Review: Coach Perfume & Cologne*

My first luxury bag purchase, was a Coach bag that I remember my husband (then boyfriend) took me to Yorkdale and treated me to a beautiful brown tote bag. Since then, they have evolved and expanded the range of products they offer - including now a perfume and a cologne. I was recently sent the perfume and cologne for both me and hubby to try out and if you're interested in learning more about the notes of it, then keep reading below. 

Review: New Skincare Items from The Body Shop*

I recently received a few items from The Body Shop to test out and include in my skincare routine, and after some testing, I decided to share my thoughts with you ... if you're interested in my past Body Shop then click here. Onto the reviews....

Tutorial & Review: Mary Kay Shades of Jade and Berry Haute Mineral Eye Color Quads *

Mary Kay recently launched two new Mineral Eye Color Quads in Shades of Jade and Berry Haute. I have created a look featuring each of the palettes below and as always, mapped out what I did and how as well. In addition, all products used in the tutorial are in the image above.

Review: L'oreal Pure Sugar Scrubs*

L'Oreal recently launched three new face scrubs to their skincare collection and I could not be more excited to try these. I am a big fan of exfoliating so being able to try new and innovative proucts as they come to the market, is a great opportunity. These scrubs retail for $14.99 cad each and can be purchased at your local drugstores. They are formulated with a blend of white, blonde and brown sugars as well as other ingredients, depending on which one you're using. I have been a fan of the L'oreal Skincare products as I've tried them out, if you're interested in reading about my past posts - please click here.  

Review & Swatch: CND - Chic Shock Collection - Spring 2018

CND, especially its Vinylux formula has been a favorite of mine for years - I have written various posts about them in the past (if you're interest click here to read them). This Spring, they have launched their Chic Shock Collection which features four super Spring worthy colors reminiscent of your favorite chocolate candy easter eggs...mmm.

Look & Review: Dior Spring 2018 Makeup

Review & Giveaway - Palmer's Coconut Oil*

Palmer's is a product that has been around for ages - my first experience with it was when my hubby (then boyfriend) would always smell like yummy coconuts and have super soft skin - to the point where I was embarrassed that his skin was softer than mine! He introduced me to Palmer's and told me that this was the only lotion that effectively kept his dry skin at bay and where the fragrance wasn't bothersome or caused any skin irritations. This was many years ago and since then Palmer's has come up with a few more products to their line. Below you will find my review of the three products that I was sent - I have sorted it in hydration level from oil to lotion to body butter. 

If you keep on reading below - you can also enter a giveaway where THREE lucky readers will also win the products mentioned in this post. This giveaway is in partnership with Palmer's and is open to Canadian Residents!

Postpartum Body Care - Managing Perineum Soreness at Home

So for those of you who don't know, I recently welcomed the birth of my baby boy at the end of January :) While I was very nervous about the delivery/labor portion of the pregnancy, I have to admit the aftercare was equally as worrisome to me. The pain, the possible tearing as a result of delivery, etc were all thoughts that ran through my head constantly in the 9 months of pregnancy. I was also asked quite frequently what products I used after birth to take care of my Perineum tear at home, so I thought that the best way would be to do a blog post and share it with those who are curious! 

Products used: 
These pads were a godsend, I didn't bother buying any other fancy after birth pads as these were more than sufficient. I was told if I filled one of these pads more than once an hour, to go back to the hospital (ER) to be assessed. However, thank god I never did. These are essential as they are obviously thick enough and absorbs what is needed. In addition, the key element of these is that they are long enough. They cover you entirely from front to back so it will not irritate your stitches in any way. By week 3, I thought my bleeding had subsided so I converted to regular pads, which was a big mistake as when I slept the shorter pads did irritate the stitches and made it bleed a bit again. I changed back to these maxi pads and problem solved. Oh and of course, do not even think about wearing any cute or sexy undies - just bring out the granny panties and embrace the comfort of them!

2. Advil - Regular Strength & 3. Tylenol - Regular Strength
This concoction of medicine was recommended to me by the hospital on the aftercare sheet - the way they described it was two was for pain, and the other two was for inflammation, so together - take 4 every 4 hours (as required) could help mediate the pain and manage the swelling while on your path to recovery. In the first two weeks I did find myself having to take it every 4 hours, however by week 3-4 I gradually decreased in frequency and now by almost week 4 I take it about 3 times a day.

4. Squirt Bottle
This was provided to me by the hospital - in addition, they also gave me a sitz bath to use (which I didn't end up having to use at home as I found the Squirt bottle sufficient). You fill the bottle up with preferably warm water as hot water or cold water would be uncomfortable for your lady bits. Squirt the water everywhere after you use the bathroom to clean yourself, and then also focus on the stitches. Then pat dry, and follow with spraying the New Mama Bottom Spray below. 

5. Earth Mama - New Mama Bottom Spray (old formula/packaging) vs the new packaging
The reason I suggest the old packaging is because of the bottle itself - ergonomically it is better to hold, you will be using this a few times a day (basically after you shower, or use the washroom) so having a slimmer bottle to hold to dispense the product is just easier than the chubbier one. In addition, the squirt strength is better on the old bottle than the new one - the older one has a more targeted spray vs. the new one that is in my opinion too fine of a mist. Sometimes you can't even feel whether or not you have actually sprayed it, and with it almost feeling like it's going to slip out of your hands, I couldn't be bothered constantly trying to figure it out. I ended up emptying the contents of the new bottle, to my older original packaging bottle. If you can locate the older formula/packaging I suggest you at least purchase two. I went through two bottles myself. 

TIPS on self-care at home:
1. Limit all squatting activity - I found that even when I had to squat to put the boots on my dog, I really felt the pulling of the stitches which was not pleasant. Instead, I changed to kneeling and it made the world of a difference. 

2. If you feel the need to use it obviously use your sitz bath. I was given one by the hospital but I didn't actually have to use it. I just made sure to always wash my area with the squirt bottle everytime after I used the bathroom. 

3. Wash yourself down there - when I showered, I diluted the soap and then gently washed my area then rinsed it. The reason for the dilution is so that the soap comes off easier but still has its cleansing properties. The last thing you want is to be aggravating it with any harsh soaps or spending longer than needed down there irritating it. 

4. When getting up and down or in and out of your car, just slow down - don't rush, it's not a race. Hold on to something and gently pull yourself up. You never realize it, but rushing = pulling = irritation. Trust me, it only takes you a few more seconds. 

5. Lastly, don't be afraid to look at  yourself down there. You need to see if it's healing okay, see if there are any signs of infection so that you can get it looked after ASAP!

Until next time, XO - M.

*Please note that items mentioned in this post are what I used to recover from my Perineum tear from labor. Your hospital/OB/nurse may recommend other products for you to use :)

My Spring 2018 Skincare Routine

With Spring just around the corner, the focus of my skincare is on hydration and radiance. I rely on the above products to help achieve my own personal skincare goals and thought I'd share my routine with you :) As always, I have a daytime and nighttime routine as I truly believe that you have to tailor your skincare to what you will be doing - i.e. will you be wearing makeup? if yes, use products that work well with it without compromising the longevity of it OR will you be asleep? then use richer products that can take time to sink into the skin and work its magic.

Daytime Routine:
Waking up in the morning, your face is relatively clean so I don't gravitate to any heavy duty cleansers. I like this one from Dior as it is a foam formula, it's light weight and works well to refresh my skin and leave it cleansed and ready for the day. It feels hydrated and does not feel stripped at all, the scent is also lovely!

The last time I used this product was in highschool and university and I loved it - I remember the scent of it so clearly, it's amazing. What I really like about this toner is that it is alcohol-free, so that you do not have to worry about this stripping your skin of its moisture or making your skin feel tight or giving you any irritation. It contains Iris and Sage to soothe the skin and this works great with those with oily skin as it helps to reduce surface oils and reduce those nasty big pores on my nose and black heads. 

These two products could not be any further from the price point spectrum one at $125 vs $40 -

The Abeille Royale uses the best of Guerlain-exclusive ingredients which is the Ouessant Black Bee Honey and Royal Jelly. This product acts like a serum and oil in one but feels like a lotion, meaning it absorbs so quickly the skin and does not leave behind any greasy texture of weight to the skin. I like to use this in the morning especially for this reason. This helps to smooth, plump and revitalize the skin and leave your complexion glowing and soft - it works great also for when you have to apply make-up on afterwards. 

The Pai Rosehip oil contains high levels of Omegas to help regenerate the skin - it's great to help reduce the appearance of damaged skin and fine lines and works both on the face and body. 

I love the applicator of this product, it is a massaging 360 applicator that is cooling to the touch and helps to instantly refresh my eyes and depuff them, making me look less tired right away. With the late night diaper changes and feedings, this has been a god send with helping with the panda eye circles. 

see below image

In the image above, on the left is the Aqua Bomb and the left is the Moisturizing Bomb. The Aqua bomb is lighter in consistency, almost gel-like and the Moisturizing Bomb is more of your traditional cream formula. Both formulations are light-weight and sink quickly to the skin without leaving behind any tacky sticky residue, nor do you feel the product on your face. I prefer the Aqua Bomb in the mornings as the gel-like consistency is even quicker to absorb and it works with my make-up application right after. 

Night Time Routine:
Cleanser - Eve Lom Cleanser
If you want to feel luxurious and like you are at the spa, this is what you need. It has a blend of four aromatic plant oils that leaves you with glowing and smoother skin. As it is a balm texture it really helps to deeply cleanse your face and remove all traces of dirt and make-up from the skin. It helps to de-congest your skin and drain the toxins while exfoliating, toning it as well when you use the muslin cloth that comes with it to cleanse. What I personally like to do is take a dollop of this and warm it up in my palms and apply it to the face. I then take the Foreo cleansing device and use it on my face together with the cleanser to ensure that every bit of this product is really being massaged into my skin. To remove the product, I then use the muslin cloth that it comes with to wipe away the product and then follow it up with warm water. 

see above

As mentioned above, I like to do my "heavy duty" skincare routine in the evenings and this product is exactly what I mean. This is an overnight peel that helps you to fight signs of aging - wrinkles, enlarged pores and just your general tired looking skin. This is a two step process that lasts about 28 nights - you begin with formula 1 which contains AHA from fruit acids to stimulate skin cell renewal. It also contains Quinoa Husk Extract to gently help exfoliate the skin. Then, after 14 nights you use Phase 2 that contains a combination of Salicylic Acid to help even out your skin complexion and Glycolic Acid to smoothen the skin's surface. I found that this product worked well to combat my oily-combo skin - especially in that t-zone/nose area. I also think that this product would be great for those who have acne prone skin or have any unevenness or minor scaring as the glycolic acid would work well to combat it. 

see above

see above image

What is your skincare routine like? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own

Tutorial and Review: UD X KRISTEN LEANNE and Spring 2018 New Launches*

This Spring, Urban Decay has released a few new goodies that I will be using in my tutorial below. In addition to some new setting sprays and mix-in facial oil, they also launched a limited edition collaboration with Kristen Leanne, a beauty influencer to create quite a big range of make-up. If you're interested in the full line, then click here. My make-up tutorial and post/review today will be narrowed down to a few specific items that I am personally interested in :)

The products from her collection that I will be using include:
1. The Beauty Beam Highlight Palette - $45 cad 
This is a beautiful highlighter palette that caters to all skin tones. It has a light champagne color, one a shade darker, and then a bronzed tint one. Even if you find that one or two of them may be too dark for you, these can easily be used as eyeshadow! They are super buttery, pigmented and blendable. This is actually something that showed up on my skin when used with a brush and I love it. It picks up just the right amount the product without any kick-off and applies seamlessly to the skin and is buildable. 

This is a true matte shadow palette and is very versatile - create a warm neutral everyday look and easily transition that to a darker smokier eyelook. The shadows are pigmented, buttery smooth and there isn't alot of fall-out. 

3. Vice Lipstick - Bun Bun (Comfort Matte Formula) - $22 cad
The UD Vice Lipsticks have always been a favorite of mine, they just glide onto the lips effortlessly and does not tug at the lip or settle in fine lines. Even as a matte formula, it just sits comfortably on the lip and feels weightless. 

*all these products are swatched directly below and also used in the tutorial.

All products featured in below is what was used to create the make-up look:

Foundation: Laura Mercier - Flawless Fusion mixed with Urban Decay Drop Shot Mix-In Facial Oil
Concealer: Urban Decay - All Nighter Waterproof Full-Coverage Concealer (Shade Light (Neutral))
Blush: Clinique - Cheek Pop (Heather)
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne Collab - Day Dream Eyeshadow Palette
Brows: Wet n Wild - Ultimate Brow Retractable (Medium Brown)
Highlighter: Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne Collab - Beauty Beam Highlight Palette
Setting Spray: Urban Decay - All Nighter Pollution Protection
Lashes: Kiss Lashes
Lips: Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne Collab - Vice Lipstick (Bun Bun)

Breakdown of what was used in the shadow palette to create the eyelook is mapped out:

What was your favorite item from the Kristen Leanne Collab? would love to hear your thoughts! 

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own

Review: Mary Kay - Satin Body - White Tea & Citrus Collection*

I have previously reviewed Mary Kay Cosmetics on my blog before (if you're interested, you can locate it via the search function on the blog), this time I switching it up a bit and reviewing some skincare products! Specifically the Mary Kay Satin Body Shea line as I believe they are quite great and priced very well and worth sharing with my readers! 

Left: Silkening Shea Lotion - $22 cad
This is a light-weight and fast absorbing formulation that is great for on-the-go! It does not feel heavy on the skin yet it does a great job hydrating the skin, mostly thanks to the Vitamin E within

Right: Whipped Shea Creme - $26 cad
If you are looking for more of a richer lather of product I would recommend this one. It is truly thicker and goes deeper on the skin. It contains mango butter, sunflower oil and apricot kernel oil to really offer any dry skin a boost of hydration. This one I like to apply at night before putting on my PJ pants and just let it sink in and work its magic. 

Left: Indulgent Shea Body Wash - $22 cad
This is a shea-infused body wash that gently lathers the skin without stripping it. This is quite straight forward and does what it says.

Right: Revitalizing Shea Scrub - $22 cad
This is most likely my favorite product of the four.  If you love to exfoliate, and love bigger exfoliating granules in your product, then this is for your. I like to really feel that a product is working so when I use this I can really feel that it is buffing away the dead skin on the target areas. Since it is formulated with Shea and Sunflower Oil, the skin is left feeling soft, moisturized and not stripped. 

If I had to recommend a product, it would first be the Scrub and then the Body Butter :)

Until next time, XO - M. 

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Review: Flawless by Friday - Face and Eye Mask*

I had previously had the opportunity to review these products from Flawless by Friday on the blog - if you're interested in reading that review, please click here. I was throughly impressed by their products then, and still am after using them again this time around. My favorite product by far from them (and in general) would have to be their 5 second lip serum. It retails for $35 (yes it's a bit pricey but it is a treatment, so do not simply think of it as just a lipgloss!). It is infused with honey and gold flecks that moisturizes your lips thoroughly, perfect for the winter season, and the gold flecks work to naturally plump the lips and increase the collagen production to decrease and fight any premature signs of aging. While I cannot comment on the "fighting premature signs of aging" as I do not have any wrinkles, I can vouch that it works wonders on the lips as a natural plumper to make them look more youthful (without the stinging burning sensation, this one is just very natural) and my lips have not been cracked and peeling since using this! I always know that I can turn to this for a good hydration boost anytime!

Above we have the Mesmeryes eye patches that retail for $26. I love the thickness and texture of this brand's masks because of its jelly like formula it really feels like it keeps the product on the eyes/skin and works for the duration it is on to absorb and penetrate to work its magic. It doesn't dry out like the sheet masks so I love this! This is a three day system that has a different purpose each day - you have day 1 - hyaluronic acid to target moisture, day 2 - collagen & caffeine for lifting and energizing and day 3 - honey for soothing and de-puffing.

Next, we have the 5-day mask system retailing for $45 cad. Again, same as the eye mask above, it is a 5-day system each working to target your skin differently each day. Day 1 - Hyaluronic Acid for moisture, Day 2 - Vitamin C for toning, Day 3 - Green Tea for Wrinkles, Day 4 - Caffeine for Tightening and Day 5 - Honey for Soothing. Obviously, you can start these any day and not use it like the packaging that says you have to start on Monday :) 

You really ought to give these products a try! These would actually be great for any travellers to take on the plane as like I mentioned above, because of its jelly texture it will stay hydrated for a longer period of time. 

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

February 2018 Favorites

Favorite products for the Eye area: 
1. Too Faced - Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow Palette* - $59
I had reviewed this palette a while back and created two looks with it - if you're interested, click here to access the post. The metallic/shimmer shadows are ultra pigmented and I appreciate that this palette also included matte shadows for transition shadows etc. This is a true all in one palette and you can create both a neutral and bold look with one palette.

2. Tom Ford - Private Shadow - $44
This shadows are the ultimate splurge item. They are finely milled, pigmented and blend like butter. I highly suggest that you pick at least one up! The matte formulations are the best.

3. Maybelline - Lasting Drama Gel Liner* - $11.99
The best drugstore liner I've ever tried, it glides on effortlessly, the brush it comes with is actually practical (if you want to use it) and it does not dry out in the container after a few months (like some high end gel liners I've tried). For under $12, yes you must get this

4. Wet n Wild - Ultimate Brow Retractable* - $5.99
I have found my new holy grail brow pencil. This product's texture is hard enough but also pigmented enough to be able to draw in your brow without looking too harsh or unnatural. It has a wider angled tip so you can cover more surface area, but like I mentioned before because of the firmness of the product you can also create any defined lines if required. In addition, I really appreciate the brush on the other side ~ this truly is an all-in-one item and at under $6 I have to stock up on MANY back-ups, just in case.

Favorite products for the face:
This cushion highlighter is beautiful, and I highly suggest you to get it ASAP as it is limited edition. The packaging alone is worth it. It is a buildable highlight that offers you that radiant "jlo" glow and again because it's a liquid cushion formula, it's natural and will not look cakey or powdery. 

2. Tarte - Shape Tape  (Light Neutral) - $35
I am not the first one to talk about this product, but its a great medium to full coverage concealer. I need to only apply one dot to each panda eye circle and I blend it out with a fluffy concealer brush and I look instantly awakened!

3. NARS - Liquid Blush (Orgasm) - $38
This is a great product for a subtle flushed on the cheek look. It stays all day, looks natural and offers an almost "stain" like quality to the face that will wash off at the end of the day. 

4. Make Up For Ever - Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer* (20M) - $43
There is no possible way you can mess this up (unless you honestly pick the wrong shade that is so far off). It is a gel-like formula that applies sheer to the skin and is buildable. It makes you truly look tanned and sun-kissed without being cakey or powdery. 

5. Givenchy - Chinese New Year Prisme Libre*- $69 
I have written a blog post about this product, if you're interested in reading my review of this - click here - but as a spoiler, I love it! It's great for oily skin gals as a re-touch and as a setting powder it makes you look airbrushed. 

Other Favorites: 
I had purchased the above two acrylic containers at a Japanese Daiso (this one was located at Market Village near the foodcourt, for those of you who are from Toronto or the GTA area). They were $2 each and I think that's a steal considering it's thick acrylic material as well as the pretty lace flower pattern on the bottom. I use it to store my daily make-up items on top of my vanity and it just helps me visually see what I want to use without having to dig through my various drawers and containers. As you can see in the picture below, it holds alot of product :)

What were some of your favorites this month? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent for consideration, all opinions are my own.

November 2017 - February 2018 Empties and Review*

It's been a few months since my last empties post and I'm sharing with you what I've used up the last few months, what I liked and will repurchase and what I wasn't quite a fan of. Pictured below, you will find the items that were used - I have also broken it down into different sub sections for convenience. 

Skin and Hair Products 
1. Fast Conditioner - I really love the Fast Shampoo, I have ordered it repeatedly and have included it in past favorites and empties reviews and I will continue to do so. However, the conditioner I really found nothing too fantastic about it that would make me want to repurchase it. It didn't necessarily hydrate my damaged ends nor did it help with detangling. Therefore I will stick to repurchasing the Shampoo in the 33oz pump bottle.

2. Aveeno - Daily Moisturizing Yogurt Body Wash - Great, hydrating body wash with a subtle scent. I would not repurchase this yet only because I constantly want to try more and more products. 

3. The Body Shop - Early-Harvest Raspberry - This I will continue to repurchase because it works great for my eczema prone skin in the winter time!

4. Dial - Miracle Oil (Marula Oil) Body Wash - Love this as well, it is extremely hydrating and smells great, I will most likely repurchase this soon as well. 

Face Products
1. Korres - Greek Yogurt Cleanser - I have been using this cream cleanser throughout my pregnancy and I really enjoy it. It cleanses my face and rids traces of make-up, it hydrates my skin and does not leave behind any residue. I highly recommend this!

2. Rodial - Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Tonic - I use this as part of my skincare routine after cleansing as well as to set my make-up. It brightens, refreshes and hydrates the skin - I love this alot and will continue to repurchase it!

3. Clinique - 7-Day Scrub Cream - I liked how gritty this exfoliator was, however was not a fan of the scent. I prefer my current drugstore alternative exfoliator to this (sorry!) and will not be repurchasing it. 

Makeup Items
1. Embryolisse - Lait-Creme Concentre - I bought this after seeing PixiWoos rave about it continuously on their channel. I loved it so much, that I rationed it and didn't end up using it all. That's my biggest problem sometimes, that I love something so much that I'm so scared to use it and it ends up going bad. That is exactly what happened to this - I left it for, I'm embarrassed to say, almost 2 years! It is a great primer that is also a moisturizer and leaves your skin plump and hydrated. I will repurchase this for sure. 

2. Smashbox - Liquid Lipstick (Some Nerve) - I have always loved this formulation of Liquid Lipstick, it's probably one of my favorites and recommend it to people who ask me. It is whipped, doesn't settle on fine lines and delivers opaque color with one swipe. 

3. Avon - Liquid Liner - I won't be purchasing this again as it smeared all over my bottom lash line and I looked like a panda by the end of the day 

4. Kat Von D - Liquid Liner - I have repurchased this many time and will continue to do so, it is black, opaque doesn't transfer and stays all day and gives you a great cat eye!

5. Too Faced - Cream Blush (So Peachy) - This cream blush melts like butter onto the face, love it! However, my blush fell right out of the pan and I couldn't rescue it because it just kept falling out. Therefore, though I like it alot, I'm not too sure if I will repurchase this... I mean, it obviously doesn't happen to every single one of them - but I'm just saying I'd like to try other things!

6. Benefit - Gimme Brow - I really like how small this brush is, perfect to grab onto all your short brow hairs! However, I believe this may have been recalled? I don't seem to see it anymore on the site.

Until next time, XO - M.