dimanche 19 décembre 2010


I cannot bring myself to care in the slightest way about this movie - that being said, I am grateful for the impact it seems to have had on the beauty industry - not surprinsing, considering how hip the pin-up/cabaret girl look is currently. Still, some nice burlesque-themed collections were released, and I like them :

I have liked all the smashbox products I have used to far - I thus find this burlesque kit is both affordable, and very interesting. I mentionned it in my gift guide post.

I think this kit could become great friends with :

a selection of minis out of this collection :

Vintage Cuteness

Something very child-like survives throughout most women's life : we can be sensible, close to our emotions, and fascinated by cute things. Why ? What do you mean, why ? Cute things are cute !

I think that for most of the medium-high end make-up companies (Sephora, Mac, Urban Decay, etc), the target customers are the 18-30-year-olds, seeing that they are grown-up, like to be pretty, have money and not so much financial obligations yet. That might explain why so many companies are coming up with cartoon-themed collections. What twenty-two year old can resist a pink lipstick with Hello Kitty on it ?? (by all means, sense the tone!)

That being said, I do think cartoons can be cute, and add a little something to some items, though it tends to make the products look more girlish than womany. In my humble opinion.

The trendiest cartoons of the hour ?

Who could resist that cuty kitty face ? Come on, it's go no mouth and a little bow ! (Crowd : awwwwwh). Little do most people know, that kitty cat is several times a billionnaire. Hello Kitty was sent out in the world for the first time in 1974 by Sanrio, bought several years later by Sega, and since then, several thousands of derived products are sold throughout the world and add up to about a billion dollars of sale per year. And know what the best part is ? I am pretty sure that even if 19 in 20 young girls can name that caracter, maybne one, if any, of them at the most have ever seen Hello Kitty in something else than a derived product ("what do you mean, there's a cartoon ?")

I can't say exactly when the cute feline broke its way into the make-up industry - it was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm pretty sure that there always was, somewhere, a pink chapstick with Hello Kitty on it. That being said, I'm think I can safely say that Mac took it to higher-end make-up world for good when they released their Hello Kitty collection, back in 2008.

Girls throughout the world could not bear the overwhelming cuteness (especially that Mac had put a nice Avril Lavigne twist on the collection), collected their bucks (who needs a savings account ?) and spent hundreds of dollars - the collection sold out within the blink of an eye.

It is since then that I've realized how viral Hello Kitty is - no matter in what generic store you are, you'll stumble upon the white kitten. Yet, those dotted eyes still seem effective to wake the pre-teen girl in any one - derived products sell out as candy. A very safe bet for a girly girl's Christmas gift.

All Mac collections are limited edition - yet, it was a matter of time only before the kitten scratched its way back into the mid-high end make-up industry. Thus, as all Sephora Beauty Insiders know (and readers of temptalia.com), Sephora is lauching a new collection : Hello Kitty for Sephora.

There was an online pre-release for beauty insiders only, and the official lauch will be in-stores soon, before being available online again. It looks as japanese as can be : all white, clear, jeweled and kitty-faced. A few pictures :

Hello Kitty and Teenage Violence : in a soon-to-be-released Hello Kitty brush kit, our teenages will have to behead the kitten to access their brushes by unscrewing the holder's head. Troubling.

I find it looks very pre-teenage-ish - it will definitely be a block buster. Keep your eye open for that !

My call for upcoming cartoons :

Eventually, there will be a limit for how many different items you can shape like Hello Kitty's head. Here are the caracters I feel are the next to make their break in the industry.

Mickey Mouse
Mickey is the grandpa of cartoons, soon to be a hundred years old (and still not a wrinkle on his face ! I call his entry in the beauty domain will be as the promoter of a facial cream). His cuteness is timeless.

That being said, I don't think Mickey has aged as well as other cartoons - he's very child-like, in a not-girly-enough way.

If I had to guess, I would say that Vintage Mickey Mouse could sell out a Mac collection - they should insist on his hand-drawn aspect, and make it look a little sketchy - Sepia and faded black colors, that kind of stuff. In any way, to make it look more elaborate that the Venomous Vilains stickers. Those were a big let down.

Betty Boop
Fashion for teenage to mid-twenties girls, in the beginning of the new millenium, was kind of a disaster : I hope girls all over the world are still ashamed of having been a part of the low-cut-jeans-and-g-string-up-to-the-middle-of-the-back trend. Recently, the fashion industry has been dealing a little (and I insist, a little) better with how sexual it has to be : pin-up is the new slut. I have to say, I do find the pin-up look rather beautiful. At least, they didn't have tramp-stamps at thirteen.

It is not surprising to see how popular Betty Boop has become in the last few years, as the pin-up trend seems to settle. I seem to stumble upon more and more derived products, ranging from purses to pyjamas. My gut feeling is that she is soon to be found in a Sephora near you !

Boo-boo-pi-doo-ooh !

Tinker Bell

Tinker Bell seems to be in-between two generations - that green dress is short enough to make her a slut, but still, I would say she leans a little on the pin-up side. Tinker Bell is more of a tease than a slut. She has been overly popular with the tweenies in the last few years, as I can observe on my two younger sisters, and I would not be surprized that make-up companies would target them as customers by releasing a Tinker Bell line. Right now, Tinker Bell beauty products are only sold in dollar stores and drug stores, but in a few years, I think there could be a strong commercial potential there ! 

Forever21 has already started to market Peanuts-derived clothing, and I think it's only a matter of time before someone realizes it would rock for make-up packaging as well. It's got a vintage feel to it, it's girly but not overly (it would be a nice alternative to all the Hello Kittyness going on), and could appeal to a different audience.

Anyway, aside from calling all the next make-up cartoons, my point was that these cartoons are possible the most popular amongst the grown-up kids at the time, and any pencil/notepad/compact/burse/bag/girly t-shirt with these printed on could make very good and easy to find gifts for most young women in your life.

Make-up Art

I have had debates with my boyfriend as to whether or not make-up is art; I think we've agreed to disagree. Whilest I do concede that there is little to no artistic skills needed to achieve your typical smokey eye, I do feel that editorial beauty can show some real artistic talent. That's just my two cents on the matter.

I, obviously, am not alone to feel that make-up can be just artistic as other media. Some make-up artists even use make-up to create hommages to artistic masterpieces. It is the case of Chanel, for their 2011 Paris-Byzance Métiers d'Art Show Beauty - the creative team inspired themselves from antique byzantine mosaics


I think these two are adorables, I hate them for having such perfect skin, and I find the make-up simple but gorgeous. I am once more fascinated by Chanel, and once more mad that I'm too poor to be able to afford their products.

Holidays Damage Control Series

I've never been "really" fat - but, a few years ago, I did carry about twenty pounds more than I should have. I did loose that twenty pounds since, and that makes me a weight loss expert that you can blindly trust, right ? I'm glad that's settled. I have developped a new theory according to which the weight loss of your wallet during the holidays is directly proportionnal to your own weight gain. Genius, isn't it ?

Alright, sooo, since we all know that within the next two weeks, we'll all gain anywhere between five to ten pounds, let's get mentally ready to control the damages and loose that extra weight after the holidays. I'll upload a few tricks I found always worked for me whenever I tried to loose weight. One thing you should know is that my weight fluctuates very easily - I can gain or loose two-three pounds overnight. It might take you longer to see some results - don't give up !

First and foremost : how's the weight going ? Calculate your BMI (because I support lazy people, click HERE for an online app to calculate it for you). One should not only swear by this : it doesn't consider whether you have a small, regular or large bone structure, your body constitution, your age or sex... Still, it's a useful measure to evaluate how you stand weight wise. If you're a 17.5, click on that little X button in the corner of your screen and go get yourself a soda and a cheeseburger, or something. My point is that some people don't need to loose weight.

Set your objective : what are you trying to achieve ? Loose that holiday-five-pounder, loose those fifteen pounds that slow you down when you run to catch your bus, or loose the fifty pounds that might give you a heart attack before you turn thirty ? One should always set small, quickly achievable goals : normally, the healthy way to loose weight is one pound a week. Set an objective to loose five pounds in a month, for example.

Weight Watchers : I don't understand people who subscribe to Weight Watchers - mainly, because I don't see the point. You can very easily find the Weight Watchers Points formula online to calculate how many points different foods are worth. It's pretty easy : Calories divided by 50, plus Fat divided by 12, minus Fibers divided by 5, and then you round up. The thing to remember from this : the more fibers there is in something, the more you're allow to have it. I think you can find out online how many points you are allow a day, based on the amount of weight you want to loose. I'm no fan of maths - I think that back when I was loosing weight, I was allow about 18-20 points a day. I never really cared to note everything I was eating, but it did help me realize that a 8-points donuts was a big dieting no-no.

So, what I did learn from hearing co-workers (I used to work in an office with middle-aged ladies who were all Weight Watchers members) talk about their little fat watching meetings ? Muffins and donuts are to be avoided by all means ! It surprized me as well to learn that bagels should be avoided. Instead, have an english muffin - they taste good and don't fill your love handles as much. No fat with feculants - for example, avoid butter with potatoes. For some reason, your body absorbs fat more when you have it with potatoes, pasta and such. White meat over red meat. Avoid booze (haha, yeah right. And then, see how fun New year Eve's party really is. Great disappointment).

You might have noticed some Weight Watchers certified aliment, that display the amount of points each item is worth. There are some Weight Watchers bread, bagels, cookies, etc. Though a little more expensive than they sometimes should, these aliments are usually divided in pretty small portions, and contain more fibers than their non-weightwatching equivalents. I got addicted to Weight Watchers cookies-  a good way to satisfy cravings without having to run for a half an hour in the stairs at work !

That's the main thing to always always keep in mind : small portions, and fibers. Buy whole wheat pasta, bread, etc. Tastes the same anyway. Have two toasts in the morning instead of three. Eat egg whites instead of whole eggs (the yollk contains most of the fat, you can have three egg whites for the same amount of fat of a whole egg. That means you can have nine egg whites with your breakfast instead of three eggs !).

I got sick of this post and will finish it later.

mardi 14 décembre 2010

dimanche 12 décembre 2010

Christmas Cheapness

It's cold outside, the radio here is blasting Christmas songs (and has been for a few weeks now, but that's besides the point) and I know that whenever I leave my house to get somewhere, I have to plan an extra five-to-ten minutes to remove the snow from my car and let the engine heat up. The holidays are upon us ! It's the great time of year during which you can kiss good-bye all yours savings, your waistline and perhaps even your sanity good-bye. Time for some good ol' "bitching about the crowds of rude people in the stores - and who shops on the 24th anyway ??" action ! But come on, you've worked hard this year, you're bending over backwards to get something that will please all your beloved ones, you've survived your finals and/or any other grown-up equivalent... you deserve a little treat, right ? (I can promise you this thinking will gain you fifteen pounds over the holidays, but ain't that part of the fun?). This time of year is to show your dear ones your appreciation, sure, but also the best occasion to pull off the "and that's a little gift from me to me !". Is that cheating ? Making silly excuses ? Of course it is - but if you're going to be bad, do it well.

All year, make-up brands have mingled with your mind by releasing tons of products you want, crave, desire, need. It is not good for a human being to have undergo so much mental accounting to know if one can afford a thirty-seventh nude pink lipgloss (but this one has a lilac undertone, it's completely different from the others right ?) and still make rent. Any make-up addict managing to keep up with all the releases are either too reasonable in their cravings to be fun to address this message to, have had their Internet connexion cut for not paying the bill, or are absurdly rich, in which case I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'm getting off track.

I was saying... I'm "living on a rather tight budget", I live expensive stuff and will not feel guilty for not getting my great-aunt-in-law a Christmas gift because I decided my own stocking could use a little more stuffing. Every year, most make-up brands release holiday packages - usually, adorably-packaged travel-sized versions of their best selling products. They make awesome gifts, but are also often great to try out a wider variety of products for the same, or lesser, amount of money. Sometimes, it will turn out that the amount/price ratio for each product is a little more expensive, but frankly, have you ever finished a make-up product before getting sick of it ? I rarely do, and am thus ready to pay more for less product, if I get to try out more stuff. That's just me.

So, things to check out ! Click below because this post is turning out awfully long.

MAC's Tartan Tale Collection

This collection was released a few weeks ago and hats off the the package designers - it looks awesome, and not cheap like MAC packaging sometimes does (I'm looking at you, Venomous Vilains!). The color selection is beautiful and they put together some interesting lil' kits. A few sets are missing for the pictures below - including the nail polish kit and one of the pigment sets.

Eyeshadow compacts, lip kits, brushes kits and look-kit in green.

Look kit in pink, the face compacts, the pigment sets and the lip gloss sets.

Sephora's holiday kits

The website is down. We live in a rather weird world, when even online stores get too crowded around Christmas.

Throughout the year, Sephora puts together some deluxe samplers or look kits - which are usually, cute boxes with sample-to-full sized products for either a specific brand or a few brands. Around Christmas time, you'll find a ton of these in their stores.

From the top of my head, I know that they have a deluxe mascara sampler - which is a kit including about ten mini mascaras. I got the one from last year a few months ago (*cough* on clearance) and as a mascara freak, I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. I think similar lipstick samplers exist, but I find it's a little more tricky - unless the person you intend to give it to always wear the type of lipstick, it's hard to choose a color for someone. The only one I have seen was a kit of pink lipsticks, and I know they look awful on me. Don't care much for those. If it's for yourself, well.. you know your colors, and baby lipsticks look very very cute in purses.

Apparently, they also have a perfume sampler kit. It's a box of about a dozen baby perfumes, and it comes with a coupon you can trade for a full-size version of one of the perfumes. I've seen similar kits in Shopper's Drugmarts and I find it's a great alternative to the classic "giving your mother her perfume". It allows the person to try a few new scents and know if it's a disaster on them without having to find a way to regift it ! Same applies if you buy it for yourself - I don't think the package is considerably more expensive than a bottle of perfume alone, and you get a dozen extras smells for free !

Otherwise, the thing I have seen were looks-in-a-box. Those are almost a fool-proof package. Do read what the box contains (especially anything face related - concealers can be tricky according to skin tones). More often than not, there will be a picture of a look - imagine it five times less dramatic. Make it ten times less dramatic, if you're shopping for a natural looking kinda gal. Does it seem like something the person you're shopping for would like ? Or it is something you can imagine yourself with ? Looks in a box are such a no-brainer I feel kinda silly to write a whole paragraph about them. Bla bla bla.

Other brands

I haven't had the chance to try many high-end make-up brands to be perfectly frank. Let's work our way down a list of generic items instead !

Foundations, though expensive and nice gifts, can turn out to be disasters if they don't match. Unless you sneak in that person's make-up stash to see their exact shade or have a natural talent to match people's skintones just by looking at them... meh. That being said, all-over face powders can be a variation on that theme - MAC, for example, has a few mineralized skin finishes that provide sheer coverage and cover a category of skin tones (fair, medium-fair, medium, etc).

Mascaras are always nice, especially good ones. Don't give the Falsies 'cause they're awful. Putting together a stash of drugstore mascaras (stick to brown or black) can be a nice cheaper alternative - it's your chance to use your UNUSED extras if you buy mascaras in buy-one-get-one-free packages. That being said, don't give mascaras to people if they have been removed from their cardboard packaging (like in the case of the extra free one) unless it's someone close to you, and find a cute way to package it to justify it being unwrapped. Never ever give used mascara, even if it's a very expensive one you turned out to hate after one use, it's gross and farely dangerous. Sinon, je vous excommunie.

Lipsticks are iffy. If the person always has a red (or pink, or burgundy, you see my point) lip, go for it. Otherwise, it's hard to know if a color will match someone. 

Blushes ? I don't see why not. Everybody seems to be head over heels for Nars' Orgasm or Deep Throath (thank you Nars, for making my blog R-rated). MAC has a perhaps the widest selection of natural colors. Color-wise, I'll tell you a secret : no matter how different they might look in the pot, most of them will turn out the same once on the skin : either peach, light pink, hot pink, red, or more on the plum side. Most colors will match anyone - though darker skin tones will need darker colors  ( I feel like I'm stating the obvious a whole lot in this post). A good tip to find the perfect color for someone : if it's for yourself, bend over until you blush because the blood is flowing in your head. That's the color you're going for. If you shopping for someone else, wait until they are in front of their new crush and remind everyone of the time they peed themselves in the line to the bathroom in a rest stop in Vermont. Take a picture (or mental image) and match that color.

A good good eyeliner can be nice. Urban Decay has pretty decent ones. MAC's gel liners are a favorite of mine. Also, if you're a late gifter, I think they are going to repromote Feline eyeliner in January, and the whole world seems to be raving about it. Unless it's for your little sister, don't regift that little black eyeliner that came as a bonus with your Maybeline mascara. That's just cheap. I mean come on, I'm cheap and I wouldn't even do that ! I repeat little sisters don't count.

Make-up brushes are awesome presents. They're expensive, and a girl can never have too many brushes - if anything, it will save her from washing the ones she has right now so often (hurray for encouraging laziness !). I don't own any MAC brushes, but apparently, it's da shit. People who are from a one to a six on the scale of one to ten of make-up savyness will love the Tartan Tales brush bags. From the seven-to-ten, you'll get the oh-you-shouldn't-have, served with a side of fake-smile, because they're supposably not as good as regular MAC brushes. They'll forgive you because the bag it comes in is awefully cute. If you ask me, they're very pretty kits. Single MAC brushes, though less impressive to give, might be a better investment for people picky about brushes. Price wise, I think most of them range from 30$ to 50$ a piece. On the cheaper side, a nice alternative would be Sigma brushes, available HERE, are apparently the next-best-thing and pretty good. I think they sell for about 10$ per brush, and a few kits are available. On a even cheaper note, I like ELF studio brushes a whole lot. HERE. They look good, they are very soft, and dirt cheap. They are definitely cheaper than most, but they get the job done. Stay even from the blush fan brush, absolutely useless, and even though I haven't tried it, I have no faith in the kabuki brush. Their angle brush works just as well as a high-end one, the flat-top powder brush is pure bliss, and I have heard a lot of people raving about the C eye-shadow brush (I'm not head over heels, but it's good, no doubt there). ELF often has some special offers, such as 50% off studio line, be on the look out for that. The regular sale price for each brush is 3$ - do not hesitate to buy double/triples of certain brushes, they will be used. On the opposite range of the price chart, a certain japanese brand of brushes is apparently the best out there. I'll try to find its name again - I think it was about 100$ per brush. HERE! (edit) Great way to piss people off nicely and show off your money ! On the fun side, if you check out ebay, there's a mysterious chinese company that sells color kabukis for a few bucks (I want to say 6$ including shipping). I used to have a purple one (which I lost, sadly). They definitely on the cheap side, the hair is not very dense, but they look very festive and get the job done. This is the one I had (click!!). Searching for "kabuki" on ebay will show up a list of results, including red, square shaped Givenchy brushes - obviously fake, but cute !!

Eye-shadows make great gifts too. Try to stick to the person's usual palette. Neutrals are a great go-to (for the un-savy, neutral colors are generally all brownish, beigish colors, sometimes grays). Palettes with a few colors are a better gamble than a single color. Stay away from any king of satin finish or shimmer if you're gift is for a "mature" person ! Anything that reflects light a lot deepens any crease or wrinkles, and that's depressing, and makes you a bad person for reminding someone that they're aging. Really, why would you do that ??

Sephora take two
Website is back up. I quickly browsed the gift section - nice nice packages there ! Special mention to Bare Essentuals, which I find always have nice, affordable kits. Careful though, many people don't enjoy loose make-up so much because it's a little messier to work with. Smashbox also came out with a Burlesque inspired kit which is pretty nice. Maybe couple it the mini Burlesque nailpolish kit from OPI and make your girl one happy cabaret dancer ? Tokidoki have nice kits for teenagers, but I find their products sometimes look a little cheap. Never tried them, don't take my word for it. Make Up Forever came out with a 300$ train case full of make-up, and it's awesome (and it's worth twice that amount ! Come on, what a bargain!!!) Still in the beauty domain, I will never stop raving about Philosophy's products. In the same train of thought, do check out Lush, they have cute pre-wrapped gift sets. Don't buy bath bombs and bubble baths to someone who doesn't have a bathtub, that's just mean. There is a Sephora by OPI mini nailpolish kit with eighteen colors that is very cute. I don't care for Ed Hardy, don't get that.

Quick overlook :

This could go on forever.

In general :
Bare Essentuals : for the make-up savy only, or at least make sure the person is open to loose powders.

Smashbox : I like it a lot, versatile, rather affordable and fairly professionnal.

Make-up for Ever : fool proof, but not cheap.

Mac : fool proof. Products sometimes disappointing, you pay for the packaging, but most people are in love with MAC despite it all.

Tokidoki, Tina Tarantino : teenage-ish, on the poor quality side.

Befenit, Urban Decay, Too Faced : teenage-ish looking sometimes, but very decent quality

Sephora brand : give it a shot

Philosophy and Fresh : I love

Chanel, Dior and them designers : Expensive with a capital E. Is the quality worth the money? You tell me - but these are great gifts since most people won't go out and pay that much money for a product in normal circumstances.

mercredi 17 novembre 2010

Méthodes quantitatives I

Hey there !

What us unknown bloggers like to do is compulsively look at our blog's stats - for those of you who are not familiar with blogspot, when you create a blog, you can view your number of hits, hits per day, single hits, sources of traffic, messages viewed and fun stuff like that.

Now, I believe that the first thing a blogger has to realize is that, in all likelyness, they'll be talking to themselves - unless they already, for one reason or another, have an online audience. I had come to peace with that fact - I think blogging is entertaining, and there is no other situation in my life for me to chat about make-up and beauty things.

Et là, blogspot intervient et vient mêler les cartes : I sign in today, check out that good ol' stats page, and I have views. Not a lot, but a few of them. What is the most likely is that people googled-pic. something, and my page came up - but still, the harm is done : I now feel like someone might be reading this. So, just so I can get over that phase, comment below if you're not a voice in my head - write, like, the story of your favorite pair of socks, or something. Or how much my French pisses you off :)

Seriously, if anyone is reading this (or even, heaven forbid, enjoying it!), I'd love to get to know you - or know that you exist too.

Otherwise, I don't mind talking to myself. I'm good company.

Cheerio !

PS - I've had a sample-size of Bad Galmascara sitting in my drawer forever, never used it because I find the wand incredibly big, but I used it yesterday and this morning, and it turns out it's a pretty good product. I blame the Falsies for making me like higher brands again, darn it.

dimanche 14 novembre 2010

About that Viral Mascara...

I don't think I have ever seen a make-up product as advertised as the Falsies Mascara has been promoted lately. In a way, it worked - it did pick it up last week.

I was in a hurry (lunch break), so I grabbed the first blue and purple package I saw. I noticed, once I got back to work, that it was the brownish black version, in waterproof. I hate waterproof mascaras, they tend to be rubbish, but it was too late - I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. Also, I prefer black mascara, but frankly, between brown and black, there is virtually no difference.

I expected a wand very similar to the Colossal mascara - first disappointment there. The Falsies' wand is curved, thinner and soft. I usually prefer rigid wands, but no biggie. It is easy to use and I didn't find I had to struggle to make it work.

Now, the formula - its main flaw is something I find very common when it comes to waterproof mascaras - it never really feels dry. The lashes "transfer" to the skin, and you quickly end up with semi-racoon eyes. That being said, when I wore it in the shower, it didn't seem to run, but it did flake. I took a nap with it - transfered some more around my eye area.

If the Falsies do a decent job separating the lashes and making them look thicker on the first coat, I am still very disappointed with the final result. It does not build up well. It didn't do a very good job enhancing my lashes (and  my lashes don't need that much help it begin with !), and I found that the final result looked like an awkward mess between badly applied mascara and cheap false lashes. The lashes look sticky, they do stick together, the mascara transfers around the eye, and the lashes look dull after a few hours. Also, after wearing it too long, it runs under the eye area and its waterproofness makes it hard to remove.

Bitter disappointment. Maybelline could have put couple million dollars they spend on marketing to much better use - say, developping a decent product.

dimanche 7 novembre 2010

What... Is... Up... *loading*... With the World Today ?

Je sais que c'est le contrecoup du monde instantané auquel a été habitué ma génération... mais seigneur, je réclame ce qui m'est dû ! Tout est lent aujourd'hui - notre machine à café fonctionne au ralenti, le journal est en retard, ma douche n'avait aucune pression d'eau, mon fer plat ne chauffe pas et Internet bat des records de temps de téléchargement. Reculer l'heure a bouleversé mon univers immédiat.

Pardon my French.

Stuff you've heard a zillion times but just in case you haven't :

Ecotools Brushes. Get them. They're great quality, easy to find, affordable, and the only thing I find weird about them is how my powder brush always seems to build a ton of static, it makes my bangs crazy.

Drugstore brands : I have recently released that almost every review of a drugstore product I have ever written starts with "well, this was on sale so I gave it a shot". Words of wisdom, my dear very broke make-up addicted friends ! I love trying new products, I love make-up, but I can't afford to indulge at Sephora's so I buy drugstore things to make myself feel better. It works. Check out the flyers you get once in a while, or the clearance bins ! If you picky like I am, you'll hate every other product you get, but that can happen at Mac or Sephora as well, and it's more heartbreaking.

Awesome people on youtube. I've talked about two so far, might keep doing that.

Your glasses : wash them !! I'm just about to leave for work, and most of the glasses I have to repair are disgusting. I mean, come on, you do brush your teeth before going to the dentist, run your glasses under hot water to get rid of all the crusted dirt before bringing them to me !

Lastly, read books. Good books. It's good for you.

vendredi 5 novembre 2010

Tackily Hip

I haven't uploaded a post in about a week, I know, but I'm a student - you've all been there, right ? Busy times !

I've been up since 4:30 am so I'm a little exhausted (pour le moins dire... gotta love working in a coffee house !) but I figured I'd upload a little something.

This is Vintageortacky, one of my favorite make-up artists on youtube. She's pretty, she's bubbly, she's very talented and her tutorials feature looks that are both intense and wearable. I adore how she uses colors, they are always very intense - and, I can't stress this enough, often wearable ! Check her channel out here !

Her channel features useful information videos, midly to very dramatic looks, plus size fashion, the secret to happiness and the meaning of life. Click the link HERE !

  Bonne nuit !! :)

dimanche 31 octobre 2010

No Such Thing as New Blacks

I have a strong tendancy to choose black over any other given color - probably some lingering side effect of my teenage pseudo-gothness (il faut bien que jeunesse se fasse...). I thus hereby declare the saying pink/grey/brown/turquoise/green-striped-with-purple-poke-a-dots is the new black bullshit obsolete.

Seeing that I am working today (Halloween), and felt too lazy to put a costume together, I decided that wearing some thick creepy black-and-red make-up would do the trick. Things you need to know about me : I rarely if ever wear colorful make-up; I own a ridiculous amount of colored make-up, because it's pretty; I (fairly) succeed in talking myself out of buying colorful make-up now - my drawers are full enough as it is.

For these reasons, I decided that buying a black base for the sole purpose of this black smokey-eye would be silly. That is why I used Mac's Blacktrack as a base.

I had my eye on Blacktrack for a very long while before I decided to purchase it, just because I already multiple black liners, either liquid or pencils. As it turns out, I adore this product as a liner - I find it easier to work with than a pencil (I have rather wrinkly eyelids) to draw a very thin line. I do  set it with a black eyeshadow, but I don't think it's a necessity.

As a base, I have to say, it does a very decent job. The product is very smooth, creates a nice opaque surface, it's smudgeable (thus, blendable) and once it is set, it does not budge. A little goes a long way - you do not need to build a thick surface for the shadow to go on very black, and if you put too much, it will crease. Sheer it out, and you'll be able to rock your dark look all-night.

mardi 26 octobre 2010

Youtube Crush

I've always had a certain interest in make-up, but it has definitely grown out of control in the past years, since I've discovered the Youtube Beauty Community. Since then, I've fallen in and out of love with tons to make-up artists and bloggers... but this time, it's the real thing. I've found the one.

Some of you might recognize him from Temptalia - his videos have been featured on a few occasions. Dustin Hunter (aka youtube's Dustyohunter) is, and I quote his channel presentation :

"My name is Dustin Hunter, I'm an artist and a musician living in the wonderfully wet Pacific Northwest. I have two large dogs and wear far too many band t-shirts.

Musician: I write, compose, sing, play guitar and piano. I'm a fan of just about anything glam rock and prefer 20th century composers when it comes to my classical tunes (gimme some T.Rex with a side of Stockhausen and I'm a happy camper - Not as happy as Pamela Springsteen, but happy).

Visual Artist: My weapon of choice has always been a number 2 pencil and a ream of plain, white, copy paper. Give me a ballpoint pen and I'm set for days."

Dustin is an incredible source of information, tips, informed reviews, knowledge about products, photography, objective descriptions, organization tricks, subtle/man make-up advices, creative ideas, do-it-yourself tutorials, driving advices, jokes and cute smiles. I think he's fascinating, funny, interesting, has gorgeous eyes and offers series of exhaustive reviews of different product. Special mention to his pigment series, and the very recently uploaded Guide to MAC foundations. His videos are very professionnal, and have obviously required hours and hours of work and dedication.

PS - this is quite possibly the least representative video of his channel, but he's in the shower and he is yummy. :)

dimanche 24 octobre 2010

Your Best Friend of the Week

If you've never heard of Mehron before, you're hearing it from it now, and it's about time !

 A little history

Mehron was founded by Mehron Melik in a loft in Broadway, New York, in 1927. For years, his "Mehron Ladies" went from show to show - burlesque, vaudeville, silent movies, ballets, etc. - to provide products and tips & advices on stage make-up.

After the beginning of WWII, Mehron stepped back from the make-up industry to spend a few years meeting with severely disfifured soldiers to teach them how to apply make-up in order to hide their scars wounds or burns. He traveled for two years from New-England to Virginia, stopping in many veterans hospitals, and helped hundreds of soldiers to regain a little pride.

During the 50's and 60's, the important growth of the entertainment industry in the United States ended the "Mehron Ladies" era : Mehron products were now carried by retailers. In 1971, Martin Melik took over the company, and he has been working hard since to developp and improve Mehron's selection of products, and improve the company's image, focussing on impeccable customer services.

Why you care

Mehron is one of the leading brands in stage make-up in the industry. Their products are long-lasting, apocalypse-proof, very pigmented, affordable and easy to get your hand on. In my area, they are carried by some crafts store, any costume store, and around Halloween, even in drugstores.

Some of you who are Youtube addicts like myself might have seen some people use Mehron's water-activated colors as eyeshadow bases - it is one of the many examples of how versatile their products are. I personally didn't think picking up some stage make-up items could be useful for everyday use, but after purchasing a few things to do some Theater Make-Up, I often found myself reaching for them for every day use !

That being said, the great think about Mehron is, even if you don't ever use the product you purchase after Halloween, it's so dirt-cheap that it will have been worth it anyway. At my local drugstore, I found some fake blood, tooth-stain or colored foundation (green, white, grey...) for only 3-5$ each. In specialized stores, most of their products are available in a wide range of colors and size - and, I can't stress this enough, are incredibly affordable for the quality of the item you are getting !

I cannot stress this enough - if you are doing some stage make-up for a show, movie, production of any kind, if you plan on doing some body painting, feel like adding some versatile products to you collection, or just want to be the Joker this Halloween, do consider Mehron !

As I said, Mehron should not be hard to find this time of year - that being said, if you live in a town that does not believe in stores, Mehron products can be purchased online on the following websites :

Mehron's official website

Silly Farm is an amazing website to get any kind of special effects make-up. That being said, I have never purchased anything from them because the shipping fees to Canada are super mcduper expensive. Their products are incredibly affordable, though !

Have a great Halloween !

Because for Once, Being Yourself Is Overrated !

Remember when you were a kid, and Halloween would come up, your parents would make you go to a field, pick a pumpkin, spend a whole afternoon with your hands in orange goo to empty it, draw on it with a sharpie and not even let you risk a few fingers by cutting it yourself, throw you in a stupid mouse suit with your winter coat underneath (where I live, it freezes by Halloween, sometimes even snows), make you ring at every single door in your neighborhood for hours ONLY to collect candy that they will end up stealing from you anyway ? Oh, the cavities and stommach aches from the cheap potato chips... No wonder the second we turned 16, Halloween stopped meaning free candy, and started meaning booze and creepy parties ! One's gotta deal with their traumatisms...

All jokes aside, I love fall, I love make-up, I love parties, and I love how on every October 31st, you can combine all of these elements. Every year, I start planning my costume in the middle of the summer, think of how awesome it's going to be, and then forget about it until I realize on October 28th that I have no idea what I'm going to come up with that year. You'd think I'd learn - think again. It's October 24th, and I have no idea what I'm going to wear next week-end. Don't judge, procrastination is fashionable.

I'll be going out downtown this year, so the plan so far is only to wear something thrashy and black and a funky face make-up - I'll probably be doing a few friends' make-up too. I think that a lot of people in the twenty-ish area and up will be doing the same - whether it's for school, work, or going out. Whilest looking for ideas online, I stumbled upon a bunch of old Mac face charts that were somewhat Halloween themed, so I figured those could be helpful for some of you !

Click below to see more...

Get Rid of Old Make-Up and Receive Some More Old Make-Up

You know, that funky green nail polish you got on sale at the CCO and only wore once, to an alien-themed party ? Or that gorgeous blush that cost you a fortune, and that after wearing it for six months, you realized it made you look like a clown? Every make-up enthusiast has at least a few items they got on impulse and never used, or received as a gift, or plain got sick of it - got check it out your make-up stash, I'm sure there are a bunch of items that are there for the sole purpose to collect dust.

I hear you say : what are you trying to say ? That I should throw those away? But but but they're so pretty, and were so expensive !!

I know what you mean : I am biologically unable to throw away make-up. I would never dare to ask someone to do it. What if I told you you could trade the make-up you don't use for other items that you might enjoy more ? Sounds too good to be true ? Enters Makeupalley. 

http://www.makeupalley.com/  - Check it out !

Makeupalley is an online community on which make-up enthusiasts can sign up, upload a list of the items they are willing to trade (your "swaplist"), upload a list of the items they are on the look-out for, and,well, start trading ! You can browse other people's swaplists, contact them and offer them to trade for something you have. All the trades are conducted through mail, so you have to pay for the shipping fees. Many Makeupalley-ers will agree with me on that one - it's not an amazing way to save money, shipping fees can add up to be pretty expensive, but I find it more responsible than throwing products away, it allows you to get in touch with some amazing people, and more often than not, people include little extras !

Makeupalley's "security" system in their token system - whenever two people swap, they leave each other feedback in the form of a token  (either positive, neutral or negative) with comments. Normally, the more (positive) tokens a person has, the least you should worry about swapping with them. In general. Always (and by all means, always!) read any negative/neutral tokens, and the last 10-25 tokens (even if they are positive). Some people will leave positive tokens, but write in the comments some negative aspects of the swap.

Makeupalley members all have a common phobia : swaplifting. Swaplifting is when two people agree to swap certain items, exchange adress, one person sends their end, and never receive the products they were supposed to get in exachange, and never hear from the other swapper again. It can happen, but they are ways to avoid this (and ways to deal with the situation, if it does happen).Swaptawk is THE place to turn to if you want advices about the ethics of swapping, or how to deal with a swaplifter. Swaptawk is the reference when it comes to swapping etiquette, or how to deal with a swaplifter. Definitely check it out *here*!

Most Makeupalley members will ask newcomers (i.e. people with less than about 40 tokens) to send their end first - that means that you should send the items you have agreed to swap, and once the other member has received them, then they will mail out their end. It's a little annoying, but it's the only way members can protect themselves from being swaplifted - they have had to go through the same for their first tokens !

I started swapping items this summer, and traded with 7 different members. I have only had amazing experiences - the girls I dealt with were nice, honest and generous. Makeupalley is a great experience if you do take the necessary precautions :)

Makeupalley also has a few interesting features, like message boards and product reviews. I find the product reviews uploaded by the users very useful, but frankly, I don't care much for the message board. Personnal opinion.

It's a great website, do check it out here !

samedi 23 octobre 2010

60 Seconds Affair

As I mentionned in my Budgeting post, I had an eye on OPI's Girl Talk this week. Seeing that I'm poor, I guilted myself into picking up Rimmel's Torrid instead - somewhat similar color, and it was on sale. Also, I have to admit, I was intrigued by the "60 sec. drying".

This item turned out better than I expected for three dollars. The color is pigmented and opaque enough to be worn with only one coat, which I find is rare when it comes to dark nail polishes. I did not care to actually time it, but it does dry very quickly if you only apply one coat. I find that the second coat takes a little longer to dry - but I forgive Rimmel, that's completely normal.

Now, on the down side - it takes just about 60 seconds for this nail polish to be messed up after you apply it. Even if it's not as bad as some other cheap nail polishes I've tried, Torrid tends to chip like crazy. I've worn it all week and had to touch it up at least once a day for it to be presentable. I also found that once dry, it would easily transfer on a surface it you brushed your nail on it by mistake (for example, on a piece of paper). Lastly, the color has a metallic finish, but somehow seemed to look a little flat - it has different levels of color (undertone, midtone, highlight), but still, it doesn't look deep at all. It is hard to explain, but I find it's the nail polish's biggest flaw.

Still, for 3$, I think this nailpolish does a great job. It is a great way to add colors to your nail polish palette, and perfect for any of you who like to change their nail color daily !

The actual color of this product is a mix of these two pictures.

A mid-deep burgundy, with purple undertones and orange highlights, to be precise !

vendredi 22 octobre 2010

Philosophy - Update

I mentionned the Make-Up Optional set this week, but specified that young skins might not need the firming products. Here is another package that might be more interesting for us youngsters! It includes Hope in a Jar and Purity Made Simple, but also the Amazing Grace 3 in 1 : Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bath Gel. I am in love with Philosophy's 3-in-1s : they smell amazing and I find they do a great job as a shampoo as well !

This set is a limited edition offered by Sephora - and it happens to be on sale right now! It can be purchased for 55$, which is a great deal for four full-size products.

You need that. Get it.

mardi 19 octobre 2010

Get Paid to Watch Ads (that you'll stumble upon anyway)

I'm sure that a lot of you have already heard about Swagbucks already. Swagbucks is a search engine on which you can create an account, and on which you receive certain amounts of "money" (called swagbucks) at random moments when you research stuff. There are several ways to receive additionnal swagbucks daily ( http://www.we-love-swagbucks.com/ for the latest offers & best tricks). But why in earth would I want swagbucks, I hear you say. Well, because swagbucks can be used as money in the swagstore, to get a variety of items, giftcards, or even cash ! Websites like Apple, Amazon, Starbucks and Sephora have giftcards for sale, or 5$ tranfers via Paypal can be purchased.

I do not recall when exactly I signed up for swagbucks, but it was about a month ago. I installed the Swagbucks toolbar, and basically use it anytime I'm researching something (swagbucks is powered by Google, so search results are virtually the same). The random amounts I receive for searches are usually between 5 and 15 swagbucks, I'd say around five times a day. So far, I have earned almost 1,500 swagbucks - enough to purchase 15$ worth of Amazon giftcards. Not bad !

Sounds too good to be true ? Weirdly enough, it's not. Companies pay for Swagbucks to display their websites first when certain keywords are entered - for the user, those are easy to recognize (rule of thumb, you usually don't want the first 5 results of a page, or so). The more people use swagbucks, the most companies are ready to pay to be displayed - the more swagbucks users get in return for using swagbucks, the more they use the website. If you feel like that's selling your soul to the demon of marketing, I can't disagree with you - but, that being said, it's nowhere near as worse, as, let's say, walking on Time Square. And you get something out of it.

Just wanted to spread the word - I'm glad I signed up !

(Part where I become greedy : if any of you were to sign up, clicking this link

Make-Up Budget 101

or, High-End Make-Up Brands Detox

I'm sure any other young make-up fanatic will be with me on that one - it is HARD to keep up with all the products that are available or released on a regular basis in the make-up world. Especially those pricey brands that, of course, are the most craved-for in a majority of cases (yes, I'm looking at you, MAC !). Brand-store brands might be a lot less attractive for many reasons, going for less glamourous to poorer quality, but many years of shopping have thought me, it's okay to be cheap ! This post is not meant to advocate in favor of some drug-store brand, or against any higher-end make-up brand - I just wanted to share my trick to talk myself out of an expense.

I'm a full-time student and work part-time, on minimum wage (which is 9.50$CAN an hour, where I live - and which, for clarity's sake, round up to 10$). Whenever I feel like indulging my beauty cravings, I do a simple math that determines whether or not I should indeed take the object of my desire home with me.

1. Think of a really bad day at work. Like stare-at-the-clock-that-won't-move-beg-for-the-fire-alarm-to-go-off bad.

2. Keep that awful day in mind.

3. Convert the price of the item you are longing into hours of work (for instance, an OPI nail polish is 10$ in Canada, which represents one hour of work)

4. Remember that very awful day : if your boss had come up to you and asked you to stay for X more hours, without pay, in exchange for the item you want, sincerely, would you have ?

This principle is not only applicable to make-up - some will find it's a great way to quit smoking ! Though, after a stressful day at work & a strong nicotine craving, most will find that they would spend three hours scrubbing the floor with their toothbrush for their fix. I try to think that way when I go out to get coffee or eat out as well - is your Grande Vanilla Latte Non-Fat No Whip really worth half an hour of washing dishes or folding clothes? (I've solved this dilemma - I now work in a coffee shop ;) )

That being said, there is one situation in which you should never (and I mean, ever) use this calculation. Under any circumstances. By all means, never convert any money spent at the gas station or the garage into hours of work - it will make you want to drive your car off a cliff. Cars are bottomless pitholes that suck tons and tons of money until there is no more money in the world, and then suck some more.  
( Quelqu'un a deviné que ma voiture fait des siennes depuis une semaine ?)

And for the unexisting person that cares, I wanted to get myself the Girl Talk OPI nailpolish this week because all the cool kids have brown nails right now - which was already better than getting the MAC nailpolish I wanted to begin with - and I left the store with the 3$ Rimmel's Torrid. How good am I ?

dimanche 17 octobre 2010

Make-Up Optional indeed-y-oh !

I have a confession to make : I have only started to clean and moisturize my skin on a daily basis a few months ago. In my teenage years, I did use some acne treatment cream once in a while, but I never stuck to a regular routine. I would even go to bed without removing my foundation. Shame on me, I know.

Having reached the age of reason - and having seen my skin under a dermatologist's black light, which is a traumatizing experience - I went to my local Sephora last May, decided to finally get my life together. Now, I have to tell you, ever since I've gotten out of that joyous acne phase of my life, I've had a fairly clear skin - minor dryness & oilness in my T-zone, occasionnal pimple, a few black heads here and there, but really nothing major. Thus, I didn't need any major improvement - just general maintenance.

Enters Philosophy.

I had heard a lot of people raving about this skincare line, so I figured I could give it a shot. Being the lazy - I mean, busy - person that I am, I needed a routine that would involve as few steps as possible. That is what attracted me to the Purity made simple facial cleanser - it is also a built-in make-up remover. 2 in 1? Awesome, sold !

Then, I needed a moisturizer to take care of the dry patches in my face. Now, I'm sure all of you know, moisturizers and face reams in general are expensive. Very much so. Considering that I work part-time and live on a student's budget, I could not afford to "invest" 45$ in a cream. For 15$, I got the 1 ounce jar of  Hope in a Jar - it might end up being more expensive than buying a larger size, but it sure doesn't hurt as much on the time of the purchase.

Then, usual stuff : check-out, die-a-little-inside expensive bill, take those babies home.

Now, I have told you I had a fairly beautiful skin without using any products - or, without spending a penny. For almost 50$ (Canadian girl, eh!), I almost expected Philosophy to walk my dog and do my laundry. Now, almost 6 months later, I can say that if I still have to take the pup outside at five in the morning, I sure do it with an impeccable skin! Purity Made Simple facial cleanser does a great job at washing my face and removing any make-up I have on. I find that it works best in the shower because the steam opens up all of your pores, but because I was afraid to put my face under the water long enough, I once ended up with some dryed-up product caught in my lashline, and it hurt. Be careful. Also, if you decide to use it to remove your eye make-up (which I always do, but I don't think is recommanded), be very careful to keep it away from your eyeballs, because it burns. This product is gentle enough to be used twice a day, but most of the time, I find that using it daily before I got to bed is plenty. It has done a great job clearing out the few pimples and blackheads I have.

As for Hope in a Jar, I am very glad I got the one ouncer, because it is going to last me forever. I use teeny-tiny amounts at a time, because it is very moisturizing and my skin doesn't need much help. Building it up will make your skin greasy. Don't do that to yourself.

Bottom line, I use these products daily & make-up is optional in very deed ! I now have clear, white skin, thanks to Philosophy! As I have told you, I have purchased these products seperately, since these were the only two I needed. That being said, Philosophy has released a value set called Make-up Optional (you just understood my title now did you !), which includes the Purity Made Simple cleanser, Hope in a Jar moisturizer, but also the Hope in a Tube eye and lip firming cream and When Hope is not Enough firming serum. All the products included in the set are full-sized, so it is a substantial save of money if you were considering to get them all. My twenty-year-old skin didn't need them yet - knock on wood !

Somme toute, de la philo digne de Platon - le Beau dans sa splendeur !

Over the Rainbow & Down the Rabbit Hole

Make-up : why?

Beauty is natural, and yet...

I love books, colors, make-up & barely wear mascara everyday. I've been watching youtube beauty tutorials for at least two years now, and I've never recreated a look I've seen. Make-up is a passion, art, fun, it is what ever you want it to be, but most of all, it is optionnal.

Vous êtes magnifiques, mais... !

Pardonnez mon français !

This blog is not meant to be taken seriously. It's my rabbit hole - a world where it's fall all year, colors are invisible or not, products are hated, loved or both, French and English meet et dansent ensemble, and where canvas are faces or blank pages.

I hope you'll enjoy it - I will make sure to do so.