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product reviews

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam (with higher-end comparisons)

Hey friends,

I always love a good swatch post, so I figured that’s what I would do here today. I picked up my very first NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam, a warm peachy color. I’d heard good things about the formula – matte, but not too matte – and since NYX is becoming more available in Canada, I figured I’d pick it up and give it a try.

My lips are pretty sensitive to anything drying, so I always struggle with mattes. Because of that, I feel like I’m always on a quest for a good matte!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam

Here it is on my lips (no lip liner):

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Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam

And here’s a further back shot:

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Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is such a cute color – very peachy and summery. When I put it to the wear test (and the lips-not-shriveling-to-prunes test), I went about 5 hours without a touch-up. I was eating some oranges while I wore it, and I’m not talking nicely-segmented tangelos – I’m talking messy navels.

It lost some definition at the edges after 5 hours and 2 oranges, but it passed the chin-smear test. Does that happen to anyone else? If I’m eating something large or awkward, like a burger or something, my lipstick tends to smear on my chin. But not with this one!

NYX soft matte lip cream also didn’t dry out my lips (too much). It never dried down to a complete matte – there was always a feeling of something sitting on my lips – which is probably why it wasn’t too drying. But because of that, you will get some transfer with these.

After 5 hours, my lips were a little dry in the inner edges, but nothing a bit of balm wouldn’t fix.

Formula-wise, these actually remind me a lot of Too Faced Melted lipsticks – liquid but not matte, a little drying but not as much as a true matte.

Comparison Swatches

I actually have a couple shades in my collection that come close to the color of NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam, so I wanted to swatch them all together and compare.

The other two shades in question are ones I really like: Bite Mimosa and Nars Lana. Sadly, Bite has discontinued the Luminous Creme line, which means I’ll be looking for a replacement of my beloved Mimosa.

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Bite Mimosa Lipstick

Mimosa is semi-matte, so the wear of it and NYX Amsterdam are very similar. Mimosa does wear longer, but still needs a little babysitting throughout the day to combat encroaching dryness. Mimosa is also more creamy and opaque – Amsterdam needs a little layering to get the color right, but Mimosa only takes one swipe.

Here’s Temptalia’s review for Bite Mimosa.

The only problem I have with Mimosa is that since it’s so thick and opaque, it’s not very forgiving to apply, and it doesn’t create a smooth line on my lip line on initial application – it needs lip liner on my lips to really apply well.

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Nars Audacious Lana

Nars Audacious in Lana is more of a satin finish. I find it the most comfortable of the three to wear for long periods of time because of that, but texturally it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

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I thought it was interesting that when I first tried on NYX Amsterdam, I thought it was quite bright, but compared to Mimosa and Lana it’s actually fairly muted.

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It’s a very flattering color, even with pale skin and purple hair (which sometimes makes lipstick look strange, like Nars Lana). And as long as you’re not looking for a transfer-proof matte, it’s definitely worth the $10. I’ll be looking to pick up some more shades this month – I would say my first tentative foray into NYX lip products was a success!

xo,
Allysia

how not to die book
books and reviews

How Not To Die: Thoughts on Diet and Health

During my 30-day trial with eating healthy for the sake of my skin, I thought it might be a good idea to pick up a book on diet and health. I’m not a big fan of pseudo-science, and wanted something I could really sink my teeth into – something with lots of scientific backing.

So I decided to download How Not To Die by Michael Greger on my Kindle over the spring break, and read it voraciously. And now that I’ve had time to read and digest it, I thought I’d share my thoughts of the book with you, and how it’s changed my perspective on health.

Check it out on Amazon here!

How Not To Die: A Review

First of all, it’s huge – over 500 pages. Second of all, it’s an extremely comprehensive review of the latest scientific studies on food and health. The footnotes section alone is gigantic.

The way the book is laid out is in two parts. The first part has a chapter for each of the 12 leading causes of death, and how diet plays a role for each (including suicide and depression, seriously). The second part includes a really useful and logical food guide that is simple to follow, with science to back it up.

I want to give this book to everyone I know – that’s the kind of impact it had on me. I’ve read tons of health-related books before, but I loved how thorough and readable How Not To Die is, without dumbing it down much. I appreciate that this book treated me like an intelligent human being, not someone that needed to be shielded from harsh truths and big words.

This book explained to me why it’s so important to add spices to food (antioxidants!) and why turmeric is the bomb. It explained the risk of animal product consumption and how much I should really be exercising (90 minutes of moderate or 45 minutes intense exercise daily). It talked about how broccoli is an amazing anti-cancer drug.

Really, just read it. It’s great.

How I’m changing my diet based on this book

I eat a relatively healthy diet, but this book has swayed me to change a few things. First of all, it convinced me to eat more fruit (4 servings a day, which includes 1 serving – 1/2 cup – of berries). I love fruit, so it really didn’t take much convincing. Fruit is, in general, the best source of vitamins and antioxidants.

As a personal side note, Michael sometimes needs a little push to eat fruit. He’d much rather eat a plate of veggies than fruit. But eating fruit seems to be one of the biggest things that keeps his immune system running properly – it seems once he falls off the smoothie bandwagon, he’s way more likely to get the sniffles. This isn’t a scientific fact or anything, just something we’ve both noticed.

How Not To Die also convinced me to use oil (even olive oil) sparingly, especially when it’s been heated. Oil basically just adds calories minus the nutrients – it’s much more valuable to eat a handful of nuts instead.

I’ve been working nuts and seeds into each meal as well, including some ground flax with my morning oatmeal. Again, I love nuts and seeds so I needed little convincing there.

I tend to be a big fan of grains, but I’m trying to even out my grain-to-bean ratio. So instead of having a cup of rice and a 1/2 cup beans, I might flip it around, or do 3/4 cup of each. Beans are so freaking nutritious. They aren’t really glamorous, but they’re tasty and about as cheap as cheap gets when you buy dry beans.

Conclusion

There were so many nuggets and takeaways in How Not To Die, but I don’t want to bog you down with a giant essay, so definitely take a look if you’re into health reads. 🙂

Thanks for hanging out!

xo,
Allysia

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life

Why I Quit Coffee for 30 Days

I am passionate about coffee. Coffee is beautiful. Fresh-ground + French press = eternal happiness.

Spoken like a true addict. That is one of the main reasons I decided to quit coffee for 30 days – to see if I could release coffee’s death grip on my life.

I don’t know if I’m going to quit coffee forever and ever, but I’m quitting it for 30 days to see if it makes a difference in my skin, my energy, my stress levels, and my hormones. More on my 30-day trial here!

Take note that I am not wildly addicted to coffee. I have 1 – 2 cups a day, and seldom if ever do I drink it later than 4pm or so.

I’m also replacing those 1 – 2 cups of coffee with green tea (which I’ll talk more about tomorrow), so it’s not like I’ve gone completely caffeine-free.

So why quit coffee? Let’s talk about some of the reasons that compelled me to jump off the bandwagon!

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brushes i don't love
product reviews

Makeup Graveyard: Brushes I Don’t Love

In the last Makeup Graveyard post, I talked about Blushes I Don’t Love. To be extra-confusing, today I’ve decided to change just one letter and turn it into Brushes I Don’t Love.

I don’t have a big collection of brushes (yet). I have some (cruelty-free) Real Techniques and Hakuhodo x Sephora brushes, and that makes up about 95% of what I use on a daily basis.

Brushes were one of the last things I came around to. I’ve always loved lipstick, and it doesn’t take me much convincing to splurge on a new one (as is evidenced by my large lipstick graveyard post). Brushes just don’t seem like a “fun” purchase the way lippies do.

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blushes i dont love
product reviews

Makeup Graveyard: Blushes I Don’t Love

Hi friends!

It’s time for another installment of Makeup Graveyard, where I show you the products that I’ve phased out of my vanity, to either be sent to the garbage, or to a new and loving home.

The previous installment in this series was all about the lipstick I don’t love, so definitely check that out if you haven’t already.

Today we’ll be looking at blushes I don’t love. Let’s hop to it!

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product reviews

Makeup Graveyard: Lipsticks I don’t love

Hi Friends!

Welcome to my first installment of the Makeup Graveyard! I’ve been gradually decluttering my house and my life, and recently went through all of my makeup and skincare products. I put the products I’m either trashing or giving away in a box, and left the products I really love in my vanity.

So since I’m a little obsessed with lipstick, I thought I’d show you all of the lipstick in my makeup graveyard. These are lipsticks that, for one reason or another, I don’t love.

I got rid of lipsticks based on this criteria:

-Low quality/cheap packaging
-Not cruelty-free (making my collection almost exclusively cruelty-free now)
-Unwearable colors

So let’s get on with it!

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looks

Emilia Clarke Makeup Look from the Golden Globes 2016

Hi all!

Today I wanted to show you my take on the Emilia Clarke makeup look from the Golden Globes (More on my favorite looks from the 2016 Golden Globes here).

It’s more of an “inspired by” as opposed to a direct replica – I wanted to create a soft look that would be appropriate for work. Since her look was so soft and simple to begin with, this wasn’t a challenge, and I really like the way it came out. Read on to see how I got this Emilia Clarke makeup look!

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Urban Decay Spectrum Palette
product reviews

Urban Decay Spectrum Palette: Review and Thoughts

During Sephora’s VIB/Rouge sale in November, I picked up a few things that I was really excited about, including the Urban Decay Spectrum Palette. This palette is/was limited edition, and has 15 colorful, jewel-toned shades.

This isn’t a practical palette if you don’t have a lot of space for makeup storage, or if you travel a lot – it doesn’t seal tightly, so I wouldn’t take it with me anywhere. The idea is that the packaging can be re-purposed once you’re finished with the eyeshadow, and turned into jewelry storage.

I’ve tried multiple looks with this palette, but since I’m a colorful makeup n00b, some of the attempts have been a little disastrous. So far, my favourite of the bright shades are Omen (lilac purple that works really well with my new purple hair), and Backlash, a bright and punchy pink.

Playing with my new #urbandecay #spectrumpalette!

Playing with my new #urbandecay #spectrumpalette!

Pinks can look a little sickly without some eyeliner (which creates a barrier between your eye and the pink color), so I made sure to apply a thin line of gel liner when I did this look.

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Omen is such a beautiful color, and definitely my favorite from the Urban Decay Spectrum palette. For the most part, I’ve been sticking to one color at a time – wild rainbow looks are a little beyond my skillset at this point.

Temptalia has a thorough review and swatches, if you’re interested in checking that out.

If you’re a beginner to eyeshadow I probably wouldn’t recommend the Urban Decay Spectrum palette, simply because of the wild colors. And since all of the shades are shimmery, it might be necessary to use a different palette or shadow if you need matte colors (I often use matte colors for the crease or shading).

But if you’ve got a bunch of nude shadows and are interested in trying out some new vivid shades, I’ve been really enjoying playing with this palette. Most of the colors are flattering and more wearable than the colors in, say, Urban Decay’s Electric Palette.

Have you tried the Urban Decay Spectrum Palette? What are your favorite bright and colorful eyeshadows?

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inspiration

Favorite Makeup Looks from the 2016 Golden Globes

Good morning!

I tend to be a sucker for awards shows and red carpet events, partly to ogle celebrities, and partly to ooh and ahh at the fashion and makeup choices. Seeing the makeup looks from the 2016 Golden Globes has given me fresh inspiration, and now I’m eager to go play with my makeup this week. The following are my favorite looks, I hope you enjoy!

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product reviews

Annabelle Swatches and Haul, Dec. 2015

Good day!

In a previous post, I swatched a bunch of my Annabelle lip liners, and shortly after, I received a package in the mail full of more Annabelle goodies!

Wanting to sample a variety of their products, I jumped on their 40% off Black Friday sale. With much excitement, I waited. And waited. And waited.

Midway through December, receiving this package felt like Christmas (especially since I forgot some of what I ordered)!

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