Archive for category MAC

MAC Heavenly Hybrid Lipstick: A Delayed Review

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 :)

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

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.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

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.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

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!

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

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? 

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Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year: My Beauty Wishlist and Top Picks!

Pantone 2014 Radiant Orchid

“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.”  Sounds quite fabulous, no??  I have to admit, every year Pantone piques my interest in their Color of the Year choices, and this year’s selection, Radiant Orchid, is no different.  And it’s so darn wearable!!  I can see this being one of the biggest hits out of the more recent colour selections because anyone can pull this shade off, even the most novice of makeup wearers.

To show you just how easy it can be, I’ve rounded up my top colour picks I plan to incorporate into my own routine!

1. Ilia Beauty Lip Gloss in Love Buzz ($24CAD), a cool pink with a blue undertone.

Ilia Love Buzz lip gloss

2. Benefit Lollitint ($36CAD), a candy orchid shade.

Benefit-Lolli-Tint

3. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview ($36CAD), the perfect orchid.

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4. Essie Nail Polish in Splash of Grenadine ($7.95CAD), a playful magenta pink.

Essie A Splash of Grenadine

5. Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Primer + Shadow + Liner in Pink Violet ($29CAD), a warmed up, medium violet with sparkle.

Stila Smudge Crayon in Pink Violet

 

While I was searching for ideas for products in the colour range, I really tried to stick to the swatch above, as some examples I came across looked far more lilac to me than orchid.  But let me note that I DID start my search first in my own stash to see if I had anything suitable.  I was surprised to find that overall, I really didn’t!  See below my paltry collection of orchid tones:

Radiant Orchid Radiant Orchid swatchesLeft to right: Sephora Disney Collection Ariel Mermaid’s Song Lip Gloss in Dream Girl, Kat von D Spellbinding Lipstick in L.U.V., MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Fashion Boost, American Apparel Nail Polish in Neon Violet

The A.A. Neon Violet nail polish isn’t really orchid but it’s sort of like the electric version of what I imagine the shade to be (and is MUCH brighter in person than photos).  The rest are closer, though the MAC lip pencil is more fuchsia and the Kat von D lipstick is more purple; the only one I really feel is right on is the Ariel lipgloss.  In any case I clearly need to pump up my orchid-tone makeup and polish, so the list above will definitely be helpful in that task!

Do you get into the ‘Colour of the Year’ fad?  Which shade has been your favourite so far?  Do you have any orchid shades you can already use?

 

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These are {13} of my favourite things (of 2013)

The New Year is almost upon us!  Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me!  Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!).  As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter.  I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine!  Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby :)

Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use.  Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved.  I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).

Beauty Favorites of 2013

And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:

1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD).  On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of!  I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!

Osha Mae Calendula Salve

2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD).  When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale.  I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably).  I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing!  It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it.  I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities.  Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart!  Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry).  I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.

La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask

3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD).  I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life.  As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US).  Yum.  And YUM.  You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise.  With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise.  I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast.  I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD).  I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it.  This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly.  I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion.  LOVE.

Make Up For Ever Brush #152

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD).  Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages!  I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event.  Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (5)

Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD).  My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong.  I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes!  Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment.  For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!

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Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD).  I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days.  The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear.  The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right :)

Chanel Blush Creme in Revelation

MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD).  Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring.  It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully.  The hype is TRUE, you guys.  BUY IT.

MAC All That Glitters

Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD).  Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye.  As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull.  On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.

Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench (2)

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD).  I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal.  I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line.  It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind.  But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!

Chanel Eyeliner Noir Intense

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD).  Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal.  When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack.  It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy.  I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59).  You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted!  I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!).  SO. GOOD.

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That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell!  I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me.  As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use.  I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog.  Which I deem a HUGE success :)

So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang!  I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident.  You’re the only reason I keep on writing!  I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!!  Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea? :D

happy-new-year-2014-wishes-2880x1800Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com

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A Fall Color Story (Swatches Abound!)

Ok.  So fall has officially sprung arrived.  I am SO ready!  I know you summer babes who love your heat are crying “WTF Latoya?!” and for you I say – I’m sorry :(  I’m not hating on warm weather and sunshine, I love it as much as the next person.  But after a few months of bright polishes and ‘au naturel’ looks, I’m eager to get down and dirty with some sultry, vampy makeup.  I love change, what can I say?

As I’ve mentioned before, my makeup purchasing has slowed down considerably over the past 6 months +.  One of the best ways for me to curb the impulse to buy something new is to go through my own collection to revisit old shades and swap out colors to reinvigorate myself.  While doing the official ‘switch over’ for autumn, I got the idea to put together a few color stories that I felt were appropriate for the start of the fall season!

Russet

Russets

I’m starting you off slow with a shade that it incredibly wearable for almost all skintones – russet.  These colors would be great for an easy going fall walk through the woods, that add a bit of life to the face but not a whole lot of color, per se.  I picked up LMbD’s Rumour blush in a swap in early spring, and started wearing it fairly regularly during the summer as it added the nicest warm, radiant glow to my cheeks.  It looks a bit scary in the pan but with a light touch for fairer skins, this is a great alternative to bronzer and leaves my skin looking naturally healthy.  This is one of those awesome transitional shades that also works well in fall – the color reminds me of the turn of the leaves.  L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Colour Caresse Shine Stain in Eternally Nude (a product which shall henceforth be known as CRCCSS) was a spurr of the moment purchase back in the spring, and was initially a bit of a disappointment – on my lips, it’s not terribly nude, but rather a sort of warm reddened brown – but I ended up liking the color for what it is, anyway.  Another super wearable shade, and the formula is quite close to the YSL version, enough for me to probably opt for these over those due to the huge price difference.  Sadly, the Urban Decay 24/7 liner here, in Lucky, a wonderful coppery shade, has been discontinued.  I honestly need to start shopping for a dupe now, because this is probably one of my top favorite liners and I’m gonna be heartbroken when I finish it (which will actually happen because I use it regularly).  Sigh.

Swatchy time!

Fall Makeup - Russet swatches (3) Fall Makeup - Russet swatches (2)Left to right: UD 24/7 Eye Liner in Lucky (DC), LMdB Blush in Rumour (swatched heavily, then buffed out), L’Oreal CRCCSS in Eternally Nude

Rose

Mauves

Rose is not normally a shade I gravitate toward, as it tends to look very drab on my skintone, but these particular shades are both light (the lippies) and dark (the blush) enough to work well on me.  Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum, a discontinued shade (sorry!) in the old packaging, was something I picked up when I had my makeup done at the counter several years ago.  It would never have been a shade I’d have picked, but it ends up being one of my favorites for it’s exceptional wearability.  It looks great with tanned skin, but is also perfect for fall/winter as well with it’s plummy tones.  I quite like the formula of these as well – easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t leave my oilier skin greasy-looking.  Laura Mercier’s Lip Glace in Discrete was kind of an impulse purchase – I don’t think I realized at the time that it was like $36, which is kind of a lot for a gloss – but its been well-used (despite the fact that it contains lanolin and I try to avoid wearing it two days in a row).  It’s an easy nude-type shade that wears well with cooler toned smoky eyes, and isn’t TOO glossy.  Lastly, I snagged a sample of BITE Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper a couple months ago, and it is a dusty rose shade that is similar to my natural lip color but a bit deeper and warmer.  The formula is creamy and feels great on the lips, and goes with just about everything!

Fall Makeup - Mauves swatches (3) Fall Makeup - Mauves swatchesLeft to right: Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete, BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum (swatched heavily, then buffed out; DC)

Deep Red

Deep Reds

Now these are the shades I can get behind!  I love me a good deep red anything in the fall – makeup, clothes, you name it.  L’Oreal’s La Couleur Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany is still one of my favorite eyeshadows, particularly so after wearing it in my friend’s wedding with such success, and was quite honestly MADE for fall.  It’s gorgeous brown-red tones work with just about any cool-weather outfit I can come up with, and the color compliments just about every eye shade beautifully.  NARS Turkish Red Cream Blush (another discontinued shade…oops) is a fabulous shade of blood red that is awesome for that windswept/windburnt look – however, it does require a bit of a skilled hand.  It can go on a touch patchy due to it’s intense pigment (which also means a light hand is necessary), but when its done well, the effort is SO worth it!  And, I just had a brainwave that MAC’s Dare You lipstick, shown here, could potentially be used as a cream blush if you were aching for that kind of shade.  It has the similar deep red tone – which is particularly fabulous on the lips!  This is a more wearable red for those of you who are a bit gun-shy of an in-your-face bold red, and looks amazing in the cooler months.  LOVE.

Fall Makeup - Deep Red swatches (3) Fall Makeup - Deep Red swatchesLeft to right: MAC Dare You lipstick, NARS Turkish Red Cream Blush (swatched heavily, then buffed out; DC), L’Oreal La Couleur Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany

Berry

Berries

I am also particularly partial to berry tones in the fall/winter…they’re just so delectably sexy!  Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 is still one of my absolute favorite lipsticks and hands down the shade I get the most compliments on.  If for no other reason, THIS lippie is why I love fall so much!  The fussy packaging is totally worth the drool-worthy, long-wearing shade.  Illamasqua’s Crush Cream Blusher was a sale find I scooped up last winter, and while it didn’t get too much love from me since then, I plan on rocking this baby out all season long.  When my skin isn’t tanned, it turns a bit pinkish, but right now with my fading tan, it looks more like it does in the pan – a gorgeous deep berry shade.  YUMMY.  Another Illamasqua fave is their Precision Ink in Havoc, which is still honestly capturing my heart some two years later.  I mean, it’s a dark wine -colored eyeliner that doesn’t look black – how badass is that?!  I wore it over the weekend while working at Clinique, and I swear I sold more because customers just thought I looked THAT GOOD.  LOL!

Fall Makeup - Berry swatches (2) Fall Makeup - Berry swatchesLeft to right: Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102, Illamasqua Crush Cream Blusher (swatched heavily, then buffed out)

Violet

Violets

Here comes the trickiest shade to wear of the bunch – violet.  Too much red and it can make you look like you’ve been crying; too much blue and you look like you just had a throw-down with one of the ‘Real Housewives.’  It can quickly veer in to goth territory if you’re not careful – thankfully, all of you know just what you’re doing at all times, right!? Right.  So, first we have the most challenging of the bunch – MAC’s Mattene Lipstick in Bing, and LE shade from 2008 or 2009, that has been making my life difficult since then.  I WANT to rock this blackened purple shade full force, but alas I am still a scaredy-cat.  However, I have managed to find various ways to wear it in a toned down way, either mixed with a red lippie or as a stain, so that will have to do for now.  The lovely violet shadow you see here is a new acquisition (in fact, the three shadows are) from Inglot, shade # 325, a matte purple.  I have yet to wear it, but I’m going to make an attempt this week – wish me luck!  Finally, we have another UD 24/7 Eyeliner, in 1999….which is discontinued…but which I JUST purchased from Sephora two weeks ago (so that makes it better, right!?).  They had several of the old shades up for sale, at $7.95CAD a pop, and I couldn’t resist.  This is an awesome toned down version of violet, that does have a hint of red but seems to work perfectly on my eyes to subtly add a touch of color without going to crazy town.  I’ve been wearing it on my lower lash line to give just a bit of definition and I’m really loving it.

Fall Makeup - Violet swatches (2) Fall Makeup - Violet swatches (9)Left to right: MAC Mattene in Bing, Inglot Matte Eyeshadow in #325, UD 24/7 Eyeliner in 1999

What are your favorite shades/products to wear in the fall?  What color story do you like the best?

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New Makeup Pretties: Liner, Lipstick, Shadow, and Highlight

I have been so terribly absent this summer it’s crazy!  Along with my normally busy social calendar, I’ve been really taking full advantage this season and enjoying it to the max.  It’s the first summer in a while in which I haven’t had a baby shower/bridal shower/bachelorette/wedding every second weekend, so the ‘downtime’ is much appreciated!  You may think that because I have a new (and fabulous…just throwin’ it out there ;)) beau that he’s taking up all of my time, but truth be told – he works in Newfoundland and is only home every second weekend, so I can’t even use that as an excuse!  In actual fact, I’m just having a great summer all around.  I hope everyone else is as well!

On the beauty front, nothing TOO exciting has been going on – I’m still trying to keep my purchases of new color cosmetics to a minimum (still only have one face, last time I checked), but fall is kind of my fave season so I haven’t been completely well-behaved:

Summer Purchases (2)Clockwise from left: MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson, MAC Lipstick in Hug Me, Laura Mercier Illluminator in Spellbound, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt

I mentioned in my wish list post that I had picked up the MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson – here is it in it’s (partial) glory (it’s MUCH more awesome IRL), along with Laura Mercier’s Illuminator in Spellbound, a MAC lipstick in Hug Me, and Stila’s newest liquid liner shade in Cobalt.  Every single purchase here is all sorts of awesome in it’s own way!

I feel like I’ve already gone on about MAC Damson ($25CAD), and I want to give it a full review, so for now just trust: it’s awesome.  Just LOOK at it:

MAC Damson Pressed Pigment

I really needed a good MLBB lip color as I didn’t have anything and essentially just used lip balm when I was trying to go for that look (which is probably all that IS really needed, but…meh).  After trying on a TON at the MAC counter last time I was there, the SA pulled out Hug Me ($18CAD), which was a perfect match.  My lips tend to be of medium pigmentation and lean sort of grayish when I’m bare-lipped, so this was a great choice.  It’s a Lustre formula which isn’t my favorite, but it feels good going on, is only semi-opaque so it looks quite natural, and lasts a few hours so I’m happy.

MAC Hug Me

The Stila eyeliner ($26CAD) is absolutely AMAZING.  A thick line of this with a lil flick at the end, a bit o’ blush and balm, and I’m ready to rock n roll.  I find this far easier and somehow more subtle to wear than a bright aqua liner (of which I seem to have several for some reason) and it looks particularly striking with my dark brown eye color.  This is my first Stila liquid liner – they are so darn tenacious and great, but I resisted buying one until now because they’re a smaller size than most other brands with similar offerings, but they costs about the same.  This unique color totally justified giving in finally.

Stila Cobalt Liquid Eyeliner swatch

Laura Mercier’s newest illuminator, Spellbound ($55CAD), hit the ground running, similarly to last year’s Rose Rendezvous, which I missed out on.  I was determined not to make that mistake again, so I ordered this rose-gold highlighter online sight-unseen.  It’s likely if I had waited until seeing it in-store that I would have purchased it – it’s quite nice but not mind-blowing to me – but I’m still pleased to have it, and it doesn’t replicate anything else I own.  And the design is just too pretty to pass up eh?  Further review to come.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Illuminator (2)

Soo…yeah.  I’ve definitely been up to a few of my old trick in the past month or so, but at least my purchases are varied and I feel like they augment my collection rather than just adding to the pile.  I’ve been keen to do another purge lately so I think that filtering out some items that don’t get much love to add others that will just makes sense.  All the products that are on my wishlist follow this mentality as well.  As long as I don’t feel guilt about my purchases then all is well and fine by me!

What kinds of makeup have you been picking up lately?  Are you paring down or ramping up for fall?

Summer Purchases

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Can Your Eyeliners Take the Heat?

An interesting thing happened last week after while I was preparing for my alternative bridesmaid post.  I had done swatches for the color story, and afterward I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up.  I noticed as I went about washing my face and conditioning my hair that the MAC Blacktrack Fluidline wasn’t coming off – at all.  Surprised, I rubbed at the line, and it stayed intact.  Now, while I make an effort to buy long-wearing eyeliners – as my outer corners are notorious for smudging – I didn’t really think about that when I purchased this one back in April, and I certainly wasn’t aware that it was waterproof.  I just wanted a nice cream liner!  Of course, when I actually washed my body, the liner came off, but it was particularly tenacious throughout the shower until that point.

Of course, being a (beauty-crazed) blogger, my brain started working, and I decided I wanted to put all the liners I own to the test…so I did  >:-)

Eyeliners - Wear Time (3)

The sampling above is not all of my liners, of course (if you recall…), but all the kinds of liners I own, as I have a few different shades in several types of a brand.  You may notice that almost all of these are designed to be long-wearing and/or waterproof (Chanel Waterproof, Urban Decay 24/7, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, etc.), so I was quite interested to see just how well they’d hold up in the shower test.  YES I swatched each of these on my arm and then hopped in the shower (though not right after the previous shower, I waited until the next day…otherwise that would be a little crazy-town).

Eyeliners - Wear Time (4)Left to right: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner in Noir Intense, Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, MAC Eye Kohl in Prunella, NARS Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia, Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian, Make Up For Ever Khol Pencil in 4K, Milani Liquif-EYE Eyeliner in Aqua, MAC Pearlglide Eyeliner in Petrol Blue, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 21L, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in #14.

So.  Jumped in the shower and did my usual – conditioned my hair first, then washed my face.  Looked down at my arm – all swatches still intact.  Swiped a hand across the liners with medium pressure, to some very slight smudging of a few shades (which I will detail in a moment).  I continued to clean everywhere else but my arm to see if the water would eventually break down the product(s), fully expecting the warm water plus the humid conditions in my bathroom to do a bit of damage.  Nada.  The most effect I found was that the same few liners that smudged a bit from a pass-over with my hand had faded somewhat, as if they lost some of their pigment – however, none had smeared or ran any more from the longer duration in the shower.  Color me surprised!

However, the moment I took soap and shower pouf to the area, the liners washed away quite quickly, with only 2-3 clinging for dear life before finally getting overcome.  These hangers-on have been consistently the longest wearing off all my liners, so I was unsurprised to see them make the best showing.

Can you guess which were the ‘losers’ of the bunch, and which came out on top???

The key is in the wording (duh!).  Though I didn’t expect them to power through a shower and come out as champions, every single liner I own that is a kohl pencil failed to last (that being: MAC’s Eye Kohl, MUFE’s Kohl Eyeliner, and Laura Mercier’s Kohl Eye Pencil).  This makes sense as kohl pencils are generally designed to be soft and smudgy around the eye (though some wear well on the waterline – go figure).  I sort of knew this, yet without fail I’m frustrated when I wear these and by the end of the day they have migrated under my eyes.  Lesson REALLY learned this time (I swear)!

On the opposite side of things, the cream of the crop were the same two liners that in my experience power through pretty much everything – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners, and Illamasqua’s Precision Liner, which actually edged out MUFE by clinging just that much longer.  Both of these are liquid liners and they absolutely DO NOT COME OFF until you wash them off.  At times I find that Illamasqua’s requires even more elbow grease to get every last bit – though I found that because my skin had been wet for a period of time, it was much easier than usual (when washing it off my face).

Overall, it was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me, mostly to really *get* that different types of liners are designed for different things.  While the majority of my liners are stellar when it comes to long-wear, especially throughout the warmer months, I must take note that kohls are NOT to be used for crisp lines or as a traditional liner – at least if I’m expecting them to stay put.  I think I’ll reserve these for nights out or short trips in which I don’t need something to last hours and hours.  When I need to pull out the big guns, I’ll opt for the various other liners I have in my collection.

Eyeliners - Wear Time

What types of liners are your favorite? 

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16 Comments

Alternative Bridesmaid Makeup Look

Good day to you! :)  I am off today after a crazy couple weeks helping plan and coordinate our Public Service Week here at my work.  I am the co-chair of our Youth Network for the Atlantic Region, so I was also organizing some events for the offices in other provinces as well.  Quite the job!  In any case, I think the week went pretty well, and yesterday our internal news publication came out with an article on myself and my co-chair on how we’re aspiring leaders, and basically made us sound really snazzy.  It was really nice to get recognition for the work we do so I’m feeling pretty awesome right now! (despite the four glasses of wine I had last night in celebration LOL).

Anyway, enough with the recap.  Today I wanted to show you a recreation of the look I did for my friend’s wedding last month.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to capture the actual look itself, but I used everything I wore in the shots below – though I’m missing the false lashes.  Use your imagination for those ;)

Anyone who knows me knows I always like to take what’s considered the ‘norm’ and put a little spin on it.  A lot of people I know have traveled/lived in Australia, so I went to New Zealand.  I once attended a formal event where everyone wore dresses, and I wore a white pant suit (see below – not a great shot, and eeks! to the fuzzy straightened hair – but damn it if I didn’t love that outfit :)).  So, when I started thinking about what makeup I wanted to wear for the wedding, I wanted something still appropriate but with a twist.  And so: red eyeshadow.

Pics to Sort etc 137Also – pink heels!  YES.

Ok, maybe not full-on red.  That would probably clash with the whole romantic theme.  But a metallic cranberry?  Now we’re talking.

The shade I used was L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany, a shadow I’ve shown you before.  I don’t wear it very often because in my mind it’s ‘red shadow,’ but since the wedding, I’ve been pulling it out a lot more – it’s like the best version of red ever, that is actually super-wearable.  As it’s quite standout on it’s own, I paired it with subdued shades everywhere else to keep it the focal point – soft pink cheeks and rosy-beige lips.

Wedding Makeup Swatches Wedding Makeup Swatches (2)Left to right: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, L’Oreal Golden Mahogany shadow, MAC Arena shadow, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer, Illamasqua Hussy blush, Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Discrete.

As you can see, very few products were used for the look.  At the wedding, by using false individual lashes (which I prefer because you can apply them the night before to save time), coupled with the shadow, I didn’t need to work too hard to have my eyes really stand out.  False lashes are especially awesome for photos (of which you can see here).  All that I did was to use a cream liner to get into any spaces in-between the lashes to make them look full, and then applied Golden Mahogany all over the lid and into the crease.  I blended MAC Arena into the brow bone and inner eye corners, et voila!  That was ALL I needed to do to get the look below.  Simple and pretty!

Wedding MakeupWedding Makeup (2)

Again, with the false lashes this look was made much more KAPOW!

The base used was Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder foundation (which I’m fairly certain I’m going to buy for the rest of my life) worn over Hourglass No.28 Primer Serum (which really is AMAZING at keeping the oilies controlled).  Some contouring with bronzer, a touch of blush and highlight (I used Chanel’s Poudree Signee, not shown in the swatches), and a dab of lipgloss were the finishing touches.

I was really happy with the resulting look, and felt that I managed to continue with my habit of doing something not quite the norm, but also not so far out there either.  And that shadow really has reach HG status with me (which incidentally has put me on a quest to weed out all my HG’s and get rid of anything less)!

What do you think?  Would you wear red eyeshadow (to a formal event, no less)?  How do you ‘break the mold’ when it comes to makeup?

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25 Comments

Huzzah! MAC Morange Has Finally Been Conquered

I almost gave up.  For months I tried and tried to make it work, without success.  But this past weekend, my friends, I finally managed to wear my nemesis down and make her bend to my will.  I AM VICTORIOUS!!

…I’m talking about the illustrious MAC lipstick shade, Morange, of course! No world domination yet! ;)

MAC Morange (2)

Who hasn’t heard of Morange before?  The ‘Loudmouth Orange‘ shade with an amplified creme finish is nearly if not as popular as MAC’s other iconic classic, Russian Red.  While orange isn’t your standard classic color, nevertheless somehow this has become a well-known staple for the runway and real-life beautistas alike.  I managed to snag it for my very own in a swap several months ago, and I have since spent several agonizing months trying to make it work without running screaming in terror from the mirror.  Ladies, this shade has SERIOUS attitude.

MAC Morange swatches (2) MAC Morange swatches

In swatches, it doesn’t look that daunting to me.  It’s bright, yes, but surely no more so than my new fave Quince.  However, getting it to look at once eye-catching yet without it taking over my whole face was a major beauty challenge – probably one of the most difficult to date.

MAC MorangeEeks!  I just find this plain scary.

Perhaps I should have known how challenging this shade would be, given how retina-searing it is, but I have several other shades in my stash that come very close to this (albeit at a significantly decrease saturation):

MAC Morage vs Dior Delice vs NARS WonderLeft to right: MAC Morange, Dior Delice Addict Extreme, NARS Wonder Lipgloss

Through this months-long experiment is how I’ve confirmed that I do not have a warm skintone, as I’ve always generally thought, but rather a more neutral tone with a slightly cool leaning.  To say it plainly – orange just ain’t my shade.  While more recent trends have leaned toward wearing colors that clash against your natural skintone, and for the most part I love this effect – I have to admit, though I’d love to say I embrace that kind of boldness, but I’m just not there yet.

However.  I am nothing if not persistent, and after trying various different application techniques and various makeup looks, I finally figured out the mystery of Morange.  It all comes down to: a light touch and A HECK OF A LOT OF BRONZER.

MAC Morange worn (2)

It is absolutely imperative to warm up your face when wearing Morange, if you don’t already have that kind of skintone to begin with – though I have read that shades like these look great on more olive-toned skin.  I found when I bronzed the shit outta my skin and added a touch to my eye area, it managed to pull it together much more seamlessless.  In addition, instead of going for a full-on opaque pout, which is normally how I wear a bold, bright lippie, I applied one thin coat and blended for a more muted look.  It’s not necessarily my preference, but in order to get the POW! from the orange without blinding people, its just the way it’s got to be.

MAC Morange worn (3)

The result of this mega-effort I think is well worth the hassle.  It was a beautiful sunny, warm spring day here Sunday, and the orange lip looked so season-appropriate and fun!  Morange overall is a nice lipstick, and goes on smoothly, if a bit thicker, and doesn’t dry out my lips.  I’m super-stoked to have figured this conundrum out and to incorporate this happy, summery shade into my repertoire this year!

MAC Morange worn

What recent beauty challenge have you faced?  How did you handle it?

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21 Comments

ALL THE THINGS: An Abundance of New Lippies (But First: An Apology)

I have to admit that sometimes I’m a jerk.  Sometimes, when people seem to be making excuses for things, I judge *just a little bit*  Case in point: in the past, when reading posts in which the blogger noted that they had been sick and gave that reason for why they hadn’t posted in a while, I always thought ‘Jeez, you’ve been home for a week and you were so sick that you couldn’t even type?  Pfffffft.’ 

Well, consider this my sincere apology at my secret douchebagginess.

*Did you know that when you google douchebag images that you get 99% pictures of guys?  So maybe douchebag can’t apply to females, I dunno.  Let’s just stick with jerk shall we?

As I noted in my last post, I was sick with a cold this week.  Nothing life-hindering, just general shitty malaise with a seriously stuffed up (yet super-sneezy) nose, which meant some badass pressure in my head from all the congestion which made behind my eyes hurt, and the absolute necessity of on-hand kleenex at all times.  Just your general bitch of a cold.  I was off two days from work and skipped out on my extra-curriculars like yoga and running, yet I only posted once.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t type.  It was that I DIDN’T WANT TO.  I didn’t want to do anything – I wanted to wallow in my own snuffling misery and drink lots of warm tea and feel kind of sorry for myself.  I didn’t type nor did I read anyone else’s blogs (which is an admittedly passive, scrolling-finger-only kind of action).  I watched a lot of Mad Men episodes and stayed on top of Big Brother Canada (which by the way is AWESOME – and the Nova Scotia peeps are ROCKIN’ it, woohoo!!!!!).  And that was about it. 

Sick

Long story short (this is what happens when I don’t get my chatty out on the regular), I am SORRY for judging you, my periodically sick friends.  I recognize the error of my thoughts ways.  Forgive me, as I get sick very infrequently and when it does happen, it lasts for 3 days max.  I misunderstood – it’s not that you physically can’t, you just feel like doing sweet F.A., and I get it.  I understand.  So again I say: SO SORRYMy bad.

Ok, with that out of the way!  Here is a sneak peek of a bunch of lippies I’ve procured over the past month or so.  I went from not purchasing a lipstick since last August (!) to buying 3 in a week plus acquiring 1 via swap as well as 1 lipgloss via PR.  For some, this is just another day, but for me it’s a lot.  And they are all pretty damn sweet.

I plan on doing separate posts for each of them but for now I leave you with this:

MAC Morange (2) MAC Morange (3)

Above: MAC Morange.  I received this in swap and thought it was going to rock my world.  I still think it’s an amazing color but on my face?  OMFG IT IS SO INTENSE.  And I’m not sure if that’s in a good way.  It’s so frustrating, because in these swatches it seems like this color would be great on my skintone, and looking at it on others online it’s stellar.  I WILL find a way to wear this, I just haven’t figured out how…  In the meantime, I bought this:

Dior Addict Extreme 433 Delice (5) Dior Addict Extreme 433 Delice (9)

One of the new Dior lippies, #433 Delice, in the Addict Extreme formulation.  I bought this at Shoppers when I had a $10 gift card.  They actually sent me home with the wrong version – the regular Addict which is more sheer – that thankfully I noticed before using it, but good grief Dior did you have to name them ALL the same name, same number?  The poor SA’s… Anyway, no harm no foul on my end, but I would have been totally disappointed in the Addict shade; this Extreme one is more opaque and absolutely amazing on.  It’s a more toned-down version of Morange and super-wearable, though I won’t give up on the former just yet.

BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil Quince  (3) BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil Quince swatches

Yay!  I actually bought one of my wishlist items!  Meet Quince, a High Pigment Pencil (matte formula) from BITE Beauty, my first from the brand.  This is the exact fuchsia shade I was searching for, it looks SO good on – not too bright on my skintone, which was one of the major challenges, but also not so dark that it’s more berry.  On me it’s just perfect.  LOVE.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink In Confidence (5) YSL Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink In Confidence swatches (5)

Yes, I caved and bought a YSL Rouge Volupte Shine since everyone and their dog seemed to be raving about them!  I wouldn’t have probably picked this up if not for the 15% off VIB sale, which eased the painful $39CAD price tag down a bit.  I initially didn’t think these were anything to write home about, but they’re actually more pigmented than I thought.  I really wanted to get a soft pink shade as I don’t seem to own one, and #8 Pink In Confidence fit the bill.  Very pretty and wearable.

MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection S0 (3) MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection S0 swatches

Lastly, I received a couple of products from MUFE in shades that complimented the Pantone 2013 Spring shades.  This is a Lab Shine Star Collection gloss in S0, which is essentially a shimmering beige.  It’s fairly translucent but not clear, so it mutes my lip color a bit.  I have to say that I do like the Lab Shine glosses, they have a nice smooth texture, feel  hydrating worn, and have good staying power.  This isn’t a terribly exciting color but it’ll be great for a casual look or for layering!

I think I’m pretty much set for spring with all of these lip colors, I finally have a few serious brights to play with, and also a couple muted shades to pair with any bright eye looks I choose.  They’re all worthy of their own posts so keep an eye out!  I wanted to get them up earlier but being sick my lips were so dry, everything I put on them just looked like a flaky mess.  They’ve pretty much healed so I should be able to give you full reviews this week :)

What new lippies have you bought lately?  Do you prefer brights or more subtle shades?  Gloss or lipstick?  Did you buy anything from the VIB sale? 

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20 Comments

Everything is Just Peachy: An Update and a Pretty Powder from MAC

So, remember this post?  Yea, you know – the mega-sad one.  Well, just so you know: ever since writing that post and opening up about my current situation, things have much improved!  We all have heard that talking about things always makes you feel better, but we don’t always put it into practice.  Let this be a lessons learned for everyone (including myself): IT REALLY DOES MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.  I think why it helps is that you feel like you’re sort of being pro-active, and doing something for good yourself, even if you’re not actually putting a solution into action.  Once I did that, it was easier to start doing other constructive things to get back to my usual perky self.  I started doing kick-ass yoga (aka ashtanga yoga) to compliment my half-marathon training, and I feel stronger and more fit than ever.  I had my friends over for dinner and brunch this past month, and felt a little less disconnected that before.  And this past week, I made a connection with another gal who needs a place to stay, and soon I might just have  a roommate, which would help my financial situation immensely.  Things are most certainly looking up, and I just wanted to give you a little update and also to thank each and every one of you who were so fantastically supportive after I wrote that post – you gave me such comfort and the courage to then open up to my friends and family, and since have felt infinitely better.  So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being the wonderful people you are and for being so kind and caring.  Though I haven’t met most of you in person I feel very fortunate to call many of you friends :D

Gift from Sarah (6) 026 027Particularly amazing friend-cheer from the wonderful Sarah of Beauty and the Baked Goods…aside from the very fact that she SENT me a care package, the sweet hat card and note plus hilarious envelope quips made me laugh out loud.  BEST.  THERAPY.  EVER.

Now, let me share some other goodness with you!  MAC has put out a collection this year (one of the million) called Year of the Snake, which contains a handful of repromoted shades with snazzy box packaging and beautiful snake-like embossing on the actual product, and only available for purchase online.  The moment I saw the peachy-golden fantabulousness of the Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (which I hear has been repromoted up the wazoo….how did I miss it before?) on Circuits of Fever, I was 100% madly, desperately in love.  I went to buy it on the site, only to find that it had been sold out, to my utter disappointment.  Denise assured me that often things will come back in stock after a time, and to keep checking back every few days.  So, like a makeup obsessed crazy person, I checked the site constantly for a week, each time crossing my fingers and toes that it had come available again. No such luck.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (2)

Of COURSE, as things go, after a few weeks of giving up online shopping for Lent, I happened to be casually browsing the site and came across the powder, which was IN STOCK.  Let this be an indication of how much I wanted to own this powder, that I broke my Lent promise (which I have NEVER done) and snapped up the powder in seconds flat.  My love was that serious.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (3)

And do I feel guilty?   HECK NO.  This is why:

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (4)

It’s sooo pretty you guys!!  I have purchased a few items over the past year with pretty designs and such, but this one really gets me goin’.  It’s just SEXY.  Love, love, love it.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (5)MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (7)

I find the color to lean slightly pink and reads more coral than peach, but who are we kidding – coral is the SHIT!  No complaints here.  The golden shimmers throughout are really beautiful, and NOT an overspray.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (8) MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl

As you can see from the swatches (first diffused, then layered), when worn it’s more of a golden highlight versus getting any serious pinky/peachy/coral hue showing.  Fair skins could probably wear this as a subtle blush though I think, as it does give even my darker skin the barest hint of color.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl worn (7) MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl worn (9)

Comparing this to the other highlighters I showed you earlier this week, I would say that this does sparkle a bit in the sunlight, but it’s subtle and manageable in my opinion.  There is something about this powder I just ADORE.  I find it reminds me of a warmer version of Chanel’s Poudre Signee – it really illuminates my face in a beautiful way while remaining somewhat elusive.  I can see why MAC has released and re-released this powder several times over – it’s just so gorgeous!  To look at as well as to use.  I even prefer this design over the Chanel (sacrilege, I know).

Currently this powder is sold out on the US site but in-stock on the Canadian one (lucky us!).  I don’t know how long the collection will be available, but I would suggest if you’re interested in this powder to get it sooner rather than later – I know they’ll likely release it again (and again) in the future, but this design is not to be missed.  I even plan on keeping the box it came in too, that is BY FAR the best packaging I’ve seen to date.

Oh yea, FYI – the Beauty Powder retails for $29CAD.

Have you come across any beauty products that have rocked your world lately?

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17 Comments

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