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Top 10 of 2015

FullSizeRenderLast year I returned to work with a mixture of positive and negative feelings. On the positive side, I was able to rejoin the beauty world on a professional level and get myself back out there making my connections and learning all about new products and techniques. I also managed to get back into a regular beauty routine.

In addition to my professional exposure to beauty items, I also was so inspired by social media and other bloggers to try some new things. Instagram, YouTube and beauty blogs lead me down the road to seek out some of the items on this list, while others fell into my hands unexpectedly.

Here are my top 10 picks of 2015.  This list covers a good range of products and brands, and there is something in this list for any budget. I hope you enjoy!

1. Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour – 444 Gabrielle

Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour is a gorgeous, buttery lipstick that hydrates for hours, and the shade 444 Gabrielle is a stunning red. Read about my journey towards finding the lipstick here, and enjoy the full review.

2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Custard0607845012344

Coverage? Check! Easy to apply? Check! A vast array of shades to choose from? Check! I call my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard my sleep in a tube. A sweep of this magic wand will make under eye darkness disappear quicker than you can say “Put another pot of coffee on.”  Visit my full story on this concealer here.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit- Light To Medium contour_kit_powder

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit has traveled to other countries with me. I love the versatility of it and it is super slim and easy to pack. I know there’s a plethora of contour products out there to choose from right now as it is all the rage, but this one caught my eye early on when I saw it plastered all over gorgeously sculpted faces on Instagram. Check out my review of it here, where you will also see some before and after photos!


4.  Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

Liquid lipsticks are showing up in every brand right now. They are touted to be matte, highly pigmented and long wearing. The unfortunate part is, this trifecta of liptick promises rarely comes to fruition.  That is, until I tried Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks.

Ladies and gentleman, these simply do not disappoint. They are not easy for us Canadian Foxes to get our hands on as you can read about here, but I tell you that if you are so lucky to get one, you will see how it rises above so many others.

matte_powder_medium5. Cover FX Matte Setting Powder 

Not new to the market, but a discovery of mine in 2015. I rave about it here, and can tell you that this super – fine powder is a keeper that will be a staple of my makeup bag forever, either in its matte form or illuminating form… or both!

6. Quo Blending Spongehwthumb

Initially chosen as a stand – in for the pricier Beauty Blender sponge, I can honesty say that this one is a winner on it’s own! Effective blending at a cost that any pocketbook can handle, the Quo Blending Sponge is a an easy way to shake up your foundation routine and try a new trick.

Learn all about how I use this sponge here and take a little time to rethink the makeup sponge!

7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyelinerwhite

Oh the quest for the perfect liquid liner came to an end once I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner . This is a gem that I stock up on and keep reserves in my desk just in case. Love love love this liner! Want to learn more about this liner? Check out this link for more!


8. Revlon Ultra HD Matte LipcolorCapture

I discovered Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor only days before 2015 came to an end, so this one was close. This one was also impressive enough to make the list and bump something else off! I have been a life long supporter of Revlon products, particular their lipsticks. I rave about this new one here.


9. Benefit Instant Comeback Facial Serum

whiteSeriously, I did not have high expectations from a brand known more for it’s cutesy packaging and makeup items. What a wonderful surprise this serum gave me! You can read the full details of this unexpected winner here and find out how this not – so – new product even found it’s way onto my 2015 list. There’s always a story and this one really speaks to the power of a sample!

10. Cover Girl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara 

cg_super_sizer_1This was the year of surprises! I never would have thought that Cover Girl would end up on my list as I thought this was a brand that was from my teen years only. Well, here I am a lifetime later and being wowed by this affordable and impressive mascara. Wanna know more about it? Of course you can read all about it here, where I go into details about the Super Sizer!



That wraps up my top 10 of 2015… I would love to hear about YOUR favourite discoveries over the past year. Tell me about them in the comments or visit my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (Foxy Face Beauty for all) and let me know!


Line It Up

Trends aside, I have always been a fan of the liquid eyeliner. I love how it creates a strong definition and adds a little glam. I have tried many liquid eyeliners over the past 20 years, and usually I have issues with the length of wear, the applicator or the formula bothers my eyes. The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a winner that hits everything out of the park without any “side effects” of my common issue. white

The applicator tip is precise and flexible and this allows me to can create a thin or thick line, and a cat eye in a cinch! It stays on like the name states – all day, and I have not experienced ANY smudging! The formula is some magical elixir that doesn’t bother my ultra – sensitive eyes, and I have even used in my lower water line without issue (on occasion, not often!).

IMG_8300I have taken cuticle scissors to trim off the fraying, and although this works to clean it up the application tip is compromised and I don;t get the same precision.

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is definitely a makeup bag staple for me from now on. I only use black, but it is also available in several other colours. The Midnight shade ( a deep blue) is calling my name….


Do you use a liquid eyeliner? Which one is your fave?


Mascara Blast

Cover Girl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara came into my hands by chance. I had a false eyelash/mascara crisis at work and someone gave me this Cover Girl mascara. I was worried to try it as my eyes are crazy sensitive and it had a weird looking brush. Out of desperation I applied this to my lashes and it seemed to do the trick, although difficult to really tell what it was really like since I had globs of lash adhesive stuck in my eyelashes.

cg_super_sizer_1I tried it again the following day and was pleasantly surprised with the ease of application as well  as the result. That weird little brush surprising delivered the formula to my lashes with easy precision and the formula really bulked up to give me a nice amount of volume. The smudge proof factor is there too! It doesn’t smudge all day, even on my lower lashes, and this

I had been using $30+ mascaras for at least 10 years now, so I was pleasantly surprised when this affordable one was able to wow me. I found the only downside for me is that it seems to be good for only  about a month before my eyes start to get irritated. I simply toss it, pay less than $10 for a new one and everything is right in the world again.

Tell me about a time a beauty product performed better than expected for you. Help me build a new shopping list!


Ready, SET, Go!

matte_powder_mediumCover FX Matte Setting Powder is is a not a new product, but it is one that I have added to my regular regime in the past year. In the past, I used the Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder. With trends changing recently to a more matte finish with precision highlighting, I opted for the matte one when I was replacing it.

I love this powder so much. It is totally sheer and does not disrupt the colour of my foundation. It is easy to choose a shade as it only comes in three colours, and all which are sheer so you can not go too wrong. The powder is so lightweight with an incredibly fine texture, almost like a dust. When applied over my foundation or tinted moisturizer, it instantly transforms my skin so it feels totally natural like I have nothing one – no stickiness or texture, just feels like my skin.

Let’s talk about the brilliant packaging for a moment. One of my pet peeves is with a loose powder is that it gets everywhere, especially when you travel. This one has a cover that twists over the dispenser to shut it, or to allow just a few holes exposed to control how much comes out. I travel all over with this powder and have never had so much as a trickle of a leak!

This powder is a keeper that will be a staple of my makeup bag forever, either in its matte form or illuminating form… or both!

Foxy Friends, tell me how you set your makeup? 


Look No Further For The Best Concealer

I was watching this YouTube tutorial by Samantha from Batalash Beauty when I first saw Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in action. I had to back it up and watch again. And again (watch around the 1:43 mark). I was fascinated by the way this concealer looked on screen.

NARSI actually thought to myself, “There is no way this concealer is going to be as good as I think it was on the video. She is like, 22, and has young tight skin, no major issues and blah blah blah….” I was not going to get my hopes up on this pricey little concealer, but I knew I was going to try it out ASAP.


Well, praise be to that video tutorial… this concealer did not disappoint and has not let me down. I am so impressed with how smooth and creamy it is when it goes on and this creaminess gives you a lot of time to blend it before it sets. The creaminess is also very forgiving around tired eyes and fine lines. Usually, this type of texture can mean a lot of creasing later in the day, but I set it after blending with a touch of banana coloured pressed powder (from Anastasia Beverly Hills which you can read about here) and a fluffy brush, and it looks great and crease free well into the evening. Even when I have skipped the powder, it looks fresh far longer than any concealer I have ever tried.

The coverage is amazing, and the slight peachy tone of the Custard shade corrects any darkness and also brightens under my eyes. Until this magic tube of sleep, I had been pretty loyal to my Bobbi Brown concealer, but I can say unequivocally that after using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer there will be no turning back.

Judgement Day: 2015 Resolutions I Actually Kept….

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Last year at this time I made my 2015 Beauty Resolutions public, as if stating them to the world would cause me to actually follow-through on them. Oh, I had grand plans… never mind that I was returning to work  after a glorious entire year off, and had two toddlers to chase after. I could never have anticipated the sheer exhaustion of being back in the 9 to 5 grind, the commute and combine that with the madness that a three and a one year old can concoct.

Here is a recap of my 2015 Beauty Resolutions and how they actually panned out:

I will wash my makeup brushes more often.


In 2015,  I continued using filthy brushes on a regular basis. I think I probably washed them maybe a half a dozen times through the entire calendar year (I am probably over-estimating here folks). I even blogged about the importance of beauty hygiene… what a hypocrite! The bad news – I am disgusting. The good news- I am the only person using my brushes so my filth stays within my own face’s ecosystem.


I will stop picking at my cuticles and hangnails.


I actually Sally-Hansen-Cuticle-Massage-Creammade a concerted effort to pack cuticle cream with me at work and even apply it while I sit in horrendous traffic on the 404 on my way into work. Even remembering to do this once a week once the colder weather hits made a tremendous difference. I haven’t even had a manicure since early fall and I am not ashamed of my cuticles as I type this.


I will apply a foot cream. 


All I can say about this failed promise is Heaven for my feetyuck. Without regular TLC from my pedicurist at Yen Nails, my feet still look like a shoeless Hobbit. It is not for lack of product selection in my home. I struggle with finding the right time to apply it. Right out of the shower would be an ideal time, but I am often in a hurry and forget. Bedtime also seems like it would be a good time to put it on, but if I have been wearing stockings or tights to work it can make for a stinky foot (don’t cringe, we all have had this happen), it feels gross to rub cream into a smelly foot. Try again in 2016 I guess….


I will say goodbye/ adios, au revoir to anything in my collection that is older than my children.


I still have the eye shadows pictured because I have a weird emotional attachment to them. I have, however, purged a TON of products. Anything that had an altered texture, colour or smell was tossed. Anything that I really struggled to embrace was tossed. Anything that caused my eyes to turn bright red was tossed. What did I keep? Anything that I bought on a vacation that I wouldn’t get in Canada, or items that I now deem artifacts and as soon as the “Museum of Beauty History” is created I will be a main contributor and hailed as a beauty hero. So there- that’s progress!


I will find a reason to wear false eyelashes once a month.More of my hoarding


I am actually wearing a set of false lashes right now in anticipation of starting off 2016 right. Last year, I think I rocked some falsies maybe twice… a far cry from the dozen times I was aiming for. However, the one time I wore them I was brilliant with them! I was attending a special event at the Toronto Benefit Cosmetics Boutique which of course called for some extra – girly glamour.  After the event,  I couldn’t wait until I got home to take off my lashes so I peeled them off in a Starbucks parking lot while a horrified bystander in a car across from me witnessed the act. You’re welcome lady!

I was driving the car that usually my husband drives so I hid each lash strip so when he would reach to lower the visor or adjust the vent he would accidentally brush his hand on it. I imagined him mistaking the lash momentarily for a big hairy spider and him screaming aloud in horror. Well, he foiled my brilliant plan not even noticing either of them and this made me so sad. But you have to admit that that lady got a show and the pre-meditative nature of a spider scare count as at least 10 wears. So, in reality I was thisclose to meeting my goal.

I will use my lipliner more often.


Oh this a Beauty Resolution that I totally won! I have grown to adore my lip liners and love creating depth and highlight by using my liners. I have added a half dozen or so new lipliners to my collection (hoarder!) and use one on an almost daily basis. I absolutely love the crisp definition that a liner adds to a red lip, or shading the corners and sketching into the center a little to create an ombre effect. Yes. This was the winning Resolution!

So, that’s my 2015 Beauty Resolution recap. Stay tuned for the 2016 ones coming soon…. In the meantime, Foxes please tell me what item or technique did you add to your regime in 2015? 

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Benebabe Forever

photo 4-7The first time I ever visited the United States as an adult was when I went to Las Vegas in the early 2000’s. I had never seen Benefit Cosmetics products in real life, but I took my Allure magazine with the ear marked pages that raved about Benefit products and hauled that baby cross border and into a Sephora (also marking my first Sephora visit ever). Like a beacon in the night, the Benefit wall was calling my name as soon as I stepped foot in that store. Here. It. Was. I was looking at of the Benefit products I had read about and longed to see in person and now I could even touch them!

Within the first hour, my travel companions abandoned me as they did not share my marathon interest for beauty products (I know, right???). I played for hours and shopped the whole store, decided on products and then put some back, then picked up more…you get the picture.  I was in serious danger of maxing out my credit card! As far as Benefit goes, I decided on 4 items – Hoola Bronzer, Dandelion Face Powder (as a gift), Ooh La Lift Instant Under Eye Brightening Boost and the iconic Benetint. I was in heaven with my treasures and so pleased to finally have my hands on my very own Benefit!

When I think back to that trip to Vegas I often refer to it as the first time I bought Benefit. I am not sure why this adorable product line resonates with me so much, but I have a strange and sometimes all consuming attraction to it. I have since visited their stores in San Fransisco and New York City, their counters in multiple Macy’s and Ulta stores around America, and even had the honour of my own Benefit counter when I was managing a store. I feel a little like a cult member, and if you are like me or know anyone like me, you will know that people have fierce and unapologetic allegiance to the Benefit brand.

photo 1-7Well, tonight (June 4th, 2015 for the record), something really awesome happened to me. I went to the grand opening of the Benefit Boutique in Toronto. CANADA’S FIRST BENEFIT BOUTIQUE!!!! Take a moment to let that sink in. That’s like introducing me to sunshine after living in darkness for years (uhhh – kind of like when I lived in the Arctic in the winter actually).

Now one thing I adore about this brand is that they take everything they do to the next level and weave their brand DNA into everything. I have yet to catch a miss on their behalf. For example, I have visited their Toronto offices and it is a delightful and airy space that has pristine white desks and pink accents. Their pens, file folders, post-it notes all incorporate the prettiness and cuteness that we have come to expect from the brand. Their workspace is an inspiration and true reflection of what they do and what they create. Kind of makes grey cubicle walls seem like a prison setting… just sayin’!

OK- now back to the Benefit Boutique… Walking up the “pink carpet” to the store, I notice that even the handle on the door is personalized with their branding (of course). There is a lot of activity going on and the space is filled with people here for this monumental event, The Benebabes are busily performing services  and other Benefit Canada team members are dressed up as Benefit characters and giving us tours of this beautiful girl cave (take THAT man caves!) and offering us sparkling bevvies.

photo 1-5At the front of the store you see the whole brand on display with testers. This is all presented on beautiful furnishings that of course are in line with their brand DNA. It is a total play area that makes me feel like a kid in a candy store (or even like myself in a candy store). The product packaging in beautifully designed and they are like little pieces or artwork themselves. I do not ever feel as though my Benefit products need to be put away in the drawers and cupboards with everything else – they deserve to be seen!

photo 2-10Chairs and work stations line one side of the boutique and this is where aestheticians perform waxing services and makeup applications. Brows are being tweezed, waxed and designed at all the stations and it’s humming with activity. Once again, from the wall paper to the hand held mirrors, storage units and lighting, not an opportunity is missed to convey the Benefit brand identity.

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Heading to the rear of the store, we discover their special rooms for services. First, the “Pretty Room” is where they take you for any non-face waxing services or other things that may require some privacy. I am certain with summer upon us that this room will be very well used! Next door is the “Bronzing Room” where you can step in for a perfectly applied airbrush tan using Vita Liberata Luxury Tan products. The  Bronzing room walls and floor are well protected with a tent set up for you to step in and get your bronze on.

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A little into the night they have a ribbon cutting ceremony and a food truck outside with specialty teas and coffees as well the most delectable little doughnuts! One of my favourite things was watching people who just happened to be walking down the busy street take in this scene and observing the delight on their faces as they take in this excitement along with the rest of us. Benefit draws you even if you don’t know what it is! photo 4-6photo 3-7


So something to be noted: they also offer a “Beauty Bash” for clients. You can get a group together and have the run of the place to yourselves for an after-hours private party which includes bubbly, small bites, make-uppers, brow shaping, lash or brow tint, and some serious one-on-one pampering These bashes come in a customizable theme, size and time. Hello wedding parties and general girly celebrations! Oh, what fun!

You can find the Benefit Boutique in  Toronto at 2614 Yonge Street (Yonge and Ellington area). It’s a definite must-see whether you are a GTA resident or planning a trip to the city. photo 5-4

So Foxes – are you also a Benebabe? What is YOUR go-to product from Benefit?