MY NEW FAVORITE UNDEREYE CONCEALER

Most people throw everything but the kitchen sink into finding that perfect undereye concealer. When tackling dark circles, we adhere to the standards of trying to get enough sleep, cooling gel eye masks, vitamin K, and a plethora of eye creams promising to diminish those pesky bluish gray half moons. Unfortunately, even the most disciplined routine for undereye care doesn’t seem to get rid of them completely, and the truth of the matter is…….nothing really will. Dark circles are just obstacles we have to live with. They are hereditary in most cases, they can be a result of too much sun exposure, thinning of the delicate skin around the eye, and they can even be an indication of liver disease; in most serious cases. That is why a few blessed souls invented concealer, to fix what nature can’t seem to.

 Lydia O’Leary was the genius behind Covermark, which was the first foundation to be patented here in the US in 1928. In 1936 she launched her spot stick, the first concealer!

An infinite number of concealers have been created since then, and I personally cannot even count how many I have tried, but out of them all, this new concealer stands against the rest.

Introducing AmazingConcealer from Amazing Cosmetics!

Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer $32
Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer $32

This is everything you could want in a undereye concealer. Technically you can use this all over your face, and it would be great to use on areas that may have fine lines since it doesn’t settle into creases. It in fact plumps the areas where it is applied, thanks to hyaluronic acid. Moisturizing micro oils ensure the skin does not dry out throughout the day. I would describe this as a medium coverage concealer, although you can certainly layer it on thick, and I mean thick! It blends seamlessly! That is perhaps the best thing about this product, if you overapply a bit you can’t tell. I tried to and my eyes didn’t look cakey at all. This comes in a great range of 10 shades. I use the ivory, which is the lightest shade and has a slightly yellow undertone. My eyes look fresh and bright from the time I apply until the time I take it off! I can’t say enough about it.

My search is over for the best undereye concealer! My eyes can rest easy for now!

IT BAG ALERT: THE SCHOOL BAG

We exist in the era of the cross-body! We’ve seen the reemergence of the saddle bag and the messenger bag. We’ve seen all shapes, sizes, and designs. If the bag has a strap and you can put it across your body, then it’s a cross-body. (Technically it needs to be a manageable size, however).

So what could they possibly come up with next? The schoolbag! From what I am seeing, the schoolbag seems to be 1/3 messenger bag, 1/3 small satchel, and 1/3 lady bag. A love triangle of an accessory!

The designers at Henri Bendel have gotten a jump, and an extremely creative one, on this trend with the newest additions to their West 57th line. Featuring detachable cross-body straps, saffiano leather construction, a top handle, and a very functional size, these lady-like bags will be your new go-tos for a myriad of occasions, casual or formal. Wear these bags with the strap attached for some shopping or traveling, or take the strap off for an evening bag.

West 57th Schoolbag $278
West 57th Schoolbag $278

Classic black! Simple, sophisticated, elegant; an accessory staple.

West 57th Floral Applique Schoolbag $350
West 57th Floral Applique Schoolbag $350

Chic marries whimsy with this “perfect for that Summer garden party” bag. This bag is designed in a pretty pastel pink saffiano, with the beige and green floral appliques intermingling with one another.

West 57th Schoolbag $328
West 57th Plaid Schoolbag $328

Burgundy is going to be a key playing colour for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons and plaids tend to compliment the shade. With a cream, green and blue plaid printed saffiano, you will be able to pair this with so many neutrals.

West 57th Charm Schoolbag $328
West 57th Charm Schoolbag $328

 Neutral camel coloured saffiano leather is paired with a contrasting black cross-body strap and top handle. This bag also features a detachable charm, so you could easily turn this into a more casual bag.

If I were a betting gal, I would say this latest revelation in cross-body bags could very well turn into a revolution for the world of accessories!

BEST NEW SUMMER FRAGRANCES

If you have about 15 or more different perfumes in your “Summer Collection” and you can’t find a single one to wear; then you may be a perfumaholic, and continuing to read this will not help your shameless praxis!

The note of choice in what I am smelling so far this season is citrus, particularly orange, mandarin, and tangerine. I love those citrus notes in a perfume because they tend to dry down with just the right amount of sweet; never sour or too cloying.

Korres Bellflower Tangerine Pink Pepper Eau de Toilette $38.50
Korres Bellflower Tangerine Pink Pepper Eau de Toilette $38.50 

This is such a great fragrance for the price! Under $40. I have never actually heard of a bellflower before, but was intrigued. It is a very delicate floral note. Imagine the soft scent of a fresh and sweet lily, very subtle in fact. The tangerine notes are balanced out by soft and rich woods. I was pleasantly surprised by this fragrance’s longevity. I hardly had to reapply and I could still smell the permeation on my scarf for the next few days. Great choice for someone who wants to add to their perfume collection without spending a great deal. There is also a shower gel and body lotion so you can layer.

Dior J'adore Eau Lumiere $124
Dior J’adore Eau Lumiere $124 

The original Dior J’adore is a staple in my collection, I simply love it. I have never preferred any of the other variations that have been released, but this one is the exception. It smells nothing like the original; it is very light and perfect for daytime, yet just as long-lasting. I can spray it on right before I leave and will have no need to reapply pretty much all day. That is a very good thing since the bottle only comes in a 3.4 oz. size and would be a pain to carry around in my bag. (If I am carrying around a full size bag for the day, I will take the whole bottle of perfume with me. I rarely bother with roll-ons or travel sizes…..unless I am traveling or using a clutch.) The blood orange notes mingle with the rose essence. The result is a romantic and subtly sweet floral.

Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle $28-$155
Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle $28-$155 

Another beautiful fragrance from Aerin Lauder! Here we have mandarin and grapefruit notes mixed with honeysuckle, jasmine, and other florals, with a beachy essence. I love the smell of honeysuckles, but that is not what I got from this perfume; which is in no way a bad thing. Instead, I think the honeysuckle compliments all of the other notes in the perfume. It is the perfect -lazy day out on the boat with cocktails and a very large sun hat- kind of scent.

Giorgio Armani Sun di Gioia $24-$90
Giorgio Armani Sun di Gioia $24-$90 

This is a warm and watery fragrance with notes of coconut, mixed with frangipani, freesia, jasmine, and other florals. Think of that warm sand and salty water nuance you get mixed with that classic suntan lotion smell, minus that synthetic coconut aftertaste.

Giorgio Armani Air di Gioia $24-$90
Giorgio Armani Air di Gioia $24-$90 

This is similar to the Sun di Gioia, on the beachy note side, but with more citrus character and a hint of musk. You get hints of mandarin and orange blossom mixed with a zingy pink peppercorn, soft peony, and warm patchouli. The moss notes give it an earthy appeal and ties it all together, It is very fresh, and almost could be a unisex fragrance as it is certainly not as sweet-smelling as the Sun di Gioia.

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Summer $78
Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Summer $78 

Issey Miyake’s original fragrance is probably my favourite aquatic fragrance. I thought that this was going to be similar to that like the other versions that have come out before it, but I was wrong. It is a warm, sweet citrusy floral. Grapefruit, passionfruit, and guava mix with a warm base of vanilla and soft woods. If you are looking for a great Summer evening fragrance, this would be my pick. It is lovely and the dry down is even lovelier. I tend to gravitate towards anything vanilla based. This perfume is also a great value for the money, you get 3.3 oz so it will last you quite a while.

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil $82
Tom Ford Orchid Soleil $82 

I always tend to save the best for last! Take Tom Ford out of the mix for a moment (I am pretty partial when it comes to Tom Ford) and you will still have the most sensual of Summer fragrances. This is Black Orchid but lighter, with a bit more floral, vanilla and a creamy, nutty accord. Like a sugared praline. If only Starbucks would come up with a flavour that tasted like how this smells! This is a heavier fragrance that might be to heavy for someone who is looking for a fresher Summer scent, but for evening it is perfect! Orchid Soleil will also transition nicely into the Fall and Winter months so to me…..that justifies the splurge! Most definitely my go to for Summer!

THE NEW CLE DE PEAU ILLUMINATING SKIN TRIO

Over the years, I have tried many a luxury skin care product that boasts an enduring cult following. Everything from the modestly priced, overly priced and in between; some that have worked wonders for my skin and some that just did absolutely nothing to warrant the price tag. Crème de la Mer for example, is arguably one of the most desirable face creams on the market. For $170 a 1 oz. jar, it is hardly modestly priced, but it is also not overly priced when you compare it to other creams on the market, think Orlane Cream Royale for $650.

But is any of it really worth the price? Personally, I love Crème de la Mer; especially after a skin searing peel or microdermabrasion treatment. It just heals and soothes my facial skin.

It still goes without saying however, that if I am buying luxury; I want LUXURY. Luxury that works that is. Enter the new Illuminating Skin Trio from Clé de Peau.

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These are not exactly new products, as they have been around for some time, but they have been re-formulated along with getting a packaging face lift that is almost too beautiful. The bottle and jars are faceted with golden accents. Once they were empty, I don’t think I would throw them away.

La Creme $535-$795
La Creme $535-$795

La Crème is an intensive and rich face cream that is loaded with a plethora of beneficial ingredients. A concentrated retinol is blended with major anti-oxidants, silk and pearl extracts, and rich moisturizers. I am partial to anything that includes retinol in the formulation. Also present, is pine tree extract. Now, if you are unaware about what pine extracts can do for your skin, this information may enlighten you. Pine extracts are potent in proanthocyanidins, which are flavenoids. Some of you may already know that flavenoids are the longevity ingredients found in red wines. Pine extract in skin care’s main function is to repair collagen, and all of the studies that have been conducted on it show that so far it is doing a pretty darn good job. Touted as being more powerful than vitamins C and E, you get more potent antioxidant enzymes and UV radiation protection. This cream carries a price tag of $535 for a 1 oz. jar, but if this cream is truly the “fountain of youth” what is $535? It is cheaper than botox! It will treat your entire face and certainly doesn’t carry the risks associated with botox.

Intensive Eye Contour Cream $250
Intensive Eye Contour Cream $250

This eye cream is already an award winner and has gotten some stellar reviews for its ability to lighten dark spots and re-energize the delicate skin around the eyes. Most interesting is the exclusive wand that comes with the eye cream. The wand is designed for a targeted eye massage to increase circulation and improve skin tone. Skin care tools for accompanying use with skin care products are all the rage right now, and I have personally found them to be quite effective.

Le Serum $325
Le Serum $325

Boasting awards of its own, this serum contains Inositol, which is a very important B vitamin complex that maintains healthy skin cells. Add in key moisturizers, and you get a well-rounded formula that is perfect for daily and nightly use. I do like that this is a pump and not a dropper. Although with pumps a bit of product is always wasted, I know the active ingredients will stay fresher.

If it is complete and effective luxury skin care you are looking for, then these new products are about as good as it gets!

FACTS ABOUT LASER SKIN TIGHTENING

Are you considering having a laser skin tightening treatment done? Figuring out whether you’re a good candidate for a laser skin tightening procedure is easy, as long as you know what factors make a good candidate. To figure that out, you first have to understand the process itself.

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Laser Skin Tightening is a Non-Surgical Process

First of all, you should know that laser skin tightening is 100% knife free. That’s important because you don’t have to worry about things like anesthesia. A laser skin procedure only uses localized anesthetic to numb your skin. The laser will then project light and heat at your skin, which will help to stimulate your body into repairing its own skin cells.

The fact that it is a non-surgical process means that it’s also a fast process. You can be in and out of the clinic in as little as an hour in some cases. There is no preparation required. no recovery time, and an overnight stay at the clinic is not necessary. This procedure is even less invasive when compared to medical grade chemical peels and microdermabrasion. We live in a fortunate age where with all of these non-surgical advances in facial treatments, face lifts, botox, and other surgeries are becoming more and more unnecessary.

Laser Skin Tightening and Laser Skin Resurfacing Aren’t the Same

The next thing you should know is that laser skin resurfacing and laser skin tightening are different procedures. Although, similar types of laser skincare devices are used to perform both types of treatments. It’s entirely possible that you could be a good candidate for one and not the other.

Resurfacing is a process that removes the top layer of skin, which is mostly dead anyway. Tightening procedures penetrate down into deeper layers of skin without affecting the surface as much. That means that the results of skin tightening procedures might not be as clear right away as the results of resurfacing.

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Laser Treatment and Their Results Can be Ongoing

Another thing to be aware of is that laser treatment results can be ongoing. In other words, you will probably see a bit of difference right away, but that may not be the final result. Over the weeks following your appointment, your body should produce a lot more collagen and other healthy skin-fortifying substances. So, the general appearance of your skin can improve over time, even after or in between appointments.

Nevertheless, one treatment isn’t usually very helpful. Most skin tightening procedures need to be repeated several times as part of a series of treatments. You may even choose to schedule a second treatment series at some point after you are done with the first. Unfortunately, wrinkles don’t form only once. Therefore, they won’t disappear forever after one treatment. You have to stay on top of the problem, if you want your skin to continue looking healthy and youthful. A series of five or six laser treatments can cost as little as $500 or as much as $2,000, depending on the specific treatment and clinic.

Generally speaking, you’ll be a good candidate for laser skin treatment if you’re over 30 years old and under 60. However, your general health and other factors might make you a bad candidate. For instance, having oily skin can prevent you from undergoing laser treatments because the oils can be heated up too much by the lasers.

The only way to know for sure is to ask the experts at your local clinic. They can tell you the best treatment plan for you, which will probably involve lasers, but there are also other skin tightening options that you can try if lasers aren’t an option for you.

Overall, this is going to be a great option for anyone who wants some potent anti-aging and age reversal benefits without surgery or botox.

NEW FACE MASKS FROM BOBBI BROWN

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Who doesn’t love a good face mask? A truly well formulated one can do wonders for numerous issues you might be having with your skin. There seems to be 100+ mask options for every type of problem from dryness, to dullness, acne, redness, enlarged pores, excess oil, and everything in between. With so many choices available it is difficult to choose just one. There are too many great ones!

I must have tried over 100 different face masks in my lifetime so far. What I have found over the years, is that I have always gravitated towards face formulated for dryness, exfoliation, and detoxing. Which is why Bobbi Brown’s new trio of face masks is so ideal,  they address all 3 of those issues.

Skin Nourish Coral Grass and Green Algae Moisture Mask $47
Skin Nourish Coral Grass and Green Algae Moisture Mask $47 

This mask is my most absolute favourite out of the three, and I will never be without it! It is so deeply mositurizing and soothing, yet it is pretty lightweight. Your skin just drinks up the nourishing natural oils, butters, plant extracts, and proteins.

Everyone should know by now that algae is extremely good for your skin, and green algae is one of the main ingredients. Aside from the algae, coral grass is the star component to the mask. Coral grass, also known as eucheuma cotonii or “sea bird’s nest” is a type of seaweed that is extremely rich in enzyme nutrients, calcium, iron, and proteins. When applied topically, coral grass will help to generate collagen production and protect it, as well as lock in vital moisture. This would be perfect to use after any in office microdermabrasion treatments or chemical peels.

There are also numerous health benefits to eating coral grass as well, and it is being touted as the next “big health food”. Don’t be surprised if coral grass starts popping up in all kinds of new skin care products.

After using this mask my skin was plumped, more even toned, and perfectly moisturized. The directions say to rinse it off after a few minutes but, I leave it on all night for a twice a week, overnight deep treatment. You do it for your hair after all, why not for your face? I truly cannot say enough about this one.

Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water and White Clay Mask $47
Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water and White Clay Mask $47

Clays in skin care are all synonymous for detoxing. Unfortunately, I have found that most of them are also synonymous for overly drying my skin out in the process of detoxing. That is why I love this one, it did not dry out my skin at all! I was just left with soft and clean skin.

Some detoxifying masks also tend to burn, and with this one all I felt was a slight refreshing tingle.

As for my pores, I noticed a difference, but nothing to write home about. There has yet to be a mask invented that will completely eradicate your pores for all time.

The white clay intrigued me, as I have never used a mask that contained it, and I find that the white clay is easier to work with when rinsing off. Black clay masks have become very popular as of late, but they can sometimes be a pain to remove; the black residue seems to linger.

This is a perfect option for someone who wants to detox but also has sensitive skin.

Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain and Orange Oil Exfoliating Mask $47
Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain and Orange Oil Exfoliating Mask $47 

I was a bit skeptical and cautious when I first tried this one. I was thinking “okay walnut grains…..I hope not like the go to apricot scrub of my early teens”. Obviously that was before I knew better. I was so pleasantly surprised by this one however, the grains really are superfine. My skin was retexturized and very smooth.

The addition of Vitamin C rich orange oil gives an antioxidant boost and extra exfoliation. For such an intense formula, I was surprised that my skin wasn’t slightly irritated. I would however, caution those who have a sunburn to not use this mask until after the burns have healed. I can imagine it would sting!

This trio has the makings of being the only mask collection you will ever need!

TOM FORD SOLEIL COLLECTION

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I got a chance to take a look at the new Tom Ford 2016 Soleil collection and it is gorgeous! I am not into overly bright candy colours for the Summer, so this collection is ideal. 

I am loving the sleek white accents in the packaging. It brings to mind all of the white marble and gold accents that Lidia Bersani uses in her interior designs.

Moisturecore Lip Colour $55
Moisturecore Lip Colour $55

This lip colour is MOISTURIZING! There is a passion fruit oil core in every tube, and the surrounding formula is an interfuse of nourishing extracts and butters. This formula is a bit more lightweight than its fuller coverage counterpart. The shades are somewhat darker than one might expect for the Summer, but bright pinks and pastels have been done time and again, time to change-up the game!

Ultra-Rich Lip Colour $52
Ultra-Rich Lip Colour $52

This is the full coverage option. The pigment is so saturating, so prepare for a bold statement lip. This is a moisturizing formula as well, but wears on the lips longer than the Moisturecore.

Sheer Cheek Duo-Bicoastal $78
Sheer Cheek Duo-Bicoastal $78

This is a universally flattering and bold rose shade, with a light pink highlighter. The coverage is buildable, which makes it great for all skin tones.

Radiant Moisture Souffle $98
Radiant Moisture Souffle $98

This gold pearl infused, whipped meringue of a cream, does for your face what Touche Éclat does for your eyes. It reawakens, re-energizes, and gives a look of vitality. Lightweight and perfect for warmer temps, this soufflé moisturizes and protects while giving you that sexy Summer glow.

CReam and Powder Eye Colour $60
Cream and Powder Eye Colour $60

These pots are filled with a luminous cream shadow on the bottom, and a coordinating shimmery powder shadow on the top. Both options are long wearing and can be worn alone, layered or blended for multiple eye looks.

Skin Illuminator-Fire Lust $72
Skin Illuminator-Fire Lust $72

This peachy-pink, lightweight lotion gives skin a natural sunny kiss. It will work for just about every skin tone and can be used under or over makeup. It is not a primer specifically, but I think it would work well as one if you are wearing a lightweight foundation over it.

Large Bronzing Powder $98
Large Bronzing Powder $98

These bronzing powders are gorgeous! They are so versatile and can be used as a contour product as well. It comes in 3 different shades so there will be one that will compliment your skin tone. It gives a subtle shimmer, and the formula is very long-lasting.

Cream Cheek Colour $68
Cream Cheek Colour $68

This creamy cheek colour comes in two universal sun-kissed shades, a bronzy peach and a gold toned pink. I was surprised at how blendable these are. I usually run into a blending problem with cream cheek colours.

Skin Contouring Compact-The Afternooner $108
Skin Contouring Compact-The Afternooner $108

In my opinion this will be the only all in one compact you will ever need. You get your contour, blush, and highlighter in one. The contour and the blush are a nice stay true formula, but depending on how dark you want or need it to be, you can build the colour. The highlighter is not too shimmery, just right, and can be used for a multitude purposes. These shades are ideal year round, which I love.

Bronzing Primer-Resort to Pleasure $74
Bronzing Primer-Resort to Pleasure $74

While this product is specifically a primer, I feel like if you can use it in place of a foundation. It is silky and just gives a nice even toned glow to the skin. It is not too dark and would work for all skin tones.

Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum $220-$550
Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum $220-$550

This fragrance sums up what the entire collection is meant to exude. It smells of sensuality and refined luxury. This is not your typical Summer, beachy fragrance. No nuances of suntan lotion to be found, and thank goodness for that because there are one too many. It is warm, slightly sweet, and exotic. Think of a warm, sweet breeze blowing in from the Mediterranean, that is how I can best describe it. Most Tom Ford fragrances tend to be unisex, but I think Soleil Blanc is decidedly feminine. For such a warm and lush fragrance you would think it would be heavy or too cloying for the Summer, but it isn’t at all. Aside from my Black Orchid, Soleil Blanc is my other Favourite Tom Ford fragrance!

Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil $98
Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil $98

If you want the best of multiple worlds than this body oil is for you! The problem is that it doesn’t come in a big enough bottle. This silky oil moisturizes, delicately fragrances, and gives your skin a sensual glow. An added bonus is that if you use this under the Soleil Blanc EDP, your fragrance will last much longer.

This Soleil collection is by far my absolute favourite for Summer!

ALPESSENCE CAVIAR SERUM

When you think of luxury skincare, what are some of the first products that come to mind? What deems it to be luxurious? In my mind, such a skincare product is one that outperforms all others in terms of the formulation, quality of ingredients, and effectiveness. I have relentlessly tried and tested so much of what the industry calls “luxury” skincare, only to be disappointed by some of it.

I recently had the fortunate opportunity to receive a bottle of Alpessence Caviar Serum, and after testing it out for almost 2 weeks, I am beyond thrilled with this product.

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Alpessence is a luxury skincare line based in Switzerland, and all of their ingredients used are sourced there as well. They do not test their products on animals, which is always a huge plus in my book. I WILL NOT buy products that are tested on animals.

The Caviar Serum is Alpessence’s best-selling and most awarded product. All of Alpessence’s products are formulated to absorb efficiently and quickly, without losing the effectiveness of the serum. It truly does take about 30 seconds to absorb completely, and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and velvety. Layering this with your other skincare products is a breeze!

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Before using or purchasing any skin or body care products, I always read the ingredient list. I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to understand exactly what you are putting on your face, hair and body.

The star ingredient of this serum is of course caviar. Caviar has been showing up in a ton of new products lately and the reasons are obvious. Caviar extracts contain proteins and amino and omega fatty acids, which everyone should know by now is completely beneficial to the skin. All else aside, does caviar not scream luxury?

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Rounding out this formula is copper, zinc gluconate, honey, hydrolyzed hyalauronic acid, rose stem cells, tamarind seed, lactic acid, humecants, vitamins, and other plant extracts. These ingredients provide a well-rounded formula that will produce collagen and elastin, protect existing cells, moisturize, heal, improve texture and tone, and diminish wrinkles.

I tried this serum alone for 5 days, and then used it in conjunction with my other skincare. I was pleasently surprised to find that this serum did help the absorption of my other products.

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The silky formula spreads nice and evenly over your face. A little will definitely go a long way, so only one pump is needed. I also love the fact that the packaging is a pump so that way you are not constantly opening a bottle and exposing the active ingredients to air.

After using this I have found that my skin is much more even toned and smooth. My skin has a wonderful glow to it after I put this on. I have had no adverse reactions and my skin can be quite sensitive. The true test of how my skin will react to a new product, is what happens when I use it after I have done some thorough exfoliating. Fresh skin is the best canvas to test products on.

I was truly impressed with this serum and will be adding it to my regular routine!

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post. I received this product for the purposes of honest review on my website.

POP THE CLUTCH

I once came across an article about a 700 year old handbag, which is believed to be the oldest bag in history. It is supposed that the bag originated from Northern Iraq and was crafted around the 1300’s.

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This masterfully detailed piece made of brass, silver, and gold was put on display at the Courtauld Gallery in London two years ago. Call me crazy, but this work of art uncannily resembles a clutch.

The skilled craftsmen of the 1300’s got it right then, and Ralph Lauren is getting it right now in our modern age with the creation of his latest accessory, The RL Clutch.

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This is probably one of the most sleek and sophisticated clutches since the Hermès Jige and Yves Saint Laurent Monogramme. It is beautiful, classy, and timeless with clean lines and one simplistic detail, the gold-tone logo; which I say is in no way overdone or gaudy.

This is a generous sized clutch with dimensions at 10″l, 5″ h, and 1 1/2″ d, perfect for necessities. Quite fortunately, this happens to come in only one size. I love having options as much as the next person, but when it comes to all of the different sizes available in the exact same bag, it really does make it hard to choose. It took me months to decide on the size of the Marc Jacobs Baroque bag, eventually I went with the XL, and the colour I wanted was almost sold out due to my indecision. Incidentally, I just had a talk with my sister yesterday about more being lost by indecision, than wrong decision, she was mulling over a shoe purchase!

There is only one slip pocket to speak of inside the clutch, but the fact that all of these clutches come with an engraved Ralph Lauren compact mirror and matching shoulder straps, far outweigh any negatives one might find with the lack of organization.

After mentioning the ease of only one size to choose from in this bag, there is another problem; there are so many colours and textures to choose from!

The RL Clutch in Navy Lambskin
The RL Clutch in Navy Lambskin
The Rl Clutch in Red Lambskin
The Rl Clutch in Red Lambskin
The RL Clutch in Black Nappa Leather
The RL Clutch in Black Nappa Leather
The RL Clutch in Multi Nappa Leather
The RL Clutch in Multi Nappa Leather
The RL Clutch in Cream Nappa Leather
The RL Clutch in Cream Nappa Leather
The RL Clutch in Berry Suede
The RL Clutch in Berry Suede
The RL Clutch in Denim
The RL Clutch in Denim
The RL Clutch in White Python
The RL Clutch in White Python
The RL Clutch in Black Python
The RL Clutch in Black Python

If I was to choose a favourite I would have to go with the Black Python, I am overly fond of sleek snakeskin textures There will be so many more colours and textures to come I am sure. I am going to go ahead and peg this as an “It Bag”.

My final word on the subject is…….this clutch is perfection!

BEST DRY SHAMPOO $20 AND UNDER

I have a confession to make, one that my hair stylist has chided me about for a while now……I used to wash my hair everyday. Yes I know, so bad. I just cannot stand the way my hair feels when it is not washed. I started the process of washing every other day and am now trying to wash every two days.

I have been on a continuous hunt for the perfect dry shampoo. I feel like I go through quite a bit of it so finding one that is decently priced is a priority. Some dry shampoos are priced on up to $40, and I have found that most moderately priced ones work just as good as the most expensive ones.

These featured dry shampoos are about the best options I have found so far.

Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo $5.99
Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo $5.99

This one is without is the most decently priced, and it works extremely well. I buy this one for my daughter on a regular basis and she loves it. it smells fresh and gets rid of oil. I find that this one doesn’t leave a ton of residue either. This actually doubles as a volumizer as well. Just spray some onto sections of your roots and tease lightly.

Milk Makeup Natural Dry Shampoo $14
Milk Makeup Natural Dry Shampoo $14

I was able to get a sample of this one, and I loved it! I love that the smell is fresh but just fades away, it works without using heavy fragrances to mask odors. You do not get a ton of product, but you only need a few sprays.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle $20
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle $20

I am OBSESSED with Klorane dry shampoos. They are amazing. I have used the oat milk version in the past and recently tried this one. I have to say it is about my favourite. It soaks up so much oil! I wouldn’t put it past this to even clean up your hair very nicely after a workout. Fresh smelling, hardly any residue, and the price isn’t too shabby either. Pretty much everything you would want in a dry shampoo.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo $6.19
Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo $6.19

This is another great one to try if you want something really affordable. You get so much product for the money as well. I constantly see good reviews for this one.

Redken Pillow Proof Dry Shampoo $20
Redken Pillow Proof Dry Shampoo $20

One of my girlfriends ,who is a hairstylist, turned me on to this one recently. I really do like it. It is uber refreshing! It has a minty aroma and sort of tingles when you apply. It hardly leaves a trace of residue. I sometimes use this in conjunction with some of the other dry shampoos I have just for the minty freshness! Ulta also has their Redken products buy 2 get 1 free, so it is the perfect time to stock up.

Klorane Oat Milk Dry Shampoo $20
Klorane Oat Milk Dry Shampoo $20

Constantly hailed as one of the best, this Allure Beauty Winner is definitely one of my top picks. It gets some of the best reviews I have seen. I love that it is gentle and will not dry out my scalp. It just leaves my hair soft, silky, and fresh. The scent is soothing and in no way overpowering. A little of this goes quite a long way so you will get your money’s worth.

Do you have a favourite dry shampoo not on this list?

THE VELVET GOLDMINE

I cannot think of a more sumptuous cold weather fabric than velvet. It can however, be somewhat of a challenge to wear. Velvet clothing certainly has a tendency to exude a dated look, but this year designers are doing it well and proper with  jackets, tailored dresses and pants, and elegant accessories. This season, velvet has never been so chic!

Rachel Pally Velvet Nori Skirt and Laila Top $81.60-$120.60
Rachel Pally Velvet Nori Skirt and Laila Top $81.60-$120.60

We might as well start out with this gorgeous plum top and skirt from Rachel Pally. I love that most velvet pieces I am seeing are jewel tones and rich colours.

GIgi Burris Hyacinth Velvet Headband $385
GIgi Burris Hyacinth Velvet Headband $385

Headbands are starting to become popular again. I am not sure what you would wear this with, but it is certainly unique.

Badgley Mischka Velvet Ruched Gown $556
Badgley Mischka Velvet Ruched Gown $556

Imagine wearing this to a formal Christmas party. This is one of the most gorgeous dresses I have ever seen. I love understated elegance!

Gianvito Rossi Velvet High-Heel Pump $950
Gianvito Rossi Velvet High-Heel Pump $950

Black velvet shoes are usually the standard, but this year there are so many different shades from neutrals to jewel tones, to metallic shades.

Nanette Lepore Long Sleeve Velvet Paisley Dress $358.40
Nanette Lepore Long Sleeve Velvet Paisley Dress $358.40

This is such a gorgeous myriad of colours!

Tory Burch Hallandale Flat $295
Tory Burch Hallandale Flat $295

Classic black velvet flats.

Altuzarra Paneled Velvet Devore Peplum Dress $2,306
Altuzarra
Paneled Velvet Devore Peplum Dress $2,306

I actually thought this was two separate pieces at first, but it is a lovely tailored dress. Just enough ruffle detail.

Eileen Fisher Washable Velvet Wrap Scarf $198
Eileen Fisher Washable Velvet Wrap Scarf $198

Very good quality velvet most of the time requires dry cleaning, but Eileen Fisher has come up with this washable velvet fabrics; which makes it so much easier to wear the pieces throughout the season.

Eileen Fisher Stretch Velvet Ankle Leggings $138
Eileen Fisher Stretch Velvet Ankle Leggings $138

Velvet leggings are everywhere! I am loving these by Eileen Fisher the most, however. Her pieces last forever.

TOM FORD TF Velvet Ankle Bootie $819
Tom Ford TF Velvet Ankle Bootie $819

Always add Tom Ford into the mix! These booties are gorgeous and simple.

Burberry London Peak Lapel Velvet Evening Jacket $1,595
Burberry London Peak Lapel Velvet Evening Jacket $1,595

It takes a certain type of man to pull off a velvet jacket. I say Tom Ford and Sherlock Holmes are some of the very few men who can, but why not be bold?

Free People Dreams Lace Trim Tunic Dress $168

This is so feminine, simple, and elegant!

For Love & Lemons Heather Minidress $216

This sheer piece can easily be worn during all seasons in my opinion, it is just too beautiful to only wear during Winter.

Free People Slouchy Velvet Blazer $168
Free People Slouchy Velvet Blazer $168

Keeping up with the slouchy jackets of this past season, this velvet jacket is a versatile piece.

Marc By Marc Jacobs Semona Velvet Biker Bomber Jacket $263

If you are a bomber jacket kind of gal, this is one of the better tailored ones I have seen.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Domo Biker Velvet Backpack $498
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Domo Biker Velvet Backpack $498

Three of this years trends come together, zippered detailing, velvet, backpack!

Charlotte Olympia Velvet Bouquet Clutch Bag $580
Charlotte Olympia Velvet Bouquet Clutch Bag $580

This would be an evening bag that you could use year round. I love Charlotte Olympia!

Jonquil Moonlight Velvet Long Wrap Robe $140
Jonquil Moonlight Velvet Long Wrap Robe $140

I love cozy robes! This is going on my Christmas list! So sumptuous.

Kate Spade Scarlett Slippers $78
Kate Spade Scarlett Slippers $78

If you are going to get a velvet robe, you might as well get slippers too!

Manolo Blahnik Gorina Velvet Polka-Dot Pump $825
Manolo Blahnik Gorina Velvet Polka-Dot Pump $825

These pumps would look lovely with any of this seasons black velvet dresses. Carrie Bradshaw approved!

If reading all of this has not convinces you to love velvet, I do not know what will! Have you picked up any velvet additions to your wardrobe?

IT BAG ALERT, THE SADDLE BAG

The saddle bags of the past were originally designed for military dispatch riders. They have that unmistakable crescent shape, which is actually quite feminine in my opinion. Along with today’s messenger bags, the newest saddle bags are a perfect example of a designer mixing form, function, tradition, and ingenuity

The cross-body bag has reigned supreme for the past few years, but they might need to move over a spot or two to make room for their lovely sisters!

Chloe Drew Small Shoulder Bag $1,950
Chloe Drew Small Shoulder Bag $1,950

The Chloe Drew bag has surpassed all other saddle bag designs in my mind. There are two different sizes, and neither are too small. This small version is quite literally the perfect size for a small bag. There are so many different variations and colours. Chloe nailed it!

Chloe Drew Small Shoulder Bag $1,850
Chloe Drew Small Shoulder Bag $1,850

The Drew in a lovely wine shade for Fall/Winter.

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Chloe Drew Nano Floral Leather Saddle Bag $1,950 

Metal embellishments make this Drew a statement piece that is trendy, yet will stay a classic.

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Chloe Drew Small Python Shoulder Bag $3,990 

Multi coloured python print is right on league with the past seasons lingering boho prints.

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Chloe Marcie Mini Saddle Bag $750 

A little more minimalist than the Drew, this grey Marcie is a great everyday neutral.

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Salvatore Ferragamo Rosette Small Saddle Crossbody Bag $1,290 

Overlapping pieces of leather on the flap give this one a modern and classy look.

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Michael Kors Bedford Leather Crossbody $106 

This is such a great deal right now, I believe this colour is from the Spring collection.

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Loeffler Randall Saddle Bag $395 

Classic black with the trendy new black hardware.

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Henry Beguelin Molly Small Croc Stamped Messenger Bag $1,250 

Vintage croc.

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Rebecca Minkoff Astor Laser Cut Leather Saddle Bag $295 

I have been seeing a ton of laser cuts in bags lately. Tory Burch did some lovely ones this past Spring and Summer. The laser cutting does tend to have a warmer weather vibe to it, but this bag proves the trend can go either way.

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Tom Ford Jennifer Medium Leather Saddle Bag $1,990 

Tom Ford, need more words be spoken?

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Tory Burch Embroidered Medium Saddle Bag $795 

There is certainly still a western vibe to some of the latest Fall and Winter collections. Tons of suede, fringe, and crops of riding boots. This Tory bag would go nicely with suede.

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Tory Burch Frances Leather Saddle Bag $450 

This is a slightly pebbled leather, and I love Tory’s pebbled leathers. They are soft and well made. The tassel gives this one just enough flair!

Have you jumped in the saddle bag yet?

 

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: HERBIVORE SKINCARE

If you are anything like me, then you cannot resist trying most of the latest products that hit the shelves. I say “most of” because for the past six years or so, I have become very particular about what I put on my face, hair, and body etc. I will not buy something just because it is the latest obsession according to beauty gurus everywhere. The product had better work and the ingredient list must be stellar. After all, some of those products are very pricey, and some not worth the hefty price tag.

Browsing through Sephora, I came across Hebivore’s line of skincare. This brand does not do animal testing, which is also a requirement of the products I buy. Their ingredients are natural with no artificial colours, fragrances, or preservatives. Pretty ideal!

Herbivore Lapis Oil Balancing Facial Oil $72
Herbivore Lapis Oil Balancing Facial Oil $72

This is supposed to be ideal for those who have combination skin. This oil is formulated with Blue Tansy! If you love Sunday Riley Luna Oil, which I have been a faithful user for the past 9 months, then you know all about Blue Tansy and its calming and anti-aging benefits.

Herbivore Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil $88
Herbivore Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil $88

Rosehip seed oil is so good for your skin, and is the main oil in this product. This does contain jojoba oil, which is technically a wax, so it is going to be a heavier oil. Those with skin that tends to breakout may want to skip this one. It would be great for Winter though.

Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil $64
Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil $64

Orchid extracts are becoming very popular in skincare lately. I have yet to try an Orchid based product, but the ones I have seen have gotten some pretty good reviews.

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner $22
Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner $22  

This is one of those dreamy edible lip butters. Anything coconut oil is always luscious!

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish $18
Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish $18

Of course you need the lip polish to go with the lip balm. It will be hard for me to cheat on my Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, but I might have to just this once.

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish $38
Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish $38

They had to make one for your entire body! I could see becoming quickly addicted to this stuff. The grains have a finer texture than most scrubs, which means it works better.

Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Facial Mist $32
Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Facial Mist $32

Coconut water is so beneficial for your body with its naturally occurring electrolytes, so it is going to do the same thing for your skin. The additional rose extracts give you some anti-oxidant power.

Herbivore Pink Clay Gentle Cleanse Clay Soap Bar $12
Herbivore Pink Clay Gentle Cleanse Clay Soap Bar $12

This is the only cleanser in their skincare lineup, but it will be a good one for all skin types. Not too drying, with gentle moisturizers.

Herbivore Pink Clay Hyalauronic Acid Mega Moisture Cream Mask $38
Herbivore Pink Clay Hyaluronic Acid Mega Moisture Cream Mask $48

This moisture mask is the real deal. Some great plant oils and plenty of hyaluronic acid. I would honestly use it as a sleeping facial instead of just a mask.

Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask $48 

This mask is going to provide some pretty potent chemical exfoliation, but with a more gentle delivery thanks to the soothing Blue Tansy.

Herbivore Brighten Pineapple Enzyme Gemstone Instant Glow Mask $48
Herbivore Brighten Pineapple Enzyme Gemstone Instant Glow Mask $48

I love a good fruit enzyme based mask. They really do brighten with the natural fruit acids, and their exfoliating properties are surprisingly effective. I love the Peter Thomas Roth Firm-X, and this mask would be along the same lines as that.

Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydration Body Oil $44
Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydration Body Oil $44

The brand has put out two body oils and I am so excited to try them! My product closet mostly consists of all things oil these days. Jasmine oil is so soothing! There are also a ton of other moisturizing oils in here to make you glowing soft skin.

Herbivore Citrine Ultra Hydration Neroli Body Oil $44
Herbivore Citrine Ultra Hydration Neroli Body Oil $44

Have you ever smelled anything with Neroli oil? It smells heavenly. This body oil is ultra moisturizing. This is going to be a Winter skin saver for me I can already tell.

That wraps it up for the latest from Herbivore! Have you tried this line yet, and if so what did you think?

BEST COOL, COLD, AND COLDER WEATHER PARKAS

It is officially cold where I live! We had an unusually long Summer this year, so I put off looking into Winter coats. Well, this week things got real; it is windy, raining, and the cold is here to stay!

Wool coats are elegant, I love them, and my closet is in no short supply of them, but most of them are not really practical sometimes for being in the chilly outdoors. So I went on a Winter coat hunt and found some great options for all kinds of cold weather. If you are going to spend $200+ on a coat that is not a ski coat, I think parkas make the most sense. The longer length gives you that extra warmth and you can actually dress most of them up, especially the ones that I found.

The North Face Thermoball Hooded Parka $230
The North Face Thermoball Hooded Parka $230

This is a great lightweight packable option. It is filled with Pimaloft which is The North Face’s synthetic alternative to down. The fit is very feminine and flattering, but if you have wider hips you may want to go up a size. I noticed that the bottom runs a little slimmer than most parkas. You can cinch the waist, which is a great feature to give you some extra shape. On the warmth scale I would say that this one would be best for cool and mildly cold temperatures. Great grab and go jacket!

The North Face Ruka Parka $180
The North Face Ruka Parka $180

This is another Pimaloft insulated jacket. I love the tailored quilting. It really looks so feminine. The warmth scale would be the same of the Thermoball. The only complaint I have about this jacket is that it runs small, especially in the chest area. I usually wear a small in The North Face, but had to go up to a medium.

Patagonia Kai Lee Parka $199
Patagonia Kai Lee Parka $199

I absolutely love this parka! It is so lightweight, yet so warm. Definitely warmer than the North Face options in my opinion. The fill is going to be similar to the Pimaloft. The fit is so flattering. It hits me right at mid-thigh and I am 5′ 5″. Love the two-way zipper! This is definitely one that you can dress up.

Patagonia Fiona Parka $299
Patagonia Fiona Parka $299

Now we are venturing into down filled territory! First let me say, I am very particular about buying down filled products. I will only buy down products that feature guaranteed responsible down. Which is why I always turn to Patagonia for my down filled coats. They use 100% traceable down, which means the down is only sourced from geese that are not live plucked, or force-fed. There is a great article on Patagonia’s website about the process they undergo to make sure the animals are not being abused. The North Face is apparently jumping on the traceable down bandwagon for their products as well, but Patagonia has been doing it since 2014. With all of that being said, this parka is so incredibly warm! I cannot say enough about the amazing fit. You can dress this one up for sure. The quilting is so flattering. This is probably the only coat you will need for colder temperatures.

Patagonia Downtown Parka $379
Patagonia Downtown Parka $379

This coat is the warmest of the warm! I was roasting after just a few minutes of trying it on. It is a bit puffier than the other Patagonias, but still has a nice feminine shape for an extremely cold weather coat. This one hits me a little below the knee. If you have a trip planned for Alaska anytime soon, this will be ideal!

I ended up going home with the Kai Lee and Fiona parkas. I think I covered now for all types of cold!

YOU MIGHT BE A PUMPKIN ADDICT IF…………

As soon as the leaves start turning, one of the first things that always come to mind is pumpkin…….everything. Are you one of the 87.6% that become overly obsessed with pumpkin everything before, during, and possibly after the holiday seasons? If you are then you will want to further your decent into pumpkin madness with my favourite must have products.

Philosophy Pumpkin Icing Shower Gel $18
Philosophy Pumpkin Icing Shower Gel $18 

This is hands down my favourite pumpkin scented shower gel. Philosophy shower gels are just amazing, they all smell so wonderful. This is a sugary sweet, slightly spicy pumpkin scent. My entire bathroom smells like pumpkin pie after I am done taking a shower. The scent does not linger very long on your skin, but that is to be expected with a product that you are “washing off”. Just the scent experience itself while using it is enough to keep it in your body wash arsenal.

Arcona Pumpkin Body Lotion 10% $35
Arcona Pumpkin Body Lotion 10% $35

This is a very potent lotion. It contains 10% glycolic acid, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to approach this product with caution. The results I get with it however, are phenomenal. It does tingle a bit sometimes, but is by no means uncomfortable. The tingle tells you it is working, sloughing off all of those dead skin cells. If you do spray tanning or go to the tanning bed, you will not want to use it either as it will breakdown your tan faster. The scent is heavenly, unadulterated, pumpkin bliss though. If you can stand some mild exfoliation, this will keep your skin baby soft.

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Pie # Wick Candle $22
Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Pie 3 Wick Candle $22

If you love for your house to smell like you have been baking pumpkin pies all day everyday, then you are going to want to stock up on this candle. I am embarrassed to say how many of these are in my candle cabinet (yes I have a cabinet for my candles). I burn one downstairs and one upstairs, and my entire house smells like a pumpkin bakery. I can even smell it in the garage before I walk in. Love it!

Nest Fragrances Pumpkin Chai Liquid Hand Soap $22
Nest Fragrances Pumpkin Chai Liquid Hand Soap $22

This is one of the few hand soaps I ever buy. I particularly like the Nest hand soaps because they do not dry out my skin when I wash my hands. This stuff literally smells like they took the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, and bottled it into a liquid soap form.

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask $58
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask $58

This mask does double time at exfoliating those dead skin cells off of your face. It is an all around miracle worker. The AHA and pumpkin enzymes break down dead cells, the vitamin C brightens, and the aluminum oxide crystals slough it all away. Use this cautiously if you have sensitive skin. I do get better results with this if I let the thin layer sit on my skin for a few minutes, then massage the crystals in. And yes, it also smells like pumpkins! I keep this in stock, as it is one of my favourite masks.

What is your favorite pumpkin product so far this year?