Thursday, March 26, 2009

Product Review: MAC Cream Color Base and Paint Pot

The Boy wanted to take a jaunt down to Buffalo a couple weekends ago to pick up some kicks (how balla), and of course you know I can't turn down a US shopping spree. Especially if it involves a trip to the Cosmetics Company Outlet store!

For those of you who don't know, CCO is the outlet store for all of Estee Lauder's brands. This means they'll stock products from Clinique, Bobbi Brown, MAC, and various other brands, including Estee Lauder, of course. While the colours aren't the most current (you won't find the Hello Kitty release there for a few months yet!), the prices are good, the choices are plentiful, and everything has a tester. So basically, I'm like a kid in a candy store there.

This last trip, I picked up a trio of MAC products: 2 cream color bases and a paint pot. The cream colour bases is a soft creamy product meant to be used all over the face. Hush is a neutral-warm pinky-beige shade, and it's great for a subtle shimmer on the eyes, or as a highlighter. Improper Copper is a bit more bold, and leaves a soft golden-bronze tint wherever you apply it. I love it on my lips topped with gloss, it's such a happy, peachy, summery colour! Almost a nude lip shade for me, but a bit sexier. There's a very fine but apparent shimmer in it, so it leaves a gleaming finish, but not it's not so frosty that one looks like a drag queen from the 90's. Can't wait for summer to arrive so I can use it as a subtle, shimmery bronzer!

While the formula is nice and smooth on these cream color bases, the staying power on my lids isn't terrific. It's really not that bad, but after 4 hours or so of wear, I'll start to see some creasing. If you're looking for a die-hard kind of eye colour, you must check out MAC's Paint Pots. The shade I got, Greenstroke, is a murky silvery blue-tinged green that can be worn either smokey or bright. It's got a bit of a futuristic feel to it. I used it on St. Patrick's day under some shimmery teal shadow for a bright-eyed look. Fun for a day out shopping, but probably not the best for work (fortunately I work at a place where your boss never notices -- never mind cares -- what you look like). I can't wait to try it as a smokey eye, smudged up with some black liner and maybe a touch of grey shadow. Paint Pots are a bit tricky to apply, because you have to blend fast before it sets, and you'll want to use a light hand to start, as they are pretty pigmented. But once it's on, this stuff will last and last and last, so no worries about touch-ups while you're traipsing all over town looking like your fierce bad-ass self.

Okay lovelies, I have lots more to talk about, but it will have to wait until after I'm back from a conference in sunny California. If you're jealous, maybe it will help to know that it's probably the most boring part of California. But hey, I'm never one to turn down sunshine & warmth!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Twittery doo!

Hey lovelies, so I finally got on board the Twitter train. I don't know exactly how it all works yet, but Tina Fey, Christopher Walken, and President Obama all have accounts, so I'm pretty sure it's awesome.

You can see my Twitter updates on the sidebar (scroll down a bit). I'll figure out how to make it prettier later, but for now, you too can be privy to random thoughts from my brain! And since I'm so slooooow with reviews these days, I'll probably be "tweeting"
about beauty products too. (I like how I am so un-hip that I need to put "tweet" in "quotes".)

If you want to make me really happy, you could even follow me on Twitter, so I feel loved and everything. Just click the "Follow Me on Twitter" link (you'll need a Twitter account, I promise it's super fun and will take over your life!). Or not, whatevs, but do check it out. Over there! On the sidebar! Mmmmm-kay?

Love you lots, and real reviews coming next week for serious! Including a mini MAC haul from the America!



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You too can be modern-day Mad Men! Or maybe Mad Women.

Hey folks! Just wanted to pop in and tell you about a cool contest that Dove is having. Known for their creative ads and innovative "Real Beauty" campaign, Dove has received accolades from all over the blog world and from the mainstream media for their marketing savvy. And now, you can be a part of it!

From Dove:

Dove has teamed up with TNT’s newest original series, TRUST ME, for a unique integration and consumer promotion. Dove Hair Care will be featured as a top client at the fictional Rothman, Greene & Moore advertising agency on tomorrow’s show (Tuesday, March 10 at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST [EDIT: That's tonight!]), where the characters will be developing new campaign ideas for Dove Therapy System Conditioners.

Dove and TRUST ME are giving viewers the chance to play the role of a creative director for the RG&M Dove campaign at: Viewers can vote on the final Dove campaign concepts and enter the “Be the Creative Director” sweepstakes for a chance to win the grand prize – a $50,000 Bonus Check, a trip for two to New York, a consultation with Dove celebrity hair stylist Gretta Monahan, and an iMac computer and software package! Second and third prize will receive Dove Hair Care products.

Holy jeepers, lookit 'em prizes! And all the "work" that's needed is basically to sit there and watch television. Can't get much easier than that. You can enter the contest through the link above, and check out the video below for a sneak peek of what's to come on the show. (Hey, it's Will, from Will & Grace! And that Ed guy, from... um, Ed.)

Speaking of sneak peeks, my fave chanteuse Emilie-Claire Barlow's new CD drops today, I'm so excited!! (Okay, never using the word "drops" to refer to a jazz CD again...) Emilie Claire will be giving a special performance on Jazz FM tonight at 7:00pm Eastern Time. If you're in the GTA, you can tune into 91.1FM, or you can stream the broadcast at (just click the "Listen Live" box). I can't wait!

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Product Review: Sephora by OPI Nail Polish Remover & Zoya Remove +

Lately, I can't seem to stop playing with nail polish. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get on this particular bandwagon... after all, I've become at least briefly obsessed with pretty much every other type of cosmetic product on the market. I usually had polish on my toes, but living in Canada means that those little piggies are usually covered up inside thick socks and big boots, and so there wasn't too much to get excited about.

As for my fingernails, I didn't wear polish on them up until now because I had the worst application skills. Still do, actually. Copious amounts of natural clumsiness combined with copious amounts of hand-shaking caffeine meant that any polish job was a messy, splotchy affair. Yes, I could clean up afterwards with Q-Tips and remover, but my Sally Hansen removers would dry out my cuticles horribly, so that by the end of it, I had crooked polish on raggedy white cuticles. Attractive, no?

This all changed when Sephora introduced their Sephora by OPI nail care line. The now famous Metro Chic was the shade that drew me in (fodder for another post), but along with it, I also tried the $OPI Nail Color Remover and my mind was blown. A polish remover that smells nice (really nice... not that fake lemony "nice") AND doesn't dry out my skin atrociously?! Where have you been all my life???

The Sephora by OPI remover is gentle enough for repeated use but strong enough to take off even glitter-packed polish with minimal scrubbing. And though it smells alcohol-y in the bottle, once it's on your hands, it morphs into a fresh, happy scent.

I thought this had to be the absolute best remover on earth, until I got a free mini bottle of Zoya's Remove+ along with a nail polish order. (The cute flippy bottle pictured is the full-size... the mini is a slim bottle with a screw-top cap. Very convenient for travel.) Remove never has that strong astringent smell at all... rather, it's all lavendery goodness from the get-go. Very spa-like. I think it's even gentler on cuticles than Sephora's remover, but it is perhaps a bit less effective on hard-to-remove lacquers. On typical polishes though, both are just peachy... a couple of quick swipes and you're good to go.

These removers have definitely changed my (beauty routine) life. Plus now I don't feel awful for doing my nails when The Boy is around, because I'm not totally stinking up the apartment. Of course, the Sephora remover is very pricey at $12 CAD for 4oz. Zoya Remove is pricier than your average drug-store fare too, but you can find it online for less and buy even cheaper in bulk. So worth it.

This is how addictions get started, people!

Sephora by OPI Nail Color Remover
Zoya Remove+ (and at various e-tailers)

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