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

NAILS | Going Mirror Chrome for NYE!

My last manicure of 2016! How momentous! I did my nails a lot this month mainly because my husband was visiting family for half the month and I basically just worked, watched Netflix and did my nails. It was the ultimate girl time, but I am glad he is finally home for New Year's! I have been on a bit of a gel polish kick lately after discovering the ease of using J & S Nails Gel Polish and decided it was time to try chrome nails! This is the powder that has been sweeping the nail world for the last half of this year and though I know there are a ton of places to get the chrome powder pigments, I always know that the Born Pretty Store has got my back! They have a RIDICULOUS amount of chrome, holographic and metallic pigments right now and let's just say I have a bajillion other colours to show you, but NYE is all about shine so tonight I'm going to be your disco ball!

Chrome Nails

HAIR | Aveda Visit #8 and Getting Oil Slick Hair with Civello Robson

I am an Aveda Vancouver Ambassador. All treatments are complimentary.

I normally don't like having an entire post with just pictures of me, but this is the story of hair which is closely attached to my head so we can't escape it. Originally, I had an appointment booked in September at the Aveda Institute in Vancouver, but ended up having to re-book for mid-November at the newly-minted Civello Robson (formerly Aveda Tonic). This was my first time at a full service Aveda salon and I paid careful attention to how other clients were treated and the service was consistently excellent!

My hair has been in the blonde family for a year now and the whole point of being an Aveda Ambassador is to show YOU what these colourists are truly capable of so this time around I decided to go for "oil slick hair" and get rid of the blonde completely! I have been wanting actual colour in my hair, but knowing that black hair does not want to retain colour, I figured 
purple and blue would last longer than pastel shades. After a consultation with super stylist JT two weeks beforehand, I was in the chair!  

Aveda Oil Slick Hair

NAILS | Santa Finally Makes an Appearance!

I have now done my nails 11 times this month. Seven of those being in the last 10 days and as crazy as it felt working on designs late at night and then feeling like I'd been run over by a truck the next morning, it has been hella fun. In all of the Christmas hoopla last week, I didn't get a chance to actually post about these Santa nails here and how I did them, but maybe this will give you some inspiration for next year! The Essie Winter 2016 Collection seemed fitting for this nail art so I hope you get a chance to pick up a few colours before they are ripped off the shelves!

Christmas manicure can get real old, REAL fast so when I came across this pin (here) depicting a Christmas tree with ornaments, I loved it. I also wanted to incorporate Santa somehow since I have NEVER done a Santa manicure on Cosmetic Proof before! I don't know why, but I guess I have never had the same attachment to Santa as other kids. I think it's an Asian thing, but I have never believed in Santa as I was told from an early age that my parents were the ones doing the gift purchasing. Maybe I have been deprived of something or been given the lifelong gift of extreme cynicism. I'm really not sure.


Santa Nail Art

NAILS | Hot Pink Smoke "Needle Marbling"

Gel polish has this feeling of being "complicated". Before the advent of at-home nail kits, you had no choice but to go to a salon for BOTH application and removal, but in the last couple of years, gel manicures have become more and more accessible with companies making it straightforward and easy to mimic salon quality. I used to get my gel polish applied at a salon too and when I realized that all you need to know how to do is APPLY POLISH, I started saving myself the $50 every month and used it towards buying my own polish!

One thing that I have had to research is how to do nail art with gel polish as the consistency is much thicker and never dries. Gel polish wants to goop and be applied thickly, but it actually needs to be applied in "thin" coats and cured with a UV or LED light in between. I definitely cannot do any fine detailing with gel polish like I can with regular polish, but one nail art technique that is PERFECTLY suited for gel polish is needle marbling or creating that "smokey" nail! 


Valentine's Nail Art Needle Marbling Gel Polish

MAKEUP | Guerlain Shalimar Holiday Collection with Swatches and Makeup Look

Now, that Christmas is over we look towards 2017 and looks for those New Year's Eve parties! I'm old now, so those days of trying to celebrate NYE at a club are long gone, but I do usually spend the night with close friends catching up on what has been happening during the year. I couldn't let 2016 go without a little tribute to one of the prettier and luxurious collections of the holidays - the Guerlain Shalimar Holiday Collection! 

Guerlain Shalimar Holiday Collection Review Swatches Makeup Look

NAILS | J&S Nails 1 Step Gel Polish Swatch in SR7 - The FASTEST Manicure I have ever done! #ManiMonday

SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE. I received 18 J&S Nails 1 Step Gel Polish shades a little while ago to experiment and play around with and I am kicking myself for not trying these polishes out sooner! J&S Nails is a Canadian company that specializes in 5-FREE, 1 step gel polish application. How many times have you all seen "one step" and had it disappoint you? Countless times, right? Well, not THIS time because I was so floored when both hands were done and cured within 10 minutes. SERIOUSLY! 

J & S Nails 1 Step Gel Polish in SR7 Review Swatch

NAILS | Merry Christmas from these Winter Critters!

I have now done my nails 4x in the space of 7 days which is CRAZY for me, but it has also been satisfying to try all of these nail art designs that I have been wanting to try for years! With hubby visiting family this Christmas, I have been doing my nails almost every night as a way to wind down for the night and last night I was happily watching "Elf" and then decided at 12am to do these winter animal nails after seeing this video from Elleandish last night, I was like YES. Winter critters it is. 

Winter Holiday Polar Bear Nail Art

HOLIDAYS | Kérastase PARIS Chroma Riche Holiday Set

You have no idea how annoyed I am with myself for not sharing MORE holiday gift sets with you all! Aren't there SO MANY good ones out there? Christmas is single-handedly the best time to get some amazing value sets. Every brand from drugstore to luxury seem to package up their bestsellers to make it oh-so-easy to find the perfect gift for ourselves or someone else! One look at the "K" in Kerastase and I immediately know they know their hair. I picked up my first Kerastase styling product in 2009 and was smitten, but wasn't sure which other products were best for me. Granted, I wasn't as into my hair back then and had really no reason to invest in haircare products. Honestly, unless hair is coloured, there really shouldn't be too much fuss! 

Kérastase PARIS Chroma Riche Holiday Set Review

Holidays at Sephora | Gift Sets from Boscia, Kat Von D and Atelier Cologne OH MY!

I'm not very good at holiday gift guides because I always want to talk about one thing at a time, but as much as I wanted to devote a single post to each one of these glorious gift sets, my work schedule is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I am not disciplined enough to get up at 6am to blog and with hubby away in Montreal seeing his family, I have been having trouble sleeping. Someone told me to go and pick up a body pillow since I am missing the presence of a body in the bed. Cat sandwiches just don't cut it.

I thought these gift sets were pretty cute and made me really happy when I received them so I thought I would share the love!

Kat Von D Hello Canada Gift Set Review

NAILS | Christmas Holly French Manicure

I thought I would try something a little classy this time around for today's Christmas manicure and in the nail world, there ain't nothin' classier than a French manicure! 

Christmas Holly Nail Art

BATH & BODY | New and Old Favourites from the Lush Christmas Collection!

It is seriously taking all of my willpower NOT to order more from the Lush Christmas collection. There are so many new additions that are SO CUTE! I have put myself on a slight no-buy as my place has far too many holiday goodies in it already that will probably take me until June to finish! I may wait until Lush's annual Boxing Day sale to score a few things, but waking up at 6am just REALLY SUCKS so we shall see!

This year Lush has not let us down with the number of new and fun products to try so hopefully I can help you to narrow down what you should be picking up as shopping at Lush can be overwhelming if you don't know where to begin!

Lush Christmas Collection Review

NAILS | Christmas Tree Puzzle Nail Art #ManiMonday

Where the heck did last week go and HOW is it now the last week until Christmas?! I mean, sweet baby Jesus where is the time going? I had these grandiose plans to fill all of last week with holiday goodies and then my hours at work got REALLY long and I was getting home super late. I also had my staff Christmas party on Friday followed by another event on Saturday which leads me to now. It's 1am and I have just finished by Mani Monday and I cannot seem to fall asleep!

I had yet to do a slightly more challenging set of holiday nails and this Christmas tree puzzle nail idea came to me in the shower 2 weeks ago and though I wasn't sure how I would space out the tree across the nails, I think it turned out alright and fun-looking! 

Christmas Tree Puzzle Nail Art

SKINCARE | Imbue Rose Water Mists in Lust, Muse, Soothe and Heaven

We all understand and have experienced what it means to have a scent transport us back to a childhood moment or elicit an emotion. One local Vancouver company has managed to "imbue" their Rose Water Mists with their own personal scent memories in the hopes of inspiring you to create your own or revel in Lust* ($22.00 CDN each), Muse*, Soothe* and Heaven*.

Imbue Rose Water Mists Review

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART CHALLENGE WEEK 19 "Penguin NAILS"

I don't know what the hell happened to my BCD Nail Art Challenge, but after the detail-intense Plant Cell Border Nails (here) from September, I kind of got caught up with other things, but like I have said before, I feel like these challenges to create or the only real time I feel like I am in my element. I'm not the best nail artist out there, but I love trying things that entertain both you and me and hope that I can relay how much fun nail art can be! I was a girl that never painted her nails or could even grow them out as recently as 2011 so to be able to have claws like this now is kind of an achievement!

Picking up where we left off, Week 19 was "Penguin Nails" which fittingly goes with Christmas so even though I did do penguins at coincidentally the same time last year (here), I didn't do them with HOLO polish! 

Penguin Nail Art

MAKEUP | Lise Watier Arabesque Holiday Collection Review with Swatches and Holiday Glowing FOTD

As I write this, I have Google Play Music playing only the best of Christmas pop and I know the holiday season is here. I feel like from here on in, all of us are just living for Dec.25th! I don't even know what to blog about other than holiday now. I mean, would you read something OTHER than holiday content at this point?

One brand that I look forward to seeing every holiday season is Lise Watier. I always find their collections so cohesive and complete with new shade additions to existing favourites and of course palette packaging and embossing that will leave any beauty lover wanting more! This year's Arabesque Collection is elegantly holiday-themed with ballet and dance being the inspiration behind the swirls and romantic shades.

Lise Watier Arabesque Holiday Collection Review Swatches

BATH & BODY | The Avon Pampering Chocolate Collection

Chocolate is like a fifth food group for me and I am sure many, if not all you can identify! There is something about satisfying a chocolate craving that literally NOTHING else can satiate! From Halloween in October to Valentine's Day in February, chocolate is in our faces non-stop. December is the time of exceptional gluttony and if anyone else is just as weak when it comes to resisting Ferraro Rocher, Avon's Pampering Chocolate Collection might be a more calorie-friendly way to get your chocolate fix! Sure, you might still need a golden ball or two, but since you can't take them into the shower, why not take a few things that come pretty damn close!

Avon Pampering Chocolate Collection Review

NAILS | Purple Gradient Glitter with Duri Cosmetics #ManiMonday

I promise the cheesy holiday nail art will start soon enough, but here is my seque into it with this simple glittery gradient to start off the second week of December! I have officially not missed a single Mani Monday for one whole year now and I guess that is something to celebrate since it's probably the ONE single thing I feel I have been able to commit to. While this year has had its ups and downs, I am happy with how 2016 is wrapping up as I am feeling fairly content with work (now that some difficult people have moved on), but I miss this blog. I miss this space and I hope I am able to find more time to spend in it next year because I love to blog and talk makeup!

We are starting off the week with a couple of polishes from the Sweet Affair Collection from Duri Cosmetics


Duri Cosmetics Glitter Nail Art

MAKEUP | MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Sculpting Brow Pen

This will probably be the last brow product review you will see for awhile now that I have my eyebrows microbladed. I honestly have not used any brow products since getting them done because as many of you have seen from recent photos, they are pretty pigmented and full-looking! Brows have been SO BIG the last two years that when I look back at old photos, I want to kick myself for not caring about them sooner! I keep wanting to ask "Where are you eyebrows?!!" in pretty much all photos prior to 2014! Before getting microbladed, I was using brow pencils exclusively to fill in and shape my brows with the MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Sculpting Brow Pen in #50* ($32.00 CDN) being one of my daily go-tos! Why, I tell you? I'll tell you why!

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow Review

MAKEUP | Dior Splendor Holiday Collection Review with a Smoky Eyed FOTD

Before we get to how I got to have glittery purple lips, it all started with a fun Thursday afternoon with the Dior Splendor holiday collection! I don't really get a lot of time at home and the one thing I hate is rushing to play with collections for the sake of pumping out a review. Instead, I started my day with a Nespresso coffee, wrote a blog post and answered some emails. Sounds mundane, but I really relish days like that. If I had my way, I would work my day job 3-4 days a week and blog the rest of the week. I would be in HEAVEN.

I don't have all of the pieces of the Splendor collection and I tried to purchase a couple of pieces only to find that the shades were sold out! It just goes to show how popular they were! I still have some beautiful products to share with you and in true Dior fashion, each one is truly a collector's piece when it comes to packaging and droolworthiness.

Dior Holiday Splendor Collection Review with Swatches and Makeup Look

NAILS | Edgy Holiday Nail Art with Dior Nova

Soon I will have Santas, snowflakes and Christmas trees, but for now let's stick with reds and some shimmer with what's known in the nail polish world as a "flakie"! When I saw that Dior's holiday Splendor collection contained a flakie polish, I was very pleased! Flakies have traditionally been an indie polish thing and are part of the glitter umbrella, but with the advent of social media, bloggers and other influencers, indie products can quickly move into the mainstream population. Let's get a closer look at the iridescent Dior - Nova*!

Red and Black Nail Art with Dior Nova

MAKEUP | NYX Cosmetics Cosmic Metals Lip Cream Review with Lip Swatches

Why oh why have I put off trying these NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Creams* for so long?! These were THE hot item over the summer when NYX released a whackload of new shades of Liquid Suedes in addition to the Cosmic Metals and though I swatched a few of the more fun shades, I never included them in a full look until now! Oilslick hair has given me a crazy new confidence to try all sorts of new colours and it is ridiculous how much fun it has been! 

NYX Cosmetics Cosmic Metals Lip Cream Review Swatches

NAILS | Playing Peekaboo with Limited Edition Burberry Gold Shimmer #ManiMonday

I totally thought I had posted about this manicure, but while I was hunting for Christmas cards tonight, it dawned on me that I hadn't! I will keep this short and quick as it is my bedtime. While I have more from the limited edition Burberry holiday collection to share with you, nail polish ALWAYS gets its own posts! Today's mani is inspired by a backless ball gown. I just loved the idea of beautiful gold gown reminiscent of Belle of Beauty and the Beast and since the opacity of Burberry - Gold Shimmer* was better than I thought it would be, it became my "dress"! 

Burberry Gold Shimmer Nail Art Review

Gifts for Men | Proraso Beard Oil and Beard Wash

Every year I am so stumped on what to get my husband because after more than 10 years together, I've gotten him MOST of the things he has ever wanted. I know I could always get him video games from his Steam wishlist or more V-neck sweaters, but I am definitely starting to bore even myself with shopping for him. Shortly before we got married three years ago, my husband decided to grow a little beard because his skin was so irritated from shaving all the time. That little beard grew into a hobby and now he has his own little corner of the bathroom for his supplies and his become quite the "shave connoisseur" when it comes to his beard needs. Thankfully this means something new I can buy him in the gift department! My husband was the one that introduced Italian brand Proraso to me as he adores their shaving cream. He loves the lather and that a little goes a long way! 

Proraso Beard Oil and Beard Wash Review

MAKEUP LOOK | Shu Uemura Murakami Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette in Cosmicool with Swatches

I wore this look to work. That's how Cosmi-"cool" I felt about it! Shu Uemura's eyeshadow palettes are usually the ones that give me grabby hands and the Murakami Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palettes*($85 CDN each) are definitely grabby! You will not be able to keep your paws off them! 

Shu Uemura Murakami Holiday Cosmic Blossom Eye and Cheek Palette in Cosmicool Review

NAILS | CND Vinylux Blue Eyeshadow Swatch and Swirly Yellow Nail Art

On Tuesday, CND had their Spring "New Wave" Collection launch at Onyx Aesthetics in Vancouver's Gastown area. I work in the area so I used my lunch break to get a sneak peak of the new shades as well as get a little manicure! I saw some beautiful Shellac manicures (did you know that the term "Shellac" was actually coined by CND?), but we all know that having a 2 week manicure just stresses me out so I opted for a Vinylux Weekly Polish mani in this stunning shade of blue called Blue Eyeshadow and then added another shade from the New Wave collection at home using nail vinyls called Banana Clips*. 

CND Vinylux Blue Eyeshadow Swatch Review