Charcoal in your skincare? - Garnier’s SkinActive Clean+ Review*

Charcoal is no longer something that you think of when you are planning to host a BBQ - it is now an ingredient that is becoming more and more visible in the skincare aisles at your local grocery, drugstore and department store. My first experience with Charcoal in a skincare product is the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. It is something  I have been using now for the past 3-4 years and I'm a fan. I truly believe that my weekly to bi-weekly mask treatments with this product has reduced the amount of oil secreted in my T-Zone. In addition, when I feel a pimple coming out - especially those that feel like it'll feel stubborn and cyst-like I like to spot treat with this mask and leave it on as long as possible, sometimes even overnight. It either brings your pimple to a head faster for extraction, or it eliminates it completely.

Therefore, when Garnier contacted me to give the new cleanser and towelettes a go, I couldn't resist. Below you will find some information regarding each product, as well as my thoughts on whether I like them or not.

For those of you who are not familiar with charcoal as an ingredient in skincare, it is said to reduce acne and improve the health of skin and acts as a detox for your body. It can also be used to whiten your teeth - so don't underestimate this powerful ingredient.

Sephora Paint it Pink and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss Review

Sephora Favorites are always a good way for you to try out various different deluxe sample sized or full sized products in one shot. The box usually retails for a fraction of the entire retail price of all the products together and is really reasonable in terms of quantity and quality of products included. The "Paint it Pink products within the box retails for $122 USD and is sold for $40 USD/ $48 CAD. I would guess that $122 USD is probably around $140-145CAD? regardless, you're paying a third of the price or less to try out 3 full sized products and 5 deluxe sample sized products.  

makeup monday: QUO 2016 collection - one-branded look

Last Friday, I had posted about the Quo Sweet 16 Birthday Party event that I was invited to in collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart. In that post I had also mentioned that I would be putting some of the products in the swag bag from the 2016 collection to the test and I have come up with the above look. I opted for a spring fresh look with a coral/pink shadow (something I've never played with before). 

I have to admit, these products varied alot in terms of quality and consistency - there were alot of hits and misses and I will be sure to separate them into different categories to let you know my detailed thoughts. 

Products used to create this look are featured below - the entire face was used with Quo products minus the foundation and concealer. 

Product hits list include the contour kit, precision brow pencil, lip balm, glow blush stick and Stain'n Love lip gloss. The Contour Powder is buttery smooth, not patchy at all. The color included was light/medium which was a little too light for me so I think medium/dark would be a better match for me as it would show up more. The Brow Pencil was thin and pigmented, it goes on effortlessly and gives me some pretty great brows. Lip Balm is moisturizing and gives a really sheer wash of color. Stain'n Love is beautiful, I think its more of a lipgloss (not sticky or tacky though) vs. a stain - at least for the color I got as it was lighter in color. The Glow Blush Stick is smooth and blends out easily with your fingers or a duo fiber brush and gives you a hilighted glow of color as a blush. 

The miss list is below - unfortunately the shadows did not work for me, while they swatched well with the finger on the back of my hand, it was not the same when applied on the eyes even with a primer, base coat and then packing on the shadows on top. The colors just didn't show up or pack a punch at all, quite unfortunate as I loved the colors in the palette (and the single shadow). The mascara primer was really thick and goopy and actually ended up tangling my lashes when it dried and I was not able to cover it with the primer. You will see in the pictures below. Eyeliner was really thin, this formula when dried could not be reapplied as it ended up patching off. the lip velour was really patchy, the color was beautiful don't get me wrong, but because of the paint brush like applicator, it would not apply streak-free. I would've preferred a doe-foot applicator. The mascara was not that amazing, it was really thick that is in an hourglass shape - the center is alot thinner in the middle which meant that I could not get an even application to all my lashes. And because it was so thick, it ended up smudging my lids pretty easily. 


as you can see, the mascara was really clumpy and you could still see some of the white mascara primer chunks peeking through. 

I find that overall, the range of products offered by the brand equally lie in the hits and misses range. When it's good it's really good and I would definitely repurchase it - like the brow pencil for example, and the lip balm/stain, however for now I don't think that I would purchase the products in the miss list. This is why I do not really believe in wholly investing in all products within one brand. I believe in finding the hidden treasures of each different brand, and then using them all together and incorporating it into your make-up routine. 

Until next time, XO - M. 

Shoppers Drug Mart and Quo Cosmetics Sweet Sixteen Party*

Last week, I was invited to the Quo and Shoppers Drug Mart PR Event in Toronto. It was in celebration of 16 years with Quo Cosmetics and we even got a chance to preview the new 2016 collection. All the guests invited were treated to complimentary make-up touch ups by the Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Experts and Quo by Orly manicures by Tips Nail Bar.

While I have not had an extensive chance to review the products, I wanted to share with you my pictures from the event as well as letting you know my initial thoughts of some of the products. I will be creating a make-up look this weekend with some of the products from the new 2016 collection and will hopefully get it up for you guys next Monday for the Makeup Monday series. 

complimentary manicures from Tips Nail Bar

Contour Palette ($23) and Eyeshadow Palette ($24) 
The product itself is ultra pigmented and buttery smooth and are generous in size.

above (left): Colour Spectrum Refillable Lip Gloss, $12 (Refill $10) / (right) Colour Lust Lipstick, $14

below (leftGlow Blush Stick, $15 / (right) the beautiful spread at the event complete with fresh beautiful flowers, perfect for spring. 

above: Lip Cocktails, $11 

below: Quo by ORLY Nail Polish, $9.99

below is a picture of the amazing and generous swag bag.

The bag is actually decorated with REAL flowers - it smelled beautiful

Of course I had to included a super cute photo of Bentley and the swag bag - even he's super excited!! "AHHH LOOK AT THIS!!!"

For more information and pictures - please be sure to follow the following tags on social media:

Come back on Monday to see the look I've created with these products. 

Until then, XO - M.

Saying goodbye to the Morphe Monthly Brush Club

I've been subscribed to the Morphe Monthly Brush Club for four months now, I started it in January 2016 and while I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of brushes that were sent to me, with mixed feelings I have cancelled my subscription service. Please continue reading to see my thoughts of my 4-month long relationship with Morphe.

I think that this subscription brush club is perfect for both beauty fanatics who truly believe that you can never have too many brushes, or for the beginners who are looking to build their brush collection. For $19.99 USD and free shipping per month, you have the opportunity to test out many different types of brushes which you may not have thought of trying before, or been exposed to otherwise. For those of you from Canada like me, you end up paying about $30 a month everything included. That is what I paid for the 4 months - not sure if it's the same now or if the varying exchange rates affect the cost because the $19.99 is in USD.

You get a great range of products - if you get more brushes that month, like in Janaury, the brushes unfortunately feel like they are of lesser quality. However, on the months you are sent 3-4 brushes, they are of great quality and I guess that makes up for the difference in quality.

Below I'll do a quick sum-up of my thoughts on each month's brushes.

January 2016

This was my first month receiving the brushes and I was pretty excited to see that it included 8 brushes all together. My favorite brush is the one that is 2nd from the left. I use it to apply concealer and it leave a perfectly airbrushed finish. The other brushes felt a bit lower quality and I didn't really see the need or purpose for the other 7 except for maybe the angled eyeliner brush and the flat shadow brush (both directly left and right of the concealer brush I mentioned above).

February 2016 

Unfortunately the big fan brush came damaged and no matter how many times I tried to wash it, or lay it flat to dry or weigh it down, I couldn't get get the bristles to bend back straight. You could contact customer service if your brush came damaged, but honestly I couldn't be bothered. It seemed like a lot of time and energy over a minuscule thing, It was one out of 7 brushes received that month. I'm simply mentioning this in full disclosure to my readers.

 March 2016

This month was a huge and significant improvement than the months before. I really enjoyed the big fluffy white brush for bronzer or a light contour on the cheek bones. The first brush on the top was perfect for hilighting and the middle brush was just right for the undereye powdering.

April 2016

This is  my last subscription with Morphe and I am glad that I am leaving on a high note. 5 brushes, all useful and for once I don't have something similar to any of these.

Like I said, this subscription box is perfect for those who are either brush fanatics or are looking to start a brush collection. I use the Dr. Bronners liquid soap (diluted) to clean these brushes and I have not encountered any issues at all with shedding. I've bought Morphe brushes 2 years ago at IMATS and to date they are still of perfect condition.

Until next time, XO - M.


I cannot be more excited for this announcement I just got this morning in my inbox. I originally had something else scheduled for today's post - but compared to this piece of news, that can wait. For those of you who are Victoria Beckham fans (me, since Spice Girls) will remember that she came out with her own cosmetics line many years ago - the Rock and Republic Line. I remember loving the entire line - I had the powdered foundation, a blush and their brushes. They were really good quality and still go for ALOT of money on ebay (as it is now discontinued - boo!). 

However, Estée Lauder has announced that they will be collaborating with Victoria Beckham on a limited edition makeup collection set to hit the stores in Fall of 2016! You can definitely bet that I will be trying out her products. The collection will launch in September 2016 at select retailers around the world, Victoria Beckham stores and on and

For more information, visit @victoriabeckham and @esteelauder on Instagram and Twitter - #VBxEsteeLauder

As I get more information or any additional press releases or sneak peeks, I'll be sure to share it with you all!

Until next time, XO - M.

Estée Edit Media Event and Launch Party*

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Estée Edit Media Event and Launch Party about 2 weeks ago to preview and get to playing with the new collection from Estée Lauder. For those of you who have heard of Estée Lauder, you will most likely feel like it is catered to the more mature clientele. I always remembered looking through my grandmother's vanity and finding the classic gold statement lipstick tube that they were known for - the ridged gold circular one? yeah. However, I think that they are really smart to have come out with Estée Edit, an entire new collection and line geared towards all age groups :) Please continue reading to see my thoughts on some of the products I got to play with. 

The event had a live DJ to get the party going, while servers walked around with some finger foods and drinks. It was such a fun event and we definitely got pampered while we played with all this new makeup. What was even cooler, was that they had little polaroid cameras set up on different tables so that we could take pictures with other beauty bloggers, of ourselves and of course, of the products. Oh, and you see the pictures up top? If you were on snapchat that night at the event, they even had their own filter - HOW COOL IS THAT? ahh! I had to screenshot some of my pictures and show you guys!

Below are some pictures from the event: 

 Most of you who are beauty lovers and followers will know that Kendall Jenner and blogger, Irene Kim have been signed by the brand to be their spokesmodel. They both have been part of the creation process and are also very involved on social media and the campaigns.

Above on the back of my hand, are swatches from the kohl shadowsticks - they are so pigmented and I really need that teal color in my life. Also, I swatched the black liquid liner and the blush in the middle. So far, I am most impressed by the liner and the kohl shadowsticks. 

Below is a picture of the gift bag we got from the event :) *squeals*

Here's a better shot of the products received - the 1. Pink Peony Overnight Water Mask, 2. Lip Flip Shade Transformer - Yellow (Turn Up) which brightens  3. Lip Flip Shade Transformer - Black (Turn Down) which darkens and finally 4. Mattified Lipstick - You're Welcome (a true red).

I must say that the two Lip Transformers are a bit gimmicky, the black shade is really just a straight black lipstick, and while it says that it should deepen any color when applied on top of it, it kind of just adds a black tint. Also, the yellow one which is to brighten the current lip color when applied over it, I feel like it just changes the color to whatever the current color plus yellow is - for e.g. on the red lipstick, when I applied the yellow (brightening one) on top, it just became orange? vs "brightening". I'm not sure if I would pay $26 per lip transformer. 

The colored matte lipstick though, is beautiful. Its creamy when applied, does not skip and tug on the lips. It is a true matte and is beautiful. I would pay the $26 for this. 

I really like the gel like formula of this mask - it provides great hydration and I use it every night as a night cream. It is actually a mask, but it helps combat the dry skin I have been getting this winter, plus it's helping combat the craziness my skin is experience from the warm and freezing cold weather we've been in Toronto. 

Until next time, XO - M.