My June 2017 Beauty Favourites

A few things I've been loving, clockwise from the bottom left: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster, NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Pen, and Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette - Beauty Glow.

It's summertime in Vancouver, and with it comes simpler, dewier, bronzier makeup. Also, I always seem to be running 10 minutes later than I want to in the mornings, so makeup that's quick, foolproof, and easy is a must.

To that end, here are a few things I loved in June.

1) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster
I'm a slap it on and forget it kind of girl when it comes to lip products. I can't be bothered with a complicated lip combo in the morning, and I hardly ever remember to re-apply during the day. So I love the fact that I can apply Ultra HD Lip Booster with my eyes closed. I also love that it adds a whole bunch of hydration that really seems to plump up my lips, as opposed to some balms and glosses, which just kind of sit on the lips. The true test of its hydration value is the fact that I have not dealt with chapped lips at all this spring/summer.

The list of loves goes on: Ultra HD Lip Booster comes in both clear (00) and this perfect rosy shade (01), which adds just a hint of natural colour to my lips. It's gorgeous. When I first popped it on at a Make Up For Ever event, I got compliments right away.

Finally, my favourite quality of Ultra HD Lip Booster is that it's not remotely sticky. I can't stand it when the wind blows and my hair sticks to my lips. Raise your hand if you've walked down the street with your lips pursed for protection. Not cute, right? So thank you, Make Up For Ever, for saving me from such trials. This was a PR sample, but I'll definitely be replacing it for $29 when it runs out.

2) NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
The best thing about NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer is the texture, which reminds me a lot of a MAC Paint Pot. A tiny bit will get you a ton of coverage without being drying. Under my eyes, that is everything. I like to tap this into the darkest part of my under-eye circles and blend. Here's a quick tip: I'm a Beauty Blender girl, but the texture of this product really doesn't love the Beauty Blender. It kind of just moves around. The warmth of your finger is much better for blending it into the skin. Overall, it's a good investment, even at $37.

(Aside: This came out around the same time as Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, and a few folks have compared them. I like NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer MUCH better.)

3) Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Pen
Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Pen has eclipsed NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer as my favourite under-eye concealer of all time. Yes, it's very over-priced at $48. Yes, it has that annoying click/brush packaging. But it's such a beautiful, effective product that I don't care. As I get older, my under-eye area seems to be more and more dehydrated and sensitive to drying concealer formulas. I need something with decent coverage, but that's also both hydrating and glowy. This is it. You should try it if you haven't. Love.

4) L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
A drugstore product on this blog? WHAT? I freely admit to being a luxury makeup snob. Typically, the quality is better, and I just truly enjoy the experience of luxe makeup. But there are exceptions to every rule. I bought L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara on a whim after seeing a couple of solid reviews online, and I have to tell you, I am IMPRESSED. I bought a tube of Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara for a whopping $34 about a month before I got the L'Oreal, and the Lancome has completely gone by the wayside. I much prefer L'Oreal's $10 product. It's incredibly volumizing—in fact, it gives my beloved Le Volume de Chanel a run for its money. It's also quite lengthening. What makes it so much better than the Lancome Hypnose Drama, though, is the separation. Lancome Hypnose Drama gives me spiky, clumped-together lashes. L'Oreal Lash Paradise gives me luscious, fluttery lashes. Also, it lasts quite well, smudging only if I wear it on my lower lashes.

(Aside: My lower lash go-to mascaras are MAC Extended Play and Clinique Lash Power, which are perfect because they have teeny-tiny brushes and NEVER smear thanks to their formula: they're soluble only with a lot of warm water. Keep this tip in your pocket for next time you find a mascara that you love, but smears. Could it work on your top lashes only?)

5) Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette - Beauty Glow
Beauty Glow is the latest in Charlotte Tilbury's Look in a Palette series. In my opinion, it's also the best. The first, Natural Beauty, is just a little too natural for me. Very no-makeup makeup, which just isn't usually my jam. The second, Seductive Beauty, is gorgeous. It's smoky and cool-toned, and it's fabulous when I want to look a little extra. It's not what I reach for on the daily, though. Beauty Glow is a (very) happy medium. It can be natural or smoky, and you can pull together a polished, glowing, beautiful eye look in just a few minutes. And that medium brown shade may just be the most perfect, beautiful, easy-to-blend crease shade of ALL TIME. You need to trust me on this one, lovelies.

Besides the shadows being beautiful, what I love about this palette is how quick and easy it is given everything is in one spot. I always seem to be in a rush in the morning, so being able to slap on an easy face quickly, without having to think about which colours go with what, is amazing. Two blush shades and the contour and highlight are right there. And they're AWESOME.

I'm not a bronzer queen, but in the summer, when I get a bit of a tan on my arms and shoulders, I like to bronze up my face a little more than usual and pretend I'm not naturally white as a sheet. Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow, duplicated in this palette, is literally the best bronzer/contour highlight pair I've ever tried. The bronzer isn't too warm, and it has a tiny bit of a sheen. The highlight is somewhere in the middle of dramatic and natural, and adds a bit of golden glow (not glitter) to the skin. GLOW is what Charlotte does best, in my opinion.

Then there are the two blushes: A bronze and a pinky peach. If you're like me (read: pasty white with pink undertones), the bronze blush shade freaked you out a bit when you first saw it. I'm here to tell you that even on fair skin, a light "swish" over the cheekbones is gorgeous. Even if it's not for you, it doubles as a beautiful eyeshadow shade.

The pinky peach blush shade is designed to be "popped" onto the apples of the cheeks after you've swept the bronze shade up your cheekbones, and it does look beautiful that way. But when I'm in a rush, I skip bronzer, highlight, and blush layering, and just pop this onto my cheeks for a bit of freshness that I know will complement the eyeshadows perfectly. *swoon*

All in all, it's amazing. Well worth the $85. (I know it hurts, love. I'll hold your hand while you add to cart. )

What are you loving this summer? Have you tried any of these? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: All of these products except for the Lip Booster were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster was provided by PR for my consideration.

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster: THE Solution to Drying Concealers and Foundations

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster Hydra-Plump Serum

Do you ever try base products that look amazing when you first apply them, but by day's end, they look....ugh? That's my reality far more often than I would like. I learned only recently that most of the time, it's not because my skin is producing too much oil and making things slide around. It's because my skin is dehydrated. It literally absorbs the moisture from my base products, leaving behind blotches of pigment. It's not pretty.

Typically, adjusting my skin care solves this problem. But sometimes you run into a product that just doesn't like your skin. This was the raved-about Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer for me. It looked great when I put it on, although I could tell it was a "dry," long-wearing formula by the way it applied. By mid-afternoon the first time I wore it, my base was a broken-down mess. No amount of powdering could fix it. After another day or two of testing, I determined that alas, it was a product better suited to younger, oilier skin. I was so disappointed. I'd wanted to love it. I couldn't return it. And I didn't want to waste it.

Then I was reminded of a product that Make Up For Ever shared with me at an event a couple of months ago: Their new Ultra HD Skin Booster Hydra-Plumping Serum. It's a thin, clear serum designed to hydrate and plump your skin using hyaluronic-acid and argan oil extract.

You could dispense a tiny bit of the serum right onto your skin with the dropper before your primer or foundation and tap it in. But my favourite way to use Ultra HD Skin Booster is as a cocktail, mixed right into my base product. For me, this trick transforms Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer from an unusable disaster to a beautiful concealer that still looks amazing under my eyes even after 12 hours of wear.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair mixed with a drop of Ultra HD Skin Booster. (Please forgive this photo. I've misplaced my camera battery charger, so I'm down to my iPhone today.)

When the Make Up For Ever artists were showing us how to use Ultra HD Skin Booster, they shared a handy tip: mix products on a palette instead of on the back of your hand. Why? The beneficial ingredients in the products—like hyaluronic-acid—will begin to absorb into your skin as soon as you apply them. Rather than wasting them on your hand, mix them on a palette so that your face is the products' first contact with your skin.

Once the serum and your base product are on the palette, mix and and apply them with a brush or damp beauty blender. Abracadabra—your base product is transformed into a slightly sheerer and more hydrating version of itself.

I'm so glad I remembered this trick before I gave up on Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer. I'm planning to try my Ultra HD Booster with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer next.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Skin Booster to transform a base product? If not, what other concoctions do you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Ultra HD Skin Booster was provided by Make Up For Ever for my consideration. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Micofinishing Powder: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever's new Ultra HD Microfinishing Powders, loose (L) and pressed.

It's hard to believe how far powders have come since my high school days, when I caked on far too much Covergirl in a compact. They're so much more sophisticated and so much more finely milled than they used to be—meaning they do more while remaining undetectable on the skin. Sign me up!

I was introduced to these two beauties at a Make Up For Ever demo workshop in Vancouver. We got a step-by-step tutorial on how to use some of Make Up For Ever's new base products, including some sweet pro tips. And at the end, we got to take these home. Pretty sweet!

Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Microfinishing Powder, which comes in both pressed and loose, is the most delicate finishing powder I've ever seen. It melts right into the skin, and it really does blur my pores and lines—like an Instagram filter in real life.

A key thing to remember is this: They're not setting powders. They're finishing powders. I learned the difference at the Make Up For Ever workshop. You use a larger amount of setting powder to lock your makeup into place. A finishing powder goes on top to finish the look and blur the skin. Could you set with finishing powder? Probably. But it wouldn't work as well to mattify your skin and make your makeup last, and you might get some flashback due the amount you would need to use.

Another great tip we got at the workshop was application. A little goes a long way, and they recommended that we dip a brush such as Make Up For Ever's 160 Blush Brush into the powder, tap off the excess, and gently roll it onto the face. The brush has a long tip with a lot of surface area, making it perfect for a rolling motion that will let you lightly apply the powder without disturbing any of the base makeup underneath.

The result is a smooth, almost pore-less finish. And when I use the finishing powder, my makeup lasts just a little bit longer. I'm a big fan!

We were told at the workshop that the pressed powder has a few more ingredients than the loose, but I notice no difference in performance. Here's what it looks like (I'm wearing the pressed version in these photos):

If you're looking to up your base game, I definitely recommend giving these a try.

More great news: If you have a deeper skin tone and you haven't had great luck with these white/transparent powders, you're in luck! The pressed powder also comes in banana, for medium and tan skin tones, and peach, for tan to dark skin tones.

You can find them at Sephora, both in stores and online:

Have you ever tried a finishing powder? Will you be giving these a try? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: These products were provided by Make Up For Ever for my consideration.