Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

It’s a mascara that I keep going back to because it gives me those luxe thick lashes that I love.  The wands seems to grab the lashes, and the thick waxy formula layers so well.

The brush is curvy which helps it grab all the lashes, and I really like using the end of it to use on my bottom lash line.  It defines without clumping and doesn’t flake throughout the day.You can read a more full review of it here.

$35 at Sephora.

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John Master’s Organics Overnight Facial Mask

This is the nicest smelling mask I’ve ever used because it’s got lovely rose oil in it.

The luscious mask is a blend of aloe juice, glycerin, and water with some other extracts thrown in for brightness, but it’s the glycerin that does the heavy work here. This is a lovely moisturizer for all skin types because it’s light but hydrating and it almost seems to form a protective layer over your skin.

$89 online.

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New empty: Kerastase Aura Botanica Oil video

Kerastase’s Aura Botanica line came out in 2017 and it was something special. All products were created to work like traditional products so that you wouldn’t feel that they were “natural”. Unlike most oils on the market (including the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil), this oil is free of silicones and so it’s just oil that works to detangle and nourish your hair. I’ve loved using it on myself and my girls and now it’s finished.

What’s one thing you’ve finished recently?


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Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

This is absolutely the shampoo and conditioner you need if you have dry hair and needs a lot of moisture, especially if that’s what you switch over to in the cold winter months.

The shampoo is moisturizing but not heavy and thick. It spreads easily throughout your hair and leaves it moisturized and not stripped of moisture. If you’re looking for a deep cleanse, though, this is not the shampoo that you want to use.

The conditioner is seriously heavy and maybe one of the heaviest conditioners I’ve ever used. It’s heavier than a lot of hair masks and leaves a serious residue on your hair by way of moisturizing. When I use this mask I find that I hardly need any styling products because it’s that smoothing.

Of course, both of them enriched with coconut oil, argan oil, and macadamia nut oil which helps hydrate your hair. This is a great duo for dry or very dry hair – if you highlight or regularly use hot tools on your hair, you’re going to want to use these.

Available at salons and Sephora. $45 for the large size of the conditioner, $41 for the large size of the shampoo.

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How Can I Make Makeup Last Longer

This is an easy question to answer, and I think that people have heard the answer, but they’re not sure whether to believe it.

How can you make your makeup last longer?

Just use a primer!

How can a primer help?  Well it absorbs oil before it gets to your makeup, and once it’s absorbed all the oil that it can, then the excess gets to your makeup and it gets absorbed by that.  Think of it as a line of defense that comes before your makeup.

There’s no guarantee that your skin won’t look oily later in the day, but hopefully it should be flawless for a little longer than usual.  There are tons of great primers out there and almost every line has one.  I particularly like Prescriptives’ Flawless Face Primer because I can use it on the days that I don’t want to wear makeup and it makes my skin look glowy and fresh.

Have a primer you love?  Tell our readers in the comments!

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Look By Vera Wang

Look is the name of Vera Wang’s newest fragrance, and when I saw the bottle and the ad campaign, it seemed to me that this was a departure from the bridal feel of Wang’s fragrances and branding. It’s not up to me to say whether that’s good or not, but I thought it was reflected in the fragrance too.

Gone are the classically feminine scents, and instead we have something that smells a lot younger, perhaps only because it reminds me so much of Ralph Lauren Romance which I wore throughout my late-teenage years.

What you get in this fragrance is a fruity-citrus opening and then a fresh sweet floral drydown. It’s a little powdery but not so much so that it’ll make you think of someone old. The perfume is nice and now available everywhere.

$52.97 at mass merchandisers.

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Gwyneth’s Makeup Tips

A little throwback today…

Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter Goop, shared how she got ready for the Emmys.  Below, her makeup artist shares her tips.

Noticeable is that she likes to blend with the BeautyBlender Sponge.

Makeup tips From Kate Lee:

“I’m really enjoying Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation. I apply it with a nylon brush then blend with a beauty blender sponge, which gives a beautifully healthful glow.

For the eyes I started with Chanel’s Illusion D’ombre In Emervielle with Fantasme, a bronzy gold creme shadow, which I applied to the whole lid and blended out at the socket. I let some color bleed out to the inner corners of the eye and then added a highlight of shimmer to the centre of the lid. Next I added a soft black gel liner (a combination of Noir Kohl Liner and Black Shiseido Brush Liquid Liner) at the base of the lashes. We curled the lashes, applied a coat of Mascara and then added in a few extra strip and individual lashes.

I’m experimenting with By Terry Rose de Rose Liquid Blush at the moment and I’m loving the results. It is more of a sheen of color. For Gwyneth, I used an apricot shade on her cheek bones to give dimension.

I’m also loving the new Kevyn Aucoin Creme Blush, which I used to pop Gwyneth’s cheeks. Using a vibrant color on the cheek is a great way to bring attention to the eye.

I groomed the brows with a combination of powder and tinted brow gel, which gave them definition—specifically, a Chanel Blond pencil and Anastasia Brow Gel. Then, I highlighted the brow bone with a light matte concealer.

Right at the end, we decided to add black liner inside the eye to give the look a little more intensity.

I used a lip liner that is the same shade as Gwyneth’s lips to define them, and then she added a dab of her own Kiehls lip balm so the color was actually her natural lip color.”

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Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir

I bought this on my birthday in 2007 and still have half a bottle left.  It’s what I’m wearing right now and the tart fruitiness combined with the woods is just what I need these days.  It reminds me of the time that I was just getting into perfume.

This is one of Jo Malone’s signature scents that has been in her collection for ages.  It’s unlike anything I have smelled before or encountered since.

$92 at department stores or online.

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Winter Beauty Survival

picture via chicks57

After about 25 years of taking care of my own skin and general well-being (including the appearance) of my self, I have gradually improved upon my knowledge of what is necessary and what is unnecessary in the maintenance and improvement thereof. Here is the inside look into what I do to myself to stay pretty and comfy in the thorough Canadian wintertimes:

Use a humidifier.

It’s a slightly large investment, yes, but it is seriously worth every penny, unless you live in an already humid home.

Limit Exposure to Warm Water

Try not to bathe in water that is too warm or hot and also limit baths in warm water. This will dehydrate your skin and strip it of its natural moisture, kind of like running your body through a dishwasher; it’s okay in summer, not in Toronto winters, though.  Try to just opt out of baths altogether and just take quick showers daily. That is, unless you have naturally oily skin or hair that you need to dehydrate. I have dry skin so I’m extra sensitive in winter.

Likewise, try not to wash the whole of your whole hands all of the time with hot or warm water; just give them a rinse with cool water. Also remember to wear rubber gloves when washing your pots and pans and/or dishes in the sink.

On the same note, do not soak hands/fingernails while performing a manicure of any sort. This will dehydrate them and make them brittle.


Key in the maintenance of pretty and healthy skin that is soft to the touch. Exfoliating removes the residual dry skin that happens when you live in cold weather. I exfoliate my whole body almost daily using an organic scrubbing cloth from The Outer Layer. You may also use an exfoliating scrub product but only once a week. I’d recommend one with a cream base for winter.

Do the same to your feet (once a week) but exfoliate with a pumice stone tool.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

Try to moisturize the moment you towel off after your shower. The pores are open at this point and will absorb the product better. Use a richer cream or body butter than you use in the summer. I’ve been using Creme de Corps and find it incredibly soothing. It stops the itching associated with dry skin too.

Also moisturize cuticles every day before bed with a cuticle oil of some sort. I literally go to bed with oil on my nails. Mind you, I have problem cuticles, so oil is the only way. Use a heavy cream on your hands and shove them in gloves. Sleep with the gloves at least once a week too.

Protect Yourself from UV Rays

Of course this should go without saying, but one shouldn’t step into daylight in winter with anything less than 15 SPF in her face moisturizer and at least 8 in her lip gloss. The sun’s rays are intensified by the brightness of the snow which acts like a reflective thing which people use to tan in summer.

Enjoy Yourself

Indeed wintertime is a period of indoor activities with those we love; a time to collect all one’s friends and family together and be reminded of the good things in life. So stay cozy and close, throw a log onto the fire and drink a cup of hot cocoa and be thankful that we live in a place where top concerns include the maintenance of appearances.

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Lancome Hypnose Mascara

Though it wasn’t the first Lancome mascara I ever tried, (that was Defincils), Lancome’s Hypnose was the first Lancome mascara that I loved so much that I re-bought it.

I still remember when it first came on the market, and the initial ad campaign that surrounded its release. There was a model with lovely vamp looking lashes, and the idea of a mascara that you could layer without it clumping really appealed to me even back then.

I recently tried this mascara again, and I still love it. There’s something about the formula that lets you put on layer upon layer and the way that it builds almost feels waxy. At the end, you get lashes, wonderfully dramatic lush lashes, that you’re satisfied with, and absolutely no clumps despite what’s now an old-fashioned wand.

If you have a need for drama around your eyes, you should give this mascara a go. It’s an oldy but a goody. $36 at Lancome counters.

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