Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Best Eye Makeup Remover is: MAKE UP FOR EVER SENS'EYES

The World's Best Eye Makeup Remover!


I used to be satisfied with Lancome's Bi-Facil Double Action Makeup Remover for removing my waterproof eye makeup. You soaked a cotton pad with Bi-Facil, gently removed your mascara, but were left with an oily residue. Then one day, I was at Sephora testing out MUFE's Aqua Liner - their incredibly long lasting felt-tip liquid liner. It sure stayed on...and on. I tried using Bi-Facil to remove this durable liner. It wouldn't budge. Did I mention that MUFE's Aqua line was originally created for the French Synchronized Swim Team? It is hard-core waterproof. 

Sensitive Eyes? Try this ultra-efficient remover.

I removed the rest of my makeup, finished my evening skin care routine and decided to go back to the MUFE counter at Sephora the next day. I wondered if the Aqua range came with its very own Aqua remover. An artist with MUFE showed me their SENS'EYES Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser. The pale blue, creamy texture indeed made me think it would be suitable for sensitive eyes and skin. But wait...sensitive? I needed a hard core remover to take off what appeared to be permanent marker on my eyelids! Then I dabbed the creamy blue lotion onto a cotton pad and gently rubbed my eyelids. I looked down at the pad and the black liner was all over the cotton pad and no longer on my lids. There was no tugging required, there was no discernible fragrance, and my eyelids actually felt gently soothed by this product. 

I want to use words like "gentle" and "sensitive" to describe this product, but the fact of the matter is that SENS'EYES will remove the thickest, blackest most waterproof liner and mascara you own inrecord time. If you have ever made a mistake attempting to get that perfect winged out eyeliner - you will appreciate how quickly this product will erase those mistakes. For precision removal, simply dip a cotton swab in this magical blue liquid. Enjoy!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Estée Lauder and MAC Warehouse Sale Spring 2014

Fabulous Finds at Super Savings!

There is nothing like the Estée Lauder - MAC Warehouse Sale. If you are lucky enough to get tickets, it is your best opportunity to stock up on high end cosmetics, fragrance and skin care at fabulously low prices.  

As you can see from the photo below, there was no shortage of fantastic gift sets of "Beautiful" and other fragrances. 

Stacks of "Beautiful" gift sets.
This is a no-frills warehouse sale, so the testers are roughly taped down to picnic style tables. You write down the code number of the item you wish to purchase and hand it to an employee who gets the product from another section.  

 
MAC Pro Glitter

Don't just pick up the first gorgeous item you see. I almost picked up this stunning MAC palette below....


MAC Palette....I almost bought this, until I saw....
BUT... then I saw an even better palette from Bobbi Brown. It is the "Twilight Pink Lip and Eye Palette" It must be fabulous, because the 2 ladies I was shopping with ALSO bought this take-anywhere palette - which was only $35 - about half he price it was when I saw it months ago in a high end department store. The shadows and lip colours are neutral, with a subtle shimmer.  


Bobbi Brown Twilight Pink Lip and Eye Palette 

Highlights of my haul:

Most of my Estée Lauder Warehouse Haul
My friend Tiffany is my lucky charm when it comes to shopping. She can spot a needle in a haystack. Or in this case, a rare and coveted bottle of Bobbi Brown "Beach" perfume in a warehouse full of Clinique "Happy". Thank you Tiffany. 

Bobbi Brown "Beach" Eau de Parfum evokes memories of your best beach day ever, in the Hamptons, of course. It smells like a more luxurious version of Coppertone suntan lotion mixed with jasmine. It sells for about $82 Canadian at Sephora. I picked up a bottle of the 50ml Eau de Parfum for $30! Wow! Tiffany managed to find me a second bottle AND a few mini bottles of the matching body lotion, which were only $6.00 each. I already smell like summer!


Do you enjoy the smell of Coppertone? You'll love BB "Beach"

The mini travel sets are great if you want smaller sizes to take with you in your handbag. One of my favourites was the Clinique "Lashes to the Extreme" set. It contains a High Impact Mascara in Extreme Black, a Cream Shaper for Eyes in Black Diamond, and a 30ml bottle of Take The Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips. All for only $12! I picked up 3 of them! You can't go wrong with black mascara, liner and mini remover. This is a perfect gift for someone who may not wear much makeup, but focuses on liner and lashes! 

If you missed the Spring Sale, fear not: there will be another Warehouse Sale sometime in Fall 2014! Right now....I need to spritz on a little something to remind me that a day at the "Beach" is just around the corner.


Links below:

www.esteelauder.com

www.maccosmetics.com

www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The best makeup look of 2013 goes to Nigella Lawson!

Best Makeup of 2013: Nigella Lawson's Flawless Court Appearance

Get The Look!


My award for best makeup look of 2013 goes to Nigella Lawson as she strode into court in December during the fraud trial of her former assistants. Nigella looked so regal - like a Queen....no, I mean...a Domestic GODDESS!


Nigella is a big fan of the powers of makeup. Although I'm sure Nigella is good at applying her own makeup, her makeup was FLAWLESS here, so it's likely that her makeup artist, Tricia Woolston was on hand. Nigella recently gave us a look inside her makeup bag when she did a sixties inspired photo-shoot for Stylist magazine.  

From what I have read about Nigella's makeup preferences, I would guess that her court look included some the following items:

  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in "Espresso Ink"
  • Smashbox lipstick in "Pretty Social"
  • NARS Lip Lacquer in "Chelsea Girls"
  • NARS Guy Bourdin blush in "Day Dream"
  • False eyelashes - try Ardell demi wispies in black

I picked up the Bobbi Brown liner and the NARS lip lacquer at Sephora the day after I saw Nigella's fabulous court look! I already had some black false lashes, but when I saw these Ardell "Colour Impact" lashes in plum at Sally Beauty - I couldn't resist!

Nigella's complexion looked creamy and her cheekbones looked very sculpted. She has excellent bone structure, but she did get a little help...(from her makeup artist). Nigella goes to great lengths to shield her skin from the sun and has even been known to wear a full-body covering  "burkini" to the beach. Google it. I'm not kidding.

To get the look: start by protecting your skin. Apply a primer with SPF. Try Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer.  

Even out your complexion with a liquid or cream foundation for that dewy look. Nigella is wearing a pale ivory shade here. Try NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in "Mont Blanc" to get that look of porcelain perfection. Naturally, you have to select a suitable shade of foundation for you.

Take a large, fluffy brush and dust loose powder all over your face to set the foundation. Now it's time to sculpt those cheekbones! You will need a matte bronzer or a pressed powder in a shade that is one or two shades darker than your foundation. Use a blush brush to apply the bronzer just under your cheekbones and under your chin and jawline. Now apply a peachy-pink blush such as NARS Guy Bourdin "Day Dream" or MAC "Melba".

Nigella knew she would face a long day or two in court, so it is likely she wore a primer on her eyelids to ensure that her shadow and liner would stay in place all day. Try MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in "Painterly" as a base. Now apply a pale ivory eyeshadow on the brow bone. Try MAC Eye Shadow in "Vanilla". You will want to use neutral shades to contour your eyes. Charcoal browns and matte grey shades will work well in the crease as long as they are matte and you blend them very well for that flawless look.

For liner, envision an almond shaped eye and try to extend the liner out and up a little bit. Although it may appear to some that she is wearing black eyeliner, it is likely a very dark brown cream liner - perhaps it is her go-to product: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in "Espresso Ink". Apply this with an angle brush or another skinny liner brush. Try to get as close as possible to the lash line as you apply it. For extra impact, first apply a kohl liner in dark brown before applying the gel liner.

For the lashes, you will want to first curl your lashes and then apply a waterproof mascara in jet black. Try Maybelline Great Lash - the champion of mascaras! Nigella appeared to be wearing false lashes here. You can't go wrong with a pair of Ardell Demi Wispies in Black. Trim them and apply them to the outer edges of your eyes for a more subtle look.

Brows. Nigella's brows are immaculately groomed and her arch is well defined. Have your brows professionally shaped with threading or waxing to start. You can pencil them in or you can fill them in with powder and a little brow wax. Don't go too dark. Like Nigella, I have very dark hair but I use a medium shade of brow powder. Focus on definition. Brows frame your face. When you fill in your brows, remember to do so in good light (daylight is best) and step back a few feet from your mirror to check how they look before you finish.

Lips. If your lips are on the dry side, apply a lip balm first. If you feel like a real treat ($$$) try By Terry Baume de Rose as a hydrating base. Nigella went for a pale lip with a touch of peach at for this look. Try NARS Lip Lacquer in "Chelsea Girls". For a more sixties inspired look, whiten out your lips first by applying foundation to your lips before you add the gloss with a lip brush.

Last, but not least, you must hold your head up high as you exude tons of Goddess-like confidence. 

Nigella's former assistants did their best to tarnish her name and reputation during their fraud trial. Nigella felt as though she herself had been unfairly put on trial. Nigella controlled what she could manage in an out of control situation: her image. It worked. #TeamNigella was trending throughout the trial and there was endless internet chatter about how incredible Nigella looked at court. #TeamNigella won the people over. Did her makeup help? You bet!

Where To Shop


NARS

MAC

Bobbi Brown

Maybelline

Ardell

By Terry

Smashbox

Cover FX








 






 



 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Sunless Tan - Beautiful Options from St. Tropez and L'Oréal

Bronzing Options, No Beach Required.


In the '80s, we had an Ozone layer.

The '80s were so AWESOME for so many reasons: for instance, we had a way better ozone layer protecting us from the burning rays of the sun. I remember NOBODY used anything higher than SPF 15 when they went in the sun. Today most drugstores line their shelves with minimum SPF 30 or 45. And for good reason: our ozone layer is much thinner than it used to be due to pollution and climate change, and we are much more susceptible to sunburn and long-term sun damage than ever before.

Still - the beauty of the sun, and the benefits of a little vitamin D are irresistible. Are you one of the lucky ones heading to the beach or cottage this weekend? So, you have that trendy polka dot bikini, but unlike the bronzed supermodels in fashion magazines, your "tan" is closer to chalk white than cocoa butter. Even if you're skin is naturally dark, adding a bronzer is very flattering. Just look at Beyoncé and Rihanna for example.

Guess what? All of those models have makeup artists applying fake tanner and body makeup to them prior to their photo shoots. And their images are further perfected post-shoot thanks to Photoshop. You too can turn to a bottle of self-tanner to get that coveted bronzed look.

A makeup artist bronzing Kate Moss on a St. Tropez shoot

Fake tanners have come a long way from their original carrot toned hues of yesteryear. Today, the self-tanner/bronzing line that almost every celebrity, including Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss turn to is St. Tropez. I first tried St. Tropez several years ago when it was carried exclusively at Sephora in Toronto.

The St. Tropez line has expanded to now include bronzing lotions and mousse, as well as a nifty applicator mitt. They really cover everything when it comes to getting your bronze on. Today, I wanted to try the Dark shade of the St. Tropez lotion, and of course, in order to show you the results, I will compare it side by side with L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze.

Shoppers Drug Mart recently started carrying the St. Tropez line. You can pick up the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze at most drugstores - but I picked up mine for the bargain price of $3 at a L'Oreal Warehouse Sale!




St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Lotion

Sublime Bronze (bought at the L'Oreal Warehouse Sale!)

The St. Tropez lotion came out really quickly - so the "swatch" you see on the left is a little wide - and DARK! It really features a "stain" effect - it actually was such a dark brown it almost had a green hue. Similar to what the hard core body builders apply for competitions when they turn super dark brown.

Side by Side - Without Flash


The L'Oreal Sublime Bronze goes on a little lighter - but has a shimmer effect. The photo below was taken with a flash so you can see the shimmer in the Sublime Bronze.

With Flash - check out L'Oreal's shimmer!


When I applied the St. Tropez Dark lotion on my arm, it was obvious that they make the "stain" dark so you can see exactly where you have applied it - and - you get instantly dark. For those of you who can't wait the 8 hours or so for some self tanners to develop - the St. Tropez is for you.

Now here are both the day after application:



Day after: both bronzers give identical results.
The next day I was relieved to see that the St. Tropez dark lotion's "stain" effect washed off and left me with a subtle tan. You can see in the photo above - the "tans" side by side look identical. Neither one is orange - both give natural looking results.

The L'Oreal Sublime Bronze does have shimmer, so it is not for everyone. I really like applying the Sublime Bronze to my legs before a night out. Good enough for J-Lo - good enough for me.

What I like about St. Tropez:

  • No tell tale "self tanner" smell
  • If I have the sudden need for the deepest, darkest tan I can conjure up - this is my go-to product!
  • Their line features an applicator mitt and more!
What I like about L'Oreal Sublime Bronze:

  • I like that I can build a darker tan with daily applications. Subtle colour on the first day, and more dramatic results a few days in a row.
  • The shimmer effect is quite glam - this is the product you want to bring on holiday. When you are baring a bit more skin at night, the shimmer acts as its own accessory - like a jewel.
  • This product mixes well with a basic moisturizer. I've "diluted" it with Neutrogena body lotion during the winter to achieve a light glow.

Because the results the day after applying both products were nearly identical, I can't see myself splurging on the St. Tropez lotion anytime soon. L'Oréal wins this round.


Where To Shop:


The St. Tropez line can be found at:

www.shoppersdrugmart.ca

www.sephora.ca

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze and other L'Oreal Bronzing products can be found at drugstores worldwide, including Shoppers Drug Mart (see link above.)



Friday, 17 May 2013

Gel Eyeliner! MAC Fluidline vs. Maybelline Lasting Drama

MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner vs. Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. But which liner goes the distance?



MAC vs. Maybelline

Gel eyeliner has become increasingly popular since it was revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge (better known as the former Kate Middleton) is a big fan of gel eyeliner for its lasting power and smooth application. Kate's sister Pippa also LOVES her eyeliner. Although, unlike Pippa, Kate sometimes blends her eyeliner! Sources say that Kate wore Bobbi Brown's black gel eyeliner on her wedding day.


The Duchess LOVES her Gel Eyeliner!

Bobbi Brown and MAC are both owned by Estée Lauder, and their gel liners are quite similar. Today, I tested out MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack. Since I love a good deal - I decided to compare the MAC gel liner with one of my favourite cheap and cheerful drugstore brands: Maybelline.

Note that although I tried the MAC in a true black shade - the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner shade I tested was actually charcoal. Charcoal is softer than black, and a good option if you will be in bright (HARSH) daylight! I would recommend wearing the black at night, for a more intense look - and sticking to the charcoal shade for a lighter look for daytime. Let's see how they compare:

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack and MAC 212 Flat Definer Brush

A close up of me wearing the MAC Fluidline gel liner in "Blacktrack"


Wearing MAC Fluidline CLICK to ENLARGE


I applied MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack with the MAC 212 Flat Definer brush. Note, that when you use a flat liner brush like this, you have to "walk" the product across the base of your lash line. As you reach the outer corners of your eyes, start to go up and out, and flick your brush up for a slightly winged out effect.


Now the Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Charcoal



Wearing Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama gel liner in Charcoal


The Maybelline applied very smoothly, partly due to the brush I used from Sephora. I love this brush. It is retractable and I love the angle as it makes the application and the winged out effect so much easier to achieve. Here is the bad news: I just checked Sephora's website, and this angle brush has been discontinued. I should have bought two! I will take extra good care of this precious little brush!


Maybelline Lasting Drama liner in Charcoal, with Sephora brush


Here is a side by side with the darker MAC on the left, and as you can see, the Maybelline in Charcoal offers a softer look.


MAC is darker (on left). Maybelline, softer Charcoal (right)



I prefer the softer charcoal for daytime (on right) CLICK to ENLARGE


Just after taking these photographs, I went to play a pretty intense game of tennis. Both liners had fantastic lasting power and did not smudge. So the price makes Maybelline the winner in this face off. MAC's Fluidline is $21 (prices in Canadian dollars). And when not on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart, Maybelline's Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is priced at $12.99. But come on! You just KNOW it will go on sale next week, if not in a couple of weeks.


The WINNER of the gel liner face off! Find it at drugstores everywhere.

 

All is fair in love and (sports), so please check out the links below for both the ultra-fantastic MAC Cosmetics and that drugstore classic, Maybelline. I would hate to count how many products I have from both of these incredible lines. Please leave your comments below and share your thoughts on your gel eyeliner preferences!


www.maybelline.ca


www.maccosmetics.com



Wednesday, 24 April 2013

India Hicks Visits Toronto and Now I Long for Island Living!

I had the pleasure of attending a talk Tuesday night with India Hicks at Toronto's Design Exchange. India's jet-set lifestyle and family history have always intrigued me. Her father was celebrated interior decorator, David Hicks, and her mother, Lady Pamela Hicks, is the daughter of the Earl of Mountbatten of Burma. India is second cousin to Prince Charles, and she was a bridesmaid at his wedding to Lady Diana in 1981. 



India Hicks at Toronto's Design Exchange


India's career began as a model for Ralph Lauren - one of the first lifestyle ambassadors. It is safe to say that India Hicks is now a lifestyle mogul whose brand now encompasses fine jewellery (her "love letters" are a fave of Oprah's), beauty products, and home décor. She recently launched her home décor line on HSN.



India Hicks Love Letters
India Hicks stunning pillows!



India's talk highlighted how different island life is compared to being raised in a stately home in England. The school run sees her taking the children to school in a golf cart instead of a Rolls Royce. India had the audience in stitches as she showed us photos of her mother's Elnett-sprayed helmet-hair in the sixties. India was sporting a straight "do" of sleek blonde highlights courtesy of Yorkville's Greg May Hair Architects.

She shared with us the time her parents were arguing and Lady Pamela threw a glass of Coca Cola across the room, hitting a wall. Instead of her father becoming outraged, he was thrilled to discover that the rich colour of the dripping Coca Cola was the perfect glossy brown shade to decorate the walls with. 

We learned that her father was the inventor of "tablescapes". David Hicks was brilliant at mixing classical pieces with modern art. We viewed several images of her father's tablescapes as well as photos of projects he designed for Helena Rubenstein (purple chairs inspired by the lining of Helena's skirt) and Vidal Sassoon. You've heard of Christian Louboutin's red soled shoes? Well, David Hicks designed red heels WAY before Louboutin.

David Hicks invented the red heel before Louboutin!


Look at the lush green palms in the background. I'm green with envy - I long for Island Living!



Island Living - with style, and linens!

I am no stranger to the India Hicks Island Living line from Crabtree & Evelyn. I get so many compliments when I wear the Spider Lily body lotion on its own. If you don't like strong perfumes, but still want a soft, understated fragrance, just wear the scented body lotion. Mix it in with unscented body lotion if you want an even softer version. 


So...what a delight to find on my chair at the Design Exchange a full sized bottle of India Hicks Island Living ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy. The cold chill of winter has left my hands in dire need of moisture! This hand cream is truly therapy for hands and it is so much richer than most hand lotions/creams. A little goes a long way. 

Island Living Hand Therapy


I may not live on an island in the Bahamas, but I can close my eyes (and dream) and enjoy the fragrances of Island Living. India may be jet-set, but she always returns to her island paradise. Check out India's website to see how you can incorporate a little Island Living into your everyday lifestyle. Lastly, everyone knows you need good reading material on the beach - I would recommend Lady Pamela's book "Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten".

 
www.indiahicks.com

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Drugstore Mini Haul - All on Sale!

I wasn't supposed to go out and spend money on cosmetics this weekend. But, I couldn't resist. Basically, I can't walk by a Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall without going in for a quick peek. When I travel to the USA, the FIRST place I head to is Walgreens and CVS and their cosmetic's aisles.

I had recently redeemed Optimum points at Murale, the high end cosmetics and skin care boutique owned by Shoppers Drug Mart, so I felt the need to BUILD up my Optimum points again...at Shoppers Drug Mart. Doesn't that make sense?

At Shoppers, I found several items on my wish list ON SALE: the much-talked-about Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer. And Maybelline Fit Me Foundation, in the HARD TO FIND ultra fair shade of 110! Up until yesterday, I have only been able to find Fit Me Foundation in shade 110 in the USA. That's right, Florida, land of bronzed beach babes stocks the ultra pale 110. Pale Canadians rejoice - 110 has arrived!




It's alway wise to "shop around", so I headed over to Rexall to see what might be new on their shelves. What's new? How about the AMAZING Ardell Color Impact Demi Wispies in colours like PLUM and BLUE and GREEN? Wow! These are not cheesy Halloween colours, these fabulous false lashes come in soft, flattering shades such as plum - to enhance green, brown, and hazel eyes. I really wanted to buy the lashes in every colour, but I only bought the "Plum" shade as it will enhance my green eyes. 




Also at Rexall, I picked up YET ANOTHER eyebrow pencil - but it was on SALE and has been on my radar for at least a year: the Skinny Brow Liner by Annabelle in "Universal Medium".  It features a retractable skinny pencil and I love the neon pink brush at the other end. It is a total dupe for Christian Dior's Universal brow liner, and I highly recommend choosing the "Universal Medium" shade as it will work on almost anyone.

Another product that I have been searching for ever since I saw how GORGEOUS Katy Perry looked wearing it at the Grammy Awards: Rimmel's Glam Eyes shadow trio in "Orion". These soft, neutral shades work beautifully to define and contour your eye shape. I love that Katy wore MEGA lashes to resemble (in her words) her style inspiration: Priscilla Presley in the late sixties. I love this look, and you could basically recreate much of this look with everything I bought: the pale foundation and concealer, the brow pencil and shadows and especially the false lashes to add that fluttery late sixties glamour. Just add a nude lip. Katy wore Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipstick from the Kate Moss collection in shade 003, but just about any nude will do.


So now you know why I can't resist drugstore makeup - how GLAM and GORGEOUS does Katy Perry look? And all created from makeup from the drugstore! You don't need to spend a fortune on makeup to look fabulous. Take your time in the cosmetic's aisles. Use the testers to find what suits your skin tone. Try something new, like a winged-out eyeliner, or using a matte bronzer to contour your cheekbones. If you can find these gems on sale - what a bonus! Take the money you saved and do what Katy Perry would do - Wake up in Vegas!