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Monday, 29 June 2015

Happy Pride + Rainbow Eyes!

Hi, everyone! I'm briefly interrupting the Charlotte Tilbury fanfare with a fun and colourful post. Yesterday marked the culmination of Toronto Pride week, celebrated with a joyous, vibrant parade. It was a damp, chilly day, yet millions of people came out to show their support for the LBGTQ community and the principles of diversity, acceptance, and freedom. Truly a beautiful and wonderful thing! Though I couldn't attend the parade, I wanted to share in the celebration by painting myself (or at least my eyes) in rainbows. 

To create the colourful eyes, I combined the vivid hues of Marc Jacobs' Style Eye-Con No.7 palette in The Siren and Coastal Scents Go Palette in London. I focused the red, orange, and yellow hues on my lid, while lining my lower lash line with shades of mint, blue, and purple. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

For the cheeks, I started with Daniel Sandler's Watercolour Blusher in Trip, a neon orange then layered Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra to tone the shade down slightly as the eyes were the main focus. 

While I was tempted to paint my lips in rainbows as well (perhaps another day!), I opted for a nude, glossy lip to let the other hues stand out. NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu fit the bill perfectly! 

Here are a few more shots of the look: 

I am so proud of my city, my country, and (after Friday's ruling) our neighbours to the south for standing up for love, regardless of sexuality. So many areas of the world are sadly so far from this mindset, and celebrations like Toronto Pride remind me of just how very lucky I am to live where I do. Love wins!

Have a rainbow-filled week :)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Launch Event at Holt Renfrew!

Hi, everyone! As I could not be more thrilled about the recent launch of Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics in Canada, today marks the start of Charlotte Tilbury Week here at Vibrant Beauty Blog! Since the brand landed at my local Holt Renfrew, I've been engaged in several ways- (finally) being able to test the products in-store, getting a makeover with one of Charlotte's iconic looks, snagging a bunch of products for my own, and- arguably most excitingly- meeting Ms. Tilbury herself! 

Today I'm bringing you details of the event that made the latter possible. While the line officially launched last Monday, it was Wednesday evening when the fanfare was in full-swing. When I heard Charlotte Tilbury was making an in-store appearance I could not have been more excited. But I had no idea of the grandeur the event would entail. In true British royal form, her arrival coincided with a luxurious amount of pomp and circumstance. 

I arrived at Holts about 45 minutes before Charlotte was slated to arrive and made a bee-line for the sign that said "Meet Charlotte Tilbury- Lineup Begins Here". Seemed like the place to be! I was quickly joined by Liz, Zubie, and Jenn, which made the wait much more enjoyable! There was also a DJ on hand, blasting dance music to get the energy up (though we didn't need it; we were all pretty pumped). The line formed behind us quite rapidly, so we all felt lucky to be near the front! 

Just after 6pm, the crowd began to stir and cameras were flung out and held steady at attention. Ms. Tilbury had arrived outside in her famous Tilbury taxi! 

She walked up the red carpet alongside the CEO of Holt Renfrew and was followed by pink robe-clad models painted up in her iconic makeup looks. They twirled pink feathered fans (some half-heartedly, but I digress) as they adorned the escalators with all of the glam you would expect from a Charlotte Tilbury entourage. 

The lovely models walked around before the arrival as well, some handing out little lipstick samples. Here are the "Vintage Vamp" and "The Rebel" kindly posing for a photo. 

Charlotte spoke to the crowd for about 15 minutes, touting the magic and innovation of her products and proclaiming that the Charlotte Tilbury counter launch at Holt Renfrew had been the most successful makeup launch of all time, outdoing the brand's inauguration at Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S. last year. Some serious evidence that us Torontonians are rabid makeup fanatics! 

Within 10 minutes of finishing her talk (during which she schmoozed with media), our "meet and greet" line began to move. Then it was my turn! Upon meeting Charlotte, she warmly greeted me with hug, then instantly began to inspect my makeup. I told her I was wearing the Dolce Vita palette and she quickly pinpointed the fact that I was not wearing the coinciding lipstick for the Dolce Vita look. If anyone would have an eagle eye for her makeup, it's her! 

She examined my colouring and suggested that I also try the "Golden Goddess" and "Rock Chick" looks. Who am I to argue? Here I am looking up to her as if she were my fairy godmother. I mean, can you blame me for being in awe of receiving advice from a makeup genius!?

Charlotte was kind enough to pose for a few photos before wishing me farewell. The event was quite well organized, which meant that I was subject to the "move along" motto after the meet and greet. But given that there were hundreds of other people waiting to see her, I could completely understand. 

After Jenn and I had savoured our moments with Ms. Tilbury, we lingered for a short while but, given that neither of us needed to get our makeup done or buy anymore products (I'd done plenty of that the previous day; more on that to come), we decided to dodge the crowd and head home. But not before rubbing elbows with another vital faction of the Tilbury entourage- Queen's guards! 

Overall, I deemed this event a huge success! While I would have loved to have seen a live makeup demo from Charlotte (a true icon in action), I totally appreciate that so much time was dedicated to meeting her fans. Charlotte Tilbury was clearly passionate about her brand and was warm, patient, and eager to share beauty advice with her fans. It was a thrill to meet such a beauty icon and to be part of an evening that felt like a true British invasion! 

Look out for more Charlotte Tilbury love on the blog later this week!

Have a wonderful Sunday :)

Friday, 26 June 2015

My Experience at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab!

Hi, everyone! There are few things I love more than lipstick and New York City. This has been evidenced via my terribly expansive lip stash as well as the fact that I've now visited the Big Apple a whopping 7 times. During my most recent trip to NYC, I found a way to blend these loves in the most exciting way. Bite Beauty is a fantastic Canadian cosmetics brand that creates vivid, food-grade lipsticks that are completely non-toxic and always beautiful. Nestled in a quiet corner of norther SoHo, Bite houses their Lip Lab, where lipstick enthusiasts like myself get a chance to create their very own customized lipstick. How cool it that?! As I've been wanting to visit the Lip Lab for the past couple of years, it was a complete must during this trip. Last Wednesday finally brought me there and I decided to document the entire process! 

Here I am, arriving at the Lip Lab, full of eager anticipation! My parents were lovely and were also quite excited for my experience! They popped in to check out the lab before heading out to wander down Prince Street while I got down to business. 

Upon meeting my ultra-friendly Lip Lab consultant, I sat down in front of an impressive array of pigments. Before we started talking colour, I was treated to some of Bite Beauty's Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub (which smelled amazing), followed by their Agave Lip Mask, an ultra hydrating balm that left my pout so soft and smooth. 

After my lip treatment, we started brainstorming about colour. I told her that I'm all about a vibrant lip and that I wanted to create something vivid and saturated. I think "as if fuchsia and coral had a baby" were my exact words. Being the pro that she was, she immediately knew what I was talking about and began to mix some pigments! She reached for Quince, a vivid fuchsia, and Garnet, a warm bright coral orange. 

She then had the idea of adding some Red 121, a rich burgundy, to add some depth to the shade. We tried a few different blends, and I got to try on each until I was fully satisfied! 

After mixing up the perfect shade, I got to choose the scent of my lipstick. The options included cherry, mint, violet, vanilla, lime, mango, and blueberry. I opted for Cherry Mint- fresh and fruity!

Next I got to select the finish of my lipstick. I chose the Matte finish, since I wanted something long-wearing for summertime. She also promised that Bite's matte formula was neither flat, nor drying. I was sold! 

She then grabbed portions of my chosen pigments (which were lined up along the wall like bon bons- yum!) and mixed them with a pat of their matte lipstick base. Here was the formula before mixing: 

She next heated the ingredients to soften them, then placed the container in an ultra-fast centrifuge, which was mesmerizing to watch! 

After the base was heated and mixed, it was poured into a mold that would form the lipstick bullet. It was then placed onto a freezer slab to cool. 

While the lipstick was chilling out, I got to choose the design of my lipstick tube. The options were smart and adorable, mimicking the different shapes that women's lipstick bullets form after use. How cool! I mean, have you ever looked at someone else's lipstick and thought "how did they get it to that shape?!". But I digress. I selected the slanted tipped tube (seen in the back), as that is how my lipsticks look after using. 

After taking a couple selfies (why not!?), my lipstick was cooled and ready to come out of the mold. My Lip Lab consultant slipped the tube over the bullet....

... and ta-da! My lipstick was complete!! 

My consultant was so patient and accommodating- she even staged this photo for me! 

Here is the entire lot that I got to take home, including a post card outlining all the specs of my new treasure: 

After the experience, my family and I went to lunch (an amazing Israeli meal of Shakshuka! so good!), after which I was terribly excited to try on my new lippie! I had to photograph it first, of course ;)

And here is a photo of me wearing my custom-made colour. It was exactly as I'd hoped- a rich, vivid blend of cool fuchsia and warm coral, with a hint of red. I find the shade to be ultra flattering and perfect for summertime, and the matte formula is truly smooth and comfortable! 

Overall, my experience at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab could not have been any better. The process was fun, engaging, and unique, the service was ultra friendly, and I could not be happier with the lipstick I left with! For only $36 USD, I'd say it's a steal. I'd recommend this experience to anyone! 

Have you ever been to the Lip Lab? What shade of lipstick would you create?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

So I Bought Some Things in NYC...

Hi, everyone! Believe it or not, shopping was not a primary objective of my recent trip to NYC. Especially after the trip got cut short (thanks, Mother Nature), introducing my parents to the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city was my main goal. And that we did! Luckily, I'd constructed a carefully crafted shopping list before heading to the Big Apple, so although my shopping opportunities were brief, I could be super efficient. And the result was this lot of amazing goodies! 

Throughout my trip, I stopped in at Sak's, Barney's, Duane Reade, Space NK, and Sephora, all of which offer an incredible range of brands. Here's what I picked up at each stop:

From Sak's 5th Avenue:

Trish McEvoy 24-Hour Eye Shadow and Liner in Glamorous
I'd heard nothing but good things about these, with particularly convincing raves from Stacey and from Sam at Pixiwoo. I opted for Glamorous, a stunning shimmery ruby shade. It is gorgeous and really wears all day!
Gucci Gucci Eye Magnetic Eye Shadow Quad in Crystal Copper
I hadn't planned on picking up any Gucci on my trip, but as soon as I peeked at the counter, I was curious. After swatching the eye shadows, I was sold. I chose eye shadow quad in Crystal Copper, a stunning blend of warm and cool metallic neutrals. 

From Barney's:

Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Bloodroses
I was intrigued by the Bloodroses range from the brand (inspired by Aucoin's favourite classic '90s universal burgundy red shade) and the gloss was particularly compelling. It's a gorgeous brick that feels slick and comfortable on the lips. 
Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in #1 Nuelle/Bloodroses
I'd been wanting to try KA's cream blushes, and this duo is quite the stunner. It offers a neutral beige for a touch of bronze or contour and a burgundy rose shade for a natural flush. 
Beauty is Life Lipstick in Rose Natural
I had never heard of this German brand when I stumbled across it at Barney's, but the sales associate was ultra lovely and the products were gorgeous and quite affordable (at least as Barney's options go!). I selected a pretty everyday rose shade that I'm sure will be a work day staple. 

From Duane Reade:

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Bright Coral
Milani can be found in TO, but just not easily. We had a Duane Reade right next to our hotel, so I quickly raided the brand's display. This blush has a gorgeous design, but also offers the most beautiful matte coral flush!
Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Shadow in Bella Violet and Bella Teal
I was super eager to try these shadows, as the pigmentation looked amazing! I snagged two of the most vibrant shades, as summertime is the time to rock turquoise and violet lids!

From Space NK:

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock
I have been lusting after these cult favourite shadow sticks forever. Although By Terry is a bit cheaper to snag via UK-based beauty sites, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snag one. I have to say that Misty Rock lives up to the hype- the shade is unique, the shimmer is beautiful, and it wears all day! 
Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss in Free Ride
While the brand's lipsticks are its wheelhouse, it was this multitasking cream product that stole my heart. It's a gorgeous muted coral that looks lovely on both lips and cheeks. It applies effortlessly, then sets to a luminous matte finish. Pretty stuff! And that packaging!
R+Co Rockaway Salt Spray
I'd seen this brand raved about by Kate from Gh0stparties several times, and the line's cruelty-free stance and colourful packaging sealed the deal. This salt spray smells fresh and fruity and really adds wave and texture to my hair. 

From Sephora:

Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder (mini)
One of my BFFs (who I actually got to see while in NYC) gave me a US Sephora gift card for my birthday, so I sought out brands we cannot snag here in Canada. I gravitated towards Tatcha, a luxury skin care line from Japan. Their exfoliating powders are ultra popular (and expensive!), so I opted for a mini size. 
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers
Blotting papers that are speckled with gold leaf and inspired by geishas? Sign me up! 

So yeah, I really treated myself while in the Big Apple. But it's not everyday I'm in NYC to celebrate my PhD, right?! I can't wait to delve into all of these goodies- look out for slews of reviews on the way! 

Have you tried any of the products I picked up? Have I piqued your interest in anything? Which brands do you always check out when you're in the US?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Monday, 22 June 2015

Life Recently: NYC, Day Two!

Hi, everyone! If you've been lurking around the blog lately, you'll know that I was in NYC earlier this week for a fun little trip with my parents. Our first day was nixed due to airport delays (ugh), but we were determined to take our two remaining days and make the most out of them!

Day One brought us to Times Square, Central Park, and Midtown, and on our second day we got to explore the park further and also head downtown to Greenwich Village and SoHo. These travels brought some incredible sites. top-notch shopping, amazing food, and a trip to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab (which I'll be posting more about in a future post, coming soon!). Couldn't have been a better day in my books!

Here are some highlights from Day Two:

We started the day off in Central Park. It was bright and sunny and we couldn't be happier!

All smiles, with Central Park West in the background

May or may not have been the apartment building from Ghostbusters

View across the  Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

Trees and buildings along Central Park West

Then we headed downtown! Here's shot of the arch in Washington Square Park, through which you can spy the Empire State Building!

Happy to be in Greenwich Village :)

My parents with the arch, which shows just how big it is! 

Looking south towards the World Trade Centre Memorial Tower

Then it was down to SoHo for my appointment at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab!

Sitting down with all the pigments, getting ready to mix!

Finding the perfect shade!

Lip Lab selfie! 

The finished product! 

Me wearing my new customized lipstick from Bite Beauty- it's perfect!
And  yes, I will be posting a full overview of my Lip Lab experience, including even more photos!

Then we were off to 12 Chairs for lunch- absolutely amazing Israeli food!

Eagerly anticipating our meals...


My Shakshuka was to die for! Hence, I'm all smiles :)

Ah, SoHo, you're my favourite :)

Even better, treating myself to a DVF wrap dress while in SoHo

Of course I had to make a pit stop at Space NK

View of the Chrysler Building from Broadway in SoHo. Skyscrapers don't come any more beautiful than this!

Even though our trip was cut short by Mother Nature, I think we did an amazing job at harnessing the two days we had and really make the most out of them. It was an absolute pleasure watching my parents take in the city for the first time; they're eager to go back, and I'd take them again in a heartbeat! The trip was a fantastic balance of sightseeing, shopping, and good food, and on the last night I got to spend the evening with an old friend and her new husband, which was an absolutely perfect way to end the vacation. NYC, I'll be seeing you again soon!

Have you ever been to New York City? Any vacation plans for the summer?

Thanks for dropping by! xo