Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MAC Retro Matte Preview

With its one-of-a-kind Retro Matte texture, Ruby Woo Lipstick has become a smash hit both on and off the runway. Inspired by its stunning popularity, M·A·C has revamped this lipstick legend with invigorating, bold shades in its Retro Matte finish. Eye-catching new colours like Dangerous and All Fired Up create a look that’s feminine yet fierce. M·A·C also introduces its Pro Longwear Lip Pencils in a vibrant, NEW colour palette, giving this long-lasting and transfer-proof lip pencil an exhilarating makeover.

M·A·C Retro Matte
Available online week of September 3, 2013
Available in stores September 12, 2013 through November 7, 2013

Lipstick in All Fired Up
Bright fuchsia matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Dangerous
Orangey red matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Fixed On Drama
Rich wine matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Flat Out Fabulous
Bright plum matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Relentlessly Red
Bright pinkish coral matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Ruby Woo
Very matte vivid blue red
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Runway Hit
Light nude matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Steady Going
Light pink matte
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Dynamo
Bright peony
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Fashion Boost
Bright purple cream
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in High Energy
Bright orange red cream
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in In Anticipation
Soft yellow pink
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in More To Love
Intense bluish pink
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Shock Value
Bright pink cream
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Staunchly Stylish
Pink beige
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Trust In Red
Bright cool red cream
$23.00 CDN/$19.50 US

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Real Techniques Your Base/Flawless Core Collection Review

Makeup brushes are so important to your makeup routine and trust me, they make applying almost everything easy. Quality is important but can be expensive. 

Makeup artist and YouTube vlogger Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo (with her MUA sister Nicola) has her own line of makeup brushes out called Real Techniques and they're both high quality and inexpensive. I picked up the Your Base/Flawless Core Collection recently. It's my second Real Techniques brush kit (you can see my review of the Your Eyes/Enhanced Starter Set brush kit here). A store called Designer Cosmetics Warehouse in the underground shopping area beneath Holt Renfrew Centre on Bloor Street in Toronto carries the Real Techniques brushes.

The Your Base/Flawless Core Collection set cost me $29.95 and comes with four brushes, designed for creating a perfect base (foundation, concealer, powder, blush, contour, highlight, etc). 

Real Techniques brush sets come in a case that can be used for storage and turned into a stand for display or easy access. Sam being a makeup artist herself knows exactly what works well for makeup application and I think this idea is genius. 

Case open

Case as a stand

Case closed
The brushes in the Your Base/Flawless Core Collection are a buffing brush, detailer brush, pointed foundation brush and contour brush. The Real Techniques brushes are made of Taklon, a synthetic fiber used in high quality art and make-up brushes, so they're cruelty-free. The handles are aluminum, so they're light and they're colour coded so you know that all the purple ones are the enhanced eyes brushes, all the gold ones are meant for achieving a flawless face and the pink one are for a perfect finish. Let's look at each one more closely. 

The Buffing Brush is the largest of the four and meant for full coverage application of powder and mineral makeup. It's gorgeously soft and easy to manipulate over the skin, resulting in as full or as soft a coverage as you're looking for. You could use this with blush, highligher and bronzer as well.

The Detailer Brush is for applying concealer with its tapered, fine tip and can also be used for lipstick. I find this is far easier to use than a lip brush for applying concealer to blemishes or small areas of skin since you can use just the tip or the broader area and it's excellent for blending. I've also used this to apply eyeshadow to my inner eye and to my brow bone and I've used it to smudge eyeliner.

The Pointed Foundation Brush is for use with liquid foundation to build coverage. I like to use this with my cream concealers, as it's so effective in building coverage. It works well with liquid products too - eyeshadow, highlighter, etc. The tapered, broad tip works for painting on product and for buffing and blending. 

The Contour Brush is for delicately applying highlighter to contour areas and also for super-soft focus buffing. I've used this for contouring under my cheekbones and along the jawline and sides of the face. It's so perfect for creating the contour line and then buffing it out to the perfect shadow. It's lovely for adding a touch of highlighter as well, and makes it so easy to control just how much you want. 

At the bottom of the page here you can see a video of Sam using the Core Collection brushes. 

I love these brushes so much. They're super-soft and so easy to use. They're well-priced (about $8 per brush) and good quality. They pick up product beautifully and buff gorgeously. 

If you're in the market for some new brushes, I can't recommend the Real Techniques line enough. Learn more about them here and check out Sam and Nicola's YouTube channel here

Grade: A


Monday, August 26, 2013

Sephora + Pantone Universe Graphic Lift Liquid Eyeliner - Review, Swatches and Photos

I love green. LOVE LOVE LOVE to wear it. But I've never tried it on my face. Sephora and Pantone teamed up this year again for the colour of the year, which is emerald for 2013. 

They have a number of products available including eyeshadow, blush and lip colours. I picked up the Sephora + Pantone Universe Graphic Lift Liquid Eyeliner recently. 

The packaging (pictured above) is pretty neat. Excessive, but pretty neat. 

The eyeliner wand itself is white, which is a nice switch from the typically black and dark gray packaging of most makeup brands. 

The eyeliner itself is a shimmery medium-toned green with a touch of gold to it. 

Here's what the Sephora website has to say about it: 

An all-day liquid eyeliner with a metallic finish and a striking Emerald hue. What it does: Discover the renewing, energizing power of Pantone’s Color of the Year with this smudge-proof eyeliner. The defined felt tip applicator promises ultimate precision and accuracy, allowing you to create looks both sophisticated and dramatic. The quick-dry, water-resistant formula promises excellent color payoff and a gorgeous glimmer from day into night. 

Swatched on NW15 skintone.
I'm not a fan of this style of liquid eyeliner applicator, with the brush tip. I prefer using a brush or a pen-tip applicator. Brush tip wands are difficult to use, I find. And the eye liner is quite liquid so it's not the easiest to work with. In the photo above, the eyeliner is still wet. After it dries, it deepens in colour

Here's a quick eye look I tried with it. I ringed my eyes with the liner and then used a black eyeliner pencil and smudged it into my lashline. I added a bit of silvery-white to give it a bit of highlight amd a bit of contour colour in my crease. Black mascara too - top and bottom. Simple, but with a bright colour and one I'm not used to wearing, it's a good way to start. 

The black grounds the bright green. This is an easy way to wear a bright colour - ground it with some black. 

My liner lines are a bit wobbly but that's due to the applicator wand and the sheerness of the product. I had to go over it again and again to get enough colour. It's almost watery in consistency, even after shaking it.

Disappointing. I also wish this had been a deeper, more jewel tone emerald green. 

It cost $18 CDN. 

Grade: C

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beauty Squared Round-Up - August 25, 2013

Hi lovelies! 
Here is your round-up for August 25. Enjoy!

  • Tips for wearing a nude lip from start to finish. Perfection! (New Beauty Magazine)
  • Eye makeup ideas for Asian eyes. So cool! (Buzzfeed)
  • Photographer Nir Arieli's portrait series place men in traditionally feminine poses to challenge what we see as being female traits. See the photos here. (Huffington Post)
  • Have you given up on finding button-up shirts that'll fit your bust and your waist? This story might be of interest to you. (PSFK)
  • Some crazy good beauty hacks that you've got to check out. Got to, hear me? Click! (Buzzfeed)
  • Down with diet culture! Hurrah for embracing the body you have now! Five Ways to Appreciate the Body You Have Now. (Buzzfeed)
Happy Sunday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beauty Squared Round-Up for August 18, 2013

Sunday, Sunday here again in tidy attire! (Blur 'Sunday, Sunday')
It's time for our weekly round-up of beauty links for your clicking and reading pleasure.
Let's go!

  • This article isn't about beauty per se, but in the photos (WARNING: nudity) actress Lake Bell is wearing a large rose tattoo transfer, designed by her tattoo artist husband. You can learn more about Tinsley Transfers here.
  • The amazing Toronto-based MUA Lucky Bromhead offers her tips for keeping your office-appropriate beauty looks stylish.
  • The iconic look of the flappers of the 1920s was much more than a beauty and style statement, it was political. What does your style say?
  • If you're into crafty stuff, check out these creative DIY hacks for your shoes.
  • MYTH: Short hair is boring, since you don't have the options for styling like you do when you have long hair. So not true. Check out these styling ideas for shorter hair!

And finally, check out this adorable Lipstick Dance video

Thursday, August 15, 2013

MAC Indulge Preview

You're invited to a dinner of supreme decadence, where no taste is too extravagant and no behaviour beyond limits. On the menu: Cremeblend Blush flushes skin with a sensual glow while Eye Shadow smoulders for the ultimate in seduction, intensified by Fluidline in Gilt Gourmet and Deliciously Rich. Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash darkens and lengthen lashes, while Lipstick and Lipglass further intoxicate the senses as lacquered nails shimmer in jewel tones and molten metallics. 

MAC Indulge
Available online August 15, 2013
Available in stores August 22, 2013 through October 3, 2013

213 Fluff
$28.50 CDN/$24.00 US

266 Small Angle
$24.00 CDN/$20.00 US

Cremeblend Blush in Glamour Feast
Deep rose
$25.00 CDN/$21.00 US

Cremeblend Blush in Tease Your Tastes
Soft neutral pink
$25.00 CDN/$21.00 US

Eye Shadow in Beluga
Dark charcoal with multi-dimensional pearl (veluxe)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Deep Cravings
Dark shimmery grey (veluxe pearl)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Divine Decadence
Soft bronze (veluxe)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Eat, Love
Deep emerald (satin)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Gilty Morsel
Glittery light gold (lustre)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Palace Pedigreed
Dark plum (satin)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Sex & the Oyster
Mid-tone greyed blue green (veluxe pearl)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Eye Shadow in Three Ring Yellow
Bright sulfer green yellow (veluxe pearl)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Fluidline in Blacktrack
Solid flat black
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Fluidline in Deliciously Rich
Shimmerying dirty taupe
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Fluidline in Gilt Gourmet
Sparkling brushed gold
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Lipglass in Fashion Punch
Mid-tone neutral pink
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipglass in Liqueur
Shimmering taupe (frost)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipglass in Lust For Life
Dark berry
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipglass in Ultimate Dish
Light beige with pearl
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipglass in Utterly Tart
Deep red
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in By Design
Soft shimmery beige (frost)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Feed the Senses
Mid-tone mauvey nude (lustre)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Just A Bite
Mid-tone blue red (satin)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Smash Hit
Sheer golden sparkle (dazzle)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Lipstick in Sweet Succulence
Deep glossy plum (lustre)
$18.00 CDN/$15.00 US

Mascara in Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash
$25.00 CDN/$21.00 US

Nail Lacquer in Impassioned
Bright warm pink (crème)
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Nail Lacquer in Magnificent Feast
Sparkling true gold (frost)
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Nail Lacquer in Rebel
Mid-tone cream plum (crème)
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Nail Lacquer in Screening Room
Bright mid-tone teal (crème)
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Nail Lacquer in Sinfully Sweet
Sparkling champagne with gold pearl (frost)
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US

Nail Lacquer in Discothéque
Super glitter silver (pearl)
$19.00 CDN/$16.00 US