Thursday, 30 July 2015

Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Eye Make-up Remover Pads -Review

I bought these eye make-up remover pads for travel. I am sick an tired of carrying eye make-up solution with me and thought this was a more convenient solution. There are 30 pads per pack. I got these on sale for about $5 Canadian at Shoppers Drug Mart. You can get them other places like Loblaws etc. I love these for the sheer convenience. They do work, but I find I have to wipe or "scrub" my eye more than I usually do with my regular eye make-up remover. That's not good but it's not like I use these often.

My other issue is that these do sting my eyes on occasion.  Nothing long lasting but enough to be noticeable and annoying. Sensitive eyes my tush! Also, I sometimes find small rings of mascara around my eyes in the morning after using these. Not racoon city, but it can look like I applied eyeliner on my lower lash.

Despite all this I would repurchase these as they are just so damn handy when travelling. They are not drying to the skin which is good. I am not sure if I will rate these as they kind of are what they are.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

How to Revive a MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot

I hadn't used my MAC Painterly Paint Pot in ages. I was trying to use up a Sigma Eye Shadow Base that I had which really can't hold a candle to Painterly. I decided I was tired of my Sigma product so I opened my Painterly and it was hardening and separating from the sides of the glass jar such as the Soft Ochre above to the far left. I opened my Bare Study (which was always hard to work with) and same thing. I didn't want to throw them out. These cost me some hard earned money! I knew someone, somewhere, knew how to revive them. I started my google search and I didn't have to look far.

The method I used, which is the fastest, easiest, safest way is so dumb you won't believe it. Literally, and I didn't have to add anything to the product, just stir up the product right there in the jar. I kid you not. Some people use large toothpicks, wooden skewers, the handle on a spoon etc. I used a mini plastic spatula that I had. I suggest you disinfect whatever implement of your choice with rubbing alcohol.

You see the oils separate from the product and it causes the main product to harden. Stirring everything together brought all of the ingredients back together. I am happy to report that my Painterly Paint Pot is almost as good as new and is back in circulation! I haven't tried the Bare Study yet, but it feels good. That sounded on my list is the Soft Ochre which you can see on the far left above. It won't take me but a minute or two.

Hope you enjoyed the tip! It saved me a premature repurchase.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Reversa Anti-Spot Night Care - Review and a little story about Photorejuvenation.....

I have a little something different for all of you today. It's starts off with a little story and a happy ending...About 4 years ago I was really stressed out over the reconstruction of my house and the loss of many of my belongings. Long story, I will spare you the details. During this period of time, a large cluster of sunspots or freckles if you will, suddenly appeared practically overnight on my right foot. No such spots have ever appeared on the same spot on my left foot. I assure you I wear matching shoes...So this was very bizarre. Not sure if stress caused it, but the timing was suspect.

With each year, the spots seemed to be darkening despite my liberal application of sunscreen. I am not a freckly person and since both feet didn't match, I was very bothered by it and totally self conscious every time the sandals came out. The skin looked speckled and a slight bit leathery. Ewww. My husband says he can't see it sometimes and other times he tells me they are just freckles and "what's the big deal?" Typical man. Other people said the same thing, but the spots were still there bugging me daily. Even in winter I would take off my socks and stare in amazement at them. Speaking of winter, the spots always faded in winter quite a bit, but they were still there taunting me.

I slathered sunscreen on them, I put every dark circle corrector that was in my stash on them and nothing (except winter) made them fade, but this was never more than temporary. Sure enough, summer would roll around year after year and they would darken again. Gross. Some of you might be thinking I am being overly dramatic, but you see I am a Pisces and I am ruled by the feet. I was like a moth drawn to a flame, I couldn't stop staring at them year around. It bugged me to the core. Enter 2015. I had enough. I decided something must be done! I waited 7 months to get in to see a dermatologist (started this process in 2014 thanks OHIP). I finally met with the dermatologist back in May when they were at their lightest (pre-summer sun) and he agreed they were sunspots. Nothing to worry about. He gave me a prescription for some steroid cream and said it may work and it may not. That didn't fill me with hope. I was talking to a friend of mine who is also a chiropractor and she told me if it were her she wouldn't fill the prescription as it is a steroid and I would be better off getting the spots zapped off.

Now it had been in the back of my mind that if the dermatologist couldn't help me, maybe photorejuvenation would. I booked an appointment at my Estheticians as she has someone who comes in to do this type of thing. I got them zapped, it cost me $40, went through the motions of the reddening, swelling and them going a little darker over the next few hours. Then days passed. No scab formed and the skin was as soft as a baby's bum. It didn't work. I went back for a consultation and I had the procedure done at a higher setting. Finally, the skin felt rough in that area after a day or so. It takes about 2 weeks before the skin starts to shed so I waited and waited patiently. Three weeks passed, nothing, then four weeks. It was still rough and scabby. I tried not to panic. I mean isn't the skin on the foot thicker than the face so maybe it takes longer?

I decided I needed to help the skin peel. Maybe this was crazy, but I had this gut feeling this would work and hey, I was getting desperate. I looked through tons of products at the drug store and found this - Reversa Anti-Spot Night Care. It cost me $39.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart. It contains glycolic acid which has always worked well with my skin. There is a day care version too with a 4% glycolic instead of the night time 8%. I just bought the night time one. Within 2 days my skin was no longer rough and the spots had faded significantly. Peeling had occurred. Within a week, you could barely see the spots under many lights. I have now been using it for close to 3 weeks and the results keep improving each day. I am amazed! I thought I would have to use this for several weeks to several months to see even a fraction of difference. You can barely see the spots now, but I know they are there! I am planning to keep up the treatment and see if they totally disappear and I am on track for that.

I think it was the combination of the photorejuvenation and this lotion that was responsible for these amazing results. Man, I wish I had taken a before and after picture but I just didn't know what would happen. This Reversa product is unbelievable. I have had no skin irritation either. Thank you Reversa from the bottom of my heart!

I don't know if this product will work for you if you are battling dark spots anywhere on your body and you have tried a bunch of stuff, give Reversa a try. I had my doubts at first but the results were so damn quick, I was blown away. I couldn't be happier. One bottle is 50 ml and it is likely to last me forever as you don't need to apply much.

Packaging: 9/10 (pump)
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10 (worth every penny)
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (maybe but just put some in a small jar like I do)  
Moisturizing: 10/10
Look of Skin: 10/10
Would I buy this again? HELL YES!!!!!!!!
Overall Rating: 10/10  miracle product

Monday, 20 July 2015

Real Techniques Powder Brush - Review

I was on a mass cleaning frenzy of washing my makeup brushes the other day when it dawned on me that I have never reviewed any of my Real Techniques brushes except for a foundation one and that was years back and couple with another brush. I own a number of Real Techniques brushes. Close to the whole set except for the newish metal and chrome ones. Ulta always has a good sale on them BOGO half price sales so when I am in the U.S., I tend to grab a number of them. Before I get into the nitty gritty of the review, I will say that I find a lot of Real Techniques brushes perform not in the way that other brushes do. Some of them fill a gap where no one else has a brush like it on the market and are super useful or they just don't do what I want them to do. Overall, I like their brushes. They are good spares to have kicking around the place, but they are not my favourites. They do have one or two though that there is no substitute for and I carry them with me when I travel. One nice thing about their brushes is that they are very affordable and many come in convenient travel sets.

Today, I am going to talk about the Powder Brush. The pictures of it in my blog here show it clean and reshaped back to its original shape. I picked this one because I actually don't like it, it was on my mind and bugging me. Hence the inspiration for this review. I would have to say out of the entire Real Techniques collection, this is their worst brush in my opinion. So that means all of my other brush reviews for them will be on the upswing! Part of me hates myself for picking a brush that I really don't like as my first full fledged Real Techniques review. I am not doing Real Techniques justice here because they really do make some good brushes that I will get to in the coming weeks and months. I also have to say that I love Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo no matter what I say about the brushes. Enough blabbing.

So the Powder Brush is about $10 U.S. or $13 Canadian. I have seen them in Wal-Mart in Canada. I have purchased all of mine in Ulta in the States and made good on their BOGO sales as I mentioned earlier. The head of this brush is huge when you start using it. It seems to get bigger and bigger as time goes on. I find the hair on it a bit coarse for my liking. I like a super soft brush for powder application. The head is so big that when you get powder on it, the powder seems to get sucked into deep space nine and hardly any powder transfers to your face. I also have a hard time getting this brush into a compact to pick up powder because it's too big. I feel like the powder goes everywhere but on my face! The bristles easily go 100 different ways too after a couple of uses and becomes quite unattractive and enlarges like you wouldn't believe.

The above picture is the side view.

To summarize, the brush is too damn big, awkward to use, powder doesn't transfer easily onto the face, a big mess results and the bristles are uncomfortable on my face. So it's not a brush for me. On a positive note, the price is right if you can get it to work for you. The handle is comfortable to hold and it will stand up alone on your dresser if you like. If you are clumsy like me, it won't stand up for very long because it is easy to knock over. The base is so big that the brush takes up a lot of room in your brush cup too!

I've had the brush for nearly 3 years and have used it whenever I am in rush (which is a lot) and it has not fallen apart in any way aside from the fact that it doesn't keep it's shape when you use it, but that happened from Day 1. The brush does wash very well and easily. It is easy to reshape the brush back to its original shape. I have now packed away this brush in a drawer as I have decided I really don't want to see it again. You know its time to do that when the sight of something irks you each and every time.

Packaging: 6.5/10
Easy to Work With: 1/10
Longevity: 10/10
Easy to Clean: 10/10
Usefulness: 1/10 
Texture/Softness: 1/10
Price: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 3/10  (way too big)
Overall Rating: 3.5/10
Would I buy this again? NOOOOOOO  

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Adorable Sephora Lipstick Tote Bag

Sephora has this adorable tote bag available online for 250 beauty rewards points. I ordered mine online a few days ago and it's already been delivered. Lipstick is the answer, what was the question? So cute and so true. Get yours while you can.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Day to Night Makeup Look - Video

Hello, I have something a little bit different for you today. Here is a super quick way to turn your daytime makeup to s sultry night look. You only need a few products.

This quick and easy-to-follow tutorial from shows you how to bring your makeup look from day to night in a matter of minutes. Whether you have an after work event or plan to meet with friends for dinner, this step-by-step guide will show you how to achieve that statement night time look that gets heads turning!

A must-see video for great eye makeup ideas that will instantly make an impact. Below, get a run-down of everything you will need to achieve this look.

What You Need:
• A blending brush
• A flat brush
• A concealer brush
• A pencil brush
• A dark matte shadow
• Black kohl liner 
• Glitter gel liner
• Highlighter
• Moisturising concealer
• Cotton bud and Makeup remover


Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum - Review

This is my 500th blog entry! Wow! Times flies. That's a lot of makeup and a lot of reviews!
I took a few pictures of my empty bottle of the Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum but they had tons of shadows and the nozzle looked greasy. Needless to say I borrowed the professional photo from Clinque's website. Yes, my 30ml bottle is empty and I had not yet done a review on this product. Shame on me. Truth be told, I wanted to make sure I really gave it go before I reported back to all of you. Now you have a sneak peek at one of my empties for the month.
So I got the smallest size, 30ml which is $69 Canadian or $59.50 U.S. I believe in buying the smallest size when you try out a product. If you don't like it, you didn't waste major money and if you like it, you have a container for travel. That's my take anyway. This serum also comes in 50ml and 100ml. The 50ml is $99 Canadian and the 100ml is $175. Holy smokes!
Now normally I swear by my Origins Plantscription serum, but the one thing my Plantscription doesn't do is correct dark spots or marks left after blemishes. Clinique's Smart Custom-Repair Serum is supposed to and also is supposed to reduce and prevent lines and wrinkles so I thought I would give it a go. The first thing I noticed was that there is an unmistakable smell of salmon when the product comes out of the pump. The product is even is the colour of salmon. The smell is gone within minutes of applying the product. At first it freaked me out, but I quickly got used to it. Now we all know that salmon is good for your heart, aging and your skin, so maybe Clinique knows what they are doing but just aren't advertising their "fishy" serum as a "fishy" serum.
To cut to the chase, yes, this product works well on reducing if not almost eliminating my fine lines and I would say this serum is as good as the Origins Plantscription for that issue. As for evening out skintone, it takes a few weeks, but yes, I noticed a difference. I have been using this serum for just over 2 months and I noticed a difference starting at about the 3-4 week mark. I have to say this product is a winner in my book. I have already repurchased another tube. I may go back to the Origins Plantscription at some point, but I am happy to use this in the meantime and have it continue to even out my skintone. It feels so silky too when you glide it over your skin. You don't need tons of product, but I always end up using a tad too much.

Packaging: 9/10 
Texture: 10/10
Price: 7/10 (pricey as is the Origins Plantscription)
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (in the smallest size)  
Moisturizing: 10/10
Look of Skin: 9/10
Would I buy this again? YES
Overall Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Clinique A Black Honey Affair Wardrobe All About Shadow Palette - Review and Swatches

I got this palette a few months ago as I had seen some good reviews about it. Clinique started making some really good eyeshadow about 15 years ago and I hadn't bought any in ages. Thought it was high time I got on that band wagon again. This palette has 8 shades from left to right in 1A Sugar Cane, 23 Hazy, 02 Black Honey, Lucky Penny, Dark Brown Shade of the Morning Java Quad, CJ Purple Pumps, 3R Lavender Out Loud and 33 Graphite. I have had a few of these colours in the past in singles, duos, quads and the like. This palette is $40 Canadian or $36 U.S. which I think is very reasonable considering how much some cosmetics companies are charging for palettes these days. The total weight of the palette is 0.41 oz. or 11.7g. Very decent in my opinion.

All of these eyeshadows are smooth and creamy. They apply effortlessly. I seriously forgot what a good formula Clinique has for their All About Eyeshadow line. Clinique was ahead of their time years ago with their eyeshadows. You get a dual ended brush/applicator in the palette that isn't totally useless, but it isn't great. One of the things that impresses me the most about this palette is how well all of the colours go together. Looking at them you wouldn't think so, but the possibilities are endless in terms of attractive colour combinations. All of the colours are so interchangeable. The other thing I love about the palette is how sleek and compact it is. Perfect for travel.

Sorry my hand and camera are in this shot. It was so hard to stay out the pictures with the mirror case. Speaking of which, as you can see, the whole case inside and out is a mirror so it's super handy. The one downside is that fingerprints show up so easily on it. I really can't recommend this palette enough. I would definitely buy one of the other palettes in this product line without question. I haven't been this thrilled about a palette in a long time. Last time I was super impressed would likely be the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.

Okay, swatch time. The colours are displayed left to right as labelled and shown above in the other pics. One pic is in natural light and the other in artificial light with flash photography. Pigmentation is superb as you can see.

Packaging: 10/10  
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 9/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? HELL YES
Overall Rating:  10/10

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Makeup Geek MUG Foiled Eyeshadows in Starry Eyed and Whimsical - Review and Swatches

I put in an order a few weeks back with Makeup Geek. I got 3 more foiled eyeshadows and today I am going to review 2 of them. On the left is Starry Eyed and on the right is Whimsical. Each of theses foiled eyeshadows are $9.99 and they are 1.8g or 0.064 oz. each. Out of the two, I have to say that I prefer Starry Eyed. I think Starry Eyed just goes with more eye looks and it blends better. Also, Starry Eyed has more longevity I think than Whimsical. Makeup Geek describes Starry Eyed as light champagne beige with slight pink undertones and a foiled finish pinky-beige champagne. I would agree with the description. This eyeshadow looks totally different on Makeup Geek's website than it does in person. I have to say that my camera caught the exact colour that it is in real life here. On Makeup Geek's website it looks more yellow, butter coloured.

Whimsical. This has been a weird one for me. When I first used it, I didn't like it all. I did not find it to be long wearing and the colour broke up a bit even with eyeshadow primer over a short period of time. I cannot stress enough how much you need to use both an eyeshadow primer and an eyeshadow base with this particular eyeshadow. I did a dramatic look last weekend with this colour (using eyeshadow primer and an eyeshadow base) and at first I didn't like it again and feared there was no hope for this colour after I had tried a few things over the past couple of weeks. Whimsical looks so frosty, chalky and white when you first apply it. Within half an hour, Whimsical went from a dandelion to a rose. I kid you not. I don't know if it's my oily lids or what, but Whimsical no longer looked as super frosty, the chalkiness was gone and the white muted itself down so that it really was a pinky frost. It looked awesome!

All of this being said, other than needing a base and primer with Whimsical, I think you need to do 2 other things to make sure Whimsical looks its best. One, you have to wear this colour with a different crease eyeshadow, preferably a darker matte colour. Whimsical does not hold up well if it bleeds into the crease and looks crazy worn on its own with eyeliner. Two, let it sit for 30 minutes or an hour before you pass judgement. This colour improves on your eyelid with time and fades into a glorious colour. I found that the "fade" does stay that way for over 8 plus hours so it held up and didn't "melt" beyond the initial transformation. So I was pleased. Whimsical is described by Makeup Geek as a light silvery pink with a foiled finish frosted silvery pale pink. The description is accurate once it "fades".

Okay, swatchy swatch time! That sounded odd, maybe I shouldn't say that. On the left is Starry Eyed and on the right is Whimsical.

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 Starry Eyed   6/10 Whimsical
Longevity: 10/10 Starry Eyed   7/10 Whimsical in general
Colour Stays True: 10/10 (Whimsical improves)
Texture: 9/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10 (after Whimsical "fades")
Would I buy this again? HELL YES
Overall Rating:  10/10

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

June 2015 Empties

What a motley crew! Welcome to my June 2015 Empties! There are few things here I was dying to get rid of and others I was sorry to bid adieu. Let's get into it.

St. Ives Intensive Relief Body Lotion is the best body lotion that St. Ives makes. Period. I have had this in my kitchen for the last few months in an effort to finish it off. Even though it's supposed to be more "natural" it still has some unsavoury ingredients and for that reason I am not going to repurchase. If you are in a pinch though at the drug store, this works well.

Origins Never a Dull Moment Cleanser is a weird product. If I just wash my face with it, it does nothing. If I use it with my Clarisonic, it's the most fabulous product. Totally brightening and makes my skin feel soft and happy. I guess you really need to "get it in there". I may repurchase but I am not rushing to do so. Took me a million years to finish this tube as it was. Too many other cleansers to get through first! Full review is on my blog.

GlamGlow YouthMud. I want to kick myself over this one. This is a small sized jar that I paid about $22 Canadian for because I had to see what the fuss was about before I invested in the regular sized version which costs the earth. I used it a couple of times and really liked it. I had just enough for a third use so I saved it like a squirrel gathering nuts for winter. I went to use it the other day and what was left was hard as a rock! I had the protective insert still in there but I guess I waited too long. Sigh, what a waste. Smells like tea which I find rather calming. I would buy this again, but I think in the Skin Clearing one. Full review is on my blog.

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner as you guys know I have a crap load of this stuff as I am on their mailing list. Nothing detangles like it. I do get shampoo burnout from it from time to time and have to switch gears for something more conditioning. That's why it takes me so long to use a whole bottle of this. Full review on my blog.

LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla is one of my staples. This stick must be probably my 4th or 5th. I have been using a couple of Dove deodorants quite a bit the last few months but I need to get back to using this. Dove makes my pits so soft though. I really want to try the Vanilla Coconut one but Sephora doesn't sell it anymore. What is up with that Sephora? Already repurchased in a different scent. Full review on my blog.

Wen Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner was sent to me as a freebie with my usual mailing list box of goodies. I used this small tube for travel and it served me well. I don't like it as much as the Sweet Almond Mint and it is not as conditioning as the Sweet Almond Mint either in my humble opinion.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer in 02 Light Medium was alas another freebie from my local Estee Lauder counter. It was my last one. I had to bite the bullet and buy a full size version. A word of caution...make sure you know what colour you are buying when you buy this. There are several shades of "Light Medium" in different numbers. I asked for this one and got handed 08. Had to exchange it. Love this concealer for covering blemishes. It's no good in the under eye area. Full review on my blog.

L'Occitane en Provence Dry Skin Foot Cream is another of my holy grails. Can't make do without it now. This was a travel sized tube. I sucked it dry. I have a big version but it just isn't handy for travel so I will have to pick up another travel sized one. Full review on my blog.

Smashbox Eye Shadow in Vanilla and I had some good times. They don't sell this packaging anymore and don't sell singles any longer I don't think. The pigmentation of this shade was fabulous. I wore it morning, noon and night as a base colour for the better part of the last year plus for work. I finally scraped the bottom of it. I may keep the container. You never know when you will need a container like this for broken makeup etc. You can still buy this shade in Smashbox trios and sets I believe. I might even have another pan in one of my Smashbox sets...hmmm...Full review on my blog.

Dr. Hauschka Rose Cream I have talked about this until I am blue in the face. Love it. Full review on my blog. Got this little one in a set. Sucked it dry. Will repurchase in a flash.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in 2.0 is another of my holy grails. This makes at least every second empties blog post that I do. Love it. Enough said. Already repurchased two. Hey, my shade is hard to get as it is very popular! I have to stock up!

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream was a small sample I got from my local Origins counter in a set I bought ages ago. I really don't find this product to be anything special. I will not repurchase but will take if it's free. Haha. Full review on my blog.

Bits and Bites

  • Looks like I already have a few empties shaping up for July. It may be an epic month!
  • I have more Makeup Geek products to review this week and a bunch of eye shadow palettes to talk about. Can't wait to share them with you!