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My Top Picks: Quo’s 2016 New Product Release

I recently had the opportunity to attend Quo’s Sweet 16 party, which was by far the chicest birthday party I’ve ever been to.  There were gorgeous flowers, treats that were almost too pretty to eat, and, of course, makeup as far as the eye could see (I pinched myself to ensure I wasn’t dreaming).  Besides celebrating 16 years of Quo, (Shoppers Drug Mart‘s makeup line), it was also an opportunity to get a sneak-peak at the new products for 2016.  I am incredibly grateful to have been sent home with a bunch of goodies to test out, and have chosen my top 3 picks to share with you today!  Also, stay tuned at the end of this post for some pictures of the event!

1. Quo Brow Kit, $18.00

This kit comes with everything you need to create the perfect arches: 2 brow powders, an applicator, and a brow gel.  Why 2 powders, you ask?  This allows you to create the perfect shade to match your brows, and takes the guessing out of choosing the right colour for you while at the store (one size fits all!).  Simply mix the powders, apply to your brows using the applicator, and finish with the brow gel to keep everything in shape.  This set is an amazing value for money, and is also great if you change your hair colour frequently (your brows will always match!).

2. Quo Colour Spectrum Refillable Lip Gloss, $12.00 (Refill: $10.00)

Available in 6 different shades ranging from nude to pink, this lip gloss is rich, creamy, and beautifully pigmented. What’s most unique about this product however, is it’s packaging.  Purchase the full lip gloss to start, and then simply purchase refills at a lesser cost!  This product is a fun, innovative way to reduce packing waste (and recycle!) without sacrificing style.

3. Quo Contour Kit, $23.00

If you’re anything like me, the idea of contouring can be a bit scary.  As someone with oily skin, I worry that by the end of the day, my makeup will have shifted and I’ll look like a watercolour painting.  But this kit actually inspired me to give contouring a try.  Why is it any different?  The products in this kit are powder based, which is perfect for oily skin (as opposed to thick, creamy products). It also comes with fool-proof instructions built right into the packaging!  Included in the kit are a bronzer, highlighter, and contour shade, as well as a super-soft brush to achieve the perfect look.  There’s also a built in mirror for when you’re doing your makeup on the go, or touching up throughout the day.

Pictures from the Event

Have you tried any of the products from Quo’s new collection?  What are you most excited to try?  Let me know in the comments below!

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“Fresh” Finds: Joe Fresh Beauty Arrives at Shoppers Drug Mart!

Joe Fresh

I am excited and grateful to have been invited to attend a preview of the new Joe Fresh Beauty collection last week (available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores now!).  There were yummy treats, fancy drinks, gorgeous flowers, and lots of amazing new beauty products to test out.  The collection is seriously impressive, with products that will take you from a day at the office, to a night out on the town, without breaking the bank (products range from just $8.00 to $18.00).  The brand even has a signature “Five Minute Face” routine that’s simple, effective, and will enhance your natural beauty.

So let’s be real, as a beauty lover I wanted everything I saw at the preview.  There were so many innovative, fun products, and I’d love to tell you about all of them.  But, for this post I thought I’d highlight my top 3 must-haves from the new collection (plus a few extra honorable mentions!), alongside some pictures from the event. Products are shown above in order of discussion below.  Let’s get started!

1.Joe Fresh Highlighter Powder $8.00

I was drawn to this product right away (let’s just say it was love at first swatch).  This highlighting powder is a rich, velvety consistency with impressive colour payoff.  Available in two colours: Champagne (pink-toned) and Luster (gold-toned), simply apply to your cheek or brow bones with your fingers or a brush for an instant, gorgeous glow.  I also love that it can double as an eyeshadow!  And, while we’re on the topic of highlighting, I can’t help but talk about my love of the new Joe Fresh Illuminating Primer (shown to the left of the Highlighting Powders in the picture below).  At just $16.00, these primers are a gorgeous, light reflecting formula that hides imperfections and creates a glowing canvas for your makeup. Choose from “Pure Glow” or “Champagne”; you can even use it on your body as well!

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2.Joe Fresh Lip Crème $12.00

Well known-fact: I’m a lip-product junkie.  The bolder the hue, the better.  These Lip Crèmes are beautifully pigmented and long-lasting, and come in 6 different shades.  With the colour payoff of a lipstick, and the application of a lipgloss, these fun hybrids help condition your lips while providing a medium-shine finish.  And, if you’re someone who prefers a more natural look and wear for your lip products, be sure to check out the Long Wear Lip Veils: lighter weight and sheerer than the Lip Crèmes with a natural looking finish.

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3.Joe Fresh Precision Liquid Eyeliner $8.00

I use a liquid liner nearly every single day, changing up the style to match my mood: feeling fancy? Winged, obviously! What I love about this liner is it’s unique triangular shape, allowing it to sit perfectly and steadily in your hand.  At just $8.00, this liner is an incredible value for money.  It produces a rich, pigmented black line without needing to tug or pull on your lids.  It’s also water resistant, formaldehyde free, and paraben free.  And, while we’re on the topic of eyes, I also recommend checking out the Joe Fresh Tinted Brow Fix ($12.00): a wax-based cream that makes grooming and filling in your brows as easy as the swipe of a wand!

What will you try from the Joe Fresh Beauty collection?  Let me know in the comments below!

Spark Sessions 2014: My Experience

Spark Sessions 10

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Spark Sessions: Canada’s first fashion and beauty blogger conference.  In summary, the Toronto conference encompassed 2 full days of learning, networking with PR professionals, and mingling with (over 250) fellow fashion and beauty bloggers. I can’t say enough good things about this conference, and as promised, here is a review of my experience!

The Workshops and Speakers

Over the 2 day conference, there were approximately 7 sessions covering various blogging-related topics, as well as keynote speakers. You can check out the agenda, linked in my previous post.

Some of the speaker highlights for me include:

a) Vanessa Craft (Beauty Director at Elle Canada) was one of the keynote speakers on Day 1.  In her speech, she talked about the importance of being true to yourself, your vision, and your voice.  I felt compelled to pass this along, as I think it’s relevant whether you’re a blogger or not.  All too often we catch ourselves saying making excuses for who we are: I’m “just” an intern, I’m “just” a coordinator, I’m “just” the new girl.  Vanessa’s thoughts on this really resonated with me: “The only way to find your voice is by using it”.

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b) Lena Almeida (Lisentolena.com) ran a session on “The Business of Blogging”.  She talked about her journey as a blogger, and how she turned her hobby into a full-time business.  Lena started her blog, resigned from her full-time job in the corporate world, and was determined to make blogging her career within 5 years.  She did (and in less than 5 I might add!).  Lena’s story taught me the importance of trusting your heart, taking leaps of faith, but also, the need to work hard, and recognize your potential.

c) Cheryl Hickey (Host of Entertainment Tonight Canada) was the closing keynote speaker at Spark Sessions on Day 2.  I think we often assume that those in the spotlight have had their careers handed to them; that they were offered success on a silver platter.  Cheryl’s story is both real and inspiring.  She talked about all the challenges she’s faced, sacrifices she’s made, and chances she’s had to take to get where she is today.  She is incredibly humble and down-to-earth, and even took time after her speech to meet and greet with attendees.  She also spoke about her new natural skincare line, “Ours by Cheryl Hickey”, which you can check out here.

Spark Sessions 1

The Sponsors 

The conference had a wide variety of sponsors, ranging from clothing companies, to makeup and skincare brands, to a bakery that made the most delicious (and beautiful) sweets. Below are just some of the many awesome sponsors who’s kindness and generosity helped make the conference that much more amazing!

CrowdSocial was onsite  offering free Essie polishes, temporary hair dye (I chose pink!), and the best macarons I’ve ever tasted (no exaggeration).

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Nicole by OPI was displaying some of their gorgeous polishes (all of which I want!).

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Aside from fun bottles of branded water, Bench Canada brought with them some items from their Spring 2015 collection.  While they’ve taken a slight detour from the style you might be familiar with, the new pieces are modern, chic, and wearable: you’ll want them all!

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Vitabath offered conference-goers the opportunity to take a fun “sudsy selfie”; here’s mine below!

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 Vitamin Water provided water in every flavour and colour imaginable, which complimented meals and snacks perfectly (I unfortunately didn’t get pictures of the meals, but both days offered delicious spreads). Keurig Canada was also onsite, ensuring attendees had their morning and afternoon dose of caffeine.  Check out the rainbow of Vitamin Water below!

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Benefit Cosmetics was offering attendees an “Insta Eye Lift” using some of their highly-coveted (and super fun) products.  Funny enough, I was already wearing one of the products they were sampling that day (I blogged about it previously here).

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The Swag Bag

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this was one (of the many) highlights of the conference for me.  I mean, how amazing is this swag bag?!  Packed full with products from the very generous sponsors, I could not wait to get home and try out these awesome goodies.  Some additional sponsors, not already mentioned above, include: Nivea, Pretty Tea, Happy Plugs, Biore, John Frieda, Clarisonic, Jergens, Clear Scalp & Hair, and more!

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I am so grateful to have attended Spark Sessions this year, and am already looking forward to seeing what 2015’s conference has in store.  Whether you’re just starting out, or are already an established beauty and fashion blogger, Spark Sessions has a lot to offer.  Not only did I learn an entire notebook full of new things, I also built friendships that I look forward to growing in the months and years to come.

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets” ~Leonardo Da Vinci