Wednesday, 28 May 2014

MAC Alluring Aquatic Cremesheen Lipstick in Goddess of the Sea - Quick Review and Swatch

Quick post tonight. I am probably already too late to be putting this up! MAC released their Alluring Aquatic line online on May 15th I believe. I went online that same day at midday and everything I wanted was already sold out. The collection was then released in stores last week Thursday I think. I went to a few MAC locations and sure enough everyone had been cleaned out. I went to a lesser known new MAC counter at my local Bay and it was pretty much the same story. I wanted one of the eye shadows and one of the blushes, but no dice. They did have a couple of lipsticks left so I picked up this one - Goddess of the Sea. The makeup collector in me was not about to let the packaging of this collection slip through my finger tips!

The packaging looks wet and the "droplets" are textured on the tube. How cool is that???? This is seriously the neatest packaging that I have seen in a very long time. Even the box it came in is super cool. This lipstick is a Cremesheen (one of MAC's best formulas) and they are $21 Canadian and $17.50 U.S. The formula is super creamy, luxurious and very long wearing. This colour reminds me of a less sheer version of NARS Damage which I just did a review of a few days ago in my last post.

Sorry some of the background colours of my pictures tonight are so way off it isn't funny. My camera is acting crazy!

Here is the swatch below. If you can still nab anything from this collection, run to your nearest MAC location stat!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Two of My Favourite Lipsticks with Swatches - NARS Damage and MAC Capricious

I have a quick post for everyone tonight. I am currently scraping the bottom of both of these lipstick tubes as we speak and I am trying to finish them off. There aren't too many lipsticks that I can say I used every last drop of it, but these I will. I am hoping both of these will be in my May Empties, but I can't say for sure. I have been scrapping the bottom of these for a couple of months now! The amount left below the rim seems to be infinite, but that is a good thing.

On the left in the above picture is NARS Damage described as a sheer muted grape by NARS. On the right in the above picture is MAC Capricious which is described as a rose plum. I have already bought a new tube of Damage (which I have temporarily misplaced). I will by picking up another Capricious at some point in the next little while.

Not sure if you can see the bottom labels on these....likely not. MAC Capricious is pretty faded. I have had it a long time and it has been very used and loved. Both of these colours are so "me" I think. I am not big time into nude lipsticks as some of you know. Both of these are very comfortable, moisturizing and look good with most outfits. The other thing I like about them is that they look good in any season - winter, spring, summer or fall they look appropriate. Both are also nice and glossy, no need for lip gloss over them, but I do recommend a lip liner with both to make them last and last....Here are the swatches:

Capricious is on top and Damage is on the bottom. Love these two lipsticks soooo much.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Goody Quikstyle Half-Round Shape - Review

I have something a bit different for you today. A hairbrush review! I had seen this brush and similar shaped ones at the supermarket and drugstores for months before I bought this a couple of months ago and I was very curious about them. I think they normally retail for around $15 but I picked mine up on sale for $10. This brush has microfiber bristles which are supposed to absorb water and remove 30% of water in wet hair.

First of all, I do find that this brush does help get some water out of your hair and it does make it dry faster. You can also use a towel.....If you air dry your hair, it will make a little difference, but not a heck of a lot. What ticks me off is that as soon as you run this brush through your wet hair, the bristles flop over and lay flat. So I don't think you get much use out of the bristles after running this brush through your hair once or twice. Please see what I mean in the picture below.
Please excuse the hair in the brush picture. I picked some of it out but I wanted you to see the flattened bristles effect. The brush is super lightweight which is good for blow drying - your arms don't get so tired. You almost have to make it a nightly activity to lift the bristles back into place. I don't like a brush that high maintenance, but if you don't wash your hair daily, it might not be big deal to do this in front of the T.V. every couple of nights for a couple of minutes.
Where this brush excels is in blow drying. I wasn't expecting much, but it is so easy to use this brush (even with the bristles flattened) to give yourself a blowout. My hair wraps and curls very nicely around this brush over and over again with no tangles! It is very easy to shape your hair with flippy ends with this brush. Also, it cuts down on blow drying significantly because as you blow dry, the microfibers dry in a snap and are ready to absorb more water. Here is a picture of the brush when I have lifted all of the bristles up for the next use.

Overall Rating: 7/10 (the easily flattened bristles issue knocks a few points off)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

IT Cosmetics CC+ Lip Serum in Love - Review and Swatch

When I purchased a tube of the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream a couple of months ago, it came as a package deal along with this product and a mascara/eyeliner hybrid product from The Shopping Channel. This is called the It Cosmetics CC+ Lip Serum Hydrating Anti-Aging Color Correcting Crème Gloss. It retails for about $24 on its own. The packaging says that it has clinically-proven Collagen, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid plus 9 essential butters and oils. The tube is 0.11 oz. or 3.4ml.

I carried this lip product in my purse for weeks before I actually used it. The colour I have is called "Love". I believe there are currently only 3 colours in the regular line and Love is one of them. Love is a very neutral red nude colour. If that makes any sense. I seriously think anyone, and I mean anyone, regardless of their skin tone could wear this colour. For me its a bit plain colour-wise but it goes with everything and it is flattering.

The formula is very wet. It feels slippery on your lips and you swear it is going to slide right off....but it doesn't. It stays put. This lip serum is super hydrating and feels extremely comfortable on so long as you don't mind a "wet" feeling on your lips. Some people don't so I am just putting it out there. The product has a very strong smell of vanilla I believe. It is pleasant but very noticeable. The smell does fade after application. I am sorry that I didn't have this product on hand during the winter months. It would have come in handy. I would like to have put it to the test so to speak.

The applicator is highly unusual. It's oval shaped with a hole in the middle. Like a donut...the product does collect there so when you apply it to your lips, you get lots of product.

Here is the swatch. You could, of course, easily put this on top of any lipstick to give it a nice, glossy shine. It looks like good ingredients were used in this product so it's not a chemically laden lip gloss, which is nice. My only real criticism is that after a while this product does goop up in the inside portion of your lips and turn white which isn't hot. You really need to be checking in on your application every 2+ hours to make sure that isn't happening. The moisture that you get from this product lasts on your lips even after the product is no longer on. That is a nice perk.

Packaging: 8/10
Pigmentation: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10
Texture: 9/10
Price: 7/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 6.5/10 (white residue is an issue)
Would I buy this again? Maybe (for winter perhaps?)
Overall Rating: 8/10

Saturday, 17 May 2014

bareMinerals Concealer Eye Brightener Broad Spectrum Mult-Tasking Face Powder SPF20 in Well-Rested - Review

One of my favourite bloggers/vloggers Emily from Beauty Broadcast has recommended this product on a number of occasions. Since I am constantly battling covering dark under eye circles, I thought I would give it a shot. Also, I always have problems finding a good under eye setting powder for my under eye concealer. This product is $23 Canadian and $18 U.S. which isn't bad considering you get 2g or 0.07 oz. per jar. You really don't need much of this on your brush to cover your under eye area so the jar is likely to last me an eternity.

The colour I have, which is the one that Emily recommends, is Well-Rested. This shade is described as yellow ivory which is an eye brightening shadow base for all skin tones. This works well for light skin tones. I think you would need to pick a darker colour in the line if you are medium or dark toned.

I bought this jar almost a year ago. To be honest with you guys, at first I didn't think that much of it. I was lightly brushing this product under my eyes over concealer and I thought it was just doing an "ok" job. Recently, I started patting this product on over my under eye concealer and it is making a huge difference. Maybe I am an ignoramus, but I had always just followed some you tube gurus instructions on brushing like products under your eye with say a Sigma E25 brush. I think I was brushing my concealer off was what I was doing!

I started patting this product on with a Real Techniques Setting Brush (pink handle) and it has made all of the difference in the world. It's like night and day under my eyes (bad pun I know). Well-Rested holds up all day long too under your eyes and makes it look bright and barely shadowy there. The product does not crease easily which is what you need in that delicate area. With the right brush, this product works like a charm, no need to blend or fuss much with the application.

One word of warning, if you use a dry concealer or your under eye area is not moisturized properly, this powder can look powdery after a few hours. I use this over MAC's Pro Longwear Concealer in NC30 and Clinique's Even Better Eyes under the MAC concealer and don't have an issue with this combination looking powdery.

Packaging: 6/10  (even with the shaker insert it's still a powdery mess)
Pigmentation: 8/10 
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10
Texture: 9/10 
Price: 9/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 6/10 (I do not recommend this to be put in your purse....)  
Attractiveness of Product: 9.55/10
Would I buy this again? Yes Indeed
Overall Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Marcelle Waterproof Lip Definition Crayon in Perfect Rose - Review and Swatch

Quick post tonight.

Marcelle is not known for being a very exciting beauty brand and there is a reason why. Their products and packaging are boring. I have only owned a couple of Marcelle products in my life and they have left me cold. They aren't bad, but they aren't great. I bought this lip liner probably over a year ago. I use it here and there, but I can't summon any enthusiasm for it. It's a middle of the road lip liner.

This lip liner is supposed to be waterproof. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. It wears off of me faster than my Revlon, Rimmel, Clinique or MAC lip liners. The product goes on ok, but it doesn't glide across your lips as easily as I would like. The colour I have, Perfect Rose, is a medium rose colour. Nothing too exciting but I bought this so I would have a medium pink colour which I didn't have. I used to have a Victoria's Secret lip liner that was a nicer medium pink and lasted longer than this one.

This lip liner is about $10.95 Canadian and can be found in most drug stores. It is not a bad lip liner, just not a great one. There are far better lip pencils on the market that cost less. The pencil doesn't sharpen well. The "wood" material is tough and hard to sharpen. It's a bit annoying. However, the colour stays the same and does not change. It is hypo-allergenic and the product is fragrance free. Here is the swatch:

Packaging: 6/10 
Pigmentation: 7/10
How Does it Feel On: 6/10
Longevity: 5/10
Texture: 6/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 6/10
Smell and Taste: 10/10 (product has no scent)
Would I buy this again? Nope
Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Clinique Cheek Pop/Blush Pop in 01 Ginger Pop and 04 Plum Pop - Review and Swatches

I recently bought two Clinique Cheek Pops or Blush Pops if you prefer. I wanted Peach Pop, but alas Sears was sold out and damn it I wanted the free gift with purchase. I did want the Plum Pop and I managed to snag it. I ended up getting the Ginger Pop for kicks.

I have a love/hate relationship with Clinique. It was the first non-drug store makeup that I was exposed to. That's what my Mom bought in the 70's, 80's, 90's and to some extent she still buys today. She doesn't wear much makeup (zero eye makeup!) basically just powder, blush and lipstick so I was always tickled pink as a teenager when she tossed me an unwanted mascara, lipstick or eye shadow that came in one of her gift with purchase bags. Over the years I have used a lot of Clinique makeup - the good, the bad and the ugly. They do some products really well and others not so much.

Enter these greatly hyped Cheek Pops. I want to start off by saying that Clinique is in the stone age normally when it comes to packaging. They have almost zero imagination. Imagine my shock when I first saw these blush puppies online! Some imagination???!!!! My goodness. I was further shocked when I bought these. The packaging on these is really nice....much nicer than I anticipated. The clear plastic compact is really solid, not cheap looking at all and very attractive. Each blush is 3.5g or 0.12 oz. Not a huge amount of blush, but a reasonable amount. These are ridiculously cute.

Ginger Pop is on the left and Plum Pop is on the right as you can see. The quality of these is phenomenal. I was blown away. They swatch like a dream. They are matte yet kind of sheer and glowy. There is the tiniest hint of shimmer in Ginger Pop but it's nearly undetectable. The pigmentation is exceptional. You need very little on your brush, but if you want bolder colour, the colour is very buildable. You can wear these sheer too if you prefer but use the tiniest bit. I seriously need to pick up the other two colours - Berry Pop and Peach Pop.

I wasn't expecting to love Ginger Pop but I really like it. It's quite nice. Plum Pop is also gorgeous. Okay, staying power. Fantastic! I have worn these 16+ hours and they look as fresh as when I applied them. These are $24 Canadian or $21 U.S. These are excellent value considering I paid $41 Canadian for my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes. If you are even thinking about picking one of these up - you should!

Here are the swatches. Plum Pop is on top and Ginger Pop is on the bottom. Love these...

Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 8.5/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Hell Yes
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense - Review

I have a travel sized version of this product that I have just about finished so I thought it would be a good time to do a quick review. I have had a few of these jars over the years usually as a gift with purchase item from Clinique. I always thought the product was "ok" and never really gave it much thought. Lately, I have been picking this up and using it just to finish it. I have so much stuff piling up in my bedroom, I have to get rid of some of my beauty products!

This is a gel moisturizer by the way. Some people like gel, some don't. I don't mind it so long as I am in the mood. I personally prefer gel moisturizers in the summer and not so much in the winter months. When you apply this product to your face it fells "tacky" and continues to feel that way for a good amount of time. Recently, I have been using this under a powder foundation and the two seem to be working well together. I haven't been using primer but the powder foundation really stays on with this moisturizer. My face does continue to feel "tacky" though throughout the day when I wear this but my skin looks good.

If I use this product at night by itself or with a serum underneath it, my skin is so smooth in the morning. It's quite something. My skin isn't tacky anymore either in the morning. Maybe the pillow absorbs some of it...anyway, if you happen to have some of this, try it at night.

This moisturizer is not in my Top 5 Moisturizers by any means, but it's not bad. My skin seems hydrated with it and no flaky patches are in sight. I would definitely reach for this in a pinch.

A 1.7 oz. jar is $37 U.S. or $44 Canadian. The little jar I currently have is 0.5 oz. and I got a number of uses out of mine.

Packaging: 6/10 (glass would have been nice) 
Texture: 7/10  Daytime   8.5/10 Nighttime  
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Moisturizing: 7.5/10 (works better during the night than day for me)
Look of Skin: 9/10 (daytime) 
Softens: 9/10 (nighttime)  7.5/10 (daytime but feels tacky)
Would I buy this again? Possibly
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion and Radiant Magenta - Review and Swatches

I thought I should get this post up while these blushes are still the talk the town. I usually seem to be late to the party with these things. I bought Radiant Magenta several weeks ago during the Sephora Rouge V.I.B. sale and then acquired Dim Infusion a week or so ago. Where to start? I love the packaging. I am a sucker for any vintage looking makeup. In this case, I would say this is very 70's - tres chic. The packaging feels solid and is not cheap. The mirror and product inside are presented very nicely. These are $41 Canadian or $35 U.S. Not cheap! That is why I will be treating these like gold (i.e., safe location where they cannot be dropped and I will not travel with them). I am glad I got one on sale.

Dim Infusion is on the left and Radiant Magenta is on the right. Dim Infusion is described as subdued coral which I would say is accurate. Radiant Magenta is described as golden fuchsia which is how it looks in the pan. On me, its very red berry. Dim Infusion is the kind of colour that many people could wear on a daily basis. It's a no brainer. It is very subtle and you would have to be exceedingly heavy handed to over do this blush. It's just not an in your face type of product. My particular pan has a lot of "Dim Light" in the veining, not so much "coral". Dim Infusion does give your cheeks a nice little glow though when you don't have a clue what blush to wear. It also goes with everything so you could travel with this alone if you wish. If you are medium to dark skinned, this would give you a nice glow, but the colour would likely not show up on you. Here is another picture of Dim Infusion:

On to Radiant Magenta. At first I thought that this colour was way to intense and wild for me. It is very pigmented. I must have looked like a clown the first time I wore it. I used a very light hand too! All I can say is that if you buy this colour and you are fair like me, just barely touch your brush to the powder and that is all you will need for each cheek. If you are medium to dark toned, this colour would likely look fabulous on you. Especially if you are dark toned! I really like this colour because it is different from a lot of the blushes out there. I personally prefer this one over Dim Infusion. Here is another picture of Radiant Magenta:

Pretty, no?

These look great on the cheeks. Both are glowy. The product is not creamy to the touch at all. They feel dry. Just forewarning you. They swatch matte as you will see in a moment. I don't think they look so hot swatched in my personal opinion. Just the nature of the beast I guess. Each blush is 0.15 oz. or 4.2g. To put that in perspective, a MAC blush is 6g. So you don't get tons of product for your dollar, but I guess you get enough. If you were to ask me if you need to have these, I would say no. They are not a must have, they are a nice to have. I plan on picking up two more of these, but not get the entire collection of 6 that Hourglasss has thus far. I will not be running out soon to buy the other two that I want though because they are expensive and frankly I don't need them. I will pick them up at the next Sephora sale.

I was expecting to be a bit more wowed by these. Too much hype I guess. Don't get me wrong, they are unique and cool. I find Dim Infusion fades a bit throughout the day but Radiant Magenta really stays on there. Here are some swatches with Radiant Magenta on the left and Dim Infusion on the right:

Then below is Dim Infusion on the left and Radiant Magenta on the right:
There you have it. I have a post coming later this week on two other very hyped up blushes which I have been very impressed with. Stay tuned!
Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 6.5/10 Dim Infusion     10/10 Radiant Magenta
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 6.5/10 Dim Infusion    10/10 Radiant Magenta
Texture: 7/10 (a touch dry for my taste)
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 8.5/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Depends

Overall Rating:

7/10 Dim Infusion      
9/10 Radiant Magenta (price is an issue otherwise 10/10)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The InStyle BumpBag in Cobalt Blue - Review

Okay, I have something a little bit different for everyone today. I recently bought the bumpbag from TSC (The Shopping Channel) for about $10 Canadian. I got a few discounts to get that price. I have seen this bag for sale in Shoppers Drug Mart for between $12-$16 Canadian. It comes in a few other colours like black, pink and purple I believe.

I am a big makeup bag junkie. I always seem to end up travelling a number of times a year - both for work and pleasure. As a result, any thing that I can find which is a new way to carry my makeup and brushes together and protect them is of interest to me. Especially, if it can simplify the number of bags I need to bring.

I got the bag in Cobalt Blue. The colour is very vibrant, almost metallic looking but my camera just isn't picking that up for some reason. The bag is a lot bigger than it looks. Once you start putting things in it, you realize how much room is in there. Yet, it takes up little room, even in a small suitcase.

I bought this bag for two reasons. One, the bubble wrap exterior looked good and I thought it would do a better job of protecting my makeup than a regular makeup bag. Second, it has a middle section which holds brushes. This would save me taking a second makeup bag or brush holder with me on trips. Had my prayers been answered? Well...we will get to that in a second.

First, I should mention that I am a bit weird when it comes to packing and what I like to call "cross-contamination". I am not neat freak. Not by far. Just ask my mother. I have stuff everywhere - all over the house. However, I am that girl with the Ziploc bags in her suitcase. Yes, I don't like my hairbrush getting snagged on my clothes and intermingling with them. I don't want any containers exploding or leaking in my suitcase and ruining my stuff. I sure as heck don't want any liquids getting into my makeup either. I usually carry a separate makeup bag for liquids and it is full of stuff in Ziploc bags my friends! My husband thinks I am crazy, and you might too, and that is ok with me. I am not the girl with the perfume leaking out of my suitcase with ruined clothes. I have seen that one before and I want no part of that problem!
I digress as usual. The point I was getting to is that I don't like to just throw my face brushes into my makeup bag. To me, that's a bit gross. I don't want residual powder from the brushes getting all over my makeup containers. Also, I put those brushes on my face and around my eyes. I don't wash my makeup compacts, tubes and containers and let's face it, how many people touch those things before you buy it? I don't want my brushes touching all of that stuff. I am not a germaphobe, I swear. Okay, maybe a little. So if I can find a makeup bag that separates my brushes from the rest of my makeup in a all in one deal, then cool.
This is what it looks like inside. By the way, the bag itself is very sturdy and feels solid yet light. The zip is nice and heavy duty. Not a flimsy product at all. The main compartment is very spacious. With what I have in the bag above (I just threw some random stuff in there) the bag is not even 1/3 full. It has a little open pocket for odds and ends. The open pocket, however, has a very thin material and things fall out of it very easily. I wish it was a zippered compartment. The makeup brush flap on the other side does have a zippered compartment. I find it is in an awkward place though and it is not easy to get what you want out of there quickly since it is quite narrow.
The other thing I don't like is that the bag's outside zipper is a single. It would be nice to open the bag up without having to zip open the whole thing. Since the bag opens up really wide, I find as soon as you open it, everything falls out that isn't "secured", That drives me a bit mad. Especially since I am usually opening it up in a hotel room where the last thing I want is to be chasing my cosmetics around on a possibly less than clean counter top or filthy floor! Just thinking about it give me the chills!!!
Here is what the makeup brush compartment looks like opened. Judging from the various sized elastic holders, it appears this section would also hold lipsticks, eyeliners, mascaras etc. I think you can already see the problem. Regular sized  brushes are too big for this section. This section also narrows as you can see which is not great for keeping your brushes covered properly. Yes, I have short handled brushes that I can use, but should I have too???
In the picture above, I have from left to right (to illustrate my point) a short handled Sigma Beauty eyeliner/lip brush E05 (which barely fits length wise), a Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush (way too big for this), a MAC lipstick and a Real Techniques Multi Task Brush (also too big for this section). There are two other elastic holders on the left side but they only hold big brushes. The flap also doesn't really cover them completely when velcroed back into place.
So to summarize, I like the theory of this bag. I like the look and feel of it for the most part. It's very sturdy externally and I think it could withstand some serious bumps in your suitcase and baggage handler abuse. I have and will travel with this sometimes but I don't think I will put my makeup brushes in here. It just isn't functional. Also, I have made a mental note to only open this bag when it is in a contained spot like my suitcase so when things fly out, I've got it covered.
I think if you have tons of short handled brushes and you don't mind them intermingling with your makeup (unlike my anal self) than you might very well love this bag. The whole thing inside and out is wipe-able. The company that makes these does make a variety of makeup travel bags and I have to say that they all look really good. Maybe one of those is better suited for me than this one. I would consider buying another style from this line.
Sturdiness: 9/10 (minus that pocket flap on the one side)
Functionality: 6/10 (it has lots of room and some people may be able to use just this)
Creativity: 9/10
Size: 10/10
Design Execution: 2/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
P.S. Did you guys see that crazy video with the Air Canada baggage handlers just tossing those carry on pieces of luggage like sacks of potatoes? Can't say I am surprised though. My suitcase always looks like it has been through WWIII after I go on a trip.