Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer review

I've been curious about Hourglass products for a while. But for some reason, not too many of the products appealed to me. The Liquid lipsticks looked lovely, but my local Sephora didn't carry them. Bummer.

I was browsing Sephora a few weeks ago thinking of trying out a face primer. I considered a lot of them including the Tarte primer, and the Laura Mercier primers. I almost never wear primer but wanted something for my sister's wedding to make sure my foundation stayed in place.  Primers usually do nothing for me so I didn't really want to spend a fortune, but I thought I'd give something a try, since I hadn't worn any in a while. Who knows - maybe my skin had changed?

Well, my skin hasn't changed. It does not really jive with primer. However, I was still pleasantly surprised with this product.

First off, this product is pretty much pure silicone. So if you're not a fan of this, which I personally am usually not, I'd say to skip this one. However, if you're familiar with the Smashbox Photofinish primer, the Hourglass primer isn't the same type of silicone primer. The Hourglass primer is very very thin in texture. It does not feel like you are coating your face with a layer, which is how I felt about the Smashbox primer. It has a milky fluid texture, and blends in effortlessly. Because the product is so thin, you need the smallest amount to cover your face - a full pump is way too much in my opinion. It is completely lightweight, and does not feel like much of anything after blended on the skin. Your skin will feel soft, but almost like you've just exfoliated rather than put anything on it.

The picture above shows these features, but this primer does not contain oil, parabens, fragrance, sulfate, dyes, nanoparticles, phthalates, is vegan, and contains SPF 15. I'm not sure if that's normal in primers, as I'm not too familiar with them, but it's pretty impressive. Primers and silicones tend to irritate my skin and clog my pores, so I try not to use silicone heavy products too much. This did not irritate my skin at all - perhaps because it is so lightweight?

Now did it do what primers are supposed to do? Well, yes and no. I found it did not help keep oil at bay. My skin is very oily, and nothing really does, so I'm not terribly disappointed by this. However, what I'm very happy about, is that my foundation looked a lot fresher at the end of my day. Most foundations tend to separate a bit on my face by the end of the day - usually in the sense that most of the foundation on my face is concentrated around my brows and nose. The Hourglass primer definitely kept my foundation from slipping.

I'm glad I only purchased the tiny little 10ml bottle though (C$21.00). I don't see so much of a difference to feel the need to use it every day, but it is nice to have around for special occasions or for very long work days. You need such a small amount that I could never see myself use the full bottle. So if you're considering this product, go for the 10ml bottle and try it out. I think it's definitely worth it!

Do you have a favorite primer?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Estee Lauder Violet Undergroud palette - Review + Swatches!

What a better day to write a blog post than when you're stuck at home, blowing your nose every 30 seconds? That's right, I'm home sick. Fortunately, my being ill came after my sister's wedding, and after a major work event. So I suppose I am grateful for that. I'll try to upload some wedding pictures but unfortunately, I didn't have time to take many of my own since I was the maid of honor and all - I was pretty much focused on making everything run smoothly! And that it did - the wedding was beautiful and everyone had a blast. What a relief that it is over! 

Now on to a review of one of my most wanted items of the year!

It's kind of embarrassing how excited I was to get my hands on this palette. I mean, I literally didn't think twice and pressed the purchase button. But I knew I needed the Estee Lauder Violet Underground palette when reviews started making it on to the blogosphere. The packaging is absolutely stunning, and I must say, I'm guilty of purchasing the palette partly on this feature.

Isn't it just stunning? The pattern in the shadow is gorgeous. And I love the unusual paring of colors!

The swatches are below.

I'm not so sure why this is named Violet Underground - there isn't much violet in the palette! The blue color does lean towards a purpley color though, and the pinky color is pretty much a cool violet in my opinion. I'm especially smitten with the brown shade, which I tend to use all over the lid, and the pale beige color. The longevity of these shadows is excellent - much better than your average MAC shadow in my opinion.

Overall, I definitely suggest this palette. I love that it can be used for a daytime or nighttime look very easily. I'm also loving the sleekness of the packaging and the fact that there is a mirror in it. I don't know how many times I'll use that pink shade though! The only slight disadvantage is that the colors are a bit hard to get on your brush because of the pattern. This also creates a bit of fall out - just remember to tap your brush before you apply!

Hope everyone is doing well! My life has been crazy busy lately which explains the lack of regular posts. Hopefully, I'll be getting back on the bandwagon this week!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall look with OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet + Sleek Sunset palette

I'm sure you're all tired of hearing how fall is wonderful, and how beautiful the trees are. But seriously, I love fall. First off, it's the season of my birthday (it was two days ago!) AND the trees ARE beautiful. You can't deny that! So I got inspired by Sleek's Sunset palette and created a fall look. It's quite a bright and fun look, and is super easy!

My sister is getting married tomorrow! So I thought I'd slip in this post before all madness ensues. I'm so excited for her!

I recently purchased an OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet when I saw that my local Sephora started carrying them. I thought it might be fun to try a bright lips + bright eyes combo with it!

- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude
- MAC Moisturecover on blemishes in NW 20
- MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW15 under my eyes
- Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in Audacious Plum
- Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Iced Gold

- Marcelle Accent Eyebrow Crayon in Brun Tendre
- Make Up For Ever Eye Prime
- Sleek Sunset palette on eyes (#7 all over lid, #2 in crease, #10 inner corner, #1 black at the lashline). For reference on these numbers, check out my review here.
- MAC Teddy Eye Khol in waterline
- Annabelle Le Big Show mascara

- OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet

And here's a swatch on my hand:

The OCC Lip Tar wore amazingly! No flaking, no budging. It wore for 5 hours, which included lots of water drinking, and eating. Plus, it left a significant stain as it wore off. And I loved how lightweight it felt on my lips - it didn't feel like I had anything at all on my lips! It's a winner in my books!

Are you inspired by fall with your makeup? Do you change your routine with the seasons?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sleek's Sunset Palette - Review + swatches

Today, I'm bringing you a short but sweet review of the Sleek Sunset palette. Always a winner with the Pixiwoos, Sleek is a "drugstore" or "highstreet" brand of makeup mostly sold in the UK. However, they do ship to Canada from their website! Of course, this was a great excuse to try a few palettes!

This palette's name really does suit its style - the colors are truly resemblant to a beach sunset. The general warmness of the palette is stunning. I'm not usually one to go for warm colors (especially oranges!) but this palette intrigued me. I was wondering if it would be a day-to-day palette, or more of a special occasion palette. I was pleasantly surprised to see myself wearing these shadows to work on many occasions (just not the bright red and blue!).

Swatched on my arm.

I love this palette. The colors are truly pigmented and a breeze to blend. Some of them do produce fall-out so you have to be a bit careful of that. I'm especially smitten with shades 3, 7 and 10. 7 is a truly unique burgandy/bronze/mauve color - I can't say I have anything quite like it!

Here's a quick look I've done using shades 7, 2, 10 and 1 (the black at the lashline).

If you're a fan of bright shadows, I'd definitely recommend this palette. Its pigmentation is in my experience as good as, if not better, most MAC shadows. And at $9.99, you are definitely getting a bang for your buck. If you like your neutrals, I'd say skip it, and go for their Oh So Special palette (reviewed here). But then again, venturing into brights have never been cheaper than this!

Only one week until my sister's wedding. There is so much stuff to be done before Saturday! And don't even get me thinking about work... if I get out of this week alive, I'll be happy.

Hope you all had a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bite Beauty Color and Shine to Go minis!

Being an hour and a half away from a Sephora is sometimes difficult. When my coworker and I scheduled some work meetings in a Sephora town, I knew what I'd be doing during my lunch break. While browsing the ailes, I fell on this little Bite Beauty minis. I had passed on a Bite Beauty purchase this summer in Toronto and after hearing great reviews of Bite Beauty, regreted it. I though, eh, why not give this cute minis a try!

These are teeny tiny! You receive a gloss in Sante, and two Luminous Creme lipsticks in Fig and Pepper. All for $15!

Sure, the packaging is a bit hard to work with - you have to be careful not to smoosh the top of the lipstick when you put the cap back on. But I didn't even talk about the good part. These lipsticks are GOOD. Amazing even. Seriously.

From left to right: Sante Lipgloss, Fig lipstick, Pepper lipstick

The swatches don't show how smooth, pigmented and COMFORTABLE these are to wear. They are truly one of the nicest formula of lipsticks I own. They are not slippery in texture like Chanel Rouge Coco Shines, nor waxy like some MAC lipsticks. They resemble the texture of my Estee Lauder Crystal Rose, but these are less glossy, and well, better really. They are smooth, and coat the lips evenly without any tugging or heavy application. I hate when a lipstick is so glossy that you have to seriously coat your lips for an even application. That usually leads to seriously dry lips once it wears out. They are not in the least bit waxy, which is a personal lipstick pet peeve of mine as well. I realise I pretty much ignored the poor Sante lipgloss - it's fine, but a bit too thick for my taste. I'm not much of a gloss girl anyway.

If you're not quite sold, ready this review by Xiao from Messy Wands. How pigmented is THAT? Bite Beauty is going to be famous, I can tell. (I forgot to add that this review by Beautezine is also excellent!) At least I hope so. I'm definitely purchasing the full size of the Pepper lipsticks. I wore it this morning and I think I checked myself in the mirror a couple times on the way to work. Boy thought I was weird, and with reason.

Have you tried any Bite Beauty products? 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Clarins Joli Rouge in #712 Baby Rose

Lucky for me, I have a Clarins counter literally 2 minutes from my home, which is extremely convenient when I need a quick beauty pick me up. I'm already a fan of Clarins, so it was easy for me to pick out a soft pink from their Joli Rouge range. I left with #712 Baby Rose, a neutral light blue-based pink. 

 I really love the packaging of the Joli Rouge. It's weighty and compact. Plus, it's shiny!

Swatched, on my hand.

Applied on my lips. I find the color quite flattering on my skintone! Plus, it looks great with a smokey eye.

Left to right: Korres Liquid Lipstick #13, Clarins #712 Baby Rose, MAC Creme Cup

I decided to swatch my lipsticks for fun to see if I had any matches. MAC's Creme Cup is obviously the contender but Clarins' Baby Rose is significantly more moisturizing.

I think this may become my go-to every day lipstick! It's smells delicious, doesn't dry my lips out, and can basically be applied without a mirror. It's not long wearing, but I think that's the compromise I make with lipsticks when I don't want them to dry my lips out!

Do you have a go-to, no fail, goes with everything lipstick?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gelish nails in Midnight Caller

Sometimes, when I just can't be bother to be fussing at my nails, when my week is looking too busy for a regular polish sesh, I use up my Sunday night to Gelish myself up.

For those of you who don't know, Gelish is a gel polish, as the name suggests, that must be cured under a LED or UV light. Yes, it does take a bit more time than a regular manicure, but if you're lucky, it can last up to three weeks. My nails grow too fast for that to be realistic, but I'm already happy with a truly chip free manicure for a week.

Gelish's Midnight Caller is a shimmery steel gray. I was worried the polish would be streaky, specifically because of the shimmery finish, but the polish was self-leveling, and didn't cause me any problems.

I really liked wearing this polish. I was versatile and neutral enough to match my closet's color palette, but it also had little bit of a kick with its beautiful shimmer.

I'm currently debating what color of Gelish I will be sporting for my sister's wedding. We're wearing navy dresses and I'm thinking either a soft pink, or a lavender. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N27 review + swatches!

I think we all know at this point that I have a slight addiction to Make Up For Ever products. To me, they are a better, more diverse and artistic version of MAC. I also really like their marketing - no fluff, or gimmicks - their brand is simply about the makeup. And they don't come out with collections every 2 months. I like not feeling like I have to buy limited edition products all the time!

Anyway, on to the review!

Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Natural in N27 is a sheer plummy/pink lipstick. When you look at the color of the bullet, it looks like it will be pigmented, but it is actually sheer and lightweight. The lipstick claims to be moisturizing, and I have to agree. I find that sheer lipsticks often dry my lips out, especially if they are leaning towards a stain, but didn't find this to be the case with the Rouge Artist Natural. While I'm usually uncomfortable re-applying lipstick because of dryness, this lipstick is a joy to reapply, and feels just like a balm. Actually, the formula reminds me of a more moisturizing Rouge Coco Shine from Chanel.

On Annick's lips.
Left to right: Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, Make Up For Ever N27 Rouge Artist Natural, MAC Lustering.

As you can see, it leans towards my plummier/pink lipsticks, but is sheerer, and pinker. If you're looking for more pigmented lipstick, this isn't for you. What I like about the branding of this product is that is it quite clear that it is "natural" lipstick. Make Up For Ever also carries a Rouge Artist Intense lipstick line, which is meant to be pigmented, and I'll definitely be interested in trying those in the future. The price point of this lipstick is $22 in Canada, which is significantly lower than most high end lipsticks. It's always a pleasant surprise walking into Sephora and seeing the Make Up For Ever price range. Seeing some of the other prices in Sephora are disappointing. Benefit and Bare Minerals are extremely over priced in my opinion. Especially Benefit.

Enough with the ramble! Bottom line, Make Up For Ever is refreshing to me, both for aesthetic, simplicity and price point reasons. Go swatch some of their stuff and see for yourself! And the Rouge Artist Natural line is awesome if you're into the sheer lip sort of thing.

It's Tuesday and my week is already too long. This ramble is caused by exhaustion, so my sincere apologies are being sent your way if this was unreadable.

Until next time amigos! :)