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Saturday, 31 January 2015

December/January Empties!

Hi, everyone! Time to buckle your seat belts: we have an epic Empties post on our hands! With the chaos of the holidays I was not able to post a December Empties, so I saved everything up for a December/January combo. As per the picture below, I polished off quite the selection of goodies, so let's delve right in! 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
I originally purchased this thinking it was going to be a highlighter. So wrong! It's a couple touches too dark for that on my fair skin. Despite this misunderstanding, I came to love it. It's beautiful as a light setting powder, or more concentrated as a super natural bronzer or contour powder. The soft-focus effect is flawless!
Repurchase? Already have!

Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner
I bought this on a whim, selecting it for its healthy ingredients and yummy coconut scent. So happy I grabbed it! The texture is equally yummy (like a creamy custard) and this left my dry ends moisturized and happy, not at all heavy.
Repurchase? Yes!

BeneFit Fake-Up in Light
This is the second tube of this I've finished, which says a lot! This leaves my under eye area feeling hydrated, without any greasiness and with minimal creasing. Plus, the coverage is quite impressive!
Repurchase? Once I finish my Cle de Peau concealer, yes!

Urban Decay Primer Potion (mini)
Short and sweet: my all-time favourite shadow primer! Not tempted to try anything else. Makes shadows stick around with vibrancy and without creasing.
Repurchase? Duh! Already have a couple back-ups.

BeneFit Watt's Up (mini)
My all-time favourite highlighter! This blends into skin seamlessly and gives a beautiful, flattering glow with no glitter in sight. Always get compliments when I'm wearing it! You can see me sporting it, here!
Repurchase? Already have another mini! Will always have one on hand. 

BeneFit They're Real Mascara (mini)
I love this mascara!Gives incredible volume and length and wears endlessly without smudges or flakes. A pain to remove, but still worth it! I'm wearing it in this post (and many others).
Repurchase? As above, already have another mini on hand!

Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Calming Mist
This stuff is awesome! Packed with beautiful organic ingredients and did a great job at soothing the redness in my skin. The scent is fresh and lovely too!
Repurchase? Am loving my May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden at the moment, but this is definitely in my top 3 toners!

Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost (mini)
I am shedding a tear over finishing this as it was incredible stuff- and it is crazy expensive! I got this as part of the Oskia Secret Weekend Discovery Kit and dedicated January as the month when I would finally use it consistently. This hydrated without greasiness and always led to smooth, even skin come morning.
Repurchase? The price is definitely a draw-back, but if there is a good enough sale, I just might!

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanser (mini)
I also got this cleanser in a trial kit. I was skeptical at first, as this stuff is seriously thick. I persisted, though, and it really did a great job at removing all traces of makeup without breaking me out. Plus, the scent is warm, herbal, and soothing!
Repurchase? Maybe. It's quite pricey, so I'm more likely to stick by my go-to Body Shop cleansing butter.

Dr. Jart + Dis-A-Pore BB SPF 30 (sample)
I chose this as a sample in a recent Sephora order because I'd heard great things about Dr. Jart BB Creams. This stuff was truly awesome! The colour match was great, the coverage was impressive, and this smoothed effortlessly over skin while maintaining a satin matte finish for several hours. Totally impressed!
Repurchase? It's definitely on my list of foundations to snag this year. 

Lush Daddy-O Shampoo
I purchased this in the Spring after getting highlights for the first time in ages. I wanted to find a shampoo that would keep my colour bright and lasting and this really did the trick! The bright purple hue was so much fun, the violet scent was intoxicating, and it really worked wonders to keep my blonde tresses looking vibrant.
Repurchase? Next time I colour my hair, definitely!

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser (sample)
I also received this in a recent Sephora order. I'm a fan of the brand and the black colour was a fun novelty, but I generally found this to be too harsh and drying on my sensitive skin.
Repurchase? Nope.

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
I've raved about this before and let me reiterate- this is the best budget makeup-remover I've tried! It wipes away my long-wear foundation and mascara amazingly well, has never broken me out, and has a calming chamomile scent. Zero complaints on this one!
Repurchase? Already have!

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel
I picked this up because I fell smitten to the scent of this range. Warm, nutty, and subtly sweet. Unfortunately, this shower gel was a bit of a let down. The fragrance was nice, but the lather was underwhelming and not quite as rich as expected. Nothing terrible, but not a standout either.
Repurchase? No.

TRESemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Honestly, this can wasn't fully empty. I just had to ditch it because it really was not good! The scent was quite chemical and this did not add much volume to my hair, as promised. In fact, this made my locks look a bit more limp than usual. Boo.
Repurchase? Heck no.

Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser+Scrub+Mask (sample)
I received this as a sample from Shoppers with high hopes; the Normaderm range has generally agreed with my skin. Unfortunately, this was quite harsh on my skin and actually led to dryness and increased breakouts the next day. Not good for a product designed for sensitive, acne-prone skin!
Repurchase? No, thanks!

Nude Treatment Oil (sample)
Another Sephora sample, this facial oil was quite nice! This is the first product from Nude that I've tried and was rather impressed. It hydrated the skin nicely, did not irritate or break out my skin, and was non-greasy enough to wear under foundation when mixed with my day cream. 
Repurchase? This was nice, but I have a few other fave face oils that I'd reach for first. 

Vichy Normaderm Night Detox
This was gentle and light-weight on the skin and I indeed woke to more mattified skin. Nothing wrong with it, but I realized that ultra matte skin is not what I'm aiming for, especially during wintertime. Would rather wake with a bit of a glow!
Repurchase? No.

Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes
This stuff is quite nice! A little goes a long way, so this sample packet lasted ages. This does give an immediate glow to the eyes (thanks to shimmer particles), but I think this did lead to longer-term brightness and hydration as well. Really left me looking awake!
Repurchase? Would definitely consider it!

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Serum (sample)
Since I enjoyed the Jurlique facial mist so much, I was eager to try more goodies from the brand. This serum had a lovely scent and texture, but I think this led to some breakouts and redness. Such a shame- really wanted to like it!
Repurchase? No. 

Aesop Fabulous Face Oil (sample)
Clearly I've been on a facial oil kick lately! This oil is definitely one of the best I've tried. It has a beautiful herbal scent and a mid-weight texture that gives hydration without greasiness. I can wear it under makeup without an oily overload, so that says a lot! Plus, it does not seem to break me out. 
Repurchase? Definitely considering it!

Aesop Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner (samples)
I used these during my trip home over the holidays and was a bit underwhelmed. The fragrance was lovely, as with most Aesop products, but this really didn't seem to do anything special to my tresses, let alone volumizing. Oh well!
Repurchase? No.

Aesop Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Mask (sample)
Once again, underwhelming. Not sure if the product is lacking or if there was just not enough of the mask in the packet to properly treat my mid-length hair. One packet did not demonstrate any notable hydrating effects.
Repurchase? Would be curious to use a couple of sachets at once, to see if a bigger dose makes a difference.

Aesop Violet Leaf Hair Balm (sample)
This stuff I really liked! I used it post-leave-in conditioner as a styling/smoothing/hydrating treatment. This really left my locks looking healthy and smooth, while still bouncy and voluminous. Plus, the violet scent is lovely :)
Repurchase? Likely!

Aesop Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm (sample)
This is hands-down my favourite body cream! It smells of vanilla, tangerine, and sandalwood and hydrates deeply without leaving a greasy residue. Truly perfection! It is pricey, though, so I can't always have it in my stash. The Aesop sales associate took pity on me and gave me a couple packets to hold me over.
Repurchase? Yes, yes!

So there you have it- all of my Empties from the past two months. Quite a lot! This post was ultra long, so I'll end it here!

What have you finished lately? Did I tempt you with anything?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Another Adorable Lippie from Born Pretty

Over the past several months, I've been lucky enough to be in touch with the Born Pretty Store , an Asian-based online retailer that sells a fun variety of home and personal goods. They generously let me select beauty items to try, and of course I opt for the cutest of the bunch. Did I need another lip gloss? Heck, no! Did I need a lip gloss in the form of an adorable little doll? Of course! As such, I chose the Lideal Lock/Colour Lip Gloss #11**, which has been adorning my dressing table with cuteness for the last few weeks. 

I realized that I hadn't selected this lip gloss for pure admiration, so I finally gave it a go! As you can see, the Lock/Colour Lip Gloss comes in a tiny plastic tube shaped adorably as a little doll, complete with lashes and adorned with a bow. She fits in the palm of my hand! The shade I chose came with multi-coloured pink packaging, while different shade offerings came housed in a variety of coloured tubes. It's just hard for me to say no to pink! 

You open the gloss by twisting the little dolly's head, which reveals a wand and doe-foot applicator. Definitely a cute detail, though if you want to tune into your morbid side, it could be seen as mildly disturbing that you have to decapitate the poor little lady to get to the product. I think I described to Jenn that you apply the gloss with the tip of her spine, haha. Adorable? Horrifying? You choose! 

The shade I selected was #11, a cheery, cool-toned candy pink. As you can see from the swatch below, the finish is quite sheer and shiny:

And here I am wearing the gloss:

While I didn't pick this gloss for the formula, the quality was a pleasant surprise! Yes, it's sheer, but is also quite moisturizing. It doesn't feel heavy or sticky on the lips and though the colour does not wear very long, it does leave a dewy glow after fading. No dryness or patchiness in sight! 

Overall, I've been so pleasantly surprised with all of the Born Pretty goodies I've tried so far. They're incredibly affordable (I think this was about $4) and the packaging is undoubtedly unique. This particular gloss is no longer available, but there are some similar offerings here and here. Check 'em out! 

If cute, budget-friendly goodies are up your alley, stop on by the Born Pretty Store and take a peek. They've given me the code VIBH10 that will let you get 10% off your next purchase!

Thanks for dropping by! xo

**This product was sent to me by the Born Pretty Store for review purposes. All opinions within are authentic and fully my own! :)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

January Favourites!

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my first-ever Favourites Post! I really enjoy reading others' roundups of monthly picks, so I thought I'd toss my hat in the ring as well. January brought with it many new discoveries as well as classic picks re-entering my regular rotation. I really couldn't narrow it down (leave it to me to have a million monthly faves), so I was rather inclusive. Gotta start with a bang, am I right?!

So here they are, my top picks for makeup, skincare, hair, and body this month:

The Makeup

Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley
The perfect shade for a simple eye shadow look. It's a gorgeous toasted golden beige that goes with just about anything. And the packaging is beautiful!
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
This might be my favourite blush formula ever and each of these three shades is ultra flattering and easy to wear. Have been reaching for this almost daily!
Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff
An old favourite! This gives an amazing flawless coverage without feeling dry or cakey amidst this chilly winter weather. 
MAC Viva Glam III Lipstick
Definitely a "where have you been all my life?" shade. A deep brown-tinged plum with a satin matte finish. It makes me feel like a badass!
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
Another long-time staple, I've been wearing this versatile mauve shade nearly everytime I go to work. Keeps winter lips hydrated too!
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Scotch
Perhaps the prettiest eyeliner ever. This deep brown with copper shimmer is quite the stunner and the formula is top-notch. 
Cle de Peau Luminizing Skin Enhancer #12 Gold
This gives the most ethereal golden glow. It does have sparkle to it, but the most teeniest, tiniest sparkle you can imagine. Truly elegant!
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Liquid Blusher in Cherub
So happy to have re-discovered this blush lately! The most wearable shade of baby pink that truly lasts all day. Plus, it blends like a dream!
Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402
Applied lightly as a setting powder, this gives my skin an airbrushed finish with a subtle glow. Not too flat, not too shimmery. 
Essence beach Cruisers Bronzer in Life's A Beach
This ultra affordable bronzer adds warmth and a subtle radiance to my fair complexion. Great for those days when I refuse to admit it's minus 20 degrees!

The Skin Care

Spectro Acne Care Wash
My skin started breaking out quite badly in December and this has truly saved it! Packed with powerful ingredients, yet in a gentle, creamy base that doesn't irritate my skin. 
Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost
So sad that this trial size is nearly finished- it's the best night cream I've ever used! Rich and hydrating, but not at all heavy. Always wake to glowing, even skin the next day!
Odacite Ap+P Apricot and Palmarosa Serum Concentrate for Fragile Capillaries
My newest beauty find, this organic wonder has done an amazing job to soothe the redness in my skin and add hydration without any breakouts!
May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden
The most heavenly toner of all time. It smells of jasmine and cocoa and soothes my skin so perfectly. 
Nourish Relax Hydrating Peptide Serum
Another affordable option, this serum has become a nightly staple. Lightweight and ultra hydrating, this also works wonders at zapping redness and imparting a healthy glow.

Hair and Body

Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine
My hair is in desperate need of a cut, but in the meantime, this has done an amazing job at making my hair look shiny and styled with very minimal effort. My kind of hair product. 
Wash With Joe Coffeemint Invigorating Body Wash
The best-smelling shower gel ever! It smells of mint and freshly ground coffee, creates a luscious lather, and is cruelty-free. Can't ask for much more!
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne
My first fragrance from the brand and I'm properly obsessed. Fresh, earthy, sophisticated, and fun. I wear it nearly every day!

So there you have it, my first-ever Favourites! Really hoped you enjoyed taking a peek at the products that rocked my socks in January. I'm hoping to begin making Favourites videos as the year progresses (yay!), but hopefully this format works for now :)

What have your favourites been this month? Did I tempt you with anything here?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Sunday, 25 January 2015

New Organic Skin Care Treats

Hi, everyone! If you've chatted with me over the last few weeks, you'll know that I've been on a bit of a luxury organic skin care kick lately. My boyfriend is well aware, as he's peeked over my shoulder at the computer screen more than once and exclaimed "that moisturizer costs how much?!" I try to appeal to his eco-friendly sensitivities, citing all of the wild-harvested ingredients and lack of chemicals and preservatives. He is partially appeased, but still rolls his eyes at the price tag. Discovering more earth-, animal-, and skin-friendly products definitely is an important goal of mine, so if it takes a touch of luxury to sway me in that direction, perhaps that's not a bad thing? That said, if I am going to shell out my hard-earned dollars on a fancy, organic potion, I do want to do my research and ensure to the best of my ability that my finicky skin is going to love what I'm slathering on. 

In a quest to discover additional sources of niche, organic beauty brands in Toronto (we all know Jacob and Sebastian is already a firm favourite), I discovered a shop called Husk. Tucked away behind an unassuming storefront in Yorkville, Husk is a beautifully appointed boutique that offers a wide range of natural skin care lines. From $5 Hurraw lip balms to $200 Tata Harper serums, they really have it all! Last weekend Jenn and I embarked on a bit of a shopping adventure and, after stalking their website thoroughly for a few days, I made sure Husk was one of our destinations.

I came with a bit of a game plan in terms of brands and products on which to focus my attention and, despite drooling over nearly everything, I was successful to sticking to my agenda. Here's what I picked up:

Odacite Ap + P Apricot and Palmarosa Facial Serum Concentrate for Fragile Capillaries
Odacite is the central reason I plodded over to Husk; ever since I spied their products on Cult Beauty, I was totally entranced. The line focuses on formulations that are fresh, organic, and free from preservatives and offer products for nearly every skin care concern imaginable. Their Serum Concentrates are the epitome of this mission, as all 18 formulas target a specific issue and only contain oils and extracts that are organic, wild harvested, or cold pressed. There were several that caught my eye (hey, my skin has lots of issues!), but it was the Ap + P that came home with me. I have a notable amount of redness in my skin, part of which is due to visible veins and capillaries on my cheeks and nose. I'd never encountered a skin care product honing in on this specific concern, so I was eager to give it a go! I'll be posting a fuller review soon, but as a sneak preview: I'm smitten. 

Herbivore Botanicals Lapiz Oil Balancing Facial Oil
Herbivore is a brand that I discovered solely from browsing the Husk website. I fell prey to their incredible packaging, but also quickly came to admire their aim to create products that are pure, effective, cruelty-free, and also a pleasure to use. Their Facial Oils appeared to be their star products, and I immediately gravitated towards their Lapiz oil, created to balance and soothe sensitive, combination, acne-prone skin (my skin type exactly!). It contains several beautiful ingredients, including blue tansy, blue yarrow, and jojoba and conveniently comes in a trial-sized roller ball so that you can give it a go before committing to a full bottle. I am waiting until my Antipodes Divine Oil sees its last drop before I give this a try- so looking forward to it!

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (sample)
I am fully obsessed with May Lindstrom, from the intoxicating scents of her products to the amazingly luxurious and personalized way she wraps her packages. The line is (of course) ridiculously expensive, however, so I was thrilled that the Husk employee was eager to give out samples from the brand. I opted for a pot of May's The Blue Cocoon, which is an rich, blue-toned balm aimed at deeply hydrating and soothing the skin. This stuff smells like exotic flowers and spicy chocolate and, let me tell you, it zapped all of the redness from my skin like nothing else I've tried. I'm slightly suspicious that it caused a breakout or two, so further experimentation is required. But this stuff is undoubtedly lovely.

So there you go- some of my newest luxury organic skin care obsessions. If I'm hoping to splurge on anything this year, it's effective, ethical skin care that's a pleasure to use- what's a better investment, really?

Any of you been geeking out about skin care recently? Any of these products or brands you'd like to hear more about?

Thanks for reading! xo

Look of the Day: British Military

Hi, everyone! If you peeked at my last post, you'll know that I decided to focus my solo January makeup purchase on two lovely products from Burberry. I've always been smitten with the makeup looks sported on the runway at Burberry: flawless, glowing skin, neutral eyes, and a bold red lip. A seemingly perfect mix between British refinement and modern ease. I was excited to draw from this inspiration while simultaneously putting my new products to good use. 

I started by aiming for an even, luminous base. I used my go-to Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup for a flawless coverage, but topped it with the perfectly glowy Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 instead of a mattifying powder, as to keep the look fresh and dewy. To up the glow factor further, I applied the ethereal Cle de Peau Luminizing Skin Enhancer #12 to the high points of my face and swept Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra (a pale, luminous peach) to the apples of my cheeks. 

For a shimmery, yet polished eye, I swept my new Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley across the entire lid, blending upward. It really does make for a perfect all-over colour! I added subtle definition with a swipe of brown liner and a single coat of black mascara. Essentially, I wanted to gently accentuate my eyes without overdoing it.

To complement the soft lids and to channel the signature Burberry look, I painted on a bold red lip. Let me tell you that I'm fully obsessed with my new Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red and hopefully these photos demonstrate why! The colour is full-on, yet sophisticated, has a flattering satin finish, and makes me feel like an elegant badass (I mean, who wouldn't want to feel that way?). 

Here's a peek at the two star products of the look, followed by a full break-down of everything I used:

Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red and Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley

The Breakdown:

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

Powder: Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 (lightly all over)
Highlighter: Cle de Peau Luminizing Skin Enhancer #12 Gold
Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Eye Shadows: Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley (applied on lid, blended up to brow bone) and Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in ME512 Golden Beige (as a highlight on brow bone and inner corners)

Eyeliner: Annabelle Stay-Sharp Kohl Eyeliner in Cappuccino
Mascara: Clinique High Impact in Black

Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red

And a few more shots of the look:

So there you have it- my first-ever Burberry-inspired look! I absolutely loved channeling the brand's signature refined, modern look. I felt quite posh (and not at all stuffy)! This was my first go with my new goodies, but I have to say that I've been using both products on the regular since then. Military Red has quickly become one of my favourite crimson hues and Pale Barley really is a perfect everyday shade. So glad that I chose these products for my makeup purchase of the month! 

Are you a fan of the Burberry look? Have you tried any products from the brand?

Hope you're having a fab weekend! xo

Friday, 23 January 2015

Makeup of the Month: January| Burberry Lip Velvet and Sheer Eye Shadow

Hi, everyone! If you read my 2015 Beauty Resolutions, you'll know that I set an audacious goal for myself this year- only one makeup purchase per month! Quite the feat for this cosmetics junkie. January was my first month on this quest and I have to say that it was (almost) a complete success! My ideal for this resolution is to purchase one single item per month. Well, I did the next best thing: two items, same brand, same transaction. Not too shabby!

The brand that won my affections in January was Burberry. I'd been eyeing the brand for ages, but it wasn't until the line was pulled from Holt Renfrew a couple months ago that I really honed in. We always want what we can't have, eh?! So when Jenn told me that I could find the makeup range at the Burberry boutique in Yorkville, I nearly immediately rushed there, in a snowstorm made my way up there and the rest was history!

Before I delve into the specific products I chose, I first have to say that this was perhaps the most luxuriously packaged beauty purchase I've made. After being carefully wrapped, the items were tucked inside a gilded bag with the Burberry logo embossed on both sides. The bag was sealed with a bow and the receipt slipped inside a chic little envelope. I almost hated to unwrap everything! 

I also have to say that the customer service I received at the Burberry boutique was warm, friendly, and attentive. I've always been intimidated to have a peek inside the high-end designer shops in the neighbourhood, fearing that, despite my knowledge of fashion, my inability to afford the majority of items in the shop would become readily apparent and would somehow lead to my being completely dismissed. This was not the case at all at Burberry! I was welcomed kindly and was encouraged to browse, swatch, and test all of the makeup items on display. 

The beautiful wrapping and amazing customer service were icing on the cake, but let's get down to the tofurkey and potatoes of the post- the items I brought home that day! As you can see, Burberry cosmetics come packaged in chic, sand-coloured cardboard boxes with silver lettering. The products themselves are housed in weighty silver cases etched with the brand's signature plaid motif. The look just really screams luxury! 

As these were my first-ever Burberry items, narrowing it down to two picks was a tricky task. But based on several bloggers' raves and my own in-store swatching, I ultimately selected their Lip Velvet in Military Red and Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley. Aren't they a pretty pair?

Burberry Lip Velvets come packaged in weighty metal tubes embossed with the brand's iconic plaid. They shut with a satisfying metal click, which any lipstick fiend will tell you is a beautiful thing! The shape and size of the Lip Velvets are nearly identical to that of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks, for reference. 

The Lip Velvets are designed to offer bold pigmentation, a luminous matte finish, and a lightweight feel on the lips. I have to say that each of these promises rings quite true! This is definitely one of the best lipstick formulas I've tried. Military Red is the real standout from the range, in my opinion. It's a vivid Hollywood red with subtle orange undertones and a flattering satin finish. It's one of those shades that instantly makes me feel powerful, feminine, and put-together. Just one swipe creates full-on colour and the wear time is truly impressive! 

I knew that my second choice had to be one of Burberry's Sheer Eye Shadows. I'd heard countless raves and the shade range is unique, yet sophisticated. The eye shadows come in square metal reflective compacts that include a foam applicator and a decently-sized mirror. Yes, they do collect fingerprints (see below), but the luxe, weighty feel really makes up for that. 

The Sheer Eye Shadows promise smooth, blendable, long-wearing colour in "weather inspired shades". I have to agree that these babies are ultra silky, buildable, and wear quite well all day! I swatched several of the colours, but ultimately went with the popular choice, Pale Barley. Pale Barley is a complex, unique, yet totally wearable neutral. I'd describe it as a warm, mid-tone gilded beige with slight bronzy undertones. 

Here are Pale Barley and Military Red swatched on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone), under slightly different lighting:

(L-R); Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley and Lip Velvet in Military Red

So there you go- my first foray into Burberry cosmetics and my one and only makeup purchase of January. Do I have any regrets that these items were my pick? Not a one! I am thoroughly impressed with the formulas of both and have to say that I feel quite sophisticated when wearing them. Military Red was an instant love- the bold red speaks for itself! Pale Barley has been more of a sleeper. While I was unsure about it at first, I now seem to wearing it almost daily. I guess that says something! Look out for these two products in a Look of the Day on Sunday.

Have you tried any Burberry cosmetics? Any favourites? What makeup did you purchase in January?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Get Dreamy this Winter with Josie Maran

Hi, everyone! Of all the brands I finally discovered last year, Josie Maran is among the very best. This supermodel-led, earth-conscious line had been on my radar for some time, but it was her Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows (I'm truly obsessed) that converted me to a full-blown devotee. I loved these little liquid shadows so much, that when I spotted Josie Maran's Winter Dreams Argan Colour Collection holiday set, I knew it had to be mine. My parents were generous enough to give me this amazing kit for Christmas and delving in to the contents has been a pleasure! 

The Winter Dreams Argan Colour Collection came boxed in a colourful cover that pictures the products featured inside:

The back of the box outlines that each of the products included contains 100% Argan Oil, which is the base of most of the beauty bits from the line. Essentially, Josie Maran cosmetics are designed to add flattering, natural colour while simultaneously nourishing and treating the skin. Gotta love some skin-loving double-duty!

The back of the box also includes a description of each product as well as directions for use:

A full breakdown of ingredients is listed, which is always a huge bonus (click to read in full size!) and the packaging reiterates that all Josie Maran products feature ingredients that are organic, paraben-, gluten-, artificial fragrance-, and cruelty-free. Plus, all of the packaging is designed to be recyclable. 

Upon opening the box, you pull out a clear plastic tray with all of the goodies neatly nestled inside. Such a beautiful array! The products included are:

Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow in Rio de Rose Gold (full-sized)
A coconut water-based long-wearing liquid shadow in a metallic rosy golden hue. A true stunner!

Argan Black Oil Mascara
An innovating mix of argan oil and mineral pigments that touts 24-hour wear and promises to both lengthen and nourish lashes. 

100% Pure Argan Oil Light
A lighter-weight version of Josie's cult Argan Oil, designed for oily, sensitive skin types (like me!)

Argan Illuminator
A champagne-gold liquid highlighter designed to add luminosity on all skin tones. 

Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink
A cream-to-oil, multi-tasking product aimed at adding flattering colour and hydration to lips and cheeks. The shade included is a lovely warm coral pink. 

Here they are all lined up in a row (yes, I do get a nerdy kick from arranging my beauty bits and simply admiring them, heehee). 

Here are the three colour-based products swatched on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). As you can see, the Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow has an opaque, metallic finish, the Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil has a semi-sheer, dewy finish, and the Argan Illuminator has a sheer, shimmery finish. 

(L-R): Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow in Rio de Rose Gold, Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink, and Argan Illuminator

And just to demonstrate the general budge-proofness of the Coconut Watercolour shadows, I wiped these swatches off with a damp tissue and this was the end result- it stayed put quite well! I needed a serious dose of micellar water to remove it. 

And here is a makeup look I created with all 5 products! I used the Argan Oil Light as a makeup base and I have to say it worked quite nicely! After letting it absorb for 15 minutes or so, this was not at all greasy or heavy on the skin. For added glow, I mixed some of the Argan Illuminator in with my foundation. It really did a good job at adding subtle radiance to my complexion without making me look like a total disco ball head. I also dabbed some of the illuminator on the tops of my cheekbones as a typical highlighter. 

I then applied the Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink to my lips and on the apples of my cheeks, blending up. I have to say that it felt quite nourishing without feeling like a greasy mess, which is definitely a feat! This can be applied quite sheer, but clearly that's not the look I went for! I was purposefully heavy-handed to show that the colour can really be layered for a bolder look. 

For the eyes, I applied the Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow in Rio de Rose Gold all over my lid, blending upward. It creates such a flattering glow to the eyes that I can imagine will be perfect for summertime! I finished with two coats of the Black Oil Mascara, which really did add some impressive length to my lashes. Plus, it didn't smudge or flake throughout the day! 

If you are all about a healthy glow and eco-chic beauty, Josie Maran is definitely a brand worth checking out. The Winter Dreams Argan Colour Collection convinced me that the Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows are not a one-hit wonder- her other offerings are highly impressive as well! I'm especially smitten with the Lip and Cheek Creamy Oils, which have a lovely texture that hydrates and brightens without a greasy feel. Like I said, I'm now a true convert to the brand and can't wait to give more a try!

Have you tried any products from Josie Maran? Which of the products in this set do you find most tempting?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Monday, 19 January 2015

Two Beauty Bits from Bobbi Brown

Hi, everyone! Back in December I was perusing the beauty department in the Queen St. Hudson's Bay, when I was hit with a double dose of temptation. As I stopped in front of the Bobbi Brown counter (featuring her stunning holiday collection), I simultaneously spotted a sign advertising a Spend $75, Immediately Save $10 promotion. I'm assuming that these are the moments when I am supposed to stay strong, but, in this instance, I'm glad I didn't! I went home with two utter gems and saved some cash in the process. No regrets!

The first goody I selected has been much raved about by Lily at Lily Pebbles. Despite a growing stash of foundation brushes, I find that fingers remain my preferred application method for base. That said, I seem to persist in my eternal quest for a foundation brush that will works its way into my regular rotation. I think I've found it!

The Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face brush is designed for use with both liquid and powder formulas to create a (duh) full-coverage finish. The brush is neither too weighty nor too flimsy and has a relatively short two-toned handle that will be super convenient for travel! 

The bristles are short, tightly-packed, and ultra soft. The head of the brush is slightly rounded, with a shape quite similar to the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Here is a closeup to give you an idea of the density and formation of the brush:

As for performance, this brush really is incredible! It applies fluid (e.g., Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet) as well as creamier foundations (e.g., Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme) with ease, leaving no noticeable streaks or splotches behind. I enjoy that you can use the brush to sweep, buff, and stipple on foundation, which really lets you customize the finish of your base on different areas of your face. With most foundation brushes I've tried, I always have to go in afterwards and blend things out with my fingers, but not with this one! It really completes the job. Plus, the bristles truly are soft and luxurious! 

Here's a shot of the Full Coverage Face Brush in action:

The second item I snagged was Bobbi's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Scotch, which was part of the line's Scotch on the Rocks Holiday 2014 collection (so sorry if this is no longer available!). The old Hollywood feel of the campaign definitely caught my eye as well as the name itself- there here broad really does enjoy a good glass of scotch!

The liner came packaged in a limited edition box with festive gold and red detailing. 

As with the other Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners, Black Scotch comes housed in a tiny, yet weighty glass jar with a shiny black top. It has a chic, minimalist feel that mimics the brand's aesthetic quite well.

While I'd been vaguely curious to try this liner formulation, it was the colour of this one (and some rave reviews I'd read) that seriously drew me in. Black Scotch is a deep, neutral brown with warm coppery shimmer throughout. Once you disrupt the top layer of the gel, the vibrancy of the shimmer is immediately apparent! 

Here are swatches of Black Scotch on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone), first applied with a finger swipe heavily, then sheered out, followed by a more precise line. You can see that it applies smoothly and evenly with fingers, and when applied with a liner brush, the colour and shimmer are both intensified and rich!

I knew the shade would be a hit for me (I'm a sucker for a shimmery bronze), but I was so pleasantly surprised by the formula as well! Bobbi Brown touts that her Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners give the potency of a liquid with the convenience of a gel. They are designed to be pigmented, long-wearing, and easily blendable before they set. I have to agree that all of these claims are utterly true! 

With the help of my tiny, yet powerful Kevin Aucoin Concealer Brush (much prefer it for liner), Black Scotch applies like a dream. It feels creamy, is instantly pigmented, and does allow for a bit of tweaking before it fully sets. And once it does, it really stays all day! 

Here's a closeup of it on my eye...

...and then in the context of a completed makeup look. As you can see, the copper shimmer is visible, but not over-the-top and the formula allows for a bold. yet precise line. 

To keep it short and sweet- I'm totally over the moon about both of these products! The Full Coverage Face brush is by far the best foundation brush I've tried, and Black Scotch has become a regular in my rotation. Foundation brushes and gel liners rarely make their way into my routine, but these two items have completely converted me! These goodies have also re-ignited by interest in Bobbi Brown as a brand; looking forward to what the line has to offer in 2015!

What is your favourite foundation brush? Are you a fan of gel liners? What Bobbi Brown goodies do you love?

Have a wonderful day! xo