Monday, July 30, 2012

Polish Collection: Red

I don't often wear red.  I tend more towards cool colours -- anything blue, teal, turquoise, green, etc.  I've never gone very classic with my enamel.  There's nothing I hate more than a French nail, but I think that has more to do with how poorly they're applied.  Why does anyone want the smile line of their nail to be halfway up their nailbeds??  When people tell me that it makes their nails look longer, I throw my hands up in the air and don't bother explaining.  What I will say is though, the reason that your nails look longer when you paint them is that they're all one colour, so you see one continuous line.  It's kind of the same reason T-strap ankles make your legs look short.

Rant over.

French nails suck and have come to connote not classic elegance, but streetwalker.

Rant really over.

If you must do a French nail, keep the white edge thin and round off your nails.  Your fingers will look longer, more natural, and not like they have white shovels attached to the end.

Preaching over.


Anyway, onto my collection of red nails!



L.A. Girl, Zoya Riva, Essie Lollipop (bottle attacked by Deborah Lippmann's Ruby Red Slippers), Essie Limited Addiction
China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Revlon 730 Valentine, OPI Quarter of a Cent-cherry, Chanel 18 Rouge Noir

L.A. Girl, Zoya Riva, Essie Lollipop, Essie Limited Addiction

L.A. Girl: This red has a lot of pink in it, but I got it because it glows in the dark.  Yes, I'm 11.
Zoya Riva: This is very pink-based red, chock full of gold, silver and red glitter.
Essie Lollipop: This is as much orange as my skin tone can take -- it reminds me of poppies.
Essie Limited Addiction: A blue-based red.  I can't get enough.



China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Revlon 730 Valentine, OPI Quarter of a Cent-cherry, Chanel 18 Rouge Noir
China Glaze Ruby Pumps:  It's not showing up in the photo, but this is ultra-shimmery, glittery beauty.  It's exactly what Dorothy would have wanted.
Revlon 730 Valentine:  This was the first red I actively recall seeking out.  A good friend of mine lent it to me for a semi-formal in high school, and I remember thinking how beautiful red polish is.  I've been hooked on blue-based red ever since.
OPI Quarter of a Cent-cherry:  This is the salon brand dupe of Revlon Valentine, since I think it might be discontinued.
Chanel 18 Rouge Noir: Formerly known as Vamp -- now they've replaced it with a shimmery purple mess, and renamed Original Vamp as Rouge Noir.  Ever seen Pulp Fiction?  Me neither, but this is all you need to know.


Man, I like blue.  Even my reds aren't safe from the blues.

What reds do you love?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Face Cocktail

Happy Friday, lovelies!  I'm trying to use up a few products that I don't exactly adore, but can't bear to throw out or give away.

A while ago, I won a SkinCeuticals serum from Beauty Crazed in Canada but I didn't review it because I wasn't the hugest fan.  It's a preventative serum, so I realize that there won't be any immediate effects, but honestly, the whole thing threw me into a bit of an existential crisis: "How will I know if it worked?  What if I'd used something else and it would have worked better?  Jesus Christ, what if it makes my skin worse down the line because we really don't have enough research to determine the long-term effects of bottled antioxidants??"  I like to think that as a writer of all things beauty, I'm allowed to be that dramatic.

I've resolved to finish the bottle at least, because it's an insanely expensive product -- on Amazon, it's $113/oz.   My biggest issue is the way it felt on my face.  It's just so sticky.  I'm okay with a certain amount of greasiness on my face at night, but it was awkward touching my face after I put this on.  Maybe that's a good thing, so I'll stop touching my skin as often, but I like to be fairly comfortable when I sleep.  Anyway, I moved onto another night serum and tried this in the morning under a number of moisturizers and I've finally decided on my pairing.



I bought the Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15 after I got a sample at an apotheke and I haven't looked back since!  It makes my skin feel cushiony.  That's a word.  I said so.  Anyway, one day I was rushing out the door so I put in 3 drops of the Phloretin CF serum.  Then I proceeded to kick myself for not thinking of mixing it with something else earlier.

This combination leaves my skin feeling moisturized but not greasy at all.  I try to moisturize as best I can in the summer, but it's so tempting not to when your face starts feeling oily less than two hours after applying it.  This combination gives my skin that freshly-washed-but-hydrated feeling you get when you use a milk cleanser.  I'm almost sad that I don't have a lot of the serum left -- if only I'd figured this out sooner!

I'm so into mixing my face products now.  What's worked for you?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Preview: My Nail Polish Collection

This is my downsized polish collection, roughly half the size it was before.  I think I can probably keep streamlining, but for now this is an enormous step up from before.  It almost fits into one shoebox!



I'll go through them in more depth -- probably by colour family.  I'm not as loyal to brands as I am to texture, so it makes more sense this way.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

last night's look

One way to clear out your product is to put makeup on people and send them home with the products.  I'm giving up quite a few foundations so I was looking for people close to my colour.  It's so hard to tell yourself to give up foundations because they tend to be the most expensive of products, but I found such a perfect match for Silvia that I couldn't not finish the look.  Good thing she was going clubbing!  I haven't done a going-out look in forever!



I realized after taking half the photos that you can tell what sort of wreckage happens to my apartment after I do a look.  I'll try to spare you the hideousness.

1) I prepped Silvia's skin with CoverFX Clear Prep -- it's extremely mattifying, but quite silicone-y so it needs a moment to set.

2) Then I took a little Homeoplasmine (which is apparently being discontinued in Canada?  Treason!) on a Q-Tip and scrubbed her lips to within an inch of their lives, then applied another layer.

3) I used my Real Techniques brush to apply Urban Decay Primer Potion all over her lids


4) For eye shadow, I used the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette --  I picked up Tease with a MAC 217 to gently sculpt her eye then Busted on a MAC 219 to define the outer V a little more.  Then I laid a little of Booty Call down on the lid with my finger.

5) For her liner I used a matte teal colour from the Kryolan palette and winged it up slightly.  Then I tightlined with an Essence gel liner

6) I applied a coat of CoverGirl Lashblast Fusion.  For a little extra drama, I added half a lash to each eye -- I used regular criss-cross lashes like these ones here (Note:  I didn't buy mine from this site, I picked them up in a random salon).

7) In her brows I used Rimmel's brow pencil in Hazel -- it matched her lighter hair perfectly.  I didn't change the shape much, just straightened the arch a little and extended the tail past her her natural brow.


7)  For her skin I used the Shiseido Perfect Foundation to apply Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Bamboo Beige -- one of the items she took home!  She's a tad less olive than me so it suited her skin perfectly.

8) I mixed Bobbi Brown's Pout Pink Pot Rouge and Tarte's Cheek Stain in Green Siren and applied with my Eco-Tools foundation brush.  Then it died and now I'm sad.  Seriously, what happened here?  It's like a whole section of bristles decided to mutiny.

8) For lips I used Dior Serum de Rouge in 560 -- it's Dior's answer to the lipstick/balm hybrids, and it's fantastically moisturizing.
  


A shot of her hair -- just a really improvised marriage of half-up and fishtail

I like finding out that I'm funny sometimes.  Then posting proof.


Then making up for it with a beautiful photo of them =)
How was everyone else's weekend?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Downsizing and a DIY Lip Palette

Since coming back and having binged intensely on make up in Europe, I've been thinking...why can't I downsize?  Although this blog may lead you to believe otherwise, I've always been a person who wishes she had one go-to.  As in, one holy grail (HG) red lipstick that satisfies all my red lip needs and I'll never use another again.  We can all dream, can't we?

I've been reading several posts on essential beauty items and downsized makeup collections, I've decided to take matters into my own hands.  This past week, I've taken it upon myself to throw away anything I haven't used in one calender year.  I gave myself 12 months because my skin colours swings rather wildly throughout the seasons, so I end up purchasing for two skintones.  I started with my lip products, which needed desperate help.


Remember this?


I think that was about half.

I've managed to get it down to this.  I'm thinking of eventually doing a makeup collection, if you'd be interested.  Once it's all sorted and weeded out of course!



But one thing I knew I wanted to do in my downsizing process was to create a lip palette.  I normally prefer bullets, but I realized that this was a fantastic way to Back to Mac colours I wasn't sure I wanted to let go of quite yet.  Also, since I think I'm going to adopt a one-in-one-out policy (don't quote me yet, no big, sweeping declarations here), I wanted to find a way to fit a couple extra colours in here.

Hence, I read a random DIY article, stole a pillbox from my dad and went to town.  There are a million and one DIY videos/posts on how to make your own palette, but the gist is this:  Flame, bullet, spoon.  Light a candle, put your lipstick in a spoon and hold it over the flame, and pour.

I also read this really interesting post where a girl's lip colours changed after depotting them.  Of course this put me into a lip-depotting existential crisis where I couldnt decide how much of the bullet to leave behind.

Clockwise from upper left:  Revlon Certainly Red, MAC Pro Longwear Lip Creme in Good to Go, MAC Viva Glam V,  Joe Fresh Baie Sauvage

The answer?  None.  If you have wells as deep as mine, they'll just barely cover the bottom.  If you look in the upper left compartment, you can tell where I realized I didn't have enough product.  Also, lipstick hardens extremely quickly, in the time it took me to melt more of the bullet, the bottom layer had already solidified.

L: from the bullet, R: from the palette
Certainly Red, Baie Sauvage, Good to Go, Viva Glam V


I didn't lose too much pigmentation, but I will say that Viva Glam V (far right) lost some of its shimmer.  And it doesn't show up exactly in the photo, but I think Baie Sauvage has a touch less blue, which is actually fantastic for me -- it made me look the tiniest bit dead before (see it on my friend Peruana here).  Certainly red got a little more sheer, but I think that's to be expected if you plan to dab on your lip colour with your fingers.  I haven't used these with a lip brush yet, but I'm fairly happy with the way it turned out.  I chose these colours because I figured that wherever I go, you can't go wrong with bright fuschia, classic red, muted, shimmery nude and orange to warm everything up.  I know some people like to group colours together (all red, all nude, etc) in larger palettes, but I think for daily use, this works for me.


What colours would you put in?  Any downsizing tips for me?  I'm kind of struggling with foundations.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

How I use the MAC 187

As the most noob blogger in the world, I wrote my past 187 'review' the day after I got it.  n00b.

I got it because I'd read an insane number of MakeupAlley reviews about how airbrushed it would leave my skin looking.  At the time, I had a major acne situation going on, so anything even remotely describd as "flawless" or "airbrushed" or "full coverage" sounded immensely appealing.  That's also how I discovered my MUFE HD foundation, but that's a story for another day.

After having had it for a little over a year, I've found out that I use it for everything but foundation. With liquid and cream foundation, it leaves a streaky mess.  Other people seem to have this magic ability to use the white hairs for dabbing on their foundation and the black hairs buff it in to airbrush-y perfection, but...my white hairs streak up anything the black hairs do.  How are people retracting the white bristles???



  1. Bronzer:  Recently I've been using Calvin Klein Foundation in a much darker colour as my bronzer -- I got this when I was lemming Chanel's Soleil de Tan but it was sold out at my regular counter and I was too lazy to inquire at another one.  The 187 picks up just enough pigment for me to start building my contour very lightly, which I love.  Other bronzer brushes (I'm looking at you, EcoTools) pick up way too much pigment and require a lot more blending.  Also, because the head is smaller, it's easier to concentrate the colour where you want it.  I've also used this with powder bronzers and it's equally effective.
  2. Powder: I have no idea why I'm so anti-powder, given my oily skin, but I just hate putting it on.  I have such faith in Goss's rolling method, but I honestly have never even attempted it on myself.  However, if I want a fine dusting of silicone powder, Guerlain meteorites or even a powder foundation to finish off, the 187 is a godsend.
  3. Highlight: I use this with YSL Touche Eclat for a very natural dewiness.  The lightness of Touche Eclat's reflecting property and the sparseness of the brush make for an extremely light radiance.  Just put a few clicks on the back of your hand and stipple onto the tops of cheekbones, shoulders, and chin.  VoilĂ !
Any other 187 uses, lovelies?

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Concealer

It's way too hot for foundation.  Agree/Disagree?
What I've been doing instead is a Lisa Eldridge-esque point concealing, but without foundation underneath.  To do this, you need a concealer that matches perfectly with your skin.


Clockwise from Left
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda 07 Concealer Palette
Cle de Peau Concealer in Ochre
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-3
YSL Touche Eclat*
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Peach
Clinique Airbrush Concealer in 02 Medium

  1. Sonia Kashuk's palette comes with a green corrector (you can see me use it in a video here).  I am so insanely olive-toned that I use this as my base colour -- it matches my skin exactly. You need a minuscule brush to get into the pit of the scars and cancel out all the redness.  Also, you want to place the pigment directly onto the scar/spot and softly feather out the colour into the surrounding skin.
  2. Cle de Peau's ultra-pigmented concealer  comes in when I need a little foundation (usually MAC's Face and Body) or tinted moisturizer.  Since most foundation colours are not green enough for me, I end up using a different colour of concealer to match it.  I use it under eyes and on blemishes with my finger or a Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush.
  3. Secret Camouflage by Laura Mercier comes with two colours -- as of right now, I match the darker tone in this compact.  For nights out when I want more coverage, I'll actually just go over my entire face with this compact and a stippling brush.  That will probably be my next video.
  4. YSL Touche Eclat has a star because it is not a concealer.  This product has a surprisingly low rating on MakeupAlley.com, but if you read the reviews (all 230934 of them), you'll find that most people are disappointed with its coverage.  It's marketed as a brightener, so the idea is to use it as a highlighting product in conjunction with a base product.  I usually end up using this on people to even out eyelid discoloration or along the cheekbone for a cheek highlight.
  5. Bobbi Brown Correctors are great -- I don't usually use a concealer over top.  I love the texture of this, but I do feel that it gets a little heavy and too 'done' looking if I don't have foundation on underneath.
  6. Clinique's Airbrush is the exact same colour as my Bobbi Brown Corrector, but since it's a liquid, the texture is much lighter, and I can use this on its own.  Just don't forget to wash the brush every few uses.
Bonus: Vintage Makeup also asked me (ages and ages ago) to compare TheBalm's Time Balm with Cle de Peau's concealer -- I bought the wrong colour and it's still a little dark for me, but first impression:  Cle de Peau is a bit softer, and blends in a little easier.  Also, the colour allows for use all over the face.  Time Balm only works under the eye because it's so pink-toned.  Then again, for those of you who are pink-toned...might just work for you :-)  

Happy Monday, dears!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vanity/Medicine Cabinet

Helloooooo lovelies!

I've been trying to figure out a way to stash my products so that I actually use them.  I find a medicine cabinet really doesn't work for me since I spend 90% of my time at home in front of my computer.  The best way for me to perform my beauty duties is during an hour-long TV show (30 minutes doesn't leave you enough time to let things absorb and a movie's too much of a commitment) when I know I have time to really get the mascara out from between my lashes and to apply enough product to my neck and decollete (areas which are often overlooked).

I definitely use a ton of other products that require in-shower/over-sink time, but when I just don't want to get up...here they are.



Please pardon the background noise, I accidentally left my AC unit on.

Most of the products are available at Shoppers Drug Mart (at an astronomically high mark up) except for the Embryolisse, Lumecin, Ictyane and the Phloretin serum.  Those I procured from various sellers/apothekes/contest giveaways.  

I love nosing through What's in my... posts, so link yours in the comments below!