Four Disappointing Purchases

This post was originally going to be something far more exciting and labour intensive, but somehow I have this crazy feeling that I can’t complete it without having a certain eyeshadow palette I ordered online from the Sephora VIB Sale in my paws beforehand. Instead, I’m going do one of those old school blog posts where I write a little bit about four products that have disappointed me.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Breathable Foundation ($11.99 CDN)

It’s true that my dry and sensitive skin doesn’t get along with lots of different foundations but I haven’t been as utterly disappointed in a foundation in years as I was with this one. It does not have great longevity but the worst part is that for a foundation that’s marketed as being skin like and natural-looking, it looks completely unnatural on my skin – even when I don’t have much in terms of dry patches. It also provides only light coverage that might build ever-so-slightly. There are lots of foundations that I find look terrible and mask-like on the skin but it’s been a long time since I’ve found a sheerer more natural and glowy foundation that I couldn’t make work. I’m the ideal candidate for a foundation like this one and if it looked unnatural and covered little on me, I don’t think it’d do much for anyone else. I’m usually quite the fan of Rimmel foundations and this one was so bad I couldn’t even stand to look at my face in this foundation long enough to write a review post of it. There is one positive about this foundation: the shade range features several pale shades. That’s as far as I can go.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Bette ($41 CDN)

For the most part, I adore the formula of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. However, I find that this deep vampy red-leaning berry shade applies in a patchy manner and tends to wear in a patchy manner as well. The formula is creamy, comfortable and relatively smooth but I find that I don’t reach for this lipstick because its not the easiest to apply neatly and it’s a higher maintenance option with its creamier texture. I do understand that the formula inconsistancies are likely due to the difficulty in formulating these uber-deep shades. The lipstick looks great if I apply lipliner and blot it but there are other formulas that require less work and maintenance that I would reach for over this one.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent Strobe Light ($48 CDN)

It’s no secret that I adore the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes and quite like the original Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders but I can’t say I feel the same way about their strictly-highlighter formula. The powder is incredibly finely milled and isn’t the most unflattering on texture but I’m completely confused by the very subtle sheen it gives off along with the visible micro glitter particles. It’s a pale pink champagne-ivory kind of shade with silver micro glitters that produces the slightest sheen and visible glitter particles. I’m confused by how subtle this highlighter is in terms of effect along with the visible micro glitters. I don’t have anything against a subtle highlighter but the visible particles in a sheerer formula rain on my parade.

Paula’s Choice Perfect Cleansing Oil ($25 US)

It’s rare that I try a Paula’s Choice product that I don’t enjoy. I always appreciate the effective formulas that they produce that don’t break the bank and are the most gentle on the skin. I was so excited to try their cleansing oil because I adore using these products to gently dissolve makeup from my skin without any sort of abrasion. However, I have issues with it stinging my eyes (despite being fragrance-free and not having anything questionable on the ingredient list) and I don’t find it as nourishing or as effective at removing makeup as other ones I’ve tried.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette | Three Ways

In attempt to prevent myself from salivating over every new and shiny fall or holiday themed eyeshadow palette I see, I’ve been making an effort to rediscover forgotten eyeshadow palettes and experiment with them. One such palette that I’ve really enjoyed digging back into is the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($66). I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy using the warm rose-gold hued neutrals, even if there is minimal variation in tone throughout the palette. Years ago, I reviewed the palette here. Now I’ll get to the lowdown on the three different looks I created only using eyeshadows from the palette.

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Everyday Rosy Eye

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This look is very much in my comfort zone, consisting of a peachy champagne shadow on the lid and a little bit of darkness in the crease and along the outer corners of my eyelids, but it’s what I feel the best wearing on a daily basis. I started off with the paler mauve-y Limit as a transition or blending colour, before moving on to the rosy brown Nooner in the proper crease and along the lower lash line. I used the sheeny  peachy champagne Burnout on the lids and blended the taupe-y Factory in the outer corners. I finished by blending a tiny bit of the purple-tinged black Blackheart into the outer v, applying the pale pinky Dust in the inner corner and on the centre of the lid and with a thin line of liquid liner. I do apologize for the poor lighting in the picture; it’s definitely washing out my eyeshadow.

The Autumnal Copper Eye

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This was actually the makeup I wore on Thanksgiving Day, along with jeans, a scarf and a cozy sweater and it was just my cup of tea, with some extra smokiness and a more coppery glittery lid. Again, I started with the same matte colours – Limit as a blending or transition colour and Nooner blended messily in the crease. I packed the glittery copper Trick on the lid and once again, used  Factory and blended it into the crease. This time, I went for a more concentrated application of Blackheart in the outer corner and to smoke out the lash line. Because there was so much shine happening on the lid, I went for Strange, a matte highlight. And I went for some winged liner. 

Taupe Smoky Eye
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I don’t typically adore a true smoky eye on myself regularly, with a darker lid and all but I quite enjoyed this one that I created with the taupier shades in the palette. As with the previous two looks, I began by using Limit as a transition colour and applied Nooner into the crease. I used the medium mushroomy shimmery taupe, Mugshot on the outer 2/3 of the eyelid and brightened things up with Dust in the inner 1/3 of the lid. The outer corner was smoked out with Darkside and all of the shadow underneath the eye was honestly the result of fallout that I didn’t wipe away.  I used the matte highlight Strange again to clean up underneath the brow bone. I completed the smoky look with smudgy black liner.

Have you made any makeup rediscoveries?
Maggie, x

Early Fall Favourites

It looks like I’m someone who struggles to commit to writing favourites posts on the regular. I feel like I could go on and on about favourites and never talk about anything else. However, I have some recent favourites that I’d like to share.


Viseart 10 Warm Mattes Eyeshadow Palette ($100 CDN): I never thought that I would be one to gush over an all-matte eyeshadow palette because quite honestly, they bore me to death but here I am. In terms of everyday use, I find myself always reaching for this mainly warm-toned eyeshadow palette and just reaching for a shimmery shade for the lid. It never has any fallout, has all the shades I’d need and blends and applies effortlessly. I really like all of the shades in the palette but I find myself reaching for the red shade particularly often. I’m surprisingly fond of the mustard-y shade as well. The shades do everything neutral from the most basic eye to a blown-out rusty smoky eyes.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito ($44 CDN): This cream-powder-duo highlighter was a surprise love of mine, having that kind of intense blinding quality to them and being weird highlighter shades for my moderately fair skin. The shades, however, are not chunky and apply like a metallic and iridescent glint. With a fluffier highlight brush, the pale blue applies like a slightly silvery ethereal glow (that I can even make work with my warm-undertones) and the the bronze looks more like a golden glow. They don’t highlight texture as much as I would expect – note her that I don’t pack them on excessively – and they have good longevity. I also like them as eyeshadows, paired with matte shades as they provide that gorgeous sheen to the lids without obvious shimmer chunks.

REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask ($47 CDN): I don’t typically get on with these green beauty brands as my skin tends to get irritated from essential oils and other ‘natural’ ingredients but I was curious enough to give this one a go and I’m glad I did. It’s actually soothing enough that I used it on a horrific eczema breakout on my face without it burning and I find that it’s hydrating and soothing. I quite enjoy the ferment extract it contains, as along with the plant oils, it seems to really reduce inflammation in the skin. I do not rinse this off, contrary to the instructions…

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Amber ($31 CDN): Have I ever mentioned that I actually love the contour stick from Rihanna’s line before? Regardless, I’ve loved it for awhile and its the perfect thing to grab for when I want some shape to my face but don’t want a bronzed look or to have to put much effort in. It’s a great cool greyish tone that isn’t too dark on my fairer skin and it sheers out nicely but can also be built up. They feel dry but I don’t have a problem blending the stick in a few seconds with a synthetic brush, even on my quite dry skin.

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose ($39 CDN): I really struggled with the decision whether or not to feature this product in the post because Stereo Rose is a limited edition colour that they tend to only release every year or two and it’s not available at the moment. However, I adore the glowy warm pinky copper leaning coral powder as a glowy blush when I’m feeling a bit dull and need a dose of radiance and brightness. It can pull kind of orange but its flattering on my fair skin. I love the formula, as its a shimmery and sheeny one – that can be used on the cheeks as a highlighter or as a blush – without visible shimmer particles or chunkiness. I think it would even work on deeper skin tones as a true highlighter but I’ll stop now because it’s not even available!

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2 in 1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum ($15 CDN): I hadn’t remembered how much I adored this easy-to-use brush tip liquid liner until I purchased a fresh liner. It’s my favourite for everyday use as it’s easy to create a little wing (which is my go-to everyday thing) and doesn’t require the steadiest hand in order to do so. Also, I love that it doesn’t budge or smudge but removes easily with a micellar water or cleansing balm. The thin tip is really useful for creating a wing and creating thin smooth lines.

What are your current favourites?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

The Review | Viseart Matte Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Mattes 10

I thought I didn’t need a Viseart Matte Eyeshadow Palette. Boy was I wrong. I should probably clarify that nobody truly needs a $100 eyeshadow palette but I was definitely wrong in my thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy one of their matte palette offerings that many rave about. I’ll try to skip over some of the basic logistics of this palette as I went over them in the review hereI happily use the Viseart Matte Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Mattes 10 on an everyday basis without much thought. Matte eyeshadows may not excite me but they make up the foundation of my everyday look, as I find it has every eyeshadow I’d need on a regular basis (of the matte variety). I do note that I’m on the fairer end of the spectrum and look better in shades with a warm undertone. [Sidenote: to get full enjoyment out of all of the shades in this palette, I think you need to be fair to medium in skin tone and enjoy warm undertones].

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Upon first glance, you’d think that these Viseart Palettes are not economical. $100 CDN seems awfully steep for twelve eyeshadows but when you put the amount of product contained in the palette into perspective, the true cost is only $4.17 per gram, which is even more affordable than MAC Eyeshadow singles. What I love the most about these eyeshadows is that they apply easily, blend even easier (without ever blending out into each other), last on my eyelids – that seem to make any eyeshadow crease – and that they do not seem to cause fallout under the eye. These shadows don’t swatch nearly as well as they apply and this is likely because of the easy-to-use buildable pigment they have and that they don’t have those filler ingredients that lead to that silky smooth feel and glide. Note: I’m not always a fan of those newer generation silky, smooth eyeshadows even if they do swatch wonderfully. These shadows do feel a bit dry to the touch but they have the best longevity in my experience and apply with little effort. Every single shade seems to have the same great consistent formula which is kind of a miracle and the way that they build and layer makes them incredibly user friendly. The red shade on the bottom right of the palette may be slightly sheerer than the others but It’s hardly noticeable on the eye and I find that these reddish shades are all kind of like that in eyeshadow formulas.

I will spare you the shade descriptions because I will not do them justice but I will show you my unimpressive swatches. I’m planning on doing a shade comparison post (please hold me to this!) and will get into more of that there. This palette keeps me from wanting to buy every single new release I see because they do everything I need on a regular basis, with the addition of a shimmery highlighter shade on the  lid – only because I can’t do without some sheen. It allows me to do the most basic eye to a blown out warm smoky one. I will note that there’s no black shade, however.   And now I’ll stop raving about these eyeshadows. 

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.IMG_9847

The Reviews | Mascara Madness

Long time no makeup post, eh? Well I’m going to try to ease myself back into these posts because I definitely do have makeup thoughts. Today I’m going to share some thoughts on different mascaras I’ve used recently. For reference, I have fairly long lashes that do curl naturally and sensitive eyes. I’m looking for volume primarily in my mascara and I prefer drier formulas. Here are my musings. I apologize in advance for some of my dingy-looking mascara tubes and that I lack the coordination to have pictures of the mascaras on my eyeballs:

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Maybelline The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara ($10.99 CDN): I don’t hate this mascara but I do hate the wand and kind of feel like I screwed up buying it. I should have put in my research beforehand and found out what wand I’d be dealing with before I bought the mascara. It’s a long skinny synthetic bristled wand that tapers to a point and kind of feels like it is jabbing into my eyeballs when I apply it a certain way. I like that the brush is large and gets in there for some drama quickly but it’s not for me. The mascara performed fine, adding some volume and length but it got too spider-y for my taste when built up. Essentially, it wasn’t one I was excited to reach for because of the wand. It didn’t smudge or flake particularly easy and it removed nicely. I’m lukewarm about this mascara and I kind of agree with their choice to discontinue their Spider Effect version of this mascara.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara in 873 Blackest Black ($13.99 CDN): This was another case where I didn’t do my research on the wand and made a poor buying decision as a result. It had a weird almost triangular shaped jab-y synthetic brush that was supposed to create fanned-out volume and get in close to the lashes for a tight-lined effect. I will say that it was good at getting close to the lash line and did offer good length and some volume and drama, without smudging or clumping much. The wand shape was a bit too weird for me and I guess I’m just not a synthetic wand kind of girl and I kind of wanted more volume than it did offer.

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Deep Burgundy/ Cobalt ($9.99 CDN): I had tried the L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara before and while I wasn’t floored by it, I did like it, and I found myself purchasing it when they released it in new shades again. I do really like the medium-sized regular natural bristle wand and how easy the wand applies mascara. It provides good volume, length and definition that is somewhat buildable. My only pet peeve with this mascara is that I found it started to flake on me rather early in the tube later on in the day or if I took a bit of a nap, in a way that I didn’t experience with some other mascaras. I also wish that the formula was more volumizing, as that’s what I look for the most in a mascara. I found myself quite liking the formula in coloured variations for some reason. The blue offering isn’t for me, as I don’t find it blue enough to make a statement and it’s not a particularly flattering hue on me. I really like the deep burgundy, though, for an everyday look thats flattering on my blue eyes when I don’t want the full-on black treatment. I will note that it’s not particularly dark and looks noticeably lighter than say black liner. I think it’s great on lighter eyes and would be fantastic on blondes that don’t love the look of black mascara on an everyday basis.

Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Tinted Primer ($11.99 CDN): I can’t give you a full review on how this one performed as a primer because I think I’ve only used it once or twice that way – I honestly can’t be bothered much with mascara primers. I did like the black tint and how much length, volume and separation it offered while still looking natural. As a primer, it being tinted was really helpful, as were the lack of clumps. I did notice an altogether more lash-y volumized look. I really like this mascara as an everyday one, as it’s not frighteningly black, is buildable and adds volume and drama while feeling light on the lashes. I like the medium-sized basic natural bristle wand too.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($13.99 CDN): This is a repurchase of mine and is quite possibly the best mascara I’ve ever tried. I love how dry and super volumizing the formula is, and it gives the most dramatic lashes that I’ve ever seen on myself, without making my sensitive eyes irritated. It can get slightly clumpy but I deal with it because I love the formula and the natural bristle large standard shaped wand. It’s not a bitch to remove and doesn’t smudge or anything either. Dare I say holy grail status?
 I will note that the tube is impossible to keep in good condition.

What’s your current mascara favourite?
Maggie, x.

Skincare Sunday | The Cold/Allergies/Sleep-Deprived Routine

As I write this post, I’m sitting beside my well-loved bottle of artificial tears and a heaping glass of water (with loads of ice) because I have a major case of allergies and I’m exhausted. From what I’ve gathered, many of us are sick, tired and suffering from allergies so I thought I’d share my pampering skincare routine for helping when we’re under the weather and our skin definitely shows it. I’ll remind you here that my skin is dry and dehydrated for the most part, with a tendency to get eczema whenever it gets upset or the weather changes.

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1. Gentle Cream Cleanser

I used the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($18 US) to remove the residual skincare products from the night before and whatever grime was on my face. My skin was dehydrated with my allergies and change of season, as I think many people experience, so a gentle cream cleanser is essential.

2.Hydrating Toner or Essence

This is one of the occasions where I think incorporating one of these products makes the greatest difference. When your skin is dehydrated and a bit irritated, adding back those essential substances that make your skin glowy and hydrated immediately after cleansing helps. I used one of my favourites, the Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US), which definitely helped calm my skin, adding back essential fatty acids to restore the skin barrier along with some antioxidants.

3.Azelaic Acid

Depending on your skin care concerns and the state of your skin, this could be replaced with a more traditional chemical exfoliant; after all, the verdicts still out whether or not azelaic acid performs technically as a chemical exfoliant. Because I live in Canada where azelaic acid isn’t available over the counter, I actually used Finacea, a prescription only product. It’s anti-inflammatory activity keeps my skin the most calmed, clear, bright and radiant that my skin has ever been.

4. A Powerhouse Serum

This step will differ depending on your skin concerns, but you want it to be gentle and loaded with beneficial ingredients. I went with Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum ($59) because it has a gorgeous milky texture and soothes the skin while brightening, with niacinamide, squalene and liquorice root extract.

5.A Facial Oil

There’s something about the extra antioxidant boost from applying a plant oil that makes the skin look better. I’ve been reaching for The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil ($4.20).

6. An Eye Cream

I normally believe that eye creams and overpriced an unnecessary but when you’re suffering through a cold or allergies, you can typically use something a bit extra in the under the eye area, but it needs to be gentle. My pick was the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado ($39).

7. A Good Moisturizer

This seems like such a blah heading but it’s all I could come up with. This will have sun protection in it, if you’re going the routine during the day (and got your life together before 5 pm unlike me) and will perhaps be a little richer in the evening. Because my skin is so thirsty, I slathered on the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($35) but I’m sure this would entirely be too heavy for someone who is not on the drier end of the spectrum. This step is going to depend heavily upon your skin type.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Etcetera | Sassy Girl Aroma Review

I know I’ve mentioned before that melting vendor wax is another one of my hobbies; this post is going to detail one of those vendors I’ve ordered from. I’ve had my warmers on daily and I thought that I’d share with you some thoughts on one of the vendors I’ve tried, Sassy Girl AromaSassy Girl Aroma is a fairly established vendor wax company, run by a woman named Julie and her husband, Tyrell. It ships internationally and is a ready to ship company that has stock on their website constantly and has at least monthly replenishes of stock. The pricing for my shipping within Canada was on the average side and it got to me within 10 days. There’s a Facebook group that she runs where you can keep on top of the upcoming replenishes and the like. I try to stay too much out of the drama, but I will note that within the last year, there was some drama between Julie, her former admin and some customers of hers. I don’t believe any party handled themselves particularly well. I won’t talk more about this more here but I’m sure you can find more information easily. Sassy Girl Aroma isn’t one of my absolute favourite vendors but I do enjoy the wax and will likely purchase from again. Now let’s get down to the rundown of the scents I currently have of hers:

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1. Pink Chiffon Gain Soft Blankets Chunk Bag ($10.80 US/ 9-9.5 ounces): This scent is a somewhat generic Gain laundry scent, combined with a similarly generic women’s perfume scent. The throw was on the lower side, even in my medium-small bedroom. My dissatisfaction is likely a result of a first time buyer error, as it was a somewhat blah scent and I think it’s one of the rare scents that does not linger or put off a large amount of scent.

2. Pink Sugar Lavender Mist Chunk Bag ($10.80 US/ 9-9.5 ounces): This was another purchase from my first order. I had thought that I’d adore anything pink sugar because of the hype and my love of lavender, which the pink sugar is paired with. It’s a pink sugar (the Aqualina perfume duplication) scent that is blended with lavender mist. I’d describe the lavender mist as a sweet floral, with traditional lavender note. However, I get a really weird biscuit-y note when blended. I don’t hate this scent but I definitely fell victim to the hype. It has a medium throw and good longevity.

3. Pink Sugar Sleepytime Chunk Bag ($10.80 US/9-9.5 ounces): Apparently upon learning that I was not wild about pink sugar from my first order, I went ahead and ordered a scent that featured it because it was blended with my favourite sweet lavender, chamomile and spearmint blend. I don’t dislike the scent but I’m unable to melt it for too long without the dominant pink sugar giving me a headache. I will note that if you like the Aqualina perfume, it’s a lovely calming girly blend. It has a great throw that lasts. It’s my own fault that I don’t love my purchase here.

4. Pink Sugar Ocean Breeze Chunk Bag ($10.60 US/ 9-9.5 ounces): Surprise! I bought even more pink sugar on that very same order because it was blended with a fresh beauty ozone scent, called ocean breeze. The throw on this one is kind of out of this world and the ocean breeze is dominant for the most so I really like it until the pink sugar becomes dominant and I have a tendency to get a headache. It’s a unique blend that performs well.

5. Salty Sea Air Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Chunk Bag ($10.80 US/ 9-9.5 ounces): On that same order, I apparently did not lose my mind altogether. I did decide to order a scent that was not, in fact, pink sugar based. The marshmallow note was definitely outside of my comfort zone but I ended up really enjoying this one. I’d describe the scent as an event split between marshmallow and the salty sea air. Salty sea air is a kind of watered down ocean breeze scent, in my opinion. The sweet lavender lingers in the background. It has a moderate, room-filling throw.

6. Olive Branch Salty Sea Air Shaving Cream Chunk Bag ($10.80 US/ 9-9.5 ounces): This is my most recently purchased scent from the company and it sits among my favourites. I’d describe it as a unique non-talcum shaving cream thats blended with that fresh ozone and the citrusy Lush-inpired scent. It has that nice room-filling throw that isn’t overwhelming and the blend reads as fresh and energizing. I really enjoy her shaving cream scent.

7. Pumpkin Spiced Latte Bundts ($6 US/ 5 ounces): This caramel-dominant Bath and Body Works scent duplication is spot on. However, like the candle, these bunts were too sweet for me to handle for more than a few hours. The scent is extremely caramel heavy and it’s definitely a thrower.

8. Sleepytime Clamshell ($3.50 US/ 2.9 ounces): This is my favourite bedtime scent blend that I’ve tried. It’s oh-so-calming and is one of my top three scents that I’ve tried period. It’s a perfect blend of sweet lavender, chamomile and spearmint. I’ve repurchased it and ordered back-ups. It has a moderate scent throw that lasts for days and days. I would highly recommend it.

Any vendor wax thoughts?
Maggie, x.