Category Archives: makeup

LANCOME // HYPNOSE DOLL LASHES

I’ve broken up with my Dior mascara. It was a good three years.

It is extremely rare that I find myself reaching for a mascara other than my Diorshow Exstase…actually I think that it has never happened before.

I received a sample of Doll Lashes a few weeks ago and I surprised even myself. Normally, when I try out a new mascara, I only try it once and then immediately think that it does not live up to the high standards that Dior had set for me. I dismiss it and pass the sample off to someone else.

Not this time.

Don’t get me wrong, Diorshow Exstase is still an amazing mascara–it is super long-wearing, with a great black pigment and creates volume and length. But, now my heart belongs to Lancome’s Doll Lashes. I’m not sure that it makes me look like a doll (I wish!), but it has a great, non-clumping formula that you can build and build and build upon for dramatic lashes. I know you will say that black is black, but it really isn’t. Not all black mascaras are created equally. This black is strong and highly pigmented. It has the perfect consistency–not too thick, not too wet, and the brush has a smaller point on one end which makes for easy application.

Lancome’s new collection with Alber Elbaz, the designer of Lanvin (see above for adorable packaging), is debuting June 15. All your favourite Lancome mascaras and more will be dressed up in Alber’s fun designs.

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NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL // NEVER SAY NEVER

Let me start off by saying that my wearing of this beautiful product was somewhat triggered by my ‘adventurous’ streak (as mentioned a few posts back). I purchased this lip pencil waaay back at that Holt Renfrew event. If I recall correctly, Emily Weiss was wearing a deep red-y shade on her lips, inspiring me to try one out. So Amanda and I made our way over to the NARS counter (she was set on a new blush) and I asked the lady for a bold lip colour for spring. She swatched Never Say Never (trust me, Amanda and I laughed at the unintentional Bieb‘s reference), a deep rosy/plum-y pink. At the time, I didn’t quite realize just how dark the shade was, which lead me to neglect the poor pencil for months. However, upon seeing a relatively old editorial of the beautiful Rosie sporting a similar shade, I was suddenly ready to break out this pencil.

I start off with some lip balm, as I find this pencil can be a tad drying. However, if there is any excess oil on your lips after moisturizing, wipe it off so that you don’t create too much of a barrier between the lips and the product (thus causing the pigment to last longer). I then apply my transparent lip liner, however you can use one of a similar plum shade as well. Then, thanks to the clever design of this product, you can easily apply the colour to your lips, with optimum control and precision. I usually use a q-tip to clean up the edges, then smack my lips a bit to evenly spread the product. I paired this bold lip with Rosie-esque dark brows, natural eyes and simple, clear skin. This product lasted a good 2-3 hours before I had to touch up (also keep in mind I ate one of those ice cream drumsticks during this time).

–Anna Raponi

Also: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

THE BEST DRUGSTORE TANNER UNDER THE SUN

Clever title, huh? (at least I thought so)

After an extremely disappointing stint with a high-end self tanner (who’s name I will not mention), I really began to appreciate my #1, my Jergens. Let me tell you my little story about when I was foolish enough to try another—it was a Monday morning (typical, typical). I decided to don a sleeveless tank that I had never worn, except my arms looked just a tad, well, dull. They needed a healthy glow. My mom had given me a sample of a big-name self tanner the night before, and I thought, well of course, this will obviously work much better than the one I’ve been using for years. I mean, it’s practically four times the cost and I had been pleased with other products from the line. So I carefully applied, following the basic rules of self tanning. The smell, which stuck around all day, was very strong and made me feel dirty. Then, as the day progressed, I noticed the sparkles on my arms– how am I supposed to pretend that I got a nice tan on the weekend when my skin is shimmering? And, as I recall the rather unfortunate events of today, I’m staring at my now streaky, orange arms (and still, that damn smell). Let’s just put it this way; not a good start to the week.

The Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moistuizer has gotten rave reviews for years, which is what initially drew me to it. It promises gradual, natural-looking colour, and to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and oh, does it deliver. Not until this sad Monday night have I realized that this stuff really smells great, not that unpleasant typical tanner odor. As fair as I am (let’s just say I’m more often than not the first shade that most foundations offer), I use the medium to dark colour, and have never looked streaky or orange. For most pale women, the veins in our legs can be extra-obvious through our light skin, and can appear purple-y blue–not really the beach babe look. I mix this (50-50) with my everyday lotion, slather on my legs, and my legs are not only rid of this discolouration, but also have a subtle glow that doesn’t scream a fake tan. And, I mean, come on, it’s like, $9. For all of the $30+ fancy-shmancy self tanners out there, can you risk another perfectly fine Monday when you’ve got an all-star at your local drugstore? I think not. I should have never doubted you, my dear Jergens.

Now, time to hit the shower, this smell is making me sick.

–Anna Raponi

AN EPIPHANY // MASCARA WOES

I don’t know if it’s that I have particularly watery eyes, or if it’s my mascara, but by the end of the day, mascara is ALWAYS shadowing right under my waterline, and not defining and separating my lower lashes. I once heard that moisturizer around the eyes can cause the mascara to break down, but even since I stopped applying moisturizer there, the mascara just won’t stay. I then proceed to scrub the area with my pinkie, unsuccessfully clearing the transferred mascara. Evidently, what I was doing was not working. But then, I was struck with an idea– maybe more (embarrassingly ) obvious than I thought. Waterproof mascara on the bottom, regular on the top (you couldn’t possibly think I would abandon my beloved Burberry, could you?), and BAM, no five o’clock shadow (hah, you know what I mean). Despite the more vigorous and time-consuming makeup removing process, this technique is the most effective cure for this mysterious, annoying mascara phenomenon.

–Anna Raponi

LID COVERAGE // MY SOLUTION

No matter how hard I try, I’ve just never been bothered to wear eyeshadow on a day-to-day basis. I think it just takes too long to apply and blend and then it creases… plus I find that I always look overdone. Oh, the struggles. I really only wear some liner on my tight line and mascara– I prefer a more natural, “no-makeup” look. I used to cover up redness on my eyelids with foundation, but had to stop because it would just crease so easily on my oily eyelids, which looked just plain weird.
My hesitation towards eyeshadow stopped me from ever covering the redness with a colour. Recently, however, the redness has been bugging me, so I dug around in my been-there-done-that makeup bin and rediscovered my love for this MAC paint pot. I first heard of this one in last years prom tutorial from Pixiwoo, and ran out that day because I just loved the luminosity this product gave off.
Bare Study, a beige with shimmer, is the perfect shadow for those of us who really don’t care for shadows whatsoever. The colour is very similar to my skin tone; perfectly hiding any redness or veins on the thin skin on my eyelids. You can literally just smear this right up to the brow and right into the tear duct– highlighting the inner corners will make you look more awake and under the brow will accentuate your arch. The creamy texture is so easy to blend and surprisingly doesn’t crease, even for my exceptionally greasy skin. While this shade blends with my skin tone, it looks just as beautiful on more tan skin tones (as seen in the Pixiwoo video). The classic MAC pot is quite heavy and looks quite pretty on my vanity, and well, that’s just the cherry on top.
–Anna Raponi

THE CHAMELEON LIP PENCIL

 I’d like to say that I’ve become a bit more daring lately. Since I chopped my hair (kind of on a limb), I’ve been craving new ways to spice up my life as well. So, I accumulated a few lipsticks here and there, but was too afraid to wear them out. Why? Well, for the 15 year old high school student in me, they’re a disaster waiting to happen. I mean, what will people say? And, quite honestly, I didn’t really know how– what if it gets on my teeth? How often do I reapply? So many darn questions but no answers for this lipstick rookie.

Upon some research, I concurred that I needed a lip pencil to avoid bleeding. But, by then I had bought out practically the entire selection of Kate Moss for Rimmel lipsticks. I can’t buy a lip pencil for each shade! That’s insanity! But then my lovely sister, Amanda, told me about these fabulous transparent lip pencils that can be paired with absolutely any lipstick. So much freedom!
So, anyways, (get it together, Anna) I picked up Lise Watier’s Virtual Lip Contour so I could finally don some of my bright shades. After applying some lip balm, I pencil this in starting with the perimeter of my lips, then colouring in the inside. I smack my lips around a bit to evenly spread the product, then apply my lipstick, blot, then more lipstick. My drugstore lipsticks last a good hour and a bit, and my high end ones about 3 hours (this includes snacking my friends). Oh, and no bleeding in sight. So, I think I can rightfully say, mission complete.

–Anna Raponi