Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A little extra sparkle with Essie On A Silver Platter

Simple glitter nail art with Essie On A Silver Platter + Essie Going Incognito
Lately I've been obsessed with Essie On A Silver Platter. I actually picked this up last year and posted about it. Funny enough, OASP was my last post of 2013, and now it will also be in my last post of 2014! Totally unintentional, but it was just recently that I realized what a stunner it is in nail art! I expected the glitter gold base to be a bit sheer/sparse, but it appears gloriously here on top of Essie Going Incognito.

Simple glitter nail art with Essie On A Silver Platter + Essie Going Incognito
This is such an easy way to add a little bit of glitter if you don't want to go full-on sparkle. Paint 2-3 coats of your creme polish of choice, then allow it to fully dry. You can test if it's ready by gently pressing on your nail with a finger--if it leaves even the slightest fingerprint, you should wait a little longer. Tape off triangles using washi tape or regular office tape (for regular tape, I always weaken the adhesive by gently sticking it to the back of my hand first.) Make sure there are no gaps between the tape and your nail surface, then layer on a coat of your glitter polish and remove tape immediately.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ornament Nails

Hello! I hope everybody had happy holidays with friends and family this week and/or a productive Boxing Day shop! Sephora is doing an additional 20% off sale items, so I placed an order today--although it took a while as I suspect the site was overloaded with traffic. I didn't have a lot of time to do many holiday/Christmas nail looks, so I have just one to share this year:

Christmas holiday ornament nail art
I had the idea for ornament nail art brewing in my head for a while. I thought those paper hole reinforcements would be just the thing to get perfect circles, but it was a pain to work with! They refused to lay flat on my nail, leaving small pockets for polish to leak through. It was a bit better when I cut them in half and arranged them to form a circle, but honestly it ended up being way easier to freehand the ornaments, even though they're not perfect.

Christmas holiday ornament nail art
For the ornaments, I used Orly Luxe, Zoya Rikki, Zoya Liberty, ELF Smokin Hot, and China Glaze Ruby Pumps. I used OPI Alpine Snow as the base and also to add polka dots to the blue ornament, and Orly Luxe to draw the strings and caps. Although it's hard to see it, ELF Smoky Brown makes the branches, plus acrylic paints for the pine needles.

Christmas holiday ornament nail art
We haven't had a Christmas tree in my house for the past few years, but somehow looking at these nails makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Decorating the tree used to be one of my favourite things about Christmas until I got older/lazier/lost my sense of childhood wonder. Hmmmm maybe next year I'll haul out the decorations and actually put up a tree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nicole by OPI I Love You Cherry Much

Nicole by OPI I Love You Cherry Much swatches
I have a huge backlog of nail posts to edit and write, but I just couldn't resist letting Nicole by OPI I Love You Cherry Much jump the queue. I used it on a whim last weekend and was struck by what a gorgeous and perfectly holiday-appropriate polish it is.

Nicole by OPI I Love You Cherry Much swatches
This is a bright cherry red packed with flakies that provide sparkle and dimension. Because the sparkle factor comes from flakies and not glitter, it's a little different and special from most red holiday polishes. It positively glows. I kept looking at my nails and thinking, "yep, this is the polish Mrs. Claus probably rocks year-round" lol.

Nicole by OPI I Love You Cherry Much swatches
One drawback is that it is pretty sheer. I've swatched it here with four coats, and I still get a slightly visible nail line, plus you can see a hint of the blue staining from Zoya Liberty underneath. The formula is also slightly thinner than I'm used to, so it flooded my cuticles, which was sucky super fun to clean up. But with four coats, you get quite a build up of flakies, resulting in a pretty, almost-foil look. My family doesn't really celebrate Christmas, but something about this polish makes me want to decorate a Christmas tree or something!

How are your holidays going? What are you wearing on your tips right now?

Monday, December 22, 2014

LUSH Christmas: Yog Nog & So White

I've always said that nobody does the holidays quite like LUSH. The huge range of Christmas-themed products available, plus all the fun colours, shapes, and scents really shows how much the people at LUSH must love this time of year. Today, I'm talking about two limited-edition products to get clean with: So White shower gel and Yog Nog soap.

LUSH So White shower gel review
So White shower gel, pictured here with Yog Nog and Star Light Star Bright
So White shower gel is new to the LUSH Christmas line-up; it's the shower gel version of the apple-scented So White bath bomb. The description features rose water, bergamot, neroli, and "mouthwatering apple". These are all scents I love, so I was really looking forward to trying it. Surprisingly, the scent is extremely mild. I actually had to cup my hand full of shower gel to my nose in order to smell anything. While I do get a nice fresh apple scent, I didn't really pick up the bergamot and neroli I was originally excited about. The texture was also a bit runnier than other LUSH shower gels I've tried in the past; this might be because of the addition of apple cider vinegar and apple juice. The texture isn't a good or bad thing for me, just an observation. I'm not in love with this one, but it might be nice for those that find LUSH's other shower gels too overwhelming in scent.

LUSH So White shower gel review

LUSH Yog Nog soap review
Yog Nog, with a bit of glitter from Star Light Star Bright
For some people, egg nog is one of the best things about the holidays (bf is one of these people)--this soap is made for them. Although I'm not big on egg nog, I absolutely loved the comforting, slightly spicy, creamy scent in a soy yogurt base. It doesn't bubble up as well as other LUSH soaps, but it makes up for it with a pleasantly creamy texture full of moisturizing glycerin and oils (coconut and rapeseed). The heavy dusting of cocoa powder and nutmeg on top washes away within the first use, but the hint of spiciness remains from the clove oil in the formula. I absolutely recommend this, but you may have to pick this up in store as it's already sold out online in Canada!

LUSH Yog Nog soap review
So White ingredients: water, rose water (Rosa centifolia), sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, fine sea salt, glyceryl stearate & PEG-100 stearate, cocamide MEA, glycol cetearate, fragrance, cider vinegar, propylene glycol, lauryl betaine, fresh apple juice (Pyrus malus), bergamot oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), organic rose absolute (Rosa damascena), orange flower absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara), neroli oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), tincture of benzoin (Styrax benzoin), rice bran oil (Oryza sativa), lilial, limonene, linalool, snowflake lustre (potassium aluminium silicate, titanium dioxide), methylparaben, propylparaben

Yog Nog ingredients: water, glycerin, rapeseed oil (Brassica napus), coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), sorbitol, soya yoghurt (glycine soja), fragrance, clove bud oil (Eugenia caryophyllus), ylang ylang oil (Cananga odorata), gardenia extract (Gardenia jasminoides), titanium dioxide, sodium chloride, EDTA, tetrasodium editronate, sodium hydroxide, eugenol, linalool, cocoa oowder (Theobroma cacao), nutmeg powder (Myristica fragrans)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Zoya Liberty

Hello! Just a quick nail post today as this week has been so hectic for me! I bought Zoya Liberty PixieDust from Ulta some time ago but it was only recently that I properly swatched and photographed it.

Zoya Liberty PixieDust swatches
Zoya PixieDusts are a special line of super-glittery polishes. Liberty is a bright, saturated blue, and it feels like the glitter enhances the brightness even more. It's matte when dry with a textured, sort of sugar-crusted look, but I prefer it with a shiny top coat hands-down because just look at the glitteriness. LOOK AT IT. I also added a bit of silver glittery topper from Layla Pro at the tips because obviously there wasn't enough glitter yet.

Zoya Liberty PixieDust swatches
The sparkle is so intense and pretty, and it only takes two coats for full opacity. Because PixieDusts are so packed with glitter, they are an absolute pain to remove, so I always use it over a peel-off base coat. Not sure if it's because the peel-off base coat isn't good at protecting against staining, or if it's just Liberty, but my nails are always horribly stained blue on removal. That gorgeous colour and sparkle is worth it though, plus I cover it up with a new polish anyway >:)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Guest Post: Amanda's Best Lipsticks of 2014

Hey Friends! I'm Amanda from Ginger Chic. This month I had the honor to write a guest post for the lovely Angela through the CBB Network

This month's theme is The Best of 2014. First of all, let me just say what everyone is going to say... it is INSANE that 2014 is almost over! 2014 was the year that I really branched out in the makeup department and started trying a bunch of new colors and products. Especially lipsticks. My lipstick collection grew this year by like 400% from the year before. My bank account is crying about it, but I'm not complaining! 

So naturally I decided to dedicate this post to the Best Lipsticks of 2014. 

Best Balm : The Body Shop Lip Butter

I love all things from The Body Shop and I have been obsessed with these lip butters all year long. They are super moisturizing without being goopy and gross. The one I am currently using is the Grapefruit one and it is my all time fav! They are the perfect balm to wear underneath of matte lipsticks. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Review: Nivea Sensitive Face Care

Cold winter weather + wind + dry, indoor heating can really be harsh on even skin that is pretty normal most of the time. For me, I definitely notice that my skin gets even drier and more sensitive in the winter. That's why I think Nivea picked the perfect time to introduce their new Sensitive line! I received samples of the Sensitive Day Care and Sensitive Night Care moisturizers and have been testing them out over the past few weeks. These moisturizers are designed to reduce the tightness, redness, and dryness of parched skin.

The headliner ingredients here are licorice extract and grape seed oil, which Nivea says helps reduce the redness brought on by dry skin. (Apparently licorice root extract may also inhibit an enzyme that is key in hyperpigmentation. Neat!) They also have a few other ingredients I personally like to see in my skin care products: glycerin (a humectant), panthenol (moisturizing), and shea butter (Night Care only). They are formulated without added fragrance, colour, or parabens, which is great news as many people can be sensitive to these ingredients. Both come with a convenient flip-top cap in 50ml tubes. The size is a bit smaller than I am used to for a face moisturizer, but on the other hand it's perfect for travel. The packaging is identical except that the Night Care moisturizer cap is dark blue.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sneak peek: LUSH Christmas

Clockwise from top left corner: Snowman shower jelly, Candy Mountain bubble bar, First Snow dusting powder, So White shower gel, Star Light Star Bright bath melt, Dashing Santa bath bomb, Snow Angel bath melt, Yog Nog soap
Currently testing a few things from LUSH Christmas (see full collection here). Have you picked anything up yet? (PS I am super excited about Snow Angel. I don't usually take baths but I will always try ALL the almond things.)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Why butter London Lady Muck is aptly named

This is probably my third or fourth time swatching and photographing butter London Lady Muck. The photos turn out badly or I'm not happy with the application, blah blah. I finally snapped some photos that look okay, so here we are. This was a gift from a sweet friend who gave me 3 butter London polishes off my wishlist one Christmas.

Lady Muck is a soft blue-grey with a slight pearly finish and a superfine silver shimmer. The colour reminds me of the sky over the ocean on an overcast day. It is very similar to China Glaze Sea Spray, but deeper and with the silver shimmer. I have seen swatch photos where Lady Muck looks like it has a much brighter blue base, but for me this is a very subdued, muted blue.

Lady Muck is apparently British slang for an arrogant woman or a woman that has "pretensions of a high station" yet is anything but (thanks, Urban Dictionary!) This is actually a rather fitting name, but not in a good way. Because my other butter Londons have been so amazing formula- and colour-wise, I expected the same from Lady Muck. Unfortunately, the formula on this one is kinda unforgiving: thin, doesn't level itself well, and can show brush strokes readily (possibly because of the pearly finish.) So it has a fancy, pretty butter London bottle but the formula is hardly what I expect from butter London.

It's pretty but not one I reach for often because the application requires more effort/patience than usual.

Have you ever had a "Lady Muck" product? (i.e. something that looked fancy and awesome but disappointed you)

Friday, December 5, 2014

L'Occitane Arlésienne

L'Occitane recently launched its holiday fragrance, Arlésienne, along with an impressive assortment of complementary products to go along with the eau de toilette. Arlésienne is inspired by the women of the city of Arles in the Provence region, who have reportedly been muses to poets and artists in the past. I was introduced to the line during the launch party of the new flagship store in Vancouver and absolutely loved the design and colours of the packaging and promotional materials. Check out the video below:

Ahhh I love how the twirling skirts become flowers at the end. The overall mood of the clip--feminine, mysterious, a bit festive--is a great way to describe this fragrance.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Empties #3

Hello! Things have been even quieter than usual around here as I've just started classes and a new job unexpectedly in the same week! I have a quick empties post today, but I promise cool nail art and lip stuff is coming :D

Let's just pretend everything here is in focus, okay?
Sephora Natural Vitamin C + E Blotting Papers - These thin tissue blotting papers were basically everything I am looking for in a blotting paper: powderless, tissue is not too thick, and one sheet is large enough to blot my dry/sensitive skin without going back for a second sheet. Sephora has discontinued these, but I've found a perfectly good replacement in the Sephora Herbal Rose Blotting Papers.

LUSH Celestial Facial Moisturizer - I think this one is #3? LUSH Celestial is an absolutely essential product for me because it is basically 99% responsible for managing the eczema around my mouth. I keep one at home, one at bf's place, and also a little bit in a sample container for my purse.

Marcelle Oil-Free Eye Make-up Remover Pads - I got this as a GWP with some other Marcelle makeup removing product and was pleasantly surprised! The pads are not scratchy and do a good job of taking off whatever eye makeup my cleanser has missed (FYI I don't usually wear heavy eye makeup though.) I kept this jar at bf's place since it's easier and takes up less space than a remover and facial cottons. I liked the effectiveness and convenience enough that I ordered another one during Marcelle's 40% Cyber Monday sale.

Marcelle Essentials Gentle Make-up Remover For Sensitive Eyes - I love this stuff. This is a bi-phase makeup remover, meaning the oily ingredients tend to separate from the watery stuff (much science explanation, I know) so it needs a good shake before pouring out into a cotton pad. Remember my love letter to Marcelle Soothing Cleansing Water? This is the stuff I use to take off waterproof makeup, which Cleansing Water (now called Micellar Water) sometimes struggles with. Makeup comes off in a flash and it never stings my eyes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nail art inspiration: butter London Steampunk Ball

I pull nail art inspiration from everything from nature to architecture to graphic prints, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a lot of my inspiration still comes from the beauty world. (Case in point: my Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream nails, and FYI I have another Marc Jacobs-inspired nail post coming soon!) When the holiday Steampunk Ball set from butter London popped up on my Instagram feed, I instantly went YES, DOING THIS and took a screenshot.
image via Nordstrom
I just love the look of all the gears and cogwheels; butter London is amazing at making covetable polishes and packaging.

Nail art: inspired by butter London Steampunk Ball
I started out with a base of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Black Out as the base (two coats), then topped it with L'Oreal The Matte Velvet, a mattifying top coat (I love this one for the not-super-flat finish.) Next, I painted in the gears and cogs with Orly Luxe and China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets. butter London seems to use only one shade of gold on the packaging, but I thought it would be fun to have a two-tone thing going on.

Nail art: inspired by butter London Steampunk Ball
For the longest time, I just could not figure out why my gears made me think less steampunk-industrial and more weird metallic flowers. I realized that I painted the teeth on my gears (called cogs apparently; thanks Wikipedia!) way too closely together--these gears are definitely just for show because they can't mesh together with other gears haha! I've since found out that butter London has a whole Steampunk Ball collection, including a set with rose-gold gears, so I might try this again and pay a little more attention next time.

What's a holiday beauty set that's caught your eye lately?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Crafty: Excel gum donut

I love the Excel Gum commercials. The cartoon donut, garlic, onion, and coffee make bad breath look pretty adorable. My brother and I especially love the donut--he's just so derpy and sweet (literally and figuratively!) Since I've started getting more into crochet, I promised to crochet him the little guy.

Here's one of the commercials, and the one I used as a reference when deciding proportion and how to construct the arms and legs.

Here he is! He came out pretty well if I do say so myself, although the colours are a bit off because I just used the closest matching yarn I had stashed. The icing has photographed as this eye-searing neon magenta, but the colour is more like a brightened pink (Loops & Threads Impeccable in Arbor Rose).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Urban Decay Chaos

Urban Decay Chaos nail polish
Last month I went on a girls' day trip to downtown Seattle; as a group of four fashion/beauty-loving women, there was no way we were just going to skip by Nordstrom Rack. I may or may not have seriously freaked out when I saw that they had Urban Decay polishes for $5, marked down from the original price of $15. I coveted these polishes when they came out with their shiny, gunmetal caps and perfectly UD-like shades but resisted... until now. You can't deny a deal like that!

Urban Decay Chaos nail polish swatch
Chaos is a gorgeous cobalt blue packed with very fine shimmer and (I think) glass fleck, as well as a super subtle pearl finish. Under bright light, this is the kind of polish that you just can't stop staring at because of the way all that microshimmer comes to life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick swatches + review
Did you know that Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick is 25 years old? I had no idea! This iconic lipstick/lip gloss hybrid from Clinique was introduced in 1989 and has been one of the brand's most popular lip products ever since.

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick swatches + review
I know you're thinking that this lipstick looks scary dark and wondering how such an intimidating-looking tube could be selling once every 3 minutes in the US. But I really think that Clinique delivers on its promise that this "blackened raisin" is meant to be a "go-to for women of every ethnicity."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two new ways to try the gradient nail

Hello! I'm back from a quick trip to Portland just in time to sneak in a post before the week is out! If you've wanted to try mixing up your standard smooth sponge gradient, this is the post for you. I tested out two different methods that put a new twist on the gradient nail, and used the same colours for ease of comparison.

Watercolour gradient nail art
First up is the "watercolour gradient" look. I absolutely loved this look when I saw it on The Nailasaurus and had to try it for myself! I have to say that Sammy makes it look so easy but I struggled a little bit with it (this is attempt #2). I don't want to be that person that blames it on the brush, but I swear it's because my one flat art brush (I mostly have fine detail brushes) sucks. It seemed to just drag the colour around unevenly a lot.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street

There is something magic about Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street--and I don't just mean the smooth formula. No, I mean like straight-up witchcraft.

Why? Because this is not what Nails Inc Queen Victoria Street looks like in real life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crafty: Squishy brioche cowl

Hello! Today's post is something a little bit different--it's my first crafty post on the blog, finally! I've been knitting off and on for about 8 years and wanted to share a recent project that is one of my prettiest to date. It's a rather pic-heavy post, hope you enjoy!

Right side / wrong side
This striped brioche cowl is one of the squishiest and coziest things I've ever made. I used Purl Bee's two-colour brioche cowl pattern as a guide, but brioche is a well-known stitch for making a gorgeously lush fabric with more squish and dimension that your standard stockinette stitch. The left side of the photo is the "right side" of the cowl, which features the cream yarn more prominently, but I actually prefer the "wrong side" (right photo) because it just looks so much more interesting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Vampire bat nails

How can I do a bunch of Halloween-themed nail art looks without including a classic scary monster/Halloween costume go-to? My vampire has a bit of a tan, but he's arrived with all of his bat minions >:D

Vampire bat nail art
In my Ominous Owl nail art post, I had suggested using a deep purple or red as a backdrop if you didn't have a sufficiently Halloween-y orange. I took my own advice and did a gradient sky with my two favourite deep purples, Zoya Ciara (base) and Layla Pro N.15 Purple Vamp. I really love how my bats against the gradient sky turned out--so much that I kind of wish I had done my entire hand like this (Mr. Vampire can be flying incognito among them lolol)

Vampire bat nail art
I used Nails Inc Basil Street as the base for my vampire, but I realized that my perfect nude shade is not quite right for him :< I should have put down a base colour of white to layer Basil Street on top of, in order to give him a more ghoulish, pale cast. The bats, moon, eyes, mouth, hair, and oversized fangs were all done in acrylic paint.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Costume Quest nails

Some people have a Halloween tradition of dressing up and going out to a party or carving lots of jack-o-lanterns. My Halloween tradition is to play Costume Quest and hand out the candy I like least to trick-or-treaters first, hoarding as many Coffee Crisps and Kit Kats for my personal consumption as possible. So when I started thinking up ideas for Halloween-themed nails, I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to try my hand at Costume Quest-inspired nails.

Costume Quest nail art
Costume Quest is one of those Games I Never Shut Up About™™™, meaning that it's a game that I really, really love and I will take any possible opportunity to tell you about it and why you should love it too. Costume Quest is a video game about trick-or-treaters that end up going on an adventure to rescue one of their friends from sugar-loving monsters.

image source: Wikipedia
Why do I love Costume Quest? Because I love the idea that on Halloween, these kids "become who [they] really are inside". When walking around in the neighborhood, the kid looks like s/he's just wearing blue boxes as a robot costume. In battle, s/he becomes an epic Gundam-looking robot that shoots rockets. I love getting a new costume and finding out what kind of awesome monster it translates to in battle. I love that you can choose between a male or female protagonist and that the dialogue is the same whether you are playing the boy or the girl. I like that in the promo materials, the female twin Wren's costume is a knight and not a princess or other gendered costume. I like the inclusion of POC. Basically you should just get it so we can be Costume Quest friends and talk about how great it is.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Swatches: hunting for my perfect plum lip

Last year, thanks to the Annabelle TwistUp campaign, I discovered a real love for deep, plummy lips thanks to Annabelle Royale. Of course, as a beauty blogger and all-around makeup magpie ("oooh, shiny!"), I can never settle with just one product, no matter how lovely it is. I wanted to find another stunner.

What I'm looking for: A deep plum. Not too cool-toned or red-leaning or blackened, and nothing too frosty or shimmery. (I suddenly feel like Goldilocks...) Anyway this somehow this spiralled down into a drugstore/Sephora swatch-fest of no less than 24!!! lip products. Way too much to post on Twitter, so I've thrown them all together in a blog post.

I'm not exactly happy with the swatches; I have adjusted them in Photoshop for better colour accuracy but bad lighting + phone camera = less than perfect results, and I am not about to re-swatch all of these. Hopefully somebody will find this somewhat helpful, as at least it offers some side-by-side comparisons.

A lot of these swatched much more berry or pink or red than I would have expected from the name or even the colour of the product itself. It's difficult to tell because even the colour in the tube can be deceiving sometimes: the actual lip bullet would look decently deep or plummy but then swatched much lighter or pinker than I expected.

Note: swatches are shown with 2 passes

Drugstore swatches 1 - with flash
From left to right: L'Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colour in Plum Adagio, L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Berry Persistent, Rimmel Matte Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 107, Maybelline Color Sensation Elixir in Amethyst Potion, Maybelline Color Sensation Elixir in Caviar Couture, Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Plum Paradise

Booooo. While lovely, most of these lean very red, even Plum Paradise. 107 is straight-up red. Plum Adagio stands out for being quite dark, but the actual colour reminds me more of a black cherry (needs moar plum!)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MaskerAide sheet masks

I'm always looking for ways to plump and protect my often-dry, sensitive skin, especially during fall-winter when windy weather and going back and forth between cold outdoors and warm, dry indoors can wreak havoc on skin. I'm especially wary around this time of year when my skin sensing/reacting to the weather transitioning--this time last year I had a shockingly bad and inexplicable eczema flareup that affected basically a third of my face. So when the recently-launched Obsessed Canada offered to let me check out a few hydrating masks from the MaskerAide sheet mask line, I was all um yes please but also secretly: I really hope this doesn't make my face freak out. Spoiler: everything turns out okay for my face.

The MaskerAide range of sheet masks promise a "highly-concentrated Argan Oil based serum" with six different masks to suit your skin's needs. Out of the six, I chose to test I Don't Wanna Grow Up, Weather Warrior, and Beauty Rest'ore. I love the playful illustration style of the packaging, which shows the mask being worn in a setting that fits the theme of that mask--in I Don't Wanna Grow Up, our heroine is splashing in a fountain.

I Don't Wanna Grow Up promises to "lift, firm, and soften fine lines" and features ylang-ylang oil, vitamin E, collagen, and elastin to fight signs of aging.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An ominous owl

Hello! I've been sitting on this Halloween-themed nail art for about a week and figure it's about time to share. I'm actually a huge wuss when it comes to scary stuff--lately I've been seeing cool tutorials for spiders and eyeballs but it's not my style (hate spiders, find clusters of eyeballs unsettling.) Instead I have a vaguely Halloween-y/fall nail art with elements I enjoy painting much more :>

My ominous owl is sitting on a creeeeepy tree silhouetted by the spooky moon.. or something. I used orange nail polish from Metropolis at Metrotown's Pop Up Nail Bar and acrylic paints. I would have liked to use a more accessible orange nail polish, but this is the only truly orange, Halloween-appropriate polish I have--the others lean a bit peachy or coral. Covergirl Glosstini in Orange Oasis, Color Club Koo-Koo Cachoo, and Zoya Thandie seem to be good options.

The orange is a bit off here--first photo is more colour-accurate!
This nail look is incredibly easy to do. I love painting spindly, knobby tree branches and they're so beginner-friendly because they don't need a super steady hand. In fact, it might turn out extra cool with a slightly shaky hand. To do this look, you need to first paint on your base colour (if you don't have orange, try a deep red or purple!). Next, add your moon in a pale, buttery yellow. Use a sheer pale yellow or white going around the moon to imitate a "glow". I also meant to go back in and shade in craters but forgot. Paint in your tree trunk, and then branches with a fine brush. Add an oval blob and paint little ears on for your owl. Lastly, use a dotting tool and use the same polish as the moon to dot in the eyes. Let everything thoroughly dry before applying your top coat and you're set!

What do you think of my ominous owl? What Halloween-themed nail looks have you been loving?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards 2014 Vancouver Cocktail

Today's post is a real multitasker: nails, makeup, and outfit all rolled into one! Last month I attended a cocktail event celebrating the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) at the gorgeous Fairmont Pacific Rim. CAFA is all about recognizing achievements in the Canadian fashion industry, including stylists, designers, photographers, and models. Canada has so much fantastic talent; it was a great opportunity for me to do a little homework and learn about some homegrown designers I hadn't known before. I wanted to do a nail design inspired by the work of one of CAFA's 2014 winners and ended up really loving the Womenswear Designer of the Year, Jeremy Laing. Here's the inspiration, from the SS 2014 show:

source: Jeremy Laing website

I translated it into a white-on-beige windowpane look using Nails Inc Basil Street, OPI Alpine Snow, and nail tape. I had never done such an elaborate tape mani before and it was honestly a frigging pain in the ass. You can see I had a lot of trouble on the ring and middle fingers, where the tape took off some of my base colour Basil Street and/or left an uneven edge on the white polish I painted over top. I love that Basil Street is my perfect nude: it covers the whites (tips) of my nails and gives the illusion that I did the windowpane directly on top of my bare nails. I ended up being surprised by how cool and chic it looked, and I got a lot of compliments on it too. If you would like to try this look yourself, I have a tutorial coming soon! I started writing some quick tips on how to do this look here, but it became so long that I'm just going to turn it into a separate post .__."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lise Watier Féline Eyeshadow Quartet

Hello! More Lise Watier today: here's the lovely Féline Eyeshadow Quartet, which is another piece to the fall Féline collection, along with the Féline Lip Lacquer in Rouge reviewed previously this week.

Lise Watier Féline Eyeshadow Quartet
The gorgeous leopard print takes centre stage here in a rose-gold trimmed compact. The compact has a pleasant weight to it--not super heavy, but doesn't feel flimsy--and is held shut with strong magnets (no need to wreck your mani trying to pry this open!)

Lise Watier Féline Eyeshadow Quartet
The compact looks a little yellow on my monitor but I promise it's rose gold!
The four colours in this quad are a pale champagne, medium taupe, pale rose pink, and copper, all with some shimmer to them. They are lightly stamped with leopard-print impressions. A small well holds two dual-tipped sponge applicators, but could hold a small travel eye brush as long as it is 8 cm or less.

Lise Watier Féline Eyeshadow Quartet
I really liked the soft, buttery texture of these shadows. Bonus: unlike some other eyeshadows from various brands I've tried, these didn't kick up a lot of powder when I ran a brush through them, so things don't get messy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lise Watier Féline Lip Lacquer in Rouge

New and for just a limited time during this fall season, Lise Watier is introducing their Féline collection. This three-piece collection features a beautiful leopard motif accented in rose gold. I will be posting about the eyeshadow quartet and eyeliner soon, but today is all about the gorgeousness of Lise Watier's Féline Lip Lacquer in Rouge.

Lise Water Féline Lip Lacquer in Rouge
Féline Lip Lacquers promise a highly pigmented, long-lasting formula with a matte finish. Rouge is a deep tomato red with neutral undertones. (If you're not convinced by the beautiful red in the swatches below, Féline Lip Lacquer is also available in Nude, a rosy beige.)

I've always been a little wary of matte lip products because they can be drying, which is bad news for extra-dry lips like mine. Happily, I was surprised to find that the Féline Lip Lacquer was very comfortable to wear and not heavy-feeling even on dry, sensitive lips like mine. I also loved that despite the lipgloss-like packaging, it isn't sticky like a gloss at all. I tested this during the summer and was so pleased to be able to wear this driving with the windows down and not end up with a mouth full of hair!

Lise Watier Féline Lip Lacquer in Rouge swatches
LW Féline Lip Lacquer in Rouge / Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Raspberry / Revlon Super Lustrous in Wine with Everything / Annabelle TwistUp in Red Carpet
In my collection, Rouge is probably closest to Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Wine With Everything, but Rouge is just a touch deeper and has a matte finish. Wine With Everything has a slight brightness to it in comparison to Rouge.

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