10/29/14

Go Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and although we are near the end of the month, I believe it's never too late to show support for the cause. After all, breast cancer doesn't only happen during one month of the year - it happens all year, every year, to people all over the world. 

As women, most of us have probably been affected by this disease - whether directly or indirectly - and for those of us who haven't, there is still a chance we could be. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. It's a scary fact, which is why we need to continue building awareness. The easiest way to do so? 

WEAR PINK! 


Lucky for me, pink is my favourite colour and I love to wear it on my lips. For this look I kept the eyes pretty simple. I used Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper to create a thick line with an exaggerated wing. I really wanted the focus to be on my bright pucker. 


I like to think of myself as a "mixologist" with my makeup, combining different colours to create my own unique shade. I combined two lip products from Revlon to create my absolute favourite pink lip. 

First I applied Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Sweetheart, a bright magenta colour. Over that I used Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Showy, a cool-toned, bubblegum pink that reminds me of something Barbie would wear. This colour is great for anyone with a lighter skin complexion. 

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Showy (left) 
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart (right)

Both of these products are really moisturizing and comfortable to wear. Applying the stain first ensures that my lips will hold colour throughout the day.

Now I dare you to GO PINK with me and wear your favourite pink lip colour. Bust it out and wear it for all to see! When you walk into your office and someone compliments you on your eye-catching lips, you can say, "I'm wearing it in support of Breast Cancer." Now that's a conversation starter!

xxx

10/24/14

Lush Christmas Haul

Santa came to town! Oh, he didn't stop at your house? That's OK, he didn't stop by mine either. But he did manage to take a quick visit to the LUSH store and dropped off a ton of beautiful products to help us get ready for the holidays.


If you have never heard of LUSH before, you've probably been living under a rock. Especially if you claim to be a bath enthusiast. I am completely obsessed with their products and you will probably see many posts featuring their name on this blog. Before I begin, I want to give you a bit of a run down on the company.

LUSH creates and sells all natural, organic cosmetics with the finest essential oils. They strongly believe in "green" and continue to find ways to protect our planet. All of their packaging is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. In addition, they have a "Charity Pot" program which supports various environmental groups financially through the sale of certain products.

LUSH is very anti-animal testing. They have a Supplier Specific Boycott which states they will not buy ingredients from manufacturers that tests on animals.

Everything LUSH believes in, is an important factor that encourages me to buy. However, I cannot forget to mention how FUN this company is. Every employee I have ever met has been exciting, interesting and happy. Every product I have ever bought has brought a smile to my face and made me feel like a kid again. As a writer, I cannot applaud the company enough for it's creative storytelling and description of each product. Everything about LUSH is so unique and addicting!

Definitions (specific for this post):

Bubble Bars: Crumble one of these under running water to create mountains of thick, frothy bubbles that will last a really long time. Tip: don't use a whole bubble bar all at once or you may have an overflow of bubbles to mop up. I like to cut mine into smaller pieces and use them for multiple baths.

Luxury Bath Melts: Pop one of these in your bath for extra soft water. Every bath melt contains loads of natural butters and oils to help moisturise your skin.

Bath Bombs: These may also be known as "bath ballistics". They have the ability to make bath time really exciting. Plop one of these in and watch it fizz as it releases different colours and delightful scents. In addition, some of LUSH's bath bombs contain surprises (like glitters, messages and flower petals) but they can only be seen once used. You really have a front row seat to your own personal bath time show.

LUSH also sells face products (cleansers, toners, scrubs, masks), hair products (shampoo, treatments, gels), lip products, shaving creams, deodorants, perfumes and makeup.

I'm mostly a fan of their bubble bars. These products have changed my life! Bath time has never been the same.

A few weeks ago I posted this photo on Twitter showing off some Halloween themed goodies I grabbed. About a week later, the company released their Christmas collection. I know what you're thinking, but I disagree - it's never too early for Christmas! My eyes lit up when I saw how cute everything was and so I decided to stock up.



I can only image the array of colours that will fizz out of this eye-catching bath bomb once popped into a bath. With notes of lavender, it promises to soothe our bodies and release any tensions we may carry with us at the end of a day. It's perfect for anyone who may have troubles sleeping, specifically if eager and excited for an event the next day - like Christmas!



According to the LUSH website, this bath bomb is given it's name for the actions it takes once set in water. "Just as jolly Old St. Nick races around delivering presents to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, this Dashing Santa Bath Bomb will fly around the tub, dashing to and fro." He is scented with beautiful citrus fragrances including Satsuma, mandarin and bergamot. 



It's really Santa! This is, visually, the most festive product in the entire holiday collection. He has a Snow Fairy scent, which is a cult favourite shower gel with LUSH lovers. Basically it smells like a mixture of bubblegum, cotton candy and vanilla all wrapped into a handsome looking bath bomb. 



LUSH loves it's glitter. I have to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan because it does get super messy. But I couldn't resist this bubble bar for two reasons:

1. The name! Do I hear any Breakfast at Tiffany's fans? 
2. The size. It's huge! I will probably get 8 baths from this one. 

It has a warm scent that really reminds me of the holidays. LUSH says "its decadent scent is like bathing in a boozy tub of warm Christmas fruit punch." Yum, yes please!



This cutie is full of cocoa butter to help moisturize our skin during the dry months of winter. It's vanilla scent will linger even after you exit the tub. 



This is my absolute favourite item from LUSH's Christmas range. I am kicking myself for only buying one. The little orange chrystals on top are actually poppy candy that, once wet, create a sound similar to a crackling fire. Combined with a spicy cinnamon scent, this bath bomb is perfect on a cold day. 



We can't blame this guy for melting - he is made up of different spicy fragrances that provide a warm sensation inside. Created with cinnamon and cloves this bath melt is the epitome of holiday scents. In addition, he is full of shea butter and almond oil help to moisturize the skin. 



How cute is this?! It actually makes music. This is a really great bubble bar because the stick allows you to swish it around in your water, set aside and reuse for multiple baths. It's strawberry scented and smells like a dream. 

I tend to take more baths during the colder months, which is probably why I got a little more excited when I saw this collection come out. But I think I'm set with bath products for a while now...

xxx


10/21/14

NEW Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Mattes Review & Swatches

If you look up the definition of matte lipsticks, it would probably say "a non-shimmery finish with an insanely dry formula that sucks the moisture from your lips and flakes over time." This may be an exaggeration, but it is what I have experienced after using several matte products.

Lucky for us, Maybelline has just re-defined the power of matte with the release of this new collection. These Color Sensational Creamy Mattes pack powerful pigment and glide on like a dream. I was pleasantly surprised when I first tested them out and saw opaque, rich colour after one simple swipe. No tugging! They are so smooth and creamy and feel comfortable on the lips.


Matte has been a huge trend this year in the makeup world. It has many benefits, including the ability to make lips look smaller and a longer wear. These ones last about four to five hours. 



There are 10 shades in this collection and I purchase four of them: Daringly Nude, Lust for Blush, Mesmerizing Magenta and Siren in Scarlet. I also really wanted to grab one called Touch of Spice, which is being described as a good "Kylie Jenner" colour, but unfortunately it was sold out everywhere I looked. 

Daringly Nude

Believe it or not, this is the first real nude lipstick I have ever bought. Personally, if I am going to wear lipstick I want a colour that is going to stand out. I'm just more comfortable wearing brighter colours. I was also a little scared of "concealer lips". But I have quickly learned that the right nude can really pull a look together. For my skin tone, I can't wear anything too pale or taupe-y. This matte version leans a little on the pink side and works really well. 

Lust for Blush

I have pretty pigmented lips naturally, so Lust for Blush is one of those "my lips but better" colours. The name says it all - it's a really nice blush colour. I can already tell you that this will be one of those great, every day colours I will be reaching for all the time.  

Mesmerizing Magenta

This colour is perfect for fall. Actually, it's perfect for all seasons. It's a really bright, berry colour that can transition from spring, to summer, to fall and into winter. But most of all, I think this is the best "girls night out" hue. 

Siren in Scarlet

Nobody wears a matte red quite like Gwen Stefani and I can picture her wearing this colour effortlessly. Siren in Scarlet is a classic blue-based red. It's a sophisticated colour that I think will be really great for special occasions during the holidays. 

If you have a sensitive sniffer, I must warn you that these have a scent similar to play-doh . If you like the smell of sticky, unbleached flour, mixed with a little vanilla, it shouldn't be too much of a disturbance. The scent doesn't transfer to your lips when applied either, so if you think this is something that would bother you, simply plug your nose or hold your breath while using this product. Easy right? ;) 

The only other downside to this new collection is that all of the packaging comes in the same frosted, deep, mauve colour. Therefore, to find the colour you're looking for, you have to refer to the bottom label. Previous Color Sensational lip products have had lids unique to the colour it encased, making it easier to differentiate one from another without having to flip it upside down. 

Otherwise, I can't gush enough over these amazing lippies! Matte is where it's at! and Maybelline has hit a home run with the new Color Sensational Creamy Mattes. 

xxx

10/16/14

Pinned and Tried: Mascara as Eyeliner

Getting ready for date night and your liquid liner runs out? You need a solution STAT! Sure, you could run out and buy a new one. But somehow your last pay cheque disappeared faster than Houdini and you're pretty much penniless. Oh dear...

No money to buy new eyeliner? No problem! Just use your mascara instead.

I saw this pin and decided to give it a try. All you need is mascara and a liner brush. To load up on product, simply run your brush in-between the bristles of your mascara wand. Then apply like you would a gel liner.


It works so well! And as long as you use a waterproof mascara, it shouldn't budge. Depending on the formula of your mascara, it will apply fairly wet - so just avoid sneezing (OHHHHH, the dreaded  sneeze). But once it dries, it appears super black and somewhat glossy, just like a store-bought liquid eyeliner would. 

This is the ultimate broke chick hack! One product for two purposes. 

Give it a try and see how it works for you. 

xxx

10/11/14

Pumpkin Spice Makeup

I hope you enjoy this look! I was inspired by the massive pumpkin craze that is happening right now. Literally everywhere I look there is something pumpkin themed! Pumpkin spiced lattes at every coffee shop, pumpkin recipes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin spice OREOs. It's seriously getting out of hand. I think I spotted about nine different pumpkin flavoured candles at Bath & Body Works the other day. 

The girl who helped me at the Lush store said it perfectly! She tried her first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks not long ago and said she "spontaneously started to grow UGGs".

But I have to be honest...I'm totally OK with this trend! BRING ON THE PUMPKIN!


Personally, I am not one to wear "BAM", in your face, neon orange. And while some people can pull it off, others prefer a more toned-down look. In this case, I would recommend using a colour with pink or copper tones. 

Let's begin!

I prepped my face using the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm in Light/Medium with a beautyblender. If you haven't tried one of these, you should! It's such an amazing tool and so quick to use. It's a sponge that's best used if damp. It actually doubles in size when wet and is insanely easy to apply foundation with. It's great for days when you may have rolled out of bed a little late for work and don't have much time to fuss around with makeup. The moisture in the sponge also acts as a barrier, so it doesn't soak up quite as much product as a brush would. Definitely Birdy approved!


I concealed under my eyes using a Maybelline New York Concealer in Fair and patted it in using the pointed end of my beautyblender. If you read my last post featuring some empty products, you'll find this guy there. Unfortunately it was on it's last limbs and we had to part ways. 


After applying some Lorac Pro Behind The Scenes Eye Primer as a base, I began working on my eyes. I actually used the orange blush from my BH Cosmetics Glamorous Blush Palette all over my lids first. On the inner corner I used a light orange-y colour from the BH Cosmetics 88 Color Tropical Shimmer Palette. The colours in this palette do not have names, so I've marked the ones I used for this look with a little birdy :). I mixed a bit of the dark orange and brown colour together and blended that into my crease and outer v-shape of my eye. I also smudged this combination onto my lower lash line. 


Next I created a slight winged liner using the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper and applied a couple of coats of Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara


A lot of bronzers can be tinted slightly orange. Therefore, I chose to skip this step.  I didn't want the tan/brown and orange colours to muddle together and look dirty. The last thing we want is to smother my face in too much orange and look like a pumpkin. I used the same blush that I used on my eyes and applied it to the apples of my cheeks.  

Because I used mostly shimmery colours on my eyes, I wanted to balance this look out with a matte lip. The winner for this look was the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious. It's a vibrant orange that leans red. 


Ps. I made sure my lips were well exfoliated and moisturized before applying this. It is a fairly dry formula and can accentuate cracks in lips. 

What you DON'T want to hear while wearing orange makeup is "IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN!". But I promise you, orange can be wearable and I hope this post proved it.

Products Mentioned:

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm
Maybelline New York Concealer
The Original Beauty Blender
Lorac Pro Behind The Scenes Eye Primer
BH Cosmetics Glamorous Blush Palette
BH Cosmetics 88 Tropical Shimmer Palette
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm

xxx

10/9/14

Empty Products: Hits and Misses

Hey all! I have some products that have been used up and are headed for the garbage. But before I tossed them, I thought I would share my opinion on each one.


Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner (MISS)
I was asked to review this product but unfortunately it had dried up before I could do so. This was a miniature version I bought as part of a set with the Benefit They're Real Mascara. But I have to admit, I'm glad I didn't buy the full-size. There is huge buzz around this product right now. It's a gel liner in pen form with an intense, matte black colour and super staying power. In terms, it sounds like a gal's dream! But unfortunately, I was disappointed.

I found it a little difficult to apply. In order to really make this product work, you have to wipe a bit of it onto your hand or tissue first. This seems like a tremendous waste of product, but otherwise it applies as a glob on your eyelid. Plus, because it is so waterproof and dries quickly, any mistakes made are hard to correct without having to start over. It's nearly impossible to achieve a thin line and attempting a wing is painfully frustrating.

I apologize for not having any photos to share with you. But I have tested the longevity of this product and noticed that after a day of wearing it, the line had begun to crack. I believe the formula is a little too thick. A thinner version will apply more smoothly to the lash line and may not flake throughout the day. In the mean time, I am going to stick with a trusty ol' potted gel eyeliner and little brush.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (HIT)
This has quickly become a holy grail product for me. I love wearing a winged liner and this is the easiest product to achieve precision. It has a tiny brush at the end, rather than a felt tip like many other eye liner pens. It applies smoothly, and is jet-black and waterproof. By far this is the best eye liner I have ever used! Perhaps it has set the bar too high - hence my disappointment in the product above.

Blistex Lip Medex (HIT)
My lips get insanely dry this time of year. I have gone through several of these pots over time and usually have one within reach for emergencies (beside my bed, in my desk at work and in my purse). I love the cool, tingly feeling it gives. Not only does it provide temporary relief, but it also heels my chapped and sore lips over time. If you were to ask me "what is one beauty item you would take with you if you were to be stranded on an island?" I would say the Blistex Lip Medex. It's seriously been a life saver. Or should I say "smooch-saver".

GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment Mask (HIT)
I've already posted a review of this product. If you haven't seen it, click here. To sum up my thoughts - I love this mask! I've seen great results and enjoy using it to pamper myself every once in a while.

Nivea Pure & Natural Soothing Day Care (MISS)
I have barely touched this face cream. So while it's not technically considered an empty item, it is headed for the garbage. I really disliked this product. It was too thick and left a sticky film on my face. I felt as though my pores were suffocating and crying for air every time I used it. It kind of reminded me of condensed milk - something I would never want to smother my face in. Pimple alert! It may not have been so bad if it smelt like sweetened condensed milk, but unfortunately it has a really unpleasant smell...a negative trait when the product is going to be lingering under your nose.

Maybelline New York Concealer (HIT)
This concealer has received so much love and use over time that the writing has rubbed off of it's packaging, so I'm not actually sure of its proper name. I have literally been scraping the sides, trying to scoop out every last bit. It's been a good friend to me, covering up dark circles and puffy eyes after nights of little sleep. It's got great coverage and doesn't crease. Unfortunately, I think Maybelline has discontinued this product but sells a similar version called the Fit Me Concealer.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Honey Tinted (HIT)
This smells sooooooo good! But besides the fact that I want to eat it, this is another great product that helps soothe and repair my lips during dry times. Plus it has a brownish-nude tint. It's the perfect option if you want to wear some colour but are afraid it will settle into the cracks of chapped lips. I also really like that it doesn't contain petroleum jelly, which can often cause a lip balm addiction.


I tend to read reviews and research the heck out of something before I buy it. If you're like me, I hope you found this post helpful, especially if you are debating a certain product or looking for suggestions. I'm going to be saving up some more empty products over the next few months and I'm looking forward to bringing you more mini-reviews. Until next time...

xxx

10/7/14

Pinned and Tried: DIY Nail Wraps

I've spent my fair share of money over the past few years on nail decals from different brands. So when I found this pin with instructions on how to make your own nail wraps, I couldn't contain my excitement. The site says all you need is a plastic bag, nail polish, tweezers, nail polish remover and a q-tip. When I learned there was no need to run out and purchase any additional items, I was hooked. These are all items that were just laying around my house. Paint a few thick coats of nail polish, in the general shape of a nail, onto a shiny surface like a plastic bag and wait for it to dry. That's pretty much all there is to it. Easssssy peasssssy!

Since Halloween is around the corner, I decided it would be fun to create a spooky, spider-web, accent nail. I grabbed a freezer bag and went to town working on my design. Warning: the photos below may cause some fright - but only because my artistic abilities are pretty awful. Please don't judge me. I'll be needing some practice... 

After an hour of letting the nail polish dry I was ready and eager to test them out. 

I know eventually I will run into a pin that will not work. It is expected. But I was disappointed when my first attempt at creating nail wraps failed miserably. The polish stuck like a leech! I pried, pulled, peeled - tried everything I could to get these stubborn, bloody things off.  I ended up ripping the bag and butchering the designs I had spent so much time on. *Sigh*


But I refused to give up after just one try and came up with a Plan B - parchment paper (also something I had lying around the house). I was so happy and relieved when they pulled off the waxy surface with no problem at all.


I applied a thin coat of black polish to my nail first so the decal had an adhesive. I used my fingers to press it down onto my nail, much like you would with a store-bought nail wrap. And then I used a q-tip dipped in some varnish remover to clean the excess. A top coat applied over the top sealed the deal. 


Now that I know it works, I will definitely focus a little more time into my design. I'm thinking something simple...like dots...will be a better option next time. But I am looking forward to getting creative and seeing what I can come up with. 


This is a great, inexpensive way to dress up your nails for any event in the future. Create your own masterpiece. Experiment with shapes and techniques. Use colours of your favourite hockey or football team to show spirit as you cheer them on. Get festive for the holidays with Christmas themed nails. How about some hearts for Valentines Day? The possibilities are endless!

xxx

10/5/14

Not Your Mama's Shaving Cream

I must first quickly address the title of this post. My mom absolutely loves this shaving cream and I bet yours would too! However, it is such a departure from the brands some of us have grown up with from that very first moment we learned to shave.

I picked up a bottle of the EOS (Evolution of Smooth) Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream a few years ago during a trip to Walmart across the border. I have had a few of their lip balms over the years but was surprised to learn they create different types of products as well. I couldn't resist.


Since then, Skintimate and other shaving gels just haven't cut it. I believe this is the type of product that will have a love-hate following. Consumers will either LOVE it, or they will absolutely despise it.

The EOS Shave Cream is unlike anything I've ever tried before. It doesn't lather the way a typical shaving cream does, which may be a little hard for most to get used to. But in my opinion, it helps me get a better shave. There is less product to cut through before reaching the hairs. It's super moisturizing formula, consisting of shea butters, vitamin E and vitamin C, also prevents razor burn.


The packaging is fairly unique as well. It has a pump for easy use and is made of plastic so it won't create those horrific rings of rust.

There are four different "scents":
  • Pomegranate Raspberry (my favourite)
  • Vanilla Bliss
  • Lavender Jasmine
  • Sensitive - Fragrance Free

I have also seen this product at Target and Walmart in Canada, so it's fairly accessible.

I truly love this product so much and I recommend you try it. Bring your mom along for the journey ;)

xxx

10/3/14

Top 5 Nail Colours for Fall

When I think of fall or autumn, I think of the leaves changing colours, falling off of their branches and scattering the ground. I think of dark greens, oranges, reds and yellows. 

  
Here's a quick round-up of my favourite nail colours for fall:



Red - a classic! It will never go out of style and in my opinion it's perfect during any season.  There are so many different shades of red to choose from. This one is a true, bright red and I'm obsessed!



There's something about the amount of sunlight during a day that is reflected in what we wear. During the summer months; when the nights are long and the sun lingers until nine o'clock, we wear bright, pastel or neon colours. As we transition into the colder months, the sun goes down earlier and we tend to wear darker colours. See the relationship? More sun = more colour. Less sun = less colour. Who made this rule?

Anyways...I do enjoy wearing a dark nail during the fall/winter and OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow is the colour I gravitate to most. It's a super dark green that leans toward black in certain light. This is a great choice for anyone who wishes to try out dark nail polish but may not be keen on wearing pure black. 


The word Merino automatically makes me think of a cozy sweater made of the softest wool. Essie Merino Cool is a muted purple with grey undertones. On the nail it look so chic and is the epitome of fall.


A neutral colour is key - especially for anyone attending business meetings or requiring a more professional appearance. In my opinion, a pale pink is perfect during any time of the year. OPI Bubble Bath is a pretty sheer colour - the image below is with three coats. But it's great for travelling,  or if you know you're going to be wearing a nail polish for a while and may not have the ability to touch it up You will barely be able to see any chips with this "your nail but better" colour.  


I know what you're thinking. "Kelly this is a bright colour..."

Don't shoot me. Essie Jamaica Me Crazy is not quite as bright as it appears in the photo above. It's a jewel-toned, magenta and is perfect for the first few weeks of fall when mother nature isn't quite sure how to behave. I tend to break the rules and wear bright colours all year round anyways.  


What are your favourite nail colours for fall? Feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear your suggestions. 

Ps. If you're the first to comment, click on "No Comments" and a box will pop up. 

xxx