Tag Archives: Shes a Beauty Nerd

All About Lips

23 Jan

One of my favourite lipstick shades this season has been Media by M.A.C. This is a very dark shade in a burgandy/plum colour. I use Annabelle lipliner in Bordeaux although M.A.C has an even darker liner in Nightmoth. When wearing a dark shade like this, make sure your lips are exfoliated as every tiny piece of skin is enhanced and even if you are not a lipliner wearer, this would be the time to use one. I like to keep the rest of my face pretty bare as this colour is a statement enough for me, but for a night out I will add more colour and liner to the eyes along with the bold lip.


If you are looking for something to try, a new shade of lipstick is always an easy way to update or change your look.



Lip Service

20 Jan

Although Instagram is full of #selfies, #ootd and #foodporn snapshots, it is has helped me discover some new makeup lines from accounts that I follow.
One of those is Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) and their popular Lip Tars. I decided to purchase the four pack of all-star minis for $18 to give it a try. The pack comes with four amazing colours – Memento (pink/plum neutral), NSFW (true, balanced red), Anime (vibrant, neon pink), Black Dahlia (blackened red) – and a lip brush for application.
You really only need a tiny drop so the minis are a great purchase if you are looking to try them.
The Lip Tars are liquid matte lipsticks with long wear time and high pigment. I think of them as the staying power of a stain with the look of a lipstick or gloss. It does say to use the clear Lip Tar underneath the colour and again to rehydrate during wear which may be my next purchase.


I have used the Lip Tars for a night out and each time I went for a bathroom break/freshen up my makeup I didn’t have to reapply anything to my lips.  I do find you need lip liner when using Lip Tar because they can bleed. I am not sure if that is because they are liquid or highly pigmented but I do recommend a liner. I do not find them drying at all like a stain thanks to organic hemp seed oil and soy-derived vitamin E and also have a nice mint scent courtesy of peppermint oil.
OCC is 100 per cent vegan and cruelty free just like another line I discovered thanks to Instagram – Lime Crime makeup.
I absolutely fell in love with their opaque lipstick in Babette. They describe it as a pastel coral but I find it more on the pink side. It is the perfect mix of just enough pink, just enough coral and looks good with a bold eye or good enough on its own with a neutral face. Since I hadn’t tried anything else from them I only ordered that, but am interested in the Velvetines (another long-wearing lip stain). Even the packaging is fun and colourful – just like their makeup.


Check both of them out!

Best of 2013

6 Jan

Instead of welcoming in 2014, I decided to take a look back at 2013 since I haven’t been blogging as much as I should. 2013 was actually more memorable than I thought, filled with fun memories, travel, music, writing and completing a goal of mine. Yes, I am looking forward to the year ahead, but like every year there are ups and downs and don’t want to get overly poetic and flowery about what the year will have in store for me.  Since this blog was initially intended to merge my love of beauty products and writing, here are a few of my new favourite discoveries of 2013. I will give product reviews of each in the next few weeks, but here is the condensed list:

1. Lime Crime opaque lipstick in Babette

2. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

3. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tar

4. Lush Buffy Body Butter

5. Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

6. MAC Lipstick in Media

7. Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara

8. Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

9. I.C.O.N Antidote antioxidant replenishing cream for hair

10. Aveda Enbrightenment brightening facial cleanser

Nature’s Gift

9 Jul

I never seem to learn . . .

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I am pretty good at styling my own hair. Yet, time and again I will pay a stylist to do my hair and each time, I usually don’t like it and have wasted money. It’s like gambling for me. I did this again last weekend when I had a wedding to attend. After work I just wanted to sit for an hour and have someone curl my hair – easy. I ended up at one of those walk-ins welcome “affordable” salons because I figured, how can a trained professional screw up curling hair? Well, not only do I not like tight curls, which I repeatedly told her, I ended up with sausage curls and singed hair with a few straight pieces in there. I had to separate my hair out when I got home so it looked more natural, and fix a few pieces with my own curling iron. $35 later to have someone burn my hair.
Instead of shaving my head, I tried deep conditioning my hair with nature’s own coconut oil. Yes, I’ve seen one million uses of coconut oil and finally tried one. To my amazement, it worked. My hair was soft and it helped soothe some of those singed pieces. I did not realize you should probably wash out the coconut oil as I just rinsed it out and had too much close to my roots, so even with my hair dry it looked wet (greasy). I tried it again a few days later and just put some on my dry ends and washed it out the next morning. The results work better than any conditioner/deep conditioning treatment/hair mask I have ever used.

It’s natural and affordable in comparison to many of those hair repair products on the market. Definitely worth a try.



9 Jan

I like to spend money. Not that I have much but what I do have is usually gone fast. As a student and upcoming unpaid intern and eventually unemployed journalist I am taking some lessons from Extreme Cheapskates.  I’ve decided to not buy any cosmetic products until I have used what I have; a mini-spending freeze. I have so many samples, half-used containers and too many eyeshadows and lipsticks to count that I just can’t buy anymore. This is going to be extremely difficult for me because I love trips to the makeup counter, hair care aisle and love to try new lotions, balms and serums. So if you’re wondering why I’m washing my face six times a day and am basically wearing clown makeup, just know that I am trying to use everything up quickly. Let’s see how long this “freeze” lasts for.

Just wait for it . . .

Just wait for it . . .

Hello 2013!

4 Jan

The holidays have come and gone and I haven’t made any resolutions for the new year. Goals – yes, resolutuions -no. One thing I have found myself doing (like the rest of the world) is reflecting on 2012 and what I have learned and what I still need to learn.
2012 taught me that mean girls will always exist. I’ve learned who my true friends really are and those who aren’t in my life anymore, it is truly their loss. I’ve learned that I’m smarter than I actually realize. I’ve learned that holding on to anger will only ruin my well-being. I’ve learned how to try and make the best out of a difficult situation. I’ve learned that nothing beats good company, good wine and good food. I’ve learned that I should try and be like my younger self who is not afraid to take risks and try new things.
What I still need to learn – besides flying a plane – is to not get discouraged and enjoy this journey we call life.


Fifty Shades of Lame

13 Dec


Today a co-worker told me I reminded her of a character from Fifty Shades of Grey. I can’t say that I took that as a compliment because I didn’t enjoy the book nor could I relate to Anastasia. Here is a column I wrote for Niagara News (Niagara College’s college newspaper) as to why I just couldn’t get into Fifty Shades. An opinion piece if you will:

Reading books is a way to escape to another world, but Fifty Shades of Grey is one world I don’t want to get lost in. 

This “mommy-porn” book written by E.L James is about the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The book, written from Steele’s perspective shows her relationship with the very powerful and wealthy Grey, who is into bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadomasochism in the bedroom and wants the inexperienced Steele to be his submissive.

Fifty Shades of Grey proves the point that sex sells. Not only have the books been flying off the shelves, but a possible movie is in the works and a Fifty Shades baby boom is expected to occur. Sex shops have had record sales of items mentioned in the book and an increase in rope sales has also been reported. The hardware store owner may be happy, but I’m not.

If Fifty Shades of Grey has been a catalyst for opening conversation between couples then it’s a great tool, but to go from vanilla sex to whips and chains seems a bit of a stretch. After reading one erotic novel, have women become so liberated that they are willing to try new things with their significant other? It all seems a bit alarming.

Women generally don’t like it if their significant other watches pornography because of feelings of insecurity and lack of intimacy, so why is it acceptable for all these women to fantasize about the unrealistic Christian Grey?

Studies show that women respond to mental stimulation while men need visual stimulation. In essence, if women are going to get into porn, it will be in the form of a book or story, even if the story is about control and trying to get a man to love you.

Not only were the characters in the book a cliché, so was the plot -or lack thereof. As a woman who tends to over-analyze, I don’t want to read about someone doing the same thing. Steele wants love from the emotionally unavailable Grey, and I just wanted to yell at the pages for her to run away while she is mesmerized by his stunning good looks.

It isn’t Grey’s alternative lifestyle or what he does in the bedroom that bothered me, it was the reasons he was into it – and his possessive nature. Grey is portrayed as a tortured man who has what we normally consider “issues.”

Why do we want a young, naïve girl who is just starting her life after university to become involved with such a man?

Women have been trying to prove to themselves and to society that they are independent, so why are so many women fantasizing about being dominated?

I can appreciate that many women are using this book as fantasy and a way to escape our mundane everyday lives, but I’m not sure if Grey is what I would consider a leading man.

A strong man is a man who can handle a woman who is just as strong as he is, not one who is controlling her every move. Women have liberated themselves financially, emotionally and even sexually, that the phenomenon and so-called love story in Fifty Shades of Grey is counteracting any of that progress.

There is nothing wrong in believing in chivalry and fairytales, but the ones I believe in help to empower women.

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