Friday, February 17, 2017

REAL TECHNIQUES | Bold Metals Makeup Brushes


Uniquely shaped, ergonomically designed and just simply luxe - I hardly get gushy about makeup brushes but this post has been a long time coming. The Bold Metals collection follows the success of Sam and Nic's Real Techniques drugstore priced and well marketed makeup brushes that's known for being some of the most popular synthetic options around. But if you're not quite satisfied with the rubber handle gathering dust, melting in the heat and bristles that loose its omph after a couple of months then these are the ones you need.

Real Techniques Bold Metals brush review

The Bold Metals range is the high-end lineup from Real Techniques and features colour coordinated high shine weighted handles, premium synthetic bristles and some unique designs that make them a collectible even if you are a brush connoisseur. Like a good paint brush does, the heavier balanced handle forces you to apply makeup a little differently and perhaps a little more delicately but after using them for a few months, they are still my most reached for tools. Although they are synthetic, the brush hairs washes up superbly without any fraying and even as I run them through a rainbow of colours from bright pink blush to black eye shadow, they wash up pristine without any staining.

The only thing that detracts from the quality is the fact that the paint/foil on the handles seems to ding really easily because despite keeping them in a jar and only using them at home. I have managed to get a few scratches on them so do treat them with extra care.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Make Up For Ever | High Precision Lip Pencil

Make Up For Ever lipliner

Ah, lip pencils. Every necessity or frivolous add on, I think it never hurts to have a few faithful in the back of your beauty drawer for perfecting that fussy lipstick. Make Up For Ever has been incredibly busy expanding their lip collection it seems and with that, they've recently re-released their classic wooden lip pencils. If you're still looking for some beauty regime builders, look this way.

Make Up For Ever Lipliner

Brand: Make Up For Ever
Product: High Precision Lip Pencil*
Size: 1.14gram
Colour(s): 12 MUFE website, 8 Sephora online
Price: $22 CAD / $18 USD
Availability: Sephora, MUFE Boutiques
Would I (re)purchase: Yes!

Make Up For Ever markets this lip liner collection as a set of neutral colours used to define and perfect the lip contour. Variations of nude, plum, rose and brown shades makes this a basic makeup wardrobe builder especially if you prefer earthy makeup or need something polished for work. Separated into three tonal families, there's a few variations in each of the nude, pink and red categories.

Make Up For Ever Lipliner

Make Up For Ever Lipliner
Top - Bottom | #23, #14, #40

Great balance between glide and durability, I like how they are so easy to apply without any tugging. I've used pencils that are more like glossy lipsticks and others that are thick and hard to manipulate but these are pretty fool proof. Colour comes on strong, glide is great and the formula allows for a little bit of blending but doesn't smear into nothingness if you rub it with your finger. Nothing intimidating here. 


This is where this MUFE pencil really shines and immediately jumped to my top drawer selection; these are one of the few options I can wear as an actual lipstick all over and look great throughout the day. Despite not labeled as a long lasting product per say (there's Aqualip for that), I found this to be very forgiving on my lips, did not accentuate my lip lines nor crack or made my lips look dry. That in itself deserves a gold star because I have an awful time wearing lip liners that not only last but doesn't parch my lips. Note that these do not claim to be and are not transfer proof but I have eaten with this and still came out with a good even stain.

Make Up For Ever Lipliner
ON MY LIPS: #14 all over

Make Up For Ever's High Precision Lip Pencil offers flexibility for wearing as a liner or going solo as a lipstick. Either way, the well curated selection of neutral shades offers lots of options for everyday colours and I can see these as a makeup staple for lipstick lovers especially. I was most impressed by how evenly and comfortably these wore throughout the hours while not enhancing my lip texture. Essentially, you (and I) need more of these.
Chat soon,

Saturday, February 11, 2017

3 Things | Combat winter frizz

Winter hair care
Winter hair care

Sweater hair. It's the nicer way to describe the annoying frizz that accompanies the season. My long hair is, more frequently than not, flat on top from hats and a complete mess on the bottom thanks to the dry air and the daily routine of pulling on my fuzzy knitwear. Currently on rotation are these three products I've been using in an attempt to win the frizz fight.

Post shampoo, I've been using a dollop of the Pantene 3 Minute Miracle* as a step up treatment from my usual conditioner. It's deceiving light in texture and spreads easily but it also does a great job at smoothing the ends of my hair. Compared to other Pantene conditioners, it seems to rinse cleaner but still leave my damp hair sleek and silky. And while I don't think my hair is super damaged per say, I like how this has been working as my regular winter conditioner. Unlike richer masks which can weigh down finer hair if used too frequently, this one still leaves me with movement and bounce so its a good match for those with oilier hair who need just a little something extra.

For those with coarser or harder to manage hair, the Kerastase Chronologiste Oil* might be your better winter option. Beyond the fact that it smells so sophisticated, this oil has more of a serum like consistency and is both a treatment, protectant and styling product. At the salon, my stylist mixed this with a smoothing cream then round brushed my hair to bouncy perfection but it's a little rich for me on the regular so I do use it more selectively. However, used on my mother's permed hair, this lets her air dry with soft definition and less frizz so she's a fan.

Of course I can't end without mentioning this cult classic, the Frizz Ease Secret Weapon*. I've put off trying this for years because I always thought it would be a heavy cream but if you find the golden ratio (use less, add more) then it just might grow into your daily standby. As a finishing product, I like this to smooth down my fresh curls after fluffing my hair upside down for root volume or as a perfecting product when pulling my hair into a ponytail. With a light texture but no hold, it's easy to get too product happy but I find a dime sized amount is just right for taming sweater hair and second day frizz.

Chat soon,

I am a Beauty United influencer. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Take a spa moment...because you need it

TheBodyShop Spa of the World

The other day I had a bath. A bath? Really? That's all you came to write about today? Well, there's a little more to this because you see, baths have always been a luxury growing up. When I was a child growing up in China, bathtubs in homes were a rarity and having a bath was usually reserved for very small children sitting in big bright plastic wash bins. Not only is there a cultural distance but even as I've been living in Canada for more than a decade, baths still seemed like such a guilty pleasure because of all the water hogging and that mere fact that well... you'd just have to sit in there the whole time.

But between starting a new job, feeling incredibly nervous and shoveling a ridiculous amounts of snow that shouldn't be here in Vancouver at all, I felt so worn out on a Saturday afternoon that I finally ran myself a bath. Reaching deep into the back of the beauty cabinet, I threw a few scoops of The Body Shop's Egyptian Milk and Honey Bath* powder in the steaming water and sank my sore and weary self into the pale blue bath water. Down...way down up to my shoulders. The sweet, soft fragrance of honey with a tinge of flowers was relaxing without being overpowering and filled the room with its lingering aura. Drying off, I followed up with the Japanese Camellia Cream* which has a bouncy souffle texture and contains oils of the white flower prized for its skin caring properties rich in oleic acid. Although light in texture, it only takes a little to spread over the skin and I even took the extra care to cover behind my legs and an extra dollop on my elbows. Forty minutes later, wrapped up in my fluffiest winter robe, I decided this bath was the best decision I made all month because sometimes, you just need a spa moment.

Take care,

Saturday, February 4, 2017

CND | #NewWave Spring'17 Polish Collection

CND NewWave Vinylux

I don't know about you but I am so ready to kick these winter blues with all the extra snow this season in Vancouver and CND's 2017 New Wave collection featuring 80s inspired brights tinged with a futuristic vibe. Skipping spring pastels altogether, these punchy colours can be worn with classic pairings or mixed into your nail art repertoire. As always, CND provides the option between their weekly wear Vinylu formula (reviewed and love) or their ever popular Shellac soak off gels.

CND NewWave Vinylux
CND NewWave Vinylux
MY NAILS | Shellac #NewWave in "Pink Leggings" with glitter tips

I had my nails done for the holidays courtesy of CND's ONYX nail salon and opted for Shellac to last me through holiday gatherings. My nail artist recommended the glitter to jazz up the basic coat and it quickly turned into an 80s disco party on my nails. 

FULL #NEWWAVE COLLECTION | Left to write in photo below
  • Blue Eyeshadow* | mid-tone royal blue
  • Video Violet* | pure purple with a tinge of violet
  • Ecstasy* | semi sheer magenta with violet duo-chrome metallic
  • Pink Leggings* | bright 80s hot pink
  • Jelly Bracelet* | warm orange with pale golden duo-chrome metallic
  • Banana Clips* | cheery cool mid-tone yellow
Available: Starting January 2017 at Trade Secrets and select Shoppers Drug Mart locations coming soon! Priced at $12.50 MSRP.

CND NewWave Vinylux
CND NewWave Vinylux

Since I was lucky enough to get the collection early, I've already dabbled in most of the shades but my straight away faves would have to be that fun Banana Clip yellow, Pink Leggings and that duo-chrome Ecstasy. Now if only I could do nail art like the promo video....

Shine on,

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TARTE | Rainforest of the Sea Foundation


Tarte Rainforest Foundation Review

Never under estimate the powers of snazzy marketing cushioned by rave social media hype because that's exactly how I got absolutely obsessed with getting my hands on this Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation. It had all the right adjectives; lightweight, full coverage, hydration boosting plus a selection of shades based on undertones – yup, I was hunted this down in every local Sephora in town until I finally made the purchase online. Now the true test is winning me over in real life but things aren't always what they seem...

Tarte Rainforest Foundation Review

Brand: Tarte
Product: Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
Size: 30ml
Shades: 21 Shades (shown: Fair-Light Neutural)
Price: $39 USD / $51 CAD
Details: Made in Korea
Availability: Sephora, Ulta, Tarte online
Would I repurchase: Probably not.

This is a creamy yet fluid foundation that has a serum like consistency to the touch yet dries to a soft matte finish. The dropper style dispensing system not only works well with the formula but I also secretly wish that all foundations went this route because it keeps the product hygienic as well as giving me ample control over how much I want to use each time. There is an ever so slight scent from the actual ingredients but no additional fragrance. The overall design and aesthetic is on trend without being garish plus that purple and gold ombre theme just looks beautifully stylish paired with the slim frosted glass bottle.

Tarte Rainforest Foundation Review