, pub-5075614835530024, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 2014 | Classically Contemporary

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: Revlon Bold Lacquer By Grow Luscious Mascara

My taste in mascara is constantly changing, and I love trying out the latest craze. But I find myself always drifting back to the same type - classic brush (not firm plastic) and a regular black formula (not waterproof). After hearing such great things about the previous Grow Luscious mascaras from Revlon, I realized that the new Bold Lacquer could be a nice fit for my lashes.

With that classic wand I love, this mascara is definitely a good find. It provides me with definition and fullness, and keeps my curl in-tact. I applied about two coats in the photo above. Though I did notice some clumping, it isn't a big problem and I tend to get this natural, feathery look every time. 

I don't notice much flaking or smudging as the day progresses, so waterproof really isn't necessary for me. 

I can't label this my favourite mascara, since CoverGirl Flamed Out is currently in that spot, but if you're a fan of the classic brush, this is a nice one to try out.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Miracle 10 Face Peel

Right after exam week I made a quick trip to the Miracle 10 Boutique/Plastic Surgery Clinic in Yorkville for one of their resurfacing peel treatments. Since I have young, sensitive skin, I was fitted with the most gentle peel, consisting of 20% lactic acid.

I was a bit nervous at first since I've only heard of more aggressive chemical peels which leave skin red and peeling (literally) for days. Fortunately, my skin looked better than ever right after the treatment, with absolutely no redness or averse reactions. As a matter of fact, the one small patch of dry, irritated skin I had prior to the treatment cleared up within a day. This stuff is a miracle! ha ha.

Derived from milk, lactic acid chemically exfoliates the skin, providing a brighter, smoother and more even skin tone. This is a very safe treatment, especially for temperamental, sensitive skin like mine. I always react to glycolic acid, so this is the perfect AHA alternative. This particular treatment is suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone.

Here's how the lactic acid treatment peel goes:
  1. Sign treatment waivers 
  2. Consultation with the nurse (Neda took wonderful care of me!)
  3. Gentle makeup removal
  4. Medical-grade acetone applied to remove all surface oil
  5. Dermaplaning - surgical blade removes the top layer of dead skin and tiny hairs, allowing the acid to absorb better
  6. Application of 20% lactic acid liquid - left on for 2 mins, feels quite tingly but not painful
  7. The skin is then rinsed and next comes the Miracle 10 mask - clay-based with menthol and lavender oil
  8. After 10 minutes of relaxation, the mask is removed with warm cloths
  9. Next, dry ice is quickly swiped across the skin to tighten pores and remove any flakes of dead skin
  10. Finally, a face massage. Neda used the Miracle 10 moisturizer and finished with eye cream. This was undoubtedly my favourite part of the treatment. 
Overall time: 1hr  Price: $125

This is the perfect example of  a "don't try this at home" situation since real chemical peels require proper training and include a procedure which you cannot perform on your own. It's also important to note that you should not apply any chemical exfoliants (AHA, Glycolic, BHA - salicylic acid) 48 hours before, and after the treatment. Also, avoiding the sun is crucial for two weeks after a peel.

I experienced better than expected results and had a very nice time at the clinic. I am continuing to use some Miracle 10 products I was given to try, which I'll comment on in the near future, but I wouldn't hesitate to visit the clinic again for another treatment. Although it is an investment, skincare is always a rewarding area to indulge in.

You can see a few other photos of the clinic and treatment from Carly at Beauty & The Blog.

Keep your glow on!

Monday, December 22, 2014

DIY Santa Hat Nail Art

With Christmas now only a few days away, I decided to get into the festive mood by creating a fun Christmas mani. After watching this video from Bubz Beauty, I decided that her santa hat nail art would be the perfect design.

This nail art is surprisingly very simple, with only a few required steps:
  1. Create a red tip                  2. Dot a V shape under the tip              3. Add dots for the fur

I started with a base coat, Butter London Nail Foundation, and finished with a top coat, INM Out The Door. For the red hat, I used Wet n Wild's new (releasing in Feb 2015) Wild Shine nail polish in Red Red with their old Wild Shine polish in French White Crème for the fur. I also used my dotting tool from Sephora to create the V shape and the white fur.

Note: Wait a few hours to apply top coat, and try not to drag the brush against your red and white paint. If you drag the brush bristles, the paint will smudge. Use a decent amount of top coat and be fast with your brush strokes.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Skincare Essentials

Skincare Essentials

After months of deliberation, I've come to terms with my absolute necessities for a balanced skincare routine. With under 10 products, this highly customizable routine provides deep cleaning and gentle care, that anyone of any age, and any skin type could use and love.

I fortunately don't have terrible skin, but I do get the occasional acne breakout, some enlarged pores, dryness and oiliness. My skin is true combination, and it's hard to keep the oil at bay while moisturizing and reducing redness.

Here are my morning necessities:

Water & Face Cloth

You don't need to cleanse in the morning if you wash your face throughly at night. Simply use a gentle cloth and some warm water to wake up your skin and remove any sleep crusties. This muslin cloth from The Body Shop is a great option, but I actually prefer baby washcloths. For only a few dollars, they're really cute, dry fast (I can't stand musty cloths) and have the slightest exfoliation.
I make sure to put mine through the wash every week to keep them free of any bacteria or buildup.

Thayer's Witch Hazel

This is the best skin toner out there. Everyone needs a bottle of Thayer's Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel, which is available in a few varieties (rose, cucumber and unscented are best). For $10, I like to pour this into a small spray bottle to spritz as opposed to using cotton each time.

Avène Moisturizer

A light moisturizer is necessary after I wash my face, and the Hydrance Légère from Avène is my absolute fav. The scent is gorgeous (not synthetic or perfume-y) and my skin feels balanced and fresh.  Follow up with SPF if you're planning on going out in the sun. For a cheaper option, I have had great experiences with Nivea products. Their sensitive line is quite nice. 

Now for at night:

Nivea Makeup Remover 

This is a fabulous makeup remover, for a great price. At only $10 or so, this bi-phase makeup remover gets all traces of makeup off the skin. Simply shake, pour onto cotton, and swipe away. To gently remove eye makeup, rest the cotton pad onto your eye area for a few seconds before wiping. That will dissolve the makeup so you aren't left scrubbing. You can see my favourite makeup-removing wipes in this post.

Froosh or Cetaphil Cleanser

I adore the Go Deep cleanser from Froosh, which is a small Toronto-based company owned by a lovely girl named Monika. I met her while working at the One Of A Kind Show. The mild exfoliation and hint of tea tree oil work wonders for my skin. One pot ($12) also lasts for-ever.
A great, simple alternative is Cetaphil's sensitive skin cleanser, or even CeraVe's cleansers. The cleanser itself doesn't matter too much, just avoid those harsh exfoliating scrubs, or ones with perfume-like fragrance.

Clarisonic Mia

Each night I use my Clarisonic with a delicate or cashmere brush head to apply the cleanser. For a budget option, grab one of those cloths from the morning and massage your cleanser all over the skin in circular motions for 1 minute. That's the key here - consistent, gentle exfoliation in a circular motion for 60 seconds. We probably wouldn't cleanse for that long unless someone (or a beeping brush) told us to! A vigorous scrub for 5 seconds could leave you with redness, residual dirt, and micro scratches welcoming in bacteria to cause further breakouts. Blehck.

Thayer's Witch Hazel

Cleansers bring the skin's pH up to a 10, when it should be around 6 (neutral) to keep acne, oil and dryness at bay. So it's pretty crucial to follow up with that same balancing toner from the morning to even everything out. Dry off your face and immediately apply your toner, either with a few spritzes or swiped over on a cotton ball. Such a simple step can make a huge difference. 

Paula's Choice Chemical Exfoliant

This next step has transformed my skin, in its brightness, texture and lack of major breakouts. I apply just the smallest bit of this exfoliating liquid onto my t-zone and cheeks, once a day, avoiding the eyes. Read more here on why I love this salicylic acid treatment.

Cetaphil Moisturizer

Finally, finish with a moisturizer. Weather that's a light serum or a thick cream, this part is especially important after cleansing. Here I've featured the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, since you could literally put this stuff head to toe. It's so thick but doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky or congested. The ingredient list is mainly water, oil and some good quality hydrators with no added fragrance or irritants. It's the absolute best for under the eyes - most eye creams are too rich (and cost a fortune!!) so this is my go-to.

Palmer's Face Oil

Very often I skip the traditional moisturizer and use a straight up oil for my final treatment. I have a whole list of oil options here, but my most recent favourite is this one from Palmer's. It's cheap, available at the drugstore, and has a good blend of ingredients to cover all the bases. I put only a few drops on my palms, rub them together to warm it up, then I press my hands onto my skin, gently distributing the oil. It's such a calming step that seriously diminishes redness and breakouts. Plus, oils will condition your lashes and brows! 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Revlon HD Lipstick

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in 810 HD Orchid on Fashion Magazine Winter 15 p. 149

With all the hype around Revlon's "Love Is On" campaign (see #LOVEISONCA via Twitter or Instagram) their new line of Ultra HD lip products have been getting some serious exposure. After trying the HD Lip Lacquers (review here) I was expecting these lipsticks to have a rich, creamy, shimmer-free formula with the equivalent colour impact as the gloss. 

Two swipes of Revlon's Ultra HD Lipstick in 810 HD Orchid
Sadly, this formula is thin and not very pigmented on first swipe. Don't get me wrong - Orchid is a gorgeous shade of pink that really pops, but the texture and shimmer threw me off. 

The packaging is cool and fresh, BUT the bullet doesn't wind down all the way. Noo! I've only used this lipstick a few times, and I'm already frustrated. It's almost impossible not to hit the edge of the lipstick when taking the cap on and off. Not to mention the strong, fake, fruity smell that comes along with this product. Sad times. On the contrary, I'm a big fan of Revlon's ColorBurst Lip Butters for their moisturizing finish, decent colour impact and impressive longevity. Mine is now long gone since their release was in 2012, but that's a product I would totally recommend.
I feel as if I was expecting these lipsticks to be more like the new Maybelline Creamy Matte line,  with that rich pigment and comfortable finish that's totally on trend. But regardless, check them out for yourself. There's bound to be a shade for everyone. They retail for $12 CAD, more or less.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Revlon HD Lip Lacquers

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in 500 HD Garnet & 560 HD Fire Opal on Elle Canada December 14 p. 184
It's a fact: Revlon makes really great lip gloss. I've been wearing their new Ultra HD Lip Lacquers for a few weeks now, and they're seriously growing on me. How gorgeous is this pink one? It's a great alternative to the (now revamped) Super Lustrous lip gloss that I've loved for years.

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in 500 HD Garnet & 560 HD Fire Opal
Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in 500 HD Garnet & 560 HD Fire Opal

Despite being a bit sticky and gloopy, these HD Lip Lacquers are a fabulous option if you're looking for a highly pigmented lip gloss that's smooth, moisturizing and shimmer-free.

I'm typically not a fan of red lips, but I find this Fire Opal shade to be fresh and wearable. A glossy finish looks and feels great in the winter, since the cold weather tends to make matte lips look dry and flaky extra quick.

These lip lacquers are definitely glossier than the Moisture Stains (review here) and also leave a considerable stain behind. I much prefer this small brush to the fuzzy applicator on the Revlon stains. Creating that precise lip line is a breeze.

Overall, big thumbs up for these super pigmented HD lip glosses from Revlon. They don't even compare to their HD Lipstick counterpart (not a fan). But more on that coming this Wednesday.

See my video review here:
Happy smooching!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Top 10 Closet Essentials

Closet Essentials

It's time for Fashion Friday!  

Earlier this fall I was really inspired by a post seen on the Glitter Guide, featuring a list of "10 Classic Pieces You Need In Your Closet". Though my compilation isn't very different, I decided to pull together specific wardrobe items that I already own. Sadly, my post isn't as adorably illustrated as theirs, but nevertheless here are my Top 10 (and a few extras). 

1. Printed Neutral Scarf

My favourite leopard print scarf was a random find at H&M from way back when. A good quality scarf will last, so don't hesitate to invest since it will take you from season to season, year to year. A simple grey, a subtle animal print, or a pattern in your favourite neutral is always a great idea. 

2. Shift Dress

A basic shift dress is flattering on any shape, so don't be afraid to stock up. Nothing's more comfortable than a straight, relatively loose dress that doesn't cling and holds its shape. I also threw in some great quality opaque tights. I must say that after years of testing (ahem, don't go for American Apparel) J. Crew does these the best. You can't mention shift dresses without some solid tights!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Fashion Magazine Winter 2015
I've been trying out a bunch of Revlon products recently, and I'm definitely finding some new favourites. The Colorstay Moisture Stains, one of their newest lip products, are creamy lipsticks that have rich pigmentation and stay glossy to avoid dryness. I tried out 050 London Posh, a sparkly peach, and 005 Parisian Passion, a deep burgundy red. 


Monday, December 8, 2014

New Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Polishes For 2015

Clockwise from top: Ready to Propose, Grape Minds Think Alike, Protective Base Coat, Matte Top Coat and Yo Soy
Coincidentally enough, LOULOU Magazine and I have been inspired by the same colour palette!  

I came across this "Dress to Impress" article a fw days after painting my nails with Wet n Wild's newly reformulated and repackaged Wild Shine nail polishes. The revamped line will be available in February 2015, along with a whole array of other new products and formulas. See the style of their old bottles here

Left: Grape Minds Think Alike and Ready to Propose with 2 coats of Matte Top Coat.
Right: Yo Soy and Ready to Propose with 1 coat of Matte Top Coat.

I've been meaning to pick up a bottle of matte top coat, since it's such a fun texture to incorporate into nail art. These photos were taken on day 5 and I applied an extra coat of matte onto the burgundy hand to show its true effect. You can see that the matte-ness has slightly worn off on the nude hand.

I used the protective base coat, two coats of colour and followed up with the matte top coat on both hands. I was hesitant to put matte on the shimmery gold, but I actually love the "brushed metal" look that the polish took on. The top coat dried surprisingly quick, especially since it's relatively more thick than the other polishes. 

These nail polishes have a typical brush, not pinched or rounded
I think one of the most remarkable qualities of the Wet Wild brand is their loyalty to staying affordable. Like really affordable. As we see many other drugstore brands pushing their price tickets up into the 10's and 20's, this iconic polish had been $1.99 for 35 years, and will stay at that price for years to come. Although this isn't the most profitable business plan, I  respect the comany for providing good quality, inexpensive cosmetics which are readily available at the drugstore.

Overall, I am blown away by the Wild Shine range. This new formula stands up to the test of time and the bottles look super sleek. Despite a few minor issues, like loose caps or brush bristles being slightly imperfect, I've been loving all the shades in the collection and I can't wait to share some more festive manis.

Look out for the new Wet n Wild releases in February at your local Walmart, Loblaws or Rexall.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas

I cannot believe that it's already December. Though the frosty weather is a daily reminder, I'm surprised that 2014 is nearly behind us. But with Christmas only a few weeks away, I decided to compile a short list of my favourite gift ideas for friends and family this holiday season.

Sephora Gift Sets 

I recently ordered the Skin Wonderland set (blog post here) and I have to admit that Sephora's gift ideas are very worthwhile. I mention their Face & Eye Travel Tool Kit in this video, which I believe is sadly sold out. Many comparable brush sets are still available on the site and their top-selling gifts are in stock for the current Beauty Insider discount ($15-$25 off).

L'Occitane Gift Sets

For any skincare lover, L'Occitane is the place to be around the holidays. I love shopping around their boutiques since their signature sets are always such a great value. The gift with purchase promotions, and pretty packaging make their exquisite French body products ideal gifts for anyone.

Joe Fresh Statement Necklace 

Yes, I buy necklaces at my grocery store. I couldn't say no when I saw the sparkly crystals on this pretty statement necklace when perusing the Joe Fresh aisle at my local Loblaws. For under $20, their jewellery pieces are a perfect last-minute addition to any pretty present.

Body Fantasies Body Spray Set 

Instead of buying pre-packaged presents, it's always nice to create something more personal. For only a few dollars at Wal-Mart, these fragrances by Body Fantasies smell amazing. They would be perfect as stocking stuffers or thrown in with some other beauty products. This set includes sweet pea, fresh musk and a deeper floral fragrance.

Shick Hydro Shaving Set 

Most drugstores have special promotions around the holidays, and I recently spotted these awesome gift sets at Shoppers Drug Mart. The purple-themed set for women was super cute, and actually came with a small travel hair straightener. I ended up choosing the mens version, since I prefer the Hydro 5 razor. Best part? A bonus set of pocket pliers. See the video below for more details.

The Body Shop is also having a buy 2 get 2 free, or buy 3 get 3 free deal until Dec. 8 so you can browse around here if you're a fan of their products.

See my video compilation of gift ideas here:

Happy shopping!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Being Memorable

I love reading magazines, and I'm particularly fond of the articles in Elle Canada. While flipping through the October 2014 issue (yes, I'm that far behind in my mags) I couldn't help but tear out the article written by Clara Young titled "Woman Up". The subheading reads "what does modern power dressing mean? Be yourself." 

Fashion is such a controversial industry, but when it comes down to day-to-day outfits, what should we wear? Do you have to wear black pants and a white top to work, or pointy toe pumps if you claim to be a "boss lady"? Do we all need to start wearing tartan scarves and matte nude lips because that's whats in?

I'm not big on labels, and I prefer having people ask me where I got something, as opposed to having the brand shout out to them as I walk by. That being said, it all comes down to being yourself, being comfortable, and being memorable because of that.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DIY Necklace Organizer

Raise your hand if you've struggled through the impossible task of untangling necklaces.

*Madeline raises as many hands as she can find*

This easy DIY is the perfect way to prevent your necklaces from tangling up, and it makes for a pretty decor piece as well. 

All of the required items for this project can be found at Dollarama, and it only takes a few minutes to throw together. I'd recommend measuring out your nail holes beforehand, to ensure that you get them centred and aligned.

These canvasses have a wooden frame, which makes hammering the nails a breeze. The cute stand actually came in a pack with a smaller canvas, but it can be used for displaying a board of any size. I love the idea of hanging necklaces up on a wall, so this is an easy way to achieve that look without making tons of holes.

if you have a bit of spare time this weekend, swing by your local dollar store and try out this fun and easy DIY.

Happy crafting!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why I Love Pinterest

For years I have been saving photos from my favourite blogs and websites into labelled folders in my computer documents. Weather they were jewellery ideas, outfit inspiration, or makeup looks, I feel like I've been secretly pinning for decades. My inner type A yelped for joy when I first found out about this pretty little site (and app!) where I could offload all of my saved photos, and find millions more to add to my collection. One night I literally spent hours building up my boards, and I haven't stopped since. I check Pinterest almost daily, and I continue to find amazing ideas for now, or for 10 years from now. 

I'm really conscious of what I'm pinning, and I frequently go through my boards to keep my inspiration fresh. Some of my favourite things to find on Pinterest are at-home workout routines, easy recipes, unique DIY's and home decor ideas. 

My Pinterest page @MadelineADM  :*
I've had so much fun recently creating some of my own pins too. But my favourite board as of late has got to be my Sweets. It might just be because of the change in weather, but nothing sounds better than a warm banana bread, or fresh crispy cookies. 

If you haven't already made a Pinterest account, I'd highly suggest checking it out! Click here to see mine. I'd love to follow you back.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Natural Skincare From Lotus Aroma

Over the past few months I've been incorporating two new serums into my routine from the French Canadian brand Lotus Aroma.

Despite being labelled "anti-aging", these skincare products are very gentle and formulated for adults of all ages. It's never too early to start taking care of your skin!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Visiting Williamsburg and Virginia Beach

A pretty horse and carriage in Colonial Williamsburg
I spent a brisk afternoon walking through Colonial Williamsburg while visiting the US at the end of October. This popular historic site is like a more intense version of our Pioneer Village. The warm fall colours and muted sunlight really brought out the natural beauty of this picturesque American town.

I so enjoy the perfect 15° fall weather which makes afternoon walking very enjoyable. There's nothing quite like a pretty, winding path lined with leaves.

Hey, have you ever seen a cotton plant? There was a small garden area with various plants for kids (and overgrown kids like myself) to walk through and explore. I thought this was so cool, and super soft.

As a lover of all things found in a gift shop, I was in absolute heaven in the vintage-y stores scattered around Colonial Williamsburg. How adorable are these bottles of Beautifying Water? Luckily they were too big to carry home on the plane, so I had to deal with only taking a picture. Because let's be honest.... how many beautifying waters does a girl really need? I believe I maxed out a looong time ago.

These yummy syrups made me seriously crave some pancakes. 

My one souvenir was this teeny tiny wax sealer, etched with my initial. I'm a big card maker so I thought that this would be a really nice addition to my stock of supplies. It's currently acting as a little piece of decor on my desk until my Christmas production line begins. (Finishing exams on Dec. 16 ... it couldn't come sooner.)

We also managed to visit Virginia Beach, which was unfortunately hit with a dark, rainy wind storm that same weekend. It's a really sweet spot that gets packed during the warmer months. Despite the weather, it was fun to walk around the streets lined with beachwear shops and fun restaurants.

Happy travels!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Latest Finds

Latest Finds

I took a short trip to the U.S. two weeks ago and managed to find some really great fashion and beauty items.

First up is this sequinned black dress from the Altuzarra for Target collection. It was reduced for around $16 from $54, which is a super deal since it fits well and has really nice details.

I also found this cute burnout tee at Target, on sale, which you can see here in two colours. I picked up the black one for $13 and cannot get over how high quality the material is.

I have finally rounded up 6 completed MAC products, so I was able to do a Back2MAC swap for this gorgeous shadow in the shade Quarry. It's a pretty, matte taupe that looks wonderful in the crease. The photo is showing up a lot more pink than it is greige, but next time you pass by the store be sure to check this one out.

One of my favourite finds is this cute lace bra from Gap. Not only is it in one of the best colours, but the fit is amazing and it's super comfy since there is no wire. I'm hoping that this style returns in some fun new colours for spring.

One thing I make sure to pick up in the states is a pack of these "no show" socks from Journeys. I do believe that these can be found in Canada now, but I got both a white and black pack anyways. For about $10 for 5 pairs, these high quality socks are a must have.

After hearing this great multitasking tip from Jessica at Beautezine, I undoubtedly had to find the Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather in Creamy Beige. A long-wearing cream eyeshadow, and cream contour in one? Amazing.

I also decided to invest in these New Balance runners from DSW. I actually switched out the white laces for some black ones, which gives a less stark appearance. These shoes weigh nothing and are extremely cushy for running and exercising.

And finally, my new favourite foundation. The Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Classic Ivory is the perfect replacement for my Essence Matte Foundation (available in Europe only) which I fell in love with over the summer.

I also scored two amazing jewellery pieces on sale at J.Crew. The Honeybee necklace, which is sadly sold out online, is a stunning statement piece that sparkles like nothing else. I can't wait to wear this around the holidays to spruce up any simple top.

All hail, the Pyramid Crystal Bracelet, my new love. This piece is surprisingly small enough to fit my wrist, and the curved links sit so comfortably. The raised pyramid crystals are super classy, with that little bit of a rocker edge. I have to restrain myself from buying another one since I love it that much.

Happy shopping!

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