CIRCUITS OF FEVER

NARS x Man Ray: Double Take Overexposed Glow Highlighter

on
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

For Holiday 2017, NARS released a collaboration collection with Man Ray, the famous American visual artist who came to prominence in the early 1900s and was best known for his photography. There are two ranges with the NARS x Man Ray collaboration: a gifting collection and a colour collection. The colour collection has a total of 11 products, including one new and limited edition highlighting powder called Overexposed Glow Highlighter, which gives "second-skin luminosity" with a "golden touch." It is housed in a black rectangular soft-touch mirrored compact with the NARS logo, Man Ray's signature, and a graphic of a pair of lips in gold. The powder itself is embossed with a series of lip graphics that match the one on the compact lid. Each Overexposed Glow Highlighter contains a total of 6.5 grams of product and retails for $52. It is currently available in select Sephora locations and online at NARS.

Double Take

In daylight: Double Take

In direct sunlight: Double Take

Double Take is a medium warm muted peachy golden bronze with a luminous gold shimmer-sheen in a metallic finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. It has a soft, finely-milled 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 metallic than NARS Hot Sands, darker and more gold than NARS Jubilation #1, darker and more bronze than MAC Oh, Darling!, more bronze than MAC Beaming Blush, lighter and more peach than MAC Global Glow, darker and more peach than Fenty Beauty Hu$tla Baby, more gold than Anastasia Beverly Hills 143 (Nicole Guerriero), darker than Anastasia Beverly Hills Glo Getter (Nicole Guerriero), lighter and more gold than Becca Rose Gold, and lighter and more gold than ColourPop Total Package.

Okay, firstly, how cool is this NARS collab with Man Ray? One thing I really appreciate about NARS is that they collaborate with amazing artists from all decades from Sarah Moon to Guy Bourdin, bringing a spotlight on to artists that might not be so well-known now (or, at least, outside of the art world). But this one with Man Ray might just be my favourite, from the colour story to the artist himself. (I grew up admiring Man Ray's work and even re-imagined his famous Larmes (Tears) for my senior year photography project.) The highlighter from this collection, Double Take, is a gorgeous peachy gold with a coppery edge and gold reflects designed for medium to deep-dark skintones. It has fantastic pigmentation with full colour pay-off, applies beautifully smooth with a gorgeous luminous finish, and blends out like a dream. I find it has the texture and density of the NARS Highlighting Blushes and the blendability and finish of their Dual-Intensity Blushes. It's fairly pricey at $52 a pop, but Double Take is a truly stunning highlighter that makes the perfect gift for makeup and photography lovers and highlighter fiends alike.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 502

on
Monday, November 20, 2017
This week's Monday Poll:
  1. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being normal and 1 being barely able to form a cohesive thought, how alert are you before you have that first cup of tea/coffee in the morning? Depends how much sleep I've gotten, really. And also how I wake up. On my own? By an alarm? In the middle of REM cycle? I'm gonna say a 3 to 4 if I've had less than five hours of sleep or I've been woken up by an alarm (or in the middle of a dream), and a 6 to 7 if I've had seven to eight hours of sleep or woke up on my own accord. Either way, cohesive thoughts or not, I am a total bitch before I've had coffee, so it's best just to stay away from me first thing in the morning.

  2. Have you ever taken a vacation by yourself? Nah, I don't really have interest in traveling by myself. I think the fun in traveling is sharing the experience. I don't need to "find myself" or build confidence or whatever. I do, however, think it's important to pick the right people (and the right amount of people) to travel with; people who have similar financial means, interests, patience level, etc.

  3. At what age did you learn how to drive? I took my written test at 16, and got my actual license when I was 17.

  4. Does your makeup change with the seasons? Yeah, to a certain degree. I mean, my staples remain the same — powder foundation, mascara, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil — but I'll change up colours in eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick with the seasons, depending on what the trends are or what collections are out.

  5. Where are you spending your Thanksgiving? It was our Thanksgiving in October, and I spent it at home. We don't really do anything for Thanksgiving, to be honest. I mostly take advantage of the day off to sleep as much as possible.

Sunday Video Love: Fake Happy

on
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Finally, finally, finally!

Saturday Nine: Son of a Preacher Man (1968)

on
Saturday, November 18, 2017
This week's Saturday Nine:


  1. This song was originally offered to Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. What's the most recent thing that you said "no" to? One of my staff asked if I wanted chocolate because she was going to Purdys and I said no, thanks, because I don't really like chocolate.

  2. Two years later, Aretha recorded "Son of a Preacher Man." What's something you changed your mind about? Getting Netflix last year. I was like, "No, I don't need it, I don't even watch TV," and then they announced the Gilmore Girls revival, and I was like, "Yep, I'm getting it." But I'm glad I subscribed, 'cause even though I don't use Netflix frequently, there are some great shows on it that I totally love, like Sense8 and Riverdale. (And I swear, I will watch Stranger Things at some point. I will.)

  3. This song tells the tale of Billy Ray, a young man who could be very persuasive. If we wanted to change your mind about something, would you be more easily swayed by an emotional argument, or with verifiable facts? It depends on what it is, and how much of an impact it has on my life. If it has a big impact on my life, like job, home, or car, then I'd be more swayed by verifiable facts. But if it's something minor, like my friend trying to convince me to go to a concert of a band that I'm indifferent to, or to go on a road trip to a location that I don't really have any interest in, she/he could probably convince me by an emotional argument.

  4. If you ordered a "Son of a Preacher Man" in a bar, you'd get a cocktail made with peppermint schnapps, gin and lemonade. When did you last have lemonade? Was it just lemonade, or was it spiked with alcohol? I had a can of Lemon Lemon today. No alcohol for me, thanks.

  5. Dusty had a thing for maps. She admired them artistically and enjoyed using them to take long car trips. Do you use printed maps? Or do you rely on technology, like GPS or Google Maps? When traveling, I believe in efficiency, so I use either Maps or Google Maps on my iPhone. I think the only time I'd ever resort to using printed maps nowadays is if someone stole my phone, or my phone was completely out of battery and I didn't have a charger with me. The only other situation I can think of where I'd use a printed map is if I was on a road trip with no time constraint and was feeling really adventurous and didn't care where the destination was, like that episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai and Rory just hit the road and ended up at Harvard.

  6. As a girl, she attended convent school. There, one of the nuns discouraged Dusty from performing, telling her that if she would do better to be a mother or a librarian. When you were growing up, did the adults in your world encourage your dreams? Well, when I was a kid, I loved painting and I told my parents I wanted to be a painter when I grew up, and my dad just replied, "How are you going to make money from painting? You will be homeless!" My parents never actually discouraged me from painting, though, and still sent me to art classes and whatnot. My dad just drilled it into my head that painting was not practical to do as a career, at least if I wanted to be independent. Weirdly enough, when I was in my early 20s and wanted to become a makeup artist, which is essentially painting on faces, they encouraged me to go to school for it and follow that career path. So, I guess I still ended up following my dreams.

  7. That nun inspired Dusty's first major act of rebellion. In an attempt to make herself look less like a future librarian or housewife, she bleached her hair platinum blonde. In school, were you much of a rebel? Or did you conform to the expectations adults had of you? I was neither here nor there. My school was very strict on physical appearances, so we weren't allowed to dye our hair an "unnatural colour," or wear obvious makeup (you could probably get away with foundation and possibly mascara, but nothing with colour like eyeshadow or lipstick), or get piercings aside from one in each ear lobe. I guess the most rebellious I got in that aspect was getting my ear cartilage pierced. (My principal actually noticed when I was in my senior year and told me I had to take it out, but I was two months from graduating so I said "okay" but just left it in there. So rebellious, right?) I think I was a relatively good kid, though. I mean, I guess like everyone else, I smoked pot, drank alcohol, and skipped the odd class, but I didn't do them often and I made sure none of those things got in the way of studying, graduating, or getting into university.

  8. Early in her career, Dusty provided the entertainment at a family summer camp. She appeared on the bill with a clown, a fire-eater and a hypnotist. Have you ever been hypnotized? Nah, I don't wanna fuck with that shit.

  9. Random question: Have you ever played matchmaker to your friends? If yes, did your efforts lead to romance? No, but my friend has played matchmaker to me, and I was in a relationship with that guy for two years.

Friday Five: Makin' It

on
Friday, November 17, 2017
This week's Friday Five:
  1. What skill seems like it would be really fun to learn? Cosmetics engineering. I think it'd be really cool to actually create makeup. One of my mom's oldest friends (they moved to Canada together from Hong Kong back in the early '70s) is a chemical engineer and was the head of Research & Development for MAC Cosmetics (she invented a multitude of best-selling products, including their Wipes!) until she retired a couple years ago. It just seems like she had such a cool job. I want to learn the process of putting together ingredients to create a cohesive, marketable cosmetic product.

  2. Which of the winter Olympic sports would you love to compete in? Luge! I'm not a sports person and I don't know if I'd be any good at it, but it seems like so much fun.

  3. What fun craft did you make when you were a kid, in school or at camp or somewhere else? Gimp knotting. I first learned how to do it at summer camp when I was 6 or 7 and got obsessed with it. I made dozens, possibly hundreds, of gimp bracelets and keychains throughout my childhood. I moved on to cotton embroidery floss as I got older, so that I was a pro friendship bracelet maker by the time I was 10. 'Cause this is the shit we learned to do before the Internet.

  4. If everyone in the world is the best in the world at some very specific thing, what are you most likely the best at? Wikipedia marathoning. That is, continuous reading of Wikipedia pages. For hours and hours.

  5. What's something you own that was handmade by someone you know? A scarf my grandma knit for me when I was a child.

Birthday Dinner: George Restaurant

on
Thursday, November 16, 2017
All I want for my birthday every year is to have a phenomenal meal, and this year was no exception as my friends celebrated with me last night with a seven-course tasting menu at George Restaurant.

Amuse-bouche: Cured beef with chipotle mayo and purple potato

Fogo cod with beef foam, heirloom beets, and radish

Ahi tuna tataki with pickled carrot salad

Coco crab with green olive salsa verde, currant quinoa, and artichoke

What I love about George as opposed to other restaurants offering tasting menus is that they can do different menus for everyone in your party, so there's a huge variety in dishes. It's a truly great way to see the inventive flavour and texture combinations at George. They're also extremely accommodating with any allergies or food preferences; for example, Chelsea doesn't like certain meats, so they worked around that with chicken and seafood options. Their tasting menus change daily based on seasonal produce and market availability, so every dish is a surprise — you don't know what you're going to get until it's in front of you. Some people might not appreciate this, but as someone who loves trying different foods and who isn't a selective eater, I love the concept of evolving tasting menus.

Wagyu beef over radicchio and Belgian endive with navy bean mixed citrus salad and goat cheese mousse

Foie gras with pork tenderloin over potato pavé with warm apple salad wrapped in crispy sweet potato

Rack of lamb with potato cannoli and beet tartare

George offers five-, seven-, and ten-course tasting menus, but I feel like the seven-course is the most ideal for all parties. You get more variety than the five-course so you get a good sense of the chef's creativity, but you're satisfyingly full by the dessert course (whereas I think the ten-course would be too over-the-top and uncomfortably filling). Highlights for me were the cod, wagyu beef, and foie gras (and I don't even normally like foie gras!), but every dish was perfectly cooked and beautifully presented with harmonious flavours and balanced textures. The only flavour combo that wasn't to any of our tasting was the pumpkin spice cheesecake, and it wasn't even the cake itself (which was delicious), but with the chopped fruit on top (I think it was plums and cherries?), which all of us agreed took away from the flavour of the cheesecake. But, hey, with only one flop out of 21 different dishes between the three of us, I'd say George knows what they're doing.

White chocolate gelato

Sesame brittle, brioche with currant jam, and cinnamon cannoli

Blondie bar with chocolate chip mascarpone

Pumpkin spice cheesecake with pumpkin seed crisp and tangerine broth

Our server, Lucas, was fantastic as well: polite and professional, attentive but not bothersome or interruptive, and accommodating to our needs with good alternative suggestions. The ambiance is modern-meets-rustic with French artwork, distressed hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and velvet chairs; it's spacious but still warm and intimate. I like that the tables are set far enough apart that you feel like you're getting some privacy; despite the place being fairly busy, we didn't overhear anyone else's conversations, which makes it ideal for romantic dates, special occasions, even business meetings. Also, it has good lighting. I hate when restaurants are so dark that you can barely read the menu or see what you're eating ('cause that also means they aren't good for photos, and I am one of those people). Each table here is well-lit but not overly bright so that you can see your expensive, gorgeously-plated food, but still feel cozy. Overall, I had a really fantastic time at George. I'd recommend it to anyone for a delicious, unique, memorable, high-end meal. 


George Restaurant
111 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M5C 1S2
(416) 863-6006

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak and Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule

on
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In September, Rihanna launched her cosmetics line called Fenty Beauty, which caused something of an explosion in the makeup industry and online beauty community as everybody went crazy over it; there was no social media platform that wasn't saturated in photos, videos, reviews, and swatches of Fenty Beauty products. Rihanna has stated that "Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included; that's the real reason I made this line." Rihanna launched a base range of seven makeup formulations and six makeup tools that, with the exception of a single lip gloss, are focused on skin. 


This range includes four dual shades of Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, which is described as "a weightless, long-wear cream-to-powder hybrid" that "ranges from subtle day glow to insanely super-charged shades that were designed for all skin tones." It "keeps skin lit beyond sundown with its weightless long-wear formula… that instantly melts into skin and blends with almost zero effort." They are housed in a white mirrored octagonal compacts with the Fenty Beauty logo in grey on the lid, with secondary packaging that features a black-and-white graffiti design. Each Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo contains a total of 7 grams of product (3.5 grams per shade) and retails for $42. In North America, Fenty Beauty is available exclusively in-store and online at Sephora, and online at Fenty Beauty.

Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak and Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule

In daylight: Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak and Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule

In direct sunlight: Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak and Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule

Girl Next Door is a light-medium warm muted shell pink in a soft pearlized finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque to opaque buildable colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is lighter and more pink than Fenty Beauty Chic Phreak, lighter and more pink than Too Faced Ray of Light, more pink than MAC Soft and Gentle, darker than Anastasia Beverly Hills Crushed Pearl (Gleam), and darker and less metallic than Anastasia Beverly Hills Kitty Kat (Nicole Guerriero).
Chic Phreak is a medium warm peachy pink with soft rose gold shimmer in a metallic finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled 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 peach than Fenty Beauty Girl Next Door, darker and more pink than MAC Beaming Blush, more pink than MAC New Romance, lighter and more pink than Becca Rose Gold, and more peach than Anastasia Beverly Hills Hard Candy (Gleam).
Ginger Binge is a medium-dark warm pinked copper with a soft rose gold shimmer-sheen in a soft pearlized finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled 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 pinked than Fenty Beauty Moscow Mule, more peach than MAC Hushed Tone, darker and more copper than MAC Just a Pinch, lighter and more pink than Becca Blushed Copper, and lighter and more pink than Becca Songbird.
Moscow Mule is a medium-dark warm reddish copper with copper and rose gold shimmer in a metallic finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled 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 red than Fenty Beauty Ginger Binge, more sparkly than MAC Hushed Tone, lighter and more sparkly than MAC Hard to Get, more golden and more sparkly than Ciate Date Night, and more sparkly than Becca Blushed Copper.

I realize that I'm posting this review two months after these launched and there are hundreds of reviews for these highlighters out now, but I figured I'd put in my two cents because I've been wearing these for a several weeks and have really given them a solid test run (plus, I already took the photos). First, I want to note that these are not cream-to-powder. They are a soft, finely-milled powder so they feel creamy, but they function and apply as powders. I say this because that description of "cream-to-powder" almost deterred me from checking these out as I am strictly a powder girl. So in case there are people like me out there, I just wanted to clarify that. Each of the highlighter duos comes with one shade that is softer and more subtle with a muted pearlized sheen, and one shade that is more intense and saturated with a strong metallic finish. In theory, this provides more options for the consumer: the more muted shade is ideal for areas like under the brow or cupid's bow or the nose bridge, where you don't necessarily want a beaming highlight, and the stronger metallic shade is great for cheekbones and inner corner highlights.

However, the flaw in execution here is that the consumer looking for that beaming, high-shine highlight is only going to like the right-side pan of these duos, and likewise, the consumer looking for a soft, subtle highlight is only going to like the left-side pan. I feel like the majority of people won't use both shades in each compact; they'll generally favour one more than the other, leaving the other shade wasted. I do wish these highlighters had come out as singles for this reason. That having been said, all the shades here are smooth, finely-milled, and creamy. They apply evenly and really do look stunning on the skin, especially with Chic Phreak and Moscow Mule looking almost wet on the skin. I will note that Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule are more like illuminating blushes than true highlighters on all skintones except for deep dark (e.g. NC55/NW45 and darker), in which case they leave the most stunning rose gold sheen. As blushes, Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule look absolutely gorgeous. It's actually the duo that I'm most impressed with. Overall, if you like variety in tone and finish with your highlighters (or blushes, depending on your skintone!), then these Fenty Beauty duos are worth checking out. But there are plenty of dupes for all of these shades out there, so if you know you like one shade or finish more than the other, I would look elsewhere to get more bang for your buck.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal and Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby

on

In September, Rihanna launched her cosmetics line called Fenty Beauty, which caused something of an explosion in the makeup industry and online beauty community as everybody went crazy over it; there was no social media platform that wasn't saturated in photos, videos, reviews, and swatches of Fenty Beauty products. Rihanna has stated that "Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included; that's the real reason I made this line." Rihanna launched a base range of seven makeup formulations and six makeup tools that, with the exception of a single lip gloss, are focused on skin. 


This range includes four dual shades of Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, which is described as "a weightless, long-wear cream-to-powder hybrid" that "ranges from subtle day glow to insanely super-charged shades that were designed for all skin tones." It "keeps skin lit beyond sundown with its weightless long-wear formula… that instantly melts into skin and blends with almost zero effort." They are housed in a white mirrored octagonal compacts with the Fenty Beauty logo in grey on the lid, with secondary packaging that features a black-and-white graffiti design. Each Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter contains a total of 7 grams of product (3.5 grams per shade) and retails for $42. In North America, Fenty Beauty is available exclusively in-store and online at Sephora, and online at Fenty Beauty.

Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal and Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby

In daylight: Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal and Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby

In direct sunlight: Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal and Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby

Lightning Dust is a light-medium warm shell beige in a soft pearlized finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium pigmentation and semi-sheer to semi-opaque buildable colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is warmer and more muted than Fenty Beauty Fire Crystal, lighter and cooler than Fenty Beauty Mean Money, darker and more pinked than Fenty Beauty Metal Moon, and more muted than MAC Soft and Gentle.
Fire Crystal is a light neutral silvered shell beige with soft rose gold micro-shimmer in a metallic finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled 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 cooler and more metallic than Fenty Beauty Lightning Dust, cooler than MAC Soft and Gentle, darker and more pinked than MAC Double-Gleam, lighter and cooler than Becca Opal, and darker and more pinked than Becca Moonstone.
Mean Money is a medium warm golden beige in a soft pearlized finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, 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 darker and more golden than Fenty Beauty Lightning Dust, softer and more muted than Fenty Beauty Hu$tla Baby, more golden and less metallic than Fenty Beauty Girl Next Door, warmer and less metallic than Too Faced Ray of Light, and more golden and slightly more shimmery than Hourglass Luminous Light.
Hu$tla Baby is a medium warm peachy champagne gold with soft golden peach micro-shimmer in a metallic finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled 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 peach and more metallic than Fenty Beauty Mean Money, darker than MAC Beaming Blush, more golden than Anastasia Beverly Hills Mimosa (Gleam), lighter and more golden than Becca Rose Gold, and darker and more peach than Becca Prosecco Pop.

I realize that I'm posting this review two months after these launched and there are hundreds of reviews for these highlighters out now, but I figured I'd put in my two cents because I've been wearing these for a several weeks and have really given them a solid test run (plus, I already took the photos). First, I want to note that these are not cream-to-powder. They are a soft, finely-milled powder so they feel creamy, but they function and apply as powders. I say this because that description of "cream-to-powder" almost deterred me from checking these out as I am strictly a powder girl. So in case there are people like me out there, I just wanted to clarify that. Each of the highlighter duos comes with one shade that is softer and more subtle with a muted pearlized sheen, and one shade that is more intense and saturated with a strong metallic finish. In theory, this provides more options for the consumer: the more muted shade is ideal for areas like under the brow or cupid's bow or the nose bridge, where you don't necessarily want a beaming highlight, and the stronger metallic shade is great for cheekbones and inner corner highlights.

However, the flaw in execution here is that the consumer looking for that beaming, high-shine highlight is only going to like the right-side pan of these duos, and likewise, the consumer looking for a soft, subtle highlight is only going to like the left-side pan. I feel like the majority of people won't use both shades in each compact; they'll generally favour one more than the other, leaving the other shade wasted. I do wish these highlighters had come out as singles for this reason. That having been said, all the shades here are smooth, finely-milled, and creamy. They apply evenly and really do look stunning on the skin, especially with Fire Crystal and Hu$tla Baby looking almost wet on the skin. My only real complaint is with the shade Mean Money, which seems to be more sheer than any of the other shades in this range. It doesn't give off much pigmentation which in turn looks almost like nothing on the skin, so I feel like it's more suited as an all-over illuminating face powder (similar to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder) than a real highlighter. Overall, if you like variety in tone and finish with your highlighters, then these Fenty Beauty duos are worth checking out. But there are plenty of dupes for all of these shades out there, so if you know you like one shade or finish more than the other, I would look elsewhere to get more bang for your buck.