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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Who, What, Wear, How: M.A.C. or Meh?

Question: You haven't been posting about MAC collections lately! Do you have any swatches of new products that you can share? 

I went to MAC today with a sack full of empty containers with the intention of trading for some free products through the Back-to-Mac program. After wandering aimlessly for several minutes and staring aghast at some of the new collections, I grabbed my sister and we booked it out of there. 

Lately I haven't felt at all compelled to go to M.A.C unless it is to replace one of my favourite lipsticks or eyeshadows that is running low. The last few collections have been either redundant of previous releases, very hard to wear (Fashionflower collection is hideous in my opinion), or re-releases. I don't mean to be hating on M.A.C. but maybe if they didn't release a new collection every 30 seconds they could build anticipation, ingenuity, and originality. I haven't been ecstatic for a collection release since Peacocky and Champale and, truthfully, they were good but not show stopping great. 

I was interested in trying some of the Sheen Supreme lipsticks that are new releases to the permanent collection, replacing my beloved slimshines. Unfortunately, they do not qualify for free products with the Back-to-Mac program and the colours didn't appeal to me as being unique or special, so I decided to pass. There are so many sheer and glossy formulations released lately from other cosmetic lines (such as Dior and Chanel) that I much prefer and am willing to invest in. 

That is my spiel of the day for those of you wondering why I have been negligent in MAC related posts. On the brighter side, I have a lot of exciting new products to review so I am not exactly in a product fast (though I  am starting one ASAP). 


Copycats, Knockoffs, and Replicas-OH MY!

Already seamstresses around the world are earnestly at work trying to replicate the wedding dresses that Catherine Middleton wore on her wedding day. As I am not walking down the aisle anytime soon, I have no need for a wedding dress, but every girl likes a little bling in her life, right?

Today while browsing through the mall, I cam across this ring at Le Chateau, a Canadian clothing store:

Their website describes this $39.99 ring as "A famous ring with a regal pedigree, this replica of a Ceylon sapphire ringed by diamonds makes every woman feel royal." The stones are cubic zirconias and the rings is actually a very good quality piece of costume jewelery

I admit it-I was sorely tempted. But, alas, I resisted and pulled the ring off my finger (no harm trying it on and daydreaming of course). Truthfully, the main appeal of this ring is that Catherine wears it so beautifully (we all know how much I adore her style) and it is an internationally recognizable design. I love vintage style jewelery because it always feels like there is a romantic story behind it and this ring is no exception. 

So why didn't I buy it?
  1. I like things that are "inspired-by" but not "duplicate-of." I prefer to interpret different elements of people's style to fit my own and still keep my individuality. I don't want to be a look-alike of Catherine; I just like to draw inspiration from  her flawless taste and adjust it to suit my lifestyle and body shape.
  2. This ring is HUGE. Seriously, I wonder if her finger muscles cramp from wearing the real deal. Realistically, I would have no where to wear this beautiful yet slightly ostentatious replica. It would be a fun memento to mark the historic occasion and joke about with my future kids, but I can't justify spending $40.00 for a ring that will stay in my jewelry box. 

    What about you? Would you buy/wear a replica? 


Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: Second Wedding Dress

So in my previous post when I said no more Royal Wedding pots...yeah, I lied. I just saw the Kate's second wedding dress (for the evening soiree)-also designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen-and I think I love it even more than the first. No wait, that's not true either because each dress suits a different purpose: the first to introduce a new princess to the people, and the second for a beautiful young bride to enjoy herself with ease, comfort and grace.

With her hair loose and lightly curled we are reassured that the Kate we have all grown to love is still there.


Royal Wedding: And the bride wore..

This is my last Royal Wedding post, I promise. But I can't lay out the wedding crumbs without giving you a full slice of the cake. I set my alarm for 2:30am Pacific time to watch the royal processional without being subjected to hours of drab commentary leading up to the main event (because we all know the people we want to see always arrive last). 

The Dress

The most important fashion commission in three decades was awarded to Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  My first glimpse of the dress I gasped and squealed "TOTALLY CALLED IT!!" I have been saying for weeks that the perfect royal wedding dress from modern history was Grace Kelly's, and distinct comparisons can be drawn between the two "commoner-to-princess" brides. 

In my opinion, this was a very smart move by Kate and Sarah Burton because the dress is timeless, flawless elegance yet still modern and appropriate for a young bride. Kate wore the dress, the dress didn't wear her. I am unashamed to admit that I have saved pictures of this dress from all angles to reference when (if) my Prince Charming comes calling. 

The Hair and The Veil

Thrilled that she decided to leave her hair down and swept back to compliment her beautiful bone structure. When you have luscious tresses like Kate's, why hide them in a stiff updo? The lace edged veil trailed down with fluid gracefulness which complimented the hair style perfectly. 

The Makeup

As I mentioned before, Kate did her own makeup and it was impeccable. She could teach a lot of women a thing or two. I cannot confirm which products she used-the rumour is Bobbi Brown-but I will post as soon as I can find out (so maybe I lied and this won't be my last Royal Wedding past after all). Kate opted for a very natural foundation that allowed her flawless skin to show through, a soft smokey eye, light contour, rose blush and a light glossy pink lip. If I had to be picky, I would suggest that the lower black liner be softened a little more, but that is just a matter of preference. 

This historical event lived up to all the hype and was definitely worth the few hours less sleep. Best wishes to the newlyweds!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Countdown to Royal Wedding: Kate Middleton's Makeup for the Big Day

Breaking News Beauty World!! The soon-to-be Princess Catherine will be doing her own makeup for her big day (just hours away!!). Admit it-if you weren't 100% on the Kate Middleton bandwagon before, you are now!

Middleton's wedding planner, Mark Niemierko, tells, "I heard that Arabella Preston [the makeup artist] was called in by a mutual friend of hers and Kate's. She's had about three or four lessons with Kate at her private flat in Chelsea and has also gone, very privately to Clarence House. "Arabella was supposed to be coming on the day as well but now she isn't, because Kate's comfortable and confident in doing it herself."

I love Kate's confidence and low maintenance nature and, considering how perfectly she has executed her pubic persona thus far, I have no doubts that she will be a flawless blushing bride. Photographs from tomorrow's wedding day will be imprinted in our memories for years to come-much like Princess Diana's wedding-and will be imprinted in Britain's history forever. Yet, Kate isn't allowing herself to be overwhelmed by the pressure for perfection.

I hope she keeps to her signature naturally defined look. Nobody wants to look back on their wedding pictures and not recognize themself. And frankly, who would want to conceal Kate's beautiful skin under stunning eyes under copious amounts of beauty products.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Countdown to Royal Wedding: Kate Middleton's Fashion Ode to the British Flag

This isn't the first fashion post I have done on the effortlessly chic soon-to-be Princess Catherine. From her perfectly coiffed luscious locks to the tips of her stylish heeled feet, Kate Middleton continues to inspire me with her classic fashion sense. 

I covet her style-plain and simple. Kate has embraced her natural and timeless beauty and doesn't allow herself to be overshadowed by stuffy or overdone clothing and makeup. Some have criticized her for being to "safe" and straight laced; I commend her. She has discovered her personal style-a style that works perfectly-and makes each look her own.

My favourite fashion moments from Kate (coincidently representing the colours of the British flag):

Future Blue Blood

Blushing English Rose

Creme de la Creme

Because Black is Every Girl's Best Friend


2011 Summer Makeup Collection Wishlist

It was 18 degrees Celsius of brilliant sunshine today, which naturally started me thinking about summer...and we all know where that leads. To summer makeup collections, naturally. And this results in the internet equivalent of window shopping. Here is my wishlist for Summer 2011:

Dior Electric Tropics

Eyeshadow Quints- 534 Rosy Nude, 754 Rosy Tan

Dior Nude Glow Aurora Healthy Glow Summer Powder (ridiculous long name)

Chanel Les Fleurs D'Ete

Lilium Eyeshadow Quad 

Glossimers- Pensee, Aurore, Pink Peony

Bronze Rose Soleil Tan de Chanel

What collections and products are on your summer wishlist?


Monday, April 18, 2011

Who, What, Wear, How?: Lipstains and Felt Tips

We all know that I went through a lipstain phase last summer. I think I have tried fairly close to every lipstain on the market and only a few made it through my rigorous testing. I definitely have my personal preferences but I have found that the packaging is almost as important as the actual product when it comes to these types of products. 

Laura: Hey there, I'm looking for the perfect hot pink lip stain and Lise Watier is one brand I've come across. I am hesitant to purchase it, though, only because I've had bad experiences with make-up that comes in a felt-tipped marker form as it dries out within a few wears/weeks. I know this is a complaint with the Tokidoki and Josie Maran's stains. Did you find this with the Lise Watier stains as well? Please let me know! :)

Me: Hi Laura! Great questions. Unfortunately, this is the primary fault in any product that is packaged with a felt tip pen. Unless they are stored standing up with the felt tip pointed downwards, they tend to dry out more quickly than the average product. If you are looking for a great lip stain (especially hot pink) then I HIGHLY recommend the Tarte lipstains. They come in two different finishes-glossy and matte- and because they apply like a lip balm they don't dry out. I own both formulations and the pinks are rich in pigmentation and very flattering. 


Who, What, Wear, How?: Redheads and the Pink Dilemma

I have decided to start a little mini-series called "Who, What, Wear, How." Uninspired name, but it is a work in progress. My dear friend Alice (who had better start her own blog ASAP) recently asked a great question on my recent  Chanel Rouge Coco post, but unless you read through the comment threads, you would have missed it. A lot of times, some of the best beauty discussions take place in the comment threads, so whenever one arises that I think would benefit a lot of you, I will post it here. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to post them below.

So let's set the scene first. Alice is a gorgeous natural redhead with fair colouring and beautiful skin . Here is Alice's question:

Alice: The thing is, I find so many colours "clash" with red hair. It's not like when you can wear most colours and they look gorgeous on you. With me, it's often too much competition. And I don't know how to find a good pink, so I tend to just go go for vibrant reds, since I know they work. Alice wants a lipstick!!

Me: I understand what you mean-except everything looking gorgeous on me! Lydia doesn't do nudes or oranges LOL. A good idea is to look up an actress or model with your colouring who wears nice pinks and bring a photo to your favourite makeup counter and ask them to colour match. Amy Adams pulls of pinks and berries very well. 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rouge Coco Shine

You know me-whisper "Chanel" and I come running. The new Rouge Coco Shines were released here in Canada at the beginning of March and I got a friendly call from my favourite Chanel counter that worked better than a quirked finger and a wink. On March 12 I attended the official launch with my sister and got to take home two Rouge Coco Shine bangles of my choice to wear with my favourite lippies. Just over a month later I am finally getting over being lazy and took some swatch photos.

Description From Chanel:

ROUGE COCO SHINE makes an irresistible desire for lightness flit over your makeup. With its mischievous touch, it glides over lips with all the charm and freshness of a snapshot.

As melt-away as a balm, its lip-embracing texture becomes fluid on contact with the lips and provides a stunning wet effect with natural shine. Deliciously fresh and tender, it delivers an unforgettable sensation of well-being. 

Lips are enveloped in the incomparable comfort of continuous 8-hour-long hydration thanks to the Hydratender complex, the secret of softness of the ROUGE COCO range.

Sparkling with vitality, your smile takes on sheer colour, from candid beige to tangy red.
ROUGE COCO SHINE comes in 18 shades infused with luminosity so that your smile adapts to every emotion and desire of each day. 
From her first successes to magical encounters, their names tell the story of Coco Chanel at the dawn of her destiny. 

Collect colours to your heart’s desire!

My Thoughts:

These lipsticks apply a sheer, weightless, and moisturizing wash of colour. They are almost juicy in texture once applied to the lips and have absolutely no stickiness (just the way I like it). On the lips, they look like a flattering hybrid of a gloss and a lipstain with the finest iridescence. As the makeup consultant at Chanel explained, "these lipsticks are kiss proof!" If your significant other and loved ones have a no-gloss kissing rule, then you have just discovered a way to defeat them!

The pigmentation of these lipsticks is sheer-medium; the brighter and darker lipsticks pack more of a punch than the neutrals and light pinks. I can get a solid three hours of wear time before I notice the colour start to fade. The colour does fade quite naturally (no ring around your lips and bare middle) and leaves behind a flattering stain. The moisturizing effects do not diminish even after the colour has faded which is why I consider these to be a lip treatment in addition to a lipstick. 



Aventure (more rose pink than appears in photograph)

Bonheur (more berry than photographed)

(Canotier, Boy, Aventure, Bonheur)