A last-minute Halloween idea: Star-studded beauty

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m awful at planning things in advance, as you might have noticed. (Full disclosure; I managed to schedule tomorrow’s review for this morning. It was up for a little over three hours, so if any of you are wondering where it went — well, went to go hide behind Nov. 1st for the meantime.)

So, here’s one for all of you who want a cool, wearable Halloween look that requires almost no planning. Because, let’s be honest, sometimes planning is just one of those things that should (but totally never manages to) happen.

For a full tutorial, don’t miss this post on She Said Beauty! 

Not just easy to co-ordinate, this look is pretty easy to assemble, too. Start out with a basic face; medium-coverage foundation; plenty of powder and contouring. The lip and cheek colours are up to you (I love a good reddish lip in the fall), as is the brow shape — just make sure to fill them; with a focal point away from your eyes, you’ll want to make sure they’re still adequately framed.

If you’re adding illuminator to your cheekbones, try to pick a powder product to get better wear out of the stars.

Start your eyes with a basic, matte smokey eye, then add a little bit of interest for Halloween’s sake. I went with a metallic gold, lining my upper lashline with LUSH Fantasy & taking Fyrinnae Polar Bear through the inner corners. Then, after mascara, I took Fantasy along a few of the tips of my upper lashes, too. (You can see it more in the flash photo, later in this post.)

Another option that’s just as easy is to sparkle with pointed intent — pick a loose pigment with a larger particle size of shimmer, then pat it onto the middle of your lids and/or the inner corners. Don’t blend it too well, leaving it instead to juxtapose with the matte lid shades, and choose something with coloured reflects (eg. red at an angle or with flash, but unnoticeable straight-on) for extra impact.

From there, grab some lash glue & craft store confetti to take the look from pretty to Halloween-levels-of-awesome. I kind of cheated on both, to be honest; instead of lash glue, I used an Annabelle Glitterama Liquid Eyeliner (glitter liners are my stash secret for when I’m out of proper fixatives) & picked the gold and silver stars out of a rainbow mix of loose stars.

What? It’s not poor planning; it’s totally innovation.

Keep reading! »

Trick or Tweet: Sephora Nail Patch Art Giveaway

What could be more perfect for Halloween than sparkly (seriously sparkly; these things are a little intimidating) orange and red nail polish appliqués? I keep meaning to do giveaways (and then forgetting about them), so here’s a little flash giveaway for today.

To win a set of Sephora Collection Nail Patch Art stickers in Orange Sunset, follow @theNotice on Twitter & tweet me the name of your favourite Halloween treat. For an extra entry, RT this tweet!

This giveaway is open internationally (as long as you have an active postal address & you’re legally allowed to enter; I’m not hiking through the Appalachians just your prize to you.) You have until midnight today to get your entries in, so good luck!

Have a safe & happy Halloween, everyone :) 

How-to: Dramatic smokey eyes (with a bit of extra sparkle)

Monday, October 29, 2012

I warned you that there’d be a lot of this black smokey eye this month, but I promise — this is the last post focusing on it! I really loved the look, though, and I wanted to share a step-by-step how-to before leaving it behind and moving on.

It’s a really high-impact look that’s surprisingly easy to do, so keep reading for all of the tips & tricks that’ll give your smokey eye that extra oomph.

(Holy crap, I just realized that contouring is like a push-up bra… for your face. I never anticipated needing to use these words, but: I have to tweet this.)

A smokey eye tutorial with an extra edge

[ What does it even mean to “have edge;” is “edge” actually a thing that you can have? And if it is, is your worth determined by the number of edges you have, or is edge a singular entity of varying size? Is this all just a muddy anecdote having to do with metaphorical sharpness? ]

Start off the look with a black cream base, applying it quickly (before it sets) but not worrying too much about the edges. I used an Annabelle SmudgePaint in Glitzy Black, LE this fall — the creamy texture and solidly-setting formula make it a great choice for a smokey eye, and the intense black-plus-shimmer shade made it perfect for this look.

(Make sure you get it through your lashes, too, or the final look will end up more crazy than classy.)

You’ll need to follow up with a shimmery black powder eyeshadow (or a black eyeshadow and a shimmery one, separately,) so I swatched a few different products and picked the most intense.

From L-R, below: (1) NYX Eyeshadow in Black + FaceFront Artistic Pigment in Silver Fox; (2) the black from Clarins’ Mineral Eye Quartet in Graphites; (3) FaceFront Pressed Eyeshadow in Printed + Artistic Pigment in Silver Fox; (4) MAC Pigment in Dark Soul.


I could have gotten a better shimmer density with Dark Soul, but MAC pigments are so finicky to work with — and I didn’t want the look to be all bark with no bite, you know?

I ended up using NYX’s black eyeshadow (ridiculously buttery and pigmented, for the price) layered underneath FaceFront Silver Fox, but we’ll deal with the shimmer in a minute. First, just take the black eyeshadow overtop your cream base, using it to give shape and blend out the cream liner’s harsh(er) edges.

From there, pull the black eyeshadow through your lower lashline, take a step back and re-evaluate: it’ll change how your eyes are weighted, visually, and I often find I have to go back and add height to the eyeshadow on my lids at this point.

Follow up with black liner along your waterlines (if you used a shimmery base, swap it out for something with a cream finish), then move on to filling your brows. Pick something with a bit of a cooler tone, and don’t be afraid to mix a bit of grey into your usual shade to get the right shade!

Keep reading! »

On the cutting room floor | Sephora + Pantone Lacquers

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I took a break from Halloween this weekend to go over some more fall launches before the season ends — which, for the record, is going to be altogether too soon. Partway through cutting some SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE images, though, (don’t you just hate it when names are awkwardly capitalized? Like, um, theNotice?), I got distracted and ended up putting together this little guy for you…

The two polishes not in this (interactive!) image will be reviewed early this week, hopefully. Have a great Sunday, my dearlings!

How happy hands (and happy noses) make for a happy blogger, too | L’Occitane Shea Butter Fortune Flowers collection review, photos

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The collection: L’Occitane Shea Butter Fortune Flowers (LE) Collection

     ↳ The products: Shea Butter Lip Balm, Hand Cream, and Body Cream in…

          The scents: Date Bouquet, Rose Petals, and Mango Flower.

The Shea Butter Fortune Flowers collection draws inspiration from the West African ancestral traditions of basket weaving (for the packaging) and storytelling (for the scents,) focusing on the three African fortune flowers — rose, date, and mango.

While I’m actually not a huge fan of many L’Occitane fragrances, I think the scents in this collection are gorgeous: fresh, soft, and well-blended. The Mango Flower fragrance is particularly edible, and Rose Petals is stunning; delicate and soft without any being cloying or dusty in the least.

Shea Butter Lipbalm in Date Bouquet, $18.00 

100% natural, 55% organic, and 10% fair trade shea butter, this lip balm has a lot going for it, at least from a distance. That said, though, it’s actually my least favourite Fortune Flowers product out of the three I’ve tried, both in scent and formula (though neither was, per se, actually bad.)

Based in vegetable, castor, and sunflower seed oils, as well as the 10% shea base, this lip balm formula just doesn’t seem to give enough moisture for my lips. It goes on smoothly and feels lightweight, but it’s just not what I’m looking for: too slippery to use under lipsticks but not hydrating enough for a night treatment, I think I’d recommend this only as a bare-lip balm, and then only if you really liked the scent.

The verdict?

It’s not a bad product, but at $18 a tube, I’d skip this one. The lip balm gives decent moisture and wears comfortably, but like the Date Bouquet scent, it’s just good, you know? Whereas the rest of the collection is actually great.

Shea Butter Hand Cream in Rose Petals, $12.00        *Silicone-free! 

L’Occitane’s shea-based hand creams are by far their most iconic product, and for good reason. The formula is rich and hydrating, but it absorbs without an oily finish, and you don’t have to wait around for it to sink in.

Formulated with 20% fair trade shea butter, the Rose Petals Shea Butter Hand Cream leaves hands feeling soft and moisturized, and I absolutely love the scent — it’s light and slightly sweet, hitting just the right balance of both. Less sugary than your typical cherry blossom fragrance (for example), but without the metallic tang of cheap rosewater, it’s noticeable but far from overwhelming.

The verdict?

I find most rose scents too cloying, but I can’t get enough of this one. Uncharacteristically subtle for the brand, it’s the perfect “office drawer moisturizer,” a gorgeous midday pick-me-up for dry hands that won’t leave your hands greasy (and won’t fill up the whole floor with fragrance).

Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream in Mango Flower, $28.00

I tried my Mango Flower Ultra Rich Body Cream weeks before anything else, and I thought it was going to be the hilight of the season collection: it’s just that tasty. While I’m smitten with Rose Petals, though, I think this one’s going to be the big hit — I could (and will) call it mouthwatering, and it wouldn’t be the slightest bit of a lie.

Sweet and punchy, the magic of Mango Flower lies in its believability. It smells like what I’d imagine an actual mango tree to smell like; ripe and juicy but a little green, too. There’s a soft powder note in the fragrance, like a not-quite-ripe mango, that gives it a slight sophisticated edge, setting it apart from a drugstore body spray.

The verdict?

The scent’s a must-have, but I while I like the body cream, don’t love it. The super-hydrating, 25% shea butter formula is a little heavy, and I find the Mango Flower scent too strong to use everywhere — it’s a good product, but (and here’s something that doesn’t happen too often) it’s almost too scented, in a way! 

Try the Mango Flower scent in the Shea Butter Hand Cream instead, or use the Ultra Rich Body Cream as a intensive moisturizer for only your really stubborn dry patches.

The verdict?

Each product has a mini “verdict” section, but I wanted to throw just a few more words at you before we finish up. While there have definitely been L’Occitane collections in the past that have really intrigued me, this is the first that really makes me go huh, okay, wow.

Gorgeous both in formulation and fragrance, it’s the one “fragrance” collection that you absolutely cannot miss this season — I kid you not. Be sure to pick up a few of the hand creams, and don’t miss the mouthwatering mango and feather-light rose scents.

Ingredients, additional photos, & more »

Black smokey eyes & lace appliques | A Halloween makeup look that’s glam, not gory

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of more glamorous Halloween makeup looks; the sort that let you stretch your artistic muscles, but don’t necessarily translate into a character.

So, for this month, I put together three looks that are too over-the-top for everyday wear, but could totally pass at a Halloween party — without necessitating a trip to the local costume store. You’ve already seen the first of the three (last Monday’s vampy statement lips,) but I hope you enjoy this one, too.

Don’t miss the full lace makeup tutorial on She Said Beauty, and keep a lookout on theNotice for the secrets behind this smokey eye (later in the week).

I started the look with a basic black smokey eye; dramatic and glittery on a creme base (Annabelle SmudgePaint in Glitzy Black) and paired it with sculpted cheeks, fresh skin, and (perhaps most importantly) a nude-but-not-too-nude lip: in this case, Have A Lovely Day!, the MAC Casual Colour that I’m so in love with.

Then, for that extra bit of Halloween, I added a lace mask to the look. Rather than pinning actual lace to my hair, I’ve used Sweetart, an easy lace appliqué from the FaceLace range.

I was a bit iffy about the range at first (you want me to pay how much for a piece of lace??), but they might just be worth checking out. The masks stick directly onto the skin, making them less finicky than pinned-in fabric lace, and the flexible vinyl both wears comfortably & holds up to repeated uses.

Keep reading! »

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