Month: May 2015

A Very Canuck Swap – May 2015

Nail polish junkies are constantly looking for fun ways to feed their obsession, and participating in a polish swap is the perfect solution. Two lovely Instagram ladies (@canaildian_girl and @mynailsdid) organized A Very Canuck Swap, which is a polish swap for Canadians only. There are two categories to enter, $25 or $50, and each participant buys a minimum amount worth of polish (depending on which category they choose) for another swapper. It’s basically like Secret Santa, so the fun is all in the surprise. You can also add in extra goodies, on top of the minimum polish amount. Putting together a box full of polishes that your swap partner will love, and then waiting for the box to arrive on their doorstep, is such an enjoyable process. You also get to meet a bunch of amazing ladies along the way.

I participated in the $25 category when the first swap took place in February and it was a huge success. This time around, we had even more participants, and I moved up to the $50 category. I mailed my swapper’s box on Friday and it should arrive at her house any minute now. I also woke up to my own box at my doorstep this morning!

As I unwrapped my box, it was like a nesting doll – each layer of wrapping revealed another beautiful layer underneath. I was thrilled to see a Sephora gift box at the bottom of all that wrapping. These boxes are perfect for organizing makeup, so this is a welcome addition to my collection.

The top layer of the box contained a nice card from my swap girl, Annie (@anniepolishes), as well as some yummy Starburst candies and gummy bears. The box also held some sweet-smelling extras: Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Body Lotion and Japanese Cherry Blossom candle, ORLY Rich Renewal Hydrating Crème, and Clinique Happy. The ORLY crème feels so nice on my hands and the Clinique fragrance is a nice light summer scent. Plus, who doesn’t love Bath & Body Works products?

One of the most thoughtful aspects of this swap box was the massive supply of nail stickers and vinyls. Annie did her research and ordered custom decals of some of my favourite things. My Nails Did Vinyls created these adorable custom vinyls of monkeys, bananas and daisies. Also included were maple leaf decals, which will be perfect for Canada Day celebrations. There were also spiral stencils, triangle stencils and ladybug decals from Eat. Sleep. Polish., spiral stencils and a mermaid decal/stencil set from YouPolish, and a variety of flowers and other cute nail stickers. I’ve been using a lot of vinyls in my nail art recently, so I can’t wait to try all of these.

Included in this picture are two containers of red and yellow loose glitter, a wax pencil for picking up rhinestones (these little guys are super handy), and some much-needed cuticle remover. Now for the main event: the polish. Annie really outdid herself with this selection of polish.

Urban Outfitters’ Blue-Tie – This is a gorgeous deep blue with a subtle shimmer.

Finger Paints’ Leonardo’s Lime – A spring green crème that will make a great addition to my FP collection.

KleanColor’s Chunky Holo Fuchsia – I love how this colour changes depending on the lighting. It’s a deep reddish-pink jelly with orange holographic microglitter. So pretty.

MISSHA The Style Crystal Nail Polish in JBR01 – I don’t entirely know how to describe this colour, but I really like it. I guess you could say it’s a light brown with a hint of purple, but the holographic finish gives this colour a whole new dimension. The adorable heart-shaped bottle comes with an extra wide brush for easy application. I’m really looking forward to trying this one.

Beyond the Nail’s Comet – This green polish is from the 2014 Summer Galaxy Collection, which featured all neon, holo jellies. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Coco & Lulu’s Pied a Terre – I have an unhealthy obsession with Cake Beauty’s Delectable hand creams, and I had no idea they have their own polish line. I have no doubt I’ll love this taupe crème polish just as much as Cake’s hand creams.

Avant Garde Lacquer’s Big Red Candle – This sultry red polish has the perfect amount of shimmer and looks so pretty in the sunlight.

Sally Hansen’s Pacific Blue (original formula) – Everyone knows the perfection of this colour and formula, and you can never have too many.

ORLY’s Sugar High Collection: Frosting, Cake Pop, Key Lime Twist, Sweet Dreams, Candy Shop, and Plum Sugar – This whole collection is just beautiful. I’ve had my eyes on it since the day it was announced and I am so excited to finally own it. I can’t even pick a favourite; they’re all just amazing.

Overall, I am absolutely blown away by the contents of this swap box. Annie did a great job picking everything out. I love it all. Thank you so much, Annie!

May 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag

There are so many subscription boxes available these days, it’s difficult to choose just one. I’ve been an Ipsy subscriber for about a year and a half now, and the bags have been hit and miss. Sometimes I absolutely adore my glam bag, and other times I just don’t have an interest in any of the products. More often than not, I enjoy 2-3 products and pass the rest onto my mom to try. Though I have to admit, Ipsy is a great deal for the price. Even if I only enjoy one product from the glam bag, that one product is generally worth at least the $15ish ($10USD + shipping) that I paid for the bag.

May’s glam bag arrived this week and it’s one of the best selections of products I’ve seen in awhile. Now that I’m building up my kit for freelance work, I’m finding uses for products that I may not have used before. Also, how cute is that bag?!

One product in particular that will be making its way into my makeup kit is the Bellapierre Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Ebony. This waterproof pencil glides on effortlessly and provides intense pigment, while staying on all day without smudging. The creamy gel formula in pencil form allows for a quick and easy application, which will save a lot of time when working on clients.

For those of us with oily skin, finding a moisturizer that hydrates while mattifying skin can be quite difficult. This Morning Dew Matte-Finish Moisturiser from Amie provides a smooth base for my makeup without adding excess oil.

Urban Decay is my go-to brand for eyeshadow and liner, but I’ve never used any of their lip products. I am so excited to try the new Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Failbait and Bittersweet. These colours are so vibrant and fun, and I’m a sucker for purple lips. These samples also came with the Ozone 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil, a clear liner that works under any lipstick or gloss to prevent bleeding and fill fine lines.

Blending brushes have been extremely valuable in my first few makeup classes, so I was thrilled to find one in my glam bag this month. I’ve received Luxie brushes from Ipsy before and I love them. The bristles are unbelievably soft and there hasn’t been any fallout at all. This tapered blending brush is the perfect addition to my brush kit.

Many years of colouring my hair has left it a little dry, especially at the ends. I can hear my locks calling for this leave-in conditioning spray from Briogeo. I’ve seen this brand at Sephora, but haven’t tried it yet, so I’m looking forward to testing Rosarco Milk on these desperate strands. I will definitely be doing a full review of this conditioner in a later post, so keep an eye out for it.

Overall, I’d say this month’s Ipsy glam bag was a huge success. Sorry, Mom, I won’t be sharing any products this time around.


Beauty School Diary #1

A lot of information has been thrown at me during my first two makeup artist classes, and I’m doing my best to just take it all in. We’ve discussed colour theory, contouring and natural makeup looks, and have also been introduced to face charts (which will take some serious practice). Throughout all my years of schooling, I’ve found I retain information best when I write it out and discuss it.

Here are a few of the helpful tips and tricks I’ve learned so far:

  • Complementary colours (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/violet) make each other stand out when used together, but they also cancel out when layered, which is super handy for concealing skin imperfections. Mix a bit of green corrector into your concealer to cover up red spots, or mix in orange to reduce the blue tint under your eyes.
  • When contouring, use darker shades to minimize specific areas of your face and lighter shades to highlight and draw attention. For example, highlight your cheek bone with a light shade and place a dark shade just under it to create a more defined cheek. You can also blend darker shades along your hairline to make your forehead appear smaller.
  • The key thing to remember when contouring is to use cool tones, not orange-toned bronzers. Bronzers are designed to add warmth to the face, while a cool tone will create more of a natural contoured shadow.
  • When using a variety of liquid, cream and powder cosmetics, the order of application is crucial to your makeup’s staying power. Be sure to apply all liquid and cream products first, set with finishing powder next, and then apply any powder products last.
  • To create a cohesive makeup look, it’s a good idea to keep your blush and lipstick within the same colour family. If you want a peach lip, use peach on your cheeks as well. Products like Benefit’s lip and cheek stains are perfect for matching your lips and cheeks for a well-balanced makeup look.

For more makeup tips and tricks, keep an eye out for my next beauty school diary. Comment below if you have any tips of your own to share!