Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Look 2011

Peruana got me this Glitz and Glam kit full of samples of illuminators, shimmery shadows and whatnot -- she hinted I could review it but...we all know a tutorial is more fun.  Right?  Feel free to correct me.

This is one of those Sephora favourites where they give you a ton of minis and one or two full size things.  They have all of them on sale for around $35 CAD right now, but a word of warning:  Tod bought the mascara one a couple years back and before she'd gotten halfway through the kit, a bunch of them had dried out.

The kit itself looks like this:

I already have a bucketload of Stila Lip Glazes and a really, really ancient High Beam, but I've never tried anything else from here!  So I woke up this morning and decided to wing it.  During this video, I decided to just grab whatever was there and use only products from this kit.  Which I...almost do.  

And for some reason, my camera just awkwardly didn't record the first step or my intro.  I used the Buxom Stay-There shadow in Pug on both lids, and Tod tells you how much she loves pugs.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Nars Botan Brush

Remember my wishlist?  I can cross something off.  A very kind, thoughtful benefactor saw the post, and next thing I know, the Nars Nagauta Kabuki Brush Set had become a part of my life.  I can't thank this person enough.

You know that feeling where you save the best for last?  I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but it's like I'm waiting for something that seems special enough to break these out.  Finally, for my birthday party last week, I decided to let myself play with one single brush: the Botan.

If you've ever worried about your powder looking cakey, or -- a more relevant, modern worry -- that your HD powder will flash white in photographs, worry no more.  I've been playing with the E.L.F. HD powder lately and while I've read some reviews that it can cast a weird, ghostly paleness when subjected to flash photography.

I hadn't tested this theory (weirdly enough, I'm not a photo person), but there'd been a few times when I'd applied the powder and felt that it had paled me up a little.  On my birthday, I used the Botan brush to blend it out and the powder disappeared into all the invisible goodness it was supposed to!  I even used it with that Victoria's Secret technique I mentioned in this post where I blended my powder and bronzer together, and the results were SEAMLESS.

Again, not a photo person, so I don't actually have any photos from that night to prove to you how beautiful it was, but watch for it in an upcoming tutorial/video!  I will, however, bombard you with photos of the actual brush.

A few details...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Joe Fresh Lip

A Joe Fresh opened up near my work around two months ago, and even though it's in the opposite direction from where I live, I find myself perusing it "on my way home."  I've tried a couple things from the Joe Fresh collection before; the eyeshadow was nothing to write home about, but you know how much I like their nail polish.

I was swatching some of the lipsticks and this one particularly called my name with it's uberbright, blue-based, neon goodness.  Of course, I had to do a look.

You remember Peruana, don't you?

Joe Fresh Cream Lipstick in Baie Sauvage.  Available at Joe Fresh stores or Loblaws for $6.

Keep reading for the rest of the look!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My DIY Exfoliant

About my skin:  I'm normal-oily combination, extremely sensitive to things like sleeping in my make up, not drinking water and late nights.

I like masks to: make my skin feel smooth, soft, hydrated and clean.

Some masks I like:  Boscia Luminizer, Neutrogena Hydrating Facial Cloth (left on overnight, it's AMAZING), Indian Healing Clay.

I've recently been dabbling in a little DIY so I've played around with a bunch of ingredients.  I mostly want something that's not too perishable, something that wouldn't take forever and something that worked.  I like this because I already eat all these things.  I'm not really one to buy an avocado just so I can use it on my face. Although...I do love avocados.  I should get them more.

The great thing about DIY skincare is that you can customize it to your liking.  If it's too harsh or won't stay on or takes too long to dry, you can fix those things by adjusting (respectively, less rice, more honey, more dry ingredients).  That said, I give amounts in the following recipe, but feel free to add/subtract/adjust/forgo any part of it you like!

My credentials?  Trial and error.  Let's begin.

My dry ingredients in an old salt shaker.
The yellowish tint comes from tumeric.
More on that in a future post.

Things you'll need:
  • Container and mixing apparatus.  I prefer a spoon.  I wouldn't use a foundation brush for this.
  • Rice (uncooked). I hear (from my mother) it's great for brightening your skin, but this is my main exfoliating ingredient.
  • Oatmeal (any kind, I use large flake quick oats). Great for calming your skin.  Did you take oatmeal baths when you had the chicken pox? I did.
  • Honey: the antibacterial properties are great for acne sufferers like me! Also makes for a great moisturizer
  • Yogurt:  See here.

How to get there:
  1. I use a coffee grinder to grind up my rice and oatmeal separately -- I make mason jars of these at a time so I can just grab them whenever I want/my coffee grinder is a PITA to clean.  I don't think they'll go bad as long as no moisture gets inside.  Tupperware also works.
  2. Decide on the level of exfoliation you want.  If I want a major deep-clean scrubbing, I'll add more rice, but if I want something softer and more soothing, I'll up the oatmeal.  My skin's quite tough and I generally use 1 tsp of rice for every 3 tsp of oatmeal.
  3. Add 2 tsp of honey (more if you feel your mixture is too dry)
  4. Add 2 tsp of yogurt (or enough to make the consistency something other than lumpy-sticky)
  5. Smooth over your face and leave until it dries.  Takes me about 20 minutes.
  6. Splash your face with water to loosen the mask and wash it off by massaging your face in circular motions.  The grains will smooth away and dead skin cells.
  7. Finish with a toner and moisturizer.

    Why does mine look a little yellow tinted?  I added tumeric.  More on that later.
Things that need saying:  Please don't use anything in here if you're allergic to them.  In fact, to be really safe, test a patch on an inconspicuous portion of your body before slathering it on your face.  Don't sue me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just Wondering...

For my birthday party tomorrow, I think I've decided that I'm going to wear these Kiss Lashes.

See those red strings?  The idea is that you can use them to help get the lashes really close to your lashline.  I can get behind that; sometimes I've put the glue on and I'm trying to slide it down my eyelid and my fingers are just too large to position them close enough...I get it.

Now, I've never tried them and I haven't really done a whole lot of research, but everyone seems to be really happy with the extra stringy bit.

My question is: ...does no one else trim their lashes?  Like, how would that work in this case?  The threads appear to be looped around the final knot on either side of the lash band so...everyone who's reviewed it just happens to have the same width eye?  I would blame it on my narrow Asian eyes, but I usually trim off a couple of knots even for Tod.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Birthday Gift #1

My birthday was this Monday (yes...I am anxiously awaiting the year my birthday falls on 12/12/12 -- AWESOME) and Tod got me a MAC quad I mentioned to her ages ago when we were playing with Russian Red one day.

I just realized that I should have done a before and after.

I told her that the first 'real' make up I ever bought was from MAC.  I was 13 and exploring Manhattan with my family and my mom finally decided that it was time for me to start playing with colours!  I think I've mentioned before that my first gloss was Nymphette, which I still adore to this day, but I never mentioned what colours were in my first quad.  Hint?  Not the ones in the photo above.  I had Brun, Juxt, Motif and a midtone pinky-purple whose name I can't remember...honestly, it could have been discontinued for all I know.  Either way, I never actually got through all those colours, but my first quad came to an unfortunate end when I dropped it and all of the colours shattered.  I think I was able to rescue Motif, but...I'm not sure what happened to the remnants.

Anyway, that was incredibly sweet of her to recreate my first palette, but of course I had to exchange them because...I'm a jackass (amongst other things)?  Before I even said anything she told me I could exchange them. 

New quad, counterclockwise from the upper right hand corner: Motif (I couldn't let that one go, I'd been lusting after it for AGES), Trax, Deep Truth and Humid.

God, I love MAC names.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holts Wishlist

Tod and I wandered into Holt Renfrew to check out a Tom Ford lipstick for her mother.  What should have been a relatively quick swatch session turned into two hours of lipstick-palooza.

I think we tried every high end cult lipstick there exists; from Guerlain G de Rouge to YSL Pur Couture to Burberry's soft cover and we finally settled on one.  I'll show you in an upcoming post ;-).

During our Holts adventure, I mentally put together a beauty wishlist that I feel like sharing.  Not an out-of-this-world ridiculous one, but hopefully one I can actually work on....over the next ten years.

One day.


And, of course, one of these, but that hurts too much to joke about.

What's on your wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My First Shellac Manicure

The proportion of nude manicures I get is highly disproportionate to the number of times I do my own nude nails.  Weird.

Anyway, I decided to try CND's Shellac (I was debating between those and Minx) and went for a the colour they usually use for french manicures.  I'm not sure what's wrong with me.

But I really liked the way it turned out!  I'm a little afraid of the removal process.  I hate getting my nails filed down.

CND Shellac Romantic
CND Shellac Mother of Pearl

Yeah, I'm probably going to paint over these the second I'm finished typing.  That should be an oddly smooth experience!