Beauty: Summer Essentials

Summer Beauty 2015
Summertime is upon us and with it come the sunny days, beach getaways, melting makeup, and frizzy hair. To help you avoid these beauty fails this summer, I wanted to share with you my tried and true summer beauty essentials – from the perfect CC cream, to lip-gloss that won’t stick.

1. CHANEL CC Cream with SPF
Once summer rolls around, I try not to wear foundation too often. Mostly, because I don’t want to look like a cakey mess by the time that patio brunch is over, but also, because I may or may not be too lazy to do it every day. CHANEL to the rescue! The brand’s CC Cream is everything your skin needs and more – it has perfectly lightweight, but buildable coverage, SPF 30 & 50, moisturizing and correcting benefits, anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties…and it works!

2. Schwarzkopf BLONDME Colour Correction Spray Conditioner
If you’re a platinum blonde, grey haired maven, or just a cool blonde who hates the yellow tones, sunshine is likely your worst enemy. Blonde hair tends to take on more warm hues in the summer simply due to sun exposure, but this little miracle spray by Schawrzkopf helps keep those yellow tones away. It doesn’t work as well as toning at a salon, but it does help extend my colour and protect my tresses from the sun. It is also very lightweight and won’t weigh your hair down. If you need even more toning, the rest of the BLONDME line is also very good. I particularly loved their highly-pigmented purple shampoo and Keratin Restore mask.

3. Redken Frizz Dismiss Fly-Away Fix
Speaking of summer hair…I know I’m not the only one whose hair turns into a frizzball on those balmy days. Well, Redken’s new Frizz Dismiss line offers the first-ever Frizz Protection Factor (FPF) with 4 levels of smoothing and humidity protection for all hair types—from fine to coarse. “Frizz Dismiss offers heat and humidity protection with a sulfate-free, sodium chloride-free cleansing system. It is safe for chemically straightened hair. Frizz Protection Factor (FPF), the first-ever professional scale, allows you to choose the protection you need based on hair type and humidity level.” And while the lavender oil-infused fly-away fix sheets offer the lowest FPF, they are very handy for travel and on-the-go. Just grab a sheet, run it through frizzy hair and voila – static and fly-aways eliminated. If you live in a particularly humid area, or have coarse hair, go for a higher FPF product like Frizz Dismiss FPF 40 Rebel Tame leave-in smoothing control cream or Frizz Dismiss FPF 30 Instant Deflate leave-in smoothing serum.

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Beauty: CHANEL CHANCE Eau Vive

Today’s the day! The latest in the line of CHANEL CHANCE fragrances, CHANCE Eau Vive is hitting the stores today and you should definitely stop by your nearest boutique to give it a try! I had the chance to check out this delightful perfume created by perfumer Olivier Polge a couple of months ago, and have to say that it’s the perfect scent for the summer! This fragrance is energetic and fresh, with notes of grapefruit and blood orange, as well as jasmine, white musk, and fresh vetiver. Its floral scent lingers lightly and doesn’t overpower my senses when I wear it.

Fragrance is a very personal thing, but I do think that CHANCE Eau Vive is going to be a popular crowd-pleaser – a refreshing burst of energy that adds a bit of pep to the day, and literally makes me smile when I smell it.

The new Jean-Paul Goude campaign for the fragrance is equally energetic and fun – cute models bowling with giant perfume bottles, welcoming the new girl to the CHANCE team. After watching the cute 30-second film, make sure to check out the behind-the-scenes “making of” video below, to see how this film was created from concept to final product.

So tell me, are you a fan of CHANEL CHANCE fragrance line? Will you give CHANCE Eau Vive a try? Share in the comments!

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Beauty: Garnier Color Styler Review

Ever since I had my hair bleached, I’ve been dying to try some fun colours on my light tresses. As a brunette, I haven’t been able to experiment much without damaging my hair, so let’s just say I was itching to try something new. Sadly, since my workplace is quite conservative, I couldn’t do anything permanently drastic – no matter what, my hair had to go back to normal by Monday morning. So when I saw Garnier Color Styler on sale at Shoppers, I was very excited to pick up all three colours on the shelf – pink pop, purple mania, and blue burst.

The box promised “intense wash-out color” that would last for 2-3 shampoos. After reading up on the product online, I discovered a lot of negative reviews – mainly complaints of dry, unbrushable hair, and a few mentions of colour that didn’t look like the one on the box. That certainly gave me pause…which is why I left the boxes under my sink for a few weeks, until last Friday when I was intensely bored…and you know what they say about idle hands.

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Beauty: CHANEL Méditerranée Summer 2015 Collection

Summer is the perfect time to have fun with your makeup. Colourful eyeshadow looks fresh, a little extra bronzer is pretty much expected, and fun nails are a must! For all those reasons (and more), I am obsessed with the new CHANEL Méditerranée Summer 2015 Collection. Inspired by the Mediterranean, products from this collection are perfect for creating a sun-kissed summer look that will make you look like you just stepped off a yacht in Cannes.

Here’s the rundown of my must-haves:

Chanel Lumière d’été Illuminating Powder ($76) is so beautiful that some of us may not want to disturb the perfect camellia surface, but if you do, you’ll find a shimmery golden-bronze powder suited for light/medium skin tones. This one adds that subtle glow to your complexion (eyes and décolleté too) and is a limited-edition shade.

The Méditerranée collection’s Le Vernis Nail Colour shades are particularly enticing – perhaps unsurprisingly, I am in love with 707 Méditerranée and 717 Coquilicot ($31), which bring back memories of my summer vacay in the Côte d’Azur – just imagine all the possibilities with these two colours!

The Méditerranée collection includes four Rouge Coco Shine shades: 477 Rêveuse, 487 Amorosa (limited-edition), 497 Intrépide, and 507 Insoumise ($42) – my fave! While all four are quite lovely, I think Insoumise will be the most versatile this season – a little shine with a great colour pay-off.

As for those cool Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow Fresh Effects Eyeshadow, I love all 5 colours, but my absolute faves are 127 Laurier Rose for day and 117 Azulejo ($36) for weekends and evenings.

And there you have it – the beautiful CHANEL Méditerranée Summer 2015 Collection, which will hit the stores on May 4th. Share your faves after the jump!

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Shopping: Holt Renfrew’s H Project x ela Handbags x Burt’s Bees Collaboration

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of ela Handbags. Each season I try to add at least 1 piece of ela’s special brand of “humble luxury” to my wardrobe, and I am always tempted to buy more, as cool new styles arrive. Well, now, thanks to the new collaboration between Holt Renfrew’s H Project, ela Handbags, and Burt’s Bees, there’s yet another ela bag that I have added to my bag rotation, and it’s a good one!

H Project has partnered with ela, Canadian accessories brand co-founded by Ela and Martin Aldorsson, and Burt’s Bees, to create an exclusive, limited-edition ‘editor’s pouch’ in support of Pollinator Partnership Canada– the largest non-profit organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. The pouch was designed in Canada, featuring a stunning floral motif, and comes with three beautiful Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayons – all that for only $50! 100% of proceeds will go to the Pollinator Partnership Canada, so you can feel even better about your purchase.

The clutch will be available at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada starting May 1st, just in time for Mother’s Day. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Photo Credits: Holt Renfrew

Beauty: 5 Lifesaving Products You Need This Spring

spring 2015 beauty favourites - got2b - skinceuticals - vichy - chanel - fresh
Spring is kinda/sorta here, and I don’t know about you, but after those long winter months, my skin and hair need some major TLC. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying some cool new beauty products that have already made a major difference in the way my skin and hair look and feel, and I hope you like them too.

got 2b All Star MVP Perfecting Cream
After learning about this product at a recent preview, I was intrigued – a BB cream for hair, could it really work?! Well, it does! This product promises to deliver 10 benefits: shape, smoothness, calmer hair, anti-frizz, suppleness, shine, volume, flawless style, shimmer and fullness. And while I don’t know if I noticed any shimmer, it has definitely helped my bleached hair look smoother without losing its volume. If your hair needs a little something-something after those harsh winter months, I strongly recommend this miracle cream.

Vichy Ideal Body Balm
Just like my hair, my skin gets super thirsty in the winter, so to prep it for those glorious days of bare legs and sleeveless tops, a top-notch moisturizer is key. Vichy Ideal Body Balm is a current fave – not only does it smell divine, it leaves my skin feeling baby-soft! Oh, and it sinks right in. Vichy uses active ingredients traditionally used in face care: Hyaluronic Acid and LHA, combined with 10 fundamental oils to deliver firmer, smoother and more radiant skin. Works like a charm!

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
This daytime antioxidant serum isn’t cheap, but it really delivers! Combined with sunscreen, this powerful serum provides “advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralizing free radicals that cause accelerated signs of aging.” I apply a few drops to my face before moisturizer each morning, and after only a couple of weeks have already noticed improvements in my skintone. Granted, I have other skin issues right now, but this serum has not aggravated any of my sensitivities, and I feel more protected now that sunny patio days are just around the corner. If you have sun damage, and want to prevent spots and premature aging, this is one kick-ass serum to invest in.

fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask
This mask is part of my nighttime beauty ritual, and I freaking love it! Winter months literally sap moisture out of my skin, and this is the perfect mask to put life (and moisture) back where it belongs. The difference is pretty dramatic, and you’ll be sure to notice the results almost right away. “Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask works in synch with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process to achieve a lifted, firmer look by the morning.” I apply this on my face and neck at night as the last step of my beauty routine – the smell and texture of this product are great, and it sinks right into my skin (it’s quite thick, so use sparingly). If your face needs post-winter rehab, I can’t recommend this mask highly enough.

CHANEL UV Essentiel
Last, but not least, we all know that sunscreen is super important all year round, but especially so in the spring and summer months, when we find ourselves outdoors more regularly. And while I’ve tried to be good at shielding my face from the damaging rays, I have to say that due to my sensitive skin, I’ve had a tough time finding sunscreen that worked for me…until I tried CHANEL UV Essentiel. This sunscreen is super lightweight, specifically formulated for the face, which means it won’t clog your pores, and it smells amazing too. I’ve been using it daily, and will continue to do so to protect my face from photo-aging and hyperpigmentation. If you hate the idea of adding another step to your beauty routine, I also highly recommend CHANEL CC Cream, which offers both coverage and SPF30, in addition to moisturizing and soothing benefits. Win-win!

And there you have it – my latest “can’t-live-without” beauty products to stock up on this spring. Share your must-haves in the comments!

Toronto Fashion Week: Best Beauty Looks from Fall 2015 Shows

Another season of World MasterCard Fashion Week has ended and as always, I am here to give you a quick recap on my favourite beauty looks from Fall 2015 shows and how to achieve them, so let’s get to it!

Hayley Elsaesser was the belle of the ball last season with her bright and quirky spring collection. And her “Midnight Cowboy” fall line was just as good – a combination of 70’s glamour with a touch of Uma Thurman from Kill Bill.

Grace Lee the Head Makeup Artist for Maybelline started her beauty look with a sheer natural palette using Dream Wonder Liquid Touch Foundation and Face Studio Master Prime in Blur + Illuminate all over the face. She then created a translucent smoky eye look using a mix of molten brown shades (Plum Fusion and Taupe Crazy) and added a highlight in the form of Color Tattoo’s Tenacious Teal to the center of the lower lid. The eyes were then finished off with Brow Drama and Lash Sensational Mascara. For the two-toned lips, Grace used Color Sensational Lipstick in Rebel Bloom first as the base and then Vivid Rose on the center of the lips to create an ombre effect.

Redken’s Head Stylist Jorge Joao decided to incorporate blocks of color to the hair to reflect Hayley’s vibrant style. Hair was primed with Pillow Proof and then flat ironed to sleek perfection. He then made two tight braids on each side, which were then wrapped around to created 2 side buns. The ends of the braids were left sticking upwards, creating an almost bird-like effect. The look was sealed with a healthy dose of Control Addict 28 to keep stray hair in place.

Essie’s Lead Nail Artist Rita Remark was inspired by the animal print Hayley had in her collection and decided to recreate it on models’ nails. By blotting one color on top of another she was able to create a fun yet versatile look. Rita used Naughty Nautical, Meet Me at Sunset, Butler Please and Mod Square to achieve this exciting combo.

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NYFW Spring 2015: Street Style Hair Trends

As the latest season of NYFW is coming to a close, I want to revisit some photos I took at the tents last September. As I was shooting, I noticed a trend – fun hair colours! From platinum, to grey, to red, to pastel, to rainbow, people were making loud fashion statements with their hair colour.

Perhaps I was biased and only captured what I wanted to see, since at the time I was freshly platinum, but after shooting for a couple of days and spotting dozens of fun hair shades, I knew I wasn’t imagining it. With spring and summer just around the corner, I thought I’d share these photos in case you needed some hair inspo for those warmer days ahead. Enjoy!

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Beauty: CHANEL Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum Review

Lately, my skin has been a nightmare. After years of fairly good skin, I am now all-of-a-sudden faced with rosacea – inflamed, angry, red bumps all over my face. The extent of this problem is touch and go, getting better, getting worse, like a freaking yo-yo, which is why I’ve been very weary of a lot of skin products. I’ve been trying not to use too many new things on my sensitive skin, and only use products that come highly-recommended. Which is why I felt comfortable giving the new CHANEL Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum a try. The Hydra Beauty line has a very passionate following (Diane Kruger is the gorgeous face of the line), and I hoped that this new micro serum could help get my skin through winter.

Almost immediately, I noticed that my skin (normally dry in patches by mid-afternoon) felt more hydrated, looking brighter and better just days after first use. It’s now been a couple of weeks, and I’m totally hooked. The camellia smell is lovely and refreshing, while the extra kick of moisture this micro serum provides is just what my skin needs during the winter months.

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Beauty: How to Maintain Platinum Hair

Ever since I bleached my hair, I’ve been getting a lot of sweet, and oftentimes demanding emails from readers that want to know EVERYTHING about going platinum. I already covered the part about bleaching dark brown hair platinum blonde (I do not recommend you to do this at home), and today, I’m going to share with you just what it takes to keep your bleached hair looking and feeling healthy. And while my hair may not be platinum anymore (it’s definitely a darker grey at the moment), at the end of the day, it’s still bleached hair, and it still demands a lot of maintenance. Below I share with you my (no longer) secret hair routine.

Step 1: Coconut Oil
First, I slather my hair and scalp with coconut oil. Lots and lots of it – until my hair looks wet/greasy all over. I let it sit for about an hour (longer on the weekends). During this hour I do pretty much everything I would do normally – go to the gym, run errands, watch TV…the coconut oil doesn’t really drip anywhere, so you don’t have to be precious about it.

Step 2: Shampoo and Purple Conditioner
Once a sufficient amount of time has passed, I jump in the shower and shampoo my hair thoroughly but gently with cool water (it helps keep your cuticles sealed). I love Moroccanoil’s Smoothing Shampoo, because my hair feels extra silky after. Post-shampoo, I get as much water out of my hair as possible, run a bath, and settle in for some purple goop action. I like to leave purple conditioner in my hair for at least 20-30 minutes to make sure it does as much toning as possible, and seeing how most purple conditioners I’ve tried have a runny consistency, I don’t want to stand in the shower for half an hour waiting for the hot water to run out. So taking a bath is my solution (and an excuse to have some relaxing “me” time). I put lots of purple conditioner in my hair, making sure to saturate the strands from root to tip, and then I sit back and enjoy my bath. If you don’t want to see any amount of purple or grey in your hair, keep your purple conditioner in your hair for 5-10 minutes max…sometimes my hair does pick up a bit of a purpleish tinge to it, but I actually like it. You’ve been warned.

I’ve tried several different purple conditioner brands, and my faves are Davines Alchemic Conditioner, Aveda’s Blue Malva, and Clairol’s Shimmer Lights. Usually, I would just mix Silver Lights into any purple conditioner I was testing out in order to intensify the colour, but it worked best when paired with Aveda. Davines didn’t need much help, but seeing how expensive that stuff is, I’d say give Shimmer Lights a try. Also, both Davines and Shimmer Lights made my hair feel a lot more dry and tangled, while Aveda’s conditioner actually conditioned my hair, so my winning formula at the moment is: Davines + Blue Malva.

Oh, and I almost forgot about a recent fave! I found this super dark bluish purple conditioner at Shoppers, and it’s called Light Blue Shade. I’ve been mixing it with Davines and Blue Malva to get even more purple in my hair. It’s not very moisturizing, but it’s got a great colour pay off, and it’s not expensive either. If you live in Canada, and don’t have access to Clairol’s Shimmer Lights, this is a nice alternative.

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