Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lusting over some classic luxuries...

Hey everyone. Even though my birthday is over a month away I'm already starting to build a wish list. Right now since I'm broke as a freakin' joke I'm not exactly the mindset for extravagant, trendy impulse items. I'm much more into updating classic pieces and investing in a select few items that I will love and last forever. That being said, I'm sure you've all seen these items that I'm currently obsessing over, at least something similar.

1. Stewart Weitzman 5050 Boots: I really need a new pair of classic black boots, as I'm burning a hole in my current pair. I've tried on this season's version of the 50/50 boots and they are so comfortable to wear and easy to slip on and off. I desperately want!
stewart weitzman 5050 boot

2. Louis Vuitton Monogram Shawl Scarf: I love the gorgeous creamy taupe colour of this particular scarf. I'm just a fan of huge scarves in the winter. So cozy and chic. 

louis vuitton shawl scarf

3. David Smallcombe Cuff Bracelets: You've likely seen these on The Current Custom's website, I've had these cuffs on my wish list forever. I've decided that I'm going to try to stay exclusive to nice quality jewelry. I love that these bracelets have that had made touch with the ridges and elegant curving to the metal work. 

david smallcombe cuff bracelets

So yup, those are a few items I'm gunning for this fall. 



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Updated: Everyday Makeup Routine

Now that I'm back in school I've developed a whole new makeup routine. I've been keeping it really basic with a light, neutral eye, peachy pink cheeks, and a moisturizing nudey lip colour. Oh, and I've been paying a little extra attention to my brows because I feel more intelligent with a full brow LOL.

For my eyes I've pretty much been using this MAC quad I made, which consists of Patina, Vanilla, Corduroy and Carbon. Vanilla goes on my tear duct and inner eye, and I blend out the crease with Patina. Sometimes I'll do a tiny bit of lining on my upper lash with Carbon, and then I use Corduroy and Carbon for my brows.

mac everyday neutral eye shadow quad carbon corduroy vanilla patina

mac everyday neutral eye shadow quad carbon corduroy vanilla patina
From Left to Right : Patina, Vanilla, Corduroy, Carbon

And the rest of my makeup is so simple. I've been using the teeniest bit of NARS Sheer Glow mixed with moisturizer for a bit of coverage. Set my face and slightly contour with my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Naturals, love it! My blush is either Tarte Tipsy (which I'm wearing today), the Illamasqua Bronzing Duo, or Peaches. Lastly my lips is always MAC Boy Bait Cremesheen or Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brûlée or both (I was addicted to my MAC tinted lip conditioner before I lost it. Grrr). Oh and obviously mascara and a little concealer on under eyes and blemishes, only if I need it. 

And that's it! 

What are your every day essentials?

x- Alma

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MAC Angel Dupe Review- Maybelline's Born With It

I'm sure many of you already know about the Maybelline's Born With It dupe for MAC's Angel, or even own it. But if this is new news then feel free to read on! 

mac angel dupe vs maybelline born with it lipstick review

When I heard that there was a drugstore dupe for MAC Angel I just had to have it. And when I saw that it was on sale, I knew it was fate. I barely swatched it since I trusted the reviews I read, so when I got home and tried it on ....I ended up being disappointed. Talk about anticlimactic! 

So here's the thing about dupes. Most people consider them a dupe if it's a close colour match. But for me, texture and consistency is so important! With one swipe Born with it is quite sheer and pale, but you can build up the colour so that it's pretty close to Angel. Even then, it's slightly more glittery, and almost chalkier than Angel. Good enough.

Here are the swatches, can you tell the difference? 
mac angel dupe vs maybelline born with it lipstick review  swatch
 Maybelline Born With It  |  MAC Angel

However, the texture of Born With It is terrible! It's cheap, waxy, drying, and has particles of glitter that  bother me when I have to work up the colour back and forth on my lips. Angel is creamy, and has great colour pigmentation with no glitter. Maybe I'm particular about my lipsticks, but I'd rather pay an extra couple bucks for a product that feels comfortable when I wear it. 

MAC Angel:
mac angel lipstick

Maybelline Born With It:
maybelline born with it lipstick

All in all, if you're really a broke ass I suppose Born With It would be a fair colour dupe. You just won't get the same experience with the product in terms of applying it and how it feels on your lips.

So there you go! I hope that was informative. If there are any other dupes for Angel please let me know because I would love to try!

xx- Alma

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Current Hair Care Routine

Hey everyone. Just thought I would share what's currently in my bathroom. I used to store bottles and bottles of conditioner, and have tons of mousses, sprays, serums, and gels all in attempt to tame my voluminous mane. But in the last year I have found some really great products that have totally reconstructed my hair. I haven't touched a heat styling product for months because my waves are so well trained! Life has never been so effortless in terms of styling and I'd like to give credit where credit is due.

So without further adieu, here's the (relatively) small list of hair products that I've been using:

Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo with Buriti oil. This year I have been dabbling with several Aveda hair care products and I must say I am most impressed with this shampoo. My hair is super coarse and dry, so not only is this shampoo super gentle and hydrating but also the scent lasts a long time. It defintely feels like a high quality shampoo, and it's worth the dough in my opinion.

Giovanni Wellness System Conditioner. Picked this up at Whole Foods. If anyone has tried "all natural", "organic" conditioners you'll notice that they are not very emollient. I  feel like I'm tugging at my hair in the shower to work in the conditioner which is obviously not good. Since I really do like natural conditioners for their essential oils, fewer impurities, and frankly the peace of mind of using an all natural conditioner (whether it meets the claims or not) I tend to mix this with a dollop of drugstore/salon conditioner just to create a silkier consistency. I don't mind this particular brand, but I prefer my beloved Alaffia conditioner much more. My hair is happy, so it must be doing something right.

Joico K-Pak Moisture Intense Hydrator. A little goes a long way, as I've had this bottle for almost a year! I've basically been using this as a conditioner when my hair feels extra dry, or I add this to my Giovanni conditioner like I said previously to make a smoother silkier texture. It works great, but I don't love the generic smell. I much prefer the earthier/muskier smells of natural oils like Aveda. That would have to be my only complaint.

Ojon Revitalizing 2- min hair mask. Love this mask! I'm almost out and I need another one. Every time I use this my hair feels amazingly soft. One of the best masks I've tried, and I've been testing the market for a long time. Enough said.

Aveda Invati Scalp Revitalizer. I've done a full review here. Basically I'm recovering from alopecia in sporadic areas of my head. I've been using this everyday for several months now and I've had reasonable success. Not sure if I would repurchase since I want to find affordable alternatives. I do love the concept of a natural hair growth and strengthening product but not its price.

Aveda Pure-formance Composition aromatic oil for scalp, hair and body. A nice light weight yet strongly scented oil. I quite enjoy its smell. It has been a great oil for the summer because it's such a thin density. It doesn't penetrate your hair strands for intense hydrating, like my coconut oil does, but it's more of a pampering product, and it makes my hair smell nice all day long. 

Sally Hershberger Style Primer for Wavy Hair. I have also reviewed with product here along with a demo. It smells like sweet coconuts (absolutely amazing), and basically acts like a hydrating mousse to define and texturize wavy hair. I've been enjoying this all summer, and would definitely repurchase.

Sally Hershberger Super Hydration Keratin Spray. I decided to dabble in more Sally Hershberger after having success with the Style Primer. I always like to have a keratin spray on hand, I use it on days I don't wash my hair. I don't mind this product, but I do prefer the Chi Keratin Mist just because I feel like it does more for my hair in terms of strengthening.

Anyway, overall I have some products that I absolutely have been loving, and some that do the job, but may not be on the 'holy grail' level. I would recommend everyone with dry/coarse/wavy/damaged hair to check out any or all of these products!



Friday, September 14, 2012

My Favourite Mascaras!

Hey everyone. So I think I have finally found my holy grail method for perfectly dramatic black lashes. It's using Clinique High Impact mascara & Prestige My Blackest Lashes.

What I love most about both mascaras is that the wands have full, fluffy yet short bristles. I prefer a slender brush to really work the mascara into my lashes especially at the roots and in the corners. This brush type gives you awesome control for lower lashes as well. 

Now a bit about Clinique High Impact, which probably my most repurchased mascara of all time. The formula is unlike any other mascara I have seen before. It is very pigmented, and slightly hydrating on my lashes. It doesn't clump...ever, and best of all it is very easy to remove, unlike tons of other mascaras on the market. The trick to applying High Impact is to use multiple thin coats, which is obviously more time consuming. I wipe off most of the mascara on the bottle and apply 2-3 coats. The result is beautifully full natural looking lashes. I think it's worth the effort!

To bump the intensity for super dramatic lashes I use a final coat of My Blackest Lashes. I used to use L'oreal Voluminous which is a cult favourite, and a nice substitute. I love that it gives you very black voluminous lashes. The only problem with these mascaras is that they aren't buildable without tons of clumps! 

This combo I have found works wonderfully because High Impact is more lengthening and My Blackest Lashes is very thickening. The result looks like this. You can really see that my lashes are clump free and very dramatic! Love it.

Of all the mascaras I've tried (Makeup Forever Smoky Lash, Benefit Bad Gal, Clinique Lash Doubling, Urban Decay Supercurl, and basically every drugstore mascara on the market) these two are my all time favourite. 

I really want to try MAC Zoom Lash, and Lancome Hypnose and see how they compare. Has anyone tried these mascaras?

xx- Alma

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Essie Marathin

For the last couple months I have been trying to improve the condition of my nails. That means restraining from nail polish! Torturous I know..

essie marathin nail polish yogaga 2012 collection dusty rose

However... my knees started buckling over Essie's Yogaga collection that came out a bit ago. I just had to get Marathin and Yogaga (but that's another post). Lately if there's anything on my nails besides nail strengthener it's Marathin, a dusty rose almost mauve colour. It's definitely more understated than other bright bubble gum pinks I usually sport on my nails. 

essie marathin nail polish yogaga 2012 collection dusty rose
I think Marathin is a very pretty colour to transition into the richer Fall burgundy and metallic shades...
essie marathin nail polish yogaga 2012 collection dusty rose

But speaking of nail care, does anyone know of any good nail strengthening products? I have tried all the Sally Hansen ones and they are absolutely rubbish. I'm thinking of reverting back to my trusty OPI Nail Envy, unless there are other reccomended alternatives to try...

xx- Alma