Friday, February 28, 2014

HowTo Hide Blemishes

Stress, junkfood, forgetting to wash our face... It happens to all of us. Blemishes will pop up out of nowhere, and usually in the most inconvenient places. See how I use this incredible concealer below to cover up the angriest of spots in just a few short steps.
Apply concealer with a stiff dome synthetic brush and buff out around the edges. Set the concealer with translucent powder and a powder puff, then finish with a matte blush. Bam! Spot: gone.
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Daily Makeup: BB Cream

I'm not a big fan of wearing heavy face makeup on the daily, so bb creams tend to be my best fit. For the past few years, I've been pretty loyal to my very fair-toned Korean bb creams, for their great coverage and porcelain finish. More recently, I've been opting for less coverage and a warmer tone, achieved with some other american and european brands. See below how I apply my Biotherm Aquasource bb cream, which adds just enough glow and is nourishing for the skin.


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BedTime Essentials


Right when my head hits the pillow, I'm typically out like a light. By the time I remember to put on some moisturizer, I'm usually far off into dream land. Unfortunately, my hands and lips tend to get quite dry and irritated, so remembering this step is very helpful. I've found two products which I have come to love applying, even when I'm on the brink of passing out.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Top 10 Great Body Products

In this post, I will be highlighting my top 10 products which I am constantly reaching for and always have on hand. These products truly work and most of them have multiple uses. I have included some tips on where they can each be purchased and an average price, which will vary from one retailer to the next. Take note that all of the prices are listed in Canadian dollars.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Morning Skincare Routine


Getting up at a reasonable time in the morning is one of my biggest struggles. One thing that does tend to coax me out of my snuggly cocoon, is the thought of freshening up with a fancy skincare routine. Read more below to see how I gently cleanse and prep my face for the long day ahead.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Throwback To An Autumn Afternoon

When importing some new images, I found myself being confronted with some very harassing messages, urging me to clean up my "flash storage". My poor old Mac of 1.5 years (thats a joke) has been starting to get a bit too jam-packed and was definitely in need of a cleanse. I have one of those handy G-Drive external memory plugins, so after a full backup, I reluctantly went into my iPhoto and began to send the 3000 photos to the trash. Most of my pictures and videos are taken at 24 megapixels and take up a pretty good chunk of space. The browsing soon became a very sweet trip down memory lane, especially when I stumbled across some snapshots taken while apple picking earlier in the fall. 
Clothes from H&M, except for my scarf and boots, both of which are label-less. 
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Pantene Beautiful Hair Event

I was  invited to attend the Pantene Beautiful Hair event hosted on Saturday at their popup salon in downtown Toronto. This event was in collaboration with Chick Advisor, one of Canada's leading sites for product reviews, local deals and general recommendations. I've been a member on the site for a few months now and was very eager to be a part of this experience. The event included a wash and blow-dry featuring Pantene's new and improved products. Some delicious food and drinks were also provided as we waited for our appointments. This opportunity came at the perfect time since I recently got 4 inches snipped off my hair and have been craving some new products to style my shorter 'do. 
Snacks, nail polish and the salon's checkin counter. This was the ultimate girls day.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Moisturizing With Biotherm Beurre Corporel

In conjunction with LOULOU Magazine and Biotherm, I've had the opportunity to incorporate some incredible new products into my routine. This specific body cream smells and feels decadent. It's a sweet lemon scent that doesn't really linger. I frequently add a few drops of tea tree oil into my body butter to keep my skin balanced. After epilating or waxing, applying a small amount of tea tree oil helps reduce red spots and ingrown hairs. I have very sensitive skin especially on my back and chest, so adding just a bit of skin-clearing tea tree oil to a thick moisturizer helps combat congestion, while still keeping my skin super hydrated. The best part is that these two scents are simply amazing together. Much more appealing than my typical unscented lotion. This cream contains the super fortifying shea butter, and is surprisingly very lightweight. It is formulated to be of a whipped consistency and glides over the skin with ease. Ahh, heavenly. This rules my post-shower routine.
  
En collaboration avec le magazine LOULOU et Biotherm, j'ai eu l'occasion d'intégrer quelques nouveaux produits incroyables dans ma routine. Ce beurre corporel sent délicieusement bon et laisse un doux parfum citronné, frais et propre sur ma peau. Fréquemment, j'ajoute quelques gouttes d'huile de théier à mon beurre corporel pour garder ma peau douce et hydratéeAprès l'épilation à la cire ou au laser, j’applique une petite quantité d’huile de théier pour aider à réduire les tâches rouges et les poils incarnés. J'ai la peau très sensible en particulier sur le dos et sur la poitrine, donc en ajoutant un peu d'huile de théier à une crème hydratante voluptueuse garde ma peau super hydratée. La meilleure partie est que ces deux parfums mélangés ensemble sont tout simplement incroyables! Beaucoup plus attrayant que ma lotion non parfumée. Cette crème contient du beurre de karité et à ma grande surprise, est très légère. Il est d'une consistance fouettée et glisse sur la peau. Ahh que c'est beau. Cela est la meilleure partie de ma routine après de prendre ma douche.



Keep your skin hydrated, calm and smooth this winter using natural and comforting products like these. 
  
Garder votre peau hydratée, apaisante et douce cet hiver avec les produits naturels et réconfortant comme ceux-ci.

Madeline,
xx
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

HowTo Style Curls In 15 Minutes Or Less

If there is one thing that I've learned in the whole realm of hair styling, it's that Madeline and curling irons are not compatible. The downside, is that I love having curly hair. I've also been realizing that my hair lasts much longer between washes when it isn't pin straight (naturally). Just recently, I resorted to my vintage set of hair rollers to try and accomplish the curly 'do without burning my hands off. I was so pleasantly surprised with the results that I had to share my routine.
1. Dove Style + Care Mousse works just as well as it smells. And it smells fabulous.
2. These Conair Rollers would be a nice option if you are planning on trying this method of curling.
3. I used a diffuser on my blow drier for more volume, and my comb is from The Body Shop.
4. Try to roll the hair all the way up to the roots for more volume. Don't pull too tight for a more undone look.
5. I am a huge fan of L'Oreal Elnett UNSCENTED Hairspray
I hope this gave you some helpful tips and tricks on how to achieve natural looking curls. With practice, these steps can be accomplished 15 minutes or less. Good luck and keep those fingers burn-free.

Madeline,
xx
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HowTo Valentine's Day Heart Manicure

Over the past few years, I have come to love painting my nails. Every Sunday evening, I'll watch a few YouTube beauty videos as I freshen up my manicure. I find this ritual to be quite therapeutic and I really look forward to it after a long week. As I started to apply some Valentine's Day themed "Nail Fairy Nail Wraps" this past Sunday, I found myself getting far too frustrated at how difficult they were to apply in a clean, wrinkle-free manner. I took them off and started browsing my Pinterest nail boards to craft up my own design. I really wanted to do some cute nail art, but wasn't feeling time commitment required to perfect each and every heart. After a bit of Googling, I finally found what seemed to be the quickest nail art idea I've ever come across. Read on to see how I managed to create this cute and simple Valentine's Day manicure in around 30 minutes.


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Monday, February 10, 2014

My Clearly Contacts Experience

UPDATE: "Clearly Contacts" is now called Clearly. After finding out that my most recent pair of glasses bought online weren't cut in accordance with my pupil height (not distance), I went into the Clearly store on Queen West and realized that they do not process returns for online orders. The company is going through many changes, and I am now going to visit Costco for my prescription eye wear since the entire experience is a bit more personal and professional. 

Today I am sharing my experience with a 100% Canadian brand, who just recently opened their first store on Queen St. W in Toronto. Clearly is amazing. I have now made 3 purchases through their site, and have not once been let down. Their shipping is super fast- packages arrive within one business week from the date of purchase. Packages come equipped with a high quality glasses case and a very handy cleaning/care/repair kit. They also offer full returns, but if you follow the correct steps, you really won't be needing that.

I took advantage of their Facebook "first pair free" offer, since my prescription is quite low (-1.75 for both eyes) and the total ended up being $18 after shipping and tax. Now, to keep the price low, I got the thickest lenses, with no anti-scratch or anti-glare coatings. That being said, if you are just looking for cheap and fun frames, you really don't need the frills. For glasses that may get scratched and dirty from intensive daily wear, consider the protective coatings. I got the second and third pair during some of their sale days, and still payed around $50. For glasses, this is an unheard of deal. A great benefit for Toronto residents is the ability to head over to their retail store at 317 Queen St W and try on all of the available frames. To get an idea of my choices, check out the pictures below.

My first pair, purchased in November of 2012: Love, Black and Pink Square
Second pair, purchased March of 2013: Vintage, Tortoiseshell Round
Third pair, purchased December of 2013: Love, Cotton Candy Cat Eye

So now, I need to stop buying from Clearly Contacts... Until my actual contacts run out.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

HowTo Remove Makeup

Going to sleep with a clean face is one of my non-negotiable life rules. Whether its from stress of breaking my rule or simply bacteria lingering, I WILL awake with a beautiful blemish somewhere on my skin if I don't get it all off before bed. Now, they key is finding an easy and effective way of doing this. I've been loving the Biocils Lash Optimizer eye makeup remover from Biotherm. They key when looking for an eye makeup remover is finding one which is "two-phased", with both oil and water components. This means that the product will dissolve waterproof makeup without leaving an oily film. This remover from Biotherm specifically cares for your lashes, limiting their fall out and leaving them conditioned. That deserves a big hoo-rah in my opinion. I have LOULOU Magazine to thank for introducing me to Biotherm's gentle makeup removing options. Life changers right here. Read on to see how I use the Biocils Makeup Remover, along with other products.
1. Shiseido Coton Square, 2. SHAKE! 3. Pour, 4. Hold on eye for a few seconds, 5. Gently wipe up, over, around lashes,
5. Repeat for second eye
 I am also a big fan of the Shiseido cotton. One bag of 165 squares is $10 and you can find them at Shoppers Drugmart or Sephora. They are pretty much designer cotton pads. Definitely a princess product, but much higher quality than regular cotton. One pad holds up strong for both eyes and doesn't leave those horribly annoying cotton fibres on your face. I also love using one of these cotton pads for removing nail polish- one lasts for both hands or both sets of toes! Impressive.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Duo-Chrome Nail Polish: Swatches And Comparison

When Chanel's Peridot Nail Lacquer was released in the Fall of 2011, I had a serious urge to invest. Being an August baby, I fell in love with the name and couldn't keep my eyes off the memorizing duo-chrome bottle. Looking back, I am very proud of myself for resisting the temptation because I cannot justify buying a $30 nail polish in a very unusual shade, to say the least. Just a few months later, for Summer 2012, OPI released Just Spotted the Lizard in their "The Amazing Spider Man" collection. For $8, I couldn't pass up this identical Chanel Peridot duplicate. Since then, I have collected two other duo-chrome nail polishes. Essence Where Is The Party is more purple toned and Revlon Chroma Chameleon in Topaz is more blue-toned. OPI is more gold-green compared to the other two. Here are some swatches to compare.
As you can see, all three shades have similar and different effects when viewed at different angles and in different light. That is the essence of "duo-chrome"- two different coloured chrome pigments in one polish.
Although these duo-chrome nail polishes quite the attention-grabbers, they have a beautiful effect and  are easy to apply. OPI is the smoothest and is around $8. Essence is a bit more dull in chrome pigment but is very affordable at around $1. These skinny bottles are now discontinued though. The Revlon Chroma is the least smooth in application but has the shiniest appearance when dry. It is around $7 retail price. I do believe they are all limited edition shades, therefore they could be difficult to find in stores. Many online retailers do stock limited edition OPI shades. Are you a duo-chrome fan?

Happy manicure-ing :)
xx
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Eye Primers

When I first started getting into makeup, one of the initial items I purchased was eyeshadow primer. There are many options to choose from, with some of the most popular being Urban Decay Primer Potion, Nars Eyeshadow Base and Toofaced Shadow Insurance.  Recently, I wanted to test out the inexpensive competitors to see if they could compare. I've been pleasantly surprised by e.l.f's eyeshadow primers, featured in the image below, compared to the Toofaced Shadow Insurance.
Now, why do you need eyeshadow primer when doing makeup? 
These thin creamy products work as anti-creasing bases for your powder eyeshadows. They inhibit your skin's natural oils from causing your eyeshadow to move around, smudge and collect in the creases of your eyelid. Naturally, more expensive options will last for 12 hours+ with the cheaper competitors lasting around 6 hours, with very little shifting of the shadow on top. I was not a huge fan of the e.l.f. Essentials Eyelid Primer in Champagne- $1, because the lasting power was the worst out of the bunch. I would recommend the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer in the shade sheer, since it seems to have a stronger lasting power on my lids. It is also marketed to be 100% natural.  Where application is concerned, squeeze tubes tend to be the most convenient packaging for cream products. The two e.l.f. primers are packaged with doe-foot applicators which work fine, but aren't the most convenient for when the product starts to get empty. Overall, unless you wear makeup on a daily basis or have very troublesome eyelids, one of these cheaper e.l.f. alternatives is a great way to go. The more expensive primers are only "good" for one year after opening, then the product starts to separate, change consistency and work less effectively. I have not yet found a Canadian drugstore alternative to high end eyeshadow primers, but I will be sure to highlight one when it is discovered. Where e.l.f. is concerned, they now have a store in New York and have products in American Targets. Their online shopping is great and they frequently have some super saving days. If you are interested in a few products, $8 shipping isn't a big deal. I have seen some e.l.f. products in Winners stores in Ontario, but their stock is very unpredictable.

Watch my video review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j2PAnF_Mnk

Keep that eye makeup looking fresh, beauties!

Madeline,
xx
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