Friday, July 22, 2016

OPI Infinite Shine To Be Continued...

Hi all! It has been a pretty stressful month at work, but thankfully things have cooled off and all is back to normal - a perfect time to indulge in polishes with effortless formula and soothing hues.

OPI Infinite Shine To Be Continued nail polish swatch
OPI Infinite Shine in To Be Continued... (yes with the ellipsis) is a soft, periwinkle blue. It falls into pastel territory, but I like that it still has some colour and vibrance, compared to Lavendurable, which was pretty but soooo muted.

OPI Infinite Shine To Be Continued nail polish swatch
I'm a fan overall of original OPI's nail polish formula (Alpine Snow is one of my top two white polishes), and the Infinite Shine range is no different. The flexible, wide brush and smooth, forgiving formula are still present in Infinite Shine -- no clue if it really does have 10 days of chip-free wear though, since I am always changing my polish!

OPI Infinite Shine To Be Continued nail polish swatch
Doing my nails is such a peaceful, relaxing moment for me: I catch up on terrible reality TV, pick out a fun colour, and just unwind. How do you de-stress after a long week?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette

Wayyyy back in December, I named Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette as one of my favourite beauty discoveries of 2015. I finally got around to editing the photos and sitting down to write this post to show what a difference a good brow powder can do!

Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette review
Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette made its debut last year as the all-in-one product to get your brow game on. The sleek, mirrored compact holds a brow powder, highlighter, and wax (fixative), as well as the tools needed to apply each product.

Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette review
The brow powder is a matte, cool-toned brown. It's not as buttery or pigmented upon first swatch as an eyeshadow, which is kind of a good thing: it's much easier to build up your brows than to apply too much and try to tone it down. And by the way, the colour is such a good match for typical Asian hair and skin tones. It took me a long time to start using brow product because a lot of my early drugstore picks for dark brown brows had a warm or reddish tint, which is not quite right for most Asians--you want something a little cooler or greyish.

The powder highlighter is a satiny, slightly warm vanilla shade. In comparison to the brow powder, the highlighter is closer to the texture of an eyeshadow. On my skin, it almost disappears (in a good way), leaving a subtle sheen that lifts the brows and anywhere else that you want a little pick-me-up.

Despite how it looks, the fixative has hardly any colour to it once applied, and further defines brows while still keeping the overall look natural. If you have very unruly brows, it may not help much to tame them, though.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pastel Easter nails

Quick and long-overdue nail post today! I took a quick picture of these nails to share on Instagram close to Easter weekend, then promptly forgot about writing a proper post about them, soooo here we are.

Pastel polka dot easter nails
Direct sunlight
When I first did my nails in this polka dot, pastel skittle mani style, I was so in love with them. I took tons of photos in different lighting, indirect sunlight, direct sunlight, in my lightbox, etc.. so this post is also unintentionally serves as a comparison of different lighting sources for nail photos 9__9

Pastel polka dot easter nails
Direct sunlight
No joke, I got sick of this look less than 24 hours later. The pastel colours that I thought were so fun and spring-appropriate the day before were now toothache-levels of sweetness and baby shower-y. I couldn't get them off fast enough lol!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Recap: London Drugs Beauty Event 2016

Another year, another preview of all the new and exciting things coming to London Drugs this year! This year's Beauty Event had 16 different brands presenting new releases in skin care, cosmetics, and fragrance. As always, I won't be writing about everything I saw that night, but hopefully you are just as excited about the favourites I'm sharing today. The lighting was very blue, but I've tried as best as I can to correct for colour accuracy.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy nail polish
Sally Hansen Color Therapy nail polish shades accompanied by matching jellybeans :D
A new range of nail polishes is coming this year from Sally Hansen. The Color Therapy line has argan oil infused into the polish formula, which promises to nourish nails.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy nail polish
I'm a little wary of the affect that the argan oil may have on the wear time of the polishes, but hopefully it will make a different to my sad, dry nails.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sibu Sea Buckthorn: Nourishing Face Cream, Seed Oil, & Omega-7 Oil

Hi all! After a very long, totally unintentional hiatus, I am back and ready to blog again. Most of it was genuinely being way too busy/stressed with work/school/life to blog, but after things died down, it was surprisingly hard to get back into the habit of blogging again. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Sibu Beauty skin care review
Sibu Nourishing Face Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil, Omega-7 Oil
We'll start with a skin care line that I have been wearing and testing while I was MIA: Sibu's sea buckthorn skin care and dietary supplement products. Sibu's headliner ingredient is a berry from sea buckthorn shrubs, said to be high in vitamins C and E, as well as fatty acids Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9. These properties, Sibu says, make their sea berry products helpful in addressing "problematic skin"--from rosacea and eczema to acne.

My usual skin care review research turned up a 2014 post from The Beauty Brains (specifically about Sibu, actually) citing some studies indicating improved wound healing and potential to protect against UV damage. I wasn't able to find too many studies out there yet on the topical benefits of sea buckthorn oil.

Sibu Beauty Nourishing Face Cream review
Nourishing Face Cream is a medium-weight moisturizer in a frosted glass bottle with pump packaging. I like the product but find it better suited for my skin in colder, drier weather. With the weather warming up here (it was 30°C the weekend before last!), my face needs a very heavy blotting by afternoon. The product is broadly described as being "rescue for problematic skin", but because it contains so many emollient and occlusive ingredients, such as meadowfoam, soybean, argan, coconut, and avocado oils, I wouldn't recommend it for oily or acne-prone skin types. Those moisturizing ingredients would be right at home in a dry-skinned person's routine though!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Empties #5

It's been a while since my last empties post (or any kind of post at all, sorry T___T)

I know some people do a monthly empties post, but I basically just throw stuff into an empty David's Tea bag, and when it starts overflowing then I'm like yep, time to post about empties lolol. Depending on what new press samples I'm getting, it can take a very long while for me to get through even some of my favourite products! If I had to sum up the products in this post, it'd be "staple products". These are products I'm reaching for on a daily basis; the bare necessities (tea, hand cream, mascara, lip balm, etc) that I need to get through a day.

Our lineup this time:

Eucerin Calming Creme - I used this up really quick when I got an eczema flareup on my hands. The colloidal oatmeal is calming on the skin, and the mineral oil helps lock in the moisture barrier. I would slather this all over my hands and then put on some white cotton gloves to really seal the deal. Since then, I've discovered Eucerin Eczema Care cream, which I prefer a little more--it seems more hydrating and soothing since it's formulated specifically for eczema.

Nature's Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies - in a previous post, I said I liked Nature's Bounty's non-gummy supplement but wanted to try the gummies next, because who can say no to gummies? Unfortunately I finished the bottle and felt I got better results in terms of reducing hair fallout with the non-gummy multivitamin. Of course I don't have hard evidence of this, I'm just guessing it was some kind of synergistic effect of the biotin + vitamins/minerals that the non-gummy version has.

Lorna Vanderhaeghe GLA Borage Oil - I had a chance conversation with a nutritionist/naturopath about my eczema last summer, and she recommended, among other things, taking this specific brand of borage oil. I ended up not really looking into her other suggestions because the borage oil pills worked so well for me. At the time, I had been frustrated that the eczema around my mouth was "inactive" (not cracked, severely dry, or weeping) but still dry and red no matter what I did. I was genuinely so surprised at the improvement and how the redness went away within a week or so of taking this.  I've experimented with other, less expensive brands of borage oil and still get good results too. If you also have eczema, I can't promise that you'll have similar results, but I'm so much happier with the condition of my eczema now.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Rose Floral Nail Wraps

Hi folks! Sorry for the radio silence this week; I've been preoccupied with adjusting to a new job, as well as the next module in my program. Of course, I couldn't let the week go out without squeezing in a nail post though!

Born Pretty rose nail wraps swatch + review
Here's another floral nail wrap set I received from Born Pretty. I loved the large rose design in shades of pink, orange, and yellow, and the way each colour is outlined makes it almost look like stained glass.

Born Pretty rose nail wraps swatch + review
However, on the nail, the rose print looks a bit big and the overall effect becomes more abstract-looking than floral.

Born Pretty rose nail wraps swatch + review
Wear time, application, and removal are about the same as my last nail wraps from Born Pretty: tip wear will show fairly quickly, but the price ($1.69 USD) is reasonable for an easy and fun look that lasts a few days. For application tips, check out my previous nail wrap post. 

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Duckish-inspired nail art: colourblock and chevrons

I loved the colourful, graphic patterns on the Duckish skin care packaging, so you know what that means...
Duckish chevron nail art
(This photo was taken in artificial lighting, the others in this post are in natural light)
Inspired nail art time! I picked the pattern in Duckish's lavender-scented products because I knew I had just the shades to fit the bill: Essie Chills and Thrills, Essie I'm Addicted, and Sephora Formula X in Perfection.

Duckish skin care lotion stick review
Here's a closer look at the lavender pattern: the chevron is made from a bright blue zigzag underneath a dark brown zigzag. For some reason, I struggled a lot with wrapping my head around executing the offset chevron look.

Duckish chevron nail art
First, I painted two coats of Sephora Formula X White Matter, which is one of my favourite white polishes--the brush is excellent and the consistency is very smooth, so no streaks or dragging. Next I painted the zigzag lines in Essie I'm Addicted. This shade is a little bit sheer, so I had to paint over the same lines a second time for more opacity. After that, I painted slightly offset zigzag lines over the bright blue in Sephora Formula X Perfection (the website describes it as "smoky violet"; it's not, it's brown.)

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