Monday, December 31, 2012

10 Favorites of 2012!

This year has gone by so quickly! I'm so ready for 2013 to start. Hopefully this year will be a bit more stable than the last. With a job change, a move, and a wedding (my sister's), I'm ready for some calm! I'm still excited to see what the future holds though! Bring it on 2013!

I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't create some kind of "best of" list. This year has been a year of staples for me with most of my makeup routine consisting of items on heavy rotation. However, I feel like I've discovered some favorites late in the year partly because of a Sephora opening close to where I live. My 10 most notable and well loved products of the year are the following:

1. Caudalie Eau de Beaute

This little gem has been my skin's savior this year. It helped my skin stay healthy and clear. Plus, I just love the scent. It's gotten to a point where I can't imagine my skin care routine without this!

2. Estee Lauder BB Cream

This gorgeous BB Cream, which acts as a foundation in my routine, has been used so much in 2012 that it was actually repurchased. That's saying something for a beauty blogger. I always wear it on its own with concealer with needed.

3.  Dior Quints Eyeshadow palettes

Dior Aurora palette and Dior Rosy Tan

These (expensive!) palettes are wonderful. I own three (my Earth Tones palette is not pictured) and use them a lot for creating a quick out-the-door look. Luckily for me, I got two of mine in blog sales which cut the cost of them a little.

4. Bare Minerals eyeshadow palettes. 

I talk about these too much. But seriously, they are amazing.

The Happy Place and The Truth have been staples in my makeup routine since this summer. You will not find better mattes anywhere, I promise you. The shimmery shades are buttery smooth as well!

5. Dior Red Royalty nail polish

Such a beautiful vibrant red. The formula was excellent and long lasting. Definitely my favorite nail polish of the year.

6. Hands down, my favorite lip product of 2012 is the YSL Glossy Stain

I absolutely love this product. I've used it so many times, especially in the last few months. I love the comfortable formula, how easy it is to apply, and how lightweight the product feels on my lips. I NEED more of these ASAP.

7. Another winner for me for lip products in 2012 has been Bite Beauty.

I've been thoroughly impressed with this brand's lipstick formula. The lipsticks are so smooth they almost feel like balms and the color range is impressive. I've tested the Mini to Go kit as well as the Luminous Lip Palette and I'm bowing to these beauties. Hopefully 2013 will bring me more!

8. In 2012, I ditched my trusty Too Faced Shadow Insurance for a much better product! The Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

This product is now my every day primer. I find it works much better than any previous primers I've used and I love the doe-foot applicator. This will be a repurchase in the new year for sure!

9. Estee Lauder Violet Underground palette

I know, I know, I already have two eyeshadow palettes listed at my 10 favorites, but I just had to include this beauty. Never have I ever wanted an eyeshadow palette more. The gorgeous colors are to die for, and the palette itself is just so damn gorgeous! I'm especially taken with the champagne color and the deep brown - I've used them often this year!

10. Finally, something I haven't reviewed but used so much during the year, are the lovely Maybelline Color Tattoo creme shadows!

I've loved using these under shadows to make them last longer, and to give my eye look some depth. Excellent value for money! This is probably, beauty bloggers would argue, the best drugstore product this year.

Honorable mentions should include Marcelle's Lux Creme Glosses, Butter London's Jaffa nail polish, the second best drugstore product of the year L'Oreal Color Infaillible shadows, my trusty Z-Palette which I have in different sizes now, Lancome's Rouge in Love lipsticks, and finally, Clarins Rouge Prodige in Soft Peach 02. That's a lot of honorable mentions, I know, but there were so many good products this year! I've noticed that I have no bronzers, concealers, and only 1 blush on this list, but honestly, nothing completely stood out to me in those categories!

That's it guys! Those are my favorites of the year!

Hope you all celebrate the new year safely and in style! Happy 2013!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

NARS Mayflower lipstick - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!

I'm back and ready to blog! Has everyone had a good holiday? Mine was great. I ate loads of food, had really fun family time and got to see some friends who live out of town. Perfection. Plus, I got spoiled by my parents, siblings and boyfriend for Christmas. Couldn't have imagined a better Christmas. Better yet, I have a few days to relax before I go back to work.

What better way to ease back into blogging by talking about one of my most used lipsticks lately, NARS Mayflower!

I find this lipstick so easy to slap on with a neutral eye - it's what I've done for the past month before heading out the door!

I first heard of this shade over at Cute and Mundane where Dovey compared a few of her NARS lipstick faves. I knew it was grand time I give NARS a shot (I've only owned their Laguna bronzer!) and purchased Mayflower, a fresh pink with silver glitter. 

 I'm not sure how I feel about NARS packaging yet. No problems as of yet anyway!

Mayflower swatched on my lips. It's quite glossy!

And swatched on my arm for reference. My skin tone is usually around a NW15 in MAC.

I find NARS' Mayflower actually pull a bit coral on my skintone - I don't mind this, but it's something to keep in mind. The lipstick's silver glitter is also a bit gritty. For a $30 lipstick, this I do mind. It's not terribly irritating, but the lipstick definitely doesn't feel smooth on the lips. I find the grittiness can emphasize dry lips, although for me at the moment, pretty much any lipstick will do this.

I do like that this lipstick is moisturizing. My lips do not feel dry after wearing Mayflower, which given the formula, I expected it would. Also, I found it wore reasonably long - my lipstick was mostly on after 4 hours (which I think is good for a sheer/glossy lipstick).

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this lipstick. If gritty glitter bothers you in general, I suggest trying this lipstick on before purchasing. It doesn't bother me too much, but it definitely isn't pleasant. I love that the color is a no-brainer. I don't need to think two about putting it on - it goes with any makeup. Although at $30, I doubt I'll be repurchasing.

Thank you for reading! I'll be back soon with a few reviews and hopefully a best of the year post!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New at LUSH: Blousey Shampoo for Color-treated Hair!

When I first sniffed the contents of LUSH's new Blousey* shampoo for color-treated hair, I was taken aback. I really didn't like the scent. The shampoo contains bananas, and if you know me, you know that bananas are almost never in my home (I do, however, have them when I intend to make banana bread, which I love!). I hate bananas. The texture of them is just completely unappealing to me. I got my boy to sniff the shampoo as well, thinking I was being a bit unreasonable with my first impression. He did not like it either, laughing at the fact that I'm going to have to use this atrocity, and lather it in my hair. The Blousey shampoo and I had a rough start.

Now that I've completely bashed the scent, I'm going to tell you it is actually really really nice lathered in the hair. I know, weird right?! The banana smell isn't obvious at all when you lather the shampoo, and instead, the other notes of the shampoo come forward: blackcurrant, juniper, berries. It's really nice. So nice in fact, that after a shower, my boy smelled my hair and complimented me on the way my hair smelled! He had a hard time believing it was the product he initially smelled. Point is, if you're put off initially by the scent of this product, don't be, it really changes when you use it.

The go-ey insides:
I'm very happy LUSH decided to come out with a shampoo for color treated hair. I have long been a fan of their solid shampoo bars, but they tend to strip color in my hair. This shampoo is very gentle, but cleans very well. I was worried it would leave my hair a bit oily (since my hair tends to lean towards that) but it didn't at all. In fact, I was able to not wash my hair on the second day, which isn't something every shampoo allows me to do. It's also so gentle that it doesn't encourage oil production in my hair. Blousey left my hair soft and moisturized and my scalp content. A+! You also don't need a a whole lot of product to wash your hair - just make sure you take the time to lather properly! Also, fun fact from the website: the shampoo is preservative free!

Overall, I'm very happy with this shampoo. The scent of it proved to be great when used in the shower and it was quite moisturizing without weighing my hair down (keep in mind that I have very very thick hair). If I ever run out of this (seems bottomless to me!) I'd definitely consider repurchasing.

Hope every one is having a good week! I'm officially on vacation and loving it! I'm not quite done my Christmas shopping (I still have my mom to do!) but I cannot wait to hang out with my family, play card games, and eat my mom's delicious stuffing. Hopefully I will be updating during that time with some Christmassy pictures!

* I have received this 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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best 5 reds lipsticks of the season!

I love a bright red lip over the holidays. There's something about black liner and red lips that just screams Christmas to me. And now that I only have one day left of work before an extended vacation, I can finally permit myself to feel a little more festive. Yay!

In the past few weeks, I've worn the most red lipstick I have than during the full year. I even wore red lips to Wal-Mart because, dude, if I'm not going to do it over the holidays, it's just not going to happen. And I need to use up every opportunity I can!

Here are some of my favorite picks that will definitely get some serious wear over the holidays.

Left to right: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Tannin, Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet, Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge in #9, MAC's Red Russian, L'Extrait Rouge G de Guerlain in Colere

I've already raved about Bite Beauty's lipstick formula, but I'll mention it again: it is amazing. Tannin is a gorgeous deep red that suits any skin tone. Tannin is so comfortable to wear, especially when lips can't handle a matte lipstick. Revlon's Lip Butter in Red Velvet falls under the same category. The formula is so smooth that it's really forgiving to any dry lip problems I have this season. So happy I found it last month in my search for the perfect bordeaux lipstick.

When I tried Make Up For Ever's Aqua Rouge on my sister for a wedding makeup trial I gave it a try after myself and totally loved the lipstick. If you need your red lip to stay on, this is the way to go. I still have the swatch of this on my arm hours later, having used makeup remover. It. does. not. budge. Fair warning with this shade - it does dry a bit darker than it initially applies. Nevertheless, the color is a stunning deep burgundy red.

MAC's Russian Red is a new acquisition of mine. I ordered it from MAC a few weeks ago and forgot about it until I chose to wear it to my office's Christmas party! This lipstick is amazing - I can't believe I didn't own it before now! As you can see from the swatch, it has a matte finish, but it doesn't have that dry feel most matte MAC lipsticks have. It's rich and creamy. I really have zero complaints about this beauty!

And finally, Guerlain's l'Extrait Rouge G in Colere is the boldest of them all! The formula of this baby is stunning. It has the same feel as the Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge, but is much smoother and more lightweight. It is very long wearing as well, but I'd say Colere is more moisturizing than Make Up For Ever's #9. My lips do not feel dehydrated after application. I love wearing this for a night out with a gold eyeshadow and black liner.

That's it! Those are my favorite reds of the season! What are yours?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Finally! Le Métier de Beauté Corinthian - review and swatches!

This purchase has been a long time coming. Not before I realized Zuneta shipped internationally did I realize that this purchase was actually possible!

I first heard of this eyeshadow from Sandra over at 15 steps, then a beauty blog who has raved repeatedly about it. Being quite a fan of taupes, I knew this had to be mine... eventually!

Corinthian is a gorgeous shimmery taupey/lavender eyeshadow. The formula is one of the best I've encountered - it is not stiff, but smooth and blends so easily on the lid. This is the kind of shadow that looks great on its own - you just need to blend it in the crease, and the shimmer of the shadow makes it seems as though you have a different colored shadow in there (much like the effect of MAC's Woodwinked). I love these easy to wear shadows, especially when you're always in a rush to get out the door in the morning. I have a chronic case of the sleeping-in-too-late.

The packaging is simple and neat. It has a rubberized texture much like NARS packaging.

The shadow is huge in there (0.13oz, comparitively to 0.05oz from MAC)! Makes the price sting a little less ($30 for lMdB as opposed to $18 for a MAC shadow). It also comes with a mirror.

Here, I've applied it on my eyelids, blended into my crease, with mascara and light black liner.

Swatched on my hand.

Swatched: Le Métier de Beauté Corinthian on the left, and MAC's Satin Taupe on the right.

As you can see, Satin Taupe is browner, and a tad less shimmery. I also find Corinthian pulls a lot more mauve on my skin tone than Satin Taupe. 

If you're a fan of taupes, this something that you need. The price might be a bit higher, but I think the buttery formula more than makes up for it. There's just something so easy about wearing taupe - most of the ones I own look magically beautiful on their own. Corinthian falls in that category which is why I see myself reaching for this for a long time in my day to day routine.

My beauty radar is now on Jojo and Bordeaux from the Le Métier de Beauté's eyeshadow range. Do you own any of their shadows? Do think you think the price is worth it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask - a review

It's not often I pay too much attention to samples added to purchases. Sometimes it's great to try a different product - I like getting primers especially. But skincare is another thing. I never know if my skin will react poorly to products - it's pretty sensitive and doesn't jive with heavy products at all. When I received Murad's Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask as a sample however, I was intrigued. My skin loves exfoliation so I thought I'd make an exception and try something different on my skin! 

First off, I thought this product would have exfoliating beads - it did not. It actually exfoliates your skin by dissolving dead skin cells with AHAs and natural fruit enzymes. And it does it smelling delicious! It's consistency is pretty much like a clear gel that sits on your skin. It makes you look like you have a greasy face, but I think that's better than having some green/brown stuff on it. What I love most about it is that my skin feels plump, soft and glowing after using it. It feels better than when I just exfoliate with my Clarisonic. Plus, the mask doesn't dry me out like most clay based masks do.

The only tiny downside is that the mask comes in little individual packets. Each packet gives me 3-4 uses, but after my first use I have to put the remainder of it in a little pot.

To me though, that's a small disadvantage for such a good product. This is definitely one that I will be repurchasing in the future.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday look of the day with Revlon's new Colorstay Ultimate Suede lipstick!

Have you seen them in stores yet? The new Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede lipsticks have arrived in Canada!

Revlon kindly sent me the shade Backstage to review and I must say, I'm kind of amazed. First off, this product is very strange in application. While is applied very kind of glossy, it does settle in your lips into a, you guessed it, suede finish. I wouldn't say it's completely matte, but it definitely does not have a shine after 30 minutes. When more time passes by, the shine disappears completely, and you're left with a matte/stain. So, unlike most matte lipsticks, this lipstick literally glides on as smoothly as their Lip Butters, but then turns into a matte lipstick... eventually. Makes for a pretty easy application! I didn't find this lipstick drying and it didn't leave my lips wanting balm when it was wearing off. Once the matte finish "settled" it didn't budge for a long time (5+ hours in my experience).

This is what it looks like immediately after swatching on my hand. It's kind of glossy, and almost patchy.

And this is what it looks like on. In the second picture, you can see the lipstick is a bit more matte.

I thought this lipstick deserved a very simple makeup look, so here's the breakdown:

- Clinique Stay-Matte Oil Free Foundation (this is a new one... so far, I'm indifferent)
- MAC's Brun softly in the brows + Anastasia brow gel
- Estee Lauder's Violet Underground beige/pink shade all over lid. This is SUCH a gorgeous shade.
- MAC's Omega in the crease
- Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash mascara
- Tarte Exposed blush
- Revlon Ultimate Suede in Backstage* on lips

Disclaimer: my brows were trimmed and waxed after this... they are out of control!

I think there's something very appealing about a matte lipstick for the holiday season. I love the idea of a matte lipstick and lots of glitter/shimmer everywhere else!

The displays for the Ultimate Suede lipsticks are pretty picked over in my city! I absolutely love the Backstage lipstick but haven't tried the other shades of the line - have you? Do you like them? Are you a fan of matte lipsticks?

* I have received this 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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Make Up For Ever All Eyes on You set - Review & Swatches!

Every holiday season, Make Up For Ever releases limited edition gift sets. Every year I'm kind of in awe of how well composed they are - face sets include primer foundation and powder (where you can pick your own foundation shade!) and eyeliner sets include kohl, liquid and soft pencils. One of their Aqua Eyes pencil sets have longer brown and black pencils, comparatively to the rest of the shades, because they will most likely be used more. That's smart.

All Eyes on You* gives you a little bit of everything to complete a holiday look - you receive a Smoky Lash Mascara, two Aqua Eyes pencils (one matte black and one steel grey), an Aqua cream in #16, as well as an HD High Definition Microfinish Powder.

The back of the set gives you instructions on how to achieve a soft shimmer look, as well as a dramatic glamour look. My inclination on how to use this kit is to create a soft smokey pink look - so a bit of the soft shimmer look as well as the dramatic glamour look, by smudging the black pencil at the lashline and smoking out the grey pencil in the crease. I also love Make Up For Ever's suggestion to apply the Aqua Cream to your brow and cheek bone.

I love the sleek black packaging of Make Up For Ever. Sure it's plastic, but it's classy! I have a feeling Make Up For Ever keeps their prices relatively low by compromising on packaging. I'm okay with that since their products are usually of the top quality.

Swatches from left to right: HD High Definition Powder, Smoky Lash Mascara, Aqua Cream in #16, Aqua Eyes pencil in #21L Dark Grey, and #0L Mat Black

I was already a massive fan of the Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash mascara, having tried it about a year ago. It's honestly one of my favorite mascaras - it add volume but keeps my lashes separate and not clumpy. I'd repurchase this in a heartbeat! I've already also tried the Aqua Cream and #16 is just as good as my #02 (reviewed here). Only a few words of caution with the Aqua Cream: work fast. They set quickly and they do not budge!

The two products that are new to me, are the HD Powder and the pencils. The powder is extremely finely milled, and transparent on the skin (my swatch is white because I meant for it to show). I think I'll be using this mostly to set under eye concealer or for special occasions. The only downside it that it is so finely milled that it goes everywhere when you open the little pot!

My favorite product of the kit is definitely the Aqua Eyes pencils. The black liner has been my go-to for a couple weeks now. They do not move, transfer, and they wear really well on the water line. The black is very black, but still buildable for more intensity. To my relief, the pencils aren't too soft (something I don't like in liners) and glide easily on application. I absolutely recommend these, and hope to purchase a few more colors for my collection. I know my mother was looking for a Forest Green eye liner and I think these would be right up her alley!

Hope this review was helpful for you! I think this would make an excellent Christmas gift, especially since there are no duds in this kit! The kit is C$65 at your local Sephora.

* 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.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

LUSH soaps! Mr. Punch, Snow Globe and Snowcake review!

If there's something that puts me in the holiday spirit, it's holiday scents. Candles, the smell of cookies baking, the smell of Christmas trees, the smell of my parent's house when turkey is in the oven. My memory is very much scent oriented - I associate the Fructis shampoo scent with Harry Potter (I read the books while using this shampoo!). So when I was offered to review some Christmas soaps from LUSH*, I jumped a the chance - who knows, maybe I was going to find THE Christmas soap of the year? Maybe by using them around Christmas time, they'll remind of of Christmas year round?

I brought these soaps along for a weekend trip with my mom, and since she had forgotten to bring any kind of soap or body wash (oh mom!), I thought it the perfect opportunity to ask for a second opinion on these products to see what she thought of them. She's quite a fan of LUSH so I didn't have to ask too hard.

My mom immediately gravitated towards the Mr. Punch soap. She loved the fruity but clean smell. The smell isn't too sweet either, which she loved. She was however, a bit disappointed with the fact that it doesn't lather up as much as she would have liked. She loves the smell of it very much though! So do I, but I find the slight smell of booze a bit surprising - it's great, but I wouldn't use it on hangover morn. 

From left to right we've got Mr. Punch, Snow Globe and Snowcake soaps.

I, on the other hand, LOVED the Snow Globe soap. The lemony, earthy smell was exactly what I want in a soap. I love getting out of the shower and smelling "fresh" if that make sense. Snow Globe is perfect for that. It lathered really well (other soaps I've tried such as the Demon in the Dark lathered much less) and left my skin squeaky clean, but not dry.

I also tried the Snowcake soap and while it's not a smell I would gravitate towards, I actually quite liked the scent on me. It smells to me, just as LUSH describes, like creamy almonds. They also say it smells like marzipan, but I have no idea what marzipan smells like. The soap was very moisturizing (more than Snow Globe in my opinion) and the scent lingered on my skin for a while. This was the biggest surprise to me - I really expected to not like it.

Also, just to add to this soap fiesta, I recently tried the Karma soap in sample form and guys, it was so good. I understand it's not a scent for everyone, but goodness, I thought it was AMAZING. It smells of oranges and patchouli. The boy said I smelled like a hippy, but I ain't care! It's definitely something I will purchase in the future.

So all in all, my Christmas soap? I think Snow Globe is definitely a winner. You can't beat LUSH's signature earthy scent - I absolutely love it. If you're into fresh scents, I think you would definitely like it. If you like softer, milder scents, Snowcake is for you - it's very lovely and gives a good lather even if it's moisturizing. Mr. Punch's scent, in my opinion, for everyone.Who doesn't like the smell of fresh punch?

Have you gotten LUSH goodies for Christmas gifts? I've gotten (SHHHH!) some things for some unnamed family members, who hopefully, will not be reading this last sentence.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

* 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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Everyday neutrals with MAC, Rouge Bunny Rouge and my Z Palette

I thought it might be fun to do a quick post featuring my most used, day to day, eyeshadows!

Now, I'm not very adventurous with my lids. I like neutrals and taupes - in my opinion, there's no way to go wrong with them. And since I have blue eyes, brows tend to emphasize them so I tend to gravitate towards them.

From left to right, we've got: MAC Shroom, All That Glitters, Omega and Woodwinked, Rouge Bunny Rouge Bohemian Waxwing, MAC Satin Taupe, Bronze, Smut and Brun.

Once again, in the same order MAC Shroom, All That Glitters, Omega and Woodwinked, Rouge Bunny Rouge Bohemian Waxwing, MAC Satin Taupe, Bronze, Smut and Brun.

So overall pretty boring huh?

But at the same time, they are so simple to use. I often use All That Glitters all over my lid with Omega in the crease, and Brun on the lashline. More often than not, Brun is used on my brows, if I can't be bothered to use my Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector which is a tad more time consuming. Some of my favorite 1 step, all over lid colors are MAC's Satin Taupe and Rouge Bunny Rouge's Bohemian Waxing, which is a new addition. Woodwinked is also very flattering as an all over lid color, especially with a black winged gel liner. I keep going back to Bronze, Smut and Brun to add depth to my crease. Smut looks very muddy in the swatch, but it actually works well in the crease - it is actually more plummy than in the swatch. Shroom is my go-to to add brightness in my eye's inner corner.

So there you have it - my most used shadows, safely enclosed in my Z-Palette.

What are your most used shadows? Do you keep them together in a palette or separate?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bite Beauty Luminous Lip Library - Review & Swatches

After having tried their Bite Beauty Color and Shine to Go minis (reviewed here) I knew Bite Beauty was a brand that was to be on my radar. Bite Beauty is an all-natural lip care company that operates out of downtown Toronto. I had no idea they were a Canadian company! Their goal was to create lipstick that was good enough for women to eat - I can't say I would, but the fact that these lipsticks are edible make me think they can't be bad to put on your lips!

When I saw the Bite Beauty Luminous Lip Library available on Sephora's website, I knew I needed to give it a try. I was excited to try 9 Bite Beauty colors - who knows, maybe I'll find my perfect color?

This is what the palette arrived looking as, all packaged up.

 And inside that was this:

And this is what the actual palette looks like! It has a sleek cardboard casing. It feels quite sturdy.
And the inside looks like this! It comes with a small lip brush, which is actually quite good. It has rounded edges which makes lipstick application easy.

From left to right: Cava, Rosette, Pepper, Fig, Cin Cin, Poppy, Carménère, Rosé, Tannin

All, and I mean all of the lipsticks, are incredibly pigmented. They are smooth and creamy - really one of the best formulas I've come across. None of these contain shimmer, or glitter bit. They have a semi-glossy finish - they are still quite opaque and creamy so I wouldn't say they are glossy. They do not dry my lips out whatsoever.

My favorite of the bunch are Pepper, Rosé, Tannin and Cin Cin. Even if it looks a bit orange in my swatch, Cin Cin was quite flattering on, especially with some gold tones for eye makeup. 

I can't speak much of the Prep, Prime and Protect balms, but the Prep was quite pleasant to put on under a lipstick. Personally, I would have preferred to have more lipstick colors in the palettes rather than try on a lip primer and balm. I don't use lip primer, and I have way too many balms already!

If you don't mind applying your lipstick with a brush, I think this would be a great buy! I personally don't have the time to apply my lipstick with a brush in the morning, but I don't mind doing it for a night out. Plus, it's fun to explore different colors you might not think of buying in a full-sized tube!

Hope you all had a great weekend! I visited my grandparents (who live in the middle of nowhere) and it was a blast! My brother and I took some scenic pictures - perhaps I'll post them this week.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Snow themed mani with Essie's Bikini So Teeny

When first contacted me to participate in their Holiday Nail Art Challenge, I wasn't sure I'd be good enough for it. Me? Nail art? I can't say I know my way around that. But, I'm a pretty creative person, so I decided I'd give it a go anyway - worst that can happen is that I'll have fun with my nail polishes!

This week's theme was snow! So I put myself to the task and came up with this manicure!

I didn't want to create anything complicated (because I'm not that good!) but wanted something sparkly and layered.

For this manicure, I used the following products:
From left to right: Essie Bikini So Teeny, Orly Twilight, China Glaze White on White, Nicole by OPI It's All About the Glam, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, and Seche Vite Top Coat.

I started with two coats of Bikini So Teeny, which in itself is beautiful. Then I used Orly's Twilight just on the tip of my nails. I then dotted China Glaze's White on White as well as Nicole by OPI's It's All About Glam on my nails with a pencil (#klassy) as well as a mechanical pencil (#professional) to get the different sizes of "snowflakes". After this, I added OPI's Pirouette My Whistle on top of everything to create some dimension. A coat of Seche Vite to finish it off and VOILA!

I had so much fun doing this!

The Holiday Nail Art Challenge is live on and you can vote for your favorite snow manicure here. Of course, I'd really appreciate if you could vote for me!

For my all my American friends - Happy Thanksgiving! Our Canadian one has already passed, but yum, I could totally eat stuffing and sweet potatoes again! That's my kind of comfort food!