Monday, September 15, 2014


I've been suffering for the past few weeks from severe dry lips, and nothing seemed to do the trick. I had heard good things about The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care, but did leave me with smooth, chapped-free lips? Find out here.

I always take the best possible care of my lips: exfoliating frequently, applying balms morning/night and throughout the day...but for some reason these past few weeks my lips have been uncontrollably dry. I remembered hearing how much Essie Button loved the Body Shop's Aloe Lip Care, so I decided to give it a go. 

Unfortunately, the results didn't thrill me. While I wouldn't say this is a bad product, it just didn't do much to help my chapped lips. I actually found it sticky and unless I thoroughly exfoliated before applying, it would sit on top of my lips and leave them looking shiny and almost emphasize the chapped, rough skin. 

In defense of this product however, I think the reason i'm having such a rough time with my lips is because i'm slightly allergic to some skincare i've been using (still don't know if thats the case 100%), so it may be unfair to say that this product didn't help when it may be a lost cause at the moment. However, i've been using a Nivea lip butter and it's doing a better job at soothing my lips. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Fiona Parkhouse created British Natural Skincare Brand Amie because of her daughter's skin troubles. So with her background working in the skincare industry as well as a determination to create a range of products that are gentle for the skin,  Amie was born. Here's an inside look at what it's like to start your own skincare line, and what she wants you to know about her products. (Which are now available at Shoppers in Canada!)

Was it daunting to start your own skincare line? 
Actually, it was very exciting as I felt very passionately that there was a need for a range of natural skincare that was kind to sensitive kind but also worked effectively to control and balance oily, blemish-prone and combination skins.
Having said that, some elements were very daunting such as sourcing a top-class manufacturer to work with.  I had always worked for large global brands who had whole teams of people handling this and so I had no experience of manufacturing at all !  Needless to say, I learned very quickly !

Your skincare range is free of chemicals and parabens, and is great for people who are looking for a natural approach to skincare, but it is also cruelty-free…is that something that was important to you from the start?
Totally! I am a great animal lover and I didn’t want to use any animal ingredients either so that vegetarians and vegans could enjoy them too.

What is your personal favorite product from your skincare line?
Ooh, that’s a hard one but I do love our Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash which I use morning and night, every day without fail.  I am also a devotee of eyeliner and mascara and so use Bright Eyes Gentle Eye Make-up Remover probably at least twice a day to remove or re-touch my make-up.  I love it because it really removes everything so gently and I adore its natural fragrance of cornflower and cucumber  too !

Are you excited to have your brand come to Canada?
Oh yes, absolutely.  I have visited Canada myself several times and have always loved the wonderful openness and  friendliness of the Canadian people, so it was just so great when Shoppers Drug Mart very kindly invited us to launch.  I am hoping I will be able to come over some-time soon to see Amie in-store for myself.

What were your main concerns and what was your vision for the brand when you first started out?
My key concern was to create products that really delivered on their promises.  I was absolutely fed up with buying products that promised the earth and then were just very average.  I also wanted every product to be the highest quality possible with 95% natural ingredients which was something very difficult to achieve as I was also determined to keep Amie affordable and not premium-priced. My vision is to focus on what we do best which is offering excellent everyday cleansing and moisturising products that work in complete harmony with your skin and are not harsh or aggressive.

How was the experience of working with dermatologist Dr. Susan Mayou? 
Dr Sue (as I call her) is a delight.  She is so experienced and has a wealth of knowledge about skin and skin conditions to share.  She is also very friendly with a great sense of humour.  Having said that, she doesn’t stand for any nonsense and kept me on my toes !  

You originally started Amie because of your daughter's struggle with oily skin and breakouts, what lead you to go the natural/chemical free route? 
Because I couldn’t find anything available that I was happy for her to put on her skin !  Everything I saw was full of harsh and aggressive chemicals and I just knew that those sorts of products would only aggravate her oiliness and breakouts and irritate her delicate, young skin.  I couldn’t believe that there was no choice of a natural range of good cleansing and moisturising products available, so I decided to create one myself.

What do you hope for the future of your brand? Would you like to expand the range of products?
I just want to help women have lovely, problem-free skin, so my only desire is to spread the word about Amie and help as many people achieve that as I can.
I love to create products and I am always having lots of ideas, so watch this space!  However, one thing I need for myself is some anti-ageing products, so I would love to make some of those. 

What’s the most important thing you would like people to know about your brand?
That you can now buy it in Canada – at Shoppers Drug Mart stores nationwide !  No, seriously, the most important thing for them to know is that all our products contain on average 95% natural ingredients and are free from harsh and aggressive chemicals.  They are all pH balanced and have been dermatologically tested.  They are ideal for all skin-types but absolutely brilliant if your skin is sensitive.

You just launched 100% natural mineral cosmetics in the spring of 2014, were you excited to expand on your brand with mineral makeup?
Yes, it was as the demand for it came from requests from many of our lovely customers.  Mineral make-up is excellent if your skin is sensitive or oily or blemish-prone.  It is non-pore clogging and non-irritating with 100% natural ingredients.  I have oily skin myself, so find it absolutely fantastic to control oiliness and shine while giving me a natural-looking coverage.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


This lip duo from Bite is the perfect way to get a bold lip. Whether it's hot pink or vibrant purple, you'll be sure to make a statement.

My first product from the Bite Beauty brand, is the Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Vivid. The duo comes with the colors Violet, a vibrant purple, and Palomino, a hot pink. I picked this up while waiting in the checkout line at Sephora, and i'm so glad I did. It's a great intro into the Bite lipstick range, and although I find the their lipsticks to be very pricey, the duos are affordable and you get enough product to last a long while. 

These vibrant colors are showstoppers. I love wearing Violet because I simply don't own any lipstick like it. It's such a unique color and it's an easier purple to wear (sometimes I find purple lipsticks a little cray cray). Palomino is such a sexy pink that adds a pop of color to your face that'll be sure to get you compliments all day!

Have you tried anything from Bite?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


A hair oil that can be used 5 different ways, this product from Garnier is one of my favorite new additions to my haircare routine.

I've been testing out quite a few hair products lately, because i've vowed to go heatless for as long as I can possible go for (its already been over a month!). So instead of using heat styling tools i've turned to styling products like oils, mousses, etc. I finally finished up the Garnier Moroccan Sleek oil, which I liked. So I decided to pick up the Garnier Marvelous Oil, which has 5 different uses for your hair...intriguing, no? 

The first time I used this I let my hair air dry of course, and I could not believe how soft my hair felt. It left my locks feeling touchable and shiny, a big plus for me. Here are all the ways this oil can be used:

1. Pre-Shampoo Treatment: Apply to hair (wet or dry) before shampooing to help prime hair locks for gentle cleaning.
2. Boost Conditioning: Add 1 or 2 drops to your conditioner to help get rid of pesky knots and tangles.
3. Blow-Dry Protector: Apply to damp to help protect when blow drying.
4. Finish With Hi-Watt Shine: Apply to damp or dry ends to help smooth split ends and tame flyaways.
5. Treat Hair Overnight: To restore softness while you sleep, work into wet or dry hair and leave in overnight.

Personally, i've only used this oil for numbers 1, 4 and 5, and I was so pleased with the results. My only complaint is that it didn't seem to completely tame my frizz, but I also think that when the weather is hot--nothing can tame the frizz. Overall i'm so excited to keep using this and highly recommend it!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Now that September has arrived, it means back to school and back to 5 minute makeup. Here's some products that I reach for when i'm pressed for time before heading to class. 

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer: On days when i'm in a rush, I tend to skip the foundation and only apply concealer under my eyes and blemishes. This is a great concealer if you're skipping foundation because it provides a lot of coverage. It's very creamy and blend-able and will have you out the door in no time. 

Maybelline Great Lash "Lots of Lashes" mascara: If i'm too lazy to put on eyeshadow in the morning but still want to look awake and alive, I reach for this mascara. It really lengthens the lashes and looks particularly good when you're not wearing eye makeup. Definitely a life saver during finals! 

Essence Brow Pencil in Blonde: This shade is pretty perfect for me, even though i'm brunette. On days when I have the luxury of taking my time when doing my makeup, I use the Anastasia Dipbrow pomade, but most days I use this pencil because it literally takes you seconds to get really awesome brows. 

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms: I love using these along with the Just Bitten balm stains, because they're so easy to apply and come in amazing colors that really brighten up the face. My two favorite shades from the matte range is Elusive, a rose pink, and Unapologetic, a hot pink coral. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Although I love embracing pale skin in the fall and winter, sometimes it's nice to add a bit of life to your face with bronzers and contour products. Here are my favorites. 

Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Bronze in 003: This is a great drugstore option if you're looking for a matte bronzer that adds a nice color to your face. It's a tad reddish toned, but if you use a little and blend it out, it's lovely. I also love using this as a crease color for my eyes!

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer: This is actually a very similar shade to the Rimmel bronzer, if not almost identical. It's a bit less red which makes me like it more, and I love the formula. It's very soft and easy to blend on the skin. Great for an all over bronzed look. 

Loreal True Match Concealer Crayon in Medium/Deep Neutral: If you're looking for a more precise contour, this is a great option for light to medium skin tones. I love using this alla Kim Kardashian, and drawing lines along my cheekbones, nose, forehead and chin and blending it out with a brush or a beauty blender.