Saturday, 25 April 2015

Makeup of the Month: April | Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colours

Hi, everyone! Holy crap, it's the weekend! If there was ever a weekend I needed, it's this one. It's been a super stressful kind of week, but luckily with a couple extra exciting tidbits thrown in. First, my little niece just celebrated her 1-month birthday. I'm totally smitten with this baby! Second, I have booked a trip to NYC with my parents for June! They have never been to the Big Apple, so I decided that I could not imagine a better graduation present than getting to be their tour guide for a few days. New York is my absolute favourite place to visit, so I couldn't be more thrilled!

|So before I slip into a stress and excitement-based coma, I have some fabulous goodies to share with you. Yes, I did make a pretty sizeable Sephora Haul in April, but one of the stipulations in my Makeup Resolution was that Sephora sales are independent entities, separate from my goal of one beauty purchase per month. Acceptable exception? Pitiful excuse? You can decide, but either way, let's revel in some Chanel today! 

When Chanel released their re-formulated Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colours, this lipstick fiend was obviously curious. Chanel has never steered me wrong in terms of lip colour. Even more, this new range not only offers an impressive selection of shades, but also roots each lipstick in a personal inspiration of Ms. Coco Chanel herself. If there's anything I like more than an interesting back-story, it's a lipstick with an interesting back-story!

The new Rouge Coco Lip Colours promise vibrant, luminous colour with jojoba oil and plant butters for deep hydration. 

They come in sleek black boxes with gold accents with classic black and gold squared-off tubes to match. Simple and chic- everything you would expect from Chanel!

Narrowing down my picks was a tough one, but I aimed to snag shades that are generally lacking in my collection (i.e., no more hot pinks!). After trying on several colours, I brought home Catherine and Emilienne. Along with my purchase, the sales associate at The Bay was generous enough to give me a deluxe sample-size tube of Arthur as well. They make for quite the pretty trio! 

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colours in (L) Catherine and (R) Emilienne

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour Mini in Arthur

Here are swatches of all three shades on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone). As you can see, that have a softly luminous finish (not too matte, not too glossy) and a medium level of intensity (not ultra sheer, but not completely opaque either). 

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colours in (L-R) Catherine, Emilienne, and Arthur

First off, I selected Catherine because the peachy section of my lip stash was quite small and I had been looking for a '60s-inspired lip colour that was also entirely wearable. In my opinion, Catherine is a perfect pink-tinged peach that channels a retro vibe without looking too outdated or chalky. The luminous finish makes it quite flattering! I love to pair it with blacked winged liner to channel my inner mod vixen. While I initially guessed that this shade was inspired by '60s icon Catherine Deneuve, it turns out it was actually created to honour Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France, who was a fierce patron of the arts and also a women who donned the interlocking double Cs. How interesting! 

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour in Catherine

Next up, I selected Emilienne partially because it was my result from this quiz (gotta love letting your life decisions be guided by an online personality quiz) and partly because I fell instantly smitten at first swipe. Emilienne is a cool-toned ruby-tinged raspberry that straddles the lines between my-lips-but better, vibrant, and vampy. It's unique, yet wearable, vivid, yet sophisticated. It's also inspired by French courtesan and dancer Emlienne d'Alencon who was a free spirit and one of the first women to wear Coco's designs. So happy that my delving into this range also led me to learn about some of these fabulous women! 

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour in Emilienne

Finally, we have Arthur. This was the shade from the range that actually tempted me the most, but I had resisted because we all know I have one too many reds in my stash. But when I was given a mini tube of it, I couldn't have been more excited! Arthur is truly my kind of red. Cheery, gently orange-toned, and slightly retro. I absolutely love it! To further deepen my fascination, this shade was inspired by Coco Chanel's first love and eventual fashion muse Arthur "Boy" Capel. I feel like I'm swiping on a bit of history everytime I wear it! 

Overall, I am truly captivated by these lipsticks. The formula is a pleasure to wear- the texture is comfortable, quite long-wearing for a hydrating formula, and the luminous finish is ultra flattering. Plus, the shades are totally spot-on! Yes, these are pricey at $42 CAD, but perhaps a small price to pay for a piece of Ms. Chanel's personal loves and inspirations? ;) And clever marketing aside, these really are top-notch lipsticks!

Which of these shades is your favourite? Have you tried the new Rouge Coco Lip Colours? Are you also a sucker for shades named after real people?

Have a fantastic weekend! xo

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Veracious Product Review: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer

Hi, everyone! I love a good foundation. I don't like to discriminate between matte or dewy, sheer or fuller-coverage formulas, but my oily skin definitely has its own preferences. If it's not a fairly bulletproof base, my complexion will seek to demolish it. While I've been able to address my oily tendencies somewhat with light, gentle skin care, my skin can always use a bit of extra help, especially when facing off with more hydrating foundations. Luckily, a top-notch solution made its way to my doorstep recently in the form of Make Up For Ever's Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer**.

Make Up For Ever's new Step 1 Skin Equalizers come in an impressive 10 varieties, each of which addresses a specific concern related to skin texture or tone. They can be used solo or blended together to smooth and neutralize a variety of pesky skin issues (e.g., redness, sallow skin, dehydration).  

As described on the box, all varieties of the Skin Equalizers offer 3 key benefits: 1) aiding with a flawless foundation application, 2) improving the shade and finish of foundation, and 3) helping foundation wear longer on the skin. 

The Mattifying Primer** promises just what the name suggests- a solution to combat oil, enable a more matte finish, and reduce the appearance of pores. 

The primer is water- and silica-based, which definitely differentiates it from the standard silicone-laden formulas out there. My skin is ultra sensitive to silicones, so this is much appreciated! 

The Skin Equalizer range comes in a variety of colourful tubes, the Mattifying Primer** being the least colourful of the bunch. It is housed in a medium grey tube with white lettering and a precise, narrow tip. 

The texture is decidedly thick, almost paste-like, and has a pale beige hue:

Here are some shots "Before" and "After" applying the primer. As you can see, it does nothing to correct the tone of my skin (and it doesn't promise as such), but it instantly removes all hint of shine from my complexion:

Before Mattifying Primer

After Mattifying Primer

So how does this primer perform? Here are my two cents on the ups and downs:

  • The simplest, yet most important benefit- this really helps reduce oil break-through during the day!
  • It doesn't seemed to have caused any breakouts or irritation on my acne-prone, sensitive skin
  • While this definitely renders skin instantly matte, it neither causes nor accentuates any flaky patches
  • Definitely prolongs the wear of more natural, dewy-finished foundations on my oily skin
  • Water-based formula for those sensitive to silicones
  • Practical, portable packaging that prevents dispensing too much product
  • A little goes quite a long way!

  • Leaves a tacky and mildly uncomfortable feel on the skin, rather than the "silky smooth" feel of other primers
  • This dries quite quickly on the skin, so you have to apply and blend it quickly or else things can look and feel a bit patchy
  • Definitely takes the luminosity-factor of foundations down a couple of notches (at least for the first few hours). If you're aiming for a glowy finish, skip this one.

Overall, this primer is a hit! While an even application may take a bit of effort, the extra elbow grease is well worth it. It truly keeps oil at bay better than any primer I've tried! Any combination-to-oily complexion will revel at the effect, but if you're at all dry, skip this. It's heavy duty stuff! Even I might not reach for it during the colder months, but I can certainly predict that this will make its way into my daily arsenal come Summertime! I also completely appreciate that this allows me to wear just about any foundation without melting into a greasy mess by lunchtime. My foundation options have opened up!

My experience with the Step 1 Skin Equalizing Mattifying Primer** has definitely piqued my interest in the other options from the range. As my skin deals with pretty persistent redness (see evidence above), I'm eyeing up the green-tinted Redness Correcting Primer next!

Have you tried Make Up For Ever's new range of primers yet? What is your favourite primer at the moment?

** This product was sent as a PR sample for consideration and review. All opinions expressed are authentic and my own! 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Look of the Day: Papaya/Topaz

Hi, everyone! It had been ages since my last Look of the Day, and now I've brought you two in a row! Clearly, my Sephora VIB Sale Haul was the perfect impetus to play with some new makeup and simultaneously embrace some cheery spring shades. I thought I'd share the results of another such play session with you here! Today's look highlights an utterly gorgeous product for Spring and Summer, Becca's Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Papaya/Topaz

I'm going to be reviewing my newest Becca Shimmer Souffle soon, but in short, these little pots of goodness offer a swirl of blush and highlight that blends effortlessly, imparts a flattering shimmer, and wears all day long. Papaya/Topaz is a warm orange-coral shade with veins of deeper gold throughout. For this look, I've applied it to my cheeks, as well to my lips. While the gold highlight can look a touch frosty as a lip product, the effect as a blush is perfection! It gives such a warm, summery hue to the cheeks. 

For the eyes, I found some complementary tones in Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette. I swept Trick (a glittery burnt rosy orange) all over my lid and mixed the plummy tones of Limit, Nooner, and Liar in the crease. To steer away from my typical brown liner, I smudged Jouer Creme Eye Shadow Crayon in Renaissance (a mid-tone plum) along my upper lash lines. 

The Breakdown:

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

Powder: Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot (over t-zone) and Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 (lightly all over)

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02
Blush: Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Papaya/Topaz

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: (from the Naked 3 Palette): Urban Decay Trick (all over the lid) and a mixture of Limit, Nooner, and Liar (on the crease), Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in ME512 Golden Beige (on brow bone and inner corners of the eye)

Eyeliner:  Jouer Creme Eye Shadow Crayon in Renaissance (along upper lash line) and  NYX Wonder Pencil in Light (on lower waterline)
Mascara: Revlon Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Waterproof Mascara in Black

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Papaya/Topaz

And a couple more shots of the look:

Boy oh boy did this look make me want Summer to be here, pronto! Though the temperatures are now dipping back into the chilly April-like range, I think Papaya/Topaz will help me to channel some warmth while I wait for things to heat up. Plus, I'd never viewed Naked 3 as a Springtime palette (the plummy tones always led for me to reach for it in Fall), but I think this look proved me wrong!

Have you tried any of the Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffles? Is Papaya/Topaz a shade that you'd wear? What colours do you reach for in Springtime?

Thanks for dropping by! xo

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Look of the Day: Strawberry Cola

Hi, everyone! Hope you're all having a wonderful, sunny weekend! It's been bright and warm here in Toronto the past few days and this gal couldn't be happier. Bring on Summer! If you saw my last post, you'll know that I scored some super lovely goodies at the recent Sephora Spring VIB sale. I dug into my hauled items for the first time yesterday morning and was so smitten with the products I tried, I knew I had to capture them in a Look of the Day!

The first new goody in the spotlight is one of Clinique's new Cheek Pops in Cola Pop. We all know that the Cheek Pops are among my favourite blushes out there. Not only is the packaging unique and beautiful, the formula is top-notch. Buildable intensity, a natural glowy finish, and all-day wear. Can't go wrong! Cola Pop is one of the most unique blush shades I've seen. In the pan, it's a deep brownish garnet, almost intimidatingly dark. On the cheeks, however, it applies as the most lovely warm, ruby red. Incredibly natural and flattering! I layered on a decent amount as to truly showcase the hue, but it can be worn much more sheerly than this as well. 

The second star of the show is my new Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Strawberry. I'd been lusting after these lip colours for ages and their new Spring shades drew me in further. I selected Melted Strawberry simply because it's a truly "me" colour. It applies as a vivid warm red and, as it sets, becomes more of a fuchsia sort of shade. While I do wish it retained more of its initial reddish hue, the end result is still quite lovely and the wear time is truly impressive! Plus, it feels incredibly comfortable on the lips. 

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation in Warm Ivory (sampling)
Concealer: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory

Powder: Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot (over t-zone) and Inglot HD Illuminizing Pressed Powder #402 (lightly all over)
Highlighter: RMS Living Luminizer

Bronzer: The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02
Blush: Clinique Cheek Pop in Cola Pop

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

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion Original formula
Eye Shadows: Make Up For Ever Aqua Waterproof Eye Shadow Pencil in 28E

Eyeliner:  NYX Wonder Pencil in Light (on lower waterline)
Mascara: Revlon Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Waterproof Mascara in Black

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

Lip Liner: Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Lipliner in Glam Red

And a few more shots of the look:

Both Cola Pop and Melted Strawberry are bright, ultra flattering off-kilter reds that work wonderfully together and completely scream "Spring!". Paired with the most colourful floral top I had, these shades carried me perfectly through a sunny afternoon by the lake. Couldn't have asked much more from the scenery, the weather, or my makeup!

Are these shades that you would wear? What have been your go-to Spring weekend makeup goodies?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Friday, 17 April 2015

Sephora Spring VIB Sale Haul!

Hi, everybody! Though they are not officially marked in the calendar as national holidays, I definitely regard them as such. Sephora sales, that is! Perhaps it's the fact that high-end cosmetics so rarely go on sale or maybe it's merely the excuse to indulge a bit, but Sephora's bi-annual VIB sales always get my pulse a-pounding. I hit the store yesterday (twice, actually- the Eaton Centre location on my lunch hour and the Bloor Street shop after work with Jenn, oops) and here is the damage:

REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser
I used and loved this in the past, so thought this was a great time to pick up another. This gentle, non-foaming clay cleanser feels soothing on my sensitive skin, but also boasts lactic acid, kaolin, and willow bark to keep oil and breakouts at bay. It's fab stuff!

Becca Beach Ting Shimmer Souffle in Papaya/Topaz
I loove the texture of these. Lightweight, longwearing, and ultra shimmery- these are some perfect Summer blushes! Papaya/Topaz is a gorgeous orange-bronze that I think will be amazing during the summer months. 

Bite Beauty Neutral Luminous Lip Creme Duo in Fig/Date
The formula of these lipsticks is outstanding and if there are any colour families that my stash is lacking, it's in the neutral/nude category. So this adorable little duo fills the gap nicely! 

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Strawberry
I've been stalking these lip products for months, testing them at Sephora and always being impressed with the bold pigmentation, comfortable texture, and true long-wear. When Too Faced released some new shades lately, I was doubly impressed. Melted Strawberry stole my heart, as it's an amazing warm, muted red that will be amazing during the warmer months. 

Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine
This is my favourite styling cream and I needed a replacement, pronto! It defines my waves perfectly without weighing hair down. It also doubles as a leave-in conditioner in a pinch! 

NARS Dual Intensity Blush Duo in Fervor
I've been fascinated by these since their release and the shade combo that tempted me most was Fervor. It offers a gorgeous rosy pink and a unique, complex plummy, bronze pink. I think they will look wonderful layered together or used as an unconventional highlight/contour pairing!

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Crush
I had wanted to pick up one of the Kat von D liquid lipsticks in Berlin, but the shade was sold out. I sought a similar shade and formula and ended up with this. I tried it on almost instantly and was uber impressed with the intense pigmentation and how comfortable it felt on my lips. Plus, Crush is an ultra gorgeous warm coral-tinged vivid rose. So pretty!

Clinique Cheek Pops in Cola Pop and Heather Pop
Anyone who knows me knows I love these little flower-shaped blushes! When I heard Clinique was releasing some new shades this Spring, my head nearly exploded. For real. These just hit the stores and I swatched them all to determine which would be the most unique amid my stash. I opted for Cola Pop (a reddish plum) and Heather Pop (a versatile, yet not boring neutral pink). I'm so eager to try them!

So there you have it- my picks from the Spring sale! I've recently switched over to near full-time clinical work and this sale just happened to coincide with my first bigger (read: exciting) paycheck. So it was quite a nice way to celebrate! I'm super happy with the variety of goodies I selected and cannot wait to delve right in!

Did I tempt you with anything? Did you (or are you planning to) snag anything in this Springy Sephora sale?!

Thanks for dropping by! Have a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Lip Stash by Hue: The Muted Reds

Hi, everyone! If you can believe it (if you're a regular reader, you'll believe it), I have enough red lipsticks in my stash to constitute three whole "Lip Stash by Hue" posts. I've already shared with you my cooler red lipsticks and will be featuring my warmer red shades shortly, but for today we have a hefty group of muted reds. Some are on the sheer side while others are fully saturated, but each has an undertone that renders it an "almost red". Not quite brown, not quite berry... nearly red!

Here are the slightly more sheer, muted reds in my stash:

MAC Frost Lipstick in New York Apple
MAC Glaze Lipstick in Hot Tahiti
Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet
Revlon ColourBurst Lacquer Balm in Enticing
Tom Ford Lip Colour in Crimson Noir

And the slightly more saturated muted reds in my collection:

Ilia Lipstick in Femme Fatale
Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in No Regrets
Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Standout
Illamsqua Matte Lipstick in Maneater
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Majella

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

Click to enlarge

And finally, each lip shade in the context of a completed makeup look!

MAC Frost Lipstick in New York Apple

MAC Glaze Lipstick in Hot Tahiti

Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet

Revlon ColourBurst Lacquer Balm in Enticing

Tom Ford Lip Colour in Crimson Noir

Ilia Lipstick in Femme Fatale

Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in No Regrets

Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Standout

Illamasqua Matte Lipstick in Maneater

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Majella

Gosh, putting together this post has left me totally smitten with this colour family! I think these tones of red make wearing the hue super easy- even the darkest shades don't overpower the face and, instead, look super sophisticated! I have to say that the Revlon shades among this group are among my faves- Lacquer Balm in Enticing and Matte Balm in Standout are both perfection. And totally affordable! On the higher-end side, I don't think anyone could go wrong with Tom Ford Crimson Noir or NARS Majella. Illamasqua Maneater is one of the best power reds on the market and, if you're searching for a glossy red, Marc Jacobs No Regrets is a beaut! 

Did I tempt you with any of the shades here? What are your favourite brands for stunning red lipstick?

Have a fabulous day :)