Monday, 25 May 2015

Look of the Day: Pink Glow

Hi, everyone! If you saw my last post, you'll know that I splurged a bit (ok, a lot) this month when I picked up the Tom Ford Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact. It was pricey for sure, but truly is a thing of beauty. So today I move past swatches and give you a peek at this amazing palette in action! 

My absolute favourite part of this compact is the blushes. Both are wonderfully soft, pigmented, and blendable. I love the contrast between the rich berry shade and the lighter golden peachy pink and think they work amazingly well together as an unconventional contour/highlight duo. For this look, I applied the darker berry blush along the hollows of my cheeks and just above, blending the shade up to the temples for a subtle sculpting effect. I then applied the lighter blush to the apples of my cheeks, blending up to the tops of my cheekbones for a flattering glow. 

For the eyes, I started by applying the frosty pinky-white shade all over my lids, blending up to my brow bone and dotting it on the inner corners of my eyes as a highlight. I then pressed the cool glittery gold shade all over my eyelid for a touch of lustre. I finished by applying the rusty cranberry shadow to the outer corners of my eye, blending up to the crease to add dimension. I wanted to let the shadows stand out, so I finished the eyes with a thin swipe of black liner and a couple gentle coats of mascara.

To complement the eyes and cheeks, I wanted the lips to look natural, but not nude. I started by tracing my lips with my favourite "my lips but better" lip liner, MAC Whirl. I also lightly coloured in my pout with Whirl to create a base of colour. I then finished with a layer of the gorgeous Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Bal de Mai, which gave the lips a flattering rosy sheen. 

Here's another shot of the look, followed by a full breakdown of everything I used! 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Clinique Perfectly Real Foundation in #1 Ivory
Concealer: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory

Powder: Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02 
Blush: From the Tom Ford Pink Glow Palette: Berry shade along the cheek bones as a contour, Peachy Pink shade on the tops of cheekbones, as a highlight

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: From the Pink Glow Palette: Ivory shade (all over lid, blended up to brow bone and on the inner corners as a highlight), shimmery Gold shade (patted across the lid), Cranberry shade (on crease and outer corners)

Eyeliner: Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Eyeliner in Go Black
Mascara: Revlon Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Waterproof Mascara in Black

Lip Liner: MAC Lip Liner in Whirl

Lipstick: Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #160 Bal de Mai

And a few more shots of the look:

I hope these photos demonstrate just how lovely and flattering the shades in Pink Glow are. The blushes are an absolute dream and would most definitely suit a wide range of skin tones. The shadows work wonderfully together to create a complete eye look and offer a unique and beautiful alternative to the typical bronzes and teals most companies promote this time of year. Pinks and berries have never looked so Summery! 

What do you think of the shades of the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact? Do you ever wear pink and berry tones in Summer? What are your favourite palettes at the moment?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Makeup of the Month: May | Tom Ford Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact

Hi, everyone! First off, I'd like to send a heartfelt thank you for all of the words of support and congrats you left in response to my last post. So much appreciated! The fact that I now have my PhD is still quite surreal, but I do feel incredibly relieved to be finished! 

Last month Jenn and I were *innocently* browsing around Holt Renfrew when I *innocently* inquired at the Tom Ford counter about when their Summer 2015 collection would be released. When they informed me that it would be hitting shelves just before the day of my Dissertation defense, I bit the bullet and pre-ordered the star of the collection, the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact. What better treat for finally reaching Dr. status!? The palette actually arrived a couple of weeks early, but I held off until this past Thursday to finally dive in! 

This palette is the most expensive makeup item I've bought to date, but it is a true beauty with five unique shades to enjoy. Let's take a look!

The Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact comes in a metallic textured golden box with white lettering. Just from the outer layer, it gives off a chic, summery feel:

The palette itself comes housed in a soft, luxurious white leather pouch. Inside is a white, square-shaped plastic compact with rounded edges and golden details. To my excitement, it was actually larger than I expected, eclipsing the size of my palm:

Upon opening the case, a beautiful geometric arrangement of shades is revealed: 

Oh, hello there! 

The three shades on the left hand of the palette are eye shadows, each with a distinctly different shade and finish. At the top left is a beautiful highlight shade, a pink-tinged ivory with a frosty finish. The center left shade is a sheer, glittery cool gold, and the bottom left is a rich warm, rust-toned cranberry with a satin finish. 

The right side of the palette consists of two incredible blushes. The top right hue is a sheer pinky peach blush with a golden frosted finish and the bottom right is a rich, saturated , shimmery berry. 

Here are swatches of the 5 shades in the palette, the three shadows to the left and the two blushes to the right: 

So what are my thoughts on this luxurious palette? Is it worth the splurge? Here are some pros and cons- but mostly pros ;)

  • My favourite thing about Pink Glow? The blushes! Both cheek colours are buttery soft and blend beautifully together. I like using the berry shade as a contour and the golden peach as a highlight
  • Wear time of the blushes and the shadows is quite impressive- they get me through the 9-to-5 and beyond
  • I appreciate that you can create a complete eye shadow look with the palette, since it includes a highlight, lid shade, and deeper crease colour
  • The variety of finishes in the eye shadow allows you to create a complex look
  • The generally warm hues in the palette are flattering on my skin tone, but are not so warm that cooler complexions wouldn't get along with it
  • All shades except one (the gold glitter) are beautifully pigmented
  • Though this has a decidedly Summery feel, I think the shades would also be beautiful in Fall as well
  • Sleek, chic, luxurious packaging
  • The blush pans are large enough to use with a moderately-sized blush brush- much larger than I expected! 
  • The glittery shade is rather sheer and has some fall-out- it's pretty, but doesn't pack a punch
  • The shades are absolutely stunning, but are not necessarily unique. Affordable dupes are most likely available! 

Overall, this palette is a total dream. The blushes are among the best I've tried and the shadows allow for a variety of sunset-like, shimmery looks. The pigmentation is impressive and the wear time is top-notch. Plus, it's a stunning thing to behold! Yes, the shades are dupe-able, but if you feel like a special treat this summer, the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Palette is among the best you'll find.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dr. Blogger!

Hi, everyone! I'm here to share a short, but ultra exciting post with you- yesterday marked the successful defense of my Dissertation, which means I have officially earned PhD status! I started graduate school nearly 8 years ago, so this really feels like the culmination of something that I've put every ounce of my being into. It hasn't fully sunken in yet, but I'm gradually revelling in the sensation of finally being finished! Just call me Dr. Blogger! :)

After my defense, I went for a beer and diner food with a couple good friends (perfect way to celebrate!), then sauntered into Inglot for a peruse (it was literally around the corner from our lunch spot; way too tempting). I didn't intend to go nuts, but I wanted to pick up a small celebratory item. I ended up with the vibrant blue lipstick from the Mama Mia collection, which is truly unlike anything in my stash. I'll post a review of it shortly (minus artistically filtered photos), but for now I can say that this playful, unique hue really mirrors the feelings of pride and freedom that achieving my PhD have summoned. I feel like no one can stop me now and this lipstick is the perfect accessory for this emotion.

Thanks so much to all who have sent supportive and congratulatory messages- so very, very much appreciated! xoxo

Monday, 18 May 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Roses, Mauves, and MLBBs

Hi, everyone! Happy long weekend! For those of you who thought my lipstick series was over- surprise! I have one for you today and several more to come (#lipstickhoarder)- yes, my stash just might be bottomless! ;)

This entry focuses on those lipsticks that fall somewhere between nudes and bold shades. The rosy pinks, muted mauves, and flushed neutrals. Those that impart a "my lips but better" effect. Who doesn't want to amp up their natural lip colour just a touch?

Here are closeups of the 12 lovely lippies in this versatile colour family:

NARS Semi-Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita
Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Naturally Chic
Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #160 Bal de Mai
Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose
Boots No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Paradise (discontinued)
Armani Lip Maestro #501

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
Inglot Lipstick #425
Inglot AMC Lip Crayon #22
Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Crayon in Mauveous
Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Elusive
Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Nova

Here are the lip products all laid out, followed by swatches of each, in the same order:

Click to enlarge

And here are each in the context of a completed makeup look!

NARS Semi-Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita

Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Naturally Chic

Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #160 Bal de Mai

Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose

Boots No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Paradise

Armani Lip Maestro in #501

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey

Inglot Lipstick #425

Inglot Lip Crayon #22

Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Crayon in Mauveous

Revlon ColourBurst Lip Balm in Elusive

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Nova

Although the "MLBB" effect isn't one I gush about often, I have to say that each and every shade I tried on for this post made me ooh and aahh. There is something simply beautiful about a rosy or mauve hue that accentuates my natural lip colour while remaining versatile enough to pair with any makeup look. I find NARS Dolce Vita to be the quintessential "my lips but better", beyond wearable shade and Hard Candy All Glossed Up in Mauveous has to be one of my most-worn products in Summertime. It gives a lovely lush finish but really wears for hours! As for other long-wear options, Armani Lip Maestro in #501, Revlon Balm Stain in Honey, and Inglot Lip Crayon #22 really go the distance!

What are your favourite rosy and  mauve-toned lipsticks? Do you like a "MLBB" effect?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Saturday, 16 May 2015

NYC Shopping List!

Hi, everyone! In just over four weeks, I'm heading out on a quick but oh-so-exciting vacation that I absolutely cannot wait for- I'm going to NYC with my parents! While I have visited the Big Apple six times (it's truly my city soul mate), neither my Mom and Dad have been. They have been asking me to be their New York tour guide for ages, so I thought that celebrating my PhD graduation with them in the big city would be the perfect opportunity! 

Although shopping isn't the primary purpose of the trip, I've somehow (in true Jen fashion) complied a rather giant list of products I'm eager to snag. Here are the ultra beautiful ridiculously-hard-to-find-in-Canada goodies (and the stores that stock them) that are tempting me most! 

The Barney's beauty department might be my favourite place to shop. Ever. It stocks the most amazing selection of luxurious, cult, hard-to-find brands that are such a pleasure to peruse. And despite the high-end setting, the sales associates are always ultra helpful! This time around it's the skin care at Barney's that's tempting me most:
I've heard nothing but good things about Tatcha and I'm super interested in their Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder, an ultra gentle exfoliant. I'm way intrigued about Sunday Riley's newest offering, Luna Sleeping Night Oil. It promises soothing and anti-ageing; since it's pricey, I hope to snag a sample! Ditto for the luxurious Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser, which is a fave of Lisa Eldridge.

Bergdorf Goodman
I don't think I've ever been to Bergdorf's, but they have a few brands that are drawing me there now! 
Charlotte Tilbury is coming to Toronto sometime in June(!), but if it hasn't hit shelves yet, I am going to have to snag some goodies while in NYC. Tops on my list are the  Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in the Dolce Vita, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Stoned Rose, Colour Chameleon Dark Pearl, and the new Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadows in Cleopatra. I'm also determined to snag a couple of the Trish McEvoy 24 Hour Eye Shadow and Liners, which are supposed to offer amazing pigmentation and lasting power. Finally, I've never tried anything from La Metier de Beaute, but their Eye Kaleidoscopes are fascinating! 

Bloomingdale's shops also have fab beauty departments. All of the brands they stock are top-notch, but I'm especially curious about:
SK-II, which is definitely pricey, but supposedly magical. My interest has definitely been piqued by their Facial Treatment Essence, Cellumination Mask-in Lotion, a toner-mask hybrid.

Space NK
Space NK is always a must-visit when I go to NYC. They carry so many interesting brands! 
I love shopping for By Terry at Space NK, as they usually have a makeup artist on-hand for touch-ups! This time, I need to finally snag a couple of Ombre Blackstars and replenish my much-loved Cover Expert foundation. I'm also super tempted by the Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster

C.O.Bigelow Apothecary
I've never been to the C.O. Bigelow shop, but this Greenwich Village apothecary looks incredible. It features both traditional remedies and high-end brands alike! I was so excited that they carry:
Lipstick Queen- I so need some goodies from this brand in my life! If I'm weak, I will buy one of their ultra-luxe Velvet Rope lipsticks, or with a bit more restraint, their universally flattering Hello Sailor. I'm also set on picking up some goodies from Ellis Faas, including their Hot Lips for super vivid colours, Creamy Lips for long-wearing, shiny, saturated shades, and their Eye Lights for for intense shimmer.

Bite Beauty Lip Lab 
Finally, I am planning to visit the Bite Beauty Lip Lab for any makeup addict's dream experience- creating my own customized lipstick! I'm thinking of some kind of hot pink/magenta hybrid :)

Since I obviously won't be picking up everything on this list, I would love your feedback- which of these items do you think is the most worth it? A must-have?

Where are your favourite places to shop for beauty in NYC?

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! xo

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sneak Peek: Tom Ford Pink Glow Summer 2015 Eye and Cheek Compact

Hi, everyone! I'm knee-deep in dissertation work at the moment (defending in 6 days- eek!), but in the spirit of pushing forward with my blog amidst the furious prep, I have a short, but very sweet, post for you today! When I found out that Tom Ford's Summer 2015 collection was being released at Holt Renfrew within days of my finishing grad school, I knew I had to snag a piece in celebration of the milestone. I pre-ordered the star of the collection, the Pink Glow Eye and Cheek Compact and was thrilled to pick it up late last week! 

The palette features three gorgeous eye shadows and two shimmering cheek colours. Dreamy doesn't cover it. It's heavenly! I have yet to swatch or even swipe the shades- I feel guilty even looking at it before I pass my defense!- but I promise a full review and accompanying makeup look as soon as I've achieved PhD status :)

Have you picked up any new makeup goodies lately? What have you been swooning over? Anyone else fall prey to Tom Ford's Summer collection?

Have an amazing day :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Simple Summery Look: Bronze + Sangria

Hi, everyone! After putting together my last post, I started to ponder over what other unexpected Summery colour combinations I could create. I'd recently snagged a gorgeous wine-coloured lipstick in an epic makeup swap and had originally thought "I'll have to stash this away until Fall". But then I decided to challenge that notion- I will make this lipstick work for Summer! How to achieve this feat? Pair the wine with some swipes of bronze. 

The lip colour that I speak of is the stunning Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Sangria. Readers of the blog will know that I'm smitten with this formula- the pigmentation is amazing! Sangria is a deep wine-toned berry, quite reminiscent of MAC Rebel. While I might apply this full-on during the colder months, I decided to give the shade a Summery feel by applying it like a stain. I swiped it along the inner portion of my lips, dabbing and blending outward. I really liked the effect! 

To punch up the Summery tone, I reached for some of my favourite bronzey products. I first added a warm glow to my complexion thanks to the beautiful, shimmery (and affordable) Essence Life's a Beach bronzer. I applied it to the areas where the sun naturally kisses the face- across the forehead, the tops of my cheeks and nose, and lightly on my chin. I also used Life's a Beach as an eye shadow for a uniform sunny look. I then added a bit of depth to my face with my favourite matte bronzer, The Body Shop's Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in 02 Fair Matte, applying it to the hollows of my cheeks and my temples. 

To avoid looking washed out, I added a subtle flush to the apples of my cheeks, courtesy of Clinique Cheek Pop in Heather Pop. For a final bold bronze touch, I reached for Urban Decay's 24/7 Eye Liner in Lucky, a bold shimmery copper bronze. 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Wonder Liquid Touch Foundation in #15 Ivory
Concealer: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory

Powder: Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02 blended with Essence Beach Cruisers Bronzing Powder in Life's a Beach
Blush: Clinique Cheek Pop in Heather Pop

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe and Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: Essence Beach Cruisers Bronzing Powder in Life's a Beach (used as an eye shadow) and The Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow in Oh, Honey (as a highlight on brow bone and inner corners)

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Lucky
Mascara: HotShop Long Lash Mascara (from the Born Pretty Store)

Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Sangria (blotted on as a stain)

And a few more shots of the look:

So there you have it- yes, you can wear deep, vampy lipsticks in Summertime! Just dab it on lightly (hello post-popsicle lips) and pair it with a bronzer and you're all set! A killer bronze eyeliner doesn't hurt either :)

Do you ever wear berry lips in Summer? What are your favourite bronzers?

Thanks for dropping by! xo