Sunday, July 10, 2016

My 1st MAC purchase (what?!) - Huggable Lipcolor in Commotion and Mineralize Skinfinish in Other Earthly

That's right, I've never bought any MAC products up until now... crazy right? I mostly buy makeup from Sephora and department stores, and never ventured into MAC stores. Since The Bay now carries MAC, and recently had some items on 30% off, I thought this was a good time to check things out!

Had to go for a lipstick right :)  The Huggable Lipcolors had mixed reviews when I looked up other blogs, so I went with a raspberry-plum shade that I know likely will work on me. It's called "Commotion".

The texture is really interesting. If I try to swipe it on my lips like any other lipstick, the bullet is "sticky" and tugs on my lips quite uncomfortably. So I found the best way to apply this is by dabbing rather than swiping. The result is a sheer glossy (for a lipstick) finish that fills in lines and makes my lips look plump and healthy. It lasts until I eat but leaves a light stain. 

I swatched it amongst some of my other raspberry-plums. Temptalia calls this shade "highly dupable", which is true, however the finish is unique!

Left to right: Burberry Kisses Bright Plum (slightly more pigmented and creamy with less sheen)
MAC Huggable Commotion (the glossiest and most tacky in feel)
Marc Jacobs Boy Gorgeous (the most pigmented and matte of these)
Tom Ford Violet Fatale (the most comfortable and lightweight of all these)

Next I chose one of the Mineralize Skinfinish which I also hear a lot about. 
I was very disappointed by the shipping, as it had unfortunately been knocked around and there was chunky glitter everywhere (had even escaped to the box). I was concerned this was going to end up a chunky glittery-highlighter, and I was partially right. 

Presentation is gorgeous, and the sections are large enough I can use the shades separately, however I discovered that is not the best way to use this...

When swatched, I was not impressed...the silver and gold-bronze were super glittery and chunky, and the middle rosy shade was chalky. When I put them on my cheek separately, the 2 glittery ones looked terrible, they were hard to blend out and stuck as chunky glitter on my face. The middle shade just didn`t show on my cheeks. I was about to sigh and give up until I read from others that they like this best blended altogether. So I took a dense synthetic brush and swirled it all around. The result was...well... kind of out of this world! It`s hard to describe, altogether it looks like a rosy highlighter that is sparkly rather than glittery (sparkly in a nice way!). It isn`t subtle, but also doesn`t scream glitter like when the shades go on individually. I love it! 

Overall, this has been a good first foray into MAC and I`ll definitely be picking up some more from the 30% off sale!

Share with me your favorite products from MAC!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shu Uemura KYE Collectioon: Brow Palette in Cappuccino/Dark Rose

This the last of my KYE haul, and unfortunately is the biggest disappointment for me. I was so excited about this product, and felt like it would be a slightly-edgy-but-not-so-out-there thing to do to have dark rosy brows. The packaging is still cute, and feels nice and hefty in my hands, but that's about as far as it goes.

It contains Cappuccino, a light grey-mauve tone, and Dark Rose, which looks so beautiful in the pan. 

The instructions here to use Cappuccino to draw and Dark Rose to blend, makes no sense to me. As it turns out, Cappuccino is so lacking in pigmentation that I could not get it to show up on my brows at all.  Even on my arm, it look a lot of layers to even show any kind of shadow! 

Dark Rose is more pigmented, so it make more sense to actually use that to "draw" my brows and then go over it with Cappuccino to blend. I really was so excited and wanting to love this, but once I finished my look, I realized the shade is exactly like those eyebrow tattoos the Asian aunties used to have, that same reddish-brown..ugh! (Sorry you might have to be Asian to understand what I'm referring to). It just made me feel old, not cool at all.

This likely will work for you if you have reddish-brown hair though!

I'm ending on a down note I guess, but by far the best of the KYE collection so far for me was the cushion blush, second is the tinted lip balm. I'm only glad I got this brow palette on sale and didn't pay the full $55 CDN for it, eeks. The KYE collection does have a indigo-blue shade in the brow sword, which I might try (no "auntie" look there) but not sure if I will end up going for it as it may be a waste of money on something I may not end up using a lot of... we will see =P

What has been your most recent product disappointment?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Shu Uemura KYE Collection: Sheer Color Balm - melt in orange

If I for some out-of-this-world reason, I would have to only live with one single type of makeup item, I would choose tinted lip balms. They're easy to use to brighten my lips and complexion, moisturizing, and require no effort to blend. So of course I had to pick up one of the tinted lip balms from the Shu x KYE collection!

Normally I choose "safe" colors like peach and pink, this time I thought I'd brand out a bit and try the orange. It does look shockingly orange in the tube, however I was a bit disappointed it just turned into regular peach-pink on me (both on my skin and on my lips).

Despite my disappointment in this not being a very "out there" shade, I'm happy with the formula. It's thin and moisturizing, and on the glossier side. The formula reminds me most of the YSL Candy balms, which continue to be my favorite tinted lip balm line.

Also, how cute is the packaging?! Not "fancy" like YSL, but makes my eyes happy when I pull it out to use :) The cap is also fairly tight so I'm not concerned about it coming off in my purse.

Overall, this is a solid buy in the luxury tinted balms world, for $36 CDN. If you love tinted balms like I do, this is a great add to your collection! If tinted balms aren't your thing, skip this :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Shu Uemura KYE Collection: Fresh Cushion Blush - hibiscus orange

I'm starting off this KYE series review with my favorite product thus far. This is my first cushion blush product ever, and have to say this now my favorite form of blush!
 I love applying cushion BB creams, like my IOPE Air Cushion, but this is even better!

 Cute packaging aside, it's a traditional cushion packaging with a soft sponge. This is smaller than a BB cushion of course, so only 2 fingers fit on this sponge rather than 3.

 The sponge is very saturated with product, and initially I thought I was going to apply way too much. 
I needn't have been concerned though, as this blush is very sheer, but buildable. I dab the sponge in the cushion then lightly tap it around my cheeks. It blends like a dream!

 On the left is a big unblended splotch of the product, and on the right is blended out. It's subtle and very natural, of a demi-matte, non-shiny sheen. It doesn't look artificially orange, but rather warms up my cheeks almost like bronzer, though without the "tan" look. It's beautiful though I had trouble capturing my cheeks on photo with this showing up so hopefully you can trust my words and go try this out yourself! It looks even more gorgeous if you add a golden highlighter on top!

Have you tried a cushion blush before? It feels like a pampering spa experience for my cheeks!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Shu Uemura F&F Sale - KYE haul

Shu Uemura recently had a sale, 25% off for spending over $125, which an amazing deal as Sephora's recent sad VIB sale was only 15% off. I picked up 3 pieces from the new KYE collection, collaborated with Kathleen Kye, a Korean streetwear designer. The boxes were super cute! I picked up the following:

- cushion blush 
- brow palette
- sheer color balm

Individual reviews will be posted shortly!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why it's bad to buy too many new products at once...

2014 was a stressful year that resulted in a lot of stress shopping. I recently just discovered I completely forgot to open up this beauty from the Lancome x Jason Wu collection from 2014! I remember being excited to buy this but completely forgot about it amongst the pile of other stuff I bought. 

Sadly, despite much shaking, this formula is toast. It's consistency is unlike that of other artliners I've used in the past, and the pigmentation is patchy and impossible to even out despite my best efforts. I recall seeing gorgeous photos of this back in 2014, so my only conclusions is that I missed out on it's good days and it must have now gone "off". Sigh... oh how I wish I used and enjoyed this in 2014 when it was meant to be enjoyed!!

Do you ever forget about things you buy? Or do you always open up what you buy right away? If you're the latter I'm going to try to be more like you from now on! Or maybe I should just buy =)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tom Ford Oud Wood Shower Gel Review

I've gone crazy and purchased the most expensive shower gel ever... Actually, my reasoning was that I hear a lot of raving about Tom Ford's Oud Wood scent, and since spending $300 on a bottle of perfume seemed ridiculous, I thought I'd try out the scent on the shower gel! I've been using this for a couple of months now.

As it promised, it certainly makes a nice lather and rinses cleanly, no residue-feeling. It also doesn't make me overly dry. The scent though, which is why I wanted to try this in the first place, I'm really not sure about. Scents are so personal, but this scent on some days make me go "bleh", and other days it's very pleasant, and I can't figure out why. I'm not huge on perfume so forgive me for not describing the scent very well. 

The bottle/packaging feels nice and hefty, but unfortunately is annoying in that it's just a plain twist off cap, making it that way too much product comes out each time if I"m not careful (this thing lathers very well, so only a small amount is needed). 

Overall, this is indeed a very nice shower gel, but at $77 currently on Sephora?! Needless to say I won't be repurchasing...

Have you bought any very expensive products you regret?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Color - Otranto - review + swatch

I'm beyond excited that Sephora is now carrying Tom Ford! Only the summer collection mind you, but I detested that Holt Renfrew was the only place that carried his line before (now Saks 5th Avenue in Toronto has it as well). Nothing particular against Holt Renfrew, but it's 50/50 whether I will get good service or snooty service. So when the recent 15% off sale came, of course I had to pick up something! I don't need any more sheer lippies or tinted lip balms, so this was just a fun splurge.

I've been leaning towards a lot of berry/wine/purple shades recently, so the only shade I really gravitated towards was Otranto. The outer layer is a soft plummy/berry shade with very fine shimmer, with a centre gelly pink core. 

Good sized amount of product, not really ever enough to justify the >$60 regular price tag on this, but that's not why we buy Tom Ford is it...

Here it is in comparison to a regular sized Tom Ford lippie.

Here's a one-swipe swatch, as you can see, quite sheer. It can be built up but I don't like to put on more than one swipe. I love the sheer barely there look for summer.

 It goes on smooth and buttery, but doesn't slip and slide around like some other buttery formulas out there. The shimmer is only noticeable close up, and I certainly can't feel it on my lips which is a plus. The smell is very subtle and not offensive.

The flash really washes the shade out but it shows up like a plum in some lighting, and leans more pinky-purple in other lighting. The centre core gives a very subtle highlight and makes my lips look more full right in the middle.

Have you tried this new line from Tom Ford? What do you think of his lippies generally? Worth the price? This is only my second, I really want more but the price does hold me back...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bite Beauty Creme Lipstick - Opal

Quick review of the coolest lippies I've tried yet! Bite has this shade "Opal" in both lipstick and lip gloss form, meant to use as a topper for other shades. It looks white in the tube, but if you look closer it oddly looks transluscent blue-ish purple, it's hard to describe, you just have to see it in person!
Natural Lips
With one swipe of Opal

Firstly, this is a great formula. I know Bite recently reformulated their lipsticks in a new line which everyone is raving about, but I like this old formula. It's tacky in a good way, doesn't really budge or slip, but also not drying. I just like wearing it on it's own for a cool frosted look. Not very appropriate for the office but for fun days it gives a very cool ethereal kind of look. I'm going to be trying some different lippie combos and if I come up with anything cool will post!

Have you tried Opal? The lip gloss is high reviewed as well, perhaps I will try that one day.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

3 Months of Empties: Jan - Mar 2016

Wow it's been a long time since my last post! I'm still using up stuff and buying new stuff (hangs head down in shame for the past 3 Sephora sale orders), but haven't really had the time or energy to write about anything. I still love reading other blogs and it's been great seeing what everyone else has been up to in the beauty world! I'm keeping to what I said in my last post, which is that no longer will I write about everything little thing I use/throw, only the stand-outs will get a mention (good or bad). Anything I don't mention means it was "meh".

IOPE Air Cushion - love this BB cushion! Great for winter, and I can still get away with it in summer if I slather on bronzer. Very natural looking and doesn't cake up or crease throughout the day

Lancome Grandiose mascara - wow this does something amazing to my lashes, enough said, you gotta try this if you haven't already.

The Caudalie moisturizer with suncreen, really good stuff! The Clinique black honey lip gloss, terrible! I don't understand this, it goes on like a goopy dark sticky mess, that makes me look unwell.

Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream got me through the winter, it's just amazing for dry-anything. The tube in the middle that is sooo rubbed out is the Bare Escentuals Mineral Sunscreen, it's sadly discontinued but it was amazing to throw in my bag and do a sunscreen touch up midday, as it powders nicely over makeup (I hate how lotion sunscreens say to reapply every 2 hours, how am I suppose to put white sticky cream over my makeup?? I do not understand...)

These 3 were all terrible for me... The MUFE primer did nothing. The Bite lip agave mask was goopy and didn't really moisturize (I'd wake up in the AM with dry lips! So odd as it has good reviews from others, guess it just doesn't go well with my chemistry somehow). The Clarisonic cleanser was very drying and not gentle at all for me.

That's all for now, happy April everyone! Let me know if you have tried any of these and had a similar/different experience!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

3 months of Empties and 2015 Reflections

Happy New Year Everyone! I'm posting less and less these days and even didn't get around to doing my usual monthly empties, so am now combining 3 months worth. A lot has happened in 2015. There was a break in, and identity theft for the bad things. I started weight lifting with a personal trainer, and my daughter is growing and developing in the cutest way possible for the good things. I didn't make any new year resolutions really, but have come more and more to realize that what needs cherishing is the people and moments of connection in my life, not the "things". Despite that, we all do need and use "things" in our lives, and part of that is beauty products! It's just about having the right perspective... nothing wrong with enjoying that moment of glee at opening a new lipstick, but my mood shouldn't be based on whether I can get the latest limited edition product, I will enjoy and use what I have.

Along with that, blog-wise, I've decided to no longer write about the "blah", or the "meh", or the "okay" products. Time is precious, and I don't want to waste my time or yours on those, that really tell both you and I nothing, other than that I forced myself through to the end using them up for the sake of "not wasting". So for these empties, I'll show a photo of the whole load I used but I'll only discuss the products that were great and of worth to recommend, or the ones that were so dreadful that I'd recommend you avoid. The stuff in between...there's too many of those to waste time on. Perhaps in 2016 I will also waste less of my own time and face on using those products at all, and focus really on using what I love!

First up, Enkore brush soap, ahhh-mazing! Highly recommend, easy to use and smells good, and gets my brushes very clean. Next, Nest Orange Blossom shower gel, smells oh so good and cleans without drying me out, I very much enjoyed using this up to the end! 
Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi cleansing oil, Shu's cleansing oils really live up to their hype, I really enjoyed using this and highly recommend it! It cleanses well and doesn't dry me out.

Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil, this is my HG lip care for bedtime, it's expensive but lasted me a very long time of daily use. So good for my lips and the gold tip is very soothing.
YSL eyebrow pencil in Ash, I always come back to this. It's very natural looking and I enjoy each pencil to the last bit (they unfortunately get used up very quickly as it's a soft pencil). 
Benefit They're Real Mascara, defines and lengthens without smudging, and is easy to remove, my HG mascara. 

That's all for now. I don't know when I'll post next but it'll only be for a product I really really love and will use daily. I wish you all a very blessed 2016! Share with me any reflections you had from 2015 and any beauty resolutions you may have made :)