Wednesday, June 27, 2012

my first Chanel lipstick...

Last week, I graduated from university, and my aunt handed me this.  We don't really do graduation presents in my family, but I suppose this falls into that category.

It's not like I shy away from high end makeup, but for whatever reason, I have never even entertained the idea of a Chanel lipstick.  It felt too grown up/classic/out of my league.  Having tried this though, I can visualize the beginnings of an haute lipstick binge.


This is a Rouge Allure lipstick in #28 Romantic.  On the bullet, it's a cool-toned berry colour with a very pink base.  The house's name is stamped on the side of the bullet, which twists out of a gold casing.  Funny enough, my aunt couldn't figure out how to open the lipstick.  There's a spring-loaded compartment that the bullet rests in, so you press on the gold bottom of the case, and an edge will pop out so you can remove the case.

The formula is extremely smooth but not too creamy -- right on par with all my department store lipsticks.  The colour payoff is excellent, too, almost opaque in one swipe and definitely opaque in two.  There's a tiny amount of reflection so the finish is pretty satin-y.  I personally prefer matte/cream finishes, but I can see a lot of people liking this.  In the swatch the colour is rather true, but on my pigmented lips, leans much redder.  It's a bright raspberry pink, which almost works on my skin.  

I'm not sure why, but I don't absolutely love this colour on me when I first apply it.  After blotting and powdering the brightness tones down a little, and it works better with my skin.  Isn't that weird?  I love NARS Schiap more than anything, but this just doesn't work.  Clearly I can't do anything in between; I need BRIGHT or muted.  To make this work, I'll apply a milky-peachy gloss on top -- something like Revlon Nude Lustre or Stila grapefruit works really well. 

This has been kind of a Chanel week.  What should my next item be?  Let's go three for three.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chanel Diwali

I have been lusting this colour since last year's shows.  For a long time, there were so many photos that offered the tiniest glimpse of glowy, gold goodness on the models' tips, and from those I already knew I was in love.

Then one of these came out, and I was sold.

Yesterday, I caught a tweet that mentioned that the Bombay collection was up for sale, so I called my nearest Holt Renfrew and immediately put one on hold.  When I got back to my apartment, I didn't even bother to properly shape my nails or buff away my cuticles; I just needed to see how this metallic would translate.

The colour itself is a perfectly balanced combination of gold and silver, kind of what I imagine the Armani Eyes to Kill #19 to look like after you've used it a few times.  I find the best way to judge a colour is to see if it catches your eye at a glance and in different lighting.  For example, I knew I was in love with Chanel's Blue Satin when I was showering one day, and though you couldn't see the shimmer in my dim bathroom light, the navy still had an infinite amount of depth.  Also true with this one -- no one would think that a silvery gold would be unusual, but once again, Chanel has managed to create a deep "glow" about it that you can't describe until you've seen it in person.  If you've previously used another Chanel metallic, you'll understand.
Occasionally (especially for a hand-talker like me), it'll catch the light and give a pearly-white shine.

The formula is exactly like all other metallic Chanel polishes -- it can streak, but if you take your time with application, you won't have a problem.  If you also use their base coat and top coat, the finish will be even smoother.  The shimmer is extremely fine, almost as though the formula has no base colour, and they've packed metallic powder into a bottle.  In one thin coat you can still see a little of your nailbed, but it is completely opaque in two thin coats.  I have a feeling this would be a one coater if you could spread the polish evenly enough.

Base Coat: Butter London Nail Foundation
Polish: Chanel Diwali, two thin coats
Top Coat:  Butter London Hardwear
Diwali is available at all Chanel counters for $27 CAD.  It is also available at Holt Renfrew.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day to Night: After Work Edition

After writing this post the other day, I thought I'd get ahead of myself and film this week's video.  Mainly, I just wanted to show you how I use the Real Techniques Brow Brush, but in a more legitimate-sounding way.

There are a few ways to spice up your look for an after-work rendez-vous, and in this 30-degree weather, I thought a bright lip was the way to go.  

Products Used
Lise Watier Blotting Sheets
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette (love this!)
Real Techniques Brow Brush
MAC Such Flare! Matte Lipstick

A few other ways to refresh yourself...
  1. Fix any makeup that's gone astray.  Keep a supply of cotton swabs in your workspace and roll the end in your hand cream.  Beware any ultra-fragranced lotion or you will fall off your chair, clutching your eye.   This did not happen to me.
  2. Re-apply your fragrance.  Or if your day scent has completely worn off, you can also switch to an evening fragrance.  Since I usually spray perfume in the morning, I find doing this feels like I'm starting over and the day's problems become non-existent.
  3. You could play up your eye makeup -- the best way that I've found is to smoke out your liner with a  dark shadow. I generally don't like putting more makeup on my lid because it feels really gross to put makeup on top of sweaty, creased makeup.  If I ever actually put new eyeshadow on, I generally cleanse the eye and start over.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview Makeup

Over the past few weeks I've been heading to a series of interviews, and my look hasn't really changed from meeting to meeting.  It's an extremely basic, pared-down look, since I'm headed towards something a little more corporate/conservative.  My goal was to achieve a natural look, but with a little bit of effort -- this is one of those times that I think it's okay to look like you've put on a lip colour and that you've bothered to pluck your eye brows.  On the flipside, I don't want to look like I spend a lot of time on my look or have my makeup be the focus of the interview.  Can you imagine if all they remembered was how perfectly winged my liner was?

My look had to be clean, not too perfect, natural and easily touch up-able (that's officially a word on this blog).  My partners in crime...

Eyes:  I don't suggest anything too shimmery; it can look really harsh under fluorescent lighting.  Not to mention it can look semi-trashy if it's a cheap shimmer.  I also think this is the time to exercise a one-colour rule -- don't go for a look that requires four different colours, it'll just stress you out.  I did a simple wash of colour over the lid, but people with a crease would get the same kind of definition by placing the colour in their socket line.  Give your brows a quick brush, and fill them in just enough to look complete and natural.  As for eyeliner, I went for brown, even though my hair is so dark.  It looks much softer, almost like it's not there, and my mascara was dark enough to make me look like I still had lashes.

Clockwise, from bottom left:  Pupa Baked Eyeshadow in Warm, Urban Decay Buck, Korres Bronze Brown, Clinique High Impact in Black, Prestige Waterproof Automatic Eyeliner in Sepia, MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering

Friday, June 15, 2012

Apotheke Obsession

It needed to be addressed:  I have a drugstore addiction.

Whenever I hit the tarmac of a new country/city/town/foreign territory, I immediately navigate myself towards one of two places.

1) A grocery store.  I need to check out the local candy selection -- flavours alone will tell you more about a population of people than anything else.
2) A drugstore.  I need to check out the local skincare/makeup selection -- that alone will tell about their shipping policy.

The last time I went to Europe I was shamefully unversed in any sort of self-grooming policy (except for lipgloss), so this time I made sure to do my due diligence.  Special thanks to Phil from Mirror Reality for sending me a rather...extensive list of what to get.  I purchased selectively.

Pardon the blur -- Instagram is not the best for highres photos -- but this is everything I purchased in an apotheke.

For a roundup of all the moisturizers...

I look oddly intense in this still. 

I realize now that my head looks oddly orange -- it's because my blinds only go as far down as my neck, so my body is being completely washed out by the daylight.  I'm not an Oompa Loompa, as much as I'd like to live in a chocolate factory.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Skincare: Moisturizers

There was a time that I never moisturized.  I was firmly in the school of "Well, if I have oily skin, my skin makes its own moisture, why should I pay good money to add to the oil when I could use that same money to purchase harsh, oil-free chemical exfoliants?"

Yes, I was that girl.

It wasn't until one of my friends who has the most beautiful skin in the world told me that she doesn't use cleanser, but she faithfully moisturizes with Nivea Soft that I got all moisturizer crazy.

(Funny enough, I thought it was an old family secret or something, but no, she just liked the commercial.  She was that girl.)

Since then, I've branched out and tried a few more things.  Moisturizer is one of those things I'm still really fickle about -- I'm wildly curious about all the different ones that exist, but simultaneously terrified that each new one I try will wreak havoc on my skin.  It's moisturizer limbo.

From left to right in the photo above, I have arranged the bottles from most moisturizing to most mattifying.

1. Jojoba Oil -- This essential oil acts most like our skin's sebum, so I was the most comfortable trying this as an all-over moisturizer.  I can't use too much or I break out, but I tend to apply a few drops all over and soak up the excess with a tissue.  Otherwise, I mix it into one of the other moisturizers if I'm looking for a natural kick.

2. La Roche Posay Substiane Yeux -- Technically, this isn't a moisturizer, but I still use it when my skin is in serious need of deep hydration.  I tend to use it at night like a mask and apply it in a thick layer without rubbing it in.  Then I wake up with the ultra-hydrated, glowy skin and I'm happy for the entire day.  I don't use this regularly, only when I feel like my skin is in need of a mild treatment.  Maybe this shouldn't have gone under moisturizer...

3. Embryolisse Lait-Creme ConcentrĂ© -- this is every makeup artist's holy grail moisturizer and I totally get it.  It's light but super-duper hydrating.  I've found these past few weeks that it's been a little much for me, so I no longer use it during the day.  You can also use it to remove makeup or as a hydrating mask, but I haven't tried it for either of those things since I have other products that I like for both those functions.

4. Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 15 -- I like the finish this moisturizer gives, and it doesn't leave my skin too dewy-looking.  I usually follow up with an actual sunscreen, but I use this on days that I'm in a hurry and/or am being lazy.

5. NeoStrata Oil-Free Moisture Infusion Lotion -- I'd never tried anything from the Neostrata line before this product; to be quite honest, I'd barely heard of it.  A boy in my local Shoppers Drug Mart convinced me to buy it when I was spending my points and I'm so, so, so glad he did.  I don't often go for oil-free things, but this is a godsend when I choose to put makeup on.  It has such a lovely, smooth finish that I don't feel the need to use primer when I've used this lotion.  I've used this at night and haven't woken up with excess oil on my face.

6.  Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer -- I got this as a 100-point perk from Sephora. I think this dries even more matte than the Neostrata and also seems to have a slight airbrushing quality to it.  I'm not sure exactly what it is, but this is the moisturizer I use on hot days when I don't want to wear makeup.  This is also one of those magical oil-free moisturizers that doesn't leave my skin madly overproducing oil, but that may be because I don't use it every day.

Rest assured, I've purchased a handful more moisturizers on my trip which I'm so ready to test out! I'm contemplating a Germany haul many hauls would that already be this year??

Monday, June 11, 2012

Face of the Week

Hello, lovelies!

Let's not talk about how long it's been, but rather how excited I am to be back at it again!  I just got back from a few weeks of vacation (from which Tod did not return models please?) and I thought I'd start with a few things I've been reaching for this week...

Clockwise from left
Annabelle Trio Eyeshadow -- Haute Chocolate
Maybelline Colour Tattoo -- Pomegranate Punk
Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick -- Mauve it Over
By Terry Brush -- Dome 3
Real Techniques Brush -- Base Shadow Brush
Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss -- Nude Lustre

No cheek colour, folks!  If I'm feeling a little something I might dot on my Missha Boomer Base as explained here, but otherwise, just a light chocolate and cranberry smokey eye with a glossy nude lip.  I start by using my fingers to smudge Pomegranate Punk all over the lid, above the natural fold in my eye.  Next I use the Real Techniques brush to pick up the medium shade from the Haute Chocolate trio to define the outer corner.  I smudge out my lashline with the dome brush -- sometimes I'll flick it up at the outer corner, or go a little underneath, but usually it's just straight across.  Then I apply Mauve it Over straight from the bullet and tap a little of the Nude Lustre gloss in the centre of my bottom lip.  Total application time?  It feels like 22 seconds, but it probably takes two minutes.  Be messy.