Friday, March 24, 2017

Bite Beauty Lip Pencil & Amuse Bouche Lipstick: Honeycomb & 020 / Whiskey & 044

Considering that lip products is all they do, I was surprised to learn that Bite Beauty had only just recently rolled out a line of lip liners! Bite's new The Lip Pencil promises creamy coverage that is opaque yet feels lightweight. Unlike other lip liners encased in fancy packaging (think Clinique's Quickliner or Smashbox Always Sharp), Bite chose to go old school with a sleek, wooden barrel that will need sharpening from time to time.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Honeycomb Lip Pencil 020 review
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Honeycomb & Lip Pencil in 020
In my Influenster VoxBox, I received 020, described as "beige nude", and 044, the deepest colour of the range in a dark burgundy. Both colours are not what I usually wear - thankfully the box also included coordinating Amuse Bouche lipsticks in Honeycomb and Whiskey, otherwise I might have been rocking some seriously mismatched liner/lipstick combos in this post!

Okay, I admit that I almost never use lip liner when I wear lipstick; I kind of like the soft-edged look of an unlined lip (also, lazy). Sooo I'm not all that experienced with lip liners, but I like what I see in Bite's The Lip Pencil. Both pencils glided on smoothly with a creamy matte finish and didn't feel heavy. The pencils were soft enough to impart good coverage without pressing too hard, and didn't crumble or flake bits off during application.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Whiskey Lip Pencil 044
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Whiskey & Lip Pencil in 044

Monday, February 13, 2017

Looking back & looking forward

February is a little late to be getting all retrospective about the year behind us, but by now I'm sure you are all well aware of the kind of posting schedule I keep >:D

Clinique Hula Skirt nail polish - Pantone Colour of the Year 2017 Greenery
And what better nail polish to include in a post about 2017 than my closest match to Pantone Greenery, 2017's colour of the year? Clinique Hula Skirt is from the 2013 summer collection and a close match to the grassy, yellow-toned Greenery. Buuuut from writing this post, I just found out Clinique no longer sells their nail polish line?? :( Which is a total shame, because I was going to talk about how this polish is so smooth, easy to use, and relatively long wearing. (The matching Clinique base/top coat sucks as a top coat and takes forever to dry though, hence all the smudges.)

2016 was a big year for me - it was the year I started an awesome, new, challenging job and took a big step towards my career goals; it was the year bf and I decided to get married, after being engaged for literally years; it was the year we finally moved in together. So you can see why things have been a little quieter around here lately. After not posting for a few months, I thought about whether I wanted to continue this blog. I started it 7 (!!!!) years ago on Tumblr as a creative outlet and have met so many wonderful people, had amazing opportunities, and made some lifelong friends.

Anyway, I decided I'm not ready to part with it yet! It's still my creative outlet, and I still have so many post ideas always percolating. It is starting to shift more and more away from being strictly a beauty blog to a more personal, "lifestyle" blog, though. Things you'll expect to see this year: a series of wedding planning diaries/tips posts, more fashion nail art, and any other random stuff I manage to churn out. And one way or another, I'm clearing my photo backlog, dammit--it goes back to 2013! Whether that means just finally letting go and deleting stuff that isn't relevant or up to my standards anymore, or being a little kinder to myself and posting something without obsessing over it for hours. Although I might not be able to post so often, and (to fellow bloggers) I might not be able to keep up with my blog roll very well at times, I hope you'll keep reading. Thank you! ♥

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rose Gold on White

New year (sorta), fresh new nails! I thought a simple stripe of Orly Rage would be the perfect addition to a simple test run of a new white polish. (By the way, I bought Rage years ago, and I still think that name is hilarious for a pretty rose gold metallic polish.)

Rose gold stripe nail art on white
I run out of white nail polish really quickly because I use it so often in nail art, both as a base and accent/detail work. A good white polish is surprisingly hard to come by - OPI Alpine Snow and Sephora Formula X White Matter are my absolute favourites, but I'm not too keen on spending $10+ every couple months for a new one! Shoppers Drug Mart had Ceramic Glaze on sale for $3, so I snapped one up in Pure.

Rose gold stripe nail art on white
It's not quite on par with Alpine Snow or White Matter, but it's a pretty good white polish for the price. The brush is a little stiff and uneven though, making application not as effortless as the other two. However, the formula is smooth, opaque in two coats, and not too thick or gloppy - you'll be seeing this polish often in future posts!

Happy belated new year to you all! I have so much going on lately and so many blog post ideas for this year - I hope I can find the time to work on them and not go so long in between posts. Tell me how 2017 is going for you so far! (Also, tell me your favourite white polish!)

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.

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