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Best Empty Palette – Freedom Makeup #ProArtist


If you’ve ever asked yourself why Z Palettes are so expensive, or why there aren’t many empty magnetic palette options on the market, this post is for you. I recently discovered an incredibly beautiful, sturdy, and practical empty palette that comes at a fraction of the price of other cardboard magnetic palettes.

It took me a while to warm to customizable palettes, since they always seemed a little messy and unruly. I finally bit the bullet when I decided to try Makeup Geek eyeshadows, and I’ve been sold on the idea of making custom palettes ever since. They’re perfect for travel, obviously, but being able to rearrange your eyeshadow singles (and other pan products) on a whim is an oddly satisfying endeavour. I haven’t gotten in to depotting my makeup, but I do love the flexibility and affordability of buying single pans knowing I have the empty magnetic palettes to put them in.

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September 30, 2016

Carrying Me Into Fall – Sephora Collection Nano Lip Liners


One of my greatest finds this month was the sale on Sephora Collection Nano Lip Liners ($5 CAD). I have happily paid full price for these in the past, but I couldn’t pass up a $5 Sephora lip pencil (especially since Ebates was offering 16% cash back at the time!).

These liners have it all — pigment, smooth application, lasting power, great colour selection (though several seem to be out of stock; perhaps they’re discontinuing this line?), comfortable to wear. I love that they come in a smaller pencil format; it’s great for travel, sure, but it’s also an inexpensive and non-committal way to try out a colour you wouldn’t normally go for.

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September 11, 2016

Surratt Beauty “Custom” Contour Palette


In my 30 Beauty Questions post, I mentioned that Surratt Beauty was among the brands I was curious to try. Shortly after posting, I found myself in front of the Surratt display at Sephora.

Surratt Beauty, among other things, makes a selection of shadow, blush, and contour products, which you can customize to place in their empty compacts. In theory, I love this. I have pretty specific (and narrow) taste when it comes to eyeshadow, so being able to customize a palette is an attractive option for me. Many other brands offer similar custom systems: MAKE UP FOR EVER ($25 CAD for 0.07 oz, plus significant volume discounts), Buxom ($15 CAD for 0.05 oz), shu uemura ($19 CAD for 0.049 oz), and Inglot ($12 CAD for 0.08 oz), to name a few.

I’m not an eyeshadow fiend, and I was intrigued by the possibility to create a contour and highlight duo. I chose Griseille and Aureole from their Artistique Blush range. These powders fit into the 2-pan compact.

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September 10, 2016

Anastasia Brow Wiz VS. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil


I’m pleased to present the final edition of my four part brow pencil comparison, where I search for a dupe of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brow. So far, after comparing it to the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, the Colourpop Brow Pencil, and the Sephora Collection Retractable Brow Pencil, I don’t quite feel like I’ve stumbled upon a real dupe, though all are respectable products.

Though I never intended to when I began this series, here I take a look at the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette. Admittedly an unfair comparison.

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September 7, 2016

August Favourites – Travel Picks


The air of nostalgia, so typical of August’s end, struck me more than usual this year. My husband and I spent the weekend in Montreal — our first visit since we lived there three years ago. I admit to being overly sentimental the entire time, as we passed the landmarks where so many memories were made. I couldn’t help myself! It’s a spectacular city, it felt like fall, and our visit reminded me of how much I loved my life there despite having been eager to move back to Toronto. I vow to visit again before another three years pass.

My August favourites are almost entirely composed of old standbys, which seems appropriate for this time of year. These favourites often get pushed aside day to day as I test out new products, but once a makeup bag gets packed for travel (as it did a few days ago), the real go-tos emerge.

Before I jump into the longtime favourites, let me tell you about a couple of new additions, which I can confidently say will be longtime favourites in a few months’ time.

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September 6, 2016

Anastasia Brow Wiz VS. Sephora Retractable Brow Pencil


Here we go! Welcome to Part 3 of my brow showdown series, where I compare the Sephora Collection Retractable Brow Pencil in Midnight Brown ($16 CAD) to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown ($27 CAD). The ABH Brow Wiz has been my favourite brow product for some time. Unfortunately, the packaging keeps breaking, which renders its dual-ended design all but useless. I’ve been on the hunt for a dupe that offers comparable colour, texture, and pigment in a package that lasts for the life of the product.

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August 27, 2016

Deal Alert: Ebates Turns 4

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Ebates is celebrating its 4th birthday with 4x the cash back on select retailers, this week only. Here’s a rundown of the best beauty deals:

Lots of other retailers are offering 4x cash back as well.

If you’ve never used Ebates, sign up here and start earning cash on your regular online shopping. I’ve been using Ebates for about two years now, and I’ve earned over $250 cash back!

August 25, 2016

Anastasia Brow Wiz VS. NYX Micro Brow Pencil


Fun Fact: Anastasia’s DIPBROW Pomade was my gateway product to makeup addiction. I learned a lot about skin care and makeup during a brief period of underemployment, and despite wanting all of the things, I had no choice but to exercise extreme restraint. When I drifted past a Sephora after receiving that first pay check in a while, I popped in and treated myself to ABH DIPBROW in Dark Brown.

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August 22, 2016

Ordering Online from Camera Ready Cosmetics


There are a few professional makeup brands—along with a handful of cult favourites—that can be tricky to get in Canada. I placed an order with Camera Ready Cosmetics in order to share my experience with ordering to Canada with you.

I was after the RCMA No Color powder, just like everyone else, after KathleenLights recommended it on her channel as an amazing translucent powder for people with dry skin (hi).

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August 19, 2016