Thursday, March 31, 2016

MAKEUP LOOK | Looking Sweet with Spring Pinks from Paul & Joe and Lancome

For the month of March I was fortunate enough to be selected for a Shoppers Drug Mart Instagram campaign focusing on complexion. I wanted to create a pink-themed makeup look that I felt comfortable wearing on a daily basis so I picked up a few products that would help me achieve a soft, glowy and girly Spring look. I also just happened to get my hair redone at Aveda so it was the perfect opportunity to make use of the salon-worthy hair that I will never be able to replicate on my own!


Paul & Joe is available exclusively at just a handful of Shoppers locations across Canada and thankfully one of those locations is in downtown Vancouver! With packaging that is both vintage and whimsical, this is a brand that you need to get to know if you do not already! Made in Japan with the quality of a luxury brand, one look at their products and you will want to clear out some drawer space! I picked up The Paul & Joe Glossy Lip Color in 06* ($32.00 CDN) because it was exactly the pink I had in my mind. Don't get me wrong, there were a ton of beautiful colours, but this was pinky perfect.



The applicator was slightly longer and thinner with a small reservoir for product. It was flexible and applying the gloss was very comfortable. It's not a sticky gloss so the wear time is 2-3 hours tops, but there is great shine to it and the colour is of course amazing. 


OMG, this blush! This limited edition Lancome My Parisian Blush in 02 Rose Haussmann*($38.00 CDN) was kind of expensive and not only was the packaging absolutely darling, but this is a cream to powder blush with a softness I only thought possible in beauty heaven! Pigmentation is great and because it transforms into a powder, very easy to blend with a brush if you make a mistake.


Pink is not the easiest colour for me to wear on the eyes as I feel I have two choices: hot or shimmery pink. Shimmery pink, no matter how dark often looks just like highlighter, but in this case that's what I wanted. I wanted to "glow" which is why I amped up the blush and had a lip colour that leaned more to hot pink. With a white tee, I felt fresh and ready for Spring even though the day I took photos was one with torrential rain...


Face:


Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation in #03 mixed with GOSH CC Cream in Sand* 


Brows:

Dior Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Dark Brown*


Eyes:

Apply an eye primer. I'm using Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

Apply a shimmery pink all over the lid. I'm using Essence Cosmetics 3D Eyeshadow in Irresistable First Love*.
Deepen the crease of your eye using Essence Cosmetics All About Nude from the How to Make Nude Eyes Makeup Box*.
Use a smudge brush to apply All About Nude along the lower lash line as well.
Line lower water line with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Stray Dog
Line upper lash line with Physician's Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black.
Apply Blinc Mascara*.
Apply your favourite lashes. Mine are a brand called Miche Bloomin in No.8 "Girly Sweet".

Cheeks:

Lancome My Parisian Blush in 02 Rose Haussmann* 

Lips:

Clinique Pop in 09 Sweet Pop
Paul & Joe Glossy Lip Color in 06*



As much as I despise Daylight savings, I am happy spring is here because that means summer isn't too far away!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART Challenge Week 4 - Mosaic Stained Glass Flowers #BCDNails

I am a little late with posting these as my nails needed a bit of polish break and I had house things to do which trumped gettin' ma nails did! Last week's challenge was "mosaic" and when I saw Cristine of Simply Nailogical's Youtube video on Stained Glass Nails, I knew this was what I wanted to attempt. Her nails turned out far better, but overall I really loved how this all came together and thought stained glass flowers were also a great way to welcome Spring!


I followed Cristine's video tutorial fairly closely, but saved some time by skipping a few steps. I started off by painting all nails with one coat of Essence - Black is Back* followed by another coat but working with only one nail at a time. Here is where I deviated from the video because I just did not want this process to take longer than it was already going to take! Instead of painting a second coat, waiting for it to dry, sketching out the design with acrylic paint on the nail and then placing the glitter on top, I FREEHAND placed the glitter where I thought it would work. YES, I took a bit of a risk here.


Using the second coat of black polish as my "glue", I started working fairly quickly by first placing the yellow glitter with a wax pencil. You can also use a toothpick. For flower petals, I alternated between red and pink glitter and outlined them with green glitter. For the sky, I used teal and dark blue glitter to fill in any remaining space. I applied one coat of top coat and waited for it to dry so that I could use black acrylic paint to draw defining lines between the different colours of glitter. This is what really gives those definitive stained glass shapes!


I applied two more coats of top coat until the surface of my nails was smooth to the touch. At almost 25 minutes per nail, I wasn't about to let this manicure chip on me or lose any of the glitter I had worked so hard to apply!

Check out Naomi (@bellezzabee) and Traci's (@drinkcitra) creations for this week and stay tuned for 26 more weeks of #BCDNails! Tag us if you feel like joining in!

Monday, March 28, 2016

SKINCARE | Les Soins de Jacynthe Cleansing Oil, Eau Florale de Rose & Le Sérum Review

I swore late last year that I would be much more selective about the skincare that I use and review, but when I was faced with reviewing a few products from Les Soins de Jacynthe, I was immediately intrigued by the fact that the products are 100% natural and created by Quebec-based health and beauty guru, Jacynthe Rene. I was not familiar with Jacynthe or the brand and finding information and/or reviews proved to be quite difficult. The main resource I had were reviews from other blogs and at the time I was asked to review even those were scarce. Thankfully a number of Canadian beauty bloggers have given the lowdown on this brand and the results are overwhelmingly positive!


I started my skincare journey with Les Soins de Jacynthe back in January with three products: the
Huile Nettoyante* (Cleansing Oil), Eau Florale de Rose* (Rose Water Toner) and my favourite Le Serum de Jacynthe* (Serum)

For the sake of not butchering the French language, I will refer to the products by their English translations! All three products come in dark glass apothecary style bottles which is a good sign as essential oils and more natural products tend to react with light and degrade more quickly. Dark or opaque bottles are practically a must for preservation purposes. The Cleansing Oil (50mL/$28.35 CDN) comes with a dropper which is something I have not seen before and has a very mild scent. It is jojoba and apricot oil-based which are very thick and moisturizing oils. Unlike other cleansing oils, when rinsed off this will not emulsify with water into that characteristic white milk. While it does clean the skin, it also leaves behind what feels like a layer of oil which sounds unappealing but is really not! It is a feeling similar to how my face feels after patting on a facial oil.


Ingredients: jojoba oil, apricot oils, sea buckthorn, bourbon, geranium rosa, ylang ylang and sandalwood


The Rosewater Toner (100mL/$21.00 CDN) is made of 100% rosewater so it can seem very strongly scented if you are not used to such a pure concentration. I will admit that the very first time I used it, I was like "whoaaaa". Now, I really love it. This toner comes as a spray which I am so happy about! I swear, all toners should come as sprays! It sprays out as a very fine mist and I love it so much now that I spritz 2-3 all over my face and neck. I also use it as a pick-me-up during the day, but only if I'm at home because I don't know how my co-workers will feel about such an intense scent! Thankfully, there are also rosemary and neroli versions of this toner if rose isn't quite your thing.


Ingredients: 100% rosewater

The Serum (15mL/$49.35) is also rose-scented and though it says serum, I liken this product to a facial oil. It takes a little bit of time to absorb and leaves my skin feeling incredibly nourished. I do not use this in the morning as my skin isn't overly dry right now and can't seem to wake up early enough to let this serum sink in. This has become my nighttime treat! The serum is also bright orange so it leaves a very slight tint to the skin making it look like it is glowing! I rarely use products containing evening primrose oil, but it is known to be filled with omega-6-fatty acids and healing for the skin. Borage is medicinally used both internally and externally, but what I love about it are its anti-inflammatory properties.



Ingredients: evening primrose oil, borage, buckthorn & Rosehip extracts, sandalwood, rose, natural vitamin E and rosemary oleoresin

Final verdict: Originally I missed the idea of a moisturizer in my routine and when I searched the website for a moisturizer type product, the closest thing I could find was a balm. As it turned out, the serum was often more than enough. The rosewater toner is one that I would purchase if I saw it in person and the serum you bet. My skin looked and felt healthy with not even a minor breakout for an entire month, which for me is often a sign that a product is too rich for my skin. The scent can take some getting used to, but I liked how gentle and balancing it was for my skin. 
If you are looking for a reasonably priced Canadian natural skincare line that soothes and keeps skin happy, try Les Soins de Jacynthe.

Available online at the J Magazine Boutique

Sunday, March 27, 2016

NAILS | "Hoppy" Easter ft. the new OPI Softshades Pastels Collection #StayPolished

I wanted to pump out some Easter manicures like nobody's business, but after doing my nails three times last week (that's a lot for me!) I needed a bit of a break to do other bloggy things as well as some household chores that tend to get neglected when packages over run the living room. Seriously, I am starting to wonder why the hubby is still with me. With the BCD Nails Challenge also taking place (self-inflicted, I know),  I didn't go too crazy with this year's Easter manicure and wanted something soft and feminine. Luckily, the new OPI Softshades Pastels collection arrived on Thursday which I realized was perfect for what I had in mind!


Starting with the light purple I Am What I Amethyst*, I painted three coats on my ring and index nails as the coats looked a bit streaky.


This Cost Me a Mint*, is a pale green creme, that I also used three coats to make opaque. I dotted on It's in the Cloud* to make the polka dots and then drew the back the bunny with white acrylic paint.


Lastly, I dotted a cluster of green dots to make Mr. Bunny's fluffy tail. Finish with your favourite top coat which in this case was Rainbow Honey's Summer Juice Top Coat which smells so fruity and delicious!


Have a wonderful Easter Sunday everyone! See you Monday! The OPI Softshades Pastels Collection is available now.

Friday, March 25, 2016

BATH & BODY | Get Ready for the Lush 2016 Easter Collection!

After Christmas, the Lush Easter collection is my FAVOURITE. With bright colours, eggs and bunnies, who wouldn't get excited?! As always, there are both old favourites and new releases and though I do not have the complete collection, I (hopefully) chose the cutest ones I enjoyed the most to share with you.


Humpty Dumpty is one of the more tragic characters in the world of nursery rhymes and though it is rather morbid to rejoice in someone's demise (I mean, all the king's horses and all the kingsmen couldn't put Humpty together again!), the new 
Humpty Dumpty Bath Bomb* ($8.95 CDN) puts a more cheery spin on things by placing a perfectly formed fried egg inside! I couldn't get mine to crack the right way and ended up cracking the fried egg portion too...Scented with caramel, bergamot and Brazilian orange oil, this guy will leave you feeling blue - in a VERY GOOD WAY (video)!


Next, we come to the Bouncy Bunny Shower Jelly* ($5.95 CDN) which is a new addition for Easter this year and, I cannot say this enough, but it is SOOO CUTE! I had to unravel him when I first received him and look! (video) He's bouncy and smells like an orange thanks to Brazilian orange oil!

Old favourites like the Golden Egg* ($8.95 CDN) always make me smile even though the glitter goes everywhere! I have reviewed the Golden Egg before (review) and still love it. If you love the toffee scent of "Honey, I Washed the Kids" this bath bomb will make you very happy. Not to mention that you will be sitting in water that shimmers and gives your skin an instant glow!




This year's Bunch of Carrots* ($12.95 CDN) is multicoloured though I missed last year's Easter collection so maybe they were multicoloured then? I love the concept of these bubble bars with each carrot being perfect for one bath. I have reviewed these before as well (here) and for some reason these smell good, but are not my favourite scent out of all the Lush goodness. Maybe it's the buchu? Nevertheless, I think these are adorable and fun for everyone!


Renamed Which Came First?* ($8.95 CDN), this is a massive bath bomb with another bath bomb inside! Good for three baths, this is a citrus-vanilla delight and leaves your bath water swirling in pinks and blues. I'm so glad this bath bomb is still around because the concept of breaking apart one bath bomb to get another is the most adorable thing I have ever seen.



Available at Lush online and in-store.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

MAKEUP | H & M Beauty Colour Essence Eye Cream in Dauphine Truffle, Earth Angel and Champers Review & Swatches

I feel like a lot of us have been really blown away by H & M's beauty launch. I'm hearing how much people love the foundation, the blushes, the EVERYTHING and when I finally got a chance to review a few of the products myself (here) I was very impressed. So impressed, that I went to H & M after work and had myself a little peruse of the beauty department. I then happened upon these illustrious little pots of whipped goodness - the Colour Essence Eye Creams ($7.99 CDN). I didn't just buy one, but I bought three all within the same colour family. I am obviously not very adventurous with my colour choices, but these were my favourite. I wanted shades for everyday and Daupine Truffle, Champers and Earth Angel are exactly that!



Though these are cream shadows, they are not hard like the Maybelline Color Tattoos. They are very much whipped in consistency making them very blendable across the lid or for use as a gel-like eyeliner. Once the colour set, I was able to have about 6 hours of wear without creasing. I did not wear primer though, so I'm sure these could have lasted a full work day had I worn one. 


All three had seriously gorgeous pigmentation and because of their whipped consistency, I found easiest to apply with fingers in a tapping motion to really amp up the colour. Dauphine Truffle, a shimmery mocha, was the first shade that I had to have because this level of brown is my ultimate favourite and I'm sure I have this shade in triplicate, but I had to! Champers, a shimmery champagne, was to be my highlight shade and for the inner corners of my eyes. Earth Angel, a shimmery reddish-brown, is my prelude to summer for when I want to go from cool to warm shades of brown. See, each of these shades makes TOTAL SENSE!



Final verdict: I like these. Pigmentation - good! Application - easy! Wear time- decent without primer. I honestly do not see what is not to like about them and will have to restrain myself from buying more shades because creams have a tendency to dry up eventually...

Available at H&M locations across Canada.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

AROMATHERAPY | Here & Now Botanicals Rave Babe Aromatherapy Mist and Hangover Aromatherapy Oil

Reviewing the locally curated Vancity Box made me privy to a number of new local Vancouver brands and now that our dollar is just "ugh", I am MORE than happy to keep my money here. I have always devoted a place in my consumer heart for the local business as both of my parents are small business owners. In November's Vancity box (review), I was introduced the brand Here & Now Botanicals, a Vancouver-based skincare/aromatherapy company that stood out to me for their festival culture product names, clean glass packaging and of course their scents!


Though I already have a TON of headache remedies both natural and not-so-natural, my test for an aromatherapy company is whether they have something minty to ease not only pain, but nausea. I go through these roll-ons for headaches so quickly that I have a 30mL bottle of peppermint oil at the ready to refill them! My three favourite headache/nausea easing scents are: peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender and guess what? All three are in Here & Now's
Hangover Aromatherapy Oil* (10mL/$15.00 CDN)


I only wish there was more of a tingly feeling on my skin when I roll it on, but the scent is so refreshing and HEAD-CLEARING. Not only does it help with nausea from motion sickness (I really can't read CBB network threads on the bus!), but if you find yourself congested, roll this on the palms of your hands and take a deep breath. Holy moly will your sinuses feel better! I feel like I am breathing in crisp mountain air which feels amazing. It's like HERE AND NOW (sorry, I had to) I can make better life decisions!


Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) oil, Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil, Betula lenta (Birch) oil, Vetiveria zizanoides (Vetiver) oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) oil, Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) seed extract.

I thought pillow sprays were just silly, but when I started using diffusers I often wished the scents I was diffusing could stay with me forever which is when I started using a lavender pillow spray to help me settle down before bed. The Rave Babe Aromatherapy Mist* ($15.00 CDN) caught my attention not only for its name and gorgeously blue glass bottle, but because it features my new favourite aromatherapy scent - jasmine! Jasmine can be overdone, but as a mist combined with lavender, it is perfectly balanced and leaves a hint of scent in the air and on on my sheets.





Ingredients: Aqua (Distilled water), Jasminum grandiflorum (Jasmine) oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil.

Final verdict: My second experience with Here & Now Botanicals has gotten me looking at shipping rates and stockists for this brand so let that be a sign to you all! Their skincare is definitely something I want to try especially the 3 Step Aromatherapy Skin Care Program!


Order Here & Now Botanicals online or click here for a list of retailers. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

NAILS | Welcoming Spring with Formula X and Cupcakes and Cashmere #ManiMonday

This month's Formula X #ColorCurators collaboration is with who I consider one of the pioneers of blogging. Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere was probably one of the first bloggers I started reading regularly back when blogging was fairly novel. Nowadays, it feels like everyone is a blogger (ahem, yes I know that I am the pot calling the kettle black), but Emily will always be one of the pioneers and still remains one of my favourite blogs to read. I even have her book which is a wonderfully relaxing read.

I actually really liked Emily's colour choices because not only did they feature a basic nude (to be featured in a future post), but also some bright pops of colour which is how I dress. I am usually quite basic in all aspects except for one like shoes or in this case nails!



Creating this "fishtail" manicure is super straightforward and looks pretty cool too! I started by painting my nails two coats of
Peach Tea*, a creamy coral shade. This shade is streaky on the first coat, so you will definitely need a second if not a third coat to even things out.
  

Carefully paint half moons with Haute Sauce*, a slightly jelly bright red, starting at the side of the nail and going toward the center. While the nail is still wet, add a gold stud to the center. Seal it all in with top coat and you're done!
 




Happy Monday! It's a short week this week and two more days until I'm on my staycation!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

BATH & BODY | Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company Introduction and Review #Take12

Ever since the TV show Anne of Green Gables, I have always wanted to visit the Maritimes. I am pretty sure I only started playing the violin because of Ashley MacIsaac and the Rankin Family and have always been convinced that as a small, Chinese girl, I would RIGHT IN to this part of the world. For now, I will have to settle for just a glimpse into Maritimes with the Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company hailing from Nova Scotia! Inspired by the nature of the East Coast, founder Rebecca Taylor, started to experiment with essential oils distilled from the plants around her creating the first collection of handcrafted soaps. Not only is Pearl & Daisy a source of 100% handcrafted soaps, there is also skincare, delectably scented bath bombs and many other ways to relax and pamper yourself.


The #Take12 campaign is all about taking 12 minutes to enjoy the benefits of a good soak in the tub. I am a shower gal, but I'd say once every two weeks I take the time to have a bath and read a real paper book. Over the past two weeks, I have happily indulged myself in a few Pearl & Daisy products and hope to get a chance to try more this year.



This Sea Salt & Mineral Bath Soak (500g/$15.99 CDN) is a blend of Dead Sea salt and essential oils. This particular satchel of goodness was a blend of lime and basil leaf oil that was a unique and therapeutic scent. I now have an empty bag because hubby liked using them too for sore muscles. How many of you have hubbies that now openly dive into your beauty stash?


Ingredients: maris sal (sea salt), citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, ocimum basilicum (basil) leaf oil, mentha spicata (spearmint) oil, coconut flavour

The handcrafted Sand Dollar Soap ($8.99 CDN) was packaged so beautifully and was ready to gift all on its own. The scent is a harmonious blend of vanilla and sandalwood and I honestly cannot imagine anyone not liking it. Even inhaling the bar makes your head feel clearer!




Ingredients: sodium oliviate, sodium cocoate, sodium palmate, benzoin stryax, balsamifera bark oil, santalum album (sandalwood) essential oil, vanilla planifolia



This Orange and Vanilla Bath Fizzer* ($5.00 CDN) smelled just like a creamsicle! The whole bathroom smelled so good! Who wouldn't be in a good mood after a bath with this?! It also fizzed A LOT and amused the cats.



Ingredients: baking soda, citric acid, organic coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, organic aroma and essential oils.c


Yes, we've all seen bath bombs and soaps before but there is something more comforting in knowing that the products are 100% natural and handmade. I also love the historical feel of the packaging of the Pearl & Daisy products with scenes inspired by vintage wallpaper and linoleum flooring from the old homes of sea captains and farmers. Pretty cool, right?


Pearl & Daisy can be ordered online as well as purchased at a number of retailers across North America.

Friday, March 18, 2016

MAKEUP LOOK | Channeling the 80s with the MAC Flamingo Park Collection Review & Swatches

I am a genuine child of the 80s being born in 1983. Yes, it's true I am over 30 and only discovered the joy of makeup and nail polish in my late 20s. Though I don't feel the urge to relieve my fashion choices of the 80s, there is something nostalgic about brightly obnoxious pinks that takes me back to the time of side ponytails, hairspray and bright makeup. The MAC Cosmetics Flamingo Park Collection is all about satisfying your sweet tooth with punchy shades of pink. I have a few of my favourites from the collection that deserved an homage to the 80s.



Starting with the lipsticks,
Silly*($21.00 CDN) is an almost baby pink matte finish which came out much more pink than its coral appearance in the tube. Be Silly had me starstruck as I seem to gravitate towards fuchsia ALL THE TIME. Both shades were deliciously pigmented as most MAC lippies are and shades I will definitely be using again!


Look at that gloriousness!


"Be Silly" alone



Cremesheen Glass in Petite Indulgence ($24.00 CDN) is a smooth blue-toned pink gloss that glides on smoothly while imparting a hint of colour. Though the pink is subtle on its own, I found that it went nicely on to of Be Silly.
  


I have to admit that MAC blushes are starting to become a must-have item for me because when I saw This Could Be Fun* ($26.00 CDN), I thought "Hell, yeah this could be fun FOR ME!" A fuchsia blush with incredible colour payoff with while having a beautifully soft texture = WIN.




*cue "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany* and get the look!



Face:
MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation in NC35*
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder in Fair
MAC Strobe Cream


Brows:
Dior Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Dark Brown*

Eyes:

Apply an eye primer. I'm using Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
Apply a taupe shade like the one I'm using from the MAC Toledo Belgreens Eyeshadow Palette* all over the lid and into the crease. 
Apply a glittery bronze shadow like the one from the MAC Bao Bao Wan Veluxe Pearlfusion Eye Palette*.
Use a smudge brush to apply the taupe shade along the lower lash line as well.

Line upper lash line and lower water line with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Peversion. Tightline as well.
Draw a cat eye with a liquid eyeliner like Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in Trooper.
Apply Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara*.
Apply your favourite lashes. Mine are a brand called Miche Bloomin in No.8 "Girly Sweet".

Cheeks:

MAC Powder Blush in This Could Be Fun* 


Lips:

MAC Matte Lipstick in Be Silly

MAC Cremesheen Lipgloss in Petite Indulgence



I have not done a side ponytail since 1989. I now want to wear one to work! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
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