Monday, June 30, 2014

Annabelle Big Show Lip Shine in Beam and custom colours!

Everybody wants different things. In the same way some like high-coverage foundations while others prefer a more natural finish, some love sheer shine on the lips while others prefer boom fully-fledged matte lips. The Annabelle Big Show Lip Shines ($9.95) are definitely on the sheer side of things. I received two custom colours (without names - but for now let's be blunt about it and call them pink and orange) and as well as the shade Beam (a pinky nude). 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

HAIR: Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-In Tonic and Mask

With long hair comes dry, split ends. It's just a fact of life. Ideally, I could just use one amazing shampoo/conditioner/hair mask set and be done with it, but my hair gets super greasy when I use heavy shampoos in the summer. I spend numerous amounts of time testing to find the shampoo that's perfect for me. 

These past two months, the Matrix Biolage Hydrasource set has been on the chopping block. I've never tried Matrix Biolage but it has recently re-packaged and reinvented its formulations. Matrix Biolage's focuses on using ingredients like cotton, aloe, cameilla, and orchid in its four product lines - Colorlast, Hydrasource, Smoothproof, and Volume Bloom. 

Given my dry-hair issue, I turned to the Hydrasource set for a little haircare comfort. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Revlon Rio Rush Collection ColorStay Eye Shadow Palettes in Wild and Exotic

I've already discussed how enamoured I am with the Revlon Rio Rush Collection by Gucci Westman for Summer 2014. All the colours... all the colours. Two eyeshadow quads ($12.95 each) in the Rio Rush Collection are the definition of "summer brights" - at a glance, truly swoon-worthy. If you're looking for wearable, now might be a good time to leave. These are not for the faint of heart. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Maleficent Makeup Look X Angelina Jolie Cheekbones

Guess which Disney villain I am today? I have yet to watch the movie, but when I saw the promo pics for Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, my first thought was "dang, I gotta recreate something like that"... and so here we are. :) 

It's kind of funny because I showed a guy friend this makeup look, and he's like "wtf. that's scary."... GOOD. I'm supposed to be a scary villain not a cute little princess, so I guess I did my job in recreating look and feel of Maleficent.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Revlon Rio Rush Collection Lipsticks in Sultry Samba, Brazilian Tan & Carnival Spirit

Probably most exciting part of the Gucci Westman for Revlon Rio Rush Collection are the LIPSTICKS! There are three in the collection - Sultry Samba, Brazilian Tan and Carnival Spirit. 

Evidently, different lipstick finishes last for different periods of time and everyone except the matte lipstick is moisturizing rather than drying. Mattes stick around for ~4 hours, Cream ~2.5 hours, and Gloss/Shine ~1 hour. Despite looking ridiculous in the tube, both Sultry Samba (pink) and Carnival Spirit (orange) are actually fairly subdued. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OOTD #3: Bumbling On...

An outfit post is a rare occasion because: 

(1) I'm not a fashion blogger. My outfits are generally minimalistic and uninteresting. THE MAKEUPS > THE CLOTHES (Note the product well as 300 beauty posts and 2 style ones)

(2) It's incredibly awkward to take outfit photos of yourself and it's not often I can get a photographer friend to do all the hard work involved with photoshoots. We did a little one for the resident style club on campus (UW Style Society - aka best club ever), which involved holding inchworms, climbing onto waterfall peaks and eating tacos.

(3) I can't pose for my life. Someone...PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS. *peace signs* 

(4) It bothers me when some photos are portrait and others are landscape.. and oftentimes there's both.. Case in point:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tracy Reese X Sally Hansen Spring 2014 in Mojito and Batbano Blue

Wearing polishes from designer collabs make me feel oh so chic. This June 2014, Sally Hansen launched colours of their Complete Salon Manicure created in collaboration with designers like Prabal Gurung, Rodarte, and Tracy Reese

Swatched below are two of the three limited Tracy Reese X Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure shades. Mojito (a deep mint) and Batbano Blue (a satin finish blue) are both perfection for the summer. The Tracy Reese collection channels Afro-Cuban culture - bright colours and the warmth of the tropics. 

Color Club Nail Polish in Poetic Hues

The Color Club Nail Polish in Poetic Hues is my first venture into the Color Club brand of which I received in the Wantable Limited Edition Holiday Box 2013

Poetic Hues is a slightly peachy off-white. The brush makes it a bit hard to work around the cuticles and the formula is quite streaky. It's opaque in three coats and lasts 2 days without chipping. Overall, I like this polish as an alternative to white but the formula kinda turns me off, so it doesn't get a lot of use. 

Do you like Color Club Nail Polishes? Their holo polishes look amazing! 

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

5 Products, 5 Minutes || #GottaTurnItUp Challenge #2

It seems like I'm always in a rush. While I love taking my time with makeup application in the mornings, life isn't always willing to provide me with those few extra minutes to get ready. Enter the five products in five minutes. 

< one >  Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream 
The best thing about BB cream is that you can haphazardly slap it on your face and run. There's no time to wait for the product to sink in and you'll never have to worry about streak marks. It has the tiniest bit of coverage that gives you that "I-woke-up-like-this" kind of look. 

< two >  CoverGirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Concealer 
But let's be real. Those fun little pimples and dark circles need a little more love than some BB Cream. That's where concealer comes in. The new CoverGirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous concealer provides natural looking coverage to cover up my itty bitty imperfections. 

< three > CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara
No need for much explanation, this is my all time favourite mascara. No smudges and no clumps in sight. Check out my original review here

< four > CoverGirl LipPerfection in Eternal 
The best way for people to forget that your hair is gross and you're not wearing any pants is if you distract them with a bold lip (Jenn @ A Beautiful Zen will agree) . See a few more colour options from the line here

< five > Pantene Pro V Original Fresh Dry Shampoo 
It might sound gross to some, but I try to wash my hair as little as possible, the only issue being that it gets gross and oily by day #2. Dry shampoo works wonders and adds some much needed volume to flat hair. And if I don't have time to brush it all out, a simple side braid ties everything together. 

How do you get ready with only 5 minutes?
Press samples featured 
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mika X Shu Uemura Nail Stickers in Melting Sweet Dream/Curiousity

Yes, we've had this nail sticker conversation before (see RevlonRevlonKiss Nailsthe Nailed Kit). Other's I've tried were "drugstore" prices (max. $10). Here's a little luxury. The Mika Ninagawa for Shu Uemura Nail Stickers ($28) are another limited edition piece in the collaboration collection. The stickers come in two designs - Melting Sweet Dream/Curiosity and Forbidden Fruit/Singing Forest (a green/red combo - not shown). 

While the designs are stunning (and match the graphics on the cleansing oils), the sticker "formulation" is nothing extraordinary. Like most nail appliques, they were fairly easy to size (there's 3 sheets for a total of 28 stickers) but extremely awkward to apply. There's little air bubbles and lumps and filing the tips lightly created rough edges around my nails. Furthermore, the stickers wore away at the tips on day #2. That being said, these don't look so great close up, but I can name 5 different times during the two days that I wore these for which I received compliments. 

Too bad the gorgeous designs don't translate so well onto the nail format. For everyday these may seem like a bit much on all 10 fingers, but if you're a pro at applique application, these would pair beautifully with a bright polish for a funky little accent nail. 

What do you think of these nail appliques? 

Press samples featured 
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Revlon Rio Rush Collection Nail Enamels in Copa Sunset, Carioca Crush & Gold Goddess

Summer polishes releases are so yummy. These three from the Revlon Rio Rush Collection are no exception. Bright, glittery, fun. All the things that go perfectly with the warm weather. Revlon launched 4 limited edition Nail Enamels ($5.95) - Copa Sunset, Carioca Crush, Golden Goddess, and Oi Beautiful (Orchid, not shown). 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash Eye Opening Volume Mascara

Long time no mascara review! I typically avoid high-end mascaras (with the exception of a few) because the drugstore is plentiful in awesome offerings, my favourite being the CoverGirl Clump Crusher. I received the Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash Eye Opening Volume Mascara ($29 at for a post on the Fashion Magazine Beauty Panel.

When it comes to mascara, I'm not picky. If you've read any of my posts featuring my eyes, you'll know that my lashes are puny and sad. Uncurled and without mascara, they appear to be non-existent. So, I'm just looking for something that will add some volume and length that can hold a curl and won't smudge. I'm not asking for much. 

Missha The Style Jewel Star Eyes in Pecan Pie

Glitter, glitter, glitter. I'm in love with glitter, especially neutral glitters for everyday. The Missha The Style Jewel Star Eyes in Pecan Pie ($13.99 on ibuybeauti) promises shining, moisturized and glossy eyes and delivers. I'm happy to say that I've found a shimmery shadow that's not too shimmery and appropriate for all day and all night. 

The Missha the Style Jewel Star Eyes come in 9 colours - Champagne Pink, Havana Coral, Orange Lady, Apple Blossom, Pecan Pie, Lovely Chocolate, Midnight, and Moonray. By the looks of it, all of them are a sheer coloured base with a boatload of gold or silver shimmer. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

EVENT: Make Up For Ever #GetSculpted at Sephora Eatons Centre!

Since the beginning of time, I've skipped out on the full contouring and sculpting routine. Why? Mostly because I'm unsure of product placement. Last Friday, I stopped by Sephora to get a little lesson in the matter. A one-on-one consultation with a lovely and informative make-up artist named Beth, who taught me about my face shape and how to #GetSculpted. Here's what I learned: 

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Tenacious Teal

I've mentioned the Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Tenacious Teal* on numerous occasions (see here and here and here) and I thought it was about time that it deserved a swatch on it's own. I'm not going to say too much. For the most part, I'll just let you bask in all it's green glory. 

The Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Tenacious Teal is, obviously, a deep green teal colour. Lasting power without a topcoat is 2 days, average for most polishes. It's opaque in two coats and there's something about the brush that makes it so easy to paint my nails without the need for cuticle cleanup. 

Dark enough for winter, bright enough for fall. Tenacious teal has got it all. 

Have you tried any Maybelline nail polishes? 

Featured product received for review to feature on the blog. 

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Revlon Rio Rush Collection Summer 2014 Overview - Lipsticks, Polishes & Eye Shadow Quads

Summer's all about the brights and colours but for some reason I've been sticking to neutral and boring. What landed in my mailbox this week was a little tropical inspiration - the Revlon Rio Rush Collection by Gucci Westman for Summer 2014. The collection includes 3 lipsticks, 2 eyeshadow quads, 4 polishes, and a creme eyeliner.  

I'm at home for the weekend and I've realized how much I miss my white background and studio lighting. I haven't fully formed thoughts about the products in the collection but no doubt, Revlon has put out some gorgeous products for this Summer. 

I couldn't resist snapping a bunch of product photos so here they are. Full reviews will follow along this week! :) 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

EVENT: #AnnabellexShenae Launch Party

I am Stephanie and I am a TV addict. That's how I know Shenae Grimes-Beech was Darcy on Degrassi and Annie Wilson on 90210. Let the fangirling begin. Annabelle Cosmetics recently announced their new brand ambassador. She's the ideal mix of youth, talent, and elegance (and CANADIAN!) all in one pretty package - which seems fitting for the cosmetics line she has associated herself with. 

The launch party was situated at Oliver and Bonacini's Arcadian Court Loft above the Bay in Toronto. The venue - gorgeous. The food - nomnomnom. How Canadian is a DIY poutine bar? LOVE. 

As always, lots of familiar faces. I went in with my beauty blogging partner in crime Jenn of A Beautiful Zen and spent most of my night chatting (and stuffing our faces) with Maggie, Jenn, and Renee. No photo with Shenae Grimes, I was too shy and there were a ton of people. She's surprisingly petite, which made me feel happy to stand at 4'11''. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny

That's right. I've hit mad pan on this bronzer. The NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($2.99) is absolutely, positively a cult favourite drugstore beauty product with some kick-butt bronzing ability. 

I've had this bronzer since before I started blogging and I've been swirling my Eco-tools face brush brush into it almost daily for the past two years. Funnily enough, it's also the first bronzer I ever purchased - and it's still going strong! The packaging has worn down over time and looks pretty janky, but the product itself has passed my rigorous "drop test" (not purposely) countless times and has held up very well - no cracks or messy floors in sight. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Halfway to the Runway || Chanel Glitter Unicorn Spring 2014

So much love goes out to the Chanel Spring 2014 Haute Couture makeup look (check out the original look here). I was specifically inspired by Jenn of A Beautiful Zen's PSA: Glitter Unicorn post because I wish I could reach for the glitter on the daily. The look is quite simple - a bold liner and glitter under the eyes, model-perfect skin and shapely brows. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Porcelain Party

There is absolutely nothing more chic than a clean, pure white nail. White polish is a staple in my polish collection to be worn on its own or as a base for nail art. Lately, I've been wearing the Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Porcelain Party. White nail polish can go one of two ways. Either it can look super amazing or it can look like you've coloured whiteout on your fingertips if your polish is too streaky or messy. 

Porcelain Party is opaque in 3 coats. The formula is a tad streaky and overtime (6 to 8 months) it has become quite thick, gloopy and hard to work with. The polish on it's own lasts 2 days at the most before chipping off. I think the key with using this polish is a good top coat to smooth over any wonky areas. 

Porcelain Party is a so-so polish. White is a necessity. While I'm not fully satisfied by the application of Maybelline's Porcelain Party, it's not like I'm going to waste it or throw out the bottle (I'm actually running out). Since many brands offer white polishes, I'll just be on to the next one as soon as I'm done. 

Do you have any suggestions for awesome white polishes? 

Purchased by me
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Monday, June 9, 2014

The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in Medium

Tea tree oil is the natural alternative to harsh chemical acne treatments. Now here's an ingenious thought, mix little tea tree oil into some BB cream and you get the skin-evening of a foundation product with the blemish-fighting properties of tea tree oil aka the The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream ($15, available July 2014). 

The bottle appears to be tiny ("fun size"). In actuality, a regular sized foundation is 30 mL or 1 fl. oz. So, in fact, the 40 mL Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream contains more product for approximately the same price as a drugstore foundation (in Canada).  The shade range isn't amazing but at least there's options - light, medium, and dark. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

The Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($6-8). Infamous NARS Orgasm dupe.  Discussed by the likes of beauty lovers far and wide. And now it's here for me to "ooooh" and "aaaaah" over. As far as I know, Milani is available at Walmart and Loblaws (Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, etc.) in Canada but the full line and new launches are not readily available. Sad face. 

Anyways, happy face for this blush. There's a reason why it's so hyped up. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rimmel Scandaleyes Thick and Thin & Micro Eyeliner

More often than not, I feel like winged eyeliner is the bane of my existence. It's the single step in my 10-minute beauty routine that takes 5 minutes too long. The 5 minutes typically consists of (1) applying winged liner (2) realizing my eyes look uneven (3) removing attempt #1 (4) re-applying the liner (5) realizing that the wing is too dramatic for daytime (4) removing attempt #2 (5) settling for a non-existent thin line because winged liner is stressing me out. Life is rough, I know. 

Rimmel proposes two solutions -  (1) the Rimmel Scandaleyes Thick & Thin Eyeliner and (2) the Rimmel Scandaleyes Micro Eyeliner (~$6). Both make promises of 24H waterproof, smudgeproof intensity. The difference between the two is that the Thick & Thin has a slanted tip and the Micro features a fine tip for artistic lines. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Quad in 265 Sheerly Nudes

Every time I test out a drugstore eyeshadow quad, it's in the hopes of finding a good dupe for the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette - soft, pigmented neutrals. It doesn't really matter what finish the shadows are (matte, shimmery, etc.), as long as there's variety. Unfortunately, the CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Quad in 265 Sheerly Nudes ($5.99) is not my ideal neutrals palette. 

Deborah Lippmann Groove is In the Heart

Deborah Lippmann's Groove is in the Heart ($17) came in the Holt Renfrew Spring 2014 Beauty Bag and I guess I was excited to see what the formula would be like as compared to Deborah Lippmann's Day Tripper (which I was not the biggest fan of). 

Groove is in the Heart is a flamingo pink cream. Unfortunately, the formula of Groove is in the Heart is consistent with Day Tripper. It's weirdly thick yet sheer, so it takes 3 coats for opacity. Bleh. A pretty colour but not particularly special or unique to my collection. Eventually, I'll need to pick up a Deborah Lippmann glitter to get over the fact that I'm not a fan of the creams. 

What do you think of Deborah Lippmann nail polishes? 

Purchased by me
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mary Kay at Play Bold Fluid Eyeliners in Gold Metal, the Real Teal, Blue My Mind and Hello Violet

Yet another Mary Kay launch for Spring! I don't wear colour everyday but if you've been reading me for a while, you know I like to play (see Mika for ShuKaty Perry, etc.). The new Mary Kay at Play Bold Fluid Eyeliners ($12) in Gold Metal, the Real Teal, Blue My Mind and Hello Violet are the perfect gateway into experimenting with coloured cosmetics. 

Mary Kay at Play Triple Layer Tinted Balms in Pink Again, Orange You Lovely and In the Plum

A week and a bit has passed since my last lip product review and nothing has changed. Sheer lip products are still all the rage. New from Mary Kay are the At Play Triple Layer Tinted Balms ($12 CAD/$10 USD) in 4 shades - Pink Again, Orange You Lovely, In the Plum, and Atomic Red.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shu Uemura Duo Custom Case and Pressed Eyeshadows in M813 and M851

Lately, Shu Uemura has made many appearances on fun size beauty, mainly because the simplicity and quality of a Japanese aesthetic is new to me and intrigues me, but also because new and exciting opportunities have arisen, so thank you for your support of this blog :). That being said, today is a review of the Shu Uemura Duo Custom Case and Pressed Eyeshadows in M813 (matte light beige) and M851 (matte soft brown). 

I can't get over how perfect the packaging is. It's not overly exquisite or extravagant, just plain, sleek, and useful. It's like the Z-Palette but smaller and sturdy and plastic or the Revlon Shadowlinks but better looking. As someone who wears only a couple eyeshadows on a daily basis, the convenience of putting two into a customized palette is ingenious. Plus, if you're into a little more (or less) variety in your eyeshadows, the Shu Uemura Custom Cases come in three mono ($8), duo ($11), quad ($17). Blushes can take up the space of two eyeshadows and you can do the math from here. 

The only caveat is that you can probably only fit Shu Uemura products of which the prices are only $5 more than MAC. Pressed Eye Shadows, Cream Shadows, Creamy Eye Shadow Primers are all available for $19 each and the Glow on Blushes for $22. 

$11 + $19 + $19 = $49 makes for a pricey palette. You're probably thinking, "What the heck? Are those shadows even worth $19 each?!?!". You know what? I'm not sure. There are over 50 options in either matte, metallic, glitter, pearl, or iridescent finishes and I've only tried two mattes - m 813 matte light beige and m 851 matte soft brown

What I am sure is that the two Shu Uemura eyeshadows I've tried were pretty awesome for what they were. It's hard to find a non-chalky light beige-white colour and m 813 matte light beige is a great option. m 851 matte soft brown is another good neutral option, the perfect blending/crease shade on my light-medium skin. The colours are pigmented, soft, blendable without fallout, and go with every other coloured shadow that I own. They're comparable to something like Too Faced, so they seem to be slightly overpriced.

There's nothing outstanding about the two shadows  - both shades are staple neutrals of which you could likely find dupes elsewhere. If you're into luxury shadows with travel-friendly packaging, perhaps this is a good fit for you. As of now, I have very similar colours in my collection, but love the convenience of the customized packaging so this isn't necessarily for me.  Then again, I haven't tried the other colours and finishes so who is to say that it isn't... 

Have you tried Shu Uemura single eyeshadows? What do you think of the packaging? 

Press samples featured for a post on the Fashion Magazine Beauty Panel.

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Revlon Nail Enamel in Posh

At first glance, I thought this polish would not suit me. The Revlon Nail Enamel in Posh (~$4.99) is a vibrant true green. For some reason, I think that cool colours, with the exception of purples (so green and blue), look bad on my fingertips. I've been proven wrong several times and this is just another one of those times. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Etude House & Rose Drawing Show Creamy Pencil Liner in Sunset Brown

I'll always choose pencil liner over liquids. There's more room for error - you can sharpen the pencil to a precise tip and any mistake can be fixed with a little smudging for a more sultry eyeliner look. For this purpose, the Etude House & Rose Drawing Show Creamy Pencil in Sunset Brown ($11.99 on ibuybeauti) is the perfect eyeliner. 

For reference claims include "creamy texture and amazing adhesion, waterproof and long-lasting"

There are 4 colours available - BE103 Creamy Rose (nude) , PP501 Dust Purple (mauve purple), RD304 After Blossom (deep pink), and BR404 Sunset Brown (warm chocolate brown). There's no staple black, white, or taupey brown colours in sight. While the selection isn't the best, the shades that are available are on the unique side of eyeliner colours. 

Mary Kay Limited Edition Honeydew Satin Hands Pampering Set

My boyfriend has the grossest hands. I love him and all, but his hands are all prickly and weird because he enjoys going to the gym to lift weights without gloves on a daily basis. Calluses and dry skin, oh my... Sometimes, it makes me cringe to hold his hands. But not after he tried the Mary Kay Satin Hands Pampering Set ($51). For myself, this set smells delicious and makes my hands feel so smooth and hydrated. I'm definitely going to attempt to persuade force the boyf. to use this regularly. 

The Mary Kay Honeydew Satin Hands Pampering Set is a limited edition set (available until August 15th, 2014) of three products - the Mary Kay fragrance-free hand softener, Mary Kay honeydew satin smoothie hand scrub, and Mary Kay satin hands honeydew hand cream (plus a little eco-friendly bag). In essence, it's a three-step process to baby's butt hands