Friday, February 26, 2010



QUICK TIP: Ever get confused by which sunglasses will suit your face and style? 

Next time you're looking for new sunglasses, consider taking inspiration from celebrities with a similarly shaped face as yourself - this way you can see what shapes to consider, and which ones to avoid, right T-Pain?
T-Pain - Carrera - Safari A
  "these sunglassez are too smallllll for my faaace" - said in auto-tune voice

I found this sketchy website that tracks down which brands of sunglasses celebrities are seen wearing.

Click here for a helpful website explaining different face shapes and the sunglasses that flatter.

*sunglasses shown above are by Forever21

Thursday, February 25, 2010

To prime or not to prime?!

The concept of primers - or a base applied to the skin before foundation, concealer, etc. - is a relatively recent phenomenon that every big makeup brand has caught on to. Unfortunately for us as consumers, it means there's now one more product to add to our figurative shopping lists. To add to the confusion, the beauty industry is divided on whether or not primers are necessary.

To me, priming the skin means cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. So, slapping on a layer of silicone before my foundation and calling it "primer" is like sanding and priming a wall, and then throwing on a second coat of "special" primer before painting over it. Sort of redundant, right?
Ya metaphors!

I've tried a bunch of primers ranging from low end drugstore brands (Rimmel, L'Oreal, Revlon, etc) to higher end brands (Sephora, Smashbox, Laura Geller, etc). I have come to the conclusion that "primers" are unnecessary - it's a total marketing scheme. Who needs an extra step in their morning routine anyway? Especially when there are no (or few) skin benefits from using them. 

 Primers are marketed as being able to increase makeup longevity, wear time, and even out skin tone/texture/colour, etc. They range in price from low end drugstore prices to absurd department store prices (Guerlain sells theirs for $80+); everything from illuminating to mattefying. I've found that primers don't provide any more longevity to makeup or skin/texture improvement than a good moisturizer can offer.

However, I do think there is a market for primers among people with deep acne scars that they wish to camouflage - but, a decent moisturizer will always be able to negate the extra step, it's up to the individual. Also, if you already use a primer and you enjoy using it, then obviously that's fine too. Many people enjoy the texture that a primer can provide - usually it makes the skin feel like suede or velvet because of the silicone. Personally, I've found that this sensation is temporary and not worth the added expense.

For the rest of us, a (SPF) moisturizer suited to your skin's needs will do triple duty because it will: improve skin quality over time while protecting against sun damage, add moisture back into the skin, and create a nice canvas for makeup. 

Here are some of my favorite moisturizers:

If you're worried about shine, try using a moisturizer for combination skin (Neutrogena makes great ones). You can also place different moisturizers on different parts of your face if the needs are different, ie. extra moisturizing on neck and cheeks, and combination formula on nose, etc. 

If makeup longevity is a concern of yours - and probably the reason why you considered buying a primer in the first place - then do some research and find your perfect foundation and powder. The right foundation can alleviate skin issues, and powder will keep everything in place (apply powder with a sponge for the best results).

Have you ever tried a primer? What do you think?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coral Lips

Feeling inspired by the coming spring trend of coral lips (and depressed by the weather), I broke the bank and picked up two lipsticks from the drugstore today: Rimmel's Moisture Renew Lips in Soft Coral (600) and Coral Chic (640), for $7.19 each on sale at Shopper's Drug Mart.

 (Left) Soft Coral is definitely shimmery and wears more like a gloss (not long lasting); but I love the hint of pink in it. 

(Right) Coral Chic is a wearable fashion colour, even though it doesn't look like much in the tube. It's not exactly matte, but there's no discernible shimmer or glitter. Of the two, I prefer this one.

I couldn't find decent swatches online, so here are my ghetto drawn lips. The flash washes out my lobster claw Soft Coral because of the shimmer, but it does Coral Chic justice (but it's not as muddy/dark in real life). Yay for drugstore brands! You can swatch it yourself!

So if you're feeling the coral trend, don't drop $30 on NARS or Chanel, try Drugstore brands!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

20 most fascinating people of 2009

Lady Gaga is so intriguing. I love watching her interact with people, she's like a doll or an alien or something, and yet completely relatable.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I smell summer

Who else is sick of winter? Just slicked my nails with OPI's Metro Chic, and wishing I had chosen neon pink instead. Anyway, on with the distraction! Paired with a (faux) tan, these are the summery items I've got a hankerin' for...

Top Shop skirt $65
F21 tank $14.90
AE Boy fit shortie $34.50
Stella McCartney Sunglasses $200
Aldo Ferrise Leather mocs $65.00
Top Shop Monet Crop top $55.00
Essie Tart Deco $9
Marc Jacobs Small Daisy (in my dreams)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Elixer of Life

Lately I've become more cautious about over using products especially chemical heavy ones; here's where olive oil comes in. I've been intermittently replacing some of my usual products with olive oil, and so far so good. Try using olive oil for all types of useful treatments:
 Deep conditioning hair treatment
  • Apply olive oil to hair (just ends if you have normal/oily hair), cover with a plastic shower cap, heat up with blow dryer set to low for 5 minutes, allow to sink in for 5-10 minutes, rinse and style as usual. 
Moisturizing exfoliator
  • Mix 1 part salt to 2 parts olive oil, apply to hands (and/or feet, legs, etc), rub, allow to sink in for 3-5 minutes, and rinse. 
Eye-lash treatment
  • Apply a swipe of olive oil on a q-tip to eyelashes for a moisturizing treatment.
All of these skin and hair treatments will leave you glowing and moisturized.

Try cleaning your makeup brushes with 1 part dish soap and 1 part olive oil, as a deep cleansing treatment. It will remove all traces of makeup and dirt without stripping your makeup brushes of necessary moisture.

Das ist der absolut hammer

Cool and cheesy. I like.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stuff I'm putting on my face lately

Thought so!
1. Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation 
2. The Body Shop bronzing pearls
3. Anastasia Brow Pen
4. MAC Blot powder
5. Bobbi Brown Blusher in Nectar 
6. MAC Studio Finish Concealer
7.  L'Oreal Liquid Lineur Intense
8. Maybelline Turbo Boost Volume Mascara (not shown) 

What's on your face?

Hot cakes

I'm a sucker for anything Timbaland and JT. Anyone with me? ..anyone? ha

p.s. JT's sporting the jerri curl again!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stay Away Products

Sharing is caring! I'm going to share the products that I had hopes for but ended up falling flat and leaving my vanity and wallet wanting more. Hopefully readers can learn from my cosmetic misfortune. (That's not an overreaction in the slightest.)

Luckily the products I'm going to mention were purchased over time (a couple years worth) and have either been used up or thrown out at this point. Here are some of them:

Benefit Powder Flage
The claim: A light diffusing, setting powder for under eyes.
The reality: What is with the name?! I get it, I get it.."camouflage". 'cept here's the thing, Benefit! It doesn't hide anything! And it's waaaay over priced.
P.S. The brush it comes with is crap. 
Powderflage Set

Benefit Lemon-aid
The claim: This is supposed to be a concealer for the eye-lid, to brighten and even out skin tone. 
The reality: Unfortunately, it creases, it's thick like clay, and the yellow colour doesn't blend away (not trying to rhyme here).
Benefit Ooh-La-La Lift
The claim: Apparently this is an eye treatment that conceals too. 
The reality: It doesn't seem to do anything at all. Literally.
Ooh La Lift

Mac Paint-Pot
The claim: A wash of colour for the eyelid that won't crease.
The reality: Horrible packaging that dries out the product inside, and it creases on the lid.

Maybelline Great Lash
The claim: The fashion/beauty industry's favorite mascara.
The reality: extremely watery formulation without any lengthening  or volume

Maybelline Lash Stilletto
The claim: Exaggerated length and black patent shine
The reality: Similar to the Maybelline Great lash - subtle results, not much of anything

Maybelline Define a Line
The claim: Defining liner with smudger and sharpener
The reality: A liner that is too subtle upon application, and has no staying power. Too bad because it's a smart design.

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
The claim: What doesn't it do?! A universal silica powder that sets foundation, mattefies, creates a soft focus, won't settle in fine lines, etc.
The reality: It leaves a fine white caste on skin (therefore definitely not universal), doesn't particularly do much of anything especially considering the hefty price.
And I still have so much left of it!!! Damn you, M.U.F.E.!!

HD Microfinish Powder

Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer
The claim: Will lift and tighten eye area, while concealing dark areas.
The reality: A very light formulation with minimal coverage.
Any 'lifting' has not been noticeable.
Lift Concealer

Sephora Brand Lip Peel
The claim: exfoliates lips to leave them soft and moisturized.
The reality: I'm not sure what I was thinking buying this, and even still, actually using it. Needless to say, it doesn't work and it's an odd concept. It's like peeling glue off your lips.
"Tricks of the Trade" Lip Peel

Clearly, there is a pattern in the products that disappoint; gimmicky. As I mentioned at the start, these are purchases over a few years (and pathetically, it's not even all of them!), and I'd like to think that as I've matured I've become more discerning. Especially since I've purchased Paula Begouin's book, "Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me", I feel like I'm much more critical of products before I pull out my wallet. 
But there's still the occasional, "what was I thinking?" purchase, which are often just hilarious and don't cause (much) harm. 

Sometimes a blue lip gloss is totally justifiable - Amber Rose agrees.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"How to dump people in your life"

Random thought of the day!

It sounds harsh but it's true; sometimes you just want to get rid of certain people in your life. Whether it is a hairdresser that keeps giving you your grade 8 haircut, or a toxic friendship that you've grown out of, it can be awkward figuring out how to phase them out!

This clip on the Today Show with Kathy-Lee Gifford & Hoda addresses some of the "awk-ness" that is dumping the duds in your life. (ahahahah yes, you heard right. Advice from KLG and Hoda).