Sunday, October 23, 2016

Difference Between a Setting Powder and Finishing Powder

Ah powders! There are so many powders out on the market that one could literally search for days and be left with endless possibilities. Which is a good thing I might add because it allows all skin tones, complexions and skin issues a chance to find their right fit.  However, in the last few years not only have setting powders become big, but so have finishing powders as well!

So you might be wonder like the rest of the free world, what is the difference between a finishing powder and setting powder and why, oh why do I need it?! The truth is, you really don't need any powder at all if you don't really fancy it. However setting powders and finishing powders can do wonders for your makeup when used correctly!

Setting Powders! 

Setting powders are used to plain and simple set your makeup after you apply foundation.  Since foundation can cake, rub off on clothes, move around or slowly disappear throughout the day, setting powder helps to keep it on your face without going anywhere more or less.  Setting powder can be purchased either in translucent or with a bit of color to them.  Be careful on the powders with color because they can change the color of your foundation once applied.  On that same note, always check out translucent powders before you buy them.  Some can leave a whitest cast on some skin tones.  So always try out a face powder before buying regardless if you are using one with color or not.

While setting powders can be used to set your concealer, I highly recommend getting an actual setting powder that is made for concealer because some of these powders can really settle into your fine lines underneath your eyes.  Moreover, when buying a setting a powder, whether it be drugstore or high end, always look for one that is finely milled.  Finely milled powders leave your face looking as if you have nothing on and work great to give you a no powdery makeup look.  They also don't settle into fine lines or cake up very easily.  Non finely milled powders can leave you looking like you dunked your head into cake batter, will cake up and cause massive settlement into fine lines.  Finely milled powders also help to blur imperfection and give you that airbrush glowly skin effect that we all so desire!

Setting powders can be bought in either a matte or dewy type finish. Also ready the label, asking questions to the sale associate and/or try out the powder on your face (not your hand) so you know exactly what you are getting before buying. I love a dewy radiant finish so I never buy anything in a matte setting.

Finishing Powders

Finishing powders are constantly confused with setting powders. And for those who have confused them before in the past....well let's just say "a picture is worth a thousand words" (Yeah, I am looking at you Nicole and Drew!!)  Finishing powders are used to set your WHOLE makeup at the END of your routine. So after you apply your foundation, setting powder, eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, highlighter, blah blah, etc etc (cause you know some of us use at least 20 products before we call it a day) is when this powder would go on.  Right at the last step.  However, if you use a setting spray, then that would go on after your finishing powder.  Confused yet?  Finishing powder is not meant to set your makeup, but instead to give you a 'prefect blurring the lines complexion' effect due to its micro-finish HD properties that the majority of these powders have.  These Micro-finish properties allow for pores to look evened out and blurred plus gives you a radiant glow. 

When one uses these powders in photography and/or filming it makes the skin look amazing.  The only reason why the majority of stars ended up looking like they just snorted a few coke lines before heading out to their party, is because the makeup artist who used these applied way to much or used them as a setting powder.  If one applies these as a normal setting powder, then a white cast will appear causing you to look as if though a bag of flour blew up in your face (did you see  Drew!!) 

When applying a finishing powders, a fan brush is the best way to go.  Don't use a normal round big face powder brush because that will pick up to much product and leave you that possible white cast. Instead opt for a fan brush.  I always reach for my Blank Canvas F05 Fan Brush. A fan brush allows for just the right amount of product to be picked up and distributed throughout your face evenly.  It also helps to remove any excess powder you may have applied without disturbing your makeup. 

So there you have it, my review on the differences between setting powders and finishing powders.  Do you have a setting or finishing powder that you love? Let me know down below!!

Keep Smiling!!


Read More

Monday, May 23, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Review!

Charlotte Tilbury

I recently went on a Charlotte Tilbury (CT) kick! I love makeup, its no secret. Moreover, I love makeup that is well formulated, good quality and beautiful packaging.  Packaging to me is totally important because its what allows you to get caught up in the product.  For example, I love Urban Decay makeup, but their packaging many of times is to teenage looking for me which causes me to pass up on their products.  However Chanel, Hourglass, Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Chantecaille, Makeup forever and so on have amazing products with beautiful packaging to die for.

I decided to pick up a few things for the CT collection and try them out.  I still have a few things (who am I kidding, a lot of things) sitting in my shopping cart and wish list.  But for now, these will do.  I truly do love her products and some more than other which I will get into below.  CT products are not on the inexpensive side by any means, however they are worth every penny in my opinion.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation - $55.00 CDN

I am in love with BB cremes, CC cremes, or sheer foundations. I just love how natural and flawless they look on me. Since I don't really have any skin issues, I can get away with very light weight foundations. I was recently using the Bare Mineral complexion rescue foundation and literally that became my holy grail. I was able to rock that all season long with no issues. However, after trying out CT light wonder foundation...I think my Bare Mineral foundations might be taking a back step to this foundation.

CT foundation is light weight, has no fragrance and applies on evenly and beautifully. It looks like you have nothing else on but just your natural skin, but better. It gives me the most lovely even skin tone and doesn't cling to dry patches or extenuates pores or settles into fine lines. It just looks like you woke up with a fresh, dewy and natural face. Its hard to tell if you have any makeup on, even up close. I am totally loving this foundation. I can't say enough about it and plan to keep buying it regardless of the price. I love natural looking foundations. I rather pay big bucks for a foundation that looks like my natural skin, versus one where you can see makeup on my face.

Cheek to Chic Love is The Drug Swish & Pop Blusher - $50.00 CDN

I am on the fence about this blush because it has a lot pro's and one massive con. First, this blusher is beautiful. I love the beautiful pink color this leaves on your cheeks. It blends out so easily on the skin and literally lasts all day. By the end of the night, after 12 hours of wear, this blusher stays put with no touch ups ever needed. Its so finely milled that it looks so natural on your skin with no powdery look left behind. Moreover, what's so unique about this blusher is that it gives you a mix of two colors. The other color you swish with your brush and the inner color you simply pop and apply to your cheeks all with one go. I love that it doesn't settle into your pores, doesn't go on patchy and truly leaves a natural flushed but sophisticated look behind.

The biggest issue I have with this blusher is that it can and does break easily. To many reviews online have stated, because its so finely milled even a slight tap or small fall will cause it to crack in a million pieces. I had to double wrap it in clothes so I could travel with it to London. I freaked out that it might break on me and because it has two colors in the pot, its way to difficult to being to even piece it back together and fix it by yourself. So this blusher might be one that seldom sees the outside of my house. However, putting that aside, its totally worth the money!
I have pretty dark under eye circles that I inherited.  And when I don't sleep due to being up late at night from work, the babies, sickness or just life, they get worse.  I have tried sooo many concealers from creams, to sticks, to powders to nothing.  However I always find that very seldom do my dark circles get fully covered.  I decided to give CT Retoucher pen a try with little to no real expectation that it would actually work better than the others I have tried.   
The pen works like all the others, you need to click it 1000 times before anything comes out.  Once it does, it deposits the right amount of product on to your eyes and glides on smoothy.  I decided to blend it out with my Blank Canvas Cosmetics F23 Pointed Tip Face Brush.   Once I was done blending it out, I was amazed at the results.  My circles were gone! The color matched perfectly with my skin tone and never settled into my fine lines.  I love how creamy the pen is with no drying effect.  It held all day and never creased at any moment.  I uses My Laura Mericer Secret Under Eye Brighten powder and that combined with the pen made me looked alive and awake all day long.  I really would recommend this concealer for anyone looking for a good under eye circle cover up.

Charlotte Tilbury Luscious Lip Slick Set - $60.00 CDN (Lipstick $38.00/Lip Liner $27.00)

I have lately been throwing out all my old lipstick that are either, well, too old or have a drying formula.  I decided to try CT Fallen From The Lipstick Tree K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Bitch Perfect with their Lip Cheat Pink Venus lip liner.  I totally love this lip combo.  The lipstick deposits a beautiful amount of color on your lips that doesn't flake, dry or settle into the lines of your lips.  It feels creamy, smooth and well hydrated.  The lipstick lasted well on my lips for a 2-4 hours through eating, drinking and straight up talking. The lipstick is not matte but not ultra glossy or shiny either.  It just look soft and delicate on the lips. It has a very pinkish nude color to it but it airs more on the side of pink.
The lip liner, Pink Venus has got to be one of the most smoothies feeling lip liner I ever tried.  It glides on my lips with no bumps or snags.  It blends great with the Bitch Perfect lipstick and wears well throughout the day.  It helps to really re-shape, stand out and empathize your lip line with a beautiful dramatic but again sophisticated look.

 Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette - The Uptown Girl - $64.00 CDN
CT makes one of the most beautiful makeup so far I have ever used.  So when I decided to try some of her products I also bought one of her luxury palettes.  The Uptown Girl palette totally resonated with me because I love sophisticated looking colors.  This peach, plum, pink and grey palette looks divine on the eyes.  Works well with my brown eyes and doesn't flake, smudge or crease throughout the day.  It glides on smoothly and can be used wet or dry.  It had little to no fallout and was very easy to pick up with a brush and blended in well on the eyes.
This palette can work for either day or night, however it does have a bit of shimmer to it.  So if you are looking for a matte palette, this isn't it.  However if you are ok with a bit of shimmer throughout the day, than this palette will work awesome for you.  Its compact and can be taken anywhere when traveling.  It fits perfectly into my cosmetic bag and has a great mirror that is big enough to use for application.
I really love CT makeup and plan to buy more.  Oh hell, lets be honest I have. That review will be coming in a little bit :)

Keep Smiling


 FTC: I bought all products on my own.  This review is totally my own opinion.
Read More

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Anemone Hair Dryer

Anemone Hair Dryer - $36.00 CDN

 I have been using Xtava hair products all month long. For their blow dyers, flat irons to their diffuser.  So far I haven't found a single product I haven't loved for good reason.  Their products are quality, affordable and are constantly on the top 10 list of blow dyers to buy.

I was recently sent the Xtava Anemone Hair Dyer which is super sexy.  Its a small compact hair dryer that comes with two nozzles.  Its a bit heavier than a normally blow dyer but nonetheless, just as powerful.  It comes with three controls that are easy to access.  Their power switch comes on medium or high power, their heat switch come with medium or high heat, and their cold air blast is just a blue button you click to get that shot of cold air.

Its not crazy loud, but not quiet either.  It  gives off a powerful blast of hot and cold with a quick switch of a button.  It comes with two nozzles, a long and short one to help you dry your hair.  The great thing about this dryer is that its compact so it can fit in just about any suit case when traveling.  The cord is also a great length so that you have the ability to move the hair dryer around your head.

It only has two cons. First the cord does not swivel.  I love swivel cords so that I don't get stuck in them.  Next, it weighs more than my average hair dryer.  However for the power it gives it, I can handle that!

Keep Smiling


FTC: Product was sent for review.  All opinions are my own. I was not paid for this review.

Read More

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Xtava Collapsible Diffuser for Hair Dryer

Xtava Collapsible Silicone Diffuser for Blow Dryer - $25 CDN

I have curly hair which I flat iron all the time.  I don't have times for curls because its a lot to maintain.  However when I do want to wear it curly, I use a diffuser.  However I gave up on that years ago because they are so big and hard to store.  But now that's all an issue of the past! Xtava came out with a collapsible hair diffuser that can compact itself so it easy to store away in a drawer.

This diffuser is made out of silicone so its soft and easy to compact.  It opens and closes with no problem and fits on just about any blow dyer.  It works with ease and gives you hair big beautiful bouncy curls without blowing them all over the place which at times results in knots.

I love this diffuser and for the price, totally recommend it!!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: Product was sent for review.  I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own. 
Read More

Xtava Allure 2200W Professional Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer

Xtava Allure 2200W Professional Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer - $60.00 CDN

This has got to be one amazing hair dryer if I do say so.  This thing is big like your normal standard salon hair dryer.  Has horsepower like nobodies business and can dry your hair in no time flat. 

I have hair down to my waist and take me about 45 minutes to dry AFTER air drying.  IF I attempt to dry before hand, I could be there a whole hour and more.  So basically I let it air dry before blow drying or flat ironing. 

What I love about this hair is that its light weight, has a nozzle, good heat that dispenses evenly on the hair and not to hot as to burn the scalp but not to cold where it does nothing.  It three levels of heat. None, medium and high.  Same thing with power either none, medium and high.  It has a button on top for cool air and an awesome swivel cord that rotates 360 degrees to help you maneuver.  The cord is long so you won't be struggling to get it around your head. \

There wasn't anything I disliked about this hair dryer. This has totally replaced my old seven year old one and I plan to keep using it I burn it out or xtava makes something better.  But however if you read online, this blow dryer is literally on the top 5 and 10 list of best blow dryers to own for personal use!

Keep Smiling


FTC: Product was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. 

Read More

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straightener

Xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Straightener - $51.20 CDN

Product Sent for Review

I have owned so many hair straighteners that its insane. I'm always on the look out for a new and improved straightener because I don't like wearing my hair curly.  Moreover, I hate the time it takes to dry it.  So I normally wash my hair the night before, let it air dry and straighten it the next morning after my shower.  

In a straightener I always look for a few things. First, how high the heat goes.  Though I have pretty thin hair, I still need it to get up to at least 400F in order to get the curls and waves out. Second, It needs to be ceramic and not metal or steel on the plates as that will burn my hair to a cinder. Lastly, it needs to be functional.  I need the part mouth to open wide enough where I don't struggle to get my hair in and the dials on the machine need to be easy to use.

What I loved about this machine is how straight it made my hair in minutes.  I normally take 25-30 minutes to straighten my hair.  This took me 15-20 minutes to achieve this look without burning my hair.  The heat setting on this went to 400+ with no problem in 1-2 minutes flat.  The infrared really helped to not burn my hair and it came out looking shiny and healthy.   It literally made my hair in one to two max swipes which was awesome!

Now, what I didn't like about the machine were a few things.  First, the dials are on the side of the handle.  Due to this, I ended up turning off the machine a handful of times because you can only hold the machine from the bottom part of the handle and not the middle.  Placing your hand around the middle of the handle causes it to either turn off or you end up turning up or down the heat dials.

Second, the mouth was not wide enough.  If you have really thick hair, you will have to put very small amounts to get your hair through the opening.  I don't like being limited in that aspect because the amount of time I spent trying to figure that out was wasteful.  I could of straightened my hair faster if it wasn't for that.

Outside those two issues, this straighten was great to use and works well with people who don't have very thick hair but thinner hair in order to get it into the mouth piece.

Keep Smiling


FTC: This product was sent for review.  However all opinions are my own and I was not paid for this post.
Read More

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders

Hourglass Strobe Powders

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder - $48.00 CDN

I have a bunch of Hourglass cosmetics.  I love their Ambient Lighting Blushes, Ambient Lighting Powders and on the fence (well more like majorly on the fence) about their Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes.  I have yet to try out their bronzers.  However, that is coming soon!  So when Hourglass came out with their Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders, I was intrigued on trying them because I really wanted to know what the difference would be between their ambient lighting powders and their ambient strobe powders.

Hourglass came out with four Strobe Lighting Powders.  Two which had already been previously released.  Their incandescent strobe powder was released in their Ambient Lighting Powder Palette that came out during Christmas 2014.  And their iridescent strobe powder was released in their Edit palette for Christmas 2015.  I currently own their incandescent strobe powder because I bought the lighting powder palette when it first came out.  So I wanted to try out their other three colors to see if they were similar or the same to the ambient lighting powders.  These strobe powders claim to be strictly highlighters.  Yet there is where my confusion came in.  I thought that the Ambient Lighting powders were highlighters all along! However ones thing for sure, with the ambient lighting powders, you can also use them as setting powders for that soft glow candle light effect.  I quickly learned that if you use these strobe powders as setting powders, you will have a strong disco like effect going on.

There are four colors in the ambient strobe lighting powders series.

Brilliant is literally a brilliance highlighter that is a light shimmery gold.  It really does leave a lustrous effect on the cheeks without looking like a disco ball.

Euphoric is beige in tone with a peach undertone which comes across as a neutral highlighter in a pearlescent kind of way.  This highlighter is the darkest in tone amongst the four of them.

Incandescent is a opalescent pearl powder that is still in the pink range but is lighter then iridescent.  It is very celestial when applied to the skin and gives off a nice natural looking glow. 

Iridescent is a pink powder that is darker than incandescent but still gives off a soft highlight without coming across too dark.  It is a very illuminating color.

As a gift, my husband went out and bought me the brilliant ambient strobe powder.  I was totally psyched when I received this as it showed just how well he knows me.  These strobe powders come in a beautiful silver case.  The cases are the normal standard cases with a mirror on one end and the powder at the other.  The cases are their usual mirror like finish but in a silver color.  You will get finger marks on these just like their other bronze, gold and yellow finishes. These strobe powders are finely milled with little fallout and pick up great when used with a brush.  Hourglass is selling an Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor; basically a beauty blender like sponge that you can use to apply these highlighters with.  Save your money and use whatever normal brush you use to apply your highlighter with.  There is nothing really special about this "sponge" that a normal brush can't give you.

I applied the brilliant strobe powder to the top of cheek bones, bridge and tip of my nose, forehead and sides of my cheeks like I normally do. The highlighter looked amazing.  It blended in well, caught the light with a beautiful effect and didn't look obnoxious or as if someone threw a cold pail of water on my face.  I didn't have any fallout out and the highlighter really stood out while not overpowering the rest of my makeup.

The price on these highlighters are pricey but at least comparative (more or less) in their size to their other products.

Their ambient bronzers - 0.39oz for $60

Their ambient lighting powder - 0.35oz for $52

Their ambient strobe lighting powder  0.16oz for $48  

Their ambient blushers - 0.15oz for $45

So while they do get cheaper depending on which product you buy based on the amount each product category contains, however the price really doesn't go down by much.  You still will have to be willing to put out some hard dough if you want to get that candlelight glow affect all over your face.  Many people ask me all the time, if these products, the ambient powders (in general) are worth the money?!  I can tell you right now with confidence, hell yeah!  While they may be priced stupidly high, however you do always get what you paid for and what you paid for is totally an amazing picture perfect makeup look all over your face.  So while I hate spending so much money just for one item, however I can't deny it money well spent.  I totally recommend these highlighters you if want something beautiful and not over the top.

Have you tried any of the new strobe powders?  Let me know down below!

Keep Smiling!


Read More

Huggies Bye Bye Diapers Pull Ups!

On my blog, I have talked about things not related to beauty, but related to moms!  Because hey, moms are beautiful after all :)

I recently received from Huggies a free complimentary box of their Huggies Pull-ups for my three year old daughter.  You see, in my household potty training has always been a challenge.  I have four children and my first child didn't become potty trained till three days before school started.  He refused to use the toilet at all cost. After three shut in days that my husband and I spent in with him all (long) weekend long, he finally got it.  A day before school started, he started wearing underwear. Needless to say he had a few accidents during school that year, but after a hand full of times, that was over with.

My second child is now turning four, and while she loves to sit on the potty, she refuses to actually use it.  So she will take her diaper off (after going in it) sit on the toilet and let me know that "she's done!"  I have been looking into pull ups, but wasn't sure how she would handle it as she hates (and I mean hates) change!  But surprising, she loves these pulls up.  A large part is because of the Minnie and Disney princesses that are printed on them.  She is learning on how to pull them on and off and also realizing that if she decides to go in her pull ups; well they don't feel awesome.  So she is slowly going towards the toilet versus using her pull ups as a diaper.

One of the things that also attracts me to this campaign, is the multicultural view of this brand.  Normally on just about any commercial, print and so on you mostly fine a white skin tone, blue eye, blonde hair child.  While my children are completely white skin toned liked myself, and have black hair, you can tell they not completely "white".  So being able to see children of different races on their packaging is awesome!  It appeals shows me that Huggies is realizing that everyone, regardless of race needs diapers and pull ups for their growing children. So why not incorporate all these beautiful looking children!

I really like these pull ups and well keep using them for my next two kids who are in the next few months will to transition from diapers to pull ups!

Keep Smiling


Read More

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub & Lip Balm Review

I have owned a few Clinique products in my time and had always loved them. Their makeup products have always delivered and never disappointed...until now.

Clinique came out with their Sweet Pots in January. I found the product to very convenient and cute! One side offered a colored lip balm, and the other side offer a lip scrub all in a cute macaroon style packaging. I have used before the lip scrubs from Sara Happ and Fresh Sugar with both doing a great job at scrubbing the dry chapped skin off my lips. So once these sweet pots became available at Sephora I decided to give it a shot.

I ordered mine in Sweet Rose. It has a very nice lightly fainted scent.  (These are suppose to be scentless, so maybe its just me wishing it smelled like something. Who knows. But I smelled something!!) The lip balm came in a light ruby pinkish color and was very soft and moisturizing on the lips. However it gave off no color pay-off whatsoever. I must have applied at least three to four layers of the lip balm to see no color appear on my lips. I even swatched it on my hand and blend it out (because we blend our lip balms out, right) and still on my hand you hardly saw anything. This is basically just a lip balm with very little to no color. I think if you have very pale lips, this MIGHT show up on you. The scrub part was a major fail! The beads are so small and so soft that it didn't do a thing for my dry chapped lips. It felt like I wasn't rubbing anything on them even though I applied a generous amount and rubbed hard to see if anything would occur. After about five mintues of trying and two attempts back to back, it still left my semi dry chapped lips with no change. I gave up and decided to use my trusty and proven Sara Happ lip scrub which of course took care of my lip situation in one go!

The packaging on this sweet pot is cute. It comes double sided with one side offering the lip balm and the other side the scrub.  Its pretty easy to open with a twist of the top for each section.  You can figure out fairly quickly which side is what by looking at the top of the package.  The lip balm is housed in the clear part of the package where the word 'Clinique' is written.  However both sides have a very small amount of product to them.  So little is offered, that I can see myself going through this in less then a month if I use it everyday. So for $23 its really not worth the price.  I think the packaging is what drives the high price tag on this.  I would say this should have cost no more then $15 to be honest.

So while this sweet pots are very cute and the lip balm does work to hydrate your lips (if you don't care about getting any color out of it); unless you are into collecting cute makeup items, this isn't worth the money. This will however look really cute on your vanity or purse! But that's about all it will do! While the concept is great and can totally work (if re-formulated), they really need to do something about the scrub part. Maybe add a little more color into the lip balms as well.

So while I will be keeping this because the lip balm is hydrating, I have no intentions of buy the other sweet pots. For $23, you can get better lip balms or scrubs!

Keep Smiling

Read More

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yves Saint Laurent Chinese New Year Harmony Set!

Yves Saint Laurent Chinese New Year Harmony Set - $70.00 CDN

So rarely does Sephora luxury high end products EVER go on sale.  Even during the semi annual sale at Sephora where VIB members get a discount code; even during Christmas the prices are generally the same.

While surfing Sephora yesterday (because I basically surf their website multiple times a day) all the way at the bottom of their page, I saw a small advertisement for their Chinese New Year celebration products.  So I gingerly clicked on it not expecting much.  Wow! I was totally shocked! Sephora is currently having a limited edition Yves Saint Laurent set with three FULL SIZE Volupte Tint in Oil for $70 dollars!! Keep in mind, each of these Tint in Oil retail for $36 which is pretty hefty, but its YSL we are talking about.  So nothing comes cheap (in price) with this brand!  However if you were to buy three of these, normally (without taxes) the cost would be $108.  So for $70 you are basically getting a free one!

The colors included are I Rose You, Cherry Me Cherie and Peach Me Love! This is a limited set for a limited time till they run out.  Normally, once they run out, its doesn't come back!  So if you are a Tint in Oil lover like myself, then jump on this! I did last night...lets hope the hubby doesn't find out!!

Keep Smiling!


Read More

Friday, January 29, 2016

[Re] Fresh Skin Therapy Vitamin C Serum Review

[Re] Fresh Skin Therapy Vitamin C Serum - $32.85 Cdn

Its winter again! Ah yes, the cold air, the dry skin, the burnt face from the snow and cold!  Nothing says winter like dry, dull looking skin!  However, ever since I found out about topical Vitamin C three years ago, it had changed my life for the better!! So what is topical vitamin C and its usage you ask? Well allow me to inform you!!

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is used to protect and help the face from wrinkles, sun damage, signs of aging, dark spots and brighten your complexion amongst other great benefits. Vitamin C can also help to prevent or treat hyperigmentation, defend against free radicals and brighten your skin.
However with all the advantages of vitamin C, the only draw back is that because it is an antioxidant, it oxidizes itself very quickly and once this happens, it is no longer good. You will be able to tell by the color when this happens to your product. It normally starts off clear and then turns yellow.   Because vitamin C is so hard to PROPERLY make, stabilizing it and have a correct ph balance cause the product to air more on the pricey side of skincare.  So I was happy when the Company Refreshed asked me to review this product of theirs.  Not only was it well formulated, but it also didn't break the bank! 

As soon as I received this product I put it to test by first comparing it to my check list and then trying it out! When it comes to vitamin C, a few things you need to keep in mind. 

1. Make sure it has AT LEAST 10% to 25% vitamin C in order to make sure it is effective. Next, check to make sure the active ingredients ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid is found in the serum.   The product has 25% vitamin C in it.

2. Make sure it come in a dark opaque bottle and packaged as a serum with a droplet or in a pump style form. Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it will start to breakdown once exposed to light and air. If it comes in a cream jar form, throw it out. Its garbage and no longer effective. Also, make sure when you buy vitamin C that you store it in a cool, dry and dark space. The absents of light will allow it to oxidizes less quickly.  This product comes in a dark blue opaque bottle with a droplet. 

3. Wear sunscreen when using vitamin C on your face as it makes your skin especially vulnerable to the rays of the sun. I cannot stress that enough. Even though vitamin C does protect again UV damage, you still need sunscreen for protection. If you decide not to use sunscreen then don't use vitamin C either unless you want the potential of walking around looking like you got a bad sunburn (which is what you will end up with, fyi). It is recommended you shop around for a UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 and up. Don't go lower then 30 SPF and make sure it says UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum. This is highly important.

4. You can use vitamin C once or twice a day (morning and/or night) as part of your skincare routine and it should be the first thing you apply on after your wash your face and use your toner.

5. Try to get vitamin C that is infused with vitamin E. When conjoined together, it works as a powerful anti-aging system.  Having ferulic acid and vitamin B is a mega bonus as well!!   This product has vitamin C, B, E and ferulic acid!

6. Vitamin C can sometimes cause dryness. It is recommended that you use a good moisturizer to deal with this issue.

If you are use vitamin C on a regular bases, you should see results within 4-8 weeks. It will make your skin brighter (not whiter or lighter) and get rid of your dull complexion and greatly improve any dark spots you have on your face.

This product truly met my check list and then some.  The ph balance was between a 3.5 - 4% and it kept my skin looking glowing and fresh.  I normally use Paula's Choice Vitamin C, however switching over to this offered me the same results for a lot less!

I would highly recommend this product if you are in the market for a good well formulated vitamin C that won't break the bank and you can get it in the US and Canada!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: This product was sent to me free for review.  However I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own! 

Read More

What Being Preppy Actually Means!

So, you want to be preppy, eh?!  Generally when we imagine preppie people, for many the only thing that comes to mind is a bunch of "gossip girl" b*$%hes who spent their days terrorizing other young girls in high fashion haute couture.  However for the rest of us not born in the 2000 era, we all know that preppy got it's image from Ivy League students who were well educated and in many instances, well off.  However not every preppy dressing individual is rich and a graduate from Harvard.  Nonetheless, its not uncommon to find this fashion sense of style does go hand in hand with this type of population because its roots did start in this manner.  Yet with all that being said, being preppy is more of a lifestyle than a fashion statement!  Food for thought.....

When I was working in NYC on Wall Street, I dressed very preppy.  My closet was mostly Banana Republic (which oozes preppy like no other) and I only owned, maybe, one pair of jeans and one pair of sneakers.  However the rest of my days (when not wearing a suit) were spent in knee high skirts, relaxed dress pants, loafers, ballet flats, cardigans and the likes that made the average non-prepister want to beat the hell out of me.  However, I stopped at headbands.  As much as they seem lovely (seem) that's beyond my limit of comfort.  Nonetheless, the rest of me screamed a J. Crew catalog!

My husband and I decided early on that all four of our kids would be dressed in the preppy style.  None of my child own graphic style clothes at all.  They all wear either solid colors or prints (patterns) but nothing with images on them.  They do own sneakers, but as well, shoes that are comfortable to walk in that still scream PREPPY!  None of them own sweat pants or sweat shirts and would never be allowed to walk outside the house dressed like this, unless they were going to play sports!  We make sure their image is that of a young "professional" child who isn't caught up in trendy clothes but well dressed in 'fashionable' clothes.  It is very important to us that our kids dress in an image that represent both my husband and me background and education.  We both tend to air more on the preppy side and less on the fast fashion side.  We normally buy clothes that are not fads, high fashion, or that will go out of season next week.  We stick with what we know, classic pieces and what works so that we can wear it year around without feeling like we got pushed off the run away high fashion train.  To use, dressing preppy has to do with our way of life, way of thinking and how we were raised.  If you ever studied this type of "culture" you would learn that this is more of a lifestyle and less of a fashion statement.  However for the sake of this article, we will use both terms interchangeably depending on the content of the paragraph.  

So if you are interested in joining the "preppy" lifestyle, below are a few tips to help you achieve this! 

Play Attentions to Brands! Brands are important due to the type of clothing style (and not designers) they can offer!

While preppy people do care about brands, it isn't the high fashion brands they go after, but rather the ones that can offer them the classic look they are going for.  Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Gap and the likes all offer preppy clothing that one would be looking for.  They are known for offering the docker pants, cardigan sweaters, ballet shoe style flats and the colors and patterns ones need to pull this look off.  However with that being said, preppy people don't push brand names either.  You won't see them walking around with a Calvin Klein label hanging off the front of their shirt.  So be conscious that while brands matter in order to offer you the style of clothing you are looking for, making sure the public knows which designer you are wearing does not.  Nothing only is that not preppy, but its down right obnoxious.  Preppy people are suppose to be very polite, well mannered and conservative.  Remember that before you buy something that looks to hot, sexy, flashy or too fashionable for everyday wear.

When looking for preppy clothing, be alert of a few things.   Preppy clothing is less about fashion and more about a statement!

1. While preppy people love colors to accentuate their clothes, don't go too over the top with flashy colors that scream "what the hell".  They normally stick with pastels and earth tone colors.  Bright pink magenta might be off their plate.  

2. Moreover they mostly tend to wear plain t-shirts (colored or not), solids, strips or pattern shirts WITHOUT graphics.  button up blouses/shirts, kahakis, dockers, skinny jeans or relaxed dressed pants. Polo shirts and boat shoes are a staple in this category.  And no, Its not a stereotype, its just how it's done!  Cardigans, sweaters, fashionable blazers, and dresses are always in their closest.        

3.  Shoes tend to be oxfords, loafers, ballet flats, riding boots, or stylish heels that don't scream Louboutin.  Again, remember, preppy people are stylish not flashy.  Not saying they won't own Louboutin, just says it won't be one of his eccentric designs. 

4. Purses, while they are a big thing, generally tend to be totes (monogrammed) or arm bags that are classical but not a one season wear.  

5.  Jewelry and accessories are important but again, cant be over the top.  So pearls, studded earrings and tasteful gold or silver is allowed.  One ring on each hand is ok.  All 10 fingers coated in metal is not.  Solid leather belts, cuff links, ties and yes in some cases handkerchiefs are acceptable for men.

 Grooming is a very serious issue in the prepster lifestyle.  No serious preppy person would be caught dead with dirty hair, hands, body or clothes.  So grooming is a must.

1. Make sure your hair is always washed, clean, cut properly and not all over the place.

2. Long and shoulder length hair can normally be found amongst this crowd.  Make sure your hair color is either your own or one that looks like its naturally yours.  Blonde hair that looks fake or black hair that looks goth is not found in this arena.  

3. Makeup is normally worn in a very natural looking way.  Naturally looking skin is always key in this group. Stay away from crazy over the top eyeshadow, harsh contouring, disco ball highlighting or eyeliner that looks like it can grow wings and fly!  Eyebrows should always be groomed and filled in to look natural and not like they belong on Instagram!   Men tend to be well shaven, groomed hair and showered.  Clear skin for both sexes is normally looked after in order to ensure it looks healthy.  Now-a-days white teeth is common among people.  So keeping your smile white and bright wouldn't hurt either with a dentist or OTC treatment. 

4. Diet and exercise is key in this group because form fitting clothes is mostly worn versus baggy styles.  so eat right, exercise and stay healthy for your well being.  

5. Keep your nails manicured whether you are a guy OR girl.  Nothing says nasty like dirty finger nails and ragged cuticles.  Biting your nails is bad as well.  Make sure your hands make a statement about you and not a deterrent against you.  Moreover, preppy girls tend to wear either natural looking nail polish, clear polish or the french manicure.  Wild, bright or vivid colors are seldom found here. 

 Attitude is everything!  So get it together with this one!!  No amount of money or clothes can ever cover up an ugly heart!

Again, being preppy is a lifestyle and not just a fashion statement.  While fashion is a large part of it, but being educated and mannered is an even bigger deal.

1. Be polite, no one likes rude people.  As much as you might (like to think) identify with NYC attitude and culture, the large majority of us know when you crossed over to the "oh no know he/she didn't" side.  Confidence is not the same as rudeness.  Being assertive, a straight arrow and dominant can all be done without putting anyone down, pushing people to the side or stepping over people.

2. Manners always rule in this arena when it comes to eating.  So, if you don't have table manners, learn some.  You can watch a youtube video, read a book or ask someone who has etiquette in this area.  Lack of etiquette, especially at the table speaks volumes about you.  So be careful how you tread in this area.

3. Be classy when it comes to dressing, walking and talking, as this is very important.  Wear clothes that flatter you and not make you look trashy, sleazy or unkempt.  Learn to speak without using curse words in every other sentence or argue without cursing people out.  This only shows your limited vocabulary and lack of etiquette when dealing with others when confronted with unpleasant situations.  Keep your cool (and tongue) at all times.  Walk tall with proper posture.  Shoulders back, stomach in and no slouching!

4. Plays sports like golf, rugby, cricket, tennis, ballet, swimming, hockey, soccer, horse backing riding and so on that demonstrate your athletic skills and team player personality!  That is always a winning personality trait when you can get along with others even in a competitive situation.

5.  Read books and not just fiction.  Learn about world events, sports, economic issues, religion, science and all things that well educated people would talk about at a dinner party or in general.  Your latest reality show in this circle might not cut it.      

6.  Be nice, polite, helpful and well mannered.  The better well mannered and educated you are (in all areas) the more likely people are to get along with you, respect you and want to get to you know versus those who are seen as stuffy, uptight, disrespectful and completely unmannered.  Those people don't really go far and have few very intimate close friends no matter what they think or say. 

7. Above all have an award winning character and integrity.  Because, well, if you don't have that...then really don't have anything.

So there you have it!  My tips on how to be a prepster!! Do you know any others I might have missed?

Keep Smiling!


Read More

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter Survival Makeup for Dry Skin!

Winter Survival Beauty Gear!

Affiliated links in post

Let's be real, winter is harsh.  Unless you live in Florida where winter is probably 60F during the cold months, you know what its like to suffer from dry, chapped, peeling, dehydrated skin.  During the winter, I don't like to fuse with a lot of makeup because when my skin is taking a hit due to the coldness (hello, can we say -40F?!) I hate having to scrub my face to remove makeup when my skin might not be up to it.  And while I use all gentle well formulated products (can we say Paula's Choice), nonetheless dry skin still hurts when it needs to be cleaned.  So for today I am going to be talking about a few of my favorite winter makeup staples that I use throughout the cold season to keep my makeup looking fresh and my skin well taken care of!

Make up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer - $42.00 CDN

MUFE has a made a bronzer that looks as natural as J-lo's tan.  It comes in six different shades with three being matte and three iridescent.  Its a gel to powder form that literally is powderless and looks totally natural on the skin when applied.  Not a single trace of powder can be found when swatched or applied to the skin.  It leaves the skin a very natural looking glowy bronzy finish and works wonders over dry skin.  Since it applies powderless, there are no dry patched that this bronzer will cling on to.  This is always a plus when you have dry skin because makeup always seems to gravitate towards that spot and just accentuate it more! I have truly enjoyed using this bronzer during this winter season for the great non powdery look it gives me.  I wear this in the shade 15i.

Ah yes nothing goes worse with dry skin than foundation.  I don't suffer from dry skin.  However during the weather I might hit a dry patch (no pun intended) here and there.  Nonetheless, half the times I don't even notice it till I apply foundation, and then I see the dead skin hanging on my face!  Sadly by the time this happens, I can't re-apply my moisturizer because my foundation is already on.  So best thing to do is find a foundation that either hides or moisturizers your skin during application.  

One of the best foundations I found that doesn't cling, accentuate, or make the skin worse is bareMinerals Complexion Rescue foundation.  This foundation is basically a tinted moisturizer (BB, CC cream) in a gel like form.  However, what's different from the rest that I have tried is that this gel cream literally helps to moisturize the skin and does wonders on dry patches.  During the winter months, this is my go-to product because of its amazing skin properties.  It really does hydrate the skin and gives you one of the most natural looks I have ever seen.  It just looks like you have nothing on but your natural skin.  It does wonders in evening out my complexion, hydrating it and providing flawless seamless coverage.  This won't hide any serious imperfections you have on your face as it provides sheer to very modest medium coverage, but it will give you the best looking skin I have seen so far! I wear this in the shade, Vanilla. 


It sounds so luxurious by simply saying the words Yves Saint Laurent or YSL.  They truly do make amazing makeup products.  And while not all their cosmetics are amazing, the large majority are really worth looking into.  One of their most amazing products I have ever tried is their Volupte Tint-In-Oil gloss.  Not only is this a gloss with amazing shine and colors to die to for, but it comes in the form of an oil that truly hydrates your lips for hours.  Its not messy, sticky nor does it smell or taste bad.  It has a lovely rosey peach mango scent ( know, totally all over the board) with an almost creamy like feel.  It last for hours and once gone it leaves behind a lovely tint on your lips without that ugly ring around the mouth effect.  While they are a bit on the pricey side, however they really are worth the buy especially in cold weather where anything with a bit of oil in it helps to hydrate the lips to keep them supple.  Your lips can get badly affected by the winter months, so with this baby I swear my lips can survive the winter weather till Spring!  I wear this in the shade Peach Me Love and Cherry My Cherie!
Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette - $73.00 CDN

In the winter people tend to wear dark lips with more neutral colors on their eyes and drink hot chocolate!  So why not do all three in one shot!!  One of the best eye shadow palettes that came out during the end of the year in 2014 was the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette by Too Faced.  This palette ranges between warm and cool tones with a pop of blue right in the center.  While a large majority of these colors run in the brown family, they all have great different undertones to work with just about all skin types.  They also offer grey hues in their palette to work in with the browns.  This palette always reminds me of a great snowy winter wonderland because of its amazing chocolate smell and colors that just make you want to curl up by the fire! Well...maybe not all that dramatic but still the eyeshadows are worth taking a few looks at yourself in the mirror as you cozy by a fire!

Lavanila The Healthy Dedorant - $17.00 CDN

Lets be honest we tend to sweat a lot in the winter just like in the summer.  In the winter with all the layers we need to wear to keep warm, sweating just comes naturally.  One of the things I try to do in my life is eat right, sleep right, and use good healthy products on my body in order to keep with the whole healthy effect.  I hate using deodorant with aluminum in it, because I personally don't think its healthy.  So I was totally excited when Lavanila came out with a complete 100% all natural deodorant with no aluminum or anything that might be harsh to your skin.  They come in five scents with lavender being my favorite!  It applies on like a white balm without leaving a white stain on my clothes.  It last all day and  keeps me dry with no smell.  I was at first a little skeptical because it was all natural, and many times all natural products tend to fail in the smell department protection area.  But this truly was a winner for me in my books as one of the best products I have ever tried!

So their you have it, my staple items for the winter to survive the cold harsh weather in style!  What are you staple items? Let me know down below!

Keep Smiling!

Read More

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer

Make up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer - $42.00 CDN

I have only ever tried two products from Make up For Ever (MUFE) in my life.  Their lip liner which I bought last year, and their HD foundation.  However, you can't really judge a company based on one lip liner as its practically non-existent once you apply your lipstick over it.  Nor can I judge them on a foundation that I tried that just didn't work for me.  Nonetheless, I heard that they make amazing quality professional makeup that both makeup artists and non-makeup artists can appreciate.  So hence why I never gave up on them.  

I have been recently on the hunt for a good grey tone bronzer, or bronzer in general that doesn't pull too red, brown or orange on the skin.  Since I am pretty fair skin, I need to be carefully that the sun kiss look I am going after doesn't end up being the sun burnt look I was trying to avoid.  I have heard about these  MUFE bronzers from the Youtubers that I watch, but I was just not ready to try another bronzer that wasn't my soleil tan de chanel bronzer.  What can I say, I'm a creature of habit and once I find something I like, I stick to it.  However I also noticed that I really did need something a bit more darker and greyer in tone for the winter months.  While I am not one to collect copious amounts of makeup, I do believe in allowing yourself 2-3 different varieties in each makeup category in order to work with your skin tone that can be affected with the sunny months of the year.  While I don't EVER tan, however I do know a darker bronzer was in order and looked better during the winter then a lighter one for the summer.

MUFE back in summer of 2015 came out with six different bronzing shades in two different formats for light, medium and darker skin tones.  The bronzers come in either a matte (M) or iridescent (I) form.  The bronzer itself, regardless of what shade you get it in is really something to talk about.  MUFE claims their bronzer is a gel to powder finish.  While I can't really say if it is really a gel (as I'm not going to study the bronzer in my chemistry class) however what I can say is that this is a formula that I have never seen before! The bronzer is pressed down and so finely milled that when you swipe it with either your finger or brush, absolutely NO fallout appears.  I mean none! No light dust of bronzer was on my finger, on the pan or in the air.  It was literally like a gel to powderless powder form.  Moreover, in order to even see the color you need to use a dense makeup brush or a good hard finger swipe for the color to appear.  

They state that the bronzer is waterproof.  I can totally attest to that.  I swiped the bronzer with my finger four times and drew four lines on the back of my right hand to check out the shade.  I let it set and then went about my normal day.  I must of washed and dried my hands a million times, yet the bronzer did not move. I had to finally grab a dish sponge and scrub that bronzer off, only to still be left behind with one finger swipe.  

In regard to the bronzers format, you can either get them in a matte or iridescent finish.  The matte colors all seem to offer a lighter shade (10m, 20m, 30m) in each skin tone category, while the iridescent finishes (15i, 25i, 35i) (darker shades from their matte counterpart) leave behind a very small amount of shimmer and dare I say (gasp) sparkle when applied to the skin.  However unless you (now here comes the bronx out of me) "are all up in my grill" (literally) you really won't see the shimmery effects.  However in the sunlight, you catch a small beautiful glimpse of what looks like shimmery natural sparkling skin.  

I wear 15i since I am pretty fair skin.  I applied this bronzer on my bare face at first without any foundation underneath and was surprised on how quick it just lite up my face.  With foundation, it did the same thing.  While I'm not a huge fan of the shimmery looks, however I do appreciate the fact that its very subtle.  If I could do it all over again (which I will once this bronzer runs out) I would buy it in the 10m format because you can't contour with shimmery iridescent bronzers.  They really just don't look natural,  but you can bronzer with them.  Mattes on the other hand, you can contour and bronzer (or do all in one) and be left with a natural looking finish.

This bronzer (15i) really does leave a very and I mean very natural looking finish on your skin that almost looks like you were born with it.  Since it is "powderless" it applies to the skin like a second skin and comes off as you were naturally kissed by the rays of the sun.  I was really amazed by the look of this bronzer on my skin. Even close up to a mirror, I could not detect at all any powder on my skin.  It looked like I was sporting a sort of J-lo's tan glow on my face as if I was born this way.  In reality I am pale white, but hell with this on, I even managed to fool myself (well, almost).

I highly recommend these bronzers for an all natural year around sun kiss look. Have you tried any of them? Let me know down below what you think of this product!!

Keep smiling!

Read More

Monday, January 11, 2016

Restoration Hardware Slippers!

Restoration Hardware has got to be one of the most amazing stores I have ever seen/shopped at!  Truly it is!  I have heard about this store before, but thought they only restored furniture.  However, upon further inspection, I noticed they sell furniture, household items, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, bedroom and living room items, lighting and so much more!

They also sell clothing items which is what totally grabbed my attention! I for one love slippers, and finding a good pair is hard to find.  However once I do, I tend to buy them over and over again till it goes out of style or out of commission.  Whichever comes first.  One day while watching my friend Kimberly Mofitt's youtube channel, she mentioned the Ultimate Luxury Plush Foot Duvet slippers she bought from RH and described them as the most comfortable slippers ever!  So I totally of course had to try them!

Ultimate Luxury Plush Foot Duvet - $29.00 US (on sale $9.99 for a limited time)

These slippers literally feel like a duvet for your feet.  They are the most soft, comfortable and no weight slippers I have ever felt.  They come in about seven different colors in three different shoe sizes for men and women.  The booties are down-filled making them seem like you are walking on air.  They have a non-slip sole which is great for going down stairs or walking on wood or marble floors and a plushy surface in order to give you a nice comfortable support to your feet.  What I love most about these slippers is that your feet don't sweat.  Since they are down-filled and it has a wide mouth at top around your ankles, you get a great flow of air that doesn't keep moisture trapped in all day.

This booties were easy to wash, dried easily and kept their shape.  My kids have dropped food, water, juice on them by accident as they walk by me with cups/plates in hand into the family room (which is a big no) when watching netflix.  I was scared that they might stain, but after one wash they came back out, brand new and clean as a whistle.  I have to say these are the best booties I have ever owned and literally feels like I'm walking on air all day long!  I bought mine in the color fog because that color truly just called my name! 

Luxe Faux Fur Booties - $29.00 (on sale $11.99 for a limited time)

Since I moved into my new house two months ago, it has been in a state of renovation, decoration and so on.  I literally have been putting together one room at a time which is still a work in progress.  One room, my family room is for the family (meaning the kids as well) to hang out in and that leaves the formal living room alone to be used for parties, friends and other family members when they come over.  I recently bought three faux fur throws for the family room because of how much I love the look and feel of that material.  They are so luxurious, soft and fancy.  All my kids were originally fighting over one blanket so I have to get two more to even out the score.  Nonetheless, while searching RH for faux fur throws for my bedroom, I came across their Luxe Faux Fur Booties and totally had to buy them!  I bought a pair of these booties in the color fog as well because I just love the way dark gray looks on me.

These booties can also be ordered in three different sizes and six different colors.  They are lined with  faux fur from cuff to toe and have a non-skid sole and good strong platform to support your foot as you walk.  These booties are also machine washable, however must be air-dried.  So I would recommend you washing them at night, and letting them dry over night so you can potentially use them the next day.  

These booties literally feel like a minx cat is in your shoe.  They are totally soft, very warm and just feel like silk on your feet.  I have worked with them around the house all day, and they totally feel comfortable and support my foot.  However, they can get too warm at times unlike my duvet ones that I never felt overheated in.  Nonetheless in the mornings when the house floors are a bit cold, these booties warm me up in no time!  My five year old loves them so much, that he has asked for me to buy him a pair due to how fabulous they feel! 

When drying the luxe faux fur and the duvet booties, try drying them on broom sticks in order to allow air inside the booties to avoid a moist atmosphere.  I did this with my duvet booties and by the next day they were dry, clean and no moisture build-up inside.  

RH is currently having a massive blow out sale with some items up to 75% off!  Both these booties are currently on sale for more then half the price and they are running out.  So get them while you still can!! 

Have you ever tried anything for RH? Let me know in the comments below!

UPDATE: Since the writing and posting of this blog, the Luxe Faux Fur Booties have sold out!!

Keep Smiling!


Read More
Powered By Blogger · Designed By Seo Blogger Templates