Thursday, 30 August 2012

Caryl Baker Visage Studio and Multiple Product Review

Until recently, I had zero knowledge and experience with Caryl Baker products. Sure, I had grown up seeing their stores in the mall, but I never really had any burning desire to go into one. It seemed like mostly an eyebrow and makeup bar, which is primarily what they are. They also do facials, but I will get to that in a moment.

One day, a couple of months back, I had some free time on my hands during my lunch break, so I wandered into a Caryl Baker Visage near my work. I was in desperate need of adding some shape to my eyebrows. So I got my eyebrows done and the young girl did a very good job! I was impressed and the price was very reasonable.

 I seldomly get sucked into a sales pitch, but I was so impressed with my eyebrows, that the sales girl, who's first name was my last name, talked me into a few purchases. Basically, I got sucked into a buy one get one free microdermabrasion and I also bought a membership and some brow stuff which came with some free makeup products (which I have yet to try). The bill was a bit steep when all was tabulated. I regretted the expense immediately. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I went back for my first of two "facials" a week or so later. The girl who had done my eyebrows, who promised me she would do my facials was "sick" and I got the vibe that this was a lie and she was no longer working there. Never saw her  again. I will leave talk of what I thought of the facials for now, perhaps another blog.

After each of  my two facials, a month apart, they told me that they would do my makeup which was good because I don't walk around my street, let alone downtown Toronto, without at least some foundation on. As many of you know, I am picky about makeup and I am seldomly impressed with most beauty products. I tend to buy higher end stuff.

It has been so long since I wore cheap foundation, that my skin went into shock. The first time they applied my makeup, I felt like my skin was screaming. Maybe it was the after facial effect, but I doubt it. I was assured that all of their makeup was mineral based and hypoallergenic yada yada. They applied one of their moisturizers and my skin felt dry within 2 minutes of application. I am sorry loyal readers, but I did not make note of which one was used. Since I was getting an expensive facial, and they wanted me to sign up for facial plan (shah right) I assume they didn't use their cheapest one so what does that say. Then they applied a primer (Pore Perfection see above) and then some foundation (Mineral Matte see below). The foundation was a liquid and it felt tight, itchy and my skin felt mega dry and irritated. They then applied a powder (which looked like the first picture above). Bad stuff. The brush they used to apply the powder was the scratchiest thing I have had on my face in years. I am spoilt, I use MAC brushes.    
MAC brushes are expensive you say? Yes, they are and they are worth every red cent compared to the thorny bush that Caryl Baker swept across my face! Horror of horrors! I honestly don't know how they get away with producing such pure crap. My face looked cakey and powdery. They used some kind of blush and it was all wrong and forgettable. For the final insult, I asked for a touch of eyemakeup. Big mistake. I told the girl that my lids crease and unless she had a crease proof primer, not to bother. She gave me a big grin and happily announced that their shadow magnet (see above) did just that and it was the best stuff ever. She applied it and then dusted some powder on my eyes. It sure as hell wasn't eyeshadow. I got no mascara, no eyeliner, nothing. At this point (my face was hurting and itchy) I decided it was for the best that I didn't have God knows what put on my eyes. I walked to the commuter station, sat down on the train and looked in my compact. This was 15 minutes later and my eyes had creased.
It was all too much! Wait! I nearly forgot one of the best parts! I asked for a touch of lipstick and they pulled out one of their new glosses. I believe it was "Sorbet" a nice peach with a hint of pink and gold but don't quote me on it. It was a truly fabulous colour. The problem? It was a plumper and she didn't tell me that until after she put it on. I hate plumpers!!!!! I don't need any help with my lips and I find that plumpers swell, itch and irritate my lips. Like an allergic reaction. So the whole way home I was itching around my lips and was completely uncomfortable. I looked in the mirror when I got home. My face looked like the Sahara desert. Dry, cakey, sandy and the makeup cracked on my nose when I made a face. I had to wash everything off stat and slather my skin in some decent moisturizer and recover.
Normally, I would give each product the dignity of it's own individual rating and consideration. I just can't here. I will rate it all as a whole. By the way, I went back for my second and final facial yesterday and I just got the foundation and powder routine done. I passed on the eyes and the lips. I couldn't leave the place all blotchy skinned, looking like a homeless woman! Same thing again, dry and itchy skin which cracked and caked by the time I came home. I nearly bailed and said screw the paid for facial, but I went anyway to try to get my money's worth.
Caryl Baker Visage Makeup: 1/10 (I am giving a one based on the nice shade of the lip gloss and the possibility that the stuff is hypoallergenic which I highly doubt).
P.S. I will go to another Caryl Baker Visage store near my house to get my eyebrows done in the future. After all, I did buy the wretched membership. That will be the only service that I will ever be using them for.  

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Jennifer Aniston Eau de Parfum - Review

I don't wear a lot of scents as I am sensitive to a lot of smells. Some of my friends call me "the bloodhound" because I can smell things from far away and can pinpoint the "aroma" usually quite accurately. A lot of smells make me gag, whether it be food or perfume whatever. So needless to say, I am not a big fan of scented beauty products. I seldomly buy any perfume or cologne as a result. I have a select few that I love and I wear them very infrequently. I saw the new Jennifer Aniston Eau de Parfum last year in Sephora. I was curious. I neither love Jennifer Aniston, nor do I hate her. Her new man looks like a hobo by the way, but that is besides the point. The smell of this to me is very clean and fresh. It smells of the beach, sport and simple flowers. I believe that is the scent she was going for. I like it and I don't like 99% of perfumes. It is not super strong, although I find it can be when you first put it on for maybe 1/2 an hour or so. It fades quickly after that, which is perhaps not a good thing.

In the interests of full disclosure, when I do wear a scent or use soap (ok that sounded weird, like I never use soap.....which isn't the case!) a lot of scents wear off of me fast. My Mom thinks it is bizarre and she said she noticed it from when I was child. She said my Dad's skin is the same way so maybe it is a hereditary thing. That being said, I do have some expensive perfumes which do not fade dramatically on me. Most perfumes do though so take what I say with a grain of salt. This perfume may be a lot more long lasting on you than on me. I find within 90 minutes the smell of this product has substantially faded. At the 10 hour mark there is no trace of it and I am sure the same could be said at the 4 or 6 hour mark although I have not fully tested my theory. Given that most of it has faded after 90 minutes, I would say my hunch is correct. I bought a rollerball of this a few months back. These are great for your purse and touch-ups and with this product, you are going to need touch-ups big time. The rollerball is $18 U.S. and $20 Cdn. The 1 oz. bottle is $39 U.S. and $45 Canadian. This is a good price of course for perfume that isn't some nasty drug store stuff. I love rollerballs because they last me forever, they are cheap and they let you really try the scent before committing to a big bottle and bigger price tag.

Rating: 6/10 (because it fades badly and it is not expensive smelling nor sexy)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Makeup Geek MUG Eyeshadows in Shimmermint and Unicorn - Review and Swatches

Hello! This blog review is long overdue. I mentioned a while back that I had bought a number of additional Makeup Geek Eyeshadows since purchasing the Starter Kit. I have since bought the Expansion Kit and a few other singles. The two I am showing today are from the Expansion Kit. I have Shimmermint on the left and the swatch on the right is Unicorn. I found both of these actually disappointing for completely different reasons. They are $5.99 U.S. each. Shimmermint is described as Metallic Mint Green with Golden Shimmer. I was really hoping to love this colour but I don't. It is very smooth and is not cakey and looks great swatched on your index finger. When applied to my eyelid, it looks kind of sick, and by that I don't mean cool. It's really yellow and a not so nice shade of yellow gold with a hint of green in it. This will not be a favourite. I don't know who could pull off this colour except maybe someone with a really dark complexion.

On to Unicorn. It is described as a Shimmery Blue Purple which is bang on accurate. I have the opposite complaint about this colour. The colour is lovely! It is a really gorgeous purple with a blue hue and if I do say so myself, it looks nice on me! The problem? It is chalky. It does not blend well. I had to fight with it to get it to blend and go where I wanted it to to stay put without washing out the colour. This is a high maintenance colour and I don't have the patience for such things on most days when MAC eyeshadows give me zero problems this area.

I have lots more Makeup Geek eyeshadows to review and most of them are a lot nicer than these two so stayed tuned!

Shimmermint: 3.5/10 (good quality eyeshadow just icky colour)
Unicorn: 4.5/10 (great colour horrible quality)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

MAC Eyeshadow Singles Orange/Peach/Coral featuring Jest, Paradisco and Coral - Review and Swatches

I have a million palettes and products to review and they are all coming I promise! I am just really anal about trying out each colour and product and really road testing them before I pass judgement. In the meantime, I am long overdue for showing you my MAC eyeshadow collection which is truly the pearl in my makeup oyster. This is the stuff I get excited about. Eyeshadow is my true makeup passion and MAC has the best colours. Period. There is no way I could show you my entire collection in one blog. That would be utter madness. I have decided that the best approach would be to follow in other blogger's footsteps and show you by colour range. So without further ado, today I am going to show you my MAC single eyeshadows in the colour orange/peach/coral. The funny thing is that I don't wear a lot of eyeshadow in this colour group, yet these three are some of my favourite MAC eyeshadows! Of all of my MAC eyeshadows, this is probably the lowest number (3) that I have in a colour range. I was actually surprised that I only own three. I have my eye on Samoa Silk though! It will be mine one day.

On the left is Jest which is a soft peach with an icy shimmer. I use this colour as a base colour or as a soft wash of colour when I am feeling summery or at least peachy. The middle swatch Paradisco which is a frost pinky coral. It is quite coral though so it falls into this colour family. It works well on the lid or the outer corner or in the crease. This is a unique, fun colour that you just can not go wrong with. On the right is Coral which is a MAC Pro colour and it is matte and works well in the crease or on the brow bone with a fancy smoky eye. I love all 3. MAC eyeshadows in general are high quality and these 3 are sweet. Jest works well with a number of colours, especially browns in the crease. I have heard it works well with Twinks. Paradisco goes with everything, although a MAC artist once told me to pair it with Orb for a fashion forward neutral summer look. I find more uses and looks for Coral as time goes on. They are cheaper to buy as a pro palette refill because it is only $14.50 vs. $18 Canadian for the single eyeshadow in the mini compact. All of these are winners, but of the three I would have to say Paradisco would be my favourite. What do you think?

Rating: 9/10 (for all 3)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser - Review

I have been using this on and off for a couple of months. I am afraid there is nothing to get excited about. It's ok. It's not bad per se but it just isn't great. It's there. As I have mentioned before, I like to go organic or natural when I can so when this came on the market, I thought "what the hell". I think this normally retails for between $10.99 and $14.99 Canadian??? I got it on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $8.99. I was just in Shoppers two days ago and I saw this product on the clearance rack for $6.49. I think it's days are numbered. The bottle says that it contains no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens or dyes. It is hypoallergenic and is suitable for acne prone skin according to the bottle.

It does seem mild. It certainly didn't make my skin worse or red when it was breaking out. It might even have some calming properties. To me it just seemed like a mild facial cleanser. It got your skin clean and didn't aggravate it. It really did nothing to rid me of any breakouts or problem areas. I like to wash my face with this in the shower when I am in a rush some mornings! It's good for that! I can see why it is already on the clearance rack and it is only a new product. It isn't cheap at full price and it fails to muster up any interest.

Rating: 5.5/10

Friday, 17 August 2012

China Glaze 216 Diva Bride - Review and Pictures

I own a couple of China Glaze nail polishes but, believe it or not, I have never used them until now. This is the China Glaze 216 Diva Bride colour which is a very pale, pure baby pink. It reminds me of a frosting colour. Sorry again for the foot shot! I did my own nails and I am sporting a tan so the pedi doesn't look flawless I am afraid. I did this a few days ago and let me tell you this stuff is rock hard. I don't see it chipping anytime soon. The bottle says it has hardeners and they aren't joking. It is like hard candy. I did find the product streaky. I had to use 3 coats and as far as I am concerned, I could have done with a fourth. I usually use OPI so am an not use to anything quite this streaky. I think I would prefer this as a fingernail colour though. I am not crazy about it on my toes. It would be a nice colour for a wedding, hence Diva Bride I guess. I will have to try my other China Glaze colours to see if they are as streaky as this one. I got this bottle free actually at Sally Beauty because I spent a certain amount of money a few months back. I think they are usually about $6.99 Canadian so cheaper than OPI.

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse - Review

This is what Moroccanoil has to say about this product:

Curly and tightly spiraled hair needs control without the crunch. Curl Control Mousse’s lightweight yet powerful formula is enriched with argan oil to tame, define and hold curls naturally for hours while sealing in moisture and keeping out frizz. Curls and ringlets are left looking soft, smooth and natural in any weather.

My hair is naturally curly - ringlet curly. I hate it. I know some people say they would kill for my hair but if they had to deal with my rat's nest in reality, they wouldn't want it. My hair easily goes frizzy, especially in summer when it is humid. Taming this beast has been a life long problem. I rarely wear my hair curly and I spend a small fortune and lots of time to make it straight or wavy. Occasionally, I get lazy and opt for the wash and go routine which is of course to go with the curl. I have searched high and low to find a product that would keep my curly hair feeling soft, defined and frizz free. Mission: Impossible. I have tried it all. Almost everything I have used either leaves my hair with way too much crunch, stickiness and looks greasy or no definition and lots of frizzy baby hair all over the place. Sometimes there would be clumps of flaky bits of dandruff like stuff within a couple hours of application. I had honestly pretty much given up. As for finding a product that I could get away with not washing my hair the next day after application and had it still looking fresh...ha! Don't make me laugh. My hair is dry and washing every day kills it. For me, this is not an option and every hair stylist I have ever had has told me to never wash it daily.

This stuff is not bad but it is tricky as hell figuring out the amount of product that you need to use. This product leaves my hair feeling soft and silky when I use the right amount. Too much and you will get crunchy, sticky areas. No enough and it is fly away frizz baby city. I could tell though from my "experiments" that the product had promise as parts of my hair looked and felt great. I could even "recycle" my do' on occasion the morning after without a rewash and just a little tweaking. This may be no advice at all, but you need to use a medium amount. The bottle says "generous amount" which means different things to different people. Enough in trouble areas (for me the front) but not so much it looks like you fell into a deep fryer. I can not tell you what a trial and error process I went through. I still have a small amount of frizz which I can not totally eliminate without going overboard and into greasy looking city with this product but essentially the problem is under control. My hair looks shiny, natural and feels soft and amazing. Also, a little touch-up job Day #2 and you can get away with recycling the do'. I am very pleased indeed. I am still not going to wear my hair curly very often but maybe a little more often.

There seems to be a lot of product in the bottle. It seems almost full still and I have used it several times. I think the cost is around $25 Canadian or U.S. I would recommend this. It is not perfect and it takes a lot of tweaking as I said to get the amount you need to use for yourself right, but it is the best thing that I have tried.

Rating: 8.5/10

Monday, 13 August 2012

Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream - Review

This review is long overdue. I have been using this off and on for a few months. I wasn't blown away by it at first so I switched back to my Origins moisturizers. I bought this because my local store was out of my usual Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream and this was "newish". Since I have combination skin with sensitive and problems areas, this seemed to be a good choice. Dr. Hauschka's website has this to say about this product:

Melissa Day Cream "calms, balances, manages shine and helps balance sensitive, combination skin, giving the complexion a smooth, even appearance. Key ingredient melissa (lemon balm) has been renowned for centuries for its harmonizing effects. It is combined with extracts of anthyllis and carrot to help soothe reddened, irritated skin. Shiny, oily zones are calmed and clarified while in dry areas, moisture is locked in. This balancing day cream with fortifying extracts of witch hazel and revitalizing English daisy refines the skin and leaves the complexion soft and even."

This stuff smells like lemon pledge and the smell gets old fast. I delayed doing this review because I really wanted to give this a fair shake and I felt like I needed to use this daily for weeks to be fair to the product. My skin has not been good these last 3 months. Coincidentally, that is around the time that I bought this. I do not actually think it is this product that is causing my skin to freak out though. I think it is the lack of the Rose Day Cream that is the problem. My skin loved that stuff and it kept my breakouts to a minimum. In fairness, this product does reduce redness I find. It also helps control my oily areas. My face is a lot more matte now but I miss that glow I had with the Rose Day Cream. Also, my foundation does not glide across my face, nor look dewy with this product like it did with the Rose Day Cream. My face feels tighter and not as soft when using this as opposed to the Rose Day Cream. If it's not broken, don't fix it. I need to follow my own advice. I feel a bit sad just typing about this. I need to get some Rose Day Cream stat!

This is not a terrible product, it is just not fantastic and it pales in comparison to the Rose Day Cream. This is an all natural moisturizer and that is a definite plus. This product is $42.00 Canadian and I am guessing somewhere around $36.00 U.S.

Rating: 6/10

Friday, 10 August 2012

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm - Review and Swatches

Okay, so here we have today two of the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balms in 06 Whoppin' Watermelon and 07 Super Strawberry. The swatch on the left is Whoppin' Watermelon and on the right is Super Strawberry. These babies have been getting a lot of love online over the last several months. They are $16 U.S. and $19 Canadian. You can get them at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sears, the Bay and so on. For me there is no contest between the two of these, although I do realize that they look fairly identical in the swatches but they are definitely different on your lips. I prefer the Super Strawberry. It might be the nicest colour that Clinique has in this line. It is a nice sheer satin well...strawberry colour. Whoppin Watermelon is just a frosty baby pink mess to me. Nic from Pixiwoo wore this in a wedding tutorial and it looked so fabulous on her that I had to have it. Big mistake on my part. I know better and ignored common sense. Frosted lip products always sit badly on my lips, make me look sick if it is a pale colour and they burn and swell my lips. Drives me batty. There is no frost whatsoever with the Super Strawberry.

I would recommend a lip liner with these. They are a balm and they tend to fade and wear off easily on their own. Lip liner makes a huge difference in their staying power and also in maintaining their colour. They are very moisturizing, I was pleasantly surprised. I used to have a few of the old school Clinique Chubby Sticks and they were long lasting and were rich but they were dry. These have a lipstick smell but only lightly. The design is cute. No sharpening here, just twist up the tube for more product. I would consider buying another colour in the line, but none of the frosted numbers! Does anyone have any of the other colours and can recommend one of them?

Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Origins Out of Trouble Mask - Review

This is one of the worst masks that I have ever used. I got a large sample of this from the Origins counter a few weeks back. I have used it twice and I easily have enough left for another application or two. This stuff stinks like nobodies business. I can't stand it. It makes me feel physically ill. It reeks of sulphur. Origins even advertises the fact that sulphur is one of its main ingredients. Yuck! This smell is so bad that even after I have washed my face a few times, I can still smell the sulphur stench all of the next day and of course the smell follows me around as it is stuck to my face! Ugh!

This smells like the worst tube Clearasil ever! As if the smell was not enough of an insult, the product doesn't even work. My skin has been very bad lately and this made absolutely no difference. It was a complete waste of time. As mentioned, I even tried it twice to make sure I wasn't imaging things. Horrible stuff. It retails for $23 U.S. I am guessing it is probably around $27.00 Canadian.

Rating: 1/10 (I am only giving it a "1" because it is Origins)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio Dupes?

So last night I saw that Tiffany D did a tutorial with the NARS Ramatuelle eyeshadow trio. It was so simple and it looked fabulous. I wanted that palette as soon as I saw this. Then I really looked at the colours and dissected what they were. I do this when I am trying to talk myself out of a purchase and it seems to usually be quite effective. We have a shimmery silver grey, a shimmery icy peachy golden beige and a matte soft coral. Also, Tiffany D only used one brush for the look: the Sigma E40 (translation MAC 224). I thought to myself, "surely I have similar colours". I didn't look far into my collection. I own a lot of eyeshadows so I might even have some better dupes if I dig deeper into my stash.

I think I found some decent dupes. For the matte soft coral I came up with MAC's Coral. I think this might be a bit brighter and a bit darker than the NARS version but it works well I think. I also used two Urban Decay colours which were Midnight 15 for the silver and Flow for the icy peach. Now these are not likely bang on dupes but I think you can see that the effect of Tiffany D's look is similar. The point is that there are probably a million dupes which would produce a similar look or effect. I think you could even use MAC's Paradisco for the soft matte peach if you don't mind using a shimmer instead.

In case any of you are wondering what on earth I am talking about, I have the link to Tiffany D's makeup tutorial below. I admit that Midnight 15 is probably the worst dupe I am mentioning here for the shimmery silver grey because it has some gold in it, but it seemed to go nicely with everything. I am sure any soft shimmery silver you have in your collection should suffice.

P.S. Don't mind my hair in the top picture. I don't think it looked that bizarre in person. It looks like I was trying some Carmen hairdo and I wasn't.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

butter LONDON Spring/Summer 2012 Collection Disco Biscuit - Review and Swatch

I love butter LONDON. I love London, I love non-toxic cosmetics, I love their colours, their colour names and I love the packaging. What's not to like? They became all the rage around a year ago, and until recently, you couldn't buy any of their nail polishes here in Canada. Boo! Now they are sold at The Bay and you can also get them at and They retail at all of these places for $17.50 Canadian and are $14.00 U.S. Yes, these are pricey. Makes OPI look cheap and their polishes are certainly not. I have around 7 butter LONDON polishes. I started grabbing them last year when I was travelling in the U.S. They sell them at Ulta. This is the first time I have actually worn one of the ones I own. Crazy, I know. This particular colour was purchased for me by a good friend who knew I had a fetish for butter LONDON when she was visiting New York City recently. Since this colour is from the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection, I thought I better move my butt and wear it while it is "hot".

 Disco Biscuit (how cute is that name) which I am sporting off here (sorry for the toe shot but I am more a pedi than a mani gal) looks like Studio 54 glamour. The colour in the bottle looks like hot fuchsia with blue/purple glitter. How cool is that? The bottle is 11 ml or 0.4 fl. oz. In reality, after the 3 coats I have on above, the colour to me is a mid-toned Barbie pink. I don't dislike the colour, but it is not quite what I was hoping for. You can barely see the glitter with the naked eye. I think I would prefer this with a mani. What do you think?

To quote from's website:

We Believe in Rock and Roll. Great Britain. And Fashion.By transforming catwalk trends to custom nail colour palettes, butter LONDON has developed a passionate following. butter LONDON is the cult phenomenon of the nail industry and is fast becoming famous for our high fashion, 3 Free (non-toxic) nail lacquers and revolutionary waterless nail services. butter LONDON products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens. butter LONDON was the first company to sell non-toxic nail lacquer in the United States.

So there you have it. I will be reviewing the other colours I have as I get around to wearing them.

Rating: 6.5/10 (based on colour alone)
Rating: 8/10 (based on packaging, cost, quality of ingredients)