Sunday, July 19, 2015

NEW SITE | WWW.BRATTYB.COM

Hello Beauties! 

I've left you in the dark for way too long! I apologize! When I finished writing back in April I had plans of leaving you with an exit note detailing my plans for an new, and more authentic site. Unfortunately, as with most things when it comes to me, I let it go for too long and then figured that it would be best to simply announce the new site once it was ready. And that day is finally here! 

Welcome www.brattyb.com, my new online persona, per se. I have felt disconnected from The Pretty Vain for quite some time now and have hopes that this new identity will revive my passion for writing. With it comes a whole new side of my life including style posts, playlists, as well as personal writings. And of course I could never forget my favourite topic: beauty. 

I hope that you'll join me on this new journey!
And don't forget to follow my new social media links!!
Twitter: @yungbrattyb
Instagram: @amymckissock
Pinterest: @thebrattyb

Finally, I wanted to thank you all for always being supportive of my growth and change, and giving me a wonderful sense of community. I have so much love for all of you! Please keep in touch! xo

AMY,     XO

Monday, April 6, 2015

SEPHORA VIB SALE WISHLIST


There have been rumblings that the bi-annual Sephora VIB Event, in which VIB Rouge members get 15% off their purchase, will be taking place next weekend. As such I found it fitting to create a wishlist this weekend to help prep for the event. Here are a few of the products I'll be searching for...

1. Maison Martin Margiela | Replica Lazy Sunday Morning ($115) – It's become tradition to purchase a fragrance during this sale given the savings, and this year it's the Lazy Sunday Morning perfume topping my list. This fragrance features notes of pear, orange blossom flower, white musk, and patchouli oil – think soft skin and bed linens. It's equally warm, sensual, and calming – my ideal scent.

2. Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup ($46) –  I've gone months without this foundation in my collection due to an overwhelming amount of foundations. I've since purged the stash, but my need to re-purchase the Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup is still imminent. The water-based gel formula gives this foundation an ultra-light feel without compromising coverage, making it ideal for spring/summer wear. Plus the formula is waterproof.

3. boscia Make Up-Break Up Cleansing Oil ($35) – I've long wanted to take on a completely oil-based skincare regime, and in my search for a new cleansing oil was reminded of how fantastic the Make Up-Break Up Cleansing Oil is. The oil quickly transforms into a milky cleanser that easily removes even the most stubborn makeup, while providing a refreshing feel. This is a product that I cannot wait to be re-united with.

4. Stila Convertible Cheek Colour in Lillium ($33) – Every time I leave Sephora without purchasing this blush I die inside a little bit more – primarily because of it's association to the Olsens. Lillium has been on my wishlist since I first discovered that it was a  go-to for the twins when they wanted a light flush and nude lip. Why it's taken me so long to purchase... one will never know.   

5. NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Fervor ($52) – I've spoken about my need for these blushes in the past as they allow you to amp up the intensity of the colour and finish with the addition of water. I absolutely love multi-purpose products such as this one, and Fervor is by far the most stunning duo from the line. You can't deny the need for this shimming pink and deep copper rose duo. 

6. Clinique Chubby Sticks Sculpt & Highlight ($24 each) – After seeing a Clinique rep demo these in Sephora the other weekend I knew that I needed to own them. Never has contouring and highlighting seemed so simple. Simply draw on the appropriate areas of your face and blend with a damp beauty blender. Et voila a perfectly chiseled canvas!!

7. Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Moist Mist ($18) – If I'm being honest I have no need for this product aside from it's adorable packaging, but do I really need a better reason? 

8. Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins ($51) – This night creams promises to help skin wake up looking more radiant and refreshed thanks to it's mineral-rich formula. Created with a system of time-released resurfacers, minerals, moisture-rich replenishers and vitamins C, E and H to slough away dead skin while you sleep. Sounds rather promising!!

What's on your wishlist?

AM¥     XO

Saturday, April 4, 2015

MONTHL¥ FAVOURITES . MARCH EDITION

Each month I encounter a handful of products that I cannot seem to get enough of. Ultimately by the end of the month these products are viewed as 'mandatory' and would inflict some serious mental damage if they went missing.
MAKEUP
I've slowly started to come out of my makeup funk this month (must be the weather), and have recently been experimenting with neutral lips, bold eyes, and ever-glowing skin. Since I'm still reppin' that vampire complexion the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer for Radiance in Blue ($43) has kept my skin radiant and on point all month long. I've used this primer two ways: a) all over my skin for an angelic, Dita Von Teese inspired complexion, and b) as a spot highlighter to bring radiance to the high points of my face – both of which reveal luminous results. For eyes I've been introduced to two basics this month that in my opinion no woman should ever go without: the new Roller Lash Mascara by Benefit ($29) and the Brow Gel by Eyeko ($24). The Roller Lash Mascara creates lashes for days that truly form, and hold the curl, while the Eyeko Brow Gel tames brows of any shade with ease. For lips I've been rotating between two lippies: the YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil in Oh My Gold ($35) and Bite Beauty's Matte Créme Lip Pencil in Glacé ($28). Both shades are rather neutral, however each offers infinitely different results. Glacé creates a Kylie Jenner inspired lip with a matte finish, while Oh My Gold adds a beautiful sheen and provides a comfortable texture and feel. Finally for colour, the Essie Nail Polish in Garden Variety ($9), a new shade for Spring that has yet to leave my toes! This is a great pop of colour for the girl constantly in black and white.      

MISC.
Last month I spoke of my love for the Algenist Complete Renewal Eye Balm ($81), and that love has yet to fade away. This eye balm uses Alguronic Acid to fight visible signs of aging, while hydrating and soothing the eye area to reduce puffiness and dark circles. I was also introduced to the Phyto Phytodéfrisant Botanical Straightening Balm ($29), a straight-haired girls saviour. This heat-activated balm is formulated with ferula, horseradish and sage, which hydrates, softens and protects unruly hair, prepping it for a smooth, manageable look. My hair instantly looks and feels more polished and  extends my style for days, minimizing my need to wash and refresh my hair. Plus, the straightening effects increase with extended use. 

What products were you obsessed with this month?


AM¥      XO

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

5 THINGS . THE NEW & NOW FROM P&G BEAUT¥

Drugstore beauty brands have truly brought their A-game this Spring season, in both colour and skincare – and that is especially true for one of the biggest drugstore umbrella brands, Proctor & Gamble. This Spring their line-up of beauty giants including Olay, Covergirl, and Pantene, to name a few, have released luxury-inspired products at a fraction of the cost.     

I've long dreamt of the day that I could walk into a drugstore and purchase a hydrating overnight mask, and thanks to Olay's launch of the Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask that day has finally arrived. It should come as no surprise that moisturizing masks are my thing, especially when in gel form, and the Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask ranks high on my 'you need to own this or you'll die' scale. The hydrating gel is formulated with vitamin B3, Mulberry extract, and humectants, which are absorbed quickly and work late into the evening to produce a glowing, hydrated complexion come morning. Olay's Regenerist Luminous line also makes room for the brands first Daily Facial Oil, a blend of nine naturally-sourced oils that condition and protect the skin to reveal a luminous complexion. The oil has a much thinner consistency than those currently occupying my vanity, however it will be a go-to this summer when I'm in need of a lightly moisturizing, fast absorbing oil – plus the orange scent is divine.  

Spring also places a heavy focus on bright, airy makeup, and perfectly tamed, never frizzy hair, which can be a tough achievement when you're on a budget. However, the latest releases from Covergirl and Pantene make looking and feeling good this season simple and totally affordable. Covergirl's Global Creative Design Director Pat McGrath developed an updated colour palette of 36 ultra-pigmented shades, dubbed the Colorlicious Lipsticks, curated into four colour families making it easy to find the perfect colour for every occasion. My top pick for Spring: Temptress Rose, a beautiful and flirty, every day medium pink shade – which also pairs beautifully with the white liner trend. Finally, to tame and control unruly hair there is the new Dry Defy line by Pantene, which features a shampoo, conditioner, and velvet hair creme. When used together in a routine this line keeps my hair intensely hydrated and frizz-free, boasting a glistening sheen. However the line is quite brilliant alone as well – the Velvet Creme transforms from creme to water when worked between the hands, then provides a micro-seal to the hair when applied, which prevents loss of future moisture. This Spring/Summer humidity and dryness are no match for this new army of drugstore products.  

Have you seen these new releases in store? 


AM¥     XO

[*]The items featured in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product/service. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...

For the past few weeks I've had Heems' latest album Eat, Pray, Thug on repeat – an album he has described as 'post-911 dystopian brown man rap'. The theme and horror of 911 is heavy in the album with songs such as 'Patriotic Act', 'Al Q8a' and 'Flag-Shopping' depicting what life was like for a Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and basically any brown person post-911. The line "And we yelled 'I'm just like you' as quietly and calmly as we could / So as not to raise too much attention and be labelled as a trouble maker" reminds one of the racial and religious struggles of that time. Heems also paints a picture of going flag shopping to show patriotism and to be displayed as a symbol showing his fellow Americans: 'I am not Osama'. In commemoration of Heems' struggle, and to celebrate the brilliant complex nature of this album I present you with the American Flag accent nail. 

To recreate this design simply paint all nails with two thin coats of a red polish. Once this base has dried create a small rectangular box in the left corner of your ring finger with blue polish, allow this section to dry completely. To complete the flag you'll need a striping tool, dotting tool and a white polish. Create thin vertical striples along the ring finger with the stripping tool, the switch to the dotting tool to create dots within the blue rectangle to mimic stars. Finally seal in the design with a fast-drying topcoat such as the Seche Vite Fast-Drying Top Coat

Would you wear patriotic nail art?


AM¥     XO

Friday, March 27, 2015

LUXE BOX BY LOOSE BUTTON . SPRING 2015 EDITION

The beauty unboxing continues with the arrival of the Spring Luxe Box by Loose Button, which landed on my doorstep a mere day after my Birchbox – see a complete review here. I've long considered Luxe Box the queen of Canadian beauty boxes, a worthy title given their ability to curate a unique and exciting seasonal box, alongside their dedication to their customers. Every season (i.e. once every 3 months) each Luxe Box Member receives 7-8 beauty and lifestyle products, with complimentary shipping. If you're interested you can choose to spend $26/season, with the option to cancel anytime you want, or go for a membership plan for a whole year at a discounted price. 

I've been anticipating the arrival of my Spring Luxe Box from the very moment I laid hands on the Winter Luxe Box, and it certainly did not disappoint. For skincare there is the Misha Geum Sul 24K Gold Collagen Caviar Cotton Sheet Mask and Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. I was sold on this Korean sheet mask once I realized it contained 24K Gold, however that's not all, it also features collagen to firm skin, as well as omega-3 fatty acids to moisturize and nourish. Here's hoping that I don't fall in love with this mask as I have no idea where I would repurchase it in the future. The Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant also works to increase collagen production providing a firming action, however it does so much more. This toner-like treatment contains 2% salicylic acid, which exfoliates and resurfaces the skin leading to a healthier, glowing complexion with an even appearance and feel.

Makeup-wise this box features four stunning products: the Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation, Eyeko Brow Gel, Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer in Petal Pink, and a Loose Button brush. The Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation comes as a smaller sample, however it features 4 shades to help you determine your perfect shade. I can definitely see myself wearing this foundation all summer long given it's beautiful lightweight coverage and built in moisture. I'll also be reaching for the Eyeko Brow Gel quite frequently, because you can never have too many brow gels, right? This one is perfect for creating a natural, tamed look on days when I don't feel like filling my brows in, but it can also be used to help shape and define on days when my brow game is strong. The Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer in Petal Pink, and Loose Button Brush are kind of those 'I could always use another' type of products that consume your vanity, yet always come in handy at most unexpected times. I have a feeling that the beautyblender-inspired side of this brush is going to become my contouring saviour this year. Finally, for haircare there is the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, a healthier option for dry-shampoo with a focus on plant extracts. I've been trying to avoid dry-shampoos lately because of their use of butane and propane to propel the product out, however we all have those lazy days where washing our hair is out of the question, and at least this option features a more health conscious approach. Now onto another three months of anticipating my next Luxe Box.

Did you purchase a Spring Luxe Box?


AMY     XO

[*]The beauty box featured in this post has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product/service. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BIRCHBOX CANADA . MARCH 2015 EDITION

They says that all good things must come to an end, but who would have thought that the end of my unfortunate relationship with Birchbox would end in something so wonderful? I'm speaking of the beautyblender and sample sized blendercleanser solid that came with each March box of course, the perfect way to end this subscription. If you're familiar with Birchbox you'll know that it costs $14.95/month for 4/5 deluxe-sized samples, which was a steal this month considering the contents.

We'll start with the beautyblender, a product that I've owned and loved in the past until it vanished from my belongings during the move to Toronto. This is a great addition to the March box given the popularity of contouring this year as it offers an ease to blending cream products once damp. The beautyblender also came with the blendercleanser solid, which I hadn't previously purchased thinking I had no need for it – a thought that will never cross my mind again given it's intoxicating scent. And further to my surprise these weren't the only lovely products in the box  – is it possible that Birchbox listened to our cries!?! I also received the ModelCo Party Proof Lipsticks in Peony, a striking hot pink with a semi-matte finish. I haven't worn a hot pink lip in quite some time, but this shade is deep enough to make me reconsider. Plus I love the long lasting stain it leaves,  with no need to reapply throughout the day. 

The final three samples are quite literally that.. samples, albeit wonderful. The Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia Perfume is a stunning classic – the floral scent is reminiscent of my grandmother and features a single blossom, the gardenia. I'll definitely be purchasing the full size, especially given the black and gold packaging. Next up is the Embryolise Lait-Crème Concentré, a cult moisturizer that I've always wanted to test. I instantly noticed an increase in the hydration of my skin, as well as a more even texture – plus it doubles as a makeup remover. The final product is the Number 4 Hydrating Shampoo, which contains vitamin B5 to condition, and silicone to add gloss. Plus this shampoo contains liquid complexes created with a blend of natural ingredients, which help to protect, purify, strengthen and revitalize the hair. Overall the March Birchbox made saying goodbye to this beauty subscription service a tad bit difficult, but I'm hopeful that this box was simply a fluke and next month's will once again be filled with tiny samples from brands unknown.

Did you receive the March Birchbox?




AM¥     XO

Saturday, March 21, 2015

NAILS . ESSIE . SPRING 2015 COLLECTION

When you live in a country that experiences all four seasons you're bound to have a beacon for Spring – a sign that indicates the cold, bundled-up days have almost past. For a beauty blogger that beacon is the anticipated release of the year's Spring nail polish collections. And the collection destined to rule them all this Spring is the Essie Flowerista Collection. 'Whether the look is futuristic minimalism or nouveau bohemian, the name of the game is flower power. The Spring 2015 Collection is in full bloom, celebrating the fresh perspectives and energetic nature of the spring season.'

This collection brings added excitement as it marks the first collaboration with designer Rebecca Minkoff, who is joining Essie as their Global Colour Designer. Together, Minkoff and Essie have created a collection consisting of six polishes, three brights and three neutrals, for a refreshing twist to the typical floral-inspired collection. I was enamoured with all six shades when I saw the release on Nail Polish Canada, but it was Garden Variety and Petal Pushers that came home with me in the end. I presume that Garden Variety will be the only brightly-coloured polish making its way into my polish collection this spring given my current addiction to neutrals. The deep, creamy teal blue polish had me at first swatch and has left me day dreaming of outfits to pair it with ever since. Petal Pushers on the other hand is a shade I'm much more comfortable and familiar with. Described as a cool rain slate, this shade will undoubtedly become a go-to of mine year round and will work wonders when incorporated into nail art designs – especially when paired with Garden Variety

What are your thoughts on Essie's Spring Collection?





AM¥     XO

Thursday, March 19, 2015

ALL ABOUT THAT BASE . GLOWING SKIN

This season the runways were riddled with fresh-faced beauties rocking luminous skin, barely-there makeup, man-made freckles, and slicked back hair. I fell especially hard for the makeup looks seen on the models in the Erin Fetherson, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Donna Karan runway shows – each model looked ethereal, angelic, and naïve with a hint of sophistication. 


I've always admired those who are able to rock the minimal makeup look on a daily basis – it says a lot about a persons confidence and priorities. And at the age of 25, I finally feel that my skin has an even texture and tone, and remains blemish-free long enough that I'm able to ditch the heavy makeup for the majority of my work days. I always begin my foundation routine with a primer and I've currently been loving the Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizer Nourishing Primer[*], which contains hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate, giving an even texture and feel to my skin. Plus, the velvety-rich formula melts into my skin quickly and truly extends the wear of my foundation, which for a luminous look is, of course, the Estée Lauder Double-Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup[*]. This BB cream is spectacular in terms of it's wear-time, radiance, and coverage, and never feels heavy or suffocating on my skin. To hide the darkness below my eyes I paint the YSL Touche Éclat in the shape of an inverted triangle and then blend it out with my Real Techniques brush. In order to maintain the glow of this foundation I've decided to skip powder completely, and instead add extra radiance using a cream product, the Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizer Radiance Primer in BlueBy tapping this primer into the inner corners of my eye, as well as the high portions of my face I instantly amp up the luminosity of my look, giving my complexion a fresh-glow. To finish off the look I've lightly filled in my brows using the Victoria Jackson Taupe Brow Pencil, and curled my lashes for a wide-awake look using the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara. Now simply top with a light spritz of the Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix and rest assured that your minimal makeup look will keep glowing all day long. 

How do you achieve glowing skin?


AM¥      XO

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

PH¥TO . PH¥TOPOLLÉINE BOTANICAL SCALP TREATMENT

Prior to a few weeks ago I had never heard of, let alone tried a scalp treatment before, and suddenly this week it seems that it's the only subject that I'm able to formulate sentences about. I'm addicted... but with good reason.

A little background on the brand; Phyto was created by Patrick Ales, a hair stylist who not only invented the hairstyle we now know as the 'blowout', but also patented the technique used and sold it to L'Oreal. With the money he acquired from this deal he purchased a house in France, which was filled with essential oils used by the previous owner, a doctor who created natural concoctions used to treat his patients. Patrick continued this trend, combining the essential oils to create topical hair treatments which he would use on his clients. The first treatment he created was the Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp Treatment ($50), which is still available in it's original, un-changed formula today.   
 
The Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp Treatment is a botanical elixir formulated with a concentrate of 72% botanical extracts and corn germ oil to give your scalp and hair a serious boost. The formula harnesses the natural powers of rosemary, sage, cypress, eucalyptus, and lemon to purify the scalp and catalyze microcirculation, which in turn calm the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. In every 25ml bottle of elixir there is a concentration of 4lbs of fresh plants, so you can just imagine how botanical the scent truly is. I've grown very found of the scent, however I can see how it would irritate or repulse others. Fear not, the scent rinses away completely once you shampoo! The treatment is meant to be used once or twice a week as a pre-shampoo. I've found that the easiest way to disperse the product throughout my scalp is to separate my hair into four sections, massaging  the oil in circular motions into each quarter of my hair. I've only been using the treatment for two weeks now but I've already noticed quite a difference in my hair. There is less oil build up forming on my scalp between washing, which means I'm able to go total of three days between washing and my hair has added volume, softness and shine. Considering I've already begun to notice the benefits of this treatment I'm hopeful that extended use will truly help to reconstruct my hair from the root outwards.   
 
Have you tried a scalp treatment? 


AM¥     XO

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

BENEFIT COSMETICS . ROLLER LASH MASCARA

At this point I've heard too many good things, and seen too many jaw-dropping photos of curled, lengthened lashes not to purchase and test out the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($29) myself. And unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably well aware that this is the latest must have mascara. 

Benefit has always been a wizard when it comes to long, lush lashes. They first got me hooked with BADGal Lash, which I quickly tossed to the side when They're Real came around, and today I forget about every mascara I have previously encountered thanks to the Roller Lash Mascara – except for you, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash... we can never part ways. Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara was inspired by the curling rollers often used to curl hair, and features their 'Hook and Roll' brush specially designed to grab lashes with the help of strategically placed hooks that guide the lashes upwards to add curl. The formula is quite special as well, featuring a 12-hour setting powder to hold curl in place all day long, as well as inky black pigments, and lash conditioning ingredients provitamin B5 and serine. The end result is perfectly curled, long lashes even without the use of an eyelash curler – and thank god for that, at 6am it feels nearly impossible to curl my lashes without pinching my skin.  Plus the curl truly holds for the entire day, and despite my initial concerns the Roller Lash Mascara still remains easy to remove come bedtime, even when the gentlest cleanser is used. The only thing missing: volume. 



AM¥     XO

Sunday, March 15, 2015

WHAT I PACKED . THE PART¥NEXTDOOR AFTER PART¥

Tonight I'm headed back to Hamilton to celebrate The Juno Awards the only way a rap fiend knows how: partying with the OVO crew at the PARTYNEXTDOOR after party. The only problem... what  the hell to pack!! Since I've spent the majority of the weekend working I haven't been able to plan out my outfit, let alone my makeup for the night, which makes packing a real struggle. My solution: versatile products that will offer me variety when it's time to prep for the night, but won't weigh down my backpack. 

Two products that I knew would be coming home with me regardless of my outfit were the Karora Express Bronzing Mousse and the St. Tropez Luxe Dry Oil. These are must haves when it comes to prepping for a party or night out because I know I'll be showing off a bit of skin, and that skin must be golden – especially for the OVO boys. The Karora Express Bronzing Mousse helps me create a gorgeous base, while the St. Tropez Luxe Dry Oil further deepens my tan and adds a beautiful shimmer to my skin. To prep my face I've brought along my Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, which awakens my skin, helping it boast a luminous glow, even texture and smooth feel – creating the perfect base for my Marc Jacobs Beauty Marvelous Mousse Transformative Oil-Free Foundation. This is my go-to foundation for nights when I want flawless, heavy coverage that won't budge. Another go-to, and truly a packing no-brainer is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. I did a full review of this palette seen here, and I still can't get enough of it. The shades are versatile for a variety of skin tones, and are heavily pigmented yet blend out with ease, making the chiseled look accessible to everyone, even the contour newb. The remainder of my look is completely up in the air until I settle on one of the three outfits I've brought to my parents house with me. And given that fact, I figured I'd bring an eyeshadow palette that offered me a lot of versatility alongside some high-impact colours, in the event that I felt super daring. The palette I speak of is the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette, of course, which includes 14 shadows that magically transform with the addition of water, giving each shade either a more intense, more metallic or sparkling swatch. I'm pretty positive that I'll be sticking with a dark eye and muted lip for the night, but at this point who knows!!

Do you have any suggestions for my look tonight?!?


AM¥     XO

[*]The items featured in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Friday, March 13, 2015

MAKE UP FOR EVER . STEP 1 SKIN EQUALIZER

This year Make Up For Ever has done a complete overhaul of their primer line-up to release the next generation of primers, the Step 1 Skin Equalizers ($43). Included in this launch are ten specially designed primers to balance skin's texture and tone, each formulated with the Equalizer Complex to triple the power of your foundation. The Equalizer Complex features Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and firm, Vederine to help skin appear more even, and Acti Tensor 3D, which helps to smooth the skin for long-lasting makeup coverage.

The Step 1 Skin Equalizers have been broken up into two categories: five for texture and five to correct tone. The idea is to mix and match these primers in order to create a skin prepping duo that is perfectly tailored to your texture and tone concerns. Now I don't mean to brag, but my skin texture is rather normal, and therefore I went with the Nourishing Base[*], which moisturizes and provides comfort while extending the wear time of your foundation. It truly does create a flawless base for makeup application, and I've even noticed a decrease in the size of my pores after I apply it. The true skin concern I struggle with is radiance. But thankfully this launch features five radiance-boosting primers, each designed with a specific skin tone in mind. I went with the Radiant Primer in Blue[*], which is best suited for light skin tones, however I've now come to realize that the Radiant Primer in Pink is without a doubt a better fit. That being said I love the fact that I can use the Blue version as a highlighter to accentuate the high points of my face. But I'd truly advise against using this primer for your entire face unless you have the complexion of Evan Rachel Wood or wish to resemble a cold blue corpse. 

I had never previously thought to use multiple primers to achieve a flawless base before, but given the number of skin concerns and skin tones in the world it makes perfect sense to tailor and customize your base.

Do you use multiple primers?


AM¥     XO

[*]The items featured in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

THIRST¥ FOR... SPRING BEAUT¥ WISHLIST

Spring has sprung in Toronto – well sort of. The past two days have been absolutely wonderful weather-wise, but we all know it's bound to get cold again. For now though the smell of spring is in the air, and I've even noticed a few bold Canadians wearing their trench-coats – brrr! But for a beauty fiend like me it's simply caused me to lust for all things spring. Ahem, this wishlist. 

First on the list is the NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Frenzy ($52), which allows you to amp up the intensity of the colour and finish simply by using a damp brush. To be honest I was really only a fan of this shade and Fervor from the collection – the swatches tell all on Temptalia. Next up is the Marc Jacobs Beauty The Shape Contour And Blush Brush No.15 ($48), seeing as contouring is all the rage for spring. The shape reminds me of the MAC 109 Small Contour Brush, however it appears slightly more dense and precise. And after reading the reviews complimenting the brushes softness I can't wait to feel it myself! Another thing that's all the rage currently is the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($29), and you bet I can understand why. Have you seen the reviews? This mascara truly curls and lengthens, giving girls the look of false lashes, leaving me hella jealous. Must. Purchase. 

Since I've only been digging neutrals on my nails recently I've decided that I need the Formula X White Party Set ($27). The four polishes, Dainty (ivory white), Delightful (dove grey), Precious (mint white), Blushing (cotton candy pink) are so fresh and beautiful for spring and fit my newly discovered 'no brights philosophy'. But I can still get a little silly, and the kid in me is dying to own everything from Tony Moly, including this adorable Mini Cherry Lip Balm ($10). He also has a Peach Lip Balm, Panda Brightening Eye Base and Apple Hand Cream – be still my heart. Last on my wishlist: more of the YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil, specifically in the shades Cherry My Cherrie and Crush Me Orange. The colours are beautiful for spring, and the formulation on these lip products is beyond comfortable. Now if only this weather will stick around so that we can all be in true spring mode.

What's on your wishlist? 


AM¥   XO

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

TESTING TESTING . DRUGSTORE LIP PRODUCTS

Drugstore lip products have come a long way since the Bonne Bell Lip Smackers & Glosses I used to collect by the dozens as a lil babe. Nowadays, it feels as though I can barely keep up with the new drugstore releases for lips, let alone face, eyes and skincare. But this year there are two stand out lip products that are absolute must haves, hailing from the drugstore: the Rimmel Provocalips ($10) and Annabelle Lipsies ($5).  

The Rimmel Provocalips[*] are a new kissproof lip colour, which in my opinion resemble the Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge lipsticks in both their formulation and swatch, and boast up to 16 hours of wear. While a lot of the the time claims like this one are simply an exaggeration, the Rimmel Provocalips will do just that – lasting 16 hours without fading or transferring. The product is dual-ended, featuring a long-wear liquid lipstick on one end, and a high-shine gloss on the other. The duo provides an intense colour that boasts a beautiful shine thanks to the gloss, however I often wear the shades sans gloss to acheive a matte finish. 

I've got my hands on the shades Skinny Dipping, Pucker Up and Heart Breaker. Pucker Up, a beautiful baby pink packed with golden shimmer, is without a doubt my favourite shade – most likely due to the fact that I've been dreaming of Spring and envision myself wearing this shade daily. Whereas Skinny Dipping, a light brown, and Heart Breaker, a deep wine red with a hint of brown, will be better suited for my more demure looks. Now if only packaging was slightly more sophisticated – think a clear tube for the gloss. 
THE SWATCHES
L-R // Rimmel Provocalips in Skinny Dipping, Pucker Up & Heart Breaker.
The Annabelle Lipsies[*] are a completely different breed of lip product compared to the Rimmel Provocalips – their goal: hydration with a hint of colour. The lighter shades are perfectly suited for a day at the beach as long as they are layered atop a lip balm with SPF – they add a subtle, glossy finish and are packed with incredibly moisturizing ingredients. The brighter colours provide a surprisingly pigmented swatch, making them a staple in my purse for days of running errands. However, given their junior packaging I'm whether I truly want anyone to see me applying them – yes, I am that much of snob. 

The two shades I've been testing are Lychee and Cherry, which both feature bright, fruity aromas unique to the fruit they are named after – making them the perfect way to welcome Spring. Lychee is a great everyday nude with a subtle golden shimmer that appears thanks to the glossy finish, while Cherry is a bright cherry red that provides a subtle stain as it wears. They, of course, aren't the most long-lasting lip balm I've tested but their twist-up design, and hydrating properties help me look past this small flaw. 
THE SWATCHES
L-R // Annabelle Lipsies in Lychee & Cherry
What's the last lip product you tested from the drugstore?


AM¥     XO

[*]The items featured in this post have been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Friday, March 6, 2015

SEPHORA HAUL.. FINALL¥

It feels likes AGES since I've done a Sephora haul. And to be honest, I only purchased four of the items here – the other two: one a gift, and the other a PR sample. But I felt compelled to share them as well because they have quickly become favourites. 

The product that drove me to Sephora in the first place is the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Soft Brown ($23). Since beginning my quest for Sienna Miller Golden Globes hair (only two more sessions to go) I've felt that the shade Medium Brown is too dark. So, since I love how long-lasting, easy to use and versatile this pomade is I simply purchased the appropriate shade. I was kind of obsessed with Sienna's entire look this night, and also wanted to find a lip shade similar to the one she wore. I've been dying to own the Bite Beauty Matte Créme Lip Crayon in Glacé for quite some time now, and since it's only a few shades darker than Sienna's I picked it up. The formula of the Matte Créme Lip Crayon is like no other, which why I also purchased the shade Cognac, a dark brown. And my love for them shows. This week it's Glacé whose been most loved in my collection, especially when topped with my Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Amy –which my friend Teresa from What T Loves bought me. I'm sure you can guess why :).

THE SWATCHES
L-R: Bite Beauty Glacé & Cognac, and Buxom Amy.
The final two products are ones that I've been told such good things about, and after using each this week I understand why. The Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp Treatment ($50) is AH-mazing, as long as you're into the herbal thing. A friend was asking me why we use treatments on our hair and not our scalps when the hair is dead and the scalp is feeding new growth. I couldn't answer. So when I heard about this treatment I knew I had to try it. It seemed daunting at first but to apply it you simply divide hair into four sections and apply directly, and only, to the scalp, massaging it in as you go. It's meant to work as a pre-shampoo serum, so you apply it 20 minutes before your shower and shampoo as normal – and trust, the scent washes out immediately. I'll continue this treatment once to twice a week and should notice results in 2 months. I just want to add some shine... hmph. The final product is the Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix[*] ($34), a makeup setting spray that is said to extend the wear time of your makeup to 12 hours. All I know is that it gets me through the work day and that's enough for me. But be sure to hold your hand far away from your face. I thought the mist would be similar to the Caudalie Beauty Elixir, however it was not and almost had my mascara running the first day I tested it.

Are any of these products on your wishlist?


AM¥     XO

[*]This item has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GET THE LOOK . ZENDA¥A GRAMM¥ AWARDS LIP

Each and every year I highly anticipate the arrival of award season – although, my excitement has little to do with the award shows themselves and more to do with the televised red carpet events. I merely want to see the stars flaunt their perfectly done hair and makeup, model a custom gown, and fingers crossed, drunkenly tell Ryan Seacrest how much the jewels their adorned in cost. 

But my favourite red carpet event of all: the Grammy Awards – the reason being the stars are able to take more fashion and beauty risks given that this is a celebration of music and creativity. This year Zendaya, a disney starlet/young Miley Cyrus if you will, wowed at the Grammy's with a pixie cut and the most stunning, sensual lip colour I've come across in a while – see her complete look here. To my surprise this lip was so easy to re-create that I may end up wearing it daily until Spring. Simply begin by filling in lips with a dark brown lipstick – here I've used the Bite Beauty Matte Créme Lip Crayon in Cognac. I swear I'll own every shade of this lip crayon by the end of the year – they apply beautifully, feel comfortable on the lips, and provide a pigmented, long-lasting lip colour with a matte finish. To add some dimension, making my lips appear fuller, I've added a touch of Benefit's Watt's Up to the center of the lip before applying a bit of my Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Amy with my finger. This golden nude lipgloss is packed with gold shimmer and adds a beautiful shine, completing the look. 

What look caught your eye this award season?


AM¥     XO

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

GLOSS¥BOX . MARCH 2015 EDITION

I thought that I had lost all hope for beauty boxes.. and then the March Glossybox arrived at my door. Back in the day I absolutely loved Glossybox, but the service was unfortunately pulled from Canada until this past November when it was reintroduced by Glossybox US. Since being reintroduced, Glossybox has taken Canada by storm and is arguably the best beauty box on the market. For $21/month + $5/shipping (USD) you get 5 surprise luxury beauty products packaged in a glossy pink gift box. Sign up here to get your own Glossybox!!  

This month each Glossybox will feature a hair product meant to create shiny, healthy locks that will dazzle for Spring. There are five possible hair products that could end up in your box, which can be seen here. I can't deny that I was hoping for the Ouidad 12-Minute Deep Treatment, but I ended up with the Ouidad Color Sense Color Preserving Shampoo & Conditioner – a great product nonetheless. This hair cleansing duo smells absolutely amazing, is sulfate free, and is so moisturizing that I accidentally mistook the conditioner for a mask at first. But it wasn't the only highly moisturizing product featured in my March Glossybox! I also got my hands on the OROGOLD 24K Multi-Vitamin Day Moisturizer, an ultra-nourishing moisturizer loaded with vitamins. If I had the $178 this moisturizer costs you can bet it would already be in my skincare regime – seriously the ultimate hydrator!! 

Onto the colour cosmetics, which are arguably more exciting. The first product I reached for was the So Susan Concealer Quad, consisting of four concealer shades formulated with Marula Oil. The four shades allow you to customize the colour in order to create a shade that seamlessly matches your complexion. Plus, the fact that it's travel-sized means that I can contour on the go. Next up is the bellápierre Cheek & Lip Stain in Pink – a product that I could honestly care less about. The shade is subtle, pretty and blends with ease... but there is just something about cream cheek products that screams 'I'm a HUGE hassle.' So for now I'll stick with powder blushes. The final product, Model Co's More Brows in Medium/Dark, is nearly identical to Benefit's Gimme Brow, an absolute favourite of mine. The two not only share a similar product name, but also feature a small brush with a tinted gel formula to easily tame and fill brows. The main difference? More Brows is $10 cheaper (and slightly more difficult to track down). 

Overall I was thrilled with the contents of my March Glossybox, and will definitely be turning to this subscription service in the future to fill my beauty sampling needs. It turns out that you truly do get what you pay for when it comes to beauty boxes. 

Have you re-subscribed to Glossybox?


AM¥      XO

[*]The item in this post has been sent to THE PRETT¥ VAIN for purpose of review. All views expressed reflect my own opinion on the product. For additional information please see the Disclaimer.