Sunday, 2 August 2015

CBB Summer Makeup Swap Haul

Hi, everyone! Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with about 20 other Toronto-based beauty bloggers for a delicious dinner and epic makeup swap. The table was surrounded by familiar faces and, after the food was cleared, was covered with a mountain of makeup and skin care. I didn't bring any of my own goodies (I'd cleared out at the last swap), but was a carrier of Jenn's items that she was looking to unload before moving back to the west coast. This meant that I got first dibs at her products (thanks, Jenn!) and I was also lucky enough to go home with a few treasures at dinner as well. Here they are! 


Complexion

Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Treatment
Jenn promised that this stuff was magical, but I was hesitant. I feared it would be too rich and clogging. But since I trust her advice (and love to try new Asian skin care), I snagged it. So glad I did! This calms and hydrates my skin overnight without any irritation. It even soothes and shrinks my breakouts! 

Graydon The Putty (sample)
I received a lot of little samples from the Graydon event, but The Putty had not been among them. It's supposed to be great for irritated skin, so I'm eager to try it. 

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Cream-Rouge Blushers in Soft Pink and Soft Peach
We all know how much I love Daniel Sandler's Watercolour Liquid Blushers, so I was naturally ultra tempted by his cream blushes as well. Both of these shades look so cheery and natural! 


Tools and Nails

Real Techniques Detailer Brush
I already own one of these from the Core Collection, but I snagged another as they work wonderfully for spot concealing as well as for highlighting the inner corners of my eye.

MAC 130 Brush
This is a MAC brush I've been dying to try for ages! It's a shorter-bristled, densely-packed duo-fibre brush that can be used for foundations, cream blushes, or powder products. A true multi-tasker! 

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Autumn Spice
I really don't need anymore nail polishes, but this one called my name. First, it has a gorgeous warm, multifaceted orange-golden-burgundy hue. Second, it dries down to a sweet, spicy smell. Hard to pass up!


Lips

Sonia Kashuk Lip Definer Crayon in Rosewood
I've totally jumped on the lip liner resurgence bandwagon and this looked like a pretty, versatile neutral pink shade that I'd get lots of wear out of. 

Mary Kay at Play Jelly Lip Gloss in Jammin' Berry
I grabbed this because both the shade and formula looked unique. The "jelly" formula is interestingly bubbly and I love a purple lip for summertime!

Laneige Serum Intense Lipstick in Twinkle Coral
Jenn promised that the texture of this lipstick is unlike anything else, and she was right! It has a unique watery gel-like feel and a cheery coral hue. So pretty! 

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Grand Cru
The Rouge Edition Velvets are among my favourite lip products on the market and Grand Cru is such a stunning, rich red. I think it will be perfect for Fall. 

Sorry for the blurriness!

Eyes

BeneFit They're Real (mini)
One of my all-time favourite mascaras, so I will never pass up a mini size! Perfect for travel.

NYX Eyeshadows in Nutmeg and Sahara
Neutrals like this always win me over. The warm ivory and tawny brown tones will work perfectly to create an easy neutral eye. 

Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Imagine
A matte blue shadow from Illamasqua? Nuff said.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Colour in 02
I've been wanting to try this formula for a long time, so I was happy to get this! It's a pretty silvery taupey shade that's supposedly waterproof. Must test this soon! 


I always bring home far more from makeup swaps than I plan to, but thus is the curse of a makeup addict! While scoring some new beauty goodies is always a thrill, the most exciting part of these events is getting to hang out with fellow beauty bloggers, old and new friends among them. Kindred spirits that understand the power of a perfect lipstick!

To learn more about the Canadian Beauty Blogger Network, check out the site, here

Have you ever connected with other beauty bloggers from your city? Have you done any makeup swaps lately?

Thanks for dropping by! xo


Friday, 31 July 2015

Life Recently: My Niece is Cooler Than Your Niece

Hi, everyone! If you've been reading the fine print of my posts lately or are connected with me via Facebook, you'll know that I've been back to visit my hometown a few times over the past month. Visiting family is always a treat, but that experience has only multiplied since I became an auntie. I know people say this all the time, but I didn't know I could love a little creature just that much until I met my niece. She's utterly perfect! (I know I'm biased, but still...). Instead of bragging about just how cool little Lily is for several paragraphs (I seriously could), I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos of her from the last month and a half. Try not to smile :)

Too cool for school at my uncle's birthday party

Reunited and it feels so good!

Admiring her stash of toys :)

Her dolly makes her smile every time :)

"I'm so full of milk!"

She loves storytime!

My little goofball ;)

The smile totally  melts my heart :)

Any of you aunties out there (especially first-time aunties like me) know how I'm feeling. I am fully smitten and obsessed! I'm not sure when I'll be heading home next, but there will definitely be tons of baby Skype in the meantime :)

Hope you don't mind indulging my sharing of the lovely Lily once in a while! And hope you have a little love of your life making you smile :D

Have an incredible weekend! xo

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Look of the Day: Summer Party #2

Hi, everyone! It's only Wednesday morning but I'm already pining for last weekend, which was properly filled with celebration. I was in my hometown for a couple of fun-, friend-, and family-packed days and it could not have been a better time. With temperatures high, I opted for easy, yet long-wearing and festive makeup looks to sport at the festivities. In my last post, I shared with you a bronzey eye and faded coral lip Look of the Day and today's look is all about lush green eyes and a nude-mauve pout. 


The only eye shadow that I brought home for the weekend was the Wet N' Wild Colour Icon Palette in Comfort Zone (look at me being minimal!) and it did not come up short. It is beyond versatile and absolutely stunning to boot! For this look, I drew from the right side of the palette, which features some stunning green shades. I applied the lime shadow all over my lid as an illuminating base, then created some definition by painting the outer corners of my eye with the deep mossy green. For a hint of neutral, I swept the pale taupe shade from Comfort Zone in my crease and added some light with the ivory shadow on my brow bones and inner corners of the eye. 

I wanted to keep the cheeks neutral, but ultra dewy, so I reached for my much-loved Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop (a warm, tawny peach) and one of the most gorgeous highlighters out there (sorry, it was limited edition!), MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Light Year

For the lips, I aimed for a lush, neutral finish. I started by outlining and filling in my lips with the wonderfully creamy Essence Lipliner in Satin Mauve (which I got in a recent Christmas in July swap; more on that soon!) and then layered on some swipes of Annabelle's Stay Sharp Waterproof Lipliner in Java for an extra neutral hue. I topped the liners with my favourite nude gloss of the moment, NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu and voila! A completed Summer Party look! 



The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff
Concealer: Inglot Under Eye Concealer #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)

Bronzer: Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula

Blush: Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop
Highlighter: MAC Mineralized Skinfinish in Light Year (LE)

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: From the Wet N' Wild Colour Icon Palette in Comfort Zone (lime green shade all over the lid and along lower lash line, deep green shade on outer corners, pale taupe in the crease, and ivory shade on brow bones and inner corners of the eye)

Eyeliner: Etude House Play 101 Pencil in #48
Mascara: BeneFit They're Real

Lipliner: Essence Lipliner in Satin Mauve layered with Annabelle StaySharp Waterproof Lipliner in Java

Lip Gloss: NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu 


And a few more shots of the look:




I think I say the exact same thing every time I play with green eye shadows, but seriously- I need to do it more often! Tropical, lush green tones are so perfect for humid summer days and are also a way to play with colour on the eyes without getting too neon or dramatic. Anyone can wear these shades- I promise! 

I hope you've enjoyed my easy, wearable, (mostly) affordable Summer Party looks this week- I plan to sport them all summer long, even when the festive highlight of my weekend is buying fancy cheese at the grocery store or shopping for a new pair of yoga pats. Channelling my inner Summer Party is always possible!

Have an incredible day! xo

Monday, 27 July 2015

Look of the Day: Summer Party #1

Hi, everyone! I hope you've all had an amazing weekend. I'll keep the text of this post short and sweet. I've been in my hometown partying all weekend (a wedding reception Saturday night and my uncle's 60th b-day bash yesterday) and I'm utterly pooped! For each of the shindigs I sported an easy, but festive makeup look, so I thought I'd share them here on the blog. The first installment is all about sultry brown eyes and faded coral lips! 



For the eyes, I reached for my trusty, uber-affordable Wet N' Wild Colour Icon Palette in Comfort Zone. I used the whole left side of the palette, using the deepest brown shade at my lash line and graduating the lighter shades up towards my brow bone. It really is a perfect palette for a shimmery neutral smokey eye! 

The lips were inspired by the new Maybelline ColourBlur lip colours, which are designed to be applied to the inner portion of the lips and gently blended out for a blurred, just-bitten effect. I figured I could re-create this look  using shades in my stash, so I grabbed my much-loved Ilia Lipstick Crayon in Karma Chameleon. It worked wonderfully! 


The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff
Concealer: Inglot Under Eye Concealer #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)

Bronzer: Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula

Blush: Sleek Powder Blush in Flamingo
Highlighter: BeneFit Watts Up

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: From the Wet N' Wild Colour Icon Palette in Comfort Zone (deep brown/burgundy shade along lash line, bronze shade on the lids, peachy pink shade in the crease, and ivory shade as a highlight on brow bone and inner corners)

Eyeliner: Etude House Play 101 Pencil in #48
Mascara: BeneFit They're Real

Lipstick: Ilia Lipstick Crayon in Karma Chameleon (applied to the centre of my lips and blended outwards)


And a few more shots of the look:



You really can't go wrong with bronze eyes and coral lips for a summer party, and I'm hoping that this look inspires you to try this easy, wearable, but festive combination! Keep an eye out for the second Summer Party installment on Wednesday!

What are your go-to products for a fun summer look?

Have an amazing day! xo

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Makeup of the Month | July: Bite Beauty Canadian Maple Collection

Hi, everyone! After spending a bit too much in June (thanks, NYC and Charlotte Tilbury), it was my goal to reel things in a bit in July. I sat patiently and waited for just the right products to catch my eye. I knew I'd found my perfect monthly treat when Bite Beauty released its Canadian Maple Collection. Not only was this new collection a Canadian exclusive (sorry, not sorry), it was inspired by the beautiful variations of Canadian maple leaves in autumn. As if this weren't amazing enough, the products in the collection (5 Maple Matte Creme Lipsticks and a Maple Agave Lip Mask) are infused with real Canadian maple syrup and have the sweet scent to match! 


The Bite Beauty Maple Matte Creme Lipsticks come packaged in boxes adorned with white lettering and colourful maple leaves. Love the motif! The tubes are Bite's signature matte grey, rubber with a pointed cap. The lipstick bullets themselves have a "B" pressed into them for an extra luxurious touch! 




There are 5 Matte Creme Lipsticks in the collection, ranging from true orange to deep wine. They are each lightly scented with a maple fragrance, which is a lovely touch! It was incredibly difficult narrowing it down, but I ended up selecting Candied Maple and Braised Maple

First off, Candied Maple is definitely my kind of colour. It's a rich, saturated orange-toned red that is absolutely gorgeous for Summer and Fall. Like all Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lipsticks, it offers full-on opaque colour with a luminous matte finish. The formula is super comfortable on the lips and the wear time is impressive! 



Wearing Bite Beauty Maple Matte Creme Lipstick in Candied Maple


Next, Braised Maple is equally as saturated and warm as Candied, but is more toned down. I'd call it a muted brick red with brown undertones. 



Wearing Bite Beauty Maple Matte Creme Lipstick in Braised Maple

Finally, we have the Maple Agave Lip Mask. It comes packaged in a dark grey box and is housed in a lightweight grey metal squeeze tube with a twist-off cap. 



The texture of the lip mask is quite thick, so much so that it can be somewhat difficult to squeeze from the tube. While it is dubbed a "lip mask" it is essentially an ultra luxurious lip balm that can be worn in a thicker layer overnight or sparingly underneath lipsticks. It really is an amazing treat! 

It has a rich caramel colour and the most aaaaaaahmazing (yes, that good) sweet (but not too sweet) maple smell. There is actually authentic Canadian maple syrup in the formula, which is ultra cool! On the lips, it feels incredibly hydrating and smooth with no hints of stickiness. It also provides the most subtle warm caramel tint to the lips. 


Wearing the Bite Beauty Maple Agave Lip Mask

Overall, the Bite Beauty Maple collection ticks all of the boxes for me. The quality of the lipsticks is completely up to par with the other Matte Creme Lipsticks I've tried and the colours are warm and flattering. The Lip Mask might be the best lip balm I've tried- it's so hydrating and comfortable. And that maple smell! Intoxicating. Plus, a Canadian exclusive is always something I will be proud and patriotic to flaunt :)


Have you been tempted by the Bite Beauty Maple collection? Have you ever had a collection exclusive to your country?


Have an amazing weekend! 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Look of the Day: Crystal Copper

Hi, everyone! If you read my latest review, you'll know that I totally fell smitten with Gucci cosmetics during my recent trip to NYC and that the product I brought home with me, the Magnetic Colour Shadow Quad in Crystal Copper, did not disappoint. I included an eyeball closeup in the review, but I thought I'd also share how the quad performs in the context of a completed makeup look. Crystal Copper includes three warm shimmer shades and one cooler smokey shade that work amazingly well together for a subtle, yet sultry effect! 


For the eye look, I started by sweeping the gold shade from the quad all over my lid and underneath my lower lash line. For some definition, I applied the coppery brown shade in my crease, blending outwards. As a highlight, I popped the ivory shade on my brow bones and inner corners of my eye and to finish with a bit of smoke, I applied the deep taupe shade on the outer corners of my eye as well as on the outer halves of both upper and lower lash lines. 

I find the shades of Crystal Copper to be wonderfully summery, so I thought I'd keep the rest of the look warm and sunny as well. On the cheeks, I opted for MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Sunbasque, an old favourite (seriously, I bought it almost 10 years ago!). It's a wonderfully peachy bronze with a glowy finish. It just screams summer! On the lips, I reached for my new BFF, Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Bloodroses. It creates the loveliest sheer rosy flush! Finally, I set the makeup look with a few spritzes of Tatcha's Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Glow for days! 


The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff
Concealer: Inglot Under Eye Concealer #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)

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in 02 Fair MatteBlush: MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Sunbasque
Highlighter: BeneFit Watts Up

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: Gucci Magnetic Colour Shadow Quad in Crystal Copper (gold shade all over lid and along lower lash line, ivory shade on brow bone and inner corners as a highlight, copper shade in crease, and dark taupe shade on outer corners and outer halves of upper and lower lash lines)

Mascara: The HotShop Long Lash Mascara from the Born Pretty Store

Lipstick: Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Bloodroses


And a few more shots of the look:




I'm just incredibly smitten with the brightening, metallic (yet incredibly wearable) tones of Crystal Copper. The shades work wonderfully together for a warm, summer night kind of look and I imagine that they will be perfect in the Fall as well. Crystal Copper lets the eyes take center stage without things leaning too smokey or high maintenance. Plus, this look reminded me of just how much I love MAC Sunbasque blush. I bought it at a time when I only owned about 5 blushes (can you imagine?), so it has been mostly neglected for some time. I promise to remedy that this summer!

What are your go-to Summer makeup products? Have you rediscovered any buried treasures in your stash recently?

Have an amazing day! xo

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Veracious Product Review: Gucci Magnetic Colour Shadow Quad in Crystal Copper

Hi, everyone! When I went to NYC last month, I brought with me a carefully-curated shopping list filled with brands that cannot be found here in Toronto. I knew that Gucci was one such brand, yet their offerings had never piqued my interest too high. That is, until I peeked at the Gucci counter in Sak's 5th Avenue. After pursing the offerings, I immediately fell smitten with the chic, luxurious feel and beautiful colour combinations. And after swatching the eye shadows, I was totally sold. Gucci offers shadow singles, duos, and quads, and I opted for the latter, as they were the best value. After quite the swatch fest, I was won over by the Magnetic Colour Shadow Quad in Crystal Copper, a beautiful blend of neutrals. 


Gucci promises that their Magnetic Colour Shadow Quads offer "vibrant hues and lavish textures" with a buildable, finely-milled formula (from gucci.com). Each quad is designed to re-create an iconic Gucci runway look. 

The quads come packaged in black cardboard boxes with gold lettering and Gucci's signature quilted pattern: 



The compact is made of shiny, black, sturdy plastic adorned with the brand's interlocking "G" logos. It closes with quite the satisfying magnetic click. 



Upon opening the compact, four eye shadow shades are revealed, as well as a decent-sized mirror and two double-ended applicators with sponges on one end and tiny brushes on the other. 


The Crystal Copper quad features a beautiful mix of warm and cool neutral shades with a variety of intensities. Yes, it is another neutral quad to add to my stash, but I have to say that the colours in this palette are both wearable and unique! 

First, there is a pale golden shimmery ivory shade that works wonderfully as a highlighter. Next, there is a warm, coppery chestnut that is more satin/matte than the others. On the bottom row we have a true, warm shimmery gold and finally a cool, deeper taupe with subtle purple undertones. 

Below is a close-up of the quad, followed by swatches of each of the shades on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone; without primer):



And here is a close-up of an eye look that I created with Crystal Copper. I first swept the gold shade all over the lid for as shimmery base. I then applied the ivory shade on my brow bones and inner corners of my eye as a highlight. Next, I took the copper shade in my crease, extending outwards, and finished with the deep taupe shade on the outer corners and lightly along the outer half of my upper and lower lash lines. I was quite happy with the result! 


And in the spirit of a thorough review, here is a full breakdown of the ups and downs of this pretty quad! 

Pros:
  • Perfect variety of lighter and deeper shades, so you can customize a variety of looks
  • Shadows are soft and very blendable (without the tendency to "over-blend")
  • These apply with a beautiful medium pigmentation- they can be built up easily for full-on impact or can be worn more sheerly with a light hand
  • These wear wonderfully for at least 8 hours without fading or smudging (even in the humid summer heat)
  • These can also be used wet for more intensity (which I have yet to try), which makes this quad extra versatile! 

Cons:
  • If you expect full-on pigmentation at first swipe, you might be slightly let down
  • At $65 USD these are quite pricey! 

Overall, I am very pleased with this palette! There is definitely something to be said for products that don't tempt you originally but instantly steal your heart when you see and play with them in-person. Sure, the pigmentation isn't the most intense I've experienced and the staying power isn't bullet-proof, but these are only minor complaints in the context of how pretty, unique, and blendable these shadows are. The colour combination of Crystal Copper truly creates an effortless sultry, yet wearable look and definitely has me curious to try more from Gucci cosmetics!

Look out for a full Look of the Day using this quad coming soon! 

Have you tried any of Gucci's makeup? What's the last product that won you over when you played with it in-store?

Thanks for dropping by! xo