November 30, 2017

Holiday Offerings from L'Occitane En Provence

Following up on my stocking stuffers for beauty lovers post, I've got a bunch more reviews coming up as part of this year's holiday gift guide series. Today, it's all about L'Occitane En Provence!

L'Occitane puts together some very thoughtfully curated gift sets including the Shea Butter Collection ($79 CAD), which I was kindly sent to try out. Packaged in a sleek round box with a gold lid, it includes a Shea Butter Hand Cream (75ml), Foot Cream (75ml), Ultra-Rich Body Cream (200ml), and Extra Gentle Milk Soap (100g). I've reviewed the Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm before and I love how this set allows me to sample some of the company's other shea butter offerings. I was also pleased to find a coupon for $10 off any shea butter product from January 1-31, 2018 -- great bonus!

And, as if you needed another reason to splurge on this collection for yourself or someone else,  L’Occitane has partnered with UNICEF to help thousands of children around the world this holiday season. From October 25 to December 25, the company will donate $4 from each Shea Butter Collection and Shea Butter Deluxe Collection Gift Sets purchased to UNICEF, up to $120,000.

If shea butter isn't your thing, L'Occitane does have a range of other sets for those on your Christmas shopping list. Check them all out here here, but if you need a little guidance, I've rounded up a few of my picks for you too:

Terre de Lumière Collection ($89 CAD): Featuring L'Occitane's 2017 fragrance launch (reviewed here), this set includes a holiday limited edition Terre de Lumière Eau de Parfum (50ml), Gentle Shower Gel (50ml), Body Lotion (50ml), and Perfumed Soap (75g) wrapped in luxury silk gold tissue.

Advent Calendar ($69 CAD): You can't go wrong with a beauty advent calendar and this one is sure to please any crowd by revealing a surprise beauty essential on each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas.

Premium Advent Calendar ($134 CAD): New for 2017, this premium advent calendar includes 24 premium fragrance, body care, and face care products from many of L'Occitane's beloved lines, including Verbena, Shea Butter, Immortelle, Almond, Cherry Blossom, Rose, and more.

Crackers Collection ($34 CAD): A super fun alternative to your traditional holiday crackers, these contain cute L'Occitane minis. Now that's a cracker I want to pop open!

L’Homme Cédrat Collection ($84): For the men in your life, L’Homme Cédrat is the essence of escape, inspired by the sailors of Arles with a crisp freshness and aquatic notes. This set includes the signature L’Homme Cédrat Cologne Eau de Toilette (75ml), Shower Gel (250ml), After-Shave gel cream (30ml), and Cologne Soap (50g).

November 27, 2017

Stocking Stuffers for Beauty Lovers

Can you believe Christmas is in less than a month?! I've been working hard to get all my holiday shopping done early and thought I'd share some stocking stuffer ideas for any beauty lovers on your gift list this year.

Being by Sanctuary Spa is a new bath & body line from the UK catered towards millennials. Edgy messaging and unique scents are their M.O. with this Chilli Mango & Tonka Bean Body Mist being one of my faves. Find this in-store at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Next up, these Real Techniques Mini Miracle Complexion Sponges are super cute and perfect for travel or those on-the-go. Find this in-store at London Drugs.

Face masks also make great stocking stuffers and this 7th Heaven Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask is a fun take on the traditional peel-off mask featuring pressed birch leaf, crushed witch hazel, and activated charcoal. Find this in-store at London Drugs.

If you're looking for some pre-made gift sets, Stila has released some really nice ones this season. The Play it Cool Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set comes with three deluxe sizes of their beloved matte liquid lipsticks: Baci (nude pink), Patina (dusty rose), and Bacca (raspberry).

For those who are more into defined eye looks, the Stila Big Shots Set comes with full-sizes of their Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner & HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara. I've been a devoted Kat Von D Ink Liner user for years but this summer I received a sample of Stila's liner from a Sephora order and I think I'm going to make the switch -- it's so good!

Lastly, while not quite a beauty product, everyone could use a Saje Peppermint Halo Headache Remedy rollerball. I keep one of these in my desk at work for when I feel a headache coming on.

November 17, 2017

A Matte Shellac Mani (feat. CND Mystic Slate)

Last week, I was invited to preview the new CND Glacial Illusion Collection at Prép Beauty Parlour and it's got to be one of my favourite nail polish collections that's been released in recent years. With the Arctic as its core inspiration, the collection features some gorgeous shades that are perfect for the winter and holiday season (check them all out here).

I was immediately drawn to Mystic Slate, an icy slate grey that leans blue. However, I also wanted to add a unique touch to my mani so I asked my manicurist to finish it with the Matte Top Coat from the CND Shellac Alluring Trilogy Collection.

That's right... a MATTE Shellac mani! Did you even know such a thing was possible? Most people love gel and Shellac manicures for the glossy shine, but I love that this top coat means you can now get the long wear of Shellac with a matte finish. 

I've tried matte top coats before like Essie Matte About You, but because I was dealing with regular nail polish, I found that I would get chipping after only a few days. This CND top coat, on the other hand, cures under a UV lamp like the regular Shellac top coat. It's a serious game changer.

I couldn't be happier with this mani and am honestly just obsessed with how it turned out. So chic, right?!

November 14, 2017

Big Changes

As you all know, I started this blog almost 8 years ago while I was attending law school. Since graduating in 2011, I have been working as a lawyer in a very specialized practice area and have, for privacy reasons, made efforts to ensure that my professional career is kept separate from my blogging hobby. In keeping with this caveat, I actually have some big news to share: as of today, I am officially leaving private practice! This decision was not an easy one to make as I truly love my firm and the work that we do. However, private practice has proven difficult for me in many ways and resulted in considerable stress and health issues over time. I felt I owed it to myself to see if there was a way I could transition my career into something more sustainable for the long-term. So, starting today, I will be taking on a new role at a large organization (still in law). Although it's a bit nerve-wracking to be taking this step, I am very excited about the new opportunity.

To celebrate, I had to buy myself something -- obviously. I love a bit of flash and this Prada Lion Bag definitely fit the bill. Who wouldn't love a statement piece that resembles a large door knocker?!

Blouse: TWIK (Simons) (c/o Chick Advisor) / Jeans: Frame (similar)
Boots: Vince / Bag: Prada (here)

November 6, 2017

Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color in B206 and B314

A few months ago, MAKE UP FOR EVER introduced its latest innovation in colour and customization: the Artist Face Color. Similar to the Artist Shadow line, Artist Face Color is a line of highlighters, sculpting powders, and blushes that come in magnetized refill pans which you can pop into either a single ($31 CAD for 1 refill + 1 palette), duo ($44 CAD for 2 refills + 1 palette) or a triple ($56 CAD for 3 refills + 1 palette).

The palette (for the duo and triple) is MUFE's standard design that we've seen on other products like the Ultra HD Pressed Powder, for example. It features a large mirror and a very strong magnet so you'll never have to worry about your refill pans falling out. 

I love the concept behind this release because it allows you to truly customize how you want your palette. You could have an entire highlighter palette or create the ultimate highlighter + sculpting power + blush combination. In total, there are 34 shades to choose from in a range of matte, shimmer, and pearl finishes. For ease of reference, highlighter shades are denoted by an H-#, sculpting powders by S-#, and blushes by B-#.

L-R: Artist Face Color in B206 and B314

Since I'm a blush fiend, I obviously went for a blush duo when MUFE offered me the opportunity to test these out. B206 is a matte which is described as a peachy pink. In the pan this sounds about right but an initial swatch looked like a cooler pale pink. However, once I blended it into my skin it did get warmer and appeared true to its description. B314 is a shimmer tangerine which is a lot more bold but very pretty.

Both blushes are highly pigmented and easily blendable. The textures are so nice as well... very soft and finely milled. If you're on the hunt for a new face colour (or two, or maybe even three), definitely check these out!

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