Stila Yumberry Crush, A Beautiful Stain

Stila Yumberry Crush, A Beautiful Stain

Oh I’ve got a crush on you, Stila Yumberry Crush! I may have found my perfect stain.  It is the perfect shade of soft pink that is sheer on the cheeks and gives a lovely flushed blush, and gives the lips just enough oomph to look like you are making an effort. If you are a No Lipstick Girl like me, you know what I mean. I had the feeling of a coating on my lips and the closest I get to a lip colour is a tinted lipgloss. Stila Yumberry Crush works on its own for a nice matte lip- it has the tiniest bit of shimmer which is slightly pearlized which means it doesn’t look dry or flat. It works amazingly well with a lipgloss but my favourite recent combo is with my beloved Dior Crème de Rose, which has also become a summer staple and is The Best Lip Balm. Ever.
Swatched stronger than I would put on my cheeks & a bit thicker to show colour, in daylight
I have used Benetint for years but depending on the time of year and my colouring (more or less self tanner or bronzer) it hasn’t always been the “best” shade for me. I love it but always have to use a light hand. I tended to use it more for lightly dabbing my lips to fill in and line them. This is actually a neat trick and I will still use Benetint for that. But Stila Yumberry Crush gives my lips a just bitten pink colour that I love- like I just had a pink popsicle. It really brightens my complexion, the way the perfect shade only can. It also contains antioxidants like Vitamin E and C which have skin brightening properties all on their own. Works for me!
I use it on my cheeks but beware, as with all stains this one dries quickly so don’t dawdle when applying. But it does last well, even in the extreme heat we have had recently. I first tried Coconut Crush but it was too orange-y and really washed me out. Yumberry Crush has a fruity scent that I don’t love, but it doesn’t last long. This has earned a permanent place in my make up collection.
…because we don’t want to look like this.
I got my Stila Yumberry Crush at Shopper’s Drug Mart for $32 and it is also at Sephora. US customers only pay $24. Seriously? I am happy to pay tax on an item but this kind of mark up a) is before taxes and b) was relevant 10 years ago when our dollar was low. ANYWAYS. Noted for my next trip to the States.

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

To my round up ladies- thanks xo
Well its been meltingly hot or had skies that were crackling thunder and lightning storms, depending on where you are. I know a lot of you don’t like the extreme heat, but for me, scraping ice of my windshield & washing salt off my boots is still a vivid memory. It gets hot, I’ve got the roof down an am driving. I am in no rush to get back to fall but admit I do love all the luscious fall collections coming out. We are in the height of summer’s beauty and I plan to enjoy this weekend (it’s a long one in Canada) probably on a dock with a nice cool glass of Chardonnay. Have a lovely weekend all…
Gouldylox Reviews shares with us her at-home foot smoothing find with Emjoi Micro Pedi. Perfect for summer sandal season.
BeautyXposé finds the latest jewelry trend while vacationing in Miami and brings the rose gold pieces home to rave reviews.
The Beauty Look Book shows us the latest in stunning nude shades with the Fall 2011 Burberry Beauty Collection.
Fab Over Forty gives us beauty tips and product must-haves from Dior National Artist, Jeffrey Sanchez.
Daly Beauty may have found the perfect mascara that results in beautiful lashes with Urban Decay Cannonball.
Best Things in Beauty showed us Tom Pecheux’s innovative Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée from Estée Lauder’s Fall 2011 Collection
DivaDebbi was able to lighten dark spots with a non-toxic four step product system called Lumixyl.
Product Girl shares with us what “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” TV star Taylor Armstrong keeps in her makeup bag.
Café Makeup reviews the newest lipstick formula and Feather Pink shade from the Burberry Lip Mist collection.
The Non-Blonde swatches and reviews the very gorgeous and wearable Chantecaille Sel Iridescent Eye Shadow.
Karla Sugar gives us a lesson on Creed fragrances and shares with us their three new fragrance releases.

Beautiful Lashes with Urban Decay Cannonball

I am a serious waterproof mascara wearer. If its not waterproof, I don’t wear it and if I ever did, it would melt off my eyes within an hour of application. I have oily lids, maybe I blink a lot too? And, I rub my eyes. All of these things do not bode well for normal mascara. In all my years of testing and trying different formulas, nothing held up better than L’Oreal Voluminous. It was cheap; it didn’t clump, made my lashes longer and lasted all day. Paying $25 for mascara that was no better than a $10 one just didn’t make sense. Especially considering that most waterproof mascaras tend to dry out and not last as long in your makeup drawer as normal mascaras. And, like it or not, the dryness would translate to the eyes, especially by the end of a long day. I couldn’t wait to wash it off. Then I found the amazing Kiehl’s Mineral Mascara and fell in love. It has a lovely thin and light texture, which I love and probably will for a long time, and it has earned a permanent spot in my collection.

Cry all you like…it won’t smudge!
Urban Decay Cannonball mascara sounded interesting though, as it brought a new science to a long wearing mascara formula.  It has the paraben-free gel formula I love so much in the Kiehls but with something different- fibres. This gel formula seems to be a common thing in Japanese cosmetic mascaras- I did enjoy the Shu Uemura Basic Mascara years ago, and I think that Kiehls offers a similar formula in their Mineral Mascara. But the fibers add a whole other dimension- literally- to Cannonball. Another fiber mascara is the hard to find Imju Fiberwig mascara, which had great lengthening abilities but was not waterproof. I also have Blinc tubing mascara, which is great and lasts well enough, but does come off in tiny little bits by the end of the day, and also felt quite dry and tight on my eyes. The little bits would sometimes get in my eyes- very annoying. And the only way to remove it is to wet and then pull off the fibres- ouch!- and end up with a sink full of little spider legs. Ew.
Cannonball seems to have all the good and none of the bad of all these nifty mascaras. It lengthened without clumping, felt soft and fluttery, and lasted all day while driving in a convertible in hot face melty weather. I didn’t swim, but I did sweat and rub my eyes and I also cried a little bit as my baby came home from a month away at summer camp while I was wearing it. It added a little more “oomph” than the Kiehls and is perfect when I want a slightly more glam look. I took it off at bedtime with my standard Almay waterproof eye makeup remover pads lickety split. No tugging and it actually just wiped right off. I have sensitive eyes as well and I did not experience one bit of irritation- another reason to love Urban Decay. Their 24-7 eyeliner does not bother my eyes either so they must be doing something right. Amazing! Cannonball gets a permanent place in my makeup drawer. It comes in one colour so far, a perfect black, which is all I ever buy. Unless you are very fair, black is the only mascara you need.

Even if smoke gets in your eyes, Cannonball stays put!
I got my Cannonball at Shopper’s Drug Mart for $24. Which is ok, but considering it is $20 in the US and our dollar is stronger, again I am irritated by the price issues. If I go to the US I will stockpile it, as I did with the Kiehls. The Kiehls is $23 in Canada but $16.50 in the US. Seriously? Anyhow, you can also get Urban Decay at Sephora.

Photos: Man Ray L’Armes & Marlene Dietrich being a bad ass.
A Beautiful Lippmann/Chanel Mani/Pedi

A Beautiful Lippmann/Chanel Mani/Pedi


I have become a bit obsessed about my mani pedi combos, and, more recently, with finding a perfect blue nail polish.  I wanted a dark blue, that wasn’t too blue or purple, or too bright. As much as I might find those colours gorgeous, and I do, I know my tendencies. History has proven that I don’t like to veer too far outside my comfort zone with nail colour or I won’t wear it. And then Emilie gets it.

So back to my Blue Period and finding The Perfect Blue hue of nail polish.  The Beauty Blogosphere is a wonderful world full of delicious temptations…Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book got me started on my lemming (go here to #3 for definition of lemming) for  Chanel Blue Satin. She was wearing it here and as I gazed at it shining in the sun, I was in love. But I also thought Dior Bond Street might be the one for me. Alas, their dusty denim inky blue was a limited edition and sold out everywhere. Boo. I am also considering the Butter London Big Smoke as seen on LipGlossiping– wow! Maybe for fall… For your comprehensive Blue Nail Polish 101 you simply must head over to Cafe Make Up & compare her lovely swatches. Dior Tuxedo Blue is also gorgeous, but a little brighter than what I wanted. Victoria from EauMG and I had a lovely & enabling discussion about how necessary a blue polish is on Twitter the other day. I’m sure you will realize that if you don’t have a blue polish, you will need one as well…

So, in the end, I got the Chanel Blue Satin, with visions of nautical themed mani pedis dancing in my head. The real beauty of this polish is the fact that a rich indigo navy blue is a classic colour for fashion in every sense of the word. Yet, Chanel manages to make it edgy with an elegant twist, as per usual.  It has the STUNNING hidden shimmer that is a Chanel signature, but what is really neat is that is almost black. No teenage electric blue here. This is as elegant as Rouge Noir, just a different take on a dark vampy mani. Navy is a great colour all year round, so even a nail polish as dark as Blue Satin can work in July. Please pardon my toes…dark colours are unforgiving and can be tricky to apply. My next pedi will be done by a professional….

See that shimmer? Only visible in the sun…

I decided on the Blue Satin for my pedi, and opted for a neutral mani, choosing Lippmann Fashion. Well, I must say I am very happy with it, despite a little buyers remorse that tried to rear it’s head as I applied the dark ink-like colour to my toes. My lovely Sales Associate at my favourite Chanel counter  (The Bay) said it perfectly “Too blue to be black, yet too black to be blue”. How perfectly Chanel. Panic averted, it’s gorgeous and I love it. I will get brave enough to wear it on my fingers! Stay tuned….

Beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

It appears to be the perfect weekend to hole up indoors in air-conditioned comfort (or at water’s edge) and read blogs! Although my memory of scraping ice off my windshield is still pretty intense so I am loving these hot summer days. Here’s our weekly beauty roundup to tempt you:
Café Makeup had high praise for Burberry’s new Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base, calling it a “best in class” primer.
Best Things in Beauty offered a sneak peek at Chanel’s Aquillaries de Chanel Collection.
The Beauty Look Book showed us why we need Le Métier de Beauté’s True Romance Nail Lacquer, a Nordstrom Anniversary exclusive.
Fab over Forty featured makeup application tips from Mickey Castillo, Le Métier de Beauté’s makeup director.
The Non-Blonde fell for the gorgeous, new Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours.
Karla Sugar swatched the Fall 2011 Color Collection from NARS.
Perfect for this weather, Product Girl featured a guide to the obsessive nature of facial misting.
DivaDebbi achieved beauty bliss with the Bliss Fabulous Skin-Reviving Rubberizing Mask.
Gouldylox Reviews is enjoying Dove’s Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo, Conditioner, and Treatment products.
BeautyXposé introduced us to the limited-edition eos Summer 2011 Collection of lip balm smooth spheres.
Daly Beauty tested and loved Your Best Face’s Restore serum- this stuff is amazing.
Stay cool this weekend!

Your Best Face™ Restore is Beautiful

I recently received some generous samples from the skincare line Your Best Face. This is an American line and I had not heard of it. It was started by two young smart people who really had an interest in the  technology of skincare. The buzz online was, well, quiet, so I really had no idea what to expect and no preconceived ideas about the line at all. My experience has been quite interesting and I have reserved writing about this line because I wanted to be sure I had really given them a good run. I didn’t want to rave about something then get cystic acne or a rash 2 weeks later. So it has been a little over 2 weeks and I’m ready.
I have been using the Your Best Face Restore product after cleansing my face at night. It is a Vitamin C serum, so the results we hope for would be radiance, even skin tone and hydration. I have used many vitamin C products, some burn my skin, some are so heavy on silicones that they make me break out, and some are unstable and turn into thick sticky blobs while sitting in my night stand. I like to use vitamin C at night, as I feel my clean fresh skin is ready to absorb a rejuvenating product that is as light as YBF Restore. I guess I like the idea of waking up to a fresh face too! The product is a gel like serum-lotion, sort of lighter than a lotion yet richer than a serum. They have a soft almond-y scent that, while inoffensive to me and quite short-lived, may bother some so test first if you are sensitive to scent. That said, Restore is so gentle and soothing and I have not experienced even the smallest bit of irritation.
I honestly loved this product so much I was afraid to write about it. I thought maybe my great skin was just a coincidence. I am skeptical of crazy skincare claims and I spent the first few days of using Restore looking in the mirror- hard- trying to convince myself that the Restore was, indeed, That Good. My skin is smooth, bright and even toned. The little dark spots from the adult acne that continues to vex me (although not as much as before…) seem to be fading before my eyes. My pores look a bit smaller and my skin just looks, well, better. I wake up without, wait for it, an oil slick on my face. Why do we like vitamin C for our skin? Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the appearance and structure of the skin from damage caused by free radicals, such as the sun rays, pollution and cigarette smoke. Vitamin C helps refresh and improve the brightness and smoothness of skin, and helps smooth skin tone. But the key is the delivery system, and if a lotion doesn’t contain a stable vitamin C then you won’t get the benefits. The YBF packaging uses the “airless pump” in insulated opaque packaging so you know the product is safe and stable. Wow. I am pretty sure that Restore is silicone free, but am waiting on confirmation from the company.

Verdict- well, amazing. I love this, will buy more, and can’t imagine what I would do without it. I have paired it with the amazing Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate a few times, but that is a bit rich for the extremely hot weather we’ve had, but also nice after a day in the sun and wind. Again, why this line isn’t Big News is a surprise to me. Incredible.
I am also using the YBF Defend but will talk more about that in another post. You can buy the products from their website and from various other online retailers. A 30 ml bottle of Restore is $120 and I imagine that a bottle would last around 3-4 months. Expensive yes, but for a product that delivers what it promises, and more, I will pay.

beautiful Beauty Blog Round Up

Archangel Michael, Castel Saint’Angelo, Rome

Nails, face, hair, and fashion – we had it all last week, with one foot in summer and another in fall. Read on to see what grabbed our attention!

Karla Sugar fell hard for Le Métier de Beauté’s Rock ‘n’ Romance nail polish set (a Nordstrom Anniversary exclusive).

Café Makeup showed us Chanel’s Joues Contraste in Rose Tourbillon, another Nordstrom Anniversary special.

The Non-Blonde continued her makeup brush series with Le Métier de Beauté’s Blush Brush.

Fab over Forty featured Blue Tie, the lovely new Dior Collection for Fall 2011.

Best Things in Beauty had a sneak peek at Giorgio Armani Beauty’s unique jacquard palettes for Fall 2011.

Daly Beauty compared a few beautiful bronzers with self-tanners for summer.

The Beauty Look Book reminisced about Chanel’s timeless Autumn Les Vernis Nail Colours.

Product Girl showed us Zoya’s gorgeous new Smoke & Mirrors Collection for Fall 2011.

DivaDebbi featured a retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty.”

Gouldylox Reviews deconstructed Mila Kunis’ amazingly lush hair style.

BeautyXposé showed us how to apply feather extensions, the trend of the moment.

photo courtesy of vt_professor on Flikr, thank you

Feel Beautiful While You, Ahem, Glow

Feel Beautiful While You, Ahem, Glow

That’s what women do, right? We “glow”…we don’t sweat. Yeah, right. ANYWAYS…It may seem a bit odd to do a beauty post about deodorants but I am going to anyways. As with everything in my beauty routine, the scent or perfume of my products is very important. When it comes to deodorants, I most often choose the unscented variety as to not have it interfere with the perfume I am wearing that day. I am the same way with body lotions, shampoos and conditioners etc. I am not opposed to wearing more than one perfume at the same time, as I am a big fan of layering my perfumes to make a custom scent to suit my mood. Its just that most deodorants (antiperspirants) smell awful. They are usually a plastic-y fruity mess or some artificial vanilla laden confection from hell. So unscented or classic scent Dove antiperspirant is the one I choose. One smells like nothing, and the other smells like Dove soap, and is also quite soft, which is fine with me. But there are some lovely scented products I adore!
This is actually a deodorant/antiperspirant. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this one. It is a huge seller and a major cult product among those in the know. It’s funny because Cashmere Mist is not one of my favourite perfumes and I find it a bit overly powdery and tenacious on me. It is a lovely scent and I have friends who wear it beautifully…just not for me. I adore Donna Karan Jasmine, but I digress. My friend and fellow beauty enabler Vicki turned me on to this stuff after her friend from LA turned her onto it! I was up for it! The amount of scent in this deodorant is absolutely perfect and it even takes on a slightly different feel than the perfume. It is simple and deep, and works well with many different scents like florals, richer woody scents etc. It keeps me dry as a bone without irritating my skin or staining my clothes. At around $25 it is more than I thought I would ever pay for a deodorant but it is a really dense quality product and it lasts at least twice as long as the Dove. I get mine at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart.
Ok I know. Blue Grass? My grandmother wore Blue Grass! Well that’s ok. I love perfumes of all vintages and eras so if you know me, Blue Grass is not really a stretch. It has changed since I first recall smelling it, but it is pretty inoffensive. It’s a fresh clean outdoorsy fragrance, with soft floral notes and your basic cologne ingredients like lavender, orange blossom with a little spice thrown in. Fragonard created this scent and in 1936 Elizabeth Arden had licenced it, and named it Blue Grass, honoring her horses and Kentucky stables. It became a massive success. My local EA rep told me this is a best seller in India, and it gets pretty hot there, so I imagine it is an effective product. Its kind of retro in that it is a cream. The bottle top is smooth and round and, as you turn the base to release the product, a little stream comes out of a little hole in the center. It rubs in to become invisible and dries almost instantly. I LOVE this product.  It smells soft and pretty, much softer, of course, than the perfume. It’s a squeaky clean floral scent that is perfect in hot weather that also layers well with just about any perfume. I first bought it to take to Florida and fell in love immediately. I feel pretty and clean in this, and it is mild and gentle on the skin. At around $12, you can’t go wrong. I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart but I imagine it’s available wherever Blue Grass is.
This is an anti-perspirant as well, in the old roll on formulation. It is uber sheer and light and disappears almost instantly on the skin. It leaves almost no residue when it dries, and skin feels soft to the touch as well. It has the softest of rose scents upon application but it disappears pretty quickly. It has a luxurious feel to the product itself, even if it is a bit “wetter” than I am used to. Perhaps the fact that summer has been so hot and sticky, that after a nice long shower the Biotherm Deo Douceur actually feels cool and refreshing going on as opposed to cold and yucky? Maybe I won’t love it so much in the depth of January but right now I love it. The rose scent is uplifting, the product is gentle and it also effective. Keeps me dry and comfy with no dry skin. At around $25 it is again kind of pricey, but has a good quantity and a little goes a long way. I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart, but I’m sure anywhere with a Biotherm counter has it.
One thing I love about these products is the luxe factor the offer. I found I like the feeling and idea of using a fancy deodorant sometimes. Why is that important? Because I believe that luxury in the little things we do for ourselves is a good thing. It feels like a treat, and elevates our daily routine, even if just for a minute.
More Beautiful Bronzers…

More Beautiful Bronzers…

After much discussing of what bronzers do we love best on Twitter and Facebook this week, I decided to do another post on some more of my fave bronzers. Self tanners and bronzers fall into this category for me. I have already covered some facial self tanners here.

Bronzer Hall of Fame: Guerlain Terracotta 01. This stuff is legendary for a reason. It goes on smoothly without blotches, stays put and gives a healthy soft glow. It does have the teensiest bit of shimmer in it but this is not noticeable on the skin. It is there for a reason as a truly matte bronzer can be dangerous if not in the hands of a professional make up artist. It can look splotchy and, well, dirty, with a muddy tone. I can only see the shimmer in Terracotta with my reading glasses on, and only on my skin if I swipe it with my finger and rub it on. Applied with a soft fluffy brush evenly all over the face, it is perfection! Always in my make up bag. Always.
Bronzer With a Bit of Bling: Bobbi Brown Aruba Illuminating Bronzing Powder is a lovely choice as it is a very soft bronze colour, suitable for fair skin, but offering the most subtle bit of shimmer. It really does simply “illuminate” and is nice for evening. I usually save this for cooler weather when I am not shiny but to be honest it really is just not that shimmery. Nice when dusted on tops of cheeks and forehead, and on décolletage if you are heading out on the town. Every time I put this on I think “ I should use this more often”. Gorgeous.
Cheap’n’Cheerful Bronzer: Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 022 Sun Bronze. This one never fails to amaze me. I often wonder if it is only my love for Guerlain that keeps me from using this one exclusively. The Rimmel bronzer is about as close to shimmer free as I am comfortable with. I can only see traces of something with a bit of sparkle when I put on my reading glasses and go stand in direct sun and stare at the swatch on my skin. I have also used 021 and am not quite sure why I got 022…anyways they are very close. The colour is very sheer and buildable but not blotchy at all. My younger daughter Brigit, who only wears mascara and a bit of powder (age appropriate at 15) stole this from my make up drawer and its perfect for her. She is very fair with white blonde hair but has skin that tans and this is so subtle on her. It really just looks like a healthy glow. At under $10 this one is a must have. You will use it, trust me. Oh, and it has SPF 8….bonus.
Easy Peasy Self Tanner: They say Clarins Liquid Bronze is for the face but I use it on my décolletage and my legs. With it’s lovely and light milky consistency, it is easy as pie to apply, sort of goof proof if you blend well, and gives a perfect natural golden glow. This one gets much love on beauty blogs and forums all over the interwebs. For good reason- I love it! Smells nice too.
Amazing Instant Tanned Legs Self Tanner: Make Believe Airbrush Self Tanner is easy to use and gives incredible results. Caveat: this stuff is a bit hard to find. I bought it at Murale while on a marathon make up shopping trip with my friend Vicki (one of many…) and I’m not even sure if they carry it anymore. It is AMAZING. A spray tanner perfect for legs, it is an aerosol tanner that shows up immediately but also develops slowly into a tan. As long as one doesn’t forget to blend at feet/ankles/knees (do it quickly, as it is “flash dry”) this stuff is amazing. Perfect for the start of summer when the dresses and shorts come out, or going on holiday to get the perfect tan. It is subtle, so no Ooompa Loompas with this stuff. LOVE it. Not sure what I will do when my tin is done as I don’t think Murale carries it anymore….
Incredibly Natural Self Tanner:  Neostrata Natural Insta-Tan is sooo good. I forgot about til I found it at the back of my drawer:  The main things I love about this are it is oil free and actually more of a gel, and it shows up right away making for fool proof application. It is powerful and a little goes a long way so use with a light hand, starting with very little. Honestly this bottle is huge and will last forever. It is for use on body and face. No nasty smell at all. I am pretty sure it is the same type of formula as St Tropez as it has that odd greenish tinge to the formula that I noted in the St Tropez Mousse. It is ideal for acne prone or oily skin.
Well, hi there… 
Of course, the shades I recommend are the ones that work for me and my medium to fair skin tone. You will have to determine what shade works best for you. A skilled make up artist or Sales Associate should be able to help. I recommend looking at your face in natural light before buying. And before applying self tanners always EXFOLIATE, especially knees, elbows, wrists & feet. And apply moisturizer first. And wash your hands after applying, using a nail brush unless you want to look like a chain smoker… But there is a bronzer for everyone! What are your fave bronzers?
Let’s sing about how perfectly bronzed we are!