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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
RougeCoco2015_collection

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!

pure_hollywood_off_copy

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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Here’s How I Apply Foundation Now…

At some point in the early 2000s, I was convinced that using makeup sponges (those little wedges) to apply my foundation was passé and the ONLY way to apply it properly was using a foundation brush.  I admit using a brush was an improvement over those triangular wedges. My brush choices have really evolved over the years from the flat syntBBhetic brush you would paint on makeup in strokes, to a fluffier synthetic brush which buffs on foundation to an airbrushed finish!

I have seen the Beauty Blender sponge in stores and of course all over social media, but I can honestly say I have not tried it yet. This video tutorial inspired me to try out a sponge in the first place, and I am sure I will love the Beauty Blender, hwthumbbut the cost ($26) is what’s holding me back (although not for long!)

In the meantime, I have been using the Quo Blending Sponge. I am convince on using this method of blending foundation, and the Quo Blending Sponge is only around $5! I use it by soaking it with water and wringing it out, and then repeating this a few times. I like to wring it out only about 95% of the way, leaving a little bit of water in it. Then, I dot my foundation on my face with a cotton swab and proceed to use the sponge to blend it in. Alternating between using tapping and rolling motions, I work that foundation all over my face until it is totally blended and looks flawless. I manipulate the sponge using different angles depending on where I am blending on my face.

 
The effect is airbrushed and flawless looking. I used to think sponges were ineffective and only a foundation brush could do the trick, but the Quo Blending Sponge has made me rethink everything I know about sponges. It is easy to clean with a little soap and water, and lasts a long time. Eventually it will start to show wear and tear, but at this price it is not painful to replace.

Tell me Foxes, how do you like to blend? 


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New Years Beauty Resolutions

Every time we ring in a New Year, people make resolutions – promises to themselves to improve their life and well being. These promises range from exercising more, eating better to committing time to self development and doing things like avoiding swearing or taking some classes for an interest or hobby. In my single and partying days most of my resolutions would be a direct result of whatever I was up to on New Year’s Eve – lol! Now that I am a lot more lame, my resolutions are too. I would take an educated guess that more than half of these resolutions fall flat within a few weeks anyhow, but I am making beauty resolutions this year and hoping for the best. I can do it! (Maybe).

  1. Dirrrrrty!

    Dirrrrrty!

    I will wash my makeup brushes more often. My brushes are disgusting. I know better, and now so do you. I keep multiples of each brush so I don’t have to wash them often, but even so I let them go way too long. When you use a makeup brush, the makeup, oils and bacteria build up in it. This can cause problems like making your makeup application streaky or blotchy or spreading bacteria on your face causing breakout mayhem. Plus oils collect on your brush from your face and this can transfer to your products making them yucky and potentially changing the texture of powders. So, it is a good idea to keep a brush cleaning spray on hand to do a quick clean of your brushes in between a more intense wash. I like Lise Watier Makeup Brush Cleanser and use this little treasure by spraying it on a tissue and then rubbing the makeup brush on the tissue. I repeat this process until no more colour comes off the brush. The pros of using a brush cleanser like this is that it is quick and you are able to disinfect your brushes in between uses. The downside is that I find over time the sprays make your brushes feel a little more rough and dry (due to the high alcohol content to disinfect). Nothing is quite as good as a thorough wash. To do this, I add a few inches of water to a bowl or my sink – just enough to cover the brush heads only. I wet all of the brush heads. I then put a little shampoo in the palm of my hand and work a good lather up on each of the brushes and rinse them under running water until no more colour comes out. DO NOT soak the brush below the bristles as over time this will loosen the glue that keeps it all together and your brush may fall apart.  Lay brushes flat to dry overnight on a towel and enjoy the clean and soft fluffy application the next day. NOTHING feels as good as applying powder with a clean makeup brush. I aim to do this once a week if I am am applying makeup everyday (of course I am).

    Some of my extra brushes

    Some of my extra brushes

  2. I will stop picking at my cuticles and hangnails. One of two awesome L'Occitan sets I was giftedI am notorious for this, and recently have noticed that my 2 1/2 year old daughter does the same thing almost obsessively. If I have the tiniest tear in my cuticle or a hangnail starting, I will have that whole area ripped to shreds in no time causing cracks and unnecessary pain. I hate that I do this and it really looks gross. I will have it under control for a good chunk of the year, but once the dryness of winter hits, all bets are off. To help overcome this I need a plan. I am going to carry a cuticle oil and hand cream with me at all times, and anytime I find my self with an extra minute or so I will apply them. I know all the tricks to prevent and fix this problem, but staying committed to caring for this annoying area is difficult for me. I even wrote a post about how to care for this area and you can read it here. I know better. And now so do you.
  3. Heaven for my feet

    Heaven for my feet

    I will apply a foot cream. I love how my feet look and feel when I walk out of the nail salon after a good pedicure. I vow to myself that I will do more upkeep to make this feeling last. Then, I get really lazy. Within a week my feet look like a shoeless hobbit foot and the callous build up and cuticle dryness cause me great stress. I have the driest skin ever on my body and it is annoying. My husband never gets dry hands or feet and simply cannot understand my need to constantly apply stuff. It is my cross to bear (dramatically speaking, please don’t send hate mail over my first world problem). I am trying out L’Occitane Soothing Shea Butter Foot Cream and I adore it so far. I received this in a gift set for Christmas, and I was already a huge fan of the hand cream so the fact there was a specific foot cream really made me happy. I like products dedicated to a certain part of the body, I feel that they are more legitimate. Maybe I am car-razy but that’s how I feel.

  4. Antiques from the start of the millennium

    Antiques from the start of the millennium

    I will say goodbye/ adios, au revoir to anything in my collection that is older than my children. I have a Quo Electronica Eyeshadow (a shimmery electric blue) from around 2001. I just can’t part with it, even though it looked absolutely hideous on me back then and I am certain the 14 years since I bought it won’t change the fact that it’s not for me. But I haven’t been able to throw it away. I am a product hoarder, there is no doubt. I keep beauty products forever, and some of them are like mementos of times that have passed and I have the hardest time parting ways with them. I have a Tony & Tina dark glittery green eyeshadow I bought on my first ever Sephora store visit in Las Vegas in the early 2000’s (before Sephora was in Canada). Every time I look at it I know I can’t pull it off but also can’t part with it because it reminds me of my first trip to a Sephora. Not even my first trip to Vegas, but my first trip to a STORE! These strange little items have even moved across the country with me and lived in 3 cities in two provinces and one territory. All the while I have not worn either one of them even once since they were initially purchased. I have troubles. I will try to rid myself of these relics by June. (Sad face, maybe a tear or two).

  5. I will find a reason to wear false eyelashes once a month.
    More of my hoarding

    More of my hoarding

    Speaking of hoarding, I have a thing with false eyelashes. I have a drawer FULL of these babies, and even have doubled up some of them in the package to save room and fit more in. Why? I rarely do anything more glamorous than strolling through my local Superstore buying baby food and produce, but if I see some cool lashes on sale I HAVE to buy them. It is a compulsion. I love halloween clearance when all the weird and wacky lashes go on sale. I have feathered ones, glittery ones, Katy Perry looking ones… you name it. I simply love a fun lash. Soooo, rather than getting rid of them or stopping myself from buying them, I figure I should find something to do once a month where they will be at least semi-appropriate. Do you think a trip to my local Starbucks counts?

  6. I will use my lipliner more often. Ok – here is another thing I have way too many of and I never use them. I recently watched a Vlog on YouTube from Kandee Johnson about lipliners and creating a contour and I am so so so convinced. She is right! We add contour and highlight to our eyes and sculpt our faces the same way, but then just slap on a lipstick and call it a day. Why aren’t we creating more depth and highlight on the lip? Well 2015 is the year for me to bring out my lipliners and make my lips POP! (P.S. I have fallen into the rabbit hole with YouTube tutorials and am obsessed with watching them. Why didn’t this exist when I was learning about makeup? Everyone has access to top artist tips, tutorials and technique now and it is AMAZING!)

 

So, that is it for me for my 2015 Beauty Resolutions and here is to a productive and successful 2015! Do any of you Foxes have resolutions planned? Tell me about them in the comments below, even if they are not beauty related. You may inspire me to add a few more to my personal list!


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Mission Possible: Red Lips

photo-17On of the most popular questions I get asked is, “How do I find a red lipstick that works for me?” This is not an easy question to answer as many people are really asking me to make them change their perception about red lipstick and who should be wearing it, and to make them see themselves in a different light in which they are glamorous and bold.

First and foremost, anyone can pull off a red lipstick. Part of it is choosing the right shade and applying it well, and then another part is pulling a whole ‘look’ together around the lips. Like you probably wouldn’t wear a pair of glamorous high heeled shoes with sweat pants, you will want to put a wee bit of simple effort into prepping the rest of your face to embrace the red lips. And then a really huge component is confidence – you must feel it to rock it!

Choosing the Red

I’m not gonna lie, there are so many options out there! There are many brands, formulations, and coverages out there. Lipstick wise you find mattes, creamy formulas, stains, full coverage, sheer coverage. Then there are glosses that offer full coverage or are more sheer, with sparkles, without sparkles…. Options for days (or daze?).

Rather than go over every single option, I’d rather focus on a few go-to shades that tend to work well for most. This means they are a truer red rather than orange based or cooler tones of red. These are the more “neutral” reds which will look better on more people. I personally love an orangey red, but realize that most people would find it too over the top.

When you go out on your mission, go prepared with well- moisturized lips free of any colour. You want to hit up a place that allows you to test products, but also one which has good hygienic practices in place. If trying a lipstick on your lips in a store is not for you, then you can try it on your finger tip and hold it up to your face for an idea of how it will look. Ask the salesperson to help you. He or she should listen to what you are asking for and offer a few suggestions. Take your time trying the lipsticks and consider applying it lightly –  build the intensity slowly so you can see what it looks like to have a little bit on and what it looks like to wear it on full blast.

I’ve read many articles and blogs on red lipstick and there was a shade that was mentioned time after time after time. I was actually surprised that:  A) I did not already own this shade, and B) I actually had never heard of it. You have to understand this was a shock to me as I love lipstick and reds so I couldn’t believe this one was so popular and I was clueless!

MAC - Ruby Woo

MAC – Ruby Woo

The shade is “Ruby Woo” from MAC. I marched my butt to the closest MAC counter to try it on for myself. Touted as the perfect red that suits all skin tones, hair colours and even ages, I was so excited to get this hot commodity on my lips. At the counter I opted to line my lips with a liner that matched my natural lip tone. Upon applying the lipstick I noticed that it is very matte. This is a good thing with a red because anything too creamy or glossy can migrate and look a little sloppy. Once I had applied it, I decide to use a tiny amount of MAC Lipglass (lip gloss) over top to add a bit of moisture and shine. This lipstick was FAB-U-LOUS (and very noticeable)! I was in the mall and as I walked around several people complimented me on the colour. I had already eaten lunch, but it stayed on even after I ate supper much later that day. Although the intensity had faded, it was still very on. I will be returning to purchase this little gem soon!

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge

Another red I love and wear often is from Shiseido. Their Lacquer Rouge line is a rich liquid lipstick with a wonderful applicator that makes it easy to fit to your lips. This formula goes on like a lipgloss, but with a lipstick finish. I own several shades from this line but wear Lacquer Rouge Nocturne (RD607) lots. I love this red. It’s less bright than Ruby Woo, and it’s moisturizing yet stays where I put it.

Quo Luminous Gloss Stick Flare

Quo Luminous Gloss Stick Flare

If you are a little more conservative, run out and try the Quo Luminous Gloss Stick in Flare. This red is delivered by means of a jumbo pencil, and glides on effortlessly. The beauty of this one is that you can apply just a little and then spread over your entire lips with a finger, providing you with a sheer glossy red lip that doesn’t jump out.  I actually use this one quite often as it moisturizes my lips when I wear it and I can really adjust the strength of colour depending on how I apply it. The one downside to this is that it is not terribly long – wearing, but it is so easy to apply that touch ups are a breeze. Don’t forget to buy a big pencil sharpener for this one!

Application is Crucial With Red

Applying red onto your lips becomes a bit of a science to get the effect you really want. It starts with preparation- you want your lips to be smooth and moisturized without flakes. See my lip care post for some moisturizing tips. The day you are wearing red, you may want to start off in the morning by gently brushing your lips with your toothbrush after you brush your teeth. Then, apply a lip moisturizer right after and do other stuff giving it a chance to soak in.

When you’ve done the rest of your makeup and maybe even your hair and it’s time to put on the red, gently blot off any excess moisture on your lips with a tissue. I would then highly recommend lining your lips with a lip liner. Liner acts like a barrier that will help keep the lipstick in place, and it will provide definition to your lips. With reds, this is a very good idea since you don’t want it feathering around the lip line and looking like a hot mess. My preference is to line lips with a liner that is the same shade as your lips or even clear rather than a red liner. This way if your lipstick wears off you aren’t left with a red ring all around your lips. If you choose a red lip liner that matches your lipstick, fill in the entire lip with it after you make the line. This will help keep your lipstick on longer, and you also won’t be left with that weird red ring around your lips should your lipstick wear off. Keep in mind that using a red liner underneath your lipstick will probably also intensify it.

Once liner is applied, it’s time to put on the lipstick. There are several application methods – direct from the tube, applying with your finger, applying with a lip brush. Direct from the tube is fastest, but for ultimate precision a lip brush will allow you best control. You can either use the brush to get lipstick from the tube and then out onto your lips, or put some on directly from the tube and then use the brush to precisely fill in the countours. If you would like a hint of the colour rather than wearing it full blast, smudge a tiny amount onto centre of your lips and then spread out over rest of your lips with your finger.

When applying a red lipstick, keep in mind this is not a time to race, you want to ensure application is tidy and clean. I like to keep a cotton swab handy with some eye makeup remover. I will dip the swab into a tiny amount of the remover and then trace around the outside of my lips to clean up the line perfectly and erase anything that went over. Finally, I like to take a little of my face powder on a wedge sponge and precisely trace around the outside of my lips to give it a perfect finish.

The Rest of Your Face

As mentioned earlier, to achieve the best result wearing the red lipstick you should put some attention into the rest of your face makeup too. A little foundation or powder to even out complexion and cover any redness (redness in skin will be amplified when wearing red lips), a little eye makeup and some bronzer and/or blush. This will set the scene for you to embrace those red lips a lot more. See my blog on a Classic Holiday Look for further tips.

Reds to Check Out

Here are a few red lipsticks for you to check out on your next shopping trip:

  • MAC – Ruby Woo
  • Shiseido Lacquer Rouge – Nocturne RD607
  • Quo Luminous Gloss Stick  – Flare
  • MAC Lip Glass –  Russian Red
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Lipstick Perfect – Brick
  • Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color- F Bomb
  • Revlon Colorburst Lipstick – Crimson
  • Duwop Private Lipstick – Private Red

 

Alright Foxes, I am dying to hear from you on this one. Did any of these tips help or were they new to you? If you decide to rock a red this season PLEASE post a picture on my Facebook page “Foxy Face Beauty” or tag me on twitter @foxyfacebeauty. I want to see red!!!!