My First HauteLook Order! (TheBalm Haul)

In my “final” Hauluary post, I mentioned that I was waiting for a couple more shipments – this is one of them!  In mid-January, I heard about TheBalm being on HauteLook for 50% off from Kaily – I was both excited and a little bit apprehensive. I’ve contemplated for years about ordering makeup off HauteLook since they hold such amazing sales, but living in Canada often adds a whole layer of complexity – not to mention expense – when it comes to ordering from US-based sites. So how was my first HauteLook experience from a Canadian perspective?
Pretty great, actually! 😀

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Favourites Lately: Mid-2016

I started doing quarterly favourites this year since monthly favourites don’t work for me, as my favourites tend to remain fairly static month over month. But with the changing seasons, I do find a shift in my skincare and makeup, so I’m able to pick some some seasonal favourites to share. My mid-year favourites focus on items I used in the Spring and when I went on my trip to Japan.
Here are my thoughts on each:

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Blogmas Day 18: Christmas Tree makeup

I blame Kaily for this one. She came up with this topic and both Sharon and I scratched our collective heads as to how to interpret this.  What the heck IS Christmas Tree makeup? So I’m taking the cheater creative approach and doing a gold theme makeup look, because hey, some people have an all gold Christmas tree, ok:
This gold and diamond Christmas tree was worth $500k with five pounds of solid 18K gold and a 4.52 carat diamond set in a platinum star at the top – in 2007 it was the most valuable Christmas tree in existence (Source).

That’s how I roll. 😛

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theBalm Instain blushes

This post is dedicated to Rachael of Helpless Whilst Drying – she recently posted a review of the theBalm’s Nude’Tude palette and asked for recommendations on other theBalm products to try.  I recommended their Instain blushes, and she asked if I had a blog entry on them – I didn’t, so here it is!

theBalm Instain Long-wearing Staining Powder Blushes are offered in 6 shades and I own 4 of them:
L – R: Lace, Houndstooth, Toile, Swiss Dot

They cost CAD $31 / USD $22 for 5.5g so they’re not cheap, but I love them so much that I’ll likely get the other 2 remaining colours.

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Best of bright blushes

Bright blushes are perfect for summertime – they look especially gorgeous against tanned skin.  But fair skinned gals, don’t let bright blushes scare you – they add a flush of colour when dusted on lightly at the apple of the cheeks.  Put your sunglasses on – here are some of my favourite bright blushes from my stash:
I do have to say though, no photograph can truly capture the BRIGHTNESS of these blushes – you have to see them in person to appreciate them!

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Transition Eye Shadow Shades

When I finally understood the concept of a transition eye shadow, it upped my eye shadow blending game by tenfold.  A transition eye shadow shade is one that is typically matte and slightly darker than your natural skin tone – this helps to blend the lid colour into the brow area. Most days now, I just pop on a shimmery neutral shade [taupe!] on the lid up to the crease, then I blend the edges with a transitional shade – something like this:
My blending skills are better than my photoshop skills.

It looks like I spent a lot of time with my eye look but in fact, it took less than 5 minutes. I’ve depotted some of my most used transition colours into a small z-palette so I can have a range to choose from each morning:
I would group my transition shades into neutral, warm and cool categories. I’m around NC25 so these would be suitable for skin tones that are similar.

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Face Highlighters

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an expert on highlighters. I hardly ever use the few that I own, and I have just the bare basics.  But I like the idea of highlighting – that luminous glow, the cliché “lit from within” appearance.  I feel that all the steps I’ve taken up to the point of a finished face (exfoliation, hydration) have helped to keep some natural radiance on my face so the extra step of applying a highlighter seems redundant.  But, like a good makeup addict that I am, I still dutifully purchased highlighters.  I chose 3 to share today:
• VS Makeup Illuminating Face Powder in All or Nothing
• theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer®
• Shiseido Luminizing Face Color in High Beam White WT905

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Blush stash

Blushes make me SO happy! They’re like candy for my face! 😆

According to my inventory count, I currently have 155 blushes in my collection.  And yet I still wish I had more…! 😛  The highest brands on my wish list are Sleek and Colour Pop – I can only order them online so it’s a case of hard to get = want them even more.

I store the bulk of my blushes in the same clear drawers as my eye shadows, but in the wider format:

This is a picture heavy post (20+ pics)

Eye shadow stash

Here’s the motherlode.  I’ve mentioned many times that I have a lot of eye shadows – over 600 – it is the most abundant makeup category that I own.  I just love eye shadows and it’s the area of my face that I spend the most time applying makeup.  I’ll keep this introduction brief and just let the pictures do the talking.

It took me over 2 hours just to sort and photograph the whole eye shadow collection and probably another 4 to edit everything.  Usual disclaimer: this isn’t meant to show off.  It was actually quite a beneficial exercise for me to display all my eye shadows visually.   Warning: photo heavy post! (50 images)

Brace yourself, eye shadows galore this way