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Friday, 24 October 2014

Recent Makeup Swap Booty!

When I moved a few months ago, I was successful in purging *a ton* of stuff. While makeup only represented of sliver of the items I parted with, the move did inspire me to sort through my stash and really clear out the items I had not used in some time. Some of the older, grubbier products were trashed, but those that still had life in them were put up for swap. I've been swapping on MakeupAlley for a few years now and have had nothing but good experiences. I've completed quite a few successful swaps over the past couple of months and am really happy with my spoils! While swapping doesn't necessarily work to pare down my collection, it does refine my stash and allow me to test out some new beauties and stock up on old favourites for only the cost of shipping. Not a bad deal! 

Here are some of the fantastic goodies I've acquired via makeup swaps recently:

Laura Mericer Oil-Free Foundation Primer
Hands-down my favourite primer of all time. Lightweight texture (doesn't feel like silicone in a tube), prolongs makeup wear, and has never broken me out!

Hard Candy Welcome Matte Mattifying Powder
This is my favourite budget mattifying powder (and with a perfectly punny name) and sadly it was discontinued! So happy to score one via a swap. 

Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse in Beige
Another fabulous primer. Fun, bubbly mousse-like texture, an ultra-high SPF, and a flattering subtle tint. On the pricier side, so happy to swap for it!

BeneFit Real Birthday Turn-Ons Sephora Set (ft. They're Real! Mascara and Watt's Up minis)
I got one of these sets for my birthday last year and I instantly fell smitten with both of the products. Perhaps my fave mascara and highlighter ever! Always nice to have backups. 

MAC Lipsticks in New York Apple, Sunny Seoul, and Kelly Yum-Yum
I am always a sucker for a MAC lippie. New York Apple had been on my wishlist for ages- it's a unique deep frosty red which will be perfect come the holiday season. I hadn't heard of Sunny Seoul (it was a limited edition offering), but was instantly tempted by the fresh peachy pink hue. I was sooo tempted by all of the MAC x Kelly Osbourne lipsticks, but my lipstick ban (still in place at the time) led me to pass them up. Was thrilled to score Kelly Yum Yum, a stunning vivid pink, in a swap!

Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Cleopatra in New York
My first-ever Deborah Lippmann polish! I'd been eyeing up this specific shade- it's a gorgeous deep black with gold glitter and has the most amazing name!

Lime Crime Unicorn Lipstick in Centrifuchsia
I've been so happy with all of the Lime Crime lip products I've tried so far, so was eager to try some more. Leave it to me to add more fuchsia lipsticks to my collection :/

Barry M.Nail Paint in Strawberry Ice Cream
I'm a sucker for Barry M. and ice cream, so this was an obvious choice ;) A pretty, feminine pastel pink shade!

NYX Single Eye Shadow in Blondie
I've always been impressed with the quality of NYX shadows, so was happy to score this neutral shimmery gold shade. Quite festive! 

O.C.C. Lip Tar All-Star Mini set (ft. Memento , NSFW, Anime, and Black Dahlia)
I'm totally smitten with Lip Tars and didn't have nearly enough in my stash. This amazing little kit has pretty much any shade you'd ever need- a creamy peachy nude, a bold hot pink, a classic red, and a vampy burgundy. Each is quite stunning! 

Make Up For Ever Aqua Waterproof Eye Shadow Pencil in 28E
I'd heard great things about these creamy waterproof shadows and this neutral shimmery beige looked like a colour I'd wear on the regular!

NARS Blush in Angelika
Cooler-toned pinks are rather scarce in my blush stash, so what better way to remedy this than with NARS!? I'd say that this is one of their iconic shades- it's cheery, sparkly, and very princess-like!

Phew! I was so lucky to have swapped for such amazing items over the past couple months. I can't wait to delve into them (have already given several of them a go) as they're all so completely up my alley and are such welcome additions to my stash. 

Have you tried any of the goodies I've featured here? Are there any you'd be interested in seeing reviewed on the blog? Have you ever done a makeup swap?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Veracious Product Review: Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

Hi, everyone! If you saw my recent post, The Soothing Deep Cleanse, you'll know that I have a new favourite face mask for those days when my skin is feeling particularly congested, dull, and grimy. After multitudes of blogger raves, I caved and purchased the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask from Cult Beauty. It's more than a bit of splurge, but I had high hopes given all of the love it had received from skin care junkies like myself. 

The Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask comes in a white box with simple, chic detailing. It contains a thorough description of the product, as well as a full ingredient listing. 

According to the box and to the brand's website, this mask is rich with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which come courtesy of Omorovicza's signature Hungarian Moor Mud. This mud, a central ingredient in the mask, not only infuses skin with these minerals, it also works to extract impurities while clearing pores and brightening the skin. It promises a deep cleanse without stripping or irritating the complexion- a tall order, indeed! 

Upon opening the box, a rather entrancing inner design is revealed. I quite like it- a fun little detail to the packaging! The jar itself (as seen in the first two photos) is made of weighty glass with a white plastic, screw-off lid. 

The mask itself has a rich, creamy mud-like texture and is grey in colour with tiny specks of black and blue (the minerals, perhaps?). It has a light, herbal scent that is entirely enticing and refreshing.

The mask smooths onto skin effortlessly and feels quite creamy. The amount shown above was more than plenty to cover my entire face. Shortly after application, you will notice a warming sensation that is potent, yet not uncomfortable. You can really feel the mud working wonders! Within a few more minutes, the stimulating tingle transitions to more of a cooling sensation that feels incredibly luxurious and relaxing. 

After about 15 minutes, the mask starts to partially dry, but leaves no trace of stiffness or dryness. I can smile freely without any restriction, which is such a plus when it comes to mud masks! I could truly leave this mask on forever, but after 20 minutes or so I rinse it off using warm water and cotton pads. It rinses cleanly without any noticeable residue. 

I've already mentioned that this is a favourite, but here's my full breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of this luxurious mask:

  • Does an excellent job at providing a thorough, deep cleanse. My skin feels impeccably purified and refreshed afterwards!
  • Despite providing a serious deep clean, this does not dry out my skin one bit. There is no hint of dryness or tightness after use.
  • Leaves skin looking bright and calm, with zero irritation or redness, even on my finicky skin!
  • The warming and cooling sensations created by this mask feel quite luxurious. Truly a pampering sort of facial!
  • Despite some warnings that this mask may lead to purging the next day, I have never woken to any new eruptions
  • Not tested on animals and free from parabens, silicones, sulfates, and synthetic colours or fragrances
  • Due to the warming and cooling sensations, this might feel a bit uncomfortable for those with very sensitive skin types
  • The price. Ugh. It's nearly $100, which will be out of range even for some seasoned skin care enthusiasts. Even on sale (which is the only time I would buy it), this is most certainly a splurge. 

Yes, this is silly expensive, but it most definitely offers some potent results to go along with the luxury price tag. The Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask has quickly snagged a spot among my favourite masks of all time due to the many benefits outlined above. It deep cleans like nobody's business without any hint of irritation and dryness. Skin is left feeling purified, soothed, and glowing. Plus, it's a total pleasure to use! I have to say, this is without a doubt one of the most splurge-worthy items in my collection. So go ahead and treat yo-self! :)


Monday, 20 October 2014

Look of the Day: Immodest, Exposed

At the risk of promoting an oxymoron, Happy Monday, everyone! If there are two things I go gaga for, it's lipstick and sales. The star product of today's Look of the Day comes from a happy marriage of these two delights. As I've mentioned previously, Illamasqua is set to leave North American shelves quite soon, and for the past two months has been offered at a discount at all Hudson's Bay locations. On my last stop at the counter, the whole lot (at least the scarce selection of shades remaining) was 50% off. I couldn't help but pick up a few goodies, one of which is the cheery pink lipstick featured below.

Illamasqua Matte Finish Lipstick in Immodest is perhaps the most Barbie-like shade in my stash. It's vivid, cool-toned, and princess-like to the extent where it's almost not wearable (unless I was hoping to parade around as Ms. Barbie herself), but I've done my best to make it work because I'm always up for the challenge of taming a wild lipstick. 

To complement the vibrant pink lip, I opted for matte, muted shades of plum on the eyes. I turned to the master of such tones, the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. I started by applying Limit (a matte dusty rose) all over the lid, blending up to the crease and created some shape by sweeping Nooner (a mid-tone dusky plum) along my socket line. In place of traditional eyeliner, I smudged some of Darkside eye shadow (a deep, blackened purple) along my upper lash line. 

For the cheeks, I opted for as neutral a shade as I could find. The first time I wore Immodest, I paired it with the similarly hued NARS Mata Hari blush, which actually looked a bit costume-like. One can only handle so much cotton candy colour on their face at once! To remedy this, I reached for Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed this time around. Its subtle plummy hues complemented both eyes and cheeks nicely, rather than trying to match or compete with Immodest. The result- a much more wearable look!

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Fluid Foundation #774
Concealer: BeneFit Fake-Up in Light (under eyes) and MAC Select Cover-Up NC20 (on blemishes and redness)
Powder: Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot (lightly on t-zone) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (all over)

Contour: Inglot HD Sculpting Powder #504

Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: (From the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette): Limit (all over lid, blended up to the crease), Nooner (on the crease), Darkside (smudged into upper lash line, as a liner), and a mix of Strange and Dust (on inner corners and brow bones as a highlight)

Mascara: Revlon Lash Potion Waterproof in Black

Lips: Illamasqua Matte Finish Lipstick in Immodest

And a few more shots of the look:

Overall, I think I did a decent job at wearing Immodest without traversing into fairy princess territory. It really is a fabulous shade and I'm so happy I could make it work! As with most matte lip offerings from Illamasqua, this can look a bit chalky on the lips, but nothing a touch of lip balm won't fix. Although this isn't a typical Fall-like lipstick, I think it's an ultra fun complement to the plummy tones of shadow and blush that are so appropriate for the season. And really, who doesn't want to be a little Immodest once in a while?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Soothing Deep Cleanse

Yesterday was one of those days when I got home and needed to wash my face that very minute. This rarely happens, as I usually tempt fate and remove my makeup in the final seconds before my head hits the pillow, but yesterday my skin was crying for freshness. And quick. Earlier in the day, I'd tested some blush and concealer at Sephora and later on I'd touched up my base with some mineral powder. By the time I got home, my face was feeling cakey, greasy, and smothered. I knew I needed a deep cleanse, yet didn't feel like totally stripping my skin. I turned to an arsenal of products that leave me feeling both purified and soothed. One of my favourite skin care recipes! 

I started with my new favourite makeup remover, The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter. It feels incredibly rich and luxurious, has a light, pleasant smell, removes makeup completely, and has never broken out or irritated my skin. It's a true beauty- and at an affordable price! I completed my double cleanse with the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, which has totally restored my faith in foaming face washes. Despite the lather, this does not dry out the skin. Instead, it leaves things feeling completely fresh and balanced. Plus it smells amazing! 

With all traces of cleanser and makeup removed, I turned to the incredible Omorovicza Deep Cleansing  Mask. It's most definitely a luxury product (with a hefty price tag to match), but I've found it to be totally worth the splurge. It feels beautifully cooling on the skin, while making no mistake to extract every last trace of gunk in your pores. Upon rinsing, skin feels thoroughly cleansed, but also calm and balanced. No hints of dryness or irritation in sight! Definitely a rarity among clay-based masks.

To round things off, I opted to add some light touches of moisture back into my skin. I reached for Pai's Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, which not only hydrates, but also heals, firms, and repairs damage on the skin. A true multitasker and with the most lovely rich, herbal scent! Lastly, I treated my peekers to the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye cream, which adds a perfect amount of moisture without any hint of greasiness and heaviness.

And there you have it! After this ritual, my complexion was left completely purified, calmed, and hydrated. Not only did it remove the grime created by one too many makeup layers, the soothing textures and scents worked perfectly to calm my frazzled mind and let me slip into a much needed evening relaxation mode. My skin and my soul were greatly appreciative! 

What skin care products do you reach for when you need a deep clean? or some soothing relaxation?

Have an amazing weekend! xo

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sephora VIB Sale Wishlist

Loyal beauty junkies know that early November marks a thrilling and fevered time of year, the annual Sephora VIB Sale. During this time, all VIBs are offered 20% off the entire store, which is terribly difficult to pass up. In light of this impending fiesta, I've put together a sizeable wishlist that reflects just how many amazing offerings can be found at Sephora at the moment (as well as the vastness of my insatiable beauty cravings ;)):

NudeStix Lip + Cheek Pencils and Magnetic Eye Colours
I've heard great things about this new beauty brand- who doesn't love soft, pigmented formulas in handy pencil packaging?! Super interested to try both of these products! 

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick
As a lipstick fiend, it's a travesty that I haven't tried these babies yet. Bold, saturated colour with food-grade ingredients- come to mama. 

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation
I sampled this a while back and was so impressed! Truly lightweight formula with excellent coverage and long wear. My oily skin loved it. 

NARS Audacious Lipsticks
I've swatched these in-store and the texture and pigmentation are incredible. I've been especially tempted by Grace, a vibrant warm coral pink.

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con Night Owl Palette
We all know I'm obsessed with my Marc Jacobs The Siren palette, and this new option for Fall looks equally as mesmerizing. Full of beautiful warm, smokey tones. 

Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Colour Collection
I'm a huge fan of the Coconut Watercolour Eye Shadows, so am super eager to try more makeup from this brand. This kit features a little bit of everything!

Bumble & Bumble Bb Texture Hair Undressing Creme
I recently finished a sample tube of this and I found it to be the perfect product for adding mess and volume to my wavy hair. One of the best styling products I've tried! 

Too Faced Melted Kisses Set
I've also sampled these in-store and they offer the most lovely glossy, bold colour. This set would be the perfect way to sample most of the shades! 

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
Have heard so many raves about these in the blogosphere. Love that they're alcohol-free and gentle enough to use every day! Sounds like a perfect exfoliant for wintertime. 

Fresh Skincare Idols Set
I've been super impressed with the Fresh skin care goodies I've tried so far, and this kit looks like a luxurious way to sample a few more. 

Marc Jacobs The Sky-Liner Petite Highliner Collection
I have a Highliner in Stone Fox and am a huge fan of the texture and shimmery finish. This set seems like such a great deal!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
I'm a loyal lover of the Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light and I've seriously hit pan on mine. Relishing the idea of having Dim Light alongside two other beautiful powders!

Clinique A Black Honey Affair Palette
I've heard great things about the shadow palettes Clinique has been releasing lately and I'm loving the look of this one! A pretty selection of neutrals and plums. 

REN Flash Rinse 1-Minute Facial
REN is another brand that has totally wowed me and it's hard to argue with a super quick, gentle but effective brightening treatment. Bring on the Vitamin C!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
I was so happy to see that this palette didn't contain Radiant Magenta or Diffused Heat, both of which I already own and absolutely adore. You just can't have too many of these beautiful blushes!

Urban Decay Naked Basics 2
What wishlist would be complete without an Urban Decay palette?! I never picked up the original Naked Basics, but this second installment is looking rather tempting. My shadow collection could use more mattes like these.

Phew! I'm definitely sweating (drooling? hyperventilating?) in the wake of this giant wishlist. I obviously won't be picking up all of these goodies, but I'm sure a fine selection will be creeping their way into my stash. I sometimes wish I could be stronger in the face of a sale, but with offerings this gorgeous, call me a sucker!

Are you tempted by any of these goodies? What's on your Sephora sale/holiday wishlist?

Thanks for dropping by! :)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Look of the Day: Earthy Autumn Neutrals with the Body Shop!

Hi, everyone! To all my Canadian readers- I hope that your turkey hangovers have since subsided and that you had an incredible Thanksgiving weekend! I was able to spend three days in my hometown with family, friends, and a bit too much dessert, which was a wonderful break from the city grind. My pants are a bit tighter, but my mood, decidedly lighter. No complaints!

In my latest post, I featured some new Autumn-inspired goodies from The Body Shop, and today I'm putting them to good use. The look is all about warm, earthy neutrals with a modern twist. 

To warm up the skin (without aiming for a summer-level bronze), I applied a decent helping of The Body Shop's Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02, concentrating it on the cheekbones, temples, and down the bridge of my nose. For a slight pop of colour, I swept some of their Golden Pink powder blush (since discontinued, I believe- this one's an oldie!) on the apples of my cheeks. The lips called for something a bit more dramatic, so I opted for my new Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Drive Me Nuts. Its a unique deep brown with silvery shimmer that screams 90s but comes just shy of looking dated. It's actually quite a nice dupe for the newest Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipsitck, though it lacks the plummy undertones. It definitely leaves lips looking shiny and full! 

For the eyes, I turned to my three new Colour Crush Eye Shadows. I started by sweeping Bronze Bliss, a gorgeous warm orange-copper shade, all over my lid, blending up to the crease. I added some smoke and definition by applying Brownie and Clyde, a cool-toned deep taupey brown, to the crease and outer corner of my eye, and finished off with touches of Oh, Honey, the perfect shimmery ivory highlight, on the inner corners and brow bones. It made for a simple, though decidedly warm and seasonal sort of look! All three shadows have a pearlescent finish, which gives the prettiest glow to the eyes. 

Here's a peek at the Body Shop goodies that when into this look: 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in 10 Beige
Concealer: BeneFit Fake-Up in Light (under eyes) and MAC Select Cover-Up NC20 (on blemishes and redness)
Powder: Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot (lightly on t-zone) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (all over)

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02

Blush: The Body Shop Powder Blush in Golden Pink

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: The Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow in Bronze Bliss (all over lid, blended up to the crease), Brownie and Clyde (on crease and outer corner), and Oh, Honey (as a highlight on brow bone and inner corners)

Eyeliner: Clinique Quickliner Intense in Intense Chocolate
Mascara: Revlon Lash Potion Waterproof in Black

Lips: The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Drive Me Nuts

And a couple more shots of the look:

I'm all about giving neutrals a modern twist, so this look was right up my alley. The lipstick definitely isn't for everyone (my boyfriend actually winced and asked if I was wearing it out of the house, sheesh), but I think it's a fun shade that rightfully has its place during the chillier Autumn months. The textures of the Colour Crush shadows are just phenomenal and the Honey Bronze Bronzer is such a no-fail option when you want an uber-natural glow. Can't fault any of them!

Hope you all have a wonderful week. I'm actually starting a new job today (part-time as a therapist, while I finish my dissertation), which I'm pretty thrilled about! Wish me luck :)


Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Body Shop Autumn Haul!

I have always had a soft spot for The Body Shop. It was there, way back in 1995, where I bought my first-ever face wash and lip gloss. I was an eager 12 year old who finally had enough allowance money to indulge my burgeoning beauty obsession and The Body Shop is where I turned. My use of their products has fluctuated since that time, but I've been seriously drawn back over the past year or so. They've been releasing some new, unique, interesting products that really offer top-notch quality for totally reasonable prices. In short, they've been killing it lately! 

When The Body Shop had their Buy 3, Get 3 Free sale last month (a special that is luckily a regular installment), I stocked up on a variety of treasures. 

I was quick to snag a second tub of the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, which has gradually edged its way in as my makeup remover of choice. It's ultra effective and rich, but rinses clean and has never broken me out. It's truly a beautiful formula and is a mere fraction of my previous staple, Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil. I'll save money gladly when the budget option is as lovely as this! I'd also been incredibly tempted by the new Wild Argan Oil range, as the textures are luxurious and the scent is wonderfully nutty and warm. I picked up the Shower Gel from the line and am really liking it! 

I haven't delved into Body Shop makeup in quite some time, but I was happy to snag some of their newest offerings! The first was Colour Crush Lipstick in Drive Me Nuts, a unique deep brown with silvery shimmer. Actually quite a decent dupe for Viva Glam Rihanna 2! It offers opaque coverage and feels super comfy on the lips. A 90s-inspired shade that really has me swooning! I also opted for the Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in shade 01, which is designed to offer sheer, perfecting coverage for those with blemish-prone skin. I plan to write a full review but, in short, the application can be a bit finicky, but persistence leads to wonderfully glowy skin! Plus, it really wears all day. 

Finally, I snagged three of their new Colour Crush Eye Shadows, about which I'd heard nothing but raves. I decided to begin my foray (yes, I'm sure I'll be buying more) with some lovely neutrals. I chose Oh, Honey, a beautiful warm ivory highlight shade, Bronze Bliss, a warm orange copper, and Brownie and Clyde, a deeper cool shimmery brown. They work so wonderfully together and are amazingly pigmented and blendable! 

And some swatches of my makeup goodies:

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Drive Me Nuts

The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream 01

The Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadows in (L-R)  Brownie and Clyde, Bronze Bliss, and Oh, Honey

I'm so happy to have resumed by love affair with The Body Shop, as it was there that my beauty obsession first blossomed! I'm super pleased with everything I picked up this time around and have already been putting them to good use. In my next post, I'll featuring the shadows and lipsticks in a new Autumn-inspired Look of the Day!

Thanks for dropping by and, for all my Canadian readers, hope you're having an amazing Thanksgiving weekend! xo