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Black Magic

How important are the eyes? How does the old saying go? “The eyes are the windows to your soul”. So, while that may be true, eyes are the first thing I notice about someone. Are you making eye contact with me? If you’re a female, I’m checking out your eye makeup. Eye makeup and the way you apply it, tells me a lot about you. Eye make up goes back in my life to when I was thirteen years old and sneaking to school and applying oodles of eyeliner and blue and pink eye shadow before class. *shudder* what were we thinking back then? Fortunately, I have matured in my outlook and learned the simplicity and importance of application of proper eye liners. Finding what I really want is another story. My requirements of a good eyeliner:

  • Good pigmentation
  • Not tested on animals
  • Gentle enough for contact lens wearers
  • Gentle enough for sensitive eyes
  • Long lasting power
  • Trouble-free application
  • Fair price point
  • Waterproof

Finding all of this in an eye liner has been challenging for me, so when the Motives Cosmetics rep met with me again and held up “Black Magic” I was doubtful.  But I won’t lie I was intrigued looking at it. Why? Well there was a lot of product. I loved seeing that, it wasn’t going to be a case of a little pencil and that’s all. The pencil was an excellent size. It also had an unusual twist tip that I would never have to sharpen! Whooo hooo! A huge plus already. My Motives Rep went on to show me the very cool built in smudger located at the other end of the pencil for easy blending. And she happily told me that the product was not tested on animals. I hadn’t even tried it yet and the check marks were adding up!

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I chose a Friday to test out the black magic eyeliner, I did this because I knew I would have a busy day and I had plans to be out for the evening as well. Around 10am I carefully applied the eyeliner and I was pretty impressed with the stable and precise tip of the pencil that let me use the eyeliner how I wanted it, I even experimented with a thin line and a thicker line, with wings and with no wings. The pencil followed me with great degree and precision. Awesome and easy application!  Easy because it went on in a single creamy stroke. The colour was beautiful! Fantastic pigmentation, no need to go over my eye more then once! Impressive! I was nervous that it may burn or my eyes may water because I wear contact lenses and I have super sensitive eyes. I hung around the house waiting for some type of reaction to occur, just in case. Nothing happened. My eyes looked great and my contacts were happy as well as my eyeballs.

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Throughout my day I looked in the mirror a few times and happily noticed that there was no transfer of colour to my upper eyelids, which often gives me a reverse type of raccoon eye. Nor was there anything at the bottom of my eyelids for the dreaded panda eye look. Everything was in place and looking great.

Hubby and I headed downtown for dinner that night and my eyeliner still looked awesome. At dinner, I ended up ordering a super Spicy Caesar that had me sniffling and my eyes watering, I was afraid to look in the mirror after dinner. When I did I happily noticed that only a small amount had faded at the top of my lid and it looked like it was more due to the time I was wearing if for, instead of all the sniffling and runny eyes I had suffered with my Spicy Caesar.  Not bad for close to 8 hours which would ordinarily be my whole day.

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When I got home, my eyeliner was easy to remove with eye makeup remover, no need to scrub, it came off with a cotton pad.

Motives Black Magic waterproof eye pencil was sealing the deal for me as it fulfilled all the checkmarks to me for an eye pencil. I am without a doubt a tough customer when it comes to eyeliners, mainly because I have many needs that it needs to fulfill.

I highly recommend this eyeliner and it has become a part of my daily makeup routine. Don ‘t close your eyes to this one, give it a try.

 Priced fairly at:

$17.95 US

$24.23 CAD

Colours

Black Magic

Dark Chocolate

Rating

9.5/10

By clicking the link and ordering your Motives Eyeliner you will receive 2% cash back on your purchase, detailed cash back information can be found on the Motives web site.

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Sorry not Sorry

Recently I met up for coffee with a rep from Motives Cosmetics. She held up a tube of gorgeous lip colour and laughed at how speechless I was. If you know me at all, this is a rare occurrence. I was beyond excited!

Let me back up a bit, Motives Cosmetics began in 2008 by Loren Ridinger. The company prides itself on quality and front-line technology. Motives is one of the world leaders in the cosmetics industry and a glance at their Instagram page will show you that that their cosmetics are worn by numerous celebrities and is a go to line of products for photographers, makeup artists and models. And…I get it! Wow!

I love matte lip colour and often struggle to find colours that feel good, look good, are priced well and above all LAST on my lips. I need staying power! This awesome colour is actually called Sorry Not Sorry and is a beautiful cross between orange and red and comes from their specific line called Maven Mattes.

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The design of the tube is user friendly, and easy to slip into your makeup bag for portability. I decided to try out this colour on a very busy errand filled Saturday, a day that I knew re applying lip colour would not be an option. The applicator was amazing to use, rounded tip and slightly bendable. This is a big plus for me because I rarely use lip liners. The manoeuvrability of the brush allowed me to apply the colour flawlessly to the shape of my lips.

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The colour went on creamy and smooth, I worried about drying time and wondered if it would end up as the matte finish I wanted. It dried quickly and looked stunning on!! I was so impressed and began my busy day at 11am.

During the course of the day, I ran into my young nephews and kissed them both, happily noticing that there was minimal transfer of colour to their little faces. I had lunch and met a friend for coffee, noticing as well minimal transfer to my utensils and coffee cup. I glanced in the mirror at one point and happily saw that I sill had on a fair amount of colour. I was astounded, rarely do I have this kind of luck.

Finally, my day wrapped up with me shopping at Costco and having to deal with countless food samples that magically kept jumping in my mouth. Surely by the time I got home my beautiful matte will be gone.

When I arrived home, I checked in the mirror and noticed that my lip colour was STILL on. Not as perfectly applied of course as it had been in the morning, but well enough that I had colour and there was no need to reapply until perhaps later in the evening. I was very impressed with this product.

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A quick glance at the website will actually tell you that it may have to be reapplied. I liked reading that, a cosmetic company that does not mislead you. However, in my case I did not require a reapplication.

Considering that perhaps I had beginners luck, I continued to make Sorry Not Sorry part of my makeup regime for the next few days. It looked amazing and stayed on consistently. Even better were the compliments I was receiving. Fantastic matte line and fantastic colour.

Priced fairly at:

$21.95 US

$29.63 CAD

Rating

10/10

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Canada…I’m glad we met!

It’s often around significant birthdays, that people will share with the individual celebrating special memories and important events that they shared. So, as you celebrate your 150th birthday Canada, I think it’s a perfect time to remind you of how we met and yessss how very much you mean to me.

We first met when I was an infant. So, the beginning of our relationship has been told to me by my parents.

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The 1960’s was a time of much change and movement as people looked to immigrate to different countries.  I was born in Guyana, South America.  My parents considered moving to a different country to give better opportunities to their children. A pretty big decision for my parents indeed as they would be leaving their respective families behind.

I asked my Father about this recently and he said in those days there was choice as to where they could immigrate. They considered Canada, England and the United States. They ruled out England due to the weather and no offence, but that type of climate is definitely not my cup of tea! HA HA! Therefore, I’m pretty glad they decided against England. The United States was ruled out because the 60’s was extremely turbulent times. Fast forward 2017, there is still turbulent times and political unrest in the United States. Smart thinking Mom and Dad!  Hence, Canada you remained standing proud and tall and without hesitation my parents chose you, and you welcomed us with open arms.

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We arrived in Canada on a cold and snowy day in February. Looking out the window of the plane my parents told me that they were deceived by the sunny clear skies and lack of snow and immediately assumed that the weather may not be so bad. They were very wrong!

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We adapted quickly and were warmed by the friendly people in Toronto.  Cold winters were no longer a surprise, I grew up skating, skiing and snow shoeing. We loved the changing seasons and the celebrations of all different religions. A true melting pot of culture.

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So on this your big birthday Canada,  I’d like to thank you for giving me:

  • A Country that welcomes and respects immigrants, because without that, I would not be here.
  •   A Country that allows us all to happily coexist with each other, regardless of what country we are from. Without that, I would not have made lifetime friends who come from so many different countries, India, Japan, China, Thailand, Greece, Lebanon, Africa just to name a few!  For that, I thank you Canada.
  • Safety and respect. I have always felt safe in Canada, whether I am downtown Toronto, in the Muskokas, British Columbia, Ottawa or anywhere.
  • A beautiful Country from coast to coast, mountains, lakes, forests, valleys, endless lakes and beautiful scenery beyond belief. None of this beauty has been lost on me.
  • Freedom! To be who I want to be, say what I want to say and well – write what I want to say!
  • My sisters, my children, my nephews who were all born here.
  • My parents who made a pretty damn good choice in choosing you Canada.

Happy 150th Birthday. You are…simply the best!

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Self Care – Why massage therapy matters

Over the last few months, I have blogged about the members of my self care team who help me feel and look good on a regular basis. The pedicures, manicures, hair styling and hair removal experts that I enjoy visiting and who mean the world to me.

This is my second to last blog in my series on self care and it’s a very important one. While this aspect of self care is not aesthetically visible, the mental and physical benefits make a complete difference to me.

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Massage therapy dates back thousands of years and involves working on the body with pressure. Without a doubt, I am a massage therapy groupie and I have been for as long as I can remember! While on vacations I always make it a point to seek out a massage to complete the relaxation experience.  It’s always enjoyable and soooo very relaxing.

In my late 30’s I soon started noticing the physical and mental benefits of a massage, as well as the type of massage I liked and the sort of therapists I preferred. My interest in massage therapy seemed to indicate that I needed a therapist on a regular basis. I began the search for this individual. At the risk of sounding extremely picky (okay maybe I am) I met nice therapists, but there were things that I realized were also quite important to me.

I wanted a spotless environment that was close to home, a friendly and welcoming professional atmosphere from front desk that extended to the treatment room. Of utmost importance was the need for a therapist who didn’t talk too much (I really don’t want to hear how much you loathe your mother-in-law). I wanted a place that offered current equipment and knowledgeable staff,  as well as a qualified RMT (registered massage therapist ) and of course a great massage!

Just when it seemed I was never going to find this person, on a recommendation I made an appointment with Sara at Brooklin Massage Therapy. On a winter’s day in early 2005, I went off to meet yet another massage therapist.

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Sara greeted me with a bright smile and was thorough in her discussion with me in terms of my needs, muscles, aches pains etc. And at the ripe old age of 38 at the time, there wasn’t that much. Ahhhh the good old days. That day I had the best massage ever. I finally found who I was looking for!

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Twelve years later, Sara is still my massage therapist and I see her regularly. I recommend her all the time and I know I do this with the risk that getting an appointment will be tough. But, hey that’s how it is with good people right? Share I must!

Over the past decade and some, Sara has worked with me in dealing with injuries (torn hamstring), migraines and arthritis. While I “whoa is me” to her about the ‘arthritis monster’ she remains positive and upbeat.

Massage therapy is such an essential part of my self care; my body feels relaxed and brand new. At the end of every appointment Sara always asks me how I feel. The surprising thing? She really wants to know and it’s never a passing or routine question. Her genuine interest and care always makes me happy.

Don’t get me wrong I still book appointments for massages and/or body treatments while away on vacation. I also receive the odd gift certificate for a massage at other places. However, nothing compares to Sara! She is my person for massage therapy. I’m hopeful she doesn’t mind massaging me into my golden years, because for me there is no one else.

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Friday Fave- Island Mix’s Spicy Shrimp

Some like it spicy and some like it hot! Then there is the Hubby and I, we like it both spicy and hot! Island Mix Restaurant and Lounge in Pickering Ontario is a regular haunt for the us. Most Fridays will often find us there, eating and listening to live steel band music.

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One of my favourite appetizers that we like to begin with is the pepper shrimp. The best way to explain this delectable mouth watering spicy delicious food is to describe it right from the menu:

“lightly dusted jumbo shrimp deep fried, then gently sautéed with onions and scotch bonnet peppers. Garnished with fresh steamed broccoli. “

The bold zingy tantalizing hotness of the shrimp is so enjoyably spicy it gives you a new appreciation of the words to the famous calypso “feeling hot! Hot! Hot!” sniffling and sweating it’s impossible to stop eating!

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The yummy steamed broccoli that is served with it is a welcome retreat in between bites, but I can guarantee as soon as you finish consuming one platter of this spicy shrimp platter, you will be motioning to your waiter to bring you another one.

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Summer Solstice 2017

Today is officially the first day of summer! Woooo hoooo! Margaritas, sunshine and watermelon!  Also known as summer solstice. What is summer solstice? It is when the sun is at the most northern point and the longest day of 2017.

All I know is today is the day that summer officially starts! And not a moment too soon! Parts of the U.S. are so heated up that flights are being cancelled, however In Ontario and other parts of Canada – our days have had temps below seasonal values and endless rain. So much rain that flooding has been an issue.

Will the arrival of the summer solstice bring us a warm summer? Here’s hoping! Summer is one of the best seasons and promises many exciting things. What kinds of things you ask? Well – let’s take a look at a few of my favourite things!

Socializing! BBQ’s, picnics, pool parties and family get togethers typically happen in the sunny and warm summer months. For me, there is no better way to spend a nice warm evening than with a few cold drinks and some great company!

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Travelling! With the kids who are out of school for the summer, this is the best time to plan trips of any kind. Day trips, overnights or even a few weeks! Plane, train or automobile! A quick little getaway is sometimes all you need to reboot and refresh.

efe-kurnaz-242515 Happiness! Everyone is happy in the summer have you ever noticed that? There is something about that dose of Vitamin D that just puts everyone in a good mood. Positivity and smiles are everywhere. Embrace it and soak it up! Hey, why not smile at a stranger – you never know how it might change their day!

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Relaxation! In the summer, you can find bits and pieces of relaxation almost everywhere. Sitting around a campfire, stretched out on the back deck, swinging in a hammock, or dangling your feet in the water at the end of the dock at the cottage. Give your mind and body a well-deserved rest.

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Memories! The kids on their bikes, making a fancy cocktail, hanging out at the beach, a water balloon fight or sitting outside under a blanket of beautiful stars. Summer time is a beautiful time in many ways.

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.Welcome back Summer! I hope you stay a while! We missed you xoxx

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Friday Fave – Dark and Stormy

The other night I was out for dinner and one of the drink specials was a Dark n’ Stormy. I will admit that the name peaked my curiosity. Our server explained that it contained, ginger beer, spiced rum and bitters. While I am not typically a rum drinker, I was curious to give it a try. Well!!! Yeee hawwww! I found my summer drink!

Research tells me that it is the national drink of Bermuda and is popular among the sailing community. By adding the rum on top of the ginger beer it will float creating a dark layer (the rum) and a stormy layer (the ginger beer) Hence the name! Get it? All I know is, I feel far from dark and stormy after a few of these easy to make drinks. Check out the recipe: Oh….and you’re welcome xoxx

Dark and Stormy Recipe

Prep time: 5 min/Servings: 1 drink

2 oz. dark spiced rum (preferably Goslings black seal rum)

4 oz. ginger beer

3 dashes bitters

Lime wedge

Fill a highball with ice and add ginger beer. Gently top with rum and bitters. Garnish with lime wedge.

Enjoy!

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Women: Mental Health and Wellness

Yesterday I attended an educational event that focused on Women’s mental health and wellness. This event was hosted by Markham Stouffville Hospital. I was immediately intrigued when I received the invitation as well as the list of guest speakers that were mentioned.

As we all know mental health needs have been on the increase every year affecting millions of Canadians of all ages and both sexes. I have been increasingly impressed with companies stepping up and sponsoring events or educating the public on mental health. One such company is Bell and the “Let’s Talk Campaign.”  Openly talking about mental health issues is the cornerstone of this campaign. Today it was great to see another company join in on bringing mental health to the forefront: Shoppers Drug Mart was a sponsor of this event, an event about Women FOR Women!

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The morning began with a seamless registration process followed by a yummy breakfast of fruit and yogurt. We were then shown into a large meeting room that was beautifully put together right down to gorgeous flowers on the table!

As I took my seat I immediately felt comfortable. There was nice calming music playing and a selection of positive quotes on power point being shown on a large screen at the front of the room. I looked around and took notice of booths on the perimeter of the room that had all sorts of community information. There were people at each booth ready to explain what they had to offer. I also took notice that there was much diversity in the room, women of different ages and races. This was wonderful to see, because the need for wellness and good mental health is important for everyone.

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The Chief of Psychiatry was one of the first speakers and listed many relevant statistics about women and depression, among the many things he discussed was the ever-increasing needs of women with regards to mental health. At this time, it is the number one form of disability in Canada. I almost wished I had written these statistics down as they were astounding.  Women face different burdens and pressures that are different then what Men face. Women deal with hormones that begin early in life and hit highs and lows throughout puberty, pregnancies and menopause. Sometimes, this ends up being too much and results in post partum depression, anxiety or depression or other types of mental illnesses. All the speakers were amazing, and about 75 women sat in rapt attention to everything that was being said.  Did I learn new things? Oh yes, I did. I learned:

  • That there is a connection to menopause, hormones, depression and anxiety.
  • That one speaker who is a very confident teacher and is also a successful black belt in karate with numerous competitions under her belt; can also have down moments, moments of questioning herself, and moments of wanting to give up.
  • I learned that a yoga teacher can have the best understanding of anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD and depression and still come out an amazing person, with a gift and passion to help others going through the same thing. Through diet, nutrition and yoga she helps with mental health issues. I had no idea that this type of yoga teacher existed!
  • I learned how to breathe properly as taught to us by this lovely yoga teacher. At 50 years of age I had not been using my diaphragm properly for breathing and having learned this, I could immediately see what a positive difference it made! I was immediately relaxed.
  • I learned that our brain is an organ and it is just as important as our heart. We need to take care of it. If we had a heart attack we wouldn’t go out and shovel snow. So why would we not take care of our brain the same way?
  • I learned that women can get overwhelmed, pulled in different directions. Tending to the needs of others, meeting deadlines at work and easily forgetting about themselves. But we need to advocate for ourselves, keep our brains in tune with our bodies. Sense any symptoms of disharmony between the brain and the body and address them immediately.

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I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this event, right down to the wonderful lunch that was provided for us. The day felt like it was just for us, for Women with needs and questions and a safe and wonderful forum for us to ask them and learn in.

Everyone in that room had a story, my hope is that after this event none of them will simply ignore their challenges and instead will actively seek out help. There is no need to struggle or suffer in silence.  Mental illness needs to be talked about openly the way it was today. Moreover, it needs to be addressed. No one should feel ashamed to bring these challenges up to their doctors.

As if the day and breakfast and lunch wasn’t amazing enough, at the end of the event we were each presented with gift bags containing, magazines, candy, body wash etc. So incredibly thoughtful!

Thank you to the team that put this wonderful day together and planned every aspect of the event. Your efforts did not go unnoticed.  Most of all thank you for giving women and their quest for continued wellness a voice today. A place to learn and be heard. I’m totally stoked for next year!

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Life…It’s a Wonderful Life!

Five years ago, my husband gave me a cute little plaque that reads “ Life…It’s a Wonderful Life” I remember feeling very honoured and special because there wasn’t an occasion for this cute little gift. He just saw it and bought it for me. I remember thinking “he thinks that life is wonderful with me?” It seemed an incredibly sweet thought. That plaque is always displayed somewhere, on a table, on a tray or often right at the front door. Every time I see it, I silently agree It IS a wonderful life!

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In my 50 years of living, (ha ha! Here comes the wisdom) I’ve often caught myself hurrying from one goal to the next. The list started when I was young: getting to university, finding the right job, planning the wedding, buying the house and on and on the list, goes. While goal setting is great and all, sometimes I think it distracts us from the here and now. We are so busy looking ahead that we forget to be mindful of NOW. Appreciating what we have and living for the moment is often lost in our quest to complete the next task on our list or fulfil the goals we set.

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I was always told that life flies by. No truer words were every spoken, but I wish I was told how truly wonderful life can be. If only we take that time to pause every now and again to be mindful of the present. Relish the here and now and don’t keep thinking that life will be happy when I have that house, car or promotion. Those are all just things.

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A wonderful life consists of living. It makes me wonder if that’s what my Dad was thinking this past weekend when he was quietly watching my daughter budget her first grown up paycheck. “That’s your first paycheck,” he told her. “Spend what you want, buy what you want! You’re only 23 and you’ve  worked hard and you have earned the right to spend what you want. Start budgeting from you next check.” I was surprised to hear that, and I had to do a double take to see if that really was my Dad speaking. As a child I was always taught to save and not spend money on frivolous items. Fast forward all these years and my Dad is giving different advice. Maybe he’s trying to teach her what took him years to find out. It’s a wonderful life…embrace it and enjoy it.

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Friday Fave – Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair.

A recent walk through my local department store, showed me a multitude of skin care lines. Most of them I could clearly smell contained fragrances. Reinforcing why the skincare line I use, will most likely be the line I will use for a long time to come.  For years my skin care line has been Dermalogica. Dermalogica is an American company and all products are made in the United States. I love this line of products and I could go on forever blogging about every aspect of it. All their products are formulated without artificial fragrances or colours. Their straightforward packaging is simple and clean with a focus on good skin care!

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To give you a brief overview, there are several systems or levels. As well as products to address specific needs. Dermalogica is one of the few companies that I have looked at that has such a vast and targeted selection of products. There are products targeted to assist with: acne and breakouts, oiliness, shaving, dehydration and dryness, signs of aging and uneven skin tone.

My fifty something year old face, uses the age smart line. I absolutely love it and on a seasonal basis I make sure to get a Dermalogica facial. Fantastic!

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A few weeks ago, I was discussing a few skin care concerns with my esthetician Amanda at L’Attitudes. I needed something to help with the odd dark spot that I sometimes would see appear on my face. (result of probing a pimple too deeply) I was also looking for this product to be a product I could use at night. Amanda suggested I try the overnight retinol repair.

We reviewed the product together, as it contains 0.5% pure retinol it was important that I understood the directions with regards to this product as my skin would need to become accustomed to it. The powerful retinol and combination of antioxidant vitamin C would help to reduce wrinkles (yessssss!!) uneven skin tone, and discolouration. It came with a buffer cream that I used with the retinol, increasing the retinol with the buffer cream over time.

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As it has been a few weeks and my skin has adapted to this new product. I have to tell you that I am over the moon with happiness!  Overnight retinol repair has joined the line up of age smart products in my bathroom. It has kept my skin smooth and plump and has softened lines and boom!! I can see reduction in the signs of aging.

The product is not recommended to be used if you ae pregnant or breastfeeding as well as give yourself at least 72 hours without it if you are having any waxing or exfoliation being done.

I will admit that this is a pricey product at $117 cdn. for the duo. It does last a long time and while I don’t usually like to shell out that much money for a skin care product. I have to say that this one, is worth every penny. Trust me.

Happy Weekend

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