Friday, December 23, 2016

Nail Art: David's Tea Advent Calendar 2016 (Part 1)

So uhhh hi :) School, work, and moving took up a lot more of my time than I thought, so here we are in December! Let's get right to it: I'm a big nerd for David's Tea, so when the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar came up, I snapped it up right away. I loved last year's deep teal and penguin theme so much--I even did a value breakdown post--that I did some inspired nail art. I'm indifferent to this year's family of mice, but I adore the colour palette of pastel blue, jade green, and coral. Time for a skittles manicure!

David's Tea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar 2016 nail art
By the way, moving is annoying. Doing this manicure made me realize a bunch of my polishes are still missing! So some of the shades I used were actually my second or third picks, because I couldn't find the other polishes that I thought were much closer to the advent calendar shades.

David's Tea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar 2016 nail art
I haven't done any detail work in a while, so while it was fun to do the numbers in gold, I was definitely rusty. My favourite brush is a super long, fine eBay nail art brush that I hand-trimmed with a single edge razor to be even finer.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Colourpop Lippie Stix in Luau

The weather is finally heating up in Vancouver, so now feels around the right time to post about bright, summery lipstick! I placed a Colourpop order a long, long time ago to check out what all the buzz was about, and limited myself to buying just 3 Lippie Stix and 3 Lippie Pencils, one of which was Luau Lippie Stix. This true orange shade in Colourpop's hyper glossy finish was intended to be the replacement for Androgyne, the true orange OCC Lip Tar Stained Gloss that I kinda loved but ultimately returned because of the low coverage and patchiness.

Colourpop Lippie Stix
Colourpop Lippie Stix in Luau, Lumiere, Toucan
Surprisingly, I peeked out of my comfort zone to pick up some non-berry/purply shades: Lumiere, a matte mauve, and Toucan, a matte, bright red coral.

Colourpop Lippie Stix
Luau is the truest orange in my collection--everything else I own has a little bit of coral/pink in it, including Annabelle Orange Pop. I was pleased to see that the pigmentation and coverage was much better than OCC Androgyne. The bluish tones in my lips tone down the bright orange a little, making it slightly more muted than I think it would be on an average person. But you can see it's still quite bright in the photo below:

Colourpop Lippie Stix Luau swatch & review
I do love my mattes and semi-mattes but this super glossy finish on Luau is so pretty! If possible, it's even brighter and shinier in person.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub

You folks know how much I loved LUSH's The Kiss lip scrub--it was one of my favourite products of 2015! After such a good, lip-smoothing experience, I wanted to try another lip scrub, this time from their permanent (available all-year) range. Popcorn was the obvious winner, because who doesn't love popcorn?

LUSH Popcorn lip scrub review
Popcorn lip scrub gets its name from the inclusion of corn meal in the formula to help scrub off dead flakes, along with castor sugar and fine sea salt. The coconut oil and jojoba oil from the scrub also help keep lips moisturized. I love the sweet and salty smell, like salted caramel corn, and similar to LUSH Let The Good Times Roll cleanser.

LUSH Popcorn lip scrub review
While the sprinkles and hearts in The Kiss were cute and very Valentines-appropriate, they didn't do much for my lips; Popcorn is way more functional without that stuff. The ingredients list does include fizzy candy, but I've never noticed it and am not sure it does anything. At least it doesn't get in the way of a good lip scrubbing! The pale yellow scrub does not leave any tint behind.

I use a clean, dry, cosmetic spatula or similar tool to pick up and deposit a pea-sized amount of the scrub on the back of my hand and work it into my lips with my fingers. I avoid scooping product from the jar with wet fingers because the moisture can cause the scrub to clump up. I use it weekly (because lazy) but it can be used more frequently if needed. Lastly, although you can lick off the product when you're done (due to the edible ingredients), I prefer to just gently rinse it off.

It's perfect for prepping lips, especially before using a matte lipstick for smooth, even application. Lately, my favourite combination is to use Popcorn and then apply SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair. Smoothest lips ever, seriously.

In addition to Popcorn, LUSH also has Bubblegum and Mint Julips available year-round, but I think I love Popcorn too much to stray. Which one would you use to keep your lips flake-free?

Available at LUSH: $9.95 CAD / 25g

Ingredients: castor sugar, organic jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis), fine sea salt (Sodium chloride), corn meal (Zea mays), extra virgin coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), fizzy candy (isomalt, lycasin, carbon dioxide), flavor

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!
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