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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Veracious Product Review: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Foundation

Because I've been a loyal fan of Revlon's ColourStay Liquid Foundation for many years, I was eager to test out their new whipped creme version (mmm, whipped cream ;). I was lucky enough to win this product in a giveaway conducted by the lovely Sandra at 15 Steps, Then A Beauty Blog. What's better than free makeup, especially when it comes along in unexpected ways?! Thanks, Sandra :)

Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup comes in a weighty glass jar with a sleek, shiny black lid.

It boasts 24-hour wear, and the shade I won was #150 Buff, which is amazingly the shade I wear in the liquid version. What luck!

The opening for the foundation is slightly smaller than the jar and is topped with a thin plastic cover to keep the product extra fresh.

And here's what the foundation looks like! As you can see, it's a thick, creamy consistency that looks quite rich.

The formula is so thick, that I can place a bit of it on the end of my finger without any dripping. In the photo below, I'd had a dollop of it on the end of my finger for several minutes (couldn't get my camera to focus!), which allowed the product to warm slightly. Even with the extra warmth, it did not come close to running or dripping. Much unlike its liquid counterpart!

And here is the Whipped Cream version swatched beside the Liquid version on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). Both are in the shade Buff

(L) Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff and (R) Revlon ColourStay Liquid Makeup (combo/oily formula) in Buff 
Under a mix of natural and artificial lighting, dried down slightly

As you can see, the Whipped Creme version is thicker and slightly darker than the liquid version.

And now for a before and after! Here's a picture of me wearing only moisturizer and primer:

And here are two photos of me wearing the Revlon ColourStay Whipped Cream foundation only:

Wearing Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in #150 Buff

As you can see, it has excellent coverage, evening out the redness in my skin and covering minor blemishes with ease. 

And here are a couple pictures of a completed makeup look with the ColourStay Whipped foundation as a base:

Dramatic expression! :)

And now for a full breakdown of the product's claims and my impressions!

  • The Promise:  "Finally, truly decadent makeup offers ultimate performance. The mousse-like texture feels like silk on your skin. And, the time release formula balances skin for a flawless look. All day flexible wear without flaking, caking or feeling heavy. Buildable to full coverage for flawless skin. Soft, matte finish all day long. Withstands heat and humidity – great for summer. Comes in 16 beautiful shades" (from
Overall, this product claims to combine a rich, luxurious feel without an oily finish or heavy texture. With 24-hour wear to boot. A hard feat to achieve!

  • Shades Tested: #150 Buff (same shade that I wear in the liquid version)
  • Colour Match: I find Buff to be a very good colour match for my skin. It is slightly darker and more  yellow-toned than my skin, but I find this only works to better neutralize redness and can be balanced out by topping it with a neutral setting powder. I haven't tested any other shades to compare this to, but for now Buff works well!
  • Texture: A thick, creamy, dense mousse-like texture (if that makes any sense! Is mousse ever dense?!)
  • Application: This foundation smooths incredibly evenly over the skin. Blending is quite effortless, unlike the liquid version which can feel somewhat dry and must be blended quickly. The formula is quite pigmented, so a little goes a very long way! The only downside is that, because of the richness of the formula, this foundation doesn't really seem to dry down or "set". It does seem to sit on top of the skin, rather than fully blending into it. Although the finish isn't too moist or greasy, you do have to be careful when applying powder on top. Because it doesn't set, the foundation can smudge if you don't use a light hand and a very soft brush.
  • Coverage: Medium to full, buildable coverage. Hardly any concealer is needed!
  • Finish: Lovely velvety, semi-matte finish. I feel this would be suitable for all skin types, except those with very dry or oily skin. Those with combo/dry skin could easily wear this without setting powder, while oilier-skinned gals (like me!) may still want a touch of powder to keep things shine-free.
  • Wear: This foundation really lives up to its long-wear claims! It stays put on me all day with very minimal shine and fading. It has a slight tendency to cake up as the day goes on, but this is only noticeable up close. 
  • Verdict: Overall, this is an excellent long-wear foundation that does feel quite luxurious on the skin without being to rich or heavy. It blends wonderfully, provides great coverage, and really does last all day! The only down side, as I mentioned earlier, is that it does really seem to "set", but rather sits on top of skin. As long as you use a light hand with powder, though, this isn't a huge problem. 
I'll be happy to use this foundation throughout the colder months when the ColourStay Liquid formula is a tad drying on my skin. This won't be forever replacing my beloved ColourStay Liquid, but is a nice, luxe-feeling treat for fall and winter! Thanks again, Sandra, for your generous giveaway!

Hope you found this review to be helpful! Have any of you tried out this formula? Any other favourite foundations for fall and winter?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Holiday Makeover Event!

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a fun and pampering makeover event at the Shu Uemura counter at Holt Renfrew that showcased their new Holiday collection designed by the one and only Karl Lagerfeld. I attended a Shu Uemura masterclass over the summer (see a review here) and had a fantastic time, so I was eager to check out their winter offerings and to get my makeup done!

The collection offers all of the drama and elegance that Karl Lagerfeld brings to the table, but with the distinct eccentric, Japanese influence that is the cornerstone of the Shu Uemura brand. The "mascot" of the collection is the "Mon Shu Girl", who Lagerfeld created to represent both his own personal style (the white shirt and black tie are pretty iconic) as well as the whimsical side of Japanese pop culture and cartoon imagery. Adorable and endearing, she is featured graphically on the packaging and has inspired the look of the models for the campaign.

Here's a photo of the collection display at the counter:

And a selection of the collection's products in a display case. The puppet is so adorable!

There was collection-related imagery all around the counter. I couldn't take my eyes of the vibrant colours and dramatic graphics.

I was lucky to work with the lovely Danielle, who not only did my makeup but also gave me a facial using key products from their Red Juvenus skin care line. I received the Red Juvenus Vitalizing Retexturizing Cream as a free gift during the summer event and have been absolutely loving it as a night cream. After the facial my skin was totally glowing and ready to be painted!

Here are a couple pictures of the array of products Danielle used on my skin:

We played with so many lovely goodies!

The key products she used for the makeover were:

  • Tsuya UV Under base Youthful Radiance Mousse (primer)
  • Skin Architect Smoothing Fluid Foundation #784
  • Powder Foundation #365 (to set foundation)
  • Glow On Blush M521 (as a neutral wash all over the cheeks)
  • Glow On Blush in Coral Rose (from the Precious Bordeaux Eye and Cheek Palette, part of the Karl Lagerfeld Holiday collection, on the apples of cheeks)
  • Brow Pencil Hard Formula in 03 Brown topped with Eye Shadow in M 851 Soft Brown
  • Eyebrow Manicure in Honey Glaze
  • Eye Shadow in IR 911 as a highlight on cheekbones, lid, and brow bones
  • Mix of the brown and purple eye shadow shades from the Precious Bordeaux Eye and Cheek Palette
  • Painting Liners in Brown (on upper lid) and Black (in the waterline)
  • Ultimate Expression Mascara in Black
  • Rouge Unlimited lipstick in Parisienne Pink (from the Karl Lagerfeld Holiday collection)

And here are a couple pictures of the finished look! As you can see, we decided on smoky eyes, glowy skin, and subtle, shimmery pink lips. I loved it! The black cream liner on the waterline really added a sultry feel to the eye that made me feel ultra-glam. We joked that I was only going out for dinner after this, but I promised I'd be the fiercest girl in the pizzeria :)

I bought a few goodies after the makeover, and part of my free gift was this adorable tote. It really sums up the fun aesthetic of the collection; I kinda want to carry it everywhere!

As an extra helpful touch, Danielle filled out a face chart of all of the products used in the makeover. She even used the eye shadows from the palette to re-create the eye look on paper. A nice (sparkly) souvenir!

After I left Holt Renfrew I wanted to take a few more photos of the look, so I was faced with the dorky task of doing so in crowded shopping areas during rush hour. I couldn't tell if the people walking by thought I was a nerd or a complete narcissist ("It's for a beauty website!", I wanted to scream), but I got a few decent shots in various lighting:

Overall, I had an excellent experience at the event. The collection was so stunning (I had to restrain myself from snatching it all up!) and I left feeling truly pampered and ready to party! Since there was no party, I settled for bringing a bit of glam to the pizza shop. Spinach and goat cheese pizza tastes extra delicious when you look fabulous ;)

Cheers xoxo

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Look of the Day: Everyday Fall Face

Hi, everyone! Today's look of the day is simultaneously nothing special and extra special. On the one hand, it's not an incredibly dramatic look and doesn't have any particular standout features or techniques. On the other hand, this look incorporates some of my favourite shades for fall; so much so, that it is really my go-to, every day fall makeup look. My no-fail, feel pretty, autumn-friendly face.

Overall, the look is warm and neutral, with a bit of a kick (because, hey, I'm not the type to let even my every day face be too natural-looking :). It features NARS Dolce Vita lipstick (the perfect "my lips but better" shade), NYX Taupe blush (one of my new favourite cheek colours, a fantastic neutral pink), and Stila Oasis eye shadow (a lovely, warm golden champagne). This is actually a makeup look that I did for my cousin last month on Thanksgiving (yes, us crazy Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October) and I loved it so much on her that it's become one of my most worn looks.

Here's a list of the products I used...

The Breakdown:

oundation: Shu Uemera Face Architect Smoothing Fluid Foundation #784

Concealer: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory
Powder: Revlon ColourStay Pressed Powder in Light
Bronzer: Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula
Blush: NYX Powder Blush in Mauve
Highlighter: Prorance Finish Water Glow M13

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden
Eye Shadows: Laura Mercier eye shadow in Sandstone (as a highlight on inner corners/brow bone), Stila Oasis eye shadow packed on lid, and MAC Bronze eye shadow softly in crease
Eyeliner: Tarte smolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Brown
Mascara: Clinique Lash Doubling in Black

Lips: NARS Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita

And here are a few more pictures of the look...

And that's it! What are some of your go-to fall makeup shades or products? I'd love to hear your favourites!

Thanks for reading :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Beauty Bloggers Tag!

Hi, everyone! Sorry for the relative lack of posts lately. School has been a bit hectic, but things should be calming down soon. Phew!

Recently, the lovely Kat from Kitsch Snitch tagged me in her Beauty Bloggers post, so I thought I'd give it a go! But not before an adorable picture of Sadie guarding my makeup brushes... :)

Sadie especially loves makeup brushes when they're cruelty-free :) 
Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?
I started blogging in March of 2011, so it's been just over a year and a half! I actually started in response to a pretty stressful time in my life- things were getting hectic and overwhelming and, with the support of loved ones, I decided to delve into a hobby that would be enjoyable and engaging. I figured that creating a beauty blog would combine my passions for makeup and writing, so I went for it!

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
The first beauty blog that I ever visited on a regular basis was Temptalia- that girl has swatches of everything!! Soon after I became completely enamoured with Lisa Eldridge's YouTube channel and blog. Not only was I impressed by her immense talent and creativity, I was also drawn in by her approachable, warm, and down-to-earth nature. She's the best! As for smaller personal blogs, I actually started my blog before I really got into the world of other beauty blogs. Since then, however, I've come across so many wonderful beauty and fashion sites and am a loyal follower of several.

Most Important part about doing a blog post?
There are so many aspects of a blog post that I find important, but I think the most crucial are honest reviews, accurate and engaging photos, and a sense of humour. The name 'Veracious' is in the title of my blog for a reason- it is very important that my blog is seen as a credible source, so honest, clear, and descriptive reviews are key! I also do my best to provide the best photos possible (despite my novice-level camera, see below) so that the shades presented are true-to-colour and so that readers have something fun and pretty to look at while reading! And, as I mentioned, a sense of  humour is also key. It is easy for those in the beauty and fashion realm to take themselves too seriously, but I prefer to keep things light, and sometimes silly. Silliness is good for the soul :)

What kind of Camera do you use?
As of now, a Nikon Coolpix S550. It's not really the best camera for blogging purposes, but I've been making the most of it. It is on its way out, though, so I'm hoping that Santa might give me a new camera this year :)

A picture of my camera, sort of :)

What was the first blogosphere hyped about product you bought and was it worth the hype?
I try not to fall for hype too often since I can't afford to exhaust my wallet too much! But a few products I have fallen for because of blogger buzz are:
  • Revlon Lip Butters- there was a ton of hype for these when they were released earlier this year. Luckily I heeded all of the raves and now happily have a few of these little gems in my collection
  • Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipsticks- I often hate succumbing to hype when it means dishing out a lot of money, but these lipsticks truly are amazing. Beautiful shades, comfortable texture, and the packaging is incredibly unique (and fun!). Worth the splurge for sure!
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes- I've been very impressed with the quality of the Tarte products I've tried, so when the blogosphere began buzzing about these new blush offerings, I was quick to cave to my curiosity. I only have one of these in my collection (Tipsy, a vibrant matte coral), but I love it!
  • YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in Luscious Cherry- I was tempted to try this shade because of the enthusiastic opinions of Estee at Essie Button. Though I've been a fan of the regular Rouge Volupte lipsticks for some time, I'd shied away from the Sheer Candy line because I'd heard they were incredibly sheer. Who wants to pay almost $40 for a barely-there balm? Estee assured me (well, her audience) that Luscious Cherry was a worthwhile investment and she was right! A perfectly pigmented shade that feels wonderful on my lips :)
What are your favourite five things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?
  1. I love feeling like I'm part of a community. Call it a network, a collective, or a support group- it's nice being able to communicate with others who share a passion for all things beauty. It keeps me enthusiastic and engaged even when life is otherwise busy!
  2. I get to learn so much from all the lovely, talented bloggers out there. I'm constantly being inspired!
  3. I have an (extra) excuse to purchase some of the latest, greatest beauty products. All in the name of a good review! :)
  4. Every so often I receive a comment that one of my posts has been inspiration to play with makeup and try something new. That's what it's all about!
What have you learned from being a beauty blogger?
I have learned that blogging is challenging, but totally rewarding. I've learned how to take really good close-up photos of my eye using a really basic camera. I've learned to become confident in sharing my skills and about posting makeup-less photos (eek!). I've learned there's always something new to learn!

Made close-up skills ;)

Have you changed anything since being a beauty blogger?
I've become a lot better at using my camera in a variety of settings and at editing photos, which has been nice! I've also lost all shame about taking photos of my face in public ;) And more seriously, my life has truly been enriched by this hobby, so I guess blogging has changed me!

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
Write what you're passionate about! Readers will pick up on your knowledge and enthusiasm and will respond. Following and commenting on other blogs is a great way to attract new readers and followers, but take the time to leave thoughtful, personalized responses. Leave a comment that you'd like to see on your own blog! Practice, practice, practice at taking and editing photos. Captivating photos will definitely make your site stand out!

Your Favorite Eyeshadow Palette?
I am an eye shadow palette fiend. They may be my biggest makeup weakness, and that's saying a lot. While there are a few palettes that are near the top of my list (for example, the Urban Decay Mariposa Palette), I think my favourites are the ones that I've put together myself. I love having the freedom to create custom palettes based on my specific  preferences and I've done so with MAC eye shadows quite a bit, as you can see below! 
My MAC Eye Shadow collection!

The Best Beauty Deal?
Not a deal so much as an excellent bargain, but Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lipsmacker is one of my all-time favourite (and most heavily used) lip products of all time. Ringing in at $2, it offers great moisturization and leaves a soft, rosy tint. Really the best bang for you buck!

Makeup Regrets?
I have very few makeup regrets, at least in terms of how I've worn makeup. During my high school days (see below, eek!) I was all about super pale skin, thin brows, and vibrant colours. Although I would  never wear my makeup like that today, I don't regret looking like that; I'm actually pretty proud that I had the balls to be a bit weird and different. If you can't be weird in high school, when can you? The only real regret is that I did pluck my eyebrows so thin, especially since they have not grown back since. Luckily I've found an excellent brow powder to make up for the mistakes of my youth :)
High school makeup, circa 1999

Name your top five Beauty brands!
This may be the toughest of all the questions since my makeup tastes are so broad, but here's my best shot:
  • MAC- MAC was the first high-end brand I ever fell in love with and it comprises a huge chunk of my collection (see eye shadow picture above for evidence!). I think that many of their products offer great quality for the price (truly a fraction of many high-end brands) and their colour selection can't be beat! I've been purchasing MAC items less lately because of Estee Lauder's return to animal testing, but I'll never lose fondness for my first love :)
  • Revlon- Revlon is by far my favourite drugstore brand. Their ColourStay liquid foundation has been one of my staples for years and, in my opinion, trumps the quality of many other high-end foundation formulas. Their lip products are also to-die-for and with most under $10, it's hard to pass them up!
  • Urban Decay- During my first trip to Sephora in 2000, I was completely drawn to Urban Decay's edgy aesthetic and wild colour selection. The affinity for this brand has stuck because their products are truly top-notch and because they have stuck with their animal friendly policies over the years. Amazingly, I haven't purchased either of the Naked palettes (again, see MAC eye shadow pic above for evidence that I don't need more eye shadow!), but I really couldn't live without their Eye Shadow Primer Potion, a true classic.
  • NARS- There is no denying that NARS makes some amazing products and offers a unique colour selection and some dirty interesting shade names. I own 6 of their blushes and consider Deep Throat to be my all-time favourite cheek colour. No small feat! Lately their lipsticks have grown on me as well, with shades like Heat Wave and Dolce Vita quickly becoming staples in my collection.
  • Chanel- Although I don't purchase Chanel products all too often (with the hefty price tag being the main hindrance), I have never been disappointed by a product of theirs. Never. Their lipsticks, blushers, and nail lacquers are all to-die-for, as is the chic, classic packaging. If your wallet can handle it, you really can't go wrong!
Recommend your top five favourite beauty products! 
Ack! Such a difficult task, but here goes nothing:
  • Revlon ColourStay Liquid Foundation Combo/Oily Formula. Heaven sent for my oily, acne-prone skin. Flawless, long-wearing coverage that doens't look cakey or break me out. Enough said.
  • Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde. Since my brows are super sparse, it's necessary to fill them in every day to add structure and definition to my face. Anastasia brow powder looks incredibly natural and really lasts all day. Few people can tell that I even fill in my brows, which makes this product all the more genius!
  • Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Black. Black winged liner is one of my signature looks, and this liner pen creates the effect so effortlessly. Its felt-tipped applicator makes it incredibly easy to use and the colour pay-off is excellent. What's better than a quick, simple cat eye?
  • NARS Powder Blush in Deep Throat- As I mentioned earlier, this is most likely  my favourite blush of all time. It is a universally flattering pinky-peach with just the right amount of shimmer. So versatile and always brightens my complexion. I will never be without this!
  • MAC Lipstick- I know sometimes MAC's lip products get mixed reviews and even I can't say that the formula is on-par with other high-end offerings (like Guerlain Rouge Automatiques and YSL Rouge Voluptes, which are fantastic). That said, MAC make some of the most amazing shades that I reach for time and time again. Some of my favourites are Ladybug, Lustering, Lickable, Vegas Volt, Rebel, and Impassioned. So many! Hope it isn't cheating to include them all under one bullet ;)

Tag other beauty bloggers to do this tag!
Sara at Sara Wears
Maisie at TheMaiBug
Samantha at Seize the Beautiful
Mali at Maliberry Makeup 
And that's it! An incredibly long post, but one that was fun to write. It's nice to reflect every once in awhile. Hope you enjoyed it too :)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Highlighter Heaven: Prorance Finish Water Glow Skinfinish

Sometimes, like the unassuming arrival of a soul mate, I find the most amazing products when I am not looking for anything particular. Just minding my own business, when out of the abyss emerges something totally beautiful. In this case, the treasure at hand was Prorance's Finish Water Glow Skinfinish in shade M13. The "out of the blue" factor was truly elevated with this purchase, as I nabbed it at my local Korean supermarket. Ok, yes, I did realize there was a makeup shop upstairs, but the true mission of my visit was for Sriracha and aloe juice, so a makeup buy was not at the forefront of my mind (I swear!).

With the appearance of some kind of celestial orb, Prorance Finish Water Glow #M13 is a lovely highlighting powder with a silvery-white base and multicoloured veins of peach, green, and purple. It reminded me a lot of MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish, which I've been admiring for years but never purchased. I'm actually glad I waited for the Prorance version to come my way because I can't imagine Lightscapade being any better!

Here are a couple photos of the colourful box...

And a couple of the compact itself. It comes in sleek silver packaging with a lid embossed with an elegantly scripted "P" (for Prorance!).

The compact contains a separate level for an included brush, which is surprisingly soft and excellent for applying the product to the cheekbones, brow bones, and bridge of my nose. 

And one more of the powder itself... So beautiful!

In terms of colour and finish, this highlighter offers a highly shimmery (but not glittery) white sheen with a hint of silver. Just enough to give a pronounced glow, but without that overly gaudy and cool-toned disco ball effect. Even though my skin has neutral-warm undertones, this complements my skin nicely, despite the cool, icicle-like effect it gives. 

Here are some swatches of it, on the left, more densely and on the right, blended out:

I'm hoping to do a Look of the Day using this shortly, so you can see just how stunning it looks on the face. Overall, I'm so happy that I picked this up on a whim because it has become a standout product in my collection. Another Korean product that has exceeded my expectations!

Thanks for reading :)