Wednesday, November 28, 2012

L'Oreal Paris Cocktail Party & Spring 2013 Preview

Last night I attended my first L'Oreal event, held at the Trump Hotel in downtown Toronto. It was such a glamorous party -  with dazzlingly dressed attendees and amazing food & decor. Just take a look at the beautiful treat bar - can you spot the chocolate Louboutin?


We were introduced to over 80 products scheduled for a Spring 2013 launch - here the 4 I'm most excited about:

1) Visible Lift Color Blush: A creamy lightweight powder blush formulated with Tourmaline. This blush has a very soft texture - and leaves such a glowing and radiant finish. I LOVE my blushes and can't wait to use this one.

2) Color Genius iPhone App: Take an iPhone picture of your outfit and this App will process it and match it up with coordinating eyeshadows, nailpolishes and lipstick shades! So much fun AND it's free - search for "Color Genius" in the App store.

3) Elnett Satin Heat Sprays: L'Oreal has combined it's famous Elnett Hairspray with a heat protecting formula (to protect up to 230 degrees Celsius). Now I don't have to use 2 different sprays before I curl my hair - so simple & easy!

4) Infallible The Super Slim 12H Eyeliner: This is the product I'm most excited about - a liquid eyeliner pen with a TEENY brush that deposits the most pigmented line of color across your lashes. I always line my upper lash line before applying mascara. I usually use gel eyeliner because of its rich pigmentation - but this would be so much quicker for daily use.



I had a great time catching up with old friends (TOBeautyReviews & RubanXRose) and meeting new ones (PriincessEmily & Joyce Wong).
I'm in Pink & Gold, RubanXRose is in Black, PriincessEmily in Blue, Joyce in Red & TOBeautyReviews in Black & Grey

A lot of us had a sequins theme going on (I even doubled up!) - we planned on taking a group picture but it was hard to track everybody down LOL! Although I didn't get a picture with them - I loved chatting with: LinerGlitterGloss, FunnyFaceBlog, BlushPretty, Rica, Fionaman, GlitterGeek, PerilouslyPale, JilloJello, EtTuAndYou, Anjali, Amelia & JennMUA. (Sorry if I left anybody out!) 

As we left the event we were gifted with a selection of products from the preview - here's what was in my bag: Power Moisture Haircare, Healthy Look Gloss, Elnett Heat Spray, Age Perfect BB Cream, Color Riche Caresse Shine Stain Lipcolor, Color Riche Nail Color, Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara, Color Riche Eye Shadow Quads and Visible Lift Color Blush.

I can't wait to try these products out - especially the lipstains, nailpolish, mascara & blush!


Which preview product are you most excited about?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I shopped til I dropped...

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express Canada for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday night was the much awaited Express Canada Grand Opening event at the Eaton Center. And to make an exciting event EVEN better - they had 50% off EVERY item in the store!!! High quality clothing at deeply-discounted prices? You couldn't keep TOBeautyReviews and me away even if you tried!

Partners-in-crime: TOBeautyReviews and I perfecting our Anna Karenina-inspired looks...

The new Eaton Center store is gigantic - the women's section extended back through 4 different rooms - Dresses & Sweaters, Coats & Workwear, the Denim Room and Accessories (shoes, bags, scarves & jewelry). It's no surprise we spent over 2 hours exploring all the items and picking out our favorites!

Massive store!

The first section I was drawn to was the outerwear section - I was reunited with the faux fur vest I loved so much - and tried on its grey sister too. I also loved this blush pink minus-the-leather jacket and an adorable black coat with toggle button and fur details.

Express Feathered Faux-fur vest,  Express Fur-trimmed Wool Blend Toggle Coat in Black
Clockwise: Faux fur vest, (minus the) Leather Peplum Seamed Moto Jacket in Rose, Feathered Faux-fur vest, Fur-trimmed Wool Blend Toggle Coat in Black

In the next section I found some ladylike pieces featuring my favorite colors and materials - the black and white lace top is so chic - especially when paired with the black peplum skirt, while the neon pink & cream lace dress is both elegant and fresh. I also spotted the sequined top I had admired so much during my weekend shopping trip.

Clockwise: Lace Yoke Ruffle Sleeve Easy Tee, Iridescent Sequin Tulip Back Tank, High Waist Peplum Pencil Skirt, Eyelash Lace Embellished Elastic Waist Dress

After sorting through all the clothes I loved (and there were a LOT!) I headed into the accessories section where I found: sparkling flats, taupe wedge boots and over-the-knee black boots. Pretty much all the footwear you need to get you through the holiday season!

Top to Bottom: Textured Bow Top Flat, Covered Wedge Zip Bootie, Tall Wedge Zip Boot

Of course I was happiest when surrounded by bags - as usual, I was carrying around an armful! I especially loved this colorblock tote and the chic black-and-white satchel - it matched my shirt perfectly! There was a wall full of beautiful bags to choose from featuring sparkling metallics, classic blacks & browns - and a multitude of colorful wristlets perfect for nights out.

Bags and Satchels by Express
Color Block Satchel & Turn-Lock Top Handle Satchel

As you can tell - I was spoiled for choice - but I did end up selecting 3 items - can you guess which 3 I picked? I won't reveal them just yet - but you'll be seeing them in upcoming posts!

Are you excited about Express expanding in Canada? What are your favorite pieces from their current holiday collection? Check out the Express holiday catalog here.


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p.s. All photos are courtesy of my amazing hubby!


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Recent Outfits & Black Friday Purchases

Children's Birthday Party:
Navy Lace Dress and Red Bubble necklace
Navy H&M Lace Dress & Red Bubble necklace (original version), Old Navy Boots (2011 version), Gucci tote (similar - mine is the small version from 2004)

Running Errands:
Preppy Look
JoeFresh Cardigan, Garage Gingham Shirt, Old Navy Boots (2011 version)

Blog Event (details in an upcoming post)
Express Shirt, Garage Storm Jeggings, Old Navy Boots (2011 version), Balenciaga First bag

Black Friday Buys:

River Island Quilted Clip Purse from ASOS  - sadly the Black Friday discount code didn't apply for Canadian orders - but I went ahead with the purchase since this wallet is on sale.

Taupe Bubble Necklace - I have 3 Bubble necklaces already (Turquoise & Red ones from H&M and  Green one from eBay) - since I get a LOT of wear out of them, I thought it was worth getting another one (I purchased mine from Ily Couture for $19 shipped).

Hunter Original Gloss Rainboots in Bitter Chocolate - I consider these boots to be classics - and knew I wanted a pair some day. When they showed up on Beyond the Rack for $99, I thought it would be a great time to buy!

Garage Denim & Gingham shirts - Garage had 40% off their ENTIRE site...since their clothes are such staples for me, I happily stocked up. On sale, the $39 jeans were priced at $23, and some even came down to $13! Their sale started earlier in the week so I received my items by Friday.

Did you purchase anything during Black Friday or were you able to resist the sales?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend shopping: Necklaces & Clothes

I had quite a few clothes to return this weekend at Banana Republic and the GAP. Hubby HATES clothes shopping for himself (is that a huge surprise? I guess opposites do attract!). I usually order him several options online - he tries them on in the comfort of our own home and we decide what to keep and return - completely painless all around!

As I was returning some of hubby's clothes at Banana Republic, I got drawn in by their sale table of necklaces - all with an additional 30% off !!! (this sale is still going on in store and online!) Here are my first 2 BR necklaces - the 3-stone necklace was $23.78 down from $55 (I can't find it online), the Horse Bit Link necklace was $17.49 from $50.
Left: 3-stone necklace, Right: Horse Bit necklace

Then I went to Express to spend the gift card I won at their pop-up closet (by the way - although I have done some sponsored posts for Express - this isn't one of them). With the gift card & coupon, I had $50 to spend. Here are some of the items I tried on:

Feathered Faux Fur Vest

This faux fur vest feels amazing - it's the perfect piece for fall. Although I didn't purchase it this time - someday it will be mine!

Rib-trimmed Wool Blend Coat in Flax

I loved the color of this coat, as well as the rib-trimmed lining - very cozy! But I didn't really think the lapels of the coat would work for me - especially since I like wearing scarves most of the time.

Alpaca Blend Sweater Coat in Heather Gray & Sequin Tulip Back Tank in Nude Blush

The Sweater Coat is another perfect piece for fall - and would also look great belted. I ADORE the color of the sequin tank - it's so flattering, sparkly and festive! If I do purchase it, I'd have to find a delicate sweater to layer it with, as I don't often wear sleeveless tops by themselves.

Express Black & White Blouse
Long Convertible Sleeve Blouse

And now for the piece I ended up taking home - I love the simplicity of this black & white blouse. It can be worn both as a tunic and tucked in. I plan on wearing it with jeans during the day, and with a black skirt & statement jewelry at night. I was so happy to find it - and after using my gift card & coupon, I only ended up paying $3!

Do you own any Banana Republic necklaces? Does your SO hate shopping as much as mine does?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Skull Scarf Dupe, Coat Dilemna & Polka Dots

Although the Alexander McQueen skull scarf has been around for a while - I've noticed a resurgence in skull-print clothes this season. ZARA has many items featuring skulls:
From ZARA's current collection

And even my favorite place for denim - Garage - is selling adorable (and VERY affordable) skull-print scarves. I picked up the white version recently:

Garage Skull Scarf

It's similar to the McQueen scarf, but there are differences in dimensions, print and material - so it isn't an exact copy of the original.

Garage scarf on the left, McQueen scarf on the right

Here it is next to my Coral McQueen skull scarf (pink version here, mint version here). As it's longer and thicker than the McQueen, it looks better wrapped around the neck rather than hanging loose. For around $12 - it's a fun & affordable piece to own. (This McQueen pink petal multi-skull silk scarf has stolen my heart - but it's much less affordable at $595!!)

While I have a LOT of scarves, I'm still on the hunt for a new winter coat. I picked up these 2 coats during Old Navy's 50% off Outerwear Sale.

I don't think I'll keep the Grey Peacoat - it feels a bit shapeless and baggy, and the wool mix material isn't that warm. I'm VERY undecided about the Faux Shearling Blue Coat - it's so soft and warm BUT I'm worried it looks too little-girlish* - what do you think?

*(whispers) which is probably because it's an XL coat from the Girl's section! I couldn't help it - I love faux shearling and they didn't have any adult versions available... 


I received the Old Navy Boots I blogged about here - but I'll be returning them. On the plus side, the base of the shoe is nicely shaped with an almond-toe and a comfortable wedge heel. BUT the pleather is softer and shinier than the material used in my other Old Navy boots (which are made of a pebbled pleather). I think this different material makes the boots look cheaper - especially because they collapse around the ankle - not a good look!

And now for some recent OOTDs:

Camel Polka-Dot - Was so pleased that Old Navy came out with another version of their polka dot sweaters (here's the first version) - I like the larger dots on this one. I also ordered the GAP polka dot sweater in pink and camel to try out, but I prefer my Old Navy one more.
Camel and White Polka Dot Sweater by Old Navy
Old Navy Sweater, H&M Flower Pin, Garage Jeans, Old Navy Boots (mine are the 2011 version) & LV Speedy 25 Bag

Black, Brown & Leopard
GAP scarf, Smart Set Sweater, Garage Black Jeggings & Old Navy Boots (mine are the 2011 version)

What do you think of Garage's skull scarf? Would you buy it or hold out for the McQueen version? Also - please let me know (honestly!) if you think the faux shearling coat looks too little-girlish - I can't decide!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pop-up Shopping

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express Canada for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last Friday TOBeauty reviews and I visited one of the many pop-up closets that Express Canada is hosting to promote the Grand Opening event at the Eaton Centre on November 21st.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel for Express (I'm wearing the camel polka-dot sweater)
You might be wondering what a pop-up closet is....Remember my post about the Express fashion show - and how I lined up at the bar - but realized it wasn't a bar but a place where they were giving away free Express clothes? Well - that was a pop-up closet!
Pop-up closets: At the fashion show on the left,AMC Dundas on the right.
Pop-up closets are open to EVERYBODY - and anybody who visits one has the opportunity to win free Express clothes or gift cards!!! Future pop-up closet locations are:
  • Thursday, November 15 (11:00 to 15:00): Dundas Square
  • Friday, November 23 - Sunday, November 25 (11:00 to 15:00): Eaton Centre (Level 1 across from MAC) 
I received Editor Pants at the fashion show pop-up and a giftcard at the AMC pop-up...you should definitely check out a pop-up and see what you win! You also have until November 19 to win a $1000 Express shopping spree (contest entry form).

While at the pop-up closet, I got the chance to preview the Express clothes on display - there were so many gorgeous pieces! Here are a few items that I can't wait to check out in stores:

Blush pink & Sparkly with fur accents:


Jewel-toned outerwear & leopard print accessories

And of course: Handbags, handbags, handbags!

I have an HUGE soft spot for Express handbags because my first "grown-up" purchase during my University days was a black satin Express handbag with hot pink lining - it was VERY chic (at the time) and lasted through many nights out. These new bags are SO well made - with fun materials and sophisticated shapes. They would work with a wide range of outfits - wish I could have kept all 3!

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Which is your favorite Express bag? Do you plan on visiting one of the pop-ups?


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Monday, November 12, 2012

Winner of the $50 Perfectly Posh Giveaway is....



Gina/Da Beans

Congratulations on your win - can't wait to hear what you select with your $50! I'll be sending your contact information to Stacey so that she can send you your prize.



AND.....If you didn't win the contest - don't be sad! Stacey has kindly offered to send a Perfectly Posh sample to anyone who's interested:

"For those of you who don't win the giveaway, you can still check out Perfectly Posh! Just send me a message at stacey_sudduth@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/getposhedhere to get your free sample!"


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Basic Make-up for a Mom-on-the-go & Mall Haul!

My friend S is a busy mom with a toddler & a kindergartener - she doesn't have much time for make-up. However, I recently did her make-up for her birthday dinner - and she loved the compliments she received that night. She asked me to create a basic make-up kit for her - so that she could look her best with minimal time and effort. We spent this morning at the mall - and here's what we purchased for her:

Gorgeous & Glowing in 3 easy steps:

Step 1 - The base. Use a moisturizing eye cream (Kiehls Avocado Eye Treatment), then pat MAC Studio Finish concealer under the eyes and on any dark areas. Buff NARS Sheer Glow foundation all over using Sephora Pro Airbrush. This NARS foundation provides such a luminous yet natural looking finish to your skin.

Step 2 - The eyes. Apply MAC Brule all over your lids. Press some matte liquid liner over your lash line (I love MAC gel eyeliner - but Wet n Wild liner is easier to use).  Curl lashes with a Shu Uemura curler and apply Falsies mascara.

Step 3 - Cheeks & Lips. Apply MAC Gingerly Blush with a MAC 129 brush. Finish your look with a layer of Revlon Coral Reef on your lips.

She loves having a basic kit and a simple make-up formula to follow...it makes her life so much easier!

I tend to stick to formulas too - especially when it comes to outfits - most of my recent outfits seem to consist of H&M tops, Garage jeans & Old Navy boots! Oh well, it seems to work!
H&M tops, Garage jeans & Old Navy boots!
I get a lot of questions about my Old Navy boots - I bought them last year in cognac & black (see this year's version here) - I waited for a promo and ended up getting them both for around $30 each! They have waded through rain and snow - and are still going strong.  I was excited to see the sleek cognac boot they came out with this year - and didn't hesitate to order them with a 25% off code (ONMAPLE25 in Canada - code expires today). Hope I get as much wear out of them as I have with my current 2 pairs.
Old Navy Faux Leather Wedge Boots
 After our make-up shopping was finished, my friend and I went to H&M.  I was able to find some GREAT accessories  - these flower pins have both clips and pins, so they can be worn in the hair or pinned on clothes. I picked up a large selection - some are for me and the rest are for my daughter. I also found an adorable faux-fur collar and a hair sponge to use for sock-buns!
H&M flower pins/clips, fur collar & bun sponge
Do you have a clothing or make-up formula that you stick to?


p.s. Don't forget to enter here to win $50 of Perfectly Posh products!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Perfectly Posh Products $50 Giveaway

I was recently contacted by blog reader (and fellow Old-Navy lover) Stacey. She is a consultant for Perfectly Posh products and she wanted to know if I was interested in trying their products, which are all made of natural ingredients and are paraben-free.


I love luxurious bath & body products - so I agreed to try a selection of products that appealed to me:  no facial products since I'm on acne treatment - and no bath bombs/bubble baths/body scrubs - I'm more of a shower gel/lotion/body butter person! As always - when I review a free item, I consider it as if I paid the retail price...and evaluate it objectively.

Continue reading to see what I thought of the products and for the chance to win a $50 Perfectly Posh gift certificate (open to US residents only, sorry!).

Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme:
These are 3 versions of the same product, each with a different fragrance. This cream is full of moisturizing oils (including Coconut, Olive, Safflower, Grape, Jojoba & Avocado) yet it absorbs easily and leaves a long-lasting soft feeling. I feel like it improves the overall condition of my skin, rather than just creating a temporary silky feeling (unlike some other hand creams - especially silicone-based ones!). I've reviewed hand creams extensively here. While Fruits & Passion is still my Holy Grail hand cream - I would rate the PP ones above Aquaphor, Neutrogena and Kiehls creams!

Chunk Big Bath Bars & Shower Gelee
Gender Bender Bath Bar - This unisex soap is very firm yet lathers well. It has a sweet sandalwood-y smell - my children said it reminded them of my "going-out perfume" (Angel by Thierry Mugler).

Maha Satori Gelee - This wash is SLS free, yet foams up nicely. The Ginger & White Tea smell is divine BUT sadly not long-lasting. By the time I apply moisturizer I can no longer smell it on my skin.

Feng Shoap Bath Bar - I love this creamy white soap - it's so nourishing and luxurious. It's triple-milled and butter-based, so it's softer than the Gender Bender soap. It has a lovely light & powdery scent. I would use this on my kids.

Cocoa Body Butter, Mood Mister & Sugar Lip Scrub
Plain Posh Cocoa Body Butter - One of my favorite products - it's so pure and although no fragrance has been added - it has a beautiful natural cocoa scent which I LOVE. Colder weather means we've turned the central heating on - and this cream has been a miracle-worker on the resulting dry & itchy skin. It immediately cools our skin down and soothes it - eliminating any redness and tightness.

Lavender Mood Mister - This essential oil is for spraying on your body or surroundings. Although this product was hard to sample (since it's a liquid placed in a jar rather than a spray) I couldn't get over how AMAZING this smelled - I love it so much! I think this would be the perfect product to take on a long-haul flight: spray it onto your seat and blanket before settling down for a nap - it would take care of any stale smells while relaxing your body in one easy step!

Make-Out Magic Sugar Lip Scrub - I've not had much luck with lip scrubs before (see my thoughts on the Bath & Bodyworks one here). I had a mild case of the flu last week, which left me with dry, peeling lips. I tried my usual Vaseline + Paper towel trick, but my lips were still flaky. I applied this on my lips - and within 30 seconds, the flakes were all gone! I still had to apply lip balm after as the scrub left my lips feeling a bit dry - but I'm super-impressed at how effective this is!

MY THOUGHTS:
Perfectly Posh products are a definite must-try for any one who likes natural and luxurious bath & body products. I love how all the product ingredients are clearly listed and explained on their website. The last 3 products I tried (Cocoa butter, Mood Mister & Lip scrub) were my favorites - they are effective and unique - and I would definitely go out and purchase them with my own money.

CONTEST TIME!

One US-based reader will win a $50 gift certificate to spend on Perfectly Posh products. Please enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below - you must follow me through Google Friend Connect & "like" Perfectly Posh on Facebook to enter. Following my Facebook page and Tweeting about this giveaway will earn additional entries. Contest ends November 12. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  
 
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post - I am not being compensated to write this. I was sent some samples to try and the opportunity to give a gift certificate to one of my followers. As always - when I review a free item, I consider it as if I paid the retail price...and evaluate it objectively. Gifted or not, I blog to share my true feelings and help my readers.



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