Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beauty Look | #shupette Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Holiday Collection

It looks like we're going to be having a very kitty Christmas.

This holiday season beauty and fashion come together once again in this limited edition Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Shupette Beauty Collection. The fabulous feline behind the inspiration is actually Karl's royally spoiled cat Choupette who's been jet setting with the top designer and is now featured in her own makeup ad.

Here's a quick look at what I have in my hands from this collection. All the products are printed with a cat-errific drawing of Choupette by Karl himself. I just adore the sweet little ribbon and how her eyes sparkle of sapphire blue!

"Up the glamour quotient with colorless shimmer powder with kitty-soft silky texture and gentle pink and gold sparkles." | Shop it!

Super soft and delicate, this loose powder has a fine mesh sifter lid (I removed it for the photo) and a kitty print face puff for a quick and easy application. I'm usually not one for shimmer face powders are they tend to photograph terribly but this one is more of a luminescence that feels and looks like angel dust. Pale skins can wear this all over while medium to darker skin tones may find this better used as a highlight.

"Diamonds are a Shupette's best friend. This loose iridescent powder trio comes in brilliant sparkles so you'll catch the paparazzi flashes and be the belle of the night.
Loose powder glitter trio comes in brilliant sparkles of pink, gold and platinum that are perfect to finish your celebrity look
"  | Shop it!

A trio of sparklers that's perfect for gifting, this contains a gold, white/pearl and pink glitter set. The box labels it as eyeshadow but I would recommend using this sparingly as a finishing pop of shine as it is a bit gritty to work with as an all over eyeshadow on its own. Layer it over a powder shadow, pop on the center of the eye lid, the inner corner or as under shadow and you'll be good to shine.

#01 BLUE, #02 PINK | $45CAD
"Paw on a parisienne chic cat eye with the palette that includes the gor-geous “Shupette blue”, or get cute to the maximum in a bright pink tokyo kawaii cat eye.
Three pearly eye shadow shades pre-set in exclusive Shupette custom case." | Shop #01 & #02

Whether you're feeling playful or sweet, these two eyeshadow sets will help you set the mood. All six shades contain some kind of pearl, iridescence or duo-chrome shine. Pigmentation is great and the powders can easily be layered to create varying intensities without getting muddy or cakey. Smoothness varies between shades but none were terribly hard to work with. Note that the case can be taken apart and all the pans are interchangeable with other Shu customizable palettes.

"Partial accent lashes with metallic silver highlights and Shupette-blue crystals just for you to eyedolize yourself." | Shop it!

Of course no Shu Uemura collection is ever complete without a fabulous set of lashes. For Shupette, they have designed spikey accent lashes with silver foil and blue jewels on each piece. Each set contains 3 pieces for the top lashes and 3 pieces for the bottoms lashes, per eye. This is definitely an affordable collector's piece for lash lovers out there!

  • Rouge BonBon Fantasy Lip Palette | #01, #02 | $45CAD
  • Furry Fantasy Premium False Lashes | $100CAD
  • Silk Cushion Cheek | $35CAD
  • Eye-need-shu Pencil Eyeliner | Midnight Black & Gala Brown | $28CAD
  • Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil | $98CAD
  • Eye & Lip Palette | $ 115CAD
  • UV Tsuya Skin Under Base Mousse | $46CAD
  • Eyelash Curler | $24CAD
  • With Love from Paris Brush Set | $95
All items are limited edition and are also available at Holt Renfrew, select Sephora and Hudson's Bay Shu counters nationwide.

Now if you know me, you know I can not pass up on a pair of false lashes so I built my look around them using shades of blue and accented with soft coral hues on the lips and cheeks. Choupette is definitely a princes so I wanted to keep the look pretty yet playful.

  • SHU UEMURA | Light Bulb Foundation* | Medium Light Beige
  • SHU UEMURA |  Pampearl Me Loose Powder*
  • SHU UEMURA | Hard Eyebrow Pencil* | #05
  • SHU UEMURA | Eye-need-shu Shadow Trio* #01 
  • SHU UEMURA | Tint in Gelato* #CR04

  • On clean moisturized skin, I applied one pump of the Light Bulb Foundation which has medium buildable coverage and a satin-glow finish. Buff this out with a brush for even coverage. Then top off the forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose and chin with a light press of Pampearl Me Loose Powder.
  • Shape brows with the Hard Brow Pencil in an arched shape. This was a little hard than I thought as it was also my first time using this cult favourite brow shader, looks like I still need some practice but the application was very smooth and the colour payoff was perfect.
  • Using the #01 Blue trio (I was completely mesmerized by that duo-chrome deep blue), apply the medium periwinkle all over the lid and blending slightly past the outter edge of the natural eye shape. Switch to a bullet brush and run the deep blue along the upper lash line and then shading the outter edge of the eye and again blending outwards. Line just the outer tip of the lash line with a small thin flick of black liquid eyeliner. Run deep blue over the outer 1/3 of the lower lash line and the periwinkle along the rest of the lower lash line.
  • Time for the pizzazz! Because I have very sparse lashes that will hardly show in photos, merely popping the Shupette accent lashes over my own will look a little out of place. In this case, I first started with a full strip of light lengthening lashes then added the accent pieces on top concentrating on the outer edges for that feline look.
  • Finish off with coordinating coral lips and cheeks using the Tint in Gelato in CR04.

I dare you to wear this to a holiday party! Its sweet yet never boring and if the lashes are really not your thing then the blue and coral duo will still be a perfect match on their own. If you are to pick up a thing (or two) from this Shupette Collection, my favourites are absolutely this blue shadow trio along with the loose powder as they are both very versatile. Here's to a very kitty holiday season!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Instyler Ionic Hot Styling Brush | Video

Hair tools have become a bit of an mini addiction of mine as of late. Having long hair can often fall in the danger zone of being boring but what's a skill challenged girl to do?

My most recent acquisition after much fraught research is the Instyler Ionic 4-in-1 Styler which is essentially a hot styling brush meant to be used on dry hair for adding either fun waves, bouncy curls or frizz-free body to style challenged hair.

Website | London Drugs Regular Version | London Drugs Pro Version

For those who remember, I bought (and love) the Instyler Rotating Hot Iron (reviewed) last winter and while I loved the fast and efficient results there were a few drawbacks with now noisy it was plus some tricky neck burning incidents. While the 4-in-1 Ionic Styler takes care of those two problems the results are much harder to control and this seems better suited for creating varying texture in the hair rather than smooth glamourous curls. I'll let you decide in the before and after comparison photo (above) and let me know if you have a favourite lazy girl hair tool!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

EVENT: 60min with Maxime Poulin | Guerlain's International Makeup Artist

One of the most absolutely rewarding things about beauty blogging is being able to meet those who are passionate about what they do and a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Guerlain's International Makeup Artist Maxim Poulin to chat beauty philosophy, holiday makeup and of course that elusive je ne sais quoi that surrounds French women.

For those who are a fan of luxury products, Guerlain would be no stranger. Originating as one of the oldest perfume houses in the world, the brand was established in 1828 in Paris by Mr. Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain who later became the royal perfumer to French royalty Napoleon III and his wife Eugene. Success passed from generation to generation and the house of Guerlain soon delved into skincare as well as colour cosmetics and is now an iconic name in French beauty and might I add is one of my personal guilty pleasures.

As a member of the Art Team working alongside Guerlain's Creative Director Olivier Échaudemaison, Maxime quickly found an affinity to the brand's philosophy that spoke true to his own ideals about beauty.

"Let the individual woman shine through."

For him, having made up different women from all over the world, the idea of a singular beauty look isn't the goal. Instead, the makeup should bring out and enhance each persons individuality in a way unique and intimate to them.


Not having traveled very far myself, I was eager to hear his thoughts on how Canadian women think about beauty compared to other parts of the world that he's visited. His answer was somewhat unexpected.

"Canadian women" he begins, "have the great advantage of learning from other cultures. Being exposed to so many multi-cultural influences, they often pick up on certain elements and add it to their own routine."

For Maxime, there isn't a well defined beauty aesthetic here in Canada like there tends to be in other countries but rather a mixing of different styles that blend into one another. In short, we're interested in experimenting with new things and aren't afraid to mix and match.


Being one of the iconic French beauty houses, the subject natural drifted to the topic of that elusive je ne sais quoi which seems to surround all French women.

"What is it about French women?" I ask. "What is this beauty secret that make them so chic even when they are simply out grocery shopping?"

"It's just an intuitive feeling" Maxime explains, his own French accent very much befitting this conversation at this moment. "It more about an attitude rather than a particular look or product or style. Actually, the style is usually never perfect and this is done purposely. If the hair is very done up then the makeup is more casual or vice-versa. Women in France, whether they wear a lot of makeup or not usually have a certain beauty routine, where they dedicate a small amount of time each day just to themselves to engage in their own small beauty rituals. It's the way of living a womanly lifestyle."


At this point, I could no longer deny the constant flicker of my eye towards the beautiful display of makeup that lined the counter. I asked Maxime to talk me through a few ways to create a fall and winter look, even something you could wear to all those holiday parties which we all use as an excuse to wear our fancy lipsticks.

Here's his quick break down
  • Go for gold. It illuminates the skin in a beautiful warmth which is especially welcomed this time of the year in the dull weather when skin can look a bit lackluster.  Gold tones run through most of Guerlains colour products from primers to eye shadows and these colours bring a touch of warm radiance to any skin tone.
  • A smokey eye never fails. One of his favourite ways to wear an easy smokey eye is to create a layered look using a brown gel pencil blended from the lash line upwards then layered with a black kajal pencil at the base of the lash line which is smudged with a cotton bud or small brush, mixing with the brown and transforming the looking into a softly shaded smokey eye that is easy to wear for day but can also be transformed for night time.


"You can not go wrong with a red lipstick" Maxime insists.

And to this I must agree. There's almost a magical transformational quality about a crimson lip that makes even the most simple of makeup styles look chic and presentable. It's of my favourite ways to put on an event ready face when I'm not in the mood to match eye shadows colours.

Guerlain's lipsticks are an indulgence and rightfully so. From the exquisite mirrored compact of its Rouge G range to the creamy formulations and beautiful shine infused with mango and shea butter. Maxmine introduces me to #25 Garconne, a richly pigmented classic red that is infused with ruby powder. How's that for holiday glamour!

But the trick to the perfect red lip, whether it's a cherry, merlot or scarlet, is the right preparation. Taking the effort to do the proper steps will ensure the most beautiful results and do justice to the colour as well. Your red lip routine should ideally include; exfoliation, hydration, primer, lip liner, lipstick, blotting and then a reapplication of lipstick to built up lasting saturation.

FIND GUERLAIN | Guerlain Online | Sephora


Having jetted his way from Paris to Montreal, Toronto and then Vancouver I'm sure Maxime has been living out of a suitcase for weeks. Even so, his enthusiasm is infectious and there was never a dull moment chatting with him about makeup, beauty philosophies and detox juice...yes we went there as well. It was his first time in Vancouver and I wondered if any of you had the chance to meet him at the makeup event at The Bay downtown later that day?

Until next time Maxime, come back any time.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Edition | 3 Gifts for the Picky Beauty Lover

We're vain, judgmental and rather picky. I get it.

Beauty lovers can hard to shop for, especially the ones that seem to have everything. But fear not for I have devised the perfect plan to check these nice (or naughty) people off your holiday shopping list with a few product recommendations and some shopping tips as well to get you along.

  • JILL STUART | Blush Mix N* | Get it here 
  • CLINIQUE | Even Better Foundation* | Get it here 
  • LANEIGE | White Plus Renew Essence* | Get it here

STRAWBERRYNET | If none of these perk up your interests, browse their other 32K products with great sales and free shipping to make things a little easier.

My top tip for picking the perfect gift for a beauty lover is very simply, think outside of the box. A gift doesn't necessarily have to be expensive to be amazing. With everything just a mouse click away, try looking for something unique from another country or even a limited release to really impress them. What makes a gift extra special is always the attention and detail you put into knowing something about your recipients and searching for something that speaks to their everyday style. You have so many options out there and I'll be sharing a few more holiday gift ideas in the upcoming weeks. Remember, you have no excuses for generic gifts this year!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: Colour Tattoo Leather Eyeshadows | Maybelline

As one of the most popular drugstore cream shadow products in the last few years, Maybelline recently expanded the line with a much anticipated leather collection. Though metallics are the most available choices when it comes to cream products, these new matte and satin finish options give you more variety to spice up your drugstore look.

Brand: Maybelline New York
Product: Color Tattoo Leather Cream Eyeshadows
Colours: 5 in total (shown: creamy beige, deep forest*, chocolate suede)
Size: 4grams
Price: $7-9CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I repurchase: Undecided

Now I think it's worthwhile to preface by saying that I already have 7 Color Tattoo Eyeshadows in my current makeup collection (reviewed here), not including these new leathers. Sometimes they go on sale, sometimes I love a limited edition colour but somehow I ended up with a lot of them.

From the packaging to the pricing and general feel, there doesn't seem to any notable differences between the previous releases and these new leather editions. The 5 colours available comprises of earthy muted shades that work great for this season or for those who just love a smokey eye look all year around.

I think its easy to get confused by the term "leather" but you'll see that Chocolate Suede is satin finish while Creamy Beige and Deep Forest look virtually matte on the skin but actually contain minute shimmer particles for some muted dimension versus a completely matte (and flat) product.

All 3 colours feel creamy to the touch but I found them harder to blend evenly versus the MAC Paintpots. I'd pick up some product on my finger and it would take a good 10 seconds to smooth it out in an even layer as it just doesn't seem to have enough slip for a quick and smooth application. Once properly on the eyes and set, they should last you an easy 5 hours without needing to recheck the mirror.

L-R | Creamy Beige | Deep Forest | Chocolate Suede

Pigmentation looks great on initial application but note that I swatched these quite heavily on my hand and once applied properly to the eyes, it will usually take 2-3 layers for this type of intensity. For everyday use I've actually found them much more likeable as a base colour for my powder eyeshadows (especially drugstore types that needs a little extra help) and depending on your choice of combinations it can reveal multiple looks from a single powder eyeshadow!

My major issue with this product (as with the whole Colour Tattoo Range) is that I found it hard to blend multiple shades together if I am planning a contoured look though it works fine if you mix the colours together first with your finger into a single shade before applying it to your eyelid. For those who prefer to wear a single shade anyways this wouldn't be an problem but if you are temp the sculpted look shown on the Maybellie promo images then you're up for a hard battle.


While I like the finish and the drugstore option that these Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather eyeshadows bring to the market, there was no improvement over the formulation and I feel that there wasn't enough tonal variety for the range. For those who own the original range already, I don't feel that you need to pick up the whole set of these leather varieties. However if you don't own similar cream shadows then I would recommend adding either Deep Forest or Creamy Beige to your fall collection as they'll work great as inexpensive layering options.


INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Ceresin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Alumina, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cyclomethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Candelilla Cera / Candelilla Wax / Cire De Candelilla, Caprylyl Glycol, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Tin Oxide, Acrylates Copolymer, Paraffin. May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 16035 / Red 40 Lake, CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake, CI 77400 / Bronze Powder, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 77289 / Chromium Hydroxide Green, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77400 / Copper Powder, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review: ChokChok Shining CC Cushion | Makeon - Tosowoong

Another cushion product means another Korean makeup review and today we're talking about the brand MAKEON which is the colour cosmetic branch of Korean beauty brand Tosowoong. Though newer on the market, Tosowoong currently has a small selection of well curated and innovative sounding products. But of course, being the foundation hoarder that I am would it have been any question that the first thing I tried was a makeup compact?

Brand: MAKEON / Tosowoong
Product: Chok Chok Shining CC Cushion* SPF50/PA+++
Colours: #21 Moist Glow Vanilla (shown), #23 Moist Glow Natural
Size: 13g
Price: 15 900WON (approx $17 CAD)
Availability: Tosowoong Website (Int. Shipping), Tosowoong eBay Shop
Would I (re)purchase: Yes

The ChokChok Shining CC Cushion boasts a 5-in-1 function (essence, pore primer, foundation, moisture pact, sun cream) in an easy to use and portable cushion plus puff dispensing system which is created to give provide whitening, anti-wrinkle and SPF50 protection. I do not have the full English ingredients but it's advertised to include jasmine, mulberry, mungbean, calendula and ginseng extracts among many other plant additives.

Opening the packaging, each box contains a mirrored compact case with the (refillable) foundation portion already installed as well as a specially designed puff applicator. Compared to other similar bb/cc cushions I've encountered this is definitely smaller and more lightweight which makes it easy to carry though slightly less luxurious in aesthetics. The puff has a fine micro-pore texture but doesn't feel quite as soft as I'd prefer for an applicator. None the less it does do an excellent job of applying the product evenly and seems to absorb less foundation altogether.

Pop open the lid of the cushion compact (which is there to prevent it from drying out) and you'll need to push on the cushion a few times to make sure the product saturates the sponge completely. To my  nose, there is a faint slightly floral fragrance but it doesn't usual linger. 

In the before/after photos (above) I am wearing one layer of colour #21 all over my face with an extra layer in certain problem spots such as the red speckles on my cheeks and a little extra under the eyes. It does an excellent job of evening out my skin tone and minimizing any minor blemishes not to mention I was ecstatic to find that with 3 layers it can almost completely cover those perpetual red spots on my nose. I would rank this as a light/medium coverage foundation that can be built up to medium/near full coverage if desired. To be frank, on the days I wore this, I didn't even bother with concealer or any other corrector.

What you'll probably notice however is that #21 is slightly pale in photos for my NC15-20 skin tone (check My Stats for more of my colour matches). I'm going to attribute that to the high SPF50 factor because in person, it's actually not very noticeable and it's definitely a better skin match for me than the IOPE in #21 (see my review for swatches). In fact when I have blush and other makeup on, it's nearly negligible so I don't do anything special to correct the colour for everyday wear.

If you're using the cushion for the first time or simply just swatching it on the back of your hand don't be intimidated by the almost oily-creamy texture. Once blended onto the skin and left to set for a few seconds the super emollient foundation actually semi-sets into a velvety finish yet still maintaining a soft glow. Notice how it picks up light up the high points of my face like my cheeks, nose and chin.

The effect with this ChokChok Cushion is similar to that of a cream foundation but much more suitable for a wider range of skin types. While I wouldn't say this is ideal for super oily skin, anyone from dry skin to combination skin should find this very likable.

For a product this creamy there is minimal settling into fine lines (that's marionette lines for me) and I can easily achieve a 4 hour wear without even needing to check up on my face. Any for those living in a drier country or are experiencing the winter blues I think this would be an worthy makeup bag companion.

More good news is that after few weeks of usage, this proved to be pretty skin friendly for me, meaning no breakouts, sensitivity or any adverse reactions. I also found this to be rather calming on my skin and once removed at the end of the day, my skin doesn't look dehydrated nor worn out and tired as it sometimes can when I wear a heavy base product for a long period of time. As for the skincare functions? It did prevent my skin from drying out and seems to help maintain a smooth and soft complexion but I wouldn't say it had any major healing effects.

In performance this hits most of the sweet spots but I will say that it does feel a heavier on my skin versus the IOPE. Noting terrible but definitely noticeable. If you are very acne prone, I'd proceed cautiously with the ChokChok cushion mainly because while I don't know each ingredient in here,  from the way it feels I am rather certain there are oil extracts in this emollient formulation. I'm not particularly breakout prone with oils (except for mineral oil) but this doesn't seem like an oil-free foundation. In addition, I would have liked to see a more developed colour selection (this is more of a peachy beige) plus this compact actually needs to be bigger because I was having quite a fickle time trying to get my fingers through the tiny loop on the applicator and then only being able to press two fingers into the cushion making it hard to cover a large area in one go. And trust me, I don't even have big hands. Altogether the foundation does an excellent job but small details like packaging and design does fall behind a little.

A little elusive to find but overall an excellent product for its quick application, great coverage and a nice balance between longevity/glowiness. The MAKEON ChokChok Shining CC Cushion is what I would call a reliable everyday product. One of those base products that you can put on in 30 seconds and actually look rather put together. I really love how buildable it is and I can forgo all other products (concealer, powder) while still getting a nice finish that lasts most of the day. If you happen to come across this product and can find a suitable colour match, it's absolutely a must try.

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