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Hostess Gifts

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We are all so busy during the holidays. With all the running around, shopping, baking, cooking, & entertaining, it can get real exhausting. We have made up a sweet list of hostess gifts that any girl would be happy to receive. Wine, chocolates or poinsettia’s are typical hostess gifts that are commonly given and while these gifts are great, we think hostess gifts can be a little more personal and have a wee bit more pizazz.

1. Soap Gift Sets from Lush

You can’t go wrong with Lush products. We love them so much. I know, I know, I have Lush on every single list for gift giving. Trust me, the hostess that receives a gift from Lush will definitely invite you back next year!

2. Specialty Tea from Teavana

Every Host knows that it takes a lot of time and energy to plan a get together let alone get through all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. A quality cup of tea is always appreciated. We love these gift sets that come in the beautiful tins that can be reused over and over. You will be affectionately remembered every time she brews a cup of tea long after the holidays are over.

3. Pure Maple Syrup from Blisgourmet

This amazing maple syrup is recognized by top chefs and foodies such as Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. This is something a little different then the typical bottle of wine or chocolates. Especially great for those that love to cook.

4. Scented Candles from Bath And Body Works

The scented candles from Bath And Body Works are to die for! We can’t pick just one as a favourite. This one is the ultimate holiday scent of rich red apples, green pine and golden cider. One for the hostess and one for me!

5. Lip Balm Sets from Korres

We love, love, love this line from Greece. The body products are the ultimate and so are their lip glosses. Perfect for the long winter to keep lips hydrated and smooth. This limited edition lip glaze set has delicious flavours such as jasmine, pomegranate, raspberry. Made with no parabens or sulphates.

6. Nail Polish Sets from Nails Inc.

Nail polish and nail art is all the rage and who doesn’t love to have their nails all done up? We are amazed at the selection of colours, textures and art that is being done on nails. Can never have too many nail polishes, now can we?

7. Bath and Body Products from Philosophy

We will never get tired of Philosophy products! Ever. The festive gingerbread products add spice to any girl’s day!

8. Designer Fragrance Sets

So many mini sets to choose from during the holidays. A set like this one is perfect with the rollerball fragrance so she can throw it in her purse.

9. Fun Novelty Gifts

Finding really fun personalized gifts are the ultimate if you know the hostess well. For music lovers, a gift like these coasters is different, unique and fun.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Love, Laura xox

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Fall Beauty: Vampy Lips

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Nothing says Fall like dark, rich lip colours!
We believe the deeper & vampier the colour, the better.

Playing up your lips is an easy way to complete your look.
When you rock super sexy dark lips, keep the eye makeup neutral and let the lips be the main focus.

Tips for rockin’ dark lip colours:

Always line your lips first.
We’re not talking about a big, thick line of lip liner on the outside of your lips – Clown lips are definitely a no-no!
Use a lip liner that matches the colour of your lipstick and lightly create a faint line around the edges of your lips to help define & keep the colour from running.
If you are weary of lip-liners, we highly recommend a clear lip liner called No Bleeding Lips, which helps define your lips and prevents lip colours from bleeding.  (We love the product & will be featuring No Bleeding Lips on the blog soon).

Apply a thin layer of lip balm/moisturizer/primer before applying the lipstick.
Many lipsticks tend to be dry & matte, so applying a bit of lip balm before the lip colour helps hydrate your lips & prevents your lip colour from cracking.

Use a highlighter to contour your lips’ cupid’s bow.
Your cupid’s bow is the middle curve of the upper lip.
If you apply a light shimmery highlighter just above the cupid’s bow of your lips, it helps to make lips look more defined & full.
(Use Benefit’s Watt’s Up!, or any nude shimmery eyeshadow pencils/eyeshadows).

A tip for women with thinner lips:
if you have thin lips, dark lip colours will accentuate that and make thin lips look even slimmer. We recommend wearing dark reds, instead of intense browns and purples.

Here are two of our favorite lip colours this Fall.. (so far!)

1. Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in F-Bomb.
Rich and creamy lipstick with insane amounts of high-gloss shine – all captured in one chubby pencil.

Urban Decay’s Super-Saturated High Gloss Color’s are the ultimate – you get the best of a lipstick, gloss & stain all in one!
Easy to apply, this lip colour is long lasting, shiny, creamy & highly pigmented.

How great are the names of the colours in the Super-Saturated line as well?!
(F-Bomb, Naked, Adrenaline, Big Bang, Crush) Pretty funny!

We definitely recommend this Urban Decay Lip Color.

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2. Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 170 Nuit d’Amour.

A gorgeous berry, purple colour.
We love Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique lip colours and have a few different colours.
They are amazing quality, very hydrating & long lasting.
A bit on the pricier side, but we believe its well worth it!

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Laura & Natasha XO

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Spotlight: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm

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Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm is a must-have for the Fall & Winter months.
Lips tend to get dry and cracked during the Winter due to the cold weather, and most lip chaps do nothing to help.
This Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm is designed to help strengthen your lip’s moisture barrier, while also providing long-lasting moisture that will immediately soothe your lips making it one of the best remedies for dry lips & skin!

We both adore this balm and have been through a few jars already.
It is definitely our go-to lip balm, and we both can’t recommend it enough!
Not only does it deeply moisturize dry, chapped lips, it also has a beautiful, clear sheen gloss affect to it so you can also use it as a lip gloss during the day.

Product comments:

– Even though the balm looks creamy, the formula is completely non-greasy, and long lasting!
– It has a faint, refreshing scent of eucalyptus and when first applied to your lips, it provides a really nice cooling sensation.
– You don’t just have to use this product on your lips – it can be applied to dry cuticles as well!
– Wear a thin layer of the balm underneath your lipstick to help keep lips hydrated.

Key ingredients:
(from Elizabeth Arden’s website)

Petrolatum, Shea Butter, Palm Tree Butter, Essential Fatty Acids Complex & Honey Extract – this mixture of emollients help to seal in moisture as it smoothes and softens lips.
Arnica Flower Oil – helps to heal dry, chapped lips and create a protective film to protect against future damage.
Vitamins A & E – known to firm the look of skin & other benefits.
Menthol & Menthol lactate – cooling agents to provide immediate soothing relief.
Cardiospermum Halicacabum – botanical extract which help soothe and calm skin.

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Although this balm is a bit pricier, (ranging around $30) we believe it’s worth it!
We give Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm a 5/5.

Have you tried any of the products in Elizabeth Arden’s ‘Eight Hour Cream’ line?!
Love the balm?!
Comment & let us know!

Natasha & Laura XO

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Laura Loves: POREfessional by Benefit

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POREfessional
by BENEFIT

Being a Makeup Artist and working in the cosmetic industry I get to try a lot of products.  (It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it!)  I also get asked all of the time for my opinion. When my clients ask for my opinion on products, I am always honest. Regardless if a company has given me their products to try or if I have purchased them it does not persuade my opinion. I will never represent a product I do not believe in.  All of our product reviews will be our opinion and our opinion only. Good or bad.

Sometimes I come across a gem of a product and I want to share it with everyone! Like this little miracle in a tube! It has made it on my ‘must have‘ list… and I like to keep that list short as possible. The less steps every morning the better!  I’m sure all you ladies agree!

This balm is used to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines. The silky light weight, oil free formula can be used under foundation or on top. It also contains vitamin E which helps fight free radicals. So it not only helps the look of your skin, it’s also a prevention for anti aging. Perfect! 

Although it’s listed as a ‘primer’, I have found that wearing it on top of my foundation works best for me. All over my nose and a little on the outer corner of my eyes (where the wrinkles laugh lines are) and just a touch on my forehead.  I use a different primer for all over which I will post another time.

You only need a small amount and pat it on lightly rather then rubbing it on. Think of it as a filler, of sorts. Smoothing your skin and prepping it for foundation. Or in my case as a finishing touch over my foundation.

Seriously in love with this product and recommend it 100%!

Laura xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Fall 2013 Nail Polish Picks

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With Fall comes all of the gorgeous, dark, & rich nail colours. (as if we needed another reason to adore Fall!)

Though, I’m not a big believer in ‘beauty trends’, or ‘what’s hot‘ at the moment in Fashion & Beauty. I believe you can wear whatever the hell you wanna wear, whenever the hell you wanna wear it. Just because its Fall, doesn’t mean you must only wear dark colours. Go ahead and wear some bright colours – yellow, greens, oranges, & blues! I like to wear bright colours during the Fall because it stands out against the sea of red & burgundys that are so typical during the Fall. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good dark red. All I’m saying is – instead of trying to fit in with whats ‘cool & hot’ at the moment, I believe its better to just be yourself. There are no rules when it comes to beauty & life. Everything is beautiful.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite nail colours that I’ve been wearing lately..

1) Revlon by Marchesa 3D Nail Art in Royal Burgundy.

I haven’t tried out these nail strips yet, but I’m so anxious to try them! I normally don’t bother with nail strips because they are pretty time-consuming, and I’m not very good at painting my own nails but for these strips, I will make an exception! They have the most gorgeous, intricate designs on them in a bright gold colour. They are from Revlon’s Limited Edition Marchesa Nail Art Collection, and the nail strips were all designed and inspired from couture Marchesa gowns. I will post a photo when I get around to using them. 🙂

2) Essie – Shake Your $$ Maker (from the Neon 2013 Collection)

Perfect green shade for Fall. The only downside is that the polish is quite thin/sheer, so you have to apply quite a few coats.

3) Ceramic Glaze – Exclusive Invite (from the Into The Night Holographic Collection)

This Ceramic Glaze polish is gorgeous. I like it because it’s a unique colour – it can look grey, purple, or brown depending on the lighting & its got a great metallic shimmer to it.

4) Chanel in Black Pearl

Chanel polishes are definitely great quality. I love their polishes, and this colour doesn’t disappoint.

5) Bourjois Paris – Purple Fiction 

Currently wearing this colour! It’s a beautiful matte deep, dark purple.

6) Essie – Nothing Else Metals 

Nothing Else Metals is a flashy, lavender metallic polish. I like that this polish is quite bright, and looks silver or purple depending on the lighting.

I decided to get a lil cray-cray & attempted to do some Halloween nail art when I painted my nails earlier..

 note: this was the first time i have ever attempted doing any kind of design on my nails and only had a toothpick to work with. I am definitely no nail-pro. It’s so much harder than it looks!

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I used Purple Fiction by Bourjois Paris, and Orange Creamsicle & Sweet Mint by Avon.

Natasha xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

What’s In Her Bag? Laura’s Summer Beauty Picks.

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I get asked all of the time what my favourite products are and what products do I use. Being in the cosmetic business and working as a make up artist for many years, I have used hundreds of products. In fact, too many to list in a single sitting!
So I decided I would share what products I am currently using this summer. I try new products constantly and change things up often but this group of products are my staples.

(Photo – from left to right)

Revlon Photoready Skinlights in pink light:
Revlon had this product years ago but it was discontinued at least 3 years ago. They relaunched it (in new packaging) this past spring and I was so excited to find it again. I use it as a highlighter on my cheek bones. Can you say glowy and gorgeous?

Stila One Step Skin Tone Illuminating in bronze:
This is a primer with a bronzer built-in so you get that slight bronzed radiance that looks completely natural.
You can use it alone or I like to mix it with my foundation on top of my hand then apply it.

Stila Stay All Day Foundation:
I don’t always use liquid foundation but when I am needing a little extra coverage this has been my go to formula. You can achieve medium to full coverage and it wears for hours.  It’s oil free and has botanical extracts which has many benefits including extra hydration and helps to slow down the onset of premature aging. Now who doesn’t want that benefit?
An added bonus, it comes with a coordinating concealer which is attached to the lid. Very handy.

La Roche-Posay SPF 60 Ultra Fluid Lotion for Face:
Now I don’t have to tell you just how important sun protection is, especially for your face. It’s our #1 protection against premature aging. Now that should catch more then a few ladies attention. We hear it all of the time, but most women don’t use any or apply enough when they do use it. Dermatologist recommend using SPF everyday. Yes, even in the winter.
I am more of an oily t-zone skin type and I don’t love the feeling of thick heavy products on my skin. That’s why I am so thankful I found this little gem. It’s good for all skin types, light weight fluid, fragrance free, paraben-free and dries matte. What more could you ask for?

Porefessional by Benefit:
This little miracle in a tube is just what the make up artist ordered!
Porefessional is for, you guessed it, those dreadful pores. It fills in and smooths out your skin. This lightweight, oil-free primer can be applied under your foundation, ontop of foundation or simply alone. Since I already use a primer (Stila bronze) I apply this one lightly ontop of my foundation around my nose area. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes. You have to see it for yourself to believe it.

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes (one pictured is the Limited Edition by artist Alber Elbaz):
Unfortunately we are not all born with beautiful long lush lashes so all of us ‘unfortunate’ ones have to supplement best we can. Like many other women out there we are forever searching for the ‘perfect’ mascara. For me, this Lancome Doll Lashes is pretty darn close to perfect. The cone shaped brush is designed to build and separate lashes without thick clumps. I very rarely find a mascara I will purchase more then once, but this one I’ve bought more than a few times.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in candy shimmer #05:
I am a big lip gloss girl and have to admit I’m kinda picky when it comes to choosing them. That probably explains my makeup drawer designated solely to glosses…approximately 70 or so. Not sure, I lost count.

The reason I keep coming back to this Clarins one (always alternating the colours) is because it’s not sticky, heavy or gooey. It’s a soft gel formula that hydrates and nourishes your lips while your wearing it. Plus it’s so darn pretty.

Laura xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Stila In The Light Eye Shadow Palette – Review + Swatches

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From left to right: bare, kitten, bliss, sunset, sandstone, bubbly, gilded gold, luster, night sky, ebony

The In The Light palette is a beautiful collection of Stila’s award-winning eye shadows in wearable, neutral shades for every skintone that can be worn wet or dry.

The palette also includes an exclusive Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel, a matte chocolate brown, and a 6-page lookbook with detailed how-to tips and tricks.

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Natasha’s Review: 
I’ve been using this eye shadow palette for the past week, trying out different colour combinations and am really liking it so far. My favorite colours are bare, kitten and night sky. I prefer to wear more natural, neutral eye shadow colours so bare and kitten were my favorites. (Kitten is one of Stila’s bestselling colours). I absolutely love the colour night sky as well. It’s a gorgeous blueish/purple with a hint of shimmer, and is perfect for a smokey eye look. I was really impressed with the colour pigments.. they go on smooth, and blend super easily. This palette reminds me of the ‘Naked’ Eye Shadow Palette by Urban Decay as they have similar colours. If you are looking for a neutral (but not too neutral!) eye shadow palette, I’d definitely recommend this one!

Laura’s Review: I have used most of Stila’s eye shadows on my clients in the past years and it always remains one of my all time favourite brands. I absolutely love, love, love the colours which are very pigmented. I use many combinations but one of my favourite everyday looks that I personally wear is the trio combination of bare, kitten (all time best seller) and bliss. I use bare over the entire eye lid up to the brow bone, blend kitten over the lid and into the inside corners of the eyes to highlight, then a light sweep of bliss in the crease. Use the damsel smudge stick waterproof eye liner along the upper lash line and in the upper lid water line (aka the tight line) this makes the lashes look longer and the liner more intense. Finish with mascara and voila! Beautiful 5 minute day time eye makeup look.

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Laura & Natasha Xo

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