IMATS Toronto 2014 Haul

"No Buy November" was going great! And then IMATS happened...

On Saturday, November 22 I travelled to Toronto for the International Makeup Artists Trade Show - the world's largest makeup gathering. It's open to the public and features demonstrations from professionals, a Battle of the Brushes contest for students and tons of beauty exhibitors set up booths to sell products (many of them at a discounted price).

It was my first time ever attending and I was an absolute giddy mess. The lineups were long, elbows were being thrown and everyone was smushed together like a can of sardines...sweaty ones. But it was worth every minute! 

Here's a quick look at the items I picked up: 

I was most excited when I spotted OPI Nail Polish selling for $6.50 a piece, or six for $33. Being a nail polish junkie, I couldn't pass on this deal. My bag got slightly heavier as I picked out six different colours to accompany me home. 

The shades I chose are really beautiful for this time of year.

Morphe was selling eyeshadows for $3 each or two for $5. I grabbed four shades. 

Bottom, left to right: ES41 Just Teal and ES80 Blue Green

These colours are so pigmented and blend really nice. 

I picked up this gorgeous blush from NARS called Sin. It's a deep berry tone with subtle shimmers and is the perfect fall pairing for a look with a dark lip. 

The coveted Sigma brushes! I finally got my hands on a couple of them. I grabbed the F80 Flat Kabuki which is perfect for applying foundation. It's so soft! I also got the E35 Tapered Blending brush to use for shadows in the crease. 

I also grabbed these three little brushes from Crown Brush. They're pink and cute!

I had such a great time and I'm already looking forward to attending IMATS again next year! 

Now back to the saving...



Even and Bright: St. Ives Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub Review

If a product smelt like orange sorbet, would you be willing to rub it all over your face? I'm raising my hand over here! Bring it on!

Introducing the St. Ives Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub - it smells absolutely divine! The citrus aromas are uplifting and provide a boost of energy when used in the morning. Plus I find the scent lingers for a little while. There's nothing bad with smelling a little "bright" and "cheerful" now, is there?

It's important to exfoliate during the winter so that we can remove dry, dull skin cells. This product is really great because it has a super fine texture, similar to sand - like the kind found in hot countries...the ones without snow. Does anyone else share my disapproval of this early winter we are experiencing? 

Back to the good stuff...

This scrub is made of 100% natural exfoliants; it is paraben-free and hypoallergenic. It's gentle on the skin but still does a great job getting rid of impurities. In addition, the inclusion of citrons from lemon and mandarin oranges help brighten the skin. Once I've rinsed my face clean, I am amazed at how radiant and smooth it appears. 

Kudos to St. Ives for drawing me in on the scent of this product alone. But I have to say the overall formula of this scrub is a big hit in my books, especially for the price! 



Easy 5-Minute Makeup

I'm a sucker for sleep and I tend to cut corners in the morning just to catch an extra 15 minutes of zzzzzz's. This means I neglect to wash my face, ignore the hairbrush sitting on my bathroom counter, get dressed so fast I don't even noticed if my shoes match my shirt and I tend to deal with stomach grumbles until I get to work, where I enjoy my breakfast with the company of my stapler.

I really don't have much time to focus on perfecting my makeup so my morning routine is fairly simple.

Are you lazy like me? Find yourself in a hurry more often than not? Maybe you pressed the snooze button seven too many times. Or maybe you're a busy mom with a couple of kiddies running around and you just don't have as many minutes in the day as you used to. This makeup is seriously so easy, anyone can do it and it shouldn't take more than five minutes. Plus the majority of the items I used can be found at your local drugstore.

I'm not a huge fan of foundation, so I decided to skip this step. But bare skin isn't for everyone, so if you prefer to use foundation, I would recommend using a BB or CC cream with a light formulation that blends easily using your fingertips or a sponge. This will be the fastest application.

Now I know we all fight this battle - the one with dark circles or bags under our eyes. Especially if we've just woken up. It's not pretty...

I start by applying Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer in Very Fair in a triangle shape under my eyes. Using a damp beautyblender I gently pat this product in and drag it down around my nose where women tend to have redness - it's a hormonal thing. I also blend it up towards my temples.

I quickly swipe a bit of Rimmel London Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in Creamy Natural across my T-Zone to help set my concealer and absorb any oils I may have. Tip: Load up your brush with some powder and first stipple or tap the brush onto your skin. This will create a soft canvas of product which will then help your brush glide nicely across your skin.

My absolute favourite eye product to use if I'm in a hurry is the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Bad to the Bronze. It's a great golden colour with a bit of shimmer and sticks around pretty much all day without creasing. I just use my finger to apply this. Did you know that your ring finger applies less pressure and is more gentle on your eyes?

I also applied the NYX Slim Eye Pencil in white on my waterline to help open my eyes and make them look more awake.

 A thick coat of mascara finishes off this eye look. I used Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara.

Who has time for contouring and bronzer when they're in a rush? Not me! But I never skip out on blush. It's the most important step for me because it really helps bring my skin to life. I enjoy using a cream product like this Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale because it's so simple. No brushes required - just press your fingertips into the product and swipe a bit of colour onto the apples of yours cheeks. I find sometimes it helps to use a damp beautyblender to blend and sheer the product out.

To finish everything off I used a Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie. This has been my favourite lip colour ever since they were released a couple of years ago. It's the perfect deep (but not too deep) berry colour and really brings this look together. These products are also super moisturizing and feel comfortable on my lips. I don't feel the need to reach for a lip balm while wearing these.

In my opinion, a bright lip can always help you look put together even if you skip all of the other steps above. Especially if you've just rolled out of bed...

The great thing about this look is that you can pair any lip colour and it will look great!

So next time you sleep in, don't stress, just simplify your makeup routine and you'll be good to go! 

Products Mentioned:

Rimmel London Wake Me Concealer
Rimmel London Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder
Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow
NYX Slim Eye Pencil
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter



Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser Review

I bought this product a little while ago but I wanted to really test it out to get a good opinion before telling you about it.

The Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser is different from anything I've ever used before. It's unique quality is what actually encouraged me to make the purchase. It's a 3-in-1 product that removes makeup, dissolved impurities and hydrates the skin. It's a gel formula enriched with vitamin C, rose hip and virgin cherry oils which help nourish and brighten. It's also got a great citrus scent.

To begin, you need dry hands and a dry face. Don't worry - water will come later. The heat of your fingertips help the gel melt into your skin and transform to an oil. Next you can splash some water and continue gently massaging your face until it turns into a milky consistency. Then rinse clean!

After first trying this cleanser my face felt uber greasy. But now that Mother Nature is hitting us with some cold temperatures and the moisture is being sucked out of my skin, I realize that I NEEEED this product in my life. I use it at night so the hydrating ingredients have an opportunity to really absorb. When I wake up, my skin feels refreshed, nourished and smooth. It seems to keep breakouts under control and really works to brighten my complexion.

And while I have to admit it's fun to use - I feel like a child working on a science project (like an erupting volcano...just not as scary), anxiously waiting to see how the orange jelly will transform - it's so much more than that. This product has opened my eyes to the amazing and positive changes a cleanser can have on my dry/sensitive skin.

I promise you I will be repurchasing this product and it will become a staple in my winter skincare routine.



How to: Create a Fishtail Braid

I was surprised at how many compliments I got the first time I wore a fishtail braid.

You are going to be shocked when you find out how simple it is.

Here's how it's done:
1. Pull all of your hair to one side.

2. Separate into two sections.
3. From one of the two sections, create a separate and much smaller strand from the back. Bring this across the front and combine to the opposite bunch of hair.

4. Much like the last step, pull a strip of hair from the section you just combined and add it to the first section.

5. Continue this process back and forth between the two sections until you run out of hair. Remember to pull tight.

6. Secure with a clear elastic band.

7. Gently pull at different areas of your braid to make it appear larger and thicker. In my opinion, the messier the better. Fishtail braids look great when they are slightly undone and have an effortless feel.

8. I also like to pull small sections of hair out on the opposite side of my braid for balance.

9. Spray with hairspray for hold.

It's a twist on the modern braid and is sure to attract some attention.



How to: Get Perfect Winged Liner

Cat eye or winged liner, call it what you want - it's my absolute favourite makeup trend. I wear a winged liner pretty much every day.  I just feel it really opens my eyes and adds some extra dimension. I think it looks so great when applied properly, but it can be quite tricky to achieve.  

I want to share with you how I do my eyeliner.  I realize it may work for some of you and others may have a different preference, but this is the technique I find works best for me and I hope some of my tips are helpful.

I always start with my right eye and work from the inside corner. Using small strokes, I line as close to my lashes as possible. Don't think you need to swipe the product on in one full motion. You will get a smoother line if you take your time. Once I reach the outer corner, I flip the direction of my eyeliner and draw my wing in towards my eye. So rather than flick outwards, I flick in. I try to use my lower lash line as a guide for the angle of my wing. You always want the tip to reach upward toward the end of your eyebrow.

Don't pull the eyeliner down because this will make your eyes droop. Don't drag it straight out because it will elongate your eyes and make them look small. Our goal is to lift and open, making our eyes look bigger.

Once I've achieved the wing I'm looking for - whether short or exaggerated - I always go back over the entire line and thicken it up until I'm happy with the overall look.

I use the same technique for my left eye, only in reverse. I begin with the wing, trying to achieve symmetry with my right eye. Once that's finished, I use small strokes beginning from the inner corner and working to the outer corner until my line connects with the wing.

This is how I've been doing my eyeliner for years now and I think it's the easiest way to do so.

Are you just entering the world of liquid eyeliner? Experimenting with winged liner? My number one suggestion would be to practice, practice, practice! The more you play around and try your hand at it, the more you will get the hang of it. The best time to do so is at night, when you will be taking your makeup off anyways before snuggling into bed. There will be no pressure of getting ready in a hurry so you can head out the door. Don't fear mistakes. They happen to all of us, even the pros. Just don't get discouraged if it takes you a try, or two, or 100 before you get it right.

Here are some tricks for beginners:

1. Line and Trace: Take a dark brown or black eyeliner pencil and roughly line as close to your lashes. Don't worry about jagged edges or any imperfections because you are going to be going over it anyways. You can even smudge the colour out for a smokey effect. Then use your liquid eyeliner to trace directly over top of the guide you've just created.

2. Sticky Tape: Use a small piece of scotch tape and wiggle it up under your bottom lashes. You want to create an angle that connects your bottom lash line to the bottom of your eyebrow. Make sure you press it down well so it sticks to your skin and prevents the product from seeping underneath. This technique will help you achieve a perfect, crisp line without fear of screwing up. The tape will catch any excess liner that may run out of place. Just make sure you wait for it to dry before peeling the tape off. I would also suggest you pull the tape from the bottom, up and be cautious not to tug too much on your eye area.

3. Business Card: Find any business card or piece of card stock and use it as a guide for your wing. Use one hand to hold it while you use the other to line your eye. Once again, keep the angle reaching from your bottom lash line to the tip of your eyebrow. Wait for it to dry before pulling away the card. You should have a straight line with the perfect angle.

I hope this post was helpful and wish you the best of luck with your eyeliner adventures!