Thursday, 2 April 2015

March Empties!

It's April, y'all! Hope nobody got fooled too badly yesterday :) Not quite sure where March went, but these empty containers are proof that I shampooed, cleansed, toned, and sprayed the month away! I didn't polish off a ton, but there are some stars among them:


Antipodes Divine Face Oil
This is the second bottle of this that I've finished. That says a lot! This does an amazing job at hydrating and giving skin a lovely glow without any hint of greasiness. Plus it smells amazing! 
Repurchase? Definitely!

Nourish Relax Hydrating Peptide Serum
This was such a pleasant surprise! This serum worked wonders to lightly hydrate while banishing all traces of redness from my skin. It never broke me out, is full of natural, organic ingredients, and didn't strain my wallet too much!
Repurchase? Not immediately, but yes!

CoLab Dry Shampoo in London
Not the biggest fan of this scent- a bit too heady for my liking. It was amazingly lightweight, but unfortunately didn't add enough volume to my second-day locks. 
Repurchase? No.

May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist
Hands down the best face mist I've tried! This smelled incredible (think jasmine and cocoa) and was wonderfully soothing. Was fantastic at calming redness and blemishes too. Totally beautiful!
Repurchase? Oh yes. The price is the only thing that prevents me from owning 5 bottles at once!

Organix (Ogx) Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
A very nice, affordable hydrating shampoo! Pleasant fresh, nutty scent, didn't strip my hair, nor leave it weighed down. Nothing phenomenal, but a good all-rounder.
Repurchase? If I spotted it on sale, I think so!

Live Clean Monoi Oil Strengthening Conditioner
This was nicely creamy and had a pleasant floral scent, but really didn't do a great job at hydrating or strengthening. Happily used it up, but nothing is drawing me back. 
Repurchase? No.

Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner
A super gentle aloe-based toner (duh). Maybe too gentle. While this didn't irritate my skin in the slightest, it also did nothing to cleanse, calm, or refine my complexion. I don't expect miracles from toners, but I do expect something.
Repurchase? No.


What did you finish off in March? Have you tried (and loved? hated?) any of the products I featured?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Natural Skin Care on Trial

Hi, everyone! Apologies if lipsticks and/or natural skin care are not your favourite topics; that's pretty much all I've been chatting about lately! But I'm a firm believer in writing about the things that drive your passions, so for now: lipsticks and natural skin care it is! 

Recent followers of the blog will know that I've begun efforts to transition to a more natural, gentle, ethically sourced skin care routine. I've always been interested in "natural" skin care (I use that term loosely, as many brands do), but my early experiences with such products largely left my skin irritated and spotty. More recently, however, the natural skin care world has really exploded and has begun to offer products that are effective, but soothing, entirely eco-friendly, but completely chic and appealing to my sense of luxury. Colour me excited! As a result, I've been frequenting local shops, including Jacob & Sebastian, Husk, The Detox Market, and The Big Carrot, all of which have been helping to feed my obsession. 


This quest has left me with a bathroom full of mini products that I have been putting to the test. I've been aiming to do so as gradually and as scientifically as possible, so if my sensitive, acne-prone skin begins to act up, I can pinpoint and nail the culprit rather quickly. Some of these products have been gracing my shelves for several weeks, while others are newer to the game. I thought it might be helpful to share my reactions will all of you, in case you are on a similar skin care path! 

First up is the Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Balancing Facial Oil, which I picked up from Husk a couple months back but have just started to use regularly. Everything this oil promises is music to my ears: it is designed to soothe redness and irritation, balance oil production, and heal blemishes while lightly hydrating the skin. Yes, yes, and yes! The oil is a gorgeous azure blue colour (thanks to the blue tansy oil) and conveniently comes in a small trial-sized roller ball format. I have been using this at night between my serum and night cream and have been waking up with seriously calm, even skin each morning. So far, this is a winner! 

Last month I was lucky enough to meet Graydon Moffat, the founder of Graydon skin care. I was sent home with a bevy of sample-sized treats from the line and have found a few firm favourites. The first is The Serum, which is jam-packed full of berry seed oils for hydration and antioxidant protection. It has an oily consistency, but does not leave me greasy- instead I look quite glowy! Perhaps my favourite is The Green Cream, which is dubbed as a "salad for your skin". It features broccoli seed oil and several herbal extracts, which creates quite the stimulating scent! I use this as a night cream and it always leaves my skin feeling calm and hydrated by morning. (Spoiler alert: I have purchased full sizes of both of these).

We all know that I love a little Pai, and during my latest visit to Jacob & Sebastian, the owner Joel was kind enough to provide me with deluxe sample sizes of three of their beautiful day creams. Up for trial very soon is their  Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream and Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Creams, which are both designed for hydrating finicky, sensitive skin. Their Geranium & Thistle Day Cream is a firm favourite of mine, so I expect nothing less from these varieties! 

Another brand that had totally been tempting me was The Body Deli, due to its ultra fresh ingredients and foodie sensibilities. This curiosity coincided with a rather bad breakout, so I marched over to Husk and snagged sample sizes of two of the line's blemish busters, the Sage & Grapefruit Cleanser and the Light Facial Emulsion. I have been absolutely loving both of them and will definitely be buying full sizes of both! The cleanser smells like a fresh green smoothie and contains the kale, sage, and tea tree to warrant the pigment. It also contains 2% salicylic acid to really clean out pores. It has seriously cleared out my skin without any dryness. Impressive! And the moisturizer is perhaps the best lightweight, yet hydrating lotion I've tried. It contains minerals like sulphur and 1% salicylic to clear skin, sinks into skin beautifully, and wears perfectly under makeup. 

Finally, after hearing Caroline Hirons rave on and on about Tata Harper, I finally caved and brought some home. Jacob & Sebastian stocks Tata's Daily Essentials Natural Antiaging Skin Care Discovery Kit, which features minis of 7 products to try, and at a phenomenal value (the brand isn't cheap!). For the sake of science, I didn't throw the whole range on my face at once. Instead, I decided to start with three products: the Hydrating Floral Essence, Rejuvenating Serum, and the Resurfacing Mask. As of now, my impressions are mixed. I'm pretty sure the serum broke me out. There are several essential oils involved, and I knew it was a risk. The mask is quite nice, leaving my skin even and smooth without irritation, but is not mind-blowing, given the price. My fave of the bunch so far is the face mist- it really leaves my complexion calm, balanced, and even! 


So there you go, a not-so-concise review of my current skin care trials. Given that my skin can be so reactive, I am always so grateful when brands offer samples, mini sizes, and trial kits. I appreciate the gesture, and so does my skin! 

Did I tempt you with anything here? What skin care are you testing out at the moment? Any of you natural skin care junkies like me?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Peaches

Hi, everyone! Had a busy day today (or yesterday, I suppose- visited the One of a Kind Show with Jenn and Vanessa- more on that in a future post!), so I'll keep it short and sweet. My lipstick swatch-a-thon continues and today's entry is all about the peaches! Turns out the peach portion of my stash is rather sparse, but nonetheless offers quite the nice variety. From sheer, peachy nudes to opaque retro hues; from Revlon to Chanel, my little capsule offers it all! 


The peachy lip shades in my collection are:

Chanel Levres Scintillante Glossimer in Zephyr (limited edition)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Torres del Paine (limited edition)
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte in Tender Peach (discontinued)
Dior Addict Lipstick in Bobo (discontinued)
Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

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





And each in the context of a completed makeup look:

Chanel Glossimer in Zephyr

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Torres del Paine

YSL Rouge Volupte in Tender Peach

Dior Addict Lipstick in Bobo

Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

I hope you enjoyed this peek at my peaches! (I also hope that didn't sound dirty, eek). I didn't realize until writing this up just how many of these were LE/discontinued. So for those saying that these lipstick posts are far too enabling: you're welcome! The only shade of these still available is entirely affordable :)

Overall, I don't reach for peaches often, but swatching each of these has reminded me just how lovely this hue is for Spring. I have to say that my favourite all-rounder of the bunch is Dior Bobo (it also wins weirdest name), as it has just enough pink, sheerness, and shine to make it perfectly wearable!

Which of these lippies is your favourite? What are your go-to peach lipsticks?

Hope you're having a great weekend! xo

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Neutral to Cool Reds

Hi, everyone- happy Friday! To those of you who thought my Lip Stash by Hue series was over, have no fear! I have several more colour families to share with you; just thought I'd break the monotony a bit along the way. In terms of what would be next up, I knew it had to be the cooler-toned reds. First, I hadn't showcased any red shades yet, so it was about time! Second, the boyfriend and I recently watched 101 Dalmatians, so I had to get NARS Cruella up on the blog, pronto! 

So here they are, the neutral to cool-toned red lip colours in my stash. Those shades of cherry and ruby that evoke a touch of 1950s glamour: 



Here are the neutral to slightly cool lip shades in my collection:


Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Coque d'Or #120
Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red
MAC Lipglass in Russian Red
MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red
Avon Ultra Colour Lip Crayon in Reddy for Me
Lime Crime Unicorn Lipstick in Retrofuturist


And the deeper cool lipsticks in my stash: 


Chanel Rouge Allure in Lover
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in NSFW
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #43 Moulin Rouge
Hourglass Opaque Rouge in Icon
Ulta3 Lipstick in Cherry Wine


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


Click to enlarge

And each of the lip colours in the context of a completed makeup look:

Guerlain Rouge Automatique in #120 Coque d'Or

Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red

MAC Lip Glass in Russian Red

MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

Avon Ultra Colour Lip Crayon in Reddy for Me

Lime Crime Unicorn Lipstick in Retrofuturist

Chanel Rouge Allure in Lover

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

OCC Lip Tar in NSFW

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in Moulin Rouge #43

Hourglass Opaque Rouge in Icon

Ulta3 Lipstick in Cherry Wine

So there we have it, my first installment of reds! I have to say that swatching and removing each of these took a toll on my lips, but it was worth it- I felt like quite the bombshell in the process! My favourites among the lot have to be Hourglass Opaque Rouge in Icon (one of the original matte liquid lipsticks), NARS Cruella (a villainous, but wearable deep red), and Burberry Lip Velvet in Military Red (the shade and formula truly are perfection). I also have to credit Lime Crime Retrofuturist for being the quintessential Snow White red and give a shout out to Chanel Rouge Allure in Lover- it was one of my first-ever high end lipsticks about 8 years ago. It will always have a special place in my heart! 

Stay tuned for additional red swatches in the weeks to come- I'll have separate posts for my orange reds as well as my muted and brown-toned reds. I definitely have more red lippies in my stash than originally thought!

What are your go-to blue-based reds? Which of the lipsticks above is your favourite?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The 5-Product Face

Hi, everybody! I thought I'd take a brief pause in my lipstick swatch-a-thon to bring you something totally different. I've seen "5-Product Face" posts in the past and thought "pssshht, I could never do that". If you saw my Makeup Addict Tag, you'll know that I like to zen out while doing my makeup, typically using up to 15 products in the process. So 5 products only? Won't that leave me with just a third of a face?! Despite the reservations, I thought I'd woman up and take the challenge. So here it is, the before and after of my 5-product face! 


Here are the items that went into this look. I opted for flawless, yet natural-looking skin, flushed cheeks and lips, defined brows and lashes, and a dewy glow:


I started by applying Cle de Peau's Concealer in Ivory over any areas of redness, including blemishes, scars, and dark circles. I then simply blended things out with my fingers. This concealer seriously is the best I've tried. It covers everything (everything!), while still managing to blend seamlessly and look like real skin. A true miracle! I then reached for NARS Matte Multiple in Siam, a bold orange red, and patted several layers onto my lips. I then took a much lighter touch and stippled a bit onto the apples of my cheeks, blending up. For a natural kick of luminosity, I dabbed RMS Living Luminizer across my eyelids, on the tops of my cheekbones, and down the bridge of my nose. The finish really is quite ethereal!

For definition, I reached for my go-to brow product, Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Taupe, applying with an angled brush. You can see in the photo that I've nearly polished off the pan, and this is perhaps the fifth or sixth of these I've finished over the last seven years. Serious holy grail status! The finishing touch was a couple coats of BeneFit They're Real mascara, which never fails to provide both length and volume.

And voila! Here are a couple more shots of the finished look:



So it seems I've totally surprised myself with this one- a 5-Product face really can look complete and polished! Those who wear more minimal looks on a regular basis might be rolling their eyes (of course 5 products can achieve this) but for this maximista, it really was a feat and a revelation. Yes, I had to forego liner, shadow, foundation, and powder, but I think my face appreciated the lighter load. A breath of fresh air, really! 

Would you be interested to see more variations of a 5-Product Face in the future?

What are you go-to products for a minimal look?

Thanks for dropping by! :)

Monday, 23 March 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Nudes

Hi, everyone! For those who have been reading my Lip Stash by Hue posts so far (thank you!), you might be wondering "does this girl wear any lip colours that aren't neon bright?" It's true, I'm all about a vibrant lip, but even I crave a more muted shade now and again. So here they are, the nude lipsticks in my stash! As you'll see, none are your typical matte, concealer-lips sorts of formulas. Instead, most have a satin or glossy finish that renders the nude hue more wearable. Matte nudes tend to really wash me out, so I need a bit of shine! The shades range from soft milky pink to tawny browns with some super soft corals and plums in between. Check 'em out! 



Here are the lighter, more classic nudes in my stash:


Julep Lip Vernis in Camellia (discontinued)
Annabelle Twist Up Metal Mix in Nude of Fame
Hourglass High Shine Lip Gloss in Child
Hard Candy Painted Lady Lip Colour in Perfect 10 (discontinued)
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy
YSL Glossy Stain in Beige Anarchist

And the darker, more coral and brown nudes in my collection:


MAC Lustre Lipstick in Viva Glam V
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Modesty
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Descanso (limited edition)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Memento
Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Mystic
Revlon ColourBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude (discontinued)


And here are the lip colours all lined up, followed by swatches of each in the same order: 


Click to enlarge



And each of the lipsticks in the context of an entire makeup look:

Julep Lip Vernis in Camellia

Annabelle Twist Up Metal Mix in Nude of Fame

Hourglass High Shine Lip Gloss in Child

Hard Candy Painted Lady Lip Colour in Perfect 10

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy

YSL Glossy Shine in Beige Anarchist

MAC Lustre Lipstick in Viva Glam V

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Modesty

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Descanso

OCC Lip Tar in Memento

NudeStix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Mystic

Revlon ColourBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude

So there we have it! Proof that even the most vibrant of girls can go nude. It's true that I don't reach for these shades all the time, but many of them do hold a special place in my heart. Viva Glam V was my first-ever MAC lipstick (this is my second tube), Hard Candy Perfect 10 may be my favourite nude lipstick of all-time (and is sadly discontinued), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy never fails to make me feel ultra sophisticated, and YSL Beige Anarchist goes with any makeup look. Literally. I'm glad this post jogged my memory about how fab some of these nudes really are!

Am I tempting you with any of these? What are your go-to nude lipsticks?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Pinky Corals

Happy weekend, everyone! I really hope you're enjoying the Lip Stash by Hue series so far. I've been having tons of fun sorting and swatching the lot. Such a great way to truly interact with my entire collection! After delving into the Bright Pinks and Purples, it's time to move onto some corals. To celebrate the first day of Spring (finally!), I rounded up my cheery pink-toned coral lipsticks. Those shades that are noticeably warmer than my bright pinks, but are still more rosy than orange. They totally got me in a Springtime mood! 


The pinky coral shades in my stash are:

Becca Beach Tint in Guava
The HotShop Lip Stick Plumped Slick Lip Cream Moisture Gloss 04
MAC Lustre Lipstick in Strawberry Blonde (Limited Edition)
Clio Art Lipstick in Luminous Coral
NARS Satin Lipstick in Niagara
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Crosswires
Ilia Lipstick Crayon in Karma Chameleon
Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral

Here they are all lined up, followed by swatches of each (in the same order):


Click to enlarge



And here are each of the lip colours in the context of an entire makeup look:

Becca Beach Tint in Guava

The HotShop Slick Lip Cream Moisture Gloss 04

MAC Lustre Lipstick in Strawberry Blonde

Clio Art Lipstick in Luminous Coral

NARS Satin Lipstick in Niagara

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Crosswires

Ilia Lipstick Crayon in Karma Chameleon

Tom Ford Lip Colour in True Coral

Spring has sprung, people! And these shades helped me ring it in with style. I don't think there's a weak shade in the bunch, as each has a unique tone and finish. None are truly matte, but I like a coral with a bit of luminosity. They make the lips look so fresh and juicy! I love each and every one of these shades, but have extra soft spots for True Coral (hey, it's Tom Ford. And that pigmentation!) and Niagara (who doesn't want to channel Marilyn Monroe now and again?). I think I'll be wearing both on the regular all Spring long.

Which one of these lipsticks is your favourites? What is your go-to coral lip colour?

Thanks for dropping by! :)