Monday, 29 December 2014

Avon Nail Art Design Strips in 1733 Winter Wonderland - Review

I recently busted out some Avon Nail Art Design Strips in Winter Wonderland that I have had kicking around, for dare I say it, a year or two...

Yes, most embarrassing. I was feeling extra festive last week so I decided to give them a shot. This was the first time that I had used nail strips so I knew this was going to be an education. I don't believe that Avon carries this design or colour anymore, but I could be wrong. I think I paid somewhere around $11.99 Canadian for these. I think for what it is, that is a bit steep. Other Avon Nail Art strips sell for $10 U.S. I believe. I just checked their website and they appear to currently be having a sale on what they have for $3.99 U.S. which I think is a very fair price. You get 18 strips in total.

To me, this was a very pro and con product. What I mean is that for every pro there was a con. As a result, I am still not 100% sure how I feel about them and likely I would think that I would feel the same about nail strips in general. Okay, let's talk about the pros first.

The first pro is that they are easy to apply. I am usually a dumb ass when it comes to things like this so that is part of the reason why I avoided trying them out for so long. I thought they would take forever to apply or that I would fudge them up. Basically, once you have selected one that reasonably fits your fingernail in question, you just centre it and fold the excess tip over the end of your nail. You can then either tear it off (not recommended) or file it off. The filing takes 2 seconds, literally. My original idea was to wear one of these on the 3rd finger of each hand and to paint the rest silver. I ran out of time between shopping, wrapping etc. so I decided to put all of these on once I realized how quick they are. In fact, I did a whole hand, in the car, on the way to a family function and it was not a long drive. I think I could easily have done all 10 fingers in under 10 minutes.

The second pro is that they look like nail polish at first glance. I got a number of compliments on my nails when I wore them and people were surprised that they were "stickers". The third pro is that they adhere quite well. I had serious concerns that these would be flying off or lifting but they didn't for the first couple of days. They even survived a couple of full showers and a couple sinks full of dishes and they didn't come off. Sleeping in them was no biggie. Fourth pro was that they are fun! I wouldn't get nail strips in a pale or solid colour though. I will get into that momentarily. Fifth pro is that there is no drying time. Instant manicure done and you don't have to be overly careful with your fingers I would say after about  10 minutes of having them on. Lastly, the final pro is that when I was tired of them, I was able to easily peel them off and there was hardly any, if any, residue from the "glue" left behind. They were off in under 2 minutes and my nails looked the same as when I put them on.

On to the cons. First con is that the base of the nails (part that you would place near your cuticle) is awfully square. Maybe my nails are weird, but mine are quite round. As a result, some of the nails overlapped onto my skin and that was not so attractive. Others that fit my cuticle bed area better were too small to cover the whole nail on the sides. Bizzare. The second con is the price - $11.99. I can get a whole bottle of OPI nail polish for that price or less and I would have how many applications??? Countless. So I guess you are paying for the convenience of it all, but for a one time use, it's pricey.

Although they felt good for the first couple of days, they really started to bug me after that time period. They started to feel like stickers on my finger nails. I think they started looking more like stickers too. That was the third con. The fourth con was that I noticed after a couple of days that the tips started to chip, tear and crack. The fifth con was, and I should have mentioned this earlier in the list, that after I applied them, I got a few creases in them that I couldn't flatten out and I think may have been unavoidable. Hence, my suggestion to avoid light colours in these strips or ones with no design. The design on these covered a number of application sins.

I have a Sally Hansen set of nail strips which I will have to try one of these days. I will give a full report when the time comes.

So what do you think? Do you like nail strips or hate them? I would love to hear what you think.

Packaging: 7/10
Pigmentation: 10/10 
Easy to Work With: 7/10 (points off for creases and shape of the nail strips)
Longevity: 6.5/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: N/A sort of
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 810
Would I buy this again? Not Sure
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Sunday, 28 December 2014

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser - Review

I have been using this cleanser off and on for a few months now. Until I tried this product, I had only tried one other First Aid Beauty product and I was quite impressed with it. I only had a sample of that product so a full review of it will have to wait until I purchase a regular sized jar of it. Anyway, I had high hopes for this cleanser. I purchased the 1.0 oz. size for I think $3.99 from Winners (a.k.a. Marshalls). Normally, there are four sizes for this product (1 oz., 2 oz., 5 oz. and 8 oz.) ranging from $7 Canadian to $32 Canadian or $5.50 U.S. to $26 U.S. I will start off by saying that I am glad I only got the 1 oz. and that I only paid $3.99 for it. You see where I am going with this...

Before I get into what I think of the product, I am going to list below what Sephora's website says about it:

What it is: A face cleanser with a whipped texture that transforms into a rich cream when blended with water.

What it does:
This Face Cleanser gently cleanses the skin, removing surface oils, makeup, dirt, and grime—and its whipped texture transforms into a rich cream when blended with water. It is infused with a powerful botanical antioxidant blend that works hard to block damaging free radicals. It calms redness and is pH-balanced to maintain the natural acidity of the skin. Daily use will result in fewer flare ups and reduced skin reactivity.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is appropriate for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin. It has been allergy-tested, dermatologist-recommended, and contains FAB Antioxidant Booster (white tea, licorice root, and feverfew) to combat free radicals.

Okay, on to my thoughts. This product doesn't lather or foam. That's not a deal breaker for me, but I like to feel something is happening or working in some way. I don't see any "rich cream" happening. When I add water and rub this over my face, I feel like I am washing it with hand soap. A little of this product does not go far. I find myself needing more to cover my face - way over and above what the tube says I need. I don't feel like I am washing my face when I apply this. I just feel like I am smearing my face with some goo. After I wash it off, my face feels unwashed, unclean. Then my skin starts tightening and goes really dry. I have oily to combination skin so this must really be doing a number on my face. Even though my skin starts feeling parched, my skin still feels unwashed!

The bottom line, as you probably guessed, is that I don't like this product. I have nothing good to say about it which is a shame because I sure did like that moisturizer of theirs that I tried once. The reviews on this product on Sephora's website are mostly very positive. Maybe I missed something, but this product sure isn't for me.

Packaging: 2/10 (the colour of the tube is peels off in small chips and chunks)
Texture: 0/10
Price: 7/10 (if it worked)
Ingredients: 7.5/10
Easy to Work With: 2/10  
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Deep Cleans: 0/10
Moisturizing: 0/10
Comfortable/Softening: 0/10
Smell: 6/10 (almost no smell but it smells a little of old hand lotion)
Would I buy this again? HELL NO   
Overall Rating: 1/10 

**Update 09/26/2016: I received another tube of this cleanser in a set of First Aid Beauty (FAB) products that I bought. It is not as bad as I remembered. The packaging is slightly different and the packaging is no longer chipping or peeling. It is thicker and lathers better. My face feels cleaner this time around when I wash it. Do I love this cleanser now? No. But it is obvious to me that FAB has improved the formula and has really stepped up their game with this product.**

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Make-Up Removing Solution Sensitive Skin - Review

Merry Christmas everyone! It's Christmas Eve as I type this. A couple of my friends got me this gorgeous bouquet the other day when I hosted dinner. I decided to take a picture of it and then I decided to take a picture with the product I am reviewing today. Hey, why not?

This make-up remover by Bioderma is a cult favourite. It's won a bunch of beauty awards. I have been meaning to try it for years and finally took the plunge. It retails for $26.99 Canadian, however, I got mine on sale for $21.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart. My bottle is 500 ml which is a very decent size. I have also seen it in a smaller size which I wish I had bought first....You can also get it at Rexall. So what do I think about it? Well...

I don't love it. On the up side I like that it is not greasy and it is non-irritating. It seems to wipe clean and does not leave any residue from the product itself. It's super gentle. I actually like it more for removing makeup from my face than from my eyes. Of course, I bought it for eye make-up removal so that kind of defeats the purpose of the purchase and doesn't really meet my needs. I find it does a fine job of removing eyeshadow and eyeliner. It is horrible with mascara. I don't wear waterproof mascara and I have always found that my Klorane eye make-up remover does a fine, quick job with any mascara. No matter what mascara I am wearing, the Bioderma eye make-up remover is slow to take off mascara (numerous wipes needed) and it makes my mascara crumble. These "crumbs" stick all around my eyes and my cheeks. Getting them off of my face is a bitch. Don't even bother trying to get at them with more eye make-up remover. It just spreads them around and turns the "crumbs" into more tiny crumbs. Total nightmare. I go to bed thinking that I got all of the "crumbs" and my lashes are looking mascara free many nights. Then I get in the shower the next morning and I find more "crumbs" coming out of no where and they are sticking all over my face again!!! Ticks me off.

So needless to say, this will not be a repurchase. I am spoilt rotten with my beloved Klorane Soothing Make-Up Remover lotion with the pump dispenser. Some of the other Klorane eye makeup removers are not as good. Here is the link to my blog post on the one I love:

Packaging: 9/10
Texture: 10/10  
Price: 7/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Smell: 10/10 (not much of a smell which is nice)
Easy to Work With: 1/10  
Works Well: 0/10
Travel Worthy: 0/10 (not unless you packed some in a separate leak proof container) 
Moisturizing: 10/10
Comfortable/Softening: 10/10
Would I buy this again? NO
Overall Rating: 5/10

Monday, 22 December 2014

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask - Review

This may very well be my new favourite cleanser. I have been using it for the last couple of months and so far, it is really impressing me. I have a few small tubes of this, mostly from gift with purchase bags, and for longest time, I didn't give them a second thought. Maybe it's just me, but I have never found that companies that specialize in makeup and perfume make the best cleansers. In this case, I was dead wrong. I love most Estee Lauder products, so why I failed to give this one a try for so long is beyond me.

You only need a little of this. If you add a generous amount of water and rub it between your hands and then apply it to your face, you will have a wonderful, refreshing lather. I like to use this product with my Clarisonic Mia 2. My face has never felt cleaner or more refreshed when I use this product. My face is literally squeaky clean afterwards. Another plus is that my face doesn't get dried out after using this. It cleans deep down and gets my makeup off. I have found that I have a lot fewer blemishes too since I started with this product.

I have not yet used it as a mask, put I plan on giving that a go. The only thing I don't like about this product is that is it somewhat pearlized. Call me crazy, but that bugs me. It seems unnatural. You get 5 oz. for $25 U.S. Will check on the price in Canadian funds and report back. This product is geared towards normal or combination skin. It sounds like they have changed the formula recently and I think I may have one of each? I will be buying the regular sized version of this soon, which will likely be the new formula. I will update this post when the time comes. For now, I am in love.

Packaging: 9/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: ????? 
Easy to Work With: 10/10  
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Deep Cleans: 10/10
Moisturizing: 8/10
Comfortable/Softening: 8/10
Smell: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Yes!!!    
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 

Monday, 15 December 2014

My Top Holiday 2014 Gift Sets and Palettes for the Makeup or Beauty Lover

I have swatched my little heart out, contrasted, compared and crunched the numbers. Here are my Top 6 picks for Holiday 2014 Gift Sets and Palettes. Overall, I have to say that I was little disappointed by the choices that were put out this year by makeup companies. I felt that there were too many similarities for some of the sets that were put out this year when compared to the Holiday 2013 Sets that were put out by the same companies last year. For example, Too Faced's Everything Nice and Sugar & Spice palettes left me wanting. They reminded me too much of their A Few of My Favorite Things palette from last year, which I love by the way, but it's just too much of the same for me. In general though, I felt that not a lot of thought was put into this year's sets. They all seemed to be released early and I got the impression many of them were rushed through production.

Okay, let's get to it. I have listed my picks from most expensive to least expensive.

Tarte Bon Voyage Collector's Set and Travel Bag
I am a sucker for a Holiday Set with a nice makeup bag. This set fits the bill. It is $71 Canadian and $59 U.S.

This set contains:
- 20 x 0.07 oz Amazonian clay eye shadows in Palace Of Versaille, Moulin Rouge, I Think I Cannes, My Own Cotes De Rhone, Boudoir Noir, Fall In Louvre, Provence Upon A Time, Eiffel For You, Too Haute To Handle, Bastille In The Night, Chantilly Lace, Merci You Later, No Champagne, No Gain, Take On Bordeaux, French Riviera, C’est La Vie, Marseille The Word, Play Nice, On A Good Notre Dame, Le Cordon Bleu
- 0.13 oz Deluxe lights, camera, lashes 4-in-1 mascara
- 0.17 oz Limited-edition deluxe cheek stain in Muse (soft nude)
- 0.27 oz LipSurgence lip gloss in Visionary (apricot)
- 0.06 oz LipSurgence lip tint in Romantic (peachy nude)
- 0.23 oz Deluxe maracuja oil
- 0.07 oz Deluxe smooth operator Amazonian clay finishing powder
- Limited-edition collector’s travel bag

This year's bag is not as nice as the one that Tarte had last year, but the eyeshadows are better quality this year. Frankly, this set is huge and well worth the $71. It is supposedly over a $500 value. I do make it a habit to pick up most of the Tarte Holiday Sets just because they are always phenomenal bang for your buck. It also allows you to try a number of their products for a reasonable price.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
I feel like this trio needs no introduction. Hourglass blushes are pricey at $41 Canadian each. To get 3 of them for $67 Canadian or $58 U.S. is fantastic. The three blushes are Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra and Mood Exposure. This would be an amazing gift to receive. The packaging is A1 as usual.

Too Faced La Belle Carousel
The concept of this is beyond adorable. Yes, this is going on top of my makeup drawers for the next little while. In this set you get a Better than Sex mascara. You get twelve gorgeous eyeshadows in Frost, Tin Soldier, Christmas Tree, Santa's Boots, Tufted Suede, Angel Hair, Haute Chocolate, Yule Log, Nutcracker, Nude Beach, Boxes & Bows and Sugar Plum Fairy. I cannot rave about these eyeshadows enough.  The two blushes are Luminous Peach and Who's Your Poppy blush. If that weren't enough, you also get 2 fantastic bronzers in Chocolate Soleil and Sun Bunny Dark. It's also a decoration as I mentioned. It is $59 Canadian or $49 U.S. Great gift! I would be thrilled if someone picked this up for me. Of course, I already bought it for myself...

bareMinerals The Magic Act
This palette is $49 Canadian or $39 U.S. It has a Houndstooth cover. I love Houndstooth!

This set contains:
- 6 x 0.04 oz bareMinerals READY Eye shadow in Celebrate, Fortune, Shazam, A-ha, Pumped, Foreshadow
- 0.1 oz bareMinerals READY blush in The Close Call (bronze taupe), The Natural High (golden petal peach), The Indecent Proposal (dusty palm)
- 0.09 oz bareMinerals READY Luminizer in The Premiere

The formula for all of these is amazing. It's sleek, compact and perfect for travel. If that wasn't enough, there are pictures inside showing you a couple of looks. I love that, especially for the days when you are not feeling so inspired in the a.m. I think this is the neatest palette that I have seen this holiday season. I think it's a great value for your money too.

it Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette
I got this on sale from The Shopping Channel for about $36 Canadian. There are 15 eyeshadows in here, 14 are matte. These are really nice matte eyeshadows, especially the darker colours. The ingredients are very good. I think $36 for this type of quality is close to unheard of. A solid gift for anyone that loves palettes or matte shades.

Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil Set
Last, but certainly not least is the Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil Set that came out this year. The cute tin contains the shades Pomegranate, Rhubarb, Sable and Winterberry. It's $29 Canadian and I think around $25 U.S. This is a no brainer, can't go wrong gift for anyone that likes lipstick or makeup in general.

If you are looking for some stocking stuffer ideas or more budget friendly beauty gifts, please check out my last blog post:

There are a couple other Holiday 2014 palettes that I feel I should mention. The Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Book looked fabulous at first glance. When I swatched the shadows, some were not very impressive. I was actually quite disappointed considering her eyeshadows are normally very good quality. Even though there were 24 eyeshadows, at $55 U.S. and I think around $64 Canadian, it didn't seem as up to snuff as its competitors so I passed on it. I briefly saw it go on sale on for $36 Canadian a week or so ago. It was gone within the hour I saw it. I think $36 is a decent price for it, despite it flaws, so if you can get it in store for that price, hey, why not.

Make Up Forever Studio Case was $59.50 U.S. or $68 Canadian and is now on sale as I type for $39 U.S. or $45 Canadian on Sephora's website. I think this is a good quality set and I am tempted to get it but I think I will show some restraint. I have bought enough this holiday season. If you can get it for the sale price, I would totally pounce. The eyeshadows are quite small so for full price, the value you are getting is questionable. This set contains: - 12 x 0.024 oz Artist Shadows in Natural (M-530, S-516, I-544), Smoky (M-122, ME-108, M-100), Bold (D-236, D-926, I-218), Chic (I-524, D-826, ME-828) - 0.01 oz Artist Liner in Matte Black (M-10) - Step-by-step guide. If you know someone getting into makeup that doesn't have a lot of eyeshadows, you need to look no further than this set.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

My Picks for Great Stocking Stuffer Ideas for a Makeup or Beauty Lover

I feel like I haven't done a blog in ages! I am so very sorry for being away. It has been an insane last week and a half for me. I had to write this big exam, work has been crazy, had a couple of migraines, my computer wasn't working for a little bit and I had a couple of Christmas parties to fit in. Somehow, I survived and now I am back to blogging. Hooray!

I was planning to do a blog on my favourite holiday palettes and sets that were released this year, but I think I will leave that until tomorrow.

I am personally struggling with coming up with stocking stuffer ideas (mostly for the hubby) this year so I thought I should do a little post on some things that I have picked up lately that I think would be a good choice for the makeup or beauty lover in your life. The best part? They are all reasonably priced. Okay, so here we go in no particular order:

1. Hard Candy Fierce Effects High Intensity Eye Shadow in 896 Soft & Sultry - This is a great, cure little duo and for $6 U.S., hey, you can't go wrong. They are also fun and very wearable. I got mine at Wal-Mart. They come in other colours too!

2. Bite Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Scarlet and Poppy - There are a few different colour options for these duos. I have 3 of them...The Bite formula is unsurpassed. I don't know anyone that doesn't love these lipsticks. The fact that you get two lipsticks (albeit smaller sized) for $12 U.S. or $15 Canadian is a fantastic deal. You can even use this as an ornament for your tree. Got mine at Sephora.

3. Burt's Bees A Bit of Burt's Bees Set with Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil - I think I paid $4.49 U.S. for this. I am not giving it away. I love both of these products and they are natural. I bought it at Ulta in the U.S. but I have seen them at Target too for the same price. The lip balm alone retails for this price! Every year a go-to stuffing stuffer for moi is anything by Burt's Bees. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

4. L'Occitane En Provence Shea Travel Treats - This set, that doubles as a tree ornament, has a 1 oz. Shea Butter Hand Cream and a 1 oz. Shea Butter Foot Cream. Both products are two of my faves. The travel size is so handy for your purse or a week away. This is the priciest item on my list but I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't love and appreciate this dynamic duo. It's $20 U.S. or $24 Canadian. I bought this at Sephora.

5. Sephora VIP Pass Eyeshadow Palette - I am not the biggest fan of Sephora brand cosmetics, but when I saw this, it was a no brainer. I considered giving it away, but I am keeping it for myself. I am a selfish bitch, I know. This is a slim, compact eyeshadow palette that is perfect for your purse or for travel. It contains 8 eyeshadows. These 8 eyeshadows all are you need to create a sophisticated neutral or brown look, and also everything you need to create a smokey eye for night. The colours look  incredible and the browns are stunning. Full review coming soon. It's $12 by the way. Yes, only $12.....the price sealed the deal for me.

6. Korres 6 Body Butters in Papaya Mango, Guava, Jasmine, Vanilla Guava, Cassis Fig and Basil Lemon - I bought two sets of these. One for me and one for a friend. The sticker says $25 Canadian but Shoppers Drug Mart is currently selling them for $19.99. I have tried only 1 Korres product before, but had heard good things about their body butters. They care about their ingredients too so that is a major plus in my book. Let me tell you that these body butters are super luxurious. My skin sings when I apply them and I don't have to reapply until I shower. I thought I would not like some of the scents but so far I like them all! I know what you are thinking. You are wondering why I am showing you this big set as it is clearly not a stocking stuffer. Well my friends, I have an indecent proposal. Split them up and you have 6 stocking stuffers for just over $3 each. You won't find a better bargain for a quality product this Christmas my friends. They are each sealed inside the cap too so go crazy and break the set up!

I hope you found this blog post helpful! I will be back tomorrow with more gift giving ideas!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

November 2014 Empties!

I had feared that I would have little to nothing to show for myself for November empties. Luckily, I ended up with 6 products which is something, but it's still sad. Let's get into it:

1. Origins Plantscription - I have gone through countless tubes of this. One of my favourite products. Helps keep the fine line and wrinkles at bay or helps them to disappear. I can't believe I still haven't done a full review on this product yet. Already repurchased.

2. Bb Straight (Bumble and Bumble) - This particular product has been discontinued much to my dismay. The replacement product that they have right now is terrible. I have had to move other to another product line for my straightening needs. This product really worked and was easy to use. I will miss it.

3. Estee Lauder Double Wear Light - I use Intensity 2.0. This is one of my usual monthly empties. Love this stuff, can't find much else that compares to it. A definite staple of my makeup regime. Already repurchased.

4. Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm - This was very moisturizing but it did zip for my dark under eye circles. It's not cheap either, but this was a large sample that I got from Sephora. It last me a couple of months or so. Will not purchase. Full review:

5. fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment - Got this as a free sample from Sephora. This was I think my third tube. I have purchased the regular full-sized tube in the past and loved it. The only thing I hate about it is the price. Would consider repurchasing. Full review:

6. Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk - I liked this gloss but I would have preferred another colour. I got this as part of a Too Faced set awhile back. It is minty though and smells like off custard. I don't hate the smell though. Would consider repurchasing. Full review:

Monday, 1 December 2014

it Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette - Review and Swatches

Okay everyone, I am going to go ahead and jump right into today's palette review. This is the it Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette. I bought it on the Shopping Channel (QVC in the U.S. basically) over a month ago for just under $40 Canadian. I got it during a promotion and there was a discount etc. This palette has 15 eyeshadows -  14 matte colours and one supposed shimmer called Transforming Pearl. The packaging is nice and sleek and the array of colour options is quite nice and extensive. This would be a good palette for travel with one exception dealing with the lighter colours that I will get into in a minute. I must say that I am not a big fan though of the baby pink felt cover. It's a bit too Mary Kay and granny for me. It will show up any fluff or dirt easily and I imagine it will look pretty mangy in no time.

To me this palette is a little bit different. I really like the sunset type colours and the purples. I think all of the medium to dark eyeshadows in this palette are great. They are very pigmented, blend easily and work well together. I have no love for the lighter shades though. Specifically, I am really not digging Sheer Joy, Soft Light, Warmth and Love. I find these colours to be chalky and they do not have staying power even with an eye primer and an eyeshadow base. They don't brighten your eye area and I think that is important. If you are going to wear these shades I would seriously recommend using a light coloured, very opague eyeshadow base such as NYX Milk or Sigma's Awake. They really need something heavy duty and bright under them.

It's funny because I have an it Cosmetics eyeshadow trio palette and my complaint about the lightest shade in there is the same as I feel about the light shades in this palette. Personally, I would pair most of this palette with a satin or shimmer shade from another eyeshadow brand for the light eyeshadow colours. I really don't like them. On top of this, I detest the Transforming Pearl. I don't find anything shimmery about it. It's like applying straight up talc powder to my eyes as far as I am concerned. It makes you look old and powdery and it's so thick! I would just skip that colour altogether. I have used it several times and can't get it to do anything for me. I think the idea of the Transforming Pearl is neat and genius, but the execution of the product was terrible. If any of you have this palette and have had a different experience with Transforming Pearl, please let me know!

Despite my grumbling, I really like 10 of the 15 eyeshadows a lot. I think that's pretty good, no? I don't regret buying this palette and I think $40 for all of this eyeshadow (which has good ingredients!) is a worthy purchase.

Swatch time!

From left to right we have Sheer Joy, Soft Light, Warmth, Soulful, Mocha and Violet. See! The lighter shades are a tad sad.

Did I mention that this palette can be propped up and used that way? I think that is a handy option. Okay, totally side tracked there. Back to the swatches!

So here is Midnight, Noir, Love, Sunrise, Sunset and All Heart. Very pretty I think.

The last three below are Java, Iconic and Transforming Pearl.

Packaging: 8/10 (minus 2 for pink felt)   
Pigmentation: 8/10 (minus 2 for the lighter colours)
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 7.5/10
Colour Stays True: 8/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10 (minus 2 for the lighter shades)
Would I buy this again? Maybe 
Overall Rating:  8/10

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Makeup Geek Blushes in Honeymoon and Spellbound - Review and Swatches

I had full intentions of doing a large eyeshadow review today but I decided to sneak in this post instead. I will put the eyeshadow palette review up tomorrow. The main reason I wanted to do this blog post is because I am super excited about these blushes. These are both from Makeup Geek. I ordered them a few weeks back. On the left is Honeymoon and on the right is Spellbound. I knew I wanted Spellbound because a lot of people have been raving about it. Honeymoon was a last minute addition to my cart. I actually got it confused with another colour...anyway, afterwards I was kicking myself because I thought I wouldn't like Honeymoon and there were so many other colours that I wanted to get.

Honeymoon was not a bad purchase. In fact, I think I like it better than Spellbound. No one is really taking about this blush much I don't think. It is gorgeous. It is described as light pink with mauve undertones and silver flecks. This colour is right up my alley. It looks really shimmery in the pan which made me a bit nervous, but when you put it on it gives your the most amazing hint of colour and glow to you skin. I would definitely say that this is more suited towards light skin tones that favour cool shades but, and this is a big but! I think where this blush excels is in the glow that it gives your skin. I would not be surprised if this looked fantastic on someone with a very dark skin tone. If nothing else, it would be an awesome highlight on medium or darker skin tones. Even if you were to mix it with another blush that could work too and enhance a so so blush. This colour is effortless and you could pair it with any outfit and most makeup looks. I plan on wearing this colour a lot this winter!

Both blushes are very pigmented and blend so easily and so quick! This is no brainer blush my friends! The texture of both is nice - super soft. Each blush is $9.99 U.S. and for the quality you get, the price is phenomenal. Each pan is 4.25g which is smaller than MAC's blushes which come in at 6g. Of course, Makeup Geek's price tag is less than half of a MAC blush. I find the size acceptable. Personally, I have never finished a blush in its entirety, although I have a Smashbox one that is near the end! That being said, I have a funny feeling I am going to finish these two blushes.

Swatch time!

Honeymoon is on the left and Spellbound is on the right. Spellbound is less rose in person, it is more peach. Spellbound is described as light tan with salmon undertones. I don't really see tan here myself. This colour is gorgeous in no uncertain terms. It warms up my skin and the colour is quite flattering. It looks like I am glowing from within and that is not something I say about most blushes! I think this would look best on medium skin tones but I can definitely still pull it off. Spellbound is very pigmented though and I only need the tiniest bit. I think I have been a bit too heavy handed when I have worn it so far. Both of these blushes are very long wearing and were still very visible 15+ hours on of wear.

I have to say that I really want to buy the rest of Makeup Geek's blush colours now. I plan on pacing myself though because I have spent a lot on makeup lately and I will have to consider going on a no buy very soon!

Packaging: 10/10   
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall Rating:  10/10

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

tarte Colored Clay CC Eye Primer Stick - Review and Swatch

Looks like it is going to be a tarte cosmetics kind of month. This is my second tarte review this month and not to drop a teaser but a certain tarte product may or may not make it into my holiday palette picks for this year.

When I saw this product, I thought or hoped that my prayers were finally answered. The idea of having a two in one eyeshadow primer and eyeshadow base (especially one that I don't have to stick a finger into) had me completely intoxicated. Not to mention that tarte usually uses better ingredients than a lot of cosmetics companies. After some trial and error, I was finally able to cobble together my thoughts on the product and review them for you.

The first thing that I want to point out is that less is more with this product. However, that means a sacrifice has to be made. The less you use of this product, the more likely that your eyeshadow will not crease on you. As a side note, I have mega oily lids and few eyeshadow primers work on me. In order to use less of this product though, you sacrifice the eyeshadow base piece because you aren't getting to put down a lot of colour there. If you use too much, it's crease city, or at least it is on me. It holds up pretty well all day long though as long as you use just a little. I will say that I would not use this product if I wanted my eye makeup to last beyond day to night, nor if I was wearing a lot of eye makeup.  

I like the convenience of the pencil tube packaging. I just swipe a little on each lid and then blend it in with my finger. It's fast. Perfect for work when you are in a rush and great for travel. It's faster to use than squeezing stuff out of a tube or dipping your finger into a pot. I do wish though that I could use more product in order to get a good amount of eyeshadow base onto my lid to neutralize things. Basically, I have to blend it in totally and not leave much base showing. The products blends in easily and it's so quick to do. If I could get more "base" on and keep the crease-free aspect, this product would be amazing.

I plan on using this entire tube. This product will not go to waste. It does fall short of my expectations though so I may not repurchase. Each tube is 2.8g or 0.10 oz. and costs $25 Canadian or $21 U.S.

Swatch time. This product only comes in one shade and is as shown below. It blends right into your skin so the colour of it is not really much of a factor. Most, if not all skin tones, could use this as a result. 

**UPDATE December 13, 2014: I decided to return this product to Sephora. I started finding it difficult to get the precise amount that you need on when I am in a rush in the morning. Too many creasing issues. I am revising my rating. Eyeshadow primer shouldn't be so tricky.**

Packaging: 9/10 
Pigmentation: 6/10 
Easy to Work With: 2/10
Longevity: 4/10 (if you use a little - if you use a lot 1/10)
Texture: 10/10 
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Attractiveness of Product: 3/10
Would I buy this again? NO
Overall Rating: 4/10

Saturday, 22 November 2014

U.S. Makeup Shopping Haul - Sephora, Ulta, Wal-Mart, Target and The Cosmetics Store

As I mentioned in my last post, I was out of town for a few days last week. I went to New York State and picked up a few goodies. To me, it doesn't look like a lot of stuff in the picture, but when I look at my receipts, I spent a small fortune. You should have seen my husband's eyes bug out of his head when he heard the cashier tell me my total at Ulta. Hahaha!

Speaking of Ulta, let's start there. There is no Ulta in Canada and Ulta will not ship to Canada. Jerks! They are missing out on some serious revenue my friends. What a bad decision. Anyway, what I love about Ulta is that they have a great blend of low end and high end products. They also have tons of hair products and tools. In addition, I can usually get $3.50 off most purchases with their standard coupon. They also have some exclusive products that can't be purchased anywhere else but there. Since there is no Ulta in Canada, this is a source of never ending frustration to me. I have to wait until the once or twice a year that I "hop the ditch" and then hope and pray that they still carry the elusive item(s) I want.

So Ulta...I got a Cricket Amped Up teasing brush. Always wanted one, never had one. I think I paid $4 U.S. for it. I also grabbed a lipstick colour that they don't sell anywhere in Canada (at least I can't find it) the NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama. I saw the Burt's Bees set A Bit of Burt's Bees which contains a Pomegranate Replenishing Lip Balm and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I love both products so that was a no brainer.

The main thing I went for at Ulta was the Too Faced eyeshadow palette's in Rock n Roll and Country. Both palettes are exclusive to Ulta. I cannot wait to try them out! Speaking of elusive items, I also grabbed the Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press hairspray because I can't seem to locate it anywhere. The final item I picked up from Ulta was the Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector by It Cosmetics in Light. I can get this through The Shopping Channel here, but it was just a quick grab at Ulta. Reviews on all of these products will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Okay on to Sephora. I have spent a small fortune at Sephora lately (20% off VIB sale of course) so I forced myself to exercise great restraint in there. I only bought 4 items this time which is highly unusual for me on a trip to the U.S. I got the Caudalie Grape Water spray which I have been wanting to try for ages. They were sold out online and my local Sephora was also sold out so I picked it up while I was in the U.S. I also bought the blendercleanser Solid as they were also sold out online just before I went away. It was also a bit cheaper in the U.S. then here at home. I snatched up the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked (cheaper than here in Canada by a few bucks). Finally, I wanted to try the tarte Cosmetics Colored Clay CC Eye Primer so I got that too. Also, I forgot my Painterly Paint Pot at home so I needed something in the meantime. I think this will be the item I review next.

At Wal-Mart/Target I only got three things. I forgot to put it in the picture, but I bought one of those Revlon Perfumerie nail polishes in a colour that I can't get in Canada period. Why, oh why do they do this to me? I will reveal that one in a post soon. I got the Hard Candy Fierce Effects duo in 896 Soft & Sultry. I saw Emily from Beauty Broadcast wearing one of these two on her channel the other day and I had to get it. I think the duo was like $6 U.S. Pretty good deal. I wanted to grab a Drew Barrymore Flower eyeshadow palette, but I didn't like the look of the ingredients so I passed. I also picked up a Burt's Bees Pumpkin Spice lip balm since it was limited edition.

Finally, at one of the outlet malls I visited, I got two things from that The Cosmetics Store chain. I always get some good stuff at that store. I got MAC's Patina eyeshadow (never tried it) and my usual Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in Intensity 2.0.

That's it, and I think that is lots.

Bits and Bites
  • I have a big eyeshadow palette review coming this week
  • I also plan to get my review of the tarte CC eye primer up next
  • My empties for November is looking a little sparse - hopefully I can remedy that soon
  • Why don't they sell unsweetened iced tea in Canada??? This has always boggled my mind. That's all I drink as soon as I set foot in the U.S. because it is such a treat (and no sugar!). Guess I'll have to make my own. Boo!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 - Review and Swatch

Some of you might be wondering where on earth I disappeared to last week. I was super busy and then I went to New York for a mini vacation and shopping trip for a few days. I have a sizable beauty haul to do for you guys from that trip soon. I will try and make that my next post. Anyway, I'm back now!

Even though I love my Estee Lauder foundations, I was feeling restless and wanted to try something new. I recently picked up this foundation and have been experimenting with it. I must say that I don't think this foundation is for me. I smell a return to Sephora for this baby really soon, perhaps tomorrow! On top of that, I am having a hell of a time finding a colour that works for me in this line. I find that a lot of the shades in this foundation line are super yellow or orange. I have a very flat complexion and I look ridiculous in anything too yellow, rosy or orange.

I was second guessing the shade that I picked out in the store for myself. I was thinking Fair-Light Honey but the peach undertone scared me. What a dumb thing for me to think and say - that a foundation colour scared me! Sometimes I am crazy. I anyway I let the Sephora sales associate pick out a shade for me. She chose Light-Medium Honey for me. Well that was a disaster. I told her it looked dark for me that I had concerns about the peach undertone. She assured me it was a suitable colour and that it should work for me. I wore it a couple of times and it was just so orange! Ahhhhhh. I asked my husband what he thought of the colour on the second day I wore it and he said I looked like I had put fake and bake spray tan all over my face. Well that settled that! I marched right back to Sephora and exchanged it.

Dummy me got another sales associate to help me pick out another colour. This time they chose Light Neutral for me. This colour isn't working either. It's a bit too light I think and too yellow all at the same time. The colour aside, I have other issues with this foundation. When I apply it, it does appear to be full coverage and I am happy with the coverage. After a few hours though (long before the 12-hour mark) I notice that the foundation seems to totally disappear from my chin and around and on my nose area. Some of it likes to settle into my laugh lines and I didn't notice that with my Estee Lauder foundations. And no, I haven't been blowing my nose or wiping my face I swear. It also comes off on your fingertips noticeably if you lightly touch your face even after you have had it on for several hours.

The only part of my face that still has the full coverage foundation on it at the end of the day is my forehead. I am really use to my Estee Lauder holding up non-stop all day so this tarte foundation is falling short of my foundation expectations. My other beef with this product is that as the day goes on I find that it starts to look cakey on my cheeks and on my nose. It gets kind of clumpy and looks like my skin is all dried out in those areas. Not attractive.

On the up side, the ingredients are good. It blends well and spreads easily. It's very comfortable to wear for most of the day. My skin feels moisturized when I wear it. The product feels like a whipped mousse when I put it on. Some people might like that.

Overall though, I just don't like it. For $49 Canadian and $38 U.S. I expect a lot more. That being said this tube is 50 ml! That is a lot more than the standard 30 ml foundation bottles! I applaud tarte for giving lots of product and for the cute wood cap.

Below is a picture of Light Neutral on my arm. As you can see, it's too yellow. On the left is it blended out and on the right is a dollop of it. My arms need waxing stat, I know, please forgive me.

Packaging: 9/10 
Pigmentation: 6/10 (it fades as the day progresses)  
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 6/10
Texture: 10/10 
Price: 7.5/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Attractiveness of Product: 4/10
Would I buy this again? NO
Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, 17 November 2014

Loverly and My Makeup Issues - Retro Glamour Wedding Day Dress and Makeup Idea

I have something a bit different for all of you today. I was recently approached by Loverly and asked to do a collaboration with them on my makeup ideas for one of the wedding dresses that they have featured on their website. Loverly is a website dedicated to all things bridal and wedding related. It's basically a bride's playground! On Loverly's site, you can answer a few quick questions to help narrow down the type of dress that you are looking for and they provide huge selection of dresses to look through once you have narrowed things down.
For those of you who are getting married or are dreaming of your big day, I have put together my makeup picks for this dress. What I have in mind is for someone who is not afraid of makeup or looking glamorous! Personally, I love retro, classic, bold makeup and I don't think you have to look sweet and demure on your wedding day unless you want to! I didn't on my big day. For those of you who normally wear makeup and aren't afraid of it, I doubt you want to go with a neutral wash of colour when you walk down the aisle.
Loverly has thousands of wedding dresses you can look through! I saw this particular dress on their website and decided I wanted to dream up what I would wear for makeup if I walked down the aisle in this dress. This dress is by Maggie Sottero and the style is Malaya. I love the shine of this dress and the embellished Swarovski crystal belt. It's an A line ivory satin dress that reminds me of old, romantic Hollywood movies. The dress inspired me to pair it with a retro 1940's makeup look. The gorgeous Swarovski belt, scoop neckline and pockets are so old Hollywood, so chic!
In this day and age, not everyone chooses a straight up white dress as was popular in the last couple of decades and not everyone looks best in white. An ivory dress gives you elegance and still the look of bride without being stark white if that isn't your thing. In fact, it was quite the norm not that long ago that few brides wore a snow white dress or suit on their big day. In my mind, I can totally see a redhead rocking this dress and the makeup look that I have put together. That being said, a blond or brunette could easily pull off this look too. As a brunette myself, I know this look would work on me no problem.
I choose this dress because it is classy and very sophisticated. The satin is so timeless and beautiful. I wanted to choose a dress that wasn't overly embellished nor princess-like so that I could have fun with the makeup. This is a statement dress. It's elegant, bold, but not fussy or overdone. This dress is not for the faint of heart. A confident woman who knows what she likes will be drawn to this dress.
On to the makeup!
Although I like classic, bold retro makeup, this is your wedding day and you want to get some good pictures. So put away your disco ball glitter items and break out your tried and true timeless gems.
For the face, regardless of what wedding dress you choose, you need a few basics. I cannot stress enough how much I like the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. It stays in place all day and looks good in photos. I think a primer would also be a good idea and my primer of choice would be the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance. It gives you a nice little glow all over and helps lock on your foundation. If you choose to do a contour or bronzer, don't go crazy, go with a matte one. A little can go a long way to help shape and contour your face. I like the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light 1 for light to medium skin tones.
For this dress, and as a solid go to combo in general for weddings, I would choose Makeup Geek's blush in Bliss along with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light for a highlight. Neither are too shimmery (so they are camera ready) but you will get a nice healthy glow with them.

For the eyes (my favourite part) I would keep it neutral, but not boring. Start with a good eye shadow primer like NARS Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base and apply MAC's Painterly Paint Pot on top of it. I would apply MAC's Naked Lunch to the lids, then MAC's Soba in the crease for some glamour and MAC's Espresso in the outer corner and lightly smudged under the lower lash line. I would use MAC's Folie inside of the Espresso and make an outer "v" shape. To complete the eye look, I would use Mylar for the brow highlight and blend out the crease with MAC's Soft Brown. You can't go wrong with MAC eye shadows for your wedding day.

I would then line the waterline with a flesh coloured pencil to help make the eyes look bigger. Most women are not blessed with huge eyes, like myself, so every trick in the book should be used to enhance your features on your big day! I suggest Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude. This look would be best topped off with some black gel liner on the upper lash line with a little wing. My choice would be Clinique's Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black. It lasts all day, is easy to apply and looks like a million bucks. Don't forget the waterproof or smudge-proof mascara and of course, false lashes. I like Ardell's Demi Lovies or something fluttery, but nothing over the top, they should look somewhat realistic.


If you are going to do a retro glamour look, you need bold lips. One of my favourite red lipsticks is an old Elizabeth Arden one called Lush Red. They don't make it anymore sadly. The closest thing would be Elizabeth Arden's Power Red, Red to Wear or Red Door Red depending on your orange red or blue red leanings. I have always loved Elizabeth Arden's lipstick formulas as they don't tend to bleed, stay put, are very comfortable and last a really long time. I would use MAC's Cherry lip pencil with your red lipstick and fill in your lips with it before you apply the lipstick. Finally, depending on your preference, I would consider adding a touch of a neutral or nude lip gloss just to tone down the brightness of the red for photographs. You still want the lips to look matte so just a touch!

Nude, boring wedding day lips be damned!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! It was a bit out of the norm for me, but it sure was a lot of fun! Check out Loverly at for lots of wedding inspiration!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette - Review and Swatches

I know everyone and their mother is talking about this palette, and let me tell you it is with good reason. This palette is hands down one of my most favourite palettes ever. This easily makes the Top 5 if not the Top 3 in my book.

First of all, the packaging is adorable. The eyeshadows smell like chocolate and they actually have cocoa powder in them. Every single shadow is very pigmented and is creamy and smooth. They apply effortlessly and blend like a dream. The colours are gorgeous! The possibilities are endless. The names of the shadows are enough to make you hungry. Bravo Too Faced, bravo!

This palette by far is Too Faced's best work to date. Hands down, no debate. Every eyeshadow is long wearing and still looks fantastic and vibrant 10 hours or even 15 hours plus later after application. If you don't have this palette, you have got to get it. If I could encourage you to buy one palette this year, I would tell you to get this one. It's $49 U.S. and $59 Canadian. Worth every red cent and then some.

I could sit here and sing the praises of this palette all night but I will try not to be a bore. The colours are from left to right and from top to bottom - Gilded Ganache, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Black Forest Truffle, Triple Fudge, Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet, Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto, Hazelnut, Crème Brulee, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial and Champagne Truffle.

My favourites would have to be Black Forest Truffle, Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Candied Violet, Crème Brulee, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial and Champagne Truffle. While every colour in this palette is a solid effort, if I had to pick my two least favourite they would be Gilded Ganache and Strawberry Bon Bon. I wanted to like Gilded Ganache, but I have to say it blends the worst of the bunch. My minor beef with Strawberry Bon Bon is just that I find I have to work a bit to get it to show up on my lids.

Ok, swatch time:

From left to right in the picture above we have Gilded Ganache, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Black Forest Truffle, Triple Fudge, Salted Caramel, Marzipan and Semi-Sweet. Look at the pigmentation!

Next batch:

From left to right in the picture above we have Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto, Hazelnut, Crème Brulee, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial and Champagne Truffle. Incredible!

I was wearing Candied Violet the other day and my hair stylist remarked that is was one of the prettiest purple eyeshadows she had seen. She asked me what it was. Sorry the pic above doesn't really show off the perfectly understated sparkle that it has.

There are 16 eyeshadows in this palette and 6 are matte. They are good mattes too. The shimmers are out of this world! The total net weight of these eyeshadows is 18.9g or 0.62 oz. Phenomenal. If you took this palette on vacation, you wouldn't really need any other shadows. The packaging is a bit bulky for packing in my opinion though. Some people would say that is nonsense.

Packaging: 9/10  (bulky but adorable and sturdy)   
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10 (Value! Value! Value!)
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 6/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? HELL YES
Overall Rating:  10/10

Friday, 7 November 2014

What I got at the November 2014 Sephora VIB Rouge Sale - Haul

This year I got a little bit carried away at the 20% off Sephora VIB Rouge sale. However, I think I got some really good deals and of course some great stuff. I got a good mix of replenishment items, new stuff I wanted to try, a couple of luxury items and a couple of Christmas gifts. I won't be showing the Christmas gifts in this haul as they are a secret for friends. I will say though that the gifts I bought have been shown on this blog before so its nothing you haven't seen from me.

This haul was accomplished over two shopping trips which was not the intention. One to the Toronto Eaton Centre and the other to my local neighbourhood Sephora. I tried to make purchases many of you know that was impossible. I tried for over 24 hours straight (minus sleep and work time) and nothing doing. International orders have been blocked since just about the start of the sale. I slowly watched almost all of my items "disappear" over that 24 hour window as they became out of stock when by I guess my American friends scooped them up. It was a sad day indeed. First World problems, I know. There is a whole write up on Sephora's Facebook page as to what happened and what the current status is if you are interested.

So what did I get??? Lots of goodies of course as you can see. On my first trip to the Toronto Eaton Centre (rushed on lunch break) on Wednesday I bought 4 things. I like to plot my makeup shopping and I just felt too rushed to get too serious on a 45 minute lunch break. I decided I would plot at home and do online shopping. Since that wasn't to be, I made a second trip to my local Sephora tonight. Anyway, on Wednesday I bought two of my regular purchases - the Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power System (I ain't getting any younger) and my beloved Origins Eye Doctor which I have missed terribly these last few months. If it's not broken, don't fix it!

I also got two, what I call, luxury items. These are two items that I have wanted for ages, but didn't feel like spending the money at full price. The 20% off VIB event is perfect for picking up such products. The two I speak of are the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. Needless to say reviews on both of these will be done in the near future. I am super excited about these two buys.

On to tonight's debauchery. I went to my local Sephora store tonight thinking that I was just going to get the leftovers and everything would be sold out. Much to my shock, they had almost everything I wanted! Their Bobbi Brown display was ransacked though. Okay, where to start? I got a tote bag and a Shashi bead bracelet for free. The tote is ok (plastic) and the bracelet is nothing I would personally wear. Free is free though. I also got a couple of samples of something called Nude Progenius Treatment Oil for the face.

I am almost out of one of my Estee Lauder foundations so I decided with 20% off now would be a good time to try one of the foundations I have been wanting to try. It was a toss up between the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation and the Dior Star foundation. I decided to buy the Tarte one. Did I make the right decision you think?

I picked up the L'Occitane en Provence Shea Travel Treats in an ornament type package. You get a foot cream and a hand cream in this set. Both are really good for travel and that is what I bought them for. A functional item right? A justifiable purchase? Ahem.

Then came the Fresh Sugar Berry Lip Treatment. I have heard good things about this particular colour and the colour is right up my alley. I love practically all of the Fresh lip products, I just hate the price. Hence, why I grabbed it now and got the 20% off. It just made me feel a little bit better.

OMG I can't believe I got the Too Faced Melted Kisses Lipstick Set. I want to rip this open right now but I need to finish this blog post. These were sold out online very quickly. I found this one on a shelf in the wrong place and it was the last one left in the store. Maybe the last one left in the world. These are not full size but to get four different colours for a few bucks more than the cost of one full sized - giddy up!

Looks like I got the Formula X nail colour or polish in X Rouge.Very cool, and it was free. Speaking of nail polish, I also got a mini Formula X nail color in A+ with 100 of my rewards points. This is a very nice colour.

I got the Bite Lip Pencil Set in Best Bite Remix. I love everything Bite puts out so of course I had to get this cute Christmas set. You couldn't go wrong with the price for what you get.

Okay, another "luxury item". I finally bought the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal. I think it is so pricey normally in Canadian dollars, so the sale was enough for me to take the plunge. Very excited about this one too.

Three products left! I already bought a big holiday palette a few week ago and that review is coming soon. The only other palette I was coveting was the BareMinerals the Magic Act. I love herringbone, I love bareMinerals ready eyeshadows and ready blushes. This was a no brainer. The reviews are good too. I have a review and some suggestions on holiday palettes and buys coming this week by the way.

I am running out of a lot of hair products at the moment and some of my near empties are discontinued. I will need something soon so I decided to try the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray. So we will see how I like that.

Last, but certainly not least, one more luxury item. I got the Dior Contour Lipliner Pencil in 169 Grege. It was the last one in the store! I wanted the eyeshadow palette by the same name, but my local Sephora doesn't carry it.

So that's it! That was a lot!!! I am tired just thinking about it. I think I am cut off from Sephora for a while, or until my next shopping trip to the States. With Christmas coming, I might need to hop over the border soon.

Big palette review coming either tomorrow or Sunday! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sephora Collection Pro Flawless Airbrush #56 Foundation Brush - Review

I bought this brush online at Sephora. When I got it, the first thing I noticed was how crazy small this brush is. For $40 Canadian and $32 U.S., and being a foundation brush, I expected something a heck of a lot bigger. I am used to working with the Sigma F80, F82 and F84 brushes which are easily double the size of this brush if not triple. I recently had to chuck my F80 brush because it was beyond raggedy and I was looking for something new on the menu so to speak.

What I like about this brush is that it really does work your foundation well into your skin and it is fabulous at blending out uneven areas of application and not leaving any brush marks. It also gets into smaller or curved areas of your face fairly easily. This brush does give the best overall foundation application look of any brush that I own. The brush itself is super lightweight and compact even though the handle is really long. The bristles are super soft.

I hope I have this brush a really long time. Longer than the 3-4 years that I had my F80 (used maybe 25% of the time over those years). I say this mostly because I think for a brush this small, $40 is steep! Part of me feels a little ripped off. I have second guessed myself about this purchase and whether or not it was wise. I wish I would have waited to buy it in the U.S. for $32 or got it when Sephora has a 20% off sale. As you can see, I have an issue with the price point. Also, this is a Sephora brush and I don't know where they as brand get off charging that price. I guess it is justified as people like me buy them...

The brush is easier to clean than my Sigma Kabuki brushes, but that is likely because this is a much smaller brush. While it is easier to clean, it gets dirty and beyond another use after 2 to 3 uses. So I am washing it often. It soaks up foundation like mad and then the bristles clump together. This is not a pro to this brush. With my Sigma brushes I can get 5 to 7 uses out of them before I have to wash them.

In addition, it takes longer to apply your foundation with this brush simply because it is so small! I can whip around my face in no time flat with my Sigma Kabuki's. This brush takes a lot longer.

In short, this brush works great in terms of foundation application. You have to be constantly washing though and that is a pain in ass. This brush is very overpriced in my opinion. You also need to have a little more time on your hands every day to use this brush and plan for that if you are used to using bigger Kabuki style brushes. For these reasons, my feelings are somewhat ambiguous about this brush. There is one really big pro (the whole purpose of the brush being flawless application), yet there are a whole bunch of secondary issue cons.

I have no issues playing a good deal of money for a good, solid brush. I own a crapload of MAC brushes and Lord knows they aren't cheap. Those brushes are easy to clean, can be wiped off and used again and again in between cleanings. Oh, and they last forever. That remains to be seen with this brush, but I will be sure to keep you all updated.

Packaging: 6/10 (lightweight yet really long handle and super small brush head!)    
Easy to Work With: 9/10 (point off for how long it takes to use)
Longevity: ?
Usefulness: 8/10 (2 points off for being high maintenance cleaning-wise)
Texture/Softness: 10/10
Price: 6/10
Travel Worthy: 7/10
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Would I buy this again? ???????????? Not Sure

Saturday, 1 November 2014

October 2014 Empties!

Hair and Skin. That seems to be the theme of my empties for October 2014. I actually thought I had more than this but I think this is still pretty damn good. Without further ado...

1. eos Hand Lotion in Fresh Flowers - This was the second one of these I have gone through. I tried the Berry Blossom scent prior to this one but I didn't like the scent. I prefer Fresh Flowers much better. The size and shape of the container is perfect for your purse. Already repurchased. Full review:

2. Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Cleanser - This will not be a repurchase. It is very gentle, the smell is inoffensive and it is not drying. I think this would be a good product for someone with mature, dry skin who does not have any acne or blemish issues. This product does nothing to help rid me of my blemishes so it's just not suited towards my skin issues. I also don't feel that it cleans out dirt, makeup and oil from my skin very well. I decided to use it up and toss it. I can't believe I never did a blog review on this product, however, I think I just summed up what I think of it here.

3. Silk Elements Megasilk Heat Protection Spray - I have already repurchased this. It protects your hair and leaves it soft, silky and super smooth. Gets rid of the frizzies like magic. My only beef is that the smell is quite strong and it lingers. At first I didn't mind the smell but it has worn on my nerves as time has gone on. If you can get past the smell, it's awesome stuff. I use it sparingly these days just because of the smell. Full review:

4. Pond's Evening Soothe Wet Cleansing Towelettes - I hated these when I first bought them. I don't like the smell. This is becoming a theme I see on this month's favourites...smell...hmm. Anyway, I put them aside and started using them again this summer and I didn't mind them so much. They seemed to irritate my skin in the winter months. They are great for cleaning salt off of winter boots and makeup off of winter coats though....Full review:

5. Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse - This works well and sometimes you can get away without washing your hair the day after using this and it can still look ok. Day 2 hair I call it. The tricky part is that it is very difficult to figure out how much to use. Too much and you look like a grease monkey. Too little and it's frizz city. If you have straightened your hair and it starts to look frizzy the next day, throw some of this on and you get a nice wavy do'. The smell is very spicy and strong though - not for the faint of heart. I might repurchase. Full review:

6. ion Summer Solutions Miracle Summer Spray - I think this would be an excellent product for people with straight or wavy hair. It makes your hair shiny and soft. It helps tame frizz. Great stuff if you are hanging out at the pool or outdoors all summer long. It also hydrates your hair and detangles. I just may repurchase, although I need something a bit better for use in the frizz department during the summer months. Hey, it might work for me very well in winter...hmmm. I can't believe I never did a review on this. I went through this product super fast this summer as the bottle is small.

7. Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser - Ummm I feel like I have been keeping my light under a bushel. This may be my new all time favourite cleanser. I will do a review on this very soon. I didn't think I would like this and I used it because I have a few lying around that I had scored free in gift with purchase bags from Estee Lauder. I won't say more and will save it for my full review coming soon.

8. tarte LipSurgence Lip Crème in Admired - This smells strongly of mint and I personally don't mind that smell. It felt great on my lips and was nice and moisturizing. I found the colour wore off long before the moisture factor did which was a bit of a pain. Not a bad product though. I bought it cheap on and might again if the price was right. The packaging ended up being crap though as you can see. Full review:

9. Estee Lauder Take It Way Gentle Eye and Lip LongWear Makeup Remover - This ended up being good stuff. I would repurchase possibly but I think the price is steep for the small amount that you get. Full review:

10. Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in 20 Classic Ivory - This is likely the best face powder at the drug store. It doesn't cake and makes you look glowy. I whipped through it in no time though. I may repurchase one day but I have other face powders to use up around here first. I am going back to MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder for now as I have one waiting to go! Full review:

11. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - I have changed my mind about this product as time has gone on. Some mornings it makes my skin look and feel great. Already have tons more of this product in my stash thanks to Estee Lauder's gift with purchase bags. Full review:

12. Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment - I have talked a bunch about this product and did a recent blog post on it. I love the container but I will not repurchase. Rather than babble about it again, here is the link to my latest thoughts on it

13. Estee Lauder Makeup Brush Cleanser - Worked well, but not as good as the Clinique one I think. However, I plan on sticking to the MAC one if I can't get the Clinique one. Meanwhile, all of these companies are owned by the same people so the formulas are very similar. I don't believe I did a review on this.

So that's it, and I think that is enough for one month!

Bits and Bites
  • I have a brush review and a large palette review coming up this week. Meant to do the brush review yesterday but ended up doing laundry, sleeping and planning today's blog instead. C'est la vie!