Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kiehl's Marvellous Mineral Mascara

I love Kiehl's and I could happily use only Kiehl's for the rest of my life. To quote Jill "I have a fantasy of walking in there and stocking my whole bathroom with the stuff." I remember when Kiehl's came out with lip glosses, I was so excited. Make-up! From Kiehl's! If you've never tried their glosses, you should. They're great.

Kiehl's released their Marvellous Mineral Mascara not long ago and I got to try it in black recently. Here's what you should know about it:
  • made with minerals for rich colour
  • uses Acacia Senegal for length and volume
  • made with jojoba oil for conditioning
  • safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
  • fragrance-free
  • paraben-free
  • comes in Black and Black Brown
  • $16.50 US for 0.16 fl.oz

The first thing I noticed about the Marvellous Mineral Mascara was the tube. It's chubby, more so than any other mascara I've used before. It feels solid and substantial in your hand though and I promise I'm trying not to make this sound as naughty as it probably does. That's what she said, and all of that. 

The brush is long with thin bristles and is a fair size. Since the mascara itself doesn't have a thick consistency and isn't meant to give you crazy, thick, long lashes, this is a good brush. In fact this is one of the better brush/mascara pairings I've found. 

Close up of the brush.

This is a natural mineral mascara and if you know Kiehl's you know already it's not meant to give you much more than a natural lash look, as I've already mentioned. Here it is on me:

Top lashes only.

See, very natural.

Close up.

Overall, I would recommend this mascara for anyone looking for a good-for-you, gentle, natural-looking mascara. It goes on very easily and is remarkably soft once dried. Touch your lashes once it's dry and you'll be amazed, especially if like me, you've never used a mostly natural or all-natural mascara before.

When I got some on my eyelids as I always do, it came off very easily which gives it high points in my book. It also smells nice - not a strong scent but what's there is pleasant. As you might expect as well, this mascara comes off very easily too. I didn't notice any fallout or smudging any of the times I've worn it and it's humid where I live right now. I should note that I very rarely notice smudging with my mascara though.

To recap, this is a great natural mascara and if you like wearing mascara but have sensitive eyes or delicate lashes, this is perfect for you. I personally like a more dramatic lash most days but I'll use this on less dramatic lash days!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tricks and Tips: YSL Fall/Winter 2009 Video

You  many be wondering why I'm writing a post on a video that is one year old. This video was recently brought to my attention by Cath, and although it is for an old collection (Fall/Winter 2009) it is completely worth watching for numerous tips and techniques that will make your game stronger in any season.
View this video here:

The artist in question is Val Garland, YSL's International Make-Up Artist whose excellent work can also be seen in Lady Gaga's Alejandro video. What impresses me so much about this video is the excellent technique Garland demonstrates while working on Canadian model Coco Rocha.

Here's a list of techniques and tricks to look out for in the video - many of you will know most of these already, but it's nice to see them in action in an editorial setting, where makeup needs to be both strong and perfect.

1. Blending and building up shadows to create softness, shape and depth.
2. Loose powder under the eye when building a smokey look.
3. Patting on eyeshadow to get density of colour.
4. Liquid liner to strengthen the eye shape for a smokey eye.
5. Foundation after heavy eyeshadow application.
6. Brow definition after eyeshadow application.
7. Using a small liner or eyeshadow brush to load on mascara.
8. Cheeks and lips last to balance out strong eye makeup.
9. Blend, blend, blend!

Of particular interest is the type of brushes Garland uses - to my eye they look to be all MAC!

Anybody else inspired by what they see?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

LUSTING: Benefit The POREfessional

Just in time! I'm at the end of three primers right now and I was trying to decide if I'd just buy a new one of one of them or try something different. Along came Benefit with a brand new primer!

I'm a big fan of Benefit and their can't-live-without base products. Their Benetint and Posietint lip & cheek tints, Highbeam highlighter, Dear John moisturizer, Eyebright pencil and Bad Gal mascara are some of my must-haves.

The POREfessional primer is oil-free, lightweight and designed to minimize the appearance of pores. It's meant to be applied after your moisturizer and before any foundation/concealer/powder wherever you have pores you want to minimize. Where you have large pores tends to be where you have oily skin and the POREfessional is meant to mattify as well as minimize pores and make your skin look silky smooth.

The POREfessional costs about $28 US and I haven't seen it in any Shoppers Drug Marts or Sephoras in Toronto yet. I have a feeling that it will soon be mine though!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup Flag Nails

I'm a big fan of football (soccer in North America) so this is a very exciting time for me - it's World Cup! For three weeks, the best teams in the world are gathered in South Africa to play it out and determine which country will hold the title of World Cup champions for the next four years. 

Since Canada hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 1986, I cannot cheer for my own country. Insert sad face here. I do tend to cheer for one opponent in each match and as is customary for Canadians, you cheer for your roots, where your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents etc come from. For me that's France, Germany and if they had qualified for 2010, Poland but the team I support the most is England. I was introduced to football and the madness of the World Cup when I spent the summer of 1998 working in a pub in London. I witnessed the exhilaration, joy, frustration and depression of the fans as England limped out of the contest after a Beckham red card left them a man down. I've also been entranced with the culture of England since my early 20s as yes, you can call me an Anglophile. I think somewhere back there in my roots you can find a drop or two of English blood so it beats a little stronger in me that you'd expect!

All of this making little sense to you? Not to worry, I'm getting to the point of this post. I support England so I painted the English flag onto my nails. 

This is an easy and fun way to sport your team colours. England's flag is pretty simple to recreate - a red cross across a white background - St. George's Cross it is called. Australia, South Korea or Brazil's flags would be a touch more complicated but if you really wanted to have it look close to perfect, go to a nail salon and have it done. I simply bought bottles of white and red nail polish and did the England flag myself. Not bad at all for my first time doing anything but painting a single colour on my nails! I used two coats of the white polish and then with a thin bristled paint brush (available at art stores) painted the red cross on top. It was difficult to get straight, even lines especially on my right hand (I'm right-handed) but I got the effect I wanted. 

I didn't have time to take a proper photo so the one above was taken on my cellphone as I walked to the pub where I watched England's first game.

Another photo of my right (messier) hand taken with my friend Joel's iPhone.

I don't like to give up my girliness even though I'm a fan of football and this is one way I get to show my support that's fun and "me". Anyone can try this - do your toes too! - and it works with any flag. If you can't recreate the flag exactly just use the colours. Give it a try if you're a footie fan - now's the time!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MAC 130 Brush

In addition to the colour story with MAC's To The Beach collection, MAC graced us with another new duo fibre brush, the 130.
Designed like a small headed flat top bronzer brush, the 130 fills in several gaps left in MAC's duo fibre brush family. While the beloved 187 is perfect for covering large areas in foundation or powder, and the 188 is great for applying mineralize blushes and skinfinishes to smaller areas, MAC lacked a denser, small brush that could handle depositing heavier layers of pigments.

MAC 130 Duo Fibre Brush

This brush is excellent for applying cream and liquid based products such as foundation, blush or highlighter. It's size makes it ideal for use on the cheekbone or for highlighting or contouring the planes of the face.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gingers with Red Lips

Recently my new friend Lucky, head make-up artist for MTV Canada lamented that whenever she uses red lipstick on on-air personality Jessi Cruikshank, she hears about how redheads should never wear red lipstick. She disagrees and as an adopted redhead myself, I do too.


OK, granted my hair looks more purple than red in this shot but my hair colour is called "Chocolate Cherry". It's red.

Here are some examples of more famous redheads rocking red lips:

Model and musician Karen Elson

Scottish frontwoman of the band Garbage, Shirley Manson

Actress and activist, Julianne Moore

Actress and bombshell, Christina Hendricks

Actress and Hollywood A-Lister, Nicole Kidman

Singer and Frontwoman of Florence & the Machine, Florence Welch

Award-winning actress Amy Adams
MTV Canada host of The Hills Aftershow, Jessi Cruickshank

Comedic legend and beloved icon, Lucille Ball

Up-and-coming IT Girl, Emma Stone

Canadian model Jessica Stam
*I am in LOVE with her make-up in this photo.

 So, what do you think? Can redheads wear red lips? 


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

MAC To The Beach Lipstick

The lipsticks offered with MAC's To the Beach collection aren't revolutionary, but they are a pretty assortment of wearble shades that will look good with a tan and some sunshine.

The three shades I picked up were Lazy Day, Thrills and Funbathing, all are LE ($16.50 CA/14.00 US). First photo taken indoors with flash, second photo without flash NC 35-40 skin.

Top to bottom: Lazy Day, Thrills and Funbathing.

Left to right: Lazy Day, Thrills and Funbathing.

To the Beach Lipsticks LE ($16.50 CA/14.00 US).

Lazy Day - a glossy yet fairly opaque light cool pink. Similar to Viva Glam Lady Gaga, but less intense. This would be a great colour to go with some summer night smoky eyes.

Thrills - a copper rose that can look more rose or copper depending on the angle from which its viewed. If worn lightly it can give a very subtle glow to the lips.

Funbathing - my personal favourite! A very soft rosy red with a golden sheen. A MLBB shade for me with that slight golden edge. Very pretty and a great, soft way to wear a red in the summer.

Anyone pick up some lippies?


Friday, June 4, 2010

Tips and Tricks: Puffy Eye Natural Beauty Treatment - Tip Your Head!

I've been waking up more and more frequently with puffy undereyes. Chalk it up to getting older and not getting enough sleep/drinking enough water, etc but it's happening. I read about this little trick a few years ago and find it's the most effective thing I've tried to reduce puffiness. 

It's as simple as you could imagine. When you wake up, simply roll/slide/shift over so that your head is hanging over the edge of your bed. You'll know if you've shifted too far over because your neck will hurt and you'll feel the strain - you don't want this. The position, at least for me, is comfortable enough that I've fallen back asleep like this. All this position does is get your head below your heart, allowing blood to flow a bit faster, loosening up the puffiness under your eyes (and effectively perking up your brain and waking you up gently).

I like this a lot because it allows for a slower but more effective wake-up (no got-up-too-fast dizziness). It allows sensation to slowly return to your bosy and it's also a little indulgently lazy. And yes, it effectively reduces undereye puffiness!

Try it!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MAC To The Beach Marine Life High-Light Powder

Here's the jewel in the crown of the To The Beach Collection...the Marine Life High-Light Powder LE ($32.50 CA/26.00 US). Embossed with a golden seahorse floating in a bed of coral, it's easy to see why this is the "must have" item. The golden accent is of course (and unfortunately) an overspray applied to the underlying powder itself, which dissapears after the first few uses.

First photo taken with flash, second natural light. Swatches done in natural light on NC 35-40 skin.

In my opinion, the powder itself is much less a highlighter as it is a blush. This product is surprisingly pigmented and has a satin finish, with a very slight pearl effect. Definetly not your average frosty, low pigmented highlighter.

To The Beach Marine Life High-Light Powder (left to right):
mixed, light pink section, coral section.

When swatched seperately, the results are a deep orange coral blush and a light baby pink blush. This product is very generously sized (same size as a powder compact) and I think it would be possible to use the two colours seperately given that you were using a small brush (eg: MAC's 130 or 188) to apply the light pink shade to highlight the orange coral blush.

Mixed, the two shades become a very pretty coral pink. What's great about this product is that you can intensify the mixed shade by dabbling your brush more in the orange coral portion, or you could contour with the orange coral shade and then add a pop to the apples of your cheeks with the mixed shade.

Generally I don't go in for elaborately decorated makeup, especially those with oversprays (I always wish they could make the overspray colour penetrate the whole product). However, I find myself really liking this product, mainly because the colours offered in this product are very flattering and great for spring and summer. I am also really feeling corals and peaches this season, so this one is a natural for me.

Anyone else in with the hype?