Monday, 18 July 2011

YSL's Rouge Volupte Lipsticks: Let us admire their Beauty :)

As I'm sure several of my previous posts have suggested, I'm a bit of a sucker for lipstick, especially when it is nestled within sleek, luxurious packaging. When this pretty exterior is coupled with a great formula: lipstick heaven! I recently acquired two new lipsticks that fit this heavenly bill. As pictured above, Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Volupte Lipsticks come in gilded, metallic tubes that sport the brand's iconic YSL logo as well as a colourful band, which previews the colour housed inside. Although the lipsticks are quite expensive (retailing for $34 USD), I was lucky enough to score them both from online makeup swaps, which only set me back the cost of shipping. A fun and frugal way to test out new products!

The two shades I chose were #26 Tender Peach, a creamy peachy-melon shade and #11 Rose Culte, an intense berry fuchsia shade. Both are pictured below:

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks in (L) Tender Peach and (R) Rose Culte

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks in (L) Tender Peach and (R) Rose Culte. So very pretty!

YSL's website claims that Rouge Volupte Lipstick "saturates lips in captivating color that’s intensely pigmented, and imparts an irresistible glossy shine". They also argue that this lipstick is long-wearing and comfortable on lips, leaving them more smooth, plump and radiant.

Amazingly (given an overarching tendency for the cosmetics industry to exaggerate the benefits of their products), I have to agree with all of these claims! Indeed, Rouge Volupte Lipsticks offer a formula that is simultaneously light, comfortable, and highly pigmented. A little really goes a long way! The shades truly are long-lasting, have a satiny (but not overly shiny) finish, and leave lips smooth and full.

The first shade I got, #26 Tender Peach, is a perfect shade for summer and looks lovely paired with bronzes, corals and golds. It offers a slightly brighter colour than most nude-toned shades, with noticeable peachy undertones. Here's a closeup of it on my lips:

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #26 Tender Peach

You can also blot the colour, to tone down the shiny finish:

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #26 Tender Peach, blotted slightly

And here's what it looks like in the context of a whole makeup look. I paired it with NARS Taj Mahal Powder Blush and Bare Escentuals Eye Colour in Madras. Let me know if you have any questions about these products, or any others used in this look!

The second shade I got, #11 Rose Culte, is a stunning berry shade, best paired with more subtle eyes and cheeks. It is definitely more of a cool-toned lipstick (more blue undertones than orange/yellow undertones), but luckily suits my neutral-warm complexion well. Here are a couple pictures of what it looks like on my lips:

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #11 Rose Culte

And here's the look I did with Rose Culte, which I paired with NARS Dolce Vita Powder Blush and Bare Escentuals Glimmer in Queen Phyllis:

Overall, I'm really happy with the Rouge Volupte formula, my first ever venture into YSL lipsticks. The texture is lightweight and the colour payoff is phenomenal! My love of them is admittedly heightened by their luxe packaging (and by the fact that I didn't pay full price for them!), but these lipsticks really deliver what they promise. So, if you're ever in the mood to treat yourself to a shiny, colourful piece of designer luxury, pick up one of these babies. You won't be disappointed! :)

Thanks for reading! xo

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Get Sunset Coral Eyes with MAC!

I've always been a fan of eye makeup looks that emulate the vibrant, ethereal tones of a summer sunset: warm golds, oranges, purples and reds. I've attempted such looks on several occasions and while I've usually been happy with them, I recognize that such vivid colour combinations might not be right for everyone. Below, I attempted to create a slightly more subdued, wearable sunset-inspired eye makeup look using MAC eye products. The look is still colourful, no doubt, but hopefully some of you will be inspired to give it a try!

Here's the final look! I'll break it down step-by-step below :)

Sunset Eyeshadow Look using MAC products

To start the eye look, I applied MAC's Paint Pot in Rubenesque ($20 CAD at MAC stores and counters) as a base over my lid and crease. Rubenesque is a gorgeous peachy-pinky gold shade and its cream-to-powder formula works as a primer that adds its own colour and also brightens any shades applied on top. Here's what it looks like swatched on my hand:

Swatch of MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot

Next, I applied MAC Eyeshadow in Motif ($17.50 CAD) all over the lid, on top of the Rubenesque Paint Pot. Motif is a unique golden yellow shade with pink shimmer, and is pictured below. After that, I applied MAC Eyeshadow in Paradisco, a shimmery coral colour, on the outer corner of my eyes, blending it into Motif. Paradisco is also pictured below, on the left.

MAC Eyeshadows in (L) Paradisco and (R) Motif, in a palette by E.L.F.

After this, I wanted to apply a bit of a darker shade to the crease to add some depth to the look. Also, I tend not to like looks that use only orange and reddish colours, as they can leave eyes looking bloodshot if not done carefully. I chose MAC's Star Violet Eyeshadow, a browny-plum with subtle gold shimmer. A perfect shade to anchor the look while sticking to the sunset theme!

MAC Star Violet Eyeshadow

Swatches of Star Violet and Rubenesque side by side

I finished off with some black liquid liner and waterproof mascara and- ta da!- the final look!

Closeup of the final eye look

And here's what it looked like in the context of a whole face of makeup:

The final look! Including MAC Frankly Scarlett Blush and a combination of MAC Impassioned Lipstick and NARS Baroque Velvet Gloss Pencil on Lips

I hope you enjoyed reading this and that it may have inspired you to create some colourful, dusky eyes of your own. Let me know if you have any questions about the techniques or colours used. I'm also always open to feedback and suggestions about any of the looks featured in my posts. Always look forward to your comments! :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Get Quick, Sultry Eyes with NYC's $5 Individual Eyes Palette

In line with several of my previous posts, I'm always a sucker for finding stellar products at the drugstore. I love being pleasantly surprised, and my wallet appreciates it too! I was at Wal-Mart last week and spotted NYC's Individual Eyes Palettes for $4.97. They offered different palettes for blue, brown, and green eyes and despite my brown eyes I was immediately drawn to their blue-eyed offering: 942 Smokey Blues.

And because it's difficult for me to pass up something so simultaneously inexpensive and pretty... Here it is :)

As you can see, the palette includes four eyeshadows, an eyeshadow primer, a shimmery illuminator, and sponge applicator. Here's a clear picture of the eyeshadow colours:

There is a warm yellow-gold, a cooler greyish taupe, a rich gold and green-tinged chocolate brown, and a deep eggplant purple. I found all of them to be very highly pigmented, especially when applied over the primer included in the palette.

Because I was so impressed with this product, I did a whole makeup look around it. Here are all of the products I used (let me know if you want to know more about any of them):

Main products used in this makeup look

For the eyes, I first used the primer from the palette, then applied the gold shade all over my lid. I next applied the chocolate brown shade in the crease, above the lid, blending it into the gold. Then, I used some of the deep purple shade on the outer corner of my eye, blending it into the brown shade. I finished with a bit of black liquid liner and mascara. And voila!

And here's how the eyes looked in the context of the whole makeup look:

I'm wearing MAC Frankly Scarlett blush and Clinique's High Impact Lipstick in Rosette.

And here's a closeup of Clinique's Rosette lipstick. I received it recently in a thoughtful care package from a friend, and I'm loving it! It's a perfect rosy pink with subtle gold shimmer:

But now back to the palette at hand! Here's my final verdict on NYC's Individual Eyes Palette in Smoky Blues:

  • This product really allows you to create a quick and effortless smoky eye!
  • For such an inexpensive palette, the eyeshadows are remarkably pigmented. They have a great colour payoff- a little goes a long way- without looking muddy or garish.
  • Although it's recommended for blue eyes, I think it worked well with my dark-eyed colouring.
  • The shades in the palette really do work well together. Some palettes seem to feature a random combination of colours that are hardly complimentary. These are perfectly coordinated!
  • The primer included in the palette actually does a great job! Not only did it make the eyeshadows more vibrant upon application, but they truly lasted all day with very minimal fading.
  • The price is unbeatable!
  • The applicator included is fairly useless, so you'll have to use your own brushes with it for best results
  • I'm a bit unsure about NYC's animal testing policies, so this may hinder me from buying additional products from them in the future.

Overall, I was super impressed with this product. Possibly the best product under $5 I've ever tried. Wander down to your local drugstore and pick one up!

Thanks for reading :)

The final look, using NYC's Individual Eyes Palette in Smokey Blues, MAC Frankly Scarlett Blush, and Clinique Rosette lipstick

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Gettin' Retro with Lush!

Having been a fan of Lush for over ten years (a certified Lushie!), I've seen a lot of awesome products come and go. Although I haven't spent copious amounts of time pining for these soaps, shampoos, and shower gels of times past, once in a while I get a hankering to indulge in some of those yummy scents and textures.

Solution? Retro Lush! Over the past couple of years, Lush has begun to re-introduce older products for the sake of such sentimental and nostalgic Lushies like me, and I recently took advantage of this exciting program. Available online only (at, Lush has currently ressurected more than 80 products that had previously bitten the dust. Here's what I ordered:

I picked up three lovely and fragrant products:

  • Antiphiltron is a zingy lemon-scented shampoo designed to remove oil and other residues from greasy hair. While it's a bit too drying to use every day, it's great to use as a clarifying shampoo a couple times per week in the summertime. And the citrus scent does a great job at waking me up in the morning! I'd tried this product way back in high school (the 90s, people!) and was thrilled to give it another go.

  • Skin Sin is a lightweight, yet creamy body lotion with a sultry black cherry scent. It was one of my favourites about five years ago, so I was excited to find it in the Retro section. The texture and scent are perfect for summer. Fruity goodness!

  • Freeze is another one of Lush's golden oldies, discontinued several years ago. With a combination of mint, orange oil, and sea salt, it is the ultimate summer refresher, leaving skin fresh and tingly as it cleans.

Overall, if you're someone who is sentimental for scents of years past, are a fan of Lush's unique formulas, or simply are inclined to use natural-based, quirky skin care products, check out Retro Lush!

The Newest Member of my Makeup Family ;)

Having a pretty sizeable makeup collection, once in a while it`s necessary to provide my stash with a new home. Although I already own a large traincase, I was looking for something a bit smaller, to help motivate me to pare down my collection a bit and focus on the items I love and use most. I went to Wal-Mart with the goal of finding a medium-sized traincase to house my favourite makeup treasures, and this is what I found:

Yes, the faux zebra print theme is way tacky. But I can look past it for a few reasons: a) I only paid $24.99 for it b) as you'll see, it fits my stash perfectly and c) I never leave the house with it, so no one else (except for all you lovely blog readers!) have to see it ;)

The traincase features two fold-out drawers and a larger section underneath. Here's what it looks like all opened up:

And here's a view of my makeup in it's new abode. I keep bronzers, blush, and brushes on the top shelf, MAC blushes and eyeshadows (mainly) on the middle shelf, and all other goodies (eyeshadow palettes, foundations, eyeliners and mascaras) in the bottom.

Finally, for all of you fellow cosmetics fiends, a closeup of my makeup collection. As I mentioned, it's not my entire stash, but features the items I use most often. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the items you see. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Ode to NARS Schiap

NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Schiap

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Ok, I don't usually get so romantic over a lipstick, but I think NARS Semi-Matte lipstick in Schiap ($24 USD, at Sephora) may be the one I've been waiting for all my life :)

It's a vibrant, shocking pink with violet undertones and a sophisticated matte finish. Even though it's an uber-bright shade, it seems to flatter a wide range of skintones and colouring. Here it is on a bright-eyed red-headed model and on the lovely Maggie Gyllenhaal:

Model wearing NARS Schiap Lipstick

Schiap (topped with a layer of gloss) on Maggie Gyllenhaal

Schiap is also a favourite of professional makeup artists, including one of my favourites, Lisa Eldridge. Here's a look that Lisa did on model Lindsey Wixson, using the lipstick:

I've had Schiap for a while now, and am surprised I haven't sung its praises on here yet! To finish, here are some pictures of the lipstick on me:

NARS Schiap Lipstick on my non-pigmented lips and NC20 skin

It has a very matte finish, but can be topped with gloss for a sleeker look

Thanks for reading!!

Friday, 1 July 2011

My Newest Makeup Obsession: Clio Cosmetics

Clio Cosmetics Promo Pic

So, as you may have gathered from my previous posts, I've developed a bit of a makeup crush on Korean cosmetics lately. Triggered by my initial quest for the perfect BB cream, I've also come across other Korean makeup brands that offer a wide variety of unique colours and formulas. One such brand is Clio Cosmetics, a brand actually manufactured in Italy but sold almost exclusively in Korea. Headed by spokeswoman Lee Hyori, a Korean singer with enviable looks, Clio offers top-notch products with a glam, edgy feel.

Lee Hyori for Clio Cosmetics

 After completing a nearly year-long practicum, I decided I'd treat myself to a couple products from Clio, which I'd eyed up previously at Cathy Phuong Cosmetics in the Chinatown Centre mall at 222 Spadina Ave. in Toronto. After testing out several products and shades, here's what I picked up:

Clio Cosmetics Art Blusher and Art Shadow. Such pretty packaging!

As you can see, the packaging on Clio products is completely colourful and girly. Both of these products are from their "Art" line, with various artists providing their works to adorn the sleek compacts. I've always said that pretty packaging does not a great product make- but it doesn't hurt! :)

The first item I bought was Clio's Art Blusher in shade #3 Light Brown. It's an all-over face powder that doubles as a bronzer and highlighter. The bronze, pink, and ivory marbled pattern is gorgeous to look at, and it really brightens up my face!
Clio Art Blusher Compact Packaging

Clio Art Blusher #3- Light Brown.. Oh, look! David Bowie, Thom Yorke, and the White Stripes are checking themselves out in the mirror :)

The second product I bought was Clio's Art Shadow in #213 Blue Green. Here's one of Clio's promo pictures for their Art eysehadows, demonstrating that they are baked, trendy, and lovely! :)

As you can see, #213 is a rich teal blue shade that can be applied dry for a sheer wash of colour, or wet for a more intense hue.

Clio also makes a line of Art Lipsticks, which offer some of the prettiest lipstick packaging I've ever seen.


I purchased one a little while ago, in a gorgeous shimmery peachy pink colour, shade #51 Luminous Coral. The lipstick tube is adorned in colourful hearts. I feel very chic every time I use it :)

Finally, here's a makeup look that I did using all three of my Clio items:

I love how the Art Blusher brightens up my face and how the lipstick really gives me a pop of colour, without being over-the-top. I also applied a sheer wash of the Blue Green Art Shadow on the outer corner of my eye, for a sophisticated burst of teal.

Mirror face! Man, I need a haircut!

And here are the other products I used for this look:

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream #21 and #23
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer NC20
Revlon Colourstay pressed powder in Light
MAC Bite of an Apple powder blush
Anastasia Brow Powder duo in Ash Blonde
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Bourjois eyeshadow in Beige Rose
Taupe shade from NARS Dogon Eyeshadow duo
Revlon Colourstay Liquid Liner Pen
Boots #7 Waterproof Mascara

Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend! Cheers :)