A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Archive for May, 2012

Does Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow really last 24 hours? (Full Pictures)

Tough as Taupe 24 hour eyeshadow testing

Today I want to talk about Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Eyeshadow by Eyestudio.  They make the claim that this is a 24 hour eyeshadow, so I decided to put it to the test and share my findings.

Before we get into the messy pictures, I want to start out with some basic details about this product.

The Color Tattoo 24 Hr Cream Gel eyeshadows are available in 10 different shades.  I have seen them retail at regular price for between $8.99 and $10.99 at different locations here in Canada, including Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall Pharmaplus and Wal-Mart.

color tattoo collection of shades

I was on the fence about trying this product, thinking “I won’t end up using this”.  But when I saw them on sale for $5.99, I figured there was no harm in trying out one shade.  After much deliberation, I went for a neutral shade, on the theory that if I am to get any use out of this at all, it will be during the week for work, when I commonly do a single shade and some quick eyeliner and mascara.  So “Tough as Taupe” was purchased.

Color Tattoo eyeshadow review

Color Tattoo Tough as Taupe

I actually love the container this comes in.  It is a glass pot with a plastic lid, reminding me of higher end products.

Tough as taupe 24 hour eyeshadow

The consistency is a creamy gel as advertised and slides on smoothly.

Tough as Taupe swatch

24 hour eyeshadow swatch by Maybelline

So for testing, I wanted to document what the eyeshadow looked like at three different intervals.  First, we needed a place to start, so I took pictures of what the eyeshadow looked like when it was first applied, at 7:30am.  Please note that I did use an eyeshadow primer prior to the application of the Color Tattoo eyeshadow.

Color Tattoo Testing - how long does the 24 hour eyeshadow really last?

24 hour eyeshadow test and review

Second, I wanted to see what it looked like by the end of the day.  And to me, that doesn’t mean as soon as work was over.  Generally people have committments in the evenings, whether that involves running errands, going for dinner or making your way to yoga…but no matter how you spend your time, your day doesn’t end when your work day does.  So I took my next set of pictures at the 15 hour mark, before going to bed at 10:30pm.

tough as taupe 24 hour eyeshadow testing

Other than issues with my eyeliner, the eye still looks much like it did 15 hours earlier.  You could even make the argument that the shadow hasn’t budged or been affected at all.

tough as taupe 24 hour eyeshadow testing

So after this, although I found the results very compelling so far, I decided to let the test run the full 24 hours, even though I had no intention of pulling an all-nighter.  So I went to sleep, with full makeup and woke up the next morning to this…

24 hour eyeshadow test

Tough as Taupe 24 hour eyeshadow testing

So obviously, I am in no way recommending people do their makeup the night before…but I do believe the pictures speak for themselves in regards to the longevity of these 24 hr cream eyeshadows by Maybelline.  I was very impressed with the results and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these for full day use.   After all, the shadow after 24 hours looks much like it did at 0 hours!  And best of all, I experienced no creasing  at any point!  I have always loved Maybelline’s mascaras and I can now add these 24 hour shadows to my list of favourites!

Next time I see these Color Tattoo eyeshadows on sale, I plan to grab a couple more shades for sure!

What do you think?  Have you tried these 24 hour eyeshadows already?  How did they last for you?



P.S. The jelly sandwich manicure shown in the pictures above was the longest lasting manicure I ever had.  After 8 days they were still absolutely perfect, not a single chip.  But I did remove them so I could change up my look.  I have decided that this jelly nail polish is some sort of witchcraft.

A Look for Spring

soft spring updo for long hair

My husband and I had a date night planned last night for a simple dinner out.  I felt like doing some experimenting with both my hair and makeup.  I came up with this very soft and feminine look that I think is perfect for Spring.

spring makeup and hair

As I sat down at my vanity I thought pastels would be a nice change for my eyeshadows and promptly realized my options were limited.  So I pulled out my Sweet Dreams Palette by Too Faced and found a couple of shades there that would do the trick.

Sweet Dreams Palette swatches and review

makeup look using Sweet Dreams palette by Too Faced

The four shades I used for this look are In the Buff, Peach Fuzz, Cut the Cake and Cop a Teal – which you can see on my swatches below:

swatches of Too Faced eyeshadowsToo Faced eyeshadow swatchesToo Faced Sweet Dreams Palette - review and swatches

How to get this look for your eyes:

peach and purple eye makeup

  1. Start out by filling in your eyebrows so you can see the area you are working with.  I used Mystery eyeshadow by MAC Cosmetics.
  2. Prime your lid all the way up to your brow bone.  I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
  3. Dust Peach Fuzz eyeshadow all across your lids.  (Any nice peachy shade will work for this step.  Something like Naked Lunch by MAC would work.)
  4. Then, take Cut the Cake eyeshadow and blend this shade through your crease and at the outer edge of your eyes.  (Again, any soft lilacy purple will do the trick here.)
  5. Line your upper lash line and waterline with a black liner.  I used Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC.
  6. Take a nice dark contrasting colour to smudge into your lower lashes.  I used Cop a Teal for this step.
  7. Highlight your brow bone and very inner corner of your eye with a soft, sheer white shade.  I used In the Buff eyeshadow for this.
  8. Finish with Mascara on both your upper and bottom lashes.  I used Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara.

how to create a soft pastel eye makeup look

This really does create a soft and subtle makeup look with just enough colour to keep me sane.  🙂  There is nothing overpowering about this look and is something that would work for anyone, no matter how you feel about bold colours.

peach and purple eye makeup

To complete my look, I used the following:

For my Skin > Erase Paste by benefit as my under-eye concealer, Makeup Forever HD Foundation in shade #118, topped with MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in shade “Light Plus”

For my cheeks > Sweet Pink blush by Too Faced

For my lips > Buxom lips bareEscentuals in shade “Leslie”

curved dutch braid and messy bun hairdo

For the hair I wanted to try out a look that was shown off recently by Brittany and Amber over at Makeup Geek.  They put up a complete picture tutorial on how to create this look.  You can find it here.

Curved Dutch Braid

This was my first time trying this look out on myself and I think it turned out okay for my first attempt.  Because I don’t have bangs but I didn’t want my face completely bare, I decided to leave out a couple of small strands to curl so I could still have a soft frame around my face.

soft spring updo for long hair

updo for long hair

I am one of those people that has had long hair their entire life and I like to wear it down 99% of the time because it is how I feel “pretty”.  I’ve never liked how I look with my hair pulled back in a pony tail or into a bun.  But with a soft messy updo like this, I can keep my hair up and off my neck (which is amazing for hot days outside) but still feel pretty and feminine.

How about you?  What is your favourite makeup look this Spring?  How do you deal with your hair in the heat?



Erase Paste by benefit (Before and After Pictures)

lightest shade of Erase Paste

Concealer is one of those steps that I generally cut out of my everyday makeup routine for work, simply because I never seem to have enough time in the morning.  But pretty much for any other occassion, if I am putting on a face, I am using a concealer.

I have horrid under-eye circles that like to sport a purplish tinge and I haven’t had the best success with drugstore concealers in the past.  So I picked up Erase Paste by benefit in shade “No. 1 Fair”.  I had high hopes for this product, given it’s price tag of $30 CAD ($26 USD).  So I decided to take some before and after pictures so you guys could see how it faired for yourselves.

benefit concealer - erase paste in "fair"

But first, let’s take a peek at what you receive when you purchase Erase Paste by benefit:

  • 4.4g (0.15 oz) Erase Paste in a very cute plastic pot
  • tiny spatula for scooping out the product
  • lesson guide to assist with application

You can purchase this product at Sephora (online or in-store).  In Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart also carries the benefit brand so you can pick it up there as well if that is more convenient for you.  You can also order internationally on benefit’s official site.

Erase Paste is described as a “brightening camouflage for eyes and face”.  “A concentrated creamy, blendable concealer for instant brightening.  Signs of stress & fatigue are a thing of the past with this innovative formula.”  It is available in 3 shades: fair, medium and deep.


I purchased “fair”, the lightest of the three shades.

lightest shade of Erase Paste

Lesson Guide

Instructions for using Erase Paste by Benefit

Step 1: Under eye concealing & brightening for dark circles

  • Use spatula to scoop out a tiny amount.  Place the paste on the back of your hand.  With your ring finger, take erase paste and make a dot on the inner and outer corners of the eye.  Delicately blend by following the arrows above.  For complete under eye concealing, connect the dots.

Step 2: “Marionette grooves” camouflage those shadow areas from nose to corners of the lip

  • Use the side of your finger to draw three “cat whisker” strokes in an up & outward motion across the shadowed grooves.  Blend lightly in soft, upward strokes with your fingertips.  Tip: run your fingertips under warm water to heat them up before blending.

Step 3: “X” markes the spot to conceal spot imperfections

  • For blemishes and spots of discoloration use the side of your finger to draw an “X” on top of the imperfection.  Pat & blend with your ring finger.  Tip: Apply 10% more erase paste than necessary – by the time you get to where you’re going, you’ll look perfect.

The Before and After Pictures using Erase Paste

I wanted to document my under-eye circles first hand and I figured for you to see this product in action, the best way would be to shoot some Before and After pictures.  I took pictures both in natural light as well as with flash.

First, let’s take a look at the BEFORE:

purple undereye circles

Under-eye Circles in natural light

purple under-eye circles without concealer

Under-eye Circles with flash

Now, let’s take a look at the AFTER:

Under-eye Circles in natural light, after using Erase Paste by benefit

undereye circles after using a concealer

Under-eye Circles with flash, after using Erase Paste by benefit

My thoughts:
Erase Paste by benefit is thick enough that it covers like a concealer, but is blendable like a foundation.  And because it is so thick, a little goes a long long way – you won’t need to replace/repurchase anytime soon.  The consistency is a touch oily, but I find this really helps with its blend-ability.  Any shine (like in the picture above using flash) disappears once you set your make-up with a powder, there is no shine at all in natural light.  And remember, Sephora has a 30 day return policy for any products you aren’t happy with.  So if you buy it and find it isn’t ideal for your skin, then simply return it.  No harm no foul.   The shade range is a little limited though with only three options.  The lightest shade has pink undertones which is good if you are cool toned, but if you are warm toned and are more used to yellow undertones, this might not be the product for you.  Best to try it out in store if you live close to a Sephora.  All in all though, it is a very versatile and easy to use product.  It proves to be long lasting throughout the day and this pot will last me forever it seems.  If you are in the market for a new concealer – give it a try, what have you got to lose?

Have you tried this product?  What did you think?  Do you have a favourite concealer that works wonders for you?


MIND THE GAP (a journey in London, England)

view of Tower Bridge from inside the Tower of London

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

The month of May is almost over and I had yet to do my monthly travel post, so I decided it was definitely time to get on it! My trip to London England feels like it was forever ago and I guess by many standards it was.  It will be four years ago this summer that I ventured through London, France, Spain and Italy (which we will get to in the coming months).  I had banked up all of my vacation time at work and decided to take it all in one big swoop and see as much as I could in 24 days. Flying into London direct from Calgary is an 8 and a half to 9 hour flight and a 7 hour time difference.  It might take you a day or two to get used to the change.  But if you are anything like me, you can usually hit the ground running out of pure excitement and anticipation.  🙂


Jelly Sandwich Nails

how to create jelly sandwich nails

A very popular nail trend right now is the Jelly Sandwich Manicure.  I’m seeing it everywhere and can’t help but think it is insanely cute.

What you need to create jelly sandwich nails:

  • 1 jelly nail polish
  • 1 glitter nail polish *personally I think the bigger the glitter, the cuter this look*

what you need for jelly sandwich nails

Jelly nail polishes aren’t the most common type of polish, but they are made to be layered (expect to use several coats).  They are sheer, ultra shiny and the colours will become more vibrant as you add more coats.  Jelly nail polishes are super nice to work with, they glide on easy, spread easily and you never have to worry about streaking or consistency problems.

The jelly sandwich manicure is when you use a jelly nail polish and layer glitter in between it.

How my first attempt turned out:

Jelly Sandwich nail tutorial

Confused?  Don’t be!

  1. Start out with a sheer jelly polish of your choice, I went with Loreal’s “Wishful Pinking” nail color.  It is a soft sheer baby pink.  Paint your nails with 3 coats (at least) of your jelly polish.  I used 4 coats to achieve the base colour I wanted (shown here): Pink Jelly Nail Polish
  2. Let them dry completely.
  3. Apply 1 coat of your glitter nail polish.  The important thing here is to select a glitter polish that has a clear base and only the glitter itself is coloured.    If you use just a standard glitter with a coloured base, it will just cover your jelly nail polish that you used as a base and you won’t even be able to see it.  Your jelly sandwich manicure is ruined!   I learned this the hard way, take a look at what happened when I tried to use Some Like It Haute by China Glaze.   how NOT to make jelly sandwich nailsFor my successful Jelly Sandwich, I used essie “Set in Stones” luxeffects nail polish, shown here: tutorial for jelly sandwich nails
  4. Once your glitter is set, go ahead and apply 1 coat of your jelly nail polish on top.  This creates the “sandwiched” look in your manicure (where the glitter looks like it is inside the jelly polish.)how to create jelly sandwich nails

What do you guys think?  Have you tried out this hot new nail trend already?  Or do you want to?

Personally, I can’t wait to go find some super giant glitter polishes.  Does anyone have a favourite that they recommend?

Tutorial for Jelly sandwich nails

Thanks for reading!



For more Jelly Sandwich nails, please click here!

a BLUE makeup look with a touch of ORANGE

I’ve always thought that blue and orange are colours that compliment each other nicely.  Both are bold and beautiful on their own, but side by side, you are forced to focus on their uniqueness and see how they accentuate each other.

blue and orange eye makeup

I guess that is why I chose to create a makeup look with them again…and I say again, because it was one of the first combinations I used when I first started experimenting with bright dramatic makeup.

Not wanting to be too overpowering this go around, I opted for creating a look that was full of colour, yet soft and wearable.

Orange and blue makeup look

To create this look, I used my Inglot Freedom System palette.  This look was very easy to create and only requires 3 shades of eyeshadow.

The light blue shade all over my lids is #13 from the swatch below.  And the dark blue throughout my crease and the outer edge of my eyes is #482 from the same swatch .

blue and brown eyeshadow swatches from Inglot

I wanted to use a contrasting colour for underneath my lower lashes and opted for #10 from the below swatch, a soft orange.

orange and pink eyeshadows from Inglot

Let’s get started:

Inglot makeup look

  • Make sure your eyebrows are shaped and filled in.  I like to always do this first, because it helps frame the eye area.  I used Mystery eyeshadow by MAC cosmetics.
  • Spread an eyeshadow primer all over your lids and up to your brow.  I used Mary Kay’s eyeshadow primer.
  • Dust a light blue eyeshadow all over each of your lids.  I used Inglot’s #13, a soft shimmery blue.
  • Then, blend a darker blue through the crease and to the outer edge of your eyes.  I used Inglot’s #482, a dark navy blue with a subtle silver shimmer.
  • Smudge a light orange under your lash line.  I used Inglot’s #10.  If you don’t have orange (I’m aware that it’s not a super common shade for people) any soft jewel toned shade will do.  Just make sure you pick a contrasting colour to create a nice accent.
  • Then, go ahead and line your eyes.  I used Master Precise Felt Tip Liner on my upper lashes and Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC on my waterline.  I opted for the cat-eye eyeliner look to elongate my eyes.
  • Finish with mascara and enjoy your blue and orange makeup look!
how to create a blue and orange makeup look
light and dark blue eye makeup

You can take a peek at one of my very first posts Yellow and Orange and Blue Oh My! if you would like to see another look using orange and blue together (and yellow) in a very different way.  The shades I used for that look are highly pigmented matte pigments.  It created a very bright, funky, dramatic look.  I feel like my look with the Inglot shadows here though is a lot softer and a lot more wearable for the everyday.  What do you think?



New to contouring? Introducing the Natural Face Palette by Too Faced (Review and Swatches)

Natural Face Palette Review

Even though I am no stranger to bold dramatic eye makeup, the world of contouring my face is new and scary to me.  So if you have any secret tips, please feel free to share them!

And all of this, is exactly why when I saw this product at Sephora with the “contouring for dummies” cards, I knew it was for me.  You might remember I loved the feature from their Sweet Dreams Palette that came out during the 2011 holidays too.  I actually picked up this Too Faced Palette up a couple of months back, but hadn’t gotten around to posting about it yet.  But this works out, because now I’ve actually had a chance to try it out and form an opinion, rather than just a first impression.

Natural Face Palette reviewNatural Face Palette review

What you receive in this palette:

  • 0.28 oz Bronzing Veil
  • 0.1 oz Crème Blush
  • 0.11 oz Powder Blush
  • 0.05 oz Concealer
  • 0.06 oz Luminizer
  • 0.05 oz Brightener
  • 3 tutorial cards on how to use the palette (conveniently tucked away behind the mirror)

Natural Face Palette Review

This palette retails at Sephora for $39.00 US or $48.00 CAD.  It is also available at www.toofaced.com.

This palette is super multi-functional.  You can add these products into your already existing routine for making up your face, or you can use them on their own to create a very natural look or simply touch up on the go.  This palette is also the perfect size if you are going away for the night or weekend.  It is small and sleek and saves you from having to pack 6 full sized and individually packaged products.

I found the actual products to be very neutral colours that will work on a wide array of skin tones.  Just take a look at the below swatches.  There is nothing harsh about them, they are soft and subtle.  You will also have no problem building up the bronzer or blushes to achieve your desired look.

Swatch of Bronze Veil from Too Faced

Bronze Veil Swatch (blended out on the right hand side)

swatch of Creme Blush and review

Creme Blush Swatch (blended out on the right hand side)

Swatch of the powder blush from Natural Face Palette

Powder Blush Swatch (blended out on the right hand side)

swatches from Natural Face palette

Conceal, Luminize and Brighten Swatches

My favourite part about this palette though is the tutorial cards.  They are perfect for quick reference and really help me with what goes where!

lesson cards from Natural Face Palette

They have created 3 tutorial cards and 3 completely separate looks.

“Day Glow” is a very soft summery sun-kissed look:

Lesson Card from natural face palette "Day Glow"

There is a short video here if you want to see how to create the “Day Glow” look for your face and pair it with a natural eye look from Too Faced as well.  You will have to use your imagination a little bit…because the model they used is drop dead gorgeous even before the makeup is applied….but you can certainly see how her using the palette accentuates her features and creates a nice healthy radiant glow on her skin.

“Classic Radiance”:

Tutorial Card from Natural Face Palette "Classic Radiance"

“Supermodel Sculpt”:

Tutorial Card from Natural Face Palette "Supermodel Sculpt"

Even though I knew that no card would make me look like a supermodel, I was most excited to try this look because it was the most different from my daily powder and blush routine.  By applying the bronzer below the blush on my cheek, it makes your cheekbone pop and appear more prominent.

The luminizer is something that was totally new to me as well.  It creates a very natural dewy look that catches the light and creates a healthy shimmer.  You can see it run down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid’s bow.

natural face palette review