Friday, February 05, 2016

Five Faves | #1

Written by:


I'm starting a new series: Five Faves Friday (or something like that). It's a simple concept... I'm going to pick five items I'm loving (beauty, skincare, music, electronics, concepts, books, anything) and share them with you in a Friday post. A quick and fun way to share the items I'm discovering (or re-discovering).

Without further ado, the first instalment of Five Faves Friday (I guess that's what I'm going with... I can't thing of anything cooler at the moment)...

1. Sephora Makeup Bag

I'm a sucker for makeup bags, especially ones that have cute slogans and rose gold details. This Breakups to Makeup Holiday Bag, which I picked up on sale for a steal, is my new favourite keep-all for the random bits I house in my purse. Aside from the adorable illustrations, surprisingly sturdy faux leather, and appropriate motto, there's nothing really special about it, but in my bag it lies, holding more than a slew of my favourite things. How apropos, right?

Price: $36 CDN (I got it on sale for $19 and and additional 20% off), Sephora—no longer available

2. Mood Exposure

I've had this blush since it was first released and I've have been obsessed with it ever since. This particular beauty (pictured below) is actually a brand new one. The original blush (R.I.P.) met an unfortunate, yet likely fate. You see, I'm very clumsy... It was actually a pleasant surprise that it took me over two years to drop this compact and shatter the powder. Of course, I immediately went out and picked up a new one because I could not live without this plummy taupe blush. Don't let my unflattering description fool you, it actually looks beautiful on the cheeks. These Hourglass blushes have 50% blush pigment and 50% ambient lighting powder, so every blush is swirled differently. Despite the fact that my old compact had more prominent blush veins, I haven't noticed a difference in application.

Price: $45 CDN, Sephora

3. Bright Future Color Corrector

Ever since I discovered the Giorgio Armani Master Corrector #2, I haven't been able to live without an orange-y toned product to minimize the dark circles under my eyes. Naturally when Sephora came out with their own version, I had to try it (especially since I have been loving their Future Gel Serum Concealer). I gotta say, this stuff is good. I use #5 Melon & it's very similar to my beloved GA Corrector. Remember, this is not a concealer. It won't cover up the dark circles entirely, but it certainly does a good job of offsetting the bluish-purple rings under my eyes. It's easy to apply, easy to blend, and quick to set. I find less is more with this product... if you apply too much, it will bunch and cake.

Cons? Well, I do find the applicator a bit cumbersome to use. All the product bunches up at the tip of the applicator and I always find myself having to dot the product on rather than sweep it on. That's it, really.

Price: $17 CDN, Sephora

4. Rhubarb

I love Bite Beauty's High Pigment Pencils. They're long-wearing yet comfortable on the lips—I can't say that about many products. Rhubarb, a beautiful berry rose shade, has been my go-to everyday lip recently. It has more of a flat satin finish (not quite matte) and it's really easy to wear. I also love when lip pencils come in twist-up packaging—so convenient.

Price: $25 CDN, Sephora

5. The Wet Brush

Perfect for wet, knotted hair, the Wet Brush has a permanent home on my bathroom vanity and in my gym bag (yes, I am now the proud owner of two duplicate brushes). I love it because it effortlessly untangles unruly post-swim hair. I also have a Tangle Teezer in my arsenal, but even though it has an easy ergonomic design that fits perfectly in the palm, there's something satisfying about a hair brush with a good ol' handle. These brushes come in lots of fun colours and finishes (I was tempted by the gold chrome one), but in the end, the classic matte black won my heart.

Price: $12 CDN, Amazon

That's the round-up of products that have been on my mind, in my bag, on my lips, and through my hair. Let me know what products you've been loving this week!

Happy Fri-Yay & have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Face Oils

Written by:


Over the past couple of years, I have become obsessed with oils. I've always been wary about them—having combination skin will do that—but I've slowly integrated them into my skincare routine and I have no regrets.

If you have dry skin, oils are a quick and easy way to get instant hydration (especially during the winter months). If you’re like me and you have combination skin (i.e. dry cheeks/chin/temple but oil t-zone), just be more specific in ... the extra oil can really make my skin act up.

Oils are a great way to boost your skins moisture (and glow), however, they do lack certain anti-aging or skin-repairing properties. They definitely won’t replace a well-formulated serum or moisturizer for targeted concerns, but that said, here are a few oils I've incorporated into my skincare routine:

  1. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate - This overnight oil leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed. You'll only need couple drops of this stuff, so this bottle will last forever.
    Price: $53, Hudson's Bay and Kiehl's stores

  2. Olay Regenerist Luminous Facial Oil Daily Treatment* - This is the only oil on my list that is recommended for day and night use, but I just stick to the latter. Another good oil to boost hydration. I love the airy formulation that sinks easily and quickly into the skin.
    Price: $30, The Body Shop (wait for a promo, they always have them...)

  3. The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil - This oil is probably my favourite. It is chock-full of plant oils and vitamin E. It feels soothing on the skin and clears up any dry patches instantly.
    Price: $39.99, drugstores and

  4. Caudalie Polyphenol Overnight Detox Oil - I don't know about the "detox" properties of this oil (it really doesn't clear up the skin like a good ol' AHA product will), but the concentrated formulation of antioxidants helps brighten and hydrate the complexion.
    Price: $52 CDN, Sephora

  5. Sunday Riley  Luna Sleeping Night Oil - While I do like this, I don't think that it's a miracle-worker and I definitely don't think it is worth the price tag. It has a complex combination of chia, avocado, grape seed, blackberry and trans-retinol esther (I still prefer traditional retinol). I do like how it feels on the skin and I did notice a subtle improvement in my skin after the first few weeks of use. I will enjoy it while I have it, but it is not likely something I would repurchase in the foreseeable future. I am pretty excited about the brand, Sunday Riley, though. I'm looking forward to trying other products once I've finished this luxe bottle up (specifically the Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil).
    Price: $131 CDN, Sephora

    It's important to note that most of the oils I mentioned have a fragrance. I have not had any issues / irritation with any of them, but keep that in mind in case you have sensitive skin.

    Have you incorporated oils into your skincare routine? Let me know what your favourite is.

    (*) This post contains products sent to Stylish & Literate for editorial consideration. Read disclosure here.

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    The Buffs | Maybelline

    Written by:

    FILED UNDER | , , , ,

    In my humble opinion... Nudes will never go out of style. A nude lip is like the Little Black Dress or that classic red manicure. It's timeless and will go with any occasion.

    Enter one of the Color Sensational lines form Maybelline: The Buffs

    There are eight great shades for a spectrum of different skin tones. That's kind of the premise. A perfect nude to best compliment your skin colouring but then you can also experiment by going up or down a shade. The price varies depending on where you buy or if there's a good deal happening, but you can expect to pay around $9/lipstick (give or take a few dollars).

    Now I will preface by saying these nudes do hinge on the balance of brown. If that's not your thing, you probably won't enjoy these very much. 

    Here is a list of the shade range to accompany the swatches (from left to right):
    • Bare All (910) — a very pale, ivory beige
    • Blushing Beige (915) — a beige pink
    • Nude Lust (920) — a pinky beige (very similar to Blushing Beige but slightly more beige)
    • Maple Kiss (925) — a pinky caramel
    • Truffle Tease (930) — a light beige/brown
    • Stormy Sahara (945) — a terracotta beige 
    • Untainted Spice (950) — a plumy brown
    • Espresso Exposed (955) — a deep berry

    Each shade is beautiful in their own right, but of course there are a few that stand out to me. Maple Kiss, Stormy Sahara and Untainted Spice would definitely be my favourites. I love a nude lip, but there are some shades I avoid (like Bare All, Blushing Beige, and Nude Lust) because they're simply unflattering on my skintone. Warm nudes with a hint of honey are what really draw me in. Espresso Exposed is another favourite. It's not exactly a "nude" colour by my definition, but it's still a gorgeous colour and you know I cannot resist a berry-toned lipstick.

    Top left, clockwise: Stormy Sahara, Maple Kiss, Espresso Exposed, and Untainted Spice

    The formulation of these lipsticks are notable. Their application is smooth, their lasting power is slightly above average, and they do not dry out my lips. There's not much more I can ask for in a lipstick.

    The Buffs are a permanent part of the Maybelline family, so if you haven't checked them out yet, I would recommend it.

    If you have one, let me know what favourite nude lipstick is!

    (*) This post contains products sent to Stylish & Literate for editorial consideration. Read disclosure here.

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    Noteworthy Empties

    Written by:


    There's something therapeutic about finishing products up, don't you think? It's a mixture of accomplishment and excitement. Now you don't have to feel guilty about that next beauty trip.

    There's also something fun about peering into the products that people have used up. Here are a few beauty goodies I've used up and would repurchase in a heartbeat:

    Bioderma Sensibio Makeup Removing Clothes

    Sometimes, I can be so lazy with removing makeup at night, especially after getting home from one of those long work days. That's when makeup removing wipes really shine. Being able to quickly wipe the day’s grime off my face is a little luxury. I love the Bioderma cloths because they’re infused with my favourite micellar solution and the cloths are soft, gentle and durable.

    Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel

    I love using these wipes as a weekly or biweekly treatment. To refresh my skin when my pores are feeling clogged or congested, these wipes do the trick. I do prefer the “extra strength” version, though.

    Embryollise Lait Crème Concentré

    I have combination skin. It’s oily in some areas and normal in others. On top of that, I also get dehydrated skin sometimes. That’s why I love using this moisturizer, it is great for rehydrating my skin and it doesn’t accentuate the oiliness in my skin.

    Paula’s Choice BHA 9

    I have blemish-prone skin and I am no stranger to acne breakouts during that time. The BHA 9 is my favourite spot treatment for blemishes. I notice a difference the very next day. I just wish there was a Paula’s Choice counter in Canada... paying in USD is a bummer right now.

    Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

    Cleansing balms are my new favourite medium. It’s the power of an oil, but in a convenient emollient balm texture. It didn't break me out, it removes face & eye makeup well, it travels well (much easier than an oil), it's great to use for a facial massage and it works well with all skin types.

    Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

    Why does this have to be so expensive?! It’s a great texturizing spray, though. I love using this on clean, dry hair for that extra oomph, or even on second day hair for a revitalized style. It’s not a dry shampoo, but it smells great & doesn’t wear my hair down.

    Live Clean Age Resist Miracle Nutrition Oil

    A pre-shampoo treatment… where has this been in my hair care routine? It’s a dual phase oil that you massage into your hair before you shampoo and it works great! It makes my hair feel smooth and moisturized, and controls the frizz.

    Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

    I bought this when the ambient powders first launched and it has taken me until now to use the powder all up. I didn’t think I was being stingy with this—I did use it every day—but it lasted for a really long time. Well worth the price tag. I also love the soft focus look it gave my skin. I have a few products from the ambient lighting range and I adore all of them. The powders are soft and buttery, they’re difficult to resist.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    Favourite Lipsticks | Bold Edition

    Written by:


    I have always been a lover of bright and bold lipsticks. In this video, I share ten of my favourites.

    It has been a while since I have created a fun video like this... Hope you enjoy (and maybe find some new lippies to check out)!

    Giorgio Armani - #301 Sheer
    Dior Addict Fluid Stick - #689 Vertigo
    Lancome Rouge In Love - 381B Violette Coquette
    YSL GLossy Stain - #15 Rose Vinyl
    Hourglass Femme Velvet Creme - Nocturnal
    Covergirl - Eternal*
    Marc Jacobs - Boy Gorgeous
    MAC x Giambattista Valli - Charlotte (limited edition)
    Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet - Grand Cru
    NARS - Red Lizard

    MAKEUP //
    Dior HydraLife - BB Cream
    Chanel - Bronze Universal
    NARS blush - Lustre
    Becca SSP - Champagne Pop
    Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Dim Light

    Monday, July 06, 2015

    Hutch | Olivia Palermo x Ciaté

    Written by:

    FILED UNDER | , , , , ,

    What's better than a classic red manicure? A classic red mani using the Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London polish in Hutch, of course.

    Olivia Palermo has teamed up with Ciaté to create a collection of polishes (limited edition, I think). There are currently three in the line-up: Nantucket (a fun coral), Sundays (a pale pink), and Hutch (a classic red).

    After hearing about this release, I flocked to the nearest Sephora to scope these polishes out. While the other two colours are nice (Sundays may be my next purchase, but I may skip Nantucket, though), Hutch was the one I knew I had to have.

    Hutch is described as Olivia Palermo's "go to red" and I'm not ashamed to admit that it has become mine now, too. Priced at a cool  $29 CDN, it's definitely not cheap. Fortunately, it doesn't feel/apply that way. The brush is the perfect width for an easy application, the formulation is smooth, and it is opaque in one coat.

    Shown is me quickly slapping on one haphazard coat in a fury of excitement—but it still turned out great! It's also incredibly glossy on it's own, but the added topcoat doesn't hurt. Lasting power is average on me—about 4-5 days without chipping, but the great colour & ease of application is worth it.

    Will you be picking up any of the Olivia Palermo x Ciaté polishes? BTW—these can be found exclusively at Sephora (they're in stores now & they're also available to be shipped on