Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oi

Every time there is a new major skincare launch, I get positively giddy with excitement. My heart starts to beat a bit faster, my palms get all sweaty and I can’t wait to get my hands on the latest and greatest product that will ‘change my life’ forever. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but I wasn’t the only one. There has been a TON of buzz surrounding the launch of Sunday Riley’s newest oil ‘Luna’, and rightfully so. Her other three oils, Juno, Artemis and Flora (formerly Isis) shot to stardom practically overnight. So, could Sunday Riley really do it again? The answer to that my friend is.. damn right she can!

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Luna Sleeping Night Oil is written up on the Sephora website as a “next-generation retinoid oil to reduce pore size, improve the appearance of sun damaged skin, and help fight wrinkles.”  It contains a kind of retinol called ‘trans-retinol ester’ which works the same way as regular retinol does, but without all the nasty peeling, redness and itching that have always given retinol a bad wrap. Sunday has also thrown in an essential oil complex including cold-pressed avocado, chia, and concord grape seed oils to soothe the skin and boost radiance, all while building new collagen as you sleep. One of the things that makes Luna unique (and super fun) is its shocking blue hue. This is because of the addition of my new favourite skincare staple called Blue Tansy, which is a natural antihistamine boasting strong anti-redness qualities and known to heal damaged skin, including dermatitis and eczema- again reducing any risk of irritation.

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Recommended for use only at night, Luna is perfect for first-time retinol users and veterans alike. You only need a few drops, massaged onto clean skin. Wait for it to absorb… in like 2 seconds flat.. and follow with Juno (perfection) or any other hydrating oil or moisturizer to seal in the goodness. Get your 8 hours of beauty sleep (or less- it really doesn’t matter with this product adorning your face) and you will wake up with more youthful, healthy skin with, wait for it… visibly reduced pores and the brightness of a newborn baby (maybe ‘newborn baby’ is an exaggeration… but this stuff is VERY good). Luna is gentle enough for use every night, but first time retinol users should start slowly- as you would with any new product. Personally I alternate Luna every other night with Sunday Riley Good Genes. Can you hear the heavens opening up and the angels singing?????? Yes, my beauty lovers… Sunday Riley has knocked it out of the park, once again.

Available exclusively in-store at Gee Beauty and online at Sephora.         

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Beautybelle

Hello Beauties!

I’m sorry my regular product posts have been dwindling, but for those of you following me on Instagram and Facebook, you will likely have noticed my very frequent mini reviews of my current beauty faves.  I hope you have been enjoying them!  I’ve also been busy helping clients make sense of their skincare.  Who can blame you if you don’t know the difference between a serum and an oil or an acid and an enzyme?  With the massive beauty offerings being thrown at us every single day, it’s hard to distinguish the diamonds from the duds that really do what they say on the package.  That’s where I come in.  Let me help you get your glow back with a personalized Beautybelle product consultation to create the most effective beauty regime just for you.  We will review your current products and discuss your skin concerns and budget and I will leave you with a bag of samples and step by step instructions to begin the journey to the best skin of your life!  I will even pick up and deliver your products.  What are you waiting for?  Drop me an email at holly@beautybelle.ca and let’s get the ball rolling…. and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @hollybeautybelle here and on Facebook @hollybellman here for all my daily updates.  xox

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Follow me on Instagram and Facebook!!!

Just a short note to say that while I don’t always have time for a long review post, I am constantly posting beauty and skin recommendations on Instagram and Facebook.  Click here to follow me on Instagram and here to follow my Facebook Feed. The Instagram app can be downloaded from any Smart Phone- you don’t have to have an IPhone!

Enjoy Your Sunday!

James Read Liquid Tan

So, summer feels like it’s winding down, and I don’t know about you, but I have been scrambling to find the perfect product to extend my summertime glow and keep me bronzed and beautiful no matter what the thermometer says. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look and feel better with a tan!

Everyone that follows me knows that Kiehl’s Sun Free Self Tanning Formula is always my failsafe choice for fake tan, but for months now it has been unavailable in Canada. I hate when that happens!! So, I stockpiled all I could and continued on my search. Turns out, I didn’t have to look far.

James Read says that his liquid tan is ‘the closest thing to a natural looking tan you can find in a bottle’.  I couldn’t agree more!   Created by Hollywood’s ‘Go To’ tan master, James Read Liquid Tan delivers long-lasting (over a week!), golden goddessy colour and has a skin quenching formula that will replenish your moisture levels as the colour develops.  Not only is the color fantastic, but the whole application method is star-quality.  The best part?  You can’t make a mistake if you follow the directions.

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To achieve a Hollywood (aka flawless) finish, James suggests (insists) applying the liquid with a James Read Tanning Mitt.  Seriously, this gem is designed with a large smooth surface and protective membrane for your hand to ensure a smooth application and deliver an even tan with no unsightly orange palms… every time.   If you’re a diehard self tanning mousse fan, trust me and take the leap of (liquid) faith – it’s easier to use and can be layered as much or as little as you like- as you dial up or down your Gisele-o-meter.  The result is Brazilian bronzed perfection that, until now, you couldn’t normally achieve at home.  Works as well on the face as it does on the body.

So, exfoliate thoroughly prior to application focusing on the drier bits that usually ‘over-brown’ like wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet. Following exfoliation, I apply a light cream moisturizer all over- focusing on the above-noted areas. Then, shake the liquid tan bottle and, blot an amount the size of a toonie onto the Mitt, folding the mitt in half to distribute the product. Using circular motions, spread all over each body part using the deep bronze color as a guide.  Reapply product as needed (I use one toonie-sized blot per body part- ie each arm, each leg, chest, etc). Leave the face, hands and feet until last and apply the remains of any product on the mitt to these areas to avoid over tanning.  This product only takes a couple seconds to dry; avoid contact with water for at least eight hours, then shower to reveal a light bronzed, golden tan.  The best part is that there is no sickening self-tanner smell!   James Read Liquid Tan is available in Light and Medium.

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 Insider Tip: If you want a super dark tan, follow Read’s tip of waiting an hour between layers and repeating. And to avoid fading, use his equally impressive Gradual Tan Medium every three days – particularly on your hands and face.

James Read, Liquid Tan Light and Medium is available at Gee Beauty and One-One Studio in Toronto.

 

The 4 Summer Beauty Tips You Need

So it’s sweltering out and the last thing you want to do is pile a ton of makeup on your already greasy face. Besides, it’s only going to slide right off the minute you step into the sun (Never a good look!). At this time of year, the only thing you should be laying on thick is your sunscreen.

Summer makeup and skincare, on the other hand, is all about sheer and creamy waterproof textures – always applied with a very light hand.This summer, keep your makeup from melting into your Mojito by following these 4 simple tips.

PROTECT AND PRIME

The key to long-lasting foundation and colour is the most commonly skipped step: Primer. What you don’t want is too many products on top of one another – moisturizer, then sunscreen, then primer. The perfect solution: A multi-purpose product like Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30/pa +++ ($33 at Sephora).

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Apply a toonie-sized dollop of this lightweight formula before your concealer and foundation and you will be protected from the elements and primed til the sun goes down.

Beauty Tip: If you’re heading to the beach for sun worshipping, you should ‘prime your primer’ with a separate coat of SPF 30 or higher or follow with my next product – the magical colour compact below.

COVER UP with extra SPF

Think of foundation this way: The less you put on, the less there is to slide off. AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact with SPF 50 ($72 at Sephora) is the answer to your warm weather prayers.

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Flaunt ‘perfect skin’ with this powerhouse product that provides light to medium coverage, superior antioxidant and sun protection, instant hydration. Best of all, it feels like nothing on the skin. This miraculous formula fills in and blurs lines and pores, brightens like nobody’s business and provides beautiful sheer, irritation-free coverage to boot. The broad spectrum SPF 50 protects you from the elements and can be easily reapplied – even over makeup – throughout the day.

Beauty Tip: I apply it with a damp beauty blender but the velvety sponge included in the compact works just as well.

BLOOMING CHEEKS AND LIPS

Perspiration and powder blush don’t mix. Ever. Instead, maintain your glow by following your liquid foundation product (no powdering required) with bright pink or coral cream blush on the apples of your cheeks. Swipe the same shade on your lips and you’re good to go! YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush Cheeks & Lips ($45 at Sephora) is ideal for this.

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With a range of stunningly bright and subtle shades, a soft, mousse-y long-wearing formula, and sleek packaging, YSL has given cream cheek/lip hybrids an updated twist. The formula is a divine air-whipped, velvety-yet-matte mousse that won’t dry out the lips or make cheeks feel sticky.

Beauty Tip: I put 2 or 3 dots of the ultra-blendable cream on each cheek apple and use a tapping motion with my fingers to blend. For lips, paint on directly with the wand (the applicator is insanely good) and blend with your finger. Worn solo or topped with lip balm and (I swear) the colour lasts ALL DAY – even in the sun.

LAQUER YOUR LINE and SWEATPROOF YOUR LASHES

My hands down fave summer (and all year-round) liner is Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($26 at Sephora). This product glides on like a dream, dries in a flash and stays in place until you say when — no smudges, no feathering, no running.

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Its felt-tip pen makes application practically foolproof, and the pigment is super rich and dark and stays on forever – on the beach, in the pool, wherever you are.

Beauty Tip: Complete the look with your trusty waterproof mascara (Chanel Inimitable ROCKS) and sun, here you come!

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FOR Brazen Woman

 

Sunday Riley Good Genes

In the mood for a little Spring Cleaning?

 Lately a lot of people have been asking me why, no matter how many expensive serums, moisturizers and eye creams they slather on their skin, their reflection in the mirror is still an ashen, dull and lackluster complexion. Listen up ladies. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… The reason that none of your products are working is because you’re not EXFOLIATING your skin, allowing for your lotions and potions to penetrate and get to work on solving your aging issues. Exfoliation is KEY to radiant and bright skin, but you have to be careful how you go about it.   Those of us who are blessed with uber sensitive skin, need to steer clear of abrasive scrubs and peels. My skin used to flush just looking at the ‘St Ives’ Apricot Facial Scrub that all my friends were using. So I needed to find something gentler.

I discovered the much hyped Sunday Riley line a few years ago while wandering the Barney’s cosmetics department and have been using their products ever since. One of the hero’s of the line is called Good Genes. Even the name got me excited. After testing this dreamy chemical exfoliant (no harsh scrubbing here!) for a mere 5 days, I knew the hype was true and that Sunday Riley Good Genes is an easy to use, at home treatment akin to perfect, glowy skin in a bottle.

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This ‘holy grail status’ serum transformed my dull and crazy sensitive skin into glowing and bright, right before my very eyes. Suddenly, my pores were tighter, my skin tone more even and, a miracle to behold, no more PMS face! Long story short, it gave me the skin I wish was in ‘my genes’.

For a luminous glow, I apply one pump of Good Genes on my freshly cleansed skin at night, and top with my favorite skin oil (Sunday’s Juno is ideal) or cream moisturizer to really lock in the ‘goodness’. It can also be used as an intensive 5 day treatment before a big event to perfect, brighten and even your skin; or, for those with sensitive skin, try mixing one pump of Good Genes with your cream or gel cleanser and applying as a mask for 5 minutes. You will be thrilled with the results!

One pump of this lactic-acid infused wonder works to plump up fine lines, eradicate hyperpigmentation and redness, eliminate sun damage and reveal the brighter and newer skin you knew was under there somewhere! Good Genes delivers results that will make you jump up and down with joy (I know I did!). You will also be happy to know the entire Sunday Riley line is made without yucky sulfates or synthetics. Trust me, it’s a game changer.

Available at Gee Beauty and online by clicking here.

Benefit Gimme Brow

Gimme Brow by Benefit Cosmetics will change your life. I know that sounds a tad dramatic for a little brow-building product with a teeny-tiny brush that looks like it would work perfectly on one of your childhood dolls, let alone you- but hear me out.  If you are one of those people (come on, fess up!) who over plucked in the 90’s, or have sparse brows due to an illness or genetics, than this product is for you.  Throw away your pencils, powders and waxes.  This all-in-one brow-building invention allows you to brush your way to fuller, darker, TOTALLY NATURAL looking brows that stay in place all day.  It truly is a little magical.

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Benefit’s Gimme Brow water-resistant fiber gel adheres to skin and hair and creates brows where before there were none.  It comes in two colors: light-medium and medium-deep. The tapered brush with a precision tip lets you shape and blend your arches with ease.   It’s water resistant and long wearing too.

To use: Starting at the inner edge of your brow, use short brush strokes to define your brow shape. Comb through to blend color and build fullness.  I always go back over with a clean brow brush (you can buy a package at shoppers or probably the dollar store if you don’t already have), to remove any excess product and ensure the most natural result.

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Even without a stich of makeup, beautifully groomed brows are a must.  Not only do they frame your gorgeous eyes, but they give structure to your whole face. Give your brows the love they deserve with Gimme Brow!

Available at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart or Murale.

http://www.benefitcosmetics.com/product/view/gimme-brow

Benefit High Beam

It’s Time to Shine!!

If there’s a single makeup artist trick that truly transforms you, highlighter is it. 

As those who know me know… I have about a million highlighting formulations in my stash- from golden liquids, to bronzy creams to pearly powders and beyond.  But the one I keep coming back to time and time again, is the one that started my obsession to begin with… Benefit High Beam.

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High Beam is a ‘luminescent complexion enhancer’ housed in a nifty nail polish type bottle, complete with nail polish-type applicator.  Perfect for dabbing in those hard to reach areas to achieve the best highlight everytime. Sephora describes High Beam as ‘an ethereal pink liquid highlighter that creates a radiantly dewy complexion.  For an angelic sheen, this pink shimmering lotion adds a soft natural afterglow.’  To me, this heavenly liquid dewiness is like a little bit of extra light in a bottle and the color is so universal, it works on all skin tones.

To release your inner supermodel, here’s what you do.  For eyes, dab a few dots directly underneath each eyebrow and blend.  For extra brightness, add a dot in the inner corners of each eye- right around the tear duct, in a tiny v shape.  To go the extra mile, apply and blend a few dots high on your cheekbones (before or after blush- anything goes), add a tiny sheen down the bridge of the nose and a dot in the cupids bow of your lips for extra poutiness.  Try adding a few drops to your foundation or moisturizer to amp up your glow.  The key to good highlighting is to blend, blend, blend so it looks dewy, not disco.

Once you get the hang of it, adding a little extra light is the easiest thing… no other makeup required, it totally lifts your face and makes your best features stand out.  Or, adding a little to your already done up face will make you will look extra gorgeous and glowy, and nobody will be any the wiser.

So, run, don’t walk to your local Sephora or Shoppers to pick up this little miracle.  You will be happy you did.  Ps: Check out Benefit ‘Moon Beam’ while you’re there, perfect for a more golden glow on darker or tanned complexions.

http://www.sephora.com/high-beam-P1281

Oil Cleansing 101

So, I’ve been making my own facial cleansing oil, and, just sayin’, it’s amazing.  A new friend explained the process to me and it seemed so basic and effective.. I knew I had to try it.  I’ve been using oils to cleanse my skin for a few years now, paying big bucks for expensive cult products like Eve Lom Cleanser and Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse.  While both these products hold a special place in my heart, I decided to try customizing my own to suit my exact and crazy complex (oily, combo and sometimes, excessively dry) skin type.

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Washing the day off can be daunting. We’re all tired-  falling asleep putting the kids to bed or tipsy from a night out on the town and the idea of a 4 step nighttime routine is about as appealing as a root canal.  But, taking your makeup off is simple and critical!  Sleep in your makeup and you will wake up with breakouts and blackheads and maybe even a little pink eye from crusty mascara.  Don’t do it.

Oil cleansing is the most effective way of cleansing, purifying and moisturizing at the same time- in as little as 2 minutes.  Once you get in the habit, you won’t want to be without it!   The basic idea is to use natural (organic, where possible) oils in specific combination to cleanse and naturally balance the skin. Don’t use soap or detergent- based cleansers on your face. You will strip away your natural oils, putting your skin on a merry-go-round that will be impossible to get off of.  The result will be oiler, more acneic or dull, parched skin that is very hard to reverse.  Great skin starts with good cleansing and oil cleansing will give you the nourished, moisturized and balanced skin you’ve been searching for.

Start with  Castor Oil.  It is naturally astringent, so it helps pull impurities, like yucky blackheads from the skin, making it ideal for oily or combination skin (and even dry skin in lesser amounts). Try to find organic if you can, but regular works fine too. You’ll need to add an uber moisturizing oil to the Castor, I use jojoba, but avocado, olive and sunflower work great too.   Use a dark glass bottle with a dropper… I bought mine for a couple bucks at Noah’s.  To create your personalized blend, here are some guidelines.

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Oily skin

30% castor oil to 70% moisturizing oil

Normal  Skin

20% castor oil to 80% moisturizing oil

 Dry Skin

10% castor oil to 90% moisturizing oil

Once you’ve created your blend, add a few drops of Lavender oil or any scent you like (this step is not mandatory… just adds to the spa-like experience).

Step by Step:  At night, pour a generous amount of oil into your dry hands and rub together to distribute, smooth and massage over entire DRY face… this is all you need to remove face and eye makeup.. Even waterproof mascara comes off in a flash…pay close attention to any clogged areas and blemishes and go over those areas a few times.

Using a soft face cloth (I use a sponge cloth from The Body Shop- you can use a muslin cloth or a regular face cloth works perfectly well)… run under very hot water (as hot as you can manage)… and wring out.  Place over your face and leave there to steam out your pores for a few seconds to a minute…and repeat.  Using the corners of your washcloth, start wiping away the oil and makeup on your skin.  Repeat and keep rinsing until your cloth is perfectly clean.  Be gentle and don’t scrub.  You will easily take off the day and leave behind a tiny veil of oil to keep you moisturized and glowing all night long.  Follow with any serums/moisturizers you normally use or nothing at all!  If you still feel a little dry, work a few extra drops of oil into your damp skin and call it a night.  There is no need to repeat this process in the morning.  Just a quick cleanse will do  or even a splash of cold water to start your day.

Beware: Oil cleansing will detoxify and deep clean your skin, while returning it to an optimal moisture level.  Some initial breakouts may occur at the start, but stick it out and you will soon be blessed with beautifully balanced skin that will glow.  Trust me- it’s worth it!

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner- Gel Crayon

I’ve been on the hunt for an easy-to-use, stay-all-day pencil eyeliner for like, ever.  Although I adore the prim and perfected look of a liquid liner (especially Stila’s ‘Stay All Day’), there’s something really rock chick about lining your eyes with a soft pigment-rich pencil formula.  Unfortunately, for me, most pencil liners tug on my eyes and will inevitably smudge, fade and flake by mid-day- leaving me looking more like a hot mess than a hot mama.

For the sheer obliteration factor of pencil liners, not to mention the pulling and skipping… I’ve always stuck to gel or liquid liners, where a perfectly smooth application is guaranteed and many have the added bonus of a long-wearing formula.

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Leave it to uber-designer Marc Jacobs and the king of ‘guy liner’ himself to come up with a great solution.  Like a gel pot eyeliner encased in a pencil, this gorgeous product features the silky smooth glide of a liquid or gel liner, with the soft, blendable result of a pencil.  Best of all, once you’re done lining with ease, it sets in place within seconds for all-day waterproof wear that doesn’t budge.  Even in the waterline!  This genius product also features a built in sharpener for a perfectly sharp line every time, and intense color payoff available in the most gorgeous richly pigmented shades including ‘Blacquer’, the perfect ‘go big or go home’ black.

So channel your inner rock chick with easy, sexy, amped-up eyes in an instant that stay put all day and night.

Available at Sephora.

http://www.sephora.com/highliner-gel-crayon-P379434