Thursday, February 26, 2015


The historical cold temperatures we've experienced this week have taken a serious toll on my lips – it feels slightly suicidal to wear anything other than lip balm for fear of further chapping and discomfort. In hopes of mending my dry lips I set off to Sephora this past weekend in search of the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil. I've heard so many rave reviews about this luxury lip oil, but given my luck it was of course sold out. 

After speaking with a few of the staff members about alternative options I was pointed in the direction of the YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil ($35), a revolutionary new lip tint, which is suspended in a deep conditioning oil. I had a blast swatching these lip products – all eight shades apply as a transparent, clear oil and gradually produce a tint once they hit the skin. Too cool! I ended up purchasing the shade Oh My Gold, a beautiful, yet subtle pink that is packed with gold shimmer. It's a great shade for every day wear as it truly enhances your natural lip colour without overpowering the rest of your makeup. Plus, the YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil lip products of course feel decadent and comfortable on the lips given that they've been formulated with apricot kernel oil, coriander fruit oil, jojoba seed oil, and possiflora edulis seed oil. I also have a major crush on the exclusive applicator this product features, which easily forms to lips to ensure the most precise application every time. At this point I'm completely unsure how I'm going to summon enough will power to control myself from purchasing the seven remaining shades. Send help. :|

Have you tried the YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil?

AM¥     XO

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Arbonne celebrated 35 successful years in business this past January with the release of three limited edition products, which will remain available for the entirety of 2015. Since 1980, Arbonne has focused on developing products that combine the very best of emerging science and nature. The limited edition 35th Anniversary products "demonstrate our continuing commitment to re-evaluating our products to find ways that we can update formulas to deliver best-selling products, with enhancements that new research brings us,” said Michael D’Arminio, Arbonne Sr. VP and Chief Creative Officer.

The For the Sun of It Illuminating Bronzer & Kabuki Brush Set includes just that, a universal bronzer paired with a luxuriously soft kabuki brush for seamless application. The bronzer is a beautiful shade, especially for those with paler skin tones, and features a matte, soft-lit effect through the use of Optilight Technology. It's also loaded with Arbonne age-defying botanicals, such as algae extract and plant-derived hyaluronic acid to hydrate, smooth and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I personally enjoy it because it's a 'healthy' alternative to my long time love NARS Laguna, and the shade is actually better suited for my skin tone. Plus the Optilight Technology truly does provide a luminous effect to my skin without the addition of shimmer, meaning I can use it regardless of where I'm headed. It's a real shame that this bronzing duo will only be around for a limited time. I guess I better stock up! 

Arbonne products are vegan, formulated without gluten, dermatologist-tested and allergy-tested. All products can be purchased through their extensive network of Independent Consultants, or online at
Do you own any Arbonne makeup products?

AM¥     XO

[*]The item featured in this post has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Monday, February 23, 2015


When I was younger I was a slave to the tanning salon. I bought membership after membership until one day the Tanning Mom, Patricia Krentcil, whose orange, leather-like appearance is gasp worthy, got her 15-minutes of fame, causing me to reject my addiction entirely. Given that I had been using tanning beds to amplify my beauty, I had completely disregarded the long term effects associated with them – wrinkles, cancer, etc... I've since started self-tanning to keep my skin bronzed during the winter, however it wasn't until this past December when I was introduced to Karora Cosmetics that I finally solidified my routine.

Karora is a line of self-tanning products, originally hailing from Ireland, that are formulated with natural botanicals to condition and soothe the skin. I was originally introduced to the line at a Murale event, which is where the brand is exclusively sold, and have since not only fallen in love, but I've also created the ideal faux-tan routine. It all begins on Sundays when I use the Express Bronzing Mousse to create a golden base. The mousse formula develops within an hour, however I've found that in order to achieve the darkest colour possible it's best to apply 2 coats, allowing it to develop for three full hours. Leaving it on longer is no hassle as the decadent formula contains aloe, acai berry, green tea, argan and bergamot oil to soothe and condition my skin. The colour fades gradually and naturally, giving me reason to apply the Gradual Tan Buildable Colour lotion once or twice throughout the week in order to maintain my colour. I first used this product on untanned skin a few weeks ago and was taken back by the rich bronzed colour I achieved after only a single use – it seriously blows the St. Tropez Everday Gradual Tan out of the water. And given that it's formulated with a blend of jojoba, coconut oil, rosemary leaf extract, vitamin E and argan oil it always leaves my skin looking and feeling hydrated and supple. And, of course, with a perfectly bronzed glow. 
How do you maintain a faux glow?

AM¥     XO

[*] The items featured in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for the purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Friday, February 20, 2015


The arrival of Birchbox to Canada was meant to be exciting and fun, yet here I am three months into the service with little desire for beauty boxes in general. I've been slowly giving the axe to these subscription services since September after realizing how much money I was shamelessly throwing away. Despite collecting a lot of samples through these programs, the majority of the products simply didn't interest me, and therefore wound up in the bin of cosmetics I keep for friends. And now I may have to end my relationship with Birchbox, which is ironic given that the February Edition is inspired by our 'buddies, pals, partners-in-crime, and BFFs.' Well Birchbox, despite your pretty packaging this month we may no longer friends. #sorrynotsorry

Tocca | Eau de Parfum in Florence – Full Size 1.7oz ($82)
When it comes to perfume I typically gravitate towards sensual, slightly masculine scents, steering clear of anything that evokes the slightest feeling of elegance. And somehow, given my luck, Florence happens to embody elegance at it's finest. 'Notes of bergamot, gardenia, and jasmine create a floral scent with an old world charm', which suits my roommate seamlessly, yet smells foreign and ill-convincing on me. 

derma e | Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub  – Full Size 4oz ($13.50)
I am always on the look out for the next scrub, mask or peel that is going to help lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation found around my lips, and ultimately reveal a more radiant complexion. However, given the abundance of prestige and natural skincare options I currently have in my vanity, and the fact that this scrub is best suited for normal/oily skin, I'll be passing on this sample. I don't think that my dry skin would approve, especially given the weather. 

Number 4 | Clarifying Shampoo – Full Size 8.5oz ($36)
I've always been a fan of clarifying shampoos, especially come Sunday – they remove build up, amp up volume, and leave your hair feeling squeaky clean. The Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo contains: 'black currant and soy to restore vibrancy; acai berry and vitamin C to deliver youth-boosting antioxidants; oolong tea and Irish moss to defend against environmental damage; and lemongrass and oatmeal to gently cleanse and purify.' Plus the full-sized version is held within a stunning minimalistic bottle, and features a blissful scent of white freesia, golden amber, and warm musk. Needless to say I'm ready for my Sunday shower. 

Whish | Three Whishes Body Butter in Pomegranate – Full Size 150mL ($26.75)
If it wasn't for a long second glance I would have sworn that this body butter hailed from Be Delectable from Cake Beauty – the aesthetic and fonts used by both companies are astonishingly similar! Luckily the formula held within couldn't be more different. The Three Whishes Body Butter is one that truly surprised me with it's non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula, However, given the high price point, and a scent you'd expect from a Walmart body wash, it probably isn't a product I'll be reaching for. 

The Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain was the only product within this month's Birchbox that elicited some level excitement when I saw it. Cynthia Rowley packaging always leaves me smitten, and this tester did not disappoint. And although I anticipate losing this trial-sized lip stain in my bag all too frequently, I know that it won't be long before I hit pan and order the full size. The shade Heartthrob is the perfect bright red for my skin tone. The orange undertones help to warm my complexion, and the stain imparts serious pigment and lasting power, while remaining comfortable and creamy on the lips. A product worth checking out!

At the end of the day I commend Birchbox for portraying February as a month to celebrate all those we love, not simply a significant other – us single ladies need love too. But no matter how much love was poured into the making of the box itself or curating the products found inside, it simply wasn't worth the $15. Next month I plan to save my $15 and invest in another shade of the Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain, which ironically I suppose is what these boxes are for?    

Do you still subscribe to a beauty box? Do you think I should end things with Birchbox?

AM¥     XO

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Winter takes a toll on our skin – especially given the current temperatures. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much moisturizer or beauty oil I apply to my skin, it will never feel truly hydrated, soft or satisfied. This type of situation calls for an army of hydrating masks that are prepared to rejuvenate your skin from the driest of conditions. I've assembled a team of five hydrating products to call to battle whenever my skin begins feeling tight or dry. It may seem excessive to some, but each product is so truly unique, and effective that I simply cannot fathom saying goodbye to a single one.

Arbonne | RE9 Advanced Intense Hydration Overnight Mask [*]($81) – I've mentioned recently that I've been striving to create a more natural skincare and beauty regime, and this overnight mask brings me one step closer. The RE9 Advanced Mask features algae, stabilized vitamin C, peptides, mango seed and shea butters, cassava extract, and golden jojoba and olive oils to 'soothe and nourish, keeping [skin] hydrated all night long, so you say good morning to a glowing, refreshed face.' The formula sinks deeply into the skin, disappearing within an instant, meaning I can either layer on argan oil for added hydration, or simply sleep peacefully, without feeling the mask on my skin. Plus, it's so light that it can be used daily without causing breakouts – a sign that I need to stock up on this ASAP, especially given that this was a limited-edition released for Arbonne's 35th Anniversary

Kiehl's | Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque ($36) – This was one of the very first overnight masks I ever tried, and it has maintained it's place in my skincare posse thanks to it's effective formula. The Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque is formulated with 'Ophiopogon Japonicus, also known as Fountain Plant, which fills skin's ’'hydration reservoir'' to help reduce moisture depletion.' It leaves my skin intensely hydrated, even after a single use, however it does take a few sleeps to get accustomed to. The formula is rather sticky, which means you're often found peeling yourself from your pillow come the morning – a small price to pay for such wonderful results. It also makes a great option for those with sensitive skin given that it is silicone-, paraben-, fragrance- and colorant-free. 

GlamGlow | THIRTSYMUD Hydrating Treatment ($76) – I had been dying to try out this hydrating treatment and finally got the opportunity thanks to this trial-sized version I snagged in a Sephora Favourites kit from Christmas. THIRSTYMUD moisturizes, restores, replenishes, and calms the skin via three complexes. 'Dewdration™ boosts and locks in moisture for a dewy and youthful result, while HydraPack™ leaves skin with an instant silky, soft, and supple feel, and GreenEnergy™ smooths and energizes the skin, giving you a healthy-looking, glowing complexion.' Like most products from GlamGlow you experience a slight tingling, cooling feeling upon application, which would feel especially lovely when used on vacation, as it also features a coconut scent. And yet it's still found a home in my winter loves despite the summery scent, because of the healthy, dewy glow it adds to my skin.  

Origins | Drink Up 10-Minute Mask To Quench Skin's Thirst ($29) – This is my go-to hydrating product – primarily thanks to the scent, partially thanks to the speed. The  Origins Drink Up 10-Minute Mask is an apricot-scented mask that was created for days when your skin is feeling extremely dry and you're looking for a quick boost of moisture. Within 10 minutes this mask hydrates, and delivers a soft and supple appearance to skin, through the use of ingredients like emollient-rich apricot kernel oil and algae extracts. I find myself predominantly using this mask on morning when my skin is looking worse for wear, and I somehow forgot to apply an overnight mask the night before. I simply apply it all over my face before I begin styling my hair and wipe it off before applying makeup to create a smooth base for makeup application.

Peter Thomas Roth | Cucumber Gel Mask ($56) – The Cucumber Gel Mask only reaches it's full glory when it's been left in the refrigerator for a few hours before application. The coolness of the gel feels refreshing on the skin and helps to remove puffiness, and redness. But the Cucumber Gel Mask does much more than just that thanks to the inclusion of botanical extracts from cucumber, papaya, chamomile, pineapple, sugar maple, sugarcane, orange, lemon, bilberry, and aloe. These extracts make this mask one of the most hydrating masks I own. It's also the most versatile, and can be used to calm and soothe irritated skin after sun exposure, peels, waxing, and facials. I swear there is nothing that the Cucumber Gel Mask cannot do, and the best part is that I'm not even showing the full size here, which is actually 150mL. That's a whole lotta mask!
If you're interested in testing it out, Peter Thomas Roth also offers this adorable set of minis in the Mini Mask Magic Kit.

What mask do you reach for come winter?

AM¥     XO

[*]Some of the items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


By now I'm sure we've all seen Fifty Shades of Grey – hell, even some of my guy friends have gone. I was lucky enough to catch a pre-screening held by Make Up For Ever last Wednesday, and even got my hands on their Desire Me Cheek Kit[*]($56), curated with Victoria Dawn, head of makeup for the movie. I didn't find the movie all that amazing – truly there was no story, however Jamie Dornan looked all kids of great, and I did appreciate the makeup. I have since fallen madly in love with the Make Up For Ever x Fifty Shades of Grey Collection. Swoon. Each time I test out a new kit from this collection I am surprised by how stunning, pigmented, and versatile it is.

This is especially true of the Desire Me Cheek Kit, a two piece set featuring three Artist Shadow Blushes and a travel-sized Precision Blush Brush 150, all held within a velvet pouch. The blushes include shades:
  • I-526 – a pearl beige with slight pink undertones and an iridescent finish.
  • I-808 – described as an english pink with an iridescent finish.
  • S-748 – a bright coral with a satin finish. 
Each shade is intensely pigmented, and therefore requires a light hand for application – just look at the swatches below!! This is where the travel-sized Precision Blush Brush 150 proves to be the hidden star of this kit, as it delivers the perfect amount of colour every time. I've owned quite a few of the Artisan Brushes by Make Up For Ever and have truly enjoyed every one of them. I'm sure that when I update my brush kit later this year I'll be purchasing quite a few of them. That said, having these smaller versions in my collection is great, especially for traveling.

I'm hopeful that I can finally track down one of the larger pro pans that Make Up For Ever sells so that I can condense my collection into one palette. Although this kit was created for the cheeks, I will definitely be using the bright coral shade, S-748, to jump on the bright eyeshadow bandwagon come spring. Just another reason this palette is so incredible. If you haven't check out the Make Up For Ever x Fifty Shades of Grey Collection yet I highly suggest you do, and the Desire Me Cheek Kit is the perfect place to start. Especially for those who already love the Artist Shadows.
Swatched L-R . I-526, I-808, and S-748
Did you hit the theatre for Fifty Shades Of Grey this weekend?

AM¥      XO

[*]The item in this post has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


After chopping off a few inches of hair last week I've really struggled with styling the new length. It seems that every haircut is followed by a week-long trial-and-error period, in which you curse in the mirror, search for hats to cover your mistakes, and undoubtedly head out into the streets with a few wonky curls. D'oh. Thankfully, I now have mastered styling my new cut, although I can't take all the credit as I owe my new-found skills primarily to a few of my favourite hair products. 

These 'life-altering' products vary depending on whether I am aiming for a straight, polished look or going for the messy, beach-inspired waves. When I wear my hair straight I opt for products that are going to ensure my look remains sleek. The Living Proof Primer Style Extender has always been my go-to for creating a sleek style that lasts between sleeps. I sometimes even add a dollop when I'm going for the beachy look as well just to extend the style – the less I wash it the better. I also always apply a heat protectant spray, right now I've been using the Chi 44 Iron Guard – it protects my hair and minimizes my split ends, but I am not a fan of the scent. From here I simply section my hair into three sections and pass my Chi Hair Straightener over it, before taming frizz with the Got2B Playful Texturizing Creme Pomade.  

The beach-inspired look begins with the same spritzing with heat protectant spray, however it's followed by products from a line I've spoken about a lot lately, the TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Waves line. The combination of the Wave Creation Sea Foam Mousse and the Sea Salt Spray create a slightly sticky base that allows waves to last for days on end. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I got away without washing or styling my hair for three days thanks to this complete line up. However the line still has little effect on the frizziness of my hair to I once again reach for the Got2B Playful Texturizing Creme Pomade to tame my hairline.

What products make your hair more manageable?

AM¥     XO

[*]Some of the items in this post has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


My loathe for Valentine's Day stems back quite a few years. To be truthful I can't recall ever celebrating the hallmark holiday, despite having a boyfriend/man friend in my life for the past decade.  But my strong feelings against Valentines didn't stop me from creating a soft and romantic look for the day with the new Make Up For Ever x 50 Shades Of Grey Give In To Me Kit [*]($90). I did a complete review on the kit earlier this week, seen here, and even got to attend a pre-screening of the movie. It was a great night with a lot of ooh's and ahh's every time Jamie Dornan shed an article of clothing, but to be honest the movie itself had no plot and I probably wouldn't spend money to see it. However, I was inspired by Anastasia Steele's humble, 'girl next door' makeup seen in the movie and decided to create this ethereal look for Valentines using the Give In To Me Kit

After applying my typical base of makeup I began creating a neutral eye look with underlying pink and lavender tones. I swept the lightest shade, I-514, all over the lid to create a shimmering base then to add depth to the eye I worked small amounts of the taupe grey, S-556, and continued blending to create a shadow in the crease. I then took a shader brush with the metallic copper brown shade, ME-612, and packed this shadow onto the lid to add warmth. I finished the eyes with the Graphic Eyeliner along the upper lash line, followed by 3 coats of the Smoky Extravaganza Mascara. For the lips I simply layered the products in this kit: the Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N4 and the Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D14. I love how simple this lip is from afar but how dazzling it becomes up close thanks to the gold shimmer seen in the lip gloss. Definitely a look I will be re-creating in the future. 


What style are you wearing this Valentine's Day? Romantic or Sexy?

AM¥     XO

[*]The items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.


Over a month ago I, somewhat hesitantly, shook up my skincare regime by switching to the Aveeno Fresh Essentials line. I had just created a skincare regime that I enjoyed, and I was worried that the Aveeno products wouldn't be up to par, but was I ever wrong. You can read about my time with the products here. I've since gone back to my typical skincare regime, but I still love to incorporate both the scrub and night cream from time to time – the day cream simply feels too greasy given the SPF. But overall this is an amazing, and affordable line. And today I get to share three products from the Fresh Essentials line with one lucky reader. Consider it my Galentines gift to you!
The Products Included:
  • Fresh Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer
  • Fresh Essentials Daily Exfoliating Scrub
  • Fresh Essentials Hydrating Night Cream
To enter the giveaway simply complete the Gleam form below, which will be open from Saturday February 14th at 12:00am to Sunday February 22nd at 11:59pm. The winner will be announced and personally contacted via e-mail on Monday February 23rd. Unfortunately, given shipping costs, this giveaway is only available to those living in Canada or the United States – sorry guys :(!

Aveeno Fresh Essentials Giveaway
Good luck to everyone who enters and thanks for your support!

AM¥     XO

Friday, February 13, 2015


Yesterday I talked about my Valentine's Day prep regime, and today I'm talking about something equally as important for Valentines Day, a killer red lip. After going to an event at The Detox Market on King St. in Toronto I've found myself gravitating to health-conscious cosmetics. One of those cosmetics happens to be my favourite red lip colour at the moment as well, Arbonne's Lipstick in Strawberry[*] ($31), a bright creamy red with long lasting hydration. I think I love this lipstick so deeply because it can evoke either that 1950's hollywood glamour feel, or take on a rock and roll vibe when paired with a smokier eye – both looks I am deeply found of. More importantly, it's all natural, and botanical, using wild mango butter, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, and pomegranate extract to supremely hydrate the lips. This is by far the most moisturizing lipstick I own, and yet that has no effect on the pigment or lasting power of this lipstick. I got a solid, and comfortable 4 hours of wear before needing to re-apply, and there was ever a stain left behind. 

With 14 other shades available I'll need to start saving up so that I can incorporate more health-friendly cosmetics into my collection. 

What is your go to lip colour this Valentine's Day?

AM¥     XO

[*]The item in this post has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Let's not be prude, Valentines Day is as much about the bedroom as it is about the dinners, flowers, chocolates, and I love you's – this coming to you the valentines-hating scorpio. Either way we all reach that moment when we want to feel, and look sexy for our husband, boyfriend, man of the moment... whatever, who am I to judge. And the way to do that? With smooth, bronzed skin that glistens like Kim Kardashian's ass on the Paper Cover, of course. 

I began working on the tan earlier this week with the Karora Gradual Tan Buildable Colour[*], which is a daily face and body moisturizer that gradually builds a golden glow suitable for your skin tone. I've developed a brilliant base colour, yet still tonight I plan on exfoliating with my Cake Milk Made Body Scrub, and self-tanning with the St. Tropez Self Tan Dry Luxe Oil[*]. A regime I will repeat on Saturday. This ensures that my skin is as silky and bronzed as humanly possible. I've really enjoyed the Cake Milk Made Body Scrub, but once it becomes an empty I'll be purchasing the Caudalie Divine Scrub, which I've long wanted to try. It looks so luxurious, and I've become addicted to the fragrance thanks to the Divine Oil. As for the tanner, the St. Tropez Self Tan Dry Luxe Oil is one of my favourites because it's packed with hella gold shimmer, and never transfers to my clothing or sheets. And, yes, despite it being oil-based I still want my skin to glisten further, ahem... Kim's ass, so before the big night I'll also moisturize with the Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil.  

The other ever important thing is the lingerie. I've spent days, weeks, months.. dreaming about owning a lingerie collection that I could never afford. I think it all stems back a co-worker, who once told me that she always wore a matching set for fear that she would die unexpectedly and there would be hot fire fighters, police men, or coroners around. Ha! I've avoided this by sticking with black intimates – they always match. But Valentine's Day calls for something sexier, more romantic, which is why I have my eyes set on these...

The final touches before the big night involve painting my nails and choosing a sensual scent. Since I am so truly against the hearts, flowers, and related Hallmark bullshit, I'll be avoiding nail art and wearing a simple red nail. Now to decide between Essie's Fishnet Stockings and Leading Lady. I have a love-hate relationship with red nails, but if there was any night to don them Saturday would be it. I've had an even tougher time deciding on the scent – Aerin Amber Musk, Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée, Victor & Rolf Flower Bomb are all so amazing, but eventually I think I've settled on my go to Elizabeth and James Nirvana. Nothing better suited for the sheets than that.    

How do you prep for a special night?

AM¥     XO

[*]Some of the items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Monday, February 9, 2015


It's finally here. This week marks the release of the movie we've all been dying to see... 50 Shades Of Grey. I never read the book, nor do I have any desire to, but the idea that Jamie Dornan could potentially pull a tampon out of a girl on screen means I'll be going to the theatre this weekend – alas, that'll never happen. But I do truly plan to see it, and in between the shots of Jamie Dornan and his room of sex, I'll be admiring Dakota Johnson's makeup, which was created by Victoria Dawn, Head Of Makeup for the film, who consistently reached for Make Up For Ever. Now, Make Up For Ever wants to take you backstage with a limited-edition collection inspired by the movie, including a cheek set, two lip sets and an entire makeup kit.

I got my hands on the Make Up For Ever Give In To Me Makeup Kit [*]($90 CAD) early last week and have not only been loving the five products it contains, but also their ability to transform my look from natural, to sultry to sophisticated. The products are housed in a a keepsake box, which even includes a secret compartment with a key – although I've never read the book something tells me that Christian Grey would house some toys of his own in there. Not sure that the average consumer is interested in a keepsake box that says "Mr. Grey will see you now", but we'll leave that debate for another time. It's the products inside that are of interest to me, and they include:
This kit is all about creating enchanting, and intoxicating eyes. With the help of the earthy Artist Shadow PaletteGraphic Eyeliner and Smoky Extravagant Mascara, one can easily create a variety of looks that can readily be transformed from day to night. The eyeshadow palette contains four shades – I-514, an iridescent pink ivory, ME-612 a metallic silver brown, S-556, a satin taupe grey, and I-625 a limited edition iridescent khaki taupe shadow. There's also a pamphlet accompanying the kit, which features step-by-step guides to create three different looks from the movie. But my absolute favourite way of wearing this travel-friendly palette is quite simple; I-514 swept across the lid and onto the brow bone, S-556 and I-625 blended into the crease, and ME-612 smudged along the lower lashline. Add a small cat-eye with the Graphic Eyeliner, and make the most of your lashes with the Smoky Extravagant Mascara, and you're good to go. 
Artist Shadows Swatched L-R – I-514, ME-612, S-556, & I-625. 

The lip products tell the softer side of the 50 Shades Of Grey romance – there is an innocence seen in the shades and finishes of the Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N4 and the Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D14. This combination is verging on the ideal 'Girl Next Door' lip, but with a slightly more demure undertone. The Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N4 is described as a pink beige, but given my skin tone it appears slightly more salmon when applied. It wears nicely on the lips, feels comfortable and imparts a luminous finish. It's a beautiful shade, although I prefer it when the Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D14 is layered over top. There is something about the gold shimmer, seen in this indian pink gloss that makes anything underneath look spectacular – even bare lips. 
Swatched L-R – Lipstick in N4 & Lip Gloss in D14

Will you be seeing the movie, or trying any of Make Up For Ever's 50 Shades Of Grey inspired kits?

AM¥     XO

*]The items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


My mind has officially been blown. Did you know that Byrdie posted an article detailing the EXACT MAKEUP PRODUCTS that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen use? Where have I been all this time?! If you are someone who knew about this article and didn't tell me... well consider us officially at war with each other. Everyone else... I like you, and you can read the full article – here

I've always loved the 'Olsen look', it's minimal, natural and effortless. And ironically enough, the Olsens and I seem to have similar taste in beauty brands – the Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup is hands down my favourite foundation,  I rarely leave the house without smelling of Nirvana Black, and Benefit's Erase Paste, as well as the Anastasia Brow Gel frequently find themselves in my makeup kit. The friend of mine, Steph, who showed this article to me, had already purchased the lip and cheek products the girls use, so I've had a chance to play around with those and will definitely be adding them to my collection. Especially the Stila Convertible Colour Blush in Lillium – the cream formula blends into the skin flawlessly, leaving a natural flush. 

The one product I've included in this post that the Olsens actually haven't used is the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Color Field. The girls actually use the Kat Von D Ladybird True Romance Eyeshadow Palette, however that palette has since vanished, and I figured the Modernist offered a fresh new, sleek idea. Last on my list are the Eye products! All three look enchanting, especially the Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara – that tube! And I love how affordable the Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner is. Has anyone tried these mascaras? Which one would you recommend purchasing first?


Did you know such a wonderful article existed?!?
Will you be updating your collection now?

AM¥     XO

Thursday, February 5, 2015


After finishing, and falling in love with my current serum, the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, I didn't think it was possible to find joy elsewhere. The Vinoperfect Radiance Serum had everything I had every wanted in a serum, and yet given my insufficient funds I wasn't able to repurchase it. So I set out on a mission to rummage through my stash to find something equivalent in order to maintain my glowing, even complexion. Low and behold I stumbled upon the Monteil Élixir Metamorphose Pro DNA Serum ($95) and was instantly taken by the luxurious packaging. 

I've heard of Monteil Paris over the years, but chalked them up as a luxury french brand that targets those looking to fight anti-aging with products that feature high price points. And while I still maintain this outlook on the brand I couldn't help but fall hard and fast for the Élixir Metamorphose Pro DNA Serum – the high prices are real, but so is the luxury behind the products. For instance the active agent in the Pro DNA Serum is based on results from Nobel prize-winning research, preserving the youthfulness of skin. I may only be 25 with little to no signs of aging, but I do believe that to have beautiful skin as you age means taking proper care of it while you are young. This serum reinforces that fact, as it protects the DNA in the cell's nucleus, thereby prolonging the life cycle of that cell – woahhh science! 

The serum itself feels absolutely amazing on the skin. I have a hard time describing the feel, and the only way I know how to do so is to say this: You know in the movie Uptown Girls where Brittany Murphy's boyfriend sings 'Sheets of Egyptian Cotton'.. well the feeling I associate with the Pro DNA Serum is the same whimsical feeling I feel when I envision sleeping in sheets of Egyptian cotton – soft, velvety, and the utmost relaxing. It's dispensed via a dropper, but I only need half of the product collected in the dropper to cover my entire face, which also prolongs my time with this wonderful serum. I can't really tell if it's made a difference in my skin since switching from the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, but it also hasn't caused an adverse reaction or reversed the effects of the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, meaning it's currently filled the void in my skincare regime. 

If I had an endless supply of money I would repurchase the Monteil Élixir Metamorphose Pro DNA Serum time and time again.

What is your go-to serum at the moment?

AM¥     XO

[*]The items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


We may be smack dab in the middle of winter in Toronto, but that hasn't stopped me from dreaming of striped cabanas, beautiful beaches, and perfectly waved hair created by a simple dip in the ocean. While I won't be dipping my feet in the salt water any time soon, I have discovered a new line of hair care products to help me achieve touchable, beach-inspired locks at home. The new TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)done Waves Collection is certainly not the first of it's kind, but given that TRESemmé offers salon-quality products at drugstore prices it's definitely a line to acquaint yourself with.

The TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)done Waves Collection consists of 'five wave-enhancing cleansing, conditioning and styling products – comprising shampoo, conditioner, a sea foam, sea salt spray and a hairspray.' The line uses a natural Sea Kelp Extract to help shape and form hair, creating natural looking waves that last all day long. To create the waves shown above, I began by washing and conditioning my hair with the TRESemmé Weightless Silicone Free Shampoo ($8) and Conditioner ($8). The combo is said to 'nourish hair without weighing it down, for a look that's full of body and shine', however I didn't notice a huge difference in comparison to my current shampoo and conditioning regime. Once my hair was towel-dried I applied three pumps of the TRESemmé Wave Creating Sea Foam ($10), as well as a healthy spritzing of the Sea Salt Spray ($10) before blow-drying my hair. I have naturally straight hair, so creating a wave without the use of a curling iron is next to impossible, and most times I'm still not 100% happy with it until it's survived a night of sleep. So of course, it came as no surprise that once blow-dried my hair didn't look anything like the style above, however I did notice that my hair was extraordinarily voluminous. I also noticed a slight stickiness, most likely from the Sea Salt Spray, which I somewhat expected, as you do with any sea salt product. The difference between this Sea Salt Spray and the others that I have tried is the fact that the stickiness subsides dramatically after styling, and it provides added hold to the curl to improve the lasting-power of your waves. Pretty ideal if I do say so myself. I finished the look with a healthy coating of the TRESemmé Ultra-Brushable Hairspray ($7) before finger-combing through my curls to reveal 'perfectly (un)done waves'.

I'm quite smitten with this collection – more so the styling products than the shampoo and conditioner. The products truly help to create beach-inspired waves, and work together to extend the wear time, without compromising style, or leaving you with helmut hair. 


How do you achieve beach-inspired waves in the winter?

AM¥     XO

[*]The items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Monday, February 2, 2015


The Loose Button team, who curate Toronto's favourite beauty box, Luxe Box, have been hard at work and have put together some amazing options for the Spring boxes. The brands featured include Buxom, Vita Liberata, Too Faced, and Soap & Glory, just to name a few. I would absolutely hate to miss out on this box, which is why I am sharing this with you today :).

Luxe Box is the leading beauty membership service in Canada. Every season (i.e. once every 3 months) every Luxe Box Member receives 7-8 beauty and lifestyle products, with complimentary shipping. You can choose to spend $26/season, with the option to cancel anytime you want, or choose a membership plan if you want to spend the whole year with Luxe Box

I am so excited for this box to arrive, but cannot decide whether to stick with the original box or trade up for one of the Limited Edition Luxe Box that appear from time to time.
Will you get a Luxe Box this season?

AM¥     XO

[*] This blog post was sponsored by Loose Button. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.


Whisper, Misty Morning, Chantilly Lace – sounds a little sensual to me. I'm actually talking about Deborah Lippmann's latest collection, Whisper, which features four sheer polishes meant to exude softness and elegance in an understated matter... Far from the sensual world I've made it out to be – hence the groping photo in the background. But there is something delicately sexual about Misty Morning ($18), the pale, barely there blue that I'm sporting on my hands this week. It required some additional TLC during application due to the sheerness, but to be honest had my nails been in better shape I wouldn't mind the lack of opacity – especially given the grey undertones. 

The Whisper collection is currently available from Sephora, and will be coming to Murale locations shortly. This collection is a must see for all the future brides out there... or anyone looking for a more demure valentines nail. 

What shade from the Whisper Collection is your favourite?

AM¥     XO

[*]The items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Every month there are a handful of products that I reach for time and time again. Normally there seems to be a general theme, skin care, or weather related, etc..., but for the first month of 2015 my top picks are kind of all over the place. I've been obsessed with everything from hair care to tanning products, but these ten proved to be the real game changers of January. 

I've kept my makeup exceptionally minimal this month, some days not even putting an ounce on just to give my skin a break. On days when I do apply makeup there are three products that I can't seem to get ready without, including the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Anastasia Contour Kit and the Make Up For Ever Ink Liner. All three are so lust-worthy that you are probably sick of hearing about them, but let me break down why I keep them within arms reach. A) I've never experienced a primer that feels this luxurious, while truly extending the wear time of my makeup – and it never breaks me out. B) The Contour Kit is 'bow down bitches' worthy – it features 6 shades, 3 for highlighting and 3 for contouring, which work together to give you that perfect Kardashian chiseled effect. And finally, C) I've tried a lot of liners in the past but none are as pigmented or smudge-proof as the Ink Liner.

To add a lil sumthing, sumthing to my otherwise boring January looks I've been reaching for my new ColourPop Lippie Stix. I purchased a total of 5 shades from this line, but Feminist is hands down my favourite shade/formula. Nails wise nothing has been worn nearly as frequently as my Essie Cashmere Matte polishes – between myself and my friends. There is something truly unique about the demi-matte finish these polishes feature, which makes me forget what a pain they are to apply. 

I was also introduced to a few products that made my eyes brighter, my skin more tanned and my hair glossier – three side effects you can't ignore, in the best way possible. For brighter eyes I've turned to the Rodial Dragon's Blood Eye Masks, which intensely plump and hydrate the under eye region. Realistically though, I'm just a little kid trapped in a grown up's body who loves the idea of applying 'dragon's blood' to my skin. The tanned skin comes from my frequent use of the Karora Express Bronzing Mousse, a company/product that is brand new to Canada and couldn't come at a better time. This tanner helps me go from vampire to Brazilian bombshell, real quick. Plus it adjusts based on your skin tone to ensure you never end up a Snooki hue. And finally, my hair has been praising the Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner this month. I originally HATED this shampoo, until I figured out how to produce a decent lather with it – simply apply, quickly shove head back under the water, then lather up. When I dry my hair, it looks and feels healthy and has a killer sheen, even if I've yet to style it. 

What products were you obsessed with this month?

AM¥     XO

[*]Some of the items in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.