Sunday, April 29, 2012

Clarins Joli Rouge in Poppy Red Review + a trinket

This is totally random but looks what I picked up the other day!

Billie clearly got in the way of my photoshoot.
It's a tiny little bath for jewelry!
It's totally not like me to buy something like this but I thought it was so cute.
I know, totally random, but I thought I'd include the pictures in this post, just for fun. The miniature bath/jewelry holder is by a brand called Umbra and I got it at a local store. They also had mini rabbits, giraffes and umbrellas! They are available on their website.

So what's this in the bath you ask? It's Clarins Joli Rouge in Poppy Red, which is technically what this post is about.

First off, Clarins’ lip products smell of heaven. I’m not sure I can describe what it smells like - it’s a fruity smell but it’s not strong. In my opinion, it just smell clean. I’ve always liked their lipsticks just because of the smell - that’s saying something because I usually like my lip products (other than balms) to smell of nothing.

This lipstick is no exception. It smells amazing. Seriously, go to your nearest Clarins counter and take a sniff at their lipsticks - you'll know what I mean!
I first saw this lipstick at theNotice and knew I needed to have it in my life. I patiently waited for a Shoppers bonus point event and purchased it a couple of weeks ago.

The packaging of this lipstick is beautiful. It’s quite weighty so it doesn’t feel cheap at all, and it opens and closes properly with a satisfying click.

The formula of the lipstick itself is a bit questionable. The lipstick is almost a like gloss and the pigmentation makes it a bit difficult to apply. I found myself going over patchy spots on my lips only to find myself with other patchy spots. Basically, application sucked. I didn't expect it to be quite as glossy as it was, and over application just made it worst. I'd recommend a light hand with this lipstick and for it to be blended into the lips with fingers.

The color is a pure cherry red - it's juicy and fresh. I like the color a lot and can definitely see myself wearing this in the summer with some waterproof mascara. However, if you're not one to fuss with your lippies, I'd suggest a pass on this. Considering this lipstick is $27 in Canada, I'd aim for a Revlon Lip Butter in a similar color instead.

Hope you all had a great weekend! If you're new, don't forget to enter my giveaway for chance to win a Rouge in Love lipstick of your choice and other cool prizes!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

MAC Haul and the Dangerous Brush Zone

I've hauled. And I've hauled a MAC brush. I feel like my MAC world has been blown wide open.

Vanity pictures galore!

I'm very happy with the MAC 129. So far so good - and only a tiny bit of shedding. I love that it has a very long handle - I feel like I have more control over the brush.

I also hauled MAC's Lightscapade and Harmony blush! Both are great although I expected Harmony to be a bit more neutral - it pulls orange a bit. I do like that it's matte though, as opposed to my NARS Laguna.

Quick swatches:

My new MAC brush has thrown me into a brush frenzy! I already have two Real Techniques brushes coming my way! I'm REALLY tempted to get the MAC 138. I've had such a crap day, I'm thisclose to pulling the trigger. But uuugh, so expensive. Oh and I want the 168 too! Damn this MAC frenzy is going to make me broke as a joke!

Hope you all had a great day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Battle of the Brown Liners

Since I had so much fun writing my “Battle of the Black Liners” post, I thought I’d go ahead and write one about my other most used category: brown liners!

I love me a good brown liner. With a brown smokey eye, it’s the perfect addition to a look to make my blue eyes pop. Brown liner is much more conservative than black in my opinion, especially when it comes to applying it in the waterline. For this reason, I find myself wearing a lot of brown eye makeup to work. It usually consists of a light MAC shade like Patina, with Handwritten in the corner/crease, and a heavy brown liner, sometimes smoked out with a pencil brush. When I’m not sure what to do with my eye makeup, brown is always my eye makeup go to “safe” zone because I always feel confident wearing those colors.

Here is what I currently house in my collection.

Left to right: MAC's Coffee Eye Pencil, MAC Teddy Eye Kohl, MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Lucky.

Swatches, left to right: MAC's Coffee Eye Pencil, MAC Teddy Eye Kohl, MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Lucky

The fact that I only own 4 brown liners kind of amazes me. But at the same time, I think these 4 are all the shades I could ever need. As you can see from the swatches, these are all VERY different from one another.

I’ve had MAC’s Coffee Eye Pencil for years with no complaints. As you can see, it’s quite dark, almost to the point of being black. It wears quite well in the waterline and is surprisingly long wearing. What I like most about it is that when it does fade out, it doesn’t look grey or like my mascara smudged under my eyes - it looks worn in a sexy way, not in a "I didn't have time to look in the mirror" way. It's great for those long work days where's you feel like you're running like a headless chicken, hypothetically speaking, not that that ever happens to me ever. 

MAC’s Teddy Eye Kohl is quite new for me. I’ve only owned it for a couple months but I’m finding a lot of uses for it. The way I like to wear it is to smudge it along my upper lash line. The first time I wore it I was surprised at the red tones in the liner - it looks very bronzy in the swatch but it pulls towards red on me. If I wear it with warmer eyeshadow colors though, it doesn’t pull towards red so much. The only downfall to this liner is that it’s not very long-wearing. It doesn’t stay put on the waterline for more than an hour and sometimes smudges on my lids by the end of the day. If you don’t have oily eyelids you shouldn’t have this problem though.

I don’t often get to use my MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl or my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Liner in Lucky too often because of this simple reason: I don’t know how to use them! I have a thing where I don’t like to use eyeliner that is lighter than my eye makeup! Is that weird? I just don’t think it makes sense if you’re trying to accentuate your eyes. And I almost never wear really light eye makeup - I find it looks odd on me! If I do wear them, I’ll usually smudge them on my lower lash line, or on my inner corner. They both have great color payoff and Lucky is ridiculously long wearing.

I’m quite content with my brown eyeliners. I might pick up a medium-brown non-shimmery eyeliner at some point in my future though now that I think of it. There are all products I can definitely back up as being excellent products - I’ve had zero issues with them.

Sadly, unless I do a "these are the rest of my liners" post, there will no longer be any Liners Ready For Battle posts as I don't actually own many other colors! I think I have a purple in there and an emerald color and that's it! I am on the hunt for a nude eyeliner so there may be an update on that though!

How do you use lighter colored eye pencils? Are there any awesome brown liners I’m missing in my collection? Do you have a day to day brown liner you love?

Hope you're having a wonderful day! Today is my boy's best friend's birthday (well, for another 30 seconds). Happy Birthday Clayton!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Z Palette Review

Because of a recent massive makeup clean out, which included extensive depotting, I decided to purchase the famous Z Palette to house some leftovers from my existing 15 MAC pan palettes. I also was in need of a smaller palette for traveling. Both were perfect excuses for the purchase.

After doing a bit of internet research on if there is a Canadian retailer who would be able to ship the Z Palette to me, and old SparkledBeauty post lead me to, a production supplies retailer. In retrospect, their shipping charges were the same as the Z Palette website, I just saved myself the cross-border duty. Damn overpriced Canadian shipping charges! Shipping was very prompt and customer service was excellent. They have a great selection of theatre makeup in case anyone is interested.

Smut and Haux, hanging in a Z Palette.

Overall, I am very happy with this palette. I got the small palette but there is a larger version (about the same size as a MAC pro 15 pan). It is made of sturdy cardboard and the magnet, which is safely sandwiched between pieces of cardboard, is very strong and had no problem holding my MAC shadows and blushes. It can house 2 MAC blushes and 2 MAC shadows or 9 MAC shadows. It can't hold more than 2 MAC blushes at a time. The palette also comes with magnet stickers to stick to your depotted shadows/blushes. Stupidly, I forgot about those until now and used my own stickers I cut up from a magnet sheet. My work with scissors is a lot less neat. The palette is also strongly magnetized at the seam so there is no problem with the palette opening in your makeup bag.

I kind of wish the palette wasn't so "shiny". I know, minor complaint, but it sticks out like a sore thumb compared to my matte and sleek black 15 pans. I suppose the finish is to protect the cardboard - that's a good reason for it really, so my minor complaint is moot. The Z Palette also comes in a few other colors, including zebra print, leopard print and pink.

If you have shadows lying around you don't quite know what to do with or where to put, I highly suggest this palette. I can already see a lot of use for it in my traveling for the next month. Plus, it's always fun packing up a small palette with blushes and eyeshadows and trying out the combo for the week. I find it fun anyway! The palette retails at $14 USD on the website.

If you haven't done so already, please enter my 50 follower giveaway here! There is some good prizes to be won, including your shade of choice of a Rouge in Love lipstick by Lancome!

Monday, April 23, 2012

50 Follower Giveaway!

You guys, I am so excited.

I have reached 50 followers! And while that might not be exciting for some, I am beyond the moon that I have 50 people reading my blog regularly. That means the world to me.

I started this blog as a way to focus on good things in a difficult time. I found it fun and rewarding to be able to put my thoughts out there, on the nets. And there you go, a year and a bit later, here I am, still at it!

In order to share my excitement, I want to do a giveaway! Here is what I have picked out for you guys!

-  a Rouge in Love lipstick by Lancome of your choice! (To facilitate your choice, there are excellent swatches here at!)
-  a Color Club nail polish duo
- 3 Essence nail polishes

Please fill out the Rafflecopter in order to be entered in the giveaway! You have to be a follower of my blog through Google Friends Connect (GFC) or Bloglovin' in order to be considered and you need to leave a comment in this post letting me know what your preferred Rouge in Love by Lancome lipstick shade would be if you won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends on May 4th and the contest is open internationally! 

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts/reviews/musings with you! Good luck!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

QUO by Orly Gels: Take 3 with By Candlelight

It is Sunday night, and I am wiped. I miss the weekends where I felt refreshed! Hopefully next weekend will be more low key. I need me a LUSH bath soon! 

This week, I have sported an QUO by Orly Gels manicure in By Candlelight. What I thought was going to be a true red turned out to be more of a berry color. You can't tell very well from the pictures, but By Candlelight has a clear purple tone in it.

As per usual with the QUO by Orly Gels I have used, I use a Gelish base and top coat. On my ring finger, I used Close Your Fingers and Cross Your Eyes by Gelish. I kid you not, that is the name of the polish. Who has time to write the whole name!

Honestly, this color disappointed me. The label on the bottle made me think it would be a dark, true red. It's definitely not a bad color - just not the kind I feel confident with. The formula was excellent and required two coats but I might have been able to pull off one coat.

If berry toned reds are your thing, then you will not be disappointed with this - there is no problems with pigmentation or formula and the color is very pretty. However, if like me you're looking for a true red, I suggest perhaps getting the other red in the QUO by Orly Gels collection (I can't recall the name but it's the only other red and seemed very similar to Hot Rod Red by Gelish). Gelish also does a great selection of red polishes and swatches are easily found online.

Billie is running wild in the apartment! I hope she settles down because Annick needs some rest! She usually finds stuff to make noise with as soon as I turn off the lights. Oh Billie, what a cat!

I hope you have a wonderful week! I'll be checking in soon with a surprise! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

MAC's Extra Dimension shadow in Grand Galaxy - Worth it?

When I first heard about the new MAC Extra Dimension shadows, I rushed to look at the early swatches (thank you Danielle!) to try to figure out if I needed any of these. Most of the colors were similar to shades I already owned except for Grand Galaxy. I had no dupe, or even similar eyeshadows in my collection that remotely resembled Grand Galaxy. I thought Satin Taupe would be similar, but the swatches online proved otherwise. So, I trolled the MAC website, and ordered it before the collection went up, noticing the Extra Dimension shadows in the "eyeshadow" drop down. WIN! I tend to do this when I know a collection is going to be decent.

I am definitely not disappointed in this shade. It's a beautiful shimmery purple with taupe-ish tones. It's very hard to describe this color but honestly, it reminds me of a more purple Satin Taupe. I find Grand Galaxy acts in the same way as Satin Taupe - a color shifter. In some lights, it is very purple, in others, it's a bit more neutral. Plus, it has a bit of a blue sheen in some lights. Either way, as a person that doesn't usually wear purple, clothing or makeup, I love this shadow.

Sorry, I had already used it in these pictures. But you can still see the pretty design!

I've taken a few pictures of the swatch on my hand simply because it takes on different colors.

The pigmentation in this shadow is quite good. I have found that there can be some fall down when applying this shadow - just make sure you build up the color and don't load your brush and sweep haphazardly on your lid like I always do (I'm always in a rush!).  The wear time is excellent. As I have mentioned before, I have oily eyelids and this shadow stayed on all day with my trusty Two Faced Shadow Insurance. However, I can't say that this shadow has BETTER staying powder than any other MAC shadows I own. It's standard. Also, they do not feel "special" in terms of texture like they claim to be - they feel like regular eyeshadow to me.

If you don't already own anything like it, I think this could be a great buy. They are more expensive than regular MAC shadows ($24 as opposed to $18 CND) but I do think this shade is quite unique, and probably worth the price.

Hope this was somewhat helpful! What do you have planned for the weekend? I'm going to a pig roast (GASP!) and I'm a bit worried. Should be... interesting. In other news, my closet awaits me for a much needed purge! Cheers!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Revlon Lip Butters - "I'm late to the party" review

Yes, I am the LAST to blog about these. But I never seemed to think the price of these was justifiable when they came out. However, at  $3.99 at Shoppers a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to try a few.

I think I must be the only one who isn't completely blown away by these. The texture these is fine - they are in fact, "buttery" smooth. However, the glitter bits can be a bit gritty in some of these lipsticks. I found that after the lipsticks had worn off, I still had these grimy particles left on my lips. Also, while they do glide on and give your lips a glossy finish, I didn't find they were moisturizing. I think the Maybelline advertisement said something like 94% of women thought these were moisturizing - I guess I must be the 6% because I truly did not. But my lips are also pretty finicky and pretty dry, so take that with a grain of salt. Plenty of reviewers have said that these are moisturizing to them, so I think it's a more individualistic thing. 

I do think however, that the color of these is quite nice. I don't find they apply patchy (not the colors I picked anyway) and they do not smell of anything (that I can detect). They do not wear for more than 2 hours, but given the type of product it is, I'm not bothered by this. I don't find they leave behind a stain on the lips, but that might just be because I chose lighter colors - I can't comment on the darker shades. They are not very pigmented but this didn't bother me either - I expected them to be a cross between a gloss and lipstick and the level of pigmentation was appropriate for the formula in my opinion.

Left to right: Strawberry Shortcake, Berry Smoothie, Pink Truffle
Strawberry Shortcake

Berry Smoothie

Pink Truffle

Left to right: Strawberry Shortcake, Berry Smoothie, Pink Truffle 

While the packaging is plastic and light, I quite like it anyway. I like that the outside of the packaging is supposed to represents the lip color inside. Whether it represents the color accurately is debatable, but I like it nonetheless. And I really like the pattern on the cover - it's cute without being gimmicky or too girly. Points for that.

Of my three choices, I've particularly been taken by Pink Truffle. It's a neutral brown/pink color that would suit pretty much anyone. It's the kind of lipstick I can put on without worrying about matching my eye makeup - I like that lot!

Botttom line is that I'm neutral about them. I like them but I could have lived without them. I have lip products at the moment I prefer which offer better pigmentation and  longer wear time. But that's not to say that these aren't good. They are! If you don't have anything similar, I highly suggest you pick up a tube, try it out for a bit, then if you love it, pick up more! Again, I went safe with lighter colors, so I can't comment on the darker shades, but take a peek around the internet for more reviews - there's a slew of them out there!

I hope this was relatively helpful. I know there's a lot of reviews of these on the Blogosphere but I thought I'd put my thoughts on these out there as well, just in case ;) 

Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Battle of the Black Liners

As a makeup fanatic, I find it quite normal that I own 6 black liners. In fact, I'm surprised I don't own more. As any makeup fan knows, finding the perfect black liner can be quite a challenge. It's not easy to find one that is black enough, doesn't smudge or transfer and doesn't migrate to the inner corner of your eye.

Here are my black liners. I'll take you through the pros and cons of them and let you know which ones work best for me. 

From left to right: MAC Kohl Power pencil in Feline, Lise Watier Waterproof eyeliner in Noir Intense, Estee Lauder Artist's Eye Pencil in 01 Softsmudge Black, MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved, MAC's Penultimate Eye Liner in Rapidblack and lastly, L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense.

Same lineup, a little more disorganized.
Same order, swatched: MAC Kohl Power pencil in Feline, Lise Watier Waterproof eyeliner in Noir Intense, Estee Lauder Artist's Eye Pencil in 01 Softsmudge Black, MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved, MAC's Penultimate Eye Liner in Rapidblack and lastly, L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense.

As you can tell for the picture, the blackest of the liners seems L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense. However, and this is a bummer for me, it's also the glossiest. While some people like glossier liners, it just doesn't float my boat. I also do not like the liquidy formula of this liner. Perhaps it's because I'm clumsy when it comes to pen liners, but I can't seem to make it work for me. The second darkest is probably MAC's Feline, which has a reputation of being very black. I agree with this - of all my black liners, of the non-liquid variety, this is definitely the darkest. This liner, however dark and sultry it looks on, migrates to my inner tear ducts throughout the day, and transfers on my lids, especially if it is heavily applied. The least black of all of them is my Estee Lauder pencil. I quite like it though because it has a smudge end. This makes it great for traveling.

Of all my liners, the one that stays on the longest and does not transfer is, hands down, my Lise Watier. I don't know what kind of science went into this liner's formula, but it does not budge. Proof below.
 These are my swatches after a couple rubs of a cotton pad loaded with Nuxe cleansing milk. Crazy eh? I really had to scrub the Lise Watier pencil off while all my other swatches came off easily. I must say though, MAC's Penultimate in Rapidblack and Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved both stay put during the day, without liner transfer. I quite like both of these as well, especially the Penultimate, since it is so easy to use for a liquid liner.

All and all, if I could only pick ONE black liner to go on a week long trip, I'd probably go with either the MAC Penultimate, or Lise Watier's Waterproof eyeliner in Noir Intense. And between the two, for life in general, I'd go with the Lise Watier, as unfortunately, Mr. Penultimate does dry out fast. I've rediscovered my love for Lise Watier's eyeliner formula lately and have been wearing Noir Intense almost every day. 

I guess Noir Intense has won the Battle of the Black Liners this time! Until next round (because we all know, there will be more black liners to come and go)!

What are you favorite black liners? Is long-wearing liner a must for you?

Monday, April 16, 2012

An Essence discovery and a thank you!

Now that Essence has made its way in Canada, via Shoppers Drug Mart, I have been a bit obsessed. It's been the perfect excuse to get nail colors I wouldn't normally go for. At $1.49, the price is comparable to something you would find at the Dollar Store, but the quality isn't.

Essence's You Belong To Me reminds me of the beach - it's turquoise but softly so. The formula was good but dried quickly so application had to be done smoothly and fast. The wear time of this polish was excellent. Just as good as an Essie or OPI polish in my opinion. The swatches are two coats of You Belong To Me with one coat of Seche Vite. This polish is NOT sheer and doesn't work for layering/sandwiching glitters (by failed experience).

My apologies for the black flecks on my ring finger c/o my new bottle of Seche Vite. This picture is most true to color.

You can see a bit of the shimmer running through the polish in the bottle above. Sadly, this did not translate to the nail. You can see it if you look VERY closely but that's about it.

I really liked wearing this polish. It was cute and summery. And the best part of this? I got my money's worth with paying $1.49, regular price. If you're not a bright color wearer and you feel like trying something new, this would definitely a great way to dabble into bright colors. Plus, it would look really great with a coat of glitter! 

I want to take the time and thank Dovey at Cute and Mudane for including me in her Friday Five. Thank you so much! And thank Mr. Lovey for me, since it was his idea! ;) 

That said, welcome to any new subscribers! I'm very happy to have you! 

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty uneventful, just how I like them. I did go see Cabin in the Woods which was... definitely interesting. I think I liked it... it's such a strange film, I'm not sure what to think of it yet! My boy and his friend loved it though!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some days, I feel so lucky to be a part of this blogosphere...

Look what I got in the mail yesterday!

I recently won Getting Cheeky's Sleek Blush by 3 giveaway! 

Thank you so much Jessica! I'm so excited to start using this baby! Especially since it is RIDICULOUSLY pigmented. I tried to use the pink color (called Squash) this morning and was really worried about looking like a doll! But the color blended perfectly and was very flattering on me.

Finger swatch:

Crazy eh? And this is basically dabbing my fingers, lightly, in the pan.

This got me thinking, I think that when I hit 50 subscribers, I shall do a giveaway of my own. Nothing huge but I have an idea and I think it will be good. I want to celebrate with you guys when I've reached my goal!

Again, thank you so much Jessica for this amazing giveaway! There is nothing better than receiving mail, in my opinion, and it's even better when it's something you've won. :) Oh and you have amazing handwriting!