Five gift ideas for the woman who has it all | The Gift Guide

Friday, December 20, 2013

For the luxury skincare lover: MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence

Founded just this past year by fellow blogger Connie Tai, MIYU Beauty is a new Canadian brand that’s stealing hearts across the blogosphere. I’m having difficulties putting together a review of the line (I live in fear of the glycerine ratios in facial sprays, which do wonders for a few days but always seem to break me out after a week), but I can’t find a single bad thing to say about the aesthetic — or the people behind the brand.

Beautifully housed in luxe-but-lightweight packaging with Ladurée-inspired details, the MIYU facial spray serums (!) are innovation at its best. { buy }

For the green girl: Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil

Osmia Organics is a company that I was introduced to pretty recently, but I’m completely smitten with their range. Run by a former emergency room doctor who found her calling in all-natural skincare, the entire Osmia line up is exquisitely packaged, all-natural, and beautifully formulated.

While perfumes and skincare can be hard to pick for someone else, though, Osmia’s body oils & soaps are a great way to gift a little luxury without the worry. Sunset, one of Dr. Sarah Villafranco’s newest creations, is a super-sexy (but not at all overpowering) jojoba-based blend that hydrates immediately with absolutely no oiliness left on the skin. { buy }

Osmia Organics Sunset body oil review

Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil (2 oz)

For the best friend: Je Joue MiMi Soft

Here’s your not-so-fun science fact of the day: did you know that only 25% of women report frequently experiencing orgasms during intercourse? We live in a culture that’s so fixated on sex, and yet — from magazines (five surprising tips on how to please your man!) to porn, sex is all about male pleasure, not female.

In the sprit of the season, consider giving someone the gift of self-love. Let them know that, like leaving the house without your makeup, sex isn’t anything to be ashamed of. And if we get to indulge in a bit of high-end tech while on the road to sexual equality? All the better.

The Je Joue MiMi Soft is small, classy, and discreet, with a soft, comfortable silicone finish (the safest material a vibrator could possibly be made from), a fully waterproof body, and a rechargeable battery. And the charger, you guys. The charger is so cool. It magnetizes onto the up/down buttons and supplies the vibrator with power through science magic, and I won’t be told otherwise. { buy }

If you’d like to see a review for the Je Joue Mimi Soft, click here to count your vote anonymously!

PS: This vibe was sent in by SheVibe.com.

Unlike everything else in this post, the Mimi was sent in by a storefront, not a brand. SheVibe.com is an online store that’s a far cry from the stereotypical blacked-out-windows sex shop in the bad part of town — I chose to work with them specifically because their site features reviews, articles, message boards, and tons of original artwork.

Whether or not you’re looking to purchase a new toy this season, their comics and articles are definitely worth a look!

Annabelle Cherry swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Annabelle TwistUp in Cherry — from this post

For the lip lover: Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Retractable Lip Crayon in Naked or Cherry

These lip crayons may not feel super-luxe when you hold them, but oh my — do they ever pack a punch. With a lush, comfortable formula and way more pigment than any drugstore product has any right to have, Annabelle TwistUps are the perfect choice for a bit of luxury on a budget.

Naked is a stunning satin-matte nude that suits my skintone (and a surprising many others) just perfectly, while Cherry is a drop-dead-gorgeous opulent red. Neither have shimmer, and (excuse my French) are classy as hell on the lips. { buy | review | swatches | win one! }

For the luxury makeup lover: Make Up For Ever Artisan Brushes 

I know I usually put my beloved Cozzette brushes in gift guides, and don’t get me wrong — I still love them. But while the Artisan brush range is just as soft, cruelty-free, and well-made as Cozzette’s S range, Make Up For Ever’s new brushes come with sleek, wood-finish handles and dark metal ferrules that Cozzette’s range just doesn’t have.

I can’t speak for all of Make Up For Ever’s brushes, but the #150 Angled Cheek Brush, #174 Small Concealer Brush, and #304 Lip Brush all get my seal of approval. And, I mean, really — who couldn’t use just one more brush? { buy }

What’s on your wishlist this season?

Violet + black smokey eyes | A Lana Del Rey-inspired makeup look

Friday, July 27, 2012

I have a (not-so-secret) secret: I’m kind of a huge Lana Del Rey fan. I’m not crazy about her face, and I’m on the fence about the whole persona she has going on, but — Lana Del Ray A.K.A Lizzy Grant; Born To Die? Kind of loved them.

Anyhow; today’s look is a Lana-inspired smokey violet eye, inspired by the look below. I’m actually pretty sure that the “violet” part of the smokey eye was added in post-production (and not all that well), but hey, the resulting image is no less stunning!

Hope you enjoy the look!

Read the tutorial & see a different set of images here.

Keep reading! »

Back to your roots: a random violet EOTD

Monday, November 28, 2011

It occurred to me that I haven’t done a violet eye look recently, which – well, I mean, seriously? I feel like I’ve accidentally broken one of the key rules of engagement for real life.

Anyhow. Just a simple, wearable violet eye look for you today. Clinique Lid Smoothie in Born Freesia (of course) as the base, Lancome Angora eyeshadow in the inner corner, Korres Plum for most of the colour. Plus, my secret to any violet smokey eye – just a tiny, tiny bit of Make Up For Ever 92, buffed overtop with a fluffy blending brush and feather-light movements. I’ll have to do a before/after with it one of these days; a little bit of 92 makes so much of a difference.

Finish with black liner smudged into the upper lashline (probably L’Oreal HiP Creme liner, just because I’m attempting to use mine up) & Imju Fiberwig (which I adore) on the lashes themselves. Keep reading »

NYFW: the look to love | Callula Lillibelle Spring 2012

Friday, September 16, 2011

If you’re going to emulate just one look this Fashion Week, let it be this one! I’m loving this low-maintenance (but high-impact) look created by José Rivera and the rest of the Sephora PRO Team for Callula Lillibelle.

Unlike a lot of the looks that grace the runway (hello, Chris Benz), this one’s totally street-ready, and I’m hoping to see more of it as Spring rolls around. (We do have to get through Autumn and Winter first, but really: that’s just semantics). The look included glowing, bronzed skin, a naturally glossy eye, and a brilliantly vibrant orange-fuchsia lip.

The Face

For a seamless, glowing base, the artists used MAKE UP FOR EVER Mist & Fix to prep the skin, layered on Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 and MUFE HD Invisible Cover Concealer for a perfect base, and set the look with a dusting of Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder.

Then, to really “wake up” the models’ complexions, they added Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under the eyes to reflect light, Laura’s Bronzer Veil around the perimeter of the face and under the cheekbones, and Lorac Blush in Peach to add a bit of colour.

(The bronzer is featured in Laura’s Bonne Mine palette, which I believe is limited edition but currently available. For a similar creme bronzer, try something like the NARS Laguna Multiple or Too Faced Aqua Bunny Bronzer.)

The Eyes

To create depth, the PRO Team used layered the deepest shade in the No. 4 MUFE 5 Camouflage Cream Palette with Birthday Suit from the Too Faced Naked Eye Palette in the crease. Then, tokidoki Prisma Lip Gloss in Donutella was applied to the lids to create a glossy eye.

The eyes were finished with Lancome Definicils Mascara and Anastasia Brow Gel in Clear.

The Lips

And finally, the star of the look! Rivera and team used shade #005, Fuchsia Pink, from the MAKE UP FOR EVER 12 Flash Color Palette to create a rich base colour. (If you don’t want to buy the whole palette, try Rouge Artist Intense in 36, a satin fuchsia, or Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in Fuschia 16C, a bright fuschia pink, instead.)

To complete the lip look, the artists mixed together two shades of Stila Long Wear Lip Color and applied them on top: Exhilarating, a bright matte fuchsia, and Outrageous, a deep matte orange. Ridiculously gorgeous, right?

What was your favourite NYFW Spring 2012 makeup look?

Reader request | 100% Pure Tinted Moisturizer vs. Make Up For Ever Face & Body

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Janice, one of our lovely readers, emailed me asking for a comparison between MUFE F&B and 100% Pure’s tinted moisturizer. As usual, I went totally overboard with my reply (hello, product junkie; what did you expect?) so my brief email has morphed into a full-on post, complete with photos.

Self-control is totally overrated.

Texture and scent

The products themselves, in their respective containers, are remarkably different: Make Up For Ever Face & Body has a very distinctive, gel-like texture (think “runny jello”), while the 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 looks like any other boring moisturizer.

Personally, I think the weird texture of the MUFE is completely enthralling, but the product has one major drawback – a rather strong, artificial fragrance. I’m not a fan of scented products, especially not ones this strongly perfumed, so I’d definitely say it’s something to take into consideration.

MUFE F&B #38 (Pink Porcelain) in a sample jar, on its side – check out that texture!

Finish and feel

Face & Body has a more satiny finish than the 100% Pure, and sits on the skin just a tiny bit more. Which, I mean… I actually prefer it; I’ve always had a soft spot for foundations with a satin finish.

On the other hand, the tinted moisturizer is just that – an awesomely tinted moisturizer. That is, it sinks in to leave absolutely no powdery or foundation-y bits behind. While both the MUFE and 100% Pure look completely natural, the 100% Pure is flawless even under magnification, unlike the MUFE, so I suppose it just depends on what you’re going for!

(Read more…)

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