Beautiful Blog Weekly Round-Up

After a busy week of Thanksgiving (for our American friends) and Black Friday shopping, we’re here to help you sort through all the latest and greatest in beauty.  Forget the crowds and sit back next to the crackling fire and enjoy beauty right from your own home.   

Kelly from Gouldylox Reviews has been taking us along with her on her hair changing ride with amazing results. See what Peter Lamas product helped her with her new found hair style and frizz.

Have you ever gone shopping for shoes and walk away with a beauty product you just can’t resist? That’s what happened to Debbi at Diva Debbi this week. See what Bobbi Brown ended up in her “getaway” bag!

The wait is on for the Royal Wedding of William and Kate April 29, 2011. But, now we can look like royalty as BeautyXposé shows us where we can get our own replica of the infamous sapphire and diamond engagement ring!

Charlestongirl of Best Things in Beauty buys a few Le Métier de Beauté True Color Eye Shadows every time she visits the counter, hoping to own them all one day. On her last visit, she sampled the range of natural tones. Will one work for you?

Barely done with one holiday and we’re on to spring beauty! Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book shows us the latest release of Chanel nail polish, a happy color called Riva. Will this one become a cult favorite, too?

Kari from Fab Over Forty hit the holiday shopping early and you get to benefit! She’s giving away to one lucky reader an Estee Lauder makeup set in a holiday red Coach makeup bag.

Gaia from The Non-Blonde couldn’t resist Guerlain’s Holiday Rouge G le Brilliant Bee limited edition lipstick from it’s wonderful mirrored bee packaging to the tempting, luscious color inside. The swatches have us swooning for this shade!
Beautiful Soft Waves With Tigi Foxy Curls

Beautiful Soft Waves With Tigi Foxy Curls


Inspired by this Beautygeeks post and the gorgeous Janine, I decided to do my version of the beachy blow dry. I love that loose casual beach hair look it’s one I sport all summer, but after summer we perhaps want a slightly more polished look without being to “done”. As much as I love silky smooth hair, sometimes a full all over blow dry is a bit much and frankly who has the time to do this all the time?
After combing out wet hair, I apply Tigi Foxy Curls Contour Cream from halfway point and down on my hair, then comb it through. I twist it into spirals and diffuse until it’s almost dry. I do cheat a bit and use a round brush on my crown. My hair tends to frizz out and to calm that just a few blow dried sections makes a difference. I separate it into several small sections and just wrap it around a medium sized round metal brush and dry it. After it cools, I finger comb the sections to “meld” the twisted bits with the blow dried bits on top and ta-da, I’m on my merry way.
Foxy Curls has a bit of silicone in it, but it washes out and for whatever reason does not weigh my hair down. I am still on the search for the perfect curl cream that is not loaded with silicones or petroleum. At any rate the Foxy Curls are working fine. I also love Moroccan Oil Curl Cream but that one just built up on my hair. I could go a week or more without using, then at the salon my stylist would blow dry my hair and tell me she could smell the Moroccan Oil. While it does smell amazing, I don’t want layers of it building up on my hair. So I will wait until next month when the Redken Nature’s Rescue collection hits salons. It’s product Janine used, that beach spray sounds amazing! Stay tuned….


The Beautiful Spicy Flowers of Creed Tubereuse Indiana

Tubereuse Indiana is one of my favourite Creed perfumes.  It has the famous creed ambergris base that I find so mouth watering- it lingers on my skin forever and gets warmer as the day or evening goes on. It’s a different twist on tuberose- warmed up with vanilla and ambergris and some spice that is not listed by Creed- it takes the white floral and makes it sweet. This isn’t the bombastic (and unwearable in my case) Piguet Fracas, or the full blown green & lush Frederic Malle Carnal Flower (which is beautiful but not always wearable…) Straight up tuberose perfumes tend to have that dreaded “cheese” note for me- L’Artisan Tubereuse, Jo Malone Tubereuse among others. I’ve learned that I prefer a white floral blend- a soft one that does not present an olfactory challenge, and I like them more if they tend to be on the soapy side of a floral. L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons Extreme is a good example- much maligned by perfumistas as bland and pedestrian, but I adore it. It smells pretty, clean soft and feminine and often that is just what I want. 
As much as I adore gorgeous beautifully composed perfumes, as time has gone on I don’t want sillage monsters that reach out to strangle anyone in the near vicinity. I find that those who do are suffering from olfactory exhaustion, meaning they no longer smell the perfume they wear every day, and add more and more or go for killer perfumes that should not be worn in public. I wore Givenchy Amarige back when it was launched, and even Giorgio…before I knew better. Funny how our perfume tastes evolve. Thankfully!

As for a my white floral preferences, I prefer the gentle and sweet tropical night blooming variety.  I would not be surprised to find out Tubereuse Indiana had a bit of soft jasmine, orange blossom or gardenia even if they don’t say so. I won’t hold that against Creed because it just smells so good. So I won’t get into whethere or not Tubereuse Indiana is a “ true tuberose” perfume or not…

It does smell slightly tropical, but then takes a slightly unexpected turn to oriental with the vanilla ambergris combination. I know there must be other spices in there, but according the Creed there is just bergamot, tuberose, vanilla and ambergris. They claim the tuberose is Indian, hence the name, but I also thought the name might be a twist on the spices. Whatever else might be in there, it’s so soft and beautifully composed that it becomes a sum of it’s parts. Never too much, not indolic at all, the warm spicy notes accentuate the creamy quality of the white flowers. This is a huge compliment getter, and men and women seem to love it equally. I love that is not common at all, and I have yet to run into anyone who wears it. I’ve had people say it makes them think of walking at night under flowering trees while on tropical vacations and others have said it smells like a beautiful flowery soap.
As with almost all Creeds, this wears excellently. It lasts for hours and the ambergris gives it a tenacious but not cloying quality. I love it because it can go from jeans and a nice sweater to an evening event- it dresses up or down beautifully- and is one my favourite “blends into the skin” florals. Lovely. I love it in the summer, but it takes on a slightly different character in the winter. The soft spices become slightly more prominent, and it makes me think of sweet spicy floral tea. I end up wearing this more in cooler weather, and it is a holiday favourite for me.
Creed is available at select Holt Renfrew stores across Canada or from the Creed website

Beautiful Beauty Blog Roundup

The crispness of fall is in the air, and the holiday season starts next week!   Office parties, neighborhood parties, family dinners, holiday shopping, and more will be consuming our lives for the next several weeks.  We want to look our very best for all of these occasions, and there’s no better place than our favorite beauty blogs to find the best new must-haves for the season.
The holidays are the perfect time to treat yourself to a new fragrance, and Gaia has a suggestion that could make you feel glamorous and add an air of mystery to your charm. Pop over to The Non-Blonde to find out whether Gypsy should be on your wish list.
Flawless skin makes us look more youthful, and we want to look flawless for the holidays – anytime really!  Kari tested the Luminess Air system. Did it give her the flawless look she wanted? Find out at Fab over Forty.
Once upon a time…Alima Pure made Charlestongirl feel like a princess. Check out Best Things in Beauty to find out how Once Upon a Time could make your own beautiful dreams come true.
At BeautyXposé, Anne was smitten with holiday collections of mineral shadows, liners, and glosses. Bare Escentuals may have created the perfect gift sets – if you can bear to give them away.
Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book decided YSL’s Touche d’Or Highlighter and Colorama Palette gave her a gorgeous golden glow for the holidays. Will these highlighters make you a YSL convert too?
Kelly added some glitz to her life with a little sparkle on her lashes! Pop over to Gouldylox to find out how Hard Candy’s Lash Tinsel could light up your eyes for a special event.
Debbi at DivaDebbi has a new holy grail foundation. Read about DivaDebbi’s love affair  with Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Luminous Silk Foundation – and Armani’s  blender brush! We’re betting she buys the brush too. Make sure to comment and tell her why she needs it.
Carla at Product Girl knows that smoky eyes are perfect for holiday parties. She’s loving the newest kit from Smashbox! Check it out.
Can’t complete the round up without mentioning The Royal Engagment. I know that I won’t be the only woman who will be stealing at least some style tips from The Royal Fiancée Kate Middleton. Michelle at Beauty Editor shows us why this young woman has a look we can covet and look elegant while doing it. I’ve already dug up my grey eyeliner and shadow….

Exuberance Silicone-Free Primer is So Beautiful!

I’ve been meaning to review this for awhile, but, like my favourite perfumes, I tend to be at a loss for words when it comes to reviewing things I love. What should be an objective description and assessment comes off as gushing. Well, I guess that’s ok, and gird your loins for some gushing.

I love the “idea” of a make up primer- mattifying, smoothing and a reduction of shine. Sounds good, right? Sadly 99% of primers out there are loaded with silicone. If your primer rolls between your fingers with a lot of “slip” chances are that is the silicone. It’s ubiquitous and I am always amazed at the broad range of beauty products that contain silicone. So back to the Exuberance Beauty Helichrysum Silicone-Free Primer. The soft silky base in this is likely aloe but the real rockstar ingredient in this product is Helichrysm which is a plant in the sunflower family. Helichrysm is known to have unrivaled skin toning and tightening benefits, as well as regenerating qualities. This means it can help with the healing of dark spots, acne, and scars. I am all for healing skincare.

I would go so far to say that not only is this a primer that works well, but it actually improves my skin over time. Exuberance Beauty uses the best botanical ingredients money can buy and it shows. This product is full of luxury- it feels amazing and smells even better. A very soft orange blossom/neroli scent soothes and calms as you apply the product.  The emphasis is on soft as the fragrance is very gentle and dissipates after a few minutes. A little goes a long way and it sinks right into the skin. Results are visible immediately and as a user of very light bases for my make up, I often wear just this with some concealer where I need it (under eyes, sides of nose and random spots-sigh) and some powder and I’m good to go! It feels healing and soothing to my oily, acne prone yet sensitive skin as well as creating a smooth, shine free canvas for make up. My pores appear smaller and it keeps my oil in check. What more could you ask for in a primer? For $36 a 30ml bottle will go a long way, and considering what I’ve spent in the past, this is a small price to pay for the wonderful effects of this primer.
Exuberance Beauty is available on their website and at make up counters at several locations of the Bay

Kiehl’s Beautiful Acai Damage Correcting Moisturizer

My Kiehl’s love affair continues. I will be buying a 2nd bottle of their Açai Moisturizer after using it as a day lotion. Unlike many products I have, I use it daily since purchasing it in June, but I still have a few months to go on my bottle. The key ingredient in this is Açaí – a “super berry” sourced from Brazil with exceptionally high levels of nutrients and known to be one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. According to the Kiehl’s website, açai berries along with some other good stuff allegedly “repair the visible effects of oxidative environmental stress while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and loss of elasticity. Skin is visibly renewed, smoother, and more even-toned”. Sounded good to me so I asked for some samples, and as always, the Sales Associate at Kiehl’s gave me some. I must say again how amazing Kiehl’s is with their sampling program. Sampling works, as I know I would never have tried many products I now own without having sampled them first.
I’ve used many resurfacing products with a variety of ingredients- not too many were natural, some were prescription strength and almost all of them wreaked havoc with my oily  and acne prone yet sensitive skin. As always, I want smaller pores, less oil, even tone and, ahem, less wrinkles. The Kiehl’s ACDCM delivers on all accounts. I wouldn’t say the wrinkle reduction is dramatic, but the other criteria are met perfectly. This lotion has a matte finish while still soaking into the skin and offering lovely moisture. Nothing I have used has had a similar consistency and finish on the skin, and that alone keeps me using this. It has a lovely lavender scent which you might not like if you don’t like lavender, and a small blob of lotion goes a long way on my face. Small dark spots, ie scars from acne spots, fade nicely and using this in conjunction with the brilliant Midnight Recovery Concentrate has done wonders for my pores. I have noticed a reduction in clogged pores as well, and while I still get the odd spot (hormonal, along the chin and jaw mostly) my skin seems very calm  and happy while using this. I have had samples of the Acai serum and plan to get a bottle of this to use in conjunction with the lotion for day. The two products were a bit much together in hot summer months but a little back up in the winter will be nice. My skin does not like central heating and seems to suffer more ups and downs texture wise in the winter. 

Beautiful Beauty Blog Roundup

This is the best time of year for beauty and fashion lovers.  With the holidays approaching, companies are vying for our attention, with beautiful holiday offerings and gift collections. Here’s what grabbed our attention this week.
Find out why Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Glamour Set caught Kari’s eye at Fab over Forty. This everything-in-one-case collection provides a full look to spruce up your holidays.
Gaia, The Non-Blonde, gave us a sneak peak of her newly acquired Collection Essentielle de Chanel from Chanel’s Holiday 2010 Collection. If you want this limited-edition beauty, you should hurry over to your favorite Chanel counter. It left Buffy purring. See if it makes you purr too.
While we are admiring kitties, pussyfoot over to Gouldylox Reviews to see Kelly’s new Bare Escentuals All Wrapped Up six-piece collection of festive eye shadows for the holidays. We’re wondering how Beans liked being a swatch model.
Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book is loving shimmering pales for the holidays – another great feature comparing similar shades from various lines.  See why Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Gold Rush Palette fits right in with the glimmering golds and peaches we all love.
Charlestongirl was thrilled to get her hands on the long-awaited Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow Holiday 2010. You can see swatches of all three shades of Armani’s novel new shadow formula at Best Things in Beauty.
Debbi is now the perfect diva for the holidays. You can find out why Lash Dip is the future of eyelash enhancement at DivaDebbi. Would you take the plunge?
Who doesn’t party a little too hard at holiday time? Does anyone actually get enough sleep? Jane found the perfect year-round solution, one you’ll want to use when you dread the way your skin will look in the morning. Pop over to Daly Beauty to discover her Kiehl’s miracle.
It’s no secret that women love jewelry, and the holidays are the perfect  time to wear it and sparkle. Kristin showed us some beautiful earring  choices for pulling together a holiday look at BeautyXposé.
When Sue Devitt travels, the result is usually a gorgeous new makeup collection. Take a look with Carla at the new Golden Triangle Collection (makeup and fragrance) at Product Girl. Devitt really knows how to tempt us!
Intrigued? November is a great time to check out the beauty department at your favorite department store. Don’t have time? The online sites are only a click away. Have fun!
Cheap & Cheerful Beauty – Nivea Q10 Firming Body Lotion

Cheap & Cheerful Beauty – Nivea Q10 Firming Body Lotion

 This is just a simple “love this” review for Nivea Q10 Firming Body Lotion. Anyone who knows me well, knows I am a moisturizing fiend. I cannot bear the feel of dry tight skin, and usually apply body lotion at least once a day. Don’t even get me started about hand lotion….I keep small bottles in my purse and scattered around my house. I’m usually happiest in humid climates like Florida and beach communities where there is water in the air and everything feels moist and plump.
I used this years ago then somehow ended up migrating to Palmer’s Coco Butter lotion. Which I ADORE and is unparalleled for moisturizing but I do NOT want to walk around smelling like it. Which I do. The scent is tenacious and totally messes with my perfumes. Why oh why does it have to be so strong? The cream is pure genius and I know it would be effortless for them to make an unscented version as there is NO WAY that coco butter scent is natural. Anyways. So then I switched to Kiehl’s Crème de Corps (so excellent it needs its own post…stay tuned) but its rather dear at $30+ a bottle.  After a recent chat about beauty products with a beauty addicted friend, she reminded me about Nivea Q10. Funny, I used to use it religiously as it is just so darned good- not sure why I stopped but perhaps my ADD beauty product tendencies had something to do with it.
This lotion is effective and offers lasting moisturize with a gentle-but-disappears-in-minutes scent, Nivea Q10 body firming lotion delivers. I am perhaps a bit dubious of the “firming” claims, but whatever it does, it penetrates deeply and the moisture is retained for a decent amount of time. It apparently contains twice the amount of Q10 as the previous formula I originally used, but I don’t detect a difference other than the packaging and the scent, which, while still benign, is different than the original. It is not greasy but does give a lovely glow to the skin. It is not a thick or goopy as the regular formula Nivea lotion so application is a breeze. If you need a simple, gentle and effective body lotion, give this a try.
…from this…
…to this…

Beautiful True Red- Essie Fishnet Stockings

My daughter Emilie and I are constantly searching out nail polish. We love the new collections and the myriad of “it” colours that come out each season. We love cool and interesting colours, and colours that compliment our skin tone. And then there is the search for The Perfect__________. You know what I mean. We always want The Perfect Mauve,  Greige, Pink, Teal- you name it. She told me ages ago that she wanted to try Essie Fishnet Stockings, that it was allegedly The Perfect Red. Apparently it is Dita Von Teese’s signature red and if anyone knows a classic feminine red nail, it’s Ms. Von Teese. Not too brown, not too blue, that it works with all skin tones and was a the perfect classic red and that “we” simply had to get it! She is a pretty smart girl and is usually right about these things. 
Lo and behold, months later, we are shopping at Canada’s favourite drugstore, Shoppers Drug Mart (one of my beauty Meccas, but that is another post…), and find a little stash of Essie nail polishes in the nail section. Not only that, but they were $6.99. And much to our surprise, there was one lone bottle of Fishnet Stockings! Of course we grabbed it and Emilie loves it. Seeing as how the 4 bottles of Red I already have, while lovely, haven’t been Perfect, I figure I need Fishnet Stockings. Happily, I stumbled upon another $6.99 bottle at yet another Shoppers.
From left: OPI Red My Fortune Cookie, OPI The Thrill of Brazil, Essie Fishnet Stockings, OPI  Manicurist of Seville,  OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry
I’m wearing it now on fingers and toes, and can attest to Emilie’s expert opinion. It is a clear clean red, application is flawless and looks pretty amazing with two coats, although I went for broke and applied three. Along with my Lippmann Hard Rock to protect it, of course. It IS The Perfect Red.

Wake Up Beautiful with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Wake Up Beautiful with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

From the Kiehl’s website:

“This lightweight, readily absorbed elixir effectively restores skin’s healthy appearance overnight, resulting in smoother, more radiant complexion by morning. Enriched with Squalane, a botanical lipid similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids, Evening Primrose Oil, rich in Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Essential Oils including Lavender, our formula provides a boost of intensive moisture to depleted skin. These natural oils instantly penetrate the skin surface to help replenish it. Our recovery concentrate works at night when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors. With skin hydrated, supple and soft, rest assured you can say goodnight to tired-looking skin.”

This elixir is an oil and is to be applied at bedtime. It contains 99.8% naturally-derived and paraben-free botanical ingredients. I’ve been meaning to review this for awhile because I LOVE IT. I have always been intrigued by the idea of using oils on my skin. Although I have oily skin, in the past I have flirted with facial oils with success. Shu Uemura cleansing oils are amazing- I keep meaning to buy some but perhaps I didn’t love them enough? Not sure why they haven’t found a permanent home with me *makes mental note to revisit*. Dr. Haushka Normalizng Day Oil is another product I’ve loved and often use it in the winter with my moisturizer for some extra protection.  The neat thing about a good quality facial oil treatment is that is doesn’t make you skin oilier, and can actually help with oil production. I was very curious about the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and so when I was at Kiehl’s buying some Crème de Corps the sales associate gave me a couple samples. Rant: Attention cosmetic companies- it has been proven that consumers that try samples of products are more likely to purchase them- note the perfume companies have figured this out, as has Sephora. Kiehl’s is unsurpassed for the generous size of their samples and for the sales associate’s willingness to fork them over. End of rant. Back to my inner glow in a bottle…

Dewy skin can be yours too!

Dewy skin can be yours too!

All it took was a week of using MRC for me to see a visible change in my skin. My pores became less visible, clogged pores were purged and I noticed a dewy glow to my skin in the morning. This became all the more noticeable when I stopped using MRC to try other products I was asked to review. Almost 3 weeks of not using it and my skin broke out, pores became congested and noticeable again- I was not happy. I am back on my routine and happy to be so. My skin is calming down- smooth, slightly plumped and with a glow. I know, sounds gushy and improbable but if there was one skincare product I had to live with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate would be the one.

Waking up gorgeous is easy with Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Waking up gorgeous is easy with Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate