May 14, 2015


Androo hates it when I start my sentences with "I've been thinking...", as it usually means that he needs to move something for me, or build something. Sweetheart that he is, he has yet to say no.

Thankfully, this time the changes are squarely on me.

Ever since I posted my "Truthiness in Blogging", I've been thinking - A LOT - about what it is I've been doing over the last few years with this blog. (I took a bit of a break at the start of the year, thinking it was mostly a bit of burnout, but my underlying malaise never really went away.) More specifically, how I've been interacting with the beauty industry, with fellow beauty lovers - and how that all ties in with my own personal ethics.

After some really hard, critical thinking, I've come to some unpleasant conclusions. Namely, I've strayed rather dramatically from my centre, and have rationalized a pattern of consumption that I just can't justify any longer.

So I'm making some changes.

1) After a few more posts that I've already committed to writing (or have already half-written), I will no longer be updating this blog. I won't delete it right away, as I still have some attachment to what I've spent the last few years creating. I debated just changing the name and the format, but I think I need a clean break. I will still be blogging, with a shifted focus, over at 

2) The nature of beauty blogging is such that it encourages overconsumption. Considering the fiscal, environmental and personal impact, my goals going forward will be to simplify. I will be downsizing my collection in the coming weeks, and I will re-start my declutter series, with a more aggressive focus. I will be donating and selling those items, as warranted. 

3) Part of the disjointed feeling I've been having these last few months stems from the fact that I feel like a tremendous hypocrite purchasing from brands that have been tested on animals, while cooing over my own dogs and their adorableness. I haven't decided yet what to do with all the items I own from non-CF brands (there are a distressing amount), but going forward, I will be limiting my purchases to CF products. (If you are perchance also looking to go cruelty-free, this blog is an EXCELLENT resource:

Seriously. Look at those faces.
I obviously still love makeup, and beauty in general, so whatever I continue to blog about will encompass that field. I just need to pare back the things that have become noise in my life, so that I can truly appreciate the things that are lovely and worthwhile. 

If you care to follow me, I will be setting up over here in a little bit:

April 27, 2015

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Smoothing Primer

Press samples.
GWP at Sephora.
Contains affiliate link.

My first experience with primer was the classic Smashbox formula, and it turned me off primers for a loooong time. The thick texture and super slippy silicone texture felt strangely creepy and medical-grade (the product equivalent of Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers *shudders*). Despite the way it disappeared once applied, my skin somehow still felt smothered. I've found others since then that I do love, and that are much more suited to my needs, but I'm still leery.

I also tried the old Make Up For Ever primers, and while they definitely had a more palatable texture - lotion-like rather than slippy - I can't remember being particularly blown away. I generally love MUFE as a brand, though, so I was hopeful about the recently relaunched version and jumped on the chance to test run a couple.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Smoothing Primer

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Smoothing Primer

The major advantage and selling point for the Step 1 Skin Equalizer (43$ CAD) series is that the range addresses a variety of needs. Rather than billing one primer as a one-size-fits-all solution, MUFE has ten different options on the table - there's something here, theoretically, for every skin type, texture and tone. Better yet, they can be combined for optimal performance. (They suggest combining the redness correcting or radiance boosting primers before the mattifying or smoothing ones, and the  hydrating and smoothing before the correcting or radiance ones. My skin is a crazy topographical map right now, so I apply what I need in specific areas rather than layering them, but it's all up to you, which is the beauty of this concept.)

I've only tested three - the Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, and Smoothing Primer -  so I can't speak to how the texture of each primer varies, but these feel rather similar to each other.

The Radiant Primer Yellow and Redness Correcting have an identical texture: lightweight and a bit creamy, but with that disappears-into-the-skin finish that is the hallmark of a sophisticated silicone formulation. The Smoothing Primer feels a bit thicker, and reminds me of the Benefit Professional - which makes sense, since it needs to have a bit more weight to smooth down those pores and rough edges. It does a similar disappearing act, however, and bypasses that gross, overly slippy feel of the Smashbox type primers.

I would say the colour correcting is fairly subtle. (It's primer, not concealer.) The Redness Correcting does indeed tone down the redness, as does the Radiant Primer Yellow, to some degree. I do prefer the latter, however, as it also boosts the warmth in my skin, whereas the green tinge of the former emphasizes the olive tones. With foundation overtop, it's not a huge deal, and if you really prefer to negate the redness and aren't prone to looking sallow, the Redness Correcting Primer will probably be your pick.

The Smoothing Primer does reduce the appearance of my pores, and helps to minimize the texture of skin around blemishes. It's not quite photoshop, but it definitely helps to create a more even base for my foundation. It also mattifies slightly, though it doesn't control oil much better than any other primer I've tried.

What I especially like about all these primers is how smooth and soft my skin feels after applying them - not tight or flaky, like some primers can leave it feeling. All of them are excellent for getting foundation to apply super evenly, and it nudges up the time-frame for flake-free, shine-free wear.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Smoothing Primer
Smoothing Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Redness Correcting Primer
And since it's hard to talk about the effects of a primer without showing some results, here's the stuff, on my face.

On the left, my bare skin, with some moisturizer that was applied about 45 minutes before the picture. I've been having some kind of skin reaction to skincare samples I was testing (waaaaayyyyy too many at once, hence The Red Spot of Rage).

In the middle, I have the Smoothing Primer applied to my nose, forehead and my inner cheek area. You can see the mattifying effect, and the way the pores are less obvious. The slight texture in my undereye area is also softened. I used the Radiant Primer Yellow on my cheeks, jaw and chin, and some of the redness is attenuated.

On the right, I've applied one layer of foundation (MUFE Mat Velvet, with a tiny drop of Ellis Faas to cut through the matte finish somewhat), with a bit more dabbed over the TRSoR. As you can see, the application is really smooth and even.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Smoothing Primer

And the full makeup...

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - Redness Correcting Primer, Radiant Primer Yellow, Smoothing Primer

Are any of you trying these new primers out? What do you think? I'm quite tempted to give the Mattifying and Hydrating ones a go, down the line. In case you're thinking about making a Sephora order soon, you can choose between four deluxe sized samples with the code MUFESKIN (with a 35$ CAD minimum purchase, I believe).

(Items provided by the brand, aside from the GWP sample from a Sephora order. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

April 26, 2015

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed

Press samples.
Affiliate link.

The Sheer Revolution Lipstick (26$ CAD) range from Urban Decay has been out for a little while, but I just recently got to try a few shades: Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed. I've been pretty obsessed with either straight up balms or more opaque cream finish lipsticks, so these weren't high up on my radar. I'd heard good things, and I was probably going to snag a few, but I wasn't storming the gates for them. 

The more fool I.

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed

The packaging is similar to the regular Revolution Lipstick, with a fluid and relatively weighty metallic bullet casing, this time in a violet chrome as opposed to pewter.

Unlike the bulky packaging that UD tends towards when it comes to their palettes, this is all sleek and chic, but still totally modern and cool. I feel cool carrying this in my purse. :P

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed
Sheer Obsessed and Sheer Ladyflower
Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed
Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed
The formula is exactly as the name indicates, a sheerer version of the Revolution lipstick. Where those are creamy, rich and fairly pigmented, these are slicker, lighter and more translucent. In terms of thickness of texture, they fall somewhere between the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine and the Lancôme Shine Lover lipsticks. They're super comfortable to wear, and though they have that slippy texture, I don't feel like they slide around on the lip. They actually have a bit of drag when applied, which surprised me. It doesn't make them difficult to apply, though, and actually helps keep to the contours of the lip without smearing around.

I wouldn't say they're particularly hydrating, but again, comfortable feeling. They're quite shiny, almost juicy initially, but that settles. Wear time is minimal, however. I don't think I've gone longer than an hour and half without needing a touch up, so be warned that you may be going through that tube pretty fast.

These didn't settle into lines or emphasize dry patches, and had the nice effect of smoothing out the lip slightly, either due to the shine or the more balmy texture.

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed
Top to bottom: Sheer Obsessed and Sheer Ladyflower
Sheer Obsessed is described as a candy pink, and it's definitely a light, cool toned pink with a milky/pastel tone. I don't think I would have ever thought to pick up a shade like this, as I would have assumed it would look too light or chalky. I think the translucency keeps it from looking stark. It almost has a bit of a lilac tone to it against my skintone, and it's just an awesome shade for spring.

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick - Sheer Ladyflower and Sheer Obsessed
Sheer Obsessed
Sheer Ladyflower (LOVE the name, makes me think of that Medieval-set movie with Michelle Pfeiffer - Ladyhawke?), on the other hand, is exactly the kind of shade I would have picked. It's a cool-toned rosy pink, and again, super flattering.

Sheer Ladyflower

Have you tried anything from the Revolution range, either the original or the Sheer version? Are there any other sheer type lipsticks that you're currently crushing on?

(Items provided by the brand. This post is not sponsored or otherwise compensated.)

April 25, 2015

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

Press sample.

What's better than one makeup miracle? TWO makeup miracles. In this case, Burberry is finally available to Canadian buyers via the (relatively) accessible Hudson's Bay website (and presumably certain retail locations), and, almost more importantly for many people, the newest addition to their makeup line is completely fragrance free. (I'm not personally that bothered with scented makeup, but it's definitely a know skin irritant so kudos to them for removing that issue. Here's hoping they continue with the trend.)

But onto the actual product.

The Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colour (36$ CADclaims to feature a weightless gel texture, with a buildable formula and 6 hours of wear and hydration. I think it hits most of those marks square on.

There's some fancy ingredient chatter in the copy as well, regarding "shiny polymers" and "tea, lavender, and rosehip", which all sounds very nice, but won't mean much if they don't nail the actual performance piece of the formulation.

In terms of the weightless and buildable claim, Burberry aces it. The gel formula delivers on an extremely lightweight feeling on the lips, and the lipstick just glides without getting stuck in lip wrinkles. It doesn't have the smoothing or plumping qualities of its more buttery brethren, but it sits so light and seamless on the lips that it truly feels like you're wearing nothing at all. With one swipe, the pigment is even but slightly translucent, and deeper on the second swipe. It doesn't have the full-on opacity of a rich matte, but it's definitely buildable coverage. The finish is a soft satin shine that looks natural and pretty, without being overly glossy or goopy.

Hydration claims for lipsticks tend to be a bit overwrought, and I would say it's no different here. I don't get balm-level hydration, that's for sure, but this is a comfortable lipstick to wear. I can't test the 6-hour claim adequately, since I'm not likely to pass up eating for that long, but I didn't notice any significant fading or weird wearing away from application to my next meal. It just kind of settles on the lips and hangs out, doing its thing, until you realize a few hours later that your lipstick still look nice, if less shiny.

I don't know if this is a truly unique formula, but to be honest I don't think I've come across anything with this kind of gel texture that wears this well. If you're looking for something easy to wear for the summer (and the buttery-type lipsticks feel too heavy or goopy) but that still looks polished, this may be worth checking out.

And the packing is, as always, Burberry perfection. Elegant and weighty, with those little details (Burberry checks, magnetic closure) that make the price tag a little less outrageous.

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

I was able to try the shade #77 Blush, which is a perfectly polished, office-appropriate, but still totally pretty, rose.

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

Burberry Kisses Lipstick - #77 Blush

For a better look at how this lipstick looks IRL, I'm wearing it in the Ardency Inn review post.

So are you guys excited about Burberry finally being available at Hudson's Bay? I am, but I'm even more hopeful that this means HB is FINALLY going to step up their beauty department and online shopping experience to be competitive with Nordstrom and Saks.

(This item was provided by the brand. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)