CIRCUITS OF FEVER

Becca Prismatic Amethyst Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

on
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Becca has launched a new and limited edition shade of their best-selling Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed called Prismatic Amethyst. Becca describes it as "a creamy luminizing powder that veils skin in a soft pearlized glow with a lustrous velvet finish. Enriched with duo-chrome pigments that reflect and refract light for multi-dimensional radiance. This iridescent lavender highlighter subtly shifts shades as it catches the light for a sophisticated glow. Prismatic Amethyst is infused with gold, violet, and rose pearls to create a prismatic effect." It is exclusive to Sephora; it was made available online for VIB Rouge and VIB members on February 14, and will be available for everyone else online on February 22, and in stores sometime in March. Prismatic Amethyst is housed in a special edition metallic lavender mirrored compact, with a holographic lavender box. Each compact has 7 grams of product, and retails for $46.

Prismatic Amethyst

Prismatic Amethyst

Prismatic Amethyst

Prismatic Amethyst is a pale cool pink with soft pink, gold, and violet iridescent shimmer-sheen in a pearlized velvet finish. It has a very soft, finely-milled, creamy 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 and more violet than Urban Decay Aura, more muted and more violet than Anastasia Beverly Hills Pink Heart, more violet than Kat Von D Pink Opal, warmer and less shimmery than MAC Soft Frost, more muted and less purple than Makeup Geek Celestial, and more muted than Makeup Geek Glitz.

There have been a lot of duochrome highlighters coming out recently, especially in these light, pastel shades (you know, unicorn colours), so it was only a matter of time before Becca released one as well. I will put it out there right now: I don't think Prismatic Amethyst is a must-have, partially because there are quite a lot of dupes out there now, but mostly because this shade is geared more towards fair, porcelain complexions. I'm not gonna say that those with other skin tones can't wear it (I have a medium, golden-olive complexion and I am totally gonna rock this, especially with cooler pink or plum blushes), but there are definitely other highlighting shades that are more widely flattering and/or universal. I also want to note that while Prismatic Amethyst does have a duochrome shift, it is quite subtle for the most part (you'd have to be tilting your head in direct sunlight to really notice a significant colour shift), and as a result, it is also less metallic than the other Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector shades like Moonstone, Opal, and Champagne Pop (but that also means that it won't emphasize skin texture as much, either). That having been said, Prismatic Amethyst has the same smooth, silky, buttery texture and rich colour pay-off that the Shimmering Skin Perfector formula is known for, and there is nothing similar to it in Becca's permanent range. So if this is your favourite highlighter formula (and it is for many) and you've been waiting for a cooler, pink-toned shade (or you're just a highlighter fiend like me), this is one to check out.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 463

on
Monday, February 20, 2017
This week's Monday Poll:
  1. Beauty products for which you always have backups/extras around in case you run out? I literally keep three backups of all of my beauty staples (because I'm high-maintenance like that). For skin stuff, MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion, MAC Fix+, and MAC Mineralize Charged Water Skin Hydrating Mist. For makeup, MAC Studio Fix Powder in NC35, MAC Eyebrows in Lingering, MAC Liquid Eye Liner in Boot Black, MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara, and Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. And then for body stuff, Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint Hand Cream, and Bath & Body Works Ultra Shea Body Creams (Moonlight Path and Sweet Pea are my staples, but I change it up by mood and season).

  2. What are some things you like to buy in bulk? You know, household and toiletry essentials: Toilet paper, tissue boxes, paper towel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, baby wipes, contact lens solution, tampons, pads, pantiliners... (Costco is my best friend. You can go and shop for all your essentials and then get a hot dog before you leave.) Oh, and Shiseido cotton pads (my friend Cynthia picks me up five packs every time she goes to the warehouse sale).

  3. What are some places, other than where you live now, that you could see yourself living in? New York City and possibly Vancouver. But I doubt I'll leave Toronto any time soon. It's been my home for 30 years. I was born and raised here, the majority of my family is here, all my friends are here, my career is here. The only way I can see myself leaving here is if a job opportunity placed me in another city and it was an offer I couldn't refuse.

  4. I think it's important to… Choose your attitude. Do what you love. Think before you speak. Fight for your rights. Also, moisturize.

  5. How often do you leave the house with wet hair? Never. I shower at night, and I always blow dry my hair before I even leave the bathroom. I hate sleeping with wet hair.

  6. What is your inner voice talking about today? How much I want pizza, and whether or not I should get out of my pajamas to get some. (I'm on vacation, okay? I can be lazy if I want to.)

Sunday Video Love: Civilian

on
Sunday, February 19, 2017

I don't watch The Walking Dead, but how have I not heard of Wye Oak until now?

Saturday Nine: Johnny Angel (1962)

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


  1. In this song, a girl sings that she'd rather spend a quiet evening at home than go out on a date. How about you? Do you enjoy quiet time? Or do you prefer keeping a busy calendar? I went out all the time when I was younger, but these days, solitude always wins. I think because I have a job that requires me to be extroverted all the time, it makes me relish being alone even more. Don't get me wrong, I still go out once or twice a week for dinner with friends, but I make sure to plan them after work so I'm already in social mode. It takes a lot for me to actually want to get out of my pajamas on my days off.

  2. She dreams of how her life with Johnny would be. What did you most recently daydream about? All the things I would do if I won the lottery.

  3. Shelley never considered herself a singer and is more comfortable acting. A co-star on The Donna Reed Show, she was pressured to make this record by the show's producer, who wanted extra exposure for the show by having this song on the radio. Tell us about a time you ventured outside your comfort zone. Last week, when I went for breakfast with my mom without a stitch of makeup and my glasses on. It sounds ridiculous and a little sad, but makeup has become my armour so I don't like going out without it. Although I find that I'm caring a bit less as I get older.

  4. Elvis said she was his favourite leading lady, and she appeared with him in three films. What qualities do you appreciate in a co-worker? Sense of responsibility, sense of teamwork, discipline, and integrity.

  5. She met her close friend and fellow teen star Annette Funicello when they were 12 and attended the same Catechism class. What do you recall from your middle school years? Middle school was a funny time for me because it began with me trying to figure out how to fit in and then realizing that I didn't really care to fit in. Grade 7 was all about Backstreet Boys, Beanie Babies, butterfly clips, and Skechers platform sneakers. And then Grade 8 was all about nu-metal, rock concerts, baggy pants, and the beginnings of teenage angst. But it was during middle school that my love of reading really started. It was when I discovered Harry Potter, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Catcher in the Rye. So I will always appreciate that time in my life.

  6. After The Donna Reed Show, Shelly went on to a recurring role on One Day at a Time and was twice nominated for an Emmy for her work on Coach. Her husband is Mike Farrell, who played BJ on M*A*S*H. Which of those four sitcoms would you enjoy binge watching? I've never actually watched any of those shows, but I'd probably pick One Day at a Time.

  7. In 1962, the year this song was popular, is also the year Jack Nicklaus began his successful pro golf career. Do you enjoy playing golf? Watching it on TV? No, and no. Even the thought of watching golf on TV is tedious.

  8. A 2013 study said most Americans will have 12 romantic relationships in their lifetime. Does this mean you've had more or less than your share? Less, but I'm also not American and my lifetime has only consisted of 30 years so far.

  9. It's closing time at the mall and you find yourself accidentally locked in a toy store. You call the police and they say someone will be there in about half an hour to rescue you. While you wait, will you play with any toys? (If so, which ones?) Yeah, I'd totally play Guitar Hero. (They still have it at Toys "R" Us.) 

Thursday Threes: Vol. 3

on
Thursday, February 16, 2017
The last 3 things I ate:
  • "Winter Lbs." burger and pulled pork fries from Inspire
  • Lime leaf Thai meatballs on a bed of coconut rice with roti from Inspire
  • Churro donut from Tim Hortons

The last 3 things I did:
  • Had dinner at Inspire with my friend Ronsee
  • Had a churro donut and a hot chocolate from Tim Hortons
  • Took a shower

The last 3 purchases I made:
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Prismatic Amethyst
  • Five tubes of Body Cream from Bath & Body Works in Sweet Pea (x 2), Moonlight Path, Jasmine & Green Apple, and Limoncello 
  • Two packs of cigarettes from the convenience store

The next 3 things I want to watch:

  • Episode 4 of Riverdale — Obsessed. Not just because I grew up with Archie Comics and the world of Riverdale makes me nostalgic, but because this new version is so twisted and so dark. Definitely my new favourite show this year. My only annoyance now is that I have to wait for a new episode every week so I can't binge-watch it.
  • Episode 8 of ShadowhuntersMy guilty pleasure; I like that they're taking more liberalities this season from the original books, but still keeping in line with the Mortal Instruments universe. Also, the television version of Clary doesn't annoy me nearly as much as the book version of Clary, which is maybe why I haven't stopped watching it yet.
  • Fifty Shades Darker — Judge if you will, but I actually wanna watch this. It has terrible ratings (seriously, 8% on Rotten Tomatoes), but I like the plot of the second and third novels (despite how terribly written they are; I mean, there are only so many times one can use the word "heady") and want to see how they translated them on to film. Plus, Jamie Dornan is hot. 

The last 3 songs I played:
  • Wye Oak - Civilian
  • Warpaint - Love is to Die
  • Brand New - Jesus Christ

The last 3 apps I used on my phone:
  • Instagram
  • Music
  • iBooks

3 makeup items I used on my face today:
  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost in Peach Goddess
  • Violet Voss Drenched Metal Eyeshadow Palette (shades used: Kisses, Confession, Secret, and Forbidden)
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

3 things that are sitting closest to me right now (aside from my iPhone):
  • A tube of Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Eucalyptus Spearmint Hand Cream
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Prismatic Amethyst (I just took photos of it)
  • A bottle of ILNP Nail Polish in Interstellar (I painted my nails last night)

3 things I'm currently wearing:

3 things I want to accomplish today:

Violet Voss x Laura Lee Eyeshadow Palette

on
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

American indie brand Violet Voss, initially known for their affordable range of false lashes and cosmetic glitters, really came to prominence last year with the release of their liquid lipsticks. Then they released photos of their first ever eyeshadow palette, Holy Grail, on Instagram last spring, and it suddenly became one of the most highly anticipated makeup products on social media. Since then, they've gotten more attention through YouTube, Instagram, and IMATS, and have added a highlighter palette and two more eyeshadow palettes to their repertoire, including this collaboration with popular beauty vlogger and YouTuber Laura Lee


This palette, curated by Laura Lee and produced by Violet Voss, was initially released last June and is limited edition, though it is still available as of this post going up through Violet Voss, Beauty Bay, Ricky's NYC, and these other official retailers. It contains 20 shades of eyeshadow in "a variety of both matte and shimmer finishes that are all ultra-blendable and super velvety. Influenced by Laura Lee's love for everything sass, the collection provides shades for all occasions, allowing you to go from neutral to smoky in minutes." I have the older version of this palette, which is housed in black cardboard packaging; Violet Voss just re-designed all of their palettes with thicker, sturdier holographic card stock. Both versions have the Violet Voss logo printed on the front and contains a mirror spanning the entire lid. Each Laura Lee Eyeshadow Palette contains a total of 36 grams of product (1.8 grams per shade), and retails for $45 USD.

Basic, Sugah, Priss Pot, Mama Bird, and Raga Muffin

Basic is a pale warm cream in a matte 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 similar to MAC Blanc Type, less peach than Anastasia Beverly Hills Tempera, and lighter than Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean.
Sugah is a light warm yellow champagne-gold in a frosted 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 brighter than MAC Ricepaper, more golden than MAC Dazzlelight, and more muted than Makeup Geek Rapunzel.
Priss Pot is a light-medium warm muted golden peach in a matte 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 more muted and more matte than MAC Up at Dawn, more yellow than Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie, and lighter and more muted than Makeup Geek Chickadee.
Mama Bird is a medium warm muted burnt orange in a matte 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 lighter and more orange than MAC Texture, lighter than Anastasia Beverly Hills Burnt Orange, and more brown than Makeup Geek Early Bird.
Raga Muffin is a medium-dark warm reddened orange in a matte 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 more orange than MAC Saddle, similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills Burnt Orange, and brighter and more orange than Makeup Geek Sidekick.

Larlee, Tickled Pink, Hissy Fit, Bitty, and 1988

Larlee is a light warm champagne with peach-pink duochrome in a frosted 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 lighter than MAC Motif, lighter than Makeup Geek I'm Peachless, and more peach than Makeup Geek Voltage.
Tickled Pink is a light warm gilded peachy pink in a foiled metallic finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. It has a soft, 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 than MAC Jest, similar to Makeup Geek In the Spotlight, and warmer than Makeup Geek Nostalgic.
Hissy Fit is a medium warm golden bronze with gold iridescent shimmer in a foiled 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 warmer than Violet Voss Toffee, slightly darker than MAC Amber Lights, and more gold than Makeup Geek Grandstand.
Bitty is a medium-dark warm copper bronze with copper and gold iridescent shimmer in a foiled metallic finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. It has a soft, 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 brown than Violet Voss On Fleek, more bronze than MAC Coppering, and lighter and more orange than Anastasia Beverly Hills Cognac.
1988 is a medium warm reddened copper with pink and gold iridescent shimmer in a foiled metallic finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. It has a soft, 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 than Violet Voss On Fleek, lighter and more muted than MAC Coppering, and lighter than Anastasia Beverly Hills Henna.

Fleeky, Britches, Fried, Yoshi, and Rammer Jammer

Fleeky is a light warm vibrant yellow gold in a frosted 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 similar to MAC Goldmine, brighter than Makeup Geek Gold Digger.
Britches is a medium-dark warm fawn brown in a matte 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 cooler than Violet Voss Bestie, lighter and cooler than Violet Voss R U Kitten Me, and warmer than MAC Wedge.
Fried is a medium-dark warm golden camel brown in a matte 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 more golden than MAC Charcoal Brown, cooler than Makeup Geek Desert Sands, and cooler than Makeup Geek Tiki Hut.
Yoshi is a medium cool khaki brown with with green-grey duochrome in a frosted 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 cooler and more grey than Violet Voss Minx, lighter and more brown than Violet Voss Bliss, and lighter and cooler than Makeup Geek Ritzy.
Rammer Jammer is a medium-dark warm reddened cranberry in a metallic finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. It has a soft, buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is slightly more brown than Violet Voss Cranberry Splash, similar to MAC Cranberry, and darker and more red than Makeup Geek Roulette.

Alabama, Wiskers, Bubs, Smashlee, and Lou

Alabama is a medium-dark warm reddened brown in a matte 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 more reddened than Violet Voss Brownie Points, similar to MAC Swiss Chocolate, and slightly less reddened than Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear.
Wiskers is a medium-deep warm chocolate brown in a matte 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 slightly more reddened than Violet Voss Brownie Points, lighter than Violet Voss Teddy Bear, and slightly lighter than MAC Embark.
Bubs is a dark cool espresso brown in a matte 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 warmer than MAC Brun, darker and cooler than MAC Embark, and cooler than Makeup Geek Americano.
Smashlee is a medium-dark cool brightened teal with gold iridescent shimmer in a foiled metallic finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. It has a soft, 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 warmer and more muted than Violet Voss I'm So Fancy, brighter and more blue than Violet Voss Mermaid Vixen, and darker and more metallic than MAC Steamy.
Lou is a deep-dark cool muted black with a soft sheen in a satin-matte 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 is lighter and more muted than Violet Voss Midnight Tryst, warmer than MAC Carbon, and lighter and more muted than Makeup Geek Corrupt.

I watched a review on this palette from last summer on YouTube wherein the reviewer blatantly said the mattes in this palette "suck," and after having used this palette for a couple months now, I've got to respectfully disagree. It's sad because this video review got hundreds of thousands of views and convinced a lot of people who had never touched or seen the palette in person before that it wasn't worth buying. Now, it's entirely possible that Violet Voss had re-formulated their shadows in the last six months (the palette originally launched last June and I bought mine in November), but the Laura Lee palette that I have performs phenomenally. I found that all the matte shades in this palette are smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend out. As a makeup artist who wears eyeshadow everyday and applies eyeshadow on other people everyday, I didn't find a single dud here — and yes, I did try all of them with brushes on my eyelids and with my fingers in arm swatches. They don't have quite the density as the mattes in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (which I maintain has some of the best matte eyeshadows I have ever used in my life), but they all give rich colour pay-off and have a silky, finely-milled texture.

That having been said, what really stands out for me in this palette are the metallic shades — Tickled Pink, Hissy Fit, Bitty, 1988, and Smashlee — that have the softest, most buttery texture, incredible pigmentation, dimensional foiled finish, and saturated colour pay-off. It's almost worth paying the $45 USD price tag (plus the conversion rate, sales tax, and possible duties if you're not American) for those five shades alone. The palette as a whole definitely leans on the warm side, though there are several cooler shades to keep the palette more well-rounded, and there is an excellent mix of finishes to create a multitude of dimensional eye looks. (Also, the names of the shades — personally chosen by Laura Lee, who is an Alabama native — totally reminds me of Hart of Dixie, which was a serious guilty pleasure of mine until it was cancelled, so I find them particularly endearing.) As someone who doesn't have a bias to either the Violet Voss brand or Laura Lee the YouTuber, I've gotta say: the Violet Voss x Laura Lee palette really lives up to all the hype.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 462

on
Monday, February 13, 2017
This week's Monday Poll:
  1. What food is your guiltiest pleasure? McDonald's. Like, a Filet-O-Fish combo with fries and a Junior Chicken Sandwich on the side ('cause a single Filet-O-Fish is never enough).

  2. What is/will be your mantra today? "30 don't care."

  3. Carry-on or checked luggage? It depends where I'm going, but I usually bring so much stuff that my luggage doesn't fit as a carry-on. So while I hate checking in luggage (and paying the ridiculous fee for it), I usually have to.

  4. Do you ever go bra-less during the daytime? No. I've never been one of those people who has ever been bothered by wearing a bra, like the girls who say, "The first thing I do when I get home is take off my bra."

  5. Did you ever go through a phase when you dressed like a particular celebrity? No, at least not consciously. From elementary to high school, I had to wear a uniform so I never thought much about my regular clothes. And then when I went to university, I just wore what was casual and comfortable, usually jeans, a band tee, and a jacket of sorts. Even when I started working, I had a uniform with every job until my current one.

  6. What really relaxes you? Reading, smoking, and taking long hot showers.

Sunday Video Love: The Tide

on
Sunday, February 12, 2017

I was going through all the music I listened to at the end of high school, when I started university, and this song came on. As someone who grew up during the height of "emo" music, who still loves and listens to a lot of bands that are considered apart of this genre, it became easy to discount all the bands that were try-hards. You know, the ones who wrote really cliched, overly sentimental lyrics to music that was tried and true but not original or innovative, trying to ride on the coattails of the emo greats that became mainstream in the 2000s. The Spill Canvas was a band that I had originally disregarded until I heard this song, which is actually the only song that sounds truly different (both lyrically and musically) from the rest of their repertoire. It's a song about love and heartache, yes, but in a totally different context, and without the sappiness and banal metaphors. It's from a third person's point of view and paints such a real and clear picture of familial neglect and the end of childhood and innocence that, to this day, it's still one of the saddest songs I have ever heard.