First Impression: L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara

I’m not the first to post about this.  In fact, I would assume I’m kind of late to the “game”, so to speak.  When I saw all the buzz about this mascara, namely the comparison to the Too Faced Better Than Sex {TFBS} mascara, I knew I had to try it. Y’all know about my beloved Maybelline mascara and my propensity to favour a drugstore buy over a high end alternative, so it was a natural fit for me to give this one a try.


This mascara purports to have a soft wavy bristle brush that holds a max formula for a dramatic volumizing charge.

Benefits include:

  • 200+ bristles catch every lash for a full fringe effect
  • Smooth glide formula provides silky volume in one extra black coat
  • Lashes are feathery soft to the touch  {I don’t agree – they’re kind of tough but I like this because it holds a curl better}
  • Women agreed: 91% saw intense and volumized lashes and 87% saw more beautiful lashes
  • +98% lengthening effect
  • Voluptuous volume and length
  • Soft wavy bristle brush
  • More black pigments


It comes {currently} in 4 colours, at least in Canada:

  • Washable Black
  • Washable Black Brown
  • Washable Blackest Black
  • Waterproof Blackest Black


I’m gonna cut to the chase:  this is the SHIT.  

Yes, it does all it claims to do and more. 


Can we also have a moment for the luxe packaging please?  Undeniably reminiscent of the TFBS tube, it feels and looks super high end.





This packaging.  WOAH!



For my super straight lashes, it holds a curl all day without clumping or flaking or even transferring.   The formula {I bought the Blackest Black in the washable/regular formula, not waterproof} is drier, so a word of caution that you have to work fast.  You might not want to let this dry between coats to prevent the clumpy spider look, but that doesn’t take away from the sheer volume and length this puppy provides in one fell swoop.   I tend to let it dry simply out of habit and a simple brow comb does the trick to separate lashes and avoid spider legs.


The brush looks markedly like the TFBS as does the packaging, but does just the same job at half the price.  Lash Paradise currently retails for about $13.99 in Canada, though I’m quite sure if you watch for a sale or check out WalMart, you can save a few $$.



This is a MUST buy.  Don’t walk, run to your nearest drugstore and pick this up ASAP.









Vacation Makeup Bag: What I Brought and Used

A question for all of you: when you go on vacation, do you tend to overpack?  Overpack clothes? Overpack makeup?  I’m both.  There.  I said it.  I’m a chronic overpacker, if that’s even a thing.

I was lucky enough to go to Cabo the first week of December {we’ve decided to make this an annual thing.  YAAAAASSSSSSS!!!} and decided that I’d pair down what makeup I did bring, and see if I could make it with just what I packed.

Spoiler alert: mission was a  resounding success.  I was able to create a couple of different looks and wasn’t really missing makeup on the daily.  Perhaps it’s the tan, the hot weather, or the vacation mindset; or a sum of all all three maybe.  What I do know for sure is that I didn’t use everything I brought and I could’ve survived with just mascara and lipstick.

If you’re curious, though, I thought I’d do a little post here and commentary on just what i brought for a sunny beach vacation and what worked best for me.  If you’re interested, keep reading:


I don’t wear primer and foundation often as it is, but I brought it along just incase i wanted to create a special look – the primer to make it last, and the foundation to give a flawlessfinish.  For that, Too Faced Primed and Poreless and Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua were just the ticket.  I didn’t use it, but I brought my Chanel concealer just in case I got a breakout.  The Mac Prep and Prime in Radiant Rose wasn’t needed either.  Why, you ask?  Because i was so well rested and didn’t have dark circles to cover.  If that’s not #vacationgoals, I don’t know what is!


I did use the setting spray, though, just to lock in my look at night {the only time I really wore makeup, if I’m honest}.  Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders in this palette form {no longer sold, sadly} are my go-to vacation setting and highlighting powder staple.  This vacation was no exception. Nars Laguna was the bronzer I used in place of blush most nights, and I did use a pop of the Prosecco Pop highlighter in the Becca x Jaclyn Hill duo.



Knowing what I know from past vacays, I tried to limit my eye products as much as possible.  No need to bring tons of shadows, false lashes or even a crazy pop of colour.  So, I stuck to what I’d call some basics:  my beloved Maybelline Lash Sensational, and the L’Oreal Voluminous Base just in case I needed it {unsure why the Roller Lash is even in there…it waseyes-editedn’t used}.  For eye looks, I know neutral – for me at least – is the way to go with my olive skin that tans deeply {just say it now, I’m a bitch.  Yep.} with little to no effort.  So, the Tease palette from Tarte was perfection.  The colours are just neutral enough that they can go from day to night {didn’t wear it during the day, FYI}.  I threw in a Hard Candy single, just for good measure I guess.  I can’t be without brows, so my Anastasia Brow Wiz made it in, alongside Marc Jacobs and Tarte eyeliners.  Both are super long wearing and I knew they wouldn’t move in the Mexican heat!


I had a wonderful vacation {here’s a picture of our view…can I be there right now, pleaseandthanks} and packed a lean yet functional makeup arsenal to keep me fancified in Mexico.  I forgot to snap a pic of my brushes, but I just brought along a travel set from Sigma that I’ve had for years.  Shop a few of these faves, linked below!











shop this post

Louis Vuitton Makeup Bag  |  Tartelette Tease palette  |  Chanel Concealer  |  Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation  | UD Setting Spray  |  Nars Laguna bronzer  |   Too Faced Primed and Poreless |  Becca x Jaclyn Hill Duo in Pamplemousse  |  Anastasia Brow Wiz  |  Marc Jacobs Highliner in Brown(out) |  Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Liner





October Faves

As you all know, I’m 100% about full transparency and 100% honesty on this blog.  How could I possibly be a beauty professional or a trusted blogger in the absence of either of these two things?  So, here’s this month’s honesty: sometimes, it’s really hard for me to find faves to post about.

Why?  It’s simple really – I’m a creature of habit.  When I like something, I find myself using it daily in my rotation and I don’t want to repeat my faves month after month.  That said, I’m making a conscious effort to try new things and rotate through my stash.

Here’s what I loved for the month of October:


Beauty Faves

Essence Longlasting Lipstick Nude #05 {Cool Nude}: This little gem cost me a whopping $2.  Yes, you read that correctly.  $2.  Essence is sold here across Canada in Shoppers Drug Mart, often found as an aisle cap or at either end of the makeup aisle, at prices that really can’t be much lower.  I’ve not yet made a foray into these goodies, so I decided to pick this lippie up on a whim following the realization I have not {GASP!} got a go-to nude to apply at my desk.

The formula is long-wearing and pigmented, and keeps my lips moisturized for hours on end.  I love it and am considering another for home!   Check out the whole essence line at Shoppers {likely Target, Ulta and CVS in the States} or online at


COVER FX Custom Infusion Drops in A+ Jasmine for Anti-Aging: These were a gift from a friend who works for the brand, and I have to say, I’m in love.  These drops can bejasmine_antiaging used alone or in products to treat the skin.   They can be mixed with anything liquid that you may use on your face: primers, serums, moisturizers, foundations, the works.   Personally, I’ve been putting them in my moisturizer and directly on my face as a serum at night.  My skin, though not in dire need of anti-aging intervention just yet, is clearly benefiting from the cell turnover supported by the Vitamin A.  A little bit goes a long way, so while the $62 price tag seems hefty, these will last you quite a while.


Pantene Volume High Lifting Hairspray: Another fab drugstore find this month.  I’ve just finished up this can that I purchased about 4 months ago, so you can see that it truly lives up to its claim of 24 hour frizz and humidity protection.  Is it really 24 hours?  Likely not.  I wouldn’t expect anything to last that long, in fact, I’d be scared if it did.  However, this holds all day without weighing my hair down and leaving a greasy residue the next day.  That’s why I love this so much!   Initially purchased in pursuit of a drugstore dupe for my beloved Aveda, this has really become a staple for me.  This is perfect for every day.  I can apply it for a flexible hold that keeps my style in place, and I don’t have to worry about it leaving a film that weighs my hair down – a key selling feature for those of us with bangs, I’d say.

This can be found in a drugstore near you or wherever you pick up your Pantene products.  The best part is, it’s often on sale!


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Lifestyle Faves

Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Bergamot Waters

I didn’t realize this is a permanent scent, but a little research online reveals that it’s in BBW’s regular rotation.  AMAZING!  Pick this one up {hint: it’s on sale now!} if you can.  I’ve been burning it non-stop lately, and it reminds me {in the best way} of Dolce and Gabbana’s Light Blue perfume.  The scent throw isn’t as far as Leaves, or other candles I’ve tried, but it certainly smells fresh and pops hints of a stronger Bergamot undernote.  I happened to get mine in a marble jar that looks like it may be a limited edition.  Nevertheless, the smell is the same, but try to pick this up if you can and upcycle the jar – it’s gorgeous on a desk, a bedroom, or even for storage in a modern bathroom.


What failed this month, you ask?  Well that one’s easy.  It’s NIVEA Skin Firming Gel-Cream with Q10: This stuff sucks and doesn’t work. Bottom line.  Perhaps it was user error {though the directions are simple and I consider myself a reasonably intelligent end user, so keep that in mind…}, but  irrespective of that, for the amount of time used and if the product was any good, you’d think I’d see some sort of a result.  Nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Zero.  I’d initially hoped this would reduce what little cellulite I have on my thighs, but so far, it’s not made anything firmer.  In fact, I think my Body Shop Body Butter does a better job overall.  Luckily I was able to find this on sale.  Skip it and stick to the basics:  good moisturizer, regular exercise, and keep hydrated.


That’s it for me!  What have you been loving?  Tried something new?  I’d love to know about it.  Sound off in the comments below!



shop this post

Essence Lipstick  |  COVER FX Custom Infusion Drops |

Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Candle  |

Body Shop Body Butter {I prefer nut, which is now discontinued, but this one is a close second}







“Trends” for 2016

The countour/highlight/baking craze.  The coconut {or argan} oil train.  Barbed stiletto nails.  With the exception of the latter, I hope all of these trends will carry over to 2016.  Ain’t nobody lookin’ profesh and put together with stiletto nails…just sayin’.

I recently read this article over at the website HQ of girly lifestyle, beauty and all things pretty, Cosmopolitan magazine.   It would seem only some of my wishes will come true.  I can’t help but write this post.  What is coming in the world of beauty?  I’m terrified.  Really.  Terrified.

I’m having a hard time getting on the glitter trend.  Sorry, but no.  As an adult?  Eff no.  I danced for years – no, not that kind of dancing – the recital heavy makeup bordering on Toddlers in Tiaras kind of dancing, and thus am no stranger to a little glitter.  I also like glitter on my Christmas ornaments and any and all miscellaneous residential décor.  I occasionally like glitter in my regular décor, on a birthday card, a special occasion outfit, or even an accessory.  On my face?  No.  Would I recommend it to clients?  Depends on the venue, of course, but generally speaking: no.  I am going to really, really balk this trend as long as possible.

Accessorizing hair.  The girls pictured here look a little ridiculous.  I say that hair should not be regularly adorned.  Like all great statement accessories, there’s a place and time.  Like a wedding.  Otherwise, keep accessories to a minimum.

Along those same lines, we come to braids and twists.  I like me a good braid, and I certainly have my hair in a ponytail at least once a week {not for fashion, just lazy over here…}, but I feel those hair styles can look messy and are most certainly not {ok are generally not} something you would see in a corporate boardroom or bustling city office.  Besides, a twist can come untwisted rather easily and make for some real weird rest-of-the-day hair if you can’t fix it properly, amiright?

Brushed up brows.  I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: the caterpillar brow trend needs to die.  I think that a well groomed brow framing the eyes looks the best on anyone.  If your brows are naturally thicker, no problem, just softly shape them and keep them trimmed to compliment the frame around your eyes.  Same goes for thin brows like mine: fill them in, but don’t over-fill so they look painted on {yet another trend I will not follow.  Never.  Nope.  No how}.  Least of all, don’t ever let your brows grow and fluff them up.  Just don’t.  You’ll thank me later.

I think I’ve noted before that I get my nails done {drop me a line below if you want a referral to the best nails in the city} and almost always go for a French mani.  I’m happy to see the French manicure pop up on this list, but done with wonky tips?  Come on.  That’s just bona-fide nail art and doesn’t have a place on my paws.

Clearly I’m a minimalist in terms of appearance.  I like makeup, yes, but try to limit heavy makeup on myself and clients, keep accessories to classic pieces only, and like to present a professional appearance.   I prefer classics across the board – from clothing and accessories right down to appearance, I guess.

It would seem I’m about half on board with what Cosmo suggests will be our biggest beauty trends for the next 12 {ish} months.  Most of these scream “trend” and “attention” to me…both things I’m kind of afraid of.  Again, I’m a classic {not like old, antique-y classic – the good kind} and keep to what I know works and what’s been trendy through the ages.

It’ll be an interesting year of beauty, that’s for sure!



Merry Christmas {and Happy Holidays}

To all of my readers, new and old, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, no matter what you’re celebrating this season!


I’m off for a week or two, including a jaunt down South for some sun, rest, relaxation and copious amounts of some booze.

I’ll be back to posting {somewhat} regularly in the new year.

All the best to you and yours for the holiday season and 2016!







December Ipsy Bag

This month’s Ipsy bag wasn’t a huge disappointment.  I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.  If you’ve been reading a while, you know Ipsy has been rather underwhelming lately.  I have decided to keep it for now and see if it improves in 2016.  If y’all know of any other beauty subscriptions, post’em below, will ya?  I’m in the market for something new {or so I think…}.



I was happy to see a Pacifica product in this month’s bag.  I hear lots about it on YouTube, however it’s not exactly easy to find here in Canada {ETA: it’s a Target exclusive} .  This particular lippie is the Pacifica Power of Love lipstick in thIMG_3829e colour Tender Heart.  It is described as a super power natural lipstick in wearable satin finish shades with incredible lasting colour.
It retails for for $10 USD {so like what, $25 in CAD???} and it’s 100% vegan, which is nice.  I wouldn’t call it long lasting, but the pigmentation is decent as you can see from the pic.  It isn’t overly long lasting, though I’ll consider wearing it under a longer-wearing gloss.

**check out this site for more about these lippies.  It’s a great cause and Id have bought one for full price if Ipsy didn’t do it for me**

Next up we have a little mini tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.  This retails in full-size for about $40 at Sephora here in Canada and I believe that a small travel size like this one would be likely around the $15 mark.  I’ve used this baby before in the small size.  In fact, it has a permanens1261114-main-hero-300t residence in my travel makeup bag that I take on overnight trips for my finishing/setting powder for under eyes and concealer.  I love this stuff.  The website lists it as a translucent, silky finishing powder with Amazonian clay that sets makeup and diffuses imperfections. According to the Sephora site, this also mattifies skin by removing excess surface oil and the powder can even be used alone as a treatment to reap all the benefits of Amazonian clay.  I’m not sure about the last 2 statements since I’m not overly oily, nor do I really need any direct skin benefit from Amazonian clay {ok, I guess we could all use some, no?!}.  This little sample will make its way into my rotation once I’m done with the one I’m currently working on. 100% rave review from this girl.


This month’s bag also included a full-sized, limited edition Julie G polish.  IMG_3831I have to say that this isn’t my personal choice of colour; I don’t often use colours with any sort of shimmer and am not a fan of this particular shade of pink.  I have used the brand before, though, and can vouch for its lasting power and a drugstore price point.  I will certainly be passing this one onto someone who could use it.  If not for the colour, though, it’d be in my current collection.   These are hard to find, if not impossible to find, here in Canada, but I believe they retail for approximately $4 in US drugstores.


The inclusion of the Skinn Sugar Lips Polishing Scrub for Lips & Laugh Lines was something new.  Can’t say I’ve had one of these in a bag before!   According to the Skinn website, this can be used daily to exfoliate lips.  It is made with real sugar and a special butter blend, to make flaky, chapped lips and fine lines soon become kissably soft and smooth. It’s been really warm here in Toronto {luckily!} and so I’ve not needed a little TLC on my lips as I have in previous years.  I may keep this around, though, incase that changes upon my return from my sunny winter vacay.  The full size of this product retails for $20 US and can be found on the Skinn website as well as Amazon.


FullSizeRenderI’m getting a little tired of all the skin product samples.  Perhaps I need to re-evaluate my questionnaire on the Ipsy site.  The last little sample in this month’s package was from Lather and it’s the Honey Moisture Mask with Propolis Extract.  This product gets mixed reviews on Makeup Alley, but I may give it a shot following some recent breakout “activity” on my face {read: stress and eating like shit for the holidays}.



As I said above, this month’s bag wasn’t incredibly crap.  Quite honestly, I’d come to expect a bag full of sub-par samples instead of full sized, unique products from Ipsy {is it wrong of me to say that I miss Glossybox?}.  I think I may actually get my $20 worth on this month’s bag, a welcome change.   Keep you updated if anything peaks my interest further.