Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pick-Ups & Deliveries: November 2016

Holy shit, can you guys believe it's already December? I know everyone always says time goes by fast, but it's like we didn't even have a proper fall season. It feels like we went from sunny days and high humidity to snow and freezing temperatures in a matter of days. I've been incredibly busy at work and feel perpetually exhausted as a result, but I found some time to do some online shopping. November seems to always be the most expensive month for me, for a few reasons: the Sephora VIB sale, holiday collections, my birthday, and Black Friday sales. This month in particular also saw a promotion and a fat bonus cheque so, you know, that was cause to celebrate, too. And as with every November haul, this one begins with the Sephora VIB sale.

Tatcha Polished Deep Rice Enzyme Powder, Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer, Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum, and Luminous Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate

May Coop Raw Sauce

Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream and Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment

I got a whole slew of new skincare by Tatcha. Their high price tags are really what deterred me from trying them out, but I finally bit the bullet because my friend works at Sephora and she got an extra 10% off the VIB Rouge 20% discount. So far, I've only used the Luminous Deep Hydrating Firming Serum, because I'm trying to be good about finishing all of my old skincare before opening new products. I don't necessarily need firming but I need the hydration, especially in the winter, and this makes my skin look and feel super-smooth. It has a heavier texture than some other hydration serums out there and it is a bit sticky after application, but once it absorbs, my skin feels like a baby's bum. And once I finish up the last bit of my Lancôme Bienfait Aqua Vital moisturizer, I will replace it with the Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer to use after the serum as my morning skincare routine. I also finally got myself a new bottle of my beloved May Coop Raw Sauce. It's an essence so it's meant to be the step before your serum, which seems a bit excessive, but I'm telling you, this stuff makes my skin feel so soft and so smooth and so well-hydrated, and any product I put on top of it seems to absorb better and work more effectively. I intend on using this as part of my night-time routine with the Tatcha Luminous Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate in lieu of a true moisturizer. Finally, I bought a new jar of my favourite Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream, the only eye product that seems to get rid of the dry patches on my lids, and a new tube of the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment. I didn't think I would love that lip balm as much as I did, but once I was finished with my old tube, I really started missing it. 

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Nude, Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, and Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens

Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Class by Mario Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Total Perversion Reloaded Duos

I didn't buy a ton of makeup items during the Sephora VIB sale, but I did want to try two new items: the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick (which I surprisingly like because it's lightweight, easy to blend, and covers my freckles, so I use it in lieu of concealer) and the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer (it isn't mattifying, but again, I surprisingly like it because my makeup goes on so smoothly without any silicone). My friend also snatched up the coveted Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Class by Mario palette for me. I do wish there were a couple more matte shades, but I love the colour scheme (overall warm with some moodier, autumnal shades), and the quality of the Master Class palette is definitely on par with the Modern Renaissance palette — that is to say, every colour went on smooth like butter and with full colour pay-off. I gotta say, ABH is really hitting it out of the park this year. I also took the opportunity to get some staples, including a new tube of NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (still my HG); several packs of my favourite Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens; and two Urban Decay Total Perversion Reloaded sets, which includes full-size versions of my beloved Perversion Mascara and my new favourite Perversion Eye Pen for $28, so basically the mascara is free (my friend Vivian even got me a third set for my birthday because I was raving about it so much).

Fresh Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum

Makeup Geek Highlighter Bundle in Medium: Psychedelic, Daybreak, and Rekindle

On that note, I got some lovely birthday gifts this year, including my favourite Fresh Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum from my friend Corrado and three of the highly anticipated Makeup Geek highlighters from my friend Chelsea. I already had a taste of the Makeup Geek highlighters when I got the Kathleen Lights Highlighter Palette, so I am beyond excited to use these. In fact, I was so excited that I ordered the Fair Bundle a week after getting the Medium Bundle. I have not touched them yet because I am waiting to get all of them before doing a full review, but from what I have seen in live swatch videos and in swatch photos, these are going to blow my mind.

Violet Voss x Laura Lee Eyeshadow Palette

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Beauty Killer Eyeshadow Palette

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost Highlighting Powder in Peach Goddess and King Tut and Lip Ammunition in Celebrity Skin

I saw that BeautyBay had the Violet Voss x Laura Lee Eyeshadow Palette back in stock a few weeks ago, so I snatched it up 'cause they have free international shipping and no taxes or duties upon delivery. I'd been eyeing it for a while but could never get it 'cause it was always out of stock on all the Violet Voss retailers that ship to Canada, so I'm glad I finally tracked it down. (Now I just have to get my hands on the Holy Grail Palette to complete my collection.) I also did some damage with Jeffree Star Cosmetics. I am really quite indifferent to Jeffree Star himself, but Jeffree Star Cosmetics is a brand that I actually had absolutely no interest in until this year. I absolutely hated the cheap-looking packaging and neither the liquid lipstick formula nor shade range impressed me in the least (what can I say, I am a classic lipstick girl through and through). But then he came out with these gorgeous highlighters in unique shades and massive compacts (like, double the size of what a regular compact is), and I was smitten. I no longer cared about how tacky the hot pink packaging looked. I needed them. I managed to get the two I really wanted, Peach Goddess and King Tut (they were out of stock for ages and I finally got a notification of a re-stock through Instagram), and then I also got the gigantic Beauty Killer Eyeshadow Palette (which basic bitches won't like, but I love the neutral-neon combo), and one single shade of his new Lip Ammunition lipstick (finally, not a liquid lipstick!) in Celebrity Skin. 'Cause, you know, I had to make that shipping cost worth it.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Face Compact in Peach and Copper

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Smoky Eye Compact

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Magic Dust Powder in Sweet Vision and Yum Yum Yum

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Soft Frost, Double-Gleam, Show Gold, and Beaming Blush

Of course, November always marks a big month for MAC, because that's when holiday collections are in full swing. I bought almost everything from this year's Nutcracker Sweet collection, including the coveted Face Compacts, the Eyeshadow Palettes (Smoky, Warm, and Cool), the Magic Dust Powders, the Magic Dust Eyeshadows, and the Lipsticks. But perhaps the most exciting launch for MAC this past month was In the Spotlight, in which they released four of their ultra-hyped Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. I've been wearing them almost everyday since they launched. Seriously.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus + Sonix Phone Cases in Sushi and Liana Peach

Finally, in non-beauty purchases, I got two tops and two scarves for 50% off from Aritzia during their Black Friday sale, three pairs of leggings and a military blazer from Zara, and... an iPhone 7 Plus 128GB. Yeah, I splurged and went for the big one. My contract was up with Fido and I decided to upgrade with a contract renewal. I technically didn't need to upgrade because my iPhone 6 is in perfectly good condition, but I wanted a bigger hard drive and the 7 Plus has amazing camera capabilities (12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras with 2X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom), so I decided to treat myself for my 30th birthday. (And I obviously had to get cute new cases for it, too. The sushi print one was just calling my name.) 

Wish me luck in December. I just got a $25 off coupon from Sephora.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 452

This week's Monday Poll:
  1. You're given the opportunity to walk the Victoria's Secret Runway Show. Is this a dream or a nightmare scenario? A complete and total nightmare.

  2. Candy canes or gingerbread cookies? Gingerbread cookies. I'm not big on candy canes unless they're in hot chocolate.

  3. How many cats is too many cats? I would say two. I'm not a huge cat person (I like them, but I prefer dogs), but I could have one. That having been said, though, I'd say that for dogs, too. I wouldn't be able to handle more than one pet at a time.

  4. Your favourite winter sweater? This might sound weird, but I don't wear sweaters. My style consists of silky blouses and blazers layered on top. And even at home, I just wear long-sleeved cotton tees or old band shirts. Not a big fan of wool or knitted things; they make me feel itchy.

  5. What nail polish colours do you wear the most? I wear a lot of cool tones (aquas, blues, royal purples) and dark shades. My favourites usually have glitter, duochrome, or pearlized finishes to them. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Video Love: Swing, Swing

My friend was streaming songs from a late '90s/early 2000s station on Spotify and this song came on, resulting in major high school flashbacks. I also didn't realize how catchy it is until I found myself singing along to every single lyric, despite not having heard this song in well over a decade. It's been five days, and it's still in my head.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Nine: Take My Breath Away (1986)

This week's Saturday Nine:

(Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.)

  1. When were you last breathless? When I laughed really hard at something my friend Amanda said the other day.

  2. This is the love theme from Top Gun, and the romance was between a pilot and his instructor. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher? Yep, my art teacher in high school. He was tall and lanky, and very charming, charismatic, and talented. He wasn't the guy that you'd think is good-looking right off the bat, but he was effortlessly cool so you always wanted to impress him. That might be why art and photography were my best grades in high school.

  3. The pilots in Top Gun all had cool nicknames — including Maverick, Goose, Merlin, Cougar and Stinger. Give yourself a cool pilot name. Well, I used this Top Gun Call Sign Generator, and it gave me the name "Redstar," which sounds pretty cool.

  4. The actress who played the instructor, Kelly McGillis, owns Kelly's Caribbean Bar/Grill and Brewery in Key West. It's known for its cheese and beer dip appetizer, served with warm pretzels. What's one of your favourite between meal snacks? Weirdly enough, I actually don't eat a lot between meals; I usually just get a bubble tea, and my favourite is Presotea's Panda Milk Tea (black milk tea with white and black pearl tapioca).

  5. The group who recorded this week's song is called Berlin, but they're really from Southern California. Have you ever been to Berlin? How about Southern California? I've never been to Berlin; the closest I've been is Cologne, Germany. I have, however, been to Southern California a few times: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Jose.

  6. Lead singer Terri Nunn has a weekly radio show, Unbound on KCSN. How often do you listen to the radio? Do you tune in for music, comedy, news, or talk? I very rarely listen to the radio unless I'm in someone else's car or my phone runs out of battery. I would tune in solely for music but I find most radio stations to be all ads these days. My phone died while I was driving home a few months ago, so I turned on the radio to the rock station and I swear to you, it was straight ads for at least five minutes before one song came on (a shitty one, at that) before going straight back into ads for another five minutes. No, thanks. I've since learned just to keep a phone charger in my car at all times.

  7. In 1986, when this song was popular, PeeWee's Playhouse premiered. While ostensibly for children, PeeWee Herman's show had many, many adult viewers. Do you watch still watch any kid's shows? No. I'm not even familiar with most of today's kid's shows. But I don't watch a ton of TV shows these days, anyway, so it's a moot point.

  8. Robert Pattinson, the actor who played Edward the vampire in the Twilight series, was born in 1986. Have you read the Twilight books? Seen the movies? I've read all the books and watched all the movies. While the writing left something to be desired, I thought the concept of the books and the world that Stephenie Meyer created were very interesting, and I ultimately enjoyed the series. The movies were pretty terrible, but you know, guilty pleasures. And Robert Pattinson was hot back then.

  9. Random question: In an alternate universe, which of these professions would you like to find yourself in — United States senator, Ivy League professor, or imminent psychiatrist? Psychiatrist. I've always been interested in how the human mind works.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea: Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette

This year, Tarte came out with a new collection called Rainforest of the Sea, which currently includes 23 products. What sets this collection apart from their regular range is the inclusion of Tarte's Rainforest of the Sea complex: Antioxidant-rich algae is mixed into a "nutrient-rich complex of marine botanicals that have been preserved in coconut oil" to provide a formula that is "hydrating, brightening, and fights environmental aggressors" and "promote an all-over radiant complexion." The Rainforest of the Sea collection includes skincare, makeup, and tools. The Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette, which is described as "a highlighting trio palette with three universal shades for strobing and perfecting... featuring a versatile trio of silky perfecting powders, [so] you can filter and reflect light for a soft focus glow. The middle Filtered Light shade is your go-to setting powder in a universal matte sand that brightens and corrects any darkness under the eyes. Paired with two full-size, luminous perfecting powders, they're perfect for illuminating the contours of the face for a natural-looking glow that flatters all skintones." It is housed in a gold rectangular mirrored compact with a teal-blue water design spanning the lid. Each Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette contains a total of 10.5 grams of product, and retails for $50 CAD online and in-store at Sephora and online at Tarte.

Sunlight, Filtered Light, and Moonlight

Sunlight, Filtered Light, and Moonlight

Sunlight is a light warm brightened champagne gold with champagne shimmer-sheen in a frosted finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more muted than MAC Double-Gleam, cooler and more muted than Becca Champagne Pop, more gold than Becca Moonstone, more muted than Anastasia Beverly Hills Summer, darker and more muted than Anastasia Beverly Hills Sunburst, and brighter and more frosted than Hourglass Brilliant Strobe Light.
Filtered Light is a light-medium warm yellowed beige in a soft matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a lightweight, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has low-medium pigmentation and sheer to semi-sheer buildable colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is similar though more matte than Hourglass Diffused Light, more yellow than MAC Light Plus Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, cooler and more beige than MAC Neutralize CC Powder, cooler and more beige than Ben Nye Banana Powder.
Moonlight is a light-medium warm peachy beige with champagne-silver shimmer-sheen in a frosted finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is more muted than MAC Soft and Gentle, more beige and less metallic than MAC Beaming Blush, less pink than Anastasia Beverly Hills Crushed Pearl, more muted and less frosted than Becca Opal, more muted than theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, lighter and more shimmery than Hourglass Euphoric Strobe Light.

When this collection first rolled out and reviews of this palette started creeping up online, it had really mixed reviews. But after playing with it for some time, I'm starting to think either Tarte fixed any production issues with it (I bought this one in the summer, and it originally launched in February or March) or people just don't know how to use this palette properly. First things first, the two frosted highlighters in this palette — Sunlight and Moonlight — are both incredibly smooth and finely-milled, with great pigmentation and full colour pay-off. They have a beautiful pearlized finish but they're not as bright or metallic as Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors, or MAC's Mineralize or Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. I'd say they're more in line with Anastasia Beverly Hills' Glow Kits, where they're not as creamy as the Becca ones, and they're softer than MAC's offerings (which are baked, so they don't have that buttery texture to them). Either way, they're easy to build up and easy to blend out, and they leave a lovely radiant illumination on the skin that isn't too blinding but isn't as subtle as, say, the Hourglass' Ambient Lighting or Ambient Strobe Powders. Both shades will work well on fair to medium-dark skintones, but I do think they will start to look ashy on dark to deep-dark skintones.

I think the issue most people have with this palette is the matte highlighter, Filtered Light. I've read that some people think it's too dry, too sheer, too stiff, too chalky, etc. And some people don't give it any love because they don't know what to do with it. I will agree that it is powdery — there is some kick-up and dustiness — but I have no issues with actually getting the product on to my brush, even after swatching it with my fingers (e.g. the powder didn't hold on to any oil to form build-up). I actually find that it works wonderfully as a soft undereye brightener and a great all-over face highlighter (especially for those who are oily and want to highlight their T-zone without adding more shine). People have to understand that it is not your standard "highlighter" — it works the same way as a colour correcting powder. It's sheer and is meant to add natural brightening and highlighting to the face. And because it's not as yellow as many colour correcting powders out there, it is actually a lot more universally flattering than many other similar products. I didn't find it to look caky or heavy, either, and it sits well on oily skin without creasing or fading. I've found myself reaching for this palette a lot, especially when I'm on freelance jobs. It really deserves more attention; I don't love all of Tarte's products, but they did really, really well with this one.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 451

This week's Monday Poll:
  1. Best pie? Lemon meringue pie. Followed closely by pecan pie (or butter tarts).

  2. How do you feel about cruises? They're really fun as long as you're not prone to seasickness. I've been on several, around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and each time has been incredible. You see amazing sights and there's a ton of activities on the ship (magic shows and musical performances, casinos, swimming pools and lounge decks, etc.) and there's so much food (hello, midnight buffets!). That having been said, I don't know if I'd go on another one anytime soon. I mean, after you've been on four or five of them, they get less exciting. Plus, when you're on a cruise, you really only stay at any given destination for a day, which isn't enough time to do any real exploring. I prefer traveling to cities by plane and exploring them by foot.

  3. If your milkshake could bring all the boys to the yard, what flavour would it be? Nutella and salted caramel, like the one at Holy Chuck. It's not for everyone, but those with slightly more sophisticated palates would enjoy it. I don't want to bring all the boys to my yard, but a specific type, you see.

  4. Ugly cry or bitchy resting face? Well, I have a bitchy resting face, so I don't know what to say about this one. I will say, however, that an ugly cry really is incredibly satisfying.

  5. Would you rather walk around all day without your pants on or without your shirt on (you have to pick one)? Without my pants on. I feel more naked without my shirt than without my pants.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

So, I waited nine long years for A Year in the Life. When I caught wind last year that they were doing this with Netflix, I finally subscribed to it after years of six years of resisting for the sole purpose of watching this revival (I joined sometime in May because I didn't know when they were releasing these episodes but I had to be prepared). Gilmore Girls has been my favourite TV show since I was 13. In fact, I still have all the VHS tapes of all the original airings from Season 1 to 3. (Then they started releasing the show on DVD, so I didn't have to record them anymore.) I have watched every episode of every season at least 12 times through. So this revival, which premiered this past Friday, was meant to act as some kind of closure for us die-hard fans that Season 7 (the last and only season that creator and director Amy Sherman-Palladino was not apart of) lacked. And now that I've heard the final four words (a.k.a. the way Sherman-Palladino originally intended for the whole series to end), I've just got to say: What the actual fuck? You cannot end a series like that and not have every fan revolt after. I mean, isn't the point of a revival to give closure and not an open-ended cliffhanger? (Like what the Veronica Mars movie did for the series. I had closure from that world and I was satisfied.) I sincerely hope that this means there will be a future with Gilmore Girls. Because, seriously, they cannot do this to us. It's just mean. (And now I am going to go re-watch the whole thing again. Because I am a true, dedicated fan and that's just what we do until a second revival comes along.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Nine: Baby's in Black (1964)

This week's Saturday Nine:

(Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.)

  1. Black is this week's signature colour because Friday, November 25, was "Black Friday," when retailers cut their prices and consumers flock to the stores. Did you score any "Black Friday" bargains? Yeah, I bought two black tops (the Ren Blouse and the Austran Blouse) and two blanket scarves (the Wilfred Free Mixed Stripes Blanket and the Wilfred Free Boling scarf that is no longer available online) from Aritzia, all at 50% off. In previous years, their "sale" was like, 10 - 20% off at most, so this is their best one by far.

  2. Feasting and football are also popular Thanksgiving weekend pastimes. Do your Thursday - Sunday plans include pigging out or watching a game? No, Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, so I am working this weekend. However, my weekend plans also include binge-watching all four parts of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix.

  3. At Thanksgiving dinners, Crazy Sam's homemade gravy is always a hit. (Probably because she's so generous with the cognac, which gives the gravy a nutty taste.) What was particularly delicious at your Thanksgiving table? Sadly, I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Or, at least, at anyone's house. My mom and I went to Swiss Chalet, but by the time we got there, they were already out of their Thanksgiving items (stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc.).

  4. Among the biggest the Black Friday advertisers are Target, Kohl's, Macy's and Best Buy. If you could have a $100 gift card to any one of those stores, which would you choose? Macy's. I go to the Herald Square location in NYC, which has one of the best cosmetics departments, and I always end up spending hundreds of dollars there and end up feeling kinda guilty (but with no buyer's remorse). I'd probably spend it on a Jo Malone perfume or maybe on a couple Tom Ford lipsticks, which are things that I would love to have, but definitely don't need. Those are the types of things that are ideal to spend gift cards on. See, I would have said Target, but I feel like Target sells things that I would need to buy for myself all the time, anyway, and everything's affordable so I wouldn't feel guilty for spending money there.

  5. This week's song, "Baby's in Black," is about a girl who wears black because she's in mourning. Do you find that the colour you're wearing reflects your mood? Nah. 99% of my wardrobe is black and I'm not always in mourning or depressed or gloomy or whatever else black is usually associated with. That having been said, I sometimes choose my makeup looks by mood. Like, if I'm feeling festive, I might wear a red lipstick or glitter on my eyes. Or if I'm feeling cheerful, I might put on coral eyeshadow or purple lipstick.

  6. The woman who inspired this song, Astrid Kirchherr, has been friends with Paul McCartney since he and his bandmates (John Lennon, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe and Pete Best) met her in Hamburg back in 1960. Tell us what you believe are the components of a strong, lasting friendship. Loyalty, understanding, and respect.

  7. In the early days of the Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon began writing a play but abandoned it. Do you have a novel, painting, play, song, or poem that you're going to finish "someday"? Nah. It's why I pursued makeup in all of the different arts I was interested in. It's not a tortured medium and it's also temporary.

  8. When he was 16, George Harrison dreamed of moving to Canada, Australia, or Malta. In just a few years, he would visit all those places with Beatles and eventually decided there was no place like home and stayed in England. Have you ever thought about moving to another country? If so, where? I've always said that if I were to move anywhere outside of Canada, it'd be NYC. Not just the US in general, but NYC specifically — I love the culture and the food and the lifestyle and the attitude there. My brother also lives there, so if I moved there, I wouldn't feel super alone. However, given recent political events, I know it won't be any time soon. And, honestly, I kinda love Canada too much to move. I'd have to have a serious job opportunity over there to really make that kind of commitment.

  9. Random question: Finish this sentence — If you want me to give you "yes" for an answer, the best time to approach me is _____________________. When I'm at work. See, when I'm by myself at home, I have too much time to think. When it's my day off, I'm too lazy. When I'm at work, I'm the most coherent, energetic, and amenable.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Five: You, Too

This week's Friday Five:
  1. What are you too short to do? I'm only 5' 4", so a lot of things, you know, like reaching top shelves, playing basketball (or any sport that requires height, really), fitting into pants without hemming them, etc.

  2. What are you too smart to do? Repeat mistakes, get into a career that pays more but that I'm not passionate about, date for the sake of not being single, keep miserable or negative people as friends, sell and/or do hard drugs, drive fast in snow, etc.

  3. What are you too fearful to do? Lots of things, but among them: homicide, suicide, swim with sharks, travel to a foreign country alone, climb cliffs, be near anything poisonous, be alone in a room full of dolls and/or clowns...

  4. What are you too lazy to do? Re-organize my makeup. I'll do it like, once a year because my room gets overwhelmingly cluttered, but sometimes I just look at all the makeup I've accumulated and I get tired just thinking about organizing them. Makeup artist/hoarder problems. Also, I'm too lazy to take baths. It sounds counterintuitive, but I find baths to be exhausting rather than relaxing.

  5. What are you too young to do? Retire, get pension, die.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in Snapdragon and Tigerlily

This past Spring, Becca released a new blush range called Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blushes. As a blush fiend, of course, I needed to get my hands on these and picked up the two shades Sephora had released early for VIB Rouge members: Snapdragon and Tigerlily. They are described as "multi-dimensional, versatile blushes to create a subtle, shimmering flush. Specially designed to flatter all skintones, this collection is inspired by the fan favourite Shimmering Skin Perfector — just the right balance of colour and light. Wear them alone for subtle blushed luminosity, or as a blush topper layered on top of your favourite matte blush for an added pop of radiance." Initially, I thought Becca was going to replace their original Mineral Blush formula, which is my all-time favourite, with this new series of blushes, and I was ready to weep in despair... but they decided to keep both formulas permanently (yay!). There are currently six permanent shades of Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush, and they are packaged in a chocolate brown rubberized mirrored compacts with airbrushed metal lids. Each blush contains a total of 6 grams of product, and retails for $41 CAD at Sephora.

Snapdragon and Tigerlily

Snapdragon and Tigerlily

Snapdragon is a medium-dark warm brightened coral pink with a gold shimmer-sheen in a luminous radiant finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is brighter and pinker than Becca Songbird, darker and brighter than Becca Flowerchild, brighter and more coral than MAC Peachykeen, more pink than MAC Fleeting Romance, darker and brighter than NARS Orgasm, brighter and more pink than NARS Torrid, and darker than Tarte Blissful.
Tigerlily is a medium warm brightened cantaloupe orange with a gold shimmer-sheen in a luminous radiant finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter and more yellow than Becca Songbird, brighter and more orange than Becca Flowerchild, lighter and more yellow than MAC Modern Mandarin, darker and more orange than MAC Style, brighter and more orange than NARS Luster, lighter and more muted than NARS Taj Mahal, and darker and more reddened than Surratt Beauty Cantaloup.

As with all my makeup, I hoard and hoard and hoard and then spend months going through new products, so yes, it's taken me over half a year to finally post a review about these, but better late than never because this formula is stunning. With the success of Blushed Copper last year, Becca decided to expand their Shimmering Skin Perfector range into blushes. Becca's Mineral Blush has been my favourite blush formula for a couple years now, and while I don't necessarily like these more, they are definitely tied for #1. The Luminous Blush formula has incredible pigmentation that gives full colour pay-off, and leaves a gorgeous illuminating glow. Like Becca's bestselling Shimmering Skin Perfectors, the Luminous Blushes have a very soft, buttery formula, so they blend beautifully and effortlessly. Plus, it has a long wear-time to boot, at least eight hours without fading. I must also note that a little really goes a long way here; I've often found that a gentle tap of my brush into the powder is more than enough to give sufficient colour to the cheeks, so if you're especially fair, you'll want to use really light layers when applying these unless you want to veer into clown cheek territory.

Comparing these with the original Mineral Blushes, I'd say that these ones are a bit creamier in texture, slightly denser in consistency, and a little more pearlized in finish — no massive differences overall, but they are there. Now, I will say that these are definitely expensive for blushes (more than MAC, NARS, Tarte, and Too Faced), but the quality is absolutely worth it and they are in line with Becca's pricing as a whole. That having been said, I would only get the shades that I'd use most often to lower cost per use. My only wish now is for Becca to expand their colour range. The six permanent shades now are lovely and encompass all skintones (an issue I had with the original Mineral Blush line-up which has now been revamped to include darker shades), but I do wish Becca would come out with softer and more neutral shades: a rosy bronze, a gilded peach, a golden nude, a plummy brown. Other than that, if you love shimmery blushes, I cannot recommend these enough.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll. Vol. 450

This week's Monday Poll:
  1. How long are your nails right now? I just cut them really short several days ago 'cause they were too long and driving me bonkers. But I'm wearing Cirque's Lichen nail polish and I really quite like it on short nails.

  2. How old were you when you started cooking? Maybe 14 or 15? I mean, nothing complicated, but like, eggs and grilled cheese. (Which hasn't really changed much now that I'm 30.)

  3. Describe your hair in three words? Blackened brown, medium length, choppy.

  4. What would/could you do if you only had 60 seconds to do your eye makeup? Apply a thin line of liquid eyeliner, curl lashes, and apply mascara.

  5. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I'm Canadian, so our Thanksgiving was last month. But Thursday (which is American Thanksgiving) is actually my day off, so I am bringing my car into my mechanic's to get my tires changed to my winters because the average temperature here has officially dipped below 6°C and snow is just around the corner. I know, exciting, right?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Video Love: Happy Little Pill, Blue, and Youth

Went to see Troye Sivan a couple weeks ago at Rebel Nightclub (formerly Sound Academy, RIP) and had an amazing time. These are the videos I took of him performing "Happy Little Pill," "Blue," and "Youth" from that night. It's crazy to see how big he's gotten — I hear his songs playing all the time at work and on the radio and at random retail stores. I've been following him for a few years now, and he's matured so much. He's gotten a lot more comfortable in his own skin and really gives it his all at his live shows.

Can't wait to see what the future holds for this kid.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Nine: Cabaret (1972)

This week's Saturday Nine:

(Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.)

  1. In this song, Liza Minnelli encourages you to put down "the knitting, the book and the broom." Which of those three were you most recently doing: knitting, reading or housework? Reading. I don't knit. Or really do that much housework, come to think of it.

  2. She sings that we shouldn't allow "some prophet of doom to wipe every smile away." Do you know anyone who reliably looks at the downside of life? There's a girl at my work who tends to have a negative attitude towards everything. She's actually a nice person, but she tends to complain all the time which makes it hard for me to connect with her. In my personal life, I don't keep negative or pessimistic people as friends because misery loves company and those type of people will only serve to bring me down.

  3. In 1972, when this recording was popular, so was The Brady Bunch. In the two-part season premiere, The Bradys went to Hawaii. Do you have any warm weather vacation plans this fall/winter? Sadly, no. It's the busiest time of year so there's no taking any time off until January.

  4. Though not her uncle, just a friend to both of her parents, Liza always called  Frank Sinatra as "Uncle Frank." Is there an older person in your life who isn't a blood relative, but who refer to as "aunt" or "uncle"? Yeah, Chinese people call non-related elders "auntie" or "uncle" out of respect. For example, if I had a Chinese boyfriend, I would call his parents "auntie" and "uncle."

  5. Liza collapsed onstage during a Christmas concert in 2007. She says she'd been nauseous before she went on and simply fainted. Sam has never fainted. Have you? No. I don't think I've ever met anyone who has fainted.

  6. People are often surprised when they learn Liza is good friends with Gene Simmons — the KISS member with the long tongue. Tell us about one of your good friends. One of my best friends, Ronsee, is a paralegal. He's one of the hardest working people I know, and also one of the most knowledgeable people I know. He likes sports and camping and fishing and outdoorsy stuff. He has a great sense of humour, and we get along really well despite not having a ton of things in common.

  7. Liza told US Magazine that she loves to eat at Olive Garden. Do you? I remember loving the Olive Garden when I was a kid, but it doesn't exist in Canada anymore so I haven't gone there in years.

  8. She keeps apple juice and yogurt in her refrigerator at all times. Would we find either in your refrigerator right now? I have Greek yogurt in the fridge but I very rarely have apple juice. I'm more of an orange juice type of gal.

  9. Random question: Which would be a more frustrating dinner companion — someone who won't shut up, or someone who won't say a word? Someone who won't say a word, 'cause firstly, awkward, and secondly, I might as well have gone to dinner by myself. That having been said, if I went to dinner with someone who wouldn't shut up, I wouldn't go to dinner with them again 'cause that's just fucking annoying.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Five: Fair Use

This week's Friday Five:
  1. What was the last thing you put in the freezer not to freeze, but just to chill? A pack of Oikos Key Lime Greek Yogurt. I wanted it to be slightly firmer so it could be a frozen yogurt consistency 'cause I wanted a healthier dessert after dinner.

  2. What's a non-food item you're storing in a zippered, plastic bag? Shiseido Facial Cotton. I accidentally tore the bag open to the point where the squares wouldn't sit properly in there anymore so I transferred them over to a big Ziploc.

  3. What's the most unusual item you've used as a bookmark? A hotel key card.

  4. What's something unusual for which you've used a kitchen utensil? I have used a chopstick to hold up a plant that was leaning over too much.

  5. How many different kinds of balls do you have in your house? I have some Italian meatballs in the freezer... I also recently bought a box of Reese's Puffs, which are ball-shaped...