Mascara DEAL ALERT!

I totally spazzed on mentioning this one! Sorry folks!

Shoppers Drug Mart has the L’oreal False Fibre lashes mascara on sale for $6.99, and today is the last day for the sale.

L’oreal has an online printable coupon for this mascara right now for $3 off!Here: http://www.lorealparis.ca/coupons.aspx

I’ve tried it and I love it! Not for clients but for self-use since the brush is part of what makes it great and it’s not that fab with disposable mascara wands for client use.

My fave one: L’Oreal Voluminous False Fibre Lashes Mascara in Hydrofuge, Blackest Black.

Happy shopping!

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The Waxing Lady

Brazilian wax? Anywhere. Eyebrows? One lady, ever, only.

I used to have this fabulous waxing lady. I call her the waxing lady, but really she does this fabulous 4 step process. First she combs and trims, next she waxes, after that she threads and lastly she plucks you into perfection. I loved this woman. Her name is Tammy.

I lost Tammy when I moved. She used to be a walk away from my old apartment, like 5 minutes. Now, she is an hour long commute away. At first I told myself that it was too far. Which it was. And still is. To travel an hour there and an hour back for a process that takes 15 minutes? Ludicrous right? Wrong.

Since moving, I have entrusted my brows to a few different local ladies. They have threaded me too thin, or rounded out my lovely arch, or given me wax burns. I would show them a photo of my eyebrows the way I liked them done (yes, I keep eyebrow photos in my iPhone for this purpose) and they would always agree to give me my brows just like they were featured in my photo. But never did it happen. Ever. I felt defeated. I moved nearly 3 years ago, and in all this time, I still have not been able to find a waxing lady who could do me like Tammy did.

2 days ago, I was traveling across the city and I figured it was easier to go 30 minutes out of my way to see her. I needed a brow job like nobody’s business. I was looking like a Sasquatch. So I went, and I felt like slapping myself for thinking I could replace her. She is amazing. Tammy with the magic technique. I will never try to replace her again. It feels so good to enjoy my eyebrows this much, again. Like a prodigal child or long lost love returning home… that’s how I felt after seeing Tammy.

Now if only I could get her to relocate that salon of hers…

Oh Dear… I have another FAVOURITE Thing!

So about 2 weeks ago, I was in my local Walmart picking up some new nail polish colours for summer and I happened to turn around and spot, none other, than a BRAND NEW item!

So then I bent down to grab it… the new Ardell Double Up eyelashes. And there was ONE. Here’s the thing… these lashes came out in February, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my hot little hands on any because every time I peruse the eyelash racks in the drugstore or Walmart, they are totally and completely sold out. Barren hooks. Nothing left but those promising little cards that tell you which item is ‘supposed’ to be stocked there but isn’t, just to leave you feeling sad.

But not today… Today I got lucky. I grabbed this last pair and headed for the cash. I got home… took them out and realized, these are just like those damn “Katy Perry” inspired lashes that are everywhere right now but are really well priced! $5 later, you have this pair of mega-glam, ultra-sexy, super-lash eyelashes.

I bought mine in style #203 (Black) which are full, luscious, lengthy and flirty. Amazing for that “Adele” or “Christina Hendrick’s” look; the 1950’s sex kitten goddess look. Pair these with the Duo black waterproof eyelash glue, some nude eyeshadow shimmer and a coat of winged-out waterproof eyeliner and you’ve just brought the sexy back, no JT required.

I can’t seem to get my hands on any more at the moment but to see all the different styles and numbers, you can see this video here (just watch the beginning… or the end if you need to know how to put on falsies): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bJ2p3z5iwc

You can also order online if you like. There’s a great site which has them too! here: http://www.ballbeauty.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=ardell AND they ship for super cheap to Toronto!

P.s. After reviewing ALL the new “Double Up” Styles from Ardell…. #203 is still my fave.

Now if only Walmart and Ardell would quit teasing me and just overstock the shelves already! So if you get your hands on any… stock up! Especially on #203. Universally flattering. I promise. Try them! They are fabulous!

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” Dr. Seuss

My NEW Favourite Thing!

I have so many favourite things!

One thing of which I recently discovered….

I am currently in love with the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. In love.
It happened when, one day, I was in Sephora whoring up the skincare aisles and drooling over new product goodies, when I saw the Clinique D.D. Moisturizer on the shelves beside some Dr. Perricone moisturizer (which was 4x the price of the Clinique, by the way) and I remembered I have been meaning to try this cult-fave I have heard alot, and yet not enough, about.

So I had one of the girls make me a sample… Yes, of course I got a sample! I rarely buy a full size anything from anywhere, especially if it’s going on my face. You can never tell how something reacts to your skin when you’re trying it on in a store with dim lights and possibly other built up dirt or bacteria on your skin from the whole day prior. So, I take my half dozen sample pots home (yes, half a dozen. They were all different products, I promise). And low and behold, I end up at the MAC warehouse sale in Toronto 2 days later, before I had a chance to try the Clinique D.D. Moisturizer. Boo.

I grab 1. Only 1. I figured I may as well, seeing as it was $4 for the 1.7oz bottle which retails in the store currently for $16.

Well, I suck. I should have grabbed more. Way more. Like… all of them, kind of more.

I tried the Clinique D.D. Moisturizer when I got home (from my sample pot, so I could give away the full size to someone else if I didn’t like it). And I fell in love. It was this amazing thing that felt like egg yolks and whipped cream mixed together on my finger tips. I smoothed it over my face and it felt like I put on a moisturizing water-based gel product that literally disappeared on contact (I DID NOT try the gel version, I tried the normal version, just to clarify!).

6 days later, my Sephora sample is done and I have opened my MAC sale bottle of the Clinique stuff. I committed. Because I’m in love.

I have skin that is combination… I have dryness around the mouth and chin, oiliness in the T-zone and normal skin on the cheeks and neck. This moisturizer managed to effectively moisturizer ALL areas of my skin. I feel like it’s a wicked cure… something sinful maybe? Because I feel like skincare is never supposed to feel this good… and be so inexpensive! Holy mother… the 4.2oz bottle is $31 in Sephora stores in Canada… That would last me 6 months. It’s drugstore price!!!! Is anyone else’s heart jumping out of their chest like mine is right now???

So I fell in love. It is dramatically different, just like the name: in texture, quality, and price. Being in love like this feels like pure devine happiness. Everyone should try it. Be a sample whore… get some and try it for free. Experience a love like this.

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” Dr. Seuss

BB Cream Phenomenon… Are They Right For You?

So I’ve been following the hype with regard to the new BB creams & I’ve tried out a few of them so far and quite frankly, there is only 1 product I would recommend. First I’ll explain what they’re all about and why they have caught like fire in the beauty industry at the moment.

BB Creams, also known as “Blemish Balm” or “Beauty Balm” more predominantly in North America, were an invention of the 1970s by a German dermatologist to aid in the recovery of skin after skin peels and facial laser treatments. They began gaining popularity in Asia, particularly with Korean actresses who confessed BBs as their beauty secret and they then became the ‘must have’ beauty accessory everyone was clamoring after. Now in Asia, the qualities of BBs are different then the way they are generally developed for the North American market. The purpose is that BBs are a combination product that help to hydrate/protect (sunscreen)/ anti-age/perfect discolourations/add luminosity or a radiant glow/prime skin/control oil/and more…. but in Asia they are also used to whiten the skin and often contain skin whitening/bleaching and lightening ingredients. In North American formulations, not so much.

There are a few brands that have already launched in Canada and a few more still coming, and so far, I have tried the most popular brands, all of which have a few downfalls for me, particularly as a woman of colour. Please keep this “woman of colour” tidbit in mind when reading my reviews.

On the Canucks BB Cream: Marcelle brand…
With the Marcelle brand, there are 2 shades: light to medium and medium to dark. Both shades had yellow undertones with a slight grey cast. I applied the medium to dark (in which case, I am a medium with slight peach and red undertones) it was much too light and gave what makeup artists dreadingly call “whiteface”. The coverage was moderate, which made it more beneficial as an all in one product, but it did not provide coverage that could replace your traditional foundation. I also felt it was not highly moisturizing and would recommend it for normal skin only and would suggest using a regular moisturizer prior to this if you have dry skin or using an oil free powder on top of this if you have oily skin. This one also does not contain sunscreen (yet, but they say they’re working on a version with SPF) but it does contain Titanium dioxide and Mica, which for me, are both no-nos to any pros who want to use this as a base on a photoshoot due to possible bounce-back/whiteface. Costs about $23 in Shoppers Drug Mart stores or order it online. If you are quite fair and not using it in any kind of photography or film, then this could be an option for replacing your tinted moisturizer or light coverage foundation.

On the Big Drugstore Contender: Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream…

There are 2 shades here also, light to medium and medium to dark. I swatched both shades and the light/medium had peachy undertones while the medium/dark looked like… no better way to put it… mud. I wasn’t impressed with the swatches. Needless to say, I tried out my shade (medium/dark) and I looked a bit grey. Not cool. This also was very thick in consistency meanwhile, very sheer with coverage and pigment quality is very low. This works like a tinted moisturizer but I must say, it is not made for oily skin at all. It really acted like a mask on my face and I looked oilier than usual in less than 2 hours, which is quite a feat for me seeing that I have combination skin with only slight oiliness to the T-zone only. I must also add, that although it acts like a tinted moisturizer, it didn’t moisturize my dry areas very well (like my chin or around the mouth) nor did it provide me with the equivalent coverage of other tinted moisturizers on the market. It’s under $20 at drugstores and for that price, I think you’re better off simply adding a few drops of your favourite foundation to your daily high-SPF moisturizer and calling it a day. And again, SPF 15 makes this a no-go for me on any pro set or in studio.

On the Professional Grade BB Cream: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream…

Smashbox is the only company who has remembered that women come in all different colours of the rainbow and for this, I applaud them. Their line of BBs comes in 5 different shades: fair, light, light/medium, medium, and dark. When I went to Sephora to give these a go, they were all gone and I had to swatch them in store. The sales girl was also kind enough to give me a sample pot of the 3 darkest shades so I could try each one at home and come back to purchase seeing as they had no product to purchase that day anyhow. The result… the medium shade was perfect for my skin tone. It didn’t give me any weird undertones and was a very smooth product to apply. The coverage was about medium, so a bit more coverage than what a tinted moisturizer would do and with a light application of my Smashbox Halo powder (also in medium) I felt I had sufficient day time coverage without a heavily made-up look. This product actually acted quite well as a base for my regular foundation (Nars sheer glow is my regular guy) and gave me beyond perfect coverage when layering my foundation on top. It also didn’t add any extra oil to my skin but would not be suitable for a person with dry skin unless they were to use their regular (heavy) moisturizer underneath it. And kudos to Smashbox, their formulation contains an SPF of 35 while containing Titanium dioxide of only 1%. This is the only product I can recommend to women of colour and to pro makeup artists wanting to use a BB cream in a pro environment as a base or for light coverage. I *finally* didn’t get a grey tone or any whiteface reaction. AND I would also like to say that I really appreciate that my concealor, BB cream and powder from Smashbox all fell consistently in the “medium” category because for a regular (non-pro makeup artist) consumer, this would make for major shopping ease and much less confusion with colour matching. However…. I can’t really recommend this product due to, not performance, but price. I really enjoyed the product, however it’s much too expensive at $50 a pop here in Canada. Now if you’re someone who needs full coverage, an additional moisturizer (for dry skin) and a different specialty primer (to cover redness, or to mattify oiliness, etc) then this product is only going to add to your morning routine while putting a $50 dent in your makeup budget every month or 2. Not worth the fuss or muss. BUT, if you have great skin, don’t need much coverage, and do not have dry skin, I highly recommend it for you as a replacement product for your primer, foundation and sunscreen. If it truly replaces a few of your bathroom cabinet items, then by all means this is your guy and would be well worth it, even at $50.

Have you tried any BB Creams? What did you think? Let me know!

MAC/Estee Lauder Sale HAUL!

This gallery contains 20 photos.

My Trip to the MAC/Estee Lauder Sale… And all the amazing stuff I got! 😀 Pic 1: All Bumble and bumble hair stuff… Straight styling product (50ml), Straight Shampoo (60ml), Creme de Coco conditioner (50ml) and Creme de Coco shampoo … Continue reading

The joy of NEVER depotting

So yesterday I got my Z-palettes in the post, which I ordered from Camera Ready Cosmetics during the 50% sale, for $9.97 each (just under half price).

*As a side note, it was cheaper to order from CRC than from Z-Palette directly, not just because of the sale, but also because shipping to Canada was pretty much double on the Z-Palette website.

So I began depotting. This is where you heat up your terribly heavy plastic packaging that your makeup comes in & melt that sucker down until the glue loosens on the bottom of the eyeshadow/blush & you can take it out easily. There’s loads of YouTube videos on how to do this properly. Some people like the oven method, I find it always melts the packaging before the glue & makes getting the product out super hard. Some people like the lighter/candle method which I quite like for items that come in a palette so you can do each colour individually. And some people like the flat iron method which I quite like for bulky single packaging like a Nars blush or a Revlon eyeshadow. All ways are equally time consuming, some are just more or less messy than others.

Then I arranged my colours in a way that made sense to me: blues with black & whites (my highlight & contour shades), pinks & purples, greens & yellows & oranges, and my earth toned neutral palette of browns, taupes, champagnes, & light shimmers. Aesthetically, I think it gave me a makeupgasm when I saw how lovely everything looked after all that hard work & sweat.

But what really inspired me to write this post was not to talk about depotting… But to talk about the art of NOT depotting. The thought of being able to get away with never depotting makeup again feels almost like a sin, because the thought alone feels so damn good. I hate depotting. It sucks. You get nearly stabbed many times & nearly burned just as many times if not more. So why are we still depotting?

Well, if you’re a drugstore makeup buyer and love your Revlons & L’oreal’s then depotting may be your sport. Or if you’re a makeup snob & love some lovely Nars or Tarina Tarantino $30+ makeup, then depotting could be a good stress release from thinking about how light your wallet feels. But… If you’re either a pro artist or just a consumer with the idea of quality over branding, then let me take you to a place I call, “Never Depot Again Paradise.”

In this Paradise, there exists a multitude of professional grade eyeshadows, blushes, lip colours & powders that have NEVER been potted. You can order them, and they arrive with NO packaging to melt. These products are amazing. And when you measure them gram for gram beside some of the drug store products, you’re often getting 3-6 times more product for less than half the price.

My faves: La Femme. The blushes are AMAZING and the eyeshadows are pretty fabulous too. The size is HUGE and you get tons of product for less than $3. You can purchase La Femme online. Cheapest price I’ve see on their Eyeshadows: http://www.makeupmania.com/products/La-Femme-%252d-Pressed-Eyeshadow-%28Pan-Only%29.html although I find the shipping prices to Canada from CRC make it cheaper to buy here: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/la-femme-eye-shadow-pans-refills-large.html
And the cheapest price I’ve seen on their blushes: http://www.makeupmania.com/products/La-Femme-%252d-Blush-On-Rouge-%28Pan-Only%29.html and ditto to the above so click here if you’re a Canuck: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/la-femme-blush-on-rouge-refills.html

My second favourite is the Ben Nye. The eyeshadows rate a little bit higher than the La Femme because the pigment is a bit stronger, but the blushes are just as nice as La Femme’s are but you’ll get a colour differentiation here. Eyeshadows: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/ben-nye-eyeshadow-refills.html and their blushes: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/ben-nye-powder-cheek-rouge-refill.html

Now you can stick these guys into your Z-Palette or pro palette easily and never worry about depotting OR the extra cost you’re paying for all the unnecessary packaging. And this is the beauty of using a Z-Palette to organize your makeup while never depotting a piece of eyeshadow ever again.

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Is More Makeup Product any Better or Cheaper?

I stumbled on a post from a renowned Makeup Artist that many of us know of and his post absolutely shook me to my core. This was months ago and ever since, I’m paying even closer attention than I was before whenever I’m shopping or looking for a new makeup item to add to my kit. The argument of quantity vs. quality vs. price has been a big one for makeup artists and many of us have learned this lesson the hard way, by buying loads of expensive and unnecessary stuff, but I hope that in sharing his post and sprinkling a little of my wisdom on top, I can save new and old makeup artists some makeup dollars and maybe get some regular consumers to start looking at purchasing some new and worthy products.

In the below from KJ Bennett’s blog, he measures out the price per gram of some of the most popular eyeshadows that are all considered “PROFESSIONAL GRADE” (minus the Coastal Scents) and we get to see which ones offer us the most bang for our buck.

It’s VERY important to note the gram weight vs price of each individual pan. These refill pans look alike due to their diameter, but some are deeper and contain more product.

I’m listing from the lowest gram weight to the highest in a standard 1.5″ diameter eyeshadow pan.

Coastal Scents “Hot Pots” Refill Eyeshadow – 1.3 grams – $4.49 ($3.45 per gram)

MUFE Professional Single Refill Eyeshadow – 1.75 grams – $13.00 / $7.80 after 40% pro discount ($4.46 per gram after discount)

Kryolan Professional Single Refill Eyeshadow – 2.5 grams – $4.99 ($2.00 per gram)

Ben Nye Professional Single Refill Eyeshadow – 3.5 grams – $6.00 ($1.71 per gram)

Graftobian Professional Single Refill Eyeshadow – 5.1 grams – $9.99 ($1.96 per gram)

La Femme Professional Single Refill Eyeshadow – 5.5 grams – $2.99 ($0.54 per gram)

I even looked at drugstore makeup and was shocked at the prices! It’s not very affordable at all.

L’Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Matte Eyeshadow Duo (same 1.5″ diameter size split into 2 half moon pans) is $9.99US.

You can purchase TWO full size Kryolan Eyeshadow Refills for $9.98 US

NOTE – I didn’t include the MAC or Inglot refill in the side-by-side list above because they do not use the standard pan size. But here’s the gram weight to price breakdown anyway.

MAC Pro Palette Refill Eyeshadow – 1.5 grams – $11.00 / $6.60 after 40% pro discount ($4.40 per gram after discount)

Inglot Freedom Palette Refill Eyeshadow – 2.7 grams – $5.00 ($1.85 per gram)

Interesting Discovery – Look at the prices per gram …WHAT AN EYE-OPENER! You’ll see that some of the most popular mainstream “Pro” products are quite expensive when broken down per gram. I was actually shocked at some of the prices …even after the discount.

(drum roll please)
The Final Breakdown

BEST BUY – LA FEMME! Their blushes are amazing and at $0.54 per gram, a beginning artist or makeup maven could stock their kit on quite a budget. The pigment is fantastic and works well even on darker skin tones.

Second Place: Ben Nye comes in at $1.71 per gram. And, I can confirm that even though the price is insanely low, the quality and pigment levels in the Ben Nye eyeshadows are equivalent to the most expensive pro shadows.

SPECIAL KUDOS – Inglot Freedom Palette Refills came in second place. The quality of their matte shadows are amazing for the price.

http://kjbennett.com/mega-eyeshadow-palettes-quantity-vs-quality


This was an amazing and heart stopping blog post for me! I’m so glad that someone finally did this and measured it out so that we could see in black and where we should put out makeup money. Thanks KJB!