Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask

This review is sooo overdue; I've been using this "mask" (I use the term loosely--you'll see why) for a few months now. This Aloe Protective Restoring Mask is one of TBS's most popular products, formulated to soften, hydrate, and soothe sensitive skin. Lured by the super-awesome-deal that is Body Shop's occasional 3 for $30 sale, I picked it up during winter to help add moisture to my poor dry skin. 

My first time using this mask, I applied a generous layer to my skin and let it sit on my face for 20 minutes, as per the instructions. After time was up, I used a cotton round to wipe away excess product that my skin hadn't absorbed. Maybe it was because I was overly generous with the application, but this isn't my favourite way to use it. Just wiping away the product with a cotton round wasn't enough, as I was left with a heavy, somewhat greasy feeling on my skin. I really wanted to wash my face afterwards.

I read that some MakeupAlley users were treating this product as basically as moisturizer, and it turns out this "mask" makes for a great night moisturizer for drier skin types. Applied in a light layer, it absorbs well with no greasy feeling at all. I keep the jar in the bathroom, as my skin absolutely drinks this up when used right after a shower. My skin feels more plump and hydrated after use, and was especially helpful in the winter when my forehead was flaking.

I was really enjoying this mask during the winter and suggested it to my dad, who has sensitive skin and was experiencing severe dryness at the time. He ended up liking it so much he was taking the jar along to work or squirreling it away in my parents' bathroom--I resorted to buying a second one for myself so that I wouldn't have to hunt for it all the time!

I am rather skeptical of the claims on the packaging that this product has "prebiotics to strengthen skin's natural barrier", but it is definitely a lovely moisturizer/mask--and not just for sensitive-skinned folks. I would recommend it to almost anybody except perhaps those with very oily skin. Those with normal or combination skin could use it as a mask for a boost of hydration or to moisturize dry spots during colder months, while people with dry skin (like me) can happily use it year-round. Just remember that a little goes a long way, and beware of applying a too-heavy layer as a mask, as it can leave a greasy feeling after wiping away.

Last recommendation: get it on sale if you can! It is regular $22 CAD, and an absolute steal if you catch a 3 for $30 sale (can you say 55% off?)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pink glitter gradient

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

Orly Artificial Sweetener • FingerPaints Hue Left A Message?

I’ve been wanting to do a glitter gradient ever since I saw this one in grey!

Artificial Sweetener is from Orly’s new-ish Cool Romance spring collection. From the colour in the bottle, I expected a soft mauve-y pink, but true to its name, it is a sweet, cool-leaning pink that makes me think of Barbies and cotton candy. Comparing it to another pink that tricked me, True Colors Pleasures, Artificial Sweetener is softer-looking and not as cool.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon-inspired look

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

I realized only after I chose my characters for the Sailor Moon makeup collab that I seem to have a soft spot for relatively minor characters, haha. First Neo-King Endymion, now Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon, who only appears very briefly in the manga before getting destroyed by Sailor Chibi Moon and the Amazoness Quartet. She extinguishes the remnants of Sailor Senshi taken over by Galaxia, which take the form of ethereal butterflies. All that aside, I pretty much picked her because I thought her design was interesting and would be a fun challenge to translate to makeup.

I really wish I had built up UD Zero to a deeper black. It photographed lighter than I expected.
Check out the other villain looks:
Amy (Cyprine & Ptilol)
Anna (Nehelenia)
Dawn (Sailor Galaxia)
Erin (Mistress 9)
Mai (Queen Beryl)
Mandy (Cere-Cere)
Phyrra (Prisma)
Soo (Snow Queen Kaguya)
  • Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue SPF 15 Lotion
  • L’Oreal Skin Genesis Eye Serum [review]
  • The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost
  • GOSH X-ceptional Wear foundation in 14 Sand
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 2
  • Marcelle Face Powder in Translucent
  • Hard Candy Blush Crush in Living Doll [review]
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
  • L’Oreal HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Midnight Blue
  • elf eyeshadow palette (medium blue shade)
  • Urban Decay eyeshadow in Zero
  • Red Earth creamy eyeshadow in CI 001
  • Annabelle Mono eyeshadow in Helium
  • MAC eyeshadow in Naked Lunch
  • Ardell Luckies false lashes (black)
  • MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
  • Marcelle Xtension Plus mascara in Black
  • Victoria’s Secret Silky Eye Shadow in Rich (brow)
  • Smashbox Brow Tech Wax
  • Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
  • Annabelle Le Gloss in Venus Vibe

Saturday, May 5, 2012

L'Oreal Colour Riche in Violet Vixen

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

L’Oreal Colour Riche Violet Vixen • Sinful Colors Snow Me White • Mash-24
Awkward note: My nails grow out really fast; I took this photo 4-5 days after actually doing it, so the gap between the polish and my cuticles is rather large :x On the plus side, now you know that L'Oreal Colour Riche holds up well without chipping!

I ordered the MASH 2012 nail stamping set (inexplicably no longer listed on Amazon, but is available on eBay) back in December but I haven’t actually tried any of the plates until now. The design smudged a bit on my ring finger after applying Seche Vite top coat but I’m rather happy with how it turned out. It has a home decor vibe to it; I want a pillow or something in this print, haha. I would definitely stamp this again on top of a green or blue for a fresh spring look.

Violet Vixen is a very red-leaning violet or berry. The brush on this polish takes some getting used to: it’s not as dense as other nail polish brushes → doesn’t hold a lot of polish in the brush → wiping the brush against the bottle sides tends to be an unnecessary step. I tried using Sinful Colors Snow Me White on my right hand (shown) for stamping this time rather than Konad White. The Konad White Special Polish results in a brighter, bolder white, but I think the thick, goopiness of it makes it more prone to smudging when applying your top coat. I don’t think it is a huge difference unless you’re comparing the two side-by-side, so the Sinful Colors works pretty well if you don’t want to get the Konad White.

Friday, May 4, 2012

King Endymion look

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

It turns out it's pretty hard to find a decent picture of King Endymion D:
Alternate title: really simple smoky lavender eyes ≧Д≦
Backstory: So a handful of bloggers decided to do two Sailor Moon-inspired looks each: one after a hero/good guy and one after a villain. I joined the collab a little late in the game after my favourite characters were already taken, and I ended up rolling with the only non-Senshi of the group for the good guy look, King Endymion.

Nerdy explanation/bonus photo/products used are under the cut~

Orly Cool Romance Spring collection picks

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

I really love the Cool Romance collection from Orly; it's quite rare that I want all the shades from a collection, but this time I had to exercise some serious self-control and restrict myself to just two okay, three (not pictured).

Artificial Sweetener is a soft and sweet cool-toned pink, while Jealous, Much? is a pale jade that goes perfectly with the deeper Ancient Jade.

During a buy two get one free sale, I caved and ended up buying You're Blushing as well, which is a greyed lavender.

I skipped on Prelude To A Kiss (pale pink with a touch of peach), Faint of Heart (a greyer version of You're Blushing), and Steel Your Heart (a dark grey and the only shimmer of the collection), but they're all gorgeous colours.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Red lip FOTD + A Kiss For Hope

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

First FOTD in a long, long while :> Please see my review on this lipstick for a more accurate idea of its bright yet deep (and super-hot) red.

Attention: Lise Watier launched a contest in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8: not only will Lise Watier put $1 towards Lise Watier Foundation (which provides financial assistance and a supportive environment to girls and women) for every photo of a kiss sent in, but your photo has a chance to win you a Haute Couleur High Coverage Lip Lacquer. Please consider submitting your picture—all it takes is a quick snap and post from your phone!

It turns out I look like a total jackass making a kissing face, so I’ll spare you the horror of posting that picture here. (You can, however, go hunting for it in the photo gallery.)
  • Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Lotion SPF 15
  • L’Oreal Skin Genesis Eye Serum 
  • Marcelle BB Cream in Light to Medium
  • Physicians Formula Powder Palette in Highlighter
  • Marcelle Face Powder in Translucent
  • Hard Candy Blush Crush in Living Doll [review]
  • Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara in Black (first coat)
  • L’Oreal Voluminous False Lashes Waterproof (second coat)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Ransom [review]
  • Revlon ColorStay Brow Enhancer in Light Brown
  • Smashbox Brow Tech Wax
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 2
  • Revlon Wine With Everything [review]

Orly Stone Cold

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

Orly Stone Cold is an eye-popping jewel-toned blue packed with very fine glitter (flakie?) from the Mineral FX collection. My camera had a hard time capturing the finish, but it is so luminous and absolutely stunning.

Also, I apologize for my hand looking dry and gross.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For Audrey + gold crackle

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

China Glaze For Audrey • Color Club Tattered in Gold
I’m so behind on the crackle/shatter polish trend (is it even a trend anymore?) I wasn’t totally sold on it when it was first making the rounds on blogs, but I’ve finally picked up my first crackle—and first Color Club polish—Tattered in Gold.

I was inspired by a sky blue/gold crackle combo I saw. Sadly, Tattered in Gold’s antiquey-gold shade doesn’t contrast enough with For Audrey’s turquoise to make it pop, so I’m a bit disappointed with the results. Next time I’ll pair it with something darker.

Afternoon tea

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

This past Saturday, I met with some of the ladies from the Vancouver Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers Network for afternoon tea! We had some delicious tea, sandwiches, and pastries at Bacchus Restaurant in the Wedgwood Hotel downtown. This was my first-ever afternoon tea; everything was so small and cute and elegant. I had a great time and got to know some really lovely Vancouver-based bloggers.

Things that make me happy: Lychee Blossom Body Butter

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

I really love the scent of this body butter: true to its name, it’s definitely lychee with floral tones and completely delicious-smelling. Smoothing some on my hands and arms in the morning is a lovely pick-me-up to send me on my way to work.

This body butter is now discontinued, so you won't find it online. Stores are selling off whatever remaining stock they have, so you might spy it in the clearance section for (last I've seen) as low as $5!

Konad plate m84

This is an updated repost from my original blog on Tumblr

This nail post is a little different from usual. Recently I was sent a Konad plate, courtesy of Nail Polish Canada, to try. Since m84 is one of the newest plates from Konad, I thought I should give the full lowdown on this uber-girly stamp plate.

m84 is a pretty versatile plate of 8 designs: 1 full-nail stars design, 4 florals (roses, lilies, and lotuses), 1 bow with hearts, and 1 lip print.

Check out the composite below, with each design stamped on my nails (using China Glaze First Mate as base and Orly Dazzle for stamping.)

China Glaze First Mate is such a lovely navy polish; can you believe I’m only wearing one coat in these pictures? (Sorry the images aren't the best, I took them with my phone when I lost my camera charger ≧Д≦)

You can see that some of the designs stamped more successfully than others. The hearts in the bow design (bottom right) didn’t really show up. I was looking forward to the lotuses but as with any delicate design, you need a lot of patience as it’s difficult to get the polish into all the fine lines and stamp it on without any little bits missing. I fudged my right middle and ring fingers (pictured below), but I lucked out and stamped my left thumb (top left) almost perfectly. Designs like the lilies, roses, and lip print stamp easily and beautifully because it’s easier to scrape the polish into the larger engraved spaces.

My right (and slightly less successful) hand
m84, along with m85, are among the newest Konad image plates. You can find them at Nail Polish Canada for $8.75 and free shipping within Canada. They also carry a number of nail polish brands and their most recent collections, as well as (Canadian girls take note!) brands that I’ve heard are tricky to find in Canada, such as Zoya.

If you would like to see more posts describing image plates in detail, let me know!

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