Thursday, 26 June 2014

Haul: Real Techniques, L'Oreal, Physician's Formula, and More!

Hello hello!

It's summer! Officially!  Which apparently means a ton of shopping!

I wanted to revamp my makeup a little bit, as a lot of things are getting boring to me.  Another thing I need were brushes, I keep finding that mine just aren't cutting it!  I think that's because I try to use brushes for things other than their intended purposes, and it's biting me in the ass!

So here is a little haul for you all, enjoy!

I'll start with the brushes.  As most of you will know, Real Techniques is my favourite brand of brushes to purchase.  They are really affordable but are also amazing quality.

I usually get mine at Winners, and when I went in they had just gotten in a huge shipment.  Usually there are one or two different brushes, but this time I actually had to limit myself and leave some behind!

What I Did Get:
1) Retractable Kabuki
2) Miracle Complexion Sponge
3) Powder brush
4) Blush brush

These are all fabulous, especially the sponge.  My foundation just looks SO GOOD!  And the powder brush is unparalleled by any other powder brush I have tried.

I did get a few makeup bits too, have to have something to use the brushes for!

I got 2 new blushes, both from Physician's Formula.  They are both the Happy Booster blushes, one in shade Pink and one in Warm.  Pink is, you guessed it, bright pink, and Warm is more on the peachy/coral side (but not as orange as the picture makes it look!)  Both are gorgeous, and smell really nice too!

I got a new mascara to try, it's the L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara.  I have heard so many good things about this, and so far it hasn't disappointed!

Less exciting is the L'Oreal eye makeup remover.  This is oil free, and I'm looking forward to using it.  In the summer I tend to wear a lot of mascara and not too much else, so this will be useful for removing my eye makeup and not wasting my Clinique cleansing balm!

I repurchased my Maybelline LumiTouch concealer.  Mine is so very close to being out, and I realized the other day I don't think I could get on without it!  I use this to conceal under my eyes but mostly as a highlighter because it is utterly AMAZING!

On impulse, I bought this Maybelline lip liner in the shade Rose.  It might be a little bit brown for me, but with a light hand I think I could easily wear this under my usual lipsticks and get away with it.

Finally, I bought this bright purple nail polish from Joe Fresh in the shade Baie Sauvage.  I don't own a colour like this, and for the summer there is nothing better than bright nails!

I hope you enjoyed my little haul, bring on summer!
xoxo Laura

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Icy Eyes and Dramatic Liner

Hey there!

For those of you who follow my Facebook posts, you will have seen that tonight I said I wasn't going to post until tomorrow.  Well, I lied!  I was messing around and this look happened and it was too special to not share!  It's also incredibly easy, so enjoy!

For this look, I took the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in 05 Too Cool, which is a super shimmery silver colour, and took this all over the lid, blending it out into the crease and slightly beyond the socket.  For this, I used a Real Techniques base shadow brush. I used the same brush to take the colour along my lower lashes and into the tear-duct area as well.

I then used the L'Oreal Lineur Intense in carbon black to create the liner.  I love this because it gives you a lot of control to make your liner neat and perfect.  All I did was take a thin line from the very inner corner to the outer 3/4 of my eye, where I took the brush away from the lash line slightly, flicking it outward.  This took a little fiddling around to get right, so I encourage you to experiment with it!

On the lower lashes, I used the same liner from the inner 2/3 of the eye, taking it almost to the outer corner and then creating a downward wing.  Again, practice makes perfect!

Then taking a black eye liner pencil I lined the upper and lower waterlines, and popped on a ton of black mascara.

The last thing I did was use this silver liner on the inner corners of my eyes, just to help them pop, and on the gap between my upper and lower liner to give more separation and definition.  This is slightly more grey than the eye shadow, but it all blends together nicely!

There you have it, easy peasy in writing but a little harder in practice.  I encourage you to try this before you want to wear it somewhere.  I will probably be wearing this to the Fall Out Boy/Paramore concert tomorrow (!!!)

Hope you all had lovely days!
xoxo Laura

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Babbling Book Reviews: This House Is Haunted

Hello everyone!

Have you ever read a book and loved it so much you just want to share it with everyone? I just finished one of those, and so I thought I'd do a review in case it might interest some of you!

These aren't going to be a regular feature, but from time to time, if I find a good book, I'll post a review and share my love for it with you all!

This House Is Haunted- John Boyne

If any of you have read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, you'll already be familiar with John Boyne.  I adored that book, it made me sob.  This book is no exception.  Boyne is a fantastic writer, giving his readers the full scope of human emotions through words alone.

This House Is Haunted is set in the mid 19th century, and centers around a young woman named Eliza Caine (symbolism perhaps?).  After he father's death, Eliza is hired as a governess for two children, and goes to live with them.  Upon arrival, she realizes that she has been hired by the previous governess, who has since fled, and the parents are no where to be found.

Throughout the story, Eliza untangles the web of lies, mystery, and concealment to discover what happened to the  children's parents.  All the while, supernatural happenings are occurring all around her, malicious in intent and nearly taking her life more than once.

This book is incredible.  It's one that I couldn't put down, and I haven't read something this attention-grabbing in ages. There are some plot twists that you can predict, but I don't think Boyne's intent is to deceive on these.  Without going into too much detail and spoiling it, the plot twists will keep you reading until the last page, and even there a single word will send a chill down your spine.

As far as books go, this one is a definite must-read.  John Boyne yet again does not disappoint with this action-packed, thrilling adventure of a woman who doesn't know what she's getting herself into, and ends up getting into things a lot deeper than she could have ever imagined.

I hope this has inspired you to go read this book.  I cannot rate this enough, I loved it!

If you would like to see more of these, leave a comment below, and feel free to leave me book recs too! I'm on summer holidays, so I've got plenty of time to read!
xoxo Laura

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: A Pop of Colour

Hello and welcome back!

I'm going to do a full-face tutorial today, and it's a good 'un!

I have been wearing this exact eye look so much already this summer, because I love how neutral it is.  What makes this look one of my favourites though is the lips.  You can honestly do any type of bold lip colour with this, and I have always been a lip person, rather than an eyes person.

So, let's hope right in!

Don't worry, I fix the hair!
For the face, you always want to start with moisturized skin.  I let it sit for about 10 minutes, maybe gather up all your products, before going in with foundation.

For foundation, I used the Real Techniques expert face brush and the L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable foundation and spent a good amount of time buffing this into the skin to get an even, flawless coverage.  This has SPF in it, which means it is great for summer, but it also isn't too heavy on the skin.

For concealer, I actually use 3 different ones for this look.  Under my eyes, I use the Covergirl Fresh Complexion under eye concealer, mixed with the Maybelline Fit Me concealer.  The Covergirl one oxidizes nicely to cover, but I do find it a little thin, so I mix it with the Maybelline concealer, which is very yellow-toned, and helps conceal the DARK purple I have under my eyes.  To blend this in, I use the flat base of a soft sponge and a gentle dabbing motion.

The third concealer I use is the Maybelline Lumi-Touch and I use this in a sort of sideways J shape along my cheekbones to highlight, but it also gives a little bit of extra coverage to hide the redness I have there.  I then use this on my forehead, nose, chin, and cupid's bow to, again, highlight.  To blend it in, I use the Real Techniques expert face brush again.

I'm going to let all of that set a little bit and move onto the eyes now.

On the lid, I always use an eyeshadow primer.  The Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover eye primer is okay, I don't find it does what it promises. I only ever use it with my MAC shadows, because any other ones will crease, despite using this.

On the lid: All That Glitters
          Left pan: Mythology              Right pan: All That Glitters
With shadows, I keep it very simple and only use MAC Mythology or All That Glitters.  Mythology is a rose-gold shade, and I quite like it but it doesn't work with as many lip-colours as All That Glitters, so choose according to what you want to put on your lips.  Today I used All That Glitters.

For eyeliner, I always line my waterline with the Rimmel Kohl Kajal in nude, and use the L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black to create a thin line along the lashes with a tiny flick to just enhance my eye shape.

Then comes mascara.  Currently I've got the Rimmel Retro Glam mascara in black, but use whatever you prefer!

Back to skin now.  This is the only look where I like a dewy finish, I usually don't like anything less than perfectly matte.  Thus, I am only using a tiny bit of powder on my forehead between my brows, my nose and under-eyes to set my concealer, and on my chin.  You can see where I place my powder in the above picture.

For bronzer, I think I have finally found a good one.  It's the Rimmel Natural Bronzer, and I use shade 21 because I am so fair.  I use this to contour ever so slightly on my cheeks, then on the edges of my face and my nose and forehead to give a little bit more colour to my face.  Because you couldn't see the bronzer in the photo, I have given a diagram of sorts to show where I placed it.

Finally, I finish up with the Wet n Wild blush in Pearlescent Pink.  This gives the perfect flush of colour, but also a nice bit of shimmer.  Some people have said this is similar to NARS Orgasm.  Since I don't own that, I can't say for sure, but it is very nice!  It doesn't show up nearly as well on camera, but you get the idea!

So that's the face done!  You can totally wear this on it's own with natural lips if you want to, it is a great every-day kind of look for summer.  But if you want a bolder lip try...

Click to enlarge
I am so happy with how this turned out, for once I think a tutorial in pictures looks as good as in person!  I hope you enjoy this too, let me know what you think in the comments!
xoxo Laura

Sunday, 15 June 2014

First Impression: Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Renewal Cream

Hey there!

I love doing First Impression posts for you, I hope you enjoy them too.  This time I am doing another first impression of a moisturizer.  Last time I reviewed the Derma E Soothing Moisture Creme, which I've used faithfully ever since.  However, since it's getting warmer out I don't need something so heavy.

Today I'll be trying out the Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Renewal Cream.  I've used things from this brand before and liked them all, so hopefully this is just as good!

What is it?
This is a daily moisturizer.  It doesn't specify if it's for night or day, so I assume you can use it for both.

The package says, "Fruit Stem Cell Complex and Vitamin C effectively slow cellular damage, stimulating circulation and healthy cell renewal, diminishing dark spots and discolouration for even skin tone.  Probiotics boost beneficial microflora for improved dermal immunity and a fresh, radiant complexion."

The fruit stem cells in the product are Malus Domestica Apple and Solar Vitis Grape.  It also contains a BioActive 8 Berry Complex (a "certified organic portfolio of superfruit antioxidants) and certified organic aloe vera, which soothes inflammation, oxegenates, hydrates, and advances absorption of the active ingredients.  Many of the ingredients in this are certified organic and/or fair trade.

This product is Non-GMO project verified, which means it contains no genetically modified ingredients, and is verified gluten free.  It isn't tested on animals, is hypo-allergenic, and contains no parabens, or sulfates.


I quite like the packaging of this.  The box it comes in is cute; it's nice and bright with the yellow, reflecting what it promises to do which is brighten your skin. I also really like that everything important is on the box so you can immediately see exactly what the product is when you pick it off the shelf.

The inside of the box is fantastic, that's all there is to it.  The top of the lid has a Joseph Campbell quote, "Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before", and then there's things like "Mindful Action" and "Inspired Beauty" written in white on green for the background.  I think it's adorable!

The actual container is also quite nice.  I love the sliver lid and thick, sturdy jar which looks like glass but is actually plastic.  It looks expensive and luxurious to me, and I'm a sucker for nice packaging, we all know it!  I also really like the green colour of the plastic, it's pretty but also a little different from the usual white/opaque/clear packaging usually seen on moisturizers.  The writing on the jar is very simple and easily read, which also gives it major points from me. 

The price on this is nothing crazy, somewhere in the mid-range.  I have seen it for anywhere between $15 and $30 regular price, depending on where it is.  It was $15 at Winner's, but they don't always have it.  One place that does sell this brand is Zehrs, so if you're there check it out.  I believe this product is closer to $25/$30 there.

I am incredibly impressed with this moisturizer.  It's nice and light, with a light and refreshing citrus scent, and it sinks into the skin very nicely.  It isn't sticky, and it doesn't leave an oily or greasy sheen on the skin.  You can't feel it sitting on your face either.  After use, your skin just feels so soft and refreshed, and there is only a hint of the scent left over.

Final Verdict
I love this.  I've used it multiple times since writing the initial first impression, and haven't picked up anything else.  It's so light and moisturizing that it is perfect for the summer months.  You can wear this under makeup no problem, and it really does make your skin look brighter and nicer.  Even though the price is a little bit higher than some you might find in the drugstore, I think this is definitely worth it.  You can rarely find organic products at a low price that work as well as this, and for those reasons I would highly recommend you try this out!

That's all for now, leave comments below if there are any products you would like me to review!
xoxo Laura

Thursday, 12 June 2014

I Did A Thing! (Modeling?)

Hey guys!

So a few weeks ago, my friend Aaron who is taking photography asked me to model for him for a summer-y photoshoot.  Naturally I said yes and then was super awkward the entire time because I am me, but I hope you enjoy the photos! (I've never modeled before, I'm pretty sure that is self-explanatory).

These were all taken at a park near-ish to where I live, and it was such a gorgeous day!

There were leeches in this lake, big thanks to the guy who pointed this out AFTER I got out of the water.


I think this photo is my favourite

Dress: Yumi

Go like Aaron's Facebook page HERE!

Hope you liked this, have a good day everyone <3
xoxo Laura

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Vintage Vamp

Hello, and welcome to another Tutorial Tuesday!  Are you liking these so far? I am really enjoying them, so I hope you are too!

Sorry about missing last week, I have been working nearly every day, plus I had a paper due, and all-in-all I was a very busy and stressed out human!  Blogging got pushed to the back of my mind, but I'm back now!

Today's look is one I'm calling "Vintage Vamp".  It's a burgundy-based dark smokey eye with extreme black winged liner.  I would pair this with pale, flawless skin, and a dark red lip, and think it would be great for prom (t'is the season!)

Because this look is so heavy and dramatic, I wanted to prime my lids. I used the Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer.  I'm testing this out, so I can't give a full review yet.  So far I think it's okay, maybe not as good as my e.l.f. eye primer.

To create the look I am using the e.l.f. Smoky Look Beauty Book.  For my base colour, I used the matte burgundy, which is the day base (and looks purple in this photo, damn camera!), and built up the colour to get it nice and bold.  If you have oily lids, or find that shadows don't stay in place, you could use the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk instead, or use it as a base with this shadow layered on top.

Next, I took the matte black, which is the night contour, and placed it on the outer v of my lids.  I then blended the crap out of this, touching up the burgundy and building up the black as needed.  To help blend the black, I used a small amount of the night base, which is a gunmetal shimmer shade.  On the very inner corners of the eye, I placed a small amount of the silver night highlight.

That's the shadows done.  If yours looks as imperfect as mine does is the second photo, use a small amount of concealer to sharpen the edges as seen in the third photo.  You can also use a piece of tape, placed before you apply the shadows, but I find this somewhat uncomfortable and so skipped out on it today!

For liner, I very thinly lined as close to my lashes as possible with the L'Oreal Lineur Intense felt tip liquid liner in Carbon Black.  I used my Annabelle Waterproof  Smoothliner in Black to tightline and on my waterline.

To create the dramatic wing, I went back in with the L'Oreal liner.  This you can change to suit your eye shape and personal taste, but I chose to do it very thick and dramatic for this look.

I then went in with an angled brush, I used the same black eye shadow from earlier to soften the edges of the liquid liner, feathering it out slightly, which you can see best in the top picture.  Finally, go in with a pencil brush and take the burgundy all the way along the bottom lashes right to the inner corner.  Follow up with the black, going about halfway along and then blending it out so it gets softer towards the inner corner.

The final step is the amp up the lashes.  You can use falsies if you wish, but all I did was curl the lashes and then put two coats of the L'Oreal Voluminous Original on the bottom lashes, and three coats on the top.

There you have it, another Tutorial done!  I hope you enjoyed this, leave a comment below with a look you'd like to see me do and I'll try to do it in the coming weeks!

Have a lovely day,
xoxo Laura