26 April 2014

review - paula's choice the nude mattes eyeshadow palette

Charlotte requested that I review this ASAP, so here you go!

Even though I 100% do not need another neutral eyeshadow palette, Paula's Choice has a 15% off deal until the end of April so I caved. I'm weak when it comes to makeup, okay?

Availability: paulaschoice.com (This is a referral link that will save you an additional $10!)
Shades: This palette has 12 shades, 11 matte and 1 highlighting shade.
Price: $40, but if you use the code AMGSHOPAPR15 before April 30th, you can get 15% off.

(1) Cream, (2) Beige, (3) Pink Sugar, (4) Café au Lait, (5) Tan, (6) Chestnut, (7) Clay, (8) Plum Taupe, (9) Gunmetal Grey, (10) Chocolate Truffle, (11) Coffee (12) Onyx.

This unique eyeshadow palette features 11 velvety, true matte shadows plus one highlighting shadow in universally wearable shades—the kind you’ll find in any good makeup artist’s kit! In fact, the experts at Paula’s Choice consulted with makeup expert and YouTube sensation Wayne Goss on the creation of this palette.

The superbly blendable and buildable shadow colors range from soft ivory to rich brown and smoky black, making them versatile for day, night, or any time in between. The slim, mirrored case is recyclable and includes a professional-quality brush that allows flawless application and unlimited looks.

Talc (texture enhancer/absorbent), Mica (texture enhancer/mineral pigment), Magnesium Stearate (binding/anti-caking agent), Dimethicone (silicone-based texture enhancer), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polybutene, Synthetic Wax (binding agents), Mineral Oil (texture enhancer), Methylparaben, Propylparaben (preservatives), Iron Oxides (cosmetic pigment).

... One day I'll get the hang of swatching, I swear. That being said, don't let these swatches fool you--the shadows are really wonderful and blend like a dream. I had to put in black lines in the above photos so you could see where the lightest three shades are. Unfortunately, I'm very pale so the first shade is only slightly darker than my skin, and the flash blew out all of the colours.

I also need to learn how to use eyeshadow brushes, but that's a story for a different time. I should stick to finger painting because it's gotten me this far.

As for wear time, I have exceptionally greasy eyelids, so I expect that most people will have better experiences than me. When I used primer and a layer of translucent powder, the eyeshadows lasted five hours before creasing. With just primer, I barely made it an hour and a half before they started to crease. I think my experience is completely atypical, though, so I'd advise you trying this palette for yourself, especially if you're looking for a neutral palette that has mostly matte shadows.

orphan black clones series #3 - rachel duncan

Time for a third clone! So, I have to admit that Rachel fascinates me a lot, as she seems to be a bit of a red herring villain at the moment. That being said, I think her motives are rather unexplained and I can't wait to see what her real story is.

This look is based on this picture. I really tried to give a withering look but it just looks like I'm tired. Which is pretty close to the constant, pervasive truth! Obviously, I don't have blonde hair, nor is my hair short enough for a bob, so I improvised. I couldn't replicate the blonde, of course, but I put my hair into a faux-bob using this tutorial. My hair is incredibly thick so if I do this again, I'm going to leave less hair for the braid that is tucked underneath the rest of the hair, but otherwise it seemed to work well enough. (It looked so much better in person than in all of my photos...)

Rachel is very polished and since she's got blonde hair, her eyebrows seem to be a bit lighter than the other clones'. She's also got a bit of a tan in comparison with everyone else, and that might be more noticeable because of her hair colour. I had to apply bronzer all over my face, which looked HILARIOUS in natural lighting but didn't seem to do too much in flash photography.

For the eyes, take a very pale grey-brown shimmer shade and tap that into the inner corners of your eyes, drawing the colour out toward the center of your lids. Take a darker grey-brown shade to the rest of your lid. Using a matte brown shade, blend the colour into your crease and take the excess to your lower lids along the lash lines.

Take a flat liner brush (I used Wayne Goss' Brush 08, which is a ridiculously tiny push liner brush and I think I'm in love with it) and load it with a black cream liner, then tightline your upper lash line and line your lids. I used a pencil liner instead of a cream because I didn't want to open one up and have it dry out. Use a few coats of mascara on your upper lashes.

I spent a good ten minutes trying to find a lip colour that would mimic the one Rachel used and I think I got close, though hers appears to be more red-brown than mine, which leans more warm pink.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express brow kit in Brunette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Granite

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
bareMinerals mineral veil
Inner corner - Urban Decay eyeshadow in Verve (oyster shimmer)
Outer lid - Urban Decay eyeshadow in Pistol (light gray-brown shimmer)
Crease - Urban Decay eyeshadow in Tease (pale brown matte)
Under eye - Urban Decay eyeshadow in Tease (pale brown matte) + Paula's Choice eyeshadow in Cafe Au Lait
Liner + waterlines - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (matte blackest black)
Lashes - Maybelline Volum' Express the Mega Plush mascara in Blackest Black

Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation in 1.0
Benefit boi-ing concealer in 01
Under eyes - Benefit Fake Up Concealer in 01 Light
Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer

rms beauty lip2cheek in promise (warm salmon pink with golden shimmer)

19 April 2014

orphan black clones series #2 - alison hendrix

It's my 23rd birthday! Last year was absolute shit and I can only hope that this year is better. I've never really felt older on my birthday until this year. I feel like I earned being 23. I spent the entire day getting food and shopping with my family, so I'm exhausted and stuffed.

More importantly, though... Tonight is the premiere of season 2 of Orphan Black! To celebrate, I dressed up as another clone: Alison Hendrix.

Alison is a soccer mom living in suburbia and she seems to have a more laid-back, simple look because of her hectic schedule. I based this look off of this picture, where she's wearing a little more makeup than I think she usually does. I also don't have bangs that go across my forehead, so I improvised with my side bangs and I put in a headband for good measure.

For the eyes, all you need to do is take a matte brown shadow that is a few shades darker than your skintone and swipe it over your eyelids and under your eyes, and then line your eyes with a dark brown eyeliner. I used a dark taupe liner because it was what was convenient!

For lips, Alison seems to wear a pinky lip colour that is slightly brighter than her natural lip colour, but in this photo it appears a bit darker. I went with a fig shade that applies matte and put on a lipstick with some sheen over it.

I'm not wearing blush here because my cheeks are naturally pink. However, Alison always seems to be wearing some, so I'd suggest something a little on the warm pink side.

Clothing-wise, I don't have much that is as preppy as Alison's wardrobe is, and I don't have pearls. (Would have made a nice touch, no?) So I just went with a graphic tee and a sweater that looks a little more like Alison's workout clothes than her day-to-day wear.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express brow kit in Brunette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Granite

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Lid - Saucebox Cosmetics pressed eyeshadow in Almond (cool medium brown matte from the Etude palette)
Upper lash line - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Desperation (deep taupe to gray matte)

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè + Dr. Jart+ V7 Beauty Balm
Benefit boi-ing concealer in 01

Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick in Brooklyn (harvest fig)
NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick in Pops (mauve)

EDITED: The makeup artist has said that Alison wears purple eyeliner and this was done before I read the articles saying this! That being said, for some reason my eyeshadow here looks a little purple. If you're looking for a good purple eyeliner, try Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in either Vice or Psychedelic Sister (higher-end option) or NYX Slide On Pencil in either Pretty Violet or Purple Blaze (drugstore option).

13 April 2014

look of the day - purple wedding


I'm going to try not to spoil anyone who hasn't read the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I'm just saying that I'm so excited for tonight's episode of Game of Thrones that I had to base a look on it. And I might be on the verge of throwing up because I'm so excited.

The brows were done like the ones in this previous look. For the eyes, all you need to do is take a shimmery purple eyeshadow and apply that to the inner half of your lid and then take a shimmery charcoal shadow to the outer half. I was finicky and had to use two different purple eyeshadows and a shimmery white eyeshadow in the inner corner. All eyeshadows were Sugarpill because they're fabulous.

Using the purple eyeshadow, trace your lower lash line. Then take a black eyeliner and line your upper and lower waterlines. You don't want to go too overboard with the eyeliner because you're already wearing a smoky eye with a dramatic lip, but of course, if you want to forego the purple lipstick, feel free to line your eyes a little more heavily.

Excluding the usual foundation/concealer routine (I tried Wayne Goss' tip about putting powder on before foundation), all I used on my face was a foundation a few shades darker than my skin tone for contour and a touch of blush on my cheeks.

Because the lips are so dramatic and vibrant, it's probably a good idea to wear lip liner if you plan to wear it out. I left that step out, but since purple liners aren't that openly available, a clear lip liner would be great. (I prefer cruelty-free brands, but if you don't mind that as much, MAC has some purple liners. NYX is a good cruelty-free option that is also easy on the wallet! I know there are a bunch of other brands out there, too, but I'm forgetting them all.)

Inner corner - Laura Mercier eyeshadow in Plum Smoke (matte smoky amethyst)
Inner brow - Sephora eyeshadow in Blueberry Muffin No 30 (black plum matte)
Outer brow - Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Brunette (darker shade)

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Inner corner - Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in Diamond Eyes (satin white with crystalline sheen)
Inner lid - Sugarpill Chromalust pigment in Weekender (metallic blue-violet)
Center of lid + lower lash line - Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in Elemental Chaos (deep grape shimmer with iridescent blue undertones)
Outer corner - Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in Soot & Stars (metallic gunmetal with prismatic sparkle)
Waterlines - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (matte blackest black)

bareMinerals Prime Time foundation primer
bareMinerals mineral veil
Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation in 1.0
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer in Light
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 Fair
Contour - Maybelline Fit Me foundation stick in 235
Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in 215 Shameless
Corners of lips - NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania (matte deep violet)

WHO ELSE IS EXCITED?! Please come talk to me if you've read the books and are super pumped like I am!

12 April 2014

orphan black clones series #1 - sarah manning

Hello, hello!

Today has been surprisingly warm and sunny and spring-like, but next week it's supposed to fall back into the 40s and 50s with rain, womp. Since the weather was "nice" (and this is in quotations because if you know me well enough, you'll know that I prefer colder weather with zero sunlight since I'm a vampire), I went for a walk at the arboretum and then went to an outdoor mall to window shop.

So, Orphan Black.

Next week is the season 2 premiere (and it also happens to be my 23rd birthday!) and to celebrate, I thought I'd start a series based on the clones that we've gotten to know. I only started watching this show at the end of March, though I'd been intending to watch it since shortly after the first season premiered. I'm OBSESSED. I cannot get over this show or how amazing it is and I've been rewatching episodes like it's my job. No spoilers, but I will encourage EVERYONE to watch it.

This is based off of Sarah's look in the first episode, when she's Sarah as her punk self and not as Beth.

(Also, yes, I'm wearing a leather jacket and a black shirt that looks a bit like leather. I also happen to be wearing pajama pants in these pictures, but that would ruin the illusion.)

I probably could have gone with another side braid on the left half of my hair so it wasn't so awkwardly poofy, but hey, I couldn't be bothered and my hair is naturally parted to the side so I needed my hair to stay put. My hair was already sort of wavy after sleeping in braids last night, so that worked for me. Here, have a close-up of the clip-in on my right side!

I didn't make that wavy by braiding it, unfortunately, so it's a little off-putting with how stick-straight it is.

The eyes are very similar to one of my concert looks; take black eyeliner and rim the waterlines and lashlines of your eyes, then thickly line them before smudging the crap out of the liner. Then, top it off with some charcoal shadow. Since my makeup is fresh, it's darker and more pronounced than what Sarah seems to prefer, which is a smoky eye that looks more lived in. For this sort of effect, you can try smudging out the liner with something like an eye gloss or a thick balm-like product--Lisa Eldridge has a great video here.

Nothing on the cheeks unless you feel bare without it. Sarah doesn't strike me as the sort to wear blusher, but I probably could have done with some since I look like a ghost. Whoops!

For the lips, it sort of looks like Sarah cancelled out the colour of her lips with a layer of foundation over her mouth. Most people can't pull this off, myself very much included. I would look like a serious ghost. Instead, take the lightest nude lip colour with which you are comfortable and layer that on your mouth. A good trick to pulling off a true nude lip is to take a pinker shade and dab it right along where your lips meet so you don't look completely zombie-tastic.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express brow kit in Brunette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Granite

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
bareMinerals loose eyeshadow in k.i.t. (matte medium charcoal grey)
Waterline + lashline - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (matte blackest black)
Liner - Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet (rich, smoky matte black)
Lashes - Maybelline Volum' Express the Mega Plush mascara in Blackest Black + Maybelline Volum' Express One-by-One waterproof mascara in Blackest Black

Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation in 1.0
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer in Light 16

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cairo (matte pure nude)
Center of mouth - NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi (deep rose-beige)

06 April 2014

look of the day - game of thrones!!!


(I also went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier this afternoon, so basically I'm a mess of fandom feelings.)

Confession: I don't really care for Daenerys Targaryen. She doesn't interest me in the slightest when compared with the other characters or the unexplored members of House Targaryen. There's an interesting history that goes back for centuries, but I'd rather invest myself in the likes of Sansa Stark.

And if you don't like Sansa Stark, we need to have a serious conversation.

Despite my general apathy/mild dislike for Daenerys, the Targaryen colours are the most violently contrasting, at least for the great houses of Westeros and since I got a shirt from Akira, I wanted to go with the Fire and Blood theme.

DUMB GLASSES ARE ALWAYS CROOKED. Obviously, this is not a look for the faint of heart. Also, I went a little overboard--a shirt with scales, Targaryen makeup, and a dragon earcuff, but hey, what's life without living in a little excess from time to time?

(I was totally going to do braids, but since this was rushed already, I nixed that idea.)

I love this earcuff, but it's really tough to get it on my ear. I managed to snap the post right off within ten minutes of having it home and luckily my dad managed to super-glue it back on, but I'm a little wary of trying to adjust the cuff part because of that.

Also, can we talk about this shirt? This is the weirdest angle and it makes my chest look weird, but I'm in love. Yes, it's a turtleneck so it looks a little strange in selfies and yes, it's a wee bit tight in the neck. But I don't care because it's wonderful.

I'm not going to go into great detail for this look unless someone has a serious hankering to try this, but I will say that the red-black ombre brows are totally fun, and I used black eyeliner to etch out the shape of the black eyeshadow on the outer lid. There aren't any close-ups because this look was actually sort of slapped together since I was rushing trying to finish it and eat dinner before going for a walk, but if anyone wants to see a look where there's a defined line between two colours on the lid, I'd be glad to do something and take the time to do it!

The red eyeliner, by the way? Still in love with it. It was also in my Scar look--I drew three curved lines in homage to the Targaryen dragon but I only did it on one eye.

Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in Love+ (bright red with semi-pearl sheen) and Bulletproof (deep matte black)

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
bareMinerals mineral veil
Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in @#$%! (vampy pearl red with silver metallic sheen)
Victorian Disco Cosmetics loose eyeshadow in Lightspeed (deep black with strong silver sparkle)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (black)
Liner - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (matte blackest black)
Makeup Geek Gel Liner in Poison (matte rusty red)

Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation in 1.0
Benefit boi-ing concealer in 01

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb (classic red)


05 April 2014

sephora vib rogue spring social + look of the day - GAME OF THRONES IS TOMORROW

Quick, let me write up a post about the Sephora VIB Rouge Spring Social before I forget everything! I wish I brought a camera so I could take pictures, but I left in a hurry and totally forgot.

Sunday, 30 March was the start of the VIB Rouge sale and Sephora stores across the country held a closed-door event for the most dedicated to beauty. I RSVPed at the store where my friend Erica works because it happens to be bigger than the one in my hometown's mall. It was two hours of being in a Sephora store, complete with coffee and snacks. (Neither of which I got, as I don't drink coffee and I was sort of so caught up in makeup that I forgot to pick up food. Whoops!) There were stations for facials, hairstyles, and makeup applications and all the employees were so welcoming and helpful.

I was very overwhelmed at first, but after I woke up a bit, I went to the facial station first. They had three options: anti-aging, brightening, and detox. I chose detox because my skin has been freaking out all winter. I don't remember the cleanser they used, but it smelled wonderful and didn't really irritate my skin. The woman helping me asked about how my skin has been and I told her about how my skin has been freaking out all winter--it's normally combination leaning oily everywhere except for my cheeks--how there have been a lot of dry patches for no reason and she asked about exfoliation. I have a scrub that I use occasionally, but lately I've been using my Clarisonic a little more often, and she told me that I might need to use another product on top of the Clarisonic since that only provides mild exfoliation. She used the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads for this. Next, she put a mask on (Perricone MD Chloro Plasma mask) for a minute or two, then put on a Dr. Brandt eye cream. I don't exactly know what the product was, but I'm guessing that it was the Xtend Your Youth eye cream. She finished off with some Kate Somerville Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment and Shiseido Ibuki Protective Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 18.

Now, I'm a bit of a dumbass and should have asked her about the SPF before she put it on because chemical sunscreens make me peel, and that's exactly what was in this one. It was mild, but I know for a fact that octinoxate irritates my skin, but I didn't react quickly enough. Whoops!

Another big oops: I shouldn't have gotten my foundation matched right after getting my face cleaned and rubbed and all that because I got a match for something MUCH darker than I have ever used. (2R05, if that means anything to any of you. I was expecting to be 1Y03.) The foundation that they used was MUFE's Liquid Lift foundation in 1 Porcelain, which seemed to work out all right, but another match was Cover FX cream foundation in N40 which is definitely not what I tested before. N20 was a better match!

I got my makeup done by another lady using the Sephora and Pantone collaboration set focused around the colour of the year, Radiant Orchid. Katina came around and told me I looked like a rose, which was awesome, but I definitely felt a little naked without my brows done. (I didn't do my makeup before going because that would have been a WASTE.) The lipstick for this year definitely seems more pink than radiant orchid, so that was mildly disappointing. In the picture below, I'm wearing a different lipstick that seems to match the theme a lot more... And I filled in my brows. Everything else was done in store!

(Anything marked * was from the SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE The Face: Radiant Femme Artistry Set.)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express brow kit in Brunette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Granite

Liquid liner*
Browbone - Liquid luminizer*

Make Up For Ever HD Micropefecting Primer in 1 Green
Make Up For Ever Liquid Lift Foundation in 1 Porcelain
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in Pink Porcelain 1
Cream blush*
Sephora Collection bronzer (I don't know what the shades were, sorry!)

NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk (blue violet)

The last station was hair and oh my goodness, let me just say that I waited for a good 15ish minutes because I really wanted my hair done and it was WORTH IT. The three options were a blowout, an evening look (someone said it was a braid of some sort?), and beachy waves and Katina immediately told me BEACHY WAVES with much enthusiasm. The woman doing everyone's hair was phenomenal. She curled my hair in about 10 minutes. Usually it takes me two hours and it wouldn't look half as awesome as it did.

Katina took that picture of my hair right after it was finished. Look at how awesome it looks.

And here's a few pictures of what I bought in store. Erica rang me up and told me that she expected me to do more damage (which I ended up doing online later on in the week...) but I thought I'd try to spread it out.

Pictured are the Urban Decay Electric Palette (OH MY GOD, BRIGHT COLOURS!), two Nest Fragrances rollerballs (Midnight Fleur and Indigo, the latter of which is possibly one of my favourite scents ever--the Nest candle was free with a $50 purchase!), and a Sephora matte eyeshadow in the shade Blueberry Muffin for when I finally decide to do my purple gradient brows.

I did a bit of a look of the day today, as well. It's sort of Game of Thrones-themed because S4 premieres tomorrow and I have something else planned for tomorrow, but I found myself wearing a GoT shirt and went a bit House Arryn.

No tutorial today because the look was basic, haphazard, and not that important, but hopefully I'll be able to write up something great for tomorrow. Also, I took a picture of the shirt but it looked really creepy and a little too propositioning, sooo...

Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express brow kit in Brunette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Granite

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Victorian Disco Cosmetics loose eyeshadow in Sailor Mercury (bright blue with a red sheen and blue sparkles)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Binge (pearly navy blue, discontinued)

Urban Decay Naked Skin liquid foundation in 1.0
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer in Light 16
Under eyes - It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer in Light

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes (matte muted mauve)
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked (nude-pink)