Friday, February 25, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Mighty Aphrodite Blush Review

MAC's Wonder Woman collection is in stores now. I only picked up one item, the Mighty Aphrodite blush that was recommended to me by Jill. It's a dual-blush, with a large shimmery peach bit and dusty bright shimmery rose bit.

The official description is Warm peach coral with gold pearl/Bright coral pink with gold pearl (satin/frost).

Let's take a look at the packaging which is, well pretty spectacular.

This collection has bright, cartoony packaging which doesn't appeal to me particularly but is certainly fun and very American!

I like the reflection on the surface of the blush - it's like Wonder Woman's golden lariat.

The peachy portion is about twice the size of the coral portion. Both are shimmery with gold pearliness but the peachy portion has more shimmer. 

Mighty Aphrodite swatched on NC15 skin, coral on the left, peach on the right.

It's difficult to use just the coral shade since it's so small, but you could use a small brush, with a lighter amount on the brush. I've been wearing it blended, by swirling the brush and twisting it in the palette so that I get an even amount of each colour. It's a sheer, shimmery blush so it's not intimidating to wear at all. It's meant to go on almost like a bronzer, which makes it a good blush for fair skin and a pretty pop of highlighter colour for darker skin. It's definitely a blush you can build up or wear softly, like I am below.

Mighty Aphrodite on me, NC15 skin.

Not to mention that the Wonder Woman blushes are twice the size of a regular blush. They're $29 CDN/$24 US while regular MAC blushes/Mineralize MAC blushes/MAC Beauty Power blushes are about $24 CDN. How's that for value?

I recommend Mighty Aphrodite - check it out!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Retro MAC Cards - MAC Brow Set

Another retro MAC collector's card to show you! This is one is for a Brow Set kit they released in the mid-90s. Arches de Triomphe - love it!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vidal Sassoon Spring 2011


I'm a sucker for the 1960s - the music, the culture, the movies, the makeup, the fashion and the hair. Are you kidding? The Mary Quant bob, the British Invasion, Mods, Twiggy, David Bailey, James Bond, Michael Caine, scooters, the Beatles, liquid eyeliner - come on! What's not to be obsessed with? We see it every year in the fashion trends, a designer always does mod-styling or mod-clothes and the bob haircut is never not in style.

Vidal Sassoon is known for dark, shiny, straight, sleek hair cut in geometric shapes. In 1963, he created an updated bob cut which changed the face of modern hair.

My hairstylist Matthew, who cuts hair at Parlour Salon in Toronto, was trained at Vidal Sassoon so I knew immediately when I sat down in his chair for the first time I wanted a Vidal Sassoon-style bob. I've had a slight variation on that first cut for the last year and a half. I love it.

Here's Vidal Sassoon's Spring 2011 collection. Ever-classic!

Vidal Sassoon cutting the hair of designer Mary Quant.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Adele-inspired FOTD: Pretty, polished and easy

Adele came onto the scene around the same time as Duffy and Amy Winehouse and I don't know if I had overdosed on 60s-style-soul-singers or what, but although I acknowledged that she was an unbelievable singer and songwriter, her music just didn't click with me. Her new album is currently #1 in 17 countries and when I saw this video a month or two ago, I was completely hooked. 

I played this video over and over again, and most plays, I wept, but I still kept watching it. She has the ability to write a song that resonates with people, I hear it over and over again. 'Someone Like You' is heartbreakingly powerful and you feel her pain in every word. 

Yes, I've drunk the Adele Kool Aid finally.

Perhaps another thing that I've responded to this time around with Adele is her styling. She has a 50s-60s-style polish about her clothing, makeup and hair. She looks gorgeous.

When I discovered that Nic from PixiWoo had done a tutorial inspired by Adele's look, I decided to do my own version. The key to the look is to look polished, healthy and retro but with a modern softness.

What do you think?

Here is the PixiWoo video I used as reference - I did almost exactly what Nic does but used some different products. By the way, if you haven't checked out the sisters behind PixiWoo, you must! They're absolutely amazing. 

Here's the Adele-inspired video Nic did.

And here's another shot of me with my Adele-inspired look.

Basically the only difference between mine and Nic's version of this look is some of the products and that I went with cool tones on my cheeks and lips while she went more tan, which is closer to how Adele's look is. I simply don't have a bronzer or peachy lip products that would work for this, so I went with pink. I think it works just fine with my skin tone and hair colour. I am on the hunt for a good peachy lipstick though...

So what I did was moisturizer (Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Moisturizer), a bit of primer on my T-Zone and then buffed on Bare Escentuals Mineral Makeup in Fairly Light. For this look you want a base with coverage. Not what they would have worn back in the 50s and 60s, but something that's not overly shiny. You want natural but covered. Use concealer (I used MAC Studio Fix in NW20 mixed with MAC Select Moisturecover in NW20) under your eyes and on any areas you need a bit more coverage.

Eyes first. 

Blend a creamy highlighter along your brow bone (I used Benefit Moonbeam), on the inner eye and blended softly across your eyelid. Right away, use a bit of MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork (I had a sample I'd gotten to try) and smudge it across the lid, softly. You want the lighter cream shade below and Groundworked to blend a little. Use a broad, flat brush like the one pictured below.

MAC Groundwork

Then blend a combination of the orange (Rich & Earthy) and gold (Skintone 2) shades from MAC's Notoriety palette (from 2009's MAC Make Up Art Cosmetics Collection - Richard Phillips) across the eyelid, focusing on the outer corner. (Nic uses MAC's Woodwinked.) You are looking for a soft, shimmery, warm effect. Use a broad, full brush like the one pictured below.

MAC Notoriety Quad
Next, use MAC's Patina in the crease, blending it above slightly. You want a touch more definition but still very natural and shimmery. You can use the same full, fluffy brush just clean it off a little first.

MAC Patina
And finally, that cat-eye eyeliner flick! I used my MAC Blacktrack and an angle brush, as always.

MAC Blacktrack
Start from the inside of your eye and draw a line along your lashline, extending it beyond the edge of your eye and flicking it upwards. Draw the line again, making it thicker. If you wish to, you can draw two lines, one above the other, just join the corners and make it thicker in the middle. Go over it again with new product if you need to intensify the colour. Make sure it looks as perfect as possible and use Q-tips to help you tidy the line up if you need to.

*Don't curl your eyelashes before drawing your eyeliner line. 

Finally, run your brush along your upper waterline, below the top lashes all along your eyelid. It's like lining the upper waterline. This intensifies the look and if you've got tangly eyelashes like me, this helps to cover any skin in between the eyeliner line and your waterline. 

Curl upper eyelashes and coat with two or three coats of mascara. I used Benefit's Big Lash. You'll want to use mascara on your lower lashes as well. Nic uses a Clinique Lower Lash Mascara in her video - ooooh! I've never heard of this but I want it! A mascara for lower lashes will have a smaller, denser brush than a regular mascara. I have upper eye-length lower lashes so I can get away with using a regular mascara on them, as long as I'm gentle.

I filled in my eyebrows with MAC Sketch and a short-bristled angle brush. You want to have full, well-groomed brows for this look. 

MAC Sketch (the hard, shiny part at the top is from when I've used it wet)

For my cheeks I used two pinky versions of what Nic used, simply because I don't have bronze-peach colours in my makeup case. 

Use MAC Strada blush to softly sculpt your cheeks. Using a fluffy, angled blush brush, sweep it just below your cheekbones.

MAC Strada
On top of that, use MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul on the apples of your cheeks with a fluffy blush brush. Sweep it up to your temples. You want to look glowy and healthy. 

MAC Mineralize Warm Soul

Lips! The idea is a subtle, glossy but sculpted lip. Use a neutral or pale pink lip liner (I used Smashbox in Smashing Muse and MAC in In Synch) and apply to your entire lip. Top it with a pale pink lipstick like MAC Plink! and then top that with a glossy pale pink gloss like MAC Baby Sparks.

L-R: MAC In Synch, Smashbox Smashing Muse, MAC Plink!, MAC Baby Sparks

 If you wanted to, you could use false eyelashes with this look for a more dramatic, glamourous effect. Obviously, more for night than for day.

 And there you have it, a gorgeous, polished, modern retro look. Check out Pixi Woo and Adele!

Here's another of her songs: 

Sam and Nic Chapman, the Pixiwoo girls can be found:
On Twitter at @pixiwoos
On YouTube at
On the Internet at


Saturday, February 19, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 - In Stores Now!


February 17, 2011 – New York – Live with Passion. Love with Protection. Lady Gaga, the voice of the latest M·A·C Cosmetics VIVA GLAM campaign, wants everyone everywhere to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. For the second year in a row, Lady Gaga continues to inspire individuals around the world to make a difference by purchasing her newest shades of M·A·C VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass – Gaga 2.

Since the M·A·C AIDS Fund’s inception in 1994, every cent from a VIVA GLAM Lipstick or Lipglass purchase has been donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund. Today the Fund celebrates a significant milestone, raising more than $202 million to support HIV/AIDS programs around the world. This accomplishment represents an enormous commitment throughout the years from the 19 VIVA GLAM spokespeople, Makeup Artists and VIVA GLAM customers around the world.

“As one of the most iconic artists of our time, Lady Gaga has been a powerful and influential voice for the M·A·C AIDS Fund. She is an extraordinary spokesperson and advocate for self-awareness and empowerment and we are excited to have her as the face of our 2011 campaign.” – John Demsey, Chairman, M·A·C AIDS Fund and Group President, Estée Lauder Companies.
In honor of those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, the M·A·C AIDS Fund is announcing five million dollars in new donations to fund diverse programs that address HIV/AIDS protection, treatment and prevention.

The new VIVA GLAM campaign focuses on self-empowerment and encourages everyone to take control of the HIV/AIDS risk in their lives by using condoms, getting regularly tested, accessing care and treatment, combating stigma and advocating for change. From South Africa and the U.K. to the U.S. and Japan, the M·A·C AIDS Fund supports programs around the world that confront the causes of HIV infection including violence, discrimination and unequal access to financial and social resources.
“I am incredibly passionate about this campaign and strongly believe the M·A·C AIDS Fund has the power to create a global movement not only to combat HIV/AIDS but also to encourage men and women everywhere to protect themselves. I feel honored to be part of such an important cause. My new VIVA GLAM lipsticks are intended to be a reminder to people to live passionately, but do it safely. Be your own biggest fan and protect yourself.” – Lady Gaga, M·A·C VIVA GLAM Spokesperson
The statistics cannot be ignored. Women constitute half of all the people in the world living with HIV/AIDS. While overall HIV/AIDS rates have stabilized in many countries, more adult women than ever before are now living with HIV in every region of the world. In the U.S., the number of AIDS diagnoses among women has tripled since 1985. In sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute more than 59 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS.

The rates are just as alarming for men. In the U.S., just over 75 percent of adults and adolescents living with an AIDS diagnosis are men, with almost two-thirds infected with HIV through male-to-male sexual contact. These numbers are even higher for men of colour.

The new M·A·C VIVA GLAM campaign was shot by photographer Nick Knight. The campaign visual will launch with VIVA GLAM Gaga 2 Lipstick (a light warm beige) and Lipglass (a light neutral pinked beige) in North America on February 17, 2011 and internationally in March 2011 (Suggested Retail Price $14.50 U.S./$16.50 CDN).

ABOUT THE M·A·C AIDS FUND The M.A.C AIDS Fund, the heart and soul of M.A.C Cosmetics, was established in 1994 to support men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally. MAF is a pioneer in HIV/AIDS funding, providing financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations. As the largest corporate non-pharmaceutical giver in the arena, MAF is committed to addressing the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS by supporting diverse organizations around the world that provide a wide range of services to people living with HIV/AIDS. To date, MAF has raised $202 million (U.S) exclusively through the sale of M.A.C’s VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass, donating 100 percent of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS. For more information visit

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 is in stores now!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer

Kiehls' Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

1) You're the third eye de-puffer I've tried and you're my favourite. I don't want to try any more.
2) You're short and stubby, but that means less draggage when I apply you under my eye. One swipe and we're done! It also means you don't take up much room in the medicine cabinet and you don't fall over like the tall skinny eye de-puffers do.
3) You don't feel oily or greasy on my skin and it's almost like there's nothing there when I apply you.
4) You WORK! My undereye area is smooth and less puffy after I use you.

This is what Kiehl's has to say: This lightweight cooling de-puffing eye stick is formulated with caffeine and refreshing Arctic Root to minimize puffiness, and to help revive and awaken tired eyes. Convenient and portable packaging also allows the formula to glide on easily, providing an instant cooling effect.

What it says: This "no baggage," portable eye stick is the ultimate pick-me-up for tired eyes on the go. Enriched with Caffeine, Arctic Root and Hibiscus Extract, our anytime formula gently glides under the eye area to provide an immediate cooling effect, while hydrating and helping reduce the look of signs of fatigue common with active lifestyles. The appearance of under-eye bags and dark circles is diminished. 

It's a short tube, maybe 3-4 inches tall and the product twists up, like a deodorant or lip balm. It has the texture of a light lip balm. The Facial Fuel Eye De-puffer retails for about $18.50 US. 

You apply it directly to the eye area, sweeping it from the outside corners in along the eye socket. You can apply it above your eye as well. It feels smooth and cool on the skin and is very soothing on raw, first-thing-in-the-AM eyes, puffy eyes. It definitely helps to minimize minor puffiness and plumps the skin ever so slightly to decrease fine lines. There is very little fragrance. You can use your finger (I use my pinkie) to tap in any excess product on your skin.



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MAC Peacocky EOTD Tutorial

I have a confession to make - I hauled all 15 of the Peacocky Mega Metal Shadows! Though I know Peacocky is old news due to the imminent release of a certain collection featuring a female cartoon heroine, I thought I would challenge myself to bring you a series of EOTD's featuring all 15 shades. Not all at once of course. That would be crazy talk.

For this look I wanted to use some unlikely colours together. I typically do not like oranges/coppers so I thought I would start the challenge there. The four shades I selected to be used for this look are Tweet Me, Peek-At-You, Paparazz-She and Odalisque.

Clockwise from left: Tweet Me, Peek-At-You, Odalisque and Paparazz-She.

Products Used (all MAC unless otherwise noted)

Select Cover Concealer NW 25
Medium Blot Powder Loose
Tweet Me, Peek-At-You, Paparazz-She and Odalisque Mega Metal Shadows
Graphblack Technakohl Liner
Siahi Fluidline Liner

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Very Black
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Clear
Anastasia Brow Powder Duo Brunette

1. Conceal undereye area and set with powder. Fill in brows with brow powder and set with clear mascara. In the center of the lid apply Paparazz-She with a 242 brush.

2. Using the same brush, apply Tweet Me to the inner and outer 1/3 of the eye lid, blending over the edges of Paparazz-She. Also run Tweet me along the bottom lash line.

3. Using Graphblack liner, tightline the upper eyelid creating a thicker line towards the outer edge. Using a 219 brush, smudge the liner out.

4. Using the 219, pack Odalisque on top of the black liner, also using this shadow to cut the crease, creating a "V" on the outer edge of the eye. Also sweep the shadow halfway on the bottom lid, close to the lashes.

5. Using a 266, line the top lashes with Siahi fluidline, creating a small angled cat tail at the end. Apply Peek-At-You on the inner tear duct using a clean 219.

6. Finish by curling the lases and applying black mascara.

I think this look is a bit unusual as it contrasts and layers warm and cool colours. Odalisque turns a mossier green when layered on top of Paparazz-She. I wasn't sure at first if this combination would be too muddy or strange, but I think it works. I could see this eye working very well in the fall, maybe with a copper coloured lipgloss. Photos were taken indoors with a flash, so keep in mind the contrast between warm and cool is more striking in person.