Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: The Skin Regime by Dana Ramos

Now that spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to start making your summer reading list! While sitting by the pool or lounging on the sand (wearing sunscreen from head to toe, of course!), why not enjoy a good read that’s also beneficial for your skin?

I’ve started on my summer reading early and already checked off the first book on my list: The Skin Regime by Dana Ramos. Not only is Ramos’ book entertaining with its direct and humorous voice, it also provides useful skincare advice that can apply to any gender or age group.

Before I tell you more about the book, here is my skin story: I have very fair (think Snow White), combination, sensitive skin. I never went through an acne phase in my teens but I have dealt with rosacea, reactions to many products, hives, eczema, and general irritation. Despite these annoyances, I have only ever felt uncomfortable in my own skin on three different occasions—a formal work event and two weddings that I stood in. The cause of my discomfort and self consciousness was foundation. I had my makeup done professionally on these occasions and ended up wearing liquid, loose mineral, or airbrush foundation. All three times I was embarrassed to be seen in public and felt that I looked unnatural and like I was wearing a mask. I have never owned a bottle (or jar or tube) of foundation, and I never plan to. My goal is to keep my skin in the best condition possible so that I never want to cover it up.

Here is where The Skin Regime comes in. This book tells the truth about beauty products and skincare by explaining why you don’t need a cabinet full of expensive lotions and potions to achieve great-looking skin. It shows readers how to create a personalized regime based on products and advice most dermatologists recommend for their patients. For example, it teaches readers how to find and use peel treatments, like medical spas and doctors use, for a fraction of the cost, safely and easily. And if peel treatments aren’t really your style, The Skin Regime provides other tips and tricks for improving the appearance of your skin.

What I learned from the book is that it’s not about how expensive the skincare products are but which ingredients they contain. In fact, most items used in the book’s skin regime can be purchased at the drugstore (Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar, anyone?). The products combined can help diminish discoloration, dullness, large pores, age spots, and sun spots. Ramos says that by devoting only a few minutes per day to the regime, or as she calls it, a “boot camp for the skin”, most people will see a positive difference in their skin in two weeks and a major difference in six to twelve weeks.

Ramos’ website,, includes unretouched, foundationless before and after photos of people who have seen results from the skin regime. Not to mention, the back of the book features a photo of Ramos at 49, appearing to be in her early 30s with a flawless, makeup-free complexion. After reading the book’s section on her skin story, readers will discover that her skin has come a long way since the acne battles that she faced in her teens, 20s, and 30s.

In addition to the “boot camp for skin”, Ramos’ book covers a range of other useful topics such as how to treat puffy eyes and dark circles, the best makeup for your newly improved skin, hair removal options, how to care for the skin on your body (perfect for summer!), hand, nail, and hair care tips, and more. The book’s appendix lists useful sites for more information on skincare resources.

Overall, I truly believe that this book is a must-read for anyone who is looking to easily and inexpensively improve their skin. With those sticky summer days on the way, why not go foundation free and be cool and comfortable in your own skin?

For more information about The Skin Regime and Dana Ramos, check out the links below:


Sign up for The Skin Regime’s email newsletter HERE



To win your own copy of The Skin Regime, as well as a sample facial/peel, just fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Good luck in the giveaway. It’s open worldwide until May 15, 2013!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 19, 2013

Joe Fresh Nail Polish Giveaway!!!!

Now that spring is in the air and clothing stores and makeup counters are bursting with colour, I thought that it would be the perfect time to thank my followers with some pretty polishes.

As far as I know, Joe Fresh polishes can only be found in Canada at the present time, so I wanted to give away some polishes from this line so that one of my followers could try them out. The giveaway is open worldwide and will end on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway for Affordable & Fashionable Clothing!

I’ve never been one to spend a lot of money on clothes, so I’m always excited to learn about new stores that offer fashionable pieces at affordable prices. I especially enjoy shopping online because it allows me to find unique clothing items that I can purchase without having to leave the house.

Recently I was introduced to Clothingloves, an online store that offers many clothing items and accessories at very reasonable prices. The company’s specialties include wedding dresses, women’s blazers, and wholesale men’s jackets.

These are some of my favourite items from the site:




Can you tell that I love dresses? I live in dresses during the warmer months as they are effortlessly comfortable and cute. These light, chiffon styles are perfect for spring and summer! I would wear any of these dresses to a wedding shower, a brunch, or an afternoon party.

Often when I find online stores with clothing that fits my style, I add items to my shopping cart only to find out at checkout that the site does not ship to my country. Luckily, Clothingloves ships worldwide.

When you open a free account with the site, you receive a 15% off coupon to put towards your first order. I also like that this store offers PayPal as a payment option which always makes online shopping a bit safer.

Overall, I am very impressed with this site and look forward to purchasing some summer clothing items!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nail Polish Haul (Zoya, Essie, Butter London & more!)

Since my favourite nail polish brands can be a bit expensive, I usually only purchase a few colours at a time. After months of collecting, I thought that it was time for a collective haul. Check out my polish pictures below to see which colours I picked up from Zoya, Essie, China Glaze, & more!

Zoya Paloma, Zoya Daul, Zoya Monika

Zoya Shawn, Zoya Carmen, Zoya LC

Zoya Rory, Zoya Gei Gei, Zoya Trixie

Zoya Kennedy, Zoya Jacqueline, Zoya Barbie, Zoya Erika

Essie Shine of the Times, Essie Russian Roulette

Butter London Teddy Girl, Butter London Primrose Hill Picnic, Butter London Jaffa

Butter London Toff, Butter London Queen Vic

China Glaze Snowglobe, China Glaze I Herd That, Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NOTD: Zoya Rory

After a long winter of dark, cream finish polishes, Zoya Rory is a breath of fresh, spring air!

At first glance, this shade appears as a standard pink with a hint of purple, but a little sunlight brings out its truly unique properties. Zoya describes Rory as a “medium mauve pink with lilac tones, gold and silver reflective metallic shimmer accents, and a foil-like finish.” As you can see from the photos in this post, this description is fairly accurate.

Rory was introduced to the Zoya family in Summer 2012 with the release of the Surf collection. The other five polishes in the collection have a similar finish. Despite being a medium shade, Rory is fairly pigmented and becomes opaque with two coats. Zoya gives this polish a 5/5 in terms of opacity.

I’m not sure if I agree with the Zoya site in its classification of Rory as a warm toned shade. I can usually only pull off cool toned shades, but Rory did not compete with my skintone. I think that the lilac tones neutralize the mauve and allow Rory to have a neutral base.

Also, while the finish is quite metallic, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it is “foil-like”. I consider a foil-like finish to be smooth and reflective, or mirror-like (for example, the Sally Hansen Chrome polishes). The metallic-look of this polish is created by gold and silver shimmers which make the finish shiny and glossy but not quite reflective. Either way, the finish is unique and gives the shade dimension.

Overall, I feel that Rory offers a pretty pop of colour, and a surprising splash of shimmer with its metallic micro glitter formula. The formula is easy to work with and it took five days for minor chipping and tip-wear to begin. A perfect spring and summer polish!

Friday, April 5, 2013

March SeasonsBox

Today, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to review the March SeasonsBox.  Unlike the other “deluxe sample” boxes, SeasonsBox sends 3-5 luxurious full sized seasonal must-have products each moth.

Each month’s box is completely different and includes environmentally conscious products for your home, body, and spirit. It’s called a SeasonsBox because each box is tailored to one season or a seasonal holiday. Last month I reviewed the February Box which was Valentine’s Day themed and featured healthy and eco-conscious products designed to nourish your body, invigorate your taste buds, and relax your mind.

This month’s box is St. Patrick’s Day themed (can you tell from the bright green bow and grassy box filling?) and features eco-friendly and green products, plus practical spring must-haves, to refresh and rejuvenate your home, body, and spirit.

The first item is an Ecoverse Compact Umbrella from ShedRainfrom. This umbrella is green (crafted from recycled materials and has a natural bamboo handle), storm-sturdy, eco-friendly, and compact enough to fit in your bag. Not to mention, this item alone pays for the entire box as it retails for $32 USD.  

The next item is an Organic Gourmet Tea from Octavia. I received green tea, which is perfect for St. Patty’s day with its green tint and rich flavour. This tea is 100% natural and certified organic, free of artificial ingredients and chemicals, and made from real tealeaves. I’ve been enjoying this tea in the mornings with a teaspoon of honey.

Now something to invigorate the senses: Natural Incense Cones from Vance Kitira. Not only does this product smell delicious, it comes in a mint green colour and is packaged nicely enough to function as a decorative item in your home. These cones are natural and come in a rosewood box. They smell refreshing and beachy!

The last item is satisfyingly scent-sational as well. This bar of Dublin Mint Irish Soap from All Things Herbal is natural and handcrafted using the cold process method for producing highest quality soaps. The invigorating scent is created by a blend of spearmint, peppermint, and rosemary. Perfect for an early morning shower!

Overall, I continue to be impressed by SeasonsBox. The full sized products are all items that I will use and love, which makes this subscription service more than worth the price. I did a rough calculation of the value of this month’s items, and the products combined retail at over $60—that’s double the price of the box!

Subscription rates begin at $29.95 which seems like a lot but, as you can see from the March items, you get what you pay for. I can’t wait to see what SeasonsBox has in store for April!

Did you receive a SeasonsBox this month? What are your thoughts on it?