Posts Tagged Chanel

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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Nail Art as a Substitute for Effort

Heads up guys.  I’m about to go on one of my introspective jags here in a moment, so either get comfy, or enjoy the randomly interspersed nail art – a little looky-looky for ya – and then get the heck outta here. 

So.  I just got out of the shower.  And my mental process during the entire act of cleaning the day’s dirt and grime off, was centered around this blog.  What can I write about that will get MY mojo going, let alone pique your interest!?  I tell ya, it’s been a struggle lately to find the get up and go to write about much of anything, truth be told.

Essie Nail ArtVine mani with Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie No More Film, and Essie Limited Addiction

Actually, that’s not entirely true.  If I could maintain a beauty blog with just words and no pictures, and entice you to try fabulous products (or scare you away from the crappy ones) with just the force of my words, I’d be SET.  Sadly, I’m in the wrong kinda blogging business for that.  But, in my dream reality, that would be exactly what I’d do.

Essie nail art (2)Backdrop with my fabulous neon coral-pink H&M sweater :)

See, the thing is – photography is WORK.  All you kickass bloggers out there know, it often takes a bajillion shots to get just the right one.  Sometimes, I’m all over it; give me a clear, bright Saturday morning with no commitments and I’ll happily sit out on my deck and get all artsy-fartsy on your ass.  But the chance of me actually being home at all during the weekend is slim to none, nevermind having the weather cooperate (though I will say…we kinda had a stupendous August!).  The obvious solution is to find an alternative method of shooting photos when my surroundings are less than ideal (MM has taking a night shot down pat) – but here is the other problem.  I am NOT great at photography.  I’d love to have those mad skillz that many a blogger seem to be born with innately, but this here girl just does not have it.  And unfortunately for all of us, I’m not so great with bothering to LEARN things I’m not already good at from the get go.  There.  I said it.  I only wanna do things I know I’ll succeed at.  I’m a jerk.

fishtail maniFishtail mani with Chanel Azure, Gosh Holographic, and a-England Lady of the Lake

So.  We’ve established the problem and determined a solution that I’m not actually going to apply.  Now what?  That brings me to now, today, this month, the past 6 months.  I feel like I’ve been doing the blogging thing for so long now that I really should have my shit together, but I still feel like a total newb (and it shows).  It sucks, because I’m just as obsessed with cosmetics as ever and have bought some super-cool things over the past couple months I really should talk about.  But the thought of putting out one more crappy photo just leaves me sad, pissed at myself, and – quite frankly – avoidant to write about much of anything.  Which is a shame, because writing…writing is something I love.

fishtail mani (6)Sun + holo goodness :)

Having said all that….if anyone has any suggestions for me on improving my photography skills, or just to commiserate, I’m all ears.  While I’m unlikely to work TOO hard at much of anything (sad but true), I am receptive to any tips or tricks I might employ to improve my pics bit by bit.  The most ideal scenario is that all you talented photogs out there come to my house and show me hands-on – that’s how I (like to) learn best.  But we’ve already established that we’re not living in my dream reality, so I’ll take what I can get ;)

Do you steer clear of things you don’t do well?  What are your strengths?  How do you prefer to learn?

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Fall 2013 Wish List – Pretties Abound!

Ah, autumn.  The season that always releases my favorite makeup collections :)  This year, I’m determined to give myself permission to pick up a few choice pieces to give my daily routine a little boost!  Check out the wish list to see what has me drooling:

Fall 2013 Wish List

1. Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 384 Bonne Etoile $62CAD- the most gorgeous-looking palette I’ve seen in ages.  However, not all is as it seems…see note below.

2. MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson $25CAD – I actually couldn’t wait to buy this gorgeous plummy-brown sparker and it came home with me before I could even get this post out.  As a non-glitter-loving person, I have essentially ignored the Pressed Pigments entirely over the past few releases, but decided earlier this summer to give the formula a shot the next time I had a chance.  Damson has been the perfect introduction to add a little sparkle to my life!  Review to come.

3. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense in #30 Rose Popillia $42CAD – I haven’t bought any Armani makeup in a while now, mainly due to the ridiculous price hike we have here in Canada.  However, the ETK shadows always manage to lure me in, and Rose Popillia is a beautiful muted rose-taupe shade with a hint of duochrome.  From the swatches I’ve seen, it needs to be in my life and I’ll probably shell out the big bucks for it, even though it’ll pain me a bit!

4. Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Millenium $31CAD – In the promo photos this looks a bit more khaki than I was interested in.  But since seeing swatches around and testing it out in store (though – they don’t have the product to sell, just the testers…what’s the deal, Dior!?!? That happened in TWO stores I visited), I’ve come to realize this is GORGEOUS and is more like a darkened pewter shade.  The sparkliness of these shadows is super pretty and again, I feel like I need a bit more shimmer in my life than usual.  BRING IT.

5. Zoya Louise $9CAD – I’ve been kind of itching for a dark chocolate creme polish for a while now, and I think this one is it.  It’s dark enough to look contrast nicely with my skintone (re: not mannequin hands) and Zoya is generally a winning formula in my books.  So yummy.

6. YSL City Drive Palette in Classy $74CADI normally have little interest in the YSL brand as a whole except for their lip products, but I do strive to be well-rounded in all areas of my life, and when I saw swatches of this palette crop up here and there, I was pleasantly surprized to find that I quite liked how it all came together.  I haven’t seen this in person yet so a bit more investigation is needed, but if I’m feeling crazy this just might happen ;)

7. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow Pencil in Bittersweet $33CAD - I’ve been interested in trying one of these newish pencils out but hadn’t taken the plunge.  I desperately need a nice dark brown eyeshadow, as I have plenty of medium shades but nothing deep dark.  I’m hoping this might do the trick and kill two birds with one stone!

8. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Affinite $43CAD – I’m not going to buy both this AND Fantastic, but I’m torn between the two.  I don’t own too many cream blushes but I would like to change that, and what better place to start than Chanel?  A cool pink (which now I know is my JAM) would be perfect for fall/winter…though I must admit, I saw swatches/photos of Destiny on Karen at MBB and the shade looked so gorgeous and natural!

9. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Fantastic $42 CAD - see above.

10. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red $30CAD – Another product I’ve been dying to try but just haven’t make the purchase yet.  You can’t really go wrong with a lush, bold red that looks like the perfect tone for fall.  This will be a definite pick-up when it arrives in stores (strangely, they have most of the collection but not this shade, yet).

Ok, so here’s the story with the Dior palette.  Last week I drew up this wish list and all was good.  But over the weekend, I had an opportunity to check out the Dior fall collection, and was sadly disappointed – that gorgeous Bonne Etoile quint?  On my skintone, it looked totally muddy :’(  I really thought that it was going to be THE piece that I grabbed out of all the new fall offerings, so I was really bummed out.  On a positive note, I have similar shades to several colors in the palette, so it’s probably for the best (though it doesn’t necessarily make me feel tons better!).  Additionally, I was also considering getting the lipgloss in Ensorcelante, but when I swatched it I was again, disappointed – I felt more ‘meh’ than anything!!  Sadness…I even have enough optimum points to get a wee bit of free stuff so I was really banking on this being a nice low-cost treat for the season.

Ah well, can’t win ‘em all.  And anyway, the rest of these items?  Still TOTALLY crushing on.  The MAC shadow is 100% love, and I’m certain my new glittering love affair will extend to the Dior mono shadow as well.  Truth be told, I think I’m genuinely going to buy every single item on this wish list (with the exception of perhaps the YSL quad…I’ll have to really love it in person to justify that cost) – I think I’m due for a good splurge.  I’m feeling a lot less financial pressure right now and while I’m still trying to keep my collection more modest of late and not add to it excessively, I’m less bothered by adding new products that have different textures than I usually opt for – feels like I’m not adding to the repetition but branching out a bit.  And like I said, fall is my favorite season!!  So I think I’m due to celebrate, just a little bit ;)

What’s on your wish list for the upcoming season!?

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No Introduction (Or Words) Needed: Chanel Le Vernis in 657 Azure

Chanel Azure (10)

Honestly, what else can I say about Chanel’s Azure that others haven’t already?

Chanel Azure (15) Chanel Azure (14) Chanel Azure (11)

A gorgeous metallic teal-blue that flashes a deeper cerulean in some lights and even has a touch of violet around it’s edges, Azure is a surprise hit for this gal who isn’t normally into metallic finishes in polish!  It’s *sort of* like the aqua version of Peridot, without the same duochrome intensity (which would have probably blown my head off  in awe if it WERE that shapeshifting).

Chanel Azure swatch (5) Chanel Azure swatch (6) Chanel Azure swatch (9) Chanel Azure swatch (7)

It’s quite difficult to capture the color shift as others have noted, but just trust us – it’s there.  It’s not super-strong, but it’s just enough to give the polish some serious interest.  Something about this shade feels so elegant and refined even though it’s not your typical ‘classic’ color, and that’s the quality that really makes it a hit for me.

Chanel Azure swatch (10)

I was really feeling some trepidation about this polish but I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did.  This is gonna get some serious love from me all summer long and likely into the fall as well.  I didn’t really find I had trouble with brush strokes as others had, but I did find that you needed to apply it relatively quickly with minimal strokes or it could pull a bit and get patchy (though it self-leveled quite well).  Final word: AWESOME.

Does Azure float your boat?  Do you like metallic finishes on polishes?

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Polish Comparison Swatches – The Best Kind of Post When You’re Sick

So yea.  I sneezed funny on Sunday and then the next day I was sick with a cold.  Has that ever happened to anyone else?  I’m being dead serious – it’s like the sneeze dislodged the sickness or something.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was off work today and pretty much was a slug all day; even looking at the computer screen hurts my eyes.  I am weird and don’t take medication when I’m sick (unless it’s that time of the month – then, JACK ME UP BABY) because I feel like it just masks the pain and makes me stay sick for longer.  Or I’m a martyr.  Either or.  At least I know when I get pregnant one day I’ll be totally used to not being able to take meds (but I will not hesitate to get an epidural – eff that).  So there’s that.

Anyway, I have photos of two polishes I had done comparison swatches for but never posted them, so here they are.  First up is Chanel’s Orange Fizz (which I happen to be wearing this week, and seriously – I LOVE IT SO MUCH you guys should all buy a bottle, it’s good times) which I swatched against all my other orangey-coral polishes (spoiler – there are no dupes that I own, so you should just go buy a bottle of the real stuff):

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisonsLeft to right: China Glaze Flirty Tankini, LA Colors Magnetic Force, Chanel Orange Fizz, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (2) Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (3)Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (5)Thumb: China Glaze Flirty Tankini; Index: Chanel Orange Fizz; Middle: LA Colors Magnetic Force; Ring: China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys; Pinky: Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

You can see that aside from the LA Colors shade, the rest of the polishes are all in the same vein, but Flirty Tankini is less saturated and dries with a flat finish (though probably the closest match); Surfin’ for Boys is more pink and with a pearlesence about it; and Daytripper is more pink.  What I love about Orange Fizz is that it’s super-shiny on it’s own, has a squishy quality to it, and is somehow both soft enough for spring but bright enough that it will be awesome in summer too :)

The next polish I have to show you is one I recently picked up from American Apparel, called Downtown LA.  I was in the store a couple weeks ago buying Neon Violet for a gal at work, since she loved it so much on me, and decided to take advantage of the buy 3 for $18 deal (I also picked up their matte top coat for fun).  Downtown LA is a bold red that leans ever so slightly orange.  It is exceptionally close to butter London’s Come to Bed Red, though bL’s version really is more of a true red without the orange lean.  I can tell the difference between the two but if I didn’t tell you, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess:

American Apparel vs butter Londonbutter London Come to Bed Red; American Apparel Downtown LA

American Apparel Downtown LA (3) American Apparel Downtown LAIndex & ring: butter London Come to Bed Red; middle & pinky: American Apparel Downtown LA

I have a hard time wearing red polish as I find on my skintone it looks a bit garish; however, I wore Downtown LA last week and actually liked it quite a bit.  The warmer tone of the polish worked better on me than Come to Bed Red has in the past, and I made sure to cut my nails super-short which made the manicure less in-your-face.  I won’t be stocking up on red polishes any time soon but it’s still nice to have a few great ones in your arsenal!  I’ll likely pass along my butter London shade – I always hate to part with more high-end brands but I know I’ll never choose it over the AA color.  I have to say, I really like AA polishes – they are almost one-coaters and apply so well!

So, I hope this keeps you entertained until I get better!  I usually go into repair mode when I’m sick and rarely stay down for long, so I’ll be up and kickin’ by the weekend I’m sure :D

What do you do with your nail polish dupes?  Do you find red a difficult color to wear?

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Celebrating the Arrival of Spring With New(ish) Nail Polish Pretties!

Though I’ve been in somewhat of a nail polish slump, similarly to filling in gaps in my makeup collection, I’ve been picking up polish shades here and there that fit in nicely with the array of colors I already have.  For the most part, I’ve been beefing up my existing collection with shades that are generally thought of when we think ‘spring’ – pale, pastel-like shades that have a fresh, soft, feminine quality to them.  I know that there’s no need to stick to ‘seasonal’ colors any more, but I personally like to change the tones I wear (for both makeup and nails) each season, and typical spring shades are no exception.

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish

I actually don’t own a large array of pale nail polishes, as I normally gravitate toward broodier, richer tones, but this season I’ve accrued five new shades that I’m totally digging, which means I now have a good handful or two of polishes that are just perfect for the spring season.  My two favorites from past years have been Zoya’s Marley and MAC’s Mischievous Mint, and now joining those two are: Sally Hansen Barracuda, a pale yet bright blue; China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around (new from this season’s Avant Garden collection), a shimmering white; butter London’s Bossy Boots, a pale pistachio green, and Jasper (new from the Sweetie Shop Spring 2013 collection), a pale lemon yellow; and Chanel Orange Fizz, a slightly muted coral orange.

Sally Hansen Barracuda is a Complete Salon formula, which is supposed to mean that its the full meal deal, with base & top coat qualities rolled into the one polish.  I actually do find these polishes to wear better without base coat, and the swatches below with sans top coat – as you can see, this baby is SHINY.  There really is no need for top coat unless you need a quick drying one to get it on and get out the door.  I found it did require three coats to achieve full opacity and to look it’s best, so if you’re in a hurry you may need a fast-drying top coat anyway.  However, I found that it dries relatively quickly on it’s own, so its not an absolutely necessary step.  Also, I have to mention that I adore the brush on these polishes – it’s wide and thin and covers almost my whole nail bed in one go.  Application is a breeze!

Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (2) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (4) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (3) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches

China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around was a recent lemming of mine, having only first seen it on All Lacquered Up (a blog, by the way, I’m pleased to see back in action!) this past week.  A couple weeks ago, Taylor of My Lucite Dreams posted about a white polish, and it looked SO lovely on her but I knew the white polish trend was NOT going to be my friend.  However, when I saw Dandy Lyin’, I had a feeling that it’s softer, sparkling quality might be a way for me to try the trend, and I was right!!  I really like this polish a lot, even despite the fact that it’s sheerness and slightly streaky quality requires three coats – just be careful in your application.  It’s worth the effort for me as I’m loving the look on my hands!  I can’t wait to try it on summer toes :)  Note that no top coat was used, and I don’t feel it needs one, unless you want to get that smooth, uber-glossy look.

China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (8) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (20) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (24) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (26)

butter London Bossy Boots has NOT been a recent lemming; in fact, I wanted this bad boy last year but held out until a couple months ago when I got it on discount.  As a general rule, I do not like green nail polish – not on others (typically) and definitely not on me.  However, light greens are totally exempt and I love the way they look.  I’m not 100% sold on the yellowish undertones in Bossy Boots as being the best for me, but I still enjoy this shade and am glad I finally picked it up.  The application was good with no real troubles – shown is with two coats – although it would benefit from a top coat to give it a bit more gloss and shine (no top coat used in photos).

butter London Bossy Boots - Natural Light butter London Bossy Boots - Artificial Light butter London Bossy Boots - Flash

butter London Jasper was another longer-term lemming of mine since the launch of the Sweetie Shop collection earlier this year.  I could have easily bought every shade from the release, but held myself back to just this one.  I don’t own a single yellow, and dislike most versions of the shade, but this pale shade hooked me from the get-go.  I love it on and it just screams spring to me.  I’ve read conflicting reviews on this color’s formula – I don’t have a lot of experience with pale yellows, but I think that this formula is pretty darn good.  It does require a bit more attention to application, but as far as it goes this is a good formula with minimal issue, for me at least!  I did go with three coats just to get the best opacity, but it wasn’t that much of a pain.  Like Bossy Boots, it would benefit from a shiny top coat, which I did not use in these photos.

butter London Jasper swatches (19) butter London Jasper swatches (12) butter London Jasper swatches (16) butter London Jasper swatches (2)

Chanel Orange Fizz was sort of a random buy, which happens very rarely these days.  When I picked up a few things from Chanel earlier this year, I was disappointed with the spring shades released but wanted a new polish.  This one grabbed my attention and I’m super-happy that I bought it, it’s a stunner!  This shade is obviously more pigmented/intense than the other shades I’ve shown above, but it still has a soft quality to it that feels spring-like to me (though this will also be kick-ass in summer!)  The formula is thicker (typical of many Chanel polishes, I’ve found), but flows well and is self-leveling – again, just take care in your application and you should have no problems.  I love the glossiness of this polish on it’s own – no top coat needed!  I used three coats in these swatches, and you can still see slight VNL, but in person it’s hardly noticeable, and you could probably opt for two coats – I’m just fussy :P

Chanel Orange Fizz Chanel Orange Fizz (9) Chanel Orange Fizz (3) Chanel Orange Fizz (6)

So there you have it!  A handful of pretty polishes – a perfect way to shove usher in spring :)

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish (2)

So!  What spring shades are you lemming/have you picked up?  Do you go with softer shades or stick to whatever floats your boat at the time?

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My First Chanel Quad: Les 4 Ombres in 08 Vanités

Many of the cosmetic purchases I’ve made lately have had one thing in mind: have I tried this before?  As a person who likes change, I gravitate toward the unknown (for the most part).  My aim with makeup lately is to try either a brand I’ve never used before, or check out a product within a brand that I’ve not yet investigated.  My most recent purchase in this regard was Chanel’s Vanités quad, from the Sophisticated Eye collection (fall 2011).

Chanel Vanites Quadra (2)

It’s strange: while I don’t tend to wear a lot of color on my eyes (preferring to do so on my lips, or even cheeks!), I often choose eyeshadows that have more of a *pop.*  When perusing the Chanel quads, the only one that really grabbed me was Vanités.  Having recently read a glowing review on the quad, being in the market for a nice lilac shade, and feeling spend-y, I picked it up and immediately brought it home to try out.

Chanel Vanites Quadra (3)

My first thoughts were that the quad was lovely.  Indeed, the violet tones are quite captivating – and check out that gorgeous gold-flecked mauve!!

Chanel Vanites Quadra (5) Chanel Vanites Quadra

However, once it came time to actually try the shadows, I was sorely let down.  Keep in mind that I do not have any experience with Chanel quads (and in fact, was unable to try this in-store as there were no testers available), so I wasn’t prepared what to expect.  After reading further reviews, Chanel quads it seems tend to be on the dry, stiff side, something to which I can agree with (and also – gritty-feeling) and that I would have likely avoided if I had known.  Also of note is that the quads here in Canada are of the baked variety, while I hear in the States they are different.  So, all points to keep in mind.

Here are the shadows when swatched:

Chanel Vanites Quadra swatches (4)

Sunlight

Chanel Vanites Quadra swatches (8)

Natural light

Chanel Vanites Quadra swatches

Artificial light

These swatches took many layers to achieve this much pigmentation, aside from the darkest shade, which was fairly pigmented in one swipe.  I tried to take photos of me wearing this quad, but it almost looked like nothing was worn, and certainly not enough to show shade and depth.

I realize that Chanel’s makeup philosophy leans toward a soft look; also, the brand caters more to fairer skintones rather than my darker ones.  So it is to say that though I was disappointed in this quad, I was not at all surprized.  Additionally, oddly enough when I looked at the ingredients of the shadows, they contained lanolin – though in the American versions, they do not (alternately, Chanel’s blushes in the US contain lanolin, but in Canada they do not).  So, combined with the disappointing pigmentation, gritty texture, and inclusion of an ingredient I am allergic to – I took the quad back.

For reference purposes, I did take a few comparison swatches against shades I already own:

Chanel Vanites comparisons (3)

Urban Decay’s Psychedelic Sister against the darkest shade of Chanel’s Vanités quad

Chanel Vanites comparisons

Clockwise from top left: Hourglass Exhibition duo, the two middle shades of Chanel’s Vanités quad, NARS Habanera duo, MAC Shale, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian

Chanel Vanites comparisons (8)

Left to right: Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, Chanel Vanités (darkest shade), NARS Habanera, LMdB Corinthian, Chanel Vanités (mauve shade), MAC Shale, Chanel Vanités (lilac shade), Hourglass Exhibition

Chanel Vanites comparisons (2)

Left to right: Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, Chanel Vanités (darkest shade), NARS Habanera, LMdB Corinthian, Chanel Vanités (mauve shade), MAC Shale, Chanel Vanités (lilac shade), Hourglass Exhibition

You can see that none are dupes, though the mauve shade and MAC Shale are similar, and the lilac shade and the lighter shade in the Hourglass Exhibition duo are close as well.  I believe the nuances of these shades would be more pronounced with a better formula, and most definitely with a paler skintone.  On me, sadly, they just fall flat.

Have you tried Vanités, or another Chanel quad?  Have your experiences been positive or negative?  Has anyone tried both the Canadian version and the US version and can comment on how they compare?

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Chanel’s Poudre Signée de Chanel – Worth the Splurge?

Ok.  There are a handful of spring products that everyone and their dog has posted about over the last month or so (helloooo Burberry Lip Glows!  Holy moly, I wanted them badly until I got on overload from exposure…I’m kinda done with them now, sadly), and I’m about to show you one of them.  This would be kind of a bummer, except I have been run off my ass this week and am clocking about 1 hour at home before bed and REALLY not energetic enough to do a thorough post, SO – this works out well, as all I’m gonna do is show you some pics to ogle and call it a night.  Sweeeet :)

I present to you: Chanel’s Poudre Signée de Chanel, from their 2013 Spring Printemps Precieux collection:

Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel  (4)Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel  (8)Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel  (11)

Check out that lovely glow in the last shot – so damn pretty!!  But, I would have still been able to resist, even though the glow is captivating.  After reading so many reviews about it, I tricked myself into believing it couldn’t really be that lovely – until I swatched it.  As mentioned in my sneak peek post, this powder is so insanely soft, as soon as I touched it, it was game over.  (Also – UPDATE: I DID NOT actually end up buying the Chanel Mouche de Beaute powder nor the nail polish from the Hong Kong collection; when the SA from Chanel called me back with the shipping details, it was going to be $40CAD JUST TO SHIP.  Ah, HECK NO.  Sorry Chanel, you’re awesome but not that awesome!  So…my spree wasn’t so bad after all :P)

One last test before I totally threw in the towel, was how it would look on my darker skin – would it be ashy??  Would it look harsh and obvious?  Well:

Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel swatches (8)Direct sunlight

Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel swatches (2)Direct sunlight

Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel swatches (14)Indirect natural light

Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel swatchesArtificial light

…Verdict is: Uh, no.  Of COURSE it looks fabulous on my skin!  Why did I even try to believe otherwise!?

What I love about this product is that it is probably the only powder illuminator I’ve come across to date that highlights the skin without obvious shimmer.  While you can clearly see it’s shimmery, note that even in direct sunlight, it’s more of a radiance that’s being put forth rather than even tiny specks of glitter that can be a bit garish in the wrong light.  It’s that finely milled.  I’ve actually tried this a multitude of ways, and beside wearing along my cheekbones etc., I find that I can get away with dusting it lightly all over and do not risk looking like a Cullen (*this analogy has been used before, I know, but it’s so damn apt!).

For your reference, here are some comparison swatches of other highlighters I own, plus one eyeshadow I thought may be similar (all taken in sunlight, with first a diffused then heavy swatch):

Chanel Poudre Signee comparisons (11)(Left to right): KATE Real Create Eyes Palette *white gold shade*; Chanel Poudre Signée; theBalm Mary Lou-manizer; Benefit Watt’s Up?

Chanel Poudre Signee comparisons (13)(Left to right): KATE Real Create Eyes Palette *white gold shade*; Chanel Poudre Signée; theBalm Mary Lou-manizer

Chanel Poudre Signee comparisons (14)

In the last photo, you really can see how subtle the Chanel powder is, especially when compared to the other products.  For anyone who is looking for a lit-from-within-glow, I’d say you’d be hard pressed to get anything better than this! (Aside from Burberry’s Fresh Glow, which is a liquid and looks more obvious in swatches but ends up being barely detectable when worn).  However, I will say that the subtly is *almost* a drawback for me, as when I put it on, it’s barely discernible (which, if you recall, was my initial beef with the Burberry product as well!).  I guess I’m more of the flashy makeup wearer, and like to see the fruits of my labour in plain daylight.  However, I am trying to embrace the more ‘natural’ way of wearing makeup, at least when skin makeup is concerned, and this product is getting me there with absolutely no problem at all.

In all truthfulness, I couldn’t say one way or another if this is a ‘must-have’.  It really depends on your preferences.  If you favor a natural look and are in the market for an illuminator, you’ll get oodles of wear out of this and love every minute.  If you just plain need a luminizer and achieve a great glow, this would be a great bet for you as well.  If you like your makeup like me, a bit more flashy – I’d say maybe check it out and see if this does the trick first.  I’m not at all regretful I picked this up, and I suspect like the Burberry, it’s going to become a staple in my every day routine.  But could I live without it….probably ;)

PS: If you’re looking for a more in-depth review on this product (it’s doubtful, but I’m sure SOME of you haven’t seen a billion posts on this yet!), Becca of The Beauty Sample has a great review with all the info you could want :)

In keeping with being (semi)brief – thoughts?

Chanel Illuminating Powder - Poudre Signee de Chanel

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22 Comments

Um, so…I Went On a Little Shopping Spree…

Today I got out of bed bright and early and headed down to the Chanel counter to check out the new spring 2013 collection, which just arrived yesterday.  And…um.  I bought a few things.

Chanel

O_o

This is what happens every single time I try to keep my spending way down.  I lose my shit and buy everything in sight.  Haven’t I learned this lesson already!?!?

…anyway.  Yeah.  Chanel spree.  I’m, uh…I’m probably good for a while.

Here’s a sneak peek at the first installment (yes…there is a second.  On it’s way to me next week.  More on that in a minute, though):

Chanel Spree

I really mixed it up with all my purchases – I have a piece from the current Printemps Precieux spring collection, the Poudre Signée de Chanel; a polish from the 2009 Côte D’Azur summer collection, Orange Fizz; and a re-released eyeshadow quad from the Sophisticated Eye collection, 08 Vanités, which came out in summer 2011.  BOOM!  Clearly, I was not messing around to-day.  Since I was up so damn early, I managed to get home and get swatches of everything before the sunlight ran away from me – however, I still haven’t had a chance to play with everything yet, so reviews on all will be forthcoming.  First thoughts?  Z.O.M.G.

Chanel Spree (3)

Here’s where it gets even more crazy (and um…long-winded.  So get comfy!).  Yesterday around lunchtime, the S.A. at the Chanel counter called me to let me know the spring collection had finally arrived.  I was in training outside the city, and wouldn’t be anywhere near the counter for the rest of the day.  She let me know she couldn’t hold the illuminating powder for me, as it’s limited edition, and truth be told, I had already half-convinced myself that I wasn’t going to get it anyway.  Often I determine my purchases by how much value you guys will get of swatches/reviews of a product, and the powder has been done to death – nothing new for anyone!  So I told her not to worry about it, and I’d be in sometime over the next week.

Chanel Spree (2)

But it nagged at me.  And as it happens, I was on Twitter on my lunchbreak and came across Best Thing in Beauty’s review of the Mouche de Beauté Illuminating Powder that’s part of the Versailles de Chanel Cruise 2012/13 collection, and was exclusively designed for the show (along with a pink Ombre Essentielle eyeshadow in Rose Favorite)Another gorgeous highlighting powder with a fantabulous design.  THIS could be an item my readers would want to see, right?  And I hadn’t even heard of it ’till then, so it would be a relatively exciting review.  Since I’ve been driving myself crazy looking and looking and looking at pretty things, but not really buying, I got the major impulse to call up a Chanel boutique (I chose T.O.’s Bloor St location) and order one of the powders.  The SA was with a client, so I left my number for her to call me back.

Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder

End of day on Friday – no return call.  I had heard a rumor that Chanel boutiques will sometimes not sell products to you via phone unless you are already a client there, and I wondered if that was happening in my case.  I was pretty pissed, to be honest – how do you become a client if you can’t buy your first item from them?  So, when I woke up bright and early this AM, I decided to appease myself by heading down to my local counter to see what was left of the powders from the spring collection.

Chanel Ombre-Essentielle-Rose-Favorite

BINGO.  Turns out, there were still 6 powders of the 14 she had received, and when I touched it – dudes, this shiz is SOFT.  Baby’s butt soft.  It’s crazy!  So I clearly snapped one up; clearly it was meant to be.  However, I didn’t stop there.  I wasn’t sold on the spring nail shades – while Fracas is GORGEOUS, it’s so close to Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (which is more of a jelly formula, but shade-wise very similar), and Accessoire is too close to Zoya’s Anja for my liking.  Emprise is nice but not really my thing.  What I wanted, was a pretty peachy-toned shade, and Orange Fizz just called to me.  It’s sort of a mid-tone coral-orange, but it look like spring in a bottle to me!  Also, because in discovering the gaps in my makeup collection, I realized I lacked a lilac shade, I had previously decided to buy the Vanités quad at some point, and well…I was on a roll, so I bought it right then.

…DAMN.  At least I had a $25 gift card :S

I get home and I’m totally enamoured with my pretties, when I get a call – from the Chanel boutique in Toronto.  “Just getting back to you about the Mouche de Beauté powder, what’s your address?”  Umm….

…Yea, I gave it to her.  I also gave in to her when I asked if they had any bottles of Malice left (STILL TRYING!), and while she said they didn’t, apparently there’s a new shade they’ve received as part of the Hong Kong collection, Western Light, which is a ‘deep chocolate with a hint of pearly red’ (there’s also another polish, Eastern Light, which is a white shade).  WTF?!  My wallet isn’t merely crying right now, it’s running out the door and living at La Maison de Chanel.  Jeez louise.

If you’re interested in throwing your money at Chanel too, here are some pictures and links with info about the two collections:

Versailles de Chanel Cruise 2012/13 Collection

- Sandra’s Closet (product info and looks from the runway)

- BE.com (in French; product photos)

Hong Kong Collection

- When A Door Closes… (product info and photos)

- The Blonde Salad (Le Vernis bottle shots)

So yea.  I think that’s just about all the makeup shopping I’m going to be doing for the next few months LOL.  I feel sort of half-sick to my stomach, but also *finally* satiated, and I’d rather buy a couple really wonderful products, than a mass pile of just more items that are probably repeats in my stash – happily, everything I bought has no comparable mate out of all the makeup I own, so there’s that.  I have been meaning to buy a powder illuminator for some time (I really don’t have one, somehow!); now, I’ll have two so I am PRETTY MUCH SET FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.  Wicked.

Chanel Spree (4)

As mentioned, reviews and swatches will be coming soon.  In the meantime, how have you been indulging in your consumerism side lately??

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25 Comments

Holiday Color Pairings

Holiday Colors

When I start to think about it, it’s not really a surprise to me that I love makeup.  When I was a kid, I use to spend hours pairing my crayons together in color combinations I thought looked good together (which was also a great indication of my obsessive tendencies toward organization, but that’s a whole OTHER topic in itself!).  While I don’t feel societal pressures to follow trends in shades (woohoo, Emerald for 2013!), nor feel like I ‘should’ wear darker colors in winter and brighter colors in summer, I choose to follow these paths often because it just makes sense to me.  I love the idea of changing the shades I wear according to seasons – heck, I even do it with the change in weather!  Rain means somber shades of grey or blue; sun means warm tones of gold, or brights like aqua and orange; and snow equals icy silvers and cool pinks and purples.  Its just how I roll, ya’ll!

Holiday Colors (2)

As it’s the holidays, of course I imagined an array of festive shades to represent the season, and since the work was already done, I thought I’d share them with you!  On the weekend for the first time I matched my lips to my tips, and it was a lot of fun.  I’m not entirely sure I’d do the same with eyeshadow, but the colors below all complimented a polish I own so well I figured what the heck.  I hope you enjoy!

Holiday Colors - SilverBobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter; Chanel Le Vernis in 529 Graphite

Holiday Color Swatches - Silver (2) Holiday Color Swatches - SilverChanel Graphite; Bobbi Brown Pewter

Both of these silvers are so much more than plain ol’ silver.  They both veer into a warmer tone rather than stark icy shades, which means they’re quite wearable for all skin tones.  Pewter is currently unavailable as this was an LE shade, but at times Bobbi Brown brings it back in palettes and such, so keep your eyes peeled!  Graphite has had a ton of reincarnations over the past year since it was released (though I don’t believe it’s LE anyway) – the best being Sally Hansen’s Shoot the Moon which was just featured on All Lacquered Up.

Holiday Colors - RedEssie Limited Addiction; Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in #46

Holiday Color Swatches - Red (2) Holiday Color Swatches - RedEssie Limited Addiction; MUFE #46

MUFE’s #46 Rouge Artist lippie was the red shade I wore on the weekend to compliment my red manicure (done with China Glaze Ruby Pumps).  I ADORE this lipstick; it is by far my favorite red that I own.  It’s more of a true red I think, and looks so darn good on!  The moistness of the lipstick keeps it looking so juicy and festive without being overwhelming in the least.  It feels amazing on and I just can’t get enough!  The only downside is that it’s only available at MUFE Pro stores and kiosks, but well worth the effort.

Essie Limited Addiction was, unfortunately, limited edition, but there are a billion reds out there I’m sure that are similar – just a bit deeper than your typical shade and neither warm nor cool.

Holiday Colors - GreenMAC Jealousy Wakes; a-England Saint George

Holiday Color Swatches - Green (2) Holiday Color Swatches - Greena-England Saint George; MAC Jealousy Wakes

Hot DAMN Saint George is beautiful!  I don’t wear this polish nearly as much as I should, mainly because when I bought it last year, I wore it about three times in a few weeks – obsessed, I was!  I’m wearing this to my work Christmas party this week and I’m super excited!  Its one of the few greenish hues I own, and one of the few of that color palette I like.  In truth it’s more teal than green but whatever – evergreen, shall we say?  I LOVE IT and all it’s prismatic shimmer.

Jealousy Wakes is also another shade I rarely wear, probably because I don’t wear color in my shadows nearly as much as I used to, but I still enjoy it from time to time when I do pull it out.  I dislike the texture of the shadow immensely – it’s so stiff and rough! – but it IS a lovely shade.

Holiday Colors - GoldSephora Brand She Sparkles; SpaRitual Aurum

Holiday Color Swatches - Gold (2)Holiday Color Swatches - Gold (3) Holiday Color Swatches - GoldSpaRitual Aurum; Sephora Brand She Sparkles

Oooh, sparkly indeed!  Though Aurum is sort of a crap color on me – probably on most people, it’s so damn blingy I’m going to HAVE to pull it out for the holidays!  Look at that sparkle!  It’s a bit more greenish-gold than the orange-y gold of She Sparkles, but they both shimmer prettily together, don’t you think?  I wore She Sparkles like crazy the last holiday season (when I purchased it), but haven’t given it much love since.  I’ll surely be pulling it out again this month!

Holiday Colors - BlackMAC Dark Soul Pigment; Illamasqua Creator

Holiday Color Swatches - Black (2) Holiday Color Swatches - BlackIllamasqua Creator; MAC Dark Soul

Though I’m not a huge lover of black nail polish, Creator has won me over with its glittery goodness, and looks both elegant and edgy at the same time.  It compliments Dark Soul so perfectly!  I could totally see rocking these two shades together, it’s like they were made for each other.  I rarely wear Dark Soul for sort of obvious reasons (its a shimmery charcoal shadow – the rockstar look doesn’t exactly work at the office), but I’m trying to find ways to implement it more when I can.  It’s definitely a perfect shadow for the holidays!

It was fun making these pairings and a huge throwback to my formative years :P  It’s also scary to see that I happen to have enough polish and makeup that I can actually make pairings that coordinate so well… ~shrugs~ I’m a collector, what can I say?

Have you gotten into the matching trend?  Would you be willing to try it, or do you avoid it at all costs?  What colors say ‘holiday’ to you?

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12 Comments

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