Love this boy.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Remember this post, from ages ago? Well, the amazing talent behind those gorgeous cheekbones just started up a youtube channel.

While I don’t usually support yt, because (let’s face it,) 95% of what’s on there is a) the same, or b) not all that great, I am definitely going to be checking his channel for updates! Here’s to hoping he puts up some more incredible makeup, oui?

(Alternately, check out his portfolio here.)

(Okay, so this is going to be completely out there, but: having this many links in a post makes me feel uncomfortable. There! I said it! I just… hate hate hate putting this many links into one post, and not including images. But, then again, lots of irrational things make me uncomfortable! Like sand. And using public washrooms. And TOES.)

Vow of Silence

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I’m going silent for twenty-four hours starting now (15:00 GMT -07:00) today. Just thought I’d let you know! Seeing as normal (verbal) silence gets in the way of… well, kind of the entire learning process, I decided to go keyboard-silent instead.

What does this mean? I’ll still moderate comments and such, but I won’t be replying to anything! As well, anything that needs a password or url typed in, etc — that’ll just have to wait until 3’oclock on Friday. (Things that need to be clicked are fair game, though! And, of course, I’ll make exceptions if something needs to be done for one of my classes.) I recognize that for some people, this doesn’t sound to bad, but it’s me. Gmail is basically just another organ that genetics simply forgot to put inside my body.

Here’s last year’s Vow of Silence promo — I couldn’t find one for 2010!

Talk to you tomorrow afternoon, lovelies ♥

Finding a highlighter: MAC Pearl vs. Hush

A little while ago, reader Lena sent an email my way and asked me if I could recommend a highlighter “that gives a nice sheen/glow… but nothing too shimmery.” She’s NC20 and Korean, and was thinking of either MAC Pearl or Hush.

Because it’s a question that I get asked quite a lot, I thought I’d address it on theNotice!

Pearl, then Hush. Both are looking a little dark & burnt in this photo for no apparent reason.
But for the record, Pearl does not look like burnt vanilla custard.

In my opinion, Pearl and Hush are both great highlighters for NC20-ish skin. The difference is that Pearl is a yellow-toned off-white, whereas Hush is a peachy-pink. Pearl would be a more universal shade, going with everything (or alone) to create a glow, but Hush will go amazingly with specific shades (or skintones.)

Pearl heavily, then lightly; Hush heavily, then lightly. Indirect morning through-the-clouds sunlight.

Imagine this: you have a scale running from one to ten; ten being gorgeous and one being kind of dowdy. Kind of really dowdy. Now, Pearl runs from a five to an eight 95% of the time, no matter what else you have on your face, how tan you are, etc. Hush, on the other hand? It’s a 1-3 20% of the time, 4-8 50% of the time, and 9-10 30% of the time. (For an NC20, that is — on someone with darker skin, say NC30, these proportions would be more like 0%-50%-50%!)

I know, I know — I’m being confusing and I’m sorry!!

Pearl heavily, then lightly; Hush heavily, then lightly. Indirect sunlight without the clouds.

The bottom line is that they’re both great choices, but if you wear a lot of light pinks or plums (like me!) then Pearl will likely be a better choice. If you wear a lot of peachy shades or bronzers, though, Hush has the potential to be unbelievably amazing.

Volumelip: a lipgloss to rave about

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What it is: Annabelle‘s Volumelip gloss

The good: I’ve been going crazy trying to get my hands on a tube of this — for number of reasons! Not only are these babes paraben-free, they also feature adorable packaging. What I didn’t expect was the soft, silicone-tip applicator… I’m not quite sure what I was expecting (perhaps something harder?) but I know this for sure: it’s awesome! The angle and “springiness” makes spreading out the gloss easy, not to mention comfortable. (Nothing irks me more than good packaging ruined by a hard, sharp applicator.)

More good: The two shades that I’ve been test driving, Sweet Tweet and Cherryoké, are pretty darn fabulous. Sweet Tweet is a milky pink pearled with gorgeous gold microshimmer, whereas Cherryoké is a brilliant vivid fuchsia-leaning-coral. They’re marketed as being sheer, but despite that: these tubes deliver just the right amount of colour! It’s definitely enough to be noticeable, but not so much that you have to panic about bleeding and fading all day long. While they are sheer, they’re not tinted-lip-balm or lip-treatment sheer.

Cherryoké (left,) Sweet Tweet (right)

Even more good: I didn’t expect this last bout of awesomeness, but it was pleasantly surprising! These are literally, completely, 100% scent free. Give that a moment to set in — no awful synthetic stench, no waiting for a light scent to fade into nothingness, no plasticy or minty odour. Just… nothing.

It’s absolutely brilliant!

Sweet Tweet. Very light, but sheer enough to be easy to wear. Your lip colour, but toned down a tiny bit with some pearl.

One last bit of good: The stick factor is very, very minimal (imagine wearing Vaseline,) but these feel lovely and plush on my lips. Ooh, and the colour doesn’t patch or streak. And the formula isn’t drying! It’s not as moisturizing as a good lip balm, but it doesn’t strip my lips in the least.

(Okay, so that was three last bits, not one. I guess I lied.)

The bad: The only complaint I had was that the adorable tubes are quite hard to squeeze. However, Annabelle has already reworked the packaging so that it will look the exact same, but feature a much softer plastic. In other words? No complaints whatsoever!

Cherryoké. I’m in love! It’s perfect — MLBB, bright, fresh, natural-looking, glitter-free…
The verdict? Once these hit shelves in my area, I’m guessing they’ll feature the soft tubes. And if they do, my sister and I plan on picking up the rest of the line — I kid you not. As far as semi-sheer glosses go, this is as good as it will ever get. I honestly cannot think of a single change I’d make to these, from the formula to the packaging!

The only thing I can imagine Annabelle doing with respect to these glosses is adding shades, because these glosses kick the crap out of my old favourite gloss (also an Annabelle) and pretty much every other medium-to-sheer gloss I’ve tried. Honestly. 

Hey, old favourite? (Annabelle Flash Dance; right.) Meet new favourite! (Cherryoké; left.)
[Yes, I’m feeling indecisive today. How did you know?]

If you (for some crazy reason) will only ever buy one item I rave about… make it this one. The packaging is perfect, the formula is perfect, the two shades I tried were perfect — hell, even the price (just $8.50 CAD) is perfect!

But I love gratuitous photos!

2010 FiFi Finalists

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yep, it’s that time already — the finalists for this year’s FiFi awards have been announced! I’ve cut out the men’s and boutique awards, but if you’re interested, I’m sure you’ll be able to find them with just a couple of click and tap-tap-taps with the help of Google. Voting on the awards begins midnight tonight and continues until May 19th, so feel free to have your say!

Fragrance of the Year: Women’s Luxe
bebe Eau de Parfum – Inter Parfums USA
Crescent Row Collection – Benefit
Flora by Gucci – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
Lola Marc Jacobs – Coty Prestige
Very Hollywood Michael Kors Eau de Parfum—The Estee Lauder Companies
YSL Parisienne – YSL Beaute/L’Oreal

Fragrance of the Year: Women’s Popular Appeal (6 in this category due to a tie)
Avril Lavigne Black Star – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
Faith Hill Parfums – Coty
Flirt! Flowerific Perfume Spray – The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Halle by Halle Berry – Coty
Mariah Carey Ultra Pink – Elizabeth Arden
Super Samba Woman – The Perfumer’s Workshop Int’l., Ltd.

Fragrance of the Year: Women’s Nouveau Niche
Bond No. 9 Astor Place – Bond No. 9 New York
Eau Mega by Viktor & Rolf – L’Oréal USA
essence narciso rodriguez eau de parfum – Beauté Prestige International
Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise – The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
L’Eau Ambrée by Prada – Puig USA, Inc.  — you know this one has my vote in a heartbeat!

Fragrance of the Year: Women’s Private Label/Direct Sell
Bath & Body Works Signature Collection Twilight Woods EDT – Bath & Body Works
In Bloom by Reese Witherspoon – Avon Products, Inc.
Love Rocks – Victoria’s Secret
Naturelle – Yves Rocher North America Inc.

Fragrance Hall of Fame Nominees (honors a fragrance that has been on the market for 15 or more years)
CK one – Calvin Klein Cosmetics/Coty Prestige
Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier – Beaute Prestige International
Cristalle EDT – Chanel
Donna Karan Cashmere Mist EDT – Donna Karan Cosmetics/Estee Lauder Companies
Fahrenheit – Christian Dior Parfums
Gap Dream – Inter Parfums, Inc.
Pour un Homme – Caron Paris
Rapture – Victoria’s Secret Beauty
Red Door – Elizabeth Arden

Fragrance: the quick ‘n dirty beginners’ guide, part three

Congratulations, burgeoning fragrance junkies! We’ve made it to the third day. As promised, I have just a bit more information for you…

Fragrance finders

Once you know the names of a couple fragrances you’re into, the internet becomes your best friend! Both Sephora and Nordstrom have handy frag finders that sort out scents by their families and subfamilies, leading you towards other things you might like. (Sephora also has an in-store version of a fragrance finder on cool, touch-screen monitors.)

Formulations, and concentrations
Fragrances can be found in a ton of forms, from the traditional sprays, to solids, to silicone-y gels, to candles, to lotions, to body washes and bars of luxurious soap… at the end of the day, though, the one thing you need to remember is to smell the form you’ll be buying! Most fragrances will smell quite similar in spray form vs. lotion (for instance,) but some fragrances are less precise.

When it comes to traditional perfume, though, you still have to keep an eye out for EdT, EdP, and parfum concentrations! Not only do they include different percentages of pure parfum, they can sometimes vary in the absolute used, as well! Two of the best examples that come to mind for this are Chanel’s Coco and Dior’s Miss Dior Cherie. Coco is spicier in its EdT formulation, and a sharper floral in its EdP formulation; Miss Dior Cherie is gorgeous in its EdP formulation but watered down and more synthetic in its EdT formulation. (I thorougly dislike its EdT — but that’s a story for another day.)

Perfume extract/Extrait/Parfum: 15-40%
Eau de Parfum/Parfum de Toilette/ Eau de Perfume: 10-20%
Eau de Toilette: 5-15%
Eau de Cologne/Cologne: Chypre citrus type perfumes with 3-8%
Splash and After shave: 1-3% aromatic compoundsvia Wikipedia and previous knowledge… how unglamorous!

Helpful reads
Now Smell This is definitely my favourite ‘fume blog, and there’s a handy perfume-for-beginners article here! This is a stellar example of a blogger who does her “job” much better than I. Even just googling for reviews can be handy too, though — the only place I’d avoid would be something like (Have you noticed how 99% of the fragrance reviews are “I love this! It’s perfect! So sexy!” for every bloody fragrance?! It annoys the crap out of me.)

I’d also recommend reading Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’ Perfumes: the A – Z Guide. While I don’t treat their word as the bible by any means, their reviews are often insightful (and hilarious!), and the book’s (albeit much too short!) introduction provides a brilliant background on the world that is the perfume industry. Here is an excerpt from my favourite chapter! There are a number of fragrance books in existance, but this was an easy read, and it was easy to find — the public library isn’t too focused on perfume, apparently!

That’s the end of our fragrance beginner’s guide, ladies! Thanks for sticking around, and remember: my door (or, rather, my comments thread) is always open for questions or comments :)
Missed an installment? Check out the first two parts of this guide here and here!
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