Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Flawless by Friday - Natural Knockout Collection

One of my favorite skincare brands, that is right here made in Canada, is Flawless by Friday. I have written about them a few times in the past, so if you're interested in learning about their products then click here. I have been using their skincare products for the last two years, so when I learnt that they had recently launched some MAKEUP items, I had to get my hands on them ASAP and review it. 

Their makeup collection comes in four different collections: Natural Knockout, Modern Marilyn, Smoke Show, and Glow Getter. Each collection comes with an eyeshadow palette (linked previously), a face palette and a corresponding lip product (gloss and liquid lip). They also came out with false lashes and brushes - I really want to try the brushes, they look so fluffy and soft!

I was graciously sent the Natural Knockout collection which I was super excited about since those tones just really shouted to me - I am a lover of purple and neutral shadows, so this was perfect. Those who know me, will know that my go-to is a natural look, I do that everyday and it's what I am most comfortable about. 

First, we have the Natural Knockout Faceology swatched below. It retails for $38 Canadian and contains a setting powder, two bronzers (one that can be used as a contour ~ Mohogany), two blushes and a highlighter. These are buttery and packs pigment! Stream is the most gorgeous highlight that gave me a beautiful glow that is buildable from sheer to in your face! The bronzer, Clay, is a true bronzer that makes you look sunkissed and has no orange tones in it whatsoever. It blends effortlessly and does not make . you look muddy. I really liked Finale as a setting powder for under the eyes, it brightened it and I used it for my t-zone area as well without translating white. 

Below, we have the Natural Knockout EyeDucation Palette ($38 cad) - which contains 6 shadows (2 mattes, 3 satins and one microglitter) and a brow powder duo. As you can see from the swatches below, the mattes are beautifully creamy as is the microglitter (Effortless). The purple shade, A Dash of Flash is a vibrant purple and the shade Barely is used more like a brow highlight as it is a sheer champagne beige satin wash. One thing to note is that the mattes do have quite the amount of kickback on the pan, however there is no fall-out when applied to the lid. I was able to get a full day's wear of A Dash of Flash (the purple satin) with no primer and there was no creasing and the shade lasted all day, which is thoroughly impressive. 

The lip duo ($18 cad) is created to match the two palettes - this was a great "my lips but better" shade, and the liquid lip is like a whipped formula that did not feel drying nor did it crack on the lips. I really loved this formulation and would love it if they made it in individual liquid lips and in more shades. The lipgloss portion feels cushiony on the lips and very comfortable as well, not too sticky at all and did not bleed.

Below, I created tow looks for you - one more of a daytime natural look with the purple on the outer corner, this is more of my everyday look and the second look is a purple smokey eye,more of what I would wear at night. Everything on my face is from Flawless by Friday, minus the foundation, concealer, primer, liquid liner and lashes. 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Getting my skin summer ready with Belif Skincare!*

Summertime is in FULL swing and it's hot, humid and icky outside. We've had some crazy heat waves lately and honestly, anything above 32 is gross, especially when it's humid and then it feels like closer to 45... we had a few of those days! I'm sure you know that it is important to keep yourself hydrating by drinking tons of water, however do you know that you have to keep your skin hydrated externally as well? In comes the Aqua Bomb from Belif. I've written about this product several times on the blog, so if you're interested in reading about it, just search the side bar! 

One other thing is when it is so hot, my skin goes bonkers - it goes from my normal winter skin to oily combination so I'm always looking for skincare and makeup products to control oil secretion. The Eucalyptus Toner will do just that! It is obviously formulated with Eucalyptus and also contains apple mint to help balance, tone and sooth your skin. It is specifically created for oily/combo skin people (like me) to help control the oil production which leads to shiny foreheads and greasy noses and t-zones. This is also great for those who are prone to break-outs as it helps to soothe and calm the area. This is slowly becoming a favorite for me! 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: VICHY - Aqualia Thermal Collection*

Vichy Canada has launched its brand new range of Aqualia products that focuses on using 97% natural ingredients to provide 48 hours of hydration and working to smooth out fine lines. As with all regular Vichy products, it contains an anti-adhesion formulation to prevent pollution particles from harming the skin. 

Some key ingredients in this new Aqualia range include the Vichy mineralizing thermal water, hyaluronic acid, minerals and vegetable mannose. All of these ingredients work to slow down water loss and strengthen your skin's barrier. 

As always, I really appreciate that Vichy creates specific formulas to address different skin types (as you can see below in the image). This collection includes:

1. Aqualia Thermal Rehydrating Serum - $42.95 - 30ml ~ for all skin types

2. Aqualia Thermal Rehydrating Cream - Gel - $39.95 - 50ml ~ for combination to oily skin
3. Aqualia Thermal Rehydrating Cream - Light - $39.95 - 50ml ~ for normal to combination skin
4. Aqualia Thermal Rehydrating Cream - Rich - $39.95 - 50ml ~ for dry to very dry skin

These items are available for purchase at drugstores and online at

I personally am using the gel formulatiom now for my combination to oily skin. It makes my skin moisturized and plump. It's light weight and has a very subtle scent to it. It absorbs quickly on the skin and feels weightless. I gave the Rich one to my friend as she has dry skin. I will be saving the Light formulation for the colder months when my skin becomes more normal/combo. I do recommend the purchase of this product and the serum!

Until next time, XO - M.

*items were sent to me for review, all opinions are my own.

Review & Swatch: PIXI - Glow-y Gossamer Duo & Liquid Fairy Lights Eyeshadow*

Everyone longs for way to achieve that dewy summer glow - whether it is natural lit from within or the blinding highlight you can see from space. I am personally more of the natural glow type gal so when I saw that PIXI released the Glow-y Gossamer Duo sets, I was so excited to try them out. In addition, they also launched their new Liquid Fairy Lights eyeshadows which I have swatched below. So, if you're interested in finding out more, just click the link below to learn more!

Product Empties and Review: March - June 2018

It's time to round up some of the products I've used up in the last 3 months and I've sorted them into categories below - skincare/bodycare, foundations/primers/concealer, mascaras, misc and makeup. Keep on reading below to see what I will repurchase again and what I really enjoyed. 

Review: IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce & Miracle Water*

IT Cosmetics has recently launched two new products housed in beautiful iridescent packaging. First we have the Miracle Water, which is a 3-in-1 Tonic ($48cad for 250ml) and then we have the Secret Sauce, an anti-aging moisturizer ($88cad for 60ml). 

The Miracle Water as mentioned above is a 3-in-1 Tonic, which is a Skin-Brightening Radiance Booster, Anti-Aging Treatment Essence and a Skin-Softening Micellar Cleanser all in one. It contains Radiance-boosting tonic to instantly brighten and hydrate your skin while purifying it. The Secret Sauce Fermented Complex deeply absorbs for a powerful anti-aging result that you can see immediately. It also contains Drops of Light Technology Concentrate, diamond powder, vitamin C and licorice root for youthful looking skin that makes you look like you are absolutely glowing from within. 

Personally, I like to use this as a Radiance Booster/Treatment Essence vs. as a Micellar Cleanser as it does leave behind product that you can feel on the face. Typically in Micellar Waters, I prefer something leaving the skin absolutely squeaky clean which is why I typically avoid oil based cleansers as well because I just like it when my face feels weightless afterwards if that makes sense. However, using it after cleansing my face as an essence made me feel all sorts of wonderful. It helped control the oil production on my face and also it made my skin feel more radiant and plump. I also felt like I regained some color to my face, like you know that "after the facial at a spa" look? I really enjoyed this product and will continue using it.


Above, we have the Secret Sauce, Anti-Aging Moisturizer which works to instantly hydrate and transform your skin. Like the above, it contains the Secret Sauce Fermented Complex, Drops of Light Technology, diamond powder, vitamin C and licorice root. In addition, it contains collagen, peptides and hyaluronic acid (my favorite) to really help with the hydration and overall youthful plump-ness of the skin. This skin appears to be thick as you can see from the jar, but it does absorb rather quickly on the face. I like to apply this at night before bed and just let it do its magic overnight while I'm sleeping. It is a bit rich as a day cream as I wear make-up so as a night-cream it's perfection. My skin looked radiant, hydrated and I even got compliments on how my skin looked very good. 

I do highly suggest purchasing these two products!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Joe Fresh Makeup*

I have been a user of Joe Fresh Cosmetics on and off through the past years and have included them in a few blog posts that you can find here if you're interested. They are a very reasonably priced make-up line that offers cosmetics that are on trend and great in quality and color selection. If you are interested in reading my review of the products above and seen below in my make-up look then keep on reading below...

Five Months Postpartum - my thoughts and journey so far...

I have never shared my pregnancy story with you all, perhaps I will at one point or another ... however, I thought that I could share my postpartum journey with you as I am going through it right now. As this is my own personal experience, please keep in mind that nothing below is meant to be insensitive to others - it is what I have personally experienced and how it has made me feel. I've talked to a few new moms recently who have also shared the same views/frustrations so I thought that someone else would probably read this and have felt or is currently feeling the same way at some point as well. Also, keep in mind that I had to narrow it down to just the main points so far, I can't share every single thought... so here goes....

1. Breastfeeding vs. Formula ~ I was one of those women who never had her milk production come in. I don't want to hear that I haven't tried hard enough, because I have. I tried lactation cookies, teas, soups and other concoctions. There was lots of frustration, guilt and overall anxiety about how I couldn't produce milk. My doctor even told me, sometimes it just doesn't happen to some women and you are one of them... and even my mom was asking why I was torturing myself to try to do this. Early on, my baby was losing too much body weight and was really battling jaundice and was told that he's not being fed enough.. so I finally turned to formula. My pediatrician said 15 minutes per boob and then the rest, top him up with formula - at a certain point if you're not producing enough milk and your baby is just working hard to suck nothing out... they are just burning more calories than they are absorbing. That made total sense to me ~ I am here to do what is best for my baby. That is my number one priority. 

What is really frustrating is those who (whether intentionally or not) like to express their opinions on formula feeding vs. breast feeding. How they never know what it's like to ever have had to use a bottle or wash one... how they're baby is only ever breast fed and how they're so lucky to have enough breast milk. I guess it's just knowing who you're talking to.. and knowing that each person has their sensitivities right? It's almost like now I completely get why it's so bad to ask people "when are you planning to have kids?" ~ How do you know that they're not trying? How do you know that they're not experiencing difficulties? How do you know that its not a choice that they're not having kids? Sometimes, it's better to just keep comments to yourself....there's no need to compare yourself to others. 

2. Unsolicited Advice ~ If you have to begin your sentence to someone with - here's some unsolicited advice for you... chances are, don't finish that sentence and don't bother saying what you have to say, especially if you are so distant from that person. 

3. Having an off day or days ~ We all have bad days there's no doubt about it, but just because I am a new mom, it does not automatically translate to postpartum depression. I completely agree that Postpartum Depression is a very serious topic that has to be discussed and there should be more transparency about it, however what I am talking about is just how being a new mom... and if I am just having a rough few days and you can see that I am having it, it should not directly translate to me having depression and thereby someone suggesting that I need help for it. I had someone very distant to me read on my instagram post that I was having a rough few days ~ and then began the "unsolicited advice on what I should do as a new mom and how I should address my depression before it gets worse". I don't think that is truly the way to handle something like that.. especially not via a DM on Instagram. 

4. Hairloss and Swelling ~ I was fortunate enough to not experience any swelling during my pregnancy, but approximately 1 month postpartum my ankles began to swell so badly that I couldn't even sit or stand without the skin in my ankles hurting when it folded because it was so swollen. It almost felt like the circulation was cutting off when I sat down. The hair loss is no joke - just when you think that the huge chunk you have lost during the shower in your drain is it, you then blow-dry your hair and the entire floor is covered with hair once again. That beautiful hair you have grown during pregnancy is now all on the floor and you have just about enough to make your very own cousin IT from Addams Family. That does stop though, now that I am 5 months postpartum it has finally slowed down and I see the baby hairs growing. 

5. The return of the period ~ I actually got my period back 4 months postpartum and yes it did suck after not having my period for about a year. What makes it worse is when people ask you if you got your period back yet and they say oh wow that sucks, I don't know how it feels like because I didn't get back for a year and a half. don't do that ...repeatedly to someone. It's not nice.

6. Getting intimate again... ~ when the time comes that you want to get intimate again after you have had your baby, know that things will definitely be different. Your lady bits went through alot during childbirth so sometimes, you may not be too loose but there are also cases where when you are stitched up, you have been over corrected. 

For those of you who are moms... what have been some of your postpartum experiences? 

Until next time, XO - M.

Review: Indeed Laboratories inDefense30*

I have been using products from Indeed Laboratories for a few years now, and you can read my previous posts here if you're interested. I love that they are created in Toronto and are a Canadian company. They created solid products that are extremely reasonable in price point and works. I was obsessed with the Vitamin C24 for a long time and took it with me on vacation as well to the Dominican Republic and it kept my skin in prestine condition and calmed any minor sunburn I got on my face. 

Anyways, onto the reason for this post.... the introduction of their newest product, the inDefense30. It retails for $19.99 and is something that is great for this summer weather, especially with all the heat waves we've been experiencing lately here in Toronto. It is a lightweight mineral sunscreen that protects your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. It contains a key ingredient, Pycnogenol, which is a powerful antioxidant to promote the skin's ability to heal scars and rebuild collagen for smoother and younger skin. It also contains ingredients to help keep the moisture in your skin and also protect against hyperpigmentation and brown spots (what some people can also get from sun exposure).

You are to apply this approximately 15 minutes before sun exposure, I typically just use this in place of my moisturizer before I put my makeup on if I'm going out. It leaves behind a very plump and moisturized feeling so it really helps to blend out my foundation well without clinging to any dry spots. On days where I am just running errands, I slap this on my face and then put a bit of concealer and some powder and blush and I'm out the door. It feels weightless on the skin and does not feel thick or uncomfortable like alot of sunscreens do. It also did not make my skin increase in oil production which is key.

As you can see from the above picture on the left, it is a thicker product so a little goes a long way when spread and thinned out. 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: L'Oreal Paradise Enchanted Collection*

This summer, L'Oreal has launched some juicy new products that smell of fresh peaches. The Paradise Enchanted Collection features an eyeshadow palette, two blushes, two liners and a brand new mascara primer. I have all these products swatched, reviewed and even used them in a look below, so if you're interested in seeing how these products perform, then keep on reading below!

Review: Live Clean Foaming Hand Soap*

Live Clean is at it again! I have been raving about them on social media and here on the blog, and my love for them really grew when I was pregnant (for those of you who didn't know). 

They have come out with Foaming Hand Washes in three different scents as seen in the photo above. They come in Lemon MintWhite Tea & Cherry and Vanilla Bean & Coconut. These are light and airy, yet it forms a rich creamy lather that cleanses your hands very well (even washes off any kitchen cooking grease or oily fingers). The formula contains Vitamin E and organic Aloe Vera to make sure that your hands stay very hydrated.  As always, Live Clean keeps their products natural and eco-friendly. 

As mentioned on their website, products are:
-98% plant based ingredients
- SLS and sulfate free
-  Petrolatum and phosphate free
- Silicone and phthalate free
- DEA and paraben-free
- Triclosan and benzalkonium chloride free
- Dye Free
- Pure Vegan
- Never tested on animals
- Cruelty Free
- Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested
- Biodegradable ingredients
- Recyclable packaging

Live Clean Foaming Hand Wash is available for purchase at Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Walmart, Jean Coutu, and

Overall, this is another win for Live Clean. The product's performance is exactly as described on their site and it treated my eczema prone hands very well and did not cause any flare-ups. I will for sure be purchasing this again in the future. I gifted one of these to my really good friend as part of her house-warming basket because everyone deserves some Live Clean in their lives!

Until next time, XO -M.

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

Swatch: Zoya Sunshine Collection*

For Summer 2018, Zoya has released their Sunshine Collection which features 12 polishes that scream summer! It's fun, bright and utterly perfection. I have swatched all of them below for you so that you can see how they translate from bottle to my hand and how its like dried down. All of the polishes required two coats to achieve full opacity and were not patchy. 

Zoya definitely makes my favorite creme finishes, if you try it out you will know what I mean. They have really developed a quality product and whenever I need something reliable, I always go to them. I have been using Zoya polishes for so many years.

My favorite shades are Minnie, Ellie, Virginia and Saldana as a top coat is truly unique with its purple silver shift. What are yours?

What is great about Zoya is that they are safe for Pregnant Moms! With their wide variety of finishes and shades you are bound to find something that will suit your personal taste. You will no longer feel guilty for wearing nail polish when you're pregnant. I wish I had remembered this when I was pregnant, I went 9 months without any polish and I was going crazy because I am the type of girl that does her nails 1-2x a week. 

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Jouviance Hydractiv Coconut Melting Balm*

I have previously written about Jouviance before, it is a Canadian skincare company that is developed by dermatologists. This summer, they released their Coconut Melting Balm which I have been using for so many things on both myself and baby! It is an amazing multi-tasking product that can be used as a body moisturizer, baby butter, belly balm, lip moisturizer, hair mask and serum, hydrating night mask and I even use it on my eczema patches on my hand and my dry cuticles. 

All of the methods of use above are pretty self explanatory, but on baby I like to use it as a diaper balm to prevent diaper rashes! It is also suggested that it can be used as a massaging component for the baby. It is safe for use for babies (clearly) as well as pregnant women on their baby bumps to cure any dry and itchy skin from the stretching and to help address or prevent some stretch marks.

As you can see below, the product is housed in a very generous plastic container that holds 220ml of product and is priced at $45.  The ingredients include: Coconut Oil (50% cold pressed, non-hydrogenated, non-deodorized), 50% coconut oil of first pressure and deodorized by steam, essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, Pro-A, B3 and phytosterols. It also includes Hyaluronic Acid which I have constantly raved about on this blog - it is said to give the skin moisture and helps with fine lines and wrinkles by gently plumping it. 

For those who are interested, Coconut Oil is organic, vegan, high-quality and gmo, cruelty and phthalate free. 

The one thing I extremely appreciated was the scent. I really dislike super artificial smelling coconut products or ones that smell too waxy. However, this smells like fresh coconut cream almost - its natural, and has not been messed around with. 

The balm melts really quickly onto the skin and does not leave a thick layer behind. When using it as a moisturizer, I prefer using it at night right after I shower, before I hop into bed. 

This is a highly recommended product to purchase! It is worth every penny considering it is so multipurpose.

Until next time, XO - M.

*product was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own.