Monday, January 30, 2012

What I've been using lately

Sometimes I find myself putting make up on every single day for about....five days, if that.  It's usually because I've recently purchased something or found a combination that I just love more than anything else (for those five days) or just have a lot of free time in the morning before I have to leave the house.  This instsallment? A little of all three.

Recently purchased: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
Combination I love: Shimmery cheek + berry lip!

Lancome 17 brush
TheBalm Hot Mama blush
MUFE HD foundation in 123
 CoverGirl Lip Perfection in Smitten
MAC 187 brush

I've been using the MAC 187 to stipple on and buff out my foundation.  When I'm realllllllllllllly lazy (i.e. every day), I also use it to apply Hot Mama.  I'm using my fingers to stain my lips with Smitten and it just gives me the most natural "just bitten" lip.

I really didn't like the Lancome 17 brush when I first bought it -- it was too floppy and bristly.  However, after a few washes, it softened and now it's perfect for feathering out my eye shadow.  Not a bad purchase!

Top: TheBalm Hot Mama
Bottom: CoverGirl Lip Perfection in Smitten

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chanel Peridot: Up Close and Personal

When the Illusions d'Ombres collection came out in the fall, I got excited about one colour.  No other.  Based on the promo photos and the general buzz, Peridot was interesting -- no doubt -- but I had my heart set on what I thought would be Kaleidoscope 2.0.

Fast forward a few months:  I'm at the Chanel beauty counter and this miracle green/gold/duochrome mystery is sitting amongst the rest the of the chanel Vernis like it's got no better place to be (e.g. on my nails).  I hauled it for you and I think that the best representation of the colour in real life is in that video, so check it out here!  It's easier to tell in the second half since I gesture more.  I think around here my hands stop flailing (as much).

With flash

Without flash

The colour is right up my alley -- a careful, playful balance between gold and olive, like a metallic cargo pant.  It also has Chanel's trademark shimmer depth which I have yet to find in any other line.  The shimmer alone makes it worth the $25 CAD I spent on it.  If you look at a video where I'm wearing it, it almost looks like I have minx nails on.  I couldn't stop obsessing about the way it looked while I was editing the video the other day.  Tod finally got annoyed with me and put in her headphones to drown me out.

In the bottle, the colour looks like a gorgeously muted silvery-gold with a strangely beautiful blue duochrome.  I've tried to show it to you in the photo below, but it's much more striking in person.  Also in the photo below, you can tell how fine the shimmer is.  It looks exactly (so exactly that I needed to bold, underline and italicize) like that on the nail.

At the bottom you can see the blue duochrome.  GAWJUS.
Anyone else happen to have this colour?  Tell me what you think in the comments!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Bay Beauty Event

Hey beauties!  For those who have access to the Hudson's Bay Company....check this out!

I only found out about the event recently, but hurry -- you have tomorrow and the day after!

Here's Tod's and my haul in video form for you.  Let me know if you want to hear about any of these products in more detail!

Happy shopping!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lazy Saturday: Glamour to Go

A friend of mine gave me this TooFaced Glamour to Go Palette for Christmas and I haven't gotten around to playing with it until today.

First, some product photos for your viewing pleasure!

...and now for swatches

I didn't do the lip glosses because....I forgot.

And a sneaky-peek look for you.

On Tod's eyes I used the olive and the plummy-brown shade mixed together on the lid, slightly extended beyond her natural eye and smudged a Styli-Style brown liner along the lashline.  On her cheeks I used the shockingly pigmented blush from this palette and the sheer plum gloss on the lip (lower left corner).


  • The shadows are not packed well -- there was an insane amount of fallout when I first coat with a normal shader brush.  I ended up packing on the colour with my fingers (HG) after I'd smudged on the liner.   There was also a lot of shadow that  got into the different wells, but a quick swipe with a big fluffy brush took all of the excess powder away.
  • The blush is, once again, SO pigmented.  It's a really warm-toned coral so I'd be careful with it -- I can see it making my skin look a little ruddy, but with careful application you should be able to avoid that.  
  • The gloss smells really sweet, not unlike MAC lip products.  The texture is really soft -- don't you hate when you get a gloss well and you can't get any of the product out because it's been so baked in there?  These are rather moisturizing, which is uncommon for palettes, and the colours are sheer enough that they'll work on anyone, but not so sheer that you can't tell the difference between them once they're on.
  • This is such a tiny compact!  If I were cleverer, I would have put the compact next to a standardized object for you to compare, but an estimated guess tells me the whole thing measures 3.5'' x 2.5'' x 0.5''.  It's small enough to toss into your desk at work.  I don't know that I'd travel with it because the colours are not different enough from each other to create too many distinct looks, but it's nice for a mid-afternoon colour refresher.
All in all, this is a fun addition to my collection -- I can see it being good for a morning after ;-).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Beauty So Clean Brush Cleanser

Beauty So Clean has popped up here and there on my beauty radar, but I always figured it was one of those things that in order to procure, I'd have to go to IMATS or find a specialty makeup artist's shop (although...we have both those things here in Toronto, so I have no idea why I'm making such a big deal out of it.  It's 9 am.)

In the weeks before Christmas I was wandering around The Bay (not a specialty makeup artist's shop...must have more faith in our local suppliers...) and came across a tiny display of Beauty So Clean.

They're famous for their disinfectant sprays -- you can sanitize your actual makeup and not just your brushes.    I never thought about it, but it makes sense.  Why not just use alcohol, you ask?  I can see that After careful examination...the disinfectant was nowhere to be seen.  There was, however, a brush cleanser!  Why not?


So after a few weeks, I feel that I can honestly review this product for you without being accused of "just hatin'"  (I'm looking at you, Twilight.  Yes, I've read them all and I still don't get it).  But here's my opinion: it sucketh.

The 125 mL/4.2 fl oz bottle was on sale for $9.99, so the price is not bad, but even that does little to sway my opinion.  I've tried it on a number of brushes, both synthetic and natural, dense and fluffy, high end and cheap, and it's not done a single thing for any of them.

Trying to remove MAC Overdyed blush from my 187 brush took at least 1/8 of the bottle, and still nothing.  I still had pink in the white goat fibres.  Trying to remove lipstick from my Urban Decay shadow brush was a nightmare I won't even go into.  Not to mention I almost feel like it made my brushes splay more than I'm used to.

Product rating?  D.  Don't bother.

You're better off going with a brush cleanser from Clinique (so far, my favourite) or one from Sonia Kashuk.  In fact, the sample one I got from buying the Sonia Kashuk beautyblender dupe lasted me three times as long as BSC's -- despite being less than half the size and not a specialty product.

Maybe the disinfectant would be better?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spellbound Lip Perfection with Jessica Stam!

Okay fine, she's not actually Jessica Stam.
Who is this beautiful girl, you ask?
Someone who knew me in my earliest procrastinating days.
Meet Meghan.

Yes, her eyes are to die for.

I'm trying to figure out who she reminds me of in this photo...

What inspired this look, you ask?  Well, it started as a tutorial on how to get this look:

I realize now that...I'd already taken off the pink lipstick and toned down the brows (she was taking public transit home -- didn't want to chance it).  I don't know why I didn't realize that until just now.  Either way, the tutorial on how to get the CoverGirl look is...right here!

Products Used

Lancome Pop'n'Copper Palette: rusty peach colour all over the lid; dark, shimmery brown in the crease and outer corner
NYX For Your Eyes Only Sexy Blue Eyes Palette: second and third colour on the bottom row.
TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer
MAC 217 Brush on eyelid
MAC 266 Brush on lower lashline
Lancome Artliner

BareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation: I forgot to check the colour.  It was Meg's.  She's fairly light though, so probably one of the first few colours.
La Roche Posay Nutritic to mix with mineral foundation
E.L.F. Powder Brush
Ben Nye Rouge in Orange Pop
MAC blush in Overdyed
MAC 187

CoverGirl Lip Perfection in Spellbound
QUO Professional Liner Brush
E.L.F. HD Powder
Sephora Double-Ended Perfect Complexion Brush

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Salux Body Cloth

Remember this video?  I'd reached a smooth-skin revelation with a body brush.

Ladies and gents (however few of you there may be), I've reached another level of smooth skin enlightenment.

It is this.

I've never used washcloths or bath towels because they always seemed so dirty.  I don't even use a wash cloth for my face; I spritz my face with toner and let it absorb after I've cleansed.

Anyway, I was perusing the Makeupalley boards when I realized you can sort the reviews by Most Popular, Top Rated, etc.  I clicked on the MUA Top Picks and found that it's the seventh item on there.  I had to find out more.

After a couple weeks of idle research, I found a store in  Toronto that sells them (Sanko at 730 Queen St West) and picked one up.  I'm not sure if you're supposed to wash these or something before using them but...I didn't.  Best part?  They're less than $5.00 (including our harsh Canadian taxes.  Win.)!

The cloths are about the size of a small bath towel and are made of 60% nylon and 40% polyester.  The idea is that it helps your body wash foam up way more than a normal washcloth would and the roughness helps slough off any dead skin.

Does it work?

Indeed it does.

Even after months of dry brushing, there's a huge difference in my skin after using this for only a week.  In fact, I noticed a change after the first time I used it.  Maybe the brush I was using before was too harsh on my skin, but this made my skin feel softer, not just smoother.  Does that make sense?  Instead of just having a really smooth, even surface, my skin was also silkier to the touch.  I still follow up with my Neutrogena Body Oil, but I think this has solidly replaced my scrub brush!  I'll probably still dry brush every once in a while (it's good for your circulation and cellulite, they say...), but this wins the skin battle, hands down.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Giorgio Armani 400

I mentioned this in my last post, but I realized that I don't wear this proportionately to the amount that I love it.  Hence, I shall review it and hope that your comments will inspire me to wear it more!

In this photo it looks kind of brown, but it honestly changes from person to person and light to light.  Weird and fantastically magical.

Price: $36 CAD.  Don't judge me.  Not that this makes it any better but...Tom Ford's is $55.  So there.

Colour:  I LOVE.  It's a glossy, mildly blue-toned opaque red. It's a darker red, but not as dark as MAC Viva Glam I.  This is not a colour for the faint of heart -- there is absolutely nothing see-through or subtle about this red.  Think of it as straight-up sex in a tube, for you old Hollywood vixens.

When I swatched it on my hand, I made that "Oooooh!" sound that comes exclusively with a great find.  Tod and I had swatched at least 20 reds that day, but despite the redness overload, this one stood out.  The pigmentation, colour and richness of the colour just leapt off my hand.  I immediately seized Tod's arm and swatched it on her.  Equally beautiful.

Texture: It's a smooth, buttery, moisturizing formula.  It swatches creamier on the hand than it does on the lip, so the first time I put it on, I thought it felt dry.  Once you move it over your lip surface though, you'll realize how quickly the formula breaks down into a creamier texture.  I find this lip stick a lot less drying than any of my MAC ones (one of the perks of paying almost twice as much).  The finish is extremely glossy, but I usually powder it and it goes matte in two layers.

Wear: I don't need a liner or a base with this, but then, I don't ever need a liner -- except with super-creamy lipsticks, like NYX Electra.  That's so creamy you can't even close your mouth without smudging it.  Not so with this one.  It sticks on your lip in a way that feels like it won't go anywhere and believe me, it doesn't.  This wears wonderfully well; I can have a drink and it won't smudge too much and even if it does come off, the colour stains the lip and the leftover stain is almost as pigmented as the lip colour itself.  Short of eating really greasy food, the stain won't go anywhere either.

Dupe Comparison:  Electra is about the same intensity, with a hint more orange.  Viva Glam I is much more brown and matte and slightly more opaque.  Tempt is much less red -- it comes off downright pink next to it, but the base colour is quite close.  Such Flare! is closer to Electra, but shares some off the same base colour the 400 -- Such Flare! wears more matte than the 400, but less matte than Viva Glam I.

Just to show you how different it can be on different people, I'll put up a post soon with a bunch of people wearing it.  Soon, I tell you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Favourites

Just some things I've been enjoying this past year...there are probably a million more but these are the first ones to come to mind in the 15 minutes I gave myself to prepare for this video.

I think favourites videos are my favourite. Pun intended.  Redundancy not intended.

I also have no idea why I look so intense in the preview still.