Category Archives: Makeup

MAC Snow Ball Holiday 2017 – Here Comes Joy (Review & Swatches)

MAC Face Powder (Opalescent) in Here Comes Joy

There are some products and packaging that simply take my breath away… and the entire launch of MAC‘s Holiday 2017 collection did that to me. Called “Snow Ball”, the entire collection is a gorgeous scintillating mixture of beautiful products and stunning packaging.

MAC Face Powder (Opalescent) in Here Comes Joy
MAC Face Powder (Opalescent) in Here Comes Joy

I mean, come on – just look at that! It’s a muted gold-silver packaging that feels smooth to the touch but has a kind of crackled-foiled appearance.

Just look at that snow-etched detail!
Just look at that snow-etched detail!

And when you look even closer… it looks like snow frosted on a window or car hood! It’s beautiful, ethereal and so simply stunning that I’m surprised they have done something like this sooner for their packaging. It suits the name Snow Ball so well!

MAC - Here Comes Joy
MAC – Here Comes Joy

Anyway, enough about the (gorgeous) packaging! Although I wanted the entire collection, I really tailored down what I was getting and opted for the Face Powder (Opalescent) in Here Comes Joy. Here Comes Joy is a peachy-gold with shimmer that MAC says “transforms cheeks into pearly orbs that light up the night. Adds the perfect high-impact shimmering glow to skin”. There is a gold highlighter as well, but I have enough golds in my life so I wanted something a bit more unique.

MAC - Here Comes Joy
MAC – Here Comes Joy

What threw me off a bit about this powder initially is that it’s labeled as a face powder. Not a highlighter, not an extra dimension finish and not a skinfinish – a face powder. So I was a little bit worried about how strong the highlight was going to be. We’re so used to the screamingly bright highlighters that something that seems softer may not fit the bill of what I was wanting.

MAC - Here Comes Joy - swatch
MAC – Here Comes Joy – swatch

Swatched out, Here Comes Joy is definitely a peach-to-gold shifting colour. The pigmentation did seem strong and it definitely looked like there was quite a sheen on it.

Wearing MAC - Here Comes Joy
Wearing MAC – Here Comes Joy

But uh… where did it go on my cheeks? I mean, it IS there – there is a slight sheen bouncing light off the top of my cheekbones.. but it’s not enough for me. In person, Here Comes Joy is a soft, subtle highlighter that is perfect for people who want a “lit from within” look. For me? It’s just not enough (and I applied it HEAVILY here!).

Final Thoughts

I wanted to love this product so badly – the packaging, the beautiful imprint, even the shade of it is beautiful. But, in the end, Here Comes Joy just doesn’t have enough reflective properties to make me want to use this with any kind of regularity. I wore this highlighter for a week straight trying to make myself fall in love with it… and I was just never satisfied with how my cheekbones looked. I kept wanting to reach for something more vibrant, more luminescent to add on top of it.

All that being said… if you dislike the beaming bright highlighters that become such an enormous trend in the last few years because they’re just too much, then this might be a product suited more towards you.

The MAC Face Powder (Opalescent) in Here Comes Joy can be purchased on nordstrom.com for $34 USD. Oddly, Nordstrom refers to this as a “Impalpable Glare Powder”… which uh… is not listed on my packaging at all.

Swatch Sunday: Sigma Creme de Couture

Sigma Creme de Couture

When I heard that the Sigma Creme de Couture palette was coming back, I was SHOCKED! This palette first launched something like five years ago and it was limited edition. I hemmed and hawwed on it for far too long… so of course it sold out.

Sigma Creme de Couture
Sigma Creme de Couture

I was pissed off, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was gone! Then, maybe a month ago, Leesha of xsparkage put out a video saying it was coming back! I was floored – I’ve never experienced a brand bringing a palette back after half a decade! And there was NO WAY I was going to miss out on it this time!

Sigma Creme de Couture
Sigma Creme de Couture

The entire palette is all matte shades which was kind of revolutionary five years ago! I’m so, so happy to see it back in stock now and it doesn’t seem to say it’s limited edition so here’s hoping it’s permanent! I’m toying with the idea of doing a full video review on it – let me know if that’s something you’d be interesting seeing.

Sigma Creme de Couture Swatches

Sigma Creme de Couture - Redberry Rose
Sigma Creme de Couture – Redberry Rose
Sigma Creme de Couture - Apricot Flower
Sigma Creme de Couture – Apricot Flower
Sigma Creme de Couture - Passion Fruit
Sigma Creme de Couture – Passion Fruit
Sigma Creme de Couture - Cherry Blossom
Sigma Creme de Couture – Cherry Blossom
Sigma Creme de Couture - Meyer Lemon
Sigma Creme de Couture – Meyer Lemon
Sigma Creme de Couture - Ginger Pumpkin
Sigma Creme de Couture – Ginger Pumpkin
Sigma Creme de Couture - Cafe Au Lait
Sigma Creme de Couture – Cafe Au Lait
Sigma Creme de Couture - Blueberry Cream
Sigma Creme de Couture – Blueberry Cream
Sigma Creme de Couture - Violet Whip
Sigma Creme de Couture – Violet Whip
Sigma Creme de Couture - Lavender Honey
Sigma Creme de Couture – Lavender Honey
Sigma Creme de Couture - Cassis
Sigma Creme de Couture – Cassis
Sigma Creme de Couture - Elderberry
Sigma Creme de Couture – Elderberry
Sigma Creme de Couture - Blue Chocolat
Sigma Creme de Couture – Blue Chocolat
Sigma Creme de Couture - Almond Pear
Sigma Creme de Couture – Almond Pear
Sigma Creme de Couture - Creme de Menthe
Sigma Creme de Couture – Creme de Menthe
Sigma Creme de Couture - Citron Pistachio
Sigma Creme de Couture – Citron Pistachio

The Sigma Creme de Couture palette can be purchased on Sigma’s web site for $39 USD.

This post contains affiliate links.

Swatch Sunday: Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism

Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism

When Anastasia Beverly Hills launched their holiday 2017 palette and I was extremely apprehensive. I held off buying Prism because I wanted to see how others were reacting to it after the Subculture disaster (which I *hated* – post on that here). The overall consensus was that it didn’t seem to be on the same level as Subculture, so I went ahead and picked it up.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism

It’s definitely a very odd mix of shades, but I don’t find that particularly off-putting with her palettes. Somehow they just end up working even though I always feel like the layout of them is such a headscratcher.

There will be a video review of the Prism palette coming up, but it won’t be up for about a week and a half, so in the meantime, please enjoy the swatches!

Just remember, this is a limited edition for the holidays item, if you want it, you definitely need to grab it before they sell out!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Swatches

Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Lucid
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Lucid
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Eden
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Eden
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Unity
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Unity
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Sphinx
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Sphinx
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Osiris
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Osiris
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Sphere
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Sphere
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Obsidian
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Obsidian
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Dimension
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Dimension
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Parallel
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Parallel
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Pyramid
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Pyramid
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Throne
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Throne
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Saturn
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Saturn
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Eternal
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Eternal
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism - Lure
Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism – Lure

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism palette can be purchased on sephora.ca for $55 CAD and on sephora.com for $42 USD.

Halloween: Getting Creative with DAVIDsTEA!

DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit

This post is sponsored by DAVIDsTEA.

So, I’m a tea drinker (well, and a coffee drinker – but that’s more of a morning thing), and I always, *always* have a cup around noon just after I’ve finished my lunch. I think it was my mom that got me hooked on DAVIDsTEA a few years ago and I really haven’t looked back ever since! While they do have stores in the US now, I love that DAVIDsTEA is Canadian and that opened their very first store here in Toronto on Queen Street. It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that I’m celebrating something local with my daily cuppa.

DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit
DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit

DAVIDsTEA already makes some of my favourite teas (although RIP Red Velvet Cake, I loved you so much!), so nothing could make me happier than them also releasing a Halloween collection! (Cuz you know how I feel about Halloween!)

DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit
DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit

The Haunted Mansion Survival Kit has some of the cutest packaging I’ve ever seen for a tea set! Six teas are served up in a spoopy little cardboard haunted mansion.

DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit contains six teas to try
DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit contains six teas to try

For $14 CAD, you get to try out six of DAVIDsTEA‘s favourite sweet teas. They’ve even gone so far as to rename some of them for this set!

The set includes:

  • Pumpkin Die (aka Pumpkin Chai): a seasonal favourite of mine, this black tea has caramel, cinnamon, cloves and tiny little pumpkin candies!
  • Cardamummy French Toast (aka Cardamom French Toast): black tea with cardamom, cane sugar and cinnamon (a new favourite!).
  • Glittering Ghost (aka Glitter & Gold): this one has become a staple for me over the last year. It’s a sweet, spiced black tea with sugar crystals and gold stars.
  • Haunted Kombucha (aka Happy Kombucha): a blend of oolong, mango, pineapple and powdered kombucha.
  • Magic Potion (no name change here): this one will change colour if you add lemon! It’s a mix of berries and flowers.
  • Stormy Night (aka Organic Stormy night): a limited edition chocolate-coconut black tea.

Since this IS a beauty blog and my love of tea may be a bit of a strange thing to bring up, I wanted to keep this post consistent with my content. I’ve posted in the past about finding inspiration for makeup in odd places (like my boss’ socks from this post in 2016), and I thought that doing makeup looks inspired by the loose leaf teas in this set would be a neat challenge for myself.

So here you have it, three eye looks based on my three favourite teas from the DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit!

DAVIDsTEA - Glittering Ghost
DAVIDsTEA – Glittering Ghost

Glittering Ghost was the first one that struck me because it’s just so beautiful. Not only are the little stars such an attention grabber, but there’s also tiny translucent shards of sugar dispersed throughout the black tea leaves.

DAVIDsTEA - Glittering Ghost makeup look
DAVIDsTEA – Glittering Ghost makeup look

Here’s my Glittering Ghost eye look. I love, love, LOVE how this came out! Drawing stars on my face was a new experience (holy precision, Batman!), but they add a fun touch to the otherwise typical smokey eye. I translated the translucent sugar crystals into my inner corner highlight and then took inspiration from the colour of the black tea to create the black smokey eye that fades into brown.

DAVIDsTEA - Pumpkin Die
DAVIDsTEA – Pumpkin Die

And how could I not do a look centered around Pumpkin Die??

DAVIDsTEA - Pumpkin Die makeup look
DAVIDsTEA – Pumpkin Die makeup look

I changed it up a bit for this one and opted to use those bright orange pumpkin candies as inspiration for the colour of the winged liner. I layered that wing on top of a dark black eye that fades out to orange in the crease. I’ve never done something like this before and I ended up really loving the contrast between the super bright liner on top of a black eye.

DAVIDsTEA - Cardamummy French Toast
DAVIDsTEA – Cardamummy French Toast

And lastly, I decided I wanted to try something with the colours that called out to me from Cardamummy French Toast. While it is a black tea that is littered with brown sugar that glitters back at me, what I also loved about it are those yellow-green cardamom pods. I thought it’d make for an interesting colour combo.

DAVIDsTEA - Cardamummy French Toast makeup look
DAVIDsTEA – Cardamummy French Toast makeup look

And I was right! This look is such a different one for me and it was so much fun to create. I used that yellow-green cardamom colour and put that in my crease and made it fade down into a dark brown eye. Overtop of the brown lid shade I layered on a holographic brown glitter that, to me, reflected the sugar crystals in the actual tea.

So there we have it – you can absolutely get inspired to create makeup looks from very unconventional places! I do highly recommend the DAVIDsTEA Haunted Mansion Survival Kit – either for yourself, or for a tea lover as a gift.

BECCA Sunlit Bronzers (Review & Swatches)

BECCA Sunlit Bronzers

Oh BECCA – you certainly know the way to my heart! They (relatively) recently launched their Sunlit Bronzer range that boasts five shades to suit every skintone.

BECCA Sunlit Bronzers
BECCA Sunlit Bronzers

BECCA indicates that these are neutral bronzers with a hint of shimmer. At first glance I was absolutely convinced that these were matte bronzers, so I was curious as to how the Shimmering Skin Perfector formula (which was made infamous by their highlighters) was going to work embedded in their bronzers. Turns out the shimmer is very, very subtle and not at all reflective like their highlighters. (Phew!)

BECCA Sunlit Bronzers
BECCA Sunlit Bronzers

The packaging, of course, mirrors their highlighters and I love that about BECCA – It’s a solid compact with a very different feel to everything else on the market. While their highlighters have a gunmetal, mirrored finish, these Sunlit Bronzers embody the essence of a bronzer and jazz it up by making the compact a deep bronze shade.

BECCA Sunlit Bronzer swatches in Bali Sands and Capri Coast
BECCA Sunlit Bronzer swatches in Bali Sands and Capri Coast

BECCA indicates that each of the five bronzers was inspired by an actual beach. And having just been to Bali, I was tickled pink to discover that Bali Sands was their palest shade. Capri Coast is the next level up and you can see it a few shades deeper than Bali Sands. What I also love in these swatches is that you can definitely see the hint of shimmer that it gives off on the skin. I need to point out that these are not flecks of glitter and they will not make you look like a shimmer bomb went off on your face. I don’t have the next three shades because they’d likely be too dark for my skin ton, but the one after Capri Coats is called Bronzed Bondi and, of course, NOW I WANT IT because I was just at Bondi Beach last month!

Wearing BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast
Wearing BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast

In these shots I’m wearing Capri Coast on my temples, the backs of my cheekbones and along my jawline (I have no blush or highlighter on yet so as to show off the bronzer properly). As I’ve got a very faint hint of tan (literally from Bali and Australia), Capri Coast is the perfect shade for me right now. It adds colour without being too much and it blends smoothly on top of my foundation.

Wearing BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast
Wearing BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast

I think the colour is flawless for me – it adds a hint of warmth but it doesn’t turn me orange. I’ve loved it so much since I started using it, that we’re going on two weeks now and I’m pretty sure we’re in a serious, committed relationship because I haven’t yet reached for another bronzer in my collection. I did try Bali Sands once, but it was a bit too pale for my me at the moment. It will, however, be the perfect shade for me throughout the winter months as I pale out.

If you’d like to see some of the deeper shades, definitely check out Nancy’s review of the full collection over on spiffykerms.com. You can see just how deep the shade range goes, and since she’s a bit darker than me, she can carry off the deeper shades much better. I especially love the red tones in the deepest shade – Maui Nights. So beautiful!

Final Thoughts

Do I love these? Yes. A hundred times yes! The BECCA Sunlit Bronzers are absolutely wonderful and I love that the range (to my eyes) appears to be deep enough that even the fairest person and the deepest person could wear at least one of these shades. I adore the textured pattern on the powder (don’t we all!) as well as the compact itself, but it really comes down to the product and I really do love it. The fact that I haven’t reached for another bronzer in two weeks says a lot. I love me some bronzer and I’m usually always switching it up, but if you look back on my recent videos – in the description box – it’s the only bronzer I’ve been consistently wearing!

The BECCA Sunlit Bronzers can be purchased on sephora.ca for $46 CAD each or on sephora.com for $38 USD each.

The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration. Post contains some affiliate links.