February 26, 2013

MAC Mineralize Rich Lipsticks: Posh Tone, Glamour Era, and Lush Life

Next month, MAC Cosmetics will be releasing its much-hyped Mineralize Collection, which consists of an innovative mineral-rich foundation and a line of Mineralize Rich Lipsticks. These new lipsticks are enhanced with a mineral moist complex that provides lips with nourishment and lasting hydration. This means that the colour glides on effortlessly for lightweight wear and intense shade retention... a.k.a. everything we want in a lipstick!

Unlike MAC's regular lipstick bullets, the Mineralize Rich Lipsticks feature a new magnetic casing that's larger in size (4.04 g compared to 3 g). The packaging looks a little "hefty" but since it's made of plastic, it's actually quite light. The lids are matte but the base is shiny.

There are 12 gorgeous shades to look forward to, ranging from pale nudes to deep plums. I received three from MAC to play with: Posh Tone, Glamour Era, and Lush Life [left to right].

Posh Tone is described as a soft warm nude cream. On my pigmented lips it's barely noticeable but is still a nice "my lips but better" shade.

Glamour Era is described as a mid-tone warm brown frost. It's slightly darker than Posh Tone (though hard to tell on my pigmented lips!) and is a great everyday colour.

Lush Life is described as a deep cool plum that leans kind of red/fuschia on me. While this is not a colour I'd typically gravitate towards, I really like it. However, it does require a lipliner to prevent bleeding. If you're interested in seeing it "in action," I was wearing it in this outfit post.

Overall, the Mineralize Rich lipsticks are creamy and the formula is super comfortable on the lips. Look for these at MAC stores, counters, and online starting March 7, 2013 for $26 CAD - worth the price tag, in my opinion.

February 23, 2013

More Gradient Love

I recently received this gorgeous pair of sunglasses from Sunglasses Shop that I could not be more giddy over. I just adore the cat eye shape and, of course, the gradient frames (I told you I was obsessed with gradient glasses). Now if only Vancouver would get a little more sunshine on the daily...

Dress: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Vest: Club Monaco / Booties: Topshop
Bag: YSL (different colour) / Sunglasses: Vogue (c/o)

February 20, 2013

Springtime FOTD: Lise Watier Pastel Power

I know it's only February and still technically Winter but I have been piling on the pastel hues lately. I suppose you could call it an ode to the upcoming season. That's where Lise Watier's on-trend Spring 2013 Collection, Pastel Power, has come in. Inspired by the elegance and pureness of the small flowers which bloom in the Spring, this new collection demonstrates the power of delicate pastels.

As I have done in the past with my Fall FOTD and my Holiday Party FOTD, this post features some gorgeous products that I was sent by Lise Watier. What I came up with is a pastel version of my everyday makeup (smokey eye and nude lip), which I absolutely adore.

I feel like Lise Watier really stepped it up on this collection's packaging. The duo-toned blush, in particular, is absolutely beautiful! Here are the products I used to create this light & fresh Spring look:

Quatuor Pastel Power Eyeshadow Quartet, Eye Shine Liner in Vert Sarcelle, Pink Power Blush, Rouge Plumpissimo Lipstick in Corail Punch, Nail Lacquer in Power Punch

Lise Watier's Pastel Power Collection is limited edition and available in stores and online until April 2013. See the rest of the collection HERE .

February 17, 2013

Deep Pore Cleansing Facial at Apple Spa

As a member of the Vancouver Buytopia Inner Circle, I recently had the opportunity to review one of their exclusive spa deals. I know I've mentioned my love of group buying websites before, but I really do think they are a great way to try out new experiences at highly discounted prices.

My new experience this time was a deep pore cleansing facial at Apple Spa, located on Beach Avenue right under the Burrard Street Bridge. The spa itself is quite small and the decor is very basic/minimal, but it makes up for what's "missing" by offering a range of spa services at very reasonable rates. For example, you can get a 45 minute mini facial for only $15, a manicure for $20, and waxing starts at $5.

My facial lasted 60 minutes in total and included a pore extraction and face mask, as well as the application of other lotions and serums that left my skin feeling totally clean and glowy.

Now, for those of you who have never had your pores extracted, let me just say that it hurts. A lot. But the pain is bearable and the end result is the kind of blackhead-free skin you can't achieve on your own (those Biore strips simply can't be compared). Some people try and remove their blackheads themselves but if done improperly it can lead to irreversible scarring. Personally, I'd rather have a professional take care of them for me.

Lisa, the super sweet owner of Apple Spa, recommends getting a deep cleansing facial once or twice a month to keep skin in tip-top condition. Since I'm not one to say "no" to a little pampering, I'm hoping to visit again soon - and perhaps try out some of Apple Spa's other affordable services.

Many thanks to Lisa and Buytopia for the wonderful experience!

Address: #111 - 1000 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Website: http://applespa.weebly.com/
Phone: (604) 669-1118

February 16, 2013

2013 Aveda Born to Style Contest

I'm not sure if anyone noticed since I never mentioned it, but I recently chopped off over 6 inches of my hair (the difference is pretty significant when you compare this post with this post). I'm really loving the new shorter, blunter cut which is all thanks to my lovely stylist at RedBloom Salon, an Aveda-affiliated salon with two locations in Calgary.

When I was asked to share this contest with my readers I agreed because I think it is such a great opportunity for those of you who may be interested in learning how to cut/style/colour and do all sorts of magical things with hair. I tried cutting my boyfriend's hair once and it ended up being way harder than I expected... probably could have used some of those skills!

Four lucky winners will receive a grand prize of full tuition at the Aveda Institute, including their Vancouver hair school. All you need to do is make and upload a video showing why you are BORN TO STYLE. Five aspiring hairstylists in each city will advance to the final "hair showdown" (four chosen by a panel, one chosen by voters). In the Hair Showdown, the finalists will participate in a live head-to-head competition and runway show putting together two complete looks in front of a panel of style experts and hairstyling heavy hitters. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

You have until March 1, 2013 to enter. For full contest details, check out the Born To Style website.

February 14, 2013

The Perfect Boyfriend (Jeans)

In honour of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share with you my perfect boyfriend... jeans, that is (although my actual boyfriend is pretty awesome too!)

I've been on the hunt for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans for years but every time I thought I'd finally hit jackpot there would inevitably be something wrong... too many rips, too light, too dark, not enough whiskering, way too much whiskering, etc. So I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was to find this pair of Citizens of Humanity Dylan Cropped Boyfriend Jeanson sale. They are super soft with just the right amount of slouch and I can't wait to pair them with everything. Like my new YSL Belle Du Jour Clutch, for example, which turns out to add the perfect pop of red for today.

T-shirt: Aritzia / Boyfriend Jeans: Citizens of Humanity (here)
Sunglasses: Michael Kors (c/o) (here) / Watch: Michael Kors (here)
Booties: Topshop / Clutch: YSL (here)

February 11, 2013

Firmoo Gradient Glasses

Due to my insanely high prescription, ordering glasses online hasn't worked out for me in the past. So when Firmoo offered me a free pair of glasses to review, I admit I was a bit hesitant at first. However, I also figured I had nothing to lose.

Since I'm really into gradient glasses (you may remember I even briefly experimented with them last year), I decided on this pair. They shipped out super quickly and when they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were not a repeat of my previous disappointments. In fact, this is the most successful pair of glasses I've ever gotten from an online store. Although they are obviously not on the level of my everyday Prada glasses (which sadly cost well over $600 for the fancy lenses), I can see quite well out of these and am happy I now have a backup pair of glasses that I can wear when I want to mix things up a bit.

Blouse: Primark / Sweater: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Faux Fur Vest: H&M (similar)
Skirt: Oonagh by Nanette Lapore / Booties: Report (in brown)
Bag: Marc By Marc Jacobs (here) / Watch: Michael Kors (here)
Necklace: House of Harlow 1960 (similar)

If you haven't ordered from Firmoo before, they have tons of fashionable frames that cost next to nothing, plus an awesome First Pair Free for New Customers deal. Check out their FAQ section for more information!

February 7, 2013

FOTD: MAC Aztec Brick Eyeshadow (Year of the Snake Collection)

Chinese New Year is just around the corner (it's this Sunday) and in celebration of 2013 being the year of the snake, MAC Cosmetics has released the aptly named Year of the Snake Collection. The snake-inspired collection is defined by a palette of vibrant shades and shimmering finishes; plus, both the powder and lip products are embossed with a gorgeous snake design. Personally, I think the embossed red lipstick in Cockney would make a great Chinese New Year present - aside from all those red envelopes, of course!

I was lucky enough to preview some of the products from this collection and received my very own Aztec Brick Eyeshadow to test out. This shadow is a re-promote from 2010, but this time around it's being offered in a larger format (3 grams versus the usual 1.5 grams) plus the aforementioned snake embossing.

The shadow is a gorgeous frosty copper shade that glides on like butter thanks to its Veluxe Pearl finish. Since I wanted to play up the copper as much as possible, I decided to keep the rest of my face quite neutral while adding some subtle pops of colour. For that, I used a few individual fake lashes interwoven with hints of purple from the new Katy Perry Color Pop Collection by Eylure (I've written about some of her other lashes here).

Here's the FOTD I came up with:

- MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance (here)
- Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation (here)

- MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Let Me Pop
- MAC Eyeshadows in Aztec Brick, Satin Taupe (here), and Showstopper
- NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Alhambra (here)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Rockstar (here)
- MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara (here)
- Eylure Katy Perry Color Pop Lashes in Ka-Zaam!

- Rock & Republic Contrived Pressed Blush in Tease
- NARS The Multiple in Copacabana (here)

- Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge Lipstick in PK-3
- MAC Lipglass in Moonstone

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR  (Kung Hei Fat Choy / Gong Xi Fa Cai)!

February 5, 2013

Julep Beauty Resolutions

I'm not typically one to make resolutions (and I do realize it's a bit belated to be posting about New Year's resolutions given that it's now February), but the folks at Julep recently challenged me to take part in a few of their beauty resolution campaigns. Beauty-related... now those are the types of resolutions I can get behind!

Strong & Healthy Nails

The first step towards achieving healthy, more beautiful hands and nails this year begins with feeding my nails the nutrition they need. The nail plate cells are made of keratin, a type of protein that gives the nail plate strength, resulting in a strong, flexible nail.

As part of the Julep Nail Growth Revitalizing System, the cutting-edge peptides in Julep Reveal Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum are supposed to stimulate keratin genes and cell proliferation to boost the growth of stronger nails, while Julep Nail Therapy strengthens and nourishes the nails with Vitamin E.

Both products are also super easy to use. You apply Julep Reveal twice a day to the cuticle area and underside of the nail tip (nails can be bare or polished) and you can use the Nail Therapy as either a basecoat or a clear polish.

Unfortunately I haven't been using either product long enough to notice a difference quite yet but I'm hoping with continued use that I will start to see some good results.

Play With The Colour Wheel

For my second Julep Beauty Resolution, I am being challenged to experiment with colour, and in particular, complimentary colours. By definition, two colours are complimentary when, mixed in the proper proportion, they produce a neutral colour (grey, white or black). Complimentary colours also have the ability to make each other appear brighter when placed next to each other.

For this challenge Julep sent me Mischa and Melanie, two complimentary nail polishes, each which takes on a slight variation from their original primary versions. Mischa is described as a "cherry scarlet micro-shimmer" and Melanie is described as a "pastel indigo metallic chrome."

I decided to freehand my own version of the typical French tip mani using these two colours and I think it turned out great. These aren't shades that I would usually gravitate towards but that's what this beauty resolution is all about: playing with colour!

P.S. For those of you who haven't become Julep Mavens yet, you can use the code INTROTWO to get two free polishes with your first box.

February 2, 2013

Grey Days

First things first, I'd like to say a huge "thank you" to Kate from Petite Adventures for featuring me in this week's Style Profile. Be sure to check out my post here to read my answers to her questions and learn a bit more about me.

Secondly, can I just say how happy I am to be back home? Since moving back from Calgary, I have been busy catching up with my friends and eagerly reimmersing myself into my former Vancouver lifestyle. Of course, no proper "reimmersion" would be complete without some typical grey and dreary weather. Thankfully I have my new Pieces Ellena Snood and ASOS Scallop Front Tab Across Body Bag. I received both as Christmas/New Years gifts from Ladbrokes to celebrate their winter slots games and think they are the perfect pieces to counteract the gloom!

Tee: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Jeans: Paige (similar) / Boots: Steve Madden (similar)
Snood: ASOS (c/o Ladbrokes) (here) / Bag: ASOS (c/o Ladbrokes) (here)
Bangle: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)

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