Category Archives: beauty

Review: Annabelle Pigments & Smudgeliner

Beauty review time!

Annabelle cosmetics was kind enough to send me a few items to review a few weeks ago. I waited to write this post so that I could try them out multiple times in day to day usage.

In case you’re not familiar with Annabelle, they are a Canadian cosmetics company based out of Montreal. Their cosmetics focus on what I like to call “the final touches” which are things like eye makeup, bronzers and lip products.

You can find Annabelle products in most drugstores, usually next to the cheap stuff like Bonne Bell or NYC. But don’t let that fool you! Annabelle is actually one of the better drugstore brands I have tried, and I compared it to contenders such as Maybelline and Covergirl.

Maybe I am biased because it’s a Canadian company and I love using products from the homeland, but I was impressed by the items I received.

Here’s a rundown of what I got:

I mostly use MAC for my eyeshadows, so I wanted to try Annabelle’s pigments to see how well the colour really popped, and what the application was like. I was really going with colour (isn’t Dragonette GORGE?) since I noticed that my palette is mostly variations on the name neutral hues.

The pigments are pretty good. To be honest I can’t tell the difference between the Studio Pigment and Mineral Pigment Dusts other than different colour choices. I just mixed and matched.

Overall I liked how smoothly they applied, and the luminous colour they provided. I went totally wild and used all three plus the liner for a crazy rainbow look for a house party not long ago and I got lots of compliments! The one thing I would caution (and this goes for any product) is don’t use too much, even with primer it can get cakey if you go overboard. I used a little too much and spent the night feeling as though my eyelids were 10lbs. heavier.

The solar as a base lid colour and the golden pink in the crease is a totally fab look for me as a blonde. Subtle enough to wear to a job interview (oh I totally did!) but enough colour and glow to satisfy my colour kick!

I’ll throw a little Dragonette on with a liner brush if I want just a small pop of colour and interest for my eyes.

If you’re going to pick these babies up though I would recommend grabbing one of Annabelle’s little shadow brushes as well, the opening in the pot is tiny (to keep it from spilling) and I found that my normal shadow brushes wouldn’t fit.

As for the smudgeliner, it’s pretty great too. I didn’t actually use the smudging part (I can never figure that stuff out!) but I compared the application, pigment load and staying power to my favourite MAC Powerpoint eyeliner and it did pretty well!

It went on smoothly without too much tugging or trouble, stayed on the whole work day and was a lovely pop of purple to accent my green eyes. I mostly wore this alone on the lid (with mascara) but it would go well with a colourful look.

Overall I was pleased with the Annabelle lineup, and will likely purchase them in the future. I think the costs are reasonable for what you get and the selection is getting better all the time!

Brava, Annabelle!

Cake on Sale!

Hey peeps! Shop ChickAdvisor is having a cool sale on Cake stuff!

You all know I love Cake stuff!

Grab the discount below and get your mamma something nice for her special day! (Or maybe for you…? I’m getting this for pedicure season and I’m out of my hand creme anyway!)


Review: CoverFX, The Big Cover Up Kit

This is a little late in the writing, but a couple of weeks ago I was invited to a special beauty blogger event for CoverFX, a Canadian cosmetics company.

After snacking on some delicious appetizers and mini cupcakes, the creators of the brand took us through a bit of the company history and a demonstration of the product line.

In case you didn’t know, CoverFX was founded at Sunnybrook Hospital here in Ontario 25 years ago to help people with skin conditions (vitiligo, port wine stains, birthmarks, scars, rosacea, etc.). It was a line of clinical-grade foundations and powders that could cover almost anything and could be used anywhere on the body with great lasting coverage.

For someone like me with rosacea and acne to cover up, this product was actually recommended to me many years ago by my doctor. It goes on thick and covers up the redness and blemishes while nourishing the skin. It is sweat-proof, water resistant, and many of the formulas contain SPF as well.

At the event we were shown their newest product innovation, The Big Cover Up 3-step starter kit.

After we figured out which colour category we fell into (I’m C for cool pink!) we got to fiddle around with the testers and try it all out for ourselves.

I was honoured to have Lee Graff, co-creator of the brand do my face! She did it so quick and easily and I looked really dewy and fresh after!

The kit is actually really easy to use. I am really impressed that all the tools you need come in it; a lot of makeup “kits” usually require something extra like the brush or primer to do a great application. I was surprised to find that almost everything I needed came in the single kit, and for a decent price, too!

$79 gets you:

  • Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer and Anti-Aging Serum
  • Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation (3 shades)
  • Setting FX Translucent Setting Powder
  • Foundation Brush with pointed tip
  • How-to Instructional DVD featuring Lee Graff

A couple of days after the event, I used my gratis kit and did my face before work. Now I’m not going to lie… Lee Graff did an infinitely better job than I did! But she’s a pro that has been doing camouflage for years so I would expect nothing less!

I followed the instructions on the package and applied the three shades of foundation to my face going from light to medium to dark. I was a little scared of the dark shade at first because it’s SO DARK. But once you blend it in at the edges of your face, it really helps your features pop!

Overall I was pleased with the application and staying power of CoverFX. I used the primer and foundation brush provided to apply the base, then used the setting powder (alas! You will need your own powder brush for this!) and my own bronzer to finish the look. It stayed on well throughout the day (unfortunately I touch my face a lot out of habit so I would know!) and covered up the redness from rosacea on my cheeks.

One thing I will comment on is that it did feel a little bit heavy, and somewhat dewy or moist on my face all day. I don’t know if this is because the formula is different from what I am used to (I use mineral powders normally) or if I didn’t use enough setting powder. It might just be a personal thing but I wasn’t too keen on it.

I think I’m going to practice a bit more with my kit and see if I can get the contouring and highlighting that Lee showed me down pat. I’m considering using this for my photoshoot this weekend because I know it will cover everything and stay on between all my wardrobe changes!

Now I’m not a pro beauty blogger or makeup artist, but I looooovve makeup and would definitely recommend this product out of the many I have tried! It was easy to use and provided great coverage and you don’t have to work magic to get a great look. Perfect for the gal who just needs something a little nicer, or if you have a birthmark, scar, etc. to cover up. You can check out their site for more information on the other CoverFX products available.

Introducing the Spa Review Series!


It has been a seriously busy past few weeks (months) for me! Flitting around from place to place not only have my weekends been booked solid (and still are!) but even my weeknights have been filled with an assortment of obligations.

I want to give a shout out to some of my blogger laydeez whom I have met up with (in some cases multiple times!) this month:

They gave me an awesome time and introduced me to some seriously good eats! I’ve had delish Mexican, Japanese, French pastries, pho, Neapolitan pizza and Portuguese treats with these gals. Truly a worldly experience. And a waist-altering one :S

Last week I hosted a successful plus-size clothing swap with the fatshionista! Community (which I managed to actually post about!); went to the Dove Men+Care launch (buy some for your man), a ChickAdvisor party (Hi ladies!); and this week I’ve been busy with work, my good friend’s birthday (we ate French food!) and planning for my friend Squeaky’s arrival.

Squeaky has had a rough time of things lately, so we decided she should come and visit me for a totally deluxe girl’s weekend. She’s even decided to fly in in style rather than suffer the long train ride.

Tomorrow I am taking her to the Shizen Spa (apparently one of Toronto’s only 5-star spas—we’ll see!) to start the weekend off with a bang.

Introducing the Spa Review Series

Full disclosure here: I’m doing a  spa review series for the blog now (since I am a seasoned spa-veteran!) and Shizen has graciously provided me with a gift certificate for this weekend.

I will be doing an in-depth review of their facilities, customer service, ambiance, and overall experience from a regular client’s perspective.

I love to spa. I do it regularly at different locations in the GTA, so you can rest assured that I know what I’m talking about! After my experience I’ll report back with full details, as well as whether it met my expectations.

Next in the spa series I will also be reviewing the Stillwater Spa at the Hyatt, and Enza Day Spa. (Contact me if you would like to arrange a review of your spa)

I definitely think I deserve a break like this! While I DID get a massage this week (I hurt my shoulder) I haven’t really had a moment to relax, truly relax since Christmas. Squeaky and I are really looking forward to our weekend together—we haven’t seen each other since last year when we went to Las Vegas (and had that bizarre Mr. Darcy moment some of my long-time readers will remember. Champagne + strawberries, anyone?) so this weekend will be a real treat.

The best part is that we don’t really have to stick too closely to a budget… out of all my friends she is probably the best at managing her money and told me she’s willing to spend this weekend! Yippee!! Only problem is, it’s ME that has the budget, this time! D’oh!

So I’m trying to think of things we can do in Toronto that are fun, luxurious and not TOO expensive. The spa will be a great start, and I think we’re going to go out dancing in the evening. I’m making a fancy lasagna for dinner one night and we’ve got tickets for Yuk Yuk’s this weekend as well. I was also thinking of taking her to MoRoCo for some sipping chocolate…but it’s so expensive!

Anyone have any ideas of what we could do this weekend? I’m willing to spend if it’s a fun activity, but the cheaper, the better!

Clothing Swap, FTW!

Ever been to a clothing swap?

I just went to my first one ever and had a great experience! I teamed up with some fellow GTA fatshionistas from the fatshionista (plus-size fashion) community and we organized a mid-winter swap on Sunday.

I think it went pretty well! We started with a brunch for the organizers beforehand, followed by the swap proper.

The normal fatshionista! swap location downtown Toronto was undergoing some changes, so this time it was held at a plus-size consignment shop in Vaughan. What a perfect place to hold one! They provided us with space to dump our stuff, beverages, mirrors and changerooms, plus we all received a discount on any of their inventory. In the end they also had first dibs on the leftover clothing. Anything that would sell they took, and the remainders were donated to a women’s shelter.

I didn’t have a ton of stuff to contribute, but a few of my tops and skirts were snapped up lickety split that day. It made me feel good to know that they were going to someone who would love and care for them the way I did!

Some women brought absolute MOUNDS of clothing to donate. It was truly spectacular.

Overall it was a really great experience. I met some new friends, got to parade around in all sorts of clothes and be paid compliments and of course no one can deny the thrill of the hunt! There’s nothing quite like finding an amazing dress or pair of jeans that fit you like a dream and are FREE!

I really lucked out at this particular swap, and I can’t wait for the next! I’ll be posting some photos of the things I got, but until then here is a list of what I came home with:

  • 1 pair dark wash jeans that make my ass look great
  • 4 gorgeous vintage dresses that highlighted all my assets. I finally understand why women love vintage so much! Vintage clothes really beautify the female form!
  • 1 nice Nygard summer suit set, with skirt
  • 1 denim skirt
  • 3 Torrid vintage-inspired dresses
  • A few miscellaneous tops

I’m really stoked about all the dresses I got. They’re ones that you can’t get in Canada and they look SO GOOD. I will totally be doing outfit posts :)

I was hoping to find some shoes as well, but most of the selection there was for the bigger sizes so I didn’t get anything. My mom actually came with me to this event and while she didn’t get quite as much as I did I know she got some nice things for her upcoming trip to Mexico. She came home with me for dinner after the swap and we modeled all of our new clothes for each other.

I’m really glad that I participated in this. It helped me clear out some of my older stuff (which I had been meaning to do) and I met some awesome gals while I was there. I will totally hang out with them again!

I love the idea of a swap… and I got out of this one without spending a dime! Can you believe that? I’m really pleased with myself. I’ve had the “shopping itch” for the past couple of weeks, but couldn’t justify spending any money right now (it’s been an expensive few months!) so this swap satisfied my urges while keeping me frugal!

I’ve been exposed to more fashion and I hope to keep incorporating more of it into my life, and I’ll also be doing some photo shoots in the spring with the photographer that came to our event. Yes, my friends! Ginger is going to be a model!

Vogue with me now!


it’s just to help her beef up her portfolio, but it will be a lot of fun for me! I get to dress up, get my hair and makeup done and pretend I’m someone else for the day.  Plus I’ll be helping create art :)

So, THAT is how I spent my Sunday! I still have to report on the rest of my activities, and do that dang shoe post *glares at Pear & Melanie* but keep your eyes peeled for a quick Clothing Swap FAQ!

The Outfit!

You asked for it… here’s what I wore to the xmas party last night:

the outfit

As you can see, I am not only short on mirrors in my apartment, but I also take horrible photos past 11pm! But this is all you’re gonna get since I don’t think I could wrangle myself into that outfit again any time soon!

The party went well, the food was nice and most people dressed up. I had a decent time, though the fact that I am an outsider (or possible an Outlier if I think positively) really shines at this kind of stuff. After a while I felt like I wasn’t even visible at the party, so I went home around 11.

It was a Tuesday anyway. Who books a holiday party on a Tuesday???

Hopefully I can get this post up on Fatshionista… let’s see if they approve it!

Also, thanks FB for editing the photo for me!

Wardrobe Malfunction

We have our staff xmas party later tonight, but I’ve been wearing most of my outfit since this morning.

I’m kind of regretting it.

While my outfit is cute and chic, it is a royal pain to get in and out of! I’ve been holding my pee like a mofo all day to try and limit my trips to the loo! It’s too much work! (and one of my brand new nylons has a hole already! *cries*)

So what am I wearing that is causing me so much grief? Well I’ll tell you.

I’m wearing a cute little black skirt with a (tasteful) lime-green silk top that I have belted with a wide black belt.

Ok, sounds harmless enough.

Unfortunately my body blubber has exponentially increased since last year, and nothing is sitting right! So out comes the shapewear.

I am wearing my panties, then my thigh-butt-tummy shapewear that I pull up to my boobs, then nylons over that, skirt over that, shirt over the skirt, and a belt around my middle to finish it off!

To get nekked I have to remove SIX pieces of clothing just to pee! What have I gotten myself into!?!?

Needless to say I will be eating and drinking lightly all evening.

If I can get a decent photo of the outfit tonight, perhaps I will post it. It’s not very Christmas-y, but at least its dressier than my normal jeans & t-shirt at work. Plus I brought out the serious bling to wear tonight.

Well, I’m off to apply my signature red lips (my avatar ain’t lyin’!). Toodles!