Friday, September 28, 2012

Hair Product Blues... literally

I have been in the process of revamping my hair care routine over the past couple of months and I have come across some great and not so great products. Coincidentally they all come in blue bottles! 

Before I start, I should mention that my hair is long and fine. It is naturally wavy. I haven't had it coloured since July, but it had been previously highlighted so obviously there's some damage.

Here's the arsenal:

From left to right: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap treatment, Bumble & Bumble Sunday shampoo, Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Conditioner & Shampoo, Redken Extreme Conditioner & Shampoo.

Here's my roundup:

1) Redken Extreme Anti-Snap is a leave-in treatment that claims to strengthen hair that is damaged or processed and prevent further breakage. This works great to strengthen the ends of my hair and I have noticed less splitting of the ends since using it. I stick to using it about once a week since I find that if I use it every single time I wash my hair (which is about 3 times a week) it makes my hair feel a bit... crusty. Two pumps of it suffice for the mid-ends of my hair. Can't really say I've noticed a difference with regards to breakage in the rest of my hair, but then again my hair hasn't been as prone to breakage in the last couple of months since I stopped colouring/bleaching it. 

2) Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo is a clarifying shampoo meant to be used once a week. I like to use it every Sunday, like the name. This is easily the best clarifying shampoo I've ever used. It smells great, cleans the hair efficiently and leaves it shiny and smooth. I wouldn't recommend using this more than once a week, especially if you have colour-treated hair since it would possible strip some of the colour. Since I use dry shampoo throughout the week to refresh my hair and the odd spray of hairspray when I'm curling my hair, this is so great at removing all that buildup that my regular shampoo doesn't get to throughout the week.

3) Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Shampoo & Conditioner... it pains me to say this because the price point literally makes me want to cry... but these are bloody amazing. I've only used them twice but I could tell a difference right away. The first time I used them I didn't do anything afterwards - I just let my hair air dry and it still looked good. Usually my hair is limp and flat unless I use my Kevin Murphy Anti-Gravity spray at the crown and blow dry. Now, after the Muroto Volume range AND my Kevin Murphy Anti-Gravity spray, I have the best post-blow dry hair ever! My hair just feels clean, soft and volumized. The price point is crazy, though. Now since it is a line geared towards fine hair seeking volume, you don't need a lot of product. We'll see how long these bottles last - that'll be the true test of their value.

4) Redken Extreme Shampoo & Conditioner - these were so disappointing. Perhaps they would better suit someone with thicker more processed hair (lots of bleaching), but for me they just weighed my hair down so much that I would have to wash it daily aaaaaaaand they caused my back and shoulders to break out. No bueno!

What hair products have you been loving/hating lately?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trend: Burgundy Lips (with Revlon) - Giveaway

This month's look made me so excited for fall.

I usually shy away from dark vampy lip colour but the Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Black Cherry was so beautiful and easy to use, I will be certainly rocking it this fall. 

Like with all dramatic lip colours, I prefer dabbing it in and blending the colour into the lips with my fingers for a more "lived in" stained look. You can always use a lipliner and lip brush for a more intense look, but I prefer the low-key stained look since it matches my personal style better.
The Super Lustrous lipstick line by Revlon is pigmented yet feels very lightweight on the lips. Black Cherry leaves a beautiful stain and can be built up to a more intense burgundy when applied straight from the tube. 

I will be giving away 10 of these lipsticks in this post, so make sure you comment below with your e-mail address if you'd like to be entered. Winners will be chosen at random in 2 weeks :)

Finishing up the look:
To keep the focus on the lips, on my upper and lower lash lines I smudged just a little bit of the dark purple shade of my Revlon Colorstay Smoky Shadow Stick in the shade Flare.

The mascara I used is the new Revlon Colorstay Overtime mascara, which reminds me of Lancome Definicils. It's a lengthening mascara that separates the lashes nicely and it literally works overtime. I had no flakes or smudges from morning until night, and had to use an oil-based eye makeup remover to take it off! If you have trouble keeping mascara on your lashes, definitely check this one out because I was impressed by its longevity.

Will you be embracing the bold vampy lip look this fall?

Click here for more beauty tips! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Evening Casual Outfit

Here is what I wore last night to see one of my favourite bands! A couple of new items mixed with some old staples.


Hourglass Immaculate Foundation - Nude
MAC Careblend Pressed Powder - Medium Plus
Revlon PhotoReady Concealer - Light
Dior Nude Bronzer - Amber 02
Benefit blush - Hervana
Laura Mercier eyeshadows - Rosewood, Black Coffee
Shu Uemura Painting Liner
YSL Faux Cils Shocking mascara
Hourglass lipstick - Grace


sweater - h&m (current season but I couldn't find it online)
scarf - Guess (link to same one)
leggings - Juicy Couture
boots - Tommy Hilfiger
clutch - Zara (similar one here)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Get Ready with Me: My Everyday Look for September

I've been doing this makeup look 90% of the time so far this month and a lot of these products are sure to creep their way into my favourites video at the end of the month. It's simple and looks put together, and it lasts well throughout the day. 

Insert action shot of video here:

The Laura Mercier metallic eye creams are quickly becoming my favourite ever and I have now completely replaced my (dried out) MAC Paint Pots with them. So much easier to work with and better pigmentation.

I am also in a weird rut with my hair. A part of me wants to just let it keep growing out for the next month since I can't decide on whether to retouch the roots with a few strands of  brown or just colour it all something dark and rich. Decisions, decisions!!

Anyway, here's the video of how I did this look and as always, links and names of all the products I used are below:

Products Used:

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer in #3

Dior Matte Bronzer in 02






Music - Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean

Hope you enjoyed the little video and I hope your week is going well!



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24h Foundation: My Impression

I got a sample of this foundation a couple of weeks ago and I have been wearing it pretty much every single day in order to test it out and figure out if it's something I'd buy full size or not at the end of the trial - the sample was quite generous, I have about a month or so of use left! (Link)
The name and claims of this foundation seem quite lovely: 24 hour wear, comfort, retouch-free, DIVINE perfection! Long story short, I like it... but would I purchase the full size? Probably not. Not because it's a bad product by any means, however I just have tried foundations that I enjoy using more (YSL Teint Resist, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua) so I know that there is "better" out there for me.

To recap, my skin type is combinaton oily and rather sensitive/acne prone. In MAC shades I am somewhere around NC25, and B20 in Chanel.

Here's what I liked about it:
Great colour selection - I was matched to the shade 230 Buff W. Their naming system is super confusing and it took me a while, but they have tons of subtle undertone variations so you are bound to find a good match in the range
Medium buildable coverage - this foundation is a true medium coverage. You can build it up easily or sheer it out with a buffing brush (which is what I prefer).
Very comfortable on the skin - unlike similar foundations (i.e. Estee Lauder Double Wear/Double Wear Light, Chanel Mat Lumiere) this did not feel heavy or cloying at all on my skin. Very comfortable and lightweight.
Nice finish - I'd call it a semi matte. 
Doesn't oxidize

What left me wanting more:
Looked frightening when used with fingers - this isn't a big deal since I prefer using a buffing brush anyway (Sigma F80 or Sephora 45, namely) but the first time I applied this foundation with fingers it was really gross. Hard to work with and sank in all the pores.
Only lasted well if used with a primer and powder - by itself, this literally lasted 2 hours on my oily skin before I needed to blot. Keep in mind that this foundation claims to last 24 hours and is "retouch free"...with that being said, it did work great on top of Hourglass Mineral Veil, but that really is a testament to that primer itself and not to the ability of this foundation.
Transfers easily - this transfers slightly more than my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It still maintains a lot of pigment after blotting and looks OK, but keep in mind when wearing white shirts!

Today I wore the foundation without the primer, set with powder and after about 8 hours it completely slid off my nose. This doesn't usually happen with foundations for me. 

My favourite way of wearing this product (and the way I got the best results) was on top of Hourglass Mineral Veil primer and set with Chanel loose powder. When I didn't use powder/primer or when I powdered with something like MAC Careblend powder I still found the need to blot within 2-3 hours or so. I don't mind blotting, however when a foundation claims to last 24 hours and all that jazz, I would expect something slightly longer lasting. 

Like I mentioned before, it's the same type of wear I get with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, and that is a foundation that doesn't claim to last ages on the skin and it has a finish/coverage I prefer over this one.
Therefore, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H, I will not purchase you once I am through with my sample.

I hope this was useful for some of you who have been wondering about this foundation. Keep in mind that my skin is combination but on the oily side. If you are combination/dry or normal, you will probably have better results with this than I did! I do like that Lancome has such a great colour range and the formula had no scent at all... maybe I'll try one of their powders in the future.

Have you tried this foundation? Any other Lancome recommendations for me? I really haven't used much by them aside from the odd lipliner or mascara.



Monday, September 10, 2012

In With The New...

While I've been busy trying to use up a bunch of products (a video will come soon, it's a lot of skincare/haircare), there has been a handful of new items that are making me very happy lately...

1 - Chanel Vertigo nail polish from their Fall 2012 collection. It's currently my pedicure colour. It's a murky, interesting dark grey with some purple duochrome (think of it as OPI Suzi Skis The Pyrenees and Chanel Paradoxal's love child). Some awesome swatches of it here if you are interested. It goes opaque in one coat and is easy to apply.

2 - Pai Camelia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. I ran out of cleanser and have been wanting a change. Now it's still early days since I only ordered it online a couple of weeks ago but I have loved this so much the few times I have used it, I can't help but sing its praises. The packaging is beautiful, too, and it comes with a little muslin cloth.

3 - the new Hourglass Opaque Rouge liquid lipsticks. I had the product kindly sent to me by Hourglass and I am utterly impressed. The most comfortable to wear yet opaque and matte lip colour... I have only tried the shade "Canvas" yet but there are some amazing reds/corals in the line as well.

Any new discoveries for you lately?

I'm still trying out Lancome Teint Idole foundation and a review on it will be up soon. Only problem is that my skin is still violently breaking out from something and it may or may not be that foundation. *sigh* stay tuned.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

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