Thursday, July 28, 2011

MAC Surf, Baby! Stacked Surf the Ocean Review and Swatches

Warning: This post is going to get shimmery!

MAC's Surf Baby!collection featured two sets of their Stacked! Crushed Metallic Pigments. The Stacked! Surf the Ocean and Hibiscus lipstick were the only items I picked up from Surf Baby!

The Stacked! pigments are like the regular MAC pigments but more frosty. They're closer in texture to MAC's Solar Bits as they're quite creamy.

The Stacked! pigments come in four stackable containers, each roughly the size of a MAC eyeshadow. The four containers can be stacked in one stack but they come divided into two stacks, each with a lid.

Each container is capped with a little plastic cover, which is necessary to prevent one heck of a mess.


Gold bronze (frost)

Dirty graphite with white pearl (frost)

 Frosty platinum (frost)

Light yellow green (frost)

And swatches!

Light yellow green (frost)

Frosty platinum (frost)

Gold bronze (frost)

Dirty graphite with white pearl (frost)

L-R: Frosty platinum, Light yellow green, Gold bronze, Dirty graphite with white pearl

Like a pigment or the Solar Rays, these can be used on their own (a little goes a long way) and work best if you press it onto your skin if you're looking for pigment and if you sweep it on, it'll be sheerer. But these are built for pigment AND shine. You can wear them on their own, or put them on top of other shadows. 



Friday, July 22, 2011

July Luxe Box

My July Luxe Box! I signed up for Luxe Box a few months ago and this is the second one I've received. You can read about and see the first here. If you want to sign up for Luxe Box, check out their website!

I admit, there is something about a lovely wrapped gift arriving, even if I bought it for myself. And not knowing what's inside is even better. Here's what was inside my July Luxe Box.

L-R: Stella in Two fragrance sample, Essie nailpolish in Silken Cord, Proclaim Hair Oil Treatment
and Trucco Eyeliner in Ivy (bottom)
Stella in Two is my favourite fragrance, hand's down. For some reason I thought it was Limited Edition so when I spotted a bottle at Winners I snapped it up. It's not available with the other Stella fragrances at Sephora, so it's not exactly readily-available. Regardless, I was thrilled to get a little sample I can carry in my purse!

Essie nailpolish in Silken Cord
Essie is becoming my go-to brand of polish so I'm always happy to have a new shade. This is a creamy tomatoey-red shade that is great for summer pedicures. 
Proclaim Hair Oil Treatment
Proclaim is an argan oil-based hair oil that promises to reduce frizz and add lots of shine. Argan oil is fantastic.

Trucco Eyeliner in Ivy
Ivy is a dark forest green eyeliner that goes on easily and blends nicely. This is a great shade too.

Can't wait to see what's in my August Luxe Box!

What was in your Luxe Box?


Monday, July 11, 2011

By Candlelight Mineralize SkinFinish Review and Swatches

I attended an Estee Lauder Warehouse Sale in June and came home with a bagful of discounted goodies. Click the highlighted link to see what I hauled. Here's one of the products I picked up. It's MAC's By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish and cost $15. 

MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes are luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost MAC metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks and brows, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face. 

By Candlelight MSF came out with the Warm & Cozy collection in late 2009 and in the In the Groove collection in July 2010. It's a soft, warm, golden rose that is ideal as a highlighter on the top of the cheekbone, as a highlight on the collarbones or lightly all over the face. 

If you want to apply Mineralize Skinfinishes lightly, use a fluffy brush and if you want to highlight more specific areas of the skin, such as the top of your cheekbones or browbone, use a smaller but still fluffy brush. 

By Candlelight MSF is a bit heavier than the other MSF's I've tried so you need an even lighter hand when applying it, unless you want a heavy sheen! This stuff is pretty powerful shine-wise but it can be used a few different ways. Try it with a wet brush for a smooth, high sheen finish on the apples of your cheeks or with a dry brush for a more diffused effect. 

And of course, MSF's buff like a dream. Apply it to your cheeks and buff away, blending it out. It makes your skin come alive. By Candlelight is especially lovely on tanned skin and olive skin, but because it's pink-gold it works on many skintones. It's fantastic in the summer for that sunkissed glow or just as a highlighter glow. 

Here's me wearing it on the apples of my cheeks and blended onto my browbone. 

So very pretty!!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Olay's Redesigned Cleansing Line Review

This Spring, Olay introduced a completely redesigned line of facial cleansing products which address multiple skin concerns such as blemish control, pore minimization and cleansing options for sensitive, dry and oily/combination skin types.

BeautySquared was sent a selection of these new products to try. 

Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths: Pre-moistened cleansing cloths that cleanse in one easy step. Available for normal and sensitive skin.  Note: This product replaces the Olay Daily Facials Express.

These cloths are handy for travel, taking to the gym, to the park, camping, wherever you might need to refresh your skin. They can be used on your face, neck, hands or wherever else you need a bit of cleansing and freshening. They work well at taking off daily makeup although I still prefer using a cleanser rather than a cloth to minimize pulling at my skin too much.

Olay 2-In-1 Daily Facial Cloths: Cleansing cloths that deliver cleaning in one easy step. Available for normal, sensitive and combination/oily skin.  Note: This product replaces the Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths.

The 2-In-1 Daily Facial Cloths are textured cloths with built-in cleanser. Simply wet them and scrunch to create lather. One side has a rougher texture than the other and is good for deep cleaning but should not be used on your eye area. I like these cloths for freshening up in the morning and if I need to redo my make-up. They can also be used on your hands and elsewhere (I like them for washing off sunscreen and the day's grime).

Olay Foaming Face Wash: A daily cleanser that gently removes dirt, oil and make-up without over-drying skin. Available in a tube and pump for normal, sensitive and combination/oily skin.

The Foaming Face Wash is a milder cleanser than I prefer but it's good for morning cleanse. Using this with a rotating brush cleanser, such as the Olay Professional Pro X Advanced Cleansing Three-Speed Brush increases the effectiveness if your skin is oily. For more sensitive skin, this is a good cleanser.

Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub: A 2-in-1 daily foaming cleanser that combines cleansing and exfoliation in one simple step to help minimize the appearance of pores.  Note: This product replaces the Olay Dual Action Cleanser + Pore Scrub.

This is a foaming cleanser with tiny beads in it for exfoliating that leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft. Exfoliating doesn't minimize the appearance of pores however, so don't expect this to do that. This is a good cleanser for skin that's a combination skin or needs a bit of exfoliation (which is most skin types). 

Olay Oil Minimizing Toner: A dermatologist-tested formula with aloe and witch hazel that cleans and refreshes.  Note: This product replaces the Olay Refreshing Toner.

The Oil Minimizing Toner is a refreshing, astringent toner best for oily skin and skin prone to breakouts. I like this particularly on my upper back, shoulders and chest, which can get dirty and oily in the summer (sunscreen, sweat and dirt, etc) and can break out. It's refreshing to splash on your skin as well. It's likely too astringent for sensitive and dry skin. 

Olay Acne Control Face Wash: A lathering face wash that cleanses skin. It contains salicylic acid to help fights blemishes. Note: This product replaces the Olay Blemish Control Lathering Cleanser. 

The Acne Control Face Wash is a liquid, deep-cleansing face wash for oily, blemish and acne-prone skin. It's useful for breakouts and for summertime skin that needs some deep-cleansing. 

Olay Blackhead Clearing Scrub:  A daily scrub that cleans away dirt and oil, while exfoliating the surface skin.  Note: This product replaces the Olay Clarify & Cleanse Scrub.

Olay Shine Control Lathering Cleanser: A daily face wash that combines the down-to-the-pores surface cleansing of a mud mask.

I love this cleanser. It contains clay and leaves my skin feeling smooth and clean, almost as if I've used a deep-cleansing mask. It does well to remove makeup, sweat, oil, grime and sunscreen. 

Do you love Olay like BeautySquared does? Tell us!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

LUSTING: Tarte for True Blood Collection

I apologize if this annoys any Twilight fans out there but Twilight is like unsweetened Kool Aid compared to True Blood's 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Jeroboam. And that's me being nice just because I was a 16 year old and in love with L.J. Smith's fictional vampires in The Vampire Diaries. I'm not 16 anymore.

I'm a huge True Blood fan so this gets me all shivery and V-deprived and prepared to rush out the door the moment it's available at Sephora. Tarte, the line sold at Sephora know for its cheek and lip stains, has released Tarte for True Blood Collection.

For $52 US you get the True Blood palette - 17 eyeshadows in quite wearable colours (they could've gone with dark, vampy colours but they didn't), a black Aqua-Gel eyeliner, black mascara and an eye primer. And packaged in a saucy black and red, corsetty box. Love it!

Tarte is known for their cheek stains. The Tarte for True Blood Natural Cheek Stain is $30 and a shimmery, blood-red (what else?). 

The Tarte for True Blood LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint is a mint-infused, iridescent red shade and is $24. 

Growl. WANT.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

MAC Blogger's Obsession Lipglass Review and Swatches

You know I do everything in my power to snag LE MAC products, but with the recent release of Blogger's Obsession I was stonewalled. Despite checking at midnight, and throughout the morning the day of the release I was shut out of getting any of the eye shadows, much to my annoyance.

I know I'm not the only one who missed out. There is still hope yet with new that MAC will start a wait list for the shades sometime in the next few weeks according to Temptalia. Let's hope I can get them for a review, if not MAC gets a black mark in my book, LOL.

Anyways, I did pick up the lipglasses from this collection. There are 5 LE shades, each created by a well known blogger. Photos taken in natural light on NC 40 skin.

Left to right: Evolution Revolution, Caqui, Sonoran Rain, 
Nitro:licious 2046 and All My Purple Life

Left to right: Evolution Revolution, Caqui, Sonoran Rain, 
Nitro:licious 2046 and All My Purple Life

Evolution Revolution: Created by Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog (one of my favourite blogs), this lipglass is the sheerest of the bunch, a light, milky peach with multicoloured shimmer. Because of it's sheerness I see this shade working for everyone and on top of a multitude of lipsticks.

Caqui: Created by Lily at Beauty Maverick, Caqui is a pigmented medium orange which plays straight up orange (it looks more yellow in the photo than in real life), This is a great shade which should become a staple in MAC's permanent line. Every summer orange lips and nails come back into fashion - why not have this colour year round? If you don't think you can wear something this orange I would rethink and try this shade out.

Sonoran Rain: Created by Aileen at The Shades of U, Sonoran Rain is a pigmented deep coral red infused with golden shimmer. A very pretty shade which could work both in summer and fall. 

Nitro:licious 2046: Created by Wendy at Nitrolicious, this shade is a very pigmented beautiful red cream gloss. It has a very deep colour and it leans a little on the cool side, although it is neutral enough that I can see any skin tone wearing this shade. One of my favourites in the collection.

I have to wonder if the name is a reference to the Wong Kar Wai film 2046, which is visually stunning with a very saturated colour palette (red is a dominant colour in the film). If you haven't seen this movie I urge you rent it, it's beautiful.

All My Purple Life: Created by Patrice at Afrobella, this shade is pigmented, deep purple with silver shimmer. Again, a shade which I wish MAC would carry full time. There isn't many good purple or violet glosses out there.

General Comments

I'm impressed by the shades and quality of the lipglasses in this collection. My personal favourites are Caqui, Nitro:licious 2046 and All My Purple Life because of the intensity and uniqueness of the shades. I also appreciate that there is an offering of both cream and shimmer textures in the collection.

If you think you see something you might like in this grouping, I would pick it up now before they sell out. The glosses aren't as in demand as the shadows, but I do see them selling out sooner rather than later as more blogger's review them.

Anyone pick up anything of this collection?