Wednesday, November 25, 2015

L'OCCITANE Holiday Gift Sets

Whether you're shopping for family, friends, colleagues or yourself (always allowed), L'Occitane makes it easy for you to get an elegantly wrapped present, with countless options ranging anywhere from $20 - $200.

In the past I've often enjoyed a more eclectic form of gift wrap when I'm in a time crunch (using a collage of old magazine pages and newspaper), but sometimes it just makes sense to trust the wonderful people in-store at L'Occitane, since you'll probably even walk away with some product samples for yourself too.

I mentioned in my most recent post linked here that $10 from the sale of each L'Occitane gift set (up to $120,000) will be donated to Dress for Success, a charity which helps outfit women in need for job interviews.

Here are my favourite sets this year:
First row L-R: 123
Second row L-R: 456
Third row L-R: 78910

And if you're looking for some dessert table inspiration for a holiday party, check out the spread from this event..


You can find all of the gift sets online at or in-store at your local boutique.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe | Pierre Hermé x L'OCCITANE

Grapefruit Rhubarb Classic Hand Cream - $12

The more I experiment with different products from around the world, the more I realize that French skincare is exceptional among the rest.
We all know that French pastries are also crème de la crème, so the thought of a skincare line inspired by flavours sounded like a match made in heaven.

Pierre Herme, Olivier Baussan, JessGo
Pierre Hermé and Olivier Baussan, their holiday box sets and JessGo - a professional Live Painter from Toronto

L'Occitane founder Olivier Baussan recently collaborated with pastry chef Pierre Hermé, to create two limited edition fragrances for the holiday season. The collection brings together a unique mix of shape, colour and flavour, using the natural fruit and flowers from Corsica - their favourite island in the South of France.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Banana Chia Pancakes | Prana ProactivCHIA

organic chia seeds

My food tab has been a bit empty lately, but not to worry - my tummy is still full! Even though we follow a pretty traditional Italian diet at home, I'm all for the occasional green smoothie or bowl of quinoa. Believe it or not, I'd probably take some plain yogurt topped with berries, granola and honey over anything else.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Herbal Essences Naked Volume | BzzAgent Review

Herbal Essences Naked Volume

Back in the spring, I found my perfect shampoo. L'Occitane has absolutely mastered the art of creating a good cleansing wash, that never strips the hair or skin. And I'm not the only one who's hooked - Joseph just asked for a refill of the Cedrat Shower Gel & Shampoo, also mentioned earlier this year. But let's face it, paying over $20 for an essential product can be too expensive for us budget-conscious folk, so I'm staying open-minded to the less-luxe alternatives.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Marcelle Skincare | Makeup Remover and Gentle Moisturizer

marcelle review

My sisters have been using Marcelle BB Cream and makeup remover for years. I've read many rave reviews on the makeup remover in particular, from popular Canadian bloggers like Chelle from Makeup Your Mind. So when people ask for a good makeup remover recommendation, this one is sure to top the list. 

Priced at $15 cad, these dual-phase removers are very effective. The original "Gentle Makeup Remover" from Marcelle always reminds me of my go-to Express remover from Nivea. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Essence Cosmetics | Fall Favourites For Eyes, Lips & Nails

When walking through my local Shoppers Drug Mart, I'm bound to stop at the Essence display to find a new nail polish or blush to add to my collection. How could you not be intrigued by a rainbow coloured display of under $10 makeup, that's actually high quality?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Annabelle Makeup For Fall 2015 | Review & Swatches

Annabelle mekup

Earlier this week I shared some thoughts on a bunch of new releases from Marcelle Cosmetics, so to continue on the same theme, here are my faves from their sister brand Annabelle.

I've purchased many Annabelle eyeliners in the past, and they've all turned out to be consistently pigmented and easy to use. The two brands are known for their hypoallergenic, affordable and well formulated products, so I was thrilled to receive these as press samples back in the summer.

It's no surprise that my three favourite eye products right now happen to be from this collection:
The Brow Show Liner & Highlighter in light ($10), Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette ($13) and The EyeInk² Liquid Eyeliner Duo in brown. Their efficacy is blowing my mind.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

AMOREPACIFIC Color Control Cushion Compact | Foundation Review

AmorePacific cushion

Ever since I started to see BB Cream reviews all over YouTube beauty channels, Korean skincare has been a total love of mine.

One of my favourite products to date has to be the Skin79 BB Cream, and I've gone through 3 entire bottles over the years. I don't talk much about my favourite Korean products, simply because they aren't readily available in Canada. Now that mass retailers are beginning to stock more Asian brands, I'm thrilled that I don't need to turn to Ebay to get my foundation fix. 

I recently received an invite from AmorePacific to try out their Color Control Cushion Compact foundation, and I quickly replied with a surefire yes!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Glam My Mani Nail Vinyls | Review & Tutorial

diy mani

I've become a somewhat lazy manicurist. I've been known in the past to come up with pretty wacky holiday-themed nail art, which would usually take 1-2 hours at best. I still love creating fun designs, but some weeks I can barely find time to maintain my cuticles, let alone paint my nails.

Welcome, nail vinyls from Glam My Mani.

glam my mani aztec

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Marcelle Cosmetics FOTD | The Best Canadian Brands

Marcelle makeup

Canadian pride is bigger now than ever before, and if the current economy isn't enough of an incentive to shop local, these hot new makeup bits surely are.

While perusing the cosmetics aisle at any Canadian drugstore, sister brands Marcelle and Annabelle are found to be slightly more luxe than the typical Covergirl, Maybelline and Revlon products alike. I've tried many of their best-sellers in the past, and I've never been disappointed.

Face of the day (#FOTD) featuring Marcelle & Annabelle (video tutorial below)...
Canadian makeup brands

Friday, October 23, 2015

Glycolic Acid | The Skin-Brightening Ingredient

If you're wanting to make a visible difference to the tone and texture of your skin, look no further than AHAs and BHAs.

  • An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is best suited for those whose main concern is dark spots and sun damage, since it exfoliates the skin's upper most layers.
  • A beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is best for treating acne and blackheads since it is able to dissolve the oil that clogs pores. You could even layer the two ingredients at the same time for maximal benefits.

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) naturally derived from sugar cane. This chemical exfoliant has the ability to remove dead skin cells to reveal brighter, fresher skin, without scratching at the surface.

Glycolic acid is the most common exfoliant for a chemical peel, though there are other options for those with very sensitive skin. When I had my peel at Miracle 10 (documented here) they used a 20% Lactic Acid, and thanks to the great results I've been using their daily lactic acid cream ever since.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

36 Questions To Get To Know Yourself Better | ELLE Canada

get to know yourself better quiz
I'm an avid reader of ELLE Canada, and they're the one publication whose email list I stay subscribed to. Not only do they have fun and insightful articles, but their horoscopes are always on point. 

This past year has brought along many new opportunities, and in turn I have gotten to know myself a lot better. For example, working in my university's Student Affairs office has helped me to develop my leadership skills and find personal value in my work. With exams and deadlines creeping around the corner, we often become unexcited about school. Now that I'm getting more involved, I can say that the 12-hour days are truly worth it.

If you find yourself with some free time over the next few days, pull up these questions and see how they make you feel. I am feeling motivated to work harder, be nicer, and go that extra step to help those around me. 

36 questions to get to know yourself better - imperfections and all
By: Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D., professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey, and Brent Mattingly, Ph.D., assistant professor at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. Source Link: 

PART 1 – Your Essentials. Who are you today?
1. List five adjectives or traits that describe you.
2. List five roles that you fulfill.
3. List five of your skills and abilities.
4. List five of your possessions that provide insight into who you are as a person.
5. List five life experiences that have helped define who you are.
6. List five attributes that you think your family and closest friends would say describe you.
GO ONE STEP FURTHER - Actually reach out to your family and several of your closest friends and ask them to share the five traits that they think best describe you. Then compare and contrast these lists with your own. “People who know themselves well tend to have a list similar to what their friends said,” says Lewandowski. “Sometimes other people can see us more accurately than we see ourselves, and sometimes we define ourselves by how we think other people see us.”
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