Category Archives: product reviews

in love with : lorac pro palettes …

It’s no secret that eyeshadow palettes in shades of nudes and neutrals dominate the beauty-blogiverse – you know which ones I’m talking about, right? I’m definitely on board that train, but it doesn’t mean that I stick with only those palettes. I’m currently a fangirl of Lorac and if you took a look in my kit, the brand rules in the eyeshadow department.

lorac

I carry both Lorac Pro Palette 1 and 2, plus Lorac Unzipped and Unzipped Gold. Most of the shades housed in all four palettes are universally wearable by most skintones, and the colour payoff and wear of the shadows are second to none.

Lorac shadows glide on smooth and evenly. I find that I get less shadow fallout with the shimmery shades meaning less clean-up around the eye area when I attempt anything smudgy or smokey, and most importantly less wasted product.

I often mix between both Pro Palette’s for any given look and use them for more glam, dramatic, or smokey styles. With the Unzipped Palettes, I save them more for when I want to do a glowing neutral face and eye to be paired with a bright or statement lip. The Unzipped Palettes do contain deeper shades (in the brown family, mainly), but I find the lighter shades, especially in the gold version, delightful.

Lorac can be found online at Sephora, and also in stores in the U.S.  They can also be found at Ulta, another U.S. beauty store.  This might be disappointing to us Canadian artists but the great news is, if you are in the GTA like us, Ulta did open up a location right across the Buffalo border by the Fashion Outlets. So if you want to play with the product, get dressed and dust off your passport!

-s-

Posted in eyes, eyeshadow, Lorac, product, product reviews | Comments Off on in love with : lorac pro palettes …

if you must : palmers skin therapy cleansing oil FACE …

Since the birth of my youngest child – my daughter – over two years ago, I have taken on a whole new approach in how I treat and care for my skin. Nothing like heading towards the big 4-0, and at the time having 2 children with 1 on the way, makes you scrutinize your skin and your face more …

I took an interest in changing the way I cleanse/treat my skin and fell in love with face oils. At first, I used a variety of face oils to moisturize and treat my skin, using dabs to prepare my skin for the day, and heaps to heal my skin at night. I saw an immediate improvement in the tone and texture of my skin. In addition, I became less oily and my complexion just balanced itself out.

And then, I took the next step : using oils to cleanse my skin.

There are many out there to try – and I have tried plenty – but right now, I’m enjoying Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil FACE. It’s a lightweight but effective oil that removes makeup and dirt without stripping the skin.

steph

Yes, that’s me – taken today – no makeup, no filter and pretty much in my pajamas and blogging.

I keep the bottle right by my tub, and in the morning I pump a drop into my hands and gently cleanse and rinse in the shower. Before bed, I pump a bit onto a cotton pad to gently remove the day’s makeup from the eyes. After that,  I pump another few drops into my hands and start to massage over my entire face before rinsing clean.

With it’s convenient pump top, it is cleansing made easy – no caps to remove when your hands are slick but also it’s foolproof to add more drops without over-pouring if a deeper cleansing and more product is needed. It removes the heaviest and most waterproof of eye makeup in an easy swipe and I never feel like there is any trace dirt or residue left behind. It’s rinses off easily and quickly too.

Formulated with grapeseed, jojoba, and rosehip, my skin never feels tight or stripped after use – nor does it feel oily and slick. Many people, especially those who have an oilier complexion, tend to shy away from using face oils of any sort because they believe that using oils would actually make them oilier. But believe me – that is simply not the case.

I’ve been using Palmer’s for about 55 days now. In addition to using the cleanser, I also moisturize with a variety of face oils, including Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil. My skin is brighter, softer and smoother.  I can go makeup free confidently on most days and other than the bags under my eyes (ha ha), my skin looks healthy enough that it doesn’t need concealer or foundation. Fine lines are NIL, and the skin is plump. I believe my skin is more youthful and more even, and that it’s maintaining it’s elasticity well.

I highly recommend trying Palmers Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil FACE for yourself. If you have drier, mature or aging skin and want to see results … changing it up to an oil based routine could be beneficial to you. Oilier skin types can also benefit and you might find that using oils helps to regulate your skin. Perhaps start light with this cleansing oil first, and down the road, start moisturizing with face oils as well.

Palmers can be found in all our favourite shops for beauty : Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, and it can also be found at The SuperStore!

-s-

Posted in cleansing, face, face oil, oil, Palmers, product reviews, skin, skincare | Comments Off on if you must : palmers skin therapy cleansing oil FACE …

if you must : paul+joe moisturizing foundation primer

It’s Fri-yay!

In an effort to let you get to your weekend faster, I just wanted to share with all you artists and junkies out there the current primer I’m having a fling with : Paul+Joe Beaute Moisturizing Foundation Primer.

paulandjoe

While I do carry a few other primers in my kit, I love using this one to not only diffuse and blur imperfections, but also because it’s creamy and just sinks right in. I find some primers  pill on the complexion, making foundation or concealer harder to apply.

It brightens up the complexion and is weightless too, so natural “I don’t wear any makeup” brides or clients don’t feel like they have layers upon layers of makeup. It works wonders on mature skin too.

To get your hands on some Paul+Joe, check out Jacob+Sebeastian on Queen St. West or in the Distillery district.

-s-

Posted in beauty, face, foundation, Paul+Joe, primer, product reviews | Comments Off on if you must : paul+joe moisturizing foundation primer

in love with : all things charlotte tilbury

My obsession over the summer has been Charlotte Tilbury. She made a splash when she arrived at Holt Renfrew on Bloor, and the honest truth is that no makeup artist is immune to falling in love with the line.

charlotte

Hiding behind the excuse that as a beauty artist I must completely immerse myself into the brand to truly understand it and make sure it will work with my bridal party … I bought myself quite a few pieces from the line, namely :

– the Rock Chick set;

– a selection of the Eyes To Mezmerize pencils;

– a couple of the Matte Revolution lipsticks;

– a selection of the kohl pencils;

– an extra eyeshadow palette;

– an extra blush; and

– an extra Fallen from the Kissing Tree lipstick.

I’m literally sitting on my hands from buying more, and I’m pretty sure Lace – a bp artist AND a makeup artist for the brand – thinks I’m nuts. Like, super nuts.

Encased in gold and/or rich brown, minimalist chic packaging, just holding the product makes you feel luxurious and in the know. But, I am very pleased to say, that the product itself also speaks volumes. The eyeshadows are super bendable and easy to wear. I favour my Rock Chick palette over my Uptown Girl, but I also love mixing and matching between the two. The colour combinations are pretty fool proof, so you can wear one or two from the palette, or go all out and play with all four!

charlotte-2

If I’m in rush, which is like 99.9123456% of my week … I’ll stick with a swipe of the Eyes to Mesmerize Eye Pencils in Amber Haze and Golden Quartz. I’ll swipe Amber Haze first and then add some Golden Quartz to the outer corner and smudge it like a rockstar and boom … an instant “I slept in this makeup, doesn’t it look perfect?” look.

I have two nude lip shades from the line, and then two bolder colours from the Matte Revolution range. While at first I was worried that Bitch Perfect, a pinky nude, wouldn’t look good on my deeper skintone, I was actually quite surprised at how wearable it was for me. I’m currently tanned, but it doesn’t appear chalky or too light … it just sort of enhances my lip. I have yet to wear my Glastonbury lipstick, which is a matte deep wine colour, but I have played with Walk of Shame, also a matte, wearing it with full colour swiped across and also, dabbed on for a lighter softer look … love it both ways.

This probably is not the last of what I purchase from the Charlotte Tilbury line. I’m pretty positive I will go back. Again and again … and then once more after that.

I do plan to do more in depth reviews at a later date of my favourite items here and there, but wanted to share the quick snapshot of what’s happening in my makeup kit now, because you know, every beauty junkie deserves to know what’s up!

-s-

Posted in Charlotte Tilbury, eyeliner, eyes, eyeshadow, face, fun, lip, makeup, makeup kit, product reviews | Comments Off on in love with : all things charlotte tilbury

get the look : too faced semi-sweet chocolate bar eyeshadow palette

I’m a fan of picking up prepared eyeshadow palettes over putting my own together, or buying separate pots (save for the two pots of MAC Shroom I have in every kit), or randoms. A palette provides colours that compliment each other and for the most part, no guesswork.

There are a plethora of palettes out there (the whole new wash of nude palettes every brand has, for example) and it’s really easy to blow a pretty penny at Sephora finding the perfect one for you. I’ve had or currently have them all (from Urban Decay Naked to Lorac Pro Palettes 1 and 2 to Maybelline The Nudes!). I love them all.

But my current affair happens to be with Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar. It might have something to do with the fact that every time I open the palette the sweet smell of chocolate releases the right endorphins, but it’s also because the colours, formulas and finishes are A++ and + again.

toofaced

Thanks to my best bud, Elaine Atkins, I became the lucky recipient of both the Chocolate Bar and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palettes, and I find, that both palettes are in heavy rotation this wedding season.

Depending on the skin tone and favourite colours of any client or bride, I can more often than not get the right neutral, smokey look from either palette.

I’ve been leaning more on Semi-Sweet though. I really like Nougat, Hot Fudge and Licorice. Bon Bon and Caramel are great for the lid and for adding a hint of shimmer, while Butter Pecan is also a great highlighter on deeper skin tones (try it under the brow bone, or over the cheekbones!)

Natasha

On Natasha above, I used Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer in Sin to prime the lids. I swept Bon Bon over the lids, which when paired with the primer shade lightened it a bit. I mixed Truffled and Hot Fudge from the outer corner in, blending it as I pushed it toward the centre, and up into the crease. I used Licorice on the outer corner. For a bit of dimension at the crease, I swept Nougat in the crease and blended up. I really like Nougat for deeper skintones. I lined her eyes with Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink.

For the rest of Natasha’s look, I used MAC Foundation is NC44 and Studio Fix Concealer in NC42, but only through the centre of the face. I then blended MAC Face and Body in C5 around the perimeter and down the neck. Clinique Chubby Sticks for her contour and highlight. A hint of NARS The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta on the cheeks. Anastasia Contour Palette as well to set the contour and highlight and brighten under the eyes. MAC gloss in Ample Pink for the lips.

My favourite thing about the TooFaced Chocolate Bar series (both the regular and the Semi-Sweet) is that it is neither a nude or a smokey or a matte or a shimmer or a metals palette. It actually contains a nice mix of matte, satin, shimmer and high glitter colours. I think the only thing it’s missing is more colour range outside of the great browns and neutrals it already has. The funkiest colour Semi-sweet has is Blueberry Swirl … and from there Pink Sugar. Chocolate Bar has a nice plummy purple and a more satin/matte pink similar to Pink Sugar.

Regardless, it’s still a sweet palette to have. My vote : go buy it!

-stephanie-

Posted in beauty, beauty kit, get the look, product reviews, Too Faced | Comments Off on get the look : too faced semi-sweet chocolate bar eyeshadow palette