Friday, April 29, 2011

DIY Necklaces is Canada's Sweetest Lifestyle Guide and I get their emails everyday telling me about restaurants, shopping, gift ideas and events. One of my creative outlets is jewellery making so this video was one I clicked on right away. I thought I'd share it with you. Jewellery making is fun and you can create your own styles rather than depending on what the stores have available.

This video shows you three versions of the open necklace that requires minimal tools and skills but gives you three new necklaces, in whatever styles you choose.



Thursday, April 28, 2011

MAC Fashion Flower Preview


MAC Beauty Powder in Alpha Girl ($30 CDN/$25 US)
Soft peachy pink with gold nuances

MAC Beauty Powder in Light Sunshine ($30 CDN/$25 US)
Pastel neutral pink with soft gold and pink sparkles

MAC Eyeshadow in Aqua ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Aqua blue (matte)

MAC Eyeshadow in Bows & Curtseys ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Metallic hunter green (satin)

MAC Eyeshadow in Free To Be ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Bright true coral (matte)

MAC Eyeshadow in Fresh Daisy ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Frosty white yellow (frost)

MAC Eyeshadow in Groundcover ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Mid-tone warm grey (matte)

MAC Eyeshadow in Lucky Green ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Frosted mid-tone lime (veluxe pearl)

MAC Lip Gelée in Budding Beauty ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Pale coral dazzle gelée

MAC Lip Gelée in Fashionflower ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Pale pink dazzle gelée

MAC Lip Gelée in Now In Season ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Pale yellow dazzle gelée

MAC Lipstick in Ever Hip ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Bright creamy coral (cremesheen)

MAC Lipstick in Growing Trend ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Mid-tone taupe nude (amplified)

MAC Lipstick in Mlle ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Light white pink (glaze)

MAC Lipstick in Summer Shower ($17.50 CDN/$14.50 US)
Light aqua (glaze)

MAC Penultimate Eyeliner Rapidblack ($21 CDN/$17.50 US)
True black

MAC Studio Fix Boldblack Lash ($17 CDN/$14 US)
Deep intense black

MAC's latest collection is full of more pretty spring pastels but with a touch of hunter green, coral and warm grey. Happy spring shopping!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beauty Squared Quotes

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” Coco Chanel

Essie Nailpolish Over the Edge Review and Swatches

Well, it's new to me! I picked this up on the weekend and I'm wearing it right now. I love it! It's a black with silver frost, so it's like a gunmetal shade. Black without being black!

I applied three coats of it to get this finish. It will likely take three coats to apply though some of you who are better at applying nailpolish might have better luck and get it with two.

That's it, short and sweet. I love this shade!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Burt's Bees Beeswax & Royal Jelly Eye Cream and Evening Primrose Overnight Creme Review

We've received a request to feature more natural products on Beauty Squared, so here's a review of two Burt's Bees products - the Burt's Beeswax & Royal Jelly Eye Creme and the Burt's Bees Evening Primrose Overnight Creme. *It should be noted that neither of these products come up on the Burt's Bees website. It's possible that they're being phased out but I'm not sure.

Of course, it is widely known that Clorox bought Burt's Bees in 2007, a move that was clearly designed to change the consumer view of Clorox, but which has probably affected Burt's Bees more negatively.

Regardless, the ingredients lists on both of these products appears to be very natural and both products are described as highly natural - the eye cream at 96.2% natural and the overnight creme at 100% natural. It should be known that just because products have the word natural on them does not mean that they are. It's always good to do research on these natural products to ensure you're not being duped.

Ingredients listings
There are some ingredients here that you may have to look up, but for the most party they're identifiable as straightforward, natural ingredients. 

I did a bit of research (a good idea if you're aiming to buy products with natural ingredients) on Evening Primrose Oil and Royal Jelly and here's what I found out.

Evening Primrose Oil is rich in ingredients good for aging, dry and rough skin. 
  • It mainly helps in the rejuvenating process of your skin.
  • It can help in producing anti aging affect for your skin and gradually reduces the wrinkles and fine lines on your skin.
  • Evening primrose oil lightens the dark circles around your eyes and gradually minimizes the tired look of your eyes.
  • By using this oil, your skin can improve firmness and gets better elasticity. It also helps your body in producing required new skin cells.
  • You can use this evening primrose oil to reduce the skin blemishes and visible skin redness and promotes good coloration for your skin.
  • Evening primrose oil also helps to smooth out the rough skin and helps in hydrating dry skin.
Royal Jelly:
  • was used by the ancient Egyptians to keep their skin moisturized and protected.
  • is used as a powerful anti-aging solution. 
  • has strong antibacterial properties.
  • is effective in managing eczema, neurodermatitis and impetigo.
  • helps to restore a pH balance in the skin.

Both products come in glass bottles - the Royal Jelly Eye Creme is in large lip-balm style glass jar and the Evening Primrose Overnight Creme comes in an elegant frosted glass pot.

Evening Primrose Overnight Creme is a thick, rich moisturizer. As with many "natural" cosmetics products it takes a little while to get used to applying and wearing this. The texture is thick and needs to be worked in your hands before applying to your face. There are also small bits of product that melt when you work it in a little with your fingers. Less is more with this. I let it soften in my hands and then pressed my hands against my face to apply it and also patted it into harder to reach areas with my fingers.

After you apply it your face you'll see and feel the richness. This doesn't absorb readily but it is a night cream so it's not a big deal. I prefer a night cream that feels like it's heavy and intensive and a day cream that you forget is there. 

The Evening Primrose Overnight Creme is too heavy to put on my combination skin year round but in the winter it's a lovely treat once a week. My skin feels very smooth in the morning and it looks more even-toned. Any dryness is completely gone. For skin that's dry year-round, I'd recommend this. For skin that experiences dryness infrequently or in the cold, dry months or if you live in a dry climate, you could use this nightly or regularly.

One thing I have to say about both of these products is the way they're packaged. My preference is that products you apply to your face, particularly moisturizers should not be in containers you need to dip your fingers into. One reason for this is that any germs and bacteria on your fingers or under your nails will be transferred into the product that you're now smearing on your face. Also, when products, especially ones that are largely natural begin to change when they're exposed to the air, even in limited amounts. So when you take off the lid, dip your fingers in and apply a moisturizer, that product still in the container is being exposed to the air and is changing. It'll dry out quicker and may become less effective as time goes on. I prefer moisturizers that are in pumps, so they're not exposed to the air at all.

Burt's Bee's Beeswax and Royal Jelly Eye Cream is a rich, thick eye cream. The texture is thicker than the Evening Primrose Overnight Creme which is good. Thicker means it will stay on the skin, allowing it to absorb, instead of easily being wiped away or melting off.

I liked this eye cream, it did everything I wanted an eye cream to do. It went on easily and because of it's thickness, I wasn't tempted to rub it in to my delicate eye area. Sometimes when I'm tired I rush through my night routine and rubbing your eye area is the worst! I have to force myself to slow down and pat in eye creams to reduce the wear on the skin around my eyes. It's so hard sometimes!

This is most definitely a nighttime eye cream. It's far too heavy to wear during the day. I liked that it soothed the skin under my eyes which feels tight after washing my face at night but it was still there in the morning and my skin felt fresh and smooth and very healthy. 

I recommend both of these products if you're looking for more natural products and something that really feels like it's working.

Have you ever tried any Burt's Bees products? Let us know what you think!


Monday, April 25, 2011

MAC Launches MAC Shop Together

Want a new way to shop with your friends? 

M∙A∙C Cosmetics is proud to announce the launch of a new and dynamic way to browse through our cult makeup must-haves, all without leaving your home.
  M·A·C Shop Together, launching officially Friday, April 22, enables customers to shop the brand's website with a friend without ever leaving their home.

M∙A∙C Shop Together is a revolutionary technology that allows customers to share real-time, synchronized shopping sessions with friends all through the use of instant messaging.
  After simply creating a screen name, users have the power to chat with up to five friends, see the same products and shades all within the M∙A∙C e-commerce site,

This exciting and innovative technology is the first of its kind for a large beauty brand in the online atmosphere.
Uhoh, this could be dangerous...

Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Burnished Copper Review and Swatches

Laura Mercier is a French make-up artist who is known for her ability to create a flawfless face. She has a makeup line that's available online and at Sephora. I'm relatively new to this product, having had a friend give me some samples of a few eyeshadow testers which I believed were all NARS but turned out to be Laura Mercier. These two shadows are some of my favourites and I wear them a lot.

I'm a huge fan of Sam and Nic, the sisters behind PixiWoo and recreated one of Sam's tutorials for Beauty Squared recently. 

My recreation of this look can be seen here.

So back to Laura Mercier. In order to do this look I purchased Laura Mercier's Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Burnished Copper from my local Sephora ($22 US).  It's a thin, creamy metallic eyeshadow that applies very thinly on the skin (meaning it can be built up) in a sheer wash of shimmery colour. I've only tried one of these so far, but I plan to pick up some others. They go on so nicely and last for most of the day without creasing.

Let's take a look at Burnished Copper.

The tube is small, but you use so little of the product, this is going to last you awhile. The base of the tube is flat with a small hole in the centre which allows you to squeeze out just enough (or possibly even too little) product. I recommend using a brush with this, something narrow and flat that works well with liquids and creams. It'll give you an even application and allow you to blend. Watch how Nic does it in in the Pixiwoo video above for tips on how best to apply this product.

Burnished Copper is described on the Laura Mercier website as taupey-bronze-red and that's pretty close to what it looks like. It strikes me as quite red but that could be just my fear of wearing red shades. They can make fair-skinned people look ill, so I have to be careful choosing red shadows. This one, happily looks intense enough that it hints at fever-madness but it doesn't suggest I've been up and crying all night either.

This swatch is on the back of my hand (NW20 skintone) and done fairly thickly with my finger, not a brush. I wanted a true swatch of the colour. As you can see, it's a lovely, shimmery shade, but not overwhelmingly shimmery where you feel that you've got disco balls on your eyelids. It's a very wearable shimmer. For light skintones like mine this is probably too dramatic a shadow to wear for day. When you wear a pigmented colour AND it's got lots of shimmer and shine, it's a good rule to keep these for nighttime or weekends, not the office. 

However, for warm and darker skintones this could be a lovely shade for daytime. Also, take note those of you with green eyes. This shade will make your eyes pop (red tones)!

The Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Colour comes in three other shades - Gold, Platinum and Rose Gold.

Have you ever tried any of Laura Mercier's products? Any of the Metallic Creme Eye Colours? What do you think? Tell us!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Mineralize Blushes Review and Swatches

I'm usually not one for pastels, but I couldn't say no to MAC's darling Mineralize Blushes released with their Quite Cute collection. These blushes are LE ($27.50 CA/23.00 US).

Clockwise from bottom left: Miss Behave, Sakura and Giggly

Each blush consists of a main body of mainly matte colour with a frosted accent heart in the middle. The overall finish of all three blushes is sheer satin. Swatches done indoors without flash on NC 40 skin.

From left: Miss Behave, Sakura and Giggly

From left: Miss Behave, Sakura and Giggly

Miss Behave -  is a very light beigey peach with a cool white shimmer, which comes from the mint coloured heart. I see this shade working as a highlighter for most people, especially because the shimmer is quite white. Only perhaps the palest out there could get some colour from this. I would hazard to say this would be chalky on darker skintones.

Sakura - a very cool lavender toned pink, but wearable even on yellow toned skins (such as mine). The most pigmented of the bunch, this is a rather unusual shade. Works nicely as a pop of colour on the apples of the cheek.

Giggly - a yellow toned medium pink which isn't the most unique colour but very wearable. This is a nice colour for spring, and the satin finish gives it a little bit of light.

General Comments

These three blushes are very sheer, especially for the Mineralize Blush formula which is usually highly pigmented. As well, the texture of these blushes is extremely powdery which means that to build colour the user will have to apply multiple layers of product. While this factor might be annoying for some, I don't have too much of a problem with it. I think these blushes are designed to be subtle washes of colour, and in that respect they succeed. The best of the three are Sakura and Giggly, with Sakura being the strongest colour. The weakest is Miss Behave which is too pale to function as a blush alone for most. As a highlighter though, Miss Behave works well enough even if it is a tad chalky.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beauty Squared Quotes

“Kiss and make up - but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss.” -Mae West

FOTD: Smoky Copper Eye

I forget sometimes how pretty and sexy a simple smoky eye can be. I was inspired by a PixiWoo video and the Laura Mercier Metallic Cream Eyeshadow in Burnished Copper for this look which is very simple and packs quite a punch. 

Here's how I got the look.

For my base I wanted a natural, healthy glow so I applied Olay Total Effects Moisturizer and then topped it with Sally Hanson Inspired By Carmindy Airbrush Spray Makeup which I applied with a JoeFresh Beauty foundation brush. Under my eyes and in the spots I needed it, I used Vasanti concealer (highly recommended). 

My blush is MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul, which I applied in a half circle shape from my cheeks up to my temples. This is one of my very favourite products - it gives an instant warmth and glow to my skin. I highly recommend it.

For my eyes, I applied the Laura Mercier Metallic Cream Eye Colour in Burnished Copper to my eyelid, blending it from lash line up to the crease in a thin layer with a flat eyeshadow brush. I also swept it lightly along my lower lash line. This is a beautiful product with lots of shine. I'd wear it on its own.

On top of the cream colour, I applied a combination of Bare Escentuals Eyeshadow in Cashmere and MAC Pigment in Most Darling (from the A Tartan Tale 2010 holiday collection) for a goldy-brown finish. I blended the powder into the cream but concentrated it on the lid, leaving a touch of red to show through around the edges. 

Bare Escentuals Cashmere

MAC Pigment in Most Darling
To finish the eyes, I applied MAC Eyeliner Pencil in Teddy (it's a warm brown) to my waterline and smudged it out into the lashline. Applying eye pencil to the waterline gives your eyes a smoky, sultry look. It's one of my very favourite techniques. Using shades other than black to line your waterline gives a softer effect.

I curled my lashes with my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. My mascara is Maybelline Great Lash Blackest Black Mascara on the top, applied heavily to fit with the sultry eye look and Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara on the bottom lashes. 

Finally, I applied MAC Lip Pencil in In Synch to my lips and topped it with Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipgloss for a very nude lip.  

This is so easy and so sexy. It's a softened smoky eye that can be worn for day or night. Try it and let us know how it works!