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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Look of the Day: Naked 3.1

Hi, everyone! If you saw my previous post, you'll know that I finally picked up the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, which had been topping my wishlist for months. I'm so happy to have it in my collection and I thought I'd celebrate with a series of makeup looks to showcase this pretty selection of shadows. So it's time for the first installment!

First, a quick peek at the palette itself. The Naked 3 Palette comes in a rosy bronze box with a gilded label and an artsy snapshot of the shades inside:

The palette itself is a long, metal rectangle with a similar rosy bronze hue and gold lettering:

And a look at the shadows! As you've probably heard (everyone has been talking about this thing!), Naked 3 is all about tones of pink, rose, champagne, and plum. It offers 12 shades with a fairly equal mix of matte, shimmer, and glitter finishes:

And onto the look! For my first go with Naked 3, I opted for some of the softer shades in the palette. To complement the eyes, I chose a warm, soft, shimmery pink blush (my beloved MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty) and pinky nude lips, courtesy of YSL Glossy Stain in Beige Anarchist

As for the eyes, it's all Naked 3! I applied Strange (a matte cream) all over my lid blended up to the brow bone. I next applied some of Dust (a warm shimmery pinky champagne) to the inner half of my eye lid and onto the highlight points of the eyes (brow bone and inner corners). To add some more colour to the look, I swept some of Burnout (a shimmery rose gold) to the outer half of my eyelid, blending up to the crease. I then applied some of Limit (a matte mauve) to the crease of the eye and then defined things further with Buzz (a shimmery plummy pink). Finally, I used the narrow end of the included brush (it's quite handy!) to apply Darkside (a deep, plummy grey) as an eyeliner. I winged it out slightly on the upper lash line and lightly to the outer half of my lower lash line.

Here's a closeup of the completed eye look:

And a photo showing which shades were used for this look. Again, evidence of my high-tech editing skills using the wonders of Paint ;)

And a full list of everything I used:

The Breakdown:
Primer: Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer 
Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Liquid Makeup (Combination/Oily Formula) in Buff mixed with Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream (Combination to Oily Skin) in Light
Concealer: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Concealer in Y1
Powder: Revlon ColourStay Pressed Powder in Light

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte
Blush: MAC Mineralize Powder Blush in Dainty

Highlighter: BeneFit Watt's Up (on cheekbones and down bridge of nose)

Brows: Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original Formula
Eye Shadows: (all from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette): Strange (all over the lid up to the brow bones), Dust (on inner half of the lid, brown bones, and inner corners of the eyes), Burnout (on outer half of lid), Limit (applied on the crease and blended up to the brow bone), Buzz (to add definition to the crease), and Darkside (applied as a liner on upper lash line and outer half of the lower lash line)

Mascara: BeneFit They're Real!


And a few more shots of the look:

So there you go, my first dance with Naked 3! I thought I might be slightly bored by the lighter shades in the palette, but I was totally impressed with the warm, rosy glow that these tones created on my lids. There was a bit of glitter fallout (so it's best to apply your base afterwards!), but the finish was far from chunky or tacky. It looked quite polished, actually! And I'm really loving the brush included with the palette. The narrow end is fabulous at applying the darker shades along the lash lines. Colour me impressed!

Do you have the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette? What are your favourite lighter shades in this collection? Look out for more Naked 3 Looks of the Day coming up!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Shoppers Optimum Haul (ft. Urban Decay, Revlon, and Clinique)

Happy Monday, everyone! I can say that with gusto this time around, as I'm on vacation this week. Seven full days without a 6:30am alarm and full of sunny days to spend with the boyfriend and the kitty. Phew! Apologies to all of those working away who are irked by my enthusiasm ;) I hope that everyone had a lovely long weekend and that, regardless of how busy today is, you're feeling relaxed, refreshed, and full of chocolate!

Not to gloat further, but today's post is all about the makeup items that I scored for free (free!) due to my hefty buildup of Shoppers Optimum Points. I had $85 worth of points, and thanks to the Spend Your Points event last weekend, I had a full $100 at my disposal. Like a kid in a candy store, I was! Here's what I picked up:

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
I'd been waiting since December to score this hyped-up beauty and I was beyond excited to finally have it in my clutches. Although I own far too many eye shadows, my collection is actually direly lacking shades of pink, rose and champagne. Naked 3 fills this void perfectly! Have already been playing around with it and the result is lovely each time. Look out for a series of makeup looks using this palette coming up soon!

Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Bare Light
I'm a loyal Revlon devotee, but had not yet ventured into their Skinlights range. I'd been hearing tons of raves for their new line of liquid illuminators and was especially drawn to Bare Light, as it can be used both as an brightening primer or a targeted highlighter on fair skin. The shade is a warm tan beige with beautiful golden shimmer. It looks stunning on cheekbones and I'm looking forward to wearing it as a primer for an extra glowy boost. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Ample Amber
I already own a couple of these creamy, long-wearing shadow pencils and I thought Ample Amber would fit perfectly into my collection. It's a warm mix of orange, bronze, and caramel and leaves the leaves the lids with a shimmery, summery glow. The perfect no-fuss eye colour for the warmer months (which are finally here!). 

These three goodies totalled to exactly $100, so the entire haul was covered by my Shoppers Optimum Points. Nothing better than free makeup, especially when it's all this pretty! Look out for more thorough reviews and Looks of the Day using these products soon!

Have a wonderful week! Thanks for reading, as always :)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Vibrant Blush Week #3: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher in Trip

Happy weekend, everyone! Today marks the third and final installment of Vibrant Blush Week here on the blog, and it's a goody! (To see the first two posts in the series, click here and here). Back in November I raved about an incredible new find, Daniel Sandler's Watercolour Fluid Blusher in Cherub. I instantly fell for it due to the pretty, wearable shade, the amazing blendability, and unmatchable long wear. When I saw that Daniel Sandler had come out with two new shockingly vibrant shades of the Watercolour blushes for Spring, I was eager to pounce! I opted for Trip, an electric orange. 

The Watercolour Fluid Blushers come housed in rectangular cardboard boxes with a minimalistic gold and black design. The side of the box handily features the instructions and a full listing of the ingredients:

Inside the box is the cutest, tiniest little bottle of liquid blush! It's made of durable, lightweight plastic and has a black twist-off cap:

The instructions tell you to shake the bottle well, which is a must! The pigments and liquid base tend to separate over time. They suggest to only dispense a tiny dot of the product and that really is all you need. This stuff is super pigmented! Here's a shot of Trip, dabbed on the back of my hand. As you can see, the formula is runny and highly concentrated!

Trip is labelled as a "flush of hot tangerine" on the Daniel Sandler website, and I have to say that this description is pretty spot-on! The shade is decidedly warm, bold, and colourful. The finish is glowy, with no visible shimmer or sparkle. Here is a tiny bit of Trip blended on the back of my hand. A little really goes a long way!

I apply the Watercolour Fluid Blushers with my fingers, dabbing the tiniest amount on the apples of my cheeks and blending upwards, adding additional product later, if needed. It really applies effortlessly over foundation! This shade does require a lot of blending (unless you want your cheeks to look like two oranges), but it's worth it! You can also use a stippling or foundation brush, which also work quite nicely. 

Here is a shot of Trip applied over my foundation, without any additional makeup. It does look rather stark on its own, but...

... in the context of a full makeup look, it's perfection! Here are a couple shots of it under artificial lighting:

And in natural sunlight:

And this is what Trip Watercolour Fluid Blusher looked like after 11 hours of wear! Still perfectly in place:

And for a full breakdown of my thoughts on this blush!


  • Very concentrated and pigmented- a little goes a very long way!
  • Blends effortlessly over foundation, without looking patchy or streaky
  • Can be worn as a bolder flush on fair skin or as a more natural shade on darker skin tones
  • Wears for hours and hours without fading or getting cakey. This stuff really stays put!
  • Lovely natural finish without obvious shimmer or glitter
  • Portable, compact packaging
  • This particular shade is pretty difficult to sheer out- so it's not for the timid!
  • This will stain the back of your hand if you drop it there- so you'll need to give your mitts a good scrub afterwards

And there you have it! I am so pumped about this blush! Not only does it have the same incredible, blendable, long-wearing formula as Cherub, it gives the loveliest tangerine flush to the cheeks. The shade just screams Summer and I know I'll be wearing this all Summer long! This shade isn't for the timid, which is all the more reason to give it a go :)

I hope you've enjoyed Vibrant Blush Week and that I've inspired you to sport some vivid cheeks over the coming months. Have I tempted you with anything? Have you ever tried Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blushers?

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Easter weekend! xo

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Vibrant Blush Week #2: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta

Hi, everyone! My latest post rung in Vibrant Blush Week here at Vibrant Beauty Blog and now it's time for the second installment! Back in February, I was ecstatic about the release of Hourglass' Radiant Lighting Blushes and I sang the praises of the incredibly lovely Diffused Heat. During the recent Sephora VIB Sale, I picked up another little beauty from the range, Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta

The Ambient Lighting Blushes come in sleek, square-shaped reflective plastic cases with the shade names printed on the back. 

Though the compact is fun to stare at, it's the product itself that's the true show-stopper. The marbled design is a mix of coloured blush and one of Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powders. In the case of Radiant Magenta, the mix includes a cheery cool-toned candy pink and the warmer gilded beige Radiant Light powder. 

The blended mix of these contrasting shades lies somewhere between fuchsia and coral and imparts a subtle golden sheen. Equal parts boldness and softness and entirely pretty!

Here is Radiant Magenta swatched on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone) in (first) warmer, natural light and (second) cooler artificial lighting:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta (L) swatched heavily and (R) blended

And here it is on my face! I applied it to the apples of my cheeks and blended up to the temples:

And here, in the context of a completed makeup look. I paired it with my brand-spakin' new Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (but that's for another post!):

And now for a full breakdown of the best and worst bits about this pretty blush!


  • Blends effortlessly into skin
  • Can be applied lightly for a sheer effect or layered for a bolder look
  • Imparts a lovely glow to the skin without chunky shimmer or obvious glitter
  • Perfect mix of cool and warm hues; should be suitable for most skin tones
  • Wears evenly without fading all day long!
  • Vegan, animal-friendly, and paraben-free!
  • The plastic packaging is slightly flimsy. I'm a bit worried about the blush shattering if dropped!
  • At $41 CAD, this is quite pricey, as blushes go!

And there you have it! Hourglass rarely gets it wrong and Radiant Magenta is no exception! The formula is soft and blendable, the shade is bold, yet incredibly wearable, and the wear time is tops. A true stunner!

Are you a fan of Hourglass Cosmetics? What bold blushes have you been loving lately?

Thanks for reading! xo

Monday, 14 April 2014

Vibrant Blush Week #1: NARS Matte Multiple in Siam

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome to the first installment of Vibrant Blush Week, where I bring you reviews of some of my newest, most colourful treasures! It's no secret that I'm a blush fiend through and through, and that going slightly overboard with cheek colour is one makeup sin that I'm happy to commit. I've accrued a few new bold blushes over the past little while, so I'll be showcasing them all week on the blog. Hope you enjoy! 

Today's post features a makeup item that shot to the top of my wishlist the first time I read about it. The brand spankin' new NARS Matte Multiples caught my eye instantly, as the texture, pigmentation, and versatility all seemed to be spot-on. While the entire range of shades was tempting, I fell hard for Siam, a vibrant red. 

As the box describes, the Matte Multiples are a "modern multi-purpose makeup stick for cheeks and lips". They can be used dry for a more opaque, saturated finish or applied wet for a sheerer, more subtle effect. 

And here's a peek at the ingredients, if you're interested:

The Matte Multiples, as with their original incarnation, come in matte, black tubes with the iconic NARS logo. They are fairly weighty, but not so much so that it hinders their portability. This is the perfect product to pop in your purse! And yes, the packaging does get messy quite quickly (a downfall of most NARS products), but if you can come to terms with that, you won't be disappointed! :)

Here's a shot of Siam, twisted up a bit. As you can see, in the tube it's a bold, warm, full-on red that rivals the look of most pigmented red lipsticks out there:

When applied full-force on the skin, it maintains its truly red hue. Incredibly vivid! But when blended out, it takes on a softer tone that resembles more of a warm, rosy coral. It's actually a very wearable shade once blended!

Here are swatches of Siam on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). On the left, you'll see it applied at full strength. The next two stripes show it at increasingly more blended states. The right-most swatch shoes the effect of the blush applied with slightly dampened fingers:

Siam applied (L-R) heavily, blended slightly, blended thoroughly, with damp fingers

And now to showcase what it looks like on my face! Here it is applied with damp fingers. As you can see, the effect is very soft and glowy!

And here is Siam applied a bit more heavily, with dry fingers. Definitely a bolder effect! It does make my cheeks appear a bit sun burnt, but simply a touch of powder over top tones it down nicely. 

Here is Siam applied generously to my lips (please ignore the chappy bits!). I adore the way this looks a lip colour. It leaves the most beautiful rosy red stain that's neither flat, nor greasy. I almost hate that I love this on my lips, as that makes it a bit of a cheat on my Lipstick No-Buy challenge. Whoops! I did buy it primarily as a blush, though :)

And finally, Siam in the context of a completed makeup look! As I mentioned, I'm wearing it applied wet all the way up my cheekbones, dry on the apples of my cheeks, and dabbed heavily on my lips. 

I find Siam to be such a perfectly summery shade and I love the way it looks in natural sunlight! 

Now for a full breakdown of the ups and downs of this product!


  • Rich, saturated colour. A little goes a long way!
  • Blends effortlessly onto the skin, even over foundation
  • Wet or dry application lets you adjust the level of pigmentation
  • Modern matte finish; perfect for those who are shimmer-shy!
  • Wears beautifully on both cheeks and lips!
  • Should work equally well on both fair and darker complexions
  • Handy, portable packaging
  • Begins to fade after 5-6 hours (luckily this does touch-up nicely)
  • Can be a touch drying on the lips (a dab of lip balm before or after solves this)
  • At about $50 CAD, this is no budget buy!

So, as you can tell, I'm pretty happy with this product! It was at the top of my wishlist and it surely didn't disappoint. The formula is incredibly easy to work with and the shade is so spot-on, especially for Spring and Summer. I really have a soft spot for products that look terrifyingly bright in the packaging but are actually quite pretty and wearable on the skin. This fits that bill perfectly!

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Vibrant Blush Week- next up, an offering from Hourglass!

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week :)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Nail of the Day: Essie Smokin' Hot

Happy weekend, everyone! A few weeks ago I shared with you my stash of yet-unused nail polishes. Too many for my liking! So I've dedicated myself to showing love to my nails more often and here we have another Nail of the Day as a result! Today's nail polish pick is one that I saw on More Rebe, one of my favourite Toronto-based beauty blogs, and I instantly knew I needed it! 

Essie Smokin' Hot Nail Lacquer comes in the typical Essie rectangular glass bottle with a white cap:

Smokin' Hot is (appropriately) a smokey purple grey with a slightly shiny finish. In some lighting it looks like a simple deep grey, nearly black, and in others the purple hue is more apparent. None of my photos here capture the true purple tone of this shade, but hopefully you still get the general idea! 

I used two coats of the polish to achieve the opacity and finish seen in these photos. It applied evenly and smoothly and the wear time was impressive! Very minimal chipping after a whole week. Not bad at all!

While Smokin' Hot may not be your typical Spring shade, it's one that I'll be wearing all-year round because of the stunning, smoky colour and the amazing long-wear formula. It's a great alternative to a simple black polish and looks super flattering on the nails. It's a keeper!

Do you have any favourite nearly-black nail polishes? What are your favourite Essie nail polishes?

Have a wonderful weekend! xo