EVENT: LynnSteven EcoBeauty Summer Bash

Living in Vancouver, us Westcoasters are known for our taste in eco-conscious, natural and might I add slightly…hipster… products. Combine that with a small, homegrown boutique in the historic Gastown location and that’s what I was recently treated to at LynnSteven, a local shop catering to all the above with gorgeously tiled floors and an inviting, fresh interior. In addition to stocking one of a kind fashion items, they have lately been expanding their beauty arsenal

Leah alexandra Jewelry
LynnStevens Ilia Lipsticks

Lynnstevens RGB nail polish

LynnStevens Ilia Makeup

It was great to see a few familiar brands on the shelves plus a few new names. Of course there was no hiding the audible shriek upon me finding out they carried RGB Nail Lacquers (super chic shades, 3-free formulas in stylish bottles) and equally exciting to find a super smooth hydrating formulation in Ilia Tinted Moizturizers. A few names like Butter Elixir and Belmondo still need some further research but I’m always happy to expand my beauty vocabulary. Instead of weeding through the plethora of up and coming names myself, it’s always helpful to walk into a store with a well curated, manageable selection of products to try out.

LynnStevens Event
THE GIRLS: Do Want Makeup | Mizz J | Cosmetic Proof

Between product swatching, popsicle eating and drink sipping, we even managed to snag a few minutest at their summer photo booth! And while none of us coordinated outfits, I have no idea why we all showed up in darks on a hot summer day.

Natural Beauty Proucts
PRODUCTS SHOWN: Zoe Organics (Natural Insect Repellent*) | Tata Harper (Resurfacing Mask*) | Ilia (Natural Lipstick*) | Butter (Elixir Oil*) | Dalish (Cheek & Lip Tint*)

The night ended with a completely unplanned pudding pit stop down the street and a little bag of natural beauty treats swinging on my arm as I strolled down the cobblestoned street. Thanks for having us LynnSteven and look out for reappearances from these little beauties!
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Review: Clairol Nice&Easy Haircolour & The time I flew to TO for my hair

What did you all get up to on a Sunday morning?

I spent mine doing some DIY beauty maintenance on my hair, the kind that involves some serious gloves and leaving the window open on a wintery day. Now I do love having coloured hair and have been around much of the (natural) hair rainbow but I’m just not keen on the lengthy colouring process…even after 10 years doing my own hair out of a box I’m still looking for the easiest way to get the job done.

This fall I’ve been sporting a new hair colour which has gotten so much love from everyone that even I was surprised! There was someone asking about my hair almost every other week!

Above is a recent photo of my hair. The top has grown a little “rooty” with my natural colour showing through but the length of my hair is coloured a medium brown shade with some soft highlights and low lights. No extra work here, this is actually a single process hair colour. Let’s talk about it.

THE BASICS
Brand: Clairol
Product: Nice & Easy Hair Colour
My Colour: 6A Natural Light Ash Brown*
Entire Colour Range: 40 shades (via Clairols website)
Type: Permanent Haircolour
Price: $9-10CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I repurchase: Probably not (but only because I’m in love with another Clairol product)
Website: www.clairol.com

Clairol’s Nice&Easy hair colour is made for easy, simple and natural results. Though I previously had the professionals do my hair with this exact product (scroll down for that adventure), I wanted to wait until it was time for me to touch up my hair in order to see its true potential.

The box came with the usual products; hair pigment in the form of a liquid, a developer liquid, gloves, instructions and as a new addition to the Nice&Easy range, the conditioning CC cream for post colour and upkeep. The formula mixed into a gel consistency that started out almost semi-translucent that turned into a darker shade of brown in about 10minutes. Don’t worry, the changing shade of the dye doesn’t do affect the results, your mixture is good to go as soon as it’s shaken up properly.

Root Touch Up Process

Time Chart: 15-20min on roots, 5 minutes worked through shaft of hair.

I started applying my colour first around the perimeter of my hair line as well as to my parting as these are the areas were colour needs to be as prestine as possible. Then, splitting my hair into length wise sections, I applied colour to the rest of my roots leaving the shaft and ends bare. Since I was merely doing a little root touch up, one box of dye was plenty and I even had a little to work through the ends for a 5 minute refresh. However if are completely changing your hair colour, you will need 2 boxes for hair my length.

Note: Chemical hair colour can cause allergic reactions in some people so please take caution and remember to perform the allergy test in order to minimize any surprise allergic reactions.
The results came out very shiny and with the CC cream applied as conditioner, my hair was also silky. However I did notice that with both times using this product, my hair would tangle quite easily so it would be imperative to use some serum or detangling product in order to keep it manageable for the next few weeks. If I were to be very critical (as I suppose I should be after so many years of colouring my hair), one part near my crown came out a little patchy (the colour didn’t take evenly) and there is a bit of “hallowing” around the root (where the area close to my scalp came out lighter than the rest of the colour).

The photo above isn’t my immediate “after” result as the weather has been too awful to get anything decent but my colour came out exactly the same and very consistent. The colour tone was beautiful and the overall results were good. The colour lasted very well post colouring with minimal fade.

Natural blend? Yes!
Nice & Easy? Not quite.

Personally, I still prefer the Clairol Perfect10 hair colour. The dye was a creamier and easier to control, the scent was less harsh (all permanent hair dyes will smell but this one was masked better) and it was quicker and easier to apply for even results. Plus it got the job done quicker. On caveat, the colour doesn’t last as long as the Nice&Easy but I don’t mind.

Now onwards to story time….

Recall the wild weekend I had in Toronto back in November that I posted on social media? 30 hours. Round trip. Toronto to Vancouver.

Well, the story behind it was that I had been kindly invited to attend a Clairol #shiftashade beauty event. The extra cherry on top? I was going to meet celebrity hair stylist Luis Pacheco, who’s going to help me pick out a colour… since I didn’t manage to get snap with Luis, here’s a fun one from his Instagram.

His salon Hair on the Avenue is located in a trendy vintage part of downtown Toronto and is decorated with an eclectic mix of neo-french decor which I simply adore!

Luis chatted to me about my skin one and colouring (I’m apparently cool on the inside but warm on the outside) then chose 6A in the Nice&Easy range to refresh my haircolour for fall. One of the stylists sectioned me up, applied the colour to my roots and then worked some more through the rest of my hair just as I did back at home.
A quick mirror snap before a stylist came to help blow out my hair and put a wave in with a curling wand. He made it look too easy! Back there caught in the mirror is one of the lead makeup artists who came to help do our makeup for the before and after photos. Loved hearing all their stories, especially his of doing makeup on Anna Wintour.
Before: Left | After: Right
Now here’s the results from the salon courtesy of the event photographer and my “after” makeup/hair by the professionals. They used the exact Clairol Nice&Easy hair colour in 6A at the salon. Still seems to be a bit of hallowing around the crown but the colour did come out very natural and shiny. 
Do you use boxed hair colour at home? And does the professional touch make a huge difference?
Let me know in the comments section below!

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Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own. For more details on how I blog, visit my blog policy page.

Preview: Blanc de Pearl Skincare | Guerlain

“Rare and precious, the pearl is a fascinating jewel: pure and immaculately white, it glows with a deep, rich radiance. A genuine miracle of nature, pearls create themselves, layer after layer, to become perfect. The BLANC DE PERLE range, a complete skincare routine with the P.E.A.R.L complex, accomplishes this miracle of perfection on the skin by revealing its extraordinary whitening power.”

 – Guerlain                                                    
This January the house of Guerlain celebrates the new year with beautiful luminous skin. The Blanc de Perle skincare range, previously only available in select Asian markets is now available right here in Canada. As an avid reader of Asian magazines, I’ve oogled over this range by Guerlain for years from their glossy advertisements but to have it in my hands courtesy of the brand is something else altogether.

They say you always have at least one stylish woman in the family and in mine that was my aunt. When I was a younging, she’d let me sneak a smudge of lipstick on my birthday and gave me mini samples of perfumes from her department store purchases which I held preciously like little gems. On top of that, she was most definitely a Guerlain woman and the scent of Guerlain skincare still reminds me of her.
NORTH AMERICA BLANC DE PEARL RANGE

  • White P.E.A.R.L. Cleanser* | $65CAD
  • White P.E.A.R.L. Essence in Lotion* | $78CAD
  • Advanced White P.E.A.R.L. Drop Essence* | $150CAD
  • White P.E.A.R.L. Infusion Day/Night Treatment* | $260
  • White P.E.A.R.L. Sleeping Mask* | $100CAD
  • White P.E.A.R.L. Refreshing Hydrating Cream* | $110CAD
  • White P.E.A.R.L. Sleeping Concentrate Night Cream* | $120CAD

 

VISIT GUERLAIN | www.guerlain.com
Additional international products include: Double Action Spot Eraser, Matifying Hydrating Emulsion, UV Shield SPF50/PA+++, UV Protect Spray SPF40/PA+++, Lightening UV Base SPF30/PA+++, Correcting UV Base SPF30/PA+++, Smoothing UV Base SPF30/PA+++
As I’m currently on a bit of a skincare backlog right now it won’t be a month or so before I can start testing out the Blanc de Pearl range for myself. You all know I prefer to take a good amount of time testing skincare, especially those with treatment claims and I want to give this the proper trial period. However the range is now available in Canada via Guerlain counters so do pop in to have a peak if you can!
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Event | Revlon Spring2015 Beauty Preview | #loveison

When the sangria start flowing at 4pm, you know it’s going to be a good time.
That’s exactly what greeted me at the Revlon Spring 2015 beauty preview event earlier this month in Vancouver. The ballroom of the Sheraton Wall Center was swathed in elegant black and red decor and small tables surrounding the room displayed the newly released and yet to be released beauty offerings from the brand. 

Since food makes everything better, I feel compelled to start off by applauding the wonderful catering team at the Sheraton. By far some of the best food and variety I’ve had at any beauty event, I wasn’t shy in expressing my love for the pulled pork sliders, the deep fried risotto balls and chicken drumettes. 
Since I snuck in a little earlier than even time, I was able to have a one on one chat with Lisa and Jackie on Revlon’s new offerings to the beauty market. First up, the Photoready Eye Art Lid-Line-Lash duos offer an interesting mix of corresponding cream shadow with a glitter coat that can be used to add sparkle to your lash line or tip your lashes in shimmers of gold, silver and even romantic purple. Pigmentation for most of the colours were quite impressive swatched on my hand and once dried, the shadows stayed firmly in place.
Revlon has also updated some of their popular beauty tools to include a nifty pair of tweezer with a pen light for touching up in discrete situations as well as a gold series lash curler, nail clipper and nail file all created with titanium coating for extra strength and durability.
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For nail lovers, new polishes are coming your way! Not only will new colours be coming to stores but for the less nail-art inclined like myself, Revlon has created multi-finish top coats to save your date night. Look out for the matte-pearl variation what gives a soft sheen that’s less than glossy but glossier than matte.

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In the base product department, the well loved Photoready series is being revamped with a new reformulated Air Brush Effect Liquid Foundation, an Insta-Fix Foundation Stick (I’m really stoked about this format) plus a Prime + Anti-Shine invisible balm that can be used under or over your makeup. Jackie tried this on my 5 o’clock shine zone and I’m happy to report it was weightless yet did not make me look powdery.

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For those who have way too many lip products to count, here’s something to consider adding to your stash (the more the merrier right?). The Revlon Ultra HD glosses and lipsticks pack some serious colour into their formulation. Scented like bubblegum, both products come in a variety of finishes ranging from cream to metallic and offer a really lush finish on the lips. The lipsticks especially have a cushy gel like feel instead of a traditional wax base which then allows the colour pigments to look cleaner and brighter than ever before. Even better? These guys are already out in stores right now!

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As the skies darkened, the event wrapped up with lots of hugs all around and a goodie bag for the bloggers. Beyond seeing the products, I’m always most excited to meet people who are really passionate about their brand whichever it may be. Lisa and Jackie both radiated such love and enthusiasm for Revlon and that truly made it a wonderful event. I believe there’s a little bit of everything in my bag so let me know what you’d like to see first!
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EVENT: 60min with Maxime Poulin | Guerlain’s International Makeup Artist

One of the most absolutely rewarding things about beauty blogging is being able to meet those who are passionate about what they do and a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Guerlain’s International Makeup Artist Maxim Poulin to chat beauty philosophy, holiday makeup and of course that elusive je ne sais quoi that surrounds French women.

For those who are a fan of luxury products, Guerlain would be no stranger. Originating as one of the oldest perfume houses in the world, the brand was established in 1828 in Paris by Mr. Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain who later became the royal perfumer to French royalty Napoleon III and his wife Eugene. Success passed from generation to generation and the house of Guerlain soon delved into skincare as well as colour cosmetics and is now an iconic name in French beauty and might I add is one of my personal guilty pleasures.

As a member of the Art Team working alongside Guerlain’s Creative Director Olivier Échaudemaison, Maxime quickly found an affinity to the brand’s philosophy that spoke true to his own ideals about beauty.

“Let the individual woman shine through.”

For him, having made up different women from all over the world, the idea of a singular beauty look isn’t the goal. Instead, the makeup should bring out and enhance each persons individuality in a way unique and intimate to them.

ON CANADIAN BEAUTY VS. THE WORLD

Not having traveled very far myself, I was eager to hear his thoughts on how Canadian women think about beauty compared to other parts of the world that he’s visited. His answer was somewhat unexpected.

“Canadian women” he begins, “have the great advantage of learning from other cultures. Being exposed to so many multi-cultural influences, they often pick up on certain elements and add it to their own routine.”

For Maxime, there isn’t a well defined beauty aesthetic here in Canada like there tends to be in other countries but rather a mixing of different styles that blend into one another. In short, we’re interested in experimenting with new things and aren’t afraid to mix and match.

ON THAT ELUSIVE FRENCH TOUCH
Being one of the iconic French beauty houses, the subject natural drifted to the topic of that elusive je ne sais quoi which seems to surround all French women.

“What is it about French women?” I ask. “What is this beauty secret that make them so chic even when they are simply out grocery shopping?”

“It’s just an intuitive feeling” Maxime explains, his own French accent very much befitting this conversation at this moment. “It more about an attitude rather than a particular look or product or style. Actually, the style is usually never perfect and this is done purposely. If the hair is very done up then the makeup is more casual or vice-versa. Women in France, whether they wear a lot of makeup or not usually have a certain beauty routine, where they dedicate a small amount of time each day just to themselves to engage in their own small beauty rituals. It’s the way of living a womanly lifestyle.”


ON MAKEUP TRENDS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

At this point, I could no longer deny the constant flicker of my eye towards the beautiful display of makeup that lined the counter. I asked Maxime to talk me through a few ways to create a fall and winter look, even something you could wear to all those holiday parties which we all use as an excuse to wear our fancy lipsticks.

Here’s his quick break down

  • Go for gold. It illuminates the skin in a beautiful warmth which is especially welcomed this time of the year in the dull weather when skin can look a bit lackluster.  Gold tones run through most of Guerlains colour products from primers to eye shadows and these colours bring a touch of warm radiance to any skin tone.
  • A smokey eye never fails. One of his favourite ways to wear an easy smokey eye is to create a layered look using a brown gel pencil blended from the lash line upwards then layered with a black kajal pencil at the base of the lash line which is smudged with a cotton bud or small brush, mixing with the brown and transforming the looking into a softly shaded smokey eye that is easy to wear for day but can also be transformed for night time.

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ON RED LIPSTICK
“You can not go wrong with a red lipstick” Maxime insists.

And to this I must agree. There’s almost a magical transformational quality about a crimson lip that makes even the most simple of makeup styles look chic and presentable. It’s of my favourite ways to put on an event ready face when I’m not in the mood to match eye shadows colours.

Guerlain’s lipsticks are an indulgence and rightfully so. From the exquisite mirrored compact of its Rouge G range to the creamy formulations and beautiful shine infused with mango and shea butter. Maxmine introduces me to #25 Garconne, a richly pigmented classic red that is infused with ruby powder. How’s that for holiday glamour!
But the trick to the perfect red lip,
whether it’s a cherry, merlot or scarlet, is the right preparation. Taking the effort to do the proper steps will ensure the most beautiful results and do justice to the colour as well. Your red lip routine should ideally include; exfoliation, hydration, primer, lip liner, lipstick, blotting and then a reapplication of lipstick to built up lasting saturation.

FIND GUERLAIN | Guerlain Online | Sephora

THE LAST WORD

Having jetted his way from Paris to Montreal, Toronto and then Vancouver I’m sure Maxime has been living out of a suitcase for weeks. Even so, his enthusiasm is infectious and there was never a dull moment chatting with him about makeup, beauty philosophies and detox juice…yes we went there as well. It was his first time in Vancouver and I wondered if any of you had the chance to meet him at the makeup event at The Bay downtown later that day?

Until next time Maxime, come back any time.
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Experience | My 1st Dermalogica Facial

Dermalogica is one of those low profile beauty brands that both intrigues and perplexes me. While you see their products dotted all over the best of beauty lists, they can be elusive to find and frankly I know little to nothing about them. What I did know is that those who love them are life long devoted fans so when I was invited to experience one of their personalized skincare treatments*, I waltzed into their office bare faced and ready to learn.

THIS IS NOT A FACIAL, IT IS A SKINCARE TREATMENT.
                                                                                          – Dermalogica
I think it’s important to start off by reiterating that at Dermalogica, you get skin treatments, not facials. The defining point being that facials has a somewhat frivolous undertone while skin treatments are for the health and well being of your skin. This idea of treating your skin so you can have the best skin of your life is the foundation behind The International Dermal Institute, the company that has produced Dermalogica products for over 25 years. In 1986,  Jane Wurwand founded not only the institute but also began to promote the idea about skin health through research, innovation and later professional products. I was also surprised to learn that to this day, Dermalogica is a privately owned company something rare for a brand that has permeated the beauty market world wide in over 80 countries.
The Dermal Institutes Vancouver office is mainly an education center which offers Dermalogica workshops for those in the industry looking to step up their knowledge. But since there were no classes that day, the office was quite and calm as I sat sipping tea from my owl mug and filling out the most extensive skin questionnaire I have ever done and for good reason.
When I met with my skin therapist Cory (who also happens to be a brand educator), he explained that each skin treatment session is tailored to the current situation of my skin. This may change from month to month depending on diet, stress as well as internal and external issues that can reflect on the appearance of the skin.
Knowing a little bit more about my skin, Cory then performed a Face Mapping Skin Analysis which by the way included some serious looking headgear with a magnifier. This was developed by Dermalogica to separate the face into various zones that can be examined in detail in order to identify the current state of my skin.

Cory chose the Active Resurface 35 Treatment for me which focuses on exfoliating the skin and rehydrating the skin which will help with cell turnover and fading spots (he found a few tiny dark spots my cheek!). The treatment is customizable to each person’s skin condition and it’s done with a cocktail of different products which is meant to work synergetically for best results. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of products you’re about to see below, he often mixed multiple products to be applied in one go and certain products were only applied in a small area.

  • Soothing Eye Make-Up Remover
  • PreCleanse
  • Essential Cleansing Solution
  • Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
  • MultiVitamin Thermafoliant
  • UltraCalming Complex
  • MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque
  • UltraCalming Mist
  • UltraCalming Serum Concentrate
  • MultiVitamin Power Firm
  • PowerBright TRx C-12 Pure Bright Serum
  • Ultracalming Ultra Sensitive Tint
  • MediBac Clearing Mattifier
  • Skin Perfect Primer

Visit Dermalogica’s website to find out more about any of these products.
WWW.DERMALOGICA.CA
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This is my face just 10 minutes after my treatment; smooth, soft and not a single trace of redness. Can you believe I just had the equivalent of a peel but there’s no sensitivity or any kind of inflammation? Frankly I was blown away by this alone. Cory put my skin through a multi-step deep cleansing, a thorough exfoliation, then hydrated my skin with calming masks, treated my skin with vitamin loaded and brightening serums then sealed it all in with SPF and a face primer. 
What I really loved about the whole experience (those than stroking my face non stop for the next 3 days) was the fact that Cory talked me through every single product, what made it work and how they worked in conjunction with other products in the Dermalogica range so that you can address more than one skin concern at a time in a power combo! Post treatment, he sat me down to talk in more detail about the key products used such as the exfoliants and serums. I walked out of the
office not only having just had a great skin treatment but more importantly, feeling more knowledgeable about my own skin and how to take it where I want it to go. Armed with a few Dermalogica products* to try out, you’ll definitely be hearing about them again in the following weeks.

Dermalogica fan or have been curious about their products?
What have you been eyeing or trying?

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EVENT & LOOK | Shu Uemura Fall Beauty with Taca Ozawa

Last month I had my face painted with one of the most beautiful makeup looks anyone has ever done on me. The place was the newest Shu Uemura counter inside The Bay (Richmond Center) and the occasion was the celebration of their fall Brave Beauty Collection. For this special event, customers could sign up for a special makeover with Shu Uemura’s national makeup artist Mr. Taca Ozawa and I was kindly invited as a special guest.

What really struck me with this makeup look was how well balanced everything was. It was bright yet soft, romantic yet the lashes added the extra drama that I love. And I would just like to yell at the top of my roof, can you believe how good my skin looks with the Light Bulb Foundation? 
While the colours may seem simple, Taca spent a long time slowly layering and blending everything together. With a quiet concentration, he’d put something on, step (way) back, ask me to tilt my head this way and that then proceed to pick up his brush again. There was something truly mesmerizing watching him work on my makeup. In fact, I told him I didn’t want to see anything until he had completely finished and what a beautiful look it is!
The staff a the Shu Uemura counter were also kind enough to let me dig around some of their products and even shared with me some upcoming new releases like the latest edition to Shu’s popular TSUYA SKIN brightening skincare range (below). As you saw in the video, I had a bit of a skin prep prior to the makeup application and the combination of products really plumped up my skin while leaving it soft and supple.
I still have much more to discover about the brand but I’m quickly learning that Shu Uemura is more than just their eyelash curler and eyebrow pencils. It’s bursting with colour, creativity and new visions to be created. If you’re interested in learning more about them, I’ve recently been catching up on a few of their creative videos from their Hong Kong Youtube channel. You can thank me later!
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