Monday, December 16, 2013

Love at first try: Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream

I get so excited when I try a new product that surpasses my expectations. It doesn't happen often since I am so critical of most things I try but every once in a while there is a ray of sunshine… and this post is about one of them.

I was in Toronto over the weekend and my friend took me into Jacob + Sebastian. The store was gorgeous (alert, Toronto girls, alert - they carry Oribe hair products too), the staff was friendly and I got to check out some niche brands that I don't get to experience in person very often. I was so excited to see that they carried Aesop. Aesop is an Australian skincare brand that I had heard about from various bloggers I follow from the UK. Being in the midst of a snowstorm, my lips were in dire need of rescue so I settled on the Rosehip Seed Lip Cream and it was love. 

I love the aesthetic of the Aesop brand and this little tube was no different:


The texture is that of a light moisturizer. I dab a bit on my finger and apply it on my lips. It has a pleasant herbal scent and it sinks into the lips almost instantly, leaving them feel plump and moisturized. There is zero emollient/greasy/waxy feeling left behind… it just simply leaves the lips feeling plump and smooth. I want to just keep applying it all day long! It makes a perfect primer for lipsticks since it doesn't have any shine and it leaves no residue on the lips. It sinks in like a skincare product and hydrates from within. Jacob + Sebastian is located on Queen St. West in Toronto as well as their new location in the Distillery District.

Long story short - you need this. It retails for $15 and Aesop is available on Amazon, at Barney's, Space NK as well as on their official website

Now please excuse me while I throw out all my other lip balms in the garbage.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

NARS Biscayne Park

I can't stop won't stop wearing this lip combination. It's comfortable, it lasts well, it's flattering and it just plain makes me feel great. I've sang its praises on YouTube and now it's time to take it on to this medium as well.

*drum roll*

Chanel lip liner pencil in Rose Poudre (link)

meets

NARS Satin lip pencil in Biscayne Park (link)

BOOM!


I'm obsessed.

The two come together to melt into a warm peachy slightly rosy nude lip with a hint of shine from the NARS pencil. The Chanel lip liner adds dimension to the lip and enhances the lip line while NARS Biscayne Park just steals the show and makes me happy.


If you have a light/medium skin tone with warm undertones and love a nude lip that doesn't make you look like you crawled out of the grave, Biscayne Park will be a winner. I'll be wearing this combo well into the new year. What about you?

Have you tried NARS Satin Lip Pencils? Do you have a favourite combination?

xx


Friday, November 29, 2013

Lined Up: L'Oreal Infallible Liquid Liner

Liquid liner is one of my favourite ways to enhance any ol' eyeshadow look. It instantly pulls everything together and makes it look chic and edgy. While I am still extremely challenged at creating dramatic winged liner, I have decided to try my hand at it once more with the help of two new liners from L'Oreal - from the Infallible range:


The Blackbuster is thick, like a marker, and is awesome at providing a quick and easy graphic line. I used it to create the bulk of my liner and then went in with the Super Slim to fine-tune the edges.


The result?


A thick, intense black line (not quite as intense of a black as Urban Decay Zero but it made me happy nonetheless), satin finish (which I liked, some liners are too shiny for my liking when they dry).
It lasted a good 7 hours before fading (it did not flake) so I simply re-touched and it got me through the rest of the night with ease. 

The only downfall I can see with these is that due to the felt tip marker-like packaging, it is bound to dry up quite quickly. But the varied tip size in the Infallible liquid liner range and the ease of use by the felt design makes these babies worth it, especially if you're liner challenged like yours truly :)

What's your favourite liquid liner?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lip Combo Love: Chanel Sensual Rose

The Chanel Rouge Double Intensité quickly became the favourite addition to my lip product collection this fall. I have it in the shade "Sensual Rose", which is a new addition to the range and it's the perfect bright rose to perk up a tired (pale) fall/winter complexion.

I wear it by itself or with a brighter pink liner for a more intense look, but my favourite way is to apply the base colour dabbed in with my fingers for a softer look, and tap in a pale nude pink on top (Tom Ford Nude Vanille, MAC Hue, YSL Tea Rose… something along these lines). Seal it all with the gloss end and ta-da!! You have found my go-to daytime lip combo as of late:



And the best part?
This. Stuff. Does. Not. Budge.

It doesn't dry my lips out, it fades nicely (after a solid 6-8 hours of wear) and it doesn't transfer!

You need to try them if you haven't already! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Trish McEvoy 24 Hour Shadow and Liner

Cream eyeshadows are some of my most used and well-loved products in my makeup collection. I made a video on all of mine earlier this year and in this post it's time to introduce the latest addition:



This is my first foray in Trish McEvoy cosmetics and it does not disappoint. I purchased this product on a whim and I have been using it often ever since. It is a cream eyeshadow in a twist-up stick form, along the lines of MAC Greasepaint Sticks, Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks, etc. The formula and texture of the cream reminded me the most of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar shadow sticks. It is slightly drier in texture than a Laura Mercier Caviar Stick which works better for my oily skin. I am wearing it as a base in one of my latest videos (click here to check it out) and had so many compliments on it. It really livens up any boring browns/dull golds.

Topaz is a gorgeous warm bronzy gold that does not pull orange/brassy. It is pigmented, easy to blend and can be built up for a more intense metallic sheen.


In terms of the actual colour, the closest thing I have in my collection is L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in "Bronzed Taupe" - Trish McEvoy "Topaz" leans slightly warmer, though, which I prefer:


L'oreal "Bronzed Taupe" on top, Trish McEvoy "Topaz" on bottom.

The conclusion? This product is a winner for me and I can't wait to check out more shades. I purchased mine from Nordstrom - but you can find a list of stockists on the Trish McEvoy website (link).

Have you tried Trish McEvoy products before? Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Big Hair, Don't Care: Kevin Murphy Anti Gravity Spray

I am not a super high maintenance chick when it comes to hair - I often sport the "just rolled out of bed and I'm not happy to be here" hair style, I have long and fine hair that is colour processed and I don't spend more than 15 minutes styling it unless I absolutely absolutely have to. 
Since I like to put in minimal effort, I like my products to deliver and therefore I pick my hair products very carefully.
I don't have a huge arsenal of hair styling products - sometimes I use mousse or a hair spray if I'm feeling adventurous but for the most part my basic hair routine consists of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in oil and Kevin Murphy Anti Gravity Spray. *Note that there is a lotion version of this product as well, which I have tried, but I prefer the spray.

I spray it (about 4-5 sprays) at the crown of my hair while it's damp, let my hair air dry and then messily blow dry it for about five minutes. It's my fail-safe "hair routine" and the result is perfectly messy voluminous hair. 

say hello to my dusty mirror
I have been loyal to this product for a few years now (discovered it in 2010) and I always keep coming back. If you have long and fine hair like I do, this product will make you happy. I've tried a myriad of volumizing products but this just never fails. It's lightweight, doesn't contain crazy chemicals and it works! I always have a bad hair day when I don't use this product. What's cool is that it is lightweight so that in the days in between washes, it layers well with other products such as dry shampoos or texturizing sprays/hair sprays if you need to change up your style or liven things up.

I get this can of magic at my local hair salon. You can locate your hair salon on the Kevin Murphy website or score the goods on Amazon!

What is your fail safe hair styling product?

x

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cle De Peau Fall 2013 Eyeshadow #120

Impulse purchases...
I don't make them often. I'm one of those consumers that likes to mull over a product, read reviews, see numerous swatches before I take the plunge but every now and then it's fun to step out and try something new.
Case in point - I had never seen, touched or read about Cle De Peau eyeshadows before. I was browsing online and found gorgeous images from their fall 2013 collection on the Saks Fifth Avenue website and had the wild idea of buying one of the shadows. There are three eyeshadows in the Fall 2013 collection, they are limited edition, and they are creatively named #118, #119 and #120. There were no swatches online anywhere but #120 piqued my interest for some reason and I ordered it.


The packaging is beautiful and the colour is unique to my collection. I am so happy that I got it because I have been incorporating it in my eyeshadow look every single day this month.


It's a gorgeous midtone rosy shade with a subtle shimmer that can be buffed away or can be intensified on the lid. The texture of the shadow is super smooth and buttery. No fall out and blends with ease. My favourite way of applying it has just been with a more dense crease brush (like a MAC 217 or the Sephora crease brush) and going to town all over the lid and using a smokier shade along the lash line/outer corner or I have been using this as a crease colour with taupes and cool-toned browns. It's so easy to work with, I can't stop won't stop wearing it! Here is is in all its glory:


I don't know about you, but I'm loving the vampy reddish eyeshadows lately. Seems so perfect for the colder months :)

What eye look have you been loving lately?

x

Monday, September 30, 2013

Be Still My Heart... VINCE Fall 2013

I have been the worst beauty blogger, I know. But alas, it's a new month, it's a new dawn, it's a new day (and... I'm feeeeeeling goodddddd *sings that Michael Bublé song*).
I promise to deliver more content for you all in the upcoming fall months. Fall is my favourite season, especially early fall when I can still roll out of bed, and get ready for work without having to wear any socks. Naturally with a change in season comes the desire to change some things in my wardrobe. I have made some damage at J Crew, Zara and Aritzia thus far... and the new Vince fall/winter stuff has stopped me in its tracks, these two looks in particular:



Excuse me while I go get a mop to wipe away the pool of drool I have just created on the ground. If I could somehow encapsulate my fall 2013 style in two photos, that would pretty well be it. I love the layering, the textures, the dark hues and those gorgeous pointed pumps (I'm still on the hunt for a perfect pair). You can browse the new Vince offerings here and weep at the prices with me. All I can do is feel incredibly inspired for the next season :)

What have you been craving for fall?

x

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dehydration Is (Not) Coming | Vichy Aqualia Thermal Review

With summer coming to a screeching halt, it's time so switch skincare gears and lean towards products that aim to rehydrate and plump the skin. My skin is oily most of the time but can have its short spells of dehydration, especially in  between seasons. For the last few months I have been testing out one of the new offerings from Vichy and I have loved it more and more with each use - the Aqualia Thermal Night Spa



It's a rehydrating mask that is meant to be used at night time, as needed. It has a light gel-creme texture that sinks into the skin quickly and leaves it plump and hydrated by the time you wake up. I use this on top of Indeed Labs Hydraluron on nights where I want an extra kick of moisture and the two are absolutely lovely together.

If you have ever used Chanel's Hydramax / Hydra Beauty Gel Cream, the texture is identical and the price is less than half, with similar results.

It's the perfect hydrating pick-me up for girls with oily/combination skin that want to combat the grease but keep the dehydration at bay at the same time. I use it about twice a week. If you're in Canada you can find Vichy products at your local Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall, amongst other drug stores. It is not out in the United States yet - but you can explore and shop the rest of the Aqualia Thermal range at http://vichy.ca or http://www.vichyusa.com.

x

Friday, August 23, 2013

Loafin' Around

I am in the market for a new versatile, quality flat shoe and loafers have kiiiiiinda been stealing my heart as of late. They're more structured and supportive than my first love, the ballet flat, and this upcoming season they come in so many gorgeous styles I don't even know where to begin. While I ponder over styles and colours, here are my top picks skimming painful and budget-friendly categories:


left to right:     Giuseppe Zanotti //     Sam Edelman      //           Giuseppe Zanotti



left to right: Steven by Steve Madden      //           Miu Miu      //         Boutique 9 (on sale! yay!)


My personal favourites are the ones with some sort of metallic cap toe action. Some come with bows - an unexpected feminine touch on a "masculine" style of shoe. You can wear them to the office with tailored trousers and a blouse, you can wear them with skinnies, a sundress, shorts... you name it! 

I was || this close to ordering the Steven Steve Madden ones but they are currently sold out of my size. Womp.

How do you feel about loafers for the fall?

x

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo Nr. 3

I am a lip product junkie. Lipsticks, glosses, stains, pencils, balms - you name it, I try it. Out of all textures and colour ranges, nudes and mattes are my favourite so I was over the moon to find out about Hourglass' most recent release - the Femme Nude Lip Stylos. A nude lip product collection containing 6 different shades to suit different skin tones, aptly numbered and organized from darkest to lightest. I chose shade nr. 3, a rosy nude slightly paler than my natural lip, and I have been wearing it steadily for the last couple of weeks.



The texture is so great and the packaging is sturdy and feels luxurious. It is a "twist-up" crayon design similar to the Revlon balm stains or the Clinique chubby sticks but the texture of the product is different. I swatched it next to some other "famous" nude lipsticks in my collection so you can get a feel of where it stands in comparison. I took photos in both natural light and with flash to showcase different textures:

w/ flash
Left to right: Hourglass #3, MAC Shy Girl, MAC Creme De Nude, Tom Ford Nude Vanille, Clarins Nude, YSL Rouge Volupte Nude Beige, YSL Rouge Pur Tea Rose

w/o flash
It is closest in colour with MAC Shy Girl but with a hint of rosiness which I find more flattering. It is pigmented and super lightweight. It feels like there is nothing on the lips. It's not overly creamy and the finish is satin/matte yet they aren't drying on the lips. Staying power is decent - I've been testing this at work and I get a good 3 hours of wear (with endless sips of coffee and snacking in between) before having to reapply.


And there you have it... the nude pout :) It muted out the rosiness of my pigmented lips perfectly.

Have you tried these yet? The Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylos* retail for $30 USD / $35 CAD each and can be found at Sephora. With 6 lovely nudes of various depth and undertone, there's gotta be one with your name on it! I am eyeing up #4 next.

x

Sandra

*PR Sample. But these kick serious ass. I mean it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Warm Brown Realness. (FOTD)

I've expressed my slight frustration with MAC Cosmetics numerous times and this is no exception so many collections, so little time!! They sneakily released a new collection online at the end of July - Nudes and Metallics. It was available in pro stores only  (why?) in April 2013, and then it rolled out online in July. After a brief debate with some of my makeup-loving friends I ordered three eyeshadows and a lipstick - and I haven't gone a day without wearing at least one of them.



I used Body Conscious eyeshadow all over the lid (far left), followed by a mix of Exposed (middle) and Glimpse Of Flesh (far right) in the crease and outer corner. The satin texture of these shadows is great, they are pigmented and apply with ease. I never was too crazy about warm brown eyeshadows but I have been having a moment as of late. The lipstick I chose from the collection is called Wholesome (and is still available on maccosmetics.com). It is a gorgeous caramel nude colour in their Amplified formula, which I love. This looks especially beautiful with a slightly peachy or coral gloss on top!

What are some of your favourite warm brown eyeshadows?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Feet First: My Love Affair with Yosi Samra Flats

I have been obsessed...



With a pair of flats. So obsessed that I ordered two and I have worn them 80% of the time in the last couple of months at work or while running errands. I even carry a pair folded away in my purse so I can change into them after a painful night of heels.

They are by the brand Yosi Samra. I stalk them on Shopbop (link to them here) - best service of any clothing retail site I have dealt with to date, free super fast shipping worldwide and a no-fuss way to deal with customs charges... this is why they get my business repeatedly! 
The flats come in a cute box and a drawstring bag in which you can fold them up and put them in a handbag. They range from $60-$80 in price and come in a variety of leather colours and finishes. My favourite pair is this dove grey patent leather one that has been the perfect light neutral for summer:


I am eyeing for a black leather pair next, which always seem to be sold out in my size. Speaking of size, they are very true to size. But for realz. If you have to do a lot of standing, walking, sitting around with shoes on - give these a go. They're cute, comfortable, and super portable.

You'll thank me later :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Skincare Sunday IX: Pai Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream

My love affair for Pai Skincare products started almost two years ago when I ordered the Camellia & Rose cleanser (planning on repurchasing that baby for winter) and I have enjoyed various offerings from the brand since. I like the packaging, the brand concept (organic skincare for sensitive skin) and the clear and simple way they showcase their ingredients.
I've been giving their Geranium & Thistle moisturizer a whirl over the past couple of months and I love it! 


Combination/oily skin can girls rejoice - this is a moisturizer that effectively hydrates the skin and helps balance it out while at the same time leaving a matte canvas behind, making it work well as a primer under makeup as well. It has a slightly sweet yet clean herbal scent and it blends into the skin with ease. It has a slightly thicker consistency than your average lotion and I love the sturdy 1 oz glass bottle with pump that it comes in. It doesn't have a lid but the pump has a twist/lock mechanism that hasn't made a mess in my makeup bag during travel.

You can purchase Pai Skincare products at paiskincare.com or at Beauty Bay (free worldwide shipping!)
I have used both and while the Pai website has faster shipping, Beauty Bay has sales :)

What's your go-to daytime moisturizer?

Monday, July 29, 2013

ZO Medical Aknetrol Acne Treatment

I have been battling breakouts of varied severity for years now. I have oily skin, sometimes it gets combination patches, sometimes it gets super sensitive and dry, depending on the season. We are currently in The Season of Oil. Which means more chances for those pores to get clogged and attacked by bacteria resulting in blemishes. Sometimes, if a blemish is extra angry-looking, my friends and I refer to it as a "Steve". 

Note: apology to all guys named Steve. It's nothing personal, I promise.

I am quite diligent with my skincare but I do still get the odd hormonal breakout once a month or so. Last month I broke out worse than usual so it was time to put one of the newest additions to my arsenal to use - the ZO Medical Aknetrol. I had high hopes since the ZO Skin Health line is started by Dr. Zein Obagi (yes... that Obagi) and I am a big fan of pharmaceutical/medical grade skincare lines, especially if you have problem skin. Rose petals and herbs can only do so much!


What is it?

A 10% Benzoyl Peroxide spot treatment. Benzoyl Peroxide is effective at clearing blemishes because it kills the bacteria that causes acne... 10% is a pretty high concentration since most of the stuff you find on the market is around 5%. It is a very light white lotion that is clear once you apply it on the affected area and rub it in. It is meant to be used twice a day, morning and night. It does not disrupt makeup or leave a white cast if you apply it correctly. Other ingredients:


How did it work?

Since benzoyl peroxide products didn't always work for me, I was hesitant so I did not want to use it twice a day. I used it at night on my problem areas, for three nights in a row, and the results were fantastic:

Top left is before - you can see a ripe one and some underneath-the-skin lurkers... top right is after night 1, bottom left is after night 2, bottom right is after night 3 of the spot treatment.


It healed the blemishes without drying out my skin at all, and left the skin smooth. I am a happy camper and I definitely recommend it to anyone suffering from mild to moderate acne to help keep those suckers down!! 

You can find ZO Skin Health products at dermatologist offices/med spas in several countries around the world, as well as online on their official website (if you live in the United States).


*PR Sample, but the results speak for themselves :) y'all know I always speak the truth!

Quarter Age Crisis // Currently Reading

A bit of a random change of pace - sometimes on my Instagram (follow me at @5andra_ for more nonsense) or Twitter I mention books that I'm reading or interested in, and some of you enjoy knowing what's currently on the menu. I myself always love getting book recommendations from friends (IRL or online alike) so on to Amazon I went!  Here's what has currently been residing on my bedside table:

I started reading this a few weeks ago on and off and it's really interesting. It's got more of a scientific journal feel to it which is why it's not exactly a speed read but it contains lots of interesting observations and research on the role of introverts in a society that seems to strive for extroversion. 
I recently bought this on a whim after seeing this TED talk. Being in my mid-20's and confused about my career path, relationships, family ties, etc. it just seemed the opportune moment to pick this up. I'll be sure to let you know if I feel enlightened after reading it :)

After these I think it's time for me to dive back into some easy fiction. I need to read Catching Fire before the movie comes out (I only read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy and I enjoyed the film so I am looking forward to instalment two!).

What books have you been enjoying lately?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara

I bought this mascara on a total whim about a month ago and I am so happy that I did - it's great!
It's one of the new offerings from Clinique, in their High Impact range that has amassed quite the following over the years. 


My top 3 requirements for mascara are:
1) Volume
2) No smudging/transferring yet easy to remove at the end of the day
3) Holds curl

That is a pretty tough set of requirements and I am happy to report that Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume does the trick! 

left eye - with 1 coat, curled lashes.
It offers a more intense result than its regular High Impact counterpart, but still delivers a clump-free natural fluttery result. I am rather lazy with mascara and I don't apply more than one coat.  The brush is rather thick and it has plastic bristles, which I normally dislike in a mascara, but somehow this delivers and the formula has only gotten better after a month.



The verdict? This mascara gives me volumized thick lashes and nice definition in one coat and does not transfer on me at all throughout the day... which says a lot considering I have super oily eye lids, this isn't a waterproof formula and it's been hot as hell over the last couple of weeks. I love it and I would definitely repurchase. At $19.50 it doesn't break the bank, lasts longer than most drugstore mascaras I like, and is widely available at Clinique counters. I got mine from Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique - but you can get it at Nordstrom, Sephora, The Bay, etc. 

Usually my impulse mascara purchases don't go so well but I am glad this one did!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bare Necessities

It's summer. It's hot out. I've been wearing minimal product during the day (to work, to run errands, etc.) while at the same time still trying to look composed. Here's a quick round up of the things I am wearing non-stop lately:

with flash

1. Dior Nude Tan BB Creme in shade #1

This is nice for me to wear by itself if I have just freshly fake tanned. Other than that it's a bit too warm to match my skin tone. The coverage is light and the finish is satin. It blends in easily and is a nice summer base if your skin is OK and leaning towards the oily/combination side. I mainly bought it to mix in with some of my lighter-coloured foundations. I am enjoying it but probably wouldn't repurchase since it's not exactly my natural tan shade and the SPF isn't as high as I'd like (15). If you're into very warm/golden tones for your base, though, this might be a winner :)

natural light
2. Chanel Les Beiges Powder in shade #40

While the Dior Nude Tan BB Creme fell short in terms of colour, this powder is the perfect complexion enhancer and gives me that all over beautiful tanned glow even if I'm not tanned. The premise of this powder is just that - to add a subtle sun-kissed glow to the skin, which is why at the Chanel counter in the Paris airport (where I bought this product) I had a brief argument with the Sales Associate when I was heading for shade #20 and he insisted I was #40. Well, I am sold, Mr. Chanel. The powder in #40 is just enough to liven my complexion and it will be one of those products I will always have on hand. This is available at counters throughout most of the world but in the U.S. it won't be released until August.

3. Lancome Gloss in Love #146

Last summer was all about the Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Cream in Creamsicle, this summer it's all about the Lancome Gloss in Love in #146 Peach Show. Not sticky, goes on smoothly on the lips and gives just a hint of a nude peach colour. What's not to love?

That's my summer base sorted. What have you been wearing?

x

Sandra

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator: Spellbound

I am not a crazy highlighter fiend. I have a couple that I love but never felt compelled to add to my collection until now. If you remember almost two years ago, Laura Mercier came out with a Limited Edition Illuminator as a part of the Fall 2011 collection. It was called Rose Rendezvous and it was a beauty (I did a post on it here). It was finely milled, had an almost metallic rose-gold sheen and I haven't bought a powder highlighter since.

Enter the 2013 Dark Spell collection and the latest face illuminator to catch my attention - Spellbound. I was a bit weary before ordering it online sight unseen since I don't normally do that but I know these things sell out like hot cakes so I trotted on over to Nordstrom.com and bought two (one for my BFF). It's a beauty!


To my pleasant surprise, it is slightly warmer, more subtle (yet buildable) and more finely milled than 2011's Rose Rendezvous.

Spellbound on left, Rose Rendezvous on right

Here comes the hairy-armed "amateur blogger" swatch:

Rose Rendezvous on left, Spellbound on right
The sheen is more subtle yet you can build it up to more intense metallic whereas with RR you had to be careful from the start. Spellbound is a beauty aaaaand you kinda need it.

If you love and use highlighters, you will not be disappointed. Get it before it sells out (UK girls you can pre-order it from Space NK here as they roll out starting July 12) or if you're in North America, trudge on over to Nordstrom - Laura Mercier has a gift with purchase thing going on as well - link.

x

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lip Combination: MAC, Smashbox, Laura Mercier

I have recently discovered this combination and haven't stopped doing it all week because it's just so damn pretty. It also fades nicely, it's neutral and very "my lips, but better", which makes it perfect for work.


It reminds me of something a Kardashian would wear, which is bittersweet for me since I can't stand that lot, but they do serve up some good makeup. Alas, MAC Angel lipstick is one of Kim's favourites after all.




These shades balance each other perfectly - the rosy pink of Laura Mercier "Potpourri" lip liner adds some definition to the lip line, the neutral pink of MAC Angel followed by the sheer peachy coral glaze of Smashbox "Afterglow".

The perfect neutral pout :)

What's your lip combination today?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Skincare Sunday VIII: Lips, Lips, Lips

I am dedicating this week's Skincare Sunday post to some lip care items that I have really been enjoying lately. They're all relatively new to my collection and they're great:


From the back left to right:

1. Gatineau 3D Lift Volumizing Lip Balm (available from QVC or Amazon)

This is a very lightweight yet potent lip balm that leaves a glossy finish to the lips and that also plumps them! Smells like lychee and just overall makes my lips feel hydrated and voluminous. I love using this at night or during the day if I am just trolling around the house.

2. Hourglass Lip Oil (available from Sephora)

Luxurious packaging (the applicator is gold plated, haaay) and beautifully scented. If you have tried the Hourglass Primer Serum, this has a similar scent and feel, albeit a bit more "oily". The gold applicator feels cooling and comfortable on the lips, and one pump is enough for an application. I was super skeptical of this product at first but it's one of those things that has just been growing on me with each use. I love the herbal fresh scent and I love the way it makes my lips look and feel. I wouldn't use this as a lip balm primer before lipstick since it's an oil and doesn't absorb as quickly on the lips. I like using this alone on days off or over night. It's not sticky, it's not cheap, but it's a nice little treat :)

3. Nivea Lip Butter Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss (available from drugstores)

A beautiful budget alternative. This smells absolutely amazing and I've been using it daily under lipstick as a primer. I am not a big fan of potted lip products but this makes me get over it.

What are your favourite lip treatments?

x

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Obsessed: My Helmut Lang Asymmetric Bra

I have been wearing this thing so often, it deserved its own little ode.
The HELMUT Helmut Lang Asymmetric Bra (in black). It's my bandeau bra of choice. Offers decent support, doesn't slide all over the place and has that special detail that makes it stand out above the rest.



At $90 it is steeply priced for what it is - a modal jersey bandeau bra - but its versatility makes it indispensable. It just looks so damn cool underneath any tank/loose top/casual dress. Hell, I even wore it hiking!
I bought mine from Shopbop but it hasn't been available in any size except XS for weeks (for reference, I bought the size S and I wear a size 32C bra. My mom, 34D, bought size L in white and it's perfect). 

It is currently available in all sizes at Saks (link), the Net-a-porter UK site (link), or you can indulge in the gorgeous tank top version (here). 

Is it expensive? Yes. But it's 100% worth it for such a cool, unique piece. I want it in white.

x

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Currently On My Nails

I was going to title this something cheesy along the lines of "Summertime Night Blues" but I will spare you my creative efforts and get into it. I am no nail polish blogger nor am I super up to date on nail trends and whatnot but thanks to the magic of a little product called Nail Envy, my nails have been pretty damn awesome as of late so why not show them off and talk about a colour that has been an under the radar favourite over the years...

OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue


I didn't always love this blue. I have had it for years (it is part of OPI's permanent line but had originally come out with their India collection) and it was never something I gravitated towards but I swear, every time I did choose to paint my nails with it, I would get compliments on it... and this time was no exception.

It's a gorgeous deep blue with a subtle metallic shimmer that isn't loud or tacky but that adds just enough "oompf" to an otherwise dark moody nail. It's this fun hint of shimmer that makes this polish perfect for summer as well as winter (when the traditional dark colours come out to play). It takes two coats to get perfect opaque coverage, the application is great and lasting power is up to a week with no chipping. Win Win Win! If you're looking for a pretty dark blue that can transcend the seasons, I highly recommend you give this one a try.

I generally like to get my OPI products from eBay (various sellers depending on what colour I am looking for, but this seller is a great place to start and the shipping is always quick).

What's on your nails?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beauty Wishlist

Neiman Marcus has a Beauty Gift With Purchase event going on until June 9 (free beach tote and samples with any $85 purchase) so naturally I have got the pen and paper ready, making a little virtual wishlist before I click the "check-out" button.




1. Tom Ford Brow Sculptor
Everyone seems to be raving about this and I want to join the club. I have chosen the shade "taupe" since my Makeup Forever Aqua Lash in "ash" has a tad too much warmth.

The slightly fresher, floral sister of the original Prada Candy fragrance. This was released in Europe earlier this year and is now slowly rolling out into N. America, with Neiman Marcus getting exclusive rights to carry it for now. I got to sample it while I was in Romania last month and I was obsessed. This smells freaking amazing... it's got the same warm gourmand caramel base as the original but with opening notes of Italian citrus (my favourite).

Slowly diminishing my supply of skincare containing Vitamin C and this looks really promising. A gentle exfoliating toner rich in antioxidants and salicylic acid to help keep a clear complexion.

Not the largest of wishlists but one that needs to be purchased, nonetheless :)

What has been on your "to buy" list?
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