Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting Lippy With Clinique

Hey All!
Welcome to a new feature on Little Pretty called Getting Lippy! In a series of posts I want to go through my lipstick and lipgloss collection to share and compare all the different brands with you! I got the idea from a few weeks of wearing the same few lip shades simply because I couldn't really remember what the rest of them looked like! Plus, I think it's really interesting to not only compare shades but to compare different brands because they all have different finishes, textures and scents.

For the first post in this series I thought I'd start with a brand very close to my heart: Clinique. I work for the brand but not only that I wholeheartedly believe in the brand. Check out my other posts on Clinique and I think you'll see what I mean.

Left to right to bottom of image: Pink Beach, Think Bronze, Extreme Pink, Tenderheart, Pink Spice, All Heart, Raspberry Glacé.
Clinique lipsticks come in 3 different varieties; Buttershines (the colour of a lipstick, the shine of a gloss), Long Last (moisturizing and long-wearing), and  High Impact (SPF 15 and a stain-like wear). Then there are the Different Lipsticks (which are often sampled in gifts) but I don't consider them "different" enough from the Long Lasts to warrand a separate category. Like everything at Clinique they are fragrance-free but despite this I find they don't smell/taste too lipstick-y. Thumbs up!

Left to right: Pink Beach, Think Bronze, Extreme Pink, Tenderheart, Pink Spice, All Heart, Raspberry Glacé.
So you can see I kinda have a thing for pinks.  My lips are naturally pretty pigmented so I often gravitate towards lighter pinks to complement my fair skin tone. Clinique lipsticks are great because of the wide range of colours but a word to the wise, try it on your skin before you buy. Clinique lipsticks look especially different in their tubes colour-wise so a shade that looks very deep might come off quite subtly. 

That's it for today's Getting Lippy! Let me know what you think!

Sarah xoxo

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Too Cute Cosmetic Minis

Monday night I went to sleep thinking it must be mid-April based on the thunderstorms raging outside my bedroom window. When I awoke on Tuesday it was July; smotheringly hot without a breeze to break the heat. Summer is officially upon us here in Guelph. I'm quickly realizing just how much my work dress code, all black, is going to stink. I guess I'll just have to make the best of my days off by wearing flowy summer dresses and easy, breezy onesies!

Speaking of summer this is the time of year people hop in their cars to enjoy everything Ontario has to offer. I've already taken a trip or two to the Big City (a.k.a Toronto) and I plan to take a few more mini-breaks to my hometown before the summer's through. In the spirit of packing light it's always nice when you can minimize the amount of stuff crammed into your case. Packing short-shorts instead of capris and a mini hairbrush instead of your full size are just a few ways to keep your case light. But how do you downsize the amount of makeup and skincare in your suitcase? The answer: cosmetic minis!

The above are just a few of my favourite miniature beauty must-haves. I can't go anywhere without my Moisture Surge oil-free moisturizer from Clinique and I've just started using Lancome's Renergie Microlift Eye and love it's rich texture. And no fast and fancy makeup look is complete without three things: blush, mascara and lipstick. Clinique has all three covered in these convenient travel-sized versions: Fresh Bloom Blush in Peony, High Impact Mascara in Black and All Heart Lipstick. All of these were featured in gifts or were given out as freebies during events so there are always chances to try new things in the cosmetic department!

So happy travels girls and if you're staying at home this summer enjoy some of the summer's best in your city!

Sarah xoxo

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Benefit vs. Urban Decay: The Lid Primer Challenge!

Picture it: you've just picked up this gorgeous little eyeshadow palette with all your favourite shades including this one shade that you just know is gonna make your peepers pop! You apply the colours and think "gee, these shadows could use some more pigment" and by the end of the day all the colours have migrated and settled into your crease.
But there's hope for you in Benefit's Stay Don't Stray and Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer! Both claim to prolong the wear time of your shadows as well as even out the colour of your lids. In this post these two multitaskers go head-to-head in a battle to win the title of Best Lid Primer!

Benefit's Stay Don't Stray
Pros: I really like the consistency of this primer. It's thicker like a concealer and super smooth. Plus it does double duty: it evens out lids to prepare them for shadow and glides under the eyes so concealer has something to adhere to. Colours applied on top seem more vibrant and blend more readily. Shadows stay put with this primer all day and into the night.
Cons: My beef is with the packaging as opposed to product itself. The primer comes in an airtight pump which despenses 4X more product than you need. I've taken to just pushing the plunger down very gently to waste less. Last I heard though, Benefit was in the process of redesigning the bottle so let's hope they come up with something a little less wasteful.

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Pros: This product is a little thinner than Benefit's version and goes on almost invisibly. I love the slanted applicator that deposits just the right amount of primer on each lid. Shadows blend super easily and last just as long as those applied on top of Stay Don't Stray.
Cons: I wish it had a little more coverage as far as evening out my veiny lids.

And the winner...

Stay Don't Stray! The formula won me over at "hello". But before we discount Primer Potion though it still delivers on staying power. The original potion was the one I reviewed here but there are two other shades (Sin and Eden) which I'd be willing to review in the name of beauty. :)

Happy Easter Y'all!

Sarah xoxo

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Colour All Her Own With Stila Custom Colour Blush

Hey Girls!
How was your weekend? Mine was pretty standard: I worked Saturday and then did a little running around yesterday. I'm off today as well so I've donated this day towards getting all our mountains of laundry done. Have I mentioned before how many dirty clothes one boy makes? It's a lot, my friends.

In between loads of laundry and episodes of Oprah I've been catching up on some of my favourite beauty blogs. Makeup and Beauty Blog is my number one (it's actually also my homepage) closely followed by Temptalia and The Beauty Look Book. But the more I visit beauty blogs the more I want to find. That's why I'm glad Andrew told me about Stumble Upon! It's a site that takes all of your interests and randomly selects websites to match those interests. And it constantly learns the type of content you want when you thumbs up or thumbs down! And all these blog discoveries inspired me to update my blog :)

You know I never used to give blush much thought. I've always been so into eyeshadow and lipgloss that there there didn't seem to be any need to have more than one or two shades of rouge in my makeup bag. But with bright, bold cheeks being the focus this spring I've realized the importance of peachy pinks, rosy shimmers and warm bronzes in highlighting the face.

I recently picked up Stila's Custom Colour Blush at my local Beauty Boutique and I think it's bright fuchsia tone is perfect for spring.

The thing that makes this blush different is that it works with your skin's pH to create a pretty pink shade that's unique to you. It's silky texture makes it supremely blendable and it's super layerable: apply a little for a sheer flush of colour or a little more for bold, sculpted cheekbones.

What's your favourite blush brand/shade? Do you prefer cream or powder?
We're half way through Monday! Keep on truckin'!

Sarah xoxo

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Skincare Routine: I Don't Wake Up Looking This Pretty

Except for me it doesn't mean much because I work most Saturdays...but I have Sunday off so that's something! The weather is getting so nice here and the snow is almost gone! Horah! How's the weather where you are?

I thought I'd devote this post to explaining my skincare regime since I'm so in love with all of my steps. Andrew (my hubby) often remarks that there are too many steps but I simply explain to him that each one is completely necessary. Before I started at Clinique I got my cleansers and moisturizers wherever I could afford which meant a lot of trial and error and frankly, a lot of disappointment. Now that I'm on my dermatologist-developed skincare I find my skin to better shape (although it's not perfect but whose is?) and I'm saving money since I use less of my product. Let me just say that I'm prone to enjoying a more complex skincare routine. It makes me feel like I'm taking care of everything and making sure my skin is at it's best. If the following routine seems like a lot to you that's okay! Finding the perfect regime is all about knowing how you want your skin to look/feel and how much time and money you're willing to put into it. Only have a few minutes in the morning and at night to care for your skin? Check out my post on 3-Step Skincare: twice a day in 3 minutes or less and see an improvement in your skin instantly, and over time!

1. Wash face with Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula to remove impurities and control oil as well as loosen the bonds between dead skin cells
2. Sweep a cotton ball soaked in Clarifying Lotion #3 all over just-cleansed face to exfoliate away dead skin. (Note: Don't ask me why they call it Clarifying Lotion since it's a liquid. Weird.)
3. Massage three pumps of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel over complexion to balance skin's natural oil and water content
4. Apply All About Eyes Serum to under-eyes to gently de-puff  and reduce dark circles
5. Apply All About Eyes Cream to under-eyes as well as lids to moisturize and again, tackle those pesky dark circles
6. Smooth two pumps of Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector over entire face to lighten dark spots caused by acne scarring (This product is actually guaranteed to work as long as you use daily sun protection)
7. Moisturize skin with Even Better Moisturizer SPF 20

1. Remove eye makeup with Take The Day Off Eye Makeup Remover
2. Remove all other makeup with Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
3. Follow Steps 1 to 6 of morning regime
4. Apply Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief to entire face for indulgent hydration all night long

There you have it: my entire skincare solution! This is obviously tailored to my unique skin concerns but pop by any Clinique counter and a consultant would be happy to custom-fit products for you.

Sarah xoxo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pucker Up and Make Today All About Lips

Good afternoon girlies!
What are you up to today? I have multiple loads of laundry to catch up on but other than that I'm just enjoying my day off. And even though it's only January I'm already dreaming of spring. I can't wait until I can wear sandals again and leave home without a bulky winter jacket. Most of all I'm looking forward to smooth, moisturized lips! No matter how much lip balm I use and how many times I exfoliate I never can seem to keep my lips flake free. Dry, flaky lips make it difficult to wear lipstick (especially the matte kind) so I've been finding myself reaching for gloss instead.

That is, until I found Clinique's All About Lips.
All About Lips is a silicone-based lip primer which smooths the appearance of fine lines and gently exfoliates away dry skin on the lips. The smooth formula glides onto lips easily and is absorbed readily. More than one coat can be applied and to help with the exfoliation you can also gently scrub lips with a toothbrush.

Lipstick glides on so smoothly and the colour looks so true and flake free that I'm wearing lipstick more than I ever have. Oh, and did I mention it prevents colour from feathering? What an unsung makeup hero!

All About Lips is $27.50 (but lasts forever) and can be found at Sears and The Bay.


Put Blushing and Flushing in Their Place

One thing (among the many things) I love about Clinique is the variety of product lines designed specifically to treat real skin concerns. There's a system for acne, products that erase dark spots and a relatively new line which helps to neutralize redness.

13 million people in the US alone suffer from rosacea; a condition characterized by persistent redness, broken capillaries and small papules that can be mistaken for acne. There are even more people that suffer from occasional redness that can be triggered when they're in hot environments or eat spicy food. There are so many people who can benefit from Clinique's Redness Solutions line which includes a cleanser, a moisturizer and a daily protective base containing SPF 15. Though these products can't cure rosacea or persistent redness they can help to sooth they skin by repairing the moisture barrier and protecting against sun damage.

Along with skincare the Redness Solutions line contains a few cosmetic products to help to cover and conceal redness while still being good for skin. The Instant Relief yellow-tinted Mineral Powder was the first product release and a pressed powder version is currently being featured on counter. But for the girl who prefers a liquid makeup there's Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 with Probiotic Technology. And to conceal those stubborn red spots there's the Redness Solutions Targeted Corrector.
The foundation comes in 6 shades each with an appropriate undertone to both neutralize redness and match skin tone. Combined with moderate coverage and a comfortable feel this foundation does so much more than just cover. It's an oil-free formula and it's important to note that if you're a redness sufferer you should stay away from products with oil as oils can actually exasperate redness and irritate skin. It also contains SPF 15 which protects delicate skin against sun damage. Finally, it contains probiotics which help to strengthen and repair skin's moisture barrier and improve the overall look of skin.

The targeted corrector is a yellow-toned creamy concealer that further neutralizes the look of redness. Also oil-free this product is perfect for covering those red papules associated with rosacea, broken capillaries and even plain-old pimples. I also use it under foundation to lighten the darkness under my eyes! It's the perfect multitasker to go along with your Redness Solutions Makeup.

Redness Solutions Foundation retails for $30 and the Targeted Corrector is $25.

What do you have planned for this week? I've got laundry on my to-do list for tomorrow :)

Sarah xoxo