Favourite packaging #1

Posted on February 10, 2015 under Lists

I get suckered in by good packaging. There’s a reason I once bought a lipstick shaped like a cat, and it isn’t because I was just dying to have a sheer orange lipstick. (True story. Curse you, adorable Korean cosmetics shop five minutes from my old apartment!) Generally, I try to buy makeup I will actually use and enjoy, but occasionally good packaging gets to me.

Here are some products with beautiful packaging – although it must be said that I do genuinely like these items as, you know, makeup and not just eye candy.

Charlotte Tilbury lipstick

packaging charlotte tilbury

All of the Charlotte Tilbury packaging is unbelievably luxe, but as I haven’t quite been able to justify the cost of all her other products, for now I must make do with a beautiful lipstick. I love every aspect of this packaging: the rose gold, the ribbed texture, the embossed logo on the top of the cap, and, most of all, how solid it is in my hand. It feels expensive (and it damn well is).

Lancôme Fever Gloss

packaging lancome

I don’t find a lot of Lancôme products to be particularly beautifully packaged (although their Grandiôse mascara is like nothing else I have laid my eyes on), but the Fever Gloss is gorgeous. It’s the perfect mixture of sleek, with the clear tube and metal embellishments, and just a bit luxurious. It’s the glass tube that elevates it – this is definitely no $5 lip gloss.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

packaging hourglass

Hourglass is, of course, a master of fancy packaging to match the slightly outrageous price tag. It’s gold and a bit art deco with the geometric aspects: the straight lines and sleek curves, the structure of the clasp. This is well-made pacakging; it’s not flimsy at all, and the mirror helps elevate it just that bit more. I rarely use the mirrors that come with blushes, bronzers, and powders, but I just feel like it’s such a nice touch that really makes the product feel expensive, regardless of price point.

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

packaging bourjois

Now that I’ve shown off some seriously fancy packaging, let’s move into the more whimsical territory. The Bourjois packaging is not exactly luxe, but it’s not cheap either – it’s fun, it’s solid, and the label of the Java Rice powder has that perfect detailed vintage feel. The designs on the side of the container add a nice touch to pull it all together. Although I do like packaging that makes me feel like the fancy-ass lady I will never be, there is always a place for well thought out fun packaging in my heart!

Topshop Glow Highlighter

pacakging topshop

I know I just talked about this, but it’s seriously some of the best packaging I have in my makeup collection! It strikes a balance between something a bit more fun, with the handwritten font and asterisk design, and a more sleek, expensive feeling, with the matte frosted glass. Once again, I love that this is glass instead of plastic. The Topshop makeup isn’t super expensive, but it’s not cheap either – so the glass feels right for this price point.


packaging vaseline

I didn’t say all these products were going to be exciting! For me, a mini tub of Vaseline is an absolute necessity to keep my lips happy during winter, and I love this collector’s edition tin. It reminds me of the Bourjois packaging: vintage and fun, pretty without taking itself seriously. In the past my mini Vaseline has come in little plastic tubs, but I am a big fan of the tin – it’s so much cuter, and I actually want to display it along with the rest of my products… even though, at the end of the day, it really is just Vaseline.

So there we have it – some of the most beautiful, cute, and fun product packaging in my collection.

Temporary makeup storage solutions

Posted on February 06, 2015 under Thoughts

I have grand designs for my dream vanity, which I plan to begin executing next year. It involves an IKEA hack and a lot of acrylic, and it will be beautiful.

However, right now is just not the time for such things. I’m in the last two months of a year abroad in Scotland, meaning my makeup storage situation is very, very temporary. I had limited space in my suitcase when coming here, and while I opted to bring over all my makeup, I just didn’t have room for any of my organizers. Thus, I’ve had to improvise quite a bit.

I did pick up a really nice acrylic drawer organizer from TK Maxx that has been a life saver (and that I hope to be able to bring back to Canada with me), and a few jars and cups for brushes and eyeliners, but these things just don’t cover my whole collection.

So, here are some ways I’ve repurposed things for the sake of my temporary makeup storage here in Glasgow.

organization lips

One of the hardest things for me was lip products that don’t stand up well on their own. Traditional lipsticks fit in the drawer organizer just fine, but anything in a weird shaped tube, or that’s tall, needs its own storage space. This empty q-tip container fits almost perfectly into my main acrylic unit, and is a great place for my OCC Lip Tars and other smaller liquid lipsticks. (You can’t see them in this picture, but I have a Joe Fresh liquid lipstick and one from Collection in there as well.)

organization everyday

I bought some bleach powder from Amazon that came in a cardboard tube that turned out to be the perfect size for my Stila liquid lipsticks and Revlon Balms. Previously all of my liquid lipsticks were lying unorganized in a box, but now I can see everything much better, which makes me more likely to use it all. (This is also why I love having the big acrylic organizer – everything is laid out so I can see it. If I can’t see stuff, I won’t use it!)

The box that tube is in is also one of my makeshift solutions, which solves two main problems: my palettes and my everyday makeup. Before, my palettes were just sort of stacked on top of each other, which made it a bit tricky to access everything. My everyday makeup was also just strewn across my table – now it has a home! The box lid is from a fragrance and shower gel set that I got from Superdrug for only £10 (major steal!).

I am so excited to build the vanity of my dreams in the coming months, but for my remaining time in Scotland I’m really happy with this – it’s organized, everything is easy to access, and I made use of what I had.

Review: Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished

Posted on January 30, 2015 under Reviews

I love the concept of highlighter. I love the idea of looking like I glow from within, like an ethereal goddess. I love the idea of drawing attention to the tops of my cheekbones, the arch of my brows, my cupid’s bow.

The reality of highlighter, as a product that exists in real life, is not my favourite, and mainly for a selfish reason: it’s hard to find one that works for me.

Many, many highlighters are gold-toned, when I generally go for cooler-toned cosmetics of all types. And many of them are actually darker than my skin, which surely defeats the point of highlighter. Benefit Watt’s Up, I’m looking at you. (But not just you. I’m just angry with you because you’re a gorgeous product – for other people.)

My previous favourite highlighter was gold-toned but fair enough that it worked for me: the cult classic Mary Lou-Manizer by theBalm. However, I only own that product in a palette, which makes it not super convenient for travel, as the palette isn’t one of my go-tos for eyeshadow. (One of these days I should get around to depotting it, but it’s more fun to buy new things!)

Enter the Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished, a cool-toned, pearlescent cream highlighter with irridescent pink shimmer.


Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished on cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow.

I know that description sounds a bit nuts, but I love it. It’s a step above natural, but not so weird that it can’t be worn in an everyday setting. Once it’s tapped into the skin (and it positively melts in), you just look a tiny bit ethereal, like you might have a small amount of mermaid DNA. Which, I mean, who doesn’t want that?

The texture of this product is very interesting: it looks like a cream eyeshadow, but it’s not as solid. I would describe it as mousse-like. It reacts very well to body heat and blends easily with fingers. I haven’t used it with a brush because I pretty much always apply cream products with my fingers, since I find creams generally respond best to that bit of warmth.


Close-up of Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished on the cheekbone.

A word also must be said about the packaging. That word is “lovely”. The matte, frosted glass pot is so clean and pretty, and I love the whimsical touches on the Topshop makeup packaging. The little stars and handwritten font are adorable! Plus, it just feels so solid in my hand. The glass – rather than plastic – is a nice touch; it makes it feel more expensive than it is, although it is a bit pricier than your average drugstore product.

This product is very difficult to photograph – pictures just don’t do justice to that irridescent, pearly glow. But trust me – it is seriously gorgeous, and my new go-to highlighter.


On the left, a heavy application so you can see the colour. On the right, the highlighter blended in to my skin.

Topshop Glow Highlighter retails for £9 ($17.27 CAD) and can be purchased in Topshop stores or online. At 0.14oz, the price works out to £64.29, or $123.36, per oz.