Cosmetic Proof : 2017 | Vancouver beauty, nail art and lifestyle blog

GIVEAWAY | MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette 3 (Open Worldwide!)

The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty awesome for all ya'll starting with RIGHT NOW because in honor of my birthday on Canada Day, I am also celebrating hitting 3000 followers on Instagram by saying THANK YOU to all of you! I started Cosmetic Proof back in October 2011 when blogging wasn't the sensation it is today. I remember someone making fun of me for having a "blogspot" in my domain when I first started and I never really talked about it as openly as I do now.

The very first company that reached out to me in 2012 was none other than MAKE UP FOR EVER. Now, THIS is a company that has EXPLODED because of a wonderful social media and marketing team. They are supportive, inclusive and just plain cool. They found me when I was doing my own thing and I remember not even believing that this email had come from MUFE. I even emailed the official MUFE email to double check! It just seemed surreal and I keep that very first email to remind me of how humbled and excited I was to be working with such a mega powerhouse of a makeup company.

MAKE UP FOR EVER GIVEAWAY

As another example of their coolness, Make Up For Ever has given me an extra Artist 3 Palette (review and swatches) to give to one of you! The support and relationships I have made with readers and bloggers has been from all over the world so it only made sense that this giveaway be international! I will be shipping this palette myself so I will probably throw in some extra goodies and cat hair (whether you like it or not). It's just EVERYWHERE.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Terms of the Giveaway
  • Open WORLDWIDE
  • Giveaway ends on July 6th, 2017 at 11:59pm
  • The winner will have 48 hours to reply once they are contacted
  • Do not follow only to unfollow because that's just rude and it makes Hugo and Hemingway VERY unhappy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



NAILS | A Neon Gradient Means "HELLO SUMMER"! #ManiMonday

My weekend started yesterday and man was it a hot one! I am fine with a hot day, but add in humidity and I'm like "NO". I know that I shave said there are no specific seasons for nail polish shades, but I feel like neons are really a summer thing. It's something about how they look against a tan and just glow in sunshine!

Summer Neon Gradient Nail Art

BODY | Hair Removal with Avon Skin So Soft Fresh and Smooth

Oh, the woes of body hair. I am blessed to not have very much to begin with and if anything, as I have gotten older I am having to shave less as my hair growth is fairly slow. Ever since I got laser hair removal on my underarms and bikini area (review), I am making my way through hair removal products at a snail's pace, but now that it's summer and shorts and dresses are pretty much the norm I feel the need to be prepared at ALL TIMES. I realized the other day that I was headed out in a short skirt with legs that had been unshaven for weeks. No, you couldn't see anything from far away, but what if I got that spot on the bus where the sun shone like a beacon on my thighs?! Needless to say, I have definitely been more on the ball with my hairier bits ever since the weather took a turn for the mid 20s!

Avon packages are some of the most amusing ones because I honestly never know what might be in each one. One day it's a scratching board for my cat, the next candles and then of course beauty and fashion. Early last month, Avon launched a couple of new hair removal products from the Skin So Soft line called Fresh and Smooth that I had to try right away! As a teenager, I was always fascinated by hair removal and didn't shave my legs with an actual razor until I was 14. On a church missions trip to Mexico. Using water from a relatively clean toilet with two other girls, legs propped up on the edge of the bowl with one of the older girls teaching me how to angle my razor around my knees and shins. It was a real bonding moment that I will never forget.  

Avon Skin So Soft  Hair Removal Review

SKINCARE | Blend & Boost - Super Science-y Algorithm-Determined Customizable Skincare

Back in March, I received an invitation to attend the launch of fully customizable skincare brand called Blend & Boost. I have A LOT of skincare on my plate because I love it so much, but I have slowed down in what I choose to review and learn more about because frankly, innovation and novelty are getting harder to discover. I understand that it gets hard for brands to pump out new skincare products every season, but as much as I adore skincare, there really is a lot of "noise" that you need to filter through to find something different.

Blend and Boost Skincare Review

NAILS | Gradients, Glitter and Cats #ManiMonday

I had this feeling of total dread this morning not just because it was Monday, but because I KNEW my day was going to be an unproductive gong show based on a few things that had been brewing on Friday and Saturday. Do you guys ever dress the OPPOSITE of the way you feel? Today's nail art is exactly that. With all of the craziness of today, I would look down at my nails and see these cats with their paws raised, ready to pounce. It honestly just made me smile. Obviously, I adore cats, but there is something about having them on your nails that pushes that love to a whole other level!

Cat Nail Art

FATHER'S DAY | The Perfect Shave Kit with Anthony

I'm allowed to squeeze in one more Father's Day related post right? In my Sephora days, I was always one of the reps that because of being blogger, I knew more about products than the brand reps themselves and had the opportunity to try most of the products people were curious about. When clients would come and ask for comparisons between eye creams of five different brands, there weren't many brand reps who could honestly say that they had tried all five! It made me a better seller and allowed me to really connect blogging to the real world. It's something I really miss and maybe one day I will get a chance to do that sort of thing again.

One brand that I ALWAYS showed to men or women shopping for men was Anthony as it was one of the few luxury beauty brands that catered to men. Skincare knows no boundaries when it comes to gender, but men often prefer succinct and straightforward packaging. If a women purchases a product for a man, she wants to get him something that he isn't afraid to use or ashamed to display on the bathroom counter. In addition to some serious skincare (vitamin C and anti-aging peptide serums) that is appealing to even ME, Anthony also has some really nice shave products with built-in skincare benefits. If you are trying to find both a useful AND luxurious gift for a man in your life, but can't quite decide what, the Anthony Perfect Shave Kit* ($77.00 CDN) features full sizes of all your shaving essentials. Again, these are not travel sizes, but full sizes of product giving this kit a value $121 if the products had been purchased separately!

Anthony Shave Kit Review

FATHER'S DAY | Lush Treats for Dads, Hubs and Bros

I will be honest that I did not realize it was Father's Day this weekend until Friday night. I had taken these photos 3 weeks ago thinking I had oodles of time to talk about them and then bam, this week I worked four 10 hour days in a row and I found myself falling asleep the minute I came home! Thankfully, both my husband and I have been testing out these Lush Father's Day treats the last couple of weeks because let's face it, what's mine is his and what's his is mine!  

Lush Father's Day Review

NAILS | Celebrate #Canada150 with Whats Up Nails! (Free Nail Vinyls to the First 10 Readers!)

Can you believe Canada is turning 150 years old this July 1st? Canada is actually such a young country and I am proud to call it my home. The day Canada turns 150, I will be turning 34 so even though I was born in Malaysia I feel like it truly was destiny for my family to find Vancouver and call it home almost 29 years ago. I also became an official Canadian citizen on July 1st, 1992 so this day holds a ton of importance for me which is why I was delighted to partner up with Nail Polish Canada and Whats Up Nails for today's collaboration!

Maple Leaf Nail Art

EXPERIENCE | Tata Harper Total Complexion Reset Treatment at Collective Skincare

It's a bit weird to say, but I've never actually had a real "Tata Harper Facial". Having worked for the company in the past, I would GIVE mini facials and use the products myself, but I never had an official facial experience until last month at Collective Skin Care in honor of the Tata Harper Total Complexion Reset Treatment launched just this month. This is a 100% natural multi-acid peel containing 22 high performance ingredients that evens and brightens skin tone all without a stitch of pain, redness or having to hide in your house all day. In fact, the only day I could do this was the day I had a meeting with the VP of my work right after the facial. I had THAT much trust in Tata that my face would not be the colour of a tomato when I got back!


NAILS | Gettin' Hot and Heavy with Purple Holo

Whenever I decide to paint my nails holo one night, it's always cloudy with zero sunshine the next day. I still don't have those glorious daytime bulbs for 24-7 holo lighting, but hopefully the camera flash doesn't kill you all too much. I remember when holo polishes were not only expensive, but hard to find. All I have to do now is go to massive emporium e-tailers like Born Pretty and I can literally get everything I need when it comes to nails and then some! I have had great luck with BP holo polishes in the past and when it came time for me to do some shopping, I immediately went for the holo nail polish section!

Purple and Pink Holo Nail Art

MAKEUP | Mary Kay Summer Time Jewel Look with Swatches

Typically, summer looks are all about fairly neutral shades because it's all about showcasing that bronzed goddess glow. It's kind of nice because I feel like I can be a bit lazier in the summer months because heavy foundation and eye makeup just don't feel comfortable. I have already been living in ultra light foundation with SPF this month and it feels pretty good to be wearing less on my face. One thing I rarely do in the summer is pull out colour so when I saw that the new collection from Mary Kay focused on emerald jewel tones I was intrigued as to how I could make it work because I can definitely say that I have never thought of green as a summer shade!

Mary Kay Summer Makeup Collection Review

NAILS | Christian Louboutin Loubichrome III

Mmmm, nothing excites any woman more than the pointed stiletto of a Christian Louboutin heel. Even though it's not attached to a shoe, that stiletto still makes me go completely starry-eyed when attached to a bottle of nail lacquer. The Christian Louboutin Loubichrome Collection was a limited edition release earlier this year consisting of three metallic shades in sunny yellow, coppery red and what I picked up - light purple. Loubichrome III is by far the most expensive polish I have ever purchased at around $40 at Holt Renfrew though my memory of the exact pricing is a bit off because I made the purchase in Montreal and the tax rate is a bit higher than in BC so I only remember paying just over $40 all together. I was too excited to see this collection in person as I never got to see it live at the Holts in Vancouver and happily swatched all three shades before settling on this beautiful purple!

Christian Louboutin Loubichrome III Nail Polish Swatch

SKINCARE | Avon Anew Brightening Sheet Mask with White Pearl Essence

One Korean beauty products I can't believe I have loved for so long are sheet masks. I probably used my first one 10 years ago and it definitely wasn't as nice as the sheet masks now. The masks fit better and the ingredients seem to have improved as well. Sheet masks have made a HUGE comeback recently with masks being made of different materials, patterns on them and with good ingredients tso you have no idea how excited I was when these new Avon Anew Brightening* and Firming Sheet Masks* landed in my mailbox!  

Avon Anew Brightening Sheet Mask Review

MAKEUP | The Dior Addict Lip Tattoo Review with Swatches

Honestly, I was not expecting Dior to come out with lip tints after the numerous releases of pigmented mattes, lacquers and the like, but come to think of it I don't recall Dior having a lip tint in their product selection until now. The Dior Addict Lip Tattoos* are a long-wearing 10 hour lip tint with a lightweight formula that "fuse" to the lips like a tattoo meaning the colour ain't going anywhere!

Dior Addict Lip Tattoo Review

NAILS | Blue and Purple #ManiMonday

I love having Mondays off. It doesn't happen often, but the fear of Mondays is real and it's nice having the rest of the world deal with Monday so that I can swoop into Tuesday when most things have calmed down. I was at the Leo Awards last night, which is a gala honoring film in BC, so I didn't quite have time to have today's manicure prepared until now, but it was a super fun night with music and good food!

My favourite nail polish shades are blue and purple and though I try to mix up my manicures with bursts of other colours, I secretly always want to come back to these shades. Diving into the CND Creative Play Playland Collection, I saw a blue I really wanted to feature AND I also wanted to use the Christian Louboutin Loubichrome III that I picked up while shopping with Ommorphia in Montreal a few months ago!

CND Creative Play Blue and Purple Nail Art

FASHION | Prada Linea Rossa Sunglasses from SmartBuyGlasses

Sunglasses are an accessory I never really took seriously until I had a client who was an optometrist. She basically educated/scared me into protecting my eyes from the sun or any form of brightness deemed too intense for my eyes to handle especially when driving. Have you ever forgotten to bring sunglasses and then had to drive blinded by the sun? It is single-handedly one of THE most uncomfortable situations having to squint and make sure you know what colour the traffic lights are!

I don't know about you, but I pretty much feel like summer is here once June hits and with the ability to walk outside in shorts or just a summer dress I am ready to welcome the heat and sunshine with open arms which also means an excuse to upgrade my sunglasses game!

Prada Linea Rossa Sunglasses SmartBuyGlasses

NAILS | *NEW* Going 10 Free with Maison Jacynthe Nail Polish in Napoli

Hello, One Coater! That's right, the newest innovation from Canadian green beauty company Maison Jacynthe is nail polish! We all know and love their makeup and skincare so I was seriously asking "Is it here yet?" every week leading up to the launch! The shades released are all solid creme colours and though I was only sent three of the 12 shades, all three were one coaters! What you see in the photos below is a glorious one coat of the shade Napoli*

Maison Jacynthe Nail Polish in Napoli

HAIR | Moor Spa Botanical Shampoo and Conditioner with a Dose of Hair Vitality

Natural hair care is something I have been less hesitant to embrace because my hair is FAR from natural now and I have been relying heavily on hair products that contain silicone for slip so that I can get a brush through it after having a shower! I currently use a number of Aveda and Shu Uemura products in tandem to retain my hair colour while also trying to expose my hair and scalp to a more healthy set of ingredients. I have used natural hair products in the past so I'm not opposed to them, but haven't always been successful. Either the conditioner left my hair a tangled mess because of the lack of silicones or the shampoo wasn't cleansing enough. I do feel that green beauty is progressing in terms of really looking at the science of how natural ingredients work so when Canadian professional spa brand, Moor Spa, reached out, I had a look at the ingredient list which also included EWG safety ratings, things looked promising!

Moor Spa Botanical Shampoo and Conditioner Review

NAILS | She Sells Seashells By the Sea Shore #ManiMonday

I always feel like I am cheating when I use water decals for nail art, but they just make a manicure look so put together SO QUICKLY! Since we are focusing on British beauty brands this month (here) for the CBB I thought it was finally time to not just pull out, but UNWRAP the Models Own polishes I won from Live Love Polish three years ago! The HyperGel Gel Effect Polishes came up during the gel-like polish heydey and have a finish that is super smooth and shiny. The sad thing is that you can't even get these polishes from LLP anymore, but I know you can get still them through the Models Own website.

With the glorious May weather we've been having, it almost feels like summer with Sunday's temperature being a hot 29°C! That's pretty much beach weather which means I am officially allowed to wear beach-themed manicures! 


NAILS | 5 Awesome Nail Treatments From Duri Cosmetics

One thing I don't discuss much are the products behind my nails and nail polish even though these are the products that are vital to making my manicure look pretty and long-lasting. Over the years I have accumulated quite the collection of top and base coats, cuticle treatments - all things that promise unequivocal shine and longevity so I definitely have my preferences! A little while ago, Duri sent me a couple of "peripheral" nail products to try and after using all of these for the last, I kid you not, 5 months I have decided on my favourites that I now use all the time!

Duri Nail Treatments Review

NAILS | Holographic Drip Marble

I figured it was time to try something new and the "Drip Marble" technique has been on my nail art bucket list for a couple of months now so because it takes a bit of time, I decided to try my hand at it over the long weekend. Since I find water marbling so incredibly messy and time consuming, I'm always looking for ways to get the look without as much work. This technique involves dripping nail polish on to a plastic lid or something that you can pick up and rotate and manually, swirling the colours around and into each other. This technique gives a more random marbling pattern, but still comes out quite pretty. There are a number of videos on how to do the Drip Marble technique so pick your favourite!

A England Drip Marble Nail Art

EXPERIENCE | Hubby and I Spend the Day at NIC Spa on Granville!

I adore getting facials every month as a way of relaxing and giving my skin the boost I can't on my own. I LOVE getting extractions done and that is something I DEFINITELY don't want to be doing myself at home! Scarring? No, thank you. Facials, massages, pedicures and manicures, while good for the soul, aren't great for the wallet with my most expensive facial being $200 for one hour. Now, what if I told you that tucked away on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver is the NIC Spa where ALL of the services are just $20? Unbelievable right? Well, last week my husband and I decided to find out what this place was all about!

NIC Spa is the newest addition to the New Image College downtown campus, a post-secondary institute specializing in esthetics, film and makeup artistry. The NIC Spa menu (here) ranges from basic manis and pedis to facials with AHA peels so you really can get a full body treatment for under $100! The services are all performed by advanced level students who I felt were no different than other estheticians I had experienced. If nothing was mentioned to me, I wouldn't have known because the women we had knew exactly what they were doing!


I booked my husband and I a 30 minute massage and a 90 minute Anti-Aging Facial which included a Hydradermie treatment. The latter is actually $40 because we combined the services, but still an AMAZING price considering the treatment we received.

My husband's esthetician was Tracy while mine was Helgameh. Both were very professional, personable and gave these amazing arm massages which I would go back for ALONE! My poor husband didn't really know what he was in for and took offense to the fact that I had requested an anti-aging facial for him!

Since we went in on a Sunday, there was only one class in session that day which meant there weren't a lot of people there. It was fairly quiet save for the live music from the restaurant patio downstairs, but there was a Saje diffuser happily filling our room with something relaxing. After a brief consult, we climbed into our separate beds and though I kept looking over to make sure my husband was ok, I quickly settled into Helgameh's glorious back, arm and neck massage and tried my best to stay awake so that I could write all of this down!

For the facial, we received a combination of the NIC and Hydradermie Facial with the latter using positive and negative ions to increase and enhance absorption of serums, masks and moisturizers. The idea is that this type of stimulation opens up the "water channels" of the cells which also allows for an intense boost of hydration to the face. I have had this done once before and your face looks plump and feels bouncy for days!


The Hydradermie Facial uses metal ball "rollers" rolled methodically across your face and though there is a small electric charge coming out of them, I did not feel a thing. Honestly, having the metal balls massaging your face is the most relaxing thing because there is a roller for each side of your face so it is done symmetrically and rhythmically. I fell asleep a few times because it was just so soothing. After this was done came a moisturizing mask followed by serum, eye cream and moisturizer from the skincare company Guinot along with tons of facial massage in between. I did not receive any intensive exfoliation as I had had an AHA peel just four days prior.

Both my husband and I opted for a head massage at the end of the facial (you can choose an arm massage as well) which of course felt amazing, but left me with the biggest hair I have ever had! With my hair being so dry from going blue, it is quite coarse and tends to tangle easily so let's just say that all I could do was throw my hair up in a bun! My skin was glowing and intensely moisturized at the end of our session while the husband's skin was a bit red from extractions. His skin looked glowy and very plump though so I reassured him that he would be fine to go to work the next day. Funnily enough, he ran into an old friend and his friend actually commented on how his skin was looking "kinda glowy"!

I would hands down go back to NIC Spa to get the Hydradermie Facial again and try something else on their menu like one of their body treatments. I also cannot get over their prices because I'm pretty sure I would have paid at least $150 for the Hydradermie Facial alone had I gotten it done elsewhere! My husband and I were very pleased with the service and the only thing I would have probably changed is maybe a shorter facial because 90 minutes lying down is a long time! The NIC Spa is certainly not the typical spa environment where everyone speaks in hushed tones and the lights are dim. It is a school and bustling with activity most days, but honestly after going to the more frou frou spas for years where exits aren't clearly labeled because they never want you to leave and relax FOREVER, I can get onboard with a more relaxed environment!

Book your appointment at the NIC Spa today!


Complimentary treatments provided. 

MAKEUP | Quo Cosmetics Lip Velours with Lip Swatches

More matte lips, you say? Well, ok then! I have more awesomeness from Quo Cosmetics with six new shades from their Lip Velours collection. At this point, I think we have all tried a few matte lipstick formulations and I remember when long-lasting and matte meant discomfort and lips that were crying out for help! Thankfully, this is no longer the case and we can now wear intensely beautiful shades with ease.

The Quo Lip Velours ($14.00 CDN) apply as a liquid and transform into matte, cream-looking, finish. They are long wearing, transfer-proof and of course have mega pigmentation. I don't think I have ever seen a matte finish that wasn't pigmented. I don't even think it's doable really.

Quo Cosmetics Lip Velour Swatch Review

The one thing that makes the Lip Velours different from other matte liquid lipsticks is that the applicator is an actual brush as opposed to a doe foot applicator. The brush is supposed to make application more accurate, but I found it to be about the same. If anything, the slanted edge of the doe foot applicator is helpful to have. 

Quo Cosmetics Lip Velour Swatch Review

What seems to be a running theme with the matte liquid lipsticks/creams I have been trying out this year is the inconsistency in formula across different colour. With these swatches below, we can definitely play a game of "one of these things is not like the other"!

Quo Cosmetics Lip Velour Swatch Review

After Diva* (lip swatch here), Envy* was my second favourite shade and formula with the same easy application and relatively weightless formula. This bright orange-red seemed to brighten up my skin and add a nice pop of colour to an otherwise neutral makeup look.

Quo Cosmetics Lip Velour in Envy Swatch Review
Envy

There are some shades that just don't work and unfortunately Bombshell* was one of them. This probably would not have been so bad in a gloss or cream formula, but this peachy pink looked almost clown-like on me and made me look like I was glowing from afar. Formula was the same as Diva and Envy, but this colour was just too much for me.

Quo Cosmetics Lip Velour in Bombshell Swatch Review
Bombshell

Finally we come to Vamp*, which is actually a beautiful colour but the formula was oddly watery. It made me think that I perhaps received a dud, but even with searching online for reviews I wasn't able to find a swatch of Vamp. You can see below that because the formula was so watery, even application was near impossible. My husband thought I had a lip gradient going on, but that is just the patchiness happening...

Quo Cosmetics Lip Velour in Vamp Swatch Review
Vamp

Final verdict:
Diva is the shade I wear most often because of how neutral and flattering it is with any makeup look, but Envy is a close second! The formula is fairly comfortable, but I still find the Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Mattes (review) a bit more comfortable to wear. The Lip Velours were indeed transfer proof, which I tested out by eating a very leafy salad, and last the day. There was some wear on the inner part of my lip after eating which I think is to be expected, but other than the formulation issue with Vamp, I liked the shades that did work and hopefully darker shades like Vamp will be better on the next iteration.

Quo Cosmetics is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart.

NAILS | A England Symphony in Blue and Silver...and Cats

The summer A England Collection is HERE! I know there are a number of companies that do holographic polishes now, but there is always something incredibly classy about the way A England does it and no, it's not because I'm saying it in my head with a British accent! I find that the collections are never repetitive and though holos make up a large number of their releases, there have been cremes, glitters and duochromes as well. The collections are always smaller which I appreciate because how many times have you seen a nail polish release with 8-12 "new" shades. There are only so many ways to do a nude or red so nothing ever really feels new except for the combination of colours. Never the case with A England!

This summer's A Sargent's Vision Collection is named after the American painter John Singer Sargent who specialized in the Edwardian era. I will be working my way through the collection of four polishes over the next week or two, but for today we will start with the first polish that caught my eye - Symphony in Blue and Silver* ($15.50 CDN) which is a powder blue holo with shimmers of green and silver.

A England Symphony in Blue and Silver Swatch Review

SKINCARE | The New La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Ultra with Glycerin

If you haven't heard of micellar water, well I won't make fun of you because when I would speak to people at Sephora about their skin, a lot of them truly thought this was just water repackaged with fancy skincare marketing jargon. Before I launch into small science talk, I use micellar water quite often for cleansing and there are some I absolutely adore and some I feel could be better. I have always thought of La Roche-Posay as one of the more "derm" brands not only in the drugstore, but in the overall skincare world. They go beyond the basic cleanser, toner and moisturizer with a focus on skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea and sensitive or reactive skin. Earlier this year, La Roche-Posay debuted a brand new micellar water formula combining the cleansing power of micelles with hydrating glycerin termed "glyco-micellar". The addition of glycerin is intended to provide better adhesion to makeup and dirt, a smoother glide leading to less rubbing and lasting comfort so that skin does not feel stripped or dry.     

La Roche Posay Miceller Water Review

MAKEUP | Quo Cosmetics Matte Revolution Foundation with Before and After Face Shots

Foundation is probably one of the last makeup products I really got into (after brow products) because it is one of the most terrifying things to apply on your face. It isn't a product like an eyeshadow or a lipstick that is just a small fraction of your face, but involves ALL OF YOUR FACE. If you have the wrong colour or less than stellar blending, there is no coming back from it. For years I stayed away until I discovered roughly what colour family my skin was in and though I still prefer a more natural finish to my skin, I have come to love foundation to the point where I treat it like skincare. I have probably 30 foundations that I rotate through on a daily basis and with new foundations, BB creams and cushions coming out all the time, I find myself always up for trying something new!

This year Quo Cosmetics released the Matte Revolution Foundation* ($24.00 CDN), a foundation and concealer in one that provides full coverage while feeling absolutely weightless. The formula is creamy and promises to blend seamlessly to even out skin tone and give skin the ultimate matte finish. This kind of finish is foreign to me as I prefer my skin dewy, but as I have been getting more and more into matte lipsticks, maybe a matching foundation might be interesting?

Quo Cosmetics Matte Revolution Foundation Review

NAILS | Avon Gel Finish 7 in 1 Nail Enamel in Dazzle Pink

I don't think single nail swatches like this really get a lot of interest, but this kind of post reminds of ye old blogging days when I would just post a nail polish I was loving that week and then you wouldn't see me for another week because I didn't blog about makeup or want anyone to know my name or see my face. Obviously things have changed and instead of the lazy pace I used to move at, it feels like there are so many products and releases to cover. I've never been the fastest or the one with the complete set of swatches because there are a ton of other blogs that can give you that. I generally prefer to do nail art over swatches unless a polish is so stunningly unique that art would detract from its beauty, but this week has been a long one and today will be just a swatch, but a pretty one! 

Avon Gel Finish in Dazzle Pink Swatch

BODY | "Getting in Shape" with the Nip+Fab Body Collection

I have Asian genes where I have always been naturally slim, but as I hit my mid-20s, a guy in my comp sci class referred to me as "skinny fat" meaning that I look slim, but my insides are pretty much the equivalent to a not-so-healthy person. I stopped exercising once I graduated UBC and have pretty much been coasting since. Now, that I am approaching my mid-30s I am really starting to feel every muscle ache and seeing parts of my body look "not 21" anymore. I have recently made some dietary changes by cutting out dairy and going more plant-based with my food choices and as a result have been feeling healthier since making the change and now feel ready to start working out again. I think I just have to rip off the bandaid and do it instead of thinking about it, but in the meantime, the other thing that has gotten me thinking about getting back in shape are these new-to-me products from Nip+Fab Body

Nip and Fab Body Review

NAILS | Micelle Micellar Water Nail Art #ManiMonday

Sometimes silly things pop into your head when you're going the most mundane things and in this case it was while I was in the process of reviewing the La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra. I was was in deep thought while removing my makeup with this when I started thinking about how micelles in soap act as emulsifiers to lift oil from the surface of the skin. We know that water cannot rinse off oil so when we use soap, the hydrophobic tail inserts itself into oil (what we're trying to dissolve) while its hydrophilic head faces outward. When soap is mixed with water, micelles are formed with the oil trapped in the center and oil can now be washed away as the hydrophilic heads love water!    

Micelle Micellar Water Nail Art

BATH & BODY | Live Clean Spa Therapy Collection Review (More Products!) + Giveaway!

Happy Mother's Day everyone! Last month I raved about a couple of products from the Live Clean Spa Therapy collection (here) and now I am back with the rest of the collection because I needed to experience the rest of this wonderful line! Lemon, aloe vera, ginger and green tea blend together to create one of my favourite scents EVER from Live Clean. Well, other than the Exotic Nectar Argan Oil collection...that scent is pretty amazing too!

Live Clean Spa Therapy Collection Review

MAKEUP | Urban Decay Makeup Primer and Setting Sprays

When it comes to setting sprays, there are really only two that come to mind - MAC Fix+ and Urban Decay's All Nighter. Not only has Urban Decay spiffed up the packaging of this old favourite, but have recently added hydrating and nourishing primer sprays and two more makeup setting sprays!

Urban Decay Primer Makeup Setting Spray Review

BATH & BODY | Treat Mom to Some Lush Mother's Day Goodies!

Some of the most fun posts for me to write are the Lush ones because I feel like a child again just rambling on about bath time, colours and bubbles. There is something liberating about using whimsical bath bombs as an adult like having waffles or ice cream for dinner - it's because you damn well can! This year, Lush's Mother's Day launches seem more appealing to everyone instead of the more floral scents that are typically released. With fun animals, scents and colours, my tub is going to be a psychedelic masterpiece for the next few weeks!

Lush Mother's Day 2017 Review

NAILS | It Makes Me Happy When My Nails Match My Watch #ManiMonday

One thing I love about doing Mani Mondays is that there is nothing like waking up Monday morning and seeing my freshly painted nails. Whether it is something as simple as a swatch or crazy detailed like plant cell, it honestly makes me feel better knowing that I have fresh, new nails!

When I received the Swept Away Ombre Watch in Red* ($24.99 CDN), I immediately wanted to do a gradient with some new Avon polishes I had received and then of course, wear the watch! This medium-sized watch with a minimalist leather strap, comes in three other colours, all of which are perfect for spring and summer so definitely have a look! 

Avon Watch Red Gradient Nail Art

SKINCARE | Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magical Facial Dry Sheet Mask - Yes, It's Actually DRY!

The dry sheet mask. Not often am I so curious about a skincare product that I take my photos and start using it right away! I adore Charlotte Tilbury makeup and even though I get sent things from time to time, I have done a fair share of purchasing because the quality, colours and packaging meet all of my criteria when it comes to a high end makeup product. Oftentimes, I am wary of when colour cosmetics companies start wandering over into skincare. I never feel like the transition is clean and because I am somewhat anal about what goes on my skin, I would rather use makeup from a skincare company than skincare from a makeup company. Charlotte Tilbury has not let me down yet so when i saw the Instant Magical Facial Dry Sheet Mask* ($27.00 CDN) I experienced a range of emotions including: intrigue, suspicion and excitement.   

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magical Facial Dry Sheet Mask Review

MAKEUP LOOK | Teeez Cosmetics Mini Reviews with Swatches

Dutch company, Teeez Cosmetics, launched last year at Hudson's Bay in Canada and initially, I wasn't too crazy about it. I found the packaging a little "too cool" for me and thought that I was just too old for this type of branding. Then, I TRIED the products. And shut my mouth because the products were freakin' awesome! Graphic packaging aside, the actual product quality was impressive and is another example of not judging a book by its cover! 

Teeez Cosmetics Fashion Vendetta Review Makeup Look

MAKEUP | MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick with Lip Swatches

Look at me doing a review on something that is current! Ha! Usually that happens when I try something and cannot get enough which happens to be the case with the new MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks* ($25.00 CDN). At its roots, this is a super matte, fast drying, ultra pigmented liquid lipstick that boasts a whopping 20 hour wear time! I have been pretty addicted to my Colourpop Ultra Satins so when these guys arrived, I put immediately put them to the test and was blown away (sorry, I ruined the ending for you)! 

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick Review

BATH & BODY | Lili Aromatherapy Body Scrubs + Giveaway!

Body scrubs have always been a must-have in my shower and I go through about 200g a month. Yes, I have calculated. My skin gets so congested if I don't exfoliate at least every other day so body scrubs are probably one of the few products I am easily able to finish, but I do have very specific preferences for what I look for in a body scrub. The second thing that is now a daily ritual in my shower routine is adding 6-7 drops of pure lavender or peppermint oil underneath running water so that when I step in, I get an aromatherapeutic blast of relaxation and clear-headedness. In the last two weeks, I have been getting a 2 for 1 experience with Lili Aromatherapy Body Scrubs which are 100% vegan, natural and cruelty-free. They are infused with my favourite essential oils and I have to restrain myself from standing there sniffing handfuls of scrub in the shower! They all just smell so good!

Lili Aromatherapy Body Scrub Review

NAILS | Negative Space Flowers #ManiMonday

Negative space manicures have been my go-to the last two weeks because just the simple absence of polish can turn a regular old swatch into a sought-after minimalist nail art. I was feeling the urge to do more negative space, when the thought of flowers also permeated my brain. Next, came the Pinterest surfing where I happened upon this gorgeous manicure done by nail art goddess So Nailicious. Everything about this woman's perfect hand position and manicures always has me in awe! I still like her manicure better, but my flowers still looked decently springy by the end of it!

Negative Space Flower Nail Art

SKINCARE | Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother VoxBox

Ever since getting a VIP facial at Shiseido (here) two years ago, I have always known that when it comes to cutting edge skincare technology, Shiseido is always a couple of steps ahead of the game. You may think their products are just like everyone else's, but once you start trying them out or better yet, getting a massive dose of product knowledge from one of sales associates (the ones in Vancouver always know their stuff!) you realize how much thought has gone into each one of their products.

Shiseido may be viewed as a more mature brand because if their focus on anti-aging, but the IBUKI (Japanese for "inner strength") line is a collection intended for skin stabilization meaning correcting imperfections, dryness and working towards homeostasis (for those biology nerds!) which is for everyone. In today's world of selfies and perfect skin, it was fun to see that Shiseido partnering up with Influenster for a campaign launching their new IBUKI Smart Filtering Smoother* ($29.00 CDN)!  

Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother Voxbox Review

FASHION | Gold Elegance with SOUFEEL

I have mentioned how when it comes to gems and jewels, I am pretty selective and it takes a real quality product for me to go "wow" and dedicate an entire blog post to it, but that was indeed the case with SOUFEEL. Two Christmases ago, I reviewed the cutest sterling silver bracelet (here) and when SOUFEEL reached for another review, I couldn't do silver again because you guys have already seen that they have beautifully made sterling silver bracelets, so this time I went with gold! Mmmm, I love goooold!

Soufeel Charm Bracelet Review

MAKEUP LOOK | Green Beauty with Zorah Biocosmetiques

Last Fall, I reviewed eco-certified skincare from Montreal-based company Zorah Biocosmetiques (here) and was thrilled with the story, ingredients and efficacy of the products. The Ecocert stamp of approval is an extra that I know not all companies do because of the extra cost, but when I see it, I feel completely assured that the products I am using are not just safe, but actually GOOD for my skin.

In addition to some awesome skincare (more reviews to come!), they also have some great eco-friendly makeup!  

Zorah Biocosmetiques Makeup Review

MAKEUP | Dior Addict Lacquer Sticks with Lip Swatches

As much as I am now into satin and matte finishes, I entered the makeup world only knowing of glosses and LOVING THEM. The shinier the better. I remember carting around a clear glitter-filled lip gloss all through my early university years and using it as a top coat for neutral lipsticks. One guy in my Integral Calculus class (MATH 105 at UBC baby!) was staring at my lips and asked how I got them to look so big. I pulled out the tube and told him my glossy secret. And no, we didn't end up dating, but we are still friends!

The old version of the revamped Dior Addict Ultra Gloss was my very first high end lip gloss purchase. I figured that since this was my everyday makeup staple, I should invest! 10 years later, Dior is still managing to wow me with the new Dior Addict Lacquer Sticks ($43.00 CDN)! They look like a lipstick, but once this formula hits your lips, transforms into a liquid shine with an intense saturated colour! Coming in 18 shades, there is something for everyone in here, even those of us who like to experiment.  

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick Review

NAILS | Pearls in Negative Space #ManiMonday

Earth Day may be over, but I promised to keep things as Mother Earth friendly as possible so here is a polish brand never featured on Cosmetic Proof - JINsoon Nail Lacquer! Created by Korean nail artist Jin Soon Choi, these polishes are 5-free and vegan-friendly. Long-wearing nail polishes are never going to be the healthiest, but we can try to get as close as possible with polishes like JINsoon. During my day trip to Aberdeen Centre last summer, I picked up this gorgeous shade of Poppy Blue at my favourite store Green & Pure and have been waiting for the right season and time to christen it!

Jin Soon Poppy Blue Pearl Nail Art

BEAUTY | Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

I love skincare that works while I am sleeping and wish I could get MORE done that way! Asian skincare was the first to introduce the concept of sleeping "packs" or masks and I have been a regular customer of the sleeping mask since I was 25. Every other night was sleeping mask night though once I started blogging, it got harder to stay consistent especially when reviewing a full skincare line. One thing I never stopped though was applying a generous dollop of lip balm to my lips just before bed time so it was really easy to swap my peppermint lip balm for Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask* ($24.00 CDN)

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Review