Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - April 29, 2012

Beyonce has been named People Magazine's most beautiful woman, making her the (SAY WHAT?) first black woman to be honoured with the title. Come on now, People, for real?

In coincidental news, an 18 year-old, blonde, blue-eyed Brit named Florence was named the most naturally beautiful woman in Great Britain recently. Apparently her face is almost perfectly symmetrical, which is why she won. Now, she is very pretty, but since when is "almost perfection" beautiful?

Warning: this link is going to bring you somewhere quite creepy. Many little girls grow up wanting to be pretty like Barbie but how many would go this far? reviews Anastasia's Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes claiming they give her brows that would make Joan Crawford jealous. I don't know about you, but I'd be cautious making Joan jealous.

Glowy skin and sculpted cheeks with this bronzer x 2 tutorial from Refinery 29.

Lush's London Regent Street store staged some pretty extreme performance art recently to protest animal testing in cosmetics manufacturing. 

Olay was named the #1 cosmetics brand in the world recently, beating Avon, Dove and Estee Lauder.

In anticipation of the release of Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' later this year, here's a soft and romantic Gatsby make-up look.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

LUSTING: NARS Mexican Rose

The beauty bloggers are all abuzz about this watermelon candy-coloured glossy lip pencil called Mexican Rose. It was released this spring.

Check out with some of the beauty bloggers are saying about Mexican Rose:

I'm a sucker for a bright lip and I like the sounds of this glossy but lightweight gloss. I find myself drawing away from gloss more and more lately, I find it too shiny and sticky. I much prefer the rich colour and slight sheen that a lipstick gives. I'm intrigued about what I've seen of Mexican Rose though!

Stay tuned to see if this ends up in my make-up kit.



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - April 22, 2012

Here are the wonderful links we've stumbled upon this week.

Are you watching Canada's Best Beauty Talent? It's an online series competition to find the best hair and make-up artists in Canada and hosted by supermodel Coco Rocha.

A photo series featuring the professional mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida.

The Daily Mail has compared beauty trends in Britain and noticed regional similarities in what women are buying.

An absolutely gorgeous make-up tutorial from PixiWoo

Will your body age like your mother's? The Daily Mail takes a look at some brave mothers and daughters who posed nude for the photos.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - April 15, 2012

Here are Beauty Squared's weird and wonderful beauty links for the week:

Who doesn't want to look a little like the gorgeous Sophia Loren? Sam from Pixiwoo shows how to get an "Ultra Vixen" eye look just like Sophia.

Have you seen the Sephora/Pantone collaboration and aren't sure how to wear tangerine tango? A Sephora make-up artist shows you how

Candy inspired manicures.

A cold cream from the 1950s that can remove radioactive dirt from your face.

Make-up artist Larissa Palaszczuk reviews the FaceChartPro iPad app.

A manicure that mimics caviar - not sure about this one. But here's a blog that shows you how to do it yourself.

Former plus-size model Crystal Renn is unrecognizable now with bleached hair and eyebrows and a size 0 frame.

Would you let your significant other do your make-up? This brave beauty blogger let her husband do a Snooki transformation on her, on camera. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

MAC In Extra Dimension Highlighters/Skinfinishes Review and Swatches

As part of their new In Extra Dimension collection, MAC has released three LE highlighters ($34.00 CA/29.00 US) which boast the new "liquid-powder" formula. Each highlighter comes in a large compact (the size of regular Mineralize Skinfinshes) with a wave and logo embossed surface. Product photo with flash, swatches on NC 40 skin, natural light.

MAC In Extra Dimension Highlighters
 (clockwise from bottom left): 
Superb, Whisper of Gilt & Glorify

MAC In Extra Dimension Highlighters:
Superb, Whisper of Gilt & Glorify

Superb - a slightly pinked beige, which would be flattering on any skin tone, warm or cool. This would be a great shade to use in conjunction with many blush shades due to it's neutral cast. This would also be great on it's own as a natural looking highlighter as it's colouration is subtle.

Whisper of Gilt - a white gold highlighter which does not lean too yellow. Although this is definitely warmer looking than Superb, I still think it could work on cool skin tones. This would look fantastic paired with a matte bronzer.

Glorify - an incredibly pigmented golden bronze. This would be a knockout highlighter for deep skin tones. For light and medium skin tones this would work better as a bronzer.

I am very impressed with this new formula of highlighters. The texture is finely milled, and they deliver incredible colour payoff. To the touch, the texture of the product is very smooth but somewhat dry feeling. They almost feel like they won't yield much product. Do not let the powdery texture fool you! The lightest amount of these on a brush can bring a substantial, yet natural glow to the high points of the face. With a dense brush and a slightly heavier hand you could easily achieve a very metallic look if that is what you desired. 

Their texture is similar to Laura Mercier's Rose Rendevous Highlighter and Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia Meteorite powder - dry, powdery and yet simultaneously silky and creamy. I have been wearing these both alone and on top of other blushes and find the wear to be good over an average 8 - 10 hour day. I think Superb and Whisper of Gilt are very versatile colours that would work well with a large range of blushes. Glorify is gorgeous but less versatile due to the strong warm tones.

Stay tuned for a face off between Superb and Laura Mercier's Rose Rendevous!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lipstick Queen Saint Eden Lipstick Review and Swatches

One of the shops I made a point to visit in New York City was Space N.K. in Soho. Space N.K. is a beauty boutique that originated in London's Covent Garden in 1993 and has expanded throughout the U.K. and the U.S. I remember visiting a Space N.K. in London's Soho neighbourhood years ago. 

While there, I picked up a lipstick by Lipstick Queen by Poppy called Saint Eden. I'd heard about Lipstick Queen before but don't think I've ever seen it in person before. It turns out there are only two locations that stock Lipstick Queen in Canada so I'm glad I got to check out the line in NYC!

Lipstick Queen has two lines of lipstick - one called Saint and one called Sinner. These are ten shades, one sheer (Saint) with 10% pigment and one opaque (Sinner) with 90% pigment. This is a great idea. Lipstick Queen focuses on the colours and formulas and just adds more pigment to some of them. That way someone a little wary of wearing a red lipstick (there's a lot of you out there!) can opt for the sheerer shade.

Lipstick Queen lipsticks are approximately $18 US. 

The shade that I bought, Saint Eden is a bright watermelon red shade.

Let's take a look.

I really like Lipstick Queen's packaging. It's a simple plastic sleeve with a thin piece of cardboard for presentation and I LOVE the art and colours. So retro, elegant and playful.

The lipstick itself is in a buffed matte gold tube and it's got a nice solid weight to it. 

Here's Saint Eden swatched on my arm. See how sheer it is?

Lipstick Queen lipstick is very moisturizing as you can see from the sheen. Lipstick Queen lipsticks are highly moisturizing and their Saint lipsticks are the most moisturizing of them all. 

Saint Eden is a bright cherry-watermelon shade. It can be applied thinly or layered for more opacity. It's a great not-quite-red shade that will work on both warm and cool skin tones. 

Due to the sheer, moist nature of Saint Eden, it isn't a long-lasting lipstick and it will come off when you eat or drink. But its sheer nature allows you to touch up pretty easily on the go as well.

Saint Eden can be applied from the tube, with your finger or with a brush. Wearing it on top of a lipliner will give you more opacity and wear.

I really like this lipstick. I love the texture and the fruit punch colour. It's perfect for the bright lip trend of spring 2012. 

Have you ever tried Lipstick Queen lipsticks?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok Review and Swatches

A Twitter friend recommended NARS' matte lipstick to me recently and I picked up a tube while in New York City in March. 

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick comes in 12 shades. I chose Bangkok, a soft rose, which unbeknownst to me was selected by InStyle as a Best 2011 Shade for Fair Skin. NARS Pure Matte Lipstick retails for $25 US and is 0.07 oz. 

Here's what the NARS website has to say about their pure matte lipstick.

Bright. Bold. Perfectly matte. This super-rich lipstick provides high-impact payoff: an ultra-pigmented, long-wearing formula that glides on effortlessly with comfortable wear.
  • contains wild mango butter, known to provide advanced moisturizing properties to repair dryness and scaling.
  • Long-wearing application
  • Enriched with Vitamin E and açaí oil for antioxidant benefits

Bangkok is certainly not bright or bold but I'd say it fits the rest of the description. It goes on smoothly and feels like almost nothing on, due to the matte texture.

The texture is very creamy and it looks creamy with the slightest glow to it. In the below photos, my skin has more shine to it than the lipstick!

I love the way Bangkok looks, like my lips but better (mlbb). It's polished and natural and very easy to wear. This is not a dry matte lipstick. My lips can feel dry very easily and a heavy lip balm or lipstick texture is most comfortable to me. Matte lipsticks often can be very drying but the newest formulas I've tried (this one, and MAC's Matte Lipstick and MAC's Pro Longwear Lipstick) are very comfortable to wear and as long as my lips are well moisturized when I apply, I can wear these matte lipsticks for hours very comfortably. 

Bangkok is a very pretty, soft pink with a hint of gold. It's very soft so it'd look best on fair skin and lighter skin with cool undertones. On me, it looks very close to my natural lip tone and the natural pink tones in my skin.

I've been wearing this for my daytime work look when I am wearing a slightly smoky eye. It'd work for a nighttime smoky eye look as well. It's soft and sophisticated and more classic than trendy.

What do you think of NARS Pure Matte Lipstick? Do you have a favourite shade? What colour should I check out next?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MAC Chenman Force of Love Lipstick Review and Swatches

I picked up the Force of Love lipstick from MAC's recent Chenman collaboration. Bright and bold lips are big for spring and summer and I grabbed it on a whim, without even trying it on first. 

The Chenman products all came with really lovely watercoloury-inky sleeve. Too bad it wasn't on the box itself.

Force of Love is matte and described as a vivid honeysuckle pink. It is a bold creamy pink and a creamy matte which doesn't go on dry at all and has a slight sheen when applied.

The photos below don't quite show the colour as it appears in real life. Or at least not the way I am seeing the photos. Perhaps on your screen it looks different. It's comparable to OCC's Trollop Lip Tar although more pink. It's almost coral with a touch of orange.

Swatched on my arm

I really like the texture of Force of Love. It goes on very smoothly, although you'll want to make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturized before wearing it. 

Here it is on me. I recently went to New York City for the first time and wore this every day. I think it's terribly chic and sophisticated. Just some clean bare skin, lots of black mascara and this pop of colour on the lips. 

This shade went quickly, so that's a clear indication that bold lips are a big trend for spring. MAC's Reel Sexy collection, in North American stores last week, has four bold shades, including Watch Me Simmer, which is a coral-pink, very comparable to Force of Love.

Monday, April 9, 2012

MAC Reel Sexy Lipsticks Review and Swatches

As part of the ongoing onslaught of new spring collections, MAC brings us Reel Sexy. A full collection of colour products, I have the four LE lipsticks for review. All photos taken in natural light on NC 40 skin.

Reel Sexy, Watch Me Simmer, Pink Popcorn and Heroine

Reel Sexy, Watch Me Simmer, Pink Popcorn and Heroine

Reel Sexy (Amplified) - a medium peach which leans on the orange side, opaque coverage but must be layered a bit to get a consistent finish.

Watch Me Simmer (Amplified) - a bright, hot coral pink, opaque coverage. This colour was repromoted from the Shop MAC Cook Mac collection of a few months ago.

Pink Popcorn (Lustre) - a semi sheer pink with mauve undertones. 

Heroine (Matte) - a medium deep pink violet, smooth, dense application and a creamy finish.

I think these four colours are right on trend for spring. It's an interesting palette because it focuses on corals and purples, with not a neutral beige or pink in sight! I also like that MAC has varied the finishes and the brightness of the colours. If you are feeling more demure or are looking for a soft day look, you can reach for Reel Sexy or Pink Popcorn. If you want to ride the bold lips trend, you can go with Watch Me Simmer and Heroine.

As I look at the website, a few of the shades are already sold out. If you missed Watch Me Simmer the first time around, now is a great time to pick it up. Corals of all varieties have been impossibly hot the past few seasons and show no signs of slowing down in popularity. 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - April 8, 2012

Here are our weekly fun beauty finds from the wonderful world wide web. 

Writing about how people hate you because you're beautiful is a great way to make people hate you.  

This Samantha Brick YouTube makeup tutorial is hilarious.

Videos by Sue de Beer, Deborah Tuberville and Ellen von Unwerth to celebrate the opening of Joe Fresh's brand new 5th Avenue store in Manhattan.

Marc Jacobs will collaborate with Sephora on a makeup line.

Would you wear a dress that became transparent when your heartbeat quickened (a.k.a. became excited/aroused)?