Review & Giveaway: Baby Bath-Time Essentials*

Caring for your newborn and your baby can be one of the most blessed yet nerve-wrecking moments. Knowing and learning how to dress your baby, what to feed them, how to take care and bathe time are all things you learn in time. If you are a reader of my blog, you will know that I have been a user of Live Clean products for a while now, and naturally when I was pregnant and researching bath products for my little one, Live Clean was one of the brands that consistently popped up. I have gone through my fair share of sample products through various baby sample kits that were sent to me, but honestly Live Clean was one that I loved. I had actually purchased everything for my baby before I was contacted by Live Clean to do any type of product review for them, that's how you know that I was a fan of their products. 

To start off, I have listed below the products I like to bathe my baby in, what to moisturize him with and then what I like to use for extra protection in the bum area. So if you're interested in reading about it, plus how to enter the GIVEAWAY, then keep on reading below!

Review: Vichy - Mineral 89*

Vichy's Mineral 89 recently celebrated it's 1 year anniversary this past June and was officially named a Most Loved Product in Canada! This is no surprise as I have been using this product on and off for the past year and I absolutely love it. Being a beauty blogger, I do get exposure to many different types of skincare by different brands, but I always come back to this. The reason is that it has a non-greasy gel formula that almost feels like water on the skin when applied. It contains a high-dose (89%) of Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water, born in the French volcanoes, and hyaluronic acid to strengthen the skin's barrier function to protect it from daily environmental stresses. It boosts the skin's health and keeps the moisture locked in and helps to transform your skin to a better version of itself day by day. 

When I use this, especially in the colder months, my skin is less chapped, dry and looks more plump and youthful. It looks radiant, makes me look like I just got that fresh from a facial look. This product is suitable for all skin types - it is paraben-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, oil-free, non-greasy and silicone-free. It is hypoallergenic as well so honestly, what do you have to lose? This product sinks into the skin so quickly that it does not affect your makeup application afterwards. In fact, it acts like a hydrating primer if need be! 

Seriously, pick one of these babies up! You won't regret it!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Too Faced - Tutti Frutti Collection*

Too Faced Cosmetics will never cease to amaze me with how cute and adorable their products are. First with the chocolate bars, then the peach and now the Tutti Frutti Collection. These items in this collection are just as you would imagine they would be, scented like the fruit their packaging indicates and comes in a wonderful array of colors, finishes and products. You have highlighters, foundation, setting powder, blushes, eyeshadow palettes and lip products. I had received a few items for review, so if you're interested in reading my thoughts as well as seeing the three looks I created with the one shadow palette, then keep on reading below.

Above you will see the Razzle Dazzle Berry Eyeshadow Palette, It's Bananas Setting Powder, Fruit Cocktail Blush Duo (Strobeberry) and Fresh Squeezed Highlighting Drops (Sparkling Pina Colada). I have these items swatched for you below as well. 

The Razzle Dazzle Berry Shadow Palette consists of 7 eyeshadows that are super creamy, blendable and buttery smooth. Razzle is almost a cream foil finish that really packs a punch in a beautiful metallic kind of way. All of the swatches above are done with ONE finger swipe, so you can definitely see that there is zero patchiness and fallout. It has a subtle raspberry scent that fades with time, it is great and not overwhelming at all. This palette can be used to create a simple neutral look or amp it up with a berry/purple look. As mentioned above, I have created three different looks below for you to see how versatile this palette really is. Lastly, the packaging is A+ ~ there is a big mirror inside, and is very secure and easy to take along with you in your makeup bag (which is what I have been doing!).

It's Bananas Setting Powder is a great setting powder that works to give your face that "airbrushed" finish. It is lighter in shade, as you can see from the swatch above, and can be used under the eye to brighten the area or all over the face.

The Fresh Squeezed Highlighting Drop is weightless, watery in finish and buildable as well. I mixed this in with my Born This Way foundation as well as applying it blended out on my cheekbone area. It adds a dash of luminescence to the skin and even thins out the foundation a bit for a sheerer coverage. This smells faintly of pina colada as well (my favorite cocktail, next to a margarita!) and I can see this be used on the body as well, on the arms and legs! Mixing it with your lotion, or on its own.

Lastly, the Fruit Cocktail Blush Duo in Strobeberry, this is said to be a highlighter and blush in one, however I do enjoy using this more as a blush. These are very buildable, so even if you think this looks quite intimidating and dark in the pan, with one swipe you get a radiant and youthful pink glow (like in the makeup look photos below).

For the look above, I have: Razzle on the main lid, Pink Suede on the crease, Berried Treasure on the bottom waterline and Bad to the Berry on the outer V.

Main Lid: Boys n Berry, Bad to the Berry on the outer V and bottom water line, Pink Suede on the defined crease and Dazzle to blend out any harsh lines.

That's my Jam all over the lid and bottom waterline, Boys n Berry on the crease, Pink Suede to blend everything out mixed with Dazzle

Below are all the products I used to create the makeup look you see above (minus the lashes):
Foundation: Born This Way Foundation - Natural Beige
Eyebrows: Brow Quickie - Universal Brunette
Blush: Fruit Cocktails Blush Duo - Strobeberry
Setting Spray: Festival Refresh Mystical Effects Setting and Refreshing Spray
Highlighter: Fresh Squeezed Highlighting Drops - Pina Colada
Lip Balm: Peach Lip Balm
Lipstick: Natural Nudes - Throwin' Suede

Overall, the items I have tried from this collection are a total win! I would definitely recommend purchasing any of these products, if not all! They make for a cute item on your vanity or for your collection if you're a makeup lover!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Review: Baby Brezza - Glass One Step Baby Food Maker*

In my journey of being a mother so far, one of the things that made me quite nervous was taking the milestone of feeding my baby solids. I didn't know what the best way of preparing it was, I dreaded how long it would take for me to chop everything up, cook it (steam or boil), then having to take it out, drain it and then puree it with a blender. I didn't necessarily want to make a huge batch and then freeze it if I didn't have to - I personally preferred being able to just cook and make smaller batches each time. 

As I was doing my research on some food making alternatives while browsing baby stores, I saw this fancy baby food making machine by Baby Brezza. The one that I was drawn to was the Glass One Step Baby Food Maker, I really liked the fact that it was a class container that was used during the cooking process, and for those of you who are interested in this but would like a cheaper alternative, they do have other options as well. 

This specific one, makes up to 4 cups of food and automatically steams and blends your food if you choose to do so. They have a "steam" option, which is just steaming the food. "steam + blend" which does the blending automatically after the food is done steaming, and a "blend" option, to further blend your food to your desired consistency. 

I usually keep Ethan's food separately on this cooking board as I like to buy organic fruits and vegetables for him.

Today, I am preparing to make him pureed Apples and Sweet potatoes, so I cut the items up to the sizes mentioned in the booklet that comes with the machine.

I then select the "steam + blend", and since it is for apples, I press it three times (the button is set at 5 minute intervals) and then I press start to begin the cooking process.

One important thing to note is that you should always ensure that the water tank, seen below, is filled with water so that you do not have to worry about refilling it halfway through steaming the product. This machine is pretty good with how much water it uses to steam, as you can see below I was already making a separate batch of food and the water level barely moved at all.

Below you will find pictures of the cooking process, from start to finish

The blending portion is set at 30 seconds, so it really does a good job at breaking down the food to the right consistency at the first go, without having to further blend it some more. 

What I truly appreciate about this product is that it has made cooking and preparing food for Ethan to be such a breeze. I can do this a few times a week, the time it takes to cook the food is so minimal and effortless. Even the clean-up is easy! Remove the blade, rinse with soap and water and dry. It honestly does not get much simpler than that. I can just prepare the food, let it do its thing in the machine and not have to watch it at all. I do not have to worry about burning anything, or having to wash different pots, pans and blenders. This is just a convenient, and simplified process.

Do I recommend this product? 100% .. Seriously! If it wasn't for this machine, I honestly would be going crazy with the amount of work and cooking I have to do, because I also cook dinner for my husband and I every night. I recommended this product to every mommy-to-be I know, and also to all my mommy friends. Add this to your registry, or just splurge and buy it! It is such an affordable product that will make your life so much easier. 

Baby Brezza has also included different types of recipes on their website and facebook page that you can frequently visit to add some variety and ideas on what to introduce to your baby. As Ethan has just started his solid foods journey, I have yet to really combine many different things together, but for example the recipe below looks so convenient and can be done in 20 minutes!

YIELD: APPROX 1-1/4 CUPS (11oz)

1/3 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup, 4 ounces)
1/3 cup (3 ounces) raw ground turkey
1/4 cup (1-1/2 ounce) frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 dried apricots (1/2 ounce)

Place squash, turkey, corn and apricots in machine and steam for 20 minutes.
Puree to smooth (45 seconds).

Steam in: 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh sage.
Stir in: 1/4 – 1/2 cup plain yogurt, water, breast milk or formula.
Obviously, you can tailor it to your preference, like if you do not want to steam in fresh sage, the choice is completely up to you! Once done, you can either do what I did above, and put it in a glass container for immediate use, or you can put them in their food storage pouches and take them on the go for baby to use. Best part, it's reusable so gone are the days of always buying these food pouches only to toss them out right after. Their pouches are BPA-Free, dishwasher and freezer-safe and can hold up to 7oz of food - it also comes with a wide funnel so that the food can easily be transferred into the pouch.

I have done a pretty thorough video demonstrating this machine on my Instastories! I hope you can see it via the link ~ if not, you can go to my Instagram Page and it is saved in the Baby E categories section - you just have to be patient and scroll a bit because I have a few pictures and clips of him from months ago!

I hope you'll visit my Instagram soon as I plan to be able to give Ethan the homemade food pouches that he can suck from himself in the next few weeks so that I won't have to spoon feed him at restaurants anymore! When that happens, I will for post it on my instagram page!

Until next time, XO - M.

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

Summer 2018 Beauty Haul and Review

It's been a while since I really did a haul post or have purchased a few things all together, so I thought I'd switch things up and share with you my purchases from the summer from the Jaclyn Hill Vault Collection, these amazing Japanese makeup brushes and last of all my Sephora VIB Rouge Event haul. Typically in past years, I would do some serious damage in the Sephora sale events, but being on maternity leave now, I eased up and just bought a few items as a gift to myself.

First, we have some items from the Jaclyn Hill Vault Collection. I purchased the Armed & Gorgeous Palette, the Master Case to hold makeup brushes and two brushes, the Inner Corner Highlight and Carve Your Crease brush. I have heard such mixed reviews of the palettes so I really could not justify purchasing all four of them. I bought one with unique shades that I don't currently have and its mostly the ones in this palette. The makeup brush case is excellent for travel, it has a magnetic type closure that shuts and won't become loose. It's big so you can hold alot of things and has a hard case to make sure your contents are protected. 

Next, a totally unexpected purchase, but I had to do it to support someone I had met a few years back, Bo Vanders - he is a talented make-up artist and had worked with this company called Rephr to create a few classic make-up brushes that are handmade by Japanese artisans. I have always been a user of Hakuhodo brushes, for about 8 years now? and honestly these are so comparable to them, but at a much lower price point, making it very affordable for anyone who wants some high quality brushes to add to their kit or collection. The bristles are so soft, and it picks up pigment and blends out powders like a dream, diffusing it effortlessly on the skin making it look like second skin and natural. I highly suggest that you purchase a few brushes for yourself! Last I saw, one of the eye brushes was already sold-out, so act quick!

affordable japanese makeup brushes, affordable handmade japanese makeup brushes, affordable handmade japanese brushes

Lastly, below are the items I had purchased from the Sephora VIB Rouge Sale. I have the Beauty Blender Sapphire, the Hourglass - Veil Prime & Set Travel Set and lastly the Buxom - Powerplump Lip Balm in Big O, a sheer pink that adjusts to your pH level to give you a customized pink perfect for your lips. 

What have been some of your purchases this summer? I'd love to hear about them!

Until next time, XO - M.

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Wet n Wild - Fire and Ice Collection Box*

Wet n Wild has recently launched their limited edition Fire and Ice Collection Box and had graciously sent me the set for review. It retails for $39.99 and contains 4 loose pigments, 2 bronzers, 2 highlighter, 2 eyeshadow palettes and 4 metallic liquid lipsticks. If you're interested in seeing these items swatched, reviewed and applied in a makeup-look, then keep on reading below. 

Tutorial and Review: Ways to fake that summer tan*

The air is crisp and cool and the nights where the sun sets at 9pm are long gone... you notice that the tan you've worked to get this summer is fading, and you just wish that there was a way to keep some color to your complexion without turning into a ghost during the winter season. I typically don't like to self-tan in the dead of winter, however during the fall season or late spring, it's time to get that tan-on! I've collected here in this post some of my tried and true favorites in different formulations of self-tan so that hopefully you will be able to find something that suits you! If you're interested in learning more, then keep on reading below

August 2018 Favorites

While we are well into September, I couldn't go without sharing with you my August favorites! Once again, I have limited it to 10 items and spread it across a good range of beauty related items. If you're interested in finding out what they are and my thoughts on the items, then keep on reading below.

Tutorial: Achieving a flawless base with Maybelline*

Purchasing drugstore foundations can be complicated at times, trying to achieve a flawless base as well may seem unattainable. However, I have been trying out some tips and tricks, experimenting, and have found out what is the best way to get that perfect base and complexion. 

What I find to be most intimidating is trying to find that one perfect shade that will match you. What I have found works is, instead of trying to find that ONE color, pick three - none of them in which will be your perfect shade. This is why - you can use those three to custom blend something to match you. You will always need a bronzer, a highlighter as well as a base. With one that is darker, one lighter and one really light, you will be able to truly mix and match to your hearts content. 

Lastly, get a concealer that is also 2 shades lighter than you - and you will be able to obtain the look below. I hope you will see what I mean by looking at the step by step photos below!

Products used from Maybelline:
Foundation - Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless, Shades 230 Natural Buff and 360 Mocha
Super Stay Multi-Use Foundation Stick -130 Buff Beige
Concealer - Fit Me! - 20 Sand
Eyeshadow - The Burgundy Bar 
Brows - Tatto Studio - 360 Medium Brown
Eyeliner - EyeStudio - Brown

The one product that I would definitely recommend is the foundation stick - it goes on easy and blends out like a dream. It glides on the skin and blends out to a smooth satin finish. It also helps to even out any enlarged pores. It's a must have for sure, bonus - it doesn't oxidize. 

Until next time - XO, M
*products were sent to me for review/consideration - all opinions are my own.

Review: Current Body Moisturizer Favorites - Summer/Fall 2018*

With the cooler weather we've been slowly transitioning into the past few weeks, I thought I would share with you some products that I have been gravitating to for my body - some of these products are tried and true meaning I have used them for months - while others have recently been introduced to me which I am loving and have included in my routine. 

Moisturizers, as you may know come in many different formulations ~ you have your regular lotions, body butters, oils and now in-shower body lotions.  I have included my favorites in each category for you so that it narrows things down and makes it a bit more simple for you!

In-Shower Body Lotion 

This stuff is truly made for people like me, the ones who aren't necessarily lazy, but those who like things quick, on the go and works. You apply this to your body as the last step - after you use shampoo, conditioner and body wash and you lather this all over your body, let it sit for a bit and then rinse off. That's it! Voila! This specific one is formulated with Shea Butter and is said to keep your skin hydrated for 24 hours. While I cannot attest to 24 hours because I basically shower by then, I do have to say it works wonders with hydrating the skin, even combating my scaly dry alligator legs in the winter. I even got my husband hooked on this stuff!

Thicker Body Creams/Butters
This is an award winning formula for a reason - it is a luxurious thick body butter that contains shea butter and aloe vera - ingredients to ensure maximum hydration and softness. An important thing to note is that this product is fragranced with their signature Original Pink scent, so if you are sensitive then I would recommend the below product.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Developed with dermatologists, it contains 3 essential ceramides  to restore your skin's natural barrier, lock in moisture and keep it protected. Hyaluronic Acid for maximum hydration. This product is not greasy and is suitable for those with eczema, dry/itchy skin or psoriasis-prone. 

Body Lotion
Live Clean - Coconut Milk Moisturizing Body Lotion
This is your traditional body moisturizer - however the ingredients are fantastic. It is enriched with Coconut Milk, Apricot Extract and Vitamins C, E and B. The formulation helps to maintain elasticity and keep your skin soft and hydrated. What I really appreciate about this product is that the fragrance is subtle and natural - it does not smell like sunscreen or anything artificial so I do not feel overwhelmed wearing it. This is one brand that truly knows how to do the coconut fragrance properly. 

This baby is made with 100% pure plant extracts - while hydrating your skin it also provides you with a calming aromatherapy session. This contains rosemary, geranium and mint extracts to remedy dull skin. I used this after I had my baby to also combat stretch marks and firm up my stomach area. I can use this oil forever, it smells divine. It says to apply it after your shower in the morning but I also love to put some on before bed and just drift off to bed with the relaxing fragrance.

Chelsey Wang - Citrus Body Oil
This product is new to me and I have been using it for hte past month. It contains olive squalane, baobab and rosehip seed oil to rejuvenate your skin while not being greasy. It smells of citrus as it contains organic orange, lemon and grapefruit oil to help lock-in moisture and brighten your skin while providing anti-inflammatory properties. Wearing this in the morning really puts you in good spirits and wakens you up while leaving a beautiful sheen to your arms and legs. This absorbs rather quickly so it does not affect my getting ready routine as I do not have to sit around waiting for it to sink in. 

What are some of your favorite moisturizers? I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time, XO - M.

*products in this post have been provided to me for review/consideration - all opinions are my own.

Review & Swatch: Annabelle Edge Lipsticks*

Annabelle has recently launched the Edge Lipsticks, an innovative diamond-shaped lipstick that is said to effortlessly define your lips and give them volume and dimension. The lipsticks retail for $9.95 each and comes in 12 various shades ranging from neutrals to bright reds. I have graciously been sent the entire collection, including the lip scrub which they recommend to be applied to the lips before each lipstick as it provides a smooth and moisturized canvas for application. 

I have all the lipsticks (minus the lip scrub) swatched below on both the arm and on the lips - I personally found that so long as your lips are already smooth, it is not necessary to use the lip scrub as it does create a slick to the lips that makes the lipstick a bit slippery on application. I love the almost matte finish to these lipsticks and they apply perfectly on their own without becoming patchy at all - all the swatches below are with one swipe as well which means they have a fantastic formulation. If you wish for more of a shine look to the lipstick, then definitely go for the lip scrub before hand!

Above you see the innovative diamond-shaped lipstick - to apply, it is recommended that you place the point to your cupid's bow and apply like other regular lipsticks. 

My favorite shades are: Kelly, Serena, Winnie, Rita, Iris, Soo and Taylor. I know it seems like a lot but a majority of them are the berry/red shades that I believe are perfectly formulated in terms of color payoff. They pack a punch, are just so beautiful and bold. 

I highly recommend that you pick up a few of these lipsticks, at the price point it is way less than most high-end lipsticks and I really believe that this formulation is so much better than most that I've tried.

Until next time, XO - M.

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