November favourites: Becca, Maybelline, Charlotte Tilbury (of course) and more

My November 2015 favourites! Sorry about the wonky lighting. I'm still learning how to manage without daylight! Tips welcome. 

So much pretty makeup, and so few days to wear it all! #TheStruggleIsReal. Also, #FirstWorldProblems—am I right? 

This month I welcomed a few new favourites and smiled on a few old faithfuls. Here's my list:

1) Becca Ombre Rouge Eye Palette

This post and this video sold me hard and fast on the Becca Ombre Rouge Eye Palette. I'm not usually one for mattes—too plain. Little dull. But the warm and rosy-brown tones in this palette blend effortlessly and seamlessly into a soft, classic smokey eye. Love it.

2) Becca Afterglow Palette

I'm having a moment with highlighters. My pasty-white complexion craves dimension and glooooow. I paid way too much for the Afterglow Palette by Queen Becca on (it's an Ulta exclusive, so I had to be resourceful), and I don't care. It's preeettttty. Moonstone is really the only shade I can use as a highlighter (and it's a perfect highlighter!), but Flowerchild is one of my new favourite blushes. It's peachy-pink glow that seems to just radiate from within. Then there's Rose Gold, Topaz and Wild Honey, which look gorgeously shimmery on the eye. Mmmmmm.

3) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation

Surprise! My go-to foundation makes another appearance on le blog. Watch it in action in my last video.

4) Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I'm late to the party—people have been raving about the Shu Uemura curler for years, but it took me years to try it out because I figured I was doing okay with my Shiseido curler. The Shiseido is lovely, but the shape isn't quite right for my eye. A few lashes on the outer corners of my eyes always ended up with a weird kink. The Shu curler doesn't present this problem. It's perfect. 

5) Hakuhodo J-5533 Blending Brush

I almost squealed with excitement when I found I could afford a Hakuhodo brush or two at IMATS. The J-5533 is like the MAC 217's sleeker, denser, softer best friend. The bristles are fine and smooth, and they come to the most perfect, round dome that nestles into the socket of my eye. Eyeshadow blends itself. Glorious.

6) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Jaclyn Hill said she loved it, so in spite of the fact that I don't need any more powder, I made this my very last purchase in this fall's VIB sale. (Raise your hand if she's ever enabled you.) It controls oil and blurs my pores like a champ. Where has Laura Mercier's powder been all my life? Thanks, Jaclyn!

7) Charlotte Tilbury KISSING Lipstick in Velvet Underground

Now would I be me if I wrote a favourites post without mentioning the incredible Charlotte Tilbury? If you haven't tried her lipstick, we need to talk. It's the best formula I've ever tried, hands-down. Better than Marc Jacobs Le Creme. Better than NARS Audacious. And this colour, Velvet Underground, is the most incredible fuchsia ever—dramatic and wearable all at once. I wore it last week during an amazing day on the job, and it will forever be my Power Pink. 

8) Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

And finally, a nod to Maybelline. I'm the first to admit that I'm a makeup snob. I turn my nose up at most drugstore brands. But Jessica of Beautezine persuaded me to try this, and I'm so glad she did! $40 mascaras, begone. This stuff, at $10 a tube at the most, is better. Volume, length and lift without smudging? YESSSSS! I pair this with MAC Extended Play Mascara for a bit of extra length and lasting power, and it's near perfection. I almost don't mind that I'm rubbish at applying false lashes and that this is as good as it gets for me. Almost.

What are your favourites this month? Let me know in the comments!


A Face of the Day and Shopping My Stash: Laura Mercier, Annabelle, MAC and NARS

A face of the day with the Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes (2013), Annabelle Blushon in Rosebud, and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine.

As a honest-to-goodness beauty addict, sometimes I'm so focused on the next beautiful and exciting release that I forget my current stash is actually pretty sweet. (Can you relate?) For this week's post, I pawed through a few things I've had awhile and one or two newer things, and I love what I came up with!

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes (2013), Annabelle Blushon in Rosebud, and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine. 

Here are the highlights:

For eye colour, I used Laura Mercier's Artist Palette for Eyes (2013). I got this awhile ago, but Sephora recently re-released it. They're now calling it Eye Art Artist's Palette ($70), and the packaging is slightly different, but the colours are exactly the same! There is an amazing array of purples and browns, and the quality is beautiful. Give it a try!

  • Lids: Plum Smoke, a matte lavender, mixed with Bamboo, a shimmery, light golden-brown
  • Crease: Kir Royale, a bold, almost royal purple with a matte finish
  • Upper crease: Fresco, a light, brownish peach with a matte finish
  • Brow bone: Vanilla Nuts, A pale, pinky ivory with a matte finish

I lined with MAC Fluidline Eye Pencil in Black Brilliance ($19). I've struggled with this smudging on me in the past (weird, because it's supposed to be the same as the Fluidline in the pot, which doesn't smudge), so I tried blending and softening the line a little with a MAC 239 (and the shadow left on the brush). It looked great, and it didn't smudge—I'll be trying this trick again!

For mascara, I used my current HG mascara combo: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara (one of the few amazing drugstore products I have—about $10, but often on sale) and Clinique Lash Power Mascara ($20). Lash Sensational is one of the best mascaras I've tried lately—it's very black, and it adds good volume, separation and lift while lasting all day without smudging or flaking. Lash Power adds a little more lasting power (it's a wash-with-warm-water formula), another layer of volume, and, most importantly, a good amount of length. I'll be sticking with this combo for awhile!

On my cheeks, I used another amazing drugstore product: Annabelle Blushon in Rosebud. It's a slightly plummy, cool pink with a matte finish. It costs less than $10, and it's wonderful. It swatched a little chalky, but the blendability, lasting power and pigmentation make  up for it. I may need another one or three of these!

On my lips, I used NARS Velvet Lip Pencil in Sex Machine. (Quite the name, eh?) I like that it's not as drying as many other matte lip products, and it's easy to apply precisely. For me, this is a great MLBB shade. It's a little pricey at $30, and I don't love the packaging, but it's so pretty. Worth it!

My lesson this week? Shop my stash! I might just discover some old favourites!

What looks have you been coming up with lately? Let me know in the comments, or tag me (VanESAddict) in your posts on Instagram! 

Disclosure: Most of these products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. Annabelle Blushon was provided by PR for my consideration.

The Wedding Look: Thanks to Bobbi Brown, MAC, MUFE and Lise Watier

Getting ready for my sister's wedding in March. Photo by

I put a considerable amount of thought into makeup for my sister's wedding this spring. I was doing my own makeup, and I was looking for something special enough for the occasion, glam enough to look good in photos, but also neutral enough that I wouldn't look back at the photos in a few years and shudder. (Just Google wedding photos from the 90s.)

I also spent a lot of time thinking about what my sister would wear—I was planning to do her makeup, too! I didn't have to in the end. Thank goodness! But she and the former pro who did her makeup ended up using my stash, so it was just as well that I had flown half of my collection to Edmonton for the occasion…right? 

Here's what I came up with:

Image by

The highlights:

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ Foundation

I wanted a matte finish for photos, I wanted full coverage, and I wanted something that would last all day. Check, check, and check! (My sister ended up wearing the same thing.)

MAC Studio Sculpt Powder

I wanted to set my foundation with something that didn't look TOO matte. I love the very, very subtle luminosity of Studio Sculpt. It's just enough to look natural.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Palette

This (limited-edition, unfortunately) palette is an incredible combination of soft browns, taupes, pinks and creams. I wore it on several days that week including the wedding day, and got compliments on it every single time. Trust Bobbi to bring the sophistication. 

Lise Watier Imagine Blush

Another limited edition wonder. This warm pinky blush provides the perfect amount of flush, in my opinion. Love it. I even have a backup. (Review here.)

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Can we talk about the fact that the cheapest mascara I own is also one of the best? It's BLACK, it provides great volume, separation and lift, and that little brush does everything it's supposed to do. I layer this under Clinique Lash Power Mascara for some extra length and lasting power, and I get all the va-voom I need. Plus, it looks just as good 10 hours later.

Have you put together any special-occasion makeup lately? Tell me about it in the comments!