28 June 2012

Cotton Pad Storage Container - IKEA SLOM Jar

I'm always interested to see how people store things on their vanity desk or in their bathroom, where ever it is that you keep your beauty and make up items.  So, I figured I would share how I keep my cosmetic cotton pads clean and sanitized within the bathroom.
I use the 34oz IKEA SLOM jar.  It is made of glass, with metal clasps.  When I saw it at IKEA, both the 17oz and 34oz were $3.99 CAD each, so I just got the 34oz.  I think this was in the kitchen area.
Inside of lid has rubber suction lining for air-tight seal
Clasp opening - super sturdy
Lid opens easily
I filled it up with cosmetic pads and kept it in the cabinet underneath my sink.  Now that I've become a Bioderma cult member and using cosmetic pads daily, I'll probably pop by IKEA and get the 17oz one to keep on my bathroom counter.
Update - June 29, 2012:  Got the 17oz one for $1.99 CAD! 

- M

27 June 2012

L'Oréal Infallible Eye Shadow: 031 Innocent Turquoise

This icy turquoise blue catch my eye when I walked by and I knew I had to buy it the moment I swatched it:

I bought this from London Drugs for $8.99 CAD.  I didn't even know L'Oréal was releasing new collections until coming home and combing through my favourite beauty blogs.
Apparently this is part of the Miss Candy Collection, according to Musings of A Muse's post.
If you want to see additional swatches, you can see Bloomin' Beauty Blog's swatches here and All That Slap's swatches here.

Within the beauty blogging and youtubing circles, L'Oréal's Infallible Eye Shadow collections are said to be the best dupes of the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Shadows.  I think L'Oréal Innocent Turquoise reminds me a bit of Giorgio Armani Airy Jade (see Temptalia's swatch here: Click!)
Personally, I've never tried the Eyes to Kill shadows, but I love the Infallible shadow line.  They're silky and no chalkiness.  The pigmentation is absolutely amazing and wears well throughout the day.  The quality is well worth the price, even though Canada does pay much more for it than the States.

Have you tried Innocent Turquoise or any of the others within the collection?

- M

26 June 2012

Why Shu Uemura trumps the Shi(t)seido Eyelash Curler

Remember this post, in which I said I wanted to try the Shiseido eyelash curler?  Shu, oh Shu--I am so sorry I strayed.  Would you could you ever forgive me?

Now, let me put out this caveat: I don't know if the Shiseido eyelash curler I picked up (and promptly returned) was the one that received rave reviews--reviews that claim it is better than Shu's.  You only have to google image that shit to see a multitude of comparison photos.  As you will also see upon google imaging, the Shiseido curler appears to come in two colours: one that is silver (similar to Shu's) and one that is dark-charcoal.  I have only seen the latter here in Canada.  So, that was the one I purchased (and again, promptly returned).

I kid you not when I tell you that I knew it was a complete fail (yes, we just time-machined back to 2008, and yes, I randomly chose that year.  I do not know the exact year in which "FAIL" and "WIN" and "EPIC" penetrated the mainstream vernacular.  Let's just move on.) at first attempt. 

Why?  And how could I have been so sure after one measly attempt?

It all comes down to control and precision.  The whole thing was just wrong.  I jabbed myself in the eye several times and called it quits.  Had this been the curler that stole my curler virginity, it would have been the first and last time I used a curler.  Let me just say that the two-dollar curler I used before Shu was easier to use.  In this video by KarlaSugar, she lists four variables to consider when choosing an eyelash curler that works best for you.  The first two related to the curler's curves.  She made two hand motions to demonstrate the curvature, but I didn't quite understand what the second one was referring to.  The third variable was the size of the head (lol, let's not go there.) and the last was the sponginess of the pad.

I think that there is one additional factor to consider that may not seem particularly important, but was immediately noticeable (not in a good way) when I used the Shiseido curler, and that is the distance travelled by the two 'legs'.  Or, put another way, the height of the space between the top and bottom clamps.  I will elaborate below.  But here is a rundown of the various shortcomings of the Shiseido curler that made it an overall fail.  I'll also add here that I did not find a significant difference in the resistance of the pad; that is, neither felt spongier than the other.

Fail #1: The Curve of the "Clamps"
L-Shiseido; R-Shu Uemura
As you can see quite easily, the curve difference is quite significant.  Depending on your eye shape, the curvature of the clamp will be more or less advantageous for you.  As I said in my want-list post, I thought that my eyes had a flatter shape that could benefit from a lesser curve. 

Simply put, I was completely wrong.  The flatter curve did no favours for my eyeshape, whatsoever.  Also, because the curve was flatter, it made the curler much harder to centre onto the eyelid and maximize the amount of lashes to catch inside the clamps.

Fail #2: The Width of the Top Clamp
L-Shiseido; R-Shu Uemura
I'm not sure if the pictures allow you to see what I am talking about, but do you see the green diamonds?  The Shiseido curler has a much thinner top clam.  Which means there is less coverage on your eyelid.  Which means it is much easier to aim the top clamp too high above the lash line and (1) pinch your eyelid, (2) poke your eyeball, and (3) completely miss the root of your eyelashes upon clamping.  This difficulty is exacerbated by Fail #1.  Or you can say that Fail #1 is exacerbated by Fail #2.  Whatever floats your boat.  Now let's talk about what those red rectangles.

Fail #3: The Gap between the Top and Bottom Clamps
I hope that you can see the difference in height between the left rectangle and the right rectangle.  The gap between the top and bottom clamps is, of course, directly related to the extent to which the curler can actually open (and therefore the distance travelled by the two rings).  As I mentioned above, this may not seem too important.  But again, it's all about control.  The greater distance your fingers have to travel, the more room there is for error.  And with a curler that already has issues with control, it makes it that much more difficult to achieve an effective curl (and avoid the dreaded crimp).  I find that with Shu, you can place the opened curler onto your eye, wiggle it so that it's snuggled up against your lash line, and squeeze--gradually guiding the curler up and out to create a natural curl (again, to avoid crimping).  Because the gap between the Shu clamps is shorter, there is less distance between your two fingers holding the curler, giving you more control and allowing for more minute and agile movements.  And again, because the distance your two fingers have to travel is less, the clamping motion can be done more steadily.

Fail #4: The Material?
I don't know what either is made of, and I could totally be out to lunch with this.  BUT, the Shiseido curler felt somewhat plastic-y, as opposed to the solid, metal feel of Shu.  So, the overall "feel" of Shu is smoother (perhaps it has to do with the quality of the hinge as well) and just seems more durable.

Who knew I had so much to say about an eyelash curler?  Please tell me my education was not for naught.

- R

25 June 2012

M's Summer Nails v2.0

From my recent haul, I've added three new nail polishes to my Summer collection.  They are gorgeous and just couldn't be passed on.
Essie play date - $7.99 CAD (on sale from $9.99)
Essie bikini so teeny - $9.99 CAD
L'Oreal colour riche (tangerine crush 400) - $7.49 CAD
omg so pretty
on paper
I painted Essie Play Date onto my nails the night of buying it, because it is such a beautiful colour.  It is a bright colour that is a cross between lilac-lavender and magenta.  Comparable to Illamasqua Jo'mina, but definitely muted.  (See Vampy Varnish's swatch of Jo'mina here.)

I'm sure Essie Bikini So Teeny requires no introduction as it's been quite the hype of Essie's Summer 2012 collection.  I posted my thoughts on it, as well as, an in-depth comparison between Bikini So Teeny and Lapiz of Luxury - see it here.

I've been lusting over Essie Camera since the Lights, Camera, Action collection came out a month ago, but just could not bring myself to buy it for some reason... despite R's efforts... so, when I discovered L'Oreal Tangerine Crush as a more favourable dupe, I did not hesitate to pay $3 less.  Tangerine Crush is a beautiful bright coral orange, and I actually like it more than Camera because it leans slightly more orange than pink.  It is also a smidge less neon than Camera - more wearable, but still fab.

What are your must-have nail colours for the Summer?

- M

22 June 2012

COMPARISON: bikini so teeny & lapiz of luxury

R is a maniac.
She stalked down the new Essie Summer 2012 collection, specifically Bikini So Teeny.
I attempted to convince myself that I didn't need it, because I felt like it was exactly like my Lapiz Of Luxury (which has is my all-time favourite nail colour).  Needless to say, I failed... since you're reading this post now.
Here we go.
left: bikini
right: lapiz
Obviously different.
On paper.
  • Both can be considered "periwinkle" but Bikini So Teeny seems more of a white-based periwinkle, whereas Lapiz Of Luxury is a lavender-based periwinkle.
    Karen (Makeup and Beauty Blog) has a less ghetto professional picture of Bikini So Teeny that is true to the colour I see on my nail: Click!
    The Lacquer Log has a less ghetto professional picture of Lapiz Of Luxury that is true to the colour I see on my nail: Click!
  • Until these photos compared to Bikini So Teeny, I've never noticed that Lapiz Of Luxury may have a bit of a grey tone in it... perhaps, it's because it has more purple in it?
  • Bikini So Teeny could be considered a blue-r sky blue - the deep blue type that you would see on a sunny summer day with no clouds.
  • Bikini So Teeny has a very discrete shimmer (you can see it catch the light in the second picture, above).
  • Lapiz Of Luxury has no shimmer or sparkle.
  • Both are opaque within 2-3 coats, but Lapiz Of Luxury appears a bit "sheer" compared to Bikini So Teeny - maybe because of Bikini So Teeny's white base?
  • Both have a gloss finish.
  • Both wear incredibly, without chipping.
Verdict:  The two are definitely different, and much more different than I had expected.  Lapiz Of Luxury remains my all-time favourite nail colour because it is much more subtle and perfect year-round.  It is equally great on hands or feet, and appropriate for the office.  On the other hand, Bikini So Teeny packs much more punch as a great bright light blue, but may be more fitting on the feet than hands in non-summer months.  It may also be a little bit too bright for the office.

- M

P.S.  Check out my previous post on my nail colours of choice for the Summer:  Click!

21 June 2012

M thinks she's no longer broke (i.e., MAJOR DRUGSTORE HAUL)

So... I kinda went crazy today.

First stop, London Drugs:
Organix tea tree mint shampoo $5.99 CAD (on sale from $9.99)
Organix coconut milk shampoo $5.99 CAD (on sale from $9.99)
Hugeass organix shampoo and conditioner post coming later on.
L'Oreal infallible eye shadow (031 Innocent Turquoise) - $8.99 CAD
This is from the Miss Candy Collection.
A separate post coming up - it's a fucking beaute, so just go get it now.
Then, Shopper's Drug Mart:
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Solution Micellaire - $22 CAD
I'm going to go to Murale tomorrow to see if they have the 500mL one - if so, will exchange.
See my review of it:  CLICK!
Essie play date - $7.99 CAD (on sale from $9.99)
Essie bikini so teeny - $9.99 CAD (Actually, I bought this from Superstore)
L'Oreal colour riche (tangerine crush 400) - $7.49 CAD
See my post comparing bikini so teeny to lapiz of luxury: CLICK!
Also, my summer nails v.2.0 post: CLICK!
Then, Bath and Body Works:
Slatkin & Co. 3-wick candle (mango cilantro) - $11.25 CAD (50% off)
OMG yeahhhhh
smells. so. good.
And finally, Superstore:
TREsemmé heat tamer spray $3.99 CAD (on sale from $7.49)
trying this out - will post later.
As mentioned, I will have in-depth posts of the above products.  Stay tuned!


20 June 2012

Urban Outfitters Haul - Summer Sandals

I popped into Urban Outfitters the other day and bought two pairs of sandals for the summer.
I give you the frontal, sideboob, and ass views:

Seriously, how cute are these?

The black/nude are by Deena & Ozzy.  The black studded are by Ecote.
Both were marked for $44 CAD.
I got Deena & Ozzy on promo for $19 CAD.
UO screwed up and arranged the Ecote on the same wall as the $19 CAD promo sandals, so they honoured it and I got it for $19 CAD.

I love that you can dress these up for office wear, or dress them down casually for the weekends.
They're both nicely padded with cushion throughout and the pleather material doesn't scratch or rub at all.  I had my Dr. Scholl's Rub Relief Stick in my bag when I first them and I didn't need to use it at all.

- M

18 June 2012

Review: Bioderma Sensibio/Créaline H2O Solution Micellaire (Micelle Solution)

Behold, the makeup remover used by every makeup artist, blogger, youtuber, and their mom:
I got this a month ago from Murale to try out and now that I've got less than 10% left, I feel like I can give it a proper review.  As you can tell I bought the 100mL travel size one to try out, just in case I didn't like it.

Feel and texture:
Completely identical to water.


None.  Dries exactly like water.

I love it.  The bottle is completely leak-proof.  After I bought it, it was thrown around in my handbag before I got home.  I've dropped the bottle twice in my bathroom without any problems.
They have designed it such that you cannot screw open the cap.

How I use it:
In the morning:
After I wash my face, I use the Bioderma as a toning cleanser.  I soak a cosmetic cotton pad and wipe my entire face and neck, and then continue with lotion and make up.  There is no need to rinse the Bioderma with water.

At night:
For make up removal, I soak a cosmetic cotton pad with Bioderma and hold it over my eye for 25-30 seconds (depending on how much make up I have on that day), and then wipe/slide it down along with my lashes.  All of my eye shadow and water-resistant mascara comes right off on the single cotton pad.  What's kinda cool is that the removed eye make up actually appears on the cotton pad exactly it does on my actual eye; not a blurr or smudge of make up as it would look on a make up wipe.  I can actually see the individual coats of mascara on each lash.  There's no need to scrub or rub as I would with a make up wipe, so I don't damage skin or collagen within skin.
After I have removed all of the make up off of my face, I wash my face with a face cloth (even though the product says that there's no need to rinse off the solution).  Then, I soak a second cotton pad and use the Bioderma as a deep cleanser/toner, to remove any excess make up, dirt, and oil that hasn't been removed already.  I don't rinse with water after the second cotton pad of Bioderma.

At first, I was kinda meh about it.  I felt that it was good but not as crazy amazing as the fan girls and boys on the cyberspace praise it.  But then, when I went back to my HG make up remover:  Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent and it just wasn't the same... I'm a convert.  Best thing about Bioderma is that it removes make up with such ease and there's no need to rinse or wash my face afterwards.  It leaves my face feeling so deeply clean and soft, without any tightness or dryness.  It also doesn't leave any sort of film of stickiness on my face.  Kinda crazy but my skin is just left feeling in its best possible condition.
I have sensitive, combination skin with hormonal acne, and this solution works perfectly for me.  I'll definitely be re-purchasing it in the 500 mL bottle.

I bought this 100 mL travel size bottle from Murale for $6 CAD.  It's apparently hard to get hold off in the UK, according to my girl crush, Vivianna.  You can read on her thoughts on the solution as well as where she gets it here and here.
Please note that I have the regular Sensibio H2O solution, not the TS version.

- M

16 June 2012

Attempting to Accessorize with the Trends (Tribal, Metallics, Neons)

I've picked up a few new accessories recently (the bolded ones).
I dug up some older pieces that could work together for some attempts at the stacking trend.
  • H&M Divided earrings in silver, gold, rose gold - $6.99 CAD
  • Forever 21 tribal pattern triangle ring - $4.80 CAD
  • Forever 21 tribal arrow ring - $4.80 CAD

  •  American Eagle Outfitters cowhide leather buckle bracelet - $15.50 CAD (I got it free BOGO)
  • old leather woven bracelet from Mexico - $2 USD

  •  American Eagle Outfitters double feather bangle - $17.50 CAD (BOGO)
  • 925 silver cuff from Mexico- gift
  • 925 silver bracelet with turquoise mock gemstones from Mexico - $4 USD

  • H&M gold and black woven bead bracelet - $6.99 CAD
  • Juicy Couture diamond charm bracelet - gift

  • Forever 21 beige and light grey cuff - $5 CAD?

  • Urban Outfitters black bead rainbow thread woven bracelet - $11 CAD (30% off)

  • Forever 21 pearl drop spike earrings - $3.80 CAD
  • Forever 21 mod black and white earrings - $3.80 CAD

Show me your arm candy.
- M

15 June 2012

R's Want List (Urban Decay, Clarins, Shiseido)

I told myself that I did not need anymore eyeshadows for several lifetimes.
Urban Decay - Eyeshadow
Just so you know, it looks nothing like this.  But stock photos are as stock photos do.

So naturally, number 1 want right now is Urban Decay's newly reformulated eyeshadow in Asphyxia ($22 CAD).

MBB's swatch
Vampy Varnish's swatch

It's a gorgeous duochrome light iridecsent purple with tiny blue shimmers.  Beautifully pigmented.  It reminded me of the lower left shade in BareEscentuals Ready Eyeshadow Palette in Dream Sequence ($38 CAD), which I wanted at first.

MBB's swatch
KarlaSugar's swatch

But Asphyxia is less pink, more wearable, and kind of what you wanted the purple shade of NARS Marie-Galante ($39 CAD) to be. 

Temptalia's swatch
MBB's swatch
Pursebuzz's swatch

I hate lipgloss.  I don't wear lipgloss.  No lipgloss-crazed video could make me wear it.  But I keep hearing about how Clarin's Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($20 CAD) is frickin amazing.  ttsandra talks about it in this video.  Essiebutton recently raved about it.  Viviannadoesmakeup (whom M is obsessed with) loves it too. So...I just wanna know what all the fuss is about.

UPDATE: Saw, smelt, and felt it in person.  No likey le burnt vanilla scent.  M agrees.  

Eyelash Curler
I've been using the Shu Uemura eyelash curler for almost 4 years now.  You've probably never heard of it.  (That was a joke, by the way.)  However, I am curious to try Shiseido's ($20 CAD) since it is often compared to Shu.  My eyes are quite flat and my lashes point straight down to the crotch, so it's often difficult for the curler to reach both ends of my eyelashes.  Shu is doing an admirable job, but, y'know, I'm curious.

UPDATE: Got it.  Review and comparison to come!

Any Burberry eyeshadow.  And lipstick.