The Fuss-Free & Wearable Smoky Eye


Unfortunately I didn’t take a good look in the mirror with some good lighting so I suppose you’ll have to live with the patchy lip product application in these photos, as they are besides the point of this post. And it’s nowhere near as bad in real life, I tell you. I’m by no means calling myself someone with particular expertise with the whole smoky eye thing but I do rock one fairly often – it was the first makeup look that I fell in love with, after all – and considering that it’s something that my real life friends tell me they find that it’s difficult, I figured I would give a more intensive post a go. This might be quite intense for some but legitimately I wear it to school and such and it doesn’t look too heavy, but I’ve been told that with my rather large deep-set eyes I can pull of a lot of eye makeup without looking overly done up.

As per usual, I began with a base and this time I went for the unfortunately limited edition Maybelline Color Tattoo in Nude Compliment to add a hint of taupe with the added longevity and such. I just used my fingers here as I honestly can’t be bothered to use any more brushes than I have to.

The main brush used was my ancient MAC 217, and it was first used to apply the caramel hue from the Dior Greige Quint as a transition colour and base crease colour but I also applied it to the outer corner. The main palette in use here was the metallic Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet but it is unfortunately lacking in matte basic sort of shades. With the same brush, I packed the champagne with a mauve lean all over the lids and into the inner corner, which keeps the look
from being too dark. Concentrating on the outer third of the lid and crease, using the same brush again, I went for the dark bronze brown and slowly built up the colour. Then I switched to a generic shading brush with the same shade, concentrating on the outer v and lower lashline. Before dealing with the blending, I went straight onto liner, using my creamy Annabelle Smoothliner in Black to tightline and to smudge into the upper and lower lashes with the same shading brush. And before going in with a good couple of coats with a mascara that does amazing things for my lashes, I blended out the harsh corners and diffused the colour with my Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush , going for a blown-out rounded shape rather than having to clean up the outer corners. Then concealer is a must… either for toning down messiness from the blending or eliminating darkness.

So here is my take on a subtler smoky eye. I have to say that I haven’t mastered this yet but if you’re looking for someone who has, check Amelia Liana out (she blogs and does videos) – she’s the smoky eye queen! What are your go-to’s for a smoky eye?

Maggie, x.



Everyday Essentials #2


This is certainly not the most unique sort of post by any means — understatement of the year — but when I spot posts of this variety in my daily Bloglovin feed, I tend to salivate over them, hanging onto every word so it seemed prudent to give another one a go; if all goes well this may turn into one of those regular things. Thoughts?


John Freida Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray ($11 CDN):This is more of a recent addition to the daily routine as far as these things go but since giving this another go (a few weeks back) to refresh my curls after being slept on, this has become a daily product staple. At first it seemed to be a pear-scented spray that did nothing but wet the hair but since I’ve discovered that the wet sensation dissipates after a few minutes and without drying out my hair, it adds a good deal of life and definition back to my second third and fourth day curls.

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque ($30 CDN):Although this hasn’t received many raves from me since I discovered it in April, the pinky-toned creamy concealer has remained a firm love of mine. Without needing to be topped up with a more neutral concealer, the creamy-textured corrector neutralizes my dark circles like a champ, all without looking or feeling heavy on the skin.

Dior 5 Coleur Eyeshadow in Grege ($62 CDN):Although in the last month or so, this palette has proven itself as a daily compact palette that houses the shades for several versatile looks, it also lends itself extremely well to be used with other eyeshadows to provide high-quality basic shades. The caramel shade is one that I find myself constantly reaching for as a transition shade, the highlighting shade is a nice staples as is the rich matte chocolate brown. I really ought to dedicate a post to this quint soon as it’s so long overdue….

Avene High Protection Mineral Cream SPF 50 ($30 CDN): With the rapid emergence of the hot sunny days of summer in the past few weeks, sunscreen has become a must on a daily basis and considering that I’m allergic to most chemical sunscreens, I reach for this one. The cream is tinted to minimize the impact of the white-cast and hydrates my hypersensitive skin without causing any sort of reaction in the realm of irritation. By no stretch of the imagination is this greasy but I will admit that my face develops a bit more dewiness in my t-zone while wearing this but I’m satisfied with paying this price for a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate the skin with its alcohol content whilst never making the skin burn with its protection and never running into the eyes either.

MAC Eyeshadow Quad ($10 CDN) with All That Glitters, Coppering, Coquette and Sketch ($12 CDN):This self-created quad of shades houses my essentials, especially for this time of year and as usual, the quality of these shadows are fantastic and you can’t beat the versatility of creating your own palette. All That Glitters is that gorgeous peachy golden shade that has to be my favourite lid colour of all time (and most repurchased) so I can’t be without it obviously, the grey-brown Coquette remains my favourite shade for filling in my brows and it doubles as a great crease shade given its pigmentation and the workable texture, the deep plum Sketch serves its place as that almost-matte shade that adds definition to the outer corner of the eye while still being a little bit interesting and flattering and Coppering (obviously) has been a staple as of late for when I want to go for something a little more intense and warm than ATG either mixed or on its own.

L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($9-10 CDN):I’m aware that I’ve raved about this affordable felt-tip liner more times than I can most likely count but its just the easiest effortless liner to use on a daily basis to create the subtle winged eyeliner in well under a minute. On top of this, the liner remains wet and pigmented for months and the felt tip remains precise. It lasts like a dream until you remove it but isn’t a hassle to remove either.

No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser ($12 CDN):This affordable offering ticks all of the boxes as the ideal cream cleanser for me. Although it does have some fragrance, (pleasant and luxurious-smelling, if you’re curious) the cleanser not only doesn’t irritate even the sorest skin in the slightest, it removes face makeup like a dream while leaving the skin soothed and nourished. I’m not sure if I like this more than the Cleansing Balm from the same line, but at the very least it is equally as good and the pump dispenser is increasingly practical for daily use. I’m not a fan of the included muslin cloth so I don’t use it exactly as advertised.

Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Rich Bronze ($10-11 CDN): I mentioned picking up this shade of the affordable creamy bronzer recently in my last post and ever since doing so, I haven’t been able to resist putting this one down. It has the same blendable skin-like texture and longevity as the other shade in the formula does but the darker shade has much less obviously warm (orange-y) undertones and instead lends itself well to sculpting the cheekbones along with adding a bit of bronziness; it’s a dream to contour with because you can just swipe a stripe above the hollows of your cheek and blend it out with ease.

What are some of your daily staples?

Maggie, x.






May 2014 Favourites


I’m not one to get all nostalgic and sentimental — in fact, the whole institution makes me feel slightly nauseous — but here I am anyways. One: where has this year gone? The fact that tomorrow marks the beginning of the sixth month of 2014 absolutely blows my mind. Two: today marks the one year anniversary of my little blog, as hard as that is to believe. It seems equally as shocking to me. But here I am, bringing you my little selection of essential products from May that I originally thought was going to be quite a small collection but somehow they piled up and I couldn’t be happier to share them with all of you amazing people. This month, the products seemed to take on more of an everyday staples kind of vibe and I can recommend them all, as you will be able to tell from the below ramblings. I feel that I should warn you that you’re in for a long one… 🙂



I can count on one hand (and not even using the thumb) the number of times this month that I haven’t used slightly amazing Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow in 734 Grege ($61 CDN) and I can honestly say that I loved the results of this versatile palette each time, as shocking as that might be to hear from someone who easily feels a bit ‘meh’ from sticking to the same makeup routine for too long. I’m sure some of you are not surprised that I included this as it’s been consistently mentioned in my posts within the last month but the love I have for this has far exceeded what I can generally convey. I think that it’s easy to neglect these seemingly less economical and less exciting smaller palettes when larger palettes are consistently released but this quint is one of those smaller palettes that houses the essentials without forgoing interesting shades. As I’ve come to expect from Dior, the shades are the longest wearing on me with equally-as-fantastic pigmentation and zero fallout but this quint in particular features an excellent edited selection of varying finishes and depths – because of this versatility I deem this particular palette to be splurge-worthy. The matte chocolate brown is a great option to be used as liner as well as in the outer corner, the satiny warm caramel shade is ideal for blending through the crease on me, the shimmery ivory is great for lightening and brightening the inner portion of the lid, the sheeny grey shade is a nice one to apply more precisely through the crease to add smokiness and the pale taupe sheeny shade is a gorgeous-but-basic lid shade. Together these shades create a variety of different “looks” – I hate that word but anyways – and they’re also helpful to have to pair with other shadows.


After missing out on MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick ($19 CDN),the muted peachy coral when it was released last summer with MAC’s limited-edition ‘All About Orange’ collection so when it was recently made permanent, I made not and obviously could not resist picking it up for myself as soon as I finished my exams. It’s difficult for me to include lipstick in these favourites posts because it’s rare that I will be content to use a colour with this sort of frequency but I have been wearing this shade loads this month and by loads I wore it at least half of the time that I wore any sort of makeup. I don’t love the cremesheen formula of this one as it clings to any sort of texture problems on the lip area but it lasts and does not dry out the lips visibly so I can’t complain too much given the fun-but-everyday nature of the shade. This is not one if you want to make your teeth look whiter but you win some and you lose some…

When I wasn’t wearing the above lipstick, there was about a 90% chance that I was sporting the rose-hued Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 ($7-8 CDN) that with its brown undertones, gives that my-lips-but-better slightly deeper effect with a longwearing and hydrating formula to boot. I dedicated an entire post (here) to my newfound love of this lipstick that I rejected in the past for its overt brown hue. For me, the secret to pulling off this gorgeous everyday shade is to apply it with a lip brush for less intense colour payoff – and I wore it this way often.

I’m not ready to say that its superior to the ashy MAC Coquette eyeshadow for filling in my brows but I figured that I owed the L’Oreal Superliner Brow Artist in Blonde ($12 CDN) a mention considering that it’s a drugstore offering that actually does not look warm or red in my cool-toned brows and that it’s the easiest thing to use ever (only complaint is sharpening) and comes with both a wax to seal in the hairs and a handy little comb. All I have to say is that I really don’t think this shade would be ideal for blondes as I’m a medium brunette and this isn’t even particularly all that light. Did I mention that with this my brows stay put like a champ?

It appears that I’ve been enjoying L’Oreal products quite a bit this month which is kind of shocking as I hadn’t really noticed. Easily my most frequently worn blush was the L’Oreal True Match Blush in Innocent Flush ($13-16 CDN) a pigmented and finely milled peachy-coral with a golden sheen running throughout. It’s definitely not the most unique colour in the world, instead just another one of the many corals with golden sheen running throughout but these kinds of shades suit me and scream warm-weather-appropriate so I’m not one to complain about the lack of innovation.

The final L’Oreal product to grace this post is the Oleo-Therapy Oil Infused Conditioner ($9 CDN), I swear. I’ve been using this conditioner for a few months but this month was when I realized how great this product really was. On my dry curly hair this conditioner deeply nourished my strands, doing what it claimed, without any silicones (that I can see) and a high concentration of oils that remain lightweight. It’s rare that I find affordable conditioners to be as nourishing as this one and it also detangles nicely and smells luxurious to boot!

With the whole having curlier hair situation, the last thing I would expect to love would be a brush, considering that fingers are supposed to be adequate to detangle and all that but I have to say that I adore the Tangle-Teaser-copycat, namely the Goody Tangle Fix that I can’t recall the price of because I received it as a gift. I’m naughty and have been using it in the shower to detangle my hair prior to rinsing my conditioner out with this and I have to say its the most effective detangler that I’ve ever tried and I don’t even know anyone who experiences more tangles than me.

After embracing my paleness for years following my first foray into the gradual tanners, I’ve gotten to really appreciate the basic-but-noteworthy – to the point that I have completely ran out of my first tube of the Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer in Medium to Tan ($9 CDN) and have happily moved onto my second. I’m skeptical of the whole firming situation (and considering my age I can’t really comment to be honest) but this one is great because it’s intensely moisturizing and non-irritating as a moisturizer on my irritated eczema-laden skin, goes on evenly (with a few slight patches) without needing to exfoliate (my body cannot tolerate any sort of scrubbing action so self-tanner is generally out of the cards) and it doesn’t burn or irritate my skin despite its fragrance. I noticed that in the ingredients list, there’s no synthetic fragrance listed but rather caramel is included instead and I can assume that this is what gives it its authentic nice scent that my ulta-sensitive skin actually agrees with. The darker shade actually does suit my skin nicely, looking like an authentic tan on my warm-toned-but-not-golden skin with yellow undertones.

I haven’t been particularly obsessive about painting my nails this month but when I have made the effort, I’ve been consistently going for the pale cornflower Essie Bikini So-Teeny ($9 CDN) and haven’t regretted it once. It’s a gorgeous pastel hue and the formula lasts on my nails five days without major signs of wear so obviously it checks all the boxes. It’s not the most opaque formula (not shocking considering that it’s a pastel hue) but it doesn’t streak and goes opaque in two coats and therefore is impressive in my view.

I might just begin to have an actual emotional outburst if you recall my ramble on a few weeks back about rekindling my interest in style and I’m not one to display human qualities of the emotional kind. This interest has remained but a post hasn’t been in the works as of yet and style-wise, I’ve been obsessed with the comfortable and flattering, American Eagle High-Waisted Jeggings that I picked up towards the beginning of the month for mere third of the full retail price — $20 instead of $60 — in the pale grey shade. I’m a big fan of the store in general for the ease of shopping, the fit and general aesthetic of their clothes but I have to admit that this pair was something special – the regular length running a bit longer than usual so I didn’t have to order online to suit my strangely lanky legs, the slightly higher-waist sitting at the perfect height to flatter my not-so-tiny waist, the lightweight denim remaining comfortable even in the warmer weather.

This month, I’ve really fallen in love with Natalie’s blog, Thunderlove. I’ve mentioned her blog a few good times this month and when she commented on one of my posts where I linked her, I had a sort of fangirl moment – and I don’t have these easily. Both in videos and posts, she has an authentic and laid-back manner and also gives fantastic reviews, so obviously she’s golden.  At this point, she may fear that I’m stalking her but I promise that I’m not – I just kind found myself routinely scouring through her archives with no shame.

What have your standout products been this month?

Maggie, x.


Beauty Additions #3: The Scattered Edition


Over the last month or so, in the midst of all that exam stress and craziness, and in celebration of its ending later, I seem to have acquired a fair number of new items of the beauty variety that are deserving of mention here. Keep in mind that these are a collective collection of buys over the last month; there was no exciting splurge or haul or anything of that sort, although that would be infinitely more exciting and fulfilling. Oh, and more than a few of these were practical buys, motivated by sales and the like.


Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser (on sale for $9 from $12 CDN – Shopper’s Drugmart): Spoiler alert for empties coming up here, not that I’ll be revealing anything of excitement here but I feel the need to heed warning: I ran out of my beloved Boots Beautiful Skin “Cleansing Balm” and after reading the ingredients list to discover that this formulation was similar, I decided to try this one because I liked the other so much. As far as I can tell in the handful of times that I’ve used this cleanser, the formulation is just about the same but there is more product, a nicer pump dispenser and it comes with a muslin cloth. It has that rich creamy consistency that soothes and hydrates the skin while removing makeup like a dream without any sort of irritation. I’m a big fan of the affordable cleansers in this line that I have tried so far.

L’Oreal Sublime Soft Micellar Solution ($11-13 CDN):I think I might have mentioned my dependency on Bioderma perhaps a time or two here so it’s hardly shocking that I picked up L’Oreal’s more affordable alternative when I spotted it in stores with one of those illusive manufacturer’s coupons attached to the display for a few dollars off. I haven’t actually tried this one out yet but I plan too soon but my sources tell me that it’s slightly less concentrated than the original, while leaving a bit of residue. But I’ll report back, whether the cheaper alternative is worthwhile or not.


Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer in Medium to Tan ($9 CDN): I’m not someone who is hugely into the fake-tanning thing or the real-tanning-with-no-sunscreen-on kind of thing and generally do prefer to embrace my fairness but sometimes I get frustrated by my paleness in comparison to all the tanaholics and dislike the uneven tone that my body takes in the sun with sunscreen on and the hyperpigmentation that ensues. So I gave the gradual self-tanner a try after remembering using it back in junior high with moderate success despite my ignorance and mistakenly picked up the darker shade — however, the darker shade has impressed me as it delivers slightly less subtle colour that matches the warm yellow undertones that my skin naturally tans into but I really do need to be slightly careful of the hands on this one. All in all, I’ve been enjoying this as a moisturizer that adds colour without wreaking havoc on my eczema patches. But it’s not foolproof. Note: I have limited skills in this department.

Dove Style + Care Nourishing Curls Mousse ($6-8 CDN): This is actually a repurchase from me but it’s not a product I would classify as ‘amazing’ but rather it works well for adding nourishment while adding texture, body and hold to my loose curls, often spotted around for sale. I’ve been enjoying this thus far and it does what it says, providing some hold without being drying in the slightest.

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation (on sale for $6 from $9 CDN- Shopper’s Drugmart):I may have a slight foundation hoarding problem but I never expected to pick this one up as it’s marketed as a matte finish and I have dry skin and a preference for foundations of the more luminous variety but after I got a sample of this in Elle Canada in a somewhat passable but not perfect shade (Ivory), I might add, I found myself enjoying the product. In the past little while, I’ve been eying up a fuller-coverage foundation on the more matte end of the spectrum and this fit the bill so it was purchased particularly at its great price. I found the shades ran quite pink and actually catered to fairer skin tones — I’m the fourth shade out of the six I spotted and it matches my paleness — so I went for the more beige-undertoned 103 True Ivory and I’ve been enjoying it. It reminds me of Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in texture and coverage but it is much more lightweight and has more of a velvet-y finish than satin. It has full coverage and isn’t altogether horrendous on dry patches – but it’s not all that matte.

L’Oreal True Match Blush in N3-4 Innocent Flush ($13-16 CDN): So, these more expensive blushes from L’Oreal were on sale about three weeks ago and knowing my blush-hoarding tendencies, it shouldn’t be shocking that I picked up this peachy-coral shade. Like far too many of the blushes that I own, it has a golden shimmer running through it but it isn’t chunky in the least and has a smooth texture. My only complaint is that the longevity isn’t as fantastic as my favourites and I’m not accustomed to topping up my blush — and I do not wish to be accustomed to doing so either.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Coralberry ($9 CDN):I’m beginning to notice a theme here as this was yet another product that I was tempted to pick up as a result of a small sale and my growing coral lip-product obsession. I wasn’t disappointed with this creme formula lipstick in the slightest; I’ve tried the shade Black Cherry from the line before and I’m pleased to report that this shade has been far superior, offering the same longevity and pigmentation while not highlighting dry patches or uneven texture on the lips in the slightest. As the name would suggest, it’s a standard pinky coral shade and these shockingly last for five hours.

Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in 734 Grege ($61 CDN):After submitting my last essay and therefore surviving the exam period, I had to treat myself and I was determined to pick something luxurious but practical at the same time, so obviously I went for another quint of my favourite eyeshadow formula in existence. I’ve declared my love for Earth Reflection before that I purchased after being recommended this specific palette for the umpteenth time and I decided to go for this versatile neutrals palette with a variety of finishes — aka practical matte shades–, no fallout whatsoever and to-die-for pigmentation. I’m sure you’ll hear more on this soon as I’m loving it and don’t expect that love to instantly vanish.

I intended on getting this post up ages and ages ago but somehow I’ve been struggling to write it. I’ll assure you there are lots of posts coming your way soon, though. Have you tried any of these products? What have you picked up in the last month?

Maggie, x.







The Daily Face #13: The No-Fuss Sheer-but-Bold Lip


Recently Updated4

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that today is one of those muggy and gross standard Spring days considering the gorgeously warm days that we have had as of late but I wasn’t put off by the weather and went for this kind of spring-summer/warm-weather transitional makeup look with not much colour and intensity going on the face or eyes and a kind of but not really sheer healthy pop of colour on the lips. When I set out to put my makeup on early this morning, I was determined not to write this post but rather put up a round-up of some recent acquisitions of mine but after using them in combination with some older standard loves, I couldn’t resist putting up a daily face post first. So, I’m warning you that there will be a lengthier post on a number of the products used here in the next little while. In other words, many of these products will be elaborated on in upcoming posts this week, if you’re curious about them.

FACE: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in 103 True Ivory ($7-9 CDN), MUFE 5 Camoflage Cream Palette in 1 ($45  CDN), Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque ($30 CDN), MAC Harmony Powder Blush ($25 CDN), Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41 CDN)
EYES: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded ($9 CDN), Dior 5 Coleurs Quint in Grege ($61 CDN), L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($9-10 CDN), L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($10-11 CDN), MAC Coquette eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)
LIPS: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry ($26 CDN)

There are two products used – not including brushes because I’m lazy – that I do not appear to have photographed but only one I did so purposefully. Because I keep my daily brow shade of choice, MAC Coquette out of the photograph and I completely forgot to photograph my eyeshadow base, the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded but I assure you it was used, nevertheless.

The foundation is definitely a new one for me and not one that I expected picking up but after receiving a sample of the Rimmel foundation in a close-enough shade, I found that I quite liked the formula despite it’s mattifying claims and fulfilled the desire I had in the last little while to try a heavier-coverage foundation that’s not quite so glowy. All I can say is that the shade range sucks for darker skins and it runs differently than the Wake Me Up in terms of undertones; I’m wearing shade 4/6 despite my paleness if that’s an indicator… And it’s not that matte and drying as I expected but for me that’s a good thing, however I was tempted to go for a spray of the oft-neglected Nyx Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray. But it has impressed me considerably. I whipped out the concealer palette for just one last reminder of last week’s chin-jawline breakout situation and went for the hyped but rightfully-so Bobbi Brown Corrector underneath my eyes. For adding shape and colour, I went with a new stand-by and an older one — the new Hourglass Ethereal Glow and good ol’ MAC Harmony to add some subtle-but-effective shape and rosy glow to the face in the most undetectable way.

The eyes were first primed as they always are but then I filled in my brows standardly – I’m not sure why I do my brows before the rest of my makeup but somehow it’s become part of the routine as such. Other than the base, I made use of all of the shades of my recently-acquired and fabulous Dior Grege Quint on the eyes: the pigmented ivory shimmery shade went on the inner corners to brighten, the lighter taupe sheeny shade went on the lids, the warm brown satin-matte shade went into the crease as the perfect transition colour, the sheeny grey was buffed out into the crease from the outer corners and the deep chocolate brown satin shade was applied into the outer corners and lightly underneath the lashline. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the versatility of these shadows and you know by their amazing formula that never causes fallout and lasts for ages; Grege might look boring – and I may have previously passed it as such – but it’s one of those high-quality staples, I reckon, that contains both matte/satin and shimmery shades that fit into the neutral family. The mascara and liquid liner were both from L’Oreal, an old favourite and a new favourite, and I’m sure many of you can guess which is which. P.S. If you haven’t been successful, it will be clearer when my monthly favourites post comes up in the near future. Obviously there was a subtle kitten flick involved but it works for me and I’ve learned how to do it with minimal effort so it’s a win-win situation.

Although it’s almost a toss up between the lip and the gorgeous shadows, I have to say that the lip was the main part of this otherwise subdued neutral makeup look. I went for the hardly-sheer Fresh Cherry Lip Treatment to add that hint of colour to the lips that doesn’t look overdone in the least.

What are your thoughts on this “daily face”? What have you been reaching for as of late?

Maggie, x.


P.S. The blotchiness on my neck/chest in parts may or may not be due to the unfortunate interplay between eczema patches and a self-tanner attempt – there will be more on this pronto. And the title is sort of an oxymoron but I hope you’ll know what I mean…