So I can finally stop my tune of “I haven’t been using makeup” that I have been saying the the last couple months, thank you July! I have been getting back into the swing of things and LOVING IT! I missed it so much lol. I have a few favourites which are things that I have taken out of the collection to play with and try. It has been fun and I can’t wait to finish cleaning/decluttering my beauty room to play with more treasures in my collection. I am sure that are some hiding there.
essence silky touch blush in 20 babydoll
It’s no secret that I like these essence blushes! This is a beautiful soft pink that is on the neutral side. It has a sheen that gives a nice glow to the cheek that made me instantly fall in loved with this shade. You can’t go wrong with this blush in colour and in price – $4.99.
I love kits. Since my make-up collection is quite large I live for high-grade samples in smaller sizes. This $33 CAD nude lip sample pack is awesome and delivers in value. Did I love everything? Of course not but, I did get introduce to some new brands and products that I will be considering buying full size versions of.
I find this season’s make-up trends tough to pull off. While I love nude matte lips on models, it doesn’t necessarily look good on me. This year’s nude lip is expected to be more brown too rather than rosy which is tough for my fair skin tone to pull of. This multi-branded lip set with five lip colors in different formulas was a perfect way for me to test drive this look.
Like most make-up consumers I want my lip color to:
a) look good on my lips;
b) feel good on my lips and;
c) last (or at least fade away attractively).
With those three criteria in mind, here’s what I have to say about the 5 items contained in this set. I’ll start with the bad and end on a positive note 🙂
Laura Mercier Milky Way Crème Smooth Lipstick in Miky Way 😦
Ugh … TOO BROWN. Its more the color of a milk chocolate bronzer then a lipstick. The picture on the packaging is deceptive. I expected a warm apricot shade but that is not the case. I’m sure this color works for some skin tones but I will definitely not be wearing it with my fair skin. It’s too bad too because the formula seems very nice.
NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek Crayon in Whisper 😦
I was excited to try this brand since I had never had the cause to buy any of their stuff before. I also love make-up crayons and any product that does double duty since those kind of products keep well in purses and travel bags. But all I can say about his item is ‘meh’. It’s not terrible but it’s not great. The color is bland on my lips and cheeks and the consistency is too thick for either. I haven’t really touched it since the first time I tried it and I probably won’t buy anything from this brand again.
Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Namaste Nude :!
I’ve been hearing really good things about this lip paint and I’m glad I got to try it in this kit. However, I don’t think I even LIKE lip paint in general. I keep wanting to like lip paint but I just find them awful to work with! Maybe I’m doing something wrong but I find lip paints feather much too easily and it is difficult to get a good even application of product. Out of all the lip paints I’ve tried, I’d say this is one of the best for color, feel, and longevity but I just don’t see myself using it very much.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini Outliner Longwear Lip Pencil in Prim 🙂
This is BY FAR my favorite item of this set. I use it practically every day. What’s great about this pencil is that it is creamy enough to be worn alone but works under most lipsticks. I also find that its rose/cocoa hue subtly updates my older lipsticks to the appropriate 2016 tones. I will definitely be buying this product again.
NARS Dolce Vita Lipstick in Dolce Vita 🙂
This is just a beautiful lipstick. Long lasting, creamy, with just the right amount of light diffusion to make lips look full and luscious. I’ve found NARS products are always very sophisticated and spot on with their benefits. Since the brand is so pricey I don’t indulge in my NARS obsession too much. I find the kit is worth it just for this lipstick.
I found this kit to be worth it just for the Marc Jacobs liner and Nars Lipstick. Since those items retails for around $30 CAD each I feel like I’m ahead. It was fun to try the other items and I still plan to experiment with the lip paint. Do you have a favorite nude lippie?
Oh September that weird month that causes ‘first day of school’ anxiety even if you’ve been out of school for over a decade! I always get this need to organize in September (maybe because I realize that I have officially missed the boat for ‘Spring Cleaning’) and I want all my chores out of the way so I can enjoy the crisp, cool, autumn weather.
In order to celebrate my favorite season I’ve even decorated my house in a fall motif. I have autumn leaf table cloth in my breakfast nook, a sunflower centerpiece in my dining room, pumpkin spice candles, and harvest accents in my guest bathroom! Part of me is loving that I’m discovering a twee domestic side that loves ironic over-the-top adorable accents … and the other part is worrying that I’m just tacky (but that part can suck a lemon because I’m having fun!)
Make-up wise I’ve been experimenting with shimmering eyes and flushed cheeks to compliment the matte foundation and bold Fall lip colors.
When I’m in a hurry, I’ve been reaching for two nude chubby pencils to rim my waterline, inner corners, and my brow bone. It’s a natural way to look bright-eyed and rested.
Benefit Cosmetics High Brow: This large oyster-pink pencil instantly brighten and lightens my eye area. Although it’s just meant for high lighting the arch of your brow I’m getting extra mileage out of it by also applying it to the inner rims of my eyes and below my bottom lash line.
Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in 01 Bountiful Beige: This pencil offers a sheer, lightweight, creamy color that is easy to wear and apply. The formula glides on and is layerable and long-wearing. My favorite thing about his pencil is that it never needs sharpening—just swivel up to reveal more of the shadow!
I always find if I’m going to do a subtle eye I still need Va-Va-Voom eyelashes to up the sexy quotient. I know I’ve raved about this mascara before, but the Kat Von D Imortal Lash 24 Hour Mascara is the best thing since sliced bread! I actually misplaced this mascara for a couple of days so I was forced to try Clinique, D&G, and Make-Up forever samples. They just didn’t work as well as Kat Von D! Thank goodness I was able to find it! Her formula stays on your lashes without smudging or flaking and the weird brush lets you enhance ALL of your lashes! It’s the perfect finishing touch to a barely there eye look.
Now on to what I’ve been wearing to enhance my cheeks this month. I’ve been all over my NARSissist Blush, Contour, and Lip Palette mostly for the adorable pastel pink color called ‘Roman Holiday’. I find it’s a great summer cheek color that I’m mixing with deeper colors as I transition my look into Fall.
I’ve been mixing my summery shades with Clinique Cheek Pop in Fig Pop. This blush is buildable and long-wearing. What’s nice is that this blush goes on sheer and virtually powderless. I find it looks fabulous with matte foundation or a luminizer. This product also gets bonus points for looking amazing with it’s embossed gerber daisy!
I’ve been slowly boarding the tinted moisturizer train! I have one from Andalou that is the perfect thing in certain circumstances accept that it has a very shiny finish. But it was about $10 so I never really complained. It did the job! This summer I wanted to try some higher end tinted moisturizers so I grabbed the premium sample version of the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in the shade Alaska. This travel sized version was more expensive than the full sized Andalou tinted moisturizer! Ouch! I have to be honest, it was totally worth it.
*Be Forewarned – I’m going to be talking about the gross no-no of popping pimples – or in my case gouging my face … this is not for the faint of heart*
Alright people, pimples happen. They happen to bad people and the happen to good people. And when they happen to me I NEED to pick them. Sometimes it goes well. A pore disaster is averted, the muck is cleared away, and I can go about my normal make up routine without anyone the wiser … other times I get carried away … and this happens:
So I got this beautiful red scab by literally taking off a layer of skin trying to get at an annoying blackhead. I was doing my best to be careful and hygienic – using two Q-tips and then WHAM! A whole layer of epidermis is off and I’m left with a bloody C-shaped crater. Now as I said this isn’t new territory for me (you may also notice a couple of scab on my chin) but the thing is that I refuse to hide in the house when I make these blunders and I don’t think anyone else should either. So here’s a quick tutorial on how to cover up scabs.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women/mothers out there!
Very simply put, these NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliners are a Yay! We ain’t messing around this week, straight to the point! Why? Why not? 🙂 No really, when something is good, it deserves the praise (but I hope you read on to find out why) lol.
If you saw my haul last Sunday, you may have noticed one of these babies in the haul. As promised, I am starting to review those items.
Finding your perfect blush and bronzer is easier then settling on a foundation and a concealer because now you WANT the colour to stand out on your face (albeit not in a Bozo the Clown type of way … and let’s just all agree that clowns are scary). Therefore, when it comes to finding your perfect blush and bronzer it’s all about quality.
One of the worst things to watch out for is when a blush or bronzer is described as ‘light reflecting or luminizing’ … great concept when executed well but some brands just take it as an excuse to put glitter in their product. Do not buy the glitter products unless you’re trying to be Britney Spears circa late 90s. The look is done now … back away from the glitter (until it comes back into fashion of course 😉 )
Another thing to watch out for with blush and bronzer is when the brand boasts ‘cool tones’. Even if your skin tone suits ‘cool hues’ they are VERY hard to pull off in this case without looking like you’re dead. (I currently have alot of my ‘cool tones’ in a box labelled Halloween). I like to read in the description or see a golden shimmer to my blushes and bronzers.
Ok, so keeping those two points in mind, it’s time to swatch!
ZOMG it’s HOLY GRAIL territory people!
If I seem excited it’s because I AM. I have just spent a blissful two months with this awesome limited edition cheek and lip palette. It creates the most flawless of faces and should be a staple if you want to rock the natural look on the go.
The case is strong, compact, and snaps shut well. It can be thrown in a purse (or the diaper bag that I’m currently carrying around) and not bust open. The formulas are just beautiful and can be applied with a brush or fingertips (I think brush is ideal though). It’s an overall great product and all I really need is some mascara to finish off my look.
If you’re keeping up on fashion trends and are loving the 2015 natural looks then this is your palette.
This set contains:
– 3 x 0.1 oz Blush in Roman Holiday (pretty pastel pink), Enrapture (pink terracotta), Enthralled (toasted rose/shimmer)
– 0.12 oz Highlighting blush in Albatross (luminous glow)
– 0.15 oz Bronzing powder in Laguna (brown powder/gold shimmer)
– 0.12 oz Lip gloss in Lstria (pink glace)
I love putting Roman Holiday on the apples of my cheeks and using Enrapture to enhance the hollow under my cheek bone. Enthralled is a little bit dark for me but works great if I’m wearing something lush like a maroon silky shirt for a night out. The Laguna bronzer is AMAZING and is a great contouring tool. I also really like the subtle highlghting of Albatross. It’s a great highlighter for the work day because it’s not sparkly or shiny. And then you finish off the look with the lovely Lstria lip gloss.
If you love Nars and want a good travel staple then I highly recommend this product.
Concealer is the first beauty item I’d bring with me if I was ever stranded on a deserted island (and camping supplies obviously … but now I’m getting away from my analogy). I learned in grade 7 that a good concealer can boost your self confidence when you’re talking to people. Since my middle school self was always wondering if someone was focusing on my zit, under eye circles, weird dark spot, etc. I learned that concealer can make all those faults disappear! However, it’s equally bad if you don’t have the right concealer which means people are looking at you and wondering why you have a blob of weird beige on your face.
Concealers have the double duty of needing to blend in with you skin tone but also correct inflammation and dark spots. Concealers have a tough job and it’s up to you to decide to spend your money on a good one.
Concealers come in many different forms – liquid, solid, and sometimes powder. While I’ve dabbled in all three I prefer solid concealer for my sporadic breakouts and dark circles. If you’re using a good liquid or powder foundation I find liquid and powder concealer, frankly, repetitive and they can be very tough to build up. Liquid concealer is, however ideal if you just have minor dark circles and larger areas of discoloration you wish to conceal. I recomend Clinique Line Smoothig Concealer and Benefit Hello Flawless or Bare Minerals Broad Spectrum Multitaksing Face.
I have to admit i was feeling a little wistful for a trip down South when I picked up the Sephora Favourites: Summer Stash kit from the Sales section. It originally retailed for $54 CAD ($147.00 value) and now was a steal at $36.00. I was also running low on my NARS Laguna bronzer and this kit had a mini version inside for cheaper than buying the bronzer on it’s own. So in my mind this was a no brainer!
And to be honest, this kit could be my ‘Summer Time/Down South’ Holy Grail! The bag is cute, compact, and sturdy enough. It has a good zipper, is flexible in overstuffed luggage, and is made of that thicker canvas type fabric. It pretty much covers everything you need to go from lounging by the pool to a nice dinner out.
Why am I saying this this kit is only for summer time or vacationing in the sun? It’s because the colours are a little bit bright for an everyday look. When I was trying the kit all i could think of was “If I was a mermaid these are the colours I would use”. Which is lovely, but it’s not the kind of look for a marathon shopping spree in NYC during February.
So let’s look at the individual products:
Liquid foundation is always the trickiest purchase in my mind. This is the product that can make or break your look. Miscoulored or crappy foundation will take away from that perfect lip effect or eye look because people will be too busy wondering why you skin is off colour (jaundice, too pale, too tan), cakey, oily, or just WRONG. Bad foundation is a terrible thing, don’t let it happen to you.
I mean even the name ‘foundation’ shows how critical this product is! This is your base people! If you already know that it’s bad news if your house’s foundation has a crack, then I’m sure you realize that you certainly don’t want your face caked with cracking foundation.
So let’s get to it. I must admit I’m a sheer foundation advocate. While I’ve dappled in full coverage foundation I find sheer, buildable coverage much more natural and easier to work with then the full coverage stuff. Basically it’s forgivable. Full coverage will give you a flawless complexion IF it’s applied expertly. Screw it up and it looks awful. Sheer foundation allows you to get away with those mornings that you may not have taken the time to blend so well.
That rant done, let’s start with how to swatch it.
When it comes to face enhancing products I must confess that I find Nars hard to beat. The legend goes that it was developed by a professional photographer to make the models’ skin look flawless on film. I put their products to the test during my wedding in 2011 since I decided to not pay for wedding picture ‘touch-ups’ and do my own make-up. I have to say I’m still impressed with what my amateur make-up application produced that day. 🙂
That being said, Nars Laguna bronzer is pricey but it lasts so I consider it an investment piece. In Canadian Sephora it retails for $45 (which is what I’ll usually pay for a full face palette!) but I have to say that my full size bronzer lasted me for over 2 years now (and yes it mostly mirror now … I have another brozer in the mail as we speak! … and for those of you that are horrified that I’ve kept a product for over its year’s expiration date I have to say that the product, unlike, some did not show very much wear and tear from being allowed to age – pigment, shimmer, and texture is all still fine).
Still unwilling to trust me and shell out almost $50 for one product? Well if you’re a sephora-holic like me you’ll notice that this Laguna Bronzer is sooooo good and soooo coveted that it’s actually featured in alot of sephora ‘best ofs’ and different Nars face palettes.
Why is it featured so much? It’s because it’s awesome and natural looking. If you’re a contouring fiend it’s your best friend for creating a sculpted look. If you’ve survived a winter in Canada and need to add some colour to blue-tinged winter skin it can create an instant healthy skin kissed look for nose cheeks and collar bones! This bronzing powder creates the ultimate healthy glow hands down! It has a subtle golden shimmer which creates an all-over warmth or contour for the face. It is perfect for creating or enhancing the look of tanned skin. The powder is very well balanced. It feels as smooth as baby powder which means that it won’t bring attention to fine lines or large pores. If anything, it minimizes them and creates a more even looking complexion.
With my pregnancy weight gain/bloat, I found this product invaluable for helping me make my face look like me – rather than the big dough ball it was. So I highly recommend that you give this great, vesatile product a whirl!
Alright Sheena I have heard your call out and I am ready to talk about swatching. As we’ve said before, we are not pros, however after years of wearing make-up, comparing, brands, and spending waaaaaay too much money I’m beginning to have a good idea how to tell if a make-up product is worth it’s value and if it will deliver what it claims. I’m going to walk you through how I decide whether a product is worth spending my money on and hopefully you can apply these tips to your next purchase.
Face Primer: Face primers should be applied to the back of your hand and you should perform 3 tests before investing in one. 1) Choose a part of your hand that’s particularly red, rough, or veiny and then see how the application of the primer changes/blurs the imperfections. If the primer does nothing, put it back. If it improves the texture, blurs imperfections, or makes your skin look pearly (depending what your end goal is) then you can start thinking about the overall feel of the product.
A true wine-stained lip is never a good look. They look NOTHING like proper lip stains and are usually accompanied by a hangover. Even after a good night out, life inevitably needs to go on and most of us still need to leave the house whether or not we look our best. And for those ‘common sense people’ out there who decide not to drink red wine … I’m sorry, that’s just not an option for me and some other awesome people I know.
My mother doesn’t drink. So it makes sense that she didn’t teach me how to prevent/obliterate wine stained lips. So I had to figure it out the hard way, through trial and error. Hopefully these tips will keep you looking fabulous and not regretting that extra (and sometimes necessary!) glass of merlot from the night before.