Monday, 28 March 2016

Clinique Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher 21 Plum Gorgeous - Review and Swatch

When I was in University I was into makeup, but nothing like I am into it today. The fact was that I was a lowly student and I didn't have the means to buy high end makeup let alone a ton of drug store stuff. I existed with a couple of Covergirl and Maybelline eyeshadow palettes along with some of L'OrĂ©al's finest mascaras and eyeliners. My lipstick was a collection of Clinique cast-offs that my mother didn't want from her gift with purchase (gwp) bags and a few Revlon ones I had bought here and there. I believe I owed one Covergirl blush at the time and I had bought one Clinique blush in Mocha Pink. I had used up a sample Mocha Pink one my Mom had as a gwp previously and I splurged an bought a full sized one.

Enough yabbing about this. My point is TiffanyD (the woman who gives me far too many makeup purchase ideas) bought this Clinique blush in Plum Gorgeous a few months ago and she said she wore it all through University and it brought back memories. She forgot how good it was. Her saying that brought me back to the memory of Mocha Pink. I even found that very blush in a box I had in my basement recently! I must have been saving it for the sake of nostalgia as it is plenty old now!

So fast forward, I picked up Plum Gorgeous a couple of months back. I forgot how nice Clinique blushes are in terms of how they look on the skin. I really don't think the formula of these has changed in 20-30 years, The formula is still stiff and dry. Not nice to the touch. I remember them feeling this way when I used to poke into my mom's makeup as a child. The packaging has not changed. My old Mocha Pink looks identical to this packaging and I dare not say how old that blush is. All of this being said, Plum Gorgeous sure is a nice colour. It's on the sheer side of things, but it gives a nice touch of colour to the cheeks and it is buildable. It goes with almost all makeup looks and I think most skin tones could wear it. It's a plum nude. Best way I can describe it. This blush may be best suited for those with cool tones in their skin.

I have been wearing this one quite a bit lately. I find it applies a little streakier than many other comparable blushes, but its easy to fix and doesn't bother me a ton. It is noticeable though. Just keeping it honest. I would buy another Clinique blush for sure, maybe give Mocha Pink another go. As far as colour goes, I think Clinique does an awesome job at blushes. As far as application, packaging and texture go, there are far better options on the market. This blush is $28 Canadian and $22 U.S. for 0.27 oz. or 7.6g which is generous. Considering what some blushes cost these days, the price is not all that crazy. My Mocha Pink never hit pan and I used that one compact on and off for years! It does have a big dent it though.

I do think Clinique needs to join us in the 21st century as far as their packaging goes, especially if they are charging $28. I suppose their newish Cheek Pops are that very attempt and they are good stuff! While the packaging of the Plum Gorgeous blusher is dated beyond belief, I find it nostalgic. Also, I think it's Clinique's way of thumbing their nose at the competition and that amuses me for some strange reason. In way I think, "good for them" kicking it old school and still turning a profit!

I have to say that although I am enjoying this blush, I recently mentioned that I have been loving The One blush by bareMinerals. The One is a far superior blush to Plum Gorgeous and every other blush in every way. If you only choose one, get The One, no pun intended. Plum Gorgeous is a unique colour in today's market though and I am not going to part with it anytime soon. Here is the swatch.

Packaging: 6/10  (points for nostalgia)
Pigmentation: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 6.5/10
Longevity: 7/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 4/10
Price: 7/10 
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 7/10 (I know damn well from experience that the latch will break sooner or later)
Attractiveness of Product: 9/10
Would I buy this again?  YES
Overall Rating: 7/10 but the colour is fabulous

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser - Review

I meant to do a blush review today but I will have that one up tomorrow instead. Wasn't in a swatching mood. It happens.

TiffanyD has been recommending this as her favourite cleanser for ages. Since I am in the eternal search for my holy grail cleanser, I decided to give it a shot. Problem? It wasn't until a month ago that I could easily get this in Canada. Murad's Canadian website does not even list this as one of their products. Nordstrom sells it in the U.S. so at Christmas I had them ship me a Murad sample set that included a travel mini of the Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser so I could try it. I was so happy with it, I was going to buy the regular size (pay an absurd price markup plus exchange rate plus shipping) and then finally, like manna from the heavens, Sephora started stocking it for Canadian shoppers for the first time ever. It was sold out of course once I discovered it (I had been stalking Sephora a couple of times a week for months for this) but then it restocked within a week so I bought it from there for $38 Canadian. It sells for $32 in Sephora in the U.S. and you get 200ml or 6.75 fl. oz. I think this size is quite generous and for what it is, the price is fair, albeit a tad steep.

Here a picture of my travel mini (1.5 fl. oz./45 ml) next to the full size. I plan on using the mini for travel, not that I have a ton left in there...

This cleanser has salicylic acid 0.5% w/w in it. I am not sure if that is a lot, I am thinking it is not. I haven't had an adverse reaction to it and my skin is sensitive so I would say its tame. My skin was breaking out like crazy for no reason just before I started using this. I noticed even after the first use the next morning that my skin calmed down, stopped being so red and the blemishes were shrinking. I have been using this for 2-3 months now and my skin is hardly ever red anymore and I am getting very few blemishes. When I do get them they don't last long and they are small. This stuff works!

I really like the smell of it - it's minty. It feels so nice on your face. It's like a creamy gel and it's so calming on your skin and soothing. You can feel the mint tingly just a touch. I would say this would be ideal for sensitive skin because it is unbelievably gentle. I don't necessarily feel like this product is getting deep into my pores, but it must be based on the great job it is doing. It does help remove makeup too on your face. This cleanser works well with a Clarisonic. My pores look smaller and in general my skin is looking more even. It moisturizes too!

I really do think that the time release component of the product works well. Sometimes I just use this product once a day and I seem to have a similar result as when I use it twice a day. The product sticks to your face a bit so you can leave it on for a little while if you like. I sometimes do in the shower. I would definitely repurchase and this may very well be what I have been looking for all these years.

Packaging: 9/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 8/10 (could be cheaper but the price is worth it)
Ingredients: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10  
Travel Worthy: The mini is, the regular size is not.  
Deep Cleans: 10/10
Moisturizing: 9/10
Comfortable/Softening: 10/10
Smell: 10/10
Would I buy this again? YES
Overall Rating: 9.75/10 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Body Shop Honeymania Body Butter - Review

The Body Shop is probably best known for their Body Butters. The have a huge variety of scents and let's face it, they work. Some are better than others though and as the saying goes, not all are created equal. These Body Butters retail for $21 Canadian but there are frequently BOGO sales and at Christmas I got a whole bunch for $5 each. I gave a number of them away to friends and family. I kept a few for myself including this one, Honeymania.

I like the smell of this one, but I can see how some people may be turned off of it, especially of you don't like the smell of honey. I have to say that the smell does get a tad old on you after a while. I am using the last 1/3 of my tub right now as you can see below. I will not rush to repurchase as the smell is wearing thin on me.  

One of these jars, or tubs if you prefer, lasts forever. Honeymania does not have parabens in it. Many of the other Body Butters made by The Body Shop do so please keep that in mind. In general, I don't tend to buy a lot of stuff from The Body Shop because their ingredients leave a heck of a lot to be desired. Honeymania has been by my bedside all winter and it has worked well for me. It is very moisturizing. I do have the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter and that is a far superior product. The Body Shop ones just have a less natural scent to them and while moisturizing, don't seem to improve the look or feel of your skin over time like the Josie Maran one does. The Josie Maran ones have better ingredients but are exceedingly much more expensive.

I would say if you can get one of The Body Shop Body Butters for cheap, they are well worth the money, but remember they don't all have the same ingredient deck so act accordingly. I do like their packaging and I am wondering if I might have some use for this container once I am done with it. Hmmm. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Packaging: 10/10
Longevity: 9/10
Texture: 9/10
Price: 10/10 (if on sale) 7/10 (if not on sale)  
Ingredients: 7/10
Moisturizing: 9.5/10
Scent: 6/10
Travel Worthy: No
Would I buy this again? Maybe 
Overall Rating: 8.5/10  

Sunday, 13 March 2016

bareMinerals READY Blush in The One - Review and Swatch

I have no idea why hardly anyone talks about this blush. Ages ago TiffanyD mentioned this blush as one of her favourites and I was intrigued because I really wasn't familiar with it. Then one day I really wanted this palette from bareMinerals that I couldn't get from Sephora and I only needed to spend a little more on bareMinerals' website for free shipping so I threw this in my cart. It sat untouched in my stash from last July until about 2 months ago. I love this blush. It may seriously be my favourite. It is described as nude pink and I'd say that's a fair description. It is $29 Canadian or $23 U.S. for 6g or 0.21 oz. You can buy it at Sephora.

I love bareMinerals packaging for their READY products. It's sleek, feels good, is functional and has a nice big mirror. The only thing that sucks is that fingerprints show up so easily on it. I can live with that though. This blush looks like nothing special in the pan and it looks even less exciting swatched as you will see down below. No wonder no one looks at this colour twice! It goes on a tad sheer but frankly I like to wear it that way because it comes off as quite natural looking. When I wear it, it reminds me of the way little kids' cheeks look when they come in from a cold winter's day. The colour is easily buildable if you want a more made up look. I have actually got quite carried away a few times and have applied too much with an enthusiastic dip of the brush.

Speaking of brushes, I haven't even tried the one that came with the compact. I don't expect much from it. I do find this blush can actually look a bit darker on me than it looks in the pan and that is not a bad thing. As for longevity, this blush lasts all flipping day. Really impressive. It's become my "Go To" blush and I find myself wearing it all of the time. This is the perfect blush for travel as the colour would go with any outfit, and almost all makeup looks. I really can't say enough good things about it. I plan on hitting pan on this baby this year. The One and I have big plans.....

I would highly recommend this blush for anyone with a light complexion. I also think if you were medium you might be able to use this as well as it can build up and darken very easily. I wouldn't say it has a particularly creamy or silky feel as far as texture goes, but it feels nice enough going on.

This is damn near, if not is, the perfect blush for me at least.

Packaging: 9.5/10   (damn fingerprint issue)
Pigmentation: 10/10 (the pigment is fantastic if you don't use a light hand)
Easy to Work With: 10/10 (lighter shades a bit tricky)
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 8/10 
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again?  HELL YES
Overall Rating: 9.75/10

Sunday, 6 March 2016

February 2016 Empties!

I can't believe it is already March 6th! I went to the Estee Lauder MAC sale yesterday and did quite well but showed restraint. I may do a quick blog about it later in the week.

I have a lot of empties this month so we better jump into it.

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum - Another one finished. Already repurchased two. This previously made my blog list of the Top 10 products that I can not live without. I still feel the same way about this product. 

Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover - I have ranted and raved about how much I love this stuff so much I am not even going to bore you again. Already repurchased. I really need to revisit my Top 10 products I can't live without and this is definitely on the list.

Savon a L'Ancienne Extra Pur Marseille "Chevrefeuille" or Liquid Marseille Soap "Honeysuckle" - I love these hand soaps. Verbana is one of my favourite scents. I think Honeysuckle is the scent I have enjoyed the least but it grew on me a little. It's still good stuff. Already repurchased from Winners in the Cotton scent. This is simply my favourite hand soap which is why I bother to mention it.

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner - Another one bites the dust. I've mentioned before I have a cupboard full of this stuff as I am on Wen's mailing list. I really like this product but I get bored of it sometimes so it takes me awhile to finish one as I sub in other things. Also, my ends really need more conditioning than this provides so I switch it up with other products as a result. It detangles like nothing else though so I keep using it. (review here)

Kiss My Face Air Kiss Light Moisturizing Lotion Olive & Aloe - I really like this product. It's so quick and easy to use in the mornings when I am running to work. It works too! I have been using this can sparingly because I have a feeling it will be hard to find in the future. I did snag myself another can a few months back and that one is already in use. I talked about this a year ago in my March favourites (something I haven't done lately boo) and this is that same can. (review here)

Boscia Make-Up BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil - Funny story about this product. This was and is the first and only bottle that I have ever had of this stuff. I used it sparingly and rarely because I think for a product that only removes makeup, the price is kind of steep. I decided a couple of months ago that enough was enough and I was going to finish it off to get it off my counter top. After using it so much lately I am thinking I may repurchase because it works well and its so gentle to wash my face with before I use my cleanser. Decisions, decisions. (review here)

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in 2.0 -  Another one bites the dust. It's my fave and I keep going back to it. Nothing compares. Already repurchased two bottles.

Moroccanoil Frizz Control - I recently did a review about this product and I really didn't like it. It was the biggest waste of money. Stick with the original Moroccanoil oil. (review here)

tarte Lip Gloss - I have no idea what the colour was. It was part of Holiday set a couple of years back. I have decided to finish the bunch of them as they are easy to travel with and are taking up space in my lip gloss storage. They smell like mint. They are good but they are not a holy grail product.

tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-hr Smoothing Primer - I think it must have taken me a year and half or more to finish this tube and I used it almost every day of that time period. I think near the bitter end it wasn't working as well since it was getting old. I have repurchased but I think I may try the NARS version very soon.

eos Hand Lotion in Fresh Flowers I like Fresh Flowers the best of the 3 scents in this line. I have gone through a crapload of these. I already have repurchased two. This is so purse perfect it isn't funny. I have never had a leak and the shape is so convenient and easy to find in your purse.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance - I stopped using this for ages because I loved it so much I felt I needed to keep it for special occasions. How foolish. I busted it out again and fell back in love with it. This product makes other primers look sad and pathetic. Already repurchased. (review here)

L'Occitane Dry Skin Foot Cream - This stuff is fantastic. Will be repurchased asap. (review here)

Two blush reviews up next! Talk to you soon!