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Sunday, 31 May 2015

May 2015 Empties!

Hi, everyone! May has been a seriously good month for me. In case you've missed my raving (gloating? celebrating?), this month has seen the completion of my PhD degree, my birthday, and some serious planning for an upcoming trip to NYC. I have felt incredibly lucky! 

It seems that in the process, I have not been too busy to also finish up a boatload of products. My empties bag was literally bulging! Here are the items I polished off this month:

Make Up For Ever Powder Blush #74
I bought this little blush about 10 years ago when I was working in the beauty department of Sears (yes, our Sears in Windsor sold MUFE. It was glorious). This was a beautiful matte coral that I used quite a bit over the years and it always made me look fresh and summery!
Repurchase? No, but only because I have so many coral blushes!

Laura Mercier Eye Colour in Sandstone
I got this in a makeup swap a few years ago and it was such a pleasant surprise. It was a beautiful mix of ivory, pink, and beige that made for such a perfect highlight shade. I obviously got a lot of use out of it!
Repurchase? No, but only because it has since been discontinued!

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Deauville (sample)
I got a sample of this at The Bay a couple months ago due to all of the hype. The promises were promising (redundant?), but unfortunately, I was disappointed. This did not feel light on my skin at all; in fact, it was rather heavy and, as the day went on, greasy as well. Can't win em all!
Repurchase? No.

Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine
I'm pretty sure this is my favourite styling creme of all time. It can be used as a leave-in treatment on wet hair or smoothed over dry locks for texture and definition. It leaves my hair looking styled with very minimal effort and never feels greasy or heavy. The perfect lazy gal's product!
Repurchase? Already have!

Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner
Mirroring my previous review, this might be my favourite conditioner ever! It has a heavenly vanilla coconut scent, is rich and moisturizing without weighing hair down, is affordable, and also cruelty- and paraben-free. There is nothing not to love about it!
Repurchase? Yes!

Burt's Bees Cranberry and Pomegranate Sugar Scrub
I got this as a birthday present from my boyfriend last year (thoughtful guy) and I was impressed! This had a rich berry jam scent and both exfoliated and hydrated nicely. No need for body lotion afterwards. It did tend to lean on the greasy side, though, so I had to be extra careful about a slippery shower!
Repurchase? Maybe.

Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers
This is probably the 10th tube of this I've finished. I've raved about it here several times because it's the ultimate lip balm: hydrating, non-sticky, and affordable. It also adds the most lovely pinky red tint to the lips and smells amazing!
Repurchase? Always!

My Beauty Diary Broccoli Mask
This was my final mask of a 10-pack, which I also shared with my friends and boyfriend (fun times!). It hydrated wonderfully without feeling greasy and was extremely refreshing. No incredible results, but a pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Probably not, but am curious to try other masks from the band!

Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Cappuccino**
When I finish off an eyeliner, it's a tell-tale sign that it's pretty fantastic! This was a flattering deep brown that defined my eyes nicely and wore well all day long with *very* minimal smudging. The self-sharpening mechanism was incredibly handy and always made for a sharp, crisp line!
Repurchase? Yes!

Batiste Dry Shampoo Original
I have finished a few bottles of this by now and can confidently say it's my favourite dry shampoo. It smells fresh, makes my roots look clean and plump, and is super affordable. It can leave a bit of white residue, but this subsides easily with a bit of brushing. It's seriously good stuff!
Repurchase? Yes!

Coola Cucumber Matte Finish Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
I bought this at Jacob and Sebastian a couple summers ago and was sad to see it had expired when I reached for it earlier this month. Luckily, the tube was nearly empty anyways! This really is the best facial sunscreen I've tried- it's light, is mattifying, yet hydrating, and is filled with lovely skin-friendly ingredients.
Repurchase? Definitely!

Marc Anthony Macadamia Oil Shampoo
This was a nice, nearly-natural shampoo with a pleasant scent. Cleaned well without stripping and lathered nicely- there just wasn't anything special about it that would have me coming back!
Repurchase? No.

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe
What else can I say about this? It's been my go-to brow product for about 8 years. Always creates natural-looking brows that wear true all day long and is a perfect colour match for me. I dabble in other brow products from time to time, but will never be without this!
Repurchase? Duh! Already have.

Montagne Jeunesse Deep Cleansing Clean-Up Mud Mask**
I have used this mask a couple times in the past, so was thrilled when FarleyCo. sent me one in a thoughtful care package. This seriously deep cleans my skin without stripping or irritating it. It has lovely skin-nurturing ingredients like aloe and is only $2 for a few uses' worth of product.
Repurchase? Definitely!

Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402
This is one of the best setting powders I've tried! I bought it thinking it was a highlighter (thanks to the intense lighting in the store), but it's actually a soft-focused face powder with a subtle glow. I would apply this all over my face, over top of strategically-placed mattifying powder, and it would always make me look even and luminous. During the Summertime, I use Hourglass Dim Light for this purpose, but during the colder months, this is perfect!
Repurchase? Next Fall, yes!

NARS Powder Blush in Deep Throat
I got this blush from a friend about 10 years ago when there were only a few blushes in my stash. I instantly fell smitten and it has since held its own as my all-time favourite cheek colour. It's a gorgeous, versatile, universal shimmery pinky peach that I'll never, ever stop reaching for.
Repurchase? Already have!

That was crazy long, so I'll sign out now!
What did you finish up during May? Did I tempt you with anything here?

**These items were provided to me as PR samples for review. All thoughts and opinions are authentic and 100% my own! 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Impromptu YSL Haul + Makeup Look

Hi, everyone! If you saw my last post, you'll know that I recently got a totally fabulous makeover at the YSL counter at The Bay and will have also read that I simultaneously learned I had $120 worth of HBC points to spend afterwards. YSL Beauty was having an amazing GWP promotion at the moment, so it seemed like the ultimate time to spend my points and treat myself! I left with three new beautiful products and a totally glamorous bag worth of freebies. 

First off, let's admire this gift with purchase. It came housed in a generously-sized white nylon bag with gold detailing and the YSL logo. Inside was a plethora of luxury skin care samples, a card featuring 3 shades of Glossy Stains to try, and a full sized(!) Rouge Volupte Perle lipstick. Few things better in life than a free YSL lippie! 

All three of the products I purchased were used on me during the makeover, each of which instantly won me over. I chose: 

Fusion Ink Foundation in BR20 Pinky Beige
I had sampled this foundation from Sephora a while back and was definitely impressed, so when the makeup artist used it on me once again I knew I had to snag it. This foundation is truly lightweight, but covers wonderfully and keeps oil at bay quite well. All good things! I always tend to gravitate towards more yellow-toned bases, but I was matched to a cooler-toned shade and I have to say it's a perfect fit!

Blush Volupte Heart of Light Powder Blush in Light 03
We all know I own way too many blushes, but truly cool-toned pinks are actually quite sparse in my stash. This blush looks almost intimidatingly lavender in the pan, but translates to such a beautiful, natural flush on my cheeks. It's sheer, but can be built up nicely, and the packaging is to-die-for! Very Art Deco. 

Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils Shocking in#4 Deep Green
It was love at first swipe with this one. This liquid liner is the most gorgeous shade of teal green- deep enough to provide definition, but vivid enough that it can't be mistaken for black. It is pigmented, glides on easily, and the felt-tipped applicator makes it a snap to use. This is part of YSL's Summer 2015 collection, but I really hope they keep it around! 

Here's a shot of all three goodies I picked up, plus the free Rouge Volupte Perle #105 lipstick I got in the GWP:

And here is a makeup look I created with my  new goodies. I'm wearing Fusion Ink Foundation in shade BR20 and Blush Volupte Heart of Light Powder Blush in 03, applied to the apples of my cheeks and blended upward. I swiped Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils Shocking in #4 Deep Green along my upper lash lines, winging the liner up and out slightly. I finished with the Rouge Volupte Perle #105 lipstick. It's not necessarily the shade I would have paired with that blush and eyeliner, but I did want to show it off! 

As I said in my previous post, I'm so happy that I stopped by the YSL counter last week because my makeover was totally fierce and it had been ages since I played with goodies from the brand. I'm absolutely loving each of my purchases so far and cannot wait to test out the samples from the gift with purchase (though nothing good can come from me falling in love with a $200 serum ;)).

Have you had any fun makeup hauls recently? What are your favourites from YSL Beauty?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

YSL Summer Makeover!

Hi, everyone! Last week, while basking in the afterglow of my PhD defense, I was wandering around The Bay (*innocently, as always, of course*) when a friendly voice from the YSL Beauty counter beckoned: "Would you like a makeup touch-up?" Yes, please! Not only was I long overdue for a proper play with YSL, the voice was that of Danielle, a lovely makeup artist who had previously done my makeup at the Holt's Shu Uemura counter a couple years ago. Win-win! I sat down in the director-style chair and gave her free reign to get colourful. 

I was already wearing a fairly freshly applied face of makeup, so she didn't re-do the entire look. Instead, she focused  on adding smoke to the eyes, brightness to my cheeks, and some gloss to my lips. 

She paired some beautiful tones of teal and violet on my eyes with a wearable lavender pink cheek, and a plush, pink pout. I felt like a total babe when she was finished! 

Danielle started by gently removing the makeup from my cheeks and under-eyes, quickly adding some luminosity courtesy of the Forever Light Creator Dark Circle Corrector, a luxe eye cream/highlighter hybrid. She then swiped the classic Touche Eclat #1 under my eyes and around my nose for a serious shot of brightness. Next, she evened out my complexion with Fusion Ink Foundation in BR20 Pinky Beige. For a fun flush of colour, she reached for Blush Volupte Heart of Light Powder Blush in Light 03, which looks intimidatingly pastel purple in the pan, but quite fresh and wearable on the cheeks!

For the eyes, she started by smudging warm, shimmery neutrals from the new Summer Couture Eye Shadow Palette in Mauresques along my upper and lower lash lines for a subtly sultry effect. She then reached for the Couture Eye Shadow Palette in Rose Baby Doll, stroking the rich violet shade on my lower lash line, blending upward. For the upper lash line, Danielle opted for the new and stunning Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils Shocking in #4 Deep Green, a rich liquid liner. For a final touch of smoke, she applied Waterproof Eye Pencil in Simmering Burgundy on my upper and lower waterlines. 

To finish the look, Danielle mixed two of YSL's lush Gloss Voluptes in Rose Jersey and Rose Satine for a fresh, shiny look. 

I can definitely transition into control freak mode when I get my makeup done, but I was able to completely relax in Danielle's chair. She made me look totally fierce and it was such a fun experience to get pampered and test out several new goodies from YSL. I may have picked up a few after the makeover (hey, I'd just learned I had $120 worth of HBC points!), which I'll review for you soon!

Have you had your makeup done lately? Any faves from YSL?

PS- It's my Birthday today (32 years old- eek!) and I'm going out to celebrate tonight by seeing the new Mad Max movie with my boyfriend. What better way to celebrate getting a year older than watching a group of badass babes kicking serious butt!? :)

Monday, 25 May 2015

Look of the Day: Pink Glow

Hi, everyone! If you saw my last post, you'll know that I splurged a bit (ok, a lot) this month when I picked up the Tom Ford Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact. It was pricey for sure, but truly is a thing of beauty. So today I move past swatches and give you a peek at this amazing palette in action! 

My absolute favourite part of this compact is the blushes. Both are wonderfully soft, pigmented, and blendable. I love the contrast between the rich berry shade and the lighter golden peachy pink and think they work amazingly well together as an unconventional contour/highlight duo. For this look, I applied the darker berry blush along the hollows of my cheeks and just above, blending the shade up to the temples for a subtle sculpting effect. I then applied the lighter blush to the apples of my cheeks, blending up to the tops of my cheekbones for a flattering glow. 

For the eyes, I started by applying the frosty pinky-white shade all over my lids, blending up to my brow bone and dotting it on the inner corners of my eyes as a highlight. I then pressed the cool glittery gold shade all over my eyelid for a touch of lustre. I finished by applying the rusty cranberry shadow to the outer corners of my eye, blending up to the crease to add dimension. I wanted to let the shadows stand out, so I finished the eyes with a thin swipe of black liner and a couple gentle coats of mascara.

To complement the eyes and cheeks, I wanted the lips to look natural, but not nude. I started by tracing my lips with my favourite "my lips but better" lip liner, MAC Whirl. I also lightly coloured in my pout with Whirl to create a base of colour. I then finished with a layer of the gorgeous Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Bal de Mai, which gave the lips a flattering rosy sheen. 

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

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Clinique Perfectly Real Foundation in #1 Ivory
Concealer: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory

Powder: Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02 
Blush: From the Tom Ford Pink Glow Palette: Berry shade along the cheek bones as a contour, Peachy Pink shade on the tops of cheekbones, as a highlight

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: From the Pink Glow Palette: Ivory shade (all over lid, blended up to brow bone and on the inner corners as a highlight), shimmery Gold shade (patted across the lid), Cranberry shade (on crease and outer corners)

Eyeliner: Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Eyeliner in Go Black
Mascara: Revlon Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Waterproof Mascara in Black

Lip Liner: MAC Lip Liner in Whirl

Lipstick: Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #160 Bal de Mai

And a few more shots of the look:

I hope these photos demonstrate just how lovely and flattering the shades in Pink Glow are. The blushes are an absolute dream and would most definitely suit a wide range of skin tones. The shadows work wonderfully together to create a complete eye look and offer a unique and beautiful alternative to the typical bronzes and teals most companies promote this time of year. Pinks and berries have never looked so Summery! 

What do you think of the shades of the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact? Do you ever wear pink and berry tones in Summer? What are your favourite palettes at the moment?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Makeup of the Month: May | Tom Ford Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact

Hi, everyone! First off, I'd like to send a heartfelt thank you for all of the words of support and congrats you left in response to my last post. So much appreciated! The fact that I now have my PhD is still quite surreal, but I do feel incredibly relieved to be finished! 

Last month Jenn and I were *innocently* browsing around Holt Renfrew when I *innocently* inquired at the Tom Ford counter about when their Summer 2015 collection would be released. When they informed me that it would be hitting shelves just before the day of my Dissertation defense, I bit the bullet and pre-ordered the star of the collection, the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact. What better treat for finally reaching Dr. status!? The palette actually arrived a couple of weeks early, but I held off until this past Thursday to finally dive in! 

This palette is the most expensive makeup item I've bought to date, but it is a true beauty with five unique shades to enjoy. Let's take a look!

The Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact comes in a metallic textured golden box with white lettering. Just from the outer layer, it gives off a chic, summery feel:

The palette itself comes housed in a soft, luxurious white leather pouch. Inside is a white, square-shaped plastic compact with rounded edges and golden details. To my excitement, it was actually larger than I expected, eclipsing the size of my palm:

Upon opening the case, a beautiful geometric arrangement of shades is revealed: 

Oh, hello there! 

The three shades on the left hand of the palette are eye shadows, each with a distinctly different shade and finish. At the top left is a beautiful highlight shade, a pink-tinged ivory with a frosty finish. The center left shade is a sheer, glittery cool gold, and the bottom left is a rich warm, rust-toned cranberry with a satin finish. 

The right side of the palette consists of two incredible blushes. The top right hue is a sheer pinky peach blush with a golden frosted finish and the bottom right is a rich, saturated , shimmery berry. 

Here are swatches of the 5 shades in the palette, the three shadows to the left and the two blushes to the right: 

So what are my thoughts on this luxurious palette? Is it worth the splurge? Here are some pros and cons- but mostly pros ;)

  • My favourite thing about Pink Glow? The blushes! Both cheek colours are buttery soft and blend beautifully together. I like using the berry shade as a contour and the golden peach as a highlight
  • Wear time of the blushes and the shadows is quite impressive- they get me through the 9-to-5 and beyond
  • I appreciate that you can create a complete eye shadow look with the palette, since it includes a highlight, lid shade, and deeper crease colour
  • The variety of finishes in the eye shadow allows you to create a complex look
  • The generally warm hues in the palette are flattering on my skin tone, but are not so warm that cooler complexions wouldn't get along with it
  • All shades except one (the gold glitter) are beautifully pigmented
  • Though this has a decidedly Summery feel, I think the shades would also be beautiful in Fall as well
  • Sleek, chic, luxurious packaging
  • The blush pans are large enough to use with a moderately-sized blush brush- much larger than I expected! 
  • The glittery shade is rather sheer and has some fall-out- it's pretty, but doesn't pack a punch
  • The shades are absolutely stunning, but are not necessarily unique. Affordable dupes are most likely available! 

Overall, this palette is a total dream. The blushes are among the best I've tried and the shadows allow for a variety of sunset-like, shimmery looks. The pigmentation is impressive and the wear time is top-notch. Plus, it's a stunning thing to behold! Yes, the shades are dupe-able, but if you feel like a special treat this summer, the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Palette is among the best you'll find.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dr. Blogger!

Hi, everyone! I'm here to share a short, but ultra exciting post with you- yesterday marked the successful defense of my Dissertation, which means I have officially earned PhD status! I started graduate school nearly 8 years ago, so this really feels like the culmination of something that I've put every ounce of my being into. It hasn't fully sunken in yet, but I'm gradually revelling in the sensation of finally being finished! Just call me Dr. Blogger! :)

After my defense, I went for a beer and diner food with a couple good friends (perfect way to celebrate!), then sauntered into Inglot for a peruse (it was literally around the corner from our lunch spot; way too tempting). I didn't intend to go nuts, but I wanted to pick up a small celebratory item. I ended up with the vibrant blue lipstick from the Mama Mia collection, which is truly unlike anything in my stash. I'll post a review of it shortly (minus artistically filtered photos), but for now I can say that this playful, unique hue really mirrors the feelings of pride and freedom that achieving my PhD have summoned. I feel like no one can stop me now and this lipstick is the perfect accessory for this emotion.

Thanks so much to all who have sent supportive and congratulatory messages- so very, very much appreciated! xoxo

Monday, 18 May 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Roses, Mauves, and MLBBs

Hi, everyone! Happy long weekend! For those of you who thought my lipstick series was over- surprise! I have one for you today and several more to come (#lipstickhoarder)- yes, my stash just might be bottomless! ;)

This entry focuses on those lipsticks that fall somewhere between nudes and bold shades. The rosy pinks, muted mauves, and flushed neutrals. Those that impart a "my lips but better" effect. Who doesn't want to amp up their natural lip colour just a touch?

Here are closeups of the 12 lovely lippies in this versatile colour family:

NARS Semi-Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita
Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Naturally Chic
Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #160 Bal de Mai
Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose
Boots No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Paradise (discontinued)
Armani Lip Maestro #501

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
Inglot Lipstick #425
Inglot AMC Lip Crayon #22
Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Crayon in Mauveous
Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Elusive
Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Nova

Here are the lip products all laid out, followed by swatches of each, in the same order:

Click to enlarge

And here are each in the context of a completed makeup look!

NARS Semi-Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita

Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Naturally Chic

Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #160 Bal de Mai

Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose

Boots No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Paradise

Armani Lip Maestro in #501

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey

Inglot Lipstick #425

Inglot Lip Crayon #22

Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Crayon in Mauveous

Revlon ColourBurst Lip Balm in Elusive

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Nova

Although the "MLBB" effect isn't one I gush about often, I have to say that each and every shade I tried on for this post made me ooh and aahh. There is something simply beautiful about a rosy or mauve hue that accentuates my natural lip colour while remaining versatile enough to pair with any makeup look. I find NARS Dolce Vita to be the quintessential "my lips but better", beyond wearable shade and Hard Candy All Glossed Up in Mauveous has to be one of my most-worn products in Summertime. It gives a lovely lush finish but really wears for hours! As for other long-wear options, Armani Lip Maestro in #501, Revlon Balm Stain in Honey, and Inglot Lip Crayon #22 really go the distance!

What are your favourite rosy and  mauve-toned lipsticks? Do you like a "MLBB" effect?

Thanks for dropping by! xo