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Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween Look #1: The Siren's Song

Boo! Happy Halloween, everyone! I've always loved this holiday and I'm celebrating Halloween this year by bringing you two different makeup looks. Today's makeup was inspired by this stunning look on Pinterest as well as this amazing creation from Coco at The Beauty Milk. It channeled my inner siren, letting me feel like one super sultry mermaid, if only for a few hours :)

I used quite a few products for this look, but drew heavily on my newest Inglot goodies as well as Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 The Siren palette. The Siren contains a gorgeous selection of rainbow coloured hues, including tones of deep teal, sea blue, seafoam, and yellow gold- all of which fit perfectly with this look! 

For the eyes, I painted the inner corners and brow bones with the gold shade from The Siren and Inglot Eye Shadow #49, an amazing antique gold. I then took the deep teal shade from The Siren, sweeping it on the crease and outer corners of the eye, blending up towards the temples. I layered the teal with Inglot Eye Shadow #414, a stunning metallic forest green. To add dimension in the temples, I blended the sea blue and seafoam shades from The Siren into the teal and green tones. I defined my brows with the teal shade for the palette, bringing it down the edges of my nose as a contour. I added definition to my eyes with a bold teal liner, Inglot Eyeliner #527 and drenched my lashes with a super lengthening black mascara, Clinique High Impact. 

For the piece de resistance, I turned to the incredible Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe, a stark, milky white. I dotted it across my temples, down the bride of my nose, and along my brows to add some texture to the look. Really happy with the effect it created!

For the skin, I topped off my favourite full-coverage foundation, Revlon ColourStay, with Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402, which imparts the loveliest subtle glow. I created a contour guideline using Inglot's HD Sculpting Powder #504 then topped it with some of the dark teal shade from The Siren palette. For blush, I opted for a warm, soft shimmer in the form of Inglot Fusion Blush & Illuminator #203. Finally, as a highlight, I popped the gold eye shadow from The Siren along the tops of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, on the cupid's bow, and the top of my chin. 

As for the lips, I coated them with a healthy dose of lip balm, then smudged the deep teal shade from The Siren all over. I next tapped a touch of gold shadow in the centre of my lower lip, blending out slightly. And that's it! 

Here's a closeup of the eye look, followed by a full breakdown of everything I used! 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Liquid Makeup in Buff (Combo/Oily formula)
Concealer: BeneFit Fake-Up in Light (under eyes) and MAC Select Cover-Up NC20 (on blemishes and redness)
Powder: Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot (lightly on t-zone) and Inglot Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 (all over)

Contour: Inglot HD Sculpting Powder #504 layered with the deep teal shade from the Marc Jacobs the Siren palette

Blush: Inglot Fusion Blush & Illuminator #402

Highlighter: Gold shade from Marc Jacobs the Siren layered with Inglot Eye Shadow #49

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe kayered with the deep teal shade from Marc Jacobs the Siren palette
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: Deep teal, sea blue, seafoam, and gold shades from Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 the Siren palette layered with Inglot Eye Shadows #49 and #414

Eyeliner: Inglot Eyeliner #527 (on upper and lower lash lines) and  Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe (dotted on temples, along brows, and down the nose contours)
Mascara: Clinique High Impact in Black

Lips: Dark teal and gold eye shadows from Marc Jacobs the Siren layered over lip balm

And a few more shots of the look:

I had so much fun with this look! I've always wanted to play around with mermaid-inspired makeup, and tones of teal and gold are among my favourite to work with. There are few looks that make you feel ultra sultry while simultaneously singing "Under the Sea" on loop. This was one of them and for that, I loved it! 

Stay tuned for my second Halloween look tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by! xo

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Veracious Product Review: Lush The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask

A self-proclaimed Lushie, there are few things more satisfying than slathering on one of their cool, fragrant Fresh Face Masks. I was feeling particularly exhausted and lackluster following an evening of work last week, so I made a pit-stop at Lush on the way home. I asked the lovely sales people which mask might be the perfect pick-me-up for my tired, stressed skin and they directed me to a creamy green number, The Sacred Truth

Lush Fresh Face Masks are unique in that they are preservative-free and, as a result, must be stored in the fridge. They are packed full of fresh, fruity ingredients and must be used up over the course of a few weeks- the shelf life is that short!

The Sacred Truth is aimed at reviving and hydrating mature skin and features Honey and Shea Butter for moisture, Papaya for subtle brightening, and green tea for a dose of antioxidants. It's also packed with egg, yogurt, coconut oil, rose, lavender, and several other natural ingredients. This lovely list really drew me in! 

The mask is a thick, pea-green concoction that is extremely creamy and free from any harsh scrubby bits. The scent is fresh and lightly herbal. Not particularly appealing, but not obnoxious either. Quite guacamole-like for something that doesn't contain avocado!

The mask smooths on easily over the skin and feels instantly refreshing and hydrating. It really does feel like a proper pamper!

After leaving it on for 10-15 minutes, it dries slightly (taking on a brownish hue, which is a bit off-putting), but does not feel tight or uncomfortable. It rinses cleanly and easily without any noticeable residue. 

So, to this point, you've heard nothing but good things: fresh, potent ingredients, a creamy, luxurious texture, no irritating bits, and a lovely cooling, hydrating feeling on the skin. The one issue (and it's a big one)? I see no positive effects after using this! While this neither dries out nor breaks out my skin, it doesn't seem to do anything else either. Given all of the gorgeous ingredients, I'd expect some serious brightening, hydration, radiance, soothing, or smoothing. But unfortunately, the results are decidedly neutral. 

Given that this is wonderfully affordable ($6.95 CAD) and does feel quite pampering while on, I don't regret picking it up. That said, I won't be re-purchasing anytime soon. Mama needs results!

Have you tried any of the Lush Fresh Face Masks? Do you have a favourite?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Veracious Product Review: Chantecaille The Perfect Brow Set

So what does one do after getting the first paycheck from their new job? Buy a luxury eye brow kit, of course! I was casually perusing the counters at Holt Renfrew (always a dangerous pursuit) with no specific intention to splurge. The lovely ladies at the Chantecaille counter seriously twisted my arm, however, when they pulled out the brand new brow set that had just arrived in-store that day. As someone with seriously wimpy brows, I was obviously intrigued. As they began to pull out and demo the products inside the kit, I was a goner. 

Chantecaille The Perfect Brow Set comes cozily housed in a silvery lilac faux croc makeup bag that is the perfect size to store brow products, mascaras, and liners and could easily double as an ultra chic pencil case. 

It contains three full-sized products, perfectly coordinated to create the ideal arch. It includes a Waterproof Brow Definer in Ash Blonde (they also offer a kit in Oak Brown for those with darker hair), a Brow Lift Eclat highlighting pencil, and a Full  Brow Perfecting Gel

The Waterproof Brow Definer comes in a weighty metal dual-ended tube. On one end is a small, but solid spoolie that both grooms brows and combs out excess product and, on the other, is the triangle-tipped brow pencil. The formula is, as the name suggests, waterproof and contains a blend of waxes and powders for a natural-looking, long-wearing finish. 

The Full Brow Perfecting Gel is actually the product that totally sold me on this kit. It's a clear brow gel that not only grooms and holds hairs in place, but also promises to promote brow growth while preventing hair loss. For someone with ultra sparse brows, this sounds like a dream come true! After over-plucking my brows in high school, they have remained nearly non-existent. I have totally abstained from plucking for over 5 years (except for the odd stray) to no avail. This gel features a blend of panthenol and growth peptide that I really hope will get things growing! 

The brush offers longer bristles on one side and tiny bristles on the other, so you can really customize application. 

Finally, the Brow Lift Eclat is a glowy highlighter pencil that not only adds light to the brow bone, but also touts ingredients that will lift and tighten the eye area. It features caffeine, which is an ingredient I've spotted in many eye products aimed at brightening and firming. 

The texture of the Waterproof Brow Definer is quite perfect. It is pigmented without being too opaque and is neither too waxy nor too powdery. It glides over brows effortlessly and the triangle-shaped tip allows for both precision and wider application, as needed. Ash Blonde is a light-to-medium-toned brown with noticeably warm undertones. It is definitely warmer/more red-toned than my Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde. The Brow Lift Eclat has a creamy texture that glides easily over skin without any hint of greasiness. It doesn't crease and offers the most flattering ivory gold shade. It definitely glows and is neither frosty or glittery.

Here are swatches of both on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). I did not swatch the brow gel, as it is completely clear! 

(L) Chantecaille Waterproof Brow Definer in Ash Blond and (R) Eye Lift Eclat Pencil

Now for some Before and After photos! Here's a shot of me with completely naked brows- eek! As you can see, they are patchy, sparse, and have little shape. 

And here I am wearing all three products from the kit:

My brows are definitely sisters, not twins!

And in the context of a completed makeup look! 

I do find that the Ash Blonde Pencil looks slightly too warm-toned against my skin and hair colour, so, as a final step, I've topped the Chantecaille pencil and gel with a light sweep of my Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe. The difference is subtle, but I think it creates a more natural shade. 

Here it is with the Anastasia Brow Powder over top:

And finally, a full list of the benefits and drawbacks of this kit:

  • The Waterproof Brow Definer applies smoothly, without any tugging or clumping
  • Brow colour truly wears all day without any need for touch-ups
  • Triangle-shaped tip allows for precise or wider application, where needed
  • Included spoolie is quite handy- no other brow brushes required!
  • The Full Brow Perfecting Gel applies completely invisibly without smudging brow colour underneath
  • Brow gel does not get crispy or flaky as it dries
  • The Brow Lift Eclat pencil gives the most beautiful glow to brow bones without frostiness or glitter
  • Highlighter pencil provides a comfortable lifting feeling to the eye area and does not crease or smudge throughout the day
  • Luxurious, sturdy packaging
  • Makeup bag is a nice inclusion to the kit and would perfectly fit all liners, mascaras, and brow products
  • Cruelty-free
  • As expected, the price. Even though this set is an excellent value (the Brow Lift Eclat and makeup bag are essentially free), this still tops $100
  • I find that Ash Blonde pulls rather warm on me, which looks slightly stark/orange-toned against my neutral skin and cooler blonde hair
  • The highlighting pencil will need to be sharpened; a twist-up mechanism would have been handier!

Overall, I am super pleased with this set! The formulas are elegant and long-wearing and really work in harmony to create some amazing-looking brows! I do wish that the brow pencil leaned a bit cooler/more taupe-toned, but luckily a touch of my Anastasia Brow Powder over top neutralizes things quite nicely! As for the brow gel, its hair-growing powers are yet to be seen. I will most definitely keep you posted over the weeks and will hopefully have some positive results to boast. Keep your fingers crossed that my paltry brows will have new life!

Do any of you deal with super sparse brows like mine? What are some of your favourite brow products?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Autumn Lip: How Vampy Will You Go?

Hi, everyone! As the chill of Autumn creeps in and changes the colours of the landscape, so does the lipstick landscape begin to transform. The idea of embracing a deeper, vampier lip for Fall is far from revolutionary, but it's a trend that I eagerly embrace each time the season rolls around. Who doesn't want to feel like a bit of a vamp now and again?!

While I'm all about painting my lips in deep, dark shades, I realize there are many of you who may cower at the thought of a crimson or wine-soaked pout. To all those in that camp, I say- you can do it! Though I'm thoroughly behind the idea of pushing beyond the limits of your makeup comfort zone, taking baby steps can be key! 

Today's post shares with you the full vampy spectrum, from sheer plums to blackened purples. I attempted to feature not only a variety of depths, but also a range of textures, finishes, and formulas. Hope you find a shade that channels your inner vixen! 

Here's my selection of vamped-up lip colours all strewn about. And below, I've organized them by colour family and depth. 

*The Sheer Plums*
NARS Sheer Lipstick in Damage
This lipstick is like a "my lips but better, plum edition". It's ultra sheer, has a flattering shine, and is just a touch vampier than its cousin, Dolce Vita. Perfect for beginners! 

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Aura
This was part of the Autumn 2014 colour collection and I'm so glad I snagged it. This sheer, shiny plum can be applied lightly as a stain or layered for a bolder effect. Quite versatile and very wearable!

*The Wine-Soaked Reds*
Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #167 Bal de Mai
I'm so happy this post gave me the chance to rediscover this one! Not only do Rouge Automatiques have the most amazing, handy packaging, they also offer a full-bodied, comfortable, slightly glossy formula. Bal de Mai is a beautiful reddened ruby plum with a pretty hint of shimmer. 

Chanel Rouge Coco in Rivoli
This really is the perfect burgundy red shade. It's on the warmer side, is beautifully pigmented, and has a gorgeous velvety finish. Swipe this on, and you'll be inspired to do something glamorous. 

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned
A matte, vampy lip can be difficult to wear, but NARS makes it effortless. Damned is a berry-toned red that can be applied somewhat sheer for a stained look or layered more heavily for some full-on vamp. Plus, it doesn't dry out the lips!

*The Saturated Berries*
MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel
Everyone and their uncle seems to own Rebel, and with good reason. It's a perfect balanced shade- bold and berry-licious, but bright enough to be universally flattering. The Satin finish leaves a subtle sheen to the lips that makes it extra special. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Roundest Raspberry
This gorgeous blue-toned berry makes the lips look full, plump, and hydrated. The colour is rich, but not intimidating, and the subtly purple undertones make it something unique. Plus, the chubby pencil format is fool-proof!

*The True Vamps*
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good to be Bad
I bought this stunning lipstick last winter when I was seeking to expand my vampy lip wardrobe. One swipe, and I was hooked! This ultra deep berry red has somewhat of an old screen siren sort of look (Jenn said it make me look like Veronica Lake (or was it Lauren Bacall?)- either way, I was sold) and the creamy, shiny finish makes it ultra easy and comfortable to wear.

OCC Lip Tar in Black Dahlia
This is the newest edition to my collection and has become an instant favourite. This looks truly intimidating in the tube, but on the lips it applies as the most beautiful blackened berry red. It can be sheered out even further for a more subtle berry stain, or layered more heavily for the ultra vampy look. It makes me feel like a film noir goddess!

Inglot Freedom System Lipstick #42
Finally, we have the deepest of the bunch. When first stroked on the lips, this looks truly black. When smoothed in with fingertips or a brush, however, this transforms into a lovely deep plummy purple. Not for the faint of heart, but an amazing, affordable pick for those who want to go bold! 

And here are swatches of all ten lipsticks that I've featured here, against my NC15 skin tone:

(L-R): NARS Damage, Chanel Aura, Guerlain Bal de Mai, Chanel Rivoli, Clinique Roundest Raspberry, MAC Rebel, NARS Damned, MAC Good to be Bad, OCC Black Dahlia, Inglot #42

This post was so much fun to put together! It reunited me with some old favourites and let me spend an afternoon feeling like quite the vixen. Whether your preference is to go sheer or bold, I hope I've tempted you with a shade or two!

Which of these lipsticks calls to you most? What are your go-to vampy lip shades?

Hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

Friday, 24 October 2014

Recent Makeup Swap Booty!

When I moved a few months ago, I was successful in purging *a ton* of stuff. While makeup only represented of sliver of the items I parted with, the move did inspire me to sort through my stash and really clear out the items I had not used in some time. Some of the older, grubbier products were trashed, but those that still had life in them were put up for swap. I've been swapping on MakeupAlley for a few years now and have had nothing but good experiences. I've completed quite a few successful swaps over the past couple of months and am really happy with my spoils! While swapping doesn't necessarily work to pare down my collection, it does refine my stash and allow me to test out some new beauties and stock up on old favourites for only the cost of shipping. Not a bad deal! 

Here are some of the fantastic goodies I've acquired via makeup swaps recently:

Laura Mericer Oil-Free Foundation Primer
Hands-down my favourite primer of all time. Lightweight texture (doesn't feel like silicone in a tube), prolongs makeup wear, and has never broken me out!

Hard Candy Welcome Matte Mattifying Powder
This is my favourite budget mattifying powder (and with a perfectly punny name) and sadly it was discontinued! So happy to score one via a swap. 

Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse in Beige
Another fabulous primer. Fun, bubbly mousse-like texture, an ultra-high SPF, and a flattering subtle tint. On the pricier side, so happy to swap for it!

BeneFit Real Birthday Turn-Ons Sephora Set (ft. They're Real! Mascara and Watt's Up minis)
I got one of these sets for my birthday last year and I instantly fell smitten with both of the products. Perhaps my fave mascara and highlighter ever! Always nice to have backups. 

MAC Lipsticks in New York Apple, Sunny Seoul, and Kelly Yum-Yum
I am always a sucker for a MAC lippie. New York Apple had been on my wishlist for ages- it's a unique deep frosty red which will be perfect come the holiday season. I hadn't heard of Sunny Seoul (it was a limited edition offering), but was instantly tempted by the fresh peachy pink hue. I was sooo tempted by all of the MAC x Kelly Osbourne lipsticks, but my lipstick ban (still in place at the time) led me to pass them up. Was thrilled to score Kelly Yum Yum, a stunning vivid pink, in a swap!

Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Cleopatra in New York
My first-ever Deborah Lippmann polish! I'd been eyeing up this specific shade- it's a gorgeous deep black with gold glitter and has the most amazing name!

Lime Crime Unicorn Lipstick in Centrifuchsia
I've been so happy with all of the Lime Crime lip products I've tried so far, so was eager to try some more. Leave it to me to add more fuchsia lipsticks to my collection :/

Barry M.Nail Paint in Strawberry Ice Cream
I'm a sucker for Barry M. and ice cream, so this was an obvious choice ;) A pretty, feminine pastel pink shade!

NYX Single Eye Shadow in Blondie
I've always been impressed with the quality of NYX shadows, so was happy to score this neutral shimmery gold shade. Quite festive! 

O.C.C. Lip Tar All-Star Mini set (ft. Memento , NSFW, Anime, and Black Dahlia)
I'm totally smitten with Lip Tars and didn't have nearly enough in my stash. This amazing little kit has pretty much any shade you'd ever need- a creamy peachy nude, a bold hot pink, a classic red, and a vampy burgundy. Each is quite stunning! 

Make Up For Ever Aqua Waterproof Eye Shadow Pencil in 28E
I'd heard great things about these creamy waterproof shadows and this neutral shimmery beige looked like a colour I'd wear on the regular!

NARS Blush in Angelika
Cooler-toned pinks are rather scarce in my blush stash, so what better way to remedy this than with NARS!? I'd say that this is one of their iconic shades- it's cheery, sparkly, and very princess-like!

Phew! I was so lucky to have swapped for such amazing items over the past couple months. I can't wait to delve into them (have already given several of them a go) as they're all so completely up my alley and are such welcome additions to my stash. 

Have you tried any of the goodies I've featured here? Are there any you'd be interested in seeing reviewed on the blog? Have you ever done a makeup swap?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Veracious Product Review: Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

Hi, everyone! If you saw my recent post, The Soothing Deep Cleanse, you'll know that I have a new favourite face mask for those days when my skin is feeling particularly congested, dull, and grimy. After multitudes of blogger raves, I caved and purchased the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask from Cult Beauty. It's more than a bit of splurge, but I had high hopes given all of the love it had received from skin care junkies like myself. 

The Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask comes in a white box with simple, chic detailing. It contains a thorough description of the product, as well as a full ingredient listing. 

According to the box and to the brand's website, this mask is rich with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which come courtesy of Omorovicza's signature Hungarian Moor Mud. This mud, a central ingredient in the mask, not only infuses skin with these minerals, it also works to extract impurities while clearing pores and brightening the skin. It promises a deep cleanse without stripping or irritating the complexion- a tall order, indeed! 

Upon opening the box, a rather entrancing inner design is revealed. I quite like it- a fun little detail to the packaging! The jar itself (as seen in the first two photos) is made of weighty glass with a white plastic, screw-off lid. 

The mask itself has a rich, creamy mud-like texture and is grey in colour with tiny specks of black and blue (the minerals, perhaps?). It has a light, herbal scent that is entirely enticing and refreshing.

The mask smooths onto skin effortlessly and feels quite creamy. The amount shown above was more than plenty to cover my entire face. Shortly after application, you will notice a warming sensation that is potent, yet not uncomfortable. You can really feel the mud working wonders! Within a few more minutes, the stimulating tingle transitions to more of a cooling sensation that feels incredibly luxurious and relaxing. 

After about 15 minutes, the mask starts to partially dry, but leaves no trace of stiffness or dryness. I can smile freely without any restriction, which is such a plus when it comes to mud masks! I could truly leave this mask on forever, but after 20 minutes or so I rinse it off using warm water and cotton pads. It rinses cleanly without any noticeable residue. 

I've already mentioned that this is a favourite, but here's my full breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of this luxurious mask:

  • Does an excellent job at providing a thorough, deep cleanse. My skin feels impeccably purified and refreshed afterwards!
  • Despite providing a serious deep clean, this does not dry out my skin one bit. There is no hint of dryness or tightness after use.
  • Leaves skin looking bright and calm, with zero irritation or redness, even on my finicky skin!
  • The warming and cooling sensations created by this mask feel quite luxurious. Truly a pampering sort of facial!
  • Despite some warnings that this mask may lead to purging the next day, I have never woken to any new eruptions
  • Not tested on animals and free from parabens, silicones, sulfates, and synthetic colours or fragrances
  • Due to the warming and cooling sensations, this might feel a bit uncomfortable for those with very sensitive skin types
  • The price. Ugh. It's nearly $100, which will be out of range even for some seasoned skin care enthusiasts. Even on sale (which is the only time I would buy it), this is most certainly a splurge. 

Yes, this is silly expensive, but it most definitely offers some potent results to go along with the luxury price tag. The Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask has quickly snagged a spot among my favourite masks of all time due to the many benefits outlined above. It deep cleans like nobody's business without any hint of irritation and dryness. Skin is left feeling purified, soothed, and glowing. Plus, it's a total pleasure to use! I have to say, this is without a doubt one of the most splurge-worthy items in my collection. So go ahead and treat yo-self! :)