Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 10 Skin and Hair Care Finds of 2013

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fabulous start to 2014! For my final post of 2013, I'll be sharing with you my Top 10 skin and hair care goodies of the year. The potions and elixirs that have left my tresses and complexion looking their best! (To see my Top 10 Makeup Picks from the year, click here!)

Here's a shot of my picks:

Batiste Instant Hair Refresh Dry Shampoo
This has truly been a saviour for my hair this year! I have "combination" hair, in that it is quite dry at the ends but gets oily at the roots. I hate to over-wash it because of the dry tendencies, so Batiste has been the perfect fix for my shampoo-free days. Instantly absorbs oil and gives body, with a range of light, pleasant scents. Yes, it can leave white residue, but nothing a bit of a brush-through can't fix! Super affordable too. I can't see myself ever being without this. To read more about it, see here!

Lush Sea Spray Hair Mist
This was another absolute treasure I discovered this year! This worked wonders to add texture, wave, and body to my hair while leaving a lovely scent. I wore it on a near-daily basis all summer and it lasted quite well- a little really goes a long way! The scent is quite potent, so you may not like it if the perfume isn't up your alley. Unfortunately, I had to shelf this when I started my new job in September, as there's a pretty strict scent-free policy. I've been mourning the loss of this, but promise to re-purchase in the future! To see a full review, click here.

Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse
It's a bit crazy that I haven't gushed about this one on the blog yet. It's totally fab! After getting my hair cut in August, I embarked on a quest to find products that would give my shorter locks extra body, wave, and shine. Surfcomber is the first mousse I've ever tried and it does an incredible job at accentuating my natural wave, adding texture, and plumping up my hair. Gives me the perfect beachy, undone-but-polished look. Plus the scent is divine! Expensive, yes- but worth it!

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub
So this might be a bit of a cheat, as I got this little treat for Christmas last year. It's been a staple for me during 2013, though, so it made it here! I've been a devoted Lushie for over a decade and the Popcorn Lip Scrub instantly became an all-time fave. It has a scrumptious sweet and salty fragrance (and taste!) and does an incredible job at smoothing chapped lips. Plus, it leaves my pout lightly moisturized, which is a bonus! Will definitely be re-purchasing this one soon! To see my full review, click here!

Real Techniques Brushes
Ok, this one is another cheat, not only because these aren't technically skin or hair care, but also because I'm clumping several incredible brushes into one pick. Oh well! 2013 saw the arrival of Real Techniques brushes here in Toronto and I think I literally jumped for joy when I saw them in-store. These are truly the ultimate hybrid of quality and value and provide a flawless result every time. I use them every single day! I've amassed a nice collection of these brushes over the year, and my absolute favourites are the Buffing Brush, the Blush Brush, the Contour Brush and the Expert Face Brush. You must try these- you won't be disappointed! To see my full review of the Real Techniques Core Collection, click here !

Antipodes Divine Face Oil
I'm going out on a limb, but this may be my top skin care pick of the year! I'd been on the hunt for a facial oil that didn't break me out or leave me greasy, and I was getting a bit disillusioned until I snagged Antipodes Divine Face Oil in my Feel Unique Haul in September. This oil sinks into skin like a dream with no greasy residue and wears beautifully underneath my foundation. It hasn't irritated my temperamental skin and it hydrates and brightens wonderfully. Plus, it smells heavenly! I will never be without this one. To read a full review, click here!

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer
Foundation primer is step that I've been super lazy with over the years, slightly skeptical that they make a difference. Plus, the traditional silicone-laden formulas tend to break me out. My biases were vanquished when I opted for Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Primer, which became an instant staple. It has a lovely fresh, watery texture and provides a lightweight canvas for my foundation. It really extends the wear of my base and has never irritated my skin. It's a true winner! To see it among my other everyday face products, click here!

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant
This is another goody I haven't talked about on the blog as yet, but it deserves some high praise! Lisa Eldridge turned me onto this one and I'm so glad I heeded her sage advice. My skin is very sensitive to manual exfoliants, so chemical formulas are a must. This is a clay-based formula with lactic acid, so it simultaneously deep cleanses and sloughs away dead skin. This has never irritated my sensitive face and it leaves my complexion smooth and bright everytime. Subtle, but effective!

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
This was undoubtedly one of the most hyped-about new skin care products of the year, so I was excited to bring it home earlier this month. I'd been looking out for a multitasking nighttime serum and this one fits the bill perfectly! Advanced Night Repair sinks into skin with no oily residue and brightens instantly. It leaves my complexion looking even and clear and has never broken me out. I can see noticeable improvements in my skin after only a few weeks' use, so can't wait to see what the next few months will bring!

Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion
Toners often get lost in the shuffle, but I wanted to make a point to give this one a shout-out. I've been using Mario Badescu products on and off for years, but this year I gave the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion a go for the first time. Alcohol-laden toners totally disagree with my skin, so I'm always on the hunt for an effective and gentle toner that will leave my skin clean and soothed. This one covers all the bases! This formula features witch hazel, which cleanses my pores perfectly, as well as aloe to soothe. It primes my skin perfectly for serum and has a nice herbal scent. Have already re-purchased another bottle! To see it featured in a recent Empties post, click here.

Again, it was super difficult to narrow down my choices, but I'm happy with the final edit! Here's a jumbo-sized shot of the whole lot:

Phew! Another long post! I hope you've found it fun to take a look through my top picks of the year! Have you tried any of the goodies I featured here? Have I tempted you with anything?

Just wanted to extend another huge thanks for all of your readership throughout the year. Means so much! Can't wait to see what 2014 brings!

My boyfriend and I are headed to New York City tomorrow (yayayay!), but you'll be getting another re-cap post while I'm away and definitely some NYC updates when I return.

Happy New Year! xo

Monday, 30 December 2013

Top 10 Makeup Finds of 2013

Hi, everyone! As we see 2013 coming to a close, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the goodies I discovered over the year and shine a spotlight on those that have stood out most. Not all of the products below were released this year, but it was 2013 when they made it into my stash. This list represents the best of the best from the past 12 months, those items that I've been reaching for again and again!

Here's a shot of my picks:

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher in Cherub
This has to be the most unique, long-wearing blush I've ever tried! Snagged up in my Feel Unique Haul this past September, it became an instant staple. It blends seamlessly and effortlessly into the skin, provides a natural, glowy finish, is a perfect wearable shade for my fair skin, and truly lasts all day. Plus, a little goes a long way, so the tiny bottle will last forever! To see a full review, click here!

Illamasqua Blush Duo in Lover/Hussy
When Illamasqua came to Toronto late last year, I couldn't have been more excited. I'd heard so many raves for their unique, pigmented shades and their blushes in particular piqued my interest. While I've sampled and loved several goodies from the brand over the past year, it was my most recent purchase (full review to come soon!) that took the cake. This duo features the two blushes on highest up my wishlist, Lover (a warm, matte true peach) and Hussy (a warm, rosy coral pink). Both are ultra flattering and extremely long-wearing. They're quickly climbing up my list of favourite blushes! To see me wearing each of these shades, click here and here

Tom Ford Cheek Colour in Flush
Followers of the blog will know that I finally decided to splurge on this last month and am so happy I did! By far the most luxurious blush in my stash, Tom Ford Cheek Colour offers an elegant, finely-milled formula with very subtle shimmer and pigmented, yet buildable colour. Flush is the ultimate shimmery peachy pink that would be flattering on a variety of skin tones and wears for hours without fading. Plus, the packaging is ultra chic. To see a full review, click here! 

NYX Matte Lipstick in Merlot
NYX is a brand that I finally got to delve into this year, and it's been a treat! While there's no question my stash isn't in need of any new lip products, I was inspired to pick up Merlot based on a post by the lovely Viola at Killer Colours. Merlot, as the name suggests, is a deep rich wine shade that's the perfect balance between vampy and bright. The formula doesn't dry out my lips like other matte offerings and the wear time is fab! To see Merlot in the context of a full makeup look, click here!

YSL Glossy Stain in Beige Anarchist
Rounding out the list is another new addition, my first-ever Glossy Stain from YSL. I'd been eyeing these lip colours for ages, and finally snatched one up earlier this month. My collection of nude lipsticks was seriously lacking, so I was super pleased to discover Beige Anarchist, a warm coppery pink that creates the ultimate neutral-but-not-boring lip. It's super flattering and incredibly long-wearing. I know I'll be reaching for this often in months to come! To see me wearing it, click here!

Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Crayon in Mauveous
This is a product that I haven't featured yet on the blog, which is a shame, as it's fantastic! Previously smitten with Revlon's Kissable Balm Stains, I was tempted by Hard Candy's bid in the chubby lip pencil craze. I'm glad I took the plunge, because this lip pencil provides long-wearing, saturated, glossy colour without drying the lips or leaving a heavy feel. I find it to be even more moisturizing than the Revlon version and Mauveous is a wonderful, wearable yet vibrant pink that's gotten a ton of wear. Very pretty and a great bargain!

Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in No Regrets.
Marc Jacobs' makeup line was a new launch in 2013 and I was eager to determine whether it was worth the hype. The brand is rich with unique, bold shades, but the one that won my heart was Lust for Lacquer in No Regrets. The perfect strawberry red, this gives an amazing glossy flush to the lips with a comfortable, long-wearing, non-sticky finish. Incredibly flattering, punchy, yet elegant. Plus it plumps lips and gives a bit of a tingle. All good stuff! To see me wearing it, click here.

Urban Decay Naked Palette
This palette is perhaps the most highly hyped makeup product of all time, and it finally made its way into my collection during the Sephora VIB sale in November. I had no doubts that Naked would win me over, and it most certainly has! It really is the ultimate collection of neutral shadows, from truly nude to rich and smokey. It is incredibly versatile and the pigmentation of the shades truly can't be beat! To see the four looks I featured using Naked, click here, here, here, and here.

BeneFit They're Real! Mascara
I've been a loyal Clinique mascara user for years, so am rarely tempted to try new formulas. But when I received a mini-sized version of this in my Sephora birthday gift last May, the opportunity arose. While my past experience with Bad Gal had left me sour on BeneFit mascaras, I'm so glad I was able to put my prejudices aside and gave it a go. They're Real! gives amazing length, volume, curl and separation without clumping or smudging, and it wears all day! It became an instant favourite and I've already purchased a full size. To see a full review, click here!

RMS Living Luminizer
Another new product that was love at first sight. Or at first application, I guess! RMS had been on my radar for some time, as it's ethical and eco-friendly principles and super chic packaging seemed right up my alley. Living Luminizer was the most tempting goody from the brand, so I was thrilled to spot it in-store earlier this month. This applies effortlessly and leaves a natural, ethereal glow on the skin that lasts for hours! Heavenly, really! And it's natural enough to eat, though I'll be sure to leave it for my cheekbones ;) To see a review of it, click here!

And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my most-loved makeup products of 2013. It was definitely difficult to narrow down the list, but I'm pleased with the end result! Really reminds me of all the gems I discovered this year :) Here's one final shot of everything:

Have you tried any of the goodies I featured here? What were your favourites this year?

And stay tuned for my next post, a list of my favourite skin care, hair care, and beauty tools of 2013 :)

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Currently Craving: NYC Edition!

Hi, everyone! Time for another installment of my wishlist series, Currently Craving. This entry is extra special, because it features the goodies that I'm eyeing up for my trip to New York City next week! NYC is my absolute favourite place to visit and this time around I have the amazing task of showing my boyfriend around the city. It's his first time in the Big Apple! While the trip will centre around exploring the most interesting and beautiful nooks and crannies of the city, girl's gotta think a little about shopping too! ;)

In terms of a wishlist, I'm really focusing on brands that I can't find here in Toronto. While nearly everything is at my disposal here, New York does house a few beauty lines that are currently out of my reach. Here are the products that are really calling my name! 

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask
Omorovicza is a brand first brought to my attention by Ruth at A Model Recommends. She touted the line as pure luxury with noticeable efficacy, so my interest was piqued! She particularly raved about this Deep Cleansing Mask, which she claimed was the ultimate deep cleanse. Given that my skin tends to get more congested during the colder months, this sounded right up my alley! Omorovicza claims that this mask is infused with "Hungary's famous healing waters and mineral-infused muds", including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper, which work to deep clean, brighten, mattify, and draw out impurities. All sounds good to me! (from cultbeauty.co.uk)

Omorovicza Thermal Cleaning Balm
It was Estee from Essie Button that tempted me with this Omorovicza treat. The Thermal Cleansing Balm is a "nightly cleanser and super fast makeup remover" with a "black oily balm" consistency. The brand touts that it's "rich in clays that draw out impurities, clearing congested pores, while introducing key minerals calcium, zinc, copper, and magnesium". It's supposed to boost collagen synthesis, strengthen skin's natural barrier, and provide antioxidant defense against free radicals. Not your typical cleanser! (from cultbeauty.co.uk)

Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment
I believe it was Into the Gloss that first alerted me to this emerging cult brand. Luxury, eco-friendly, and totally chic, Sunday Riley definitely has me tempted. One of their top-selling products, their Good Genes Serum and Mask is hailed as "an elixir of youth". It's described as a "multi-tasking treatment and mask that smooths, refines, clarifies and brightens" with lactic acid (to exfoliate), liquorice (to brighten), lemongrass (improves circulation) and a "patented NV-5 Ageless Complex" that reverses damage caused by acne, pollution, sunlight, and unhealthy lifestyle. It can be used either as a daily treatment or as a more occasional treatment mask. It promises much (maybe too much), but I have high hopes! (from cultbeauty.co.uk)

Jouer In the Red Makeup Kit
Again, it was Estee from Essie Button that brought this makeup line to my attention. Jouer is known for high quality formulas and unique interlocking packaging and their In the Red Makeup Kit seems to be a fantastic introduction to the brand for those who like neutral eyes and rosy red lips and cheeks. Described as a "one-stop makeup shop", this set includes two eye shadows, a bronzer, a sheer powder, a lip and cheek tint and lip gloss. Looks perfect for the holidays or any time you want a touch of glam! (from cultbeauty.co.uk)

By Terry Baume de Rose
Lily from Lily Pebbles sold me on this ultra luxury (can you tell I'm easily swayed by other bloggers' recommendations?!) and it's a tough one to scratch off my wishlist, despite the exorbitant price. Touted as an"ultra-glamorous, multiprotective and nutri-plenishing SOS treatment" for lips and nails, Baume de Rose is designed to be rich and soothing, creamy and non-sticky, and lightly scented with a classic rose fragrance. It also contains SPF15, which sets it apart from other balms (from barneys.com). 

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint
Another example of when Estee from Essie Button acted as a huge pusher, I was instantly transfixed with the idea of a tinted moisturizer with a matte finish. It's definitely a hard combination to find and something my oily skin has been looking for! Jouer claims that this product is "perfect dewy matte skin in a tube!"  Cult Beauty promises that this"liquid miracle disguises shadows and blemishes whilst actively reducing the appearance of dark circles" while letting congested skin breathe. It features a  lightweight, seamless, hydrating formula with "sheer, shine-free coverage", SPF 15, and vitamins A, C, and E. I have high hopes for this one! (from cultbeauty.co.uk)

By Terry Sheer Expert Foundation
I'm beginning to realize that everything on this list is the result of enabling from my favourite bloggers! Once again, Ruth at A Model Recommends introduced me to the wonders of By Terry. She's raved about the foundations from this brand, and I'm much tempted by the Sheer Expert Foundation, which "adjusts and blends with the skin to reveal a perfect and natural complexion [with a] combination of camouflage prisms, powder microspheres, and mimetic micro-pigments". It claims to camouflage imperfections, fight shine, blur signs of aging, and adapt automatically all skin types. It promises a matte, but non-drying finsih that plumps skin, smooths lines, and brightens the complexion. Sounds like heaven in a tube! (from barneys.com)

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer
This is another cult product that I read about on Into the Gloss. It's essentially a tinted mouse foundation primer that promises loads more than your typical spackle. This "oil-free and oxygen rich" primer can be worn on its own or underneath foundation, Cult Beauty touts that the primer's "hyaluronic acid keeps skin hydrated while anti-glycation peptides help to boost cell regeneration and counteract the deterioration of collagen and elastin". The formula is designed to even skin tone without clogging pores or leaving an oily finish. Since my skin is prone to unevenness and breakouts, this sounds like the ultimate primer for me! While I'm usually sensitive to silicones in base products, this primer's "Rejuvenox" complex counteracts the silicone on the formula to let skin breathe. Sound like an intense claim? Yes, but it's one worth testing! (from cultbeauty.co.uk)

Inglot Eye Shadow Freedom System Custom Palette
One final shout out to Essie Button, who raved about the quality and affordability of Inglot shadows. Not only are the formulas top-notch, they offer their unique Freedom System, which allows  you to customize your own palettes. So much fun! Inglot offers 158 shades of shadow that are all paraben-free and not tested on animals. NYC has a couple of Inglot shops- can't wait to stop by and create my own! (from inglotcosmetics.com)

By Terry Hyaluronic Blush
And clearly Ruth from A Model Recommends has done much to fatten this wishlist. Her final influence here is with By Terry's Hyaluronic Blush, which is a "weightless... blush mousse [that] sculpts cheekbones and creates volume with a long-lasting fresh fresh print of colour". Ruth promised that the formula blends seamlessly over top of foundation and leaves a natural, glowy finish. Sounds like a wonderful touch of luxury for the cheeks! (from barneys.com)

And there you have it! So I've recognized that almost everything on this list is dangerously expensive. Leave it to the Big Apple to tempt me with super luxurious goods! I'll definitely have to curate this list into a manageable-sized haul, but that will be part of the thrill!

Before I leave on my trip, I'll be sharing with you my top makeup, skin care, and hair care picks of 2013. Hope you enjoy my selections! I won't be blogging directly from NYC, but I'll be sure to give you a photo recap when I return!

Have I tempted you with anything from this list? Tried and loved any the goodies featured above? Do you like visiting NYC as much as I do?

Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Goodies from my Sis!

Hi, everyone! Hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday and are promptly recovering from your hangovers and food comas ;)

My little sister has a knack for putting together thoughtful makeup-filled gifts, and my goodies from her this Christmas were no exception!

Here's a look at what she gave me:

My sister knows I'm a sucker for Essie Nail Polishes, so she chose two lovely metallic shades, Blue Rhapsody (an icy silvery blue) and Nothing Else Metals (a frosty lilac pink). I'd hinted about my affinity for the new Revlon Matte Balms and Lacquer Balms, and she took my cue and picked up Unapologetic (a warm hot pink with coral undertones), Enticing (a warm red with subtle brown undertones), and Whimsical (a shimmery berry purple). I'd also let her know that the quality of Wet N' Wild had improved exponentially of late, so she snagged the Comfort Zone palette, which has been on my wishlist for ages! She also included the December issue of Vogue, since she knows I'm a sucker for high fashion now and again. Jessica Chastain looks fantastic on the cover!

I was so pumped about the new Revlon balms, that I swatched them instantly. Here's how the shades and finishes look against my MAC NC15-20 skin tone:

(L-R): Whimsical, Enticing, Unapologetic

She also got me a lovely framed photo from her wedding and my favourite bar of dark chili chocolate. The girl knows what I like! Can't wait to give everything a go- sure you will be seeing some related reviews and looks coming soon! Thanks again, Karen, for such a great gift!

Did you receive any fun beauty goodies over the holidays? Tried and loved any of the products featured here?

Thanks for reading! xo

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! My parents' cats Simon and Artie would like to wish you a very Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

I want to extend a huge thank you to all of my readers, who keep me inspired and passionate all throughout the year. Hope your holiday season is rich with health, happiness, family, and food! xoxo


Monday, 23 December 2013

Look of the Day: Damned Hussy!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve, everyone! (Can you tell I'm excited for Christmas?) I'm writing from my hometown where I'm spending a whole week catching up (and eating like crazy) with family and friends. So grateful for these happy, relaxing times :)

It's time for another Look of the Day, featuring some of my favourite new products and a totally cheeky title!

The stars of this look are the ultra cheery Illamasqua Powder Blush in Hussy and the rich and vampy NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned. I found that these shades worked perfectly together to create a vibrant, wine-stained look appropriate for any holiday party or festive night on the town :)

Hussy is a warm, rosy pink shade with slight peachy undertones and a matte, highly pigmented finish. It's a true stunner! Really adds life and colour to the face without looking too over-the-top, even on my fair skin. Damned is a slightly cool-toned burgundy berry shade that creates a fantasticly wearable vampy lip. 

I paired Damned and Hussy with (what else?) some shimmery pinky-plum shades from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I applied Sin a frosty champagne pink, all over the lid and added some Hustle, a deep plummy brown in the crease for some definition. I also applied a generous helping of my brand new RMS Living Luminizer on my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose for an extra glow. 

Here's a full breakdown of everything that went into the look!

The Breakdown:

Foundation Primer: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer
Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme makeup in Buff
Concealers: BeneFit Fake-Up in Light (under eyes) and MAC Select Cover-Up in NC20 (on blemishes)
Powder: MAC Blot Powder in Medium
Highligher/Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (lightly as a bronzer) and RMS Living Luminizer (on cheek bones and down the bridge of my nose)
Blush: Illamasqua Powder Blush in Hussy

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde/Taupe and Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Eye Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Sin (all over the lid and up into the crease), Hustle (in the crease), and Virgin (as a highlight on the brow bone and inner corner of the eye) 

Eyeliner: Tarte smolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Brown (on upper lash line) and NYX Wonder Pencil in Light (on lower waterline)
Mascara: Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black

Lipstick: NARS  Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned

And a few more shots of the look:

Overall, I was super happy with this shade combination- both Damned and Hussy are quite rich and colourful, yet remain totally wearable and demure (despite the risque sounding names!). They will both definitely be go-to shades for me this Winter!

And on a quick side-note, I wore this makeup look last night out to the casino, where my Dad's band was playing. He's in a fantastic Beatles tribute band called the Liverpool Echo (if you're interested in checking them out, you can take a peek at their website, here) and it's always such a treat watching them perform and to see my Dad totally engrossed in his passion for music. Here's a shot of them rocking out:

It was such a fun night! Hope everyone is having a wonderful and relaxing holiday season so far! All the best to you and yours :)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Look of the Day: Beige Anarchist

Hi, everyone! Sooo close to the weekend (and to my holiday break)- definitely something to celebrate! It's time for another Look of the Day, inspired by some of my favourite not-so-typical nude shades.

A few weeks ago, Sephora so cruelly send out a coupon to save $20 off of a $50 purchase (I was on a spending ban, people! You know I'm a sucker for coupons!), so of course I had to oblige. I have had my eye on the Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stains for some time now, and for some reason had never taken the plunge. I'd been enchanted by their recent "Rebel Nudes" collection of Glossy Stains, as each shade seemed to represent an unconventional and terribly pretty neutral tone.

While I was tempted by the more fuchsia-coloured shades, I instead opted for something a bit more classically nude, as nude lipsticks actually are quite scarce in my collection. I chose the lovely Beige Anarchist (dramatic name, I know), which I found to be incredibly flattering on the lips. YSL describes Beige Anarchist as a "beige pink", but I would label it a a rosy brown with copper undertones. It's of course super glossy, but in a totally elegant way. And the staying power is incredible! Here's a shot of it on my lips:

I paired the neutral, glossy lip with my favourite unconventional nude shades from my new and much adored Urban Decay Naked Palette. The look draws heavily on Toasted (perhaps my favourite from the palette, a mid-tone plummy brown), with highlights from Sin and Virgin as well. For something a bit different, I opted for a plummy liner (Tarte smolderEyes Waterproof Liner in Plum) instead of my typical black or brown:

To go with the eyes and lips, I chose my favourite not-at-all-boring neutral blush, Tarte Amazonian Clay Powder Blush in Exposed, a subtle plummy pink. Here's the final result:

And a full breakdown of everything I used:

The Breakdown:

Foundation Primer: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer
Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme makeup in Buff

Concealers: BeneFit Fake-Up in Light (under eyes) and MAC Select Cover-Up in NC20 (on blemishes)
Powder: MAC Blot Powder in Medium

Highligher/Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde/Taupe and Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Eye Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Toasted (all over lid and up to crease), Sin (lightly in centre of the lid and on the brow bone), Virgin (as a highlight on the brow bone and inner corner of the eye) and Naked (added lightly in the crease)

Eyeliner: Tarte smolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Plum (on upper lash line) and NYX Wonder Pencil in Light (on lower waterline)
Mascara: Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black

Lipstick: YSL Glossy Stain in Beige Anarchist (from the Rebel Nudes collection)

And a few more shots of the look:

I'd been so excited to do a look around Beige Anarchist, and I was happy with the end result! While I still opt for neutral shades on most days, it's fun to play with nude tones that are anything but boring. Going nude can still be fun! ;)

Have you tried any Glossy Stains from the Rebel Nudes collection? What are some of your favourite unconventional nude shades?

Thanks for reading! xo

Monday, 16 December 2013

New to the Brand: Going Organic with RMS Beauty

Hi, everyone! During my last visit to Jacob and Sebastian (one of my favourite local beauty shops; to see their website, click here!), I was thrilled to spot a brand that's been climbing its way up my wishlist these days. RMS Beauty is a relatively nascent all-natural makeup line that's been accruing much hype lately. It's been raved about on popular blogs like Into the Gloss and caught my eye especially because it's been touted as a Victoria's Secret Angel favourite that's also as gentle on the skin as it is on the earth. 

RMS (which stands for the initials of its makeup artist creator, Rose-Marie Swift) stands out from other eco brands because it's a luxury line that uses the term "all natural" to its utmost credibility. Not only are all of the goodies from the range organic, non-toxic, gluten-, GMO-, soy-, and cruelty-free, they are all comprised of food-grade ingredients that remain in their natural "living" state. The products have no preservatives, synthetic vitamins, or harsh chemicals and are housed in minimal packaging that is all either biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable. Each formula is designed to heal and add vitality to the skin and is described as "skin care with mineral colour". Hard not to be tempted by all of those features! (info from rmsbeauty.com)

While I was tempted to snag the whole line, I showed a modicum of restraint and picked up two lovely goodies, Living Luminizer and Lip2Cheek in Modest

Before I delve into the products themselves, let's take a peek at the packaging: 

The two products I got are packaged in small, square-shaped cardboard boxes and housed in small circular glass jars with the RMS Beauty logo on the top. As you can see from the first photo in the post, the underside of the jars have a translucent, frosted glass finish and include labels and ingredients.

Unscrewing the lids of the jars reveals the lovely colours inside:

(L-R): RMS Lip2Cheek in Modest and RMS Living Luminizer

Lip2Cheek is a multi-purpose makeup product that caught my eye right away. RMS touts that it "combines hydration and protection with abundant mineral colour for a beautiful natural finish on both lips and cheeks" ( from rmsbeauty.com). The shade I opted for was Modest, which RMS describes as a " fresh, rich berry pink colour". I would describe it more as a rosy red with coral undertones. Any way you slice it, it's a lovely shade! The texture is moist and creamy without any hint of greasiness and blends effortlessly into the skin.

Here is the list of ingredients for Lip2Cheek in Modest. As you can see, it's coconut oil-based and features several certified organic ingredients:

The second product I purchased is one I'd already heard much about and has been hailed as the star of the line. Living Luminizer is a cream-based highlighter that can be applied to cheekbones, brow bones, the inner corners of the eye, and on the cupid's bow for touches of fresh, dewy goodness. RMS describes Living Luminizer as "the ultimate illuminator for creating a sensuous, sheer, luminous glow [with a] translucent satin pearl finish" (from rmsbeauty.com). The shade itself is a neutral ivory-white, and I have to say the "translucent satin pear finish" description is pretty spot on! The texture is creamy without any stickiness or heaviness.

Here's the ingredient list for Living Luminizer, which you can see is quite short! It has a castor seed and coconut oil-base and is rich in organic ingredients:

Here are some swatches of the goodies on the inside of my arm (MAC NC15 skin tone):

(L-R): RMS Lip2Cheek in Modest (swatched heavily), RMS Lip2Cheek in Modest (partially blended), RMS Living Luminizer

The swatch on the left is Lip2Cheek in Modest swatched heavily- as you can see, it's quite pigmented! The middle swatch is of Modest, blended partially into the skin. The swatch on the right is Living Luminizer, applied with a heavy hand. 

And now some shots of the products on my skin! The first shows Modest and Living Luminizer applied over top of foundation and concealer, in natural sunlight. I've applied Modest to the apples of my cheek and blended it upward towards the temples and have applied Living Luminizer to my cheekbones, brow bones, down the bridge of my nose, and to my cupid's bow:

The next two are the same (applied over foundation and concealer) under artificial light:

And here they are in the context of a completed makeup look, with a touch of pressed powder applied over top. In these shots, I've also applied Lip2Cheek in Modest on my lips, over top of some lip balm (it's a bit drying when applied to bare lips).

Overall, I am super pleased with both of these products! They blend effortlessly and seamlessly into the skin and provide a lovely glowy finish without any hint of greasiness or heaviness. While the wear time is not formidable, both Lip2Cheek and Living Luminizer last a good 6-8 hours on my skin without the need for touch-ups, which isn't too shabby for all-natural, cream-based formulas. I'm truly impressed! I'm definitely eager to add more goodies from RMS to my collection. While they aren't cheap (most range from $25-40 each), the eco- and skin-friendliness of their products definitely decrease the guilt factor ;)

Does RMS Beauty pique your interest? Have you given any RMS goodies a try?

Thanks for reading! xo