Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spring Nail Edit & Functional Storage

Spring Nail Polish Edit

For someone who's pretty safe with her nail choices, I seem to have amassed an astonishingly large collection of nail polishes in the last few years. While it's easy to be overwhelmed whenever I open my storage box, I found that picking out a curated selection of colours every few months (or season) has made paint day much more functional. This wooden box with glass panels was an excellent Dollarama find and is the perfect size to house, organize and display each seasons pretty bottles. I've left it as is but you can certainly paint it to match your room theme. It keeps the acetone fumes contained, looks neatly decorative and makes sure I cycle through all my colours.

Spring Nail Polish Edit
Faves: L-R | CND* "Palm Deco" | Sally Hansen* "Dream Boat" | Essie "Stroke of Brilliance"

My recently spring edit included soft greens, baby blues and purples in additional to my faithful stash of everyday nudes. Always in the box are Guerlain La Base basecoat*, Seche Vite and Essie Quick Dry* plus any extra matching topcoats for polishes I am using. This season, I've been more conscious of matching my polish options to my (new and growing) spring wardrobe so stay tuned for more of that in an upcoming video...

Happy Sunday,

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Chatter: So I spent $81 on hosiery...

Marks Spencer tights

Marks Spencer tights

 ... no, you didn't read the title wrong. I really did recently spend what seems like a small fortune on sheer, small pieces of fabric that need constantly careful care. Hosiery or the dreaded term pantyhose, was never one of those things I felt any excitement about and in fact I made sure to stay far away from them as possible for as long as possible. But between being fed up with blisters, wanting to wear more bottom options in the chillier Westcoast weather and determined to wear my pumps more often I finally gave in and bought my first base collection of hosiery. Sure I had the odd pair of winter tights but I was really lacking items I can wear on a regular basis and especially for transitional weather.

While I could have gotten them from The Bay or even Walmart, I decided to place my order from Marks & Spencer online which has a well curated selection of neutral basics in a variety of finishes and deniers in very reasonable multi-pack prices. There were two main brands available; the M&S in house brand and the Rosie Huntington Whitely endorsed Autograph line so I ordered from both. A few knee highs for wearing with pants, some sheer nudes for summer dresses and a pack of shine finish tights just for fun. And after spending a solid 30 minutes laundering them on my Sunday afternoon, I'll admit that I'm just a little excited to test them out in real life. Who knows, I might even end up buying some fancy lingerie soap... #adulting

Chat soon,

Sunday, May 7, 2017

3 Things | Glycolic for congested skin

Glycolic Skincare

By now I'd like to think I have a somewhat decent handle on my temperamental skin; steer clear of mineral oil, pump up the hylauronic and stay faithful to my Clarisonic. Yet between daily pollutants and wearing makeup a few more times a week, my skin can still get the bumps...a sprinkling of clogged pores that threaten to turn into nastier things if left to their own devices. 

Hence the latest addition to my regular routine has been glycolic acid treatments; a type of fast acting exfoliating ingredient often used for those with acne scarring, congested skin and anti-aging. Neostrata is a Canadian brand known for their iconic glycolic range which comes in various strengths and textures. Their Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Lotion 10%* has a light creamy consistency that absorbs quickly, looks matte on the skin, doubles up as a moisturizer and is the one I've been using the longest. It takes a good week or two to see visible results and while I wouldn't call it drying, I certainly didn't feel drying, it wasn't the right texture for my winter needs. My next try was the BLISS Incredi-Peel* resurfacing pads which I kept right by the bathroom sink so I can do a speedy wipe down treatment when I'm out of the shower. I love how quick they are to use and the water-like consistency means it feels like nothing once it dries and I appreciate the individual seals meaning not only does it stay fresh but it's great for traveling. The results are pretty quick too so they're great as a pick me up but I wouldn't recommend using them on a daily basis as directed since I find it quite strong. My latest experiment is Glycolic Laser 10* by Canadian skincare brand Jouviance, another name who's built their reputation on anti-aging products. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth yet weightless this hydroxy acid blend felt on my skin and within two days the bumps were smoothed over and my pores looked clear as well. For the record, I wouldn't recommend using any other scrubs or exfoliants at the same time that you are using glycolic unless you've carefully eased your skin into the routine and of course, don't use everything all at once.

These days, with the deep pool of retinol, glycolic and enzyme options in skincare there's no reason not to be exfoliating even if you have sensitive skin. So... how have you been shedding?

Chat soon,

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sew What Now | Whats on my cutting table

Just as I'm typing up the title for this post, I realize I've been a little forgetful about proper sewing updates. In fact, the last Sew What Now video was from the holidays but this month, a blog post will just have to do. Despite the slow start to spring this year, I'm looking forward to getting a few skirts into my wardrobe because I've wearing nothing but my dark denim and waterproof boots and I am so done.

Handmade wardrobe vintage skirts

SIMPLICITY 7069 | The 70s Slip
This pattern was a impulse purchase after my frustrations with sewing up a Seamwork Ariane slip. While I was initially smitten with the contoured cups and stylish elastic edging, I just didn't have the skill set to tackle it and now it lays in the maybe-later bag. This 70s vintage slip has a few of the same elements such as the bust shaping but in a much more relaxed design and you fussy lingerie elastic. While I will have to make some height adjustments, I love that this is a 5-in-1 design that will pretty much cover everything I'll need to build a basic under-dress collection. This is one of my #2017MAKENINE projects.

SIMPLICITY 1688 | The 50s Librarian
Think cropped sweater, little gloves and seam backed stockings... I immediately feel in love with this 50s skirt pattern when I first saw it. Frankly, I'm always looking for pieces that are fitted but without zippers and this one even allows for a lined option - navy outer with leopard print insides anyone? This would be great as a fall/winter staple but might work in a medium weight twill for spring as well. Piping to the edges? Cool button details? How about an external pocket? Oh the possibilities!

McCalls 5912 | The 70s Casual Chic
Now this is a bit of a remake as I first stitched up a heavy weight test version of this 70s double slit skirt during the winter...except its now too big. The great thing is that practice makes perfect and cutting into this pattern a second time, I found myself breezing through the instructions and this will most lightly be the next completed project post coming to your screen! There's a sneak peek of it over on my Instagram but I can tell you now that the fit (in a smaller size) is amazing and it will definitely be a well loved hit in my wardrobe.

In other news, I've also made a few changes to my original plans for #2017MAKENINE as I've replaced a few of the projects with other additions so make sure you pop over to that page to see what's up and as always, you can find me on social media for instant sewing progress... and maybe a few fails too because what's life without a little variety.

Happy Sunday,

Monday, April 24, 2017

Close up with MUFE Ultra HD

High definition. I can still recall the first time I heard the word being explained on a shopping channel. Award winning make up artist Kevin Bennett was waving around a bottle of the first HD approved foundation and freaking out over how all the tv cameras were officially switching over to this brand new medium. That was Make Up For Ever.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD

Fast forward to our selfie, Youtube, DSLR and 4K infused world today and there's no better brand I can think of to reintroduce a base product line than MUFE with their Ultra HD skin range. The foundation itself launched a year or two ago but its now joined by a reformulation of the powder and a few additional camera ready prep products that's created to deliver quick, visible and perfecting results. While the original HD products were focused on coverage, the Ultra HD aim is for adjustable opacity, customization and fine textured formulas that sit smoothly on the skin. I had the pleasure of attending a recent MUFE workshop to try out the products and learn how to apply them to my own face along with some pretty snazzy tips.

A pro secret used to boost and revive tired skin on sets: this hydra-plumping serum works to boost skin radiance and luminosity. Skin looks healthy, plumper and complexion is more luminous. Use Skin Booster alone or mix a few drops with your foundation or primer to boost comfort and hydration.
Quick thoughts: This is your ultimate mixing medium booster product that can go in a primer or foundation or as a quick fix spot treat for dry patches and those darned blemishes that's dry and impossible to conceal. Filled with hylauronic acid, it helps to make the best of a bad skin day.

A pro secret used to boost and prepare tired lips on sets : this hydra-plumping serum hydrates and smoothes, adding fullness and comfort to lips. Wear alone for naturally healthy-looking lips, or use as hydra-plumping mask before lipstick application, wiping off any excess before applying color. (2 Shades)
Quick thoughts: Quick absorbing and seems to plump up my pesky lip wrinkles without sting or tingling that most plumpers make you endure. I have the clear which means it's invisible under lipstick. Not sure how long the effects last but will report back.

Created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, ULTRA HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye. Perfect for the makeup pros and for you. Last step to ULTRA HD perfection: ULTRA HD MICROFINISHING PRESSED POWDER is a finishing powder that gives a light matte effect and a smooth luminous finish. A real technical and sensory feat, this invisible veil of powder combines synthetic mica, silicone powders and silica to instantly blur fine lines, pores and imperfections for a beautifully smooth complexion. Also enriched with hyaluronic acid. For a perfect ULTRA HD compatible finish, use a very small quantity and blend evenly. Apply over make up or wear alone using a kabuki brush. (3 shades)
Quick thoughts: Yes, you read that right. This finishing powder now comes in three colours from invisible (white) to banana (yellow) and peach. The powder is not really "pigmented" at all but I do believe the coloured options impart a super sheer tint for colour correction. The packaging is now square, metal and contains a mirror on the flip top lid which goes along with the rest of the brand's formal repackaging. I also learned you're supposed to use this after setting your foundation as this is a finishing product - watch this Sephora video to get it straight.

Created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, ULTRA HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye. Perfect for the makeup pros and for you. Last step to ULTRA HD perfection: ULTRA HD MICROFINISHING LOOSE POWDER is a finishing powder that gives a light matte effect and a smooth luminous finish. Spherical micro particles of silica instantly give skin a naturally glowing complexion with an incredible velvety effect and an unrevealed touch. For a perfect ULTRA HD compatible finish, use a very small quantity and blend evenly. Apply over make up or wear alone using a kabuki brush.
Quick thoughts: Made to be lighter, finer than its predecessor, this loose finishing powder now comes with a well thought out sieved container and really just feels like air. I've been told that the loose remains in one universal shade as MUFE was not able to match the same texture in the loose while adding the tints so they decided it was best to have one awesome product instead of a couple of mediocre ones. I'll need to test this more but I do love the new thoughtful repackaging.

With all this in hand plus the informative Make Up For Ever Ultra HD workshop, I'm hoping to film a tutorial with everything in action including the foundation, foundation stick and primer. I'll be sharing all the pro-approved makeup tips and even talk about how I finally confirmed my skin undertone..oh yeah, it'll be a fun one.

Chat soon,

Monday, April 10, 2017

CLARINS | Ombre Cream - Powder Eyeshadow

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow

I thought for a moment on how to start this post but if I were to condense the following paragraphs into one sentence it would simply be…

Where have you been all my life?

Yes, a little strong here isn't it but my new love for the Clarins Ombre eye shadows run deep. I currently have 5 shades that are all in my top drawer collection and they are often part of my every day makeup look. While not a brand that gets a lot of online publicity, those who have been faithful to Clarins have really been hiding some gems!

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow

Brand: Clarins
Product: Ombre Eyeshadow*
Size: 7 grams
Colours: 8 Matte, 7 Iridescente (some LE)
Price: $26 CAD
Availability: Clarins counters, Clarins online, The Bay
Would I repurchase: Yes!

Ingredients: Mica, Octydodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polycyclopentadiene, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Isododecane, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Barium Sulfate. May Contain: Talc, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491/CI77492/CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77007/Ultramarines, CI 77742/Manganese Violet, Silica, Tin Oxide, CI75470/Carmine, CI 42090/Blue 1 Lake, CI 19140/Yellow 5 Lake, CI 77510/Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 77288/Chromium Oxide Greens.

House in small, portable, lightweight screw top jars, the Clarins Ombre shadows come in two general formulas - matte and iridescente (or iridescent for us non-francais). As of their online listing, there are currently 15 colour options between the two finishes although the brand often releases limited edition colours are part of smaller seasonal collections. The spectrum features wearable neutral shades with variations of browns, mauves, greys and pinks but do lean towards the deeper tones. The dimension in the iridescente grey is stunning and check out the swatch on that black #07 Carbon!

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow
Top - Bottom | Rosewood | Sparkle Grey | Carbon | Silver Ivory | Silver Grey

Marketed as a cream to powder formula, I find less creamy than anticipated and much more like a pressed powder. It doesn't have the moist touch like that of Lise Watier for example but are perfectly smooth and easy to apply with both fingers or a shadow brush. I love that there's next to no fall out during application and it's just overall an easy product to work with. Intensity can be controlled by the pressure used when putting on the product but opacity is great with all the shades I've tried. No patchiness and no fuss. While I have not tried layering this with other branded eyeshadow, I don't expect there to be a problem at all. The darker colours would also work great as a soft liner with a slanted brush.

Without a primer or any other add-ons, these Clarins Ombre colours last a happy 5-6 hours depending on my activity for the day. Once in a while, there will be some slight creasing but the colour never fades until I'm ready to take it off. If you have oily skin, I would recommend prepping with an appropriate base as needed but I find the longevity perfect fine for an average day out or at work.

Absolutely none. For the way I wear eye shadow on the regular, these are perfect as they are.

Clarins Ombre Eye Shadow

The Clarins Ombre shadows are a smooth and easy to use addition to your beauty wardrobe. The colour palette makes them great for neutral lovers and even the seasonal "pop" shades have a soft, sophisticated quality to them so you never look overdone! I love that these apply smoothly with consistent colour pay off every time plus they are quick to put together a look for the office. I'd like to see the permanent collection expanded to include more colourful options but for now I'm tempted to collect them all!

 Chat soon,