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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Currently Obsessed: Coastal Scents 10 Blush Palette

Hi, everyone! So this is my second "Currently Obsessed" post in as many weeks- I've been lucky enough to stumble across some truly top-notch products of late! Last month I stopped by the FTB Beauty Pop-Up Shop and picked up a few treasures. Among them was one of the best bargain items I've discovered in some time! The Coastal Scents 10 Blush Palette features ten pigmented blushes in one sleek package. Even though my stash was far from lacking in blushes, I ultimately snagged this because each and every shade in the palette looked absolutely beautiful and like something I would wear gladly. Plus, it cost a mere $16.99 CAD, which adds up to less than $2 per colour. Truly a blush- and budget-fiend's dream!

The palette is boxed in an ultra pretty cardboard package with a vibrant multi-coloured design on the front.

The palette itself is basic and no-frills: a slightly reflective black case that's as slim as possible give that it houses ten shades. It tends to fingerprint easily, but this isn't such a problem for me, especially given the price!

The back of the box gives a sneak preview of the shades inside the palette and- ta da!- beneath are the lovely blushes!

As you can see, the blushes come in circular pans that are about three-quarters the size of a MAC blush. 

As for the shades included, here are my best descriptions (and shade comparisons):

Top Row:
1) a neutral dusty rose with plummy undertones (like a slightly lighter NARS Sin
2) a warm yellow peach (similar to Illamasqua Lover)
3) a cool candy pink with silver shimmer (like NARS Angelika
4) a warm, tawny coral (like a slightly deeper MAC Modern Mandarin)
5) a warm tan plum (like a deeper MAC Margin)

Bottom Row:
6) a neutral to cool baby pink (similar to NARS Desire)
7) a golden nude (similar to MAC Sunbasque
8) a warm matte coral-tinged pink (close to NARS Amour)
9) an ultra-cool fuchsia (similar to MAC Full Fuchsia
10) a warm bronzy brown (like a slightly more orange-toned NARS Laguna)

Here are swatches of the shades (same placement as in the palette) on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone):

Coastal Scents 10 Blush Palette under artificial light

Coastal Scents 10 Blush Palette under natural sunlight

And now onto the pros and cons!


  • Perfect mix of warm and cool tones
  • Extremely pigmented shades- a little goes a very long way!
  • Incredibly soft- these blend like a dream!
  • Long-wearing formula really stays put all day long (even in this steamy summer heat)
  • None of the shades features over-the-top shimmer or glitter. No disco ball cheeks here!
  • These shades should be flattering on most skin tones, with the exceptions of extremely fair or deep complexions
  • Sleek, compact packaging
  • At only $17 CAD, this is an amazing value!

  • The texture of these aren't as elegant and finely-milled as more expensive blushes, so it's difficult to achieve a super-sheer application
  • Plastic packaging perhaps not the most durable and gets dirty quite easily
  • This palette would really benefit from a mirror!

So there you go- one of my best budget buys of all time! I think I've worn 7 or 8 of these blushes so far and I can confidently say that I've been thoroughly impressed which each and every one. They blend like a dream, are vibrant without looking clown-like, and have lasted on my cheeks even on the steamiest of days. At less than $2 a pop, the quality is truly top-notch! I'm so happy I picked this up and can't wait to try more from from the brand. 

Have you tried anything from Coastal Scents? Would a palette like this melt your heart like it did mine? What are your favourite budget blushes?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tropical Eyes with the ARTDECO Miami Collection!

Hi, everyone! In the spirit of my recent enthusiasm for cheery summer colour, I bring to you my newest beauty editions- three tropically-hued goodies from ARTDECO*! The ARTDECO Miami Collection is all about saturated, playful, beachy shades of long-wearing colour that stand up to the summer heat. The brand was kind enough to send me a few highlights from the collection (thank you!) and yesterday I got to have a proper play with them!

The three products sent my way were all about eyes. I received two Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks* (which I'd heard raves about from the Canadian Beauty Blogger gals) and an All in One Liquid Liner*. All of them are sleekly packaged with reflective black finishes, silver touches, and metallic, colourful highlights.

The Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks* come in my much-loved chubby pencil format with metallic caps that match the shade inside and a handy twist-up bottom. The shades I received were American Girl (an icy, pale pink with silvery shimmer) and Tropical Monsoon (a complex seafoam green with gold shimmer). They both have lovely creamy textures that blend effortlessly and stay put. It is possible to overdo it by applying too much (which I might have done, oops!), but with a sheer layer these offer great pigmentation and a smooth finish.

The All in One Liquid Liner* comes in a thin black tube and features a firm, but semi-flexible felt-tipped applicator. We all know felt-tipped liquid liners are my favourite and I must say that this one was an absolute breeze to use! It created an effortless cat-eye shape and, once applied, this really stayed put! Even more so than the shadow sticks, this needed some extra determination to remove! The shade I received was Sea Port, a warm, shimmery navy.

Here are swatches of the three products on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone):

(L-R): ARTDECO All in One Liquid Liner in Sea Port and Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks in Tropical Monsoon and American Girl

And here's an eye look I created with these lovely, summery goodies. I applied American Girl all over the lid and on my brow bones and inner corners of the eye as a highlight. I then used Tropical Monsoon on the outer corners of the eye, a touch above the crease, and on the outer half of the lower lash line. I finished things off with a swish of Sea Port to create a winged liner effect. I also added a touch of neutral brown shadow in the crease for extra definition.

And in the context of a completed makeup look:

Overall, I am really happy with all three of these summery offerings. I don't get to play with pastels nearly often enough, so both of the eye shadow sticks are a great excuse! I'm especially smitten with the nautical, multifaceted finish of Tropical Monsoon-so ultra pretty! And the All in One Liquid Liner really is tops in my books. Not only is Sea Port a gorgeous, wearable blue, the applicator made creating a cat-eye rather effortless and the formula didn't even think of budging all day. Colour me impressed!

Thanks again to ARTDECO for sending these Miami Collection goodies my way. It's definitely helped me to channel my summery feelings and left me curious to try more from the brand!

Have you tried anything from ARTDECO? What are your favourite summery hues at the moment? Thanks for reading!

*These products were sent to me by ARTDECO for the purpose of review. All opinions are authentically my own.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Look of the Day: Hot and Cold

Happy Friday, everyone! Three cheers for the weekend! It's just been one of those weeks... Time for some much-needed respite. In terms of today's makeup, leave it to me to turn an eye-focused look into one that highlights a statement lip at the last minute. Sometimes I just can't help myself! The end result was one of my favourite ways to play with contrasts in makeup- a warm, sultry eye paired with a vivid, cool-toned lip. Perfectly summery, if I do say so myself!

Cue the dramatic, smoldering expression...

The look started out as on homage to a brand new MAC eye shadow in my stash. Antiqued is a stunning warm reddish, coppery brown that has instantly taken a front seat in my summer makeup rotation. I paired it here with some of my favourite warm-toned MAC shadows and they all worked so nicely together! I started by applying Motif all over the lid, blending up to the crease. I then added a healthy dose of Antiqued to the crease for added warmth and definition and popped some of Bronze on the outer corners. I added some extra dazzle by packing Amber Lights to the centre of my lid and brightened things up with touches of Ricepaper on the inner corners and brow bones. I also added some Antiqued to the outer half of my lower lash line, to subtly smoke things up. 

Here's a close-up of all of these warm MAC shadows working in unison:

I had originally planned on an ultra-neutral lip, but then I looked inside my makeup bag and thought "colour!". I contrasted the ultra warm eye look with my favourite cool-toned fuchsia lipstick, NARS Schiap. A true classic! The matte texture of Schiap also contrasted nicely with the super shimmery finish of the eye shadows. Another example of opposite attraction! I finished things off with a mix of warm and cool-toned blushes, Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop and Urban Decay Blush in Temper.

And for a full list of everything that went into this look:

The Breakdown:

Primer: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer 
Foundation: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Ivory
Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer in W1
Powder: Revlon ColourStay Pressed Powder in Light (on t-zone) and Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder in Light (all over)

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte
Blush: Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop layered with Urban Decay Blush in Temper (from the Shattered Face Case)

Highlighter: BeneFit Watt's Up (on cheekbones and down bridge of nose)

Brows: Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: (All from MAC): Motif (on inner third of the lid), Amber Lights (on centre of the lid, blended up and out), Antiqued (on the crease), Bronze (on outer corner of the eye), and Ricepaper (as a highlight on inner corners and brow bones)

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Bourbon
Mascara: BeneFit They're Real!

Lips: NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Schiap

And a few more shots of the look:

Sometimes my favourite looks are those that don't end up as planned. Those that pair shades that intuitively shouldn't harmonize. And those that involve a vibrant fuchsia lip! Antiqued and Schiap will undoubtedly reign as heavy favourites as summertime marches on; they are both perfect warm weather companions!

Do you ever have fun contrasting warm and cool tones? What are your go-to summer staples at the moment?

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Look of the Day: Dior It-Lash

Hi, everyone! If you've been reading the blog lately, you'll know that the warmer months have re-ignited my love for vibrant, bold makeup. The 9-to-5 does not allow me to play with colour as often as I'd like, but I've been using these recent summery weekends to really amp things up! Given my recent passion for cheery hues, I was beyond thrilled to hear that I'd won Dave Lackie's Dior It-Lash Giveaway Prize on Twitter earlier this month. It included four brand new products from Dior that are a colour-lover's dream!

In the giveaway prize, I was lucky to win two Dior Mono Wet & Dry Backstage Eye Shadows in It-Yellow (a shimmery, saturated lemon) and It-Pink (a warm coral pink). I also got an ultimately bold liquid liner (Dior Addict It-Line Liquid Liner in It-Pink) and a stunning indigo mascara (Dior Addict It-Lash in It-Purple). I wanted to delve into them instantly and I finally got the chance this past weekend! 

As soon as I applied the eye shadows, I knew this look was going to be a good one! I applied It-Yellow to the inner corners of the eye, blending up and out. I then applied It-Pink shadow to the centre of the crease, blending out towards the outer corner. For some extra colour depth, I added the blueish-indigo shade from the Marc Jabos the Siren Style Eye-Con palette to the outer corners. The shades blended so beautifully! As they were all primary-type colours, the places where they overlapped created pretty little patches of purple and green that gave the look an even more multi-faceted feel. 

Pardon the sparse brows!

I then applied the It-Pink liquid liner just above my natural lash line, winging it out slightly. It has a classic little brush applicator, which I found a bit fiddly to work with (I definitely prefer felt tips!), but I eventually got a pretty even line. I then applied some of my favourite black liquid liner, Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black right against my lash line, creating a subtle cat eye. I found that the black liner was needed to add some extra definition and to avoid the dreaded "pink eye" look that can occur when reddish/pink shades are placed too close to the eye. I finished off with a couple coats of the amazing It-Purple It-Lash mascara, which is a true stunner! It's dark enough to add emphasis to the lashes, while still being vivid enough so that it won't be mistaken for black. Everything I look for in a coloured mascara!

Here's the finished eye look up close:

I kept the rest of the face colourful, but slightly muted, so that the eyes could remain the focal point (how could they not be?!). I opted for a very light dusting of the ultra vivid Sleek Powder Blush in Flamingo and painted my lips with the fresh and pretty Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya

Here's a full list of everything I used:

The Breakdown:

Primer: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer 
Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Liquid Makeup (Combination/Oily Formula) in Buff
Concealer: Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer in W1
Powder: Revlon ColourStay Pressed Powder in Light (on t-zone) and Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder in Light (all over)

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte
Blush: Sleek Blush in Flamingo

Highlighter: BeneFit Watt's Up (on cheekbones and down bridge of nose)

Brows: Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: Diorshow Mono Wet & Dry Backstage Eye Shadows in It-Yellow (on the inner corners, blended out and up and It-Pink (on outer half of the crease, blended down), Indigo shade from the Marc Jacobs the Siren Style Eye-Con palette (on outer corners)

Eyeliner: Dior Addict It-Line Liquid Eyeliner in It-Pink and Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black
Mascara: Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara in It-Purple

Lips: Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya

And a couple more shots of the look:

This was definitely a look that kept me feeling cheery and colourful all day long. One that I did not want to remove at night because I couldn't take my eyes off of it. All signs of makeup success! These surely aren't colours that I'll be wearing on a daily basis, but I can seem them all being weekend go-tos when I need a bit of vibrancy in my day. All of the formulas were top-notch and wore like a dream. High pigmentation meets high performance. Truly a match made in heaven!

Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks again to Dave Lackie for this wonderful giveaway prize! Cheers! :)

Monday, 14 July 2014

Currently Obsessed: Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadow in Playa del Pink

Hi, everyone! If there's anything to help beat a case of the Mondays, it's a beautiful brand spankin' new makeup product. And that's what I have for you today! A few weeks ago, I was innocently wandering through Sephora, a month into a successful makeup no-buy thinking "I've seen all this stuff before, I can easily resist". As I stumbled across the Josie Maran display, however, I felt my resolve weaken. I spotted these little bottles of watery, colourful goodness, which proved to be the Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows. "Now these are new!", I thought- "uh oh!". Then the swatching began and I knew that my no-buy would have to be left in the dust. If I was going to break it for anything, I'm glad it was for this!

So let's take a closer look at the product that melted away all of my makeup related self-control ;) The Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows come in shiny pink rectangular boxes that are just so sleek and pretty!

The box states that these eye shadows offer 50% coconut water, intense hydration, and bold pigmentation. How very interesting! The formula is aimed at smoothing and moisturizing the eyelids while providing long-wearing, highly pigmented colour. All sounds quite promising!

Upon first removing the product from the box, I found that the shadow came in two parts that had to be "assembled" as such. The little glass bottle of shadow was sealed tightly with a cap for extra freshness, and the actual lid and applicator came separately. All you have to do is remove and discard the black cap and screw on the white lid and ta-da!

You'll see that when the bottle is at rest, the product separates. On the bottom are the colour pigments, and resting at the top is the coconut water! Such an interesting and unique feature.

Just give the bottle a little shade and- voila! The separate layers mix together easily. You do have to shake the bottle before every use (the elements separate quickly), but this isn't such an arduous process, as the mixing is nearly instantaneous!

As for the colour choice, I tried to opt for the practical option, a neutral shade that I could wear on a regular basis, including to the office. All of the shades in this line are absolutely stunning, but I ended up taking home Playa Del Pink, a warm shimmery champagne. In some lights it looks nearly white, in others a pale pink, in others a deeper gilded beige. Quite multifaceted!

Here are some swatches of Playa Del Pink on the back of my hand (MAC NC20 skin tone). On the left is a more concentrated dab of the product and, on the right, a look at it more blended out:

And here are some shots of me wearing it! In all of the photos below, Playa Del Pink is the only eye shadow I'm wearing:

So, we know this was pretty enough for me to break my makeup ban, but here are my full thoughts on this lovely little product:

  • Despite being half coconut water, this is incredibly pigmented!
  • At the same time, this can also be sheered out quite nicely
  • Playa Del Pink can be used as an all-over wash of colour, built up for more intensity in the crease/outer corners, or dotted on inner corners and brow bones as a highlight. Quite versatile!
  • Feels smooth and hydrating on the lids, without any hint of greasiness
  • The wear time is incredible! Once applied, this really stays put and it totally smudge proof. Yet, it also removes effortlessly with makeup remover. All good things!
  • Sturdy, compact, practical packaging
  • Packed with natural, moisturizing ingredients
  • Earth-friendly and cruelty-free
  • At $23 CAD, I find this to be a pretty good value!
  • If you are a fan of matte eye colours, this one isn't for you! The finish is quite shimmery, almost frosty.
  • Playa Del Pink might be a bit too stark and pale for darker skin tones
  • Some might not want to be bothered with shaking the bottle before each use

So there you go! The Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows are the perfect example of a brand new product taking me by complete surprise. I'd heard nothing about them previously; no blogger raves influenced this purchase, for a change! My experience with them in-store was just so lovely and I'm so glad I took one home! I've been wearing Playa Del Pink like crazy- it really is such a pretty summery shade and the perfect choice for when you only want to wear one eye shadow, but want it to look like you've put in tons of effort. It's quite the stunner! I may have even purchased another shade from the line since then, but that's for another post!

Have you tried the new Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows? What are your favourite Josie Maran products?

Have a fantastic week!