Archive for category Giorgio Armani

Give some luxurious lip with Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani #606

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.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

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!).

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 swatch Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

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!).

IMG_1106

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.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 swatch comparisonLeft to right: Armani Rouge d’Armani #606, MAC Hug Me

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.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

Have you tried the Rouge d’Armani formula? Are you a sucker for glorious packaging like I am???

, , , , , ,

12 Comments

Upcoming: New Pretties From NYC

So many things to blog about, so little time….my schedule is absolutely hectic as it always is during the holidays.  Since I returned from New York last week, I’ve been non-stop, with events every evening and working like a crazy person, both at my ‘day’ job and at Clinique. I love being busy, but in my few moments of downtime I’m definitely not inclined to stay up late to whip up a blog post!  A shame really, because I have SO many things I want to tell you about!  For now, a few pictures will have to suffice…

IMG_0923

IMG_0937

IMG_0954

IMG_0976

You can see that as per my wish lists, I actually did pretty well in picking up just what I wanted.  There was very little deviation!  So while I definitely did some damage to my bank account, I didn’t traumatize it (considering I always imagined I’d need like $5000 to ever travel to NY!) and I feel so. effing. good. about the purchases I made.  So hooray to a guilt-free shopping spree!  The VERY best kind ;)

I’ve got some swatches ready for the polishes, and just need a day where I have some natural light to get the rest (and some time!).  Hopefully in the next couple of days I’ll be able to satisfy you with a few gratuitous makeup shots!  Until then my friends…I hope you’re having a fantastic holiday season!!! :D

 

, , , , , ,

16 Comments

Swatching Is Rough (AKA My Eyeshadow Collection)

Eyeshadow Collection (3)

I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did!  Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL.  I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough.  I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!).  So: enough.  I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.  Now – let’s get into ‘er!

Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.

WHITE EYESHADOWWhite Eyeshadow Swatches - AVON, Urban Decay UziAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE)
 
‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWHighlight Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE 920, KATE BR-2, MAC VexMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl)
MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost)
 
NUDE EYESHADOWNude Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier Suspense, Burberry TrenchMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE)
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin)
 
BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWPeach-Champagne Eyeshadow Swatches (9)Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter)
Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin)
 
GOLD EYESHADOWGold Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Melon, Laura Mercier Gilded Moonlight, Clinique Gold GlimmerMAC Pigment in Melon (frost)
Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE)
Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued)
 
COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWOrange-Copper Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Amber Lights, Ardene 8BMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost)
Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl)
 
BRONZE EYESHADOWBronze Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Cocomotion, UD Smog, MAC Tempting, Clinique Rum SpiceMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre)
Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer)
 
BROWN EYESHADOWBrown Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Dark Edge, KATE BR-2, MUFE #17, Laura Mercier Suspense DuoMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE)
 
TAUPE-BROWN EYESHADOWS
Brown-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan, KATE BR-2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer)
 
TAUPE-PURPLE EYESHADOWS
Purple-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Grand Palais, LMdB Corinthian, MAC Shale, bareMinerals Meteorite, Hourglass ExhibitionNARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin)
bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer)
 
RED & PINK EYESHADOWPink-Red Eyeshadow Swatches - L'Oreal Golden Mahogany, Chanel Abstraction, Avon Smokey EyesL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer)
Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink)
 
MAUVE & ROSE EYESHADOW
Rose-Mauve Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Bordello, UD Last Call, NARS Grand PalaisUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose)
 
PLUM EYESHADOW
Plum Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Habanera, UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer)
 
PURPLE EYESHADOW
Purple Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Psychedelic Sister, MAC InfamousUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer)
MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued)
 
BLUE EYESHADOW
Blue Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Radium, MAC Blue Boy, MAC Blue EdgeMAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued)
 
AQUA & TEAL EYESHADOWS
Teal-Aqua Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Rajasthan, theBalm Jealous Jordana, UD Loaded, MUFE #8E, Illamasqua Burst, UD Money, NARS Habanera, UD Haight
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost)
 
GREEN EYESHADOW
Green Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Kush, LMdB Jade, UD Mildew, MAC Sharp, Lise Watier Folie Pomme, MUFE #57Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin)
 
YELLOW EYESHADOW
Yellow Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE #24, MAC Bright Future
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte)
MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future (
 
KHAKI EYESHADOW
Khaki Eyeshadow Swatches - Armani #24, Armani #6, Clinique Autumn Moss
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer)
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer)
Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin)
 
TAUPE-SILVER EYESHADOWS
Silver-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Maui Wowie, Bobbi Brown Pewter, theBalm Insane Jane, MUFE #2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter)
Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer)
 
GREY EYESHADOW
Grey Eyeshadow Swatches - Avon Smokey EyesAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer)
 
BLACK EYESHADOWS
Black Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Perversion, MAC Dark SoulMAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)
 

….PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you make it??

Eyeshadow Collection (4)

…So.  To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it.  However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products.  I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there!  While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment.  I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused.  I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day!  So SCORE for being logical in my purchases :)

Eyeshadow Collection

I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL.  But – I have questions for you!

Do you see any gaps that I could fill?  What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have?  I’m too tired now to bother LOL

Eyeshadow Collection (2)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 Comments

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)

No flashFlash

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)

No flashFlash

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)

No flashFlash

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?

, , , , , , , , , ,

14 Comments

Previously Untitled: A FOTD With Some of My Favorite Products!

It is RIDICULOUS how many awesome things I have to show you, I can’t even deal with it.  Unfortunately, the past two weeks I’ve been working multiple nights at Clinique for the Sears GWP, so it makes chances of writing a post after working a 13hour day pretty much nil.  However, it’s my day off Monday, which I usually tend to spend doing blog related things ALL day – so expect to see all of this fun stuff after that :)  In the meantime, here’s a FOTD of the look I wore today to meet Make Up For Ever Canada’s PR rep (an awesome event that I plan on detailing in full very soon!).  It was fairly simple, but I used some of my favorite products and therefore I loved it :)  Check it!

It was sunny today for the first time all week, and it was so lovely!!  These shots were taken around 8am and it was warm enough to stand outside with just my little thin dress on – c’mon warm weather!

I’m wearing NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Seychelles, which I find I only need a touch of to make my skin look fab.

I have a swipe of NARS South Beach Multiple (pinky-champagne) on my cheekbones, and then my new Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Lover, a pale peach.  It’s quite subtle on my now-tanned skin, but I actually loved the look – it’s exactly what I want my blush to look like when I’m doing a low-key look.  Though I think it’ll be particularly striking when my tans faded next Fall/Winter.

On my eyes I wore Smashbox Cream Liner in On Trend, a blackened khaki green, smudged at the lash line (top & bottom).  Then I applied Make Up For Ever’s Star Powder in #940, a white-orange/gold, all over the lid just past the crease, concentrating extra color in the inner corners to capture that color-changing highlight.

I added a touch of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (golden deep khaki) to the outer corners and a touch in the crease to add a bit of depth.  I doubled-up on my mascaras, and first applied Clinique’s High Lengths to stretch out my lashes, and then added Laura Mercier’s Full-Blown Volume to amp it up a bit.

I hadn’t done my lips when I took this photo, but I was wearing Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural in N36 (pinky-coral), which is soft and complimented the blush very well.

This was an easy look, but allowed me to incorporate shades that I don’t always use – partly because they’re some of my favorites and it’s one of those ‘save for a special day’ kind of things, which is admittedly ridiculous.  But, today was kind of a special day, and these products did NOT let me down – I felt polished, and current, without going overboard.  And they were still going strong by the time I got home tonight, well over 12 hours. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!!  (Forgive me, it’s been a long day :P)

What do you think of this look?  What products do you save for a ‘special day’? 

, , , , , ,

10 Comments

Review: L’Oreal La Couleur Infallible 24 Hour Shadow

When L’Oreal came out with the La Couleur Infallible shadows, I had to suppress a laugh, as they were so obviously mimicking Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense shadows – similar shades, similar packaging, with the same little black insert inside to keep the powder flat. Their marketing scheme was the same too – exceptionally long wear and intense pigmentation.  Having picked up one of the GA shadows last year, I was skeptical that they would measure up – the GA shadows are, in a word, unbelievable.  Ridiculously pigmented, they do not smudge, budge or fade over the course of a day, and do not require primer whatsoever.  And they contain multiple colors in each pot which mix together to create one gorgeous shadow with incredible depth.  Could L’Oreal even stand a chance at being as good?

Last week, I had my chance to find out.  While the Infallible shadows initially didn’t tempt me at all, when I was skulking around Shoppers for something (anything!) to buy (it happens), I saw that these were on sale, from something like $11.99CAD to $6.99CAD.  I noticed they had a great burnished red shade, Golden Mahogany, that reminded me strongly of another L’Oreal shade I had bought eons ago – Five Alarm – which I loved.  I decided to give in an pick one up – research for the blog, you see.  It didn’t seem so bad since it was on sale.

Once home, I compared it to Five Alarm, and initially they seemed quite similar:Five Alarm is a loose shadow, while the Infallible shadows are sort of this loosely pressed shadow, which feels very smooth to the touch (just like GA’s).  Above, they both are shimmering deep reds with a sort of slight bronze leaning.  However, when swatched, the differences become more apparent:

Golden Mahogany on left, Five Alarm on right.

Golden Mahogany is clearly more pigmented and dense, while Five Alarm pales in comparison.  Also, Five Alarm is more sparkly, while Golden Mahogany imparts a deep metallic effect, which I find more wearable.  From past experience, Five Alarm does not stay put very well – perhaps four hours at the most before it starts to fade.  Golden Mahogany, on the other hand, wore quite well all day (without primer), even through a vigorous run at the gym.  However, none of this is surprizing, as Five Alarm is over 10 years old (gasp!) and I would expect technology to have improved since then :)

Comparing the formulation of L’Oreal’s Infallible shadows, to Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense, is another story.  While the Infallible shadows are certainly impressive regarding pigmentation and wear compared to many other drugstore shadows, Giorgio Armani’s (original) version kick L’Oreal’s butt.  Golden Mahogany wore well considering I went for a mid-day run, but by the end of the day it had faded considerably.  Still visible, but not nearly as intense – in the future, I would definitely use a primer.  Giorgio Armani’s shadows last all day and then some, without the need for a primer at all.  The pigmentation of Golden Mahogany, while very good, still doesn’t come close to the insane pigmentation of the Eyes to Kill shadows, which truly blow my mind – with just the barest touch of a finger, you get rich, full opacity in one stroke.

Ultimately, my conclusion is that if you’re looking for a (MUCH) cheaper alternative to Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense shadows, you might be appeased by these, but will have to put in a bit more work to get the same effect.  That’s not to deter you though, as even at full price these are nearly a quarter less than the Giorgio Armani shadows, which is kind of a big deal.  If you find them on sale, I definitely recommend grabbing one (or a few) as they do have great shades, and are an exceptional drugstore shadow overall.  They’re just no Eyes to Kill…those babies are one of a kind!

, , , , ,

9 Comments

A Proud Moment: Downsizing at it’s Best

This post has been a long time coming, as I’ve got quite a few empties to show you that have been piling up over the past weeks.  I kept putting it off as I had a handful of makeup items that were nearing completion and I wanted them to be included.  Even still, I have about three more that are thisclose to being finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer.  This is gonna be a doozy, so let’s get right to it.  Note: In an effort to keep my inherent wordiness down, I won’t be giving my usual lengthy descriptions of each – otherwise you’ll be here till Christmas :P  But, if you do want further details on any product mentioned, don’t hesitate to ask!

First up, we have the hair products.  From left to right: Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm, Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Relaxing Balm (sample), Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist (sample), and Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother (sample).

Joico Moisture Recovery:  I bought this at Chatters for something like $17CAD.  It has good reviews on MUA and I wanted something to hydrate my parched hair.  I don’t heat style for the most part, or do any coloring or other treatments to my hair, so it’s pretty healthy but bone-dry.  I don’t like Joico much but this worked fairly well – though I wouldn’t repurchase.

Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo: I picked this up from Sephora last March (see how often I shampoo?) and had high hopes it would sooth my dry scalp and not strip my hair.  Mistakenly I thought this wouldn’t contain sulfates (it does) – though it was pretty gentle nonetheless.  But it did nothing for my dry scalp, so I wouldn’t repurchase.

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm: I was in a buying mood when I picked up this travel size sample at Chatters – I don’t know why I get these ‘smoothing’ products because it’s really meant for people who blow out their hair, which isn’t me.  I know you’d like that smoothing might be helpful to tame my curly hair, but I really find it doesn’t do much of anything.  This product smelled lovely but that made me nervous (due to my eczema) so I was glad when it was finished.

Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil: I had just read a couple good reviews on this and then they offer this as a 100-point perk at Sephora so I got it to try out.  Again, pointless product for my hair type.  Also contained fragrance so I was happy to finish it and be done with it.  Can’t comment on it’s effectiveness, unfortunately!

Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep: ANOTHER smoother.  I know.  Anyway, this actually ended up being quite a gem – if I used this after I applied my usual styling creme, it really kept my hair soft and frizz-free.  I’m not a huge fan of the herbal Aveda scent, but it’s also not a deterrent either.  I probably wouldn’t buy the full size though; I find Aveda products so expensive!Next – Hand and body creams.  Left to right: Aveeno Eczema Care Cream, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (frag. free), Eucerin Aquaphor.  I’ve discussed all these in length here and here respectively.  I’m using a different body lotion right now and I can’t wait till it’s done, it doesn’t measure up to Aveeno’s cream at all.  Sometimes you should just stick with what works.  I have a new tube of the Norwegian Formula at work – I really like this a lot – but I don’t think I’ll buy the Aquaphor again, it was a bit too thick and contained …. so I’d just rather not.Facial products.  Left to right: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus (sample), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF15, Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild (sample).

Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus: I extolled the virtues of this product here, and I still stand by my view – it was a great serum that make my skin feel uber soft and look radiant.  However, now I’m onto Ole’s Truth Serum (though it’s almost finished, waaaah!) and I think I’d opt for that over this just because 1) I LOVE the scent of the Truth Serum, 2) Ole’s is slightly cheaper (by about $3CAD), and 3) I think Ole’s serum is more targeted for my age, whereas I was really using Clinique’s serum prematurely.  I still think it’s great though!

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle: I’ve used this a few times in the past, and while I really like it – it leaves the skin really smooth – I think my sensitized skin can’t handle the retinol any more, which is pretty bad considering this is a very low dosage.  But, for some one with hardier skin who’s looking for a great, cost-effective (it’s around $24CAD) moisturizer with SPF and anti-aging benefits, I highly recommend this.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild: I got this in a GWP or something I’m sure, and hung on to it because it’s great for travel.  But then I realized I had all these samples and they were starting to annoy me so I began the ‘war on samples’ to mega-reduce my stash.  This isn’t really the best formula for my skin, as I’m more oily, but it does the trick for an AM wash, especially in the cooler months.  It contains emollients so that it doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry, so that’s a nice perk.

Now, get excited…here comes the makeup portion!!!!Mascaras etc. Top to bottom: Benefit They’re Real!, Clinique High Impact, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill, Diorshow Maximizer Base (sample), and Clinique Bottom Lash.

Benefit They’re Real!: See my initial review here.  I really enjoyed this mascara and may even repurchase in the future.  It was easy to use and gave me nice looking lashes.  ‘Nuff said.

Clinique High Impact: Still one of my favorite mascaras – lots of volume and some length, and makes my lashes stand out.  Also very easy to use.  I wouldn’t recommend to those who want a really natural look however, as I’ve heard complaints of it getting clumpy (though personally I’ve never experienced this).  And the $18CAD price point is much more reasonable than any other department store brand!

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill: I have been waiting to re-review this, as I have some sad news – this is the root cause of all my eye sensitivities and irritation!  I’m makes me slightly disappointed (since it was great….but tres expensive, hence why I’m only slightly disappointed), but mostly really pissed off, because my eyes have been a trial ever since I used this.  I blamed it on the cat (as I’m allergic), and while I am still very careful of Vegas (the cat – yeah baby!), this mascara is the real reason my eyes aren’t like they used to be.  I had stopped using it in August because I fell in love with Benefit’s They’re Real, and my eyes improved – then I realized that it was going to dry up and be wasted, so I started using it again, only to find my eyes get totally itchy and messed up!  I stopped using it immediately, and while my eyes aren’t as bad, they still get irritated pretty easily ever since.  SO not cool.  I couldn’t find the ingredients online anywhere so I don’t know the offending irritant, unfortunately.  In any case, all I’m saying is that I recommend trying this out somehow first before fully committing!!

Diorshow Maximizer Base: I got this via a coupon code at Sephora.com.  Meh.  It made my mascara harder to apply and I didn’t see any maximizing whatsoever.  I wouldn’t waste the $$.

Clinique Bottom Lash: Awesome.  Seemed like the most gimmicky thing in the world, but ended up being really great.  For $12CAD, you get this mascara with a mini brush that makes it ridiculously easy to apply mascara to your bottom lashes.  It only removes with warm water, so you can cry your heart out with it on (or swim, or sweat) and it won’t budge.  It lasted for AGES too (I know you’re not supposed to use mascara for longer than 3-4 months, but this seemed like an exception :P).Lips and cheeks! Left to right: Clinique Superbalm in Currant, Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer (sample), Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash, Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy.

Clinique Superbalm in Currant: I love these balms!  They’re a bit thick and very glossy, and wear pretty well while keeping my lips mega-hydrated.  I’ve had this for like, 4 years now so while I’m a little sad to see it go (the shade is neutral and goes with everything!), I’m mostly glad it’s finally done!  Having anything for more than like, two years just seems like too much to me!

Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer: I read once that Denise Richards liked this lip gloss in this shade…she commented that it ‘looks good on everyone.’  While that may be true, I didn’t particularly like this shade for some reason.  I used to love Juicy Tubes but thankfully grew out of that stage – it seems like one of those things to buy when you’re just getting into high end makeup so I guess the memory of being a newbie turns me off a bit lol.  Nonetheless, these are nice glosses that wear well, but for me their time has come and gone.  And this one in particular has had it’s time – I’m sure I’ve had this for well over 7 years!  Yikes!

Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash: I bought this after seeing a makeup shot in Allure in which they suggested this gloss to re-create the look.  It was pretty close, so good call by them – but I really didn’t like the formula of this at all.  It was soo thin and slippery, I had to reapply it constantly!  Blah.  I’ve only had this gloss a year so the fact that it’s already gone is a testament to how quickly it wears off.  Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy: I got this as a gift from Clinique a couple years ago, and wasn’t enamoured with it as it seemed too light for my skin.  However, I reintroduced it in my rotation this Fall and realized I was missing out!  It gave me cheeks the best natural flush ever.  I am partial to cream formulas because I like the way they leave the skin glowing, and this one was nice because it wasn’t greasy at all.  It had OK wear time – nothing terrible but not spectacular either – so I wouldn’t repurchase, but I sure did enjoy it while it lasted.  It went with every makeup look I’d try – can’t beat that!Unfinished but still must go.  Clockwise from left: Revlon Streetwear Double-Ended Liner (discontinued), Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner in Blackened Sapphire, Lancome Color Focus Eye Shadow Quad (sample), Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss in Equinox (discontinued).

Revlon Streewear Double-Ended Liner: I brought this product up in my eyeliner post, and committed to tossing it, so here goes!  I’ve definitely had this for over 10 years, I don’t know what I was waiting for!

Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner: Also discussed this in the eyeliner post.  My mother has this too, and when she wears it (usually on her bottom lash line),  it looks awesome – but since I’m too ~fragile~ to wear liners on my bottom lashes now, I just don’t get a good effect from this liner.  On my top lashes its just kinda blah.  So, time to go!

Lancome Color Focus Eyeshadow Quad: The shades are Daylight (the pale cream), Contrast (deep purple), Blink (khaki shimmer), and Peep (pale pink).  I’ve also had this for way longer than I want to admit, and I never use it, so it’s really gotta go.  I’m not really a fan of sample eyeshadow palettes anyway, they annoy me – when I get them from Clinique I always give them away.  I want the real thing, darn it!

Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss: Do you remember when eye gloss was a ‘big thing’ back in the day – around 8-10 years ago?  Yeah, this was bought then.  Oops!  I couldn’t get it to work without creasing like crazy so I may have only tried it a handful of times.  Fun idea, but just not easy to translate into real life.  Toss!Honorable Mention.  Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat.  This bottle isn’t finished, though you can’t really tell from the photo.  There’s about 40% left, but you KNOW how goopy and impossible it gets around that time!!!  I kept it in my drawer, hoping for a miracle, but it’s time has come.  Begone, you most-awesome-of-top-coats-until-that-time-when-you-become-absolutely-NOT-awesome-and-in-fact-a-total-nightmare top coat!!

PHEW!!!!!  OMG I’m so sorry to submit all of you to that uber-lengthy post, but it had to be done.  25 items (though 8 were samples, to clarify)!  Are you proud of me or what?!  I have been chomping at the bit to get this out so you can all revel in my awesome downsizing abilities.  What’s that you say?  I have in fact replaced many of these products with new ones?!  Oh, well, forget that part then, will you?  The whole purpose to reduce is to buy more, is it not??  No?  Huh.   Well, I will keep trying, in any case.  Looking at this post alleviates some of my guilt at least. ‘Till next time!! :D

, , , , , ,

6 Comments

Review: Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Mascara

In Part II of my G.A. haul, I bring you the illustrious Eyes to Kill mascara that is pretty much the holy grail of mascara’s as of late.  Despite the fact that I’ve been swayed to the dark side to spend ridiculous amounts on money on products I could get for much, much less, I haven’t been converted to spending much on mascara.  Since the rule of thumb is to only hang onto mascara for 3-4 months, the thought of spending $30+ on something I won’t even have for very long hasn’t appealed to me so much.  But I’ve heard so many amazing things about this mascara, and since I haven’t given in to a $$$ mascara yet, I thought I would give myself a pass just this once to try out the best of the best.

Let me tell you – this could spell disaster for me and my wallet in the future.  This mascara is pretty darn awesome.  It gives length and fullness with so much ease!  I’m used to applying lash primer, then working with my mascara for 5 minutes alone to get that fabulous lash look that everyone wants to achieve.  With this product, I could just throw it on and be done with it in less than a minute.  While it doesn’t give a lash look soo above and beyond any other mascara (after I’ve worked with them), just the fact that I don’t have to fool around with it impresses me a lot.The brush doesn’t look like anything fancy – which actually I appreciate, as I’m not a huge fan of the spiky rubber bristles on some mascaras, even though I know the purpose is to provide serious definition to the lash.  Here, they use a typical bristle brush but achieve a similar look.  My lashes are lengthened, fuller, and without even trying I find I get that flirty look where the lashes on the outer ends are well-defined.  The trick I find that works best with this mascara is to apply one coat, leave it for 20-30 seconds, then apply another.  That keeps it from getting tiny lil clumps at the ends of lashes and really enhances the length.Overall, I really like this mascara and would buy it again – if I were near a store that sold G.A. products.  Unless I’m ordering other items, I wouldn’t call Holt’s just to buy this or purchase it online.  Regardless of how nice it is, the $36CDN price tag is still quite steep for my liking.  I’m not a fan of having to fool around with my mascara every day, but if it saves me a bunch of cash every 3 months, I’ll just have to live with it.

What are your thoughts on this product?  Have you tried it, or been hoping to?  Or are you like me and find it hard to justify high prices for mascara?  What mascaras in general would you recommend?  We’re always on a hunt for the ‘best,’ aren’t we?

That’s all for now, thanks for reading :)

, ,

6 Comments

Review: Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense Shadow in #6

The last time I was at Holt Renfew, probably a few years ago now, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics was a newer line, and I was somewhat of a newcomer to luxury and designer beauty brands.  I passed by the counter without so much as a look, and it wasn’t until recently that I started to sit up and take notice of the line.  If you’re at all into beauty blogs, you know that the newest product to the line, the Eyes to Kill Intense eye shadows, are the talk of the blogosphere.  The intense pigmentation, the ultra-soft textures, and exceptional wear time are hard to ignore.  And so, I had to have it, ASAP.  However, I also ran into the challenge of finding a shade that I didn’t yet own – I’m not interested in obtaining numerous dupes for one color – and I dedicated myself to probing swatch after swatch online before making a decision as to which shade I would purchase.

My initial choice was the shimmery blackened red shade, #2 Lust Red.  I own a decade+ old crimson red loose shadow from L’Oreal that I used to wear all the time, and I was hoping to find a grown-up, more wearable replacement.  However, when I had my face-to-face chance at the counter this past weekend, I found the shade lacking.  It didn’t swatch on my skin as richly as it looked in photos, and it just failed to ‘wow’ me.  The SA at the counter suggested I try the #6 (Khaki Pulse), which is vastly different and which I wasn’t really interested in based on the swatches I had seen – it looked similar to other shades I own.  However, as soon as I touched it to my hand, I knew I was sold.  The smoothness of this eyeshadow (I didn’t try them all so I can only speak for this one) is simply amazing.  Like butter, truly.  I have always been impressed by the softness of Urban Decay’s shadows, and then even more so by the Hourglass shades, but I think this trumps them both.  Just pure awesomeness.
The shade is a mix of khaki and bronze pigments that give it a serious richness, and while I have bronze shades and a few khaki shades, I don’t have anything like this.  Update: Depending on which pigment is prominent at the time (as it changes through usage, I came to discover), it can be more bronzy or more of a strong khaki shade.  I swatched it next to UD’s ‘Smog’ which is a rich bronze shade, and Clinique’s ‘Autumn Moss’ a soft khaki (which is no longer sold in stores).

From top: Smog, #6 Khaki Pulse, Autumn Moss

It was a challenge to get an accurate shot of this shade and show the difference in particular to Smog.  Autumn Moss doesn’t even compare, as you can see the pigmentation is lacking and it’s really just khaki with shimmer.  Smog looks close to Khaki Pulse, but it’s got absolutely no greenish hue at all and is just a warm brown-bronze, the end.  Still lovely, just not a dupe candidate whatsoever.

Aside from the fantastic pigmentation, feel, and easy application, Khaki Pulse is probably one of the most flattering shades on my skintone that I’ve ever owned.  Its so similar to my skintone, like Smog, but has just that khaki leaning that makes it more apparent that I’m wearing shadow, but still very beautiful and simple on.  I can wear this alone for an every day look, or with liner and a smoky shade in the crease for some nighttime impact.  Because it’s very shimmery (not glittery though), it dresses up easily.  And the wear time is seriously insane.  I swatched this on my arm about four hours ago, and while the other two shades have worn off, this still lingers at almost the exact same intensity.  I wore it through a humid day in Toronto (no primer), and an evening out on the town (with primer), and it still looked almost as fab as when first applied.

While this product was not cheap at $42CDN (which initially almost stopped my heart, but I was already at the cash register and by then it was too late), after wearing it several times and loving it, I honestly don’t mind one bit about the price.  It is entirely worthy of purchase in my books!!

Have you tried any of the other ‘Intense’ eyeshadows?  Have the pics online swayed you as much as they did me?  Will you pick any up if you haven’t already??

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to check out Part II of my lil G.Armani haul – next up, Eyes to Kill mascara!

, , , ,

8 Comments

Long Weekend and Adventures in T.O.!!

This past weekend was finally the big bachelorette bash in Toronto that I’ve been anticipating for months!  It was exactly as I’d hoped – filled with good convo, absolutely beautiful weather, and a TON of fun with some of the best ladies I know!  So much happened that I wouldn’t even know where to start, but let’s just say that we certainly lived it up and came back with some amazing memories (as well as some pretty rough ‘after-effects’ from a wee too much drink and not enough sleep ;)

A few other notable things happened while I was away – first, I only bought a small fraction of the beauty products I was planning to buy.  I almost feel ashamed, like I’ve let you down (lol)…the big list I was working on for weeks hardly came into play in the end.  More on that in a moment though.

The second thing that happened was I met the terrific blogger Liz from Beauty Reductionista, and it was such a treat!  We met for brunch, and though we talked ‘shop’ (natch!) and our fondness/weakness for all things beauty, we also got a chance to get to know each other outside of the world of cosmetics, and it was really great.  One of the things I like so much about blogs vs. other publications like magazines and the like, is that you naturally learn a bit about the person doing the writing – their personalities can help but shine through to some degree, and it’s that connection that makes reading someone’s views on a product so much more relevant.  Of course, you can only get so much knowledge about a person from online, so meeting Liz in person really took my respect for her to a whole new level.  She is extremely well-spoken, poised, kind but truthful (an exceptional and rare trait), and I so thoroughly enjoyed chatting openly with another about the cosmetic world in all it’s glory.  Growing up I often felt that my passion for beauty was perceived as superficial, and I sometimes hid how much I loved it, or downplayed it because I worried people would think I was flaky or vain.  Knowing that there are other people out there that are as obsessed with cosmetics as I am, yet are still intelligent, grounded, and wonderful people, makes me feel proud to be counted among them.  It reinforced my sincere love for my fellow beauty bloggers and blogging in general.   So here I am once again saying THANK YOU to Liz and all the other fantastic bloggers out there, you totally rock!  And don’t you forget it :)

Moving on…

Since I just had one serious ramble there and some of you may be tuning out, I will recap my shopping woes as briefly as I can and save you the eye strain.  Here is the main issue with my failed shopping spree: by the time I arrived at Holts around 10am, realized it was closed until 12pm due to the holiday, wandered around Bloor St. for two hours (where I did make a pit-stop at Sephora), and then FINALLY got my chance to do some major credit card damage, I was totally not in the shopping mood.  That time had long passed, and it translated to me only picking up two things at Holts: G.Armani’s ‘Eyes to Kill’ mascara (the original) and one of the ‘Eyes to Kill Intense’ eyeshadows in #6 (Khaki Pulse) (Review to come – but I can say with assurance that they’re both AWESOME).  I milled about the store for a while, consulted my list and checked out the noted items, but it was just not in the cards for me.  Cle de Peau’s concealer, which I imagined would be the ultimate cure for my dark circles, was a HUGE flop.  It matched my skin tone fine, but did not cover even as well as my current concealer, and in fact creased worse than any other concealer I’ve tried.  And the SA set it with powder!  So, yea, not impressed, and for $85CDN it would need to blow my socks off anyway. I did pick up the Korres Yoghurt Mask at Sephora, which I’m liking so far (also will review that soon), as well as the Sephora Brand Bamboo blotting papers, and another Jack Black lip balm.  I was hoping to grab the newest Fresh Sugar tinted balm but it wasn’t yet stocked, which is just as well since JB balms are less than half the price of Fresh.
So to wrap it up, while I had an amazing time away, it seems I came back with mostly memories and not a whole lot else :P  Which in the end is probably a good thing with the move happening this week (we get the keys tonight!!).

Since I came back sans a new concealer, which I’m desperately searching for, I beg you – send me some other suggestions on a great concealer that won’t crease and will cover up these bad-boy circles that continue to plague my very existence! (how dramatic)

I truly hope everyone else had a fabulous long-weekend!  Although maybe not so good that you feel as thoroughly wiped out as I am!

, , , , ,

12 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,585 other followers