Friday, May 31, 2013

Fashion Friday: My Simons Experience

Fashion Friday has sort of taken a back seat since the start of Bold Subtlety, but today, I'm bringing it back to talk to you a bit about Simons.

A couple weeks ago, I visited Quebec City and found myself in my cousin's absolute favorite store, Simons. When I walked into the store at the Place Laurier shopping center, I found myself in a bit of a shock. I had visited this Simons location before, but it had renovated since the last time I was there, and it was now ridiculously big and beautiful. So big in fact, that my shopping buddies and I had to keep checking with each other to make sure we had covered all the sections. There was even a section entirely for leggings - no joke!

If you're not near a Simons, much like me, they have also have selection of clothing on their website, which includes the legging section I saw in the store. They have a variety of colors and styles and textures available. You're not into flashy leggings? Luckily, the good old basic leggings (in different colors too!) are available. I'm particularly taken with the Jersey Ankle Jeggings (which would look adorable with a flowy white blouse & jean jacket!) and the Galaxy Print black/white leggings. If you're a bit more adventurous with your clothing, the Galaxy Print in Green pictured above are gorgeous and unique. Really, there's something for every taste in there!

We spent a long time in there and had a blast. I can honestly say it was a great shopping experience. I'm looking forward to maintaining my shopping relationship with Simons through their online store - or until my next visit to Quebec City!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guerlain Les Fumes Ecrin 4 Couleurs - Review & Swatches!

Ahhh Guerlain. The very definition of luxe makeup. Posh packaging? Check. Extremely high price point? Check. Amazing quality? Errrm... check? The question behind a higher end makeup item is often whether is it worth the price. Some of my favorite makeup items are lower end brands, but excellent in quality (such as Sleek palettes, or Essence nail polishes). And unfortunately, some higher end items just don't deliver - MAC is known for being hit or miss in terms of quality and some of my NARS products haven't impressed me too much. Where does Guerlain sit?

Guerlain always delivers in terms of packaging. The gold case is sturdy and doesn't scratch easily.

Swatches in the shade. Order below:

Swatches starting from left, the the top middle shade, followed by middle bottom shade, then finally the right shade (which didn't I just swatch them clockwise?)

The beauty in the shade.

And in the sun, glorious.

This palette is, no doubt about it, absolutely gorgeous. The shade are quite smooth, except for to shade to the left. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong here, but that shade was very hard for me to blend. Plus, it didn't have much pigmentation. However, I found it great for blending out the bottom shade which I use in the outer corner! My favorite of the palette is the top middle shade - it's a gorgeous warm rosy brown which is perfect for warming up the crease of a smokey eye. The wonderful thing about this palette is that it has literally all you need for a smokey eye. All that's left to use is eyeliner! However, that said, I'm sure there are cheaper options out there. All the shades except maybe the shade to the right are dupeable.

For fun, here's a shot from my other blog (Bold Subtlety) wearing the palette on my eyes. It really made my eyes pop - I'm willing to bet it's because of that wonderful warm shade too!

Hope the review was helpful! I highly suggest you swatch this product in store before purchasing! Some might find the slightly drier texture easier to work with - others might want to stick to creamier shadows. Either way, this palette is excellent to create that perfect smokey eye, and the mix of colors helps to make it a little to no effort job!

My apologies for being a bit quiet on the blog lately! A few days of vacation and my brain has turned to mush! I have a few posts brewing a the moment so stay tuned! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins - Review & Swatches

Clinique has recently come out with a brand spankin' new line of nail polishes. These polishes are meant for sensitive nails, and are designed to minimize unwanted reactions to the nails, skin and eyes. I think we've all been there - prepping yourself to paint your nails, all comfortable and ready for a primping sesh, and after a couple digits painted, the smell gets to you. Some are worst than others, and these, I have to admit smell just about the same as any other polish. But then again, to me, polish is polish. Perhaps Clinique is whipping out some crazy science that I can't detect with my nose? Whose knows (pun! haha!).

From left to right: Sweet Tooth, Fizzy, Pinkini, Really Rio, Red Red Red, Black Honey, Hula Skirt

My favorite color is by far Hula Skirt. It's a fresh green that is almost minty, but not quite. Really Rio is also gorgeous.

On my nails, I tested out Pinkini and Really Rio. Both were opaque in two coats (albeit, a bit streaky) and wore really well. The major downside to these? The dry time. They took forever to dry, and for someone who's always on the go, that didn't work for me. And since I don't have sensitive nails, I can't comment on whether these were gentle. I have to say though, the wear time on these was excellent. Pinkini wore a week without any chips. Perhaps the slow dry time makes for long wearing polish?

Hope this was helpful for you! If you don't mind waiting for polish to dry, this might be a winner!

  * 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.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunday Funday AKA China Glaze's Best Blue

I meant to post this on Sunday (because the polish is called Sunday Funday), but my day was ever so long and I didn't get a chance to get away to write at all. And today I'm sick, so if this doesn't make much sense, my apologies.

Either way, here's the beaut. 

It was quite hard to capture the brightness of this blue but Sunday Funday is a bright, in your face, pool blue from China Glaze's Avant Garden collection. This first picture shows the brightness of the polish, but the second picture captures the hue better. Blue seem to be really difficult to capture on my camera. The polish was super easy to work with, opaque in two coats, and wore well (5 days).

The nice weather has really gotten me in the mood for wearing bright polish! I've been loving bright pinks, reds, blues, mints - it's so fun and refreshing to go back to such a bright palette. What colors have you been wearing lately? I can't wait to get my hands on the new Essie Neon collection coming out soon!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Very Late April Favorites!

Like the title says, sorry about the lateness of these favorites. I swear, time is flying by so quickly lately! I tell myself it must be because the weather is starting to get nice. Yay!

I thoroughly enjoyed wearing Butter London's Pillar Box Red in April. It's the perfect summer red - vibrant and bold. Plus, the formula of this was great - almost opaque in one coat and glossy as heck. Love.

I don't know if it's the change of weather, but my skin just ain't liking me right now. I've been using the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo and the Effaclar A.I. on and off during the month of April - using either for too long dries my skin out. They have really been effective in taming my flare ups this past month, especially the Effaclar A.I. for spot treatment.

I'm pretty much only used my Clinique Stay-Matte Foundation all month. No specific reason for it other than it's easy to blend, and doesn't require powder (which is one step less in my morning makeup routine). If you like matte foundations, I'd definitely recommend this one. It doesn't stick to dry patches like other ones I've tried and it stays on quite well! I'm putting this one away for the warmer weather and reuniting with my trusty Estee Lauder BB Cream!

I've already raved about my Hydraluron serum before in my March favorites, but I'm honestly still in love with it. This serum is exactly what my skin needs when it feels a bit blah. I tend to wear it in the morning lately and it really helps my skin stay radiant all day. If you haven't tried this product before, I highly recommend it!

Because this past month hasn't been the most sleep filled, my MAC NC15/NW20 Chromographic Pencil has really helped me look a bit more awake. Sometimes I use it alone with mascara, if I'm really desperate, sometimes with a bit of shadow (most often MAC's Satin Taupe). Hopefully it won't NEED to be used as much this month, and I'll actually get some rest!

The Clarins Lip Perfector* has been used constantly this month. As I stated in my recent review of it, it's my perfect my lips but better shade. This statement explains why I have used it so much. Enough said, MLBB for the win!

My Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash Mascara* was used to its very end and retired in April. It has served me well - I love this mascara. It's the perfect amount of intensity (and lets you build it up too) and lash separation. I'm going to have to get myself another tube soon!

Thanks for reading and happy May!

* I have received these product 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, May 3, 2013

Friday Night Pamper

This has just been one of those weeks. And I'm exhausted. So I thought a Friday night pamper was well in order to give this weekend a fresh start.

My Friday usually consists of work, cleaning the apartment after work, and then some kind of movie date with the boy. But since he's out of town until later tonight, I thought it would be the perfect time for a face mask, a long bath & full body moisturization, and some nail painting. All done at the same time as watching Mad Men, of course, which may or may not send me into frustration mode (anyone else hate Don right now!?) once again. Here's a peek at the products I will use tonight:

I'm starting with the Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask. I love this mask when my skin is feeling in rough shape because not only does it combat acne, it also has little beads that give you great exfoliation. I wouldn't suggest using it more than once every couple of weeks because it's quite strong and a bit drying. To keep my lips soft and dead-skin free, I'll use my LUSH Mint Julips. After this, I'll be applying one of my favorite face products as of late, my trusty Hydraluron Serum. I use this to plump up my face when it is in need of moisture. Then I'll be using a little sample of the NUDE Treatment Oil I received with a Zuneta order. I don't use this often because I have oily skin, but when I feel the need for moisture, this is the best product I've ever used. After a hot bath accented by the scent of my Bath & Body Works Lemon Mint Leaf candle, I'll moisturize my arms with the Bath & Body Works Lavender Vanilla moisturizer (purely because I love the scent), and use my Nuxe Body Oil on my legs since I am prone to ingrown hairs. And finally, I'll be applying the new Clinique Nail Enamel in Sweet Tooth* to my tips after having pushed back my cuticles.

And those are my plans for my much needed pamper Friday! What day of the week do you pamper? What are your favorite products for some serious pampering?

* press sample - review coming soon

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beauty PSA with Pixi Shades of Peach Quartette

Part of the best thing about being a beauty blogger is how fun it is to test out new products. I love playing with a new product and using my critical eye to pick on all its aspects - the color, the wear time, etc.

However, sometimes, being a beauty blogger, you get across some duds. I'm not one to normally write about the duds I've encountered, but I thought I might warn you all about this seemingly good product.

I purchased the Pixi Shades of Peach Quartette off Asos (which, by the way, has a great selection of beauty products), thinking a) it's on sale, why not, and b) I'm pretty sure I saw Lisa Eldridge using one of these. Those are good enough reasons for me apparently.

Sadly, this quartette, is just not good.

Swatched from the top, clockwise.

The texture of these shadows is soft, almost too much so. It reminds me a lot of Sleek shadows in softness  in the sense that you have to be aware of fall-out when you apply. That's not really a deal breaker for me, but the fact that these shadows have almost no pigmentation definitely was. I tried my hardest to make these shadows appear on my lids, even with a primer, to no avail. I quite liked the third shadow in this palette, but again, it barely appeared on my lid and even though it's the darkest of them, it's too light and poorly pigmented to be a crease color. And on top of all of this, its wear time was bad.

So, unfortunately, I can't recommend this palette. Do any of you have experience with any of their other palettes? Did I just get unlucky? What do you do when you encounter a bad product?