Saturday 24 December 2016

Happy Holidays

Hey Dude,

Another year is coming to an end and during this festive season, I'd like to wish you and your loved ones the warmest of well wishes and seasonal greetings. May your next year be met with success, a positive spirit and personal growth! 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

PS. ABZ will be starting up again in the new year.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Ode to the Stick Highlighter: 3 Perfect Places to Highlight

I know you can highlight your cheeks. I know you can also highlight the inner corners of your eyes. But when I highlight, there are a few more places on my face that I like beaming up and I have found stick/tube highlighters, like the ones photographed, to be the perfect tool for those areas.

Saturday 17 December 2016

FOTD: Too Cute from Paul and Joe

Its just too damn cute. Everything. The prints, the embossing, the use of cardboard and the shapes. Paul and Joe* beauty is the product line that was made to live on your vanity and to indulge your inner girly girl.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Full Coverage Isn't For Everyone (ft Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation*)

I've loved many things from Kat Von D and I thought the Lock-It Foundation* ($42CDN, 30ml) was going to be something crazy good. High coverage, matte finish, and 24 hour wear are intense promises and I've read many positive reviews. Don't let my preferences hold you back from covering up but recent explorations with the Foundation* sets another tick against full coverage foundations. 

Saturday 10 December 2016

Question: What's the Best Protective Hand Cream with SPF?

My arms and hands are becoming more speckled with age and every time I discover a new dot, its too soon since the previous. These surprise discoveries are making me consider going glam and wearing full arm length gloves like Ms Dita von Teese but that's really not my look. Since it takes years for spots to come out, this is latent punishment for years of sunscreen neglect.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

My Current Skin Routine

It takes forever to finish bottles of skincare so an update every...11 months (my last one was in Feb) feels ok to me. I haven't switched tactics, still going strong on anti-pigmentation and hydration but there's a renewed focus on eye care. As my colleague once told me, once 30 hits, I better be slathering on all the anti-aging potions. Best to start now, I figure.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Being True to My Make Up Life: Lessons Learned While Purging Illamasqua Cream Pigments

illamasqua cream pigments deliurm bedaub androgen dab review swatch

You will be so surprised to know how long these photos have been sitting in my Drafts. So long in fact that most of these have since been purged from my collection. While I had such high hopes for the Illamasqua Cream Pigments, I realize now that I should have known they wouldn't have ended up in my permanent collection.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Unflattering Office Lighting

Now that its winter time, I apply my makeup in the dark. Well...that's an exaggeration, but my 7am bedroom might as well be a cave. 

Saturday 26 November 2016

New To Me

It's a great pleasure to get little beauty packages through the mailbox and it's always neat to be introduced to a brand for the very first time. I don't always say yes to brands that reach out. There are SO many new brands and they just keep coming. I used to want to try any brand that was launching but it presented the 'paradox of choice' and I'm pretty OK to let some things pass on. I did say "I do" to these new brands though. So here is a quick introduction to Teeez Cosmetics, Maison Jacynthe and 3B Box.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Red Lips and Whiskey


Though I love eyeshadow, a red lip makes me feel a million times more sexy. Even a smokey eye can’t compete with the instant sex appeal of a red lipstick. Now, when I wear Make Up For Ever’s M401* (Hot Red by Icona Pop, $27CDN, 0.12oz) and add on a spicy fragrance like Commodity's Whiskey ($120CDN, 100ml), the I have admit that I feel pretty good.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Currently Eating: Pumpkin and Protein

I've been trying to use up a monster Costco tub of Kaizen Whey protein. Bought for a great price but this stuff is way too sweet and thin to be satisfying on its own. Now, its past the point of returning and I have more than 30 servings to get through. So to try to make the best of it, I've been hunting baked and other options for using this stuff up.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

FOTD #16: Sharing Too Much Love for MUFE and A Full Make Up For Ever Fall Look

love Make Up For EverEven David has noticed and he is able to name MUFE is a brand (he also now recognizes MUFE products and says "Hey that's Make Up For Ever, you love them!"). While MAC also has a background in make up artistry, Make Up For Ever incorporates professional and artistic quality products with a real sense of fun and play which I feel that MAC lacks. 

I've been wanting to do a full Make Up For Ever face look post for a while to exclaim my love. So here it finally is! This is something you can put together for an evening out during a Fall night and uses some of the latest and greatest from the brand.

Saturday 12 November 2016

12am Denny's Grand Slams

A couple of weeks ago, a friend turned 29. If you don't already know, you can get a free Denny's Grand Slam on your birthday and it was his little heart's birthday desire to have dessert at True Confections followed by a midnight, just turned 29, free birthday meal at Denny's. Being a close friend, I couldn't deny him the simple pleasures of excessive sugar followed by diner breakfast foods so I, alongside another, put aside our bedtimes and accompanied him on this food mission.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Taking Back Roses (ft. Coach the Fragrance*)

 I was going to start this post by listing the numerous ways I've become an "old person". Bryan Adams on repeat, hot water as a beverage, bed times near or at 10pm are easy examples. I thought my new appreciation for rose scented perfumes (most recently in the Coach Eau de Parfum* ($90CDN, 50ml/$115CDN, 90ml) was just the latest discovery in my journey to 90 but I realized what a disservice that was to a perfume note that is so classic.

Saturday 5 November 2016

Lip Conditioning: Working Hard for that Lipstick

Lip prep isn't something I care too much for aside from regular day-to-day maintenance. Lipsticks should work for me and not the other way around. But when lips are constantly looking cracked even under the best of lipstick formulas, then I'm sorry but "Its not you, its me." The latest Dior Holiday Diorific shade Charm* ($46CDN) (perhaps finally a peach shade I can get behind when all others have washed me out) made me realize this and I had to break out the big guns which promised overnight lip conditioning results.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

In the Moment #35: The Yoga Expo

I went to the Vancouver Yoga Expo and it really was awesome (to be honest, it was better than I expected. Maybe you're like me and you think there's something a little weird about "yoga people". I've sat in classes where yoga instructors told me that the moon goddess was particularly powerful this month and to be careful, and I've been told to focus on my inner light and connection with the Earth. All this makes me feel like Yoga can be a bit woo-woo but the physical practice is still something I'm curious to learn more about.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Life Lately: Small Break

Hey dude,

So I find myself in the position where I have no backup articles to post and I haven't taken pictures in a while. Instead of forcing a robotic entry, ABZ is going to take a long needed break from its usual schedule of M,W,S.

For transparency, I'm not entirely sure when we'll be back up and running. I'm focusing on a few things aside from beauty right now. But the blog won't be too away for too long since there are some items I am excited to share. Look for new posts in, oh let's say...three weeks (but that's not a guarantee).

Anyways, until then!

Wednesday 21 September 2016

If David Wore Cologne...

I had hoped that the Mr Burberry Eau de Toilette* ($100CDN, 3.3oz) would be wearable for a female but nope. Such a shame since the bottle is beautiful and the grey tones look so polished on my dresser. Its doubly unfortunate that David isn't a fan of fragrances because this is one I'd love for him to wear.

Monday 19 September 2016

Jenn Needs to Read Her PR Info Sometimes

I don't always read the press information before I start using a product. I end up using things incorrectly, being confused about why something isn't working, having to go back anyways to read the info. It's my own fault. I concede my now and then failings to read instructions. 

Saturday 17 September 2016

#IFeelGood in Purple (ft. Rouge Dior's Matte Lipsticks*)

I posted the above photo on my Instagram because its purple. I love purple.  Sometimes I'm surprised by how much I love purple. When I see my purple moleskin notebook, the fact that I often write in purple pen, my purple jackets and other clothing...its thankful that I've caught myself early or I'll be mistaken for a grape at my next press event. interpretation of cat lady status. Though I've checked myself, its hard not to agree that Dior's Rouge Dior Lipstick in Superstitious Matte* ($43CDN) is my kind of shade.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Happenings at the Aritiza Warehouse Sale

The annual Aritiza warehouse sale, a special event that most Vancouverite women and their mothers will flock to each fall. Prices under 50% call out and lure shoppers through the doors. The aisles and aisles of disorganized clothing keep girls trapped until they surface again 5 hours later, parched, hungry, and poorer. Remember to tell your family where you went because while you thought you'd just "take a look", you were never more wrong.

Monday 12 September 2016

The One I Had to Get: Etude House Juice Bar Palette

It is now increasingly rare that a product will jump out as a "must-get-now". Items come in the mail and I have the fortune of trying them out before ads appear to give me that "have-to-buy-it" feeling. A lipstick or a blush can still earn OOOOs from my lips but things in my space makes me less inclined to drop money for even more things. When I saw the Etude House Juice Bar Palette though, I had to have it

Saturday 10 September 2016

Quo Fall 2016 Collection Overview

The new Quo fall collection will be out at Shoppers soon (if it isn't there already) so here's a quick overview of which items are worth your hard earned dollars.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Life Lately: Random Thoughts and a Few Shout Outs

One click and the hope of a productive day decays as my brain glazes over from rabbit hole after rabbit hole of internet searches. An idea grow vines in my head, until I can satisfy myself that I have read everything I can about it. These are the completely random ideas that have been bursting through the fog of my day-to-day.

Monday 5 September 2016

Multi-Masking with Vichy*

I only ever multi-mask and now I can multi-mask all within one brand, Vichy*. The french drugstore brand has launched three mineral infused mask options (each $34CDN, 75ml). If you're a multi-masker like me, that's 7 different masking permutations.

Saturday 3 September 2016

Azzaro Wanted Eau De Toilette*

I never found myself falling all over 'bad boys'. Maybe I was too sensible but the academics had more appeal than the dropouts. Nothing wrong with a wanting a bad boy now and then though, someone a little dangerous, a little sexy, and you might find that your latest bad boy wears Azzaro's Wanted Eau de Toilette* ($92CDN, 100ml) as their signature scent.

Wednesday 31 August 2016

Bad Ass Lip Creams (ft. NYX Cosmic Metal Lip Creams)

NYX has got to be the brand of every creative makeup artist's dreams. Amazing, alternative colors at drugstore prices, experimentation and personality doesn't have to come at a cost. I can't believe the stuff they release and its all so awesome! The NYX Cosmic Metal Lip Creams ($10CD ) are such a "there goes NYX again" item.  Gorgeous colors can't help but dragged you from the doldrums of your nudes and push you to show off your most badass self.

Monday 29 August 2016

Instant Excitement (ft. Mary Kay Gel Semi-Matte Lipsticks)*

I saw the Mary Kay Gel Semi Matte* lipsticks ($21CDN) and immediately was impressed by the packaging. The emblem looks lux. The color selection was well curated. I wanted to try them, now.

Saturday 27 August 2016

Currently Reading #10: Best Magazines to Read

I love me a good book but David and I had access to a magazine subscription deal and out of all the options we chose these for a good mix of everyday and cultural needs. 

Wednesday 24 August 2016

FaceOff Makeup Remover Cloth*, Does it Work? Comparison to Oil Cleansers and Make Up Wipes

Am I just a perpetual skeptic? Sephora and others have launched no-remover, make up removing cloths which only require the addition of warm water. Show me a "innovative" product and I will want to call its bluff. In this case, I got a shot at the FaceOff Cloth* ($13CDN).

Monday 22 August 2016

Question: What is Your Favorite Eyeshadow Finish/Formula?

In this post, I was slightly surprised by the number of comments where people said they weren't interested in matte shadows. I didn't realize there would be any real preference against them! Mattes seem like just another finish and isn't one that I especially "do not prefer". Actually, they seem necessary to have in your beauty arsenal.

So that got me thinking, what is your favorite eyeshadow finish and why?

I tend to stick with the shimmers or iridescent shadows. Nothing glittery, nothing frosty, but a good satin or slight shimmer finish. I gravitate towards those easily. The appreciation and use of mattes came relatively recently in my beauty practice. Dull at first, I began to see their place for blending, then as transition shades and finally as the star of my lid show. I especially like a nude, skin color matte look with black liner and a bold solid lip color. Maybe the distaste for mattes is in the same vein of people who can't buy yet another neutral. I don't know. What do you think?

Saturday 20 August 2016

Color Correcting, Getting on Board (ft. Dior Fix-It Color Correctors*)

Same formula as the Dior Fix-It  primer/concealer do-dads but now in color correcting shades! 

Dior has launched the Dior Fix-It Color Correctors ($45CDN). While I think color correcting is secretly another option for concealing (and one I haven't really care to start figure out) I wanted to try these since I new I liked the formula.  

Wednesday 17 August 2016

On Repeat: Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Redemption Palette*

Budget beauty brands. Sometimes I'm skeptical about them but nothing surprised me more than the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Redemption Palette* (what a mouthful!) which retails for the extremely palatable (har har) price of $16CDN. 

Monday 15 August 2016

Perfume Portability (ft Travalo Milano*)

Here's a thought, perfume portability. It's more brilliant than you'd realize. 

My day isn't broken if I don't spritz on some perfume but
A) I've amassed perfumes so they need using up (I've resulted to using clean cotton scents as room sprays...sprayed onto wood, a scent lasts for weeks!) and
B) Smelling nice is...nice!

Saturday 13 August 2016

A Reason to Try Sephora's Lip Products (ft. Sephora's Rouge Cream Lipsticks*)

We don't pay attention to Sephora enough. I mean...we do..but we also don't. I'm pretty sure we go to Sephora and look at almost everything else aside from what the in-house items are. That is such a shame. I've been going through the brand's collection and there are SO many great things. I am very much in love with their mist foundation, liners and shadows. Lately, I've been trying out the Rouge Cream* ($15CDN, 4g) lipsticks.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Thinking About Blog Improvements

I don't like to sink too much money into this blog (which is a lie considering how much money I've spent on products). But there are some times when I wish I had better video editing material, better photo editing software, maybe a mic for my camera and some lights. For a while I had been thinking of improving the back end of my blog. Wouldn't it be fun if I had all the funds in the world to support this project?

Monday 8 August 2016

You Want Me to Do What?? (ft Mary Kay Timewise Body Smooth Action Cellulite Gel Cream*)

Your partner is always a victim to the weird hobbies you have. They get dragged along to things. They try new and exciting things never before experienced. They learn about all the nuances of this super interesting topic. David has had to do a few strange things now and then just to appease my product reviewing needs. The latest was when I needed a hand, literally, with the Mary Kay Timewise Body Smooth Action Cellulite Gel Cream* ($45CDN, 177ml). 

Saturday 6 August 2016

Three Primer Battle

I've been switching back and forth between three primers lately, a good mix of low to mid-range in price. Is it wrong to think that $33 is 'mid-range'? I'm sure it seems on the higher side for many people. Anyways, partly out of laziness and curiosity, I've kept dabbling in all three just to see which I would gravitate towards.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

The Best Colors in the Coloring Box (ft. Make Up For Ever Aqual XL Eye Pencils*)

Open up a coloring box, take in the options and grab the first color that calls to you. 

Coloring on a massive sheet of white paper was a great and simple childhood pleasure and when I received the full set of Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencils ($25CDN, 4oz) I felt a similar rush of wonderment and potential. With these laid out in front of me, I was ready to take on any lining job but unsurprisingly I quickly chose three colors to play with.

Saturday 30 July 2016

Love Angel, but You'll Reach for Muse (ft Angel Muse*)

Thierry Mugler Angel Muse Perfume Review

Your moose are now safe! Whereas the original Angel perfume can be experienced by all and by far, there now is the option of Angel Muse* ($78CDN, 30ml) a more intimate interpretation of the Angel* scent. 

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Top Tier Compliment Getters

Not all compliments are the same. Sure, if I know I'm looking good, and you recognize it, that's awesome. But if I'm just feeling regular and David gives me a compliment, then something is special. The best compliments are from random strangers or from friends who don't really care about beauty. If they notice, and they take the time to tell you...well, I think those compliments are top tier. Here is a round up of products I received such compliments from.

Monday 25 July 2016

An Empty Worth Talking About (ft. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution*)

This is an empty worth talking about. The Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution* ($59CDN, 30ml) has done a bang up job of lighting some of my moles and dark spots. I didn't actually believe it would work (I basically bumble around with brightening products and hope for the best.)

Saturday 23 July 2016

Preview: NYX Velvet Matte Lipsticks*

There's a new matte lipstick in town and its coming from NYX. I'm already a fan of the original matte lipsticks so I'm pretty interested to see how these Velvet Mattes* (~$9CDN) differ. These are supposed to be highly pigmented, to glide on and never dry out your lips. 

Wednesday 20 July 2016

IMATS Vancouver Purchases

For those interested, here are the items I bought at IMATS Vancouver last Saturday.

Monday 18 July 2016

Editing the Estee Edits*

Celebrity collaborations or inspired collections aren't always interesting to me. Brands catapult their name by aligning themselves with super stars and sometimes the chosen person doesn't always add value.  They may be a fashion icon but that doesn't neccessarily translate into beauty clout. I saw the Estee Edits line as something like this. Estee Lauder has done a great rebranding job but this inspired and "in the moment" launch seemed a little unnecessary as a separate line.

Saturday 16 July 2016

Preview: Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips* #LIPSTICKCONFIDENCE (ft Miranda May and Salma's Secret)

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Miranda May and Salma's Secret

I'm loving the shape of the new Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips* lipsticks. She cuts her lipstick bullets in such interesting ways and that flat angled top is really working out for me. More than that, the newest launch from the brand is helping raise awareness for the Women for Women Charity!

Wednesday 13 July 2016

2nd Quarter Declutter: Fail

I intended to strongly focus on decluttering eye products this quarter and I was doing well!

Until the London Drugs event...

So that didn't quite work out, but I did make some head way...sort of

Monday 11 July 2016

Question: Do you use the same amount of conditioner as shampoo?

A bottle of conditioner and a bottle of shampoo tend to be around the same volume. They also tend to be about the same price. But I never, never use them at the same rate! Does anyone?