Saturday, January 31, 2015


Since the beginning of December I've looked forward to 2015, hoping it would provide me with a fresh outlook on life – from this point on, I would not only live within my means, but I would also live without excess. Judging by the growing amount of empties piling up in my room I'd say that I've been doing well thus far. Most months I hop from product to product, never really making a dent in my collection, but for 2015 that's all changed. For January I strategically chose specific products to reach for daily to ensure that I was truly dwindling down my collection before purchasing another item. This month I've made it through a total of nine products, and I'm somewhat shocked to admit that I've actually enjoyed each and every one of them.

For skin care I've been reaching for the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum so frequently, and so desperately that I even began leaving the serum inverted in hopes of collecting every last drop. I luckily have a back up of the Beauty Elixir for this month, but will definitely have to re-purchase the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum in the future. It left my skin feeling soothed, revealed a more even skin tone, and diminished the discolouration seen around my mouth. I've also been 'on' when it comes to treating my lips and nails, as they often suffer when the temperature drops and the winds are strong. To condition my lips I've been using the Caudalie Lip Conditioner, which provides a matte layer of protection and a gentle scent, yet I probably won't be repurchasing it given my other options. On the other hand, my nails have been loving the OPI Nail Envy treatment, a product I alway repurchase. I'm obsessed with this stuff, and to my knowledge nothing else works quite like it.  

Makeup wise, these empties have been on their 'last days' for a while now – that's the weird thing about me, the second I'm ALMOST finished a product I must stop using it to prolong our time together. One of those products is the Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua Cream Compact – not only is the packaging gorgeous, but the foundation itself makes my skin look and feel like a dream. It's so difficult to say goodbye, but I must get through the other 7 foundations in my vanity before I repurchase this one again.  I also finished MAC's Strobe Cream and the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit this month. The Creamy Concealer Kit is a product my love runs deep for, so I of course had a back up for it, but MAC's Strobe Cream was in my opinion simply an overrated primer. It created a dewy glow under my foundation, but it didn't do enough to hide pores and pro-long the wear time of my makeup to justify repurchasing it. The final two empties are the Lancome Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base and Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara. I absolutely love the mascara base, and find myself using it with EVERY mascara I own. The same cannot be said about the Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara – while I love the lash effect it delivers, there is an underlying rose scent that I find irritating. Plus the L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara has been providing me with a similar effect at half the price. 

What empties will you be repurchasing this month?

AM¥     XO

Friday, January 30, 2015


MAC Cosmetics latest Viva Glam spokeswoman is the one and only Miley Cyrus – and the release of her bright pink duo couldn't have come at a better time with Valentine's Day lurking around the corner. I've always been a fan of Miley, especially since her recent shift to the twerking, drug-loving, superstar she is today. She isn't afraid to speak her mind on the use of marijuana, and at the end of the day she doesn't care about what anyone else thinks about her life. I can totally respect that and I've always been a huge supporter of MAC's Viva Glam program, which donates all proceeds to help those living with HIV/AIDS – so obviously I needed these new additions.

The Viva Glam x Miley Cyrus Lipstick ($16) is a stunning hot pink shade with a glossy finish, featuring the signers signature on the inside of the bullet. I originally was only going to purchase the lipgloss because swatches of the lipstick revealed a shade that simply seemed to 'barbie'-esque for my style. However, in person there is a subtle orange undertone to this lipstick that makes it a must for spring/summer. The lipstick can be worn solo or paired with the Viva Glam x Miley Cyrus Lip Glass ($18), which is described as a hot pink with sparkling pearl shimmer, also featuring the signers signature, this time found on the tube. When swatched the hot pink tone is muted quite significantly, revealing a barely there pink with loads of glitter. I almost enjoy the lipgloss better when it is layered over a nude lipstick than it's hot pink companion. This is one of the more fun Viva Glam releases we've seen come from MAC, so I'm hopeful that Miley Cyrus will be collaborating with them again in the future.     

What do you think of this collaboration?

AM¥     XO

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Whenever I meet a mascara that makes my small baby eye lashes look similar to that of my ex-boyfriends, I latch on. He had these lashes that appeared layered and we long enough that they hit his eyelids when he smiled. Each and every day we spent together I told him I would be cutting them off that night as he slept and using them as my false lashes. I, of course, never did this – I'm not crazy. But I always thought it was sadly ironic that a male could possess better lashes than most of the women I know. 

Luckily, I've now met the L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara, my new favourite for creating thick, long lashes that resemble my exes. 'Miss Manga' simply refers to the female characters seen in Japanese comics, as they always have long, thick, pointed lashes emphasizing their eyes to ooze femininity. I've always been a fan of the 'spider lash' look and think it is the easiest, and most effective way to fake long, think lashes, which is exactly what Miss Manga delivers. The tapered brush makes application easy, even for the smaller lashes along the inner corner of my eye, although I could go without the 360º flexor brush as I like a sturdy brush. Given my dry skin I didn't experience any creasing or smudging throughout the day, and yet I still found the mascara easy to remove with my Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser come bedtime. I also truly appreciate the range of shades in this line, with Blackest Black being the ideal darkness for my lashes. And yet on days when I want as softer, more natural look I can definitely see myself reaching for the Black Brown shade. 

I am so happy to have finally found a drugstore mascara that I love! I won't be giving up on this one for quite a while!


AM¥     XO

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


A few weeks ago a friend of mine, Sarah, approached me regarding an adverse reaction she had when she used the Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel. The product contains glycolic acid, which simply didn't co-operate with her skin type, leading to a rosy rash on her cheeks and an overall uneven complexion. We got into an in-depth discussion about facial peels and glycolic acid, which is when I realized that not only have I never tried an at home peel before, but I was also extremely uneducated on glycolic acid – and it seems that I'm not the only one. Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), which works as an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells, and can be effective at lightening discolouration in the skin. Sounds pretty great. So why did Sarah have such a poor reaction?  

I've included Sarah's account of her experience with the Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel, which can be seen here, but I still wanted to test the peel out myself since so many others rave about the product, including Temptalia. However, in my search I instead stumbled upon a new peel for 2015 from Olay's Pro X series, the Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel[*], which seems to be a much better option for those with sensitive skin. The Pro X by Olay Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel still contains glycolic acid, which is surprisingly at a higher level than the Thermal Mini-Peel, however it's devoid of the exfoliants and intense warming sensation that the Thermal Mini-Peel features, which could cause irritation.

I've been using the Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel for 5 days now, without having an adverse reaction. The price tag is on the hefty side at $50, but it features a self-drawing dropper, which collects liquid as you twist the product open and is easily dispensed without worry of contamination. I apply 2-4 drops all over my skin before bed, yet still cannot help but layer a drop of my Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil over top for added moisture. When I first began applying it to my skin I encountered a stinging sensation, but that dissipated within 5 minutes leaving behind an invisible, odourless layer that dried within minutes. In the morning I simply cleanse my skin and continue with my current skin care regime. Since using it I've noticed that my skin appears brighter, and the faint discolouration around my mouth left from blemishes has begun to fade away. I could never use this treatment nightly as I notice a bit of tightness come morning, but it will definitely become a valuable solider in my beauty army when that time of the month rolls around. 

Have you tried the Olay Regenerist Thermal Mini-Peel before? What was your experience?
Will you try the Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel instead?

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.  

Monday, January 26, 2015


There are days when I'm far too lazy to create a nail art design and yet far too bitchin' to be seen with a 'bae-sic' black manicure. Times like these call for nail wraps, which break the monotony of a single polish manicure without adding any extra work. This week I'm all about black and white nails paired with the Mod Hello Kitty Nail Wraps from NCLA ($18). I discovered the Hello Kitty x NCLA line a few months ago on Nail Polish Canada and knew that I needed to purchase something from the collection so I could share them with my friend Jess, an avid Hello Kitty lover. She absolutely loved them, and after stuffing our faces with pizza we both chose different styles to adorn our nails with. The end result was totally cute, and edgy, without being Hello Kitty overboard. Head over to my Instagram to see what wraps she chose!

This was my first purchase from NCLA, but after taking a look at the other nail wraps and polishes they carry it certainly won't be the last. Their new matte glitter polishes from the An L.A. Fairytale Collection looks out of this world, and Heartbreaker from their Valentine's Day Collection is right up my alley.
Are you crazy for Hello Kitty?

AM¥     XO

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Temptalia has introduced the world to a number of indie beauty brands over the years, and the latest brand is one that I personally won't soon be forgetting. With highly pigmented eye shadows, lip liners and lipsticks, featured at prices that compete with the drugstore, ColourPop has certainly found a way to start 2015 with a bang. My current addiction? Their Lippie Stix, a twist-up lipstick available in three finishes and a bevy of intriguing shades – plus they're only $5... yes, you heard me. That's the beauty of ColourPop, everything they sell is $5. I immediately gravitated towards five shades – Bound, Wet, Creature, Feminist and Bull Chic. I decided that this was a good way to introduce myself to the brand as the shades covered all three finishes, allowing me to judge their individual texture and quality. Each shade is incredibly pigmented, applying with ease and wearing comfortably for 5+ hours. Although there is something slightly off with the scent, but thankfully it dissipates quite quickly.

Bound is the perfect light pink nude and features a glossy finish, making it quite comfortable to wear. It's the shade I'm seen wearing in the Accentuating Eyes post I shared a few days ago. It delivered such a beautiful glossy sheen to my lips that day that I became instantly obsessed. The remaining shades are significantly less wearable, but arguably more fun. Wet is a taupe gunmetal with a pearlized, slightly metallic finish – my perfect summer shade. I can envision wearing it with tanned skin, a white dress, azure blue aviators and an absurd amount of rings. Creature is not quite what I expected in person, but remains beautiful non the less. ColourPop describes it as a 'deepened, blackened, burgundy red', while I view it as a bright blackened cherry. Creature along with Feminist and Bull Chic feature a matte finish, meaning they deliver the longest lasting power, even leaving a stain once removed from the lips. Feminist is the picture perfect black purple – it is so striking when applied, especially with a minimal eye, while Bull Chic is about as black and unwearable as it gets. I'm not sure where I'll have the courage to wear this.. but it has been fun to play around with at home thus far.

I'll definitely be exploring a few more shades from the brand. Right now I've got my eyes on Go Fish, Lumière, Brink and Pitch.

L - R // Bound, Wet, Creature, Feminist, Bull Chic

Have you heard about ColourPop Cosmetics yet? Share your swatches & reviews below :)

AM¥     XO

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I apply this lipstick and almost subconsciously begin to sing Shakira's She Wolf in my head – it doesn't hurt that the shade resembles the red, glitzy cave Shakira is seen dancing inside in the video. There is something about the colour that is so ravishing and spectacular that it immediately unleashes the she wolf inside my being – I stand taller, I dance with more sex appeal, and most importantly I feel power. That my friends is the beauty of makeup. So thank you Kat Von D for bringing out my confidence and revealing my inner she wolf with the Studded Kiss Lipstick in Wolvesmouth

Wolvesmouth is the second Studded Kiss Lipstick I've purchased and surely will not be the last. The bullet is housed in a monochromatic black case, which is completely studded in true Kat Von D style. This hybrid lipstick is formulated with Color Cushion Technology – aka it's pigmented, long-lasting, and offers velvet touch comfort thanks to the infusion of vitamins A, C, and E, and an antioxidant complex. To top it off the line features a Crème Brûlée scent, which I totally appreciate, as do the fellas [wink, wink]. The shade Wolvesmouth is a metallic, deep berry that is suitable for every skin tone. It applies smooth, with a pigmented swatch in a single swipe, lasting for 8+ hours with a stain residing for 4+ hours thereafter. And it remains comfortable throughout wear, without the gritty feeling normally associated with metallic lip products. Could you ask for a better lipstick?

What shade unleashes your inner she wolf?

AM¥     XO

Friday, January 23, 2015


Winning a $100 gift card to Sephora is a beauty junkie's wildest dream. But it can bring on a lot of anxiety when you have absolutely no clue regarding which one of thousand products on your wishlist to spend it on. And this is the predicament I've found myself in thanks to Beauty Nine To Five, a site that shares available jobs in the beauty industry – I am truly thankful btw. I literally checked my phone 10x over before truly believing that I was the lucky winner. But this is where you guys, my beloved lil cuties, come in to help me settle on one.. or more products to spend the gift card on. These are my top 12, but feel free to suggest products I may not have thought of.

1. Sephora Favourites | Beauty Closet ($118) – If you're a beauty blogger and don't want this set then there must be something wrong with you... I'm kidding [sort of]. It's jam-packed with products I am dying to try, alongside some of my 'forgotten' favourites. Is this a no-brainer and I did all this work for nothing?

2. Clarisonic | Replacement Brush Head in Normal ($31) – I've wanted to get back into using my Clarisonic Mia daily for quite some time now – it makes my skin look wonderful once I pass the two week pimple fiasco. So, of course, the practical side of me is saying spend a bit of the card on a replacement brush head.

3. Tarte | Tarteist Clay Paint Liner ($29) – It's either the classy black and gold packaging, the name, the fancy artist brush, or a combination of all three, but something is telling me I need this liner.

4. Hourglass | Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Exposure ($67) – It doesn't get much more beautiful than this – the packaging, the shades, the swatches, which I'm sure you've all seen on Temptalia. And since I already own so many neutral palettes the plum tones in Exposure would add some variation to my eyeshadow collection.

5. Bumble and Bumble | Prêt-a-Powder ($31) – One of Alexa Chung's must haves. That is all.

6. Hourglass | Veil Mineral Primer ($60) – I've been using a sample-sized version of this primer for a few weeks now and I've come to the conclusion that nothing else compares. I'd rather face death than not have it in my collection – totally not an over exaggeration or anything.

7. Benefit | The Real Steal ($29) – They're Real! Mascara was one of the first beauty products I ever purchased from Sephora and I've re-purchased it time and time again since. I don't see how I can resist purchasing this set, which comes with a free mini They're Real! Push Up Liner.

8. Josie Maran | Argan Illuminizer ($36) – After seeing the video that Samantha from Batalash Beauty uploaded for Victoria's Secret Inspired Makeup I knew I needed to own this illuminator. Her skin is perfection.

9. Bite Beauty |  Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Cognac or Glacé ($28) – You know the love is real when there are multiple shades you want. Cognac is a dark brown shade, and Glacé will hopefully [fingers crossed] become my go-to for Kylie Jenner lips.

10. boscia |  Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel ($47) – I've fallen in love with every product I've tried from boscia's black line, so why should this one be any different.

11. Perricone MD | Intensive Pore Minimizer ($55) – I've convinced myself that my pores are larger than average and something must be done to fix this. Having always wanted to try Perricone MD, the Intensive Pore Minimizer seems like the perfect place – it exfoliates build-up, firms pore walls, and controls oil production. 

12. Bumble and Bumble | Repair Blow Dry ($37) – All I want is the shiny, healthy hair you see in the commercials. Will this new product get me there?!

What would you buy with a $100 gift card to Sephora?

AM¥     XO

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I've found myself lost in another's eyes more than once. It happens quite frequently to be honest. No matter the colour, there is something of interest residing inside them – a freckle, a sense of pain, or even a kindness. I've also found myself wondering what their view is like, if they see the same colours and shades, what they've endured and will continue to endure, how many tears have been shed... the list goes on. There is a magic within ones eyes that no other body part can reveal – a true sense of soul.

I've been blessed with an eye colour that even I cannot pin point – it lies somewhere between blue and green, with a dark outer ring enclosing the iris, and at times a bright yellow hue surrounding the pupil. They are without a doubt my favourite facial feature, and as such I like to accentuate them whenever possible. This is rather simple – frame them with perfected brows, add depth with matte brown shadows, and make them pop using liner and mascara. The tricks may be old, but the result is truly 'eye-catching'.

I begin by sculpting my brows with the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow in Medium Brown. This pomade is a must for any beauty junkie – it applies smoothly, creating a distinct and defined shape that doesn't budge all day. Two other products that everyone should own are the Urban Decay Primer Potion and Naked Basics Palette. The primer is necessary as it ensures my shadows apply with ease, appear vibrant and pigmented, and will not crease or fade throughout the day. I sweep a wash of W.O.S., from the Naked Basics Palette, all over my lid to even out my skin tone before adding depth to the crease using a mixture of Naked2 and Faint on a fluffy brush. I finish with a hint of Venus, the only shimmering shade in the palette, along the brow bone and the inner corner. I then further define my eyes with the Make Up For Ever Ink Liner[*] along the upper lash line, and smudge the Make Up For Ever AquaMatic in Satiny Warm Brown[*] along the lower lash line – this shade is great for you blue-eyed beauties. To complete the look I apply a fiber mascara, like the Too Face Better Than False Lashes Mascara, to add an excessive amount of length, instantly creating 'notice me lashes'. This look is one of my favourites because it can be worn on a daily basis without appearing to heavy for work, and can be transformed for a night out by simply adding a bold lip.

How do you accentuate your eyes?

AM¥     XO

[*]Some of 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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


fist pumping to looking silly for better skin
At 25, I am not old by any means. To the outside world my skin probably appears quite youthful and plump with minimal lines and wrinkles. And yet for some strange reason I feel compelled to 'launch a full scale attack on my fine lines and wrinkles' with the Skyn Iceland Face-Lift In-A-Bag. I know they're non-existent, but as someone with very expressive facial reactions I have noticed deep creases forming when I furrow my brows, as well as slight smile lines when I laugh and smile – and don't get me started on my under-eyes. So, let the battle begin. 

The Skyn Iceland Face-Lift In-A-Bag ($21.50) contains two sets of Hydro Cool Firming Face Gels, for your forehead and smile lines, as well as two sets of their Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. A total of five gel-infused sheets are applied to the face and left on for 10-15mins, instantly creating a cooling effect in these areas – and leaving you hopeful that no one rings the doorbell. When I remove the masks I instantly notice that my skin looks and feels revived. Better yet there isn't an excessive amount of product left on my skin, ensuring me that every last bit was absorbed. And I'm glad because these sheets contain a plethora of brightening, tightening and revitalizing ingredients. A few of the heavy hitters include: Elastin to firm and tone, Hexapeptide to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Gingko Biloba to improve blood flow and reduce puffiness, and advanced antioxidants to help prevent future damage. I'm left with a youthful glow and skin that screams 'I'M ALIVE' even on days when everything in my body is begging me to go back to bed. 

I'm saving the second set for my Mom to try as I know she would love the concept of a Face-Lift In-A-Bag, and I am dying to know what effect it has on those with wrinkles – sorry for calling ya out like that Mom. It's definitely a product I'll be returning to in the future, if not solely for the Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels – a complete knockout for dark under-eyes. For those interested, this kit is a little tricky to track down in Canada, but can be found in store and online at Murale, as well as on

Would you try a face lift in a bag?

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.  

Monday, January 19, 2015


Dear higher power, please bless my roommate and the new Essie Cashmere Matte collection. Why? Well, bless my roommate for finding an entirely new season of Project Runway All Stars to keep us occupied as I embarked on a two hour struggle to remove my shellac manicure. And bless the Essie Cashmere Matte collection for being so damn stunning – that's reason enough, right? The end result of my nail-athon, a matte manicure that is reminiscent of Bambi's cute little derrière.

Being an impatient beginner with a shaky hand doesn't bode well when you're a nail art lover, but thankfully there is the dotticure manicure, which looks stunning, yet requires minimal effort or talent. To re-create this look you'll simply need to apply three thin coats of Essie's All Eyes On Nudes over your favourite base coat – I've been a slave to OPI Nail Envy for years. Once dry, simply use a dotting tool and the Essie polish in Wrap Me Up to create various sized dots at the tip of the nail. I achieved the variation in size by using a heavy or lighter hand while dotting. Being that the polishes have a matte finish I chose to forgo a top coat, although you could apply a matte top coat, like the Nicole by OPI Matte Top Coat, to seal in your design.

I'm certain that this won't be the last nail art design I create with this collection.
Have you got your hands on these polishes yet?

AM¥     XO

Sunday, January 18, 2015


The snow may be absent but there is no doubt that we are well into winter now – negative temps, bundled bodies, and the always-anticipated-but-not-so-welcomed dry skin. I've always had a few products that I reach for at this time of the year, but never have I been so confident and content with my 'winter skincare rescue kit'. It's the perfect mixture of soothing and hydrating products packed alongside one creamy exfoliator to ensure my skin is soft, smooth, and nourished all season long.

Whenever I arrive back at my condo after braving the frigid temps the first thing I long for is a hot, steamy shower – it not only warms me up, but instantly puts me into a state of relaxation. And it's times like these when I reach for The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub – the scent takes me to a tropical paradise, while the creamy scrub softens my skin without stripping it of moisture. Once I run out of this scrub I'll definitely be turning to the newest range from The Body Shop for the Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub because it looks incredible! From here on out it's all about the moisturizing products, and for my body there is no brand I trust more than Josie Maran, especially the Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream. Although it may be a hand cream, this stuff works wonders on the backs of my hands, arms, elbows, even my heels – if there is a rough bit on my body this product will ensure it vanishes. 

My face has been loving the new Biotherm Aquasource Cocoon sample, which I received in my Winter Luxe Box. This is the invisible balaclava of this skincare world – it truly does nourish your skin like a balm, lasting for hours, yet has the lightweight feel of a gel. But there are still days when my face feels absolutely beaten by the wind and is in dire need of a moisture miracle. These days call for the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque, a clear gel which envelops skin in a moisture barrier that works overnight to deeply hydrate and protect. It takes some time to get used to wearing this mask overnight as your face literally sticks to the pillow, but now that I'm accustomed to the stickiness I wake up feeling refreshed, with softer, rejuvenated skin. Last but not least, is the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Mint, which I apply as frequently as possible. I've spoken of this product a million times over because it's just that amazing for winter, especially as a preventative measure before you have to face the cold.     

What are you essentials for braving the cold and coming out of it with beautiful skin?

AM¥     XO

Saturday, January 17, 2015


We've all been there. That delightful time of the month strikes and our hormones + over-consumption of chocolate, pizza, candy, ANYTHING,  join forces to cause our once manageable skin to be riddled with little blemishes. I gave up on salicylic acid based products back in my highschool days, solely relying on products containing benzoyl peroxide thanks to it's harsher nature. But now, midway through my twenties I feel as though neither is helping with my dreaded period pimples, which only seem to form around my mouth by the way – looks like I won't be smooching anyone this weekend.

I've had the Kate Somerville Eradikate Acne Treatment on my vanity since the Sephora VIB event back in November, but idiotically threw away the box and was dumbfounded by how to use it. When you look at the bottle there is a clear separation between the liquid, which is actually just alcohol , and the pink sediment, containing the active ingredient: 10% sulfur, which lies below. The bottle is also topped with a large 'Do Not Shake' sticker, leaving me terrified and bewildered by it's use. Flash forward to the beginning of January when I remembered that we now have this thing called Google to solve these issues. Turns out you simply dip a Q-tip into the pink sediment and apply that directly onto the blemish – Duh. You feel a harsh sting when it's immediately applied, which I love as it offers proof that the product is working, and a single dip provides enough product for ~5 spots. The sting quickly fades as the product dries to a pink, dusty splotch, meaning this product is best suited for bedtime and days when you'll be staying indoors. It doesn't diminish the spot overnight, but I notice a huge decrease in size and by the second day the blemish is barely noticeable. One thing I have learned about EradiKate through my trial and error January; do not over apply it! I made this mistake once and was left with extremely dry skin and flakes galore – gross!

Another gross, yet helpful tip: this stuff works wonders on cold sores! You know that little tingle you feel right before you get one? I experienced that at 2am one night this month and was definitely NOT leaving the condo to get a treatment for it. So as an overnight solution I dabbed on a bit of EradiKate, and it worked so well that I simply continued it's use. The cold sore didn't even manifest into it's true hideous being, with no one, not even my roommate, noticing that one was lurking, ready to ruin my week. Needless to say, there will never be another time when the Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment isn't a part of my blemish/coldsore riding regime.

How do you get rid of blemishes?

AM¥   XO

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Last week I debuted a look that was entirely new to me – strong brows and lips with absolutely no mascara, seen here. While the look may have been completely out of my comfort zone the deep aubergine lip was not, and a lot of people seemed to gravitate towards the shade that I used, NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencil in Train Bleu. But the truth is that while the shade looks stunning from far away, up close it can appear patchy, clinging to the dry bits on my lips.

Don't get me wrong, I still absolutely adore this product – it's long wearing, pigmented and delivers a beautiful matte finish. But there's just something slightly off about it, as you can see in the below swatch. I'm never one to give up on a product, especially when I've had such high hopes for it, so I figured that today I would share how I prep and perfect my lips before applying Train Bleu. The first and most important step is to get rid of any flakes, and my favourite products to accomplish this are Lush's Lip Scrubs – I have three different flavours to correspond with whatever mood I'm in that day; salty, sweet or minty. I typically do this right after I wash my face in the morning, followed by an intensely hydrating lip product, like my Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment. Leaving this on while I style my hair and put on my makeup means I'm maximizing the nourishment I receive from the argan oil infused balm. Once the rest of my makeup is complete I use a tissue to wipe of any excess balm before I add my deep lip. I apply Train Bleu straight from the pencil, but let's be honest I'm not a makeup artist so my technique is not always perfect, which is why it's necessary for me to touch up the edges with concealer – my go-to, the Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque. Despite my lips looking their most perfect at this point the struggle is still not over. Being a matte pencil I do find my lips become dry after 3 hours of wear, which is why I always carry a lip balm with me to make things a little more comfortable. The Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment is great since it doesn't impart a high shine finish and I can easily tap it on with my fingertips without disrupting the colour. 

*I didn't complete these steps for the swatch as I wanted to show Train Bleu in it's natural form*

This is a true labour of love, and to be honest I'd rather a simpler product that delivers the same matte shade. So please suggest some of your favourites in the comment section below!

AM¥     XO

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Contouring has been all the rage since we first discovered that Kim Kardashian's makeup artist used the technique to create her flawless, chiseled look – but never has it been so widely accessible. My prediction: 2015 is the year of the contour craze. And it should come as no shock with beauty companies everywhere releasing contour palettes left, right, and center so that we can achieve our own version of perfection. Ahh society. As someone who struggles with a less than perfect nose and non-defined cheekbones, contouring has become an essential technique when getting ready for a night on the town. But I simply can't be bothered with blending three different shades of foundation to get the look – and forget about cream contour products, far too difficult and advanced. Instead I turn to powder palettes, like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit[*] or the Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit – these two palettes make faking it simple, even for beginners like myself.   

If there was ever a palette to rule them all this would be the one. Composed of six pans, three to highlight and three to bronze/contour, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit[*] has it all, and is available in two shades, one for light/medium skin tones and the other for medium/tan. And you see those little notches? That's because this palette is completely customizable, removable and refillable – meaning if you run out of one shade you won't have to purchase the entire palette over again, simply that one pan (currently only available on the Anastasia Beverly Hills site). The shades themselves are super-pigmented, even verging on too deep for my skin tone, so I'm constantly reminding myself to use a fluffy brush with a small amount of product. 

The highlighting shades include Vanilla, Banana, and Sand, with Sand being the only shade in the palette that features a shimmer finish. I've been mixing Vanilla and Banana to highlight and accentuate the contour below my cheekbones and along the center of my forehead, while Sand is perfect for highlighting above the cheekbone, down the center of my nose and along the brow bone. The contour/bronzing shades include Java, Fawn and Havana – Fawn has wonderful grey undertones to give that sullen cheek effect and Java has been my go-to for warming up my skin and blending out the contour. Unfortunately, Havana is far too dark and pigmented for me, but hopefully come summer I'll be tanned and able to use it more frequently. For only $50 CAD this palette is an absolute steal, and as an added bonus it's cruelty-free!

The Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit was the first contour palette I gravitated towards – it provides a step-by-step guide within the mirror for those of us daft when it comes to contouring, is travel friendly, and comes with the perfect fluffy contouring brush. The three powders are slightly larger than those featured in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit and include a contour, bronzing and highlight shade. I find this palette simpler to use since it features less options, but seemingly more difficult at the same time as it doesn't match every skin tone. The shadows themselves are highly pigmented, finely milled and extremely blendable, so once again be sure to use a light hand and minimal product. The step-by-step guide makes application fool-proof, providing you with the distinct location that each shade should be applied, which I've found very helpful. However, I find myself longing for a highlight shade with a shimmer finish to further accentuate the contour, so I often have to turn to my MAC Mineralize SkinFinish in Soft n' Gentle or Lightscapade to fill the void. All-in-all it is a lovely palette, and I'll certainly bring it with me whenever I travel since it's a space saver, but it doesn't contain the same oomph as the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, especially considering they are the same price.

With such a wide array of contour kits hitting retailers this year have you jumped onto the contour bandwagon?

AM¥     XO

[*]Some of 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. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


One of my resolutions for this year was to accessorize more often – easier said than done when you feel like your jewelry is two years behind the times. So over the weekend I searched the internet high and low to find some inspiration to use while I shop around the city. I definitely have a definitive taste when it comes to gems and jewels. Distressed metals, geodes, evil eyes and snakes all top my radar – in true Erin Wasson form. Below are a few of the pieces that stood out on my search, and may soon be added to my collection.

Do any of these gems catch your eye?

AM¥     XO

Monday, January 12, 2015


I've had one hell of a time trying to track down the latest Essie polish release, the Cashmere Matte Collection, after it almost instantly sold out online. But luckily my local Shopper's Drug Mart had just received them and the sales associate was kind enough to scour through the newly delivered shipment to find the four shades I had my eyes set on from the get-go: Wrap Me Up, All Eyes On Nudes, Comfy In Cashmere and Just Stitched. The collection is totally unique, with a satin-matte finish that dries quickly, leaving a suede-like texture – and two of the polishes feature a pearlized matte finish that is beyond gorgeous.

All of the polishes are on the thicker side and therefore a little tricky to apply, requiring three thin coats for the best results. But if you've got patience the pay off is totally worth it. Wrap Me Up is a beautiful soft white with the slightest bit of pink – it's romantic and totally office worthy if you're looking to avoid a stark white. The other nude in the collection, All Eyes On Nudes, is a camel-toned polish that looks so luxurious when paired with gold accessories. I'm just hopeful that it will still look as chic when summer comes around and I have a tan as some polishes can look muddled when there isn't enough contrast between your skin tone and the polish. Next up is the darkest polish I went for, Comfy In Cashmere, a taupe polish filled with a blue iridescence that can be seen at all angles. Out of all the polishes in this range this one was by far the easiest to work with and was some-what self-leveling. The final polish, Just Stitched, is also filled with a blue iridescent shimmer but the finish is a little more subtle. I usually steer clear of baby pink polishes, but the pearlized matte finish and subtle iridescence make it a must have.

There are two more shades available from the collection, Coat Couture and Spun In Luxe, however I simply didn't gravitate towards them – too dark, too matte, too something... just not my style.

Swatched in Natural Light . Wrap Me Up, All Eyes On Nudes, Comfy In Cashmere, and Just Stitched
Have you spotted these polishes yet? What shade is your favourite?

AM¥     XO

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Make Up For Ever's latest release of liquid liners deliver the ultimate crisp jet black line and have inspired me to explore my inner artist with this fun graphic cat eye. I got my hands on the Make Up For Ever Ink Liner[*] just over a week ago and have had a blast playing around with it ever since. This liquid liner not only boasts a fun ergonomic shape, which looks ultra-chic on your vanity, but also features a calligraphy pen tip to deliver intense, super-matte, quick-drying black lines with even the lightest stroke. I am by no means a makeup artist, and still struggle to ensure that each cat eye is symmetrical so I appreciate that this liner makes that task a little bit easier. And the matte finish is so unique. 

The other release from Make Up For Ever is their new Graphic Liner, an all-in-one pen liner that is ideal for anyone, from beginners to experienced pros. This liner looks awesome as well, but I simply prefer the easy-handing of the Ink Liner, which is more similar to my former love, the Lancôme Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner.

What liquid eyeliner do you get down with?

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.