St. Tropez Summer Tan Most Wanted

summer sun st tropez

Everyone is looking towards summer and for some of us, myself included, that means the return of a gorgeous tan. I know some prefer to be pearly white, but my skin never looks better than with a golden glow. I am starting this summer with a tan, and that means asking for some help from tanning pros at St. Tropez. To help us get ready for summer, we asked St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Sophie Evans for her 5 essentials for the perfect summer tan. Here is what she recommending investing in:

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse – This lightweight, easy to apply, velvety mousse delivers an even, all over tan. It is great for all skin types, dries in an instant and lasts for about 5-7 days. Aloe Vera helps keep the colour going strong, leaving a naturally glamorous result. It looks great from the initial application and won’t leave a sticky feeling.
(50 ml/$22.50, 120 ml/$40.00, 240 ml/$51.50, available select Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora stores as well as select salons and spas nationwide.)

St. Tropez Applicator Mitt – For a velvety smooth application of self tan, the Applicator Mitt is a definite must have. The water-resistant barrier ensures fingers remain unstained as you glide on self tan to your skin. Simply load up your mitt with self tan and apply with a light flat hand and sweeping strokes. 
($8, available select Hudson’s Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora stores as well as select salons and spas nationwide.)

St. Tropez Luxe Dry Oil – This innovative self-tanning solution gives a seriously hydrated, long lasting tan that looks great from the get go with its subtle colour and gold mica skin finishing particles. You will want to showcase this tan the moment it hits your skin. After your self tan, apply to all exposed limbs for a perfectly hydrated golden sheen, fitting for a night out!
($60/100ml, available now at select Sephora stores, will be available at select Hudson’s Bay and Shoppers Drug Mart stores as well as select salons and spas nationwide in June.)

Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Polish – Smooth skin is the first step to achieving a flawless tan and is crucial for prolonging an even colour for longer. Unlike other scrubs, which may contain ingredients that will remove self-tan, St.Tropez’s formulation has been specially created to make sure that it works to help a tan – not destroy it. It relies on the clever technology of spherical beads that won’t scratch or damage the skin but simply remove tired skin cells – ensuring smooth and silky results. To maintain your tan in between applications and ensure all around evenness, exfoliate every few days.
(200ml/$24, available at select salons and spas nationwide.)

Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Moisturiser – Packed with a luxurious blend of ingredients, the Tan Enhancing Moisturiser not only softens and smoothes skin but also extends the length of a tan and reduces fading and patchiness. Prior to tanning, use the moisturiser as a barrier cream on elbows, knees, whole of the foot, back of the heel, whole of the hand and back of the wrist as dry areas are prone to get darker if not protected.
(200ml/$24, available at select salons and spas nationwide.)

Photo Credit: massimo ankor via Compfight cc

Wantable May 2014 Makeup Box

Wantable 2014 Open
I’m a big fan of subscription boxes and I’ve been eyeing Wantable’s makeup box (they also offer accessories or intimates boxes) for a long time, so when they generously offered to send us one for review, I was all over it. The difference between Wantable and other makeup subscription boxes is that you get full size products and it’s by far the most customizable subscription box I’ve ever seen. You literally go through a list of everything from lipstick to nail polish and tell them if you like it or don’t. If you don’t like something, you don’t get it. Same goes for shades. You can subscribe to Wantable for $36 (plus $6 shipping to Canada) or buy a one time only box for $40.

I loved my box. It was filled with things I would actually use and while I’ve wanted to try ncLA nail polish for a while, I’d never heard of the other companies. The box value was $78 so that’s basically double what I would’ve paid for it.

Glam Natural Eyeliner Pencil in Midnight
Glam Natural Eye Pencil Midnight
This eyeliner goes on really smoothly, smudges really well and lasts a long time. The colour is a really nice Indigo.

ncLA Nail Polish in I Only Fly Private
NCLA Nail Polish I Only Fly Private
This is what I was most excited about when I opened my box. The colour is a really nice bright peach, perfect for spring.

(PI_) Beauty Cheeky Blush in Blushing
(PI__) Beauty Cheeky Blush Blushing
I said in my preferences that I was fair, so it was nice to get a blush that wouldn’t be too dark for me. The formula builds really well and I love the shade.

Eddie Funkhauser Hyperreal Eye Colour Palette in Girls On Film
Eddie Funkhauser Eye Color Palette Girls On Film
The colours in this palette are gorgeous and go together really well. I already have a palette with similar shades but I don’t mind getting more. They’re pretty blendable and the right size to throw in your purse if you need to throw on makeup while you’re out.

I’m super impressed with Wantable. From how quickly I got my box to how well it was customized to what I liked, I will definitely be getting this box again.

May’s Makeup Most Wanted – Steph’s Picks

Spring is about starting fresh, so here are my most wanted makeup and beauty products for this month that will give you a fresh start whether it’s clean skin, pampering yourself or looking hot.

philosophy vanilla coconut

1. philosophy Vanilla Coconut set – This little three product set has me totally transported to a tropical island. The body lotion, shower gel and lip gloss trio has an intoxicated scent that I can’t get enough of. It’s perfect for summer’s coming long days and makes me feel a bit of the summer when it’s cold out.

shea-butter-lip-balm-pixi

2. Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – Every girl should have a perfectly pink lip balm in their purse at all times. One that gives you a hint of colour and softens your lips. My new go to is Pixi Beauty’s Ripe Raspberry lip balm. It makes my lips feel so kissably soft.

Smashbox-Santigolden-Age-20

3. Smashbox Santigolden Age Collection – This Smashbox collection is only for the real cool girls. Even the packaging screams super cool. The eyeshadow palette is full of dramatic blue and orange shades, while the eyeliner is shocking blue and glam gold. Of course the nail polish strips are the icing on the cake with those super funky wraps that no one will ever forget.

dermalogica clear start

4. Dermalogica Clear Start – I wish I had this acne skin care collection when I was a teen. It’s like getting a Dermalogica spa facial in your home. The face wash smells light and fresh, while the Daytime Treatment is easy to use and really effective on nasty breakouts.

avon cc corrector

5. Avon Ideal Flawless CC Color Corrector Pencil – I have a love/hate relationship with concealer, but this corrector pencil made all of my hate go away. This little pencil is the perfect on the go concealer for any issues. It is easy for breakouts, dark spots or under eyes to make you feel confident in seconds.

me-time-spa-treats

6. Sanctuary Spa Me Time Spa Treats – I wish I could head to the spa every week, but unfortunately I can’t. I love this little set to save until you have a night alone to take over the bathroom for serious pampering. It has a body wash, scrub, butter and hand cream that have the smell of your favourite spa. Perfect for you or for a gift if you can part with it.

Essie Summer 2014 Nail Polish Collection

Essie Summer 2014 Arrive
Essie makes some seriously great nail polish collections so I couldn’t wait to see what the summer 2014 collection was going to look like. In a season that’s been full of neon nail polish, Essie definitely kept on trend but didn’t go completely neon and added a few neutrals. All of the swatches are two coats and a top coat.

Haute In The Heat
Essie Haute In The Heat Swatch
This is a perfect dark hot pink. It went on amazingly well and is a great night out shade for summer.

Roarrrrange
Essie Roarrrrange Swatch
In the sunlight Roarrrrange is full on tangerine. It definitely stood out from the rest of the collection in terms of brightness.

Ruffles & Feathers
Essie Ruffles & Feathers Swatch
Ruffles & Feathers is a lot brighter than it photographs. It’s a neon teal that is pretty much my perfect shade. Be careful taking it off, even with a base coat your nails will turn blue.

Strut Your Stuff
Essie Strut Your Stuff Swatch
Strut Your Stuff actually went on the best out of the whole collection. It’s a super bright blue that would look amazing as a pedicure colour.

Urban Jungle
Essie Urban Jungle Swatch
I had major issues applying Urban Jungle. I don’t know what it is about pale shades but they always seem to be super streaky. This one never completely evened out. I do like the shade and I guess if you need a really neutral shade for the office it could work but it’s definitely not my favourite.

Fierce, No Fear
Essie Fierce, No Fear Swatch
Fierce, No Fear, like Urban Jungle doesn’t scream summer to me but this one went on a lot better. The shade reminds me of chocolate milk. I would use this in the fall for sure but probably not in the summer.

Overall I love most of the shades in the Essie Summer 2014 collection and can’t wait to use them on a regular basis.

Ipsy Glam Bag May 2014

Ipsy May 2014 Bag
If there’s one thing I love about Ipsy, it’s trying brands I’ve either never heard of before or something I would’ve just never picked up. This month’s Glam Bag is a perfect example of that. The theme this month seems to be Fresh Picks and the actual bag is a really nice cloth makeup bag, though mine has some kind of strange scent attached to it.
Ipsy May 2014 Inside
This month I like the idea of everything I got, we’ll see if I actually like the products.

I got the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask which sounds amazing. It has argan oil in it, so how bad can it be?

I also got the Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan Pure White Mineral Sunscreen which I’m not nearly as excited about. I’m super fair and burn easily so I use a lot of sunscreen but this one seems a little runny and it takes a lot to rub it in and get rid of the white. It actually reminds me of those old school zinc sunscreens that came in neon colours in the ’80’s.

I’m hit and miss with Pacifica, I have better luck with their scents and body products than anything makeup related but I’ve never tried their eyeshadow before so I’m interested to see how the Duo 2 eyeshadow works out, this seems to be an Ipsy exclusive and the purple and ivory shades are pretty enough.

I love perfume samples, especially when they come in rollerball form, so I was really excited to get the Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria sample. And it smells delicious!

What I was most excited about was the Avène Thermal Spring Water. I’ve heard such amazing things about it but haven’t tried it, so I can’t wait to open it.

Overall, this month’s Glam Bag was a decent mix of brands I’ve never heard of and things I wanted to try. If you want more information on Ipsy you can check it out here. Let us know what you got in your bag!

MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection

MAC Alluring Aquatic Review
MAC’s Alluring Aquatic collection is the perfect beachy, summer collection. I’m super fair and bronzer looks awful on me but I love the bronze, glowy look and Alluring Aquatic gives me that without turning me orange, or worse. From the shiny turquoise with water drop effect packaging to the wave pattern on the eyeshadow and blush, the collection just screams beach.

The Lorelei Extra Dimension eyeshadow is a light, shimmery bronze that goes on beautifully and blends well with other shades and Seduced At Sea Extra Dimension Blush is a sheer bronze coral that shows up well on my skin but doesn’t stand out like crazy. My absolute favourite though is the Seducing Sound Lip Glass. It’s a sheer cocoa bronze shade that looks amazing on it’s own and even better with a neutral liner under it. The colour lasts for a pretty long time for a lip gloss and in typical Lip Glass fashion isn’t crazy sticky.

MAC pretty much broke me for other summer makeup with their Alluring Aquatic collection and I’m already wondering if I need to go buy spares in case I run out before the collection leaves stores.

Bliss Fabulips Pout-O-Matic

Bliss Pout-O-Matic Review
I’m a huge fan of lip scrubs, but I find them a little messy. Luckily the Pout-O-Matic from Bliss takes all the messiness out of smoothing your lips and does it in a super gentle way. At first glance the Pout-O-Matic seems a little complicated and more like an electric toothbrush than a lip scrubber but once you put it together it all makes sense. The kit comes with the exfoliating tool, a replacement polishing head, a Fabulips sugar lip scrub and a battery (make sure you get everything in your kit, we saw one that was missing the scrub).

You really only need to use the tiniest amount of scrub on the polishing head and I mean tiny. Whatever you’re planning on using, use less. You can always add more later. You use the Pout-O-Matic much like you would use a Clarisonic or any kind of electric face cleanser. You put the scrub on the polishing head, turn it on and go over your lips in a circular motion for 30 seconds.

I happened to use it as I was getting over a cold and my lips were completely chapped. The Pout-O-Matic didn’t completely fix my lips on the first try but it got rid of the worst of the problems. Subsequent uses totally smoothed out my lips and left them really soft. I also found I was using less lip balm after the fact. Using a machine like this to get smooth lips might seem a little extreme but it’s a really easy, non messy way to get your lips ready for all your matte lipstick.

True Blood’s Tara Buck Talks Beauty

tara-buck-true-blood
Photo: Mathieu Bitton


Los Angeles based actress Tara Buck might be best known for her role as Ginger on HBO’s True Blood, but this blonde beauty has been featured on everything from Party Of Five, to Nip/Tuck, to Bones and many more. She’s not just a talented actress and in her spare time she’s co-owner of Ledbetter Wines. We caught up with Tara Buck before the premiere of the final season of True Blood to get her to spill a few of her beauty secrets.

What is your first makeup or beauty related memory?
My Mom gave me a makeup kit as part of my “dress up box” when I was about 8 or 9.  I’m sure it was a collection of items she no longer used and it was my pride and joy. I took it with me everywhere, showed it off to friends and often offered to give the neighborhood kids makeovers. Some kids weren’t allowed to wear makeup, so it was frequently a secret indulgence that had to be removed when they left our play dates. My Mom is an artist and I always felt like I was practicing my painting skills as I experimented with applying eyeshadows.

What is your everyday morning beauty routine like?
I wake up, wash may face with water and maybe a little Dermaquest Glyco Creamy Cleanser, do the usual teeth brushing bit but beyond that my morning routine varies significantly from very minimal to a full on production. I always apply sunscreen and a under eye cream. If I’m not on set working or going to auditions I save the makeup and blow dry for later in the evening. I like to be outside when the sun is shining and beyond protecting my skin I don’t really want much more. My routine is more consistent before I go to bed.  Preclease, cleanse, always a good moisturizer under my eyes and usually a good lip scrub.
Dermalogica precleanse
Do you have any tricks that you have learned on sets?
When I’m shooting True Blood I wear a lot of makeup. Heavy everything! I wear liberal amounts of foundation, full lashes, liner, a spray tan and usually a lot of blood. When shooting is finished at the end of the day all I want to do it get that makeup off. They always have Dermalogica Precleanse in the trailer waiting with a warm washcloth when we are finished shooting. The Precleanse just kind of melts away the layers of product without leaving my face feeling irritated or raw. I fell in love with this product onset and now I use it at home as well.

What will you never leave the house without wearing or applying?
SUNSCREEN! Dermaquest tinted moisturizer with SPF is my favorite right now. It’s perfect for summer when I want light coverage. With this one product I’m adding moisture, just enough tint to even out my skin without covering my freckles and the protection of SPF 30.  There is no oiliness to it and the texture is really light and almost fluffy.

What are 5 products that are always in your makeup bag and you can’t live without and why?
29 Cosmetic’s Hint of Honey Lip Treatment. It’s a great moisturizer and it has little gold flecks in it that add shine. It’s great by it’s self or as a gloss over lip color. The smell is subtle and delicious. It’s perfect for someone who easily gets dry lips without being waxy or goopy.
Youngblood Tangelo
A bright fun lipstick. My staple for a while has been Youngblood’s Tangelo.  Orange is my alternative to red. Red is great but can be a bit unruly. I often just wear gloss but I like to always have a bold color on hand. Even with no other makeup a bold lip can create an entire look. Tangelo is beautiful lightly applied for a soft summery look as well as the darker splash of color after the sun goes down so it’s a perfectly versatile staple.

Black Mascara. Youngblood makes a great one that is thickening and doesn’t smudge or flake. I have long very light lashes. They are invisible until they have mascara on them, but if the mascara doesn’t stay put I end up with muddy smudges up around my brows or dark circles below my eyes so I’m very picky with mascara.  A tube of Youngblood’s Blackout is always in my bag.

My beauty secret weapon is Ardell Duralash individual lashes (short flare brown).  You can get them at almost any drug store and they are inexpensive and easy but always make me feel extra fabulous when I use them. Individuals are my favorite because you can make them really subtle for a natural look or layer them up for the perfect cat eye. Using them allows you to create the illusion that the actual shape of your eye has changed. Creating different characters and changing how I look is a big part of what I do for work. Adding just the right lashes can change my look dramatically and make me feel like a chameleon.

I like the option of a soft tan so I keep Yon Ka Auto- Bronzant face and body in my bag always. Unlike most self-tanners it’s very light, great for my face and chest, never makes me breakout and has a very mild odor. It’s actually a very nice non greasy moisturizer as well.  Truly the best self tanner I’ve ever found and I’ve tried them all.

Thanks to Tara for answering our questions and don’t forget to check her out on True Blood this June!

Julep May 2014 Maven Box With Plié Wand

JulepMay2014Arrive
I don’t usually post about my Julep Maven boxes because shipping to Canada takes absolutely forever. However, I signed up for this month’s box a couple months ago when they announced the crowd funding for the Plié wand which means my box got sent early. The Plié wand was designed so that people could polish their nails with their non dominant hand a little easier. You can hold it like a pen, bend it, or basically just play around with it until you find a more comfortable position.
JulepLareeWithPlie
My box this month also included a Plié wand precision brush (to use with other brands of nail polish I’m assuming) and nail polishes Laree (a mid pink with gold duochrome), Saaya (a shimmery light orange) and a bonus polish Yumi (named after Julep founder Jane Park’s daughter it’s a silvery, pink glitter).
JulepLareePlieSwatch
I used the Plié wand with Laree and so far I’m finding it the more comfortable as a pen in both hands. I’ll keep playing around with it to see if I get different results other ways. I’m right handed so painting my right hand is a little more of a challenge but I think I’m pretty good at it by now. The Plié wand helped minimize the need for clean up a little but it’s probably better for people who have bigger issues doing their nails.  Laree is probably my favourite Julep colour that I’ve gotten so far. It’s going to carry me pretty far into the summer.

Will the Plié wand change my life? No. But it’s something I’ll use and I’m sure others will have a lot of success using it on their nails.

Going Au Natural With Elixir Organic Spa

elixir-spa

With all of the chemicals I put on my face every day through product testing, I figured it was high time to strip down and clean up my act. Elixir Organic Spa is Toronto first 100% synthetic-free spa. After speaking with owner Lynn Shulman via email, I was excited to have my first all-natural facial.

Elixir Spa just moved into their new bigger location on King St. West, when I went inside the busy bustle of rush hour traffic was silenced. I was met with light smells that I couldn’t quite put my finger on and a quiet calm atmosphere. The front part of Elixir Spa is a store selling all natural, organic beauty products and while there isn’t a lot of product, I was drawn to it and wanted to pick up the beautiful bottles and smell their aromas.

bath-salts-spa

I was met by owner Lynn, who then introduced me to my facialist. I was surprised to learn that Lynn doesn’t have a beauty background, but marketing. She started the spa after she had a bad experience with chemical filled beauty products. She has since worked with estheticians to perfect the spa’s treatments, while working to market and collaborate with other natural brands.

spa-back-room

I was hurried to the back to prepare for my basic organic facial. The treatment room wasn’t quite finished yet when I visited the spa and Lynn made that very clear to me. There was just a curtain blocking my facial room from the rest of the store. This meant when people came in to shop or the phone rang, I could hear them. I felt a bit exposed having to strip down with so little protection between me and the world. Lynn told me that within the next few days they would have walls up to create two treatment rooms. The room itself was tiny, i was surprised that I could fit in there with a bed and someone to do my treatment. I felt bad for the facialist who had to maneuver around me.

I know they will work the kinks out soon though because even though it was a bit awkward my facial was softer and gentler than ever. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I’m not necessarily the key target audience for Elixir Spa. They cater to people with sensitive skin, pregnant women, people with specific ailments such as cancer survivors who need to avoid chemicals or anyone looking to go chemical free. This facial really was so gentle on my skin. All of the products smelled amazing with fresh scents of relaxing lavender and refreshing lemon. I found out later that all of the products are food grade, meaning they are safe enough to eat.

Unlike other facials there wasn’t that tingling sensitive to the harsh extractions that can sometimes hurt. Everything felt gentle. Even my arm and neck massage was light and gentle.

When I left Elixir Organic Spa, my face wasn’t red and puffy like it was after some other facials. My skin felt nice, but it didn’t feel like a deep clean. People with sensitive skin who tend to avoid harsh facials would love this soft feeling.

spa-with-flowers

I also had a chance to peruse the products for sale in the store and now have a laundry list of products that I can’t wait to try. I might give them a few weeks to get everything finished, but then I will be shopping.