Friday, March 30, 2012

Essie Matte About You Matte Finisher Review and Swatches

Nail polish and shiny go together hand-in-hand. Who knew there was anything other than shiny nail polish? Who knew that anything other than shiny nail polish would look good?

But along came the matte nail polish trend. You can buy matte nail polish colours or matte top coats to mattify any nail polish colour.

I picked up Essie's Matte About You matte finisher to try out the trend.

You simply apply Matte About You as you would a top coat. Within a few seconds it clouds over, mattifying your colour. It's a lot of fun to watch!

Here is Butter London's Wallis on my nails, pre-Matte About You.

And here is my manicure after applying Matte About You. Cool, right? I love how antique a colour Wallis becomes with the matte topcoat. 

More photos. 

I'm completely smitten with the effect of Matte About You. Matte nails look a little cooler, a little edgier and they definitely set you apart.

Check out some of the cool effects you can do with a matte top coat here

However, as a top coat, Matte About You fails for me. It doesn't really prolong the wear of my polish at all. 

Who else loves matte top coats? What creative manicures have you created with it?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa Review

Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa ($46 US, 1.7 oz/50 mL) is touted as a moisturizer that'll help to decrease the appearance of aging. It claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and rebuild collagen in the skin.

Here's what the Origins website has to say:

94% saw a significant reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

This moisturizer with Mimosa, Argan leaf and Green algae helps to rebuild collagen, repair visible lines and improves skin texture and tone. Skin looks and feels measurably younger from day one.

I used this moisturizer almost every night until it was all gone. I loved it so much. It was the perfect texture and thickness for my skin. In the morning my skin felt hydrated, silky and fresh.

It's definitely a moisturizer I felt better suited to wearing at night just because it was a little on the heavier side. It didn't absorb in as readily as I like day moisturizers to. However, the reverse is true for the colder months. This isn't heavy enough for night but fared me quite well in the day since my skin was tighter and dryer from the cold, dry winter air.

As for the reducing signs of aging, it definitely made my skin softer, firmer, and plumper and healthy-looking so in that way, definitely younger. I don't have much in the way of aging signs to have this make a significant difference but I'd love to hear if it has any affect on skin that does have aging signs. 

I would buy this moisturizer again in a heartbeat. It's one of the nicest moisturizers I've ever used. The fragrance took a little getting used to as it's a bit sharp. I love citrus anything and Origins Starting Over Moisturizer has that orangey scent but it's not quite orange enough, if that makes sense. I wanted a more true orange scent, I guess. But I got used to the sharper citrus scent and that disappointment went away once I realized how fabulous my skin felt with it on.

Has anyone tried this? Do you love it? Hate it?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sephora + Pantone Colour of the Year = Awesome

Check this out! You've probably heard that Pantone announces what will be the colour of the upcoming year and fashion and beauty trends typically follow suit. Of course when the colour of the year is purple or teal it's a bit tougher to into beauty, but when it's a wearable shade like Tangerine Tango (2012's colour), it translates really well.

Sephora has paired up with Pantone with a collection dedicated to Tangerine Tango. And it's pretty impressive. Take a look!

There's more than these photos show - see the full collection on the Sephora website here

To see some swatches, check out The Muse's review of the lipgloss set and these swatch posts here and here.

I'm not an orange lover and it doesn't really look good on me but I'm excited about the quality and pricing of this collection. It bodes well for future Colour of the Year collaborations!

Have any of you seen the collection in person yet? Are you in love? Tell us!


Monday, March 26, 2012

FACE Atelier Facade Review and Swatches

FACE Atelier kindly sent Beauty Squared some samples of their new silicon lip stain, Facade, to try out.  Facade is a cheek and lip stain that comes in five shades and has a liquid-to-powder formula. 

Facade makes creams obsolete as its one-of-a-kind, silicone-based, liquid-to-powder formula provides translucent, non-streaking, buildable matte color that sets with a natural glow. Silky soft and extraordinarily light, Facade comes in five shades for face and lips.


  • extremely blendable with seamless, even application
  • ideal for use with high definition technology
  • long-lasting
  • slant tip for easy application
  • moisture and sebum resistant
  • longer drying time allows for movement and adjustments
  • fragrance and flavor free
  • 100% vegan
  • non-comedogenic
  • looks like liquid but applies like powder
  • will buff down to lightest hint of color or build to create intense shade
  • don't be afraid to mix shades to vary effect (add a touch of Livid to, or on top of Chameleon for a natural sun-kissed look)
  • tint lip or use as color base with lip glaze
  • start light and build intensity as required
  • sets without powder to a fresh, natural-looking finish

$26.00 each   8 ml/.33 fl oz

This was my first experience trying any of FACE Atelier's products.

The five shades of Facade are a great range of colours that can be used on the cheeks or lips as a "lit from within" sheer glow. Facade can appear very sheer or can be layered for a more dramatic effect. 

FACE Atelier Facade in Livid

FACE Atelier Facade in Cha Cha
FACE Atelier Facade in Godiva
FACE Atelier Facade in Chameleon
FACE Atelier Facade in Arabesque

I swatched the five Facade's on my arm. The texture is very smooth, almost not wet at all under my fingers. Once blended down into my skin, it turns into powder and balls up as I rub (see second photo). But it stains the skin, very very sheerly and can be reapplied for a more intense effect. Obviously, in the photos below, the colours are true since the skin on my arms doesn't have as much pigment as the skin on my face or on my lips.

L to R: Livid, Cha Cha, Godiva, Chameleon, Arabesque

L to R: Livid, Cha Cha, Godiva, Chameleon, Arabesque

I tried each shade on my lips but not on my cheeks (if it'll stain my lips, it'll certainly stain my cheeks).

And here is what each looks like on.

Cha Cha



I like the effect of Facade, although I prefer a lip product that has more moisture to it. My lips get quite dry. But the effect is very pretty and I like that you can layer them for more intensity. Topped with a sheer lip balm or gloss, it's very wearable and natural looking. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Make Your Own Nailpolish

On a whim one night I decided to try to make my own nailpolish. I have a shimmery dark red shadow that I thought would look amazing as a nail colour and after a bit of online research, set to it.

Here's what you need to make your own nailpolish:
  • Eyeshadow - loose is better, but you can also crush pressed eyeshadows into powder.
  • Clear nail polish.
  • An empty container. A clean, empty nail polish bottle works perfectly. 
  • You will also need something like an orange stick or a stir stick to get the powder into the container and to help you mix it.
Since the eyeshadow I used was pressed (or solid), I needed to break it up into a powder before adding it to the clear nail polish. You can use a sturdy Ziploc bag for this or if you're careful, a paper towel and the back of a spoon. I used the latter method, and crushed the eyeshadow into a powder. Using the handle of the spoon I added the powder little by little to just less than half a bottle of clear polish, shaking to combine it. I swatched it and kept adding more powder until it got to the right consistency. 

It turned out that the mineralize eyeshadow wasn't as interesting (too dark and no depth) as a polish as it is as an eyeshadow so I added a little bit of silvery lavender loose shadow. This lightened it and made it more metallic. 

Swatches of the eyeshadows I used.
I kept adding more of each until it swatched the way I wanted it to look. It turned into a much more purple shade than I originally expected. 

Swatches of the nailpolish as I tried to get the shade I wanted.

And here is the finished shade on my nails...

I like the shade I created but I loved the idea that I could make my own colours more. And I love the idea of using up some products I might not finish using.

Have you ever made your own nailpolish? Have I inspired you to try it on your own?


Sunday, March 11, 2012

MAC By Request Preview

M·A·C is inviting fans to vote for their favorite shades starting March 12 on Facebook 18 popular lipsticks, lipglasses and eye shadows have been selected from past collections; the three shades with the most votes from each category will come back as an online exclusive, limited edition collection.

Voting opens to all Facebook fans March 12-30.  The collection will be available online in North America in August and internationally Fall 2012.

Do you have a favorite shade or two? We invite you to start your own campaign; tweet about it using#MACBYREQUEST

3N as seen in N Collection (January 2008)
Candy Yum Yum as seen in Quite Cute (April 2011)
Eden Rocks as seen in Eden Rocks (May 2001)
Moxie as seen in Retro Matte Lipsticks (September 1999)
Rocker as seen in Time Rocker (Fall 1999)
Shitaki as seen in Cuisine (March 2001)

2N as seen in N Collection (January 2008)
Bait as seen in Lure (June 2006)
Cult of Cherry as seen in Cult of Cherry (September 2008)
Emancipation as seen in Wonder Woman (February 2011)
Flash of Flesh as seen in M·A·C D’Bohemia (May 2005)
Icescape as seen in Love Lace (December 2009)

Eye Shadow:
Cool Heat as seen in Cool Heat – June 2008
Guacamole as seen in Salsabelle (May 2005)
Heavenly Bliss as seen in Eden Rocks (May 2001)
Jeté as seen in Danse (January 2006)
Moth Brown as seen in Madame B. (March 2005)
Solar White as seen in Cool Heat (June 2008)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

February Glymm Box

Yes, it's March and I'm just now posting about my February Glymm Box. Oops! 
So without further ado...

Glymm boxes come each month and contain 4-5 deluxe (larger than average) beauty samples. You can find out more here

And here's what's inside.
Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip BalmCare for your lips with beautiful, sheer color. Our new tinted balms give you a hint of color with a soft, sweet flavour and natural ingredients that moisturize and condition your lips. 

Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm swatched.
Sula Natural Créme ShadowSula Beauty offers cream shadows in gorgeous on-trend colors. Easy to line, shade, blend and contour eyes, this formula is made with natural ingredients.

Apply to lids, blend, repeat to achieve desired effect! Easy to line, shade, blend and contour eyes, this formula is made with natural ingredients. Shade: Lime Green
Sula Natural Créme Shadow in Why Not?

Sula Natural Créme Shadow in Why Not?

Sula Natural Créme Shadow in Why Not? swatched

Glam Glow Mud Mask
Mai Couture Blot & BronzeThe lightly powdered bronzing paper eliminates oil and has just the right amount of shimmer to give you a glowing and flawless complexion all day. Enhance your natural color with a warm sun-kissed look by firmly pressing the bronzing paper on your face, neck, and décolleté. Use daily as needed.

Can be worn over moisturizer or foundation as a setting powder for a more glowing complexion or simply as a touch up throughout the day. 

Mai Couture Blot & Bronze

Mai Couture Blot & Bronze