Has there ever been a lip balm in existence worth the gargantuan price tag of $42? The answer is most certainly yes, if we are talking about Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil.
I had passed this product by so many times at Sephora, thinking it would end up being a waste of money. My curiosity always gets the better of me eventually.
Now, at least half of the price tag for this stuff is owing to the fact that it features a 24 karat gold-plated applicator tip. While that is not a necessary attribute to this lip oil being spectacular, it is the thick, opaque, golden liquid contained inside that makes it worth it. With cooler weather fast approaching, I can already feel my skin and lips needing a head start in Winter maintenance. Oh delicate lip skin, why couldn’t you just have been designed with oil glands?
This stuff is so incredibly moisturizing. There are 28 different essential oils in this formula. The oils provide a slew of benefits ranging from anti-oxidant protection, to intense hydration, as well as anti-aging benefits. I am also loving the fact that one of the most powerful moisturizers in the formula is the sunflower derived plant emollient Viamerine. I have never been a particular fan of slathering anything petroleum-based on any part of my body.
The good thing, is that a little really does go a long way. I do not see myself running out of this any time soon. It stays on all night, and if I apply during the day with no other lip product, I get some decent wear with it as well. The only negatives are that the applicator can be a bit tricky. You depress the button behind the applicator tip to dispense. The other thing I have found with this is that if you are a fan of Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick (I am an habitual Intime user), I recommend that you use the lip oil it a little more sparingly as the lipstick tends to not stay on as well with it underneath. These factors will not deter me from keeping this in stock! My lips are so soft!
If you are looking for a new Winter save all for your lips, this might just do it for you!
I have a love/hate relationship with dry shampoo. Most I have tried end up leaving a sticky residue on my hair that weighs it down, then I just want to wash my hair. Some of them just smell too strong for my preference, I do not want my hair to overpower my perfume.
This dry shampoo contains some oil absorbing starches, plus Macadamia and Argan oil for moisturizing. Some dry shampoos will dry your hair out too much, so the addition of these oils will most likely eliminate that problem, I have tried Macadamia Professional products in the past, and their Nourishing Moisture hair mask is one of my favourites. Their products always smell amazing and not too strong, so that is a plus.
Morrocanoil has come up with an interesting new take on dry shampoo, with two new formulas especially designed for different hair tones; one for light and one for dark. Of course with all of their products, Argan oil is going to be the key moisturizing ingredient in this. I think we can all agree that part of the appeal of Morrocanoil products is their signature scent. If this product smells like the rest of them, I am sold!
I love products that contain any kind of oat extract, oil, or milk. It is so soothing and good for skin and scalp. I have not tried any Klorane products yet, but this has gotten some amazing reviews already. I love that this also comes in a 1 oz. travel size, so perfect to stash in my carry on!
Messenger bags continue to prove that they are so much more chic than the utilitarian, purely functional accessories they used to be. The messenger was not something I particularly thought of as elegant, until the Proenza Schouler PS1. That was the game changer, and since the PS1 I have remained conscious of any new updated messenger styles.
Leave it to Tory Burch to design exactly what I have been looking for!
The 797! It is part messenger bag, part briefcase, part satchel, and mostly gorgeous!
Have I ever said how much I love Tory Burch’s discreet logos?
The 797 is quite structured for having a pebbled leather exterior. It is just large enough to carry essentials and more, yet it is small enough to give it that compact messenger feel when the shoulder strap is utilized.
It really is quite roomy. I do not see why a tablet wouldn’t fit in here. Of course there are other pockets inside for additional organization.
The satchel is certainly my pick, but for those who want something a bit smaller, Tory has thought of that too. The mini and the tiny are also available.
This palette is everything you need for brows, face, and eyes. It boasts 9 eyeshadows, 3 face powders for contouring, bronzing, and highlighting; a lighter highlighter, 2 brow powders, a brow wax, a double ended shadow and brow brush, and “Get the Look” cards with instructions. All housed in a sleek black case.
The long-awaited Smoky palette! I got to take an exclusive peek at it a while back and this is by far my favourite besides the Naked 2. I usually do a smoky eye everyday varying in intensity for daytime and evening. With 12 shades of neutral smoky colours there will be so many options for everyone when creating smoky eye looks. I love that they included some very light shades that can be used as a highlighter. As always with Urban Decay shadows, they are buttery, pigmented, apply beautifully, and blend seamlessly. This one is a must have!
This is a very neutral option as well. It comes with 8 eyeshadows, a highlighter, and a blush. This would be the perfect compact palette to just grab and go. This is a great option if you are traveling, you would have all of your essential shades in one sleek compact.
This will be Jason Wu’s last collection for Lancôme. The palette design, most notably the clasp, was inspired by his handbags from this year’s Fall collection; which was showcased during New York Fashion Week. There are 12 shadows, a blush, and a bronzer in this limited edition colour palette. There is a nice mix of brights as well as the staple neutrals.
There are two palettes in this new collection from Sephora. They were designed to work optimally with the kind of lighting you are in. This Sunbleached palette is ideal for bright sunny lighting as the name suggests, and contains 10 shadows. In essence, this would be your daytime look.
This is the other palette in the new Sephora collection. This one aptly named Overcast, will be perfect for your smoky evening looks. This one also comes with 10 shadows. The artwork on the front of these cases are too chic!
All that remains is deciding which one to get. A task easier said than done I am certain!
Fragrance layering is an art form. Essentially, you can layer any fragrance just so long as the notes in one compliments the notes in the other. Most fragrances tend to be very complex in their makeup however, therefore it is best to experiment with those that have more singular notes.
Fortunately, there are fragrances that are actually designed for layering and take the guesswork out of an otherwise daunting endeavour. Following in the path of brands such as TokyoMilk, The Blend, and Jo Malone, Philosophy has just launched their own line of layering fragrances, aptly named My Philosophy.
The new collection consists of six different scents to layer or wear alone, and they have just launched exclusively at Philosophy and Sephora. The bottles are very similar to the bottles of their other fragrances, elegant and simplistic. Each bottle is 1 oz. and retails for $40. There is also a fragrance coffret that contains all six that is $85. These are Eau de Parfums, so you are actually getting a better quality fragrance.
Powdery Heliotrope Petals, Anjou Pear, and Cashmere Accord are the notes in this one. This would be a great first or second layer, and I wager that it would go nicely with the more woody base of the Empowered scent.
With this set you will get a 0.33 oz. of each fragrance. This is honestly the best way to go, if you want to try them all. You can pair them, layer them, or just wear them alone. So many options! I do not think I have ever been this excited about the prospect of layering my fragrances. I have to say that I rather appreciate the fact that there are only six scents to choose from, it makes it less overwhelming in a world of seemingly endless options!
After going through about 4 different mascaras in the last year, I am happy to say that my interminable quest for the “perfect mascara” has come to a standstill for the time being!
After my initial review of the Guerlain Cils d’Enfer mascara, I continued to use it for a while. I had noticed however, that my eyes were starting to get irritated. This I determined, was due to the heavily fragranced formula. It smells undeniably like roses, extremely potent ones. While this may not cause an issue for some, my eyes tend to be a little sensitive; especially in the Summer months. Moving on to something else…….
Enter my new favourite mascara, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Excess!
• The formula is very, very black! If you have pale lashes, this will do a great job at making them dark. My lashes are black, but they could always of course be blacker. I have no complaints whatsoever about the pigmentation of this formula.
• It is not a water-proof formula, which might be a con for some, but I never use water-proof mascara. It does rinse of easily with cleanser and water and even better with a cleansing oil.
• No irritating fragrance!
• It does not flake severely. I have come to the conclusion that there will never be a mascara in existence that will not flake just a tiny bit.
• It is great for subdued or dramatic lashes. The formula is buildable. It takes me 2 to 3 coats. The formula is such that you can build the volume nicely without worrying about getting “tarantula eyes”. It provides great length and volume.This mascara actually reminds me a great deal of Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, but this one is even better in my opinion. The brush is very similar, so if you like the mascara from Too Faced, you will love this one as well.
• Of all the mascaras I have tried, this one hardly clumps at all. All I get is nicely separated lashes.
• This mascara is certainly more on the pricey side at $32.
• Sometimes I get a little color transfer on my lid when applying, but since I line the top of my eyes it usually is a non issue.
• The product tends to collect at the top of the tube, which is something they all do, but I hate wasting product.
I love this mascara! It is officially my new go to! The cons are not nearly enough to deter me from continuing to use it or repurchase. I noticed it has been getting some great reviews, and for good reason. I will not say that this is my “holy grail” mascara, but for now it is the closest thing to it that I can find.
The colour-blocking trend is one that can seem overwhelming if you do not know where to start. Mixing bold and vibrant colours to make up an entire outfit is certainly not for everyone. The easiest way to get a chic look without feeling like you are overdoing it is by colour-blocking bold accessories against a plain black dress.
One of my favourite colour-blocking combos is cobalt blue and bright pink. Jewel tones are a more subdued way to go if you do not like uber bright colours.
I love this for my body on those dry Winter days, but you can actually use this on your face as well. I have started using it as a “sealer” after all of my other skincare treatments in the evening. It is just the best all-purpose cream to have around.
I can’t say that I have tried every facial oil out there, but I have tried a few and this one is hands down my favourite. It soaks into my skin better than any other one I have tried, and it makes my skin just glow. It does not leave a terribly greasy after feel like most facial oils tend to do. It smells great and has yet to clog my pores. I really cannot say enough about this oil.
My new favourite serums are officially the ones from NUFace. They soak in quickly and I am seeing some great results so far. They are not pore clogging and are fragrance, alcohol, and paraben free. You do not get a great deal of product, but they are thin in consistency so it does not take much to spread a good amount onto your face.
This is fast becoming my new favourite powder. The texture is amazing with buildable light to medium coverage. The ivory shade matches my skin perfectly. It seriously does not feel heavy or look cakey at all.
After years and years of using my trusted Clinique toner, I have decided to switch to this one. It is alcohol free like the Clinique one, which was really the deciding factor, but there are so many other benefits to this one. Namely there is no silicones! I will elaborate on that in a later post. If you are looking for a pretty perfect toner, give this one a try.
This is my favourite YLBB lipstick. I do not like ultra glossy finishes, they just do not last long and I loathe when my hair sticks to my lips. This gives just enough sheer pigment for me when applied lightly.
This lip polish is currently my favourite after the Mac lip scrub was discontinued. It smells like brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon. I find myself wanting to eat it sometimes.
So, remember that post I did about the runway Rebecca Minkoff Rylan tote? I did say that I wanted it for my birthday and I believe I mentioned somewhere that I was willing to shamelessly grovel to my husband about it. Well………he surprised me! He did get the black one, and I am so glad he did. It will go with so much more than the lavender shade would have. The leather is so soft and so on par with Rebecca Minkoff quality. It is an eye-catcher for sure. The details are amazing. The fringe is well done and not messy looking.
We went to dinner at one of my favourite sushi restaurants, and they took forever serving us this time. I ate it so fast I didn’t even think about taking photos. I had so many dear friends and family members there, it was wonderful. Those amazing people are truly what made it so special. Best birthday yet!
If you are a faithful devotee of Clinique’s classic yellow moisturizer but always wanted a bit more moisture than the original offers, look no further than Clinique’s new Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream.
The lotion formula is not actually moisturizing enough for some, and you have to resort to adding a supplemental moisture cream on top of the lotion. I personally am a product layering addict, but I know some people do not like all the fuss and muss of adding extra products just to achieve something the initial moisturizer should have done in the first place. This new cream, designed for dry to very dry skin, would solve that problem and only require the additional use of a basic sunscreen on top during the day. I personally have always liked Clinique’s Sheer City Block.
I was fortunate to be able to sample this at Macy’s. The consistency is rich, but not overly thick or greasy feeling. For the most part it absorbed very well into the skin. Just like the original lotion and gel formulas, there is of course no added fragrance. I could tell that it was indeed more moisturizing than the lotion. Very nice to apply. Price-wise, this is a pretty good value for what you get. It starts at $14.50 for 1oz., and $26 for 1.7 oz. To my knowledge, this cream is currently only available at Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.
If you are looking for a basic but good everyday moisturizer, then this one would be worth looking into; especially if you have sensitive skin.
The year 2010 brought with it the launch of Chance Eau Tendre, which is my very favourite Chanel fragrance. I have been languishing for something new as of late, but Chanel does not release fragrances too often. That is not ideal for us fragrance+Chanel lovers. My languishing would finally be sated upon reading an article on Luxury Insider. I think I must have made a very pestiferous noise, squeals mixed with some childish giggling and laboured breathing, since my husband looked at me utterly confused and concerned at my current mental state.
Régaler vos yeux! Chanel Chance Eau Vive!
The bottle as you can see is of the exact same conception as the others in the Chance family. The Chance bottles are not the most exquisitely designed bottles out there, but they certainly represent the simplistic elegance that is Chanel.
Chance Eau Vive is described as a vibrant floral with notes of jasmine and iris. There is going to be a citrus twist in there as well with notes of blood orange and grapefruit. Round all of that out with cedar, which will give it a subdued earthy quality. I am thinking from the description that there is going to be a lacking of the sugary sweet notes. A welcome nuance, compared to the overly sickly sweet and repetitive fragrances that some designers cannot seem to veer away from. (I am referring directly to you, every poorly conceived fragrance that has a celebrities’ name slapped on it) I loathe to think how many more versions of Viva La Juicy can come into fruition, they all smell the same after a few minutes.
I have decided to just blind order Eau Vive directly from the Chanel website, but it shouldn’t be too much longer until it is released to major retailers and you will be able to sample it. I am overly excited to try it!
Have you been able to get your hands on Chanel Chance Eau Vive yet?
And so it goes with the commencement of Summer, fashion designers start to reveal their Fall collections. I get particularly excited about it because the Fall season is the most fashionable to me. Here is a quick peek at what Gucci has in store for the upcoming Fall season.
Peacock blue! Jewel tones are still in, and I am so in love with them. I finally found the perfect magenta wool coat, and I was looking for one in turquoise. I knew it was a long shot, and I didn’t find one. The preview of this collection gives me a glimmer of hope however. There is a particular cream sweater dress I have that is in desperate need of a turquoise layer.
Cropped pants! The embroidered coat has me piqued my interest. When I think of blatant floral embroidery, I think of quilts, hideous PVC sofas, and the dresses my mom used to make me wear. This is something altogether different. I am loving this with the red details.
A silk cape is just the most ingenious thing. I am not one for bulky sweater capes, not everything looks flattering on everyone unfortunately. A cape in a silk fabric would give you such a nice and fluid movement though. Love it, and the new “leaves” print.
The leather skirt. How elusive it is for me! I almost bought a black leather Bagatelle pencil skirt not too long ago, I ultimately decided against it as it still was not a very good fit. It is difficult to get a leather skirt tailored. I think a skirt with this silhouette would be easier to wear. I detect a bit of a Western/Bohemian vibe to this outfit.
I was thinking there was going to be a Western feel to some of the pieces this year. You can’t get anymore Western themed than with this bag. I like the incorporation of the bamboo handles. Gucci also did the bamboo handles for the Spring collection bags.
The bucket bag+snake skin print= the it bag of the season. I am calling it, let’s see if I am right. This one goes beyond the basic with not only the bamboo handle as well, but with the addition of a removable chain strap.
It looks like the mini, chain strap cross-body bags are not going anywhere anytime soon. I still cannot bring myself to invest in too many, as I do not use them that often. I just carry too much stuff on a regular basis. Gucci does this snake skin print wonderfully. Personally I like snake skin print, but it is a tricky trend to do without looking tacky. This mini bag is subtle and just enough statement.
Edgy and chic, tailored leather jackets with distressed and ripped denim. This is a trend that I like with a feminine touch, such as a pair of stilettos. I am detecting there will be nuances of fringe from last Fall in other collections this year as well. Fringe details are a love em or leave em sort of thing, but I think they would compliment this particular look.
This is the perfect example of the sophisticated elegance I love about Fall fashion. The feminine cut of this one just lends even more to its classiness. I really am excited to see what is going on in footwear to compliment these pants other than the shoes shown.
I am bereft that Mad Men is officially over. One of the reasons why is because I will not get to see the fabulous costumes they get to wear. I am so in love with these pants. The entire outfit is just….everything.
I am not sure that you can have too many black dresses. My husband would say that they all look too similar. This is a man’s perspective. They are all actually going to be different in some way. This one for example is a classy mock-neck that gives it just enough detail. I am not sure that you even need anything else with an outfit like this.
Head to toe black with a contrasting cream coat just makes the most sense. I am not sure that I even have a black turtleneck sweater. This is going to be critical mass come Fall. It always happens to me that the one thing I am looking for specifically, I cannot seem to find.
What do you think of the Gucci pre-fall collection?
If you are anything like me, you probably hate your hair. No not the hair on your head, although sometimes that can be an annoyance on humid days, I am referring to your body hair. Having milky pale skin with pretty much black hair means that I have probably about the worst combo when it comes to body hair. It is extremely noticeable.
When I was younger I shaved all the time, and of course that was the only option for me at the time. I had considered the electrolysis treatments of the past , but after talking to people who had it done, I decided it wouldn’t be worth the investment. A few years later I decided to start looking into laser hair removal, and I can tell you it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I have been getting a lot of questions about this topic lately, so I thought I would summarize some key points for anyone who is interested in doing these treatments.
• What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a professional cosmetic treatment that is performed to remove unwanted facial and body hair. A laser is used to beam concentrated light into hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorb the light and the hair is destroyed. After several treatments, your hair removal will become permanent.
• Who is a good candidate for the treatment?
Unfortunately laser hair removal is not ideal for people with very fine light, or vellus hair. The laser is much more effective on dark, coarse, terminal hair. Having really light hair means that the follicle will not absorb the light.
• Where can you get the treatments done, and what are the best places?
Most all dermatologist offices will offer laser hair removal treatments, and that is the place that I would recommend the most since a dermatologist specializes in skin. Sometimes you can get the treatments done in a doctor’s office or a medical spa. I personally have only ever gone to a dermatologist, simply because they are better trained professionals. You can always look up someone’s credentials, which I also recommend doing.
• How much does it cost?
The cost varies significantly depending on the areas you are treating and how many times you need to have it done. Sometimes you can get a better deal if you purchase a treatment package. I have even heard of buying 5 treatments and getting 1 for free. My arms for example cost me around $400 when all was said and done. I purchased a package for 5 treatments and that was all I needed for the hair to be completely gone on my arms. My legs were obviously more expensive. I would recommend you start with a smaller problem area first (hint hint) then work your way up to the larger areas.
• Do you see immediate results?
After you get your first treatment done you may feel a moment of disappointment when you see that your hair is growing back! That is normal. The hair is just pushing its way through and will fall out. You can usually schedule another treatment within 4 to 6 weeks. You will continue to get them done until your hair no longer grows back. Once that happens it is smooth sailing!
• What are the risks?
As with all cosmetic procedures, there are some risks associated with getting laser hair removal. For a couple of days the area of the skin that was treated will feel sort of like it was sunburned. You may experience some tenderness or slight swelling. Using cold compresses or cool unscented aloe vera gel will help to soothe irritation. There are also a number of post-treatment moisturizers that you can buy specifically for that. There have been instances where blisters can develop and even scarring. These are more rare side effects and are exactly the reason why you should always go to a skin professional.
• What do I do to prepare?
Do not tweeze, wax, thread, or do any sort of electrolysis treatment before laser hair removal. Remember the laser needs to detect the follicle, and if you have plucked it out it will not work. Also not tanning or excessive sun exposure, as this will also make the laser less effective.
• What does the treatment feel like?
If you go by my account it feels like little rubber bands snapping against your skin. Personally I find that very therapeutic. With every little zap I know a hair follicle is dying a slow death! It is not painful and should never be. Always trust your gut instinct. If something feels not quite right let the person performing the treatment know immediately! Always ask a ton of questions before and after so you can have all of the facts.
• What can I expect afterwards?
As I mentioned above, you will treat the areas like you would a sunburn. Do not, and I can not stress this enough, do not go to a tanning bed for at least 6 weeks afterwards. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! If you are a tanner this may not be a good thing for you to pursue as you will basically be advised not to tan for over 6 months if you keep up your treatments consistently. I never, ever, ever tan, never, so for me there was no great sacrifice.
If you simply abhor your body hair and you meet the requirements to have the procedure done, then this is something that you will most likely find a worthwhile investment. I never had any adverse reactions to the treatments aside from some minor irritation and redness. I love my smooth skin! In my opinion getting laser hair removal pays for itself in the long run. When you think about how much money you will save on shaving cream, razors, water bills, and natural gas and propane bills over your lifetime it’s kind of a no brainer. Also consider how much time you will save in the mornings or evenings getting ready. It would not be amiss for me to also mention the fact that not having to shave while on vacation is a mini vacation all in itself! I absolutely recommend this as an investment in yourself!
Is laser hair removal something you are considering? If you have any questions let me know!