I'm just a girl standing in front of a lipstick, asking it to love her.....

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Cutest Last Minute Gifts From Quo

Happy Holidays!

Can you believe that Christmas is next week?

I have been chillaxing, watching tv, and drinking gingerale for the last 5 weeks because of my treatment, so I'm totally behind the eight ball.  As per usual.

If you're still looking for some adorable gifts at the last minute, Quo and Shoppers Drug Mart have you covered!

First up is the Love Lip Set, which contains six gorgeous mini-glosses.  There are five neutral shades, and one soft pink glittery shade.  Each one is nicely pigmented with a delicious vanilla scent.  The texture is creamy and quite rich, without a lot of stickiness. These are perfect for throwing into a purse, keeping at a desk, or a locker.  A girl can never have too much gloss!  This set retails for $20.00.

The Quo Walk The Line Set contains four different shades of eyeliner.  Each liner is well pigmented, and soft in texture, with no drag when applying.  Since they are creamier in texture, they may smudge a bit, so use a primer on the lid before hand.  The metallic blue, copper-brown, and silver are all loaded with shimmery loveliness, while the black is inky and deep. This set retails for $20.00.

This little beauty is my favourite!  The Quo by ORLY 18-Piece Mini-Laquer set is an amazing gift.  The 18 polish shades are separated into three sets of six: The Nudes, The Pinks, The Glitters.  I had never tried Quo by ORLY nail colour before, but after one try I was hooked!  The formula lasts like a champ, and for the most part goes on well in two coats.  I am particularly enamoured with the glitter polishes in this set!  I don't have a lot of luck with glitters, but these particles are perfectly distributed throughout, and there is a great tint to the base of the polish.  That green shade is super-pretty on toes!  The price is $43.00, which is wonderful for the amount of laquers, as well as the fact that you can split into it three gifts!

Are you guys going to run out to Shoppers ASAP to check these out?  Or are you going to take someone there as a subtle stocking stuffer hint for yourself?  That works too!

 I hope everyone's well, and I wish all of you the Merriest of Christmases, Happiest of Holidays, and a Spectacular 2015!!!!!

Donna Xoxo

*These products were sent for consideration, however, the opinions expressed are all mine!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Lancome Lip Lover. Colour And Care In The Best Package Ever! (Also A Little Health Update)

Hello, my neglected wee orphans!

I have been a bad blogger.  There's been a few things keeping the muse at bay of late, and I feel like I should share a little bit of what's happening with you guys.  I feel that you share your time with me by reading my little labour of love, and you deserve to hear why I've been a bit out of touch.

First, let's talk about my new fave lip product!

I had the pleasure of attending World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto last month, and it was such a great experience!  I'm working on a full recap, and trend report so keep an eye out for that.

A week or two before, my lips cracked and split in a few places.  I panicked!  How can one be expected to do Fashion Week sans lipcolour?  I healed up nicely, but my lips were extremely dry an is a d sensitive.  I still couldn't wear most lipsticks or glosses.  They irritated me, or dried out too quickly.  That is until I tried Lip Lover by Lancôme!

A few months back, Lancôme released their entry into the lipstick/balm hybrid world.  Lip Lover is a highly pigmented liquid lipstick with a balm-like texture and gloss-like shine.  The 3-in-1 elixir formula contains a balmy base for ultra cushiony comfort, saturated pigments adhere to the lips for long lasting vivid colour, and a shiny layer remains at the surface for a dewy finish which also protects the lip.  The result is a soft, rich, nourishing formula which provides a great colour payoff, and lasts for hours!

The shade I chose was Belle de Rouge #356, which is a clear rosey-red.  It has a my lips but better quality to it, and gives an elegant hit of colour.  Such an amazing product that's worth every cent of the $29.00 price tag!

As I mentioned above, things have been a bit rough for the last month or so.  My lupus has progressed, and it can`t be controlled with my current treatment plan.  I`ve been suffering with pain, lethargy, stiffness, and some neurological issues.  In late September my Doctor talked to me about the next step in treatment.  A form of chemotherapy is often helpful for lupus patients, so we decided to do some tests to see if there was a chance I`d respond to the chemo.  The test results show that I should respond well to it, so as of next Monday, I start the treatment!  The dose of medication is much lower than that of a cancer patient, so the side-effects won`t be as severe.  I`ll be run down, lazy, may lose some hair.  The first 12 weeks will be hard, but by spring I should be a dancing machine!
So, in the meantime I`m rocking a short pixie, and enjoying my last weekend of wine for the next six to nine months!  My yoga pants are prepped, and my Annie is keeping the couch warm for me.  If I`m MIA here and there know I`m thinking of you guys, and I`ll keep you updated.  I also have some really cool posts which I`m working on to keep me occupied for the next few weeks! 
Be well Boys and Girls!
Donna Xoxo

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The New Neutrals. Flat And Boring Need Not Apply!

One of the biggest trends to surface for the last few seasons, has been the return of the no-makeup makeup look. 

The new version of neutral is nude, but with a little kick!  We should add a little spice to the gumbo, so to speak.

Usually when you think of a nude makeup look, matte taupes and beiges come to mind.  It's a clean polished look, that has seemed to be the go-to for daytime.  My favourite way to give a neutral face some spark is by using metallics.  Add a little copper to the eye, some gold to the cheek and that will bring a little interest to the face without adding loads of colour!

The first step in a neutral makeup look should always be a good primer.  This look is about a flawless face, with healthy and luminous skin.  The Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer is perfect for a glowing canvas with which to begin.  It allows foundation to apply smoothly, adding a pearlesence to the skin that is just heavenly!  I talk a bit more about this primer here.  It's a must try!
For eyes, I chose a palette that has a taupe with a little shimmer for the lid, and a coppery shade in the crease.  A copper liner brought some warmth to the eyes as well.  The palette shown is No7 by Boots which I picked up in Scotland, but I'm really intrigued by The Nudes by Maybelline!  This looks like it has everything for a new neutral and more in it!  The liner is by Quo and it's part of their holiday collection which is out soon, if not already available.  These liners are gorgeous!  The colour is creamy, and they wear a long time without smudging.  I'll discuss Quo Holiday soon.  It's so good!

A nude lip can be tricky to pull off.  There usually has to be a caramel or rosey undertone in it to avoid a corpse-y look.  Texture is also important when it comes to a nude lip.  I personally like a bit of a sheen to nude lipsticks.  Shimmer, or gloss, but I find a true matte in a yellow shade looks like death.  Not pretty.  My go-to lipstick for a nude lip is Lancôme Colour Design Lipstick in Vintage Rose.  It has a mauve undertone which is great for us pale girlies.  Unfortunately, the Colour Design line is being phased out, but the Rouge In Love line is wonderful!
For the cheeks, I used a soft pink blush and a bronzer together for some warmth and definition.  A softly enhanced brow finished off the whole face!  This is nude makeup that won't wash you out, or make you look like you're going to work in you cubicle in an insurance agency in the 90's. 
What are your nude makeup tricks?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

KissKiss Lipstick By Guerlain Fall 2014. The Perfect Lip Look Update!

I am in love with Guerlain and I don't care who knows it!

French cosmetic companies speak to me, in ways I can't even explain.  It's the effortless glamour, and elegance that gets me. 

The French, Guerlain in particular, make products that are effective while dripping with luxury.  It's in the scent, in the texture, in the results. Every piece of Guerlain looks sophisticated.  It just feels posh beyond belief, and it delivers exactly what it should!

This fall Guerlain re-released 25 shades of their KissKiss lipstick in new packaging and an improved formula. The new KissKiss is enriched with hyaluronic acid spheres for lip shaping and plumping.  The addition of Commiphora Myrrha oil and mango butter smooth and hydrate.  The lip is left with a satiny, vibrant finish with impeccable hold.  
The colour above is Rouge Kiss.  It's a vivid true red that's creamy and rich on your pout.  This colour feels sexy, and wears beautifully!  I got a few hours of comfortable wear without touch-ups, and once I did have to touch-up I just slicked on some lip balm!  There was loads of colour left, so most people would get six hours easily from this lippy. (I get a little less wear-time due to my freakishly dry lips, so it's tough to judge normal people's wear-time!)  Can we also talk about how fabulous the little imprint of KissKiss on the lipstick bullet is?  Such a wonderful detail!
The new packaging was designed by Herve van der Straeten, and Olivier Echaudermaison who is the Creative Director for Guerlain had this to say about the change:
"Because lipstick is the absolute weapon of seduction, our revamped version of the KissKiss tube is like a little black dress slipped over gold."
An amazing way to look at lipstick packaging, no? 

This lipstick is the most beautiful addition to a fall makeup wardrobe!  The cost is $41.00 and it's worth every cent!  The pigmentation is wonderful, the wear is beautiful and the feel is luxurious.  I want every one!  Every. Single. One.

I was going to quickly discuss the KissKiss Lip Lift Primer, but that beauty deserves a post all it's own!  I want to give it a thorough testing before I start bragging about it!  Love it that much already!

How are you going to update your fall look?

Donna Xoxo

Friday, 15 August 2014

A Ten Minute Face With Almay, And Win It All!

I'm back, Kids, and I missed you guys!

The last month has been busy, and it's been great!

I went to Scotland for the first time in 20 years to visit family.  It felt like I had just been there last week as soon as I got to my cousin's house!  We all just picked up where we left off.  I'm desperate to go back again!

Today, however, I'm going to tell you guys about an event I was lucky enough to attend the day before I left. 
The cutest lunch bag ever, right?
I had the pleasure of spending the evening at the Almay Practice Makes Perfect Picnic.  It was an evening at The Drake, which featured a tutorial from makeup artist Jacquie Hutchinson.  If you aren't familiar with "The Jacquie", you need to change that ASAP!  She's phenomenal as both an artist, as well as a person!  This lady knows her business, and is not shy about telling you about it!  I was greeted with mimosas, watermelon, and the most adorable little lunch bag from Keep Leaf filled with personalized products for the workshop!
The main focus of the tutorial was the Ten Minute Face, and how it can be done easily by anyone!

All you need for a quick, polished face!  Honest!

First thing you'll need is the Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer.  This primer is an ultra-comfortable pink-toned, pearlescent cream which neutralizes discolourations, leaving a fresh radiance behind.  This oil-free primer is really nourishing, and is the perfect product for a flawless canvas.  I absolutely adore this primer!  I wear it under everything, and sometimes on its own!  It really is that good!

Follow the primer with a thin layer of Smart Shade Skin Matching, or Anti-Age Skin Matching, Foundation.  The foundation goes on white, but quickly adjusts to your skin tone.  It has "shade sensing" beads which activate once applied.  The coverage is light-medium, and buildable.  The best finish is achieved with the heat of the fingers.  Just smooth it on and blend!  It also gets rid of the need for multiple shades, since it will adjust to a bit of a summer tan!  If you go Snookie-dark, then I can't help you.  You're on your own, but we will need to have a talk about that sitch.

Primer on top, Foundation bottom.  Cool, huh?

A smokey eye could not be easier with Almay!  The Intense I-Colour Bold Nudes Collection is curated into three-colour palettes which are differentiated by eye-colour.  The shadows are even separated into sections which correspond to the placement of the shadow on the eye!  No guesswork whatsoever!  The shadows are velvety in texture which make application a breeze, and they wear really well!  Jacquie had us apply the shadows with the sponge-tip applicator during the workshop.  Wouldn't you know, it actually worked!  Couple tricks to it though.  Pick up the colour from the pan with a swipe, and press it into the back of your hand to prevent fall-out from the pigment.  Place the sponge onto the centre of the eye and gently move back and fourth with it like a windshield wiper, never lifting it  from the skin.  When applying the crease colour, extend it up onto the browbone a bit if your eyes are deepset.  Best trick ever!  Thank you "The Jacquie"!

Follow that with the Intense I-colour Liquid Liner.  Again, this couldn't be easier.  The four shades are co-ordinated to eye colour, and the design makes the application really simple.  The applicator is nice and thick at the handle, while the tip is a nice stiff point.  It's a shorter length which gives a good amount of control.  The formula dries quickly and wears a long time without smudging.  To get a perfect cat-eye, be sure to hold the upper lid taut.  It should be as straight as possible when the liner is applied.  Before you dip the liner to do the other eye, apply to the bottom lashline holding the applicator vertically.  That way you won't deposit too much product for a softer line!  This was probably my favourite of the evening!  Follow up with the co-ordinating Intense I-Colour Volumizing Mascara for thick, lovely lashes, and brighter eyes!
LOVE this liner!
For adding some warmth to the skin, the Smart Shade Bronzer is a beautiful powder.  The mix of three shades swirled together leaves a glowy, bronzey sheen.  The powder isn't sparkly or muddy.  Its just soft warm goodness!  Use this on the planes of the face where the sun would normally hit, instead of blush.  Easy Peasy!
Finish up with a swipe of the Colour and Care Liquid Lip Balm for a punch of colour and comfort!  The texture is rich and comforting, while it's quite pigmented and glossy!  This hybrid does exactly what it says it will!  The wear time is a bit shorter than other glosses, but it's more than worth it for how great your lips feel.  And can we talk about the scent?  Man alive, I want to eat it!  The warmest vanilla ever!
So, there it is.  Everything you need for a ten minute face!  Thanks to Almay and Jacquie Hutchinson, you can sleep in.  A little.
Did I mention you can win it?  All of it?
The lovely folks at Almay are giving a customized prize package worth $115.00, containing:
Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup
Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer
Smart Shade Bronzer in Sunkissed
Intense i-colour Volumizing Mascara
Intense i-colour Liquid Liner
Intense i-colour Smoky Shadow Kit
Colour Care Liquid Lip Balm
Shadow Softies by Intense i-colour  (I talk about these here.  LOVE!)
Oil-Free Makeup Remover Pads
Makeup Remover Towlettes
Canadian residents can enter by leaving a blog comment and using the Rafflecopter widget. (Holy Moly do I love this thing!)  You can gain more entries through social media, and enter daily! 
Good luck everyone, and I'll be back soon to tell you guys all about my trip!  I found a few new gems in the UK makeup world I want to show you guys!
Donna Xoxo
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Multi-Tasking With Bio-Oil! A Giveaway!

I don't know about you guys, but when I used to hear Bio-Oil, I always thought of pregnancy and stretch marks.

It was one of the first oils readily available, and it kind of got pigeon holed as the "scar" oil.

There are so many more ways to use this wonderful product, and An Occasional Redhead wants you to find them all out for yourselves with a Prize Pack worth $65.00 from Bio-Oil!

Win with Bio-Oil

Oils are on trend. In a recent survey, more than half of Canadian women said they use or intend to use a beauty oil in the next 12 months (Toluna Analytics, 2014). As oils continue to grow in popularity, Bio-Oil remains of the best-selling and most recommended oils in the world.

Why are oils becoming so popular? “When oil meets skin an amazing thing happens," says Dr. Paul Cohen, Dermatologist. "Oils can hydrate, protect, purify and help balance the skin. Oils can also deliver concentrated ingredients, so a little goes a long way to help keep skin in top condition. Bio-Oil is a cosmetically elegant ‘dry oil’ that won’t clog pores and is safe for sensitive skin.”

Bio-Oil’s unique formula is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. But did you know that Bio-Oil’s moisturizing properties and ability to lock in moisture make it an effective all-over skin moisturizer for face and body? Bio-Oil can also be used to provide anti-aging skincare support, gently remove makeup, condition nails and cuticles, soften dry heels and elbows, relieve itchiness, soothe skin after shaving, and as a moisturizing bath oil.

The Bio-Oil prize pack consists of three bottles of Oil in different sizes.  There's a 60ml, 125ml, and 200ml.  One for travel, one for the bathroom, and one for your bedside!  (Perfect for a bedtime hand massage!)  Over the next while, I'll be talking a bit more about how I'm using my Bio-Oil.  You can bet this is coming with me on vacay!

All you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment letting me know what you're going to do with your Bio -Oil.  You can also use Social Media to gain more entries!

I do need to mention that this contest is only open to Canadian Residents!  (Sorry non-canadian folk)

Good Luck!

Donna Xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Summer Cheeks With Maybelline New York

To me, the perfect summer cheek is dewy and softly sculpted.  Since I don't get too tanned, I always like to have a bit of bronzer and blush to give me a healthy glow.
Usually I reach for a powder bronzer, but with my skin being all wonky lately I found myself in dire need of a cream version.
I happened to be in Shoppers for, razors or something like that, when the Maybelline New York Face Studio Master Glaze Blush and Bronzer Sticks caught my eye.  I had been talking to someone about them and she said they were worth a look, so I grabbed one.
I'm really glad I did!

I fell in love with the Dream Bouncy Blush last year, and let me tell you, these two little beauties make for an outstanding duo!
The Master Glaze is a sheer, buildable cream in stick form.  The texture is comfortable due to the inclusion of shea butter, and the finish is a pretty pearlescence.  The application is easy-peasy too!  Swipe and blend, that's it!
The shade I picked up is called Subtle Bronze.  It's a limited edition shade from the Bleached Neons Collection, but there is a permanent shade in the collection that's close.  I love the way it blends under the cheekbone and around the jawline for a soft contour.  It's also very pretty worn on the cheek alone!
The Dream Bouncy Blushes are the most irresistible pans of colour!  The texture is airy and frothy feeling with a wonderful satiny finish on the skin.  Again, the colour is quite sheer, but it builds well.  The cheek is left with a lovely luminescence for some dimension rather than shimmer particles or glitter.
Candy Coral is a fun, bright orangey coral that wears well on most skin tones.  It's just the most ideal summer shade!  I can't wait to get my paws on a few more going into fall!

Both of these beauties can be applied with fingers, or a sponge, but, I find the best thing to use is a brush.  Either a flat blending brush, or a duo-fibre brush works beautifully.  I'm in love with the brushes from Sonia Kashuk, which I discuss here.  The quality of these brushes are phenomenal, especially for the price!
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of writing a post for Elaine of Toronto Beauty Reviews on my Summer Essentials, and Man Alive, was it hard to narrow it down!  I am absolutely going to add this blush/bronzer combo to the list!
What do summer cheeks mean to you?

Donna Xoxo

Friday, 4 July 2014

Travel Musts: Kimonos and Sky Blue Nails!

Happy Canada Day Week and July Fourth Week everybody!
I hope everyone is rested and fed and patriotic.
Usually around this time of year, travelling is on everyone's mind.
Summer's here, school's out, and when the temperature rises we all itch to get away.
Even me!  And, I just might do it!
My family is from Scotland, and I have a lot of relatives still over there.  Up until I was 21, I went over every year with my Mom.  After that, she got too sick to travel, and I haven't been back since.
If you haven't been to Scotland, what are you waiting for?  The scenery is breathtaking, and the people are amazing!  You'll never laugh harder during a taxi ride than one you take in Glasgow.  "Glesga Folk" are witty and down-to-earth, and genuine, and robust.  It's a great combo!
In a few weeks, I just may be there!  So exciting!
Earlier in the week, my In Flight Essentials for Fresh Skin were featured on Fashion Translated, so we know what will be on my face during the flight, and here I'll talk about a few things that need to come along in the suitcase!
The first thing that everyone needs, no matter where you're going, is a kimono!  This is a huge trend this year.
A kimono looks just as great with jean shorts as it does with a maxi dress, along with everything in between!  They can be found everywhere this year, but one of the best places to get one is Forever 21.  The selection is fantastic!  Since I'm petite, I need one that is on the shorter side so I don't look like I'm drowning in it, but taller ladies are looked after too with longer options available.  I love a rich print, which will carry me right into fall.

A vacation in the summer absolutely calls for bright nails!  Essie's Strut Your Stuff fills that bill in spades!  Its a bright cerulean blue that looks wonderful with summer skin of all shades.  It applies quite nicely in two coats for the most part, and the finish is rich and true.  I'm desperately in love with this polish.  I had it on my nails within minutes of walking in my door!  It's that good!  Check out Essie here.
These are just two of my travel musts, I could go on for days with this!  A good bronzer, a big cozy scarf, and fits-like-a-glove jeans are all on the list too!
What do you not vacay without?
Donna Xoxo
PS - For the month of July, I will be keeping a Lipstick Diary.  Each day, I'll have a different lipstick, gloss, or balm on Instagram here, and Twitter here.  Follow me at #JulyLippyLove!  

Monday, 23 June 2014

Pelle Beauty Bloom Facial Mist. My Newest Love Affair

A few weeks ago I was introduced to Pelle Beauty, and it's founder Marnie.
The story of how Pelle came to be is pretty cool! 
While Marnie worked as a makeup artist, she would bring her own concoctions of essential oils with her to prep clients skin.  They loved her oils, and not too long after, Marnie branched out and created Pelle Beauty. 
Pelle Beauty is vegan, and comprised of plant based oils and aromatherapy. 
The face oils smell spectacular, and feel comfortable on the skin immediately.  There is an oil blend for every condition, along with cleansers and an eyebalm, which you can check out on the Pelle Beauty website.
Today we are going to discuss their new Bloom Face Mist.

The Bloom line is a new cleanser and mist collection.  These have been formulated for a dehydrated skin, or really anyone looking for a boost of hydration.  I have been using the mist for a few weeks and I have one word.
The mist contains rose and neroli hydrosols which soothe and hydrate, aloe for an extra dose of comfort, licorice root and calendula to revitalize and brighten.
The second this luxurious mist hits your face, the senses go bananas!
The neroli is fragrant and rich, and the spray feels immediately soothing. 
Two or three sprays directly on the face after cleansing should be enough.  Granted, I would do 12 sprays if I could.  It just feels like heaven!
Follow up with some oil or the rest of your regime for plump, refreshed skin!
This mist is also great to set makeup, or just for a quick freshen-up.
I'm desperately in love with this mist, and Pelle Beauty in general!

Pelle Beauty is available online, but also at the wonderful BlushPretty Studios at 777 Richmond W. Toronto.
And can we talk about how pretty Marnie is?  She is the sweetest ever!  It was such a pleasure meeting her and learning about these amazing products!
Have you tried Pelle Beauty?  Are you going to?
Donna Xoxo

Friday, 13 June 2014

Easy Hair To Beat The Heat For Us Short Haired Ladies!

The higher temperatures are wonderful, aren't they?
Morning coffee on the patio while Annie plays with the squirrels, and an outdoor beer in the evening make me feel like the world is right where it should be!
I do, however, hate when my hair is in my face in the heat.  My hair may be short, but I still like to have it back and comfortably away from my face.
Thank goodness for the hair accessories trend!
Everywhere you look there are ingenious ways to keep hair back!  Headbands, hair wraps, scarves! 
Forever 21 is a goldmine for them this season.
And, NO!  They are not only for long hair ladies!
One short hair stunnah that can rock a head scarf like nobodies business is Casie Stewart.  If you aren't familiar with Casie, you need to be, and you can learn about her here.  Her hair game is bang on!  So much inspo it's crazy!

What I go for when I'm doing a look like this, is a kind of retro feel.  I love pin-up hair, so this has a pin-up influence to it. 
To keep this flirty, make sure that there's a bit of a pouf in the front, and make sure the back isn't too smooth.  Tousled  and sexy is the goal here!
Here's how!
Blowdry your hair, making sure the front has some volume.  Add a small amount of texturizing wax or pomade to tousle the hair, and smooth the sides back.  I like to leave some "sideburns" down, to soften the look.  Then take a square scarf and fold it in half.  Then fold the scarf until it's a straight line, wrap it around your head, and tie it in a knot!  I like the knot off to the side.  You can tuck the ends in, or leave them out and keep it fun.  Add oversize sunnies and you'll be cool as a cucumber!
I'll be rocking this a lot as the heat skyrockets!  Between this and a hat (I got a really cute one at Old Navy in the kids section, since I have a freakshow small head.) I should be all set this summer.
What heat-proof hair secrets do you have?  I want to hear them all!
Donna Xoxo


Monday, 9 June 2014

My Face Of The Day. Once I Can Wear One, That Is.

Guys, I can almost wear makeup again!
It's been a month and a half, but I'm almost there!
I've been planning what to wear for weeks now, so I thought I'd do a little show and tell.
I'm so looking forward to having colour on my face, and the longing looks I've been giving my poor, neglected lippy collection are a little obscene.

My collection has been teasing me!

The first thing that's going on my face, is some funky summer-proof eyeliner!  I discovered Artdeco cosmetics last year, which you can read here, and it is an amazing line!  The Soft Eye Liner Waterproof #72 is a beautiful, rich, metallic, emerald green.  It's creamy, long wearing, and fun!  Perfection!

Have you tried They're Real Mascara from Benefit yet?  If not, it's a fab find, so you should consider bringing this baby home with you!  I've fallen completely in love with this mascara.  It leaves you with long, lush lashes that has remarkable staying power!  It wears like a dream, and won't smudge or flake at all.  Now, it is a son-of-a-biatch to remove.  I found that an oil remover is mandatory, and it usually takes two applications of remover to get all of the residue.  Benefit does have a remover specifically formulated for They're Real coming out soon, so that would be a great investment once it's available.  Believe me, kids, this mascara is worth every bit of the trouble that comes with removal.  It is that good!
The coup-de-gras for my eventual FOTD will be a bright-ass pout!  I'm so very excited to wear an orange shade on my lips!  I actually have butterflies at the thought of wearing this!  The Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Audacious is a delicious, vivid tangerine shade with a velvety finish and a moist feel.  I've bragged about these before, here, and I love them just as much now as I did then!
Once I can wear these products, you better believe I'll be showing them off! 
Until then, I'll be quietly making googly-eyes at my makeup cases, dreaming of the day I can paint myself up!
What trends are you excited to try?

Donna Xoxo

PS- I do have to admit, that I'm remarkably comfortable without makeup these days!  I don't know if it's age and wisdom, or simply necessity, but I'm much more comfy in my own skin, and that's pretty cool!  I would advocate it to everyone to give it a whirl once in a while!!!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Broadway imPRESS Press-On Manicures. So Much Better Than Lee's Version!

What a month May has been!
It's been a rough one, kids.  Not gonna lie.
You guys may have realized that I have been MIA for a few weeks, and for a while before that, I haven't shown my face. 
Which may be a big relief not to have to see my mug on the regular.  I don't know?
That's because I'm just coming out of a Lupus flare.
My joints have been horrific, and I couldn't keep a thought rolling around in my head!  All that, and my skin lost it's marbles!
The sides of my mouth split, a rash was all over the lower half of my face, my cheeks were dry. 
It buurrrnnneeddd!
I haven't worn makeup in a month, and I'm really worried that I might be allergic to lipstick.
Shoot me now!
There was a rather bright spot during my down time though!
I was lucky enough to be chosen by Influenster to receive a Vox Box with Broadway Impress Press-on Manicures.
I was sent two sets of nails, which each contain 26 nails of various sizes.  Back in the day, I couldn't get nails to fit me.  My nail beds are narrow and short, so I didn't think there was a chance that anything would fit.
I could not have been more wrong!!!
The sizes were great!  A few may have been a bit narrow, but they were easily filed. 
Which brings us to another point. 
When I put them on initially, I felt like Carmella Soprano with these long-ass square nails on my hands!  Short nail beds, remember? These nails were so easy to trim to the size that I was comfortable with!  Clippers and a glass file were all it took!
Let's discuss the whole application process.
Wipe your natural nails with the alcohol pad that comes in the package, and find the appropriate size.  File down the sides with a glass file gently if needed to fit.  Remove the backing from the sticky side of the nail and place the nail where you want it to sit.  Don't put it too close to the cuticle if you can.  Leave a little space.  It's more comfortable that way.  Press down on the centre first and smooth the sides down.  Trim and file gently if needed.
When you want to remove them, rub some polish remover around the sides, and peel them off gently.  That's it!  Removal is so easy, and doesn't damage the natural nail.
I was sent two sets of nails.  Evil Queen and Holla!
Evil Queen is a beautiful duochrome which goes from a forresty green, to a rich smokey purple.  All this and the most gorgeous shimmer thrown in!  It reminds me of Essie's For The Twill Of It. 
Holla! is a very on-trend pattern of black lace on a rose gold background.  So pretty!

After you've removed these, clean the back, and re-apply another time with some nail glue, or if you're desperate, put them over some wet nail polish, and hold them down for a few seconds!  Good to go!
I would for sure use these again!  I liked that they were easy and shapeable.  It was a quick process, and removal was a breeze!
These made me feel glamorous at a time where I was decidedly un-glamorous!  How can you not like that!
Donna Xoxo
*Nails were sent to me for consideration, however thoughts and opinions are all mine!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Consonant Skincare At BlushPretty Studios

Have you heard my big fancy news yet?
Yours Truly is now a contributor to Fashion Translated Online Magazine!
I'm so very excited to be part of this beautiful website, and have such a great opportunity to reach a broader audience! 
For my first post, I went to an event at BlushPretty Studios in Toronto for a kind of Meet and Greet with Consonant Skincare.  You can read my Fashion Translated article here.
Consonant Skincare is a Canadian company which was started in 2006.  All of the products from Consonant are at least 96% organic, with the facial care being 100%.

Consonant was founded in 2009, because its founder, Bill Baker had been using organic products but didn't like how they felt and looked "too granola"  He wanted a product that felt rich and luxurious, with sleek, unfussy packaging.
That is exactly what Consonant became!
I was sent home with a goodie bag filled with several products which have made me love them hard!
The Consonant face care system is concise and effective.  It begins with a foaming cleanser that removes makeup as well, and claims to be safe for all skin types.  Its a soft foam which is achieved through  a screen in the pump as opposed to added surfactants which mean its more gentle.  This cleanser will truly work on any skin, be it combo or parched and tissue-thin.
After cleansing, Consonant have two serums to choose from  The Superhero Serum is a powerful ant-oxidant serum which will fill small wrinkles, even tone, and protect the skin with a combination of vitamins and minerals.  The other one is the HydrExtreme, which is a combination of Cassia seed oil and vegetable glycerin..  This potent little beauty is an ultra-moisturizing, anti-aging genius!  It has all the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid with none of the irritation, leaving you with plump, comfortable skin.  The HydrExtreme can be applied directly to the skin, or blended with your moisturizer for a little boost!
The final part of the Consonant regiment is a face and eye cream application.  They make rich,  luxurious creams that would rival any high-end brand.  The facial creams come in formulas for combo to normal skin types, and dry to very dry skin types.  The textures are glorious, as are the results!  I felt smooth after applying this cream, even after a nights sleep in the least humid house in the world!  Plump is, again, the best word to describe my skin.
The two products which had me hooked instantly were the lip balm and the eye cream, though.  The Firming eye cream changed my eye area immediately!  My lines were reduced, and the puffiness underneath was diminished.  The Lip Conditioner is formulated with Sweet Almont Oil and  Fatty Acids for intense hydration that lasts for ever!  This has become my overnight balm because it feels rich, but not waxy, and I can still feel it the next morning!  These two have earned their way into my daily rotation!  They'll soon be joined by some more Consonant goodies so they wont be lonely!

BlushPretty Studios

Elaine from TOBeautyReviews, Kristina from Consonant, Steph owner of BlushPretty
Cutest Ladies Ever!
The event was held at The BlushPretty Studios at 777 Richmond St in Toronto.  It's an adorable little space which housed an adorable assortment of estheticians and makeup and hair artists.  The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, with an assortment of cocktails and cupcakes.  Classy girl that I am, I finished the SkinnyGirl Sangria.  That's how I roll! (To be honest, there was only one glass left in the bottle so I'm not that bad.)  Kristina from Consonant was knowledgeable with the product.  She explained and demonstrated wonderfully, while Steph and Elaine were delightful hosts!  The whole thing turned into a really fun little night out!
You can check out BlushPretty here, and Consonant Skincare here.  They offer both in store and online shopping.
I had such a great experience at the BlushPretty and Consonant event.  Not to mention the products are making my face so happy! 
And I'm pretty excited about my new gig at Fashion Translated!
What do you guys think of organic skincare? Ever tried it, or even wanted to?
Donnna Xoxo

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

I Have A (Colour) Crush On The Body Shop

A few weeks ago, The Body Shop had an event called Girls Night Out to showcase some new spring products.

The mingle of scents in there was delightful, as usual, and the new displays were so inviting!
Of course, I gravitated towards the new makeup collection!  I had visions of soft lilac shadows and pretty corals and nudes dancing in my head before I walked in.  What I ended up with was not what I expected!
The most adorable young lady was looking after me and we decided to play!  We tried the sweet pretty shades that I had in mind, but together we found so much prettiness in the not so sweet shades!

I hadn't tried the Colour Crush collection before, and was I in for a surprise! 
The textures were smooth and creamy.  The pigments were intense and true.  Just call me a Smitten Kitten!
The Colour Crush Shadows are a powder that can be applied wet or dry.  They are highly pigmented with a nice rich finish.  The shade shown above is 315 Mon Cherry.  Its a pearlescent mauvey hue that is a slightly warm in tone.  The wear time on these is fantastic, and they don't crease!  The price is beyond worth it at $10.00!  Try this as your nod to Radiant Orchid, and you will be wearing this forever!
The Colour Crush Lippy is a rich, moisturizing lipstick with a high-impact colour pay-off.  The shade I chose is 340 Damson in Distress.  At first it looks like a dark plum but once applied, it's more of a hydrating, shiny stain.  The shade is a beautiful wine that lasts for ever!  I had to remove it with a heavy duty remover at the end of the night.  It stayed comfortable throughout however, and if I needed some moisture after several hours a little bit of balm on top did the trick!  This little wonder is only $13.00, but the quality is that of one that's twice the price.  If I want a softer finish, I just press it into my lips with my finger for a berry stained lip.  Pretty!
There are so many new things from The Body Shop this spring!  The Raspberry Scent is delicious, and the Vitamin E Oil in Serum is heaven in a bottle! 

I love my berry lips!  What do you guys think about non traditional makeup colours in spring? 
Donna Xoxo

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Spring Showers. An Update On My Fragrance Situation, The Babies, And My Big Fat Arthritis.

Well, Boys and Girls, I just have a quick and dirty little Hello here from me to you. 
Spring can be tough for me since dampness and inflammation are like Sid and Nancy. (Or Chris and RiRi, for those of us not as old as the hills.)They LOVE   each other, but good things don't happen when these two collide. Pain, meds, and some not so ladylike behavior usually follow!
However, I have a lucid moment so let's enjoy it!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I won a draw that Dave Lackie, who is a Cosmetics Wizard on CityLine, is the editor of BeautytheGuide.com, as well as his own site davelackie.com, hosted. He is also the nicest guy you could hope to meet!  All thanks to Dave, i am the proud owner of Kenzo's newest fragrance, Flower In The Air! It's the prettiest, freshest floral!  I adore it!  I'll go more in depth later in the week about it. It absolutely deserves it's own post!  
I've also recently spent some time with The Babies, although they are pretty much big monsters now!
Jax on the left, is my BFF's youngest, and Jameson on the right is the son of my nephew and his Fiancé!  Adorable, chubby wee rascals are five and a half months old now and 20 lbs each!!!!
And, we can't forget My Best Pal! Tommy is my BFF's oldest. This one knows everything!  He really is, at not quite three yet, smarter than me on some days!  Today would be one of those days. 
While we're catching up, I have some exciting news of things to come next month for yours truly and the blog!  Can't share yet, but I'll spill in the next week or so. I'm really looking forward to what's ahead for An Occasional Redhead!
I think that's enough nonsense from me for now. I will say good night and snuggle up in bed with my Annie and hope for some sleep.  
I miss you all, and promise it's not just the arthritis drugs talking!

Donna Xoxo

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Pretty Pastels From Maybelline and L'Oreal

Happy Easter Boys and Girls!
I hope everyone has lots of chocolate, lots of family and lots of happiness this weekend!
I'm hanging out with Annie, eating too many Easter Cream Eggs, and chillin', which works for me!
Since the day they came out, I was dying to get my hands on Maybelline's Colour Sensation Colour Elixir Liquid Lip Balm.  I was intrigued by the formula, as I am such a lip balm junkie!  Had to see if it was as hydrating as they claim, right?
It kind of is!

The Colour Elixir's are a hybrid of lipstick, gloss, and balm.  They contain a trio of concentrates which contribute shine, colour, and an ultra-cushiony feel.  The applicator is a wide doe-foot, and the smooth angora of the applicator brings a lovely luxe component to the product! 
The balm has a vanilla scent, that has a touch of mint to my nose.  It also feels a bit minty on the lip which makes it a little tingly.  The texture is soft and squishy, and I got about two and a half  hours wear from it.  This was while drinking tea and eating a chocolate chip cookie!  (Man, I have the worst willpower!) 
 The colour I have is Captivating Carnation.  It's a pretty warm pink, which is quite sheer.  The darker shades may be more pigmented.  If I'm honest, I don't love the colour on me.  I wish I had picked up the coral, or the caramel.  Next time!
The shade of the L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Colour, however, is spectacular!

The L'Oreal Nail Colour is a richly pigmented, smooth polish, which wears exceptionally well!  I'm quite rough on my nails, but I got four days wear from this polish before it chipped badly.  The application couldn't have been easier either.  The brush is dense with a nice curve at the edges, and a flatter shape.  It glides nicely over the nail, and since it's not too thick it didn't spread all over my little nail beds!  I did about three coats to get a streak free finish.  That's the nature of a creamy shade, though.  I always need an extra coat when I'm using a shade without shimmer.  Streaks stress me out!
The colour I'm wearing above is from this springs "Trend Setter" collection, and it's called Royalty Reinvented.  What a lovely violety-lavender shade!  It screams spring, and sunshine, and freshness to me!
These colours are the perfect Easter pastels, aren't they?
Have you guys tried Maybelline's Colour Elixirs yet?  What did you think?
Donna Xoxo

Friday, 11 April 2014

Mixology With The Body Shop

I have the biggest weakness for The Body Shop! 
If you haven't heard about my love affair, go here.
I've been hooked on their body butters since I saw Kate Moss in Vogue in the early 90's with the most wonderful sheen on her bod, thanks to Mango Body Butter! 
Since then I've played with about a billion different scents, and I'm going to spill some secrets!
My favourite thing is to layer different scents together, or "Mixology", if you will!

Jennifer from Spiced Beauty has the most perfect term for mascara layering .  She calls it "Cocktailing", and I think it's a great way to describe scent layering, too!
I have a few tried and true cocktails that are always in rotation!
The best selling scent from The Body Shop is Satsuma.  It's a strong, vibrant, orange scent.  When layered with shower gel, body butter and fragrance, it tends to be a lot!  I break it up with vanilla, and it mellows the scent!  Creamsicles! 
Brazil Nut body butter, and the Madagascan Vanilla Flower eau de toilette layered leaves a warm nutty spicy-floral scent behind that feels like summer! 
Speaking of summer, the Coconut eau de toilette is a clean light and creamy coconut scent which is nothing like the sunscreen-y scent usually associated with it. 
If you have been a Body Shop fan for a while, you must have tried the White Musk line of fragrances.  They go way back for a reason.  Soooooo pretty!  One of the newer incarnations is White Musk Libertine.  It has notes of Turkish delight, baby orchid and Chantilly cream, which tempers the Musk.  Worn over Shea shower cream and body butter you get an added warmth to the scent!
I was at The Body Shop Girls Night Out event last night and I tried a few body sprays that I hadn't tried before.  The new Raspberry spray, is AHHH-MAZING!  It's crisp and fresh, with a hint of sweetness.  I'm pretty sure that it will find it's way into my house soon!  As for the event, there's way too much to smush into this post!  I'll tell all about it soon!  Lots of pretty coming your way!
To check out all of the options to try "Mixology" for yourself, check out The Body Shop, and make your own "Cocktail"!  Check out Jennifer and Spiced Beauty, too!  You'll be glad you did!
Share your scent secrets!
Donna Xoxo

*Fragrance Sprays were sent to me for consideration, however thoughts and opinions are all mine!