Thursday, 27 February 2014

Korres Face Primer - Review

I reviewed another Korres Primer a little while ago and it was a completely different animal compared to this face primer. I am going to quote directly from Sephora's website in reference to this product:

What it is: A silicone-free, 99 percent natural, antioxidant-rich face primer that creates the perfect canvas for makeup application.

What it does:
Rich in skin-soothing botanicals and vitamin E, this 99 percent natural formula refines skin texture without silicone, minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduces pore size. Your skin will be primed and ready for a makeup application.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Silicone
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Mineral Oils
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs

What else you need to know:
This product is Ecocert Certified and dermatologist tested, and also formulated without triclosan, PPG, MEA, DEA, TEA, and formaldehyde donors.

I got a large sample of this from Sephora ages ago. I have used it about 5 times so I have gotten a good feel for it. It's a gel-like lotion and there is virtually no smell. This product was not suitable for my oily to combination skin. I would suggest this product for those of you with dry skin. It was like adding an additional moisturizer to my face. It made it very shiny, oily and kind of slick. My make-up applied well enough over it, but I found as the day wore on, that my makeup would come off on my fingertips if I touched my face. My foundation started sliding off a bit. I think if you have dry skin, this may not be such a problem, or maybe it would. Hard to say, but it was not suitable for me at all.

It does feel very nice and soothing when applied to the skin though. A tube is $36.50 Canadian or $28 U.S. for 1.01 oz.

Packaging: 8/10 
Pigmentation: N/A 
Easy to Work With: 4/10 (on my oily skin)
Longevity: 3/10
Texture: 10/10 
Price: 6.5/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10 
Attractiveness of Product: 3/10
Would I buy this again? No
Overall Rating: Hard to say as it may work for some people  

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Empties Again!

I have another instalment of Empties today! Stuff is really piling up so I had to hurry up and post this stat so I can get rid of these containers! As an aside, I only consider something an "empty" if I could get 5 or more uses out of the container. Small samples don't count.

1. Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser Refill - Love this stuff. I have already done a review on my blog on it. It's just as good if not better than MAC's. Estee Lauder owns both companies so I am not sure if it might even be the same formula. This may be a discontinued product, not sure. I have another bottle already in my cupboard as I bought two at once.

2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Light - I have gone through countless tubes of this over the past couple of years. Love it.....

3. Bumble and Bumble Bb Straight (clear tube) - This stuff is awesome for my frizzy, unmanageable hair. One of the few things that works. This is a travel size above but I got at least a dozen or more uses out of it. I already have a regular size replacement kicking around but I can't find it at present....I stopped using this for a while and tried other things. Nothing compares. Going back to this permanently.

4. Bumble and Bumble Bb Straight Blow Dry (solid grey tube) - This product is no where near as good as #3 above. This is like a lotion and doesn't work very well. Will never repurchase this.

5. bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lip  Gloss in Go Getter - Loved the colour. It is a limited edition shade I am afraid. I can count on one hand how many full sized lip glosses that I have ever finished before I threw them out. This is one of them. Other than the fact that it was "goopy" at times, I enjoyed this product. Would repurchase in another shade or this one if it is available.

6. Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter - If your lips are in rough shape and you are on a budget, look no further. I hate the fact that it is petroleum, but it works just as good as any high priced lip product. It costs $2. The only down side like I said is that it is petroleum....and I hate that.

7. Clinique Even Better Eyes - My eyes seem to like this and they drink it up. It has helped my under eye area to feel not as thin. Not sure how much it is doing for my dark circles, but part of the problem is that I don't use it twice a day like I should. This was my second tube. I am already using my third.

8. Tarte ReCreate - This is a foundation primer. I recently did a blog post on it. I didn't care for it much and I think it is discontinued. Good riddance maybe.

9. Tarte Maracuja Lip Gloss - This was a mini lip gloss from one of Tarte's Christmas Sets. It was the darkest shade and I loved it. I am sad it is done already. Wish I knew the name of it. It also doesn't appear that these lip glosses are part of the regular line. What a shame!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plush Shadow in 206 The Lolita - Review and Swatches

My husband bought me this palette for Christmas. Isn't he a nice husband? I did put it on a list for him (just to give him some suggestions) and he had a little sticker shock when the salesperson rang it in for him at Sephora. This palette is $71 Canadian or $59 U.S. Ouch. The packaging is nice and sleek and compact. A fashionable cloth cover with a snap for this case came with it. I guess the idea is so that it doesn't get scratched.

There are 7 eye shadows in this palette. They don't have individual names. The total palette is 7g or 0.24 oz. or 1g per eye shadow if you prefer. There are 3 matte colours, one glitter and 3 shimmers. I really like them all with one exception. Since they don't have names, this will be a bit tricky, but it's the 2nd colour from the right that I dislike. It doesn't transfer well onto the eye and it fades like crazy. The pigmentation and staying power is nonexistent. Don't even attempt to wear this colour without both a primer and an eye shadow base. I plan on only using it as a brow or inner corner highlight at most. All of the other 6 have phenomenal pigmentation, the colours stay true, they are very long lasting and blend easily. They are all flattering and I suspect would be on most people as this is a very neutral palette.

The first colour on the left is a matte white which has a distinctive yellow colour to it when swatched. It doesn't look that yellow on my skin. It is a very good brow highlight. The second colour from the left is a pinkish brown which is so smooth and blends like a dream in the crease. I think it may be my favourite in the whole palette. The third from the left is a dark grey brown. It too is smooth and blends very easily. Very nice colour. It is cool toned. The middle colour is a glittery pinkish brown champagne colour. Looks great on the lid. The fifth colour from the left is an opal pink. It is a subtle opal and it looks great on the lid too. The sixth colour is the one I dislike. It's a shimmery champagne which swatches well and that is where it ends. Finally, the last colour is caramel bronze shimmer. Very flattering colour and extremely long lasting.

Here are the swatches! Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of this palette. The colours go very well together. I am enjoying wearing these colours very much. They are so easy to apply without any fuss, with the one exception.....This would be a good palette to travel with if you are looking to do a number of basic, classic looks. My only real objection is the price.

Packaging: 10/10 (sleek and compact)
Pigmentation: 9/10 (with one exception)
Easy to Work With: 10/10 
Longevity: 9/10 (with one exception)
Texture: 10/10
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Yes I think so
Overall Rating: 9/10

Monday, 17 February 2014

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment - Review

Quick post for you tonight. I thought I would give you my 2 cents on the Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment. This is my second bottle and it will be my last. I actually bought the second bottle in a set of shampoo and conditioner before I had really used much of my first bottle of this product. As a prelude to what I am going to say, I will tell you that I have very frizzy, fussy hair which is not easily tamed. I have owned a bottle of the "real McCoy" so to speak, the Morocconoil Treatment which is over $40 Canadian a bottle. Ouch! It performed much better than the Marc Anthony version.

I think that if you don't really have frizzy hair and are just looking to add some shine, lustre and perhaps improve the feel of your hair slightly, then you might be fine with the Marc Anthony version. For me, it doesn't do much for my hair most days. It has a bunch of things in it other than just argan oil. So does the Morocconoil Treatment, but whatever they put in the Morocconoil is just a better formula. I also find that the Marc Anthony is greasier and doesn't spread or glide through your hair as easily as the Morocconoil does. I find a little Morocconoil goes a long way versus several pumps that are needed with the Marc Anthony one. Also, the Morocconoil absorbs better and faster. It looks shinier too.

The Marc Anthony version is better than nothing, but it is like night and day compared to the Morocconoil Treatment. The Marc Anthony version is around $10-$12 Canadian, but I got my first bottle for $6 on sale. The price point alone should have been enough of an indicator for me, but you really have to try things out sometimes so that you know you are getting value for your money.

Repair for Rough Hair  4/10
Strength Against Damage  5/10
Silky Softness  4/10
Brilliant Shine  2/10
Smoothing  5/10
Moisture  3/10
Frizz Control  3/10
Manageability 4/10
Tamed Fly-Aways  2/10
Overall Score: 4/10

Friday, 14 February 2014

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Aigle Noir - Review and Swatch

I have had this shadow pencil kicking around my stash for quite some time. No clue why I never tried it until now. I think I got it free from Sephora with either some V.I.B. points or something. The one I have is 0.07 oz. or 2g. The regular size is 0.14 oz. so basically it is double the size of the one I have. The regular size is $29 Canadian or $25 U.S. I have the colour Aigle Noir which is a black with gold shimmer. It's a smoky, dirty brown black. If you are looking for a way to do a quick, smoky eye, this would be a good product to try. I cannot believe how quick I can apply this as a liner to my eyes. It's super smooth and creamy and glides on. Perfect for work, perfect when you are in a rush and have no time for fancy makeup.

This particular colour is not that "black". It tends to have a bit of a greyish blue colour to it after you have been wearing it for awhile. Personally, I don't mind because I think the colour looks kind of nice and neat. For those of you who are die hard believers that the colour that goes on is the colour it should stay (and I would tend to agree with you) this could end up being an unpleasant treat. For me, it almost ends up of being a pleasant surprise. As I type this, I am wearing it at the 15 hour mark. I really should take my makeup off! Here is what it looks like now. Bear it mind, I applied it with a light hand this morning to give myself a little smoky eyeliner effect.

Geez, my eyebrows look like they need help here. Scary. Can't even see my lame mascara job. Like I said, I was in a hurry this morning. Anyway, it seems to really stay on. I figured that it would smudge, but it doesn't. I have worn it with glasses all day, in a snow storm, with watery eyes and it doesn't really budge. It does fade a bit of course, but I am impressed by how long it lasts considering how soft and creamy the product is. I would definitely buy other colours in this product line. It blends easily. This jumbo pencil has become part of my regular makeup rotation in the past two weeks. It's just a no brainer product. I haven't worn it in the crease or all over my lid so I can't really comment on how well it would look that way. I understand that this product may have creasing issues if you wear it into the crease. I can't see me wearing this colour that way but if I get other colours, I will let you know. Here's the swatch:

Packaging: 10/10 (cute and compact)
Pigmentation: 7/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10 
Longevity: 8.5/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 6.5/10
Ingredients: 8.5/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Yes
Overall Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Top Shelf - Review and Swatches

For the most part I love the bareMinerals READY eye shadows. I don't have the patience for loose shadows most of the time and that is why I don't own a ton of pigments. They just aren't travel friendly and they make a mess. I picked up this set, The Top Shelf, shortly before Christmas during one of my V.I.B. hauls from Sephora. I got a nice discount of course. The two colours in here are Mixologist and Cognac. I own quite a few of the 4.0 palettes but this is the first 2.0 that I have purchased.

Both of the colours are smooth and creamy as are most of the bareMinerals READY eyeshadows. Normally, I like to evaluate each eye shadow in a palette based on its own merit. I tried wearing Mixologist on its own with some eyeliner and I was not in love. It applied easily enough, blended well and was smooth. It had a slight chalky look to it when I had it on. It didn't feel or look chalky swatched though. I am thinking that because it is such a light colour and because it is so pigmented, the chalkiness (if that is a word) may be a bit of an optical illusion on the eye.

So needless to say, I was a bit disappointed with Mixologist on its own. However, as soon as I wore the two colours together, it was bada bing! These two colours really compliment each other. They go perfectly together. As soon as you add Cognac into the look, Mixologist no longer looks chalky at all.
Frankly, the two of them together is a perfect put together look while using minimal effort to create it. I threw on some black gel liner on my top lash line and winged it out and it looked awesome! I am just sorry I didn't take a picture for you when I had it on the other day. Sorry guys!

Both eye shadows are super saturated and pigmented. I am sure you can tell which is which. When you wear both of these colours together, Mixologist no longer looks as light as it does in the swatch above. It blends in beautifully with Cognac and adds the perfect amount of "light" to add contrast to Cognac.

Here are some more swatches. I would definitely recommend this little palette. You could take this on vacation or overnight as these colours would go with just about any outfit. This is a no fail palette.
Mixologist is described as a champagne sheen and Cognac is described as a gilded bronze which I would say is accurate. This palette is $25 Canadian and $20 U.S. I got 20% off of mine at the Sephora sale but I think it is worth the money full price or otherwise.

Packaging: 10/10 (cute and compact)
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10 
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 8.5/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Hell Yes
Overall Rating: 10/10 this is a solid buy

Sunday, 9 February 2014


I have a few empties for you today! They are as follows:

1. WEN by Chaz Dean Sweet Almond Mint Replenishing Treatment Mist - I actually didn't mind the smell of this. Some people find it objectionable. It didn't work for me and I so very much wanted it to. I thought it was going to "refresh" my hair, maybe add some softness, moisture and detangle. Do I ask too much??? Maybe. I found it left my hair sticky and crunchy at times. Since I have naturally curly hair, I was looking for something that refreshed my curls or gave some life to my "next day hair". It was better than nothing, but it was just sticky water to me.

2. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment - This product worked quite well. I have had super dry, irritated lips the last couple of winters. This smells like lemon and works like a charm. I highly recommend it. The only downside is the astronomical price for what it is. I have a review posted on this product if you want to check it out on my blog.

3. Origins Plantscription Anti-Ageing Serum - I just realized that I have never done a review on this! Ackkk! I will have to remedy that soon. I will keep this brief then. I love this product! I have been using it for over 4 years and I have gone through countless tubes. It has kept lines and wrinkles at bay. I had a fine laugh line by my mouth that started 4 years ago. I started using this then and not only did it stop it from getting worse, the line has almost completely disappeared......

5. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light Medium - MAC doesn't make Light Medium anymore. I think it is called Light Plus now. I didn't think much of this product at first but it grew on me and I came to love it. I have a full review of this product on my blog. Some people wear this product alone or over concealer, which you can, but I like it as a finishing powder. This will be a Back to MAC for me of course. I will repurchase.

6. Origins Starting Over Moisturizer - I just put a review up the other day on this. I thought it was just ok at first but I grew to like it very much the longer I used it. It's a great moisturizer for the daytime under makeup.

So that's it! Hope you enjoyed my latest instalment of Empties! Have a great weekend or what is left of it!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Origins Starting Over Moisturizer - Review

This is a little embarrassing, but as you can see from the picture, I have nearly finished this jar of moisturizer and I am only getting to the review now. I got this moisturizer from Origins as part of a Christmas set the Christmas before last. I had it kicking around for ages unopened. I decided maybe 3 months ago or so to use it up. I mean like most Origins products and I figured it was time to start cleaning out some old stock and save on some purchases. So here we are.

The first few times I used this moisturizer I thought it was just "ok". Mainly I used it at night. Then I decided to start wearing it during the day under my makeup. I continued to think it was just "ok" for a few weeks. This may sound daft, but it was almost as if my skin liked this product the more I used it. My skin started responding to it very well, hungrily drank it up, and I noticed that my foundation seemed to mix well with it. It kept my skin looking hydrated throughout the day.

I have oily skin. This moisturizer is not the most moisturizing product in the world, but for me, it did the trick during the daytime. It has been unseasonably cold the last couple of months where I live (-40 degrees Celsius with the wind chill at times) and despite the nasty dry skin that I frequently have in other areas, my face has felt very protected and nourished with this product. I apply this over my Origins Plantscription serum. I am thinking that because they are both Origins products, that is why they work so well together even though they are both from different product lines. If you have really dry skin, I am not sure if this would be the best product for you.

I may repurchase, but I am not sure. I still really like my Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream. This would be a solid alternative though. It has served me well. This is $59 Canadian a jar which is a bit pricey for what it is I think.

Looks like this will be on my blog post about my recent empties which I will put up over the next few days.

Packaging: 6/10 (glass would have been nice) 
Texture: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 7/10
Moisturizing: 7.5/10 (works better during the day than at night for me)
Look of Skin: 9/10 (daytime)  6/10 nighttime
Would I buy this again? Possibly Yes
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Monday, 3 February 2014

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude Eye Shadow Palette - Review and Swatches

I have had this palette for a number of months, but I just got around to trying all of the colours recently. Before we get started, I would like to say that I love just about everything that theBalm puts out. I own almost all of their palettes. I will own them all one day, I swear. Their packaging is ridiculously cute.

This is an all matte palette. I am not an all matte girl, so please take this review with a grain of salt. I like shimmers, satins and a few mattes thrown in for good measure. All matte is a bit too DeeDee McCall (TV Show Hunter from the 80's) for my taste. Man, I am showing my age. I have to say that this is my least favourite theBalm eye shadow palette. Not just because it is all matte. I will explain why in a sec.

When I was 15, I was in love with a guy named Matt. Always thought that was a good name so naturally I like the concept of this palette. My husband's name is not Matt just for the record in case there is any confusion. I digress....

All of the eye shadow colours are named after well....Matts. The total product weight is 25.5g or 0.9 oz. Since there are 9 eye shadows, that is 2.83g each. These are big eye shadows! Value for your money - yes! The palette comes with a big mirror too.

From the top to the bottom and from the left to the right we have Matt Johnson, Matt Garcia, Matt Malloy, Matt Rosen, Matt Wood, Matt Singh, Matt Abdul, Matt Lombardi and Matt Hung. Same order on the swatches below.

I cannot stress enough that you need to use a primer and an eye shadow base under these colours. Preferably, a thick eye shadow base.  A lot of these colours fade quickly and many are not long lasting at all. I find this odd because that is not my usual experience with other theBalm eye shadows. All of them swatch quite well though. They all blend easily and are soft in texture.

The best eye shadows here are Matt Johnson, Matt Malloy, Matt Wood, Matt Singh, Matt Abdul and Matt Hung. That's actually 6 of the 9 which isn't so bad. Matt Rosen is the worst. It isn't overly pigmented and when you apply it, it disappears on your eyelid instantly. I had to apply it a few times to my crease and use gentle strokes just so I could see it. A few blending motions and the colour completely evaporates. It's kind of crazy.

Matt Lombardi is not as yellow as it looks, but it's not a nice colour. I doubt this would look good on anyone except Big Bird. My top 3 would be Matt Malloy, which has some good staying power and pigment, Matt Singh, unusual and adds something, something to blend out a crease colour and finally Matt Hung, which is a nice purple.

I wish there was a neutral lid colour in this palette. I find it hard to put together looks without using other eye shadows when working with this palette. This palette costs $42 U.S. I picked mine up on Hautelook for around $19.

Packaging: 10/10
Pigmentation: 6/10
Easy to Work With: 6.5/10  (immediate fading is a serious problem)
Longevity: 4/10
Texture: 8/10
Price: 10/10 (on sale or 7/10 full price)
Ingredients: 8.5/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 7/10 (minus the fading and the yellow shade)
Would I buy this again? No
Overall Rating: 7/10

Saturday, 1 February 2014

e.l.f. Essential Custom Eyes Refill Pan in Pink Ice - Review and Swatch

My husband has a saying, "you buy a $5 shirt, you get a $5 shirt". That kind of sums up how I feel about a lot of super cheap drug store makeup. I paid $1 for this e.l.f. Pink Ice so needless to say, I didn't expect much. I had never tried e.l.f. eye shadow, so for $1 I thought I would try it for s & g's. You know, for kicks...

Here is a swatch with the flash on. I apologize for the crumbly picture above of the pan. The product can be crumbly. First of all, this eye shadow is a $1 so there are only so many negative things that I can say about it. Advantages first. It's $1. It is very long lasting which shocked me. It's still on and hasn't faded 16+ hours after application. It applies well and blends ok. It comes off very easily with makeup remover despite it's staying power which is odd but a good thing.
Disadvantages. It's quite chalky and looks matte on even though it's a satin. It's doesn't have a nice texture. Doesn't look very nice on. The ingredients are horrible! Mineral Oil is the first ingredient and it has a couple of parabens. Yuck!
Here is a picture without the flash. Looks chalky, no? So that's all I have to say about this elf eye shadow. I consider my purchase of this product as an educational exercise. I do like to try a lot of makeup, drug store or high end. I will not be buying another elf eye shadow. Curiosity satisfied.
Packaging: 9/10
Pigmentation: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 6/10 
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 2/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 0/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 2/10
Would I buy this again? No way Jose
Overall Rating: 3/10