Tuesday, 29 September 2015

September 2015 Empties!

It's that time of the month again. Well, you know what I mean. I am scraping the bottom of so many product containers right now, I think I will have quite a bit to share when the end of October rolls around. In the meantime, let's talk about my September empties!

First we have a standard empty for me, Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light in 2.0. It's my favourite and pretty much only foundation I wear and have worn for years now. The colour is so perfect for me. It never looks cakey and gives me a nice dewy glow. Repurchased times two already.

I have a foot file by Gehwol Biosana Swiss Foot File that I am chucking this month. I dare not say how long I have had this for. I buy them from the spa that I get pedicures at. I actually own 3 and rotate them. Two are biting the big one though and this one was definitely past it. I clean them with vinegar all the time to keep them sanitary. Thought I would mention this product because I really love them and they are worth every penny. You can buy them at Nordstrom I believe if you are in the U.S. They run about $20-$25 each.

I am finally parting with my Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara. It is starting to smell and get thick. Time to go. I liked it, but given the price point it's at, I rather buy one of my other favourites and save a few dollars. Full review:

This is the second Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid that I have finished. Already bought a third one that is in use. Love this. Never going back to another spray makeup up brush cleaner again if I can help it. Full review:

I have lost count of how many Origins Eye Doctor pots I have used. I really like this eye cream. I have a couple other eyes creams I am using up and then I will go right back to this likely. Full review: 

Oh how I love my Bite Agave Lip Mask. This was a smaller version and I used it all up. Full size already repurchased. Packaging is utter crap though. Full review:

Last, but not least, I used up a package of Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Cleansing Facial Wipes. I bought them for my vacation a couple of months ago and ended up using the rest of them at home. These weren't too shabby at all. I would consider repurchasing. I am just not a big wipe person in general. I really didn't like the eye makeup remover wipes that Simple makes though when I tried those.

So that's it for another month!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream - Review

I've been meaning to do a review on this product for ages, but after I tested it, I felt I needed to use it for longer to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I currently have a large sample that I got for free from Sephora. The sample I have is 15ml or 0.5 oz. A full sized tube is 1.7 oz. and costs $45 U.S. or $56 Canadian. I first used my large sample tube for overnight trips. Then I used it for a few weeks here and a few weeks there. Recently, I have used it for over a month straight and my suspicions were confirmed. This is some damn good stuff. This tube has lasted me for ages and it is nearly gone.

After using this product extensively, there were two main changes that I noticed happen with my skin. The first was that my skin doesn't seem red and blotchy in some areas on my face anymore. My skin tone is a lot more even. I feel less shame walking around without makeup (down the street to get the mail etc.) The other main thing I have noticed is that my skin has hardly any blemishes, even before and during that special time of the month, and the blemishes I do get are smaller, don't last more than a day or two and are less red, less painful. My skin is feeling so soft, less sensitive and protected. The product has a slight strange smell, but I can't even smell it when I am applying it to my face so it is a non-issue. The moisture seems to last all day. Once winter rolls around, I will update this review and tell you if I find the moisture is enough to last me through those miserable months.

If that weren't enough to sell me on this product, the ingredients are fantastic. I have lived and breathed by my Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream for years, but, and it pains me to say it, I think this REN cream is even better! As soon as I finish this blog review, I am ordering the full sized version from Sephora. Yep, love it that much! I am now itching to try other REN products, but I will pace myself. This product may be a new holy grail for me.

Packaging: 8/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 8/10 (a bit pricey)
Ingredients: 10/10
Problem Skin Fixer: 10/10
Moisturizing: 10/10
Travel Worthy: Yes
Would I buy this again? HELL YES
Overall Rating: 9.5/10  

Friday, 25 September 2015

Makeup Geek Blushes in Smitten and Bliss - Review and Swatches

Today I am reviewing two blushes from Makeup Geek (MUG) in Smitten and Bliss. They are $9.99 U.S. each. In the above picture, Smitten is on the left and Bliss is on the right. This picture was taken with the flash on.

I bought Smitten by accident. I thought I was buying Bliss and got confused for some strange reason at checkout. I would say Smitten would work for light to maybe medium skin tones. It's not super pigmented and it could disappear into some skin tones very easily. I think of this blush as a pleasant surprise. I didn't use it for ages because I thought I had no use for it, thinking it was just too pale. What it does do is give your skin a nice little glow and a hint of colour. It's a very subtle, yet super flattering colour. It's a great blush to reach for when you don't know what colour to wear and you don't want anything dramatic. It is described as pale creamy apricot. I think that is a fair description of the colour.

Here is a picture below of the same blushes without the flash.

Bliss is just beautiful (shown on the right) and it has quickly become one of my favourite go to blushes. The colour is so flattering! This colour is described as light peachy coral. I think there is a hint of pink to it which is not captured in the description. I have said it before and I will say it again, this would be a great bridal blush. These blushes are a generous size coming in at 4.25g or 0.15 oz. For $9.99, I dare you to find a better value blush of this quality on the market. They are so smooth and blend so well. Marlena did a really good job with her blush colours from what I have seen so far.

Okay, swatch time. Smitten is on the left and Bliss is on the right. The first picture is with flash and the second one is without the flash. I know they don't swatch super pigmented, but they are pigmented on the face. Personally, I don't think it is always a good thing to have a super pigmented blush. Sometimes subtle looks better or at least more natural.

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

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

bareMinerals Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20 - Review and Swatch

I got a generous sample of this from Sephora a little while ago. If you have been reading my blog for a long time you would know that I have never had any luck whatsoever with bareMinerals foundation products. Sadly, this liquid version too was a total bust. I was given Bare Natural 07 which is a tad dark for me and much too orange. There are 20 shades in the range. A regular sized bottle is $36 Canadian or $29 U.S.

I realize that this is a "serum", but the formula is so thin! Even if you shake it up, which you are supposed to do, it so runny, you have to blend it in fast. I would say the coverage with this product is very light, not even close to medium. You pretty much need near perfect skin to wear this and if you had perfect skin, why would you even bother to put this on....For me, this is really barely good enough to wear to the supermarket with big dark sunglasses. I have used tinted moisturizers with better coverage.

I feel like it comes off on my fingertips if I touch my face. Within half an hour of applying this, I find it looks like I am wearing no foundation whatsoever, except that my skin tone looks a bit blotchy orange in some places. The product tends to stick to your "trouble spots". When I remove this product, even after only maybe 4 hours of wear, hardly anything comes off on the makeup remover wipe or cotton ball. Scary. It's like it just disappears into thin air.

I can't honestly say who I would recommend this product to. It even seems a bit greasy to me and has zero staying power. No pros here. I predict this product will be discontinued soon. Here is a swatch of Bare Natural 07 both in a dollop on my arm and also blended in to the right of it.

Packaging: 7/10 
Pigmentation: 1/10 
Easy to Work With: 3/10
Longevity: 0/10
Texture: 5/10 
Price: 1/10 for what it is (price would be fine if the product was decent)
Ingredients: 8/10 
Travel Worthy: 4/10 (would be afraid it would leak due to its very runny state)
Attractiveness of Product: 1/10
Would I buy this again? HELL NO
Overall Rating: 2/10

Friday, 18 September 2015

Up & Up Target Blush Brush - Review

I heard some rave reviews about these Up & Up brushes a few months back from Emily at Beauty Broadcast so I decided to pick up a bunch of them the last time I was in the States back in April. Overall, I have to say that I really am impressed with these Target brand brushes. They are travel sized and they perform far better than I could have guessed. The hair is so soft. Some of these brushes are better than others of course. The blush brush, pictured here, is the best one in my opinion. It retails for $10.99 full price and it sometimes goes on sale. I am planning another trip over the border soon and I am going to get another one of these for back up and maybe even two if I am feeling wild and crazy!

I have been on the hunt for a good blush brush and powder brush for years. As far as a blush brush is concerned, I find most blush brushes to be too big, too pointy, too round or they don't blend well or quickly. This brush does all of those things extremely well and it's so small! I guess the old adage is true about if you can't find a brush that works well, keep trying smaller brushes. This brush applies the colour to the precise area you want it, doesn't put too much product down and it blends any blush effortlessly and quickly. Where have you been all of my life Up & Up Blush Brush??? I can't even look at my other blush brushes anymore, including the super high end ones. This is all I need for blush. This cheap little thing!

The bristles are so soft and they feel nice on your face. In addition, this brush washes up really well and bounces back into its original shape easily. If you don't love your blush brush, you should try this one. I love that it isn't super big and can easily be thrown into a makeup bag etc. for travel. If I had to have one complaint about this brush it would be that there are no markings on the handle nor anywhere indicating what type of brush it is. I would like that. Is that weird? Also, I don't like the colour of the handle, it looks a tad cheap. I am just nit picking about petty stuff now, but I am trying to provide a thorough review! Just get this brush already. You'll thank me later.

Packaging: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10 (so far)
Easy to Clean: 10/10
Usefulness: 10/10 
Texture/Softness: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Would I buy this again? YES! I am going to buy two back-ups.

Monday, 14 September 2015

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lip Balm - Review

I received a sample size of this in a set of L'Occitane products that I bought at Sephora. Normally, I really like most L'Occitane products so the fact that I got a lip balm to try in the set was a bonus. The one I have is only 3ml but the full sized version is 12ml for $12. Not sure if that is in Canadian or U.S. dollars.

To me, this lip balm is just like an oily, light Vaseline. Doesn't have much smell and doesn't taste particularly great, but I have had worse. I have no idea how this product will hold up in winter, but based on my last couple of weeks of testing it out, it doesn't bode well. I have to reapply this lip balm every half hour to hour without fail or my lips get downright uncomfortable. I feel like it slides right off of my lips within minutes of application or absorbs right into them as the case may be. It does not leave my lips moisturized after use. Either way, it disappears completely.

If this product worked well, I would say that the price was decent, but since it doesn't perform at all for me, I can't say that. My Nivea and Burt's Bees lip balms are 100 times better and are a fraction of the price. This is not one of L'Occitane's star products.

Packaging: 8/10
Pigmentation: N/A
Easy to Work With: 2/10
Longevity: 0/10
Texture: 5/10
Price: 3/10 (for what you get)
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: N/A
Would I buy this again? HELL NO
Overall Rating: 3.5/10 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Make Up For Ever MUFE 9 Artist Shadow Palette Volume 1 Nudes You Need - Review and Swatches

I purchased this palette from Sephora a few months ago and it took me awhile to use every colour in the palette. Not sure why. However, I can say that I really road tested these eyeshadows for you! The palette contains 9 eyeshadows weighing 1.8g or 0.06 oz, each which is quite generous. The cost is $49 Canadian or $42 U.S. All of these colours can be purchased as singles. They cost $24 Canadian or $21 U.S. each as singles and weigh 0.07 oz. So in this palette you are getting damn close to a full sized single. In fact, one of the eyeshadows in here is bigger than a MAC eyeshadow so this is value for your money. If you buy 3 of these eyeshadows as singles and buy the trio case it's $50 Canadian or $44 U.S. Basically, 3 full sized singles costs as much as this whole palette.

Sorry for the smudges on the palette cover. I wiped and they weren't budging. Will have to get out soap or something and I rather not do that and wreck the packaging. Speaking of which, the packaging is rather sturdy. I would feel safe travelling with this. It's a good size but it is not huge either. As you can see from the picture above, this set contains I-528 Pearl, I-514 Pink Ivory, ME-512 Golden Beige, S-556 Taupe Gray, D-562 Taupe Platinum, ME-644 Iced Brown, S-102 Onyx, I-544 Pink Granite and D-652 Celestial Earth. I already have I-544 from the MUFE Studio Case that Sephora had last year. I find the one in the Studio case is a bit more purple and slightly better quality, but they are practically the same. 

The thing I like about MUFE's revamped eyeshadows is that they are so vibrant. There is something about them that sets them apart from other eyeshadows. However, these are not my favourite eyeshadows. Some of them are chunky and glittery. I also find that this particular batch in this palette has some longevity issues. I seriously thought that my eyeshadow primer had gone bad, but then I would use my primer with other eyeshadows and I didn't have the problem. I would switch back to these and the problem was back again. For me, who is an oily eyed gal, these crease even with eyeshadow primer and an eyeshadow base! However, I think I can get 6 hours out of these before it's crease city. I would not use these eyeshadows if I needed something to last me all day and all night. This is short term wear stuff in my opinion. Now if you have dry lids, these will likely last you all day and you can ignore my babbling.

From left to right and from top to bottom we have I-528 Pearl, I-514 Pink Ivory, ME-512 Golden Beige, S-556 Taupe Gray, D-562 Taupe Platinum, ME-644 Iced Brown, S-102 Onyx, I-544 Pink Granite and D-652 Celestial Earth. By far, my favourites are S-556 Taupe Gray, S-102 Onyx, I-544 Pink Granite and ME-512 Golden Beige. I don't love warm, shimmery browns so some of these are not my faves. If you do like warm, shimmery browns, you will love this palette.

All of the colours transfer well onto the eyelid and they all blend easily. Pigmentation is fantastic. They are smooth, but some are chunky and glittery as mentioned and sometimes they can feel a tad rough going onto the lid. Do you need this palette? Not really. If you want to try these new MUFE eyeshadows and a good variety of them, this is a cost effective way to do so. I did find myself reaching for it quite a bit this summer when I didn't know how to do my makeup on some days. Will I use up this palette? Yes, I think I will for the most part eventually. I don't feel the need to rush to Sephora and buy the other two palettes like this that are more colourful (Volume 2 and Volume 3).

Swatch time! From left to right below is I-528 Pearl, S-556 Taupe Gray, S-102 Onyx, I-514 Pink Ivory, D-562 Taupe Platinum, and I-544 Pink Granite.

Now for the last three. From left to right is ME-512 Golden Beige, ME-644 Iced Brown and D-652 Celestial Earth.

Packaging: 10/10 (sturdy and big mirror)    
Pigmentation: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 9/10
Longevity: 6/10
Colour Stays True: 8/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10  (until creasing)
Would I buy this again? Maybe
Overall Rating:  8/10


Saturday, 5 September 2015

August 2015 Empties

My empties this month are so sad that I was tempted not to even post this. I decided to post it since otherwise I would be breaking with my new tradition over the past year or so. Also, I get some sick pleasure out of collecting my empties, reporting on them to all of you and then throwing them out or recycling them as the case may be.

First up is Klorane Make-Up Remover. My holy grail make-up remover. Bioderma is such a distant second to this, it isn't even funny. I have gone through countless bottles of these and will love it for all time. Already repurchased.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in 2.0. My favourite foundation ever. Never looks cakey and it looks like skin. A frequent item in my empties. Already repurchased two....

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I can't stop using this and I have a 100 samples so I have never had to buy the full size! It does seem to make a difference most mornings when I look in the mirror versus when I don't use it. My makeup looks better the next too after use.

Is it Estee Lauder month??? Sheesh. Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone made my skin feel nice and soft under my makeup. I enjoyed it quite a bit and so much so, it's gone. This was a large gwp sample. Lasted weeks. Not my favourite moisturizer, but it did a darn good job. Would consider purchasing.

Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Ceram in the tiniest sample you ever did see! I think it lasted a week. I prefer the Rose Day Cream by far, but this did it in a pinch. Would not repurchase since the Rose Day Cream is so awesome.

Finally, Nivea Pure & Natural Hand Cream. This was at my desk at work the past few months and yep, finished another one off. Would definitely repurchase in the large size or this size.

So that's it folks! I have a ton of eyeshadow and blush to do reviews on. The pile is starting to wear me down! Will get a large palette review up by Monday. I plan on doing more posts this month as I slacked off a bit in August.