Paper Magazine

pixie-lott-oliver-cheshire-paper-magazine-2Pixie Lott and Oliver Cheshire for Paper Magazine.

Craft a look similar to Miss. Lott with ‘The Sophisticate’ Lip Kit by Charlotte Tilbury for a nude lip, making sure to overdraw the Lip Lustre along the cupid’s bow. Apply Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Transcendence with fingers to create a cool glow on the cheeks, along the hairline, on the side of the throat, and on the high points of the collar bone; use a damp sponge to blend. Mirror the cold tones on the eye with Burberry Complete Eye Palette Smokey Grey No. 01 as the base and use the Stila highlighter to blend up near the eyebrow. Define your eyebrows with Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara. Line the eyes with Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner; for mascara try Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Black Lashdress Mascara focusing on the outside lashes to build volume and widen the eye. Paint a purple-grey tone on the nails with Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Polish in 120 Delphine. For the hair, blow hair out with Phyto Phytodéfrisant Botanical Straightening Balm; to emulate the wet look, straighten well then rake Bumble and bumble Semisumo through (try this article from NY Mag).

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STEMM Hair by Deciem

While traditional hair care deals with the hair fibre itself, STEMM places the focus on the scalp and follicle. Hair itself has never been of concern for me, but lately I have been rather interested in not necessarily the appearance, but rather its health. So goodbye to silicones—which coat the hair and mask damage—and sulfates—which both dry and damage the hair—and hello to modern ingredients like caffeine, black fulvic root, and amino acids.

I like STEMM.

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The collection—sent to me by the wonderful team at Deciem—includes High-Amino Shampoo, Black Fulvic Conditioner and Density Stimuli. I have been testing out the shampoo and conditioner over the last few weeks and have rather enjoyed using this collection as a treatment. That meaning I use the pair two or three times a week, and wash with HIF (currently all being reformulated) on the off days.

Why? STEMM is a little too much of a thorough clean-and-condition for my fine, dry hair. I have seen a notable difference in the density of my hair using STEMM, do not get me wrong, but after using STEMM my hair does not feel as soft and comfortable as it does when using HIF. That makes sense; HIF is for now, STEMM is for later.

So, if you are interested in hair health, then I think STEMM is a brilliant option. Thinning hair, lack of volume, breakage: STEMM is your new love. If you are more interested in what your hair looks like now, I think HIF is a fantastic balance between nourishment and immediacy. If you are greedy (like me) and want the best of both worlds: use both.

Disclaimer: The STEMM collection was sent to me by Deciem. I am writing about it because I like it.

Recent Acquisitions – Autumn

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Everyone does an ‘autumn favourites’ video, and though it may have become common I cannot hesitate to do one myself. Autumn is my season; the scent of the leaves as you walk—very briskly—along the sidewalk, the warm ceramic of a latte mug, and the feeling of nothing to do as you hide beneath the wool blanket on the sofa. Autumn is best.

Products mentioned, in order as they appear in the video. Continue reading “Recent Acquisitions – Autumn”

Maybelline Fit Me! Set & Smooth Powder Foundation

What is it?

Inexpensive face powder with light coverage and a smooth, natural finish.

What does it claim?

Sets makeup. Breathable, sheer to light coverage with a smooth, natural finish. Oil free. Does not clog pores. Suitable for sensitive skin and all skin types.

How should I use it?

Apply on top of a BB/CC cream or liquid foundation for a bit more coverage and to make everything look less smooth and more natural. Use a brush for sheer coverage and a sponge or the included applicator for light coverage.

How are the shades?

Offered in 12 shades from 110 porcelain to 355 coconut. Ladies and gentlemen from very fair to medium complexions will likely find a match; there is nothing here for the darker folks. I am a 120 which is a light with yellow undertones. 115 is 110 but for pink undertones, 125 is 120 but for pink undertones. Most of the warmer colours are for yellow undertones except for 225 and 315.

The verdict:

As a fan of skin care with middle-of-the-road pricing, I too took those same reference points when choosing a powder foundation. For a while I had been using Pür Cosmetics 4-in-1 Pressed Powder but $31is a tad steep when I consider how unremarkable a product it is. Thus, I braved the cluttered aisles of the drugstore and found Maybelline Fit Me! Set & Smooth Powder Foundation. On the whole? I am a big fan with one tiny caveat.

I count on a powder foundation for two things: making my skin look natural and providing a hint more of coverage in spots where I have…spots. This takes care of the first with aplomb, the second less so but still satisfactory. To be rather frank with myself I should invest in concealer as powder really is not designed for such a task.

I recommend you never spend a whole lot on powder foundation. The star of your makeup show should be a quality liquid foundation of CC cream; powder just comes in at the end and steals the show.

Maybelline Fit Me! Set & Smooth Powder Foundation is available online at Ulta or at your local drugstore for about $8.

Luxury Gifts for the Small Budget

I love buying things for other people. I never quite realized it until I watched “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” and saw that she would take jewelry off and give it to someone if they said they liked it. I don’t do it for some warm-and-fuzzy feeling, I just do it. I hate how we make those sorts of acts out to be a massive ordeal.

Introductions aside, this is my gift guide for this wonderful Christmas (or holiday/birthday/no reason at all) season. There is never a bad time to give a gift to someone you care for. Personally I always look for something that meets the following criteria: Considered, Luxurious, Special. It should have been something you thought of and believe with all sincerity they will love it and it should be something that leaves a lasting impression. Spending plenty of money or finding something extravagant is not the goal, but rather to make someone smile.

Aēsop Maps of Light gift set
Starting around $80
Inspired by astronomy this year’s Aēsop gift sets cannot disappoint. My favourite is the Auriga set which includes A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser, cult-following Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and the Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol for a mid-day perk-up.

Aēsop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
Starting around $40, also available at Mr. Porter
If a full-on gift set is a bit much they will love this cult product. It has a very natural, herbal scent which makes it perfectly asexual and suited to most tastes. Oh and it deeply moisturises, so no fear for those who work with their hands all day.

Noble Isle Fire & Space gift set
Starting around $50
I have a tiny lust for all things warm and for the body. This set from Noble Isle includes a shower-and-bath gel and a hand cream in the most warm and cozy scent possible. Inspired by the fireside and whiskey, this pair will keep you warm all winter season. Oh, and that packaging? Slow clap, please.

Mast Brothers Chocolate
Starting around $10
I have already picked up a few for my family, but I neglected to pick any up for myself and now I worry they won’t make it until Christmas. Available in flavours like vanilla, mint, coffee, maple, and sea salt these chocolate bars are both impeccably designed and formulated. If you are in Canada you can find them at Old Faithful Shop.

Holiday ornaments from CB2
Starting around $4
It is a family tradition to gift an ornament at Christmas, and no one ever has too many ornaments. If you are familiar with someone’s holiday colour palette, pick up an ornament that you think they will like. They can use it on their tree or, like I do, stack them on a serving tray on a sideboard. They are an affordable way to give a gift that lasts forever.

Holiday baking issue of their favourite magazine
Starting around $12
Are they a baker? Now is the perfect time to slip over to a local bookstore and pick out a few holiday issues. Most of the big magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Ricardo, Country Living, Canadian Living, etc. do big special editions of holiday baking recipes. They are typically ad-free, cost a bit more than an average issue, and feature sometimes up to 100 recipes with big, beautiful photographs on thicker paper that will last for generations. Even if they already subscribe to the magazine they won’t be receiving this in the mail, so they might not even know it exists! My favourite is the Ricardo Holiday Baking special issue, if you can find it.

Hudson’s Bay Millennium Stripe Cotton Knit Blanket
Starting around $100
Now this is more of a suggestion—$100 is plenty to spend on a blanket—but a blanket is a wonderful idea for a gift. They are a nice way of saying “I don’t want you to freeze and die this winter season”, and I think that means plenty. If $100 is not your style check out Zara Home, Chapters, or your local Winners/Marshalls/HomeSense. I always prefer a stiffer wool-blend variety as I find microfleece stops looking nice after a few months, but maybe sneak around their home to find their type.

Holiday candles
Starting around $10
Unfortunately I live in college residence, which means candles are a forbidden object. Oddly enough that never stops me from sniffing them in stores…and I may have just ordered this wonderful Illume Woodfire Demi Tin Soy Candle. While a Byredo or Diptyque candle would make a charming gift, a $10 candle can be just as nice. Look for a warm scent like pine, smoke or something woodsy.

Sephora VIB Fragrance and Skincare Haul

Oh, Sephora VIB sales. I will admit that 20% off had me clicking ‘add to cart’ a few more times than I had planned, but I did pick up a bunch of awesome products to try. You can check out the YouTube video for a more laid-back experience, or just read the list of what came in the post today.

Products purchased:
Fresh Seaberry Facial Oil, $59
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask, $56
Tony Moly Rice Sheet Face Mask, $9
Nude Purify Cleansing Wash, $35
NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Mask, $47

Samples received:
Clinique Turnaround Daytime Revitalizing Moisturizer, $45
Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream, $42
Yves Saint Lauren L’Homme fragrance, starting at $78
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel, $110
Nest Fragrance Indigo, starting at $30
Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb fragrance, starting at $45
Nude Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash, $52

Click here to see the YouTube video.