March 2015 Favourites

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March was a total blur. I had fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, ran a pretty decent 5K race, attended a blogger event and hung out with some awesome people. It was a whirlwind month, but a lot of fun!

Urban Decay Naked 3
Urban Decay Naked 3

It’s funny how a month can pass in which you totally forgot what you did or wore. I completely forgot I used this palette so much in the early half of the month until I checked my notes (which I have to keep for favourites posts, or I won’t remember anything) and realized that I had used this palette constantly. Urban Decay‘s Naked 3 is one of those items where I really don’t know why I bought it. I’m not a pink person, I don’t salivate over rose-gold everything and yet… I bought it anyway. I probably got caught up in the hype of it when it first launched.  But in reality, this is such an easy palette to wear that really doesn’t require outside help – even moreso than the original Naked (which doesn’t have a matte or satin highlight shade) or the Naked 2 (which has shades that blend together into the same shade), this palette offers you the opportunity to stick with pinks and taupes, but without demanding that you WEAR PINK.

And those pink-tinged mattes? Do a wonder of good for the crease and blending out shades.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch mascara
Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch mascara

Well this one isn’t any secret – I love this sucker. Make Up For Ever‘s Smoky Stretch mascara came out of left field when I was gifted it at a blogger event this past month and slapped me right across the face. Despite having purchased my beloved Clump Crusher this past month, I’ve barely touched it because I keep opting for the MUFE one. This mascara is incredible – volume, length, true black… and the wand pulls through my lashes in the most satisfying way. You can see my full review on the Smoky Stretch mascara here.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation in Shade 51 Light Vanilla & Shade 52 Vanilla
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation in Shade 51 Light Vanilla & Shade 52 Vanilla

I feel like makeup lovers go through this eternal cycle of wanting to try new products, then they go back to old products they loved, and wonder why they ever stopped using them. (And yet, you know the next time something shiny and new comes along, you’ll drop that beloved product again!) Such is the case with the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundations I own. I added these foundations to my Use Up 2015 pile because I’ve had them for about two years and it was time to cycle them out… but since I’ve started to use them again, I’m wondering why I ever stopped. Healthy Mix Serum is a lightweight medium coverage foundation that smells incredible (seriously, like fruit). I picked mine up at Boots in Ireland a few years ago, but you can buy the brand at Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada.

My favourite look from the month of March
My favourite look from the month of March

And to finish up the month, my favourite look was this one that I created for Prairie Beauty Love.  It may be outside of most peoples’ comfort zone, but I love how well this turned out. I don’t normally get the opportunity to get this creative with my makeup, but I decided to just go balls out for this post and was super proud on how well this translated onto my eyes.

Onward into April we go!

Review: Make Up For Ever Ink Liner

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Make Up For Ever‘s Ink Liner ($27 CAD) is a relatively new release for the brand. I was anxious to try this one out due to the claims, the primary one which claimed this was a truly matte formula.

Ink liner with the brush wiped off so you can see the shape of the liner
Ink liner with the brush wiped off so you can see the shape of the liner

Released just this past January, the Ink Liner promises  to be a truly matte black liquid eyeliner, and quick drying while providing flawless wear and hold. I have been after a liquid liner that actually delivers a matte black formula without the hint of a sheen so I was super excited to try this out.

Make Up For Ever Ink Liner swatches
Make Up For Ever Ink Liner swatches

And the Ink Liner definitely delivers on the matte black formula! This stuff is as dark as an abyss. It is completely, without a shadow of a doubt, matte. It has no sheen, no hint of a gleam – it is UTTERLY matte. It also remains matte throughout the entire day – I had zero transfer from my eyeshadows to the liner, which is a problem I still have with my matte gel liners.

One thing worth noting, is that this liner is not waterproof. A lot of people assume that liquid liners are always waterproof, and that is not necessarily the case. This one is not waterproof (nor did they ever claim it was), so if you have watery eyes you may want to stay away from this one.

Freshly applied
Freshly applied

The shot above is the Ink Liner freshly applied. I put it on before work that morning (roughly 7:30 a.m.). My first attempt with the liner produced quite a thick line. As with any new applicator, you need a little bit of time to get used to the shape. The applicator is a small rubberized cone with a fairly rounded end. It has some flex to it, but not as much as a brush tip.

Freshly applied
Freshly applied

But what a line it produces! With my eye closed, you can see just how solid this product is. I got a sharp point on the end of my wing while freehanding the line.

Ink Liner at the end of the day
Ink Liner at the end of the day

And this is what the Ink Liner looked like at the end of my work day (roughly 5 p.m.). It’s just as matte black as when I started the day out! It didn’t transfer to my upper lid once it had dried down and it didn’t pick up any of the shimmery shadows from my lid (and I purposely did a look that’s given me problems in the past with eyeshadow transfer). These are enormous pluses in my book since I’m all about that ultra matte life with zero transfer.

The Ink Liner used in a typical look for me
The Ink Liner used in a typical look for me

I really love that the Ink Liner managed to deliver what other liners have not for me (the true matte-ness), but I can’t help but wish it was waterproof. Maybe it’s just impossible to make a completely matte formula while having waterproof properties? Hmmm.

Do you have a favourite matte liquid liner? I’d love to hear about your experiences with liners!

The product featured in this review was provided by PR.

Swatch Sunday: Naked Cosmetics Tropical Indulgence Pigment Set

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I picked up this gorgeous stack of pigments by Naked Cosmetics at IMATS this past year. This is the Tropical Indulgence set and they can be used wet or dry. For the swatches, they were applied dry to the skin.

Naked Cosmetics Tropical Indulgence Pigment Stack
Naked Cosmetics Tropical Indulgence Pigment Stack 
Naked Cosmetics - Tropical Indulgence - TI-01
Naked Cosmetics – Tropical Indulgence – TI-01
Naked Cosmetics - Tropical Indulgence - TI-02
Naked Cosmetics – Tropical Indulgence – TI-02
Naked Cosmetics - Tropical Indulgence - TI-03
Naked Cosmetics – Tropical Indulgence – TI-03
Naked Cosmetics - Tropical Indulgence - TI-04
Naked Cosmetics – Tropical Indulgence – TI-04
Naked Cosmetics - Tropical Indulgence - TI-05
Naked Cosmetics – Tropical Indulgence – TI-05
Naked Cosmetics - Tropical Indulgence - TI-06
Naked Cosmetics – Tropical Indulgence – TI-06

 

What I Bought This Month – March 2015 Haul

Not a huge purchasing month for me which is probably for the best since I’m heading down to Florida for a week long vacation next week and will more than likely be diving head first into Ulta!

CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara ($8.99 CAD sale)
CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara ($8.99 CAD sale)

CoverGirl‘s Clump Crusher is a a staple in my collection and I’m glad to have it back. I’ve been so busy using other mascara samples that I haven’t felt justified purchasing one. Until now! I’ve finally run through all my samples and now I’m back to using this baby. I’ve mentioned before, but this is a foolproof mascara: easy to apply, unique wand shape that actually works and yep, it doesn’t clump!

MAC - Burmese Kiss ($21 CAD)
MAC – Burmese Kiss ($21 CAD)

Man, what is it with MAC lately? They keep knocking it out of the park for me with their lipsticks! Burmese Kiss is a matte lipstick from the Bao Bao Wan collection. The shade is a lovely bright coral pink (which I’ve just decided is MY COLOUR NOW OKAY) and the packaging is to die for. Unfortunately, I think this shade sold out rather quickly, but if you can get your hands on it, I wouldn’t hesitate!

Kryolan - UV Dayglo Pressed Powder in Neon Red ($13.19 CAD)
Kryolan – UV Dayglo Pressed Powder in Neon Red ($13.19 CAD)

Oh baby, come to mama! When I was at IMATS, I wanted this shade so much, but they oddly didn’t have it on hand, despite having it out on the display. I can’t imagine that many people picked up Kryolan‘s UV Dayglo pressed powder in Neon Red, so I was a little confused. Anyway, I was at a shop in Toronto recently and they had it on hand so I snatched it up without a second thought. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect neon red shade, and I think this may be it. It does veer slightly more orange than pink, but I’ll have to see how it applies on the lids.

That’s it for this month!

What’s On My Face – Volume 34

Another makeup looks roundup!


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I was playing around with some matte shades… then decided I needed some glitter.

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Well WHOOPS. I totally messed up the colour map…

Eyes

  • The Balm Matt Abdul all over the lid.
  • The Balm Matt Johnson in the crease.
  • The Balm Matt Malloy on the brow bone.
  • Illamasqua Static pigment was applied all over the lid directly on top of the lid shade.

I used Kat Von D‘s Tattoo Liner in Trooper to create the wing, then applied Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara to my lashes.

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: Cargo Mendocino

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This was a straight rip from a recent Jaclyn Hill YouTube tutorial that I just loved. I had almost all the same products (always a blessing when you watch a tutorial) and loved how it looked on her so I decided to replicate it as best I could. This ended up being near identical to the look I wore on Valentine’s Day.

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Eyes

  1. Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee mixed together at the top of the crease.
  2. Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear heavily through the crease.
  3. Too Faced Dark Chocolate (from the A few of my Favorite Things palette) in the inner and outer third of the eye.
  4. Makeup Geek Houdini on the center of the lid.
  5. Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean on the brow bone.
  6. (not marked) MAC Nylon on the inner tearduct and lightly on the brow.

I used Make Up For Ever‘s Ink Liner to create the wing, then tightlined my upper and lower lash line with Urban Decay‘s Black Velvet liner. Blended along my lower lash line is Cocoa Bear and Dark Chocolate. On my lashes is Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch mascara.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 Light Vanilla and 52 Vanilla mixed together
  • Bronzer & Highlighter: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo #1
  • Blush: Hourglass Diffused Heat

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I hadn’t touched my Naked Cosmetics pigments much since I picked them up in November, so I decided to just pick a colour at random (the pink) and work with it.

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Eyes

  1. Naked Cosmetics Tropical Indulgence pigment stack, peachy pink colour applied wet all over the lid.
  2. Sleek Ink on the outer corner and through the crease.

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara is on 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: Can’t remember! :(
  • Lips: Too Faced Coral Fire

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This one disappointed me. I applied some black glitter to the lower lash line, but you can’t even really tell – it just looks like I HEAVILY outlined my lower lash line with black eyeliner. Boo. :(

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Eyes

  1. Sleek Chill all over the lid.
  2. Sleek Bolt on the outer half of the lid and through the crease.
  3. Wet n Wild Brulee on the brow bone.

I used Tarte‘s black gel liner to create the wing. I then lined my lower lash line with MAC‘s Phone Number eye kohl, applied some Too Faced Glitter Glue on top and then patted on Lit CosmeticsBack in Black glitter on top. I lined my lower rim with CoverGirl‘s Liquidline Blast in Black Fire and applied Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara to my lashes

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: MAC Ripe Peach
  • Lips: Too Faced Melted Nude with NYX Butter Gloss in Peaches and Cream on top

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This look was created as a guest post on Jodi’s blog; Up The Rollercoaster. The theme was red, white and pink. So I opted for a more neon shade of pink to suit my fancy. Most of the colours used are from my Morphe palette, but since they have no true names, I just used colour names to describe them.

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Eyes

First off, I applied an eyeshadow primer, then layered NYX‘s Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk all over the lid. Pat that in, then proceed:

  1. Makeup Geek Creme Brulee through the crease.
  2. White on the inner third of the eye, brought heavily around the inner tearduct.
  3. Neon Pink on the middle of the lid.
  4. Black on the outer half of the eye and lightly through the crease to tie it all together.
  5. Pale beige on the brow bone.

I used Kat Von D‘s Tattoo Liner in Trooper to create the wing on the upper lash line, then used MAC‘s Phone Number pencil lightly on the outer corner of the lower lash line. On my lashes is Too Faced‘s Better Than Sex mascara.

Rest of the Face

  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shades 51 Light Vanilla and 52 Vanillamixed together
  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat
  • Highlighter: Hard Candy Tiki
  • Lips: Too Faced Melted Ruby (this was applied lightly, rubbed onto the lips with my finger and then blotted off with a tissue – I wanted it to be more of a stain than a flat out lipstick)

Review: Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara

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After attending the Make Up For Ever Spring 2015 Preview event, we were gifted a generous bag of products that were launching soon. The first product in the bag I reached to try was the Smoky Stretch mascara. Having been a fan of their Smoky Extravagant mascara, I was interested to see what this one would have to offer.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch - Lengthening & Defining Mascara
Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch – Lengthening & Defining Mascara

Make Up For Ever says: “Thanks to its exclusive Flex Control Complex, Smoky Stretch’s smooth formula glides on lashes for incredibly length and perfect definition. Its molded multi-bristle brush grips lashes starting from the root, covering every single lash for optimal separation without clumping. Shorter bristles on the tip work magic on tiny lashes.”

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The wand on the Smoky Stretch mascara has rubberized bristles in a slight conical shape. It’s a small taper, but it’s also a small brush, which works a lot better on my own lashes. I struggle with enormous brushes because it feels like I can’t get to the root of my lashes so I was especially pleased with the size of this one!

And they’re not kidding about the small bristles gripping your tiny lashes. This wand grasps the lashes and tugs them through the wand in order to coat them with mascara. I suppose that sounds painful, but it’s not. If anything, it’s an incredibly satisfying feeling.

Let’s see how it did on my own lashes:

Left side: Mascara application at varying stages. Right side: No mascara at all.
Left side: Mascara application at varying stages. Right side: No mascara at all.

As you can see, I have blonde lashes that are almost non-existent when there’s no mascara on them. I personally only tend to wear one coat of mascara, but I applied a second one after the first coat had dried to see if it would cause any major clumping (which I don’t feel it did).

Visually the application looks impressive – I like how separated it makes my lashes, but how much bulk it adds as well. The brush grips the lashes and applies an even application of mascara. The smaller bristles are excellent for working on the inner and outer corner to build up the product in areas that need it. It also has a wet consistency, which is a personal preference of mine.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara
Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Mascara

So how did it wear you ask?

UNBELIEVABLY WELL. I am prone to constant and consistent flaking with every single mascara I have ever worn. It drives me crazy, but I’ve tried dozens and none of them have ever not flaked. Until now! Smoky Stretch gripped onto my lashes and held on for dear life. On my longest day, I wore this for 16 hours straight and the only complaint I can make is that I had maybe one flake fall onto my upper cheek by the end of the day. It also doesn’t make my lashes feel brittle or crunchy either – huge plus!

I’ll be curious to see how the formula holds up as the months go on (I really hope it doesn’t dry up after a month like my Benefit They’re Real did), but after the two weeks I’ve been using this product, I can safely say I am totally on the bandwagon with this one.

Wearing Smoky Stretch Mascara
Wearing Smoky Stretch Mascara
Wearing Smoky Stretch Mascara
Wearing Smoky Stretch Mascara

My press sheet says that the Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch mascara is available at MUFE Boutiques, but I can also see it up on the Sephora web site which will make it readily accessible for everyone. It retails for $28 CAD which definitely makes this a higher end mascara, but based on my experiences, I will for sure be buying this one when I run out!

Have you tried any MUFE mascaras before? Do you think you’ll give this one a shot?

Swatch Sunday: Smashbox On The Rocks Palette

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This Smashbox On the Rocks palette was given to me by a good friend for Christmas 2014 (which I believe it was also limited edition then too) and it’s ENORMOUS. There are 28 shades in this sucker!

Smashbox On The Rocks Palette
Smashbox On The Rocks Palette
Smashbox - Marzipan
Smashbox – Marzipan
Smashbox - Totally Nude
Smashbox – Totally Nude
Smashbox - Sumatra
Smashbox – Sumatra
Smashbox - Ambient
Smashbox – Ambient
Smashbox - Fizz
Smashbox – Fizz
Smashbox - Midas
Smashbox – Midas
Smashbox - Cream
Smashbox – Cream
Smashbox - Sable
Smashbox – Sable
Smashbox - Zoom
Smashbox – Zoom
Smashbox - Roast
Smashbox – Roast
Smashbox - Juniper
Smashbox – Juniper
Smashbox - Lavender
Smashbox – Lavender
Smashbox - Peacock
Smashbox – Peacock
Smashbox - Purple Mist
Smashbox – Purple Mist
Smashbox - Sapphires
Smashbox – Sapphires
Smashbox - Pastel
Smashbox – Pastel
Smashbox - Navy
Smashbox – Navy
Smashbox - Lilac
Smashbox – Lilac
Smashbox - Royal
Smashbox – Royal

 

Smashbox - Babycakes
Smashbox – Babycakes
Smashbox - Snow
Smashbox – Snow
Smashbox - Moonlight
Smashbox – Moonlight
Smashbox - Mink
Smashbox – Mink
Smashbox - Asteroid
Smashbox – Asteroid
Smashbox - Framboise
Smashbox – Framboise
Smashbox - Gypsy
Smashbox – Gypsy
Smashbox - Smoke
Smashbox – Smoke
Smashbox - Cabernet
Smashbox – Cabernet

Fitness Friday: Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K

Achilles St. Patrick's Day 5K 2015 - bib number
Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K 2015 – bib number

Finally! My 2015 race season has begun!

I signed up for the Achilles/Steamwhistle Brewery St. Patrick’s Day run because it was a 5K, it was early in the season without being during a period of time when it’s unbearably cold in Toronto and it was… a St. Patrick’s Day themed (and as I’ve already indicated, I overly enjoy that particular “holiday”) which means I got to wear my amazing neon green Adidas running pants with extreme pride!

Achilles St. Patrick's Day 5K 2015 starting zone
Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K 2015 starting zone

Unfortunately, it was a really windy and cold morning. While it was only around freezing, the wind was so horrible that the windchill pushed the temperature down to about -6C. The wind was regularly blowing around 30km/h, with gusts up to 50km/h – it was highly, HIGHLY unpleasant.

It was really quite cold!
It was really quite cold!

It was a smaller race, around a thousand or so people, which makes for faster race times since you have to do a lot less weaving around people before you hit your pace. I wanted to think I’d bust out a new personal best, but I had some harsh realities in front of me: I wasn’t in nearly as good shape as I was last summer when I hit my running peak for speed, I was almost ten pounds heavier as well and while I had been training, I had mostly been “sorta training”. Some weeks I was doing great, and others I just completely fell off the wagon. The only thing I really had going for me was that I had been keeping up with weightlifting and that was going *really* well.

Coming up to the finish line!
Coming up to the finish line!

I found the race pattern oddly disorienting for whatever reason (I thought I was going south when we were really running east). Not that it mattered, it wasn’t hard to follow as it was a straight there and back type run. We exited Steamwhistle Brewery (where the start zone was) and ran our way up into the financial district. I don’t remember a lot of the run to be perfectly honest. I was so focused on keeping my pace consistent that I really didn’t look around much. Most of my scenery was watching the kilometers climb on my Garmin!

Almost there!
Almost there!

The last part of the race was incredibly windy. So much so that as I was crossing back over the bridge towards the last section of the race, the wind actually blew me two paces SIDEWAYS! Holy crap! I wasn’t feeling so awesome by the last 400 meters,  but I spotted my husband about a hundred meters from the finish line and it gave me that extra push to just freaking finish. What I was really happy about is that I couldn’t bring myself to sprint too much at the end of the race, which means I was pushing myself appropriately throughout the whole race. This was GOOD news because I wasn’t sure I wasn’t really sure I had been pacing myself properly.

Achilles St. Patrick's Day 5K 2015 Race Map
Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K 2015 Race Map

I ended up clocking in at exactly 26:10:00. My jaw dropped when I saw my chip timing. Right down to the millisecond, that was EXACTLY my personal best race time from 2014 for a 5K. While I’m slightly annoyed that I didn’t manage to a least squeak in a SECOND faster, I’m rather floored that I managed to bust out my previous pb on the first race of the season! Since I’ve set myself a goal of hitting a sub 25 minute 5K this year, this bodes extremely well for the rest of the year – I just gotta keep at my training plan! (For reference, last year I managed to knock off 75 seconds between March and June, so I’m hoping that’s do-able again this year.)

The "medal"
The “medal”

5Ks don’t usually have medals since they’re considered a pretty easy race and the fees are usually quite a bit lower than longer races. However, we were provided a lovely bottlecap opener on a lanyard upon completing the race. Highly amusing! Steamwhistle Brewery then hosted an event inside their building after the race where racers got some beer (yeah, that wasn’t sitting well in my stomach afterwards…) and some seriously amazing chili.

All in all, a fun, simple run, although with a weird course map. I liked that it’s a smaller race, so I’ll probably continue to sign up for it in coming years.

Race Results

  • Finish Time: 26:10
  • Pace: 5:14 per kilometer
  • Overall placement: 283/1129
  • Age group placement (Female 30-39 years): 27/217
  • Gender placement (F): 76/634

My St. Patrick’s Day Look

I’m a nutter for St. Patrick’s Day. A great deal of my family tree is Irish, I’m overly obsessed with the colour green and don’t even get me started on how much I love clovers…

So when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around in March, I get a bit overexcited. I put up my clover wreath on the door to the apartment, I sign up for St. Patrick’s Day themed races (that post is coming on Friday), start pulling out all my green makeup and clothes and…  green food colouring. I liked my green-hued makeup quite  bit yesterday so I thought I’d let you know what I wore.

St. Patrick's Day makeup look
St. Patrick’s Day makeup look

Just the day before, I had watched Sharon Farrell’s St. Patrick’s Day tutorial and decided to take some inspiration from her application and products. I didn’t have a ton of time in the morning (since I did this before work), so I took a few shortcuts.

Green halo eyeshadow
Green halo eyeshadow

The look focuses primarily on the halo effect that seems to be quite popular lately. Basically it boils down to a dark shadow applied to the inner and outer corners of the eye and lower lash line, with a brighter colour in the middle.

Green halo eyeshadow
Green halo eyeshadow

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Eyes

  1. I first applied Maybelline‘s Color Tattoo in Mossy Green to the outer and inner corners of my lid. I then layered MAC‘s Greensmoke on top of the Color Tattoo and blended through the crease to connect the sides. Be sure to leave a blank spot in the middle of your lid.
  2. On the middle of the lid I applied MAC‘s Bio Green and blended it out into Greensmoke.
  3. On my brow bone is Wet n Wild‘s Brule.

I applied the same shades to my lower lash line, and ran Urban Decay‘s Black Velvet liner along my lower lash line. On my lashes is Make Up For Ever‘s Smoky Stretch mascara.

Rest of the Face

  • Bronzer: Joe Fresh Sand
  • Blush: MAC Warm Soul
  • Lips: Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Coralista

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Armed with green everything, my husband and I hit up Stout in Cabbagetown (highly recommended, we’ve been going there since they opened several years back). I’m glad we got there when we did, because even with very little line ahead of us, it still took us about an hour to get in! Thankfully, there was a tent outside where they were serving a few beers (and dying them green if you wanted… which, OF COURSE, I did). We eventually got inside, had some more green beer and some great food, although we didn’t really stay all that long (we’re not in our twenties anymore, Toto!).

I finished off the night with a couple of glasses of green wine at home while watching Top Gear. (Yeah, the idea of green wine kind of made my stomach turn too, but it really didn’t taste any different!) Did you get up to anything for St. Patrick’s Day?