Tuesday, 30 June 2015

OPI The Thrill of Brazil - Review and Swatch?

You would think that OPI's The Thrill of Brazil would have been part of the Brazil collection from last year, but no, it's one of OPI's Classic Colours it appears. How odd.

I never do my toes in red. Not sure why, just don't really care for that colour on my toes which is really strange since I love 1940's and 1950's makeup etc. My husband said to go for red for a change when I got my pedicure last week. This is the colour I choose. I picked up a bottle of this the next day in the event of chips. This has to last until my next pedicure in a few weeks time (French next). You know chips will happen.

This colour is a vibrant red with orange undertones. I actually wanted a red with blue undertones (personal preference) but the spa didn't seem to have such a colour. It wasn't my usual spa (gift card) but they still did a good job. This colour is very 1940's/1950's. Under some light, it can look like a brick red, but in broad daylight and under most light fixtures it is a juicy, bold red. I actually hate brick red as a colour in general so I squirm inwardly when I see my toes looking that colour. I am a total weirdo sometimes, I know.

 Please don't mind the red marks on my foot. I was sitting on it before I took this picture. My photography skills are definitely subpar today my friends. Even my OPI bottle is a bit twisted in the top photo, but I was trying to catch the colour in the light.

As always, I think OPI puts out some of the better nail polishes on the market and no one beats their colour range and name choices. No one.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Clarins Paris Instant Concealer 02 - Review and Swatch

I bought this product about a year and half ago. I have been using it on and off for that entire period. I think there may be at least a third to half of it left. One tube of Clarins Instant Concealer is 15 ml or 0.5 oz. I bought mine at The Bay. It is $32 Canadian and I am guessing a few dollars less in U.S. dollars. It only comes in 3 shades - 01, 02 and 03. I have 02. It says it is primarily for under the eyes but you could likely use it on other areas of your face. I bought 02 because 01 was too light for my under eye area. I find 02 is a bit peachy orange which is a good colour for the under eye area.

I have tried this product on other areas of my face and although it does an ok job, it's way too dark for my skin tone on my face. As for how it works under my eyes, frankly, the formula is too thin to do a decent job if you have medium to severe dark circles under your eyes. I mostly use this over a peach base under my eyes or on its own if I am wearing glasses to work and don't care. It is brightening, but not enough and the coverage just isn't there in my opinion.

Now I know a lot of people have hyped this product up in recent years and all I can think is that they have very mild or light discolouration under their eyes. Otherwise, this just wouldn't cut it for you. I am disappointed with this product. Here are the swatches of 02. On the left is a dollop of the product and on the right is it blended out. As you can see, it's quite peach.

The one thing I will say about it is that it is very lightweight and doesn't crease easily. So if you don't have much to cover up under the eye, maybe this would be the product for you. It just isn't for me. The squeeze tube works well. Ah the hunt for a great under eye concealer continues...

Packaging: 9/10 
Pigmentation: 7/10 (but product is so damn thin)  
Easy to Work With: 9/10 (applies super easily but doesn't cover well)
Longevity: 2/10
Texture: 9/10 
Price: 5/10 for what it is
Ingredients: 8/10 
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Attractiveness of Product: 2/10
Would I buy this again? NO
Overall Rating: 5/10 (points for not creasing and be lightweight but coverage quality is poor)
Bits and Bites
  • I have 3 blogs planned for this week. I have an eyeshadow palette review, a nail polish post and a ton of Empties! I should have two of them up within the next 24-72 hours.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

tarte Poppy Picnic Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette - Review and Swatches

The tarte Poppy Picnic Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette has been out for a couple of months now. You all know I love me some tarte. Truth be told though, what sold me was the name of the palette and the packaging. Poppy Picnic? How cute is that??? Seriously. The packaging is so retro and chic looking. In this palette are 6 matte eyeshadows and a shimmery blush. The palette is $46 Canadian or $38 U.S. which isn't bad. Each eyeshadow is 1.7g or 0.06 oz. which is pretty decent. The blush is 5.6g or 0.20 oz. which is the same size as a stand alone tarte blush. I will add that a regular stand alone tarte blush is $34 Canadian or $28 U.S. So in Canadian dollars, you are only paying $12 for the eyeshadows or $10 U.S. if you look at from that point of view.

Please excuse the smudge in the picture above. I just noticed it. On the left from top to bottom are Summer Breeze, Sweet Tea and Ice Cream Cone. The blush in the middle is Glisten. I understand that tarte has placed Glisten in other palettes before. On the right hand side we have from the top to bottom Barefoot in the Grass, Peach Poppy and Picnic Basket. All 6 of the eyeshadows are highly pigmented. If I had to choose my favourites they would be Sweet Tea, Peach Poppy and Picnic Basket. Summer Breeze could be a touch more vibrant for my taste, it tends to get lost on the eye. Ice Cream Cone is a nice colour but can be a bit stiff to work with. All of the others blend well.

As for Glisten, I love this blush. It's like a more peach and lighter version of NARS' Orgasm blush. I have been wearing this colour a lot lately. I definitely think this palette is good value for your money. I have to say though that it is not very exciting. The collector in me wanted it. You can replicate many if not all of the eyeshadow colours in your stash if you even have a fair sized one. Do you need this palette? Honestly, no. That being said, this would be a great gift for a makeup lover or even for someone starting out in makeup. Perhaps it would be a good graduation gift (grade 8 or high school). The mirror in this thing is huge...The palette would be great for travel.

Okay, swatch time. From left to right are Glisten (blush), Summer Breeze, Sweet Tea, Ice Cream Cone, Barefoot in the Grass, Peach Poppy and Picnic Basket. Quite vibrant, no? I think some of the lighter shades would look brighter and be better elevated with a white eyeshadow base under them. Just a suggestion.

Packaging: 10/10 (so freaking cute)
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 8/10
Longevity: 8/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 8/10  (a couple are a tad dry)
Price: 10/10 (value! value!)
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10
Would I buy this again?  PERHAPS (but one is enough)
Do I regret buying it? NO
Overall Rating:  8.5/10

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Beautyblender Bling.Ring Kit - Review

I don't know why, but I avoided buying the beautyblender sponge for years. I think I thought it was a gimmick. Also, $26 for a "little egg-shaped sponge" seemed a little steep. So I broke down and decided to try it out when I saw that they had one in a bling.ring kit. I had thought for ages that it was a bit crazy to have a wet or dry beautyblender rolling around your vanity table or storing it in a juice glass. The beautyblender on its own is $26 Canadian or $19.95 U.S. When you buy the bling.ring kit, it comes with a beautyblender and a bling ring. Basically, it's a bejewelled ring shaped holder. The bling ring is fantastic because it holds the beauty blender when it is either wet or dry and it's a holder for when it's drying.

The bling.ring kit is $35.95 Canadian or $29 U.S. Essentially, you are paying an extra $10 for the bling.ring. Some of you make think that is crazy. I mean it is a cheap plastic ring, let's get real about it. It looks even cheaper in person I assure you. That being said, I am happy with my purchase. It looks good on my vanity like that and it is the perfect shape and size for it. If you have or can find something similar to store your beautyblenderin, by all means do so and save the $10. If you aren't that lucky or resourceful, just suck it up and get the bling.ring.

Back to the beautyblender itself. When you wet it, it nearly doubles in size. I have no idea what kind of tricky technology they have used to make this thing, but it makes your foundation look so dewy and flawless! No more brush marks. I think I even use less foundation when I use this so there is savings right there. You can use the tip for the under eye area too! I am amazed but it works great to pat on concealer for problem areas. Blends right in. If you have excess makeup anywhere, just dab a wet beauty blender over the area and it picks up any excess makeup.

Something else I have noticed is that my foundation feels so much lighter on my skin when I use the beautyblender. The beautyblender washes up pretty well but I find you have to do it every second or third use tops. So it is handy to buy two if you can. Sometimes Sephora has a set of two at a discounted price. I should mention that I am able to put on my foundation really quickly with the beautyblender. It takes more time to go and wet it! I am super happy with this purchase and wish I would have bought it years ago. I plan on taking it with me on holiday this year and I am going to buy the travel case for it which holds two and allows them to breathe and air dry inside. Pink dye does tend to stream out of it the first few times that you wash it. Be warned. Maybe buying the white one, if you can handle looking at it dirty, would not be such a bad idea. It also comes in black or red, but I like the pink ones.

Packaging: 10/10     
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: time will tell
Usefulness: 10/10 
Texture/Softness: 10/10
Price: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 if I get the travel case or 0/10 with no travel case (just not hygienic to have it rolling around a makeup bag)
Overall Rating: 10/10
Would I buy this again? YESSSSS

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara - Review

I have been sitting on this review for awhile. There has been so much hype about this mascara that I really felt I needed to road test it for quite some time before I could give a fair assessment of it. First of all, let's talk about the price. It's $37 Canadian (ouch!!!!) or $32 U.S. I bought mine at the Sephora sale that they had just before Christmas so I think I got 15% or 20% off. Can't remember which. I couldn't stomach paying $37 for a product that lasts 3 months and then you throw it out. Of course I pay that for foundation, but that is different, right? Ahem.

Anyway, I was waiting until I threw out a couple of mascaras that I had in rotation before I cracked this puppy open. I have been using it for a little over 2 months. I should mention that I have the original formula, not the excess, lengthening etc. The wand is nothing to get excited about but it does the job. I have a picture of it below. All kidding aside, this mascara would make my Top 5 Favourite Mascaras, but it is not my favourite, nor my second favourite. When you first apply it, it is very lengthening and volumizing. It looks quite impressive at first with a couple of coats or more.

It is very black and doesn't seem to have any serious smudging or flaking issues. Nothing really noticeable basically.

It is not hard to work with, but I find Bobbi Brown's Smokey Eye Mascara easier and faster to apply. Other than that which is a small issue, and the price tag, my only other complaint about it is that I find it shrinks my lashes or constricts them after the mascara dries. So your lashes do not look as good nor as dramatic as they did when the product is first applied. That is a bummer. I plan to stick with Bobbi Brown's Smokey Eye Mascara after I am done with this tube. I can't say for certain that I won't buy another tube of the Eyes to Kill at some point, but I will not rush to do so since the price is outrageous and I just prefer a couple of other mascaras. It is decent stuff though. I feel that it volumizes more than lengthens and I need both very desperately.

Packaging: 8/10
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 9/10
Longevity: 6.5/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 2/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Smudge Proof: 7/10
Flake and Clump Proof: 7/10
Attractiveness of Product: 7.5/10
Would I buy this again? MAYBE
Overall Rating: 8/10

Friday, 12 June 2015

L'Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam - Review

Quick review today. L'Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam is a very uncomplicated product. That makes it easy for me to review which is sometimes a good thing. I am going to cut to the chase. If you have dry or very dry skin that is blemish free, this may be the cleanser for you. It would work even better for you if you don't wear any makeup. The scent is nice and refreshing. The foam that pumps out is lovely and it's relaxing to wash your face with this. It doesn't strip your skin and leaves it feeling soft and comfortable.

If you are like me and are oily and blemish prone, just pass on this. It hasn't done anything to prevent or heal my blemishes and my face never feels clean after I use it. Even if I wash my face twice with this, you wouldn't believe the amount of dirt and makeup remaining on my skin. It's like I didn't even wash my face. It certainly doesn't dig down deep into pores.

I bought this small size at a L'Occitane outlet store for a song. The price for a full sized version is $30 Canadian for 150ml. My small version is a third the size at 50ml or 1.7 fl. oz. I really love being able to pick up small sized versions of products so I can try without the investment. Glad I tried this one as it is just not for me. Smells great though and for some people this might be just what they have been looking for.

I have been using it for about 4 weeks now. My skin actually went crazy a week after I started using this and this did nothing for it. I think the skin thing was hormonal though, had nothing to do with the product. My skin only started to improve a few days ago when I busted out one of my preferred cleansers. I think this product would be good for those makeup free days when you are bumming around the house and just feel like washing your face every so often.

Packaging: 8/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 7.5/10
Ingredients: ?
Easy to Work With: 10/10  
Travel Worthy: 6/10 
Deep Cleans: 1/10
Moisturizing: 9/10
Comfortable/Softening: 9/10
Smell: 9/10
Would I buy this again? NO
Overall Rating: 3/10  (weighing doesn't deep clean heavily here)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

OPI Viking in a Vinter Vonderland - Review and Swatch

I am in love!!! I got a pedicure a few days back and I was just not in a tropical mood so pinks and corals were out. I was feeling a bit vampy in fact, maybe because it was overcast that day. Anyway, I hadn't had my toes done with a dark colour in ages. I picked OPI Viking in a Vinter Vonderland from the Nordic collection. In my opinion, it's gorgeous. I ran out and bought a bottle for touch-ups and I know damn well I will be wearing this colour again either on my finger nails or my toes. It's a nice alternative to straight up black or blackened reds or browns. Here is what it looks like on my toes. Don't mind my pale feet.

As usual, it is wearing well as all OPI polishes normally do. No one has cuter names for nail polish than OPI. I won't rate this product because it's an OPI polish and it's good. No need to prattle on.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Makeup Geek (MUG) Eyeshadows in Mercury and Shark Bait - Review and Swatches

I don't know about you guys, but I always seem to have a devil of a time finding a good silver eyeshadow. They are always too blue or too purple and some just look ashy or dirty. I am pleased to say that Mercury by Makeup Geek is none of the above and is a true cool silver. Mercury is soft and creamy and applies so easily. It wears for hours and it's easy to blend. I can't find any cons to this shadow. If you are looking for a good silver, you should give this one a go. At $5.99 U.S., you can't really go wrong.

Along with Mercury I bought a few other shadows including Shark Bait which is on the right above. I have ended up liking this colour more than I thought I would. Makeup Geek describes it as a blue based green with a matte finish. I bought it for a look I wanted to create and I have already forgotten what look it was! Truth be told, I paired it with Mercury, put Shark Bait in the outer corner and I am very pleased with the way it looks. I threw a little crème brule in the crease and viola! I think I saw Marlena from Makeup Geek wearing something similar in an instagram pic so that is where I got the inspiration.

Back to Shark Bait. It has wonderful pigmentation but is a bit chalky to the touch. The colour transfers well onto the eyelid and it blends easily. I don't have anything like it in my collection. Each eyeshadow pan is 1.8g or 0.064 oz. Both Mercury and Shark Bait are great colours. Here are the swatches and I apologize but my sleeve smudged the tops of the swatches on my arm so the tops are missing some colour. Mercury is on the left and Shark Bait is on the right.

Packaging: 10/10  (the are palette refills so nothing to get excited about but they serve their purpose)
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 10/10  Mercury and 7/10 Shark Bait
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

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

May 2015 Empties

My empties from this past month are a little short of uninspired. A few are the usual suspects and I have a couple others thrown in for good measure. Without further ado, I have 6 empties. In no particular order....

Origins Plantscription frequently makes my empties list. I have used this for close to 5 years now nonstop and I love it. I am afraid I have cheated on it recently with another serum which I am still trying to get a feel for. Stay tuned! Holy crap, still haven't done a full review on this. Yikes!

Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser was a large sized sample I had kicking around. Felt great on but underperformed. Here is the full review:

Estee Lauder DayWear Moisturizer is one of my faves under my makeup in the summer. It gives just enough moisture without being overly greasy. It has SPF 15 too so bonus. Gone through countless jars of these. Review:

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream felt amazing on but alas did diddly crap for my undereye circles. Can't blame the product, it didn't claim to do anything for that issue! Another free good sized sample. Full review:

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask is a product that I doubt I could have survived the winter without. I already finished a full sized tube and the one above was a little bigger than half of a regular tube. It was part of a set of products. Finished this one too. Already repurchased. Packaging blows though. Full rant and rave:

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser was so much one of my loves. Then they changed the formula. Not good. I left it alone and tried some other products. Came back to it and remember why I love it so much despite the reformulation which should have never been. Review will be updated soon but here is the original post:

There we have it! More Makeup Geek eyeshadow reviews coming next!