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Review – Victoria’s Secret Forbidden Eau De Parfum

 

With winter drawing to a close, I’ve grown increasingly tired of my winter scents and have been on the hunt for a new perfume suitable for the warmer months – something fruity and playful with a bit of seductive edge.  Victoria’s Secret answered my prayers with the launch of Forbidden from their spring 2014 fragrance collection!

Victoria's Secret Forbidden Victoria`s Secret for womenIt has been said to ‘never judge a book by its cover,’  but packaging is always important to me when purchasing a perfume, as my perfume bottles sit out on my dresser serving as decoration. This bottle was the perfect addition to my collection – the magenta ombré colouring, leopard print detailing, and oval jewel-like top make for an ultra-feminine, elegant flacon.

As visually pleasing as the bottle may be, the perfume’s scent will ultimately determine whether I purchase it or not (I guess the saying holds true after all). Luckily, Forbidden’s scent is right on par with its packaging. I can’t wear this perfume without receiving a compliment on it, and for good reason – the exotic pear, jasmine, amber wood and juicy blackberry aromas are intoxicating!

As a lover of warm scents, I always struggle with finding a perfume that won’t be too heavy for the spring and summer months. With rising temperatures in the spring and summer causing my body to radiate more heat, I often find warm fragrance types end up being much too strong. While Forbidden is a warm fragrance, it has added light, fruity notes of blackberry and pear to balance out the heavier, woodsy scents. The unique balance of fruity and woodsy aromas not only makes the fragrance light enough to wear during the spring and summer, but also gives it, as Victoria’s Secret describes it, an “exotic, steamy twist.”

The only downfall for me was that the perfume seemed to fade after about 3-4 hours of wear. Though it’s not ideal to have to reapply every few hours, it’s not much of a pain either – I simply keep a Travalo refillable spray filled with Forbidden in my purse and give myself a quick spritz when I feel it’s needed. Another way to prolong the wear of this would be to layer it with the Forbidden fragrance lotion

If you want it to feel like summer while waiting out the dregs of winter, get your hands on a bottle of this eau de parfum and let the scent take you away to a tropical paradise!

Forbidden EDP $18-$68US  Available in:  7ml rollerball,  50ml & 100ml sprays in VS stores or online

Sign-off

As written by Lauren Wilson

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Friday Fabulousness from Gucci

 

Because it’s Friday and it should be Fabulous!! Plus who doesn’t love a little fringe?

From Gucci  Primavera/estate 2014

foto- Imaxtree

Gucci Primavera Estate 2014  Foto Imaxtree

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

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Meet Betty-Lou & Mary-Lou Manizer ~ The Balm Cosmetics

 

How fun are the names and the packaging of  The Balm Cosmetics? They always give me a smile, yet  I’ve never tried them until ObsessedCanada (online beauty store) sent items to play with and share feedback. Makeup should be fun, and as a professional makeup artist I also know it’s important to get good results from product(s).

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I was sent the Manizer Duo Kit* (seen, above $36CAD) Mary-Lou Manizer (the luminizer) and Betty-Lou Manizer (the bronzer)  These powders are also multi-purpose, you can use as eye shadows or dusted over the body for extra sexy sheen. The texture was really soft, velvety and not powdery due to it being talc-free. Nice for use around the eyes as well as dry skin-types. Suitable for all skin types.

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-Mary-Lou is a soft champagne shade that helps to diffuse light which makes skin look softer and if added to the right areas on the face, creates a subtle youthful radiance.

TIP: For the face; take a  large fluffy brush to dust over the top of the cheek bones and just above the center of the brows. For the eyes; use a flat eye shadow brush to pat the powder onto the eyelid for a simple eye awakening  appearance,  just add mascara and gloss to complete the look.

-Betty Lou is the bronzer and the one I was pleasantly surprised by the most. Betty Lou gave a radiant peachy hued, sexy glow that is so perfect to usher in Spring, yes it’s good for summer too!

TIP: Use a blush brush to add color on cheeks first, then with what color is left in the brush, dust lightly over the forehead and chin for subtle, multi-dimensional shading. As an eye-shadow, this would look great alone or use with a crease brush and fill in the crease for subtle sculpting.

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Note: Prior to being sent these items for review, I have shopped (aka paying customer) from ObsessedCanada before with a great shopping/delivery experience. Now they are offering FREE SHIPPING  on Canadian orders, no minimum.

*Items available separately at $24CAD ea.

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

 

 

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Easy to Do ~ Soft Metallics for Eyes

 

Everyone can do metallic shadows, regardless of age, eye shape, or skin tone.  The application is easy to follow, the toughest part is making up your mind on which shade of metal you want to try. Click on the picture below to see my CTV Morning Live demo just how to do it.

 

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1-Start with smoothing an eye primer over the eyelids and blend up to under the brow. An eye primer prevents creasing and keeps the shadow looking freshly applied all day.

2-Choose your metal! I love this Laura Mercier ‘Enlightenment Eye and Cheek Palette’ (seen above). The four shadows work with anyone and the texture is so velvety, perfect for those gals with aging concerns. Using a flat brush, simply pat color on to eye lid up to crease. Gently blend along the crease to soften where the shadow ends. (find at Sephora)

3-Line your eyes using a cream liner with a brush, I love these ones from L’Oreal. You’ll be able to get into the roots of the lashes with the brush creating eye definition but not a heavy line. (You can always make it thicker if you want)

4- Finish up with your mascara of choice. Be careful not to go to heavy with it, as this look is about keeping it more soft and natural looking.

This look is a great everyday look, so pretty and polished. It also makes for a great base to add on extra color or go smoky if you want a little more dramatic effect.

 

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

 

 

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Commitment-Free Beauty Change Ups

 

Happy New Year!

There is nothing like a new calendar year that gets us gals yearning for some sort of  change in our usual makeup/beauty/hair routine, but most of us aren’t ready to make a full on commitment. So how can we play and experiment without permanent changes? (click screen shot below for the CTV Ottawa Morning Live segment)

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Hair is a great place to start…I found these Crisace  hair2go clip in bangs and extensions at my local Chatters Salon.  They are easy to use, made of synthetic hairs which keeps them easy to care for and affordable, and you can use a heat to style them. (double check package for actual temperatures) The bangs are long enough that you can use them as a great way to get through the awkward growing out the bangs stage, or ask your stylist to cut them in a shorter style for more dramatic appearance.  The full kit has longer pieces to add length and volume and they have a great color selection to help you co-ordinate with your own color or add a bit of hilights. Ask your stylist to trim them up a bit so they fall better with your current hairstyle.

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The hair2go by Crisace Full Kit

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Everyone looks fab with extra lashes! What a fantastic way to open up, add some oomph and glamour to your eyes. Best part about wearing false lashes is that you don’t need a lot of other eye make to go with them. (saving some time on your routine) Ardell has been making amazing lashes since the 70′s, and with their selection and price, they are a superb choice both for beginners and pro’s. I have them in my pro kit as well as recommend them to clients. Find them at Walmart and Sally Beauty Supply.

Ardell Lashes

Time to stop going bare/naked with your makeup! Give color a chance, it’s such a wonderful way to keep people guessing at why you look so refreshed and fab! Makeup is the easiest way to make changes in your appearance, and lip products are the number 1 product women are willing to experiment with. Annabelle Twist Up lipsticks are just what the Makeup Artist ordered! They have a great texture and the color selection ranges from essential nudes to bold and beautiful bordeaux’s, with reds and pinks in between. Try something new by going opposite of what you normally reach for. If you like nudes like I do, try a bright. If you like the bold shades, go softer.

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The french mani still reigns supreme for many…ditch it! Even for a week, just try something new…Nail fashion is not going away so you may as well embrace it! I’ll admit that I’m normally a one color nail gal, but taking my own advice, I’m reaching for other shades as well as textures and finishes. Essie nail polishes offers a great selection in color, texture and finishes. The formula is amazing and the price makes it easy to build a fantastic nail wardrobe. Take a color you don’t usually wear for starters, then ease your way into layering a texture over top! Below I tried the lavender hued ‘warm and toasty turtleneck’ and layered the ‘peak of chic’ a holographic, ice crystal like texture over top. (either one can be worn alone) Find Essie at both mass and drugstores.

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Go and try something new…and remember is can all be taken off at the end of the day ; )

It’s about feeling good and having fun!!

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

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Beauty Stocking Stuffer Ideas

 

It’s 14 shopping days till Christmas and you are still thinking of ideas for stocking stuffers!  Ok don’t panic, I have a few ideas for you and you get the sneek peek before I show them on CTV Morning Live later this morning.

Bottega Veneta pour Homme1~ Who doesn’t want to enjoy a designer brand name item? Reach for it in a fragrance…it’s a wonderful way to enjoy luxury everyday. Bottega Veneta has evoked the suppleness and sensuality of its world renowned leather goods in a bottle. For women, try the limited edition bath collection (shown below) with a Softening Body Scrub, Satin Body Oil, Shimmering Body Powder and of course the eau de parfum and for men…Bottega Veneta Homme. (shown left)

Bottega Veneta is available at Holt Renfrew

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2~ With so many on your list you may be watching your wallet but you don’t have to give up choosing a fragrance. Guess Night for men (shown left) is a masculine and magnetic fragrance, and for the women it’s the the playful and charming Katy Perry Killer Queen. (shown below) Both can be found at Sears at under $80, look for sets too!

 

 

 

3~ Skincare is often a great item to pick up at Christmas time because you can find some great value sets and Philosophy leads the way with their Festive Favorites $94CAD, a collection of 6 pieces of the brands best-selling skincare for bright and smooth skin. They also do an amazing job of body care sets as well in a variety of all sizes and scents and prices. Great choices for the teacher, the office exchange and hostess gifts.

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4~ You love the idea of DIY gifts but just aren’t that talented…ok thats me. The next idea is super easy, just a little bit of your imagination is all it takes and will come just in time to use for New Years Eve parties. Reach for smaller sized makeup/beauty items and mix and match to make you own sets. Let’s channel the mod 60′s shall we? Start with Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara…gorgeous, full lashes (and so much cheaper than lash extensions) then add in Rimmels Apocalips Lip Laquer in her fave shade for great shine and bold color. Finish the set off with some nail fashion with Sally Hansen’ new Triple Shine nail polishes. Go for a similar shade as the lips or a little art work with two or more shades, go for glitter, stripes or dots like Katy Perry did on the red carpet for the past American Music Awards (she used Sally Hansen nails exclusively, seen below)

Rimmel and Sally Hansen can both be found at mass and drugstores.

Sally Hansen Katy Perry AMA Red Carpet

 

 

 Sally Hansen Katy Perry AMA

 

 

Ciao Bellas
~Melody xo

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Getting Glam for the Holidays w/ My Fave Not-So-Secret Beauty Tools

 

It’s that time of year again…your social calendar is filling up. From office parties to holiday dinners and cocktail parties, you want to look your best especially since everyone loves to snap pictures and you may be caught in the camera’s flash. Even before you put on that fantastic outfit, do your hair and makeup there are a few things that we can do to prep for it underneath it all.

These are a few of my favorite no-so-secret beauty tools, that will have you looking and feeling your best from head to toe. I shared them today with Lianne Laing on CTV Morning Live. (click picture to go to video)

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3 Months Supply of ViviscalOur hair often takes a lot of abuse with weather and styling with hot tools and products. Give it a fighting chance by nourishing it from the inside. I love Viviscal Maximum Strength Hair Nourishment System, a 100% drug free, natural supplement with the exclusive and patented AminoMar C Marine Complex, a blend of deep sea proteins, Vitamin C, and horsetail extract that all work together to help nourish thinning hair from within, right where it begins to grow. It’s a clinically proven formula and loved by both celebrities and celebrity hairstylists.  Since I’ve started taking it, my hair is shedding less, growing faster (I have to touch up my roots earlier than 4 weeks) and I can see fresh new growth in thin areas. Great for women and men. Find it at www.viviscal.ca starting at $59.99CAD

 

Product Details

Everyone wants a brighter smile, but often the time and potential costs of teeth whitening have us shying away from it. Until now, with the Luster Pro Light system. In the privacy of your own home, with just 3 steps and 3 minutes you can be well on your way to a brighter whiter smile. Say bye bye to stains and discoloration. The Luster Pro Light kit contains everything you need for up to 20 treatments,  from touch ups to full on whitening makeover and whitens 2x faster than trays or strips plus the bonus of zero tooth sensitivity!  So easy, you can give a freshening up the day of a big event. Find it at Shoppers Drugmart for about $59.99CAD

 

 

MICRO Pedi MANThe winter weather has our feet covered most of the time and we probably ignore them until it’s time to put on those pretty heels, then we may have a not so pretty feet situation. I got a great fix for that. I’m a huge fan of my Micro Pedi. It has to be the easiest beauty tool for feet ever! It is a hand held, battery operated device that has a micro mineral roller that spins 30x per second to gently buff away only the dry, hard skin easily and gently. In fact if you can brush your teeth, you can use the Micro Pedi. I use mine every couple of days after the shower so that I have sandal ready feet year round And guys, no excuses for you to have those rough and gnarly feet because there’s a Micro Pedi for you! (shown left) Go to www.micropedi.ca for great packages.

 

 

20131203-204916.jpgWe want to take care of our nails and have them look pretty. One of the best ways is to look for formulas that are free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate and if you can add in %100 vegan I say go for it. Mineral Fusion nail enamels are a long lasting, chip free formula that have a wide brush for more even color application and I found that it gave good color coverage in one coat, great if you are in a rush. The formula is infused with anti-oxidant rich minerals and come in a great 30+ shade collection. There is sure to be one for you and the price is great at $7.99 and you can find them at Whole Foods as well as London Drugs and if you aren’t near ether one you can order them at www.londondrugs.com

 

 

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

 

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Contour & Hi-light Your Face like a Pro…Even When You’re Not ~ Makeup 101

I love what a little everyday contouring and hi-lighting can do for the face. It adds definition, enhances bone structure even for those that don’t think they have it ; )  plus it can give the illusion of a sleeker, even younger appearance to the face. This morning I was on CTV Morning Live sharing tips to simply add contouring and hi-lighting to your everyday makeup routine, so you too can enjoy the benefits.

 Clicking picture below will open a new window to watch the TV segment

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TIP: Contouring works best with an even toned complexion using a foundation, tinted moisturizer etc. to tone down any redness or discoloration in the face.

If you are going to try contouring I strongly recommend using pro-versions. Using the best tools will yield the best results and therefore worth owning.  Below are the products mentioned in the segment that I use professionally, personally and highly recommend to those who don’t have a pro artist on-call. You don’t need to be a pro artist to buy!!

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Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in medium. Works great for fair to medium/ tan skin. Velvety, matte and fine textured which can be layered for color intensity without looking cakey on the skin. Apply over moist or powder foundations. Pair it with the lovely The Celestial Powder for delicate hi-lighting with an ethereal glow.

Canada find it here:  Pir Cosmetics and Beauty Mark.

U.S retailers (stores and online sites)

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Tools are just as important as the product itself. Loving my new Make Up For Ever Artisan Brushes (double-ended sculpting brush). Super soft bristles that gently glide over skin. Use the angled end to apply a contour powder, and the rounded or full end to dust on a soft shimmer hi-lighter.

Find at select Sephora stores and Sephora online.

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Senna Cosmetics Face Sculpting Kit (shown – shade 1) is a luxurious matte cream (non greasy) version and is so easily blended. It also has a brightener, hi-lighter,  instructions and comes with the brush too! Best applied over a moist foundation for smooth application. Suitable for all skin types. Created by pro makeup artist Eugenia Weston for makeup artists as well as non pros.

Find in Canada at eskincarestore.com    U.S. at Senna Cosmetics

It takes several tries to get the knack for contouring on yourself.  Practice with the hollow of the cheeks first, as that is the toughest area to get the proper angle, the right intensity and length of contour line. Once you get the hang of it you’ll use it all the time and the other areas to contour are easy-peasy!

**Much thanks goes to my model Ashley P. of Models International Management for getting up early to work with me. She is both beautiful inside and out. XO

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

 

 

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Luxury Beauty ~ Review of Tom Ford nail polish

 

Of all my years working in the beauty industry, there is one thing I have learned; “I don’t believe that paying more gets you more in the world of beauty.”  The goal of any beauty product purchase should be the finished result you get, plus the “I feel FAB” when used.  There are great finds, hidden treasures and various levels of quality in every price range.  Although I do have to admit that when it comes to fragrance, lipstick and nail polish it’s often a fab way of obtaining a luxury brand, such as Tom Ford. His name is fashion, beauty, style and luxury. Oh hell, I’m still lusting after his famous red velvet suit for Gucci.

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Gwyneth Paltrow @ VMA’s 1996 in a red velvet tuxedo pantsuit designed by Tom Ford for Gucci. (as seen on Instyle.com)

 

Back to the nail polish… I like a good dark shade most times for my fingers nails so I purchased (about $35 CAD) the shade ‘Bitter Bitch’ a gorgeous dark plum/brown at Holt Renfrew in Toronto. Don’t you just love the name?

Tom Ford Beauty nailpolish

‘Bitter Bitch’ nail polish (Nordstrom)

 

 ”high-performance formula with bendable coating delivers high coverage and shine while staying color-true throughout wear.”  

not yet finished, but this is  3 coats prior to clear top coat.

Not fully done, 3 thin coats before clean up/top coat. My pinky nail shows the results

The texture is smooth,  creamy and spreads without streaking ~ no lines/texture marks in the polish. It wasn’t giving great color coverage with the first application, some spots on the nail were opaque and others were transparent. Normally I use 2 coats of my fave nail brands for smooth, full coverage of color topped with a clear coat for extra shine and durability. So on to a 2nd coat…still found it wasn’t fully covering. Went for a third coat, no change. (tried on 2 other occasions with thin and thick layers, same result) It’s now used on my toes instead but same finished effect. The polish does have great shine and had long wear, but it didn’t deliver in the coverage.

From its fabulous color to the creamy texture, I really wanted to love it, but needless to say I’m left disappointed in this particular item. This hasn’t turned me off from trying other items from the brand itself,  I did also buy a lipstick and excited to try it out! BTW, the customer service at Holt Renfrew that day was wonderful from women’s wear to the cosmetics counters.

 

 Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

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Fall Beauty Survival Products

 

The leaves are changing and so is the temperature…Fall is definitely here and with that comes some beauty challenges and possibly skipping steps in our beauty routines for a few extra minutes of sleep under the warm covers. With minimal effort and time, you can keep up with your beauty routine with some of my favorite head to toe beauty products. Here’s to looking and feeling fab into the fall (and year round)

 

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Vita Liberata has got to be my favorite self tanner brand I’ve used in years. From the amazing natural looking color, no smell, to how the luxurious formula feels on my skin. They have plenty of products to choose from for head to toe perfection, and yes the mitt really does make a huge difference for a great end result.

 

 

MICRO Pedi MANThe Micropedi makes pretty feet all year round possible. Gals, no more emergency pedi’s for a fancy night out or upcoming beach vacation, just a few minutes a week keeps them so soft all you’ll need to do is add the nail polish. For the guys…no need for embarrassing salon pedicures, you can buff away that rough skin in the privacy of your own bathroom with your own micropedi (shown) and no-one will know your secret.

 

Hair CareThe Viviscal Hair Nourishment Hair System is something new for me and this is my personal story: I have long believed that my hair shedding over the last few years was ‘normal’ and something I’d just have to live with until now. (thinning hair is not really a beauty topic women want to talk about, so we don’t know where to start looking for a solution). I noticed the shedding more in the shower when washing my hair or brushing/combing it out.  *As of this post, I’m just under 2 months of using it and have begun to notice a reduction to the amount of hair lost in the brush or shower, this is very encouraging and has me continuing the program.

 

Sometimes you need to brighten that smile fast and the Luster Premium White Pro Light Teeth Whitening System offers great results while using it in the comfort of your home, extremely cost efficient, and for those of you with sensitivity issues when it comes to teeth whitening, they’ve got you looked after too!  (also at select Shoppers Drug Mart)

 

 

Ciao Bellas, Until Next Time

~Melody xo

 

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