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5 Halloween Makeup Must-Haves

Whatever costume you plan, here are a few of the make up essentials that I've found extraordinarily handy in the past.  Also bear in mind that I've never once planned a Halloween costume in advance, so I believe most of these products are fairly accessible.

Black Eyeliner -- great for sketching out webs, animal noses, whiskers, pretty much anything.  It's basically a Sharpie for your face.  For pencil liners, I like _________, for liquid liner, I've recently been loving Kat Von D Ink! in Trooper

False Eyelashes -- these are a Halloween costume in themselves.  Pick up an outrageous pair from Make Up For Ever, or a subtle Ardell pair to enhance and add femininity to a costume.

White Base -- Failing that, a super pale concealer.  I usually go for a concealer in the lightest shade available at the drugstore and use it as a base for all zombie / vampire looks. NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil in Milk

Red lipstick -- I always end up using red lipstick.  I don't even know why.  In a pinch, it could be blood.

Lash glue -- DUO is technically a surgical glue, so it will hold most things together.  I've seen a ton of brilliant Zipper Face tutorials using this glue.  This comes in black and clear, so make sure you know which one you're using!

Depending on your costume, you'll likely need a few specialized items -- fun contacts, specific eye shadow colours, gel blood, scar wax, etc.  What are you for Halloween this year?

Best Black Polish Ever

One of my biggest nail polish inspirations is the opening scene from Suburban Girl starring Sarah Michelle Gellar -- an ultraglossy and ultrapigmented black on a short, squoval nail.  Check out the video here or below.  I just love how clean and neat this looks -- it looks even cleaner than some nude manicures I've seen.

For years (and I do mean years)I've searched tirelessly for a good black nail polish.  When I started painting my nails regularly six or seven years ago, I noticed immediately that all black nail polishes pulled brown on my skin.  Maybe it's because my hair is so dark?  I don't know.

Needless to say, I trawled through literally hundreds of reviews of the best black nail polishes on nail polish blogs, Makeupalley and nail polish-dedicated Flickr accounts (they exist), and still nothing.  I gave up and pretended Chanel Blue Satin was black.

I happened to pick Nails Inc Black Taxi off a clearance shelf in my local Shoppers Drug Mart, and my life was forever changed.  This is the only black polish that has ever looked properly black on me. I later found out that this was marketed as a one-coat black; that's almost true! There are very few polishes that I consider one-coaters, and this might be on someone else -- on my skin though, I need two coats to get that blackest black depth.

I've also heard fab things about Givenchy's new black -- check out this full review on Sunny's blog.

NOTE: I'm going away on vacation until November 9, so the comments section might be a little quiet.  I'll try to upload as much as I can to Instagram, so follow me there @procrastinatingpretty!

The Boot Round Up

- L - R -
Rag & Bone Newbury
Brooks Brothers Calfskin Vintage Style
Steve Madden (not sure of the model)

The other day I said something crazy.

"I think I have all the fall/winter shoes I want!"

And then I did a roundup of all my shoes, and I do believe that I've created the ultimate everyday boot wardrobe for fall.  Bootdrobe?

I live in the slushy winterland of Toronto, which means my shoes have to brave occasional ankle-deep questionable wet, gray matter that calls itself snow, escape the literal throes of black ice, and stand up to the ubiquitous sand and salt that exists everywhere to fight the aforemention ice and snow.

While most people opt for a commuter shoe (you know, comfortable, practical, treaded footwear designed to manage the winter elements), I know I'll forget to switch them out and be caught wearing quilted, lace-up Sorels to a client meeting.  Oops.

That said, I've rounded up a few shoes that should see me through this hopefully polar vortex-free winter.

One rule: No suede.  No imitation suede.  No soft fabrics in general.  You'll thank me later.

Fall Makeup | Oxblood Lip + Copper Eye

I (and every other makeup wearer on the planet) adore a smoky eye.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I love smoky eyes more than a lot of other people simply because it's the only type of eye look that'll show up on my flat, hooded eyelids.

For anyone who has eyes lids like mine, you know that you can keep putting on the eye shadow only to have it disappear immediately as soon as you open your eyes.  It can be frustrating, but it also means I get to wear more makeup. Win?

On Tod, I'll be showing you one of my favourite fall looks -- a coppery, red-toned smoky eye.  I never knew how much I could love this type of colour on me; there's definitely a risk that this could end up looking like a bruise.  That said, with the right products and good shadow placement, anyone can wear this look.

HOODED EYE TIP: Keep your eyes open as you apply the eye shadow, so you can judge how far up your lid to place the colour.

Review | Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I'm obsessed with honey.  It started after a stint on a Slovakian family's apiary in 2012, after tasting the freshest, most incredible honey directly from the hive, I couldn't be without.

I use  honey in place of all regular sweeteners in my coffee/tea/oatmeal/everything else.  I've even used it directly on my face and hair, but that can get really messy.  I don't remember who recommended the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask to me, but it's made its way around the blogosphere at least two or three times now.

This mask squeezes out of a coated metal tube as a pale yellow gel-like cream.  The product spreads easily without being too oily -- you only need about a nickel-size squeeze to cover your face in a thin layer.  I typically apply after cleansing and leave it on all night.  When I wash it off in the morning, my skin feels clean, hydrated and frickin' radiant.  This mask is an all-rounder, calming blemishes, evening out the complexion and adding a healthy dose of hydration.

I picked mine up from Whole Foods, but I've seen it at The Big Carrot as well.  The price ranges from $34 - $40, so it's not cheap, but it's definitely earned a place in my regular rotation.

Repurchase? Check.

Nail Polish Graveyard

Every once in a while, you'll come across a beauty product that checks all the boxes.  Texture, colour, price, availability, it just works.  Then one day it'll be abruptly taken from you on a brand's whim to discontinue.  Why do you do this to us?!

OPI At your Quebec and Call is the most beautiful olive -- it contains the right amount of bronzey-gold flash, which complements my warm-olive skin perfectly.  I purchased five bottles of this in 2009, and this is my last one.  I have yet to find another olive polish as unique or beautiful.

Chanel Le Vernis Kaleidoscope was a limited edition metallic that I decided too late that I wanted to back up. Tod hunted down a bottle for Christmas one year -- I've been caught between not wanting to use it and being afraid I'll waste it if I don't.  It is the most beautiful pewter, one of my favourite metals in the entire world.

Sephora by OPI 212 A brown-based black laced through with multicoloured microglitter, copper flakes strewn about like dying embers.  At a glance it is the most perfect, pebbly balance between chocolate, bronze and copper, leaving people wondering exactly what colour you're wearing. The first time I saw it, I knew I had to have it.

Also for my Canadian loves -- Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you have a very happy holiday!

Bare Necessities | Overnight Essentials

My skin is ridiculously sensitive to environmental change, so if I sleep/eat/drink/breathe anywhere different for an extended period of time, it'll show in my skin.  While personally I'm okay to be anywhere -- I'm happy to stay over at a friend's house if it gets late -- my skin does not agree.  This is the ultimate packing list for anyone with demanding skin.  The best part? It all fits in my everyday purse -- I'm a light packer.

Starting with a take-it-all off cleanser: Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser.  This one's especially nice because it heats up when it comes into contact with water!  I think I'll get the full size after I'm through this sample.  If you have crazy makeup for the night, bring a tiny decant of Bioderma.  Since my skin's acting up, I still need to bring a treatment -- one night without Murad Acne Clearing Solution and my skin will flip. I finish with a face oil applied right up to my lower lash line. I got this mini Josie Maran Argan Oil years ago and I've been refilling it ever since.

In the morning I'll apply a light moisturizer, either Caudalie Beauty Fluid or Hydrating Sorbet.  Instead of bothering with both foundation and concealer (weight is the enemy), a lightweight, high pigment concealer like Fusion Illumicover provides enough coverage to even out my skin tone, brighten dark circles and cover any scarring -- it's a miracle in a click pen.  Next is a lip/cheek product -- usually BECCA Beach Tint.  I'll occasionally bring Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil -- it's not a mini but since it comes with a spoolie, we'll call it travel-friendly. I also occasionally use it as an really expensive eyeliner.  My biggest waking up trick?  A little dark eye shadow right at the lash line to help define the eye.  Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bronze Have More Fun is a great warm-toned brown.

Bonus product:  This is typically rolling around in my purse anyway, but I'll bring a scented oil to act as a fragrance.  Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is my favourite beachy floral and gives a beautiful glow to the limbs.

OOTD: Fall Transition

Tell me I'm not the only person still hoping for one last warm spell before winter takes over?

I'm not quite ready to retire some of my favourite summer pieces just yet -- I've been incorporating them into more fall-appropriate outfits, but wearing anything from my summer wardrobe gives me the tiniest edge of hope that we'll get at least another weekend of beautiful, sunny weather.  That said, every now and then the wind picks up and reminds me that fall is obviously in place, and I have to adapt.

My favourite summer piece was this linen shirt from Everlane; I wore it nearly every day -- over cutoffs, as a bathing suit cover up, as a light evening jacket for warm summer nights -- it's worn in and washed beautifully, becoming one of the softest shirts I own.  Get it here -- I wear a men's medium.  In this video, I've paired it with a few fall favourites, neutral booties, a coloured jean and a raglan sweater.

Tod's summer uniform consisted of this cobalt blue Vero Moda circle skirt with an equally bright camisole.  The chunky, striped cardigan is a new purchase for the season, a classic trench coat helps pull the colours and patterns together.

Foundation Wardrobe

Minimal Coverage
 - Cargo_HD CC Cream - This is one of those all-in-one moisturizers that hydrates, protects and evens out.  It doesn't cover marks, but the ashy yellow tone really helps minimize redness.  This has a surprisingly matte finish given how hydrating it is.

Daily Do-it-all - Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation - The very moment I termed this my Holy Grail foundation, it was repackaged and reformulated.  D'oh! I haven't tried the new version yet, but I'm crossing my fingers it's not too too different. Bronzer Bunny did a great video comparing the two, but I'd need to get matched in-store.  One day!  This water-based foundation is the most incredible foundation I've ever used.  It's super thin, pigmented and leaves you feeling like your'e wearing an ultralight moisturizer.  Shade selection is limited, but this is one of the closest matches I've found.

Perfected Coverage - Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 123 - This is the foundation I break out for evenings, filming, any time I want really perfect coverage.  It has a beautiful balance of pigment and texture so that most marks are covered, but it still looks like skin.  This formula dries to a very realistic satin-matte finish, but with powder it goes complete matte and ends up bullet proof.  I occasionally mix equal parts with Becca Shimmering Skin perfector for a beautifully luminous, dewy texture.  Shade options are (nearly) endless, so you're likely to find a match.

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