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Wednesday 31 December 2014

NYE Look of the Day: Oil Slick Chic

Holy smokes- it's the final day of 2014! When it comes to New Year's Eve plans, I'm all about the low-key. A small gathering with friends, games, good tunes, and a few fizzy drinks and I'm completely content. But my preference for NYE makeup? The bolder the better! When I saw this video from Sam at Pixiwoo, I knew that it would make for the ultimate look to ring in 2015!

Here's the stunning look that inspired me. Sam is such a pro (and a babe)!

Screen Shot from:

Sam started her eye look with a creamy black shadow as a base, so I opted for Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Mirifique all over the lid, blending upward and outward. She then focused on various metallic shades of teal and aqua to add light and dimension to the eye. I pulled out my much-loved Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 The Siren palette, applying the deep teal shade over the centre of the lid, blending up, and the white shade on the inner corner of the eyes, as a highlight. I then picked up my Yaby Pearl Paints, which are beautifully pigmented and shimmery. I mixed Sea Turtle, Summer Night, and Baby Sapphire and applied them to the very centre of the lid, all the way to the brow bone, as well as underneath the eye. For a touch of extra definition, I applied Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Eyeliner in Go Black along the upper lash line, blending it up and out along the edges of the eye shadow. I finished with a few coats of Clinique High Impact Mascara for a final touch of drama. 

Although the eyes are definitely the focus of the look, Sam made sure to keep the lips vibrant as well. She created one version with glossy black lips (totally killer), but it was her second take with a crimson pout that especially caught my eye. I first lined my lips with Annabelle's Stay Sharp Lip Liner in Glam Red and topped it with one of my favourite scarlet lip colours, Illamasqua Maneater. To balance out the bold lips and eyes, I kept the cheeks warm and natural. I applied my favourite shimmery bronzer, Essence Beach Cruisers Bronzer in Life's A Beach along my cheekbones for a natural glow.

Here's a closeup of the eye look, followed by a full breakdown of the entire look!

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Foundation in Buff
Concealer: MAC Select Cover-Up NC20

Powder: Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #504
Blush: Essence Beach Cruisers Bronzer in Life's A Beach

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Eye Shadows: Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Mirifique (all over lid, blended up and out), black eye shadow from the Chantecaille Horses palette (on outer and inner corners of the lid), deep teal shade from Marc Jacobs the Siren (over the centre of the lid and along lower lash line), white shade from the Siren (on inner corners), Yaby Pearl Paints in Baby Sapphire, Sea Turtle, and Summer Night (blended together on centre of lid and lower lash line)

Eyeliner: Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Go Black
Mascara: Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black

Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Lip Liner in Glam Red (all over lips, concentrated around edges) topped with Illamasqua Lipstick in Maneater

And a few more shots of the look:

Too dramatic? ;)

So there you have it! The Pixiwoo sisters are always such a fantastic source of makeup inspiration, so re-creating their looks is always extra fun!

Whether this look is up your alley or not (wear whatever makes you feel fabulous!), I hope you all have a fantastic, fun, safe, and celebratory New Year's Eve. Wishing the very best to you in 2015! xo

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Santa, Baby... You Did Good!

Hi, everyone! I've already shared with you the amazing makeup-filled gift that my sister got me this Christmas and now it's time for a peek at what Santa (i.e., my overly generous, extremely adorable parents) picked up for me this year. In addition to some much needed work wear, they were lovely enough to indulge some of my biggest beauty wishes. I really was like a little kid Christmas morning opening it all up! 

We all know that I'm a huge fan of the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows, so I was super excited to get the Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Colour Collection. It not only features another of my beloved liquid shadows, but also a mascara, a cream cheek colour, a highlighter, and a bottle of her famous argan oil. Can't wait to dig in! I was also bitten by the Jo Malone bug this year, and it was her newest fragrance, Wood Sage and Sea Salt, that completely captured my heart. The scent is incredibly unique in that it has zero floral notes to it. It's a touch sweet, a touch salty, and very fresh. I'm in looove! I can see this bottle going quickly. Perhaps the item I squealed loudest about was the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. These blushes were one of my favourite products of the year and, fortuitously, this palette did not contain any of the shades I already owned. It's a true thing of beauty! 

I also received some gorgeous goodies from Bourjois and The Body Shop. The Bourjois Le Rouge set really is a perfect collection. Not only does it contain a Rouge Edition Velvet in Personne Ne Rouge (a lovely warm red in my favourite lip formula of the year), it also features a glimmery golden liner, an eye kohl, a top coat, and a volumizing mascara. It truly has it all! The Body Shop really re-captured my heart this past year, so I was so happy to see a selection of my favourite treats from the brand under the tree. I scored my new favourite makeup remover, their Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, a couple goodies from their Coconut range (love the sweet scent!) and one of their brand new nail polishes in Body Shop Green. Finally, the gift was completed with two goodies from the Glazed Apple holiday range, which has a beautifully tangy-sweet-refreshing fragrance. 

Needless to say, I was totally spoiled this holiday. I am now back in Toronto and, while my suitcase remains unpacked (whoops), I have been eagerly delving into these new proudcts. Look out for some reviews soon!

What did Santa bring you this year? Tempted by any of my  new goodies?

Thanks so much for dropping by! xo

Monday 29 December 2014

2014 Look of the Day Recap: Makeup for Every Month!

Hi, everyone! Cliche, but true- it's so hard to believe 2014 is nearly over! This year has brought so many positive events in my life- a trip to NYC, finishing a year-long internship, moving in with my boyfriend, and securing my first-ever clinical job! It also was a big year for the blog- I got to work with some amazing brands, meet Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo, attend my first ever IMATS and, in the process, got acquainted with so many Toronto-area bloggers, which has been such a pleasure! 

In addition to reflecting on accomplishments, I thought it would be a fun and colourful pursuit to look back at my favourite makeup looks of 2014, highlighting one for every month! I saw one of my favourite bloggers, Viola from Killer Colours, share a similar post, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and create my own version of the 2014 Makeup Recap! 

In January I was still revelling in some deep, vampy, badass sort of shades. This look featured a few new goodies from MAC, including Cranberry eye shadow and Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good to be Bad. (Original post, here). 

In February, I was having a ball testing out my brand new Urban Decay Shattered Face Case. It offered some gorgeous shades of pink and purple, which made for a perfect Valentine's sort of look! (Original post, here). 

March gave me the opportunity to re-create my favourite look from the Academy Awards. My chosen Oscars look was that worn my Olivia Wilde, a '60s-inspired look that was all about bold liner and peachy lips and cheeks. I'm really missing my haircut from this time- must go for a snip soon! (Original post, here). 

In April I was eager to flaunt my favourite budget picks, including a floral headband that made me feel like a fairy princess! The look featured some pretty drugstore goodies from NYC, Hard Candy, Wet N' Wild, and Revlon. (Original post, here). 

In May, my main muse was Maleficent. I used the MAC Maleficent eye shadow quad to create a warm, sultry eye, and a ton of Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder to emulate the Disney villain's killer cheekbones. (Original post, here).

In June, I picked up the amazing Marc Jacobs The Siren eye shadow palette, which features a stunning array of vibrant shades. The purchase was perfectly timed with the Pride celebrations in Toronto, so I created a rainbow-coloured eye look in honour of the event! (Original post, here). 

In late June I was thrilled to win a selection of vibrantly-hued goodies from Dior's It-Lash collection, courtesy of the lovely Dave Lackie. I was eager to put these parrot-inspired shades to good use, and this was the final result! (Original post, here). 

Clearly the summertime was all about bright colour! This look featured the unique and eccentric Illamasqua Fundamental Palette, which houses a killer mix of yellow, purple, aqua, and silver. (Original post, here). 

September signaled the grand opening of the Inglot Toronto store and I responded by picking up a variety of Fall-ready shades from the brand. This look was all about rich royal purples and antique golds. (Original post, here). 

October is great for so many reasons... falling leaves, spicy lattes, and Halloween! My first Halloween look this year channeled a sultry Siren from the deep. Had so much fun creating this one! (Original post, here). 

November is the month where things start to get festive, and I created an Autumn look inspired by some perfectly festive foods- cranberry, honey, mandarin, and raspberries. This look was also the winner of Savvyist's Holiday Glam Challenge! (Original post, here). 

Finally, a look that is a holiday classic! You can't go wrong with golden eyes and red lips for Christmas, and a retro touch never hurts! MAC Lady Danger let me channel my inner femme fatale, while still remaining on Santa's nice list :) (Original post, here). 

So there you have it! My fave Looks of the Day from each month in 2014! I have so much fun putting these looks together. From the nearly-nude to the theatrical, painting my face is always such a joy and I hope that enthusiasm translates onto the screen. I feel lucky to get to harness my passion for makeup in this way and all the support I receive from my readers is really the icing on the cake. I couldn't do it without you!

Which of these makeup looks is your favourite? What kinds of looks did you like to create in 2014?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Sunday 28 December 2014

Another Example of Why My Sister Gives the Best Gifts

Hi, everybody! I'm coming at you with another quick but exciting holiday-related post. I've given shout-outs to the amazing beauty-related goodies that my little sister has gifted me in the past. This Christmas was no exception, so I thought I'd give you a peek at what I was lucky enough to receive from her this year. 

In addition to a perfectly festive fashion magazine (love Lupita!) and a decadent chocolate bar (um, yum), I got some perfectly colourful items from Revlon and NYX. First up is Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Shameless, a bold, cool purple. Then we have NYX Powder Blush in Pinched, a warm mid-tone flushed pink. Finally, two lip goodies from NYX. We have a Butter Gloss (my new favourite lip gloss formula!) in Peaches and Cream (a true coral) and Soft Matte Lip Cream in Addis Ababa (an amazing vibrant fuchsia). I can't wait to give them all a go! 

In sum, the girl did good! Thanks so much to my lovely sis for all that she does, including feeding my voracious makeup (and chocolate) addiction! 

Did you get any makeup goodies for the holidays? Loving any of the items I featured here?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Friday 26 December 2014

Quick Peek at My Christmas Makeup Look!

Hi, everyone! First off, I hope that all of you had an absolutely fantastic Christmas yesterday! Whether you spent the day with a huge amounts of friends and family, nuzzled up cozily in your jammies, or in a perpetual food coma, I hope the holiday was just as you wanted it to be :)

My Christmas tradition meant presents(!) in the morning, cooking omelettes for my parents, sister, and brother-in-law for brunch, a visit with an old friend during the afternoon, a huge dinner with my mother's family, then silly games and drinks at a family friend's house afterwards. It was a full-on day that left me totally exhausted, but it was completely lovely!

When I got home near the stroke of midnight, I couldn't help but admire the fact that my makeup had held strong for a full 10 hours. Knowing that I had a crazy day ahead of me, I purposely focused on long-wear products, and they really did the trick! I have to give props to my bullet-proof foundation, Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff, a seriously pretty glowy cheek combo, BeneFit Watts Up and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra, and one of my new favourite shadow palettes, the Too Faced Natural Eyes Collection. I also turned to my favourite long-lasting lip product, Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet. It wears incredibly well and stays matte without any caking or clumping. I got this gorgeous red shade, Personne ne Rouge, in a holiday set, and am smitten! 

What makeup items did you include in your Christmas look? How did you spend your holiday yesterday?

Cheers :)

Thursday 25 December 2014

Very Merry Christmas from Vibrant Beauty Blog!

Hi, everybody! I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you are all having a fantastic holiday filled with friends, family, food, gifts, glitter, and happiness :)

I've been at my parents' house for the past several days, revelling in the decorations, snuggling with their adorable kitties, Simon and Artie, and spending time with loved ones (including my little sister, who's expecting a baby girl in March!). It's been a beautiful time so far and I'm looking forward to the next few days which will undoubtedly be equally lovely. 

From my family to yours, I hope your Holiday Season is the very bestest and that Santa leaves lots of makeup under the tree! xo

Love, Jen :)

Tuesday 23 December 2014

What's in my Beauty Bag? Holiday Edition!

Hi, everyone! If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I'm currently setting up shop at my parents' house for the holidays. I'm in town for just over a week, which so far has been (and will continue to be) filled with food, friends, and family. The perfect trifecta! Travelling over Christmas also means rounding up my must-have beauty products and toting them along with me. I thought I'd give you a peek at all of the goodies that made the cut! As you'll see, I'm definitely not a minimalist when it comes to packing, but I was able to whittle it down to a semi-reasonable amount ;)

First up is skin care! I brought a couple of staples and the rest are a bunch of minis and samples to road test over the holiday. I'm sampling two luxe makeup removers, Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and Sarah Chapman's Perfect Cleanse. I also have a go-to cleanser in Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, which is the gentlest foaming wash I've tried! I packed my brand new First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, which have been giving me a serious glow, and La Roche Posay's Effaclar A.I., which has been working wonders to shrink down my spots. The rest are a mix of goodies from Vichy, Pai, Sarah Chapman, and Aesop. My skin has been behaving well so far!

Next up are my  hair care staples. I packed a ton of Aesop shampoo and conditioner packets, which were given to me by an extremely generous sales associate at Holt Renfrew. I have to say that they smell amazing! I also toted my favourite styling cream, Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine, the best ever mousse, Oribe Surfcomber, and a serious source of volume, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. And for when my roots get greasy, I have a sprinkle of Lush No Drought dry shampoo. 

Then we have the goodies that work to create a flawless base. I packed my favourite primer, Laura Mercier Oil-Free, my go-to full coverage foundation, Revlon Colourstay, and one helluva mattifying powder, Soap & Gory One Heck of a Blot. To add some holiday glow to my complexion, I brought Inglot HD Illuminizing Powder #504, Essence Beach Cruisers Bronzing Powder (which *almost* makes me feel like I'm somewhere tropical), and BeneFit Watts Up. I also have my staple concealers from BeneFit and MAC and my go-to Anastasia goodies to keep my arches in shape. 

Next up are the products that are keeping my cheeks and eyes looking festive. I packed my Inglot Freedom Palette with three colourful blushes and an ultra soft sculpting powder. I couldn't pick just one shadow palette, so I tucked in three: Clinique's A Black Honey Affair, Too Faced's Natural Eyes, and my Yaby Pearl Paint palette. I also packed my Clarins Ombre Matte in Rosewood and my Flower Beauty Flirty Floret cream shadow for good measure. I brought a variety of liners from NudeStix and Annabelle, as well as my two favourite mascaras, Clinique High Impact and BeneFit They're Real! And for a touch of fragrance, my go-to rollerball perfume, Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black

I also packed a selection of my favourite makeup brushes for face and eyes. You can see that Real Techniques is well represented, joined by some goodies from Shu Uemura, Quo, Sigma, and Sephora

And finally, the piece to resistance- my lip bag! Narrowing down my lip colour options was ridiculously difficult, so I think I lugged about 15 shades with me. I decided to pull out about half of these to feature here. I packed a few ultra festive reds, including Tom Ford Crimson Noir, Illamasqua Maneater, MAC Lady Danger, Revlon Standout, and Revlon Red Velvet. I also have one of my favourite nudes, MAC Modesty, and a few vibrant pinks for good measure! I also packed two awesome lip liners, my Annabelle Stay Sharps in Glam Red and Java

So there you have it! My not so edited holiday makeup bag edit! This post has clearly reinforced that I cannot be brutally selective when it comes to packing my beauty items. I hope it's also tempted you with a few pretty goodies!

What's in your holiday beauty bag this year? Are you a minimalist when it comes to packing, or do you go all out like me?

Happy Holidays! xo

Pai for the Holidays: The Instant Brightening Facial Set

Hi, everyone! If there's anything I'm more of a sucker for than natural, effective skin care, it's natural, effective skin care wrapped inside a pretty box. Given this affinity, I was ultra eager to check out Pai's new limited edition holiday kits in all of their festive glory. I was thrilled to hear that one of my favourite shops in the city, Jacob & Sebastian, is now carrying the line (at my recommendation, actually!) and I popped in late last month to check out the offerings. So glad I did! I walked out with two kits from the brand, the biggest and prettiest of the two being the Instant Brightening Facial Set

The set comes packaged in a beautiful cardboard box adorned with lush and colourful green and yellow flowers. Festive, in a very fresh way!

The box is banded with a strip that pictures and lists the contents of the kit, the Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator, the Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask, and an organic muslin face cloth:

The theme of this set is products aimed at exfoliating and brightening a dull complexion. Both items are rich in Kukui oil, a blend of Hawaiian ingredients hailed for their blend of hydrating and protecting omegas. 

The label also contains the full ingredients of both products inside, which is always a huge bonus in my books. I want to know exactly what's going on my skin! 

Upon opening the box, you can see the products, alongside the muslin cloth, nestled into a cardboard backing. Both items are full-sized, which is fantastic! 

On the underside of the lid are step-by-step instructions of how to use the products inside, which is a nice touch!

As outlined, this facial ritual starts with a gentle, but thorough scrub, courtesy of the Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator and is followed by a pore-cleaning and resurfacing treatment, the Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask. Quite the dynamic duo! 

The Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator is a thick yellow gel that features suspended, scrubby jojoba beads. It is rich in fruit and plant oils and has a refreshing fruity fragrance to match. It's meant to be massaged into dry skin, then emulsified with water and rinsed away. I have to say I was a bit timid to try this, as I tend to steer clear of manual exfoliants, which are usually terribly ouchy on my sensitive skin. Luckily, this one was a nice exception! It does give a pretty thorough scrub, but the oils in the formula seem to shield the skin from any feeling of stripping or abrasion. It does emulsify easily and, despite the rich formula, rinses quite clean! 

Next is the Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask, which is the real powerhouse of the duo and a new addition to the Pai range. After scrubbing and patting my skin dry, I apply an even layer of the mask all over. It has a rich, creamy texture, but don't be deceived- it really gives a deep clean! It's also packed with a serious dose of exfoliating lactic acid and soothing plant oils. Despite this being formulated for sensitive skin, it's important not to underestimate the potency of this mask. When applied too thickly and left on too long, this really left my skin looking red! In a thin layer and for 10 minutes, though, it's perfection! It leaves my skin looking pure, bright, and glowing. 

Here's a shot of me wearing the mask: 

Overall, I couldn't be happier with this set! I'm so happy to have found an manual exfoliant that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and the potency and effectiveness of the mask is ultra impressive. The natural, organic ingredients in both are so skin-friendly and beautifully fragrant, yet the formulations are far from wimpy. They really get the job done! 

If you're looking for a super last-minute holiday gift, I'd suggest you run- don't walk!- to Jacob & Sebastian where gorgeous skin care kits like this abound. Your loved ones will thank you and so will your skin (if you decide to treat yo' self as well. You should!).

Cheers :)

Sunday 21 December 2014

Holiday Look of the Day: Lady Danger

Happy (almost Christmas) Weekend, everyone! I'm now writing from the comfy confines of my parents' house in my hometown, sitting cozily in my penguin pajamas, surrounded by an extensive array of holiday decorations. Just how I like it. While I'm clearly not channeling glam at the moment, I recently created a festive look that I think would be perfect for anyone who wanted to feel like a bombshell at their upcoming holiday party. It features my new favourite red lipstick, MAC Lady Danger, which really does provide some instant retro glamour! 

For this party look, I evened out my complexion with a fuller coverage long-wear base (Revlon ColourStay Whipped) and then focused on adding some serious glow to the skin. I applied Inglot HD Illuminating Pressed Powder #504 all over for a soft-focus sheen, then added touches of both BeneFit's Watts Up and The Balm's Mary Loumanizer on my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. Instant bling! 

I contoured my cheekbones with a classic pick, Kevin Aucoin's Sculpting Powder in Medium, and added some warmth and a gentle pop of colour to my cheeks with The Balm Frat Boy, a flattering matte peach. 

For the eyes, I kept the products minimal, which I think upped the impact of the look! I focused on an ultra shimmery golden peach all over the lids (the lovely Stila Oasis eye shadow) and some bold, classic black winged liner (Annabelle Stay Sharp Self-Sharpening Kohl Eyeliner in Go Black). I finished off with a couple generous coats of BeneFit They're Real and that was it! 

For the lips, I knew I wanted a bold, classic red. For some extra definition, I started with Annabelle's Stay Sharp Self-Sharpening Lip Liner in Glam Red, filling in the entire lip area and concentrating on the outer edges and corners to add depth. I then applied some of Lady Danger straight from the bullet, over top of the lip liner. I think the contrast between the cooler red liner and the warmer red lipstick added a nice touch of fullness and dimension to my lips, without an obvious outer edge. 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Foundation in Buff
Concealer: BeneFit Fake-Up in Light (under eyes) and MAC Select Cover-Up NC20 (on blemishes and redness)

Powder: Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #504
Highlight: BeneFit Watts Up topped with the Balm Mary Loumanizer

Contour: Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium
Blush: The Balm Frat Boy

Brows: Chantecaille Waterproof Brow Definer in Ash Blonde topped with Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: Stila eye shadow in Oasis (packed heavily on the lid, blended up to the crease) and Clinique Sugar Cane (from the Black Honey Affair palette) on brow bones and inner corners of the eye

Eyeliner: Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Go Black
Mascara: BeneFit They're Real

Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Lip Liner in Glam Red (all over lips, concentrated around edges) topped with MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

And a few more shots of the look:

I really enjoyed creating this look and have no doubt that I'll be re-creating it more than once over the holidays. I think it's a great way to add some drama and glam to your festive event look, without having to fuss with glitter, false lashes, or other fiddly details. Just bold red lips, glowy skin, classic black liner, and you're set!

Is this a festive look that you'd wear? What have been your go-to holiday party looks this year?

Thanks for stopping by! xo