Monday, 30 October 2017

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - Mini Review

For years I had been hearing about this product. Also, it seems to peek out of every corner of every Ulta store staring at me when I walk around. I broke down and bought this a little while ago. I'm going to cut to the chase - this stuff stinks and it is unbearable. I have tried it on 3 different occasions hoping this time won't be as bad as the last and it is. It stinks of sulpur! So much so that it's all you can smell when you have it on. For me, it's overpowering and it makes me ill. Sulfur is the fifth ingredient for the record. Please correct me if I am mistaken, but this product is mainly for the face, no? How anyone could stand themselves with this stuff on anywhere near the head/nose area, even a tiny dab, is beyond me. I can't believe this is still on the market. 

If that wasn't bad enough, it will stink up your pillow, your night clothes....even if you wash it off, the smell can linger for hours. In the picture above I have a photo of of the bottle shaken up. Looks sort of like watery pepto bismal. In the shot below, I have a photo of the bottle not shaken up - watery on top and pink on the bottom. 

Some of you might be thinking, "so it stinks, big whoop, does it work?". I wish I could tell you my friends but one night is more that I have been able to bear, let alone wear it 2 nights in a row. What I can tell you is that if you have a particularly red blemish, the product does seem to lessen the redness a fair bit. I'm guessing that is as a result of the third ingredient - calamine. I could just use plain old calamine lotion then if I just want to get rid of redness and irritation. Just saying....

Using the product for just one night did not get rid of the 3 different blemishes I tried it on (different nights of course). Maybe 2 or 3 nights are the magic number, I am not sure. If anyone has successfully used this, please drop me a message below.

I will not rate this product since I don't feel I could give it a fair shot. Frankly, they had me at the scent...

Monday, 2 October 2017

VERB Dry Ghost Oil - Review

I am so tired of hair oils that are greasy or too wet and/or simply don't work well. I have recently become intrigued with the idea of dry conditioner and dry oil hair products. Verb recently put out this product. The price was reasonable, $18 Canadian or $16 U.S. As of this moment there is 1 review on this product on Sephora's website and it is 5 stars. I wouldn't even give it one. I returned the product yesterday. The bottom line is that it made my hair puff up, frizzy and dry. My hair felt like straw. Yuck. I tried it twice to see if I was imagining things. Same result twice. As a little disclaimer, I have naturally curly hair. I used this once on my curly hair and the other time after I did a blow out. The information on Sephora's website says it can be used on all hair types including curly hair.

The only pros I can give to this product is that the packaging is good - looks professional and feels like a good quality can. Also, the spray was very even and the perfect amount of pressure. So rare....these things impressed me but the product itself is no good for me! If you have had any success with this product, please leave me a comment below because I am mystified as how this good work well for someone.

The scent was very light but not memorable.

Sephora's website has the following information about the product as follows:

Which hair type is it good for?✔ Straight
✔ Wavy
✔ Curly
✔ Coiled
✔ Tightly Coiled

What it is:
A blowout-extending oil that conditions ends, adds shine, and prevents damage from washing and styling.

Key benefits:
- Weightlessly conditions
- Refreshes
- Smooths

If you want to know more…
This gentle, quick-absorbing formula eliminates tangles and adds a fresh scent. Moringa seed oil moisturizes, detangles, and smooths hair, pro-vitamin B5 moisturizes and soothes, and glycerin naturally binds nourishment into hair.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is gluten-free.

Packaging: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10 easy to use spray can      0/10 product
Touchable Hair: 0/10
Humidity Resistance: 0/10
Hold: 0/10
Volumizing: 10/10 oh it's volumizing alright! poufy city!
Price: 10/10 if it worked   2/10 (2 is for the quality of the packaging)
Ingredients: 8/10
Value for Money: 0/10
Would I buy this again? HELL NO
Overall Rating: 1.5/10 (1.5 is for the can quality) 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

August 2017 Empties

I 've been doing a lot of empties posts this year I know. I am trying to stay on top of them. I will have some straight up reviews coming shortly, I promise. I am so far behind! I've got duds I need to talk about! Before we get to that, let's dive into the empties bin for this month!

Shiseido Facial Cotton - this was my second bag and I have already gotten into my third bag. Is this expensive? Yes. Is it worth it, actually yes! I would buy this again and again. No other cotton pad compares.

Esencia Mandarin Citrus Horsetail & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo - this was my last bottle of Escencia anything. This is a long discontinued product line by Samy. It was good though. I figured it was time to finish off the bottle.

As a side note, many of you know I have been a long time user of the Wen Cleansing Conditioner. I've recently become sick of it after 7 years and need a break. I also discovered as I was trying to use up and give away my products that there is a huge lawsuit on right now against WEN. Sephora has even stopped selling it. I have decided that is a definite sign to move on to other things. Lots of hair product reviews coming up!

LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer - I used it all. I didn't love it but it got the job done. Don't think I will repurchase it.

Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream - I have used up close to a dozen of these by now I am sure. I have decided to use up some of my other moisturizers but I will be returning to this before long.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II - I didn't notice a difference with my under eye area. It was a free sample. Will not repurchase.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - I love this and I am willing to shout it from the mountain tops. Another one finished. Already repurchased and in use. Can't not live without it.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light - This needs no introduction for any of you who read my blog. Another one done. Repurchased of course.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss in Visionary - I wasn't a big fan of this one. The colour was a neutral pink and it lived in my purse for I don't know how long for emergency purposes. Somehow I managed to finish this. It was super watery so it went fast.

I already have 4 empties for the month of September so this should be a good month. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

How to Spot Fake Makeup Palettes...

I've been meaning to do a blog post like this for a long time. Opportunity knocked, in that I almost got scammed recently, so now is the perfect time to discuss the topic. 

I rarely buy makeup from a source other than direct from the makeup company or reputable store such as a department store, Sephora or Ulta. I don't like being ripped off and I want the authentic item. Also, no one knows what crap is in fake makeup and I don't want to find out. The only time I buy makeup from Amazon, ebay or a third party is when something is rare and I can't get my hands on it. I know, I know, those are the perfect items for someone to fake - it's big money and lots of demand. 

By the time I decided to purchase the Too Faced Natural Love palette it was gone from Sephora. With shipping, duties, exchange rate etc. I was going to pay online over $100 Canadian to have Too Faced directly ship it to me. While I hee'd and haw'd about pulling the trigger, I saw a few supposedly "new and authentic still in box" palettes on ebay. It was half the price. I know what the palette is supposed to look like and I own a few of the shades from this palette in other Too Faced palettes. I did my research as much as I could. The pictures of one listing looked authentic and I made the purchase. This person had all positive ratings but hadn't been on ebay as a seller for more than a few months. They were only selling 1 of these palettes, not multiple ones like some fake sellers do. 

My palette arrived and I have to say that the packaging was damn good. Even the name of the palette was in felt letters. In the picture above, the fake palette is on the left and the real palette is on the right. Once I opened it I knew immediately it was a fake and I had been had. The eyeshadows looked powdery and very matte. Not at all like the buttery, shimmery shades that Too Faced is known for. Also, the authentic colours I owned in other Too Faced palettes looked nothing like the supposed same ones in this palette. 

The fake palette is in the above picture at the top and the real palette is on the bottom - both in box. Huge size difference! Also, the real palette comes with a guide. The fake one on the left did not as per the picture below. 

The twist was that it turns out the seller was using pictures of the real palette but sending out a fake one. I contacted the seller immediately and demanded my money back. They offered me half of the money, said they thought it was real and what a shame it was etc. They told me I could keep the palette. I told them I wasn't interested and that I wanted all of my money back. The next thing I knew, I had been refunded my money and my order was cancelled so I couldn't leave negative feedback. Thank goodness for paypal holding seller funds. That was almost 2 weeks ago. I checked ebay the next day and saw that the seller was using the same pictures again and were selling another palette. I could only shake my head. I checked ebay today and I see the seller is no longer selling anything (they had a number of makeup items for sale before) and they got their first negative review saying that they had sold a fake makeup palette. The reviewer suspects that they even stole the pictures of the real palette from someone else. Sheesh! I guess the jig is up for them. 

On the left is the fake palette and on the right is the real one. Can you see the difference? It's obvious to me. The picture below is the fake palette and the one below that is the real one. 



After I got my money back I said forget this and ordered the real one from Too Faced. They happen to be having a sale the day I ordered it so I got 20% off. That made me feel better. It arrived today and I very happy. Now I am stuck with a fake palette but at least I got a blog post out of it!

In the picture below I have overlapped the two palettes. Fake on the left and the real one on the right. Just look at Fairy Tale, Satin Sheets, Kittens and Cutie Patootie in the second column. Not even close. 

Fake on left and real palette on right. Even the colours look different on back of the packaging. Far less vibrant on the fake one.

That's all for today. I hope some of you found this interesting and possibly educational. I know I did :)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

July 2017 Empties

It's August 16th but better late than never for an empties post! I thought my July empties were going to be epic but I am still at the bottom of so many products that won't die. I shouldn't be upset because I sure am getting my money's worth. I have a funny feeling it'll be September before I have a ton of empties to show off. Let's get to July's empties though!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation - Another empty of this. I must got through one of these every 6-8 weeks. Love it, already repurchased x2. I wear Intensity 2.0.

Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover - I talk about how much I love this product all of the time. Bioderma is a poor substitute. Nothing compares. I've got 2 more bottles waiting in the wings. (review here)

Gehwol Soft Feet Cream - You have to try this stuff! It works great and the product doesn't transfer to your shoes etc. like some other Gehwol products. This was a small tube but I have already repurchased the regular sized tube. Must post blog review soon! 

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer - Is it me or does Estee Lauder keep playing with the names of their concealer. I can never find the same one twice. The last time I believe I had 02 Light Medium. This one was 2C Light Medium (Cool). I once had 08 something and it was called Light Medium but it was too dark. This stuff is fantastic and blends in with a variety of foundations and BB products etc. I love it for anywhere on my face except under the eyes. I have already repurchased - oh my it's the same colour as this one. Wow!

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum - I blew through this in 2 months. I tend to buy this when my skin is looking uneven. I am not convinced it moisturizers as well as some other big name serums. I will purchase again but I am going back to Origins Plantscription for now. (review here

Origins Eye Doctor - Gone through a million of these. Still looking for something a bit better that addresses the dark circle issue more but otherwise this is the best I have found. Everytime I switch to something else I notice my dark circles looking worse. Have not repurchased yet but I will very soon. It appears I have been using this for over 5 years. (review here)

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Naked - This particular one was from that Wizard of Oz collection Glinda Palette that Urban Decay did a few years back. This is/was my favourite nude lip colour ever and I usually hate nude lip colours. I rushed and bought 3 of them from the regular line when they were on clearance. I have busted out one of them for my purse. I am hoping Urban Decay still has something similar or will bring it back. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

May/June 2017 Empties

I have another 2 month combination of empties for you today. I'm afraid I don't have anything too interesting, much less spectacular to share with you this time. I am at the end of so many products but they just won't die! I am hopeful July and August empties will be a bit more interesting. 

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner - Another one bites the dust. Cupboard is still full of this stuff but I am slowly putting a dent in it. (review here)

Estee Lauder DayWear I got this in a gift with purchase set. I quite like it, especially for the summer months and it has a SPF 15. I have gone through numerous jars of this over the years.   

Eos Hand Lotion in Fresh Flowers - Best purse hand lotion. Packaging is great for on the go and works very well. I have gone through many and will go through many more. Fresh flowers is my scent of choice out of the three available. (review here)

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation - Another empty of this. Love it, already repurchased x2. I wear Intensity 2.0.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara - One of my holy grails. The only mascara on the market, to my knowledge, that doesn't smudge on me. This is my "work" mascara as it does the job and lasts all day but doesn't give me as much "va-voom" as other mascaras. Already repurchased in the big tube.

Origins Hand Lotion in Spearmint & Lemon was ok. Had a mega strong scent. Was off putting to a few people I know. It did moisturize well. A perfect size for the purse. I have a set of these in different scents but I would not buy them again due to the price and the powerful scents.

Origins yet again. Plantscription serum. I have been using this for years and I really like it. Seems to be keeping the fine lines at bay. Already repurchased.

Beautyblender - This was my third beauty blender. It's lost it's bounce and it feels kind of gross on the bottom despite my frequent washings of it. Two new ones already repurchased and in use. Can't live without this now. (review here)

That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

VERB Leave-In Mist - Review

I am almost done this bottle so I thought it was high time that I did a review on it. Verb is a brand that is sold at Sephora. I am not sure who else carries it. My bottle is the larger one, 8 oz. I bought it for $14 U.S. in the States last year. It is $18 Canadian currently at Sephora. You can buy a smaller size for travel if you are interested. I have copied the below information about this product straight from Sephora's Website:

What it is:A hydrating mist to tame unruly hair and prep it for styling.

Key benefits:
- Detangles and conditions hair
- Preps the hair for any style
- Adds shine and smooths

If you want to know more…
The essential step between washing and styling, this multitasking formula was created to moisturize, detangle, nourish, smooth, tame frizz, repair ends, add shine, prevent breakage, enhance elasticity, protect from heat, and prep for styling. Light enough to use mid-day to refresh, the luxurious mist seals, protects, and repairs while detangling.

I bought this for its detangling and refreshing properties. It does both of those jobs reasonably well. I do find that you can only get one "refresh" really out of this product. It leaves my hair super soft, shiny and pumps up my hair when my curls have gone flat. If you use too much though your hair can go poufy when it dries so you have to be careful. I typically use it on dry hair, but it is meant to be used on towel dried hair. I am not sure that using this alone on towel dried hair would cut it for my frizzy locks but I think it would be good enough for most people.

Will I repurchase? Yes, very likely. It is not the holy grail refresher product that I long for, but it works in a pinch. The price point is very good. It smells a bit perfumed but it's not a bad smell.

Packaging: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 8/10 (can be a bit too wet)
Touchable Hair: 9/10
Humidity Resistance: 7/10
Hold: 7/10
Volumizing: 9/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Value for Money: 8.5/10
Would I buy this again? YES
Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser - Review

Hello lovelies! I'm back. It's been too long. I just came back from vacation - I was in South Carolina and Georgia the past couple of weeks. I'm getting myself back into the groove and my poor blog has been so neglected lately. Let's get into it.

I bought this cleanser during one of Sephora's VIB Rouge sales so I got 20% off I think. Thank goodness because this stuff is crazy expensive. I have the smaller bottle which 1.7 oz. or 50 ml. It's $55 Canadian or $42 U.S. I really like that it is in a glass pump bottle. Bad news though it appears. I see on Sephora's website that they are now putting this cleanser into a plastic tube. Boo. Not pleased about that. Looks like the bigger size is still in glass but the price is over $100! Choke.

Despite the packaging change, I will be repurchasing. I think this is the best cleanser exfoliator that I have ever used. Whenever my skin is feeling bumpy or flaky this is what I reach for. It says you can use it daily but frankly it costs so dang much that I only use it 2-3 times a week. I am tempted to up my usage, price be damned. After using this, my skin feels better, looks better and is so much softer. Effective yet gentle. My moisturizer and makeup sit on my skin so much better after use. I even like the smell although it could be argued that it smells a bit herbal. My only complaint would be that the pump can be a tad weak or sluggish.

This is definitely one of the best products that I have discovered in recent months. If you have been thinking about trying this, you really should.

Packaging: 10/10 (in glass)
Texture: 10/10
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10  
Travel Worthy: 8/10
Deep Cleans: 10/10
Moisturizing: 9/10
Comfortable/Softening: 9/10
Blemish Fighting: 7/10 (I might score this higher if I was smart and used it more often)
Smell: 9/10
Would I buy this again? HELL YES
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (price is really my only issue)  

Monday, 22 May 2017

March/April 2017 Empties

I have combined my March/April empties this time around. Let's get into it.

Clinique Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer - I thought this was ok. It came in a gwp. I would use it again but I'm not sure if I would rush to buy it.

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner - Another one bites the dust. I've mentioned before I have a cupboard full of this stuff. Got to get rid of some of the stash as I am bored with it but it's good so I will never waste it. (review here)

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift I got this in a gift with purchase set. It's ok. Would not repurchase as Estee Lauder makes better moisturizers. 

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes I buy these for travel but I am not convinced that I particularly love them. Maybe would repurchase.

Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover - I talk about how much I love this product all of the time. Nothing compares. I've already repurchased 3 bottles. I am not joking. (review here)

REN Clean Skincare Global Protection Evercalm Day Cream - this was a travel sized tube. I really like this product for the summer months but I used it this past spring for kicks. I would totally repurchase. (review here)

Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser - I got this free with my clarisonic ages ago. It's really quite refreshing! I have no idea what the ingredients are and I am not crazy about the smell. Also, I don't think it does enough for my skin.

Nivea Body Milk Pure & Natural - This has been in my monthly empties a few times now. It's a really good daily lotion for both summer and winter weather. I like that the ingredients aren't a chemical cocktail. I have already repurchased. (review)

Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Moisturizer - This just wasn't for me. It smelt funny, I wasn't crazy about how it felt on my skin and it turned quickly to a hard, dark substance. My skin still freckled under it. Didn't work well in my opinion. Throwing out what is left.

Eos Hand Lotion in Fresh Flowers - Best for purse hand lotion. Packaging is great for on the go and works very well. I have gone through many and will go through many more. Fresh flowers is my scent of choice out of the three available. (review here)

Korres Body Butter in Guava - This may be my favourite scent. This stuff works well and I recently got some more as a gift. A couple of ingredients are not the best but I used this sparingly. (review here

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation - Another empty of this. Love it, already repurchased x2. I wear Intensity 2.0.

Klorane Make-up Remover Biodegradable Wipes - These did not work well. Bought them for travel. Smelt nice, were refreshing and soothing but left a hell of a lot of makeup on my face.

That's it and that's lots I think! Nail polish show and tell later this week.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

OPI My Chihuahua Bites! - Show and Tell Plus Swatch

I got a pedicure last week with OPI My Chihuahua Bites! I am not keen on red nail polish on my toes per se but this one looked more like an orange pink to me. It's actually a red orange pink. Very spring, very hello summer. The colour is growing on me and I think I really am starting to be quite fond of my choice...

Monday, 24 April 2017

OPI GelColor Don't Bossa Nova Me Around - Show and Tell plus Swatch

I couldn't resist and I got another shellac manicure with OPI Gel Color in Don't Bossa Nova Me Around. I liked the colour so much that I ran out and bought the regular OPI nail polish in the same colour. They look identical to me even thought I know sometimes there is a subtle difference between the gel colour and the regular polish. Those are my real nails in the picture above in case anyone is wondering. They are getting long! I think square suits my hands, but the manicurist told me to try coffin the next time. So we'll see.

I really like this colour and I think it goes with anything. I believe it is discontinued so if you like it hurry up and get it from your local Trade Secrets or beauty supply place. It's from the OPI Brazil collection.

Also, got a pedicure...not the same day though. Will put that post up tomorrow.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Maybelline Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner - Review and Swatch

There has been a lot of talk about this liquid liner, both good and bad, and quite frankly curiousity got the better of me and I had to buy one. Let's start with the price. According to Maybelline's website, the retail price is $7.99 U.S. I  honestly don't remember what I paid for this, but I do remember it was expensive! I think I paid at least $13, possibly $16 Canadian for it.This is Maybelline we are talking about and it's drug store makeup for crying out loud! I don't buy much makeup from the drug store and let me tell you every time I do, the price points blow me away these days. I mean for maybe $5 more I can get a kick ass liquid liner from Sephora!

Packaging. It's a little different, even cute in the capsule shape. The liner itself is a felt tip line with the most unusual shape. Please see the picture below. I wasn't sure how to use this liner at first, but I figured it out quite quickly. I use the narrow tip at the end to draw the line and then I turn it sideways to create a wing with the wider part of the liner. In all seriousness, this liner works fantastically in terms of drawing it on. It's so easy to use and draw a nice winged line with. I totally would suggest this liner for a beginner.

It only comes in "Black" I believe. The black shade is not jet black. It's more of a dirty brown black. So if you want jet black, this liner is not for you. This liner has a major drawback for me and from what I can see from the reviews online, I am not alone in my complaint. This liner smudges like crazy and is constantly moving all around my face. It's not a good look. It doesn't seem to ever fully dry and while it doesn't transfer to my upper lid area, it's constantly moving sideways on me. If you touch your face at all, ever, do not buy this liner. If you have watery eyes, allergies or are going out into any type of warm weather, this is not for you. When I use my Stila or Kat Von D liquid liners, I do not have this issue. The liner stays put. The only way I could honestly recommend this is if you have dry skin, dry eyes and are only going out for a short period of time say 4 hours or less. Otherwise, it's a hot mess that you will have on your hands.

I wouldn't dream of wearing this if I was going out more than briefly and certainly wouldn't take it on vacation with me where I would need it to perform in a hot climate. No way.

It feels like you are using a magic marker when you apply it. It isn't as soft or nice feeling as higher end brands.

Below I have a few swatches showing both the shade of the product and the different thicknesses you can create with the wand. Not the prettiest picture, but I think you get the drift.

Packaging: 9/10
Pigmentation: 7.5/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 2.5/10
Texture: 6/10
Price: 4/10  
Ingredients: 6/10
Comfort: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 0/10
Smudge Proof: 0/10
Flake and Clump Proof: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10 at first than 1/10
Would I buy this again? NO 
Overall Rating: 4/10

Friday, 31 March 2017

OPI GelColor Every Month is Oktoberfest - Show and Tell

I got a gel manicure a little over a week ago and I chose this colour by OPI - Every Month is Oktoberfest. It's gorgeous! This colour was originally part of the Germany Collection. I believe OPI described it as a plum but you could describe it as a blackened reddish plum. I'm wearing it in the picture below. I had meant to take a picture of my manicure when it was fresh, so sorry it's a week old but I think it still looks good.  

In the picture I am holding a bottle of the regular OPI nail polish in the same colour. The funny thing is that I already had this colour in my collection but had never worn it! I was truly missing out. I think the gelcolor might be a tad darker than the original polish. The gelcolors tend not to be 100% bang on.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February 2017 Empties

Don't sweat the small stuff they say. Well I only have small stuff for my empties this past month.

Let's go from left to right.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - another one done and already repurchased. I cannot live without this product now. (review

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara - One of my holy grails. The only mascara on the market, to my knowledge, that doesn't smudge on me. This is my "work" mascara as it does the job and lasts all day but doesn't give me as much "va-voom" as other mascaras. Already repurchased. (review)

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation - Blah, blah, blah another empty of this. Love it, already repurchased. I wear Intensity 2.0.

Dr. Hauschka's Moisturizing Day Cream - This was a travel sized tube that I finally used up. It's no wear near as good as the Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream but it's ok. It was time to use it up as it was expiring...

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum - This was a travel sized tube and it lasted me a good, long while. I think I may repurchase soon. I liked it's dark spot correcting properties. (review)

MAC Plumful Lustre Lipstick - This is a nice colour and I finally finished. It became a mission. Also, I need to get my act together and get a Back to MAC done soonish. It's been too long. I might repurchase this but I don't think I will anytime soon. I have a lot of lip products that I need to use up and get rid of. Liked it, didn't love it.

Finally, I finished my Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. I think this was my second one. I would repurchase but I have a bunch of other liquid liners that I need to use up. Also, I can never decide if I like this one better than the Kat Von D version. (review)

That's it! Great liquid eyeshadow that I have discovered coming up in the next review so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Perfume Pursuits: A Swing and a Miss - Gucci Guilty and Atelier Cologne Mandarine Glaciale

This will be a bit of a different blog post for me. When I started doing my blog I reviewed some perfumes in the beginning but I quickly stopped for two reasons. One, perfume and scents are such a subjective thing! What smells good on you might smell like a donkey's bum on me. Two, I don't wear a lot of perfume so I thought there wasn't much point pursuing this subject matter. However, I think people like to know what others recommend to help them narrow down what to try at the perfume counter so here is my two cents or "scents" haha.

I am trying to get more into wearing perfume. I love it when someone walks by and they smell nice! It seems to be rare phenomenon these days and that's a shame. I know a lot of people have allergies these days so I get it. Also, I really don't think most people give a lot of thought to smelling nice anymore, especially in Toronto. There, I said it. When I go to other cities, most people smell nice. Something smells rotten in Toronto these days.....

So, I have a ton of perfume samples taking over my bedroom and I thought I better dip into them in this lifetime. There are very few perfumes that I like and I am picky as all hell when it comes to this subject matter. Probably too picky so please take my perfume reviews with a grain of salt. However, I have guy friend who drags me cologne shopping because I will tell him flat out if it stinks or smells like lemon pledge so I must have half decent taste.

I tried Gucci Guilty the other day and while putting some on, I accidentally spilt it all over myself. That was a long day just because it was too much to wear at once. But I loved the scent. It didn't change on me and I even got a compliment on it. Where has this perfume been all my life? It's nice enough and light enough to wear during the day time, but it also is mysterious and works well at night. I will be buying a full sized bottle at some point.

I tried another sample recently by Atelier Cologne in Mandarine Glaciale. I have to say that the smell intrigued me. I have never smelt anything quite like it and it was complex to say the least. It smells fresh and of course has an orange scent. I am still in the dark as to whether this is a cologne for men or women. If someone knows, could you please let me know! I've snooped around online and it appears to be for either/or. I didn't even have the scent on me for 15 minutes and I started to dislike it. It's musky and manly to my mind. It seems to get more manly the longer you wear it. I am going to have to try this on my husband and get back to you. I don't think he is going to like it but we will see. Something about it reminds me of a cleaning product too and I can't shake it. It's just not for me.

So there it is, a swing and miss in my book. Let me know if you like this type of blog post and I will do some more as I dive into my perfume sample collection over the next few months....

Monday, 20 February 2017

MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara - Review

I got this mascara at the Estee Lauder/MAC sale a little while ago. This mascara retails for $23 Canadian but I think I got 2 for $15 at the sale. I believe my friend and I split the two and she took one. I'm glad she did because I really am not feeling this mascara. The wand is one of those bendy plastic ones, not the typical bristle wand. I normally prefer the bendy plastic one, but this one is nothing special.

The formula is a carbon black one and this mascara is meant to volumize more than lengthen. For me, I need both and this mascara really falls short in the lengthening department. It does volumize, but I found the formula to be thick and clumpy. It takes longer to apply than it should. It does have some lifting properties, but not enough for my taste. My lashes look thick and spikey. It does smudge a little even though it is suppose to be smudge-proof. I actually can't wait to back to MAC this!

The wand is a bit big for travel, but I've seen worse. The formula is jet black so that is plus. I still say Zoom Lash is MAC's best.

Packaging: 7/10
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 6/10
Longevity: 6.5/10 it keeps a slight curl and smudges a tad
Texture: 4/10 clumpy
Price: 6/10 considering what I paid ($7.50) 3/10 if it was retail price 
Ingredients: ?
Comfort: 5/10 feels heavy 
Travel Worthy: 4/10 big
Smudge Proof: 6/10
Flake and Clump Proof: 3/10
Attractiveness of Product: 5/10
Would I buy this again? NO 
Overall Rating: 5.5/10

Sunday, 12 February 2017

January 2017 Empties

It's time for my January 2017 Empties! As you can see from the picture, this will be a short post.

I finally finished my first bag of Shiseido Facial Cotton. I have already repurchased a second bag. These really are the best, price be damned. One square is at least the equivalent of 2 drug store cotton rounds.

Another bottle of Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner bites the dust. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I finally stopped my subscription and now I have close to 15 bottles to finish. Sheesh. I get bored with shampoo easily though so I frequently mix it up with other shampoos and conditioners. So it may take awhile for me to plough through those 15 bottles. I love this product for its detangling abilities but am I sure there is a better product out there for me that conditions a bit better and reduces the frizzies better.

It's a new month and another tube of my Estee Lauder Double Wear Light is done. Already repurchased.

I finished a small tube of Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Kir Royal. I thought that I had done a review on this colour but looks like I didn't. Kir Royale is a very bright magenta purple and it leaves your lips with a stain closer to fuchsia. I am not crazy about the stain colour. It smells great. The actual quality of the product is fantastic, I'm just not in love with the colour.

It took me a long time but I finally used up my tube of Colleen Rothschild Sheer Renewal Cream. Oh dear, I see I never did a blog post on this. I had a strange experience with this product. I quite liked it at first (felt like my skin was sighing and really breathing when I wore it). Then it started to make my face feel tight. I gave it a break and came back to it. I've used it steadily for the past maybe 3 months and I started liking it again but not loving it. I felt like it didn't moisturize enough and we are in deep, dark winter right now here. My skin was also not as glowy as it is with my Dr. Hauschka moisturizers.

Last, but not least, I finished another jar of my Origins Eye Doctor. Nothing else I have used is as moisturizing. I just wish it would work a tad better on my dark circles. How many jars of this have I gone through? No clue, but a lot. Already repurchased.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask - Review

I've received a couple of small sized travel jars of this product in recent months. It's winter so I have been testing it out. I'm not really impressed and I am wondering if I am missing something. Considering what the competition is charging, this product seems very reasonably priced. Maybe that's my answer right there.

Sephora's website has the following information about the product:

What it is: An overnight, revitalizing gel mask that absorbs instantly and works while you sleep to deeply hydrate skin.

What it is formulated to do:
Recharge dehydrated skin overnight. This unique mask is formulated with highly concentrated ionized mineral water and ceramides to deliver intense doses of moisture to stressed, parched skin. Aromatic Sleepscent™—orange flower, rose, and sandalwood—relaxes and rejuvenates while apricot and chestnut extracts exfoliate, brighten, and purify fatigued skin. The result: skin looks and feels radiant, refreshed, and soft. Wake up to soft, glowing skin.  

A jar costs $30 Canadian or $23 U.S. The directions say to use once or twice a week. It's a gel formula that is not a cooling one. The smell is ok but a bit perfumed for a night cream or treatment for my taste. I feel like it doesn't fully absorb into my skin and my face is left feeling sticky all night. Even sticks to my pillow and I am not using a lot! In the morning, my face still feels sticky. Obviously, you have to wash it off, but should it still feel sticky hours later??? I could live with that if I noticed any serious hydration but I don't. My skin is left feeling tight and not in a good way. I find myself lathering up in moisturizer the mornings after I use this. I could maybe argue that my face looks a bit more plumped, but since I have a plump face to begin with, I'm not sure that is a plus for me.

I haven't noticed my skin getting exfoliated nor brightened after using this. In fact, I think my skin looks a tad dull the morning after.

If anyone has had success with this product, please let me know. I will not be repurchasing needless to say.

January 2017 empties post should be up within the next 2 days.

Packaging: 7/10
Texture: 1/10 (sticky)  
Price: 8/10 (if it were any good)
Ingredients: 7/10
Easy to Work With: 5/10 ???? 
Travel Worthy: 7/10
Moisturizing: 2/10
Comfortable/Softening: 1/10
Smell: 6/10 (a little strong for me)
Would I buy this again? No!  
Overall Rating: 3.5/10 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Dream Vanity

I set up my first real vanity table in early 2011. I had always wanted one but so few people seemed to have one. Was I being vain? I hoped not. For me it is a place of peacefulness, a place where I can relax and concentrate 100% on me. It's my happy place. It's a luxury every woman should have. Also, I hate keeping makeup in the bathroom with all of the moisture issues and bending over the sink to do my eye makeup got old many years ago.

So back in 2011, vanity tables were really just getting popular again. My vanity table and current set up is not ideal but it is functional. I have been thinking of updating it but there are so many options out there I want to make sure that I get it right this time. I would like to have something reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. It also has to be functional with lots of storage space, comfortable and still look somewhat modern and elegant. This is what I have in mind for my dream vanity...

In the collage above, I have put together what I am envisioning for my dream vanity set up. Let's start with the centrepiece, the table. I would like a white desk that I can wipe. White is timeless and looks good with almost anything. My bedroom is mostly silver and lilac. A white table would work well. I love the table in the picture above. I saw it on Pinterest and it links to an article from Better Homes and Gardens. This table has lots of big drawers for storage, a huge tabletop so I can spread out my makeup and has an old Hollywood look while not looking dated.

I have two ideas in mind with regards to the chair. I think I would prefer the white one in the top left hand corner of the collage. It's screams old Hollywood to me and it looks so darn fancy. The chair can be found at Neiman Marcus under the Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture collection and it is the Swanson Sheepskin Side Chair.

It may be personal preference, but my vanity chair must have a back. I hunch too much and I need the reinforcement to sit back. Also, it's just way more comfortable. The other chair, the grey brown one  from Frontgate called the Sweetheart Vanity Chair to the right of the collage is also something I would like as it is elegant, neutral and practical. I would imagine I would have a hell of a time getting any makeup marks off of the white chair.  

Lighting and mirrors are a serious consideration. I have a mirror attached to my current vanity as shown in the collage below. I find it kind of low and it's hard to get just the right light to hit it. I have a friend who swears by her Impressions Vanity Company lighted mirror. She says it is worth every dime. I need this. There are so many options to choose from on their website. I would also like a full length mirror that can stand up against the wall next to my vanity. I really like the Arhaus Newport Floor Mirror for this purpose. It's timeless and beautiful. In addition to the lighting on my vanity mirror, I would like to have a hanging ceiling light to tie everything together and add some more sophistication to the look. Arhaus has some great pendant lighting and chandeliers and the one I especially like is the Anabella Chandelier in Nickel. You should check out their gorgeous lighting fixtures!

I currently have an Alex Drawer Unit with 9 Drawers from Ikea and I plan on keeping it as it is perfect to store makeup and jewelry. You can also store your perfume, for example, on top of it in a nice tray and it looks very smart. I actually could maybe do with a second one, but let's not go there (my husband will freak out). The Alex units by Ikea have so many uses, can be turned into part of a desk and can be used with almost any vanity set up.

Finally, a girl needs some eye candy on her vanity table. If we can throw in some functionality, we are laughing. I particularly like the Freya Glass Hurricane which can also be found on Not only does it look glamorous, but you could use it to display your bigger makeup brushes, eyeliners or lip glosses.  

As previously mentioned, the collage I have below is what I currently have. The vanity table and chair are from Bombay & Co. They have had this particular duo (sold separately) for a number of years and it is still a big seller. It's the Prima Vanity and the Priscilla Vanity Chair. When I bought them, I wanted something antique looking. I have since decided that I want something bigger, brighter and more modern. The drawers do not hold much. The mirror is not great like I said, too low. I recently got a young cat and she loves my vanity chair. So much so that she lost her vanity chair privileges earlier today. She loves to hide under it and scratch it. She also managed to knock it over twice today...  

Finally, I was struggling with lighting my vanity area. I was using an overheard generic ceiling light coupled with a small lamp and a desktop magnification vanity mirror. I originally ordered a desktop LED magnification vanity mirror that was battery operated from a company in California. The name has slipped my mind. It stopped working last fall and I was constantly changing the batteries. I found a fantastic plug in one at Costco for $19.99! It's much better than some I have seen for $250! They were flying off the shelves last Christmas at Costco. I can't seem to find a photo of it online. Because I was struggling with the overall lighting situation, my husband bought me an inexpensive floor lamp from Lowe's with an adjustable light. It's really bright and works well for the time being.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gets you thinking about your dream vanity set up! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette - Review and Swatches

Today I am going to do my long awaited review on the Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette. I've had this palette for a few months now and I have not worn it as much as I should. Too much makeup, too little time. I got mine from Sephora for $59 Canadian. I believe it is $46 U.S. I don't see it on Sephora's website as of tonight, but it may still be in stores. It is on Tarte's website still for full price. The palette contains 9 eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer. Each eyeshadow is 1g or 0.035 oz. The highlighter, blush and bronzer are each 3.2g or 0.11 oz. All good and fair sizes at this price point. The palette smells a bit like chocolate to me. The mirror inside is huge.

The bronzer, Sweet Tea, is nice. A bit orangey for my taste and cool toned complexion, but nice nonetheless. The blush, Does this thing really work?, is unusual. A very shimmery raspberry. I can wear it, but it will not be for everyone. It is quite pigmented. Okay, the highlighter, Gator Wings, is one of the most potent highlighters that I have ever seen. It is stunning, but it is not for the faint of heart. It is disco ball city and quite icy gold.

On to the eyeshadows. On the top row above we have #SFS, Natural Peaches and Dogman. The second row contains Big Baby, Sassy Bun and Sippy Sippy. Finally, on the third row, is Haunting, Uncommon and Mancat. I feel like I need to add a summary or disclaimer to these eyeshadows as a whole before I get into them individually. To preface this, I will say that I have seen a number of reviews online saying that this palette mostly or only caters to fair skin tones. Maybe you have seen those comments as well. There is some truth to that opinion, however, I feel that many women could pull off many of these eyeshadows if they are dark skintoned. Dogman, Sassy Bun, Sippy Sippy, Haunting, Uncommon and Mancat would look gorgeous on many dark women. It's really women who are medium toned or light cool toned that will struggle with this palette. Some of these shades would simply get washed out on medium skin. If you are light skinned, but cool toned, some of these colours could look too orange on your complexion or bruise like. This palette would look best on those with a light warm skin tone (peaches and cream complexion) or dark toned skin.

Left to right in the picture above is Gator Wings (highlight), Does this thing really work? (blush) and Sweet Tea (bronzer). Gator Wings is crumbly, you will get fallout.

From left to right above is #SFS, Natural Peaches, Dogman, Big Baby and Sassy Bun. I've said it before and I will say it again. Tarte does not make good, glowy light coloured eyeshadows. They are always flat and get washed out on the skin. #SFS is one of the lightest colours in the palette and it's drab and washed out on my skin as you can see. Natural Peaches is a good crease colour on me, but I think it is meant to be a overall wash of colour on the lid? Doesn't look nice on my lid but if you have blue eyes and a peachy skin tone, hey, it may look awesome! Dogman is a very pigmented rust shade. Many people could wear this if applied properly. Big Baby. Sigh.....what a waste. Totally washed out on my skin and it is the lightest colour of the lot. I have seen this shade so many times with different names in Tarte palettes. Awful. Lastly here, Sassy Bun. It's kind of a fun shade. You could do a lot with it.

Last four shadows shown above are Sippy Sippy, Haunting, Uncommon and Mancat. These four are the highlight of palette as far as I am concerned with the exception of Sassy Bun which is also a solid eyeshadow. Sippy Sippy reminds me of  a dupe for Makeup Geek's Bada Bing. Great pigmentation. Haunting I wish was more needs a bright eyeshadow base under it but it is a nice colour. Uncommon isn't that uncommon but it's a nice crease shade. Finally, Mancat is my favourite of the bunch. A very vibrant plum.

There we have it! Overall, I think the palette is different and some people will love it. I do not regret my purchase but I will not get as much mileage out of it as someone with a more compatible skin tone for this palette. The quality of the palette both packaging and colours is very good. Some of Tarte's best work minus a couple of the eyeshadows that fell flat for me.

I haven't tried the brush that came with it as yet.

Packaging: 10/10   
Pigmentation: Light Shades 2/10  Medium or Darker Shades: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 7.5/10
Longevity: 7.5/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 7.5/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 (maybe a bit big for travel but it is a face palette)
Attractiveness of Product: Depends on your skintone
Would I buy this again? Maybe
Overall Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Tend Skin the Skin Care Solution - Review

Sensitive skin? Get razor burn? I do in certain areas. It's not pretty to look at and it sure can be irritating. Enter Tend Skin.

I was sent a bottle of this from to review. I have been buying a number of things, mainly nail polish, from them for a couple of years now and I have always been very happy with the products they send me, their prices and the speed of their shipping. I had never heard of Tend Skin before and I was happy they introduced me to this brand. I have tried it out and I can say that it does a fantastic job of preventing and treating razor burn, red bumps and ingrown hairs. I am not sure if it is my imagination, but my hair seems to be growing back slower in the area where I used it. The bottle says it is suitable for men and women. 

The product smells similar to rubbing alcohol but the smell dissipates quickly after application. The cap inside allows you to get what you want out of the bottle so that you don't waste the product. It is suggested that you apply the product to a cotton pad and then to your skin. I did do that and it worked just fine. I also used my bare hand a couple of times and that worked just as well if not better. I saw a comment online from someone saying that they put theirs in a small spray bottle when travelling. I think that is a fantastic idea and not just for travel! The bottle I have is the smallest one I believe which is 118ml or 4 oz. I think this bottle will last me a good deal of time. This size is $19 Canadian and I think well worth the money.

In the past I have used Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads. They work great but are super expensive. A jar of 50 pads is (you better sit down) $49 Canadian or $38 U.S. I'm normally a cheapskate when I buy them for travelling and I look for their travel pack which is around $20-$25 and you get maybe 20 pads because $50 for 50 pads is absurd. I can tell you that I could easily soak more than 50 cotton pads with my small bottle of Tend Skin and it would cost a fraction of the price of the Bliss ones.

Tend Skin is cooling on the skin and didn't sting me at all. The blue bottle is quite attractive too. It also comes in a roll on. I've gotta try that. You should pick some Tend Skin up if you, like me, suffer from razor irritation and ingrown hairs and rid yourself of the problem.     

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

December 2016 Empties

My last post was November Empties and now I am doing my December Empties. I really must strategize my blog posts better. A palette is next for sure. Let's get to it. Won't take long as I only have 5 items.

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins is a good night cream. This might be maybe the third one I have gone through. I would buy it again. I get a little bored of it sometimes so I switch things up. Smells great. (review here)

Origins yet again. Plantscription serum. I have been using this for years and I really like it. Seems to be keeping the fine lines at bay. Already repurchased.

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit. Didn't care much for the smell of this one. Is it me or has the quality of these deodorants gone downhill over the last year or two? I've already repurchased 3 in other took me forever to finish this one. I tend to use Dove more in the summer months. Please leave a comment below if you have been finding the quality of these to be on the decline. Maybe I am losing my mind.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Vanilla Bean. I am sensing a vanilla theme forming. I was on a mission to finish this and I finally did. Yeah! I have talked about this eyeshadow to death. I will bore you no more. Will not repurchase.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Volume + Lift Mascara. I must have bought dozens of these at this point. This was a travel sized tube. I have taken to buying them in this size if I can get them at the Estee Lauder sale as they are a fraction of the price of a full sized tube and last just as long. Plus they work just as good. Only true non smudge mascara on the market as far as I am concerned. (review here)

So that's it. Hope you all had a wonderful New Year!