October 17, 2018

London Drugs #LDBeauty: Fall/Winter 2018 Launches to Look Out For

Last week was an absolute whirlwind... not only did I get married (more on that to come), but just a few days before the wedding I also headed up to Whistler for the #LDBeauty event where we got to preview a ton of exciting beauty launches coming to London Drugs.

The event took place over two days, with a "trade show" (where we got to go around meet all the different vendors and learn about their products) followed by a dinner sponsored by Cover Girl on the first day and a Neostrata workshop on the second day. We came home with a ton of different products which I'm looking forward to trying and reviewing on the blog over the next while but in the mean time, I wanted to share a few of the launches I'm most excited about.

Do you remember when Juicy Couture launched its first eponymous fragrance back in 2006? The gorgeous glass bottle was everything. I bought it as soon as it came out but for some reason my body chemistry didn't really agree with the fragrance blend which was a major bummer. However, the 2018 Juicy Couture Oui is right up my alley. It's light and fruity with top notes of watermelon, acai berry, tea, and pear - yum! Also, I'm loving the 2000s throwback vibe... brings me right back to middle school/high school which was such a fun and carefree time.

I've posted about KISS products a number of times before (here, here, and here). The company is best known for its lashes and nail products, of which there are some very exciting new designs coming out including chrome nails! However, they're now moving into skincare with a line of face masks. Check out the 24K gold peel-off mask!

Skincare seemed to feature most prominently in the launches at #LDBeauty this year which I loved since I became pretty obsessed with my skin in the lead up to the wedding. I'm also in my 30s so keeping my skin in tip-top condition is now a major priority.

The Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment is being touted as an at-home chemical peel that's safe to use and considerably cheaper than going to a dermatologist (I believe the price was around $243 for the box).

Retinol is also super big right now (or maybe it just piqued my interest the most since I have been loving the addition of retinol to my skincare routine). StriVectin S.T.A.R. Light™ Retinol Night Oil is a fast absorbing dry-finish oil that works overnight. The Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules, another night treatment, deliver potent doses of retinol through single-use capsules.

For those interested in more natural skincare, look out for Derma E which was a new-to-me brand. They offer a seriously impressive range of products to target whatever concern you might have. Even better, they're packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and botanicals so you can feel good about what you're putting on your skin.

I know it's only October but in the beauty world, Fall also means holiday launches! I often post about offerings from Burt's Bees (see here and here), and it looks like this year won't disappoint. If you're on the hunt for a beauty advent calendar, look no further than the NYX Sugar Trip Advent Calendar packed with 24 days of amazing products from lipsticks and glosses to blush and highlighter. It would make the ultimate present for someone... or even yourself!

London Drugs never ceases to amaze me with the amount of beauty and skincare products they sell. In fact, I feel like the brands they offer just keep getting better and better as each year passes. Plus, how convenient is it that the store is also a one-stop shop for food, home products, electronics, and everything else you might need? If you don't live in Western Canada, don't forget you can also shop online.

September 25, 2018

Wedding Hair & Makeup Trial: How To Prepare and What to Expect

There are lots of things to be excited about when you're planning a wedding but for a beauty blogger like me, coming up with my wedding look was one of my most anticipated. I'm obviously not a Kardashian so getting professional hair and makeup is a pretty rare occurrence, and it's always fun to see what you'll end up looking like when you hand over the reins to someone else. Since I just had my hair & makeup trial, I thought I'd share some of the things I learned!

1. Research, research, research

If you decide to go the professional route, a lot of research is involved in picking the right makeup artist/hair stylist for you. I knew that I wanted someone who could do both (two birds with one stone) and they had to be able to offer services for an entire bridal party plus my mom. I obtained a list of recommended HMUA from my wedding planner, did my own research for any additional ones I'd read good reviews about, and e-mailed them all for quotes. After comparing quotes, I narrowed down my choices and checked out their work on Instagram to see who might be a good fit. Some brides may want a more natural look or prefer someone who works with a particular ethnicity often (e.g. makeup for Asian features). I ended up choosing Jayna Marie Makeup + Hair because she's won lots of awards, had great reviews, and I liked her work.

2. Pinterest is your friend

Once I picked my wedding theme/decor and found my dress, I already had a pretty specific vision of how I wanted my hair and makeup to look. I very rarely wear my hair up so I knew I needed a style that would allow most/all of it to be down. I also love bold eye looks and neutral lips but wanted to play off of my dress and wedding accent colours in the makeup shades. My wedding theme is "west coast greenery" so I purchased a custom greenery comb from Oh! Dina Millinery and combed Pinterest for ideas on how to incorporate greenery into a hairstyle. I also decided that I wanted a gold based smokey eye and found some examples that I liked.

Sources: left // right

3. Bring everything to your trial

For my trial, I purposely wore white on top so I'd at least know how the hair and makeup looked against white clothing (when I got home I did change into something a little fancier so I could get the full effect). I also brought all my accessories with me: my greenery hair comb, the earrings I'm planning on wearing, and hair extensions to add volume to my thin hair.

4. Be flexible

After meeting Jayna and talking about my vision, I let her get to work. It's important to trust the professional! Jayna ended up changing the hairstyle slightly from what I originally asked for (everything to the side) because my hair isn't super long and it wouldn't have looked as good. She did show me how it would look that way and left it up to me to decide what I'll end up going with. She also really amped up the lashes (they are double layered and basically triple the length of my natural lashes) which was a pretty huge shock for me when I looked in the mirror for the first time... it's a lot of look but I kind of like it!

5. Check the wear time and take pictures

After you're all fancied up, it's important to test the wear time on your makeup. You want it to really last since your wedding day is long. A lot of people recommend having your trial on the day of your engagement shoot or for your bridal shower so you can really get your bang for your buck, which I think is a great idea. If you have your dress, try it on to get a preview of how you'll look on your wedding day or wear it to an alterations appointment. I didn't really have that luxury due to timing but I did make note of how shiny I got, anything I want to change, and will bring that feedback to Jayna. I also took pictures when I got home to see how the makeup looked outside of Jayna's fancy studio lights.

It's so crazy to think that my wedding is just a few weeks away... I hope this post was helpful for any other brides-to-be. Stay tuned for the final look!

September 11, 2018

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex

The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair line is, I think, my favourite from the brand (the Intensive Recovery Ampoules are serious skincare saviours). I just love the idea of incredibly potent products that are meant to work their magic while we're sleeping so we can wake up looking more youthful and refreshed.

Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex is a new treatment for the eye area that helps repair the visible impact of lack of sleep, UV, pollution, and even blue light from all those screens we're constantly looking at. It's the first of its kind specifically targeting blue light pollution and I bet we'll be seeing a lot more products coming out with this in mind in the near future.

I was lucky enough to take home the Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex after a recent event (love the cute plastic globe it came in!) and have been putting it to the test ever since. It retails for $80 CAD which is quite pricey for an eye cream but a little goes a long way and you do get 15 mL in the container.

The texture is a lightweight GelCreme which feels luxurious on the skin and absorbs quickly. It doesn't leave a tacky finish either which can be annoying when you are trying to apply eye makeup on top. There is a slight perfumed scent, however, which may irritate sensitive eyes... I would just caution to be careful not actually get this too close to your eyes and concentrate just on the delicate skin around them.

Although I don't typically have bags unless I haven't been getting enough sleep, I have noticed that my undereye area does look brighter in general. Plus, it doesn't hurt to keep up with preventative measures! If you're in the market for a new eye cream/serum/treatment, definitely give this one a look.

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