Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Very First Knockwurst - OPI's Germany Collection

Anyone else as excited as me about the OPI Germany collection? I very much restrained myself picking out colors because I only got two color and wanted every single one from the collection.

My first pick is My Very First Knockwurst (my second being Every Month is Oktoberfest). It's a gorgeous nude/pink. It applied flawlessly in two coats!

I though it was a great option for a neutral pink - most of the time, I find these types of polishes too pink. Plus, it was quite long wearing lasting a good three days without chips or tip wear! 

Sneak peek at what's coming on the blog! My Vika Alex is settled and full! As you can see, it's comfortably nesting between two dressers.

Movie of the week: Hugo. Hugo is a gorgeous film about a young boy who lives alone in a Paris train station. The cinematography of this film is absolutely and completely breathtaking. If you're watching the movie, take a moment to observe how busy the background is, and how imaginative the set design is. Oh and it's a Martin Scorsese movie and well, whatever he does is genius. Except maybe for Shutter Island, which I didn't love. But yes, Hugo is a must see. DO IT.

Hope you're all having a good week! Pay day is today and I might have done some damage, courtesy of miss Chelsea of chelsea wears! Enabler alert!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector 03 - my brow savior!

My brows have always been the most difficult part of my beauty routine. No matter how much I pluck, trim or wax them, they always look out of control. My left eyebrow also has somewhat of a cowlick that makes it impossible to groom. Because they've always been really thick, I never really saw much of a use to fill them in. However, after filling them in with MAC's Brun for a while, I started noticing how well my filled-in brows shaped my face and how they made my makeup look pulled together. On days were I didn't want to wear too much makeup, I'd fill in my brows, put on mascara and cream blush and felt amazing. Once summer hit, MAC's Brun was more prone to slide on my oily skin and most pencils weren't long wearing enough for my taste. I knew it was time to look for a new brow product and after hearing Arianne rave about the Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow corrector, I knew I had to have it. I hear that Make Up For Ever has come up with new Aqua Brows products and I would've picked up the Taupe shade but the Sephora I visited hadn't started carrying it.

On with it!

Make Up For Ever's Waterproof brow corrector claims to be waterproof (duh!), sweatproof, and have a natural finish. You need the absolute smallest amount of this product is is so pigmented.You need maybe... 1/5th of what I have swatched on my hand. Seriously. This tube will last you forever and ever. I chose shade number 03 for my brows. At first, I thought it might be too dark but I learned how to use it more sparingly and really blending in my brows with an angled brush.

This is 03, swatched and then blended. It is potent.

The staying power of this product is excellent. It stays all day on my brows without budging, even in extreme humidity. I haven't tested its waterproof claim as I don't often dip my brows in water. I also like that it blends in so well in my brows. Because they are so thick, powder can look... well powdery in my brow hairs and I tend to avoid that effect by adding brow gel. But then my brows are crispy and I hate that feeling. I don't have to add anything with the Brow Corrector - it lightly of shapes my brows while filling them in. Done.

Eww before shot with zero makeup.

And after, brows done à la Make Up For Ever brow corrector, and general makeupness.

If you think you can find yourself a color match in these brow correctors and you're a stickler for filling in your brows, you will not regret this purchase. It's easy to use and gives a better finish than powder or gel, in my humble opinion. This retails for $22 CND and is available at Sephora.

How do you handle your brows? Au naturel or filled in? And what do you use - I'm curious!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheap taupe nails alert! Essence's Walk of Fame swatches and review!

I picked up Essence's nail polish in Walk of Fame for a whopping $1.49 a few months ago. Essence has been putting out quite modern colors for excellent price and value. And how exciting that Canada gets them too!

Walk of Fame was a bit thick in its formula and dried very fast, so application wasn't the smoothest I've ever used. However the wear time was quite good, and the color was very flattering on my skintone. It does dry darker than the color appears in the bottle, but that didn't bother me too much. It seems to be in the same family as OPI's You Don't Know Jacques, but I don't own it to compare. My ring finger was accented with glitter from Sally Hansen's Gem Crush polish in Big Money.

I've purchased great nail polishes lately and can't wait to share them with you!

Movie of the week: JCVD. I've been looking into classic action movies lately (partly in preparation for The Expendables) and JCVD was king of the black beast in the middle of this endeavor. It basically tells of the story of Jean-Claude Van Damme (as himself), a washed up action hero, who is caught in a situation which expects him to act like the action hero he so often depicts. Of course, Mr. JCVD is not the characters people expect him to be from his films, and has a hard time handling the situation. This movie was a heartfelt look at how cruel the Hollywood scene can be. It was truly a great movie, even if you don't have any attachment to Jean-Claude Van Damme as an action hero like my boyfriend does. Also, I want to marry Jean-Claude Van Damme. He has seriously given me a lot to think about with this movie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A breath of fresh air with Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Adore

When I found out these had FINALLY arrived in Canada, I rushed THE DAY they were out to pick up a few shade. Unfortunately, the display at Walmart only had one tester, and after being chastised by the sales associate for "opening product" (which I didn't do, I tested the only tester available, thank you very much), I gave up on picking colors until I had seen swatches online. I left with a lonely Kissable Balm Stain in Adore.
The packaging is very sturdy. I totally expected this balm/stain to have a waxy feel to it but it does not at all. It's soft, smells lightly of mint, and has a light glossy look.
I'm actually really impressed with this product! The stain glides on very well and not patchy - plus it actually stains. I still had some stain on my lips after removing this product. Of course, I can only speak of the shade I picked, Adore, and not of the others. I heard the lighter colors do not stain so well.This reminds me very much of Clinique's Chubby Sticks, except with more pigmentation, a more pleasant smell/taste, and longer lasting. And cheaper! They are not particularly moisturizing, but they are also not drying to me either. Kind of in the middle which is fine by me. 

Swatched on my hand.

On my mug. 

My friend wasn't impressed with the color on me, calling it a "mom" color, but I'm personally quite impressed. I find it modern and autumnal. Plus, the undertones aren't mauve, but rather warm, and I find it flattering on my skintone. Mauve/fuchsia colors are usually not flattering on me, and since most of their range is sort of mauve, I don't see myself picking up too many of these. I really hope they come up with a wider range of shades.

I'm very happy with this drugstore purchase and have been wearing it for three days straight! For now, I can only speak for the Adore shade I've purchased, but if you're looking for a great fall shade, this is it.

Hope your week is going well! I myself have a cold or throat infection of some kind. Not fun, especially on a busy week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dior summer palette in Aurora!

I have lusted for this Dior palette since I first saw it. It seemed perfect for me - neutral browns, orange toned shadows for making blue eyes pop, and a beige shimmery shade. I couldn't find one thing wrong with it. So when I saw it at Sephora in my recent travels, it's seriously like a light bulb went in my head.

I must admit, the beautiful design in the shades and the gorgeous packing also sold me on this palette. I love how sturdy this palette feels as well. It was a bit afraid of messing up the pattern in the shadows but, da hell with it I told myself, they are meant to be used!

As you can kind of see, all the shades are shimmery.

Counter clockwise in the palette, starting with the orangy shade, ending with the middle shade.

What I really appreciate of this palette, is that it has 5 shades - it just seems like a more rounded amount of shadows, and a more complete palette. I get irritated that only 4 shades fit in a MAC quad (hence why I like my Z palette so much!) and always wish for one more shade. But anyway, point is, Dior, I like that you have 5 shades in your palettes. I'll probably get more of them. Actually, I'm guilty of having one in the mail at this very moment. Ouiiii!

I also really like that is has a well rounded set of shadow. I especially like the beige shade (second from right on arm swatches) and the darker brown shade. The dark brown is beautiful when blended all over the lid. The orange shade is sadly less wearable than I expected it to be, but is still very flattering with a matte brown shade in the crease. The yellow shade isn't terribly unique, but I quite like the way it applies on the lid. It's also much easier to work with than MAC's Goldmine, another yellow/gold shadow.

Here I used the dark brown shade all over the lid, and the yellow shade on the inner portion of my lid, for a quick and easy look.

I must say, I really like this palette. It's easy to use, doesn't require much thinking or effort, and I can see this being a staple for traveling. I do think the shadows aren't as pigmented and creamy as other shadows I have, but I think that they are still very easy to blend and do not create fall out issues. In some ways, I don't mind having shadows that are a tad less pigmented as they require less blending and more building layers. It's just a different way of doing things. The shadows also wore really well, even without primer.

If you don't have any dupes or this palette, or just want a handy palette (especially if you have blue eyes!), I'd highly suggest getting this. I'm already having so much fun mixing colors and trying different looks with this and I've only had it up and running for a week!

Do you like owning palettes or individual shadows more? Do you have a favorite Dior palette? I'd love to hear suggestions on which one I should get next!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Massive haul from Toronto!

As I mentioned before, I recently traveled to Toronto, where Sephoras and MAC's are abundant, and brands I have normally no access to flourish. In essence, best makeup shopping ever. I was therefore, some might argue, conservative in my purchases.

I left with the following items: LUSH goodies, including Bubble Bars for the family, a Stepping Stone foot scrub (it smells heavenly!), a You've Been Mangoed bath melt, and an Avobath Bath Bomb. I also went Dior crazy with the Croisette Quint palette and the Diorskin Nude Tan in 002. MAC was also pretty good as I exchanged my Back 2 MAC empties for the Girl About Town lipstick. I also purchased a 139 brush, repurchased some Brush Cleanser and MAC's Honesty eyeshadow. The SA's didn't give me a good experience at both store I visit so I was a bit disappointed by that. At Sephora, I purchased two Nails Inc. shades having been quite impressed by The Thames - I got Porchester Square and Sugar House Lane. I also got a L'Occitane Lavender hand cream, which I am absolutely in love with, and Make Up For Ever's Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector in 03. I can already tell that this is going to be a staple, and a review will be up soon. I also finally purchased Estee Lauder's Crystal Baby! I stopped at so many Sears and The Bay trying to find it and it's mine now!

OMG! I forgot to say I got something extra special at Ikea - a Vika Alex!! I'll be putting up a new makeup organization post soon. I must say, I am so so happy with this purchase.

You can now look forward to reviews on all these products!

Movie of the week (a day late): The New World, a film by Terrence Malick, is a visually stunning film loosely based on the life of Pocahontas and features Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher and Christian Bale. For those of you who live and die by the Disney version of the story, I'm afraid you will not like this much. Its slow pace, stunning depiction of nature, and the use of voice over, all classic Malick techniques, gives the film a very relaxed tone. You should not watch this if you have somewhere to be, do not like slow paced films, or get irritated at loose story lines. But if you can give this movie a chance, the cinematography makes it absolutely worth while. And the acting! I'm a massive fan of Malick films, especially of Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How to travel light... with makeup!

I recently went on a week long trip to Toronto with the boy. He loves Toronto and I was always curious to visit the city, so we packed up the car, and drove the 13+ hours to the city. I'm back home right now and miss the city terribly - I loved the transit, the people, the culture, the shopping, the selection of movies (documentaries?!), the 401 highway... I want to go back so much!

Anyway, I thought I'd show you all what I brought for makeup on my trip. I knew there would be lots of humidity (and yes there was!) and sweating happening since we were planning to walk everywhere, so I tried to plan accordingly.

Here's what I took with me:

Estee Lauder BB Cream, Clinique Loose Powder, Shiseido Eyelash curlers, Two Faced Shadow Insurance, Clinique Black Honey Eyeshadow Palettes, Maybelline's Illegal Length Waterproof Mascara, and Revlon's Grow Luscious mascara, NARS Laguna, Maybelline Clear Mascara, Nuxe Reve de Miel, L'Oreal Color Riche Balm in Heavenly Berry, Clinique Illuminator Concealer, Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Blissful, Lancome Rose Rendez-Vous, Urban Decay Zero black liner, Estee Lauder brown liner, and Marcelle's brow pencil as well as various brushes to get the job done.

Considering that I had lots of space left in my makeup bag, and tried to stick to the bare minimum, I think I did good! I only used my Clinique eyeshadow palette once in the whole trip and only used my waterproof mascara because of the humidity. Also, my Estee Lauder BB Cream doubled up as a sunscreen and I did not burn my face for the duration of the trip (my shoulders however... ouch!). And I made do with one blush for the whole trip with no problems. Blissful was bright enough to use on a no-makeup look face, and still look cheerful and healthy.

I hauled a lot in Toronto and I shall post about this soon on the blog. I was able to find one of my most wanted products and more goodies! Plus, I think I found my new favorite hand cream. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caudalie Eau de Beauté and the big hype question

I'm sure you want to know if this is worth the hype. Made famous by Victoria Beckham herself, this elixir has surfaced on almost every major blog with extremely favorable reviews. I find it hard sometimes to not fall into the "hype" trap - how can so many people actually think a product is THAT good? Hype makes me question whether a product is that worth it or if people want to simply follow the trend. But sometimes, I give in, just to see for myself if they are right or not.

I have to say, I honestly agree with most of the reviews out there. The Caudalie Eau de Beaute is very refreshing when spritzed on the skin, and has a very pleasant herbal pepperminty scent I love. But I wouldn't recommend it to you if it just stopped there. I actually very much like this product because in my month or so of regularly using it, I have found my skin to have less and less breakouts. I'm not sure if it is because I'm using it as a toner most of the time, but my skin has been almost spotless for the month. My skin is quite temperamental so it's hard to say if the Caudalie Eau de Beaute has much to do with anything, but I think it might just have helped my skin stay clear. After going on vacation and only using once during that week, I found myself have a few whiteheads coming to the surface. I'd say this is suitable for all skin types. I have oily skin and this product seems to moisturize, refresh but not leave my skin oily at all. I even tried it on the boy who just said it didn't do anything, but that's because, well, he's a boy. Oh, the things I put him through.

If you're into skin care at all, I'd say this is definitely something to try. I have to say I wasn't quite sold on it in the first couple of weeks I've used this Eau de Beaute, but the consistent use of it really changed my mind. I haven't been using it over makeup (it's not a setting spray, but some bloggers have been using it as a makeup refresher) so I can't comment on that, but as a toner, this really is excellent.

Movie of the week (a day late, my apologies): The boy and I caught a showing of The Queen of Versailles on vacation and absolutely loved it. The documentary follows a billionaire family (The Seigels, owners of Westgate Resorts), trying to make it through harsh economic times  - except they are still rich as can be, and they aren't able to help by cutting their ludicrous spending habits, and letting go the construction of their 90,000 square foot Versaille-looking dream home. This is seriously a must see.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nails Inc. The Thames

I must say, for someone who chips her polish pretty much as soon as it dries, Nails Inc has thoroughly impressed me. I had The Thames on my nails for about a week with only minimal tipwear. No chips! I don't even know how this is possible. I always have chips in my nail polish - for me, this is pretty normal.

The polish is a blue/cool toned grey. It is also a "Hero Shade" and I have no idea what it means (and after a quick google search, other bloggers are also in the dark) but my boyfriend told me it was the same grey as Batman, so it must be why it's called a Hero shade. Typical. But it gave me quite a laugh too! 

So far, I'm thoroughly impressed with Nails Inc. and I can't wait to try more of their polishes! 

Have you tried any of Nails Inc. polishes? Do you have any suggestions for me? Every time I go to Sephora I stare at the display, not knowing which color to pick! Beauty blogger dilemma #1, most days. 

Hope your week is off to a great start! Mine is vacation time, which so far, has been extremely awesome and rewarding. Can't wait to update you on what's has been going on!  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

July Empties

I thought July wouldn't bring many empties but here I am! I tried to concentrate on finishing up some shower products specifically, to make more room on my shelves.

Redken Color Extend Shampoo - I love this shampoo. Too bad it's so expensive (for my cheap shampoo tastes!). I found it smelled amazing, was great at calming and clearing my scalp at the same time, and helped my red color stick around longer. No complaints about this baby except for the price which is why I think I'll wait to repurchase it.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner - I bought this conditioner based on Vivannadoesmakeup's suggestion. Her hair seems similar to mine (AKA, very long and thick!) so I thought I'd give it a go. I actually quite liked it! It's very thick, smells great, and detangles beautifully. I didn't find it to be weighing my hair down but then again, my hair weights itself down as it is, so I'm not the best judge for this. I think I'd repurchase this again!

Nuxe Fondant Body Scrub - This is the only Nuxe product that has ever disappointed me. Don't get me wrong, it's not a horrible product, it's just not as good as other body scrubs I've tried. The scrub particles (walnut shells) are a bit too abrasive for my taste and I did not find the product moisturizing at all. It smells great though, as all Nuxe products do. I'm glad this was a sample sized product because I would've been very disappointed having bought the full size version (at $27!!). There are much better Nuxe products than this one on the market - save yer monay for those! :)

The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub - Now body scrub, I can get behind. I've loved using this. It was moisturizing, smelled amazing and did wonders for my legs, specifically. I think of all the scrubs The Body Shop produces, this is my favorite.

Estée Lauder Day Wear BB Cream - We all know how much I love this BB Cream. I pretty much wore it every day since I purchase it in March (review here) with absolute delight. Seriously, this thing rocks. It's why it's empty and already repurchased!

So I don't have very exciting discoveries this month except maybe for the Redken shampoo. But such is the life of a blogger trying to downsize all the products she's hoarded! I'm on vacation for the week but I'll still be updating throughout the week! :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July favorites!

My July favorites are all over the place. I've been loving being more minimalistic with my makeup, usually leaving the house for work with a light base, brows done, blush, mascara and a balm. What has happened to me? Well, in short, the heat. Minimum effort has been my motto, but I've embraced it!

I've been using my Nuxe 24H Moisturizing Body Lotion a lot on my legs. I love that it sinks in immediately and doesn't leave a greasy residue. I also love that it has an easy to use pump, and it smells amazing. The smell is quite strong though, so I'm not wearing this to work. But this is another Nuxe winner for me!

I've been using MAC's Cremeblend blush in Posey a lot this past month, simply because I find it lasts longer on my skin than powder products, and its peachyness warms up my complexion. It is incredibly easy to use (I use a stippling brush) and doesn't slip off like some of my MAC powder blushes.

Not too sure why but I've been really enjoying my face brushes! Those include the Quo Bronzing Powder Brush, the Real Techniques Powder brush, and the MAC 129 blush brush. They are all incredibly soft, easy to clean, and do not shed. Well, let's be fair, the 129 does shed a bit, but I can live with it since it applies blush beautifully!

I've also been using my Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector pretty much every day this month. Because my dark circles aren't extremely pronounced, this has been great at illuminating my under eye area, especially when I'm only wearing mascara. I've also been using my Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 4E as a quick base under a lighter eye shadow, and my Maybelline Eye-Studio Master Precise Pen Eyeliner for a quick cat eye flick. I'm especially impressed with the Maybelline Eyeliner Pen for its durability on the eye during hot and humid weather and how easy it is to use. I'm definitely not buying the MAC version again - I prefer the Maybelline version by far.

For a refresher and as a toner, I've been using the Caudalie Eau de Beauté pretty much every day. I don't want to give away too much because I will be posting a review on this shortly, but it has been very good to my skin!

And lastly, for lips, I've been using L'Oreal's Color Riche Balm in Pink Satin. While this isn't pigmented at all, it was quite moisturizing and gave a hint of shimmer on the lips, perfect for home/beach uses. Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Spicy Honey has been an often used quick option for when I'm stepping out the door and need a quick wash of color on my lips.

Ouuffff... that's a lot more favorites than I thought I had! What's been on heavy rotation for you this month?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm review and Movie of the week!

This balm has made a few blogging rounds on my Blogger feed, and being the curious person that I am, and the fact that it was available at my local Shoppers Drug Mart, I had to give it a go. I was particularily interested because I've always had problem with dry lips. My lips are often so chapped that the corners of my mouth are sore, and I'll sometimes get cracks in the middle of my bottom lip. Not fun. Enter Nuxe's Rêve de Miel balm. It has been my little "treat" in the past few months. While it does have a surprising almost solid texture, the heat of my finger and lips lets the product sink in and leaves a sort of matte finish to my lips. This makes it a great base as it doesn't interfere with the finish of the lipstick you are using. But, that's the not the best thing about this balm - it is truly the best balm for chapped lips I have every tried.

You can see the matte texture of the balm in this picture.

This balm is truly moisturizing. I found it was best used before bed and gave me healthy, plump lips when I woke up. I like that because it has a matte finish, it doesn't slip around and migrate around your lips, or face, when you're sleeping. The texture takes a bit of getting used to, but the result are absolutely worth it. It does not have an abrasive smell - it smells lightly of oranges and honey. You also do not need a lot of product. When you use too much of it, it leaves a grainy finish on your lips. The best way to apply this balm is to apply a small amount and make sure that it is well rubbed into your lips.

While this product is not cheap ($17!) it is worth its while in my opinion, especially if you have chronically dry lips and have problems with your average Blistex or Vaseline. I absolutely see myself repurchasing this product again, although it might take a while given that you only need a tiny amount per usage.

Have you tried this lip balm? Do you swear by one balm and one balm only?

Movie of the week: First off, my apologies for skipping last week's movie of the week. I am not the most organized person and it totally slipped my mind. Instead, I shall suggest the weirdest, saddest, most true to life movie I can think of, Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia. This movie made me cry - I never ever cry. This movie made me re-think of people I know, people I knew and how this world is a big blog of weird people. Bascially, the movie follows various characters, who are loosely connected to each other, go through difficult events in their lives. NOT à la Crash if that's what you're thinking, because that movie sucked. It's hard to explain without giving anything away, but what I like best of this movie is that it doesn't explain much, but lets the viewer interpret how they feel of the events happening in front of them. Nothing is spelled out (I'm lookin' at you Chris Nolan). Plus, Tom Cruise is AMAZING, and the soundtrack is full of Aimee Mann music. Win. I think that after In Bruges, this is probably my favorite film. So if you're looking for something different and challenging, this is a great start!

Hope you're having a great week so far! Mine is the busiest of the summer but will soon pay of with vacation!