September 30, 2011

Monthly Favourites - September 2011

Goodbye, September! Hello, October!

As I'm writing this, I am trying not to think about the stresses of work and packing for a month long trip (what makeup will I bring?!); but as you're reading this, I am currently thousands of feet in the air, cramped in a flying tin machine, not enjoying the scent of stale air and coffee. Can you tell I'm not much into flying? I'm really not... I might change my mind about it if I get to experience First Class, though :p. But enough whining! And really, why should I? I get to go to the Philippines for a month! #Hurrah

*Yes, I just used a hashtag. Don't judge me.

Well, you know the drill; this is the part where I tell you my September Favourites. Here we go!

1. Urban Decay Naked Palette

I can't believe how often I am using this palette! Typically I become a bit gung-ho about palettes and then I get tired of it... Not so with this one (at least not yet :p). It just goes to show how absolutely wearable these shades are because I've been using it nearly every single day since I purchased it in July.  My favourite combination is Sin all over the lid, Naked & Buck to contour the socket, and Virgin to highlight the inner corners and the brow bone (topped off with black eyeliner, of course). I've also taken to using Sidecar as opposed to Sin for more oomph. But my absolute favourite shade is probably Hustle, which is described by Urban Decay as a "mocha shimmer." It's such a gooorgeous shade!

2. Cargo Blush - Mendocino

This blush came with Cargo's Mediterranean Collection, which I purchased last month and it's my favourite piece in the collection. Cargo describes it as a "wildflower pink with a gold sheen" and it's absolutely lovely. It came out in the Summer, but it's totally wearable in the the Fall and Winter, as you can see from the swatch above. The texture is pretty soft and applies quite smoothly on the skin. The only thing is, I wish that it would last longer on the skin. I find that the shade is noticeably diminished after blotting. Although, the packaging is so lightweight, that it's no trouble bringing it with you in your handbag for quick touch ups.

3. MAC Blush - Feeling Flush

This has been my other blush of choice and has been featured in my Monthly Favourites list a before. It's a lovely blue-toned pink that I can actually pull off. The best thing about this blush is that it's pretty long wearing. I'll definitely be bringing this with me on vacation because I need something that's going to keep up with me.

4. eos Lip Balms - Honeysuckle Honeydew & Summer Fruit

I've been wanting to try these lip balms ever since I first saw them on a YouTube video. How cute are they? The formula isn't as thick as my favourite lip balm, Nivea Milk & Honey, but it still does a decent job of moisturizing my dry lips. It's not useful when my lips get really dry, but they're handy when my lips are behaving. The packaging is an adorable egg shape and clicks shut very securely. The flavours I got are Honeysuckle Honeydew and Summer Fruit; both smell lovely and both have a hint of a sweet taste. I love using this under lipstick, it keeps my lips from drying up throughout the day. 

5. Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pen - Jet Black

Jet black, applies easily and smoothly, and absolutely long-lasting... Seriously, this stuff doesn't budge, even in the heat and even without primer. I haven't yet used any liquid eyeliner this good. The felt tip makes it super easy to create a thin line at the edges, too; which is something that I definitely need help with :p.

6. MAC Blot Powder - Medium Dark

I love how this powder just blends into the skin so smoothly. I've been using this after a quick blot with blotting paper and it leaves me looking so much fresher and more put together. It doesn't add any coverage though, which is a shame because I could definitely use a bit after blotting. Still, it feels lovely on the skin and makes me look and feel so much better! Because as oilier skinned gals know, it does not feel good!

7. NYX Eyeshadow - Root Beer

I love this colour so much, I bought it 3 times. 

"3 times?!" You ask? 

Yeah... Turns out, I'm really bad at de-potting. I bought one at IMATS Vancouver, ruined it while de-potting, bought one online, ruined that de-potting and finally was able to buy it at NYX's store in Surrey. Needless to say, I didn't even attempt to de-pot this one. Root Beer is a lovely taupey-brown shade that was absolutely welcome in my "stash" because I've been indulging in way too many brights lately. The texture is very soft and very easy to blend. Because it's so soft, it creates a lot of excess powder; even so, there is very little fall out. I've been loving applying this along the lash line after my usual Naked Palette combo's for a softer look. 

8. MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick - Bare Again

This has been my go-to lipstick in September. Bare Again is a lovely pinky-nude, MLBB shade that is completely versatile. It's appropriate for work but you can still rock with a smoky eye. I love the creamy texture and the fact that it doesn't dry out my lips at all. Seriously, the texture is amazing; it's such a pleasure to wear.

9. The Body Shop Lotion - Mango Whip

UH-MAY-ZING scent! It sinks into the skin really nicely, leaving behind soft, amazing smelling skin. I've been using this lotion religiously since I first bought it because it's light and doesn't take forever to absorb into the skin. And have I mentioned the scent? I have? Ok, fine...

What are your favourite products of September?

September 28, 2011

Embracing Bright Colours In The Fall With MAC Fusion Pink Lipstick

On Tuesday, September 20th, I went to my first MAC party. I feel like a big girl now! :p

MAC was previewing their Fall 2011 Collections and so I brought along one of my best friends. Together, we swatched to our hearts delight, drank an alcoholic drink that was wayyy too strong (seriously, both of us could only handle one sip), and nibbled on tasty canapé's.

Since I am trying very hard to stick to my spending budget, I told myself I could only buy one product. It wasn't as hard as I imagined since a) I was pretty broke and b) it was hard to be enthusiastic when there was just too many collections and too many products in each collection. Seriously, MAC: if you're overwhelming even beauty bloggers, then I think it's time to take it easy with the collections. 

Fusion Pink is an Amplified lipstick that is permanent at MAC Pro. It's a gorgeous coral/red shade with a fuchsia sheen. The texture is quite creamy and pigmentation is intense! This is emphatically not the lipstick to try if you're trying to ease into your brights :p. 

I'd say its wearability is the same as my other MAC lipsticks - around 3 to 4 hours, provided I don't eat in that time frame. It glides on smoothly and because of the shade, doesn't accentuate any drier areas on my lips (bonus!). It wears quite comfortably on the lips; in fact, I'm almost able to forget I'm wearing it. I say "almost" because I'm paranoid that the colour's going to rub off and smear on my face. Definitely not a good look! 

Dotted on.

Applied and blotted with tissue paper, then topped off with MAC Big Baby Plushglass.

Applied straight on.

This shade is just absolutely gorgeous. The moment the SA swatched it on my hand, I fell in love. It's definitely a good lippie to add to one's collection because it's uniqueness. I love that in some instances in looks like a fire engine red shade and in others, it could lean more towards coral and depending on the angle, you see the fuchsia sheen coming through. I love! 

Do you wear bright colours in the Fall?

September 26, 2011

I Guess I Could Used Another Blot Powder...

I don't know what it is about this product, but every time I stepped into MAC, I always gravitated to it. I didn't need another blot powder, as I already bought Maybelline's Dream Matte Powder, which was working well enough; so I can't really explain the urge to purchase this product. I guess I can kind of see why one would have use for 2 (or more :p). After all, we all have multiples of everything else, right? That was a weak justification, I know...

From MACA unique pressed powder designed primarily to provide shine control without adding any noticeable colour of texture. Sets foundation, finishes faces. For use in professional situations and for frequent touch-ups. Blot Powder contains Mico and Silica to absorb excess oils and reduce shine on the skin's surface. Can be applied with the puff that comes in the compact or with a powder brush. 

The main thing I love about this product is how it just melts into the skin. Like the MAC blurb says, it doesn't add any colour or texture, it just leaves your skin looking matte. The powder is much more finely milled than Maybelline Dream Matte, so it blends in so much better. 

I was shade-matched to Medium Dark; which, as you can see, is not even Medium, let alone Dark. Oh MAC, you're silly! I am definitely not as light as the swatch would suggest, but as I mentioned, It just blends in so wonderfully that it doesn't leave any sort of white cast. And even though the weather is slowly turning colder, I find myself still getting a bit oily as the day goes by. This product has been a life saver because, really, who wants to look oily? Not I! 

I have to say though, I do wish this gives a bit of coverage; because I find that my foundation fades when I blot my face with blotting paper prior to applying powder. I think what would make this product absolute perfection is if added a small amount of coverage so that my skin tone continues to look even. 

This product retails for $27.50 CAD, which is pretty steep for me. But considering it's not a product I use every day as I don't have oily skin, I don't think it's too much to ask. I definitely prefer this over Maybelline's Dream Matte Powder because of the texture and the packaging. MAC's packaging feels much more solid and I love that the mirror is attached to the inside of the lid. Maybelline's is under the powder and you have to slide it out in order to use it - too much work, if you ask me. 

Yes. I am, in fact, that lazy.

Lovelies, what product do you use to freshen up?

September 23, 2011

Giving My Lips A Little TLC With Sleek MakeUP's Pout Polish

It's no secret how much I adore MAC's Tinted Lip Conditioners, but I was keen on trying different brands. I've heard awesome things about Sleek MakeUP's Pout Polishes and so I decided to make a purchase.

Before I go any further, let me just get this out of the way: you can purchase Sleek MakeUP products online. They have a flat rate of $13.50 for shipping, so I would recommend purchasing a few products at a time. Try out their palettes, they are amazing quality! So for those of you who have been hoping to purchase some Sleek products; well, here's your chance!

From Sleek MakeUP: A tinted lip conditioning balm formulated with natural oils such as Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Extract and Vitamin A, C and E to help condition the lips and lock in moisture. It also includes SPF 15 to help protect the lips from sun exposure. Using a lip brush or fingers, apply a small amount to the upper and lower lips for a sheer wash of colour and gloss. 10g

The first thing I noticed about this Pout Polish is the scent. It's a lovely vanilla scent that's more vanilla bean than a synthetic vanilla scent. At least that's what my nostrils tell me. It also reminds me a bit of a Lush product, but I can't quite put my finger on which one it is. It definitely has a sweet, foody scent. I personally love it, because vanilla is my favourite scent; it's not that subtle, but it's not offensive either. It also doesn't disappear right away, so that's something to consider if you're scent-sensitive.

The shade I purchased is called Electro Peach. It's a pretty coral/peach shade that goes really well with all my coral-y cheek products. Sleek currently has 12 shades available, some of which are Limited Edition. It's quite impressive, really; considering MAC's Tinted Lip Conditioners only come in 4 shades. I personally have my eye on Raspberry Rhapsody and Pink Cadillac.

I can't speak for other shades, but this particular one is quite pigmented. Can't say I'm surprised because I know Sleek MakeUP to have amazingly pigmented products. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the purchases I have made so far. I honestly can't believe they're a drugstore/high street brand!

This product applies really smoothly onto the lips and compared to MAC's TLC's, I feel like they have a bit more slip. It's a non-sticky formula that is quite moisturizing and feels really comfortable on the lips; you forget you're wearing it, even while it keeps your lips feeling hydrated and looking polished (it has a lovely sheen). I also get regular wear time of 3-4 hours, provided I don't eat or drink in that time span.

I'm really quite pleased with this product - it's everything I like about lip products: hydrating and pigmented. It's also rather cheap at $6.50 USD... Granted, you have to pay $13.50 for shipping, but if you purchase a few more products, I think the shipping rate will be worth it.

As for me, I shall definitely be purchasing more of these babies. I love tinted lip conditioners/balms and these are just too good to pass up!

What's your favourite tinted lip balm product?

September 21, 2011

Want All Natural Sun Protection? Look No Further, Pure+simple Has You Covered

*Get it? Covered? Coz, it's a sunscreen and... Never mind.

This summer, Vancouver got to experience some pretty hot, sunshiny days. All that heat was doing a number on my skin and it became oilier than it has been in a while. Neutrogena Water-Light was no longer cutting it for me, so I bought Clarins Sunscreen Control Cream and it did work for some time. But both were just no match for the heat and both also contained Oxybenzone which is apparently known to cause "an increased production of free radicals," which possibly makes it a "photocarcinogen". Now, I don't claim to be an expert on Oxybenzone, but I've read up on it a bit and I didn't like what I read, so I sought out a product that didn't contain any.

I came across Pure+simple thanks to Arianne of The Glitter Geek and Elaine of Toronto Beauty Reviews and the wonder that is Twitter (care to follow?). So I checked out the website and became intrigued by their all natural sunscreen.

From Pure+simple: Natural sun protection that purifies and balances the skin's natural oil production using sage.
  • Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) Free
  • SPF 30
  • Purifies and balances the skin's natural oil production using sage
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Can be used with a moisturizer or alone
  • Great makeup base
  • Does not leave a white residue
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (6%), Zinc Oxide (6%)
Inactive Ingredients: Deionized Water (Eau), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lecithin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Xantham Gum, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea Extract), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Leaf Oil, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil.

So far, I've been loving this product! It smells really fresh, which is always welcome in the morning when you're still a bit groggy. My sense of smell really gravitates to the coconut oil too, which I love because coconut is a scent I've come to appreciate. It's quite subtle though, which is pretty much the only way I can handle coconut scents :p. 

It smoothes onto the skin nicely; it's watery at first, but as you apply it onto your skin, it starts to feel thicker. It dries within seconds and it feels like the product is "gripping" your skin, instead of melting into it; which kind of makes sense since it's a physical sunscreen (physical meaning it deflects UV rays, as opposed to absorbing it like a chemical sunscreen would).

It says that it doesn't leave a white residue, although I find that it makes my skin look a tad lighter. I also find that it makes my skin look smoother and more even. Not sure if it has anything to do with this product though, since my skin's been behaving pretty well :p.

The best part is, it does well to keep the oiliness under control. The other week, Vancouver experienced a bit of a heatwave, with temperatures going up to 27º Celsius and this sunscreen really impressed me! Granted, I still had to blot and powder (once), but not as often as I needed to when using other sunscreens. 

I'm so glad I purchased this product. Seeing as I'll be experiencing an extra month of Summer in October (nearly 30º Celsius every day hurrah) as I head back to the motherland, this sunscreen will really come in handy! 

Pure+simple products can be purchased online or in their spa locations within Toronto. This 50mL sunscreen cost $15.95 CAD and they have a 100mL bottle that retails for $25.95. They also have other sunscreens with formulas for anti-aging, face & body, and sensitive skin. Pure+simple stock other natural brands as well so have a look, if you're interested!

Do you prefer physical sunscreens? Which is your favourite?

September 19, 2011

Absolutely Loving The Body Shop's Mango Whip Body Lotion!

When I stepped into The Body Shop around three weeks ago and saw that they had a sale going on, I knew it was the perfect time to try out some new products. Well, new to me anyway :p. I decided to avail of the "buy-two-get-one-free" promotion and one of the products I got was the Mango Whip Body Lotion. Here's what The Body Shop has to say about this product:

Best if you want to: Moisturize and soften your skin with a light-as-air, mango-scented lotion that absorbs easily, leaving it smooth and supple.

Best for: Very dry skin.

How it works:

  • Mango seed oil moisturizes and softens the skin without leaving it greasy and helps to protect skin from moisture loss.
  • Mango pulp is rich in Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, to revitalize and tone skin.
  • Community Trade organic babassu oil from Brazil moisturizes skin and helps to restore its natural moisture barrier.

The first thing I have to talk about is, of course, the scent. I absolutely adore it! I remember thinking that I would love it if The Body Shop released a fragrance with this exact mango scent after I bought their Hand Cleanse Gels. Well, this is as close as I'm going to get I think, but I'm not complaining! I love that the scent lingers on your skin, giving you a whiff of it every now and then. So even though I don't have this in perfume form, it still acts like a perfume in a way.

It comes in a 250 mL bottle, complete with pump; I love that because I don't have to get the bottle messy, I can just use the back of my hand to pump the product out. Also, 250 mL's is a lot of product. And for $12? How could I resist? Although, being the cheapest of the 3 product I bought, I technically got it for free :p.

As the name Mango Whip would suggest, this lotion is quite light. It absorbs in a good amount of time into the skin, but keeps it completely hydrated. I was so surprised at how moisturizing this lotion is considering how light the texture was.

After application, my skin is left feeling really soft and again, the scent is just lovely. I can't tell yet if this will be enough for me during the cold, winter months. But as of right now, with the seasons transitioning from Summer to Fall, it's absolutely perfect.

I've been slathering this on morning and night ever since I purchased it and it's become a rather welcome addition to my routine. So if you're looking for a hydrating moisturizer that's not too heavy and all for an amazing price, look no further. If Mango isn't your thing, then you can also try Sweet Lemon Whip or Shea Butter Whip.

But as for me, Mango is The One <3.

Do you enjoy fruit-scented body products?

September 16, 2011

All About Eyes - 5 Looks From NYX Cosmetics 10 Color Palette In Velvet Rope

The best thing about eyeshadow palettes is all the fun you get to have playing with the different shades. I decided to try 5 completely different looks using this one palette. For every look, I used NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk as a base and L'oréal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black (with the exception of the first look, in which I used Revlon Beyond Natural Eyelashes in 91155).

Now, in the interest of simplifying the write-up a little bit (and because I'm too lazy to describe each individual eyeshadow shade :p), I'll just label each shadow by their row and number them from left to right. So, T1-T5 and B1-B5, et cetera... T for top, B for bottom. Get it? So clever, I know.

On that note, here are the looks I created!

Un - Something Sultry

I applied B3 all over the lid and blended the edges out with B2. Then I highlighted the brow bone with shade B5 and lined all around the eyes with T5.

Deux - Something Soft

I used shade T3 from the inner corner to the middle of the eyelid and shade T4 from the middle to the outer corner. Then, I used shade B4 to to line the upper lash line, flicking it out in the corner.

Trois - Something Vibrant

Firstly, I applied shade T2 all over the lid, then applied shade B1 on the bottom lash line. Lastly, I applied shade B4 on the outer corners blending it outwards and making sure to blend it into the lower lash line as well.

Quatre - Something Linear

I applied shade T3 all over the lid with a fluffy brush for a softer look and also took it down to the lower lash line; I wanted it to look like a haze of lavender on the eye. Then I used shade T2 to line the eyes. I started with the top, using my usual technique for creating a flick. After that, I lined the lower lash line, making sure to keep both lines parallel. To finish off, I dusted some of shade B5 on the brow bone to highlight.

Cinq - Something Simple

I started off with the lightest shade (B5) all over the lid for a very light wash of colour. Then I used shade B3 to line all around the eyes, joining them together in the outer corner and flicking the shape up ever so slightly.

And there you have it! I had so much fun playing around with this palette and am so pleased with how the looks turned out.

Hope you guys like these looks! =)


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