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My Secret To Glowing Skin

Aug 31, 2015

Discover why I am in love with argan oil from ArganLounge

About fifteen years ago, I visited Morocco for the first time. I totally fell in love with the culture, its gastronomy and various landscapes. It was a marvelous travel experience. I didn't see the country from a tourist's perspective since I had the opportunity to live with friends. I went to the hammam with the girls, stayed in the most enchanting palm grove (yes, I have a thing for palm trees!), wore a caftan at a friend's wedding, went to the beach with the family, learned to cook a chicken tagine with green olives, ate plenty of local pastries, went shoe shopping in the coolest part of town, bought souvenirs at the souk, visited Jemaa el-Fnaa at night, tried barbary figs sold on the streets, went to the spice market along with my friends' grandmother, drove in the desert for hours, visited Yves Saint Laurent's villa in Marrakesh, met an artisan specialized in zellige (the famous terra cotta tilework) who had just renovated the Koutoubia, learn a few expressions and slept in a riad that had once belonged the royal family.

One of my greatest finds from this eye-opening trip is argan oil. This multipurpose oil is extracted from the kernels of argan trees, which have been around for about 70 million years. Although this liquid gold has been cultivated along the Atlantic coast for ages, it was fairly unknown outside of North Africa until the 1990s. While the argan forest has since then been recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the production itself remains handmade by Berber women in fair-trade cooperatives.

It's in Marrakesh, that I first tried this mighty restorative oil. When my mother's friend said to me that the golden liquid was her ultimate beauty secret, I was intrigued. With high levels of fatty acid and vitamin E and A, argan oil can be used to treat a plethora of skin conditions such as dry skin, acne, wrinkles, eczema and even oily skin. It can also be very effective as a hair conditioner, to tame flyaways, as a lip moisturizer, to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy as well as to hydrate hands and nails. With so many uses and benefits, it's no wonder this miracle oil is on everyone's beauty list these days.

Lately, I've made another fabulous discovery. It's a new line of argan oil named ArganLounge. What is so unique about this brand? Their products contain between 91% and 96% of pure argan oil, which is an extremely high percentage compared to major brands available on the market. Many of the ArganLounge products are made with a combination of argan oil with other natural ingredients - such as Macadamia oil and sunflower seed oil - known for their hydrating and anti-aging properties.

I have tried three products from the line: the Arganik Firming Formula, the Arganik Nail Care and the Arganik Hydrating Formula. I love to slather the oil at night and leave it to work its magic as I sleep. It's a relaxing nighttime ritual to do before bedtime. I often make use of this moment to give myself a proper face massage with the technique I have learned from beauty guru Lisa Eldridge. Once the oil is absorbed, it leaves the skin feeling so soft and nourished, but not at all greasy. And the best part is definitely to wake up to a youthful and radiant glow, it's just the best feeling in the world. 

I have started testing these products during my recent beach holiday. I was amazed at how my skin always looked so supple and hydrated in the morning despite the sun, the wind and the swimming sessions in pools with chlorinated water. That's what I call a conclusive test!

Catherine xo

Fragrance Preview 2015 At Ogilvy

Aug 26, 2015

On Monday evening, I was kindly invited by Ogilvy to Fragrance Preview 2015, a private event to discover the exclusives and novelties of the season by Annick Goutal, Creed, Guerlain, Serge Lutens and many more. During this intimate gathering, I had the opportunity to mingle with representatives from the greatest perfumery houses to discuss - and of course sniff - their upcoming launches. The highlight of the event was to finally get a glimpse of the Guerlain Silver-Winged Bee made by the master glassmaker of the Baccarat Atelier. It's such a thing of beauty! General Director of Guerlain Canada, William Lescure, explained that the House of Guerlain used this symbol of the Empire for the bottle of Eau de Cologne Impériale specially created for the Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III. Did you know that there are just 50 numbered replicas of the iconic bottle in the world? Impressive. If you are still dreaming of finding "your" fragrance, I highly recommend a visit to Ogilvy this fall, it's THE Montreal destination for high-end fragrances.

Catherine xo

BCBG X W Montreal

Aug 25, 2015

BCBGMAXAZRIA has always been one of my go-to brands to find elegant dresses for special events. Each season, their assortment of cocktail dresses and evening gowns melts my heart. With their timeless silhouettes, luxurious details and beautiful craftsmanship, their dress collection always exudes sophistication and cutting-edge style. What can I tell you, I'm definitely a dress kind of girl! When I last visited their Montreal flagship store, I spotted plenty of jaw-dropping pieces and decided to bring them over at the W Montreal during a recent staycation (I'll soon tell you all about it!). If you have been watching me on Instagram, you might have noticed a darling red dress I recently wore on the balcony of a hotel suite. Here are pictures of my recent collaboration with BCBGMAXAZRIA, which were taken on a warm Sunday afternoon with the help of some dear friends.

Thank you to the W Montreal for their hospitality
And a BIG thank you to the following people for their professionalism and contagious energy:
Photography: David Major-Lapierre
Makeup: Anne-Sophie Dallaire
Set Director: Hilary Morden
Catherine xo

The Unconventional Body Moisturizer

Aug 21, 2015

As much as I like beauty products, if there is perhaps one area of my everyday routine that I find incredibly annoying is applying body moisturizer after my morning shower. It just takes forever! As it turns out, there is a new product on the market that promises to save us time in the morning: It's called Wet Skin by Jergens. As the name implies, it's a moisturizer that can be applied directly onto wet skin after showering. It sounds counterproductive at first, but it's quite effective and even fun to apply since the formula literally glides on. Infused with oil, this new lotion blends in with water and is quickly absorbed without leaving residue. I do not have any idea how they pull that off, but it really works. If you are dreaming about your next tropical vacation, you'll love the subtle coconut scent. 
Catherine xo

3 Old Montreal Summer Hot Spots

Aug 18, 2015

Summer is undoubtedly the most delightful season to hang around in Old Montreal. The festive atmosphere in this historical district is quite unique during this time of year. And to prove that, I'd like to share with you three fun spots for a great night out.

97, De la Commune East

This rooftop terrace offers an incomparable panoramic view of the Old Port, the St. Lawrence River and St-Paul Street in a contemporary setting. It's the perfect place to enjoy seafood or to share a quick bite with friends while sipping bubbly! The Terrasse sur l'Auberge is also the prime spot to watch the fireworks competition.

Taverne Gaspar
89, De la Commune East

If you love oysters like I do, you'll like the laid-back street-side terrace of Taverne Gaspar where you can sample fresh oysters at $1 each, Monday to Friday. With its 70-seat terrace and its exposed brick wall interior, this 19th-century warehouse is a lovely place for an intimate 5-7. But the well kept secret of this watering hole is definitely its wide selection of exceptional bourbon.

410, St.Vincent

For fine Italian cuisine and refreshing cocktails in a warm and convivial setting, head over to Bevo Bar + Pizzeria located in a bustling pedestrian area of Old Montreal. You can even host your own private "pizza party" where everyone can create their own custom pizza in front of the authentic wood fire brick oven. My advice: Don't leave the place before trying the Nutella pizza, it's to die for!

Catherine xo

The Alternative To Botox Injections

Aug 17, 2015

Looking for a robust anti aging solution but you're hesitant to try facial injections? Why not try a new product that mimics Botox injections, the Nutri-Filler Nutri-Replenishing Cream ($95/50ml) from French skincare brand Filorga Laboratories.

What's the secret of this innovative skincare? It's part of the first line of cosmetic directly inspired by aesthetic medicine. In fact, Filorga Laboratories is the pioneer of cellular anti-ageing therapies and has been developing injectables used by aesthetic surgeons since 1978. The Nutri-Filler cream is made with a potent blend of peptides called the NCTF complex, which is widely used in injectable fillers worldwide. It also contains hyaluronic acid, shea butter, argan oil and red seaweed, key ingredients to help restore elasticity and redefine the contours of the face

Want to know what is so impressive about this luxurious cream? The results don't take very long to appear! After the initial application, I have noticed that my skin was more nourished and supple. Then after a week, I saw that my skin looked somehow more plumped than before. And after four weeks, I have seen a massive improvement in my frown lines, which I find rather impressive and certainly less invasive than Botox injections. That's why you should definitely get your hands on the Nutri-Filler Nutri-Replenishing Cream if you are in the market for a non-injectable alternative. Since this product is highly concentrated, only a small amount is needed twice a day, so it will last quite a long time. Want to know more about the brand, check out one of my previous posts featuring their Hyal-Defence Hyaluronic Acid Protection Serum

Nutri-Filler Nutri-Replenishing Cream will be available on September 9th at all Murale and some Pharmaprix/Shopper's Drug Mart, Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom.

Catherine xo

Peach Gin & Tonic

Aug 14, 2015
Happy Friday! I bet you are already making plans for the weekend, am I right? So to put you in the mood, I thought I'd share with you a sweet and refreshing cocktail recipe made with Bombay Sapphire East, a flavourful gin infused with lemongrass, pepper corn and lemon peel. As a twist on an old favourite of mine, here's the peach gin & tonic:

2 oz of Bombay Sapphire East
4 oz of tonic water
1 oz of peach syrup
3-4 ice cubes
Peach slices to garnish

Simply put the ice cubes in a glass, pour the liquid ingredients and finish off by adding a few peach slices. You'll see, the sweetness of the peaches blends beautifully with the spicy accent of the Bombay Sapphire East. Cheers to a lovely weekend ahead!

Catherine xo

A Breezy Picnic Outfit

Aug 12, 2015

Dress: Joe Fresh / Hat: Aritzia / Bag: SWIMS Shopper / Shoes: SWIMS W Penny Loafers
Sunnies: Dolce & Gabbana

One of my favourite activities in the summertime is to have a picnic with family and friends. It’s simply the perfect opportunity to catch up with my loved ones while sipping a crisp citrusy Sauvignon Blanc or even some pink bubbly if there's something special to celebrate. On my last outing, I went for a breezy summer-white outfit featuring my beloved Panama (I love hats!!) and my new SWIMS loafers in a soft stone shade. While these comfy shoes are perfect to hang out on a yacht, I find them equally chic for a city adventure. To complete the look, I also brought along my latest summer staple, the SWIMS shopper bag which is large enough to fit a plush blanket, some sunscreen, a few nibbles and a chilled bottle of wine. 

I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer!

Catherine xo

Ladylike Pink

Aug 10, 2015

Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying your summertime. I am now back from vacation and if you have been following my adventures on Instagram, you already know that my head is completely filled with memories of luscious palm trees and dreamy sunset on the beach. To get back into my blogging routine, I thought I'd share with you a few pink beauty bits that I have been playing with since the beginning of summer. First, we have the Cute as a button nail polish from Essie, a sassy coral shade that looks stunning paired with a subtle tan. In the warmer months, I never leave the house without a mini face mist in case I need to freshen up during the day. Lately, I have been using the Miyu Beauty Hydrating mist to add radiance to my complexion on the go. Another pink summer essential of mine is the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector from Clarins in shade 05/Candy shimmer. It's the easiest way to achieve a polished pout while adding just the right amount of shine and moisture. That's why I always carry one of these in my handbag. The last item from this roundup is the Multi-task brush from Real Techniques. It only takes two seconds to apply blush with this ultra-plush makeup tool. I have had mine for over three years now and it's still in mint condition. I cannot rave enough about this brand.
Catherine xo

Ps. Oh yes, I forget to mention that the mini chocolate pigs are from Chocolats Privilège at Atwater Market.