Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday Fun - My Michael Kors Purse

Happy Friday and Happy Long Weekend! I thought I would do something  a little bit different today. This is my Michael Kors purse or handbag if you prefer. I got this last year in September at the Michael Kors Outlet store in Orlando when I went away for a cruise. It was a steal! I paid 30% of the sticker price. I guess it was considered end of season at the time, but I just kept it to use this past summer.

Those of you who read my previous blog post on my Coach purse will know that I am very hard on my purses and with a regular purse, I am very lucky if they last 6-10 months. As soon as I started buying Coach purses, that all changed. My first Coach purse lasted 3 1/2 years and I am retiring it now. It's a bit worn but it's still in one piece. I was concerned when I bought this Michael Kors purse that it wouldn't last anytime at all, but it is working out beautifully.

I have been using this purse non-stop for the last 4-5 months and it shows no sign of wear and tear. This is a quality made purse. I am impressed. The only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't have a zipper close at the opening. However, it has a very sturdy rope drawstring handle which has a magnet to close the opening. It works well and so far nothing has fallen out. It's quite tight at the opening when it shut. Also the purse is so big that all of your stuff is so far down in the purse that it would be quite tricky for someone to pull something out without you noticing.

It also has a handy secret zipper on the side of the purse which opens to a long and decently deep pocket. I think this would be excellent for hiding a small wallet or valuables in especially when travelling. When worn on the right shoulder (the only way I can wear a purse comfortably), the zipper is on the part which is tucked under the front side of your underarm so you can keep a good eye on it. That is assuming that anyone even guesses that the compartment exists. I have spread open the zipper area so you can see it above. It's fairly hidden though normally.

In addition, this purse has an inside zipper compartment and 4 inner pockets for your cell phone, transit pass etc. Whatever floats your boat. They are super handy. The inside of this purse is mammoth. It's got room for a huge wallet, tons of makeup (hee hee), an umbrella, your lunch, a file folder, a notebook, a mid-sized dog and two cats. I am not kidding. Minus the cats and dog, I have easily fit all of the other items that I just mentioned into this purse at one time and still have tons of room to spare.

I have gotten so many compliments on this purse this summer. Strangers have stopped me and told me that they loved it and asked me which store I bought it in. I think I will be putting this purse away in another month or two and saving it again for next summer. I have a new Coach purse itching to be used....

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Haul Time! Big MAC Haul!

I actually have done two MAC hauls in the past three weeks so I thought I would combine them and show you what I got! The first haul was innocent enough. I had some rewards points at the Bay so I got a sweet gift card with my points which practically paid for most of my first haul. In that haul I purchased the Brush Cleanser (I go through this stuff like water) and two eye shadows - Texture and Swiss Chocolate. You can't buy the pro palette refills at The Bay so I had to get the pots I am afraid. Free is free though and hey there's always Back to MAC.

While I was getting those three goodies, the MAC Artist talked me into going to one of their launches for the Indulge Collection. In exchange for spending a certain sum, they would do my makeup for me and show me their new products. I have never done that before so I thought "what the hell" and signed up. Needless to say I ended up spending more than the qualifying amount needed! This is not hard to do at a MAC counter!

I already had my eye on a couple of things so I figured that if I didn't like their new collection that I had lots of things in mind that I could buy. I ended up picking up the newish Pro Longwear Concealer in NC30, the MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, the Lightful Marine Bright Formula Moisture Crème and two of the Indulge Collection eye shadows in Divine Decadence and Sex & The Oyster.

From right to left we have Sex & The Oyster, Divine Decadence, Texture and Swiss Chocolate. There are better shots below. I promise to swatch these for you soon when I get to a review.

The MAC Artist that did my makeup showed me some good products that I was not aware of (how unusual) and she showed me a new look and some techniques so it was worth my while to go. However, the overall look she gave me didn't thrill me and I immediately thought when I looked in the mirror that I could do a better job myself at home. Is that terrible to say? When I got home, my husband gave me a strange look and said and I quote "you never do your makeup that way" and basically inferred that I do a better job. He hated the bronzer she used on me. Tee hee. I have zero professional makeup artist training by the way. I don't claim to be a guru but I usually know what I can get away with on my face and what is not so good. 

I did like the look of two eye shadows that she used on me shown above - Sex & The Oyster and Divine Decadence which are limited edition from the Indulge Collection. So I picked those up. I was not crazy about the foundation she used on me which did not have enough coverage for my taste and she watered it down big time with moisturizer so not much product went on. It was the new Matchmaster SPF 15 foundation. Since I seriously need help covering up my under eye circles, and since I had heard fabulous things about the new Pro Longwear Concealer, I picked that up. It's in glass too! Way to go MAC!

As I suspected, she suggested I go darker than my usual NC20/NC25 in order to cover up my under eye area, hence me getting the NC30. So we will see how that works out for me. I will keep you posted.

Here is Texture and Swiss Chocolate above. Anyway, she used the Lightful Marine Bright Formula on me to prep my skin and it felt amazing on. The MAC Artist raved about it and says she buys it basically by the bucket. Her skin did look good. This particular product cost me a small fortune so hopefully it lives up to my expectations! Finally, I am sick and tired about people gushing over Smolder eye kohl!!! So I had to buy it. Review coming soon. That's it, hope you liked my haul and that you are all keeping well!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Avon Supershock Cream (Gel?) Eye Liner in Velvet Plum - Review and Swatch

I'll be honest with you guys, I am not the biggest fan of Avon makeup. I have bought a few things here and there over the years and for me, most products are a bust. Some do work well though, but those are rare gems. I also don't like the ingredients that Avon uses in a lot of their products in general. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, literally.

I hadn't bought anything from Avon for a couple of years and then the other day Emily from Beauty Broadcast was raving over this limited edition cream (or is it a gel?) eye liner that Avon had out. A girl at my office sells Avon so I thought what the hell and ordered it. It only cost me $4.99. The liner is in a glass jar so kudos to you Avon for doing that! Where appropriate, I like my makeup in glass, not plastic, thank you.....

So here is the colour in Velvet Plum. Very nice colour if I do say so myself. I am still steamed that I never secured Clinique's limited edition Violet Luxe Brush-On Cream Liner. That stuff was no doubt the bomb! I was hoping that this colour would be a close match, but we will never know.  The formula of this Avon eye liner is kind of dry. That was the first thing I noticed. It is also not overly pigmented and is a bit thin for my taste. Since I am used to working with MAC or Clinique cream or gel liners, this stuff really pales in comparison. Even my Physician's Formula cream liners are far superior to this Avon one.

Once you do get a decent amount on your eye (you'll need some patience) the colour looks good (a bit dry though) and it is fairly long lasting. It lasted throughout my entire day. Let's it face, $4.99 is a bargain and if you need this colour you can't really go too wrong. My only words of caution are not to expect this to be high end quality cream liner. Since this is not a colour that I would wear everyday, I am not too fussed about the quality. There are parabens in here too so just an FYI. I believe this cream/gel liner also comes in black and maybe one other colour. Maybe the black is better, but I don't know my friends!

Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 5/10
Easy to Work With: 5/10
Longevity: 7.5/10
Colour Stays True: 8/10
Texture: 3/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 5/10 (there are parabens in it which I am not happy about) 
Travel Worthy: 8/10 (you have to also cart a brush with you)
Attractiveness of Product: 7/10
Would I buy this again? Nah
Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, 18 August 2013

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Medium - Review

Hello! Today I am going to review a product that  I have had for over 2 years. I will be honest with all of you, I didn't like this product at first. I thought it was a colossal waste of money. Online beauty bloggers rave about this stuff and I just didn't get it. It's $35 Canadian and it's a powder...a MAC powder. Not a Chanel or Hourglass powder, but a MAC powder. I thought $35 was highway robbery.

Of course I am talking about the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural as many of you have likely guessed from the title of this blog. I have the shade Light Medium which is perfect for me and guess what??? This colour is discontinued! Figures. From what I understand online, the new Light Plus is a similar replacement.

Maybe I misunderstood this product when it first came out. In my mind, this was like a baked, compact version of a Bare Minerals foundation a la MAC style. I swirled this stuff on my face and thought to myself, "Wow, that did nothing". I used it as a powder over foundation and noticed that if you use too much it can look cakey and if you use too little it looks like any old powder that you slapped on at first glance. To add to this, the clear plastic lid insert kept popping out. It drove me mad! I chucked this product aside.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I fished this out and dusted it off as I was sick of my loose powders making a mess and I remembered I had this tucked away and it was the right colour. In my mind I thought that I would use this up and make it one of my Back to MAC returns so I could get me some new eye shadow. I started using this as a very light dusting over my foundation just to kind of set the foundation and control some of the shine. I noticed shortly that this product was controlling quite a bit of shine and one application was lasting throughout a good part of the day. I also started noticing that my skin looked better with it on than without it on top of foundation. My foundation was working better. My skin had a slight glow which I find is only noticeable after you have had it on for a little while. I even took the time to pop the plastic lid back into place once again.

It appears the key is to use a very light hand and to put it over foundation (good foundation I might add). I don't find that this product looks good over some of the older MAC foundations as it can get quite cakey together. Looks great over Estee Lauder Double Wear though! Then I decided to try this product on my bare face again with some cover-up applied over my blemishes first. This stuff looked good! Unless you have beautiful skin (which I don't) this will not look good unless you conceal your problem areas with a liquid or cream cover-up first. Get rid of those powder cover-ups my friends (they look bad in my opinion). If you do use a proper concealer first on targeted areas, then this will look decent on the rest of your skin. It blends in well too I find with other brand concealers.

I use a Real Techniques brush when I apply this by the way. I use the Multi Task Brush. When I discovered that the colour that I am using was discontinued, I noticed that a lot of online beauty bloggers are also using a real techniques brush to apply this product. Humph. How funny is that? Great minds think alike. I do think that what brush you use will also make a huge difference with this product. When I started using this product, I used another brush and it wasn't working so great.

I've been long winded about a powder! Sheesh. I guess what I am really trying to say is to give this a chance. I didn't like it at all at first but it grew on me. You just have to know how to use this and find how it works for you. When you do, you may find it is a bit of a gem! Also, there is a lot of product in one of these compacts (10g or 0.35 oz.). You don't need a lot and mine has been lasting forever. As you can see from the picture above, I have lots left. I have no doubt that it will be a long time before this becomes a Back to MAC. Maybe I will get my $35 worth after all!

Packaging: 7/10  (MAC I love your packaging but this faulty lid can be the pits!)
Pigmentation: 7.5/10 (blends in well, matches my skin but doesn't lay down mad pigment) 
Easy to Work With: 7/10 (assuming you know what you are doing)
Longevity: 8/10
Texture: 7.5/10 (could feel better on the skin, be more silky)   
Price: 5/10 (you do get a ton of product/value for your money but it's still steep for a talc powder)
Ingredients: 7.5/10
Travel Worthy: 7/10  (that damn lid may cause a catastrophe but otherwise great on the go)
Attractiveness of Product: 9/10 (once you get the hang of it)
Would I buy this again? Likely
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black - Jet Black - Review and Swatch

This is my hands down new favourite liquid liner. Where has it been all of my life? I cannot recommend this liquid liner enough. It is super easy to use because it has a very fine tip and the product comes out at a decent rate, not fast and in big blobs. If you are new to liquid liner, you have to get this one. If you are an old pro, this is still possibly your best bet. This stuff glides on easily, you can make your line and wing as small or as big as you want. There is no tugging, no smudging, no nonsense. It's hard to screw up lining your eyes when you us this. I have worn this eyeliner in 110 degrees and it does not fade. It still looks awesome and fresh by the end of the day. It is also not super wet, but is just the right moistness (is that a word?) so you can't make a mess.

This liner does not run or feather. It is not the blackest liquid liner on the market, I will say that. But it is black enough to look good and get the job done. Also, you can put another layer of it over the first layer if you want it really black. While L'Oreal's Carbon Intense Liner is much blacker, I find the tip is not as precise as the Stila one and the L'Oreal liner comes out fast and can be a bit tricky to deal with. Also, it doesn't dry out in 10 seconds like the MAC counterpart. They are $26 Canadian at Sephora and $20 U.S. Well worth every penny I think. This is perfect for travel, especially if you want to avoid lugging a gel pot liner and brush etc. The tube is super slim and can be tucked into the smallest purse. There is a spring-like click to keep the cap on too. Here's the swatch.

Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 7.5/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 9/10
Price: 9/10
Ingredients: 5/10 (there are parabens in it which I am not happy about) 
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 9.5/10
Would I buy this again? Yes
Overall Rating: 9/10

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance - Review and Swatch

For years I have poo poo'd foundation primers. To me it seemed like yet another product to layer onto your face. It seemed like a colossal waste of time and money or so I thought. I recently busted out a sample I had kicking around of Estee Lauder's foundation primer when I was in Las Vegas. The weather was hot and the days were long so I thought my foundation could use a boost and some more staying power. I was happy with the results. I will save my review of the Estee Lauder product for a separate review coming soon.

On to the topic at hand. I was so impressed with the Estee Lauder foundation primer that I decided to give one of many Laura Mercier primer samples a try that I had lying around. Sephora gives these out like it is going out of style. My skin was not looking so good lately and I didn't feel like wearing a heavy coverage foundation so I applied this the other morning. Wow! This foundation primer takes primer to a new level I think. This product is tinted and when you apply it, it seems to reduce the look of redness and blemishes on your face right away. It blends in completely - most people should be able to wear this colour I would think/hope. Your pores disappear after you apply this. Your skin looks illuminated and fresh all day. It makes my foundation look great throughout the day and doesn't let it fade. My foundation glides on like a dream after I use this. Shine on your face is kept at a decent minimum too all day long. My mother even complimented me on my skin the other day and asked me what I did as it looked beautiful. My mother hasn't said that about my skin in years!

I have totally changed my attitude towards foundation primers! This Laura Mercier one excellent in my book.

This product comes in 3 sizes and ranges in price from $24 to $55 Canadian or $19.50 to $44 U.S. The samples that I have should last me a long time I think. You only need a little bit of the product and it goes a long way. Here's the swatch:

Packaging: 8/10 
Pigmentation: 9/10 
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 10/10 
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Hell Yes 
Overall Rating: 9/10

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick in 30 Pin Up Peach - Review and Swatch

As many of you know, I am not the biggest fan of drugstore makeup. However, once in a while I find the odd good buy and/or gem. Today, I have one for you. I apologize but the writing on the tube faded almost as soon as it went into my purse makeup bag. That's drug store packaging for you! So this is the Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick in Pin Up Peach. I heard some good things about this online so I decided what the heck and picked it up. I don't believe that I actually have a lipstick colour like this one so it was a no brainer.

It has a gel base I believe and therefore it glides over your lips. It's not sticky at all, just silky smooth. I don't find that this formula bleeds or stains much. It's super comfortable to wear and is possibly slightly moisturizing. It is a sheer colour but I actually like those. You still get enough colour to look like you are wearing lipstick though. This particular colour looks very attractive on and I have a feeling just about anyone could pull it off. Here is the swatch which doesn't do the colour justice.

I will seriously be picking up a few more shades of this product and will likely repurchase Pin Up Peach before they disappear. The lipstick smells a bit like candy, which I can overlook, but I wish they would have toned down the smell a bit. If you eat or drink anything, I do find that this lipstick will come off faster than regular lipsticks because of the gel formula. However, if you don't eat or drink anything, I find that this lipstick is just as long wearing as any other regular lipstick on the market with the added bonus that the colour stays looking good on and looks freshly applied.

I think I paid maybe around $8 for this at Wal-Mart. You should check these out!

Packaging: 3/10 (writing faded in 2 seconds, looks cheap and lid is not so secure) 
Pigmentation: 8/10 (for a sheer lipstick - impressive) 
How Does it Feel On: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: ????? not sure what is in here 
Travel Worthy: 7/10 (lid not so secure is an issue)
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Smell and Taste: 6/10
Would I buy this again? YES     
Overall Rating: 8/10

Monday, 5 August 2013

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 0L Matte Black - Review and Swatch

I got this as a rewards sample from Sephora. I confess that I am a bit of a MAKE UP FOR EVER virgin. I have a couple of samples of their products, but I haven't really bothered to try any of them until now. A full sized Aqua Eyes eyeliner is $23.00 Canadian and is $19.00 U.S. MAKE UP FOR EVER gets a lot of good reviews out there in the makeup blogger word but I had never heard much said about this eyeliner.

This product has both good and bad points, like any product I guess. The good points are that the pencil is smooth and creamy and does not tug on your eye. It is very easy to work with and could probably be smoked out very easily. This would be a good eyeliner for someone new to makeup to try.

So the bad....this product is supposed to be waterproof (says so right on the pencil) as well as is supposed to be smudge and fade resistant. I will admit that I have greasy eyelids so not many products prove to be smudge resistant and/or waterproof on me. That being said, and I know I am not alone in this problem, I really hate it when a product claims to be something that it is not. This product does transfer and smudges on me. It is not a pretty sight. I also find that the colour fades a good deal on me within a matter of a few hours. The colour is also not the blackest of blacks to begin with. I find the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners to be a far superior product to this one.

Packaging: 9/10
Pigmentation: 6/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 4/10
Colour Stays True: 5/10 (fades)
Texture: 10/10 (smooth and silky)
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: ????? not listed on eyeliner nor Sephora nor MUFE's website
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 5/10 (looks good initially but smudges and fades)
Would I buy this again? No
Overall Rating: 6/10

Friday, 2 August 2013

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Rich Raisin 80 - Review and Swatch

Sorry for disappearing there for a week or so, but I was in Vegas! Yes, I love that place and I had to go back. I was planning to have some scheduled posts but I ran out of time before I left.

On to the topic at hand. You can't buy any Neutrogena makeup products in Canada to my knowledge. Needless to say, I bought this on a recent trip to the States. I think I paid about $8 for it. The colour I have is Rich Raisin 80. Sorry, the tube looks a bit orange in the picture above, but the tube is actually a dark red purple colour. The packaging is very similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm. The Neutrogena product is a different animal though. At first I really liked this product, but after I wore it a couple of times I noticed a few things that I didn't like.

Okay, so I will go over my good points about this product before we get to the bad ones. First of all, the price is good and you can get this at Target in the States. It goes on super creamy and is very moisturizing. It feels great on and it seems to last for a good deal of time if you don't eat or drink anything.

Here is the swatch:

On to the bad....the colour changes over time. This is a raisin colour, but I find that it starts looking orange on me after a couple of hours or more of wear. I really don't like that. Also, the colour does bleed and doesn't stay put sometimes. Finally, and this was gross, I wore it one day when I was running around and got a bit sweaty and the product started running and I got a taste of it literally. It tasted like soap and it was nasty!!! It also started smelling like soap and it was a real turn off for me. If you smell the product out of the tube, it smells like some cheap kid soap product. Yuck!

Packaging: 7/10 
Pigmentation: 3/10 (very good but then it changes colour)
How Does it Feel On: 9/10 (moisturizing) 
Longevity: 2/10 (the fact that it bleeds is a big issue)
Texture: 8/10
Price: 9/10
Ingredients: 6/10
Travel Worthy: 6/10
Attractiveness of Product: 1/10 (bleeds and changes colour) 
Smell and Taste: 0/10
Would I buy this again? No Way     
Overall Rating: 5/10 (this is being very generous)