Tuesday, 30 August 2011

NOTD: The New French

What you need: 
  • a nude nailpolish
  • a dark polish - can be black, navy, etc. Does not have to be an art pen
  • a real steady hand

This is my NOTD, inspired by Lisa Eldridge's Video a few weeks back.

I took Essie's Topless & Barefoot and painted the black using an LA Color Art Deco Polish.

This look is very chic. I don't ever describe anything as chic, but that is what screamed at me as I was painting.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Good Deals #1

The  promotion this week for 30 Days of Beauty at Shoppers Drug Mart is for Benefit Mascara! Buy any Benefit Mascara and get 5000 Optimum Points. 8000 Optimum Points gets you $10 to spend on anything in store. If you're a collector of Optimum Points like I am, you can save your points and around Christmas they will double the value of your points and you get to buy more products for the same amount of points. I personally will be looking into that They're Real Mascara!

Back to School Must-Haves: Makeup Edition!

I wanted to write about a few products I could recommend to my readers for Back to School. My vision of Back to School makeup products are products that last all day, are fun, but can be easily toned down and good value for the price you pay.

If you scroll through the posts I have in this blog, you'll know I am a high end makeup kind of girl. I rarely purchase things that are what I consider drugstore products. This is mostly because of how my skin has reacted to drugstore makeup in the past and that I truly believe that investing money in high end makeup is worth it.

What I will do, however, is google the product I recommend and suggest from drugstore alternatives. These alternatives are products I will choose based on online reviews and that I may have not tired before. So please exercise caution.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer For school, I personally think a full foundation is too much. Even though acne is a huge issue, I recall too many classmates who looked really cakey at the beginning of the day and worse by the end of it. They stood out in school because everyone else was acne ridden and they were clearly trying to cover it up in the wrong way. One of the great advantages of a tinted moisturizer is that a good one can be medium-full coverage and almost impossible to over apply. Tinted moisturizers usually don't need much time to set, meaning the results appear quicker and you will know if you missed a spot instead of applying over the same area because it is not giving you the payoff you want. This also eliminates the need to put on a moisturizer and a foundation, which is quicker in the morning and better for your skin. Tinted Moisturizers wear well, while they may not last in its entirety all day, they always remain even on the skin. For college/university, I think it is more appropriate to wear foundation, but I personally believe that is too heavy for class.
Drugstore Recommendations: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer, CoverGirl Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer, Almay Smart Shade

MAC Studio Finish Concealer If you have skin that is only somewhat problematic, you may be able to skip the idea of a foundation and only use a concealer. A concealer is used to cover up select problem areas, such as under your eyes, the edges of your nose and problem spots caused by acne, etc. Personally, I would have never been able to get away with this, but this works great for people who want to cover minute issues.
Drugstore Recommendations: Hard Candy Glamoflage, CoverGirl Invisible Concealer

Makeup Forever Aqua Creams For a quick eyeshadow colour, Aqua Creams are a wonder. They apply easily with your fingers and last all day. These are great for the mornings you're late of 8:30 class (which is all of those mornings!). They also come in a variety of colours including neutrals.
Drugstore Recommendations: L'Oreal Color Infalliable Cream Eye Shadow

Urban Decay Naked Palette While my high school had no rule against flashy makeup, I knew of a lot of schools that did. The Naked Palette is a great array of neutrals for a good price. At around $50, you get 12 full sized eyeshadows, which is incomparable in the high end category. The great things about this palette is that you can experiment with the 12 colours and still be relatively neutral. You are not limited to one look, which is a lot of fun!
Drugstore Recommendations: Elf Neutral Palette, Wet N Wild Comfort Zone

Blush Blush is a product that is rather subjective. In order to choose a good blush, you need to know what you like. If you like the look of pinks on the cheeks, like myself, find a pink that is pigmented enough to show on your skin, but is relatively neutral. You want to give your face life without being obvious. The same goes for plum, brown, etc shades.

Bronzer This comes to mind to me, however this is completely optional. I personally don't use it, but feel free to use at your own discretion. 

Blotting Sheets These are great to have to remove shine from your face and keep you looking fresh throughout the day. They are compact and easy to carry around in a pencil case or pocket. Clean and Clear make a relatively inexpensive pack, which work great.

Lip Gloss or Tinted Balm This is one of the few things any student can do nuts with. Most glosses are shiny with small amounts of colour that can add to a neutral look and keep your lips moisturized during the day. It is very easily accessible. Tinted balm is better for long wear, but lip gloss is more fun! Mix it up by layering or using a different one everyday.

I hope this helps those heading  to school next week! I start school next thursday! Happy studying! If you think I forgot something, let me know in the comments! :)

Makeup Forever Aqua Cream Shadows (#18, 21)

One of my personal favourite products that I've ever come across are these lovely Makeup Forever Aqua Cream Shadows.

Makeup Forever, as a brand as a whole, produces consistently great products. I've only ever had issue with one of the products, the Aqua Eyes Pencil, which I could not sharpen without breaking. If you have the money, I would honestly suggest investing in MUFE.

Their Aqua Cream line features 22 shades. One shade is banned from the US, which is #19 Purple, because of the ingredient used for the pigment. Thus, it is difficult to find in Canada, despite being fine to use here.

Aqua Creams can be used for Eyes/Cheeks or Lips/Cheeks. The ones that have a red dye (pinks, reds, etc) are lips/cheeks. I primarily use Aqua Creams for eyeshadows.

I've tested my aqua creams in many difficult situations and I can honestly say they do what they're advertised to do with minimal issue.

For everyday use, the Aqua Creams do not crease and last all day. In order to get a more defined colour without creasing, you need to build the colour with layers, instead of slathering a lot on a once. Once they touch the skin, they are impossible to move without an oil based makeup remover. There is a VERY short time frame to correct mistakes, which can be hassle when you're beginning to use them. Once you get the hang of how you like to place these shadows on your eyelids, it becomes very easy.

In harsher conditions, such as rain or on hot, sweaty days, these work incredibly. The pigment does not run nor fade.

I have tested these while swimming and while in the ocean. After two hours swimming, I noticed very evident fading. I felt that this had to do with the chlorine in the water, because when I spend two hours in the ocean, the fading was very minimal. I noticed that where I applied the shadow lightly, the shadow was almost washed off, but where I applied it in layers, I found that if the colour faded, it was hardly noticeable.

One of the cool things about these shadows is that they are multipurpose and waterline safe. I've used #21 as an eyeliner on the waterline and on the lower lash line and found no wear at all after a full day of work. I experienced no irritation after 5 days of using the Aqua Cream on the waterline.

The one disappointing aspect to MUFE Aqua Creams is how it stands as a base for powder eyeshadow. I found that by the end of the work day, the powder had fallen off and left behind was just the Aqua Cream shadow. If I want to combine an Aqua Cream and a powder shadow, I will apply the Aqua Cream and let it dry, then apply a clear eyeshadow base, such as the Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Primer, and work from there.

In terms of the two I own, #18 is a lavender and #21 is a turquoise. I found #21 harder to work with because of the pigmentation in it. #18 is a dream to work with. Both have been well used.

L-R: #21, #18