Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hard Candy Top Ten Trendsetter Eyeshadow Palette in 890 Birthday Suit

A few months ago, I reviewed the Hard Candy Top Ten Classics Eyeshadow Palettes in Smoke Out and Feelin' Blue. Hard Candy also has a Top Ten Trendsetters Eyeshadow Palettes Line which features "fashion forward colours with matte, shimmer, glitter and metallic finishes. What might seem to be the most boring to some is the most interesting for me - the Top Ten Trendsetters Eyeshadow Palette in 890 Birthday Suit ($5.98, exclusively at Walmart). It's all matte, mostly neutrals with a few pops of colour... not something you see often at the drugstore. 

Swatched over Hard Candy Eye's the Limit Smokey Eyeshadow Primer

On a daily basis, I don't work with mattes because I haven't found a formula that I love. While I don't love the Hard Candy matte eyeshadow formula, they're not bad. The lighter shades are a little chalky but nothing but the medium-toned and darker shades are quite nice. With the help of a little primer, all the shades look pretty great. In terms of workability, the mattes in 890 Birthday Suit are fairly easy to blend and build and stay on my lids for 6-7 hours before fading away. 

Overall, not the best or the worst eyeshadows but this palette is great if you're looking for some affordable mattes. 

Do you have a favourite drugstore matte palette? 

Press samples featured

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Paul & Joe Beaute Liquid Eyeliner in Black

A staple in every woman's vanity is a black liquid eyeliner. Long-wearing and ultra-black with fine line precision is a minimum. The Paul & Joe Beaute Liquid Eyeliner in Black ($26) is all this and more. Paul & Joe says that the product contains smooth-fit polymers, rich powders and silky emollients to ensure that colour stays put without fading or running. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

THE LOOK: Yazbukey for Shu Uemura - Romantic Betty

With a little help from a beautiful thing called makeup, you can be anyone. Today, I'm playing dress up as Romantic Betty of the Yazbukey for Shu Uemura Summer 2015 Collection. Betty is a popular girl owing to her effortless charm, the bright and positive actress from sunny California loves to dress up old-Hollywood style. Drawing inspiration from face charts created by Uchiide (Shu's international artistic director), I re-created Romantic Betty's look. 

There's certainly something about a casual orange lip with some yellow eyeshadow that screams "not-trying-but-still-done-up." I've also got some awesome hair curl action going on thanks to Blo Dry Bar, which kind of adds to the Hollywood vibes.

Let's be real. I'm too silly to be Romantic Betty. There's no makeup look without a little silliness. Call me Silly Stephanie instead :).

What do you think of this makeup look? 

Press samples featured and denoted with an asterisk (*). 
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Make-Up Removing Wipes

The internet's favourite one-step cleansing water is now available in wipe form! I've purchased at least 5 bottles of Bioderma, used them up (as seen in the *now monthly* Empties posts), and pondered how I could love a bottle of cosmetic water as much as I do. The Bioderma Sensibio H20 Dermatological Wipes ($14.95 for 25) are everything I could ever dreamed of in makeup-wipe form. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yazbukey for Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipsticks in Sunshine Orange & Noble Pink // Summer 2015

French jewelry designer meets Japanese beauty brand and what do you get? A fun, sophisti-pop-art inspired collection launching available in Canada as of May 2015. As one of the largest Shu designer collaborations, there's no surprise that there are a few lipsticks involved. The Yazbukey for Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipsticks in Sunshine Orange and Noble Pink ($36, at select Hudson's Bay, Sephora, Holt Renfrew locations and combine a signature Shu Uemura formula with shades hand-picked by Yaz Bukey. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mary Kay Endless Performance Creme-to-Powder Foundation

There's a first for everything and new to me is cream foundation. The Mary Kay Endless Performance Creme-to-Powder Foundation ($21) is the first cream foundation I've ever laid on my face. Mary Kay says that the Endless Performance Creme-to-Powder Foundation is a long-lasting, flawless coverage foundation that's non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pure Anada Pureline Eye Pencil in Brown, Natural Liquid Gloss in Petunia & Eye Color in Luna

Happy Earth Week! This year I'm celebrating with a natural beauty brand review (BONUS - the products are made in Canada). Pure Anada is a full line of colour cosmetics made with certified organic oils and waxes to provide a "healthier" alternative to traditional cosmetics. It's even recommended as a go-to non-toxic brand in the book There's Lead in Your Lipstick: Toxins in Our Everyday Body Care and How to Avoid Them by Gillian Deacon. I received these items through the Clean Care Beauty Awards 2015, in which the Pressed Mineral Eye Colour won "Best Eyeshadow" yeah, I was pretty excited to test out a few things. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ceramic Glaze Stunning Soiree Collection - Blueberry Bubblegum, Boogie Beats, Belle of the Disco Ball, Papaya Sunrise, Russian Rouge & Honolulu Hibsicus

Ceramic Glaze is the sister brand of China Glaze exclusively available at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Each season, Ceramic Glaze curates various polish collections inspired by the runway, the weather and pantone trends. Launching May 2015 is the Stunning Soiree Collection ($10.99 each) - an assortment of understated, cool-toned bolds 

Generally, I found the polish formulation to be impressive. I'm a huge fan of the clay adhesive technologies of China Glaze, so I figured I'd like Ceramic Glaze too. The polishes apply smoothly in thin layers. All of the polishes in this particular collection are a cream gloss and are opaque in 2 coats. The polishes dry quite quickly. In my experience, each layer takes less than 5 minutes to dry down - which makes it super easy to apply polish before bed without getting sheet marks on my fingertips. On their own, the polishes last 3 days but depending on the top coat (i.e. Revlon Gel Envy Diamond)it can last up to 7 or 8. 

Ceramic Glaze uses both limited edition and permanent collection colours in its collections. I've denoted the limited edition colours with an asterisk (*). Swatched for you are 6 of the 8 polishes in the Ceramic Glaze Stunning Soiree Collection. The two shades not shown here are Blue Suede Shoes* (royal blue) and Fabulous and Flirty* (mid-toned lilac). 

Blueberry Bubblegum

Boogie Beats*

Belle of the Disco Ball*

Papaya Sunrise

Russian Rouge

Honolulu Hibiscus

Personally, I prefer soft pastels to understated bolds though there are a few standout colours for me (Blueberry Bubblegum and Belle of the Disco Ball). Regardless, the formulation of all these polishes is impressive and I'm looking forward to watching the Ceramic Glaze Summer Bloom Collection for you! 

Which colours are your favourite in the Stunning Soiree Collection? 

Press samples featured

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

New York Color Big Bold Volume by the Lash Mascara

12x the volume for lashes? If a mascara could do that... I would be the happiest camper. New York Color says that its Big Bold Volume By the Lash Mascara ($4.99) amps up your total fringe impact by individually coating and volumizing each and every lash up to 12x more. No smudges, no clumps, just a traffic-stopping wow effect.

12x is 1000% an over statement. While claims of no smudging and no clumping appear to be true, my lashes have been amped up around 0.12x compared to my natural lashes. The price is nice, but the result is less than stellar. Perhaps if you're looking for a everyday mascara that is natural and doesn't smudge or clump, then this is perfect. But you won't be stopping traffic with your lashes anytime soon. 

Have you tried any New York Color mascaras? 

Press sample featured
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Yazbukey for Shu Uemura Collection Overview // Summer 2015

No makeup brand does a designer collaboration quite like Shu Uemura. For the Spring/Summer 2015 season, Shu Uemura has teamed up with Paris accessory and jewelry designer Yaz Bukey in a make-up meets pop art collection. 

The best part about the collection - it has a story. In a whimsical fairytale, four friends with contrasting yet complimentary personalities prepare for a night out. In the midst of their chatter, they learn that they all are being courted by the same suitor... the mysterious Mr. Shu Shu

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Paul & Joe Beaute Lip Liner Duo #02 in Persian Peach

Spring trends call for lighter (and brighter) coloured lips. If you're like me and your lips are super pigmented, you might find it hard to pull off a lip colour lighter than your favourite shade of my lips but better. The solution? Lip liner. I've been finding that the Paul & Joe Beaute Lip Liner Duo #02 in Perisian Peach ($25, exclusively at select Shoppers Drug Marts) has been perfect for this purpose and it also looks amazing on its own. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WIN IT: All 10 of the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizers ($430 VALUE)

Launched just last month, the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizers ($42 each) are the new and improved versions of the MUFE HD Primers. Similar to the HD primer line, the MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizers are available in various shades to tackle various discolouration. More specifically there are 10 variations in the Step 1 Skin Equalizer line - 5 for texture and 5 for tone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #54 Pearly Golden Pink

Make Up For Ever recently launched two new shades of their Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick. I received the Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense #54 Pearly Golden Pink at the Spring 2015 Preview. There's also #53 which is a Pearly Pink Copper. 

If you're not already familiar with the Rouge Artist Intense line, they contain 50% more pigment than your traditional lipstick formula. More pigment = high coverage and more colour payoff. Indeed the pink is pigmented. It glides on nicely, is fairly moisturizing, and lasts 4-5 hours on my lips. #54 Pearly Golden Pink is pretty colour but there's one thing I just can't shake. 

There's golden glitter/shimmer. 

It's not overly chunky or visible on the lips but I can feel it. Something about shimmer in lipsticks throws me off and I'm not a fan. Sadly enough, this is just one MUFE product that I don't really like. If you're into shimmers in your lipsticks then this could be more suitable for you. If you're like me, I'd suggest trying another shade or finish in the Intense line and the MUFE Rouge Artist Naturals are great. 

Do you like pearly/shimmer/glittery lipsticks? 
Press sample featured

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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Modern Mulan // #NYCBeautyPro Challenge

This month's New York Color Beauty Pro Challenge was to create a look inspired by your favourite fictional character. I chose Mulan. Yes, we've got the Asian thing in common, but Mulan was more than just pretty looks to me - strong-minded, brave, confident and a little boyish. Her makeup is quite natural so I thought I'd pull from that. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

New York Color Smooch Proof Liquid Lip Stains in Faithful Coral, Perpetually Mauve, Unforgettable Fuchsia, On Everyone's Lips & Get Noticed

The promise of lip stains is very, very attractive to me. Colour that lasts yet feels like nothing on the lips? Sign me up. The New York Color Smooch Proof Liquid Lip Stains ($2.99) are new to the drugstore and, if you're into stains, something I'd strongly suggest you check out. 

NYC Smooch Proof Liquid Lip Stains in Faithful Cora, Perpetually Mauve, Unforgettable Fuchsia, On Everyone's Lips & Get Noticed 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Empties #12 // March 2015

My product-using enthusiasm was half-assed this month because not wearing any makeup is equivalent to not using any product. 

Here's my rating scale: 
(>'-')> <('-'<) ^(' - ')^ // worthy of dance party (repurchase)   
^u^ ^u^  // pretty great (maybe repurchase) 
-_- // indifference (will not repurchase) 

Finally finished a huge bottle of the Sapien Women Body Scrub*-_- . In addition to being natural and cruelty-free the scrub looks like poop (literally) when it gets all over the shower. The exfoliating is subpar due to the widely disbursed  pieces of coconut bark. The Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel* (>'-')> <('-'<) ^(' - ')^ smells delightfully sweet and works into a fairly light lather leaving skin feeling clean but not stripped. The CoLab Dry Shampoo* ^u^ ^u^ in Rio ran out quite quickly. The scent is great but the product lasted less than a month and a half. A baby sample of the Living Proof Satin Hair Serum ^u^ ^u^ lasted me for more than two months. The light oil works in either wet or dry hair and leaves locks feeling smooth and silky. The serum smells slightly peppery like a clean man. I like, I like. 

The Bioderma Atoderm Lotion (>'-')> <('-'<) ^(' - ')^ is super lightweight and great for when my skin is feeling particularly sensitive or dry. The Mika for Shu Pore Eraser* (>'-')> <('-'<) ^(' - ')^ worked really well on its own to even out my skin tone and underneath foundation. The foam formulation is super cool and the SPF was an added bonus, as it let me skip the sunscreen step. In addition, the limited edition packaging was a pleasure to keep on my makeup table. At first, the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner -_- did well to mattify and hide the pores on my nose. However, it seemed like the more I used it, the less effective it became. 

March TALLY: 
0 tosses
5 full-size
2 samples 
7 total 

12 tosses
23 full-size
9 samples
44 total

I'm going to promise myself that I'll try harder next month. So much product to use and so little time! 

What products did you finish up last month? 

Purchased products and press samples featured. Reviewed items linked to blog post. Press samples are denoted with an asterisk (*). 

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hard Candy Smokey Eyes Look Pro! Tin Palette

The Hard Candy Smokey Eyes Look Pro! Tin Palette ($7.98, exclusively at Walmart) is a new, fun little number for your eyes. The one stop eye look shop includes nine of the eyeshadows, Eyes the Limit Eye Shadow Primer, a dual ended foam applicator, a mini Take Me Out Eyeliner in Soy, and an instructional card for three looks. 

The Look Pro! Tin palettes are also available in 927 Natural Eyes and 926 Sassy Eyes - which include the same primer and eyeliner but different variations of eyeshadows. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

No Makeup for a Month // the results of #nomakeupmarch

As a thought experiment, I wore no makeup from mid-February to the end of March. I explain why in my first #nomakeupmarch post (see here). As an exception, I attended 10 events in 13 days which equated to about 35 days total. I did not, however, wear any makeup on my birthday. 

I did a bit of thinking during my break from makeup and these are my conclusions: 
  1. Nobody actually cares if you wear makeup or not. I wasn't being treated any differently with or without. The only real difference is that nobody's noticing that I'm lacking in the ridiculously bright coloured lipstick. 
  2. Makeup makes your skin seem worse than it actually is. My skin is not as bad as I thought it was. Relative to wearing a heavy coverage foundation that provides doll-like perfection makes you feel like all your imperfections are a big deal when the fact of the matter is that there are people without food and here you are complaining about a puny pimple or that a spot on your skin is a hair darker than the rest of your face. 
  3. No makeup = better skin. Pre-no-makeup, my skin was having a bout of breakouts around my mouth and on my cheeks. Now, my skin's just fine on it's own. No concealer necessary. 
  4. Without makeup, being lazy is still not okay. When you go outside, there's chemicals and pollutants and all sorts of yucky stuff. So, it's still necessary to cleanse and moisturize. When I skipped a face wash my skin wasn't feeling so great. 
  5. Sleep and diet show on your face. No sleep Stephanie = dehydrated skin, pimples and puffy eyes. On the other hand, lots of beauty sleep = fresh faced and bouncy skin. 
  6. I didn't pick at zits/pimples as often. Knowing I wasn't able to cover up an irritated area on my face, I picked at my imperfections less.  
  7. I became disinterested in reading/writing blog posts and watching Youtube videos about makeup. Maybe it's better that I wasted less time watching people put makeup on. It's hard to take part in mass consumption if you're not actually consuming. Hence why boys don't know the difference between foundation, concealer and primer. 
  8. I missed makeup things - like having thick, curled eyelashes and wearing a different shade of my-lips-but-better every day of the week.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. I'm not saying that wearing makeup is good or bad, but it's definitely a positive thing to take a short break. I won't stop wearing makeup or change up my routine drastically. However, I'm fully confident that if I lost all my makeup in a mysterious fire or got stuck on a desert island, I would be able to survive.

How long could you ditch your makeup?

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Real Techniques Duo Fibre Collection - Face, Contour & Eye Brushes

Let's all be in agreement that the purple, pink and orange permanent lines from Real Techniques are stellar yet affordable brushes. Recently launched in Canada is the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Collection ($29.99, see where to buy here), which I received in a goodie bag that time when I met Sam and Nic Chapman (omgs). 

All three brushes are made with two types of synthetic fibres, which means that they're 100% cruelty-free. Furthermore bristles are hand-cut and super soft (like all other RT brushes). Keep in mind that these duo fibre brushes are meant to create a light application of cream, liquid or powder product. 

For all three brushes, the bristles are not as dense as something like the Expert Face Brush, so product applies quite sheerly when using these brushes. 

Duo Fiber Face Brush

Saturday, April 4, 2015

EVENT: the Clean Care Beauty Awards

On Friday, March 27th, Clean Care (a Canadian Certified seal of approval for safer beauty & personal care products) announced the winners of its inaugural Clean Beauty Awards at the Green Living Show. I attended a media preview pamper session which featured a manicure from Bio Seaweed Gel, a chair massage by the Massage Lady, a skin consultation by Province Apothecary, and UV filtered water tastings with Strauss Water Canada. I also took a little walk around the Green Living Show which had a plethora of beauty and personal care products. 

FASHION MAGAZINE BEAUTY PANEL: Tom Pecheux for Altuzarra Spring 2015

A satin finish face, soft lips, and long lashes. Tom Pecheux's look for Altuzarra Spring 2015 tops my favourites. It's natural, a little romantic but with a haunting "pshycho doll" oddness to it with the false lashes. 

For the face, I used a light-medium coverage foundation with a satin finish to achieve natural-yet-perfected skin, contoured my face (quite a bit more heavily than I'm used to) to mimic a model-esque cheekbone, and added a touch of pink blush for a doll-like glow. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

EVENT: ACI Beauty Spring/Summer 2015 Preview – Paul & Joe Beaute, Ceramic Glaze & Ardell Lashes #ACIBeautySS15

In addition to Guerlain So Particular and various fashion shows, I also had the pleasure of attending the ACI Beauty Spring/Summer 2015 Preview. ACI is a distributor of various beauty brands such as Stila, China Glaze, Clean, Cargo, St. Tropez, and more. The event featured an Ardell lash station, Ceramic Glaze mani appointments, and a Paul & Joe presentation. 

Paul & Joe Beaute 
Combine a French fashion label with Japanese beauty technologies and what do you get? Paul & Joe Beaute, daintily packaged products that perform with prowess.  Artistic Beauty Director & Global Make-up Artist for the brand, Craig-Ryan French (who has worked on the sets of the SAW series and Defiance) walked event attendees through the history of the brand and a few of Paul and Joe’s classic products. Some standouts were the lipsticks, blushes and eyeshadows with interchangeable packaging with fun prints and the orange blossom scented primers and foundations. Paul & Joe is FINALLY available in Canada at select Shoppers Drug Mart stores - Hillcrest Mall (Richmond Hill, ON), Robson & Burrard (Vancouver, BC), Richmond Centre (Richmond, BC), Chinook Centre (Calgary, AB). 

MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Sculpting Duo #2 in Golden

Contouring, highlighting and sculpting seem to be all the rage in the makeup world. To keep up with the trends, Make Up For Ever has launched its own Pro Sculpting Duos ($45), two sets of contour and highlighting powders that are weightless, blendable, and formulated with the same talc-free, gel-powder formula as the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Did you know that Guerlain manufactured and sold the first lipstick (1936) and bronzer (1984)? This is just one of the many things I learned about Guerlain when I took a trip to the Guerlain Boutique & Institute at 110 Bloor Street West in Yorkville last week. The event was modelled after what is known as "Journée Particulière", a yearly event at which Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy brands (Dior, Kenzo, Make Up For Ever, Benefit, Fresh, etc) open their doors to journalists. 

Guerlain Terracotta and Jolie Teint 

SST Signature Series Cosmetics - BB Cream, Eyeshadow Sticks and Hydrating Lipstick

Introducing SST Signature Series Cosmetics... SST stands for Sharon Sharpe-Titus, a Canadian model turned make-up-artist. The line has a focus on "quality ingredients free of harsh chemicals...brining together exceptional colours and elegant textures." Not knowing anything about SST, I was curious to try four items from their line...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

World MasterCard Fashion Week F/W 2015 - the Good & the Bad

3 beauty events, 4 fashion shows, and 1 awards show on top of my 45 hour work week.  I’m not really sure how I did it but I did. Perhaps going to 8 events in 5 days might be what it’s like to be a full-time “real” blogger. 

World MasterCard Fashion Week (aka Toronto Fashion Week aka the Canadian Collections) happens twice a year – March for Fall/Winter of the current year and September for Spring/Summer of the following year – and showcases some of Canada’s most renowned designers. 

This was my first experience at World MasterCard Fashion Week – the good, the bad and the ugly. If you want to see photos of the shows check out my WMCFW – womenswear and WMCFW – menswear posts. 

bad: rude people butting in line, 3-inch heels, street style photographers outside (it’s like paparazzi and I’m camera shy when I’m not in the comfort of my room), expensive food, the cold weather and lack of heating in the tent
good: attending my first fashion week, wifi, seeing people I know and not feeling like a loner, free coffee from Kreuig, Maybelline Rebel Blooms Lipsticks and thank goodness for weekends and sleep

World MasterCard Fashion Week F/W 2015 - Malorie Urbanovitch & Mikael D // womenswear

I had the pleasure of attending 4 shows at World MasterCard Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2015 season. Two of the shows were womenswear designers. Here's a quick recap of the shows: