Sunday, July 26, 2015

Your Must Have Summer 2015 Reading List

Your Must Have Summer 2015 Reading List

From the time I learned to read I've been a ginormous book worm, and I find that there isn't anything quite as relaxing as cozying up in bed with candle burning and a great read. This summer I've been reading even more than usual and I've devoured a ton of books that I've absolutely loved and wanted to share with all of you, so here we go! Just an FYI, I've used descriptions I found on goodreads because I'm complete crap at describing books, but I'll let you know my thoughts on each book after the summary. I don't even know why I'm telling you this because you'll easily figure that all out in a minute but ANYWAY....

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins:
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I just finished this book and HOLY CRAP. I couldn't put it down. It gripped me from the first few pages and I've honestly never read anything quite like it. This is definitely not your typical chick-lit-read-by-the-pool summer book because it's a little dark and stressful at times, but it's something you all need to read right now.

Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries #11) - Meg Cabot
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding—but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare. For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal ouiBut now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone—especially herself—that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

If you read the Princess Diaries series as a kid, you're probably as excited as I am that this book was released. I had the date marked in my calendar for about a year because my childhood pretty much revolved around reading these books. Meg Cabot is finally continuing the story with Mia as an adult, which is so cool because it's basically like having your favourite characters grow up with you. This book is sweet, light, and funny. It's just the perfect summer read, even if you haven't read the rest of the series (although I strongly recommend you do because they're awesome).

The Silent Wife - A.S.A. Harrison
A chilling psychological thriller about a marriage, a way of life, and how far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers. Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept.

Once again, this isn't your typical summer read because it's dark and definitely not light, but it was so intriguing that I couldn't put it down. Since you already know the wife becomes a killer it's so interesting to see how the plot develops and why she ultimately does what she does. Very very good book.

Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella
When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all. Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?

This is probably one of my favourite books of all time because it's hilarious and the plot is spot on. With that being said, I've read every single Sophie Kinsella book and I've loved all of them, so if you haven't checked her out yet and you're a fan of chick lit she is the QUEEN.

The Other Half - Sarah Rayner
Chloe, bright, hip and single, is a feature writer with ambitions to launch a magazine of her own. When she meets James, her potential new boss, she knows she shouldn't mix business with pleasure, but finds it impossible to resist. Maggie appears to have it all. She's beautiful, a talented writer, and has a gorgeous husband. But something's not quite right: his job as a magazine publisher is keeping him in the city until late most evenings, and some nights he doesn't come home at all... Told in the alternating voices of the mistress and the wife, this story of an affair is a sharp, seductive take on modern love. Who, if anyone, comes out unscathed?

This book was a nail biter for me because the idea of cheating and affairs stresses me out!! I loved how the story was told from the perspective of the wife and the mistress because it shows how there really is multiple sides to every story, and it makes it easier to route for one woman or the other if that makes any sense? Read this and you'll know what I mean!

The Pact - Jodi Picoult
For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty-- they've grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other's lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born. So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father's cabinet-- a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described.

I take back what I said about Remember Me? because this is my favourite book of all time (so hard to choose but I'm pretty confident in saying that). I've read this multiple times because the plot is so gripping. Did Chris kill his girlfriend or not? Ahhhhh so good. If you're going to read one book this summer make it this one.

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars. Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back? She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find. Who did massacre the Day family?

This is probably the darkest book I've ever read because of how morbid and sad the plot is (the main character's family was allegedly murdered by her brother) but I love mystery type novels and attempting to figure out who the murderer is on my own. Despite reading Nancy Drew novels my entire childhood I never ever guess right, but I still have so much fun playing detective. This book is written by the same author as Gone Girl so if you liked the book or the movie this one is definitely worth a try.

When In Doubt, Add Butter - Beth Harrison
As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full. There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an ├╝berwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to. For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and---oh yes---butter.

This is a really typical summer read because the plot isn't too substantial or stressful and it's just really cute, so it's the perfect book to read while on vacation or just while laying out on a beach chair. 

Have you read any of these books? Can you recommend any to me?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Colourpop Lippie Stix/Pencils Swatches + Review

Colourpop Lippie Stix/Pencils Swatches + Review

In my most recent post I talked to you guys about my experience with Colourpop Cosmetics in terms of shipping and whatnot, but now comes the fun part where I get to share with you my thoughts on the actual products I picked up. I thought I would start with the Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencils because let's face it, lip products are always the most exciting part of any haul. So let's get right into it!

Colourpop Lippie Stix and Pencils retail for $5 USD each which a freaking steal, and each shade comes with its own matching pencil.

Colourpop Lippie Stix/Pencils Swatches + Review

The shades I picked up are:
  • Tootsi, a cool toned grey beige in a matte finish.
  • Brink, a warm dusty nude with a brick red undertone in a matte finish.
  • Lumiere, a gorgeous mauve colour in a matte finish. This shade reminds me so much of the Nars Audacious Lipstick in Anna and I'm IN LOVE!!
  • Clique, a really bright orange red in a matte finish. Peeeeerfect for summer if you're into a bold lip.
  • Frenchie, a bright but warm neon red in a matte finish.
  • Topanga, a very wearable coral if you're afraid of neon lipsticks in a satin finish. If I'm being completely honest, I bought this shade on impulse because of the name. Boy Meets World is one of my favourite shows of all time (I own all the seasons on DVD) and I'm so happy I did because it's the perfect everyday summer shade. It isn't too bold, but it adds a little somethin somethin for days I want to look like I'm in a summery mood.
Colourpop Lippie Stix/Pencils Swatches + Review

The Lippie Pencils I picked up are:
  • Bound, a mid-tone nude that pulls very brown on me but I'm completely obsessed. It reminds me of how Mac Soar and Mac Whirl would look if they had a baby.
  • Clique, which is once again a bright orange red. I picked this up to match the Clique lippie because bold shades are always a trillion times easier to apply with a lip liner, and I don't have anything like this in my collection. It also pairs really well with Mac Lady Danger.
The really cool thing about these Lippie Pencils is that they aren't all identical to the Lippie Stix they're paired with. For example, bolder shades such as Clique and Frenchie have matching liners to make application easier and to increase wear time, but lighter nudes such as Bound have completely different liners that are often darker to enhance the colour. The Bound Lippie Stix is a glossy formula and is a really sheer pinky nude, but the matching pencil is a dark almost brown shade. You can see the comparisons between the two on Colourpop's website here

Colourpop Lippie Stix/Pencils Swatches + Review

Swatches from top to bottom: Tootsi, Lumiere, Clique (lippie), Clique (pencil), Bound (pencil), Frenchie, Topanga, Brink.

The formula of the matte lippies are spot on. They're creamy, insanely pigmented, and last foreeeeeever. I wore Lumiere today and it lasted 6 hours on my lips without any fading, smearing, or patchiness. I love matte lipsticks but I hate how they tend to stay on in some areas and completely fade in others, especially towards the center of the lips, but these don't do that. My only complaint is that after a few hours I noticed my lips started to feel a little dry, and it became pretty noticable because the lip colour sort of clung to my dry patches. This isn't a huge deal for me though because I usually reapply my lipstick as well as some lip balm throughout the day (which I didn't today because I was insanely busy at work and didn't have time), so this wouldn't have happened if I had done that.

I can't speak for all the satin lipsticks Colourpop carries because I only purchased one, but I was a little disappointed with Topanga (I never thought I would say that because we all know Topanga is a goddess). It was reeeeeeally drying, which I didn't expect at all and felt almost minty on my lips but not in a good way. The colour is beautiful though and the formula is incredibly pigmented, so do I regret buying this? Nope. I'm just gonna need a lot of lip balm.

Overall, I'm so in love with every colour I bought and I can't wait to buy more.

Have you tried anything from Colourpop? If not, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Canadian Experience With Colourpop Cosmetics

If you're at all into makeup it's almost a guarantee that you've heard of Colourpop Cosmetics. The brand is all over, and I mean ALL OVER, blogs and YouTube because the products are fun, great quality, and super cheap (or so I hear). The blogger and beauty lover in me had to see what all the fuss was about, but being in Canada and not the USA, I was really hesitant to place an order for a lot of reasons. The first being that shipping is not free, and the cost is assessed depending on how much you order, meaning the more you buy the more your shipping cost will be. Second, the website says orders can take 10-21 business days to arrive if you live outside of the USA, which is absolute agony for an impatient girl like me. The third (and biggest) reason I was hesitant to order was because I've heard that Canadians have been nailed in duty fees, so I was worried I was going to be charged an additional $60 or more on top of the pricey shipping fees and conversion rates. ANYWAY, as you can obviously see from my photo I let my curiosity get the better of me and I placed an order! EEE! I'll save the product reviews for another post, but instead I wanted to let all of you know my experience with the shipping process and let you know if I would order from the brand again.

First let's talk numbers. Colourpop eyeshadows and lippie stix/pencils retail for $5 USD, which right now with the conversion rate totals $6.33. Not sure if it was a little bit more or less than this when I made my purchase because these rates are always changing, but you get the idea. With everything that I bought (4 eyeshadows, 6 lippie stix, 2 lippie pencils and 1 blush), my subtotal was $63 USD (79.97 CAD) with a $5 discount code. Shipping cost $14.92 USD ($18.88 CAD) which sucked. Seriously, you Americans have no idea how lucky you are. Anyway, my total was $77.92 USD (98.62 CAD) meaning I roughly paid $7.58 CAD per item. When you break it down like that what I paid really isn't bad at all, so I was happy!

I placed my order on June 24 at around 10pm, and received an email almost instantly from Colourpop with a breakdown of my order, how much I spent, and a warning that orders usually take 3-5 business days to process. I received my order on July 2, which is only 6 business days after I placed my order, and 5 considering the fact that July 1 was a holiday and nothing gets delivered on holidays. So basically, instead of 10-21 business days my order took only 5 which I was blown away by. So so so happy!

The best news of all is that I was charged $0 in duties. NOTHING. Literally over the moon happy and excited because shipping rarely goes that smoothly in Canada unless something is getting shipped within Canada. I'm pretty sure the reason I didn't get charged is because my order was under $100 CAD, so if you're Canadian I would keep your order under $100 and you should be totally fine in terms of customs/duties.

Lastly, everything came packaged individually in a really pretty white box with layers of foam to protect the products. Nothing was damaged, and everything came perfect. Overall, I'm so happy with my experience with Colourpop and I can't wait to order from them again. Stay tuned to find out what I bought in another post!

Probably the longest blog post ever but hopefully this was helpful! What are your experiences with Colourpop?

Monday, July 6, 2015

My Thoughts On | Simple Skincare

Simple Skincare Review

It's that time of the month and my skin has been acting up like craaaazy! I've been getting pimples in the most random spots like smack dab in the middle of the little indentation under my nose/above my lip, and right under my brow bone. It sucks and having pimples in general just lowers my confidence and makes me feel poopy.  I ran to Shopper's to buy something that would hopefully calm my skin down and this brand caught my eye because the products are targeted specifically for sensitive skin (ME!!), and they don't contain any artificial perfumes or dyes which looked promising.

Simple Skincare Review

The first thing I picked up is the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash. I expected the consistency to look and feel like a cream, but it's somewhere between a gel and a cream because it's only semi-opaque and not too thick. I've been using this cleanser for a few weeks now and overall I'm not overwhelmed by its awesomeness. It's good because it doesn't irritate my skin, it doesn't make my skin feel too dry, and it hasn't caused any extra breakouts... buuuuut I haven't noticed a huge difference in how my skin looks/feels since using it. I guess in short if I had to describe my thoughts on this cleanser in one word it would be "meh....". 

Simple Skincare Review

Next I picked up the Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15. I've been really liking using this as a daily moisturizer, especially now that it's summer, because it contains SPF, absorbs into the skin instantly, and isn't so thick that it clogs my pores or breaks me out. When I feel my nose starting to get a little dry or if my skin starts to peel (which it always does) I put some of this on and almost instantly my skin looks glowing and healthy. Usually I'm more into gel creams but I really really like this!

Simple Skincare Review

Last is the absolute star of the show, the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. This is a complete and total dupe for Bioderma's Micellar Water. It has no smell and it feels exactly like I'm cleansing with water except it removes all of my makeup instantly. Normally I apply some of the micellar water to a couple cotton rounds and remove all of my makeup (even waterproof mascara which it mostly removes) before I wash my face and I've noticed that my skin looks so much smoother and cleaner after I properly cleanse. It's extremely gentle on the skin but so effective. If you haven't tried this micellar water yet you need to!

Have you tried any Simple skincare products?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mac Summer Lipstick Haul

Mac Summer Lipstick Haul

Okay so I may have gone a liiiiiiiiiittle bit cray at Mac on pay day. I started my addiction with Mac lipsticks not that long ago and now I'm lusting after a zillion shades that I'm slowly (eee maybe not that slowly) ticking off my wishlist and adding to my collection. In my defence, I feel like my lipstick collection is really heavy in the mauve/browny nude shades and really low in summery colours, so I needed to pick up a few to restore the balance right?

Mac Summer Lipstick Haul

As you can see, the shades I picked up are Lady Danger, Coral Bliss, All Fired Up, and Ruby Woo.

Mac Lady Danger Swatch

Lady Danger is a Matte formula that can be best described as an orange toned red. Because the colour pulls so much orange it looks amazing on warm and tanned skin tones, making it the perfect summer red shade. Right now I feel like I'm a little too fair to pull this off, so I've been pairing it with Mac's Cherry liner to pull out a little more red and make it more wearable on my skin tone. But in a few weeks when I hopefully have a little bit more colour, this is going to be my go-to.

Mac Coral Bliss Swatch

Coral Bliss is a Cremesheen formula which means it's sheer, moisturizing, and slightly glossy. Both the colour and the formula are completely outside of my comfort zone, but I wanted a summery everyday colour that I could easily throw on and that would go with a lot of different makeup looks. This colour is beeeeautiful. It's a coral shade but it isn't neon in the slightest and since it has so much pink it's very wearable, especially on my fair skin tone. I know that this is going to look even better when I have a bit of a tan and eeee I just love it.

Mac All Fired Up Swatch

All Fired Up is a Retro Matte formula which means it's extremely matte and drying, but it literally will not budge from your lips. It's a bright pinky red shade that doesn't bleed or feather, and it's one of those colours that looks good on virtually any skin tone. If you're looking for something bold but still summery, this needs to be your choice. This is actually a repurchase for me because I lost my last one, so that goes to show how much I'm in love with it. For a full review check out my post on All Fired Up here.

Mac Ruby Woo Swatch
Last but not least, Ruby Woo is a cult classic and for a good reason. It's a beautiful cool toned red that flatters every skin tone, and it's Retro Matte formula ensures that it'll stay on your lips all day long without getting on your teeth or ending up all over your face halfway through the day. Even though this isn't technically a summer inspired colour, it's a shade you can wear all year long making it a staple in every girl's makeup collection (at least that's what I convince myself when purchasing four shades at once...).

Mac Coral Bliss, Lady Danger, All Fired Up, Ruby Woo Swatch

Swatches from top to bottom: Coral Bliss, Lady Danger, All Fired Up, Ruby Woo.

Another great summer shade I picked up recently is Flat Out Fabulous. To see a full review/swatches check out my post here.

Do you own any of these shades?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blackheads Be Gone? La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ vs. Avene Cleanance Expert

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ vs. Avene Cleanance Expert

I'm going to start off by saying I have the weirdest skin type ever. I have the driest skin in the world that always peels and flakes BUT I'm also prone to blackheads/whiteheads on my nose. YUM. I read somewhere that blackheads are usually caused by an overproduction of oil, which just doesn't make any sense to me based on my skin because it looks and feels the complete opposite of oily. Anyway, I've been on the hunt for years for a moisturizer that will clear my skin, but also keep it hydrated without clogging my pores. I've read rave reviews about the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo and the Avene Cleanance Expert so I bought them both and used them one at a time over a period of a few months. I've used them both up completely so I'd say I have a pretty accurate idea about how well they work (for me at least) and how they compare to one another. So if you're interested to see which one worked better keep on reading!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ vs. Avene Cleanance Expert

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ is a moisturizer with a gel like consistency that claims it's effective in reducing breakouts and eliminating blackheads. When I first started using this it dried my skin out like crazy, but after a few weeks of use my skin sort of adjusted and I was able to use it as a standalone moisturizer most of the time. For days my skin was especially dry, I would use this underneath a more hydrating moisturizer and that seemed to work fine.

Despite the fact that it's a little drying, I loooove this product. During the few months that I was using it I had zero breakouts aside from the minor pimple here and there. Whenever I would feel a blemish coming on this moisturizer would zap it right away and prevent it from fully forming. When a blemish rarely would appear, this product helped it shrink in size without the annoying flaking that a lot of acne products cause. Hooooooooowever... this did pretty much nothing for my blackheads. I guess it might have eliminated them a little bit, and it definitely did make the size of my pores appear smaller because my skin looked healthier overall, but the results weren't effective enough to make me happy. Would I buy this product again? Probably, but if you're looking for a blackhead miracle cure this isn't it.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ vs. Avene Cleanance Expert

As you can see from the picture above the Avene Cleanance Expert has similar claims to the Effaclar Duo+, but it focuses more so on the removal of blackheads which was obviously something that screamed out to me. Unlike the Effaclar Duo+, this isn't a gel and it looks like your typical creamy moisturizer. Since the consistency is different I expected it to be a little more hydrating, but my skin around my nose peeled like crazy for pretty much the entire time I used this product. In terms of breakouts, I broke out a little bit more while using this than I did when using the Effaclar Duo+. I found that it did help prevent blemishes and it quickly healed the ones that were already there, but in a drying way if that makes sense? A better way to describe it is that instead of shrinking the blemishes, it would dry them out leaving my skin really really flakey in areas I had spots or even spots that were barely formed. Hopefully that's clear and I'm not completely rambling! Like the Effaclar Duo+ this did nothing for my blackheads either.

Put really simply, both products are good, and if you have normal/oily skin you'll be able to use both as a moisturizer on it's own without any problems. If you have acne prone skin, both will help eliminate your breakouts but neither will significantly get rid of your blackheads. All in all, the Effaclar Duo+ is better, but for $10 more the results might not be THAT much better than the Avene Cleanance Expert.

Do you have any recommendations for products to eliminate blackheads? If you do, GIMME GIMME.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kat Von D's Studded Kiss Lipstick vs. Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick vs. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Hi everyone!! The weather was somewhat warm and sunny today (it's raining now... AGAIN. ARGH) so I could finally take some pictures and get a few posts together! Does anyone else feel really guilty when they don't have posts up for a few days? I also just got a new camera and I'm waiting for my filters to come in the mail so the photography game up in here is about to get a lot better (I hope). Anyway, enough of my rant and on to today's post!

Kat Von D lip products are insanely hyped in the beauty world, particularly the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. If you shop at Sephora you know that the shade Lolita is always sold out in stores and online, so when I saw it at my local Sephora the other day I had to pick it up to see what all the fuss was about. Instead of just testing out the formula of the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, I wanted to compare it to the Studded Lipstick and see which one I preferred.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick vs. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

First I'll start off with the liquid lipstick. I know there's been some controversy over the shade Lolita because a bad batch went out that was straight up brown, but the shade I picked up is a beautiful rosy nude. Granted the shade does have strong brown undertones but on my fair skin it looks more like a muted version of Maybelline's Touch of Spice, and it's a little rosier than Mac's Velvet Teddy. The applicator on this liquid lipstick is genius and the best I've found so far. It's small and picks up the perfect amount of product, so it isn't too difficult to be precise especially if you're a beginner. I found the colour to apply relatively evenly, and I only needed one coat to fully cover my lips.

After about 3 hours of talking and drinking coffee the colour started to wear out in the center of my lips. It wasn't too terrible because the colour is fairly close to my natural lip colour, but it would have been a lot more noticeable if it were a darker or brighter shade. I think this might have been because I was instinctively licking my lips a lot because it was so drying, so I feel like if I applied lip balm an hour or so before application I wouldn't have been doing that and it would have lasted a lot longer on my lips.

Kat Von D Lolita and Kat Von D Bauhau5 Swatch

The shade of the Studded Lipstick I picked up is Bauhau5 which is the most beautiful berry shade ever. I'm going to be wearing it nonstop in the Fall/Winter and eeeeee I'm just so in love with it. The formula reminds me a lot of Mac's Retro Matte finish in terms of the smell (amazing vanilla), and how drying/matte it is. Don't get me wrong, I love Retro Matte finishes so this could be a bad/good thing depending on your preferences. It lasted about the same time as the liquid lipstick did before it started to wear in the center of my lips, but reapplication was smooth and it didn't look patchy or uneven. Even though it was really drying, it didn't emphasize any dry patches but I did exfoliate and moisturize my lips beforehand, so make sure you really prep before application.

Overall, I think I like the Studded Lipsticks a little bit more, but that's only because I tend to lean towards regular lipsticks vs. liquid lipsticks in general. If you love liquid lipsticks, you'll love Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, and if you prefer lipsticks that are creamy and moisturizing rather than super matte and drying you won't like Kat Von D's Studded Lipsticks.

Have you tried either of these products?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Roundup #5

Hi guys! First off I just want to apologize for being such a crap blogger lately. It's been raining nonstop for over a week now so I haven't been able to take any photos, but I promise I have a ton of new content coming up soon! Anyway, here's a bit of what I've been loving this week:

Shania Twain: I know, such a weird favourite but I rediscovered my love of Shania at her concert a few days ago. I bought cheap tickets off Stubhub just for something to do on a Thursday and ended up having so much fun! Since my boyfriend fractured his kneecap and is on crutches, we got relocated to SECOND FREAKING ROW. Such an awesome experience!!

Milani Rose Powder Blush: I won't go too much into detail because I wrote a full post on this product here, but I've been using this blush nonstop when I want a bit of colour on my cheeks that still looks natural. Plus, the packaging is worth mentioning on its own because it's so gorgeous.

Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Watermelon Lemonade: I've been burning this candle every single day this week. It smells exactly how it sounds, summery and sweet but not tooooo sweet. Heaven heaven heaven.

Steve Madden D-Band Leather Sandals: I contemplated buying this pair of sandals for a really long time at the store and decided not to get them, but I've been second guessing that decision and I can't make up my mind! What do you guys think?

NYX Matte Lipstick: I bought a couple new shades of this amazing drugstore lipstick not too long ago (which I mentioned in my haul here) and I've been loving them. The shade Bloody Mary has been my go to pinky red for nights I want a bold but still summery look.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water: I recently picked this up because I ran out of my L'Oreal version and it's been working great! It takes off every stitch of my makeup and it's been really gentle on my skin. Stay tuned for a full review up soon.

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot: I saved the best for last!!!!!! The Princess Diaries was my absolute favourite book series as a tween/teenager and I've missed Mia and her shenanigans! Meg Cabot finally came out with a new book to add to the series, but this time it's geared towards adults and it's amazing so far. Same humour and wit as the original series but a tad more grown up. I really hope she continues on with these!

What have you been loving this week?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Battle of the Drugstore Liquid Liners

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner vs. L'Oreal Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner

A while back I wrote a rave review on the Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyelinerbuuuuuut about a month into using it I was really disappointed. If I did a cat eye it would be smudged off by the end of the day, and the tip quickly became fuzzy and impossible to use so I would have to apply my lines using the sides of the applicator. Recently I picked up the L'Oreal Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner and I've been using it for a few weeks now, so I thought I would do a comparison to help you all figure out which you should try next time you're at the drugstore!

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner vs. L'Oreal Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner

The L'Oreal Infalliable Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner has, like the name says, a super slim felt tip that makes application really easy. It's pretty precise if you're looking to get a sharp cat eye or a thin line, but not as precise as Kat Von D's Ink Liner.  It doesn't have a matte finish, but it isn't overly glossy either which I love. So far, it's lasted me an entire day without any smudging but you have to be really careful you don't touch your eye otherwise it definitely will. It's also not waterproof by any means. Even just a little bit of water will leave this running down your face, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences because removing it is incredibly easy! Overall, for the price it's a really good liquid liner as long as you know you won't be in the water or if you're not prone to accidentally rubbing your eyes.

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner vs. L'Oreal Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner

Ah the Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner. If you look at this photo and compare it to the photo I originally took when I first purchased it, you can see how fuzzy the felt tip has become in such a short period of time. When I first used it brand new, it had a lot of similarities to L'Oreal's version in that it isn't matte but not overly glossy, it isn't waterproof, and (at the time) it didn't smudge. One major difference is that I found it isn't nearly as precise, probably because the applicator is just a little bit thicker. Like I said before, all the things I loved about this liner vanished after a few weeks of use because the formula and applicator quickly went to crap. It seemed to never fully dry on my eyelids so it would smudge really easily, and application took forever because the tip was completely dry. Maybe I got a bad version, or somehow didn't screw the lid on tight enough, but I would recommend the L'Oreal version over this hands down.

Have you tried either of these liners?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NYX High Voltage Lipsticks | My Thoughts

NYX High Voltage Lipsticks in Stone and Flutter Kiss

I mentioned a little while ago in my NYX Haul that two of the most recent additions to my lipstick collection are the NYX High Voltage Lipsticks in Stone and Flutter Kiss. I've used them a lot since purchasing them so I could get a really good idea about how well they wear, their pigmentation, what they pair well with, etc etc etc. I'm a HUGE fan of NYX products so my expectations were pretty high, but at the same time I didn't do much research on them before picking them up so I had zero idea what they would be like.

First, it might be obvious but these are not matte by any means. They have a very creamy formula that keeps the lips moisturized throughout the day, but they're pretty shiny looking and transfer a lot. When I say transfer I don't mean that they slide around on your face and 10 seconds after application it'll be on your cheek, but if you eat/drink/kiss it will come off. I also found that it didn't leave a stain, but that might be because I purchased two of the lighter shades, so this might not be true for the entire range.

NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Stone

Let's start with the colour Stone. Stone is browny nude that I was really excited about. It's a beautiful colour, but it almost has a bit of a grey undertone when applied to my lips so it washes me out a little bit. I've been trying it paired with mauve or pink lip liners and it looks gorgeous and so much more flattering. When I'm not in the mood to rock a matte lip or my lips are feeling really dry, this is what I've been turning to. It has good pigmentation (you might need to layer it on a few times if you have really pigmented lips though), it looks great with cool toned eyeshadows, and it fades completely evenly throughout the day so you won't end up looking like you're wearing only lip liner (we've all been there right?!).

NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Flutter Kiss

Next is Flutter Kiss, which is a stunning shade that I've been completely in love with. If you're as obsessed with Mac Soar Liner as I am and you're looking for something new to pair it with, you NEED this. It deepens the colour but adds a little bit of shine, so when I wear the combo my lips look so plump and hydrated. On it's own it's darker than an MLBB shade because my skin is so fair, so if you're fair and looking for a deep mauve shade, or if you have a darker skin tone, this would be absolutely perfect for you. The formula is consistent with Stone because it doesn't last forever on the lips, but it fades evenly and you'll actually enjoy touchups because it feels so moisturizing.

NYX High Voltage Lipsticks in Stone and Flutter Kiss

Here is Stone (top) and Flutter Kiss (bottom) swatched so you can see the pigmentation. The colours look a lot deeper on the lips than in the tube, so I would take that into consideration if you're trying to decide what shades to pick up. My only complaint is that the packaging gets SO dirty. Because the lid is clear, somehow lipstick gets all up in there and it ain't cute, but it's a small price to pay for how great these are.

Overall, if you're looking for moisturizing lipstick from the drugstore that you don't mind touching up throughout the day, get these!

Have you tried the NYX High Voltage Lipsticks?

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Must Have Blush for Spring

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose Review
For years the only blush I've ever worn is Nars Orgasm. When I first started getting into high end makeup it was a product that hit cult status and everyone was talking about how amazing it was (and they still are). Personally, I just don't really get the hype. It's a little too red for my fair skin and too glittery for my taste. Despite my meh attitude towards it I wanted to use it up without realizing that it takes FOREVER to use up a blush. Is it even possible? So I finally gave up and took a poke around the drugstore for something that might get me excited about blushes again. This Milani Rose Powder Blush is so freaking beautiful.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose Review
The colour I picked up is Tea Rose, which is a beautiful soft pink that screams Spring to me. Originally I had my heart set on Coral Cove but it was sold out, which was probably a blessing in disguise because I'm in love with this colour!!!!! It's really pigmented so I have to be careful if I haven't self-tanned, but it gives my cheeks a really nice pop of colour and because it isn't too bright the risk of looking like a clown because of applying too much is pretty minimal. One of my favourite things about it is that there's no hint of sparkle or glitter in it, so it looks completely natural. I'm in love.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the design is? I almost don't want to use it because I want the rose to stay intact forever. Ahhhh so gorgeous. Now I need all the shades! Why do I do this to myself...

What's your favourite Spring blush?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Roundup #4

What I'm loving this week:

H&M Home: As you can see from my last few posts I've fallen in love with a marble plate I found at H&M Home and I'm going to photograph it to death. If you live in Canada you know how frustrating it is to not have H&M Home because they carry the cuuuuuuutest things and you can't even order them online from the UK or the US! West Edmonton Mall is the only mall in Canada that I know of that carries the home items and since I'm here for the summer I need to take advantage and buy everything to bring home with me. A few things I've been loving are these cute little pineapple candles and this marble cheese platter.

NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Frostbite: In my last post I talked about how amazing this eyeshadow is and I've been wearing it like crazy since I bought it. It's a beautiful icy blue that's white based so it looks amazing as an inner corner highlight. When I wear it my boyfriend calls me "fancy" which in boy talk is a big compliment (I think/hope). I want every single shade!

L'Oreal Lumi Foundation in C3: I raved about this foundation here a while back and I still can't get enough of it. It's perfect for my dry skin because it gives my skin a beautiful glow while still giving me the perfect amount of coverage. The packaging is beautiful, especially for the drugstore, and it's something I know I'll repurchase over and over.

Smoothies: I know I know such a random thing to add to my favourites but I just bought a blender and making smoothies is my favourite nighttime snack (other than cherry blasters or chocolate and peanut butter). When I really want to indulge I blend together a frozen banana, a bit of chocolate milk, ice, and a teaspoon of peanut butter and it's SO FREAKING GOOD. It tastes like a milkshake but without all the cream and calories! Okay there's still a little bit of calories but I'm going to convince myself it's healthy. I may or may not have just taken a break from writing this post to go make one.

Real Techniques Blush Brush: I featured this in my post here and I'm still in love with it. I'm not sure what it is that makes it apply my blush so nicely, but it's pretty and soft and cheap. What more can you ask for really?

Forever 21 Donut Coin Purse: I'm basically an old lady because I carry around coin purses with me all the time, but this one is so cute!

Essie Nail Polish in Mod Square: I just gave myself an at-home pedicure (granted a really crappy one) and I used this shade! It's an electric barbie pink that everyone needs in their life.

What have you been loving this week?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

NYX Haul!

NYX Haul

NYX is one of my favourite drugstore beauty brands (and probably one of my favourites of all time in general) because they offer an enormous selection of products that are comparable to the quality of high end products, but they're a fraction of the price. The only problem with NYX is that they're close to impossible to find in Canada, and when you finally do find a place that carries the brand they have a pretty minimal selection. Luckily I'm in Alberta for the summer and a drugstore called London Drugs carries a huuuuuge selection and they offer free shipping if you subscribe to their newsletter! Needless to say I got a little carried away...

The first thing I picked up is the NYX Wonder Pencil in Light. I've been using this as a reverse lip liner, basically outlining the outside of my lips to act as a guide for my liquid lipsticks. I was hoping that this would make my lips look a little more defined, but so far I haven't been wowed. Maybe I'm using it wrong? It's really creamy and blendable so it's great in that sense, but it hasn't been something I've been constantly turning to since I bought it. It's a multi-purpose product so you could also use it as a concealer or cover stick to hide pesky blemishes! Just make sure to sharpen in between uses so you don't spread around bacteria.

NYX Matte and Prismatic Eyeshadows

If you have a cool skin tone, you know how difficult it is to find cool toned crease colours (especially matte ones!) so I decided to pick up a couple shades of the NYX Matte Shadows. The colours I chose are Bare My Soul (left) and Haywire (right). They're both STUNNING. They're creamy, super pigmented, and easily blendable. I also haven't had any problems with creasing which I know can be a problem with lower end eyeshadows. Bare My Soul is perfect for an everyday look, whereas Haywire is a more dramatic colour that looks a lot more brown and less purple once actually on the lid.

Next I decided to try the new NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow which I'm completely head over heels in love with. The colour I picked up is Frostbite and I've been using it in my inner corners. It's a beautiful white base with a hint of blue in it that makes me feel like Queen Elsa (heheh). It's so intensely pigmented and creamy, and it's just amazing quality for the price. I need to pick up a ton more shades and do a proper review with swatches so you can all see how great they are!

NYX Matte and High Voltage Lipsticks

Finally, what's a haul without a few lipsticks? I picked up a couple more shades of the NYX Matte Lipsticks because they're probably my favourite drugstore formula. The packaging is a little cheap, but they go on so creamy and they're really pigmented. While they're not as matte as Mac matte lipsticks and are more comparable to a satin finish, they stain your lips and last for hours. The shades I picked up are Aria, a beautiful purple I'll be wearing non-stop come the fall, and Bloody Mary, a gorgeous pinky red.

The last range I picked up are the relatively new NYX High Voltage Lipsticks in Flutter Kiss and Stone. I don't want to give away too much because I have a post about my full thoughts on these coming soon!

What are your favourite products from NYX?
© Melissa Bartlett | Beauty & Lifestyle. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig