Cosmetic Proof : March 2016 | Vancouver beauty, nail art and lifestyle blog

MAKEUP LOOK | Looking Sweet with Spring Pinks from Paul & Joe and Lancome

For the month of March I was fortunate enough to be selected for a Shoppers Drug Mart Instagram campaign focusing on complexion. I wanted to create a pink-themed makeup look that I felt comfortable wearing on a daily basis so I picked up a few products that would help me achieve a soft, glowy and girly Spring look. I also just happened to get my hair redone at Aveda so it was the perfect opportunity to make use of the salon-worthy hair that I will never be able to replicate on my own!

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART Challenge Week 4 - Mosaic Stained Glass Flowers #BCDNails

I am a little late with posting these as my nails needed a bit of polish break and I had house things to do which trumped gettin' ma nails did! Last week's challenge was "mosaic" and when I saw Cristine of Simply Nailogical's Youtube video on Stained Glass Nails, I knew this was what I wanted to attempt. Her nails turned out far better, but overall I really loved how this all came together and thought stained glass flowers were also a great way to welcome Spring!

SKINCARE | Les Soins de Jacynthe Cleansing Oil, Eau Florale de Rose & Le Sérum Review

I swore late last year that I would be much more selective about the skincare that I use and review, but when I was faced with reviewing a few products from Les Soins de Jacynthe, I was immediately intrigued by the fact that the products are 100% natural and created by Quebec-based health and beauty guru, Jacynthe Rene. I was not familiar with Jacynthe or the brand and finding information and/or reviews proved to be quite difficult. The main resource I had were reviews from other blogs and at the time I was asked to review even those were scarce. Thankfully a number of Canadian beauty bloggers have given the lowdown on this brand and the results are overwhelmingly positive!

NAILS | "Hoppy" Easter ft. the new OPI Softshades Pastels Collection #StayPolished

I wanted to pump out some Easter manicures like nobody's business, but after doing my nails three times last week (that's a lot for me!) I needed a bit of a break to do other bloggy things as well as some household chores that tend to get neglected when packages over run the living room. Seriously, I am starting to wonder why the hubby is still with me. With the BCD Nails Challenge also taking place (self-inflicted, I know),  I didn't go too crazy with this year's Easter manicure and wanted something soft and feminine. Luckily, the new OPI Softshades Pastels collection arrived on Thursday which I realized was perfect for what I had in mind!

BATH & BODY | Get Ready for the Lush 2016 Easter Collection!

After Christmas, the Lush Easter collection is my FAVOURITE. With bright colours, eggs and bunnies, who wouldn't get excited?! As always, there are both old favourites and new releases and though I do not have the complete collection, I (hopefully) chose the cutest ones I enjoyed the most to share with you.

MAKEUP | H & M Beauty Colour Essence Eye Cream in Dauphine Truffle, Earth Angel and Champers Review & Swatches

I feel like a lot of us have been really blown away by H & M's beauty launch. I'm hearing how much people love the foundation, the blushes, the EVERYTHING and when I finally got a chance to review a few of the products myself (here) I was very impressed. So impressed, that I went to H & M after work and had myself a little peruse of the beauty department. I then happened upon these illustrious little pots of whipped goodness - the Colour Essence Eye Creams ($7.99 CDN). I didn't just buy one, but I bought three all within the same colour family. I am obviously not very adventurous with my colour choices, but these were my favourite. I wanted shades for everyday and Daupine Truffle, Champers and Earth Angel are exactly that!


AROMATHERAPY | Here & Now Botanicals Rave Babe Aromatherapy Mist and Hangover Aromatherapy Oil

Reviewing the locally curated Vancity Box made me privy to a number of new local Vancouver brands and now that our dollar is just "ugh", I am MORE than happy to keep my money here. I have always devoted a place in my consumer heart for the local business as both of my parents are small business owners. In November's Vancity box (review), I was introduced the brand Here & Now Botanicals, a Vancouver-based skincare/aromatherapy company that stood out to me for their festival culture product names, clean glass packaging and of course their scents!


Though I already have a TON of headache remedies both natural and not-so-natural, my test for an aromatherapy company is whether they have something minty to ease not only pain, but nausea. I go through these roll-ons for headaches so quickly that I have a 30mL bottle of peppermint oil at the ready to refill them! My three favourite headache/nausea easing scents are: peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender and guess what? All three are in Here & Now's
Hangover Aromatherapy Oil* (10mL/$15.00 CDN)


I only wish there was more of a tingly feeling on my skin when I roll it on, but the scent is so refreshing and HEAD-CLEARING. Not only does it help with nausea from motion sickness (I really can't read CBB network threads on the bus!), but if you find yourself congested, roll this on the palms of your hands and take a deep breath. Holy moly will your sinuses feel better! I feel like I am breathing in crisp mountain air which feels amazing. It's like HERE AND NOW (sorry, I had to) I can make better life decisions!


Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) oil, Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil, Betula lenta (Birch) oil, Vetiveria zizanoides (Vetiver) oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) oil, Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) seed extract.

I thought pillow sprays were just silly, but when I started using diffusers I often wished the scents I was diffusing could stay with me forever which is when I started using a lavender pillow spray to help me settle down before bed. The Rave Babe Aromatherapy Mist* ($15.00 CDN) caught my attention not only for its name and gorgeously blue glass bottle, but because it features my new favourite aromatherapy scent - jasmine! Jasmine can be overdone, but as a mist combined with lavender, it is perfectly balanced and leaves a hint of scent in the air and on on my sheets.





Ingredients: Aqua (Distilled water), Jasminum grandiflorum (Jasmine) oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil.

Final verdict: My second experience with Here & Now Botanicals has gotten me looking at shipping rates and stockists for this brand so let that be a sign to you all! Their skincare is definitely something I want to try especially the 3 Step Aromatherapy Skin Care Program!


Order Here & Now Botanicals online or click here for a list of retailers. 

NAILS | Welcoming Spring with Formula X and Cupcakes and Cashmere #ManiMonday

This month's Formula X #ColorCurators collaboration is with who I consider one of the pioneers of blogging. Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere was probably one of the first bloggers I started reading regularly back when blogging was fairly novel. Nowadays, it feels like everyone is a blogger (ahem, yes I know that I am the pot calling the kettle black), but Emily will always be one of the pioneers and still remains one of my favourite blogs to read. I even have her book which is a wonderfully relaxing read.

I actually really liked Emily's colour choices because not only did they feature a basic nude (to be featured in a future post), but also some bright pops of colour which is how I dress. I am usually quite basic in all aspects except for one like shoes or in this case nails!


BATH & BODY | Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company Introduction and Review #Take12

Ever since the TV show Anne of Green Gables, I have always wanted to visit the Maritimes. I am pretty sure I only started playing the violin because of Ashley MacIsaac and the Rankin Family and have always been convinced that as a small, Chinese girl, I would RIGHT IN to this part of the world. For now, I will have to settle for just a glimpse into Maritimes with the Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company hailing from Nova Scotia! Inspired by the nature of the East Coast, founder Rebecca Taylor, started to experiment with essential oils distilled from the plants around her creating the first collection of handcrafted soaps. Not only is Pearl & Daisy a source of 100% handcrafted soaps, there is also skincare, delectably scented bath bombs and many other ways to relax and pamper yourself.

MAKEUP LOOK | Channeling the 80s with the MAC Flamingo Park Collection Review & Swatches

I am a genuine child of the 80s being born in 1983. Yes, it's true I am over 30 and only discovered the joy of makeup and nail polish in my late 20s. Though I don't feel the urge to relieve my fashion choices of the 80s, there is something nostalgic about brightly obnoxious pinks that takes me back to the time of side ponytails, hairspray and bright makeup. The MAC Cosmetics Flamingo Park Collection is all about satisfying your sweet tooth with punchy shades of pink. I have a few of my favourites from the collection that deserved an homage to the 80s.


NAILS | Happy St. Patrick's Day with Some Luck From the Irish!

Totally wanted to have this post up earlier, but I only got a chance to sit down with my polishes last night (if you caught a glimpse of my Snapchat LATE last night!). Pulling inspiration from this post from Peace Love Lacquer, I set off to create some nails that would have me cel-o'-bratin'! (Was that bad?)
 

HAIR | Live Clean Argan Oil Exotic Nectar Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I really like Live Clean. I've always liked their products, price point and the fact that they strive to keep only the good ingredients in their formulations. I have used their hair care before (here), but when I was visiting family in Montreal last summer my mother-in-law had a bottle of Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil shower gel which smelled SO GOOD. Amazingly good. I promptly picked up a bottle when I got home and then was greeted with a generous press package from Live Clean with three of their hero shampoos and conditioners. Obviously, I had to start off with the Argan Oil Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner* ($6.99 CDN each)!

NAILS | Getting into the St.Patrick's Day Spirit with Nubar - Reclaim (Reborn!) Swatch

There is nothing like St. Patrick's Day to get a girl to go through her 1400 bottles of nail polish to find ALL THE GREEN POLISH. This post is special because it is the first time I have worn a polish more than once on this blog! Nubar Reclaim is a bit of a cult classic if you've been following nail polish and its blogging counterparts for the last 5 years. Holo nail polishes were all the rage in 2012 and I have some awesome ones to still wear and share on Cosmetic Proof. Nubar Reclaim was my very first linear holo and you can see why everyone loves it - it is pure green HEAVEN.

I first blogged about Nubar Reclaim (here) in 2012 and honestly wanted both the opportunity to wear it again as well as to redo my swatch of them now that I have picked up a few extra photography tips!

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART CHALLENGE WEEK 3 - Funky French #BCDNAILS

I seem to be all about the striping tape these last few months, but I have them in SO MANY colours that I am happy to be putting them to good use! This week's BCD Nail Art Challenge is "Funky French" which I translated to BRIGHT COLOURS! The new OPI New Orleans Collection is all about brights so it wasn't hard at all to find shades that were indeed "funky".

MAKEUP | Diorskin Nude Air Glowing Gardens Illuminating Powder in Glowing Pink and Glowing Nude (Review & Swatches)

Oh my. I know this is the year of the highlight and believe me I have resisted many shimmering beauties, but these guys had me at hello. The Diorskin Illuminating Powders from the limited edition Glowing Gardens collection are truly mesmerizing. Armed with a subtle shimmer to enhance skin's natural glow, these powders are weightless and contain sweet orange extract and squalane for bonus skincare benefits.
 

NAILS | Nerd Lacquer - Hyperspace Bypass Swatch & Review

This is a post dedicated to making an effort at sharing my ENORMOUS indie polish collection. Nail polish was what got me into beauty blogging and now it's hard to get more than one nail polish post up per week due to other blogging/life commitments, but these polishes deserve a better life than sitting in my Helmer. They deserve to be ON MA NAILS!

Starting with the FIRST indie nail polish brand I ever purchased, Nerd Lacquer is somewhat bittersweet for me because when I purchased Hyperspace Bypass in 2012, little did I know it would be one of the last times I would be purchasing from Amanda. I don't know the sordid details, but just as her brand was taking off, she disappeared from the Internet due to some serious family issues. Though I was never a victim of lost polish/funds, many were and even though I see the Nerd Lacquer Facebook page is back up after years of being away, there are still people without their polish which is sad. Nerd Lacquer was one of the first indie polish brands that had super cool glitters and polish names that the dork in me identified with.

SKINCARE | Live Clean Fresh Face Routine - From Cleanser to Night Cream and All the Steps in Between!

I am always wary of blogs that seemingly go through a ton of skincare when we all know that it takes at least 2 weeks to comfortably get acquainted with the products and ideally 4-6 weeks to really know if the products are really working for you. Though I have reviewed what I feel to be quite a bit of skincare in the last few months, many of the reviews are from last year as I take awhile to compile my thoughts. I make a ton of notes along the way because I know I will forget so let's go back to last year shall we?

BODY | Deciem Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Concentrate for Hands and Body Review

As much as I have raved about DECIEM on social media, it has actually been a long time since I have talked about them and the brands under their umbrella for awhile even though I use their products constantly! In keeping with my promise to only feature brands I love and that I *hope* you will love. My first review of 2016 for my beloved DECIEM will be for the incredibly unique Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Concentrate for Hands and Body* (240mL/$30.00 CDN). Made with a hyaluronic concentrate containing 99.5% pure hyaluronic acid which is mind-boggling considering HA can hold up to 1000x its weight in water so I am imagining what this must mean for my skin!

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART CHALLENGE WEEK 2 - Celebrity Style with Rita Ora #BCDNAILS

I gave myself a bit of break after last week's back-breaking Tie Dye post (here) so for this week's theme, I went with something simple yet eye-catching for "Celebrity Style". I tried looking for what the celebs were wearing on their claws for the red carpet this year, but honestly couldn't find much "art". I ended up going back to Rita Ora's VMA nails from 2014 in honor of her song "Black Widow" with Iggy Azalea. I was about to look for some Katy Perry nail art to recreate, but I realized I had already done some (here)!

HAIR | John Frieda Beach Blonde Series Review

My very first question about the John Frieda Beach Blonde line was whether I needed to be blonde to see any benefits and of course the answer is no! It says right on the packaging that this is perfect for brunettes as well! You can figure out from my question that I have been sitting on this review for awhile because I ended up going blonde over the summer and never needed to wonder anymore! Released last year, the Beach Blonde line consists of the: Cool Dip Purifying Shampoo*, Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner*, Kelp Help Deep Conditioning Masque* and Sea Waves Salt Spray*.

SKINCARE | The Face Shop Real Nature Hydro Gel Mask in Green Tea Review

Korean beauty is taking over North America with some big players like entering the Canadian market last year. The Face Shop was one of my all-time favourite places to visit when I was teenager way back in Backstreet Boys days and when it disappeared from Metrotown mall, I was devastated. The recent reboot of TFS in a number of major malls has now given me a place to spend all of my money during my lunch breaks.

One thing I have a penchant for are sheet masks. I have 75 right now and I don't think that number is going to dwindle anytime soon! The newest types of sheet masks are no longer made of paper, but of hydrogel, a synthetic polymer that is able to hold an incredible amount of water while remaining elastic and pliable like skin. Hydrogels have a variety of uses, but in the realm of skincare it is the property of healing and targeted substance delivery that we most like! New to TFS this year are the Real Nature Hydro Gel Masks in Red Ginseng*, for anti-aging, and Green Tea*, for brightening.


NAILS | BCD Nail Art Challenge Week 1 - Tie Dye #BCDNails

Welcome to the #BCDNails Nail Art Challenge with myself, Naomi of Bellezza Bee and Traci of Drinkcitra! In 2012 and 2013, all three of us embarked on the infamous 31 Day Nail Challenge and we lived to tell the tale! These ladies were the first friends I made in the blogging world and we each live in different countries which makes me feel extra warm and fuzzy when 3 years later, we are once again embarking on another nail art challenge! For the next 31 WEEKS (we're busier gals now!), we will be attempting to do our nail art "bucket list" and share with you all the fruits of our endeavors! Up first is TIE DYE!



MAKEUP | SEPHORA Collection Black Magic Makeup Remover Cloths Review

I feel like I have been trying for a solid YEAR to get a hold of these magical cloths! We have all seen the ad for the infamous Makeup Eraser (which I also picked up and just haven't had the chance to try out yet) and have wondered why a simple cloth is $24! Sephora's house brand is one of the few that I really love with products thatrival if not exceed the quality of "the big guys". When I saw the SEPHORA Collection Black Magic Makeup Remover Cloths for just $15 for 2 cloths, I immediately wanted them. Of course, they were sold out and why wouldn't they be? They were a great price and if they work, then why spend money on the Makeup Eraser (also sold at Sephora)?