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Top 10 of 2015

FullSizeRenderLast year I returned to work with a mixture of positive and negative feelings. On the positive side, I was able to rejoin the beauty world on a professional level and get myself back out there making my connections and learning all about new products and techniques. I also managed to get back into a regular beauty routine.

In addition to my professional exposure to beauty items, I also was so inspired by social media and other bloggers to try some new things. Instagram, YouTube and beauty blogs lead me down the road to seek out some of the items on this list, while others fell into my hands unexpectedly.

Here are my top 10 picks of 2015.  This list covers a good range of products and brands, and there is something in this list for any budget. I hope you enjoy!

1. Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour – 444 Gabrielle
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Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour is a gorgeous, buttery lipstick that hydrates for hours, and the shade 444 Gabrielle is a stunning red. Read about my journey towards finding the lipstick here, and enjoy the full review.

2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Custard0607845012344

Coverage? Check! Easy to apply? Check! A vast array of shades to choose from? Check! I call my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard my sleep in a tube. A sweep of this magic wand will make under eye darkness disappear quicker than you can say “Put another pot of coffee on.”  Visit my full story on this concealer here.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit- Light To Medium contour_kit_powder

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit has traveled to other countries with me. I love the versatility of it and it is super slim and easy to pack. I know there’s a plethora of contour products out there to choose from right now as it is all the rage, but this one caught my eye early on when I saw it plastered all over gorgeously sculpted faces on Instagram. Check out my review of it here, where you will also see some before and after photos!

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4.  Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

Liquid lipsticks are showing up in every brand right now. They are touted to be matte, highly pigmented and long wearing. The unfortunate part is, this trifecta of liptick promises rarely comes to fruition.  That is, until I tried Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks.

Ladies and gentleman, these simply do not disappoint. They are not easy for us Canadian Foxes to get our hands on as you can read about here, but I tell you that if you are so lucky to get one, you will see how it rises above so many others.

matte_powder_medium5. Cover FX Matte Setting Powder 

Not new to the market, but a discovery of mine in 2015. I rave about it here, and can tell you that this super – fine powder is a keeper that will be a staple of my makeup bag forever, either in its matte form or illuminating form… or both!

6. Quo Blending Spongehwthumb

Initially chosen as a stand – in for the pricier Beauty Blender sponge, I can honesty say that this one is a winner on it’s own! Effective blending at a cost that any pocketbook can handle, the Quo Blending Sponge is a an easy way to shake up your foundation routine and try a new trick.

Learn all about how I use this sponge here and take a little time to rethink the makeup sponge!

7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyelinerwhite

Oh the quest for the perfect liquid liner came to an end once I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner . This is a gem that I stock up on and keep reserves in my desk just in case. Love love love this liner! Want to learn more about this liner? Check out this link for more!

 

8. Revlon Ultra HD Matte LipcolorCapture

I discovered Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor only days before 2015 came to an end, so this one was close. This one was also impressive enough to make the list and bump something else off! I have been a life long supporter of Revlon products, particular their lipsticks. I rave about this new one here.

 

9. Benefit Instant Comeback Facial Serum

whiteSeriously, I did not have high expectations from a brand known more for it’s cutesy packaging and makeup items. What a wonderful surprise this serum gave me! You can read the full details of this unexpected winner here and find out how this not – so – new product even found it’s way onto my 2015 list. There’s always a story and this one really speaks to the power of a sample!

10. Cover Girl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara 

cg_super_sizer_1This was the year of surprises! I never would have thought that Cover Girl would end up on my list as I thought this was a brand that was from my teen years only. Well, here I am a lifetime later and being wowed by this affordable and impressive mascara. Wanna know more about it? Of course you can read all about it here, where I go into details about the Super Sizer!

 

 

That wraps up my top 10 of 2015… I would love to hear about YOUR favourite discoveries over the past year. Tell me about them in the comments or visit my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (Foxy Face Beauty for all) and let me know!


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Product Review: Eyes on MAC

I have been using MAC for close to 20 years. It was a little niche brand back then, and way ahead of its time. The counter girls (and some boys) were outrageously made up, and I would feel a cross of desire and fear to visit the counter. Everyone looked so glam, so chic and so put together… I felt dowdy and unworthy even though I myself worked in a beauty department. That was also a long time ago when a drug store carried only drug store makeup… many things have changed since then my Foxy Friends! If you are a Canadian reader, or visit Canada, you will know that our drug stores have staggering beauty departments that fulfill all of you beauty wishes!

I ventured into MAC more often once a good friend started working there. My addiction was Studio Fix Powder in C20. I went though one every two weeks and often looked almost doll-like with my thick layer of base…. I loved that look and it is definitely one that you can only rock before any fine lines or wrinkles start to set in, so I am glad I wore it in my youth.

Over the years I have tried almost every product they have, and often return to replenish. I guess recently though, MAC fell off of my radar as more and more new niche brands have been popping up all over the internet. Then, someone I know that works at MAC offered their new eyeshadow palettes for me to try out. I welcomed the gesture as I had just been thinking that week how my eye shadow collection was going either too old or too boring or too colourful (I know… first world problems strike again). photo 1-2

Imagine my delight when the palettes arrived! This absolute angel sent me not one, not two, but THREE of their new palettes to try out!!! That would be 39 NEW eyeshadows in total! Oh boy did I need this… I had been busy having two babies in an 18 month span and so much of my creativity and zest for beauty products had been put on the back-burner while I figured out how to keep the tiny humans alive and quiet.

So, to get you up to speed on what I received (as per MAC website desciptions):

  • photo 4-2Purple Times Nine – This well-edited palette features a colour wave of petite purple hues that offer countless shade combinations. It provides an array of textures from matte to satin to frost for creating a variety of looks for both day and night. The saturated, soft and smooth hues are all packaged in one compact for easy portability. Retails $48 CAD, value of $63.
  • photo 3-2Eye Shadow X 15: Cool Neutral – An Eye Shadow Palette in fifteen cool shades: Flounce, Sweet Allure, Sun Tweaked, Blackberry, After Dusk, Pick Me Up, Crushed Clove, Cozy Grey, Deception, Brun, Silver Fog, French Clay, Cumulus, Pearled Earth and Black Tied. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully. Retails $99 CAD, value of $192.
  • Eye Shadow X 15: Warm Neutral – An Eye Shadow Palette in fifteen warm shades: Hey, Warm Breeze, Gingersnap, Dark Brew, Dance in the Dark, Brule Vanilla Extract, Honey Lust, Amber Lights, Saddle, Lemon Tart, Butterfudge, Creative Copper, Unwind and Divine Decadence. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully. Retails $99 CAD, value of $192.photo 2-3
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The gold I used in the corner here looked awful on camera, but cool in real life

Immediately I am drawn to the purples. I looooove to wear purples and they look so good with my eye colour. They make my hazel eyes POP and purples pick up on my flecks of green. I have to confess something that I am slightly devastated by though… I have an aversion to purple eye products. Something about the pigment cause my eyes to start to tear and get a little red, and the longer I leave them on, the more intense the ouch factor gets. I was truly hoping that these ones would be different, or that perhaps I had outgrown my sensitivity. Alas, I had not. I played with this palette one day and it looked so pretty, but by the end of day my eyes were telling me “no-go”. Sigh…. at least I tried.

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This is a rare soft look for me, and I loved it. Wish I could wear purples!

Full disclosure: I tried them more than once to make sure. These two photos represent two looks I created with them.

That said, this palette of 9 shadows also comes in three other collections with the focus on Amber, Navy and Burgundy. The pans are slightly smaller than a normal MAC eyeshadow, but unless it’s a favourite you never use up a whole pan anyhow. At $48 these are great little collections with a range of intensities and textures in each palette, and I would not hesitate to pick up all four. They are a great way to get a ton of colour options that you can use on their own or pair with neutrals.

Did someone say neutrals? Yes, I know that was me and my obvious segue to discuss the Warm Neutral and Cool Neutral palettes. First of all, these babies have 15 eyeshadows in each one! This is ahhhh-mazing! As far as I am concerned they are both MUST HAVES for any artist kit, and I think the average person should have at least one of these. You can create ENDLESS looks and even use them in conjunction with any pops of colour you want. I love that there are shimmers and mattes, and the only thing I would change is to have more mattes in the Neutral Warm, but that’s just me.

These larger collections are simply stunning and I wish they had created these years ago. I would have saved a ton of money over choosing all the individual shades myself and paying full price for each one. I am so impressed with MAC for releasing “value sets” that give the avid purchaser a chance to get something extra.

NOTE: Not posting pics of me wearing the neutral palettes at this time as going forward you will be seeing a lot of them! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram all of my latest looks are created using one of the neutral palettes.

So it’s you turn now Foxes, have you tried any of these MAC palettes yet? Do you have a fave eye shadow palette already? Do tell….


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Day 21: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

Lucky Foxes – your Day 21 beauty tip is from a beauty industry rock star. With close to thirty experience in the beauty industry, Douglas Atkinson continues to bring a unique and refreshing perspective to an ever – changing business. I first met Doug in 2005 when he won a COSA for Trainer of the Year. He was the life of the party over with his quick wit, classic movie quotes and sense of humour with an edge.

As a makeup expert and trainer, Doug has worked with many of the top beauty brands in Canada. He was the official makeup artist of TV’s “Diva on a Dime” and has made numerous television appearances and been the star of many media events. He has also been a featured guest in most of the beauty retailers all across the country where throngs of women would be waiting for their time with Doug. He is able to connect with them and make the meeting about so much more than just makeup and skin care, and he lets the women shine!

Doug2pic1“I have to say that in the 28 years that I have been in the cosmetic industry that I have seen trends come and go and then return again but one thing remains constant and that is the constant desire to capture and retain beauty. Billions of dollars a year are spent on products to enhance sallow or tired complexions, reduce the sun damage that we incurred in our youth, lift a sagging jawline or fix the look of tired eyes or large pores. Trust me,  I have done thousands of makeovers with hundreds of different products and some are worth the money.

To that point,  I have had the opportunity again to experience the Darphin line of products and there are some incredible secret weapons in their line up. One of the best is the “Dark Circles Relief and De-puffing Eye Serum” . This wonderful gel actually does help with puffiness and dark circles and the result is almost instant! It doesn’t crack or get tight on the eye and it makes a visible difference if you have the issue(s) that it addresses. Is it worth a hundred dollars??? In my opinion , YES! So what if you burn the candle at both ends. Use this and even if you fall asleep at your desk you will still look good!

Another item that is worth the spend is from Dior. For years, the consumer in the know has come to the Dior counter and asked for the eponymous ‘Crème Abricot’. This odd orange butter-like looking substance in a round white container has a cult following. One thing that I noticed about the people buying it, women and men alike, is how well groomed their cuticles and nails looked. No hangnails. No ragged edges. A pot can last you long time if you are careful. Dab it on the cuticles and nails and keep them looking like you just left the shop. Is it worth $30+ ?? YES! Something you need to have in your beauty arsenal at all times . No matter what you spend on polish or what the trend is in colour if your cuticles don’t look good and aren’t in top condition your manicure will look like a ‘mani-can’t’. Worth it!”

Just in time to add to your list for some great stocking stuffers! My cuticles are absolutely ravaged this time of year and I am always so tired with the two little Foxes that live in my den – off I go to add more to my exploding collection!

What about you Foxes, would you spend $100 on an eye cream? What is the most you have spent on any skin care item?

 


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Day 17: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

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Courtney Kelly has been working for Shoppers Drug Mart for six years, and she is currently a Beauty Boutique Manager. Obsessed with the beauty industry since youth, she graduated from Humber College from the Fashion Arts program and knew she absolutely had to work in the makeup industry. Courtney gives us our Foxy Advent Calendar Tip of The Day for day 17….

“Glittery eye makeup is a great way to spice up your look for the holidays. Sometimes people are scared to work with glitter because it can be super messy. Apply an eyeshadow primer first to the eye as this will help the it adhere and last all night.Then, spray your eyeshadow brush with a makeup spray that is for setting and making makeup stay on longer (like Clarins Fix’ Make-Up) and dip it into the glitter. This helps the it from falling all over your face and makes the colour of the glitter pop! If you really going for an all – out full glittery eye, apply your foundation and other face makeup after your eye makeup. If you have any fall out you can just swipe it off easily with a makeup remover wipe!”

Yes! Glitter has always made this Fox pretty happy, and I am so pleased Courtney had a tip to make the experience a whole lot less messy!

Are any of you Foxes going to try this glitter tip? Maybe for New Year’s Eve? Please do… I would love to see your results!

 

 


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Day 15: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

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Our day 15 Foxy tip comes from the wild west – Calgary. With 31 years of beauty industry experience, Carol – Ann Bezooyen Mysyk is a well respected and sought after expert. She has worked for Shoppers Drug Mart in various roles, and is currently a part time Beauty Expert at a Beauty Boutique. 

“When doing mascara do lower lashes FIRST. Then you don’t have to open your eyes so wide looking up to get them after. This prevents the mascara dotting in the eyeshadow. Works like a charm.”

Ummm…yeah…why am I only finding out about this now? I love when I get a beauty tip that I haven’t used yet! Carol – Ann, you have taught me a new trick today, and for that, I thank-you!

Foxy friends, am I the only person who didn’t already know about this easy trick? 


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Day 4: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

Cathi Westrop is the beauty expert providing us today’s Foxy beauty tip. She has worked for several decades in the beauty business at the counter, as a freelance makeup artist, and as a trainer for a top beauty brand. She now has channelled her creativity into designing her very own artisanal jewellery and soaps. Check out her company 5 magpies for some unique gift ideas!

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“If your #1 challenge is eye makeup, skip it until the very end! Putting eyeshadow on a blank canvas can be overwhelming so leaving it until you’ve got balance elsewhere makes it easier to put on the right amount.  I always say it’s like putting on your accessories before your clothes, it’s difficult to know if you’ve put on too much or not enough!”

 

Now that’s a pro tip! Stay tuned for a new tip tomorrow, and if this is your first visit, check out the tips from the previous days from beauty experts from all across Canada!

How do apply your eye makeup? Do you like to put it on first or at another point in your regime? Comment below to share!