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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!

5 Products to Help Heal and Hide a Breakout

Breakout Survival Kit

First off, happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season.  My holidays were filled with lots of food, fun, and family activities, and unfortunately, a breakout that proved trying on my nerves and emotions.  I’d struggled with acne for a few years in my late teens and early twenties, but have been lucky enough to have it under control for the past 5 years or so.  In early November of last year, my skin went crazy.  After changing all of my makeup, skincare, laundry detergent, even pillows, I finally came to the realization that it was likely a hormonal breakout (lucky me).  Let’s face it (pun intended): acne is not fun, but the good news is that there are some amazing products out there that can help you treat, heal, and hide your breakouts.  Today, I want to share with you 5 of the products that have helped me out these past few months; ones that I’m super happy to have found and will continue to use long after I’ve broken up with my breakout.

1. Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub

What I love about this scrub is that it’s gentle but effective.  Naturally derived salicylic acid treats your breakout while also exfoliating by removing dirt, oil, and dead skin.  When you have a breakout, you’ll want to resist the urge to use harsh, grainy exfoliants which will only irritate and inflame your skin.  This cleanser leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean, and calm.  Aside from a few ingredients to help maintain freshness, it is 93% naturally derived, meaning it won’t harm the environment on the way down the drain, either.

2. Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask

While you can use this product daily as an exfoliating cleanser, my preference is to use it as a mask (1-2 times per week).  Clay, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid create a “peeling effect” on your skin to help with uneven texture, acne, dilated pores, and excess oil (results that last up to 3 days!).  Simply apply the product to cleansed skin, leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse with warm water, moving your fingertips in circular motions to help further exfoliate the skin.  Oh, and don’t attempt to carry on any serious conversations during the 5 minute drying time: this mask seriously dries and hardens (which is actually really fun to experience).  A soothing agent avoids any dryness or discomfort once the mask is removed, and it is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.

3. Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

I was lucky enough to receive samples of this product during the most recent Spark Sessions blogger conference, and haven’t looked back since.  Whether you have acne or not, this product is impressive (for all skin conditions).  Hydrablur locks in moisture (thanks to Abyssinian Seed Oil), decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduces the appearance of pores (courtesy of Mushroom Extract), mattifies, and enhances skin’s radiance (Wu-Zhu-Yu Fruit Extract boots microcirculation).  Essentially, it creates a soft blurring effect on your skin helping to hide imperfections, while also helping skin look and feel moisturized throughout the day.  You can pair this primer with your favourite foundation, or, thanks to micro-encapsulated tint, you can also wear it alone.  It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and really does create the perfect canvas for makeup application.  Because of all these amazing benefits, this product has proved especially helpful in covering up acne and other imperfections.

4. Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation

This foundation has become one of my all-time favourites.  I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of a high-coverage foundation (my exact words: “I’d like the highest coverage humanly possible”), and was recommended this product by the Beauty Boutique representative.  Note: new packaging means you might find it as Dermafinish instead of Dermablend.  This foundation is extremely lightweight, but provides impressive, full coverage (so much so, that you might not even need a concealer).  It boasts an impressive 16 hour wear, has SPF 30, and is non-drying.  It’s hypoallergenic, allergy tested, and is safe for sensitive skin.  I wear the shade 25 Nude and like to apply this product with my fingers.  I apply a base coat first, and if needed, go over any visible imperfections with a second layer.  Highly recommend!

5. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Until recently when my breakout started, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the coverage abilities of this product.  It applies evenly, is non-drying (in fact it moisturizes the skin), and builds from medium to full coverage.  I pair mine (in the shade “Custard”) over top of the foundation above, and they blend perfectly.  This concealer is also effective at covering dark circles, hiding fine lines and wrinkles, and reducing redness.  Perfect for all skin types and in a range of 10 shades, there’s a reason why it’s a blogger, vlogger, and makeup artist favourite!

Have you tried any of these products? Are there other must-have products that help you with breakouts?  Let me know in the comments below!