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5 Innovative Skincare Launches To Be Excited About This Fall

Sep 7, 2016

When I was a kid, I was always thrilled about September because it meant buying new pens and pencils for school. Fast-forward a few years (ok, maybe more than a few years); I still am excited about September because it now means wearing fun hats and boots, the return of layering as well as discovering new skincare products. Now that summer is officially behind us, I thought I’d share with you five innovative skincare launches to be excited about this season:

Jouviance inject FX
We can always rely on Montreal-based brand Jouviance to release cutting-edge technology. Afraid of needles? Why not try injecFX, a skin-plumping stick that mimics hyaluronic acid injections, which can be applied directly to fine lines and wrinkles. While the crayon can be used with or without makeup, the filling effect is immediate and can increase when you start to wear it every day. 
$35—Sold at major pharmacies

Launched a few years ago in Europe following ten years of research and a Nobel Prize, this anti-aging skincare is nothing short of ordinary. It is, in fact, a stem cell-based serum created from Icelandic barley active, which helps with the cell renewal process. Fans around the world rave about this ground-breaking product for its ability to firm skin, even out complexion and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. No wonder it is the best-selling beauty item at Colette Paris, AND 30% of Icelandic women are now using it.
$210—Available at Ogilvy

Clarins Boosters
Remember Radiance Plus Booster, Clarins’ self-tanning droplets designed to be combined with any moisturizer? Well, the French brand recently extended the concept to their Boosters, a new line of drops also created to be mixed either with our day or night cream, mask, and even foundation. Booster Energy helps to minimize the signs of fatigue skin; Booster Repair helps to reduce redness and discomfort while Booster Detox helps restore dull complexion. Meant to address different temporary skincare needs, these new customizable treatments are quite convenient for the business travellers. 
$40—Clarins counters.

Declaré Anti-Oil Mask
While Declaré is renowned worldwide for its highly effective, yet very gentle skincare products, I personally love the assortment of masks offered by the Swiss brand. The Anti-Oil Mask, part of their latest Pure Balance line created for oily and combination skin, is my current favourite. Made with clay and aloe vera, this mask does a fabulous job at purifying the skin and minimizing pores, without drawing out the moisture from the face. 
$45—Sold at Pharmaprix, Uniprix and Declaré Skincare.

Institut Esthederm Esthe-White System | Targeted Dark Spots Serum
We all dream of having a translucent complexion similar to the characters depicted in the Botticelli paintings. But unless we avoid the sun at all costs and wear SPF e-v-e-r-i-d-a-y, even when it’s raining, we all eventually have to deal with hyperpigmentation aka dark spots. Thanks to Esthe-White System, a new range of brightening products developed by Institut Esthederm, we can now achieve a more radiant complexion. With its nifty roll-on size, this localized treatment does wonder to shrink and fade dark spots.
$69—Available at Ogilvy and selected beauty salons

Image credit: Jacques Henri Lartigue -1930

De l'opulence chez HomeSense cet automne

Aug 11, 2016

Je n'ai jamais vraiment besoin d'excuses pour aller chiner chez HomeSense. Même si mon appartement est meublé à mon goût depuis un moment, j'adore visiter cet endroit de façon impromptue, car on y fait toujours de belles trouvailles. Cet automne, HomeSense promet de nous en mettre plein la vue avec des meubles et des accessoires sous le signe de l'opulence. Si vous aimez les décors où les motifs floraux côtoient les meubles en velours capitonné, les étagères en or brossé et les accessoires regorgeant de détails flamboyants, vous risquez d'être en magasin très souvent pour surveiller les nouveaux arrivages. D'ici là, voici quelques-unes de mes pièces préférées dans une riche palette évoquant les plus somptueux joyaux:

5 French Pharmacie Skincare Gems

Aug 4, 2016

I have had an enduring love affair with French beauty products. Having lived in Paris when I was growing up, I was introduced to the French approach to beauty at an early age. Even when I returned to live in Montreal, I would always make sure to peruse the aisles of a pharmacie whenever I would travel to France to visit my friends and family. 

At first, it can be quite impressive to enter one of these beauty meccas and to discover the range of products available. But it can also appear a bit overwhelming and clinical. My advice: don't be afraid to talk to the pharmacist about your specific needs. These professionals have extensive skincare knowledge and will be able to introduce you to the best performing products for your face, your body, and your hair. No wonder French women take their skincare routine seriously considering the countless cosmetic lines offered in their pharmacie! Lucky for us, many French brands can now be purchased across the pond.

Today, I would like to let you in on my five skincare staples from French pharmacies:

It's not the first time that I claim my love for this iconic oil, and it's definitely not the last time either. What I like most about this versatile skin treatment is its luxurious feel on the skin and its enthralling essential oil fragrance. You can use a few drops on your face, your body after a shower to keep your skin nourished and glowing, and even on your cuticles and the tip of your hair. This dry oil just sinks right into the skin without leaving any greasy residue. It's a great multitasking product to have on hand.

Probably the most famous skincare must-have within my list, this micellar water cleanses and removes makeup residue like no other product in its category. Simple, yet so effective, this fuss-free solution can be used as a cleansing water or as a toner depending on daily needs. This formula is remarkably gentle on the face and especially on the eyes. If you wear waterproof mascara, you might need to use a dedicated formula to remove it, but aside from that, it's an impressive product to add to your cleansing routine.

I was introduced to this winter skin saviour by my mother who often suffers from dry skin. In the dead of winter, there's nothing like this rich cream to soothe extremely dry, cracked and itchy skin. Although it is rather thick and creamy, this balm is absorbed quickly without leaving any greasy film. It is also effective to relieve rashes from harsh water or very dry climate. This is my secret weapon to repair my skin's protective barrier even in the most extreme temperatures.

I initially bought this product to see if it was worth the hype. The answer: Oh yes! Since this cream is quite rich, I prefer to use it as a moisturizer after I swim or when my face needs some soothing care in the winter. While the texture may appear greasy at first, it is surprisingly lightweight and is absorbed without leaving any residue. When I wish to pamper my face during the colder months, I use this as an intense nighttime moisturizer and I wake up to a silky soft skin.

Uriage lip balm ($11/4 g)
With the extreme hot and cold temperatures we have throughout the year, my lips get easily dry, flaky and chapped. Although I sometimes carry fancier lip care products in my handbag, I always rely on this one when I need to smooth and repair my damaged lips. The fragrance-free formula provides instant relief, feels extremely nourishing and last forever. Plus, the stick will not bend or melt like other lip balms I have tried in the past.

All of the products listed above can be purchased at pharmacies throughout Quebec, but you'll find the Embryolisse at Urban Outfitters.

If you are wondering, the picture above is from the lovely Etsy store named Georgianna Lane.

What are your French pharmacie favourites?

Image credit: Etsy

Birks Rock & Pearl: Elegantly Edgy

Jul 26, 2016

I have always had a thing for pearls. It certainly has something to do with Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Lauren Bacall and other Hollywood legends. But also with Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy, and Carolina Herrera. I just love the timeless elegance and the exquisite simplicity of pearls. They are the ultimate feminine accessory whether you are fifteen or ninety-two years old. They work in every situation, whether you are heading to a black-tie event or having coffee with friends on a Sunday afternoon.

While I often relish pearls for their classic appeal, I couldn't be more thrilled with the refreshing and modern pearl jewelry we have seen everywhere in the past few years starting with the Mise en Dior studs to the glorious Chanel collar. Even Birks, famous throughout Canada for its breathtaking pearl collections, put his own stamp on the trend last year with Birks Rock & Pearl, a strikingly bold line comprised of edgy, yet ultra-wearable statement pieces. Following the successful launch of the collection last spring, the Canadian jeweller has recently released some new silver only pieces inspired by the architectural details that accentuate the front door of the Montreal flagship.

The first Rock & Pearl piece that caught my eyes was the playful Studs and Pearl Jacket Earrings made with delicate 7mm round fresh water pearls and embellished with equally tiny studs. These earrings aren't your grandmother's pearl studs, yet they are undoubtedly sophisticated. And I like the nod to the history of Montreal; it makes the earrings vintage and modern at once.

For this look, I paired the earrings with the Bypass Ring and created a fancy arm party with three bracelets/bangles from the same collection: The simple bangle, the Bypass bracelet, and my fave, the chic Cuff bracelet.  I'm sure Jackie O' would have approved, because as she once said it: "Pearls are always appropriate.

Catherine xo 

Jewelry: Birks Rock & Pearl - Dress: BCBG
Shoes: Christian Dior
Photography: Joëlle Paquette
Furniture: G-Furn

2 Must-Have Accessories For Every Girl On-The-Go

Jul 22, 2016

Whether you are about to travel abroad, or you are getting ready to spend a long weekend at the cottage, here are two practical items that you should absolutely pack in your suitcase: 

Thanks to this nifty gadget made of aircraft grade aluminum, you can finally smell wonderful anywhere you go without having to carry a heavy perfume bottle in your bag. This pocket-size atomizer bottle can be filled with any of your favourite fragrances in just a few seconds. It can hold up to 50 pumps, deliver an ultra-fine mist and is surprisingly light. It’s so easy to freshen up on the go with this sleek FDA-approved accessory, plus it comes in a wide variety of models.

Everyone knows that a headache can strike at any moment, even in the most idyllic setting (hello Almafi Coast!). Instead of popping pills next time, why don’t you try the new Headache Roll-on by Puressentiel. It’s an all-natural product made with nine essential oils (think eucalyptus and lavender), which helps relax the nervous system and ease the mind. And not only is it very efficient, but it also relieves a headache as soon as you apply it. The trick is to roll on the tube on pressure points such as the middle of your forehead, on your temples, above your eyebrows and even behind your ears. If you like using essential oils, you should also try their S.O.S Travel Roll-on created to prevent and fight travel discomforts as well as their Circulation Ultra Fresh Gel, great to relieve heavy legs after a long flight or road trip. 

Enjoy your time off!

Catherine xo 

Both products can be purchased at your local pharmacies.

Image from Pinterest

How To Rescue Your Damaged Nails

Jul 11, 2016

I have a confession to make: As much as I enjoy collecting pretty shades of nail polish, I’m rather addicted to gel and acrylic nails. There is something about waking up every day with primped nails or not having to worry about chipping your freshly applied nail polish that I find incredibly enticing. 

While the perks of using gel and acrylic nails are quite obvious, it’s safe to say that these techniques can seriously wreak havoc on your nails. And having dry, brittle and weakened nails is so unpleasant, which is why I have been looking for a repair solution for a long time. I have tried all kinds of home remedies, diy mixtures, expensive treatments, and even supplements such as Biotin. But the results were not always impressive nor sustainable. 

That’s until I discovered CND’s Rescue RXx, a daily keratin treatment designed to improve nail condition in only a week. You can imagine my enthusiasm when I read about the product’s promising claim. At first, I was rather skeptical, but I was also incredibly curious to try this product since my nails were overly splitting and peeling at that time. 

Rescue RXx is infused with jojoba oil, keratin protein, and sweet almond oil, which bonds to natural nails. The application method is straightforward: You simply shake the bottle very well and apply to clean and unvarnished nails by massaging the liquid twice a day for a week. 

After a week of moisturizing my hands with the keratin formula, my nails slowly grew thicker and stronger as though I had spent the week at the beach. While I prefer to have painted nails in general, I decided to pursue the experiment for two more weeks, simply to pamper my hands even more. The result was striking. My brittle nails were now a thing of the past. 

Since I have tried countless of other products to care for my nails without any significative results, I’m thrilled to have finally found an efficient treatment. The only disadvantage of CND’s Rescue RXx is that you have to commit to the idea of having naked nails for at least a week—or more if your nails are extremely dry and weak. But it's such a minor compromise when you think about it. Plus, you can always use a buffer to make them a bit more polished. 

Ever since I discovered this mind-boggling solution, I have been eager to try other nail care products from the brand. A few days ago, I started using the Cuticle Eraser, a lotion formulated with alpha hydroxy acids created to gently exfoliate cuticles daily. I am also enjoying the Solar Oil, their famous nail and cuticle conditioner with vitamin E. Although it's too early to report on these two particular products, I already like the idea of having a proper beauty routine for my nails.

Catherine xo

Photography by Guy Bourdin for Vogue, 1970