When fresh flowers meet French braids (plus a light, translucent summer makeup look.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

What happens when you mix oh-god-keep-it-off-my-face braids (also known as “partial French” or “cascade,” but really, where’s the fun in that) with a Crown of Thorns that constantly thinks it’s dying?

Apparently, the answer is festival-floral hair, to match your face daisies, because why not. It’s thirty degrees and the heat is killing you, so you may as well put some of those panic-flowers into your braids, right?

(Backstory; the plants in our house are constantly flowering, and I’m convinced it’s because they think they’re going to dehydrate & are feeling the need to spawn before it’s all over. Poor things.)

It starts with a braid, 

Adds in some flowers, 

And ends something that might not actually be all that terrible. 

I don’t get terribly excited about hair (love cutting it, love colouring it, love braiding it — but only on other people,) so I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping this isn’t extra-boring for all of you. I can’t even remember the last time I used the hair tag, so I suppose it just goes to show how infrequently it crosses my mind.

And, well for those of you who do like hair:

Check out the full tutorial of the look here.

And hey, about that face…

The makeup in this post is pretty basic, but I did take a few [more] shots of it. Any interest in the product rundown/more photos? I know you’ve already seen it twice (this post, and the storybook daisies one), so I think I’m just going to sit on the photos for a rainy day — but let me know if you want to see more of it, and I’ll get a post up sooner.

Keep reading! »

Helpless Wednesday flailing, with a side-helping of daisies! and some recommended reading

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As those of you who follow me on Twitter probably already know (@theNotice; you know you want to), I’ve been swamped recently with a summer term neuropsych course. Four months of course material, meet five and a half ridiculous weeks of studying. Try not to set anything on fire.

So, instead of a post, have some objects involving daisies!

(Plus, one last image from last week’s festival/floral makeup look…)

& finally, a few posts to read while you’re nursing your Rae withdrawal.

– From the “big blogs”: Karen looks at the NARS Foreplay cheek palette, on Makeup and Beauty Blog, &  Christine has a wonderful Beauty Blogging 101 series over at Temptalia. (The series is a must-read for all the bloggers around here who can’t get enough of blogging tips, so scurry on over!)

– I’m kind of flailing over the NARS High Society trio, too, at the moment. The quality doesn’t sound phenomenal, but the slightly-strange combination of shades is definitely working in its favour. (See it on MABB & Temptalia.)

– Tracy (my comrade-in-arms when it comes to being chronically ill and chronically Edmontonian) tried her first Tom Ford blush recently. Which, I mean: you’d expect that the review would be glowing, right? Not so much (!)

– How pretty is this muted lavender Laqa & Co. nail polish on Charlotte? The name (Incestuous. Classy.) probably needs to be changed, like, yesterday, but still. Pretty!

– And, finally, on the gorgeous-cheekbones and face-chomping front,  Xiao has preview swatches of Guerlain Fall 2012. Don’t lie; I know you want to see them, so hide your wallets and have a look.

A bright gold Monday morning Fantasy with LUSH Emotional Brilliance

Monday, July 16, 2012

I wear a really startling amount of gold eyeliner, so a good, reliable (read: permanent-range) gold has been on the top of my wishlist for months. I have and love Marcelle Lux Diamond Pure Gold, which I rave about on a pretty frequent basis, but I’m constantly on the lookout for a solid gold: a smooth, metallic finish, rather than chunky glitter.

(Which isn’t to say that chunky glitter is a bad thing; I’m crazy about chunky glitter. It would be nice to have both on hand, though, you know?)

I can think of very few brands who do gold eyeliners, and even less who do them in the tone I’m looking for. (Less bumble-bee yellow and a little bit closer to white-gold, or at the very least, antique gold). Take the liquid component of the sentence–an integral part thereof–into consideration, and just like that… results found: 0.

(Make Up For Ever #9L might have fit the bill, but: pencil.)

Meet LUSH Fantasy.

I haven’t had a chance to see this one in person, yet, but I’m excited for it: a permanent-range gold liquid eyeliner, no chunkiness in sight. At $22.95 CAD for a whopping 8g of product–most liners are about 2g,–Fantasy is one of two eyeliners in the Emotional Brilliance range that have been formulated with a long-lasting, no-smudge formula. (The others are designed to take longer to set for a softer, more blendable look.)

Keep your fingers crossed for this one, fellow gold-lovers!

P.S. The Emotional Brilliance range is housed in glass bottles (both recyclable & easy to reuse) with disposable wand applicators made from recycled black LUSH pots. With no extra packaging (the ingredients and info are all on the name-tag, attached with a basic black hair elastic), they’re designed to look cool on a dressing table & travel just as well.

This cruelty-free range will launch July 21st in LUSH stores and online.

Storybook daisies: basically, the highlight of my summer. | Summer festival makeup tutorial

Friday, July 13, 2012

You guys, I don’t even know what to say about this one. I had so much fun doing it, and I’m ridiculously happy with the results — after a little colour-balancing and curves, I feel like I managed to get a “glow” that I (really, certainly, very much) do not have in real life.

(If any of you ever meet me in person, you are going to be so disappointed by my face, I kid you not.)

I started playing around with this look on the back of my hand, but (clearly,) it didn’t exactly go to plan. After seeing Pixie Lott’s V festival look from last year, I knew I had to do something with bright white flowers — storybook daisies, if you will. Instead of pairing the flowers with super-dark eyes and bold lips, though, I went softer, choosing sheer melon lips and a translucent gold and violet eye.

I hope you enjoy the look!

Read the tutorial on She Said Beauty here.

Keep reading for more photos, plus a product listing »

(Ultra)blast away toothpaste-breath & bring on the Breath of God with LUSH Toothy Tabs: a quick review

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The product: LUSH Toothy Tabs

   ↳ in Dirty, Ultrablast, Breath of God, and Aquatic

The creation: LUSH created Toothy Tabs–their new-this-year and entirely unique solid toothpaste–to strip down conventional ideas about toothpaste. Free of plastic packaging (these no-frills boxes are made out of 100% recycled paper, and can in turn be recycled) and preservatives, the tabs differ drastically from a tube of Colgate or Crest both in formula and in form of delivery, which makes them a really unique (and travel-friendly) experience.

How they work: Created by Helen Ambrosen, one of the company’s co-founders, the tabs are made from a sodium bicarbonate + cream of tartar base, with essential oils and spices to give a light, clean aftertaste instead of the typical aggressively minty one. The oils were chosen both for their scents (Simon Constantine, who designed the seven flavours, describes it as perfuming someone’s breath) and for their antiseptic qualities, meaning they both clean your palette and help prevent bacteria that leads to bad breath.

“A gentle surfactant creates the foaming effect that helps dissolve the bacterial build up on your teeth, which you can get rid of completely by brushing. Sodium bicarbonate helps to thoroughly clean and whiten your teeth and the cream of tartar helps to make the solid form. Dicalcium phosphate is included to help polish the teeth, glycerine acts as a humectant while saccharin sweetens.”

My thoughts on the Toothy Tabs

I’ve been testing out LUSH’s [no longer] new Toothy Tabs for a good few months, now, and I still find myself waiting for them to “click.” They’re really cool, of course, and super-portable, but I’m not really sold on the taste. They’re a lot better than most natural toothpastes, for sure, and less agressive than the drugstore’s seemingly endless supply of super-spicy offerings, but the baking soda makes them overbearingly salty, overall.

Travel- and texture-wise, though, I quite like these. I keep a few tabs in a tiny plastic baggie in my purse, and they’re so much more compact than a small tube of toothpaste. (Easier to use, too; you just pop one in your mouth and chew, no finicky toothpaste tube caps involved.) They froth up really nicely when brushed as normal with a wet toothbrush, creating a more dense foam than I’ve ever gotten from toothpaste.

The verdict?

At $3.95 CAD for a box of 40 tabs, LUSH makes it pretty easy to try out the Toothy Tabs. In the long run, yeah, you’re paying more for your toothpaste, but (if you can find a flavour that you like,) I think they’re well worth the cost.

The tabs are portable, convenient, eco-friendly, and come in seven flavours — way more than your typical toothpaste. (Is this still true? I’ve used Colgate Winterfresh for coming up on ten years now!) If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly toothpaste, or you want a natural toothpaste that tastes strange without actually tasting awful (ahem, Tom’s of Maine), give these a try.

Additional photos &amp more »

Annabelle Hawaïan Hues Eyeshadow Palette review, photos, swatches

Monday, July 9, 2012

The product: Annabelle Hawaïan Hues Eyeshadow Palette

Included in this season’s Aqua Queen collection (alongside the new Biggy bronzer; review soon), Annabelle’s new eyeshadow palette contains ten new paraben-free eyeshadows in a mix of finishes and shades. I almost wish that these were all part of the regular line–I would love to have entire pans of a few,–but it’s kind of nice that they aren’t.

The palette, which retails for a mere $12.95, is a steal at just over a doller per shade. If you really love one or two of these eyeshadows, I’d say snap up a few backups now, while they’re still on shelves!

The formula: Like Annabelle’s Mono and Trio eyeshadows, the shadows in this palette are nothing to scoff at. While not as buttery as a brand like Senna, or as intense as something from Make Up For Ever, they’re more than decent for the drugstore — easily on par with a handful of mid-range brands, in terms of quality and colour complexity.

Each shade is smooth and blendable, both applying and buffing out easily & evenly. The intensity of individual shades will be covered below.

Annabelle Hawaïan Hues Eyeshadow Palette swatches (dry on primed skin).

The shades: In terms of everyday shades, Hawaïan Hues includes two light/medium neutrals (a sheer, shimmering beige and a warm, shimmery-but-pigmented coppery orange), two medium/dark neutrals (a buttery, intensely pigmented, frost-finish coppery brown and a smooth, blendable matte black), and two violet shades (a lovely grey-violet with silver shimmers and a sheer, glowing lavender).

In the palette are four brights, as well —  a buttery, pigmented bright blue that’s more pigment than finely-milled shimmer (though it has plenty of both), a shimmery blue-green (more teal than turquoise), a shimmery, grassy green, and, finally, a shimmery bright yellow.

Annabelle Hawaïan Hues Eyeshadow Palette — click to enlarge.

Aside from the shimmering beige & the glowing lavender, whose light pigmentation is very obviously deliberate (and stunning), all of these shades range from medium to strong opacity — even the green and yellow eyeshadows. None of them suffer from any chalkiness or patchiness when applied or swatched, but keep an eye out for glitter fallout after you apply!

I was really impressed by the Hawaïan Hues palette, to be honest, and I’d love to see more of these from Annabelle. While some shades were better, they were all still good — a consistency in quality that you often don’t even see from high-end brands, much less drugstore ones. (Ahem, MAC limited edition quads, we’re looking at you.)

The verdict?

Honestly, if you still feel yourself needing a “verdict” at this point, I think you need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. :P

With solid, compact packaging and ten well-chosen shades, I’d recommend this one in a heartbeat. Paraben-free and under $15, it’s worth picking up whether you’re a colour lover or you’re just now beginning to move away from the neutrals!

Keep reading! »

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