April 29, 2011

The Body Shop & Philosophy Have Made My April Showers Delightful!

If you're anything like me, then you probably spend a bit of time in the shower. There's just something so wonderful about feeling borderline hot water either washing away the last vestiges of sleep in the morning or whatever stresses you may have dealt with in the evening. 

For me, taking a shower isn't just about hygiene and getting clean, although that is a very important part of the ritual. Showers can be just as relaxing and luxurious, provided you're using the right type of products. To me, that equates to products that smell wonderful and lather nicely and these two shower gels definitely fit that bill.

Best if you want to: Feel fresh and clean with a 100% biodegradable shower gel that is sulphate, paraben, and colorant-free. Contains real watermelon and eucalyptus extracts.
Ingredients: Water (Solvent/Diluent), Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (Surfactant - Cleansing Agent), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Surfactant), Sodium Chloride (Viscosity Modifier), Glycerin (Humectant), Fragrance (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Citric Acid.

My first experience with any watermelon scented products were with my grandma's cucumber melon lotion from Bath and Body Works, which I now use myself. So I was immediately drawn to this particular shower gel.

It lathers nicely and has a wonderful, refreshing watermelon scent. The scent isn't overbearing, though you can tell it's a bit manufactured. It's hard to explain but stronger smelling perfumes hit a certain spot in my nose, especially the fruity/floral ones (which is why I prefer muskier perfumes). It's neither offensive nor uncomfortable with the Watermelon & Eucalyptus shower gel, it's just... There

Also, you will (almost) definitely need to apply lotion after using this. It's not too stripping, but you will definitely find certain areas (i.e. knees, elbows, etc.) will require some, as my brother calls it, "Ash-Be-Gone." But the great thing about these shower gels is that the scents are subtle enough that you can mix and match with others. You definitely don't need to stick to a watermelon-type scent because whatever you use won't really clash.

If this particular scent does nothing to entice you, there are six other shower gels from their Earth Lovers line that might be more to your liking. Namely: Apricot & Basil, Cucumber & Mint, Fig & Rosemary (this was lovely, as well), Lemon & Thyme (this would be wonderful to wake oneself up in the morning!), Pear & Lemongrass, and Unfragranced. Yes, you read that right, Unfragranced

When I spoke to an SA about this, he mentioned that you can add your own scents (presumably The Body Shop's perfume oils?) to it to create your perfect shower gel. How awesome is that?

Shower Gels For Earth Lovers retail for $12.00 CAD.

"The unbelievable scent of a freshly baked vanilla cake has been captured in this rich shower gel formula. The too-good-for-words scent offers you a delectable shower experience for superior bath time fun. Celebrate this 100 percent calorie free option for starting your day - sprinkles optional."

This shower gel is Sephora's free birthday gift given to Beauty Insiders for the year 2011. It foams a bit more than the Watermelon & Eucalyptus shower gel and smells absolutely, positively delicious! Vanilla is one of my favourite scents so you can be sure I love this shower gel.

It's creamier consistency means it's more moisturizing than The Body Shop's shower gel but it's definitely no match for It's Raining Men by Lush. 

According to Philosophy, this can also be used as a shampoo and bubble bath. While I don't foresee myself using this as a shampoo unless I really have to (the second ingredient is Tea-Lauryl Sulfate), I am definitely eager to use this as a bubble bath.

I haven't come across any reviews online about how this performs as a bubble bath, but I would assume, judging from how it foams in the shower, that it would bubble wonderfully in the bath as well. The vanilla scent will be lovely to pair with other similarly scented products, I'm sure. 

So when your birthday comes around and you're a Beauty Insider, be sure to pick this up! It smells absolutely divine. Definitely a much better birthday gift than last year's offer.

What's your favourite shower gel at the moment?

April 28, 2011

All About Eyes - Amethyst

Products Used:
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil - 601 Black Bean
The Body Shop Baked Eye Colour - 08 Amethyst 
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Zero
L'oréal Voluminous Mascara - 395 Carbon Black
Revlon Beyond Natural Eyelashes - 91155 

To start off, I applied a NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil on the eyelid from lash line to crease to act as a base for the eyeshadow. Next, I applied the purple side of The Body Shop's Baked Eye Colour on top all along the lid as well. The Jumbo Eye Pencils don't set, which is why you see the colour creasing slightly. It adds a certain grungy/dirty effect to the look which was not anticipated but not entirely unwelcome. Then with a fluffy brush, I swirled the two shades of the Baked Eye Colour together and blended it into the outer edge to soften the line a bit. With a pencil brush, I applied the darker shade onto the lower lash line and extended it passed the outer corner.

To finish up the look, I applied Urban Decay's Glide On Pencil in Zero along the upper and lower lash/water lines, applied Revlon Beyond Natural eyelashes (LOVE these! Snap one up if you see it!), and applied mascara.

Hope you like it!

April 26, 2011

Cargo Cosmetics Blush In Tonga Is My New Favourite!

I've heard of Cargo Cosmetics for a while now but have never tried any of their products. As I did my usual online research before purchasing any products, I decided to try out one of their blushes (it had the best reviews).

After looking at multiple swatches online and having a sales associate apply two different shades on me (might I add the SA was pretty rubbish at applying blush), I decided upon Tonga.

The gorgeous Tonga is described as a "pink terracota" and the slight brown tones makes it easier to pair up with different products. Which is something I definitely needed because all my blushes are pretty colour specific. Tonga allows me to not have to think so much about what will go with what and that's what I love the most about it.

It comes in a round, lightweight tin; which I like aesthetically, but I'm not too thrilled with the lid. It comes off pretty easily (If I held it by the lid, the pan drops out) and I can just imagine all that lovely blush powder lining the inside of my makeup bag.

You don't need to do much to pick up a lot of product with this blush. In fact, the photo you see above is what happens when you gently tap the brush onto the powder once. What you see on the brush is enough to add a good amount of colour to the cheeks, the pigmentation is just that wonderful.

It has a wonderful texture; soft and creamy (the way it feels on my fingers reminds me a bit of the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation), plus it blends very well. Although, I do find that it blends better when using brushes with shorter, denser bristles (i.e. the Sigma F40 brush or the EcoTools bamboo blush brush).

As for wearability, I confess I haven't worn it for an extended period of time, but I have easily gotten 6-8 hours out of this blush.

(Tonga applied over Chanel Vitalumiere in 10 Limpide)

Now that I've tried out one of their blushes, I'm eager to get more acquainted with the Cargo brand. So far I have my eye on a few other blushes (Catalina, Rome, & Laguna), their colour palette eyeshadows, as well as their blu-ray line. Oh, and I had the opportunity to try out their Plant Love lipsticks in store and they are lovely.

If you haven't tried out Cargo Cosmetics before, I definitely recommend trying out their blushes. They retail for $26 CAD and if you're in the lower mainland, you can find them in Eccotique Spa locations. They really are so easy to work with, have such a beautiful texture and are very pigmented; definitely well worth the money spent.

Have you tried Cargo Cosmetics before?

April 25, 2011

April 23, 2011

Collection Spotlight: Isabel Marant - Spring 2011

(photos from style.com)

I think it's safe to say I haven't yet seen a collection as casual and as easy as this. I love all the sweaters (especially the striped ones), the florals (I've been bit on florals as of late) and can we talk about how amazing those footwear are? 

One of my favourite looks is the 1st photo in set 5, featuring one of my favourite models of the moment, Freja Beha Erichsen. I love the tiered, ruffle skirt and the mesh tank underneath (not sure if it's part of the dress or not)... Also the pattern of the dress combined with the slouchy boots keep the look from becoming too sterile.

Any picks from this collection?

April 21, 2011

All About Eyes: Runway Edition- Oscar de la Renta

(photo from Makeup For Life)

This is my take on a gorgeous, green look that was seen in Oscar de la Renta's Spring/Summer 2011 Runway show, which I pretty much fell in love with. Check it out:

Products Used:
Sleek MakeUP i-Divine Palette - Original (teal)
Sephora Color Play 5-in-1 Palette - light blue-green & white-green
MAC Fluidline - Blacktrack
Clinique High Impact Mascara - Black

With an eye shading brush (I used Sigma's E55), I packed on the light blue-green shade on the lid, ending about halfway across the lid and just at the brow bone. With the same brush, I applied a teal shade along the outer half of the eyelid, creating a subtler flick than the one found on the model. Then with a pencil brush, I used the light blue-green shade again and applied to the the inner third of the lower lash line. With the same brush, I applied the teal shade along the rest of the lower lash line, blending it into the shadow at the outer corner. Next, I applied the white-green shade along the edge of the socket and the brow bone to soften the edges a bit. I used a large, fluffy eyeshadow brush for this.

I wanted the eyebrows to be quite natural, so I simply brushed through the hairs with an EcoTools brow groomer. Then with an EcoTools angled eyeliner brush, I applied Blacktrack Fluidline to the upper lash line, upper water line and lower water line. I created thicker line than one you would find on any of the models because I find my smaller eyes need a bit more definition. Lastly, I curled my lashes and applied 2-3 coats of Cliniqe's High Impact mascara.

Hope you like it :)

April 19, 2011

Collection Spotlight: Giambattista Valli - Spring 2011

(photos from style.com)

Giambattista Valli's resort collection made me think of a Safari and Spring 2011's gorgeous Roman-esque dresses remind me of... Well, what else? As if I haven't been bitten hard by the travel bug, already :p.

Call It Beauty's favourites are: Dress 1, Set 1 - love the shot of tangerine with the sheer draping along the shoulders. Dress 2, Set 2 - what a lovely LWD. Love the sheer sleeves and the subtle pattern on the skirt.   Everything in Set 5 - Love the prints, the textures, the mix of yellows... But my absolute favourite? The mustard yellow/nude gown; what a stunner!

Any favourites from this collection?

April 17, 2011

Collection Spotlight: Balmain - Spring 2011

(photo from style.com)

Rock & roll, baby!

I adore the studded leather biker jackets, the super skinny capri pants (red & silver lamé, anyone?)... Love the collection and it's so refreshing to see something so dark & grungy in the Spring.

I never thought I'd use the words "refreshing" and "grungy" in the same sentence :p.

Any favourites from the Balmain collection?

April 16, 2011

NOTD: L'oréal - "Mango Water"

* Apologies for the messy lines. I couldn't be bothered to use tape :p *

Ever since my birthday when I branched out from single shade NOTDs (click here to see the photo), I've been eager to use more colourful shades together. When I picked up Mango-Get-Em ($6.99 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart), a gorgeous coral-y shade, I knew I wanted to pair it up with something that would sort of clash.

Like Waters Edge, Mango-Get-Em is a creamy shade; although it is more streaky than WE and takes one more coat before it becomes opaque. I really love it and I have a feeling I'll be using it a lot this Spring/Summer.

What shades are you sporting on your nails?


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