Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FOTD: Eyes, Lips, Face "ELF" Cosmetics

Hey Guys!
Normally I use higher end products for FOTDs, but I figured I've hauled an entire face worth of ELF  products that I could finally do an ENTIRE FOTD using ELF. You can check out the ELF haul I posted yesterday by clicking here. Also, you can check out my first ELF Haul by clicking here!

I actually REALLY love how my makeup turned out, but I can't use their blushes and bronzers anymore because the main component in them is Mica and my cheeks DO NOT react well to products with Mica. Anyways, I had to give those away after having a reaction AFTER I purchased and used several blushes and bronzers.

141 Piece Master Makeup Collection (top two colours mixed on lid, darker brown in crease)
Studio Cream Eyeliner in "Black
Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush
Dramatic Lashes in "Black"

Lip Liner and Blending Brush in "Natural"
Conditioning Lip Balm SPF15 in "Mellow Melon"
Hypershine Gloss in "Bubblegum"

Mineral Infused Primer
Flawless Finish Foundation SPF15 in "Caramel"
All Over Cover Stick in "Toffee" (to contour cheeks) 
Complete Coverage Concealer in "Medium"
High Definition Powder in "Clear"
Warm Bronzer
Peachy Keen Blush
Radiance Enhancer in "Sunrise"

Same ELF look at night w/ flash. The SPF and flash makes me look so pale

Let me know if you are interested in a full review of a particular ELF item! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

HAUL: Eyes, Lips, Face "ELF" Cosmetics

Hey Guys!

In the beginning of July, had a site wide sale for 60% off! As soon as I heard about this I jumped online and placed a fairly large haul for various products I've been meaning to try. In general, ELF Cosmetics are only a few dollars, on average, each and are very affordable. However, I find items are a hit or a miss. After playing around with several of the items, here are my initial impressions on what I deem HITS and what are MISSES.

Prices included are ELF's regular prices in US dollars before the 60% discount.

Angled Eyeliner Brush $3.00
Kabuki Body Brush $8.00
Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in "Beige" $3.00
Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in "Black", "Coffee", "Midnight", "Teal" $1.00
Hypershine Gloss in "Blossom", "Bubblegum", "Flirt", "Vixen"  $1.00
Flawless Finish Foundation in "Caramel" $6.00
Corrective Concealer $3.00
Complete Coverage Concealer in "Medium" $3.00
All Over Cover Stick in "Honey", "Toffee" $1.00
Dramatic Lash Kit in "Black" $1.00
Dramatic Length False Eyelashes (LE) in "Pink", "Purple", "Teal Blue" $3.00
Mineral Infused Face Primer $6.00
Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm in "Strawberry Creme" $1.00
Radiance Enhancer in "Sunrise" $3.00
Zit Zapper $1.00

Complete Coverage Concealer in "Medium"

Corrective Concealer

Flawless Finish Foundation in "Caramel"

Tinted Moisturizer in "Beige"

Face Primer

Therapeutic Lip Condition Balm in "Strawberry Creme"

Hypershine Lipglosses

Waterproof Eyeliner Pens

Teal, Coffee, Midnight and Black

The Waterproof Eyeliner Pens were complete garbage. I do not know how these are claimed to be waterproof when they come off almost instantly in the water and smudge on contact. Not even worth $1.00 or the .40 cents I paid in my honest opinion. If you look at the swatch of "Coffee" it is all dried out, and the black was not nearly dark enough.

I didn't include pictures and swatches of everything I hauled because I never actually intended on making a blog post about this, but figured some of you may be interested in my initial impressions of the products. As I said previously, I have yet to try everything, but some product HITS include: Flawless Finish Foundation, Angled Eyeliner Brush, Hypershine Gloss, Complete Coverage Concealer, Dramatic Lashes, Mineral Infused Face Primer, and Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm. MISSES include: Waterproof Eyeliner Pens

I basically got all of this for around $30. Pretty good bargain in my eyes even with some garbage products. I made sure to stock up on the ELF Dramatic Lashes in Black because they are good for everyday use without breaking the bank. I plan on posting a FOTD tomorrow of an entire face created with using only ELF cosmetics! Can't wait for you guys to see how it turned out...I'm really liking the Flawless Finish Foundation as a cheaper alternative to some of my higher end foundations!

Monday, August 29, 2011

August Favourites!

Hey Guys!
Wow, I don't think I've done a "Favourites" post since March! Over the summer I've discovered many new products, and continued to use some old favourites. Here is my list of products that have really stood out this summer, particularly the month of August. Sorry I've missed a few months!

Soleil Tan De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid: Perfect liquid highlighter. I barely have to work this into my skin, it just seems to melt in. It has a very subtle shimmer and gives the prettiest glow. The packaging pretty much sucks though because you have to smack it off your hand to get the product's like a glass bottle of ketchup and I hate waiting. LOL

CARGO Blu_Ray Pressed Powder: I can't say enough good things about this powder. Since I've been wearing this I noticed that my skin looks a lot better in person and in pictures. I also really love the strong yellow tone to this powder since I find it hard to find powder that is a good match for my NC30/40 skintone. The only downside is that it's not very good for keeping oil away, so if you have really oily skin, this powder won't really do much for that so you would need to bring this along for touch-ups.  (see full review by clicking here)

MAC Solar Riche Bronzer: This bronzer would be particularly good for fair skinned ladies, but I really love how natural this looks with my NC30/40 skintone. The bronzer is fairly matte, with only a slight bit of shimmer and has a bit of an orange undertone which sounds scary because who wants to be orange, but is really beautiful nonetheless.  (will have a review soon)

Urban Decay Naked Palette: I'm in love with the shades "Naked" and "Buck". I'm a sucker for a good matte brown eyeshadow. These have been excellent crease colours, particularly for blending out my lid colour. (see review of the entire palette with swatches by clicking here)

ELF Dramatic Eyelashes in Black: ELF recently had a sale of 60% off the entire site so I picked up a billion of these lashes because they only were .40 cents a pair after the discount. Lately I have been snipping these in half and getting double the use...basically .20 cents a use, plus I use them about 3 times per half lash. Definitely a great bargain for .40 cents, but $1 is a great price as well if you decide to purchase some full price.

NARS Rue Bonaparte Liner: I really love this pencil as an alternative to using a white eye liner on the waterline. It has the same effect a white pencil does (i.e., brightening the eye area and making it look larger) without it being as harsh. (see full review by clicking here)

ELF Lip Pencil in "Natural": Normally $3, I ended up purchasing this for $1.20. Another great bargain I ended up finding, and loving, from This also comes with a blending brush on the opposite side which is great for feathering out your lip liner if it goes on a bit too harsh.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid: I ended up picking up rather large samples of NC30 and NC40 while I was at my local MAC counter. I swore off Studio Fix a long time ago because it use to break me out, and in fact it still does if I use it more than 2 days in a row, but the finish is so amazing on this foundation that I still consider it "Top 5 Foundation" material. It also wears really well throughout the day. If only this didn't break me out it may contend with my #1 spot. And to think I use to HATE MAC foundations... I plan on doing a full review on this soon. (check out a couple of my looks by clicking one of the following links: NC30 FOTD, NC40 FOTD)

Laura Mercier Silk Cream Foundation: This is another foundation I've been loving that has climbed into my "Top 5 Foundation" list. Typically full coverage foundations don't give the dewy finish that I'm looking for, but this does. This lasts my entire work day and does not fade like some foundations do. I've been using both Bamboo Beige and Cashew Beige (FOTD) and plan on picking up a full tube of foundation once my samples run out. Once I pick a full size product, I will have an in depth review up!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wedding Day Makeup: Do-It-Yourself Tips and Tricks for Flawless Wedding Makeup

So, you decided to do your own makeup for your wedding?! It doesn't have to be as stressful as it seems. Typically with any artist you hire you only do one wedding makeup trial. With yourself, you have everyday to play around with your makeup to find the perfect look, if you so desired. And who knows your face/makeup preferences better than you, NO ONE! Like every Bride, I wanted to look perfect on my wedding day. I tried to find the perfect balance between "camera ready" and "natural" as I did not want to look too made up in person, but I wanted my makeup to still show up in photographs. Here is a list of products I finally decided on for my own wedding day as well as several tips and tricks I think are essential for every bride choosing to do their own makeup. You can also use these tips and tricks for anytime you want to look your absolute best.

First of all, I think the best look to go for for your wedding day is natural, yet defined. Brides who typically don't wear a lot of makeup in their daily life shouldn't be wearing a dramatic smokey eye and red lip on their wedding day. Also, doing something trendy is not good as well. Timeless is always best. You want to look back on your wedding day photos years from now and still like the makeup choices you made.

List of Products

Origins VitaZing Moisturizer SPF15
Make Up For Ever HD Primer
Make Up For Ever HD #127
Cargo Blu_Ray Pressed Powder #30
Chanel Soliel De Tan Bronze Universel
NARS Laguna Bronzer
MAC Lillicent Blush Creme
MAC Pink Swoon Blush
MAC Silver Dusk
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

Make Up For Ever Waterproof Brow Corrector #3

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Blanc Type e/s
MAC Wedge e/s
MAC Espresso e/s
MAC Carbon e/s
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion Waterproof
MAC #36 Lashes snipped in half

Mac High Tea l/s

 Doing a few touch-ups in my Bridal Suite

My biggest debate was whether or not to wear false lashes. In all honesty, lashes make a BIG difference in photos. You could have the fullest, longest lashes, and only add a couple individuals or a half strip and it will make a HUGE difference. Individual lashes are the most natural, but I hate fussing with them. I decided to use MAC #36 lashes (which I have used in the past and loved) and snipped them in half for a more natural look. One of my bridesmaids went to the MAC counter and asked for eyelashes that they would recommend for a wedding and they suggested the #36 so we both ended up wearing the same lashes that day, only mine were snipped in half and she wore the whole strip. My husband does not like false lashes, so I compromised by wearing only a half set and he couldn't even tell.

Tips and Tricks
  1. Layer: Probably the most important step for long lasting makeup. When applying makeup, apply it like you normally would, let it sit on the skin, and then go back and touch it up. This is especially good for blush and eyeshadow. Blush tends to be the first thing to disappear from the face so apply it heavy at first, blend, blend, blend, then go back and add a little bit more to the apples of the cheek. For eyeshadow, I like to apply my lid colour, crease colour, outer corner, and then go back, touch up the lid and highlight, add a little more crease, and then blend the crease and the highlight together with a CLEAN blending brush (i.e., MAC 224). By layering, if/when your makeup begins to fade, you will still have a good base underneath. Secondly, use bases/primers. Eyeshadow primer (i.e., Too Faced Shadow Insurance or Urban Decay Primer Potion) and foundation primer (i.e., Make Up For Ever HD or SMASHBOX Photo Finish) are your best friends. A good primer, especially an HD one, will help your makeup last longer as well as make your skin look flawless in photographs. Thirdly, set cremes with powders for long lasting blush, bronzer, and highlighter. The right kind of creme products make really good bases for your powder products. For instance, when I used my Chanel Bronze Universel (creme/mousse), I applied NARS Laguna Bronzer (powder) on it. I also did this for my blush, Lillicent (creme)/Pink Swoon (powder, and highlight, Shell (cream colour base)/Silver Dusk (powder). Lastly, use a lip stain under your lipstick. I dislike long-wearing lip products because they tend to wear off horribly, but a good alternative is using a lip stain, and carrying your lipstick with your for touch ups.
  2. Yellow Based Foundation/Powder: Yellow based foundations and powders cancel out redness and any pink undertones. These are a good choice on your wedding day because flash photography brings out pink undertones. I chose Make Up For Ever #127 foundation for medium skin with yellow undertones. I also purchased CARGO Blu_Ray pressed powder in #30 because of its strong yellow undertone (you can see my review by clicking here). Use a little bit of your foundation on your ears because they can get red easily from being overwhelmed by heat or being flushed. Also, bring the foundation down your neck for a perfect match. You do not want anyone, especially the camera, capturing what looks like a mask on your face.
  3. High Definition: When possible, choose HD. I opted for my trusty Make Up For Ever HD foundation in #127. I've gone through countless bottles of MUFE HD so I knew I could trust it for the rigors of my wedding day. I also ended up picking up CARGO Blu_Ray Pressed Powder #30 a week or so before my wedding day. I heard really good things about this powder, especially how much brides love it, so I figured I'd give it a try. CARGO Blu_Ray is now my HG Powder! High Definition makeup blends seamlessly into the skin and the combination of both MUFE HD and CARGO made my skin look naturally flawless, even in flash photography.
  4. Waterproof Mascara: I don't care if you are an ice queen, wear waterproof mascara. I didn't think I was going to be a nervous bride and who knew I would be shaking my way down the aisle! LOL You never know what will set you off into tears. I choked up giving my bridesmaids their gifts, walking down the aisle, saying my vows, but didn't cry until later in the evening when I had my father daughter dance. I thought I was going to be fine because I fended off the tears that long, but boy was I glad I had waterproof mascara!
  5. Setting Spray: Your makeup is finished and you spent a good deal of time layering, blending and making everything perfect. SET YOUR MAKEUP! Setting your makeup not only allows your makeup to last longer, but it basically melts everything on your skin together to give you a radiant, airbrushed, perfect finished. I really love my Urban Decay All Nighter Spray. My makeup virtually did not move ALL day, even in 40 degree humidity. 

Say NO To:

  1. MSF: Particularly MAC MSF does not photograph well. This is a very popular product, but stick to it for everyday, not your wedding day.
  2. Illuminating/Light Reflecting properties: These can make you look shiny and oily if not used sparingly. Matte eyeshadows photograph best because you never know how the flash is going to catch on shimmery eyeshadows. I used a little bit of MAC Silver Dusk Irridescent Powder on my cheekbones and it showed up beautifully in photographs.
  3. Products with high SPF: These can give a "white cast" to your face and make you look paler than you actually are, like a ghost. I stuck with my Origins VitaZing Moisturizer even though it had an SPF of 15. I felt as though I needed a little bit of coverage from the sun as I was going to be out in the sun for 2 hours doing my wedding photos with family and friends.

 Tools Used

In order to do your makeup flawlessly, you need a good set of brushes. Sigma makeup has brush sets that are good quality for affordable prices. I own the Complete, Professional, and Synthetic Face Kits and use these in combination with some of my favourite MAC brushes. 
Brushes Used:

Sigma F80 - Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki
MAC 182 - Buffer Brush
Sigma F84 - Angled Top Kabuki
Sigma F40 - Large Angled Contour
MAC 130 - Short Duo Fibre Brush
Sigma F10 - Powder/Blush
Sigma F15 - Duo Fibre Powder/Blush

Make Up For Ever Eyebrow Brush
Sigma E50 - Large Fluff
MAC 226 - Small Tapered Blending
Sigma E10 - Small Eye Liner
MAC 266 - Small Angled
MAC 219 - Pencil

Now you are Picture Perfect!

If you have yet to see my wedding photos, be sure to check them out on my Facebook page!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our New Puppy!

Hey Guys!
Today Charles and I bought a new puppy so that Bella has a sister. We have been talking about getting a second dog for a while now and decided that now that all the wedding craziness is done, we have time to train one. We have yet to name the little one, but she is only 4 weeks old and we don't get her until 8 weeks (Sept. 18). I'm counting the days until she comes home! This little girl was born on July 23rd, 2011 (our wedding day), can you believe that?! Now to decide on a name... any suggestions? She is a black lab!

Monday, August 22, 2011

REVIEW: NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in "Rue Bonaparte"

Hey Guys!
I placed an order with Sephora a couple weeks ago and received my order this past Friday. I ended up picking up a few things, one of which being a NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner. I decided on the shade "Rue Bonaparte" which is light almond in colour with the intention of using it on my waterline as a more natural way to brighten the eye area without using the stark contrast of a white pencil. Previously, I was using MAC "Fascinating" Eye Kohl, but found the white to be too harsh for my NC30/40 skintone. When I first opened the product I applied a line to the back of my hand and tried to smudge it. It held up to the first test and was smudgeproof. Next, I wore the pencil on my waterline to a wedding this past weekend. The eyeliner wore very well on my waterline, which typically most pencils wear off within the first few hours. I left for the wedding at 4 and got home around 2 am and the liner was slightly fading, but still there. Another plus is the pencil glides on effortlessly and does not tug or pull at the skin.

"Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner takes liner to the next level. Rich, creamy color that glides on smoothly with a completely budgeproof finish. Incomparable 12-hour wear with no smearing and no caking. Deeply dramatic shades named for the most iconic streets in the world."
Achieves rich, intense color
Twist up delivery and built-in sharpener
    9 Shades to Choose from:

    Abbey Road - Iridescent Turquoise
    Bourbon Street - Purple
    Madison Ave - Slate Grey
    Rue Bonaparte - Light Almond
    Rue de Rivoli - Metallic Forest Green
    Rue Saint-Honore - Deep Royal Blue
    Santa Monica Blvd. - White
    Via Appia - Copper Brown
    Via Veneto - Black

    In a perfect world I would love to own all the shades, but in reality I might grab a hold of a couple more. I have my eyes set on Abbey Road and Rue Saint-Honore. I also love that these have a built in sharpener! Very convenient!

    Have you tried any of the NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliners?

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    FOTD: Mario Dedivanovic/Zuleyka Inspired Makeup

    Hey Guys!
    I saw this look posted on Mario Dedivanovic's blog from a workshop he did and I HAD to recreate it. Zuleyka's makeup has a bit more gold on the eyes, but I opted for a more subtle nude gold glow. I think next time I will use the gold and add a little more mascara to my lower lashes and I think it would be spot on! Isn't Zuleyka one of the most gorgeous women you have ever seen?! She reminds me a lot of Kim Kardashian so I think that's why I love her so much. LOL Mario never posted what he used on her face, so I just looked through my makeup collection and used the closest things I thought would recreate this look best. Hope you enjoy!

    Origins VitaZing Moisturizer SPF15
    SMASHBOX Photo Finish Primer
    MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC30/40 (mix)
    MAC Pro Longwear Concealer NW25
    Ben Nye Neutral Set Translucent Powder (set concealer)
    CARGO Blu_Ray Pressed Powder #30
    MAC Solar Riche Bronzer
    MAC Trace Gold Blush
    Soleil Tan De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid

     Make Up For Ever Waterproof Brow Corrector #3

     Too Faced Shadow Insurance
    Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil in "Midnight Cowboy"
    Urban Decay "Naked" e/s (from the "Naked" Palette used in the crease, smudged along lower lash line)
    Urban Decay "Buck" e/s (from the "Naked" Palette used in the crease, smudged along lower lash line)
    MAC "Ricepaper" e/s (overtop of "Midnight Cowboy" on the lid)
    MAC "Brule" e/s (highlight brow bone)
    MAC "Typographic" e/s (smudge along liner, outer 'V')
    Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in "Zero" (along upper lash line, lightly along lower)
    NARS Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner in "Rue Bonaparte" (along lower waterline)
    Benefit They're Real Mascara in "Black"
    ELF Dramatic Lashes snipped in half

     ELF Lip Liner and Blending Brush in "Natural"
    MAC Brave New Bronze l/s
    MAC Frankly Fresh l/g

    I wore this look to Charles' cousin's wedding on Saturday. I'm excited because I got to use a lot of new products with this look. I recently picked up Urban Decay Shadow Pencil in "Midnight Cowboy", MAC Solar Riche Bronzer, NARS Rue Bonaparte Pencil, and Benefit They're Real Mascara and I'm really loving ALL my products! I will be writing reviews on each, so make sure you check back!

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Professional Wedding Photos

    Hey Guys!I just put up an album of my favourite photos from the wedding photographers. Make sure to check them out on my Facebook page, Makeup By Cheryl, and remember to click 'LIKE'!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    August Luxe Box by Loose Button

    Hey Guys!
    I was so excited to receive my first Luxe Box in the mail this past Monday. I first heard about Luxe Box by Loose Button when I stumbled across a YouTube video describing a "'Birchbox' for Canadian Residences". I was bummed out when I found out Birchbox doesn't ship to Canadian addresses, so imagine how excited I was to find that there was a company, like Birchbox, that would ship to my address! So far I'm very happy with the service. When I signed up, Loose Button sent me an email saying my Luxe Box would be sent out the week of August 15th, and wouldn't you know it, my Luxe Box ARRIVED on the 15th! I noticed later in my e-mail inbox that I had a tracking number sent to me that day, but there was no need to track the package because it arrived on Day 1. 

    For those of you who don't know the service Loose Button provides, it is a monthly service which you can sign up for each month, or pay for a yearly subscription (which is the path I chose to take) that sends you a box full of random Deluxe samples from various companies. This is a great way for beauty junkies, like myself, to try out new products without having to splurge on the full-size and to try out products you wouldn't otherwise have picked out for yourself.

    Companies you may see in your next Luxe Box include:

    Elizabeth Grant
    Christian Dior
    Shu Uemura
    Anna Sui
    Suisse Programme
    Bobbi Brown
    Lise Watier

    As for the contents of the box, I've very happy with the samples that they provided me. I like that they gave me samples for the face, lips, body, fragrance and even jewelry! I had all my bases covered!

    The onveiling

    Welcome card

    Product Information Card

    Inside the box

    Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup in "Tan"
    Full-Size Retail Price: $31 (.28 oz)

    "Skip the mess and go pressed with Pur Minerals' award-winning foundation, powder, concealer, and SPF 15. Supercharged with shea butter and vitamin E, this nourishing pressed mineral formula is your key to flawless-looking skin in 60 seconds or less."
     You may be wondering how they picked my shade of foundation?! Well, when you sign up for Luxe Box, you fill out a "Beauty Profile" which has various questions about your skin type and types of products you would like to see in your Luxe Box. 

    City Lips Lip Plumping Treatment by City Cosmetics
    Full-Size Retail Price: $35 (5 ml)
    "The award-winning formula in City Lips includes Oligopeptide technology to increase collagen production in your lips, resulting in greater lip volume and a decrease in wrinkles and lines in and around the lips. Get extraordinary results and a luxury lip gloss all in one!"
    Proclaim Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion
    Full-Size Retail Price: $8 (32 oz)
    "Proclaim Hand & Body lotion moisturizes dry, irritated skin while protecting from sun, wind and water. It restores lost moisture and soothes dry, tight skin. Leaves skin felling smooth and soft without feeling greasy."
    Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria Fragrance 
    Full-Size Retail Price: $78 (50 ml), $102 (100 ml)
    "Mysteriously sophisticated. Innocently seductive. Coveted, yet forbidden, this fragrance is the younger interpretation of the iconic euphoria fragrance. It evokes a modern, fresh sexiness with a mysterious twist."
    Handmade earrings from Sheyna Jewelry

    I absolutely LOVE the earrings that were picked out for me. I can't wait to wear them!

    Luxe Box is currently only available in Canada, but it is working at getting it available to other countries! If you are interested in subscribing to Loose Button, please visit their site by clicking here. You can sing up monthly, quarterly, or yearly (as I did) and they will automatically renew your subscription. If at any point in time you would like you cancel your Luxe Box, simply sign into your account and do so. Simple!

    Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Luxe Box by Loose Button. I purchased a yearly subscription with my own money and these are my honest opinions, as always.