Sunday, July 29, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Pencil in 26E and 4E - Review, Swatches and In Action!

When I was offered to review Make Up For Ever's new Aqua Shadow Waterproof eye pencils, I was ecstatic. The Aqua Shadows are meant to be long wearing, waterproof shadows used for layering as a base, or on its own, and have received quite good reviews on the blogosphere at the moment. I received shades 26E and 4E and would like to share my experiences with them! 

The product comes out of a sturdy plastic encasing.
I like that the packaging corresponds with the color inside the tube! No more searching for small lettering on the tube!

26E on the left and 4E on the right.
26E is a peachy shimmery warm shade and 4E is a neutral ashy/grey dark brown.

I can absolutely attest to the fact that these are waterproof. The picture below was taken after swatching it on my hands and vigorously trying to rub them off with water. Nothing. It would not budge. However, it wiped off easily with my Nuxe makeup remover.

I also found them relatively easy to blend - the trick to blend them evenly is to layer the product and keep blending as you go. I tried out the look below with the 26E and 4E exclusively. And mascara of course!

The durability of these products is very good. As tested on my hand, they are indeed waterproof. However, the do wear off after about 7 hours on my very very oily lids. They last a few hours longer with a base. I also found 4E lasted longer on my lids than 26E, perhaps because of the glitter particles. These were also a pleasure to use under powder shadow and I found 4E was especially beautiful with a lighter champagne/brown shade like MAC's Patina or Woodwinked.

All and all, these are great. I highly suggest them for those of you who do not have very oily lids to use on their own, or over powder shadow. For those of you who have extremely oily lids like mine, it might be advisable to use a base. This isn't an issue for me because I use a base all the time anyway (specifically Two-Faced Shadow Insurance).

I hope to purchase more of these in the future - perhaps a navy (6E) and a silver (20E) color? I'm particularly happy with the 4E shade as I have found it quite hard in the past to find a non-shimmer dark cream base. I was dissatisfied with MAC's Blackground because the shimmer in it. And I see from Karla Sugar's swatches here that there are many options of darker non-shimmer shades to choose from. Exciting!

Do you like using cream products such as these? Do you find yourself using them alone or with powder shadows?

* I have received these products for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Face + outfit of the day - Wedding edition

I had it all planned. I was going to wear my Banana Republic strapless dress - I hadn't worn it in a while and it fit better than I remembered when I tried it on again after two years. I was all set for the wedding on Saturday afternoon but then I ran into the most beautiful dress at my local Winners. It fit like a glove. It was on clearance. I had to do it.

My boy taking pictures while I makeup my face. He's proud of this one because I'm in focus in the side mirror. Skilzz.

Outfit breakdown: Andrew Marc Dress, Rebecca Minkoff Bag, What on Earth Ring and a sterling silver bracelet I got at my local Winners. Also, silver leaf earrings I got at a local boutique. My shoes (below - someone doesn't understand the concept of full length picture...) are B. Makowsky and super comfy. And my toenails have China Glaze Pink Plumeria on them.

My face consists of: Estee Lauder BB Cream, MAC Moisturecover in NW20, Nars Laguna Bronzer, Tarte Amazonian Clay in Blissful, applied a bit patchy.
My eyes: Two Faced Shadow Insurance, MAC Shadows in All That Glitters, Shroom, Omega and Brun in the outer corner, Revlon Colorstay eyeliner in black, and a nude Pixi liner in the waterline. I have Annabelle Le Big Show mascara on my lashes, my fave.
Eyebrows are MAC's Brun eyeshadow and a Marcelle pencil mixture.
Lips are a mix of Dior Addict Extreme Plaza and a bit of Guerlain Bal de Mai. 

And that's it! I tried to go a bit more natural with this makeup since I was wearing such a fancy dress and the wedding was pretty low key. Do you tend to go natural for wedding makeup?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream - 02 Review + Swatches

Having read countless reviews raving on the amazingness of the Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams, it was a given that I would pick it up at my newly opened local Sephora. Of all the colors I had to pick from (and there is quite a varied range!) I settled on the shade 02, thinking it would be perfect as a smoky base, or on its own.

First off, the product is indeed waterproof. It was quite funny to be rubbing it actively in water without it budging. Secondly, the shade is gorgeous. The silvery shimmer isn't too sparse - it applies evenly and it easily blended with fingers or a brush. The shadow does set though, so I suggest working relatively quickly with the product. The fact that the Aqua Cream sets makes it easy to keep packing on layers for more intensity.

Heavy swatch on my hand.

Lighter swatch on my eyes. Yes, my brows are outta control! They are better now ;)

Since I have very oily eyelids, this didn't stay on perfectly all day. Again, I have weird lids that tend to crease anything I put on them. I wouldn't judge this product too harshly on this claim. Besides, it lasted most of the day and only had minor creasing, without base, which is quite an accomplishment for me. I find that powder shadows are easily combined and blended with the Aqua Cream. As a base, the 02 shade is perfect for a smokey eye.

Have you tried any of the Aqua Creams? Any suggestions as to which shades are most versatile?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Currently, in pictures...

Just thought I'd post pictures of the last couple weeks while I catch up on reviews.

 My new Joe Fresh sunnies, hanging next to NARS Laguna.

 Makeup station in disarray. Notice my favorite summer drink, Perrier and orange juice.

 My new favorite mug my friend has brought me back from Sweden! I love it so much!!

 My favorite candle ever. It smells so delicious and fresh.

 My current read.

 A Bare Escentuals palette for my mom. She loves it!

 My makeup stations, less in disarray.

Gettin' ready for a wedding.

Hope your week is off to a great start! I will post soon with more reviews!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Butter London Muggins is a must have

When I wore Butter London's Muggins a few weeks ago, I got so many compliments on my manicure. Perhaps it's the general softness of the color - not quite a typical pastel but not quite a pale lavender. I'm not sure what makes its so soft and flattering - maybe a smidgen of gray in the color? A tad of blue? Either way, it is now a staple in my collection.

How cute is this little bird on the cap?

Muggins had a great application. It took two coats for this picture, and I have a Seche Vite topcoat. I don't think I've ever been truly disappointed by Butter London yet. I have a pretty hefty list of my most wanted shades too, so hopefully, I won't. But I think I can almost say that Butter London is a brand I trust... almost.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start! I've got a wedding to attend today - I'll update with face and outfit of the day later this weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clarins Blush Prodige in 02 Soft Peach Review

I suppose June must be a month of buying my most wanted because I had been contemplating this blush for a while when I decided to purchase it a few weeks ago through Murale. The color name says it all - the fact that it was peachy and very soft in tone really appealed to me after the repetitiveness of the bright coral cheek colors for summer. I wanted something that didn't require a super light touch. I wanted something that wouldn't be too bright. And I wanted something that would go with everything. I think Clarins' Soft Peach fulfilled most of these and I'll tell you why!

The blush came in this gorgeous little pouch. I'm totally going to keep it. It's adorable.
The packaging is gold and has a massive mirror in it. It makes it great for traveling.

As you can tell from this picture, but not necessarily the swatches, is that there is a soft shimmer running through the blush. This barely shows up on my skin which makes me very happy. Since I have large pores and oily skin, I tend to stay away from shimmery blushes.

This is a heavy swatch of the product, and as you can tell, it has a peachy pink tone.

I've got Soft Peach on my cheeks here.

I mentioned that my swatch was heavy - that's because the product isn't uber pigmented à la Sleek or Nars. I personally find this refreshing in a swarm of super pigmented blushes - I name it my lazy day blush. When I don't feel like blending like a mad-person or being super careful and I'm in a rush, I use this. Even if I use a lot of the product on my face (3-4 dabs in the blush as oppose to a 1/2 dab in a pigmented blush) I don't find it looks cakey at all. I suppose it's true that less pigmentation means more product used, but I'm alright with this - I'm loving having a "lazy" blush. It has a great finish on the skin as well - almost like a soft focus. I find peachy blushes can look too orange on my skintone but this isn't the case with Soft Peach - it simply looks healthy. I love it.

If you want something easy to use, and neutral enough to go with any type of makeup, I'd say go for it. If you're used to your very pigmented blushes, I'd say skip it. Even better, swatch it before you buy so you get an idea of the product!

Do you have any "lazy" blushes that require absolutely no thinking? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's in and out for me right now?


- Joe Fresh. Damn I love Joe Fresh. Yes, sometimes the quality can be questionable, but I have never been disappointed by them so far. Their sunglasses are also an affordable option for the summer - I just bought a killer pair of Ray Ban-esque glasses for $9. Killah! I've also bought a pair of white boyfriend shorts and they have turned out to be my most worn pair this summer! At $19!

- J Crew. I so wish we had a J Crew around because I seriously think I've never hated a piece they've come out with. I love this Pom-pom shell so much. And I love their structured schoolboy blazers. I love it all! And there's a 40% off sales on the website as I write this! I purchased this guy in white and this tunic this morning!

- TORONTO! I've heading to the big city in two weeks! I cannot wait to visit the city with the boy! Anyone from there that has any tips for what's fun to do? We already had city-passes and are going to hit all the touristy stuff first. Then IKEA. Ha ha ha! And J Crew of course.

- Moonrise Kingdom. I was totally charmed by this Wes Anderson movie last week. I've always been a fan of his work (Rushmore! Life Aquatic! Fantastic Mr. Fox!) but this one especially struck a chord for me. It was beautiful and simple. And totally reminded me of what it was like to be a teenager. Oh those emotions!

- ASOS. I've been obsessed with it since my coworker told me they offer free shipping. Even to Canada. I may or may not have several packages coming in the mail.

- Shiseido. I'm smitten with their products. I can't wait to be able to swatch them in person!


- Online retailers that don't ship to Canada, namely Ann Taylor and BaubleBar. Like seriously? Why are you doing that to yourself as a business?

- Random pimples... currently battling a monster on my face. Not fun at all.

- Sunburns. Mine is so itchy! Also "out" is pasty sunscreen that claims to be waterproof but clearly is not. Thanks Aveeno.

- The humidity. Yes, I know, I'm in Canada, but it's pretty bad right now and it is making my hair frizzy.

- Old expired foundation. Doesn't take long for me to realize the product is bad because my face always breaks out right away. I'm going to rethink this whole expiry date thing à la Lips So Facto

I'm sure I can come up with more "outs" than "ins" as I am the queen of complaining (seriously, anyone who knows me will tell you the same), but I'll stop here and wish you all a great day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lancome Rouge in Love... one more time with Miss Coquelicot!

Holy moly you must be tired of hearing me talk about Lancome's Rouge in Love lipstick. The fact is, I love them so much, I keep purchasing shades here and there, fooling myself that it makes less of an impact on my bank account if I buy them months apart. HA! 

But really, they are that good, and for the third time, I am not disappointed.

Miss Coquelicot's (in which you do not pronounce the "t") purchase was inspired on how amazing the shade looked on Jessica from Getting Cheeky. Of course, it doesn't look half is good on my lips, but I assure you, the color is amazing.

On my lips, in daylight.

Swatched on my hand.

From left to right: Dior Addict in Diorkiss, MAC Lustering, Estee Lauder Pure Color in Wildfire, Lancome Rose Rendez-Vous, Lancome Miss Coquelicot, Lancome Corail in Love, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Monte Carlo

As you can see, it doesn't look like anything in my collection. It's peachier, brighter and more orange based. If you're a fan of brights, this is absolutely a unique color. I quite enjoy pairing it with a bright coral blush and mascara alone. Its texture is quite glossy and light and is perfect for summer. The wear time was decent (4+ hours) on me.

Hope you had a great weekend! I'm still nursing a Friday sunburn - it's so itchy!

Have you given the Rouge in Love lipsticks by Lancome a try? If so, which ones are you favorites?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quo by Orly Gels Very Vixen - a quick heads up!

This will be a quick one just because I wanted to get this swatch up for anyone who was curious. This is Very Vixen from the Quo by Orly Gel series. Very Vixen is a deep chocolate color with a hint of eggplant in it. It also, sadly, did not meet my expectations in terms of formula. While all the other Quo by Orly Gel colors I've tested were opaque in two coats and had a decent formula, Very Vixen was gloopy, streaky, gave me cuticle drag attitude, and would not give even coverage after three coats. So guys, if you're contemplating this one, I'd say you should pass and try a similar Gelish shade instead.

This did not float my boat. But at the same time, one of my favorite polish ever is a Quo by Orly Gel (reviewed here) so I'm not too upset about this dud. Brands have duds all the time. And as a beauty blogger, I'm bound to find them and tell you!

What's a brand you trust that has put out products that truly disappointed you?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mojito Madness - A wearable green!

I've been wearing Essie's lovely Mojito Madness on my nails since Saturday and have enjoyed every second of it. For a green, it's very wearable, and I'd even say flattering on my skintone. It's bright and cheerful.

In daylight.

In the bright sun.

If you've been afraid of green (like me), I'd say this is a very safe place to start. Mojito might look a bit intimidating in the bottle but trust me, no need to be intimidated! I love this polish and it's safe to say that I'll be re-wearing it - who knew I liked green! Plus, I love saying Mojito - it puts me in a good mood! Mojito mojito mojito!!