Shimmer, Sheen & Glow- Highlighters

Happy 2014 beauty-loving folks! January is here and winter weather can sometimes mean dull skin. When I’m feeling a bit lack-lustre, I reach for a highlighter to give my complexion a little pick-me-up. These are a few I have been liking lately:

Powder Highlighters

From left: Tokidoki, Physician's Formula, MAC, Essence

From left: Tokidoki, Physician’s Formula, MAC, Essence

Tokidoki Blush in Momobella- Although this is technically a blush, the gold shimmer and glitter makes it a great top off product for a night out.  I like applying this on top of any matte blushes I have used to give my cheeks a fun pick-me-up.

Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Malibu Strip-  I cannot get enough of these! These shimmer strips have definitely made it into my  2013 favourites. A dupe of the much more expensive Bobby Brown Shimmer Bricks, the shimmer strips are meant to be used as an eye or cheek product. I have the Malibu Strips version, which has a pinky/ rose-gold theme. I like tapping my brush (lightly) into the first two colours for a brightening highlight.

MAC Blush in Trace Gold- My personal favourite highlighter, I’ve got an entire post dedicated to this! In one simple sentence: this bronzey- golden powder makes your skin look like it’s glowing from the outside in. The powder is finely-milled and goes on incredibly smooth.

Essence Eyeshadow in Cappuccino, Please!- A great highlight for people with fair skin, this eyeshadow is a dupe for MAC’s Shroom eyeshadow- a popular makeup artist highlight choice. The champagne colour does a nice job in bringing light to the high points of the face such as under the brows, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow.

Cream Highlighters

From left: Smashbox, Benefit Cosmetics

From left: Smashbox, Benefit Cosmetics

Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Foundation Primer- An illuminating primer with a peachy-golden shimmer, I like to apply this on the tops of my cheeks and a touch on my chin and forehead. It gives my liquid foundation a glowy look.

Benefit Watt’s Up!- This is the only cream highlighter I own, and I have to say, I like it! It looks great on the cupid’s bow and in the inner corner of eyes. If you’ve got dry to normal skin, cream highlighers do a fantastic job at giving your skin a dewy finish. However if you’ve got oily skin (like myself) I would keep this away from the t-zone.

If you have any highlighter recommendations, I would love to hear them in the comments! Happy 2014!


Bold or Sheer- A Red Lip for Every Girl

A red lip is classic, timeless and elegant. Texture, to me, is just as important as colour. Whether you prefer a bold pop of colour or a sheer stain, there is something out there for everyone.
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For a bold look with staying power: Lip Cream
Lip creams (also known as liquid lipsticks) are excellent if you want something that will stay on for the day and throughout meals.  I like the Avon “Glazewear” cream lip line, particularly in the shade Passionate. It applies as a gloss and sets within minutes. Because it’s quite creamy, it can smudge without a lip liner. If you prefer something that will not budge, Hourglass and NYX matte lip creams are great options.

For a classic lip: Lipstick
You can’t get more timeless than a red lipstick. Although it may not have the staying power of a cream, the feel and finish is much lighter- with the same amount of pigment. I’m a huge fan of the Rimmel by Kate lipstick in 09 which is not drying and has great staying power. Clinique’s Colour Surge lipstick in Wild, Bite Beauty’s Cranberry and Revlon’s Wine with Everything are also beautiful shades. If you’re not keen on searching around, MAC is known for its classic reds: Russian Red and Ruby Woo.

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For a shiny, plump pout: Lip Gloss
A great option if you’re not ready to commit to a full out red lipstick, a gloss will give you noticeable colour and a lot of shine. My go to red gloss choices include the Sephora Ultra Shine lip gloss in Gorgeous Red and the Estee Lauder Pure Pops gloss in Berry Twist.

For a sheer colour that lets your lips shine though (and doesn’t stain a cup): Liquid Stain
Liquid stains are the ideal product if you want a long-lasting tint of colour with a natural finish.  I like Benefit’s Benetint, which can be used on the lips as well as cheeks. If you’re in the UK, Me Me Me makes a great dupe called Pussy Cat.

For a subtle hint of colour: Tinted Lip Balm
Just think of this as your basic lip balm with a slight hint of colour. Maybelline’s Baby Lips line has a gorgeous red shade called Cherry Me which not only looks great, but smells like candy (bonus points!).

Lip Liner
Last but not least, if you’re reaching for a heavier product like a lipstick or a lip cream, a lipliner is a must! But before you  run over to the MAC counter, take a peak at the Annabelle lip liner in Cherry. It’s a beautiful shade that’s priced at an amazing $3.

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Whether you’re looking for the ‘wow’ factor or something a bit more subtle, remember that there is something out there for you. And if you’ve already found your go-to red, I’d love to hear what it is below!

Oh you’re making me blush!- My Favourite Blushes

Blush is a staple in every woman’s makeup bag. Nobody’s face is just one colour, so if you wear any type of foundation you can always count on blush to bring colour and dimension back into your face. I personally love matte finishes as I think they look the most natural (and can always be topped with a shimmery highlight). These are three of my favourite blushes that have really been getting some love:

Wet and Wild Colour Icon Blusher in Mellow Wine
Mellow Wine is a beautiful reddish-pink shade that is great for nights out or for when you want your cheeks to be the focus. But be careful, this stuff is dangerously pigmented! If you go straight from the pan to your face-  you will look like a clown.  I make this wearable by tapping a brush into the pan then tapping the excess powder off on the back of my hand or on a tissue. Then, I apply to my cheekbones starting from the outer part of my face. Ideal solution for beautiful colour without going overboard. The entire Wet and Wild line is dirt cheap too, which is great if you’re on a budget.

MAC blush in Mocha
Every time I use this blush I have to giggle and wonder, who in the world named a pinky-plum blush Mocha? If you like a natural, healthy look- then this blush is a great choice. It gives you that I’ve-been-running-yet-I’m-miraculously-not-sweaty look, which I’m sure every girl loves. The only downside to this blush is that it’s a bit pricey. But if you’re saving up for something nice or have a gift list in the works, I would definitely give this a peek.

Revlon Matte Powder Blush in Blushing Berry
This is your perfect mild pink blush. The ideal everyday colour, this is a great choice if you just want to add a hint of pink to your cheeks without looking very flushed. What I love about the Revlon blushes is that they are sheer yet very buildable- meaning you can go for a light sweep or add on more until you get your desired level of pinkyness.

Funny fact about blush from the Queen of Random Facts (a true nickname of mine): Some scientific studies (google ’em, I swear) suggest that men are subconsciously drawn to women with rosy cheeks. Apparently this comes from the time of the cavemen, when a woman with a rosy flush was considered to look healthy -and therefore- a great candidate for bearing children successfully. So be careful where and when you’re rocking those pink cheeks! 😉

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Blushes in Action! (From left: Wet and Wild Blusher in Mellow Wine, MAC Blush in Mocha & Revlon Matte Blush in Blushing Berry)

MAC’s Trace Gold Blush/Highlighter (RAVE)

If you read my post about the MAC Indulge launch event, you’ll remember that I mentioned falling in love with MAC’s Trace Gold blush after a makeup artist used it on me.  It’s not a product that I ever would have looked at by myself. A medium golden powder with tiny gold shimmer, it shouts glitter-face when you see it. But I can promise you, it is not. This blush is literally a healthy glow miracle in a pan. To keep this short and sweet, here are a few things that I have been noticing and loving about this product recently… which also make it worth the price tag (thank you MAC):

Highlight factor-  Trace Gold is intended to be a blush but any MUA will tell you it’s also used as a highlighter, due to the powder’s sheen and fine shimmer . If you’re really fair, you may get some colour. But if you’re a medium skintone like myself, you’re mostly going to get the finish of the product rather than the colour- which is gorgeous (more below).

 Healthy Glow- What I love MOST about this product is how it really makes your skin look like it’s glowing from within. Considering that I have oily skin, the mattifying powders I use can sometimes leave my skin looking a bit dull. But pop a bit of this on the high points of the face- particularly on the tops of my cheekbones- and all of a sudden I look healthy and almost dewy.

Sheer shimmer- As one of MAC’s Sheertone Shimmers, the powder itself is sheer in colour. This means that unlike many of the highlighters on the market, you won’t look really frosty or really pink if you use a heavy hand. Instead, your cheeks will just have a more noticeable sheen.

For any of you who may be curious if this is appropriate for the day time, I would say yes– as long as it’s used sparingly. The last thing anyone wants is to be walking down the street sparkling like Edward Cullen from Twilight. Let’s leave that for the movies- and for someone with a 6 pack (haha!). But of course, that is just my preference. I also avoid applying this where I have enlarged pores (near my nose).

 If you’ve used Trace Gold, or have any other favourite highlighters, do let me know! And please don’t forget to follow this blog (follow tool is on the right) if you want to keep up to date with future reviews and posts! 🙂

MAC Trace Gold

Please excuse the yucky picture quality! Top photos: product. Bottom left: Sheen on my hand from application. Bottom right: Packed onto my finger to show the tone

MAC Indulge Collection Event, Makeover & Meeting Eman MUA!

Apologies in advance for the longer than normal post- but yesterday was an incredible day and I am about to tell you why.

During my lunch break I decided to go window shopping at Toronto Eaton Centre- but instead stumbled across a MAC event right in the middle of the mall! Celebrating their newest fall collection, Indulge, they had set up a launch party to promote the new line. Being the MAC fan that I am, I had to check it out.

Indulge is described as a fall colour collection that is a “surreal feast for the senses, where no taste is too extravagant and no behaviour beyond limits”. The collection includes metallic and jewel-tone shades of eye, cheek, lip and nail products. Classic choices for fall.

The set up was fantastic. In the front, a magnificently decorated dinner table hosted beautiful models in over-the-top clothing and makeup. Dr. Draw, an electric violinist, entertained the crowd with his skills and quick fingers. In the back were rows of tables and makeup chairs where you could get your makeup done by a MAC artist. To get this makeover, you had to agree to a minimum $50 purchase. However, the lady who signed me up was kind enough to give me an appointment without requiring me to make a purchase (happy wallet, sad heart haha).

I had my makeup done by a talented MAC artist, Helen Kotsopoulos. Canadian folks, if you’re ever in Markville Mall, go and find her at the MAC booth in The Bay. She’s super talented and really listened when I said I didn’t want anything too nuts since I was taking the subway home.

Helen decided to give me a soft bronze smokey eye, winged liner and big lashes. She also gave me golden shimmery cheeks and a very nude lip. Below I’ve listed the products she used, with a * by the products from the collection.

Camel Coat Paint Pot (primer)
*Divide Decadance eyeshadow (bronze on the lid)
*Gilty Morsel eyeshadow (champagne shimmery highlight)
*Fluidline in Blacktrack (gel liner for wing)
False Lash Mascara Waterproof
Technikohl Liner in Graphblack (waterline)

Trace Gold Blush (shimmery golden beige blush and highlight)

Studio Finish Concealer  (under the eyes and on the nose to brighten)
Mineralize Skinfinish Powder (Medium Plus on the middle of my face, Medium dark around the perimeter)

Boldly Bare (warm brown lipliner)
*By Design (frosty beige lipstick)
*Ultimate Dish (nude lipgloss)

Overall the look was sultry and gorgeous! I loved how it turned out and I’m already counting the days till I have saved enough to get Trace Gold blush. For those of you who are big MAC fans already, you may find some of the shades to be repeats of old releases/products. But I would still suggest checking the products out in store.

Finally, the part put the cherry on an amazing day- I got to meet makeup artist, beauty blogger and YouTube beauty guru- Eman! I saw her at the event and waited until I could run over and fangirl-style swoon (haha). I’ve been a fan of hers for years and have always looked to her videos for makeup inspiration. I highly recommend everyone to check her channel, she is beyond amazing!

Below are a few photos of the event set up, the makeup area and some products used on me, so check them out! And if you happen to check out any of the products from the collection, please let me know in the comments below!

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