Inspired by Fashion: Essie Gel Couture

25 Jul

Essie Gel Couture

If you’ve been curious about gel nails but not sure how to jump in, Essie has recently launched the Gel Couture collection.

I had a chance to try this two-step system, inspired by the world of couture fashion. The collection includes 42 long-wearing shades designed for pros and at home experts.

The glossy finish from Gel Couture doesn’t come from a UV lamp, but from the gel-like formula and quick-drying topcoat.

Just apply two coats of the nail polish to bare nails, then seal with one layer of the top coat. When it’s time to remove it, use your regular nail polish remover.

For improved color coverage, Essie has also introduced a curve hugging brush (called swirl-stem) which prevents the polish from dripping. The wider brush definitely helped me with a more precise application of a pastel mint shade called Zip Me Up.

The chic twisted bottle for this collection is designed to emulate the twirl of a gown on a runway.

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3 Makeup Hacks That Knock Off the Years

21 Jul

Anti-aging makeup hacks

If you’re searching for ways to look younger without going to extremes, here are a couple of easy makeup tricks to get you started.

1. Replace Black Eyeliner with Brown Eyeliner

Lining your eyes in deep black eyeliner is an instant ager, accentuating dark circles and lines. For a soft and natural-looking look, switch over to brown eyeliner.

One of my favorite eyeliners is the Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner. It comes in a few shades of brown and has a creamy texture that lets you draw a straight line in a flash.

2. Apply Peachy Pink Blush to Your Cheekbones

I’m all for contour and highlighting, but it can be tricky as you age. Swipe on too much contour/highlighter makeup, and you look like a hot mess.

A pop of peachy pink color, especially in the summer, is youthful and healthy looking.

One of my favorite new blushes is the NYX Ombré Blush which blends two silky colors into one. The Sweet Spring shade in this line brightens your face and works whether you’re looking for a pink or peach to match your lip and eye makeup.
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High-Impact Color and Shine: New Maybelline Lip Launches

18 Jul


Good morning, beauties. How is your summer going so far?

This is a great time of year for new makeup releases. If you want to step up your lip game, Maybelline has introduced some new lip lines:

  • Maybelline New York Lip Studio Color Jolt
  • Maybelline Lip Studio Shine Shot
  • Maybelline New York Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at these new lip launches. Overall, it looks like deep, bold colors are in so you may have to do some soul-searching to find your inner goth:).

No worries, though, if you’re a fan of nude shades. The latest twist on nude is a modern brown shade (à la K. Jenner).

Maybelline New York Lip Studio Color Jolt

The Lip Studio Color Jolt is a shiny lip paint that packs a powerful pop of color with eight times more pigment than a traditional gloss in every drop. The applicator is a flocked tip which helps for precise application.

You can build the creamy, long-lasting color for more vibrancy or customize your own look by layering a couple of shades.

Lip Color Jolt is available in eight shades:

  • Stripped Down (my fave)
  • Never Bare
  • Fight Me Fuschia
  • Orange Outburst
  • Talk Back Red
  • Red-dy Or Not
  • Berry Naughty
  • Violet Rebel

Maybelline New York Lip Studio Shine Shot

If glossy lips are your thing, Lip Studio Shine Shots create a mirror-like effect in a wax-free formula. Think of this gloss like a top coat for your nails: it adds a bit of shine to a matte finish and helps the color last.

The Lip Studio Shine Shots come in two shades: Glassy Shine Lip Topcoat (clear) and Prismatic Lip Topcoat (rose gold with a metallic sheen) which shines like a diamond 💎.

TIP: For a plumping effect, dot the Lip Topcoat in the middle of your lips as a 3D highlight.

Maybelline New York Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds

The Loaded Bolds is Maybelline’s boldest lipstick collection yet. The lipstick features a hyper-pigmented, runway-inspired formula that provides depth with a single stroke courtesy of non-drying Kaolin clay base.

The 12 shades in this line cover the entire color spectrum from vibrant pinks to bright berries to modern nudes (there’s even a color-popping blue):

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For Sleeping Beauties: StriVectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask

14 Jul

Strivectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask

Since your body repairs and detoxifies while you sleep, why not take your skin to the next level by applying an overnight mask?

I had a chance to try StriVectin’s Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask, designed to replenish moisture lost during the night that often results in a dull complexion.

The multi-layered technology behind this nourishing mask, called NIA-114, helps enhance the skin’s ability to maintain water reserves at optimal levels.

What this means is that the mask provides intense hydration throughout the night and soothes your skin while you sleep. When you wake up, your skin is smooth and ready for your morning beauty routine. Let’s just say, this mask is like an overnight skin primer.

Using the mask just requires applying a generous layer over clean, dry skin before bedtime 2-3 times per week. When you use the mask, you can skip your regular nighttime moisturizer.

The fragrance-free mask has a soft, gel-like texture that easily absorbs into the skin without feeling heavy. That’s good news if you’re a side sleeper, since the mask won’t end up on your pillow.

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Beauty Classics That Never Go Out of Style

11 Jul

Beauty Classics

Do you ever wonder why some beauty products stick around forever, while others just fade away?

Beauty products become best sellers when they work well whether you’re a celebrity, a hair or makeup professional, or a regular beauty junkie. Beauty products also create a loyal customer base when stocking up on them won’t break the bank.

Here are a few cult favorites I’ve come across.

L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hair Spray

This beauty classic is the hairspray of choice for professional stylists for runways and red carpets. It comes in many variations now from Extra Strong to Colour Treated.

When I want to lock in a hairstyle and make it last as I traverse the rainforest of Vancouver:), I always turn to Elnett (especially the travel size).

Nivea Creme

One of my sweetest childhood memories of my late mother was watching her carefully remove her makeup with Nivea Creme. This timeless beauty classic goes back even further with fans like Marilyn Monroe, who loved it because of its rich and creamy texture.

What’s interesting now is that Nivea is tapped as a dupe for one of the most expensive luxury creams in the world: Crème de la Mer.

Benefit High Beam Liquid Face Highlighter

Benefit’s High Beam Face Highlighter is the first highlighter I ever encountered. Until then, I was familiar with contouring but not using light to accent parts of the face.

IMHO, Benefit’s High Beam highlighter started the whole highlighting craze. Even with all the competition in the HAC market, this satiny pink liquid is still one of my favorites because a little goes a long way.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Is it just me or is using Maybelline Great Lash Mascara a rite of beauty passage? I remember using this mascara (in blue) as a tween and sneaking out of the house so no one would notice:).

Now, I use the colorless version to seal my mascara and prevent flakes. For me, it comes in handy when I work on site (I’m a contract technical writer), and I’m unable to check my makeup all day.
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4 Easy Steps for a Natural Summer Glow

7 Jul


As you become more active in the summer and (hopefully) eat healthier foods, your skin is likely at its best condition for the entire year.

This season, the no-makeup makeup is back once again. Here’s how you can let your natural beauty shine through with just a small touch of makeup!

  1. Start with a tinted moisturizer that leaves your skin smooth and glowing. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, already a classic, is a lightweight tinted moisturizer that evens skin tone and provides a translucent veil of protection.
  2. To give definition to your face, use a multi-functional palette that lets you blush, bronze, and go. Urban Decay Naked Flushed features a bronzer, blusher, and highlight in a travel-ready compact.
  3. For a natural look, skip mascara altogether and curl your lashes with an eyelash curler to brighten up your eyes. I love the design of the Tarte Eyelash Curler which has a wide mouth that suits all eye shapes.
  4. Apply a moisturizing lip gloss like Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in a peach tone that adds a bit of color but does nothing to hide your natural glow.

Have a great summer, beauties ⛅️.

[Image via Urban Decay]

Pretty Palettes from Revlon

4 Jul

New Revlon Palettes

Happy July, beauties ❤️.

When it comes to drugstore brands, Revlon is stepping up their game with recent launches like the moisturizing Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor.

This month, Revlon is introducing a neutral eye makeup palette and all-in one palette:

  • Not Just Nudes
  • Eyes, Cheeks + Lips Palette

I was lucky enough to take a look at these palettes before they hit the shelves. (If you live in the U.S., you may have already seen these palettes at your favorite drugstore.)

Not Just Nudes

You can never have too many nude eye shadow palettes, and Revlon’s ColorStay Not Just Nudes Palette is another palette to add to your neutrals collection.

The Passionate Nudes version contains ten warm neutrals in matte and shimmering finishes, ranging from beige to mocha. Even though the palette is on the slim side, I love that the pans of shadow are still large.

The ColorStay formula is long-lasting and lets you blend the wearable shadows without creasing, fading, or smudging. Tip: If you apply an eye primer, you can make the shadow last even longer.

Kudos to Revlon for including a professional style dual-ended brush with this palette. You can use this brush to apply eye shadow in two ways:

  • Use the flat side to apply eye shadow exactly where you want it.
  • Use the round side of the brush for contouring and blending.

Eyes, Cheeks + Lips Palette

Whether you’re running late for work or heading out for vacation, Revlon has managed to include everything you need for a finished makeup look in one convenient palette:

  • 6 eye shadows
  • 1 blush
  • 2 lipsticks
  • 2 lip glosses
  • Mini applicators and a mirror

The six ColorStay eye shadows in the palette include matte and shimmery shades in bronze, taupe, purple, and chestnut colors. The shadows are on the sheer side but still blendable whether you want to create a natural or more dramatic look.

The peachy blush matches well with the neutral lipsticks and lip glosses.

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Ultimate Night Treatment: Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

30 Jun

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

One of the most effective ways to improve the texture of your skin is by treating it with glycolic acid.

This anti-aging ingredient refreshes the skin by exfoliating the surface layer and promoting healthy cell growth. If you suffer from acne, glycolic acid also fights oily skin and helps to clear up blocked pores.

Instead of spending a lot of money for a glycolic face peel at a spa, you can treat your skin the no brainer way with glycolic acid pads.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme are a more potent version of their bestselling glycolic fix pads. The pads contain glycolic acid at 5% and salicylic acid to help refine pores, brighten the complexion, and decongest the skin.

I had a chance to sample these pads, which can easily be incorporated into any weekly skincare routine. All you do is wipe one pad across your face, neck, and décolleté after cleansing at night to remove clogged pores and bring your skin back to life.

When using the pads, you may experience a mild tingle (which quickly goes away), but you’ll also notice a healthy glow. Tip: If your skin isn’t on the sensitive side, you can bump up the number of times you use the pads per week to see quicker results.

Here’s more information on what you can expect from the Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme, which are a favorite of model and actress Emily Ratajkowski:

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