Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Favorite Ready-Made Stocks for Easy Soups

I love cooking and creating a meal from scratch is incredibly satisfying. However, sometimes you don’t have the time (or energy) to make something elaborate or wait hours for it cook. At times like this, I usually rely on lovely soups that can double-up as a meal. To help make these I find that having various stocks on hand is always useful, so I decided to share with you my favorite ready-made stocks.

I love chicken soup so I usually go for light broths that will go well with chicken but still have enough flavour to elevate a simple vegetable soup with rice or noodles (like my Healthy Soup). My favorite is the Pho Ga Pho Soup Seasoning by Bao Long. This is a Vietnamese stock cube made to use in pho soup (a Vietnamese specialty), it’s very light but flavourful and goes well in soups with or without meat. It contains spices like onions, garlic, star anise, clove ginger and cinnamon. I found mine in a local Asian grocery store, I suggested you have a look in yours or you can get it on Amazon.

Next is the Asian Home Gourmet Spice Paste for Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup, a liquidy paste that you simply add to water to turn into a broth. This one is saltier and I don’t like on its own, but with chicken it’s quite good. I usually use it when I make my Healthy Soup, but want a more filling version. It’s very simple, using this as the broth and adding a chicken breast sliced into cubes once the water is boiling. This one seems more easily available, I can get it from both my regular grocery and the Asian one. You can also get it on Amazon.

I love using both these stocks with my Healthy Soup when I need something quick and delicious. Obviously these are not as healthy as using home-made chicken broth, but in a pinch there are very convenient to have at home. I would love to hear about your favorite stocks and soup recipes. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

Concealer is without a doubt one of the most useful product to have in your makeup bag and while I always struggle to find one that matches my skin, my under eye concealer has been a perfect match for years. MAC has a great color selection and their Studio Finish Concealer is nothing short of amazing for covering up dark circles.

This super creamy concealer is emollient enough to melt into the skin without looking cakey, but it will also stay in place all day. The formula packs a punch in terms of pigmentation, you only need a little to cover dark circles which also prevent you under eye area from looking heavy. Also bonus points for this having SPF 35, so many eye products offer zero sun protect even though this is one of the first areas to show signs of age and sun damage. I think this offers so much considering it is quite affordable and I love the results I can easily get with it every morning.

The Studio Finish Concealer comes in 15 shades and NC15 is a perfect match for my very fair skin. That being said it is too dark for me to use on the rest of my face, its peachy tone is great to counteract the blueish tone of dark circles but it does not work when trying to make a spot disappear. Also I have to say that on my combination skin it does not last all day on imperfections, but I don’t mind solely using it under my eyes because its lasting power there is amazing. I have repurchased it many times over the years and I don’t see myself moving on to something different any time soon. Plus that little pot will last you for ages.

You can get the MAC Studio Finish Concealer on their website and from any MAC counter.   

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Le Labo Bergamote 22 Body Care Range

I usually really enjoy staying in hotels, but some just standout more than others. The Park Hyatt Toronto Yorkville always has impeccable service, incredible food and the loveliest airy rooms. I mean the whole place screams calm, relaxation and understated luxury. Also don’t even get me started on the bathrooms, they are pure perfection! All that aside, one thing that always makes me excited to stay there are the toiletries, no random harsh soaps here, I’m talking about gorgeous Le Labo body products.

Le Labo is not a brand I read about a lot on blogs, you might stumble across a fragrance review, and I think their body products are sadly underrated. This is such a shame because the quality is incredible and worthy of more attention.

During my last stay at the Park Hyatt, I managed to bring back soaps, shower gels and body lotions in the lovely Bergamote 22 scent. This is the ultimate unisex fragrance, which makes perfect sense for a hotel to use. It is fresh and citrusy without being too masculine, there is also a slight floral quality leaving you with a clean scent that is addictive.

The bar soap and shower gel leave your skin clean without drying out your skin. The both produce a gorgeous lather and they will leave you delicately fragrant. As for the body lotion, is incredibly light and glides like water on the skin. It provides light hydration and softens the skin all the while being fast absorbing. These are the perfect products to use in the summer when you don’t want anything heavy on your body and the light fresh scent is perfect for warmer months.

Le Labo products are luxury both for their incredible quality but also for their higher price. They would make the perfect gift for someone you love or if you want to treat yourself. For now I am enjoy my travel-sized bottles, but the full-size body lotion is looking very tempting. The brand also offers perfumes, body oils and many more products in your favorite scent.

You can find the entire Le Labo product range on their website, they ship internationally and also offer a list of retailers based around the world. The Bergamote 22 fragrance is my favorite but the brand has a wide range of fragrances that are worth discovering. Also, if you are planning on visiting Toronto, I highly recommend the Park Hyatt Toronto Yorkville located in downtown Toronto. I is the perfect place to stay at to recharge your batteries and enjoy all the luxurious amenities and incredible food the hotel as to offer. You might never want to leave. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Innisfree Samples A.K.A. the Most Brilliant Samples Ever

I think everyone will agree that beauty samples are awesome. However all samples are not created equally. I mean some sample sachet barely have enough product for one application so you can’t really tell how your skin will react to it. Which is why I love Innisfree samples, in my opinion they are the best on the market and so today I wanted to the share with you the reason why I find them so great.

First they are super generous size-wise, I’m talking 10ml of product on average and 5ml for denser formulas like creams. That is enough for multiple applications, I was able to use my lotion and skin samples for about two weeks every morning. That amount of product it so useful because you can do a patch-test for allergies and are able to test it out long enough to know if it will break you out or cause any irritation.

The main reason I love these so much though is the packaging. They come in a little plastic pouch with a resealable cap that you can twist back on like you would a bottle cap. This means the products will not dry out and the usage is much more hygienic. I don’t understand why more companies don’t package their samples this way. Also that makes them perfect for travel because they won’t leak in your bag! And even with the cap they are still small and portable enough so you can bring many and they won’t take up too much space in your luggage.

On my last trip I only brought these samples with me to do my skincare routine and they were perfect. This brings me to the last reason I love Innisfree: you can buy samples from them. Sure if you spend a certain amount on an order you will get free samples, but you can also buy the ones you need for a really reasonable price (about 2$ each). That means you never have to travel with bulky bottles again and you can easily try out new products without having to commit to a full-size bottle. I just think this is so clever and I wanted to make sure you knew about these samples if you are interested in the brand. I’m not sponsored by the brand or anything, but ingenious designs like this get me really excited because they make a difference in my everyday life and simplify my travels greatly.

If you want to purchase your own Innisfree samples, you can find the full range on their website by simply typing "travel" in the search bar or looking up the different product range. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Buxom Full-On Lip Polishes

The aisles of Sephora are full of beautiful colors and shiny packaging, it can be a bit overwhelming at times if you don’t want to miss out on anything. A brand that, I feel, isn’t talked about much is Buxom so I wanted to introduce you to their amazing Full-On Lip Polishes today.

Shades left to right: Starr, Candi, Eva, Destiny, Dolly, Sandy (not 100% sure the label came off), April, Clair

The lip polish is a plumping lip gloss that makes your lips feel tingly and increases they fullness slightly. The formula is very glossy helping your lips look even more plumped and adds dimension. The glosses have some sort of mint ingredient so they feel very cooling and I think that’s what produces the tingling sensation. This also increases the volume of your lips a little but don’t worry it doesn’t burn like others lip plumpers do, though the sensation might surprise you at first. I should also mention that these are not drying at all on the lips, so thumbs up for the formula.

               Shades top to bottom: Sandy (not 100% sure the label came off), Destiny, Candi 

Shades left to right: Shades: Sandy (not 100% sure the label came off), Destiny, Candi 

Speaking of formula, this one is a bit sticky but I don’t mind because it stays on for a long time and the shine and color fade evenly. I was very impressed with the quality of these and after I got used to the sensation (I’m not a fan of lip plumpers) I have really been enjoying these. They have a crème brûlée scent (not my favorite) but you can’t taste it and it thankfully does not linger. They are nicely pigmented though some are sheerer depending on the finish, offering you nice variety.

Shades top to bottom: Starr, Dolly, Clair, Eva, April 

Shades left to right: April, Eva, Clair, Dolly, Starr

This stunning lip glosses come in 99 different shades and sleek packaging that makes them look expensive. Each color is named after a girl and you can see the different characters drawn on the box, they are super cute, going from beach girl to pinup and red carpet glam. The shade selection is super impressive and I love how there are different finishes like cream and shimmery ones. They are also affordable so you can pick up multiple colors without feeling too guilty. 

The Buxom Full-On Lip Polishes are available exclusively at Sephora both online and in stores. They are also currently offering a cute set of six  minis at a great price, you can find it here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Covert Affairs

Last summer, I slightly dislocated my hip which meant I couldn’t do much for about a month. This led to some intense marathon viewing of different TV shows. At some point though, I ran out of things to watch and was thoroughly bored until I discovered Covert Affairs. While I couldn’t do any physical activity, this show got my heart pumping.

This is a spy show that follows Annie Walker a new CIA operative, as she discovers what it’s like to work in the field. As far as spy shows go, I was really surprised by how realistic it was, the stories were engaging but never too farfetched. There’s a ton of action so it’s never boring and there’s plenty of laughter (especially in the first seasons) because the show’s writers know how to be funny and incorporate it into the world. The cast does a great job at being credible and the chemistry between them all is great. Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham were real show stealers for me with their incredible performances.

Another thing that I loved is that they shot several episodes abroad, so many of the exotics locations on the show were actually filmed in the real countries. I always appreciate when shows do this as it adds realism to the story and it is beautiful to see on screen. Covert Affairs has fewer episodes per seasons than your average TV show, however it compensates with beautiful locations and stunning visual effects.

If you are looking for new entertainment, I say give Covert Affairs a ago, it’s not girly but it’s not a guys only show either so everyone can enjoy it. The series concluded its final season last year so you can get all five seasons on DVD from Amazon (or any DVD stores), buy it on iTunes or watch up to season four on Netflix. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum and 2015 Eco Handkerchief Campaign

I love trying new skincare products, but there are always certain range and products that I go back to again and again. The Laneige Perfect Renew products are a great example, but another important product to me is the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum. I could not have picked a better time to talk about this favorite because Innisfree is currently having its annual Eco Handkerchief Campaign featuring the serum.

To say that I love this product is not enough, I am currently on my fifth bottle and cannot see myself being without it. It’s a serum that does it all, it hydrates, soothes and makes my skin smoother. It is also very light and fast-absorbing so you can use both day and night. It does not claim to help brighten you skin tone, but I found that continuous use leaves me with more even skin, any pigmentation corrected and overall radiance.

Ingredients-wise, I was super impressed to see that green tea extract is first on the ingredients list. So unlike a lot of other products on the market, the key ingredient here is actually a major component of the formula and not a marketing afterthought. It also contains lots of other fruits and flowers extracts that will help improve the appearance of your skin. To me this is one of those rare products that always gives me results and makes a noticeable difference right away.

Now if you want to try the Green Tea Seed Serum, you could not have picked a better time. For a few years, Innisfree has been running an Eco Handkerchief Campaign to help promote the use of handkerchief in our daily lives instead of tissues to help save trees and protect our beautiful green forests. They can be used for gift-wrapping, to pack lunches (how perfect would they be for a picnic) or as a hair accessory. You can read more about the campaign here.

For this year’s campaign, they came out with limited edition designs for the bottles showing the seasons of Jeju Island. The bottles are actually a bigger size so you can get twice the amount of serum at a reduced price. It is a real bargain if you love the product and I’m actually considering buying a backup because they are so pretty. With each purchase you will also receive a beautiful Innisfree handkerchief decorated with the limited edition flower design. They also come in a gorgeous decorated to go with your chosen design, making them a perfect present to give (or to keep for yourself ;)

I highly recommend the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, it is one of my all-time favorites, so why not take advantage of this promotion to treat yourself and do something nice for the planet. You can get it on the Innisfree global website for a limited time only and both the Spring and Winter designs are still available. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Sun Care: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Range

I have always been super diligent with wearing sunscreen on my face every day, rain or shine. However, now that summer is finally here I needed to up my sun protection for the rest of my body. Like most I don’t enjoy slathering on thick sunscreen in sweltering heat, but this summer, the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun range has me covered.

To keep my skin protected I purchased a few sunscreens and since my lovely drugstore had a promotion going, I managed to get the after sun lotion for free. I haven’t used these products for long, but I thought I could give you a quick first impressions on them. I also really want to encourage you to go pick up some new sun care products, because after a year they are not really effective anymore. So using last summer’s SPF will not offer you the protection you need to keep sunburns and sun damage at bay.

First I got the Sublime Sun Silky Sheer SPF50 Lotion (here), this was the one thing I originally wanted because lotion and creams offer a much more even coverage than sprays do. I mean, a fine mist usually gets caught in the wind and can leave some spots unprotected. To me this is more of a cream than a lotion but it is not greasy and absorbs really quickly. I love that after a few seconds you can’t feel it on your skin and it doesn’t have a strong fragrance. The tube is small, but personally I never go through bigger bottles and always feel guilty about wasting it. At least with this I don’t think that will happen and if I run out, it is very affordable so I can easily get a new one without breaking the bank.

Next is the Invisible Protect SPF30 Dry Oil Spray (here), now let me say that using an oil in the sun just seems counter intuitive to me. I can still remember everyone at the pool covering themselves in oil before laying out in the sun to cook like turkeys. Now this has a high SPF but I wouldn’t feel comfortable using this as my sole protection all summer long. The reason I did buy it however, is that I think it will be great to use before going for a swim. I’m assuming it will not come off as quickly as a cream and so far I can say that it feels lovely on. It doesn’t leave you feeling oily, dries quickly and it makes your skin look great with a slight sheen.

Lastly I was lucky enough to get the Sublime Sun After Sun (here), this is a light gel cream that you can use to moisturize and sooth your skin after being in the sun all day. The light texture and scent are refreshing, making it great to use to cool down after spending a day outside or by the pool. It leaves no residue behind and offers a nice dose of hydration without feeling heavy. This turned out to be quite lovely and while it is not a must-have for me, I will enjoy using it for sure.

Sun rays are one of the primary causes of signs of age so taking the time to protect your skin against it is an easy way to ensure your skin will stay looking young as the years go by. As far as sun care goes, I think the L’Oréal Sublime Sun range is great and its price makes it accessible to many. Be sun-smart this summer and don’t forget your SPF. You can find all the products mentioned above and more (including mousses and sprays) from most drugstores and L’Oréal retailers. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

It is officially summer and in the beauty world, that means gorgeous bare skin and natural makeup. After all, no one wants to spend hours getting ready when the sun is shining and the outdoors is so inviting. In order to do just that, having clear skin is important because it gives you a perfect base right off the bat. To keep my skin blemish free I rely on the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask.

I love the regular version of this mask (reviewed here), but during warmer months I also like to use something a little stronger to keep my pores clean. This clay mask is made with volcanic clay from Jeju Island to deeply cleanse and remove sebum. It also contains a little bit of AHA which will help gently exfoliate the skin to give it a smoother appearance. As for the application, it is super creamy and nicely cooling, making it refreshing to use in the summer.

Every time I use this mask, I am left with softer and clearer looking skin. It helps heals any existing spots you might have and it also prevents new ones from appearing. In some ways it actually reminds me a little of the GLAMGLOW Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment because it has a similar color and once you wet it to remove it, you can feel tiny exfoliating particles. However I much prefer the Innisfree one to the GLAMGLOW because I find it more effective and it doesn’t have the unpleasant tingling sensation. The Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask simply performed beyond any of my expectations and for the price, it is hard to beat. The brand also offers a bigger size (here) at a great price if you want to stock up.

You can get the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask on their global website, they ship internationally. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weleda Body Oil Starter Kit

Oils are currently all the rage and as much as I love them on my face, I was a little apprehensive about using them on my body. I tried to get on the coconut oil bandwagon, but honestly I couldn’t get over the scent and I it felt overly oily on my skin. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to give up, so when I saw the Weleda Body Oil Starter Kit, it seems liked the perfect way to try out different oils without being stuck with a huge bottle if I didn’t like them.

Over the last few months, I have tested all the different oils and while I have not used them enough to see some of the results they claim, I really enjoyed them all. Obviously, you would need to use an oil consistently over a longer period of time to see cellulite disappear but that does not mean I did not enjoy lovely results from them. So let me run down the six different oils that come in the kit and what they did for my skin. 

- The Birch Cellulite Oil: I cannot speak to its cellulite-busting claims, but it offers light hydration and it was the fastest absorbing oil of the group.

- The Arnica Massage Oil: This one is amazing if you suffer from muscle aches as it almost instantly relieves pain. The effects are not as long lasting as an arnica gel, but it takes away the ache more quickly and it is easy to massage in without being greasy,

- The Lavender Relaxing Body Oil: I am not a fan of lavender, luckily the scent is not too overpowering and it was indeed relaxing. I usually massaged a drop behind my ears to help relax a night.

- The Wild Rose Body Oil: This has a lovely rose scent and I think it would be most appropriate as a massage oil. Out of the six, it took the longest to sink in and it was also oilier so you would not need to keep pouring it to give a proper massage.

- The Sea Buckthorn Body Oil: This is one of my favorites of the kit. I found it very moisturizing and it has great skin-softening properties. It has a light citrusy scent and was fast absorbing which is a must for me. Also sea buckthorn contains antioxidant so it will help protect your skin.

- The Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil: This is my other favorite of the group because of its great nourishing properties and it also offers great antioxidants. The light fruity smell is very delicate and not at all overpowering. 

I was very pleased with this purchase, all the oils were lovely and smelt amazing. If I had to pick the ones I would repurchase in a full-size, the sea buckthorn, pomegranate and arnica ones are definite favorites. You can buy the Weleda Body Oil Starter Kit on their website and you might be able to find it in your local health food store. I got mine from Target, so you can also have a look there too. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray

I haven’t dabbled into sea salt sprays for years. I know most people love them, but they generally don’t do anything for me. I have very long hair and lots of it so it usually ways down any efforts made to style naturals waves simply using products. However, after reading about the John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray on a few blogs and seeing it on offer in my local drugstore, I decided to give it a go.

Using this alone on wet hair did not improve the natural waves I get, but it did add a bit of texture without drying out the hair or making it sticky. This made it easier for me to style my hair into a bun or a braid. I think it might help hold on to the waves a little but honestly it wasn’t anything significant. Also it has a slight coconut scent which I am not a fan of (I just don’t love coconut scents) but thankfully it didn’t linger in my hair.

Now for the good stuff, as you can probably tell I was not blown away at first, but I found a way to make this product work for me. When my hair is still a bit damp from washing it, I brush and spray the sea salt spray evenly in my hair. Then, I separate my hair into two sections, gently twisting them around each other and tying the end with a hair tie before going to bed. The next morning I woke up with gorgeous natural looking waves and compared to when I do this without the spray, the waves were more defined and lasted longer.

All in all, this is a decent product, I don’t think it is amazing but as far as sea salt sprays go I think it is very nice for the price. The John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray is available from most drugstores and you can also get it on Feelunique

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What I Bring in My Carry-On Beauty Bag

Hello everyone today I have a little round-up of what I always keep in my carry-on bag beauty-wise when I’m flying somewhere. I try to keep it minimal but effectiveThe recycled air on a plane can really dry your skin out, so it is super important to take care of it whether you’re on a long-haul flight or a short one.

First of all I always have a mini bottle of Bioderma micellar water (reviewed here) to remove my makeup. My skin hates flying, so I cannot wear makeup on a plane or I always get spots, clogged pores and uneven texture. None of that makes for a pleasant landing. I simply pour the a little bit of the water on a cotton pad and gently wipe it around my face. Voilà you have clean skin in seconds.

Next I apply a moisturizer, this time I was using the Innisfree Canola Honey Serum (link) and the Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream. Honestly the products I use usually vary depending on the samples I have on hand, but I love Korean moisturizers because they are super hydrating.

Afterwards, I seal everything in with a nice facial mist. I often use simple rose water, but I also love the Innisfree Olive Real Oil Mist (link) for a more hydrating effect. Also it has a super fine mist so it doesn’t get everywhere and it doesn’t have a strong scent that might offend other passengers. Throughout the flight I will usually keep misting every hour to make sure my face stays moisturized and because I love how refreshing it feels.

Lastly if I’m flying at night or am on a long-haul flight, I will also apply a face mask. My absolute favorite is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, an amazing mask that moisturizes your skin and nourishes it so you can wake up to softer, plumper skin. It also smells divine and the mask goes on clear so you won’t scare off the other passengers. I always try to have samples of this on hand or I will put some in a little travel jar. I also want to start using sheet masks like the Innisfree Green Tea It's Real Squeeze Mask (reviewed here) to further help soothe and nourish my skin during a long-haul flight.

I pack everything in a clear pouch, the one pictured above is an old one from Sephora that I love, and make sure nothing is over 100ml so I don’t have any troubles going through security. I also carry a lip balm and hand cream with me but those are usually in my purse. I hope this will give you some ideas of what to bring with you on your next flight. 


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen

A traveller’s must-have, the best friend of anyone working long hours or studying late into the night, yes I’m talking about an under eye brightener. The market is full of products that promise to illuminate your eyes and make dark circles disappear, but I find that you often only get one or the other. You either get coverage or an illuminator so sheer it won’t do much on its own. However I have found a game-changer in the Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen.

This is the perfect balance between a concealer and an illuminator. It is pigmented enough to cover-up dark circles and the illuminating particles in brighten your under eye area, making you look even more well rested. The effect is quite subtle, there is no shimmers or glitters here, but it somehow manages to make a world of a difference.

The formula is a light cream so it is super easy to blend and it doesn’t crease. Depending on the shade you pick (there are four), you can also use it to illuminate other areas of your face just like you would with a highlighter. I have the lightest yellow-toned shade (002 Candle Light) and on my very fair skin it works really well as a concealer but it does not do much in the highlighting department. If you have a bit more color than me (which shouldn’t be hard), than you could easily use it for both. 

I absolutely love this product and I know I will be purchasing it again. Yes it is more expensive than other products being from Dior, but the formula is so incredibly worth it. You can get the Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen from their website, at any Dior counter as well as from Sephora and Feelunique

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Perfect Classic Red Lip: L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipstick in Red Passion

I love a red lip, I have quite the collection of glosses, sheer lipsticks and stains in all shades of red. That being said, I did not have a classic red lipstick. You know that beautiful old Hollywood color with a creamy finish and the perfect balance between cool and warm tones. Well I finally found it so let’s all bask in the beauty that is the L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipstick in Red Passion.

I first saw it during the Cannes Film Festival, Doutzen Kroes was wearing the most flattering shade of red lipstick and a little search on the L’Oréal Instagram reveal that she was wearing a lipstick in Red Passion. Doutzen Kroes can pretty much sell me anything, so I went to the drugstore and I am now the proud owner of this gorgeous lip product.

The formula is super creamy and goes on smoothly on the lips, leaving them with intense color and a chic sating finish. In the bullet, you can see small shimmer particles, but don’t worry you cannot feel them on the lips and they don’t make the lipstick shimmery because they don’t show up on the lips. Instead the particles add a luminous finish that makes your lips look plumper. The formula simply catches the light beautifully.

Shade wise, this is the perfect classic red, it’s not cool toned but doesn’t pull orange either. It’s the perfect balance of colors that brighten your complexion and looks chic no matter what time of the day you are wearing it. If you have fair skin you need this in your life. Obviously, red lips are more high maintenance but applying a clear lip pencil around your lip line goes a long to prevent feathering. It will fade if you eat or drink, but it’s easy to touch up because the bullet has a very sharp tip that allows you to easily follow the contour of your lips and cupid’s bow. Also, it doesn’t fade patchily, it looks more like a stain as it wears off.

To me this is the perfect red lipstick and I love that it is amazing as well as being super affordable. You can find the L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipstick in Red Passion at any drugstores and L’Oréal retailers.   

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Workout Playlist June 2015

I have been trying to get back into my regular workout routine for a while now, but it’s been harder than I expected. I prefer working out in the evening but recently I have felt too tired after work to get myself to the gym. In order to boost my motivation, I have been updating my gym playlist and I thought I could share with you some of my favorite songs of the moment. Maybe they’ll get you in the mood to be more active or to add something new to your own playlists. 

You can watch all the music videos in the links below and all the songs are available on iTunes.

- Maroon 5: Sugar (here)

- Kara: Mamma Mia 맘마미아 (here)

- Girl’s Generation: Catch Me if You Can (here)

- Zedd: Find You (feat. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant) (here)

- One Direction: Where Do Broken Hearts Go (here)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tea Tuesday: Pukka Cleanse Tea

So let’s be honest here, I haven’t been drinking a whole lot of tea recently, which explains the lack of Tea Tuesdays. I have really missed how calming drinking tea was in my daily routine and I can’t say no to the health benefits either. That being said, a new health food store recently opened in my city and their tea selection is incredible. This led to a few purchases and I can now introduce you to my new favorite tea, the Pukka Cleanse Tea.

This blend contains nettle, peppermint, fennel seed, dandelion root, licorice root and aloe vera. I love the effects of peppermint and dandelion on my health and I supposed this particular blend is made to help cleanse your system (dandelion is great for the liver). In the bag, it smells quite strongly of fennel, which is not my favorite, but once you steep it, the taste is not strong. In fact, this tea tastes mostly of peppermint and licorice with a little something else I can’t put my finger on. Personally, I like adding a bit of honey for added sweetness and benefits, but it tastes great on its own too.

Pukka makes great teas and like their other blends, the Cleanse Tea is organic and fair trade. You can both buy it on the Pukka website and see a list of stockists here. I found mine in a local health food store so keep your eyes peeled for it. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream

Today I bring you a much overdue review of one of my favorite new skincare item: the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream. I am usually more of a lotion or gel-cream kind of girl, but this product is so lovely that I could not resist purchasing the full size after using up my sample.

Basically this is an anti-aging cream that claims to have five different effects to combat visible signs of ageing. The antioxidants in the orchid extract will help smooth wrinkles, firm, brighten and nourish the skin while also tightening your pores. The claims are pretty big, but I found that this cream performs really well.

The cream is a bit rich (hence the name) but it melts into your hands once you warm it up and it applies easily. I have combination skin so, it is a bit much too use in the morning when the weather is warmer because it takes a while to fully penetrate. So right now I only use it at night, but in the winter it was lovely to use in the morning as well. If your skin is on the dryer side, I think you could use it twice a day without any problem. Innisfree offers a gel cream version (here), which would probably be better suited for this season. I am quite tempted to get a jar myself once I finish up other moisturizers.

Now let’s talk about the results I experienced with the Orchid Enriched Cream. I am not at an age where wrinkles are an issue, but the moisturizing and nourishing effects of this cream are so amazing that I am sure they can help minimize the appearance of fine and dehydration lines. I also noticed that my skin looked brighter and felt more plumped in the morning. As for the pore tightening effects, I did not notice any, but the texture of my skin was more refined and any inflammation was soothed.

I was very impressed by this cream, the texture is great and it feels lush when you apply it. The light floral orchid scent is divine, turning my skincare routine in a relaxing spa-like experience. I will for sure try other products from the range (here) and I believe most would enjoy using this product and see positive results.

You can get the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream on their website and you can also purchase a sample of it here

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Body Shop Tea Tree Range: Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion and Tea Tree Oil

Hello everyone, this week has been very busy which explains the lack of posts, but the upcoming weeks are going to be crazier so hopefully I can get back on track with my writing this weekend. So to get us started, I decided to talk about a must-try skincare line for anyone with combination/oily skin or suffering from breakouts: The Body Shop Tea Tree range.

Tea tree oil is a great natural antiseptic that works wonders in skincare. From personal experience, I found that it helps soothe the skin and heal any blemishes. On recurring spots the antiseptic properties come in handy, making it a great treatment. The Body Shop Offers an amazing range of tea tree oil based products (see them all here), but their lotion and oil are my favorites with a special mention going to the face wash (here).

The Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion is a lightweight lotion that provides light hydration while helping your skin get clearer. I love using it when it gets hot outside because it keeps your skin matte without leaving any residue or feeling powdery. It does make your skin clearer by healing exciting blemishes, but it does not dry out your skin. Depending on how my skin feels, I also like to use this as a spot treatment instead of apply it all over. If you have dry skin, I recommend doing this because I don’t think this will provide enough moisture on its own. The only downside is the size, it comes in a small tube so you don’t get a lot, but it is quite affordable.

The Tea Tree Oil is the most basic version of the ingredient you can get and this little bottle is something I am never without. I have never used a better spot treatment, one drop is all you need and it leaves no traces on your skin so you can use it under makeup. I apply it directly to any spots and it tones down redness, reduces their size and heals them faster without causing any irritation to the spot or surrounding skin. I cannot recommend this enough, the results are astounding and if that isn’t enough, it’s super affordable and the bottle while last you ages.

You can find The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion and Tea Tree Oil from any of their stores and on their website (Lotion, Oil). 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Time to Give Back: The Red Cross and the Nepal Earthquake

I have been thinking for quite some time now to start a new series on the blog. I wanted to create something meaningful to inspire everyone to show gratitude for all the good things in their lives, but also to inspire people to give back to those less fortunate. So every month I plan on introducing a new charity to the blog, share their work and shed light on issues and people that could use our help. I don’t have a name for it the series yet so feel free to live your suggestions and favorite charities in the comment section below. 

Giving money to charity is something I believe most of us think about, but we discourage ourselves from doing it by thinking along the lines of: “how are a few dollars going to make a difference?” However if a thousand people each give five dollars, the results will be a tangible five thousand dollars that can have a huge impact on different issues and disaster stricken communities and countries. I know this is something we hear all the time, but I feel like we are not fully conscious of it, which is why I want to raise awareness.

I know my blog does not have a huge following, but if only a few of you are touched and decide to take action, I will have achieved my goal. You can also share these posts so the message spreads and hopefully we can make a difference in the world together.

For June I have decided to donate money to the Red Cross to help with the earthquake in Nepal. I already donated in May, but the damages were so great and the need ever so present that I believe it is important to continue to think of the Nepalese. It is always great to see people coming together as soon as a natural disaster occur, however countries still need funds not only to help with immediate relief, but also to help in the long term as they work to rebuild the cities. People need access to water, medical care and shelter and without the monsoon season approaching all the help they can get will be useful.

I chose the Red Cross because they are a reliable organisation that is not only one of the first to arrive on site, but their efforts continue long after the journalists and news agencies have moved on to other things. After donating you can sign up to receive updates on the situation in Nepal and learn how your donation has helped people.

It is also worthy to note that some countries decide to match donations made to the Red Cross (for a certain period of time), essentially doubling the original amount you gave. This means that your generosity is valued and that small amount is allowed to turn into something bigger without having to make any efforts. Lastly, don’t forget to print the tax receipt that will be emailed to you, it will be of some help to you when you need to fill out your income taxes.

So this month, instead of buying a coffee or a cupcake I encourage you to donate whatever you can to the Red Cross to help with the Nepal earthquake relief, I promise it’ll bring you a lot more joy. Obviously the more the better, but every small donation will amount to something great that will make a dramatic difference in the lives of people suffering from this current tragedy. 

The Red Cross has many international website so you can easily find the one for your country. You can find the Canadian website here and the American one here. You can also read more about the Canadian Red Cross efforts in Nepal here.

Picture Credits: Canadian Red Cross Website
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