I love summer as much as the next sun-deprived Torontonian, but after checking out the Murale Fall 2018 preview, I walked away super excited about new beauty products arriving in stores soon. From seemingly miraculous grey-hair reversing treatments, to tea-infused sheet masks, here are my top 5 Murale fall arrivals.
1. Phyto RE30 $59 (September 2018)
I didn’t think it was possible, but Phyto RE30 is the first anti-grey hair treatment that promises to bring back the natural pigment to your hair without having to dye it. Sounds like magic, but apparently it’s just science. “The RE30 peptide, which is the result of 6 years of research, is revolutionary technology that is able to boost the natural pigment production while protecting from future depigmentation.” I’ve only seen 2 grey hairs on my head so far, but I am definitely trying this treatment to make sure my head of hair remains nice and grey-free.
2. Filorga Lift-Designer Ultra-Lifting Serum $110 (September 2018)
As a fan of Filorga, I was really excited to learn about this new tightening serum with a built-in face roller designed to visibly tighten the features, plump the skin and sculpt the face.
3. Teaology Mask Mania Box $49.95 (September 2018)
I love trying new masks and I can’t wait to get my hands on this box set. The Mask Mania Box contains 4 sheet masks infused with various types of tea to offer anti-aging, exfoliating, and hydrating benefits, among others, along with 2 anti-puffiness eye masks. Perfect for pampering your skin.
4. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Riche $49 (September 2018)
This oil from Nuxe is a cult fave for a reason – it’s a multi-tasker that can be applied directly to skin, added to bathwater or spritzed onto your hairbrush to add shine to hair. And while I love the original, I am excited for the Riche version for dry skin, because we all need an extra moisture boost in the winter.
5. Filorga Optim-Eyes Lashes & Brows $75 (August 2018)
If you have sparse brows and lashes that leave a lot to be desired, then you should get excited about this Filorga booster serum and volumizing care. It promises to add length, thickness and volume, while strengthening the hair, delaying it from falling out. Fingers crossed for naturally thick brows!
When I first got introduced to Bastide last year, I was immediately smitten. Not only do the products smell like heaven and work like a charm, the beautiful packaging makes me smile every time. Last month, I attended the celebration of the chic new Bastide counter at Holt Renfrew Yorkdale, with the world-renowned hairstylist and co-founder of Bastide, Frederic Fekkai in attendance. As someone who’s passionate about natural beauty, Fekkai along with his wife, Shirin von Wulffen, acquired and re-launched their favorite heritage brand from Aix-en-Provence – Bastide, a beauty and lifestyle brand inspired by the “wellness philosophy of Provence and founded on a commitment to artisanship and to clean, toxin-free living”.
If you’re not familiar with Bastide, you should know that the brand does not test on animals, avoids ingredients like parabens, silicone, and sulfate, relying on mostly natural ingredients instead. The brand’s hand and body lotions for example, are formulated with Provence honey, olive oil, and calendula, made with 97% ingredients of natural origin, and leaving even my uber-sensitive skin feeling soft and smooth, without irritating it. All products are created in Provence by Bastide Beautisans – expert artisans with generations of expertise in oils, soaps, lotions, and natural beauty. And to top it all off, the brand embraces sustainable packaging, using recyclable glass and paper instead of plastic. Bastide is truly a feel-good brand to support, and I am so happy to be able to find a wide selection of their lovely products at Holt Renfrew.
Are you familiar with Bastide products? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo Credits: Jenna Marie Wakani
It’s hard to believe that the beautiful and talented actress Keira Knightley has been the face of COCO MADEMOISELLE for 10 years now, but it’s true! She starred in her first COCO MADEMOISELLE film by Joe Wright back in 2007 as a playful ingenue in an unforgettable red gown, transforming through the years to show her seductive side in the 2011 chapter, following it up in 2014 as the confident belle of the ball, and finally, in the latest installment by Johan Renck, as an adventurous Parisienne with a mischievous gleam in her eye and a wild night behind her. 10 years later, Keira is looking better than ever!
The new film was created to celebrate COCO MADEMOISELLE Eau De Parfum Intense ($129-$183) – the latest facet of the “COCO MADEMOISELLE personality” dreamed up by Olivier Polge, and infused with luminous Patchouli and warm Amber accord – “an intoxicating blend of Tonka Bean and Vanilla from Madagascar”. And while I usually tend to go for “fresh” perfumes, the smoothness of COCO MADEMOISELLE Eau De Parfum Intense smelled irresistible on my skin. I may even go as far as to say that I prefer this version to the original…does that make me a rebel like Keira?
The new fragrance will be available at CHANEL Beauty counters as of March 2nd.
So tell me, are you excited to try COCO MADEMOISELLE Eau De Parfum Intense? Is Keira aging backwards? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments.
Photo Credits: CHANEL
Just before Christmas, I got to preview Holt Renfrew’s H Project Spring 2018 collection with a special focus on clean beauty, sustainable and ethical production, and brands that give back to charities. There was so much to love, I couldn’t wait to shop these products. Well, the wait is almost over, as H Project items are now arriving in stores across the country.
In February, clean beauty products, including makeup, skincare, and haircare from brands like Ilia, Lilah B, Kosås, Osea, and lots more hit the stores. And whether you choose the 100% natural Tata Harper body scrub, or the vegan and cruelty-free advanced protection cream from Osea, or the most amazing organic salt spray from Rahua, the new clean beauty H Project arrivals will have you looking your very best this spring.
The fashion arrivals are equally tempting, with cute pieces from Kotn, designed in Toronto, ethically-made in Egypt, with profits from special pieces to be donated to the Elephant Crisis Fund, to seriously cool jeans from Outland Denim – a brand that not only gives back to anti-trafficking groups that rescue and rehabilitate victims of sex-trafficking, but empowers and employs these vulnerable women to provide them with a living wage.
If you’re into fun prints and beautiful boho dresses, then you’ll be obsessed with everything from Lalesso – a brand with a sustainable and conscious mindset, with all garments produced in Africa, supporting the local workers and industry. The H Project Spring 2018 collection also includes cool jewelry and accessories. My faves are from Mercedes Salazar – cutest bags and earrings (created by Colombian artisans) that are guaranteed to spice up any outfit.
And that’s just to name a few! Lots and lots of other gems are part of the H Project Spring 2018 collection, and you should most definitely check them out in stores this spring…I know I will. Check out more photos after the jump and share your faves in the comments!
With endless snow and frigid temperatures, I am keeping myself from going cabin-fever-crazy by surrounding myself with pretty, colourful things, like flowers, candles, and makeup. Luckily, I received several pieces from the CHANEL Neapolis Spring/Summer 2018 Beauty Collection to play with, and I am already obsessed. The collection dreamed up by CHANEL Global Creative Makeup and Color Designer Lucia Pica is inspired by her hometown of Naples, its pastel-coloured buildings, fading frescoes, lush greenery, blue skies, and the endless sea. The result is a truly spectacular collection of unique, but flattering and wearable shades that bring a piece of Italy into the wearer’s life.
The standout (and the must-have) from this collection is definitely the beautiful Les 9 Ombres Palette Edition N1: Affresco eyeshadow palette. Combining the neutral beiges and browns with brighter greens, this palette is perfect for creating looks for every day life and special occasions alike. I love to use the darker green as eye-liner to make my eyes pop, it’s subtle but totally effective. The shades are buildable and can be layered to create a more intense look.
Another personal favourite is Poudre A Levres – the new tinted lip powder, which was inspired by the “tempera technique of Pompeiian frescoes”. Each palette contains a clear moisturizing lip balm and a tinted pressed powder pigment, and it’s up to you to create your perfect “just-kissed” lip. I love how perfectly imperfect the application looks…the definition of effortlessly chic.
The rest of the collection is pretty perfect too. I am adding pops of colour into my life via beautiful nail polish shades like Nuvola Rosa and Verde Pastello, and of course poppy lip colours like Rouge Allure Ink’s Entusiasta. All I need now is a one-way ticket to the Amalfi Coast and my winter woes will be solved entirely.
What do you think of CHANEL Neapolis Spring/Summer 2018 Beauty Collection? Share your thoughts in the comments.
More photos after the jump!
I’ve never been particularly happy with my eyebrows. Even in my youth, my brows were always follicularly challenged and just kinda meh. Then, when I was 17, I had my brows waxed at a random strip-mall in Texas…and they stopped growing. With or without plucking, my brows just kinda stayed in that sad post-waxing state – uneven and sparse. For years, I’ve filled in my brows using pens, powders, pomade, you name it…Sometimes they’d look pretty good, and other times I’d apply too much pressure and they’d end up looking cartoonish and severe. Sometimes I’d spend an entire day unknowingly walking around with one smudged eyebrow and dark powder on my forehead, and sometimes one eyebrow would end up looking really good while the other…you know.
Once I heard about microblading, I became a woman obsessed. I’ve never considered tattooing my eyebrows, but microblading sounded different and looked really natural in photos. Microblading (or eyebrow embroidery) is a process during which semi-permanent pigment is pushed into the surface of the skin with a fine blade to mimic the growth of existing hair and to create strokes that imitate hair, making the brow look fuller, thicker, and more natural than any powder or pomade ever could. Because it’s such a labour-intensive and intricate process, microblading isn’t cheap. Prices range anywhere from $300 to $1000, depending on your location and your aesthetician’s level of experience. As a blogger, over the last couple of years I’ve received several offers of complimentary eyebrow microblading from various aestheticians, but after looking at their work, I didn’t feel comfortable taking them up on their offers. Instead, I did my research, until I found Arabella Trasca. I pored over her instagram photos – the befores, the afters, 1st touch-ups…she’d post them all without editing or makeup, and most importantly, each photo demonstrated that Arabella’s work enhances her clients’ looks, making their brows look better but still natural-looking. So I emailed her assistant and made an appointment.
More after the jump!
We are less than two weeks away from Christmas, and I am happy to report that I am pretty much done with my gift shopping. If you’re still stumped about what to get for your friends and family, here are some last-minute gift ideas that (we think) don’t suck. You obviously have to know a bit about the person you are getting the gift for, but I doubt someone would be disappointed with any of these presents.
1. Their Fave Drink
If the person you’re shopping for loves to host parties, or if you know what their drink of choice is, then getting a beautiful gift set from LCBO is a no-brainer. I love this Grey Goose Martini Pack ($59.95), but there are lots of other gift set options available.
2. Luxurious Touchscreen Gloves
Gloves are one of those things that people tend to lose all the time, so giving someone a beautiful new pair would certainly be appreciated. These Quill and Tine touchscreen beauties ($89) aren’t only made with 100% Italian lambskin and cashmere, but they are also crafted in Canada.
3. The Gift of Film
If your person is a film lover (and who isn’t?!), then the gift of TIFF Membership (starting at $49) is one of the best presents you can buy. With exclusive year-round savings and perks, ticket pre-sales, discounts, and special offers and events, this is the gift that will keep on giving all year long. If you don’t live in Toronto, annual membership to their fave museum or art gallery would also make for an awesome present.
4. Comfy Pajamas
I am not sure if it’s just me, but I loooove getting new PJs for Christmas! Get a luxurious set or a cute onesie, throw in some nourishing skincare masks, and a box of hot chocolate, and you’ve got a lovely gift set that will make them smile on those cold winter nights.
5. The Gift of Fitness
When shopping for someone who’s into fitness, there are plenty of gift options that are both cute and practical. Fitbit (and accessories) is something that I’ve given as a gift before, and it’s something that I use (and love) myself. Other fun gift ideas include: a fancy new yoga mat for your fave yoga lover, a nice gym bag for that gym goer in your life, a pair (or two) of cute grippy socks for a friend who loves to barre. If you know which gym or studio they frequent, a gift certificate to their fave workout place would also make for a thoughtful last-minute present.
6. Their Fave Perfume
This one requires a bit of knowledge about the person you’re buying the gift for. If you know which perfume they usually wear, then buying a lovely perfume gift set for them will be both thoughtful and well-received. This luxurious CHANEL N°5 L’EAU Gift Box ($214) from Holt Renfrew is definitely top of my list, as is this adorable Miu Miu Mini Duo Set ($95) from Sephora.
1. Avène Tolérance Extrême Set (on sale $27.99) 2. philosophy shimmering snowlace ($22) 3. Filorga Coffret Noël Time ($105) 4. Avène Triacnéal Expert 5. Bioderma Gift With $30 Purchase (free) 6. Benefit Beauty & The Bay ($49) 7. Paul & Joe Cat Lipstick ($21) 8. Avène Hydrance Optimale Rich set (on sale $29.99)
This is not a drill! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart has a crazy number of really great Black Friday deals on offer – from discounts on various products (like my HG skincare brand Avène!) to amazing gifts with purchase. And that’s not all – this weekend is probably my fave time of all – the Spend Your Points PLUS Event, when you can use your hard-earned points to buy presents for your loved ones (or yourself) and get points back at the same time to redeem for more presents later on. It’s just a smart way to shop!
My plan of attack is to stock up on my personal essentials like Avène products for my super sensitive skin (Triacneal Expert, Hydrance, and Tolérance), earn points on these discounted items, and then use the points this weekend to buy pretty gift sets for my friends and family, earning extra points…and then use the extra points from this weekend to buy snacks and candy for our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Sorry if it’s confusing, but I take my Optimum points very very seriously. Also, if you use the Shoppers Drug Mart app (and if you’re not, you are seriously missing out), there are lots of personalized coupons waiting to be loaded, which of course adds up to more points and more savings. And just in case this sounds sponsored, it totally isn’t…and I’m just a slightly rabid points collector and I can’t even tell you how many free Avène products I’ve redeemed for this year alone!
Are you a crazy Optimum points collector? Share your strategies in the comments and happy shopping!
If you still haven’t started your holiday gift shopping, don’t panic. Black Friday is the best time to get deals on everything from hostess gifts to treat-yo-self goodies. And since one of the biggest sale days of the year is quickly approaching, I wanted to share my fave gift ideas from my most-frequented shops. My number one Black Friday (and Boxing Day) strategy includes a bit of pre-planning, favouriting all of my must-haves in my internet browser, and then buying it all online once sales are in effect. So go ahead, check out the fun gift ideas below, save your faves for later, and don’t forget to get something awesome for yourself!
Shopbop Sale is already in effect, and you can get up to an additional 30% off sale and regular-priced items until Nov 26th with promo code MORE17. My fave things to buy from Shopbop are usually the things that never go on sale, like Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots, and vintage CHANEL bags, but it’s also a great time to stock up on essentials like pretty undies and luxurious pajamas.
Sephora is obviously a great place to shop for beauty, but what sets it apart is its selection of fab limited-edition gift sets. If you have a true beauty obsessive on your shopping list, treat them to a chic Armani Palette or the dreamy Naked Vault Volume IV…there are so many cool gift sets to choose from! My personal fave thing to order from Sephora (for myself) are the Caudalie sets – such a good deal compared to buying each thing separately!
3. Hudson’s Bay
I am still kicking myself for missing out on one of the recent Bay Days sales on Dyson vacuums, but thankfully, more hot sales will keep coming in the next few weeks. This year, I’m picking up some beautiful L’Occitane gifts from Hudson’s Bay, HBC PJs, and holding out hope for deals on anything from SMEG!
Indigo is literally my happy place – any time I need a pick-me-up, I head on over to a store near my house to find my next fave book. This year, I highly recommend Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (the movie is a masterpiece but so is the book). There are also a ton of gifts for anyone and everyone on your shopping list – from Fuji Instax Smartphone Printer to glam Jenny Bird earrings.
5. Holt Renfrew
1. Diptyque Constellation Candles ($145) 2. Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box ($250) 3. Twilly d’Hermès Eau de Parfum ($147) 4. Tiffany & Co. Piggy Bank ($170) 5. Me To We Choker ($50) 6. CHANEL Brush Collection ($234) 7. Holt Renfrew 2017 Holiday Bear ($55) 8. Bastide Bath Oil ($65)
If you haven’t been to Holt Renfrew on Bloor St lately, I highly recommend a visit – there are so many special activations and pop-up shops to discover, you’ll have a blast while getting things checked off your shopping list. There’s the CHANEL Gifting Studio with awesome freebies and exclusive items; a Tiffany & Co. pop-up shop with the chicest gifts around; there’s the Bandier pop-up where you can find sporty gifts for your loved ones or a perfect workout outfit for yourself. Either way, you are guaranteed to find a luxurious prezzie or five for your nearest and dearest.
Happy Shopping, everyone!
More after the jump!
Now that we’ve said boo-bye to Halloween, the holiday season is officially upon us. And with it, comes gift shopping, gift wrapping, and lots and lots of hot cocoa in between. Well, to make this holiday season a little more fun and festive, CHANEL just introduced the CHANEL Gifting Studio at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street with a variety of complimentary services and activations for you to enjoy while checking things off that holiday shopping list.
From November 1 to December 24, guests of the pop-up can enjoy:
• Complimentary greeting card and mailing service to send your best wishes or your wish list coast-to-coast
• Customize all details of gifting with limited edition electro coloured wrapping
• Exclusive product availability (this pop-up is the only place in Canada to now offer the RETRACTABLE DUAL-HEAD FACE BRUSH!)
• Advanced access to the new COLLECTION LIBRE: NUMÉROS ROUGES
• Interactive photo stations
• Thursday night holiday celebrations with makeup touch ups, drinks and bites
Does this not sound like the most fun holiday pop-up ever?! I know, I’ll be heading there ASAP. More details about the pop-up can be found here. Happy Gifting!