Hi, everyone! I know I said something similar about IMATS, but there really are few things like Halloween to inspire my creativity and get me blogging! I apologize for the extended absence recently. I'll be able to share soon what's been going on in my life that has made blogging tougher (good things, I promise!), but for now, can we bask in the Halloween spirit?
Though I didn't have any Halloween events to attend this year, I didn't want to miss the chance to create an extra special look for the season. My Halloween makeup inspirations vary wildly (from creepy dolls, to fierce devils, pop art, sirens, surreal fairies, Egyptian goddesses, andice queens) and this year I was drawn to the beauty of nature. I'd had chance sightings of several monarch butterflies lately and am always completely in awe of the unique patterns and vivid colours. Transforming my face into one of these fascinating creatures was a challenge I was willing to accept!
For the look, I wanted to accurately emulate the colours and patterns of a monarch butterfly, but also didn't want to makeup to look completely literal (didn't want it to look like I'd had my face painted at a fair). To do this, I found makeup shades that were totally fitting and studied monarchs' typical appearance. For a bit of abstraction, I created a shape that was one part butterfly wings and one part masquerade mask, for a bit of drama and flirtiness. I also opted for forego the antenna and butterfly body.
I started by outlining the general shape of the wings with a pale eyeliner, so that I could have a guide but so any initial mistakes wouldn't be so obvious. Once I achieved a shape I was happy with, I reached for the ever-amazing Kat von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette, which features an eye shadow from every hue of the rainbow. I used three main shadows for the colouring- Harpsichord (a bronze-tinged shimmery burnt orange), Analogue (a true matte orange), and Fran (a bright matte butter yellow). I outlined the edges with the deepest of the shades, Harpsichord, for some shimmer and depth, and then blended in Analogue for that classic vivid monarch orange. For further dimension and light, I applied Fran all over my lids and underneath my eyes.
Then it was time for black liner! I outlined the edges of the wings as well as created the monarch pattern with Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner in 0L, a true black. I made the outer lines thicker for added definition (and to make room for the white dots!) and the inner lines more subtle. I also lined my upper and lower lashes with the black liner for added drama. Next was the extra special touch! I reached for my trusty Illamasqua Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner in Scribe, a true, matte, milky white. It's come in handy for several Halloween looks in the past and this was no exception! I used Scribe to add a random smattering of dots around the outer edges and thicker black veins of colour to complete the monarch effect.
The final touches were loads of mascara (my current fave- Essence Cosmetics Forbidden Volume Mascara) and some killer orange lips. I started with a base of Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico, a bold matte tomato orange. It then topped this lip pencil with Kat Von D Harpsichord and Analogue shadows to unify the face paint and lip colour. I added a very soft contouring of the lips with Kat von D Lemmy eye shadow, a deep metallic grassy green. For a subtle pattern on the lips, I added a few dots of Scribe and 0L liners. And that's it!
Here is a close-up of the look:
And a couple shots of the look in sunlight:
I had so much fun with this look and was super pleased with how it turned out. It was relatively simple to create and yet packed a powerful punch! I know I've said this about other looks in the past, but I really did not want to wash it off.
And as a side note: once I decided on a title for this post, I have not been able to get the theme song for Reading Rainbow out of my head. But I digress ;)
What are you wearing for Halloween this year? Any fun Halloween traditions?
Hi, everyone! If you had a peek at my last twoposts, you'll know what I attended IMATS last week, my favourite makeup event of the year. At the beginning of the day, I didn't even think I'd be going, but I was meeting up with my blogger pals for lunch, so decided that it was still a perfect day to up my makeup game. I've been super inspired lately by some amazing looks using yellow eye shadow, so I thought I'd give the colour palette a try!
Whenever I'm planning to sport a bold shade of shadow, I almost invariably reach for the Kat von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette, which is a true rainbow of hues. For this look, I applied Fran eye shadow (a true sunny yellow) all over my lid and underneath the eye. I then patted some of Legend (a shimmery lemon yellow) on the centre of the lid for some sheen and on the inner corners of the eye to brighten things up. I created a transition in the crease using Noble (a light neutral beige), added some extra definition with Vox shadow (a deep neutral brown), and highlighted the inner corners and brow bones with Skulls shadow (a frosty white).
For the lips, I opted for my favourite deep cherry brown hue, Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick in Suck It. For a subtle shine, I topped Suck It with Tom Ford Lip Colour in Dark and Stormy. Given that the eyes and lips were both on the bold side, I chose a light layer of one of my new favourite blushes, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty!, which is from this year's Sephora birthday gift. It's a beaut!
Here's a closeup of the eye, cheek, and lip shades:
Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Makeup in Buff Concealer: Smashbox Studio Skin 24 hour Concealer in Fair Light Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 011 Creamy Natural Bronzer: Revlon PhotoReady Bronzer in Bronzed and Chic Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty! (from the Sephora b-day gift) Highlighter: Kat von D Crushed Metal Shadow in Thunderstruck
Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel Primer: Essence I Love Colour Intensifying Eye Shadow Base Eye Shadow: (all from the Kat von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette): Fran eye shadow (all over lid, blended up to the crease, and underneath the eye), Legend Eye Shadow (in the centre of the lids and the inner third of lower lash line), Noble eye shadow (in the crease, as a transition), Vox eye shadow (to deepen the crease and outer corners), and Skulls (as a highlight on inner corners and brow bone) Eyeliner: Rodial Smokey Eye Pen in Brown Mascara: Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara in Black and Forbidden Volume Topcoat
Lipstick: Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick in Suck It topped with Tom Ford Lip Colour in Dark and Stormy
And a few more shots of the look:
This look definitely inspired me to play with yellow more often- such a cheery shade and easier to wear than you'd think! I'm also loving the pairing of brown and yellow shades for this summer-to-fall transition time. I'm fully ready for fall, but I may have to wear sunshine yellow year-round :)
What makeup shades have been inspiring you lately?
Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful week!
Hi, everyone! If you saw my last post, you'll know that I attended IMATS Toronto last Saturday and it was a blast! I was able to go unexpectedly at the last moment, so it felt like an extra special treat and I wanted to take full advantage. For someone who didn't know she was going, I still cleaned up pretty well! I had a sense of what brands would be exhibiting this year, so I quickly made a mental list of the booths I had to check out. And off I went!
Here's a peek of everything I snagged:
One booth that I was thrilled to explore was Suva Beauty, a Canadian brand known for its eye products. I have seen countless swatches of social media of their ultra-vibrant, superbly pigmented shadows and pigments, so I could not wait to test them in person!
Suva Beauty Shimmer Shadows in Empire State, Emerald City, Resort, and Ba
I swatched over a dozen shades of Suva eye shadows and found myself enjoying the texture and finish of the Shimmer Shadows the most. I wanted to select shades that were bold and vibrant, but also wearable. That means I passed on their super striking neon shades- but maybe next time! Instead, I chose Empire State (the most beautiful champagne pinky ivory that works amazingly as a highlight or as a wash all over the lid), Emerald City (a warm mid-tone turquoise), Resort (a warm reddish-cranberry), and Ba (the most stunning jewel-toned purple). I also bought an empty 4-pan palette so I could keep all of these shadows together.
Here are swatches of the four Suva shadows:
Suva Beauty Shimmer Shadows in (L-R): Empire State, Emerald City, Resort, and Ba
Suva Beauty Hydra Liner Matte in Sea Nymph
I was also totally taken by the brand's Hydra Liners, water-activated budge-proof cream eyeliners. I opted for Sea Nymph, a deep teal that is a total mermaid shade! It's even greener than the swatch below shows:
Left: Suva Beauty Hydra Liner in Sea Nymph
The Kat von D Beauty booth was also a must-visit for me as there was a great 30% discount and I totally fell in love with the products I bought from the brand last year. I ended up buying quite a bit!
Kat von D Beauty Studded Kiss Lipsticks in Countess and Poe
I had yet to try any of the Studded Kiss lippies, but they were being offered at half price during the show ($13 CAD each), so I couldn't resist. I chose Countess, an amazing neon orange red and Poe, a shimmery deep blue.
Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in Nahz Fur Atoo, Lolita, and K-Dub
I also knew that I had to expand my collection of ELLs, as they're my favourite liquid lipstick formula! This time around, I chose Nahs Fur Atoo (a striking deep warm blood red that will be perfect for Fall) and K-Dub (an ultra cool-toned bubble gum pink). I was also generously gifted the shade Lolita (the brand's signature 90s nude brown) for attending Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick's demo using KVD products. So exciting!
Kat von D Everlasting Glimmer Veils in Razzle and Televator
The KVD products I was most excited to check out were the brand-new Glimmer Veils- sparkly lip products that can be worn solo or atop your favourite matte lipstick. The shade range is bold and beautiful and this Instagram post inspired me to choose Razzle (a cool-toned fuchsia) and Televator (a cool-toned deep purple).
Here are swatches of all the Kat von D Beauty lip products I purchased:
(L-R): Kat von D Beauty Studded Kiss Lipsticks in Countess and Poe, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub, Lolita, and Nahz Fur Atoo, and Everlasting Glimmer Veils in Razzle and Televator
I wasn't planning on purchasing brushes at IMATS, but when I saw just how beautiful and affordable the new Royal and Langnickel Moda Metallics Brushes were, I couldn't help but grab a few!
Royal and Langnickel Moda Metallics Brushes: Super Crease, Complexion, and Smokey Eye
I chose three brushes that I thought I'd get plenty of use from and that would also be unique in my collection. I chose the Super Crease brush (only $4; a domed shadow brush that will be perfect for deepening and blending crease shades), the Complexion brush (only $8; which could be used for foundation or to apply a heavier dose of blush or bronzer), and the Smoky Eye brush (only $3; perfect for smoking out shadow in the crease, outer corners, or underneath the eye). Plus, they have pretty textured metallic handles!
Every single year I have been tempted by Lit Cosmetics (because their glitters are all kinds of fabulous), but I finally bit the bullet this time around.
Lit Cosmetics Glitter in Material Girl and Metals in Magnetic + Gold, Risque + Gold, and Escape + Gold
One of the reasons I hadn't purchased from Lit in the past is because (even though I love glitter), I wear glitter so rarely and find it to be a bit high maintenance. This year, they introduced a new product, their Lit Metals, which are glittery powder eye shadows that are activated easily with water or mixing medium, no glitter glue required! Plus they were offering all products at 3/$30, which was a fabulous deal.
After tons of swatching, I found myself liking the finish and dimension of the golden glitter shades the best (each tone is offered in both silver and gold varieties). I chose Magnetic + Gold (a cool taupe with warm golden glitter), Risque + Gold (a purple rose with gold glitter), and Escape + Gold (a turquoise with gold glitter). Because I am a blogger, the brand was kind enough to offer a fourth item for free. I chose Glitter in Material Girl, a purple magenta that's equal parts Barbie and punk. I can't wait to try it!
(L-R): Lit Metals in Risque + Gold, Magnetic + Gold, Escape + Gold, and Glitter in Material Girl
Phewf, that was a long one!! I hope you enjoyed having a peek at my spoils from IMATS this year. Look out for some makeup looks using the products coming up soon! (Or check my Instagramfor some sneak peeks!)
Hi, everyone! If there's anything to re-ignite my passion for makeup and for sharing this passion with you, it's attending IMATS. The International Makeup Artist Trade Show hits Toronto annually and is all about the craft of makeup artistry. It features makeup talks and demonstrations, artistry competitions, and the opportunity to purchase hard-to-find products at exciting discounts. What's not to love? This year's IMATS was extra special because I originally did not think I'd be able to make it, but thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was able to attend all afternoon on Saturday. It was an unexpected treat and I tried to squeeze every last moment! This was my fourth consecutive year attending (and my fifth show overall, as I was lucky enough to attend the NYC show in 2016) and I was just as excited this time around as I know the vendors, demonstrators, and creative atmosphere always fuels my love of the craft.
This year's IMATS was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, as it has in previous years, returning to one of the smaller subterranean halls in the complex. It was slightly smaller, though also somewhat less crowded than previous years, but it wasn't without its long lines! My first stop of the day was at the Kat von D Beauty booth, which had me in line for about half an hour. I chose to wait at this vendor because the Kat von D booth was a highlight of last year's show for me- the discounts were pretty great, the booth was decked out in all kinds of gothic glam, and I have absolutely loved the products I snagged at last year's show, so I was eager to add to my collection! This year's booth touted the brand's new fragrance duo and had a plush, pleather couch to lounge on before buying.
Thanks to Julie at Swatch and Reviewfor the photo (and for waiting in line with me ;))
After Kat von D, my next stop was Suva Beauty. This was the brand's first time exhibiting and the Toronto show and I was super eager to check them out because of their vibrant shade range and the intense pigmentation of their shadows. Their booth was indeed a display of bold, vivid colour and I was happy to delve right in!
They were offering pre-made palettes as well as single shadows that you could customize into your own 4- and 8-pan palettes. They were offering their US prices in Canadian dollars, which led to a savings of about $3-4 per shadow, which was great!
My stop at the Suva booth was a true swatch-fest and I have this photo to prove it!
Stop three was the Lit Cosmetics booth. Lit is famous for their immense selection of colourful glitters, which my friends have been praising for years. I finally took the plunge into the brand and I can't wait to give them a go! The brand was featuring their new Lit Metals, glittery metallic shadows that are activated with water or glitter base/mixing medium. I opted for three of these, since they felt lower-maintenance than standard glitter, but were just as dazzling! The brand was offering a fabulous 3/$30 special and were adding an extra full-sized freebie for blogger and other press. A perfect deal for a proper introduction to the brand.
And the Make Up For Ever booth, which had a huge line as always...
... and also a colourful mural hand-painted by brand founder Dany Sanz herself! Bummed to have missed her performance, but the painting was quite the sight.
And like all years, there were dozens of other vendors selling all kinds of beauty supplies including lashes galore, hundreds of brushes, and body paint in every neon shade you could imagine.
Another huge part of my enchantment with IMATS is the amazing special effects makeup artistry coming to life throughout the show. This year I had a chance to chat with this lovely monster, who happened to be the model of the winning Battle of the Brushes competition. So fierce!
I also stumbled across this stunning mermaid, who was eager to take a selfie. Only at IMATS!
There were also some spooky and gory special effects creatures on display, which are always such a treat to see in person.
Another aspect that makes IMATS special are the live makeup demonstrations by makeup pros from all areas of the industry. This year, I was lucky enough to get to watch Kelseyanna Fitzpatrickin action. She is the one of the badass key artists behind the Kat von D Beauty brand whose gory-glam style is totally up my alley. Her demo was actually a work of performance art with bold, emotional music that focused around the creation of an editorial look that was ghoulish and glam, like an oil painting brushed with blood and glitter. It was truly mesmerizing to watch!
And there were plenty of other makeup artists doing their thing around the showroom like legend Eve Pearl, who seemed to be doing a live demo for television.
And not to be cheesy (but who are we kidding, I'm cheesy), IMATS would not be half as fun without my friends. It had been far too long since I'd spent some time with my blogger babes, so it was a delight to catch up with and revel in makeup geekery with them :)
Hi, everyone! So my return to blogging has not been as swift and consistent as I would have hoped, but here we are with another post! If you saw my last entry, you'll know that I visited the Glossier showroom when I visited NYC in July, where I snagged several goodies from the brand. One of the loveliest in the bunch is their Cloud Paint in Beam, a creamy, ultra blendable blush in the prettiest of pastel peachy hues. Not only does it satisfy my love of warm, cheery cheek colours, it also doubles as a fresh, flattering eye shadow! Because I've fallen so deeply for it, I thought I'd create a monochromatic makeup look that showcases its beauty.
I started the look with my surprise favourite foundation of the summer, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shade 51. I say it's a surprise fave because it's on the sheer side and not necessarily geared towards oily skin, yet it provides a perfect amount of coverage, has a flattering satin finish, and lasts quite well on my complexion, even in the warm temperatures! I added some warmth to my skin with one of my favourite bronzers ever- Revlon Photoready Bronzer in Bronzed and Chic. It's a matte, four-toned bronzer that I find so flattering with my skin tone- very sad that it was limited edition and that it's almost gone! For highlighter, I chose a modern, ultra cool-toned hue to contrast the warm tone of the peachy blush. Milk Holographic Stick in Supernova is a cream highlight with opalescent hues of blue and violet that imparts a galactic glow that's surprisingly very wearable- and lots of fun!
On the cheeks, I applied Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam, a creamy pastel peach. It blends wonderfully with fingers, but I tend to use it with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, my go-to for all liquid and cream cheek products. I dotted the blush on the apples of my cheeks and blended the colour up to my temples for an added touch of warmth and a subtle contour. I also blended Beam into the creases of my eyes for a similar warm, very subtly sculpted effect. To add a pop of light, I swept MAC Trip the Light Fantastic Powder in Luna Luster along my lash lines, brow bones, and on the inner corners of my eye.
For the lips, I first applied Beam, but found the shade to be a bit pale and flat when used this way. So I re-created the desired peachy hue by layering Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Miranda May (one of my favourite corals) with Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colour in Pink Nude. And voila!
Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in Shade 51 Concealer: Smashbox Studio Skin 24 hour Concealer in Fair Light Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 011 Creamy Natural Bronzer: Revlon PhotoReady Bronzer in Bronzed and Chic Blush: Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam Highlighter: Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Supernova
Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel Primer: Essence I Love Colour Intensifying Eye Shadow Base Eye Shadow: Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam (on crease) and MAC Trip the Light Fantastic Powder in Luna Lustre (on brow bones and inner corners of the eye) Mascara: Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara in Black
Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Miranda May layered with Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colour in Pink Nude
And a few more shots of the look:
While my love for bold colour has in no way subsided, I've been totally loving soft, subtle looks like this for summer that keep eyes nearly bare and my lips and cheeks looking warm and fresh. I could not be more obsessed with the texture, blendability, and staying power of the Glossier Beam Cloud Paint, so it would be no huge surprise if other shades from the range join my collection soon.
What have been your go-to makeup looks for summertime? Favourite peachy blushes of the moment? Have you tried any of the Glossier Cloud Paints?
Hi, everyone! Holy moly- my first blog post in three months! I could ramble on here about the reasoning behind and the happenings during my absence, but since I'm still wrapping my own mind around these things, I'll save those reflections for another post. Today, let's chat about my visit to the Glossier showroom in New York!
I've been aware of and interested in Glossier since its inception a couple years back as it was the offspring of the badass boss ladies at Into the Gloss. I've been a loyal reader of ITG for years, as I find it to be one of the best-written beauty blogs out there. It focuses on techniques and trends that are minimalistic and accessible but also speaks to my love of colour and seriously good skin care. When Glossier was born, it began with a few basic staples and has since grown to a solid capsule of skin care and makeup for everyday glow and polish.
My most recent trip to NYC was mostly about food and exploration with few shopping stops, but I made a point to stop into the Glossier showroom because the brand had been completely unavailable in Canada (which has very recently changed!) and I wanted to see all of their offerings in person.
The showroom was tucked away on Lafayette street on the border between Chinatown and SoHo. I was surprised to see a lineup winding out from the front door. We'd shown up on a busy day! They were letting smallish groups of customers in every 5-10 minutes and luckily the wait wasn't too long. My friend and I felt a bit granny-ish in line (we might have been the oldest there by 10 years, save for the parents who were chaperoning their teens), but we bonded over our beauty geekery to pass the time.
To enter the showroom, we piled in an elevator and rode it to the top floor (it felt quite exclusive!). The first display was a colourful floral and cake-filled celebration of the brand's birthday.
The showroom was hopping with eager customers testing, primping, and purchasing. There was plenty of product on display with ample testers. It was definitely customer friendly! As you can also see in my first photo, there was a sink set up where you could test out the brand's face masks, cleanser, serums, and moisturizers.
Products that caught my eye were the Phase I Set (which includes the Milky Jelly Cleanser, the Priming Moisturizer, and your choice of Balm Dot Com flavour)...
... the Perfecting Skin Tints, an ultra sheer "no makeup makeup" (a tinted moisturizer essentially)...
... the Haloscope cream highlighters (made with real crystals and packed with skin friendly ingredients)...
... and Boy Brow, their cult brow tint and pomade. I tested it out during my visit and I loved how it tamed and plumped my brows. Their Brown shade was perfect for me!
I was also completely mesmerized by the Cloud Paints, the brand's easy to apply, sheer, but buildable, cream blushes (and by the multitude of selfie opportunities, apparently).
Here are swatches of the four Cloud Paint shades on the back of my hand:
Glossier Cloud Paints in (L-R): Puff, Beam, Dusk, and Haze
Employees walked around with order forms, which we submitted and filled at the counter. I'm super happy to share my purchase with you, which I'll be doing in my next post!
The timing of my Glossier visit was a bit funny, as I made the special trip due to the brand's unavailability in Canada and only a week later shipping to Canada was announced! I don't regret the stop, though, as the showroom was a fun and interactive, with some seriously gorgeous decor and an exclusive (but not snobby) feel that made it feel like a treat.
If I've piqued your interest in the brand, you can check out the Glossier website, here! And stay tuned for my next post to see what goodies I snagged (or get a sneak peak on my recent Instagramfeed).
Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful week! xo
Hi, everyone! I know that there's a Sephora sale upcoming later this month, but my wishlist had grown so large and tantalizing in March that I could not help but snag a few goodies! Sephora has welcomed some new, exciting brands of late (like Milk Makeup and IGK) and some of my fave brands (like the ever-fabulous Bite Beauty) have released some great new products, so there was plenty to choose from.
Here's a peek at everything I picked up:
Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss in Oyster Pearl ($25 CAD)
Metallic finishes are everywhere nowadays and when Bite Beauty does metallic, it's time to take notice. These new glosses are inspired by the real multi-faceted pearls found on tropical beaches. They promise a foiled finish and a hydrating formula thanks to shea butter. I opted for Oyster Pearl, which is a wonderfully unique shade. Bite describes it as a "metallic taupe with silver shimmer", but I find it to be even more multi-dimensional than that. I'd call it a warm, plummy taupe with silver, green, and plum shimmer. It's so gorgeous and surprisingly wearable and versatile!
IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel ($17 for 50mL trial size)
Whenever I get my haircut shorter my interest in hair styling products is always renewed. With a long bob, I'm motivated to harness my hair's volume and waves while adding a bit of messy texture. Because hair isn't my forte, I asked a helpful sales associate for recommendations and she pointed me towards IGK's Rich Kid. She promised it would encourage waves and texture while also hydrating the hair. And she was right! I use this as a final product before air drying or blow drying and it gives my hair lightweight, airy texture without any frizz. And it's super hydrating too. Definitely curious to try more from the brand.
Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil in no.14 ($20 CAD)
Given that I'm generally smitten with Bite, it was no surprise that their recent lip liner launch caught my attention. These pencil liners promise a creamy, yet precise texture with an opaque finish that's also lightweight. The range offers an impressive selection of neutrals, each inspired by the spectrum of natural lip tones. As I had recently purchased a warmer-toned neutral lip liner from Lipstick Queen, I opted for a cooler-toned shade this time around. I chose no.14, which Bite describes as a "dusty mauve". I find it to be just that- a cool-toned light- to mid-tone mauve that really is a perfect "my lips but better" shade for me. I agree that the texture is wonderfully smooth and creamy, but the wear time and precision are also on-point. Will definitely be grabbing more shades from this collection!
Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel ($29 CAD)
This is an eternal repurchase for me- I love this stuff! The gel-cream formula promises to add control and shape while also plumping up the appearance of brows. I use it as a final step in my brow routine and it's wonderful at grooming and adding a touch of multidimensional colour that prevents the brows from looking too flat. Caramel adds a bit of warmth to my brows without looking at all orange and it really wears all day without any flakiness or dryness!
Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Supernova ($34 CAD)
Milk Makeup is a brand I'd been curious about for a while, as it's cruelty-free and wonderfully playful. So when the line arrived in-store last month, I was jazzed! There were several tempting options to choose from and I ended up with an ultra special highlighter- the Holographic Stick in Supernova. It's a cream-based stick highlighter that claims to contain real meteorite powder for an ultra-pigmented, ethereal sheen. Supernova is a killer opal hue with tinges of purple, blue, pink, and silver. I am still trying to find the best mode of application to make the most of it, but boy the shade is stunning and the wear time is impressive, especially given the cream base.
Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray ($32 CAD)
As I mentioned above, whenever I get my hair cut shorter, I want to buy all the styling products. All of them! Ouai is an ultra trendy brand at the moment and I was drawn to their Texturizing Hair Spray because it promises to be a modern hybrid of hair spray and texturizing spray that offers hold, grit, and volume while remaining lightweight. I have to say that I really love this! It does just as promised- it refreshes the hair, helps my hair hold its waves, and gives a great amount of volume and subtle grit for the softly messy look that I love.
I also had some VIB Points built up, so I topped off my haul with a couple fun minis. I chose the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, as I'd heard nothing but raves for it, especially for combination skin like mine and I've generally had great experiences with Origins masks. I also snagged a little Sunday Riley Good Genes, a cult-status leave-on exfoliating treatment. I've sampled it in the past with mixed results, so I thought I'd give it one final try so I can settle my opinion.
And here are swatches of the colour-based products:
(L-R): Milk Holographic Stick in Supernova, Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss in Oyster Pearl, Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil no.14, Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
I'm super happy with this haul, as it included a neat mix of old faves, brand new releases, and cool new-to-me brands. From tresses to brows to lips, I now feel totally ready for Spring!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful week :)
Hi, everyone! It's been way too long since I've posted and I'm happy to be back! Work has been ultra busy and I have also recently submitted an important application that I'd been procrastinating on for ages- feels so fantastic to have that off my plate. Plus, Adam and I just returned from our honeymoon (more on that in a post to come!), so it's taken a few days to settle in to my regular schedule. But I'm now getting back into the blogging swing and I'm starting things off with a pretty amazing skin care product.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Kiehl's, as they offer unique products with an interesting mix of natural and more conventional ingredients with a fair price point. I've also mentioned on the blog several times that I'm an utter sucker for anything customized. Make something tailored just for me and I'm there! So when I learned that Kiehls' Apothecary Preparationsservice had made it to Toronto, I was eager to indulge in the process!
The Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations system combines the brand's more than a century-old roots in customized apothecary service with modern ingredients for the demands of current skin care concerns. The process involves a one-on-one consultation that results in a personalized skin care serum that targets your central needs and goals.
The process started in the Kiehl's Eaton Centre shop where I sat down with Peter, my new skin care bud, who presented me with a tome called the "Skin Atlas". It was essentially an encyclopedia of skin that featured diagrams of several common skin care concerns (e.g., texture, fine lines, redness, pores, dullness) and prompted me to choose where I fell on the spectrum of each condition. The process was fun an interactive and the setting and implements really gave it that old-school apothecary feel that I truly love.
Based on my responses, it was determined that my two central skin care concerns are visible redness and enlarged pores. This made lots of sense to me, given my eternal struggle with skin that is both acne-prone and sensitive. And it's with this determination where the customization begins!
All Apothecary Preparations serums start with the Skin Strengthening Concentrate, which is a base of hydrating and protecting ingredients for all skin types. This base is designed to then be mixed with the personalized elements for your skin care concerns.
Given my identified skin care needs, I was prescribed the Pore Minimizing Complex (featuring samphira extract and salicylic acid) and the Visible Redness Neutralizing Complex (featuring sunflower seed extract and vitamin E). Both complexes contain ingredients to hydrate and fight free radicals, but the Pore Minimizing Complex also has ingredients to tone and gently exfoliate the skin, while the Visible Redness Neutralizing Complex also has ingredients to calm and soothe the skin.
The serum comes in a tinted glass bottle with dropper top (to protect the ingredients inside and also add to the apothecary feel) and is likewise customized- with your name, the name of your consultant, the date of creation, and other relevant details:
The outer packaging is likewise labelled with relevant information as well as a full ingredient listing for all components:
To complete the serum involves a bit of fun DIY. The instructions guide you to squeeze in each of the separate complexes into the base (they are too potent to use on their own) and then give the bottle a proper shake for 20 seconds. After this initial mix, the serum is all set and ready to go!
The serum itself has a lovely texture- all of the components are oil-based, but are far from heavy. The result is a mid-weight viscous oil serum that feels silky on the skin and absorbs quickly while leaving skin plump, but not at all greasy. The scent is light and pleasant and doesn't clash with any of my other skin care products. The instructions say to use 2-3 drops morning and night, but I tend to use more like 4-5 drops each time. What can I say? I'm a rebel (actually, I just have a big face ;)). Suffice it to say, a little goes a long way.
In addition to the whole process being fun and unique, I have to say that I am fully loving this serum. Since using it for the past 5 weeks, I can definitely notice that my pores look more refined, my breakouts are fewer and heal more quickly, and my redness is toned down. No joke- this stuff really works! It is often so difficult to find products that are suitable for both acne-prone and sensitive skin, which is why the customization process behind this serum is such a unique, effective offering.
The Apothecary Preparation serums retail for $95 USD/$105 CAD, but I find this price to be well worth it given the personalization involved and the fact that the formula is so concentrated. I could see my bottle lasting at least 6 months with twice-daily use!
If you're in Toronto, you can have fun with the Apothecary Preparations process at the Kiehl's Eaton Centre shop. I would recommend this service to anyone, particularly if you're a skin care junkie like me, are in the market for a new multi-tasking super serum, or have difficulty finding products that fit the exact needs of your skin.
Hi, everyone! We all know that in the world of makeup, few things excite me more than a bold, vibrant lipstick. My collection is rife with vivid oranges, fuchsias, purples, and corals- they just make me feel so put together, wide awake, and fearless. Pretty simple therapy, I'd say! I've made a pledge to integrate more natural, green beauty into my makeup routine this year, so when I saw that 100% Purehad recently launched a range of ultra-pigmented matte lipsticks my antennae were perked!
The boxes also feature a full ingredient listing, which reveals several lovely natural components including cocoa butter, shea butter, various fruit extracts, chocolate(!), rose petals, and Vitamin E. Enriched by these beautiful ingredients, the Cocoa Butter Matte Lipsticks promise a lightweight, smooth, moisturizing texture, a semi-matte finish, long wear, and full-on opaque colour thanks to natural fruit pigments. The formula is 100% natural, vegan, gluten- and cruelty-free.
The lipstick tubes also reflect the theme of natural beauty. They are made of lightweight rosy-taupe metal decorated by a silver leafy floral motif. The inside of the tube also reveals a silvery scripted brand logo when the cap is removed.
What lured me most to the Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstickswas the amazing selection of bold, vibrant shades- so up my alley! The shade range includes everything from nude beige, to vibrant coral, to vivid red, to saturated purple. So many lovelies to choose from!
I have three of these gorgeous lipsticks to share with you today: Prickly Pear, Sonora**, and Hyacinthus**.
Prickly Pear is described as a "vibrant coral pink" and I fully agree with this description. The shade is decidedly warm and is a perfect blend of coral and pink with just a touch of pastel. I wear shades like this year-round, but it absolutely screams Spring and Summer!
Sonora** is described as an "orange red" and that's just what it is- a warm-toned red. The warmth gives it a lovely retro feel and I like that, despite the orange undertones, the shade is still decidedly red, which keeps a classic feel and may make it more approachable to those who might feel intimidated to wear a full-on orange.
Hyacinthus** is described as a "deep berry purple". It's a neutral to warm shade that is a beautiful balance of berry and purple hues. Its prominent purple tones make it wonderfully bold and modern, yet it has enough pinky elements that it's wonderfully wearable (I actually wore it to work on Monday and did not feel self-conscious at all). With one layer, the berry tones come through and, as it's layered, a deeper purple takes over. This effect makes the shade super versatile!
Here are swatches of all three shades on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). As you can see, the shades are smooth and opaque and have a luminous matte finish:
And here I am wearing each of the shades:
100% Pure Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick in Prickly Pear
100% Pure Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick in Sonora
What I love about these lipsticks is that they are wonderfully pigmented and incredibly lightweight on the lips. They reach full opacity with one heavy or two lighter-handed swipes and, despite the rich colour, they instantly absorb into the lips and do not feel at all heavy or sticky. Also, the wear-time is so impressive! These lipsticks last quite well, even through meals, and leave a beautiful stain on the lips as they begin to wear.
The only downsides to these lipsticks that I've noticed is that they are not transfer-proof and they can be a *touch* drying as the day goes by, at least during these colder temperatures. Even though these are matte and lightweight, they will leave an imprint on your glass or will smudge a bit if you were to wipe your mouth. Despite the transfer, though, the wear-time is not impacted because the pigments are so rich! Also, because these lipsticks dry down to a soft, powdery finish, I do find my lips to be a bit dried out by the end of the day. On the upside, though, these do not feel at all tight or uncomfortable when initially applied.
I have set a goal for myself to incorporate more green, natural makeup items into my routine this year, so I am thrilled to have discovered the 100% PureMatte Lipsticks. The shade range is absolutely stunning (especially for a vibrant beauty lover like me), the pigmentation is impressive, and the wear-time can't be beat! And, of course, they are 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and coloured by fruit. How amazing is that?!
If I've tempted you, you can find these lovely lippies on the 100% Purewebsite, here!
Also, 100% Pureis currently running an incredible Gift with Purchase on their website starting today! With all orders over $55 USD, you will receive a 6-piece gift set worth $134! Now's the time to try the brand if you've been curious!++
Do you have any favourite green beauty brands or lipstick launches at the moment?
**Products marked by these asterisks were sent to me as PR samples for consideration and review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% authentic and my own! ++This post contains affiliate links (i.e., I will receive a small percentage of the sale of items should you purchase products using the links in this post)
Hi, everyone! Lately I've been lucky enough to test out some amazing local, Canadian green beauty brands and I've discovered another that's no exception- Bella Aura. Creator Yasmine developed the line as a response to her own life stressors, skin complications, and frustrations with the offerings (or lack thereof) on the market. Following the illness of her mother, which left both her and her skin depleted, she was unable to find an effective solution via traditional (and expensive) means. While on a trip to Morocco, she learned about the ancient customs of the Berber women and also consulted with a local chemist who shared with her the local naturally harvested oils that, when then combined with other potent botanical actives, eventually healed her skin. She was converted!
Bella Aura is based around three central principles: Powerful Traditions. Proven Science. Pure Glow. It aims to be luxurious and to promote beauty, both inside and out. The line is driven by the idea that you don't have to sacrifice your skin's health in the search for effective skin care; instead, you can achieve all of your desired results via time-tested, all-natural ingredients without any toxins or unsafe preservatives. The brand's offering are made completely without parabens, artificial fragrance, SLS, PEG compounds, petrolatum, triclosan, alcohol, mineral oil, propylene glycol, and several other potentially harsh, unnecessary elements.
Overall, the products are designed to be pristinely clean, groundbreaking in terms of technology, and promoters of serious glow. In fact, the name Bella Aura was selected because an aura is the outer manifestation of one's inner energy. Outer radiance radiating from within! They also promise a fruitful marriage of ancient ingredients and modern science. Further, the integrity of the brand is also demonstrated by their authentic, ethical sourcing of 100% organic ingredients from Morocco.
Each product in the range features their signature Kamilah Oil Blend (Kamila meaning complete) that includes ancient elements of Fig de Barbary (cactus), Argan, Neroli, and Nigella. Each has the same signature green fragrance designed to have aromatherapeutic effects that bring harmony to the mind and body. It's also suggested that the products be thoroughly massaged into the skin, not only to increase product absorption, but also to develop a mindful self-care ritual.
All of the products are emulsions, which means they are a combination of water- and oil-based hydrators that both penetrate deeply and moisturize the surface. Each formula includes peptides, vitamins, and minerals to nourish and balance and a strong dose of antioxidants to protect the skin against the environmental pollutants that our modern world has to offer. Each also contains hyaluronic acid, elastinboosters, and collagen to replenish skin cells, plump fine lines, and increase firmness and elasticity.
The brand offers a curated selection of five products, embodying their dedication to simplicity. The Essential Energy Boosting Kit** ($75 CAD) contains miniatures (10mL) of the entire range, each of which is suitable for all skin types. It's a wonderful way to interact with the complete product lineup before committing to the full sizes!
The outer packaging is super helpful, in that it provides a description and full ingredient listing for each product:
The products that make up Bella Aura (and this handy Essential Energy Boosting Kit**) are:
Gentle Purifying Cleanser ($45 CAD for full size)
Coloured in blue to represent symbolize calm, tranquillity, and peace. It is designed to thoroughly cleanse without stripping or irritating the skin and contains Vitamin E to create a hydrating foam, Vitamin B to gently exfoliate and replenish, and Vitamin C for antioxidant protection. It also includes a variety of vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, selenium, iron, magnesium, and amino acids to remove impurities and improve skin condition.
This cleanser was a pleasure to use- it's halfway between a liquid and cream and creates a soft, subtle lather. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not at all dry and stripped!
Antioxidant Booster ($125 CAD for full size)
Coloured in orange to represent energy, creativity, and radiance. It promises to promote radiance while seriously protecting the skin against environmental aggressors. It's vitamin- and mineral-rich and also contains omega 3-6-9 fatty acids to nourish and replenish. It promises to calm redness, even skin tone, and support the skin's natural collagen production.
This creamy emulsion is hydrating enough to use alone, but works extra nicely when layered or blended with the brand's day or night hydrators. My skin always looks so fresh and glowing after I apply it!
Instant Eye Lifting Contour ($125 CAD for full size)
Coloured in indigo to represent spirituality, intuition, and awareness. This emulsion promises to brighten, firm, smooth and hydrate the eye area as well as reduce puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, and uneven texture. Like the brand's other products, it's also rich in vitamin and minerals and promotes collagen synthesis.
I love this eye cream! Not only does it not irritate my watery eyes one bit, it truly brightens and plumps my eye area right away. The outer corner of the eye is the only area of my face to be graced with fine lines at the moment, so it is quite nice to find a product that takes a few years off in an instant! I have no doubt that continued use will yield even more lasting results.
Daily Repair Moisturizer ($90 CAD for full size)
Coloured in green to represent renewal, healing, rejuvenation, and nature. This daytime moisturizer is designed to hydrate, smooth, lift, and brighten. It minimizes dullness and fine lines and prevents water loss and dullness.
I totally loved mixing this with the Antioxidant Booster in the morning. It created a perfect canvas for makeup- plump and smooth, but not at all greasy!
Night Cellular Renewal ($110 CAD for full size)
Coloured in pink to represent compassion, beauty, love, and warmth. It promises to be a potent overnight anti-aging powerhouse that hydrates, renews, plumps, and adds radiance. It promotes firmness, elasticity, and the skin's own ability to renew its cells while you sleep.
This mid-weight cream works wonderfully as a final step in my nightly skin care routine. It seals in previously-used oils and serums wonderfully while contributing its own actives. Whenever I use this before bed, I wake up to skin that's so fresh and hydrated.
I have to say that each of these products was a pleasure to use! I love that the textures are rich enough to feel luxurious and hydrating, but viscous enough to not feel at all heavy or stifling on my oilier skin. The products blended quite nicely together and wore well under makeup. They did not break me out nor irritate my redness-prone, sensitive complexion. As for the scent, it's quite potent and also quite different from other natural products I've tried. Instead of channeling common scents like citrus, honey, or essential oils, the products all have a signature fragrance that's quite heady and green. It didn't call to me at first, but over time, I came to look forward to breathing in its grounding and invigorating aroma. Because the scent is so green, I like to imagine that it's the cactus in the formula that's responsible.
Although I do not have serious signs of facial aging to date (thanks for the good genes, Mom and Dad!), I have no doubt that this line is ultra effective in the realm of anti-aging. The eye cream instantly makes my eye area look younger and all of the products leave my skin looking so plump and glowing. I would definitely recommend this range to anyone who loves green, natural skin care but doesn't want to skimp on some serious anti-aging action.
If I've tempted you, you can discover the whole world of Bella Aura on the brand's website, here!