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, 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



Bobbi Brown



By Terry


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:

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!

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".

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 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!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Pop Stars, Models and Aerobics - It Must Be 1984

1984: a Cosmopolitan Look at Life

April 1984 was all about the worlds of pop music and fashion colliding in the most exciting way. Every model was dating a rock star. Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek, and of course, the much admired Renée Simonsen and Duran Duran's John Taylor.

Cosmopolitan April 1984 (photo: Scavullo)
I don't have a time machine to take you back to 1984, but for now,let's dive into a few pages of Cosmopolitan's April 1984 issue, featuring cover model Renée Simonsen photographed by the legendary Francesco Scavullo. If you dreamed of dating a pop star, and who didn't - Cosmopolitan was full of the beauty, fashion and fitness tips you needed to closely resemble a rockin' Cosmo Cover Girl.

I would stare at the makeup ads and try my best to recreate the makeup on my teenage face. Kim Alexis had the most beautiful face and was a favourite model for cosmetics campaigns. Who remembers Ultima II makeup? It was owned by Revlon. I love the Art Deco style of this ad. Kim looks stunning here:

Kim  Alexis for Ultima II

Artfully applied makeup was one way to turn heads in 1984, but there was pressure to be fit. In came the AEROBICS craze of the '80s! Gyms and fitness centres sprouted up on every street corner. There was a ton of nylon and lycra - and Maybelline's Shine Free cosmetics line had this special offer for you: their 100% nylon "running outfit" for only $8.25!

Maybelline gets in on the fitness craze!

Speaking of running - who can forget OJ Simpson's run from the police in 1994? OK - it was a Bronco chase on the highway -  but only ten years earlier, OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown were featured as Cosmopolitan Magazine's COUPLE OF THE MONTH. Whoa! I have no words.

OJ & Nicole - Couple of the Month 1984

OK, I lied - I have a few words: Run Nicole, Run! I love looking through these vintage magazines to see how things have changed over the years. Where are the supermodels now? Former model Kathy Ireland is a billionaire entrepreneur. Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson are hot on Kathy's heels. Are any of the rockstar/model couples still together? I can think of only one: Paulina and Ric.

Today's fashion magazines still promote beauty, fashion and fitness, but they don't have the  unique charm (and cheesiness)of the '80s magazines. Yes, we're lucky to have our pilates and yoga classes, but wouldn't you just LOVE to walk into a neon-lit aerobics class all dressed up in your baby pink leotard? With your Sony Walkman on? Oh, I miss you 1984!

Monday, 25 March 2013

MAC Warehouse Sale Mini Haul and Review

MAC Warehouse Sale Review:

LOTS of MAC and Clinique - very little Bobbi Brown....and Surprise! - a little bit of CALYX!

I went to the MAC Warehouse sale this weekend. As much as I wanted to go on Friday (the first day), I couldn't get the time off work. Gee - these things need to be planned. Seriously - you need to be strategic with warehouse sales. Timing and teamwork yield the best results. Teamwork for sure: the MAC Warehouse sale was way north of Toronto - held at the Markham Fairgrounds. A car was very necessary. And so, a call was placed to a friend...with a car ;)

So naturally, I LOVE to sleep in on a Saturday morning - I was EXHAUSTED from a long work week, BUT I woke up early to meet my friend and we arrived at the MAC sale by 10:15 a.m. We only waited about 30 minutes to get in. We were thrilled to see that the line was INSIDE this year! Thank you MAC for looking out for the comfort of your customers!

Cold outside? No worries - they moved the line INSIDE :)

Once inside, decisions had to be made. Stay in room 1 - or RUN to rooms 2, 3 and 4 to see what they held? We compromised and power-shopped for 5 minutes in room 1 - mostly full of Bumble & Bumble hair products, Origins skin care and MAC eyeshadows.

Here is a photo of the "sample" of MAC Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack. TAPED down to the table. A no-frills display.

Be sure to write down your product number!

Customers were instructed to write down the item number of the product you wanted on tiny pieces of paper provided. You then handed the papers to staff at another table nearby. I thought I would save time (and the environment) by snapping a pic with my iPhone and showing it to the staff member. That didn't work for the first lady. She really wanted me to write my item (1 Fluidline) down on a piece of paper. Oh well - back I went, pen and paper in hand. Eventually, I got my Fluidline.

And then - we RAN to rooms 2, 3 and 4. There were small signs indicating what brands were in the rooms such as: Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins, Ojon..... MAC was pretty much everywhere.

I really wanted to pick up some Bobbi Brown makeup - but there was virtually no Bobbi Brown makeup. There was a small selection of Bobbi Brown brushes. I'm not sure if there would have been a better selection had I arrived on Friday - but I sense that this was really a big MAC sale, followed by alot of Clinique and Estee Lauder. There was a bit of Origins - mostly Ginger Souffle body lotions and bath products.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me was to find CALYX shower and bath gel in one of the bins! It has been years since I've seen Calyx in Canada. They just had shower gel and body lotion. I bought the shower gel - it is called "Exhilarating Gel for Shower and Bath". I am not a morning person, and I purchased this hoping it will truly help to exhilarate my morning shower routine and WAKE me up!

SO - here is what I picked up. Not a major haul - I felt like a character in a movie with an angel sitting on my left shoulder telling me NOT to spend too much, and a devil on my right shoulder tempting me to break the bank! Well, the angel reminded me how many unopened products I already have at home - so I controlled myself on this trip. Note: I also purchased some Clinique skincare for my Mom, but it is not pictured here.

MAC Warehouse mini-haul -minus some Clinique skincare purchased for my Mom. 

What I Picked Up:
- Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Tinted Self-Tan, 150 ml for $20
- Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Self-Tan for face, 50 ml for $15
- Calyx Exhilarating Gel for Shower/Bath, 200 ml, 2 for $18

- MAC Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack $12

- MAC Select Sheer/Loose powder NW5 $15

- Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, $4

- Clinique mini High Impact Mascara, $4

- Clinique Full Size High Impact Mascara, $12

- MAC FREE GIFT: Pro Longwear Shadow in Bloom On

I also picked up some Clinique skincare for my Mom, including a full sized Repairwear Eye Cream for only $20.

Even though I did hold back from spending every last penny in my wallet, I will admit that I would have spent WAY more money had the selection of product been better. The MAC Warehouse Sale is probably your best bet to pick up limited edition compacts, and especially limited edition brush sets.

For fans of Estee Lauder fragrance - you would be in paradise - this was truly the home of the Fragrance Gift Set. I was already stocked up on Estee Lauder "Beautiful", but had I wanted more, they had sets of Eau de Parfum and Body Lotion for $40.

The Warehouse Sale is THE place to stock up on mascara. I LOVED the mini mascaras from Clinique in the $4 bins. I like to change up my mascara frequently, so these minis were a great find. You can also find tons of full sized MAC, Clinique and Estee Lauder mascaras.

My advice: try to get there on the FIRST day of the sale, and go early! You will always find something you love, at a great price.

And girls: take the advice of Girl Scouts everywhere: Be Prepared.

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Step Into Spring with Lip Treats from Lancome, L'Oreal and e.l.f.


Spring officially arrives this week here in Toronto, and I've already started the spring cleaning process.

As I sort through my collection of all things lip-sticky and lip-glossy, I shall push aside the deep burgundies and cool wintry reds to make room for spring-like bubblegum pinks and candy corals.

Let's take a closer look at some lighter lip looks:

Light as air shades from e.l.f., Lancome, and L'Oreal.

The new Lancome Baume IN LOVE stopped me in my tracks when I spotted this neon pink shade on display. Neon can be LOUD...but this balm/stain simply provides a sheer wash of colour while enveloping your lips in a soothing and hydrating embrace. I can't tell you how good this feels - you have to try it.

Lancome Baume In Love "110 Urban Ballet"

Baume In Love "110 Urban Ballet"

Did I mention thatI was LUCKY enough to visit the L'Oreal Warehouse sale in Toronto last week? Whoo hoo! Well, in a warehouse full of literally thousands of tubes of lipgloss, the L'Oreal Glam Shine "Miss Candy" in "703 Tart Lollipop" immediately caught my eye. Just look at the FABULOUS swirl of coral and hot pink. HAD TO HAVE IT!

L'Oreal Glam Shine Miss Candy "Tart Lollipop"

Just LOOKING at this tiny tube of GLAM SHINE makes me smile! I might have purchased more than was on sale! Anyway, the heart-shaped applicator/wand offers more precision than most wands and if you apply 2 coats, you will get MEGA shine!
Wearing L'Oreal Glam Shine Miss Candy "Tart Lollipop"

Here are a couple products from e.l.f. that I picked up from Target BEFORE they came to Canada! Here is e.l.f.'s Hypershine Gloss in "Bubble Gum". It is no secret that the packaging looks alot like Stila's Lip Glaze. Well....I didn't love this product on me. I am pale and this is a really pale, creamy pink. It looked like nothing on my lips, so paired it up with a nude lip pencil from No7. I wouldn't wear this super pale shade on its own, but I would wear it over a bright pink lipstain (Revlon Just Bitten, for example) to add a touch of light gloss.
e.l.f. Hypershine Gloss "Bubble Gum" & No7 pencil "nude"
NOT loving e.l.f. Hypershine Gloss w Nude Pencil by No7
Now, for the much more exciting e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade"
e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade"

Wow! The e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade" exceeded my expectations. It looked pretty boring in the tube, but once applied, I felt like I had found my NEW Spring Wear-With-Anything-Anywhere lip colour! Seriously - this shade goes with anything and YES, it kinda does taste like pink lemonade.

e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in "Pink Lemonade" tastes good too!

Well, that is ONE part of my Spring Cleaning all sorted out. When the tennis courts finally open, I will reach for Lancome's Baume In Love for a winning look on the courts, and when patio season returns to Toronto, I will layer my L'Oreal Glam Shine over my e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Pink Lemonade.

Now...what to drink on those patios? Perhaps a Strawberry Daiquiri? A Virgin Pina Colada? Killer Kool Aid? These are decisions I look forward to. I'm kissing winter GOOD BYE! Now....step away from the computer, get outside and enjoy some fresh, spring air!

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Brows Don't Just Frame Your Face - They Rock!

A Review of 2 Rock Solid Brow Products

It's amazing what you can find when you decide to do a little "Spring Cleaning" of your makeup kit. Of course, like many of the makeup-obsessed, I don't just have a makeup kit, I have an entire apartment full of makeup on every tabletop and in every drawer. 

Although I just purchased the new "Take a Brow" eyebrow palette from Quo's Spring 2013 "The Edge of Opulence" collection,  as I cleaned, I giggled with delight to find a long-lost gem: my MAC "Lingering" eyebrow pencil.

I decided to compare both products.  

MAC "Lingering" pencil vs. Quo "Take A Brow" palette

First, let's have a look at the beautiful packaging from Quo's "Take A Brow" eyebrow palette. This is from their Spring 2013 "The Edge of Opulence" collection. The white packaging has a quilted feature and although small (and compact!) it contains a mirror and a surprisingly good quality double-ended angle brush. Extra points for opulent packaging. Makes me want to fly down to Palm Springs. 

I should mention that this is the second time I have picked up an eyebrow palette from a limited edition Quo collection. I also have the brow palette from last year's fall collection in faux reptile skin. Here's a photo of my 2 Quo eyebrow palettes. One for Palm Springs....and one for autumn nights. 

First up: Quo's "Take a Brow" limited edition palette. 

Quo's limited edition "Take a Brow" palettes...old and new.

Here is an example of a look using a blend of the light and dark powders from the Quo palette (no wax at this point)

Using a blend of the 2 powders from the Quo palette.

Now here it is with the wax added - wax helps to set the colour in place, and also tames the little brow hairs. 

Using both powders AND wax from the Quo palette.

Quo's "Take a Brow" Spring 2013 palette

And for the face-off: MAC brow pencil in "Lingering"

Using MAC's "Lingering" pencil

The colour is much lighter than my hair, but I don't like to use a very dark brown on my brows - it can be too harsh. This shade reminds me of Dior's "Universal Brown" - a cult favourite. The self-sharpening pencil allows me to fill in my brows with fine strokes. 

MAC self-sharpening brow pencil in "Lingering"

Final Thoughts: I like the control and precision that I get from MAC's "Lingering" brow pencil. The "fill in" factor really appeals to me. But, I like my options, and the Quo "Take a Brow" palette offers the 2 shades of brow powder. For a more dramatic, intense effect, I need the darker powder, and to set it, the wax is a must-have. 

So, of course, I must have BOTH and because the MAC pencil is so slim, it goes in my purse for when I am "on the go" and the Quo palette stays in my bathroom makeup drawer....unless I want to take it out to lunch and show my girlfriends that "opulent" white packaging. 

There you go - they're both FABULOUS!

You can find Quo's "Take A Brow" palette for $10.00 (CAN) at Shoppers Drug Mart across Canada.

MAC's "Lingering" brow pencil priced at aprox $19.00 (CAN) can be found at MAC stores globally.