Sneak preview – Shu Uemura x Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Hi!! I am back from my trip and also pretty much done moving so I’m starting to get back into the groove of blogging again, expect lots of gift guides and holiday posts coming up, starting with this one! That being said, I am still trying to work out a permanent place in my new apartment to do blog photos, so my next few reviews may be a bit truncated when compared to the usual reviews that I publish. Today I am sharing with you a sneak peak of the Shu Uemura x Muramaki collection, a limited edition collection for holiday 2016, and the second collaboration between Shu Uemura and Takashi Murakami (the previous one was in 2013). I just received these when I got back last week, so I hadn’t had the time to properly play with them, but I wanted to post this up quickly because this is a limited edition collection.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

I love this packaging on this collection; everything is super whimsical, cute, and colourful. The packaging is all plastic, but feel very sturdy. That being said, my biggest initial complaint is also the packaging because I feel like the eyeshadows aren’t glued on very well, especially for this price point.

The star products of this collection are the two Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palettes (C$85), available in a cool-toned variation – Cosmicool – and a warm-toned variation – Cosmikawaii. Each palette comes with seven eyeshadows and one blush. Cosmicool contains tones of grey, violet, purple, and silver colours, with a cool-toned pink blush, and Cosmikawaii has tones of orange, pink, red, and purple, with a soft peach blush. I personally prefer Cosmikawaii, because I generally tend to wear more warm-toned colours (over cool-toned), and I’m also very into the look of that bright orange shadow.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016
Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

If you don’t wan to splurge on the $85 palette, or if giant palettes intimidate you, you can pick up the Blossom Nova Eye Trio (C$39), which contain three shades in either Cosmicool or Cosmikawaii. These also come in adorable Murakami packaging, but with a transparent lid so you can clearly identify the palette when its in your stash.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

There are five Rouge Unlimited (C$36) released with this collection, three of them in the Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine and two in the regular Rouge Unlimited. The Sheer Shine formula is glossier and more translucent, although the regular Rouge Unlimited is also not completely opaque either. Both are very comfortable to wear on the lips, despite myself not being a fan of glossy formulas. From left to right, Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine in Pinky Bloom, Rouge Bloom, RD164; and Rouge Unlimited in OR520 and WN255.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Next, a new Shu Uemura product has been transformed with the Murakami packaging – the newly introduced Block: Booster (C$46) is a sunscreen and makeup primer in one. It contains SPF 50 and PA+++ for both UVA and UVB protection. It comes in two shades – Natural Beige, for evening out the skin tone, and Fresh Pink, for brightening.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Last in terms of makeup items, there are four Drawing Pencils in the limited edition Murakami collection. The most interesting shade is ME Comet Brown, which appears to be more like a rusty red-orange, based on what I’ve seen. I also have ME Navy 61. If you’re looking for a new, or replacement lash curler, the cult classic aq is now in a cool black, which a very adorable Murakami accessory. The regular silver is a classic, but this black is just too chic to pass up. I’ve gone through at least two Shu Uemura curlers and I will continue to depend on it for accurate, long lasting curls.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016
Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

In terms of hair care, the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo (C$56), Absolue Beautifying Oil (C$69), and Wonder Worker Leave in Spray (C$42) have also been repackaged for a limited time with the Murakami designs. I love the look of these in my shower – the cute designs instantly brighten up my day.

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

Lastly, the Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil is available in both the small and the large size bottles in the Murakami packaging. I haven’t tried this variation of Shu’s cleansing oil, but I’ve tried a few other types and I’ve been a fan of all of them – there’s a reason why Shu Uemura is known for their cleansing oil, they are definitely reliable!

My personal picks from this collection are the Shu Uemura limited edition lash curler, the Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette in Cosmikawaii, and the Block: Booster in Natural Beige. This collection is completely limited edition, and currently available at Shu Uemura’s website and counters inside The Bay.

Pssst they often do 15-20% off promotions, or gift with purchases, if you sign up to Shu’s online newsletter. It can help you save a few bucks (or pick up some additional things)!

Shu Uemura Murakami collection for Holiday 2016

The products featured in this post were provided by PR; all opinions are my own.

Local artist spotlight – Jessica of Leroy Brown Furnishings

 

As I was looking for pretty pieces of furniture to furnish my new place, I stumbled upon Leroy Brown Furnishings. Jessica specializes in repurposing and repainting gorgeous pieces of furniture, to give it new life in a new home. I purchased my vanity from Jessica, which I am super in love with. I took this opportunity to interview her and learn more about her style.

 

ML: How long have you been refinishing furniture, and how did you discover this passion?

I have been refinishing furniture full time for almost one year and I really can’t believe it. Time does fly when you’re having fun! In early 2015 I was let go from a job. I spent a few months wallowing on the couch with my puppy before my sister told me about a program run through EI and Douglas College. Long story short (kinda haha), I ended up being accepted into The Self Employment Program at Douglas. The basis of the course is to guide you through starting a business but not in the figurative sense. You actually had to develop a business over the 2 month in class course. I’ve always been a very creative person and dabbled in painted furniture with my mom over the years. We had actually talked about starting a business years ago but as it goes, something came up and we put it on the back burner. SO, it was a no brainer to choose furniture refinishing as my new business venture. The course was hard, it was hard before it even started. It’s a government funded program so there is a rigorous application and interview process just to get approved. It was full time in class work for 2 months. Halfway through, each student had to present to judges like a mini Dragons Den and get approved to move on in the course. That was so nerve wracking, and honestly I’ve never been more nervous in my life! The rest of the course is jam packed with an insane amount of information and then you’re out in the field with monthly check-ins and reports to hand in. I just officially finished the program last month which feels AMAZING! It’s been a pretty crazy ride and I am so proud of myself for sticking it through till the end.

ML: What do you love most about your job?

Having the creative freedom! Many moons ago I was a hairstylist, I loved it & I hated it. I ended up leaving the profession due to an injury which lead me to be uninterested in the job. Since leaving the salon I have always craved more creativity in my life. Using my hands, getting dirty, having freedom to do whatever I wanted. And I’ve definitely found all of the above in furniture.

 

ML: How did you come up with the name “Leroy Brown”?

Ah, the million dollar question! Well, Leroy was a family pet, a cat. It’s kinda weird to write that he was a cat, I mean he was in the physical sense a cat but in every other way he was my brother. If you’ve never owned a pet, I’m 100% sure you think I’m crazy but its true. He had white fluffy fur and was overweight which made him the best lap warmer. We grew up together, I cried to him about boys, my friends knew him, friends of friends knew him. He was bad badLeroy Brown. The day he passed away was tough. I was an adult, about 4 years ago, but that didn’t make it any easier. It felt like my bother had passed, it was hard for my family for a long time. When talking about starting a business, my sister was the one who said “Leroy Brown” and it just kinda stuck. I didn’t want a name with a play on words about refinishing or painting. I wanted something unique, something people would remember and something that fit me personally. My Grama says often, “it’s so nice that leroy will live on forever.” And I think she’s right.🙂

ML: What does your typical day look like?

I’m bad…I sleep in sometimes! Being an entrepreneur is hard, there is no one to yell at you when you’re late! But i make up for it by working later. I’m usually up around 8 and I’m out the door with my dog Dante, to the dog park or we go for a long walk along the water in New West. Then its back home for breakfast & emails and then I’m off to work! Right now I am working out of a space in Port Coquitlam, so I usually hit Starbucks on my way🙂 I’m pretty much painting furniture all day after that, sometimes a run to Home Depot for supplies or to grab lunch. If i have pieces finished, my day is filled with staging, photographing, and editing. There is so much more to this business then what the eye sees! I usually end up getting home anywhere between 6-8pm where my boyfriend and I eat dinner together and watch countless episodes of Suits (such a good show!)

ML: How would you describe your personal design style?

That’s a tough one. Not to say anything bad about others in my profession (everyone is so amazing at what they do!) BUT, I don’t want to be known for painting everything white and distressing it, you know, the typical farmhouse/shabby chic/painted furniture style. I want to stand out but in a soft, modern, vintage kind of way. I like clean lines, soft colours, (i use a lot of grey), and I try to keep at least one part of every piece original. I honestly don’t know what to call my style but I know what I’m doing is working. At one of the last markets, I forgot my business sign. Multiple people approached me and said they knew this booth was mine by the style of pieces I had in it.

Maybe one day I’ll have a name for it😉

 

ML: What are some favourite pieces of furniture you have on display in your own home?

To be honest, I only have 2 painted pieces in my home! My in-laws purchased a new dining room table last year so we decided to take their old one. I completely refinished it, a white base with a dark red/brown top and we love it! Its a classic oak dining table I think every family had when I was growing up. It’s pretty crazy the transformation a little bit of paint can do. The other piece is a dresser that never sold! It’s a really pretty peachy/tangerine colour. It’s so beautiful in person but didn’t photograph well so I decided to take it home and it fits perfectly.

ML: Do you have any tips for those looking to refresh/refurbish their own furniture?

Buy quality pieces! I find that most people bite off more then they can chew when it comes to the repair part of refinishing. I hardly ever take pieces that need extensive repair. Everyday people, including me, don’t own the type of equipment that makes extensive repairs easier and less time consuming. By taking your time and finding quality pieces, you’re halfway done! At the end of the day, you’re just painting a dresser. You can always paint it again if it doesn’t work out the first time😉

Check out Jessica’s Instagram for all of her recent updates, as well as her Facebook page, and website for all of her available pieces.

First time getting lash extensions from Prép Beauty Parlour!

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I’ve always wanted to try out lash extensions, but I never made the jump because I wasn’t sure what it would entail. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I was contacted by Prép Beauty Parlour to try out their full set of extensions. At the time, I was preparing for a work trip to Toronto, so I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to try.

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Prép Beauty Parlour is the cutest beauty salon nestled on Hornby in Downtown Vancouver. It’s a two-storey salon, with the nail services done downstairs, and the lash services upstairs. The salon is beautifully decorated with mirrors and other pretty trinkets, allowing it to look bright and cheery. My lash appointment was upstairs, where there were four beds side by side each other so they can have four lash appointments at the same time. The environment was very clean.

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My appointment was with Christin, Eyelash Extension Master. She explained to me how the process worked – the extensions would be wrapped around my existing lashes to lift them up – and she also asked me for the type of look I wanted to achieve. She was very patient in answering all of my questions, explaining each step of the procedure as she performed them, also ensured that my eyes were very comfortable the entire time.

I prefer a more doe-eyed look, so I asked for longer lashes around the centre of the eye. I also want something that’s extra curled, since my lashes were very stick straight, and I didn’t want something too long, since I wear glasses and I don’t want the lashes to touch my glasses when I blink.

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After an hour, my lashes were done! I was super impressed with the way I looked when I left, and due to the thickness, it also felt like I had liner on all the time, which accentuated the look of my eyes. I did have some reservations though. I felt like my right eye wasn’t as voluminous as my left eye, and the lashes on my right eye also started to fall off pretty quickly after the application. That same night, I had 3 lashes fall off my right eye, and none from my left. Due to the number of extensions in total, even though a few fell off, my eyes still looked very wide, with that doe-eyed effect.

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About three weeks after getting the extensions, about half of them had fallen off. The result was a wispy, wide eyed look that still looked good. My boyfriend complimented on them often! My biggest complaint at the 2-3 week mark was that because the glue was starting to get loose on a lot of them, even if I brushed them out regularly, they would still get a bit tangled, and then some of them would stab me in the eye. It was pretty uncomfortable.

The other thing was, and this is a personal preference, I generally wash my face with oil-based cleansers, whether it is my oil cleanser to remove makeup, or my Bella Aura or Tata Harper cleansers that contain natural oils in them. You’re not supposed to wash your face with oil products if you have lash extensions, because the oil will dissolve the glue, so I felt like this is a bit of an inconvenience. The other thing is, I generally like to wash my face in the shower with a full blast of water, but again with lash extensions, you can’t do that because the pressure will make the extensions fall off. After all that, I would generally say that I am not the best candidate for lash extensions.

That being said, though, lash extensions are pretty awesome for when you’re going on vacation and you don’t want to put the extra effort in every day to doll yourself up. My lash extensions definitely make my eyes look bigger, wider, and it generally looks nicer on photos. Lash extensions generally last around 4 weeks with proper care (they recommend fillers at the 2-3 week mark for maintenance, when there is around 50% of the lashes still intact), so they would be perfect right before your vacation.

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Would I recommend lash extensions? I would say no, just because most people I know wouldn’t be able to handle the upkeep. If you do want to get them, Prép Beauty Parlour is an excellent choice for salon!

Prép Beauty Parlour

1054 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC

Hours:
Monday – Tuesday: 10 – 7:30
Wednesday – Friday: 9 – 8
Saturday: 9:30 – 6
Sunday: 11 – 6
E: info@prepbeautyparlour.com

Tel: 604.764.6452

I received the lash extensions complimentary from Prép Beauty Parlour; all opinions are my own.

Life updates! New apartment, moving, travelling

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Hiiii! So I haven’t done one of these life updates in a while but I think this is the perfect time to do one. I have to say that 2016 has been my most fruitful year so far. There have been so many new changes happening in my life, I’m so excited to share them with you!

1. First apartment

That’s right, I bought an apartment in my hometown of Richmond, BC, where I grew up as a child, and where I’ve been living since I returned from school. As you may have heard, real estate is pretty crazy in Vancouver so I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to own my own place. It’s a two bedroom, two bathroom condo in a relatively central part of the city, so it is very exciting for me as that means my commute to work will now be shortened.

Home ownership is so different from renting, I’m responsible for my own maintenance and upkeep, and also I need to make sure I have enough insurance to cover any damages caused to the unit by my neighbours as well. Trying to figure all of this out has been extremely stressful for me, which is why for a while I was relying on multiple coffees a day to get through my work, a bad cold, and the home-buying process. I’ve really been loving Second Cup coffee during this time (disclaimer: I received a gift card from them but even before getting the gift card, I was going to Second Cup more than Starbucks, which used to be my go-to), because I find that their coffee and espresso taste richer than Starbucks, without the high acidity or bitterness of Starbucks coffee. That means I can lessen the sugar and milk, which makes the coffee healthier to drink as well. My favourite Second Cup drink is the Maple Latte, but recently I’ve fallen in love with their version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte as well, which is less deathly sweet (thank God).

2. Travelling

I am travelling to Japan and China for nearly a month this fall. It’s my first time going to Japan so I’m super excited. We’re going to be in Tokyo for 5 days, and then we’ll be staying at a ryokan near Hakone for a day and a half. Hopefully the weather is nice so we’ll be able to see Mount Fuji! I have a very long list of stuff that I want to buy in Japan (Laduree makeup anyone?). I also plan on picking up some Japanese lacquerware and ceramics to use at home. As an added bonus, we managed to score tickets to the Ghibli Museum; I’m incredibly excited to be playing in the Cat Bus for adults! It will also be the first time in six years since I’ve been back in China. The last time I was in China, I blogged extensively about my time there. I hope to have more photos to share with you once I get back.

In terms of my packing, I’ve been trying to pack super light because we’ll have access to laundry machines wherever we go. One thing that I am super excited to bring with me on my trip is the Lusomé Ava V-Neck sleep shirt. I received this a few weeks ago, and it’s been really cold in Vancouver so I never got a chance to properly try it out (I’ve mostly been wearing it lounging around my house, but with pants on). Lusomé’s products were created to help resolve the issue with nightsweats, something that a lot of women encounter, especially going into menopause, or if you are undergoing any treatment for cancer or other illnesses. The products are made with Xirotex, a fabric which pulls perspiration away from the body 10 times more effectively than its nearest moisture-wicking competitor. Since it’s been pretty cold here, I haven’t been sweating much, but it’s supposed to be pretty warm in Japan so I will get to properly try it out! Did I mention that this fabric is crazy soft, even my boyfriend was commenting about how soft and comfy it looked.

3. Hiatus

As with all of these updates and life happenings, I would like to also notify everyone that I will be going on a short break for the next few weeks. I will still be posting off and on, but I don’t expect to be able continue on a regular blogging schedule. I hope to be back by late November, but with all of the moving, house stuff, and travelling, I simply don’t have time to blog on a regular basis. Hopefully by the time I get back, there will be lots of holiday collections to share with everyone. Holiday collections are my favourite of the whole year!

This post is not sponsored or endorsed by any brand, but I did receive the Lusome Ava sleep shirt and the Second Cup gift card from their respective brand reps. All opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Make Up For Ever NEW Water Blend Foundation and Artist Rouge Lipsticks

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation in Y245,  R300 and Y325

Hello!! I hope you are all having a fantastic day so far. Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on some of Make Up For Ever‘s new releases, specifically the new Water Blend Foundation, which replaces the Face and Body Foundation, and the new Artist Rouge Lipsticks.

The Water Blend Foundation contains 80% purified water infused with pro-vitamin B5, and glycerine and mango butter, to provide hydration and improve skin elasticity. Spoiler alert, I don’t like this foundation. I generally prefer to keep my skin relatively mattified during the day, and then I expect my foundation to provide a little bit of a “cushion” to smooth out my skin, blend everything out nicely, and then provide coverage. The Water Blend Foundation is ultra lightweight, providing barely there coverage, just covering my redness but not much else. I also find that because it is so lightweight, it sinks into my pores quite a bit; there is no cushion at all.

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation in Y245,  R300 and Y325

My shade is Y245, is the same shade I wear in the Ultra HD Invisible Cover formula (which I still wear quite a bit because I finally got down the method of application!).

That being said, I gave this to my mom to try out and she LOVES it. She usually keeps her skin more dewy though, which would help this product blend out better as the dewiness already provides that cushion. She doesn’t generally want a lot of coverage during the day either, so this works out to just even out her skintone slightly.

Foundation is a very personal thing though, so just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t. If you are looking for something very lightweight, with barely there coverage, and if you have normal, combination, to oily skin, then you may want to try this out before you rule it out completely.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick in C211 and M401 review and swatches

The new Artist Rouge Lipstick comes in 31 cream shades and 14 matte shades, to create a large 45-shade collection. This new lipstick formula is 25% more pigmented than the old formula, and it also contains:

  • Macadamia oil soothes the lips, while mallow oil nourishes, prevents dryness and locks in moisture.
  • Sunflower seed wax in the cream formula provides 8 full hours of outstanding wear.
  • Combination of carnauba and microcrystalline wax in the matte formula provides 10 hour wear.

The two shades I have are C211, which is a creamy, nude mauve, and M401, which is a beautiful matte blue-based red. The texture of these is drier than other lipsticks on the market, but the pigmentation is very beautiful. You only need one or two swipes to get full coverage. Due to the formula, there is a lot less slip, and you also get extended wear time. I love the pointed bullet design; the pigmentation of these lipsticks means that there is a lot less room for error for when you are applying them on the lips, so you really need something to create a precise line (if you decide not to use a lip brush). The pointed tips are just perfect for creating that clean line around the lip.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick in C211 and M401 review and swatches

The swatches

From left to right: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation in Y245,  R300 and Y325

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation in Y245,  R300 and Y325

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick in C211 and M401

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick in C211 and M401 review and swatches
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick in C211 and M401 review and swatches

Ingredients:

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation ingredients

 

Review + swatches – Givenchy fall 2016 collection – Edition Couture Prisme Libre & Le Rouge, Le Rouge Perfecto, Prisme Visage, and Khol Couture Waterproof

Givenchy Edition Couture Prisme Libre and Le Rouge lipstick review and swatch

Fall at Givenchy is starting off with a bang! In addition to the launch of these gorgeous products, they are also revamping their entire display at Sephora. I have a few new products from their fall line to share with you. All of these products will be on counter as at October 21, 2016, so keep your eyes out!

Givenchy Edition Couture Prisme Libre and Le Rouge lipstick review and swatch

Let’s jump right into the most exciting products this fall – the Edition Couture Prisme Libre and Le Rouge lipstick. Every year, Givenchy releases its iconic products in limited edition packaging, and this year, it features its cult favourite Prisme Libre, which is a loose powder that contains four different shades of powder to help brighten and even out the skin tone, as well as its much-loved Le Rouge lipstick, in limited edition, floral packaging.

The Prisme Libre (C$66) shade is No. 1 Mousseline Pastel, the universally flattering variation that contains green, blue, soft peach, and purple-toned powder. The powder is super finely milled, and the shades blend in beautifully on the skin without actually looking green or blue. I like to compare this against my favourite Guerlain Meteorites powders, and I find that this one is more colour-correcting, i.e., you get more of a brightening effect through the colour-correcting powders, instead of through glow, as with Guerlain. They both serve different purposes, and I find myself reaching for this one if I have a bit more time to blend and play, or if I want a more colour-balanced and mattified look instead of a glowy look.

Givenchy Edition Couture Prisme Libre and Le Rouge lipstick review and swatch

I am a BIG fan of Le Rouge lipstick (C$44) – they are an extremely comfortable semi-matte formula that was one of the first matte lipstick formulas I fell in love with. The shade that is featured with the Edition Couture is No. 306 Carmin Escarpin, an intense orange-toned red. The colour is seriously gorgeous – a true one-swipe wonder. It is also ultra long-lasting, wearing over 6 hours before a reapply is needed (and this is with drinking and light snacking). The case of the lipstick is made of real leather, and it is interchangeable, so you can use it on your choice of shade. Sadly, I’m not a fan of orange-based reds because I find that they make my teeth look more yellow, although I know I will be using that lid with my other Le Rouge lipsticks.

Givenchy Le Rouge Perfecto review
Givenchy Le Rouge Perfecto review

Le Rouge Perfecto is a brand new product for fall. It’s a three-in-one formula that is a balm, a lip maximizer, and a lip tint in one. It reminds me of Dior Addict Lip Glow, which is a cult favourite product, in that it is a very hydrating, balmy product that also gives the lips a natural pink tint. I like to keep this at the office to use as a balm and light tint in one – it’s perfect for those conservative work environments where you don’t generally see people wearing lots of makeup. The case is genuine leather, and looks ultra classy and luxurious.

Givenchy Prisme Visage in No.5 Soie Abricot review and swatch

The Givenchy Prisme Visage (C$57) is one of their most well-known products, so much so that a lot of smaller beauty companies have copied this quad-powder design (cough Marcelle). For this fall, it was revamped with five new shades (available in Canada, there are more shades available internationally). The shade I have is No. 5 Soie Abricot, which is good for those with light to medium skintones. This powder was designed to help brighten, structure, and mattify the skin.

Givenchy Prisme Visage in No.5 Soie Abricot review and swatch

I previously reviewed their summer Healthy Glow powder which has a gel-powder formula. The Prisme Visage has a completely different formula that’s very powdery and very creamy, designed to offer a light dusting of powder on the skin to blur any pores and lines, and create a very lightweight finish. The texture is super soft, and the powder blends in very easily with the rest of the makeup. You can technically wear each shade separately, but the pan is quite small so I prefer to just mix the four shades together and dust it evenly on my face. I find that the difference in each of the shades is not very obvious once it applies on my face, so I don’t get a very sculpted finish even if I do use each shade separate.

It also comes with a separate brush, that sits in a tray that goes neatly on top of the powder. This one is soft and works to sweep the powder on the skin, but as with most included brushes, they aren’t the most useful if you have normal sized brushes at home that you can use.

Givenchy Khol Couture Waterproof in Chestnut review and swatch

Lastly, we have the Khol Couture Waterproof (C$30), available in six new shades. The shade I have is No. 2 Chestnut / Brown. Holy crap this eyeliner is so creamy, pigmented, and very easy to apply. It just glides on! Long story short, though, it does smudge on me, as I have relatively oily eyelids. In addition to the Chestnut, and the classic Black, there is also a Turquoise, Cobalt, Jade, and Lilac.

All of these Givenchy fall 2016 products will be available as at October 21 at Sephora, in stores and online!

The swatches

Givenchy Prisme Visage in No. 5 Soie Abricot

Givenchy Prisme Visage in No.5 Soie Abricot review and swatch

Givenchy Khol Couture Waterproof in No. 2 Chestnut and Le Rouge Lipstick in No. 306 Carmin Escarpin

Givenchy Edition Couture in Carmin Escarpin and Khol Couture Waterproof in Chestnut review and swatch

The products featured in this post were provided by PR; all opinions are my own.

Calling all thick-haired girls, Tangle Teezer is your friend!

Tangle Teezer review

As a teen, I used to have crazy thick, unruly hair. Now that I’ve aged a bit, my hair has lost a lot of its volume, but it can still be a hassle to maintain. If only I discovered Tangle Teezer when I was younger! If you’re unfamiliar with Tangle Teezer, it is godsend for hair that tangles easily. It’s essentially a plastic brush, but designed in a way that you can easily and painlessly untangle your hair. I have the Original, the Compact, and the Blow Styling Brush.

Tangle Teezer review

The Original (C$20) and Compact Tangle Teezer (C$25) are handle-less hair brushes made of plastic. They are essentially the same brush, just the Compact version is smaller and comes with a cap to protect the bristles from bending. Before I got my hands on the Compact Tangle Teezer, I was taking my Original on trips with me and I can say that my bristles weren’t bent or broken in anyways, so you can totally take the Original on trips too. The Original is about 1/3 bigger than the Compact, and can cover more “ground,” so if you have longer hair, I would recommend the Original even if you are travelling or taking this around with you in your purse. The Compact version is smaller, so it’s better for those with shorter hair. Weirdly enough, I actually find the Compact version to be a lot more weighty; the quality feels more substantial in my hand than the Original.

Tangle Teezer review
Tangle Teezer review

The Blow Styling Brush (C$43) is a nice addition to my hair styling stash. It looks more like the traditional hair brush with a handle, also made of plastic. There are two sizes available – a full size, and a half size. The full size would be great for those with hair that extends past 1/3 of the way down your back, and the half size would be great for anything shorter that. I have the full size version, which is a bit tedious to use on my shoulder-length hair.

I use this to brush through my wet hair, and also when blow drying my hair. Truthfully, I don’t find it helps my hair dry any faster than if I just used my fingers to run through my hair, but it does help my hair look sleeker and less frizzy. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-have though, unless you have very thick, long and unruly hair. 

Tangle Teezer review

The one time that I would say the Tangle Teezer is an absolute must-have is for when you’re off to a beach vacation and your hair is basically tangled and ruined from the salt water. Save your hair and scalp by using the Tangle Teezer, you will seriously thank yourself.

What type of person would need Tangle Teezer?

  • If you’re a swimmer
  • If you’re going on a beach vacation, or a vacation where there is going to be a lot of wind
  • If you have very thick, unruly, or curly hair that tangles easily
  • If you have very long hair

You can purchase the Tangle Teezer, the Compact Tangle Teezer, and the Blow Styling Brush at Sephora.

Have you tried the Tangle Teezer?

Review + swatches – Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor collection

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Dior holiday is upon us again! Every year, Dior releases a gorgeous, vintage-inspired makeup collection that I look forward to. This year, the Splendor collection is definitely the most memorable of them all! Inspired by the artistry of Dior ateliers with sparkling sequins, this collection, created by Peter Philips transcends the quintessence of the Dior woman: timeless femininity, beauty in motion, festive and free.

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

My favourite product of the collection is easily the 5 Couleurs Splendor, in the shade 776 Precious Embroidery (C$73). This warm-toned, sequin-embossed eyeshadow palette is one of the most gorgeous eyeshadow palettes from the recent seasons. It has hues of cool-toned and warm-toned golds, taupe, warm brown, and plummy chocolate.

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

I tend to find Dior’s embossed eyeshadows to perform significantly better than their regular palettes (see the holiday palettes from last year!), and this is true for Precious Embroidery as well. The texture of Precious Embroidery is ultra soft, very pigmented, and a beautiful taupe-toned alternative to a smokey look palette. The shimmers in these shades is very sophisticated, and helped to improve how creamy it feels. In the past, I tend to find that Dior’s eyeshadows have a lot of fallout, but these ones were less so. If you’re a fan of Dior’s shadows, or like anything taupe, this is the palette for you!

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

I always look forward to the beautiful vintage-inspired Diorific Lipsticks (C$46) in the beautiful gold tubes. The Diorific lipsticks this year are again in the matte formula, similar to last year. The shades I have are 440 Charm and 880 Fascination. Charm is a pretty peachy pink, and Fascination is a dark wine. The formula of these lipsticks are very similar to the newly released Rouge Dior lipsticks in that they are very creamy, hydrating and full of pigment. Despite it being a matte formula, I actually found these to be more satin than matte. Regardless, the formula is a clear winner – I can get 3-4 hours of wear with Charm, and 6+ hours of wear with Fascination. Charm fades very evenly, whereas Fascination leaves a bit of a stain behind.

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Lastly, I also have the Diorific Vernis (C$34) to share with you in the shades 001 Nova, 850 Splendor, and 899 Cosmic. Nova is a beautiful, clear gel with suspended cellophane that works beautifully as a top coat to spice up your usual cream shades. Splendor is a gorgeous festive red with gold micro-glitter, and 899 Cosmic is a dark purple with gold micro-glitter. My favourite of the three is definitely Nova, although Splendor is a close second. I love the Dior Vernis formula, it is very long-wearing, dries quickly, and also very glossy. The brush is very well designed to make it easy to apply. Too bad none of these shades are too original, as we see reds so much around the holiday season that it is hard to justify picking up another. The bottle though, is definitely a collector’s item.

Dior’s holiday 2016 collection is available now (or should be coming very soon) to your local Dior counter at Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, The Bay, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and anywhere Dior is sold.

The swatches

Dior 5 Couleurs Splendor in Precious Embroidery

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Diorific Lipsticks in Charm and Fascination

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Diorific Vernis in Nova, Splendor, Splendor topped with Nova, Cosmic, and Cosmic topped with Nova

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

Lastly, I’m going to leave off with a sad photo of the Precious Embroidery palette once I’ve swatched it😦

Dior Holiday 2016 Splendor swatches and review

The products featured in this post were provided by PR; all opinions are my own.

Review: Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate review

Kiehl’s since 1851 has released some very impressive products in the last few years, and this Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate is a new-found favourite of mine. I use this every morning to combat dryness and sensitivity in the winter, and I have definitely noticed an improvement in my skin’s hydration level as well as smoothness. This, along with the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence, have formed a crucial part of my morning skincare routine.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from kiehls.ca): Formulated with a potent complex of 15% plant-based Glycerin and Shiso Leaf Extract, this concentrated serum utilizes next-generation technology to intensively hydrate skin’s deepest surface layers. Clinically demonstrated to help correct the signs of age-related dehydration, it youthfully plumps skin, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and rough texture.

Price: C$58.00 for 50mL

Texture/Scent: Clear gel with no scent

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate review

The good: My first impression is that this gel is very lightweight and basically melts into the skin. I use 3/4 to a full pump each morning on my face after cleansing and applying my Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence, and before my Reversa Anti-Wrinkle Cream with SPF 30 and foundation. It absorbs almost immediately, and my skin feels smooth and hydrated. My skin is relatively sensitive, especially in a drier climate, and I felt this serum really helped to soothe and prep it for the cold and dry weather outside. In addition, my foundation blends in perfectly with zero patchiness. There are also no dry spots for the foundation to cling to, so the finish is smooth and glowy. The packaging is hygienic, using an airless pump bottle so that the product doesn’t oxidize and also there is no waste. Lastly, despite it being a serum, it comes in a 50mL bottle which is usually reserved for moisturizers. Priced at $58 for 50mL, it’s actually great value for a high end skincare brand.

  • Skin looks smoother and feels hydrated
  • Absorbs completely with no residue
  • Helps foundation apply more smoothly
  • Hygienic, air-tight pump bottle
  • Good value

The bad: Dimethicone is super high on the ingredients list and sometimes it feels like I am applying a silicone-based primer instead of a moisturizing serum.

  • Dimethicone high on the ingredients list

Overall: Despite feeling like a primer, this product has really helped hydrate and protect my skin in the winter. It also helps my foundation apply smoother and adhere better. Because my skin feels more hydrated and balanced, there  is also less oil production and I don’t need to blot as much, allowing my foundation to wear more long-lasting. Priced at $58 for 50mL, it really is great value for a high end skincare product that really works. I’ve recommended this product to a few of my friends who have dry and/or sensitive skin, and they’ve all had pretty good luck with it, so I will continue to recommend this product. If you live near a Kiehl’s boutique, please do ask for a sample of this as they are quite generous with their samples. Once you try this, you will be hooked!

Product: 18/20
Packaging: 4.5/5
Value: 5/5
Overall: 27.5/30 | A+
Repurchase? Yes

Ingredients:
Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate review and ingredients

Review + swatches – NARS Audacious collection for fall 2016, featuring Audacious lipsticks in Apoline and Shirley, and Brow Defining Creams in El Djouf and Danakil

NARS Brow Defining Creams in El Djouf and Danakil review

NARS introduced a capsule collection for fall 2016 featuring its Audacious lipsticks, as well as new Brow Defining Creams. I had previous reviewed additional products from the fall line-up here, please check that out. Even though the Audacious lipsticks came out a few years ago, I hadn’t yet had the chance to try them, so I was very excited to dig in when I received the new shades Apoline and Shirley.

NARS Audacious lipsticks in Apoline and Shirley review

NARS Audacious lipstick (C$39) claims to provide “weightless, color-saturated lips.” The shade Apoline is a beautiful creamy mauve that’s super wearable for everyday. The shade Shirley is a pink-based red that’s also very creamy. Both shades are intensely pigmented in just one swipe, giving you an incredibly gorgeous, saturated look with very minimal effort. Of the two shades, Apoline is definitely the more everyday colour, whereas Shirley is a very different variation of the bombshell red. I love both for different reasons, so I can’t pick a favourite. Wear time is pretty fantastic with both shades, but of course Shirley, being the more intense colour, is ultra long wearing and also leaves a stain.

NARS Audacious lipsticks in Apoline and Shirley review

NARS Brow Defining Cream (C$29) claims to “softly blend and set [brows] without missing a beat.” El Djouf is a light, warm-toned chocolate brown, and Danakil is a dark cool-toned brown that’s almost black. The formula is very creamy, ultra pigmented, and a little bit goes a long way to help define your brows. Once set, it wears all day without smudging, creasing, or fading.

NARS Brow Defining Creams in El Djouf and Danakil review

I’m actually pretty disappointed in the colour selection for these; El Djouf is slightly too warm for me, and Danakil is so dark that it makes my brows look too extreme. Blended together, they could work, but it’s just too much effort. I would think that Black-haired women make up a big portion of NARS’ customer demographic so it’s a bit disappointing to see the limited colour available.

If you can find a good colour match in the Brow Defining Cream, I would definitely recommend checking those out. The lipsticks are also very beautiful, and of the two I can’t pick a favourite. If you are looking for an every day colour, Apoline could be your best friend, but Shirley is definitely the standout.

You can purchase these new NARS Audacious lipsticks, and the Brow Defining Creams at NARS counters now, including Nordstrom, The Bay, and Sephora.

The swatches

Audacious lipsticks in Apoline and Shirley

NARS Audacious lipsticks in Apoline and Shirley review

Brow Defining Creams in El Djouf and Danakil

NARS Brow Defining Creams in El Djouf and Danakil review

The products featured in this post were provided by PR, but as usual, all opinions are my own!