I am not a brand-whore. Seriously. So no, I do not use all MAC errrythang in my kit. But, I do absolutely love some of their blushes. I find the pigment is great, they are quite smooth and not chalky, … Continue reading
Enter the Contest HERE! Beauty By Jemz is giving away a fabulous prize full of goodies from MAC Cosmetics! The prize is valued at $113.00 and contains: “Whisper of Gilt” Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($34) from the Limited Edition Holiday 2012 … Continue reading
I love a good red. Wine or lipstick. When you wear a great red lipstick that really flatters you, it makes you feel über glam and brings out that inner sex kitten just a little more than usual…. atleast for me! … Continue reading
I recently received some product from a home-grown company, owned by Charlotte Lang, called Lang Lang Cosmetics. She was kind and gracious enough to send me 5 lipstick shades and 4 loose eyeshadow powders to review for my lovely beauty … Continue reading
I’ve been seeing a lot of products lately that seem to be dupes for other high(er)-end items out in the makeup world. And sometimes dupes are fabulous, really amazing, twin-like items. So my goal in this dare-to-compare blog is to … Continue reading
I do lots, and I mean LOTS of photoshoots for models and commercial clients where the #1 look I end up doing is creating a, NOT NUDE, but a “natural” lip tone. This also goes for a fair number of … Continue reading
There’s nothing better than the Fed Ex man buzzing at 8:20am to give you a box of makeup goodies. Honestly, he could show up at 4:37am, and I would still be elated. Yay for makeup goodies!!! I Must say… Make … Continue reading
During Yaby Cosmetics‘s pop-up shop in Toronto in August, I picked up the “Natural Finish Liquid Foundation” among other things. I actually ended up using it that very same day on a photoshoot I did for a beauty editorial (seen here).
I purchased 6 shades and felt that was enough to cover any skin tone appropriately with a bit of custom mixing.
My daughter was hanging around and dying to ‘help me’ so I let her use her arm for the swatches. I think some “Hello Kitty” character may be seen in the background, not to mention her very tiny 5 year old arm was a bit tougher to swatch then I’d thought…
So the product…
I noticed that the texture is very light and the consistency is similar to a tinted moisturizer. The product is oil-free, which is likely for the best since I think it suits younger skin types best and it has a cyclomethicone base, thereby making it a great option for those with sensitive, acne prone or very oily skin types.
The product is not overly pigmented (no caking) and provides great very-light to slightly moderate coverage. It needs concealer to really even things out and provides a very nice, light coverage to those with nearly perfect skin or those needing only minimal spot coverage. It layers well but cannot be built up to a full coverage foundation.
It photographs very well and allows the skin texture to show through nicely. I also liked how the tones are very closely matched to real skin tones. The clear tubes also makes it easy to spot and match a shade in a pinch. I also liked the packaging and it’s travel and kit-friendly size. That being said, I noticed some of my tubes are half empty after about 6 uses. However, I must note the cost-effectiveness of the product as it retails for $13.55 and pros can sign up for the discount program for 20% off, bringing your price down to $10.85 (for 0.272 oz of product).
I would not apply this with a sponge and would go the foundation & stippling brush route to avoid the sponge soaking up all the product. It also warms nicely and applies well with fingers. I also used this foundation on one of my brides recently (who had very good skin). I used my Lise Watier concealer wheel to spot conceal and then used a mixture of shades “caramel” and “custard” to give her a custom match. You can see her lovely face here.
I probably wouldn’t use this as a personal use foundation since the coverage cannot be built up to full, and some days you just need that extra ‘oomph!’ BUT I would stock this item in my kit as it is not expensive to keep as a good, light coverage option with great packaging and that is highly photographic and mimics skin texture very well. I’d love to see a full-coverage liquid foundation Yaby!
Is there a product you’d like me to review? Want to see if an item lives up to the hype? Drop me a line!
When E.L.F launched their new HD blushes, I was the first in line to make my order! But I noticed that since these new HD blushes were part of the “Studio” line, I could use my handy coupon code for … Continue reading
CanPar paid me a visit today and brought me some special FACE atelier goodies! I’m stoked!
FACE atelier Ultra Foundation is one of my absolute favourite liquid foundations. It gives amazing medium to full coverage, is buildable, and has a silicone base so you can save time and skip the priming step! To top it off… it’s a Canadian company! And I sure do love a homegrown product, especially one as amazing as this!
I recently used some FACE atelier products in 2 recent beauty editorials I had published (view MASK here or view Flight & Fury here). The shots and themes were COMPLETELY different from each other, but the thing is that this line is much more versatile than people and artists sometimes think. I use it on brides & clients, in video & photoshoots. Mature skin? No worries, this silky formula ‘floats’ atop the skin and doesn’t exaggerate fine lines by settling in wrinkles. Oily skin? get the Ultra Matte spray and mist a little before & after application to keep yourself shine-free. Dull skin? this stuff leaves a natural dewy look, just be sure to not powder on the whole face and just in the T-zone where needed.
Best of all….. FACE atelier was so kind as to hook me up with some professional gratis with my favourite items from their line!
I got the Ultra Foundation in 0-, 2, 4, 6, 8, 0+ a.k.a. 10, and 12 and the Ultra Matte spray. Covers every skin tone! And with 0- and 0+ you can customize the colour best for you (or your client). Enjoy the pics and the swatches!
Thanks again FACE atelier!
Well… I started this beauty blog not so long ago… in fact it’s been just shy of 7 months now. It really was because I sincerely have too much to say. Seriously. Get me started on makeup, hair products, skin care regiments or skin conditions and I could go on for hours. Somehow I was hoping that somewhere, someone, might actually enjoy this. So, here we are nearly 7 months later and low and behold…
Much to my surprise, I have had a TON of supporters, often from people and places I never would have even imagined wanting to support what I do and how I do it. There have been beauty lovers, makeup mavens, pros, brides, models, consumers, you name it… and in all of that support I’ve just realized there have been over 5,000 visits from 66 countries (and counting) worldwide.
Today, I am celebrating.
You guys are absolutely amazing.
Thank you to those who visit the blog, comment your thoughts and share your opinions with me and the other readers. Thank you to the Facebook followers, Twitterers, and tumblrs who are “liking” and sharing my posts and sending them through the social sphere to all your friends and fellow beauty junkies. Thanks to the gals and guys who have written to me & told me ‘How Noxzema Saved THEIR Cheeks’ too or how they tamed their frizzies with “Better than Mixed Chicks? Say What?!”. And thank you to the fellow young people who tell me I inspire them creatively or am a great role model for speaking my mind (yeesh those are bold statements!).
I hope I can continue to deliver my makeup musings that (hopefully) all 5,000+ of you have been enjoying thus far. And that I can inspire others to try new things & speak their minds too. I think we can all strive to make the world prettier with whatever tools we have, even if it’s just one brushstroke at a time.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all ❤ .
Attention bargain beauty lovers….
Z-Palette is having a sale on their small palettes! 20% off the regular price of $14.00 starting at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! And I have been eyeing up those hot-pink minis since that new colour launched!
Don’t forget to pick up your magnetic stickers for those non-magnetized items!
e.l.f. Cosmetics Has JUST launched their line of HD blushes! Look a little similar to the Make Up For Ever kind? They definitely look similar, but they are only a FRACTION of the price at $3.00 a pop! I’ve just … Continue reading
Well, it’s bridal season and my hands have been quite busy. Often too busy to post 😦
But in the midst of peak wedding season, I discovered a brand new favourite thing. Best of all, it is the most INEXPENSIVE favourite thing EVER!
I recently did a HUGE (and huge is putting it mildly) E.L.F. makeup haul (See haul here: https://beautybyjemz.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/my-e-l-f-makeup-haul) . In my haul, I purchase 2 ‘flat-head’ powder brushes. And truthfully, I really don’t know why. I thought they looked interesting. And since I ordered during the 50% off sale, they were only $1.50 each.
Little did I know, these brushes were about to become my new soul mates.
Holy smokes! I can’t even describe how much these brushes saved my life.
I am a blush lover. Now, this doesn’t mean I slab it on and give myself RuPaul cheeks. No. But I have a blush process that I use on myself and clients to give a really ‘lit from within’ and ‘natural flush’ type look. I often layer my powder blush with my NARS illuminators or with my MAC skinfinish powder but I prefer to not use powder blushes on their own because I find it always needs help to be long-lasting. So, I am a BIG believer in cream blush. I looooooove the way they melt into the skin and give that warm natural flush. I usually mix my cream blush on a palette to warm the cream and mix my NARS illuminator with it (usually Orgasm) and then apply. The application part is the tricky part. You need a brush that will not look streaky. You also want to be able to ‘push’ the product into the skin and make sure it melds with the foundation well. And you want to layer it on slowly and with a light touch so that you can make sure it’s even and lasts long, instead of giving yourself streaky 80’s cheeks.
Now this brush is the absolute PERFECT tool for this. It’s like it was DESIGNED with cream blush in mind. Forget your stippling brush, forget your beauty blender, and forget using your fingers. If you like cream blush, you NEED this brush in your life.
It allows for the perfect control in layering and blending. The flat surface picks up and distributes an even colouring on the face. And since you can push the colour into the skin instead of swiping it on, it gives a much more natural and blended appearance.
I only bought 2, and although I thought of sticking both in my kit I just had to say no. No, Jem. Enough is enough. One has to be for me. And I don’t feel selfish, in fact, I feel rather complete. My NARS Cactus Flower blush has never looked so good!
Want it? get it here! http://www.eyeslipsface.com/studio/tools/single-brushes/powder_brush#
So… I made an order through ELF makeup on July 10th during their 50% off site wide sale… Today is August 3rd and I JUST got my order. Literally, the postman just left. I am pretty unimpressed about the shipping. I mean, Yes, I am in Canada. BUT I’m also ONLY in Canada, and Toronto at that. It’s not a barren igloo-filled land up here. And our post is quite efficient. So why on Earth did I have to wait 3.5 weeks for my parcel when Camera Ready Cosmetics, in California, can get my order to me in less than 7 business days?! Ok. End rant. I’m not impressed with their shipping, but I know I’ll love what came in the box. And so will you!
Here’s what I got!
I got (left to right):
20 powder brushes
20 travel mirrors
10 “Butternut” eyeshadow quads (for my fair skinned brides)
10 “Luxe” eyeshadow quads (for my medium- dark skinned brides)
Second row, starting left again:
2 flat head powder brushes
1 “Eco tools” dupe foundation brush
2 Synthetic hair foundation brushes
2 concealer brushes
1 “Luminance” bronzer (hilighter)
1 “Matte Bronze” deep bronzer
5 “Brownie Points” Liquid lipstick (light brown)
5 “Strawberry” Liquid lipstick (pink)
5 “Maple Sugar” Liquid lipstick (nude)
5 “Ruby Slippers” Liquid lipstick (soft red)
5 “Baby Lips” Liquid lipstick (pink nude)
5 “Ruby Kiss” Plumping Lip Glaze (fiery bright red)
5 “Fuchsia Fanatic” Plumping Lip Glaze (hot-pink/fuchsia bright pink)
I bought the few individual brushes & bronzers for my kit, but I bought everything else for my bridal beauty bags that I gift/sell to my wedding clients (brides or bridesmaids usually) for them to give themselves touch-ups at their event. Bridal gift bags are a great addition to bridal makeup services and my brides always thank me after their big day!
I am super excited at all the items I got and I got shades I know are popular, neutral and brights, that will flatter all my multi-ethnic clientele.
The only thing I am not excited about is that I ordered an Angled blush brush and a Stippling brush which did not come with my order. But I checked online and it’s still in stock. And I checked my Paypal and they still charged me for them… I’ve contacted their CS by email and we’ll see what happens. I’m disappointed in their oversight, but I’ve been 3.5 weeks worth of patient for my order, so I’m sure a few more days waiting on their email rectifying their mistake, is something I can wait be patient enough to wait on for a few more days.
All in all, I am very happy I finally got my order. And even happier that I took advantage of their 50% off sitewide sale! All of these items… in total… cost just $56. With the extra cost of shipping to Canada, it still only cost me about $70 total. I’m happy, but my bank account is ecstatic.
I got a sample of the new “PHOTO FINISH HYDRATING UNDER EYE PRIMER” by Smashbox in my last purchase from the Sephora store and was super eager to try it, especially since it’s not yet available to purchase in stores (and because it feels amazing to be in on the exclusive new thing!).
I gave it a try last Saturday when I was going out for several hours to see how it held up and if it gave any improvements to the wear of my makeup. Now since the sample sized tube didn’t come with instructions, I just used my common sense in applying it. I applied my primer all over the face, then this under eye primer, then my foundation (Nars Sheer Glow in Cadiz is my current go-to), then my concealer (Bobbi Brown concealer/corrector in Dark Peach) which is really just a warm corrector for my dark circles and not a concealer for acne/marks etc. since I have none (at the moment). I applied my liquid bronzer and cream blush, filled my brows, and added my eyeliner and mascara. Sounds like a lot, but I use each item sparingly and blend to hell and back. In 10 minutes I was out the door at 3pm.
I got home at about 12am. After 9 hours, my concealer usually fades & creases a wee bit. I also notice that my bottom lid eyeliner tends to smudge a tiny bit (even when I use my UDPP on the lower lid) even when using my favourite waterproof eyeliner (Urban Decay’s “Perversion”). But, this time, my concealer and eyeliner were both PERFECTLY in tact!
Needless to say, I will be the first in line, calling up Smashbox with my pro order as soon as this stuff hits the Canadian border. It was absolutely fantastic! It moisturized under my eye area without making me look oily or adding too much ‘slip’ to my concealer or eyeliner. It added a very slight reflective property as well, which made the area look brighter and helped combat my dark circles. And it added staying power to my eye makeup.
Nine hours in this warm Canadian summer, walking the streets of Toronto on a Saturday, strolling through Dundas square, shopping at Eaton Centre and hitting up Revival for a performance and then heading to a sushi bar for a bite before heading home… and my under eye makeup not only held up, but looked flawless when I got in just after midnight. This product has me sold. And even though I’ll be shopping with a pro discount, I still (and it is sooo hard for me to say this most of the time)… I still would purchase this product at full price. Even though it’s set to be $29 US, (so you just know the CAD price on this is going to be something silly like $35 a tube) you need just the tiniest dab under each eye and so 1 tube will probably last 6 months for the average person’s daily wear and probably a year for someone like me who doesn’t often wear a full face. You can also swing my your local Sephora and see if you can get a sample tube of this stuff with your purchase, then you can try it out for yourself!
It almost burns me that this product works as well as it does and is pretty hefty for the price but apparently pain is beauty, so if your pockets are hurting then this must be making you look flawless indeed.
I love makeup, I truly do. But I hate the fact that because I have a mild makeup shopping problem, my whole bathroom suffers. Not to mention that the more product I have, means the more heavy my kit is when schlepping around town servicing clients. One of the items I love the most in my kit, I tend to often times leave at home. In a box.
It’s ‘pigment pots’. MAC has pigments, Gosh has Gosh pots, Lise Watier has Folies, NYX has pearl powders. They’re all loose pigment eye shadows that come in individual pots or containers. They apply with a sheer pop of highly pigmented colour when dry or give a big burst of concentrated colour when wet or if primed properly. I love using these but I just can’t justify lugging them around. I usually bring my 2 most used colours with me, my close-to nudes, and leave all the rest on my makeup table at home. It’s so sad.
So I finally decided to press my pigments. I had tried this a couple years back but didn’t really like the result. I found my pigment was just too crumbly which led to wasted product & lots of fall-out. So I heard a voice in my head that said to use a lower percentage alcohol & see what happened. And very good things happened.
I’ll start off with what you need:
1: A tool. I used my pro stainless steel double ended spatula. You could use a plastic spatula, teaspoon, cocktail fork, etc or a combination of all of those. You need something to scoop up/out the pigment and mix it.
2: Empty pans. Empty metal pans… I used some old blush ones that I stuck magnetic stickers to the bottom of (to use with my Z palettes), some old square L’oreal eyeshadow pots, some broken 120 palettes pans, and some Yaby empties. It doesn’t matter where they’re from or if you’re recycling old pans or not, just be sure to properly cleanse them and disinfect with alcohol prior to re-use.
3: Rubbing alcohol. I suggest 50%. I had used the 99% pro type rubbing alcohol and it evaporated too quickly which is what I think led the product to it’s crumbly state. The 50% will evaporate more slowly and although it takes longer to set, it will allow the product to set better and form better in the pan.
4: Pigments. Some brands may have difficulty in pressing. I used Makeup Forever, Lise Watier, Gosh, NYX and a cheaper brand called Lanmei that I never heard of until one of my suppliers sent me a ton of them along with an eyelash shipment. All of the above worked really well.
5: baby wipes for clean up of your space, and you (I was a hot mess afterwards) and paper towels should be placed all over your work space.
To Press Your Pigments:
1: Start by filling your empty pan with pigment. A scoop of pigment and a drop of alcohol at a time until the pan is full, and you have a thick paste-like consistency.
2: Mix mix mix.
3: Tap tap tap.
4: Wait until dry.
5: You might choose to press them (literally) with a penny/quarter/dime depending on the size of your pan. I chose to press a few, but not the larger ones. In pressing, you can wrap a tissue around your money and press it flatly into the pan of pigment. You can also choose to wrap a patterned cloth around your coin and press in a fancy schmancy design. I skipped all that. After 3 hours of mixing pigments, I was not feeling fancy or schmancy.
6: Enjoy the fruit of your labour.
I took some photos to show what I managed to do.
I MAJORLY downsized my pots of pigments into several flat pans:
Lastly, I swatched my Lise Watier Folie D’Or from the pot and from the pressed pigment pan after it was dry to test for any colour change at all and I could see none. The only thing it seemed that happened was the colour from the pressed pan seemed more pigmented and would require a light handed application if I wanted it to appear very sheer.
All in all, I am very happy I finally pressed my pigment pots! Now I can carry around 21 pots of colour in just 1 Z-Palette, and actually, there’s room for a few more pans… hmmm….
A couple months ago, I saw a video ad somewhere (can’t recall where) for a new hair styling product by Goody. They were called “Spin Pins” and have this double helix type shape to twist into hair during up-do’s to hold hair securely in place. The hair artist demonstrating them said that one of these bad boys replaces the equivalent of 20 (twenty?!?!) traditional bobby pins. I was sold.
I spotted them in Walmart for about $7 at that time, although now the current price is $5. There are 2 colours in them, a burnished silver type colour for light hair & a dark brown for… You guessed it. It also came in 2 package variations, 1 with 2 large pins or 1 with 3 small pins.
I picked up the pack of dark brown small Spin Pins from Goody & tried them out. They were great! They are super sturdy & strong, easy to use & blend well to hair. But, I wish I had bought the long ones because even for mid-length hair like my own, I think nearly everyone would do best with the longer length. They don’t replace 20 pins like the ad-artist said but they replace about 5-6 which still makes it a fantastic & worthwhile hair product. This was ALMOST about to be my new favourite thing. Almost.
Then I dropped in to my local Ardene store a couple weeks ago & saw, none other than the most fabulous dupe: Twirl Pins. Ardene had these in packs of 4 long ones in either black or burnished silver at $3.50/pack or 5 packs for $10. Can’t beat that! On top of it, they also had some fabulous decorated ones with either pearls or Gemstones (like in my photo) with the long length & in packs of 2 for $3.50/pack or 5 packs for $10. Perfect for bridal hair!
I raided all their racks & purchased every pack. And I feel a little naughty for taking them all. But I also feel quite pleased with myself for finding this great dupe!
If you do bridal or prom hair or have your own big event coming up, be sure to get a few of these for your hair & you won’t have any worries about hair flubs during your event!
Have you tried these yet? Tell me about your experience!
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.
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!
One of my absolute top favourite eyeliner pencils is from Urban Decay, the colour is their matte blackest black called “Perversion”. This is a miracle eyeliner pencil with it’s super waterproofness and it’s gentle glide on & ultra pigmented formula. I fell in love with this stick ages ago but could only find it in their little travel size/trial size/gift pack things. Super disappointing since it just wasn’t worth it to get all the extra colours I knew I just wouldn’t use. But NOW you can get it in FULL SIZE!!! I feel like this was done especially for me because the last time (before Christmas) that I was in Sephora looking for it (more like praying it would magically be in full size this time) I was nearly on my hands and knees begging the associate to tell me why it had gone and if my favourite colour would ever return. I might have also offered to sell my soul for just one stick. It was possibly quite a scene. So I’ll take this token of good will by Urban Decay to unleash my favourite colour in a full sized stick and I’ll repay them by stocking up on half a dozen. $23 each in Sephora stores in Canada. Thank You Urban Decay and the Very Empathetic Sephora Sales Associate!
Order it online too: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P133707