Friday, August 29, 2014

Mary Kay Midnight Jewels Lip Shimmer in Pearl Rose and Semi-Matte Lipsticks in Pink Moonstone and Ruby Night

Fall lipsticks, I'm not ready for you but clearly the beauty world is. This month, Mary Kay launches the Midnight Jewels Collection, which includes three limited edition lip products. One Lip Shimmer ($18) in Pearl Rose and two Semi-Matte Lipsticks ($18) in Pink Moonstone and Ruby Night

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's in my Makeup Collection? [Before]

I'll admit it - the amount of makeup that I have is getting a little out of hand (re: #hoarderstatus). I'm a beauty blogger but there is no doubt in my mind that this is excessive. I have more makeup than space. So... before I purge and de-clutter, donate, gift, and toss some of my beauty items, I thought I'd do an inventory count (like a true accountant) of the mass that is my makeup. 

Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration. I strive to have a collection like Gummy of Gummy Vision (see here) - it's well curated and neat and I'm nowhere near that stage. What I'm going to do within the next week is do a "Makeup Graveyard" type post like Tati of Glam Life Guru (see here), though my collection is not nearly as intimidating as hers. Essentially, she dumps one type of makeup on the floor and organizes it into three piles - donate, toss, and keep. 

I store my makeup in P&G #beautyunited black boxes and use old chocolate boxes as organizers within each larger box. A little overview of the collection... 

What is pictured below does not include (1) to-be-reviewed items (2) beauty "essentials" that I left back in Waterloo (Fall/Winter foundations, most of my blushes, loose coloured shadows, and a few lip products). 

Now, let's take a peak at each individual box...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Everyday Glam Makeup with 5 Products from Annabelle!

When it comes to Canadian brands, Annabelle is one of my faves. There's something about the HUGE colour selection and fun, innovative products that just gets me. A couple months back, I attended the Annabelle x Shenae Grimes Launch Party, which has now inspired me to create an "every glam" look. 

What is "everyday glam" supposed to mean? I kind of just made this up... ummm... think everyday makeup with hints of something fabulous. For this makeup look, I'm rocking a natural face (just concealer!) with a short-winged liner, PURPLE mascara and a bold lip. 

Here's the deets...

Back to School Nail Art + Haul #agreatstart

Back to school is only a couple weeks away. Depressing, I know, but at least there's back to school shopping... for supplies... but not school supplies, nail art supplies! Back to school is the perfect time to update your look. Plus, even if you're not in school, why not start the fall off right with some brand new beauty products :) 

The LOOK: A lilac base (Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in I Lilac You) with accents of "school-related" stuff drawn with the Kiss Nail Art Paint & Stencil Kit, as well as three glitter nails (using Hard Candy Nail Polish in 799 Soda Pop). 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

OOTD #4: A Walk in the Park

TWO THINGS. (1) Without a doubt, dresses are my go-to outfit of choice. Wake up in the morning (presumably feeling like P-Diddy), slap on a dress, and run out the door. Florals are especially amazing because they make outfits look almost excessively more put together than they actually are *case in point... ME* (2) I've been going on a lot of walks in the past couple months - to clear my mind, to talk, to unwind. 

This outfit combines two of the things I've been loving lately - one of my favourite floral dresses ... and my first time at Victoria Park in Kitchener, Ontario with someone special. :) 

Monday, August 25, 2014

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow Review (M-548, I-514, D-562) + Event #InnerArtist

There is not a doubt in my mind that MAKE UP FOR EVER makes high quality eyeshadows and makeup products. I was a little confused when I learned that MUFE decided to re-formulate. Their shadows were already great. However, MAKE UP FOR EVER Creative and Artistic Director Dany Sanz has been working on the new Artist Shadow formula for the past three years. At a MAKE UP FOR EVER event, I received three shadows to play around with and let me tell you... they don't disappoint. 

The MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow line contains a whopping 210 shades (apparently, that's the largest selection of eyeshadow shades available on the beauty market). There are 5 unique finishes - Matte, Satin, Metal, Iridescent, and Diamond (the old range had 4 finishes and did not include the "Metal" finish). The Artist Shadows are also categorized and numbered by a colour wheel - 100 Blacks/Whites, 200 Blues, 300 Greens, 400 Yellows, 500/600 Browns, 700 Oranges, and 800 Pinks. 

Similar to other high end shadows, the Artist Shadows are not cheap but in the end you definitely get what you pay for. The Artist Shadows are available for purchase individually ($25), in a duo ($39) or in a trio ($50) at and at MAKE UP FOR EVER Boutiques as of September 2014.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

LIFE: #hoarderstatus, stuffed animals, and badass lipsticks

I'm Stephanie Lau and I'm a hoarder - to some extent at least. It's only human to attach memories to things. Those two (or those 5) teddy bears that I used to sleep with and that collection of Hello Kitty key chains that I scored at McDonalds, they're hard to let go of. 

It hit me when I was decluttering my room. A huge pile of stuffed animals on one of my dressers was staring me right in the face. I started going through them realizing that many had fond memories attached to them. More than anything what I truly cherish are the people who gifted them to me or how that particular Keroppi came to be a part of my collection; but not so much the item itself. For me, it's not about "things", it's about experiences. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation in 120 Nude Beige and Concealer in 305/310 Medium/Deep

It seems as though CoverGirl is continually launching new face products and I'm always testing something or other CoverGirl base products out (see TruBlendOutlast 3-in-1Whipped Clean Cream). Latest from CoverGirl is the Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation (~$7.99) and Concealer (~$5.99). 

  • FOUNDATION - "One simple step for a flawless, natural look that lasts all day. The formula blends easily to even skin tone and reduces shine all day - oil free, won't clog pores, suitable for sensitive skin, lasts all day."
  • CONCEALER - "Get insta-gorgeous with Ready Set Gorgeous! The oil-free concealer helps cover up imperfections and dark circles instantly. The lightweight formula blends easily for all day coverage."

The packaging is a little juvenile for my tastes - pink and youthful. The foundation is housed in a plastic squeeze tube, which, believe it or not, is quite hygienic. On the other hand, perfect hygiene is not the case due to the doe foot applicator of the Ready Set Gorgeous Concealer.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black, Sparkling Black, Brown, Taupe & Nude

Raves upon raves upon raves for the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude since my first encounter over a year ago (see here). A year later, I began to test out another four neutral shades (01 Black, 02 Sparkling Black, 03 Brown & 04 Taupe) from the Rimmel Scandaleyes line and expected no less in terms of creaminess, pigmentation, and lasting power. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Times Square Makeup Look - #NYCBeautyPro Challenge #1

Ahhh...the sights and sounds of Times Square. Though it's been more than five years since I've been to New York, I still remember all the bright lights and the hustle and bustle, even in the deepest hours of the night. Today, a look inspired by the night life and lights of Times Square. 

So why New York? Big news! I've been chosen as one of Canada's top beauty bloggers to participate in the #NYCBeautyPro program. That means monthly beauty looks featuring New York Color products AND reader giveaways for you. YAY! NYC is a long time budget-friendly favourite of mine... I may or may not have featured the NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny on the blog more times than I can count on my fingers! 

On to the look...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BEAUTY NEWS: 2014 Chatelaine Beauty 100

13 out of 100. Believe it or not, that's the fraction of 2014's "best of beauty" products selected by a panel of 7 experts including the beauty & fashion directors, editors, and make-up artists that I've actually tried. Perhaps it's a bit sad that as a beauty blogger, I haven't gotten the chance to try all the things, but that just goes to show how much selection there is out there for the everyday woman. 

Chatelaine's Beauty 100 (in the September 2014 issue) features 10 categories with 10 products in each: Fresh Start, Luscious Lips, Elegant Eyes, Perfect Nails, Flawless Face, Lovely Locks, Youthful Glow, Skin Savers, Blushing Cheeks and Beauty Tools

Chatelaine was kind enough to send me 11 out of the 100 beauty products to mess around with. Over the next little while I'll be playing around with these bits and bobs, so let me know if you'd like to see something reviewed! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosses in 285 Mint Mojito and 300 Vio-last

These. Polishes. Are. PERFECTION. I've previously reviewed the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss formula in the colours SkylightAppletiniOrange Oasis, and Snow Storm and the latest two shades to hit the mess that is my "beauty desk" are no exception. 285 Mint Mojito and 300 Vio-last are a little more potent than everybody's favourite mint and lilac pastels but these bolder polishes are a much stronger transition going from summer to fall and fall into winter. 

Let's take a moment to ooohh and ahhh at the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosses in Mint Mojito and Vio-last...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mary Kay Little Gifts Hand Cream and Lip Balm Set

I say this a little prematurely but you know it's true. Winter is coming. And it ain't gonna be pretty if you're not prepared - think chapped lips and peeling hands... ick. Good thing you can fend off those little nightmares with Little Gifts - a hand cream ($13 each) and lip balm set ($20 for 3) from Mary Kay. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mary Kay Midnight Jewels Nail Lacquers in Pearl Rose, Sapphire Noir, and Night Diamond

Long time no post. The weather is starting to feel like Fall (less than 20C), so here's a Fall beauty launch from Mary Kay Canada - the Mary Kay Nail Lacquers ($10) from the limited edition Midnight Jewels collection. Want to *shine bright like a diamond*? (thanks for that line, Rihanna...) All three shades have an subtle iridescent shimmer to get your nails there. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Born Pretty Store Romantic Flower Patterned Nail Art Stickers

MOAR NAIL STICKERS, mostly because it's final exam season for the next week and whilst I tried these out I didn't want to spend too much time waiting for my nails to dry. So it's really all in the convenience of the matter. Pictured above are the Born Pretty Store Romantic Flower Patterned Nail Art Stickers ($1.99 for 14 pieces). 

They're like any other nail sticker/applique except for one small standout factor. HOLY MOLY THESE ARE GLOW IN THE DARK. Glow in the dark things make everything a million times cooler. Unknowingly (and jokingly), I had applied one of these bad boys onto someone else and they had noticed it even though it doesn't mention this wizardry on the packaging. I'm going to have to learn how to take photos in low-light settings because I feel like nail art in the dark would be very cool. 

Aside from the glow in the dark madness, these are your typical nail sticker. Slightly plastic-feeling and more 
sticky than the blue nail art stickers that I've tried (see review here), however they last just as long at around 3 days before the edges start to wear down. Another difference from others, the price point is pretty stellar. You cant go wrong at $2 - you won't even find nail art appliques at the drugstore on clearance for that price. 

Get 10% off your purchase at Born Pretty Store with the code UAUT10

What do you think of glow in the dark nails? 

Press samples featured, which doesn't change how cool glow in the dark nail art stickers are! 

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Empties #8 [End of Term]

So much for that promise to myself to write empties posts every other month... and what's worse? After 4 months, this is a bit  half-assed and not even half as product-filled as the 43 that I emptied last time around. I guess school and life has kind of gotten in the way of my "use-up-your-stuff" mentality. *sigh* so it's the end of my school term and by the time this is posted I'll be in the midst of writing finals. Oh how time flies. 

The Empties Legend: 

*** = fo sho repurchase
** = maybe repurchase
* = probably won't repurchase

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shu Uemura Drawing Pencils in M black 01, ME green 51, M earthy brown 82 and M red purple 11

Not sure if I ever mentioned this, but pencil liners are my favourite type of liner! I'm a huge fan of a semi-smokey, semi-smudgy liner that's a little more casual than the traditional cat eye winged liner. Shu Uemura recently launched the Shu Uemura Drawing Pencils ($28 CAD) now available at Hudson's Bay, Holt Renfrew, select Sephoras and (also get 15% and free shipping with the code DRAW15). 

There are 18 shades available in 4 different finishes (matte, pearl, metallic and glitter). The colours are split in half, with 9 shades as dark and defining and 9 brights. Claims include soft, creamy texture, water-proof and smudge-proof wear. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

MAX/Effects Face and Eye Makeup Remover

Admittedly, for the past two years, I've been exclusively using cleansing waters and oils - Bioderma and Reversa - (and makeup wipes on lazy days) to remove makeup in my everyday skincare routine. I've ignored all alternatives until the MAX/Effects Eye and Face Makeup Remover ($19.99, 400mL at stepped onto the beauty blogging desk

It's got quite the resume. The MAX/Effects Eye and Face Makeup remover comes housed in a convenient plastic pump bottle. It's 96% natural (though, I'm not quite sure why it can't be 100%), paraben/alcohol/oil-free, made in Canada, and clinically tested under dermatologist and ophthalmologist control. Impressive lists aside, what I was truly concerned about is the removal power of this product. 

It contains cucumber extract, so evidently - it smells very much like cucumber water. In fact, when pumped onto a cotton pad, it feels like cucumber water. Good thing it doesn't actually work like cucumber water instead of makeup remover. As a makeup remover, the MAX/Effects Eye and Face Makeup Remover works well (as comparable to my favourite cleansing waters) but also takes more than just a couple swipes and pumps over the face and eyes to remove every little bit of makeup. On a good note, this does not sting my face or eyes - no tingly feeling = good makeup remover in my books. 

Ingredients: Aqua, Centaura Cyanus Floral Water, Cucumis Sativus (Fruit) Extract, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glucosides, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glucosides, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citric Acid.

Overall, this is a good makeup remover. Not the best I've tried, but it's a great option if you're looking into something that's more "natural". Looking at the ingredients, there's not too many and they're all fairly recognizable words, which is quite reassuring when it comes to beauty products.

Do you use cleansing water or makeup remover? 
Press samples featured

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Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in In Nude

Eons ago, I reviewed the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal  in Nude. This Fall, Rimmel launches the Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in In Nude ($6.99). The difference? Not very much. 

LEFT: Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in In Nude; RIGHT: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude

First off, the packaging is slightly different. The new Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer is a twist-up pencil with a smudger, which I find to be a little pointless considering the texture of the eyeliner. Conversely, the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal is your standard pencil that needs to be sharpened every so often. 

At a glance, the Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer is slightly lighter in colour than the Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal. The lighter colour brings more brightness to the eye, but if you've got a darker skintone than me you might want something less stark, so going for the Kohl Kajal might be the more preferred option. In terms of texture, the Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer is not as creamy. This doesn't make a difference when it comes to staying power, as both linger on the lashline for 4-5 hours, which is impressive for nude coloured eyeliners. 

Essentially, both products work in the same way. Both are nude liners to brighten up areas like the inner rim of the eye, inner corner, or underneath the brow bone. I prefer my old Rimmel Kohl Kajal over the Exaggerate Eye Definer but I think that either one is an essential when it comes to brightening the eyes. 

Do you use nude eyeliner? 

Purchased one on my own and the other is a press sample! 

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rita Ora x Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in 863 Do Not Disturb and 613 Midnight Rendezvous

"A woman is helpless only when her nails are drying." That means that a fast drying nail polish is every girl's dream. This August, Rimmel launches 6 new polishes in the 60 Seconds Nail Polish by Rita Ora ($3.99) for the Rita Ora Capsule Collection. 

Today, swatches of two of the colours - 863 Do Not Disturb and 613 Midnight Rendezvous. In addition, the other four colours include 873 Breakfast in Bed (seafoam green), 703 White Hot Love, 323 Don't Be Shy (hot pink), and 203 Lose Your Lingerie (pastel pink). 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

MEMEBOX Colorbox #3 Blue Unboxing and Review

Centre stage in the world of beauty boxes is the MEMEBOX - pink boxes full of carefully curated Korean beauty (makeup and skincare) products. I've kind of gotten tired of the subscription box thing but MEMEBOX is different. It's non-subscription and each box is themed, so if you're interested in the theme - you can purchase it! There's also a huge range of price points and a few options depending on what you're looking for
the MEMEBOX ($15-$29) - 4-8 full-sized products and deluxe-sized samples
the SUPERBOX ($23-$89) - full-sized items only
the LUCKYBOX ($23) - a selection of popular products from past Memeboxes

I received the MEMEBOX Colorbox #3 ($15), a box focused on blue makeup products! 

Like any other subscription box, the Memebox comes with a description card. Each product is carefully described and there's retail prices (presumably American). The box totaled to a value of $3 + $30 +$10 + $10 = $53,  great value considering the box as a whole is only $15. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Nourishing Facial Cream

About Sea Buckthorn - an itty bitty fruit plant that grows in the Tibetan Himalayas that resists harsh weather conditions and high altitudes of 12,000 feet above sea level. Apparently this ability to resist harsh conditions makes the fruit rich in nutrients - Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty aids, 190 bioactive compounds, all of which are vital to collagen production for hair, nails, and skin. 

I take all this "special ingredient" blabber with a grain of salt. I think the proof is in the results... 

I've been testing this moisturizer for the past 2 months. Thus far, my skin has been fairly consistent - slight breakouts during stressful ties of the month, no strange reactions or dry patches.  The Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Daytime Facial Cream has proven to keep my skin regulated. As far as I can tell, my sun damage hasn't been rejuvenated. The cream itself is fairly lightweight and appropriate for daytime, as indicated on the packaging. While I like the Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Facial Cream, I don't love it, as I find that my skin is the same as before I used it previously (aka no "improvements"). I'll continue to use it until it's gone but would not repurchase.  
Have you ever heard of "sea buckthorn"? 
Press samples featured
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