Friday, March 30, 2012

Haul: Estee Lauder/MAC Warehouse Sale

Last weekend, Tod and I went to the Estee Lauder warehouse sale in Markham.  A few things...

  1. Accessibility: It's in the middle of surrounded-by-farmland nowhere.
  2. Prices: Some things were amazingly discounted.  Others, not so much.  Also, $/unit was a little wonky and I'll get into that in the haircare section.
  3. Inventory: They don't have everything.  They have a bunch of past collections, so this would be the chance to pick up limited edition item you may have missed out on.  There are also a ton of pro products which are hard to come by if you don't live near a pro store.  They have some normal store items, but not too many.  Skincare was curiously absent.  There was some, but unless you're seriously into Origins or the Clinique Poreless line, there wasn't much. There were also lots of DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger and Estee Lauder fragrances.
  4. Insane shopper syndrome: When you first get in, you'll feel this irrepressible urge to charge tables and purchase.  Try not to.  Go in with a plan/idea of what you want.
  5. How it works:  There are tables with a sample of each product that they carry and a number that identifies it.  You write down the numbers of things that you want and bring them to the stock people.  Kind of like a 1930s grocery store.  At each table they put your purchases into a bag and seal it for you -- you can't purchase anything that's not been bagged.  If you want to return one of the items ib your bag, you need to go to the returns table and have them repackage everything, but that doesn't take long.  It's easiest to get everything you might want and take a few minutes at the end to prune the excess and return it all at once.
  6. Was it worth it?  Yes. 
  7. Colours: Not all shades are available in foundations/powders/concealers.  I also recommend that you get yourself matched before you go to the sale.

I think the way to do this is to identify what you're missing from your collection, or what you've been lemming for a really long time.  For example, I know that I'm severely lacking in MAC brushes, and I figured this would be a great opportunity to get some.  I also wanted to pick up some Lustre drops, try Bobbi Brown concealer, and possibly pick up a Skinfinish Natural, because I've never tried one before.

Very few things on my extensive list were actually available, but it helped me kind of stay within the category.  Of course I still strayed from the list, but I can only imagine what I would have done with less mental preparation.  Another thing about having a  list of things you want is that you can scan the tables for those items and get them first.  This also makes the shopping process go a lot faster -- I got through all three rooms in 45 minutes.  Tod took a little longer and that's when I found myself finding picking up things I didn't necessarily want/need.

Brushes:  I was trying to photograph these all in one shot, but they wouldn't lie flat properly so I decided to show them individually.

MAC Gold Pro Pigment ($12), MAC Bare Study Paint Pot ($12)
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Peach ($9), Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Warm Beige ($9)
Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Black ($12)
Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black ($12)
Lumecin Overnight Brightening Gluco-Protein Treatment ($18)

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ($10)
Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Masque ($20)
Note:  I also got the Creme de Coco shampoo (1L) and conditioner in four 2oz travel bottles. 
Here's the thing -- they were selling 8 oz bottles of conditioner for $18 and 2 oz bottles for $4 each.
Wasteful, but more economical for me ;-)

I would have done this in one photo, but they wouldn't lay flat.  Naughty brushes.
I can't remember how much each brush cost, but they ranged from $10 - $20.  This giant buffer below was $30 though.  They also had some limited 187s that were $50, but I'd rather a normal-looking one if I have to pay the retail price anyway.
MAC 179

MAC 194

MAC 205

MAC 225

MAC 231

MAC 272

MAC 311

MAC 184

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Skincare: Toner

I'm fairly certain that one point, I had about three toners going.  Remember that Kiehls Calendula one?  Then I think I finished it and filled it with rosewater or something equally organic/natural/look-at-me-I'm-paraben-free.

I'm kind of meh about toners.  I honestly have no idea if they do anything for me, I just know that it's something I've always done.  Ideally, they're supposed to help prep your skin for what comes afterwards and make sure that your cleanser is completely gone.

How I like to use toner:  I like to rinse of my cleanser than spritz it onto damp skin.  No drying in the house!  Afterwards, I'll put on whatever treatment straightaway and seal it all in with my moisturizer.  I never let my toner (or any remaining water) air-dry because the evaporation process will take some of your skin's moisture with it.  The way to combat it is to dry your face or to seal in the dampness with a product.

A few months ago, my skin was breaking out like crazy and there are just way too many toners on the market for me to go around testing them all while my skin was in dire need of help.  My MO is to go home remedy when you can't decide on a product.  The lovely MakeUpAlley people were crucial when it came to my decision to go with apple cider vinegar.  Some other options were peroxide (which I'm too scared to use), or a bunch of essential oil + water combinations I couldn't be bothered to try.

I mix mine from any brand that's labelled organic and on sale at Whole Foods.  I'm not too careful about the measurements, but I started with it full strength.  I don't think it had any adverse reactions, per se, but it smelled really strong so I ended up diluting it and decanting into a spray bottle.  If you watch my quick toner tip, a spray bottle works much better for that method.  I think I do about 3:1 or 2:1, depending on how much filtered water I've got on hand.

I've been using this about four months now and I'm really enjoying it.  I keep mine in the fridge so it's nice and cooling, but Bragg's doesn't necessarily need to be refrigerated.  Some brands say they do need to be refrigerated though, so watch out for that.  I'm thinking of adding a slightly less harsh version to my routine, like one of those Evian aerosol water things.  Am I crazy to pay for compressed water?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How I Prune My Collection

I didn't even realize that I do this, but apparently when people come to my house, I'll just run at them with product.  Case in point:say hi to Amanda, who came over just to pick something up, left with a mini-look.  The best part about it is that I'll use products that I don't often get a chance to use, because I'm lazy when it comes to my own makeup.

It started with MAC Overdyed.  I used my pink Sephora double-ended brush to dust it on top of the cheekbone.  It started a little dusty, but built up to a gorgeous, fuschia flush.  Then I caught sight of my orange Ben Nye blush and used the same brush to dust it on top of Overdyed to create the most amazing matte peach pink. Tod and I raved over the cheek colour for a few minutes while I used MAC's Bare Study paint pot to highlight her cheekbones and lids.  After, I  lined the upper lashline  with Joe Fresh's Fine Tip Liquid liner in Teal Blue, creating the tiniest upward flick at the outer  corners.  The most amazing change -- which I completely forgot to photograph, but you can use your imagination -- I took the purple gel liner from my Physician's Formula trio and used my ring finger to contour her eye socket.  It was the simplest, easiest step, and it immediately pulled the look together.  I'm still annoyed I don't have a photo.  For lips, you're seeing Kate Moss's lipstick for Rimmel in 05, which has an amazing texture. For a little extra shine, I slicked on a light coat of Revlon SuperLustrous in Pink Pop.

Daytime, five-minute version: Use the lipstick as your cheek colour and just contour the lid with the purple shade.  If you need liner/mascara, go ahead, but Amanda has such gorgeously dense lashes that I didn't want to put anything on her.  God, beautiful people have it so easy.

Anyway, if I find that I'm using a product on somebody and I haven't used it in a while, I'll offer it to the person I've ambush-makeover-ed.   Some small compensation.  Amanda left with the Joe Fresh liner, the Physician's Formula liner and her lip products.  I try and clean things best as I can, but for creamy things like lip gloss...they'll just have to trust that you've never contracted a communicable disease.

How do you prune your stash?  Blogsale? Friends and family?  Ruthless tossing?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Missha BB Boomer

I used Missha's BB Boomer in this FOTW (will soon update the rotation!) and I'm so in love with it.  Firstly, I've never tried a BB cream, despite my Asian heritage, and I had no idea there were BB cream primers.  Question: Aren't BB creams supposed to be miracle products that act on their own and need no support whatsoever?  Just saying.

I adore this product its beautiful highlighting ability.  As you can see in the promo photo, there's a pearly opalescence that makes for an extremely sheer, these-are-my-real-cheekbones highlight.  I take a tiny dab of this, rub it between my fingers and tap it onto my cheeks before/after foundation, depending on how much cheekbone I want.  Now, I've never tried BECCA's shimmering skin perfector, but this is what I think it's supposed to look like.  I've heard some people say that this is too glittery for daytime, but the glitter doesn't manifest itself that way on me.  It's just the most natural, dewy "glow" people keep raving over.  I think this may have replaced Mary Lou-Manizer and High Beam.  Actually, I just realized I never wore highlighter on a regular basis before.  This is my inaugural daily highlight.

I also use this as a moisturizer, and holy cracker, does this make my skin feel soft.  It also makes my skin look more finished, if that makes sense?  I've never been one for illuminating/dewy/glowy/Twilight-sparkly foundations since I have rather combination-oily skin, but this makes me rethink all that.  It covers absolutely nothing, yet I feel as though I can go bare faced with this moisturizer on.  It's probably just wishful thinking.

Price: I got it for free when I purchased my BB cream.  A quick Amazon search tells me you can get a 40 mL for $7 but it retails for $25.
Product: It doesn't specify an SPF on it (or maybe it does, but I can't read Korean), but people claim that it's sunblocking.  I don't like to use sunscreen after because it ruins this other-worldly softness it gives my skin, but I probably should, just in case.
Availability:  I got mine from a Korean grocer on Bloor, just west of Christie.  It's underground and they also sell Missha Perfect Cover.
Wear: I don't use it as a primer so I can't comment

I think I'm going to put some on right now.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I cannot believe how long it took me to upload this video.  Not one, but two failed uploads.  Youtube's just trying to suppress my excitement.

Happy Friday! I'm excited for Saturday.  I'll tell you all about it next week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do we consider this a haul?
I promise I'll charge my camera and start taking proper photos
Clockwise-ish from left to right:
Body Shop Eye Colour Matte 04
Body Shop Shimmer Cubes in 06 Warm
Body Shop Eye Shimmer 04
Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Peach Satin
Essence Long Lasting eye pencil in 01 Black Fever

First impressions video to come!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patrick's Day

I don't have any particular feelings about this holiday, but here are some green products I'm using today.

Nails: Essie Sew Psyched
Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash in Green Envy
Eyeshadow: Kryolan Green, MAC Humid in crease

Clockwise from left
Macadamia Healing Oil
NARS Rated R Eyeshadow Duo
Physicians Formula Concealer Twin
Glysomed Hand Cream

Happy Saturday
Be safe, be happy, be green!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Five: Office Edition

We heart lazy office Fridays here at Procrastinating Pretty!

my first breakfast where I pretend I'm healthy
second breakfast will likely be a sugary coffee with a full-fat pastry!
EDIT: 12:30 p.m. I got a mcdonald's chicken nuggets meal.

two things you need for no-makeup make up
Evian water
Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter

that magical third day where your flats are almost completely broken in

I love having flowers in the office

not even sure how/where/where/who/what this came to be, 
but I want this bag and everything else on the site

Friday plans?  St. Patrick's Day plans?  Let me live vicariously!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Skincare: Cleansers

Tod and I currently have about six cleansers going simultaneously, and since we're nearing the end of a few, I figured it was time for a skincare routine!  But not just a routine -- a skincare series.  Cleansers, exfoliators, moisturizers, masks, I'm doing it all.

My skin is typically Asian -- greasy and quick to hyperpigment.  Learning to deal with grease took a long time.  I was firmly set in the school of thought that believed in oil-free everything, harsh, foaming cleansers, no moisturizer -- salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide were my faithful sidekicks.  Cut to about two years ago when a friend of mine let me in that the only product she uses is Nivea Soft.  Behold, this is the only girl I've ever known who doesn't use anything.  Except Nivea Soft.  Needless to say, I put down $6 and drowned myself in it.

Moral of the story?  I no longer torture my skin with harsh exfoliators, cleansers or my twice-a-day-Clarisonic ritual.  Instead, I've adopted something a little gentler and my skin's texture has improved more than with any miracle product.

In the rare occasions that I put makeup on, you know I go all out -- base, concealer, powder, the whole nine.  When I get home at the end of the night, I cleanse with Shu Uemura cleansing oil.  I find it really breaks down all the pigment and helps the product slide off my face.  I've tried leaving it just at that, but it didn't cleanse thoroughly enough and I was left with a bunch of millia around the corners of my eyes, nose and mouth.

I'll usually follow with a foaming cleanser -- for the past two years it's been Lancome Creme Radiance.  I used to use this one that came in powder form from FANCL, but I can't be bothered to order it online.  When I use a foaming cleanser, I prefer to create the lather in my hands and just apply the foam to my face.  I know some people raise  the lather directly on their forehead and cheeks, but I find that way too harsh, even for my skin.

In the morning and for days that I don't wear anything except sunscreen, I use a lighter cleanser like Clinique's Extra-Mild or Vichy's 3-in-1 Cleansing Milk.  I'm not particularly attached to either the way I can't let go of Lancome's Creme Radiance, but both have been really great for my skin -- kind of like they've added moisture back in.

Of course, on days I'm just too lazy to do anything or too tired to make it to the bathroom, my trusty Bioderma Crealine is my attempt at facial hygiene.  We all have those days.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rotation Attempt

So I'm trying this thing where I switch out my makeup every week so everything gets more evenly used, but...I ran into a couple problems.

1. I have A.D.D.  The second I published that post, I started nosing around my lip collection for a dark, vampier colour.

2. I don't wear makeup every day.  I think for things to actually be used, I'd have to stretch it out to at least two weeks, if not a month.

3.  However, I did find that I made more of an attempt to use the makeup I'd set out for I used it twice this past week?

4. I can probably more regularly rotate my concealer/powder foundation than I let on before.

Let's try this again!  For two weeks this time, I'm going to use...

  • Eyes: NYX For Your Eyes Only in Sexy Blue Eyes -- it's Fashion Week here so I needed a bigger palette to switch up my look.
  • Cheeks: NYX blush in PB 24 Red.  It is the most natural cheek flush on me.
  • Lip: Lancome L'Absolue Creme de Brillance Lipgloss in Berry Noir.  That was quite the mouthful.  This goes on a little dark but fades to the most fantastic my lip but better colour.
  • Powder: Pixi Flawless Beauty Powder in Warm 03
  • Illuminator/Primer: Missha B.B. Boomer -- this makes my skin feel so. so. so. soft.
Wish me luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

5 Tricks I Don't Use

Every once in a while, I'll come across an interview, a video or an article that'll offer one sweeping declaration.  Rim your waterline with a white liner to open up your eyes!  Use a dark pencil to line your lips, they'll look fuller!  Don't put mascara on the bottom lashes.  Do put mascara on the bottom lashes, but only on every third day. What??  I say, do what's right for you -- try, judge,  alter and decide.

A few that don't work for me...

Highlight your cupid's bow.  My lips are already huge.  My upper lip is a lot bigger than my lower lip, and doing this just emphasizes that to no end.  I could balance it out by adding shadow in the crease under my lower lip but...there's an awkwardly high chance that'll end up looking like a Van Dyke beard.
Photo from here

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Double Duty Tip: Concealer + Pink Lip

Combo 1: A pinky-nude lip.  I hate that really washed-out, recovering zombie lip some people do -- I believe Snooki is a fan.  Now ask yourself -- would you rather look like this?

Or like this?

To get Angelina's lip, prime your lips with your concealer then lightly dab your pink lipstick over it, just enough to give a hint of colour.

Combo 2:  Under-eye corrector.  I first heard about this from Wayne Goss, one of my favourite Youtube gurus at the moment!  I didn't actually believe it would work until I attempted it on myself was magical.  Step aside, Bobbi Brown.

I find waxy textures are best for both techniques; they stay put longer.  A liquid concealer tends to settle into the crease of your lips and fill them in awkwardly.  Also, I wouldn't necessarily use an undereye concealer for this -- find one that matches the skin on your face, it'll be more useful in the long run.  A gloss (instead of a lipstick) might also leave your under-eye area a little stickier than you're used to and make your lower eye area crease or wrinkle.  Also, try to stay away from anything with a frosty or shimmery finish, it won't mix or set as well.

My concealer picks:  TheBalm Time Balm in Medium or Light/Medium, Mac StudioFinish Concealer in NC35, Cle de Peau in Ochre
My lip picks: Kate for Rimmel in 05 (this is the best combination for my brown-based dark circles, along with Cle de Peau Ochre), NARS Morocco for those who have bluer circles, or NYX Elektra for really gray circles.

Any other double-duty tricks you have for me?  You know I can't help myself.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rotation Dilemma

I wish I remembered which blogger shared this idea, but it was something I read months ago and haven't given it thought since then.  It was something about how she traded out the contents of her makeup bag fairly regularly so she wouldn't ignore anything.  Brilliant, I say!

I've been thinking recently -- how would I do if I picked three or four items on Sunday night and used them until the next week?  Obviously I can't switch everything out -- it would be hard to change my foundation every week (although...I do have lots of it...) -- but say I used a different shadow palette every week?  Intriguing, no?  A sort of...Face of the Week, if you will.

Would love to hear any other tricks you guys have to rotate your products.  In the meantime, my products this week...

Eyes: Lancome Ombre Absolue Duo in Rose Luxe

Cheeks: Smashbox Blush/Softlights Duo in Split/Second

Lips: Nivea Milk and Honey, CoverGirl Lip Perfection in 310 Smitten

Check back next week to see how I did!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Five Spring Things I'm Lusting

1.  Opaque black tights.  Like, OPAQUE.  Not ones that say they're opaque and then get awkwardly sheer at the top of my thigh, I want flat, matte black legs.

Even these Falke ones are a little too sheer.

I also don't want them to be itchy.  Recommendations?

2. Tarte Matte Lipsurgence in Fiery, Exposed and Envy
I don't have enough lipstuff apparently.  My defense:  Everyone needs a red, a pinky-nude and something somewhere in the middle.  Also, Envy is the colour Kat Dennings wears on 2 Broke Girls!!!

3 favourite lipsurgences

3.  Acqua di Gioia.  Preferably in rollerball form, but no one in Canada sells them that way.  Grrrrrr.  Also, throw in a Baies candle from Diptyque

4. Pretty things to sleep in from Eberjey, Cosabella and La Perla.  I have a lingerie addiction.

pretty sleep things

5. A triple-barrel curling iron.  I'm feeling crimps for April.  This one's from Hot Tools.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Favourite: Awkward Still

I wish I had 29 favourites to share with you guys, but...that seems tacky.  And it would be an insanely long video.

What were your favourites this month?  Link/Share/Comment!