Monday, July 28, 2014

Almay Smart Shade CC Concealer + Brightener Review

Just J: Almay Smart Shade CC Concealer + Brightener Review

If I could recommend one two three makeup products that you absolutely need in your life, then foundation/concealer, mascara and lipstick would be it. With just these three things, you can look fresh and flawless in any situation. Today, I am trying out the Almay Smart Shade CC Concealer and Brightener in Light Pale to see if it is worthy of must-have status.

The Product
As part of the Smart Shade line, this concealer + brightening highlighter is a duo product that contains a color-correcting concealer and a highlighting shade to give you a soft glow. Available in three shades, this product is designed for sensitive skin and is hypoallergenic.

The Guts
The primary ingredients are:
  • Dimethicone - a silicon type ingredient that helps provide that waxy smooth texture and helps to blur out pores.
  • Ethylhexyl palmitate - another ingredient providing a smooth, silky texture to the skin
  • Tribehenin - helps soften and smooth skin
  • Talc - reduces shine and provides oil control
Conclusion: this product contains a lot of ingredients designed to smooth skin, reduce pores and control shine - all good things!

Price & Packaging
This concealer is available for $11.99 at London Drugs and other drugstores. It's housed in a small compact with a simple flip-top lid. Sadly, although this product is small enough to bring in a purse, it lacks the mirror and brush that would make it truly travel-friendly. I do really like though how the lid is clear so you can shade match easily.

The texture of this product is very waxy. You could probably use just your fingers to apply, but I prefer using my liquid foundation brush. In the mornings I use the concealer side to cover up my under-eye circles and the highlighter over my browbone and inner eye corners as a base. The concealer part covers thoroughly and evenly with just a few swipes and the Pale shade is a perfect match for my skin. Unfortunately, when I tried to use this concealer on the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks, it just wasn't thick enough to do much. I'd say it gives light coverage on the face and decent coverage for the eyes.

Just J: Almay Smart Shade CC Concealer + Brightener Review
Left: concealer. Right: highlight

The highlight part gives a soft, pearlescent glow to the eyes, but does tend to crease after a few hours if worn on the lids. Overall, I found this to be a pretty decent product. Nothing stunning here or especially interesting to report; just a solid, reliable product.

Final Verdict
Buy - does the trick, but I'd stick to using it for the eye area only as it doesn't give thick enough coverage for the face.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What to Wear to a Wedding: Day to Night

Since I've now announced that I'm engaged, I feel entitled to blog as much about wedding crap as I want! My blog, my rules right? Imma be generous though and blog about something that's actually applicable to everyone first, namely wedding guest outfits.

Unless you have friends who are into the rustic/barn/country/mason jar explosion style, then it's likely that you'll be at a wedding in a garden, a hotel, a church or some other semi-fancy, dressy venue. Also, if it's a good friend, you may also be attending the ceremony as well as the reception. Likely, that ceremony will take place during the day, with several hours to kill before cocktails. As such, it's customary to tailor your outfit to the timing and wear something different during the day and in the evening.

For the ceremony, think proper, classy, but chic. It's probably better to err on the side of conservatism as there will be grandmas and nosy aunties running around.  Thus, floral and floral colors are my go-to for daytime wedding outfits.

Just J: What to Wear to a Wedding: Day to Night
Ruche My Fair Lady embroidered dress, $34.50 (sale!)

This dress would work wonderfully if you're a) really girly or b) really girly and Asian. The floral embroidery of the top keeps it from veering too far into bridesmaid territory and you could always pair it with a light shawl to keep warm and make it more casual.

Just J: What to Wear to a Wedding: Day to Night
Zara printed dress, $39.99 (sale!)

For something a little more fashion-forward, I really adore this modern floral print dress from Zara. The somewhat late summer/fall color scheme give this dress a more sophisticated feel to your average floral and the simple sheath shape lends strength to your frame.

While the ceremony is all about elegance and light, the reception is where you can let your hair down. There will be wine and dancing and much more forgiving lighting. Throw on some blush, some lashes and show some (appropriate) skin.

Bold, bright colors are a great evening wear choice. Since you'll likely be eating a several course meal, choose a dress with a forgiving silhouette as well. You want to be concentrating on catching the cute groomsmen's eye, not sucking in your gut!

Just J: What to Wear to a Wedding: Day to Night
Club Monaco Logan dress, $198.50

Looove the bold blue color of this dress. The flirty length and the one-shoulder design make this dress so fun looking to wear. while the elasticized waist is oh-so-forgiving.

Just J: What to Wear to a Wedding: Day to Night
Club Monaco Witherbee dress, $229

If classic is more your style, then you can never go wrong with a LBD. This one is classy with an edge with a beautiful lace overlay, leather trim and exposed zipper.

So those are my picks for what to wear to a wedding! 
Which ones would you wear?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Post: Red & White Look from Jasmine of The Happy Sloths

Hey everyone, my name is Jasmine and I am a beauty blogger over at The Happy Sloths! Today I wanted to share with you guys a "Red & White" look I did inspired by the Canadian flag colors, since July 1st was Canada Day. To see what products I used for the look, click.......

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Story

So, it's been almost 2 months now, but I've had to wait that long to tell everyone properly before announcing it to my online "followers". So here goes.

Mr. Artist and I got engaged.

The story: there was a meteor shower happening that night, so Mr. Artist suggested that we go out and watch it at the nearby school yard. With Ecko in hand, we headed out around midnight to check out the stars. The night was cool and perfect for walking, but the sky was slightly overcast so we had to really keep our eyes alert for any meteors. We waited and waited and I *think* I spotted one, but no obvious shower of falling stars.

After a bit, Mr. Artist started shuffling in his pocket and said, "Oh, I have something for you," and nonchalantly pulled a small, square box out of his pocket. O M G. At this point, I think I had a mini heart attack. I immediately knew what it was. A ring. THE ring. I burst into tears and started blubbering like a fool. The rest was kind of a fog as we ran home so I could see the ring properly in the light and frantically call my mom to tell her the good news.

Our story may not be Youtube-worthy, but it's very us. I feel so lucky and grateful that I took that chance that fateful 5 years ago and reached out to say "Hi" to this man I am now going to spend my life with.



(Yay, now that I've gotten this out of the way, prepare for more wedding related blog posts!)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Win $100 worth of The Body Shop Goodies | #TheBodyShopGNO

Holy crap people have I got a special deal for you! I and a few of the other CBB girls are collaborating with The Body Shop to bring you a special giveaway this week to coincide with TBS' Girls Night Out event. 

Happening in stores across Canada, TBS will be offering exclusive discounts, free consultations and mini makeovers to all customers on Thursday July 17, 2014 from 4pm to closing time. 

Now you know the expression "take a picture or it didn't happen"? Well, that is even more true in this case because if you take a picture of yourself at any Girls Night Out event across Canada and post it to Twitter or Instagram, you will be entered to win a HUGE Summer Must-haves gift basket from The Body Shop worth $100!!

So how exactly do you get in on the action?
  1. Go to a Girls Night Out event at your local The Body Shop on Thursday after 4pm local time
  2. Snap a selfie of yourself at the event and post it to Twitter or Instagram mentioning @mizzjblog and #TheBodyShopGNO 
  3. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram! Well, this isn't mandatory, but would be looked upon with great favour ;)

Good luck everyone and hope to see you there!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

OGX Hydrate and DeFrizz Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Review

It's so hot right now I can barely bring myself to blog. Vancouver's undergoing a heat wave this week, which means 30+ degree weather! For us, that's pretty damn hot. Along with the heat, comes the humidity and with it dry, brittle hair. Luckily, I've been trying out the new Organix Hydrate + Defrizz line and can report on whether this is worth buying.

The Product
Consisting of a shampoo, conditioner, oil and a curling cream, the entire Organix Hydrate + Defrizz line is formulated to give you smooth, sleek hair free from damage and the dreaded frizzies. Like all Organix (OGX) products, the shampoo and conditioner are paraben-free, sulfate-free and were not tested on animals.

The Guts
For the shampoo, the top ingredients are:

  • Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate - cleansing ingredient
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine - a cleanser, conditioner and anti-static ingredient derived from coconut oil. This one has been known to cause some skin irritation. 
  • PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Coco/Isostearamide - yet another cleanser
For the conditioner, the top ingredients are:
  • Cetearyl Alcohol - a pretty standard ingredient in conditioners. This is used to moisturize the hair
  • Cetyl Alcohol - a foaming agent that also helps moisturize hair
  • Behentrimonium Chloride - helps to smooth the hair, but there is some evidence that it can irritate some people
The star ingredient of these two products though, is the Kukui nut. Kukui oil is traditionally used in Hawaii as a moisturizing oil for the hair, nails and body. You can find all sorts of Kukui nut products in Hawaii, so I was curious to see how this "mainland" product fared. I'm pretty happy that the Kukui nut appears so high in the ingredients list of both these products.

Price & Packaging
Both the shampoo and conditioner come in 385 mL bottles and are both $9.99 at London Drugs. The packaging is very simple, with a flip-top cap and squeezable case. It's unusual shape means it will take up more space on your shower shelf, but I also like the slightly luxurious touch the curvy shape provides.

After testing out these products in tandem for the past 3 weeks, I have to say I am pretty... okay with the results. With such a rich sounding, "miracle" ingredient, you kinda expect more. As the ingredient list above shows, the largest ingredients in these products are pretty standard and that reflects my results.

My hair feels smooth and smells great afterwards, but isn't exceptionally soft. As well, I think it may be a tinge too heavy for my fine hair as I noticed I got greasy roots faster than normal.

Final Verdict
Buy - works well and the price is pretty good, but don't expect any miracles.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

FOTD: How To - Wedding Makeup

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
All the products you need to recreate this look!

It's literally been years since I posted a makeup tutorial, but since doing reviews all the time can be boring and I needed to do a test run for a wedding I'm in this week, I thought, why not?

Whether you're a bride, a bridesmaid, or simply a wedding guest, I think that this look could apply. For a wedding, you want to look fresh, youthful and above all, natural. Leave the raccoon eyes and heavy bronzer at home ladies!

For this Face Of The Day, I was inspired by the look of fresh peonies. To start off, you need to create a nice base, covering up any redness, blemishes and shine:

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
Step 1: apply foundation and powder

Next, time for the eyes! My favourite palette of the moment, the Urban Decay Naked 3, is perfect for creating a subtle look with its mix of rosy colors.

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
Urban Decay Naked 3 palette

To do the eyes, I applied:
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion all over lids
  • Strange on the brow bone
  • Burnout all over the lid, concentrating more color on the bottom half of my upper lid, up to the crease
  • Nooner on the outer third of my eye, fanning above the crease and blending from the outer edge inwards
  • Trick on the outer third of my eye, fanning this time in the opposite direction, from inner to outer edge
  • Trick along the entire lower lashline
  • Nooner on the outer third of my lower lashline
  • Dust dabbed just on the lid center

After the shadow, I applied:

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
Step 2: apply eyeshadow, mascara and liner to define and highlight

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
Don't forget to do those brows!

To finish off this look, I applied blush to give color to my face and a pink/mauve lip color to enhance my lips.



And here is the complete look!

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
Step 3: brighten up your face with blush and lip color!

Just J: FOTD How To - Wedding Makeup
The finished look!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please let me know if you did and I'll be sure to include more in future posts :)

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