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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: May 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rachel Made Me Do It: NARS Luster Blush

Rachel McAdams, one of my ultimate beauty icons, took the Cannes Film Festival by storm with her fresh and gorgeous beauty looks. On one particular evening her makeup artist (and sister) Kayleen flushed her cheeks with a lovely apricot blush. As soon as the picture came across my computer monitor, I knew I had to have that blush. A few keystrokes later I had the name and a new shopping mission.

NARS Luster may look nondescript in the pan, but I assure you that this is a must colour for summer.

When it comes to NARS blushes, there are the good (Deep Throat) and the bad (Super Orgasm...hello obnoxious glitter fest). Luster is solidly in the good category, as it brightens the face with a natural flush and soft illuminating shimmer. It can be worn on its own or layered with your favourite bronzer to give a healthy glow and keep your tan from looking flat. 

Some people think that Luster is too similar to Madly, but I completely disagree. In the pan they may appear to be similar in shade, but on the skin they give completely different affects. Madly is far more of a brown-pink whereas Luster is a golden apricot peach. When I use Madly, I have to be cautious not to use a heavy hand because it can come across muddy, so I much prefer Luster. The added bonus is that Luster is not pink based so it really is different from all other blushes in my collection.


Beauty Icon: Rachel McAdams

I'm generally not one of those people who plays the "She/He is Canadian" pride card, but I make an exception for Rachel McAdams. I can not think of someone who represents Canadian women better than the exquisitely and timelessly beautiful Ms. McAdams, and Canadians are proud to call her our own. She exudes natural femininity whether she is all glammed up (with the help of makeup artist sister Kayleen McAdams) or going au natural running errands around Toronto. She has managed to avoid the superficiality of Hollywood and maintained the down-to-earth-girl-next-door charm that appealed her to the masses years ago. 

Leading up to and during this years Cannes Film Festival Rachel has been experimenting with some of this years summer trends. Her sense of adventure and creativity is evident in her willingness to try anything (remember her pink hair?). Rachel can pull off any hair color and style with ease; I think her blonder and retro hair style is perfect for the summer months. In terms of makeup, she and Kayleen have been experimenting with the latest summer beauty trends and there isn't a single one that I don't love on Rachel. 

(I may actually give yellow eyeshadow a shot after this)
(after seeing this, I am not as opposed to the orange trend)

So if you are looking to take your beauty cues from anyone, look no further! Retro, boho, classic, funk, preppy-Rachel can pull them all off; but, most importantly, she never loses her magnetic personality and never lets her look overpower who she is. Certainly a lesson in confidence for all of us. 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Lise Watier Sends Us To Bora Bora

When a place is so beautiful it has to repeat its name, there is a pretty high standard for anyone who tries to capture its vibrancy in a makeup collection. Bora Bora has been on my travel wishlist for years but the closest I am getting to this paradise on Earth is by indulging in Lise Watier's new summer collection. 

Bora Bora is renowned for its pristine beaches, jewel toned water, and luscious vegetation. There isn't a more inspiring color palette for summer than its natural beauty and Lise Watier's execution is something to celebrate. My two favorite products from this collection are the makeup palette and the perfume. 

Bora Bora Eyeshadow Palette

Confession: I bought this without even swatching it. The colours are gorgeous and perfectly complimentary so when I saw that it was that the same formulation and design as the Jingle Belle palette, it was a no brainer. My thoughts on the pigmentation, texture, finish, and payoff of these shadows is the same as the Jingle Belle palette, so for the sake of not sounding redundant you can read my review here. I will say that I love the consistency of Lise Watier products.

From Pearly shell white, mouth-watering papaya, jungle green, golden sand and passionate purple. Leave it to Lise Watier to set the steaming hot tone for summer with our Palette Bora Bora Eyeshadows. Dress your tantalising skin in the deliciously dazzling colours of a tropical paradise.

Bora Bora Eau du Toilette

Smell this and see if you can resist. Go ahead, I dare you.

From Envelope your skin with the deliciously exotic scent of the tropics with Bora Bora Eau de Toilette. Blending the sensual, feminine notes of passion flower, jasmine and rose with the warmth of an exotic fruit cocktail and the sweet, hot traces of amber, vanilla and wood-scented musk, Bora Bora Eau de Toilette is your passport to the exotic. Now transport yourself to the tropics with just one spirits!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman

When I found out that my mom and sister were going to Seattle for the weekend, I sent them on a high-priority-across-the-border-mission: go to Ulta and pick up the Real Techniques makeup brushes for me. Go directly to Ulta. Do not stop at Starbucks or make a detour at the Cheesecake Factory. Food, hydration and bathroom breaks were not a priority. Time was of the essence as these brushes have been flying off the shelves. So, 3 hours and one encounter with a drag queen later, they had in their possession all the available brushes that Ulta had in stock and texted me that the mission was successful. 

This may be taking my adoration for makeup artist Samantha Chapman (famously one half of Pixiwoo) to new heights but she and these brushes deserve all the accolades and praise that one can come up with. Her collaboration with Paris Presents has produced cruelty-free and high quality brushes that will be a welcome addition to anyone's collection-from the novice to the seasoned makeup artist. 

As soon as I ripped into the boxes I sat stroking the bristles on my face for five minutes. Yes-they are that soft.

-no shedding or fraying
-each brush is hand cut so shapes are perfectly formed and quality controlled
-flawless, high definition results
-ultra-plush taklon bristles
-each brush is multi-functional and can be used with different product mediums
-fool proof colour coded system: orange for a flawless base, purple for enhanced eyes, and pink for a perfect finish

-foundation brushes too small for my personal preference. I prefer using them for concealer and cream cheek products
-distribution limited to US and select international sites
-brushes in sets are not sold separately
-standing base interesting feature but not really useful or convenient and makes larger brushes hard to fit in standard brush rolls

Powder Brush

Kabuki Brush: Used closed for powder and open for bronzer and contour

Blush Brush

Core Collection

-Detailer Brush for precision concealment, lipstick, detail work
-Pointed Foundation Brush for any liquid or cream product
-Buffing Brush ideal for full coverage application 
-Contour Brush can also be used for highlighting cheekbones and applying blush

Travel Essentials

-Essential Foundation Brush use with an liquid or emollient product
-Multi Task Brush
-Domed Shadow Brush fits well into the crease and applies all over colour smoothly and evenly

My Wishlist: 
-Stippling Brush (I have heard rumors that this will rival my great love for Sigma's HD brush)
-Starter Kit for the eyes


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interview with Kate Walsh About Her BOYFRIEND...Perfume, That Is

On Thursday May 5, I had the immense privilege of participating in a conference call, along with two other lifestyle bloggers, to interview actress Kate Walsh from Private Practice. Kate's new fragrance, BOYFRIEND, was the topic of the day and she indulged us with the story of her fragrance's conception, development, success, and future of line. 

This is not your run of the mill, mass produced, slap my face on a bottle celebrity fragrance. BOYFRIEND is Kate's baby and she has nurtured and invested in this project from the day one. The concept is fresh, the fragrance delicious, the marketing ingenious, and the packaging luxurious. I am in awe of what an amazing person Kate is: brains, beauty, personality, creativity, and talent. Her energy and personality are certainly infectious. 

The only way to capture this interview (because, frankly, I wasn't going to transcribe 20 minutes of conversation) was to videotape it. Kate was so perfectly eloquent and informative that I didn't want to lose anything in translation. This being my first celebrity interview, I was sufficiently nervous but Kate is incredibly down to earth that we all immediately felt at ease. Not a word about my obnoxious ear-to-ear grin. NOT. A. SINGLE. WORD. Editing this video was painful enough.

A big thank you to Kate and her team for awarding me this wonderful and educational experience.

1. Boyfriend is available at Sephora and

2. It is also available via HSN
3. The Official Website of Boyfriend
4. You can see all of the commericals and webimercials 
5. The Official Twitter feed 

Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary press sample of Boyfriend in preparation for this interview. 


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Because the Sun Doesn't Discriminate

The summer gives my anxiety for two reasons: bathing suits and sunshine. Most women can sympathize with my bathing suit phobia but I get my share of bewildered stares when I inform people that I have sun-induced paranoia. If you were as pale as death and your skin attracted UV rays like sheets of aluminum, you would understand me very well. 

My summer colour has two stages: pasty white to cherry tomato red. No in between. No fading to honey bronze. White and red like the Canadian flag (represent!). Thus is my cross (Literally. Criss crosses from my swimsuit) to bear if I dare bask in the glorious rays of the sun, real or artificial. I enjoy sunny weather and sunshine warming my skin as much as the next vitamin D deficient Vancouverite, but I can only indulge in short intervals with SPF 75 shellaced on to my skin.

Thus, my quest before summer is to find the best bronzers and sunless tans that I can. I have received one from Beautisol that already seems very promising and I am excited to share the before-and-afters with you. So if you have any requests or suggestions to tan this colorless skin, let me know!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Best Dressed: Met Gala 2011

Photo credits: JustJared and BellaSugar

Dianna Agron in Michael Kors

Diane Kruger in Jason Wu

Evan Rachel Wood in Gucci

Emma Roberts in Michael Kors

Jessica Stam

Gisele Bunchden in Alexander McQueen

Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen

Isabel Lucas in Louis Vuitton

Leelee Sobieski in Vionnet

Jennifer Lopez in Gucci

Ashley Greene in Donna Karan

Liv Tyler in Givenchy Haute Couture

Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott

Selma Hayek in Alexander McQueen