Archive for category CoverFX

Summer Makeup Staples: The Basics

As some of you may know, I’ve been trying hard to keep my new purchases to a minimum, putting effort in to enjoying the products I already have before galavanting around buying up more stuff. The only problem with that concept is that in the summer, I tend to wear a bit of a ‘makeup uniform,’ which means the same products get used over and over again and the rest get forgotten. However, there IS something to be said for products that just plain work, and that work with your lifestyle. I thought I’d give you a peek into my recent beauty world at the handful of products I’m loving big time this summer!

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All of the products above are new to me this summer, and have all wormed their way into my heart in a BIG way.

Earlier in the spring, I ran out of powder (those Ambient Lighting palettes were a cute idea, but HOLY MOLEY those powders got used up fast!), so I picked up Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($44CAD). I’d heard and read good things, so I finally took it off the wish list and brought it home with me. I’m quite pleased with it overall – though it doesn’t combat shine fully, it leaves me skin with a radiant matte finish and never looks heavy or cakey. It’s extremely finely milled, and feels like air going on. Probably one of the best setting powders I’ve used to date.

On my birthday, my aunt gave me her usual ‘beauty package’ of goodies she’d purchased from The Shopping Network. One of those items was the CoverFX MintGlaze FX Moisturizing Lip Treat-mint Primer with SPF15 (also known as the-lip-balm-with-the-longest-name-ever). Normally not a fan of mint anything, I actually like the gentle cooling sensation this imparts on the lips, and its nicely moisturizing. A thin layer is great to use just before applying lipstick, but even on it’s own it looks great, with a nice glossy shine.

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It’s not cheap at about $22 a pop, but hey, I got it for free so I’m not complaining! I read on Paula Beguoin’s site that the peppermint oil is a no-no (re: irritation) but I don’t find it a problem.

Another gem of a find I’ve come across recently is Sephora Brand’s Waterproof Retractable Brow Pencil ($16CAD). I was finding the shadow I was using to fill in my brows was too dark, and the method of application not precise enough – I’ve been growing my brows for a while now, and they can get a little unruly if I’m not careful. I picked this up on a whim because it was relatively inexpensive, and turns out I sort of love it! It’s fine enough to allow for great control and accuracy, but it’s not too dark or hard of a formula, so it’s never harsh-looking. The shade I bought, 04 Midnight Brown, is the perfect ashy dark brown; additionally, sometimes I get breakouts in my brow line, but I haven’t had that problem once since using this, so I’ve definitely found a winner! It’s got a little comb on the other end of the pencil which is a neat inclusion, but which I haven’t used once (lol).

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Finally, the last product that has been getting a lot of love from me is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic ME-50 shadow pencil I’ve previously shown you. This is still getting some major love from me, as it just goes with everything – dramatic eyes, bold lips, natural looks – you name it! I am considering picking up another one of these in the D-12 Diamond Golden Grey shade, which swatches just as it sounds – a sparkling gunmetal grey with golden shimmer (!!!!).

IMG_2975Left to right: Cover FX Lip Treat-mint, MUFE Aqua Matic in ME-50, Sephora Brow Pencil in Midnight Brown 

That sums up my basic makeup wardrobe for summer – stay tuned for my next instalment, when we look at my favourite COLOURS of the season!

What basic makeup staples do you find yourself using on the regular during the warmer months?

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Playing Where’s Waldo with My Makeup Collection

I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to).  My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this?  To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own.  I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):

Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)

Becca Papaya Beach Tint

Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)

Becca Fallen Angel gloss

There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!).  Which brings me to the point.

You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello!  My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization.  Could be worse!)  Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky.  However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular.  Smash the three of these together and what do you get?  Well…you get THIS:

Blush Collection (2)My poor broken MAC blush up on the right :(

What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps.  By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off.  Ya dig?  This fantabulous idea kills three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat.   I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill.  BOOM!

*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things.  So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz.  It’s THAT serious :S

So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH.  Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.

(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! :D)

Berry & Orange blush swatchesLeft to right (flash): Rouge Bunny Rouge Florita, NARS Turkish Red, Illamasqua Tweak; NARS Taj Mahal, Make Up For Ever Blush Powder #25, Illamasqua Lover, Make Up For Ever HD Blush #12 First Kiss

Plums and RussetsLeft to right (flash): NARS Sin, Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum (discontinued shade); MAC Raizin, CoverFX Bronzed FX in Garnet, Burberry Russet, MAC Early Morning

Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy)  A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery)  A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame)   A nice deep berry would be lovely!  And also – varying formulations!  I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush.  You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary.  And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep.  I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze.  I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now.  Same goes for apricot-hued shades.

Pink and Coral blush swatchesLeft to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama

Bronzer swatchesLeft to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands

What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see?  Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing.  What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?

Blush Collection

I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way!  But do come back anyway, because I need your help :)

Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?

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My Beauty Vision for Fall 2012

I have been thinking about fall A LOT lately, probably more than I should since it’s still summer!  I held out for a long time, even despite all the visuals and temptations of the new collections that came out far earlier than they should have – but I’m a change-seeker, and I’m just about ready to switch it up!

Chanel Fall 2012

Burberry Fall 2012

So far, I haven’t picked up too many items from the fall launches specifically – but I’ve been slowly building my arsenal of fall shades, new or old, and I think I’m nearly ready :)  Some things I already owned, and some are new purchases, and between the two I think I’m going to have one heck of a beautiful fall!

NARS Fall 2012

Laura Mercier Fall 2012

Giorgio Armani Fall 2012

While I don’t follow ‘trends’ per se, I am very influenced by the weather with regard to my makeup, and with crisp, blustery days and vivid autumn leaves in my future, the imagery is bound to translate.  Warm metallics, smokey greys, jewel tones, and dark, vampy lips have been dancing in my head in a big way.  The pictures below perfectly exemplify what I mean – here I’ve paired them with some corresponding shade selections from my stash (all swatch photos taken outside):

Selita Ebanks

(below, left to right)
Dior Rouge Dior in Daisy Plum (golden berry plum)
Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 (deep plum wine)
MAC Mattene in Bing (blackened eggplant) (LE from Fall 2008 Cult of Cherry collection)

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Wearing a deep, bold lip has never been so enticing to me.  I plan on rocking out the above shades all season long!

Diane Kruger

(below, left to right)
MUFE Eyeshadow in Espresso 17 (chocolate brown)
LM Eye Color Duet in Suspense (plum-brown side of duo) (new and LE for Fall 2012 Cinema Noir collection)
MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (taupe-mauve)
theBalm Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (gunmetal)

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I’m also really eager to work a smokey eye on the regular; in the past I’ve always only worn this look in a big way for a night out, but this fall I’m hoping to wear the soft, more subtle version (as best evidenced by the Burberry fall collection) in shades of grey, taupe, and brown. I realized I’m sorely lacking a matte grey shadow – any suggestions??

Aishwarya Rai

(below, left to right)
MAC Blush in Raizin (reddish-brown)
Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet (glowing rust)
NARS Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil in More (terracotta) (new for Fall 2012 collection)
Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (deep bronze)
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 (warm khaki)
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in#24 (smoky khaki-gold) (new and LE from Fall 2012 collection)

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Of course, it wouldn’t be fall with out the earthy shades of the season, such as khaki, terracotta, and bronze – which are some of my favorite types of colors and look best on my skintone (bring it!).

Rose Byrne

(below, left to right)
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum (cool plum) (discontinued shade)
Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita (glowing berry)
CoverFX BronzedFX in Garnet (reddened bronze)
NARS Cream Blush in Turkish Red (cool deep red) (discontinued shade)

No flash

Flash

Lastly, a good flushed cheek can’t be beat in the cooler months!  I could use a few more of these mysterious shades in my repetoire, I just love them for their wearability on just about every skin tone.

Gah!  Ok, now I’m REALLY ready for fall!  Its been a fantastic summer, don’t get me wrong…but it’s time for a change :)  Even though I had a major love affair with some fabulous brights all season, I’m getting a bit tired of them – and who doesn’t love the moody shades of autumn!?  Note that the above shades I’ve listed that are new for fall 2012 will all be reviewed individually (any requests for which should be first??).

What shades are you looking forward to wearing this fall?  Have you been lured into purchasing anything from the new collections?

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Something to Amuse You While I’m Gone: My Blush Collection (Part II!)

Hello my dears!  I hope this Tuesday finds you very well :)  By now, I’ve gotten into the groove and I’m hopefully nice and relaxed (all the free booze doesn’t hurt!).  Today I have some more of my blush collection for you: ‘reds’ and plums.  I put red in quotations because they’re not exactly red, but their of that variety so lets just go with that (anyone else find categorizing blush shades super-difficult!?).

We’ll begin with the questionable ‘red’ shades:

Clockwise from left: NARS Turkish Red, MAC Early Morning, CoverFX Garnet

Notice anything about my MAC blush?  Like the fact that it’s BROKEN!?!  I dropped it back in February, after I’d only had it for about a month, and you know there isn’t anything worse than dropping makeup and it breaking.  I was pissed. It makes me not even want to use it much, but I’m trying to get over that!!

Anyway.  Even though MAC’s Early Morning is described as a ‘peachy-pink,’ I find on me it looks much more like a peachy-red, and more of a burnished shade, so I pulled it in with this group.  It’s probably fairly close to NARS Torrid when worn, but I wanted things to look pretty and complimentary in the product shots, so… :P  NARS Turkish Red is a deep red cream blush, which I received in a swap last Fall – it’s now discontinued.  CoverFX Garnet is probably my oldest blush, as showcased by -*GASP!*- PAN!!  It’s part of the BronzedFX collection, but I feel it’s far too reddish to be considered a bronzer.  Its a great shade though; it looks fantastic with tanned skin in the Summer and great for a windblown flush in the Fall.

All swatches taken with flash.  Left to right: NARS Turkish Red, CoverFX Garnet, MAC Early Morning

As you can see, these blush aren’t exactly ‘red’ but they definitely have red tones in them.  Turkish Delight is a bit tricky to make work sometimes, but when it does, it truly looks stunning!  Garnet is just a great tone all-around with it’s brick-red qualities, and the shimmer isn’t so much that it’s gaudy.  Early Morning is a very wearable shade as well, as it IS coral (which works for most skintones) but with a faded, dusty tone to which you can wear very soft and subtle, or with a heavier hand to give the face a windburned look (which sounds weird but looks kinda great!).

Next, let’s take a gander at some of the plummier tones I have in my stash, which aren’t always the most popular picks because it can sometimes give a bruised quality, but can also be terribly flattering:

Clockwise from left: NARS Sin, Tarte Blushing Bride Cheek Stain, Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum

Plum blush actually looks quite lovely on my skintone, but like many I don’t gravitate toward them very often.  My first experience with plummy tones was with Tarte’s Blushing Bride Cheek Stain, a sheer deep plum, which I actually used first while staying with a friend in Toronto.  I loved it’s natural and glowing effect – but I find it’s lasting power and the stickiness leave something to be desired.  I also find it’s a bit too muted to show up much my skintone.  The other two shades here are just perfect though; NARS Sin, described as a ‘berry tone with gold shimmer,’ was a recent acquisition this year and it’s gives a great warmed-up look to my paler Winer face, and Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum is one of my favorite natural-looking blushes to use in the Summer.

All swatches taken with flash. Left to right: NARS Sin, Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum, Tarte Blushing Bride

I haven’t been wearing Velvet Plum much, which I hope to change when I come back from Jamaica – it really gives my skin a glow and looks super-natural and fresh.  Unfortunately, it looks like it’s been discontinued since the update to the packaging, so if you love it – you’re outta luck!  Sin will likely take a back seat until next Fall when my tan fades, as I suspect it won’t show up much on my darker skin.  As for the Tarte stain…I think it’s days are numbered.  It looks fantastic on my fairer-skinned counterparts, so perhaps I’ll leave it with someone who’ll give it a better home.  It just doesn’t get any attention and there’s still quite a bit left.

Part II finished on my blush collection!!  Be sure to check out Part I – Pinks and Peach/Corals – as well!

What are you’re thought so far?  See any glaring gaps in my shade selections, and particular products that I absolutely MUST own??

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Working Hard or Hardly Working: Yes, I’m Still Downsizing!

The past couple months has been a slow one for using up products it seems – like anything else, when it rains it pours, but in those in-between times, it seems to be a bit of a drought.  I’m just on the precipice of finishing a handful of products, but before that happens, I want to round up all the items that I finished before I began my beauty challenge – I want to be fair and transparent (lol can you tell I work for the government?), so when the time comes to match products used to products bought, I’ve got clear evidence to show you that I’m still following the guidelines.  Meticulous to a fault, eh?The list of products below are pretty boring, I have to say – most weren’t very memorable and I wouldn’t repurchase the majority of them.  There are also a handful of samples that seemed to take AGES to finish, despite some being tiny.  Anywho…enough chat – let’s hop to it!Phyto Phytheol Intense Shampoo and L’Oreal Total Repair conditioner.  The former is an anti-dandruff formulation which I had hoped would help with my seasonal dry scalp, which I thought was dandruff.  Turns out, its more likely dermatitis, as per my dermatologist – surprize, surprize, the girl with eczema has one more skin issue to worry about.  Yay…. :(  Anyway, this didn’t do a lick for my scalp, but since I don’t seem to have dandruff, I can’t really give it a fair rating.  I think there are probably treatments out there though that are more effective and far cheaper than this.

L’Oreal’s Total Repair conditioner was OK, but absolutely nothing to rave about and to be honest, I just stopped using it a few weeks ago and already I don’t remember what it was like.  It wasn’t as hydrating or as smoothing as I wanted it to be, so there’s that.  I can tell you that I already enjoy my current conditioner, an Infusium23 product, wayyyy more.  I bought this because it was on sale.  End of story.Philosophy’s Purity cleanser.  I’m sure everyone and their dog has tried this basic product at some point.  It’s a good standby and I didn’t have any issues with it, but jeez louise this size lasts AGES.  I know that’s a great thing for some, but for Miss ADHD here, I get bored halfway through and am just dying to use something else.  I always feel that there could be something better.  This cleanser didn’t irritate my skin, but I didn’t find it soothed it either, and right now while I’m fighting tooth and nail to keep my skin under control (this cold, cold Winter is doing a major number on it!), this just isn’t going to cut it.  Great for slightly sensitive skin or, of course, non-reactive skin in general though. The Body Shop’s Wise Woman Eye Cream, Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum, and a mini jar of Vaseline (though apparently I took the label off…?).  The Wise Woman eye cream was nice, decently hydrating but nothing crazy either way, so if you’re super oily/dry, you’ll probably need something else.  It didn’t help with my dark circle, which was one of it’s claims, and I’ve had other eye creams that kept my undereye area more supple.  But for $24CAD, it was a decent price and lasted me a good year or more.

I’m not going to talk anymore about Ole’s Truth Serum – I know you’ve heard enough!!!  If you haven’t though, or need a refresher, see my original post here.  I’m on my second bottle of this now.

Ah, Vaseline.  A medicine cabinet must, even though overall I’m not a fan of petroleum.  But I use this on my lips every night before bed and my pucker stays nice and hydrated for the most part, so for the couple bucks it costs, and the length of time it lasts (seriously, like 2-3 years for this tiny thing…crazy), I’ll keep on buying it!Another Vaseline product – Intensive Rescue Soothing Hand Cream.  I really liked this a lot – it wasn’t as occlusive as the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, but it softened my hands big time and kept them moisturized for hours.  It even helped with some of my eczema patches, which is always a bonus in my eyes.  It had a relatively thick consistency but abosrbed fairly quickly and didn’t leave my hands greasy.  I can’t remember the price but it was something like $8.99 – around the same as Norwegian Formula etc. Here’s a sample size of Aveda’s Smoothing Body Polish.  I haven’t owned a body scrub in a while – in keeping with staying away from abrasive products as a whole, I’m sort of off the scrubs – but I picked this up in the Fall and used it sporadically here and there.  It had a fairly good granular quality though I never felt that I left the shower super-smooth, so not sure what that was about.  It worked better on damp skin than fully wet.  I wouldn’t buy the full size.More samples!  I’ve had the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel for years, but finally got on finishing it last year.  It was pretty great, actually – the scent made me nervous, kind of floral and pretty strong – but it didn’t seem to irritate my skin that I noticed.  It comes as a fine powder, with you put in the palm of your hand and add water, then it foams and you apply it to your face for 30-60 seconds and the enzymes exfoliate.  It did make my face feel really smooth afterward, and this sample, if I had used it consistently (say, every 2-3 days) would have lasted me a few months – you only need a bit of powder each time.  If there were no fragrance, I’d pay the $60-odd dollars for the full-size of this; crazy price, but it was pretty lovely.

The CoverFX Nourishing Foundation Primer and Anti-Aging Serum was another sample that lasted quite a while considering its just a little packet.  I normally don’t include those types of samples, but because it lasted so long I thought it was worthwhile.  If I recall, Liz did a post on this a few months back, that was pretty thorough.  I don’t remember it too much, but I think it was nice enough – definitely more like a treatment serum than a primer, as Liz noted.  I think there are a bunch of different formulations of these, and they aren’t cheap, something like $39CAD?  I wanted to buy one but the packing is sooo tiny for that price!  Funny the things I’ll shell out for and those I won’t eh?

That little sample jar on the right was the Philosophy Help Me that I tried out.  I still maintain that it worked quite nicely considering my skin is almost always flared up and red these days – it didn’t add to the irritation – but the fact that the retinol in the ingredients is soo far down the list concerns me.  Obviously that would contribute to why it didn’t irritate my skin, but at the same time – do I want to pay $59CAD for a product that doesn’t really do what I bought it for???  The sample lasted almost a full week using it nightly though, so it seems to go pretty far.Finally, some makeup!!  Though sadly, only one product here is full-size; the others are all sample sizes.  Nonetheless, I got through them!  Here you see a random eyebrow comb that broke (both ends – the comb part you still see is just attached for show) which I included just because.  Then we have a Clinique Lash Doubling mascara sample – this is probably my second fave mascara by the brand after High Impact.  Gives nice volume and some length, but doesn’t clump at all.  Then below it, is one of Clinique’s Vitamin C Lip Smoothie’s in Strawberry Bliss.  The lip smoothies have antioxidants in them to help keep the lips healthy and more youthful looking.  This shade was just a dark but sheer pink shade, but it was really nice and I think the color would look good on almost anyone.  However, this sample went fast – I didn’t use it all that often and even so, it was gone in two months.  I also found that the texture of the gloss is a bit thicker than I’d like – not a big issue, just something of note.

Underneath the lip smoothie, we have a Long Last Glosswear SPF15 by Clinique, another sample size, in Knockout Nude.  Nice cool shimmering beige-nude shade that looks good on most skintones, but I find the newer glosswears with SPF get sticky faster than the old ones without sunscreen.  And they get funky after a while and develop this nasty plastic-type smell.  No thanks!  You can see I didn’t finish it – and I don’t plan to! I also didn’t finish the L’Oreal On-the-Loose shadow pot in Five Alarm below it – if you recall I swatched this with my new L’Oreal Infallible shadow I bought a few weeks ago, and realized how much nicer and more pigmented the newer one was.  And also, I had to bite the bullet that this old shadow was over 10 years old, so it HAD to go.  It’s still got about a 1/4 of the container left, but…oh well!

Lastly, we have a sample jar of a MAC Pro Longwear concealer (shade NC42).  I included this because this was another sample that lasted forever – I had this for several months and was using it on my undereyes almost every day.  It was ok – it covered my darkness but didn’t completely erase it.  I’m terribly fussy with undereye concealers and have yet to find one that lives up to my expectations, to take my review with a grain of salt – for some, this might be total love, as it does conceal better than some and is buildable.  However, the pump dispenser on the full-size is irritating because it gives too much product (you only need a small dot), so that’s a turn off.  I wouldn’t buy the full-size, which retails for $21CAD.

So there’s the rundown of what I’ve used up in the past while, up to January 20th.  Moving forward, anything that I finish now counts toward a new purchase – remember, its one for one in skincare, and two for one in makeup.  Sometimes this seems like no biggie, other times, I find myself just about to pull the trigger on a new product…..only to be reminded that I gotta use ‘em to buy ‘em!  Rats.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!!!  If you get out shopping, make sure you let me live vicariously through you OK???

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Unconventional Holiday Beauty

I started to write a post about some of the products I’m planning on using throughout the holiday season that are festive and season-appropriate.  However, during a two-hour meeting this week, as usual my mind started to wander…and I thought, “What about the holiday looks that are a bit unexpected?”  Sure, the typical red lips/nails and gold/silver eyeshadow are typical for this time of year, but you guys already know that stuff.  I’ve been making an effort to use my creative muscles lately, and as a result, I came up with a few different looks I’d like to try out this season!

Not Flushed Cheeks, but….

Of course, you know all about bronzer and the wonders it can do year-round to keeping your skin from looking sallow – which can be a particular problem during the colder months of the year.  However, I’m partial to wearing blush, especially in the Winter as I really love the flushed, just-out-in-the-cold look.  Additionally, a little bit of shimmer never hurt anyone during the holidays.  To get the best of all worlds, why not try a shimmering bronze blush?  My particular fave which I wear consistently throughout the year is CoverFX Bronzed FX in Garnet – a gorgeous terracotta shade with golden shimmer:You can see how much wear I get out of it – I’ve even hit pan, which is a huge feat when it comes to blush.  It looks great in pretty much every season, but I really love it in the cooler months, and the shimmer isn’t over-the-top so its even wearable during the day.  With a touch of champagne, gold or bronze eyeshadow and a nude lip, this bronzer/blush/highlight gets you holiday-ready in a flash.

Not Red Lips, but…

Rather than opting for the traditional red lip during the holidays, what about going with a more dramatic look of deep burgundy?  I’m picturing it with a shimmering gold or bronze gloss on top, which would give it a luxurious, plush feel. I picked up this Sephora brand gold gloss last week and its give the perfect hint of golden glow:Or, have the best of both worlds with a lipstick like MAC’s “O,” which is described as a purplish-red with golden pearl.  I’m loving the whole look Michelle Trachtenberg has going on in the photo below:With the thick black liner and gold necklace as well, this whole look says holiday to me!

Not Gold or Silver Eyeshadow, but…

Pewter or rose gold shades.  Particularly for skin tones like mine (leaning more olive/caramel), silver can look terribly stark.  I have Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter, a Limited Edition shade from a couple years ago, and it’s the perfect color, as it has somewhat yellow tones that look better with a warmer complexion – though it looks good on most all skin tones, too.

Rose gold tones seem to be all the rage right now, in everything from cosmetics (hello, LM Rose Rendezvous!) to accessories (still loving my Michael Kors watch!).  And again, this is an uber-flattering shade that looks good on pretty much anyone because it works for both cool and warm skin tones.  Sadly, I don’t have anything in this shade but I’m hoping to change this soon!

Not Red Nails, but…

Glitter!  While it’s can be an obvious choice during the holidays, a way to make it fresh is to try some of the more untraditional colors like hot pink or aqua.  I picked up Zoya’s Kissy and fell in love big time:Oh, so pretty!!  Here I have it layered over China Glaze Ahoy, as it’s glitter in a sheer pink base. The glitter is sort of holographic and is super eye-catching.  The only problem with this is that because it’s bar glitter, its pretty gritty, and if you’re not careful it can catch on your clothing!!  I ended up putting three coats of top coat on so that it felt relatively smooth.  NOT so fun to take off!  But still well worth it in my books.

Another fun shade I picked up this season is Color Club’s Beyond the Mistletoe (purchased from Nail Polish Canada – fast becoming one of my favorite nail polish sites ever!), a pale glittering holographic aqua.  I have yet to wear this but I am beyond excited to do so – it’s truly gorgeous.  This also needs to be layered as it’s relatively sheer, though it could be worn on its own with several coats.

Now of course, I’ll still be rocking the red nails (I have a fabulous one on now I’ll show you soon!) and lips, and getting good use out of my gold MAC Amber Lights eyeshadow, but I always like a change, and doing things that are unexpected.  These are just some ideas I had that I’d thought I’d share with you – hope you liked them!

Do you have any traditional looks you rely on during the holidays?  Or any new looks and ideas you’ve tried or are hoping to try out?  I’d love to hear about them!

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