May 24, 2015

VMV Hypoallergenics - Sensitive Skincare & Cosmetics that Outperforms the 'Regular' Ones

You don't have to have sensitive skin to want to take care of it.

Want to forgo products that are filled with allergens, dyes, fragranes, parabens, etc., without having to obsessively read labels with obscenely tiny print?  All you need is VMV Hypoallergenics. Their entire line, including  skincare and cosmetics, is VH-76/76 (sans all 76 common allergens), 100% All-Types-Of-Fragrance-Free, 100% Free of Dyes, Allergenic Surfactants, Phthalates, Parabens + Preservatives. Usage + Patch-Tested and Non-Comedogenic

VMV Hypoallergenics - established in 1979 - is made to work with your skin, no matter type or sensitivity. And they've got the studies to prove it

I put some of their products to the test:

With only six ingredients, this cooling solution deep cleans while firming and brightening the skin, and works to keep acne and shine at bay.

What is fascinating about this is I have very dry skin, and yet after just one use, my face felt cleansed and hydrated. And completely renewed. Can you imagine if I'd used the one for dry skin?

If you only try a handful of new products this year, this has got to make your list

I put so very little on. The silky smooth cream felt so good upon contact. And then it happened. Immediately, my skintone evened out, it became as if lit from within and radiated with luminescence, and then it smoothed and plumped right before my eyes. I could have done HDTV right then and there.

VMV calls it "clinically-proven cellular renewal and regeneration, microdermabrasion, antioxidant and intensive moisturizing, anti-aging therapy." There is so much science behind it all - undiluted glycolic acid multitasks while something called kinetin tricks your skin into thinking it's more youthful. It goes on and on. All you need to know is it's like starting fresh, without having to go through painful peels or surgeries.

It worked so well on that first try, that I couldn't wait to try it again. I wanted more. Suddenly, I was an addict in search for a high. But VMV is smart - they tell you right on the
 glue-free box (how cool is that?!) that you are to use it only once or twice a week. No more. And then "very slowly increase to 3x-a-week." Because they know that if it weren't for these instructions, I'd be in front of the medicine cabinet twice a day re-everything-ing.

Of course VMV's makeup is just as extraordinary as their skincare products. 

Skin Bloom Blush is meant to enhance your features, not swipe them in fake contour lines.  All you need is a few quick swipes of the sparkly powder and instantly, your cheeks pop like never before, while your skin gets a light kiss of colour and luster.

Oh, and in case that's not enough (it totally is), it comes dripping in skin-enhancing ingredients, such as:

- Green tea and rice phytic acid for antioxidant benefits
- Virgin coconut oil for intensive moisturization
- Monolaurin for skin-safe disinfection.
- Titanium dioxide and iron oxide pigments for added sun protection

The gorgeous packaging includes a soft, white zippered box, a sweet, sleek compact with mirror and a a wide soft brush that makes application foolproof, even for makeup rubes like myself.

How you'll ever go back to "regular" blush is beyond me.

This gloss ain't just floss. It's got substance as well as bling power. 

Did you know that beeswax can dry out your lips? That's why you won't find it here, along with other chapping, darkening, and acne/rash causing ingredients. Steeped with green tea, virgin coconut oil, monolaurin and titanium dioxide an iron oxide pigments, your lips are nourished and moisturized, and protected from the sun.

Sparkle and shine safely this summer.

By now, you've gotta know that VMV Hypoallergenics is one of the best skincare and cosmetics companies E-V-E-R. So naturally this oil-free makeup remover is water-based, so your skin is cleanser and pampered, not stripped of all that goodness you've been working to get back (see products 1 and 2 above). It's so good for your skin in fact (say hello to hydrating glycerin and green tea), you don't even have to rinse it off.

So go crazy with the liquid liner and 17 layers of mascara - VMV's got you.

Stop whatever you're doing and shop for fast-acting, effective skincare loaded with goodness and fabulous cosmetics at VMV Hypoallergenics now.

May 18, 2015

Trudeau's New Structure Baking Collection - Make Pastries Like a Pro

If you have been hankering to be more like Dominique Ansel, Christina Tosi, Karlie Kloss and Dorie Greenspan, the amazing fourth-generation family-owned Trudeau company celebrating 125 years in business (Congratulations Trudeau!) has get you covered.

Baking is scientific, so you want to ensure you've got the right equipment. But who says they should be boring?

The new Structure collection from Trudeau lends a pop of colour to the kitchen (shades of fuchsia, mint, coral and grey, to be exact), while ensuring you've got quality tools in hand (extensive testing was done).

Here's a quick look at some of the amazing collection:

Sifting flour can feel like a chore, but not when you've got the Structure Flour Sifter in hand. The retro-cool mint finish is so much more fun than plain ol' stainless steel. And the three levels of mesh delivers a uniform result each and every time, making your cakes and cupcakes the best on the block. Your friends and neighbours will wonder what your secret is.

The Structure Pastry Mat is the first one I've ever had - and now I would say everyone who's going to bake should have one. The silicone mat offers easy-to-follow linear and circular guides in bright fuchsia and in imperial and metric measurements, so that you can make pies and pastries like a pro. The mat is reinforced with a fiberglass liner, so that's it durable and will stand up to all your pastry wheel cuts. The non-stick surface is easy to clean, which means you can get your pie in the oven that much faster.

One of the best tools in any kitchen is a spatula. Just watch the difference as you try and use a knife to get the last of the mayo of out the jar and then with a spatula. You'll never be able to live without one again. But don't get those boring ones that your grandma used to use. You want the Structure Baking Spatulas (available in 9" and 12") with the beechwood handle that's as smooth and soft and so comfortable to hold. It also happens to be non-stick and stain and odour resistant, not like those old scratchy, smelly wood ones. The fun silicone head comes in different colours and designs, giving a little extra oomph to your baking.

The new Structure Muffin Pan is the sturdiest silicone pan I've ever used. While still flexible, it offers great structure, thanks to integrated steel, and a non-stick surface, so your muffins release from the pan with ease. It's an absolute dream. You'll also notice how evenly everything cooks now. And go ahead and pop it in the microwave, dishwasher or freezer - it's good to go. And the grey and fuchsia combo? Ever so stylish. The pan is available in a 6 muffin pan and pie plate.

Whether you're a once-in-awhile baker or it's a part of your weekly routine, you'll want to bake a storm now that you've got Trudeau's Structure Collection. Smart, stylish and a pro in the kitchen. Hmm, sound like anyone you know?

Shop the new Structure collection from Trudeau now.

May 17, 2015

La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF 15 - If You Could Marry An Eye Cream, It'd Be This One

The moment La Prairie Anti Aging Eye Cream SPF 15 touches your skin, don't be surprised if clouds part and a choir sings praises and hallelujahs.

Because you'll see and feel the difference right away.

An ever-so-light cream quenches upon contact and seemingly fills in any lines and/or wrinkles, no matter how deep, no matter that you thought they were permanent fixtures.

This is why Hollywood stars and celebs can't get enough (Victoria Beckham, Christina Hendricks and Eva Mendes and are all fans of the line. And really, it doesn't get any more staggeringly beautiful than these three). And why it is absolutely worth the cost.

This botanically rich cream cools and hydrates while disappearing into the skin, and yet keeps working away well after application

And the fresh floral scent is so captivating and energizing,  you'll race to the cabinet to apply it every morning. Just watch as your eyes suddenly seem to pop and widen with renewed energy.

Protect your pretty peepers from  UV, environmental pollutants, and something called "internal micro-stress" (I don't know what that is, but I know I don't want it!) with  La Prairie Anti Aging Eye Cream SPF 15. And while the rest of your friends continue to age and look haggard and tired, 
you will remain wrinkle free.

Ack! Swoon! Gasp!

Stop what you're doing and shop La Prairie Anti Aging Eye Cream SPF 15 right now.

May 06, 2015

TOPS Malibu Writing Games & Talking Sticks - Game Night Just Got More Interesting

It used to be that gatherings I held for friends and family centered around food. Now they are about sharing a meal and playing a game.

As much as I love boardgames/cards/cribbage/charades, I have found over the years that most people don't adore them quite as much ("One more round!" I have shouted at every party).

That's why you should have TOPS Malibu Writing Games and Talking Sticks on hand.

It's a fun way to interact whether you're at the cottage or in the living room. Not only will you get to know fascinating aspects of buds and family, you'll probably find out stuff about yourself along the way.

And don't think for a second that because I'm a writer, I'm better at it. Quite the opposite (same as Scrabble, Boggle and any other word games) In fact, it's always the non-writers that show off real talents at these things. 

Psst, teachers - these are fantastic for creative writing exercises!

Give these a whirl:

TOPS Malibu Writing Games

Long wooden popsicle sticks should be set in a glass or vase. Each stick hold two prompts. The host of the event is to pick a stick and everyone chooses the prompt they wish to write about. The timer is then set for 8 minutes. Which can feel like no time or too much time, depending on what you get. For example - "Write about things you can't throw away even though you never use them." I bet at least three things came to mind just now. I have a feeling "Write about what you would tell your five year old self," will be a little more challenging. Good thing you've got 8 minutes...

With 101 prompts, it will take you awhile to get through this one. Someone takes a topic stick and reads the first sentence aloud. The timer is then set for 2 minutes. At 2 minutes, the host reads the second prompt. Everyone adds the second one and continues on for 2 more minutes. The 4 minute writing game is fantastic for people wanting to explore their creativity and even better for those with writer's block or in a rut. I mean, when you've got a start like "I have always done what was asked," and "Everything seemed right just as it was," it's hard not to want to get right in there and add in the middle.

This is a lovely walk down memory lane where you can write about your favourite toy or book as a child. I bet prompts such as "Write about the activities with a grandparent or older adult" will have you remembering things that you'd long forgotten.

TOPS Malibu Talking Sticks

These sticks work a little differently. First of all, you lay these on the table. Players close their eyes and choose a stick. You answer the question  ("What is the most daring thing you've done? Would you do it again?") and hold onto the stick. Each stick is marked with a category - heart, mind, truth, discovery, dream and adventure. The first person to answer from all six categories wins.

All stick games are beautifully packaged in colourful paper and finished with pretty twine, so they are ready to bring to the party as is. Leaving you more time to play and less time to fuss with wrapping.

p.s. They also happen to have fantastic party stuff such as Party's In the Mail, the most amazing confetti collection, gorgeous pennants and tags, and a whole whack of cool stuff just in time for Mother's Day! Take a look around.

May 05, 2015

Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water - Revolutionizing Makeup Removal

Quick question: You've spent all this time and energy on finding the best cosmetics and skincare products, so why are you still using a cheap, sub-par makeup remover that is doing your skin no favours and leaves residue behind?

Invest in Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water and you'll notice a difference right away.

First of all, this gentle yet effective cleaner wipes away all your makeup, even the stuff that's supposed last all day and stay on even during a lengthy, cross channel swim. No more going to bed with raccoon eyes and looking like something out of American Horror Story.

And you just have to daub and gently wipe - no scrubbing and scratching, pulling and tearing at your skin, making new wrinkles and deepening the old ones.

Using pure ingredients including organic grape water and camomile extract
, the light, silky  liquid goes on super smooth and clean. Then it leaves your skin not only quenched, but as soft as a puppy's ear. Swoon.

And go ahead and use it in the a.m. and before bed - your skin will flourish (You wouldn't dare do that with your cheap bottle of remover from the drugstore).

In addition to the gorgeous floral scent (orange and lemon blossom, watermelon and mint leaves) the best part of Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water? There's no need to rinse, meaning that your skin continues to feel good and get nourished while you're sleeping, and saving valuable time that you could use to sneak in just one more episode of your current binge-worthy Netflix show.

Now that's a cleanser for a modern day woman, wouldn't you say?

p.s. You should seriously get into Caudalie - I absolutely adore everything they do. Read my posts on  their skincare, makeup and perfume.

May 04, 2015

LovePop Cards - An Unexpected Delight Awaits You

Please don't tell me you're going to get your Mom one of those cartoon cards from the mall again this year. You know the ones - the same kind you've been getting her for decades.

It's time to take your cards up a notch and it doesn't get much more exquisite then LovePop Cards.

From the outside, they look like regularly laser cut greeting cards. That's special enough, don't you think? Hearts, roses, whales and hot-air balloons  pop in contrast on thick, coloured paper put together by hand, all pretty enough to frame or display on your desk.

But then you open the card, and bam! - a delicate 3D design unfurls before you:

Couple in Love reveals a happy couple in a romantic moment surrounded by hearts

- Snowflake card opens to a geometric pattern of intertwined blue and white snowflakes

- The "Love" card - and the original LovePop that started it all - reveals a 3D heart that would impress even the cardiac team of Grey's Anatomy

Young America reveals a full-on ship complete with bird in the sky on the left side of the card with the right side bearing a compass. Keep this on your nightstand and sail away every evening.

I am also smitten with the Cherry Blossoms Pink, Elephant Family, Fountain of Flowers Blue and my absolute favourite, Ferris Wheel (it's like having the summer fair come to you).

Just imagine how you can capture a moment, an experience, a favourite item or event, for someone with just this one card. No gift required.

Wombi and John make exquisite cards that will be the only cards you leave open for days, if not forever.

That makes it a card and a gift for all time, all in one. It doesn't get much better than that.

Shop LovePop now and make this Mother's Day one she'll remember forever.

April 05, 2015

UNITE Haircare - Fabulous Locks From Start to Finish

Are you always wishing that your hair was shiny and more manageable? That it looked more like the styles you see in Harper's Bazaar, and less like Phil Spector's frizzy disaster?

No matter how crazy your mane, UNITE Haircare will make it right.

I know because I have part curly, part wavy hair with cowlicks that I wrestle to straighten out on a daily basis. I also colour, blow-dry and flat iron my hair, so it's constantly dry, kinky, and now tangled (that's a new one for me). Every day is a battle to try and get it to look sleek and stylish.  Every freakin' day.

UNITE products completely change your hair, which is why it's a fave of celebs like Katy Perry, Nina Dobrev, Jessica Simpson and Lady Gaga.

Here's a quick look at how to get locks like a cover girl:

- UNITE 7Seconds Detangler Brush is one of those things that you use once and then you have to scream, "Where have you been all my life," no matter who's in the room with you. I have a sensitive scalp so I find most brushes too abrasive. The Detangler Brush however, is gentle, yet effectively, efficiently works through all those tangles, not to mention it works on both wet and dry hair, and helps reduce hair loss and prevent split ends and further breakage. I love the way it feels and sounds - the handless brush is designed like those used on horses: soft and you use your palm instead of your wrist to comb through your now awesome mane.

- GO365 Hairspray is genius. It allows you to control the amount of spray you want by simply adjusting the nozzle to soft, medium or strong hold. That means that you can now rock your hairstyles for everything from solid updo for work, beachy waves for brunch, and slicked back and sexy for late night drinks, all with just a single spray. Sigh.

- If you're looking for extra volume, all you need is a very, very light sprinkling of EXPANDA Dust (just a titch is all you need). Not only will it elevate your locks, it adds texture. And all without parabens and sodium chloride - phew. This invisible, weightless powder is your new secret weapon to great looking hair. And the best part? It has a light scent that is reminiscent of SweeTarts!

- TRICKY Spray is perfect for folks like me that aren't all that talented when it comes to hair. The product is basically a hairstylist-in-a-bottle. The collab of spray and wax gives you texture and separation, shine and hold all in one fell swoop. All you do is just give a little spritz, run your hands through your hair, and voila - it's hold that you control with the added bonus of definition and shine.

Now that's magazine-worthy hair!

March 30, 2015

Matador Pocket Blanket - Stop Anywhere & Take it All In

I am not an outdoorsy person. I like to walk and be outside sure, but I'm not a hiker, I don't like camping or even glamping,  and I want to pee only indoors, thankyouverymuch.

So last summer when I took my Mom for a picnic, all I had to use for a blanket was a bed sheet. There we were in the middle of this massive park and people had their beautiful beach blankets and tartan wools and we used my Nicole Miller sheet.

Part of the reason for this is my predilection for tables and chairs and not a lawn for dining on, but also because I've never wanted to lug around a big blanket with me, for such occasions.

And then I discovered Matador Pocket Blankets and now I can't wait for picnic season (just a few more weeks!)! It's the perfect urban solution for getting outside in comfort.

With a generous 55in X 44in, it's large enough for two or more, it's water repellent, puncture resistant and so compact, it's smaller and lighter than my wallet.

Made from HyprLyte Nylon, this high tech fabric is tough, but extremely light. And easy to clean.

It's so intelligently designed that it comes with weighted corners so no matter what way the wind blows, your blanket will stay put. After your visit to the park/beach/festival/concert, folding it up is even easy thanks to the easy-pack follow-the-dotted-lines pattern. It even folds up into a little pouch so you can stash it at the bottom of your bag or in the glove compartment or wherever, and it takes up less room than your phone.

I think I might just become an outdoors person after all, thanks to Matador.

Shop Matador Pocket & Mini Blankets now. Then see you at the beach/park/concert/etc.!