Archive | July, 2012

Review: NYX Love’s Anthem 10-Lipgloss Set

30 Jul

This is a set of 10 NYX lip glosses that I bought at Urban Outfitters while I was in the States. There isn’t very much listed on the packaging, the glosses don’t even have names, but I think these are supposed to be smaller/sample size versions of their Mega Shine Lip Glosses. It doesn’t say how much each tube contains, but it looks like about half as much as a regular 11ml tube.

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Formula: It seems to be a bit different from the full size Mega Shine Lip Gloss formula. In my opinion it’s not as good, it’s much more drying. They don’t have the cherry medicine smell the regular version does, but I am picking up a sweet, candy-like scent. It’s faint, but you may not like it if scented products irritate you.

Pigmentation: Good pigmentation for all glosses, some were obviously meant to have stronger colouring than others. The more opaque-coloured glosses bled a little bit so they would be best worn over a lip liner or lipstick for an extra pop of shine. The shimmers in the glosses very finely milled and don’t feel gritty on the lips.

Longevity of wear: As I mentioned, these glosses bleed so they’re not exactly made for super-long wear. They settle into lines after a while, so frequent reapplication is necessary.

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The first gloss is a bright, shiny, candy-apple red. It’s very pretty and opaque, but I think because of the bleeding issues it would be best worn over a lipstick or lip liner. As you can see, it kind of goes all over the place!

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This is a darker, blue-based red. Less pin-up red, more of a vampy red. I think I will be reaching for this in the fall. This is very opaque and has less bleeding than the first red, but I would still wear it over something.

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Cool-toned purple-fuchsia with fine blue shimmer. I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be African Queen, which is a colour very unique to NYX.  You could probably wear this one on its own, but the full sized version wears much better.

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Mid-tone, cool bubblegum pink. This one looks like Dolly Pink, but is a bit lighter. You can see a slight blue shimmer in the tube, but it’s undetectable on the lips. Very opaque, but slightly bleed-y and settles into lines.

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Super shimmery opaque copper. I think the massive amount of shimmer in this stops it from bleeding as much, but I wouldn’t wear this on it’s own. The shimmer in this shows up range so I can see it being really nice over reds for the fall.

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Tan-nude peach with fine gold shimmer. I’m picking up a bit of a yellow undertone, but maybe that’s just against my skin. On it’s own this is semi-opaque but I could quickly see it settling into lines after I applied it.  This could be worn on its own, or over nudes and peaches.

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The last four look very similar. This is a semi-opaque peachy-pink with obvious silver sparkles (bigger than shimmer). It’s more of a subdued peachy pink, as opposed to the usual bright, summery peachy-pink. It didn’t seem to settle into lines quite as much as the other light colours.

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Light, almost pastel pink. It’s cool-toned, with the same silver sparkles as the previous gloss. It’s fairly opaque, but settles into lines very quickly.

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Translucent light pink base with gold and pink flecks. This is the lightest colour, but  the sparkles almost give it a two-toned effect. It would be really nice over an everyday neutral lipstick for an extra kick.

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The last is a mid-tone pink with fairly large silver shimmer. It’s opaque and doesn’t seem to bleed or settle into lines. It’s nice, but pretty standard as far as pink glosses go.

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Overall: Nice set, but glosses just don’t feel as good on the lips as the regular Mega Shine Lip Glosses. It’s great if you’d like to try out some new colours, but the full-size glosses aren’t very expensive (you can usually get them from cherry culture for about $4.00 each) and you get a lot more product.

What are your favourite NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss colours?

– Julia

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Review: Essence Silky Touch Blushes

21 Jul

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Essence is a German cosmetics brand that has recently (in the past year or so) come to Canada. You can buy essence at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations and their products are very inexpensive. Like, everything is under $5.00 type of inexpensive.

I’ve bought a number of things from essence since discovering the brand and I have been extremely impressed by the quality of everything. My absolute favourite are the Silky Touch Blushes. They’re beautifully pigmented, blend well and come in great colours (a good, natural brown-hued blush is a rare find in a drugstore). The formula is simply amazing.

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The Shopper’s Drug Mart website does not list the prices, but the essence Silky Touch Blushes could not have been any more than $3.00 and they come in four difference colours. Let me just say, these little babies are amazing. Here are my thoughts:

Pigmentation: These are very pigmented, going from pan to face is a no-no. Swirl your brush on the back of your hand before applying, repeat until you have your desired opacity.

Wear: Perfect, absolutely no problems. It’s been extremely hot and humid lately and these last all day with no fading.

Blend-ability: No issues with blending into powder or liquid foundation. I tend to give my cheeks a once-over with my powder brush after applying the blush, just so there are no harsh edges.

Packaging: No problems so far, the plastic is study and the hinge feels solid. I’ve even dropped them while open, and they still survived. Traveling with these might be a bit tricky, but the price is reasonable so replacing it wouldn’t be too tough.

Ok here are the shades:

NATURAL BEAUTY 40

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This is a peachy-brown colour with warm undertones. A slight shimmer shows up in the swatch, but it’s not obvious on the cheek. This one is my favourite! I love this on it own, or with bronzer. It pairs nicely with colourful and dramatic eye looks because it is so neutral. It gives me a very naturally flushed look.

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SECRET IT-GIRL 30

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This is a warm, bright orange-coral with obvious gold sparkles. It looks quite pink in the swatch but it doesn’t look like this in person. It’s a fun blush; perfect for a pop of summery colour. It comes off a bit chalky in the swatch, but it blends fine on the cheek.

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BABYDOLL 20

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This is a mid-tone pink with a hint of berry. It’s the most pigmented of all the blushes, so be careful! It also has a fine shimmer in the swatch, but it doesn’t really show up on the cheek. I haven’t used this one much yet, but I can see myself reaching for it more in the fall.

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ADORABLE 10

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This is a light, yellow-hued pink with a matte finish. It’s kind of like a bubblegum pink, but not as bright.  This one also swatches a little chalky, but doesn’t appear that way on the cheek.

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OVERALL:

These blushes are fabulous, whether you’re on a budget or not.  Anyone looking to expand their blush collection could easily pick up all of the colours. What do you guys think of these?

– Julia

Bright Orange Eyeliner

16 Jul

After spending a wonderfully relaxing week in Vermont, I’m back with another look! I’m trying out my new liquid and powder foundation from the Extra Virgin Minerals line at The Body Shop. I will be doing a full review, but let me say I’m not sure the liquid foundation is a good choice for my oily skin during this hot, humid summer.

I was walking through the drugstore and saw this beautiful GOSH orange eyeliner on sale for $3.00 so I had to have it! It’s a great, long-lasting liner. My only complaint is that the brush is a bit flimsy, but you can just use your own brush.
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The look: Thick bright tangerine liner slightly winged. I used a gold pencil liner in the waterline to tie it together, but you could skip this step. I used a big, round fluffy brush to apply bronzer on the cheeks, temples and jawline. I used the same brush to apply a light pinky-brown blush.

Good for: Everyday. Going to lunch, running errands etc.

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This look easily pairs with most lip glosses, I think lipstick would be a little too colourful! I chose two glosses to show the difference. The first is a vibrant, cool-toned pink gloss that goes on semi-opaque.

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The second is one of my favourite everyday glosses: a sheer peachy-pink with fine gold shimmer.

Here are the products I used:

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EYES

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original

L’Oreal Color Infallible in 016 Coconut Shake

essence Eyebrow Designer in 04 Blonde

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Tease (5th one from top)

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Bootycall (3rd one from top)

GOSH Extreme Art Eye Liner in 03

MAC Eye Kohl in Powersurge

L’Oreal Voluminous False Lashes Waterproof Mascara

FACE & LIPS

MAC Fix+

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer

The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Liquid Foundation in 205 Rose Vanilla

The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Powder Foundation in 202 Natural Vanilla

NARS Duo Concealer in Custard/Ginger

NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

MAC Blush in Blushbaby

NYX Lip Gloss in Dolly Pink

Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in 008 Peony

1. Dampen your brush and apply Coconut Shake (light cream-beige) to the lid.

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2. Add tease (matte, mauve tinged brown) to the crease.

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3. Draw the liner on in your desired shape.

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4. Trace bottom lashline with Powesurge (neutral gold) and apply to waterline.

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5. Add highlighter to brow bone and tear duct and finish with mascara.

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I hope you like it, let me know what you think!

– Julia

Review: Color Club All About Color Collection

4 Jul

I bought this set of polishes from Winners on the weekend. I literally cannot stop myself from buying Color Club collections whenever I see them, $14.99 for six polishes is just too good to pass up.  This is the All About Color collection; it comes with six polishes and one topcoat.

The names of the polishes aren’t printed on the bottles so it’s hard to know what is what. I searched the Color Club website and I cannot find this particular All About Color collection on the website.

All polishes have a creme finish. Most were fairly thin, needing at least three coats for full coverage. The only downside to Color Club polishes is the drying time; three coats dry in about 30 minutes, but are still tacky. I would give them a full hour before showering or anything. If you use a fast-drying topcoat like Seche Vite, I would give it about 15 minutes longer than other polishes. This is just my opinion, and I tend to apply very thick coats.

With a base and topcoat, these last about 4 or 5 days. This is ok for me because I change my nails about three times a week. I don’t think these would last very well without top and basecoat because if you get an air bubble it will start to chip/peel.

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Thanks to a great nail blog called ChitChatNails, I finally found the colour names:

– Coral Cascade

– Factory Girl

– I Believe in Amour

– Who Are You Wearing?

– He Loves Me

– Edie

Coral Cascade looks subdued and pastel-like in the bottle, but dries to a true coral on the nails. Isn’t bright or neon like some summer corals, very office-appropriate.

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Factory Girl is a very light, pastel sky-blue. It kind of feels like you’re painting your nails with whiteout. Be careful with this one, it’s VERY drying on the cuticles, but I still like it.

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I Believe in Amour looks like a cool-toned bubble-gum pink in the bottle, but shows up a bright lavender-pink on the nails. Very pretty and girly, surprisingly opaque for a light colour. I don’t have any colours like this.

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Who Are You Wearing? Is an extremely light greyed lilac. It looks almost white on the nails, but is not drying like Factory Girl. On the nails, more of a taupe colour comes out, but it’s still tinged with purple. I applied 3 coats, but it could use a fourth.

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He Loves Me is a barely-there neutral pink, reminds me of something you might wear at your wedding. It’s a lovely spring colour, perfect for everyday. This was 3 coats but it could also use a fourth.

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Edie is a bright (almost neon) tropical sea-green colour. Like Coral Cascade, it looks pastel in the bottle, but is brighter once applied. I don’t own any greens like this; the bordering-on-neon makes it unique in my collection.

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Overall, it’s a cute little collection. Not the most special Color Club collection but I’m glad I picked it up. My favourites are Coral Cascade, I Believe in Amour, He Loves Me and Edie. Which do you like?

– Julia

Review: EcoTools Bronzer Brush

3 Jul

A few months ago I bought a few brushes by a brand called EcoTools, which I really like. They’re great; very sturdy and have retained their shape after many washes. Interesting fact: EcoTools is owned by Illinois-based company Paris Presents Incorporated who also make the Samantha Chapman Real Techniques brushes (which I have been longing to try).

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This is their Bronzing brush and it retails for about $10 at Wal-Mart here in Canada. While this is a bit pricey for Wal-Mart, it’s worth every penny. The handle is made of bamboo and the bristles are cruelty-free taklon. If feels GORGEOUS on your face; soft but very dense and firm. It blends nicely and gives a naturally bronzed look.

It has no smell and I haven’t noticed and shedding, which is the true test of any good brush. The handle is 4 inches, a little shorter than average, making it easy to travel with. The denseness of the bristles makes drying take a longer, but if you wash it at night this shouldn’t be a problem.

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I would definitely recommend this brush to anyone looking for a good, inexpensive bronzing/powder brush.

Do you own this brush? Let me know what you think!

– Julia

Summer Daytime Makeup: Teal Eyeliner

1 Jul

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Doing your makeup on hot, humid days can be a challenge. You want to look put together, but don’t want your makeup running down your face in an hour. This is the makeup I wore Friday, in 32 degrees Celsius heat PLUS humidity, and it lasted perfectly.

One of my go-to summer looks if coloured eyeliner and the brighter the better. I chose a waterproof eyeliner (and mascara) for this look. I tend to get oily eyelids and liners and shadows end up creasing on me by the end of the day. Waterproof liners are great for absurdly hot days and long nights out because they don’t budge or run. If by the end of the day you suffer from the dreaded raccoon eyes, try switching to waterproof.

Here is what I used:
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EYES: 

MAC Paint in Bare Canvas (not pictured)

MAC Eyeshadow in Patina

MAC Eyeshadow in Wedge

MAC Eyeshadow in Shroom

N.Y.C. Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Teal

essence Eyebrow Designer in 04 Blonde

FACE & LIPS

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Original

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation in 2.0

NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

MAC Blush in Melba

Maybelline Age Rewind Finishing Powder

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Gotta Dash!

BRUSHES

Coastal Scents Angled Blush Brush (from 22-Piece Brush Set)

Coastal Scents Flat Stippling Brush (from 22-Piece Brush Set)

SpaResource Stippling Brush

Coastal Scents Large Liner/Brow Brush (from 22-Piece Brush Set)

Coastal Scents Detail Shadow Brush (from 22-Piece Brush Set)

e.l.f. Mineral Blending Eye Brush

Coastal Scents C153 Eye Shader Brush (old Coastal Scents numbering)

1. After priming your lid, place Patina (or any neutral gold) on the lid.
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2. Blend out with a crease blending brush.
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3. Draw liner on upper lash line. I kept it to the outer third but go as far in as you’d like.

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4.  Blend out the line with a small detailer brush. I kept it to the outer third but go as far in as you’d like.

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5. Draw and blend line on lower lash line.

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6. Blend Wedge (matte colour a few shades darker than your skin tone) into the outer part of the crease to add depth.

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7. Add Shroom (shimmery cream colour) to inner corner and finish with mascara.
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I applied bronzer with a large duo-fiber stippling brush; this gives a naturally bronzed look because it doesn’t pick up as much product as a natural hair brush.  I wouldn’t suggest a shimmery bronzer for doing this, at least not during the day, as it can overwhelm your face with glitter.

I used my favourite matte peach blush to offset the cool teal colour on the eyes and a peachy-coral glossy lipstick.  You could also use a lip gloss if you prefer.

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Overall I really like this look and will definitely be wearing it again. You can change it up by substituting any colour of eyeliner or blush to suit your complexion or preference. So what do ya think?!

– Julia