oct 2015 favourites

Happy Halloween everyone :) This month's favorites are pretty minimal and are items that I have mentioned before. Fall is upon us here in Toronto and it's been quite chilly and the only thing I can think about is keeping my skin hydrated. October has been really busy for me, on weekends and at work, so I haven't really done much in the makeup department - I haven't ventured out of my regular routine, so my favourites this month is going to stick to what I must use everyday to keep my skin happy :) 

1. Laneige - Water Sleeping Mask
Super hydrating, I put this on before I go to bed, and I wake up with plump, dewy, baby soft skin!

Perfect primer that hydrates your skin allowing for better application of your makeup!

This is slightly salmon tinted, so it helps to counter discoloration under your eyes. This isn't overly greasy and I use this twice a day - love it! This is a deluxe sample, I will definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out (and probably during the Sephora VIB November sale!)

4. Anastasia Beverly Hills - Dip Brow Pomade (Chocolate)
I've been really focusing on upping my brow game this month and this has been really helping me! I've had so many compliments on my brows! Yes! :) It stays put all day and doesn't budge!

5. Chloe - Eau de Parfum
I have to thank my bestie Meagan for this. I love this perfume so much but couldn't bare to spend money on it as it is so expensive! She surprised me with this and I LOVE YOU M! Thank You! (for those of you who don't know, I loved this so much I kept getting little samples at Sephora to satisfy my need for this .. haha) 

6. Estee Lauder - Day Wear 
I've mentioned this previously in a post - it is a moisturizer that also self adjusts to the color of your skin tone. Two in one! Saves me time in the mornings when I get ready! 

Want a brush that can help blend out all your shadows with ease? This ones your baby!

What have been some of your favourites this month? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, XO - M.

DenTek: "Teeth's Worst Nightmare" event recap

A little over a week ago, I was invited to attend a dinner hosted by Dentek. The theme was "Teeth's Worst Nightmares" - as you can guess, everything we had was stuff that would get stuck in your teeth: corn on the cob, ribs, candies and they even had food that would give you horrible breath! I like to call super garlic-y breath "internal death" - it seems to radiate from within and never ever leaves you. You stink, and people won't want to talk to you. Gross, I know! However, I love the idea of this event! After all the deliciousness, we were sent home with a goody bag filled with toothbrushes, floss, toothpicks and these little tiny micro picks with brush ends that really help to get all the gunk and plaque build up removed from between your teeth.

Comeon! How cute is this display?? The little animals are toothbrush holders

These are the little brushes I'm talking about. Ever since I was introduced to these, I've been using them everyday and I love it. I really don't like floss that much, and this has been great for me.


Finally, I must include a pic of my delicious dinner :)  heh..

 Thanks to Dentek and OverCat PR for inviting me to this event! It was so much fun! 

Until next time, XO - M.

Makeup Monday: Lace Mask Makeup Tutorial

Halloween is upon us, and I thought that I would try creating a simple makeup tutorial for any of you last minute ladies and gents who are looking for easy costume ideas. This is my first time trying something like this out. It's a modern take on a mask/masquerade look and I love it, all you need is your regular makeup products plus some black face paint.

I picked up the black face paint at Currys (and I suggest you all to do the same). The same face paint at Michaels was $14+ and this one at Currys, was approx. $6 + 20% off. Crazy markup at Michaels! All you need is some water to activate it. I also picked up a $1.99 fine tip brush at Currys too so that I can have a designated face painting brush.

With such a simple makeup look, I thought I had to amp up the glam with a pair of more dramatic lashes, as well as a beautiful red lipstick. This happens to be my first red lipstick ever which I purchased a few years ago, it is Chanel - no. 22 Paris.

Products used to create my makeup look (besides the mask that is black face paint):

Foundation: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk
Eyeshadow: a bronze shade from Inglot (any will do)
Liner: Clinique Brush On Cream Liner
Concealer: Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer
Blush: Clinique Rosy Pop Cheek Pop
Contouring Kit: Kat Von D
Lips: Chanel no. 22 (Paris)

The one good thing about this look is that you can get as creative as you would like. You can find a template online and just doodle away. This was only my first try and it came out pretty good! Practice makes perfect. Also, this is really easily removable with some damp tissue. So if you mess up, you don't have to worry about it ruining your makeup :)

Would love to see all your looks you've created for Halloween!

Stay tuned for more posts this week, it'll all be Halloween themed!!

Until next time, XO - M.

VEGAN PURE All In One Demo & Review*

I recently had the opportunity to try out a protein shake called Vegan Pure All In One, and with my new motivation to try to live a more balanced and active lifestyle, I thought this could really jump start my change. I had tried plant-based protein shakes before, and the only way I could describe it, was "swamp water". I'm not sure if you know what I'm talking about, but its pretty famous, a competitor of this brand and is berry tasting. It also came in a natural unflavored scent, but that REALLY was like swamp water.

ENOUGH BABBLING... when I saw this plant-based protein shake that is said to be silky smooth and has a great vanilla taste, I decided I had to go for it. A bit of info about them - Vegan Pure was developed using a holistic approach by combining meaningful quantities of health promoting ingredients with 100% all natural vegan flavors obtained from real cocoa, vanilla beans and berries. It contains a lot of nutrients, fiber, protein and antioxidants - perfectly incorporated into a shake you can take with you..

Here's some key points from their website that really stood out to me and helped me grasp exactly what I was getting when I was drinking 1 serving of the shake. To see all the other facts, just click the link in the beginning of this sentence.
- 1 serving of Vegan Pure is 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
- every serving delivers 16 grams of protein (same as 3 eggs), 4 grams of fiber (same as an apple), 2 servings of greens (same as 2 servings of kale), 1.5 grams of Omega 3 (same as 2.3 servings of salmon) and 1 billion probiotics (same as a cup of yogurt).

This product is available for purchase at Walmart Canada for $19.97, which is an amazing price, considering competitive brands sell them for around $39.99 for the same quantity.

Alright, so let's talk flavor and side effects - two very important points to discuss and is probably in most of your minds. Like I said previously, it doesn't taste like swamp water, considering it has broccoli powder, kale powder and spinach powder. The natural vanilla flavor really helps to balance out the flavors. I find it a tad sweet, however it is tolerable. I actually really like this post work-out as it fills me up, without having to consume a meal. I don't know about you, but after I work out, I'm hungry, but I don't actually feel like eating anything heavy so gravitating to this is actually good, it works for me. I am very interested in trying the chocolate flavor after I'm done this vanilla one.

Side effects - there are none, I don't get an upset stomach or anything from it. yay :) As you can see from the pic below, it is quite creamy even though you mix it with watery. It is opaque in color and doesn't taste watery and weak.

Overall, I am a fan of this product and I will definitely be repurchasing this when I'm done!

Until next time, XO - M. 

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Arbonne Intelligence Lip Treatment Review *

I was recently sent the Arbonne Intelligence Lip Treatment for review. It promises to soften the appearance of fine lines on the lips and contours, and supports the skin's natural moisture barrier. As a result, your lips are replenished, hydrated and moisturized. It is also said to enhance the appearance of lip volume and multitasks as a primer for lipstick or gloss. This is retailed at $46.

This product is Vegan, formulated without gluten and is a cream formula which absorbs quickly. If you look at the picture below, you can see exactly how thick this product is when it is dispensed from the tube.

You are to use this product morning and night as part of your skincare regiment. Gently pat it all over your clean lips and follow-up with either lipstick or gloss if you choose to.

Clinical Instrumentation Results after 3 days - as provided by Arbonne:
- 31% measured improvement in lip moisture
- 29% measured improvement in the appearance of lip volume was shown
- 19% measured improvement in the appearance of firmness was shown.

Clinical Grading Results after 3 days - as provided by Arbonne:
- 17% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles on and around the lips was shown

Consumer Perception Results after 3 days - as provided by Arbonne:
- 90% said their lips looked more youthful.

Please note that the above 3 statistics are based on a study of 20 women, which seems like a rather small sample population of people.

My thoughts:
The price of the product at $46 is really steep and I frankly don't think it's worth that price. Although it did provide moisture to my lips, I cannot comment on the volume or firmness of the lip. In addition, there is an interesting taste to the product, it almost tastes like perfume, but it doesn't smell like perfume. It's quite confusing. The sample population is also quite low for the data accumulated from the studies. When I look at the package of the product, there's ALOT of ingredients in it, and 90% of them I don't understand. I usually like to use products with a more simplified ingredient list, and would also contain the names of ingredients that I can understand. Take a look at the picture below that I've included. Overall, maybe this would be more beneficial to more mature clientele who may see the results of this product more over time.

Until next time, XO - M.

Herbal Essences - Naked Volume Series Review*

I was sent the Herbal Essences Naked Volume Series of products to try, from the Herbal Essences website, the product info includes:

" 0% heavy residues, parabens, and dyes, my volume shampoo and conditioner will restore 100% of your hair’s natural body and your strands will feel revitalized and refreshed. you’ll dare to bare all and expose your softest hair.* infused with white grapefruit and mint extracts."

The products I received are shampoo, conditioner and the volumizing souffle (which is kind of mousse like in consistency). Thoughts - love the scent, love the volume it gave me. My hair felt really clean afterwards and wasn't weighed down with product.  Cons - the ends of my hair felt extra dry. Areas that were already damaged, felt more evident, despite the use of the conditioner it came with. I paired it withe the macadamia oil hair mask, and it fixed the ends.

Overall - I would continue to buy the shampoo, love it. Conditioner - no, I would opt out of repurchasing this and finally with the souffle, I'm not used to using a mousse like consistency product on my hair so I would not repurchase this either again.

I haven't used Herbal Essences products since highschool (that is a good ... 10 years back?) the shampoo has definitely made me reconsider and repurchase it again in the near future.

Until next time - XO, M.

HASK Argan Oil Products & Review *

There are so many different oils out there right now and I've tried a few of them - argan, jojoba, grape seed, macadamia etc etc. I had tried another brand's argan oil before, and wasn't a fan, purely because I am not much of a fan of warm, sweet scents. It wasn't a good enough product for me to bare with the smell. When I had the opportunity to try HASK Argan Oil products,  I thought, what better way for me to give Argan oil another shot - and I'm glad I did! I don't regret this at all... Keep reading to find out why. 

To start, Argan Oil is a time-honored beauty secret in its native Morocco. It is loaded with vitamins and oxidants and works to repair, strengthen and moisturize your hair with continued use. It also acts as an agent to help you tame any fly-aways, frizz and adds shine  to your hair as well.

Products received:
- HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo
- HASK Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner
- HASK Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner
- HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shine Oil
...everything was packed in a really cute HASK Hair Envy drawstring bag (perfect for on the go)!


Here is some product information from HASK about their products

Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo
Strengthens and Restores
Free of: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors
Revive and restore the look of your hair with HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo. Infused with moisturizing argan oil, this shampoo penetrates the hair shaft, gently cleansing while it repairs damage and breakage, leaving even the most rebellious hair frizz-free, silky-soft and super glossy. Ideal for dry, damaged or color-treated hair. 

My Thoughts:
I loved this product. A little goes a long way - it works to a good lather and cleanses your hair thoroughly. It has a slightly citrus scent (love it - it reminds me of really sweet and crisp clementines for some reason... I cant really put my finger on it). My hair is left really clean, but not weighed down by the oil in the product.

Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner
Strengthens and Restores
Free of: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors
Revive and restore the look of your hair with HASK Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner. Infused with moisturizing argan oil, this conditioner penetrates the hair shaft, gently softening and detangling while protecting against damage and breakage, leaving even the most rebellious hair frizz-free, silky-soft and super glossy. Ideal for dry, damaged or color-treated hair. 

My Thoughts:
You have to use about double this amount (as you did for the shampoo) to get a deep hydrating feeling. Once again, the scent is the same, and it doesn't weigh down your hair. At first when you apply it, you aren't quite sure if it's working because it doesn't have that slippery conditioner feeling. However, don't be fooled and put too much in. When you rinse your hair off after letting it sit for 1-2 minutes, you feel that slippery-ness you come to know through years of using various different types of conditioner.

Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner
Strengthens and Restores
Free of: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors
HASK Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner, is a super strengthening, hydrating treatment that will restore and smooth dry, damaged, chemically treated or over processed hair. Argan oil, unique to Morocco, is known for its high absorbing, penetrating and split end qualities while leaving even the most damaged hair soft and nourished for added moisture. 

Directions: Apply a generous amount of Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner to clean, wet hair. Massage into hair focusing on damaged areas. Let penetrate for 10 minutes. Rinse well. Style as usual.

My Thoughts:
LOVE! I need this in bulk now. Possibly my favorite product of the line. Even if I don't let it sit for 10 minutes, I still get really good results in about 5-6 minutes.

Argan Oil Shine Treatment
Strengthens and Restores
Free of: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors
This lightweight, alcohol-free oil absorbs instantly to provide frizz-free shine without leaving an oily residue. Argan oil is rich in essential fatty acids and penetrates hair to restore shine and provide soft, silky results in dry, damaged hair. 

Directions: Can be used on both wet and dry hair to create a silky, smooth finish. Apply a coin-sized amount evenly throughout hair, avoiding the root area. Style as desired.

My Thoughts:
Really good at giving you a silky shine finish without weighing down your hair or making your freshly washed hair look like second day hair. However, I found that with about a week's use of the Argan Oil Shampoo + Conditioner, I really had no use for the Shine Treatment. This might be because of my fine hair. 

After trying out this line, I must say I am a converted woman and now love Argan Oil products (well, only from HASK for now) - What are your thoughts on oil-infused products? What do you use? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Until next time, XO - M.

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Paula's Choice Skincare Routine*

For those of you who have been a follower/reader of my blog or who know me in person, will know that I take my skincare routine very seriously. It takes me a long time to research a product, to try it out, and to determine whether or not I like it and to incorporate it into my daily/weekly routine.

A month or so ago, I was invited to try out the Paula's Choice line from Pretty In My Pocket - an online beauty community (accessible via their website or an app for your phone) featuring beauty lovers who love to share their honest opinions with each other and their readers. I obviously had to jump at this chance to try out their line, and can't wait to share with you all my results. Before I do that however, I thought I'd share with you some information about Paula's Choice for those of you who haven't heard about the company or line of products before.

Paula's Choice offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee (within 60 days) on their products. They do not test on animals and their products contain no irritating dyes or fragrances. They are committed to excellent customer service, education and assisting people to find the best products with their skin. Actually, before you even make a purchase, you can call for a FREE personal skincare consultation by calling 1-800-831-4088 - they can help you identify which range or specific products from their line is suitable for you. They have various product lines that cater to everyone - if you have acne, rosacea, signs of aging, or enlarged pores - they will have a product for you. If you don't want to call in, you can always go to their website and choose from their menu of skincare concerns you would like to treat.

My Experience

To begin, I had a 10 minute phone consultation with the Paula's Choice Skin Expert by calling them at the 1-800 number above. I was able to tell her exactly what my concerns were which was I felt that my skin was feeling a bit dull in the past few months, that I had a few blocked pores, occasional hormonal and stress breakouts and I wanted to protect my skin from aging as I am approaching 30 in the next few months. Based on my explanation of my skin concerns, I was recommended the Resist Advanced Kit for Wrinkles and Breakouts for Normal to Oily Skin. 

Shipping took about a week, not bad, and came carefully packed with extra goodies which would help one who isn't normally used to a more detailed skincare regiment. 

These labels really helped me in the beginning, in determining which products I had to use in the AM/PM, and what steps to use it in. Also, having labels indicating what is a weekly treatment helps too. This would ease any beginner when starting a detailed skincare routine and helps one to not feel so intimidated.

It also comes with a card explaining a way to use the products - a simple routine vs. a more detailed one (supercharge it). I used the supercharge it routine to make sure I am benefiting from the line entirely.

A product card also breaks down each product individually and explains what the specific product is used for and why, including instructions on how to use it and when. 

Products that were sent to me
(Please note that the products listed below is not in the order of the skincare routine prescribed to me - the skincare routine I use is in the image above)
* Information and product description is summarized directly from the Paula's Choice website.

Cream-based cleanser, gentle enough to remove your makeup. It helped remove my regular mascara, but was a bit tough to remove stubborn waterproof mascara

2. Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner-($23)
This product helps with anti-aging, enlarged pores and wrinkles. It is best suited for combination/oily skin and helps build collagen for firmer skin.

** This is one of my favorite products!! **
It is a watery and light weight moisturizer infused with SPF which helps protect your face from sun damage. It is also mattifying and dries to a silky smooth satin finish. It hydrates without being greasy and minimizes pores, protects and stimulates collagen for firmer skin.

This is a night cream that isn't too thick or greasy at all. It contains anti-aging properties to combat any redness, enlarge pores or wrinkles. It improves your skin's texture while you sleep.

** Another favorite product!! **
This ultra light weight serum is packed with antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients to fight signs of aging. It is packed with Vitamin C and niacinamide promote firmer skin and fewer wrinkles. Potent antioxidants overturns free-radical damage and soothing anti-irritants reduce inflammation and helps to repair sun damage. It is a silky serum that absorbs into the skin really quickly leaving a dry finish.

I use this after the toner, and it has a slightly irony smell to it. It works to unclog and minimize pores, eliminates blackheads and bumps. It exfoliates inside the pore and skin's surface to improve the skin texture. Antioxidants stimulate collagen production and reduces wrinkles. 

This is a weekly treatment that dispenses in a foam consistency and turns to a liquid. It contains salicylic acid plus soothing ingredients to unclog pores, reduce redness and stimulate collagen production. Although there is salicylic acid in this product, it does not cause any flaking or skin irritation. 

Contains a powerful retinol concentrate that is lightweight enough to mix into any serum or moisturizer you currently own allowing you to to customize the strength you need in a product to treat signs of aging or uneven skin tone. The retinol and antioxidants stimulate collagen production and repairs past damage for firmer skin. 

** Another Favorite !! **
This contains 15% Vitamin C to fade brown spots, firm and brighten complexion. Ferulic Acid boosts antioxidant benefits to defend against photo-aging. It is a very light consistency and can also be added to any moisturizer or serum to work together with your current skin regiment.

Overall Thoughts
I really appreciate how the products are packaged. For example, the moisturizer is in a pump bottle or squeeze tube vs. a jar in which you open and close which keeps the product hygienic and reduces the exposure of the products to the outside elements which can ruin your product overtime. 

I love how Paula's choice offers skincare that delivers results on a budget - last year, I used similar products from another company, which were triple the price but the results weren't as amazing as those offered here. The daily moisturizer allows me to apply makeup flawlessly and keeps my greasy t-zone at bay! Normally I would need touch up my nose and oily spots by noon, but with this product I was able to wait it out until late afternoon. My coworkers actually commented on how airbrushed and flawless my skin looked since using this moisturizer! Also, since using these products, I haven't had much hormonal or stress breakouts since, so thank goodness :) I think that the skin consultation I had was spot-on in helping me identify my needs and I love the personalizing of products involved - having a specialist tell you what you should use is great so you don't have to go into this blindly. 

Before you leave, for those of you who want to try out the products for yourself and see how amazing it is, I am happy to let you know that as a Power Primper, I am able to offer my readers 20% off and free shipping with promo code: PRIMPFALL20 - please note that the code expires December 31, 2015.

Please click the banner below to activate the 20% off coupon it will automatically alert you to let you know that the 20% off has been applied to your order! yay!

If you are interested in reading up on Pretty in my Pocket updates, you can download the PRIMP app here

Until next time - XO, M

*This post was sponsored by Paula's Choice & PRIMP, all opinions are my own*

Toronto IMATS 2015 Haul

Every year around fall, the International Make Up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) makes it way to Toronto for a weekend, and beauty lovers, bloggers and make up artists flock their way to the Metro Convention Center to attend this event. Tickets usually go up for sale around August and are sold out rather quickly.

There are typically discounts and deals, and most of the time they offer tax free merchandise. This year, my haul includes the following:

I made it a mission to go to the Make Up For Ever booth first this year as they offer 40% off retail prices on their product. Last year, it was so crazy by the time I left, that I never even bothered going. I picked up 8 shadows, a large metal palette, a concealer, cream blush and mattifying primer. items that I would've wanted to pick up at Sephora and definitely more so at 40% off.

I was also in the market for new concealer and cream contour kit, and the lady at Kryolan introduced me to the color wheel below and the Make-Up Blend (mixing medium). One drop of the product onto a tiny bit of the cream pigment turns it into a perfect consistency to be applied as cream contour or a full coverage concealer.

I decided to do something fun and pick up some glitter liners/pigments from Lit after I saw Jaclyn Hill use it in her videos. With Halloween coming up and the holidays, it'd be a perfect way to add some sparkle to my regular makeup routine. I had one extra pigment thrown in for free, not sure why, but hey I'm not complaining! I picked up a Champagne toned one, Rose gold, Iridescent Silver and a Dark Blue which would look quite amazing over a black liner.

My friend Jackie entered myself and another friend on Instagram to win a pair of Esquido lashes and I can't believe that we actually won! I was able to pick up a beautiful pair at IMATS and met one of the partners, Vivian who was uber gorgeous! Unfortunately, they didn't carry the specific style we won, but I picked the one she was wearing as it was feathery and quite natural looking while being a bit dramatic.

Finally, I picked up two gel polishes from Bio Seaweed Gel. They were $13 each and I got a nice nude beige color for fall, and a lilac pinky purple. After trying these polishes out last month, I fell in love with them and decided to grab a few more. The post reviewing the Bio Seaweed Gel polishes will be coming out shortly.

Did any of you go to IMATS? What were some of the things you bought?

Until next time - XO, M.

Irresistible Me Hair Extensions Review*

When I was approached with the opportunity to try out the Irresistible Me Hair Extensions, I jumped on the chance to do so. I have always wanted thick luxurious hair, but I have only ever had one experience getting hair extensions done, and I wasn't really wasn't having it. I had to take off the extensions that were bonded on myself as it weighed my hair down too much and wasn't comfortable. I wanted something that could give me the voluminous effect when I wanted it, and when I didn't I could take it off. This is where clip-ons come in and are perfect for what I need. I can simply attach these to my hair when I need them, and take em off when I'm done.

They come packaged in a pretty sturdy black cardboard box, and the extensions are in a foil sealed package. The extensions are wrapped around and protected by a hair net, and tied to make sure it doesn't knot up or gets damaged. Extra clips are also provided just in case any attached to the extensions become loose.

As indicated in the above picture, the package is separated into two different sections - the sample and the actual product. You are supposed to open the Sample side first, to see if it is a perfect match to your own hair, if it is - great, you can continue to open the rest of the package. If not, then you can still return the product and exchange it for another. The key is that you do not open the main section of the actual product - because once you do, you cannot return it, for hygienic reasons.

As you can see, the clips are sewn in very well, it matches the seam of the extensions and does not protrude.

As you can see, from the front you can't even see the clip and also you see that the hairs are bound really well, no loose ends or bits hanging out.

Not a flattering shot, but this picture features the extension clipped it. As you can see, it is a perfect match to my existing hair. I box dye my hair on a frequent basis (as I have grey hairs) and use a generic shade that is dark brown. The extensions I picked are in the shade Royal Chocolate Brown. I got them in 16 inches as I want volume vs length. 

Left: Before, Right: After

Like I said, I just wanted the clip-in's for volume purposes only, not for length. I had super long extensions for my wedding and it didn't work out, it was too heavy and I really just hated it. This length is absolutely perfect for me. 

Have you guys tried hair extensions before? Whether clip in or sewn/bonded in? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time - XO, M.