Review and Swatch: Zoya Jubilee Collection - Holiday 2018*

Tis the Season to be Jolly, Fa-la-la-la-laaaaaa-la-la-la-la!!! Zoya is getting you ready for this Holiday season with their Jubilee collection, which contains a mix of 12 polishes in a range of creams, luxe metals and a special effect topper (black leopard print - ooo!). There's something for everyone in this collection, from nudes to rich and brilliant jewel tones. If you're interested in seeing them all swatched, then keep on reading below.

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Holiday Makeup Look with YSL*

I had recently received some goodies from YSL and you know I'm always down to create a one-brand tutorial! With Halloween coming this week, that means that the Holidays are right around the corner and what better way than to bring around some elegance to your Holiday look with YSL. I have created three looks with their YSL Couture Palette Collector Yconic Purple and two of their Tatouage Couture Metallics Liquid Lips (that I LOVE and have done a previous post about before). If you're interested in seeing some swatches and the look I created, then keep on reading below.

Review & Swatch: SMASHBOX Holidaze - Always On Liquid Lip Mini Set

Oh I can't believe it, Halloween hasn't even arrived yet and we're already looking at HOLIDAY collections! If you are a follower of my blog, you will know that Holiday Sets are my favorites! Usually you get to try out a variety of smaller items from different brands at a greater value. I know myself that I never finish an entire regular sized anything let's be honest when it comes to make up, so having these smaller sized products are excellent for me.

Here, we have the SMASHBOX Holidaze Always On Liquid Lip Mini Set. The entire set of six liquid lipsticks retail for $36 and it contains three matte metallic shades and three matte shades. This year, they collaborated with L.A. Artist Jen Stark to bring to you these fun designs on their packaging. You can see a whole series of them right now - and it just brings a great visual and fun component to your vanity or makeu-up bag and collection. A full size liquid lipstick on its own retails for $26 so as you can see, for just $10 more you get to try five other shades and all in smaller volumes. Again, this is great for me because I get exposure to six different shades here (three being metallic and I am really intimidated with metallics to ever just purchase a full sized product on its own). 

I have actually written about their liquid lipstick formulations before and they are excellent. I like their wand especially as it has a very firm and pointed precise tip to allow for precise lines and for you to shape the lip lines before applying the product to the entire lip. They are light weight, non-drying and non-flaking. It wears off evenly which is key - nothing is worse than having a product that only wears out on the center of the lip, you end up looking silly. It also doesn't settle in fine lines and has a very light almost subtle sweet scent to it that you probably won't really notice as it doesn't bother me at all and I am quite sensitive to scents. As an FYI, their products are also paraben and phthalate free!

Below I have all six shades from the collection/kit swatched for you - the top row are all the mattes and the bottom row are all the metallics. They all perform great with one swipe except for Miss Conduct that was a bit sheer and therefor patched a bit and requires a solid drying between the first layer application before applying the second one to deliver the same result as Stepping Out and Babe Alert.

Which shade is your favorite? For me it would have to be Babe Alert, a neutral pink shade for effortless everyday wear and Maneater, a beautiful metallic red for the upcoming Holiday Season!

Until next time, XO - M.

Review: What's New From Jouviance? - Fall 2018*

Jouviance is a brand that I have been using on and off for the past two years - my most recent experience with them is with their Coconut Melting Balm which not only helped myself but with assisting in reducing the inflammation of my baby's diaper rash. As such, I am always interested in trying what other hidden treasures lie within the new launches from Jouviance. If you are in learning what was recently launched - then keep on reading below.

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Shu Uemura - La Maison du Chocolat Collection (Holiday 2018)*

What I respect most from a brand is that they take their time to come out with quality launches and collections, especially with collaborations. Shu Uemura is always one of those brands that just does collaborations and limited edition beauty collections in the right way. They never rush things, they put thought and care behind what they're doing and for this Holiday season, they have partnered up with French chocolatier La Maison du Chocolat to bring to you some beautiful skincare and makeup items. I was graciously sent a few items to review, so if you're interested in hearing my thoughts, seeing swatches and seeing the looks I created then keep on reading below

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this PR package was? I just had to photograph it and remember it! 

Review & Swatch: Sephora Collection - Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick*

I'm sure that some of you may know that Sephora is not just a place where you can buy beauty products from many different brands - they actually also have their own in-house beauty brand called Sephora Collection. They carry a wide variety of items from skincare to makeup and other beauty related items like tools, brushes and adorable make-up bags. I have been a user of Sephora Collection items for MANY years and they are always solid, reputable and reliable (and at a very reasonable price point compared to its similar competitors that they carry).

Review: Lise Watier Skincare*

My exposure to Lise Watier was always with their cosmetics, so when I was sent a few of their skincare items to try out, I was quite intrigued to see how it would work out. The four items I was sent were developed and produced in collaboration with a Korean-based laboratory and include two cleansers, one oil and one cream based, a scrub and a toner. To read more about the products and my thoughts, then keep on reading below.

Review & Swatch: SUVA - Moisture Matte Liquid Lipstick*

SUVA Beauty is a brand that I was introduced to via social media, and I was really proud to learn that they are also Canadian! I was graciously sent their Block Party Eyeshadow Palette as well as their entire new collection of the Moisture Matte Liquid Lipsticks. This review is focused just on the liquid lipsticks as I have swatched them both on my arm and on the lips so that you can see how they perform and look. 

There is a total of six liquid lipsticks so far, I really hope that they will make more shades!  The swatches below are with one swipe - both on the lips and on the arms. They retail for $22 CAD each and wear like a dream. I'm very picky in terms of my liquid lipsticks, as most of them either dry down too dry and shows all fine lines and becomes uncomfortable, or they have a weird metallic scent to them when dried. This formulation however is GOLD. I love it so much! It feels like a creamy whipped formula when you first apply it, and so it glides like butter on the lips. It is actually hydrating on the lips, it never feels dry and tight. It is opaque with one swipe, as mentioned above and their colors pack a punch. The bonus, it smells like cotton candy - it's subtle, lasts for about 15-20 minutes after application and is not overwhelming at all.

I personally feel like they did each shade perfectly, the nude tone Awakening doesn't make me look washed out and ghostly (like most nudes do), Dreamer is a beautiful baby pink perfect for the everyday natural look, Strange is a bold red that makes a statement, The Unconscious is a true purple, Imagination is what I always gravitate to in terms of lipsticks - a mauvey berry tone and Abstract Thoughts is a hot pink.

Honestly, it is so hard for me to pick a favorite - but I think Imagination and Awakening will have to be it. I finally found a nude that I can pull off and that makes me so happy! It is also important to note that their products are formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates and Gluten. They are Cruelty Free and Vegan Friendly. 

Which shade is your favorite?

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own 

Review: Asian Holistic Beauty & Skincare with Sulwhasoo*

Sulwhasoo is an indulgence, a luxury product that I have seen before and sample tested, but never had the opportunity to purchase and use. I had to fully put the product to the test by spending the last few months trying out the items that were generously sent to me for review/consideration. If you're interested in reading my thoughts and learning more about the brand - then keep on reading below!

For those who know me personally will know that I am a firm believer of holistic health care, I had many incidences of going to my holistic doctor and seen proof of its wonders that has actually translated to show up in my bloodwork. Anyways, that's for another story. When I was approached with the opportunity to review products from Sulwhasoo and after learning that their brand and idealogy stems from the inside, offering holistic beauty solutions that are combined with advanced modern medicine to bring balance to the skin, I had to say YES immediately!

The products that I was sent to try include the:

Review: My Favorite Fall Fragrances of 2018

Perfumes are such a personal touch and when worn can evoke a specific memory or feeling, which is why I typically like to switch things up as seasons change. Perfumes work differently on each person's skin when worn and mixed with your natural body chemistry and oils. In addition, I find that as the seasons change, especially in Canada when we have extreme cold and hot months, fragrances can just smell differently on a cold winters day, a crisp fall day or a hot summer's day. These are the reasons as to why I rotate my staples. To find out what I like to use during fall, then keep reading below - I think that I will actually keep this series going with each season as I do tend to get asked what scents I like. 

Review, Swatch & Tutorial: Urban Decay - Naked Cherry Collection*

Urban Decay recently launched their Cherry palette (after retiring their original Naked Palette that was my holy grail for so many years when I first decided to seriously dive into beauty blogging), retailing for $66). It features 12 never-before-picked neutrals in a warm tone color spectrum. There are 7 mattes and 5 shimmer/metallics in total and I have them all swatched below for you!

The mattes buff and blend like a dream on the lid (there is kick-off when you dip your brush in the pan but there is no fallout on the lid - so that doesn't affect me at all). The shimmers/metallics are beautiful when foiled with a setting spray. I personally found the darker hues more vibrant in tone - the ones all swatched in the right photo below. The lighter shades did well as a highlight or shadow for a halo effect. I used the shadows exactly as divided below in my two different eyelooks that I created and paired with the three lipsticks that I swatched as well. This palette can help you easily create a neutral eye look and transition into something darker and more dramatic - the full size mirror makes this ideal for travelling as well. 

Urban Decay also created two new shades of 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils that pair nicely with the shadow palette. These eyeliners are the only high-end pencil liners that I go to all the time - once applied, they stay on all day and do not budge! The two shades are Love Drug - a deep wine metallic and Black Market - a black satin shade. These can also be used as a shadow base - just build it on the lid and buff out quickly before it dries, you have about 30 seconds! These retail for $25 each.

Lastly, you also have three limited-edition lipsticks in two metallized and one cream formula. Juicy is a light peach-pijnk with copper micro-shimmer, Devilish is a berry pink with tonal micro-shimmer and Cherry is a deep berry wine. These retail for $22 each.

Below you will find the two looks I have created - a neutral one with the lighter palettes, more of a daytime look, on the top row and a darker more dramatic one done with the darker mattes in the palette on the bottom row. All three lipsticks are also swatched with both looks to show that they do indeed go with any eyelook you create with this palette and they really compliment each other.

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own.

Review & Swatch: PIXI - MatteLast Liquid Lip*

PIXI has recently added some matte liquid lipsticks to their collection, eleven in total to be exact and I have them all swatched for you below! These are said to be very long wearing and comfortable as it is infused with rosehip oil. Having the oil in the formula means that it will leave your lips hydrated without feeling like they are so dry and stretching it out. The applicator itself is their unique PixiPetal applicator that makes outlining the lips with ease and can trace the cupid bow area with precision. The formulation is also paraben free and not tested on animals. 

To apply, they recommend using the tip of the applicator to outline the lip first, then using the flat part to apply a thin layer to the lips and let dry.  What I really appreciated about this product was in fact that it is hydrating and did not settle in all my fine lines on my lips when dried. I have experienced so many matte liquid formulas where they are double the price point or more, and just completely dry down to the point of making my lips look dry and flakey. This does not do that. There is also longevity in this formulation, it stays all day unless I eat something super greasy, and even then it only loses a bit of color on the inner rim of the lip. 

These lipsticks retail for $20 cad and can be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. My favorite shades are: Prettiest Pink, Real Red, Pastel Petal and Really Rose. I would really recommend that you purchase one of these if you are on the hunt for a good quality, affordable liquid lip!

Which one is your favorite shade? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, XO - M

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own

Review: My Sephora Brush Collection*

If you are ever on the hunt for some good quality and reasonably priced makeup brushes, look no further than the place that you already get most of your makeup - Sephora! Sephora themselves, have always carried make-up brushes, and I feel like they are not talked about enough! I had started using the Sephora Collection Makeup Brushes just before I started to pursue my passion in make-up by starting my blog - that was about 4-5 years ago. Their brushes then had the silver handle as you can see in the photo above, and then it evolved into the all black packaging on the left and the finally to the perfect combination of black and silver now. 

I had used the original foundation and concealer brushes almost everyday for the first 2-3 years and on occasion now, and you can see that through all the cleaning and use it has still remained in excellent shape. These brushes are honestly such a good investment if you are thinking of purchasing some make-up brushes and you do not know where to start. They sell them individually, but also in bundles and in all these pretty patterns and packaging especially in the holiday season, so this would make for a great gift as well!

Sephora also does a wonderful job packaging the brushes when you purchase them. They come in plastic protectors that you can actually re-use when you take them to travel with you, so do not throw them away! I really appreciate this aspect of the packaging as most brands would just come in a cardboard box and you toss that when you get home. Having a re-usable protector case just makes everything better. It isn't extra bulky either so it is practical. 

I tend to be a visual person so when I purchase my brushes, I do like to see how they fit on the face as a size ratio perspective, so I hope that the images above will help you. From left to right we have the Sephora Collection: 1) Pro Contour Brush no.79 ($43cad) 2) Pro Highlight Brush no.98 ($35cad) 3) Pro Concealer Brush no.71 ($28cad)  and 4) Pro Airbrush Crease no.31 ($27cad). 

The contour brush is soft but firm enough to pick up the contour powder to buff evenly onto the skin. The highlighter brush actually picks up enough highlight to apply it on my cheekbones - I have had such a difficult time finding a good highlight brush and this one has been so great! The concealer brush is flatly tapered on one side making concealer application and diffusion a breeze. It can pack on the cream or liquid if needed and just buff it out to look airbrushed. Lastly, the crease brush is tapered on the tip so I can really get into the crease/fold of my eye to deliver and distribute color. When I add a bit more pressure, it just blends the colors out to my brow bone leaving behind no harsh lines.

Above you will see my collection of individual brushes from Sephora, labelled for your convenience. I do own a few bundle sets as well, if you're interested in seeing them I can upload a photo or do a separate post!

Honestly, are these worth it? Yes, 100% yes. I am a brush snob - seroiusly, I love makeup brushes and I own too much of it. I have high end ones that I bought made from handmade Japanese artisans when I was in Tokyo and I also have drugstore brands. In my honest opinion, a good brush is not defined by the brand name - high end ones aren't always better, you can also find great ones at reasonable prices - which is what we have here. I would say buy the Pro line from Sephora, you won't regret it!

Until next time, XO - M.

*makeup brushes from then newest pro line (black and silver packaging) were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own

Review & Swatch: Avon - True Color Lipsticks (Autumn Shades)*

AVON's True Color Lipsticks are some of the best lipsticks I have tried. They are pigmented, hydrating (no matter the formulation) and are at a very good price point of $10 each. If you are not already aware, you can now purchase AVON products directly through their website without going through a representative, which makes things alot more convenient!

I was recently sent their top fall shades, three in their satin/matte formulation, and the other three in their shimmer/shine formulation. Below I have them swatched both on the arm and on my lips so that you can see how they show. It is also very important to note that the swatches on my arm are with one swipe only which is fantastic. Their satin/matte formula is so buttery and is great because I find most mattes very drying - this is not the case at all. Both formulas stay well on the lips and do not bleed out of the lip lines which is important to note, you do not want a lipstick that will slip and slide and require you to constantly to check in the mirror. Of course the matte stayed on my lips longer than the shimmer. 

The top three shades belong to their satin finish which is more like a hydrating matte, and the bottom three shades are their shimmer collection. Please note that though it says shimmer, they aren't actually shimmery, it's more of a gloss shine finish.

Acrylic holders are all so popular these days and instead of paying an arm and a leg on certain websites to purchase one, the AVON Lipstick Caddy is a cute and compact one that holds 12 of your favorite shades right on your vanity. 

Which of the above is your favorite shade? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time, XO - M.

*products were sent to me for consideration, all opinions are my own