Thursday, 28 June 2012

It's The Literally! (Haul/Review)

Oh god, the makeup is starting to pile up in my room. I have to clear a path to my door now.
Everyday is a step closer to Hoarders for me...
On that note, here's the second haul/review I promised you!

Before you judge me (because come on, I know you're going to) you should know that I only got two things this time! I have been hearing some really great things about a brand called The Balm from a number of people, most significantly Emilynoel83 of Beauty Broadcast on Youtube. She is my all time favourite beauty youtuber! She's kind, honest, and really articulate, not to mention she takes her reviews very seriously and does a really thorough job. She's so much fun to watch and learn from. She has taught me more about makeup than I can even imagine and after watching her channel for years, she seems like a friend!
(Does that make me weird? Maybe. It's okay).
Her blog is also an amazing place to get tips, ideas and to get to know her better.

She made a video reviewing several products from the line which she got for a steal on a flash sale website called Hautelook. I have heard you can find this line at Marshalls, or TJ Maxx in the US but to the best of my knowledge, there are only two ways to get The Balm cosmetics in Canada. Buying it full price (which actually isn't that bad to begin with)  from their website or waiting and hoping to find it on Hautelook.
I was lucky enough to notice that The Balm was going to be on Hautelook recently and got my items at a very discounted rate :) aww yeah.
So let's look at the new stuff, shall we?

First up, I got the much raved about "Nude 'Tude" eyeshadow palette. This palette retails for $36 on their website but I got it 50% off on Hautelook for $18.

It's a neutral palette with a lot of potential for smokey/darker looks, using the right side of the palette.

There are two versions of this palette on the Balm website. Both versions include the exact same colours. The only difference is that the "Feeling Nice" version that has a cute vintage room as a background for the shadows (the same room that's on the sleeve the palette comes in: pictured above). And the version I have, the "Feeling Naughty" version which has... uhm.. *cough cough* naked ladies on it and the shadows covering up their lady bits. Now since I got mine on Hautelook, I didn't have the choice of which version to get, but I think I still would have picked this one. It kinda rocks.

The first half of the palette is your highlight colours and lid colours. My overall favourite shade out of this palette has to be "Stand-offish" it has the most beautiful multi-coloured shimmer, it's truly unique. I love the colours "Selfish" and "Sulty" as daytime, natural crease colours. 

The second half of the palette is your darker, smokier colours. The "Sexy" colour is very beautiful in the crease for subtle colour at night. I love that this palette contains a mix of both shimmery colours and mattes, especially since one of those mattes is a black which is very useful for darkening a look or using as liner.
I really love that you can tell a lot of thought went into the making of this palette. All the staple matte colours you need are included and all the staple shimmery colours are there too, but there are also some really beautiful, unique standout shades which I have fallen in love with!

The creativity and quality of the packaging is unparalleled by any other makeup palette I have. It's useful, but also really beautiful to just look at as well.

I don't always have the greatest lighting for my pictures but these swatch so beautifully I thought I would try. These shadows are so soft and pigmented, one swipe and the colour translates perfectly. 

Next up: a shimmery highlighter called "Mary-Lou Manizer" - isn't the packaging really cute?
This retails for $24 on their website, but again I got it 50% off for $12!

This product doesn't have any glitter or obvious shimmer particles in it. But even for a darker skinned girl like me, sweeping this on your cheekbones give you the most beautiful, luminescent, natural glow. It's really beautiful.

I just love how they pick a theme and go with it! The picture on the front of the compact is supposed to be a mug shot so there's her "case file" on the back of the box including fingerprints! Really adorable. 
The packaging is really solid, very high quality. Plus it comes with a really big mirror so this would be a great compact to throw in your purse. It could serve as your mirror and you could use the highlighter for a some face boosting touch-ups during the day. For someone with dry skin like mine, that's exactly what I need, but girls with oily skin can definitely use this too.

Just like the eyeshadows, the product is soft and almost buttery feeling. The swatch above is a heavy one so you can see how reflective this highlighter is. My new favourite highlighter, hands down. 

I m loving both my new purchases from The Balm! I use both regularly in my makeup routine, especially the highlighter. That is a new daily use products for me. My experience has been great thus far with The Balm and I look forward to trying more things from the line when I get a chance! :) 

Just a Few Things...
  • I recently picked up one of the new Revlon Colorstay Smoky Shadow Sticks because they look extremely similar to a product that recently came out with the MAC Beth Ditto collection. I have both so I am going to do a review/comparison to see if it's a good drugstore dupe!
  • Despite the fact that this blog is just a hobby, it requires an intense amount of effort and time. More than I realized it would. But it's still so much fun to write! That's how you know you really love something...
  • I am so excited for my family vacation to Cuba in August, it's so far away but I'm already so pumped.
  • The boyfriend's leg is in a cast for 4 weeks! Stress fracture. Poor guy <3 
  • Tomorrow is Friday, aka date night! I get to see Jon all day. :)
  • I have really enjoyed seeing my friends again frequently since summer started! I never see them during the school year and it's so amazing to see them in the summer so often :)
Hope you enjoyed this post!
Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Ombre Orange/Coral Nails!

Hello blog readers (the few of you there are)!
I have a nail post for you today! I have a makeup haul and review coming up shortly with some products from The Balm, but it turns out that post is a little more labour intensive than I thought it would be.
So for now, a nail post it is!

Ombre Nails! Quick note about them: they are not easy. You could go the route where you pick one polish and dilute it with some drops of white polish so it gets paler for each nail. But it turns out I have so much freakin nail polish I had four orange/coral colours that actually created a really smooth gradient. I used the same colour for both my thumb and index finger. This isn't the best pain job I've ever done, but it sure is difficult to paint your nails four different colours. Give me a little credit. 

 From left to right: Wet'n'Wild Heatwave, OPI Special Request
Wet'n'nWild Club Havana, and Essie Tart Deco.
They're in the same order on my nails.

It's a really cute, bright and fun look for summertime! Not to mention it goes with the whole ombre trend that's kind of happening in fashion (I think...). 

Hope you enjoyed this idea for summer nails.
Thanks for reading
-Tash <3

Friday, 15 June 2012

Sleek Makeup: Haul and Review

Hello lovely readers!
I have a makeup haul and review for you today!
I ordered some products from a UK company, Sleek Makeup. They are very popular with makeup junkies both in the UK and elsewhere. The makeup is reasonably priced and I had only heard good things before ordering so I was really excited to finally get it.

I got four products and spent enough to qualify for a little lipgloss. I got two eyeshadow palettes, a contour kit and a blush. The two eyeshadow palettes and the contour kit were all about $10. The blush was $6.50
Shipping was a flat rate of $10, which isn't bad because you can get as many things as you like and it's the same rate to ship. 

They didn't take too long to get to me either and nothing was broken, it was all in very good condition. I have to say the packaging with these products is really beautiful. Black, sleek compacts (hence the name I guess) extremely travel friendly.

So enough about all the details. Let's talk about the makeup!

I'll start with the eyeshadow palettes. This one is called the Oh So Special palette and it cost $10.50.
It ranges from light neutrals, and pinks to darker neutrals, metallic browns and plums and a very useful matte black.

The quality on this palette is great, the shadows are soft , easily blended and beautifully pigmented. If you're looking for a cheaper version of the Naked palette try this one (although this has more pink tones) or another palette from the company called Au Naturel I-Divine. I bought this one because despite being kind of a neutral palette is has some interesting pink and metallic shades that make it unique. 
I've used this almost everyday since getting it and it is remarkably versatile and really great for quick, easy looks when you don't have a lot of time. 

I have neutral palettes coming out of my ears. No, seriously, I have too many. So when I saw this palette I thought it would be great for summer. It's called the Sunset I-Divine palette and it's $10 (not sure why it's 50 cents cheaper than the other one, but whatever).

*Note- all Sleek palettes used to have shadows pressed with the waffle weave pattern you see above. But from what I hear they are phasing that out and making them all smooth like the shadows in the other palette I got. Just in case you were wondering why they looked different. 

This is going to be a repetitive post because I really loved this palette too. Just like the other palette, the shadows were amazingly pigmented and so soft and easy to work with! I wish I had better lighting so I could show you swatches. I can't wait to use this to create some really colourful looks this summer. The one negative I have to say about this palette is that the second and third shadows in both the top and bottom row swatch to be quite similar. These four shadows look different in the palette but swatched, they show up very similarly. Also, it should be noted that every colour in this palette is very shimmery or metallic except the black shade which is matte. This didn't bother me at all, but I figured I should mention it for those who prefer mattes.

Note: Revlon products in the corner put aside for
photographing for a future blog post!
This is definitely my favourite of everything I got from Sleek makeup! I fell in love with this Face Contour Kit in Medium. I have long looked for a reasonably priced, matte bronzer which I could use to contour my face. As it turns out, it was hopeless in Canadian drugstores and I had almost settled on buying a powder foundation that was darker than my skin but then I got this and it is perfect! The compact has a contour shade and a highlighting shade.

Don't you just love my child's flower lamp? Lol I actually recently took
it down and put up a corkboard with pictures.
It's not often that I can find a product dark enough to contour my face but I was actually the medium shade in this kit. Do your research (youtube is probably best) before purchasing this so you can see which shade is best for you. They even make a "dark" shade as well so finally darker skinned beauties can contour for a reasonable price as well! I have used this everyday since I got it and it's honestly one of my favourite makeup items in my whole collection right now (and that's saying something, considering the size of my collection). The highlight shade is beautiful and not glittery at all. It just provides a nice sheen on your skin, giving it a healthy glow. And the contour shade is perfect for contouring and slimming your face. It is a somewhat more warm-toned than most contour shades you'll see, but I actually love that about it. Some people however may not- fair warning.

And finally the blush! This is in the shade Coral and it cost $6.50. The picture on the website makes it look much darker than it is, which again is why research before purchasing is always a good idea. I had already done my research and knew that this colour was much lighter than pictured and that I would probably like it. This blush is one of the most pigmented blushes I own. It's obviously a true coral-orange colour and it looks great especially on my darker skin. I will be using this often this summer. If you purchase- be warned. These are VERY pigmented, I'm not kidding. Be very careful when applying and start out with very little product on the brush. It's way easier to add more blush than to try and take some off. 

I am impressed with Sleek Makeup! I really enjoy everything I got in my order and with the help of some research, I got things I can see myself using for a very long time! I am especially in love with the Contour Kit. It's smooth, blendable and works great with my skin tone. It's nice to finally see an affordable makeup company that caters to all women including women of colour. While I'm aware CoverGirl does the "Queen" collection, endorsed by Queen Latifah made for women of colour, I've never once seen it anywhere in a Canadian drugstore, so that doesn't help me. Canadian and US companies should pay attention because it's extremely frustrating that in a country as diverse as Canada, I have to go overseas for something as small as this. I would definitely order from Sleek Makeup again, especially considering shipping is reasonable and everything arrived promptly and in mint condition. I've heard wonderful things about their pout paints (liquid lipsticks) and maybe I will try them some time in the future!

Hope you all enjoyed this post. I have a similar haul and review of a couple things I recently got from TheBalm coming up!
Thanks for reading.
-Tash <3

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The nail polish that launched a thousand ships...

Holy shit. It's been forever and a day since I visited the blogosphere.
But here I am. Let's do this.
Summer is totally here (I mean not officially, but in my book as soon as it's slightly warm- summer).
So of course you all know I had to break out the summer nail polishes.
Here's one of my favourites for the summer by OPI.

Readers, meet Melon of Troy. Yes, this polish from OPI is actually called "Melon of Troy" - so cute.
It's obviously a melon-coral colour and its got a decent amount of shimmer mixed in. Not glitter, but a subtle shimmer that's gorgeous and makes the polish really reflective. 

The shimmer in this polish makes it somewhat more difficult to apply and it did take me 2-3 coats to get it completely opaque.

But c'mon. The end result is so totally worth it. C'est la vie, non?

Just a Few Things...
  • Despite the fact that my real obsessions lies with makeup, this blog is like 90% nail polish. How did that happen? Oh right, nail polish is 100, 000% easier to photograph. 
  • I do however have not one, but TWO makeup hauls photographed and they will be up shortly. Not to mention a skincare post as well. 
  • I got some new palettes from the UK (mentioned above) which are SO SO beautiful. I don't even want to use them they're so beautiful. God, I'm such a hoarder.
  • Revlon came out with some REALLY cute cream blushes in their summer collection. They look awesome. Can't bring myself to actually use them yet... *sigh
  • Every summer it's insane how much nail polish I collect. I just love summer colours.
  • Mad Men season finale was this past Sunday. So sad! I love that show so much. I think I may do a Joan inspired look soon
  • Stupid boyfriend's taking summer school (by choice) and he never sees me. Thus, you have a blog post!
  • Got an iPhone recently. Instagram: tashasingh10
That'll be all from me this time. As always, thanks for reading,
-Tash <3