Filed In: Skincare

Fresh · Vitamin Nectar Mask & Waterlily Soap

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Face masks are definitely having their ‘moment’ and thankfully consumers have a vast array to choose from. One that I’ve been really loving lately is the new Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask from Fresh; with its strong citrusy presence, it engages almost all of your senses at once — along with making your skin look great. The new Zodiac Oval Soap Collection created in collaboration with internationally known astrologer, Susan Miller, features a bar for each sign and each is as gorgeous to behold as to use (not to mention what an awesome personalized gift it’ll make. Just saying).

 

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Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask (CAN $80.00) | Created with 50 percent real crushed fruit including oranges, lemons, and clementines — all containing natural AHA acids to gently refine and smooth the skin. This proprietary fruit complex uses a paste from lemons of the Mediterranean region to provide a double exfoliation while the AHA acid content offers a mild chemical peeling effect, leaving skin glowing and even-toned.  Made without any parabens, sulfates or phthalates, and good for all skin types: normal, oily, dry, combination & sensitive.

The first thing you’ll notice upon opening this jar, is an uncanny resemblance to orange marmalade (both in smell & look — just don’t eat it, although I’m thinking it’s probably edible too, given the high levels of real fruit in the mix), followed by a wonderfully yummy citrus fragrance. To use, I recommend 2 important tips: do apply the mask while standing over a sink, as some of the its particles will certainly fall, and use a muslin-type cloth for removal which will not only make the job so much easier, but further the exfoliating effect begun with the mask itself. After having used Vitamin Nectar regularly for several weeks now, I’ve noticed that my skin is definitely brighter and more even toned, with the bonus effect of my pores appearing less noticeable and fine lines diminished. In fact, I saw an improvement the very first use, and experienced absolutely no irritation.

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Fresh · Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask swatches

 

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Waterlily Soap – Zodiac Oval Soap Collection, Cancer (CAN $18.00) | This vegetable-based oval shaped soap celebrates the water sign Cancer (me!!) and comes infused with a fresh ‘floral aquatic’ fragrance. Wrapped in a gorgeous aqua coloured paper, it’s also embellished with a small stone at the centre of the wire tie — I’m such a sucker for details like this. There is a soap for each sign of the zodiac, divided into their four groups (air, water, earth & fire) and a specific scent for each group.

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As someone who ‘masks’ on the regular, I couldn’t have been more excited to try Vitamin Nectar and even though it ranks up there as of the messier masks I’ve used, it’s totally worth it for the clarity of tone it imparts to skin. Bonus points scored for it being THE best-smelling mask out there. As to the Waterlily soap, it’s absolutely gorgeous – no denying, but unfortunately the fragrance turns out to be a touch too strong for my sensitive nose. That said, I have found a new use for it in my linen closet (and my towels and linens have seriously never smelled better), and wouldn’t any one of these soaps make the perfect hostess gift for that special someone on your holiday circuit list?

Available at Sephora & online

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PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own

L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum & Cream

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Harmony. The very word brings about a feeling of peace, doesn’t it? L’Occitane agrees and after consulting hundreds of participants, they created a new holistic approach to skincare, one that aims to fuse the body & mind in perfect harmony. It stands to reason; if your skin shows a better texture and tone, then that gives way to a feel-good frame of mind. Harmony.

L’Occitane recently introduced Divine Harmony (Serum and Cream), their newest skincare products in the brand’s lineup that include ingredients powered by the earth and sea. The two stars of the show are Immortelle Millésimée — the flower that never fades, and Jania Rubens — a red algae that continuously regenerates, the pair coming together, well … in harmony, to offer up all their incredible restorative benefits to your skin.

Found on the island of Corsica, Immortelle Millésimée grow freely and abundantly in two special locations, privately owned farms where the sustainably grown flowers are harvested by hand using the traditional sickle method, thus allowing the flowers to slowly fall once they’ve reached full maturity. The is important to note, because this precious flower will only release its potent anti-ageing powers when it’s ready – and not before. Taking anywhere from several weeks — and even longer — to gather, this slower growth means that it may take anywhere from 700 kg to one ton of flowers to produce two litres of this precious essential oil. But then again, immortality has no timetable.

Growing in the clear mineral-rich waters of Revellata Bay in Corsica, Jania Rubens thrives in this sheltered sun drenched marine environment that’s free of any pollutants, finding everything it needs to grow and perpetually regenerate. Upon studying this plant, L’Occitane, in partnership with STARESO (a research centre), then set up a sustainable cultivation program using controlled conditions. Starting by taking a single fragment of the algae and then cultivating that in vitro in an aquarium that replicates the exceptional conditions of its natural habitat, this then made it possible to ‘trigger’ the regeneration process to produce new algae, and in turn obtain its rare 100% natural active extract.

Bound together for the first time, Immortelle Millésimée and Jania Rubens are found in unprecedented concentrations in both the Divine Harmony Serum and Divine Harmony Cream which also happen to come in refillable bottles, thus limiting their environmental impact and furthering the entire concept of harmony.

 

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The flower that never fades, Immortelle Millésimée from Corsica

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum & Divine Harmony Cream

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum & Divine Harmony Cream

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Divine Harmony Serum (CAN $225.00/30 ml, $210.00 refill) | Each refillable bottle of this Serum contains 5,000 micro-drops of Immortelle Millésimée that is suspended within a water-based gel enriched with Jania Rubens. Both of these potent ingredients are thus encapsulated in each tiny drop, protected by a super-fine membrane that waits for the right moment to act upon the skin. Other ingredients include essential oils of:

  • myrtle
  • camelina
  • evening primrose
  • borage

Once dispense via the pump delivery system, each micro-drop delicately bursts upon the skin, spreading effortlessly and vanishing without any greasy residue whatsoever. Its fresh green-floral fragrance makes me immediately think of a sun-drenched field, a scent that dissipates fairly quickly after application. To be used after cleansing, morning and night.

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Serum

 

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Divine Harmony Cream (CAN $200.00/50 ml, $185.00 refill) | Made with the same super-fusion of Immortelle Millésimée and Jania Rubens, along with essential oils of myrtle, camelina, evening primrose, borage & musk, it’s the texture that stands out: once applied to the skin, it evolves from a lightweight cream into a soft oil, thereby allowing the ‘lipophilic active ingredients’ to effectively penetrate into the skin. Scented with the same fragrance as the Serum, it continues the whole sensorial experience — in the least offensive way possible — and gives your skin an immediate softness you can both see and feel. To be used after the Divine Harmony Serum, both morning and night.

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Cream

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Cream

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L’Occitane en Provence · Divine Harmony Cream

 

I am deeply passionate about skincare, especially as I’ve gotten older and understood the importance of protecting my skin, a concept I’m not ashamed to say was quite foreign to me back when I was younger (and totally invincible). It also goes without saying that the better your skin looks and feels, the better you will feel and the better your makeup will apply as well. I’m also quite selective in what products make it as part of my full-time routine and being in this industry, I’m fortunate to have access to so, so many items –although not all are made equal. After having tested both the Divine Harmony Serum and Divine Harmony Cream for over a month now, I can happily say that they have each earned their place in my arsenal, as I’ve seen my skin respond in the best way possible; the tone looks even, the texture feels baby soft, and I feel that some of my fine lines are not as apparent. I’d definitely call that a harmonious result.

Available at all L’Occitane Boutiques and online

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Many thanks to L’Occitane en Provence for sponsoring this post/As always, all opinions are my own

The Loop Duty Free Montréal & ommorphia

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If you follow me on social media (and if not, I would love to have you join me! @Instagram @Twitter @Facebook and Snapchat @ommorphia), then you were the first to see the sneak peeks I posted last week about a very special project I was working on. I’m so thrilled to announce my partnership with The Loop Duty Free (Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport), a drool-worthy emporium of beauty, fragrance, fashion & more — and an absolute must-stop for travellers.

Owned by Aer Rianta International, their first duty-free store was created in 1947 at Ireland’s Shannon Airport in 1947, and since then the chain has added several more worldwide locations (Europe, Asia, Middle East, India, New Zealand, Barbados) as well as four stores across Canada (Montréal, Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg).

I absolutely love travelling (I just need to do more of it) and what The Loop offers is some seriously major discounts off most major [beauty] brands you’ll find at retailers (starting at -20% and MAC the exception at -15%), with the price you see being the price you pay: no taxes, no surprises. When I came face to face — so to speak — with this store’s entire stock of beauty, I swear I actually did a happy dance (see below for proof). To say I was actually giddy with glee (yes, GLEE), would not be a lie.

Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be spotlighting many of the unique features that The Loop offers so whether you’re either A) travelling B) about to travel C) planning on travelling or D) know someone who’s travelling, and if beauty + saving money is your thing (duh), you’ll definitely want to tune in and read/see all about it. I’ll also be interspersing that with some flash posts on my social media channels (all listed above) so follow me to stay “in the loop”! I couldn’t resist #sorrynotsorry 

Visit The Loop Duty Free to learn about all their extra perks & special promos

 

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So totally doing a happy dance because BEAUTY

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Imagine: this is just one end of The Loop’s vast beauty range (insert OMG here)

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When confronted with Armani Beauty, one must swatch. It’s totally a rule.

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#GuerlainPhotobomber

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Dior lippie heaven (also, just making sure I already have these shades. I swear)

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An entire wall of La Mer to play with — couldn’t resist applying some for free, naturally

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Busted in selfie-mode (true story: I was busy snapping that massive bottle behind me)

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That smile? Because of the words ‘Duty Free’ Enough said.

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Planning…

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Selected! Passport ready & I’m good to go!

Dress: Zara · Shoes: Stuart Weitzman · Purse & Agenda: Louis Vuitton · Jewellry: Hermes, Tiffany, Dior

Many thanks to The Loop for sponsoring this post/All opinions are my own

L’Oréal Paris | Pure-Clay Masks + An event at the top of the world (sort of)

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It bears repeating: your face is your canvas, and taking the time to properly prepare said canvas yields nothing but amazing results — from skin that looks & feels healthy to makeup that applies so much easier (seriously). With these goals in mind, L’Oréal has just recently launched their Pure-Clay Mask Collection, three new face masks, each targeting specific needs.

Right after I returned from holiday, I received an invitation to attend the preview of this new range (which also showcased several other new upcoming & very interesting products from L’Oréal) – a timely invitation indeed, as my skin was ready to be whipped back into shape.

The event took place at Les Enfants Terribles located at the summit (the 44th floor) of Montréal’s Place Ville Marie, offering not only a wonderfully delicious menu but spectacular 360° views of the city. Kicking things off with glasses of chilled Veuve Clicquot to set the tone, we enjoyed a tapas-style meal surrounded by all the new products that we were able to test in situ, ending with a refreshing iced dessert (which was so like eating a dozen Piña Colada) and going home with a gift bag filled with all this newness.

A huge thank you to the entire L’Oréal Paris team for all their love 

A full review on the masks follows the photo recap of this event – enjoy & keep scrolling!

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Just hanging with my L’Oréal fan (totally sticking out with my ultra-tan)

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Why yes, that is a bottle of Veuve chilling in a bag

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I absolutely adore this girl. Love her even. Just putting that out there

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My city is so pretty

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The other Big ‘O’ – Montréal’s Olympic Stadium built for the 1976 games

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Media table set-up (don’t you just love the fresh eucalyptus touches?)

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Couldn’t NOT include a shot of these Panton Butt Chairs

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One of the other launches of the day, the Extraordinary Clay haircare range

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… plus new products from cult-fave Elnett too

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Give me a cheese platter, and I’m yours

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Meat platters do it for me as well. Just saying.

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Island vibe with a tropical-style dessert 

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Well equipped to test out the new Pure-Clay range

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Passing the sniff test with flying colours (and no, I’m not about to drink the mask)

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Moving along, let’s dive into the Pure-Clay masks, shall we? I’m that person who is not only mildly totally obsessed with skincare, but love the ‘me’ time of the ritual itself. Apart from the instant results you get from a mask, it has the added bonus of letting you multi-task while it does its thing, since you generally have to leave it on for several minutes. Renowned for their purifying properties, clay masks aren’t exactly front-page news, but finding the right one to address your individual skincare needs is not always clear cut either.

Enter L’Oréal’s Pure-Clay range, formulated with beneficial clays, a creamy texture and fresh scents (yes, they all actually smell really, really good). Since this isn’t a product for daily use, you’ll definitely get good mileage from each jar and their price point won’t break the bank either (retailing for CAN $19.99/each, although I’m betting you’ll be easily able to score them on sale as well). One of the newest trends in the world of skincare is to multi-mask’, which only makes sense; your skin isn’t the same all over, so why would you want to use the same mask on all parts? I’ll gladly sport tribal war paint if it means my skin will glow.

Each mask is formulated with 3 complimentary mineral clays for maximum impact along with other beneficial ingredients that are sourced from around the world:

  • Kaolinite – present in kaolin clay and known for its absorbent properties, helps rid skin of unwanted impurities (like anyone actually wants impurities?!) and removes excess shine without stripping the skin’s natural oils
  • Montomorillonite – a clay derived from the ‘igneous rocks of the smectite family’ (I know, right?) which technically comes via rocks that have been formed from the cooling & subsequent solidification of lava. So basically, volcano mud – yay! Helps to purify and rebalance the skin, and also has the cool feature of swelling when in contact with water.
  • Ghassoul – extracted from the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco, where it has been used by women there since the 8th century for its natural cleansing properties. That’s a pretty impressive pedigree for clay, wouldn’t you agree?

L'Oreal Pure-Clay Masks

L’Oréal Paris | Pure-Clay Masks

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L’Oréal Paris | Pure-Clay Masks

L'Oreal Detox & Brighten Mask

Energizing/Detox & Brightening (CAN $19.99) | Its blackened gray colour points to the charcoal contained in this formula, reputed to help reduce the look of dull skin by increasing luminosity and evening out skin tone. With a pleasant citrusy scent, it dries to a lighter grey hue (so you actually know it’s dry. Duh). Great for blemish prone and/or oily skin — I’ve used this all over for those times when I wanted a real deep cleaning but more often than not, I’ll apply it to a specific area such as my cheeks.

L'Oreal Purify & Mattify Mask

Purifying & Mattifying (CAN $19.99) | The sage green colour points to the eucalyptus in the formula, a plant known for its ability to absorb impurities, unclog pores, and help to reduce shine. With its fresh and almost ‘soapy’ scent, this mask is probably my fave out of the three due to how gentle it feels upon application, without leaving behind that ‘tightness’ normally associated with face masks.

L'Oreal EXfoliate & Refine Mask

Exfoliating & Pore Refining (CAN $19.99)| The only mask with textured granules, its ruddy hue points to the red algae in the formula that helps in exfoliating dead skin cells (sounds gross, but if it works…), smooth imperfections (I’m guessing that’s what the exfoliation part is for), and tighten the look of pores. I’ve been really loving this along my nose, chin and forehead for major ‘debris-cleaning’, although I’ve also found that a mini-version on the cheeks (mini as in leaving it on for about 3 minutes instead of longer) does an excellent job of actually making my pores seem smaller, and therefore my foundation subsequently lays down smoother. Win-win.

L'Oreal Pure-Clay Mask swatches

L’Oréal Paris | Pure-Clay Mask swatches

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L’Oréal Paris | multi-masking with all three Pure-Clay Masks at once. Fun times.

 

There’s something almost soothingly primitive about a mud mask and which hearkens back to our earliest beauty roots (if masking was good enough for Cleopatra, then it’s definitely good enough for me). At the end of the day, it’s results that matter most and I’m actually quite impressed by these new Pure-Clay masks — all three of them, in fact. I’ve been reaching for the green and black ones the most, although the red one is at the top of the heap for those times I need gentle exfoliation. Definitely worth checking out – gives new meaning to getting dirty. And then clean.

Available through mass-market retailers nationwide

L'Oreal Pure-Clay Masks closer

Provided for review consideration/All opinions my own

Guerlain | My Super Tips (Beauty Survival Kit)

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Just in time for travel season, Guerlain has released a travel size collection of skincare heros that you really won’t want to be without. As a brand that is the very epitome of understated luxury, don’t expect fireworks and/or trumpeting; instead what you’ll get is four must-have products for your face & lips that produce results — quickly and effectively.

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Guerlain | My Super Tips (Beauty Survival Kit)

Guerlain My Super Tips

Guerlain | My Super Tips (Beauty Survival Kit)

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Guerlain | My Super Tips (Beauty Survival Kit)

Guerlain My Super Tips swatches

Guerlain | My Super Tips (Beauty Survival Kit) swatches

Guerlain SOS Cream

SOS Cream (CAN $35.00) | A rose scented ultra-nourishing dense cream that becomes instantly absorbed into the skin, leaving a buttery soft feel behind. Created to give your skin a shot of TLC after being exposed to external irritants and influences, it can be used morning or evening — or whenever you feel the need for a little bit of extra pampering.

Guerlain Midnight Secret

Midnight Secret (CAN $35.00) | A lightweight cream in a semi-fluid texture with a soft lavender fragrance, and that is meant to be applied in the evening before bed. Aimed at giving your skin a more refreshed and revitalized appearance, along with helping to reducing puffiness and a tired/dull complexion, this is the perfect product to have on hand to beat the late-night blahs. Seriously.

Guerlain Radiance in a Flash

Radiance In A Flash (CAN $35.00) | A peachy pearlescent cream-lotion with a cooling feel upon the skin, bearing a light & fresh floral fragrance, this adds a jolt of luminosity to the skin with an instant tightening effect you can feel immediately upon application. Worn alone, it provides a light evenness of tone (not meant to camouflage like a foundation, however) and also works beautifully under foundation as a radiant-type primer. It can also be applied over foundation on strategic key areas to give your skin some enhancement.

Guerlain Super Lips

Lip Hero (CAN $35.00) | Brimming with nourishing oils and butters, this lip balm aims to not only provide lips with an instant plumping effect (albeit, slight as it is), but will keep them thoroughly nourished with beneficial long-term effects. The convenient slanted tip makes application on the go a breeze, and the warm almost vanilla/butterscotch-like scent (my absolute fave) is positively delicious. I have two last words: Holy Grail.

Guerlain Super Lips swatch

Guerlain | Lip Hero swatch

 

A quick show of hands: Planning a quick weekend getaway? Need some conveniently-sized skincare helpers in your daily makeup bag? A fan of Guerlain’s amazing products? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then you need to check these little treasures out. As someone who is somewhat obsessed with lip balms (and believe me, I’ve tried TONS), I now refuse to be without Lip Hero and love the difference it’s made to my frequently parched lips. I’m now a complete fan of how quickly Radiance In A Flash becomes absorbed into the skin, yet still manages to leave a nice base behind and as to Midnight Secret? Let’s just say that I had occasion to put it through vigorous testing this past weekend and was so pleased at the results. For anyone who’s a fan of rose-scented skincare, you’ll adore SOS Cream, but what will wow you even more is the way your skin will feel after application … impressive enough that I think I’ll petition Guerlain to create a full-body version.

Available at Guerlain Boutiques & Institute as well as www.guerlain.ca

Guerlain My Super Tips closer

 

 

Thank you to Guerlain for providing this amazing beauty survival kit/As always, all opinions are my own