Friday, October 13, 2017

Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask

Disclaimer: I received this product free for review, but all opinions are my own!

Neutrogena has recently released a brand new, chemical-free acne treatment mask. It's mess free, easy to use and gentle on the skin.



The Light Therapy Acne Mask uses LED lights to treat and prevent acne while being incredibly gentle on skin. There are 12 Blue LED lights and 9 Red LED lights that work in tandem to reduce acne causing bacteria and to calm inflammation.

Blue LED
Acne causing bacteria (P . acnes) generate molecules called porphyrins that are sensitive to light. When they absorb the wavelength of blue light from the mask they produce free radicals which damage their own cell membranes - literally causing to self-destruct!

Red LED Light
Another element of acne is inflammation. Red light works to reduce inflammation and has been shown in vitro to reduce hyperkeratinization (pore clogging).


Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask is super gentle and easy to use. This mask would be perfect for anyone with sensitive or dry skin because there are no chemical irritants. It's also great for those who want to avoid harsh chemicals in their skincare.

Although the Light Therapy Acne Mask looks heavy, I can assure you it isn't! It weighs less than a pound and it sits comfortably on the face supported by a sunglass style frame. The mask has amber coloured lenses to minimize glare during the treatment.


Each Light Therapy Acne Mask comes with an Activator that gives you 30 ten-minute treatments. It requires 4AA batteries and they are included with the kit. To begin your treatment, you simply plug the mask into the Activator and place it on your face. To start your session, press down on the power button for one second. Once your treatment is over, the mask turns itself off. Pretty simple right!?


I love that the Activator has a counter that lets you know how many treatments remain; what I don't love is how much waste it produces. Neutrogena recommends using this daily which means that you would need to replace the Activator once a month (probably the batteries too). I would rather bypass the Activator altogether or at least have the option to buy an Activator with more sessions on it. Having said that, Neutrogena is partnering with Stericycle to recycle their Activators which makes it slightly better.

As far as results go, I would say that it helps. I don't suffer from serious breakouts so I don't know how well it would work for them. I also use other acne treatments (glycolic + salicylic acid) so it's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what's working the best. My opinion is it's everything combined! 

All in all, I think this is a great new product that's worth looking into.

You can find this and other Neutrogena products in Canada at most mass retailers such as Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart.


*This post was powered by BrandBacker

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sothys Paris Fall-Winter Makeup Collection ~ Review + Swatches


Sothys Paris is a new-to-me Parisian brand that is exclusively available in spas. I've been testing out their fall makeup collection, and I have to admit, I'm quite impressed! This collection features the essentials (eyeshadow, blush, lipstick and nail polish) and there were a few stand out items for me.


The Smoky Eye Duo ($48.50) is a contour eye pencil set available in two shades - Zinc Grey and Plum. The pencils are pigmented, creamy, blendable and effortless to apply. I applied them without primer and they stayed put the whole day without any creasing. Amazing!


The Velvet Effect Lipstick ($35.95) is a beautiful classic red. The packaging is understated, however, the lipstick is embossed with Sothys which makes it look very chic. It also comes in a cute velvet pouch which adds a nice touch. The lipstick applies smoothly and has opaque coverage with two swipes. It has a velvet feel and a matte finish that stays put on my lips for around 3-4 hours before I need to touch it up (sooner if I eat) and it's non-drying.



The Nail Lacquer ($18.50) is a show-stopping red that matches the Velvet Effect Lipstick perfectly. It's easy to apply and opaque - one coat is doable, but two coats looks best. I found it to dry rather quickly and it has a beautiful high-shine finish. What impressed me most about this nail polish is how durable it is and how long it lasts.


I typically don't get much more than a day out of polish before it starts to chip - my hands go through a lot in a day (kids, dishes, cleaning, etc). With Sothys Nail Lacquer, I was able to go 2 (almost 3) days before it started to wear off. That might not sound like a long time, but for me it is. I highly recommend this nail polish!



Sothys Paris is available in Institute and Spas throughout Canada. To find a location closest to you, call this toll-free number 1-800-361-3004



*Press samples were kindly provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Meet YSL Beauty's Newest Ambassador: Adam Levine

Happy Thanksgiving beauties! Just a little PSA to let you know that, as of today, Adam Levine becomes a beauty ambassador for Yves Saint Laurent's newest masculine fragrance, Y.


I personally feel that Adam Levine is a perfect fit for YSL as his unique and raw image aligns perfectly with the brand.



FOUGERES ARE AMONG THE MOST PREVALENT

FAMILIES IN MASCULINE FRAGRANCE. A TOUCH

GREEN, A TOUCH WOODY AND TOPPED WITH A

SOFT BALSAMIC SWEETNESS, Y OFFERS A BOLD

NEW TAKE ON THE TRADITIONAL FOUGERE.

CREATED BY LEGENDARY PERFUMER DOMINIQUE


Y is available Canada wide at Hudson's Bay, Sephora and Nordstrom both in-store and online

Monday, October 2, 2017

Givenchy's Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum Nude

Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum Nude is an extension of the already successful Dahlia Divin franchise. It's described as a floral, fruity musky that caresses your body like a second skin.



Top notes: Orange Blossom Tea, Apricot Pulp

Heart: Sambac Jasmine, Rose, Osmanthas

Base: White Woods, White Musk



“Like a rough diamond, this new fragrance was chiselled from a thousand facets to express
the radiant femininity of the woman wearing it. First, orange blossom tea sweeps you up in its
fresh, crystalline tones and sparkling purity. Then a tinge of fruity sweetness comes in, velvety yet
zesty, from juicy apricot pulp. The ethereal floral heart is exalted by precious petals of sambac
jasmine and rose, enhanced by an osmanthus note of apricotty, almost animal, leather. Base notes
of blond woods radiate while carnal white musks envelop the skin in a soft, silky trail, like the
promise of a last caress.”

 - Creator François Demachy

The Muse: Candice Swanepoel

Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum Nude is a complex yet light and subtle fragrance. With wear you notice all of it's notes, each one as beautiful as the last. It starts off quite fruity then transitions into a floral before ending up on the musky side. I find that I can get 3 to 4 hours of noticeable wear out of a spritz.


Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum Nude's lightness evokes a feeling of a second skin by working with your natural chemistry. I love how it's noticeable yet subtle - perfect for environments where heavy scents are frowned upon. This is an incredibly feminine fragrance that won't overpower the senses.


The bottle itself is incredibly stunning and I love how the perfume is tinted a peachy nude to resemble bare skin. The white gold thread on the bottleneck screams haute couture and adds to the overall beauty of the bottle.



I highly recommend giving this gorgeous fragrance a sniff the next time you're at the mall, you wont be disappointed!


Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum Nude is available at Sephora, Hudson's Bay and Beauty Boutique.



*Press samples were generously provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#GuerlainLover Event Recap

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of Dave Lackie's famous VIP Followers Events and today I'm sharing a quick recap of the event. The #GuerlainLover dinner was held in celebration of the launch of Guerlain's newest lipstick,  Kiss Kiss Matte. This was Dave's first ever VIP follower event with Guerlain and we had not one, but two special guests in attendance!



The dinner was held at the Arcadian Court in a beautiful room modeled after the great palaces of Europe. The room was adorned with fragrant flowers and luxurious Guerlain product displays. We were greeted with a signature cocktail aptly named Kiss Kiss. The drink consisted of Ketel Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, pink grapefruit & lemon juice and it was garnished with a vibrant (and edible) Violet flower. Unfortunately, I arrived a bit late and totally drank my drink before taking a photo.





The room was abuzz with excited conversation, photo taking and lots of hugs! Dave has brought so many of us beauty lovers, bloggers and artists together. Thanks to Dave and these events, many friendships have formed. We all posed for a group photo and I love how it turned out. I'm sitting in the front row with the pink skirt!

📷 Credit : Dave Lackie @davelackie

After our photo we were seated at a large table that ran down the center of the room. Each seat had a Guerlain gift bag (more on that later 😍) and the table setting was very chic. We ate a delicious three course meal prepared by Oliver & Bonaci and drank perfectly paired wine.





During dinner, Sandrine (VP of Guerlain Canada Marketing) spoke with us about her fascinating career in the beauty industry and how she came to be part of the Guerlain family. Sandrine was a student in Shanghai and after having difficulty finding work, decided to move to Europe. While in Paris she scored an interview at Guerlain.  The woman who hired Sandrine did so because she had spent time in Shanghai herself. The best piece of advice Sandrine gave was to be dedicated to what you do. What stuck out in my mind was when she said that you need to be you, because authenticity is what gets you noticed. Another really important topic she touched on was how with success comes failure. You can't be perfect all the time and not everyone will like what you do (especially in the world of beauty). What's important is being yourself and never giving up. Success will come!


During dessert, our second guest of honour spoke with us about his career. Maxime Poulin is Guerlain's International Makeup Artist and one of the nicest people you could ever meet! His approach to makeup is easy to follow and combines both art and functionality. Maxime believes that all women can wear red lipstick (so do I) and he suggests trying it on at home first to build confidence and to become comfortable wearing it.

The beautiful @WhatsupLiz finding her perfect red lipstick

Another fabulous tip he gave was to avoid harsh lip lines and texture (this can 'age' you) by lightly applying lipstick, pushing your lips together and gently blurring the edge.

As I mentioned earlier, all guests received a very generous gift bag with 5 amazing Guerlain products, 3 of which are new. I will be reviewing all of the items we received in a separate post so stay tuned for that!



Thank you so much to Dave Lackie, Cookie Gigan, Beth and the Guerlain Canada team for this incredible opportunity.


If you're not already following Dave on Twitter, I highly recommend you do! He offers daily pro-tips, luxe giveaways and so much more! and don't forget to check out beautytheguide.com for the latest and greatest in beauty!


You can find Guerlain products at Hudson's Bay, Sephora and Beauty Boutique.


RuckPack Energizer Shot's ~ Review

RuckPack is a veteran owned and operated nutrition company whose supplements are manufactured in the United States. RuckPack gives a small percentage of their sales to the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement as well as other charities.


RuckPack Energizer Shot is combat nutrition for everyone. Gym lovers, busy moms, students, soldiers - anyone who needs a boost of energy. They provide instant nutrition and energy without the jitteriness of traditional energy drinks or the crash and burn of caffeine.

RuckPack Energizer Shot's are designed to maximize energy and focus without attacking the central nervous system. They're formulated with Nootropics, Theanine, Citrulline, CoQ10 and naturally sourced Caffeine from Green Tea (in select Energy Shots). They don't contain any Sucrolose or artificial caffeine.

Here's a breakdown of the ingredients and how they can benefit you!

AlphaSize® Alpha-GPC - AlphaSize Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (A-GPC) is a brain nutrient used to combat memory loss, cognitive dysfunctions, and dementia. A-GPC optimizes muscular power output, sharpens agility, and can delay mental fatigue.

Theanine - Caffeine and Theanine are a found together in nature (in green tea) and Theanine supplements can increase alpha brain wave production and lessen the harsh side-effects that caffeine can have on the central nervous system. Theanine is the most common nootropic pairing for cognitive enhancement.

Tyrosine - Tyrosine is an amino acid used to combat depression, attention deficit disorder, stress, Alzheimer's, and Chronic Fatigue syndrome. It is also used to improve alertness following sleep deprivation.

MicroActive® CoQ10 - Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10) is a molecule produced in the body. It serves as a powerful anti-oxidant, protecting the body from the damage of free radicals.

Citrulline Malate - L-Citrulline is used as a sports performance and cardiovascular health supplement. L-Citrulline supplementation results in reduced fatigue and improved endurance while exercising.


I received three different flavours of RuckPack Energizer Shots (Citrus Ambush, Strawberry Assault and Raspberry Grenade). You can drink them chilled or at room temperature. I decided to try them both ways and in my humble opinion, they taste better chilled. I personally wouldn't drink them at room temperature.

At 240 mg, Citrus Ambush has the highest level of caffeine out of the three Energizer Shot's I sampled. The flavour is very citrus-y and refreshing. I noticed an improvement in energy and focus within 10 minutes of consuming it. This feeling lasted a couple of hours and I did experience a bit of jitteriness afterward, but in all fairness I drank a lot of coffee prior to drinking it.


Strawberry Assault contains 120mg of caffeine (half the amount found in Citrus Ambush). I actually like this flavour a lot - it's my favourite of the three I sampled. I found my energy levels rose for a few hours before slowly declining. I didn't have any negative effects after drinking it (no crash and burn).


My least favourite of the three was Raspberry Grenade. I didn't care for the flavour at all. This Energizer Shot doesn't contain any caffeine and it just didn't do much for me. I felt a slight difference in my mood and energy but that feeling lasted for less than half an hour.


RuckPack was kind enough to offer my readers a 20% off discount code! Visit http://www.ruckpack.com and add code BB051  to receive 20% off of your purchase.


*This post was powered by BrandBacker. I received free samples in order to conduct my review

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

NeoStrata's New Acne Clear Line ~ Review

If you suffer from breakouts, you should check out NeoStrata's new Acne Clear line. Widely available at most major drugstores, this line will help treat active pimples while helping to prevent future breakouts. There are 2 different treatment options and today I'm sharing my thoughts on the system for severe acne.


The first step in any anti-acne routine is cleansing. NeoStata's Acne Clear Clarifying Gel Cleanser (200ml, $24.50 CAD) deep cleanses to wash away bacteria, oil and impurities. It's formulated with 2% salicylic acid to help dry up any active breakouts and unclog your pores to prevent future breakouts.


I love how clean my face feels after using this cleanser! I use it in the evening after oil cleansing and it leaves my face feeling deeply cleansed. A little goes a long way - which means this bottle will last a long time. Since my skin is prone to drying out, I only use this in the evening. If you have oily skin or have lots of breakouts I'd recommend using it twice daily.


The next step is applying NeoStrata's Acne Clear Clarifying Solution (200 ml, $29.50 CAD). Chemical exfoliation is key to treating and preventing acne. This clarifying solution contains both BHA (2% salicylic acid) as well as AHA (10% glycolic acid). In case you're not sure how BHA's and AHA's work here's a quick breakdown as found on NeoStrata's website .


GLYCOLIC ACID
The alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) of choice. Its small molecular size makes it effective in removing the build-up of dead cells on the surface of the skin. Has an ideal pH for better results.

SALICYLIC ACID 
A beta hydroxyl acid that dries and helps clear up acne pimples while reducing the severity of acne pimples, allowing skin to heal.

If you're new to using chemical exfoliants, its best to start slowly to build skin tolerance. Start by applying it at night, every other night, and gradually increase the frequency of applications. If you have severely problematic skin you can use it twice daily. If you have minimal breakouts or just want to prevent them, you can get away with applying it a few times a week. Alternatively, you can use it as a spot treatment. Always wear sunscreen when using AHA and BHA because they make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

I personally use it every other night and as a spot treatment because my skin tends to dry out fairly quickly. Even though I don't use it daily, the effects are still noticeable - smaller pores and reduced breakouts.


The final step is to apply NeoStrata's Acne Clear Acne Fluid Treatment (50 ml, $29 CAD). It helps to dry out pimples, absorb excess oil and minimize dilated pores. It also moisturizes leaving a shine-free finish, soothes skin and calms redness.

I don't know why, but I was expecting this to have more of a lotion texture seeing how it's the final step in this anti-acne routine. As the name suggests, it is indeed a fluid. Even though it is quite viscous, it feels very hydrating and that feeling lasts. It absorbs quickly and leaves my face looking calm and shine free. I only apply it once a day because my combo skin is prone to drying out when I use too much salicylic acid.

This anti-acne treatment plan has been helping my skin stay clear amidst the stress of moving so it gets a definite thumbs up from me!



You can find NeoStrata's Acne Clear range at most mass drugstores and online at well.ca




*press samples were provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Incoming! Dior Rouge Liquid & Double Rouge ~ Review + Swatches

Peter Philips (Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup) has revamped Dior's Iconic Dior Rouge lipstick in a big huge way and it's everything you've dreamed of and more! Meet Dior Rouge Liquid Lipstain and Dior Double Rouge 😍


"Laced with featherweight pigments that produce intense, vibrant colour that lasts up to 12 hours. Dior's first liquid lipstick is the next generation of liquid lipstick. A combination of wax, moisturizing oils, and setting agents make for a seamless, second-skin finish in one swipe."


Dior Rouge Liquid Lipstain ($43 CAD) is available in 29 shades (3 of which are Sephora exclusives) and three finishes (Rock Matte, Pop Satin and Electric Metal). Each shade boasts high impact colour, staying power and comfort. Optimum pigment dispersion reinforces colour intensity and each finish is formulated as follows:

- Matte effect: 2 to 7% pigments
- Satin effect: 1 to 3% pigments + 4 to 7% iridescence
- Metallic effect: 17 to 20% iridescence


When it comes to luxury packaging, Dior takes the cake. The sleek, navy tube has a vertical window that allows you to quickly view the shade as well as product usage. The wand is comfortable to hold and the doe foot applicator is by far the best I've ever used. There's a bowl shaped reservoir that holds just the right amount of lipstick and the tapered doe foot shape allows for precision lining and filling of the lips.


I have three shades (one from each finish category) and they are all very similar in formulation. They're definitely liquid lipstick, not a lipstain as the name suggests. It's important to note that they don't dry down completely which means that they will transfer. Having said that, they can hold their own when it comes to drinking and light snacking.



375 Spicy Metal is a stunning pink lipstick with a high-shine, metallic finish. It feels light on my lips and wears similar to a satin lipstick. Out of the three finishes I've tried, this one is the most pigmented, opaque and dries down the most (aka less transfer).



427 Delicate Satin is a light, peachy brown lipstick with a beautiful satin finish. It's incredibly comfortable to wear and gives off that 'my lips but better look'. From first application to end of the evening, this lipstick feels (and looks!) great.



424 Hypnotic Matte is a light, beige-brown nude with a pink undertone. It applies evenly, opaque and doesn't crack on my lips. It feels hydrating initially, but after extended wear it starts to feel a bit dry. Having said that, I don't feel the need to bathe in lip balm after wearing it.


Dior's Double Rouge ($43 CAD) is a dual-textured lipstick that has a highly pigmented matte outer ring with a metallic core. The concept is that the matte and metallic lipstick combine upon application to create a subtle ombré effect and an optical illusion of volume. It took up to 16 attempts to find the perfect balance for certain shades and 4 months to adjust the formula and perfect each stick.

Peter Philips created 4 colour families: fun and sophisticated reds, cheerful corals, electric purple pinks, and nudes. It's important to note that Double Rouge will not be available at Sephora.


Double Rouge is enclosed in the traditional Dior bullet packaging which is absolutely gorgeous. I was expecting these lipsticks to have a stark contrast when applied but thankfully they don't - the ombré effect is quite subtle and pretty. If you don't align the matte outer ring with the edges of your lips you won't get the ombré effect. Both of the shades I have feel very luxurious and comfortable on my lips.


429 Coup de Chic has a matte, rosy-nude outer ring with a soft pink mettalic inner core. When applied, the two combine to create a pinkish nude shade with a pearlescent finish. This shade is very light and feminine - I love it!



590 Dressed to Kill has a deep, matte burgundy outer ring with a champagne hued metallic core. When applied, the two combine to create a stunning wine red shade with a satin finish. I did find that when I tried to accentuate the ombré effect my lips looked a bit patchy as you can see in the photo. I had much better results when I forgo trying to ombré and just blended the two shades together.



You can find Dior's Double Rouge at Hudson's Bay, Beauty BOUTIQUE and Nordstrom or online at thebay.com and beautyBOUTIQUE.ca


You can find Dior's Rouge Liquid at Sephora, Hudson's Bay, Beauty BOUTIQUE and Nordstrom. Also available online at thebay.combeautyBOUTIQUE.ca and sephora.com




*Press samples were generously provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.