Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Q & A #18



Hey Everyone, 

One of my favourite bloggers, Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog, does a weekly poll on her blog encouraging readers to take part. Every Monday, I will be posting my answers to her questions on my blog, and hope that you will join me by making your own post, or leaving your answers to the following questions in the comment section below.



1) Mood: Stressed. I am in the middle of a really really bad flare up and it's definitely messing with my plans. I was supposed to do another makeup course and photo shoot tonight but had to drop out. I am also supposed to be travelling to Toronto this week, but I'm not sure if that will happen now. 


2) It's Girl Scout Cookie season! Do you have a favourite?: I don't think we get too many different kinds of Girl Scout Cookies in Ontario. I've only ever seen the thin mints and the original vanilla or chocolate ones. Personally, I'm not a big fan of either. 


3) One thing you must absolutely finish today?: There's nothing I need to finish today. I am going to spend the rest of the night in bed. Hoping it will help the pain. 


4) What's one lesson you wished you'd learned earlier in life?: "Don't you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine".  


5) If you were given the choice to see five years into your future, would you take it?: I think I probably would. I am someone who likes to plan for all eventualities rather than go by the seat of my pants. I'd like to know how my health will be, what I will be doing for work, whether I will still be living at home, etc. 


6) Is there anything you wish you spent less time doing?: I wish I had spent less time worrying about anything and everything. I like to think of every possible bad scenario, which takes a lot of time and energy. 


7) What's one of your makeup mottos?: You can never have too many makeup brushes!


8) List three makeup brushes you couldn't/wouldn't want to live without: 1) MAC 217 Crease Brush (or similar brushes from Sigma and Bdellium) 2) Sigma Sigmax Brushes (any of them work well for applying foundation) 3) Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush


9) Someday I am going to...: Be the beauty editor at a large magazine! (well, at least I hope so). 


10) Weekly Goals: I don't really have any specific goals. I have a really busy week ahead, so I'm just hoping to make it through the week without too much pain. 



If you decide to answer the questions, leave your responses or the link to your responses in the comment section below. 

Hope you all have a great week. 

xx
Alicia


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beauty Quote of the Week #60




Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.  That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.  

-Gwyneth Paltrow


Friday, February 24, 2012

My Top Five Fragrances



Hey Everyone, 

As you might have seen in my bedroom tour post, I have a lot of perfumes on display in my bedroom. While I love the way they look displayed on an old antique serving tray, I have to be honest and say that I don't use the majority of them. I am fairly picky when it comes to scents, and prefer to wear something sweet, fruity and girly. I'm not one to wear a different perfume everyday, and so, when I find something I like, I stick to it. With that said, I have tried several perfumes over the years and have a small, but great, list of my favourite scents. Here are my current top five fragrances: 


SJP NYC

Notes:
     Top: Wild red strawberries, Italian mandarin, white osmanthus
     Middle: Gardenia, honeysuckle, mimosa
     Bottom: Rum flavour, sandal wood, creamy musk

What They Say:
"A deliciously addictive and sophisticated fruity floral fragrance built around a vivacious wild strawberry accord, lush gardenia and creamy, sensual undertones."

What I Say: 
I absolutely love SJP NYC. It is by far my favourite perfume, and the one I wear almost every day. With a super sweet, fairly heavy, candy-like scent, this perfume is for the ultimate girly girl. I can definitely smell the wild strawberries and mandarin, but,  don't pick up on any floral or musky notes. 

Justin Bieber Someday

Notes:
Top: Mandarin, orange, pear, red berries
Middle: Jasmine, floral notes
Bottom: Musk, vanilla

What They Say: 
"This fruity and soft scent embodies the heart of the young girls who admire and revere this rising musical sensation. Someday is the ideal fragrance for lively and ambitious teenage girls who exhibit an excitement and intrigue with all of the wonderful possibilities in life."

What I Say: 
OMG, my face is so red from embarrassment, you can probably see it through your computer screen! To be clear, I am neither a teenage girl (although I sometimes wish I still was), nor am I a Justin Bieber fan (no Bieber fever here). This perfume, however, smells too amazing not to wear. Like SJP NYC, this has a very sweet scent, but is is much lighter and smells more like fruit than candy. While I don't pick up on any of the floral notes, I can definitely smell both the vanilla and musky notes. 

LAVANILA Vanilla Coconut

Notes: 
Top: Tiare flower
Middle: Sandalwood, heliotrope
Bottom: Coconut, vanilla

What They Say: 
"Escape with Vanilla Coconut filled with an indulgent blend of young coconut, hints of monoi Tiare (a Tahitian white flower), and a warm sensual base of Madagascar vanilla bean. You'll instantly be transported to an island of healthy delights."

What I Say: 
As I have mentioned several times in past posts, I love anything coconut scented. This super beachy scent, smells exactly like its name (Vanilla Coconut). This is definitely one of those perfume you want to spray on your tongue just to see if it tastes as good as it smells (What?! I can't be the only one!). If you love coconuts, you will love this, if you don't, you should probably stay away. 

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy

Notes:
Top: Black currant, mandarin orange
Middle: Honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine
Bottom: Amber, caramel, praline, sandalwood, vanilla

What They Say: 
"Can't get enough couture? Well, here's even more for Juicy girls who want it all. Juicy Couture presents Viva La Juicy, an enticing scent of wild berries and mandarins, honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine. To round it out, amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood and praline add just the right touch of sweetness."

What I Say: 
I'm not usually in to floral scents, but there is something about this flowery perfume I love. Unlike the other perfumes talked about above, Viva La Juicy definitely is very light and airy, making it perfect for those who want a more natural scent. I can definitely smell some of the citrus notes, but don't pick up on any of the berry, caramel or sandalwood notes. 

The Gap 'Close'

Notes: 
Top: Water notes, salt, citruses, almond
Middle: Freesia, jasmine, heliotrope
Bottom: Sandalwood, musk, amber, vanilla

What They Say: 
"A sexy, everyday fragrance for women. A fun, enticing blend of fruit with an exciting base of citrus and a subtle woody tone. A wonderful fragrance for anytime."

What I Say: 
This is probably the most surprising perfume in my collection because its really not that sweet. I would definitely describe this perfume as a combination of light floral and deep musky scents. To me, this perfume smells very fresh, very clean and  very natural. I think most people would like this one. 

Have you tried any of these perfumes? What types of scents do you usually like? What is your favourite fragrance? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love Them or Leave Them: Makeup Cakes




Hey Everyone, 


Ever since I turned twenty, I have been obsessing about my 30th Birthday, and while certain members of my family may not agree (*cough mom cough*), I personally feel 30 is a huge milestone and therefore, should be celebrated with a huge cake...a makeup cake! 


Although I have decided to have a fairly small Sunday brunch birthday party, I really want my cake to be grand, and of course, to reflect my love for all things pretty, pink and beauty related. I had originally planned to give up control and let my mom and sister take care of the the cake details, but I would be lying if I said I haven't been wanting to write out a list of cake do's and don'ts, as well as take some pictures of my favourite beauty items to help 'inspire' whoever the person making the cake (What?! You only get one 30th birthday makeup cake!).


Of course, I love all of the cakes pictured in this post, and would be extremely happy to have any of them (especially the one above), but my question to you is...would you love to celebrate your next birthday with a  makeup cake, or would you rather have something a little more simple and 'mature'? Do you think 30th Birthdays are a big deal? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below.




 



 




xx
Alicia

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Q&A #17



Hey Everyone, 

One of my favourite bloggers, Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog, does a weekly poll on her blog encouraging readers to take part. Every Monday, I will be posting my answers to her questions on my blog, and hope that you will join me by making your own post, or leaving your answers to the following questions in the comment section below.



1) Mood: Crappy. I haven't been feeling very well the last couple of days. Fibromyalgia pains combined with a migraine isn't making me the happiest of girls. 


2) How do you spend most of your downtime?: I usually spend my down time watching TV (or shows on my computer) or sitting at my makeup desk reading beauty blogs, watching youtube beauty videos or playing with my makeup. 


3) Waxing- love it or leave it?: Leave it! To be honest, I've only ever had my eyebrows waxed, but man does it hurt. I know a long time ago I bought one of those at home leg waxing kits, and didn't even make it past the first piece of material (paper? cloth?) being ripped off, before I gave up. I would much rather shave.


4) Five beauty products you're loathe to live without (ie. can't live without)?: 1) Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer 2) Argan Oil 3) Vasanti Eye Wonder Eye Cream 4) Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion 5) Lip Balm (any kind will do really). 


5) Ten years ago would you have imagined what you are doing for a living now?: I wouldn't really say what I am currently doing is providing me with enough money to call it a 'living', but no. Ten years ago I had just finished high school and was working at a plus size clothing store. I thought I wanted to do something involving the fashion industry, but I never thought I would end up becoming a makeup artist and beauty blogger. The past ten years has definitely had its ups and down, but for the most part I am happy with where I am now. 


6) Are you procrastinating about anything right now?: Nothing I can think of at this very moment. I usually procrastinate when it comes to doing things like cleaning my room, desk area, etc. and showering. Although I do shower everyday, it takes a lot of time to convince myself to get in the shower. I hate that feeling of having to start all over again (I once again have to dry my hair, do my makeup, get dressed, etc.) and usually lie in bed for as long as I can saying things like "Ok, in ten more minutes I'm going to get up and get in the shower." Of course, ten minutes usually turns into thirty minutes, and so on. 


7) You just took in a kitten, what do you name it?: I would name it Miracle, because it must be a very special and miraculous cat if I'm going to take it in. I am not a cat person (to be honest, they kind of freak me out) and really can't see myself ever owning one. 


8) How do you get around?: I guess it depends on where I am 'getting around' but for the most part I drive. I have a very small, very cute, bright yellow car that takes me where I need to go. 


9) What's a good mantra for you this week?: Get rid of this pain! It's hard to explain just how much pain I am currently in, but basically I feel like I have been hit by a bus. I'm having trouble even walking around the house. I need to get better because next weekend I am going to a concert in the US and then I am heading to Toronto for four days of appointments, events, get togethers, etc. 


10) Weekly Goals: I have now been carb free for 8 days and need to continue on that path. I haven't really lost weight yet (I realized the other day I wasn't eating enough), but I am hoping to lose at least 10 lbs before my trip to NYC. I miss bread, pasta, cereal, icecream and chocolate, but if I can fit into my clothes come April, it will be totally worth it. 


If you decide to answer the questions, leave your responses or the link to your responses in the comment section below. 

Hope you all have a great week. 

xx
Alicia

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beauty Quote of the Week #59



“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” 
― Elizabeth Gilbert


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tiny MAC Haul and February Giveaway Winner




Hey Everyone, 


Before I announce the winner of this month's giveaway, I wanted to quickly share a very small haul from MAC's Latest 'Shop Mac, Cook Mac' collection. While I used to be someone who looked forward to each new MAC collection, lately I have been bored by their selection of 'new' products, and really feel that the company should spend more time on putting out one great collection every couple of months, rather than putting a mediocre collection every few weeks. With that said, I did find one item from the latest collection that I just had to buy. 





'Restores Dazzle' Cremeblend Blush is a gorgeous, deep berry-wine cream blush with brown and plum undertones. Like all of MAC's Cremeblend blushes, 'Restores Dazzle' is smooth and creamy making it super easy to blend into the cheeks. I love the natural rosy tint it gives the cheeks, and while I think it is perfect for this time of year (transitioning between winter and spring), I also see it working nicely in the summer. I am really happy with my purchase as it is, surprisingly, unlike any of the other cream blushes I own. I believe the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection is still in stores, and would highly recommend you grab 'Restores Dazzle' before it sells out. 



On to this month's giveaway winner. As always, after counting all of the entries, I used random.org to select a winner. So, the winner of the OPI 'Little Romantics' nail polish set is...





Congratulations! I will be contacting you via email to get your mailing information. 


Did you pick up anything from the latest MAC collection? Do you own any of the MAC Cremeblend Blushes? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 


xx
Alicia

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Accessories Haul (How Zero Bracelets Turned Into Three)


Hey Everyone, 


I was quickly passing through The Bay the other day, when this gorgeous, super chunky, green and gold bracelet caught my eye. I love jewelry from The Bay, but usually refuse to buy it unless its included in the 50% off sales they often have. Unfortunately this bracelet, which was priced at $20, was only 25% off, so I decided to use all of my willpower and walk away. 





Well, I didn't get very far before I saw that the same bracelet came in HOT PINK. I am a sucker for anything pink, and immediately decided that 25% was better than nothing (see how quickly I justified that?) and grabbed the pink bracelet before anyone else could get their hands on it.  





Imagine my surprise when this bracelet rang up at $9! I was sure the sales woman was going to look at the original $20 tag and realize that the computer had made a mistake, but I couldn't stop thinking about that green bracelet, and wondered whether it too might ring up at a lower price. I decided to test my luck and quickly ran to grab it, crossing my fingers that it too would trick the computer into thinking it was only $9. It did!! 





Of course, at this point, I couldn't just walk away (there were deals to be had), and had to press my luck one last time and see if the same bracelet in white would also ring up on sale (notice how I went from 0 to 3 bracelets in a matter of seconds?). Luckily it too was only $9, so, I quickly paid for my items and got myself out of there before someone realized that the computer was giving random deals to jewelry junkies like myself. 




I love these bracelets (and their super low price tag) and think they make the perfect spring accessory. I can definitely see myself wearing these bracelets as a pop of colour with a simple outfit of jeans and a dark blazer (especially when I go to NYC). 





I'm not sure if the bracelets were actually sale, and just hadn't been marked down, or if the computer was really not working properly and kept giving me deals. Either way, I'm happy with my haul and would love to know what you think about these bold and colourful bracelets. 


Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 


xx
Alicia 



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1940's Photo Shoot Images


Hey Everyone, 

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I did a 1940's photo shoot for my makeup artistry class. Well, the images just came in and I wanted to show you the three pictures I chose for my portfolio. I was really happy with the end result, and would love to know what you think. 





xx
Alicia

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Physicians Formula Event and New Products Haul (Photo Heavy)



A couple of weeks ago, Karyn, my Killer Kurves editor, and I had the opportunity to attend an event put on by Physicians Formula Cosmetics to showcase their new Spring 2012 beauty line. The event was held in Toronto in the Bellair suite of the super posh Hazelton Hotel where, we were told by staff, Brad and Angelina sometimes sleep when they are in town. The event was a lot of fun. Although everyone left after the presentation, Karyn and I stuck around, and had a great time chatting with everyone from the company, including celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip who gave us insider info on all of the stars (Prettier in person? Angelina Jolie! Super sweet? Eva Longoria!). 






Of course the best part of the night for any makeup junkie, like myself, was seeing all of the new products Physicians Formula will be releasing in the next month. I was blown away by all of the products we were introduced to at the event. With gorgeous packaging and brand new, innovative technology, Physicians Formula has really stepped up their game for 2012. Below, I have given a quick synopsis of all of their new products, but definitely plan on doing more extensive reviews on some of items I received. 


The Products


pHmatchmaker Powered Blush and Bronzer
These new blush and bronzers are just too cool. Not only do they react with your natural pH levels to create a colour that matches your skin tone in 60 seconds, they are packaged with LED lights that you can switch on when doing your makeup in an area with minimal lighting. 

  
phMatchmaker Powered Lip Gloss
Similar to the bronzer and blush, the new phMatchmaker glosses work with your natural pH levels to create your own customized shade of lipgloss (we saw it applied to two different models at the event and, let me tell you, it works! It looked like they had different shades on). The phMatchmaker glosses come with LED lights, as well as a little mirror on the side of the tube, so you can see when applying gloss to your lips. 


Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush and Bronzer/Blush
Adding to their super popular mood boosting line of cosmetics, these blushes and bronzer/blush combinations contain ingredients that are said to help boost your mood. All three products are super smooth and give the face a natural, healthy glow. Of course, we can't forget the super cute pink packaging and multi-coloured blush hearts. 



Cashmere Wear Ultra-Smoothing Blush
This incredibly cute (seriously, it looks like a knit sweater!), pink blush is made with 100% pure cashmere extract to help moisturize the skin and help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There are three ways to wear this blush: 1) wearing the light pink strips alone, 2) wearing the dark pink strip alone or 3) blending the two colours together for a gorgeous glowing pink cheek.


Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder
Physicians Formula Airbrushing Pressed Powder is an ultra-fine mineral powder made for sensitive, acne prone skin. With great coverage, this powder gives the skin an airbrushed finish. Containing green tea, vitamins C and E and Gingko Biloba, this powder also held reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 


Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Season to Season Bronzer
One of Physicians Formula's coolest new products is the season to season bronzer, which features four bronzers (one for each season), that can be worn alone or mixed together to create your own customized bronzer shade throughout the year. Formulated with a blend of glow activators, this bronzer slowly gives the skin a natural looking and long lasting tan as you continue to use it. 


Youthful Wear Line
Physicians Formula is introducing a new Youthful Wear line consisting of three new products (a foundation, a concealer and a powder) which make skin look flawless while helping to treat signs of aging. With ingredients such as ceramide3 and algae extract, these products help moisturize and tone the skin while supporting collagen production. Here is a closer look at the three new products: 


Youth Boosting Foundation: 
This foundation, which comes with its own blending brush, has a soft and silky, mousse like texture which melts into skin for a flawless finish. 


Youth-Boosting Powder: 
This powder, which comes in both matte and illuminating finish, not only gives the face a smooth finish, it works as a shield to protect the face from pollution and free radicals. 




Youth Boosting Concealer
This super cool, 3-in-1 concealer comes with a concealer stick for hiding blemishes, a liquid concealer for covering dark circles under the eyes, and a roller ball cap for blending the concealer on to the face. 



Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow and Liner:
These ridiculously cute eyeshadow palettes each contain nine eyeshadows that can be worn both wet and dry for a variety of looks. Each palette is split into groups of three eyeshadows that work together to create a natural, playful or dramatic look (for example, the top three shadows work together for a natural look). Each trio contains a highlight shade, a contour shade and an eye lining shade. There are four new palettes included in the new collection including The Smoky Palette, The Casual Palette, The Nude Palette and The Fashionista Palette.  


Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio:
These long-wearing, water resistant eyeliners which come in two trios (a smoky eye trio and a nude trio) are super smooth and glide on the eye for easy application. With a smudge proof formula, and a built in pencil sharpener, these shimmery pencils (they contain very finely milled glitter) are said to stay on for 24 hours. 



Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Kohl Eyeliner Trio:
These highly pigmented kohl eyeliners, similar to the traditional middle eastern kajal eyeliners, can be worn on both the upper lash and lower lash line as well as along the inner rim of the eye. With a black liner and two other eye enhancing shades, each trio is made to complement different eye colours (blue, brown and green). These liners are said to be 100% waterproof and are safe for the waterline. 


100% Natural Origin Lash Boosting Mascara:
This spring, Physicians Formula is introducing the first ever 100% natural lash boosting mascara, which uses a complex of Bio Active Minerals to strengthen and nourish lashes so that they appear thicker and longer. This mascara comes with a large, plastic 100% recyclable brush that applies mascara that does not clump or flake. 

Are you excited to try any of the new Physicians Formula products? Are there any products from the line that you would like to see more extensively reviewed? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below.  

xx
Alicia