L’Occitane’s Valentine’s offerings for 2016 include sweet gift sets for both men and women. This year, L’Occitane partnered with celebrated French illustrator Soledad Bravi to design two limited edition gift sets, featuring her signature romantic, girlish style. Sets range in price from $24 to $150, sure to please any Valentine on one’s list.

Soledad Bravi x L’Occitane:

Soledad Hugs & Kisses- Shea Butter wb

Shea Butter Hugs & Kisses ($24): Surprise and delight that special someone one with this charming hand cream and lip balm duo in our cherished classic shea butter scent.

Soledad Hugs & Kisses- Shea Butter Rose wb
Shea Butter Rose Hugs & Kisses ($24): With a delicate rose scent, this practical hand and lip duo is the perfect way to shower a sweetheart in love.

Soledad Hugs & Kisses Tin wb

There’s also the limited-edition kit designed by Soledad Bravi in a beautiful keepsake tin, complete with Shea Butter Hand Cream and Lip Balm, along with Shea Butter Rose Hand Cream and Rose Lip Balm with a limited Edition Soledad Nail File! (Sorry, my fellow Canucks – US only.)

Collection Gift Sets:

Cherry Blossom Voyage Gift Set wb

Cherry Blossom Voyage Collection ($26): The feminine cherry blossom set is the perfect bathroom accessory for any woman. Includes Cherry Blossom Body Milk, Cherry Blossom Shower Gel, Cherry Blossom Hand Cream and Bonne Mere Rose Soap.

Lavender Voyage Setwb

Lavender Voyage Collection ($26): The ultimate gift of pampering for her.  Direct from the majestic fields of Provence, this set is filled with the calming aromas of lavender to help soothe the senses and induce blissful relaxation. Includes Lavender Body Milk, Lavender Shower Gel, Shea Butter Hand Cream and Bonne Mere Lavender Soap.

L'OCCITANE Voyage Set wb

L’OCCITAN Voyage Collection ($26): This deluxe doc kit satisfies all of his grooming needs with shaving and body care necessities. Includes L’OCCITAN Shower Gel, L’OCCITAN After Shave Balm, L’OCCITAN Shaving Gel.

Verbena Voyage Setwb

Verbena Voyage Collection ($26): Spice things up or keep it zesty with this lemony citrus verbena set. The combination of verbena essential oils, orange, and lemon tree offer a refreshing and reviving shower experience for men and women alike. Includes a Verbena Shower Gel, Verbena Body Milk, Verbena Hand Cream and Bonne Mere Verbena Soap.

Divine Collection wb

Divine Collection ($190): Our ultimate skincare regimen, offering luxurious radiance in a box. This set captures the age-defying benefits of the precious Immortelle essential oil to leave skin looking more youthful and rejuvenated. Includes Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam, Divine Cream, Divine Eyes and Divine Lotion.

All sets will be available at L’OCCITANE boutiques nationwide and online at ca.loccitane.com starting on January 26th, 2016!

Which ones have caught your eye? I would love the Divine Collection… it includes everything you might need for your skincare regimen (and it includes the very special Immortelle essential oil!), or, from the Soledad Bravi x L’Occitane collaboration, the delicious Shea Butter Rose Hugs & Kisses is calling my name…. 🙂

~xo

ESCAPE TO ITALY
WITH THE VENICE COLLECTION BY OPI

THINK: Romantic color inspired by Baroque period decadence

WHAT THEY ARE: New lacquers and gels that pay homage to one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The leading nail professional and color experts at OPI have created a collection this Fall/Winter 2015 that captures the essence of one of Europe’s most romantic ancient capitals. A city of opulent pleasures, lavish artwork, and breathtaking Baroque architecture, for centuries Venice has inspired artists and composers to create works of timeless beauty. The world’s number one salon brand has created its own tribute to the famed “Queen of the Adriatic” with the all new Venice Collection. Featuring 15 new lacquer shades with matching GelColor to evoke the sumptuous elegance and grandiose splendor of the floating city, the OPI Venice Collection brings the alluring spirit of Venice to life anywhere.

OPI Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador Suzi Weiss-Fischmann explains, “Dreaming of Venice calls to mind people- watching in the piazza, sipping champagne in a gondola, or enjoying a gelato in an outdoor café as you stroll and float through this extraordinary city. So we created a collection of romantic reds, decadent blues, striking corals, dreamy pastels, elegant nudes, dramatic darks, and luxurious metallics that celebrate this vision of over-the-top indulgence.” This bold and elegant collection will introduce 12 new shades to the permanent OPI color family, and three limited edition offerings to ignite and renew your passion for color with a touch of Italian seduction.

OPI Venice Collection

The Complete Venice Collection Includes:

  • Venice by OPI Nail Lacquers ($4.75 salon, $9.50 retail) ($5.95 CAN salon, $11.50 CAN retail): Enjoy 15 shades of on-trend color that puts Venice at your fingertips. Available as part of the permanent OPI color offerings in lush melon A Great Opera-tunity, persimmon crème It’s a Piazza Cake, shimmery copper Worth a Pretty Penne, coffee cream Tiramisu for Two, ravishing red Amore at the Grand Canal, red shimmer Gimme a Lido Kiss, opaque crème Be There in a Prosecco, pale gray I Cannoli Wear OPI, icy-sweet Gelato on My Mind, pastel lilac Purple Palazzo Pants, bold eggplant O Suzi Mio, luscious black My Gondola or Yours?. Catch these three LIMITED EDITION shades of bold aquamarine Venice the Party?, glittering gold Baroque…But Still Shopping, and deep navy St. Mark’s the Spot.
  • Venice by OPI GelColors (salon price $15.99): Enjoy the same 15 Venice Collection lacquer colors in long wearing, durable OPI GelColor: A Great Opera-tunity, It’s a Piazza Cake, Worth a Pretty Penne, Tiramisu for Two, Amore at the Grand Canal, Gimme a Lido Kiss, Be There in a Prosecco, I Cannoli Wear OPI, Gelato on My Mind, Purple Palazzo Pants, O Suzi Mio, My Gondola or Yours?, and the LIMITED EDITION shades of Venice the Party?, Baroque…But Still Shopping, and St. Mark’s the Spot.

I have to say, OPI’s preview boxes of the Venice Collection were adorable, with an Italian theme including a gold masquerade mask, Dean & Deluca tiramisu caramels along with some Ferrero Rochers to tantalize your taste buds.

How cute was this box??

OPI Venice Collection box

OPI Venice Collection contents(If you noticed that the two reds on the left look the same, you have a great eye. 🙂 My box is missing Amore at the Grand Canal, instead having two Gimme a Lido Kiss {probably the cutest name ever!}. Now I want just a “lido kiss…”)

Now for a few swatches of some of my very favourites from this collection!

Two immediate standouts for me (as you can see from the above photo of the Venice Collection box where I had displayed the two bottles) were I Cannoli Wear OPI and the sweet Gelato on My Mind. I mean… I LOVE these two shades! Of course I had no choice but to combine them into one of my favourite looks, an easy sponge gradient. Seriously though, how stunning are they together?

OPI Venice I Cannoli Gelato Mind GradientDaylight

OPI Venice I Cannoli Gelato Mind Gradient2Artificial light

Another standout, and sure to be a hit for years to come, the pink-leaning nude Tiramisu for Two… truly a colour for divinity:

OPI Venice Tiramisu for Two sun

Direct sunlight

OPI Venice Tiramisu for TwoIndirect natural light – Drooling yet??

The beauty of the Venice Collection continues with A Great Opera-tunity, a pale salmon that makes for a darker nude.

OPI Venice A Great Opera-tunity

To learn more about OPI visit http://www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter and Instagram and become a Facebook fan!

Which of the Venice Collection shades are your favourites?

~xo

If you liked this post, please take a moment to ‘like’ this post and/or comment! I love to read what you think.

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

I realize I’ve been very quiet for a while…. There has been lots going on, and I’ve tried to stay active online, on my Instagram and on Facebook. 🙂  I’m hoping that things will finally return to a new kind of normal and we can spend time on here reviewing beautiful things again!!!

Now on to more important things. I’d like to introduce you to the newest love of my life, a little (ok, not-so little) rescue doggie whom we have named Coby!!

Hi!

(Those puppy eyes!!!)

Coby was a rescue saved from Miami-Dade, an awful place to be if you are a homeless or shelter dog… Unfortunately the simple fact that you are a dog, and alive, could be a death sentence. Their stories are sad, upsetting and often disturbing. And many are euthanized due to overcrowding.

Enter Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary. A beautiful place just north of Toronto, 50 acres of rolling hills and sprawling greens, this independent rescue has endeavoured to save dogs like my Coby from Miami-Dade (as well as many other places around the world such as Israel). This incredible rescue took the long drive to Miami, prepared with climate-controlled vehicles, and on their most recent trip, instead of saving the 40-50 they intended to, left with 110+ dogs ready to return to cold Canada (with ~half of them being brought up on an upcoming subsequent trip). My heart just shatters for those left behind… We really need to find a way to address this sad, sad overcrowding in Miami and address the animal control system’s issues. 😦

Here are some photos of Dog Tales Rescue:

I took this on a recent visit to the rescue… also a sanctuary for horses saved from slaughter….

Source – Dog Tales

 Source – Dog Tales

Well… my angel Cody was one of those babies saved from warm Miami and brought to Dog Tales for a new life! Is she not adorable? ❤️


Above two photos courtesy of Gotcha Photo Studios, an incredible photography studio that volunteers their services to help photograph these babies in natural serene locations, away from their sad shelter reality (although Dog Tales is far from sad– more like a luxe temporary “hotel” for dogs, if you will!!!!), in order to help them look happy and as beautiful as they really are and find a new forever home.

In a wonderful twist, my other baby girl Bella was also photographed by Jen from Gotcha a few years ago — which is how I found her. ❤️


Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my life as well as the photos of my babies!

Please don’t forget to check out both Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary (and take a drive up there if you are anywhere near southern Ontario—their Bette’s cafe makes the best hummous you’ve ever had!) and Gotcha Photo Studios!! These incredible places dedicate themselves to the saving of innocent animals, and showing them love and compassion until we find them and adopt them.

And please remember: Adopt, don’t Shop.

xo

SAUVAGE

A FILM BY JEAN-BAPTISTE MONDINO

Sauvage_Walking_Dessert_wb

He digs deep to find his inner animal. Recapture it and lay himself bare.
Be one with nature,
An appeased “sauvage”, freed from his own chains.

DIOR_Sauvage_wb

It’s a rite of passage in response to a vital instinct.
To leave the urban rage and the shallow cities behind.

And drive toward the desert, trusting the road to take him there.
Joshua Tree, mystic land, is there to teach him how to live again.
A flat, wide and powerful landscape. Where he encounters a surreal beast. Where the “Sauvage” shaman knows that each image is a message.

He leaves in the night, and travels all day, As the inky blue sky of dusk comes to free him.
Bury the talismans, drop the masks;

He marks his trail with a sacred Cairn to show the end of artifice.
The ceremony of a metamorphosis.

“Out of my head, into my heart”

The desert is the sign
Of a new departure.
Now he can shine.
And Johnny Depp shows us who he is…

Sauvage_Ingredient_wb

Read More

One of a beauty addict’s worst accidents is a nail polish spill. And not just a nail polish spill, but the crushing death of not only your favourite polish, but also the white/taupe/beige carpet or rug it fell on.



A Google search quickly leads you to a tip sheet including the following points

  1. Upon discovering any nail polish stains on your carpet, wet the stain with cold water.
  2. Spray 15-20 pumps of hair spray, followed by three to five small splashes of rubbing alcohol. This is the best approach when you’re wondering how to remove nail polish from carpet.
  3. Using a small scrub brush, scrub the nail polish stain directly for about a minute. While you’re scrubbing, keep pouring clean, cold water onto the stain throughout the process.
  4. Repeat this process until the nail polish stain is no longer visible.


I tried the above but didn’t quite get the results I was looking for. So I added non-acetone nail polish remover. And blotted. And blotted some more using clean paper towels… Still not quite removing the hot pink mess on my carpet. That’s how I landed upon the following tricks guaranteed to remove your polish mess! 

Here is what you will need: 

  • OxyClean or similar non-bleach stain remover 
  • Hot water
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover 
  • Hair spray
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels 
  • Brush or old toothbrush 



  1. Blot the polish spill to remove any wet polish, using clean cloth or paper towel each time so as not to spread the mess. Do not rub!
  2. Apply some nail polish remover on the spill, and blot, never rubbing. Blot using clean paper towel each time, otherwise you will transfer polish onto clean areas.
  3. Mix a scoop of OxyClean into about 2-4 cups hot water, preferably in a bucket. 
  4. Apply this OxyClean mixture, using a sponge, on the stain. Rub this in, but only one small polish-stained area at a time. (This prevents spreading the coloured foam this creates, and prevents your spreading the stain.)
  5. Spray a good dose of hairspray onto the stain.
  6. Blot and repeat blotting the small area you just worked on. 
  7. You can also scrub the small stain using a brush/toothbrush to work the stain remover in, but blot between scrubbing to prevent foam/coloured water from spreading the stain.
  8. Your polish stain should start to fade to a different colour–in my case, it became orange.
  9. Now pour some non-acetone polish remover on the small area you are working… Blot. You will see polish transferring onto your paper towel.
  10. Continue blotting, using a fresh piece of paper towel each time. 
  11. Scrub using OxyClean mixture again. Spray hairspray. Blot again. 
  12. Apply polish remover and blot again. 
  13. This does take some scrubbing but your stain will start to fade, until it is no longer visible. The key is to blot. A LOT.
  14. Once you are happy with the result, blot using clean towels or paper towel to absorb as much of the fluid as possible. 
  15. Et voila!

Here was my result after scrubbing once with the OxyClean mixture:



A little better:



Until finally, the stain was gone: 



I am pretty confident that if I was able to remove this hot pink (with shimmer!) polish, my tricks will help you clean your light-coloured carpet with some help and elbow-grease. 🙂

Let me know if this method worked for you! Good luck!

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