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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: July 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Inspirational Images: Christina Hendricks for LA Times

Sometimes you come across a picture editorial that leaves you speechless. Such was the case when I saw the LA Times photo spread of Mad Men's Christina Hendrick's. She has is classically beautiful, embraces her curves, and has an incredibly genuine personality. I need to find out who the stylist and makeup artist were for this shoot because it is pure art. Divine. But you know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words so I will just zip it now.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do It Yourself Project: How to De-Tube Your Lipsticks

I love finding easier, cleaner, and more compact ways of storing my makeup, especially when I am travelling. This summer I knew that I would be away for a few months and I wanted a compact way of travelling with a lot of colours. Here is an easy do-it-yourself project that will help you get organized whether at home or while you are jet setting. And one of the benefits-you can Back-to-MAC your empty containers for free goodies!

What You Will Need
1) Containers (vitamin cases or craft storage work best)
2) Rubbing Alcohol
3) Cotton Swabs
4) Small Spatula
5) Labels

From This:
To This:


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Revlon Lipstick, Two Different Complexions

I have been on the hunt for Revlon's Cherries in the Snow lipstick ever since I saw Lollipop26 wearing it in a blog post several months ago. Unfortunately, only the nail polish under the same moniker is available in Canada so I decided to try another Revlon lipstick (my first) since my curiosity had been piqued.

I chose Revlon's Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick #745 Raspberry Bite.
Quite the mouthful for such a small product, but fittingly descriptive. I was pleasantly surprised by this product! It does not have that plasticine smell that a lot of drugstore lippies have and it is very smooth, opaque and long wearing. In fact, I would go as far to say that it is a cheaper version of my Chanel Rouge Coco at a fraction of the cost.


This "Face of the Day" post has a very special addition this week. I was able to coax my stunningly beautiful sister to pose for me today wearing this lipstick so I could show you all what it would look like on a darker, olive skin tone as well as my own paler skin.
(the flash washed her out a little, but her skin tone is a good two shades darker than mine)
-Revlon Colourstay
-Amazing Concealer
-NARS Deep Throat

-MAC Naked Lunch
-MAC Nobility (in the crease)
-Rimmel Lycra Lash Mascara

-Revlon Super Lustrous Creme #745 Raspberry Bite

As a comparison, this is my MAC Rebel lipstick (almost same colour and a satin finish) with the same eye look. I think the colour payoff and consistency of the Revlon lipstick is much better. What do you think?
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is MAC's Stereo Rose Giving You Shopping Woes?

Can a product actually live up to this much hype? Call me skeptical, but I just don't see how one mineralize skinfinish can change a woman's life. I have been following the shopping progress of women on the hunt for this limited edition product-which was released Tuesday online and sold-out in two hours and released in-store today-and I am more than flabbergasted. There is a story (not yet confirmed if it is just a rumour) that someone drove 10 HOURS to pick up their own Stereo Rose (cue Celine Dion singing "I Drove all Night to Get to You"). Don't get me wrong, I am sure that many woman actually love this product and will enjoy using it, but the craze has inflated it to Beatles-level stardom.

So here is my question for all of you: Is this shopping obsession fueled by the competitive need to own one of the coveted few or is this really a life altering blush?

I guess I won't be able to answer this question for myself until after I see this product in person. I am going to MAC tomorrow (I wanted to avoid the hoards of people that would be stampeding there today) so I will try and get a swatch of the sold-out wonder.


Review: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

What Urban Decay claims:

A revolutionary, technologically advanced makeup-setting spray that's suited for all skin types and keeps your makeup in place for up to 16 hours. It's the new final step to your makeup routine! This weightless, super-fine mist holds foundation, eyeshadow, blush, and concealer in place so that makeup looks picture-perfect all day long. Temperature Control Technology prevents makeup from a melt down when it's warm and avoids makeup dehydration and cracking when it's cold. All Nighter works expertly on all skin types and prevents loss of color, melting, sliding, caking, cracking, excess shininess, fading blush, eyeshadow, and lip color disappearance. AND it's formulated to resist moisture, so you can fearlessly sweat, cry, or get your Jacuzzi on—you're guaranteed makeup that always looks just-applied, without ever feeling sticky or tight. Backed by years of science, All Nighter is simply unlike any other product available and keeps you looking flawless with just a couple sprays on top of your makeup.

What do I think?

Rubbish. I really wanted to love this product after hearing and reading so many reviews waxing it's glory golden, but my experience was less than mediocre. I tested this product on two separate occasions using two different foundations and they produced the same results. (FYI: I have combination skin that does not typically become oily through the day, unless there is extreme heat)

Day 1

I did not apply a primer to my face (only moisturizer) or lids because I wanted to test the true longevity of this product. I used Makeup Forever HD foundation and MAC eyeshadows which I finished with four squirts of Urban Decay All Nighter-over my eyes and forehead, my chin, and each cheek. The product felt very refreshing and dried quite quickly without changing the finish of my makeup. But that is where the positives end. Within three hours I noticed my makeup fading in splotchy areas and I was having a breakthrough of oil. By the 6th hour, my foundation has pretty much disappeared, however my eyeshadow had not budged at all. I thought that perhaps this product was not compatible with my foundation so I opted to try it the next day with another formula.

Day 2

Used with Revlon Colourstay Foundation and MAC eyeshadows, I applied four sprays in the same areas as the previous day. Typically, my Revlon Foundation lasts ALL DAY, maintaining pigmentation, coverage, and a matte finish. However, within several hours I was once again noticing a sheen to my face and new breakouts that had not been there two days ago. As the day before, my eyeshadow did not budge even though I was not wearing Urban Decay Primer Potion (a product I do love).

My conclusions: I was very disappointed by this product in light of its impressive claims. The fact that my eyeshadow did not move does mean that product is somewhat successful. I am not sure why it did not work for my foundation aside from my skin being irritated by an ingredient(s). I am curious to hear about your experiences, good and bad with this product. I can see this becoming a "holy grail" product for those who have found it successful, but I, sadly, am not one of them. This product was returned to Sephora for a full refund.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beauty and The Beast (aka BUDGET)

One of these words is not like the other: Beauty, Buy, Budget, Bankruptcy.

The most persistent question that people ask me, regardless of whether they read my blog or not, is "How do you afford to buy all your makeup?" In comparison to other beauty bloggers, vloggers, and gurus, my collection is quite sensible, but still large by most standards. Bear in mind that this has been years of collecting, rationing, saving, and bargain hunting. How did I do it? Here are some words of wisdom for the budget saavy shopper:

1) Know which products are investment pieces and which can be substituted at a lower price range.

Typically I am willing to spend more on face products than eye and lip products. Finding a high quality, good coverage, long-lasting foundation can be very tricky at the drugstore (with the exception of my 'ole faithful Revlon Colourstay). Often drugstores don't have samples for you to colour match and the colour range is not as extensive as higher end beauty houses.

Also, when expensive products are high quality (because expensive does NOT always mean high quality), they tend to last longer and save you money. For example, NARS blushes are expensive but they last FOREVER so you won't be repurchasing for at least a year, if not more.

Conversely, high quality and pigmented eye shadows at low price ranges are getting easier and easier to find. To list a few of my favourites: Annabelle, NYX, L'oreal HIP, Coastal Scents, and Stars Makeup Haven. This is a similar case with lipsticks; yes, yes, yes-I know. You're all thinking "So says the girl addicted to Chanel lipsticks." But I have found some lovely lipsticks by Revlon, Rimmel,  and Marcelle.

Brushes can take a large chunk out of your beauty budget so I suggest buying two or three investment brushes and then supplementing them with more affordable brushes. Unless you are a professional makeup artist there is no need to dish out thousands of dollars on MAC brushes all at once. My MAC brush collection has taken me five years to accumulate and I still don't own every brush (nor do I need every brush). The brush market has been broadening lately as more companies are realizing that there is gap in the market between high-end and mainstream brands, and they are quickly filling it up with affordable, good quality brushes.

2a) Is it a "want" or a "need"?

This was my father's favourite phrase during my childhood whenever he took me shopping, especially for books in light of my growing library. Often I would cheekily respond "I want to need it." But the principle followed me into adulthood, and it is often a question I repeat to myself whilst standing in the queue at Sephora, arms ladden with beauty goodies.
When products are marketed as limited edition, they are accompanied by a sense of urgency to buy before it is gone forever. But, as most long time patrons of MAC know, the only thing limited edition is the packaging because most colours tend to reappear under another moniker in newer collections.

2b) Don't buy more than you need.

Makeup expires. This may come as a shocker to many, but in order to keep things hygenic and safe, you shouldn't keep certain products beyond their expiry date; if you are unsure, ask your local makeup counter for guidelines when you buy new products. If you buy more than you can use, it will go to waste.

3) Don't buy it just because everyone else is.

Ah, the curse of limited edition products continues from the aforementioned tip. I think my distaste for lipglosses (I don't like the sticky feeling or the fact that they are hair magnets) has saved me a lot of money in the long run. Most limited edition collections, especially from MAC, are weighted with new lipgloss colours and formulations; so while others are rushing out to buy, I am saving my money for something that I will use and enjoy much more. Maybe the opposite is true for you-you love lipglosses and hate lipsticks. In that case, inform yourself about upcoming collections being released and decided BEFORE you go to the store how much you are willing to spend or you will be blindsided by persuasive counter personnel.

Keep in mind that different products suit different lifestyles, personal style, and needs. What works for one does not work for all. In times of doubt, there is no shame in asking for a sample so that you do not waste money on a product that you are unsure of.

4) Take advantage of specials, Cosmetic Company Outlets (CCO), recyle programs, and points systems.

Back-to-MAC, Optimum Points at Murale and Pharmaprix (also known as Shoppers Drug Mart), Sephora Beauty Insider, Inglot Privilege Card....and the list goes on. When I began depotting my MAC eyeshadows and lipsticks I reaped the benefits in free products which in turn were depotted and, well, the cycle continues. I purchased several of my beloved Chanel lipsticks by redeeming my Optimum points at Murale and my HBC points at The Bay.