Speckled Tips

Illamasqua recently came out with their I'mperfection collection, and while I've been lusting for it, I know how hard their products are to get in Canada. I love the idea behind the collection as they say, 'Because life isn't about finding yourself, life is about celebrating who you really are.'
I took a little inspiration from the line, and created a speckled nail art similar to the speckled eyeliner look they created, which is amazing! 

I started out with two coats of Bahama Mama from Essie and used a dotting tool to build up dots around the tips, and work my way up. For the dots I used Blanc by Essie. This is honestly the easiest nail look to do, even when you don't have the steadiest of hands like me. After you let it dry for a good 5 minutes, add a top coat and show off your nails!
It's not my normal type of manicure, but I really have been loving it. I also received a few compliments and asked where I got them done! If you have any questions if you try and recreate it, let me know!


Origins Skin Care

A few months ago, Sephora had a set of Origins products as their 500 point perk. If you aren't familiar with the Sephora points program, you get 1 point for every $1 spent, so essentially I had to spend $500 in order to receive this. I'm not a fan of Sephoras point program, but they have amazing brands which make me continue to shop there. I had not tried any Origins products before, so this was a good sample pack to pick up.

Within the pack I received four products;
Checks and Balances Face Wash - 1 oz. / 30 ml
GinZing Eye Cream - .17 oz. / 5 ml
Plantscription Anti-aging Serum - .5 oz. / 15ml
A Perfect World SPF 25 - 1 oz. / 30 ml

Checks And Balances Face Wash
Out of the four Origins products, this is by far my favourite and the only one I've yet to use up. I've been using this for about 2 weeks straight and I'm very sad to see it go. The scent made this the most enjoyable face wash I've ever used. It has a minty scent that wakes me up in the morning and relaxes me at night. The only trace of makeup that is left is a slight amount around the eyes, only if I chose not to remove it first with my trusty Bioderma. Unfortunately I have a few other cleansers that I need go through before I can repurchase this one.

GinZing Eye Cream
Another product I've really loved. The sample I received is HUGE, and I feel like I'll never get through it, but it didn't take me long to fall in love with it. The pink iridescent colour leaves a brightening effect to my under eyes, which has been helping conceal my dark circles. It's not too thick either so it works well for either morning or night. It also says that it is supposed to depuff the eyes, but I don't have puffiness to test the claim.

Plantscription Anti-aging Serum
I haven't dabbled into anti-aging serums before so I don't have anything to compare this to. Overall I was happy with the serum; it wasn't too greasy and it sunk into my skin quite fast. It smells fresh and clean, but after a few minutes the scent vanishes. Because I haven't been using this for 6 weeks, I don't know how well the anti-aging works. The only unfortunate part of this product is the colour, I can only describe it as the shade of green you find in a babies diaper; and the one reason I wouldn't buy the full size.

A Perfect World SPF 25
I'm extremely picky when it comes to moisturizers, and I will find any flaw to not be happy with it. I have yet to find the 'perfect' one, and unfortunately this won't be it either. The texture of the cream is the most disappointing. I find it leaves my skin slightly tacky even when left on the skin as it doesn't sink in fast. It's also a little too rich for me. I love that it has a pretty decent SPF and anti-aging, but the texture will keep me from buying this one.

Normally I hoard my points until something good comes along as the 500 perk. I find most of them aren't a good value, but I felt like this one would be worth it, and it was! Let me break it down for you;
Have you tried any of Origins products? I'm very interested in their masks, but give me some suggestions of your favourites!


An Au Naturale Glow

On days where I have had enough with makeup and just want to look at myself with a fresh face, no eyeshadow, bold lipstick or bold brows in sight, this is pretty the look I'll go for. The products will always be similar as the ones I'm wearing today, as I'm a girl who rarely does a look with the same products twice. And let me tell you, when I do the same eye makeup within a month, that means it's good.

Even though I want to look like I have no makeup on, I always want to have makeup on. Not that I don't feel comfortable without it on, but it makes me feel better knowing I'm that much closer to using up products. I also want to keep my makeup on all day, and that starts with a primer, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer was my choice as it isn't heavy, feels weightless while doing its job. The foundation that I've fallen in love with for keeping my skin looking fresh, dewy and like my skin is the Revlon Nearly Naked in Ivory; which is a dupe for my beloved Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat that I've now run out of, but at a fraction of the cost. Because this foundation is sheer/medium coverage, it doesn't cover all my spots and redness from left over spots completely, so I turn to MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 to cover any spots. With very little sleep these days, my under eye circles have been darker than ever, and although I'm probably exaggerating, I don't find that a little foundation is covering it, so I go staight for the big guns, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque. Since I have pretty red and veiny eyelids that don't look attractive, I cover them up with my favorite product to help, MAC Paint Pot in Painterly.

 Once I have my perfect base, it's time to color, shade and highlight. I use one of my favorite drugstore blushes, Revlon Photoready in Flushed, being as it is a cream blush, it goes first. I lightly apply it onto my cheeks and blend. Next comes contouring, as I might as well enhance the little cheek bones my face has with Le Metier De Beaute Eyeshadow in Clay which is the the perfect contour shade for my skin tone. To perfect the cheek trio a highlighter is needed, a subtle but beautiful one is Smashbox Soft Lights in Shimmer. I used this along the tops of my cheek bones, inner corner of my eye, underneath the eyebrow and along my cupids bow. I chose to fill in my eyebrows lightly with Gosh Eyebrow Pen in Wheat as my eyebrow hairs in my arch aren't dark enough and there aren't enough of them. 

The last step few steps brings it all together. First is one of my favorite mascaras that leaves my lashes separated and natural, Lancome Definicils but not before adding some Lancome Le Kohl Eyeliner in Brun to my upper waterline to make my lashes look extra thick. Second is a lip shade, that looks like my lips but better. I went for a Clinique Chubby Stick in Mighty Mamosa, because the texture and wear of these are impecable, while giving the lips a healthy shine to them. 


Essence Nude Glam

Essence Nude Glam - $1.49
03 Cotton Candy | 08 Peaches & Cream | 02 Iced Strawberry Cream | 05 Cafe Ole

Essence is a brand that I've come to know pretty well the last year. Not only do they have amazing quality in almost all of there products, but there motto is 'Nothing Costs More Than $4.99.' 

I've tried quite a few of there products; eyeshadows, blushes, mascara - which I do not recommend, and  lastly their nail polish. The nail polish from the brand is by far my favourite they make, they all have great pigmintation and leave you with a beautiful shine. I don't feel that any of the quality is compromised because of the price. The application of all three were very similar, with the exception of Cotton Candy, which was a little on the streaky side. Luckily, when Cotton Candy dried, it left no trace of streaks.

03 Cotton Candy: a sheer lightened pink (cream) 
08 Peaches & Cream: a light peach (shimmer)
02 Iced Strawberry Cream: a warm medium pink (metallic)
05 Cafe Ole: a lightened taupe (subtle shimmer)

I've been loving all of the colours, and being so light, I am very pleased that a lot of the shades are lightened. I feel that if you are darker, they aren't necessarily going to give off a 'nude' effect. The only shade you won't find me wearing is Iced Strawberry Cream, as I find it more of a 'Grandma' shade, and that might be some peoples thing, but it is not mine. 

Nudes aren't always the type I reach for, but I'll never say no to adding more. Since these are so cheap, I don't mind getting a few misses, since the hits are fantastic! 

Are there any shades that you really like? Let me know! 


Clinique Shadow Tint For Eyes

 A few weeks ago the new Clinique Shadow Tint For Eyes ($19) hit the shelves. I've really loved almost all of the makeup I have tried from Clinique, and have become some holy grails. Mascaras? Love. Chubby Sticks? Really Love! I haven't dabbled into their powder eye shadows yet, as none of the colours really excited me to much. However, when the new Shadow Tints came out, I had about a half hour swatch feast going, trying to decide how many I wanted. I wanted all of them, out of the 12 shades, I think there was one I wasn't keen on; a baby blue. I finally settled on two shades, Lavish Lilac and Whopping Willow. While the neutral shades were calling my name, I wanted to experiment with colour. 

After about two weeks of very continuous use - I can't put them down, I have to say I'm very impressed. I love the consistency of these; soft and buttery. They tend to dry to an almost powder finish which helps keep them from sliding around throughout the day. I've already had to start twisting up the Whopping Willow shade because I've been reaching for it most mornings.

While I love the consistency, I find some people might not like it, most likely if they are expecting them to be opaque with one swipe. These are sheer, but buildable. It takes multiple swipes to get an opaque colour, but sheer out nicely. The other imperfection some might see is that there isn't much control over where the colour goes because of the small 'nub,' as I like to call it.

Since I prefer wearing these on there own I will go in with a few swipes around my brow bone, and blend out. I will then afterwords go back and build up the intensity around my lash line, so the sheerness and nub don't bother me. I can easily do my eye makeup in two minutes. I've only had a very little amount of creasage on my extremely oily eyelids, which is amazing for cream eye shadows since nothing likes to stay. Clinique also did an amazing job with colour selection, from neutrals to colours, they are spot on to my tastes!
Overall, I'll be picking up more shades as soon as payday comes!

Are there any shades that you have been eyeing from the line? Let me know!


Winter Skin Essentials

The cold winter weather most likely isn't going anywhere where I live, and it's been here for way to long. Luckily this means I've been able to test a lengthy amount of products, and I'm here to report. Lets start out with what comes first, exfoliation. For an all over the body scrub down, I turn to Soap & Glory Flake Away to get away any rough skin that's lingering, focusing on knees and elbows. Chapped lips don't usually stay rough for long as I scrub any sign of flakiness away with Lush Lip Scrub, I particularly love the Bubblegum flavour! My bi-weekly exfoliation of my face is left in the hands of my Korres Pomegranate Deep Cleansing Scrub which smells even better than the job it does. A light buffing of this gently, but effectively leaves me with subtle smooth skin. 

Hydrating every inch of my body comes next. While I also use washes that hydrate my skin, those will be left for a later post, so we are leaving them out for now. A love of mine for the past few months has been Kiehls Midnight Recovery a hydrating oil that I see immediate results from. I normally don't claim a holy grail after one use, but this is the exception. Fortunately this has lived up to its rank on the podium, and looks as if it won't be coming down. I've also been giving the hyped up Hydraluron a test drive the past week and a half, which I am not ready to give my full thoughts about yet, but dare I say it be in the daily routine from now on? You've probably guessed that when it comes to moisturizing my body, easy and convenient need to be checked off before I reach for it daily. The new Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer has hit the shelves, and the word 'spray' qualified it for my basket without further thought. It truly is easy as in, I've actually used it everyday since I've gotten it - a miracle, really. It's a lighter moisturizer  but it really does the job! My tips and lips are always in need of extra moisture, so that's where the cost effective Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream makes it's way in. I don't feel bad slathering it on cuticles and lips hourly, as well as any area that gets flaky and dry. 

After everything is exfoliated and hydrated, I make sure that I am properly protected. While everything is covered in fluffy jackets, hats and mittens I'm only left with an exposed face. For this I use my favorite facial sunscreen Kiehls Super Fluid SPF 50. High protection and the almost water like texture don't leave my skin sticky or oily. 

What do you use to keep you skin conditioned in the cold weather?


Desktop Essentials

I know its been about a week since a post has been up, and I do hope no one has noticed. I love to keep a schedule so I don't post too much or to little, but sometime unexpected things happen... I mentioned on twitter earlier today the reason, but if you don't follow me on there than you still might be wondering where I went. My boyfriend came up to visit me so I had been spending time with him. He also proposed to me, so we have been enjoying out time being engaged while we tell friends and family. Unfortunately posting was put on the back burner. I luckily found some time to put up a post that I've been meaning to do! Onto my desk essentials!

Canon Rebel XSI
I've had this DSLR for about three years now, while I'm dying to upgrade it has been doing me well! I always keep my camera near me because I'm always snapping photos, or transferring them. It has pretty much claimed the corner as it's permanent spot. 

Not necessarily an essential, but this is it's home. I like to read blogs in bed so that's when it comes in handy. I'll comment and tweet with it as well, all that sort of Social Media shenanigans. 

I always have one near me, as I'll usually be scribbling down notes, wish lists or post ideas. It's extremely helpful at keeping my thoughts organized.

Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
This is my favourite hand moisturizer to keep my mitts non greasy. I'll try to use this throughout the day while I'm on the computer. A pea size amount keeps the hands hydrated while Eucalyptus helps heal my cuticles and any paper cuts - score!

Kiehls Reve De Miel Lip Balm
I've spoken before about this, and I'm still loving it. I like to keep it on my desk rather than my bedside table since I don't remember. I seem to always remember when I'm working!

What are your desktop essentials?


February Wish List

1. Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Hand Cream - $18
I was playing around with the Creme de Pistache collection in Holt Renfrew a couple months ago, and the scent still hasn't escaped me. I've been lusting after something from them for awhile, and since I've been loving hand creams so much, I though this would be the perfect start.

2. Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara - $19
I've been loving the original high impact mascara and after seeing Lily's review from What I Heart Today I think it will be my next buy. I'm hoping it keeps my hard to curl lashes, curled.

3. Nars And God Created Women Set - $68
I almost always lose out on picking up the Nars eyeshadow palettes, and this will probably be the same situation, but a girl can hope right? The neutral shades are just going to add my ever extensive neural shades, but I'll always find an excuse to buy more.

4. Hair Doughnut
My thin locks really need some help when it comes to a high bun, and although I like my smaller one, I feel like I need some more volume. I'm hoping to pick one or two up when I head to Sally's Beauty Supply next week. 

5. Dolce and Gabbana Smooth Eye Color Duo in Cinnamon 08 - $42
I was so excited when I found out that Sephora was now carrying Dolce and Gabbana I had to look at pretty much everything that they offered as I haven't actually had a chance to play with it in person. 

6. Essie Nail Strips
I actually really don't like nail strips, but leave it to Essie to make the designs that I can't resist. 

7. Mac Plumful - $15
Ever since I saw Estee from essiebutton wear this, I knew it would be perfect for me. Luckily her and I have the same skin tone, so it will hopefully look as good! I'm loving the snake skin pattern from the new Year of the Snake collection, if you're more interested, Beautezine has a really good review of this. It is also her image of the lipstick above!

8. Bumble and Bumble Grooming Cream - $32.75
Louise from A Little Beauty Luxury had a post about fantastic curls without heat, but they didn't last all day, but I think it was because there was no holding product. Next time I will try it with hairspray and hopefully the Grooming Cream.

So, what's on your wish list?


What's On My Bedside Table

These kinds of posts have been floating around for a while, and I strangely really liked looking at them. Not only was it beauty products that interested me, but the photos, books and candles that they looked at next to their bed. I thought I would throw my own bedside into the mix as I hope that you haven't gotten to sick of these posts yet. 

I think the number one thing I reach for is my iPhone, not only do I use this as my alarm clock, but I pretty much have it in my hand until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. I usually have some sort of candle burning, I know it's kind of cliche for a beauty blogger love candles, but boy do I ever, lately it has been Hot Buttered Rum from Bath and Body Works. I don't really read, but I do keep a lot of books on my night stand table to remind me I should. I've been wanting to read Save Haven, but I've only made time for about 60 pages. Hopefully I can get through it before I try and persuade my boyfriend to sit in the movie theatre while I most likely cry on his shoulder. What Nicholas Sparks booked turned to movie hasn't been a tear jerker? The Perks of Being a Wallflower has also been on the reading list for quite some time. I think I'll force myself to read it before I watch the movie being released very soon. I'll most likely get through this by Tuesday, since I love Emma Watson. An item I've been reaching for has been a Daily Calendar. I'm not someone to make schedules, but I want to try and keep my post consistent, and this has been helping. Although, right now is the exception, as I left my battery charger down in Vancouver. By the time I get it I'll have been without a camera (my main blogging necessity) for two weeks. Silly me. Having a calendar also makes it so that I will always be on top of what TV shows have episodes coming out which days, how lame right?

Onto the beauty products that I keep next to me, all two of them. I also keep some nail products in the drawer below so I can keep up my manicure, but you already know what's in that from my Nail Care Routine post. I like to keep a rich hand cream, since 'operation: healthier nails' began, I've been trying to use a hand cream morning and night, and any time I can remember in between. The Body Shop Hand and Nail Cream is a very moisturizing one, without feeling like you can't touch anything because your hands are so greasy. There is a slight amount of 'grease' but not nearly as bad as some. Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 is my lip balm choice at the moment for the mornings, as it stays hydrated for hours before I need to apply. My night time lip balm, Nuxe Reve de Miel is situated in my bathroom, as I incorporate it into my skin care routine. I also have a little container that I keep odds and ends in, extra hair ties and bobby pins that I take out before bed, which is a better solution I find then trowing them on the floor as I've previously done for years. I also keep a hair clip when my hair won't cooperate, or I just want it out of my face. 


Shades Of Love

Luckily, my sweet mother was nice enough to let me use her Air Miles, so I won't be alone for Valentines Day since my boyfriend will be coming to see me for a week! I'm extremely excited as long distance relationships are never easy. That news brings me to decide what I'm going to wearing on my lips for the 14th. I riffled through my drawers and found the ones I think are best suited for date night. They consist of pinks, but more neutral ones. As we want to look good for the special person in our life, we have to put them into consideration. If my guy was to have it his way, I'd have nothing on my lips as it pretty much a kiss-blocker in his mind, but that won't be happening! I didn't go for overly bright or bold lip colours, as experience tells me the more natural the better. In my mind they had to meet the criteria of looking natural but with an slight pop of colour.

Mac Snob | Loreal Shine Stain in Rose On And On 
 Maybelline Color Whisper in Cherry On Top | Lise Watier Cosmo Pink

Although all of the shades I choose are pinks, they are all different variations of pink. If you're wanting a more purple toned lip colour, I would suggest something similar to Mac Snob. I find depending on your skin tone, the blue base to it will suit you better. I also tend to use this colour if something I'm wearing is purple, as I fink too much of a red undertone will clash. If your plans entail a lot of drinking, eating, talking or anything that requires your lipstick to last, Loreal Shine Stain in Rose On And On will hold up. Three generous coat keeps your lipstick shiny and long wearing throughout the night. I personally like simple and effortless, but putting colour in my face. Thats why I choose a lip product that has a tint of colour that keeps you lips looking healthy and kiss worthy, like Maybelline Color Whisper in Cherry On Top. You might not have heard of Lise Watier before, but they are a Canadian brand that are slowly moving into the United States. A particular shade of theirs Cosmo Pink is one of the most beautiful pinks I own. It reminds me of a berry version of Nars Orgasm but in a lipstick.

What lipstick should I wear on the 14th? Is there any that you like and might pick up?


January Favorites

As another month passes, there's a new-ish selection of beauty products that I've been praising to everyone that will listen. All but one of the products fall into the category of hydration, to either give it, or give the impression of it. Since moving away from the sea, and warmer (okay, not that warm) weather of Vancouver, and being back in -30 degrees Celsius, snow covered land, I needed to bring as much hydration into my daily routine as possible. These are the ones that have properly done their job this month.

Kiehls Lip Balm #1
At first I really wasn't impressed with this, so it sat in the back of my drawer unused. I finally decided to try it again, and I was rather impressed after my second try. It feels like Vaseline on the lips, but hydrates much faster and better, while staying on the lips longer. The only down side is the applicator as it is just flat with a hole in the center, and isn't gently on the lips. I find I have to use my finger to apply instead of straight out of the tube, as I usually prefer. There is one on my computer desk, as well as in my purse, as I've been using it daily.

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil
I've already talked about this previously, but in a nut shell, this is my saviour. I tend not to like to slather body lotions over my whole body (just the places that need it, i.e. elbows, knees, ect.) so this Shower Oil keeps the rest of my body properly hydrated. 

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Another product I've previously talked about, but every time I use this I wake up being even more impressed my my skin. I suffer from breakouts that stay red for weeks, and although I don't get a ton of them, it looks like I do. The Midnight Recovery Concentrate has helped calm the redness so they go away faster. This is atop of it making my skin smoother, softer and more hydrated.

Beauty Blender
In December, and a bit of January, I went back to using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush for my foundation. I realized late that with my dehydrated, flaky skin that the 'buffing' motion as I put my foundation on was actually giving my skin a micro-exfoliation leaving my skin looking flaky. My nose was especially noticeable, but after I switched back to my Beauty Blender, there were no signs of flakiness throughout the entire day.

Clinique Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry
I can't say enough good things about the Chubby Sticks. I love the effect they give my lips and how this particular shade just brightens my face in an instant. Because its a red, it isn't completely sheer, but opaque enough to look like red lips without having to worry about looking too overdone. Some find these moisturizing, some don't, I personally find them hydrating enough for a lip product, but not as hydrating as a lip balm.

Seche Vite
I had always read about this product, but always thought it would have a ton of hype around it, but never live up to my expectations. Well, I was luckily wrong. I was incredibly impressed with how fast this dries my nails, and take it from someone with is so impatient that I almost always ruin a manicure. It's safe to say now, that I have been smudge free since 01/13.

What are your favorite products from the first month in 2013?