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The Go-To Beauty Buy Pick-Me-Ups You Need

Posted April 17, 2015 by Anonymous

It’s hard to look good when you’re feeling down. There were days I cried so much that I thought I’d forgotten how to smile. My skin looked dull, my eyes were puffy, my mascara seemed to have left permanent streak […]

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A Standout Spa At The Diplomat Resort

Posted March 20, 2015 by Loukia

As much as I love to travel and explore new countries and cities, there is something very comforting about travelling back to my favourite vacation destination. For me and my family, that special place of familiarity that keeps us coming back for more, year after year, is the Diplomat Resort and Spa in South Florida.

Aside from spending some serious quality time with my family on the beach and by the pools while on vacation at the Diplomat, I also love to sneak away for some pampering at the Diplomat Spa.

During my stay at the Diplomat Resort and Spa this winter, I was treated to the New Year, New You Spa Package, and it was incredible. This special package consisted of a one hour personal training session, an 80 minute massage, a 50 minute firming facial, and a shellac manicure and pedicure. I was blown away, and very grateful for my spa experience. (I didn’t do the personal training session, though—I left my running shoes at home and instead spent time working out on the beach!)

The Diplomat Spa is a luxurious, tranquil spa to unwind and relax while you’re staying at the resort, whether you’re there for business or pleasure. And truly—with unforgettable oceanfront views, dim lights, and soft music, you’ll be exhaling from the moment you walk into the change rooms and step into your plush bath robe as you await your spa experience.

I’ve had the pleasure of being treated to some serious pampering at the Diploma Spa after it opened in 2013, and I must say, this spa knows how to make you feel completely relaxed and rejuvenated. The spa features 10 treatment rooms, a salt-steam bath, and a variety of massages, including hot stone, deep tissue, signature, bamboo, pre-natal, reflexology, and couples massage. The spa also has a great selection of facials, waxing, manicures, and pedicures.  (Next to the spa, you’ll find a 24-hour fitness room, which is the nicest fitness room I’ve ever seen.)

When booking your vacation to the Diplomat Resort and Spa, makes sure you allow some time to experience what this great spa has to offer. It’s a great escape, especially since you’re already on vacation. You’re worth the pampering!

Enjoy. And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to help you.

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Date Night Must Haves (And a COVERGIRL, Pantene, and Crest Giveaway!)

Posted March 12, 2015 by Loukia

Most days, I feel like I live in my car. From morning to night, I’m driving around town, taking the kids to school, working from the office downtown or from my home, heading into meetings, shopping, picking my kids up, and taking them to their after school activities, after homework, of course. Thank goodness for coffee on the go, otherwise I’d never make it through the day!

Of course all the driving around happens in between everything else that’s getting checked off my to-do list, and let’s not forget dinner preparation. (Pizza delivery nights are the best!)

We do so much, all the time. Phew—it’s no wonder we’re often left exhausted at the end of the day and all we can think about is relaxing. While I often squeeze in time for a quick lunch with friends and a weekly visits to the salon, (I need my weekly blow-dry!) we don’t often take the time for ourselves in the evening, to relax, unwind, and re-connect with our loved ones—you know, like going on a date?

Dates nights are important in order to spend some quality time with your man or woman. And I love getting ready for date nights—if I know I’m going out, I am always full of energy. I love the process of getting ready, too—getting my hair done, using my favourite beauty products, and trying out new shades of lipstick that I know will quickly become favourites of mine.

I recenlty received—just in time for date night—some amazing must-have beauty products from P&G. COVERGIRL, Pantene Pro-V, and Crest to the rescue! The new COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipsticks are amazing, you guys—the colours are bright and perfect for spring, and they last a really long time. So basically that means you can have a glass of wine without having to worry about re-applying your lipstick on your date night! I usually always wear some shade of pink lipstick or lip gloss and I’m happy to say that the two shades of pink below? Both are perfect for date night! I also love Caramel Kiss—it’s so pretty, and perfect for every day.

A new product I hadn’t tried before was the Pantene Pro-V PowerFULL Body Booster Spray—I’m a girl who loves volume, and this product delivers. (Plus, it smells so good, too!) I always use the Booster Spray before TV appearances, because it gives my hair extra bounce and volume. Using this collection together will result in gorgeous, thick, and shiny hair—a good hair day every day? I’m down with that!

I’m excited I’m able to give away these fabulous products to one of my readers, too—just enter below for your chance to win:

  • Pantene Pro-V Full and Strong Shampoo
  • Pantene Pro-V Full and Strong Conditioner
  • Pantene Pro-V PowerFULL Body Booster Spray
  • Pantene Pro-V Power Up Daily Treatment
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Enchantress)
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Tantalize)
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Succulent Cherry)
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Caramel Kiss)
  • Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit (Sample Size)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
By entering the following contest, you are accepting that if you win your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.

This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. If your  name is chosen more than once, another winner be selected. All winners must be from within Canada.

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunties. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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“Jeunesse,” miracle cure?

Posted March 9, 2015 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: As you may know I just spent ten weeks in the hospital, four of them on life support, for complications from the flu! My recover has been sporadic until I tried this product from “Jeunesse.” They call it “Reserve” and it is a combination of many natural occurring substances that slow aging and […]

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Top Five Reasons to Shop At Nordstrom Ottawa #NordstromOTT

Posted March 6, 2015 by Loukia

Nordstrom Ottawa is opening its doors today, after much excitement and anticipation. I am ALL CAPS EXCITED, you guys! I have been a long-time lover and shopper of Nordstrom—it is my favourite department store, after all—and after attending the #NordstromOTT Gala Wednesday night, it was great to see that all the things I love about Nordstrom will be the same in my hometown, with a local twist. (How amazing is it that $180,000 was raised for United Way Ottawa and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation because of the Gala?)

Bright and early today (starting at 7:30 a.m.) you can attend the Nordstrom Ottawa Beauty Bash, to get a look at what’s in store for you (no pun intended) and to meet some of the lovely people who will be working behind your favourite beauty counters. (I’m still in awe of this package of amazing products Nordstrom sent my way to review. Best. Gift. Ever.)

From the Nordstrom pre-gala party  (which was a great way to welcome Nordstrom to Ottawa!) to the media preview of the 157,000 square-foot department store, to the VIP night in a Sens Suite (where I hung out with some wonderful people, including the amazing and charming John Bailey, Nordstrom’s Spokesperson extraordinaire) it has been such a fun ride waiting for Nordstom to open. Yes, I love to shop, and yes, I’m easily excited, but you guys… this is huge news for Ottawa.

Here are my top five reasons to shop at Nordstrom Ottawa:  

1. One stop shopping. You can find it all at Nordstrom, from your favourite beauty products to accessories and clothes, for men, women, and children. (There’s even an amazing lingerie department where you can finally stock up on Hanky Panky!) You can shop home decor, too. I love that this department store provides affordable options as well as exclusive, more expensive brands. Tory Burch, French Connection, Kenzie, Vince Camuto, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Rag & Bone, Ted Baker, and Michael Kors are just some of the names you’ll see as you shop.

2. The shoe department. Nordstrom started out as a shoe store in Seattle back in 1901. Trust me, Nordstrom knows shoes. The shoe shopping experience is my favourite part about shopping at Nordstrom! You’ll be blown away at just how many shoes there are. And I need them all. I do!

3. Bazille restaurant. Rest your tired feet after hours of shoe shopping at Bazille restaurant, and enjoy all the delicious food and wine as you relax with friends. Bonus? An amazing patio to enjoy eating and drinking outside when the weather is nice out. (If you need a quick bite or an espresso, Nordstrom Ottawa also has a coffee shop on the main floor for a little pick-me-up.)

4. The service. I’ve always found the service to be excellent at Nordstrom, and this is very important to me. I love knowledgeable employees who are smiling and helpful, and Nordstrom does a great job of hiring the right people for the job.

5. Pretty things. Everything is pretty in Nordstrom. Just walk in, and you’ll see what I mean. You can’t shop at Nordstrom and not be in a happy mood, especially when you’re surrounded by everything that is pretty. Put on those Michael Kors sunglasses. Feel the soft leather on that gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff bag. Try on the Jimmy Choo heels. It’s retail therapy at its best.

These are just five of many reasons I love Nordstrom.

And now, I have to go—I’ve got some shopping to do!

Happy shopping, Ottawa.

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Hello, Beautiful… Here’s a Giveaway For You!

Posted February 20, 2015 by Loukia

I just got back from an amazing quick trip to Toronto. Thank you, Almay Canada, for flying me to Toronto and for putting me up in the ultra-cool Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square, so I could attend the beautiful breakfast event at Aria. It was a lovely treat, and a pleasure being there in person. Are you ready to talk makeup? (And win some great beauty products from Almay, too?)

Almay is a brand we all know and love, but did you know that Almay was the first hypoallergenic cosmetics brand? Almay uses hypoallergenic ingredients, and tests all products with dermatologists and ophthalmologists. This is really important to me, becuase what I put on my face as part of my beauty routine has to pass a few tests—and Almay passes, with flying colours. Almay is celebrating its hypoallergienic heritage with a fresh take on beauty—pure beauty.

Almay understands that women and moms are busy—we wear many hats, and accomplish more before 9 a.m. than is sometimes humanly possible! We juggle full-time jobs, meet deadlines, attend meetings, get the children ready for school, take our children to their after school activities, volunteer, run the household, and, somehow, we make time for ourselves.

Almay knows that mornings are busy, and they’ve helped simplify my beauty routine with a few beauty product must-haves, like:

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup: Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup is a great foundation that is very lightweight, complete with SPF 15. The perfect start to your beauty routine.

Almay One Coat Get Up And Grow Mascara: Mascara can be tricky; many different brands promise amazing things for your lashes but few actually work as well as they say they do. I had my make-up applied by a make-up artists and was blown away by how great Almay’s mascara worked on my lashes, especially because it’s a completely affordable product. This mascara really lengthened the look of my lashes and the anti-breakage pro-vitamin formula helps protect my lashes too. (Also, mascara applied on lower lashes? A look I was scared to try before, but now, I love!)

Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick: You guys, I own hundreds of lipsticks. I know I’m not alone here; shopping for lipstick is fun. Of course, very few become personal favourites of mine, and even fewer can do two things at once: moisturize my lips, and give great colour. This lipstick by Almay does both these things! I am in love with Almay’s new Butter Kiss Lipstick because of the great colours and also because it’s a product that does what it is supposed to. It’s a creamy lipstick that is hydrating, with ingredients like jojoba, coconut oil, and vitamin E. There are 12 shades to choose from, and each lipstick is under ten dollars. Amazing.

Almay Intense I-Colou Smoky-I Kits: These eye shadow kits are perfect for creating a mistake-proof (seriously!) eye look, from day to night. This pretty eye shadow trios are easy to apply, last a very long time, and come in four shades for Blues, Browns, Hazels, and Greens, although you can definitely mix and match them to get the desired colour you want.

The Almay Eyeliner is a great smudge-proof eyeliner that lasts all day. So even if you’re in the office in front of a computer all day, your eyes will look as great at 5 p.m. as they did when you first applied your make-up in the morning.

I’m also a fan of the Almay Makeup Removers for eyes and face, because they are very gentle. They also do a great job of taking off my eye make-up at the end of the day with irritating my eyes.

Not only did I discover new makeup with Almay, but I also had the pleasure of meeting the authors of How To Feed A Family—these two busy moms (and bloggers) are the new faces of Almay Canada, and hearing them talk about how they find balance in their life (with great tips like packing lunches the night before, keeping everything by the front door, cooking dinners that become lunch the next day, and using the weekend to do some batch cooking or baking, so you’ll have something for the kids to eat during the week) was helpful. Laura Keogh (former Beauty Director of FASHION Magazine) and Ceri Marsh (former editor-in-chief of FASHION Magazine) were lovely to speak to, and have motivated me to cook more. (Thanks, ladies!)

We even got to take home cookie mix, and pick our own toppings. A beautiful breakfast event in Toronto, in a room full of amazing, smart ladies, while testing out the latest beauty products by Almay? A perfect day.

I’m giving away something special from Almay, for one of my lovely readers, too! Enter to win a package that includes the book How To Feed A Family, and the latest beauty products from Almay Canada.
Just leave me a comment below sharing one tip that helps you get out the door in the morning! Please remember to leave your contact information, too.
Winner will be selected randomly on February 27th.
Good Luck, beautiful!
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Summer Inspired Beauty We’re Loving Right Now

Posted February 20, 2015 by Sonya

You know what’s getting me through these bitter cold winter days? The thought of warmer, sunnier beaches, like Hawaii! It seems like all of the sudden visions of ocean breezes and warm sunshine are everywhere, especially in beauty products. The […]

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Nordstrom Ottawa Beauty Bash

Posted February 9, 2015 by Loukia
On March 6th,  Nordstrom Ottawa will finally open its grand doors in Rideau Centre. 
Nordstrom is my favourite department store—Nordstrom carries all the amazing brands I love, from shoes and beauty products to accessories and clothes. Also, the service is always excellent. I frequently visit and shop at south Florida’s Aventura Nordstrom, but now I won’t have to travel to get my shopping fix.
I actually just got back from south Florida and came home to this gorgeous box from Nordstrom Ottawa, filled with the best beauty product must-haves—in anticipation of the upcoming Nordstrom Beauty Bash. 

To celebrate the grand opening, Nordstrom is hosting an early-morning Beauty Bash outside the main mall entrance on Friday, March 6th, at 7:30 a.m.,  lasting until the store opens at 9:30 a.m. 

Customers are invited to enjoy complimentary skincare consultations, demonstrations, and makeup lessons, and everyone will have the chance to meet with beauty and fragrance experts from Chanel, NARS, Burberry Beauty (exclusive to Nordstrom in Ottawa), Chantecaille (also exclusive to Nordstrom), Jo Malone, Creed, La Mer and so much more. How fun!

As a bonus, the first 2,000 customers to visit the Beauty Bash will receive an exclusive commemorative tote bag, while supplies last.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the great brands and products you’ll find when you shop Nordstrom Ottawa, including my new favourite products that I was so fortunate to receive:

AMOREPACIFIC ‘Time Response’ Eye Renewal Creme: This is a powerful anti-aging cream that renews the area around the eyes taking years off in days. The advanced 24-hour time release formula restores collagen products, increases skin’s antioxidant production and speeds up cellular regeneration to address all aging concerns including fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles while improving skin firmness. This product retails for $275.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil: La Prairie is just as luxuriously wonderful as you’d expect; it’s a sheer treatment filled with age-delaying fortifiers that strengthen skin’s resilience, transforming your complexion into a beautiful, radiant one that thrives in stressful conditions. “The oil is formulated with a patent-pending complex of Alpine flora to renew the look of firmness and smooth the appearance of wrinkles, keeping you looking younger, longer.” This product sells for $360.

Guerlain ‘Terracotta Joli Teint': This new Terracotta sunny duo leaves my face looking tan and glowy even in cold winter days. This fluid foundation with ultra-light texture melts instantly into your skin, goes on like a powder, and creates a perfectly sun-kissed complexion while protecting skin with SPF 20. Retail price is $60.

La Mer Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream: I was so excited to  use this coveted much-loved moisturizer and I’m already in love—this legendary Creme de la Mer “…has the power to transform the skin with its ultra-rich, dewy formula. In a short time, firmness improves, lines, wrinkles and the look of pores become less visible and skin looks virtually ageless. Even the driest complexions are renewed and rejuvenated.” With the nutrient-rich Miracle Broth, the heart of La Mer’s profound powers of transformation, skin is immersed in moisture, sensitivities are soothed, and radiance is restored. This product sells for $180.

Kate Somerville ‘ExfoliKate’ Intensive Exfoliating Treatment: Now you can treat yourself to a Kate Somerville Signature Facial at home! This is a great exfoliating cream that leaves skin clean, revealing a smooth, glowing complexion. Sell for $27.

Nars-Dual Intensity Blush: I’m a lover of Nars; especially for blush! (My favourite is Orgasm.) This blush comes with two shades—the ultimate in versatility. It’s the only blush that delivers two different finishes: Translucent Veil or a Second-Skin Watercolor Effect. Sells for $52.

Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick Compact in Pastel Pink: I love Bobbi Brown cosmetics, and this blush is such a pretty shade of pastel pink. It provides an overall brightening effect, “a lit from within glow” plus a hint of pretty pink. You can use it on the cheeks for a soft blush or all over the face, for veil-like luminosity. This blush is $54.

Armani ‘Maestro’ Fusion Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15: This is an ultra-lightweight formula that is easy to apply, leaving skin moisturized and conditioned for a flawless complexion with just a drop. It’s great coverage with a natural finish, and this product won Allure magazine’s ‘Best of Beauty’ award for Best Medium Coverage Foundation. A good foundation can be hard to find—and this product does not dissapoint at all. It’s officially my new must-have foundation. Sell for $68.

Chantecaille ‘Faux Cils’ Longest Lash Mascara: This mascara is so brilliant, I don’t even have to use an eyelash curler before I apply it. It’s a high-performance, super-volumizing mascara that is better than false eyelashes—really, why go through the trouble when this product works so well? It intensifies lashes, plumping them for a super-dramatic effect that is healthy and stunning, making your eyes the focus of your face. Sells for $50.

Clarins ‘Double Serum’ Complete Age Control Concentrate: This is my favourite serum, and I use it faithfully. “This double serum’s innovative, dual-chamber system combines two age-defying formulas into one groundbreaking serum that reactivates skin’s vital functions.” The results? Firmer skin, reduced wrinkles, more even skin tone and less visible pores in just a few weeks. Yes! Sells for $85.

Clinique Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil: This lightweight fast-absorbing oil nourishes, hydrates, and revitalizes skin. I love that it can be used on clear skin, under moisturizer, over moisturizer, or added to moisturizer. Sells for $41.

I’ve tried these amazing products and I love them all. My skin is feeling and looking great, and I’m looking forward to shopping at my favourite department store very soon, where I can stock up on my must-have spring beauty products.

The big Nordstrom Gala is coming up, too, on Wednesday, March 4th, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and United Way Ottawa. I am so excited to be attending the Nordstrom Gala—I’ll give you all the details of the glam night soon!

Thank you, #NordstromOTT, so much!

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Top 5 Beauty Tips To Make You Radiant For The Holidays

Posted December 12, 2014 by Sonya

We’re into the festive season now with office parties, neighbourhood dinners and nights out with friends. We’ve getting our Secret Santa gifts all ready and finalizing our menus. Now, how about everything that keeps you from looking exhausted and frazzled […]

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Aveeno’s Here To Save Your Winter Skin

Posted November 28, 2014 by Jennifer

This just in from CBC: “Winter outlook: Another deep freeze ahead for most of Canada.” Winter is here to stay. Most of us across Canada were treated to an early blast of the season, and the combination of cold temperatures, […]

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