Sunday, April 19, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for April 19, 2015

Happy Sunday and hello from Beauty Squared. It's that time again. Here are our picks for must-see links related to all things beauty. Let's go!


  • Spring 2015 Beauty Trend: Doll-like makeup. We're talking perfect skin, lashes and pink lips.
  • Summer is coming and that means many of us will be cropping our hair shorter for the warmer weather. Thinking of going short-short? Or maybe you're already way ahead of the trend and rocking short hair? Here are some short hair inspirations.
  • Do you dye your own hair? If so, you know how messy it can be. Here are some helpful tips on cleaning up during and after dying your hair.
  • You know how to keep your skin clean and clear from breakouts, right? No? Here you go.
  • Do you exfoliate your skin? You should and here's how.
  • A product that can banish your puffy eyes with minimal effort?
  • Products that can minimize those pesky large pores that can prevent you from having a smooth complexion are all the rage right now. This is what you should know about them.
  • Tempted by bold eye makeup looks but a little intimidated? This post might help.
  • Speaking of bold eye makeup looks: how about using metallic flakes (think gold leaf) in your eye looks?
  • Travelling and makeup - what to pack.
  • If you'll be travelling somewhere warm soon, or you've maybe overdone it enjoying the warm spring sunshine, this is for you - Five Tips for Sunburn.
  • Ease off on the contouring, kids. Read what MUA Patti Dubroff has to say about the heavy contouring running rampant on Instagram and YouTube and what you should be doing instead.
  • And on that note, here's how to get a flattering, natural-looking brow that suits you and doesn't look like you've put it on with a Sharpie.
  • MAC Senior Artist Melissa Gibson tells us how to handle the overabundance of limited edition collections without feeling the need to buy them all. She should know, working for MAC, who has limited edition collections out every few weeks!
  • Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo and Real Techniques sits down with their idol, the fantastic MUA Val Garland for a chat.
  • Read about (and see) what happened when a woman went to eight different makeup counters and asked for a natural make-up look

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for April 12, 2015

Good morning, lovelies!

It's Beauty Squared Round-Up time. Settle in and enjoy!


  • The Up the Rollercoaster blog's  concealer library. It's helpful for a number of reasons - - talking about the types of concealers you need for different concealing purposes, and the types of concealers that are especially good for different concealing purposes.
  • We all love drugstore dupes for high end products. Here's a new round!
  • Curly hair is like denim.
  • Are you intrigued by but a little scared by blue eyeshadow? (I am). Here are some new shades and how to wear them that might inspire you out of that fear.
  • Maybe more people would wear sunscreen if it didn't smell like sunscreen? Here are some of the best-smelling sunscreens.
  • Relevant to me (and maybe you), beauty things to pack for travelling.
  • Skincare ingredients you might not be using, but should be.
  • Do you lips need a bit of TLC? Here are some of the best lip products to give them new life.
  • Beauty mysteries, like why does the salon shampoo feel so much better than when you do it yourself? Is your "Hmmmm?" moment on the list?
  • Nic from Pixiwoo has two great basics videos up on their YouTube channel right now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

MAC is Beauty Lipsticks Reviews, Swatches and Photos

Today I have three of the LE lipsticks from the latest MAC is Beauty collection for review. The MAC is Beauty lipsticks are primarily a mix of pastel and neutral shades. I purchased Call the Hairdresser!, Catty and French Twist - all Lustre formulations. All photos in natural light on NC 35/40 skin.

Call the Hairdresser!, Catty and French Twist

Call the Hairdresser! - Is a medium pigmented sheer red coral.

Catty - Is a sheer, pale yellow based pink.

French Twist - Is a sheer, classic warm peach-beige nude.

I know a lot of bloggers dislike sheer lipstick formulations but I personally love them. I have full, very pigmented (red) lips and I often find full coverage lipsticks - particularly pale or bright shades - make my lips stand out like a neon sign. The Lustre formula allows me to wear less natural shades without having them look like a sticker on my face.

Call the Hairdresser!, Catty and French Twist

All three shades have limited wear time (about 1- 2 hours) and provide a softly shiny finish. MAC's Lustre formula is glossy but not moisturizing, so I recommend a good lip balm underneath. Out of the three shades I purchased, Call the Hairdresser is my favourite and has the longest wear time because it was more strongly pigmented. Overall, if you like sheer lipsticks then you will find these shades soft, pretty and versatile.

Grade: B

Monday, April 6, 2015

MAC is Beauty Limited Edition Eye Shadow Review, Swatches and Photos

A while back I mentioned that I wasn't hopping on the MAC LE collection bandwagon as frequently as I usually do, but this week with the new MAC is Beauty Collection I found  myself indulging. I'm not usually one for pastel colours, particularly eye shadows, but I had a few Back to MAC recyclables and thought why not?

The three new LE eye shadows in the collection are minty green Preening,  peachy-pink Bouffant and Easter egg lilac Wow Factor. Photos in natural light, swatches on NC 35/40 skin.


Clockwise from top: Preening, Bouffant and Wow Factor


MAC Wow Factor Eye Shadow (Matte)


MAC Preening Eye Shadow (Satin)

MAC Bouffant Eye Shadow (Veluxe Pearl)

MAC Wow Factor, Preening and Bouffant

Wow Factor - A soft, pale matte pink toned lilac with medium pigmentation and a soft, creamy, blendable matte texture.

Preening - A soft, pale, satin mint green which leans yellow. Pigmentation is on the sheerer side but it is easily buildable through layering. The fine shimmer keeps this shade luminous and not chalky.

Bouffant - A sheeny peachy pink with a pink iridescence. This shadow is a little harder than other Veluxe Pearl formulas but I think it's due to a very firm press of the product in the pan as texture wise it is smooth. 

I'm surprise how much I like these shades - both Wow Factor and Preening have very nice, buildable textures and don't appear chalky on my medium/medium-deep skin tone. Bouffant is also nice as well for bringing light and brightness to the eyes as well as layering nicely on top of the other shades. Because these shades are pale and soft, to get "true to pan" colour you will best wear a pale or white base beneath (such as NYX Milk or MAC Paint Pot in Painterly), otherwise the shades will mix with your skin tone.

For spring I think these are wearable pastels that would play very well with neutrals. I think Wow Factor would look smashing paired with a soft brown, while Preening would work beautifully with a silvery taupe.

Grade: B
  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for April 5, 2015

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Sunday! Happy whatever-else-you-are-or-feel-like-celebrating today!

If you're looking for suggestions, how about celebrating this week's Beauty Squared Round-Up?


  • Is there anything better than being able to make your own skin care from ingredients in your fridge and pantry? This way you know exactly what goes into what you're putting on your face, you can make it yourself, it's completely natural and fresh, it's inexpensive, and you don't need to leave the house!
  • Beauty oils are having a moment lately, but they have been around for thousands of years. Here's everything you should know about using beauty oils on your hair and skin.
  • Spring is here (looks out window, sees snow falling). No really, it is. Close the curtains and stay inside today. Here are some runway-inspired and spring-inspired eye makeup looks to try.
  • Here are some more runway beauty tips (including manicures) from New York Fashion Week for you. They don't have to wait until fall.
  • Is blush a bit of a challenge for you? Trust, you're not the only one who might struggle with how and wear to apply it. Here's a post that shows you how to wear blush four ways - two fairly standards, and two a little more unconventional. Who knows, they might work on you!
  • Fashion Magazine's Beauty Panel shares their tips for handling a bad hair day.
  • Thinking of growing out your bangs? Bookmark this link.
  • Someday you'll be able to reorder your favourite items, including beauty products, through the touch of a button. An Amazon Dash Button, programmed by you for automatic reorders.
  • Artist Donald Robertson has teamed up with Smashbox Cosmetics to design the packaging for a limited release of matte lipsticks and gel eyeliners.
  • If you have been watching CBC's Schitt's Creek (POP in the U.S.), starring Catherine O'Hara, Annie Murphy, Dan Levy and Eugene Levy, you've probably noticed Catherine's amazing style. Her personal make-up artist for the shoot was Lucky Bromhead and 29Secrets.com talked to Lucky about what it's like to be Lucky, what it was like to be on set for Schitt's Creek, and what she thinks should be in everyone's makeup kit.
  • If you'll be in London this summer, you might want to check out the Warpaint: Alexander McQueen and Make-Up, the satellite exhibit for the V&A's McQueen exhibit. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for March 29, 2015

Hello lovelies!

It's Beauty Squared Round-Up time. Happy Sunday!


La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Review, Swatches and Photos

La Roche-Posay (LRP) recently launched a new foundation to their Effaclar line which is designed for oily/combination/acne prone skin types. Effaclar BB Blur is a hybrid product that is a cross between a BB cream, foundation and a blurring/mattifying primer.



According to LRP Effaclar BB Blur contains cutting edge technology including:

1. Perlite - a natural substance primarily composed of silica has clinical absorbent powder, allowing it to "soak up" sweat and oil.

2. Airlicium - a new molecule able to absorb 100x its weight in sebum and triggers sweat evaporation.

3. Elastogels - gel polymers that form a supple and breathable film over the skin while blurring imperfections.

4. Mineral SPF of 24.

BB Blur is a moderate coverage BB/foundation which is intended to cover and conceal blemishes, marks, redness and pores while also blurring fine lines, softening/unifying skin tone and mattifying skin all day long.

BB Blur comes in two "universal" shades of Light and Medium. I found both shades to be yellow toned beiges. Photos and swatches in natural light on NC 35 skin.


La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur in Light (heavy/blended) and Medium (heavy/blended)

I tested the BB Blur in Medium for a week on bare skin without any setting powder to test the mattifying properties. I found this product had medium coverage which could be sheered out if needed. Since I don't typically wear foundation and do not feel comfortable with more coverage, I chose to sheer out the BB Blur with a Real Techniques buffing brush after applying with my fingers.

I found the BB Blur wore well throughout the day on my combination skin. It does have a matte finish, but not as matte as a powder finish (ie: MAC Blot Powder.) It feels fairly weightless on the skin, although as a non-regular foundation wearer, I could still detect it slightly on my skin, but it was not an unpleasant feeling. I did find that it kept my oily t-zone at bay for most of the day but I still felt the need to blot - perhaps more out of habit than necessity.

It looked natural on my skin buffed out, though I don't think the finish would be as natural if I had built up the coverage, mainly because I found the Medium shade was not an exact match for my NC 30-35/C3 skin. This product suffers from the same problem most BB creams do which is the idea of "universal" shades. I think any product offering coverage beyond the "sheer" end of the spectrum will be destined to fail on the majority skin tones. As it is the end of the winter season, my skin is as pale as it's going to get, and I found the Medium shade to be just deep enough for my medium, yellow based skin tone. When I eventually get a little sun this spring/summer I suspect I won't be able to wear BB Blur anymore due to the slight white undertone which could be caused by the high SPF factor.

On the positive side, this product does deliver on it's claims of mattifying, blurring and unifying the skin. Like other silicone based BB creams/primers, this product leaves you with a very smooth "airbrushed" type canvas. I think that this product could function both as a BB and as a primer. Another big plus is that BB Blur has a healthy SPF of 24 and a very little amount of this product goes a long way! My one suggestion to improve this product would be that LRP expands the shade range as I suspect anyone with a skin tone deeper than mine, or someone with a very cool (pink) toned skin would be unable to wear this product as a standalone BB or foundation.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur* is available at retailers such as Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs and retails for approximately $30.00 CA. 

Grade: B/B+

J

*This product was sent to Beauty Squared for consideration.