Archive for category NARS

Summer Makeup Staples: Favorite Summer Lippies

Even the biggest cynic has to admit, we’ve had a pretty sweet summer season, at least here in Atlantic Canada! Almost every weekend is sunny, and often days that call for rain turn into a beautiful and bright sunshiny day. It’s been sticky and humid, I’ll grant you, but hey – what’s the beach for if not to keep cool in the heat?

In an effort to use more of my eyeshadows, I went though a period of wearing different eye looks over the past couple months, only to become frustrated that they looked overdone and kind of grimy in this muggy weather. I finally decided that the shadows will have to wait until the cooler months, and instead I would focus on my TRUE makeup love of the moment – juicy lip colours.

Favorite Summer LippiesLeft to right: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, YSL Glossy Stain in Corail Aquatique, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square, Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral, Dior Fluid Stick in Magique, purminerals Plumping Lip Gloss in Pink Crush

Over the past year or so, I’ve really started upping my lip game. For the most part, I own and wear shades in almost every shade imaginable, and change it up with each season. During the summer, I find warm pinks, happy corals, dusky roses, and orange-leaning reds tend to flatter my tanned skin most. The lippies that are in highest rotation are of all textures – gloss, stain-gloss hybrids, mattes, and cremes.

IMG_3097Left to right: NARS Dolce Vita, YSL Corail Aquatique, NARS Red Square, Tom Ford True Coral, Dior Magique, purminerals Pink Crush

I picked up NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita last fall on a whim – I cannot remember what drew me to the dusty rose shade, but I’m SO glad I brought it home with me, as it’s honestly one of my favourite, most flattering lip colours (in ALL seasons!) and I wear it CONSTANTLY. I will definitely repurchase this when I run out, which is SO unlike me!

I’ve had the YSL Glossy Stain for a couple years now, and while I wasn’t entirely enamoured with it when I bought it, it’s such an easy-to-wear soft coral that goes with essentially every look I create. Another one that I would definitely consider repurchasing as I probably wear it more than any other lippie I own, period.

The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square was a recent addition; after swatching orange-based reds on at least three separate occasions at Sephora, I finally went with with this one as I like the Velvet Matte formula, and it seemed to be the most flattering on me. I love it!

IMG_3103 Left to right: NARS Dolce Vita, YSL Corail Aquatique, NARS Red Square

I’ve shown you the Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral before after I picked it up in NYC late last year. I was concerned that its coral-red tone was so bright it would be garish on my skin tone once tanned, but my fears were unfounded, as it looks even BETTER with a tan! The formula is more suited to this time of year as well, as my lips tend to be in better condition (read: not as sahara dry and flaky as in the winter) so it wear much better as well.

Back in June, after a monster swatching session at Shoppers, I picked up one of the new Dior Fluid Sticks in #479 Magique (which doesn’t seem to be available at Sephora for some reason), a bright coral pink. I really like the formula on these, and am always tempted to buy more but wish there was a bit more selection in the shade range – the lighter shades are too milky on my skin tone, and some of the other shades look too similar to this one. LOVE that juicy, colour-rich shine, though!

Lastly, a few years ago my aunt gave me a ton of purminerals lip glosses (you can find the brand at Shoppers), which have a great lovely, moisturizing formula. I gave away many of them as the shades didn’t call to me (and I don’t wear gloss too often these days), but this one in Pink Crush has become a huge staple for me as it gives just a hint of muted rose-y pink to the lips, and awesome shine. Another goes-with-everything lippie.

IMG_3101Left to right: Tom Ford True Coral, Dior Magique, purminerals Pink Crush

All six of these shades are without a doubt my most-worn, and most-loved lippies at the moment. They allow me a variety of looks and I truly enjoy wearing each one! This is my ultimate goal with my makeup collection – regardless of the number of products, as long as I take pleasure in wearing each item, then that’s really what counts. I’ve been slashing and hacking at my stash methodically over the past few months, and every week I feel that much more satisfied!

I will admit though…I’m starting to get that itch for fall makeup! Don’t shoot me… :)

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What lippies have you been wearing to death this season?

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Final Empties Post of 2013!

Woohoo!  My last empties post of the year.  As these are always lengthy (because I am too damn chatty) (and even though I just did one last month…how do I use up products so quickly?), I’m going to get right to it.

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Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner – I do like the Organix conditioners, and this worked quite well to hydrate and detangle, but I preferred the heaviness of the Macadamia Oil version to this.  Smelled DELICIOUS in the summer though!

Earth Science Deep Conditioning Masque – 2nd tube of this, and I still feel the same as I did when I first tried it.  It’s really good shit, dudes.  For $13CAD, it’s one of the best deep conditioners I’ve ever used, and to top it off – all natural!  If I were so fickle I’d buy another tube, and I still may…I’m just too curious to settle *just  yet* ;)

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil – I really liked this oil a lot, much better than the Ojon Restorative oil that preceded it.  It just had a great consistency and smell, and it never irritated my scalp or caused any breakouts around my forehead, which can happen with products like this.  Good stuff, and lasted AGES.

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Haus of Gloi Komodo Pumpkin Butter – don’t mistake mangosteen for mango, my friends – NOT THE SAME.  I found the scent of this quite intrusive and it has this slightly rotten fruit smell…so ya, just not diggin’ it.  So, I used it as a foot cream!  Problem solved.

Nutiva Coconut Oil – great stuff.  I used this as my primary body moisturizer throughout last spring/summer and it was awesome – it really kept my skin in great condition, prevented eczema flare-ups and helped heal old scars that I sometimes get from past eczema patches, which tend to result in the absence of pigmentation.  However, once the weather cooled it wasn’t quite enough, so I would either layer it with a moisturizer, or use it in my hair periodically as a deep treatment.  I’ll definitely be picking up another tub of this – so many uses! However, keep in mind that coconut oil is highly comedogenic – except when it’s in the form below:

Fractionated Coconut Oil – fractionated oil is non-comedogenic, perhaps due to having had all it’s triglycerides removed.  It has a super-long shelf life and increased stability, and it’s antioxidant potential is more jacked up than regular coconut oil.  It’s also in a TON of things and usually listed as ‘caprylic/capric triglyceride.’  My roommate had left this behind when she moved so I used it up – it was a lot easier to use than the solid coconut oil (though a bit messier at times) but I found it slightly less moisturizing on my body.

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Getting through my non-organic products!  I’ve only got a few last products and a couple straggler samples to get through and I’ll be essentially fully ‘green’, woot!

eos Lip Sphere - this balm works really well and was exceptional under lipstick, offering just enough hydration without much slip, but honestly the size of it sometimes felt very cumbersome.  It’s a cute novelty, but not the most practical – though I do maintain that they’re terribly easy to find in your purse!

Indeed Labs Hydraluron – I’m sure this does have a purpose, but I don’t think I have dry or dehydrated enough skin to see a difference.  I don’t miss it.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – this stuff does work well, for those of you not concerned about using non-organic products.  I really do like serums because you can pile them on and they generally don’t have heavy moisture to the skin which can make you greasy as the day wears on.

RoC Soft Smoothing Scrub – too gentle for my liking, though this is a good choice for a morning cleanser just to wash the night’s oils off, or as a second cleanse.  But as a ‘scrub’?  No thanks.  One more non-organic product down!

Avene Thermal Spring Water – I love misting my face before applying any serums or oils, as it just feels good to seal the moisture in…but paying for water in a can kinda irks me.  I far prefer the facial mists with a little bit extra in them, like hydrosols etc. that add something more.  Right now I’m using Kahina Giving Beauty’s Facial Mist and I quite like it (though its just so darn SMALL at 1.6oz for $46CAD…ouch!).

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Samples!  Lots of good organic stuff here.  The Marie Veronique Organics Treatment Oil is excellent for keeping oily, pore-clogged, acne-prone skin in check.  I don’t have the latter, but I do get clogged pores on my nose and cheek area, and I found the sample really refined my skin nicely.  I actually just purchased the full-size last week!  I tried the new Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum this past weekend, and while it worked nicely on my skin, the scent it NOT for me – far too spicy and heady for me.  I’ll stick with my Lina Hanson Global Body Serum, thanks.  The Soapwalla Deodorant sample lasted ages, and I enjoyed it so much I purchased it last week as well – it smells awesome and actually works a treat, even on wetness!  It’s not entirely as effective as traditional antiperspirants, but for every day wear its perfect and I really like it a lot.  I thought the Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream was gonna be my JAM for the dry patches I get sometimes from my eczema, but it sometimes made my skin itch a bit rather than soothe it, so I’ll have to keep looking for a nice nighttime hydrating cream.  M.J.’s Calendula Cream on the other hand, was a freakin’ miracle product – this honestly cleared up my eczema overnight on my hands, which tends to be a persistent problem for me.  I ended up buying a similar product from the local market, but I’m not sure it’s *quite* as effective, though I do like to support local.    The Eminence Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser was a strange product.  I used it as either a morning or second cleanse and I didn’t notice any exfoliating, and it left a slight film on my skin so I’d recommend using a washcloth to remove it.  Not something I’d spend my money on, overall.  The Rahua Shampoo was fine, but I didn’t enjoy the smell at all, and to spend $$ on a shampoo that I don’t love is just not gonna happen.  One of our local high-end department stores here, Mills, will soon be stocking the organic brand Babor, and the SA’s gave me a few samples of this Calm & Relax Cream to try.  It was pretty great, truth be told!  I used it after doing an intense masque treatment, and it was soothing and hydrating without being heavy at all.  I just may purchase a full-size when the line becomes fully available.  Finally, another Eminence sample I snagged was this Red Currant Rapid Infusion Masque…suffice to say it was a total dud.  I have no idea what it was supposed to do, but I wasn’t wowed.  PASS.

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Le makeup.

Sephora She Sparkles Gloss – decent gloss formula, decent shade.  Despite the fact that I didn’t love it, I actually used this up fairly quickly in the grand gloss scheme of things.  Huh.

NARS Gold Digger Gloss sample – HATE the brush on these Larger Than Life glosses, uh.  So. Tiny!  I liked the shade well enough, but the formula isn’t my favourite – similar to MAC lipglasses, which means they wear fairly well, but I’m not a fan of the stickiness.  It still looks quite full here but I wasn’t getting any more product, so out it goes.

Marc Jacobs Blacquer Mascara – this was such a weird product, like webbing for the eyes!  I loved that it had this kind of patent-leather shine, but it applied horribly and made a total mess of my lashes every time.  Yuk.

MUFE Eyeshadow #17 Espresso – I thought I’d use this a ton and then hardly did.  Then I dropped it and it crumbled, and then honestly, I just was OVER IT.  Plus, I now have a similar shade in my Laura Mercier palette, so I don’t NEED YOU ANYMORE.  *I really hate broken makeup!*

NARS Pro Prime Pore-Refining Primer – this was just meh.  I used it regularly for a couple weeks to use it up, and I wasn’t wowed – I still got shine after a few hours, and though my makeup wore a bit longer, it wasn’t anything to write home about.  Plus, non-organic…I’m not totally converted to organic makeup (or at all, really) but primer is like skincare, so I don’t think I’d buy this even if it did work well.

Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage – the darkest shade offered is still too light for me, so this was a no-go.  Bummer, as I’ve ready a lot of great things about it!  Can’t beat coverage plus SPF in one.

I’m now finished my empties for the year!  I was going to do a tally in each category, but honestly that’s just too much damn work LOL.  Suffice to say, I feel really good about how many non-organic products I’ve used up, and I’m pretty stoked that I used up a whole gloss (and a half!) – I’ve been trying really hard to use up any lip products that are at least half-gone, because they’re much more feasible to finish (as opposed to blush…let’s not go there).  I’m going to make a real effort next year to cull my stash to only products I really love – I know I’ve said this before, and I continue to make progress, but I think next year will be THE year.  I’m loosening my grip on keeping things because they ‘should’ work or because they were expensive and therefore I have to use them.  I just want to pull out any shade of any product and be like ‘Yep, looks great’ with minimal effort.  I learn more and more what looks good on me and what doesn’t.  And also, it’s a lot easier to reduce the stash when you focus all your effort / money on skincare!!  I certainly haven’t saved a dime not buying makeup, because organic skincare costs a pretty penny in many cases, but the whole ritual of applying oils etc. is really up my alley, so I don’t mind.  And less makeup means less anxiety in that area – I never overbuy skincare so I never have to worry about having too much of that!

So, out with the old (thinking) and in with the new (skincare, not makeup).  Now I need to put my 2014 resolutions to paper!

How did your empties go this year?  Do you think your reducing or expanding?  

 

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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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Summer in a Tube: Becca Beach Tint in Papaya and Comparisons

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparison (2)

I’ve been on this kick lately of wanting to own every red blush EVER.  MAC Frankly Scarlet.  Illamasqua Libido.  Dolce & Gabbana Sole.  NARS Exhibit A.  ALL THE RED BLUSH.  Each are quite different from the other and therefore totally justifiable in purchasing (right?!).  However, last month when I scored another red on my list, Becca’s Beach Tint in Papaya (described as a ‘hot red’), I had to pause in my red blush frenzy – not all of these shades will look good on me, guys! :'(

Becca Beach Tint in PapayaBecca Beach Tint in Papaya

As some of you know, I’ve been sort of struggling to figure out my skintone – cool, warm, neutral, what is it? – and I think I’ve decided that I’m neutral with a bit of a cool leaning.  Well, I think that my assumptions have been confirmed with this blush – it is FAR too warm for my skintone and has to be worn with an exceptionally light hand.  See for yourself:

Becca Papaya Beach Tint (2) Becca Papaya Beach Tint

Though it doesn’t look terrible on me the way I’m wearing it  – which is to say, very sheerly – it’s really not my best shade.  with my tan I can pull it off, but any other time of year I suspect this will look ghastly (not to be confused with ghostly, as this is much to orange-toned and vibrant for that).  This leads me to believe that similarly warm-toned blushes such as the Illamasqua or NARS versions noted above, may not be my cup of tea.  I need to tread more carefully.

I suspect that the shades that will work best for me are more coral-red (such as D&G’s Sole) or the more pink-red tones of the MAC shade noted above.  I’ve swatched the only other shades in my collection that even come close, NARS Boys Don’t Cry (of the coral-red camp) and MUFE’s #12 First Kiss (which in fact is a touch too orange and I usually layer it with other products).

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparisonLeft to right: MUFE #12 First Kiss, Becca Papaya, NARS Boys Don’t Cry

Its interesting to look at these swatches, because I still feel like Papaya looks flattering here – but don’t let it fool you.  I had to blend and blend down to next to nothing to ensure I didn’t look like I had been burned in a fire.  Its certainly a summery shade and paired with bronzer can work well, but I prefer to wear more effortless shades that compliment naturally, even if they’re brighter.  I’m starting to wonder if the key to blush isn’t to pick complimentary shades to your skintone, but contrasting.  In swatches Papaya looks made for my skin and Boys Don’t Cry is more stand-out, yet the latter absolutely looks fantastic on me no matter if I’m tanned or not.  Similarly with NARS Desire if you recall.  INTERESTING.

Ultimately, I’m happy to have this shade as it represents a niche I hadn’t filled in my collection, and as it was a acquired via swap, I don’t feel bad about owning it.  It was an excellent way to trial-run a warm red blush and learn that I probably won’t acquire any more in the future, focusing my energies instead on cooler-toned shades.  The product itself is quite nice – easy to blend and wears quite well (though not exceptionally tenacious on my oilier skin).  I likely won’t pick up anymore shades as most of them contain linalool which I avoid in products (can cause allergic reactions and sensitivity in people with eczema), but if you don’t have those concerns, I’d definitely check them out – they’re so easy and handy!

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparison (3)

Do you own any red blush?  To which tone does you skin favor, warm or cool?

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Long Overdue MEGA-Praise for NARS High Voltage Blush in Boys Don’t Cry

Yet another late post which means: Words. Few.  However, you all know by now that I always say that and then still end up rambling.  So…enjoy?

NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (2)

I am ashamed at how long its taken me to show you guys this blush.  YOU GUYS.  THIS BLUSHNARS Boys Don’t Cry blush ($48CAD) from the Pierre Hardy collection is probably one of the best makeup purchases I’ve made all year, if not THE best.  A total 10/10 for me!  How can you go wrong with a) a NARS blush, that b) is a gorgeous bold coral red (or pink grapefruit, as it’s described)?!  Answer: YOU CAN’T.  It’s all sorts of WIN.

NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (4) NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (3)

The ‘awesome’ quote above was on a card I bought for my mom for Mothers Day (which, stupidly I forgot to give her – next year maybe?), and I just had to use it as a prop.  Because this blush is, in fact, AWESOME.  See all my use of caps today?  It’s for a reason, people.

Of course, the beautiful gold design above is an overspray, and disappears after a use or two, which is just fine with me.  What you’re left with is this:

NARS Boys Don't Cry High Voltage Blush swatch

I feel like this shade of blush was honestly made for my skintone – it’s so damn flattering!  Or maybe it was just made for everyone’s skintone – it’s got both a warmth and a coolness about it so that I think it would work on most people.  It also buffs out beautifully so that you can wear it with a light hand, or more intense if you so desire.  Below, I’m wearing it first with a more subtle touch – this was an actual look I wore (which incidentally accompanied the eye makeup in this post); in the rest of the shots I applied the shade more heavily so it would show up more strongly in photos.

NARS Boys Don't Cry High Voltage BlushIn sunlight, with a light hand

NARS Boys Don't Cry worn (2)Natural light, with a heavier application

Please note that the hardcore glow I’ve got going on in these photos is due to Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector and not from the blush – it is a matte formula, though not powdery at all so it melds with the skin beautifully.  I like that I can wear it over liquid products and it doesn’t get blotchy throughout the day like some other products I own.  In fact, this blush wears well throughout the entire day with very minimal fading overall, even in humidity.

NARS Boys Don't Cry worn (3) NARS Boys Don't Cry worn (4) NARS Boys Don't Cry worn

I really don’t know what else I can say about this blush that you can’t see clearly with your EYEBALLS – it’s frickin’ GORGEOUS.  I never really thought about a blush this shade before until suddenly there it was, and I am SO happy that I picked this up – as many of you have said, it’s A LOT of blush at 0.45oz (NARS blushes are usually 0.16oz), and I was intimidated as who really needs that much blush!?  But now that I have it, I would pay for even MOAR if it meant having this shade in my possession.  Of the 30+ blush I have, since it’s purchase I’ve worn this consistently more than any of my other shades.  And since it’s essentially seasonless (it can go all summer-flushed or windblown with ease), I don’t see that changing any time soon.

A big YIPEEEEEEEEEE to blush, and THANK YOU to NARS for making a shade like this :D :D :D

Did you pick up Boys Don’t Cry (or Rotonde)?  What shade of blush gets the most love from you in your collection?

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28 Comments

…On Becoming More Well-Rounded (?)

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that it’s rare that I’m at a loss for words.  Even those posts in which I say I’m going to keep it short and sweet, usually end up longer than planned – what can I say?  I’m a chatty kind of gal.

Lately though, my capacity for wordiness has really left me, which poses a problem when you’re try to say, oh I don’t know, WRITE SOMETHING.  May has clearly been a slow month on Beauty Obsessed, which is largely due to getting a new roommate, standing in my friend’s wedding and all it’s required prep, training for the Ottawa Half Marathon which I ran this past Sunday (which, if you’re interested – I ROCKED :D  Finish time was 1:40:16, and since my goal was around 1 hour 40 mins., I was SUPER STOKED!), and then – my 31st birthday, which was yesterday (which included lots of long-lost sun, meals out with friends and family, and a ton of lovely birthday wishes)!  Yea, that all happened in one month.  It’s been a tad bit busy.

NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (4)NARS Boys Don’t Cry blush

However, it’s not just my lack of time that’s been keeping me from posting, but a shift in thought process that is screwing with my makeup mojo.  The past month has seen me only purchase two makeup items: the NARS Boys Don’t Cry blush, pictured above (which I am terribly delinquent on posting about, my bad) and a little birthday treat I picked up yesterday – another L’Oreal Caresse Wet Shine Stain, which was on sale and was inspired by this photo:

Doutzen Kroes
I needed to have that lip color badly, and I couldn’t wait.  I know Doutzen Kroes is one of the faces of L’Oreal so I took my chances and picked up Endless Red, which is a juicy cranberry red.  It turned out to be exactly what I was looking for shade-wise, as well as formula-wise as I knew the qualities of the stain were what I needed – you can see above its not a fully saturated look but more like she was sucking on a popsicle.  SUCCESS!  I’m not head over heels for the packaging of these, but nor am I for the 3 times as expensive YSL Glossy Stains, so I’ll take my grumbling on this front and shove it.

L'Oreal Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Endless Red L'Oreal Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Endless Red swatch (2)

Anyway, moral of the story – I’ve been downgrading my cosmetics purchases big-time, which means I have a lot less NEW stuff to talk about.  That’s not a terrible thing, as I could stand to spend more time using what I have rather than expanding the collection, and I hope once I start getting on track again that I’ll be bringing forth some original and interesting posts for your reading pleasure.  However, what its translated to this month and probably into part of the next is that I cannot think of a single thing to write about!  Which is frustrating because it’s not as if I’ve not been wearing makeup and experimenting all this time – today, for example, I wore Endless Red with bad-ass black liner, flicked out on both top and bottom lashes, to compliment my faux leather skirt and ankle-strap peep-toe croc leather heels.  It was GREAT.  Obviously I still love to create a whole ‘theme’ from head to toe, and playing with makeup is always a huge part of that process!

Sephora Angled Blush BrushAlso part of the process is using good makeup tools – like this nice brush from Sephora that I just purchased!  It follows the contours of my cheekbones so easily :)

But lately, not the main part.  Before, I used to decide on my makeup look the night before, and then choose my clothing accordingly.  In the past two months however, I have been more engaged in my fashion choices, and creating a look now seems to lean more toward the clothing first and then the makeup.  Somewhere along the line, my focus shifted from makeup to clothes, and now I’m spending all my free cash beefing up my wardrobe instead of adding another lippie/blush/eyeshadow to my typically burgeoning stash.  I feel good about the change – great, even, as I feel more confident than ever in my fashion choices – but (SUPER long story short) it leaves this blog confused about where it wants and needs to go.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille CocoAnother area I’ve been focusing more on is fragrance – I finally caved and purchased the Comptoir Sud Pacifique rollerball in Vanille Coco that I have been eyeing trying on over and over for ages.  SO my kind of scent!

I still adore and obsessed over any and all cosmetics, don’t you worry.  It’s just that you might see some other topics creep in here and there as I grow and expand my horizons of interest (which was long overdue).  I’m off work on Friday, and it’s supposed to be sunny, so I’m hoping to pump out a massive number of posts to make up for my frequent absences over the past month or so.  Expect a variety of images of things I’m head over heels for these days, both in beauty and fashion (as well as one monster empties post that is long overdue!).  Hopefully you’ll still stick around!

Near EmptiesStraggler near-finished products…once these are gone, there will be an epic empties post forthcoming!

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22 Comments

It’s Only May 6th and Already I’ve Bought Half of This Month’s Wishlist

How’s that for a title, huh?  Yea dudes, I know…let me just say: I have about 3 seconds unaccounted for this month and absolutely no extra brain power for much else other than what’s already on my agenda, so please grant me a pass for the month of May OK?  I’ll still be posting – I’ve bought far too many awesome things not to share ‘em with you! – but its going to be sporadic and my writing will likely be shoddy…you’ve been warned.

Apparently with the little free time I have I’m making sure I’m maximizing it as much as I can, as I’ve already purchased two of the five items I wanted to get this month, ha.  I’m still going to show you the list so you can also see what’s in store upcoming on the blog!  Here we go:

May Wishlist

1. NARS for Pierre Hardy High Voltage Blush in Boy’s Don’t Cry ($48CAD) – this ‘pink grapefruit’ shade taunted me from the moment I saw the promo ads.  I almost had a moment on the weekend where I was just gonna throw reason into the wind and buy it off the NARS website, shipping and all, as I believed it was the only place that was selling it.  I resisted and decided that I could do without it – then, lo and behold, when I was at Sephora yesterday just to buy a damn sharpener, there it was.  OBVIOUSLY I bought it in about 7 seconds and ran away from the store with glee.  Since then I’ve shown it to pretty much everyone I know.  I’m too eager to wait till I have a moment to take adequate pictures of it, so I snapped a couple crap ones and I’m wearing it tomorrow, so sorry.  I CANNOT WAIT PEOPLE.

2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 06 Rosewood Shimmer ($20CAD) – I’ve had a lemming for the creamy, smooth, lovely lip perfectors for about a year now, and recently they came out with a few new shades.  This one looks like it might just be the best MLBB I could ask for (also, see evidence of that fact here!).  I also absolutely ADORE the smell.  This will be mine, and soon!

3. Chanel Le Vernis in Azure ($27CAD) – When I initially heard about Chanel’s colorful summer collection, I was quite excited as it’s normally more austere aesthetic doesn’t always jazz me and my more deeper pigmented skin.  However, once I saw what was released, I was a bit ‘meh’ and only happened to check it out in person on a whim when I was at Mills late last week.  None of it hooked me – I found the pencils to look terrible on my skintone, and paying through the nose for a colored mascara I’ll rarely wear doesn’t sound like a good use of my money AT ALL – but I really wanted to go home with something, so I picked up Azure.  I don’t own many metallic polishes, let alone a metallic teal, and I was nervous this would come back to kick me in the ass, but turns out, Azure is AWESOME.  Somehow this eye-catching shade is really sophisticated and elegant despite being an ‘unusual’ color.  Also, it wore exceptionally well – due to my crazy-busy schedule, I’ve actually worn it for 5 days straight (this is unheard of for the gal that changes her polish every 3 days), and it’s only got minor chipping and mainly on my dominant hand.  LOVE IT.

4. NARS Larger Than Life Eye Liner in Barrow Street ($28CAD) – While being swayed by the siren call of Boy’s Don’t Cry, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the summer collection had come out in full at NARS finally.  I have had the gorgeous mint green liner on my radar for a while, and was tempted to get it as well – but resisted because, well…I was already spending $48 on a blush, whaddya want from me!?  However, it appears not to be limited edition (hopefully) so I may go back at a later date and pick this up.  So fun for the waterline!

Last on the list is not a specific product, but a color that I WANT and am not sure where to find.  Check out Hannah Simone in a fabulous cool pink lipstick that needs to be in my life:

Hannah Simone Cool Pink Lips

This kind of shade can be challenging for me as it can’t run too greyish or else it looks horrendous on my skintone.  I even would be OK if it went slightly more violet to make it a bit bolder – I thought I found it in MAC’s Show Orchid but now I’m not so sure.  Anyone have any suggestions!?!

So, as you can see, I’m making great progress with my wishlist already, which is promising because what generally happens is I make a list and then buy things that aren’t on it LOL.  I’m trying to stick to only making purchases that are on the damn list, because why else am I making them then?  Certainly not because I’m bored with nothing to do!  *tries to hide under the bed from everyone *

What’s on your wishlist this month?

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