Friday, November 28, 2014


The CoverGirl LashBlast devotee – a unique breed of beauty addict who swears by one mascara line above all else; the CoverGirl LashBlast. While I admire this breed of addict, I must [shamefully] admit that I often snub my nose to drugstore mascaras, despite hearing the praises of the LashBlast line. It's not as though I truly believe that high-end products work better than those found in the drugstore, it's rather that society has trained me to be a brand snob. But that form of brain-washed logic ends today with the latest CoverGirl LashBlast mascara release, Full Lash Bloom, which promises exceptional fullness that's soft to the touch.

The CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom[*] mascara by Lashblast is housed in a hot pink tube fit for Barbie, and features a mixture of long and short plastic bristles to coat each and every lash. The bristles even span across the tip of the brush, making it easier to reach the pesky baby lashes found around the inner tear duct. Full Lash Bloom also features a soft mousse formula, which contains natural beeswax to create full lashes that remain touchable and soft throughout the day. Notice that I have yet to mention a thing about length? Well, that's because CoverGirl doesn't either – it appears this mascara is all about touchable full lashes. I can certainly attest to having full lashes that are soft to the touch after using this product, however they are nothing in comparison to the fullness of Katy Perry's lashes in the promo photo – damn marketing. But unfortunately, without the added length this mascara will forever be considered one of my 'errand running' mascaras – a category in which Full Lash Bloom scores top points.

Have you tried the CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom by LashBlast? Thoughts?

AM¥    xo

*The items 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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The drastic drop in temperature we've experienced this week took quite the toll on me, both emotionally and physically. And in an instant I realized that the days of fall jackets, smooth lips and co-operative hair would quickly be replaced with winter parkas, chapped lips, and that dreaded frizz. We've been dealing with this weather, or what I consider the 'prelude to the polar vortex', for less than a week now, and yet somehow my skin and lips have already taken a beating – most likely due to how sudden the change was. Rough, dry patches have begun to form on my chin and cheeks – cue the Origins Drink Up 10 Minute Mask – and my once kissable lips have been transformed into a battlefield of rough skin.

Times like these call for a dynamic duo that will rejuvenate your lips and remove any signs of dryness so that you can once again compliment your outfit with your favourite lipstick, and not your favourite lip balm. A good dynamic duo MUST feature two things: exfoliation and hydration. To exfoliate the lips there is one product that I will never stray from, the LUSH Lip Scrubs, and there's a rather simple explanation for my dedication; you will never find another lip scrub for $6.95 that works as effectively, and is as delicious. The lip scrubs are available in four sugar-based flavours, and are meant to scrub the lips to smooth perfection and then be licked off when done –  when my lips are seriously chapped I steer clear from the temptation because, well... no one wants to eat their dead skin, right? Gross. That aside, your lips should now feel smooth, kiss-worthy and ready for a burst of moisture. I personally like to match the scent of my Lush Lip Scrub to an intensive lip balm that has a co-coordinating scent. This can be a difficult task since not all lip balms are powerful enough to tackle winter dryness, but lucky for you I've mastered the mix and have a few of my favourite combinations to share.

Lush Lip Scrub in Bubble Gum & Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment ($23) – This is my go-to  combination for days of 'girly vibes'. The bubblegum flavour is fun and youthful, yet pairs beautifully with the green apple scent found in the Argan Lip Treatment, which is loaded with Vitamin E to soothe and condition lips.
When I use this pair: after a sweetly-scented bath, and anytime I'm watching Mean Girls.

Lush Lip Scrub in Mint Julips & Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Natural Mint ($8.50) – If your lips get seriously dry and cracked then this is the combination for you – but be prepared to man up before you use it. The Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm is my HG lip balm – it features the most intense mint scent I've ever experienced (seriously, beware) and has a thick formula that instantly brings lips back to their original condition. Together, Mint Julips and the Intense Therapy Balm compose the dream team for combating sore, winter lips – and the combo is totally unisex!
When I use this pair: whenever my lips feel like they are going to fall off, and before a date – the minty scent remains fresh for hours and my lips are left kissable ;).

Lush Lip Scrub in Popcorn & TokyoMilk Dark Lip Elixir in Salted Caramel ($8) – I almost hate to admit it... but this pairing is so good taste-wise that sometimes I have a difficult time not using the scrub twice just to get a little more of that intoxicating flavour. That being said, this combination is more about pleasure and less about purpose for me. The Popcorn Lip Scrub still works as effectively as the rest, however pairing it with the TokyoMilk Salted Caramel Lip Elixir provides a fantastic taste, but doesn't result in the same improvement in the look/feel of the lips as the other balms do.
When I used this pair: after a vanilla-based bath, and whenever it's snowing outside – the scent instantly gives you that comforting feeling and pairs well with your Salted Caramel Latté.

How do you combat your dry, chapped lips?

AM¥     XO

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Twenty Five. A Quarter of a Century. The moment you know – darling, we're not in Kansas anymore. There is a certain weighted feeling that comes with turning twenty five – it's the moment when you clearly understand that you are an adult, and from here on out every decision you make is truly your own. I can remember laying in my twin-sized bed in my first year of University with my roommate discussing all the things we aspired to achieve by the age of twenty-five. I look back on that day and laugh at the naivety that floated through my head – none of the things I envisioned happened and you know what, that makes me the happiest.

Now, I can look back on my twenty five years and feel truly proud that I have followed my heart (over my head) in each and every situation. I've loved and been loved, and understood that sometimes, although it can be terrifying, there is a need to gracefully let go of the things not meant for you. I've surrounded myself with people who build me up, who make me feel like I can conquer the world.. and most importantly – people who have shown me that happiness comes when you are at your truest form – free. 

And although I may not have it all together just yet, I'm getting pretty damn close.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


After having a difficult week in the city I longed for a night of comfort and relaxation, so I headed into LUSH to pick up a few bath must-haves. To my delight the Lush elves had been hard at work filling the store with some of my favourite Christmas bath products. So, I completely ignored the permanent range, as you do, and set my sights on some old Christmas favourites, alongside a few new (and totally adorable) friends.

The Christmas Hedgehog • Bubble Bar ($7.25) - My little hedgehog friend looks slightly defeated with his sunken in eyeballs and small blue nose, but cute nonetheless. Layered with a floral scent and topped with blue hair made of shea and cocoa butters, this adorable bubble bar is seriously relaxing and creates the silkiest of waters, all hidden beneath a foot of bubbles. At the end of a long day the combination of lavender, rose and ylang ylang oils magically allows my thoughts to subside, as a sense of calmness comes over me – just what the doctor ordered.

So White • Bath Bomb ($6.45) - The So White bath bomb is one of my absolute favourites, and is a product that, in my opinion, should be part of Lush's permanent line up. Although it's outer appearance may look a little dull, the inside of So White contains a secret pink center, which fizzes away to lightly colour your bath. But the real reason I keep coming back for more of this bath bomb each and every year is the intoxicating apple scent – it's fresh, fruity and uplifting thanks to the inclusion of bergamot and neroli oils. The perfect Fall scent.

The Christmas Penguin • Bubble Bar ($7.45) - This little guy was WAY too adorable to pass up – plus an ex boyfriend and I had a thing for penguins so I always seem to find a soft spot in my heart for anything penguin related. The Christmas Penguin, inspired by Little Penguins found in Australia is a bubble bar – meaning it will fill the tub with mountains of orange-flower and bergamot-scented bubbles. Bubble baths are SO necessary on cold winter days, and I'm saving this guy for one of the coldest days so that I can transport my tired mind. The inclusion of Sicilian mandarin and lemon oils, along with the azure coloured waters it creates is reminiscent of the tropics – and in my mind I'm already miles, miles away.

Snow Angel • Bath Bomb ($7.95) - When a Lush product is described as part bath melt, part bath bomb you kind of stop caring about anything else going on in the world, because you know that the cure to all your woes rests in a single bath. Snow Angel is exactly that – woe whisperer, shimmer advocate, and skin softening wizard all in one. With the same Marzipan scent as their Christmas classic, Snowcake, this bath melt/bomb creates a creamy almond bathing experience that delights the senses and leaves you shimmering (literally). One more reason to feel magical.

Butterbear • Bath Bomb ($4.95) - One of the first bath bombs I ever tried from Lush was Butterball, and this year it has been transformed into the Butterbear – you would almost think Lush is trying to create their very own zoo. While this bath bomb is, well lets face it, is the equivalent of a 'basic bitch', it does create beautiful vanilla scented waters and contains heaps of cocoa butter to leave skin feeling smooth and hydrated. The most enchanting thing about this bath bomb (aside for the shape) is the possibilities for layering products to create an indulgent bath that is entirely your own. My favourite combination: a Butterbear and Floating Island bath followed with a generous layer of Vanilla Dee-lite to seal in softness.

With so many amazing releases from Lush this Holiday season it was difficult to only pick up 5 products. That being said I've already begun making a list of products that I missed out on in this haul, so be sure to let me know what your favourite holiday Lush products are so that I can grab them on my next visit. Northern Lights is a definite must – have you seen those starry waters!? To die for.

AM¥     XO

Monday, November 10, 2014


This weekend marked Sephora's Annual Holiday VIB Event, a time when those holding VIB status or higher receive 20% OFF their entire purchase... all weekend long. Knowing that this weekend was coming up I've held myself back from making large purchases at Sephora, but yesterday I let loose, buying whatever my little eyes desired and God it felt good – retail therapy really is a thing. 

All of the products featured will be reviewed in depth over the upcoming weeks, but being that today is the final day to cash in on the 20% OFF I figured that I would share my haul for some last minute inspiration :). I was also a bit cheeky this morning and ordered one more item online; the Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment ($29) to help with the random breakouts I've been experiencing. Don't tell my Mom.

Peter Thomas Roth | Skinstant Mask Magic ($52) - Despite that this size is unavailable online, there is a slightly smaller version (0.5oz vs. 1.7oz), which still allows you to try this mask trio, including: the Cucumber Gel Mask, Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Mask, and the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. If at any point I go missing this week you can find me getting high off of the intoxicating scent of the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.

Sephora Favourites | Dare To Oil ($40) - I'm in dire need of a new facial oil – it's reached the point where I have to tip my Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil bottle upside down for 5 minutes before the right amount of product comes out. And while I've had my sights set on the Keihl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, I couldn't pass up the chance to test out 4 more oils before making my final decision. Those on the chopping block include: the Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil Light, Tarte Maracuja Oil, Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil, and the Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil

Smashbox | Step-By-Step Contour Kit ($52) -This is such a great set for anyone just getting into contouring! The majority of contour kits/palettes simply contains two shades: a contour and highlight, but this palette contains a third, middle shade to help diffuse the contour for a more natural effect. It also comes with a step-by-step guide for placement of the contour based on your face shape, as well as a brush.

Benefit Cosmetics | Gimme Brows in Medium/Deep ($26) - Considering this will be my third or fourth tube of this product I'm sure you can understand how great my love for it is. On days when I'm on the run, Gimme Brows, makes my brows look my best – naturally filled in, in a fraction of the time of my normal routine. 

NARS | Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu ($31) - After my mission for Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 49 Satin Blueberry failed, I turned to the help of a Sephora employee to help me find a similar shade. From the moment Train Bleu was swatched I was sold. 

Hourglass | Veil Mineral Primer Travel-Sized ($21) - I've yet to hear a bad word spoken in regards to this primer. But since I wasn't ready to shell out the $60 for the full sized and the Best Of Houglass Set I had been after was nowhere in sight, I figured this was the best way to see if the hype was legit.

Bumble and Bumble | Sunday Shampoo ($25.50) - I used to relish in a evening of pampering come every Sunday, but between the crazyness of the move and settling into the city I fell of track. I'm hopeful that this clarifying shampoo will give me one more reason to re-start my weekly Sunday rituals.

Bumble and Bumble | Creme de Coco Masque ($32.75) - No Sunday ritual would be complete without a hair mask, and while I originally wanted the Phyto Phytospecific Ultra-Smoothing Mask, the scent of Creme De Coco couldn't be beat. Plus... it's Bumble and Bumble. 

Make Up For Ever | Aqua Matic Eye Pencil ($25) -  After falling in love with these eyeshadow pencils back in September when I tested the shade Iridescent Turquoise, I knew that it wouldn't be long before I grabbed a few of the more versatile shades. I decided to pick up Metallic Golden Taupe and  Diamond Golden Grey to provide a quite pop of colour rimmed around the eye on days when I want to look put together with minimal effort.

Jack Black | Performance Ready Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser for Hair & Body - Because I wasn't a big fan of this years Women Birthday Gift I decided to ask for the Men version instead. Not only is this a (seriously) deluxe sized sample, I kind of love using mens body wash – the scents make you feel so fresh and so clean, clean.

Urban Decay | Urban Obsession Kit - I rarely cash in my VIB points, but the 500-point perk this month, the Urban Decay Urban Obsession Kit, totally stole my heart. Included in this set are 4 of their best-selling shadows in Skimp, Bust, Guilt, and Oil Slick, as well as their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero- black and a single use of the most-loved Primer Potion. The perfect from day to night on-the-go palette. 

What products did you purchase this weekend? And what products would you like to see reviewed first!?

AM¥     XO

Friday, November 7, 2014


Needless to say, I am constantly stalking Sephora, creating endless wishlists of products I want and slowly dying on the inside because my lack of funds makes it impossible for me to purchase everything. But there is one magical weekend each Holiday season that make my wishlists slightly more attainable; the Sephora VIB Sales Event (Nov. 6th -10th). During this weekend anyone with VIB or VIB Rouge status, will receive 20% off their entire purchase. My recent makeup wishlists may appear slightly bland but there's reason for it – during the first few years of blogging I loaded up on eyeshadow palettes, blush palettes, ANYTHING with colour... and now I find myself focusing in on the basics, a flawless base makes all the difference. Looking back now I see that I went about this whole 'makeup business' a bit backwards.

But without further ado, here is my wishlist for this weekend! Now if only Sephora would get a handle of their online checkout for Canadians :| – it's been down for the past 2 days.

My wishlist couldn't be completely void of colour, which is where the Bite Beauty Mix N' Mingle Lip Set comes in. This limited edition set contains 10 deluxe-sized samples of the brands must have shades and formulas. What I'm most excited for: the Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé and the Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in both, Tangerine/Lingonberry and Palomina/Violet.

Even though I have only tried this product once, probably 6-8 months ago, I still have a difficult time getting it off of my mind. The Dior Captule Totale Dreamskin is different breed of 'primer', although I'm not entirely positive that the title of 'primer' truly does this product any justice – it's all in the name, Dreamskin, which is exactly what you achieve after one use. So how does it work? Well their exclusive bio-mimetic powder complex reduces dark spots and redness, and minimizes pores,  Longoza extracthelps to combat wrinkles along with loss of radiance and firmness, and Opilia extract helps reduce dark spots and redness, bringing dull complexions back to life. Self explanatory right? 

Just add a dab to the back of your hand next time you're in Sephora and trust that you too will become a convert.

Despite my hair looking and feeling extremely healthy since chopping it all off there is still something missing: smoothness. I am constantly at war with the baby hairs that protrude from my hair when it is parted. And while I feel that I have tried almost everything to tame them, there is one path that I have not explored: creating a proper hair routine. The most important part of the routine being a smoothing, and hydrating conditioning mask to be used twice weekly. Phyto claims their mask 'hydrates, repairs, and strengthens hair from within, while smoothing the surface cuticle to boost color vibrancy and luster, leaving hair softer, stronger, and shinier.' Here's hoping it solves my woe's and stops the dreaded 'winter static head' before it starts.

There isn't all that much to be said about why I want this product so desperately – it's black, beautifully packaged, and contains small and micro hex glitter, reflecting the colours of the rainbow when exposed to the right light. Just like my heart.

I feel a little late to the party when it comes to a product like the YSL Fushion Ink Foundation, released back in August. Not only did it garner rave reviews from everyone in the industry, including Vogue, before it's official release date it had accumulated a waiting list of 12,000 beauty addicts. Now that the hypebeasts have moved onto the next BIG thing in beauty, it's my turn to see what the Fushion Ink Foundation is all about. After looking at multiple before-and-after blogs and educating myself on the NASA-inspired technology that this foundation uses, aka special sweat and sebum-controlling agents, I have made it my mission to stake my flag in the Fushion Ink World.

6. Smashbox | Step-By-Step Contour Kit ($52)
I've finally realized that using a bronzer to contour my face is so 2006. So I've set out on a mission to find an easy to use contour kit that will educate me on the world of face-shaping and slimming – ahem, have you seen my nose. This 4-part contouring kit from Smashbox is cost effective and  teaches you how to sculpt, shape, and define your features with three shades for defining, bronzing, and highlighting. I can't wait to step out the door looking like Kim Kardashian – men beware; you shall be fooled.

7. Hourglass | Best Of Hourglass Set ($68)
Hourglass is one of those brands that makes me want to swipe my makeup collection clean (like a computer) and start fresh with a one-brand bias. While I would never legitimately do that, I certainly don't mind enhancing my current makeup collection with a set of their bestsellers. Number one from this kit: the Veil Mineral Primer – have you ever heard a bad review of this product? Didn't think so. The runner up, the Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Ignite – a rose shimmer gloss that can perfectly enhance any lipstick-covered pout. If you've yet to try Hourglass this set will get your foot in the door.

Last but certainly not least is a scent that my bestfriend and I have been going slightly insane over: Vanille Insensée. The description alone is enough to make your heart skip a beat – "He wove through the crowd when suddenly his heart quickened. That scent. It was hers. He had worn it first until she stole it for herself. Now, there she was before him and the magic of years past came flooding back in a moment." It is the perfect balance between masculine and feminine all while using a few of my favourite notes: vanilla, oak wood, jasmine and amber. This scent makes me feel, which is rare.

AM¥     XO

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


After finishing off my most loved foundation, MAKE UP FOR EVER's Face and Body Liquid Makeup, I decided to make myself a pact: forgo purchasing a new bottle until I had gone through my current stash. You would think that someone with 7+ foundations at her disposal would easily find a replacement, but nope – half the foundations didn't have the lasting power I needed, and the other half were far to heavy for day to day wear. But then I stumbled upon the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 ($50) – I had somewhat disregarded this product because I oddly associate BB creams with summer time, but it ended up being the knight in shinning armor I had awaited.

The Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 is a five-in-one formula, available in 8 shades, that work to protect, prime, hydrate, correct, control oil, and perfect the skin. It has a rather thick texture, which took some getting used to as I was accustomed to using a highly fluid foundation made up of 80% water, but with the help of my Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush ($42) I prevailed. For work I like my skin to look naturally flawless, without feeling weighed down, and this BB cream does the trick – my skin is left looking airbrushed, with a demi-matte finish. It also easily transitions to a 'day-off' foundation, meaning that my natural, skin shows through – flaws and all – by using half the amount. But what this foundation is really flexin' is it's lasting power – even after a 10+ hour day complete with sweat, dirt and an inherent need to touch my face this BB cream stays in place.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is; within my collection of foundation, which includes the likes of Chanel and Marc Jacobs, the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream reigns king. [And I have barely been missing Make Up For Ever's Face & Body Liquid Makeup]

AM¥     XO

Monday, November 3, 2014


I've long considered my eyebrow game strong. I refuse to leave the house without them looking perfectly sculpted and bold, and on the off chance that I forget, I spend countless hours trying to understand why I look 'weird' until it finally clicks; I forgot to do my brows. Having said that, you can probably understand why I have such a hard time saying no when a new brow product is released – It's an addiction. My current routine has my eyebrow game on point, and features two products that are relatively new to the brow scene; the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade ($23) and the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara ($9). For a while I had simply been using an eyeshadow to fill in my eyebrows, MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown to be specific. But as simple as using a powder product was, I sometimes felt that the end result looked chalky and would smudge after a few hours, regardless of whether a primer was used. And don't get me started on the aesthetic catastrophe that occurs when I try to pencil them in – definite Chola vibes. A waterproof-pomade with a creamy, gel consistency, like DipBrow seemed like the game-changer I was desperately looking for. 

After watching countless Instagram videos I knew I needed to make the purchase, and numerous wishlist later I finally did. I will admit that it took some time and patience before I determined what the perfect amount of product to use was, but now I'm a pro, which means I have total control over my look – but the bold side of life is much more fun. And DipBrow makes the bold side so simple and clean (like neat); it glides on smoothly, stays put all day long, and tames even my most stubborn brow hairs. I don't even need a brow mascara afterwards, but I'm obsessive, which is where Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Deep Brown comes in. Having never seen a brow mascara in the drugstore that wasn't 'clear', I was dying to find out if this one would live up to my favourites; Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow and Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel. Unfortunately it didn't fair well. While the shape of the brush is very cool, dubbed the Sculpting Ball Brush, the product barely sculpts or fills, and my brows hardly felt secure in place. But since I love to load the products on, I haven't minded using it alongside DipBrow  although I'm completely unsure of whether it is enhancing my brow routine or not. One product that does enhance my routine, and I should kick myself in the ass on the days I don't do it, is working a bit of Venus from the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette along my brow bone as a highlight – instantly freshens my look and makes me look alive.
What products keep your eyebrow game strong?

AM¥     XO