Category Archives: product reviews

go #Fenty, or go home …

I need to be super honest … but very rarely do I buy into celebrity brands. I never really did the Kat Von D. line, in fact, I don’t think I have one thing in my kit from her line. And don’t get me started on anything Kylie, Kendall, or Kim. Just don’t. I also never indulged in Drew Barrymore’s Flower line … AND I LOVE DREW BARRYMORE!

I guess my line of thinking was that while a celebrity does spend a lot of time in the makeup and hair chair, what would they really understand about my skintone, my features, and what I want my makeup to do for me on an everyday basis. Sure they have a treasure box of tips and tricks learned from some of the best makeup and hair teams in the world … but what would they really know about developing a universally flattering red or a foundation that works well with both my skintone AND undertone?

I was stuck in my opinion and my own way.

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And then RIHANNA DONE DID IT.

She created a beautiful makeup line that I cannot get enough of. So much so, that I plan trips to Sephora and beeline to the Fenty Beauty section immediately before they “run out” of what I am looking for after creeping #Stunna hashtags on the ‘gram for about ten hours. I’m about .5 of a point below the term obsessed at this point.

I think what really got me going with Fenty Beauty is the marketing campaign itself and how it really did focus on covering all skintones and shades. I realized that even though I’m Asian with yellow undertones and skin that goes super dark after a little sun … I never really thought that other brands weren’t meeting my needs. I always managed to find a close enough shade or flattering shade with almost any other brand I tried. I was basically in this “happy middle” – happy enough with my “go-to” brands (and I still love all my other brands, I really do!) but unaware (and barely concerned) that they could be doing things better for myself and others who shared my skintone and features. I had to ask myself if I was like this because I just believed that the top makeup brands were already out there doing the best that there is for all skin types. Were my years spent with my nose buried in the beauty adverts in Allure magazine – with light skinned versions of anyone ethnic – conditioning me to be okay with being in my “happy middle” with makeup?

Fenty Beauty’s campaign, coupled with Rihanna’s Navy of fans (a selection of beauty addicts who ranged the spectrum of skintone possibility) swatching and posting their success with the foundation shades made me put aside my opinion of celebrity brands for a quick minute and head on in to Sephora to check it out for myself. While I didn’t pick-up my foundation shade – strictly because I’m not a big fan of foundation – I did invest in the Matchstick Trio for medium skintones. It was with this one purchase, my short sighted opinion on celebrity brands changed. The concealer and contour shades melt effortlessly into my skin, don’t turn orange or red after a few moments wear, and feel like silk on the skin. I can apply quickly before I head out the door and my skin looks even and real.
I have since returned to Fenty Beauty, without any hesitation and picked up lipsticks, more matchsticks for highlighting and shading, and the latest : Stunna lip paint. (LOVE!)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still not going to go out there and buy something from anyone who’s name begins with a K … but I do have a new found respect for Rihanna and Fenty Beauty!

– xx,
s

Posted in beauty, celebrity style, concealer, Fenty Beauty, makeup, makeup kit, product, product reviews, skin, skintone | Leave a comment

The One Foundation Every Girl Needs in her Makeup Bag …

Okay, so the title for this post is a little misleading, because in actuality, I believe a girl needs a few different base products in her kit for different purposes : a tinted moisturizer, a powder, a foundation … however, that’s a post for another day. But if suddenly, the entire earth’s population had to pack up and ship off to another planet and could only bring a backpack filled with essentials, then THIS foundation is the one I would tell you all to purchase and bring with you : Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer.

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The chic, vampy red pot of a creamy smooth base is the most versatile foundation I’ve ever come across. Whether you wear it with sheer or full coverage, the end result is always a dewy, enhanced glow. Available in 16 shades – including shades for deeper complexions – the Sensual Skin Enhancer covers, corrects and conceals all while being waterproof.  Thanks to it’s whipped buttery texture, its suitable for most skin types from oily to dry.

The best way to use this product is by starting with the tiniest amount – a water drop worth to the back of the hand can cover more than enough and prevents you from using too much. For the fullest coverage, blend – as is – onto the face using your favourite foundation brush or my personal weapon of choice, the MAC Oval brush. Full coverage will look and work best with a well-moisturized and exfoliated face.

Need to conceal? Using a concealer brush, press in minimal amounts over the desired area, blending and layering as is until the blemish has disappeared. Want to go a bit more bare during the day? Turn it into a sheer coverage or a fluid foundation by mixing a rice grain amount with your moisturizer, serum or face oil of choice. You can apply with your fingers for a light touch, or try Real Techiniques Expert Face Brush to buff and blend onto the face.

One small pot can go a long way. I purchased mine about 6 months ago, and use it about 3-4 times a week and still have plenty left to last me another 10-12 months. I highly recommend having a few different brushes like the ones suggested above to get the best of what this foundation can offer. I choose to have two colours one for the warmer months when I have a bit more colour in my face and one for the cooler months but I also mix and match these to highlight and contour my face when I’m feeling like doing a little more than ring natural.

Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer is available at Sephora (or Sephora.com), Space NK (Nordstrom Canada), and of course the Kevyn Aucoin’s website.

Posted in beauty, foundation, full coverage, Kevyn Aucoin, product, product reviews, sheer coverage | Comments Off on The One Foundation Every Girl Needs in her Makeup Bag …

try it : pencil me in …

My favourite kind of packaging for any makeup product is a pencil. Whether it looks like your standard lead pencil, thick like a chunky pencil crayon, or feels more like a Sharpie in your hand, I find stick makeup portable, user friendly, and the ultimate choice for easy touch-ups. And with all this hype about Adult Colouring books and colouring for relaxation … what better canvas to colour with than your beautiful face??

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Here’s a list of my current obsessions …

Bobbi Brown Retouching Face Pencil in Illuminate : Bobbi Brown is all about easy, natural makeup, so it’s no real surprise that she has introduced a great pencil foundation/concealer for on-the-go touch-ups.  In addition to a variety of shades, she also has one for illuminating the skin … I think this is a great choice for those who want to jump on the strobing trend but require the most fool-proof way to do it. The Illuminate colour isn’t your typical pearly, super shimmery white hue, but rather has a slight soft golden tone to it, which I find the most flattering for a spectrum of skintones. The product is creamy enough to blend but still firm enough to lay down a nice layer of coverage. They also come with a sharpener making your life that.much.easier.

Clinique Chubby In the Nude Foundation Stick : Again, I’m not very secretive about how much I love Clinique’s Chubby Stick Highlight and Contour products; so when they introduced the new Chubby Stick foundations, I was in line already to be on board that train. With 8 shades, the formulation is sheer to moderate coverage, so you can layer it on when you need a little more help in the “looking well-rested and healthy” department or spot treat on the days you’re near flawless! I find the creamiest of most pencil or stick foundations. It’s also a twist up which means you never have to sharpen!

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze : Even your smokey eyeshadows can be applied in pencils. Charlotte Tilbury’s pencils are rich in colour with just the right amount of shimmer. Plus, she has done all the guess work for you, offering colours based on your eye colour AND providing a shade made for day and another for night.  It’s enough to wear each colour on their own thanks to the quality of pigment, but don’t be afraid to mix and match either. I adore Amber Haze, but I also have Golden Quartz and Dark Pearl!

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NudeStix Cheek/Lip Pencil Duals : The reason these are a no brainer is the fact that you can cover both lips and cheeks, but also, you can get two colours in one pencil. This is the perfect example of staying on top of touch-ups without the fuss. Nudestix also come in a handy tin with a mirrored lid and a sharpener made for the size of their pencils. The colours layer on sheer, so you can build to your desired intensity – going light during the day and then adding more colour and layers when the clock hits 5.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils : This is a love affair that has gone on and on for years. When any client asks me for a statement red or bold lip I choose from three of NARS finest Velvet Matte Lip Pencils : Cruella, Red Square, or Pop Life. And then there is Damned … Never Say Never … and Sex Machine … I find these give the right amount of slip over the lips but no budge. A staple in my bridal makeup kit … but also my personal one too!

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil : Lately I’ve been Instagramming their Amuse Bouche line because it just came out, but I became a fan of Bite when I started dating their High Pigment Lip Pencil line. I love this brand when I wear brighter or softer shades. It’s creamy colour that isn’t matte, but isn’t super glossy either – just a layer of spot on lush lip colour. Madeira, Violet, Velvet and Tulip are my favourites. This pencils are also twist-up which for me means less mess, more product!

There are several other pencil products I enjoy using however the above products are currently in rotation and heavy play!

I hope you get a chance to check them out.

-s-

Posted in beauty, Bite Beauty, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, concealer, eyeshadow, foundation, makeup, NARS, Nudestix, product, product reviews | Comments Off on try it : pencil me in …

into it : kiss strip lash adhesive (with aloe!) …

I have perhaps tried every single lash glue there is. From the clear to the white to the black,  from the single adhesive to strip adhesive, from the tube to the brush on applicators. I have laughed, I have cried, and I have loved my way through many a lash glue.

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And then I found this new one and  … I just want to get married to it!

My current obsession is Kiss’ Strip Lash Adhesive (with Aloe) in Black. It’s inky black (to match my gel liner!), it’s wet but not goopy, and it glides over a lash track like a dream. I’m not even kidding you, I have one tube in both my kits (as in my compact makeup kit, and my “this job is going to be a big one!” kit), plus a tube I keep inside my brush belt just in case. And I’m pretty sure, somewhere in my supplies drawers, I have a tube or two packaged up waiting to be used!

So why am I loving this product so much?  

Well for starters, despite its traditional tube packaging, I have never pushed out too much product or made a big clumpy mess of it. It seems to release smoothly out of the tube with a tiny squeeze, meaning less wasted glue. In addition, while tacky in consistency it is never seems to get goopy or clumpy. Yes, I do get a bit of dried mess on the applicator now and then between uses, but once you remove that, the glue inside the tube is still as good as the day I first opened it.

I also appreciate how it transfers from your applicator (or however you choose to apply the glue) and glides across the lash track. For me, it always creates a thin but consistent line right across the lash.

Lastly, while the same formulation comes in clear – je l’aime en noir! Black, black and more black. I mean, I love it for liner, smudgy shadow and mascara … because well, maybe I’m just basic like that … but now I can add my lash glue to the mix. Parfait! And an added bonus, for my brides or clients who aren’t as big a fan of black liner as I am but whom appreciate the definition a small swipe of black liner can give, Kiss’ black glue actually creates a thin line across the lash line once applied with the false lash, and therefore, (with a little bit of help from a slanted eyeliner brush and maybe a small speck of gel liner) you have practically won that battle!

I love pairing Kiss’ lash glue with ALL my false lashes from the Kiss line and other brands. It’s currently my secret weapon!

-s-

Posted in eyes, false lashes, Kiss Nails, lash glue, lashes, product, product reviews | Comments Off on into it : kiss strip lash adhesive (with aloe!) …

scene+heard : Strivectin HAIR

Earlier this month we sent BlushPretty Lead Hair Artist, Samantha Wilson, over to the Colette Grand Cafe at The Thompson Hotel to check up on the latest from Strivectin. Samantha has nothing but rave reviews for this new line, but before we share with you her thoughts, a little bit of background for you …

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In case you haven’t heard, Strivectin has expanded their innovation and research in anti-aging from skincare to … HAIR CARE! As a leading brand in everything against aging – fine lines, wrinkles, firmness, dehydration, dullness , you name it! – it only makes sense that Strivectin beefs up their brand by tackling women’s other beauty obsession : hair and great hair days 24/7.

This new franchise, StriVectin Hair introduces a breakthrough in research to tackle the signs of aging in hair : thinning, wiriness, dryness, gray, dullness, breakage, split ends, frizz, lackluster texture, and brittleness. According to the brand, “each formula contains the brand’s NIA-114 technology which activates the scalp and rejuvenates hair from root to tip”.

The product range has three separate formulas which includes: Ultimate Restore, Max Volume, and Color Care.

Strivectin1Here’s what Samantha had to say after three weeks testing out the new line :

The first thing that caught my eye, besides the pretty packaging, was the ingredients in these products. I love that the products are free of sulphates, parabens, synthetic dyes, phthalates and phosphates.

The line not only targets what you feel is wrong with your hair but also, what you want from your hair. It promotes trying to restore your hair to its natural, most healthy, ageless state.

I really liked that this line focuses on the scalp and the hair from root to tip. After the first use of StriVectin, I could feel and see a difference in the state of my hair. My hair felt and looked fuller. It felt soft, nourished and hydrated; and as an added bonus my hair had a beautiful healthy shine that didn’t weigh my hair down. The fragrance is soft and not overpowering – very pleasant!

Overall, it’s an affordable must have line for hair health. I would recommend this line to clients and friends.

There you have it – straight from BlushPretty’s Master of Hair and a BP Bride favourite artist.  If you are curious about the line and want to hear more or test it out yourself, you can visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up the line.

Have a great Monday beauties!

-s-

Posted in hair, product launches, product reviews, scene+heard, Shoppers Drug Mart, Strivectin, Strivectin Hair | Comments Off on scene+heard : Strivectin HAIR