Sunday, October 27, 2013

Polka dots for Shop Til You Drop

Taking a break from posting Annabelle TwistUp-related things (final post coming soon!) to share the polka dot nails I wore to the Shop Til You Drop event at Metropolis at Metrotown back in September. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to check out all the sales, because along with JayneChristina, and Denise, I was busy all night giving nail polish changes to people in the Atrium!

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche in Jet Set To Paris • Sinful Colors in Snow Me White
Sorry my hands look so raggedy--I took this photo the day after Shop Til You Drop, and I handled a lot of acetone nail polish remover that night! L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche in Jet Set To Paris is a slightly subdued, medium-dark blue creme and just a hair darker than Clinique Splish Splash. Sinful Colors is a super opaque and thick white, which makes it ideal for crisp-looking dots.

We were way too busy to take photos, but I managed to take one before the madness started:

And the single lonely photo I have of Jayne and I in action, thanks to Sheila:
It was definitely an interesting experience, and I'm surprised my mani survived all the nail polish remover!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Recap: Days 17-24 of Annabelle TwistUp

I can't believe it's already over! #24Days wrapped up yesterday in a big way. There are some really beautiful fall/winter lip colours in this bunch:

Havana is a beige creme that is very close to Naked, but is visibly more beige/brown in the tube. I've struggled the most with the pale beige shades in the TwistUp collection; the light skintone nude lip look emphasizes the redness of the eczema around my mouth and the rest of my face. I think a face free of redness is especially important if you are wearing shades like this.

Royale is a beautiful bold magenta. Like most TwistUp shades, my dark natural lip colour has turned Royale a little darker and more blue (which translated into purple here)--and I love it! It's absolutely perfect for fall and not overly vampy for my taste in everyday wear. For those with lighter-coloured lips, you can expect a brighter, more pink lip.

Mai Tai is a sheer, bright red-orange. It provides just a wash of colour to brighten up a look.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recap: Days 10-16 of Annabelle TwistUp

#24Days of TwistUp with Annabelle is zooming by! We're almost at the end and this second recap is way overdue. This time, it's full of uber-wearable sheerer shades (with two very bold exceptions!)

In the tube, Mimosa definitely looks orange, since it is a bit sheer, your natural lip colour will come through and so it wears more pink than you might think. I still stick by my original Instagram caption: this shade is as effortless and perfect for any time of the day as its namesake.

Kiss is another sheer orange and extremely close to Mimosa. If you handed me both tubes with the names covered, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Swatched, the differences are a little easier to tell: Kiss wears a little more orange.

Red Carpet is one of my favourites of this week. This is a bright, ruby red shade that would fit right in at any A-list film premiere or awards event. I had previously said that unless Red Carpet can top it, Flirtini would be the red of the entire collection for me. But they're both so beautiful and different enough that I think I can find room for two gorgeous reds in my heart, right? Right.

Monday, October 14, 2013

LUSH Halloween 2013

LUSH's limited edition creations for Halloween are here, including two brand new bath inventions (appropriately called Creatures of the Baaaaaath!), and they were too cool/cute to not share!
Lord of Misrule
Lord of Misrule is a new bath bomb inspired by the Feast of Fools, and features patchouli, black pepper oil, and Fair Trade vanilla absolute. People that love little extras in their bath bombs take note! Lord of Misrule releases silver sparkles and fizzles away to reveal a deep wine-coloured centre that holds popping candies. I love the colour and speckles in this photo and wouldn't be surprised if it inspires a future mani--it wouldn't be the first time LUSH has inspired me ;)

Pumkin is the Halloween cousin of popular Mumkin bubble bar. Just like LUSH's Figs and Leaves soap, it's fragranced with ylang ylang, orange flower, and gardenia. With a licorice stem and candy leaf, he fits right in with the Halloween spirit. For such a spooky collection, Pumkin sounds awfully lovely.

Witches' Ball
Witches' Ball bubble bar (which curiously reminds me of the Death Star) is packed with spice and herbal scents: star anise, peppermint oil, sage oil, rosemary oil, parsley, myrrh, gloves, dried cranberries, and dried currants. (Online only)

Twilight shower gel features lots of lavender, vanilla, and ylang ylang for a calming effect to help users unwind before bedtime. Might be the perfect thing to use to help come down from your sugar high :>

Find them now at LUSH online and in store.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Recap: Days 1-9 of Annabelle TwistUp + Giveaway

With the #24Days of TwistUp more than a third of the way done, I've already tried shades ranging from peachy nudes to bright oranges. Here are the first nine I've posted on Instagram, all in one place:

Plump It Up is a fun, bright fuchsia that leans blue. I had expected it to clash a bit with my warm-toned skin but was pleasantly surprised that it wore well on me after all.

Naked is a peachy, champagne nude. Because of its relatively light colour, a lot of the grey in my lips showed through and turned it into a very different colour. I've seen other lip swatches that showed the peach in this shade much better.

Breeze is a rosy pink that I consider one of the "everyday" shades in the TwistUp family: it's more understated and easy to wear. On me, it was like a slightly cooler-toned version of my-lips-but-better (MLBB).

Orange Pop is a super bright, almost neon red-orange. It was the first one in the calendar that really knocked my socks off (there have been others since :P). The grey in my lips hardly kept this shade from giving me an eye-popping pout.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 9 of Annabelle #24Days of TwistUp: Flirtini

If you follow me or certain other Canadian beauty bloggers on Instagram, you might have noticed a particular tag going around lately: #24Days.

Canadian brand Annabelle is celebrating the addition of new shades to their TwistUp Retractable Lipstick Crayons (bringing the total to 24 beautiful shades) with 24 Days of TwistUp. Annabelle has invited us all to participate in a scheduled swatch fest running from October 1st to October 24th to show each shade in the lineup.

With the calendar indicating the TwistUp shade of the day, I get to see how the same lipstick crayon can look so different on so many people on a daily basis. It has been an incredibly fun project and an opportunity for me to discover lip colours I never knew I loved wearing.

On the flip side, the first week has been a bit stressful for me: when Annabelle offered me the chance to participate as a sponsored blogger, I accepted almost right away because I already owned Kinky Pink (Day #21) and loved the formula. However, October 1st coincided with a terrible flareup of eczema on my face and around my mouth. Eight days later, I am still trying to bring it under control but it is improving. As a result of the eczema, the quality of my photos so far is not where I would like them to be. Although it is not regular practice for me to edit photos of me to improve the appearance of my skin, I admit that I have edited to remove angry redness, bumps, and white cast from topical creams in Days 6-9 photos.

With all that said, here's my swatch of Day 9's shade, Flirtini:
This is a colour I might have never chosen for myself while shopping, but it's actually my favourite so far! With a name like Flirtini, I had pictured something bright and summery, but instead it's the darker cousin of Day 5 shade Monroe and a beautiful, classic red. Like the other shades I've swatched so far, it's amazingly creamy and glides on the lips without any tugging. Even bf, who wasn't a fan of the previous bold shades, loved this one on me. Once my face is back to normal, I will be wearing Flirtini again and again.

Stay tuned for my recap post of Days 1-9 of TwistUp and how to win your own set of 24 TwistUp crayons tomorrow!

This post contains a sponsored product. I have been sponsored to photograph lip swatches of all 24 TwistUp shades. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blog and the (Van)City recap

After weeks of planning and stressing, late nights and last minute meetings, the mini-conference/event Sheila, MizzJ, and I thought up in order for Vancouver fashion and beauty bloggers to connect finally came to life. Blog and the (Van)City was an amazing success, with over 20 local bloggers and 6 industry professionals meeting to share their experiences and learn from each other.

At the heart of the event was a Q&A session that allowed attendees to ask the questions they've always wanted to ask to our panel of bloggers and PR pros, comprised of Brandi Halls, Director of LUSH North America PR; Cynnamon Schreinert, PR/media relations professional; Sarah Murray, Agency Director of Fashion Capsule; Alison of alison*elle; and our very own MizzJ of Just J. It was an incredibly insightful experience to hear our professionals' candid views on the role of bloggers and how they prefer to work with them, as well as hearing how other bloggers manage their time and deal with PR. I was really happy that each question generated a mini-discussion where everybody was able to contribute their thoughts.

Cynnamon Schreinert, Brandi Halls, Sarah Murray, Alison, and J
I was surprised but loved seeing attendees busily writing down pointers from the Q&A discussion--it means they were really learning something new!

Some takeaways from the discussions:
  • It's okay to post a negative review even on product sent for consideration, as long as it is constructive. Good PR understands you won't always love everything.
  • Twitter is important. Really, really important. More important than Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media aside from your blog. Some brands may be hesitant to work with bloggers that do not have a Twitter account.
  • It's very difficult to keep an active blog while maintaining professional and personal responsibilities. If you're struggling to keep up (o hi), try setting aside a few hours one day a week to work on a couple posts at a time.
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