- Beauty Journalist & proud Montrealer with a passion for beauty in all its fabulous diversity. "Beauty begins the moment you choose to be yourself" - Coco Chanel
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Filed In: Skincare
Some brands seem to fly under the radar, yet in my opinion, they also happen to release some of the most amazing products out there. Elizabeth Arden is one such brand, and apart from some pretty awesome colour cosmetics (some of their past bronzers are to die for), they also happen to make one of my absolute favourite skincare ranges, Prevage.
The holidays may have come & gone, but for many the travel season has only just begun (can you think of a better way to break up the Winter blahs than with a quick getaway? Didn’t think so). Something that I frequently omit packing is sunscreen, and on my last visit at Montréal’s The Loop Duty Free store, I was actually quite surprised by the suncare options available, ranging from mass market all the way to luxury.
The other point brought home to me, was that while I may pack a year’s worth of skincare every time I travel, my stash usually ends up getting shared with my husband; well, that practice is about to end my beauties, because if my man ain’t packing his own moisturizers, at least he can still get hooked up at The Loop prior to departure. Seriously; there are probably as many skincare choices for men as for women available at this store.
And if you need even one more teeny incentive to make a stop at this beauty mecca, then this will surely be it: La Mer at 25% off. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true — and if you’ve been wanting to try something from this über-luxe brand but the scary price tag has kept you away, it doesn’t get sweeter than this. As always, the prices at The Loop are minimum 20% off downtown retailers (with the exception of MAC at 15% off) and NO TAX. What you see, is really what you pay. Almost brings tears of joy, doesn’t it?
TIP: travellers can also pre-order their purchases through The Loop‘s website, then simply show up, pay & go!
Follow along to stay “in The Loop” as I continue to explore this amazing store!
Everything about this sunny palette has me in a vay-cay frame of mind
How fabulous is this armada of Biotherm sun & body care?
I don’t know what an Exfoliating Tonic is, but I really want one …
… why does the act of shaving seem so much more enticing using men’s stuff?
Notice the sign at the top? Right?RIGHT?
Many thanks to The Loop for partnering to sponsor this post/As always, all opinions are my own
Leading the way in the category of ‘cosmeceuticals’, French skincare brand Esthederm recently launched their new INTENSIVE Collection, a range of 14 products formulated with leading molecules that have a proven track record … or as I like to call it, ingredients that work without any fanfare, complicated names, or fancy gimmicks.
Just last week, I was invited to a breakfast preview of the products at an event held at the Ritz-Carlton Montréal, one of the city’s most luxurious venues. The event was presided over by Aurélie Guyoux, Biochemist & Scientific Director for Groupe Naos (Esthederm, Bioderma), who gave a truly informative and comprehensive breakdown of the collection, while also making it easy to understand how & why the ingredients in these products work.
Greeted with a blackberry smoothie to start things off, the rest of our breakfast menu revolved around some of the ingredients found in the products (the more edible ones, obviously lol) and we all left with a lovely gift bag that included several selections to try out. What a great way to start the New Year, as well as the day!
Many thanks to Institut Esthederm for inviting me to such a wonderful event
For a closer look at the new launches, I encourage you to scroll through below
Aurélie Guyoux, Biochemist & Scientific Director for Groupe Naos (Esthederm, Bioderma)
Christmas has just come & gone — now it’s time to undo the traces of late nights, loads of food, and possibly a bit too much partying (or what you get during the holidays when you’re from a large Greek family. Actually, that’s us 365 days/year). Now’s the time where these basics from Biotherm come into their own; think of them as the unsung heros of the beauty world.
Biocils Soin des Cils (CAN $31.00) | A dual-phase eye makeup remover (oil + water) that not only effectively removes all traces of eye makeup, but helps to strengthen and regenerate lashes with each use. Key ingredients include:
- Madecassocide – regenerates the production of lashes and stimulates the production of collagen
- Arginine – nourishes and repairs damaged lashes
- Citric Acid – stimulates the regeneration of cells
Biocils Waterproof (CAN $23.00) | A dual-phased formula (oil + water) to help remove all traces of eye makeup, even stubborn waterproof mascara. This remover is not only effective but gentle enough to be used even on sensitive eyes or for contact-lens wearers — all without leaving a greasy feel behind. Key ingredients include:
- Silicone Oils – to coat the skin and trap in moisture (this part confuses me a bit, tbh)
- Soft non-ionic cleansing agents – gentle on skin & lashes
- Neutral PH – ophthalmologist tested
Biocils Yeux Sensibles (CAN $23.00) | An ultra-fresh gel formula with a texture that turns to water when it touches the skin. Non-sticky, this works to quickly remove makeup without needing to use excessive force on the delicate skin of the eye area and is easily tolerated by eve the most sensitive eyes. Key ingredients include:
- D-Panthenol – to help moisturize the skin
- Softening agents – to help decrease the look of fine lines
- Neutral PH – ophthalmologist tested
Biosource Total Renew.Oil (CAN $34.00) | There’s really nothing better or more effective than an oil-based cleanser to break up the oils found in makeup and while I will always have a weakness for the shu uemura versions, this bottle has impressed me enough to actually finish it. Lightweight in feel, this emulsifies into a foam upon contact with water to not only effortlessly help remove makeup (except for mascara which I still prefer using a separate remover for), but also acts as a purifying agent (anti-bacterial) to leave skin feeling clean and moisturized. Key ingredients include:
- Life Plankton
- L.Saccharina – anti pollution adhesion agent, removes bacteria & impurities
- Natural Botanical Oil Blend – passion fruit, apricot, corn, & rice bran to nourish and repair skin while cleansing
Biosource Toner (CAN $23.00) | While I’m a huge fan of the many-stepped skincare ritual (I swear, it relaxes me), toning is something I’ve never made it a habit to do… until now, that is. To use, you simply apply toner to a cotton pad which is then swiped it all over your face to pick up any vestiges of makeup/dirt that somehow managed to escape the cleansing step. Easy-peasy. Bonus points scored for its light & fresh scent coupled with mild exfoliating properties to leave skin feeling clean but never tight.
Wonder Mud (CAN $60.00) | As someone who has developed somewhat of an obsession with applying face masks, I tend to multi-mask on the regular and absolutely love not only the way they cleanse my skin, but how beautifully my makeup looks upon a newly smooth complexion after. That said, not all masks are created equal and what makes this one stand out for me is many sided: for starters, the texture is significantly lighter than most clay masks I’ve tried, bearing an almost mousse-like consistency. Secondly, it doesn’t dry to pull tightly upon the skin, and lastly it leaves my face glowing while pores appear minimized. Bonus points scored for it only needing 3 minutes to do its thing.
As someone who never goes to bed without first removing all makeup, I must admit that I actually enjoying the act: it makes me feel renewed and, well….clean. As tempting as it may be to reach for a wipe to do the job, don’t — there’s nothing quite like a good oil cleanse followed by toning. Try it, and let me know. As to eye makeup removers, I like the fact that Biotherm offers choices to also include those with sensitive eyes, and even though both the waterproof and regular version worked well, I still prefer my go-to from Neutrogena. For all you mask-fiends out there, you need to give Wonder Mud a go; it’s effective plus gives you a legitimate reason to slap mud all over your face. Makes my inner child very happy.
Available at drugstores and online
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
As much as I love makeup, I have to confess that skincare really gets my motor running and let’s face it; the better your skin looks and feels, the better your makeup will apply too. Win-win. Of course, with zillions of options available today, it can be hard to narrow things down — let along find a regimen that not only works but is affordable, which is why I was pretty excited to test out Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair range because, well …. RAPID.
The packaging is clean, minimal, and opaque (the better to preserve the integrity of the ingredients), and with the exception of the eye cream that’s in a squeeze-tube format, comes with a pump dispenser system that also locks closed for extra security; this is actually quite convenient as it makes for an easy & effortless application, not to mention a lot less messy than using fingers to scoop product out. All have a very light fresh/citrusy scent which is quite pleasing, but which appears to dissipate fairly quickly after initial application.
All four products shown retail for CAN $29.99 each, but as they are sold via mass-market they can usually be scored on sale. Pretty sweet, right?
It’s a documented fact that Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients in promoting cellular turnover which thereby results in smoother and more even-looking skin, and the Accelerated Retinol SA in this range is comprised of three key ingredients that work synergistically together to not only help correct & improve your skin’s appearance, but manages to do the job relatively quickly and without irritation. Of course, if your skin leans on the super-sensitive side, you’ll definitely want to do a patch test first.
- Hyaluronic Acid – adds line plumping moisture to help hydrate, replenish and rejuvenate the look of skin
- Retinol SA – exclusive technology works to continuously renew the look of skin throughout the day. Retinol SA is scientifically proven to be highly effective in its ability to penetrate the skin’s surface
- Glucose Complex – accelerates skin’s surface activity for rapid results on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Scroll through (below) to view the products in closer detail
As someone who tries more than her share of skincare, I like to be very thorough in my testing before I pronounce myself — but after just one week of testing out Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair, I was not only surprised by the visible results I achieved but felt confident in sharing that with you all. It goes without saying that these are not miracle products (I mean, it’s not surgery for God’s sake) but the improvement in the appearance of my skin is undeniable; everything looks a little brighter and more even-toned, my pores appear significantly diminished, and even those pesky fine lines around my lips and eyes seem somewhat … blurred. I couldn’t think of a better way to usher in the new year than with a new skincare regimen and if you want something that shows proven results + which won’t break the bank, I urge you to take a look at Rapid Wrinkle Repair since the science behind it all is undeniable and oh-so definitely worth a shot.
Available at mass-market retailers nationwide and online
Many thanks to Neutrogena for partnering to sponsor this post/As always, all opinions are my own