Friday, 29 June 2012

Louise Young Cosmetics The Essential Eye Palette - Review and Swatches

I went through hell and high water to get my hands on this. Actually, it was the pursuit that was tricky, the actual acquisition was easy as pie. Louise Young Cosmetics is a U.K. brand. They are known for their makeup brushes. This is the only makeup product that they sell. Nic and Sam from Pixiwoo fame have used this a couple of times in tutorials. I fell in love with this palette as soon as I saw it online. All of the colours are matte. From left to right the swatches are Ting, Maowi, Pom Pom, Black Bear and Sislet. Each eyeshadow is 1.5g or 0.05 oz. so they are a good size. I went to England and Scotland last Fall and I went into every store in a few different cities that carry Louise Young brushes and none of them carried this palette! I nearly went mad. They all told me I would have to go to London to get my hands on it. I have been to London twice (fabulous city) but I wasn't visiting London on this latest trip so I was out of luck. When I got home, I did the only thing a woman in my position could do. I broke down and ordered it online. It was £30 plus £6.99 shipping to Canada. So I think I paid somewhere between $55-$60 Canadian.    
The case is very nice and is quality made. Shipping took maybe a week, two tops. The palette comes with a brush, which I haven't used yet. It looks like some kind of definer. Anyway, I also got a guide with two makeup looks in it. Very nice. I love this palette. I don't have anything like it and I own a boat load of eyeshadow. I think the fact that it is an all matte, neutral set is what makes it so special. The colours are all neutral, but you can easily create a dramatic look with them. I am constantly figuring out new ways to wear these colours. The cream coloured eyeshadow, Ting, is probably the most pigmented matte cream/off-white eyeshadow I have ever come across. It is seriously insane. What payoff! This colour alone makes the set. I like to mix Maowi and Pom Pom together to create the perfect grey brown. All of these eyeshadows are also intended to double as eyeliners. I have worn the black for 18 hours straight as eyeliner (both upper and lower lash) and it doesn't budge. It stays true and vibrant. Glides on like dream. Incredible. This is totally perfect for travel since it is in a nice slim case with a big mirror. I would totally recommend this palette. I can not say enough nice things about it. In fact, I can not think of one negative thing to say about it. I hope Louise Young Cosmetics brings out more eyeshadow colours because they have really knocked this one out of the park.

Rating: 10/10

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Stila Eye Shadow in Kitten - Review and Swatch

I bought this the other day. It's the only single Stila eyeshadow that I own. For the past few years, I have been buying a friend of mine Stila eyeshadow palettes as gifts, but I never thought to get myself one. That changed recently. I have a Stila palette coming up for review soon. This is Kitten, which is a cult favourite of Stila's. It gets rave reviews. I can see why. It is very nice! Very smooth and silky feeling. The colour is fantastic if you want a frosty nude champagne colour which I have been looking for high and low for a very long time. Elizabeth Arden makes a fabulous frosted nude by the way called Sparkle I believe and it is to die for. The sad thing is that it has parabens and some nasty stuff in the formula. No parabens in this Stila eyeshadow!

This Stila eyeshadow is 0.09 oz. or 2.6g. MAC's eyeshadows are 1.5g or 0.05 oz. So while I squawk at the fact that this eyeshadow was $22 Canadian and $18 U.S. and MAC is cheaper, you do get a fair amount of more product. This eyeshadow wears well all day long and looks fabulous. I think there may be some slight fallout issues, but with this colour, that is no big whoop. It will now take its rightful place in my regular daytime eyeshadow rotation. We have a winner!

Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Clinique Quickliner For Lips in 12 Deep Red and 29 Sky Violet - Review and Swatches

I don't know why I am only getting to this review now. I love these lip liners. The only thing I don't love is the price. They are $18 Canadian. I think the price is fair if you consider what other lip liners cost in equivalent or higher brands. I do think no lip liner should cost over $10, but hey that's my take. On the left, we have a swatch of 12 Deep Red which is an orange red. It looks great with any true red matte lipstick. On the right is 29 Sky Violet. This one is my favourite lip liner ever. It looks awesome with Clinique's Black Honey lipstick. I think the numbering of these has changed lately for the colours, but don't quote me on that.

I like these because the colour range is gorgeous. It is not easy to find a colour like 29 Sky Violet. That is also the colour of lipstick that I like to wear (berries in general) so it goes with so many of my lipsticks. The colour is very versatile. I think a lot of skin tones could pull it off. These glide on smooth and never tug on your lips like a lot of cheap ass lip liners I have had in the past. The colours stay true, stay put and it is a very nice creamy formula. I like that you can twist up the colour as you need it, no sharpening poky pencils. Also, no bits snapping off either in the cap or mid-application! I hate that!

I do think that you get a bit jipped on the amount of product you get since the liner comes out so narrow and thin. Heck they don't even tell you how much you are getting weight wise on the tube! Scary. However, because it comes out in such  a fine point, it really is great for quick and precise application. I think these are stellar overall.

Rating: 9/10 (price and amount of product are the only issues)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick - Review

This review will be short and not so sweet. I purchased this sometime last year I think. It stinks. It smells like someone threw up a herbal medicine store. It's really bad. The smell has gotten worse over time and now the mixture has tons of floaty bits in it. It says it is good for 12 months. Not sure if the time is up or not. Sure looks like it is. Other than smelling like a dead bear who died in a poison ivy patch when I have applied it, the worst insult of all is that it doesn't work. At least on me it doesn't. You would think that the smallest reward for smelling like this is at least that your blemish would disappear or shrink or look less red. No luck. It does none of those things. You still stink the morning after you use it and your blemish is still staring at you in the mirror laughing. Definitely not going to repurchase. I think it cost me about $12 Canadian.

Rating: 0/10 (is this the lowest rating I have given yet????)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment - Review

I am going to cut to the chase. I hate this stuff. This is the second nastiest smelling hand cream I have ever smelt. I am sure that most of you would think this is the worst smelling stuff you have ever smelt if you were unfortunate enough to ever get a whiff. Hideous. It smells like moldy, burning oregano. Brutal. It also reminds me of someone I know who bathes in aromatherapy and smells like a cross between oregano oil, pine sap, vaporub and bengay on a daily basis. I try to avoid this person by the way.

This product is around $19.50 and I don't know if that is Canadian or U.S. After using it, when you touch your hands, it feels soft and silky smooth. The problem is that the feel of your hand when you aren't touching yourself (okay that sounded wrong) feels dry and stiff. It is not comfortable to wear. I really don't have much that is nice to say about this product I am afraid. I bought something from Elizabeth Arden awhile back and I got a tube of this for free. The smell does wear off somewhat after awhile......nasty.

Rating: 1/10 (I am being generous)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

MAC Hey, Sailor! Jaunty Eyeshadow - Review and Swatch

The MAC Hey, Sailor collection has been out for awhile and although I am totally in love with the packaging, I didn't get too excited about the products. The only thing that was vaguely interesting to me was one of the blushes, Fleet Fast, which when I swatched it, looked a hell of a lot like the MAC limited edition Stunner from last Fall which I already have. I did want something from this collection since I thought the whole look and feel was totally cute. TiffanyD came along and ranted and raved about Jaunty, this eyeshadow, so I saw my in, and ran and picked it up. Similarly to how TiffanyD described it, it is a warmer more skin coloured version of my beloved Shroom by MAC. It's a cross between Shroom and a J. Lo gold eyeshadow. In some ways. more summer appropriate. It is a frost and is $19 Canadian (have the prices gone up?) and $16 U.S.

I like this colour but I don't think it is anything too get excited about. It will have it uses as far as I am concerned. I think you could make a lovely summer eye with a sparkly chocolate or plum brown in the crease. Perhaps even with black this would look dandy. Its pretty plain Jane as a sheer wash of colour on the lids. The texture is nice (as most MAC eyeshadows are) and it is long lasting with a primer underneath. The colour is a bit unusual but it will never go down as one of my faves.

Rating: 7/10 Colour
Rating: 9.5/10 Quality

Saturday, 16 June 2012

HOURGLASS Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick Whisper - Review and Swatch

I bought this lipstick for three reasons. One, Sam and Nic from pixiwoo have used this brand of lipstick in their tutorials a few times and they seemed to like it. Second, I love, love, love the 1970's packaging, it reminds me of some of the makeup compacts and cases my Mom had in the 1970's which sat on her dresser in some cases until well into the 1980's. My Mom has never been a big makeup lover as such and uses her stash sparingly. Third, when I swatched this lipstick at Sephora it danced like diamonds on my hand. I had meant to buy the colour Edition, but by mistake I bought Whisper because I couldn't remember the name of the one I wanted when I was in there.

The packaging is so cool. It is sturdy and looks expensive. Mind you, this lipstick is expensive. It is $35 Canadian and $30 U.S. in the States. I waited until I had a Sephora V.I.B. discount coupon before I bought this. So I ended up getting it for around $28 Cdn. I believe. I don't mind the colour but it is a bit pale and too frosted for my taste. I have to use a rose coloured lip liner with it to get it to look decent on me. In general, I hate frosted lipsticks and I hate pale lipsticks. I have ranted about this before. Frosted lipsticks look so fake and funny to me. Also, and maybe I am crazy, but frosted lipsticks make my lips feel swollen and like they are burning sometimes. I really hate that. So I took a leap of faith with this one. It still does my make lips feel swollen and a little burny, but not as badly as most frosted lipsticks do. The ingredients in this lipstick are not too scary.

There are two things I like about this lipstick. One is that it lasts forever on your lips. It is one of the most long lasting lipsticks that I have ever used which is not meant to be one of those drying long last lipsticks. Also, it feels so creamy and soft on your lips! It's like no other lipstick that I have tried. I just wish I would have gotten a different colour. The price is a bit much too. But I will buy another of these, when I can get it on sale, in another non-frosted darker colour somewhere down the road. If you like pale, frosted lipstick though, I would certainly check out this brand. I am sure this is a better lipstick than the pale frosty number that you are using now.

Rating: 7/10 (I'll probably give a higher mark to another colour in the line once I try it)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh 30 Pre-Moistened Brightening Facial Towlettes - Review

For years I have avoided make-up remover towelettes like the plague. In my mind, I used to think they were outrageously expensive and pointless. I totally bought these on whim. They are normally $10.99 Canadian in Shoppers Drug Mart. I got them on sale for $7.99. There are 30 in a pack. I just felt like something different and I love the smell of blueberries and lemon. I thought of this purchase as extravagant on my part. Then I started using them. I feel like my world has changed. They smell so good and they are so refreshing! I have since tried a couple of other brands and they don't compare to these at all. I will have to get to those reviews shortly.

In order to justify this purchase and my future purchases of this product, I sat down and thought about it. The fact is that if I start to add it up, I spend a small fortune on cotton pads, toner and make-up remover each year. I don't buy cheap toner and I don't buy cheap make-up remover. I am sure I spend the equivalent of $10 on toner, makeup remover and cotton pads easily in a month. I use one of these almost every day. Thirty in a maybe this is a good purchase, especially if I get them on sale.....

I have a confession to make. One of the worst habits I have and have always had is I leave my makeup on too long everyday. I always take it off before bed, but I really need to start doing that when I get home and I am in for the night. I am sure my skin has suffered over the years as a result. These towelettes are quick and easy and make my skin feel so refreshed and soft. I actually want to use them. Hell, I am itching to use one as I type this. I love them that much! Now, I have used these to remove my eye make-up, not sure if I am supposed to for that (oops), and they are somewhat effective for that purpose and it does not irritate my eyes at all. I have used other towelettes in the Yes to brand and they stung my eyes like mad. So I am not recommending this practise, I am just saying....

These are great for when I get home from work and I am feeling too lazy to wash my face. Now I do find that if I run a bit of toner over my face after I use one that some trace make-up still comes off. So these are not the be all end all in make-up removal. But it does take the lion's share of it off. I can easily go through a couple of cotton pads of toner and make-up remover after I wash my face normally so using these wipes really cuts down on the usage of that stuff. Also, these wipes are super gentle and softening. They supposedly have apple and lemon peel to cleanse and moisturize all in one. It says it is 99% natural product too which I like. I honestly love these. They make me happy as lame as that is to say. They really stay moist and do not dry out. The double seal is excellent on these. The only negatives is the price and that I wish they took off 100 percent of my make-up. I have never used two of these at one time. Maybe that would do the trick. Maybe I should try that but that does seem indulgent...

Rating: 8.5/10

Monday, 11 June 2012

Silk Elements MegaSilk Heat Protection Spray - Review

I am so sorry that I have not done a blog post in over two weeks! Some of you must have thought something terrible happened to me! I have just been super busy. I actually was away on vacation in Las Vegas for the past week (one of my favourite places in the world - yippie!). The week before that I was running around getting ready for Vegas and also I was out of town for a couple days for work purposes. So things have been bananas! I owe you guys a lot of reviews and I have lots ready and waiting in the wings so stay tuned!

So without further ado, let me jump into it. I discovered this product purely by accident. Sometimes those are the best products of all. I was given the choice of this or a similar product for free when I renewed my Sally Beauty membership a few weeks ago. I believe it retails for $8.99 Canadian and my bottle is 237ml or 8 fl. oz. This stuff is amazing! I have tried a million other heat protectors and none of them can touch this one. Other ones I have used seem to either not protect your hair or make it sticky. This product contains silk protein and it makes my hair feel like a million bucks. It gives it super shine and my hair feels so soft and silky after I use it. It is unbelievable. After I use it, it feels like I just got the most expensive hair treatment in the world. I can not say enough wonderful things about this. I assume that this product is also doing a good job of protecting my hair from heat damage too since my hair looks great after I use it. The heat from your curling iron or straightener seems to activate the silk protein. I will definitely be repurchasing this. I am not sure where you can buy this other than at Sally Beauty, but if any of you discover anywhere else that sells it, please let me know.

Rating: 10/10 Stellar!