Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Review of Standout Products from the past year

Given the blog's recent 1-year anniversary celebration (yay!), I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the standout products I've introduced and reviewed on the site over the last several months. While I've talked about  many, there are a handful of items that I've truly fallen for over the past year, which have become indispensable in my beauty routine. They have held up to my fickle skin and my scrutinous testing, which make these products real treasures in my book!

Here they are, in no particular order- as I love them all like children ;)

1) Revlon ColourBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude
Revlon holds a spot as my favourite drug store makeup brand, due to its excellent formulas and cruelty-free policies. I've argued that their lip products are on par with many higher-end offerings, and their ColourBurst Lipstick range is no exception. In particular, I have a soft spot for Rosy Nude, which is a wonderful warm, pinky-nude shade that is wearable, versatile, and beautiful! It pleasantly surprises me each time I wear it, and I feel it would be suitable for a variety of skin tones and colours. Here is a picture of it in the tube, and one of it on me:

2) Hard Candy Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula
Coming from another excellent drug store brand, Hard Candy's So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula is one of the most natural and easy to wear bronzers I've ever tried! It has a subtle golden shimmer to it that doesn't leave skin too matte or glittery. It's perfect for my fair skin, but it could certainly be layered for a more dramatic look or for darker skin tones. And at a price of less than $10, it's extra hard to pass up!

3) NARS Powder Blush in Taj Mahal
This shade has been around for a while, but it was this past summer during a NARS makeover event that it first touched my cheeks. Taj Mahal is a unique orangey-golden blush that warms and brightens cheeks instantly. It's a perfect hue for summertime, but I use it all year round! It's extremely vivid and pigmented (a little goes a long way), but it looks heavenly when applied with a light hand and the proper brush. If you have any inkling towards orange-toned makeup, give this one a try!

4) MAC Amplified Lipstick in Impassioned
I acquired this lovely lipstick last summer via the handy and eco-friendly Back2MAC program. Free lipsticks are always a good thing, but they're a wonderful thing when you choose such a fun colour as Impassioned! It's a bright, spunky warm pink with a creamy finish. The perfect lipstick for bold-lipstick lovers, it may also pleasantly surprise those who usually prefer a more subdued shade. Give it a try!

5) Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream
This blog has spoken much about the BB Cream craze over the past year, and the most rewarding part of my investigations on the topic has been my introduction to Missha's Perfect Cover BB Cream. It is a true wonder product! It offers excellent sun protection, impressive coverage, and leaves a dewy (but not shiny) finish that looks healthy and fresh. Although I'm still interested in testing out other BB cream brands, I imagine I'll always come back to this one!

6) Aura Cacia Grapeseed Oil
In my efforts to keep my temperamental (i.e., oily, acne-prone, sensitive) skin happy and healthy, I've tested a plethora of products, many of which have left me wanting more (or have left a trail of breakouts behind- ugh). Amazingly, Aura Cacia's Grapeseed Oil did not disappoint- it has been a staple in my evening skin care routine for months. It removes my long-wearing foundation and sunscreen with ease, does not break me out, and can be used sparingly as a moisturizer when my skin is a bit thirsty. Plus, it's less than $10 and lasts for months (a little goes a long way), so you can't really go wrong with it!

7) Clio Art Blusher in #3 Light Brown
Yes, a second bronzer has made the list! In experimenting with some Korean cosmetics brands, I've not only delved into BB cream, but also into some unique and high-quality cosmetics as well. Clio's Art Blusher in #3 is lovely to look at and leaves a natural, glowy bronze finish to the skin. I keep it in my gym bag, so it always makes me look healthy and fresh after an hour of sweat and torture! :)

8) NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Schiap
This product is a true cult classic, and yet somehow it had evaded my grasp until this past year. Schiap is a bold fuchsia violet shade that is edgy, feminine, and polished all at once. It offers great colour pigmentation and, although it has a matte finish, it doesn't dry out my lips or leave them flat-looking. Just the opposite, in fact- it really brightens up my whole face. If you are a bit colour-shy (at least in the lipstick realm), grab Schiap as a fool-proof way to add a flirty, colour-saturated hue to your makeup look!

9) Hard Candy Tinted Lip Balm in Vampire Bite
I stumbled across this little lip treat some months ago and have been wearing it on a near-daily basis since then. Hard Candy's Tinted Lip Balm in Vampire Bite

10) Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Blackest Black
Last, but certainly not least, this past year has brought me my new favourite eyeliner: Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen. I find liquid eyeliners with flimsy brushes rather difficult to use, as they offer minimal control (even with a steady hand) and tend to smudge. This, on the other hand, has a felt-tipped pen applicator that offers precision and saturated colour in one stroke. If you love a classic winged cat-eye look, opt for this liner in  Blackest Black- it will instantly make you feel like a pinup girl- and who doesn't want to have that going for them once in a while? ;)

I hope you've enjoyed the recap of my favourite beauty finds from the past year. Whenever I see products reviewed online, I'm always curious to know if the reviewer remains smitten with the product, or whether love at first sight turns to disappointment over time. Amazingly, my love and devotion for the products outlined above have remained strong- and that says a lot coming from an awfully fickle beauty junkie like me!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Celebrating One Year of Vibrant, Vivacious, Veracious!

Hi, everyone! I'll be coming out with some new and interesting posts very soon, but in the meantime I thought I'd take a minute to acknowledge that today marks Vibrant, Vivacious, Veracious' first birthday! It's so hard to believe that I've been blogging for a year now, and it has been all of your comments and support that have made this experience incredibly special so far!

The blog has received over 20,000 views in its first year, which has completely surpassed my expectations! I hope for such continued success in the months to come and extend my sincere thanks to all of my friends, family, and readers who eagerly support my indulgence in this makeup passion of mine. Love you all!

And now for a little extra birthday cuteness:

Mmmmm, makeup cake! I'll have to request something similar for one of my own birthdays :)

As always, thanks so much for reading!