Saturday, December 31, 2016

16 Best Blog Posts of 2016

10 most popular and 6 of my personal favourite blog posts. 

The 10 most popular posts of 2016 mainly consist of foundation, concealer and lipstick reviews. My guess is that the internet loves photos that show an obvious and immediate before and after result. On the other hand, my least popular posts are skincare and haircare related.

  1. Kat Von D Lock It Foundation and Concealer Creme 
  2. CoverGirl and Olay Loves (CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream)
  3. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes 
  4. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks 
  5. Too Faced Born this Way Concealer
  6. Too Faced Born this Way Foundation 
  7. Best Inexpensive Makeup Brushes 
  8. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Collection
  9. Sulwahsoo Evenfair Cushion Foundation
  10. Generation Beauty Toronto 2016

I picked 6 of my favourite blog posts, because it's nice to look back at what I've done in the past year and how I've pushed myself to put out content that I'm proud of! 
  1. I made my very first Youtube video in 2016. My filming and editing wasn't perfect but the behind the scenes LUSH Factory Tour experience was. 
  2. Charles reviewed some skincare and made an epic GIF - Charles Reviews No. 7 
  3. You know your nail art is decent when Huda Beauty shares it on her Instagram page - Huda Beauty & Formula X Color Curators Collection 
  4. Bite Beauty Lip Lab - I made my own lipstick (and another Youtube video) 
  5. I went to Greece and it was beautiful. 
  6. There's something about Halloween makeup looks that make me feel like I'm slaying all day - Chrisspy Skull Makeup Look 

Bye, 2016. Hello, 2017! 

What were your favourite blog posts of 2016? 

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Friday, December 30, 2016

16 Beauty Favourites of 2016

In 2016, I wrote over 310 posts, which means I've tried at least 300 different beauty products this year. I've narrowed it down to just 16 products in nails, makeup and skincare: 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Baby It's GOLD Outside

'Tis the season for glitter, gold and everything bold. I've rounded up a few gold goodies - old products and new releases to celebrate this special time of the year! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sephora Haul 2016

I try a lot of beauty products - thousands per year - but seldom do I purchase them. I'm 
not a Very Important Beauty (VIB) or VIB Rouge at Sephora. However, there's one very special time of the year typically during the holiday season that I make a little splurge. That $15 off $50 coupon is 30% off SEPHORA and the best annual steal of a deal. Okay so I spent about $78 with taxes, so it ends up being that I only got 17% off...
My haul is pretty boring so feel free to click out of this window as soon as you see the pics. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

What's On My Face #9 - The Holiday Look

It's been a while since I've taken photos of my face. But here I am. All done up and ready for the holidays! I've been wearing this look to all of my holiday festivities (some get togethers with friends and my office party) - a mostly neutral, slightly metallic eye with a deep browny red lip.

Fusion XXL Xtension Waterproof Mascara*

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme in Bad Behaviour (LE)*

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Finish in Groenland
Kat Von D  Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Thunderstruck

What makeup look do you wear during the holidays? 
Press samples featured and denoted with an asterisk (*). 
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: Stocking Stuffers & Ornaments Under $35

My own family does not partake in stocking stuffing but if we did, here's what I'd want to see mine filled with...

EOS Lip Balm in Vanilla Bean ($4.38 CAD)
Gotta catch'em all, amirite? This year's limited edition holiday "flavour" is Vanilla Bean. Formulated with shea butter and vitamin E, it's sure to keep dry lips in check this winter. 

Another one to help your skin brave the cold weather, the MaskerAid Weather Warrior Face Mask contains argan oil, aloe, green tea and witch hazel to soothe and calm the skin. 

Quo Hidden Treasures Cosmetic Crackers (3 for $18 CAD)
Every year, Quo releases a set of 3 Christmas crackers, which is probably the most exciting way to open a beauty gift. Spoiler alert - there's an eyeshadow and lip gloss in side. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mary Kay Pure Dimensions Eye Palettes in Moroccan Dunes, Paris Starlight and Maui Gardens

Just last month, Mary Kay released their limited edition Pure Dimensions Eye Palettes ($46 CAD). 

At a glance, the palettes are gorgeous. I love that the three dimensional etchings on each of the shadows corresponds to the name of the palette - Moroccan Dunes, Paris Starlight and Maui Gardens. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: The Eco Chic

Want to give an amazing gift while also doing a little good for the world?  Perhaps you have something cruelty-free, organic, fair trade and sustainable in mind? Look no further!

Acure Aromatherapeutic Moroccan Argan Oil in Rose, Coconut and Citrus Ginger ($12.99 USD each) 
Skincare meets aromatherapy! Acure is a family-run company that features green packaging, recyclable and biodegradable materials, and certified organic ingredients. The Acure Aromatherapeutic Moroccan Argan Oils give my skin LIFE. Argan oil is one of the only oils that feel comfortable on my skin. It's fast absorbing and Acure has added the most delightful scents. Of the three, Citrus Ginger is my go-to - especially before bed time. Rose and cocnut are spot-on with what you'd expect. Pick up one or all three (full size!) in a set for $24.99 USD. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Nothing says relaxation like a hot bath, candles and a mani-pedi. Give the gift of R&R by putting together a few of your favourite pamper products and you've got a very well-rounded and thoughtful present. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

glo Minerals Pressed Base in Golden Medium

My first foundation was a powder foundation. I was interested in taking the glo Minerals Pressed Base ($63 CAD) for a spin because it's been a while since I've used a powder foundation. Also, the glo Minerals Pressed Base is one of glo Minerals top-selling, award-winning hero it had a lot to live up to. 

glo Minerals Pressed Base in Golden Medium before and after

The glo Minerals Pressed Base has a good range of 20 shades, from natural fair to cocoa medium. I've been using the shade Golden Medium, which was (when I took these photos) too light for me. Even now for the winter months, I could go one step deeper to Golden Dark. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Sticks

They say your highlight ain't bright enough unless you can see it from outer space. If you want to get your glow on then you need to check out the NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Sticks ($10.99 CAD). 

NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Sticks Review Swatches

There are 12 shades in the range (4 blushes, 4 highlights and 4 bronzers). I've got 9 of them to swatch and share - all but Brick Red Blaze (blush), Lavender Lust (highlight), and Sun Kissed Crush (bronze). All of the shades have some level of fine shimmer but it's nothing offputting. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: The Misc Bits

By miscellaneous, I mean non-beauty things - technology, lifestyle, wellness, etc. A majority of the people in my life are not makeup hoarders lke myself. So, these picks are (in my opinion) unique, interesting and totally giftable. Everything is something that I would be ecstatic to receive myself! 

Marvis Toothpaste Gift Pack ($35 CAD)
Nothing says I love you more than a gift that says I care about your dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth is a mundane and routine aspect of life. Thank goodness for Marvis Toothpaste, which keeps things interesting. Marvis originated in Italy and was originally formulated to whiten the teeth and freshen the breath of smokers and coffee drinkers. Now, Marvis is a contemporary and luxury toothpaste brand. The Marvis Toothpaste Gift Pack includes 7 invigorating flavours - aquatic mint, cinnamon mint, classic mint, ginger mint, jasmine mint, amarelli licorice, and whitening mint. 

Amrita Sen Cosmic and Eternal Love Adult Coloring Book ($19.99 USD)
I've been meaning to stress less and colour more. For home bodies and stressed messes like myself, colouring books are the perfect way to wind down. Cosmic and Eternal Love is not just a colouring book, it's a traditional Indian love story (that also comes with a soundtrack to set the mood!). Pair this with some pencil crayons and you've got a full night ahead of you. 

Before trying the Sudio Sweden Vasa Bla Wireless Earphones, I must have been living in the 19th century. The Sudio Sweden Vasa Bla Wireless Earphones are sleek, chic and connect to your laptop/phone/wireless device via bluetooth. I'm no audiophile but as far as I can tell the sound quality is great! The earphones also come with a handy microphone (for long conversations with bae), a leather case, 4 pairs of extra sleeves, a charger and a carrying case. Get 15% off with the code funsizebeauty (not an affiliate link!).

LimeLens Smartphone Lens Set ($49.99 USD)
Step up your insta game (or your insta husband's insta game) with a few smartphone lenses. They're a fun way to play with smartphone photography if you don't have a DSLR or find a DSLR too bulky. The LimeLense Lens Set includes The Thinker (Macro/Wide Smartphone Lens) and The Captain (Fisheye Smartphone Lens), along with all the clips and attachments. Make sure your giftee has a phone that's compatible with the attachments and you're good to go. 

Here's a photo I took with the LimeLens:

Superfeet Women's 3/4 Insoles ($29.95 USD)
If you or a friend is like me and are very short, have flat feet but find heeled shoes impossibly uncomfortable, try Superfeet! The insoles help with discomfort related to shock absorption and odour control. I've been wearing the Superfeet in both my heels and running shoes and they're a godsend. 

Socks ($2-$6 CAD) 
When in doubt, gift socks. The cozy, fuzzy, cute kind. Shoutout to Charles for picking up the penguin socks for me! 

What's the most unique gift that you've ever received?
Press samples feature

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: The Beauty Beginner

Today - gifts for gals that are that awkward age that's too old for Claire's makeup but too young for the Naked 5 palette. 

Sephora Geometric Colour Palette ($59 CAD)
The ULTIMATE makeup palette for any budding beauty lover. It contains 80 eyeshadows, 32 glosses, 6 cream eyeliners, 4 brow powders, 4 blushes and 2 tutorial cards for her to play with. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

UNBOXING: November Loveabox

Loveabox ($160 RM/$36 USD) is a hand-curated monthly mystery k-beauty box all the way from Malaysia. A longtime blogger acquaintance of mine, XXZYRO, actually started it up! She was generous enough to send me the very first box to share with you. Here's a look at what's inside:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Sephora Collection Holiday Palettes

Each holiday season, Sephora's in-house brand (SEPHORA COLLECTION) releases a ton of eye and face palettes for all of your beauty gifting needs. They range from inexpensive stocking stuffers ($13 CAD) to items that are a little pricier ($45 CAD). Sometimes they're good and sometimes they're of questionable quality. This year, I've got 5 of them to share with you. 

Sephora Collection Holiday Palettes

Thursday, December 8, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: Beauty for Him

Brother, cousin, nephew, father, boyfriend, husband, son - the men in your life deserve to feel beautiful and pampered too. Here are a few beauty gifts for him: 

Clean for Men Eau De Toilette in Black Leather ($84 USD for 100mL) 
If you don't like his bottle of Axe, toss it and replace it with something more the Clean for Mean Eau De Toilette in Black Leather. Black Leather is described as a musky, spicy, edgy, modern scent and features top notes of bergamot and black peppercorn, followed by juniper, spearmint, violet lleaf and black orchid. 

Paula's Choice PC4Men Trial Kit ($30 USD)
Cult skincare brand Paula's Choice has men's branded products too. Men can use the regular Paula's Choice Skincare line too but in case your man friend wants a skincare product that says so this set contains 5 PC4Men Products - a face wash, shave, soothe + smooth, daytime protect SPF 30 and nighttime repair. 

Jack Black  Moisture Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 ($19 CAD for two) 
The Jack Black Lip Balms are the kind of product you buy for your boyfriend but end up "borrowing" from time to time (or permanently). The balms contain antioxidants, Vitamin E and green tea extract to soothe and repair chapped lips.

Les Industries Groom All Natural Hair Pomade ($32 CAD) 
Les Industries Groom is an all-natural, Montreal-based brand specializing in men's grooming products. I handed this one off to Charles to test out and he said that the product, while full of wonderful ingredients, had little to no hold for his thick hair. Perhaps if your guy friend has thinner hair than Charles, this would be a good pick for you. 

What will you be picking up for your boyfriends/dads/husbands/brothers this holiday season?
Press samples featured
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

NYX Wanderlust Advent Calendar 2016

It's always nice to see a drugstore brand come out with an advent calendar, so I was excited to receive the NYX Wanderlust Advent Calendar ($50 CAD) in the mail. 

The calendar features 24 days of NYX inspired by international destinations like Seoul, Rome, Manila, Stockholm, Monte Carlo and more. The graphics in the calendar are fun but not childish and the calendar itself is a good size (not difficult to carry home from the post office). 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: The Makeup Addict

Tried and true beauty products for that friend that looks like a makeup artist (but isn't) and always knows when Kylie Lip Kits are in stock. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

OPI Breakfast at Tiffany's Holiday Collection 2016

This year's OPI Holiday Collection is inspired by the classic film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" featuring none other than the iconic Audrey Hepburn. The collection is meant to channel Hepburn's "special brand of chic" and sense of playfulness. 

The collection contains polishes in the Infinite Shine, Gel Color and regular Nail Lacquer formulations in classic light Tiffany blues, along with a ton of reds, a few deeper shades and even some holographic glitters. This collection has holiday written all over it...perhaps too much red for my liking but it's fun, beautiful and sophisticated nonetheless. Onto the swatches!: 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kat Von D Shade & Light Face Contour Refillable Palette and Eye Contour Palette

The Kat Von D Shade & Light Palettes (for Face and Eye Contouring) are some of the most popular products sold at Sephora. I've finally gotten the opportunity to test them out and colour me impressed, I should have taken notice to these sooner. 

Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye and Face Contour Palettes

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: The Lipstick Lover

Today, we're rounding up this year's best gift sets for your favourite lipstick junkie. I've tested out a majority of the sets in previous posts, so be sure to check out the fully fledged reviews as well! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Caryl Baker Glow Palette in Northern Lights

The Caryl Baker Visage Holiday 2016 Collection draws inspiration from the True North... Canada! A majority of the collection is pretty standard for Caryl Baker - 6 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 4 lipsticks and 6 of their new lip lacquers - all named after Canadian symbols and iconic cities like Jasper, Tofino and Nanaimo. 

And then there's the Northern Lights Glow Palette ($46 CAD), which really got me excited. For one, seeing the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis) is on my bucket list. And secondly, I've seen and tried lip products, eyeshadows and blushers from Caryl Baker Visage - but not a highlighting palette. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sephora Collection Mini Cream Lip Stain Set

FINALLY. I can say that I've tried the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains, a liquid lipstick that is wildly popular in the beauty community. For the holidays, Sephora's got a set of mini Cream Lip Stains ($15 CAD) in 4 bestsellers - Always Red, Infinite Rose, Cherry Blossom and Blackberry Sorbet. 

In this case, mini means baby-sized, like smaller than my pinky finger. 

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains: 
Infinite Rose (shimmery, sheer gold/peach nude)
Cherry Blossom (blue pink) 
Always Red (true red)
Blackberry Sorbet (deep plum berry)

Friday, November 25, 2016

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artistic Eye Shadow Palette

9 MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadows, one holiday palette. It's the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artistic Eye Shadow Palette ($58 CAD)!

The MAKE UP FOR EVER Artistic Eye Shadow Palette contains 9 MUFE Artist Shadows: 

S-102 - Onyx (Satin)
D-552 - Crystalline Grey Beige (Diamond)
I-220 - Sapphire (Iridescent)
ME-302 - Peacock (Metallic)
ME-122 - Snow (Metallic)
ME-108 - Steel (Metallic) 
ME-614 - Graphite Brown (Metallic) 
D-712 - Creme Brulee (Diamond)
ME-912 - Orchid (Metallic)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

GIFT GUIDE: Bath & Body Gift Sets

Bath and body gift sets have a bad rap for being the fallback/cop out present when yourself/Mom/aunt/family friend had little to no time to do the holiday shopping (between cooking holiday meals, baking cookies and working a full time job) and decided to pick up the gifts for everyone on the shopping list in the same store. 

But you know what? Bath and body gift sets are some of the most useful things you could pick up for a loved one. Who doesn't want to be clean, smell fresh and feel like a baby's bottom all over? Bath and body gift sets bound to be emptied before the next holiday season or if anything they can easily be re-gifted with a fresh bit of wrapping paper ;) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Smashbox Light It Up 3 Palette Set: Eyes Contour Lips

There's nothing quite as cool as receiving one gift from a friend but actually getting three different things in the package. This is what makes the Smashbox Light It Up 3 Palette Set for Eyes, Contour and Lips ($55 CAD) a fun and unique beauty gift. Smashbox's Light It Up Holiday Collection for 2016 is in collaboration with Meryl Pataky, a San Francisco-based neon artist. Hence, the neon box and neon palettes. 

Smashbox Light It Up 3 Palette Holiday Set Review

The set contains three palettes and within those palettes includes six eyeshadows, 1 contour, 1 bronzer, and 6 lip colours. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Too Faced Merry Kissmas The Ultimate Liquified Lipstick Set

Too Faced's Melted Liquified Lipsticks are some of the best.  First there was the original satin finish Melted Long Wear Liquified Lipsticks, then came the Metallic and Chocolate Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks and the latest in the range is the Liquified Matte Long Wear Lipsticks. The Too Faced Merry Kissmas The Ultimate Liquified Lipstick Set ($32 CAD) contains 4 of the most popular Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipsticks. 

Too Faced Melted Liquified Liquid Lipsticks in Chocolate Honey, Chihuahua and Matte Lady Balls

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Fig Swatch

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chihuahua Swatch

The Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Fig is a rosy orchid, while the Chihuahua is a light dusty mauve. The Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks are some of my favourites. These are traditional lipsticks in a bullet, melted into a squeeze tube with a sponge tip applicator. The Melted Liquified Long Wear lipsticks have a satin finish and are very comfortable to wear. On my lips, they last about 4 hours and leave a nice stain thereafter. 

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chocolate Honey Swatch

The Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chocolate Honey is a medium brown nude. The Melted Chocolates are the same formulation as the original but smell of cocoa powder. YUM. 

Too Faced Melted Liquified Matte Long Wear Lipstick in Lady Balls Swatch

The Too Faced Melted Liquified Matte Long Wear Lipstick in Lady Balls is a matte true red and the most like a traditional "liquid lipstick" with a doe foot applicator. There's zero transfer (unlike its non-matte siblings), while the formulation is slightly more drying due to the matte texture. The lipstick lasts all day long if you avoid eating anything oily. 

Is the Too Faced Merry Kissmas The Ultimate Liquified Lipstick Set worth it? Yes! 3 x 0.16 oz. and 1 x 0.12 oz., which is 0.6 oz. product total valued at  $37.50 CAD ($25 CAD for 0.4 oz. for a single full-size product). So, if you like all of the colours included in the Merry Kissmas set, you're getting a $5.50 discount and 4 adorable minis. 

Which Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick is your fave?

Press samples featured
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Formula X City Chic Clix! Travel Friendly Nail Polish Set

The Formula X City Chic Clix! Travel Set ($25 USD) is 6 polishes in a compact, travel-friendly package. Sephora always does these adorable little polish sets for the holidays, so let me break it down for you...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sephora Collection The Mini Team: Rouge Cream & Shine Lipstick Set

The Sephora Collection "The Mini Team" Holiday Set ($27 CAD) contains six adorably mini-sized (read: FUN SIZED) lipsticks in two formulations from Sephora Collection - the Sephora Rouge Shine Lipsticks and the Sephora Rouge Creme Lipsticks. 

Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick
No. 29 - Latin Lover (sheer orange coral)
No. 64 - Summer of Passion (sheer pink-purple)
No.14 - Love Spell (sheer light pink)

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipsticks
No. 23 - Crush (deep reddish plum)
No. 04 - The Red (classic bright red)
No. 20 (pale nude)

Friday, November 18, 2016

glo Minerals Cream Stay Shadow Sticks in Beam, Gold Blush, Keepsake, Metro, Concord & Pitch

A new product, from a new to me brand. glo Minerals is a line of cruelty-free, talc-free, non-comedogenic mineral makeup suitable for sensitive skin. 

My first thought when I took the glo Minerals Cream Stay Shadow Sticks ($26 CAD) out of their packaging was ... HEY. These look a lot like the Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic Eyeshadow Sticks - from the packaging with the hidden sharpener to longevity claims, right down to the price point. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Atelier Cologne Nécessaire Curated by Sylvie Ganter & Christophe Cervasel

Atelier Cologne Maison De Parfume Paris is fragrance brand dedicated to the creation of Cologne Absolue, pure and luxury fragrance for men and women. The Atelier Cologne Nécessaire Curated by Sylvie Ganter & Christophe Cervasel Holiday Set ($95 CAD at Sephora) aka "Founder's Favourites" is a taste of Atelier Cologne. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Quo Cosmetics Luxury Lipstick Wardrobe

They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend. Maybe if I could afford diamonds, that friendship could be a real possibility. A more affordable bff? Lipstick - the perfect addition to any girl's makeup collection. This holiday season, Quo Cosmetics (exclusively available at Shoppers Drug Mart) has a plethora of gift giving ideas... including the Quo Cosmetics Luxury Lip Set ($30 CAD), which contains 4 lipsticks, encased in a luxe rose-gold bullet. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Too Faced Let It Glow Highlight and Blush Kit

The Too Faced Let It Glow Highlight and Blush Kit ($32 CAD) contains 3 of Too Faced's best selling face powders - the Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo in Rosy Glow, Love Flush 16-Hour Blush in Love Hangover and Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer - and a mini kabuki brush. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Formula X Alchemy III (3)

First came Alchemy I, then there was Alchemy II (2), and now we've got Formula X Alchemy III (3) ($17 CAD). The Formula X Alchemy line is a series of special effects polishes available at Sephora. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Rejuvenating Facial at Hand & Stone

A few weekends ago I visited Hand & Stone Massage and Facial on the Danforth in Toronto. With over 20 locations in Ontario, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa is all about affordable luxury and helping clients feel refreshed and rejuvenated after their treatment

I had the Rejuvenating Facial at Hand & Stone ($119.95 CAD for guests, $89.95 for members) to repair and restore dry or mature skin. An antioxidant mask is applied to diminish the appearance of fine lines, improve texture and achieve an overall healthy and youthful glow and the esthetician used DIego Dalla Palma product - a cosmetic brand that's very popular in Europe. The treatment seemed appropriate given that the week before the treatment, my skincare routine was not ideal while traveling for work and my face wasn't handling the recent drop in weather. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette Vol. 4 - Shadows

The fourth instalment of the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette is serving up all sorts of matte fall magic. The MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette Volume 4 - Shadows ($52 CAD) features 9 matte eye shadows in the Artist Shadow formulation.