Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Look of the Day: Berries and Champagne

Hi, everyone! If you've been reading my blog over the past week, you'll know that I recently picked up some new goodies from Sephora and am pretty much smitten with all of them. In my last post I gushed about the golden goodness that is Becca's Champagne Glow Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Palette and today I'm featuring its versatility in a Look of the Day. Paired with Too Faced's Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Berry, it creates a super flattering Fall look. 

To prove what a multi-tasker the Champagne Glow Palette is, I made it solely responsible for beautifying both my eyes and cheeks for this look. And it did! I started by applying Shimmering Skin Perfector in Blushed Copper to the apples of my cheeks, blending up to the temples. It worked so wonderfully as a blush/bronzer hybrid! So pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too dark for my fair complexion. I then applied Champagne Pop as a traditional highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. It really gives the most lovely golden glow. For the eyes, I applied all three shades of the palette- Champagne Pop all over the eyelid, Blushed Copper in the crease for some definition, and Pearl on my brow bones and inner corners of the eye. It's really fab how these shades double as shadows! 

And on my lips is a shade that has quickly risen to one of my all-time favourites. Too Faced's Melted Berry is a beautiful mix of red, fuchsia, and berry that I find to be super flattering with my colouring. It brightens my complexion and gives an amazing, rich pop of colour without being too neon or too deep and overpowering. It is such a perfectly balanced shade! Plus, the formula is lovely- long-wearing without drying out the lips one bit. 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: YSL Fusion Ink Foundation in BR20 Pinky Beige
Concealer: Inglot Under Eye Concealer in Shade #95 (on dark circles) and Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory (on redness and blemishes)

Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Long-Wearing Pressed Powder in 011 Creamy Natural  (on t-zone) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (lightly all over)

Blush: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Blushed Copper
Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors Pressed in Champagne Pop (all over lid), Blushed Copper (in crease), and Pearl (on brow bones and inner corners of the eye)

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon
Mascara: The HotShop Long Lash Mascara (from the Born Pretty Store)

Lipstick: Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Berry

And a few more shots of the look:

If you couldn't tell already, Becca Champagne Glow and Too Faced Melted Berry both get two thumbs up from me- and they really do work incredibly well together! I dare claim that they both are universally flattering and are a fail-proof way to create a Fall look that is both dramatic and completely wearable. I will be wearing them lots!

Have you tried any of Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors or Too Faced Melted Lipsticks? Is this a look that you would wear?

Have a wonderful day :)

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Currently Obsessed: Becca Champagne Glow Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Palette

Hi, everyone! When a new makeup product becomes an instant sensation, I'm quick to give it a peek, then just as quick to get a bit cynical. I guess I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to new makeup trends- maybe it's because I'm 30+ and have no desire to look like a teenage Instagram model or perhaps it's because I'm a bit reactive to anything that's super mainstream. So when Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop totally blew up earlier this Fall, I raised a skeptical eyebrow. Yes, it looked lovely and the blogger behind its design, Jaclyn Hill, is actually a pretty cool and talented chick. Despite this, I kept my distance. But then friend after friend of mine gushed about it and their gleaming cheekbones were further proof that this was beautiful stuff. So when Becca released its new Champagne Glow Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Palette ($44 CAD) for the holidays, I knew it was finally my time to give in and accept Champagne Pop into my life, along with two other gorgeous highlighters. 

The Champagne Glow palette comes in a (go figure) champagne gold reflective cardboard box with silver and white lettering. The back of the box pictures a photo and message from YouTuber Jaclyn Hill who, as I mentioned, collaborated in the development of the palette. I have watched several of her videos and I know that she's seriously passionate about a good highlighter and seems genuinely thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with the brand. 

The palette itself is also champagne gold in colour and has a full-sized mirror, which is quite handy! As you can see, it houses three separate highlighters in separate circular pans. 

When I opened the palette, I was pleasantly surprised that the pans were larger than they appeared in online photos. I thought they would only be about Toonie-sized (sorry, only a reference Canadians will understand), but they are about half-again as big as that. 

The palette contains three distinct shades that are each designed to brighten and add glow to the complexion. The first is Pearl, a new shade to Becca's line. It's a true shimmery ivory white with neither silver nor gold undertones. The second is Champagne Pop, which, as previously mentioned, has been one of the most raved-about products of the year. It's a flattering mid-tone golden peach. The final shade is Blushed Copper, which is another new offering. It's a warm bronzed copper with subtle shades of pink and is clearly the darkest shade among the trio. 

Here are swatches of Pearl, Champagne Pop, and Blushed Copper on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone):

And here I am wearing all three shades from the palette. I am wearing Pearl as a highlight on my brow bones and inner corners of the eye, Champagne Pop on my eyelids and the tops of my nose and cheekbones, and Blushed Copper as a bronzer/blush as well as on the crease of my eyes. 

So what are my thoughts on this palette? In short, it's true love! First off, the texture of the highlighters is beautiful. This is my first Shimmering Skin Perfector and I now realize what all the hype is about. These feel so soft and buttery on the skin and blend like an absolute dream. They are quite pigmented, but can still be buffed in to create a natural finish. No, they are by no means subtle like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, but they certainly can be applied with a light hand for a softer, ethereal finish. Or they can be applied full-force for some serious bling. I am also impressed with this palette because all three shades are incredibly wearable. I was pretty convinced that Champagne Pop would be a hit (and it is), but I was slightly worried that Pearl would be too frosty and Blushed Copper would be too dark for my complexion. Luckily, those fears were totally unfounded. Pearl is totally wearable on my NC15/20 skin tone (read: does not make me look like my face is frost-bitten) and Blushed Copper is completely stunning as a blush/bronzer hybrid. No traces of orange or muddiness at all. I wore all three shades in the look above and felt like a golden goddess. Hard not to love a product that channels a feeling like that!

So while I'm super glad I held out on Champagne Pop and waited for this palette (I'd never finish a full one anyways and am happy to try these two other shades), my experience has reminded me that I shouldn't always be such an old cranky lady when it comes to hyped products. Some of them truly are gems!

Have you tried Champagne Pop or any of Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors? Does this palette tempt you? How do you react when a product is super hyped?

Have a fantastic day! xo

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Look of the Day: Isolde's Exorcism

Hi, everyone! In my previous post I shared with you the items I picked up during the recent Sephora Holiday VIB Sale. The haul ended up taking on a theme of berry and golden hues and I was super eager to put my new goodies to work! Today's Look of the Day highlights two of those products- NARS Duo Eye Shadow in Isolde and Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Exorcism

Being a huge lover of warm, golden eye shadows, it's amazing that the NARS Isolde duo had stayed off my radar for so long. It features a pair of near-metallic hues, which NARS describes as "frosted ginger" and "shimmering copper". I'd describe them as a warm fiery gold and a bronzed copper. For this look, I applied the lighter gold all over my eyelid, blending up to the crease, as well as along my lower lash line for some extra glow. I then swept the darker copper in my crease and on the outer corners of the eyes, blending out to create a subtle 'v' shape. For the eyeliner, I opted for something in the same colour family, Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon, a rich bronze. 

I then painted my lips with Kat von D Exorcism liquid lipstick, which the brand describes as a "ripe blackberry" shade. I'd say that it first applies as a rich berry tone and, as it is layered, it takes on more of a blackened purple hue. I did find the application of the lipstick to be a bit patchy, which caused me to apply more than I would have liked in an attempt to even things out. Despite this, the product never felt tacky, tight, or heavy on the lips. I quite like the texture! To add extra dimension to the lips, which can look flat with such a matte product, I patted a mix of the Isolde shadows in the centre of my bottom lip.

Since the eyes and lips were the central focus, I wanted to keep the skin fresh and natural. I chose a pale, matte coral blush, the lovely Illamasqua Powder Blush in Tremble. To add some glow, I swept Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop (from my newly acquired Champagne Glow Palette-review coming soon) to the tops of my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. I can now see why this highlighter has received so much hype! It's the perfect gilded champagne. 

Here are close-ups of both NARS Isolde and Kat von D Exorcism, followed by swatches of each: 

(L-R): Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, NARS Duo Eye Shadow in Isolde

The Breakdown:

Foundation: YSL Fusion Ink Foundation in BR20 Pinky Beige
Concealer: Inglot Under Eye Concealer in Shade #95 (on dark circles) and Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory (on redness and blemishes)

Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Long-Wearing Pressed Powder in 011 Creamy Natural  (on t-zone) and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (lightly all over)

Blush: Illamasqua Powder Blush in Tremble
Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: NARS Duo Eye Shadow in Isolde (lighter gold shade all over the lid and along the lower lash line, deeper copper shade in the crease and on the outer corners of the lid and lower lash line) and The Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow in Oh, Honey (on the brow bone and inner corners as a highlight)

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon
Mascara: The HotShop Long Lash Mascara (from the Born Pretty Store)

Lipstick: Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Exorcism with a touch of NARS Isolde (both shades) patted in the centre of the lips

And a few more shots of the look:

And one final shot to demonstrate the beauty of Champagne Pop

Overall, my first play around with these products was a success! The shadows in the Isolde duo could not be more beautiful- from the pigmentation to the finish, they are perfection! My only caution is that they are very warm-toned, so those with cooler complexions might find them too yellow. Also, I was a bit discouraged by the patchiness of Exorcism, but given that the texture ended up feeling so comfortable on the lips, I have a feeling that a bit of balm underneath would patch this right up. And as hesitant as I was to jump on the Champagne Pop bandwagon- consider me a convert! This stuff is pure ethereal goodness. 

Is this a makeup look that you'd wear? Have you tried any of the products I've featured? Do you have any favourite NARS Duo Eye Shadows or Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sephora VIB Sale Haul!

Hi, everyone! Few things get my heart pounding more than a Sephora sale. There are so many factors that render them addictive, including their rarity (only twice a year!) and the fact that the majority of the brands sold there will never go on sale anywhere else. It truly creates the perfect storm for excitement and temptation! This year's VIB Holiday Shopping Event took place last week and offered 20% off store-wide. I showed a small amount of restraint this year- spending about half as much as I did last November- while certainly not skimping. I'm not one to skimp :)

Here's a peek at my VIB sale booty all packaged up...

... and outside of the boxes! This is what I picked up:

NARS Eye Shadow Duo in Isolde
This duo has been around forever, but had been totally off my radar until I saw Laura rave about it a few times recently. The warm golden coppery shades are so up my alley and I know they'll be an instant staple in my collection. 

Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
This was my "practical" purchase of the bunch, as it's something that I use daily and have recently run out of. I find it does an amazing job at holding my brows in place while adding a flattering golden tint to my brows. It's seriously good stuff!

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Exorcism
I've never been drawn to Kat von D personally (though I respect her love of animals), but I'd heard too many raves about the brand to pass it by any longer. I'd been eyeing the Liquid Lipstick in Berlin (a bright, warm rose) for months, but when it was sold out during the sale I spied the other options. I ended up selecting Exorcism, a deep sultry berry. And totally appropriate, as I've been watching tons of ghost shows recently :)

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Palette
I was so happy to see this palette, as I'd held out on Champagne Pop for so long and figured that this would be the ultimate way to try it without committing to a full size. The palette also features two other gorgeous highlighters- Pearl (a shimmering white) and Blushed Copper (a warm, deeper rose gold), which I'm sure will be nothing short of Becca's epic highlighter standards. 

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Berry
This pick was totally enabled by Chelle (I enable her constantly, so may she find some satisfaction in this :)). I'd been wanting to pick up more of the Melted Lipsticks, but was overwhelmed by the shade choice. After seeing Chelle sport Melted Berry a few times, I knew I had to own it. It's the perfect flattering berry red!

I'm really digging the gold and berry theme going on in this haul- what better shades to add some glam during Fall and Winter!? I'm also feeling content at the size of this haul- indulgent, while not over the top (though I realize those standards are subjective, lol). Look out for reviews and Looks of the Day using these very soon! xo

Did you purchase anything in the recent Sephora sale? Have you tried any of the items featured here? Did I tempt you with anything?

Have an amazing weekend!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

My Picks from H&M Beauty

Hi, everyone! When I initially heard that H&M was releasing a new range of cosmetics, I was a bit skeptical. I'd been super disappointed by the makeup items offered at clothing retailers in the past (including former items from H&M themselves) which fully fueled my hesitance. But then rave after rave for the new H&M Beauty line kept popping up in the blogosphere. You can only ignore such glowing reviews for so long, so I finally caved! 

The new H&M Beauty range offers over 700 items (crazy!), from lipsticks, to mascara, to hair and body creams. I thought I would be overwhelmed approaching the department, but everything was displayed super neatly and organized with testers for absolutely everything. Made browsing a breeze! I could have easily walked away with 20+ items, but I stuck to my budget and snagged only three. Here are my top picks! 

The new H&M Beauty products come housed in white cardboard boxes with black and white imagery and gold lettering. Quite chic, actually! The internal packaging is made of lightweight plastic, yet feels sturdy. The colour scheme is likewise a minimal mix of black, white, and gold. 

As for the shades, there are so many incredible hues to choose from! Everything from the palest neutral to the boldest bright is available. I was a bad blogger and used my new goodies before photographing them- but sometimes the makeup fiend trumps the blogger in me! 

The first product I chose was one of the Cream Eyeshadows ($7.99 CAD), which was inspired after hearing a serious rave from Lily Pebbles. The cream shadows come housed in clear pots with white screw-off lids. They promise a "cream to powder [formula] with a silky mousse texture and pure, intense colours" (from They also tout long wear, which is one of the reasons Lily loved them so much. 

The shade I opted for was Dauphine Truffle, a neutral mid-tone brown with very subtle shimmer. I own so many warm, bronze shades, so purposely chose something more neutral and natural. It really is such a versatile shade! As promised, Dauphine Truffle has a light moussey texture that glides over the eye and blends easily. The colour can be applied in a sheer wash or layered for more intensity. Either way, once this sets, it really does not crease or budge all day! And as a bonus, it does so without any sense of dryness or heaviness on the lid. So impressed! 

The second product I chose was one of the Pressed Powder Blushes ($12.99 CAD) and, of course, the most vibrant among the bunch. The powder blushes come in hexagonal shaped compacts with gold detailing- very unique and pretty! They promise sheer, buildable colour that looks natural and healthy.

The shade I selected was Imperial Red, a warm, reddened coral with a super soft golden sheen. It looks a bit intimidating in the pan, but on the cheeks it's natural flushed goodness! It really is ultra blendable and buildable, which makes it difficult to over-do yet possible to go bolder, if wanted. I actually find it to be a wonderful dupe for my much-loved Tom Ford Cheek Colour in Flush, which costs four times the price. 

My final pick was, of course, a lipstick. H&M's Cream Lipsticks ($12.99 CAD) are touted as "classic lipstick [with a] rich and creamy formula [that] offers medium coverage" (from They promise to provide a smooth texture and to give lips a fuller appearance. 

The shade selection of the lipsticks is truly phenomenal, almost overwhelming! I knew I wanted to snag a shade of red, something reminiscent of NARS Audacious in Rita, which I've been trying to resist because of the price. I swatched about 8 different red-based colours and ended up choosing True Falu, a saturated, slightly brownish red. The pigmentation is absolutely incredible, as is the wear time. And it really does feel luscious on the lips! 

Here are swatches of the three H&M Beauty goodies I picked up: 

(L-R): H&M Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Dauphine Truffle, Powder Blush in Imperial Red, and Cream Lipstick in True Falu

And here is a makeup look I created using all three products: 

To say I am smitten with these products is a total understatement. The quality is phenomenal, especially given the budget price. The formulas are long-wearing, the textures are creamy and blendable, and the shades are diverse and flattering. I truly have no complaints so far and cannot wait to try more. So happy I put my initial reservations aside!

Are you tempted by H&M Beauty? Have you tried anything from the range? Are these shades that you would wear?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Sunday, 15 November 2015

ARTDECO Mystical Forest Collection for Fall 2015

Hi, everyone! I just wrapped up a lovely weekend with my parents, our annual Christmas shopping extravaganza. Always such a fun treat! As Fall marches on and the colder weather begins to creep in, I've been gravitating towards makeup shades that suit this seasonal transition. Turns out, Artdeco's Mystical Forest Collection* is just the ticket! 

The Mystical Forest collection is full of rich, deep shades of burgundy, berry, grey, and periwinkle. It contains a full range of products, from nail polish to lip liner to soft, loose powder shadows. And all at affordable drugstore prices! I've been impressed with Artdeco's offerings in the past, so I was eager to give these new goodies a go. 

Among the products sent my way were two pencils. The first is the Soft Eye Liner Waterproof in Anthracite*, a deep coal grey. The tip of the liner broke off when I first swatched it, which worried me that it might be too dry, but after sharpening and reapplying, the texture was quite smooth and, as promised, long-wearing! The second is the Soft Lip Liner Waterproof in Mystical Heart*, a rich raspberry pink. This is one gorgeous lip liner! It's ultra pigmented and super creamy, yet also wears for several hours without budging. The shade will work perfectly with all of the berry, wine, and cooler red lipsticks in my stash. 

Next up we have a pretty little lip gloss, the Hydra Lip Booster in Translucent Mounting Rose. It's a neutral mid-tone rose that feels super smooth and hydrating on the lips. Not at all sticky or heavy. It has a standard doe foot wand that makes application a breeze. 

As for the eye shadow option, the Mystical Forest collection has an ultra unique offering. The Eye Designer Refills* are little cylindrical jars of loose shadow that you hook into the Eye Designer Applicator*, a stick that has small sponges on either end. When you tip the jars upside down, no product falls out (magic!), yet when you press the sponges into the opening, it picks up just the right amount of product. How neat! The shades I received were Mountain Ash and Dimgray, both variations of cool, muted purple grey. 

Here's a closeup of the Eye Designer Refill with one of the Eye Designer Applicator sponge tips to give you a sense of the application: 

Finally, we have Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Couture Purple Emperor*. It's a deep purple berry that looks ultra vampy when layered. Classic Fall shade! 

Here are swatches of all of the Mystical Forest goodies I've featured: 

L-R: Anthracite, Mountain Ash, Dimgray, Mystical Heart, Translucent Mountain Rose, Couture Purple Emperor

And here is a makeup look I created with the collection! I applied Mountain Ash shadow all over my lid and along the lower lash line, deepening the eyes further with Dimgray in the crease and outer corners, as well as along the upper lashes. I've lined the eyes with Anthracite, winging the liner out slightly. I lined and filled in my lips with Mystical Heart and finished things off with a slick of Translucent Mountain Rose gloss. I love the way these shades work together! 

I don't often get ultra jazzed for drugstore collections, but I have to say that the Mystical Forest collection is totally solid and perfect for the season! Mountain Ash and Dimgray are totally unique shadows in my collection and are about as flattering as cool grey shades will ever look on me. Mystical Heart has become one of my fave lip liners ever and as glosses go, Translucent Mountain Rose is tops! A huge thanks to Artdeco for sending these goodies my way!

Have you tried any makeup from Artdeco? Do you wear shades like these for Fall and Winter?

Have an incredible week! xo

*These products were sent to me for consideration and review. All opinions expressed are 100% authentic and my own!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Cheers to Kiehl's Customer Service

Hi, everyone! I opted for a bit of healthy diversion after work earlier this week, wandering into the Queen Street Hudson Bay's new "Beauty Underground" department before heading home. The "Beauty Underground" houses mini counters of several beauty brands (the larger, official counters live upstairs), including Clinique, Becca, MAC, and Laura Geller. My wanderings eventually led me to the Kiehl's counter where I had such a fab customer service experience. So good, I thought I'd rave a bit! 

I was helped out by an ultra friendly sales associate named Tristan (if you're reading this- hey!!), who definitely knew his stuff. We chatted skin care, beauty, and life for over half an hour and I left the store with a bevy of samples and a smile on my face. 

This encounter led me to reflect on past Kiehl's visits I've made, both within department stores and free-standing shops. Thinking about it, I've never had a bad experience. I have to say that Kiehl's has some of the best customer service in the beauty market, and here's why. Kiehl's sales reps are always super friendly and never pushy. I've never felt bullied into buying stuff, nor ignored or dismissed. Kiehl's associates know their skin care. It is ultra refreshing to chat with reps who not only know their own brand's products inside and out, but also are totally knowledgable about skin care ingredients in general. Tristan and I chatted about Vitamin C and retinol with geeky fervor. And finally, Kiehl's' sampling program is awesome. I can't say that I've ever left a Kiehl's counter without a few sample packets in hand and I've never felt like a bother for asking for them. Tristen said that the brand is so generous with the samples because they feel that the products will speak for themselves and you'll be back for the full size when you find the goodies that are just right for you. 

So while I'm eager to test out the samples I received (I've already been dabbling in the Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum and it's pretty fab), I'm also excited to return to the Kiehl's counter for some more chats about skin care and life. If there's anything to promote brand loyalty, that's it! 

Do you have any favourites from Kiehl's? Which brands do you think have the best customer service?

Thanks for stopping by! xo