Formula X Haute Sauce

While blogger collaborations by no means anything new and meet with emotions ranging from indifference to downright cynicism, I myself was pretty excited when I heard that one of my favorite bloggers, Emily Schuman from Cupcakes & Cashmere, would be design a range of shades for Sephora’s own nail polish line, Formula X.

With three shades, a cool-toned nude, a peach and a tomato red, I decided to go for the brightest offering, Haute Sauce.

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A gorgeous, slightly orange-toned red, this stole my heart right away. Since my fingers are already long and slender, nude and pastel tones tend to exaggerate that look and make my hands look even bonier and bigger than they already are. Also, with spring in full swing and summer only a few months away, I thought that a classic shade or red would be the perfect way to spice up my nail polish wardrobe.

This is actually the first color I have tried from the Formula X range, and so far, I am impressed. The shade was easy to apply and completely opaque in two quick coats. It also seemed to dry down pretty quickly, so I didn’t have to deal with any smudges or nicks after putting it on.

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I have actually worn this color on my toes since I purchased it and I while polish generally tends to wear less quickly on my toes, I have to say, I am impressed by its longevity. There hasn’t been much wear at all and only minor chips, so I think I have already found my perfect summer color.

While the two other shades are beautiful but not my cup of tea, Haute Sauce has been an absolute winner for me. I highly recommend checking this special collection out to see if there’s something in there for you as Emily has curated a wonderful range of colors with a great formulation.

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Marc Jacobs Beauty

A while ago, I received a cute little duo of Marc Jacobs Beauty deluxe samples as my birthday gift from Sephora.

Since I am away from home right now, this little pack of travel sized beauties was right up my alley. The set contains a tiny little Highliner Gel Crayon in Blaquer and the cutest miniature lipstick from the Le Marc range in the color Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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Seeing as the MJ Beauty line is pretty luxe and therefore on the pricier end of the spectrum, these little samples are a nice way of introducing the line . Also, the products and shades are so universal, it is easy to see why Sephora chose them as this years birthday gift to their rewards card holders.

The liner is a super soft, blendable formula with an amazingly saturated color. Some liners tend to go gray when blended, but the Highliner stays a true black even when smoked out. Since it is so soft however, it is not the longest lasting of formulas, so if you want a stark, defined kohl liner, I would go with something else. For a smokey, sultry look though, this is the one. I am actually tempted to pick up a full size soon, but I have so many black liners lurking in my collection that such a purchase would hardly be justified.

The lipstick is a wonderfully creamy, satin finish. I haven’t actually tested its lasting power long enough to make any claims to its longevity, but the formula is lovely and non-drying on the lips with a good amount of pigment. As I’ve already said, the shade is universally flattering and very on trend with the darker, mauve-toned nudes that are floating around these days. It’s a great everyday color and the tiny size would make it a perfect handbag staple. Even as a full size though, this would definitely be a color that’s a hit for many different skin tones and ages.

My interest concerning the Marc Jacobs Beauty line up has most definitely been piqued and with their newest mascara offering making big waves around the beauty community, I’ll be sure to visit there counter again sooner rather than later.

A Rosy Lip Combo

While I remain firmly seated in the ‘bright lip lover’-category of beauty addicts, I have been a enjoying a much more subdued lip combo lately that falls more in the pinky nude spectrum.

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The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk has been a firm favorite ever since I purchased it last year, a beautiful ‘my lips but better’ shade that seems to go with everything. Seeing as it is a lip pencil though, it is completely matte and extremely long-lasting.

To spice things up a little, formula- and texture-wise, I have been pairing it with the Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Laquer in Rose Redefined, a semi-opaque gloss that lends a beautiful sheen and dose of pink to the Charlotte Tilbury pencil.

Together, they make for a polished but wearable nude-pink lip that works perfectly for everyday. Since my lips are pretty pigmented on their own, it’s always important to me that I don’t go to light or beige with my nude lip colors and this combo has been the perfect way to go simple without veering into the dreaded category of concealer lips.

Recently #18

The past few weeks have revolved around three things for me. Firstly, I have been trying to fit in as much work as possible, with a few important deadlines looming in the near future.

Tying into that, my time in Canada is coming to a close very soon. It’s a mere three weeks before I pack my backs and make my way back home. I am kind of shocked that it has come so quickly, but above all, I am excited to see my family and friends again in person. Skype, texts, and Facetime have been a great substitute, but really, there’s nothing better than a hug and a good catch up session over a glass of wine.

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Finally, and probably most excitingly, I have been to San Francisco in the beginning of March and while the weather couldn’t have been worse (storm warnings and torrential downpours instead of perennial California sunshine), I had a wonderful time.

Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in fog made for some pretty unique and moody pictures. Also, I officially made my first YouTuber encounter when I visited Chelsea in her shop Anomie. She is every bit as lovely as in her videos and the store is gorgeous and wonderfully curated, so if you ever find yourself in San Francisco, make sure to take the time and check it out.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

If there’s one thing I struggle with the most concerning base make-up, it is concealer. My dark undereyes are the bane of my existence and whenever I try out a new concealer that promises full coverage, it always seems to come up short.

A while ago I spotted the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer in one of MakeupByTiffanyD‘s videos and it certainly seemed like the perfect marriage of coverage and creaminess.

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These concealers come in a huge array of shades in two different categories – ‘Color Correct’ and ‘Conceal’. I choose shade R22, which is the second lightest tone in the ‘Color Correct’ line-up, since its pink undertone promised to be a bit more brightening and less ashy under the eye.

Now this stuff is seriously pigmented. I had to work a little bit to get the perfect amount but I found that the safest bet is to start with very little and layer if necessary. The formula is beautifully creamy, which means that it blends nicely with fingers but I usually go over with a brush to keep it from creasing.

The staying power is good as well, especially if you set with a light powder. So while I don’t think anything will ever cover up my dark circles completely (and if anything would I probably wouldn’t  be able to recognize myself), this is an awesome contender for best under eye concealer. I’m glad I went with the color correcting shade since it seems to pack a bit more punch in terms of brightening and with the tiny amount needed, I’m sure this tube will last me a long time.

Music Monday #16

For Music Mondays, I like to spotlight some of my favorite artists and the Scottish band Biffy Clyro has been at the top of that list for many years now, which is why it is high time I’ve talked about them.

I think I discovered Biffy in 2007, right around the time I graduated from high school. At that time, the band was already looking back on a  more than decade-long career, so I had a pretty hefty back catalogue to dive into and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Their first few records were really off the wall and experimental, which was right up my street at the time, but it was their 2007 release Puzzle that really wowed me and cemented my love for them. It is still one of my favorite Biffy albums and I listen to it all the time.

While I wasn’t crazy about their following album, Only Revolutions, their latest release full release Opposites, has been on constant rotation ever since it came out in 2013. It’s crazy to think that I haven’t grown tired of that record over the past three years, but really, it is one of my favorites ever.

I think they’re slated to release a record some time this year and I am beyond excited for that. I doubt there’s many people who haven’t heard about Biffy Clyro since they have gotten a lot of mainstream recognition over the past years, but please make sure you check them out if you love melodic, experimental rock music.

Zoeva 227 Soft Definer Brush

While my make-up collection is chock full of lip products and eyeshadow palettes, my brush stash is actually rather normal in size. I have my designated brushes that I like to use and I rarely venture out of that range.

What I was missing however, was an eyeshadow brush for cream products. For general blending, the MAC 217 still reigns supreme, but since it has natural bristles, it is hard to clean from creamy products.

Since I have always loved the quality – and price point – of Zoeva brushes, I went onto their site to search for something suitable and I think I found the perfect pick in the 227 Soft Definer vegan brush.

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As the name suggests, this is made of synthetic fibres, which is why it is perfect for cream products as they don’t cling to the bristles as much as to natural ones. I have washed it several times now and it always came out perfectly clean without any shedding or loss of shape.

Speaking of the shape, is is a little less round than the MAC 217 and more of a paddle, but still it blends out the crease perfectly and die to the slight paddle-shape, I think it would even fit under the eye very nicely for a smoked out lower lash line.

It is my top pick for any cream eyeshadow and a perfect addition to my collection. Plus, it is definitely not the last Zoeva brush that will join my little crew.