Wednesday, 19 October 2016

MAC #LimitedEdition Photographs by Helmut Newton Collection Info

Hi, everyone! The sea of makeup collaborations is quite full at the moment, with brands pairing up with celebs and bloggers left and right. While some amazing products have been born from these collabs, the genre is a bit over-saturated at the moment. As such, I was happy to see that MAC was releasing a collection inspired by someone who's actually been a staple in the fashion and beauty industry for years, Helmut Newton! I've always admired his bold, sexy, empowering beauty shots so I knew this collection would be equally sultry and glamorous! 

Here's what MAC has to say about the release:

"M∙A∙C Limited Edition celebrates the erotically charged and elegant work of legendary photographer, Helmut Newton. A regular contributor to Vogue and Vanity Fair, Newton is known for his precise, glamorous and empowering photography of women. This limited-edition color collection captures the photographer’s provocative, exquisite taste, dressing wine-stained lips in sultry rogue while darkening eyes in the black and white shades of his signature aesthetic. Nails are lacquered in colors inspired by Monte Carlo and Berlin, two of his homes. A selection of Newton’s most iconic photographs adorns the bespoke packaging – his work remains as distinctive and influential as ever".

MAC chose the following shots to inspire the colours of the collection:

The collection includes three shades of Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour ($21 USD/$25 CAD) in various hues of classic red: 

High Heels- Red
Chateau M- Deep Red Wine
Self Portrait- Dark Plum

A quad of sultry, classic neutrals: Point 'n' Shoot/Eye Shadow x4 ($32 USD/$42 CAD)featuring: 
Real Fantasy- Soft Eggshell (Matte)
Hard Currency- Grey (Matte)
Influential- Brown (Satin)
Point and Shoot- Black (Matte)

and an ultra black mascara and liner: Liquid Eyeliner in Boot Black ($21 USD/$24 CAD) and Upward Lash mascara in Upward Black ($23 USD/$28 CAD)

Finally, the collection includes three MAC Studio Nail Lacquers ($13 USD/$15 CAD) in

Berlin- Purple (Creme)
Call Time- Grey (Creme)
Monte Carlo- Red (Creme)

If you're up for some bold, classic glamour, you can find the MAC Limited Edition Photographs by Helmut Newton online October 27th and in-stores November 3rd! 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're all having an amazing week! 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Better than Cleansing? Taking the FaceOff Challenge

Hi, everyone! When it comes to skin care, this gal takes her cleansing seriously. Since I wear a fair amount of makeup daily and also have breakout-prone skin, I generally find it essential to double cleanse each night- first using a cleansing oil/balm to remove makeup and then a second cleanser to properly clean my skin. So when I was contacted by a brand offering a face cloth that promised to remove makeup gently and effectively without any sort of cleansing agent, I was ultra skeptical. There's no way it will remove all my makeup, I thought. It'll probably be so rough it'll wreck my sensitive skin, I hypothesized. Yet, I was also intrigued. Although I love a good cleansing ritual in the evening, there was something promising about the idea of finding a quick method of removing makeup, gentler than cleansing wipes, that could take care of my skin on those ultra lazy nights. So I decided to but the FaceOff** cloth to the test! 

The FaceOff** came packaged in a cute pink and white cardboard box and touts itself as the "amazing cloth that removes face and eye makeup using only warm water". 

The back of the packaging features several claims and promises, including that the cloth is natural and reusable, will remove all forms of makeup and impurities, is safe, effective, and free from chemicals and detergents, and that it will reduce the harshness, cost, and complexity of your evening skin care routine. It explains that the cloth is able to do so via the weave of ultra-thin fibres designed to gently clean and exfoliate the skin. It claims to be suitable for all skin types, including those with the most sensitive of skin (even babies!).

The FaceOff** is a decent size as face cloths go. As you can see below, it is notably larger than my hand:

As  for directions, the packaging simply instructs you to wet the cloth and gently wipe of the entire face and eye area. 

So  how did it perform!? Let's look at some action shots to find out!

Here I am with the fresh new cloth, followed by a close-up of my skin at the end of the day. As you can see, there is some oil breakthrough and fading of my makeup, but generally the day's makeup is largely intact. The day of the experiment, I was wearing an amount of makeup typical for me- foundation, concealer, powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter, brow powder, eye shadow, liner, and mascara. 

Full face of makeup, pre-FaceOff

And here I am with half of my makeup removed. As you can see, the cloth worked well enough that you can clearly notice the difference between my made-up side and my freshly cleansed size. There was definitely proof on the towel that much makeup had been removed as well! 

FaceOff cloth used on left side (your right) of my face

I then proceeded to use the other side of the cloth to clean the right side of my face. Again, the cloth showed evidence of removing both face and eye makeup. 

And here is a closeup of my skin, freshly wiped with the FaceOff**. As you can see, it looks quite clean, with the exception of some remnants of mascara around my lash line. You'll also notice that my skin does not look red or irritated- quite calm and even, in fact! 

Post- FaceOff cloth

So, my skin looked clean, but was it actually clean? I put this to the test by soaking a cotton pad in micellar water and then sweeping the pad across my skin to test for residue. Looking at the pad afterwards, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised! You'll see that some hints of foundation and mascara came off with the micellar water, but very small amounts. No evidence that tons of makeup was left behind! 

So the final verdict? I'm quite impressed! First off, the cloth really did feel extremely gentle and soft on my sensitive skin. Typical face cloths and even the muslin cloths included with some skin care brands generally feel like cheese graters on my sensitive complexion. But not this one! It didn't seem to irritate my skin one bit. On top of that, it really removed makeup quite well! I wear a fair amount of makeup, so that fact that this cloth and water alone removed about 90% of my makeup without harshness was truly a pleasant surprise. Plus, the FaceOff is less chemical-laden and better for the environment that most face wipes on the market! The only downsides in my view are that I had to apply a bit more pressure around the eyes, an area where I generally try to be ultra careful. Also, the lifespan of this cloth is improved when hand washed versus cleaned in the washer, something that I just might be too lazy to do on a regular basis. Not necessarily a fault of the cloth, though! 

Overall, I won't be ditching my regular cleansing routine anytime soon, as it's a pampering time I much enjoy, but I'll definitely keep the FaceOff** handy on nights when I know I'll want to keep my skin care routine ultra quick and simple (perhaps after my upcoming bachelorette party?)!

If I've tempted you, you can find the FaceOff** here!

What do you use to remove your makeup/cleanse your skin in the evening?

Thanks for stopping by! Have an amazing week :)


**This product was sent to me as a PR sample for consideration and review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% authentic and my own! 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

IMATS Toronto 2016 Haul!

Hi, everyone! It's so hard to believe that IMATS Toronto was one full week ago- it was a whirlwind weekend chock-full of makeup, parties, friends, and drinking (whoops) from which this old granny is still recovering. This year's Toronto show was a bit smaller than the past two I've attended, but it still featured a fabulous range of brands and some pretty fantastic deals. Of course this makeup fiend did not leave empty-handed, so I'm here to share with you the spoils of my IMATS haul! 

Here's a shot of the new goodies all laid out:

Kat von D Shade +  Light Eye Contour Palette
My shadow collection is seriously lacking in mattes, so this palette looked like a wonderful option for changing this dilemma (especially with a 30% discount!). This palette contains 12 shadows all designed to work in unison to contour and sculpt the eyes- 3 Base Shades (the largest ones on top) for use all over the lid, 3 Contour Shades for use in the crease, 3 Define Shades for use as liner or to smoke/define things further, and 3 Highlight Shades, the lightest options for brightening brow bones and inner corners. It's fully comprehensive and beautiful to look at! 

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in Berlin, Santa Sangre, and Mother
After picking up the shade Exorcism from this range, it all its vampy glory, last Fall, I've been dying to add to my collection. As liquid lipsticks go, the Everlastings are relatively comfortable and also long-wearing, which can be a hard combo to find! This time around I snagged Berlin- a coral-tinged rose (I've been lusting after that one forever!), Santa Sangre (a bold blood red, apparently Kat's fave), and Mother, a cooler-toned dusty rose unlike anything else in my stash. 

Kat von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Thunderstruck
I have heard nothing but good things about these bold, metallic shadows and I've been told that Thunderstruck is the most versatile of the bunch as it can also be used as a highlighter! It's a gorgeous icy off-white with pink and golden undertones. I can't wait to get it on my face!!

Kat von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolita and Tattoo Liner in Trooper (minis)
As I mentioned in my IMATS roundup, the Kat von D booth was by far my fave! One of the reasons is that they were giving out minis in line as well as with purchase! I'm way excited to test out both of these cult products. 

MAC Pro Palette Large
I own one of these palettes already, but it's near-full at the moment. I wanted to snag a separate one to store my blush pans, so that my shadows can have their own home!

MAC Pro Blushes in Apple Red (Satin) and Fever (Matte)
It was MAC blushes that were the first I turned to years ago when I was newly getting into blush and I often forget nowadays how amazing their shade selection is! This time around, two ultra bold Pro shades caught my eye- Apple Red, a vivid cool-toned deep pinky red, and Fever, a matte burgundy. I've worn them both already and am so happy that they're totally flattering on my fair skin! 

MAC Liptensity Lipsticks in Galaxy Grey, Driftwood, and Mulling Spices
From the first time I saw the promotional shots for this new lipstick collection, I knew I'd have to have some! The Liptensity range features a gel-based, high pigment formula and a shade selection that's diverse but meant to be universally flattering. There are several Liptensity hues that fit my typical taste- bold pinks and corals, but instead of buying dupes for shades already in my stash, I chose colours that are something unique: Galaxy Grey- a cool-toned periwinkle, Driftwood- a cool-toned lilac nude, and Mulling Spices (not so unique, but stunning)- a deep, near vampy vivid red. 

Violet Voss x Laura Lee Professional Eye Shadow Palette
If you saw my IMATS NYC Haul, you'll know that I snagged the much-raved about Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette at the show. It's been my most-used shadow palette by far since then, so I was eager to add another Violet Voss offering to my makeup family! The palette I chose is a collaboration with YouTuber Laura Lee and is a gorgeous mix of mattes, shimmers, and metallics. Much like the Holy Grail, it's predominantly warm, but offers some really unique yellow, teal, and pink-toned shades that I could just not pass up! I'll be posting a fuller review in the future, but as a sneak peek: this palette is full-out fabulous. 

Sooooo I did spend more at this year's IMATS Toronto than planned, but I am incredibly pleased with everything I picked up! Not only was everything on discount, I really don't think there's a dud among the bunch! Look out for reviews of these goodies coming up soon!

Are you a fan of any of these products? Any that you'd definitely like to see reviews of?

Have an amazing weekend! xo

**IMATS provided me with a complimentary press pass, which allowed me to enter the trade show for free. All items I purchased at the show were fully paid for by me. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

MAC Spellbinder Collection Info

Hi, everyone! With Fall upon us, the beauty world resumes its buzz about deep, vampy lips. I'm a true sucker for a bold lip, but I'm also glad to see that MAC is here to remind us that the colder months can be all about fabulously deep, intense, mesmerizing eyes as well! The brand new Spellbinder collection is about just that, including 8 limited edition shadows to add some metallic, sultry glitz to the eyes. 

Here's what MAC has to say about the collection:

"This is one attraction that’s impossible to resist. M∙A∙C Spellbinder Shadow creates mesmerizing eyes with the deepest, most mysterious shades, clinging to lids like pure velvet. Black, ionized pigments are magnetically charged, fusing the loose powder together so it magically maintains its form and dimension. Hexing hues pull you in, casting their spell in blackened emerald, cobalt and teal, as the metallic finish captivates all that crosses its path."

The Spellbinder Shadows ($22.00 US/$26.00 CAD) come in eight shades:

Aphrodisiac: rich cobalt blue
Blue Karma: soft greyed teal
Cosmic Clash: deep green
Dynamically Charged: taupey cool bronze
Gravity's Pull: dark purple
Higher Power: rich deep brown
Mysterious Influence: rich olive golden green
Retrograde: greyed black

The textured surface of the shadows looks absolutely stunning and the texture sounds incredibly unique! I cannot wait to test them out. Each shadow is housed in a little black pot with twist-off lid. 

The collection is also accompanied by the 283 Duo Fibre Small Eye Shadow Brush ($25.00 US/$30.00 CAD), designed to work perfectly with the texture of these shadows. 

Tempted by the unique texture and mesmerizing shades?

The MAC Spellbinder collection will be available online October 13th and in-store for a limited time starting October 20th

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo


Monday, 3 October 2016

IMATS Toronto 2016 + #NYXCosmeticsAfterDark

Hi, everyone! This past Saturday was one of my favourite makeup days of the year- IMATS Toronto! The International Makeup Artist Trade Show comes to the city every Fall (I was also lucky enough to attend IMATS New York this year in the Spring) and with it brings some amazing shopping deals, incredible makeup artistry inspiration and education, and the opportunity to completely geek out with my fellow blogger friends! I mean, what better combination is there?!

Photo courtesy of Samantha's camera!

The Venue
As with the past two years, this year's IMATS was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This time around, the hall was a bit smaller, but also brighter and more open, which made for a cheerier, less claustrophobic shopping experience, which I appreciated! 

As  with the past two years, I was able to obtain a press pass that granted me free access to the show and allowed us to be the first to enter at 9am. I will never not find that exciting! 

The Vendors
There were dozens of vendors at this year's show and, while some of my favourites from years past like Frends and Nigel Beauty Emporium were strangely absent, other brands totally stepped up and caught my interest! 

The MAC booth is a staple at IMATS, yet never one that draws super intense lines. And that's fine by me- easier access! MAC was offering 20% off all products at the show, so I was happy to indulge. I was thrilled to see their new Liptensity range there- which I clearly went to town with (see swatched-up hand below). 

The NYX booth is always bustling and this year they were offering a 25% discount. While I'm a huge fan of the brand and their displays are always fun and colourful, I was able to resist, especially as NYX is now quite easily accessible here in Toronto. 

Inglot had quite the sizeable booth this year (much larger than last year) and were also offering a 20% discount off all products. I was able to resist since they tend to do 15-20% off sales semi-regularly, but boy was their Fall 2016 What a Spice collection beautiful! 

I'm no longer a supporter of Lime Crime as a business, but there's no doubt that their booth is always ultra adorable. They also had the best bags of the day- popcorn pop art perfection! 

The BeneFit counter was also bustling, as they were offering a 40% off discount booth-wide, including their brand new brow product range. 

New to this year's IMATS Toronto was Alcone, who I didn't realize until show day is a vendor of several amazing makeup brands like Viseart and Kett Cosmetics. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this booth for next year!

I am always happy to pop by the Kryolan booth, as their professional makeup products are so colourful and intriguing! This year they also had Halloween makeup kits, which was pretty genius, especially given the time of year. 

While I was taken with the booths I mentioned above, the counter that totally stole the show for me was Kat von D! This the brand's first year at the show and they really went all out. They offered discounts on their entire product range (including a 30% discount for makeup artists and press) and their booth was equipped with a giant liquid lipstick-adorned throne and live makeup demos. They even gave away free mini products with each purchase and while waiting in line! 

The Kat von D booth was also staffed by several amazing makeup artists, including a few of my Instagram faves kelseyannaf, risadexter, and swampsnacks. I had a bit of a fangirl moment ;)

The Artistry
Aside from the exciting discounts, it's the bold, creative makeup artistry that really draws me to IMATS. I'm always  pumped to see what unique, colourful creations the show has in store!

There is always beautiful work happening at the Mehron booth:

It was neat to see this feline creation coming to life: 

This red body paint with prosthetics was stunning in person and it was cool to see the airbrush in action! 

It was also fun to watch life makeup applications at the Kat von D booth, which brought to life the brand's signature gothic, yet colourful flair. 

As always, there was also an impressive selection of special effects props and sci fi creations. This monster was particularly cool and terrifying...

... and this zombie was so life-like, I was convinced it was going to grab me!

The Experts
IMATS is also amazing at bringing together makeup talent from around the world to educate pros and hobbyists alike. This year I got to watch an animated, informative brow demo from BeneFit's bubbly and adorable Maddox Lu...

... and a tutorial on how to create supernatural, dreamy skin with celebrity makeup artist Jordan Liberty using Veil Cosmetics

The Fun
IMATS is always made extra special by the amazing company! There were about 15 gals from the Canadian Beauty Blogger Network in attendance this year and I'm proud to call them my friends! 

This year's IMATS was also much enhanced by coffee, as it was an early morning and this grandma had a few too many drinks the night before! 

This shirt was the source of my new life motto. I didn't snag it, but I might still. It's perfect! 

I have already asked Adam if we could find room for this throne in our condo. It was made for me. 

The After Party
Following some serious afternoon naptime, I met up with Shawna, Chelle, Steph, Zubie, Kaitlyn, and Miranda to head to the NYX Cosmetics After Dark event, which was a post-IMATS party held at the edgy, trendy, (literally) underground Wildflower nightclub at the Thompson Hotel near Wellington and Spadina here in Toronto. The club was wallpapered (also literally) with NYX logos and was playing a fun selection of dance and R&B with an open bar and colourful lighting. Being able to drink and dance from 7-10pm was seriously this granny's idea of a perfect night out! 

There was also some amazing body painting happening throughout the evening- this model was one brave and stunning woman!

NYX also set up an ultra fun photo booth that let us take (increasingly drunken) photos throughout the night and gave us printouts and digital copies to keep. Such a nice touch! 

So  this might be my longest post ever, but Saturday was such a fun day that I wanted to document it in full! Attending IMATS will always be fully worth it for me, as it brings new brands to the city, amazing discounts, creative and informative makeup artistry, opportunities to learn from the pros, and a proper excuse to get together with all my blogger besties. If you ever have an opportunity to attend, I fully recommend it! 

A special thanks to IMATS for the press pass, to NYX Canada for throwing an amazing party, and to Chelle for bringing me as her date! 

Stay tuned to my next post to see what I snagged at IMATS this year!

Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

**IMATS provided me with a complimentary press pass, which allowed me to enter the trade show for free. All items I purchased at the show were fully paid for by me.