Sunday, 31 August 2014

Girl Crushing: Girls' Jessa Johansson

I think we've all been there. Completely idolizing an individual who is so positively divine that you just wish that you could be them. That my friends, is called a girl crush. I personally have many girl crushes but this one is very different from the rest, and quite possibly the coolest person ever. I've been girl crushing hard on Jessa Johnansson (Jemima Kirke) from the HBO hit series Girls. Jessa is the counterpart of a very realistic group of twenty something girls who are best friends through the good times and the bad times. Jessa's style is absolutely stunning and in my eyes she is the perfect modern day gypsy. I love her free-spirited attitude about life which definitely translates to her personal style. It's not unusual to see her donning vintage frocks, fur coats, kimonos and heaps of over sized jewelry. Her long wavy hair is gorgeous but never intentionally "done", instead it has that tousled bed head look that I love. As for her makeup, Jessa often keeps it simple and looks practically bare-faced, except for when she pulls out a dramatic vampy lip that I swoon over each time. The above picture from Season 3 is my inspiration for this makeup look, according to her makeup artist, Jessa is wearing Revlon Certainly Red Lipstick. I planned on picking up that lipstick until I saw the Revlon Matte Balm in Standout, which I loved the look of for myself.

To break down the look is very simple. Go for clean skin (or a light foundation), contour the face with a neutral blush or bronzer and slap on a vampy lipstick. Jessa normally skips out on any mascara or eye makeup but my blonde lashes needed a little bit of something something to make them look existant. I finished off my homage to Jesssa by throwing on a kimono wrap top, a statement necklace and a messy side pony.

I loved rocking this makeup look and enjoyed taking a step out of my comfort zone to channel my inner gypsy goddess that must be hiding in there somewhere. Do you have a girl crush?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

What's in my Shower Part II

There's nothing like having a gander in someone's shower. For reasons unknown, I get a great kick out of knowing what products people around me use on a daily basis. It's probably not very exciting, but these are the current workhorses for making me smell and look acceptable on a daily basis. I'm not necessarily committed to this group of products and I'm sure that in a few weeks the contents of my shower stall will look much different. Although I'm mad about makeup, I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to shampoos and body wash. I'm a minimalist in that it drives me bonkers to have multiples of the same product cluttering up the shelves of my shower at any given time. You will never see me with three bottles of shampoo in rotation, it messes with my shower zen. My rule for a streamlined bathroom is simple, one goes in, one comes out. Here's the current line up of what's in my shower:

I'm not going to lie, I bought this shampoo purely because it smells great. It sort of reminds me of a citrusy candy and I'm tempted to give it a taste every time I use it. I would say that it's a good shampoo for my hair type. It's nice for fine hair as it's just moisturizing enough without weighing down my hair and it produces very sleek and shiny results. I love how the scent lasts for days in my hair without being overpowering.

No surprises here. The matching conditioner to the shampoo. I like to finger-comb it through my ends and leave in it my hair while I shave my legs as mini-hair mask. I like that it immediately detangles my forever knotty hair the second I massage it in. Again, it smells good enough to eat. I just wish the conditioner matched the size of the shampoo.

I don't often use natural/organic products, but this one caught my eye at the grocery store. I was hoping that this would be a more affordable/longer lasting alternative to my favorite EOS Shave Cream but I am left very disappointed. It's a thick cream that is smoothed onto the legs like a shave gel and helps to moisturize the legs while your shave. My major gripe is that there is no way to use this product without it clogging up your razor. The cream is so thick that it literally cannot be washed away from the blades. It makes the shaving process even less enjoyable and I can't wait to use it up. I would not recommend this shave cream.

I like to have a cleanser in the shower for washing my face in the mornings. I like this one because it's a foaming face wash that rinses clean and helps fight acne. This happens to be my cleanser du jour.

It's been a very long time since I've used a Dove body wash, but I couldn't be happier with this purchase. Dove has come a long way from the body wash I once used as a teen. The smell of the original body wash always made me slightly queasy. The scent of pistachios and magnolia smells like something straight out of a Bath and Body Works autumn fragrance collection. The formula of the body wash is super thick and moisturizing on the skin. I just wish there was a matching body lotion to accompany this dreamy body wash. I will definitely be repurchasing after this is used up and I would like to see if the other scents are just as delicious.

Just thought I would stick this in as I share my shower with my boyfriend. Nick always smells great and this is his body wash in rotation at the moment. If your man is needed a new body wash, I would highly recommend this very fresh and zingy manly scent. It's so good that I'm occasionally tempted to use it myself!

So there ends part II of my What's in My Shower Series. What products are taking up residence in your shower?

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

When Things Get Funky: Expiration Dates

Do you ever look in the bottom of your makeup bag/handbag/medicine cabinet and think how did all this stuff get here? Well today was that day for me. As a beauty blogger, I'm often making makeup purchases here and there... which adds up to a huge amount of products not getting the love they deserve. First off, cosmetics have an expiry date, so if you haven't been getting use out of a product, it's best to pass it off to someone else who will hopefully get use of it before it goes bad. And if you happen to be using the same mascara for 2 years... it's time to chuck it out and get a new one. Here's a little guideline of knowing when it's time to throw out cosmetics:

Mascara- It's good for 3 months. After that, throw it away! It's wet and spends time up close and personal with the eyeballs. It's the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and could result in some nasty irritation/infections if used for too long. I've been sticking to this rule for the past year. If at any time your mascara starts to smell funky, definitely chuck it out.

Cream Blush/Eyeshadow- Can last 12-18 months. I've recently started using my older cream products in an attempt to use them up before they go bad. Any product that you put your fingers in on a daily business will be quick to fill up with yucky bacteria. Make sure to wash your hands before placing your fingers into a cream products or use a clean brush with each use. I'll be giving away my Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink and Clinique Chubby Eye Tint in Whopping Willow as they have not met the expiration date but could get some loving from someone else.

Liquid Liner- Up to 6 months. Luckily most liquid liners dry up in that amount of time, which will force you to purchase another. For this reason, I would recommend using drugstore liners which are more affordable to repurchase.

Liquid Concealer/ Foundation- These can last up to one year. Exposing your foundation to air can make it oxidize and change color so make sure to screw the cap on tightly after each use. Pumps on foundations are a great way to prevent this and also fix the problem of sticking dirty fingers into the foundation bottle each day. To keep concealers in check, I recommend having one or two at a time so you can use them up completely within 12 months.

Lipstick- Up to one year. I find this rule hard to follow as it takes me a while to use up a lipstick entirely. Recently I've tried to use up some of my lipsticks that are more than halfway gone. Lipsticks that I've only used once or twice I tend to pass on to someone else who may get some more use out of them.

Lipgloss- Can last from 18-24 months, which I think is pretty good considering it's a gloopy product used on the mouth. I try to limit the amount of lip glosses I buy, knowing that I will never use them all up before they go bad.

Powders (Eyeshadow, Blush, Pressed/Loose Powder)- Can last up to 2 years. Something to consider if you own enough eyeshadow to last 4 lifetimes.

Pencil Eyeliners- Can last up to 2 years. I think that sharpening them is a good way to keep them clean. Again, I try to have one pencil in each color rather than owning 5 black eyeliners.

Do you follow makeup expiration guidelines? I try my best to stick with it but there are some products that I just can't let go of. Pictured above are the products that didn't make the cut in my collection that will be finding new owners very soon. If you have products that don't get much love and are within the expiration dates, I encourage you to pass them on to friends and family!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 11 August 2014

The 90's Nude: Urban Decay Liar

Happy Monday ladies and gents! Today I'm reviewing a lipstick that has been sitting on my makeup table for quite some time. In recent times, Kylie Jenner has been spotted wearing a series of brown-based nudes very reminiscent of the 90's. I personally don't care much for the little sister of the ultra glamorous Kardashians, but I can agree that it's a nice change to the milky nudes that seem to be undying. I've personally always been a fan of brown toned lipsticks. As a child of the 90's myself, I grew up watching the likes of Brooke Shields and other supermodels rocking the earthy tones and looking amazing. Obviously when I came across Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Liar, I was intrigued and ready to pay homage to the 90's nude.

This is my second addition to the Revolution Lipstick family (see my favorite shade reviewed here), and I have no quams with the formulation. As with the shade Turn On, the lipstick is creamy, super pigmented and long wearing without drying out the lips. It's comfortable lippy that feels hydrating on the lips without feeling heavy. The color is described as "pink brown" but I think that the lipstick has more of a deep rosy brown.

My hesitation lies in that it is very brown and so pigmented that if it were applied heavily on the lips, it may border on overkill. It is so opaque in color that your natural lip color will not come through, so air on the side of caution if applying a heavy amount. As a fair skinned girl, I find that a light application of Urban Decay Liar results in a more natural, pretty look. Another slight issue I have with the color is that it's hard to find a blush color that jives well with it. Pink toned blushes clash with the lipstick while warm toned colors don't look quite right either. After much experimentation, I find that wearing just bronzer to warm up the skin and no blush looks best on my fair complexion.

Basically I love the lipstick formula but the color is one that has taken getting used to. I definitely love wearing this 90's nude with a very natural makeup look. Brown toned lippies are hot right now and it's a trend that has really grown on me. I think this would look stunning on brunettes and darker complexions but light skin tones can wear it too.

Would you try the 90's browny-nude lip trend?

Friday, 8 August 2014

Help! I'm a MAC Noob

As much as I love makeup and buying good quality products, I am completely out of the loop when it comes to MAC Cosmetics. From what I can gather, most people get addicted to makeup usually by dabbling in the world of MAC as a teenager. I currently own two items from the brand. One being the oldest makeup bit in my collection, my beloved MAC Mystery eyeshadow that's a whopping 9 years old (is that gross?). The second item being a new member to my lipstick collection, MAC Ravishing lipstick- a retro peach lippie. I personally find the creme sheen formula a little drying so I would be interested in more moisturizing formulas, I've heard good things about the lustre formula in terms of a more hydrating option. As there is no MAC store in my province, I'm looking for some recommendations for the best products so I can place my online order. In this scenario, I am the noob and am looking for your help in picking out the best MAC products!

Here are some things I've considered purchasing:
- the infamous MAC 217 eyeshadow brush 
- more eyeshadows (recommendations please!)
- cream blush (I haven't heard much about these) 
- moisturizing lipstick 

I'm open to suggestions and hoping you lovely readers can help a fellow makeup addict out! What are your must-have MAC products? I need your help :)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Vintage Beauty in the Modern Age: Channeling Marilyn

First off, I don't resemble Marilyn Monroe and the only common feature we share is the blonde, otherwise we have very different features. Secondly, I'm an Audrey Hepburn girl through and through and much prefer her fifties glamour look over Marilyn's. Just getting that straight. Today I decided to play with some makeup and create my own Marilyn Monroe look that's a little less heavy and a little more modern. It was fun to make myself up as a vintage film star and well as try out my shaky liquid liner skills.

Marilyn Monroe is possibly one of the most iconic women of this century, know for having a killer signature look that many have tried to duplicate over the years. After doing some research, I learned that Marilyn's makeup artist literally took up to three hours to do her makeup, carefully sculpting and perfecting her face to make her into a complete knock-out. Apparently Marilyn always said that if she died before her makeup artist, she wanted him to do her makeup at her funeral... which he actually did do. Marilyn's look was very done up and dramatic, putting huge emphasis on those juicy red lips (she was rumored to wear up to 5 layers of lipstick at one time). Marilyn was ahead of her time in knowing all of the beauty secrets that we often use today, but perhaps not all at once as she did. Marilyn's face was contoured and highlighted much in the same way as Kim Kardashian. She wore a dark lip liner and a lighter lipstick to make her lips look much fuller. In order to achieve her dreamy eyes she wore a half set of lashes to draw attention to the outer corners and give her those sexy "bedroom" eyes.

Here are the main features of my makeup look that's a more natural take on the iconic Marilyn movie star look. I will include a full list of products below:

Marilyn always had super glowy but completely perfected skin. For a dewy base, I used an illuminating primer underneath a foundation that wasn't heavy but photographed well. I attempted to contour my face into the heart shape that Marilyn had using a matte bronzer. I kept the cheeks natural with a rosey peach blush. A highlighting concealer and shimmery eyeshadow was used on the high points of the face (forehead, top of cheekbones, bridge of nose, cupid's bow).

Products Used: L'Oreal Magic Lumi Primer, Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation, Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer, Nars Translucent Crystal Setting Powder, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, Rimmel Stay Blushed Liquid Cheek Tint in Sunkissed Cherry, Urban Decay Virgin Eyeshadow.

Although Marilyn was rumoured to have worn shimmery colors on the lids to draw attention to her eyes, I chose a matte eyeshadow look. I used a matte cream color over the lid and a matte light brown in the crease and outer V. The liquid liner was kept very thin across the lashline with a subtle flick at the end to elongate the eyes. My eyes are quite round so it is challenging to make them look cat-like and dreamy like Marilyn's. Mascara was concentrated to the out corner of the lashes to make the lashes look fluttery.

Products Used: Urban Decay Naked Palette (Virgin, Sin, Naked & Buck), Wet n Wild Brulee Eyeshadow, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof  Liquid Liner in Black, L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara. 

To make my lips appear much larger than they are, I used Marilyn's trick of over-drawing the lips with a liner before applying lipstick. I chose two shades of red in order to apply a lighter color just in the center of the lips to make them appear bigger again. Red gloss was added just in the center to create the illusion of a juicy scarlet pout. To keep the lines clean, I used the highlighting concealer around the perimeter of my lips to make them look more perfected.

Products Used: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick in 01, Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 110, Essence Lip Liner in 04 Honey Bun, NYX Lip Liner in Hot Red, Nars Larger than Life Lip Gloss in Hollywoodlawn. 

So that's my rendition of a modern Marilyn look. I tried to used a mix of higher end products as well as more affordable options. I think it's fun to play with makeup and step out of our comfort zone every now and then. What do you think of the sexy silverscreen siren look?

Thanks for reading.