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Perfectly Imperfect Beauty: April 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yo Momma...Mother's Day Gift Guide for the Beauty Loving Mommy In Your Life

Meet my mommy, Elizabeth. She is pretty amazing: smart, beautiful, heart of gold. She also doesn't let me forget that Mother's Day is only two weeks away. I am the ultimate procrastinator when it comes to Mother's and Fathers' Day gift buying. The days seem to sneak up on me without warning, so this year I am being proactive-I already bought the gift :) To help out my fellow gift givers I decided to put together an inspiration list. 

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Travalo Refillable Perfume Atomizer ($15-$50)
Buying a fragrance is something extremely personal and subjective. You have to be very confident about a woman's perfume taste and how her body chemistry will react to the scent. Instead, why not give your mom something that will allow her to carry her favourite scents wherever she goes? Available online and at various pharmacies. 

PROMO CODE: ROCKINMOM for 20% off through the US site

Clarisonic Plus Floral Print with Philosophy Set ($225)
Every beauty lover's favourite skin tool is now available with some of Philosophy's top selling skincare products. This is a gift that will go the distance. Available at Sephora.

Barefoot Venus Gift Set ($15-$80)
My favourite bath and body line OF ALL TIME, Barefoot Venus has fantastic gift sets for all of their delicious scents. A bonus is that their packaging is irresistibly cute and vintage so they are just as fun to display as they are to use. Available at select spasMurale, and BarefootVenus online

Ciate Caviar Manicure ($25)
The newest and funkiest fad in nail art, this is a gift for the daring mom who likes to keep up with the lastest trends. Available at Sephora

Sigma Brush Set (sets $44 and upwards)

A favourite amongst makeup artists and beauty bloggers (this one included), Sigma offers high quality brushes at affordable prices. They have kits to suit all needs: from the mom on the go to creative momma. Available at Sigma Beauty online

Dior Garden Clutch Makeup Palette ($75)
Luxurious, elegant and portable, this palette will brighten anyone's day. The co-ordinated colours make application effortless and quick. Available at Sephora and beauty counters at major department stores. 

MAC Fashion Set (sets $54, individual products $18)
MAC has released a new collection featuring coordinating kits of their top selling lipsticks. Each set contains a lipstick, lipgloss, and nail polish. Products can also be purchased individually. Available in store and at MAC online

Makeup Train Case (prices vary)

Every beauty lover needs a safe and fun place to store their goods. Train cases have come a long way from the stream lined silver and are easy to customize to each woman's personal style. A practical and fun gift. Available at all beauty supply stores and Sephora

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette ($50)
The products that have taken the beauty market by storm and kicked off a neutral palette trend, the Urban Decay Naked and Naked2 palettes have every colour a woman can need to take her from day to night. Guaranteed to remain a beauty cult product for many years. 

Anastasia The Kit For Perfect Brows and Eyes ($75)
It's pretty much all in the name-this kit is perfect. Anastasia is the brand for brows and they have put together a kit with all of their top rated products.

Guerlain By Emilio Pucci Météorites Perles D’azur Illuminating Powder ($59)
Guerlain is the ultimate brand for beauty indulgence. Their infamous Météorites line is a coveted product that features fun seasonal limited edition additions. This spring their collaboration with Emilio Pucci has made this the must-have product for spring and summer. Fashion forward and universally flattering, you can brighten your mom's day with this illuminator. 

What will you be giving your mother on May 13th?

*This post contains an affiliate link*


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Take A Trip from St Tropez to Aspen Without the Airfare with Anastasia Highlighting Creme Duo

'Tis the season of highlighters and glowing skin and I am on the hunt again for that providential product that will solve all of my skin dullness woes. When it comes to highlighters, the grass is always greener (or the cheeks are always glowier) at a different makeup display. I have found my "holy grail" powder highlighter in Guerlain's Meteorite Cruel Gardenia, but, alas, it is limited edition and I prefer liquid highlighter's in the summer. 

I stumbled upon Anastasia as brand around Christmas and have been adoring their product range. The Highlighting Creme Duos are my current favourites from the brand that is proving to the beauty community that they are no longer a "just for eyes" product line. 
This product is available in two colour combinations: St Tropez for medium to dark skin tones and Aspen for light to medium skin tones. Each duo has a shimmering liquid highlighter paired with a complimentary sheer (but buildable) cream blush with subtle iridescence. 
Top: St Tropez
Bottom: Aspen
left to right: St Tropez, St Tropez blended, Aspen, Aspen blended

Both cream blushes are versatile and would work on any skin tone. They apply quite sheer but can easily be built up to a medium intensity. They blend exceptionally well and melt in to the foundation for a seamless and natural "glow for within" look. They last for a solid 5-6 hours before reapplication is needed. The best application is with fingers, but a synthetic or duo-fibre brush works well too.
 left: St Tropez
right: Aspen
The liquid highlighter for St Tropez is a near dupe for the Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Liquid, but with more bronze tones. I personally cannot wear this colour, but it looks fantastic on my sister Rebekah's olive skin. 
The Aspen highlighter is simply put GORGEOUS. It is so flattering on cheek and brow bones, subtly catching the light and adding soft dimension to the face. The shimmer is very fine in spite of the glitter in shown in the close-up the flash photography above. No sparkling Twilight like skin here! I think it is best described as a step up in intensity and results from Mac's cream colour base in Pearl. It has similar intensity as NARS Copacabana but with less pink. 

Grade: A-


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beauty Blog Link Love 21/04/12

Check out these "Lust, Caution" inspired custom OCC Lip Tar mixes on My Funny Valentine, packaged with a lip brush applicator!

Phyrra does a wearable bright pink video tutorial with BftE Cosmetics.

A product that applies like a gloss, wears like a stain, and pH-adjusts like a grade school chemistry experiment is too good to be true - right? Find out if it is (or isn't) on theNotice.

With spring in the air, it's time to invest in a gorgeous coral lipstick! Amy Antoinette reviews the beautiful new Clarins Joli Rouge Pink Coral Lipstick.

Is OPI Just Spotted the Lizard really a dupe fore Chanel Peridot? Read polish insomniac's post to find out!

Prime Beauty tests out Laura Mercier's Limited Edition Belle Nouveau, a "new beautiful" diversion from the neons so popular this spring.

How do the Sleek Eau La La Eyeliners hold up against other famous brands, like Urban Decay and MUFE? Musicalhouses puts them to the test, and pits them against each other!

Ever undertaken a seemingly hopeless hunt for that elusive limited edition product that you just had to have? Lydia proves that good things come to those who wait after finding Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia Meteorites Illuminator.

Tracy at Beauty Reflections finally has Mediterranean light every day thanks to Guerlain Meteorites Perles d'Azur by Emilio Pucci!

Take a look at BUXOM's new Color Choreography Eye Shadow in Tango over at Makeup, Beauty and More.

If there's anything better than new Dior lipstick, it would be new Dior lipstick and nail polish! Join Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed in admiring the beauty of the new Dior Addict Extreme Lipsticks and Colour Blocked polishes!


Want to update your hair colour this spring? Miss Beauty Nerd is giving away two Nutrisse Mousse Nourishing Colour Foams for wannabe redheads and blondes!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

My precious! Come to momma!

Yes, I have achieved the unachievable. Months after selling out all over Vancouver I found a Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites. And how cruel the search was! Laughing and mocking sales associates, taunting beauty bloggers (not really, but I was bitter), and two blistered feet later, bliss is mine. 
I had been checking the online beauty shop for The Bay for weeks but this product kept on appearing as sold out. One lazy afternoon I meandered over to the site for some virtual window shopping when VOILA! IN STOCK BABY! But how could this be?! It was mid-March and I had been told repeatedly that this was impossible. I literally sailed across the room, grabbed my wallet and hit PURCHASE. Yea, I make myself sick too sometimes with this talk. 
 no flash

with flash
Ever heard the saying "Beauty comes with a price?" Yea, well after provincial taxes the cost really was cruel...$84.00 worth of cruel. It is certainly worth the price based on the product quantity (this will take YEARS to finish) and quality (leaves all my other illuminators in the dust...sorry MAC MSF). Pictures honestly don't do this product justice. Regardless, I am putting myself on a no-buy until June. I am actually excited about this-it is surprisingly liberating. I have lost some of my excitement for new beauty products and my collection is over saturated with amazing products I need to rediscover and use up. 

This doesn't mean no more reviews. I have a folder saved to my computer labelled "swatches" that is FULL of pictures that are just waiting for review (YSL Glossy Stains for one). My career, life commitments and general blogging laziness have put some of these on the back burner, but now I can dive in.



Sigma Beauty Launches a Power Duo for Your Brows

Today Sigma brushes is launching two new additions to their individual brush line: the E75 - Angled Brow, and E80 - Brow and Lash. These brushes are a must have for defined and well groomed brows and lashes. Both brushes are sold individually, making them the perfect addition to any Sigma kit!

E75 Angled Brow - This firm, angled brush is perfect for filling in sparse brows with powder or gel products. Use a sketching motion to create a hair like effect and more defined brow. Synthetic bristles. $11

E80 Brow and Lash - An essential grooming tool for brows and lashes. Ideal for combing and taming brow hairs while shaping and filling. Great for pulling through lashes for separation and exactness. Synthetic bristles. $9
**This post includes an affiliate link**


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hair Ends Will be Singing "Let's Stay Together" with TRESemmé Split Remedy

My bi-annual hair cut means that I need to be on the offensive against split ends otherwise my hair can look frizzy and frazzled. My hair doesn't respond well to the majority of drugstore brands that I have tried. Either they dry out my hair because of all of the chemicals and strong detergents or they leave my hair limp and oily. One of the brands that has been an exception to this rule is TRESemmé-a brand that lives up to its claim of professional results at a consumer accessible price. 

I had the opportunity to try the new TRESemmé Split Remedy range over the month of March and was very pleased with the results. Each of the products contains their exclusive Reconstructing Complex that they claim work together to repair up to 80% of split ends after three uses:
The advanced technology in the Reconstructing Complex utilizes both negatively and positively charged polymers inside a gel body. Because split ends are negatively charged, the positive charges of the gel body actually attach to the negative charges inside of the split and contract during the drying process to bind split ends together — leaving you with a smooth, frizz proof look and a just-cut look.

I put the whole range through a series of tests to see how it held up against different styling techniques. I used the shampoo and conditioner for each wash, but alternated the three styling post-wash/styling products. 

Wash 1: Air Dry
Less noticeable fly aways and hair held my natural curl with less frizzing. Moderate tangling.

Wash 2-4: Blow Dry
Smooth blow dry, especially the ends. The straight style held all day without curling on the ends, as it usually does. No frizzing at the ends and diminished fly aways around the crown in the morning. Minor tangling.
Wash 5-6: Air Dry
Significantly less visible breakage and frizz at the ends. Minor tangling. 

Overall, I think that this is a very good product range and it certainly helps to repair tired looking and damaged hair. I wouldn't use this product for a prolonged period of time simply because after two weeks I felt like my hair needed a bit more moisture. My hair was smooth, but it could have felt softer. I think that it is a good preventative measure to use for 3 washes every month to month and a half, especially when you are drawing close to needing another hair cut but want to buy more time. A particularly useful range if you are trying to grow out your hair and are avoiding the hair dresser! 

The Products

Split Remedy Shampoo and Conditionner

These products have to be used together for the full benefit to be observed. They have a light fruit scent that lingers all day and is very nice. The shampoo has a moderate lather and walnut size amount was sufficient for my long hair. The conditionner isn't at all greasy and, again, only a walnut size amount is needed for long hair.  

Leave in Conditioning Spray, Split Remedy Leave-In Conditioning Treatment, Split-End Sealing Serum

For me, these three products performed the same task but at varying degrees of intensity. I would recommend the conditioning spray for fine hair, the conditioning treatment for medium texture hair, and the serum for thick-coarse hair. If you blow dry your hair more than air dry, then I recommend the serum (my favourite). These three products help to reduce tangled hair while they repair split ends. They can be integrated into your usual shampoo and styling routine.

Full Range Grade: B+

**Disclosure: Products provided by PR for editorial consideration**


Friday, April 13, 2012

I've Got Spring in My Step

I am not a fad kind of girl. I don't want-nor can I afford-to overhaul my whole wardrobe every season. Instead, I like to accent and supplement my classic style with select trendier pieces, mainly accessories and shoes, so that I can experiment with seasonal colours and trends. 

My spring shoe collection needed revitalization since most of my favourite pairs are going on their third and fourth season and are showing their age. I buy most of my shoes at Winners, or when I'm in the USA at TJ Maxx, Marshals, Nordstrom Rack and DSW. I have a personal budget rule never to pay a shoe full price especially if the style is one that is here today and gone tomorrow. Here are some new additions to my shoe if only the weather would cooperate so I can take them out for strut. 

Classic Shoes

Preppy Day Wear
Franco Sarto (from Winners)

Career Chic
Anne Klein (from Winners)

Spring/Summer Show Trends

Bohemian Traveller
BCBG (from TJ Maxx)

Neon Summer
Rampage (from Winners)

Do you have Instagram? If you want to see my sporadic fashion and life posts, you can follow me at perfimperfect.