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

Posts tagged “They’re Real! Mascara by benefit

Feeling Festive? A Christmas Makeup Look

Red and Greek Makeup Look - Festive Makeup - Christmas Makeup

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted a smokey metallic makeup look that I wore to my husband’s work Christmas party.  By the time my work party rolled around, I was ready to mix it up.  I wanted to play with some colour and ended up with a very intense, bold and festive makeup look.

Christmas Makeup - Red and Green Eye Makeup Look

Red and Green eye makeup look

What I used to get this look:

Colorful Christmas Makeup

Holiday Makeup/Christmas Makeup

How about you, are you being adventurous with your makeup this holiday season?

I really hope you all like this fun makeup look for Christmas!  After all there is really only one time of year that this makes any sort of sense at all and that is right now, during the holidays!  I’m sure some people would argue that there is no time of year that this look makes any sense haha…but I had a lot of fun with it regardless and I do believe that is the point!!  So make sure you remember to have a little fun too. 😉

Thanks for reading!



Feeling Sexy? A Holiday Makeup Look & Tutorial

dramatic makeup for the holidays

The season of holiday parties is upon us!  I always love getting done up for Christmas parties and the like.  I feel as though I can be more adventurous this time of year and am able to put on some makeup that I wouldn’t normally leave the house in…no longer stuck waiting for those special occasions.

Christmas Party makeup (how to get a black and copper smokey eye)

Last year, I tried out my very first Pin-Up makeup look and was sporting a bold red lip.

This year (or at least for party #1) I went with a metallic smokey eye.  The Copper pigment adds enough glitz and glam to make the look festive and the use of black kicks the look up a notch into the world of dark, dramatic and sexy.

smoky eye makeup look using Copper pigment by MAC and Corrupt eyeshadow by Makeup Geek

Get the eyes:

  1. Step 1 is “Tame those brows!”.  Fill them in, glue them down, do whatever it is you do to get that area ready.  🙂
  2. Prime your lid and all the way up through your crease to your brow.  I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.  Make sure you are always using some sort of primer as a base, whether you want a soft daytime look or something dramatic for evening.  It provides you long wear time and will help you avoid creasing.  Your shadows will also apply more vibrantly and stay true throughout the day/night, without “melting off”.  
  3. Next, take a piece of tape (scotch, masking, painters, any will do) and get it in line with your lower lash line and where your eye brows end.  Press it down, making sure it is nice and smooth with a good seal.  It will take you a few minutes to get used to how this feels when you blink.
  4. Using a flat eye shadow brush, I pressed on “Copper” pigment by MAC all over my lids, working from the inside out.
  5. Using a stiff dome brush, start dusting a matte black shadow throughout your crease, and down along the outside of your eye, along the tape line.  Using this same colour and brush, lightly smudge this along your lower lash line too, the outside half only.  I used “Corrupt” by Makeup Geek as my matte black shade.  It’s really intense and heavily pigmented.  I suggest using a matte shadow for this step so the Copper shade stands out more…and when I am putting black this high on my brow bone, I feel like the matte texture helps tone it down slightly and isn’t as overpowering as a lustre or frost might be.  You can feel free to use a glitzy black if you’d prefer.
  6. I decided against an inner corner highlight with this look.  Instead, I used “Goldmine” eyeshadow by MAC on the inner quarter of my lid to gently lighten the copper and create a very subtle gradient effect.
  7. Then I took a fluffy crease blush and gently dusted “Brule” eyeshadow by MAC underneath my brows.  Brule is a soft matte, nearly nude shadow that is close to my natural skin tone.
  8. At this point you should be ready to pull that tape off!  If necessary, perform any clean up that the tape might have missed.  A Q-tip dipped in makeup remover will do the trick!
  9. For eye liner I used Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in “Trooper” on my lid.  The felt tip on this makes it really easy to apply and wing out the edges.  To create a similar look to what I have here, you want to continue your line out past your lashes and gently flick it upwards.  Now, draw that line down to your lower lash line and fill in the middle.  On my waterline I opted for Makeup Forever’s Aqua Eyes waterproof liner in black.  For this, I applied it once to my waterline, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then went back in with the pencil again to make it more opaque.  Both of these eye liners are from my “Draw the Line” Sephora Favorites sampler that I am super in love with, it’s great value and you should check it out if you haven’t already, it has definitely proven to be one of the best purchases I have made all year!
  10. Finish the look with at least two coats of mascara.  I used “They’re Real!” mascara by Benefit.  Normally if I am wearing false eyelashes I go for a soft basic mascara.  But because I was only planning on wearing lashes on the outer half, I used my most intense volumizing mascara.
  11. (Optional) As always, the addition of false eyelashes is optional.  For this look, I used “305” by Ardell.

eye makeup diagram - how to create smokey eyes

Get the look:

Face > For my under eye concealer I used Erase Paste by benefit in shade No.1.  Then, all over I used MUFE’s HD foundation in shade 118  topped with MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in shade Light Plus.

Cheeks > Powder Blush from Too Faced’s Natural Face Palette (a slightly shimmery pink frost blush)

Lips > “Leslie” Buxom Lips

Hair > Curls using a 1″ rod by Sultra

look using "Copper" pigment by MAC

What sort of makeup will you be wearing for your holiday parties this year?



P.S.  This look was loosely inspired by “Mad as the Jangsara” where she used the same Copper pigment by MAC.

November 2012 Topbox

What I got in my November 2012 Topbox

After receiving my first Topbox last month and being a little disappointed, I wasn’t sure what to expect for this month.  Topbox customer service had assured everyone that it was going to be a great month, but I still didn’t want to get too excited in case I was setting myself up for a let down.

November Topbox

When I’d received the email saying it had been delivered, I ran right down to the mail box to get it.  It only took two days this time, instead of the 4 last month too, so that is always a bonus. 🙂

My husband was watching “Rumble in the Bronx” (an absolutely terrible Jackie Chan movie) in the living room in the dark, so I snuck in beside him on the sofa to open up my Topbox.  It felt very dramatic, because I couldn’t see anything when I pulled the cap off.  I reached in, pulled out my first item and………..was so freaking excited!

My first item was a deluxe perfume sample of Vera Wang’s “Lovestruck”.  At 4ml this generous sample is the perfect size.  I honestly never buy perfume because the bottles are so large and take absolutely forever to use up, I just can’t stand the same overpowering scent everyday.  So I always love receiving perfume samples because I can keep variety in my life and never get tired of a certain fragrance.  Lovestruck Floral Rush is a mainly floral scent, with soft hints of fruit and musk.  The 50ml full size of this product sells for $79.00, meaning this sample is valued at $6.32.  WIN!

perfume sample in November Topbox

I stuck my hand back inside and felt around….and thought to myself “is that a full-size nail polish?!?” as I pulled out “I’m Not Lion” from China Glaze’s On Safari Collection.  I was SO stoked about this.  There were two shades that I was really sad about missing out on from this collection this past fall.  One being Exotic Encounter (a jade creme) and I’m Not Lion, this stunning glitter!  I immediately started applying this one and ever since have been staring at the pretty glitter.  China Glaze nail lacquers sell at salons for $8.00-$12.00, but you can pick them up at Sally Beauty Supply stores for about $5-$6.  This polish however was limited edition and the best place to track it down now would be on Ebay if you are trying to find it.  WIN!

nail polish swatch of "I'm Not Lion" by China Glaze

At this point, I already felt like my Topbox was a winner, regardless of the next two items.  But I dove back in and was graced with another amazing item.  Out came a Pari Beauty Lip Paint in shade “Red”.  At 4ml, this is almost full size (5.5ml for $14), which makes this sample valued at $10.18.  I was excited to give this shade a go and see what the formula was like as I’ve never tried any of their products before.  So the day after receiving it, I promptly tried it out.  It went on creamy with great pigmentation and then proceeded to persist through my meals and look fabulous – no splotchy or patchy wear as the day went on.  We are talking, I didn’t even need to touch up after lunch…ummmn what?  AND it didn’t feel at all drying, which is a huge accomplishment this time of year when my lips tend to dry out very easily!  BIG WIN!

November Topbox lip sample

Pari Beauty Lip Paint in shade "Red" (swatch on lips

swatch of Red Pari Beauty Lip Paint

For my last item, I was sure it was going to be a dud.  But NO!  I was pleasantly surprised with a good sized mascara sample of “They’re Real!” by benefit.  I already have and love this mascara (follow this link for before and after pictures), so I will likely use it for an upcoming give-away   But I still absolutely love that it was something I knew would be put to good use and is a product I’m happy to have.  With the full size mascaras retailing for $29.00 this makes the value of this sample a whopping $9.67.  WIN!

November Topbox sample mascara

So if I total everything up, that means my samples are valued at about $32.00.  This Topbox only cost me $10.00 plus taxes.  Are you freaking kidding me?  What a great deal!  Thank you TOPBOX!

November Topbox

Given this amazing box I received for November 2012, I was definitely curious to see what other people got in their boxes and as I started snooping around, I was shocked to see so much variety.  Completely different items.  Looks like they really tailored the items to the individual’s beauty profile this month.  My box was labelled “Box 21” meaning there were at least 21 different boxes going out and there could’ve been more.  I really think that is fantastic!

Please note: Starting December 2012, they are increasing their price to $12.00 plus taxes (shipping is still free).  I want you all to know that I feel no bitterness surrounding this price increase.  When they started out a year ago, they only had products from 6 brands, now they have working relationships with over 40.  Their customer service is fantastic too!  They are quick to respond to your inquiries and are continually seeking feedback so they can make sure they are going in the right direction.  If you are interested in becoming a Topbox subscriber, you can join the waiting list here.

Topbox November 2012 - Box 21

Hope you guys found this interesting!  And if you are one of my Canadian readers and are trying to decide whether you should sign up or not, leave your questions/concerns below and I will answer them to the best of my ability and try to help you get off the fence.

If you are already a subscriber of Topbox beauty boxes, let me know how this compares to your beauty box and what you thought of Topbox November 2012!

Thanks for reading 🙂



Feeling Earthy? (a rainforest makeup tutorial)

how to apply eyeshadow

It feels like forever since I’ve done an eye makeup tutorial.  This one is super simple and fast to do.  I tried to make a season appropriate look for this time of year, but still have some fun with it.  With this eye shadow combination I still get my “necessary” pop of colour with the bold green, but the look is grounded by the brown eye shadow.


I used 3 eye shadows from MAC Cosmetics – Swimming, Humid and Mystery.

MAC eye shadow swatches - "Mystery", "Swimming" and "Humid"

But you can certainly recreate this look with any similar combination of shadows.

How to create this super simple look:

green and brown eye makeup

*follow any of the links below for swatches, where to buy and other shades available*

  1. As always, fill in your brows first to help frame the area.  I used Mystery eyeshadow by MAC Cosmetics for this.
  2. Prime your lid and all the way up to your crease.  I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.  It is super important to use a primer if you want long wear time and to avoid creasing.  Your shadows will also apply more vibrantly and stay true throughout the day/night.
  3. Using a flat eye shadow brush, dab Swimming eye shadow by MAC all over your lids. (from the inside of the eye to the outside of the eye).  Any bright green will work for this, you don’t need this specific shadow.  Just make sure it is not lime green, you want it to be more of an earthy tone.
  4. Using the same brush (brush off all the green pigment first on a kleenex) use your Mystery eye shadow (any dark brown matte eye shadow will do) throughout the crease and up onto your brow bone.
  5. Then, using a fluffy crease brush, sweep Humid eye shadow (or a nice dark forest green) gently back and forth through your crease. This will help meld the dark brown and the bright green together, creating a more fluid and blended look.
  6. For eyeliner I used Master Precise Felt Tip Liquid Liner (available at Ulta in the US and at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada) on my lid.  I didn’t apply any on the lower side of my eyes.  I wanted to create a softer and more open look rather than closing off my eye.
  7. Finish the look with at least two coats of mascara.  I used They’re Real! mascara by benefit.
  8. (Optional) Add false eyelashes to your look.  I get such volume and curl out of this mascara I decided not to bother with lashes.

how to apply eyeshadow

How to get the rest of this look:

Face > For my under eye concealer I used Erase Paste by benefit in shade No.1.  Then, all over I used Clinique’s Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer in shade 01 topped with MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in shade Light Plus.

Cheeks > Margin Blush by MAC Cosmetics (a frost powdered blush)

Lips > Bite Lip Shine in shade “Vintage”

rainforest makeup

What do you guys think?  Are you a fan of this combination or do you hate it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Tell me, what make-up are you sporting this fall??

Thanks for reading!


They’re Real! by benefit – the World’s #1 Mascara?

before and after pictures using They're Real! mascara by benefit cosmetics

They’re Real! mascara by benefit is quickly becoming  a cult favourite and it is in no way news to the blogging community, but I still wanted to share my experience with it nonetheless.  I actually purchased it quite a while ago but was waiting for a time when I could photograph my first application of it for all of you!  I’ve always thought the best way to review a product is to simply show you real pictures and my experiences.  Then it is up to you to decide how you feel about them.  🙂

But first, a little bit of background.

What’s its claim?

They’re Real! mascara lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates beyond belief.  The jet black, long-wearing formula is smudge-proof & budge-proof…and the specifically designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had!

They're Real! Mascara by benefit cosmetics

Value pack of They're Real! Mascara by Benefit

As you can see, right on the front of the box, it claims “WORLD’s #1 MASCARA”.   I’m not sure how they have substantiated that, if at all – it seems like too bold of a statement for any mascara if you ask me.  It is benefit’s best selling mascara though and has received a great deal of rave reviews on-line.

How to Apply:

Wiggle wand from base to top for maximum volume, length & lift.  Hold wand vertically & stroke upward to curl & separate.

mascara review of "They're Real!"

close up of They're Real mascara wand by benefit cosmetics

My Before and After Pictures:

before and after mascara pictures

before and after pictures - mascara review

before and after pictures featuring They're Real! mascara

before and after pictures using They're Real! mascara by benefit cosmetics

Where to buy:

You can of course get this at Sephora if you are a Canadian or US resident.

The full size retails for $29.00 CAD or $23.00 US.  If that is your plan though, I recommend you grab it online because they have the full size that comes with the bonus mini for the same price as the full size sold alone (I didn’t see the duo in the Sephora store when I went).

They're! Real mascara by benefit, review complete with before and after pictures

The mini is also sold individually if you would like to try it out for yourself and see if it lives up to the hype – $12.00 CAD or $10.00 US.

You will also be able to find this anywhere benefit cosmetics are sold.  That means Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada and Ulta in the US are also options.  They will have the same prices as Sephora though, so my recommendation is just to go where ever is most convenient.

My Pros:

  • Extremely long lasting, no smudging or fall out below your eyes after a long day.
  • The wand truly finds lashes I didn’t know I had.  It gets right into your inner eye and finds them all, without making a mess.
  • Great mascara if you only have time for one coat!
  • Fantastic value if you purchase the duo and receive the travel size mascara for free!

My Cons:

  • Currently only available in black, so for those of you ladies that prefer a brown mascara, you are out of luck for right now.
  • Its “waterproof-like” formula can make removing it a bit of a pain.  It will take more work than other non-waterproof brands to get it all off.
  • No actual waterproof version available yet.

Note: I’ve found after trying this mascara for the past couple of weeks that this mascara will clump if you apply more than 2 coats.  So I recommend you stick with 1 or 2!

With full make-up:

bright summer eye makeup  - passionate, coral and orange eyeshadow

They're Real! mascara by Benefit

My verdict:

I think this is a fantastic mascara, and good value if you are able to pick up the duo.  Do I plan to stop trying other mascaras though and only use this one?  Definitely not.  It will however get more use than the other mascaras I have hanging around on my vanity right now.  The no fall-out under my eyes is a quality that  I haven’t experienced with any other non-waterproof mascara – and shouldn’t be overlooked!  Will I buy again?  Probably.

For other before and after pictures with various brands of mascara, please check out my Ultimate Mascara Review featuring mascaras by Urban Decay, Stila, Too Faced, MUFE, Tarte and many more.

For those of you that have given this one a try, I would love to know what you think in the comments below!  And tell me, what is your favourite mascara?

Thanks for reading!



bright summer makeup, funky makeup, dramatic makeup