Category Archives: the low down from laura

the low-down from laura : makeup bag refresh

As we start our new year its time to clean up our lovely makeup bags – yes, I said it! I know you probably dread doing this, partly cause it can be a pain in the you-know-what and also because you simply can’t part with the favourite eyeshadow that’s broken and making a huge mess in your bag.

Allow me give you some tips on how to make this process as easy and painless as possible!

  1. Begin by dumping everything out and separating the good from the bad. If it’s salvageable set it aside, if it’s not or you have empties throw them out.
  2. Now assess what you have and ask yourself, “Are there items that are expired?” If you look at the bottom label on most of your cream or liquid products such as foundation, mascara, lipstick etc. you will should see an expiration date. Check it, and if it’s past the date get rid of it!
  3. Now that you’ve cleared the good from the bad comes the fun part – see what needs to be replenished and restock! Oh, and don’t forget to show your makeup bag some love and give it a good cleaning ;) (or maybe its time for a new one?)

Here is my list of what I think every girl should have in her makeup bag:

  • Lip balm. Plain old Chapstick will do the trick!
  • 1 or 2 lipsticks. I suggest a neutral (because who doesn’t love a sexy nude lip?) and a brighter colour, especially for these drab winter days. If you’re not a lipstick girl, go for lip gloss.
  • Eyeliner. Black or a dark brown, preferably one that has a sponge tip at the end so you can smudge the liner to create a quick smoked out effect.
  • 1 eyeshadow quad. If it has a variation of light to dark tones, this will also help you create easy day to night looks.
  • A blush/bronzer duo. For this, I recommend one on the high-end like the NARS Orgasm/Laguna compact (my personal favourite). If you can’t splurge, Flower Beauty also makes an awesome blush/bronzer duo and it’s under $15!
  • Mascara.
  • Concealer.

What do you currently carry in your makeup bag? I want to know!

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the low-down from laura : birchbox

Monthly sample boxes have been all the rage in the last couple years. Birchbox was actually one of the first I ever heard of through Youtube a couple of years ago, but back then it was not yet available in Canada so I opted for a few other options at the time. This has now all changed!

Birchbox officially launched in Canada and sent out their first round of boxes this December. I was so excited to hear the news that I quickly signed up on a monthly basis for $10 plus $4.95 for shipping & handling. You also have the option to subscribe for the year for $100 + shipping and handling.

For those of you not familiar with sample boxes, what happens is you sign up for the type of subscription you’d like – Birchbox offers monthly (sort of like a pay-as-you-go option) and annual subscriptions. Every month you receive a lovely box with a few beauty samples, making it a great way to try out new and popular products. Products include anything from makeup to skincare, haircare and fragrances. Each box also includes a card that explains each product and lets you know how much each full size item costs.

As I mentioned, I’ve subscribed to other boxes before and overtime became unimpressed as the types of products and quality they were sending was becoming less and less appealing, so when I saw Birchbox I thought to give it a try – so far so good! I received my box about a week ago and loved every sample.

This month I received the following items:

  • Mini Beauty protector protect and detangle spray (full size available for $26.00)
  • Mini Benefit Cosmetics Lollitint (full size available for $36.00)
  • Mini Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner in Black (full size available for $18.00)
  • Mini Harvey Prince hello Body Cream (full size available for $26.00)
  • Mini Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (full size available for $34.00)

So far I’ve tried the Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner, Vasanti BrightenUp!, and the body cream and I’m loving them all. My mini version of the Brightenup has been used 3 times already and I’ll for sure be purchasing the full size version once I run out. The eyeliner is so creamy, which for me is a must because I like to smudge my liner to create a smokey effect. Finally, the body cream smells delicious and is not greasy! I can’t wait to try out my Lollitint which I’m saving for a Christmas look.

All in all I have to say that so far Birchbox did a great first round of boxes, and I’m looking forward to seeing what next month brings!

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the low-down from laura : kiss nails 2015

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend the Kiss Nails 2015 product preview and was very excited, to say the least.

The 2015 line will consist of a few great new products which Gina Edwards, Celebrity Manicurist introduced to us. The new range includes

  • KISS Salon Gel French Nail kit;
  • imPRESS Accent Press-on Manicure by Broadway Nails;
  • KISS Salon Secrets Nail Art Glue;
  • KISS Salon Secrets Rococo Veil Kit;
  • Kiss Salon Secrets Luxe Accents; and
  • Kiss Salon Secrets Nail art Pro Tool Kit.

The collection features several items that I just can’t wait to try out like the awesome new impress nail designs and the nail art kit. I was lucky enough to get a complimentary mani at the event, using the Gel French nail kit (available in different lengths and thicknesses), the Rococo Veil kit inspired by french art and a gem from the Luxe Accents kit.

The nails felt comfortable and looked amazing. I also got to walk away with a swag bag and I can’t wait to play! I’m most excited about the nail art collection with the new nail art glue. Gems and jewels have never been easier to apply with this jelly textured product which is the first of its kind and professional grade quality! The glue was designed specifically for nail art and long lasting hold, so now we can all be pro manicurists at home.

Kiss and Broadway Nails also have great Youtube channels where you can check out tutorials and more!

All items will be available February 2015; most items will be available at Walmart, Target, Jean Coutu, London Drugs, Lawtons, Brunet, Familiprix, proxim, pharmasave and Uniprix

Product List and Prices:

  • KISS Salon Gel French Nail kit $13.97
  • imPRESS Accent Press-on Manicure by Broadway Nails $10.99
  • Kiss Salon Secrets Nail Art Glue $4.99
  • KISS Salon Secrets Rococo Veil Kit $6.99
  • Kiss Salon Secrets Luxe Accents $6.99
  • Kiss Salon Secrets Nail art Pro Tool Kit $16.99

Posted in beauty, bp test drive, drugstore finds, Kiss Nails, manicures, product launches, product reviews, scene+heard, the low down from laura, Walmart | Comments Off on the low-down from laura : kiss nails 2015

the low-down from laura : holiday hair & makeup

It’s that time of year full of holiday cheer, and oh the many parties and events you shall go to – but the big question is, what will you do with your hair and makeup? Don’t panic, because I’ve got you covered with some holiday hair and makeup tips that are simple and will be sure to get everyone’s attention!

When it comes to makeup, let’s be real. Who doesn’t love a classic red lip and cat eye? It never goes out of style, so if in doubt pick your favorite red lippy and liner of your choice for instant glam!  Tip: for more of a stained look, dab the lipstick on and blot until you reach the desired brightness. Layering the colour will also help it last all night. My personal fav red is Russian Red by MAC, which retails for $19.00 at MAC Cosmetics.

Photo Credit David Hou Photography www.davidhou.com, Makeup by Me

A classic winged liner doesn’t just have to be black either – why not try colour and perhaps a little glitter over the line to make your eyes sparkle? Try using the Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Royal, a beautiful sparkly purple available at Sephora for $29.00.

You can’t go wrong with a smokey eye, but to amp it up and make it more festive try using metallic shadows which were all over fashion week this fall. Tip: Try wetting your brush before dipping into the colour for a more vibrant effect.

Now that your face is done, let’s move on to hair.

Sometimes the simplest look gives the most wow factor, so try a sleek pony. To achieve the look, pull your hair back into a pony, leaving a ½ inch thick strand of hair out. Next, wrap the hair that you left out around the pony to hide your elastic and pin it in place. Apply a little hair spray to smooth out the top and boom you’re done!

Pony not your thing? Try a bun. You can use a mesh donut and pull that pony through to make a chic bun. Tip: Try leaving out a 1.5 inch strand of hair and braid it, once your bun is in place wrap the braid around the bun. For a thicker braid try using extensions.

Finally, if neither of those are your thing go for bouncy curls. Try using a 1 inch barrel curling iron or curling wand and wrap about 1 inch sections of hair around the iron. Add a little spray and voila, you’re done! Tip: For that beachy textured look use a beach or texture spray like the De-Constructed Texture Tease spray from Garnier. Spray it all over, flip your head and tousle your hair.

Hope these tips help get you through your holiday parties, or why not just call us at BlushPretty ;)

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