Posts Tagged Halifax

From the draft pile: A query for all the Beauty Obsessed out there

[This is one in a series of posts I wrote years ago and never published for some reason. They still feel relevant to me so I thought I’d let them see the light of day, finally!]

If ever asked why I started blogging about beauty, my response is that it gave me an awesome outlet for my obsession and allowed me to connect with others who feel the same.  Being a curious person about the inner workings of people’s minds, I turned that question outward: why are YOU here? If you’re a blog reader, what brings you back again and again (to any blog, not just mine), seeking and absorbing more and more knowledge about the newest products, the best techniques, and the most-loved beauty items out there at our disposal?  Why do you love beauty??  What is it about beauty products that make you swoon?  If you write a blog, what got you started?  What pushed you to stop being an observer and start taking an active part in the blogging community?

blogging-communityImage courtesy –

I’m often trying to understand why it is that I can spend $50 [EDIT: this was the value I used back in 2012…seems low now, which is SCARY] $100+ on cosmetics without batting an eye, and yet rarely seem to (or want to) plunk down the same amount on a (necessary) pair of shoes.  I’m not sure I’ll ever truly figure that out, but I do know that there is something so fun, so artistic, and transformative about makeup that I absolutely adore.  I suppose if I were fashion-minded, I could say the same about clothing.  However, since I don’t have the same skill with fashion as I do with makeup, I can get why I would lean toward something of which I have an innate understanding of versus something that seems to always elude me.  So OK, my eye just works with the face and all it’s nuances – shape, tone, features – versus the body, with its curves and angles.  Got it.  I guess I just love the way you can add a touch of color, and shading, and light to the face and it can look so beautiful and entrancing – and it’s generally the first thing people notice about one another.  Ahh…honestly, I can’t seem to put my love into words, but you know what I mean!!

IMG_1634Doing a friend’s makeup for the wedding we were in a couple years ago.

Now, as for deciding to blog.  Honestly, I truly can’t recall what spurred me on to start writing instead of just reading, it seems so long ago [EDIT: And it was! I started blogging in July 2009, if you can believe it!!].  I guess I just had this strong desire to start talking to someone about all these awesome products I was buying, and since I don’t have many friends (if any) who share this consuming passion, I thought perhaps I’d be more successful sharing my thoughts on the world wide web.  Even though my current community is fairly modest, I’ve found some astoundingly wonderful people who ‘get it’ and who have given me such comfort – instead of driving my friends crazy with my beauty antics (1 hour shopping trip to Sephora, anyone?), I have fellow readers and bloggers to whom I can relay all my excitement to without fear of being over the top.  And this, beyond anything else, will keep me blogging away, rambling on about the newest NARS launch or best new skincare ingredient, because I can share freely without judgement, and also see through others eyes what’s out there, broadening my beauty scope.  Which is trouble, of course, but also very wonderful at the same time 🙂

So now, please, I’d love to hear your own stories!!  What entices you about the beauty world, and if you blog, why do you continue to do it?



…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 😀  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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How I Spent the Month of May

Hiiiiiiii everyone!  I’m back from a whirlwind past couple of weeks which culminated in one of my closest friends getting married!!  I’ve been to what seems like a billion weddings in the past 5 years or so, but this one was truly special (and not just because I was standing in it :P).  Honestly, I don’t know if I can express my happiness in words, but let’s just say it was AMAZING, lovely, wonderful, glorious, heartwarming, awesomely fun…what else can I say?  It was the BEST 😀


The month began with the bachelorette party, followed by the bridal shower the next week, and then this past weekend, the wedding itself – which was held at White Point Beach Lodge, a really beautiful ocean-side resort here in Nova Scotia.  We stayed for two nights and it was most excellent – a fantastic gathering of friends and family with a lot of laughs and a lot of love.  As you all probably know about me, I like to party – and of course there was no exception this time around!  There were some seriously late nights, even the night before the wedding (we’re talking past 4am – but the bride was up ’till almost 3am so I didn’t feel so bad!), but I powered through and actually felt pretty great the entire time.  I did the makeup for the entire bridal party plus the mother of the bride without a problem, and everyone looked fab!  Here’s a full shot of the bridal party:


So good, right?  The bride wanted neutral dresses but we had leeway to chose whatever we wanted – I think it came out awesome!  Three of the four dresses were bought from, for less than $50 – you can’t beat that!!

I couldn’t find an appropriate shot of the bride to show but the one below gives you an idea – she looked absolutely stunning, trust me.  I really like this shot for some reason, probably because it implies at our close friendship 🙂


It was a really fabulous weekend I must say, though I have next to no pictures of my own to prove it – I was too busy having fun!  Needless to say, I loved every minute, and while the past month has been incredibly busy and at times stressful, it has been one of the best experiences of my life.  Yay for love!! 😀 😀

I promise now that things have wrapped up, I’ll be back to posting more regularly!  I am headed to Ottawa this Thursday evening as the Ottawa Half Marathon is on Sunday (ran my last long run yesterday – 20k – and it went AWESOME so I’m feeling very good about the race!), so I’m going to try to get a good post or two up before I go.  I have a handful of things I want to talk about, that I’ve been wanting to talk about for ages!  So expect to hear all about them very soon!

Hope everyone is just peachy 🙂

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These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

I’m just sitting here reading my online copy of this month’s Allure via Zinio (thanks Amy!!!!) and there’s a feature on a pair of GAP shorts and how 5 women wear them.  Each have a small side bar which notes what lipstick, jewelry, shoes, etc. they would pick as their “favorite things“, which I always find interesting to read.  Every time I come across these types of stories, I note how it pulls you in and makes you want to ‘have what they’re having’ so to speak – the psychology of it is kind of amazing, and I always think that if I were being interviewed, even plain old non-celebrity me and my choices would sound kind of intriguing.  Takes me back to my Honours Psych thesis days 😉

So, I decided to interview myself, share my favorite things, and see if everyone runs off to buy them.


In seriousness though, we fickle beauty-fiends find ‘favorites’ every month, but it’s the shades and items we wear over and over, standing the test of time, that are a better indicator of a great product, and also hint at our beauty and style personalities!

Favorite Lip Color:

This may not be a fully-formed favorite just yet, but since it’s purchase last month its been in heavy rotation over all other lippies, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  You probably guessed it – it’s BITE Beauty’s High Pigment Pencil in Quince.  DAMN, this pencil is fine!  Fuchsia is definitely my new jam.  Long-wearing, non-drying, bold color that works for all seasons.  SOLD.

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

Favorite Mascara:

It may not come as a surprise that my favorite mascara brand is Clinique’s – yes, I work for the brand, but I love the mascaras because of all the different options we have (natural, fluttery, mega-volume, etc.) as well as the fact that they don’t dry up in a month, and for the most part are terribly easy to remove but don’t smudge throughout the day.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the High Impact mascara, but more recently I’ve become majorly enamoured with our new High Impact Waterproof mascara, which gives some major oomph to the lashes without being crispy or unnatural-looking like some other waterproof versions I’ve tried.  You can be sure I’ll be using this at the wedding next weekend!!  Also notable is the Lash Power mascara, which is like a waterproof in that it won’t smudge or budge through heat, sweat, swimming, etc., but removes with warm water.  It doesn’t give the same POW! as the waterproof, but it gets to each individual lash due to the teeny tiny brush, and is great for separation.

Clinique Mascara

Favorite Nail Polish:

Ugh, how do I pick just one!?  C’est impossible.  But I *think* I can pick two.  And they would be butter London Snog and Chanel Orange Fizz.  I know both are summery tones which could be swaying my opinion this time of year, but I don’t think so.  I seriously could wear Snog every day – put me on a desert island with this shade and I’d be happy as a clam (though… the clams on the island probably wouldn’t be that happy as I’d be eating them for survival).

butter London Snog redux (4)Chanel Orange Fizz (6)

Favorite Skincare:

It’s safe to say that I’m still madly in love with Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil – nothing has made more of a difference in my skin than this product!  Stupidly, I bought a bottle of Bosica’s Tsubaki Facial Oil during the Sephora sale last month to try something new – I hope it can live up to Tarte’s!  My bottle is almost finished so I’ll be trying the Boscia soon, and I’ll be sure to fill you all in on it’s efficacy.

Tarte Maracuja Oil

Favorite Fragrance:

Burberry The BeatI tend to be a scent jumper (are you seeing a trend here? Hello, fickle!) so I’ve never repurchased a bottle, but there was one fragrance that really stood out to me in the past that I actually finished and of which I get tempted to re-buy – namely, Burberry The Beat.  It’s categorized as a woody floral which doesn’t sound like my taste, but damn it if I didn’t love that scent – it was so fresh and alluring at the same time.  I went through that bottle within a year, which is unheard of for me.  It has middle notes of Iris, which seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of fragrances I’ve sampled and enjoyed (Prada Infusion d’Iris; Lancome La Vie Est Belle), as well as top notes of Mandarin and base notes of Cedarwood, both of which are also found in Prada’s scent.  I’ve considered buying Infusion d’Iris many times but never could commit, surprise surprise. Prada Infusion d'Iris 2 Lancome La Vie Est Belle

Favorite Shoes:

Rockport Janae Pump Black LizardBanana Republic Nude Pump

Ok, shoes are kind of the bane of my existence, as I have a bunion on my right foot that makes buying them incredibly tricky, so I make sure to always buy quality.  In the past few months I’ve had tremendous success in two pairs – black platform pumps from Rockport, and a pair of nude almond-toe pumps from Banana Republic.  SO.  EFFING.  COMFORTABLE.  YOU GUYS.  It’s crazy.  The BR ones are no longer available, but the Rockport ones are still around (though not in the lizard skin finish anymore) so I’d grab ’em fast if you’re interested!  Now all I need is a fun pair in a color and I’m set 🙂

Favorite Jewelry:

So apparently this has been a list of my two favorite things in each category lol – and I’m going to get even crazier here and show you 5 of my fave jewelry pieces, because they are equally loved by me on the regular.

Jewelry (2)

LOVE my Michael Kors rose-gold watch, obviously (which I bought due to this Lent challenge), and I picked up a pair of Stella & Dot rose gold earrings to complement the watch last year and love ’em too.


I wear the gold large-link bracelet from Banana Republic quite a bit, and it’s actually shifted me into wearing gold a lot more now.  This gold ring from Aldo gets a lot of love – its tough to wear rings a lot when you always wear crazy-colored polishes, but this manages to hold it’s own.  Lastly, this awesome funky giraffe bracelet my Mom bought me from Aldo ages and ages and ages ago is one of the few real statement pieces in my collection, and though initially I thought it was bizarre, I quickly became to love it.

Jewelry (3)

Just for the heck of it (because I’m clearly out of control now), here’s two more well-loved pieces: my Tiffany key I got a few Christmases ago – I totally cried when I opened it, best gift ever! – and an eclectic owl necklace that I sort of inherited from my great-grandmother.  Can you imagine her wearing something like this?  And it just goes to show you how everything comes around and is new again eventually 🙂

And there you have it – all my fave things, are you feeling like you want to go buy it all now since I’m clearly SOOOO fabulous!?  *crickets* …Yea, I didn’t think so, lol.  But, since I didn’t do a favorites post for the end of 2012, I figure this is still original content on the blog, and a good way to get to know a bit more about me – which is sort of the real point of blogs, right?  Hope you enjoyed!

What are some of your favorite things?

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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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So Many Goodies, So Little (Personal) Time

I’m feeling very overwhelmed tonight at the sheer amount of fun things I want to post about, and the very little time I have lately to do it.  Some of these things aren’t truly pressing (well, to be honest – nothing is life or death in the beauty world, is it?), so I’m trying to figure out how to prioritize which to present first.  For the moment, let’s have a gander at what you can look forward to, eh?


eos Hand Lotion and Shave Cream* for smooth legs and hands – I haven’t owned a shaving product in years but I gotta say, this cream makes me want to change my ways!

Haus of Gloi

Just received my third Haus of Gloi order today and I’m so stoked – along with two Aether Pumpkin Butters, I ordered one in the Komodo scent (mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragons blood resin and faded tropical blooms) as well as a small size of a Bubbling Scrub in Selkie (smells like the sea!) and a Sugar Exfoliant in Lassi (reminds me of sour candies :P).  They all smell SO GOOOOOD.

Clinique (2) Clinique

I got my semi-annual gratis today from Clinique*, along with a couple other items, I selected the Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask as I needed a new purifying mask; a Lash Power mascara, which is sort of old news now but still a great product; an Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, which I haven’t yet had a chance to try but lord knows these poor old eyes need it; and the brand new Even Better Compact Makeup which we played with in school but I forgot my shade, so I ordered by guessing – I think this will be OK once I get a bit tanned, it looks a touch dark for me right now.

The Perfume Lover

When I received a copy of The Perfume Lover and a sample* of the resulting fragrance Denyse Beaulieu created with L’Artisan Parfumeur, I wasn’t convinced I’d be into it all.  Consider me converted – not only am I LOVING the book (I’m about 2/3’s of the way through and totally want to buy ALL OF THE FRAGRANCE now) but I actually kind of dig the scent as well.  It’s not in my comfort zone, not being a huge fan of orange blossom (one of the top notes), but something about it pulls me in.  Expect to read my review on both for SURE.

So….aside from the multitude of lippies I still have to show you, now I have all this to add to the pile.  Oh yea.  I’ll get right on it.  *eeks!*  Maybe you can help me out and let me know which product(s) you’d like to see first?!?!

*Items noted were provided by the PR company/brand.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

MAC Morange (2) MAC Morange (3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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April’s (Partial) Wish List

I feel like I’ve been waiting on Sephora’s semi-annual VIB sale for months…it’s been a good way to keep my spending in check, because I keep telling myself to hold out until the sale, but DAMN – can it get here already!?  I’ve got a little cash socked away in a drawer (literally…well, maybe not in a sock, but definitely tucked away in a drawer!) and I’ve written and re-written my shopping list for the event.  I’ve been hovering at about 4 items for awhile, but I’m getting antsy and the list is slowly creeping up to 6-7 this week, as I’m thinking I should just stock up on all the items I know I’m going to buy there in the next couple months…urk!  We’ll see how it all pans out.  In any case, the items below I am definitely (I think…maybe…probably) picking up whenever the heck the sale starts:

April Wish List

1. Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Vanille Coco mini atomizer $24CAD – The last time I was by the store I spritzed a bit of this on, and god knows I’m a sucker for vanilla and coconut-type scents!  I’m trying to break into the more ‘adult’ fragrances (especially since I’ve been reading Denyse Beaulieu’s The Perfume Lover and becoming terribly entranced by the whole history of fragrance), but this will be my guilty pleasure in the meantime.  At $24 for a small spray, I don’t feel too bad!

2. NARS Light-Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder $39CAD – For ages I thought I was going to go for one of the new Hourglass Ambient powders, but I realized I need a real setting powder that will control shine more than I need extra radiance.  The last powder I bought was in 2010 (I KNOW…IT’S CRAZY), and it was also NARS – the loose powder, which is why I am going for the pressed because JEEZ GUYS I just want something new already!  Loose powder is terribly economical but oh so friggin’ boring for someone who likes change!

3. BITE Beauty High Pigment Matte Lip Pencil in Quince $28CAD – I mentioned that this was a contender for my upcoming fuchsia lip purchase, and I’m fairly certain this is what I’m going with.  It is a beautifully saturated color and exactly the shade I have been looking for.  The only way I might get swayed from buying it is if one of the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine’s catch my eye…which could happen.  We shall see!

4. Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil $55CAD – I just added this to my list tonight while browsing through the online site for facial oils.  The Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil I have is still going strong (a whopping four+ months later!  Color me impressed), but I know my fickle self will want to try something new when the time comes.  This is the same price, has wonderful ingredients with nothing to aggravate my skin, and it’s something new so hey – it fits the bill quite nicely.

5. Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-hr Primer SPF30 $41CAD – I’m on the fence about this one; it’s been getting great reviews and I took a sample home a few weeks ago to try, but it’s really too dark for my skintone to wear it right now so I don’t have an idea of how it works for me yet.  I think I’m going to grab a sample of the next lightest shade and play around with them a bit to see how it fares.

So that’s what I’ve got on the brain and the items that *should* come home with me sometime this month.  However, I am tempted to also grab the burgundy YSL mascara  and the Hourglass lippie I noted last month and still haven’t picked up….yikes.  I’m going to try my best to keep it together and keep it under control.  Wish me luck!

Do you have a wish list ready for the VIB sale?

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Switching Gears

I’m on day 5 of being off on a little mini-vacay from work (though, I’m back tomorrow – boo!), and as you may have noticed, with all that downtime I didn’t fill it with awesome, stupendous blog posts.  I know we are all allowed a break when we need it, but I’ve been feeling slightly guilty about not writing more – March overall was admittedly pretty quiet for me.  I’d like to blame that on my significantly decreased spending on cosmetics, but that’s a cop-out – there are plenty of other creative ways I could talk about makeup and beauty (see particularly adept bloggers here, here and here).  More than anything, it’s been the brain shift that’s prevented me from posting more often; this blog has been predominantly to showcase new products I’ve purchased, and while I’ve had a few other bits and bobs here and there like themed posts, or skincare chats, my creative juices haven’t been flowing as often as they should.  Coming up with new ways to portray my enthusiasm for makeup (because – regardless if I’m posting about it or not, I’m ALWAYS excited by it!) has been more of a challenge than I anticipated.

Clinique Face Chart (3)I went to a Clinique school in the middle of March, and we’ve got NAIL POLISH (again…we used to have it but it got discontinued back in 2005) and it’s pretty awesome.  This is a face chart I did that we needed to find a complimentary polish to go with it (check out Party Red, bottom) – I think it turned out lovely!

Here is the good news, though, about my ‘break’ over this long weekend.  I had several days to just relax, and process, and mentally and physically clear out old crap taking up space (I went through all of my financial documents, three accordion file folders full, and turfed stuff that was dated as far back as 2003!  WOOOOOO!!!).  And as tends to happen, my brain started revving up again, and I came up with a few ideas for upcoming posts that I hope you’ll like.  Nothing too groundbreaking, but topics that are relevant and encourage discussion about our favorite topic: beauty 🙂   *Though I must confess – lately I’ve been really into fashion as well, and any extra cash has gone toward beefing up my paltry wardrobe.  And a new blog I stumbled upon, Meek n Mild, is seriously sparking my sartorial desires – her style is pretty much where I want to be!

Cheap Monday High Waist Skinny JeansI bought these high-waisted skinny jeans by Cheap Monday that are effing fabulous!!  I though for sure high-waist + my body shape would be awful, but actually they look better on me than I think they do on this model =)

I hope that I don’t disappoint readers out there who are looking for a constant stream of product reviews – I’m sorry, my budget just doesn’t accommodate for that right now!  And additionally, as tends to happen, I’m through the stage of wanting to buy everything because of my restrictive situation, and now into the phase of pulling back and enjoying what I own rather than continuously adding to the mass.  I’m having fun playing and discovering new techniques; learning more about my skintone and type and what works best; and using what I already own in new and innovative ways.  I hope to share all of these things with you, because while accruing new pretties is totally fun and addictive, the point is to USE all of this stuff, is it not??  And as I keep telling myself, this situation is temporary and it won’t always be this way for me (in fact, I might be getting a roommate for May and June! Yay for splitting costs :P), so stick around (particularly in April, as I have been saving to splurge during Sephora’s annual VIB sale – woohoo!)!

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (4)And…I did buy this in March (which is all Denise’s fault), so there is that review to look forward to!

End of PSA and the use of too many parentheses. 

Thanks for your understanding!! 😀

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Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss

As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while.  Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection.  Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change.  I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago.  I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash.  As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!!  I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out.  Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.

American Apparel Neon Violet swatch American Apparel Neon Violet swatch (6)

Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!).  I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones.  After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.

Fuchsia makeup

A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it.  I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap.  Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone??  I just wasn’t convinced.  And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.

When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not.  As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH).  The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM!  Compliments galore!!  It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day).  It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.

NARS Desire Blush

One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price.  When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own.  Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.

Fuchsia gloss and blushFuchsia gloss and blush (2)Swatches: Illamasqua Divine (left), NARS Desire (right)

As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!

Illamasqua Divine lip swatch FOTD MUFE 21L and Illamasqua DivineWearing Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss

Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!!  The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored.  I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’).  I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.

All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone.  I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience 🙂

Fuchsia makeup (2)

What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?

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