September 30, 2009

Loyalty or lack of decide!

When it comes to beauty, I am not a loyal person - there I said it!  Be it products or brands, doesn't matter, if I was in their army I would end of deserting and running over enemy lines to the other side!  There always seems to be something, newer, better or shinier coming up over the horizon and I just must try it.  On very rare occasions though, I will stumble across something that actually is as wonderful as all of the marketing and advertising has made it out to be.  Having said this you will know that when I love a product, it is because it is ass-kickingly, can't-live-without-it-or-my-world-will-stop-turning-without-it good. No, not even good, GREAT!  So sit back, relax and enjoy taking a walk on my extremely tiny loyal side...

Smashbox Brow Tech - You might recall me discussing this during my RapidLash review.  Basically it is a powder brow colour on one side and a wax on the other.  I guess the wax is to keep your brows in place but it's useless to me so I wish they would make this without the wax as I just end up throwing that part out.  As far as the powder goes it's amazing!  Fine and perfectly pigmented.  I use the auburn so not only does it fill in my sparse brows, it colour matches my brows to my haircolour!

Next on the hit parade, Urban Decay Shadow Primer Potion.  For those in the know, this is way old news, but for you newbies out there, this stuff is magic!  If anything belongs in a genie shaped bottle, this is it!  Just don't make the rookie mistake of using too much, just a tiny dab on each eyelid and smooth it out with your finger.  That's all it takes!  My complaint is the packaging.  Although I really do love the bottle and think it's adorable, the design makes it impossible to get at all of the product so you think you are finished when really it is only half empty.  There are two things to do, when the applicator first starts to come up empty, take the stopper out, it will give you access to lots more product.  Next time it seems empty, just cut the sucker in half and transfer the product into a small container - you'll be good to go for months yet!  Luckily the primer itself is wonderful enough to make up for the packaging defect.

Next up is Lip Fusion XL.  This is more of a treatment then an actual plumper although it is supposed to also have plumping effects.  Whatever it is supposed to do, it does exactly what I was hoping for which was to get rid of the tiny vertical lines in my lips.  It is also surprisingly moisturizing.  With other lip treatments I would wake up in the morning with dry peeling skin on my lips but this has never happened with Lip Fusion, it keeps my lips soft and moist.  I don't know if they are any fuller, they weren't skinny to begin with so I haven't really noticed but I suppose it would make sense that they are plumped up and that is what had gotten rid of the lines.  Who cares?  It rocks!

 Next we have - NeoStrata blemish spot gel.  As luck would have it, I sailed through my teen years without a pimple to be seen.  Now that I don't have the excuse of teenaged skin - pimples make regular visits.  When they do come a calling, a combo of my Tanda and this amazing spot gel stops them dead in their tracks.  When I feel one start to come up, I use my Tanda for 3 minutes and apply the gel overnight - by the morning, if the pimple comes up at all it is tiny and hardly red.  I do the same thing again the second night and by day 3 the pimple is toast.  Even before I had my Tanda, this gel does a fab job by itself, it would still dry up and de-red the pimple overnight.

 Which brings us last, but certainly not least to Revlon colorstay concealer, the most wonderful concealer ever, ever, ever - and I just discovered it is no longer in the stores.  Where did it go?  Revlon, why hast thou forsaken me?  Should you be so lucky as to live someplace (Utopia?) where said concealer still exists, do yourself a favour and pick it up!  It didn't come in many colours, but as luck would have it, they had the perfect colour for me.  It was just thick enough to conceal, but not so thick as to cake up.  And when it set, it stayed.  The only catch to that was once you dabbed it on, you had to blend it fairly quick or the blob on your face was there to stay.  If anyone is familiar with this concealer and can recommend a comparable substitute, I'm all ears!

- Lisamarie -

September 29, 2009

Darker Skins Need Foundation Too!

Most cosmetics brands now offer much more choice in terms of foundation for women of color than 10 years ago.  But let's face it, the choice for darker skin tones is still limited. Some brands have truly embraced their ethnic clientele while others are still behind.

I've tried many foundations over the years and finding the right coloring/coverage has definitely not been easy. Three brands stuck out for me, however.

1 -MAC, the obvious choice
Great choice of colors from light to really dark skin. One of the first brands to offer quality products to ethnic women. Probably the best for light coverage, no doubt.

2 - Clinique, just as good as MAC

Again, great choice of colors including powders. Their staff has always matched their foundation with my skin with great skills. The coverage is a little heavier than the MAC foundations I tried and it's a good thing. Used in combination with powder it's a winner.

3 - Dermablend
Dark blemishes on dark skin can be hard to cover. Although Dermablend offers a limited range of colors, it does include a couple of foundations for black skin. The darkest foundation can only be found online (check out the Dermstore Canada), Shoppers Drug Mart does not carry it, bummer!

If the color does not exactly match your skin but you need the coverage, you can always use it as a base to mask your imperfections and use a darker foundation/powder to get the right color.

4 - Flops
I've tried Fashion Fair, years ago and I wasn't impressed, their products were heavy and their range was limited. Forget cheap brands from ethnic stores, they suck! Also, forget brands like Dior, Chanel etc..the choice of colors is usually very poor for darker skins. La Roche Posay (Toleriane) used to offer a couple of fairly dark tones and the best coverage I had ever seen, sadly they changed their product and the colors offered are now just dark enough for olive skin and the coverage is also much lighter.

 What's next? I'm definitely planning on testing IMAN's products soon and I will let you know how it goes!

- Christelle -

If Frank Sinatra thought orange is the happiest colour, who am I to argue...?

My dresser top full of perfume bottles will attest to the fact that I love fragrance!  You will probably even notice in my reviews that one of the first things I will comment on about any product is how it smells.  I am very picky when it comes to smells though - not fond of the floral, not big on woody, but man, do I love sweet or fruity!  And when it comes to fruits I especially love me some citrus!

Enter Hugo Boss's new fragrance - Boss Orange.  Which you would think from the name should smell like oranges - but it doesn't actually have any citrus notes in it - just apple.  Also white flower, sandalwood and vanilla.  Lucky for Boss this has enough of a fruity tang to it that I can ignore the flower notes and declare it Lisamarie approved.  And the name has qualified it for the "things I love that are orange" review.  This brings us to #2...

Do you remember the orange drink that McDonald's used to serve?  It was non-carbonated and had an intense orange colour that would dye your tongue and lips. (I loved that stuff! Why did they have to get rid of it?!)  Or even orange kool-aid before they changed it to taste like Tang.  That my friends is what the Satsuma line from The Body Shop smells like, intensely orange!  The Body Shop is my go-to place for scented body products because they understand my deep love for fruit scented stuff and they never disappoint on this.  With every fruit scent they have ever done Satsuma has still got to be my favourite.  It is available as a body gel, lotion, body butter, lip balm and scented oil.  My only wish is that they would introduce a fragrance too!

Number 3 on my hit list is the blood orange + white pepper line from my buddies at Bliss.  If you like the smell of orange, I highly recommend this line as well.  There is just something about the smell of orange in my morning shower that just wakes me up, if you like that kind of thing... Speaking of Bliss, funny story, I just googled them to find the link to add here and I noticed a listing come up for "Bliss Spa" in Toronto.  You can imagine how excited I was and I of course wondered how I could have totally missed out on Bliss opening a spa in Toronto.  Ya, they don't.  Should they ever want to open one, they are going to have an interesting battle getting the name recognition back.  Check out this if you don't know where I'm going with this one.

- Lisamarie -

September 25, 2009

Sparse brows and skimpy eyelashes - a work in progress...

Lashes aren't one of my normal obsessions so I'm not sure what prompted me to buy this especially considering all of the nasty side effects I had read about concerning some of these products.  But have no fear - RapidLash does not contain the dodgy ingredient that is thought to cause blindness and change of eyecolour among other things.

So I'm at Shopper's Drug Mart and I see this and it's less then $50 which is a far sight better then the Philip Thomas Ross one they are selling at Sephora for $125 (US).  It's not the lash part so much that draws me in but the fact that it can also be used on the brows to thicken them.  Like many, I did that unfortunate over plucking thing that was in vogue at the time and my poor brows have never been the same since.  My Smashbox brow tech is a total blessing but wouldn't it be nice if I could forego the powder and actually have full brows again! 

This is the end of week 1 so I really have nothing to report yet other then it's very easy to apply, you put it on just like you would a liquid liner and only apply once a day - the product is supposed to show results in 4-6 weeks - stay tuned, I'll give you an update in a couple of weeks.

- Lisamarie -

September 24, 2009

MAC Style Black - Where were you when I was rocker chick in the 80's?

I must admit, I love me some MAC but these guys seem to come out with so many collections that I just can't keep up anymore.  I would have to be one of those people who can have a love affair with just one line and since I'm not capable of being that faithful, they only get some of my attention.  Because of this, my ears will only perk up for those really cool and special collections.  The last time I was this excited was for Hello Kitty. Hoping for a repeat of that happy time, I took a trip down to the mall at lunch to get myself a look-see at Style Black.  This is a very runway inspired type collection, as much as the salesgirl tried to convince me that it was all very wearable, let's be serious here, black lipstick is black lipstick.  The blackware glimmerglass was cool and could be layered with something else to make it something you could wear out, but I'm maintaining my position on the black lipstick.  The other two gloss colours were meh, so I'm not even going to bother talking about them - let's get to the good stuff.

I was really interested in seeing the greasepaint stick in black - except it isn't really black, it's more of a deep purple with sparkles.  My concern was that it was going to be too smudgy and leave you with raccoon eyes.  It does smudge at first but then it sets so you have to be fast when you put it on if you are purposely going to smudge it.  I tested it on my hand and left it there while I was looking around and when I tried to remove it with a dry kleenex, it wasn't budging.  It took an oil based cleanser to get it off.

What I wasn't expecting to love was the mineralize eye shadows but they were gorgeous!  There are 4 colours: cinderfella (silvery), gilt by association (goldy), blue flame (blue but also looks purple depending on the light) and young punk (purpley, pinky) and they were all very sparkly on your skin.  The salesgirl told us that the intensity of the colour would increase if they are used wet, but I plan on using mine over the greasepaint stick to give it some pizzazz.

So I ended up buying the greasepaint stick, the eyeshadow in blue flame and the 214 brush which is part of this collection, and strangely, I don't own. Christelle got the stick, cinderfella and a brush set.  So all in all a successful lunch hour!

My recommendation, if you enjoy makeup that's a little out there then you will love this collection, if you are more of a neutrals girl, then save your time and money.  I'm going to try out my heroin chic, supermodel, just rolled out of bed look on my husband tonight, see if it gets me any play...

Hot Mess: This Horrid Betsey Johnson Handbag Might Be Diseased

I came across one of the most revolting handbags ever created yesterday and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw who the designer was. I own an amazing pair of black Betsey Johnson's heels, but this..., this "purse" was obviously designed in a moment of substance induced madness. That's the only rational explanation  for this Monstrosity (yes, it deserves a capital M).

I can't even tell you how much it costs because I didn't get close enough to the shelf in case that thing had rabies and would attack me. Honestly, I would not carry this thing around even if you paid me. Now, you're going to say: "Oh, but everybody has a price", and I'd reply:"That's true, but I'm afraid there isn't enough money in the world, even if you include the Leprechaun's secret pots of gold,  to make me carry this purse around. See, it's just not worth it."
You'd have to admit, this fashion aberration looks like plastic snake skin  and vomit, glued together by a blind man. And unless you enjoy that sort of combo, I'd suggest you'd stay away from it.

Far, far away.


September 23, 2009

Screw Love. All You Need is a Bra!

On my way to the subway this morning, I saw something that made me cringe and recoil with horror: a weakly supported bosom that was trying to escape south. And by south, I mean more south than a couple of retirees moving to Florida. Yeah, I know it's called gravity.And that's why you need a GOOD bra. Especially if your girls are large. A good bra not only lifts, it also creates a waist. I have seen G cup girls looking like Ds just because they had excellent support. This is common sense, yet many women don't seem to get it. And don't even get me started with women who go to work braless...

1 - Forget Your Vanity. You NEED to get the right bra size.
For many years, I was convinced I was small and therefore I was a B cup. I am indeed small but after a proper fitting, I discovered I was a C cup. Forget your preconceptions, get measured, preferably once/twice a year.
If you're a curvy girl, don't shy away from bigger cups. It is what it is. Your entire breast should fit inside the cup, if it spills over, it's too small!
The back of your bra must be straight and the straps shouldn't hurt. Basically, whether you're an A or a G, you should feel comfortable.

2  - Now, ladies, comfort and fit don't mean UGLY!
Every woman out there should have at least a couple of really nice, sexy and feminine sets of lingerie. Please, NO Mickey Mouse or other stupid cartoons on your underwear, you're not 10 years old anymore.
AUBADE is my personal favorite, their bras are both comfortable and beautiful, and most of all they are likely to last longer than your man, too. A good investment, really.

AUBADE is a little pricey but it's worth every penny!

For larger breasts, I'd recommend brands like Triumph, Warners and Barbara.

Cheaper lingerie options would include Passionata, Princesse Tam Tam. The WINNERS chain has a decent selection as well.

Most of all, STAY AWAY  from La Senza and Victoria's Secret. These stores are good to buy really basic underwear (black or nude thongs for example) but the quality and fit of their bras are mediocre at best (and overall, not that cheap).

For our Torontonian ladies, check out the best lingerie stores in Toronto
Until, next time...please wear a bra!


These are a few of my (maybe) favourite things...

After my Biotherm review the other day, I know you are all dying to know what I have sent to attack my cellulite now and thusly, what review you can be expecting in the future.  Let me introduce you to my thighs new best friend - Roc - Anti-Cellulite Intensive

I'm about a week into the can now so I can tell you that I like the moussey, creamy texture and it has a nice, light smell.  Effectiveness is still yet to be determined so I will get back to you on that once the can is done.

I also just started a new serum, which you will recall is another one of my obsessions.  This time it's Lancome's turn to make me look radiant and young.  I've drafted GÉNIFIQUE for the job, we'll see if it turns out to be a first round draft pick or if it should be send back to the minors, I'll keep you posted.
Last, but not least I just cracked open a new primer, which is just their new take on our old favourite - Smashbox - Photo Finish Light.  I have used the original formula but found it a little greasy for my combination skin so I am excited about this oil free version! I'll let you know how it goes!
- Lisamarie -

September 22, 2009

Grow old gracefully??? Get real! Now I don't have to thanks to Tanda!

Anyone that knows me understands that I don't take getting older lightly, there will be no graceful aging here, I plan on fighting it kicking and screaming every step of the way!  With this in mind and my plastic surgery fund under way, I do look for ways to slow down the process.

Enter Tända -
The blue and red light therapy system that was only available at the dermatologist, can now be yours at home.  It may seem complicated but it's actually pretty simple - the red light is for aging and the blue light is for acne, pick the one that is right for your skin issues and you are ready to go.

I bought the red starter kit which included the hand held device with the red head, a cleanser and a serum - price, a not insignificant $275.00.  The cool part is that you can also buy the heads separately, so I also purchased the blue head for $75.00 as they are interchangeable, you just switch out the heads depending on what issue you want to treat.  You are supposed to do it daily for the first couple of weeks and then a few times a week to maintain the results.

Now for what you really want to know - did it work???

I actually purchased it many months ago so I have had plenty of time to see if there were going to be results and I'm pleased to say there were.  The lines at the corners of my mouth, nose and eyes are shallower (and that is not just wishful thinking!), my skin tone is more even and even the redness that I used to have around my nose has disappeared.  Thanks to the blue head I have had  no breakouts on my chin which was really a problem area for me previously.  Now I just occasionally get a random pimple but  I just use the blue head on the pimple and it dries up and disappears within a couple of days, then you just use the red head to get rid of the red mark - it's magic!

I know it's pricey, but if I think about the amount of money I have spent on beauty treatments that didn't work and the number of uses I have gotten/will get out of the Tända, it doesn't seem quite as crazy!  And I know this is cheaper then a facelift! 

The Tända can be found at selected Shoppers Drug Marts as well as Sephora.

- Lisamarie -

September 21, 2009

Toronto Film Festival: "I've just rolled out of bed and walked the red carpet!"

I heart Jason Bateman but what was his wife thinking? Come to think of it, they both look like a mess. It is as if they had  rolled out of bed and made a dress with the bedding. Oh and Jason's pants are too short. Ugh.

What's this? Is it worthy of a red carpet? I mean, really?

- Christelle -

Hot Pick: Black, Silver and Sassy!

A little asymmetrical black dress from Dynamite ($25)
paired with a pair of funky high heels from Nine West ($135) and you're set!

A black and white military jacket from Mango ($149) paired with a hot pair of Nine West boots ($325)

- Christelle -

September 18, 2009

Alligator Skin is Out!

The winter is around the corner and for most Canadian women it's also "Alligator skin season". Temperatures of -30C and dry air will crack any type of skin, so how do you cope, short of moving to Florida? I've tried 3 excellent products - and I have THE driest skin, so dry, I used prescription creams as a child - So, you can trust me on this.

Cocoa Butter from Palmer's (around $10)
A classic cocoa butter. You'll either love or hate the smell but one thing is certain:  it softens your skin like no other.

Body Butter from The Body Shop ($20/200ml)
My favorite. This butter is creamier than the previous cocoa butter and doesn't feel as greasy, yet it fulfills the brief perfectly. Your skin looks great and it smells incredible.
It is a little pricey, as the 200ml goes really fast but it's a great winter skin care product.

Vitamin E Serums ($5 - $10)
Now, here is another tip to improve your usual body lotion without breaking the bank or left feeling greasy. You can add a few drops of Vitamin E serum (BodyShop or Life from Shoppers Drug Mart ) in your usual body lotion. Vitamin E makes your skin smoother and helps reducing scaring. Definitely worth the investment.

So this season, alligator skin is out. Supple & delicious skin is in!


September 17, 2009

Easily distracted by shiny objects...

If you are anything like me and get entranced by pretty things that sparkle, then get your butt over to this site stat!
Ginger Kitty Designs -

I admire people with artistic talent and this lady has it in spades.  She has been making jewelry from MAC packaging for awhile and has now branched out into nail polish jewelry, which if you think about it is freaking brilliant - what has prettier, sparklier colours then nail polish?!

This is her nailpolish swirl pendant which I think is absolutely beautiful!  And at $29.99, a real steal - you could never find something this original in the stores for twice the price.  I also noticed for the same price she will custom make you a necklace in the polish colour of your choice.  This would be a great idea if you are looking for an exact match for a special outfit or even bridesmaid dresses!  Nail polish must come in Seafoam!

As I was reluctantly tearing myself away from her site to get back to work, I stumbled across this piece which I think is so classic and pretty.  It's like the giant diamond eternity circle that I have been trying to talk my husband into, well without the diamonds, but at $22, I think this will be a much easier sell!

- Lisamarie -

September 16, 2009

Not barefoot, definitely not pregnant and nowhere near the kitchen...

Something secret that most people don't know about me is that I love shoes (shhhhhh) - but what people really don't know is that I don't spend much money on shoes.  Sure I love a Manolo or a Gucci as much as the next girl, but the practical (damn it!) side of me knows that it is crazy to spend this month's mortgage payment on shoes.  If money was no object my collection would rival that of Imelda in size and quality, but since I can't swing the quality I'll keep trying for the size.  So I admit it, I buy a lot of inexpensive shoes - but I'll qualify that by saying I buy cheap, CUTE shoes so let me share my recent find with you, which you smart ladies probably already found yourself - Costa Blanca X -  - Super cute, crazy cheap and all the latest styles.  I couldn't resist picking up these beauties:

I just love a ballet flat and the studs on the toes had me sold.  And at $29.50, these are a steal (they also come in pink which may have to be mine as well!)

So next time you are at the mall, check them out - it's impossible for your husband to yell at you when you say "but honey, they were less then $30..."

- Lisamarie -

September 15, 2009

The Genius Celebrity Designer also known as The "Victoria Beckham Syndrome"

Oh Victoria, I quite like your latest collection. I like the lines, the colors, it feels modern, yet it is elegant and wearable.
But let's get one thing clear, OK? You and I both know you are not a "Quick Learner" nor a real designer. You're a fraud and your talents are about as real as your breasts (which you swore were absolutely real, for years).We both know Roland Mouret design team has a lot to do with your collection. Let's remind our audience why you, and pretty much every celebrity out there, are not designers.

Design takes real talent, but also real passion. If you were that passionate about fashion design, my guess is you would have started a long time ago. But I digress . You said, my dear Vicky, you could not draw. Hmm. So how do you design exactly if you can't draw? 
The next job of a good fashion designer is to work on  patterns for their garments, before the fabric is cut and then sewn. Making patterns is quite difficult and there is not a chance in Hell you'd learn this without taking many courses (in fact, many designers use pattern makers).
When your "good friend" is Roland Mouret and you share not only the same management team, but also the same "look", perhaps you did get a little help...

That being said, if you're a celebrity and you want to use your name to make as much cash as you can, good for you... But please, don't tell us you created a "collection" (when by the way, you never mention the source of your inspiration like a real designer would) or a perfume or [insert merchandise here] etc...and take the credit for it.  Because, really, I'm sick of reading about talentless goons who think they are proper fashion designers. Lauren Conrad, I'm also talking to you.
- Christelle -

Victoria Beckham's collection - Dailymail, UK

September 14, 2009

Orange you glad that you don't have my issues?!?

As a beauty junkie, of course I have tons of different products but there are a few categories to which I am particularly devoted and will buy anything new that comes on the market.  This includes palettes, serums, anything in really cute packaging and cellulite treatments.  I highly suspect my thighs aren't nearly as orange-peely as I imagine them to be but alas, I won't even eat cottage cheese.  I understand that it is normal for women to have it. I read the Star, I know that even the celebrities have it (that is totally my favourite issue every year) but that won't stop me in my eternal quest to find a cream that will make it disappear forever...

So let's start my odyssey with the one I just finished - Biotherm Celluli Laser, this sucker cost me $66 at Shoppers Drug Mart:
So as we know - the first slimming treatment with BioFibrine(TM) to efficiently attack cellulite using a double action bla, bla, bla which is all very well and good but does it work?
This one gets a big thumbs up from me.  It goes on light, smells nice, absorbs quickly so you don't have to wait to get dressed and actually tightened and smoothed out the dimples.  Of course for these creams to work to their full effectiveness, the box recommends that they are incorporated with a fitness regime and lots of water, but really, if I was doing that, I probably wouldn't need the cream, right?  They also have a night time treatment which is on my "to buy" list - I'll get back to you on that.

What you really want to know is if you should run out and pick up one for yourself and your own personal orange-peel hades - Hells Ya!  This one is worth the investment!
At the counter I noticed they had this medieval torture device at the counter that is designed to be used with the treatment:
I bruise easily so I passed on it so I'm not sure how well/if it works, would love to hear if anyone else has tried it...

September 13, 2009

Refresh What Your Mama Gave You.

I'm talking about your pretty face, of course..., I'm reviewing the Vodka Margarita Cleanser by Lush
Don't get me wrong, I usually prefer my Vodka in my martini glass, but this face scrub uses the freshness of lime and vodka to its advantage. The sea salt does a wonderful job scrubbing off the dead skin and the avocado softens and moisturizes your skin. I would particularly recommend this scrub if you have oily to oily combination skin, it does a great job for a reasonable price (from $17.95).

And no, you cannot drink "Ocean Salt". Don't ask how I know this. 

- Christelle - 

September 9, 2009

A big bloggy welcome!

Welcome! We are still a work in progress, and at the moment it is killing Christelle that I am making her create the title banner in pink. But really, what's a beauty blog without pink?

As you can tell from the title, we love all things related to beauty! I would be the makeup/shoe whore and Christelle has just proclaimed herself the shoe/lingerie queen. Not sure why she is getting the better title...

So sit back and enjoy while two crazy girls from Toronto share their insane love for all that in beautiful with you!

- Lisamarie -