Friday, January 31, 2014

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Peach Melba

For £1.99, you can't go wrong. It kind of sucks that the Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Peach Melba is only available at Boots in the UK. I received this blush in a swap and I'm so glad I requested it! Peach Melba is a peachy-brown blush, perfect for everyday. The Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks also comes in the colours Rosey Glow, Pink Cloud, and Dusky Pink. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grammys 2014 #musicglam Party Recap

Sarah Hyland and Anna Kendrick and Paris Hilton were flawless. Madonna was Amish. And all hail Jared Leto's man bun.If you're often on the twittersphere, you may have seen my semi-annoying Grammys tweets using the hashtags #beautyunited #musicglam or #GRAMMYs. That's because I was at the Thomposn Hotel in Toronto for a convening of beauty bloggers from all over Canada to watch the Grammy Awards live. 

The usual beautiful suspects: Esther of In a Nutshell..., Jenn of Procrastinating Pretty, Stephanie of fun size beauty (aka me), Michelle of A Lovely Allure, Gerry of The Bunnie Hole

There were the usual suspects, as seen above. Plus, it was lovely to meet Alexa of Stealing Beauty, Ellie of My Beauty Box, Tess of Makeup by Tess, Shayna of A Pop of Colour, Jennifer of Spiced Beauty... and many more! IMO, it's cool to interact with people over the internet but unreal when you meet them in person. 

The atmosphere was pretty relaxed. People chatting, standing or sitting. There was three TVs (two with the Grammys and one with the twitter feed), a candy bar, waiters passing around bite-appetizers, and yummy drinks. 

Photos by Arthur Mola (

Justin German (Pantene Hairstylist) and Amelie Ducharme (CoverGirl MUA) provided commentary on some of the looks during the commercials, and we voted on which looks we wanted them to recreate. Collectively, we chose on (1) Rita Ora's rockin' smokey eye - see here and (2) Paris Hilton's chic puff  'do - see here. It was coined "Rockin Romance".

Michelle and I got our hurr did by freelance hair and makeup artist extraoridnaire Ashley Gesner (

You may have also noticed my instagramz... Sharing a few details of the event... 

Obviously, desserts are important and as per usual, included in my re-cap. 

In all honesty, I don't typically watch awards shows, especially the Grammy Awards. I hardly recognized several of the people on the red carpet. However, this event gave me a new appreciation for awards viewing (aka it's better to do it in the company of others with lots of food than by yourself). Thanks to P&G Beauty for hosting the event, I had a lovely evening! 

Did you watch the Grammys? 

I am a #BeautyUnited blogger, thus I get access to cool events and stuff. If you didn't read this blog, that wouldn't be the case, so it's all thanks to you. THANK YOU! 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Epic Blend Premium Lip Balm in More Moisture - Unflavoured

Paraben-free, petroleum-free, gluten-free, and not tested on animals. High five to that. I've also heard through the grapevine (aka other bloggers) that Epic Blend Premium Lip Balms is a Canadian company headquartered on the west coast. High ten to that. 

The first thing I do when investigating a lip balm is look at the ingredients list. I can appreciate that Epic Blend's is short and sweet. [Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Vitamin E , Rosemary Extract.] - no lengthy chemical ingredients and all easily recognizable words. The Blistex list pales in comparison.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Precision in Black Diamond and Emerald

It's no wonder that the Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Precision Eyeliners is a cult beauty product. For the longest time, I limited myself to using only pencil liner on the upper lash line because I couldn't find a gel or liquid that could fight the oil slick that is my eyelids.

As soon as I started testing out the Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Precision Eyeliners in Black Diamond and Emerald, I wore more winged liquid eyeliner. Then, I found myself reaching for the Artliner daily and it's become a "thing" ever since. 

The Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Precision comes in 10 shades - Silver, Gold, Copper, Turquoise, Sapphire, Amethyst, Jade, Emerald, Chrome and Black Diamond. It's sold at the Bay, Sephora, and for $37.00 CAD. 

There is a clear gap between the characteristics of the Lancome Artliner and those of others:
  • The felt tip comes to an exact point, and it has the perfect bendability and flex for control and precision.
  • The formula is bold and pigmented in one swipe, no need for a second application to darken it up.
  • As long as I let it dry 30-60 seconds before blinking furiously, it doesn't flake or smudge on my eyelid or lower lash line. 
  • Not that I've actually tested the "24H" claim, but I have zero doubt that this liquid liner can last 24 hours. 
  • It's not hard to remove, but if you cry it won't budge. I can remove the Artliner with almost anything of my choosing - Almay Makeup Remover Pads (non-waterproof), Bioderma, baby oil or a little bit of warm water. 
Ok. So I really like this liner. Dear Lancome, you've impressed me. 

But there's one big BUT. I have to be very careful to avoid touching my lashes with the Artliner felt tip or else the liner turns my lashes into unattractive little clumps. Also, removal from the lashes is tough. No matter how gentle I try to be, I feel like I'm always pulling out a few (of the very few that I have) lashes in the process. 

In the photos and in person (see below), I can hardly discern the difference between Emerald and Black Diamond. The only difference being that Emerald has a slight dark green hue and shimmer. This means that I can wear the green on the daily, just like the black! I'm able to incorporate colour into my makeup routine. 'tis a dream come true. 

I can look past the whole lash clump thing (and the price) because a long-lasting, non-smudging eyeliner is very hard to come by. I love the colour. I love the applicator. Love. Love. Love. The Lancome Artliner 24H Bold Precision and I are meant to be. I'm debating whether or not this is the liner I should repurchase to for the rest of my life. 

Have you tried the Lancome Artliner? What's your favourite liquid liner? 

I received featured products as a giveaway prize from
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Friday, January 24, 2014

All Natural & Au Naturel - Fashion Magazine Beauty Panel Challenge #46

In my mind, all-natural, organic makeup somehow translates into an "au naturel" makeup look. I don't own a lot of organic makeup products, but many of the ones I do own pair well together for a quick 4 product face. 

Rather than starting with foundation, I blended the Revolution Organics Freedom Glow in "Bronzed" into the contours of my face and also as an eyeshadow base all over the eyelids. As a multipurpose product, it's especially convenient when I'm feeling lazy because it gives both my eyes and cheeks a sunkissed glow. Then, I applied a light brown eyeshadow all over the eyelid and up to the crease. Next, I brushed a loose powder foundation all over my face to even out my skintone and set the cream bronzer. I skipped eyeliner and mascara to keep the look fresh and clean, but opted for the Epic Blend Premium Lip Balm, an organic and gluten-free balm for a little gloss and shine. And there you have it -  au naturel makeup look using natural beauty products! 

Products Used: Revolution Organics Freedom Glow in "Bronzed", Madison Street Beauty Matte Mineral Foundation in "Marzipan", Madison Street Beauty Eyeshadow in "Antique Rose", Epic Blend Premium Lip Balm in "More Moisture - Unflavoured"

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Save the Blow Dry (the Shower Cap)

Shower caps ain't a new thing, but with the recent rise in popularity of dry shampoos and second day hair, a shower cap might be something we should all look into. 

Self-proclaimed "Moisture Eliminating Queen of Shower Caps" the Save The Blow Dry is a dual purpose shower cap with two layers -  an absorbent micro-weave cloth and a phthalate-free plastic cover.  Save the Blow Dry can be found at for £14.95 plus £3 to Canada and comes in pink or turquoise. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Aroma Crystal Therapy Face and Body Products

PSA: When I began to test out these products, it dawned on me that I don't know how to actually review skincare/bodycare products. Thoughts running through my mind included, "Am I supposed to, like, swatch it or something?" Someone please let me know. 

Aroma Crystal Therapy is a company based in Salt Spring Island, BC that produces chemical-free aromatherapy bath and body products made with 100% essential oils, herbs, flower extracts, and semi-precious crystals [sounds coooool, am I right?]. I checked out the ingredients listing and, in fact, all the ingredients are words that I recognize. If you're curious, you can find the ingredients listings on the Aroma Crystal Therapy website. 

The Scent: 
Upon first application, my younger brother came up to me and said "WTF IS THAT SMELL. EW". In all seriousness, that's word-for-word what he said. The scent applies to all products. It's strong, distinct, and most certainly not for everyone. 

To be honest, at first I was a little turned off, but it grew on me. I'd describe the scent as a cross between Vick's Vapor Rub, Chinese medicine, oranges and tea tree oil (in a good way, of course). It smells very natural. This is no fake Bath and Body Works scent (which I'm allergic to anyways).

Friday, January 17, 2014

SAMPLING: Lioele Triple the Solution BB Cream

I'm the most terrible Asian in terms of cosmetics. I've never actively sought out Korean/Japanese cosmetics, though I've heard many great things and I am not someone who fell into the "BB Craze".

I received the Lioele Triple the Solution BB Cream Sample in a giveaway prize pack from Australia. The full size retails for $20 from multiple Ebay retailers, which is quite decent for the price of a foundation. 

Apparently this is the claim on the tube: This product makes your skin moist as yogurt and hyaluronic acid supply moisture and nutrition."  Perhaps an English translation gone wrong? 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DesignHer Kit by DesignHer Co. - a DIY Jewellery Subscription Box

Ipsy was a bust because I have way more makeup than I actually need. On the other hand, jewellery is something that I don't have very much and I wish I wore more often. When I heard about the DesignHer Kit, I jumped at the opportunity to get my creative DIY juices flowing, while also making a little somethin somethin for myself ;)

I dragged my kit along with me to Florida. The poolside made for a lovely background! 

The DesignHer Kit is a monthly DIY jewellery subscription box. Each box comes with 3 DIY projects and costs $19 per month (free shipping within Canada, $5 for USA). You can subscribe month to month or prepay subscriptions in 3, 6, or 12 month increments. You must also choose between three kits - gold tones, silver tones, and mix tones kits. DesignHer does not preview the upcoming month so everything is a surprise! 

Since this is the first offering of the DesignHer Kit, I got 4 DIY projects for $16 through an Indegogo campaign. I opted for the silver tone kit. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Red Carpet Hollywood Glam Makeup Look

Let's pretend I'm going to the Oscars or the Grammy Awards. This is the makeup I would wear - paired with a Marchesa gown perhaps.  It's simple. All the focus is on a true red lip, an ode to old Hollywood glam. This is also the makeup look I wish I could wear everyday. 

I kept the skin to a naturally matte finish, using highlighter in select areas - the cupids bow, atop the cheekbones and on the bridge of the nose. Instead of using a blush (which could detract from the red of the lipstick), I liberally brushed a light bronzer all over the face. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Geometric Sweater

By no means am I a fashion blogger. Sure, fashion is interesting, but I don't consider myself to be extraordinarily well dressed (as a salad might be) or particularly stylish. Plus, I'm terrible at taking outfit photos. If you're looking for a fashion blog, go somewhere else [sorry...]. 

I was contacted by Rose Wholesale, a Chinese online store specializing in inexpensive "free-size" (aka one size fits all) clothing and wholesale accessories. Browsing the website, the prices ranges from $5-$25 ... extremely affordable.  I can't understand how a dress could ever be free size, so I opted to try something that could easily be worn oversized for a petite gal like myself. 

Geometric Sweater - c/o Rose Wholesale, Green T-Shirt - thrifted, Sweatpants - Forever 21

The name of the product is a hell of a mouthful - "Morden Style Loose-Fitting Roman Geometric Pattern Batwing Sleeve Knitting Sweater For Women". They spelled modern wrong on the website... The quality is reminiscent of Forever 21. I've washed the sweater less than a handful of times and it has already started pilling. FYI the material is acrylic and a tad scratchy (but not at all itchy). IMO the pattern and shape is pretty on trend. 

The "free-size" deal ain't too bad. The sleeves are a little long, but it's bearable. That being said, I probably wouldn't wear this out too often. Pricewise, the sweater is a steal of a deal ($12.97) and though it won't last me very long, I'll be wearing it all winter. 

Per the website, shipping can take up to 30 business days but it doesn't specify the price for flat rate shipping... duties and taxes are also not covered in the price. 

All in all, this geometric sweater is perfect for curling up in a ball. It's busy season at the office and I'm working 10 hour days (plus a 1 hour commute each way... woo hoo) so curling up in a ball with this sweater is my activity of preference on the weekends. 

What's your go-to cozy item for winter? 

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Monday, January 13, 2014

What I Got for Christmas 2013

This post has absolutely been a long time coming. I apologize for my blatant disregard for time-sensitive posts. The only excuse I can offer is that time goes by so darn fast. Check out last year's What I Got for Christmas 2012

First and foremost, it's important that I acknowledge my favourite gift... a road trip to Florida with my parents and brother (see photos HERE!). A few other things I received include items from myself, Secret Santas, through giveaways, and purchased by my parents on vacation. Not too many beauty-related gifts but it's not like I need any more eyeshadow or another addition to 50+ lipstick collection. Here they are: 

To myself - two Moleskine notebooks and a set of Mad Men inspired retro pens. Chapters was having a 40% off sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, so I couldn't resist. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

10 Things to Do in South Venice, Florida

Venice, not to be confused with the one in Italy (or California for that matter). I mentioned previously that I took a little road trip down to Venice, Florida with my parents and brother. Luckily, we skipped the #TOicestorm and blackout that came shortly after we left. The 21 hour drive was well worth the soft sand and the warm weather.

I didn't do any crazy partying or skydiving. This wasn't really "travelling" either. This was more of a rest and relaxation thing, a DIY spa trip. Below is a collection of photos from my trip and my recommendations for a couple low-key things you can do wherever there's a beach and sunshine. 

If you're not interested in vacation photos and say "GIVE ME BEAUTY POST", check out yesterday's What's in My Travel Makeup Bag? post.

1. Wash your feet in the ocean. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What's in my Travel Makeup Bag?

Going to be honest here - this is not the entirety of what I brought on vacation with me. I'm a notorious over-packer and many of the products I took to Florida went unused (mostly eyeshadows). I guess a good way to put it would be that I was taking a break and so was my face.

This was one of the few posts that I photographed poolside [try to guess what other recent posts I did in Florida :)]. I just couldn't resist the gorgeous natural lighting. 

My makeup bag is from a gift with purchase from the Body Shop probably 5+ years ago. It's likely no longer available but I love the vintage photo and like how the orange lining keeps it modern. 

Who doesn't want flawless, natural skin.. all the time? I find the natural part to be particularly important. During the day, I wore the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation in I'm all the Rage Beige, Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter, and the Three Custom Color Simply Beautiful Cheek Tint for a natural and dewy glow. I reserved the Madison Street Beauty Matte Mineral Foundation in Marzipan and the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette for nighttime. 

Because you need 4 different lip products on one vacation. I could have just done with the Almay Liquid Lip Balm in Just Plum* and the Epic Blend More Moisture Lip Balm* for my sheer pop of colour and moisture. But that just seemed like too little, so I took along the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten and the Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Rhubarb for the days when I wanted a bit more colour and opacity. 

I kept it easy on the eyes with the CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara* and the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude. Ain't nobody wearing a smokey eye on the beach. 

Brushes often take up the most space in a makeup bag, so I tried to choose products that I could apply with my fingers. I used the Real Techniques stippling brush alongside the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW foundation and the Make Up For Ever 122 Blending Brush* for powder. 

Mascara or not, curly lashes are of utmost importance so I took my handy dandy Sally Hansen Lash Curler

For removal, I brought wipes and pads. Both the Olay Fresh Effects Refreshing Makeup Removal Cloths* and the Almay Soothing and Depuffing Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads* are quick and no-nonsense. 

I kinda skimped out on skincare. I figured the weather down in Florida is more humid and I'd be more oily than usual, so I brought the Kaia 24H Booster Serum and the Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Minimizing Lotion for a touch of moisture. I also took along my Quo Konjac Sponge for some subtle exfoliation. 

Random stuff. A couple velcro hair thingies from Amazon were for pulling my hair back during makeup application. My hair has been struggling through the cold of winter (aka split ends), so I took the Pantene Pro-V Smooth Serum with Argan Oil as a leave-in treatment. Last but not least... Vichy Capital Soleil 60 Mexoryl XL Sunscreen... Thanks to this guy, I avoided sunburn. Paired with the SPF 15 in the Benefit foundation...the duo is so potent that my face is at least 2 shades lighter than the rest of my body. 

Are you an over-packer or under-packer? Do you think I brought too much or too little? 

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Lacquer in Surf Spray 050

I know I'm not the only one who's enjoying the new, limited edition Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Lacquer Collection. It's a mature take on a throwback to the late 90s when I was 5 years old and my cousin was painting my nails with a sparkly green nail polish that smelled somewhat of kiwi. 

Fast forward 15 years and there's sophisticated perfume-like bottles with 16 richly pigmented colours. The 16 colours are divided into 3 scent categories - Fruits & Florals, Freshes, and Sweets and Spices. 

  • Fruits & Florals: China Flower, African Tea Rose, Apricot Nectar, Pink Pineapple, and Sunlit Grass
  • Freshes: Italian Leather, Watermint, Surf Spray, Lavender Soap, Moonlight Woods, and Wild Violets
  • Sweets & Spices: Italian Leather, Beachy, Fresh Linen, Spun Sugar, and Beachy

I wish I could have them all, but I've only had the opportunity to try the Revlon Parfumerie Nail Lacquer ($8.99 CAD) in 050 Surf Spray, a true blue with blue shimmer. I took it with me to Florida and it's proven to be the perfect beach/poolside colour. 

The polish is very thin and starts out sheer. It definitely needs a good 3 coats for full opacity. The brush is quite small and narrow, yet it spreads out nicely to cover a large portion of the nail. Drying time is average and the polish lasted 3 days without chipping. 

In terms of scent, Surf Spray is categorized as "Fresh". The polish smells just like regular polish until it dries down. Surf Spray reminds me of a lingering soapy scent after you wash your hands, very fresh indeed. The scent lasts 2 days before it disappears. 

The colour is the perfect blue. Absolutely stunning, if I do say so myself. The fresh scent is an added bonus. In general, the polish formula is average (and I'm sure you could find this beautiful colour by another brand) but I'm the kind of person who's drawn in by the gimmick of scent. I'm tempted to try a few of the other colours, as swatches from other bloggers look pretty stellar.

Have you tried the Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Lacquers? 

Featured product received through the Revlon Selects program.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

People's Choice Awards #RedCarpetGlam Giveaway

Awards season is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with a giveaway. Well, a twitter giveaway. Twitter + Giveaway = Twittaway (?) 

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos to celebrate the People's Choice Awards because I forgot them at my parents' house on a memory card... I would have had a post chock full of silly photos and my take on the "red carpet" look. At least, there's a giveaway... eh? 

The Prize

A People's Choice #RedCarpetGlam Beauty Box full of amazing products including... 

  • Repair Heat & Protect Shine Spray
  • Olay Fresh Effects Satin Finish Lotion
  • Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream
  • COVERGIRL Clean Glow Bronzer in Spices
  • Gillette Venus Embrace Sensitive
  • COVERGIRL Lip Perfection Lip Liner in Passion
  • COVERGIRL LipPerfection in Hot
  • Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advance Seal 1-Hour Express (1 sachet, not the full box)
  • Vidal Sassoon’s Flexible Hold Hairspray
  • Vidal Sassoon Repair Heat & Protect Shine Spray
  • Aldo Accessories gift card (to adorn your OOTD with a fresh party bauble)

How to enter! 

  1. Follow me on twitter (@stephh_lau) -- so I can direct message you if you win! 
  2. Tag me @stephh_lau and use the hashtag #RedCarpetGlam
  3. Predict what you think will be seen on the red carpet OR watch the People's Choice Awards Red Carpet on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 (tomorrow!!) and let me know your favourite red carpet look. 
Note that this giveaway is open to residents of Canada only. You must comply with all the requirements in order to qualify for entry. Giveaway ends Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 12pm. 

Best of luck and see you on twitter! :) 

What's your favourite awards show? 

Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Sephora Collection Colourful Nail Buffers

New Year, New You, Natural Nails. 

My nails will never be the same again. Before the Sephora Collection Colourful Nail Buffers (3 for $10), I thought that you were only supposed to file the edges of your nails. Apparently not. The Sephora Nail Buffer is meant to smooth and shine the beds of your nails! 

It's quite simple. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions printed each of the four sides of the buffer. Essentially, Step 1 starts with the most rough, coarse buffer and by the time you get to Step 4, the texture of the buffer is smooth and gentle. 

The result? Incredibly smooth and shiny nails. So shiny that I can almost see my reflection. Just kidding :) but it looks like I've put some sort of clear polish on my nails when I really haven't! Oh... and the shine lasts longer than a week. 

What's the point in having shiny nails if you're just going to cover them up with polish? As a someone who's always wearing polish, it may seem pointless to buff... but the buffer smooths down the nail, aiding in a smoother application of polish. In fact, buffing my nails kind of makes me want to not wear polish at all. 

Do you use a nail buffer? If so, what brand? 

I purchased this item with my own money. This post contains affiliate links.

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