December 18, 2015

which is better - natural or synthetic hair makeup brushes?

Working at MAC I would get asked about makeup brushes all the time... Which ones are best for contouring, which ones are best for a smoky eye, and a lot of the time people would ask the difference between natural hair brushes and synthetic brushes. 

I personally use both, and am sharing portions of a great blog post by roseannetangrs.com to show you the differences between them and help with your next brush purchase!


image: @liannmascia Instagram

Synthetic:

What is it? The bristles of the brush are composed of hair that is man-made. Often the hairs have a more smooth/slightly plastic feel to them. They are dyed brown or a gradient brown, and cream to white usually.

What can it do? Synthetic hair is great for cream and liquid products – including foundation, cream blush, gel liner and concealer. It is able to not absorb so much of the product and apply a smooth finish onto the skin without much streaking. The hairs tend to gravitate toward each other in applying the product instead of spread out so it can help apply liquid and cream well. For any cream and liquid product including lipsticks, use a synthetic brush. Synthetic hair can also be more precise and the brush can be cut sharper so eyeliner can be made very precise. You won’t get any fly aways with a synthetic brush.

Best brushes to buy Synthetic:

 - Foundation brushes (try Morphe's AS10 deluxe foundation/concealer brush)
 - Concealer brushes
 - Eye Liner brushes 
 - Lip brushes

Worst brushes to buy Synthetic:

 - Powder brushes
 - Eyeshadow brushes
 - Blush/Bronzer brushes

Synthetic brushes do not pick up powder well.


Natural:

What is it? The brush is made of natural hair from an animal like a squirrel or goat. The hair is similar to our hair and is commonly soft and smooth and dyed black or white. Avoid getting straw feeling natural hair bristles that feel like they could poke you.

What can it do? Natural hair brushes are the best for powder products. When the brushes are applied with pressure, they have more texture than synthetic bristles and therefore pick up powder well and blending is made easier and more natural on the skin. You can’t blend as well with synthetic bristles because the bristles don’t move as freely as natural hair bristles do.

Best brushes to buy Natural:

 - Powder brushes
 - Eyeshadow brushes (MAC 217 is a great one)
 - Blush/Bronzer/Contour brushes

Worst brushes to buy Natural:

 - Foundation brushes 
 - Concealer brushes
 - Lip brushes




Hope this helps you! MAC has some great brush sets available for Christmas right now and if you shop online with code PROEXP you can get free express shipping!

-Lianne xo





December 15, 2015

lipstick darling's holiday gift guide!

If you are a GLAM girl, or know someone who is - consult my beauty gift guide for what to give, and what to ask for this Christmas!












Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask  - $30, Sephora.
















Benefit Watt's Up Cream to Powder Highlighter - $39, The Beauty Boutique.














Original Beauty Blender (with Solid Cleanser) - $28, Sephora. *Cleanser sold separately.















Guerlain Precious Light Illuminator - $60, The Beauty Boutique.














Kat Von D Shade & Light Highlight/Contour Palette - $55, Sephora.













Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 - $30, Sephora.
















Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - $47, beautymark.ca.















Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush - $24 (USD), sigmabeauty.com.














GLAMGLOW SuperCleanse Daily Cleanser - $43, Sephora (or try the 1 ounce for $16!).












HUDA Beauty False Lashes in "Samantha" - $24, Sephora.









M.A.C. Irresistibly Charming Holiday Lip Gloss Set in "Violet" - $31.50 (+free express shipping with code PROEXP), maccosmetics.ca







Stocking Stuffers (Beauties Under $15!)
Check out these great products or take a browse through the checkout aisle at Sephora! A ton of goodies for every skin type and beauty style.








Make Up For Ever Mist + Fix Setting Spray - $15, Sepohra.









Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner - $10.95, Shoppers Drug Mart.












L'Occitane Hand Cream  - $12, Sephora.













Got2B Powder'ful Volumizing Hair Powder - $8.49, Shoppers Drug Mart.















Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask - $9, Sephora.








What else are you beauties asking Santa for this year?

- Lianne xo

November 23, 2015

win a NYE glam session!

ATTENTION MY GLAM GIRLS!

New Year's Eve is quickly approaching and I want to help you celebrate looking FAB, so I'm hosting a giveaway on my Instagram page, where you can win a full-face glam session with me on New Year's Eve! Along with the complimentary makeup application, you will also receive a glam bag full of luxury purse essentials to keep you fresh and flawless all the way until the ball drop. Total prize value is $180!

All the details can be found on my Instagram Page HERE. Contest ends on November 30th so make sure you enter!







































- Lianne xo

November 19, 2015

the one thing you should be doing to your face twice a week.

The dreaded clogged pore. Your skin's worst nightmare. An oily gal's biggest nemesis. They are a fact of life, but there is hope. EXFOLIATION. Everyone should be exfoliating their skin about twice a week (unless you have very sensitive skin, then just once a week), And I'm sharing a recipe for a super easy brown sugar facial scrub that you can make at home, right now with ingredients you have in your cupboard! The key ingredient (brown sugar) is one of the best natural exfoliants out there - it isn't harsh on your skin like salt can be, and if it gets in your mouth it tastes delicious. 
There are only 4 ingredients, and if you don't have brown sugar on hand, you can use a basic refined white sugar. You can make less than listed below, or make more and store in a container in your shower.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (basic refined white sugar works in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 drop of your favorite essential oil (lavender, jasmine, rose, are all nice) *optional

Recipe:

Mix ingredients in a bowl.

Use

Apply mixture to skin and massage in a circular motion to ensure you're removing dead skin from your face. Rinse with warm water and press skin with a warm washcloth. Apply moisturizer when your done, and voila! You just kicked a clogged pore where it hurts.

*It's important year-round to exfoliate both your face and your body, but I find in winter it's even more important.



What's your favourite product to exfoliate with? Let me know in the comments!

- Lianne xo


November 16, 2015

october beauty buys.

It's that time again! Beauty reviews for the month of October!





1. "Makeup's Best Friend" by Beauty Blender Gift Set
Beauty blenders are my absolute fave to apply foundation and concealer, and nothing beats the original BB. I bought this gift set on Sephora.com (I don't think it's sold in stores) and it's such a good deal! You get 2 full size blenders, a mini blender (for undereye concealer) and a refresher spray to wet your BB on the go for $50!
$50, Sephora.com

2. L'Oreal Nail Polish in "Doutzen's Nude 600"
I was on the hunt for the perfect nude mauve shade and after purchasing quite a few that didn't quite work, this one is IT. Available at Shoppers, this colour is so perfect for that neutral nail look with just the right amount of colour. And mauve is so in right now.
$8, Shoppers Drug Mart. 

3. ASP Gel Polish in "Cafe Ole" and "Poetry in Motion"
I love my shellac manis and find Sally Beauty has THE BEST selection of gel polishes. These were on sale buy one get one free, and with my Pro card it came to $12 for both.
$11.95, Sally Beauty. 

4. Eye Kandy Cosmetics Glitter in "Toffee"
The holidays are a perfect time for a glitter eye look (coming soon to my INSTA page) and this company is the king of glitter (well they share the throne with Lit Cosmetics). So many colours to choose from, and different textures from fine to coarse glitter make virtually any eye look achievable!
$7, Morphebrushes.com

5. L'Oreal La Lacque Lipstick in "Lacque-Y Charm"
Loving these new lip colour sticks from L'Oreal - La Lacque and Le Matte. They come in trendy shades and have a LOT of pigmentation. Staying power is just OK, but overall it's a nice product! $12, Shoppers Drug Mart. 

6. Maybelline Color Blur Cream Matte Pencil & Smudger in "I'm Blushing 45"
This was an impulse purchase... I quickly grabbed it on a trip to Shoppers that was intended to pick up diapers. All the colours are very vibrant, and I was drawn to this pretty medium pink shade. The pigmentation ROCKS, but I didn't understand what the white smudger-thing was for at the other end of the pencil. After doing a little research I realized that Maybelline is following a lip trend that's actually quite popular in Korea (not here yet) where you deposit the colour on the middle of your lips then 'smudge' it out towards the outer edges. (See picture below) It kinda resembles the ombre lip look that's popular right now, but personally I like a full coverage lip colour... a faded, smudged lip just looks kinda messy to me.



7. Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in "Universal Dark" and "Taupe"
OK I am OBSESSED with these brow liners! By far my fave purchase of the month. They are skinny and create precise strokes of "hair", they are waterproof and seriously last all day, and they are retractable! They also come in 6 colours which gives the best chance of matching your colour (most drugstore brow sticks come in 2 shades - light and dark 😒).
$10.95, Shoppers Drug Mart. 

8. NARS Audacious Lipstick in "Anna"
I was introduced to this perfect mauve shade from a client, and instantly had to have it! (And apparently so do a lot of other women as Sephora just can't keep it in stock) It's a gorgeous colour for fall/winter and the texture is AMAZING. So pigmented and creamy, and never gets that dry corner-of-your-mouth crusty thing that some other lipsticks will leave. The only downfall is the price tag.... $39, Sephora. 

9. Smashbox Art. Love. Colour. Lips Lipgloss Collection
This was the latest addition to my kit, as it was kinda lacking in the gloss department. Shoppers has their Smashbox holiday gift sets in so it's the perfect time to stock up - I got all 5 of these Smashbox lip glosses for $25! And they are some of their most popular shades (Pout is an all-time fave of mine)
$25, Shoppers Drug Mart.

10. Maybelline ColourSensational The Creamy Mattes Lipstick in "Lust for Blush 665"
Another mauve-y product (I am clearly obsessed) and this colour almost resembles Anna (see above), but slightly lighter with a matte finish. It's a really nice daytime colour and the staying power is decent!
$7.96, Walmart.

11. Sigma Tapered Highlighter Brush #F35
This is the best brush for highlighting! The shape and size make it perfect for highlighting the under eye area and getting into the corners. Sigma brushes are great quality, comparable to the more expensive M.A.C. brushes!
$24, sigmabeauty.com


12. L.A. Girl Pro.Conceal HD Concealers
These are always blogged about and used in highlighting/contouring tutorials so I thought I would see what all the hype is about!
I got these from Morphe's website and picked up a variety of shades since I didn't know what would be best for my skin tone (and I wanted a few for my kit). I ordered:
-Creamy Beige (light/highlight)
-Medium Beige (light/highlight)
-Toast (dark/contour)
-Espresso (dark/contour)
-Beautiful Bronze (dark/contour)
The formula is very creamy and blendable and there is a huge range of shades (the light shades I got unfortunately weren't as light as I thought they were and weren't best on my skin for highlighting). Best of all, these babies are only $2.99 - that's right $2.99!! I would definitely recommend giving them a try.
$2.99, morphebrushes.com



Have you tried any of these products? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments!

- Lianne xo


October 29, 2015

#strobing is the new contouring.



Hahaha I know right? Makeup trends are changing and emerging faster than ever, and with the spike in makeup specific Instagram accounts, word spreads quickly. I don't foresee contouring going away any time soon (although it's getting a little out of hand, amiright?), but another technique to achieve glowing skin and angular features is here: strobing. 

Basically it's highlighting and contouring without the contouring. Using cream or powder highlighters, "light" is placed in strategic spots on the face to give you a "lit from within" glow (top of cheekbones, bridge of nose, inner corner of eye, under brow arch, cupids bow).

My fave products for strobing:



1. Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in "100 Bare Light" 
Use this highlighter alone, under foundation, or mixed with your foundation to give yourself a radiant base ala Jennifer Lopez.

2. MAC Strobe Cream 
This moisturizer carrying the trend's namesake gives a really radiant finish so I like to use it strategically on the face: top of cheekbones and above eyebrows.

3. MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in "Light Boost"
Use this liquid highlighting product under eyes and around the face before using concealer and foundation to give yourself a "light boost".  It brightens but doesn't contain any sparkle so good for full under eye area.

4. Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator in "00" 
This highlighting stick can be used after applying all other face makeup to highlight and brighten key areas. I love to use it in the inner corner of my eyes, under my brow arch and a little on my cupid's bow to give the illusion of fuller lips. This product is amazing (the brand calls it a magic wand) as it contains Guerlain's rejuvenating complex and real gold particles, but thus is also very pricey ($60+). A less expensive alternative that I've tried is Maybelline's Dream Lumi Touch Highlighter in "Radiant", not as amazing but still pretty good! 

5. Benefit "Watt's Up" Soft Focus Cream Highlighter
Love this cream highlighter!! Gives a really beautiful glow to the face. Super creamy and blendable. Use alone or under powder highlighter for a really strong highlight. A fave of many celebrity makeup artists!

6. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in "Lightscapade"
Powder 
There are so many powder highlighters on the market right now, and so many of them are great, but I am partial to MAC products and find I always reach for them so I'm recommending this one. It's a great highlighter for all light to medium skin tones, gives a soft finish, but can be built up if you prefer a really strong highlight. In this line of Skinfinish highlighters I also really like "Soft & Gentle" (peach toned) and "Global Glow" (gold toned - better for medium skin tones).


As with traditional highlighting/contouring, try not to overdo it and make sure you blend really good!



Have you tried any of these products? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments!

- Lianne xo



September 28, 2015

summer beauty buys!

So many great beauty buys this summer, and now that the cooler weather is here all of them can be used into the fall! Read on to see which ones you should try and which ones you shouldn't! (Spoiler alert: I loved everything)


No. 7 Exfoliating Face Scrub
This was a re-purchase for me. I love to keep a scrub in the shower and use it every few days to keep my skin smooth and my pores clean. This one works great! 

Shoppers Drug Mart, $17

Urban Decay Primer Potion
This was also a re-purchase! I am obsessed with this eyeshadow primer, it's the only one I use for myself and in my kit. Legit it will make your eyeshadow last 24 hours.

Sephora, $24

Benefit Watt's Up! Cream to Powder Highlighter
"Strobing" is the new makeup craze right now (it's a way to highlight... more on this in another post) and I'd heard good things about this cream stick highlighter. It is very creamy (with a powder finish), pretty blend-able, and definitely left me with a serious glow!

The Beauty Boutique, $39

St. Tropez Tanning Mitt
To go along with my coveted St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse, this mitt just makes application that much easier. Make sure to use with a latex glove underneath for added protection against blotchily self-tanning your hand!

Shoppers Drug Mart, $8

La Roche-Posay Spray Sunscreen
I recently read an article about certain sunscreens containing harmful, hormone-altering chemicals like oxybenzone (read the article HERE), and decided to invest in one that was deemed safer. This one was on the list of good sunscreens, and with an SPF of 45 and dry-touch finish, I really do like it. It's on the pricier side but I got it with points at Shoppers so it didn't cost me anything. I think I would have purchased it at full price regardless, because you can't put a price on health, and we only heavily wear sunscreen a few months of the year here in Niagara Falls anyways. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, $24

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk"
I always stress the importance of using an eyeshadow primer for shadow longevity (see above), but sometimes my fave primer doesn't necessarily make a light, shimmery eyeshadow more opaque. Enter the NYX "Milk" Eye Pencil. Featured in many a makeup tutorial, this stick creates an opaque base for the eyeshadow to stick to and really 'pop'. See the difference this eye pencil makes when applying Urban Decay's pale, metallic pink shimmer eyeshadow "Dust":



Amazon.com, $7

Ben Nye Luxury "Banana" Powder
This powder gained fame during the start of the contour and highlight craze when it was revealed that Kim Kardashian's makeup artist used this to achieve her famously sculpted features. I have to admit it really is smooth and soft (I guess that's why it's called luxury powder), but works best for medium skin tones, anyone too light and it will look yellowy. 

www.makeupmania.com, $16 for 1.5 ounces

Ben Nye "Neutral Set" Setting Powder
Setting your foundation with a translucent powder is a SUPER important step in making it last hours longer, and yet so many people don't do it. It's like painting your nails but skipping topcoat... it just won't look as nice as long! But be warned - not all translucent powders are created equal. Some contain silica which will cause "flashback" (that white under eye look in photos... literally the the light from the flash bounces back in the photo) but this one won't! Perfect for special events that will have flash photography. 

www.makeupmania.com, $9 for 3 ounces

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in "Pure Hollywood"
These liquid lipsticks haven't been around for long, but already they have become cult favourites, especially in the Instagram world, and this shade in particular was sold out for months thanks to, you guessed it, Kimmy K. I love how long this product lasted, especially since it's a light colour (which tend to wear away faster than bolds) and it wasn't too pale, just the right amount of pigment while still being a neutral. The only downside is you can only purchase on Anastasia's website and pricing is in USD. 
  www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com, $20 USD

Yves Saint Laurent Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain in "Beige Aquarelle"
I was doing some research on the best lip stains and read many rave reviews about this one. I picked it up in a light pink colour (surprise, surprise) so I would get wear out of it, and to see if it would be good for bridal. It's really sheer so hard to tell if it really stays on that long, and for the price I'm not super impressed, but its good layered with a lipstick or liner base. 

www.sephora.com, $38 (this colour only available online)

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC30
I love and use MAC's Studio Fix Fluid foundation, and this is the powder version. Great for an easy and quick application of foundation and powder in one. It really gives skin a smooth, flawless, all-matte, full-coverage finish. MAC's website claims "A real all-in-one. The choice of pros, and a long time favorite of M·A·C fans." and I couldn't agree more! 


Have you tried any of these products? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments!

- Lianne xo

August 17, 2015

the 6 secrets for lasting makeup.



There's nothing worse than spending time carefully applying your makeup;  blending your foundation, sculpting your cheeks, and shading the perfect smokey eye, only to catch a glimpse of yourself an hour later and discover your face is a hot mess. Your eyeshadow has creased, your perfectly even and blended foundation is now blotchy, and where are those supermodel cheekbones you carved out earlier?! With a few simple steps you can ensure your face looks great hours later, I promise!

Try these tips:

1] Use an Eyeshadow Primer
This will help your eyeshadow stay put without creasing or fading away for hours. It also preserves colour pigmentation which can sometimes lose vibrancy once applied.

LD's Product Suggestion: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion


2] Try Waterproof Eyeliner/Mascara
Although I don't generally condone the use of waterproof mascara on a daily basis (for its damage to the lash during removal, and its not-so-great-a-formula as it's non-waterproof counterpart), waterproof mascara does have it's place, usually for a special event when you don't want your mascara running, smearing, or flaking off. Using a gel or liquid eyeliner that's waterproof will also ensure your cat eye is just as fierce hours later.

LD's Product Suggestion: Lancome Definicils Waterproof Mascara / L'Oreal Colourstay Liquid Eye Pen


3] Apply Foundation with a Brush or Beauty Blender
Don't use your fingers! The oils from your fingers will make the foundation slide around, and you can transfer bacteria from your hands to your skin. A tool such as a beauty blender will allow for a flawless application that will last, as you are stippling and pushing the product into the skin.

LD's Product Suggestion: The Original Beauty Blender 


4] Set with Powder
This step goes hand in hand with number three. Setting your foundation with a transparent setting/finishing powder is CRITICAL in keeping the flawless finish exactly that, flawless. Without setting, the skin's natural oils, and any touching of your face you do will disrupt and move around the foundation. Same goes for under-eye concealer - without setting it will most definitely end up creased and settled in your fine lines! (Even us 20-somethings without "wrinkles" yet, have fine lines around the eye area and must set under eye concealer)

LD's Product Suggestion: Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder


5] Try a Finishing Spray
This is a great product to use when you are attending an all day (or all night) event and want that extra bit of insurance that your makeup won't fail you. Spray a few light mists all over the face after you are completely done makeup application. 

LD's Product Suggestion: Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray 



6] Layer your Lip Products 
Start with a lip base like a primer, then apply your lip liner, first outlining your lips then slightly filling in. Apply your lipstick (ideally with a brush) and finish by patting on a translucent setting powder (this will give a matte finish - if you want you can then apply another layer of lipstick if you prefer a satin or creme finish). If you are using a lip stain or long wear lip colour you can skip the powder step as stains tend to leave lips on the drier side.

TIP: Try a "Matte" or "Semi Matte" finish lipstick (versus something glossier) as these will stay longer on their own!

LD's Product Pick: Bite Beauty Lip Primer/MAC Lipsticks



Any other tips to add here? Leave them in the comments below!

- Lianne xo

July 28, 2015

my current beauty obsessions.

I go through phases where I am obsessed with certain beauty products and reach for them every day when I'm getting ready. Even if they aren't new, I will "re-discover" them in my makeup drawer and use them until something else catches my attention. This summer I'm currently reaching for these 7 things!



✖️ MAC Fix+ 
To keep my skin dewy pre or post makeup application. Smells great and with vitamins it's great for the skin!

✖️ Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Foundation 
Controls shine and not too heavy, perfect for hot summer months. 

✖️ La Roche Posay Sunscreen Spray
Protect your skin! This SPF45 feels so light and doesn't leave the typical sunscreen film. Also doesn't contain hormone-altering chemicals like some other sunscreens (ahem, Neutrogena).

✖️ Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray 
Perfect for creating a messy, textured (read: beach wave) style, and as a dry shampoo for body. I love using it when I do THIS style from Jen Atkin (Kim Kardashian's stylist). 

✖️ Kat Von D Shade & Light Palette
My go to!! Love this for setting my foundation and sculpting my face. The yellow toned powder really brightens up under eye!

✖️ NYX Blotting Powder
Touch up your t-zone on the go with this light blotting powder. (*Unfortunately since Target left Canada *tear*, you can only get NYX in the states.)

✖️ MAC Lipstick in "Pure Zen"
A lovely pale peach shade, this lipstick finishes a natural look perfectly. 



What are your current beauty obsessions? Any go-to products you love in the summer? I'd love to know!

- Lianne xo


July 6, 2015

june beauty buys!

Let's jump right into it!



Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

This is a kit staple of mine (and Kim Kardashian's makeup artist!), I just love the formula and the carbon black version is even better than the original.

Shoppers Drug Mart, $10.99

Ardell Double Up Lashes

These beefy lashes are comparable to the more expensive mink lashes from brands like Velour Lashes, as they have the same thick 3D look, but a fraction of the cost! I like #203 and #206.

Sally Beauty, $6.49

Beyond The Zone Rock On Dry Shampoo

My Italian tresses tend to be on the oilier side, so dry shampoo is my best friend on day 2 and 3 after I wash my hair. So far my favourite is Batiste (the dark hair formula, although they have since discontinued this so the regular will have to do), but I always like to try new ones in the hopes of finding a true replacement for shampooing (I'm lazy and have a newborn). This one is for dark hair, but doesn't really do anything for me. For roughly the same price just go to Shoppers and pick up the Batiste one.

Sally Beauty, $7

milk_shake Incredible Milk 12 Effects Leave-in Treatment 

My stylist recently opened his own salon (Honed&Polished) and exclusively carries an organic line of amazing hair care products that not only contain natural ingredients like milk and honey, but work great and smell delicious! I picked this up at my last appointment and have been loving the results! Apply on towel dried hair and blow dry.

Visit www.honedpolished.com for more info on the salon and products. 

Quo Cosmetic Sponges

Just a fun purchase to replace those boring old white sponges!

Shoppers Drug Mart, $2.99

L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation

This was of the first products I blogged about when I started this blog over a year ago, and it's still one of my favourite products! I like it in the summer because it's very light and leaves a powdery finish which is great for my combination complexion in the summer. I picked up a darker shade (324 Buff Beige) now that my skin is starting to see some sun!

Shoppers Drug Mart, $16



Have you tried any of these products? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments!

- Lianne xo




July 2, 2015

april & may beauty buys!

April and May were big months of joy, change and adaptation as we welcomed the newest member of our family Amelia, so I didn't have much time to review my beauty buys and post in May. Things have gotten a little bit easier and I had a minute to blog so I've reviewed them all below for this month, enjoy!




Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Base and Top Coat

During a recent trip to Sephora, I was on the hunt for a top coat that mimicked a gel mani - Something glossy and thick that didn't need an LED light to cure when I came across this product at the irresistible checkout maze of goodies. It consists of a two step base and top coat that is supposed to deliver "a gel mani without the damage." I tried it on my toes and was pleased with the smooth application and relatively quick dry time, and so far has held up well to wear (It's been almost 2 weeks chip free!)

Sephora, $28

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel 

As a follow up to the previous Deborah Lippmann purchase, I tried Sally Hansen's miracle gel coat and I love it! It really does give a thick and glossy coating to regular polish, mimicking gel. The only problem is it doesn't dry fast at all so you need to use a quick dry top coat to finish everything off. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, $16

Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette

The contour rage is still going strong and one palette that's been getting a lot of attention lately is this one from Kat Von D (the tattoo artist turned makeup designer). I have the Anastasia contour kit, as well as various matte bronzers, but I really do like this palette the best for a couple of reasons. First, the colours are great. There is a cool grey brown that is perfect for contouring my skin tone, and a yellow that highlights beautifully. But better than the shades is the pigment! Best I've used thus far. It's an expensive palette but worth it for what you get. 

Sephora, $55

Cover Girl Ready, Set, Gorgeous! Foundation 

This oil-free foundation promises "a shine free look that lasts all day" and I must say it delivered! It went on and blended really nicely and after hours of wear my skin was noticeably less shiny than usual. The only complaint I have with this (and buying any drugstore foundation) is the guessing game when it comes to choosing the right shade, as generally the testers are long gone and you're left to pick one and hope for the best. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, $7.99 (on sale)

Sephora Oil Gel Lipstick Remover

We all have that lipstick - that super bright and bold colour we just LOVE to wear, but hate at the same time for it will stain your lips for days! I came across this on sale at Sephora.com and figured I would tack it onto my order. After applying my most pigmented, staining red lipstick I gave my lips a swipe of this remover and was pleased to find it took off not only the lipstick but the residual stain that usually lingers till next morning's breakfast. If it's still available at Sephora.com I say give it a try!

sephora.com, $5

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Set

I'd seen this product many times while shopping at Sephora and finally decided to give it a try. I expected a long lasting finish but was disappointed to find it wore off after just an hour or two. I found the finish to be greasier than expected as the package advertises a matte finish, so I need to play around with it again and try it without the included primer and hopefully will have a better experience with it. 

Sephora, $23

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow

As we all know I am brow obsessed, and I've wanted to try this product for a while. It's waterproof and applied similarly to my fave, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade (with an angle brush). I ordered online so took a guess with the colour and chose "Ash" and I couldn't be happier with it. You only need the tiniest amount and it blends so nicely on your brows to give a really natural finish, or can be built up for a darker more dramatic brow. And it really is waterproof! Look good even in the pool!

makeupforever.com, $24

Make Up For Ever Step1 Skin Equalizer

I have large pores. It's unfortunate but there's not much I can do about it. I do have a skin care routine that helps (more on that in a later blog post), but mainly I try to find products that will help minimize them. The Step1 Skin Equalizer series of primers is new to the MUFE family, and each one helps with a common skin complaint. There are eight in total and they do things like mattify, correct colour, and smooth the skin... I ordered #2 "Smoothing". Although it didn't completely fill in my pores like I had hoped,  I really like the texture of this primer, and it did make my skin smoother than foundation alone.

makeupforever.com, $43

Make Up For Ever Mist + Fix (30ml)

A good setting spray will do for your makeup what hairspray does for your hair... keep it in place! I love Urban Decay's setting spray, and have tried L'Oreal's version (meh), so was very interested to see for myself how well mist+fix worked. I give it two lipstick darling thumbs up! It worked just as well as the Urban Decay version to keep my makeup in place.

makeupforever.com, $14



Has anyone tried any of these products? I'd love to hear what you thought of them! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

- Lianne xo