Monday, April 30, 2012

what's in my carry-on liquids baggie?

A magical time has come right after finishing school and before working that I realize...I have nothing to do.  Like, actually nothing (except what I owe to you, dear reader!).  Thus my days have become long stretches of blog-reading, catching up on the last season of House and impulse purchases.  When I'm actually at home, I'm obsessively packing for an upcoming trip to Germany and Slovakia.

I have a golden rule when it comes to travel.  No checked luggage.  The only exception I will allow is a suitcase full of purchases on the way back.  On the way there, however, I refuse to check anything if I can help it.  That's why, for three weeks, I will be living off the contents of this bag.

Bags can be as large as 1 quart, and each individual item can be as large as 100 ml or 3 oz.  This is the type of thing that used to induce product panic, but I've learned that it's way more room than you think you need.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Current Foundations

Guess what?

It's Saturday.
It's sunny in Toronto.
One in five Canadian conversations pertain to the weather.

A little note about foundation -- you'll notice that I talk a lot about mixing full coverage foundation into moisturizer.  I have used tinted moisturizers before, but I always feel mildly ripped off.  The ratio between moisturizer and foundation takes some time to figure out, but once you get it, it's easy enough to replicate.  Also, it negates the need for any foundations that claim to be anti-aging/line-filling/nourishing but aren't really.  Pigment is king, people.

Products Mentioned

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation - Bamboo Beige
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation - 123
Lancome Teint Idole Freshwear -
Dior Diorskin Forever SPF 25 - #30
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage - SC 3
Korres Wild Rose - WRF2
IMAN Powder - #2

Toos Mentioned

MAC 187
EcoTools Bronzer Brush
Sephora Double Ended Complexion Brush (possibly discontinued)
Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Buffer Brush
Real Techniques Stippling Brush

I'm on such a foundation/concealer kick.  What are you using?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Judge Me.

It called my name.  Not just my name, but several others.  Real Techniques.  Mario Badescu.  Murad.  Tarte -- all at significantly lower American prices and currency!  Damn you, ULTA. And MAC.  And duty-free shops.  Did you know you could get an 18 year old Laphroaig for $44?  I never even dreamed of it.

I posted a photo of my purchases on Twitter and Instagram, but Phil from Mirror Reality kept cracking his whip encouraging me to do a proper post to show him you everything.  I've been a bit lazy about posting recently so it's nice to have someone kick your ass every now and then.

Next up:  Anything but a haul.  Anything at all.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: GLEAM by Melanie Mills

Happy Monday, lovelies!  So a while ago, I received a couple of products from Melanie Mills, former head makeup artist of Dancing with the Stars!

These glosses are super-hydrating with a high-gloss finish.  The wear a little sticky (which you all know I LOVE), and they are fully opaque.  They leave behind the most amazing stain, so I like to apply Uncontrollable and Up Against the Wall straight from the applicator, then blend out with my fingers.  I apply Naked with the applicator and try not to blot because I adore a glossy nude lip. These are also scented; the fragrance is reminiscent of MAC lipglasses.

Uncontrollable: It's a bright, blue-based fuschia -- it leans a little mauve.  I can see this being a little cool for some very warm-skinned people, but this colour is right up my alley.
Up Against the Wall: Blood-red with just enough blue and brown to suit everyone.  I can 
Naked: This is a corally, brown-based nude.  I usually have a hard time finding nude colours that work on me (i.e., don't make me look dead or my teeth look yellow), and this one fits the bill perfectly.

Here's my thing about this line of lipgloss: this is a perfectly edited collection, which is extremely rare.  Another line that I find to be similarly well edited are the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes.  I kind of sort of really really love that there's one red, one coral, one fuschia, one raspberry and one nude and one of everything else.  There's certainly a side to me that loves that MAC and Inglot do 12 slightly different shades of taupe, but consumers just get overwhelmed if you give them too many choices. Kudos to Melanie for her forethought.

She also sent me her signature product: Body Radiance!  These bring the nicest sheen to the body, as evidenced by the DWTS clips I YouTubed.  I've tried to DIY this myself before, by adding shimmer powder into a body lotion, but that always ends up a) looking patchy or b) all over my clothes.  These shimmers are waterproof and transfer-proof.  In other words, a godsend.

I received two colours out of four -- Light Gold (left) and Rose Gold (right).  I thought Light Gold would be nicer on my olive skin, but I actually think Rose Gold looks much more natural.  These feel amazing and would make a great body lotion on their own.  I'm hoarding mine for an evening beach party so I can look all candle-lit and glowy!  If you grab one of the darker colours, it's the easiest way to fake a tan for a day.

All these products can be purchased directly from her site.  Lip Radiances retail $24 USD for 0.176 fl oz and Body Radiances range from $15 to $40, depending on the size.  Melanie's also got a book coming out, and it's rumoured to be the next Making Faces!  Can't wait, and I'll let you know if I hear anything about it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Sonia Kashuk Flat Top

A couple months ago I hunted down like a bloodhound got the Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush.
This brush retails for $14.99 or so I got mine at a Target in Boston.  Canadians, don't bother with Buffalo, they are perpetually sold out.

It's an extremely dense, synthetic flat-top.  Dense as in...Eco-Tools bronzer brush dense, but it's a flat surface.  This is designed to pick up a bucketload of product and dispense it thickly onto your face.  You can sheer out the finish by buffing, but it might take a while if you have a particularly large face (as I do).   It's best with liquids or creams, but if you wanted a super heavy dose of powder, it'd be great for that too.  I love this flat-top thing brushes have going now; it's so much easier to get around any corners in your face.  Since I find this takes too long to put foundation on, I've been using it for my Tarte Green Siren cheek stain.  This is by far the best brush I've ever used to put this on -- the colour's quite sheer so this brush is a godsend for packing on the pigment.

One gripe: the handle.  I know people adore it, and it is really cool-looking, but there's a drawback.  See that ergonomic little narrow bit just below the ferrule?  That's the grown-up, brush version of a pencil grip (I hated those.  I will hold my pencil however I damn well want to).  Problem is, it's way too high up and close to the brush head, and you end up with foundation cake face. If only they'd moved the grip down about a half inch, your application would be a million times lighter and more natural.  Obviously you can just hold the brush wherever you want, but my fingers always slide towards the grip anyway.

That's just my two cents!  What are yours?  I'd love another flat top brush so I'm taking recommendations!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fun Facebook Ad

Hey beauties, this popped up on my facebook sidebar.  I felt the need to share with it with the only people who would understand my indignation.

1) A girl from the International Pedicure Association told me that in Canada, if your manicure costs less than $20, it means the salon hasn't bothered to properly sanitize their equipment/salon/work stations.  Apparently there is simply no way you can afford proper sanitizing for less than $20 a client.  Go here for a list of not hideous salons in your city.

2) If anyone walks out with nails looking like the photo above...well, you can decide for yourself.

It's been some time, hasn't it?  Well, enjoy your weekend, because I'm back on Monday.  Look out, world.