You have to be odd
to be number one.
Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Liquid Foundation

I promise I tried really hard not to like this foundation (because of the price tag)..... but alas, it is as wonderful as everyone has claimed it to be! I'm not sure there is a single bad thing I can say about this product, apart from that I wish it was cheaper.

I did have my doubts initially, and I spent over a year just browsing reviews and watching Youtube videos about this foundation before I actually got myself to go to a department store and just buy it! And when I first used it, I didn't think it was all that amazing. But it grew on me with each use and application and now I love it so much I'm scared that I'm going to run out and have to buy another bottle. This foundation is well loved by many of my favourite Youtube beauty gals, including fleurdeforce, missglamorazzi, and pixi2woo!

Just going to let you know at this point that I did write quite a lengthy review. Since it is so expensive, I want you to be able to get a good sense of what this foundation does and doesn't do, and I wanted the review to be very detailed and comprehensive. Hope you enjoy! :)

The Brand
Shall we start with the fact that it's Chanel? Of course I believe that you can achieve amazing makeup with much cheaper products, but sometimes you wish to feel luxurious and all fancypants and this foundation makes me feel that way! 

The Packaging
Granted, the packaging of this one isn't the most grandiose compared to other Chanel foundations which come in glass bottles, but that's perfectly fine with me considering how klutzy I am. This way I can just toss it in my makeup bag or storage, and I don't have to worry about any breakage or spillage when I travel. The top also screws and clicks shut so it's a really secure bottle. If you still aren't sold on how spill-proof this foundation is, when the bottle is open and tipped around, product will not drip out. You actually have to squeeze the bottle to dispense the product. The packaging is conducive to only dispensing the amount of product needed, so I rarely end up with excess wasted product.

The Product - Physical Properties
Because this foundation is water-based you have to shake it up really well before squeezing the product out. This foundation has a very liquidy texture which makes it an absolute dream to blend and massage into the skin. This is one of my favourite things about it. I know so many people swear by Revlon ColorStay foundation but I'm sorry I cannot handle how thick and unblendable it is! Total pet peeve. Also, I don't know if this is just me but I really like the smell of this foundation. It's very fresh and clean, definitely non-offensive....and I feel would be really kind on sensitive skin (but don't take my word for it, go try it out for yourself first). Another huuuuge plus: This is the first foundation I have ever found that is spot on with my skintone. I wear the shade B20 which is quite neutral, not too yellow or pink. Although I'm lucky to have found a shade so perfect for me, Chanel foundations generally don't have the best colour selection (they don't have anything extremely pale or extremely dark) so just be aware of that. My final point: This foundation has an SPF15 which provides some sun protection, and I haven't noticed any flashback with flash photography.

The Product - Function/Application
I guess I should give a bit of a background of my foundation preference before going on about why I like this product. I used to believe that I would get my best face if I had a full coverage foundation to make my skin look absolutely flawless and if I covered all my freckles, redness, pigmentation, marks, etc. But full coverage foundations are often really heavy on the skin even though they do cover really well, and that was my main issue with it. I didn't like feeling it on my skin on an everyday basis. That's when my foundation preference changed. Special thanks to Lisa Eldridge who taught me that for most people, problem areas constitute much less than 100% of their face and there is really no need to be covering everything just because you have some spots or dry patches, etc. SO, now I tend to go for very light foundations all over my face, and then just spot conceal or really put extra work into the areas that need it.

That being said, I can see how this foundation wouldn't be for everyone. Some people just do prefer a full coverage foundation and that's completely understandable! But for me, personally, I love this foundation because it's incredibly lightweight and it feels like a second skin. It's a very natural-looking foundation, as you can still see my freckles through it, but I really really like that about it. This foundation has a natural finish (as I've mentioned) - it is neither too dewy nor too matte. Literally as I apply the foundation, I can see how it evens out my skintone and delivers some coverage (really good actually for a super light foundation!) while making it look fresh, healthy, glowing and lovely!

The Price
The only downside to this product is its price. I paid $45 for this in the US, so I'm pretty sure it's even more expensive in Canada. Sad. :(

I'm not sure the photos below will do it justice but I'll give it a go anyways!

Phase 1: Bare faced.

Phase 2: Foundation (only) applied!
Seeing the photo now, I'm actually surprised and really impressed at the coverage that the foundation alone has provided. Look at the difference between this photo and the first one!

Phase 3: Skin completed -- foundation, concealer, powder ... and a small dusting of bronzer and blush.
I would recommend using a good setting powder with this, just through the centre of your face if you have dry or normal skin, and perhaps a little more if you have oily skin. Otherwise you may end up looking really greasy after a couple hours.

I did not think I would be saying this, but my honest opinion is that this product is absolutely worth the hype. If you have a little more money to spend or just want to splurge a bit, I highly recommend the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. My little caveat: Do have the nice lady at the counter try it on you  first, and see how you like it and if they have a good shade for you. This is an amazing everyday foundation if you want that super natural-looking face. I'm really scared now because my love for this foundation may make me go broke! :S

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Books & Nooks

It's been such a long time since my last outfit post that I've missed writing about them. These posts are my favourite because (a) the photos are the best quality thanks to Shan and (b) I get to really harness my creativity and create an entire look -- hair, makeup, clothes, accessories, the works! I keep telling myself that I'll do makeup tutorials of the looks I've used for my outfit shoots......I should get on that. Haha. But for now, let's talk about this outfit.

This outfit was actually taken months ago (late September maybe?), which you may have guessed if you're a resident of Canada and know that there is no way I could leave my house without a jacket or coat at this time of year. It has just taken a while to make it onto the blog because of the extra time it took to edit (editing out the nasty blemishes I had that day) and general school busy-ness. Around the time these photos were taken it was just starting to get chilly, so I was able to survive with my sleeves rolled up and pretty thin tights for at least half an hour. I really like this outfit for spring and fall because it's perfect for intermediate weather. It's warm, cozy and comfortable, yet thin and breathable.

I like the casual cute look and feel of a shirtdress with tights so that's what I went for with a belt to cinch the shirtdress at the waist since it is pretty shapeless on its own. I have absolutely no idea where I got those olive green tights but they are my absolute favourite tights at the moment. I've been hooked on this colour lately and just want everything that is olive green! I chose my mustard coloured scarf, my chunkiest scarf to add colour and texture to the outfit. I also like how it adds to the fall colour scheme of the outfit. I wore my grey knee high cable knit socks and just folded them down so they just peeked through the top of my boots. 

I accessorized with my Fossil watch, my current everyday watch. I love it to bits because it goes with everything and is so so pretty in its simplicity. I also wore the bracelet I DIY-ed, which is basically a permanent fixture on my wrist if you haven't noticed from past outfit posts. My nails are a dark chocolate colour with a greigey undertone. The Tiffany's necklace I'm wearing is my favourite favourite necklace ever. It's everything I have ever wanted in an everyday wear necklace -- it's cute, feminine, simple, small, gold, dainty, perfect! Hands down my favourite piece of jewelry that I own.

The rucksack from Ecote is actually my school bag, and it was a happy accident that it was included in this outfit because I totally forgot to bring a bag for the outfit! I think the backpack goes quite well with it though, if you ask me.

Glasses: Ray-ban
Scarf: H&M
Shirtdress: H&M
Belt: H&M
Tights: Unknown - collecting dust at the bottom of my drawer for ~4 years
Socks: H&M
Boots: Blowfish
Backpack: Ecote
Necklace: Tiffany & Co.
Bracelet: DIY
Watch: Fossil
Nails: OPI You Don't Know Jacques

As always, thanks to Shan for the amazing photos! I am always grateful for all his patience, help and hard work.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Light as Air

This is the last of the outfit photos from the summertime this year, taken in late August, and looking at them and writing about it is making me miss the heat sooooo so much. I mean fall is a lovely season and there's so many things I love about it -- burgundy everything, chunky scarves, chunky knits, boots ... but the feeling of warm sunshine on my skin just can't be beat. OH ALSO. This is the last outfit photos with my hair this long. :'( Although my previous hair length was incredibly heavy and the cut was necessary, I absolutely LOVED it curled just like in these photos.

This is one of those outfits that's great for transitioning into cooler weather because it has a couple layers to it, enough to keep warm against a strong, cool breeze, but it's still very light and airy. I chose to wear a very simple, classic-cut, ivory/cream coloured dress with a sheer dusty pink chiffon top. The dress is sleeveless with a high neckline and pretty lace overlay, and it's such a comfortable, breezy, really really feminine piece.

Dress: H&M
Top: H&M
Shoes: Aldo
Bag: Coach
Accessories: F21, Aldo, H&M, Ebay
Nails: Essie Cute as a Button

The Coach bag is my favourite handbag to use for the summer. I like the shape of it and the fact that you can hold it by the crook of your elbow but also on your shoulder or even strapped as a cross-body. It's really vibrant and colourful and surprisingly goes with lots of outfits. I tend to wear it with softer, pastel tones as I feel like a bold colour scheme could be quite visually overwhelming.

I accessorized the heck out of this outfit, and also added (not so well, as you can see... I've put them on a little bit wonky) these bronze-golden collar tips from Ebay seller 99hk to add a little something extra to my plain top. I also had a gold metal hair bow on from H&M but unfortunately it can't be seen in any of the photos taken.. :( Last note, my nails are not as neon as the photo below pictures them; the second photo down is way more accurate. It's just a very bright coral-pink colour. I talked about it in this post!

I love these brown wedges to death. The thick, chunky straps make them really comfortable to wear and I only wish I could wear them out more. I like the style of these shoes and think they're very flattering, and they're in this very classic leathery brown colour that goes with everything!!! Definitely a closet staple.

Silly faces! Let me just let you in on a secret: 50% of the shots of every photoshoot are like this. Hahaha. It's instinctual!

Photography: Shan Shukla

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