Friday, August 30, 2013

Caryl Baker Southwestern Beauty - Summer 2013 via BlushPretty.com

Summer is almost over... but why not savour it with a fun collection from Caryl Baker Visage!


The Caryl Baker Southwestern Beauty Collection consists of the Sun-Baked Bronzer in Earthy* ($29.50), the City Slickers Lip Gloss in Calm* ($19.50) and trio of Southwestern Eyeshadows* ($18.00). The collection reminds me a lot of the show Nashville... natural beauty with a few hints of glamour. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Revolution Organics Freedom Glow in Bronzed

As much as I'd like to live a healthy, paraben-free, chemical-free lifestyle and apply this sort of mentality to my everyday makeup routine... it's not that easy. Maybe I'm not making enough of an effort to learn about what's out there, but I feel like there isn't enough information about readily available and relatively affordable products from organic/conscious brands. 

The Revolution Organics Freedom Glow in Bronzed came in my Blush Pretty Beauty Board goodie bag. Retailing at $34, this coloured balm is valued at more than what it cost me to attend the event and can be purchased at select retailers in Canada and USA (for a full list of retailers see http://revolutionorganics.com). It also comes in the colours Sunkissed (coral peach) and Blushed (pink). 

Description: 
100% natural and created with 85% certified organic ingredients, this beauty multi-tasker delivers an instant healthy glow anytime, anywhere. The all-in-one balm infuses lips, cheeks, eyes, and d├ęcolletage with a natural, dewy radiance. Perfectly portable and ideal for on the go, the easy-to-use formula provides skincare and color in one for a hydrating hint of tint.  Free of chemicals, synthetics, and artificial ingredients, the balm contains only 100% pure, natural and organic ingredients. Formulated with cold-pressed organic olive oil and deeply moisturizing organic coconut oil, The All-Over Beauty Balm comes in three glowing shades to complement any skin tone.

Ingredients: 
Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Olive Fruit Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil , Silica, Safflower Seed Oil, Soybean Oil, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Organic Shea Butter, Tocopherol, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract MAY CONTAIN: Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Carmine
**Note: most of the ingredients are recognizable words I can actually pronounce. This is a good sign! 


At first glance, the colour of the balm looks... intimidating. It's a slightly red-toned brown. When blended out, it looks quite warm. Upon smoothing it over the skin, it looks a little patchy. All you need is a little blending. The product is more of a soft balm, which makes it very easy to blend out. So easy, that you could almost blend it into nothingness on your face. 



Personally, I really like the tone of this bronzer on my face, it's natural and warm at the same time. I would not use this colour on my lips or eyes (it's too emollient) but it's very suitable for the cheeks and decollete. 

The end of summer is nearing and I still want to look like I've got a glow, even if my tan has worn away. This product is perfection. Easy to use and blend out... and looks effortless on the skin. 

What's your take on naturally-formulated makeup? Have you tried cream bronzer? 



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

EMPTIES #4

*WARNING* - There's a lot. I'll try and be brief with evaluations.

I'm being uprooted from my current apartment to live somewhere new. Moving means... clearing out and I'd been stashing my junk in a little bag in the corner of my room. I tried hard to finish products till the very last drop and also throw out ones that were expired.

It's been 4 months and in total, I finished and tossing out 53 different products. Here they are:


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 2013 Wantable Co Makeup Box

Back in May, I reviewed the first month of Wantable in Canada... it was pricey... but total box value was high. I didn't find the box particularly stellar, but the products fit me well (as per the quiz) and I still use them either weekly or daily. Wantable PR invited me to test out a box for August, so I could see how far the box has come in terms of brand variety and product selection. 

This time around, I re-did the quiz and was more lenient with my preferences. 
LOVE: Nail Polish, Tools
LIKE: Eyeliner, Blush, Lip Colour, Eye Shadow
DISLIKE: Brows, Highlighter, Bronzer, Lash Product

This time, the box came with one simple sheet of paper with the list of products, retail values, and product descriptions and tips instead of two pieces of paper. 

Left to Right/Top to Bottom: Lise Watier Ombre Souffle Supreme Sample, Cailyn Eye Primer, Rainbow Honey Polish in Mint Flavour, Michael Marcus Polish in Geisha Girl, Three Custom Colour Simply Beautiful Cheek Tint, Susan Posnick Color Eye Define in Bronze/Copper, Japonesque Flat Eyeliner Brush

Sunday, August 25, 2013

CoverGirl Stay Brilliant Glosstini in Orange Oasis via BlushPretty.com

Is it just me or does the rainy weather suck? What happened to sunny days and clear skies? (It's still sunny but lately it's been a little dark) That being said... what better way to brighten your day with a pop of colour on the nails? 


The CoverGirl Stay Brilliant Glosstini in Orange Oasis is a creamy bright orange nail polish, but not so bright to the point where it hurts your eyes. Orange Oasis is one of 9 shades in the CoverGirl Glosstinis collection.  It comes in a mini "fun size" bottle that I'm quite fond of. The large lid can be snapped off to reveal a more workable, rounded cap. 



I found the formula a little hard to work with as it is slightly thick. It provides good opacity in 3 coats and lasts 3-4 days without chipping. Regardless of the formula my slight dislike for the formula, what pushes me to use this colour is the colour. It's like a ray of sunshine on a dull day. 


This post was originally written for BlushPretty.com :)



Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara

Yup, I'm still very much on the hunt for a mascara that works well with my stubborn lashes. How bout the Revlon Lash Potion Volume + Length by Grow Luscious* in Blackest Black ($7.99)I have tried the original "Grow Luscious" formula which claimed to lengthen. I liked that one and I was curious to see how this one faired against the next generation in the Grow Luscious line. 


Just wanted to take a moment too "ohhhh" and "ahhhh" over the prettiness of the green-ish, blue-ish, purple-ish, pink-ish rainbow packaging. Best mascara packaging ever. Not that it makes a difference in my evaluation of the product.


The Revlon Lash Potion Mascara claims... 

Magically transform lashes to lush, long and lustrous. A potion with strengthening proteins drenches lashes for volume. Triple-groove wand combs through for clump-free length

I did a little side-by-side comparison of my measly lashes with and without mascara. Hopefully you can tell that the right side has mascara and the left has nil. 



As ridiculous as I look with half done mascara, there is a clear difference between my left and right eyes. It just goes to show how much of a difference mascara makes in eye makeup. My right eye actually appears larger. The mascara wand is HUGE. I've got a little mess on my right eyelid. 


Does it lengthen? Definitely
Does it volumize? Yep
Does it clump? A bit, unfortunately
Does it smudge? Yes... after about 5-6 hours
 Does it droop? A bit

Overall, this mascara does exactly what it claims. It volumizes and it lengthens, it's very black and it has pretty packaging. However, it does smudge (I'll have to try the waterproof formula) and does make my lashes droop. Have I met my "mascara match"? No, but it makes my lashes look as long and volumized as I wish they were naturally, so it's perfect for everyday use as long as I watch out for smudges.

Have you tried the Revlon Lash Potion? 


Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

COPYCAT: Pixiwoo Blue


Talented, beautiful, and creative, the Pixiwoo sisters have to be one of my all time youtube and makeup artist loves. Today, I drew inspiration from Sam's Kristen Stewart Navy Eye Makeup. I'm not a makeup artist nor am I a fan of Kristen Stewart, but I'm quite fond of this Pixiwoo look. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel in Natural Pink

I could have sworn I already posted about this polish. I guess not...so...a quick rave... 



The Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Natural Pink* was a part of their Spring collection which I received through the Revlon Selects program. It's a great white based pink. It could be compared to the Nailtini polish in Frappe, however Natural Pink is about 10000x less thick. It needs 3 coats for full opacity and on me, it lasts 3 days without chipping. Not to mention, the brush is HUGE so it easily covers the nails without having to use a thousand brush strokes for the perfect finish. I find the shade to be very flattering and since it's so pale. It pops with a summer tan/glow.



The colour is most certainly an office appropriate polish with a great no-maintenance formula and if you're not in the office this summer, it makes an awesome base for glitter polishes and nail art! 

What's your go-to natural nail polish? 

**Products received for consideration are denoted with a (*)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lip Gloss in Polka

Australis Cosmetics is an Australian drugstore brand. I got the Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lip Gloss in Polka from an international giveaway! Polka is super bright... so I've been playing around with it quite a bit for the past couple months. 



The packaging is pretty standard of any lip gloss. It's not particularly fancy. The doe foot applicator is very thin, allowing for precise application. 


Polka is a very very very very very very bright blue toned pink. Unfortunately, this colour makes my teeth look a little yellow and I fear that as I get paler through the fall months, it won't be very flattering. The gloss is very creamy with zero shimmer. It tastes like... strawberry candies! 


The pigmentation is crazy... it eliminates the need for a lipstick underneath. The formula is very moisturizing, however it sinks into the fine lines on my lips. Another issue I have with this lip gloss, it gets on my teeth easily and if my hair even comes close to my lips I get a big streak of pink on my chin or cheek. 



The Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lip Gloss in Polka certainly has its downsides, but despite all of that I'm willing to wear it because of the colour. On the Australis website the Colour Inject Mineral Lip Glosses retail for $11.95 AUD. If I lived in Australia, I'd definitely pick up a few more natural/neutral colours in a sale. :)

Have you tried any Australis products? 


NOTD - Magnetic Maniac



2012 has past, but I'm a little behind with nail trends. Magnetic nail polishes were all the rage then, but I'm just getting into it now.... 2013... I like to think that this "teal" colour is somewhat similar to Emerald the Pantone Colour of the Year. But not really.. It's in the same family I guess. I'm trying hopelessly to be trendy, even though magnetic polishes are soooo 2012. Although... Essie just released it's Repstyle collection [reptile patterned magnet polish]. So I'm on point. 


Babbling and trends aside, I've tested out Whitehall Teal by Nails Inc.  I got this in-store at Sephora for only $7. I thought it was a pretty good deal, as at the beginning of the year Nails Inc. Magnetic Polishes were around $18. Plus, I'm situated in Canada and drugstore brand polishes often cost more than $7 [sorry for complaining], and it was definitely well worth it. 



Packaging. It like how the magnet is detachable from the polish itself. The brush is wide, rounded, and flat, which is a preference of mine for all polishes. 

Ease of use. My left hand was ok, but my right hand is so shaky. Plus, I'm really fidgety and I can't sit still. It's even worse with magnetic polishes. First you put on one coat and let it dry. Then, you apply a second coat and while it's still wet you hold the magnet over it for 10-20 seconds. That's the hard part. Holding the magnet with my left hand and attempting to hold the magnet over instead of on/touching my nail is a huge hassle. It's easy to mess up and I'd suggest getting someone else to help you hold the magnet over your dominant hand. 


Formula. The polish is not too thin and not, by any means, thick. It's a good consistency and allows for a thin first layer. Since it's on the darker side of the colour spectrum, the polish is easily opaque after following all the steps for use.




Colour and Appearance. The colour is stand-alone beautiful, even without the effect. If I wanted to, I could just wear the teal colour by itself. However, the magnetic effect is super cool! I don't know what the science is behind making all the nail polish particles move in this funky pattern, but it seems like larger surface areas and holding the magnet over the polish for as long as possible makes the pattern very prominent. In particular on my thumb has a wavy effect. [ see below ] . Failure to hold the magnet over your nail for sufficient time  will result in a less prominent effect.


To add to that, I love the way it looks from far away AND close up. I feel like some polishes don't always look good from certain angles or distances. This one looks amazing from all angles and distances.


Longevity. Without a topcoat, it started chipping on the second day.

Ease of Removal. Since it's a pretty thin formula, this polish is really easy to take off compared to the likes of China Glaze polishes.


THE VERDICT? No matter how "last year" magnetic polishes are, for $7, it looks amazingly interesting and is worth a try. It's actually pretty fun. I'd like to try using a regular old magnet over my nail just to see what happens :). 

What's your favourite "special effect" nail? Have you tried magnetic polish before? 


NOTD - You make me feel polka-dotty inside!



This is my first ever super simple attempt at nail art. It must be look alright because my Grandma told me it was cute! ... and subsequently my Grandpa asked me if I could do his nails too... can you imagine? :P 

They're Valentine's Day inspired... I'm sure you can tell by my colour palette :) 



It was all quite simple, and I'm sure you could figure it out by yourself but here's how I did it...
I used two coats of Essie Plumberry [wrong polish in picture, sorry!], then used my makeshift "dotting tool" (the head of a sewing pin) to create little polka dots ovals with Nicole by OPI Up and Kim-ing from the Kardashian's collection. I placed them randomly all over my nails, no particular number of dots or pattern or space in between.To smooth it all out, I used Revlon Extra Life No Chip Top Coat... and Voila! 


How do you think I did on my first time nail art attempt? What are you wearing on your nails for V-day (or anti-v-day)? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

NAILS: How to Use Striping Tape ft. Born Pretty Store



Dabbling in the art of nail art lately, I've been fooling around with one particular red striping tape* from BornPrettyStore.com. Previously, I'd only ever used scotch tape for nail art designs... and kind of failed. So what's the lowdown on this special tape? It's pretty much 0.5mm tape that comes in 30 different colours. It sells for $1.90 a piece. I'm not sure how much tape is on the roll, but from the one roll, I'll probably never be in a shortage of striping tape.  

In terms of performance, the tape is not overly adhesive or sticky, so it doesn't peel off polish when you try to remove it. It is, however, very tiny. You'll likely need a pair of tweezers to catch the pieces that you want to take off. Once sealed with a top coat, the striping tape doesn't budge. Overall, I love how easy it is to use... and there's so many ways I can think of using it. Would I purchase this product? Definitely...if (1) I run out or (2) I feel like I'm in need of a colour other than red. 


Striping Tape Manicure #1: The Basket Weave Nails 
I painted my nails with a gold base colour - China Glaze Midnight Kiss. Then, I laid a 2 to 3 pieces of the Born Pretty Store striping tape diagonally across my fingers and then did the same with some more pieces of striping tape. After, I clipped the excess with a pair of scissors. Finally, I sealed everything with a top coat - Revlon No Chip Topcoat. Voila! 




Striping Tape Manicure #2: 
**Excuse my lack of clean-up.** I painted my nails with a gold base colour - China Glaze Midnight Kiss and patiently waited for it to dry. LET IT DRY! I laid the striping tape horizontally and vertically and painted over top with the dark purple side of Revlon Orbit. LET IT DRY! After letting the purple colour dry completely, I pulled off the red striping tape with a pair of tweezers first the vertical pieces and then the horizontal, opposite to the order I had placed them.  Finally, I sealed everything with a top coat - Revlon No Chip Topcoat

I cannot stress how important it is to wait for the polish to completely dry before removing or placing the striping tape on your nails. (EDIT: According to Jayne of Cosmetic Proof - a mani pro - it's best to take of the tape sooner than later - see comments) As you can see from the photo above, some fingers are much better than others because of the drying time. 




If you're interested in purchasing from BornPrettyStore.com feel free to use the code FSBW10 for 10% off (not an affiliate link!)

 Striping tape is lots of fun! What sorts of designs would you make? 

Products received for consideration are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stunner of the Month - July 2013 - A Sunglasses Subscription Box

"Stunner of the Month isn’t just a club, it’s a lifestyle. Wear January’s Stunners in September. Share a pair with a friend. Give a pair to get laid. Wear two at the same time. It doesn’t matter."


Stunner of the Month is a monthly sunglasses subscription for $9 USD (+ $5 USD shipping if you're in Canada) per month. I got mine for $5.90 CAD (shipping only) with the code TRYSTUNNER. Furthermore, you have the option to skip out of months or fully suspend your account. 

I think their take on brand image encompasses a customer who has a fun, adventurous, daring, live-life-to-its-fullest, youthful kind of vibe ( they've even got a nice little playlist on the sidebar of their website). I don't consider myself to be the adventurous type but for $6, why not? To minimize my risk, I read reviews before ordering my "free" pair, and the styles of glasses seem to be all over the place. There was Snookie, and some huge bug eyed things, to normal "ray ban" style sunglasses. 

There are three options that you can choose from: female, male, or unisex. I opted for the female one. Subscribers beware... the style of glasses that you get is totally random!


Stunner of the Month charges you upon the shipment of your box and then sends you a notification email letting you know to expect it within the next three weeks (for international subscribers). Mine came within 10 days all the way from sunny San Francisco, California. On your website profile, you can also check what style you'll be getting. 

The box was nice and compact. Inside, I found my "stunners", a little tool to fix loose screws, a bag/case for the stunners, and a couple little info and product cards. 


I got the Cruella DeVille. The product card had a little saying from Cruella: "Everyone thinks I'm evil, but I'm really just enhancing my look. Nobody understands that a dalmatian is the perfect accessory to my fabulous stunners" plus a notice of the collection (villain) and it's level (of awesomeness I'm guessing) of fly. It was a little unsettling to notice that these glasses had an average rating of 2.41 out of 5 ... before even getting them but I'd rate these a little higher than that. 


Cruella DeVille has black square shaped  plastic frames with extended top edges. The tips are studded with triangular metal and the lenses are a dark, almost black purple. There are no nose pads. There was also a 100% UV protection sticker that I removed before trying them on. The plastic felt a little cheap, but I didn't really expect much for $6. The sizing is weird. I tried them on and they fit me on the smaller size. My head is kind of tiny compared to the average human being so these would be too tight on almost anyone else. 


101 Dalmatians is an adorable Disney film, while Cruella deVille is an iconic villain. I can totally imagine Cruella deVille wearing these! For me...I feel really cool wearing these. They're very daring and not something that I would pick out for myself. These look like the sort of sunglasses you wear at night. 

Stunner of the Month's Mission: "To change the way people see you -- and the way you see people"

In regards to their mission statement, I think they've really got it right. They don't promise outstanding quality but they've really delivered on providing a unique product. At first, I was hesitant to wear these bad boys in public, but my boyfriend reminded me that I wear a pair of nerdy looking old-man tortoise shell glasses every day and I really don't care too much for what other people think. So wearing a pair of villainous stunners wouldn't really be an oddity for me. 

All in all, a very cool subscription service and very different from the regular beauty thing. For the time being I will not be subscribing for future months, as I don't have a need for more than a couple pairs of sunglasses. That being said, I may do a few months on and off way into the future if I feel like I need an interesting statement piece. 

Again, you can use the code TRYSTUNNER for a free first month of Stunner of the Month. 

Would you subscribe to Stunner of the Month? 

**I purchased this with my own money!**

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Halfway to the Runway: BOLD GLAM - Allure Russia - Eniko Mihalik x Walter Chin


With hair by Italo Gregorio, makeup by Makky, and photography by Walter Chin , the cover of the August 2013 edition of Allure Russia is screams BOLD GLAM.

My face isn't quite as photogenic as Eniko Mihalik's but I thought I'd give her makeup a shot. :)


I was going to photoshop my face into the magazine cover, but it looked ridiculous so I decided against it... 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mary Kay Cosmetics - Beauty That Counts via BlushPretty.com

The Mary Kay Beauty that Counts Creme Lipstick in One Woman Can* and the Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Celebrate* are special edition products in that for each product sold, $1 will be donated to the Mary Kay Ash Foundation to help prevent and bring an end to domestic violence. Mary Kay products can be purchase from an independent beauty consultant found here. 


Both products were my first ever encounter with Mary Kay, so I didn't know what to expect. First off, I love the gold packaging, which is both classy and simple as well as the the playful swirls of colour in both products. 



The One Woman Can creme lipstick is a swirl of purple and pink that equates to a lovely berry concoction with a satin finish. When applied, the lipstick does not look stripey (as the look of the bullet might suggest). Furthermore, I'd say that not one ...but any woman can pull off this lipstick because it is quite sheer yet buildable, very moisturising, and fairly long lasting (3-4 hours). 

The Celebrate lip gloss is a mixture of a light pink and golden shade to create a sheer and shimmery peachy pink colour that smells like something along the lines of a vanilla cupcakes (yum!). It's not at all sticky and the shimmer is not particularly prominent. This shade would add the perfect amount of gloss over a lipstick and works nicely for a subtle lip on its own. 



In a heartbeat, I'd pair the Celebrate lip gloss with a dark smoky eye, and the One Woman Can lipstick or the combination of both with an everyday neutral eye. After learning about the Mary Kay Beauty That Counts campaign, I really wish that every cosmetics company had a great cause with quality products to match!

Have you tried Mary Kay? 

This post was originally written for BlushPretty.com :) 

Products received for review are denoted with an asterisk (*).