Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Date Night In with Montagne Jeunesse

I don't think I've talked much about my boyfriend or relationships at all, so this one's for all you romantics out there. A little background... I've know him for 7 years. We've been dating for about three and a half. We both go to the same university and we're in the same program.. and we worked at the same place for our co-op work placements...that's just the way that things ended up happening. 

After a long week of classes, projects, and mid-terms, instead of drinking away our sorrows like most university students, I asked my boyfriend if he'd help me test out a product for zee blog... and he was hesitant, but said yes anyways. 

Some introductions are in order... 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Get to Know Me Better: 11 Questions from Kalyn Lord

Guess who's been tagged? MEE! I'm actually so horrible with these tag posts... and MY SINCEREST APOLOGIES if I've not done a tag you've tagged me in...this might explain why people rarely tag me anymore. Special thanks to Kayln of  The Scenic Route for tagging me, she's got a stellar style of writing and amazing nails to match. 
Rule 1: Post the rules
Rule 2: Answer the questions the tagger asked you, then make 11 new ones.
Rule 3: Tag 11 people [ or how many you feel like ] and link them to your post
Rule 4: Let them know you've tagged them

Thursday, July 25, 2013

PRETTY UGLY: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstini in 530 Appletini

Appletini is probably the last colour I'd ever choose for myself. At first glance, I didn't think this colour would be flattering on anybody. Luckily, I didn't actually pay for this with my own money. I got it free in a goodie bag for getting a free makeover during the MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVA) weekend. 

I was curious as to how it would look on my skintone, so I decided to give it a shot. The polish applied nicely in 2 coats and the colour is very... unique. I'm not sure if it's uniqueness is a good or a bad thing. The sickly greenish-yellow is a cross between The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, a Granny Smith Apple, and .... snot. And the verdict? I don't like how it looks on my fingernails and I only wore it until it started chipping to test the lasting power. 

In terms of formula, I'd say that it ranks similar to brands like Sally Hansen and China Glaze. It's not half bad and if I see a unique colour...that's unique in a good way, then perhaps I'll pick one up in the future. 

This is a limited edition nail polish from the CoverGirl "Glosstini" collection. Other colours in the collection include Purple Freeze, Orange Oasis, Pina Colada, Blue Hawaiian, Lemon Drop, Sangria, and Bahama Mama, all inspired by cocktails of course. I'd probably go for every single colour in the collection with the exception of Appletini. I was really hoping and praying that I'd get Bahama Mama (a peachy pink) in my goodie bag... but that's the luck of the draw. 

It seems like these polishes come in mini-sizes (3.5 ml) and retail for $2.99 on drugstore.com. The full -size CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosses from the regular line are $5.99 at well.ca and can be found at your local drugstore. 

What do you think of this colour? Pretty or pretty ugly? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Medium 3

If I had to choose only one makeup item to wear on a daily basis, it would have to be concealer. 

I feel like lately, I've been neglecting skincare/foundation related posts... probably because I find that despite summer heat and sweat and oiliness, my skin is a lot clearer. HOWEVER, concealer is still an absolute necessity. I am a sufferer of intensely dark undereye circles. 

I've heard all the hype about the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer all over the interwebs, too bad it's not available in Canada. So when I requested it in a UK swap and received the package, I was immediately excited to try it. 

I'm not sure if you can tell by the photo above but I'm wearing the concealer under my eyes. It doesn't hide everything but it's pretty potent and makes me look decently awake. 

The verdict? It's worth it. At only £4.19 on the Boots website, the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer has a thin, yet creamy consistency, kind of like a slightly thick foundation. Upon drying, the texture becomes more powdery and dry. Furthermore, I don't see any necessity for setting it with a powder. Coverage is high... it covers both my dark circles, any hyperpigmentation, and pimples with one layer. The colour medium 3 is slightly yellow and maybe a bit too dark for my face, but workable with a summer tan. The shade range is not huge... 4 colours (fair, light, medium, and dark) and I don't think "dark" is actually all that dark...that if you're on the darker end of the spectrum that you'll find a suitable shade in this concealer. 

The Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer can be found at drugstores in the UK. If you're not from the UK, like me, you can find it on Ebay

I would highly recommend this concealer if you can get your hands on it! 

What's your favourite concealer? 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Introducing...The Lightbox Beauty Club

The Lightbox Beauty Club differentiates its other subscription services as they provide $50 of drugstore products for only $20. All products are full-sized and shipping is free (BONUS!)

I'm not currently subscribed to any beauty boxes but to some extent each one seems unique and to some extent, I'm curious about every single one. So... I had a LOT of questions about this box. I'd like to consider myself a smart consumer, so I did a little research and then for anything I wanted to know but couldn't find, I emailed the company directly at info@lightboxclub.com


Brands include... 
  • Ioni
  • LA Colour
  • LA Girl
  • LA Splash
  • L'Oreal
  • Rimmel London
  • CoverGirl
Per my email correspondence, the Lightbox Beauty Club "prefers to work with brands directly and has done several on-site tours with brands to ensure quality and guarantee availability". Furthermore, more brands will be added in August and October as more brand partnerships are established. 

How are boxes curated? 
Subscribers create a wishlist from a range of an index/shop of products found on the Lightbox Beauty Club website. So say you choose 20 items... you definitely won't be getting 20 items, but it is guaranteed that you receive 3 to 7 items from your wishlist, collectively valued at $50 to $60. 

I guess the real question for me to ask myself... 

Why should I pay for a subscription when I can go to a drugstore and get whatever products I want? The fact is, drugstore products are expensive. Unless there's a sale,  I could walk into any store that sells drugstore brands and find a variety of price points ranging from $4 to $25. Since prices in Canada are always inflated, I can typically purchase only 2 or 3 items for $25, so buying cosmetics from my local drugstore is probably more expensive than this box. 

This box is for the makeup lover who...
  • enjoys drugstore products
  • enjoys any of the brands offered
  • likes full size products
  • dislikes surprises
  • is too lazy to walk to the local drugstore 
  • prefers online shopping

Note that I haven't actually tried this box, but in essence, the Lightbox Beauty Club sounds like a great idea... kind of like going to the drugstore but mailed right to your doorstep and without the unwanted surprise that comes with many subscription boxes. 

Would you subscribe to the Lightbox Beauty Club? 

**This is not a sponsored post**

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stila Turquoise Eyeliner - Summer 2013 Festival Collection via BlushPretty.com

Love colour? I do! Stila's Smudge Stick Eyeliner in Turquoise is perfection... I reviewed it on BlushPretty.com

Click here for the full review + more thoughts + ways to wear it~... :) 

What's your favourite coloured eyeliner? 

Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Madison Street Beauty 37 Eyeshadow Grab Bag + Swatches

I might have a slight obsession with Etsy. Scrolling around Twitter, I saw something that said 60% OFF SALE and clicked through to Madison Street Beauty's Etsy Shop. Madison Street Beauty is run by Bridget and her husband Rhys in Las Vegas, Nevada. They sell all-natural, handmade beauty products ranging from lip balms to eyeshadows, blushes, highlighters, nail polish and more. 

Their products claim to be: 

*Handmade *All-Natural *Chemical-Free *Never Expires *Never Tested on Animals *Hypoallergenic *Fragrance-Free *Oil & Talc Free *Non-Comedogenic *Safe for Sensitive Skin 

All of which are absolute pluses. 

The "product" that intrigued me most was something called a GRAB BAG. The Grab Bags are pretty much clearance of shadows in their old packaging (without a sifter). The Grab Bag I was looking at contained 37 eyeshadows with 1g of product in each jar. There are no duplicates (unless you purchase 2 grab bags) and you cannot request certain colours... it's all random. 

Keep in mind that... 

Regular Price for 1g Eyeshadows ... $4.99 x 37 = $184.63
Grab Bag Price ... $18.50 USD

HOLY WOW THAT IS A GREAT DEAL and so I picked one up along with a matte foundation (also on sale) 

Shipping was about $10, but I got refunded a dollar and some change after the shipping amount was calculated. The 37 eyeshadows + matte foundation ($4.99) + shipping came to about $35, which is not half bad. It took about 10 days to ship internationally, though their policies state that it could take anywhere from 10 to 20 days. 

As soon as I picked the package out of my mailbox, I immediately ripped the bag open and got extremely swatch happy. The shadows were individually plastic wrapped and two out of the 37 had a sifter (their new packaging). 

On top of the 37 eyeshadows, I received their Madison Street Beauty Eyeshadow Primer, which reminds me a lot of the NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk depotted with less pigmentation and a little less sticky. 

For organization's sake, I divided the colours up into 7 groups of 5 eyeshadows and one group of two - Neutrals, Warm Metallics, Purples, Pinks, Greens, Darks, Hodge Podge (Random), and True Blues

Monday, July 15, 2013

Annabelle Twist Up Lipstick in Bubble

Before this, I've never tried Annabelle products... until there was a coupon code for $10 off $30 + free shipping until July 31, 2013...it's JFCD on annabelle.ca. I purchased the Annabelle Twist Up Lipstick ($9.95) as well as the BB Skin Perfect Concealer ($12.95) and the Eye Makeup Remover Lotion ($9.95) - both of which I will save for another post (: 

Annabelle is a well-known Canadian cosmetics brand made in Montreal, Quebec and can be found in most major Canadian drugstores. Annabelle is the sister company of Marcelle and produces innovative products in lots of trendy colours...

The Annabelle Twist UP Retractable Lipstick Crayon is right on trend with the lipstick/crayon/pencil/sheer product innovations that have been coming out from several brands as of late. 

The website describes the Twist Up Retractable Lipstick Crayon as...
"Dare to be colourful with this easy retractable lipstick + liner in one. No sharpener required! Formula  enriched with nourishing natural ingredients such as Omega 3 + 6 and Shea Butter. Definitively a new way to wear lipstick. Try one of these easy-to-wear stunning shades. Paraben-Free. Perfume-free."

There are 12 shades available, and I picked up Bubble. I rolled the lip crayon all the way up to see how much product there was in total. 1.5g or 0.05 oz to be exact. That's about half the size of a Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. It's actually quite a bit of product given that it's a slightly harder consistency than a balm or a lipstick, so it won't wear down quite as quickly. 

The packaging is minimalist and has one of those clear plastic caps that I despise. The plastic cap does, however, latch on to the rest of the product with a nice "click" sound, which gives me hope that my lipstick is secure. It is retractable, which is an absolute plus. I hate having to sharpen any sort of product (I think it's a waste), so this lip crayon will be much easier to maintain. 

The colour Bubble is an adorably cute pink. I believe it's called "bubble" because of the colour's resemblance to bubble gum. It's a light pink with the tiniest tiny hint of peach which makes it a tad warmer than something like a pale pink. Unlike other lip crayons I've tried, the Annabelle Twist Up Lipstick is not sheer, nor is it glossy. One layer all over the lips provides great pigmentation. I'd say the sheen is satin to matte. It has a more lipstick-like pigmentation and consistency than comparable products by other brands. Close up, the product sinks into my lip lines as the day goes on... so I make sure to exfoliate my lips before applying this product. 

Wear time is decent at 3-4 hours (with eating), comparable to many other lipsticks I own. Note that this product does NOT leave a stain. My lips are quite pigmented on their own, so a colour like bubble won't leave a trace after it's worn out. I cannot say the same for darker colours because I haven't tried them! 

Overall, I've had a good experience with my first Annabelle product. I'm quite impressed overall, especially with pigmentation and the unique pinky-peach colour of the product. I love the fact that it's paraben-free and has no scent. The Annabelle Twist Up Lipstick in Bubble may look like other lip crayons on the outside, but it's quite unique in terms of formula and colour to other lip products I own. Look forward to reviews of the other Annabelle products I've picked up with my JFCD coupon code! The next time I see a new Annabelle launch from the drugstore, I just might pick something up! ;)

Have you tried Annabelle products before?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Eating Lately #1

Being in Waterloo (at school) really changes my eating habits. I'm no longer spoiled by the roast beef, steak, spinach shake, and chinese food pleasures of my parents' home. I'm pushed into the wild to fend for myself. Here's a few photos from the last few months I've been at school: 

I snapped a couple food shots at a cottage retreat at Blue Mountain for the Victoria Day Weekend...

Breakfast: bacon, avacado, whole wheat bread, eggs

strawberry spinach salad

During May and June, I had a lot of free time on weekends to go to the Kitchener Farmer's Market...but now that mid-terms have arrived and are still ongoing, I'm content with buying groceries at Zehrs. 

Dinner: epi bread, tomatoes, mushrooms, butter chicken sausage, asparagus

Dinner: white rice, chipotle sausage, sauteed mushrooms

And more recently... I've become a pescatarian (fish and eggs only) ... with the exception of hot dogs and social gatherings. I've also been on a quinoa kick, making a huge salad and then eating it througout the week. 

 Dinner: black bean/mango/red pepper quiona salad, fried egg, cabbage and hot dog, cherry tomatoes

Other than that, I went to McDonalds twice in the past two weeks for chicken nuggets. It's been forever and I just wanted a Despicable Me 2 toy from the Happy Meal. I also tried the Works.. and found that having peanut butter in a burger is bizzare yet delicious. 

What have you been eating lately? :) Would you be interested in seeing recipes? 

** I purchased all food with my own money!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

COPYCAT: Miley Cyrus We Can't Stop Makeup Look

My sincerest apologies. I won't be doing any Miley-style twerking for you today.. but in all seriousness, Miley Cyrus's latest music video for the song "we can't stop" is artsy, twisted, rebellious, and weird all at once. Plus, I gotta admit, the tune is pretty catchy. Check it out here

What really caught my eye in the video was her bold red lip (and the french fry skull.... and Miley's super fit bod), so I got inspired to do a little "inspired" copycat look. The look itself is quite simple and includes a bold lip, smudgy lined eyes, defined brows, flawless skin and amazing cheekbones. 

Savvy Lipliner in Brick, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten, Revolution Organics Freedom Glow in Bronzed, Be A Bombshell Lip Gloss in Hot Mess

The lips stood out to me the most, so that's where I started. I had a huge issue trying to find a suitable colour to match Miley's pout. I ended up using a complex lip combo starting with Savvy Nourishing Lip Liner in "Brick" as a red base, then went over it with the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in "Smitten" to add a pink tinge. I found these two to be too fuschia so I added a few dabs of my favourite cream bronzer of the moment, the Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm in "Bronzed"for some darkness and finally topped everything  off with the Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss in "Hot Mess". After all that product, I think I got as close to Miley's lip as possible given my slightly crazy combo of products. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nails: Lovin me some Crunch Berries

Crunch Berries by Glitzology is the weirdest "glitter" I've ever seen. I put "glitter" in quotations solely because Crunch Berries isn't even glittery at all. It's simply matte square and hexagonal shapes in primary colours, submerged in a clear polish. It looks a bit like confetti. 

So I thought... why not be ironic and put the matte "glitter" over the "glittery" gold polish instead of the typical glitter over a cream polish. 

And there you have it! A super simple manicure with a couple coats of Glitzology Crunch Berries and China Glaze Midnight Kiss

 Do you own any "matte" glitters? What's your favourite glitter polish? 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

REVIEW: CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara via BlushPretty.com

I've got lashings of issues with mascaras... and I've tested the CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara* on BlushPretty.com to see if it's "the one".

Click here to read more  :) 

That's all for now. Have a lovely weekend!
Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

DUPE ALERT: Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes Palette - Review + Swatches

DUPE ALERT! The Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes Palette is a well a known dupe for the Urban Decay Naked (1) Palette in Australia. Chi Chi refers to itself as the "Cosmetics Down Under" and is a well-known Australian drugstore brand. 

I have never tried  any of the Naked palettes for myself, so I can only judge the Chi Chi palette based on my experience with other eyeshadows. However, if you'd like to see a very comprehensive comparison, please feel free to check out a post by Mishelle's Sleepy Time titled "Naked Palette Dupe for Australians". 

The Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes is an eyeshadow palette that comes with 12 neutral shades and weighs 16 grams. The eyeshadows are not named, but each shade is uncannily reminiscent of the Naked 1 Palette, so I have labelled them as such for the purpose of this review. The eyeshadows come packaged in a clear plastic packaging with no mirror. Although it feels a little cheap, I actually prefer this to the cardboard of the Naked 1 Palette. The palette comes with two foam eyeshadow applicators and the packaging has two little clips so that the foam applicators can be conveniently stored without moving around. 

The formula of the eyeshadows is impressive. Each is soft, slightly buttery and very pigmented. There is a fair amount of fallout, especially with the glittery shades. 

Virgin dupe - is a satin finish nude beige. It is not overly frosty and can be used all over the lid for a light base or on the browbone and inner corner as a highlight. I find this shade to be a little on the chalky side.
Sin dupe - is a frosty, shimmery champagne with a hint of pink. This is very similar to the eyelid shade in the Wet and Wild Walking on Eggshells Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio. 
Naked dupe - is a matte beige brown and the perfect blending shade for my skin tone. 

Sidecar dupe - is a bronze brown with shimmer. It is very similar to the shade Cashmere in the Stila Luxe Palette.
Buck dupe - is a slightly darker matte brown with a touch of warmth. This shade is great for contouring the face and eyes. 
Halfbaked dupe - is a warm, almost orange-toned gold. 

Smog dupe - is a brown bronze with shimmer, very similar to the Sidecar dupe of this palette, though slightly warmer. 
Darkhorse dupe - is a dark chocolate brown with a greenish tinge. 
Toasted dupe - is a rosy brown. This is by far my favourite colour in the palette.

Hustle dupe - is a dark chocolate brown with a hint of eggplant purple. I find this colour to be the most unique in the palette. 
Creep dupe - is a black with silvery silver. 
Gunmetal dupe - is exactly what the name says, a gunmetal. It's a grey with a navy blue sheen. This shade is very soft and has the most fallout.

If you're Australian...you can purchase the Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes Palette at Target Australia for $19.95 AUD. 
If you're not... you can find the palette on the Chi Chi website for $22.19 CAD + $55 Shipping (or free for orders over $150)  - which is probably not worth it. Alternatively, you can ask a kind Australian soul to send it to you for cheaper or perhaps request it in an international swap. 

Overall, this seems to be a great alternative for someone who does not want to splurge on a $50 eyeshadow palette. Personally, I have been enjoying the first 6 shades plus the Toasted dupe on the regular. The colours are very similar and like Urban Decay, the Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes Palette offers the perfect colour selection for a simple or dramatic eye look for everyday. 

What do you think of the similarity to the Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette? Do you have any dupes? 

**This product was gifted to me as a giveaway prize. See here**

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No-Makeup Makeup

What surprises me is that I use a ridiculous amount of makeup for my "natural" face. I've counted 9 products in total... so I'd probably fail the 5 product face challenge. I used a few of the products in my May Favourites :) 

It's summer and it's gross and humid outside, so I'd prefer not to look like a total cakeface sweating through the piles of product on my skin. I've attempted to achieve something that's "me" but less of an "I-stayed-up-all-night-and-wrote-10-blog-posts-at-once" and slightly more even and glowy skin, more shape to my face, and a little more colour and definition. SLIGHTLY. Oh... and get the luscious locks aka no-heat beachy waves HERE

The product breakdown...

MAC Face and Body
Benefit Erase Paste. 
NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Boho Chic
NYC Sunny Bronzer
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

Quo Eyelash Curler
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero

Kona Kare Essensual Lip Butter in Chocolate Mint
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus 

I skipped mascara...and I know I still have the most baggy eye-bags on earth, but it's not a big deal. If I was feeling lazy...I'd skip out on all the face products except concealer and be done with it. 

When putting on any makeup, remind yourself that you look fine with or without. Use makeup to enhance your natural self, don't cover yourself up!  ... my little makeup mantra for the day:) 

Do you wear less makeup in the summer? What steps would you skip?