Monday, March 31, 2014

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Facial Peel

Because I have ridiculously large pores, I pretty much jump on any product that claims it will tighten them. Thus, I welcomed the opportunity to try the Fab Pore Facial Peel by Soap and Glory ($25 at Shoppers' Drug Mart and Murale) with open arms (and pores). 



The Fab Pore Facial Peel has multiple uses. First and foremost, it can be used to take silly selfies. Secondly, it works as 2-in-1 product - both a purifying mask and a facial peel.  

One of A Kind Spring Show Toronto 2014 - Haul & Recap

The One of a Kind Show is not your average craft show. It's the largest consumer craft show in North America. For 5 days, it features 450~ artisans selling anything from peanut butter to body chains to hand-made face masques and everything in between.


I had heard of the show previously, but this year was my first year going. Definitely worth the trip to the Direct Energy Centre at the Exhibition Place. I also met up with a few fellow Canadian Beauty Bloggers - Julie of Swatch and Review, Megan of Megan Joy, Nicole of Nicole About Town, and Cassy of Exquisitely Chic, and Jenn of A Beautiful Zen.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in 25 Buff Beige



Powder, powder, powder. I love powder foundations. I'm not sure what possessed me to purchase the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder ($10.96) but I'm always looking for drugstore alternatives to the pricey brands you can find at your local Sephora for five times more. 



The packaging is quite similar to that of the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Perfector - powder on one side of the compact and a conveniently placed mirror plus sponge area on the other side. To the touch, the powder feels smooth and quite finely milled. Not to the sheer perfection of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders or the Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder, but still silky, smooth and soft. 

Luckily, the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in 25 Buff Beige is a perfect match. Given guessing game that is the inability to swatch at Wal-Mart, I'm happy with my random decision. 

My brush of choice with this powder is the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I swirl my brush into the powder and apply from the centre of my face buffing out in circular motions. Alternatively, you could apply the powder with a sponge or powder puff. 


The Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder boasts no-clinging and natural, buildable coverage, both standards by which the product utterly and completely lives up to. The powder smooths over my XL pores and imperfections with light to medium buildable coverage to the point where I only need to wear a concealer under my eyes and over any nasty red patches. There are no specific claims in terms of staying powder but it lasts a fair 5 hours, so no issues noted there. 

I actually finished up the last bit of my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder, so this powder has become my go-to foundation powder. It seems as though the Dream Wonder Powder is not advertised as a foundation nor as a setting powder. However, this is a fully-functioning  powder perfect for both aforementioned purposes providing the same smoothing, natural coverage finish in both cases. 

What's your favourite drugstore powder? 

Purchased by me :) 
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fontana Contarini Cosmetics - Flawless Foundation, Eyeliner, and Mascara

When it comes to makeup, sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in a North American bubble.For some reason, I'm always intrigued by the fact that there's actually other countries with other brands that I haven't heard of. Enter Fontana Contarini, an Italian brand that has recently made its way to Canada. I've been testing three of their products. Here are my thoughts: 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow

I'm going to be upfront and say that the Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow ($12.95) is the holy mother of visible glitter. A simple word of warning, if you don't like glitter on the face, this one isn't for you and perhaps you'd prefer something matte like the Revlon Powder Blush in Wine Not


At first glance, this palette seems strangely reminiscent of a product 5x the price - the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose. I just want to clear the air and say that they're different products and only dupes in the sense that they look alike. 

The Revlon Highlighting Palettes also come in Bronze Glow and Peach Glow. 


The Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow doesn't swatch well. The product is almost rock hard. My fingers don't glide across the product as beautifully as I'd want them to. I tried to capture the silvery glitters that are quite prominent in each of the five colours in the palette. 


To apply the highlighting palette, I swirl a brush around in the product and brush it onto the high points of my cheeks. On my particular colouring, the highlighting palette works as both a blush and highlight. However, I prefer this product as a stark glitter highlight. It also does well over top of matte blushes for an added bit of sparkle. 

Hopefully, you can tell I'm quite on the fence about this product. I don't mind a bit of glitter and it's versatile (for use as a highlight, blush, or eyeshadow) but I'm not fond of the hard texture of the Revlon Highlighting Palette. 

Do you like glittery highlights? 
Press samples featured

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Biotherm Aquasource, Aquasource Night, and Aquasource Deep Serum

I know I've mentioned this previously, but I'll say it again. I have a hard time wrapping my head around skincare and skincare is not easy to review. The results of skincare often can only be seen months, even years. So saying that I've tried these three products from the Biotherm Aquasource line for a week is nothing but mere first impressions.

Before even slapping these products on my skin, I did a little research. Biotherm is a luxe skincare brand (under the Luxe division of L'Oreal) that derives its products from mineral water. Now here's a little biology for you - the mineral water used to make the products contains a thermal phytoplankton that expands the upper layer of your skin cells (the epidermis). This means that your first layer of skin, a barrier for all sorts of harsh environmental factors is stronger and healthier. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Battling the Winter Blues

Dearest Winter. Please go away. I'm so over you. Thanks, Steph. 
Apparently it's supposed to snow again. The weather ain't feeling like it's spring and neither is my skin. Here on the blog, you only get to see the skin on my face and sometimes my hands. The rest of my body isn't looking its best (feel free to call me lizard woman or ashy legs lady).

Luckily, FarleyCo sent me a few products to help me rehydrate my sad skin. Flexitol is an Australia-based manufacturer that makes ridiculously moisturizing products. If there was such thing as too moisturizing the Flexitol Very Dry Skin Cream ($12.99) would be it and to cure my nasty dry feet (which you probably don't want to hear about) I've been using the Flexitol Heel Balm (Heel Magic) ($14.99) with great results. Oh... and get a whiff of the Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit Restful Bath Foam ($8.29) and the fresh scent takes you somewhere warm, sunny, and on a patio eating something sweet.


Anyways, the point is that FarleyCo wants to help YOU battle the winter blues. 1 Winner will receive the following items: 
  • EcoTools EcoPouf
  • Baylis & Harding Bath Foam
  • Flexitol Heel Magic
  • Flexitol Intense Hydrating Lotion

*Note: This giveaway is only open to residents of Canada

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I am part of the Flexitol Winter Rescue Blogger Campaign alongside Canadian Beauty Bloggers, and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions as stated on this blog are my own. 


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Saturday, March 22, 2014

GUEST POST: Kalyn's Guide to Face Masks

As part of the new #bbloggersCA group, I'll be the host of one guest blog post per month from a fellow Canadian beauty blogger. This month's theme is Skincare Essentials...brought to you by Kalyn of KalynLord.com

Face masks are one of my favourite ways to bring a little dose of spa-life into your weekly beauty routine.  There are so many different options at every price point, you could spend hours just choosing the best possible mask for your particular skin needs on any given day. There are masks that help to purify, masks to moisturize; masks to brighten, masks to soothe.  No matter what you're hoping to accomplish, you can bet there's a category of face masks to match.  I personally use a lot of North American-brand  face masks, but I also really enjoy South Korean skin care products (the KBeauty market is very forward-thinking and there are SO many fun options for masks, it's easy to get carried away!). Here are a few broad categories of facial masks, some examples, and their primary function as supplements to your regular skin care routine:



Maskeraide Face Masks - Pre Party Prep

Spring is now officially here, but Winter has taken its toll on my skin. Good thing I've found the perfect cure. Maskeraide. A hydrating line face masks that makes me look like an axe-murderer and then transforms my skin into lush, plump perfection. I tried the Maskeraide Pre-Party Prep Face Mask with no actual intention of going to a party. The real party is when I jump for joy at the sight of sunshine and springtime! 


Friday, March 21, 2014

MUFE Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 and Smoky Extravagant Mascara - Sephora Birthday Gift 2014


Today is... my birthday. YAY. 20 years old today. Two decades seems like a hell of a long time. I'm officially old. I try not to make an excuse to purchase things because of my special day (guilty - I recently purchased a Shu Uemura Lash Curler and two pairs of shoes as a present to myself) but gifts are always welcome on my birthday and my regular visits to Sephora have resulted in the receipt of the Beauty Insider Birthday Gift for 2014

This year's gift is from Make Up For Ever and includes the Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara and the Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 in adorable little mini-sizes. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Annabelle BB Skin Perfect Concealer in Medium

Annabelle is a Canadian brand, sister to Marcelle. Awesome news - Shanae Grimes (of 90210 and Degrassi: The Next Generation) is Annabelle's gorgeous new brand ambassador. What is it with Annabelle and Marcelle having beautiful Canadian actresses as their ambassadors? High five to whoever came up with that!


Anyways, nobody endorsed this product or recommended it to me (but I would totally fall into that trap). I was just curious and there was a $10 off $30 promotion during the summer. So instead of buying the Annabelle BB Skin Perfect Concealer for $12.95, it came to me at a slightly discounted price. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tips & Tricks #2: How to Rock Orange Lipstick

Spring has sprung (almost) and it feels like it's about time to bust out the bright lip colours. Here's how to wear orange lipstick without letting your orange lipstick wear you! 


First thing's first when it comes to wearing orange lips. Choose your lipstick. It doesn't necessarily have to be lipstick. I chose the Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in 105 Coral Cutie*, a bright orange leaning red with a satin finish. Some other great options are the Joe Fresh Lip Gloss in Poppy and the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub

Key lime pie meets body scrub and you get a extraordinarily delicious concoction called the Sugar Crush Body Scrub ($20 at Sephora and Shoppers' Drug Mart) from Soap and Glory. Contrary to my Vineyard Peach post, peach is only one of my favourite scents. The slightest cut above the vineyard peach is all and everything CITRUS that exists on this earth -lime semifreddo, lemon drops, lemon pledge, lemon bars, lime bars, pina coladas, key lime pie, a hint of lime in my salsa - you name it. 



Now that I let you know that I thoroughly enjoy all things citrus, you can probably predict what I'm going to say next about the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Scrub. ASDLFASJDFKASDFAHSGASDKRRAEWAER HOLY GUACAMOLE THIS SMELLS AMAZING. UGHH.  CAN I RUB IT ALL OVER MY BODY AND ROLL AROUND IN IT FOR ALL ETERNITY? CAN I PLEASE EAT IT WITH A SPOON?

And... that's how the scent of this scrub makes me feel. It's sweet but the hint of lime makes it less heavy (as compared to other scents) and more fresh. Also, it lingers and engulfs my bathroom in lime and sugar for a few hours after use. No complaints there. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Manicure ft. Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer

What's St. Patrick's Day anyways? In all seriousness, I don't even know what St. Patrick's Day is about. It's somewhat Irish-related including rainbows and pots of gold galore, and kids my age celebrate by getting stupendously drunk. That's just about all I know. 

Anyways, whether you plan on going out or are just wearing green for the day, this manicure will keep you looking classy and festive all day (or week) long. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Surya Brasil - Eco-friendly Body and Hair Care

Suriya Brasil is a company that prides itself in making products that are a number of things - organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and fair trade. Any company that makes do-gooder products is in some respects, very attractive. Usually prices are off-putting (there's a price to being nice), but if the products perform well, I typically don't have an issue with the cost.  

For the past few weeks, I've been fiddling around with numerous Surya Brasil body and hair care products. Here are my thoughts: 


Note: The Sapien Women products are consistent in that they all have exactly the same scent. The very first thing that comes to mind is tutti frutti, which I find extremely odd considering these are all-natural products. That being said, tutti frutti isn't my favourite scent but the scent is light and sweet and doesn't linger. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What's in My HerCampus Spring Break Survival Kit?




I'm not your average student. Normal Canadian university students get Reading Week. Americans get Spring Break. High/Grade Schoolers get March Break. Me? I'm currently working on a cooperative work term, which is like real life aka no break. 

Receiving the Her Campus Spring Break Survival Kit was bitter-sweet. On one hand, it reminds me of the lack of sunshine and the excessive amount of snow here in Toronto. On the other hand, it was a sweet surprise to come home to at the end of a long work day. 

So what is this Survival Kit thing anyways? Basically a big box of goodies from HerCampus brand partners. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Revlon Powder Blush in Wine Not 004



And the blush fiends go wild. This past January, Revlon  launched a collection of three blushes - the Revlon Highlighting Palette (3 shades), Revlon Cream Blush (4 shades) and the Revlon Powder Blush (8 shades). Today, I'm sharing with you the Revlon Powder Blush in 004 Wine Not ($11.95). 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Revlon Nail Lacquer in Diamond Texture




Part of the Revlon's new Graffiti Plus Top Coats is the Revlon Nail Lacquer in Diamond Texture ($5.95). It isn't at all reminiscent of graffiti but it is exactly the kind of nail polish that I love. It's like a dupe for OPI Bond Girls Liquid Sands in Solitaire (swatched here) but better. The colour leans more silver and less white. Plus, it's more glittery and there's silver round pieces in the mix. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation and Fixstick Concealer

 When any brand says that they've come out with a face product that has a better range of colours, I immediately get curious. Foundation matching is my biggest beauty blunder. Sometimes I have such a hard time that I just give up and decide not to wear foundation at all. 

CoverGirl recently released the TruBlend Foundation with 14 shades that supposedly match 98% of skin tones in Canada. Along with the foundation is also a range of concealers that are numbered to match with the foundations. Convenient, eh? I put both the foundation in the shade Sand Beige (M4) and the concealer Medium Light (M1-4) to the test... 



So.. colour match of the CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation in Sand Beige (M4) is not so great. One of the claims of the foundation is that it's "forgiving" because it blends out to look natural and seamless. I think not. Ignoring the colour, the foundation is water-based, which makes it lightweight. The coverage is medium with a slightly dewy finish. 

I can't say anything about wearability because I immediately removed this foundation from my face for fear of looking like an oompa loompa for more than a couple of minutes. If and when the colour matches my face (hopefully summer), I will revisit this product and keep you posted. 

[SWATCHED: CoverGirl TruBlend Fixstick in Medium Light - M1-4; CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation in Sand Beige M4; CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation in 945 Warm Beige]


On the brightside, I've really been enjoying the TruBlend Fixstick Concealer in M1-4 Medium Light. In the photos, I've applied it as faux-foundation - on my nose, under the eyes, on top of blemishes, a little on the forehead and chin. It's not exactly the most heavy coverage of concealers that I've tried, but it does the job while still looking natural. The texture is slightly hard to blend, however this contributes to a better staying power of 4-6 hours. Oh. And the colour match is spot on. 

Do you have a hard time finding the perfect shade of foundation? 

Press samples featured 







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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Holt Renfrew Spring 2014 Beauty Bag - First Impressions

The Holt Renfrew Spring 2014 Beauty Bag is back! Last year, I purchased my first Holt Renfrew Spring Beauty Bag (see review here) and I was beyond happy with all the luxe beauty products I got to try. For those of you that don't know, the beauty bag is a seasonal, twice a year sampler offer at Holt Renfrew for $35. The bag also comes with a $10 off $25 coupon expiring April 5th. Let's see how this year stacks up..


In the Holt Renfrew Spring 2014 Beauty Bag: 
  • Erno Laslo Timeless Skin Age Prevention Serum 
  • Chantecaille Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask 
  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in "Groove is in the Heart"
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
  • Carven L'Eau de Toilette
  • Lancome Genefique Yeux Light Pearl
  • Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask Instant Youth 
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick in "Black Honey"

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Pressed Powder

The MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Loose Powder is a cult product. Now it's available in a more user-friendly format. Enter the MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Pressed Powder ($41). Essentially, it's a translucent powder that's used for setting your makeup or touching up during the day. 


Since this is a translucent product, there is absolutely no point in swatching the MUFE HD Pressed Powder. It blends away into undetectable nothingness on the skin. To the touch, this powder feels silky smooth and lightweight. When rubbed between the fingers, it feels slightly silicone-y, which is presumably the "mattifying" qualities kicking in. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sephora Formula X in Demolition

I stopped by Sephora, went to the nail bar, painted Sephora Formula X Nail Polish in Demolition ($15) on all ten of my fingers at the nail bar, and walked out without spending a single penny. Mainly, I did this all because I wanted to see what all the hype for Sephora Formula X nail polishes was all about. Now I see. Because I'm seriously debating whether or not I need this polish (not that I really need any more polish in general). 

It's part of the Xplosives top coats, all of which  remind me of something you could find on Etsy from someone who makes indie polishes. 





The Sephora Formula X Nail Polish in Demolition is a concentrated blue, turquoise, lime, and orange confetti. I'm wearing it over OPI's shimmering sands in Solitaire. Demolition is the absolute perfect spring glitter and...

That being said, I'm having a hard time resisting this purchase. At $15 a bottle, it's quite pricey... but... sooo pretty. 

Have you tried Sephora Formula X? 


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Katy Perry Dark Horse Makeup Look

I've been non-stop listening to Katy Perry's Dark Horse ft. Juicy J. When I watched the music video, I immediately noticed her makeup. The rest of the Dark Horse video is ridiculous and I'm not quite a fan. Anyways, props to the makeup artist Jake Bailey for creating this amazing look. I wish I could wear it on the daily. 



In essence, the Katy Perry's look is inspired by the Egyptian "Eye of Horus", which is why there's such a focus on the eyeliner. Other than the liner, purple and gold eyeshadows are added into the mix. The lipstick in the music video is purple-y berry pink, apparently it's CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipstick in "Euphoria".

I spent a full 4 hours doing the makeup look, photographing, and editing... so hopefully you enjoy my re-creation!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Empties #6

March is here and I feel like it's that time of the month. Empties time! I know I don't do empties every month but I feel like it might be nice to do them every other month because this is a bit better size-wise than my Empties #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 from last year. 

After finishing the photographs for this post, I completed a few more full-sized products... so I'm excited for the next one already! Here we go... 

The Empties Legend: 
*** = fo sho repurchase
** = maybe repurchase
* = probably won't repurchase


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Canadian Beauty Bloggers Unite!

Hey Girl. Canadian Beauty Bloggers. That's right. I've teamed up with a bunch of lovely Canadian beauties to build a network for those who want to share their love for *squeals* makeup and beauty, while also improving our blogs along the way. 

Want to support Canadian Beauty Bloggers? Simply use the hashtag #bbloggersCA and check out beautybloggers.ca. We'll be adding a blog directory to our website which will be open for sign-up soon. Stay tuned for more in the very near future ;) 
Photo from KalynLord.com

A quick introduction to the team... Be sure to check out all their pretty blogs! 

BC
Jasmine Li from The Happy Sloths
Jayne Lim from Cosmetic Proof
Jordana Mah from Just J
Sarah Merchant from Workaday Ramblings

Nova Scotia
Zoe Danielle from Writing Whimsy 

Ontario
Cassandra Turcotte from Exquisitely Chic
Chantal Halley from Chantal's Corner
Chelsey Thornton from My Beauty Full Adventure
Jenn Aqui from Scarlet Beauty
Jenn Fong from A Beautiful Zen
Julie Martinson from Swatch and Review
Kalyn Lord from Kalyn Lord
Laura Herchel from Beyond Blush
Megan Joy from Megan Joy
Nicole Treston from Nicole About Town
Stephanie Lau from Fun Size Beauty

Quebec
Natalie Heather Davis from Ivory Avenue

Are you a Canadian Beauty Blogger? :) 

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