Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chanel Confident #94 and Aura #96 Rouge Coco Shine | Fall 2014

Chanel has four new Rouge Coco Shines for the Fall as part of the Collection États Poétiques: 93 Intime, 94 Confident, 95 Viva, and 96 Aura. I'm a big fan of the Coco Shines because they deposit pretty color, while keeping the lips hydrated. Although they are less pigmented than the Rouge Allure or Rouge Coco, their color can definitely be built up. And for me, they're absolute perfection for on-the-go, as they can be applied easily without a mirror. I picked up two of the shades, Confident and Aura.
Confident is a cool-toned mauve pink that is a really nice, slightly darker, my-lips-but-better color. I am such a sucker for a mauve lip colors because I find them so flattering on my fair, cool-toned skin. I initially swatched the four shades on my hand and only purchased Aura, but after 20 minutes of browsing I returned to the Chanel counter to purchase Confident as well (snagged the last one!). I'm so glad I did because I'm in love with the color once it's on. I'm actually planning on purchasing a backup!
Aura is a deep, cool-toned berry. Both of these shades are lovely for Fall, and I can already tell that I (or rather my lips) will be living in them for the next couple months. While it looks very dark and intimidating in the tube, Aura is a great shade for those who are hesitant about making the foray into darker lip colors. Start out with a sheer light wash, and then gradually build up the color.
The first swatches show one swipe, and the second are multiple swipes to build up the color. I found Confident difficult to accurately swatch, as the color is truly amplified when applied over your natural lip color.
Nars Fast Ride (left) vs. Chanel Aura (right; swatched heavily)
At first I thought Aura might be similar to Nars Fast Ride (which I love), but after a quick comparison, you can see they are quite different. Fast Ride is more purple and muted, whereas Aura is lighter, brighter, and more berry-hued.

Both colors had the characteristic glossy sheer finish of the Rouge Coco Shines and alright lasting power. Naturally, they will require more frequent applications than a full-pigment lipstick.

Confident, Aura and the rest of the collection are available online or at Chanel counters for $39 CDN. Hurry and get them before they're gone!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Creating a Custom Lipstick with Bite Beauty & Sephora

Bite Beauty Lip Lab Custom Lipstick
As a VIB Rouge member at Sephora, I get to hear about (and experience!) many perks. One in particular that I have been drooling over for forever, is visiting the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC. Here, Rouge members can simply flash their shiny red card to enter Willy Wonka's lipstick factory and make a custom lipstick shade. Although I've been to New York several times, I had no trips planned in the foreseeable future, and wasn't going to plan a trip solely for a lipstick... So I was thrilled when Bite announced a series of pop-ups inside Sephora to make a custom lipstick. I attended the event this Saturday, at the absolutely beautiful, newly renovated Sephora inside Square One in Mississauga.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab Custom Lipstick Shades
The first step was meeting with a Bite Beauty consultant to test out colors and determine the finish and scent of my lipstick. For the custom lipsticks, Bite created 29 completely new shades (unavailable in their current line) that you could select alone, or combine with others to make your perfect shade. I had fun playing, but knew almost immediately which colors I wanted to combine. My only qualm with the colours is that there weren't many in the nude or dark range. The darkest colors that you see in the above picture, when swatched, were actually lighter, fuchsia shades. In hindsight, you could've asked them to add more white to make it lighter. The finishes to choose from included matte, luminous (cream), and sheer. According to Bite, matte is their longest wearing and is much creamier than traditional matte lipsticks.
                  Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Bite lipsticks normally have a wild berry scent (which the rep told me was because they didn't want to be too similar to MAC and other brands with a vanilla scent), but you could choose from wild berry, cherry, violet, mango, or vanilla. 
                  Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
These were the little lipstick bon bons that were used to create each lipstick. It looks like there aren't that many colors, but each lipstick had a custom recipe combination to create the shade. I chose to combine two different colors to make my perfect shade.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab Custom Lipstick
Here is the magical combination that goes into creating my shade. The clear lipstick base, a little berry fuchsia, some beige, and pink.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab Custom Lipstick inside Sephora
Am I the only one that thinks this picture is beautiful? Look at that! After combining the colors, the lipstick is melted down.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Next essential oils were added to scent the lipstick. I went with a combination of vanilla and wild berry. 
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Melted and stirred again to produce the final color result. 
Creating a custom lipstick with the Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Next the liquid is poured into a mould which sat on a very cold metal plate to solidify the lipstick.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
After a few minutes of cooling, the excess is scraped off the top.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
 The mould is opened to reveal the fully formed lipstick.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Lastly, an empty tube is placed down over the lipstick and then pulled up to reveal the final product.
Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
Et voila! My finished custom lipstick! 

This is the card the first consultant filled out, which I then handed to lipstick scientist. Love my color? Simply copy the shade (2/3 of shade #5 and 1/3 of shade #19) to create one of your own. It cost $36 CDN for the lipstick, and this was not limited to one per person, nor limited to Rouge or VIB clients. If I were able to add something to the customization process, it would be to have label stickers available to print. Currently, the bottom of my lipstick is just a generic "luminous" sticker (not even the finish I chose). It would be nice if they had a little label maker where you could name your custom shade (your name or a fun color), print the sticker out and put it on the bottom of the tube.
Creating a custom shade with Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora
I'm really happy with how it turned out. The colour is a perfect shade for Fall, and on my initial test wear, it did last a very long time on my lips. I plan on attending another event in Toronto in October and bringing my mom so she can make one as well - it was truly a fun experience. Check out the Bite Beauty Facebook page for upcoming event dates! 
Creating a custom lipstick shade with Bite Beauty Lip Lab inside Sephora

Monday, September 1, 2014

Empties, Vol. 2

I seem to be going through a lot of products lately, so what better to do than an empties post! You know the drill, these are products I've used up recently and let you know whether I liked them and if I'll repurchase. So, without further adieu, let's jump right in!

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24h in 210 Buff N
I seriously love this foundation. I always knew I liked it, but applying it with a beauty blender just took it to a whole new level (as I'm sure it would with most liquid foundations). The coverage is insane, but it still looks and feels like skin, and lasts throughout the night. The shade range is impressive (28 shades), with lots of options for both fair and dark complexions. In terms of finish, I'd say it lies somewhere around natural, not matte and not overly dewy. However, I always set it with a mattifying powder so that kind of distorts my view. I'd definitely recommend checking this one out if you're in the market for a new foundation, I've already bought a third bottle!

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo 
An oldie, but a goodie! I've used a lot of different high-end dry shampoos, but for my hair, nothing holds a candle to the $8 Batiste. My hair is extremely thick and I haven't found anything as heavy-duty as this. I've never had a problem with it blending into my dark hair, and it gives a nice little volume boost. Will repurchase.

Trader Joes Tahitian Paradise Brown Sugar Body Scrub
This was part of a three-pack of body scrubs that Trader Joes released around Christmas that I just finally got around to using (#youknowyouhavetoomanyproductswhen). I would say this performed on par with any other body scrub I've used, averagely. But it smelled ahhhmazing. I can't even really describe the scent. It has the characteristic brown sugar smell of course, but then was also warm and fruity at the same time. I wish they would sell this one just by itself, because I'm not sure if I would buy another three. But, my gosh did it smell good. If anyone knows anything with a similar scent definitely let me know!

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment
This one I'm sure I've mentioned a couple times before. It's awesome, go buy it. End review. Just kidding, but it is awesome! It's thick, super moisturizing, and the staying power is practically unparalleled. It is expensive, but it lasts quite awhile so for me it's definitely worth it. Repurchased.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 45 Moisturizer 
I've used this on and off for years and have been pretty happy with it. It moisturizes well, has a good price point, and protects my fair skin from the sun. My dermatologist also approves! Repurchased.

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
This is another product I've used for years. I've tried a drugstore version and the one by MAC, but this is by far my favorite. It keeps my brows locked in place, but doesn't look or feel 'crunchy.' This is one of those products that I will probably never actively look for something new. I like it, it does a good job. So unless something new and fantastic comes out that is heavily promoted in the beauty community, I'll probably repurchase it forever.

CND Super Shiney Top 
Yet another "forever repurchase." I think I mentioned this in my previous Empties post as well. It works with all brands of polishes and really provides a superior shine and lasting power. The Chanel top coat used to be holy grail for me, but, honestly, I haven't used it in years because this one is so inexpensive and does such an amazing job. I should really do a side-by-side comparison... Repurchased (I always have a couple backups)!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust Review & Swatches

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust Review & Swatch
The Marc Jacobs Fall 2014 Beauty collection officially launched last week on the Marc Jacobs website, as well as early access for VIB Rouges on Sephora.com. Among the new releases are Kiss Pop Lip Color Sticks, Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks, O!mega Lash Mascara, and Smart Wand Tinted Face Sticks. During the Rouge early access I picked up the Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust, a pretty, shimmery charcoal. Although there are many pretty shades, I decided to wait so I could swatch the others in person when they are released in Sephora stores on July 24.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust Review & Swatch
The Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks come in nine shimmery shades:
  • Honey Bunny 400 - ballet pink
  • Volver 402 - peach champagne
  • Three Shakes 404 - milk chocolate
  • Au Revoir 406 - pewter
  • Frannie 408 - snow iridescent
  • Stardust 410 - charcoal iridescent
  • On the Verge 412 - iced grape
  • Shoshanna 414 - teal mermaid
  • Leila 416 - rose copper

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust Review & Swatch
The Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks come in a twist up black and silver package, with the tip of the pencil cap indicating the color of the cream shadow.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust Review & Swatch
I twisted the product all the way to the top and, admittedly, there is not a lot of product for the price. However, it is very pigmented so you don't need much to cover your eyelid. Besides the price, the only negative about these is that they seem a little fragile. I was nervous twisting up the product and will apply it very carefully in the future. This could be partially due to the fact that it sat in the heat in my mailbox for two days before I was able to pick it up, so it probably melted and re-hardened a little bit. In the future I'd like to see additional colours without shimmer.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Stick in 410 Stardust Review & Swatch
In the above swatch I used about two strokes on the left and then showed the same amount of product blended out on the right. I really like the color, it's a very pretty grey charcoal. The above photo looks a bit pewter, but it really is a true charcoal grey. It blends out nicely for a soft wash of color or can be layered for a more pigmented look.

The Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks as well as the rest of the new Fall collection are available now at MarcJacobsBeauty.com or find them at Sephora starting July 24. They retail for $35 CDN/$28 USD for 0.05 oz.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2014 Favorites

It's that time of the month again... favorites time! I didn't do a favorites post last month because I've been really busy with school, but this month there have been a few select products that I've become obsessed with. Like how-did-I-ever-live-without-this obsessed.

Beauty Blender
Loooooove. I was actually so 'against' beauty blenders until recently. I was always under the impression that because you use them damp you could only get a sheer-to-light coverage, essentially turning your expensive foundations into tinted moisturizers. Clearly, I was wrong. I actually much prefer using the beauty blender now to my brushes because it provides a truly flawless, airbrushed look. Not to mention it seems to take way less time and I use it to blend out my undereye concealer as well. If you haven't tried them yet because you were skeptical like I was, I highly, highly recommend picking one up.

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer
Full disclosure, this is actually the first primer I've ever owned. Whenever I had tested benefit porefessional and similar products on my hand, I hated the super silicon-y feel of them and cringed at the thought of ever putting a product like that on my face. The Hourglass primer is completely different (and completely amazing). It comes out a little watery and does provide a little bit of that smooth feeling, but nowhere near as heavy as other primers. It's so lightweight, yet on my skin it's like a little miracle worker. It makes my makeup last all day and keeps shine at bay (unintentional rhyme...)

Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes in "Iconic"
I'm blessed with very nice lashes, so in the past I only ever used to add two little individuals to the outside of my lashes when I wanted just a hint more fullness for a night out. These lashes really live up to their name, they're so lightweight and natural looking, just enough to give you a little more oomph. The ends of each strand are tapered, rather than blunt, so they blend beautifully with your real lashes. I've tried three of the styles, but my favorite is Iconic. Shorter on the inside and longer and slightly flared on the outside. I can't seem to find the Iconic style in stores, but I love them so much I ordered eight more pairs on Amazon! 

Maybelline Color Tattoo in 'Tough as Taupe'
These are definitely not a new product but I've rediscovered this shade in my collection. It's a grey-based taupe and I love just blending this into the outer corner of my eyelid to add extra definition to my eye without the effort of a full eyeshadow look. So inexpensive and the pot will last me forever.

Aveda Hand Relief
I actually got this for my birthday in December, but was using up a bunch of other lotions and didn't get around to trying it until now. It does moisturize really well, but honestly it's the scent that makes me love it. Like all Aveda products it has a plant/herb scent that I can't really pinpoint, but it's sooo good. This is the travel size but when it runs out I will definitely be purchasing the full size.

Prices & Where to Purchase
Beauty Blender, $26 CAD, Sephora
Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer, $21 CAD for travel size, Sephora
Kiss Looks So Natural, $8.95 CAD for two pairs, Amazon
Maybelline Color Tattoo, $7.99 CAD, drugstores
Aveda Hand Relief, $9 for travel size, salons and Aveda

Friday, May 2, 2014

Empties, Vol. One

I like 'Empties' videos and posts for two reasons: you get to see what products are actually being used regularly, and, because they are used until they are done, you get a better review and sense of how well the product performs. With so many new products constantly being reviewed and swatched, it's nice to see what was liked well enough to use up and whether it's repurchase-worthy. I've gotten to the bottom of a ton of products lately, so I thought I'd better make this post now before I had accumulated too much. Without further adieu, let's take a look at my trash! (Haha)

OPI My Chihuahua Bites!
It's pretty rare to use up a color polish entirely, and truthfully it wasn't completely empty. But, it had gotten to that bottom-of-the-bottle gloop that's too thick to use and get a nice manicure out of. I absolutely love this coral color, it's one of my all-time favorites and I've already purchased another bottle!

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
I plan on doing a 'Forever Repurchased' post soon and this little guy will definitely top the list. I refuse to use any other makeup remover because this one is so gentle (for your sensitive or contact-wearing eyes) and yet removes everything without problem. I mean every last bit of that waterproof gel liner and mascara, it's amazing, and so inexpensive!

Kerastase Bain Bio-Recharge Shampoo
I've been using this shampoo for years. I have very thick hair (and a TON of it) that I only wash once a week. This shampoo is awesome for deep cleaning, but is formulated not to dry out sensitive scalps. I've been really happy with it; repurchased. 

Olay Quench Daily Lotion plus Shimmer
I've also been using this daily after I shower for forever. It sinks in quickly, hydrates and leaves the subtlest amount of shimmer that makes your skin look awesome. Repurchased.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 45 Moisturizer
I have been using this as my daytime moisturizer for awhile and... I have mixed feelings. It does a decent job of moisturizing and the high sunscreen factor is important to me, but some of the ingredients are not so great. I've been making an effort lately to become an 'ingredient detective' and switch my skincare routine to more au natural products. Did not repurchase at this time.

Sumbody Zit Zapper
This is one of those au natural products I've switched to. It's essentially witch hazel, bee pollen and a few other natural tinctures. Although it's not an overnight miracle, I think it works and I've repurchased.

Dior Styleliner Liquid Eyeliner
This liquid liner is everything. I wear this everyday, but it's especially amazing at night. I can put it on before a night out and if I'm crashing at a friends house and too...lazy...to take it off at night, I'll wake up in the morning looking like I've just applied it. This liner is a total powerhouse and another forever repurchase.

NYX Matte Blotting Paper
For the most part I do believe that blotting papers are blotting papers (provided they don't contain a bunch of added chemicals/scents/etc), so these are fairly middle of the road. I do like this pulp paper variety (as opposed to the more plastic-y feel of the Clean & Clear ones), however they are not very travel friendly because there isn't a sticker on the inside for easy dispensing. They are fine for use at home when it doesn't really matter if I accidentally pull out five.

Nicole by OPI Drying Drops
I loooove drying drops. I'm never actually sure if it's in my head that they actually make a difference, but I use them religiously regardless. Repurchased and purchased the Essie Quick-E drying drops to compare.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nails Inc. Gel Effect Mayfair Lane, Soho Place & Mercer Street Review & Swatches

I really cannot resist these polishes! Today I have three more from the Spring collection, Mercer Street, Soho Place, and Mayfair Lane. All of the polishes applied well, achieving opacity at two coats.
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Mercer Street Swatch
Mercer Street is a medium blue cream. Of these three, I have to say this one is my favorite. The photo above is in indoor light and below in outdoor light with my little Toronto Blue Jay accent. The color does vary slightly, but in either light I really love this color. It's bright, fun, and perfect for summer!
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Mercer Street Swatch
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Soho Place Swatch
Soho Place is an aqua teal cream which reminds me a little of Essie's Where My Chauffeur, but this one is a tad less blue. If you're into minty aqua shades, this one is definitely for you!
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Soho Place Swatch
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Mayfair Lane Swatch
Mayfair Lane is a pretty pale pink cream. One of the nice things about the Gel Effect polishes is their opacity. With light pink shades especially, it can be difficult to get them past a sheer coverage, but this one applied beautifully and was opaque at two coats like the others. When the Spring collection was first announced, this was the color I was most excited about. A pretty light pink in the amazing Gel Effect formula? Sold! However, now that I have it I have to admit I'm kind of on the fence about it. I wish it was a touch lighter and less 'dusty' pink. I think it may look better when I have a tan, or in the dead of winter when I'm even more pale.
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Mayfair Lane Swatch
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Soho Place, Mayfair Lane, Mercer Street, Porchester Square, Bond Street, Kensington Passage, Kensington High Street Review & Swatches
Check out my other swatches of the Nails Inc Gel Effect polishes below!
Kensington Passage (coral) - here
Bond Street (purple) - here
Kensington High Street (burgundy) - here

Nails Inc. Gel Effect polishes are available for $17 CDN at Sephora.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nailed It: Black & Pastel Floral

Black & Pastel Floral Flower Nail Art Tutorial

I saw something similar on Pinterest and loved it so much I decided to re-create it. I think the design turned out so pretty and feminine and is perfect for this in between "Spring" weather we've been having lately. I love the contrast of the little pastel flowers against the glossy black, it's girly with a little bit of edge!


Steps
1. Begin by applying two coats of black (or the base color of your choice) to all nails, I used Chanel's Black Satin.

Black and White Flower Floral Nail Art Tutorial

2. Using a dotting tool, create three five-petal flowers on each nail using a white polish, I used Deborah Lippmann's Amazing Grace. It's important to use white before you use the pastels to make them really pop against the black. I used a slightly bigger dotting tool for the flowers on my thumb, but if you only have one you can just vary the amount of polish on the tool and the pressure applied to create dots of different sizes.

3. Use a toothpick to create a dot in the centre of each flower. You can totally stop here if you just want white flowers, I think that looks very pretty, too. With just plain white it reminds me of Marc Jacobs perfume bottles for some reason.


4. Using the same dotting tool, cover the white dots with your chosen flower colors. You want to make sure you have enough polish on the tool to completely cover the white petals you applied earlier. I varied the color placement of flowers on each nail to give it a more complete, and less pattern-y look. Continue covering the white petals with colors of your choice. Allow a longer than normal time to dry before applying top coat, and you're done!

Black and Pastel Floral Flower Nail Art Tutorial

A super easy and pretty nail art design for Spring!

Products Used:
Chanel Black Satin
Deborah Lippmann Amazing Grace
OPI Do You Lilac It?
Deborah Lippmann Spring Buds
Sally Hansen Pink Blink
Color Club Blue Light
Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat
CND Super Shiney Top Coat
CND Solar Oil
Dotting Tools
Toothpick

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NOTD: Toronto Blue Jays Ft. Nails Inc. Gel Effect in Mercer Street

Toronto Blue Jay Nail Art Ft. Nails Inc. Gel Effect in Mercer Street
This is going up a little late, but I thought it was worth posting anyway! This Saturday I went to the Jay's game in Toronto with some friends and naturally had to have my nails match the occasion. I used the new Nails Inc. Gel Effect polish in Mercer Street as the blue on most of my nails and then applied two coats of white (Deborah Lippmann's Amazing Grace) as an accent. For the blue jay design I actually used a Sigma E05 eyeliner brush to apply Mercer Street and OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

NYX Baked Eyeshadow in Death Star & Vesper Review & Swatches

NYX Baked Eyeshadow in Death Star and Vesper Review & Swatches

 Seriously, how cute is the packaging on these new NYX Baked Eyeshadows. They come in small black plastic boxes with a bow closure. The eyeshadow is domed, similar to most baked eyeshadows, and have galaxy-related names. I picked up two shades, Death Star, a taupey, silvery grey, and Vesper, a pinky beige. Both have tiny silver glitters.

NYX Baked Eyeshadow in Death Star Swatch & Review

NYX Baked Eyeshadow in Vesper Swatch & Review
These shadows are not overly pigmented, offering a more subtle wash of color, but can be built up. They also become more intense when used wet. I do wish the glitter was a touch more subtle but they are pretty colors nonetheless.

NYX Baked Eyeshadow in Death Star and Vesper Swatches & Review
Available for $5.99 US at Ulta.