Archive for category Brands
Happy long weekend, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a day off yesterday :) Here it was a bit cool but gorgeously sunny, and I woke up to bird chirping outside my window – so it was impossible not to feel happy, even considering the fact that my bf left to work in Fort Mac (in Alberta, for those outside of Canada) on Thursday morning. It’s another job with a schedule similar to what he had when he was working in Newfoundland; this time it’ll be two weeks on (at work) and one week home. I’m missing him already, but the next time I see him we’ll be headed to Florida so at least there’s that to look forward to! Almost everything that made February and March SUCK has been turned around: we got the new washing machine (never was happier to do laundry in my LIFE!), we got our new (old) car, and he’s back to work so soon enough money won’t be tight any longer. Add a dash of sunshine to that and things are feeling pretty darn sweet :)
I have been meaning to write an update on the Rapidlash eye lash serum I tried out earlier this year. Part of the reason I’ve been holding off is due to the fact that unfortunately, it was a big FLOP for me. I think coming in on the heels of XLash, which rocked my world, it seemed even more disappointing. I noticed absolutely NO difference to my lashes, and in fact I think it made them a bit straighter? Is that even possible?? In any case, here’s the proof:
Not to be a jerk, but I can’t help but be amazed all over again by how well XLash worked in comparison:
I still can’t believe that at one time my lashes were that long. OUTRAGEOUS! I swear to god there is no mascara on there.
So, you can clearly see – Rapidlash, for me at least, was a total DUD. I’ve read a few other reviews online, and others had better success, so I wouldn’t write it off completely – just do your homework. I also found that I had some minor side effects while using it, such as super-crusty lashes in the morning, and more lash fall-out than normal. Nothing excessive, but at times I felt like I had a couple bald patches in my lash line that were kind of annoying (neither symptom did I experience with XLash). Overall I was pretty disappointed in the product.
Moving on to more fun, lighthearted things, I tricked out my nails in my usual Easter manicure! This year I took my inspiration from Michelle at All Lacquered Up, who did a sort of bubble manicure with Deborah Lippmann’s Spring collection. It’s cute and springy, and while I don’t do nail art as a general rule, I usually pull it out for holidays like this one :)
As I don’t have dotting tools, I had to do mine free-hand so of course, it looks about half as good as hers. But I still like it nonetheless! I used butter London Jasper for my base, then painted on larger sea foam green dots with MAC Mischievous Mint, interspersed with smaller periwinkle blue dots via Essie Bikini So Teeny. Nothing fancy but it has the Easter/spring vibe I think!
I’m having a super-chill, kick back weekend puttering around the house so far and I’m loving it. I’ve been doing some major culling of all my things – makeup, nail polish, clothes – which I plan on continuing, and I’m also going to plant some herbs later today! I’m definitely into Spring Cleaning mode. I’m off on Easter Monday as well so I’m really relishing in the down time!
How are you spending your long weekend? Do you do an Easter manicure every year? Have you tried any lash serums that rocked your world?
I took shots of this lipstick ages ago but never got around to posting about it – and then when the time came, I thought it would be long gone for purchase (which is just plain MEAN to do with a lipstick this pretty!). Just out of curiosity, I *just* checked online, and lo and behold this shade is available to purchase on the Canadian site (but sadly, is ‘out of stock’ on the US one)! And so, I thought it fitting to do a little show n’ tell for you all :)
From the ‘Fantasy of Flowers‘ spring collection, Heavenly Hybrid is a Lustre formula, which are thought to be somewhat moisturizing with a mostly semi-opaque finish, and is described as a ‘mid tone berry.’ I have a couple shades in this formula, and while I don’t find it hydrating, I don’t find it drying either – I notice it tends to wear off quicker than other formulas and lipsticks (about 2 hours, tops) and usually leaves me feeling like I need to reapply in order for my lips to feel moisturized at all. However, I will say that with Heavenly Hybrid, the more intense colour means that it wears longer that other shades I have in the formula, so for that I give it good marks overall.
I find the colour in the bullet is a little more muted than what you see on the lips, as you’ll see in the swatches below. But that’s all to the better, because I find this is the perfect shade of berry – bright but not too in-your-face, veering near fuchsia but retaining a deeper berry tone to make it more wearable day-to-day.
Essentially, I LOVE IT. This shade is insanely wearable, and über flattering. As its not fully opaque, it looks softer than a full-on bright pink, but it’s not dull or boring in the least. It also brightens the face instantly, so with very effort you can look pulled together and pretty in a heartbeat. And it’s perfect for spring – or pretty much any season, really!
If you haven’t guessed, I’m loving this lipstick. Even better, I managed to snag it via Back2MAC empties, so this is like a MEGA WIN. I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised that it’s still available online considering how great a colour it is. But YAY for you guys! I highly recommend checking it out some way, somehow…I promise you won’t regret it!
What is your most wearable lipstick?
So we finally bought a car this past weekend, after two weeks of searching and test-driving a handful of used cars around the city! Doesn’t sound like a long time, but it’s a lot of work! My bf searched online for cars for days and hours on end, and it just gets plain tiring looking and hoping one will be worthwhile. Used car shopping is NOT my bag. Interestingly enough, we ended up finding ‘The One’ (a 2005 Toyota Corolla) in the valley, an hour outside the city. It was well worth it though, as it’s in pristine condition with super-low mileage. YAY! Another stressful item off the list :)
My skin is still misbehaving, but in a different way now – the breakouts have all but stopped, but I’ve been left with the gift of MAJOR scarring – clusters on my jawline as well as remnants of the bigger spots on my cheeks and forehead. EFF. My skin texture still isn’t back to normal either, but I’m trying to be gentle and not go hog-wild trying to ‘fix’ everything, so hopefully over time things will ease back into a more normal state. Thankfully, I still have a few photos of products to show you which I took before the “disaster” struck!
Though I gave you a look at the Rush Luster Cheek Sweep ($31CAD) from Sephora + Pantone’s Radiant Orchid collection in my Radiant Orchid FOTD post, I wanted to show you some swatches of the product, because it’s a really great little palette and I think it’s highly worthwhile checking out. You’ve got a beautiful blush in Radiant Orchid, and two luminizers – Bridal Rose and Spanish Villa. The textures are gorgeous and soft, but without sacrificing pigmentation – the only downside is that it can be a *touch* shimmery, so you need to be aware of that if you don’t love that kind of finish, or take into consideration when you wear it (day, night, in sunlight, on a cloudy day, etc.).
Gahh that vibrant orchid is TO DIE.
I also had a chance to check out the Venus Lure Lip Balm ($19CAD) from the collection. This is a glossy, sheer lip balm inspired by this colour of the moment – I find it lightly hydrating, but it’s got a strange thing going on; it feels very balmy and smooth on the lips, but it wears off quickly and with it goes all traces of moisture. While I sort of like the texture because my lips have been so flaky and dry this winter (and it helps conceal that fact), I find it a bit of a hassle to wear all-in-all – and it’s so balmy and soft that the bullet pushes to the opposite side of the tube when you use it, and I fear it melting big time in the upcoming warmer months. Unless you’re desperate to own the whole collection, I say this is one you could safely skip (go for the full-out Radiant Rush Matte Lipstick, or the Gloss Trio instead!).
There are several other products in the Sephora + Pantone Radiant Orchid collection that have caught my eye (Tracy has great reviews of the Radiant Rush Matte Lipstick and the Gazing Paint Liquid Eyeliner, the latter which seems like such a tough shade to wear on eye but which she makes me want BADLY), but I *might* be reaching the saturation point when it comes to the shade – I think I’m well-covered and own something in the colour all across the board.
Have you tried anything from the Radiant Orchid collection? And have you ever had to go car shopping???
*Products were provided by the PR Company/Brand for my unbiased consideration.
This post is seriously delayed, it’s true, as Dior’s Trianon collection came out back in early February; however, it’s still spring (we’re only like a week in, after all!) and I’ve actually seen both of these items still in stores, so I’m hopeful if you love them you can still pick ‘em up :)
I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to Dior cosmetics; though I used to work on the line for a brief period back in my Hudson’s Bay days, since then I haven’t really been all that interested. But when you continue to hear about how good their polishes and lip products are (among other items), you start to mentally break down and give in. It started with last year’s Spring Ball vernis, and it’s been snowballing slowly from there. Last month, when I had Shoppers Optimum points to burn, I picked up Dior’s Addict Lip Gloss in Exquisse (a bright, medium pink) and Vernis in Bloom (almost identical in shade except slightly more muted and deeper). Since cooler-toned pinks are my new jam, I figured they were the perfect choices out of the collection (which fell flat for me otherwise – pale seafoam colors do nothing for my skin tone).
I have this weird block in my head when it comes to bright pink nail polishes – for some reason, I seem to think I own a lot, when in fact I own less than a handful. Every time I see one I like, I think ‘Oh, I have a shade just like that’ – and when I considered Bloom, my thought process was no different. However, I was determined to buy something that day, and I was really feeling the fun pink tones of Bloom, so into my basket it went. Happily, I don’t own any shades like it – either they’re darker or warmer. The tones in Bloom I think would work for everyone – it’s not too cool or too light, but a great medium shade all around. And of course, the Dior formula is impeccable – hence why I’m steadily building my collection and just picked up Incognito (a pinkish nude) last week!
So shiny…that’s without top coat, guys! Another thing I love about the Dior polishes :) Here I’ve painted an accent nail with China Glaze’s Dandy Lion Around and topped it with Zoya’s Kissy – in fact, this was my Valentine’s Day mani!
My camera had a hard time distinguishing between some of the shades, but IRL you can plainly see the differences – Snog WAS the shade I was most concerned would look the same against Bloom, but it’s much warmer in person. Both shades are worth owning, in my opinion!
Though I have been on a lipstick kick for the past year or two, every so often a gloss will catch my eye, and Exquisse was it this time around – a bright, juicy pink is the perfect glossy shade to wear when spring (finally) comes around. As everyone notes, the Dior gloss formula is fantastic; smooth, non-sticky, with a decent wear time (about 2 hours) and moisturizing to boot. Why can’t all glosses be this easy to wear?
After swatching Exquisse, I realized that I actually have something similar in my existing lip gloss collection: Illamasqua’s Divine. Side by side, Divine is close, but leans cooler and lighter. When worn it’s also less pigmented – it’s sort of like the little sister to the Dior shade.
Though my picks from the Trianon collection aren’t necessarily exciting, I think they’re both exceptionally wearable shades, which tends to mean more to me the higher the price point. Dior is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands, and I’m hoping to expand my experience by trying out some of their other wares. They hit the trifecta for me of superb quality, sexy packaging, and on-trend colour. I want MOAR!
Have you fallen in love with Dior? Do you have any suggestions on what I should try next from the brand?
Last week I worked at Sephora for the Clinique kiosk for the first time EVER. Guys, let me tell you – that is one HARD FRIGGIN’ JOB, keeping your hands to yourself and trying to stick to your ‘station.’ DAMN! The first two shifts were pretty slow, so I had ample time to mosey around and check out the wares…but honestly, I don’t know how they get anything done! (and for the record, pretty much everyone was on the ball, 99.9% of the time. ALL BIZNESS, ALL THE TIME). Personally, there were so many fun things to look at that it was tough sticking to my ‘area,’ but I made it work.
One of the items that kept catching my eye was the new Make Up For Ever HD Blushes ($31cAD), which I believe replace their old HD *liquid* blushes? These are creams in a pot, whereas the older versions were a pump mechanism. Needless to say, these newer iterations are by far easier to use (though I wish the shade range was as exciting as the old…anyone ever check out #2 or #3, both bright hot pinks? YOWZAAAA). I think the idea is to showcase more natural-looking shades, that suit a variety of skin tones – for example, the 200 series is generally best suited for fair complexions; the 300 series for medium complexions, the 400 series for medium-dark complexions (like mine), and the 3 500 series shades are great for the darkest of skins. The exception is shade #410, a bright coral, which was created with all skin tones in mind. I guiltily admit however, that I don’t give one iota to all of this info, because….I just WANT THEM ALL.
The shade I was sent to try was #420, described as an ‘Indian Rosewood‘ shade. As I tend to lean toward more bright, obvious blush colours, I figured it was time to opt for a more natural tone that would meld with my skin without effort. #420 does just that.
It almost looks like a warm bronze-y tone once applied to my skin; the reddish-brown hue melds with my skin tone to produce a really wonderfully natural ‘glow.’ I was unsure when I opened the box that this was going to be *my kind of shade* but it’s so foolproof on my skin that I really have to argument against it. It just plain LOOKS GOOD. And application is a breeze – just use a stippling brush (my pick is MAC’s #130) to dab it on the cheeks and then blend out; honestly, it was one of the easiest cream products to use and I had zero issues in placement or blending – my kind of product! The finish is reminiscent of Chanel’s new cream blushes, except I actually find the MUFE version a little more dewy and a little bit less cream-to-powder finish, which I personally prefer. It retains a fresh quality that I really like, especially come springtime!
As you can see, it’s quite natural-looking on, and I admit that I kinda slapped this on haphazardly for these photos because sunlight is fleeting these days. I can already see the absolute necessity of buying several more of these – cream blushes are my new *thing* as I’m all over the natural, glowing skin look, and these are hard to beat. Radiant without being greasy or shiny, and a cinch to use. I’m a goner!
When it comes to blush, what is your preference: powder, or cream (or liquid)? Do you opt for natural tones or more in-your-face brights?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
The newest offering in their cheek tint franchise, Benefit’s Lollitint caught my eye right from the get-go. When Radiant Orchid was announced as Pantone’s Color of the Year, I hopped aboard that train without looking back, and the Lollitint just seemed like the ubiquitous product, perfect for my newest color scheme.
One caveat: I was SURE it wasn’t going to show up on my darker skin tone. Something about the milky cool pink hue just seemed completely out of my realm and better suited for the more fair-skinned among us. However, early in February, the girls behind the Beauty Envy Bag giveaways got together for a Google Chat, in which my girl Lola informed me that SHE had purchased Lollitint, and it showed up just fine on her gorgeous cocoa complexion. Um, SOLD. I snapped it up the next week :) And true to her word, it worked!
Lollitint is a beautiful orchid hue that gives the skin a pretty flush, perfect for transitioning from chilly winter days to cool, sunny spring ones! It looks somewhat similar on the skin as NARS Desire, but due to the liquid formulation I find it a bit more natural – if you apply it right. My first tries with this product were admittedly HUGE FAILS; dotting it on my cheeks directly with the brush and then blending it out with a duofiber brush (MAC’s #130 in this case) either looked non-existent, or gave me serious clown cheeks. Getting the right balance of product was extremely tough, and as it stains the skin quite quickly, a lot of blush would deposit on one main area of my cheek, looking HIGHLY unnatural. After a few days of this, I was frustrated but determined to persevere.
I finally found the best way to apply the product: I would brush a few swipes of colour across the actual brush head itself, and then quickly blend it in on the cheek in the area I wanted it. This allowed me to diffuse the product around before it had those extra seconds to set, and gave me a truly natural looking pink glow. I’m not generally a fan of fussy products, but in this instance I’ll make an exception, because the finished product is kinda awesome!
Yea, I’m a wee bit in love :) This has been my most-worn blush since picking it up last month, and I see no end in sight at the moment! Once it’s on the cheek, the wear time is unreal – hands down my longest wearing blush EVER. It does wash off fine at the end of the day though, it you were worried about long-term staining. I haven’t worn it on the lips yet however, and I suspect it would probably be 1) an awesome base for pink lippies, and 2) will leave you with a pink pout even after cleansing. I find that lip staining products tend to always be more tenacious.
My love for Radiant Orchid continues! I have purchased shades for lips, cheeks and nails…I’m pretty much set :)
Have you tried the Benefit Cheek and Lip Tints before? What are your tricks for applying quickly setting products?
It never fails: as soon as March hits, regardless of the fact that spring doesn’t actually start till the 20th of the month, I move headfirst into ~spring~ mode. Last night I switched over all my makeup to spring-like colours, and over are the days of dark & moody / icy & cool nail polish colors – bring on the pops of colour and pastels!
I went through my nail polish collection this week (which, despite my *efforts* is still increasing in size, rather than hovering around 100 which is my goal :S) and rounded up the shades that most say ‘SPRING!’ to me. Many of these shades are new acquisitions to my stash, so of course I’m totally enamoured with them. I think I’m quite covered when it comes to a good array of shades…though I may need a few more metallics, now that I think about it ~always enabling~ I only really own two – the perfect gold, and a striking silver. I wouldn’t mind throwing a nice rose-gold in the mix somewhere. Suggestions??
I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple years, and it’s that spring isn’t just for pastels anymore. Though I do love all the Easter egg shades that crop up this time of year, I’m enjoying seeing random pops of colour in the spring collections more and more.
Having said that, I am a sucker for any pale aqua or minty green shades that come my way. Last week at Winners I snagged butter London’s Poole for $12CAD; I had drooled over it last summer but felt that I had several shades similar. Turns out, indeed I do – but it’s different enough to justify owning it and I love it all the same :)
I also grabbed China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint at Winners at the same time (on for $5CAD). Green is NOT my polish colour of choice – unless it’s pale/pastel. I had bought butter London’s Bossy Boots last year for that reason, but I find it’s yellow-leanings don’t do my hands any favours. I’d hoped Re-Fresh Mint with it’s cooler tones might make up for that error….sadly, I dislike it even more than Bossy Boots! UGH this looks terrible on me – it’s like white-out with a drop of green food colouring mixed in (got St Paddy’s Day and green beer on my mind, I guess lol) and aside from it looking awful on my skin tone, the formula leaves much to be desired. Two thick, gloopy coats are required (actually, it’s the only option – thin coats are impossible as it streaks and balls up on itself in seconds) so if I’d actually wore this as a mani (I only put it on for this swatch) then dry time would be atrocious. NO THANK YOU :(
In the spirit of Radiant Orchid Madness 2014, I ordered Essie’s Splash of Grenadine from NPC last month, and guys – I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS COLOR!!!!! I think it’s the prettiest nail polish colour I own, seriously. It required three thin coats to reach opacity, but the little bit of extra time is totally worth it!
My photos don’t capture the gloriousness, but trust: this polish is LOVELY.
You may have noticed that I failed to mentioned the beautiful bright pink polish to the far left, Dior Bloom. Fear not, my dear friends – THAT baby is going to have a separate post all to it’s own ;)
What shades do you like to wear in spring? Are you more of a pastel girl, or do you prefer brights? Do you like / can you wear green nail polish? ~shudders~
Continuing my adventures in ULTIMATE LASH PLUMPING, I’ve been given an opportunity to try out the cult-product RapidLash® Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancing Serum, a lash treatment clinically proven to help you achieve fuller-looking lashes in as little as 30 days!
Following the success of XLash, I was sad to see the end of the product earlier last month. Over the past month, my lashes have almost returned to their former state, though they are still a bit longer than they were previously. I was excited to get the chance to try and compare RapidLash’s formula, which I have heard about from several different sources. I’m eager to see how it compares to the XLash formula!
The RapidLash serum is a paraben-free, over-the-counter formula that features a breakthrough formula of six highly effective ingredients, including polypeptides, biotin, and panthenol. It is dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested.
As with the XLash product, application and use is easy-peasy. Brush the formula along the baseline of lashes (you can also apply it to the lower lash line) every night at bedtime, and away you go. Additionally, this formula can be used on the brows by applying directly to the brow line.
The RapidLash product is comparable in price to XLash, at $59.95CAD. Unlike XLash however, you can get this from Shopper Drug Mart, so it’s more accessible (though it’s also available at RapidLash.com for those without access to Shoppers!).
I will report back in a month on my progress and results – I have high hopes! Having thick, long, fluttering lashes is really becoming addictive, I gotta say!
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Though not necessary for everyone, I personally prefer to use a different cleanser for day vs night – opting for a gentle wash in the morning and something more targeted to makeup removal in the evening. For a while I was doing the double-cleanse at night, using whatever two cleansers were in my arsenal, but I’ve been able to stop that practice recently when I purchase Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil, $39CAD (what a mouthful!!). It cleanses the skin so effectively that unless I’m wearing a full face of makeup (which is rare these days), I don’t require a second go-around. Anything that simplifies the ritual is a winner in my book!
Though I like the idea of using a cleansing balm or oil and wiping away the day with a soft cloth, I really LOVE the feeling of splashing my face clean at the end of the day – and going through so many face cloths was starting to drive me nuts. This cleanser does not require a cloth for removal (one of the few that offer that luxury); simply massage a pump or two of the medium-thick textured oil all over dry skin, splash a little water in there to emulsify, then rinse clean. DONE! The ease of use is what really sells me on this cleanser and all but ensures that I’ll be repurchasing once I run out.
You may recall that I sampled this back at the end of last year, and I wasn’t a fan of the smell - tropical with a heavy dose of pineapple in there (due to the papain and papaya enzymes). Though I’m still not in love with the scent, it fails to bother me at all now, and some days breathing in the tropics isn’t such a bad thing (Calgon, take me away!). The rest of the ingredients are somewhat plain but nonetheless effective: caprylic/capric triglyceride is just another name for fractionated coconut oil, which is coconut oil that is made more stable, more disinfecting, and has a bigger boost of antioxidants all while having a much longer shelf life than regular coconut oil; and sunflower see oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory and full of vitamin E.
Though I have heard some say that oil cleansing dries their skin out a bit, for my skin type (slightly oily) this formula is just perfect – it thoroughly cleanses yet leaves skin feeling comfortable, soft and smooth. An all-around staple for me, I must say! Sometimes it’s not just what’s IN a product that appeals to you, but how the product will be used and if it suits your purposes. The OLO Cleansing Oil is perfect for me, both efficient and effective – what more could a gal ask for?
What is your makeup removal process? Do you use a cleansing oil?
Finally wrapping up my NYC purchases…about damn time, eh? I had a really great day at home recently with actual sunshine, so I was able to get some final shots I needed. The last piece from my makeup-palooza is Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in #606 ($32US), a soft rose shade.
The Rouge d’Armani lipsticks have been on my wish list for ages, but without trying them out in person I was unsure what shade I should go with. Though I’m typically drawn to bold, in-your-face lipsticks, I wanted to try and find a colour that wasn’t represented in my collection. After getting some help from a great SA at Saks, I ended up going with #606 because it seemed like the perfect MLBB shade with a little bit of ‘oomph.’ It’s more pink than my natural lip colour, and it contains subtle shimmer which enhances the way it looks on the lips. Note that the shimmer is not really noticeable when worn, and can only be felt very slightly so comfort is not compromised in this gorgeously creamy, semi-opaque lippie (which is san fragrance, hooray!).
As per my usual M.O., I took a look through my stash to see if I had any comparable shades. I was dismayed at first to find that in the bullet, #606 looked close to MAC’s Hug Me, a lipstick I had purchased only a month or so prior, and for the same reason – as a MLBB shade (oops…this is what happens when you buy to much makeup, kiddies!).
While in swatches, the two shades ARE similar, when worn they couldn’t be more different. The superior formula on the Rouge d’Armani is extremely evident, as not only is it more moisturizing and comfortable on the lip, but the wear time is better (3-4 hours vs less than 1 for the MAC). I’m tempted to give Hug Me away, but as I just bought it I want to get at least a little use out of it before completely writing it off. It is less pink, especially on the lip, so I’m sure it will have it’s uses.
Though #606 isn’t an exciting shade, its a great colour to have in one’s arsenal that works in a variety of makeup looks. When spending the big bucks on a makeup item, I try to stick to classics that I know will get a ton of use, rather than go for a fad shade. Though I feel like I have far too many red lipsticks which I don’t wear nearly as much as I’d like, I wouldn’t mind picking up another of these in a red – the creaminess factor combined with the bold quality of the shade had ABSOLUTE PERFECTION written all over it!
Oh yea. And that satisfying magnetic ‘click’ that you get when you put the top of the lipstick back on??? SEXIEST THING EVER.
Have you tried the Rouge d’Armani formula? Are you a sucker for glorious packaging like I am???