Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lancome Gloss in Love - Pink Pampille

 A short post today... sharing the lip gloss I have been loving recently by Lancome. The whole "in love" collection has been out for a couple years or more now, but I'm just discovering it in the last few months (I'm always a bit late on these things...).

One interesting thing about the packaging is the "click" button you see above. Instead of twisting and opening the tube, one just presses the button to release the wand. Innovative but sometimes without thinking I end up twisting the wand in my bleary-eyed mornings, and getting frustrated at why the darn cap is not coming off until I realize I'm supposed to press the button, argh!

 The applicator tip is also bent, which is unusual.  I use the caved-in side for my lower lips and the back side for my uppers.

As you can see, this shade is quite sheer, and adds a nice soft pinky tone to any underlying lip color.
The formula is very moisturizing, and doesn't feel too tacky or sticky on the lips. It also makes my lips look nice and plump without being overly shimmery.

Overall, I LOVE this! 

What has been your favorite lipgloss recently? Share with me in the comments!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer Oil Free Review

My go-to primer at the moment has been something my hubby got for me as a gift (on recommendation from Sephora staff when they found him looking lost...I'm touched he tried though!). 

I had put off buying this since it seemed expensive ($60 eeps) and I have lots of other primers in stock (Smashbox, MUFE, Benefit etc.), though I had always heard good things about it.

Well...those good things I heard are true...

This is a silicone-y feeling primer much like Smashbox, but somehow also seems to soak into the skin and smooth it rather than just sit smoothly on top like Smashbox. It comes out as a white lotion, which you have to be careful not to use too much or it will leave a white cast if you had planned on using this alone. I have been using this under foundations and BB creams, and it helps both to have a smoother application and last longer without creasing/sliding around. It also doesn't have any weird or noxious scent. When used alone I find it blurs my pores and lines.

Overall, if you don't mind the price tag, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow Palette #6

 I splurge on eyeshadows once in awhile...and this one was definitely a splurge...

GA's eyeshadow packaging is not as heavy and luxe as Tom Ford, but it's definitely unique despite the light weight plastic. 

I chose #6 because it was the most "natural" and I thought I could get the most use out of it, whether for everyday looks or using the darker shades for a smokey eye on an outing. 

This palette comes with two matte shades (bottom) and two light shimmery/satins, one is more warm toned and one is cool toned. I use the top shade for highlighting my inner corners, and the other for a sheer wash over the entire lid.

The 3rd shade I use as a contour while the darkest I either use to line my lashes or to further define the outer "V" when I'm putting on a heavier eye. 

Underneath the shadows are the two sponge applicators, which I have not been using (I prefer brushes or my fingers). Likely I will use them when traveling as it just makes it more convenient rather than having to wash brushes. 

As for overall performance, I am pleasantly surprised by how smooth and easily blendable these shadows are. They apply very evenly and I have yet to struggle with blotchy or chalky application. Other than Tom Ford, they are by far the smoothest eyeshadows I've tried thus far.  I have tried these with primer and without. They don't crease on me even without primer, however using a primer does help make the colors pop a bit more as I have quite dark eyelids naturally.

I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of this palette, which makes me sort of think I have justified the price tag... =P 

What's your most recent splurge item? Share with me in the comments!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Face Atelier Cake Eye Liner and Transforming Gel Review

I've forever on the look out for the perfect eyeliner since my lids smudge easily, and recently I came upon these cake liners by Face Atelier. 

These might look like eyeshadows but are formulated quite differently.  For example, FA eyeshadows have these base ingredients: MICA, ISOEICOSANE, POLYISOBUTENE, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA


They're certainly not meant to be used as eyeshadow (and will not blend properly like an eyeshadow), but rather are made to be activated by a liquid (usually an "activator" the same company makes; some will say water can be used but I recommend sticking with the official "activator" due to ingredients that will help with stability of the product on the skin). 

Face Atelier makes this "activator" called Transforming Gel. It makes these cake liners into an opaque liquid which can then be applied with the brush of your choice (I prefer push liners but any eye liner brush will do). This particular product can also be used to make any glitter/shimmer powders into a paste that can be applied as eyeshadow, or one can use it to transform an eyeshadow into a liquid brow product. 

(*see, not just water right...)

So how does the transforming gel + cake liner combo actually perform...

The paste comes out looking like something between a liquid and gel liner. It lasts all day without fading. Unfortunately I do get a bit of smudging on my lower lid after a few hours if I tightline, but it's only a small amount. I'm ok with this as I've tried many much worse liners that smudge horribly (=> panda eyes). So this small amount I can deal with (just gotta remember to check the mirror after a few hours into my day).

The best thing about the cake liner though, is I will never have to concern myself with expiry dates/bacteria growth like with liquid liners, nor with the product drying out like with gel liners. It dries back down to the hard pan product after use and bacteria does not grow on these hard surfaces.

Overall, it has not hit HG status but is one of the better eyeliners I've used. It is certainly kit worthy (personal or work) for ease of use, sanitation, and long-lasting-ness!  (it's Friday, the day to make up new words...)

Have you tried any cake liners before? Which are your favorite? Share with me in the comments I'd love to try them out.

*Disclosure: none, I have no affiliation with this company and I bought these products myself.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Face Atelier #9 and #10 Brush Review

Introducing my two favorite eye brushes! Face Atelier is an awesome Calgary-based brand that is known in the MUA world for their foundation (known to equal the infamous Armani but with more coverage). I have been trying out their brushes recently and am quite happy with these two eye brushes! They are always "out" on my makeup counter and in use :)

Below is #9, the "blender". I love this shape with eye brushes, as it nicely gets into the crease and blends out shadows easily and without tugging on the delicate skin (of which mine is starting to sag with age, boohoo). It's also uber soft.

Aside from performance, I have not noticed any shedding or dye-running when washing this. 

Below is #10, the "flat liner". This brush is amazing at tightlining (lining the root of the lashes). It has a very flat and thin profile, and wiggles right into the lash roots and deposits color in a thin line, and you can keep wiggling if you want a more smudgy/thicker line. It gives a natural look with dark shadow or gel liner and the like. 

As well, no shedding or dye-running with washing.

I own Sigma brushes that are very similar to these two, but I have to say these two perform better. They are unfortunately more expensive than Sigma (#9 is $36 CDN and #10 is $26 CDN), unless you're a MUA/student in which case there is a pro discount available. 

Brushes can be bought from Face Atelier's website.  I am not affliated with them and bought these brushes with my own money. Opinions are my own.

What are your favorite eye brushes? Share with me in the comments!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dior Fusion Mono Matte Eyeshadow - Celeste Review

I'm a little late to get to this limited edition product from Dior's spring collection. In fact, by the time I found out about it in the blogsphere it was already sold out at Sephora/The Bay near me. Luckily it was still available on yay!

It comes with a small brush which I don't find terribly useful as I already have cream eyeshadow brushes that I enjoy using. 

This eyeshadow has a very odd texture. It actually isn't really a feels like a rubber ball (cloest analogy I can think of) in the jar, and transforms to powder finish immediately on contact with skin. When applied with fingers, I barely see the color. It seems to color-correct the brown tint on my lids naturally and gives a brightening effect, but certainly does not look like the cool lavender color in the jar. Even when used with eye primer underneath, the color just doesn't pop when fingers are used to apply.

When applied with a brush, the color is much more pigmented, and can be built up. Currently, I use my fingers to apply on those days I just want to quickly brighten up my lid, and I use a brush when I want some of that lavender color to show. Powder eyeshadows can be easily blended over this.

Overall, great product, and makes me keen to try other shades in the line, but I think all the hype around this got my expectations up too high. 

Have you tried any of the shadows in this line? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Timeless Purple...Dior Eyeshadow Palette in 970 - Stylish Move

 It's fun to review new and limited edition products, but sometimes I just want to rave about the "oldie but goodie"!

I have had this palette for almost 2 years now, and it remains my no-fail go-to for special occasions when I want to spend the time to put 5 different shades on my eyes (you know that's the best part about getting ready...).  Yes I have bought new palettes since but this one has never let me down, especially when I don't want to think too hard.  The shades go super well with each other in any combination, and you can thus use this palette is to create anything from the very natural to the very dramatic.

The swatch below is made with 1 Q-tip swipe each to show how natural and "nude"-like the colors can be despite them looking vibrantly-purple/pink in the pan.

 What's your "oldie but goodie" product? Share with me in the comments as well as your blog post on it and I'd love to visit!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Topbox May 2014 Unboxing

It's here! For those of you not familiar with Topbox, it's a subscription box service. $12/mo + tax gets you 4-5 little deluxe sample surprises to your door. I love it for trying out different brands/products so then I know what to get full size of and what to avoid completely! 

 Environmentally friendly this month with the organza bag. The break from the tube is quite nice.

Click the jump to see what I got in my box!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Velour Lashes - Are Those Real

I don't use fake lashes often, they really just come out for very special occasions (weddings etc.). I've tried Ardell, various Asian brands, and now I've found the HG...I've actually had this pair for almost a year now. I'm only calling it HG now because I have been able to use it a few times, and each time I get compliments. One lovely friend said it looks like I just used some "awesome mascara" rather having fake lashes on. 

Velour advertises that their lashes are 100% mink. The lashes feel very light and soft on, not at all uncomfortable like some brands that can be stiff and heavy. Velour advertises 25-30x wear. I haven't hit that yet, and the lashes have had some fall-out when I pull off the glue at the end of the night, though not in a noticeable way. Regardless, it's worth the $30 USD price for me! 

You can buy these at (I'm not associated or affliated with this company, just love the lashes!)

Let me know what your favorite fake lashes are!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara – Ocean Blue Review

Elizabeth Arden is a brand that I would have not even considered buying prior to studying makeup. I used to think that it was for "older women" like my mom's age. However, once I found out about the legendary 8 hr cream in the MUA world, I've been exploring this brand more (or is it because I've become a I especially love their lipsticks (more in another post coming up soon...), and recently decided to try something different in their summer collection, a new BLUE mascara!  It's rare to see colored mascaras, and some I've tried in Sephora-land before were not that good (couldn't really see the color on my black lashes, or just bad formulas).  This one is not bad at all, click the jump to see the full review!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dermablend Quick-Fix SPF30 Concealer Review

 I have bluish-brown dark circles under my eyes and have forever been searching for the right combination of products to mask and brighten that area. Dermablend is a brand that has been often discussed amongst MUAs because of it's high coverage. There happened to be a sale on Nailpolish Canada for their makeup products so I decided to give this a try. The SPF30 doesn't hurt, though I don't care much for it since I never put concealer over my ENTIRE face (who does?!) and spot-SPF-ing doesn't make sense to me.

I bought the shade "natural", which is the darker of the shades for very fair skin. 

This is a stick-cream concealer that comes in a twist-up tube much like a lipstick.

Here is a one-swipe swatch on the left, and then a finger-blended-out swatch on the right (photo with flash)

This is a photo taken without flash, ugh you'll have to excuse how bad my skin looks here (side note: lighting is everything!! I super appreciate the work of good photographers...good makeup means nothing if the lighting and photography isn't good...). 

My impression: this is a full coverage concealer that blends quite easily and certainly can be sheered down. I have quite dry under eye area near my tear duct and did not find any creasing with this product. It also can look very natural when a light-hand is used (a little of this goes a looong way so don't use too much!), though will start to look like it's sitting-atop-the-skin at the end of the night (though we are talking about 16 hrs wear, not bad at all).

This shade is actually a bit too light for me, but I find that it brightens my under-eye area well as long as I use color-correctors underneath (I use the Giorgio Armani corrector). Without the correctors though, it does give a grey cast to my under eyes, though keep in mind if your skin is fairer than mine or you have different colored under-eye circles this may not be an issue for you with this shade.

Overall, with the coverage and blend-ability, this concealer has now become my go-to everyday concealer. I have stopped using the Armani HPR concealer this winter on my under-eye area as I'm finding it catches and emphasizes my dry patches too easily (my undereye area near the tear duct is very dry).  My routine now is eye cream, Armani corrector, then Dermablend concealer. I'm quite happy with the results as this cream concealer does not catch my dry patches at all, and will keep going at this until I find something better :)

This concealer is $27 CDN on
It's mid-range, and not a bad price at all for its performance if comparing to the Armani which is almost double the price.

*Disclosure: None. Product bought with my own money. I'm not affliated with this company nor any companies mentioned in the post.

Please comment and let me know what your thoughts are on this product and/or what your favorite under-eye concealer is right now!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Tinted Brow Gel Review

My brows are incredibly unruly (thank you stiff Asian hair), and always needs a brow gel or wax though I have not yet found one that can hold my brows in place all day.  I have heard much positive reviews about all the various Anastasia brow products so finally tried my first from this brand, their brow gel.  

I bought the color "Granite", it's a grey-ish dark brown. Ordinarily I prefer grey eyebrow products, and this is the closest color in this range.

The brush just looks like any regular mascara/brow gel brush. I find that it lightens my brows ever so slightly and gives them more of a grey-taupey tinge. I quite like it now that spring is here and I'm going for a "lighter" look than the heavy winter brows I was sporting.

As for hold, I'd say it's about "medium", since my brows become unruly again after a few hours. So no luck for me yet for finding a brow gel that can hold my brows in place all day.

Overall I would recommend this product if you're wanting to try tinting your eyebrows and don't mind the price ($29 CDN). It doesn't give any more volume to the eyebrow, just a tint. The hold isn't ideal for me, though probably would be more than fine if you have thinner eyebrow hairs.

Let me know if you have this what you thought of it, or if you know of any super strong hold eyebrow products that can tame my unruly hairs please recommend!!