— November 12, 2016 —

MAC Vamplify Collection (2016)

MAC released one of their newest collections Vamplify on July 7, 2016 online and July 14, 2016 in-stores. The collection featured 16 lipglosses—7 of which are new shades, while the rest are repromotes from the first Vamplify Collection.

"M·A·C Vamplify is back! Seven new colours join the potent lineup: deep turquoise blue, smoky stone, perfect periwinkle, deep plum, royal blue-purple, dusky rose and intense true red, each loading lips with that same unbeatable shine. Now there’s more vamp than ever."
The packaging is a long, slim tube with a thin, angled doe-foot applicator. The formula is soft, smooth, highly pigmented, lightly hydrating and wears roughly 3 - 5 hours. They all have a creamy consistency that is comfortable throughout wear and never feels sticky or heavy—it's only once the product starts to wear away that there is any noticeable, slight tackiness. They have a strong vanilla scent that can be noticed, but not tasted on initial application.

Here's what I picked up from the collection...

Vamplify Lipgloss $20 USD / $24 CAD (0.16 oz.) [Limited Edition]
  • Absolute Score is described as a smokey stone. [LE]
  • Anything But Demure is described as a mauvey nude. [LE]
  • Fab Tested is described as a dirty rose. [LE]
  • How Chic is This? is described as a violet purple. [LE]
  • She-Rebel is described as a dark blue purple. [LE]
  • Smart Aleck is described as an intense true red. [LE]
  • Spanking Haute is described as a pinky nude. [LE]
  • Sway to the Sound is described as a soft purple. [LE]
  • Tuned In is described as a mid-tone rosey nude. [LE]
  •  What's Going On? is described as a hot intense fuchsia. [LE]

Absolute Score is a medium-dark, muted brown with neutral undertones and a glossy, cream finish. As expected from the formula, this shade applied smoothly, evenly and had great, opaque color payoff. I didn't experience any bleeding or feathering, it had nice performance throughout wear. Absolute Score lasted +5 hours and felt lightly hydrating. (5/5)
* ColourPop Kapow was more gray toned, matte. ColourPop Mess Around was warmer, more opaque. MAC Stone was lighter, warmer, more opaque.

— October 01, 2016 —

Top 5 Black Lipsticks for Halloween

In the spirit of it finally being October and with Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I'd share my favorite black lipsticks! What's your must-have dark lipstick for Fall? Share in the comments!

In the Spirit is a medium-dark black with neutral undertones and a satin-matte finish. The formula is on the creamier side and has a small amount of slip, so it may require laying over a lip pencil for more opaque coverage.

— September 30, 2016 —


Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit icon(4 x 0.26 oz.) retails for $40 USD ($52 CAD) and is said to be "a collection of glow kits with four metallic powder highlighters for intense luminosity."

Hard Candy is described as a mood-changing golden peach w/ a pink pearl reflective finish.
Starburst is described as a rush of cool pink w/ an iridescent finish. 
Crushed Pearl is described as a glimmering pink and silver w/ a crystalized chrome finish. 
Mimosa is described as a radiant golden peach w/ a metallic finish.

"Bring instant luminosity to the complexion with these four metallic powder highlighters. Just layer the highly blendable shades together or wear them separately on the eyes and body for a radiant look."
The packaging is sleek, cardboard palette with a magnetic closure that opens to reveal four rather large (0.26 oz. each, or 1.04 oz. in total) pans of product, which can be removed if desired—the back of the individual pans do list the product name and shade which is handy if you do happen to "depot" them. Also worth noting, the palette itself does not feature a mirror.

The formula is a very soft, finely-milled, silky texture that blends out easily on the skin and can be worn both on the face, as well as the eyes. They have a shimmery sheen that looks luminous on the skin without overly emphasizing the look of pores or imperfections easily.

Hard Candy is a medium peach with pink iridescent shift, warm undertones and a frosted finish. While this shade had a noticeable shift on the skin, I found the pigmentation to be more on the sheer side and it was the least metallic on the skin—I can see this working best as a blush topper, in most cases. It had a silky texture that blended easily and didn't accentuate pores. Hard Candy lasted +8.5 hours before fading. (5/5)
* Urban Decay OC (LE) was warmer, less frosted. Urban Decay Fireball was lighter, more shimmery.

— September 27, 2016 —

LAURA MERCIER Face Illuminators

Laura Mercier Face Illuminating Powders icon(0.35 oz.) individually retail for $44 USD ($50 CAD) and is available in four permanent shades. They are said to be "a long-wearing, buildable and versatile highlighting powder that provides a natural-looking, radiant, allover glow."

Addiction is described for medium to dark skin tones. [P]
Devotion is described for fair to medium skin tones. [P] 
Indiscretion is described for fair to medium skin tones. [P] 

"Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder highlights the skin with pure light-reflecting pigments for a color-true, multidimensional, and luminous finish that complements all skintones. Its non-dusting texture allows for excellent color payoff and applies smoothly and evenly onto skin without dragging. Designed to complement all skintones, the unique formula brings natural-looking radiance to the complexion for an instant glow that lasts up to eight hours."
For the holidays the brand released a Fall In Love Face Illuminator Collection $58 USD ($70 CAD) - 4 x 0.11 oz. which is a palette that features all 4 permanent shades. Breaking down the size and price, the palette is a $55 USD ($62 CAD) value — so while you aren't technically saving money, you are getting 0.09 oz. more product and the opportunity to try every shade.

The packaging is a rather bulky, plastic compact that opens to reveal a mirror. The product itself has a very beautiful design and looks incredibly smooth in the pan—with a more creative mind, it looks like a gathered up silk sheet. While the chunkier compact does make it a little tricky to store, it does ensure that the product won't break easily and it does feel quite luxurious.

These highlighters are also versatile in the sense that they can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for a more intense finish, and they can be paired over blushes to add extra sheen and dimension.

Addiction is a medium, yellow gold with warm undertones and a luminous, frosted finish. The texture was soft, smooth and despite having a slightly dry feel, it blended out on the skin easily. It had nice color payoff that was noticeable on fair skin, so for lighter skin tones a lighter application or a fluffier brush is ideal. Addiction lasted +8.5 hours before fading and didn't emphasize pores. (5/5)
* Anastasia So Hollywood was cooler, more frosted.

— September 19, 2016 —

Monthly Favorites | Summer 2016

As I always seem to say, it's not often that I do a Monthly Favorites feature on my YouTube or here on my blog, because I find myself either using the same products repeatedly or I typically only switch up products depending on the look I'm aiming to achieve. However, a lot of you lovely folks have requested I continue with them, so ta-da—here we are with some of my favorite products from July and August!