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Friday, 28 February 2014

There is Nothing Better Than Retail Therapy with Best Friends and Good Makeup

On Sunday, I went on a much needed trip downtown for some retail therapy and an afternoon with one of my best friends, and fellow blogger, Shannon Boyce. If you've heard her name before, it's likely that you read my blog, “Making a Branch Out” blog post. Shannon is the founder of "the creation of beauty is art". Also, if you've ever found yourself on Butler Way, you may have read some of her articles there. Come August, I will have known her 10 years. Ten years of awesome friendship, even if we haven't been able to see each other as often as we'd like. Here's to another 10 years, Shannon!

We met up around noon, and went uptown for an appointment Shannon had made with a beauty salon on Yonge between Eglinton and Lawrence. The salon had invited her to a free makeup session for her blog. After a cup of Chai tea, and enduring a very pink bathroom, we made our way to my favourite mall in the city, the Eaton Centre. There, a visit to HMV, Indigo and Sephora resulted in the items you see below:

The fruits of my labour

My Harry Potter movie collection is now, finally, complete, and I'm only one album away from owning all four of Dean Brody's Cds. I am currently in the third chapter of Bitten and thoroughly enjoying it. I am hooked on the television show (which is filmed in part in my hometown of Toronto, as well as a town called Hespeler just outside of Cambridge), and I've heard that the show differs quite a bit from the book. I am curious to see just what has been changed and what has remained the same. I am enjoying the show, I'm sure I am going to enjoy the rest of the book, too.

Sephora brought me the most joy (and the most pain to my pocketbook). I went in after Clinique's All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette in Neutral Territory and Urban Decay's Triple Threat Travel Pencil Set, Smokey Matte Edition. Well... I ended up leaving with three things besides. While in the checkout line, I picked up Sephora's Lips in Bloom and Sephora's Waterproof Eye Makeup remover. And, at the checkout, the cashier told me I had enough points to redeem for a free item. I chose Clinique's, Superprimer Universal Face Primer.

My makeup purchases

I have never used a face primer before, so I was eager to find out just how it would work. I was also excited to try the Clinique palette, since I a) love the brand; and b) love playing around with neutral colours to see just what I can do with them. Yesterday, I finally had the chance to use the primer and the palette. The primer is a white, almost lotion type cream, which I just blended in to my skin with my fingers. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but as I have been with most Clinique products, I was impressed. It didn't leave my skin oily, and my face felt a bit moisturized as well. The moisturized part is a huge plus, because I have dry skin, which is most dry after I've had a shower (I know, figure that one out!). The primer helped my loose powder foundation (also from Clinique) cling to my skin better, and gave it a more natural look. Methinks I will be going back to Sephora in the near future to purchase a normal sized tube of the primer. The one thing I love most about Clinique's eye shadows is they don't crease after only a few hours of wearing them. After about 6-7 hours of wear, I notice some crease, which is more than fine for me, but I don't want my eye shadow to crease after only 4 hours of wear, as I've experienced with other brands. Well, with the primer, the eye shadow stayed in place all day. After eleven hours of wear, I only just began to notice some creasing. Yup, I'll be buying more of this.

Next came the palette I was so excited to try. As with the foundation, I used the primer first, and then took a few seconds to figure out just what colours I was going to use. The palette has eight different colours, and with eight different neutrals, the looks I can create with this are endless. For work, I chose the colours second and fourth from the left, and the last two on the right. The lightest shade, I used on my brow bone. I was originally going to use the fourth one in as my lid shade, but I ended up using the second one in from the right instead. The fourth one in ended up being what I used on my inner corner. The darkest shade I used in my crease and along my upper and lower lash lines.

Clinique Palette with the primer.

The Urban Decay eyeliners.

I also had a chance to use one of the three Urban Decay eye pencils. I used the black shade, Perversion along with the shadow I'd already used on my lash lines. The shadow simply softened the eyeliner. Now, I stay away from any form of liquid eyeliner, because I don't have a steady enough hand for it, and I prefer to apply my eyeliner in short strokes and then connect them all together. It's just easier for me to control. This pencil eyeliner just glides on, no fuss, no mess. It dries super quickly, which is awesome because then I avoid the dreaded transfer of eyeliner from my lash line to the crease of my eyes. It just isn't (normally) a good look. Also, the liner lasts all day. By the end of eleven hours of wear, it was still in place, albeit a touch messy. And when I say a touch, I mean it had moved only slightly. I can definitely wear this work into play. I am looking forward to trying the other two liners that came with the one I used yesterday. There is a dark navy Sabbath and a deep grey, Smoke. I can't wait to try those two as well.

Despite the rave reviews of the last three, there are a couple that missed their mark. I'm on the fence about is the Sephora <i>Lips in Bloom</i> set. 

Sephora Lips in Bloom Collection
L-R: Glossy Orange, Glossy Pale Pink, Glossy Pink.

Sephora Lips in Bloom swatches.
L-R: Glossy Pale Pink, Glossy Orange, Glossy Pink.

The colours themselves are very light, sheer and perfect for spring. (I even like the Glossy Orange shade.) I don't always expect much out of my lip colour; however, I like my lip colour to, at the very least, last the duration of a 4 hour shift at work. Unfortunately, this one didn't. Around the latter part of 2 hours, I could feel the colour had started to wear. My Cover Girl Naturluxe Gloss Balm lasts longer than this one does. Now, I wasn't expecting this to last all day; it's a gloss more than it is a lipstick, but I was expecting it to last a bit longer than it did. But, all is not lost. I am a fan of layering my lip colour, so, I may find use for these after all; as a layering colour rather than a lip colour on its own.

I was also a little unimpressed with the Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. Maybe I didn't use enough of it, but I didn't see any real benefit using this over a facial cleansing cloth to remove my makeup. The makeup remover did an okay job at removing the eye shadow, and breaking down the mascara a bit, but it left the eyeliner in place. I also ended up having to wipe my cheeks afterwards due to the run off. When I remember to, I usually remove my makeup with an Equate Facial Cleansing Cloth. I ended up using the cloth to cleanup what the remover left behind. While, I always manage to get some soap in my eyes, the cloth seems to remove my waterproof mascara better than the Sephora remover. The remover also left my eyes feeling a bit greasy. I want to like this product, so I am going to give it the benefit of doubt and give it a couple more chances before calling a final verdict, but I doubt I will buy this again.

Here was the finished product:

The finished product.
Primer: Clinique Superprimer Face Primer - Universal Face Primer
Foundation: Clinique Blended Face Powder in Transparency Neutral.
Eye Shadow: Clinique All About Shadow 8-Pan PaletteEyeliner: Urban Decay Triple Threat Pencil Set Smokey Matte Edition in PerversionBlush: Revlon Powder Blush in Soft Spoken PinkLips: Sephora Lips in Bloom in Glossy Pale Pink.

My next Clinique purchase will be one from their Redness Solutions lines, as redness is something I battle with on a regular basis. When I do pick that up, you'll hear about it here!