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! »

(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 »

A party season must-have | Prtty Peaushun review + giveaway

Monday, December 12, 2011

The product: prtty peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion in Medium

Oh, Prtty Peaushun. There are so many things that I could say about you.

When it comes to this “skin tight body lotion,” you more or less know what you’re getting. A lightweight moisturizer, with a bit of colour, and a bit of luminizing. Sort of… a glowy tinted moisturizer, but for your legs.

Simple as it is, though, I’ve been prtty impressed (tee hee, prtty impressed) with Prtty Peaushun. As you might’ve noticed, I’m kind of ridiculously pasty-white, especially in the winter, and it’s a little frightening rather unforgiving on my chunky solidly built legs. So I gave the Medium shade a try, hoping that it would add a bit of colour…

And it didn’t disappoint.

Prtty Peaushun – Medium

Despite looking much too orange coming out of the package, Medium blended flawlessly into my skin. And it really does look like skin – so much so that I couldn’t tell where the line of demarcation between tinted/un-tinted was in the swatch. I ended up taking a q-tip of makeup remover though my swatch patch, just so you could tell what a difference it made (while still looking totally believable).

So, yeah. You could blend your own Prtty Peaushun, and it would have the two major benefits of (i) not being $36, and (ii) not having that “peaumelo” scent, but the one that Bethany Karlyn has produced? Pretty darn impressive.

(On that note: I am never, ever going to get tired of all of these “peau” jokes.)

Prtty Peaushun – Medium, blended in with a thin line of product removed (using makeup remover.)

As a brand, Prtty Peaushun gets two huge thumbs-up from me. Not only is the formula 92% natural and free of parabens, GMOs, phalates, synthetic dyes or fragrances, talc, or animal products, but it’s not tested on animals, and is packaged with as little material as possible. Plus, (and this is the part that I love), the spokesmodel of the brand is the teeny-tiny workout maven Tracy Anderson, not some ten-foot bones-and-skin glamazon.

(She’s shorter than I am! Nobody’s shorter than I am!)

(But, I kid you not, she could beat the crap out of me if she was blindfolded and had both her arms tied behind her back. Girl is fit.)

Surprisingly, I really like the packaging – it’s new, it’s unique, and it’ll allow you to get every last drop out of your Prtty Peaushun. It does take a bit of getting used to, but I haven’t had any accidents getting the product out, and it’s a lot sturdier than you’d expect. I’ve tugged on the plastic doohickey (totally a word; even my spell-check thinks so), squished, squeezed, and chucked, and I can safely say that it’s neither exploded nor sprung leaks.

Availability: you can order your prtty peaushun through their site, on Beauty.com, or at American Apparel. There’s also a store locator on the prtty peaushun site (as well as a list of more online shops to buy through), so it shouldn’t be too hard to come by! Or, perhaps, you can get yours right here…

click to enlarge. more info about the ingredients here.

Keep reading to win a Prtty Peaushun for yourself! »

All about… brows | Review and ramblings

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much of a brow girl. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like them, and I do think that brows are vital to completing a look… but honestly? I just can’t be bothered to do them on a daily basis. I like my morning routine to be as short as humanly possible, and they’ve never really been a priority for me. Perhaps if mine were more sparse, but as it is, they’re left mainly unattended to.

I have, however, noticed that there are a lot of options when it comes to brows, and it kinda got me thinking. What do you reach for in the mornings? Do you do your brows every day? I know you’re all busy busy bees, but if you have a moment, I’d love to hear your thoughts on brows in the comments :)

Personally, I tend to prefer matte, fairly sheer brow powders, when I do use them. (I’ve actually been using a matte grey eyeshadow recently, but shh, don’t tell!) Pencils are definitely easier to travel with and touch up on the go, though, so I suppose that’s worth taking into consideration.

The only brow products I can’t see myself using? Tinted gels and liquids – the former because I’d rather fill in sparse bits than “plump up” each hair, and the latter because… well, actually, I  haven’t really a good answer for that one. It’s mainly just that I don’t like any harsh lines in my brow area, and it’s a little harder to shade with a felt tip than it is with a powder or pencil!

The product: Marcelle Accent Eyebrow Crayons

The texture: These are quite different from the products I tend to reach for, which is why I started thinking about all of this in the first place. They’re surprisingly soft, softer even than some of the eyeliners I’ve tried, and really creamy upon application, though they do set after some time. (I have to remember to be light-handed with these; they’re definitely more intense than the powders I’m used to!)

With a bit of tweaking to my technique, though, these make the jump from a solid B- to an A. It’s easy to smudge them down into a whisper of colour, and the wear is quite impressive – I still have faint lines on my arm from yesterday’s swatching, despite plenty of makeup remover and scrubbing!

TIP: When working with soft or very pigmented brow products, I find it helpful to use super-light strokes to fill in the brow area. Then, smudge with a q-tip right after application (before the product sets), and finally, pull a spoolie through your brows to groom each hair into position.

The shades: The Accent pencils come in four shades, and I think Marcelle have done quite a good blending them. I use the grey, as I do with most brow products, and I’ve been really happy with how natural it looks. (Erm, random additional tip, I guess: if you have almost-black or black-hair and a cool complexion, give the grey a try!)

Swatches, L-R: Granite, Luscious Black, Brun Tendre, Blondine

The verdict?

Whether or not I’d recommend these depends entirely on your preference. Personally, I prefer a harder pencil (twist-up, if possible) or a powder product, so I’d pass on these. If you do like creamy brow pencils, though? Then these are awesome. They’re deliciously creamy, intensely pigmented, well-priced ($9.95 for 1.05g), and silicone- and paraben-free (because, dude, brow breakouts? Not attractive.)

Anyhow. Hit me up in the comments with your brow ramblings – I’ve rambled on far too long already!

(More photos…)

Coming up on theNotice…

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Obviously, this isn’t everything we have planned for the next few months, but it’s some of it! I’m afraid I won’t have time to run another review until Thursday or Friday (though I do hope to have time to post a giveaway!) but hopefully this’ll tide ou over for now.

Do you see anything that you’d like us to cover first?

I have a few more photos to post, but to be honest, these fried even my beauty-addled brain, so I’ll post the rest tonight or early tomorrow ;)

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