February 25, 2015

East Meets West

Despite the fact that it's only February, the cherry blossoms are already blooming here in Vancouver... we sure have been lucky this winter! Of course, I've been pulling out my "Japanese pajama/pseudo-Western shirt" (what my friends have so kindly dubbed it, haha). Style-wise, it's a bit different from my usual look, but anyone who knows me knows that clothes that look like pajamas are kind of my jam (example).

Shirt: Maison Scotch / Jeans: 7 For All Mankind (here)
Booties: Sam Edelman (here) / Bag: Proenza Schouler (here)

February 22, 2015

Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick (Medium)

Almay launched its Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick a few months ago as an addition to its already popular collection of shade-sensing face makeup. The line, designed to take the guesswork out of finding a flattering lip colour currently features 12 lipsticks in total: a pink, berry, red, and nude (4 shade categories) tailored for light, light/medium, and medium skin tones (3 skin tone categories).

Of course, despite being organized by skin tone, I don't think customers should feel limited to only 4 shades... not to mention the fact that there are many people with skin tones darker than "Medium." It's a nice guide for those who might truly be clueless about what lipstick to choose but that's all it is: a guide. In fact, although I would actually characterize my skin tone as Light/Medium, I was sent a set of the Medium shades to test out and haven't found them to be unsuitable at all. When it comes to makeup, my motto is typically "wear what you want." After all, it's always more fun to experiment!

The Medium shades are quite pigmented as you can see from the swatches below. While not particularly unique colours, I think they  make for good basics if you don't already have a go-to pink, berry, red, or nude.

L-R: Pink-Medium, Berry-Medium, Red-Medium, Nude-Medium

Where the Butter Kiss Lipstick line really shines, however, is the formula. Made with shea butter, coconut butter, and vitamin E, these lipsticks are super creamy and hydrating. On the lips, it feels like you're wearing lip balm but you get the pigmentation of a lipstick -- especially with the Medium shades. With a suggested retail price of $9.49 CAD, the cost is certainly reasonable for the quality and I bet these will go on sale sometimes too.

February 19, 2015

Going Vampy with MAC Cosmetics x Toledo

In collaboration with Isabel and Ruben Toledo, MAC Cosmetics introduced the MAC x Toledo Collection earlier this month, celebrating the couple's work in fashion design and illustration.

Each product features ultra chic white packaging adorned with Ruben's iconic illustrations. I especially love the lipsticks which feel kind of nubby to the touch. Not sure if that description makes sense but they are essentially "rubberized" as opposed to MAC's typical smooth plastic bullets.

I was sent Sin, a deep blood red lipstick, and Vixen, a deep burgundy red nail polish, which creates a perfectly vampy look when paired together.

I really like the matte finish on Sin though I did have to prep my lips with a scrub and apply a lip liner first. If you don't, it's the type of formula that will definitely settle into patches. As for Vixen, this isn't a particularly unique nail colour but it is one I tend to wear often in the winter months. MAC nail polishes used to get a lot of negative criticism for their formulas, but I've personally never had a bad experience with them. The above is 2 coats which, as you can see, resulted in an opaque glossy finish. Not only do they look a bit like gel nails, I've also been wearing this mani for 5 days already with no chips yet.