Mountains & Makeup: London Drugs #LDBeauty 2018 media event

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, I recently attended my very favourite event of the year.

Held every year in B.C., the London Drugs Beauty event is the creme de la creme of Canadian beauty events. It’s like going to IMATS and then leaving with every beauty product they offer.  Okay, so it’s not that excessive, but you leave with a lot of stuff.

This was my fourth time attending (I went in 2014, 2015, 2016, and now 2018), and although it was traditionally held in Vancouver the past few years (aside from last year), they had it at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler this time around (it was held there last year as well). Although I’ve been to Vancouver a million times, I have never travelled to Whistler, so in addition to attending this event, I was super excited to check out the famous ski resort town as well.

Welcome sign at LD Beauty 2018 in Whistler
Emani Cosmetics at LD Beauty 2018 Shiseido booth at LDBeauty

Since I live in Winnipeg, London Drugs was super kind to fly me out the night before and put me up in a hotel in downtown Vancouver. The next day, all of us blogger, vloggers, influencers, and journalists, met outside Waterfront Station and hopped on a bus for the trek up (I would also like to add that London Drugs hooked us up with a goodie bag filled with snacks for the drive).  After about 1.5 hours of the most gorgeous views (you travel through the mountains and have this stunning view of the lake not he right-hand side), we got to the hotel where we had just enough time to check into our rooms, change, and head down to the event.

London Drugs ended up changing the format a little this year since traditionally in the past we were given a large tote bag, which held all the products that the vendors give out.  You get a lot of stuff at this event, so the bag gets really heavy and bulky fast and it’s quite uncomfortable to walk around with (major first world problems, I know).  Also, the event previously was held for two hours, so it was tough getting booth to booth and listening to what each vendor said in that short amount of time. This year was totebag-free, and instead, when we left we were given this giant box which contained all the products that we normally would have gotten in the past. As a result, that made the event much more comfortable, and since the event was 3.5 hours this time around, we could actually take our time and not feel rushed.

So if you haven’t read my past blog posts on what #LDBeauty is, it’s a trade show were different brands that are sold at London Drugs each have a booth and they explain what is new from the company.  In our goodie boxes at the end, there is often the products they were showcasing, so as you can imagine, those boxes are very heavy and are worth a lot of money. This year there were 32 vendors, everything from makeup to hair, skincare, fragrance, you name it. Since I work with a lot of different brands and their PR already, I was familiar with a lot of the products or already had some of them, but there were other brands there that I wasn’t as familiar with or connect with often, so it was awesome to physically try stuff out and get the rep to explain the benefits of each product. Some of the booths I was most excited to visit were Ardell, Bioderma, Clinique, Coty Fragrances, Kiss, Lise Watier, NYX, Real Techniques, Revolution Beauty, and St. Tropez.

Real Techniques booth at LD Beauty Kiss booth at LD Beauty

After the event, we were given our giant box and I made my way back to the room to dig through it (truth be told through, I was super overwhelmed and a little stressed trying to jigsaw it all in my suitcase haha).  Later that evening we all made our way across the street to Milestone’s, where CoverGirl hosted a dinner with their pro makeup artist Veronica Chu and she chatted about the new TruBlend Matte Made Foundation (which you guys know I love – I actually brought it with me on this trip!).

The next morning we all met on the Fairmont’s rooftop patio (it was in a tent since it was chilly) for breakfast, where we learned a little more about London Drugs (for all my east coast readers, it’s a Western Canada-based drugstore that also sells electronics, furniture, and makeup. Winnipeg is as east as they go, but you can order online; they ship across Canada). After, we made our way back down to learn about the science behind Neostrata’s products, where we also got to take home some skincare goodies.

After all the beauty events were over we did have some time to relax or roam around Whistler, which I fully took advantage of with Jayne from Cosmetic Proof and Chelsea from Olive & Ivy, since this was my first time here. Around noon we boarded the bus and made our trek back to Vancouver, where a limo was waiting for us out of towners to take us to the airport.

Since this was my fourth time attending #LDBeauty, I knew what to expect, but honestly, it’s such a thrill to go to this event and the company really does go above and beyond.  Just the fact that they had it at the Fairmont Whistler really put an awe factor to the whole experience. Since we got so much stuff, I have yet to go through it all, but I’ll definitely be sharing a lot of items here on my blog. From what I have seen through, here are my top 11 items (I couldn’t narrow it down to 10) that I’m most excited to try:

  1. Ardell Magnetic Lashes – to see if they are as good as my TOK Beauty ones
  2. Bioderma Atoderm SOS Spray, which soothes irritations and itches
  3. Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly – I’ve been a huge fan of the original formula for years.
  4. Elizabeth Arden RETINOL Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum – I love their eye serum capsules.
  5. Oui Juicy Couture Eau De Parfum – I’m a huge fan of Juicy Couture fragrances.
  6. Kiss Professional 24K Gold Peel – Peel-Off Mask – Who doesn’t love trying new masks?
  7. Lise Watier Neiges Sparkling Lipstick – Love the packaging on this, it’s silver and glittery!
  8. L’Oreal Paris Unlimited Mascara – I love L’Oreal Paris mascaras and this one has a dual-position brush.
  9. Real Techniques Flawless Base Set – I’ve always wanted to try this brush set as I’ve only heard great things.
  10. Revlon PhotoReady Highlighting Palette – Who doesn’t love a good highlighting palette?
  11. Silk’n Silhouette – a device to reduce cellulite and smooth skin.

Truthfully, since we got so much stuff at the event, and now that holiday sets are coming in, I have been slow going through it all, but I have been playing around with a few items. Everyday I dig into my box and pull something out to try, and so far, nothing has really disappointed me.

Neostrata event at LdBeauty 2018

Whistler BC CoverGirl dinner at LDBeauty 2018 in Whistler
Fairmont Whistler Chateau

Huge thank you to London Drugs for inviting me to this amazing event.  Keep a look out for some reviews coming up soon featuring a lot of the products we were gifted.

Do you shop at London Drugs?

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Hi there, pumpkin! Three pumpkin items you need this fall

The two words synonymous with fall? Pumpkin spice.

I’m actually a relatively new lover of all things pumpkin spice as for the longest time, I just didn’t get what the hype was all about. Why do people love the taste and smell of pumpkin so much? But then I actually tried a pumpkin spice latte (and pumpkin pie), and totally got why every freaks out about it, and if you can’t tell already, I’m kinda obsessed with it. Yes, I am that basic b*tch who loves everything pumpkin spice.

Since the scent literally smells like fall and coziness and warmth, I’ve been dosing myself in it for the past few months. I have my candles burning overtime, I’m slathering it on my skin, and pumpkin has even found its way in my skincare (although it doesn’t actually smell like the fruit.. it is a fruit, right?).  If you are as obsessed with this scent as much as I am, then you’re going to have to pick up these three fall goodies.

Nest Pumpkin Chai candle and diffuser

Nest Pumpkin Chai candle and reed diffuser

First things first, when it comes to fall, you’ll need to pick up some fall-scented candles and the one at the top of my list is the Nest Pumpkin Chai scent.  I actually grabbed this candle this past May at a sample sale in NYC and have been burning to light it (no pun intended) ever since.

This candle, available as a 2 oz. votive (C$23), 8.1 oz. one-wick (C$56) and a 21.1 oz. three-wick (C$90), is literally fall in a candle. The notes in here are a combination of wild pumpkin, spicy masala chai, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. It’s spicy and warm all at the same time.

Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s a lot of money for a candle.  Yes, it totally is, but you can definitely tell there is a difference between Nest candles and others commonly found at the mall. Nest candles are made with a premium, soft, cosmetic-grade wax that will leave you with an optimal burn time. For example, the three-wick Nest candles have a burn time of 80 to 100 hours, whereas the Bath & Body Works three-wick candles are said to burn for 25-45 hours.  That’s a huge difference in time.

If you aren’t into the whole candle thing, but want to still bathe your home in this scent, then look into the Nest Pumpkin Chai Reed Diffuser (C$64).

I’m actually new to the whole reed diffuser thing, but essentially it’s a vase of high-quality fragrance oils that are released into the air by the reed sticks.  I keep this on my bedside table for a pleasant, faint pumpkin chai scent in my bedroom. I love candles, however, always get so paranoid that I’m going to burn my place down, so this is a nice way to still fill the room with this scent, but not have to worry about forgetting to blow out the flame.

The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin body wash

The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Line

If you want to take the pumpkin scent with you everywhere you go, well The Body Shop makes that super simple.

Available in a body wash, hand cream, and body butter, The Body Shop’s fall fragrance Vanilla Pumpkin line will have you pulling out these products again and again… just to give them a whiff! Seen here is last year’s packaging (I just so happened to come across this in my beauty closet and was so excited to use it), this year is inspired by Dia de los Muertos, AKA the Day of the Dead.

As for the actual scent, aside from pumpkin, this line also has vanilla from Madagascar, and hints of tonka bean, hazelnut, and maple syrup. Honestly, it smells as wonderful as it sounds.  Next time you’re at the mall, pop into The Body Shop to give it a whiff. I dare you not to pick up a product as well ;).

Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Okay, so this last item doesn’t actually smell like pumpkin, but it’s one of the main ingredients (that counts, right?).

I absolutely adore Drunk Elephant Skincare, so when I saw that they had a day serum featuring pumpkin (C$100) as an ingredient, I was super intrigued. This potent vitamin C serum contains a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, and fruit enzymes to work together to firm and brighten the skin.

If you are looking for something to help with uneven skin tone, loss of firmness and elasticity, and dullness and uneven texture, then you may want to look into picking this up.

So where does the pumpkin come in? Well, this serum is formulated with pumpkin ferment extract and enzyme to dissolve dead surface skin cells. The serum also has 15 per cent I-ascorbic acid, one-half per cent acid, and one per cent vitamin E, and other enzymes to help prevent pollution damage and environmental stressors to your skin. Apply this serum as part of your daytime skin routine, where it will stay active for up to 72 hours.

Since we are officially into the holiday season when it comes to beauty, you can actually pick this up as part of their Agent Ellie skincare gift set, which includes the full size of the C-Firma, as well as travel goodies of some of their most popular products. Best part is that it retails for only $10 more than the price of the serum alone.

There are so many other pumpkin items available this season, but if you want to keep it super basic, the make the splurge for a PSL at Starbucks. Or bake some pumpkin muffins or cookies.. Or eat a pumpkin pie.. I think you get the picture ;).

Do you love pumpkin spice?

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A full course: Driving the Lincoln Continental to RAW Wasagaming

There are many events I look forward to every year here in Winnipeg.

We are lucky in that we have so many festivals go on throughout the year. Although it’s not a festival, RAW Almond, a culinary experience that takes place on the river at The Forks, brings together some of the city’s — and the world’s — best chefs, to deliver with a set-course menu, giving patrons an immersive dining experience.

I’ve gone to this event for many years, and since it’s so popular, the line up to get tickets is just as exciting as the event itself (it’s always a rush hoping you’ll get the dinner seating and chef you want).  Outside of Winnipeg, the RAW crew has also done the dinner in Churchill, Gimli, and this year, in Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP).

When they announced tickets for this event I was instantly intrigued as it meant a jaunt out to RMNP, which I actually went to last year with Ford Canada.  Tickets were very pricey, but it included a 20-course (ended up being 22 course) menu, held in a beautifully decorated tent of Canadiana wonder. Figuring that this luxury dining experience would be right up Ford Canada’s alley, the company was so kind to hook me up with the 2018 Lincoln Continental to make the trek up.

2018 Lincoln Continental 2018 Lincoln Continental at Clear Lake Back seat of the 2018 Lincoln Continental Driver seat of the 2018 Lincoln Continental

Although the Continental may remind you of what your fancy grandparents once drove, the 2018 version is definitely for the young at heart.  This car probably has the fanciest bells and whistles that I’ve ever experience in a vehicle. Starting at C$58,150, this five-seat sedan is so luxurious that it made the three-hour trip up feel like half an hour.

Okay, so let’s start with the actual drive itself.  Now that I live off a busy highway, horsepower is very important to me.  I need the power to speed up quickly to avoid on-coming traffic.  The 2018 Continental has an available 3.0L Twin-Turbocharged V6 engine, with an all-wheel drive powertrain.  It also has Dynamic Torque Vectoring, all-wheel drive, and up to 400 horsepower.  In “regular people’s” terms, that means it can go fast, quickly.  Since the highways are often one lanes for part of the trip up, that meant I could pass other cars quickly and not have to worry about it.  This car just zoomed past other vehicles smoothly and efficiently (it’s always kinda scary to pass over vehicles, but the Continental did it in a breeze).

Speed aside, I really loved the beautiful leather and wood interior. There are some major design features in the Continental, and although it took me a few minutes to figure everything out initially, it made the ride so much smoother once I got the hang of it all.  For one, there is an interior door handle, but it doesn’t actually let you out. Instead, you just press a button on the handle itself and open the door.  The door also has all the adjustable seat buttons to move your seat around (and turn on the massagers in the luxurious leather seats, let’s not forget about that!).  As for the exterior handles, they feature an E-Latch with Power Cinch, which is a door handle that has a small button in it that when touched, unlatches the door electronically. So the handle doesn’t actually move, instead you just put your hand in and press the button inside to open it.

Drinking coffee at The Lakehouse Hotel in Wasagaming Hudson Bay Smythe Jacket at Clear Lake 2018 Lincoln Continental at Riding Mountain National Park On the docks at Clear Lake

Other really cool features of the car included the always impressive Lincoln welcome mat when you approach the car at night (it illuminates the Lincoln logo on the ground as you approach the driver or passenger door), as well as interior mood lighting, and lighting as you approach the car (as long as the key is on you). The backseat also has a console which you can pull down in the middle seat and allows the back passengers to adjust the radio station, heating/cooling, etc.

One of my favourite features of the car, and something I had never seen before, was the Heads-Up Display, which is a windshield-projected informational display which told me the speed I was going, the speed limit of where I was driving (this definitely came in handy), gas mileage, and the time. The cool part is that only the driver can see this (and maybe someone sitting directly behind the driver as well).

If you can’t already, I was kinda obsessed with the Lincoln Continental, and all the fancy bells and whistles totally put that “car for more mature adults” perspective to bed early upon driving it (no pun intended).

Course at RAW Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park 2018 RAW Wasagaming 2018 RAW Wasagaming Pumpkin soup at 2018 RAW Wasagaming Outside the RAW Wasagaming tent

Anyways, once we actually got into Riding Mountain, we checked into The Lakehouse Boutique Hotel and Ice Cream Shop, and explored around town. Since it’s so late in the season, a lot of places were already closed down for the year.  As a result, we ended up having a super chill weekend where we got to rest and relax for a couple days.  On the Sunday, we took the shuttle to the dining spot, which was in the woods, and then hiked along the water to a tent that held the dinner. The whole experience was phenomenal. From the venue itself (which was made from 1,500 local logs) to the food (all from ingredients found in Manitoba – including seaweed from the Hudson’s Bay), it was a fantastic experience.

A huge thank you to Lincoln and Ford Canada for allowing us to experience this unique event. Although it was in the middle of the woods, the whole production of the dinner was definitely something very special and the ride there and back was just the icing on the (very luxurious) cake.

Have you driven the 2018 Lincoln Continental?

Please note, Ford Canada paid for the tickets to this event, and gave me the car for the journey. All other expenses were paid for by me and I received no monetary compensation for this post.

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