Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lexa's beauty secret # 1

During the past 11 years as a beauty junkie, I have picked up some tips and 'secrets' along the way from friends, models, makeup artists and fellow cosmeticians.

I have decided to share my secrets in my blog, in hopes that I can help anyone who really wants to know all the little tricks of the trade.

Here is my beauty secret # 1 :

To get your lashes to look as long and bold as possible, follow these steps:
  • Start at the root of the lashes with the mascara wand, and sweep upwards a few times. Do both eyes.
  • Wait a few seconds to let it set
  • Then, once the mascara is kinda 'tacky' and not completely dry, do another coat, starting at the base of your lashes again, but this time when you get to the top of your lashes - hold the wand upwards on the tips for a few seconds. This will add a little extra length and lift! It also helps to separate the lashes for a fuller effect.
Go from this:

to this!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NARS night series palette photos & swatches

NARS Night series was released in 2007 and is now somewhat rare. A very controversial palette here, it consists of 6 glittery shades ranging from a glittery white to blackened red.
Deemed by even some makeup gurus simply 'unusable', some of the night series Eyeshadows have gotten a pretty bad rep.

Maybe you can see why, these swatches are done very heavily:

Left to right: Night Star, Night Snow, Night Fever, Night Clubbing, and Night Fairy
No, it's not my camera quality or lighting, it is the fact that they did not show up. They are hard to use, hard to blend and night snow, night rider and night fairy simply refuse to show up even on pale skin. Right?
Wrong. A little imagination and a spritz of water on your brush makes the whole night series palette come to life.

Swatched wet:

hello glitter!
I used this palette wet and the colors were vivid and stunning. My camera could not capture the way the glitters reflected, it looked almost like my eyelids were glossy.

Night rider is all over the lid, night fever in the crease and night star blended from the crease upwards. A dabble of night snow highlights the brow bone and inner corner.

Lesson learned, a drop of water can turn NARS Eyeshadow into works of art.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MAC english accents and viva glam gaga = hot combo

I've come across a lip combination that I really like.
Viva glam gaga lipstick is a bubblegum pink, and although it's brighter than anything I'd usually wear, I do happen to like it.
English Accents lipglass is from the liberty of London collection, and it is very similar in tone to gaga. It might be a tad more cool/purple, but it goes very well over top!

Viva Glam gaga lipstick (lustre):

English Accents lipglass (cream):

Together they make:

Super hot juicy color!

Do you have an HG mascara?

When a mascara is deemed 'holy grail' status, it is the best of them all.

I want to know if you have an HG mascara. If you do, share which one it is and I will do a review on it.

My current HG mascara is Diorshow black out. But I am looking for a replacement that doesn't cost $30.

If you have a suggestion, feel free to email me @ or post a comment here : )

Monday, September 27, 2010

NARS pure matte lipstick swatches, photos

After scouring the website daily for these babies, finally they are available to order.

Pure Matte Lipstick

I think I want them all!


Bangkok ~ Soft Rose

Terre De Feu ~ Black Cherry

Vesuvio ~ Full bodied red

Tashkent ~ Nude Beige

Tonkin ~ Cinnamon Plum

Volga ~ Deep Aubergine


Courtesy of Jasmine Delgado

courtesy of musicalhouses

Which one do you want?

Pure Matte Lipstick

Clinique high definition lashes brush then comb mascara review

My first thought when I looked at the 'brush then comb' wand was 'maybe I should have picked a different mascara!'. Similar to MAC plush lash (see my review here) the wand is a hybrid with one regular brush side and the other side a lash comb. Not just any lash comb, but a big one, with little jagged teeth, kinda like a piranha!

Beware the comb is sharp!

The brush side delivers natural looking definition, without any clumps. Not anything special. But once you use the comb and stroke it through (which can be difficult to master!) the end result is pretty nice. The comb really defines each lash, adds on some length and packs a punch of volume. I find it also gives my lashes a nice lift.

Overall, I really like the end result I get with this mascara. Long, separated and almost fake-looking! What I really don't like is the time it takes to apply. You must be very careful with the wand, so you don't poke your eye (I've done it a few times) and it takes a while to build up a dramatic effect.
I like the concept but really *thumbs down* for the cruel brush.
Price: $18 CAD
My rating: 3 /5

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to get that 'no makeup' look, fast and easy

I don't personally wear this look a lot, but I know a lot of woman and men like to look polished without applying very much makeup.
I believe what makes a face look polished is a little bit of color and a tiny bit of contouring to accentuate your best features. Also, well-groomed brows are key in this look.
The best part about this kind of look is that it works well when you are in a rush. You can use cream Eyeshadow and blush as well to make application a breeze. Total time should be less than 10 minutes.

What you need:
-An Eyeshadow base - or you can just use concealer
-A light Eyeshadow to use all over the lid in a contrasting shade to your iris. Shimmery or matte doesn't matter, whichever you prefer.
green eyes: pick a light pink
blue eyes: pick a light gold
brown eyes: light purple/cool taupe
-A light-reflecting highlighting Eyeshadow shade, off-white or light yellow work best.
-A black or brown eyeliner. pencil, gel or powder are all good.
-Black or brown mascara (whichever you like)
-A contour blush, 1-2 shades darker than your skin tone
-A cheek highlighting product, or you can just use your highlight Eyeshadow
-A eyebrow pencil, gel or powder to fill in and define your brows
-A 'your lips but better' lip color. 1-2 shades darker than your natural lips.
See bottom of this post for products I used for this look.

Step 1. Apply your Eyeshadow base. This evens out the skin there and conceals any redness or veins. Optional - apply your foundation/concealer/powder, some people do this before they do their eye makeup, I do it last.
Step 2. Apply your highlight shade over the entire eye. This opens up your eyes immediately.
Step 3. Apply your contrasting all-over lid color. sweep it up just past your crease.
Step 4. Using your eyeliner tight line* your upper and lower lash lines.
*Simply meaning to lightly line between your lashes, not above or below. This makes your eyes pop while still looking natural.
Step 5. Curl your eyelashes (optional, but really does open up the eye area) and apply your favorite mascara to both top and bottom lashes.
Step 6. Apply your eyebrow product, fill in any sparse areas etc.
Step 7. Using your light shade of Eyeshadow, highlight your brow bone, and inner corner of the eye. To really open up the eyes, also use it along your lower lash line.
Step 8. Use your neutral colored blush to contour your cheeks. Suck in your cheeks a little and apply very lightly into the hollows. Then use a highlighter lightly on top of your cheekbones, down the middle of your nose and just a little under the chin to really define your features.
Step 9. Apply your lipstick or lip gloss.

Voila! your polished, 'no makeup' look
List of products I used for this look:
-MAC painterly paint pot
-Nars silk road Eyeshadow duo (see swatches of silk road here)
-Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Eyeliner - Vivid Ruby
-Cover Girl lash blast fusion mascara (read my review here)
-Benefit speed brow
-Maybelline pure stay pressed powder ivory
-Nars Ninotchka blush (see swatches of ninotchka here)
-Physicans formula Illuminating Veil - Nude Glow
-Nars lip stain - Pampa (see swatches of pampa here)
-Nars lip gloss - moonfleet (see swatches of moon fleet here)

NARS Cosmetics - Trust Your Imagination

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stila major lash mascara review

Major lash, where have you been all my life? This is such a great mascara.
I really don't have anything bad to say about it.
It adds length, volume, and holds curl. It doesn't smudge or flake. You can pile it on for a dramatic look without clumps. And unlike all of Stila's other overpriced cosmetics, it only costs $8.50 USD...
what's not to love?
The brush is pretty boring, but it does a great job of attacking all lashes and coating them evenly.

I think I need to try 'major MAJOR lash' mascara now, I think I'm going to like it.
Highly recommend this mascara to all mascara junkies out there.
rating: 5/5
price: $8.50 USD

Essie Sew Psyched nail polish photos & swatches

This color is so hot for fall. I didn't know if I'd like it or not, since it's kinda 'blah' but it's definitely growing on me.
Oddly, in the bottle it looks almost shimmery, but when applied it's somewhere between a cream and a suede. I used seche vite on top, so it added a bit of glossiness.
In outdoor light it looks very grey with a hint of khaki. And indoor, it looks more like an army green color. Tres cool! Oh I almost forgot to mention, I haven't seen a color like this, ever. I mean I'm sure there are similar ones out there, but a dupe? I don't think so. Good luck frankening!

I know my cuticles look really raggedy, that's what happens when you have OCD and you need to wash your hands all day. No cuticle oil can save the dryness : (

Monday, September 20, 2010

NARS day and night palette 9949 swatches & photos

This palette was released in 2009, a Sephora exclusive. EDIT: For a limited time this palette is still available on the here on The Official Site of NARS Cosmetics. It retailed for $50 USD and is now upwards of $70 on Ebay. bah.
The colors range from very warm to very cool. I personally think it is the perfect day to night palette. However I tend to wear heavier 'night' makeup during the day so it is not getting too much use from me.

Left to right: Abyssinia, sugarland, fathom, cleo, underworld, night breed.

Here I used underworld as a liner. I didn't like it much. It turned an almost purpley blue on me.

In this look I used cleo on the lid, sugarland above the lid, underworld & night breed in the crease and of course Abyssinia to highlight. I really liked this. I adore contrasting cool colors with a dash of warmth; it makes everything 'pop' more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Maybelline the falsies review

side view of the wand

Maybelline's 'false lash effect' mascara has been receiving a lot of hype. Once I got past the awkward as hell brush, I found that it's a really nice mascara!

frontal view of the wand

The wand is just annoying at first. Extremely odd, curved and thin but wide and flat all at the same time. I tried multiple ways of using it to apply, and it was quite easy to get some nice lashes going no matter what.
The mascara itself is on the wet side, and I found that it worked best after a couple weeks when it had slightly dried out.

used 4 coats here...starting to look a bit clumpy : /

I can't say that I got a full-on false lash look with this, but, I did achieve very dramatic volume and some good length. Not bad for a drug-store mascara!
With several coats you can definitely build up the intensity, but it will start to look unattractively clumpy.
The great thing about this mascara is that it didn't flake, smudge or anything all day. I was pleasantly surprised.

repurchase? maybe.

rating: 4/5

price: $8.99 CAD

Saturday, September 18, 2010

NARS Eurydice eyeshadow duo photos & swatches

Photo of Orpheus and Eurydice, a tragic love story in greek mythology - read it here.

Ok so I thought I had it bad for Sugarland duo, but once I set eyes on swatches of Eurydice I knew it was meant to be mine. Let me tell you, I am not disappointed! This is a gorgeous duo, if I had to wear one eyeshadow combo for the rest of my life, this would be it!
Just look at the blue sheen that the 'aubergine' side gives off - simply stunning! Nars describes this as 'electric Aubergine / Graphite' but I have to say this is more complicated than that. The Aubergine is infused with a flash of intense violet blue shimmer, and it doesn't really show up until the light catches it in a certain way (see above pic)... And well the 'graphite' has to be the most stunning metallic carbon Grey I own, and it is infused with a light dusting of golden shimmer.
Swatched dry:

Swatched wet - wow!

The best part? It makes green eyes POP!

NARS Cosmetics