Sunday, September 25, 2016

Loving Lately - September 2016

Man, where to start? September has been a zoo of a month, with a ton of family time and lots of early mornings/late nights working on projects. We started the month with a long weekend spent working with a splash of family get-togethers for good measure. That was followed by a brief but packed NYC visit for a few days; I walked around 5 miles each day, just exploring the city like I never even did when I lived there. I met up with my dear Marina for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, mentally reenacting a scene from RHONY all the while.

It was a great visit, even with the absolutely heinous heatwave. We naturally took in a Jays game, knowing they were in town for a series with the Yankees.

Once we returned to Toronto, I wrapped up a digital magazine endeavour I had been working on since July for a fab company called Milni, which connects South Asian couples with wedding vendors of their dreams. Check out the first issue right here:

We've had new additions to the family this summer, two very sweet nieces. I am completely enamoured with how tiny and peaceful and absolutely beautiful these babies are. Here's the latest addition, who was born the morning we flew to NYC. She is a little doll and makes my hands look like that of a giant. I love her to bits.

I also started a new gig that has been a wonderful experience, so it's been an amazing month. Tiring, but super fulfilling! Onto the products that made me feel a little bit more polished and presentable than usual:

This product has been out for a year now, and I've always been drawn to it purely because I wasn't into the finish of Skinperfect, a primer/SPF offering from Dermalogica. I love Hydrablur for exactly why you'd think - it's hydrating and it smoothes the skin's surface out, making skin a now-perfect canvas for makeup. It is loaded with silicones, but it also contains fruit oils and sunflower oil to balance the formulation. There's a "tint" that is released once the product is applied to skin, but it is virtually nonexistent so I imagine this would work on all skin tones without leaving a white cast. It's a real keeper as we move into cooler mornings/evenings, so I'm officially softening my "no primers ever" stance.

Y'all. I love a good makeup brush. Majority of my brushes that I reach for the most are made for the masses; Real Techniques and EcoTools have been in high rotation for years, accented with the occasional high-end brush. I admitted got sucked into the hype of Artis brushes, but the hype is real. This brush is awesome for foundation and concealer without absorbing all your product (glaring at you, BeautyBlender). I'm happy I chose this brush size in particular to pick up, as the larger brushes (Oval 8, Oval 10) all look like they would do a great job of quickly distributing product, but I reckon it'd be a little bit on the messy side. This size allows me to do concealer/correct under my eyes and around my nose with ease, so it's a real multitasker in my experience.

I don't commit to a lip colour for a full day of wear. I usually start with a lip balm, follow up with a lip stick or lip liner (sometimes both) and then as that combo of products wears off, I tend to reapply balm only, not usually feeling inclined to add more colour as the day goes on. I'm simply not a touch-up person; I've never carried a makeup bag in my purse (probably because  my preferred size of purse is usually smaller than most makeup bags out there) and it's simply an unappealing idea. All that being said, this lip colour has made it into my bag for trips to and from the office because I genuinely enjoy wearing it! It's a comfortable, creamy formula, so lasting power is certainly variable based on food/drink consumption, but the colour is a perfect colour for my pigmented lips and it simply livens up my face. Slim packaging is streamlined if you are a fellow small-purses-only person, and the formula doesn't settle into lines. Perfect fall treat.

Do you see that hint of duochrome-y goodness up there? It's a packshot, but there's a sense of sheen and shine in there, no? This peachy-pink-gold cream shadow is really beautiful when swatched. It looks underwhelming in the pot, but once it's on the skin, it comes to life! 

The out-of-focus nature of this shot is with purpose - it best captures the shimmer. The shimmer particles are certainly leaning towards the larger side of the scale, meaning it's definitely a shadow that catches the light, but it can certainly be mellowed out with powder shadows or other cream colours on top. I love wearing this on its own or with winged liner. It's a little on the summery side for some people at this time of the year, but so what/who cares/it's really pretty. Really looking forward to pairing this with Tom Ford's Honeymoon eyeshadow quad, which was my eye obsession earlier this year. I suspect they'll be a match made in heaven. 


Loving Lately - August 2016

Hard to believe August has come and gone, meaning the last days of summer are upon us. It was a markedly less hectic month, with no weddings to attend and only one baby shower in the calendar. What I've been focused on the past month is improving the structure I have in my daily routine, working more gym visits into my schedule, which has been genuinely great. As a person who never prioritized exercise in any stage of my life up until now, it's exciting to not hate the concept of working out. Endorphins are finally a thing in my existence, so that's awesome. As a result, my hair looks like hell majority of the time and makeup is usually kept to brows/lashes until I'm in a post-workout state. If it's late in the day, makeup doesn't happen at all. It's been a shift in habits in more ways than one, but nothing that's bothered me too much. Newness has been minimal this month, but a Manhattan visit is looming just after Labour Day, so I reckon there'll be much to gush about thereafter! In the meantime, here's a few items I've found appealing in this last stretch of summer.

Burberry blushes are the definition of user-friendly in my experience. They are offered up in wearable colours that are usually quite difficult to overdo in application. The one shade of this range I've seen hyped up over and over again is "Earthy", which, as you can imagine, is a taupe shade with a greyish undertone. I have it and basically never reach for it since it's about the same shade depth as my own skin tone, making it a stupidly subtle contour shade, if anything at all. I saw this cute little set on and couldn't resist the allure of miniature products. I'm not a massive Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base fan, which is a liquid illuminating base that they seem to put an obscene amount of marketing behind given how unremarkable its performance is. It's not a bad product, it's just a product that doesn't do much of anything. The size included is that of a deluxe sample, and I've more or less used it up already so let's focus on the lipstick, blush and kabuki brush. The lipstick included is a mini Lip Velvet in "Rosewood" (yes, yet another rosewood addition to my collection), and it actually isn't too light for me, which I consider a huge victory for my pigmented lips. The blush is a midtone pink, a little on the muted side, but still pigmented. I've enjoyed wearing it right on the apples of my cheeks and lightly dusted across my eyelids for a monochrome, slightly-80s look that it quick, easy and pretty. No issues with patchiness and I actually love the floral fragrance of this blush. The mini kabuki is actually decent quality and comes in a tiny velvet case, making it one of the cuter things I've ever owned. No complaints about this purchase, I downright adore it!

Fall is upon is and it's hardly shocking to see yet another season of nude shades, and the worst part is I'm not even sick of it. Armani's Eye Tints are usually a microfine shimmer finish, but this new range of shades are all matte and lovely. The full range is swatched here and gives you a solid idea of the colours and finish. I love #23 Camel Smoke as a wash all over the lid for daytime, as well as #21 Fur Smoke through the crease and buffed out in a rounded shape for evening. The formula does not crease at all, and I don't use an additional primer. In no way have I been exempt from perspiration this summer, especially through my face, so the steadfast nature of this formula is a blessing. What drew me to such moody colours in the middle of the summer? Sabyasachi's Instagram account, of course. The type of look depicted all over that IG account makes me wanna get LASIK ASAP, just to sport dark lids all day, every day. I always feel it's overkill with glasses. *sighs wistfully*

I suppose you could consider this an almost-cheap thrill, since the price point isn't that high by department store brand standards. This tinted lip product occupies the space between a gloss and balm, imparting soft shine, moisture and a bit of colour for a very easy-going product that smells sweet as hell, yet somehow abstains from crossing into cloying territory. I love this colour, which certainly isn't as milky and light as one may think by looking at the tube, and it also goes on semi-sheer, so your natural lip colour can shine through a bit. I have kept this in my purse all summer and it has been so clutch when out and about for a little hydration and low-key, no-mirror-needed application.

Bite is slowly expanding its product roster to go beyond lips...sort of?! This multi-use product can grace eyes, lips and cheeks for an easy monotone look (or, you know, pick and choose which part(s) of your face you sport it on). The formula is creamy enough to blend out and settles down to very on-trend matte finish. This shade is a little pink to sport on lids, so I've mostly been sticking to lips/cheeks, and it's been perfect for a natural flush or slightly defined lips. In usual Bite fashion, the formulation is silicone-free and this range in particular contains 35% amino acid-covered powders plus some sugarcane-derived squalane, so lips/cheeks/lids won't be dried out. Lots to love here!

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