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Holiday Gift Sets Most Wanted

Gift sets are the easiest way to give a gift, especially to someone new to a brand you love. These are some of our Most Wanted Gift Sets for the holidays this season.

Fresh Sugar Legends
Fresh Sugar Legends – I’ve said it a hundred times, everyone should own at least one Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. If you have a friend who doesn’t have any, get them this set to help them stock up for the whole year. It includes seven essential flavours including my personal favourite Passion. Maybe they will share with you too.
Bliss Crown Jewels
Bliss Crown Jewels – Show someone how much you love them with Bliss’ best selling products. This set includes the thick Lemon + Sage Body Butter, Fabulous Foaming Face Wash, Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask and The Love Handler. This is perfect for someone who has been searching for the perfect products that are high quality. Bliss always impresses and their products are perfect for most skin types.
Burts Bees EnergyMint_Kit_xl
Burt’s Bees Energizing Peppermint Kit  – Give someone a gift that will refresh and revive them with this peppermint set. The minty smell is strong, but great to boost your morning shower. Peppermint is especially good on tired feet, so think carefully about who gets this gift set!
Body shop olive Premium Selections
Body Shop Olive Premium Selections – This kit will not only make someone’s skin feel fantastic, it’s also part of Body Shop’s team up with War Child and will help send a child to school. This olive scented gift box contains a body scrub, soap, beautifying oil, bath butter and a poof. Everything you need to make your skin feel amazing in the dead of winter.

Holiday Most Wanted: Tarte Sweet Dreams Collection

Holiday season brings out the prettiest palettes and Tarte has won our hearts with these holiday must haves:
Tarte Tres Chic Park Avenue Princess
Park Ave. Princess Contouring Palette – A gorgeous holiday glow is now ours thanks to this palette! This gold palette includes Tarte’s beloved Amazonian clay bronzer, blush and highlighter in shades that are perfect to get a shimmering glow. The matte texturing ensures that I am only shining in the right places, but the bronzer gives me a golden hue that is warm by the firelight.
Tarte Ladies Who Lash
Ladies Who Lash – If you’re a fan of anything to do with lashes, this set is definitely for you. The pearl-like handled limited-edition Picture Perfect eyelash curler brings a touch of elegance and the deluxe mini version of Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara is the perfect mascara to add to your curled lashes. You’ll have long, defined, curly lashes that will last through any holiday party you’ll go to.
Tarte Kiss And belle
Kiss And Belle Lipsurgence Lip set – Lipsurgence is an award winner for a reason and this is the perfect set to try it for the first time or to just get a bunch of your favourites in one place. With four lip tints, two matte lip tints and two lip glosses, there’s a pencil for every time of day and occasion.

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain Review


Lip stains were really popular two years ago, but lately everything has been either glossy lips or classic matte lipstick. Revlon is bringing back the stain with their ColorStay Moisture Stain.

Revlon’s ColorStay Moisture Stain goes on like a lip gloss. It’s thick, but smooth. The colors seem dark, but they go on thin. This means they can be suitable for everything from a day in the office to a night on the town.

The lip stain dries quickly leaving you with dry matte lips packed with colour. You can leave this look or add a gloss over top for a patent appearance. Personally, I am a huge fan of the matte stain.

There is only one problem with Revlon’s ColorStay Stain and it’s the colour staying part. The stain doesn’t last as long as some others. The great rich colour seems to fade fast. Now you need to decide if you want colour now or long lasting for later.

O&M Hair Care Review


The first time I visited O&M’s website, I was hooked. O&M stands for Original Mineral. This Australian hair care brand believes that your hair is better being free from stress. They started with clean hair colour, but their product range is so much more than that now.

Since I couldn’t choose just one or even two products, O&M’s brilliant publicist sent me their Mini Minerals collection that has five travel size products from the range. The set includes the Original Detox Shampoo, Hydrate & Conquer Shampoo, Hydrate & Conquer Conditioner, The Power Base Protein Masque and Seven Day Miracle Moisture Masque.

I started with the Detox shampoo to refresh my hair. The shampoo is minty and refreshing in the shower. It smells strong and made my scalp tingly. My hair felt clean, but not dry and stripped.

The Hydrate & Conquer line is more of your everyday shampoo & conditioner. It has a mellow scent and is packed full of vitamins. My hair loved the conditioner. I was surprised by how runny the O&M products were. They were almost watery in their consistency.

The masques were my final test. I loved these and so did my hair. They were thick and sweet smelling. They absorbed right into my hair when I applied them. I could almost feel my hair sucking in all of the nutrients. My hair felt silky smooth once it was all rinsed. I will be seriously disappointed when I run out of these minis.

o.b Tampons Give Us One Period + Giveaway

*Sponsored post*
ob box
We’ve been talking about periods more than we’d ever planned on but after posting our Stayfree Challenge (see the post here) we’re a little more comfortable with it. o.b. Tampons have been around for 50 years and while you don’t see as much advertising for them as much as you do with other brands, you still probably know quite a bit about them.
ob open
What makes o.b. stand out is the lack of applicator. If you’re someone who gets easily embarrassed about having to carry around pads or tampons, o.b. tampons are so tiny no one will even notice you holding one. As small as they are, they work really well. It takes a little while to get the hang of using them but once you do it’s like using any other tampon but without all the extra garbage. Perfect for the girls who are a little more environmentally friendly!

o.b. is running their Give Us One Period campaign right now. You can go to to rate and review the tampons and find out more information on them. You can also join the conversation on Twitter at ob_Canada and win prizes, make sure you use the hashtag #giveusoneperiod. To celebrate the campaign, we’re giving away packages of o.b. so you can try them for yourself!

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Natalie Burn Beauty Interview

Natalie Burn fashion
Once a prima ballerina for the Bolshoi Ballet and a choreographer, Natalie Burn is showing no signs of slowing down in her latest role as actress. She was recently in Expendables 3 and Nymph, which premiered at Cannes this year. With ten movies in the works on her IMDB page she’s definitely busy. We recently had a chance to ask her our Most Wanted Beauty Questions.
What is your first makeup or beauty related memory?

When I was five years old, I was obsessed with bright colors, so I stole a bright red L’Oreal lipstick from my grandmother. Aside from putting it all over my face, I also tried to eat it! They say it’s “everlasting” for a reason, it was certainly not easy to remove. From then on, to appease me, my grandma would pretend to put lipstick on me. She would slide the lipstick cap over my lips but wouldn’t show me the mirror and just compliment me on how beautiful I looked!
What is your everyday morning beauty routine like?
I get ready for the day by putting on Christian Dior daily cream first thing in the morning. It moisturizes and keeps my face looking fresh throughout the whole day. As for makeup, I wear Estee Lauder foundation, use MAC products for my brows and blush, and black Dior mascara to emphasize my eyes. But my main daily routine that keeps me glowing and strong is to walk/jog with my dog three times a day and take ballet classes to exercise and stretch.
What will you never leave the house without wearing or applying?
I never leave the house without clothes on! 😉 Seriously though, I never go out without my Victoria Secret flavored “Juicy” lip gloss, a pair of flip flops just in case I need to take a break from shoes, a hair brush, my Chanel compact, my Dior eyeliner, some eye shadows by Guerlain and a jacket in case I have to get ready for dinner in my car!
L'Oreal True Match Powder
What is your budget friendly beauty secret?
I love the True Match powder from L’Oreal. It’s easy to apply, affordable, and blends perfectly with any type of skin color. You can get it at your local pharmacy.
Do you have any tricks that you have learned on sets?
Before I go into makeup on any film sets, I always use Guerlain Meterotes Perles Base Perfectrice Anti Terne Light- Diffusing Perfecting Primer. The base primer makes the makeup last longer because it is water resistant and keeps it in perfect condition so the makeup artist never has to retouch my face throughout the whole shoot. On set however, I learned how to apply foundation to make it look like I’m not wearing anything at all! The makeup artists use an airbrush – it’s super fast and blends in naturally leaving your skin looking perfect.
How do you keep your hair looking gorgeous?
I try not to use too many hot tools like curling irons on my hair because it dries it out and gives me split ends. I always use leave-in hair products to make my hair look glossy. For shampoo and conditioner, I love Kerastase. It makes my hair look fuller, shinier, and flawless.
Paco Rabanne Lady Million
Do you have a signature scent? What is it and how did you fall in love with it?
There are two perfumes that I’m in love with right now. The first is “Lady Million” by Paco Rabanne which makes a woman feel like a million dollars. The second is the most expensive perfume I’ve ever owned but it’s definitely worth having – “Love – Don’t be Shy” by Kilian. The Kilian perfume makes a woman shine bright and it makes her natural scent come through which attracts a lot of attention from the people around her.
Do you have any products or treatments that you splurge on?
I love the face cream by La Prairie. It’s amazing for your skin. It stops the aging process & reduces wrinkles. In my case, it would slow down the process of wrinkles from appearing and will help my face look younger longer. This cream is a dream come true!
What is your latest beauty obsession?
As I mentioned before, since I was a young girl, I’ve always had the urge to wear bright red lipstick. That urge has never gone away. I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different colors. Even more so now with all these new colors by MAC, L’Oreal and Dior. I can’t wait to hit the red carpet and try something new and bold with my makeup.
Dior Addict Lip Glow
What are 5 products that are always in your makeup bag and you can’t live without and why?
1.Foundation by Givenchy makes my face look fresh, it covers the negative emotions that sometimes show on my face.
2.Victoria’s Secret lip gloss makes my lips shine.
3.Hand cream by L’Occitane always keeps my hands moisturized and feeling smooth.
4. Dior Addict lip glow (lip maximizer) — it’s a great new invention that makes my lips look fuller and sexier.
5. Star Sponsor magic bronzer brush from Lancome is a perfect way to make my face look tan no matter what the season is.
My 5 favorite products would definitely help anyone feel and look like a star

Nail Tips from essie’s Rita Remark

RITA REMARK 2 (04 03 14)
Nail polish has become huge business lately, especially with nail art. essie Canada’s lead nail artist Rita Remark has done some of our favourite nail art technique videos so we decided to get some tips on how to make our nails look amazing.

What’s your first memory of using nail polish?
When I was younger, I was never allowed to wear make-up and polishing my nails was the first beauty ritual that my mom allowed me to indulge in. I remember buying a box full of nail polish from a yard sale and spending the afternoon with my cousins polishing our nails and toes in all different colours and taking pictures. You could say it was my first photoshoot.
Essie strut-your-stuff
What are your favourite nail shades and trends right now?
This summer, I’m smitten with orange and blue. Bold blues like Essie “Strut your Stuff” and sunny melon and tangerine shades like “Tart Deco” are never far from my fingertips. Trends that are catching my eye are negative space and nude. Both of these trends pertain to a nail look that is either partially polished or seemingly unpolished. For seasons we’ve been putting everything on our nails, but now we are leaving areas of the nail bare, for a surprisingly stronger effect.
What nail trends absolutely drive you crazy?
Though I can’t say any particular nail trend drives me crazy, I can say that there are some habits that I wish would disappear. One is chipped polish. A manicure is not meant to be worn past its due date. Let it go and get a fresh polish change. Secondly, I cannot stand uneven nail lengths. We’ve all heard someone say, “Just because one chipped, it doesn’t mean that the others have to be short too.”  Well, I’m here to say they do. Heartbreaking though it may be, it is like what your friends told you about your bad haircut: they grow back.
We’ve seen your nail art videos, we love the ink spill! What’s your favourite nail art to do?
Before I was a nail artist, I studied to become a visual artist, so my favourite nail art to do is the kind that you would normally do with a paintbrush. I love watercolouring, like I did with the ink spill, but I also love using other traditional painting techniques like stippling, blending, dry brushing and marbling. They’re very easy to do and always create unique works of art on your nails.
Is there a trick to doing nail art so I have both hands looking great?
Always start with the hand that you find most challenging. Nothing could be trickier than trying to polish with your non-dominant hand when it’s wearing wet polish. When it comes to applying nail art, try to use your dominant hand to your advantage. I’m right handed and when I’m polishing a stripe onto my right hand, I hold the striping brush still in my left and, rather than brush it down, I move my right hand up. This makes polishing nail art less stressful and more controlled.
Essie Nail_Care_Grow_Stronger_Base_Coat_Pack
What are the nail essentials we all need to have?
A basic manicure kit should include:
-A nail file (especially in your purse for on-the-go touch ups)
-Nail polish remover.  This isn’t just for removing our polish.  I like to use it to wipe my nails free of excess oils and residue before applying polish.
-Base coat, like essie’s “Grow Stronger,” for a manicure that not only lasts, but also benefits your nails.
-Quick dry topcoat, like essie “Good to Go” because no one likes smudges!
-Cuticle Oil, like essie “Apricot Cuticle Oil.” Not only does it soften dry cuticles, but moisturizing the cuticle area daily will overtime restore health and strength to your nails.
-An angled eyeliner brush. Dip it in a bit of nail polish remover to quickly and accurately wipe away any polish mistakes.
How do you come up with ideas for runway nails?
When it comes to designing nails for the runway, no two shows are the same. Sometimes designers have an exact idea in mind, while others may give me a bit more creative freedom. It’s all about asking the right questions. I want to know what inspired the collection. A country? A feeling? A film? I like to know who the woman is that they are dressing this season. Is she bold? Professional? Demure? Does she live in this era? This country? Finally, I love being able to see the actual clothing, the patterns, fabrics and textures. This all plays a role in finding the perfect nail look to suit the collection. Then it’s a matter of me drawing out design ideas in coloured pencils in my sketchbook, polishing some ideas on myself and presenting some options to the designer. The best part is always choosing the right look and seeing it walk down the runway.
Essie fifth_avenue
What shades should we be getting our hands on for the rest of summer, into fall?
There are plenty of polish colours that lend themselves to both summer and fall you can invest in this season.  First, try for a bolder, deeper shade of blue. Not quite midnight; royal or teal blues pack just enough punch to compliment your summer sandals and brighten your fall scarf. Try essie “Style Cartel” or “Go Overboard.” Next try a bright red. Red, as we know, never goes out of style, but a brighter version like essie’s “Haute in the Heat” or “Fifth Avenue” is perfect for both hot and cold weather. Finally, find yourself a bold bare polish. The nude nail trend isn’t going anywhere, so a complexion-flattering opaque nude should be your never-fail go-to.  Try essie’s “Sand Tropez” or “Topless and Barefoot. “

Betsy Landin Beauty Interview

Betsy Landin Photo Credit Jonathan Tantype
Betsy Landin Photo Credit Jonathan Tantype

Betsy Landin is an up and coming actress best known for her role as Kat in Dolphin Tale and it’s upcoming sequel Dolphin Tale 2. Betsy also recently guest starred in an episode of Ray Donovan. We had a chance to ask the former beauty queen some of our most pressing beauty questions.
What is your first makeup or beauty related memory?
Ever since I can remember, my mom would buy my sisters & I tinted chapsticks or let us wear a little bit of her gloss. Sometimes she’d find us looking like clowns after going through her stuff.
Lush Gorgeous
What is your everyday morning beauty routine like?
In the morning, I use a gentle cleanser and apply moisturizer right after. My favorite is Lush’s Gorgeous because it not only smells amazing, but leaves my skin super smooth.
What will you never leave the house without wearing or applying?
Sunscreen! I can tan very easily, even with sunscreen, so it’s important that I protect my skin.
What is your budget friendly beauty secret?
Coconut oil is amazing. I use it as an eye makeup remover every night.
Do you have any tricks that you have learned on sets?
During the filming of Dolphin Tale 2, my make-up artist Claudia Pascual taught me everything! From adding essential oils to the makeup brushes’ cleaning solution for anti-bacterial use to helping me maintain the shape she created for my brows and teaching me how to do the everyday make-up we wore on the movie. She’s amazing!
How do you keep your hair looking gorgeous?
I use the Wen intensive hair treatment once a week to keep my hair healthy, moisturized, and strong. I also avoid sulfates in my shampoo and conditioners to maintain my color.
Do you have a signature scent? What is it and how did you fall in love with it?
I love MAC’s Turquatic perfume. It’s light and reminds me of the beach. I stumbled upon the scent when I went to buy some makeup at MAC and I’ve kept a bottle in my purse and at home ever since.
Do you have any products or treatments that you splurge on?
I splurge on facials. Daily routines are great and so are DIY masks and treatments but nothing beats having a facial. My skin always feels so much better after.
What is your latest beauty obsession?
The winged eyeliner is my favorite thing to do these days. It’s timeless and classic with a twist of fun. I achieve the look most easily with a fine brush and a cream liner.
What are 5 products that are always in your makeup bag and you can’t live without and why?
Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio Shutterspeed
Rosebud Salve to keep my lips moisturized throughout the day; Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara makes my lashes look long and lush without any clumps; Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Shutterspeed (Sand, Vapor and Thunder) because they make my eyes look super natural; Burt Bee’s tinted lip balm in rose for a natural lip; and my MAC Mineralize pressed powder to cover the shine.

Shu Uemura Summer 2014

Shu Uemura Summer 2014
I’m the first to admit I might have a slight obsession with Shu Uemura products so I was really excited to try their new products for summer, especially the drawing pencils. I hold the brand up to a pretty high standard and luckily, I wasn’t disappointed.
Ready To Wear Palette in Pink Hues
Shu Uemura Pret-A-Palette Pink Hues
I don’t wear a ton of pink eyeshadow, I have too much red in my skin for it to be noticeable. The shades in this palette range from super pale pink (great for highlighting) all the way to a mid tone purple. They blended together really well but I wish they were a little darker on me. But if you’re a fan of pink eyeshadow, this is definitely the palette for you.
Petal Lash Mascara in Intense Black
Shu Uemura Petal Lash Mascara
The brush on this mascara is super curved and really different from other mascaras I’ve tried lately. It really separated my lashes and fanned them out and I didn’t have any clumping issues. For a shade called Intense Black however, it wasn’t quite as black as I was hoping. That said, this has become a regular in my mascara arsenal.
Drawing Pencils
Shu Uemura Drawing Pencils
Even though I’ve been using a lot of gel liners and liner pens lately, I will always have pencils as my go to eyeliner. These pencils are seriously amazing. When I first opened them up I wanted to see how well they ‘drew’ so I started drawing circles on the back of my hand. There was absolutely no tugging or skips in the lines and I got the same result on my eyes. These are a little softer than most pencils so if you’re going to wear them during the summer or when you know you’ll be sweating, make sure you wear an eyeshadow primer because they will melt on you. Otherwise these are pretty much the perfect liner for me.

Skin Care 101 with Dermalogica’s Holly Sherrard

Dermalogica is one of our favourite skin care brands but we had a few questions, so we had a skin care chat with Dermalogica’s Education Manager, Holly Sherrard.
Holly Sherrard Dermalogica
Can you remember your first experience with skin care?
I was six or eight years old and my aunt let me use her products on my skin and hers. I cleansed her skin, applied toner and then finished with a makeup application then repeated all these steps on my skin. I still remember how our skin was glowing after the application and my mom has a picture of this. Products have changed drastically from 30 years ago and we now have more advanced formulations with botanicals and peptides to benefit our skin. I have always loved teaching and skin care so working with Dermalogica is the perfect marriage for my passions.
What sets Dermalogica apart from other skin care companies?
Dermalogica sets an education standard of excellence for all skin care professionals. We have always focused on education first not only for the skin therapist but also consumers. We are the number one professional skin care company worldwide and are leaders with ingredients and techniques to bring professional success to skin therapists around the globe.
What is the best way for someone to determine which skin care products are right for them?
The best way to determine which products are right for the skin is to seek advice from a skin care professional. Face Mapping® skin analysis by Dermalogica is a great way to analyze the skin and get targeted results. Products are not meant to be one-size-fits-all, customization is key for healthy skin.
With so many sunscreen options and sunscreen added to makeup, does layering actually do anything and are we putting enough sunscreen on our faces?
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends to apply a teaspoon of product to the face for adequate protection however most people use much less. By layering SPF, a person increases their protection factor. Start out with a moisturizer and sunscreen, follow with a primer with SPF and finish with a foundation that also includes an SPF.
Dermalogica Redness Relief Primer
How is the new Redness Relief primer different from other primers?
Redness Relief Primer SPF20 is a calming and soothing treatment product to neutralize, relieve and defend against inflammation and irritation induced by skin sensitivity. Natural botanical extracts provide a sheer green tint to counter redness and physical sunscreens protect from UV. Dermalogica’s exclusive UltraCalming™ complex of oat extracts, ginger and bisabolol treat skin sensitivity. It’s all combined together in a silicone-based product which gives a velvety feel and provides a perfect canvas for makeup application.
Are there certain ingredients we should look for in skin care?
Are they any we should completely avoid? Peptides come in all shapes and sizes and can treat various skin conditions from inflammation and acne to aging and pigmentation. Botanicals may be an ingredient choice for people who are looking to go the more natural route. A combination of both science and nature leads to excellent products. The key to finding great ingredients is to use skin care products from a company that backs their claims by unbiased, scientific research. The number one ingredient to avoid is artificial fragrance – it can lead to skin sensitivity and contact dermatitis.
What do you consider skin care essentials?
I have two small children and very little time to get ready in the morning so multipurpose products are the staple in my kit. Cleanser, toner, moisturizer with SPF then primer with SPF. I only use foundation for special occasions so Redness Relief Primer SPF20 is my go-to for a flawless complexion with little makeup.
Is there a product you’re completely obsessed with right now?
Redness Relief Primer SPF20. I couldn’t live without Skin Perfect Primer SPF30 when we launched it a few years ago however I fell in love with Redness Relief Primer SPF20 last May when I experienced it at our Global Education Conference. The velvety finish keeps my skin feeling soft, the sheer green tint diffuses the redness in my skin and the botanicals treat the sensitivity I experience from my allergies. It is amazing to see the difference in the texture and the even tone of my skin with only one application.