Monday, 30 December 2013
I was a lucky girl this Christmas. Over the last few years I have not made it a secret with my friends and family that I would be more than happy to get the gift of make-up. A couple of my good friends got me the OPI Dramatic Duo in Big Apple Red and Black Oynx nail lacquers. The duo came with a very sparkly black and gold wristlet. Very nice!
My husband went buck wild and got me gift certificates for both MAC and Sephora. I assure you that they will both be well loved and used. In addition, he got me MAC's Lustreglass in Star Nova and the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 206 "The Lolita" Plush Eyeshadow palette. Can't wait to get my my hands into both of those! Reviews and swatches to follow soon!
I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and will have a fantastic Happy New Year!
Saturday, 28 December 2013
I had a request from one of my readers, Cansu, for this review. Sorry it took me so long, Cansu! I actually got this mini lip gloss several months ago in a set of Too Faced products that I purchased from Sephora. Cansu told me she really liked this lip gloss and encouraged me to try it. So I finally busted my unopened gloss out. I have the colour Pillow Talk which is described as a Mauve Shimmer. I don't see anything mauve about Pillow Talk, but it is a very nice nude which I think would suit anyone. It has some shimmer in it and it's quite attractive.
One of the things that I like most about this lip gloss is that it is not "goopy" like some lip glosses are. It goes on and stays on until you eat, drink or take it off in some way, shape or form. The smell of this gloss is quite unique. It smells to me like Vanilla, Cinnamon and cough syrup. I asked my husband to weigh in and he can only smell the Cinnamon. Whatever the smell is, the smells dissipates really quickly so it doesn't stick around for you to love it or hate it which is probably for the best. I love that this lip gloss is very comfortable to wear and it is moisturizing. It is minty and tingles when you first apply it. The "Lip Injection Comfort Plump" does not hurt or feel uncomfortable like some other plumpers out there do. I personally do not need a lip plumper, but I know having one is a plus for many people.
Here is a swatch:
I don't see any mauve, do you? I would definitely be interested in trying more colours in this product line, especially the darker ones. These lip glosses are $19 U.S. A regular full-sized tube is 3.6 ml or 0.12 oz. The mini I have is almost full sized at 2.9 ml or 0.10 oz. Here is a picture of it on my bare lips:
This particular colour, Pillow Talk, works on top of any lipstick too if you want to gloss up a matte lipstick or whatever. Sephora doesn't appear to sell these Too Faced Glamour Glosses online. Too Faced's website has them in all 12 shades.
Packaging: 10/10 (cute and compact - love the doe foot wand)
Pigmentation: 7.5/10 (the colour I have doesn't match the description)
How Does it Feel On: 10/10 (moisturizing and tingly)
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Smell and Taste: 9/10
Would I buy this again? Yes!!!
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Friday, 27 December 2013
I got a large sample of this a few months back from Sephora which came along with an online order promotion. After using it for a couple of weeks, I liked it so much that I bought a bottle. I've now been using this product for almost 3 months. There are a lot of good things about it. The product does come out of the pump black. It does have a warming sensation for the first few seconds you apply it to your face. The warming sensation does not last and you can not get the "warmth" to spread all over your face. It only lasts briefly where you first applied the product.
What I like about this cleanser is that it is gentle on my face and does not irritate it. It also makes my skin super soft. I noticed this within a couple of days of using it. I really like that perk. After using it for a few weeks, I also noticed that my pores did start to shrink and look less visible, which is one of things that this product claims to do.
What I have also noticed since using this is that my skin still has breakouts and gets blemishes. This product has done nothing to keep my skin clear of breakouts. Maybe it does that for other people, but it hasn't worked for me. That is definitely one of the down sides for me. I hoped with time that it would start to show an improvement, but that has not been the case.
This product is $34 Canadian and $28 in the U.S. You need very little of this product to wash your face. My bottle will last me for a few months I figure. It's 150ml or 5 oz. This product also takes off a lot of your makeup, but not all of it on your face. You will still need a makeup wipe or some toner after you wash your face to ensure you get everything off. The ingredients are pretty good. Your face doesn't feel stripped after using it.
Packaging: 910 (the pump gives out the correct amount with no waste which is nice)
Easy to Work With: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 7/10
Deep Cleans: 7/10
Smell: 8/10 (soft but strange scent)
Would I buy this again? Not Sure
Overall Rating: 8/10
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Okay, more empties. Since I can't stand empty bottles laying around my bathroom, I have now started taking a picture of 2 more as soon as I get them and so I can chuck this stuff out. So I have two pics today. Let's start with the first.
Olivia Care Liquid Hand Soap in Verbana. This is my favourite brand of hand soap. Has been for years. The problem is that it is hard to find. I usually get it from Winners or Marshalls. If any of you know where I can find this stuff please tell me because I am going to have to resort to ordering it online and the shipping is going to be a killer......I like this soap because it really gets your hands clean but it isn't harsh. The list of ingredients is nice and minimal, it's moisturizing and has olive oil in it. A great naturalesque soap. Smells nice too.
Nivea Pure & Natural Purifying Toner. I already did a review on this. It was mild and was ok. Nothing to get excited about. Likely will not repurchase. I seriously need to stop fooling around and buy some Origins toner again stat.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation. Mine is in Intensity 2.0. My favourite foundation currently and has been for 2 years. I can not tell you how many tubes of this I have gone through. If I keep up with my "Empties" posts, you are sure to see this product again and again. Not sure if I already did a review on this....I better check....
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream. This is getting harder and harder to get. Love this stuff. Have done a review already on this. I am fresh out and need to get some more asap.
Okay, on to the second pic or batch of empties.
Oil of Olay Oil Minimizing Toner. I have done a review on this too. It's not bad for drug store chemically stuff. The smell is a bit strong for my liking and I was starting to find this to be a bit harsh on my skin for my taste near the end of the bottle. Will likely not repurchase.
Finally, Clinique's Take Off the Day Makeup Remover. I have had a few bottles of this over the years. I usually don't purchase it but get it in a gift with purchase bag. It works. It really does, even with stubborn mascara. It never feels like it glides across my eyes though. I feel like I need to get it in there and rub it and I shouldn't have to do that. Therefore, it's not a fave. Not planning to repurchase.
Hope you liked another "Empties" installment! Hope you all have a wonderful Boxing Day!
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
Monday, 23 December 2013
I had been coveting this palette for several weeks when I finally took the plunge and bought it. The Old Hollywood Eye Palette by Bobbi Brown came out in their Holiday Collection for 2013. I am a sucker for anything that is "Old Hollywood" when it comes to fashion or makeup. Especially makeup....Why did I wait so long to buy it, you may ask? The answer is simple: the price. This palette is $87 Canadian and is $75 U.S. That's a lot of dough for 9 smaller eyeshadows in my book. When you look at the size and quality of palettes that were out for Holiday 2013 by some of the other big names in makeup, which were less than $87, what Bobbi Brown is asking for this is kind of incomprehensible.
I was so floored by the price, that I actually made mention of it to Bobbi Brown. I got a couple of responses from them. They seemed to genuinely care that I found the price horrifying. They explained to be that the price point was partially due to taxes and duties etc. to bring the product into Canada. That aside, I still think $75 U.S. is quite steep for this palette when the taxes and duties are out of the mix. Once you add sales tax in Ontario to $87, well this palette is basically $100 my friends.
So did I shell out the $100? Nope. I had a bunch of points at the Bay and used them to get this palette for half price. That's right, I couldn't bring myself to spend $100 on this. Nor do I think you should. If you can get this in the States for cheaper or a Sephora V.I.B. sale or get it discounted somehow, then yes it's a good buy. At $100, I can't possibly justify the price.
Okay, on to the good stuff. Most of these shadows are very long lasting. I wore Opal over some clear eyeshadow primer one day last week and it was still still in full sparkle mode 18 hours after application. Wow! All of the eyeshadows blend beautifully and are easy to apply. Some of the Metallic ones take a bit more work, but they are lovely too. There isn't a colour in this palette that I dislike. It is a neutral palette after all. The only eyeshadow that I really think is a bit sub par is Ivory, which is from their permanent line. The pigmentation is awful. You really have to pack it on to be able to see it.
I am really enjoying experimenting with this palette and putting some looks together. The pigment is especially good on the matte eyeshadows (except Ivory). The matte eyeshadows in here are divine. I didn't own any Bobbi Brown eyeshadows before I bought this palette. Now I may go and buy a single or two that I have my eye on. Did you know that Estee Lauder owns Bobbi Brown and MAC? I didn't know either until recently.
Okay, swatch time.
I hope you can see some of these. I highly recommend using a MAC Paint Pot or eyeshadow base with these eyeshadows, especially with the Sparkle and Metallic ones. From left to right we have Ivory, Golden Pink, Gold, Opal, Fog and Beige. Gold and Opal did not show up on my arm as much as I would have liked, but they do pop on the eyelid with a base. I am not wearing any primer or eyeshadow base on my arm.
Finally, the swatches are from left to right, Chocolate Bronze, Candlelight Gold and Eclipse. If you were to twist my arm, I would have to say that they best eyeshadows in here are Opal, Fog, Beige, Chocolate Bronze, Candlelight Gold and Eclipse. Ivory, Golden Pink and Gold are not as good.
The total eyeshadow weight of this palette is 0.51 oz. or 14.7g . If you were to buy a single eyeshadow from Bobbi Brown each one is 0.13 oz. 3.8g, just to put that in perspective.
Packaging: 9.5/10Pigmentation: 7.5/10 (a couple of the shadows bring down this score)
Easy to Work With: 8/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 7/10 (some of the Metallic and Sparkle eyeshadows are a bit coarse)
Ingredients: 7/10 (the Metallic shadows have worse ingredients than the rest)
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Would I buy this again? For the price, this one is the only one I'll be getting
Sunday, 22 December 2013
This was the first Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath that I have ever purchased. I got a small free one ages ago in another scent and I can't find it. I think it's packed away somewhere...
I really love the smell of this stuff. It smells like peppermint of course, but the smell is not overly synthetic or fake. It smells fresh if that makes sense. It does not smell "old lady". The smell is really nice to help you wake up in the morning in the winter months. You need very little on your bath sponge to get crazy amounts of lather. The packaging is cute too. I have only used this as a body wash so far. I highly doubt I would use it as shampoo, but maybe as bubble bath.
This product costs $21 Canadian and I think about $19 U.S. My only complaint about it is that it is not overly moisturizing. You still need to slather yourself in body lotion afterwards if you live in a cold climate like I do in the winter months. I do find this product refreshing though. I think I will go and use some as soon as I finish this post!
I don't find that the smell says on my skin. For some people that may be a good or bad thing. Please take this with a grain of salt though. My skin can be weird and most soap scents do not stick to my skin after use. I have had this issue since I was a child and my mother noticed it. The same is true for my Dad, so I guess it is hereditary. Peppermint Stick is still great in my book scent wise. It is very inoffensive.
I will likely be posting daily this week, so stay tuned! I have a Bobbi Brown Holiday palette review for you guys and I should have it posted by tomorrow morning.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I normally wear shades in NC25 when it comes to MAC foundations and concealers. I bought a darker shade for under my eyes in NC30. The salesperson at MAC tried it on me and agreed that this colour would be best for me in the under eye area. This product is in glass by the way. Love that, thank you MAC. This concealer has a pump dispenser which is handy, but too much comes out every time. I would prefer a wand or something.
This concealer is better than I was expecting. I really like it. While it is not a miracle worker under my eyes, it does do a good job. It does as good of a job as any concealer than I have found anywhere. I thought this shade in NC30 would be too dark for my actual face. I was in a mad panic one day getting ready and grabbed this and dabbed it on over some blemishes. It blended in nicely with my Estee Lauder foundation. The coverage held up all day long (18+ hours). This product does not look cakey after it dries and doesn't easily settle into fine lines. MAC, I am really impressed. This stuff is great!
Here is the NC30 swatch on my arm:
This concealer is $23 Canadian and is $19 U.S. The tube is 9ml or 0.30 oz. There is a lot in this tube and a little product goes a long way. I think this tube will last me a long time.
Packaging: 8/10 (the pump isn't the greatest but love the glass)
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8.5/10
Would I buy this again? Yes Indeed
Overall Rating: 9/10
Saturday, 14 December 2013
This blog post is starting to get a bit late in the Holiday 2013 season, but I know a lot of you still have some shopping to do, so hopefully I will give you an idea or two! Here are my top 3 palettes that I have for Holiday 2013. I have bought quite a few and have swatched my little heart in many a Sephora store over the last month and a half. Without further ado, here they are in order:
1. Tarte - The Tarte of Giving
This Collector's set is sold out online at Sephora. Some Sephora stores still have them, but you will have to hunt. This is the belle of the Holiday Makeup Ball this year. I snapped mine up during the Sephora V.I.B. sale several weeks ago. This was $59 U.S. and close to $70 Canadian I believe. Even though I scored 20% off, it would have been worth full price. It comes in a handy, pretty travel case and includes:
Although I have not yet tried every single item in this set, I can tell you so far I am very impressed. This is value for your money. I would say this is the "Best Value" of the Holiday Palettes this year. It also has the "Best Variety" of products. Tarte is a more "natural" product line too which makes me happy. You can not go wrong if you buy this set for yourself or for a really good friend. The eyeshadows do look best with an eyeshadow base under them as an FYI.
Although I haven't done a full review of this palette, I posted a bunch of pictures of what you get with this set in an earlier haul post:
2. Too Faced - A Few of My Favorite Things
Sephora is sold out of this one too online! I have seen a bunch though still in a few stores but I would run, not walk to Sephora if you really want this baby. This set is $56 U.S. I would say that this is the "Best Surprise" palette/set and "Excellent Quality" palette choice of the season.
You get 20 fabulous eyeshadows in this palette. The palette has some mattes and a lot of neutrals so it makes it an all purpose palette. You don't have to whip out other eyeshadows to put together looks. In addition to the neutral colours, there are some fun, unique eyeshadows colours. The names of them are so cute too! They are named from items in the Christmas song of the same name. The quality of these eyeshadows overall is excellent with a couple of exceptions. You also get two blushes and two bronzers. The bronzers are fantastic and the blushes are very nice as well. If that weren't enough, you also get a mascara and a lip injection. A little booklet with some makeup looks is also included.
The packaging is very slim and comes in a nice bag. I would travel with this! This would make an awesome gift. Needless to say, I am keeping mine for myself!
3. Anastasia Beverly Hills - Lavish Kit
I would call this my "Best Little Palette", "Can't Go Wrong" and "Overall Eye Palette Package" set. It's $38 which is very reasonable. You get 10 eyeshadows, a dual-ended makeup brush, a tweezer, brow pencil and an eyeliner. In addition, you get a full instruction manual on creating some amazing eye looks. This may be the easiest palette of my 3 picks to find, but alas Sephora is also already sold out online. Good Luck everyone and happy shopping!
Thursday, 12 December 2013
I picked up 2 bottles of Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser last week at an Estee Lauder/MAC sale. I have been dying to get an invite to one for years and I finally got one thanks to a very nice colleague of mine. Estee Lauder now owns MAC and Clinique. I did not know that. They also own Smashbox and Bobbi Brown. Well I'll be.....So I got two bottles for a total of $10. Couldn't leave that.
Normally, a bottle of this is $18 Canadian and you get 400ml. MAC's brush cleanser is very similar, except that MAC's has a stronger smell and may be a tad more sudsy. MAC's bottle is 235ml and is $16 Canadian I believe. Frankly, the Clinique is much more value for your money since the bottle is nearly twice the size and is only a couple of bucks more. Like I said, the two products are very similar. I find the Clinique product works as well as the MAC one. I would highly recommend this one if you wash your brushes all of the time like I do.
Packaging: 8/10 (same as their Clarifying Lotion bottle)
Works Well: 9/10
Easy to Work With: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 3/10 (not unless you packed some in a separate leak proof container or stood the product upright)
Would I buy this again? Absolutely
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Sunday, 8 December 2013
A bought the Urban Decay Anarchy Face Case palette several weeks ago. I really like the brand Urban Decay (UD) and it is rare to get a set or palette like this. UD doesn't really have much in their line in the way of blush, so to get two and a highlighter from them is a treat. This palette is $49 Canadian or $44 U.S. You get 5 eyeshadows, two blushes, a highlighter, an eyeliner and a lip colour.
This palette has two compartments. An upper and a lower compartment. The upper compartment has the 5 eyeshadows, the lip colour and the eyeliner. The eyeshadows are left to right here: Redemption, Fray, Vaporize, Provocateur and Revolt. Redemption, Vaporize and Revolt are all very nice and are well pigmented. Revolt, the bright metallic silver is especially pigmented. There aren't too many silvers on the market as vibrant as this one. Fray, the one matte colour, is dreadful. Sorry, but it is. It has nearly zero pigment and it doesn't look that great on in my opinion. I doubt many people could get this colour to look good unless they layered something bright beneath it or over it. Provocateur is nice. It does look better layered on top of another eyeshadow. I have used it over Fray is it doesn't look bad that way. Here are the swatches:
I have to say that I now own two UD Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color lip products and they are fantastic. I own the one from this palette and the one from the UD Wizard of Oz palette. The quality of these lip products are amazing. The one in this palette is called Scandal. I love red lipsticks and many bright lipsticks, but this one is a bit loud even for my taste. Not for the faint of heart. I suggest wearing a more neutral colour or gloss over it, but do whatever you like. Swatch is a couple of pictures below....
The eyeliner is the 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion. I have always aspired to own this eyeliner but haven't until now. Part of the reason that I bought this palette was to finally get this eyeliner. I must say that this eyeliner is awesome. This is one of the best black pencil liners on the market. It's really vibrant and lasts for ages. I have removed it late at night after a full day and it still looks sharp and reasonably fresh. Can't say enough about how great it is.
The lower or bottom compartment contains the lip colour again (it drops down to the lower compartment) along with the blushes in Fetish and Quickie. I love Fetish. It is a really nice nude mauve but there is something special about it. It looks good on me anyway. Quickie is quite bright and is also a solid colour. Both of these blushes blend really well and are good quality. The blushes are definitely one of the highlights of the palette. The highlighter, which doesn't appear to have a name, is very pigmented and blends well. It is on the yellow side, both in the pan and on the face. It too is good quality but I don't like the colour so much for me. I can make it work though. Here are some more swatches:
Scandal is on the far left followed by Perversion, Fetish, Quickie and the highlighter. I bought this case for 4 main reasons.
1) I wanted Perversion
2) I wanted to try out UD's blushes
3) I just like the word "Anarchy" (although I don't believe in it) and "The Sons of Anarchy"
4) It looked like an all in one handy travel palette
$49 Canadian is not bad for this palette, but it isn't good either when I think of what some of the other brands brought out for Christmas for near that dollar mark. I will use 4 of the eyeshadows but really you need to use some other eyeshadows in your collection to pull most looks together with the ones in this palette. If you were going to buy this palette just for the eyeshadows, I would suggest saving your money. Some of the eyeshadows are a bit crumbly too and have fall out issues as well.
I think most people will find Scandal to be a bit wild. If you need some good silver and grey eyeshadows, and are interested in trying some UD blushes as well as getting Perversion, this may be a good purchase for you. I think the packaging is neat and compact. The plastic case though feels a bit cheap. I just wish that I could use this for travel and pack little other makeup, but that is not a reality with this palette I am afraid. Most of the products in this palette though are very good quality though. I would love to swap out Fray, Scandal and the highlighter for other colours.
Packaging: 8.5/10Pigmentation: 8.5/10 (Fray is 1/10)
Easy to Work With: 8.5/10
Longevity: 9/10 (Perversion is 10/10)
Colour Stays True: 9/10
Texture: 7/10 (the blushes are 8.5/10)
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Would I buy this again? One is good enough for me
Thursday, 5 December 2013
I got a sample of this from Sephora several weeks back. It is a "deluxe" sample. It's only 0.17 fl. oz. or 5ml to be clear. I was expecting a much large tube. That being said, I have been using this on and off for the last month. More on than off. There is a lot more in there than you would think! This is a green coloured cream which is supposed to lessen redness on your face. I have to say that it does. Nothing shocking and life altering, but it does work. I have the version that PurMinerals puts out and that product is a lot thicker than the Stila CC version. What I don't like about the PurMinerals one is that it is thick and can be clumpy to work with.
The Stila CC is easy to work with and it's quick to apply. It sets as a skin tone colour. It never feels dry or uncomfortable on. I like it but I don't know if need it. A good foundation primer, foundation and concealer will cover up a lot of sins. It's also $44 Canadian and $44 U.S. it appears. Interesting and expensive. Here is the swatch:
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10
Would I buy this again? Not Sure
Overall Rating: 8/10
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
I showed great restraint this year and only bought 3 things at the Sephora V.I.B. sale. Part of the reason for my restraint was that I knew I was off to the States the following week after the sale and with the price point difference, the exchange rate and tax differences, the savings I get at Sephora when I buy things in the States is pretty much equivalent to the Sephora V.I.B. sale in Canada. Scary right?
Ok, on to the goods. I bought two of the Formula X nail polishes in Thrilling and Meteoric. I saw Tiffany D wearing these two colours in one of her videos and I was in love....had to have them. Also, I had been looking for a great grey nail polish for many moons.
As soon as I do my nails with these, I promise share a pic with all of you.
The main thing I got was the Tarte of Giving holiday palette/extravaganza. The moment I saw this in Sephora, I was in heaven. Had to have it. I could see right away that this was the holiday palette deal of the year. The funny thing is that I just watched Makeup Geek's Holiday Palette reviews tonight and she declared this one to be the winner this year in her estimation. I would have to agree. I have bought a few other holiday palettes and I have to say there are some good ones this year, but this is probably the best one.
I will try to post a Top 3 Holiday Palette list soon. I better get my butt in gear! Anyway, the Tarte of Giving comes with 8 lip glosses in an assortment of colours. I have already started using one and I was very impressed with the texture, look and longevity. As well you get 18 gorgeous eyeshadows in a thin palette that you could easily travel with and you wouldn't need to take any other eyeshadows with you on a trip.
If that weren't enough you also get the Tarte cheek stain in Flush, a Amazonian Clay Blush in Memorable, a mascara in Lights, Camera, Lashes, Maracuja C-brightener Eye Treatment and finally a bottle of Pure Maracuja Oil. Wow, that is value for you. I just checked Sephora's website and they are sold out! If you can get your hands on this somehow, someway, do it!
This set is $59 U.S. and was a $71 Canadian. I am glad I got the 20% off at the sale. To top it all off, all of this makeup up came in a gorgeous makeup travel case with a door hook and everything. Love it! I have never been disappointed with a Tarte Holiday Palette or in general large palette of goodies from them. They make the best large palettes and they are mega values. I just saw my Tarte Jewelry Box from a few years back on sale on Amazon for $172! Holy crap. I think I paid around $70 for mine in Sephora at the time.
On a final note, total tangent having nothing to do with makeup, I am totally heart broken about the recent death of Paul Walker. Anyone who knows me, knows that he was my #1 crush for the last 12 years plus. He was my back up plan in case things with my husband didn't work out. Okay, just kidding about that, I am not planning to trade in my husband anytime soon. It's just so sad - he did so much charity work and seemed like a genuinely nice person. It's left me with a heavy heart the last few days.