3 days, 3 ways with the Urban Decay Naked 3 eye-shadow palette

Ever since it's launch, I've been obsessed with getting the new Naked 3 eye-shadow palette from Urban Decay. I already own the Naked 2 and love it, so the Naked 3 seemed like the perfect addition to my growing stack of shadow palettes.

A close-up of all the shades in the Urban Decay Naked 3 eye-shadow palette.
Image via Secret Style File

Unlike the previous Naked palettes, the Naked 3 is firmly planted in the rose/pink color family. Just like the other Naked palettes, the shadows have great pigmentation and staying power. They also primarily are all shimmery, but I notice that there is less fallout with the Naked 3 than with my Naked 2.

I love the left side of the palette, which is where the pinkest shades reside. Strange is a great matte base color, while Dust has just enough shimmer to act as a nice highlight. Burnout and Limit are matte as well and are great lid and crease colors, while I enjoy using Buzz as an accent highlight on the middle of my lids. Buzz is more of a magenta IRL than it appears in the above photo and is very shimmery. Trick reminds me of a lighter version of the Chopper shade in the Naked 2, which is one of my favourite shades from that palette.

The rest of the shades I have to admit I don't really love. Maybe it's because I haven't quite gotten a feel for them, but I find Liar, Factory and Mugshot to be a lot darker than I prefer. I think they would be nice for evening looks, but I prefer the corresponding shades in the Naked 2, which are warmer and lighter for day. Darkside and Blackheart are great smoky eyes shades though and Blackheart especially is fun to wear with its glittery finish.

Since shadow palettes can be intimidating to wear, I thought I'd share 3 simple daytime looks that I tried out. All of these only required 2 brushes to create: an all-over wide brush and a smaller tapered brush. Remember everyone: blending is your friend.

Sample eye-shadow look with the Naked 3

Day 1
Trick all over lid
Strange on brow bone and inner corner
Burnout on crease
Darkside along lash line

Sample eyeshadow look with Naked 3

Day 2
Liar on lid
Mugshot on brow bone
Factory on outer corner and lower lash line
Finish with Mugshot dabbed on center of lid

Sample look with Naked 3

Day 3
Dust on lid and lower lash line
Limit lash line up to crease

As you can see, all the looks are fairly similar! Not surprising since this IS called the Naked palette, so all the colours are made to be pretty neutral. Day 1 could be a nice day-to-night look, simply layer on more of Blackheart to make it more smoky, while Day 3 is a very light, innocent look.

What do you think of all these looks? Which is your favourite?

And don't forget to enter my Pay it Forward giveaway!

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Which bangs should I get?

It's official. It's hair cut time. As I was saying to a friend of mine over the weekend, I always try to get into a proper hair maintenance routine, but usually I only think to cut my hair at the moment when the sight of it everyday drives me crazy with its ugliness, at which she pointed out, isn't that too late then? Yes, yes it is and so people it's time to ditch my current lifeless, flat locks, for greener pastures.

Like most people, I've had the same basic style forever. I don't like pixie cuts on myself and my hair gets too heavy for uber long locks, so I'm left dealing with mid-length, which actually is just where I like it. Mid-length hair is the most versatile IMO; it's short enough to not get in the way and long enough that you can pull it back. This time, I'm thinking of leaving it a teeny bit longer, but with one small difference: BANGS.

For some reason, no man I know loves bangs, but us women? We love them and right now I'm really itching for a sexy/cute fringe. Here are a few of my bang inspirations below:

Perfect blond bangs on long hair
OK seriously, this girl could not BE more perfect!
Photo: Kayture

Bangs on mid-length hair
Slightly longer bangs with lightly wavy mid-length hair
Photo: NastyGal.com

Alexa Chung
Of course, can't talk bangs without mentioning one of my style inspirations, Alexa Chung! Girl has killer bangs.
Image via Tumblr

Emma Stone with bangs
Kinda tomboyish and probably most like my own hair, Emma Stone makes any look cute.

Which bangs are your favourite?

And don't forget to enter my Pay it Forward giveaway!

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Pay It Forward giveaway with Metropolis at Metrotown

What would you do to make someone's day?

The world could stand for a little more kindness and thoughtfulness. Whenever I hear about the acts of kindness that others do, be it organizing a food bank drive, or just buying a sandwich for a homeless person, I always feel so inspired to do something good myself. We all have the power to make someone's life better and that's the idea behind the Pay It Forward contest running right now at Burnaby's Metropolis at Metrotown.

All month, Metropolis at Metrotown has been asking people to tell them their ideas for a random act of kindness if they were given just $10. There have been tons of amazing ideas so far and each entry results in a $1 donation by Metropolis to the CKNW Orphan's Fund, benefiting children with physical, mental and social challenges in BC. Besides doing a good deed, everyone who enters also gets entered into a draw for $1000!! The contest ends this month, so you still have time to enter!

So what can you do with $10? Metropolis at Metrotown posed this very question to me recently and here is how I spread a little joy to strangers and the people I love:

Arby's burgers and fries
Treating Mr. Artist and his mom to lunch!

Baby books by Sandra Boynton
Buying some new books for my little nephew

Campbell Chunky soup cans
Donating canned goods to a local food bank

An umbrella
Giving someone on the street without an umbrella some shelter

Revlon mascara and nail file
Donating makeup to a women's organization, like Beauty Night

Now I want to know how YOU would pay it forward!

Tell me your idea for a random act of kindness (and I won't limit you to having to use $10 or any dollars) and you could win a $50 gift card to Metropolis at Metrotown! Don't forget to enter their contest as well!

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MINIMUM Spring 2014 Preview

MINIMUM Spring 2014 collection lookbook
Wear the MINIMUM Spring '14 collection and look as cool as this!

Danish clothing label MINIMUM is back for Spring with another set of dresses, tops, bottoms and outerwear. Known for their effortlessly cool mix of athletic-meets-urban-fashionista-party-scene, this Danish fashion house brings a breath of fresh Scandinavian air to the Vancouver fashion scene.

For their third season in Canada, the Spring '14 collection is heavy on digital prints, short suits and sex appeal. Think MOD style, or a professional snowboarder/scenester who needs to look good on and off the mountain; however, you don't need to be hip to wear this line. Most of the pieces are utilitarian basics that can be layered and built upon to create your own take. The clothes also look quite figure flattering as nothing is super-clingy or complicated.

Here are some of my favourite picks from the collection:

Laid-back, yet sexy dresses and skirts from MINIMUM's Spring 2014 collection
Loda dress ($101), Porta dress ($86), Emba skirt ($50), Udia dress ($58), Trinne dress ($86)

Sporty chic from MINIMUM's Spring 2014 collection
Adera blouse ($79), Deva jacket ($134), Waja hoodie ($60), Wikko jacket ($105)

MINIMUM is available at Plenty, The Block and J2 in Vancouver.

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Buy or Ditch: Marcelle Hydra-C Double Action Cleansing + Exfoliating Cloths review

Are these cleansing wipes up to the job of removing all your makeup and daily face gunk?

While on vacation to Hawaii recently, I purchased a  pack of these Marcelle Hydra-C Double Action Cleansing + Exfoliating cloths to use in place of packing my usual arsenal of cleansing products. I prefer a lighter approach to my beauty routine while on vacation, so cleansing wipes are a great option for easy, on-the-go cleaning. So can these wipes clean off a full day's worth of gunk, makeup and sweat?

The Product
As Marcelle puts it, these cleansing cloths are "purity made simple." One side of the cloths cleanse and remove dirt, makeup and impurities, while the other side is gently textured to provide daily exfoliation. Hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free, these cloths are designed to work with all skin types.

The Guts
The first ingredient to this product is water, so I'll skip that and continue on with the next largest components:

  • Olus oil - a fancy term for vegetable oil, this ingredient acts as an emollient
  • Glycerin - a common moisturizer
  • Lauryl glucoside - derived from coconut oil and sugars, this ingredient works as a mild foaming and cleansing agent
This product also contains vitamins C, E and B5 and has no parabens, which is why I chose it over Marcelle's over cleansing wipes.

Price & Packaging
The cloths are packaged in your standard resealable bag. I appreciate that these come in a bag as others I've seen come in plastic containers, which aren't as easy for packing. This product is also very affordable at $10.36 for 25 sheets.

While on vacation, I wore less makeup than normal as I was doing a lot of water sports, so a normal day consisted of foundation (or often not), sunscreen, waterproof eyeliner and waterproof mascara. I found the wipes to be effective and quick to remove all traces of makeup. However, when I continued to use these at home, while wearing my regular complement of makeup (DD cream, concealer/foundation, powder, mascara, eyeliner and/or eye-shadow, blush, eyebrow pencil), I found it removed makeup, but it had a hard time removing all of my face makeup as evidenced when I used my toner and found that there was still tons of residual dirt left. Instead, I've been using this as a makeup remover and then doing my regular face wash and toner routine, which kinda defeats the purpose of this one-step product.

Since I usually wear less makeup while on vacation, I think this product is probably sufficient for my travel needs, but as an everyday alternative to face wash? Not a chance.

The Verdict

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Lise Watier Imagine: Spring 2014 Collection Preview

Although it may seem like winter may never end, the signs are there. The mornings are just that teeny bit brighter, the birds are beginning to chirp again and all the spring collections are rolling out into stores. I for one cannot wait for winter to be over. Usually near the end of winter, I start itching to wear my lighter, floatier spring clothes and this year I'm feeling that itch earlier than ever. While I can't start busting out the spring clothes just yet, I at least can start incorporating spring makeup.

Recently, Lise Watier sent me their new Spring 2014 collection to preview and it is just beautiful! This collection embodies spring with its gorgeous palette of spring sunset colors. As Lise Watier puts it, the collection is designed to plunge "our minds in a gentle thought, a delicate dream, [a] token of romanticism".

Consisting of 2 eye-shadow palettes, a blush, 4 lip products and a waterproof eyeliner, there's a little something for everyone. Let's start off with the gorgeous packaging shall we?

Lise Watier Spring 2014 eyeshadow palette. Photo: Just J
Lise Watier Spring 2014 eyeshadow palette.  All photos: Just J

The blush and one of the eye-shadow palettes come encased in this very pretty sunset packaging. I'm not sure why they didn't package both palettes in this style as it's quite unique and attractive.

Lise Watier Spring 2014 eyeshadow palette and blush. Photo: Just J
Imagine blush ($32) and Quatuor Imagine eyeshadow quartet ($36)

I'm not a huge fan of the look of the Imagine blush. One of the pleasures of blush is opening the compact and seeing a gorgeous pan design, but this one reminds me more of a parched desert floor than the intended mosaic.

The Quatuor Imagine eye-shadow palette is a pretty mix of pearly white, a deep rose, rich navy and chocolate tone.

More closeups:

Lise Watier Spring 2014 blush. Photo: Just J
Lise Watier Spring 2014 blush. 

Lise Watier Spring 2014 eyeshadow palette. Photo: Just J
Lise Watier Spring 2014 eye-shadow palette. 

And swatches:

Lise Watier Spring 2014 Quatuor eye-shadow swatches. Photo: Just J
Right-most shade: Imagine blush

The darker shadows have excellent color payoff when swatching, but the lighter shades I had to really dig into to show up, which isn't unexpected. All the shadows are fairly shimmery, but thankfully, not glittery like the Winter collection, making these much easier to wear. The navy is actually a bit purpler on my skin than in the pan. While I find very colorful palettes like this difficult to use on myself, I think this palette would create some really beautiful smoky eyes on those more skilled in eye-shadow application.

On the far right, you'll see my swatch for the Imagine blush.The blush swatches matte and is a deep rosy color. I think the blush would look most flattering on medium-dark skin tones as it's a bit too red for really fair skin; however perhaps if you brushed this on very lightly, it might look okay.

The other palette in the collection is the Quad Les Mats and features an all matte palette containing a white, pink-copper, iron grey and anthracite black shade:

Lise Watier Spring 2014 Quad Les Mats eye-shadow palette. Photo: Just J
Quad Les Mats ($33)

Lise Watier Spring 2014 eyeshadow swatch. Photo: Just J
Iron grey, pure white, pink copper, anthracite black

The Quad Les Mats is much more my style than the Quatuor. This palette's shades are all very wearable and easily blendable. The shades are all much more matte, although the grey and copper have a teeny bit of shimmer. I cannot wait to try this one!

Besides the products featured above, this collection also includes:

  • Waterproof eyeliner in Smokey Grey, $20
  • Haute Lumiere high shine lip gloss in Crystal (clear), $23 - a clear, high shine lip gloss
  • Rouge Plumpissimo lipstick in Rose Papaye, $22 - contains vitamins C, E and jojoba oil to leave lips plumped and soft
  • Duo Glam Rouge Infini lipstick duo in Tender Pink Glam, $27 - a duo lipstick and lip stain combo

All the products are now available in stores until April, so be sure to visit your local drugstore, or London Drugs to purchase!

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Does Inhibitif Really Eliminate Body Hair? | Guest Review by ABeautifulZen

Color me curious when a new product makes claims about my shaving habits.

Inhibitif hair removal bottle and packaging
All photos: A Beautiful Zen

Hi there! I’m Jenn from A Beautiful Zen. Nice to meet you!

Mizz J was awesome enough to pass on the opportunity to try Inhibitif and I instantly grasped at the change to never touch a razor again. The number of ads for this stuff at bus stops and on billboard really helped to put this on my radar.

Inhibitif advertises that the product will reduce the apparent prominence and visible density of unwanted hair over time. After 8 weeks, the need for hair removal is minimized. It is suppose to be a lasting smooth solution which will end your frequent shaving/waxing routine. The directions say to apply evenly on shaved or waxed areas twice per day for 2 months and reduce application to 3 times a week to maintain results.

Inhibitif hair removal packaging directions

Well, I tried out this #SmoothMovement for 2 months. At first, I was very unsure about how to apply it evenly. Spraying the solution resulted in blotchy application and I was told that I shouldn't smooth the liquid on with my hands. Using a “spray and drag” type technique seemed to work OK. In general, you can be pretty liberal and still have enough product for 2 months.

Initially, I didn’t notice much of a change. After 6 weeks, I still didn’t see much difference. To be fair, the first week’s application might have been spotty until I got the hang of not using half the bottle each time. I’m looking at my legs now (2 months later), and I notice that my hairs are finer but I’m still shaving at near the same frequency as before. Though they are thinner, the little hair nubs are still observable after a day or two from shaving.

For me, this is not a miracle product. I can see that it definitely takes time and it looks like it might take more than 2 months for me to really get to a place where I’m shaving less. I read a tweet where the user said they hadn't shaved in 2 weeks and the testimonials on the website often mention how fast the results are. My hair is generally thicker (not dense) but it’s not crazy thick and it still really took a long while for anything to happen. I didn't really feel like it made too much of a difference to my shaving routine.

I don’t see a downside to trying this (granted I have not looked into the ingredients…). I think it’s something like $20 a bottle, which isn't too much of a financial commitment. It’s true that my hair became finer and that I got to add about 1-2 days onto my time before I had to shave but these are small results for me and I don’t mind shaving so much. This may not be an intense, immediate solution to your hairy leg woes but it might work for you overtime if you’re patient.

Inhibitif hair removal ingredients list

So what do you think? Would you give this a try? How annoying is shaving/waxing for you?

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Hawaii Recap

Hi everyone! I've been back now from Hawaii for a couple days and after doing loads of laundry and recovering from a trip cold, I'm ready to post up a trip recap.

To sum it up, Hawaii was a great, relaxing getaway. Mr. Artist and I had a lovely time exploring the island together, trying out new activities, new eats and enjoying some alone time. While the weather wasn't as sunny as we would have liked, it was still warm being around a balmy mid-to-late 20 degrees.

Our flight to Honolulu was delayed by 2 hours so we didn't arrive at our condo rental till after 4am! I felt terrible for our hosts who had to stay up to wait for us, but despite that they were sweet enough to show us around the place and checked in with us during the week to ensure we were enjoying our stay. This was my first time using AirBnb and if this is a normal experience, then certainly I will be using it again. Our condo was spacious, well located, and our hosts uber considerate. Our condo had a balcony view and was stocked with snacks and beach amenities and free Internet! Definitely check this place out next time you go.

Our Honolulu condo that we rented on airbnb. Photo: Just J
Our lovely home for the week. All photos: Just J

Day 1: On our first day it was pretty cloudy and rainy, so we explored the Waikiki area and went shopping at the nearby Ala Moana shopping mall to pick up souvenirs. That night, we waited almost an hour in line for the much recommended Japanese udon restaurant, Marukame Udon. The wait was well worth it as the udon was super chewy, made in house and came with a variety of choose-your-own tempura options! Best of all, each of our udons cost less than $5!!

Yummy marukame udon and tempura. Photo: Just J
Yummy Marukame udon and tempura

Mine contained a soft boiled egg and I chose shrimp and a veggie ball tempura for my side. The soft-boiled egg was perfect, although I wish my noodles were slightly more chewy. The veggie tempura reminded me a lot of an Indian pakora as it contained a mix of potato and onions.

Spam musubi, tempura and udon from Marukame Udon. Photo: Just J
Spam musubi, tempura and udon from Marukame Udon.

Mr. Artist's choice was a unique salty udon that came in a wooden bucket with a vinegary dipping sauce. On the side he opted for the fried chicken and a Hawaiian specialty, the spam musubi, which is what I like to call, the Hawaiian version of lembas (cue LOTR geek moment). His udon was massive, though you can't tell from this perspective.

Day 2: The weather had improved a lot so we did more walking around and shopping. We also checked out a beach park nearby and tried our first Hawaiian plate lunch at Kaka'ako Kitchen. Plate lunches are the quintessential Hawaiian takeout and consist usually of a macaroni salad, rice and a couple meat-based mains. The one below feature fried catfish and 5 spice sohyu chicken. The chicken was slightly sweet and tender, while the fish was fried perfectly, if lacking a little spice.

Hawaiian plate lunch. Photo: Just J
Hawaiian plate lunch.

Banyan tree at Ala Moana park. Photo: Just J
Banyan tree at Ala Moana park

Wherever I travel, I always love to visit the McDonalds as they often feature local twists in the menu. The Honolulu McDonalds' featured these DELICIOUS taro pies. Warm, gooey and just a little sweet and creamy, I wanted to eat these treats everyday. Unfortunately, it seems that the deep-fried method they use to make the pies in the US cause my throat to get out of whack and I'd always wake up with a super sore throat the day after! Why do the things we love always hurt us.

McDonald's taro pie. Photo: Just J
Yum! McDonald's taro pie

Besides exploring,shopping and eating (3 of my favourite things) we also went whale watching! Our cruise included a meal and cruised out of the Honolulu harbor. We did get to see a couple whales, but none close enough for me to capture a good photo.

Day 3: Got our rental car so we were off to explore the island! First stop, was the town of Kailua to eat some banana macadamia nut pancakes at local joint, Boots and Kimo's

Banana macadamia nut pancakes. Photo: Just J
So much sauce!!

These pancakes were literally smothered in a creamy, condensed milk sauce, so it was a little overly sweet to me, but still pretty yum. The portions in Hawaii are massive, so most every dish you see here was shared by Mr. Artist and I and we were always full after! After pancakes, it was off to Kailua beach, a popular spot with locals and much recommended if you like long sandy beaches with a minimum of tourists.

Kailua beach. Photo: Just J
Kailua beach. 

Feet in the sand. Kailua beach. Photo: Just J
Contrary to what this picture makes it seem, my feet (top) are NOT actually that tan!

Then, it was off to visit Obama's favourite shaved ice spot (reportedly), Island Snow. I do have to agree, that this shaved ice featuring various fruit juices, ice cream and condensed milk was super delicious and refreshing! Good choice Obama!

Hawaiian shaved ice - so good! Photo: Just J

Day 4: This day I didn't get many photos as we spent it driving up to Oahu's North Shore and the little surf town, Haleiwa. I love the North Shore. It's full of unique little stores, it's lush and rural, has great beaches and delicious food. We checked out local favourite, Macky's shrimp truck (Hawaiians seems to love shrimp and food trucks, definitely check this one out) and also went paddle boarding, which was AMAZING as we saw tons of sea turtles that swam around us like it was NBD.

That evening, we headed over for a luau at Paradise Cove. No visit to Hawaii is complete without a luau and while we found the food too salty, the hula dances and the terrific beach side sunset made it worth the trip.

An amazing sunset. Photo: Just J

Waiting for the luau pig to be presented. Photo: Just J

Day 5: As our last full day on the island, we decided to jam pack it with activities so we woke up early and drove back to Haleiwa for Mr. Artist's surfing lesson. As I wasn't feeling well, I opted out and instead chilled on the beach, hanging out with these 2 golden retrievers who were just chilling by themselves on the beach, while their owner surfed. Ecko would NEVER be so well behaved!!

A cute golden retriever on the beach in Hawaii. Photo: Just J
Mr. Artist thought I was taking pics of him, but this cutie was the only one my lens was focused on

Right after surfing, we headed out to go snorkeling at the famous Hanuama Bay. This beautiful sheltered cove is a popular spot for snorkeling in Hawaii and did not disappoint. We saw tons of beautiful fish and even watched a turtle feeding literally a meter away from us!

The stunning Hanauma Bay in Hawaii. Photo: Just J
Amazing Hanuama Bay

So that was our trip! Sorry for the super long post, but I found it really helpful reading other bloggers' trip experiences when researching for mine, so hopefully this will help others out there too! If you have any other questions about Hawaii, please feel free to email me as I've been to several of the Hawaiian islands. Mahalo!

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