Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Loving Lately - February 2015

I couldn't be more thrilled that February is winding down, purely because this winter has been dangerously close to unbearable, and the end of February means spring isn't too far away. I have heard that we're allegedly in for an extended winter in Ontario, but I will be glazing over that because I cannot mentally handle the idea that this weather may very well drag into April.

I'm going to be taking off for a week after some academic deadlines pass, so I'll probably do a post about which products I'll be taking along with me (spoiler alert: probably a lot of sunscreens). Until then, here's what I've been into over the last 4 weeks!

I had been staring at this liner on for ages and then was lucky to receive it at a Tarte spring/summer preview this week. A Tarte national makeup artist was on hand to do makeup touch-ups. I've developed an apprehension about the phrase "makeup touch-ups", but I removed my glasses and had this liner applied and the results were perfect. The idea here is that the liner is a consistency occupying a space between a gel and a fluid and after messing with acrylic and oil paint in my Parsons days, I have to agree that dubbing it a "paint" is certainly accurate. The tube format eliminates any opportunity for the gel liner to dry up before you have a chance to actually use it (novel concept alert!). The formula is waterproof, and the colour is matte black and I quietly suggested that Tarte produce a navy version ASAP, inevitably to replace my now-dried out pot of Tom Ford Noir Absolue. The bent liner brush that accompanies this clay liner is easy to use (reminds me of a bent liner brush Benefit did ages ago, which is apparently no longer - Quo also did one similar once upon a time) and allows you to create a flick without much effort. The bristles are long enough to lay the brush on its side in order to sort of "stamp" down the shape before filling it in with more liner. The liner-brush duo ring in at $29 CAD, which is downright reasonable, especially if you will actually get the full product life span of this liner because of its ideal packaging. A squeeze tube eyeliner. What will they think of next!?!

I've had this quad for about a year, and while I do love it, I stepped away from eyeshadow for a while. It took seeing the beauty look from Tom Ford's runway show in LA (shown below!) last week to jog my memory and recall how awesome this quad is.

Cocoa Mirage in action. Credit: Sonny Vandevelde 
Completed beauty look on Gigi Hadid. Credit: Sonny Vandevelde
I believe I read somewhere that Tom Ford lipstick in "Deep Mink" was also blended onto cheeks and the outer edge of the eyes for that warm marsala haze. Mary Greenwell was the makeup artist who keyed the show, so I have no choice but to bow down because she is a legend. Since this show happened, this quad has been in high rotation and it's super wearable with three mattes and one shimmer shade. It's steep as hell ($79 US/$86 CAD - I gagged when I looked the Canadian pricing up), and while I'm sure the shades are dupable, I already invested in it so I'm using it a-plenty these days!

Marc Jacobs Beauty has been reformulating their lipsticks lately, with a new range of neutrals known as the New Nudes (noticed Moody Margot was carried over to this range from the original lipstick range, which is possibly the case for other repromoted shades) and new Le Marc Lip Creme lipsticks, which I urge everyone to check out on The Beauty Look Book, as Sabrina did a gorgeous comprehensive post full of swatches on the entire Le Marc Lip Creme range. This shade, "110 Role Play", is described as a dusty rose. It is basically the colour of my actual lips, which is probably why I've been wearing it so much. It has invariably been the first lip colour I put on every morning since I got it, so I consider it a great every day lip colour for anyone with pigmented lips. The formula contains monoi butter, vitamin E and myrrh extract. It's almost disorienting to think of myrrh related to anything that isn't Christmas, but there you have it.

ITG tipped me off about this brand, and the name totally drew me in. Elephants are my favourite animal, so I was sorta tickled by the brand name. Then I read up on the folklore tale behind the brand name: marula oil is at the basis of the product range, and elephants were believed to eat marula fruit, which would then ferment in their stomachs and make them drunk. Cute, weird, and right up my alley. I have both the JuJu and Pekee cleansing bars on a soap dish in my bathroom right now. I've been using them for a few weeks and can say they're both great. I do not rely on them to remove makeup alone (that's usually a gig I enlist an oil cleanser or Bioderma for); the JuJu bar is for a.m. use while I do my second p.m. cleanse (firm believer of a 2-step facial cleansing process) with the Pekee bar. Neither leave skin tight at all in my experience, and this is likely because they are virtually pH balanced (pH of 6.34 - pretty darn close to 7). The JuJu bar is a physically exfoliating bar with healing clay, bamboo powder, virgin marula oil and antioxidants galore all working to sweep away dead skin cells. My skin seems brighter and clearer since I started dabbling in Drunk Elephant as a brand, and even if this soap is $35/bar, I believe a bar would last ages.

This lip balm is proof that petrolatum has some stiff competition when it comes to hydrating lips. And that you can find a vegan-friendly option if you're in the market for one. I wasn't, but I'm impressed with the quality of this balm, which has stood up against the ridiculous -25C to -40C temps we've been enduring. The ingredient list is refreshingly simple (organic sunflower seed oil, candelilla wax, organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, organic flavor, peppermint essential oil, vitamin E, rosemary extract) and the scent is decidedly tropical, which I now deem necessary based on how extreme this winter has been. Oh, and it's $3.49 CAD and available in very random places (Boathouse clothing stores, for example), as well as health food stores, so make use of the brand's highly informative store locator on its website and buy all the tubes your heart desires (or buy online because COLD).

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