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?

Lise Watier Bronzing Gel & Tinted UV Shield review, swatches, photos | Sun Destination

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lise Watier Sun Destination 2013 reviews

The products: Lise Watier Sun Destination collection (part one)

Every summer, Lise Watier releases a summer bronzing collection, available only for a few months. I’m a little late with this one (the products are technically only supposed to be around until the end of July), but as far as I know you can still get all of these products — and some of them, on sale!

Here are two of this summer’s Lise Watier bronzing products, on shelves and online now. (Their summer Sensationnelle Dry Oil & Sun Bronzing Powder will be on theNotice shortly!)

Lise Watier Illuminating Bronzing Gel review

Lise Watier Illuminating Bronzing Gel

Illuminating Bronzing Gel, $30 $18

Described as a “lightweight, sheer illuminating gel that delivers a youthful, radiant finish,” the Illuminating Bronzing Gel is — well, kind of a stunner, really. Neither too orange nor too brown, it gives a great neutral-brown glow to the skin, sheer and sparsely shimmery.

I’d recommend this one to people with fair to medium skin who want to create a natural, softly bronzed glow. It can be worn with or without makeup, and I think (at $18 CAD) that it would be gorgeous on the décolleté, shoulders, and arms & legs, too.

Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Squalane, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Octyldodecanol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Steareth-21, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Talc, Phenoxyethanol, Erythritol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Disodium Edta, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Extrat, Homarine HCL, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, Iron Oxides.

Lise Watier Illuminating Bronzing Gel swatches

Lise Watier Illuminating Bronzing Gel, swatched heavily/sheerly

Lise Watier Illuminating Bronzing Gel

Lise Watier Illuminating Bronzing Gel, swatched heavily/sheerly

Sun Smart Tinted Universal UV Shield SPF  30, $30 $23

I’m a lot less smitten with the colour of the SunSmart Tinted Universal UV Shield, but it does tout a shimmer-free matte finish and an SPF of 30, which may appeal to some.

Designed to give both chemical-free (physical) sun protection and a velvety, bronzed finish, this is a bronze version of Lise Watier’s Universal UV Shield (available year-round). It’s too orange, in my opinion, when you consider how much sunscreen you really need to be using to get proper coverage — about a teaspoon, for your face.

Lise Watier SunSmart Tinted Universal UV Shield review

Keep reading! »

Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow Custom Palette Case: review, photos | (Colorful Eyeshadows Part 1/3)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow key

The product: SEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow Custom Palette Case

As you may have guessed from Twitter, Instagram, or even this New This Week post, I’m having a bit of a Sephora Collection “moment” right now. They put out a new eyeshadow range recently, complete with a brilliant key-and-pan palette system, and I could not be more impressed by it.

I’m most excited about the eyeshadows in this range (coming up next week), but I thought I’d start off with a post on the system itself, just to acquaint you with it.

Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadows

The Colorful System & Palette

The concept behind the Colorful Eyeshadow range is pretty simple, but I have to give the execution props. The palettes are sturdy, easy to open/close, and each slot is magnetised (including the one for the key, which is cleverly levered out by pushing down on the non-magnetized end.)

I think the key is what really makes the Sephora system stand out for me; the simple, sleek too makes it hard to gouge out your eyeshadows by accident without really adding any weight or size.

(Also worth noting is that unlike somebody, Sephora hasn’t chosen to annoyingly suspend their pans in half their packaging when in palettes!)

Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow palette review

Worth noting is that the palettes are a little heavy, what with the large mirrors, but you could always just throw the singles into your makeup bag for something lighter — each shadow is sold in a case, which I think is brilliant! (Think more MUFE, less MAC: you won’t have to choose between singles and pans.)

The Sizing

Sephora Collection vs MAC, NARS, MUFE Eyeshadow

Sephora Collection pan size vs. MAC, NARS, MUFE eyeshadow singles

The Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadows are 33mm pans, smaller than Make Up For Ever but larger than MAC. I can see why each brand wants to use its own pan size, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have liked them to fit in with one of the other brands!

I think, optimally, I’d have liked to see smaller pans and slightly lower prices — who really needs that much eyeshadow all at once, you know?

Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow size comparison

The Pricing

The Colorful system is priced as follows:

  • Colorful Eyeshadows: $13 USD/$16 CAD
    • Just to note, this is $186 USD per ounce; MAC’s singles are $300, Urban Decay’s are $360, NARS’ are $343, and MUFE’s are $250 (all USD per oz).
  • Colorful Eyeshadow Custom Palette Case, 3-shade palette: $12 USD/$14 CAD
  • Colorful Eyeshadow Custom Palette Case, 6-shade palette: $14 USD/$17 CAD

Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow custom palette + pans

The verdict?

I know this post doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of the shadows (reviews and swatches of these six coming up next week), butlove the Colorful Eyeshadow system. The shadows I’ve tried so far have been really impressive, especially from a house brand, and I’m smitten with the pan-or-palette options.

In a word? I am reluctant to use just one, but if I had to: awesome.

Availability: Sephora, of course!

For the launch, the 3-pans are free with the purchase of 2 eyeshadows, and the 6-pans are free with the purchase of 4 — it’s a USA-only offer, but I thought I’d give it a mention! (No word on if/when the deal will be over, sorry

Keep reading! »

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! »

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! »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...