Review: Makeup Geek Foiled Shadows (Full Collection)

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One of the more interesting makeup releases at the end of 2014 were the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows. Highly touted by Marlena (founder and CEO of Makeup Geek), these foiled shadows complement her regular line of shadows. They feature a soft, smooshy texture thats supposed to give an effect similar to foiling your own eyeshadow onto your eyes.

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Each shadow comes in a pan (no palette or pots for these babies yet) and retail for $9.99 USD, which is $3 more per pan than her regular line. The higher price tag is attributed to the ingredients needed to produce this new formula. If you’re interested in picking up all the shades, you can get an $11 discount since they’re bundled together with a price tag of $89.00 on the Makeup Geek site.

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At first I put off getting them – I wasn’t really into shiny eyeshadows much anymore and had gravitated towards bright mattes instead. However, over the holidays, I was putting in an order with MUG to get more of her regular  shadows and thought I’d throw in Flamethrower just because it was “such a me” colour. As soon as I stuck my finger in it, I was hooked. This shade was like molten lava on my finger in all it’s foiled goodness.

Yep, now I was screwed… now I had to have them all!

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So I placed another MUG order at the start of January and finally… THEY ARE ALL MINE. MWHAHAHAHA!

The internet was right! The texture on these shadows is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. While some of the colours are fairly typical, others are just pure insanity on the lids. They weren’t kidding when they said one layer was all you needed.

One downside though… I do find these crease on me after several hours even with using multiple primers. It’s a bit disappointing, but it hasn’t deterred me from using them. It’s not *completel* and utter creasing, but it’s a little bit. (As a note, I have quite hooded eyelids so my eyelids have a crease 100% of the time… unless I blink.)

Anyway, you’re here for swatches aren’t you? ;)

Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Swatches

Magic Act
Magic Act

This is what I meant by a more “typical” shade. Magic Act is a lovely pale gold, and while quite pretty, I think it one of the more dupe-able shades.

In The Spotlight
In The Spotlight

In The Spotlight is a peach shade if ever I saw one. Gorgeous pigmentation.  Since it can lead quite pink, I’ll probably try to pair it with reds and oranges to make it look more peachy-orange than peachy-pink.

Grandstand
Grandstand

I’m not even sure what to call this shade really. Grandstand is like a bronze that has some red in it. It’s not a shade I would gravitate towards, so I’ll have to find some way to use it with something vibrant.

Mesmerized
Mesmerized

The taupe colour of the bunch. I’m sure there are loads of you out there salivating over Mesmerized! On me, this is the kind of shade I’ll place all over the lid and then darken up the outer corner and crease with a dark, matte brown.

Showtime
Showtime

Looking at this one now, I see a lot of the Marsala bajankle that everyone’s going on about lately. Showtime was less compacted in the pan than the others which makes me think it’s part of the original launch of colours. (Marlena has said that they’ve had a few of the eyeshadows break in transit, which they promptly replaced of course, but she said they were going to start asking her lab to press them harder to prevent that. My order arrived without issue however.)

Flamethrower
Flamethrower

Okay. THIS ONE. Flamethrower. FLAMETHROWER. This thing is FIRE. Absolute hands down my favourite out of the whole bunch. This is what I wish MAC‘s Coppering was – absolute pure molten copper. I recommend this one the most out of the entire collection.

Jester
Jester

Very similar to MAC’s Golden Olive pigment, Jester one goes on like a dream. Green with gold reflects.

Houdini
Houdini

I struggled a bit with the pigmentation of Houdini, but it’s a very interesting tealy/turquoisy shade. Try using a black base to make this one pop more.

Center Stage
Center Stage

I always thought this one was blue, till I wore it, then it looked purple. Center Stage is what I wish MAC‘s Contrast looked like.

Caitlin Rose
Caitlin Rose

Caitlin Rose has received a lot of disapproval on the internet due to its pigmentation. While my swatch isn’t entirely in focus, I will say that because this shade doesn’t seem to have a black base (like Houdini or Center Stage seem to) it just doesn’t have the same colour punch as those. Not that that’s a bad thing really – the colour payoff is what I would expect looking at the pan.

I pulled together a few looks while I was testing these shades out so have a gander:

Wearing Flamethrower on the inner half of the lid (Bitten on the outer half)
Wearing Flamethrower on the inner half of the lid (Bitten on the outer half)
Wearing Magic Act and Houdini
Wearing Magic Act and Houdini
Wearing Flamethrower and Center Stage
Wearing Flamethrower and Center Stage

Have you picked up any of the Makeup Geek Foiled Shadow? What did you think of them? Did you run into any creasing like I did? And my god, what did you think of the pigmentation?!

2014 Favourites

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I’m sure you’re so over everyone’s 2014 yearly favourites by this point. WELL TOO BAD. Cuz now you’re getting mine. :)


Too Faced Melted Candy & Melted Berry
Too Faced Melted Candy & Melted Berry

2014 was the year I discovered Too Faced‘s Melted liquid lipstick. And it was love at first sight. I first started off with just Candy and Berry (pictured above), but when I realized how much I loved them, I just started to amass them ad nauseam. I had friends giving them to me, my husband, and of course, I picked some up myself. Out of all of them though, Melted Candy and Melted Berry are my absolute favourites. Candy looks like absolute neon insanity on my lips (which makes it AMAZING in my book) and Berry has been my winter alternative to a red lip this year. In fact, I actually lost my original Melted Candy (GYAHHHHHH) and went out and repurchased it immediately. If that doesn’t say “must have”, then I don’t know what does.

Wearing Melted Candy
Wearing Melted Candy
Wearing Melted Berry
Wearing Melted Berry

I mean, they’re long lasting, insane colour payoff and it dries down matte. What’s NOT to love? By the end of 2014 I ended up with eight of them in my collection. And I still. want. more.


Too Faced - Coral Fire
Too Faced – Coral Fire

So it seems like 2014 is actually just the year of Too Faced lip products. While I loved their entire La Creme line (it smells like sweet lemon, isn’t that unique?), my favourite shade was Coral Fire. I was told a few times that it could be an “every day shade” for me which surprised me since there’s a lot of colour packed into that tube. I love, love, LOVE this shade. I think Too Faced qualifies it as a red, but it really is a pink coral that looks fantastic on me during the warmer months.


Laura Mercier 2013 Artist Palette
Laura Mercier 2013 Artist Palette

I realize this palette was limited edition from the holiday 2013 season, but too dang bad. I *loved* this thing. Laura Mercier‘s 2013 Artist Palette came out of left field and smacked me upside the head like a load of bricks. I’d never, ever used anything by Laura Mercier before and I was just astounded at how soft and blendable these shades are. There isn’t a single dud in this palette. I even took it on a true test of faith and travelled with it for over a week. The number of amazing looks I came up with this palette was amazing. And that Bamboo shade? It is EVERYTHING.

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NYC Fire Island Tan
NYC Fire Island Tan

Once I got pissed off with my Physicians Formula Bronze Booster, I switched to this one by NYC. Fire Island Tan was used almost religiously for nine months straight… and that’s how little pan I’ve hit. It’s impressive for a drugstore item to have such ridiculous longevity, but as a makeup lover I’m kind of like “oh my god WHEN DOES IT END?!” The swatch photo is obviously quite a heavy application, and no one (I hope) would ever wear it that heavily on their face. While there is some orange to that shade, I never felt like I looked like a fake and bake kind of person.


Makeup Geek Creme Brulee & Bitten
Makeup Geek Creme Brulee & Bitten

My love for Makeup Geek shadows knows no bounds, but there are two shades that I went to repeatedly over the last year. Creme Brulee is a shade that finally taught me how to blend out other shades. It’s incredible how much adding a little bit of an orangey-brown in my crease works to soften up darker eyeshadow looks. I always thought it was a ridiculous step when I saw other people doing it, but when I finally tried it out myself I couldn’t believe how well it helped make eyeshadow looks look more professional.

The other shade that stole my heart was Bitten.  Bitten is an incredibly reddened-purple shade. Of all of the shades in my Makeup Geek collection, this is my absolute favourite. I used this often in my crease and it worked well with lighter shades on the lid, or, my favourite, using a glitter on the lid and blending it out with Bitten. I also found that this paired beautifully with my Too Faced Melted Berry lipstick.


Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde
Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde

Alright, getting down to the wire here. A boring product, maybe, but Anastasia‘s Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde was a game changer for me. I’m quite fair and I have very little in the way of eyebrows. It’s not that I overpluck, it’s just that they’re NOT THERE. What little hairs that do grow where the tail of my eyebrow is supposed to be, well.. they’re really just pale blonde baby hairs.

So when I say I need help with my eyebrows, I mean it. If I don’t fill in and FINISH my eyebrows, I basically look ridiculous.

Here’s an example:

Eyebrows not filled in
Eyebrows not filled in

Like seriously… WHERE ARE MY EYEBROWS?

Eyebrow filled in
Eyebrows filled in

As you can see, if I don’t fill them in, I look like I’ve practically shaved them all off!

ANYWAY. What was my point? My point is that eyebrow pencils and eyeshadow never added enough texture. Because I don’t have much in the way of eyebrows too begin with, I needed something like the Dipbrow Pomade in order to actually create the illusion of texture to my brows. It was tricky figuring out how to use it at first, but when I did it was like a lightbulb went off. Now I too can have brows and not look like a fool!


Hourglass Diffused Heat
Hourglass Diffused Heat

I’ll never understand how the blush on the left, in all its coral deliciousness, ends up looking straight up pink on my skin (see the swatch), but whatever, it works. Hourglass’ Diffused Heat is my “I have no idea what matches my eye look” blush. I can reach for this one and know that it’ll look good on me no matter what. I realize the swatch makes it look like nothing special, but this powder looks rather radiant on my cheeks. While I was never sold on the Ambient Lighting Powders, the blushes are a completely different story and I’d encourage you to check them out. Even if the price point is a verging on insanity.


My best loved products of 2014 are products I’m still using today and I expect to continue loving through 2015. Now I just need to pick up all the news shades that Too Faced have added to their Melted line up…

What I Bought This Month – January 2015 Haul

I’m one of the fortunate ones that has their birthday in mid-January. So just when I’m getting over (aka sad) the fact that I was showered in presents over Christmas, I get to do it allll over again for my birthday! Woohoo!


Sephora BI Birthday Gift (free)
Sephora BI Birthday Gift (free)

I also get to get my hands on the Sephora Beauty Insider gift early. This year they were handing out a duo of NARS in Cruella and Rikugien. I’ve never picked up any NARS lip products before so this was a nice surprise.


Some Makeup Geek shadows....
Some Makeup Geek shadows….
...and then some more Makeup Geek shadows. ($5.99 per pan, $9.99 per foiled)
…and then some more Makeup Geek shadows. ($5.99 per pan, $9.99 per foiled)

I also went haywire this month with Makeup Geek. An order I placed mid-December finally showed up (problems at the border due to a shipping method they tried out) annnnnd then I placed another order.  I won’t list them all, but I ordered 32 shadows, including the full line of foiled shadows which are just as incredible as everyone else has been saying. I think it’s now my life goal to own all her eyeshadows… (As a note, Marlena has said that she expects to be raising the price of the eyeshadows by a dollar in the coming year because she needs to be able to pay her staff before… hence why I’m going bonkers.)


Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black (gift)
Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black (gift)

My aunt had given me a Sephora gift card for Christmas and I knew exactly what I wanted to pick up with it. I had gotten a sample of the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black perfume a few months back and while I hadn’t loved it right off the bat, I definitely fell head over heels for it over the coming months. This stuff is NOT cheap, so I was really happy to use  a gift card to pick it up. This is not my typical kind of scent either. This is definitely heavy and sexy, whereas my usual fragrances are all aquatic and watery. I really don’t know why I’m drawn to it so much either.


Smashbox - On The Rocks palette (gift)
Smashbox – On The Rocks palette (gift)

And then, a very good friend of mine (the one I went to Prague with this past year) gifted me a palette by a brand I’ve oddly never used before. (And holy crap the packaging… shiny rainbows?!?!?) Sara knows how much I love palettes and I’m impressed that she managed to grab me something that I didn’t already own!

Smashbox - On The Rocks
Smashbox – On The Rocks

 

Having never used Smashbox before, I’m excited to use this palette especially given how many options there are in there! I believe the On The Rocks palette was limited to the holidays.


Raspberry Red Grapefruit Lip Balm (gift)
Raspberry Red Grapefruit Lip Balm (gift)

The next few gifts are from my friend Alison who is incredibly crafty. This woman can DIY the bejesus out of anything. So when she gives me beauty/bath products for my birthday, I get kiiiind of excited. First up are two pots of Raspberry Red Grapefruit lip balm, which are my absolute favourite flavours so I’m pretty over the moon. These taste DELICIOUS. Plus hello, look at that ombre.


Handmade soap (gift)
Handmade soap (gift)

Next up are three different scented soaps: Chocolate Orange, Rosemary Mint and Guinness Oat Sage. I’ve not opened these yet as I’ve got a lot of soap I’m trying to finish first, but these are sitting in the linen closet making everything smell amazing.


Golden Rose Lotion (gift)
Golden Rose Lotion (gift)

Last year Alison gave me some lotion for either my birthday or Christmas and I finished it up pretty quickly. I love this smell of this one and can’t wait to use it.


Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub (gift)
Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub (gift)

And then, to round it all out, she made THIS. THIS SUGAR SCRUB THING SMELLS FREAKING AMAZING. Lime in anything I’m all like hellz to the YES. But then add in coconut too? Jesus, just add some vodka and I’m good to go.


Omnia Botanica - Beurre de Karite (gift)
Omnia Botanica – Beurre de Karite (gift)

I’m not sure why these didn’t get included in my Christmas haul, but oh well. My brother picked up a few things from France and distributed them amongst my family members. I snatched up the body butter from Omnia Botanica because it’s winter and I need ALL THE MOISTURE… but this thing is hard as a rock. It’s been cold pressed, which I think is part of the issue. Once you get it on your skin it definitely melts, but man, digging it out of the container is a chore in and of itself.


Chemins de Provence - Sels de Bain en Lavende (gift)
Chemins de Provence – Sels de Bain en Lavende (gift)

Another one from France. Since I almost never have bath salts, I grabbed this one out of my brother’s pile and claimed it as my own. Mostly because I need something to soak my sore ass muscles!


The Body Shop - Fijian Water Lotus Shower Gel (gift)
The Body Shop – Fijian Water Lotus Shower Gel (gift)

My mom knows I like anything aquatic-scented, so she picked up two shower gels from The Body Shop in Fijian Water Lotus for my birthday. I didn’t even know this stuff existed, but damn does it ever smell good. She said she would’ve gotten me one in the larger size, but it seems they only make a 250ml version? It very faintly reminds me of the Oceanus scent they used to have wayyyyy back in the day. Man I loved that stuff. I had the oil, the perfume, the soap, the shower gel… I was Oceanus everything back in my teen years.


The Balm - Meet Matte(e) Nude (gift)
The Balm – Meet Matte(e) Nude (gift)

Another birthday gift! This one was a total shock to me. I’ve always been interested in trying The Balm, but just never really got around to it. It’s also not a brand I’ve ever brought up with anyone either. So imagine my surprise when my aunt had a package sent to me for my birthday and it was the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette! I’m so pleased with this! It’s a completely matte palette (duh), which I definitely need more of, and the colours are all ones I can incorporate into my brighter looks to help ground them.


Marcelle waterproof makeup remover (~$13 CAD)
Marcelle waterproof makeup remover (~$13 CAD)

And what’s a monthly haul without makeup remover? As I always say… I either buy this on sale, or when it’s in the larger packaging (for the regular price). Marcelle’s waterproof makeup remover is all I need and I have zero intentions of everything trying out another brand again for makeup remover.


You know, aside from dropping like $200 at Makeup Geek (lol) over the last two months, I’m actually surprised how little I spent on myself this month. The bulk of everything was gifts or gift cards that were given to me by very generous friends and family!

Challenge Week: Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette

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My mom was a sweetheart and picked up the Urban Decay Vice 3 palette for me for Christmas. This was the first Vice palette I’ve owned and the first I was ever really felt drawn to. I mean… just LOOK at it:

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Good god is that ever pretty! While this palette seems to be no longer available at Sephora, at the time of posting (January 23, 2015), it’s still available on urbandecay.com.  I’ve been so very tired of the trend of naked this, naked that, that this palette feels like I can finally get some damn oxygen amidst all the browns and neutrals. Oh sure, this palette has its fair share of neutrals, but that’s really helpful for blending out some of the brighter shades.

Anyway, enough yapping, on with the looks.


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Okay so I know I just complained about too many neutrals, but this type of looking is probably the most flattering on me and the easiest one to pull off without thinking about it.

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Eyes

  1. Angel on the lid.
  2. Defy on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Undone through the crease.
  4. Truth on the browbone.

I created the wing with Kat Von D‘s Tattoo Liner in Trooper and applied Benefit They’re Real mascara to my lashes. I then applied a pair of Femme Fatale lashes in Catwalk with duo lash adhesive.

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: Tarte Park Avenue Princess
  • Blush: Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass in Cherry

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I was not expecting these colours to come out so bright but man am I ever happy they did. Some of the swatches for the green (Dragon) had looked rather unpigmented, but I had no trouble get really vibrant colour onto my lid!

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Eyes

  1. Dragon all over the lid.
  2. Heroine on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Undone through the crease.
  4. Bobby Dazzle and Truth on the browbone.

I then lined outer lower lash line with MAC‘s Phone Number eye pencil and dabbed some Heroine on top. I then applied Benefit‘s They’re Real mascara to my lashes.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 Light Vanilla and 52 Vanilla mixed together
  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: Tarte Exposed

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Favourite. My absolute FAVOURITE look that’s come out of this palette so far. Even my husband really liked it, so I’d say it’s an all ’round success!

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Eyes

  1. Lucky on the inner half of the lid and heavily on the inner tearduct.
  2. Sonic on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Vanity through the crease.
  4. Bobby Dazzle and Truth on the browbone.

I finally learned how to freaking blend out my lower lash line properly, so there’s some Vanity on the outer corner and Sonic on the inner half. I used Kat Von D‘s Tattoo Liner in Trooper to create the wing and applied Benefit They’re Real mascara to my lashes. There’s also a few individual lashes glued on as well. On my upper and lower waterline is Urban Decay‘s Black Velvet liner.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 Light Vanilla and 52 Vanilla mixed together
  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: Tarte Charisma
  • Lips: Revlon Papaya

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I’m fiiiinally trying out a technique I’ve seen done for years on YouTube videos, but never got around to doing. You basically create an enormous half cat wing, then blend it out. While the photo came out pretty decently, I think I need to make it even larger next time and work with own eye shape more. When my eyes were fully open, it didn’t look as sharp as it does my eyes are closed (thank you very much hooded lids…).

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Eyes

  1. I first created a huge wing with Tarte‘s black gel liner, but didn’t drag it all the way down to my lash line. I then patted Revolver on top of the liner and blended it towards the inside of my lid.
  2. Last Sin was then blended on the inner half of the lid and blended into Revolver.
  3. Bobby Dazzle was applied lightly to my brow bone.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 Light Vanilla and 52 Vanilla mixed together
  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: Hourglass Diffused Heat
  • Highlighter: MAC Silver Dusk
  • Lips: Too Faced Melted Candy

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The blue (Freeze) and purple (Vanity) were some of the weaker shades in this palette. The pigmentation just didn’t come off as strong as I would have liked. Maybe a white base would bring out some more of the impact of the colour.

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Eyes

  1. Freeze on the inner half of the lid.
  2. Vanity on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Alchemy through the crease.
  4. Bobby Dazzle on the browbone.

I lightly lined my outer lower lash line with MAC Phone Number eye liner and patted Vanity on top.

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: Hourglass Diffused Heat
  • Highlighter: MAC Soft & Gentle

This palette? Love it! It has enough vibrant shades to keep me entertained and yet enough boring neutrals to balance out any bright eye look. If you’re looking for a good mix of shades, or want to try playing with more vibrant shades, this is a pretty solid choice.

Guest Post: Natalie’s 2015 Beauty Resolutions

Well, howdy friends! Nice to see you all again. In case you don’t remember me (how could you?!) I’m Natalie and I blog over at Ivory Avenue. I’m back again this month as part of the CBB Monthly Guest Posting, and this time I’ll be talking about my beauty resolutions for 2015.

I’ll be honest: beauty resolutions are tricky.

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Clean makeup brushes monthly
I put this one first because I think it’s going to be the hardest one to stick to. I feel like we all feel that we’re terrible at cleaning our makeup brushes on a regular basis, but it’s seriously an issue. Do you know how much bacteria is in there? A gross amount. And then you put it on your face! Apparently even washing makeup brushes once a month is enough, so that’s my goal. I can totally do this, right?

Stick to a skincare routine
I’ve only recently even had a skincare routine, and I loved it! I loved the consistency and how great my skin felt. Unfortunately, I kind of fell off that bandwagon over the holidays as I was travelling and couldn’t bring all of my skincare with me. I really want to get back to a regular routine, and actually stick to it for longer than a month.

Use high end products more regularly
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have a seriously hard time using up expensive makeup and beauty items. It’s so silly because obviously it’ll go bad eventually, but I just can’t get myself to use them on a regular basis. I think it’s because it’s such a treat to myself that using it often would make it less of a treat. Silly, right? Anyways – hopefully I’ll start using these products on a more regular basis and actually enjoy using them, not just staring at them.

Rotate makeup & be adventurous
I think we too often fall into a makeup rut. I too often grab the same lipstick or same blush, even though I have so many other options. I may start doing those 30 day challenges where you use a new lipstick or blush every day for 30 days to help. It makes me sad to think of the products I have that are going untouched and unloved!

Buy less makeup
Well, this is a hard one isn’t it? Zoe and I actually decided last October to do a no-buy for 2015. I have, unfortunately, already broken this. And yes, I’m going to justify it: Bourjois is so much cheaper in the UK, and it was buy one, get one 50% off! I only bought two things, but still, I broke the no-buy. I’m going to pretend that didn’t happen though, and continue on nonetheless. Even if I buy something here and there, it’ll be far less than I would normally have bought.

What are your beauty resolutions for the New Year?

Chelle’s Aside: Thanks for sharing your beauty resolutions for the year Natalie! When I saw that you listed clean your makeup brushes more regularly I was like “ughhhh why didn’t *I* think of that?” And I want to see all your ventures into trying out your entire collection!


Use Up 2015

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I had moderate success with my Use Up 2014 collection of items, so I wanted to continue the trend this year. I have no desire to restrict myself to a proper Project Pan (and buy nothing while on it!), although I really, REALLY do enjoy finishing products. Last year I tried to clear 14 items out of my collection, and I bombed out of a few of them. It was too large of a number and some of the products just frigging sucked to finish. This year, I’m keeping it to a reasonable 10 products, and I’m wayyy more enthused about using these than I was last year’s items. As with last year, these are items I want to finish up and move out of my collection, but they’re not necessarily ones I’m going to be repurchasing any time soon.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light

I bought into the hype of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and picked up the one I most wanted to look like. Ethereal? Hell yes I’d like to look like an otherworldly being! But this does… nothing? I don’t know what everyone else is seeing but this might as well be a mattifying translucent powder. I notice no difference on my face when I wear this, but I bought it, paid an astronomical price, so I may as well use the darn thing. Since I don’t actually use face powder anywhere in my routine, this is actually a super easy step to throw in. And it’s not like I can fuck it up really… since it looks like nothing on my skin.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Beige
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Beige

Barely Beige  was one of those limited edition Maybelline Color Tattoos from many, many seasons ago. Despite the mad love that everyone gives them, I’m just not much of a Color Tattoo person. They tend to go on my lids and make them look crinkly – as if I suddenly aged 20 years. Not flattering. They are, however, very easy to use, when I need something to wear without thinking about it (like when I hit the snooze button for an entire hour and suddenly have to run to work). I own about 10 shades, but this is the colour I’m most likely to use up within the next year. It’s starting to go hard on me too, so I’m not even sure it’ll make it the whole year without becoming cement.

MAC eyeshadows in (clockwise starting from top left) Club, Fade, Print and Cork
MAC eyeshadows in (clockwise starting from top left) Club, Fade, Print and Cork

I somehow managed to finish up four eyeshadows from MAC last year, so I’m doing the same this year.

  • Club has been a longstanding awesome shade, but I now have dupes in my collection and this is the oldest formula I own of this shade, so it’s time to go.
  • Fade is sheer baby blue from my teen years that I need to just completely move away from (incorporating this one is going to be painful – this one is the most at risk for not getting used up this year).
  • Print is a lovely dark grey shade, but it’s almost done and it’s old, so it’s time to say goodbye.
  • And lastly, Cork. It’s old, I have plenty of browns like it, so it’s time to move on.
Revlon - Papaya
Revlon – Papaya

Throughout 2014 I realized that I’m just done with lipgloss. It’s too finicky for my liking, so it’s time to clear out what I have. Revlon‘s Papaya is a lovely shade, but it just needs to go. It’s hard to tell from the tube, but I think there’s a little less than 50% remaining.

Boots No7 Instant Radiance foundation in Cool Vanilla, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 and 52
Boots No7 Instant Radiance foundation in Cool Vanilla, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 and 52

I managed to finish up one foundation last year. Only one! So I don’t know how the hell I’m going to finish up three… While they’re all quite lovely on the skin, I just need to move these along since they’re liquid products and they’re a few years old. These are ones I’d consider repurchasing at some point, but for now, I need to use up what I have and I have a lot more foundations that are waiting in the wings after these.

  • Boots No7 Instant Radiance in Cool Vanilla – I was colour matched to this at Boots in Galway, Ireland, and it’s the perfect shade as I move from spring into summer. I seem to only have a small window when I can wear this for it to match my skin, but it’s one of the best-looking foundations I own. Highly recommended. (In general, I highly recommend the No7 colour matching system. It works far better than Sephora‘s Color IQ and it has never failed to pick my right shade no matter what the season.)
  • Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 and 5251 is far too pale for me, but mixed with 52 it’s fine… but only in the dead of the winter. I’ll trying to get these finished before spring hits otherwise I’ll have to wait until December to wear them again.

Do you have any plans for a Use Up 2015? Or a Project Pan for the year? I have a ridiculous fascination with used up products, so let me know what your plans are!

Fitness Friday: Current (Frustrated) Musings

So I’m kind of irritated with myself when it comes to my exercise routine.

To be perfectly honest, this about sums it up.
To be perfectly honest, this about sums it up.

I have a 5K race coming up mid-March (Achilles St. Patrick’s Day Run) and a 10K planned at the start of April in Panama City, Florida (we’ll be on vacation there), but I’m feeling kind of like I’ve shot myself in the foot in regards to training. I put on a heap of weight in December and I’m struggling to get it off. All while trying to work on getting my running distances and speed back up to parr. I know that as the weight comes off, my speed will increase, but it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating because while I’m not starting from scratch, I’m working back up from a deficit just from having whacked on the weight and not exercised much throughout December. And that’s just stupid. Why do we do this to ourselves? We just let exercise fall by the wayside and then when we dive back in we’re in all kinds of pain and/or frustration. So while I’m lugging myself to the gym four times a week, I’m still annoyed that it’s gotten to this point. No one likes starting from scratch.

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I’m lifting low amount of weight right now since I need to re-adjust myself so that my muscles don’t cave under the sudden pressure. I’m also only running around 5-7k at a go, which feels really, really puny compared to what I was doing when I was training for that half marathon last year. On the upside, I do have another half marathon planed (Ottawa Race Weekend in May) so I know that at some point I’ll be covering those distances again.

Last year a 5K, this year a half!
Last year a 5K, this year a half!

Anyway, that’s a brief amount of moaning about my miseries. It’s not always easy to try to stay fit. I’m not really motivated all that much right now, but I am thankful that I have enough of a “must exercise” mentality that I can drag my ass to the gym at 9 pm at night without having to put too much thought into it. One of the massive upsides to having maintained a consistent level of physical fitness last year is that I no longer find it difficult, or strenuous to push myself to go to the gym. Now it’s just a matter of fact and I do what needs to be done.

So while it’s not always easy, I’ll persevere regardless. I’m sure in a month or so I’ll feel back to normal, but for now… I grumpily push on, all while reading fitspo tumblrs to try to get me motivated! How about you? Are you struggling with your exercise routine, or your motivation to start one?

What’s On My Face – Volume 30

A lot more bright looks in this lot which I’m super happy about. If you notice an increase in quality of some of the pictures, it’s because I picked up an actual DSLR in December instead of using my old point and shoot camera. The reason I say “some of the pictures” is that on some days I unfortunately only have the opportunity to use my phone’s camera at work in the bathroom and the lighting is really, really unfortunate on those. Ah well.


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My New Year’s Eve makeup look. Surprisingly, I didn’t go all out of with glitter, but I’ve really been enjoying the look of a bit of the rainbow silver glitter on the lower lash line.

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Eyes

  1. Inglot Matte 334 all over the lid.
  2. Inglot Matte 325 on the outer third.
  3. Urban Decay Blackout in the outer v.
  4. Makeup Geek Creme Brule through the crease.
  5. Too Faced White Chocolate on the browbone.
  6. Naked Cosmetics Ivory stack in the purple/blue reflected pigment on the inner tearduct.

I applied Make Up For Ever‘s Glitter 13 to the lower lash line, then tightlined my upper and lower waterlines with Urban Decay‘s Black Velvet liner. For the upper lash line, I used Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in Trooper. On my lashes is Benefit‘s They’re Real mascara.

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: NYC Fire Island Tan
  • Blush: Hourglass Diffused Heat
  • Lips: Too Faced Melted Violet with Cailyn lipgloss in Basic Instinct on top

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Holy crap. Why do I even hesitate on ordering Makeup Geek products? I held off getting one of the foiled shadows because I’ve kind of been going off shiny eyeshadow. But then I bought Flamethrower on a whim and… I’m in love. And I’ve now placed an order for the entire MUG foiled line. This stuff is insane. Pictures and telling you about how wonderful it is just won’t do the product justice – you need to buy this for yourself to experience the amazingness.

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Eyes

  1. Makeup Geek Flamethrower all over the lid.
  2. Makeup Geek Bitten on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Too Faced White Chocolate on the browbone.

I used Tarte‘s black gel liner to create the wing and applied Benefit They’re Real mascara to my lashes.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 and 52
  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: MAC Warm Soul
  • Lips: MAC Mystical

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I did this for a guest posting on Writing Whimsy, but wanted it on here for my own records. I used the Morphe 36 Glam palette and I had a beast of a time applying these shades. While they do look lovely, they would blend away to nothing at all so I would highly recommend using several primers, particularly one with a sticky base to help get these shadows to adhere to the lids.

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Since the Morphe shades aren’t named, please use the guide below to figure out which colours go where:

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Eyes

  1. Teal on the inner half of the lid.
  2. Blue on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Purple through the crease and used to line the lower lashline.
  4. Light pink  at the top of the crease to lightly blend out the purple.
  5. Pale peach to highlight the brow.
  6. Naked Cosmetics Ivory stack in the green reflect shade on the inner tearduct.

I used Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in Trooper to create the winged liner and applied Benefit’s They’re Real mascara to my lashes.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: CoverGirl Tone Rehab 2-in-1  (CC Cream) in 110 Classic Ivory
  • Bronzer: Tarte Park Avenue Princess
  • Blush: Tarte Dollface
  • Highlighter: MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish
  • Lips: essence Wear Berries!

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I picked up the Laura Mercier Artist palette for Eyes and Cheeks during the Sephora November VIB sale, but I haven’t played around with it much. I love the quality of the shadows, but they’re pretty bizarre colours (for me) so I don’t find myself reaching for it that often.

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Eyes
(all Laura Mercier)

  1. Crystal Beige on the lid.
  2. Cashmere in the crease.
  3. Stone Taupe in the outer corner.
  4. Morning Dew on the brow bone.

I used Tarte‘s black gel liner to create the wing and applied Benefit They’re Real mascara to my lashes.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: CoverGirl CC Cream in 110 Classic Ivory
  • Bronzer: NYC Fire Island Tan
  • Blush: Laura Mercier Rosegold Shimmer
  • Lips: Too Faced Melted Ruby

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Playing around with some of my older limited edition MAC products.

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Eyes

  1. MAC Blue Sorcery (applied damp) all over the lid.
  2. MAC Moonlight Night pigment on the outer half of the lid.
  3. Makeup Geek Creme Brulee through the crease.
  4. Too Faced White Chocolate on the brow bone.
  5. The silver glitter from the MAC Blue Sorcery duo was applied to my inner corner.

On my lashes is Benefit They’re Real mascara.

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Cheeks: Tarte Exposed
  • Lips: Bite Beauty Retsina

Shopping My Stash for Marsala

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I don’t know who decided they were in officially in charge, but every year Pantone picks a colour of the year. Sometimes it seems to follow trends, and sometimes it seems totally offbase. (Where the hell did Radiant Orchid (2014) come from anyway? I mean really.) This year we got blessed (lol) with Marsala.

Introducing MARSALA Pantone 18-1438. A naturally robust and earthy wine red, Marsala enriches our minds, bodies and souls.

2015 Colour of the Year: Marsala
2015 Colour of the Year: Marsala

Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s not the colour of any red wine I drink. This is more of a lazy brick colour. Too much of the brown, not enough of the red. I guess we have Kylie Jenner to thank for this colour.

Leaving out my opinions regarding the Kardashians seemingly influencing this colour of the year, I have to say it’s not bad. It’s an unexciting shade, but it’s very, very workable. I know none of us truly care about the colour of the year, as it certainly won’t be impacting anyone’s makeup or clothes after the month of January, but I wanted to see what the hell I had in my stash that would come close to this colour.

MAC Mystical lipstick and NYX Spongecake gloss
MAC Mystical lipstick and NYX Spongecake gloss

First up are the lip products. MAC‘s Mystical was from this past year’s summer collection and it was about the only lipstick shade I had that fit into the Marsala zone. More of a pink tinge on this one, but it makes it infinitely more wearable on my skin.

NYX‘s Spongecake surprised me. I’d never think of this guy as even remotely brick-coloured, but when I compare it to the Marsala swatch above, it comes out surprisingly close. More orange-toned, for sure, but still in the “zone”.

l-r: NYX Spongecake, MAC Mystical
l-r: NYX Spongecake, MAC Mystical

Unfortunately Mystical was a limited edition item but Spongecake is a year ’round drugstore item for those who have NYX available to them.

MAC Sea Me, Hear Me
MAC Sea Me, Hear Me

This blush is such an odd one to me. MAC‘s Sea Me, Hear Me (yet again, limited edition) looks pinky-er in the pan, orangey-er on my skin and yet somehow still appears “more Marsala” than anything else I owned.

MAC Sea Me, Hear Me
MAC Sea Me, Hear Me

As a blush, this was such a sleeper hit for me. It didn’t suit me in the summer, but it’s been working out for fall and winter.

Makeup Geek Bitten and L'Oreal Golden Mahogany
Makeup Geek Bitten and L’Oreal Golden Mahogany

My favourites of the bunch are the eyeshadows. I’m really hoping that people learn to experiment with eyeshadow more and embrace reds, or even just brick reds, on their lids. Red eyeshadow, or any shadow in that family, has a very special place in my heart: It can be a flattering colour or an incredibly loud one depending on how you pair it.

l-r: Makeup Geek Bitten and L'Oreal Golden Mahogany
l-r: Makeup Geek Bitten and L’Oreal Golden Mahogany

Makeup Geek‘s Bitten is a longstanding favourite of mine and a must-have shade from the brand. I think it fits best with the Marsala theme out of anything I own, so at least I can feel trendy while wearing it.

L’Oreal‘s Infallible in Golden Mahogany is slightly more electrifying however. It definitely adds far more red into the mix, and coupled with that shine, it’s a stunner.

So while I’m not jumping for joy about a colour of the year, I am interested to play around with the colour and see what combinations work out best for me. I hadn’t done it intentionally, but when I look at the blue of the Alluring Aquatics collection mixed with the colour of marsala, I’m thinking I could really work with those together.

How about you? Is this something that interests you? Have you got products that fit into the colour of the year theme?

Review: Miracle 10 Chemical Peel + Bloggers Word of Mouth Event

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In November I was invited to attend a blogger event at Miracle 10 in Yorkville, Toronto. I was surprised as I’m really a blogging nobody. My site is barely a year old and I can’t imagine my traffic is that high enough to warrant any kind of attention… But I was thrilled and confirmed that I’d love to attend.

Now, I’m not much of a skincare person. Oh sure, I remove my makeup, wash my face and moisturize. Every now and again I’ll use a Biore pore strip or a facial mask. But fundamentally? Skin doesn’t interest me that much. Without trying to sound too narcissistic, I think it’s because I’ve been blessed with fairly healthy skin. I very rarely get breakouts – frankly I can’t even remember the last time I even had one. Additionally, the tone and texture of my face has never bothered me as it’s predominantly smooth. Oh sure I’ve got some darkish undereye circles, but we all have those. I’ve got some redness, but whatever, so do we all. I’ve got some burgeoning wrinkles, but those also don’t perturb me. What I’m trying to say is I’ve never really cared about my skin, or had to take care of it, because it’s never needed any kind of attention outside of the ordinary.

HOWEVER, despite my apathy towards my skin and skincare, I was interested in connecting with other bloggers and perhaps learning something new. Plus there was the ever appealing offer for a rather large swag bag and the incentive of a free chemical peel.

So I went. I was nervous, and I knew no one, but I went. Thankfully, I ran into the lovely Jenn of Scarlet Beauty and we got to talking. She was so easy to speak to and it really eased up my anxiety over knowing NO ONE. I don’t suffer from social anxiety, but dear god do I hate walking into a room knowing no one where I’m expected to network my way to success. I haven’t the faintest ideas what the fuck I’m doing!

I've got wine in my hands, all is good.
I’ve got wine in my hands, all is good.

The event was short, but sweet. I met a few Toronto-area bloggers I already knew of, but had never met in person before (man, that was strenuous; trying to remember who owned what blog), listened to a session on fashion trends (really, REALLY not up my alley), but learned a few cute things about how to stay interesting as a blogger.

Miracle 10 Session
Miracle 10 Session

After the session, I met with one of Miracle 10’s skincare experts to held decipher what kind of skincare program I needed to be on. The rep was clearly slightly disturbed that I only washed my face once a day… Ooops. In the end, they determined my “type” and gave me a hand picked swag bag full of products geared towards Normal/Maturing skin (mmmm maturing, just what I wanted to hear).

Myself and two Jenns
Myself and two Jenns

On my way out the door, I was handed my expensive bag of goodies and instructed to book my free chemical peel.

The holidays came and went, and finally it was time for my peel. So at the beginning of January, in middle of a dumping of snow, I headed back to Miracle 10 on Scollard Street.

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Before I left, I snagged some shots of my clean face so you could see what my skin looked like prior to appointment.

Zero makeup
Zero makeup

So as you can see… freckles and moles, no breakouts, slight redness (if I’m REALLY looking) around the chin and some undereye circles.

Left side
Left side
Right side
Right side

The procedure was essentially flawless. They took me into a backroom and had me lay down on doctor’s table. The technician explained the procedure and asked me a few questions about my skin. As this was my first time having a peel done, she decided to use the mildest acid they have; lactic.

After prepping the skin, she then shaved my entire face. It’s called dermaplanning; they use a small razor to remove all the fine hairs and any excess dead skin off your face. My technician indicated to me that I had quite dry skin (no surprise there, it’s the dead of winter and I feel dry as a bone!) since she was sloughing off a lot of dry, dead cells. It’s worth noting that the razor felt like nothing. It’s barely even a tickle! She was slow and methodical about it and I never felt like I was in danger of having my face sliced open.

Inside Miracle 10
Inside Miracle 10

The lactic acid was then applied to my skin for two minutes. This *did* tingle and sting slightly, but it wasn’t painful and it’s certainly something anyone can withstand for two straight minutes. The acid was then removed gently and she asked me if there was anywhere that was still stinging. My nose was, so she gently rubbed around my nose to remove any excess.

After that, it’s basically nap time. A cooling mask was applied to my face and it was lights out for 10 minutes. Except… she left me in there way longer than 10 minutes. It was closer to 25, verging on 30. I was a little surprised, half wondering if I’d been forgotten about. But, like a true Canadian, when she came back, I didn’t say a word. ;)

The mask was washed off and a thick moisturizer was applied to my face and eye area. I was then free to go on my merry way.

One thing that struck me immediately is how naked my skin felt. Without my little baby hairs on my face, I felt like my skin was truly sensitive to exposure. What a weirdass feeling that was let me tell you!

How did it turn out? Let’s take a look.

After chemical peel
After chemical peel

There’s really no redness on my face (out of the ordinary that is). My nose is definitely pinker, but that’s because I walked home in the blistering cold. I was surprised with how much my skin did not react to the acid – I was half expecting full on Samantha Jones laser treatment hideousness.

yeahhhh not so pretty
yeahhhh not so pretty
After chemical peel - left side
After chemical peel – left side

But instead my skin looks… relatively the same. It’s perhaps slightly brighter, I mean, they did essentially take an entire layer of skin off my face between the acid and the shaving. And I noticed my moles were definitely darker (makes sense right? There’s less skin on top of the pigmentation) but that’s neither here nor there for me.

After chemical peel - right side
After chemical peel – right side

My skin remained tacky to the touch for several hours after the treatment. She had applied some intense moisture therapy cream and I never really felt like it sank in completely. More like… I still had some kind of protective barrier on my face.

At $125 a pop, this isn’t a cheap treatment. Having used the softest acid they had, I don’t feel like there’s much difference to my skin. I do wonder if  any noticeable difference would’ve been more apparent if a stronger acid had been used, or more frequent sessions. However, I’m such a rookie at these things that I didn’t really want to dive in head first with something really abrasive on my face.

I am super thankful to Miracle 10 for giving me the opportunity to check out their location, test out their products and meet tons of new people. It’s an experience that I’m very lucky to have had.

It’s almost a week later now and my skin hasn’t reacted poorly at all. It never turned red or peeled, but I never noticed a striking difference in it either.

So how about you? Have you had chemicals peels done? What kind of acid did you opt for? What was your experience?