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.

February 16, 2015


I spent last week in freezing Fort Nelson, BC (we are talking -30 degrees... brrrrr...) so it has been nice getting back to this Vancouver version of being "bundled." However, going up north isn't all bad. After all, I saw a snowman that was bigger than a house and also got a chance to break out my Sorel boots for the first time this winter!

Sweater Dress: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Leather Jacket: Mackage
Tights: Plush (here) / Blanket Scarf: Wilfred (Aritzia)
Shoes: Alexander Wang (here / Bag: Longchamp (here)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (c/o) (here)

February 14, 2015

Arbonne Lipstick in Strawberry

Since today is Valentine's Day and I didn't have time for a themed manicure this year (some previous examples here and here), I thought I'd share an equally as appropriate red lippie instead: Arbonne Lipstick in Strawberry (#7879).

I have heard good things about Arbonne from friends who use their skincare products but this lipstick sent to me by their PR has been my first introduction to the brand. I like the slim matte black packaging a lot, since it looks quite sleek in the tube.

Made with wild mango butter, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, pomegranate extract, the formula is hydrating and smooth with a shiny finish. I would recommend a lip liner for a crisp line (I am not wearing one in my swatch below), though I should note that Arbonne does claim the product is feather resistant.

At $31 CAD, this product is not cheap but is a good option if you're looking for a blue-based red that is easy-to-wear yet bold at the same time. I personally rarely wear red lipstick, and when I do, I prefer a more matte look. Thankfully Arbonne also has thirteen other shades to choose from!

February 11, 2015

MAKE UP FOR EVER Desire Me Cheeky Blush Trio

Fifty Shades of Grey opens this weekend, so what better way to amp up the anticipation than with MAKE UP FOR EVER's limited edition movie-inspired collection? I've been ogling the makeup sets at Sephora for ages, in particular the Desire Me Cheeky Blush Trio, so it seemed like kismet when it showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago.

Retailing at $56 CAD, this limited edition cheek palette comes with a keepsake velvet pouch (complete with key charm) and a travel size 150 Precision Blush Brush. If you haven't tried MUFE's Artisan Brushes yet, I highly recommend them. I adore my 110 Foundation Kabuki Brush and this blush brush is also great for depositing product right where you want it.

As for the blushes, the palette is made up of colours from MUFE's Artist Shadow range which I have reviewed before. The magnetic pans come housed in one of MUFE's plastic palette cases which means no fancy Fifty Shades packaging here. This may be a good or bad thing depending on whether or not you're a fan of the series.

The three shades include: I-526 (Pearl Beige), I-808 (English Pink), and S-748 (Coral). As I mentioned in my previous review, the letters before the numbers stand for the finish. In this case, I for Iridescent and S for Satin. My personal favourite is the coral since the highlighter and pink are more shimmery than I typically wear. However, this set also comes with a handy instructional booklet which you can refer to in order to get three of Ana's looks from the movie -- her "Healthy Glow Look", "Highlighted Cheek Look", and "Classic Cheek Look."

Strangely, it never occurred to me that the Artist Shadows could also be used as blush but I guess with 210 shades and the fact that many makeup products can multi-task, it makes complete sense. In fact, I'm kind of inspired to create my own blush trio now after using this one... or maybe a contour kit? The possibilities are endless!

February 8, 2015

Sneak Peek: Spring 2015 Luxe Box

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from the Loose Button Luxe Box team sharing a sneak peek at their upcoming Spring 2015 beauty boxes. When I saw the brands to be included (think Too Faced, BUXOM, and Soap & Glory, just to name a few), I just knew I had to share it with you!

For those who aren't familiar with Luxe Box, they are the leading subscription box service in Canada offering 7-8 personalized products every season (every 3 months). Once you sign up, you fill out a beauty profile so that products can be tailored to your liking and if you like the products in your box, you then have the option of purchasing your newly discovered favourites right from the Luxe Box website.

The Spring 2015 boxes will be shipping out soon so if you want to get your hands on one, be sure to sign up! There is also a referral program so you can offer a discount to friends and family, earning a free Luxe Box for every two successful referrals made.

February 5, 2015

LUSH Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine's Day is creeping up again... which means some fun limited edition offerings from LUSH Cosmetics! As I have been indulging in regular bubble baths lately, LUSH kindly sent over a few new bath treats to try out.

Lonely Heart Bubble Bar ($7.95) gives off a kind of a woodsy vibe thanks to a combination of lemongrass, bergamot, jasmine, and ylang ylang. It's the perfect scent to cozy up with in a bath on a cold night. LUSH seems to be on a big gold lustre kick with its products lately... pretty much every new collection features a gold glitter bomb of some sort. While I do love the look, the glitter can be a pain as it gets everywhere.

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar ($7.95) is my favourite of the three products I'm showcasing today. First off, how pretty are the rainbow swirls and embedded stars? Not to mention the fact that it's huge (see the size compared to Lonely Heart). You can easily break this into two or even three pieces to get more uses. Lavender, ylang ylang, and neroli also blend to create a really nice uplifting scent.

Cupid's Love Soap ($6.95) is a fruity soap scented with bergamot, rosewood oil, fresh figs, and passionfruit. I am almost positive this is the same as the Neon Love Soap from last year but sadly can't compare. However, I seem to recall a similar fragrance and the design is the exact same with the cute heart inlay.

A number of other 2014 favourites are back again too, like the Love Locket Bath Bomb and Prince Charming Shower Gel. Be sure to check out last year's post for a run-down!

February 2, 2015

Inspired by Margot

I'll admit I bought this faux fur coat on a whim  before I realized it reminded me of Margot Tenenbaum's iconic outerwear from The Royal Tenenbaums. And now here I am wishing it was Halloween because I kind of know who I want to dress up as!

Faux Fur Coat: Sunday Best (Aritzia) / Dress: Theory (similar)
Tights: Plush (here) / Boots: Alexander Wang (here)
Bag: ASOS (c/o)

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