Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January Favourites '15

Today's post is an exciting one because it's the first monthly favourites of 2015. These are all the products that have kicked off the new year for me and I'm happy to be sharing them with you. This month I'll just be focusing on the beauty side of things as I don't have many non-beauty faves to share. So without further ado here are my January Favourites.

  • Sally Hansen Chocolate Nut Nail Polish, as of late I've really been torn between being over dark shades of nail polish and not wanting to bust out the bright Spring-like colours. So with that I have been opting to have my nails be bare, that is until I rediscovered this polish in my stash. This polish is a burgundy toned shade with gold glitter that gives the polish an over all copper look.
  • Sparkly Silver Nail Polish by OPI (name unknown), speaking of metallics I also rediscovered this mini OPI polish. This little guy doesn't have a name but I'm pretty sure he is from the Muppet's collection OPI did some time ago. Anyway the polish itself is a beautiful silver with red, pink and silver glitter in it. The nail polish is also surprisingly opaque, one coat is all you really need.

  • Urban Decay Naked On The Run palette, I received this palette for Christmas and I've been playing with it ever since. My favourite part is this do it all palette is the mini liner and the full sized gloss. You can see it  featured in my most recent fotd post, and don't worry a full review is coming soon.

  • Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer, another product I've been playing around with this month is this hourglass primer. I must admit at first I was having a lot of trouble getting this primer to work, I was caught off guard with the consistency but with a bit of trial and error I am happy to say I got it work and I love how it prolongs the look of my makeup. Expect a full review coming in the next few weeks.

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz, another extremely hyped product that I've been trying out this month is the famous Anastasia brow whiz. I picked up this dual ended brow pencil, in the shade dark brown, on whim a few months ago after hearing countless people rave about it. Now as someone who is still trying to figure out the best method to fill in their eyebrows, I must say that this product is a lifesaver. Although expensive, it makes the whole ordeal a breeze.

  • Buxom Big & Healthy Lipstick in San Fransisco, I originally picked up this lipstick back in November and hauled it in my black Friday post but when I got back from the states I noticed that inside the box was the wrong lipstick so I an exchange had to be made. Now fast forward to January where I've been wearing the correct shade all month long. So long story short always check the contents of the box before you make your purchase or else you'll miss out on quality time with you beloved lippie. Ha. San Fransisco is beautiful satin pink toned mauve that can applied as a light wash of colour or built upon to a full statement fuchsia. To see what the lipstick looks like paired with the urban decay lip gloss from the on the run palette, see my recent fotd post here.

That's it for my last January favourites. Let me know what you've been loving this past month in the comment section below.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Nars Sin Blush

NARS Blush in Sin

Last month, while I was supposed to have been Christmas shopping I popped into Sephora and picked up a new blush to play with. I've been using my m.a.c Sea Me, Hear Me blush none stop since I got it in the summer and I thought it was time I tried out a new one. This particular blush has been on my radar for sometime now so when I decided I wanted to purchase a new blush this Nars one came to mind instantly. 

Sin is described as a berry shade with gold shimmer. I am quite found of mauve and berry tone blushes as I find that they are the ones that look the most natural on my complexion and this blush is no exception. This is my second blush from Nars and again I'm blown away by the quality. The blush is pigmented yet blendable, a good thing for newbies who tend to be a bit heavy handed with their application, the colour can easily be built upon which I something that I like because for the most part I prefer my blush to be quite understated. The blush itself come encased in the brand's usually black rubberized compact. I'll spare you on how the texture of the compact makes it a dirt magnet when stored in one's cosmetic bag, as I know many people are already aware of this fact and I for one don't mind as it's nothing a quick swipe with a makeup removal towelette can't fix.

In the second picture you can see what one blended swipe of product looks like on the back of my hand, which is a pretty good indication of what it looks like on my cheeks. Nars blushes retail for around $35 and can be found at  Sephora stores, their online website, and anywhere else Nars cosmetics are sold, oh and good news it's a part of Nars permanent line but it is currently sold out online at Sephora, so I must not be the only one who's obsessed with it. So tell me, what do you think of this blush? Do you have favourite Nars blush, if so let me know I'm always willing to check out any recommendations you guys may have.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Closet Essentials

I couple of days ago I was hit with the organizational bug, you know the one that always seems to be going around at the beginning of the year. Anyway, I found myself reorganizing my closet again. I original did a big clear out last Spring where I tossed out a large chunk of unwanted, out dated and just plain old clothes. I thought I'd be good for a while but again I developed a need to go through my wardrobe once more and really look at each individual piece and see if it belonged and more importantly if I would actually wear it. Which got me thinking about my overall style and whether or not I could define it and too be honest I don't I'll ever be able to. I know for a fact that want to establish a more classic and functional wardrobe complete with quality pieces that will stand the test of time, not just trendy pieces that I'll wear a handful of times and then be over it within the year. That being said today I'm getting back to basics and sharing what clothing pieces I believe are missing from my wardrobe.

Let's just get some of the obvious stuff out of the way first. Of course having a good selection of basics is a must for any wardrobe, I'm talking plains tees, camisoles for layering, plain black leggings, you name it. Those things are staples in their on right. On average I probably lounge around in a pair of leggings twice a week and my favourite one's are from Victoria Secret, you can't go wrong with their quality, they make the thickest pair of leggings I've seen. Oh and my favourite place to purchase plain tees and camis is H&M, they're super affordable there. Basics that I'm really looking to add to my closet are well made blouses and button ups, and quality denim, currently I can count the amount of button ups I have on one hand and it's mostly likely time to replace a few, and denim wise I just think it's time I invest in a quality pair or two.

If you were to take one look at my collection of outerwear you'll notice a gaping hole. In terms of smarter looking outerwear I'm desperately lacking. A good wool coat would be ideal for these cold Winters as well for more formal occasions. This gray one is from Mango. Speaking of formal occasions, for someone who is studying business I would like to start acquiring more business friendly clothing pieces, ie. a nice blazer. Now this white blazer here isn't quite what I had in mind but it would be perfect for dressing up any causal look. This one is from Aritzia. Shoes are another place were I'd like to focus on, now I'm not going to say that I don't have any shoes, because that just wouldn't be true. Over the last six months I have really started to grow my shoe collection into what it is today but I can still see a place for a few more additions. I'd really like to add a pair of slip on sneakers into my collection, as well as a pair of high-top converse, I really like how they both look with a variety of different things, whether with jeans or a skirt. Now I have quite a few pairs of boots, I will be the first to admit that, but I don't have a pair of chunky go-with-everything anywhere booties which is why I thought this pair from Mango would be perfect, they're not cut too high or too low that they'll look weird with cuffed jeans. On the other end of things I don't have a pair of high heeled boots for dressier occasions which is why I thought this pair from Aldo would be perfect to add to my collection, did I mention that they're also on sale?

Touching briefly on accessories, I feel like I've been on the hunt for the perfect handbag for years now and I guess it kind of has been, a year that is. All the ones that I've been drawn to either they're too damn expensive or I just can't seem to track them down. I'm interested in a structured medium sized cross-body bag that isn't too large yet big enough to hold my full size wallet. This Mango bag isn't quite as structured as I'd like but I like it anyway, it might have something to do with the fact that it looks like Celine trio inspired replica, hmm. Finally moving on to jewellery, I'd like to take a step back from costume jewellery and really look into acquiring a few more delicate well made pieces, like these from Baublebar. Now I know that the majority, if not all, of their gold pieces are in fact gold plated and not solid gold but that doesn't phase me. So long as the initial quality is there I'm happy, especially considering how good the prices are.

Well those are all of my closet essentials, I'm sure I'm probably missing a bunch more, and I know that some of these pieces are more geared toward the colder months but those are just the clothing pieces that came to mind. I'm sorry this post was so long, I didn't intend for it to be. Let me know what some of your must have closet essentials are and if you think I need to look into them for my wardrobe.


Monday, January 19, 2015

FOTD | Updated Everyday Routine

I don't know about you guys but I'm really over winter, and the fact that we basically have another two months of it remaining isn't helping me get over my case of the blah's. That being said I thought I would give my everyday makeup routine a shake up and play around with a few new products I've received over the holidays. For Christmas I received Urban Decay's On The Run palette and I've really been enjoying it. If you aren't familiar with the palette it encompasses five neutral eyeshadows, two matte and three shimmers, a bronzer, a blush, a highlighter, a mini tube of UD's perversion mascara, a  mini 24/7 liner and a full sized gloss. You can expect a full review of this bad boy in the weeks to come, I haven't finished compiling all my thoughts just yet, just know that I've been really drawn to it these last few days.

After I have cleaned and moisturized my face, I begin by primer my eyelids using my too faced shadow insurance, then with my finger I dabbed a bit of white shadow, from my Lorac Pro palette, all over my lid to act as a base. Next with a fluffy blendig brush I used the bronzer as a transition colour, focusing in my crease, which later I deepened my with the help of the matte shadow dare. Prior to that I used my finger to apply the pinky toned shimmer shadow dive all over my lid. Most days I go back and forth with smudging a bit of the 24/7 liner pencil on my upper lash line to apply winged liner, today I went with the latter. After filling in my brows with the Anastasia Beverlyhills brow whiz, a new product that I'm testing out, I highlighted my brow bone as well as my inner corner with the none other that the highlighter provided in the palette. Next I applied the 24/7 liner to my bottom lash line and smudged it out with the help of both the dare shadow and the bronzer. I completed the eyes by applying two coats of mascara, opting to use my fave Miss Manga mascara by L'Oreal, rather than the perversion mascara from the palette. I'm not one that likes to have multiple mascaras on the go.

Moving on, I did my face makeup the same way I've been doing it for months now. This time trying out my mineral veil primer by Hourglass, before using my beauty blender I apply both my Estee Lauder foundation and my Maybelline fit me concealer. Of course we can not forget that I set my makeup with my MUFE HD setting powder before moving on to combining my Nars blush in sin with the blush from the on the run palette and applying it to my cheeks. On my lips I wore the naked lip gloss over top of my Buxom lipstick in San Francisco

And that my friends completes my updated everyday makeup look. I mentioned this before but I figured I'm better off repeating it for the sake of my new readers, I don't actually wear all this makeup every single day of the week. I usually opt for this look when I actually want to wear makeup or if I'm heading out. Most days I can't be bothered. Anyway, let me know what you think of this makeup and what you think of the On The Run Palette.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Lorac Pro Palette

Lorac Pro Palette | $42

I promised you guys a full review of this infamous eyeshadow palette and here it is. I picked up this little beauty when I was last in the states during Black Friday, after pining for it for almost three years. As some of you may know Lorac used to be sold at Sephora stores as well as on their website till about roughly two and half years ago, when the founder of Lorac made a deal to have their products exclusively sold at Kohl's and Ulta Beauty. Now despite not having any Kohl's locations here in Canada I know what they're like as I've been to a few, and it isn't necessarily a place that I'd be comfortable purchasing high end makeup from (would you buy mac from your local tj max? I didn't think so); so naturally Ulta was the obvious answer to my prayers.

The Lorac Pro Palette is a neutral eyeshadow palette that has one row of eight matte shadows and another row of eight shimmer shadows for a grand total of sixteen beautiful buttery shadows. The shadows themselves are encased in a sturdy yet flexible magnetized rubberized case with a large mirror and engraved lettering on the top. Since the palette is made out of a rubberized material it does lend it's self to collecting quite a bit of debris making it a dirt and dust magnetite in even the tidiest of makeup collections. That being said I could deal with all that ten times over given that these are the best quality eyeshadows that I have ever had the pleasure of trying. More on that in a second.

This palette encompasses shades that are universally faltering to any and all skin tones, from the fairest of fair skinned girls to the darkest of dark chocolate sisters. Now as a women of colour let me tell you how nice and refreshing it it to find a makeup brand let alone a makeup palette were every shade is not only wearable but flatters are complexion; this is exactly why the Lorac pro palette gets the stamp of approval from the African American Beauty Society, okay that's not a real society but it should be. My favourite shadows from the palette are constantly changing but my standouts for now are Gold, Pewter and Deep Purple. See swatches below.

Top Row: White, Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black
Bottom Row: Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lt. Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple, Slate

Back to the pigmentation and the quality of these shadows, if you remember from my review of the too faced chocolate bar palette you'll recall that my main problem with that palette was that although the shadows appeared to be pigmented they just wouldn't last. The colour payoff I achieved when I applied the shadows to my lid would fade ridiculously after about an hour or so, that is not the case with the pro palette. The shadows in the pro palette are unbelievably pigmented, they blend like a dream and the colours last all day long. As you can see from the above image that is what one swipe of shadow looks like on my arm; now imagine a complete eye-look, actually you don't have to see my latest face of the day post were I featured this palette in all of it's glory. I grow more and more impressed with this palette as I use it and I'm so happy that I can finally call it mine.

The Lorac Pro Palette retails for about $42 at Ulta Beauty as well as on their Website. What do you think of this palette? Is what dreams are made of, I think so. I can't wait to create more looks using this palette, I already have some in mind.  


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