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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Beauty Resolution #1: The No New Lipstick Challenge!

Hi, everyone! It's time for the first installment of my 2014 Beauty Resolutions series- and this one's a biggie. Yes, professing my resolutions earlier this month might have been more appropriate, but better late than never, I say! I've deemed this resolution a big one because it relates to my enormous stash of lip products (and my desire to prevent it from completely overtaking me!).

Beauty Resolution #1: Don't buy any new lip products in 2014!

Yes, you heard right. This self-professed beauty junkie and lipstick hoarder is attempting to banish all new lip purchases until 2015. Will it be difficult? Insanely! Will it be worthwhile? Most definitely! Last week I gathered my entire stash of lip products and arranged them by brand and product type. The result was this slice of makeup heaven:

While it really was a thing of beauty to see them all proudly on display, the size of my collection really struck me. Expanding it further would be ludicrous, I thought! Most of all, I really want to love, cherish, and enjoy (I truly am a lipstick freak) the beautiful goodies that I have, rather than quickly tossing them aside for new whims and unneeded additions. I like the idea that my collection, though enormous, will be finite, organized and well-used. So that is the plan!

Before I lay down the guidelines for this resolution, let me give you a quick tour of my stash. 

The first shot features some of my lip glosses (you can see that I like fuchsia!). I don't have a ton of glosses, but have offerings from a variety of brands like Korres, Revlon, NARS, Becca, and Julep. This shot also features my hefty collection of Revlon Lacquer Balms, Matte Balms, and Kissable Balm Stains

The second shot features the rest of my glosses (including offerings from Buxom, Chanel, and Bourjois), as well as the rest of my lip pencil stash. Aside from Revlon, I'm also a huge supporter of Clinique, Hard Candy, NYX, and NARS when it comes to the chubby pencil craze!

The next shot once again features my Revlon pencils, as well as my collection of NARS lipsticks and Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butters (do you notice a Revlon trend here?).

This shot features the rest of my Lip Butters, as well as luxurious lipsticks from Guerlain and Hourglass:

Then we have the first half of my MAC lipstick collection (the next most populous after Revlon!) and some other high-end lovelies from YSL, Chanel, and Paul & Joe:

Here we have the rest of my MAC lippies and some super fancy offerings from Clio, Tom Ford, Chantecaille, Daniel Sandler, and Dior:

The next shot features some of my favourite drugstore lipsticks from Revlon (yes, even more of them!), Milani, Wet N' Wild, and Hard Candy. It also highlights some of my lip stains from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, YSL, and Giorgio Armani:

And for the final section of my stash, we have some lippies from NYX, Boots No7, Mark, and Clinique (those mint green GWP tubes are classic!) as well as my Hourglass lip stain and glosses from Clinique, and Marc Jacobs:

So there you have it! Every shot above makes me realize what a crazy, exciting, and beautiful lip product collection I have. This year will be a time to savour it! Here are the official guidelines for the resolution:

1) I am on a waitlist for a Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose. As soon as this comes in, I will snag it up. It will officially be my last lip purchase of the year. Why not go out with a luxurious bang!?

2) I will not purchase any new lipsticks, glosses, stains, lacquers, tars, etc. until 2015. Eek!

3) I will not use my Shoppers Optimum points to get free lipsticks (since free lipstick is still adding to my stash!). I will also not swap for any new lip colours.

4) I will not persuade my sister, parents, boyfriend, or any other well-meaning loved ones to buy me lipsticks for my birthday or Christmas (though if they do so of their own free will, I will not deny them their generosity ;))

5) I can get a new lipstick via Back2MAC, but only if I am trading in at least one empty lipstick tube in the process. 

6) I will not replace any lipsticks that I've used up- really, I have so many dupes in my stash and the more I use up, the more attention I can pay to others!

7) I aim to finish up at least 10 lip products over the course of the year. That may not sound like a lot, but I know I haven't finished a single one in over 6 months, so I think that's a fair goal!

And there you have it! I'm really doing this, guys. Please wish me luck! I'm hoping to provide updates along the way and would love your support and encouragement :)

Have you ever attempted a no-buy like this? Ever tried to downsize your stash?

Also, if you have any questions about any of the specific products in my collection pics above, feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading! xo

Monday, 27 January 2014

Look of the Day: Good to be Bad

Hi, everyone! My latest post featured two recent purchases from MAC: Eye Shadow in Cranberry and Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good to be Bad. Both are rich, vampy berry shades that I was super excited to pick up. So now it's time to show them off! Cue the dramatic poses... ;)

As you can see, Good to be Bad is a super stunning deep berry wine shade with a semi-sheer, shiny finish. I find it's perfect for creating a bold lip without having to commit to a fully pigmented, matte formula. I wore it here with a smokier eye, but I think it would also be an incredible standout paired with just a pinch of blush and a coat of mascara. A truly underrated lipstick, I'd say!

To go along with the vampy lip, I opted for my favourite berry rose blush, NARS Powder Blush in Dolce Vita and shimmery, sculpted eyes.

For the eye look, I started with MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque (a golden peachy pink) all over the lid as a base. I then applied my brand new Cranberry eye shadow (a frosty berry) on the outer corner of the lid, blending it up to the crease. From my much-used Urban Decay Naked Palette, I patted some Half Baked (an orange gold) on the inner half of my lid and a mix of Darkhorse (a dark neutral brown) and Hustle (a deep plum) on my crease. For the finishing touches, I applied some Urban Decay Virgin (a shimmery ivory) eye shadow on my brow bone and inner corners  and some winged out Clinique Quickliner Intense in Black Honey on the upper and lower lash lines.

Here's a closeup of the final eye look:

I also opted for some super voluminous hair to go with the look, as I thought it fit with the "Good to be Bad" vibe. I applied some Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish  hair spray to the roots of my hair and scrunched in some Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse to the middle and ends of my tresses for extra wave and body.

Here's another shot of the look, followed by a full list 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 (lightly as a bronzer) and RMS Living Luminizer (on cheek bones and down the bridge of my nose)
Blush: NARS Powder Blush in Dolce Vita

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: MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque (all over lid as a base), MAC Frost Eye Shadow in Cranberry (on the outer half of the eye, blended up into the crease), Urban Decay Half Baked (on inner half of the eye), Darkhorse and Hustle (blended together in the crease), and Virgin (as a highlight on the brow bone and inner corner of the eye) 

Eyeliner: Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Black Honey (on upper lash line and smudged lightly under lower lash line) and NYX Wonder Pencil in Light (on lower waterline)
Mascara: Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black

Lipstick: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good to be Bad

And a few more shots of the look:

There you have it! I really had a lot of fun playing around with my new MAC goodies. Perfect for a sultry, vampy weekend look! I feel like Good to be Bad will become my new "slick-on after work to add some extra drama" lipstick and Cranberry will be the ultimate versatile non-neutral shadow. Can't go wrong with either! I was also happy to see that Cranberry pairs seamlessly with the shades from the Naked Palette- even more reason to use both more often!

Have you tried and loved MAC Cranberry? Does Good to be Bad look like something you'd wear? What are some of your favourite vampy lipsticks?

Thanks for reading! xo

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Moody MAC Haul

Happy weekend, everyone! The title of today's post doesn't stem from the mood I was in when I made these MAC purchases (in fact, I was shopping with Jenn from A Beautiful Zen, which was a lovely experience!), but rather refers to the rich, vampy shades that I happened to pick up that day. I hadn't purchased any goodies from MAC in some time (except for their Blot Powder, which is an eternal staple), so was excited to snag an eye shadow that had graced my wishlist for some time and a lipstick that instantly wooed me.

The first item I picked up was Eye Shadow in Cranberry, which is a slightly warm berry pink with subtle golden and rust undertones. It has a Frost finish, so it's highly pigmented with a noticeable sheen. I'd been craving this shadow for some time because I really don't have anything like it in my collection. It was a recent post from Coco at The Beauty Milk that convinced me I needed it!

MAC Frost Eye Shadow in Cranberry

The lipstick I selected was more of a wild card. For whatever reason, I was in the mood to find a shade that looked intimidatingly deep and bold in the tube, but was wearable on my fair complexion. I tried on a couple others to no avail, but knew it was love when I swiped on Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good To Be Bad (the name is even fantastic!). The Sheen Supreme line is wonderful for it's semi-sheer, shiny formulas, and the shade itself is a lush wine with berry and subtle brown undertones. It's rare that I opt for a shade that I've never heard of before, but I'm glad I put my biases aside and gave this one a go!

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good to Be Bad

Here are swatches of them on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone):

(L-R): MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good To Be Bad and MAC Frost Eye Shadow in Cranberry

One more shot of them side-by-side:

I'm really excited to put these rich, moody shades to work! I feel like they'll be instant standouts in my collection and the perfect sultry hues for Wintertime. Keep your eyes peeled for a Face of the Day using these little lovelies soon! xo

Have you tried either of these shades? What are your favourite berry-toned shadows and lipsticks?

Thanks for reading! xo

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Quick Look: Current Lip Stash

So this happened tonight. In a creative and formidable attempt to avoid my dissertation work, I decided to gather together my entire collection of lip products. Glosses, stains, butters, lacquers, vinyls, tars, and, of course, lipsticks. Chubby pencils, classic tubes, and those with cat ears! My stash seems to have it all. Some of these goodies have graced my makeup bag for a decade, while others joined the party just days ago. You can see that brands like Revlon, NARS, and MAC are represented quite heavily, with a healthy spread of other brands, from budget to plush. 

While it may seem like this post is merely akin to a peacock flashing its feathers (or living proof of my makeup addiction, eek), I did gather these products for constructive purposes. First, I really did want to take stock of my collection and create a proper inventory (the nerd in me likes to keep organized!). Second, given the ludicrous size of my stash, I am planning a moratorium on new lip purchases, starting next month. I have so many incredible shades and formulas that I want to spend 2014 appreciating them, rather than coveting new additions. More details about both to come!

Do any of you have lipstick collections that rival my insane stash? What brands are most heavily represented in your makeup bag? Are you looking to expand or pare down your stock of lipsticks and glosses?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Monday, 20 January 2014

Eye on the (Extravagantly Glamorous) Prize!

Hi, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a happy Monday so far (if happy Mondays do indeed exist!). A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to learn that I had won a giveaway prize from one of my favourite bloggers, Jenn at A Beautiful Zen. Jenn is a fellow Toronto-based blogger, so we decided to meet up yesterday so I could pick up the prize. We did some shopping together as well (bloggers got to seize the opportunity to revel in their shared obsessions!), which made for a super fun afternoon.

The lovely prize that I won was the Make Up For Ever Extravagant Glamour kit. I've been using MUFE for years (first visited their SoHo boutique in NYC when I was 17), but hadn't picked up any goodies from the line in some time. What a perfect way to renew my love of the brand and try some of their newest offerings!

The kit features three products that promise to create the "Ultimate Holiday Look". Even though the holiday season has come and gone, I really think the items in the set will be perfect year-round. Christmastime isn't the only opportunity for a little glamour!

The set contains three products:

Aqua Eyes 0L (a waterproof pencil eyeliner in a deep black shade), Smokey Extravagant Mascara in Black (designed to add serious drama to the lashes), and Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick #43 Moulin Rouge (a bold, pigmented classic red shade). 

The back of the packaging includes step-by-step instructions for the set. While the eyeliner, mascara, lipstick routine is pretty self-explanatory, it is a nice touch for some added technique pointers and details about the products:

Here's a look at the products outside of the packaging:

A shot of the lipstick close-up. Such a beautiful red shade and elegant, chic packaging:

And of the eyeliner:

And the mascara! It has a uniquely-shaped wand that's quite plump at the base and tapers towards the tip.

Here are some swatches of the products on the inside of my arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). As you can see the Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick #43 is a pigmented, classic red with a satiny finish and the Aqua Eyes 0L is a true, deep black with opaque coverage:

I'm so excited to give this set a go! I think the three products will work perfectly together to create that classic, Hollywood starlet look that we all like to emulate for a special night out (or for a saucy night in, if that's how you roll ;)). Hope to feature a Look of the Day using these goodies soon!

Thanks again to Jenn for the fun, generous prize!

Have a great week! xo

Friday, 17 January 2014

Revlon Matte and Lacquer Balms, Revisited

Hi, everyone! Happy weekend! A couple months ago, I eagerly announced the release of Revlon's ColourBurst Lacquer Balm Lip Pencils and Matte Balm Lip Pencils in this post, where I gave a general review of the products and featured the two shades I'd brought home. Since then, I've accrued a proper collection of them (thanks in part to my lovely sister), so I thought I'd revisit the topic!

Revlon ColourBurst Lacquer Balm Lip Pencils offer shiny, saturated colour. They glide on effortlessly onto the lips, leaving them looking full and glossy. Some shades are quite shimmery, while others offer a more traditional shiny finish. They don't dry out the lips and the lasting power is pretty impressive, at least as far as lip glosses go. Like the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, they have a subtle minty tingle upon application, which I personally love!

Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm Lip Pencils provide rich, highly pigmented colour and a matte-but-not-flat finish. They are definitely less moisturizing than their Lacquer counterparts, but due to the lightweight texture, they do not feel heavy or sticky on the lips and do not leave lips parched. The wear time on these is excellent and they also feature that signature minty tingle!

As you can see, the Matte Balms (on the left-hand side of the photo) feature (appropriately) sleek matte packaging and the Lacquer Balms (on the right) have more shiny, reflective tubes:

Here is a peek at the lip pencils uncapped: 

(L-R) Matte Balms in Elusive, Unapologetic, and Standout, Lacquer Balms in Demure, Whimsical, Vivacious, and Enticing

Here's a closeup of the swatches of all the shades, with the Lacquer Balms up top and the Matte Balms on the bottom. As you can maybe tell, the Lacquer Balms are more sheer than their matte counterparts, but can still build up to great pigmentation:

Demure Lacquer Balm is a pale pinky peach with prominent silver shimmer. One of the few nude lip colours that doesn't wash me out, and the shimmer makes lips look extra full!

Whimsical Lacquer Balm is slightly shimmery berry grape shade that has just the right amount of purple. Unique, but wearable!

Vivacious Lacquer Balm is the ultimate fuchsia shade! I didn't only buy it because it fit with my blog's title, but also because I'm a true sucker for vibrant pink tones. It's bright, cheery, but not quite neon.

Enticing Lacquer Balm is a lovely warm-toned brick red. A perfect shade for those who want a full-out red without having to opt for something too bright!

Elusive Matte Balm is a retro-looking cool-toned pink that evokes Betty Draper in Season 1 of Mad Men. A must for any 60's makeup look!

Unapologetic Matte Balm is an electric, warm-toned pink with slightly coral undertones. As the name suggests, it's bold without remorse! Reminds me of MAC Impassioned, which is one of my all-time faves!

Standout Matte Balm is (dare I say) my favourite of the bunch. It's a rich, deep red with slightly rusty undertones. I find it so flattering on my fair skin! Even thought it's a bold shade, there is no hint of pink or fuchsia, so it's really quite wearable!

Lacquer Balm in Demure

Lacquer Balm in Whimsical

Lacquer Balm in Vivacious

Lacquer Balm in Enticing

Matte Balm in Elusive

Matte Balm in Unapologetic

Matte Balm in Standout

One more jumbo-sized shot of the pencils and swatches:

And some artistic styling ;)

Overall, I'm so glad to have built up my collection of Matte and Lacquer Balms, as the shades are unique and lovely and the formulas are top-notch. If my lipstick collection weren't so intense already, I'd be tempted to buy them all! The main strength of the Matte Balms are the rich, long-wearing colours that don't zap the lips of moisture. Not always the case with matte formulas! The best thing about the Lacquer Balms is that they're sheer but easily buildable and leave the lips looking full and smooth. All good things!

Have you tried any of the the Matte or Lacquer Balms yet? Which of the colours in my collection is tempting you most?

Thanks for reading! :)