Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Happy Birthday!

Hello all!

I know I have been absent the last week or so, and it's simply because I have been so busy.  But yesterday was a big day.  This blog turned one!

I started this blog the summer between high school and university because I was into makeup and inspired by Tanya Burr, Zoe Sugg, and many other YouTubers and bloggers.

A year later and I am still in love with blogging.  The community that surrounds me feels like family, and I love seeing and reading what other people are loving.  Seeing the hit counter on my blog rise and my followers on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook increase is the best feeling.  Blogging is my hobby but it's also hard work, and I love every second of it.

I thought it would be fun to do a little wish list of the things I plan on buying, reviewing, and using in the next year.  Hopefully by my blog's 2nd birthday I'll have them!

1) Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

2) Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush

3) Tanya Burr Lipgloss

4) Benefit They're Real Push-up Liner

5) The Balm Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette

Thank you for all of your support over the last year, I can't express how much it means to me <3

I love you all!

xoxo Laura

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Review: LUSH D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap

Recently my mom treated me to a little jar of the new LUSH shaving soap and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it with all of you!


This product promises to leave your skin silky smooth after shaving and lightly perfumed with the scent of strawberries.

Price
This costs $9.95 CAD for a 70g tub, which is on the cheaper side for most LUSH products.  Considering what I normally pay for shaving foams/creams/etc. I think this is a more than fair price, especially as it is made with organic ingredients, not chemicals.

Packaging
LUSH packaging is so clean and simple, and I LOVE it.  The matte black, screw-top tub is so functional but also looks nice in the shower, and doesn't get grubby.  The labels don't get gross either, which is a rarity in itself!


Performance
Usually when I shave, I exfoliate my legs first to get them smoother.  For the purposes of this review, I skipped that step to see if this left my skin feeling as smooth and soft.

I scooped a small amount of this out of the jar and rubbed it onto damp skin, just as I would any other shaving product.  This product has a whipped texture, very light and airy, which I really like.  It washed off really nicely as well, sometimes shaving products cling to your body which annoys me.

After showering and drying off, I noticed just how effective this was.  My legs are so smooth, I cannot stop feeling my skin.  And I didn't exfoliate OR moisturize.  It's all the shaving soap.  HUGE thumbs up from me, this completely lived up to its promises!


Final Verdict
I am in love with this product.  I really hope LUSH makes it permanent, or at least brings it back every summer, because I have never found a shaving product as nice as this one.  I love that it is made with fresh, organic, natural ingredients, and still lives up to what it promises to do.

The best part of this is that it doesn't leave my skin irritated in any way.  Shaving makes my legs dry and itchy, and my underarms are so sensitive that they actually get chapped.  This soothes all of that and leaves the sensitive skin soft and calm, something I have never found a product to do before.

The only thing I'm not sold on here is the scent.  To me it smells more like rose/baby powder (honestly, I would say either granny or baby) rather than strawberry, but it only lingers slightly on the skin, nothing overwhelming, so I can definitely deal with that!

I give this a definite buy and highly recommend you go get it before LUSH stops selling it!
xoxo Laura

Where is Beauty?

Here!













xoxo Laura

Saturday, 12 July 2014

First Impression: Andalou Naturals All-In-One Beauty Balm

I'm back with another review!


I've already reviewed the Renewal Cream from the Andalou Naturals Brightening line, but today I'm going to be reviewing the Beauty Balm.  Let's just hop right in shall we?

What is it?
The claims for this product are almost identical to the claims on the Renewal Cream.

The packaging says, "Fruit Stem Cell Complex is the star of this multi-benefit BB, blending superfruit antioxidants, nourishing moisturizers, and broad spectrum  protection with natural mineral-tint color for sheer, flawless coverage in one easy step."  The Fruit Stem Cells (from Malus Domestica Apple and Solar Vitis Grape) are supposed to renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, and regenerate healthy cells.

This can be worn alone or under other makeup.  It is broad spectrum (UVA and UVB protection), SPF 30, and claims to compliment most skin tones.  As with most sunscreens, this contains zinc oxide, and the instructions say to apply 15 minutes before sun exposure, reapplying as needed.

This is Non-GMO Project verified, which means it contains no genetically modified ingredients.  It is gluten, paraben, sulfate, phthlate and cruelty free.  It is also a vegetarian product, but NOT vegan.  Many of the ingredients are certified organic and/or fair trade.



Review

Packaging
The packaging is cute, although nothing super special.  I like that it keeps with the orange and green colour scheme of the other products in the line.  The tube itself is a clean white with a silver screw on cap.  I don't find the packaging to be anything incredibly eye-catching or special, but I do this it is clean and simple, and something has to be said for simplicity.


I really do love the little quotes on the flap of the outer box! I think it's completely adorable.

Price
I don't think the price of this is too bad, especially considering it is essentially a moisturizer and foundation.  It costs around the $20 mark, which is similar to the pricing of the rest of the range.  You also get 58mLs of product in the tube, which is almost twice as much as a foundation and more than any  moisturizer I've ever used.  Because this is sheer coverage, you don't use very much (it's for good skin days or no makeup days), so I think it will last for awhile.

Performance


What it looks like.
First of all, this smells like oranges.  Yum!  The formula itself is fairly thick and heavy feeling, and yet it feels almost 'whipped'.  I'm not sure how that can be, but that's my impression of it.


I applied this to a clean face as shown above.  I dotted it onto the skin and then blended it onto the rest of my face using my finger tips.  I want to say, that was WAY too much.  I only needed about 2/3 of that, which is how much I have applied upon further use.  Also, this might be better applied with a brush.

The very first thing I noticed was that the formula felt extremely sticky.  This does fade slightly, but doesn't completely go away.  It left my face very shiny as well, which you can kind of see in the photo below, and I personally like a very matte finish.  If you're like me, I recommend blotting it with a loose powder to tone down the dewy effect.  With a little bit of powder, this is the perfect balance between dewy and matte, leaving the skin 'glowing'.  However, I do need to re-powder throughout the day to keep from being too oily.  For people with oily skin, STAY AWAY.


This did even out my skin, although it is very sheer.  My redness was not completely covered, but it was toned down (I have quite a bit of redness right now, so I wasn't expecting this to help at all).  This doesn't cover blemishes or dark spots on your skin, but again, it's very sheer coverage.

There is a slight tint to this when you apply it.  For me, I looked slightly orange when I applied it.  I also noticed that it oxidizes slightly throughout the day, and after about 8 hours I was looking a bit orange. This can change depending on how much you put on.  The more you apply, the more orange you will look. However, it did stay on my face for the entire day, so it is relatively long-wearing.

As one would expect from a tinted moisturizer, this does not cling to dry patches, which I was happy about, nor does it go patchy.  I did feel like my skin was being hydrated when I wore this, however it takes a long time to sink in and I could definitely feel it on my skin.

Final Verdict
I really wanted to like this product.  I love the brand and what they stand for and how they create their products.  But this isn't a favourite for me.  What really put me off was how oily this made me.  I like a moisturizer that sinks into the skin and this sat on top and made me greasy.  Now, I did use this a few times after the initial first impression, and if you use a TINY bit, it lessens the oiliness.  However, it still makes you oily and sticky , no matter how much you use.

I also don't believe this will match most skin tones.  Maybe it's because I'm so pale, but it doesn't match mine and I know plenty of people with my skin tone.

I will definitely be using this, simply because I don't want to waste it, but I will be wearing it with plenty of powder, most likely for short periods of time, in the summer when I have more colour.  I do think if my skin was better this would look better, so I wouldn't recommend this for people with uneven skin tone or other problems.

All in all, I would give this a pass.  I wouldn't recommend it to you as readers.  However, if you do have it, you can make the most of it.  It just takes a little bit of work.
xoxo Laura

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Summer Fashion Haul

IT'S FINALLY SUMMER!

A new season outside means a new season inside (my closet) and so I have done a bit of shopping here and there to revamp my wardrobe.  I hope you enjoy this!

(Side note: I didn't buy everything in one trip, this has been spread out!)


First up was my black and white floral tie-up shirt.  I'll admit, I didn't actually go on a shopping trip for this, I was just going out after work and had brought a sweater and jeans when the day was 25 degrees!  I was leaving work and popped into Walmart to grab something cheap. This shirt was $12 and it is the comfiest shirt!  It's incredibly soft, very flattering, and fits like a glove.  What I love the most about this is that it follows the "tie-up" shirt trend, but doesn't expose your midriff, which is not something I am comfortable doing.  It just skims the waistband of your pants, and that makes it perfect for me!

I did the majority of my shopping when I went to see my friend Rachel.  We went to the mall and tried on a pile of things, but these are what I came out with.


First up are these shorts.  I am SO excited about these, although I was initially not too sure and Rachel had to convince me to buy them.  They're "leather" but don't look trashy.  Instead, they fit perfectly, and are incredibly flattering.  I love that they're matte, not shiny, and the stitching on the front gives a cool graphic design.  These were on sale at a store called Mendocino for $40.


At H&M I bought this cute dress for $15.  It fits really nicely, and I love the skater-skirt style of dresses. This one has added interest with the crossed straps that go across the back. The blue colour is also gorgeous.  This is going to be great in summer because it's very light.


At Winner's, I bought a few things.  The first is this peach-coloured top with light blue flowers.  This was on sale for $11.  It's slightly cropped, but I bought it because it does come down to skim the waistband of your pants/shorts/skirt.  It is sheer, but not so sheer that you need to wear a bandeau underneath.  I find that a nude bra does the trick.


I also bought this slouchy striped shirt.   Usually I'm really cautious about horizontal stripes, because I am build fairly wide, but this looks really nice.  The embroidery on the shoulders takes it up a notch in style, and the fabric is incredibly soft.  This was $13 am I know I'm going to get so much wear out of this.


Now, when I was with Rachel I saw this top and tried it on, but I didn't buy it because it had a stain and there was a flaw in a seam.  However, I looked at my Winner's back home the next day and they had it!  I love this coral colour, it looks really nice on me, especially if I get a little bit tanned.  Again, it's cropped, but it covers what needs to be covered, and the thick straps keep the top from feeling flimsy.  This is another one that is sheer, but can be pulled off with a nude bra.  I bought this especially to go with my black and white graphic shorts that were in my spring haul, because I really don't have any shirts to go with those shorts.

I have also done some shopping at Joe Fresh recently.  Now, I usually don't buy their stuff but over the winter my mom bought me a nice cardigan from there, and when I was out their summer clothing caught my eye.  There are so many gorgeous colours!


I ended up getting these shorts, which were $19, and two of their basic tanks, which were $6 each.  The shorts are really fun, nice and bright, and the tanks are the exact same coral and navy shade.  All of it is of pretty good quality too, which can sometimes be a challenge when you shop Joe Fresh.  All in all, I'm pretty pleased with my purchases!

Instagram
Shoutout to my aunt for this amazing skirt.  She made me this, so you can't buy it, but if she ever creates an online shop you will be the first two know!  This is a simple circle skirt made of white eyelet lace, and it has a coral underskirt.  It is absolutely beautiful, I love it!

Instagram (ugh I hate feet)
As for shoes (because every haul has a pair!), I bought these cute sandals from Payless.  I bought them for a job interview, but I know I will get lots of wear out of them this summer.  They're very flat, but I like that they zip up at the back of the ankle so that they have a little bit more support than these types of sandals normally would.

And that's my summer haul!  I can't wait to wear this stuff, hopefully I get a few days off rom work to soak up the sunshine!
xoxo Laura

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Tanned Skin and Orange Lip

Hello, hello!

This week's tutorial is a really nice one for these summer months.

I know orange lips were very in last summer, so I'm a little bit behind, but recently I have been loving nothing more.  The right shade can look so flattering, especially with a tan.

*I apologize for the lighting, it washes me out slightly.  I promise the skin IS tanned in this look!*

This look is a simple, easy way to rock an orange lip and beautifully tanned summer skin without even having to try.  I hope you enjoy!

Naked face!
So to start I have moisturized my skin, but also primed with Benefit The Porefessional and the e.l.f. eyelid primer.  I put The Porefessional on my nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead and the e.l.f. primer on my lids and under my eyes.  This way my concealer stays in place better.

The reason I have primed is because a) makeup really slides around in summer, and this will help it stay put and b) I wear SPF so my face doesn't tan, and I will be using a darker foundation.  Primer will help it from getting patchy and looking fake.


Straight on with base now.  I have the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation in 200 Soft Beige, which you will all know I was obsessed with last summer.  I am buffing this into the skin using a Spa Resource Multi-Use brush, which I am actually quite liking.  As mentioned, this is darker than my skin-tone which will add to the tanned effect but without looking too orange.  To combat the possibility of being orange, I'm only using a little bit and buffing it in really well.


For concealer, I am using the Rimmel Match Perfection concealer in 040 Soft Beige under my eyes, around my nose, and on blemishes.  I've also put some on my forehead where I find my foundation tends to disappear to prolong the coverage.  This I blended in using the same brush as before, but also the flat end of the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge.


I'm then going to highlight with the Maybelline LumiTouch concealer in Ivory in all the usual places, again using the Multi-Use brush and Real Techniques sponge.




Moving onto the eyes, I'm lining them with a black kohl liner, whichever one you prefer is fine (I recommend the Annabelle Smoothliner).  The one I actually used I would not recommend, and I wish I had used a different one (this one was too messy!).  I've thickened the line slightly in the middle to make my eyes look rounder, an effect I really like.  On the bottom lash line I've used the Rimmel Kohl Kajal in Nude to wake up the eye area even more.

To keep this minimal, I've used a matte taupe eyeshadow to even out my lid area, but not give any colour to it.  This is personal preference, you don't have to!

My lighting sucks but you can kind of see the effect!
Back to the skin now.  For powder, I'm using a little bit of the Revlon Nearly Naked pressed power in 020 Light just on my t-zone (forehead, nose, chin).

Then I'm going to bronze the skin and contour with the Rimmel   using a Real Techniques Blush brush.  This really softly contours the cheeks, and places just the right amount of product around the edges of the face.  I'm sorry for the picture, it just wouldn't show up well for me!

Finally I'm adding the Hard Candy Baked Blush in the colour Honeymoon on my cheeks with the Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki.


I forgot to put on my mascara earlier, so I'm doing that now!  I used Maybelline The Falsies, it lengthens and thickens and looks amazing!

The final look!
And for the final step I'm using the L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in the shade Volcanic!

I really hope you enjoyed this!  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
xoxo Laura

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Blogger Challenge

I regret this already...

I have felt like I lost my blogging mojo recently.  It might be because I'm super busy and stressed out over a billion things. It's probably that.  But at the same time I just feel like my ideas are shit, and I haven't got any money to try out new products, and UGH.

So.  I have set myself a challenge.  And I want you to help me keep it.

Starting RIGHT. NOW. I am not purchasing any cosmetics.  None.  I am challenging myself to use products from my collection, write reviews, and create looks outside of what I wear daily.

I am doing this to challenge myself into using up my stash, learning new ways to use products, and save my money.  I spend a little bit in one shop, maybe only buying one lipstick, but that adds up over time!

I also have something big coming on August 1st, so stay tuned for that.  I've had it planned for months, since April, but with this challenge it takes on a whole new level!

This is lasting until September 1st.  No more purchasing cosmetics, if I do a haul beat me!

I will be rewarding myself at the end of this, IF I complete the challenge.  But I want to force myself out of this rut and fall back in love with blogging!

Please bear with me, I promise this blog will step up again :)

xoxo Laura

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Summer Album: Lights Out

Hey everyone!

The best album of 2014!
If any of you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will know by now that I am OBSESSED with Ingrid Michaelson, specifically the song Girls Chase Boys.

Recently, I went to HMV and treated myself to her album, Lights Out.  It was $12.99 for one disc, and came in the paper case, not the plastic one.  There are 14 songs on the album, and 6 of them are collaborations.  Track 13, Over You, features A Great Big World.

I cannot compliment this album enough!  Usually on any album, there are 1 or 2 songs that I skip past without listening to them, just because I don't particularly like them.  There are no such tracks on this album.  It is flawless!  There is so much variety in the songs, none are similar and there are different genres and types of sound in there, although the album is labeled as Indie Pop.

My favourite tracks are:

1) Home
2) Girls Chase Boys
5) Warpath
7) Time Machine
8) One Night Town

But again, I love every single song and wouldn't skip past any of them!

This is definitely going to become my summer album.  Last year it was Save Rock and Roll, this year it will be Lights Out.  I love blasting this on my way home after work, the sun setting and the crickets chirping and just me, the rolled down windows, and the music.

Download this from iTunes HERE!

xoxo Laura

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Eyeliner 5 Ways

Hello all!

It's been another busy week over here, and with a lack of time has come a lack of tutorial.  To keep it simple, today i'm going to do a guide on 5 different ways to wear your eyeliner.

I really hope you enjoy this as it's a different type of post but one that I think is super fun!


This first look is super easy, and great for days when you want to wear very minimal makeup.  All I've done here (on the left eye) is used an angled brush the place black eye shadow along the lashline as close to the lashes as possible.  Again, this is a very minimal look, it looks best with very light, neutral eyeshadows (or no eyeshadow at all).


This is another really easy look that is more on the neutral side.  I've used the Rimmel ScandalEyes Kohl Kajal in 003 Brown to run a thin line along the lashes, getting slightly thicker as it heads towards the outer corners.  I love this because the slight shimmer gives you a great awake look, and brown is less harsh than black.  I wear this kind of eyeliner a lot on the summer.  When applying, make sure your pencil is sharp! Otherwise the line will be too thick and it's a pain in the ass to fix!  This also looks great smudged out, and there is no need to wear eyeshadow if you don't want to!


Now for a classic, black winged liner.  This look is fantastic!  It's slightly more dramatic, and goes with every eyeshadow under the sun!  I wear this to work a lot because it makes me feel slightly less... gross?  I just think regular black winged liner is eternal and classy.  You can dress it up or down, it's great!

For this look, I find it easiest to use a felt-tipped liquid liner, such as the L'Oreal Lineur Intense.  It gives a lot of control to get right into the inner corners and make a perfect flick.  My advice for getting good winged liner is to practice! Everyone has different eye shapes, mine aren't even quite the same! Just fiddle around with it and see what looks best on you!


Speaking of winged liner, here's look #4, a copy-cat liner look.  This is easy as pie, just follow along the edge of your black winged liner with another colour (above are the Rimmel Kohl Kajals in Light Blue and Silver).  You may need to touch up the black, I usually do, but this just adds a little bit of interest.  The silver is particularly awesome for a night out.


The final look is definitely not for everyone.  This is a green eyeliner with gold shimmer (GOSH Golden Moss specifically).  In the picture on the top I've applied it to the one eye, thicker on the top and very thinly along the lower lashline.  To amp this up and take it from day to night, the bottom look has black liner on the top and bottom waterlines (Annabelle Smoothliner in Black).  Again, make sure your pencil is super sharp to do this, or else your line will be way too thick.

I hope this kind of tutorial is okay with you guys!  Does this count as a tutorial?!  It does now!

Leave a comment below telling me what you think!
xoxo Laura