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

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

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.
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).
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


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.


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.


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.


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.

MAC Cosmetics PatentPolish Lip Pencil Review


MAC Cosmetics recently released their spring PatentPolish Lip Pencil that is made to have the look and feel of a lip gloss with the precision and look of a lip pencil. I started this spring thinking it would take me month to find a lip colour that I would love until the final drop; little did I know that this little lip pencil would fall into my lap.

MAC Cosmetics’ lip pencil is everything I want in a lipstick, lip gloss and lip pencil in one product. It’s really impressive.

The PatentPolish Lip Pencil comes in a twist up pencil style that is easy to apply. I’ve seen these types of lip pencil before, but they never impress me.

This time my pink PatentPolish made me smile the second I applied it. It’s not quite as dark as a regular lipstick, but it’s thicker than your average gloss. It is glossy, but it feels like a matte lipstick. It has combined all of my favourite things about different lip products and combined them in one stick.

The best part is that it also lasts a long time. It even lasted through my bike ride to work, so I didn’t have to apply before I walked in the door.

Good job MAC Cosmetics! You brought the best of all worlds of lip products into one stick!

Marta Pacek’s Makeup Most Wanted


Australian folk singer Marta Pacek is invading Canada this spring. The Aussie beauty had a new album, Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms, in Canada now and a few showcases at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Makeup Most Wanted caught up with Marta Pacek before her first CMW showcase tonight at Johnny Jackson to find out the secret behind her effortless beauty. We asked Marta to share the makeup she most wanted to bring around the world.


1. Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Exfoliant & Face Oil – Made by a company from my hometown of Melbourne Australia, this is essentially a dry mix of crushed botanicals including, aloe vera, walnut shells and tea tree leaf.  You can adjust the exfoliation level by altering how much cleanser you mix it with. Mixed with just water, It gives the deepest exfoliation comparable to in salon microdermabrasion. I use [the face oil] as my daily moisturizer and love the way it smells. To save space in my luggage, I like to combine this with another favourite product, Dr Haushka Translucent Bronzing Tint and always pre-mix a few bottles for my longer tours.


2. Dr Haushka Translucent Bronzing Tint – It’s like a liquid mineral bronzer, but I find it’s too dry on it’s own so I mix it with my Aesop Fabulous Face Oil and the result is a sheer, sun-kissed, dewy look.


3. Le Labo Patchouli 24 – I discovered this take on my favourite perfume while living in NYC’s East Village.  The Patchouli is not easy to detect in this formula. The smoky, leathery character of birch takes over in the first few seconds, making this signature absolutely unique and difficult to situate. Fortunately, a touch of vanilla comes in to calm this little world, bringing peace, sensuality and softness to these violent animal notes.
4. Sarnya Key Pure African Shea Butter  – Because I have fine hair, I only condition the ends and a little of this butter goes a long way, saving me space in my toiletries bag. It leaves my hair soft and silky and smelling beautiful. It also doubles up as a great shaving emulsion.
5. Tinderbox Apple and Rooibos Shampoo & Honey Myrtle Conditioner – My hippie girlfriend Fiona introduced me to this beautiful Western Australian made skin care range which I find very affordable and completely natural.
6. Nars Dolce Vita Lip Crayon  – I have been wearing this dusty rosy red matte on my lips for several years now and I also wear it on my cheeks. I recently purchased the sheer lipstick version which is more translucent for day time wear. It’s not on the Nars website anymore which I fear means it’s being discontinued.
7. Bare Escentuals  Buxom Lash Mascara – I was born with really thick long eyelashes but strangely they are blonde at the tips so I like to use a really dramatic mascara. This is by far the best one I have ever used and the formula lasts a very long time. It’s also very gentle to remove with warm soapy water.
Catch Marta Pacek in Canada during her Canadian Music Week showcases or her Ontario tour throughout May. Get tour dates on her website now.

Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss Review


Stila has come out with a lip gloss that is over the top in all of the right ways. Stila’s new Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss is ultra-glossy and ultra-shiny giving me lips that really do look vinyl. The bright pink and red lip glosses give me a bold high shine that just won’t quit.

When I first applied the Stila Lip Gloss I was surprised. Sure, the gloss colour looks bold in the bottle, but wearing it takes it to a whole new level. It’s rare that a lip gloss is just as colourful and bright as in the bottle. It’s not sheer, but a solid bright pink hue. I have to admit though, that while it’s a bit crazy, this lip gloss is hot, hot, hot!

It’s not easily removable either. My pink lips stayed for hours before I needed to reapply.

So if you want to make an impact next time you go out, this Stila lip gloss is the crucial ingredient.

Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library

Bite Beauty has released some pretty great lip products and the Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library is no exception. It has twelve glosses all infused with Rose Otto oil and each gloss has a pretty intense rose scent. If you have any issues with fragrance you might want to give this set a pass. But I love anything that smells even remotely like rose, so Deconstructed Rose is perfect for me.

Each of the twelve shades in the Deconstructed Rose set varies somewhere on the rose colour spectrum. They go on relatively smoothly and the brush has a little dip that’s supposed to make application easier but I actually found a little more difficult. But the colours are gorgeous. There’s a shade for every skin tone, mood and event. I mixed shades four and six and ended up with my perfect rose lip gloss shade.

The Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library is limited edition, so if you love rose as much as I do or just love lip gloss and want to find your perfect shade, you should probably run out and get one.

CC Cream Most Wanted

While not as popular as BB Creams, CC Creams are one of the first steps to a well-rounded makeup routine. Not all CC Creams are created equal though. From thick to sheer to moisturizing, every company has created a CC cream with its own personality. Here are our three Most Wanted CC Creams:

stila cc cream

Stila CC Color Correcting Cream

Stila has created a CC cream that is unlike any other one on the market. Stila developed a green based cream. Anyone who knows makeup will know that this means the makeup is colour correcting to remove all redness. It isn’t sheer though, which is the best part! The pigments in the makeup adapt to your skin tone to create a shade that matches you perfectly. It feels like having your own custom makeup colour in a bottle. It’s not the best coverage, but it is one of the most moisturizing creams I’ve used.

Related: BB Cream Most Wanted


Sephora Skin Perfect CC Cream

For full coverage this is the CC cream you need to reach for. Sephora’s skin perfect cream offers more coverage for my skin than most of my regular foundations. It is also so moisturizing that I don’t feel guilty if I forget to moisturize. It hydrates and corrects my skin tone so I feel beautiful all day. I am in love!

annabelle cc cream

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base Natural Finish

As we move into summer, this is the cream I will be reaching for. This is one of the lightest cc creams I’ve ever tried. It’s perfect for a warm day because it stays on my skin and don’t clog up my pores. It makes my face feel velvety smooth. I can even finish my look with the CC powder for added skin perfection.