• About
  • The Edit
  • The Review
  • The Video
  • Contact/PR

Laura Mercier Portfolio for Home and Away

 Pardon the photo overload -- can you tell I'm excited?  This is the Laura Mercier Portfolio for Home and Away that I showed in my last weekend update.  If there is one thing I love more than makeup, it is makeup storage itself.  I first saw this in a Wayne Goss video where he told me it was limited edition and I got so sad because I didn't think I'd ever see it again.  Cut to a week and a half ago when I came across it at Holt Refnrew and nearly shrieked.

This is a travel makeup case measuring 11.5 in x 9 in.  The hard outer shell unzips all the way around to reveal two magnetic covers.  On the first "page" there are two pouches of the same size that stick to the front cover.  With all of these mesh pouches, you can pull them out and use them as makeup bags alone.  The two on the back cover are different sizes -- one looks like it would be TSA compliant, and the other is a skinnier pouch suitable for pencil products.  The entire case is made of plastic which makes it really easy to wipe down with a baby wipe before and after each use.

The middle flap has seven slots for brushes, and here is where my first criticism arises.  There are two slots wide enough for standard face brushes (here I've shown the Cover FX Foundation Brush #160 and the Smashbox Blush Brush #16) but the eye slots are extremely snug.  I tried to fit a MAC 227 in one of them, and there was no way it was happening.  On the back of this flap, there is an elasticized compartment that could hold more brushes, but they might move around given that there's no protective dust cover or stitching to separate it into compartments.

The case also comes with two empty Laura Mercier palettes -- a six-pan and a three-pan.  I've never tried a Laura Mercier colour in my life, but these would be helpful if you'd already amassed a collection.  The mirrors inside these are large and take up the entire lid of the palette.  I've shown them here with a couple of my travel essentials.

Good makeup storage makes me want to make better use of my makeup.  I've never found something I liked for travelling -- if it had a hard shell, there weren't enough compartments and my products would knock into each other.  If it was a soft case, it wasn't protected from my other belongings in my carry-on.  Here, I'm not concerned that any of my products will explode and get all over my clothes, I don't think any of my glass bottles will break or even that my brushes will be crushed.  I'm officially a happy camper.

How do you pack your makeup for travel?

March Favourites

I don't believe I've ever done my favourites post before the month's end before.   Actually, I was going to film my responses to the 11 Questions Tag, but every single thing that could possibly happen to interrupt my five separate filming occasions has happened -- picture fire alarms, battery packs dying, not one, but two full SD cards...I digress.

This month has been a very favourite-y month for me.  Did that make sense?  Probably not.  What I mean is, that for me, favourites usually refer to products that have made more than one appearance within a given month.  These favourites are different because I've used every single one of them at least five times a week (except the nail polish, but only because I don't reapply every day).  That's insane for me.  Not surprisingly, I'm not wearing any of them in the video.  In fact, I'm not wearing a stitch of makeup in the video, because I was so excited about catching the last five minutes of evening light.  You do what you gotta do.

As always, links and products mentioned will be on the Youtube page.  Click through and enjoy!

Other things I've enjoyed this month...
1. Since you all loved my dad's top shelf last month...check out my brother's.
2. The Face.  ANTM with infinitely better sponsors  Anyone see the finale last night?
3. Lemon water.
4. This clip of Jennifer Lawrence talking about her mom.
5. The Wild Oats & Bourbon candle from NEST Fragrances.

Tell me about your March loves!

Clarisonic vs Neutrogena Wave, Re-Evaluated

The most popular post on this blog is my Clarisonic Mia vs Neutrogena Wave post.  I didn't know how popular that post would get -- if I did, I probably would have included my own photos instead of relying on the power of Google Images.

I think it's time that I update my experience with the Clarisonic.  My knowledge of skincare since that time has expanded so much, my skin needs different things, and I now have the power of hindsight.

First off: Don't buy the Neutrogena Wave.  It will do nothing good for your skin. Even when I thought it was exfoliating and helping my moisturiser sink in more, what it was probably doing was tearing up my skin matrix and the moisturiser was bleeding into the gaps.  Horrifying visual.  Throw in the cheap, skin-peeling cleanser they pre-soak the cotton refills with, and you'll spend more money trying to fix your skin afterwards.

The only thing left to consider is whether or not you need a Clarisonic.  I bought the Mia, which I'm fairly certain has gone down in price since I purchased mine.  Refills are $30 a pop in Canada, and you have to replace them every six months if you use it once a day.  And that's where the issues begin.

I first got a Clarisonic to help remedy my vengeful cystic acne.  It was as though bacteria and sebum had decided to band together and have a dirty, four-month-long orgy on my jawline, cheeks and chin.  Before one cyst had shrunk, three more would pop up to see it go -- they started multiplying on top of each other, and effectively changed the shape of my jawline because they were so swollen.

Twice a day, for six weeks, I diligently used the Clarisonic Mia with Lancome Creme Radiance foaming cleanser. In fact, I don't think I've been this careful about my skin before or since then.  After a while, I noticed that the acne started calming down.  Thrilled with the results, I continued with my routine.

Then it happened.  The acne started coming back.  After blaming everything I could -- my diet, my lack of exercise, hormones -- and changing all those things, the acne persisted.  It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that since I was using the brush twice a day, the suggested replacement time was effectively halved.  So take note of how often you're using your brush, and don't vibrate the bacteria back into your pores.

After figuring that out and properly maintaining my Clarisonic, I continued on.  I eventually graduated to a different kind of acne -- it wasn't cystic, it was a more human-sized pimple that would still scar.  It also took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that I was over-exfoliating, and that my skin was producing more oil in order to keep up with its twice-daily foaming torture.  After switching to a gentler cleanser and once a week use, my skin calmed down, and we arrive at my skin today.

I still break out.  And of course, whenever I do, I attack with my Clarisonic and its faithful army of treatments.  But on a regular basis, I almost never use it.  Every once in a while, I'll have been lazy about washing my face or been wearing especially heavy makeup and I'll do a pass with good ole Lancome Creme Radiance just to satisfy my neuroses.  I don't know that I actually need to do that, but I'm a firm believer of the placebo effect.

All in all, you only need one if you have acne, and the problem with your acne is that your skin is clogged and dirty.  Even then, know that this is a one-time fix for your acne -- after it goes away, you won't and shouldn't use it that often anymore.  That said, $139 CAD to rid me of 85% of my skin issues?  I don't regret a thing.

Bridal Beauty

Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Bare Face, Eyes and Left Brow finished, Lashes, Finished look

A few months ago, a friend asked me to do her bridal makeup -- I've done a tutorial before, but she wanted to do a proper lesson where I talk her through tools, colours and long-lasting textures.  You know by now that I love to ramble on about beauty, so I jumped at the chance.

Emma is a fair-skinned, blue-eyed redhead -- a fantastic combination to work with.  Extremely pale-skinned or dark-skinned girls are essentially a blank canvas for colour, so a wide range of colours and looks will work.  Her only request was to become "an extremely hot version of myself."  The lady was in luck -- that's what I do best.  I wanted to focus on a defined eye with lots of lashes and to make sure her brows and lips didn't disappear into her face.  

Base:  For her base we picked up Urban Decay Naked foundation which she'll apply with her fingers. Working with your fingers will essentially give you a mini face massage, which will add an extra glow to your skin.  This foundation is extremely buildable so she can layer it over any blemishes, if any pop up.  For her contour, I used NYX blush in Taupe to shade in her cheeks -- try not to take the contour too close to the mouth or it can leave you looking a little skeletal.  Finish with a sweep of Dior Amber Diamond on the brows, inner corner of the eye, and the tops of the cheekbones and you'll have all the shape you need in your face.

Brows:  If there is one thing you should do on your wedding day, it is your brows.  Emma has an amazing brow shape, so there wasn't much shaping needed.  Her brows have a lot of blonde in them, so I used MAC Lingering to colour in the hairs and make them reflect less light.  For brow beginners, try not to colour in your skin.  That is, lightly feather the brow pencil into the hair; it really shouldn't touch your skin at all.  See how far you can get with just that bit of colour in the actual hairs -- if you need more coverage or shaping, then you can start applying the product directly to your brow bone.

Eyes:  I used Marcelle's Face Powder in Translucent to prime her lids -- for brides, I prefer powder to prime the lid because it helps shadows go on much more softly.  A regular primer will help intensify the colour, but the increased pigment will be harder to work with.  A loose powder will give you the same smooth application, but help the colours blend.  Next, I used a shimmery, bone-coloured shadow (from the Dior Incognito palette) to go over her mobile lid.  I used Urban Decay Busted to shade in the entire crease, from the inner corner to outer corner.  This makes her eyes look a little more deep-set.  I also took the same shade and shaded under the eye for more definition.  I used a Prestige Waterproof Eyelienr in Sepia to tightline her lashes to give them a little more depth.  I winged out the liner just a tiny bit to help give her eyes a little lift.  For the reception, she's going to add a tiny bit of L'Oreal Telescopic Liner in Black to the tightline for more intensity. 

Lashes:  We used the Andrea ModLash #21 lashes -- a really short, natural-looking lash that just added a tiny bit of bulk.  I originally went with my go-to lash, the Ardell Demi-Wispies, but they were way too big for her face.  Something to keep in mind when you try lashes on!  I used the Duo Dark Tone lash glue and we applied them to mascara'd lashes.  I chose a waterproof, volumising formula: Prestige My Waterproof Lashes.

Cheeks:  Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Dollface is my go-to bridal shade.  I've used this colour on a number of people and it has yet to fail me.  It's the blush I go to when I'm not sure about the rest of my makeup.  Since there's going to be flash photography at the wedding, don't be afraid to put more blush on than usual.  A good way to check how much makeup you're missing is to take a photo in full daylight.  

Lips:  I love a good lipstain for weddings.  In terms of colour, I try not to do too bright -- it's hard to maintain as it is, but with all the drinking and kissing and talking, it'll just be another unnecessary source of stress.  I don't condone a nude lip -- I know a lot of girls who like nude lipstick tend to go with what they're comfortable with, and the hideousness that is flash photography will just leave you dead-looking.  I like a bright (not neon) pink.  Here I used Tarte Matte Lipsurgence in Hope, which works for a variety of skin tones.

A few bonus tips for brides:
  • Practice!  The more you do your makeup, the better acquainted with your face you'll become.  You'll learn exactly the way your face contours and the sort of blush placement that suits you best.  You'll also learn where exactly your brows get sparse or where the hairs are unruly.  Little things like that make all the difference when it comes to a photo.
  • Keep it simple -- don't try to rock a colour you're not comfortable with.  Stay in the family of what you normally wear (or if you don't wear makeup, colours that are already in your face), and just apply it slightly more vibrantly than you would normally.
  • If there's one place to spend money, it's your base.  Skin is the most finicky thing to photograph, so spend money on a good foundation and powder.  Skip any and all silica powders as they tend to flash back in photography and make you look ghostly.
Got a wedding makeup tip? Sound off in the comments below!

Best and Worst: MAC Brushes

The first brushes I ever bought after I started blogging were MAC brushes.  Before that I was much more of a finger painter, convinced that brushes were a way to squeeze money from you and falsely convince you that you were your own makeup artist.  This has turned out to be half-true: I'm still a finger painter at heart, masquerading as an artist.

After a year or two of painstakingly researching, collecting, and Craigslist stalking for all the brushes I wanted, it's gotten to that point where I don't really want more MAC brushes.  In fact, I could do with a few less MAC brushes.  I'm contemplating selling them, but I've always been sketched out at selling anything online...seasoned blog-sale experts, advice greatly needed!

As they say, hindsight is 20/20, so here are a few brushes I would repurchase to this day (some of them I have), and a few that I would have skipped.  I should also mention that these are not my Top 5 favourite brushes ever, these are only my MAC favourites.  I've been playing with the idea of a brush collection or a 10 Brushes I would Repurchase type of dealio (although I guess I've already kind of done that here...), but I'm not sure how that'll pan out. Sound off in the comments!

Speaking of brushes...have you entered my Real Techniques giveaway yet?

Dior Impressions Cuir

I made my first StrawberryNet order a few weeks ago -- I was nervous since I've been burned by brokerage fees before, but when I saw this item, I bit the bullet and ordered.  This is one of Lisa Eldridge's All-Time Favourites, something she keeps in her own makeup bag.  I didn't think much of it when I looked at it -- meh, another neutral shadow palette -- but then I started idly Googling swatches.  That's a risky little game, innit.

Now that I have it, it's even better than in Lisa's video.  The combination of a warm, chocolate brown, a    smoky, bronze-gold, and the minky highlight makes it the perfect, everyday trio.  These colours are pretty dupeable, but having them housed in one gorgeous compact and embossed so incredibly beautifully makes me glad I have it.  If you're new to my blog, I'm kind of travel-makeup obsessed; I adore anything multi-use, travel-size, travel-friendly, packing-friendly, all-in-one.  Packing for a trip is about 40% of the enjoyment for me.  Yup.

This is an older palette (limited edition from 2008), so the colours aren't quite as pigmented as what I usually expect from a Dior eye shadow.  They are still gorgeously creamy and easy to apply, so I don't mind.  In fact, this would be a great palette for beginners who can't manipulate too much pigment.

The packaging is the same size as a Dior Quint or their highlighters.  I don't think Dior packaging is especially sturdy, but I have yet to break one.  That's impressive because I break most things, as evidenced by the number of laptops I've had in the past eight years *cough*seven*cough*.

Bottom line:  Do you need this?  Not unless you're a vintage Dior collector.  You could also make do with MAC Mulch, Urban Decay Smog and... I don't think I own a colour quite like this one, but it looks like something Laura Mercier or Lancome would make.

Do you have any limited-edition loves?

Weekend #1

I don't particularly adore regular weekend posts, but they do come in handy when I feel the need to overshare (especially if you've forgotten your phone at home and deeply miss Instagram despite not using it that often).  This weekend I'm taking the office to the coffee shop and comfortably settling in at 7 Grams on Avenue for the next two days.  Wish me luck!

Saturday mornings are meant for self-gifting.

Essentials to make any coffee shop feel like an office:
Clarins Lip Perfector in Apricot
Sharpie Pens (LOVE THESE)
Planner (i.e., work equivalent of a Book of Shadows)

A wedding look I did last weekend that I'll blog this week! 

To avoid the Google Reader panic, follow me on Bloglovin'!

Happy Saturday, lovelies! 

Real Techniques Core Collection

Real Techniques, the baby of makeup genius Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo, made its way to the Great White North.  Actually our weather has been relatively precipitation-free, so...Great Grey North?  Gone are the days that I endlessly stalk the interwebs for coupon codes.  They are now readily available at Wal-Mart and!

Real Techniques bristles are made of synthetic Taklon fibres.  I have a ton of natural hair brushes which I love, but recently, synthetic brushes are getting better and better.  A lot of people ask me if I prefer natural or synthetic.  I say you need both.  I adore synthetic brushes for buffing --not for blending, but specifically for buffing.  I think if you want to diffuse colour and work it into your skin, you need the smoothness of a synthetic brush.  That said, because there is less texture in a synthetic brush, it's really easy to overblend and make colours look muddy.  Base products are where synthetics rule.  Also, they dry a million times faster than natural brushes.

Today I'm reviewing the Core Collection*, but I've done a review on other  Real Techniques brushes.

Contour Brush
This small, rounded brush of medium density works well with contour because it's less dense than the others.  It grabs product lightly so you don't end up with stripes of brown on your cheeks.  The small size also helps you control your placement.  This could also be a good foundation brush if you wanted light coverage, but my giant face takes too long to cover.

Pointed Foundation Brush
I was surprised at how small this brush is; the bristles are the same length  as the setting brush, which also surprised me with its minute size.  The bristles on this brush are very stiff -- if you flex the bristles, they'll bounce back very quickly.  This makes it great for waxy products like the Bobbi Brown correctors/concealers.  I do think it's a little too stiff to blend the delicate skin underneath the eye but it's great for getting around your nose or for applying eye shadow primer.

Detail Brush
This brush tapers to a point, something I find that a lot of other lip brushes lack.  I usually prefer an angle brush or a square brush to apply lipstick, but the tapered bristles on this brush give a nice enough line if you don't have an angle brush to spare.  This is also great for getting that inner corner highlight on your eyes, and for detailed application of brightener.  I usually use this to place my under-eye corrector and blend out with another brush.

Buffing Brush
By and far my favourite brush in the entire set.  I'll do a proper comparison with the Expert Face Brush, but here's a spoiler:  This brush kicks ass in terms of even foundation coverage.  The brushes splay out perfectly on your face, distributing product in an even layer, and the round shape is so conducive to product-swirling.  I might need a backup.

These sets come in a hard, black case to store your brushes.  Simply slip your brushes through the elastics and fold in half.  The other thing you can do with the case is to turn it into a stand: fold the case the opposite way and tighten the drawstring so it props up your brushes.  I personally store my brushes in jars, so I don't use these too often, but I keep them for travelling.  I've never found a brush roll I like, and travelling with them any other way feels like I might warp the hairs.

I'm giving away a set of Real Techniques brushes in my giveaway (along with two bottles of Batiste Dry Shampoo!).  Find out how you can win here.

*PR Sample

Skincare Routine

Time for a new skincare update!  I typically go through a flurry of product testing then settle on two to three routines that I combine into a skincare routine.  This typically results in a flurry of skincare posts: I recently spoke about my evening skincare routine, as well as some of the cleansing masks I use.  I also talked about last year's skincare favourites, and a few of them have made the jump into 2013.

The way I go about skincare is almost completely based on instinct.  That is, I wake up and I choose my cleanser, serum, face oil and moisturiser based on how it feels, the things I've been putting into my body, and just plain old guessing.

I realize that is the most unhelpful and unclear advice I can give, but I do think that everyone should get to know their skin.  As a person with problem skin, I tried a number of treatments to help my skin clear up.  I probably tried too many things too quickly, but having a skin issue helped me familiarize myself with my skin's habits.

A few things I've learned about my skin...

  • My skin hates benzoyl peroxide and acetyl-salicylic acid.  It was fantastic having cystic acne, because both those things are pretty prominent in acne treatments.  I talk about the acne treatments I can use here.
  • My skin loves to be exfoliated in times of crisis.  The Clarisonic is one of the things that helped me through The Great Acne Crisis of '10.  That said, it's been a couple of years and I don't use my Clarisonic nearly as often anymore.  I find a gentler exfoliation to be more helpful -- I use a muslin cloth, an enzyme exfoliant  or a glycolic acid treatment.
  • Despite having extremely oily skin, my skin loves to be moisturised, especially with oils.  I'll talk more about my moisturising masks later, but here's how it goes:  I'll use a peel then cover it with an insanely thick layer of moisturiser and face oil.
  • I love serums.  My moisturisers feel lost and lonely without then.
  • My lips do not respond well to central heating.  Here's what I use to keep them happy.

To check out what I'm using, click 'Watch on YouTube' for a full product line-up.  Hope you don't mind that I ramble!

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector

BECCA SSP in Moonstone, Josie Maran Argan Luminizer, TheBalm Mary Lou-manizer, Dior Amber Diamond, YSL Touche Eclat 2, Benefit High Beam
Light in a bottle.  That is all I can say about this.  I have the colour Moonstone, a pale champagne colour that blends out to that perfectly dewy finish.  There's no multicoloured shimmer in this product, just sheeny glow.

A lot of people have trouble categorizing this product -- I think most people use it as a highlighter, but it's actually marketed as a moisturiser with SPF 25.  One way I use this product is under my makeup for full-out radiance. I mentioned in a comment on Sunny's review of this product that it made me look like a Nike model and I can't think of a better way to describe it.  You know how they have the most perfect lighting that highlights all their muscles?  That's what this gives you.

You can use it as a traditional highlighter, over your foundation on the tops of your cheekbones, brow bone, cupid's bow and down the nose and chin, which will give a lovely halo-like effect that never looks overdone, or layer it underneath foundation on the high points of your face for more subtle definition.  My favourite way to use this is mixed into my foundation -- it makes your skin look so...real.  It's perfected in the most natural, softly-lit way, and even my normally greasy face embraces the sheen.  On days that I don't wear full foundation, I like to mix this with my Josie Matchmaster Serum Foundation or just a primer for a healthy glow.

This product comes in 4 different shades, so you won't have a problem finding one that works with you -- I also have a generous sample of Topaz, the darkest shade available, which I use on my lids for that runway wet-eye look.  It's one of my favourite looks to pair with Le Metier de Beaute Bali (you can check out that lipstick here).  If you have oily skin you can skip a regular moisturiser and primer, but I use this over my moisturiser of the moment.  I apply this product with fingers because I find the lovely, liquidy texture wasted on a brush.  Highlight also looks better when it's not too neat.  Sculpting on the other hand...

In Canada these retail for $50 CAD for , and they're available at select Sephoras (I found mine at the Eaton Centre one).

My First Giveaway [Closed]

There's really no reason for what I'm doing today other than the fact that you guys were so, so happy to hear about these products.  I've never done a giveaway on the blog before, but you were all so enthusiastic about these that I had to do something about it.

The products in question are the Real Techniques brushes and the Batiste Dry Shampoos.  I raved about these here and here.  I've gone on about these so much that it almost feels redundant to talk about them, so here are a few pictures to whet your appetites.  The winner will win one set of Real Techniques brushes (Travel Essentials, Core Collection or Starter Set) and two Batiste dry shampoos (one 200 ml full-size, one 50 ml travel size) in any fragrances of their choice.  Check out FarleyCo's website for more information on these products.  Good luck!  See below for how to enter.

Real Techniques

You have until Friday, March 22 to enter -- the winner will be chosen by random draw and announced on Monday, March 25.  You will have 48 hours to respond, or your things are mine.  Kidding.  Ahem.  Unfortunately, I'm only able to include my readers with a Canadian address, but I'll attempt something for my international lovelies soon!

Be subscribed to me via GFC or Bloglovin
Follow @FarleycoBeauty on Twitter

Extras Entries

Follow me on...
(+1) YouTube: ProcrastinatePretty
(+1) Twitter:  @procrast1nato2
(+1) Instagram: @procrastinatingpretty
(+1) Pinterest: @procrast1nato2
(+1) Tweet about the giveaway!
Something like...
"I just entered to win Real Techniques and Batiste from @procrast1nato2 and @farleycobeauty!"
Or whatever.  You decide.

Leave a comment below so I know you want to enter!  Tell me what you'd like to win, how you follow me, if you tweeted and how you'd like for me to contact you (ideally an email because Skyping can be a lot of pressure.  Don't even get me started on Chatroulette).  If you don't want to share your email publicly, you're very welcome to email me here:

Good luck!

February Favourites

I can't decide if I like monthly favourites posts or not -- it gets a little overwhelming when my entire Blogger and Youtube feeds pop up with the exact same posts and videos.  That said, there are a few things that I've been using regularly that I thought you guys should check out. I'm pretty sure I've talked about each and every one of these before -- nothing like a round-up of old favourites!

Other things that I'm kind of in love with lately...
1. Chickpeas
2. This girl
3. My dad's Top Shelf¸ à la Into the Gloss
4. 30 Rock (I'm extremely late to the party.  I <3 Kenneth.  Also, certain parts of Bossypants make so much more sense now.)
5. This interview I did with Pai founder, Sarah Brown

Remember to watch on Youtube for all the product info and links that I mention.  Otherwise, just poke around the site; you'll find it eventually.

Pai Skincare

Pai's skincare is made for sensitive skin so parabens, silicones and other nasties are delightfully absent.  I've been unconsciously shifting my routine towards natural brands that emphasize organic ingredients.  I can definitely tell the difference when I use regular brands now -- my face feels oddly tight and squeaky. Not since the days of Clinique's 3-Step programme have I used something so consistently.  Remember when I kept five cleansers in rotation?  I think we can all say that I've fallen hard for this line.

I start my P.M. skincare routine by squeezing out two pumps of the Camelia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and massage it into my skin in small circles.  If I'm wearing very heavy eye makeup, I'll prep with a swipe of Bioderma, but for regular, day-to-day makeup or sunscreen, a double-cleanse with this will get it all off.  After breaking down all the product with my fingers, I'll turn on the hot water and wet the Muslin Cloth -- it comes free with their 100 ml cleanser, but not the 25 ml travel size.  After the cloth is thoroughly soaked, I'll wring it out and lay it over my face for a few seconds, letting the steam do its work.  Next I use broad strokes to wipe the cleanser off my face, and small circular motions around any areas that need work (usually around my nose, mouth and chin).  Can I just say how much I love muslin?  It's essentially replaced my Clarisonic for everyday exfoliation and I've already bought three more.  I'm obsessed.

I don't always use a toner, but I'll usually finish my cleansing routine with a spray of thermal water before applying the Rosehip BioRegenerate* (review here).  I take a little time really work this into my skin, to stimulate the muscles and encourage circulation.  This is a step a lot of people miss, and it's hard to do with just a facial moisturiser since they absorb so quickly and don't leave enough slip.  After I've completely given my face a workout, I smooth on the Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream to seal it all in.  If I need an extra kick of hydration, I'll put on a thick layer and sleep in it, like a moisturising mask.  A quick pat around the eyes with their ridiculously hydrating Echium Anti-Aging Eye Cream, and I'm ready for bed.

I had a weird time in January where I started breaking out, but these past few weeks, my skin has calmed down a lot, even in the harsh Canadian winter.  I can tell my skin's starting to work with the products and settling into a very happy equilibrium.  I don't use this routine morning and night since I need some sort of play time to exercise my product ADD, but this is the longest I've gone without switching out any products since high school a very long time ago.

Still not convinced?  They have a fantastic sample pack that lets you try their cleanser, exfoliator and a couple of moisturisers -- it also comes with a free muslin cloth, which is a pretty sweet bonus -- it's available on their website at for $10.

Have you tried Pai?  The rest of my skincare routine will be up next, so stay tuned!

*PR Sample

Brush Drying Apparatus

Most people do a brush-cleaning post.  All I have to say about brush cleaning is to get the product out -- preferably not with something that could disinfect your toilet. Also, while you rinse, aim your brush head down so the water won't get into the ferrule, i.e. the metal clampy bit that holds it all together.

What I do want to talk about is drying your brushes.  For me, this is one of the most important steps in brush care -- even if you manage to royally screw up some of the bristles, washing them will give you a chance to try and reshape everything.  Enter my brush-drying system.  For a glance at my brush storage, click here.

I was inspired by this DIY from Delicate Hummingbird's brush-washing post, but before I could wreak havoc in Home Depot's tension rod aisle (is there such a thing?), Tod pulled me back and said something very obvious.  Binder clips.  We use them for everything -- to hold lecture notes together (ah, university memories), to seal off chip bags, and as makeshift shadow puppets.

I buy the 2-inch clips and slide them to the free edge where I usually dry brushes.  Then I wrap a heavy-duty rubber band round the clip handles -- don't wrap too many times, you want a little wiggle room so your brushes will fit.  On either side of the clip, insert your brushes between the clip handle and the rubber band, then play the waiting game.  The brushes I normally hang like this are large, round, or tapered face brushes like the NARS Yachiyo, the Real Techniques Blush Brush, or my MAC 187s.  The rest I hang over a free edge.

Whenever I remember, I'll use my fingers to comb through any brushes that look like they might be drying a little splayed -- remember, they'll all look a little splayed at first, since the outside hairs will dry faster and pull away from the damp, centre ones.  Don't panic too much, since they'll all fluff out when they dry.  Sometimes I'll also take half a tissue and wrap it tightly around my eye brushes, since I like them to be especially tapered.  It also makes them dry faster.  I don't recommend using this tissue-wrapping method with large, extremely dense brushes because the middle will never take forever and a day to dry and you run the risk of mould.

This post was inspired by a conversation with Gummy; you can read it in the comments section of this post.

Please do share any and all brush care tips and favourites!  If you don't know by now that I'm a brush maniac, you will soon (hint: brush collection...?)!

Design by | SweetElectric