist offered to re-do my foundation. (And by happy I mean a bit terrified, given my control freak nature when it comes to makeup, but also curious to see his approach). 

Upon sitting in the By Terry chair, the makeup artist introduced himself as Roberto, which instantly triggered a light bulb in my brain. Roberto with By Terry- hey, he did my makeup in NYC two years ago! I was indeed right- he had touched up my makeup and charmed me with his energetic wit at the By Terry counter in Space NK Soho in 2014. What an incredible coincidence!! We quickly reconnected like old buddies and he went to work searching for the perfect products. 

I of course had to take a selfie during the process, as a By Terry makeover is something you must document! 

For my base, Roberto used a mix of the Light Expert Illuminating Flawless Foundation and the Densillis Wrinkle Control Serum Foundation, which managed to cover all of my pesky redness while feeling completely weightless. Topped with a bit of the ultra luxurious Hyaluronic Hydra Powder and Densillis Blush, it was perfection! 

I had to take a selfie with Roberto when he was finished, as it was absolute serendipity that we crossed paths again! 

So (after this incredibly long post), my thoughts on Saks Fifth Avenue Toronto Queen Street in a nutshell? Thumbs up! Yes, it is as pricey as one would expect, but the range of brands is comprehensive and eclectic, the sales associates are friendly and more than happy to make samples (which my finicky skin is so happy about!), and the design details give it a unique character. I know I will be visiting more often than I should! 

I of course did not leave the store empty-handed, but (given the epic length of this post), I will reserve my haul for another day. Stay tuned! 

Have you ever shopped at a Saks Fifth Avenue? A fan of any of the brands I featured here? What is your favourite department store for buying makeup and skin care?

Have a wonderful week! xo


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Detox Market Haul: Makeup, Skin Care, and Chocolate, Oh My!

Hi, everyone- happy weekend! If you saw my last post, you'll know that I recently stopped in The Detox Market's new downtown Toronto shop. The space is bigger and brighter than the original, which put me in the perfect sunny mood to do some shopping (though one might argue I'm never not in the mood. But I digress...)! This visit, I opted for a combination of skin care, makeup, and edible treats. 

Here's a peek at everything I chose! 

I'm always on the lookout for all-natural makeup goodies that live up to conventional cosmetics counterparts and I'm certain I scored two such gems. The first is the Treat Collection Lipstick in Eat Me ($32 CAD). Treat first rose to acclaim for their non-toxic nail polishes and have now added lipsticks and glosses to their lineup. The range of lipsticks was extensive and completely beautiful, but I selected Eat Me, as it's an absolutely perfect everyday plummy pink. Plus, I adore the cheeky shade name! 

Next up is EcoBrow Defining Wax in Sharon ($28 CAD). I've already shared my love of EcoBrow's gel formula in the shade Marilyn, which is a great golden blonde, just slightly too light for me. So when the brand released a new shade, Sharon- a taupe for those with darke blond or light brown hair- I was all over it! Blended with Marilyn, it's a perfect brow shade for me. 

As for skin care, I picked up a replacement of one of my most-loved products of the past year. Odacite's Jojoba Lavender Serum Concentrate for Clogged Pores ($39 CAD) is the perfect nighttime oil for my acne-prone, sensitive skin. It does an amazing job of calming my breakouts while keeping my complexion looking calm and even. It does everything I could ask for! 

My final treats were of the edible variety. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've gone dairy-free recently and finding some vegan chocolate was one of my first priorities. Luckly, Taza Chocolate came to the rescue! I've tried offerings from this brand before and was completely impressed. Taza combines ancient chocolate-making techniques with modern, top-quality ingredients. It's all stone-ground, organic, and ethically sourced. Plus, it's incredibly tasty! This time around, I selected the 70% Dark Cacao Puro and Dark Guajillo Chili (I love me a spicy chocolate!) varieties ($6.90 CAD each) and- honestly- I've already devoured them :)

And to wrap things up, here are some swatches of the two makeup goodies I selected: 

(L-R): Treat Collection Lip Colour in Eat Me (swatched lightly, swatched heavily) and EcoBrow Defining Wax in Sharon

The product selection at The Detox Market never disappoints and this haul is proof positive- from top-notch organic makeup, to skin care for my ultra-finicky complexion, to chocolate for my dairy-free diet, it really offers everything I need :)

Have you ever stopped in a Detox Market shop? Any organic makeup or skin care favourites? Are you a sucker for fancy chocolate like me?

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo


++ This post contains affiliate links, but all products were purchased by me.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Visiting The Detox Market Canada's New King Street Shop

Hi, everyone! Regular readers of the blog will know that I've developed quite a passion for the green beauty world. Gravitating towards cruelty-free brands is important to me (I'm not perfect, but striving to be better) and pairing this value with earth- and skin-friendly ingredients and a little touch of luxury is a no-fail recipe for piquing my interest. One of my favourite spots for eco-chic makeup and skin care is The Detox Market, which carries an impressive variety of top-notch, cruelty-free, organic-certified, ethical brands. This past month, their downtown Toronto location moved into a new space across the street from their original shop (on King St. West, near Spadina) and last week I finally got the chance to pop in! 

What I noticed immediately is that the new location is not only larger, but also much brighter, sunnier, and warmer. It has large, inviting windows that let in the light in the most beautiful way. At the same time, it also features the same earthy, rustic feel of the original, with smooth wooden tables and floors. 

The products are displayed in orderly, yet inviting arrays with testers galore and product pricing by every brand. The perimeter of the shop features white wooden cubby shelves that add to the clean, yet rustic feel. 

As for the products arrangement, the left-hand side of the shop features a variety of beautiful makeup brands (I'm a huge sucker for RMS, Alima Pure, Ilia, and W3LL People), the centre features a huge selection of skin, body, and hair care products, while the right-hand end offers a smaller, yet incredibly tempting selection of healthy edible treats. 

The new location also features some exciting new goodies, including this gorgeous range of lipsticks from Treat Collection (originally known for their non-toxic nail polishes). I mean, look at this shade selection! 

Like the original shop, this new spot also predominantly features Odacite (one of my most-loved skin care brands of 2015), as its creator, Valerie Grandury, also founded The Detox Market. It's like the store's house brand- and what a lovely one it is! 

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've recently gone dairy-free, so I was thrilled to find that Taza Chocolate, already tested and loved by yours truly, is fully vegan. I may or may not have snagged a couple ;)

I suppose this post sounds a bit like a gushing love letter, but there really are few shops that better feed my inner beauty junkie. See, all smiles! 

Visiting The Detox Market is always a pleasure and the new King St. space makes for an extra sunny, spacious treat. If you're in the downtown Toronto area, I highly recommend stopping in! If you're not in the GTA, you can browse and buy via The Detox Market's website, here

Have you ever stopped by a Detox Market location? Any eco beauty favourites? What are your favourite local shops for makeup and skin care?

Look out for an overview of the goodies I picked up during this Detox Market visit in my next post! 

Have a wonderful day! xo


+ This post contains affiliate links.