Hautelook Heads Up: Stila!

Hey, guys! I just wanted to give you a heads up that Stila is going to be on Hautelook tomorrow (Monday, July 1)! Are any of you going to be checking it out?

June Empties

It's the last day of June, and this month I was able to finish up four products. They're all skincare products (the easiest thing to finish up, am I right?) and three of them are from The Body Shop.

In the back we have the Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes and Tea Tree Blackhead Exfoliating Wash both by The Body Shop, and in front is Smith's Rosebud Salve and The Body Shop Shea Body Scrub.

I have a post on the Tea Tree products here, and on the scrub here. I liked all three of these products and would purchase them again, just not right now. I have two packs of cleansing wipes I'm going through right now and another facial exfoliator. As for a scrub, I'll probably be picking up a cheaper one for the time being (this one is $20!).

As for the Rosebud Salve, I love this stuff. It's great and you can use it for lots of different things including relieving chapped lips (which I mainly used it for), skin, blemishes, and cuticles. I got this tin back in November and I just finished it yesterday, so it lasts for a long time and it's only $6! I would repurchase but it's not available here (I bought mine in Boston).

Did you finish up any products this month? Let me know!

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Milani Naturally Chic Shadow Eyez in Almond Cream Review & Swatches

Today I bring you another fantastic product from Milani! This is their Shadow Eyez 12 Hour Wear Eyeshadow in the shade Almond Cream, which is from their limited edition Naturally Chic collection.

The Shadow Eyez are another product by Milani that has tons of rave reviews, and I've always wanted to try one of them out. None of their permanent shades interested me though, so I was excited to see the Naturally Chic collection come out with six natural shades (with four of them being matte)! I love shades like Almond Cream, so it's a no brainer that it's the one I got. Before we continue, here's what Milani's website has to say about this product:

"Get Naturally Chic with these big and blendable 2-in-1 color rich nude pencils that can be used as shadow or liner. Creamy smooth, long-lasting, water-resistant, crease-proof and Paraben-free formula. The next generation of shadows that you sharpen."
To make it fast, all of their claims are true. This shadow pencil is creamy and smooth, and applies like a dream. It also blends out easily. It's super long wearing and doesn't crease or fade either. I can definitely see what the hype is about with these!
 Almond Cream in natural lighting, heavy swatch on left, blended out on right

Almond Cream with flash, heavy swatch on left, blended out on right
I had a bit of trouble getting a good picture of the swatch, so I'll apologize for that right now! Anyway, Almond Cream is described simply as a 'vanilla matte' on the Milani website, but it has a slight touch of warm beige to it as well. I think it goes well with my skin-tone! It makes a great highlight, base, or wash of color on the lid. I haven't tried it out as an eyeliner yet, but I'm wondering how it would do in the waterline..!
Oh, and just to add to the long-lasting and water-resistant claims.. this swatch would not budge. Not even with water, and I had to scrub my arm to get it to come off. It's a tough little guy!
Overall this is a great product, and I'm now tempted to pick up another one. Have you tried the Shadow Eyez? What did you think?
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Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso Review & Swatches

The Baked Blush by Milani is "a luxurious powder blush that features a melange infusion of colors baked on Italian terracotta tiles. Easy to use, sensorial in texture, the nuances of color become extraordinarily luminous. Silky smooth application leaves your face looking healthy and radiant all day." (Forgive me, but what does sensorial mean? Is that like sensational?) Anyway..

These blushes seem to be quite popular and I've wanted to try out the shade Luminoso since last summer, but never got around to it. Lawtons recently had them on sale for 20% off though, so I finally bought one and I'm happy to report that it has lived up to my expectations!

Isn't she pretty? I'll get to the actual blush in a moment, but let's talk a little about the packaging first. I have a sort of love hate relationship with it.. the gold is cute, but the compact is a bit too bulky for me. That would be because it also contains a compartment under the blush that holds a brush and a mirror:

The brush is useless like most included brushes from the drugstore, and I think the compact would be so much nicer without the extra bulk needed to store it. Oh, well.

Okay, let's get to the good stuff!

Luminoso in natural light/sunlight
Luminoso with flash
As you can see, Luminoso is a beautiul peach and gives the nicest glow. Baked products aren't really my favorite, usually because of the shimmer in them, and while I was a bit scared of the sparkle I saw when I first swatched this blush I was relieved that it doesn't translate to the face. The finish of this blush just gives a lovely, healthy and natural sheen and I was pretty much in love the first time I applied it!
The texture of this baked blush is also nice and soft, while a lot of other baked products I've tried can have an almost gritty feeling to them. Luminoso also applies and blends like a dream, and it's also quite pigmented - you only need one tap of it! Ah, this blush is like that best friend you can always depend on. It's wonderful.
I didn't think I would end up loving this blush as much as I do, and now I'm tempted to try more of the shades! What do you think?
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Neutrogena All-in-One Make-Up Removing Cleansing Wipes Review

Neutrogena's cleansing wipes seem to be the favorite for many, but I've never personally tried them out because they're more expensive then other brands (my favorite Clean & Clear ones are around $6, while these are around $9-11). I recently got this sample pack of seven wipes though, so I was pretty excited to try them out and see if they were as good as I've heard.
The verdict? I like them a lot! These wipes are nice and soft, with just enough moisture to them - they're not soaking wet nor super dry. They have a scent to them that I find quite pleasant and refreshing.. it's just one of those clean smells. Although they do have a scent they don't irritate my eyes at all (wipes like Biore's buuurn) and they remove makeup well. Even my eye makeup! A lot of times I need to go back with a seperate eye makeup remover to get any last bits after using wipes, but not with these. Bonus points for that!
So, after getting to try these wipes I'd definitely like to purchase a full pack! Have you tried them before?
Disclaimer: I received these in a promotion Neutrogena did where they sent you five samples or coupons of your choice, but the above is my honest opinion!

Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon Review & Swatch

I've been on the lookout for the new Revlon Lip Butter shades for what seems like forever; and I finally found them (well three of them)! They were tucked away on a random stand in Lawtons, mixed in with tons of different odds and ends including nail polishes and cupcake shaped lip balms, just waiting for me to find them. At first I just thought they were old shades but once I picked one up I was estatic to find that they were the new ones! Wild Watermelon, the one I have here, is the one I wanted the most so I was very happy that it was there.

Wild Watermelon is, well, pretty much a watermelon shade. It leans a bit more red then pink, though. It's a great color and definitely very summer.

I already love Revlon's Lip Butters and this one is no exception. It applied super smoothly, was moisturizing, and wore well too.

Here's a wrist swatch! Lip Butters vary in coverage, some are as opaque as a lipstick and some are really sheer; but Wild Watermelon is somewhere in between. It's semi-sheer and semi-opaque and has a bit of translucency on the lips.

Not the best picture quality but here's me wearing it on the lips. I love the juicy finish that it has! Now if only I could find the Juicy Papaya shade!
PS. July 1st is getting closer, which is the day that Google Reader/GFC shuts down. Most of you follow me this way and I don't want to lose touch with you; so if you'd like to continue following me it would be awesome if you followed me on Bloglovin' (my favorite alternative; they'll also import all the blogs you already follow with GFC for you!). Thanks guys!

June Favorites

This June was another one of those months where I just stuck to basic and minimal makeup. I mainly just wore base makeup, filled in my brows, and did mascara and sometimes a bit of liner. I didn't sport bright lips or anything too much so I only have a few products for this monthly favorites post; four to be exact.

For June I definitely had a favorite scent to wear which is the PINK With a Splash All-Over Body Mist in Sunny & Happy by Victoria's Secret. This is the only scent I've worn all June! I think it's definitely a summer scent, though I would wear it whenever I want regardless of the season haha. It's scented with "a happy blend of sunny freesia & starfruit", and isn't too strong nor too light. I see myself continuing to wear this a lot throughout the summer!

Next favorite is the MAC Pearlmatte in Flatter Me - a favorite for the second month in a row! I didn't really wear cheek products this month but if I did it was this. I love the natural glow it gives you.

Now that I've gotten to try MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack I never want to live without it again. Gel liners are my favorite and this one is superb; it's my precious.

And my last favorite is a Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer, which is a bit random. It's light and sheer yet it was the lip product I wore the most.

So, that's it for my June favorites! What were some of your favorites this month?

Bed Head by TIGI Candy Fixations Luxe Lipgloss in Sugar Dust Review & Swatch

Bed Head by TIGI recently came out with five new Luxe Lipglosses, all inspired by Bed Head's Candy Fixations hair styling collection. There are five glosses, and each is named after one of the five products from the hair collection. The one that I have here is Sugar Dust, and I actually have used the Sugar Dust hair product which is a powder that gives lift and texture at the roots.

The other five glosses in the collection are Totally Baked (a sheer gold), Glaze Haze (a bright berry purple), Mega Whip (a candy pink; I love using the Mega Whip product for hair btw!), and Sugar Shock (a red).

The packaging for the gloss is a bit bulky, but still cute and functional. The design also matches that of the hair products. As you can see it comes with a standard doe-foot applicator, which I think is a bit on the stiff side but still works just fine.
Sugar Dust is described as a "bright candied apricot confection witha hint of shimmer". I don't really like shimmer in my lip products so I was happy to see that it wasn't really noticeable at all once applied on the lips. As for the actual color it goes on pretty sheer which I was expecting, and simply gives my natural lips a little boost.
This gloss isn't really sticky at all, and was comfortable to wear. It also wore for about two hours without drinking or eating. Oh, and it smells just like Juicy Fruit gum! I love the smell but it is kind of strong so I was relieved that it didn't linger around after I was done with application. So, what do you think?

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer Review & Swatch

The Photo Finish Lid Primer by Smashbox claims to "create the perfect canvas for shadow application" and contains "Phytomoist, a plant-based hyaluronic acid for ultimate moisturization and amino acids for skin smoothing benefits". This primer only comes in one universal shade, but Smashbox claims it's for all skin tones (I'll have a swatch for you!). They say you can "wear this universal shade under shadow to increase longevity and prevent creasing, or alone to correct discoloration on lids for a perfect neutral eye". On top of all of this it's also oil free.

So, what do I think of it? Well, I like it quite a lot!

This primer comes in a tube with a standard doe-foot applicator, which I really like personally. I know that there are people who prefer to have their shadow primers in a squeeze tube (like UDPP or TFSI), but I don't really have a preference. Anyway, once you take out the wand you'll have more then enough product on it for both eyes as you only need a small dab. The consistency of this primer is nice and thin (whereas, again, UDPP or TFSI are thicker) and is easy and quick to blend. It also dries quickly and feels somewhat velvety.

Here's a swatch (unblended on the left, blended on the right), and as you can see its a warm beige. On its own it does slightly neutralize my lids as they claim. They also claim that the shade is universal and while it blends with my skin tone nicely I feel like if you had really pale or dark skin it would be more noticeable.

As for keeping your eyeshadow crease-free and in place it does both. You don't hear much about it so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it's a great primer and I'm glad that I picked it up! What do you think? Have you tried it?

NYX Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealer Review

I really wanted to like the Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealer by NYX, but unfortunately it's just not the concealer for me...

This concealer is supposed to be light weight and crease free, and claims to provide smooth, long lasting coverage. I agree that it's both light weight and crease free, but it just doesn't seem to cover much for me. The formula is nice and creamy, but a bit on the thin side I find. It's also very easy to blend but on me it seems to blend away into almost nothing, and really doesn't provide me with much coverage at all (I also tried to build up this concealer but there was really no difference).

Also, while the jar is cute it's not very practical. If you're using a brush, fine, but if you want to get at it with your fingers it's hard to get at and also not the most hygenic. I find that the best way to apply it is with a brush, though.

Anyway, I'll continue to use this but I won't repurchase once it's used up. It's a bummer because I had been so excited to try this product and was left quite underwhelmed!

Macro Monday Vol.8: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
Not much veining in this baked blush compared to others in the same line, but still pretty. Anyway, I'll be reviewing this soon!

Hautelook Heads Up: NYX Cosmetics

If you haven't seen yet, NYX is going to be on Hautelook tomorrow (Monday, June 17)! As you probably know by now, new sale events start at 8AM Pacific.

Whenever NYX has a Hautelook sale they usually offer sets (like what you see pictured above) so I'm curious to see what they'll have this time around. So, will you be checking this one out?

Butter London Nail Lacquer in Stag Do Review, Swatch & Photos

I've wanted to try a Butter London polish for a while now but they aren't available here, so I was delighted when I spotted a few of them at Winners. They only had three or four colors and the one that I liked the most was Stag Do, which is described as a deep, slate blue creme with a slight green shimmer. The description is spot on, I'd say!

One thing I love about Butter London polishes is the sleek, square bottles. The square cap comes off to reveal another cap that's smaller and easier to hold, though. The cap is secure but not hard to lift off, either. The only thing I'm not too fond about with this polish is that the brush is quite small and round, like Essie's for example, which I also don't favor.

Aside from the smaller brush, application was good. I found that Stag Do was able to be opaque with one thicker coat, but you could do two thinner ones if you preferred. The color is nice and is different then anything in my collection. The shimmer seems to be more apparent in the bottle then on the nail, though, which is a bit of a bummer; but overall I'm happy with my first Butter London polish.

My First 'Client': Prom Makeup

Not too long ago I started building up a 'kit', wanting to dip my toes into freelancing. My mother said I could even use her shop with her (she's a hairdresser so we could be a team, haha)! I've just been practising and learning more about eye and face shapes and different techniques, and have only used my mom so far as a test subject. I'm just taking things nice and slow! (I definitely wouldn't call myself a makeup artist.) Anyway, I was very flattered when one of my best friends Reena asked me if I would be interested in doing her makeup for her prom. I was a bit nervous since I haven't done makeup on anyone but myself and my mother, and because it's such a big night, but I think that it went well! She looked fabulous! She told me I could blog about her so here she is:

Isn't she like a cute little Dita Von Teese?! She's the only one I know who'd be able to pull of this hairstyle (I know I'd look absolutely ridiculous with it, haha)! Going with the hair we did her makeup in a retro, pin-up style.

Her skin was really great so I only applied a light layer of foundation (she brought her own) and some concealer on any blemishes (practically none!), under her eyes, and around the nose where there tends to be redness. I also primed her skin beforehand with theBalm's TimeBalm Primer, and then set the foundation with theBalm's Sexy Mama powder. She has nice, full brows so I only filled them in very slightly with an Avon brow pencil and set them with a clear brow gel.

For her eyes I primed them with Urban Decay's Primer Potion, and then used the Naked 2 palette also by Urban Decay for shadows. I applied Foxy all over the lid, from the brow to the lashline, Tease in the crease, and a little bit of Bootycall in the inner corners. We wanted to keep the makeup mostly matte! I lined her eyes with MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack, and then applied Revlon's Lash Potion mascara (her own, but I loved what it did for her lashes and now want my own tube!). Then came the falsies.. These things did not want to cooperate with me! They were pretty stubbon but we did get them on. Stressed me out, though! The falsies were her own but I believe that they were the Demi lashes by Ardell.

For the rest of her face I did a bit of light contouring with Avon's Glow Bronzing Powder in Light Sands and highlighted the high points of her face with Benefit's High Beam. For blush I used Parasol from the Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Palette.

And of course, we did red lips! I used her own lip liner and lipstick, which were both great reds, but unfortunately I'm not sure what they were. Anyway, to lock everything in I gave her a few sprays of Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray.

One more picture! She just had her hair sprayed with some hardcore hairspray here, haha. She looked fabulous and I really hope that she liked the end results. I couldn't make it to see her walk-in but I can't wait to see pictures of her in her dress to see how everything looked together!

If you're reading this I hope that you had a great prom, Reena!

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack Review & Swatch

I've wanted to try the infamous Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC ever since I got into gel liners; they're my personal favorite type of liner to use and all I ever hear about this particular one is good things. I finally got to try it out and all I can add is positives as well!

First off, the packaging is nothing special for a gel liner. They basically all come in small pots, but I have always loved MAC's sleek and simple packaging. Black and minimal packaging (like NARS as well) will always be my favorite.

As for the actual product, I love it. What can I say? It has a wonderful texture and consistency and is easy as pie to apply, doesn't smudge and wears all day, and also has a lovely matte finish (my favorite).

I'm glad that Blacktrack lived up to its hype, and while drugstore gel liners such as Maybelline's are great as well, I believe that this one is worth the money.

What do you think? Have you tried the Blacktrack Fluidline?

NYX Matte Blotting Paper Review

Yesterday was a hot day, and I found my face looking much more oily then I would like it to. I was in Lawtons already picking up some things so when I spotted these Matte Blotting Papers by NYX I decided to get them and see if they would help. There were three other types of blotting papers by NYX (Blemish Control, Green Tea, and Tea Tree) but they were more expensive then these ones (and I would rather not spend almost $10 on blotting papers - these matte ones were around $5 which is still pushing it). Each pack comes with 50 sheets of 100% pure pulpe paper and comes in a cute little envelope, though the heart on the front is just a sticker.

Basically, NYX claims that these are the perfect blotting papers for on the go, that my oily-ness will be no more, and that my makeup will still be in tact. I agree with two of those: they're great to keep in your purse and they don't mess up your makeup. As for getting rid of oils these blotting papers were nothing special and I wouldn't repurchase them. They definitely didn't make me matte; I was still left looking pretty oily. They reduced the appearance of shine a little but that's it. I wasn't very impressed and I much prefer the blotting papers by Clean & Clear that I've also tried before. What about you? Do you use blotting papers, and if so, which ones are your favorite?

Avon Ideal Flawless BB Cream Review & Swatches

Western BB Creams drive me a bit batty because no one can seem to get them right - they all just turn out being glorified tinted moisturizers. Avon recently came out with their own BB Cream and while I admittedly face-palmed at this I still decided to try it out. I thought it could still be a good product regardless of if it lived up to its name or not!

The Ideal Flawless BB Beauty Balm Cream is $15(CDN) and comes in five shades (I have swatches of them all for you!). It's infused with moisturizers, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin E and claims to perfect, protect and hydrate all in one simple step. More claims include the following:

  • Hydrates skin
  • Smooths skin
  • SPF 15 protection
  • Evens skin tone
  • Skin looks better even after removing
  • Conceals flaws
  • Minimizes redness
  • Lightweight feel

They also claim that after 'just one week, skin looks healthier, more even and radiant' but I haven't been using it for that long. If I see any miraculous changes to my skin I'll be sure to let you know, though!

So, what do I think about Avon's spin on BB Cream? Well, I do like it. The consistency is like a lotion and blends really nice and easily into the skin. It's also very lightweight and I felt as if it did make my skin a tad smoother.

Here's all five of the shades! From left to right is Light, Light Medium, Medium, Medium Deep, and Deep. I use the Medium shade which is a good summer match for me.
This BB Cream offers a light coverage and does a nice job of evening out the skin tone. If you have any blemishes or under eye circles you'll need to go back in with some concealer, though. It also has a natural finish, but if it's really hot out or you get oily easily then definitely set it with a powder (blotting sheets might be a good idea too!). Regardless, this lasted me a good nine hours today (and it was hot out!).
Overall, I really do like this product and would recommend it (though I do see it more as a tinted moisturizer!). What do you think?

Macro Monday Vol. 7: KATE Cheek Color in OR-1

KATE Cheek Color in OR-1
If you're interested, you can see my post on this blush right here!

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef Review & Swatch

The Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef by Revlon is a product that I've wanted to try out for a while now, but kept putting off. Recently though, Revlon has repackaged and reformulated this line of gloss so I thought I better grab one before the olds ones are completely phased out!

This gloss comes with a standard doe-foot applicator that's pretty stiff and picks up a good amount of product. I also really like the square tube (the new ones are round) and think it looks quite chic!

Here's a swatch! Coral Reef is a kind of milky coral (obviously) that looks really nice on the lips - it just adds that perfect hint of color. The gloss has a very slight scent, but it's not offensive at all and I didn't even notice it at first! The consistency is on the thick side but I would say it's more tacky then sticky. I loathe sticky glosses but wearing this didn't bother me and it also wears for a good while!

Overall, it's a good gloss! Not sure why Revlon decided to redo the line. If you're a gloss person and also a coral lover I would give Coral Reef a whirl before it's gone!

Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion Review

Avon's Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion is a popular product with my clients (they like to buy them in multiples!), so I decided that I would try it out! It's $3.99(CA) but goes on sale a lot, and sometimes for as low as 89 cents! It claims to 'moisturize around the delicate eye area as it whisks away makeup' and it does.

All you do is put some of this thin lotion onto a cotton round or your fingers and then gently massage it onto your eyes.. then you simply wipe it off with a clean cotton round and you're done! It was my first time using a makeup removing lotion so it was a bit strange to use at first but still easy. It does a great job of getting all of my eye makeup off - even all of my mascara, which I usually have to go over a second time if I'm just using a regular makeup remover. I didn't notice much moisturizing from this product but it is delicate enough for the eyes and doesn't irritate them at all.

So, it does what it says it will and it's also super affordable! You also don't need much so one bottle will last you for quite a while!

NYX Cream Blush in Glow Review & Swatches

Cream blushes aren't my favorite and I definitely haven't mastered my application of them yet, but the NYX Cream Blush is a product I've been curious about for a while. I have one in the shade Glow, and it is a great cream blush! I still need to practice applying it, though!

Glow is a bright pink that looks a bit intimidating in the pan, but can be sheered out. The consistency of this cream blush is really slick and smooth, and the finish is dewy and natural looking. Very fresh!

Here's a swatch (don't mind my arm hair, okay?). The left is unblended and the right is blended out.. but I'm sure you could tell! This has wonderful color pay-off and can be sheered out or built up - whatever you want! I find that cream blushes apply better on bare skin, but this was still pretty easy to apply and blend over foundation. It didn't blend away into nothing like a lot of other cream blushes I've tried, either. Unfortunately, by the end of the day it had faded and become quite unnoticable, though. It might help to set it with a powder, which I didn't do (I just used setting spray).

What do you think? Have you tried any of the NYX Cream Blushes?

NYX Eyeshadow Trios Review & Swatches

I've often sulked that NYX isn't carried where I live, but recently I found out that I've been wrong (oops). They're carried in Lawtons.. a drugstore I haven't been inside for years. I went there having seen they carry Real Techniques brushes and then kind of died when I saw a NYX display. (They also carry a few other brands I previously thought weren't available here!) I'm kicking myself for not venturing in there sooner. Anyway, I picked up a couple of things and today I'm going to talk about the Eyeshadow Trios, which I got two of.

Very Delight
Hippie Chic
As you can see, I chose one neutral trio and one a bit more colorful to try out. The packaging on these trios is cute and functional.. nothing really wrong with them except that the little window on the front likes to collapse if pushed. No biggy though, you just pop it back up from the inside.
Very Delight
Hippie Chic
As for the quality of these trios.. much better then I expected! I thought they were going to be just average, so I was actually quite surprised when I swatched them and later wore them. They're not as good as say, Urban Decay shadows, but still really good! They're probably some of the best drugstore shadows I've ever tried. They have great pigmentation and are true to pan, apply and blend smoothly and keep the color pay-off, and wear well too! They're not quite 'buttery' like Urban Decay, but do have a really nice texture regardless - very soft and smooth! Even more pros are that they're also not flaky or chalky. Alright, let's get to swatches now!

Very Delight includes a pretty peach, a milk chocolate brown, and a beige. All three shades are shimmery. They all pair together really nicely and I actually wore this trio today (the peach all over, brown in crease, and the beige in the inner corner and browbone)!

Hippie Chic includes a somewhat frosty white, an emerald green, and a light lilac. They also all have shimmer in them. I don't really see myself wearing these shades together, and I personally don't really care for the white, but the lilac is pretty and I love the emerald!
 Overall, I'm impressed and would definitely like to check out more of these trios! Have you tried any of them?