monochromatic pink

June 24, 2017  |  Face of the Day  |  No Comments

monochromatic pink makeup 1

monochromatic pink makeup 3

monochromatic pink makeup 2

monochromatic pink makeup 4Face: Make Up For Ever UV Bright Cushion, Koh Gen Do Natural Lighting Powder // Cheeks: Becca Mineral Blush in Flowerchild // Eyes: Bellini and Peach Pit from Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette, For Your Pleasure and Bijou from MAC Red Hot Times Nine Palette, Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara // Brows: Make Up For Ever Brow Liner // Lips: YSL Rouge Volupte in #29 Opera Rose

I’ve been inspired by all the “monochromatic” makeup looks I’ve been seeing around lately, so I decided to do a pink version today. I swear it looked a lot more coordinated in real life – somehow the lipstick photographed a lot cooler than I thought it would. I suppose it’s a sign that I’ll need to try it again, though the next time I do I think I’ll swatch everything first to make sure all the undertones match up and photograph properly!

On a side note, how awesome is the lighting in these photos? These were taken next to our atrium, which is actually where Adam first started taking my FOTD shots some three years ago when he nudged me into beauty blogging. (Yep, that’s right – my husband got me into this!) Unfortunately, the atrium has really inconsistent lighting so we mostly shoot in the bedroom now, but on magical days when the sun is just right in the sky…it’s pretty hard to beat!


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make up for ever aqua xl colour paints and ink liners

make up for ever aqua cream paint 4

Many years ago when I was a beauty writer for a magazine, I attended the press launch of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua range. It was one of the most memorable makeup presentations ever: the waterproof nature of the range was demonstrated on a synchronized swimming team with elaborate face paint, who emerged from the pool with their makeup perfectly smudge-free and as vibrant as it had been before they’d jumped in. I was so impressed that the whole thing just stuck in my head forever!

So when Make Up For Ever started expanding their waterproof range recently, I got super excited. It’s awesome to see a makeup line you like evolve, especially when it’s for the better, and especialy-especially when you’re able to say you remember it “way back when” like a total granny. Today’s Aqua XL lineup is not only incredibly comprehensive but ever-expanding. The latest additions are the Aqua XL Colour Paint (waterproof cream eyeshadows) and Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner (waterproof liquid liner) ranges.

make up for ever aqua cream paint 1

The Aqua XL Ink Eye Liners come in 15 colours divided into Matte, Metallic, Satin and Shimmer finishes. Even the lighter colours like ___ are very bold and pigmented, so you aren’t going to find yourself having to go over the same area again and again to build up colour. The liner tip is super fine and fairly stiff, which I found makes for excellent detail work. If you do a lot of really artistic, editorial looks, I highly recommend checking these out.


As for the Aqua XL Colour Paints, they come in 20 shades divided into Matte, Lustre and Iridescent finishes. What really gets me excited about them is that they come in little squeeze tubes, so are less likely to dry out as quickly as cream shadows that come in jars. Actually, Make Up For Ever has been pretty dialed-in about the shelf life of their products lately. Take for instance Aqua Brow, which is very similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills’ cult-fave Dipbrow Pomade – where my Dipbrow pots can go maybe a year without stiffening noticeably, my tubes of Aqua Brow have maintained their consistency perfectly so I’m pretty optimistic about these cream shadows as well.

In terms of texture, these are very creamy and are relatively blendable…though you have to work fast because they do set fairly quickly. When I first attempted this FOTD, I tried to apply the dark blue cream all over my lids first, but found that it was setting before blending out fully. After another attempt, I discovered that trick (with darker colours at least) is to do all your crease/transition colours first with powder shadows, before patting this in place and quickly blending out any edges.

Aqua Colour Paint 1

Aqua Colour Paint 4

I used Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in Milk Tea (M-536) and Dark Purple Taupe (M-546) from Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol 4 in my crease, and then applied Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22 on my mobile lid afterwards, blending it out with a bit of Prussian Blue (M-240) where necessary. For a look like this, I do think it’s important to have a (preferably matte) powder shadow in the same colour as your main lid shade that you can use to blend out the edges of the cream shadow.

I used Aqua XL Ink Liner in M-10 as an all-over liner, with a flick of L-40 in my outer corner, and am wearing Make up For Ever Aqua Matic in I-90 along my lower lashline and ME-54 in my inner corners as a highlight.

Aqua Colour Paint 3

Aqua Colour Paint 2

Though starting with powder, applying the cream and then blending again with more powder sounds complicated, it’s actually quite a cinch in practice and far quickler/less frustrating than trying to blend out the cream shadow on its own…especially when it’s as pigmented and intense as this one was!

Aqua Colour Paint 5

Face: Make Up For Ever UV Bright Cushion // Cheeks: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in Antique Pink (M-806) // Eyes: Make Up For Ever Dark Purple Taupe (M-546), Prussian Blue (M-240), Milk Tea (M-536) all from the Artist Palette Volume 4, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Liners in L-40 and M-10, and Make up For Ever Aqua Matics in I-90 and ME-54 // Lips: Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip in 201.


This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

cruelty free fotd

June 10, 2017  |  Face of the Day  |  8 Comments

cruelty free makeup look 2

cruelty free makeup look 4

A few days ago I woke up to see my Instagram feed flooded with posts about a petition The Body Shop started that aims to put an halt to animal testing. Before I go on, I’d just like to say that this post is no way sponsored or influenced by The Body Shop. They didn’t reach out to me about this at all; their mission just really resonated with me and I felt compelled to share in my own way.

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw all these posts was, “I should do a FOTD using only cruelty-free products”!

The second thing that popped into my head was, “Dangit I don’t OWN any cruelty products!”

A pang of guilt hit me then, because I was forced to admit to myself that I prioritize aesthetics over ethics. Like most people, I’ve always just been more aware of and drawn to mainstream makeup brands. I don’t think it makes me a bad person – I just prefer shopping at Sephora to the local hippy commune. Who doesn’t?

But at this point I was resigned to my little project, so I diligently got to googling cruelty free makeup brands and…guess what? I came across this list and realized I actually owned LOADS of cruelty free makeup! It turns out many of my favourite makeup brands actually fell into this category and I just had no idea! Long story short, putting this FOTD together took absolutely zero effort whatsoever as many of the products were ones that I already used on a near-daily basis.

This revelation got me thinking: if so many mainstream brands can produce top notch makeup without testing on animals, what’s stopping other companies from getting on board? There’s no question that the brands I used for this look – BECCA, NARS, Too Faced*, etc – make amazing products, so it’s not a quality issue. Tons of people with sensitive skin use these brands quite comfortably, so I doubt you can really argue safety. And they’re all priced within their market range, so it’s not even as if cruelty-free testing comes at a premium.

I can’t think of a single good reason why any makeup company should test on animals when there are so many cruelty-free brands that are just crushing it. If you agree with me, I urge you to sign the petition. It takes two seconds and every single signature counts.

cruelty free makeup look 3

*Before someone jumps down my throat about how we all should boycott cruelty-free brands that have “sold out” to non-CF companies, here’s my take on the matter: No we should not. In fact, I think we should make a point to shop with those brands. Because when you buy from cruelty-free brands like Urban Decay etc, you’re voting with your dollars and showing parent companies which of their brands are profitable. A profitable brand is going to get more attention and support from their parent company, prompt in-depth evaluations on what makes them successful, and hopefully inspire higher-ups to push other acquired or in-house brands to adopt similar practices (if only for the good PR). And if you care enough to debate me on this, feel free…but please go sign the petition first!

cruelty free makeup look 1

It goes without saying, but all the brands I used here are cruelty free. Face: BECCA Backlight Filter Face Primer, Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Foundation in Coconut Milk, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye, CoverFX Perfect Setting Powder // Cheeks: Marc Jacobs Instamarc Contour Duo, NARS blush in Madly, Hourglass Strobe Light in Brilliant // Eyes: Puree, Charmed I’m Sure and Luscious from Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette, Pixi Fairy Dust in Snow Sparkle, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara // Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Dark Brown // Lips: Bite Beauty Lipstick in Sour Cherry

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