Filed In: Skincare

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex

Hand Chemistry opener


You can change the colour of your hair to hide your age. You can even use makeup to erase years from your face, but the turning back the clock on the skin of your hands, has been almost impossible to do … until now. Finally on our shores from across the pond where it’s been literally selling off the shelves, is Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex, a hand cream that ‘targets the eight signs of hand ageing simultaneously for visibly younger looking hands in just 10 days‘. Forget waiting for 10 days; I saw results from the first application.

EDIT: Please note that the exterior of Intense Youth Complex has had a slight ‘face-lift’ (new design), although everything else remains the same – my product photos are shown with the original version.


Hand Chemistry info

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex


Hand Chemistry info 2

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex


Hand Chemistry box

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex


Hand Chemistry ingredients

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex


Hand Chemistry

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex (CAN $19.99) – I’m not a chemist, so I won’t try to explain exactly how all the ingredients in Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex work, but in a nutshell, the active components of this hand cream (such as the mushroom derivative Tremella Fuciformis, an algae ferment, Sacha Inchi oil and Maize Propanediol) work synergistically to supply longer-lasting and more moisture to the skin than Hyaluronic Acid, increase the moisture content (which translates to firmer and plumper looking skin) and finally form a protective barrier to keep this new-found moisture locked in.

The hand cream is white in colour with a medium consistency and smooth texture, bearing a pleasant and natural smelling citrus/herbal scent. Once applied, it takes a few minutes to become fully absorbed into the skin, but even at this stage, the change is clearly visible – lines become less pronounced and the the surface of the skin itself also seems magically smoother – nothing overt, but a noticeable change just the same. When applied to the palms, Intense Youth Complex leaves a slippery, silicone-like feel behind which takes several minutes to absorb on its own – something worth noting. The directions state to apply this cream morning and evening, but since I love the results so much, I find it very difficult sticking to that — I literally want to use it all day long. After about a week, I noticed a huge change in the skin of my hands as they appear significantly revived and well, refreshed-looking.


Hand Chemistry 2

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex


Hand Chemistry cap

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex

 Hand Chemistry before swatch

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex (unretouched)

 Hand Chemistry after swatch

Hand Chemistry | Intense Youth Complex (unretouched)


I moisturize my hands A LOT and even though there are several brands that I have always sworn by, none of them have ever shown results as rapidly as the Intense Youth Complex. The fact that this hand cream isn’t priced out of the stratosphere, makes things even sweeter and with Winter just around the corner and the ensuing dryness my skin goes through every year, I’ll be ready for it. Or, at least my hands will … now Hand Chemistry needs to come out with a full-body version of this cream, and I’ll be set.

Available through Shopper’s Drug Mart/Murale stores (Canada) – find more information via:


Hand Chemistry closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Dermalogica | A Beauty Event

Dermalogica event opener


Earlier this week, I was invited to attend the launch of 2 exciting new products – Redness Relief Primer SPF20 and PowerBright TRx™, both from Dermalogica®,  a brand that is relatively new to me, but one that is quickly reaching cult status amongst devotees of their skincare regimens. This media event was held at one of the flagship stores here in Canada, located in the heart of Old Montréal, and I was treated to a personalized tour of the facilities – which includes several stations, starting from a consultation table in the front, a skin bar further in where you can actually try the products before investing, an smaller area for quick treatments (as in 20 minute facials that can be squeezed in during one’s lunch break), a row of chairs near the back of the store for longer and more detailed treatments, and finally an elevated room where you can receive a more in-depth and private session — all customizable to each person’s needs.

The entire range of products from this brand are all located in the front of the store and are available for retail purchase, and while the assortment can appear overwhelming, the staff is well versed on each item and are all extremely helpful in helping you narrow things down to what will work best and more importantly, what you really need.

During the event, with the wine plentiful and delicious treats to munch on, we were treated to a short presentation on these two new products; for those with sensitive skin or prone to redness/rosacea, the Redness Relief Primer SPF20 is definitely something that you’ll want to look into, while anyone who has ever battled skin hyper pigmentation (such as myself — all thanks to really bad sun worshipping habits when I was younger), then the innovative PowerBright TRx™ trio of products are there to offer solutions.

All in all, the event turned out to be not only informative, but quite fun as well as I got the opportunity to chat with colleagues and fellow beauty enthusiasts, as well as sharing great conversation and laughs with Montréal tv personality (and a rising star on the comedy circuit), Chantal Desjardins (you can check out her website here) — who is not only gorgeous and engaging, but so tall that I swear I look like a Hobbit beside her (she actually removed her heels in the photo we took together, in order to make me feel better!) Now that I’ve had a chance to view the facilities in person, I’m really looking forward to booking a session (or 6) and getting to know Dermalogica® products even better and if you happen to be in my fair city, then I suggest you add a visit to this unique spa/skincare store for some amazing pampering.

Located at 132 McGill Street, Montréal 514-871-3003 Find more information via website/twitter/Facebook/Instagram


Dermalogica storefront Montréal



Dermalogica event



Dermalogica event 2



Dermalogica event press



Dermalogica event 3



Dermalogica event skin bar



Dermalogica event 4



Dermalogica event 5



Dermalogica event 6



Dermalogica event 7



Dermalogica event 8



Dermalogica event chairs



Dermalogica event 9



Dermalogica event Redness Relief Primer



Dermalogica event PowerBright TRx



Dermalogica event desserts



Dermalogica event 10

With Montréal’s own (and über-talented) Chantal Desjardins



Dermalogica event closer


Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème, Exceptional Global Skincare

YSL Or Rouge opener


One of the most luxurious moisturizers I’ve had the pleasure of trying, has got to be without a doubt, Or Rouge (CAN $425.00/30 ml) from Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. Sourced from the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco – a land beloved by M. Saint Laurent, lies the star ingredient of Or Rouge: the pistils of the Saffron flower with their almost mythical regenerative properties. Housed in a fluidly shaped receptacle in tones of black, gold, & red – created by furniture and interior designer Noé Duchaufour Lawrance, it echoes the oriental influences at the heart of Yves Saint Laurent Couture, with each golden cap finished by hand and resulting in a swirled brushed finish – each as unique as a fingerprint. There is also an accompanying applicator designed to mimic the Saffron pistil’s shape, although the one I received is significantly different and rather utilitarian (see the photos of the event I attended lower down the post, to view the actual applicator).

Making advances in the field of premium skincare, Yves Saint Laurent and their SKINSCIENCE committee of experts have begun delving in Glycobiology – putting it simply, this is the study of the structure, biosynthesis, and biology of saccharides (sugar chains or glycans). The pistil (Saffron) of the crocus flower bears a rare ingredient with a high concentration of glycans, an ingredient that our skin begins to lack as we age, resulting in subsequent skin & cell deterioration, as well as being extremely high in Crocin, an ingredient that has well documented anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which helps with quick cellular renewal and turnover, firming & toning, as well as aiding in eliminating dark spots of the skin.

Through the millennia, Saffron has been highly prized by many cultures – at times valued even higher than gold. Legend has it that the Greek God Hermes had wounded his friend with a discus; 3 drops of blood then fell to the ground and on that very spot, a mauve flower grew with 3 blood red pistils – that flower was then named Crocus after Hermes’ wounded friend. Even Alexander the Great camped on a field of crocuses that bloomed overnight – which he took as a sign from the Gods, leading him to turn back his army. The legendary Cleopatra – famed for her fierce cunning as well as her lavish beauty rituals, reputedly added Saffron to milk in order to create a golden coloured elixir to bathe in – fit for a queen, no doubt.

The crocus plant is self-propagating and produces its own offspring, with the flowers blooming only in Autumn on one unpredictable day of the year – making it one of nature’s most evanescent (and quite finicky) treasures. The women who tend these flowers, watch over them carefully – waiting for that one single precise moment to begin harvesting them: at the first light of dawn, when the flowers are laced with dew and the petals still remain protectively closed around the precious pistils, drawing each flower delicately from the soil.

Once gathered, each of the three Saffron heads per flower are then tenderly removed and carefully dried, before being stored in airtight glass jars. It takes 150,000 flowers to produce just one kilogram of Saffron. This precision and delicate work needs practiced & deft hands, which is why this this skill is passed down from one generation of women to another – a celebration of an ancestral act.

The ‘terroir’ (much like the soil conditions that nurture the most prized wine grapes) of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains was selected by the YSL SKINSCIENCE team for its perfect climate: the altitude, ideal soil conditions, rainfall and temperature yield the richest source of this exceptional harvest, and now this potent compound can also be found in Or Rouge.

Holt Renfrew, the exclusive retailer for the Yves Saint Laurent Or Rouge Exceptional Global Skincare range, recently held a private launch event to which I was invited and given the opportunity to learn even more about this incredible face product, and where I also received my first henna tattoo – a gorgeous crocus flower-inspired creation which lasted about 2 weeks before gradually fading away, by the talented henna artist, Shaista Jalal.


Crocus sativus

Crocus Sativus flowers with their three vivid & distinctive pistils at their heart – also known more commonly as saffron


YSL Or Rouge box

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge box 2

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge ingredients

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge cap

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge with wand

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème (sealed applicator)


YSL Or Rouge open

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge inner cap

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge 2

Or Rouge Crème (CAN $425.00/30 ml) | Every detail of Or Rouge (french for “red gold”) just screams subtle luxury – starting from the Asian-influenced shape of the container, to the product itself. An off-white cream that bears a fresh/floral scent and in a texture that is a cross between slippery-feeling and buttery smooth. That this cream is incredibly rich, you can tell from the instant you begin applying it – a little goes a long way, as it spreads effortlessly and seems to almost glide along your skin. As I have combination skin, I found that Or Rouge is much too emollient for me to wear during the day, but as a night cream, it has literally transformed my skin: a thin layer applied before bed, and I wake up to the softest, most even toned looking skin. For the past few weeks that I’ve been testing this moisturizer, I’ve also noticed that the tiny lines around my eyes seems to be significantly improved as well, looking more filled-in but as to any firmness, I can’t say my skin seems changed in that respect, although I’d probably need specialized equipment to really test that, right?


YSL Or Rouge 3

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge 4

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge 5

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge 6

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème


YSL Or Rouge event

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème launch


YSL Or Rouge event 2

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème launch


YSL Or Rouge event 3

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Or Rouge Crème launch


YSL Or Rouge new fragrances

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Oriental Perfume Collection (Majestic Rose, Supreme Bouquet, Noble Leather)


YSL Or Rouge event henna tattoo 1

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | Receiving my first henna tattoo at the Or Rouge event, executed by artist Shaista Jalal


YSL Or Rouge event henna tattoo 2

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | The finishing touches to my henna tattoo at the Or Rouge event


YSL Or Rouge event henna tattoo

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté | The Saffron-insipired design of my henna tattoo, Or Rouge event


YSL Or Rouge event Carrie

With über-stylish Carrie MacPherson, Editor in Chief at Zurbaines – at the Yves Saint Laurent Or Rouge event


YSL Or Rouge event Stephanie

Striking a pose with the lovely Stephanie Boridy (Holt Renfrew Personal Shopper par extraordinaire) at the YSL Or Rouge event


No one is exempt from time, and while ageing is a natural process, I don’t intend to go down without a fight. Happily, Or Rouge is one skincare product that truly delivers on its claims – and at that price, it better. Interestingly enough, I was sent a 15 ml container of product versus the 30 ml sold at counters, so I’m guessing mine was a media/press version, as I can’t seem to find that size listed anywhere (a smaller size like mine at half the cost of the original would actually be an ideal entry to this range). Yes, there are face creams available that provide positive results & at a fraction of the cost, but for those that can afford it, you owe it to yourself to indulge in this little pot of magic. The way I see it, my face is definitely worth the expense (just cut back on other frivolities), then sit back and enjoy the compliments.

Available exclusively through Holt Renfrew (Canada), find more information via:


YSL Or Rouge closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Dr Roebuck’s | Pure Body

Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body opener


Over 30 years ago, Australian brand Dr Roebuck’s first introduced to the world a skincare product line for all things precious; building upon that original cream is the new Pure Body (CAN $24.95/250 ml), a super nourishing and hydrating body moisturizer. Evolved from the Dr Roebuck’s original ‘Pure’ formula and specifically made to provide the most intense nourished feel to the skin, some of the ingredients include:

  • Neroli Petigrain from France
  • Lavender Oil
  • White Tea
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Shea Butter

Made for all skin types, in particular those with sensitivities, this uniquely Autralian-made product contains everything your body needs to feel totally hydrated, but without any of the usual (and potentially nasty) chemicals, such as Petrochemicals, Sulphates, TEA/DEA, Glycols, Silicas, PEGS, Parabens or synthetic fragrances and colours.


Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body upright

Dr Roebuck’s | Pure Body


Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body new

Dr Roebuck’s | Pure Body

Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body 2

Pure Body (CAN $24.95/250 ml) – Protected by an inner foil seal and housed in a convenient squeeze tube (which is also BPA-free) with an attached flip-top cap, the product within is a white cream with a relatively thick, butter-like texture and bears a lightly fragrant herb-ally kind of scent – I definitely get hints of Lavender Oil upon first application. Meant to provide über-moisturization, Pure Body is also loaded with anti-oxidant properties to effectively neutralize free-radicals and thus has the added benefit of anti-ageing properties as well – all pluses, in my book.

The formula, while easy to dispense from the tube, is quite thick – more of a body butter than a cream, actually, and while it could be a little difficult to spread along the body especially when compared to a lotion, I’ve figured out some tips to make it glide along that much easier. The easiest way to apply Pure Body, is immediately after showering and towelling off, where your skin is at its most supple and porous, thus better able to absorb all the nutrients offered by this product. The brand recommends applying a thick layer and letting it sit on the skin to be naturally absorbed (which does in fact work, although it takes longer), I still prefer to massage it gently into the skin. The scent is quite light and very pleasant – which also seems to dissipate quickly as the cream warms up and becomes totally absorbed into the skin. Lasting power, is exceptionally impressive: 24 hours later, my skin still feels nourished, hydrated, and incredibly soft – I actually can skip a day of body moisturizer easily after applying Pure Body, without experiencing any dryness whatsoever. As a little goes an incredibly long way, this one 250 ml tube should last quite a while – yet another plus.


Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body ingredients

Dr Roebuck’s | Pure Body

  Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body seal

Dr Roebuck’s | Pure Body, inner seal

  Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body cap

Dr Roebuck’s | Pure Body


I am a total fiend when it comes to moisturizing – be it my face, hands, body or even hair, but not all products are created equal; what I absolutely love about Dr Roebuck’s Pure Body, is not only how beneficial the formula is, but how good it makes my skin feel. As to the anti-ageing claim, I can’t attest to that (yet), but that’s just another perk which I’ll gladly accept. Perfect for parched skin (serial beachgoers, you NEED this) and the dryness that we all experience once Winter hits, I believe I may have found my perfect match – as far as body creams go, that is.

Available exclusively through Murale store in North America. Find more information via:


Dr. Roebuck's Pure Body

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial

Ceramide Boosting opener


Confession: I’ve never had a professional facial (I’ve also never been to a spa or have had a massage either, for that matter *insert stunned silence here*), but I’ve read countless reports on the experience, and the common thread expressed by all, is how refreshed, revived & glowing their skin feels after. Well, now we can all enjoy that feeling with Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, a two step bi-weekly system to treat and pamper your skin, all in the comfort of your own home.

Merging over 100 years of hands-on spa experience with their cult-fave Ceramide youth restoring skincare technology, has led to the creation of this innovative system that consists of a self-foaming mask to first draw out impurities from the skin, then followed up by a serum to deeply penetrate for maximum effectiveness, leaving you looking like you just spent oodles of money for a luxury treatment.

Housed in 2 cylindrical pump-dispensing containers to preserve the integrity of the ingredients, this system is meant to be used 1-2 times per week (or as the perfect prep before a special occasion) and as a replacement for the Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (or your usual moisturizer)

Key Ingredients (Self-Foaming Mask):

  • Lactic Acid & Protease Enzyme – a combination of alpha hydroxy acids and an enzyme that gently exfoliates and dissolves surface skin-clogging impurities
  • Botanical Extracts – a blend of bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange and lemon botanical extracts, which all contain naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids that help exfoliate the the skin
  • Targeted Peptide – a purifying peptide that helps prime skin for optimum treatment
  • Glycerin – a humectant that replenishes skin with moisture

Key Ingredients (Replenishing Serum):

  • Ceramide Triple Complex (a targeted blend of Ceramides 1,3 and 6) – helps to restore skin’s protective barrier ad stimulate new ceramide production
  • Retinyl Linoleate – a Vitamin A derivative that gently and effectively smoothes the look of fine lines and wrinkles while increasing skin’s firmness
  • Red Algae Extract – a marine botanical that helps reduce the look of dark spots while increasing skin’s brightness
  • Rice Kefiran and Aloe Vera Gel – an anti-inflammatory duo that soothes, calms and helps heal skin
  • Tropical Fruit Extracts – a blend of natural extracts that work together to help plump and firm the look of skin
  • Optical Enhancers – a blend of Mica, silicone, silica and pearlescent pigments that instantly blurs fine lines and wrinkles
  • Glycerin, DL-Panthenol, Sucrose – a humectant blend that helps support skin’s moisture retention

Sounds like a ton of stuff, doesn’t it? Whatever … as long as it delivers, I’m SO on board.

As the Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial (CAN $100.00) is a 2-step system and should ideally be timed, here are a few tips that worked for me. Prepare by having a clean towel handy & a timer (I use my kitchen/cooking timer) that you pre-set for 2 minutes. Start by dispensing a golf-ball sized dollop of foam from the Self-Foaming Mask into the palm of your hand and then quickly applying that to the face and neck, making sure to avoid the orbital (eye) area. Here’s the cool part: the mask actually seems to foam & bubble up, then about a minute later starts to fizz — right before your eyes! Immediately start timer and as soon as the 2 minutes lapse, completely rinse everything off. Follow up by applying the Replenishing Serum (face + neck), massaging it into the skin with your fingertips until it is completely absorbed, then apply your preferred moisturizer.

I have never thought of myself as particularly sensitive-skinned and usually when products say they “tingle”, I’ve rarely experienced anything at all. Either my skin has changed or this Self-Foaming Mask is quite strong, but the first time I applied it, within 10 seconds I was ready to rinse it all off – it was a tingling sensation bordering on hellfire. For the sake of the review, I endured it and by the time I was ready to rinse it all off, most of the heat had subsided. But STILL, I was a little hesitant to try it again a few days later … but once more, into the breach, as they say. Surprisingly, the second time around, I experienced a strong tingling, but no burning; either I knew what to expect, or my skin was going through some bizarre phase the first time, but I cringed for nothing – it was absolutely fine. The best part, was seeing what my skin looked like once I was done: radiant, renewed, and basically re-booted. For that, I’ll take on the über-tingling any day.


Ceramide Boosting gift package

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial


Ceramide Boosting box

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial


Ceramide Boosting ingredients

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial (ingredients)


Ceramide Boosting duo

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial


Ceramide Boosting nozzles

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial


Ceramide Self-Foaming Mask

Ceramide Self-Foaming Mask


Ceramide Replenishing Serum

Ceramide Replenishing Serum


Ceramide Boosting applied

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, Self-Foaming Mask applied


Ceramide Boosting applied 2

Elizabeth Arden – Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, Self-Foaming Mask at the 2 minute mark



I can’t speak for the long-term benefits of the Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, but if what a few treatments of using this duo is anything to judge by, I am completely impressed by my results so far. For those who find alpha hydroxy acids too strong or that have ultra sensitive skin, then I strongly suggest a patch test first, as this may prove to be too strong. For everyone else who’s been looking for an at-home skin renewal system but have been disappointed by other brands, then I cannot urge you strongly enough to give this a shot. Just a thought: this would also make a great Mother’s Day gift … or an anytime gift, for that matter!

Available now in Canada through The Bay, Shopper’s Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, Sears and London Drugs. For more information:


Ceramide Boosting closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Blurred Lines: the flawless skin effect

Blurred Lines opener


For those of us not blessed with perfectly poreless skin, we now have some interesting new options to work with, as several brands have all jumped on the ‘blur’ bandwagon. The following is a roundup of 4 of the latest such products to enter the market, but with the consumer’s demand for “instant perfect skin”, there’s no doubt in my mind that others will follow.

Along with a silicone base, another thing all four primers have in common is that they’re meant to go beyond the superficial ie: giving your skin the appearance of a smoother surface, by aiming to provide long-term skincare benefits with regular and continued use.

I’ve broken them down price wise, starting from the least expensive to the most. Please note that my observations are based solely on my experience with these products on my own skin and that individual results will vary. For the record, I have combination/oily skin, with the T-zone being the area requiring the most attention.

Maybelline Baby Skin

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser CAN $10.99 (20 ml/.67 fl.oz) – Clear and odourless, Baby Skin has that velvety ‘silicone’ feel, and although it seems to take a few minutes to dry down on my skin, I do get that gliding sensation. The formula is enhanced with cherry extract to provide your skin with more uniformity and is meant to “fill in pores” by applying over areas that visibly need it.

As this primer takes the longest to dry down on my skin, it falls short of the ‘instant’ category for me and while I personally didn’t note much a blurring effect, it did work well as a base under my foundation. On the plus side, it’s fragrance-free and extremely wallet-friendly, making it an excellent option for most people.

Maybelline Baby Skin ingredients

Maybelline – Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, ingredients

Garnier 5 Sec Blur

Garnier 5 Sec Blur Skin Renew Instant Smoother CAN $19.99 (30 ml/1.0 fl. oz) – A white cream with a citrusy scent, there’s an almost instant dry-down and powdery/slippery feel upon application. With the silica microspheres to absorb sebum for a mattifying effect and silicone elastomers to reflect light for a “diffused” look, this can be worn alone all over the face or applied to those areas that need it most.

I really like how quickly this product dries along my skin and find it to be an effective primer under foundation, although I do find that Garnier scents their skincare products a bit too strongly for my taste, this product included. Creeping into the higher end of the price scale for a mass-market product, a little does go a long way here, so the investment in one tube offsets that factor.

Garnier 5 Sec Blur info

Garnier – 5 Sec Blur Skin Renew Instant Smoother

L'Oreal Pore Vanisher

L’Oréal Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher™ CAN $29.99 (40 ml/1.4 fl.oz) – A flesh-coloured cream with a stronger fragrance than the Garnier 5 Sec Blur – but which fades faster, and that also dries down almost instantly to a “second-skin” feel. Part of the brand’s highly successful Youth Code range, the technology behind this product helps to not only provide a surface soft-focus effect, but meant to support, strengthen & maintain the shape of pore walls with its continued use.

Of the 3 mass-market brands, this primer leaves behind a more velvety feel and seems to give the most visible blurring effect to the skin (sounds like an oxymoron, but there you have it). The scent seems to dissipate fairly quickly and it also provides a good mattifying job overall, although the steeper price point might be the biggest deterrent here, especially considering that it’s a mass-market product.

L'Oreal Pore Vanisher ingredients

L’Oréal Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher

Dior Dream Skin detail

Dior Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator CAN $115.00 (30 ml/1 fl.oz) – Previously reviewed here, this is a pink-tinted product in a slightly thinner formula than that of the rest – more like a lotion than a cream – and meant to be applied over the entire face. Bearing the same light fragrance that most Dior skincare seems to have, this is also meant to provide transformative benefits with continued use, as well as an instantly visible toned appearance upon the skin.

Let’s get this out of the way first: OUCH at the price. That being said, Dreamskin is absolutely amazing – instant results (no questions asked), and provides the smoothest feel to the skin, whether worn alone or under makeup/foundation.

Dior Dream Skin ingredients

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Blurred Lines swatches

Swatches of all 4 products, in direct sunlight

Blurred Lines swatches 2

Swatches of all 4 products, lightly blended out but not fully absorbed into the skin


I have a hate-hate relationship with my pores and anything that promises to “erase” them, is good in my books. Not having any sensitivities to silicones, I’m free to test out all such products with ease, but not all work the same with my skin type. I don’t have any specific issues with fragrances, other than to say that in skincare, my personal preference is none. That being said, while all 4 of these products worked on me to one degree or another, the one that definitely stood out the most also happens to be the most expensive – the Dior Dreamskin. To recap, anyone with combination/oily skin, I suspect you may find the Maybelline Baby Skin a tad too slick, and if you do have fragrance sensitivities, then the Garnier 5 Sec Blur is not for you, while the L’Oréal Paris Texture Perfector might have you hesitate at the price – but do factor in your own personal needs/budget when you’re shopping these around.

Cost Breakdown:

  • $16.40/oz    Maybelline
  • $19.99/oz    Garnier
  • $21.42/oz    L’Oréal Paris
  • $115.00/oz  Dior

All are available now – feel free to find more information via the respective websites: Maybelline, Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, Dior

Blurred Lines closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the companies/PR for my unbiased consideration

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin opener


Meet my latest obsession: Dior Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator. The name says it all and let’s face it; for those of us not blessed with a perfect complexion, who wouldn’t want dream skin? Taking inspiration from the way our skin functions, Dior Scientists screened “300 ingredients, conducted 206 trials and spent over 1,000 hours formulating the perfect combination“. In the end, what they created was a product that not only provides instant results upon application, but helps to improve your skin’s tone & texture over time.

Time will definitely tell, but from what I’ve seen and experienced so far, these Dior Scientists have succeeded. They have freakin’ done it.

Dior Dream Skin logo

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin boxed

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin detail

Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator (30 ml/1 fl. oz CAN $115.00) – A scent-free and pale rose-tinged lotion that is meant to be applied over cleansed skin – can be worn alone or used as a base/primer under foundation. Those with specific sensitivities, should be aware that there is silicone in the formula. There’s also diamond dust, and I don’t know about you, but there’s something so decadent about knowing you’re applying something so luxe along the skin. Maybe it’s just me.

What makes Dreamskin so unique, is its two-pronged effect; targeting the skin’s surface upon initial application, it aims to mimic the way skin cells diffuse and filter light so that the end result is one that basically reproduces your own natural colouration, albeit in a shine-free and almost optically blurring way.

Next, by turning to the Dior Gardens that feature the exclusive ‘Longoza Cellular Complex’ as well as the ‘Opilia Complex’ (sounds almost Freudian), the Dior Scientists were then able to infuse Dreamskin with the ability to help provide a smoother and more uniform skin texture, help in reducing dark spots and redness, stimulate cellular renewal, and leave a radiant complexion behind, all by continued and consistent use.

My findings: From the very first application, I was blown away. I always begin testing products that make grand claims such as this with a healthy level of skepticism balanced with maintaining an open mind – but as soon as I had smoothed Dreamskin along my face, I was entirely convinced. A small amount (dime-sized) is all that’s needed, as the silica in the formula help it glide easily along the skin. The first thing I notice, is that my face seems smoother and while discolourations are still there, they seem somehow less defined. There is a general evenness of tone and an almost contradictory subtle blurring/radiant effect going on. I actually feel comfortable enough wearing Dreamskin on its own, but I also love how my foundation seems to glide so much better along my skin when layered over this base. Another thing worth noting, is that while most silicone-based products have a weird slippery feel (skin-crawling, if you ask me), Dreamskin seems to be lightweight, silky and relatively dry to the touch. Literally, your perfect skin texture.


Dior Dream Skin 2

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin 3

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin 4

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator

Dior Dream Skin info

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator, recap

Dior Dream Skin info 2

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator, recap

Dior Dream Skin ingredients

Dior – Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator, ingredients

Dior Dream Skin swatch

Dior Dreamskin swatches: applied (left), slightly blended (middle), and smoothed out (right)


With the veritable avalanche of skin smoothening/blurring products that have hit the market lately, Dior Dreamskin Perfect Skin Creator is a giant amongst them, as it appears to be truly transformative. That it sits on the higher end of the price scale, is undoubted; but I’m of the opinion that if a product not only delivers on its promises, but does so this completely, then it’s well worth the investment. For those of us who never practiced preventative skin care when we were younger (oh, to be able to go back in time …), at least we now have a champion.

Available at Dior counters nationwide and The Bay (Canada) – find more information via:

Dior Dream Skin closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate + a cause

Kiehl's MRC opener new


Here’s a scary statistic: 72% of children who need HIV treatment are not receiving it.

Founded as an old-world apothecary in 1851 in New York’s East Village neighbourhood, Kiehl’s has become known for products that not only work, but that are also good for you. Frequently partnering up with various charitable organizations has also become a hallmark of this brand, as they help raise awareness to various causes that so desperately need our help.

Since the early 80’s, Kiehl’s has been actively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and in the past 10 years alone, they have raised more than $2,500,000 towards the cause – helping to get treatments out to more affected people than ever before.

By purchasing the limited edition Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, the public can join the movement and help get HIV treatment and loving care to children who need it most. Buying one bottle of Midnight Recovery Concentrate helps Keep a Child Alive provide one month of HIV care, medicines, and love to a child living with HIV

Kiehl’s will donate 100% of the net profits (up to $200,000) of each bottle of their limited edition packaging of Midnight Recovery Concentrate to benefit Keep a Child Alive.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys (co-founder & spokesperson for Keep a Child Alive) 14-time Grammy Award winner, singer, songwriter,producer, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist

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Alicia Keys  Keep a Child Alive

Co-founded in 2003 by Alicia Keys and activist Leigh Blake, this movement believes that every person has the right to proper health care for children and families living with and affected by HIV, by helping to provide life-saving treatments, nutritious food and loving support. To date, Keep a Child Alive has provided services to over 300,000 children and families

Kiehl's MRC box

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's MRC label

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's MRC info

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's MRC ingredients

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate, full ingredients listing

Kiehl's MRC

Midnight Recovery Concentrate (1.0 fl. oz/30 ml CAN $48.00) – Made with a “potent concentration of botanical extracts specifically formulated to biologically replicate skin’s natural lipids, for optimal skin repair throughout the night“, this is a clear liquid with a fresh herbal/green scent that is meant to be applied at night – either alone, or under your usual moisturizer. Housed in a cobalt blue glass bottle to help preserve the integrity of the ingredients, the liquid is measured out via the use of the included dropper.

I was surprised to find that the recommended 3-4 drops of this concentrate was enough for my entire face; when in comes into contact with the skin, this liquid seems to have the ability to almost “stretch out” and cover all areas easily. Fast-absorbing as well, there’s no greasy residue at all nor does it make your feel overly tight – instead, you’re basically left with this incredibly soft skin (I couldn’t stop touching my cheeks), a feeling that continues even when you wake up. As I only recently began using the MRC (as it’s lovingly known amongst devotees), I can’t speak of its long-term results, but what I’ve seen so far has impressed me completely and I can understand why 1 of these Kiehl’s customer favourites is sold globally every minute.

Kiehl's MRC 2

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's MRC 3

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's MRC cap

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's MRC dropper

Kiehl’s  Midnight Recovery Concentrate


Up until I hit my 30’s, I never really gave facial skincare much thought, and boy, do I regret that inaction now (I’ve always loved body moisturizers, though). Turning back the clock is so much harder to accomplish than indulging in some preventative care now, and taking proper care of your face should be a priority – especially if you’re a beauty lover; your makeup will only look as good as the skin it’s applied on. Applying a few drops of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate at night couldn’t be easier and just knowing that you’ll be helping 2 causes (your skin being the other one) makes it that much sweeter, no?

Find more information on Kiehl’s products via:

Kiehl's MRC opener

Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

A Mèreadesso Casting Call

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If you’re a woman (or man) between the ages of 35-50 years and live in the Toronto area, then you’re in luck: luxury skincare brand Mèreadesso wants you. Or rather, they want to help you transform your skin.

Founder Linda Stephenson, a woman with decades of experience in the beauty industry, understands that one doesn’t necessarily need (or have the time for) a complex and multi-level skincare regimen in order to see effective results, and to that end she streamlined the process by creating  4 key products: cleanser, facial moisturizer, body lotion, and lip balm to address all needs, regardless of “skin type”. No more serums, toners, day, night, or eye creams – basically a 1-fits-all system.

Now, Toronto readers are being invited to ‘discover the simpler way to beautiful skin’ by taking part in a Before and After project:

For a six week period, individuals will be given the opportunity to transform their skin using a full set of Mèreadesso products valued at $250. This includes the All-In-One Moisturizer (reviewed here), the Face & Neck Cleanser (reviewed here), Beautiful Body Balm, and the Mèreadesso Lip Treats

If interested, please send an email to with the subject line “Mèreadesso Before & After”, and in the body of the email describe how you think Mèreadesso could improve your skin or skincare routine – don’t forget to include a recent photo of yourself (preferably makeup free).

Having tried these products myself, I can vouch for how much they did in fact simplify my skincare regimen while giving me solid results – anything that gives me more time, is always welcome!