Saturday, 31 January 2015

Hard Candy Fierce Effects 896 Soft & Sultry Eye Shadow Duo - Review and Swatches

I picked up this little duo at Wal-Mart when I was in the States last November. Hard Candy carries a few different colour combinations in this line. I paid $6 U.S. for them as a set. Each one does not have an individual name. I would describe them as one being a caramel colour and the other one as a silver green. These look familiar don't they? Same packaging and product as the L'Oreal Infallible eye shadows pretty much. They even have the stopper inside to help keep the product fresh.

I am going to keep it real by saying that I don't overly love the L'Oreal Infallible eye shadows as you know. I don't dislike them, it's just that I don't tend to get excited about this type of product. Give me a good eyeshadow palette any day over this type of thing. However, for the drug store, these Hard Candy duos are a steal since you get 2 for $6. These are just as good, if not better (especially for the price) than their L'Oreal counterpart. I think you could have some fun with these and since this duo is somewhat neutral toned, you could do a lot with them.

With an eye shadow primer, these last for a good 12+ hour day. They are a bit crumbly, as is the L'Oreal version, but it's not a big deal. They apply fairly smoothly. I find the colour of these, and the L'Oreal ones, sometimes don't stay 100% true but they don't change drastically.

Unless I see some really interesting colours in the future, I think I am going to call it a day on this type of product because they just don't thrill me in the way that other eye shadow products do. Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way? I do have a bunch of L'Oreal Infallible colours still to review that I bought ages ago, but I just haven't felt inspired to deal with them. This Hard Candy duo makes a great stocking stuffer as I have said previously, and would make a great small gift to a friend starting out in makeup. I think teenagers and college students would really get good use out of these and they are budget friendly. Ok, swatch time...

Packaging: 8/10     
Pigmentation: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 8/10
Longevity: 7/10
Colour Stays True: 7/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 10/10 
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 7/10 (a bit messy though) 
Attractiveness of Product: 7/10 
Would I buy this again?  No, because they bore me
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Make Up For Ever Artist Eye Shadow in M530 Eggshell, S516 Sand and I544 Pink Granite - Review, Dupes and Swatches


Just after Christmas I picked up the Make Up For Ever Studio Case from Sephora. It was on sale which sealed the deal for me. It was $45 Canadian and then I got another 20% off. It was originally $59.50 U.S. so I really scored. Up until this point, I had never owned any Make Up For Ever (MUFE) eyeshadows. Since they recently reformulated them, I figured now was my chance to pounce. Since this palette is no longer available, I don't see much point in reviewing it as a whole. However, since the eyeshadows in it are still in the Make Up For Ever regular (hopefully permanent line) I felt they deserved to be reviewed.

Oh one final word on this discontinued palette before I move on. The eyeshadows that got in this palette are 0.024 oz. each. They are about the size of a dime. Very small. The full sized versions are 0.07 oz. or 2 g. A MAC eyeshadow is 1.3g so you are getting close to 50% more with the MUFE eyeshadows. That being said, the MUFE eyeshadows are substantially pricier than MAC's eyeshadow refill pans with the MUFE eyeshadows coming in at $21 U.S. or $24 Canadian with no case or compact. The case is an extra $1 U.S. and Canadian, but if you buy 2 or 3 eyeshadows plus the case from Sephora they end up getting discounted a good deal. When you buy 3 for example, you basically are paying for 2 and get one free. So I definitely recommend buying these in 2's or 3's to get the most bang for your buck. I have 3 on order as I type...

Okay enough background stuff. So the first eyeshadow I have here is M530 Eggshell. It makes a good brow highlight and an inner corner brightener. The colour is not the brightest of its kind on the market, but it does a good job. The consistency is smooth and silky. Blends ridiculously well. I would say it's a dupe for a mix of MAC's Mylar and Blanc Type together or perhaps Urban Decay's Virgin. M530 is nice for sure, but I wouldn't rush out to buy it. You likely have another equally good colour in your stash if you are a makeup whore like me. The M in M530 stands for Matte by the way.

S516 Sand is an interesting eyeshadow. I don't say that because I love it, I say that because it's an enigma. When I first applied this colour to my lid, I was unimpressed. It blended well, had really good pigment, but it was so blah! Boring, forgettable! As soon as I blended I544 Pink Granite into my crease with it on my lid, it was like it all suddenly made sense. For some crazy reason, these two colours go together like salt and pepper. Estee Lauder is famous in my book for pulling this stunt. They put out an eyeshadow in a duo or quad etc. and alone the colour is nothing exciting. Put it together with the rest of the palette and all of the colours look awesome together. Like they were meant to only be worn together. I can't think of a dupe for S516 Sand per se. It's like a thick, more creamy, heavier version of MAC's Bisque with a Satin twist but doesn't look as good as Bisque does on it's own. S in S516 stands for Satin.

I544 Pink Granite is a gorgeous colour. I would definitely consider repurchasing this oner. It immediately reminded me of MAC's Trax, only I544 is more pink. It is super attractive and blends like a dream. It is like butter, without the grease of course. Pink Granite is easier to work with than Trax, however, Trax is not exactly hard to work with! This colour is so easy to blend it takes no time at all! It is extremely pigmented so you don't need much per application. In my swatch it looks a bit brown, but is it less so in real life. The I in I544 stands for Iridescent.

Okay, swatch time! From left to right is M530 Eggshell, S516 Sand and I544 Pink Granite. As you can see, S516 Sand barely shows up as it is close to skin colour and it doesn't stand out as anything special on it's own.

If you haven't done so already, you should check out these MUFE eyeshadows. They are neat and are currently my eyeshadow obsession.

Packaging: 9/10 for the Studio Case I have. Individual full sized shadow rating to follow.    
Pigmentation: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 9/10
Colour Stays True: 9/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10 for the Studio Case. 7/10 for the individual shadows.
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 2/10 Studio Case (it's bulky as hell). Individual full sized shadow rating to follow.
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10 
Would I buy this again?  M530 Eggshell and S516 Sand - No
                                         I544 Pink Granite - Yes
Overall Rating:  8.5/10 (price is the only real thing dragging the score down)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Korres Body Butter in Guava and Basil Lemon - Review

Some of you who read my blog regularly might remember that I had shown a gift set of these Korres Body Butters that I picked up just before Christmas. Today, I am going to review two of them. These are the two that I have been using the most. This is not because I like these two the best, it's just because these are opened and in use. There really isn't a difference between the two other than the scent. Both of them are fantastic, hard-working, body butters. These glide on so easily and absorb quickly which I like. You can see the difference to your skin almost instantly. The moisturization lasts too. Put it on before bed or in the morning, and your skin will stay nice and smooth until your next shower or bath.

I have to say that these are some of the best body butters that I have ever discovered. I have only one complaint. Korres prides itself on not using harsh or harmful chemicals in their products, but both of these tubes contain Imidazolidinyl Urea which some people argue is quite bad for you. Since I am applying this liberally all over my body, it gives me pause. I am hoping Korres eliminates this ingredient from this product, because without it, this product couldn't get much better. I have really been loving these. If you aren't fussed about ingredients, you will likely love this product very much.

I really like the Guava one. It smells to me almost like a baby product or like a soothing baby lotion. The scent is very light and not at all overpowering. It is my favourite of these two scents. The Basil Lemon smells like a kitchen for obvious reasons. You may wish to keep this scent for after washing the dishes etc. The smell dissipates somewhat after awhile. I don't hate this scent, but I don't love it.

One little tube, like the ones that I have are $13 Canadian for 1.69 oz. The full size tube is $33 Canadian for 7.95 oz. or is $29 U.S.

Packaging: 8/10 
Texture: 10/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Moisturizing: 10/10
Look of Skin: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Probably
Overall Rating: 9/10
Bits and Bites
  • I am planning to do a bunch of eyeshadow reviews (including palettes) for the next week or so
  • My empties are stacking up for the month...

Monday, 19 January 2015

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel - Review

I had full intension of putting up a review today on some fantastic skin cream that I have discovered, but instead I am opting to do a review on the DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel. This product ticked me off and it has been bugging me for days so I have to write about it.

I got a large sample of this ages ago. I finally busted it open last week. I have used it twice and both times were total disasters. I still have a ton left and it is going in the garbage as soon as I finish this post. The first time I used it, I used way too much. The package said that the product is supposed to dissolve, moisturize and leave hair soft and touchable. Naturally, I thought I better up the anti and apply liberally. I would say that was a big mistake, but when I used a little a couple of days later, it was a nightmare as well. Use lots or a little and the effect is the same. My hair looked like a full on rat's nest or fowl's nest as my mother would say. I am sure some people at work were wondering what the %$#@ I did to my hair.

I barely know where to begin. I guess I will start by saying that the first thing I noticed was that this product sucked all of the moisture out of my hair. My hair was dry and like straw as soon as my hair was dry. That effect doesn't change until you wash your hair. Did it give me nice, touchable, soft curls? Hell no. If anything, I felt like it straightened out my hair in some areas. There was no spring, no bounce. My hair is naturally curly and frankly it would have looked better if I had put no product in it. My hair was like a stiff helmet. It was sticky, crunchy and like cement. When I washed my hair the next day, I thought maybe I used too much the first time and wanted to see what happened when I used just a little bit of product. Lo and behold, I got similar results. The curls I got stuck to each other like I had glue in my hair. At one point, it was like I had one sticky ringlet that was not combing out. Frizz? I didn't have any in the helmet, no. So I guess I should give kudos there? Nah.

I have used better gel from the drug store for $4. I am not kidding. My mind is actually blown as to why this stuff is even on the market. I have since read a lot of reviews online over the past few days and there seems to be a lot of people who genuinely like this product. There also seems to be a good 20% or more who hate it. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. My complaints about this product are the exact same as the others who have dissed it. Dreadful stuff it is. I really don't know and couldn't say who this product would work for. I did notice a lot of people who seemed to like it noted that they have wavy, not curly hair.

Sephora sells three sizes of this product. There is a 3 oz., 12 oz. and 32 oz. for $11, $26 and $54 Canadian respectively. Not sure why I am bothering to share these details as I cannot recommend this product to a soul.

I am not kidding when I say that this is one of the worst products that I have tried in months, if not the past few years. This stuff should be in the Beauty Hall of Shame. Please drop me a comment below if you have tried this product and like it or didn't as the case may be.

Packaging: 8/10 
Easy to Work With: 0/10
Touchable Hair: 0/10
Humidity Resistance: 0/10
Hold: I can't answer this. Firm hold is an understatement. But it's holding a rat's nest that it made.
Price: 7/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Value for Money: 0/10
Would I buy this again? NO
Overall Rating: 0/10

Friday, 16 January 2015

MAC Haul

One of the gifts that I got for Christmas was a MAC gift card from my darling husband who knows I like makeup just a little bit too much. One thing he knows is that he can never go wrong with getting me a gift card for MAC or Sephora. Amen.

So what did I get? I got 4 pro palette eyeshadows in Vapour, Nylon, Ricepaper and Soba. Four colours that I have never had for some unknown reason. I decided it was about time to pick them up. I also got MAC's lip pencil in Cherry. Never had that either. In addition, I finally got Ruby Woo lipstick. Looking forward to giving that one a try. Finally, I got the Prep + Prime Lip which is supposed to help keep vibrant lipsticks from bleeding and to help them stay put. With Ruby Woo, this might be a good move. So there you have it, just a quick little post tonight on my recent haul.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick 240 Tumultuous Pink - Review and Swatch

There has been a lot of buzz the last few months about Estee Lauder's new Pure Color Envy Lipsticks. I own one so far in 240 Tumultuous Pink. This is a very vibrant, warm pink. It is described as a deep berry pink. I personally prefer more of a cool toned pink because it just looks better with my colouring, but this is a very lovely warm pink and I think I am pulling it off. In fact, I would guess that just about anyone with any skin tone could pull this colour off as long as they are brave enough to wear it. I have had several compliments on this colour since I started wearing it a couple of months ago. The pigmentation is out of this world. The colour is crazy vibrant. You don't need to apply a lot to get a full coverage, matte lip. Here is the swatch:

Is that wild or what? I think I need to start modelling these lipstick colours so that you can see what they look like on. Mental note to do that next time. The problem is that half of the time when I do these blog posts, I am home in my PJ's and bunny slippers at the end of the day and am not in full makeup.

This lipstick is very comfortable to wear. Your lips feel moisturized the entire time you are wearing it. I have seriously worn this (with only one application) for 8 plus hours and the colour is still on there even after a meal and drinking lots of water. The colour does fade of course over several hours, but there is still some on and you can see the colour several hours later. One curious thing I have noticed is that I find my top lip fades a lot more than the bottom lip with this lipstick. I have never noticed that before with any other lipstick. That being said, this has to be one of the longest wearing lipsticks on the market. When you look at it, smell it, apply and wear it, you know this is no cheap lipstick. It's smooth and glides on like butter. If you are like me, this type of lipstick makes you feel dressed up and luxurious instantly.

Pure Color Envy lipsticks are sold at Sephora for $34 Canadian or $30 U.S. Not cheap. I bought mine from the Estee Lauder counter and I think I paid a few bucks more, but maybe I am mistaken. Will check that out. The case is magnetic and is quite nice. You are not likely to lose the cap in your purse and make a big mess as a result. Good quality stuff. As you can see from the picture below, my tube looks hardly used. I have worn it several times so you can see that you don't need a lot of product. This is not the type of lipstick that you would blow through quickly.

I already have my eye on Insolent Plum, Vengeful Red, Dominant and Reckless. How about you?
Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 7/10 
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Comfortable to Wear: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10 
Would I buy this again? Yes in a split second
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Clarisonic Mia 2 Hollywood Lights Collection - Review

I purchased my Mia 2 "Hollywood Lights Collection" close to 3 months ago from The Shopping Channel (QVC for those of you who are Americans) for about $150 Canadian. They were having some big promotion at the time. The Mia 2 retails for $180 Canadian and $149 U.S. on Sephora's website. You can also buy them at the Bay in Canada. I know Sephora use to carry this particular colour, but I am not sure that they do anymore.  I avoided purchasing one of these for years because I feared it was a gimmick. Once everyone and their mother started using these and the rave reviews came in, I caved.

I currently have the Sensitive brush head attachment and that is all I have used so far. The Shopping Channel also sent me the Deep Pore brush head which I haven't used. I am scared to use it. I have read so many reviews online of people who say it ruined their skin. I have even heard people saying it to each other while I was shopping in Sephora. Now if I do use it, I would likely only use it once a week or so. Twice a day sounds like suicide if it's as harsh as people say. Have any of you tried the Deep Pore brush head? I would love to know what you think of it.

So yes, I have been using the Mia 2 for almost 3 months and I am very happy with the results. I used to always feel like I needed to exfoliate my skin at least twice a week. I always had bumpy, dry patches. I don't have those any longer and I don't bother to exfoliate now. One advantage of buying this and that you won't need to buy an exfoliation product for your face ever again.

On top that obvious advantage, my skin is a lot more clear that it used to be. I would say it took nearly 2 months to notice a significant difference, but I have very few blemishes now. My skin also seems more glowy and even toned. I do find that the skin on my face looks a tad more white than my neck and chest now, but that's ok with me. Gives me a nice, unearthly glow haha. I have noticed that other vloggers who use a Clarisonic have a similar thing happening when I see them without their makeup.

I would definitely say that buying the Mia 2 is worth the splurge. Hopefully, I will have it for years to come. Other people seem to. It has two speeds by the way, which is nice. The only thing that I am not crazy about is the fact that the charger takes 18 hours! That's a long ass time. Also, the lights on the Mia 2 fade in and out while it is charging and it has freaked my husband out a couple of times when he has awoken in the middle of the night and seen the light show coming from the bathroom, Luckily, I only have to do it every 20 uses. I will say that I use the Mia 2 usually at least once a day, usually at night. It's great for helping take your makeup off and clearing out your pores. I don't feel I need to use it twice a day and sometimes I skip a day. I am really into scrubbing my skin and teeth etc. (strange quirk I know) so I enjoy using the Clarisonic very much for that reason! I do wonder if I should try the Normal brush head because sometimes I think I would like a harder scrub. I don't think I need a harder scrub because this brush head is doing the job, I just think a harder scrub would be more enjoyable. Ok, I am a total weirdo, I know. But if it's not broken, don't fix it, so maybe I should stick with the Sensitive head.

Oh, I will mention that the cheapest case ever came with the Mia 2. It's for travel supposedly. Looks like it's disposable packaging to me. I guess I won't know if I don't give it a try. The replacement heads are $31 Canadian or $27 U.S. so if you replace them every 3 months as recommended, that could add up fast. It appears you can purchase a set of two for $49 Canadian or $44 U.S. from Sephora which is a much better deal if you plan on using your Clarisonic religiously. Since I don't use mine twice a day very often, hopefully I can get a little bit more than 3 months out of each head. I find the device easy to hold and very comfortable. It's a good design. You can take it in the shower with you too it says, but I don't see me doing that just yet.

Packaging: 10/10 (except the case is seriously cheap and fugly)
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Skin Texture: 10/10
Blemish Blasting: 9/10
Softening: 9/10
Gets Rid of Dead Skin Cells: 10/10
Evens Skin Tone: 9/10
Price: 8/10 (it is expensive but it works)
Would I buy this again? YES and sorry I didn't buy it sooner
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - Review

I picked up this little beauty a couple of months ago. It's $30 Canadian or $26 U.S. Each tube is 0.52 oz. I decided to take this product photo straight from Sephora's website as my tube is squeezed up and the packaging is chipping. Photo below. Despite my tube looking a bit worse for wear, I have to say that I love this product. Some of you who have been reading my blogs for the past couple of years may know that I have been suffering with some extreme dry lip issues the last couple of winters. I think it started as an allergic reaction to some soap and it went from there. I was a bit scared that this winter I would have to revisit this issue. I swear this Agave Lip Mask has saved my bacon. When I so much as feel a tingle of dry lips coming on, I pop this on and I am good to go for hours. Hell, I have been just wearing this out to work or shopping or whatever by itself most days lately. Sometimes I add a touch of red lipstick to it and then I have a nice shiny, muted red lip that goes with everything.

I wear this to bed every night too as you can imagine. Now I love my Burt's Bees Lip Balm and I love my Fresh Lip Treatments, but this Bite product is far superior. It reminds me of Vaseline but it's way better. Tastes better, smells better, works better. Not to mention far better ingredients. It's really thick and sticky but I like it because it stays on your lips. It has a great shine. Better than any old Vaseline.

I am starting to panic and think I need to buy a case of this stuff in case it is ever discontinued. Bite Beauty, please don't ever do that to me! I will cry. I cannot recommend this product enough. I think the tube is going to last me quite a while. The tube below has been used at least twice daily for the past couple of months and as you can see, there is still lots left. The quantity of product in the Agave Lip Mask certainly lasts a heck of a lot longer than any of the Fresh Lip Treatment tubes.

Packaging: 7/10 (as you can see...) 
Pigmentation: N/A
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10 (for what you get it's a reasonable price)
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Comfortable to Wear: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10 (great shine!)
Would I buy this again? I would by the case
Overall Rating: 10/10

Bits and Bites
  • It's been a long time since I did Bits and Bites. I must remember to do them more often.
  • I am going to post a review on my Clarisonic Mia 2 within the next few days. Also have a lipstick review to do.
  • Thinking I might start to do monthly favourites. What do you think?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Stila In the Know, Garden, Moment, and Light Palettes are being Discontinued!!!

I have been scrambling the last couple of weeks to get my hands on a couple of these palettes. For those of you who don't know, Stila has discontinued their popular palettes In the Light, In the Know, In the Moment and In the Garden. These have been around for the past few years and frankly, I naively thought they would be around for ages so I never rushed to buy them. They retailed for around $39-$45 U.S. and around $50 Canadian I believe at full price. Stila's website currently has most of them still in stock for $20 U.S. as they are a clearance item. Since Stila doesn't ship to Canada (guess they are living in the dark ages) I couldn't snag them there. If you live in the U.S. and you want one of these, I beg you to act swiftly.

I actually realized they were being discontinued when I saw the above In the Garden palette on Sephora's website under sale items a couple of weeks back. Yes, I stalk sometimes daily. It was on for $26 Canadian and then I got an extra 20% off. Sweet, I know. I tried to snatch up the In the Light palette, which tends to be thought of as the best of the four, but they were sold out practically immediately. Sephora is completely sold out of them now and I believe Ulta is as well.

I just discovered that has them in stock for $50 Canadian as of this moment. They probably won't have them for long so if you live in Canada, please pounce. I actually ordered my In the Light palette from (a U.K. retailer) a couple of days ago out of desperation. I have used them before successfully so I decided to use them again. There are some sites still carrying these, but they are going fast.

**UPDATE January 8, 2015: I saw some of these palettes still available at some Shoppers Drug Marts, if the specific location carries Stila, in Toronto this past week.**

Friday, 2 January 2015

December 2014 Empties!

Happy New Year!

My December 2014 empties are a tad sad this past month. I have a feeling January will be a bit better. I only have 5 empties this time around. Let's get into it.

1. Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone Night Age Reversing Line/Wrinkle Crème - This was actually pretty good stuff. This jar is a small gift with purchase sample but it lasted me a good couple of months. I confess that I sometimes used this as a daytime moisturizer under my makeup. It was light enough upon application, but very moisturizing. It worked great on super cold, dry winter days. I haven't done a review on this product as yet. I think I still have some more of this in my stash so no need to repurchase yet.

2. Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover - You guys know how much I love this stuff and how much I rave about it. I bought a small bottle this time around because I though this travel sized bottle was cute and would come in handy. The lid is very secure and I plan on keeping this bottle for travel in the future. After recently buying the Bioderma make-up remover, I know for sure now that it's Klorane or bust. Here is a link to my full review on this product:

3. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser - I didn't think much about this product. Rather than babble about it again, here the is the link to the full review of it:

4. Clinique High Impact Mascara - I have said for years that this is Clinique's best mascara. It isn't my favourite mascara, but it will do more than a decent job in a pinch. I gladly take them for free as a gift with purchase each and every time. I don't believe I have ever done a review on this mascara. I will say that it gives you great volume and some length but it does tend to get clumpy and dry out fast.

5. Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light - There is no contest, Dr. Hauschka's Rose Day Cream is way better than the Rose Day Cream Light. However, I snagged this tube of the Rose Day Cream Light for nearly half price at Winners so I couldn't resist. Love the Rose Day Cream. You are probably sick of hearing me rant about it so here is the link to the full review:

So there you have it! 2014 is behind us now. I will try to get up another post or two over the weekend. All the best to you for 2015!