Monday, June 30, 2014

Beauty Squared Lessons: Primers

Do you ever experience your makeup sliding off your face or melting/fading during the day?
Does your eyeshadow end up in your eyelid crease or slide around your eyelid?
Does your foundation and concealer sink into fine lines or pores?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are that you need to add a primer or two to your makeup routine.

What are primers?

Think of primers as shapewear for your face. They make everything you put on top of them look better. Just like shapewear can smooth out bumps, conceal problem areas and make you look better, primers can smooth uneven texture, minimize imperfections and allow makeup products you put on top perform better. 

Primers often contain ingredients that can benefit the skin. There are some that contain acne-fighting ingredients, some that can even skin tone and some that can prevent dryness. 

Many contain silica (silicone dioxide) to prevent shine and waxes and polymers to form a stronger bond between your skin and whatever you're putting on top of it. 

There are primers for your face, primers for your eyes, primers for your lips and primers for your eyelashes. Face primers help your foundation and concealer last longer without fading, smooth out fine lines and pores, create a smooth surface for your foundation, and help to keep shine at bay. Eye primers help your eyeshadow last without fading or moving, help to smooth the skin surface for better application and can make eyeshadows colours and textures to be truer. Lip primers help to smooth the lip surface so lip products apply cleanly and smoothly, help to keep the skin hydrated, allow colours to be truer and last longer. Eyelash primer is designed to make lashes appear fuller and longer when mascara is applied on top, can help mascara last longer without fading or flaking and can strengthen lashes. 

While lip and eyelash primer can be effective, they're not as useful as face and eyeshadow primers, nor as readily available. Do your research into lip and eyelash primers before making the decision to buy. 

Do I need a primer?

Not necessarily but here are some reasons why you may want to consider using one (or more):

  • your skin is oily and you find that your makeup fades or melts off your face
  • you have fine lines
  • you have large pores
  • you find that makeup can sink into your fine lines or large pores
  • you live in a warm and or humid climate and you find that your makeup fades/melts
  • you wear makeup while doing physical activity
  • you have oily eyelids and find that your eyeshadow ends up in your crease or fades
  • you like to wear dark or colourful eyeshadow and feel like it doesn't look as good on as it does in the pan
  • your lipstick tends to fall into creases in your lips
  • you find that mascara isn't enough to thicken and lengthen your eyelashes
Some primers will add radiance to your skin, some have luminzing properties, even your skintone, hydrate your skin, fight blemishes and some contain SPF. It can be daunting to know where to begin. The best thing to do is start with the main issues you have and learn what you like and don't like.

How do I use a primer?

Primers act like a glue between your skin and your makeup, so apply it after you've prepped your skin for makeup (cleanser and moisturizer, maybe a serum, toner, etc). Some primers can be applied after you do your makeup, for example, during the day for touch-ups, but this seems a bit odd to me. Hopefully a primer is doing it's job under the makeup so you don't have to apply it again on top.

Typically, a light layer is best with a primer. Too much might make anything you apply on top of it cake. 

Even if you don't wear makeup you can benefit from using a primer. Look for one that smooths fine lines, minimizes discolouration or softens the look of large pores. Apply it after you've cleansed and moisturized your skin and go!

How much should I pay for a primer?

As with most makeup products, primers come in a wide ranger of price points, from drugstore to very high end. Do your research, based on your needs and on your skin type, and you'll probably find a whole range of primers to try. But just because a primer (or any cosmetic) works for someone, it doesn't mean it'll work for you too. Try before you buy as much as possible. 

On the lower end, L'Oreal and Elf have primers in their lines, and Sephora/Shoppers Drug Mart/online brands Smashbox, Urban Decay and Benefit are known for their mid-range primers. Going to the high end, look for primers from Dior, Hourglass and Guerlain. 


A primer can be a pricey addition to your makeup routine but one that may change the way you wear makeup. They can eliminate or at least minimize many, many makeup problems you have and possibly even some you didn't realize you had. 

Do you already use a primer? Share your favourites in the comments below!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Beauty Squared Round-Up - June 29, 2014

Hello lovelies! It's almost July, can you believe it? Also, hold onto your butts, everyone, this week's round-up is packed.

  • Let's begin with nude lips. Here are three easy steps to getting the perfect nude lip. 
  • Here are some products and an eye look that you might want to pair with that nude lip. Tracy of Beauty Reflections reviews the Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic Pencil in Iridescent Pop Purple
  • Benefit Cosmetics released their brand new They're Real Push-Up Liner a few days ago so the reviews are coming fast and furious right now. Beauty Squared will have a review shortly. Here is a review from the Office Chic Blog, but also a trick for creating an eyeliner flick on hooded eyes
  • Do you like to sit near the window when you're in an airplane? You should read this, and next time, protect yourself from the sun. 
  • Sleep. We all love sleep, don't we? We also rarely get enough of it, right? Need an excuse to get more? Well, sleep can remedy some skin problems like acne, wrinkles and dark circles.
  • So you let yourself sleep a little later this morning and now you're pressed for time to get out the door. Here are some makeup tips and some don't skip steps that'll save you time and have you looking polished.
  • Do you like having glowing bronzed skin but don't want to risk sun damage or worse? Here are four of the best liquid bronzers you should look into.
  • Choose makeup colours based on chakra theory, suggests this Beautylish post, which provides makeup products in yellow, orange, red, green, blue, purple and indigo.
  • Fashion Magazine's Beauty Panel share the best beauty advice they've ever been given. 
  • Pixiwoo usually do product reviews on their blog, but they're not usually quite this in depth. Clearly, they think Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer deserves a detailed review. 
  • Summer means humidity and humidity means frizzy hair. Here's a round-up of some of the best frizz-fighting products
  • To bang or not to bang. For many women that is the question. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter in First Mate Review, Swatches and Photos

Elizabeth Arden is not a brand I think about often - the last time I purchased a product of theirs was back in the 90's when Amber Valletta was still their brand ambassador! It probably was a tube of Eight Hour Cream which is a brand classic (and a great substitute for cuticle cream.)

Recently on a visit to my local Shopper's Drug Mart I stopped to play around with their new nautical themed summer collection. Much to my surprise I came away with their Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter in First Mate (LE, $35.00 CA). Photos taken in natural light on NC 35/40 skin.

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter in First Mate

First Mate is a twist-up stick highlighter that has a gel-cream consistency. There is a slight grittiness to the formula but it otherwise glides smoothly onto the skin and as the name implies has a moist, watery feel that evaporates in a few seconds. The product itself remains creamy on the skin allowing you to blend and sheer it out, but it does not dry down or set on the skin.

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter in First Mate

According to Elizabeth Arden, First Mate "illuminates your skin with a soft, pink opalescence that looks and feels naturally radiant." I would agree with everything in that statement except the "natural" part. First Mate is an opalescent explosion of ultra fine pink, violet and gold micro shimmers suspended in a clear base. The formula is similar to some of Bobbi Brown's Sparkle Eye Shadows but with a finer grade of shimmer. The effect applied straight out of the tube is quite glitzy - this is not a product for people who want low level shimmer! Thankfully because of the formula you can sheer out the shimmer to more subtle effect, and though I would not consider the effect "natural" it certainly is pretty in a fairy dust kind of way. A little of this product goes a long way.

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter in First Mate on NC 35/40 skin.

Unfortunately, capturing the dazzling effect of First Mate was extremely difficult. This swatch is two heavy passes, straight out of the tube with no blending. I think you get an idea of how reflective the shimmer can be when built up, but the photograph does not capture the beautiful way the shimmer shifts colour from pink to violet to gold. The mix of cool and warm shimmers really is flattering on the skin and in real life does not appear as cool toned as my photo would suggest.

Because the product does not set it remains slightly moist to the touch, which means it's not a product that is going to be bomb-proof. If using on the eyes, a primer or glitter glue would be necessary to reduce fall out an increase wear time. It would be very pretty patted over a neutral matte eye shadow, but I like it over a clear primer on an otherwise bare eye.

At the time of this post First Mate is still available online at The Bay.

Grade: B

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cult Cosmetics Nail Polish San Vicente Review, Swatches and Photos

Late last year I cancelled my subscription to Cult Cosmetics Black Box subscription program because I decided with my large nail polish collection, it made more sense to choose my own colours. Cult's "one and you're done" formula is still one I like, so during their recent "buy one, get two free" sale I hauled a bunch of polishes I had been eyeing.

Today I have the new shade "San Vicente" for review ($9.99 US, ships to Canada). Described by Cult as a "hyper-pigmented glitter mahogany polish", San Vicente looks like a slightly red toned, metallic milk chocolate brown in the bottle. On the nails it changes into a metallic silver taupe - it's so packed with silver shimmer that the red and brown undertones are much less noticeable. Photo in natural light, NC 35/40 skin, one coat polish + Seche Vite top coat.

Cult Cosmetics San Vicente (one coat + Seche Vite top coat)

This polish is highly pigmented, is opaque in one coat and flows fairly smoothly onto the nail. Because metallic polishes tend to show brush strokes, you do need to be a little more careful with how you apply this. I did notice that if I didn't "nail" (excuse the pun) the application the first time and I tried to retouch the polish pulled and became patchy. Of course, this would not be an issue if you went with two coats.

This was the "wild card" colour in my Cult haul. Brown is not a colour I typically look for in nail polish, but I knew I didn't have a dupe for it. This polish on the nail is surprisingly flattering - it's neutral but still a little flashy, and I can't help but think that it's the nail polish equivalent of my holy grail eye shadow, the discontinued Shu Uemura ME Silver 945.

Wear time is about 3 days without chipping, but that is standard for me with most brands. Cult's nail polishes are toluene, formaldehyde, camphor, formaldehyde resin and cruelty free.

Grade: B+


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beauty Squared Round-Up: June 22, 2014

Hello lovelies! I hope you're having a beautiful weekend. World Pride 2014 is happening inToronto right now, so we thought it'd be fun to share with you a few rainbow-inspired makeup tutorials. The first is a colourful eye look by Meredith Jessica and the second is more subtle, but still a dramatic and fun rainbow eyeliner by EmmaJVB. How cool are these?

And now let's look at the links we've rounded-up for you this week:

  • Some of the best beauty bloggers share their picks for Fall. Yes, they're thinking Fall already.
  • Beauty hacks are only helpful if they're truly useful. This one definitely is. Three ways (apart from the regular way) to wear your lipstick - as a tinted balm, as a gloss and with a matte finish.
  • Yogurt is good for your gut, but did you know it was good for your skin too?
  • Make Up For Ever is second-to-none in waterproof makeup. Here's a review of their new Aqua Rouge liquid lipstick, a lip stain that lasts even after five hours in water.
  • A look at the new Revlon ColourStay Skinny Liquid Liner which has possibly the skinniest liner brush available (0.1 mm!).
  • Do you know what eyeshape you have? Check out this guide and grab a mirror.
  • Do you have a heart-shaped face (wider at the top than at the bottom and with a widow's peak)? Here are the best and worst bangs for you.
  • Do you have an inverted triangle face (wider at the top than at the bottom and without a widow's peak)? Here are your best and worst bangs.
  • Have you heard about the "lob" hairstyle? If you haven't, you've probably seen it and it's super-flattering. Here's a video featuring its creator, who also shows us how to do a sexy, undone wave on it.
  • Dry shampoo can be lifesaver in the summer, and all year-round if you're prone to oily hair. Here's a list of the best dry shampoos, according to Elle Canada.
  • Sunscreens are must-haves for summer weather. Here are five you may not have considered (lips, hands, hair, etc).
  • Who better to ask about sweatproof makeup than fitness instructors?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Soft, Sultry Music Festival Smoky Eye

This is a quick look I did to go to day one of the Field Trip music festival at Toronto's Fort York a few weekends ago. I wanted something smoky but appropriate for an outdoor music festival in the summer. I chose bronzes and warm browns tones.

This look photographed less dramatically than it was in real life but it's still really pretty and sultry, I think.

Since I was going to be outside and it was a warm day, I applied MAC Fluidline in Rich Ground to my eyelids. It is a beautiful rich metallic bronze shade that is key to this look, even though it's not terribly visible. It acted like a primer, keeping my shadow from melting and defecting into my crease. My eyeshadow was completely intact all day. 

Next I smudged Bare Escentuals Sex Kitten eyeshadow on the inner and outer corners of my eyelid, through the crease, but leaving space in the very centre of the lid. Sex Kitten is a gorgeous warm shimmery red-brown. 

On top of that, I smudged MAC's Satin Taupe eyeshadow. Satin Taupe is one of my favourite eyeshadows, a warm purpley-silver bronze that is incredibly flattering for my eye colour. I ran it under my eye as well, fairly heavily and topped it with a bit of Sex Kitten, for sort of a reverse effect. 

In the very center of my eyelids, I tapped a touch of MAC Naked Pigment, a soft, sparkly gold-pink fleshtone, for a hint of lightness and glint.

I smudged MAC Smut eyeshadow along my lashline for some definition. Smut is grey brown with burgundy shimmer and it gives a softer definition than a black eyeshadow would. I did have to go over the line a few times to get the effect I wanted however. 

On my waterline, I applied a charcoal grey Tarte EmphasEYES inner rim eye pencil. I don't know the name since it's not on the pencil - grrrrrrr. But I like to use this pencil for my waterline because A) it tends to last longer than others on my waterline; and B) it's a dark grey, not a black so it adds definition without being really dramatic. I opted for dark grey rather than a brown in my waterline because I wanted to pick up the purples and greys in the eyeshadows I'd applied so the look wasn't too warm and brown.

I finished the look with curled lashes and heavy coats of my new favourite mascara - Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara - on my top lashes and Clinique's Bottom Lash Mascara on my lower lashes. 

I kept the rest of my makeup light and natural with an eye on longevity since I was going to be outside for quite a while on a warm day. My blush is Benefit's Coralista, a beautiful soft and glowy coral blush. In these photos my lips are actually bare save for some clear lip balm, but I did end up wearing a tinted lip balm (Burt's Bees) during the day. 

I liked this simple, sultry look and it was perfect for an outdoor music festival. It's not a clean or crisp look so even when I got sweaty and dusty, and my eyes watered, it looked good. It also didn't need touching up, because to be frank, that's not going to happen when I'm out in a field listening to music. 

What do you think? Would you wear this look?


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beauty Squared Round-Up - June 15, 2014

Good morning lovelies,

Here are some beauty links to get your Sunday going...

  • Do you hate wearing sunscreen? Allure attempts to solve your sunscreen problems with a list of sunscreens that address breakout issues, odour, wearing makeup on top, and ashiness, among other things.
  • Here's a makeup trick that will help get the skin on your legs, arms and decolletage (or what other body parts are exposed) camera-ready.
  • A cult-favourite Korean BB cream - Holika Holika's Aqua Petit Jelly - is now available in Canada! Read Beauty Editor's review of it here.
  • MUA Kandee Johnson talks eyebrows and shows us how she does her own. She talks very quickly (and has edited the video in a choppy way) but lots to learn here about defining your eyebrows!
  • From brows to lashes: Fashion Magazine's Beauty Panel shares their tips for lashes - from falsies to just amping up your mascara game.
  • Tracy from Beauty Reflections talks about one of her favourite blushes - Make Up For Ever's HD Second Skin Cream Blush #150 - Raspberry.
  • This video is swoon-worthy. MUA Lisa Eldridge got fashion icon and IT girl Alexa Chung to sit down to do a video tutorial with her. Anyone who has envied Alexa's perfect and perfectly iconic eyeliner needs to watch this - she applies her own!
  • We've all seen the photos of celebs on the red carpet sporting some embarrassing makeup mishaps (Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore) and you're maybe aware of the heavy contouring done on celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, to achieve the most perfect photos possible. The thing is, the makeup done on these celebs is done that way for a reason. It's meant to look best in specific lighting and under a camera's flash. Sometimes it goes wrong, and often, it can look overdone in person, if not in photos. MUA Nick Barose explains why these red carpet makeup looks should not be attempted in real life.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Beauty Squared Beauty Lessons: Serums

A reader has asked us to do a post about serums. It struck me as funny since I've been using serums for years, and doesn't everyone use one? Or at least doesn't everyone know what they are and choose to use them or not, like everything else? Serums are a part of my beauty routine, but clearly, not everyone's. So let's dive in and learn all about serums.

What is a serum?

A serum is a gel or cream containing high concentrations of active ingredients. They come in a variety of different formulas, depending on specific skin problems - fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, acne, large pores, dull skin, etc. Think of them like a vitamin or a superfood for your skin. Unlike moisturizers, which stay mainly on the surface of the skin to moisturize the outer layer, serums are readily absorbed into the skin's epidermis

How do I use a serum?

Choose a serum based on your skin type (oily, dry, sensitive, combination).

Serums are best applied to the skin while it's still a bit damp, to ensure the best absorption. They tend to be a gel-like liquid consistency and absorb easily. Simply smooth into freshly cleaned and dried skin. Depending on the steps in your skin care regime, serums typically should be applied after all cleansing steps (post-cleanser, post-toner) and before moisturizer. 

Each serum will have application instructions included. 

Why should I use a serum?

Serums can be used for a variety of reasons but they're designed to target a specific skin problem - fine lines, large pores, acne, irritation, dullness, etc. Choose one that will target your main beef with your skin.

How much should I pay for a serum?

Serums come in a range, just like moisturizers and cleanser, from drugstore brands to high-end brands to specialty brands to organic brands. Serums tend to be pricier than cleansers and moisturizers but you probably can find one that will suit your budget. Drugstore brands Olay and L'Oreal have serums in their product lines for about $30 and you can go up to $100 for a serum from Kiehl's or B. Kamin. Then there are the $200+ serums from brands like La Mer and Prevage.

If you find a serum too pricey for twice-a-day use, use it just in the morning to boost your skin's radiance, or in your nighttime routine for extra impact.

My skin is sensitive - can I use a serum?

If you have rosacea or eczema, you probably want to stay away from serums. They can be too intense for sensitive skin due to their potency and how easily they're absorbed by the skin. 

Also, be wary if you regularly get chemical peels or any products that make your skin sensitive. A serum could be irritating and worse, react to the products you're using.


A serum can be an excellent addition to your skin care regime. While you may need to do some hunting to find one that works for your skin, and they can be expensive, they can also make a big difference in your skin. Most skincare brands offer samples so take advantage and test out a few different brands before buying. 

Be cautious if you're prone to skin sensitivity, and use only a serum that suits your skin type.

Do you use a serum? Share your favourites in the comments below!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beauty Squared Round-Up - June 9, 2014

Hello lovelies! 

Time for our weekly Beauty Squared Round-Up:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bright Lips for Summer

There are so many beautiful blossoms out right now, as spring turns into summer. The trees and gardens are bursting with flowers in all kinds of colours. Beauty too - spring and summer always means bright lip colours. 

I thought I'd go through my lip collection and give you some inspiration for lipstick and glosses that will give you that bright pop of colour and take you through the warmer months.

Most of my lipsticks are featured here. Bright lip colours are a staple of my beauty look. There are only a handful I didn't swatch because they're neutrals or nudes. 

L-R: MAC Relentlessly Red lipstick (matte)
MAC Force of Love lipstick (matte)
MAC Made With Love lipstick (lustre)
MAC Costa Chic lipstick (frost)
MAC Love Goddess lipstick (satin).
I think I might have a problem. The first step is admitting it, right?

So how do you wear bright lips in the summertime?
Bright lips are an easy way to wear colour. In summer, makeup needs to look and feel lighter, so switch from a foundation to a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream, and use a cream or liquid blush. Go lighter on the eyes and use a primer to keep your eyeshadow from melting. Use water-resistant mascara. Keep everything other than your lip colour soft and neutral.

L-R: MAC Catharina lipstick (cream)
Lush Liquid Lipstick in Believe
NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Mexican Rose
OCC Lip Tar in Queen
OCC Lip Tar in Anime

So what lip colour should you wear?

It depends on your skintone what colours will give you the bright lip look. You can find bright lip colours in orange, coral, pink, red and purple and combinations of all kinds. Or if you're feeling adventurous, go with blue or green or yellow! Knowing your skin's undertone is the best place to start. You're either cool, warm, neutral or olive. Here's how to determine what your undertone is. My undertone is cool, so cooler colours look best on me. 

L-R: OCC Stained Gloss in Meta
OCC Stained Gloss in Jealous
OCC Lip Tar in Vintage
MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Red Dwarf
MAC Lipstick in Prepare for Pleasure (cremesheen)
MAC Lipstick in Absolute Power (matte)
If you are a bit shy about wearing a bright lip, brightly coloured lip glosses can give a pop of colour with far less drama than a lipstick or a lip tar. A bright lip colour brings light to your face.

L-R: OCC Lip Tar in Grandma
OCC Lip Tar in Trollop
Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Crush
MAC Plushglass in Plus Luxe
MAC Lip Glass in Aleydis
Bare Minerals Lip Gloss in Birthday Cake
Make Up For Ever Super Lipgloss #21 

I hope this has helped you get inspired! Wearing a bright lip colour makes you feel just as colourful and lively as the summer weather. Try it tomorrow!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

MAC x Pedro Lourenço Nude Quad Eye Shadow Review, Photos and Swatches

MAC's latest LE designer capsule collection features Pedro Lourenço, a Brazilian designer who has been been in the high fashion world since the precocious age of 19. Admittedly, unbtil this launch I wasn't familiar with any of Lourenço's work, but after doing a bit of research I have to say I really love his graphic modern sensibility.

Today I have the Nude Quad Eye Shadow for review ($52.00 CA/$44.00 US.) The Nude Quad contains four eye shadows, two of which are part of the permanent collection. The shades Pink Sands and Rose Cloud are new and LE, while All That Glitters and Sable are repromotes. All photos are taken in natural light on NC 35 skin.

Clockwise from top left: Pink Sands, All That Glitters, Sable and Rose Cloud.

Pedro Lourenço Nude Quad: Pink Sands, All That Glitters, Sable and Rose Cloud.

Pink Sands - described by MAC as a "light flesh peach", this Matte finish shadow is a light pinky-peachy beige which has a smooth texture and good pigmentation. On my yellow toned skin it pulls more pink than peach, but I imagine it would be warmer on pink skin tones.

All That Glitters - described by MAC as a "frosted champagne with gold pearl", this Veluxe Pearl finish shadow is a light-medium peachy gold with a highly pigmented frost finish.

Sable - described by MAC as a "cool bronze" this frost finish shadow is a mid tone brown with warm, coppery overtones. Good pigmentation and smooth texture.

Rose Cloud - described by MAC as a "soft golden beige" this Matte finish shadow is a soft, light-medium brown with slightly warm tones. It reminds me of MAC Kid but less warm. Again, good pigmentation, smooth texture and a beautiful name to match.

Overall this is an excellent quad in terms of quality and formulation. Since the quad contains two permanent eye shadows, it may be less desirable and unique to some. Luckily, I did not have All That Glitters or Sable in my collection, so it was a good purchase for me. The only other issue some people may have is the quad leans heavily on the light to medium tones, so people may need to supplement a dark toned eye shadow to build a complete look. Otherwise, I think the shades themselves will be flattering on many skin tones, and this is a great quad to pair with a strong or bright lip. Elegant and sophisticated - this one is a winner!

Grade: A


Monday, June 2, 2014

Artdeco Beauty Box Duo and Eyeshadows 34 and 03 Review and Swatches

If you've never purchased a refillable eyeshadow palettes (or blush palette), it's quite exciting to be able to select the colours you want, rather than always buy a pre-made palette. This used to be predominantly a makeup artist thing - designing their own custom palettes -- but more and more it's available for non-professionals to do. Getting to choose a set of eyeshadows for a specific look, or just a selection of colours and textures you don't yet have in your collection is really helpful. How many times have you bought a pre-made palette at the drugstore or makeup counter and loved say two of the four shades inside, or liked all but one of the shades? 

Artdeco, available at select Shoppers Drug Marts in Canada, is the first brand that offers the majority of its eyeshadows as individual pans that you can mix and match in a variety of empty magnetic cases. Some fit just eyeshadow pans and some fit both eyeshadow and blush pans. 

With my first purchase of Artdeco, I picked up one of the Beauty Box Duos, which fits two eyeshadow pans and an applicator. I didn't bother with an applicator, which are sold separately, because I prefer to use brushes. 

I don't know how many eyeshadow pans are available and the selection will vary from store to store, but currently Artdeco has 171 shades available on their website, in a range of textures and colours. 

The eyeshadow pans are rectangular and contain about 0.8 g/0.02 oz of product. They come with clear plastic lids that slide or snap on and off. The shades I chose are 34 (a shimmery peachy-vanilla shade) and 04 (a shimmery dark grey).

On the inside of the Beauty Boxes you'll find a mirror on the top and a magnetic base for the eyeshadows.


The little area on the bottom (or if you slide the shadows down, the top) is for the applicator.

And here are the eyeshadows swatched.

Both eyeshadows go on extremely smoothly and creamily. They have decent pigmentation and aren't dry at all. I also love the combination of the two. That's another good thing about being able to choose your own eyeshadow shades; you can can create your own look. I wear these two together quite a bit, with 34 on my lid and browbone and 03 smudged along my lashline and into my crease. It wears very nicely as well. I didn't notice any fading until 12 hours or so had passed. As both 34 and 03 are shimmery, I'd like to try some of the matte shades to see if the texture and application are comparable. Matte eyeshadows tend to be drier and more powdery. 

With these two shadows and the Blissful Taupe shadow I've reviewed previously, I can safely say that I am impressed with Artdeco's eyeshadows. I recommend checking them out if Artdeco products are available near you. 

Some background info: Artdeco is a German brand available in a few Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. You can do a search on the Shoppers website to see if any stores near you carry it. Here's the link.

Grade: A

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beauty Squared Round-Up - June 1, 2014

Hello lovelies!

Here are the beauty-ful links we've rounded up for you this week.