Thursday, April 28, 2016

NYC Expert Last Lip Color Lipstick Collection Swatches & Review

Last year, I had the pleasure of being one of NYC's Beauty Pros! I was sent products from NYC each month and created a look based on a theme. Throughout the year, I received quite a few shades from the NYC Expert Last lipsticks line and I thought I'd finally round them up and review them. I applied each on my lips so this post is a bit picture heavy!

Basics

Name: NYC Expert Last Lipstick
Shade: 20 shades available
Price: $1.99
Size: 3g
Available at Target, Walmart, Shoppers.

What New York Color says: Just like a cab speeding up 5th Avenue, with New York Color’s Expert Last lipstick, your look goes from 0 to 60 in seconds. Your lips instantly show your style to the outside world and they’ll stay this way for up to 6 beautiful hours.


Packaging: Each lipstick comes in a color coordinated plastic tube and a clear cap. The lipstick doesn't fully twist down so you need to be careful not to nick it. The twist up is a bit flimsy but for the price, the packaging is relatively good.

Formula: All of the colors that I tried are pigmented and will give a full wash of color. Two of the shades applied patchy and exaggerated my lines. But all other shades were very creamy to apply and made my lips look smooth. The formula is not drying but not moisturizing either.


Pigmentation: Most of these colors were pigmented with full coverage in one swipe. There were two shades that were more sheer. See the detailed descriptions below. 

Mauves




Creamy Mauve: Unfortunately we are starting off with one of my least favorite shades. The color is too light for my skin tone and was patchy in the application. 



Berry Me: Up next is one of my favorite colors in the entire collection. Look how smooth my lips look! The color is super flattering on me and is a beautiful my lips but better plus a little omph. 



Chocolate Chip: Another color I really enjoy especially during the fall/winter time is this one. It has a brown undertone that is super trendy these days and applied very creamy. I even compared this to a high end lipstick more than 10 times it's price!

Reds




Velvety Fuschia: A bold but neutral lip. This would be really great in the office when you want to wear a bold lip. I liked this but it wasn't as unique as some of the others.



Air Kiss: A lovely statement color that is just a bit more pink than the previous. I prefer this one of the two as it's just a bit louder and dramatic. The formula on this one is also just a tad smoother.



Red Suede: Reds are not my favorites to wear but I quite enjoyed this. It has a lot of orange base and would be gorgeous for a summer bronzey look. It also makes my teeth look really white! Formula was great on this shade.

Nude + Pinks




Smooth Beige: This is my least favorite color in my NYC collection. I am never one to wear a nude lip and this completely washes me out. The color also settled into my lip lines so this one was a dud.



Forever Fuschia: This is a bright Barbie pink that would look better on lighter skins. I think it looks just a little off on me but the formula on this is quite good.




Blue Rose: This shade is so unique and beautiful! There is a gorgeous blue undertone but it gives off almost a duochromatic finish. 

Overall you can't beat the price if you're looking to try out a new shade. Although it doesn't give the luxurious feeling of high end lipsticks, the pigmentation of all these are great. The formula of them are mostly smooth, creamy, and comfortable to wear. My top picks would be: Berry Me, Chocolate Chip, and Blue Rose. I'd definitely recommend this line up of lipsticks for trying out new shades at very low cost!

Have you been wanting to try out a unique shade of lipstick?


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Clothing Haul + Save Money Shopping

The days are getting warmer and I'm beginning to add bits of floral and pastel into my wardrobe. I realized that I haven't bought clothes full price in a long time and wanted to share some of my recent finds. These purchases mostly happened as I was just cruising through the mall and found a good deal. I haven't done a shopping spree in a long time but maybe when sales happen late this summer!

Read on to see some of the recent deals I found at  the mall!

H&M Kimono Jacket- $10 (original $24.99)

Found this in the clearance section. This has a kimono vibe but is made of a pretty thick cotton material. I actually find this pretty good for work as a casual blazer. I can't find this online but I have seen this style with different pattern in stores. Also I found this similar one from Forever 21.

Topshop Knotted Dress- $27.50 (original $58)
Find it online, and at the Bay

I found mine in the sale section as I was helping my friend shop around! I love the knotted design as it gives something extra to the dress. But the fabric is so comfy and makes it appropriate for casual outings too. The dress hits mid thigh so although originally I wanted to wear it to work it is too short. This would be really good for when the weather gets just a few degrees warmer!

Wilfred Free Diapason Shirt- $24.99 (original $50)

I got this shirt in the color Heather Wild Indigo which is no longer available but see current color choices on Aritzia. This shirt is so comfortable and flattering on the body! The jersey material is stretchy but also holds the right stuff in. I've seen this in material used in dress and tank tops that I'd want to grab.

Nine West Velika Boots- $83.99 (original $295)
You can find it on Amazon, or browse Nine West for other amazing clearance boots

This is probably the highest percentage off although it's still pricey. Nine West has been having a 70% off on their fall/winter styles so you can score boots for as low as $50! The boots are made of leather and this style has a wider calf. It took a couple wears to break it in but now it is very comfy! I have pretty big calves so I haven't found tall boots that fit me for two years haha, so when these went over my jeans, I said yes.



If you do a lot of your shopping online, make sure to browse Groupon Coupons before you check out. You probably know Groupon from the time sensitive group buying deals but they recently launched a service called Groupon Coupons. It’s entirely free and an efficient way for shoppers to find thousands of coupons and exclusive promo codes from popular stores and companies like Macy’s, Travelocity, ULTA, Adidas, Office Depot, Peapod, and so many more.


I took a browse through and although some of them are a bit gimmicky, there are some good ones as well! Here's a small list of the brands they work with.
-GoDaddy.com for you bloggers ;)

On the day I took the screenshot, they were having a coupon code for Kate Spade that took 50% off their Cedar collection. The Cedar Street Maise bag was available for $149USD! Whheeoo.



Some of the deals on Groupon are available on the retailer's website without using Groupon. However, it is a good place to spot deals, especially one day flash sales that you might not be aware of otherwise. I always google search for coupons before I check out online, so I'd definitely recommend giving Groupon Coupons a look before you online shop.

*Post is sponsored by Groupon Coupons but clothing were purchased by me independently of the post*

Friday, April 22, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Treat Mom for Mother's Day! Win a Micro Nail and $25!

It's nearing the end of April and that means Mother's Day is coming up! It's always hard to shop for presents so I'm giving you the chance to win one!

Moms are busy these days and might not have time to go get manicures. The MICRO nail system buffs and shines nails right at home! It's small enough to be portable too. The product retails for $59.99 and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart or through their website.




To add to the prize, I'm adding in $25 so you can pick the best polish colors to go along with the new MICRO nail tool.


This giveaway is limited to Canadian residents and will end on May 1st, 2016. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email. Good luck and hope you have something special planned for Mother's Day!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The MICRO nail system will be shipped by TPG, $25 from Paypal will be transferred electronically from me once I receive confirmation from the winner*

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig- Review and Swatches


It's another month and for April I'll be focusing on lipsticks! With so many new types of lip products coming out the traditional lipstick gets a little forgotten. I'll be digging through my collection this month and bringing four reviews of lipsticks starting with the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick.

Basics
Name: Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick- Cream
Shade: 18 shades available
Price: $23CAD
Size: 3g
Available at Sephora and Smashbox online.

What Smashbox says: Our Be Legendary blend of intense pigments and luxurious emollients saturates lips with brilliant color that looks amazing and feels feather-light. We created and tested every hue in our L.A. photo studio to guarantee color stays true in photographs and stays put throughout an all day shoot.


Packaging: True to Smashbox style, the packaging is very simplistic and minimalist. The lipstick comes housed in a square black tube with silver accent. I usually am drawn to more cute designs but I can also appreciate the simplicity of this. 

Color: Fig is described as a red grape on the Smashbox website. It is a beautiful burgundy/purple shade that would be a great introduction for those who want to get into deeper lipsticks! The color is unique but still totally wearable. I like it mostly during fall but I think it could be really pretty when going out at night during spring/summer too. I wore this lipstick a lot to parties and formal events as I feel like it makes me look pulled together and gives personality at the same time!


Formula: What makes this lipstick different from a lot of my other lipsticks is the amount of shine you get! The lipstick is pigmented in one swipe. The formula is creamy but has more grip when applying. I find it can last around 4 hours on me. However, I actually don't mind reapplying lip products so wear time is not usually a big factor for me. 


Smashbox as a brand is very underrated and not very much talked about! The lipstick has pretty simplistic packaging but the color is gorgeous and the perfect baby step for adventurous colors.



What do you think about this shade? What are your go to lipstick colors?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Travel Diary: Taste Leavenworth + Goose Ridge Winery



A few weeks ago, I went to visit my boyfriend in Seattle and we decided to check out Leavenworth for the weekend. Leavenworth is a small city in western Washington that is modeled after a Bavarian village. My boyfriend did his exchange in Austria and has always loved the culture so he was definitely on board with the idea.

Getting There

We spent a lot of time deciding whether we need a rental car or not. We decided to just risk it with my old Corolla and actually there was no problems at all. We were worried about snowy conditions but we drove on April 2nd and 3rd and conditions were fantastic with no snow on the roads at all. From what I've read:

Hwy 2: More scenic, takes a bit longer, 2 lanes
Hwy 90: Less scenic, can be faster, 4 lanes

We took highway 90 both ways and happy to report there were no steep inclines/declines and that it was a relatively easy drive!


In terms of hotels, try to stay in a hotel near downtown so you can walk back and forth. We stayed at Linderhof Inn which was affordable and in a great location. There is a free breakfast but we did not wake up in time to try. The room was clean but not exceptional. One thing I liked about our stay is that we were able to play in the putting course by Enzian Inn which was next door and the course had mountain goats! We also dropped by Enzian Inn a couple of times to pet rabbits they had in their lobby. *priorities are on point*.


Taste Leavenworth

It just so happens that the weekend we went is their annual Taste Leavenworth event. It was really popular this year and sold out within an hour on Saturday! You buy a passport ($30) that contains coupons that you can redeem from shops around the town. All the coupons featured some type of  "pear" inspired ingredients. We used our passports SO much and had tons of fun discovering the different shops. There were almost 30 coupons to use!



At first I was worried that we wouldn't be able to use a lot of them as they are within restaurants and you would need to have a meal to use the coupon. But all the vendors were super generous and friendly and you do not need to purchase anything at all to use the coupons! The coupons were generally for snacks and drinks including many alcoholic beverages!! Some of the samples were smaller but others were so generous!

Here are some of my favorite finds from the Taste Leavenworth Passport:
-Chicken Pear Sausage at Leavenworth Sausage Garten
-Pear Vodka Lemonade at Wok about Grill
-Spiced Pear Italian Soda at Heidi's Buns & Kaffee Haus
-Espresso at J5 Coffee

Beer and Sausage at Leavenworth Sausage Garten

Spectaular views of the mountain and a delicious cocktail at Wok About Grill

We also ate at Munchen Haus and Andreas Keller which are the two top rated restaurants on TripAdvisor. Both of these are very German inspired and exactly what we were looking for. Leavenworth is best known during Oktoberfest and Christmas times but there's lots to do in the spring and summer as well.


Leavenworth celebrates “Spring Sensations” in April which is a month long "prost" to the pear. Did you know, the Leavenworth region exports the largest organic pear harvests in the world! There are tons of events and all the shops have a pear focus in April. Every single pear I ate during Taste Leavenworth was soft, juicy and so flavorful! If you like drinking, make sure to check out Ale-Fest April 22-23, for $20 you can try out beers from 20 breweries.

If you like to plan further ahead, don't miss a very traditional German festival called Maifest happening May 13-15th. This year is unique in that a new 95 foot Maipole will be raised during the celebrations which is only done every 15 years!

Goose Ridge Winery

As if we didn't already have enough drinks from the Taste Leavenworth passport coupons, we also stopped by Goose Ridge Winery's tasting room to sample some of their famous wines. Goose Ridge is a family owned and estate grown winery located in Columbia Valley in Central Washington. This area is the appellation Columbia Valley AVA which is sheltered from the rain by the Cascade mountains. They are well known for their blends as well as Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon and also has two lines of more affordable wines called g3 and Stonecap.


Leavenworth Tasting Room

We visited four other wineries in Leavenworth as part of the Taste Leavenworth program and can say the Goose Ridge Winery is the nicest we went in. It is also the only one with outdoor seating which is going to be so great in the summer time! The winery also has tasting rooms in Richland and Woodinville. Tasting fee is $10 and is waived if you buy a bottle! The tasting allows you to sample five of their selections.


Beautiful outdoor seating area.

I learned a lot about wine science in my course UBC but my palette definitely needs fine tuning. We tried the GRV, Chardonnay, Sol Duc, Vireo and the Ice Wine. The tasting menu listed the intricate flavors of each but tasting two notes in a wine is already pretty good for me! The GRV is a blend of Viognier, Grenache blanc and Roussanne which are pretty uncommon varietals in North America. Both the Sol Duc and Vireo are red blends. The Sol Duc leans towards a traditional Bordeaux blend while the Vireo uses Syrah in addition to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Ice Wine was one of the sweetest I've tried and would be quite delicious with some ice cream.


The staff were really friendly and knowledgeable (shoutout to Chelsea for helping us!) and gave a nice background to the wines. You can definitely take your time to enjoy the wine sitting down or stand by the bar and have a nice chat with the staff. Even if you don't buy a bottle of wine, tasting rooms are always a fun experience and I'd definitely recommend you to check them out if you are planning a trip to Leavenworth.

 Overall Leavenworth is a great weekend trip and it can even be done in one day if you live close enough.  Have you been to Leavenworth? What are some of your favorite weekend trip spots?

Here are some other weekend trip ideas from Vancouver

*Taste Leavenworth passports and complimentary tastings generously provided by Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce and Goose Ridge Winery respectively*

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick Review and Demo


Rimmel introduced a new line up of lipsticks late last year called the Only 1. I recently received two shades to test out and call me converted!

Basics
Name: Rimmel London The Only 1 Lipstick
Shade:  300 Listen Up/ 110 Pink a Punch (12 available)
Price: $8.99
Size: 3.4g
Available at local drugstores (Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, London Drugs)

Rimmel London introduces new The Only 1, a ground-breaking all-in-one lipstick. Experience the perfect balance of incredible colour, comfort, moisture and wear. No compromise. Join the revolution!"



Packaging: The lipstick is in a black plastic tube with a ring of color that corresponds with the shade. I appreciate this little feature to make it easy to find the shade you want. The shape of the bullet is round so it was a bit difficult getting into the small edges but this may be the only complaint I have of the lipstick. The packaging is pretty traditional and does not prepare you for the awesomeness ahead.

Formula: This is hands down one of my FAVORITE lipstick formulas I've ever tried. I love glossy lips and never jumped on the matte lip bandwagon. Each of these were soft, creamy, and very hydrating on the lips. It feels like swiping on lip balm but with high impact color! It also leaves a shine on the lips that I love.


Scent: There is a sweet scent to this similar to the Rimmel Apocalypse lip stains. It is strong but I LOVE how it smells and I'm glad it's scented. I know a lot of people do not like scented products, so make sure you give it a whiff if fragrances in lipstick bothers you.

The formula contains Rosa fruit oil and Vitamin E to ensure your lips stay moisturized! The formula glides over my lips so smoothly and any lines or cracks I have are hidden. It's one of those types that will blur instead of magnify any dry lips. I can get about 4 hours of wear. but since it is so glossy, it transfers to cups/napkins very easily. 


300 Listen Up- This is a beautiful magenta color that is deeper in tone. I think this would be amazing for fall but surprised me with how wearable it is right now. Although it is deeper toned, the brightness of it makes it great for spring and summer as well!




110 Pink a Punch- This shade is a bright medium pink. In the tube it looks much more red based with a deeper tone. However, on the lips I find it a really flattering "barbie pink" for my lips.



Overall, I love the weightless feel on the lips and the gorgeous color! I'd say the claims of a no compromise, all-in-one lipstick is met! The formula is a huge win as it's weightless and moisturizing on the lips. I'd definitely recommend you check these out! Don't let the packaging fool you, these are revolutionary! 

I'm eyeing the shade 720 Naughty Nude as I have been on the hunt for a mlbb lipstick and the color looks just perfect. Have you tried these? What are your favorite drugstore lipsticks?