Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for September 27, 2015

It's Beauty Squared Round-Up time! We've been delinquent. September has been a very, very busy month.

But there's lots to share with you. And good stuff too!


  • Decoding makeup brushes. Here's a great article about the different types of makeup brushes and how they can be used.
  • InStyle rounds up the best beauty looks on the 2015 Emmy red carpet.
  • Jane Fonda (she's a spectacular 77 years old!) was in Toronto for TIFF this year, to promote her film Brenda In Youth. Beauty Geeks spoke to MUA Eddie Malter about the look Jane wears in the film, and the vastly different one he created for her for the TIFF red carpet.
  • You've got to see the beauty looks for Marc Jacobs' Spring 2016 runway show. Think the iconic looks of Ziggy Stardust and 1940s starlights, but the morning after.
  • In contrast, on the Gucci runway models looked bare-faced. But they weren't. In fact, as is typically the case, a "no-makeup look" requires a surprising number of products.
  • Taking inspiration from the runways of Milan, here are some ways to wear bold colour.
  • In Korea, a DIY (and potentially dangerous) trick to curl their eyelashes, which involves a lighter and a cotton bud. Here's how you do it if you're brave. I'll stick to my eyelash curler, thanks.
  • The Body Shop's new Fresh Nude Foundation comes in 16 shades, and innovatively, you can also purchase lightening and darkening drops to mix into the foundation so you can match it perfectly to your skin, no matter what season it is.
  • Do you want some Marilyn Monroe beauty tricks? Here you go.
  • Basic beauty tips: how to contour your eyes.
  • Dolce & Gabbana's Sophia Loren-inspired lipstick.
  • How to:
  • And finally, Megan Koester took a class called "Wow-Factor Makeup for Instagram" and wrote about it for Jezebel. Yes, there are classes being taught on how to do your makeup so that you can take selfies. Sigh, I guess how you look in real life doesn't matter as much as how you look on someone's smartphone. When is the next flight off the planet happening? 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for September 13, 2015


Happy Sunday! Hope you're having an excellent day.


  • Starting off the Round-Up this week is some shimmer and glow, with Karen of the Makeup and Beauty Blog's favourite five highlighters.
  • Cover FX has a product called Custom Cover Drops which can be used to add pigment to your foundation, moisturizer, BB cream and concealer if you find you need a little more than the products on their own. Here's an XOVain article about them.
  • Have you ever looked at an eyeshadow quad in the store, or bought one and wondered how exactly to use it? This Into the Gloss article looks at creating a smoky eye with an eyeshadow quad and breaks down how to make most eyeshadow quads work for you.
  • The Sunday Girl blog breaks down the different textures and types of concealers.
  • A great DIY brow gel trick.
  • No more denying it, fall is on its way. But don't be sad, now we can start pulling out the fall beauty and style looks! Here are four of fall 2015's biggest makeup trends and how to do them.
  •  Blushes and bronzers that look great on women of colour.
  • A fantastic makeup brush washing trick - making it quicker and easier to do this chore that we all procrastinate on.
  • Some common beauty blunders - too much blush, too much powder, clumpy eyelashes, etc -- and how to fix them!
  • Korean flight attendants share their beauty secrets.
  • How to deal with adult eczema.
  • Check out this very cool version of ombrĂ© hair colour - the bleached halo effect.
  • It's pretty stressful, as well as exciting, when you decide to change your hair dramatically. Three Elle Canada editors talk about their own dramatic hair transformations.
  • Beauty blogger Jordan Bone does beautiful makeup looks online, and has decided to open up about her disability after getting frequent comments and questions (many rude and disgusting) about her hands which she has been unable to use fully since a car accident. You can see her inspiring video here

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for September 6, 2015

Hello, and a happy Saturday to you!

  • It's a trend that's been around for awhile, but it's taken off again recently. Eyebrow slits.
  • There are some beauty rituals you should skip in the days just before your wedding (or any major event when you want to look your best).
  • We're in that transitional period where summer fades into autumn. What nail colour do you wear that's not completely un-summery but not entirely autumn either? Here are five ideas for you.
  • Fake eyelashes can be hella intimidating, but here are some tips if you're keen to wear them!
  • Some great makeup tricks that can make you look younger.
  • Kohl eyeliner, or kajal as it is known in different parts of the world, has been around for centuries. XOVain takes a look at some of the best kajal products.
  • Here's part one of Mascara Wars' Makeup Artist's Guide to Deep Black Skintones. Even if you're not a makeup artist, it's worth a read, especially if you've got dark skin.
  • Do you sleep in your makeup? Even just sometimes? Well, you should read this.
  • And on the flip side of that, here are ten beauty things you can be doing to your skin while you sleep.
  • Did you know that common anti-aging ingredients such as retinol lose their efficacy when they're exposed to air and light? That means that anti-aging moisturizers packaged in jars, requiring you to dip your fingers into them aren't as effective as those that come in tubes or bottles.
  • The 10 (Unbreakable) Laws of Always Looking Polished.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

NYX Shadow Stick Eye Pencils Rose Gold and Almond Review, Photos and Swatches


I love eyeshadow pencils. They're so easy to use, easy to store and so perfect for summer, or anytime for a smudgy, sexy, quick look. They're easy to pop into your handbag for carrying with you and don't require any brushes. 

Sadly, they tend to be a trendy thing for brands and there isn't a lot of selection for shades. NYX carries a fairly good range of shades in both their Jumbo Eye Pencil line and their Infinite Shadow Stick lines. 

This post will look at two of the NYX Infinite Shadow Sticks - Rose Gold and Bronze. I'm not sure what the difference between the Jumbo Eye Pencils and the Infinite Shadow Sticks are though the Jumbo Eye Pencils come in bolder shades (32 shades - green, blue, purple) as well as more neutral shades (nine shades in grey, brown and creams) and the Infinite Shadow Sticks come in much softer, neutral shades (the most dramatic shades are black and a soft pink). The Jumbo Eye Pencils ($4.50) are half the price of the Infinite Shadow Sticks ($9 US) and there are variations in their ingredients, but they do the same thing in the end. 

Here's how NYX describes the Infinite Shadow Sticks:

Infinitely awesome this shadow stick glides on easily and stays put. Waterproof and smudgeproof, you can really make this look last and last without creasing, flaking or fading. Have fun with an assortment of shades that will really make a statement day or night.

I like using eyeshadow pencils to do smudgy, sultry looks, so the two I choose were Rose Gold, which actually reads more orange than rose gold, and Almond, a pearly taupe. I was disappointed that there weren't darker greys and browns in the Infinite Shadow Stick selection. So much for smudgy and sultry. 

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

This is the Rose Gold Shadow Stick. There's definitely some rose and definitely a hint of gold, but overall, I see orange. Which isn't a terrible thing, since orange is an excellent complement to blue eyes but I do have already have an orange eye pencil and I actually don't typically wear orange on my eyes alot. I know it's complementary, but it's ORANGE. It's obvious.



NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold swatched (NW15 skintone)
Here it is on my face in what Raja, of Rupaul's Drag Race fame, calls "garage door eyeshadow". Don't judge, Raja! How else am I going to show my readers what this eyeshadow looks like?


NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

In these photos I'm wearing Rose Gold on my top lids, and Almond along my lower lash line. As you can see, there's a nice, subtle sheen to both of them. 

The texture of Rose Gold is slightly on the dry side, so it does tug at the skin around my eye a little more than I'd like. It is possible to use a brush to apply it instead to cut down on this. But if not, it's blendable using your fingers and it sets, so it does not budge. I always use an eye primer, and Rose Gold stays put for at least 12 hours. When my Urban Decay Primer Potion starts to give up, that's when I might see Rose Gold start to crease, but really, 12 hours and I'm still wearing it? It's time to wash my face at that point.

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

Let's look at Almond. It's a super-soft bronze shade that's very easy to wear. Bronze is in right now, don't you know? 

It's not terrifically dramatic, but if you want an easy-to-wear shade and you've got fair to medium skin, you could do worse than Almond. It's also a good base for a more dramatic look.
NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond
Almond is a lovely mix of gold and medium brown, and like Rose Gold, applies slightly on the dry side so it does tug at the skin more than I'd like it to. I need to work quickly to blend it as well, since it doesn't take long to set. 

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond
I like the shade of Almond more than Rose Gold. I pair Almond with my Tarte SmolderEYES pencils for smudgy smoky eyes, and it's an easy shade to slap on quickly for a simple day look as well. 

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond
It's a pretty, subtle metallic shade that would suit lighter skintones. It works well as a base, and lasts a long time. 
NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond

For the price, the NYX Shadow Sticks are great value. I just wish there were deeper, richer colour options. These two are a bit on the dry side, but they set well and stay set for a long time.

Grade: B
C.







Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste Review, Photos and Swatches





Jill and I have long raved about Illamasqua's nail polishes (case in point: here, here, here and here). They are easily some of the best nail polishes out there in terms of quality, price point and colour/texture selection. 

In this post, I have Baptiste, a rich, metallic purple shade, to show you. I'm at the point in the summer when I'm ready for it to be over. Warm weather and I are frenemies and each year I do my best to be patient and understanding, but every year, warm weather is a monster to me, and I stop trying in mid-July to be nice to it. Since it's now September, I'm pretty grumpy about warm weather and wishing for autumn.

Because of this, the fall shades start making an appearance around this time. The deep lip and nail shades start calling out to me. I miss them, and in my desire for cooler weather, I embrace fall and winter in the small ways I can. Mind over matter, right? Sod off, summer, I'm over your corals and pinks and neons and light, shimmery makeup. Bring on the vampy, the moody, the dark, rich tones of fall and winter.

Hello, Baptiste! I haven't seen you since last winter! I've missed you.

Baptiste is a dramatic royal purple, cool-toned, but with a hint of red to it. It's also very shimmery, and almost metallic depending on the light. Also depending on the light it can look inky and almost black. 

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste
See how pretty it looks? It look so luxurious and rich. It makes me want a giant bed covered in purple velvet that I can wrap myself in naked. 

Anyway... Velvet, that's what Baptiste makes me think of. 

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste

You can see hints of the red shimmer, as well as the silvery-fuchsia shimmer that make this inky purple metallic. This is a dark polish, first and foremost, with the shimmer playing second fiddle to the rich colour. It's a subtly shimmery polish.


Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste

And here it is on my (short) nails. Baptiste is a challenging shade to photograph. It looks inky in the shade but the shimmer pops when in direct light (like a camera flash). 





Application-wise, Baptiste is like the other Illamasqua nail polishes I've tried - smooth consistency, a good brush that allows for control, quick-drying, high shine, and opaque after one coat.

In this photo, I'm wearing two coats plus a top coat. Wear time with Baptiste is also like the other Illamasqua polishes I've tried - with a top coat, four days pass with only minor signs of wear.

Welcome back to my manicure, Baptiste!

Grade: A

C.