recos from regina : mikayla beauty

December 31, 2014By DJMC

I first learned about Kona Kare Luxury Lip Butter Balms through Elaine Atkins’ reviews on Toronto Beauty Reviews and saw them at the BlushPretty Beauty Board over 2 1/2 years ago. I became an instant fan once I started using the lip balms and was excited to see what was new when I learned they were re-branding as Mikayla Beauty.

I love how the product keeps my lips moisturized – they’re made with 100% all natural products such as Organic Argan Oil and Monoi De Tahiti Oil. They’re also made in Canada and the packaging to has been revamped, now taking the form of  elegant gold tubes.

Mikayla Beauty Luxury Lip Butter Balms comes in four different scents: The Original One, French Vanilla, Chocolate Peppermint and Peaches & Dream.

They can be found on for $8.00 each, or the collection of all four lip balms can be purchased for $25.00.

musings from morgan : skyn iceland

December 30, 2014By DJMC

I recently discovered my latest obsession, Skyn Iceland. On the surface, the brand appears to be just another line of high-end skincare that claims to solve stressed skin. They offer products that target issues many people face, including redness, aging, eye care, breakouts and more, but so often when I see these high end skincare brands I’m left asking myself, “Is it really worth it?”

When it comes to Skyn Iceland, the answer is yes – at least if we’re talking about they’re Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Face-Lift in a Bag.

The eye gels were up first in terms of testing, and I quickly learned these are a popular product among Skyn’s customers and a celebrity favourite (Lindsay Lohan recently mentioned them in her recent Into the Gloss profile, and Rachel Zoe is featured on the site touting their benefits). They’re a set of cooling under-eye gel patches designed to “[infuse] the eye area with highly potent actives and Icelandic glacial water to firm, tone, brighten and reduce the appearance of puffiness and wrinkles.”

They’re also super easy to apply – I’ve previously used under-eye patches that slide around, but these stick in place and once they’re on begin to work their magic. The cooling effect alone is enough reason to run and pick these up ASAP! Though I tested these in the evening as an end-of-day treat, I’ll be picking up more to use first thing in the morning, as they’re bound to wake me right up and feel fresh first thing. Key ingredients include hydrolyzed elastin, Ginkgo biloba leaf extract, Coenzyme Q10, Acetyl hexapeptide-8 and Icelandic Complex.

Then came the Face-Lift in-a-Bag. The name alone is super intriguing, right? It’s a weekly treatment made to fight aging by attacking fine lines and wrinkles where they appear most: forehead, under and around the eyes (crow’s feet), and around our mouths (smile lines). Much like the eye gels (they’re also included in this kit), everything sticks in place and cools all over. There’s also additional ingredients to the ones mentioned above like antioxidant rich organic tomato callus stem cell extract and hydrolyzed extensin.

The BEST part about these products is price – particularly the eye gels. The Face-Lift in-a-bag is just $21.50 CAD and the eye gels are $33.00 for 8 sets. Considering they’re a higher-end product, paraben-free and made to tackle sensitive and stressed skin issues, they’re completely worth it based on my experience . You can find Skyn products at Murale stores and (hello Optimum points!).

a beautiful new year …

December 29, 2014By stephanie

You did it! You survived The Holidays 2014 … and with that, you can focus on building and planning a fabulous 2015. Yep. 2015. It’s right around the corner. Like, literally, 3 sleeps away, people.

How will you make 2015 a beautiful year? Will you aim to get more sleep? To strive for a better work/life balance? Lose ten pounds of holiday weight or gain ten pounds in lean muscle mass? Eat better? Find a better job? Or just keep everything the same?

Whatever you plan to do, the start of a new year is always a great time to clean out the old makeup and bring in the new. What old makeup, you say? Oh, you know – that almost expired lipstick that you’ve worn only a few times. Or that cracked eyeshadow that continues to make a mess of your makeup bag. And don’t forget those brushes that leave single pieces of hair all over your face with each use. In the words of N’sync … Bye Bye Bye.

Take those gift cards and use them for what they were meant for : to treat yourself. Sephora gift cards are a no brainer! Use it to refresh your foundations and concealers, or perhaps a new eyeshadow palette. Wal-Mart would be great for picking up some new brushes: EcoTools or Real Techniques anyone? Target would be a great place to score a colourful new makeup bag; and Shoppers Drug Mart : think nail polishes, makeup wipes, or any of your favourite drugstore brands!

2015 – a beautiful new year indeed!


musings from morgan : fine hair things

December 24, 2014By DJMC

One of the biggest beauty challenges I’ve always faced is figuring out my hair. Having fine, limp hair that doesn’t like to hold style has made it difficult for me to find ways to dress it up and wear it confidently for as long as I can remember. Hell, the first time I truly loved my hair was when I shaved half of it off – you can imagine I went through many style experiments before finally landing on that one!

Now, not only is my hair fine and limp, it’s short too – finding products I can use long-term that don’t weigh my hair down, leave it looking too greasy or leave it looking flat is a constant battle. I recently test drove two products, Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam and Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Smart Serum. The former is designed to add volume while moisturizing fine, flat hair and the latter is made as a last-step product, a finishing spray with SMART Keratin targeting dry, damaged strands that conditions without adding extra weight.

I’ve used both products occasionally over the last few weeks and have overall been pleased with the results. The Dove foam has been especially great for when I’ve let my hair air dry – while I try to dry and style my hair each day, I occasionally run out of time in the morning and like having products on hand I can simply use and go.

A lightweight product that goes a long way, this is great for those quick mornings because there’s not much style that needs holding, just my natural waves. That said, when I’ve used it to dry and style I’ve found it still to heavy for my hair. It does a great job of eliminating frizz and keeping my hair looking fresh, but it just doesn’t hold the style as well as I need for my finicky hair.

As for the finishing spray, I’ve found it a bit hit & miss. While it absolutely adds a great level of shine, I think it’s easy to over-apply it. One spray too many and I go from glossy to greasy. I think it’s because as soon as I start adding in too many products (no matter what they are) my hair just kind of says “nope” and give up on co-operating, so I have to be careful what I use this with. I think if you had less temperamental and longer hair, this would be a dream product to add that finishing touch of shine and moisture.

So ladies, if you’re looking for products to add extra moisture, health and shine that can work on your limp locks, give these a whirl. The Dove foam retails for $9.99 on and the Sally Hershberger spray can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart (price unknown).