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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Stop the Presses! Revlon's New ColourBurst Matte Balm and Lacquer Balm Lip Pencils

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for Revlon and that their Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains have been among my most adored lip products from the past year. They've also been a favourite of both friends and fellow bloggers alike, inching their way up to cult status. I was excited to hear that Revlon was releasing two new lip pencil formulas this Fall and was even more thrilled to see them in-store this week!

The packaging of the new formulas is nearly identical to that of the Balm Stains, but with finishes that coincide with the product inside. ColourBurst Matte Balm Lip Pencils offer a long-wearing, but light-weight matte finish formula and have a clever matte-finish tube to match. ColourBurst Lacquer Balm Lip Pencils offer an extra shiny, metallic moisturizing finish and have a coinciding eye-catching, reflective tube.

While I was tempted by some of the ultra vivid shades in these ranges, I let my practical side kick in and opted for work-friendly shades that I could keep in my office drawer and use in a pinch. Who doesn't want to open their top drawer at work to find Revlon goodies inside?!

I chose ColourBurst Matte Balm Lip Pencil in Elusive, a warm rosy, not-quite-bubblegum pink, and ColourBurst Lacquer Balm Lip Pencil in Demure, a shiny pale pinky peach with silver shimmer. 

(L-R): Matte Balm Lip Pencil in Elusive and Lacquer Balm Lip Pencil in Demure

Here are swatches of the lip pencils against my NC15/20 skin, Demure on the left, Elusive on the right:


As you can see, Demure (the Lacquer Balm) has a sheer, shiny, shimmery finish, while Elusive (the Matte Balm) has a more pigmented, matte finish. 

And photos of me wearing them!


Revlon Matte Balm Lip Pencil in Elusive

Elusive was a bit more vibrant and white-based than expected, but I still find it quite flattering! The shade most reminds me of MAC Chatterbox. The finish is undoubtedly matte, with no hint of sheen or shimmer. The formula is in no way moisturizing, but doesn't leave lips parched or flaky. It's definitely a light-weight matte finish, which is quite wearable!


Demure has a more pinky tone on my lips that it had in the original swatch and is definitely one of those nearly-nude shades. The shimmer is prominent, but not over-the-top and definitely prevents that sickly effect that some paler shades can evoke. It feels slick and moisturizing on the lips and gives them a nice full look!

Overall, while neither of the shades I picked up are to-die-for, they're definitely products I'll reach for often in my office drawer. The new formulas offer a nice alternative to the original Balm Stains for those who prefer an ultra shimmery or totally matte effect. Perhaps if Santa is feeling  especially glamorous, I might find one or two of the vibrant shades from these ranges in my stocking ;)

Have you tried the new Matte Balms or Lacquer Balms yet? Are they on your wishlist?

Thanks for reading! xo

Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Look of the Day: Purple Fairy

Hi, everyone! It's that time of year again- the season to prance around as someone else for a little while and the best excuse to get creative with makeup. Halloween! My original costume idea fell through at the last minute, so I turned to the blogosphere for a little inspiration. The end result? A shimmery purple fairy!

The idea came as a result of this post from Into the Gloss, that featured dozens of ethereal, sparkly, fairy-inspired makeup looks. This one stood out to me in particular:

The inspiration
I found the rich pink and violet tones to be breathtaking and the dramatic contour and shimmer to create a magical glow to the face. I had to give it a go! My version is a bit more costume-focused and a bit less editorial, which I attempted by making the eyes a touch less smokey and the cheeks extra bold. I wish I would have had the time to braid my hair as well; it's such a lovely touch to the look!

For this look, MAC Pigments played a huge role. For the shimmery purple shade (used both on my cheekbones and on the eye), I opted for MAC Pigment in Violet. For the cool, orchid pink shimmer, I chose MAC Pigment in Pink Pearl. They worked perfectly together! I also added a touch of loose powder shimmer (Bare Escentuals Glimmer in Queen Phyllis) to my foundation, which gave my skin an overall ethereal glow. And with some extra help from the Shu Uemura Prestigious Bordeaux Palette (glittery goodness) and the soft, shiny Chanel Zephyr Glossimer, the look was complete!

Here's a full list of everything I used:

The Breakdown:

oundation: Revlon ColourStay Liquid Foundation in Buff mixed with Bare Escentuals Glimmer in Queen Phyllis
oncealer: Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Light

Powder: Revlon ColourStay Pressed Powder in Light
Blush: MAC Pigment in Pink Pearl (on cheekbones, up to temples and forehead), glittery peach blush from the Shu Uemura Precious Bordeaux palette (lightly on apples of cheeks)

Contour: MAC Pigment in Violet (along hollows of the cheeks and up to temples)
Highlighter: MAC Pigment in Lily White (heavily on the top of cheekbones)

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde topped with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Mirifique
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
Eye Shadows: MAC Pigment in Pink Pearl (all over lids and underneath eyes), MAC Violet Pigment (in the crease and underneath eyes), deep purple cream shadow from the Shu Uemura Prestigious Bordeaux Palette (to deepen crease and outer corner), MAC Lily White Pigment (as a highlight), shimmery ivory cream shadow from the Prestigious Bordeaux Palette (on inner corners and brow bone)

Eyeliner: Prestige Total Intensity Liner in Black (on upper lashline) topped with Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Mirifique (also applied underneath the eyes), Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe (dotted near inner and outer corners of the eye)
Mascara: Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara i
n Black (on upper lashes), Chanel Inimitible Waterproof Mascara in Lime Light (on lower lashes)

Lips: Chanel Glossimer in Zephyr

And a few more shots of the look:

And there you have it! For a last-minute decision, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! It was fun to walk around in a fairy's shoes for the evening :)

What are you dressing up as this Halloween? Favourite Halloween makeup looks?

Thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Veracious Product Review: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup

Hey, everyone! A few weeks ago I gloated about shared with you my latest haul, which included a few (pretty much free!) goodies from Chanel. Among them was an ever-popular foundation, Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15. While heavier coverage, matte-finish foundations are my comfort zone (hence my years-long love affair with Revlon ColourStay), I've been motivated to let some sheerer bases into my life. The philosophy of letting your natural skin shine through while only using heavy coverage where it's needed (for me, on blemishes and post-acne marks) really appeals to me, especially now that my skin has been mostly behaving. So I thought Vitalumiere Aqua would be a good option to help me embrace that makeup mentality!

My first experience with Vitalumiere Aqua was at a Chanel makeover this past summer, where the makeup artist went for a colourful smokey eye and luminous, natural-looking skin. I was really impressed with how the foundation left my skin even and glowy without a greasy feel and without masking my natural skin. Ever since, I was curious to give the foundation another go, so I was happy to bring it home!

Vitalumiere Aqua comes in a sleek, reflective black box with white text and gold accents, as do all of Chanel's offerings.

Here are the full ingredients. As you can see, the formula is water-based, features titanium dioxide as its main sunscreen ingredient, and has alcohol relatively high-up on the list:

The bottle is rectangular and plastic, coloured to match the shade inside. The graphic on the back reminds you that it's important to shake things up before using!

The shiny black plastic cap twists off to reveal a dropper-like spout at the top of the bottle. A definite foreshadowing that the foundation will have a fairly fluid texture.

Here's what a drop or two of the foundation (in B10 Beige) looks like on the back of my hand. I was actually a bit surprised that the texture wasn't more liquid at first! It came out as a little bead of product that didn't quickly drip down my hand:

But upon blending, Vitalumiere Aqua quickly becomes more fluid and sheer, as you can see below!

So I'll first let you know what Chanel has to say about the foundation, then I'll give you my breakdown!

Chanel promises that Vitalumiere Aqua offers "A new-generation texture. An unprecedented sensory experience. A unique makeup result. Rapid and easy application" (from Dramatic! Vitalumiere Aqua is designed to have a fluid texture, a second-skin effect that evens and brightens, and UVB sun protection. 

Colour Match- B10 Beige is a great colour match for my fair NC15-20 skin. It leans slightly warm but is not too yellow. It's slightly lighter than my summertime skin, but it blends perfectly now that my subtle tan has faded. 

Texture-When squeezing the foundation out of the tube, it isn't instantly fluid. It's more like a light-weight lotion. But upon blending, the watery texture is much more apparent. It feels extremely light and comfortable on the skin!

Application- The first layer of this foundation really blends like a dream! The recommendation is to use fingers to apply, which I find works quite well. It melts right in! You can apply a second layer to add a bit more coverage, but when doing this there's a slight risk of the foundation clinging to dry patches and pores. So exfoliated and primed skin really helps with this. 

Coverage- One layer of this foundation offers light, natural coverage. With a second layer, it builds up to a medium coverage. This will definitely never be a full-coverage foundation, but it's far from ultra sheer. A perfect balance!

Finish- The best way to describe the finish is luminous and natural. It's not quite dewy, not quite matte. Just gives the illusion of skin that's glowy, but not remotely greasy. 

Wear- For a non long-wear, non oily skin-specific foundation, this lasts quite well! It looks  flawless for the first 6 hours, then starts to break down slightly and gradually (begins to disappear from top of forehead, becomes slightly cakey on oilier areas). It does a surprisingly good job at keeping oil at bay, while not drying out the skin. It may not be my pick when I have something to attend after work, but it gets me through the 9-to-5 nicely :)

Here are some pictures of me, completely bare-faced, before giving Vitalumiere Aqua a go:

As you can see, I have some redness to my skin and some reddish marks from past breakouts:

And here are some shots of me wearing Vitalumiere Aqua only! You'll see that it's evened out the redness quite well, while leaving a glow and not completely masking my natural skin:

And here it is in the context of an entire makeup look, topped with powder:

And that's it! This foundation really has been a pleasant surprise. No, it doesn't cover every single flaw in my skin. No, it doesn't stay flawless for 12 hours. But what it does is gets me through the 9 to 5 with natural-looking, radiant skin while blurring redness and imperfections with minimal shine and cakiness. It really is a winner in my books! Chanel products rarely disappoint, and this really is no exception.

Have any of you tried Vitalumiere Aqua? What are some of your favourite natural-finish foundations?

Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

If You Could Have Only One... What Would it Be? Tag :)

Hi, everyone! I recently saw a great tag on Kimberley's Beauty Blog that involved picking your single, go-to, must-have makeup item in a number of categories. I thought it would be a fun, challenging and really telling exercise (you really have to figure out your favourites!), and since she tagged everyone, I'm giving it a go!

So below is a list of categories and the goal is to choose one single item for each- If you had to choose one, what would it be?

Here are my choices, with my thoughts on each- hope you enjoy!

Primer- Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer
I've never used a foundation primer regularly until I found this one. Makes makeup last without getting cakey, controls oil without drying the skin, and doesn't break me out. The light texture makes it a pleasure to use!

Base Product- Revlon ColourStay Liquid Foundation Combination/Oily Formula in Buff
I've tried countless foundations from all price ranges and this is the one I always come back to. It ticks all the boxes for me- great coverage without getting cakey, ultra-long wear, oil control, and a fab colour match. Can't ask for more!

Revlon ColourStay Makeup Combination/Oily Skin in Buff

Concealer- Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory
This is by far the most luxurious pick on my list, but it really is incredible. Amazing coverage, but blends seamlessly into the skin with a comfortable lightweight texture. The only reason it's not in my kit at the moment is the price, but will definitely re-purchase down the line!

Powder- MAC Blot Powder in Medium
An oily-skinned gal's best friend. Sheer, natural coverage that sets foundation all day and keeps shine at bay. I've gone through at least 10 of these over the years. Always come back to it!

MAC Blot Powder in Medium- well used!

Blush- NARS Powder Blush in Deep Throat
Although I'm a blush fiend, Deep Throat has held its place as my favourite blush for some time now. It's the perfect balance of peach and pink that's uber flattering on my fair skin, with a lovely amount of shimmer. You can really wear this with everything, but it's far from boring. And the name is ultra saucy!

NARS Powder Blush in Deep Throat
Me wearing NARS Deep Throat Blush

Bronzer- Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula
This bronzer has been in my makeup bag for a couple years now and it's still going strong. Not bad for a $6 product! The shaded works really well on my fair skin and it has just the right amount of shimmer to give a glow to the skin without looking frosty. A total winner in my books! 

Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula

Highlighter- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Year
This was a tougher one because I don't wear highlighter daily and have never committed to a go-to. But looking through my collection, the one that stands out the most is this lovely nebula-like Skinfinish from MAC. Gives a pretty peachy pink glow with golden shimmer. Adds impact, but is still quite wearable, and is so pretty to look at!

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Year
Me wearing MAC MSF in Light Year

Makeup Brush- Real Techniques Blush Brush
This really is the ultimate multi-tasking face brush! I have used it for powder, blush, bronzer, and highlighter and it performs flawlessly with all of them. Plus, the bristles are super soft, so it's a treat for the face each morning :)

Eyebrow Product- Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde/Taupe
I will never, never be without this product. My brows are ultra sparse and this brow powder gives them definition while still looking perfectly natural. The formula lasts all day (even in the sweatiest humidity!), which is a must. Nobody wants melty eyebrows! This has truly been a godsend.

Eye Shadow- Laura Mercier Powder Eye Shadow in Sandstone
This was a super tough pick, but I ultimately chose a shadow that I can wear completely on its own and still look totally put together. Sandstone is a warm ivory champagne shade that gives a lovely sheen to the eyelids and even doubles as a face highlighter. I've almost used up the entire thing, which is saying a lot! Great everyday shadow that is also perfect for Marilyn-inspired eyes- just add winged liner!

Laura Mercier Powder Eye Shadow in Sandstone

Eyeliner- Tarte emphasEyes Amazonian Clay Eyeliner in Brown
While I rave about my Revlon Liquid Eye Pen constantly, I realized that I wear my Tarte emphasEyes liner far more often. It's a wearable chocolate brown that adds great definition to the eyes while staying a touch softer than a traditional black liner. The formula really lasts all day and the smudge tip is fantastic for creating a cat eye look!

Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula (not on the list, but a staple of mine!), Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black, Tarte emphasEyes Clay Liner in Brown, Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black (runner-up for my eyeliner pick!)

Mascara- Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black
Clinique's mascaras are my hands-down favourites and I think Lash Doubling is the best among them. Adds incredible length and volume without clumping and flaking. The best mascara for some daily drama without venturing into the false lash extreme. I'll always come back to this one!

Lipstick, Lipgloss, or Stain- MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Lickable
This was by far the toughest category! I have a shameful formidable lipstick collection, each one with a unique shade, formula, and effect. But I had to go with one of my oldest and most-worn lipsticks- MAC Lickable. It introduced me to the wonders of bright pink lips and I haven't looked back. It's a cool-toned shade that works incredibly well on my neutral-warm skin. Adds a pop of colour that makes me look awake. It's fun in a tube!

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Lickable
Me wearing MAC Lickable

Lip Liner- MAC Lipliner Pencil in Subculture
I only wear lip liner a few times a year, but my go-to is MAC Subculture. It's close to the shade of my natural lips (a light-to-medium toned peachy pink), so I can wear it with everything! Plus the name is kind of cool :)

Lip Balm- Bonne Bell Lipsmacker Dr. Pepper flavour
This is perhaps my favourite budget buy- I've been using it since I was 10 years old! It keeps lips moisturized and leaves a flattering rosy glow. Plus the scent is spicy and sweet. Will always have this in my bag!

Bonne Bell Lipsmacker Dr. Pepper Flavour- $2 of goodness!

Nail Polish- O.P.I. Nail Polish in Cajun Shrimp
My nail polish collection has grown exponentially lately, but I will always have a soft spot for O.P.I. Cajun Shrimp. It was the first higher-end polish I ever bought and is still my go-to summer shade for my toes. The ultimate vibrant coral that looks perfect with a tan :)

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer in Cajun Shrimp

And that's it! I'm really happy to have done that tag- some categories were no-brainers and others were quite the challenge! In both cases, it reminded me of my all-time favourites, those products that have a permanent place in my makeup bag, no matter how much my eye wanders!

I tag everyone who wants to do this post! If you end up doing it, let me know; would love to check it out!

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Currently Obsessed: Antipodes Divine Face Oil

Hi, everyone! A few weeks back I gushed about my haul from Feel Unique, chock-full of skin care and makeup goodies that are hard to find here in Toronto. I've found a few treasures due to that order and it's time to rave about one of them!

Antipodes Divine Face Oil was featured on my most recent wishlist, so I was thrilled to find it (on sale!) via Feel Unique. I first heard about it from Gita at Odds and Ends, and was instantly curious because it was touted as an oil that is lightweight, moisturizing without greasiness, kind to breakouts and scars, and collagen-boosting. What more could my 30-year-old oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin look for?

Antipodes is a brand that has been piquing my interest for awhile now. It's been raved about in the blogosphere for some time and is right up my alley because it offers organic, natural ingredients, earth- and animal-friendly practices, and ultra elegant formulas that are lovely to all the senses. What's not to love?

The oil comes in a rectangular box with lush green colouring and a ton of helpful info about the product. A sticker tops the box that claims it will increase collagen in your skin up to 51%!

Antipodes claims that their Divine Oil gives "a lift to tired, stressed, and sun damaged skin" by nourishing and fighting free radicals via antioxidants. It's certified organic, rich in avocado, macadamia, jojoba, and rose hip oils which work together to minimize lines and pigmentation. It's supposed to be so suitable for all skin conditions that you're encouraged to give special attention to breakouts, fine lines, and scars!

In addition to its anti-ageing, hydrating, and antioxidant properties, Divine Face Oil also works as a natural sunscreen (by absorbing UV light) and a treatment for age and acne spots. So many promising claims!

Here's a full list of ingredients, for those who are curious: 

The oil comes in a glass bottle with a dark tint to protect the ingredients inside:

When you unscrew the cap, a glass dropper applicator is revealed. I'm a sucker for dropper-style packaging, so it was instantly satisfying!

The oil itself is an olive-toned yellow colour with an oily (duh!), but fairly runny texture. Here's a shot of it in the palm of my hand:

With the slightest tilt of my hand the oil begins to run, showing how fluid it is. The scent of the oil is absolutely lovey- herbal with a subtle floral touch. It's a pleasure to apply every time!

Given the title of this post, it's no secret that I've been loving this oil. But here's a full breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks so that you can decide for yourself whether it might be for you!


  • For an oil, the texture is incredibly light-weight and non-greasy
  • Works amazingly in the morning under my primer and foundation; does not leave my skin shiny during the day!
  • Also wears well under night cream in the evening as an extra shot of nourishment
  • Easy application- I just warm the oil between my palms and pat onto skin
  • A little goes a very long way- I apply only 2 tiny drops in the morning and 3 in evening
  • Hasn't broken me out (!), which is something I thought would never be possible for an oil
  • Brightens the skin, leaving a nice glow
  • A pleasant herbal scent that smells earthy, yet luxurious
  • Suitable for all skin types; use on its own for oily skin or underneath another moisturizer for drier skin
  • Handy dropper applicator, which is fun to use!
  • Organic certified, eco-friendly and cruelty-free!

  • At over $40, this is not a bargain (though I really think it'll last forever!)
  • The glass bottle is sturdy, but must be cautious not to drop it
  • Nope, that's it! No more cons that I can think of!

So if you can't tell by the totally lopsided lists above, I'm completely smitten with this oil! It really is my dream skin care product- something that's natural, luxurious, hydrating, and brightening that doesn't break me out or leave me oily? I never thought it possible!

I can't rave more about Antipodes Divine Face Oil- if you're in the market for a facial oil that keeps oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin happy, this is the one!

Have you ever tried Antipodes products? What's your favourite skin care oil?

Thanks for reading! xo