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3 Lierac Skincare Staples

May 26, 2015

If you have been following my blog for a while, I'm sure you have noticed my love for skincare products, in particular for French ones. There's a French brand I had heard of while living in France, but that I had never gotten around to trying it myself. This iconic brand is Lierac.

When the company recently invited me to celebrate its 40th anniversary, I had the opportunity to learn more about their approach to beauty. Lierac's philosophy is somewhat refreshing in a world where being young and looking younger is celebrated at every opportunity. What are Lierac's views on beauty? The company believes in the idea of progressing gracefully through the decades, which is a very French way to look at life. If you think about it, it's rare that you'll see a woman in her 50s dress like a 20-year-old girl in the streets of Paris. French women understand the beauty of elegance. In fact, as much as they love their beauty products, they try to make the most of each moment rather than being on a quest for eternal youth. 

As I discovered at the event, Lierac's products are plant-based and they are divided into three main lines, namely face, body as well as a unique line for men. So today, I thought I would introduce you to three products that have recently made a difference in my beauty routine:

Multi-Action Concentrate Complete Body Contouring
I know full well that no particular cream can banish cellulite. But when a Parisian friend of mine told me that the Lierac Body-Slim line is highly praised by French women - known for their intense skincare regimen, which includes lymphatic massage, drainage and cutting-edge products - I knew I had to try it. This contouring treatment comes with precise massage instructions to perform on targeted areas twice a day. The concentrate has a velvety soft texture that just melts into the skin when you apply it. The results are fascinating...While it doesn't erase dimpled skin, it gives an instant tightening effect and makes the area looks smoother. Obviously, you can't expect great results if you don't exercise and if you are not paying attention to what you eat. That being said this product this is a nifty tool to incorporate in your beauty routine.

Intense Rehydrating Balm Emergency Hydration
When I first started using this product my face had not still recovered from the harsh winter we have experienced this year. Therefore, I had a few dehydrated areas on my face with a bit of flakiness. Although this product is labeled as a balm, it actually feels like a refreshing gel when you apply it. It is very lightweight and as such, it is perfect to use before applying foundation because it leaves the skin dewy and smooth. This balm has done wonders for my skin but it's more something to have around during the colder months. Yes, it's seriously hydrating!

Phytolastil Solution
Stretch Mark Correction Serum
Stretch marks usually make their appearance when your body changes sizes because of pregnancy or weight loss. While it is most often due to heredity, you can use this Lierac serum to repair the existing stretch marks and prevent the development of new ones.  While using the solution for a period of two months, I have noticed that the stretch marks tend to regain their natural pigmentation (sometimes turning a bit gray). I know how scary this can be at first, but don't be afraid; it only means that the product is working. This intense treatment hasn't made my stretch marks disappeared, but it has definitely minimised their appearance in terms of length and width. The only secret here is to be consistent in applying the serum; your patience will eventually be rewarded.

Have you tried this French brand? If so, what your favourite products?

Catherine xo

The Only Hairstyling Product You'll Need This Summer

May 22, 2015

At a recent event at the Montreal Ritz-Carlton, I have had the pleasure of meeting Felix Larivière, a celebrity hairstylist and Creative Consultant for John Frieda. Felix - who has worked with Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts and plenty of other Hollywood A-listers - knows a thing or two about creating the most sought-after hairstyles. Since it's not everyday that you meet a Hollywood hairstylist, I have asked him to share his tips on how to achieve the absolute summer look: The tousled beach waves. 

Here's the secret to getting effortless beach waves using the new Beach Blond Seawave Salt Spray from John Frieda:

1. You first want to bend your head forward and spritz the product throughout the length of your hair. Don't be afraid to use a generous amount of the sea salt spray, this will give them texture and volume.
2. Then, simply scrunch your hair to evenly distribute the solution. You can also twist and bind a few sections of your hair if you prefer more defined waves. 

It's so impressive how it gives volumes without weighing down your hairstyle. Not only is it easy to apply - the product really does the work for you - but it gives beautiful waves, natural-looking waves in no time. I've also noticed that your hair won't look stiff at all, which is usually what happens after using similar products. You can obviously follow the same routine on wet hair once you get out of the shower. However, since I have quite a fine hair, I have obtained better results on second-day hair. 

And voilà, the look and smell of summer in two easy steps! At this point, you'll only need a mojito...

Catherine xo

Image credit: Pinterest

Red's Armor

May 17, 2015

Have you been following the enthralling TV show Scandal? I mean, what's not to like? Between the stunning Kerry Washington, the brave and loyal gladiators, Olivia Pope's entire wardrobe, the crazy plots, the love triangle and the handsome president of the United States, it's not surprising that the show created by Shonda Rhimes has been highly acclaimed!

Lately, I have had quite a fascination with the character of Abby Whelan, aka Red. There is something about her that I find quite appealing since she became White House Press Secretary. It's so captivating to see her navigate behind the scene from one crisis to the next. These days, she appears stronger and more assertive than when she used to work for Olivia Pope. She has always been awesome in her own way, but now she has turned into a poised, witty and kick-ass woman. 

Something struck me the other day as I was watching the season finale. Now that Abby's wardrobe has evolved to fit her recent position, I noticed that we often see her wearing a gold Tiffany's T chain necklace. This sophisticated piece of jewellery is her signature accessory. As such, it reflects her own personality: her brilliant mind, her passionate attitude and her strong work ethic. And it might even be her stylish armor.
Do you have a signature accessory?

Catherine xo

Image courtesy of ABC

Horst: Photographer Of Style

May 14, 2015

If you love fashion photography, I am sure you have of heard of the legendary Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn. But have you heard of Horst P. Horst, the German-born photographer mostly known for his elegant work with Vogue? The Victoria and Albert Museum in London had the brilliant idea of paying homage to the master of light, form and composition by putting together a retrospective, which just opened in Montreal at the McCord Museum. I had the pleasure of being invited at the opening preview of the Horst: Photographer of Style and it's simply divine! With more than 250 prints - including plenty of portraits and some stunning Vogue covers - and haute couture dresses to swoon over, this is a must for any fashionista and art lover. 

The Horst: Photographer of Style exhibition will take place until August 23rd at the McCord Museum. 
Catherine xo

1950s Elegance

May 13, 2015

Dress: ELLE by RW&CO / shoes: Vince Camuto / Jone necklace: Shopshals / ring: Perrywinkle's / sunnies: Ray-Ban Jackie Ohh II

It was thrilling revisiting Dior's New Look with this darling quilted satin blue dress from the ELLE by RW&CO capsule collection. While I usually prefer wearing shift dresses, I recently discovered the elegance of the fit and flare silhouette. It's ultra-feminine and much easier to pull off than what I expected. The beauty of this particular dress lies in its many details: A lovely cinch waist, rounded shoulders accentuated by cut-outs, a rather full skirt, hidden pockets - who doesn't love a dress with pockets - and a delicate belt. Isn't Dior himself who said "To wear a belt is the most wonderful way to emphasize your waist"? And here's another reason to revisit old classic.

Catherine xo

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

May 7, 2015

Only a few days to find something special for your mother. To help you narrow it down here is my colourful Mother's Day gift guide...with something sweet, something pretty and something chic!
1. AERIN makeup brush set, $180  
2. Kiehl's Soy Milk & honey whipped body butter, $71
3. Love, love, love these: Clarins Instant Light Natural Lips Perfector, $22
4. Delicious macarons from l'Atelier du Caramel, which I discovered recently at the Ogilvy VIP Event.
5. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire, $86
6. Give Mom a personalized Longchamp Le Pliage handbag. Simply choose your size and favourite color and add the initials for the perfect final touch! Visit the Longchamp pop-up store at Ogilvy Maroquinerie until May 18th.
7. Of course, flowers are always a nice touch, especially tulips!
Catherine xo

Pampering Up With Murad's Youth Builder Kit + Giveaway!

May 6, 2015
Murad Youth Builder Kit
Dreaming of a spa vacation but you are simply too busy at the moment? You should consider pampering yourself with the High Performance Bodycare products from Murad. Here's why...

I have always been intrigued by Californian brand Murad ever since I first spotted the line at my local Sephora. I don't know if it's the clean packaging that initially allured me, the fact that Dr. Murad is a well-respected skincare expert - and the first one to have launched a doctor-branded skincare line - or the hype surrounding many Murad products that made me quite eager to explore the line.

Therefore, I was more than thrilled when the brand recently offered me to try their new Youth Builder Set that contains three products namely the Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser, the Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream and the Firming Peptide Body Treatment.

I am a firm believer in embracing a balanced lifestyle - that includes a clean diet, getting enough sleep, moderate exercise and managing stress - to feel healthy and beautiful. Over the years I have learned that I cannot expect skincare products to fix all my beauty issues, if I don't properly take care of myself. That being said, with summer fast approaching, it's always tempting to intensify the pampering sessions, especially when you have cutting-edge products at your disposal. Here's what I like about the three products from the Murad kit:

- Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser: This ultra-rich cleansing clay formula will turn your shower into such a luxurious experience. Although it looks like hand cream at first, it quickly transforms into a creamy lather that removes impurities and provides a gentle exfoliation - thanks to glycolic acid - while leaving your skin baby soft. If you love vetiver, you'll go absolutely crazy for this deluxe shower gel!

- Firming Peptide Body Treatment: You might not shrink a dress size while using this anti-aging lotion, but if you apply it everyday, you'll see your skin appear much smoother. You'll also notice that the tone and texture of your skin will seam more even, thanks to the peptides that have the ability to boost collagen production.

- Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream: I'm sure you have heard that you should pamper your hands since they are the first to reveal your age. This deliciously rich and fast absorbing hand cream is one of the few hand creams out there to contain anti-aging ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.  It not only restores moisture but it also gives them a youthful appearance. And let's not forget the subtle, yet addictive, bergamot fragrance. Love!

I have paired up with the lovely people at Murad to give one lucky reader the High Performance Bodycare kit (an overall value of $75), right in time for summer. The prize include: 
- Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser, 60ml
- Firming Peptide Body Treatment, 235ml
- Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream, 75ml
Entries must be submitted by noon on May 19th and a winner will be selected at random on May 20th. 

* The prize can only be awarded to a resident of Canada

Catherine xo