PIXI Collaborations | Chloe Morello, Dulce Candy, ILikeWeylie

FLASH REVIEW – FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Today’s post brings you the newest Pixi influencer collaboration and in usual Pixi fashion, it’s a really wearable array of everyday neutrals. If there’s one word to describe the brand as a whole it would certainly be – pretty. Pretty cute, pretty neutral, pretty easy to wear and overall the type of products that fit well into your daily makeup wardrobe.

This release release contains 3 palettes as the main feature and is a collaboration between Chloe Morello,  Dulce Candy and ILikeWeylie.

PIXI x DULCE CANDY
This set contains a 9 pan intensely metallic eyeshadow palette in bronzy sugary shades as well as a large 9 pan lip colour palette (not shown). Straight away I can tell that these are absolutely Dulce’s colours and the set will be very flattering on those with medium to deeper skin tones. The shades are warm toned with a metallic finish which may not be as practical as the other palettes. For those of you with a paler complexion, I would suggest sticking to only 1-2 colours from the palette on your eyes in one look. It’s also worth noting that some of the lighter shades can be used as blush or highlight if it suits your skin tone.
Sweet Glow Palette $34 CAD

PIXI x CHLOE MORELO 
This set is a cheek, eye and brow palette along with an additional corresponding lip gloss (not shown). The colours in this palette run lighter and leans towards peach and rose tones which would be more suitable on fair to medium skin tones. For me this is a really nice all-in-one set especially if you are travelling or just don’t want to fuss about trying to coordinate colours during the morning rush. I believe the intention is also for this to be a bridal kit based on the names like Honeymoon, Bouquet and Tux of the colours. This layout is similar to previous Pixi palettes and works well so I’m glad they’ve stuck to it. Most of the powders in this kit have a satin finish and the brow powders are matte.
Romantic Radiance Palette* $34CAD

PIXI x ILIKEWEYLIE
This set includes a small sized 6 pan eyeshadow and a duo sided eyeliner. The shades here are again quite warm with two that are more terracotta/red toned. This is also the only one of out of the three that contain matte finishes along side a few shimmers which makes this an easy versatile option. Again, just like the previous two offerings, I like how the colours really do reflect the collaborators because these are certainly the shades that Weylie sports quite often and might I add, are very monolid friendly. At first glance, the colours would easily work for an office setting but the addition of the brighter rust shades give you the option of making it trendier occasion look as well. The eyeliner duo come off surprisingly dark and easy to apply (though I have not tested longevity) with one liquid side and the other is kohl. I think this set would be lovely on most complexions given the intensity of the colours.
Let’s Talk Eyes Palette + Liner $28 CAD

Overall I think this whole release is very fitting spring collaboration not to mention great value for your money. The formula and colour payoff of the powders are consistently good, I’d say at least a medium opacity on most of them and there aren’t any obvious duds. The lighter shadows, especially in the Chloe Morello set do run a little more sheer. The matte shades are solidly better than what’s generally available in the drugstore so I’d call this a win. From experience, I don’t find Pixi shadows to be exceptionally long lasting so pairing it with a primer would be a good move. If you already own a lot of Pixi releases or have a healthy collection of neutral palettes then I think the Dulce Candy eye kit would be the most unique out of the three!

Chat soon,

Foundation Collection : 15 and counting… + video

FLASH REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKS

There’s no other way to say this. I am unashamedly a foundation collector and have no real reason to justify this weird addiction to this single makeup product. Regardless of what good things I may be using or claiming to have a found a favourite, the immediate attraction when a brand new drop hits the new arrivals page is like nature’s calling. On the flip side, this means I actually have a collection video to show you because the average person certainly doesn’t own 15 foundations…and counting.
PRODUCTS MENTIONED

…and of course just in case you’re looking for more skin tone matches, I have a few other brand colours listed under the My Stats tab at the top of the page. Over the years I’ve used a fair share of both drugstore and high end offerings but sometimes you just have to admit that drugstore shades are far and lacking. If you’re also a self proclaimed foundation collector, I’d love to know your favourites for your skin type!

Happy Sunday,

Filofax Clipbook: My new (again) planner

AFFILIATE LINKS

While I’d hardly define myself as a #planneraddict even in the loose sense of the word, I am somehow always shuffling through a couple of different planners over the course of the year. Having bounced around between more traditional bound dated options, to bullet journals and various layouts, my current daily writer is a self compiled Filofax Clipbook, adapted with personal printables. 
If you had watched my inexpensive DayDesigner x Walmart planner video from earlier this year, I talked about how I had been pleased with finding a perfect pre-dated weekly design but over the weeks the real kicker had always been the paper quality which not only limited my pen options but also seemed to affect how often I used it. 
Filofax had always been a familiar name but not a brand that I had paid a lot of attention to until I recently bought one of their removable page notebooks for work. My goal had always been to find the most functional, compact with practical design features and their new A5 sized Clipbook, with the self adjusting soft cover is a strong contender. Self-adjusting simply meant that the cover is attached so it can lay flatter when you don’t have it filled up. And although neon pink isn’t my preferred colour choice, it was on a great discount on Amazon which means I could try out the size and system without feeling too guilty.
The current contents of my Filofax planner is still in the works, especially as I’m still waiting for a few other inserts to arrive in the mail but so far I’m loving the size, flexibility plus the fact that I can print my own weekly pages on some incredible paper. The week on a single side seemed daunting to at first but I quickly found that I hardly needed more than this for my appointments an I can always add an in between page if there’s anything important to write. This means that instead of 52 pages for an entire calendar year, I’ve just shrunken it down to 25 pages! Here’s what I have in here so far.

Using my We R Memory Keepers special adjustable punch, I can also add in any pages that I’m loving at the moment or simply just bits and bobs that I want easy access too. So far, I’m loving the change so we’ll see how long this holds up.
Chat soon,

Work It | Comfort Shoes for Everyday

Rockport Highheels//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Work wear has become a bit of my recent obsession – hey, when you spend 40 hours a week in the zone, it’s probably a good idea to think about what you wear while hustling. While most of us would love to dress like we walked out of a Vogue magazine, practicality always wins in the end for me especially when it comes to footwear. As I’m in the process of overhauling my shoe closet to more comfort footwear choices, I thought I’d share with you some of my current favourites.

SHOES MENTIONED

  • BLONDO | Elvina Waterproof Boots 
  • ROCKPORT | T-Strap Pumps 
  • HUSH PUPPIES | Odessa Evaro Sneakers 
  • CLARKS | Faye Mary-Jane (LE) 
  • GH BASS | Evelyn Oxfords

Now while heel height isn’t necessarily the singular measurement of comfort, being a bit more thoughtful about the heel type, support and structural details can go a long way if you’re going to be in a shoe all day. Other brands worth a second look include Naturalizer, Earth, Vionic and Geox just to name a few. Now with spring just around the corner, I’m more than excited to browse the warm weather options!

Happy Shoe Shopping,

COVERGIRL | Vitalist Elixir Foundation + Swatches

FLASH REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKS

It’s not often that the drugstore comes out with a foundation that reads like my dream straight on the bottle… lightweight, full coverage, hydrating, SPF20 and contain a cocktail of vitamins for my skin, this is the Covergirl Vitalist Elixir* foundation. With so many glowing reviews online, I was eager to give this a whirl and see if its really a drugstore gem but there’s a lot more to a base product than a first glance. 
THE BASICS
Brand: Covergirl
Product: Vitalist Elixir Foundation* SPF20
Size: 30ml
Colour: 14 shades (shown: Classic Ivory)
My other colour matches: See here
Price:  $14-18 CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide (Walmart, London Drugs etc)
Would I (re)purchase: No.
Ingredients: 
Water / Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Chloride, PEG / PPG-18 / 18 Dimethicone, PVP, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylene / Methacrylate Copolymer, Trihydroxystearin, Arachidyl Behenate, Methicone, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Synthetic Wax, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG / PPG-10 / 1 Dimethicone, Ethylene Brassylate, Behenic Acid, Polyethylene. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Housed in a luxurious and well designed glass bottle, I love that this comes with a great pump and locking mechanism to prevent accidental makeup bag spillage. The added SPF will be a welcomed addition for most makeup lovers but I do personally prefer my own sunblock. There are currently 14 shades listed on the Covergirl website and on the shelves, ranging from a light to a medium dark spectrum.
Application is really easy with this formula and looks great with fingers, a sponge or a brush as the product is creamy and blends easily over moisturized skin. I didn’t feel the need for a primer over my usual trouble zones as this had great glide and didn’t accentuate skin texture too much. It left my face soft to the touch and has imparts a satin finish, which given its currently winter time, I didn’t bother with a setting powder. In fact, I must say the overall look on the skin is beautiful!
Covergirl | Classic Ivory (3rd from top vs my other foundations)

So if you’ve been wondering up until now why I’v listed this as a flash review and not a full review like I usual do, perhaps this picture will explain the situation. This was one of the very rare occasions which I applied a foundation, gawked in horror in the mirror, decided it was not salvageable and then promptly washed everything off to start over. While Covergirl is certainly not know for having the best shades, the fact that they decided this shade of dark apricot fit the idea of Classic Ivory is completely perplexing to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to fully test the foundation due to the lack of colours for my skin tone. Word on the street is that this also further oxidizes to an even deeper shades once it’s set in but I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. 
Chat soon,

First Aid Beauty | Coconut Skin Priming Moisturizer

REIVEW | AFFILIATE LINK


Coconuts. It seems to have firmly established itself in our regular beauty vocabulary and has become synonymous with hydration, moisture and maybe even a side of pina colada – hey, it’s brilliant for marketing after all. Among higher end options in Sephora, I decided to try my luck with the First Aid Beauty version which is oil-free, non-comedogenic and appears to be silicone free. It’s marketed as a moisturizer with added primer qualities.
Brand: First Aid Beauty
Product: Coconut Skin Primer
Size: 50ml
Price: 35 CAD
Would I repurchase: Probably yes.
Availability: Sephora, First Aid Beauty (online)
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Glucose, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Maltodextrin, Aqua (Water, Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mica, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Selaginella Lepidophylla Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Dipteryx Odorata Seed Extract, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sorbitan Oleate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 80, Lactobacillus Ferment, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Tin Oxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides).
 ——————————

I’ve always liked the fact that FAB markets itself as a no-fuss but still bright and cheery kind of aesthetic and this primer follows the same easy to use packaging as the rest of its line. The plastic tube is sturdy, easy for traveling, holds a lot of product and dispenses easily via simple twist off cap. The overall vibe feels happy but nonchalant and looks right on any makeup table.
APPLICATION & TEXTURE
Scented like a coconut smoothie, this primer has a creamy consistency similar to a moisturizing cream and definitely denser to the touch than I expected. While it’s advertised to be silicone free unlike more traditional primers, it still has a smoothing touch once applied on the skin and the extra silky effect is helps to minimize dehydration lines and some minor pore texture. On the skin, its slightly slick but not tacky. In comparison, it’s closer to the feel of the Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizer* but much more emollient than the Shu Uemura Stage Performing Primer*. There is a hint of shimmer mixed into primer but it’s essentially negligible once a medium coverage foundation is applied on top.
FOUNDATION COMPATIBILITY
One of the things I loved about this primer over others is how it manages to work well with a variety of my foundations. Though I do tend to only use primers over thicker, higher coverage liquids or powder foundations in other to smooth my skin texture, this hasn’t had any trouble with all I’ve thrown at it so far. It helps to minimize that odd patchiness when on my nose and it does a good job at keeping my skin plump. I don’t think it necessarily makes my foundation last any longer than usual so I see it more as a prep product rather than a wear extending one.
SKIN FRIENDLINESS
Here’s where things get a little undecided because while I wouldn’t say this clogged my pores or caused any direct breakouts, I do think this might be too heavy to use on my skin everyday. It can make my skin feel a little heavy and loaded when paired with other products on top so I prefer to use this intermittently and more in the winter rather than summer. Granted, I do use a light moisturize
r underneath this instead of replacing my face cream so that could be a factor. For those with dry to super dry skin, this might be just what you need however, it’s not a year round pairing for my combination skin-type.

THE FINAL VERDICT

First Aid Beauty’s Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer is a rich, emollient two in one cream that helps to soften skin texture while allowing foundation to blend and sit smoother. Worn alone, the slight shimmer is visible though not overbearing and under a medium coverage foundation, it’s nearly undetectable. I love the use of natural ingredients, the affordability and how it helps to prevent matte products from clinging to dry patches which is really important in my beauty routine. The texture, while great for winter time, may be too heavy for those with oilier skin. While I will be trying out other similar coconut based primers from other brands, I can see this as being a solid stand by for many people -worth a try!

Chat soon,

2018 Sewing Plans

Well hello there 2018! I’m super excited to bring you my sewing plans for this upcoming year and this time, I’ve decided to streamline my thoughts into focus areas rather than dictate specific project plans. The latter I found, as I attempted to do the #2017MakeNine series, became too constricting and didn’t reflect my mood changes throughout the year. As one commenter in my video noted; hobbies should be fun, relaxing and certainly not cause stress or feel like a creative burden. With that as my guide, I intend to let projects flow as the year progresses and have set looser guidelines to guide my year. Should you want to keep track of my progress through the months, you can find the finner details in the sewing tab at the top of the page – I’ll be looking forward to ticking all the boxes!
Happy Sewing,

BEAUTY LOOK | Shu Uemura x Super Mario Holiday Makeup

FLASH REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKS
If there’s one thing to expect from Shu Uemura holiday collections, it’s to allow yourself to be surprised by the unexpected! With a history of collaborating with artists and gravitation towards pop culture, Shu gives us a power up with a limited edition Super Mario makeup collection complete with the original pixel graphic artwork and shiny gold accents. 
Shu Uemura Super Mario Makeup//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This multi-piece release includes not only limited edition package but some fun colour options as well, all of which are much more wearable than you’d think at first glance. The collection ranges from makeup to skincare and even a few hair care items. Most of the products are the same formula as pre-existing favourites which I always think is a smart move so there’s no new learning curve to conquer. 
PRODUCTS SHOWN 
  • SHU | Yuzu Makeup Refresher Mist* 
  • SHU | Peach’s Eye and Cheek Palette
  • SHU | Drawing Pencil* | Light Orange, Brick Brown, Dreamy Peach Pink
  • SHU | Tint in Balm* | Underground Adventure
  • SHU | Rouge Unlimited Supreme* | #187
  • SHU | Eyelash Curler with Charm*
SHOP SHU UEMURA | ONLINE / SEPHORA
    EXTRA ITEMS USED
    The big drop in this collaboration is the two in one cheek and eyes palette which seems to be curated into corresponding purple and bronze options. Both extremely wearable on most complexions and every single colour is something that you can reach for frequently. Yet with that said, it is also quite a pricey piece and may not necessarily be the best value for money if the shadow is not part of your daily repertoire. Instead, if you want just a little something then the golden eyelash curler with the star charm or fun printed lipsticks would be my recommendation.
    Shu Uemura Super Mario- Holiday Makeup//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    Shu Uemura Super Mario- Holiday Makeup//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    If you manage to pop during our livestream Youtube session, you’ll remember that this is the makeup look that we created together live which was so immensely fun! The majority vote went to the orange side of the palette so I used all three shadows
    to create a warm rich bronzy eye with rust and brick tones and rimmed by a heavy dose of the Shu pencil in Brick Brown on the lower lash line. I mixed both peach and pink shades on the cheek. The lips was a real toss up between the two available colours I had on hand looking and at these photos, the deep glossy berry wine was the right choice and really popped the entire look. Do note however that the extreme glossy formula can be hard to work with and isn’t something I’d recommend for day to day wear but it does photograph so stunningly!

    Shu Uemura Super Mario Makeup//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    With this being such an iconic collaboration, I’d recommend calling your local Shu retailer as many counters might be very limited in stock. Shu’s website and even Sephora online will generally carry some holiday collections into the end of January. If you’re picking up a piece or two, let me know what’s caught you eye.
    Chat soon,

    Beauty Look | All lash – Nude Makeup (ft. Esqido)

    FLASH REVIEW

    If you’ve been a regular here in this part of the internet, it’ll be no surprise to you that false lashes are one of my all time favourite things. While our appetite for extravagance has only increased in recent years, false lashes can absolutely be worn with a very bare faced makeup look for a clean and understated vibe. My look here is something you could wear daily to the office or for casual weekend brunch.
    PRODUCTS USED
    • MAKE UP FOREVER | Waterblend Foundation*
    • MAKE UP FOREVER | Ultra HD Foundation*
    • MAC | Mineralized Skinfinish | Soft & Gentle
    • MINISOO | Liquid Eyeliner
    • HOURGLASS | Eyebrow Pencil
    • ESQIDO | Mink Flase Lashes* | Silhouette
    • COVERGIRL | Total Tease Mascara WP*
    • NUDESTIX | Lip & Cheek Pencil | Whisper
    • RIMMEL | Lip Liner* | Tiramisu
    Speaking of lashes, here I am trying out the ever popular ESQIDO mink hair lashes for the very first time. Having tried everything from synthetic to human to mink, I can say that while the lash fibres do look great on these, I personally don’t find a huge aesthetic advantage to mink in particular. 
    The website advertises a cotton lash band and the hairs are pressed / glued onto the band versus knotted. I do still find the band quite thick and can be uncomfortable wearing for long periods of time but on the other hand it does provide sturdiness. I love that the colour of the lashes are dark without looking fake and there is a tinge of satin shine yet no glossy flashback in photos.
    Esqido Lashes

    There are currently 28 styles to choose from the ESQIDO range and I’m wearing Silhouette which is a medium volume style that’s slightly longer in the middle and shorter at the sides. The styling of all the lashes are well thought out and provide a good selection in volume and density. 
    My main challenge with these however was the curvature of the lashes which went too far out before they curved up at the ends. This means that the lashes were unnecessarily long yet didn’t provide a whole lot of visual lift. If you wear glasses, then this will also likely bump into your lens. A stronger curve would have been ideal personally.

    Lastly, you’ll notice that this look is heavily focused on skin, brows and the tiniest swipe of liner. i decided to go with a bare lid just to show you can actually wear a great look with very little fuss. Creating a polished look relies on clean definition and skin flattering pops of colour but a little extra lash never hurts either…
    Chat soon,

    The Ordinary | Alpha Arbutin + HA

    REVIEW

    Canadian brand The Ordinary lit an instant frenzy amount beauty enthusiasts by giving use what we’ve been asking for all these years. Simple, ingredient based products focuses on the science of what works and scrapping all the fillers…all with a shockingly low price point. After a good decade experimenting with my own skin concerns, I felt relatively confident in knowing the handful of ingredients seemed to be the most effective and was thrilled to see two of my favourite things arbutin and hyaluronic acid mixed into one bottle.

    According to The Ordinary…

    Alpha Arbutin reduces the looks of spots and hyper-pigmentation. It’s used at a high 2% concentration versus a standard concentration of 1% and supported with a next-generation form of Hyaluronic Acid for enhanced delivery. Alpha Arbutin is much stronger in effect than Arbutin or Beta Arbutin.

    THE BASICS
    Brand: The Ordinary
    Product: Alpha Arbutin 2% HA
    Size: 30ml
    Price: $8.99CAD
    Availability: The Ordinary online
    Would I (re)purchase: Probably not.
    Website: http://www.theordinary.com

    INGREDIENTS
    Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

    MY SKIN CONCERNS
    I’ve long struggled with uneven skin texture, uneven skin tone and large pores. Though I’m naturally light skinned, I scar and mark easily which is evident on my forehead and some pigmentation spots scattered throughout.

    TEXTURE & APPLICATION
    Dispensed from a dropper style lid, this arbutin treatment has a clear but slightly viscous consistency and beads on the skin almost like a fluid gel. It spreads easily, dries quickly and appears to form a very thin film over the skin which isn’t noticeable at first but is certainly obvious when a sticky layer starts to form on the neck of the bottle. Only about 3 drops is necessary to cover my entire face generously. There is a slight bit of tackiness but it shouldn’t be a problem after adding a moisturizer.

    EFFECTIVENESS
    Having used this consistently twice a day for about 5 weeks as my sole treatment product I did notice some slight overall evening in my skin tone. I wouldn’t say it effectively treated any dark marks I had but it was just as effective as many of the higher end products I’ve used, some even at up to 10x the price of The Ordinary so that’s definitely a win in itself!

    SENSITIVITY
    I had started to experience minor red spots and increased clogged pores but can not be 100% certain if it’s due to this treatment or the moisturizer I had been using. While there was nothing in the ingredients list that looked like an alarming red flag, the fact that this forms a film over the skin raised some doubts. I’ve since discontinued both and may try reintroducing this treatment back into my routine to see if it’s the real culprit. I did not otherwise notice any other redness or sensitivity. There is no fragrance in this product.

    HOW I USED IT
    After my wash routine and before my moisturizer.

    OTHER PRODUCTS USED
    Sekkisei Foaming Wash*, Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream*

    THE FINAL VERDICT

    The Alpha Arbutin 2% HA treatment by The Ordinary is a lightweight, fragrance free treatment that rivals many of the higher end skin tone enhancing products on the market. The texture should be comfortable enough for most skin types yet despite containing hyaluronic acid, I did not find this very hydrating and I recommend an additional layering serum if moisture is a concern. My main disappointment was not seeing the great results I had with other arbutin based Asian products but I can say this is as good as other effective western brands I’ve used to date. I’m also not a fan of the texture and sensorial experience. The Ordinary does recommend combining this with other products and many people choose to couple this with an exfoliator. Given the price point however, I would suggest you try this first if arbutin is what you are looking for and I do think it trumps most of what you can find at the drugstore level.

    Chat soon,