A Weekday Wishlist | June

I was kind of thinking that maybe I shouldn’t be writing these kind of wishlist posts because they aren’t as helpful or as informative as reviews but they help me not overbuy and hone in on the products that are actually worthy of purchasing. Also, I think they can be very interesting and entertaining to read. I actually find myself liking hearing what others have their eyes on and if you do too read on:

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  1. Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Sand Castle/ Mint Mojito’d ($44 CDN): I’ve been curious to try these cream-powder hybrid highlighters from Fenty and even though weird highlighter colours aren’t my thing, I’ve wanted to give this shimmery bronze-taupe and icy blue duo a try. I’ve really found myself liking using highlighters as eyeshadow on the daily and  I think I’d at  least get use of the colour scheme in eyeshadow form. I want to be adventurous enough to try this as a highlighter, but I don’t know if that would be practical.
  2. Zeep Bath Lavender Soda Clammie ($4 US): I went through a major vendor wax moment last year but after I went through a brief period when I was having stomach trouble, I had lost interest in burning scented things – as the scents did not help with my nausea. Recently, I’ve been getting back into melting wax and I desperately want more of this effervescent lavender citrus scent. It’s uplifting and calming at once and it makes me anxious to be almost out of it.
  3. Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation ($50 CDN): Would it be one of my wishlist posts without including at least one foundation? Likely not. My longtime love, the Diorskin Star Foundation seems to be disappearing online and I fear it has been discontinued. This foundation seems to have many of the same claims and if my fears are correct, it is the replacement product. I’m really excited about the extensive 40 shade offering and am intrigued to find out if it has that same soft focus effect brightening effect and flattering wear that Star has.
  4. Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Mineral Moisturizer ($22.15 CDN from Ulta): I’m dedicated to using sunscreen daily to minimize the sun damage, pigmentation and inflammation that my skin has but I really struggle to find a SPF product that my uber sensitive skin can tolerate – I’m someone whose skin hates chemical filters – and I’ve heard really positive things about the new version of Aveeno’s moisturizer. It’s mineral based and has some promising anti-irritants. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this available in Canadian stores as of yet.
  5. Kiss Blowout Lashes Multipack in Pageboy ($15.54 CDN from Ulta): I bought the single set of these lashes a week or two ago and wore falsies for the first time in my life, finding myself liking the results. I loved how weightless they were. I like how subtle they were, adding thickness and wispiness for the most part – only subtle in comparison to other lashes, I note – and how relatively easy they were to use. Like an idiot, I ruined my pair when removing the glue and I want another few pairs. They were definitely beginner-friendly and the thin band made them incredibly comfortable.
  6. NARS Natural Radiance Longwear Foundation ($60 CDN): Any foundation that has radiance or glow in its name has me instantly intrigued but upon hearing that it’s super-smoothing over texture and imperfections, my interest has definitely been piqued. Also, I’m kind of embarrassed for not having many foundation favourites with extensive and inclusive shade ranges to recommend  and I’d like to remedy that. And in order to do that, I need to try more foundations that fit into the category. It comes in 33 shades and supposedly works on a variety of different skin textures and types.
  7. Rosegirls Limited Edition Mini Melters in Cool Beans ($7.50 US): As much as I’ve been trying to melt through the stash of wax that I have, I can’t let the re-release of this favourite sweet lavender blend of mine pass by without picking up a bag. It’s so calming with a blend of sweet lavender and peppermint that’s offset by a hint of the sweet vanilla bean noel. If you like lavender scents and want to or are willing to order from an indie vendor.

 

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Viseart Theory Palette in Cashmere

Can you believe it? I’m actually writing a post about makeup. What is this? 

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The Viseart Theory Palette in Cashmere retails for $60 CDN and comes with 0.42 ounces of product. The eyeshadows are large so they aren’t atrociously expensive on a $ per gram basis; the palette works out to $142. 86 per ounce which isn’t much more than Urban Decay Naked ($110 per ounce) and is much better than the Anastasia Soft Glam ($196.43 per ounce). Viseart describes the palette as a”unique, compact, six-pan eyeshadow palette with matte and shimmer shades and removable pans that also fold into a working easel”. They also claim that the unique colours in the range provide “unparalleled coverage, pigment, and all-day, long-lasting colour”.

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You could argue that some of the colours aren’t super-unique but that could be said of any neutral palette in existence. I would say that the pigmentation and longevity is fantastic – and I’m not someone that eyeshadows naturally stay put on particularly well. The pans are magnetized and removable, which allows you to create a custom palette if you purchase multiple shade offerings or to easily remove them into a magnetized palette for ease of use. These six shade palettes typically consist of a 50/50 shimmer and matte mix, which is a change of pace for Viseart, as they typically do one finish palettes. For those who are curious, the eyeshadows are cruelty-free, gluten-free and silicone-free.

The eyeshadows have great pigmentation and longevity but their greatest asset is how easy they are to work with. The shimmers are a bit sheerer than the mattes but less sheer than they tend to be in the larger Viseart palettes. The colour payoff is excellent and there is minimal fallout. I really like this palette as a standalone neutral offering that leans a bit smoky and offers versatility. The shade selection could only be improved on my moderately fair skin if there was a shade in between the matte pale ivory and medium brown shades for blending in the crease. Because of the lightest two shades in the palette, Cashmere would be the most versatile on fair to light-medium skin.

The formula does not feel as buttery as silicone-laden formulas nor does it swatch as impressively, but the performance on the eye is even better and there’s little fallout and excellent longevity without creasing. The Theory Palettes are an excellent way to sample the Viseart eyeshadow formula without committing to the twelve pan palette.

The Shades
  1. Shade One is a pale ivory matte shade with a smooth formula and it functions as an excellent matte highlight on fair skin. It’s similar to many shades but oddly, I own few of them. It’s one of those base shade or brow bone highlights on fair/light skin.
  2. Shade Two is a medium-dark brown with neutral to warm undertones. It has a great creamy texture for this shade with its matte finish and is practical to use blended out into the crease, in the outer corner and along the lower lash line. This shade is really close to Dark Brown from the Lorac Pro 3 Palette with an even better formula but is slightly lighter.
  3. Shade Three is a matte deep blackened taupe with an impressively smooth, workable and pigmented formula for being in the black alternative family. It’s an excellent shade to smoke out the outer corner and v, smudge liner and to add general smokiness. I don’t think I own anything similar because I never ever buy matte eyeshadows.
  4. Shade Four is a smooth, sheeny pearlized whitened pale pink-champagne with medium payoff. It’s excellent on fairer skin as a pale lid shade or inner corner highlight. I’d describe it as a lighter version of Urban Decay Sin.
  5. Shade Five is a light-medium warm taupe with more obvious shimmer and smooth light-medium pigmentation. It’s a unique warmer and more shimmery version of MAC Patina and it’s really close to Gitte from Viseart Sulty Muse.
  6. Shade Six is a medium-toned shimmery mushroom taupe with a warm lean and smooth medium-strong pigmentation. It’s a darker and more intense version of MAC Satin Taupe. It’s a nice smoky lid shade or shimmery crease colour.

I’ll end this review by talking about the uniqueness factor on this palette. It might not seem unique or worthy of the splurge but I think it’s impossible to be both unique and versatile as a six shade neutral palette that can easily be used on its own. The nice subtle nuances of colour and the ease at which you can customize your own palette make me want to recommend this palette to others if you’re ready to invest.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x

The Review | Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($75 CDN/1.69 ounces) claims to be “a retro-style moisturizer that rescues dry, dull skin while slowly delivering a steady dose of barrier moisture throughout the day and night” and I surprisingly find myself saying that the moisturizer achieves what it claims. I did first try out this product in a sample size from a value set and found myself purchasing the full size because of the calming and comforting action it provided. The one thing I will say about the claims is that I question any topical moisturizer kind of product that can ‘firm’ the skin’s appearance because of how difficult it is to firm the skin and how subjective this claim is, as it’s talking about the skin’s appearance. However, the moisturizer does help to rehabilitate the skin’s appearance and adds brightness that can be lost when the skin is dry and irritated. It also does provide moisture that does not dissipate quickly, containing the six African oil that the formula boasts about.


In terms of packaging, the airless pump is excellent – from a hygiene and ingredient stability standpoint – and you can’t dislike the simple aesthetics of the lilac and white design, but I’m not sure I love it quite enough to want to part with $75 CDN to quickly repurchase it. My general recommendation would be to consider giving the cream a shot if you’re struggling with persistent dryness and sensitivity, especially if a thick whipped texture appeals. If thick butters can clog you, I’d probably stand far away from this but it’s excellent when dealing with conditions such as retinoid-induced dermatitis and extreme weather changes.

Ingredients:Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Isostearate, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil/Glucose/Glycine Soja Meal/Malt Extract/Yeast Extract Ferment Filtrate (Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil/Glucose/Yeast Extract Ferment Filtrate), Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Ximenia Americana Seedate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Ceteareth-20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin


Now let’s get down to the ingredients. It’s fragrance and irritant free, consisting of emollients, glycerin, antioxidant and fatty-acid-rich plant oils and barrier-repairing ingredients. The brand is cruelty-free as a whole and in all honesty, I’ve been unable to get a clear answer whether or not this particular product is vegan.  Now lets get to the rundown of the other ingredients: It starts off with the water-binding agent, glycerin, that’s a skin-identical and repairing substance that’s essential for barrier repair. Many of the ten first ingredients are emollients which is why I primarily would only recommend this cream for a drier skin that tolerates thicker butter consistencies without clogging. The formula is laden with fatty acids  and contains a decent amount of the antioxidant rich green tea oil, that has specific evidence of being calming and reducing irritation. There are a myriad of other antioxidant-rich plant oils in the formula, also.  It contains a specific plant extract called plantar lanceolate leaf extract, which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties and is believed to increase the speed of healing. Another notable ingredient is a hyaluronic acid cross polymer, which also serves to increase the hydration of the skin.

Any thoughts on Drunk Elephant?
Maggie, x.
P.S. I purchased mine from Sephora but it’s also available from the Drunk Elephant website. Currently the brand is only available in North America but it has an upcoming UK launch.

The Essentials: An Acne Breakout/Congestion

I’m back (I thiiiink) and I hope to stay. This time, I’m only going to subject myself to the goal of three posts per month in hopes to not overwhelm myself. I spoiled myself,  I think, with a fairly regimented skincare routine for three years or so and so when I stopped using it consistently for a few months (particularly my prescription retinoid), I definitely noticed a difference. About six weeks ago, I eagerly found myself going back full-tilt into my skincare routine but I definitely found I had to make some adjustments; I definitely did experience some purging. I will note that experiencing stress and fighting off a few different bugs along with re-introducing actives into my routine definitely played a role. Do I even know what I’m trying to say? Basically, I’m saying that I experienced some breakouts as I reacclimatized my skin to a routine and I’m going to share some of the most essential products I used while dealing with these. I hope the advice and product recommendations could help someone struggling with consistent breakouts or maybe a random outbreak. I have five products to mention but I’ll have to give a possible shoutout to a serum I used containing a nice dose of niacinamide, as it may very well have drastically helped with normalizing pore activity and helping with inflammation.

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  1. Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment with 4% BHA ($36 US): Despite being more of an AHA kind of girl when my skin is in complete order, I found myself reaching for a BHA on a very regular basis because my issue was mainly stubborn pore congestion, which BHA that is formulated at the proper pH, in an effective concentration, does incredibly well – when they are not laden with irritating ingredients, that is. It helped so much that I definitely overdid it with chemical exfoliation by using this daily all over the face. It was not irritating despite the high percentage of BHA because of the timed release formula and the inclusion of a myriad of antioxidants, anti-irritants and cell-signalling ingredients. It quickly made work on my congestion and did a particularly impressive job on my quite severe monthly hormonal breakout around my chin. I like to use it a few times a week as my chemical exfoliant but I also love using it as a spot treatment to clear up stubborn congestion.
  2. Differin Gel XP: I’m not going to include a picture or a price of this prescription adapalene because its price and appearance greatly changes upon the market. I had been using Differin religiously for a few years before I accidentally stopped for months and I believe this stopping was the main cause of the problematic congestion popping up for me. When used long-term, I personally experienced a dramatic reduction in breakouts to maybe 1-2 per month, almost no pore congestion and a significant reduction to post acne inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I accredit to helping my skin return to its less congested state. If you suffer from congestion that is difficult to treat, I recommend talking to your physician about topical products such as this one. I do note that the regular strength is OTC in the US.
  3. Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin ($29 US): I encourage everyone to use SPF all the time with religious devotion but this is particularly important (in a cosmetic way) for healing breakouts, as it radically reduces the inflammation that allows them to heal and prevents the marks from darkening due to sun exposure. This sunscreen is the easiest for me to use as it works as a moisturizer and does not irritate my skin. It has loads of nice emollients, anti-irritants and antioxidants and doesn’t contain irritating alcohol, fragrance etc.
  4. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm ($38 CDN): I believe thorough cleansing is necessary for all skin types and conditions but when you’re suffering with congestion or unsightly spots, it’s even more important to thoroughly cleanse without stripping or irritating the skin further to prevent further congestion. I like using this fragrance-free cleansing balm to break down makeup and sunscreen before following with an uber-gentle cleanser to finish the cleansing job and pick up any remnants of makeup. The gentle cleanser will also ensure the skin is truly cleansed afterwards.
  5. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ($9.90 CDN): Because acne is an inflammatory disorder, you are going to be dealing with some degree of inflammation and irritation from both the breakout itself and the process of healing it. I like this rosehip seed oil as an addition to my routine to help combat this inflammation and irritation. It’s entirely an organic antioxidant-rich plant oil – without potentially problematic essential oil components – that is rich in fatty acids as well, helping to combat inflammation and restore the skin’s barrier. An impaired skin barrier often leads to even more breakouts, so it’s important to take steps to ensure its not compromised.

 

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Review| Viseart Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette in 05 Sultry Muse

The claims on these eyeshadow palettes aren’t too outlandish, which I appreciate. In all honestly, I only tried out this investment piece of an eyeshadow palette after hearing countless people whose opinions I trust rave about the quality of these palettes – namely the Neutral Matte offering – and these people included makeup artists. I have mattes that I like and dont find myself overly excited by them so I went with the mid tone satin palette. Viseart emphasizes that these are professional palettes that can be used in a myriad of ways: to shade the eyes, highlight the eyes and to define the eyes, brows and contours of the face. The idea behind these palettes for personal use is that they allow the consumer to achieve professional quality results at home. They also claim that because the formula is manufactured in France in small batches, they are able to maintain pigment quality, powder integrity, and consistency. The back of my palette also specifically makes the claim that it houses the essential shimmery eyeshadows, formulated to be highly pigmented, smooth “with a homogeneous texture”, easy to blend and long-lasting without fallout. The Viseart Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette in 05 Sultry Muse retails for $100 CDN and the cost breakdown is $4.17 per gram. Note: The price per gram makes the product rather affordable as a whole as its even less expensive per gram than MAC eyeshadow pans, which have a cost of $5.33/gram. It’s an initial investment as a palette but you do get an impressive amount of product that if you use it, is easily worth the price.

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The packaging is nothing if not practical, and I don’t mind that it doesn’t have a mirror because its so compact and travel-friendly – I am someone who would want an entire palette to travel with, but you might not be. The clear lid lets you see the product clearly and I appreciate the secure closure that it has. The palette comes with 12 shades that cumulatively house twenty four grams of product. The textures mainly range from satins to shimmers, as Viseart says, but there are also a few more refined glitters in the mix. Before I get into my feelings or verdict on the palette, I’ll review the shades from left to right, in order of top to bottom – they aren’t named! Actually scrap that. Temptalia has somehow found the names. I take it that they were on the box and this was the one box that I haven’t hoarded.

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Yves– It’s a shimmery and slightly frosty neutral white with some fine micro glitter specs. It had fine pigmentation and a smooth enough texture to work with.
Camille– It’s a gorgeous mid-tone copper with a satin finish that deposits a sheen without using shimmer particles. It has a strong colour payoff, was easy to work with and had an extremely smooth texture.
Kifu– This shade was a bit more difficult to work with, as its a pale sheeny yellowed pale beige with chunks of micro glitter that make the shadow a bit more chunky and less smooth.
Gitte – This shade is a pale golden brown with warm peachy undertones that reminds me of MAC Patina with slightly more colour payoff, less taupe undertones and a stronger golden lean. It’s a shimmer in finish and has a gorgeous smoothness, despite its shimmer particles themselves – I’d call them microshimmers though.
Tym – This one is definitely a striking shade in the palette, as its a satin shade with no visible particles and an almost metallic kind of sheen. The formula on this one is perfect and its a slightly burnt-orange rosy copper kind of shade.
Jori – It’s a deep chocolate brown and a satin finish. The sheen is incredibly subtle on this one so it could easily be used to add depth around the lash line or outer v. It has very nice smoothness and pigmentation for the kind of shade it is.
Cindi – It’s a medium toned copper with burnt orange undertones that has a metallic-y kind of brightness. It’s a satin shade with some shimmer but no noticeable particles. It’s one of the silky shades. It has an identical formula and depth of colour to Tym.
Chantille – This is a smooth and silky medium-toned brown with rosy undertones. It hardly has any active shimmer particles and instead has a velvet texture with the smallest sheen.
Chloe – It’s the surprising cool toned, shimmery light silver with gunmetal undertones that has a less smooth formula because of the more substantial microglitters.
Melonie – This one is an ever-so-slightly lightened version of both Tym and Cindi, with more of a champagne kind of base that leans very coppery. It’s silky smooth and has a satin finish with an almost-metallic kind of sheen.
Diana – It’s a blackened charcoal with slight silvery blue shimmer running throughout but the base is satiny and it comes across as such. It has a great smooth formula, especially for the depth of colour.
Ceska– This ended up being among the more unique shades in the palette; it’s a subdued paled out gold with yellowy undertones. There aren’t particles of shimmer but the pearlescent sheen is definitely there.

Each and every one of the shades in the palette has excellent pigmentation, lasts as long as an eyeshadow will on me without creasing – I have the kind of eyes that prevent eyeshadow from staying put – and are easy to work with. I have no qualms about the formula of the eyeshadows and from a quality standpoint, they are phenomenal. The texture on the shadows is silky smooth but they don’t kick up a lot of powder or fallout at the same time, making them easier to use. There were a couple that didn’t have that smooth texture, as noted above, but they were easy to use and performed well regardless. The issue I have with the palette is with its design. The all shimmer palette isn’t practical as a standalone palette, even for a shimmer lover like me – I need to pull mattes for the crease at the very least. And in the picture below, I have used a matte transition shade and a matte crease shade to supplement the palette. Aside: the lighting is washing out the depth of the deeper shades in the photo below – they are much smokier in person. Also, I’m having the worlds worst skin day. I do note that Viseart is aware of this and chooses to create their professional size palettes with one exclusive finish, for the use of the professional who needs the confidence that their finishes are separate – and that there aren’t flecks of shimmer falling into the mattes, for instance. Whether or not this palette is worth the money will be up to personal preferences; if you’re in the market for some warm-toned shimmers with an excellent formula and don’t mind the initial investment, I would give these a go. However, since a variety of other brands make shimmers that perform well, I won’t say that you need to go out and get these. In all honesty, their mattes could be more of an essential as they are more difficult to find impeccable formulas in – but mattes just don’t excite me in the same way.

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Shades used: Camille, Gitte, Kifu, Jori & Diana
Have you tried Viseart?
Maggie, x.

 

July/August 2017 Favourites

Over the last few months I used things and some of these things are my favourite. Let’s get into it before too much rambling occurs:

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L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($12): I’m not someone who really ever ‘got’ what the hype was about the original Voluminous mascara – but it might be a me issue, as I vehemently hate the prized Maybelline Great Lash Mascara as well- and with this being housed similar medium-sized natural bristle wand, I expected it to be another mascara that clumped and didnt provide the volume and separation that I’m looking for. For me, this mascara proved itself as everything I wanted the original mascara to be – offering loads of volume and separation, along with a dose of length thats easily buildable. The formula wasn’t the driest to begin with but acted like a dry mascara in the best way. It performs well for me, doesn’t smudge or flake and gives me very voluminous lashes. I haven’t tried the Too Faced Better Than Sex to compare it you, if anyone’s wondering.

Lorac Pro 3 Palette ($58.33): I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this warm and kind of rose-gold hued neutral palette in the last couple of months and have been happily reaching for it, without grabbing other shades. I’ve gotten back into wearing more eyeshadow on a regular basis and I attribute it to the ease of this palette. The powdery nature of the shadows has been a learning curve, but I love the combination of the essential matte shades (‘pink nude’ as a transition shade, ‘clay’ to add depth in the crease, ‘cool taupe’ in the brows and to add depth to the outer corner, ‘terracotta’ in the crease for when I want something warm and mustardy and ‘jet black’ for when I want a liner or some smokinesss in the outer corner/lashline), along with options for lid colours – and two different highlighting shade options. On the lid, I’ve been liking ‘almond pearl’ as a barely-there iridescent champagne, ‘Light Pewter’ when I want something slightly taupe-y but still very neutral and ‘rose bronze’ when I’m looking for something with more depth. It’s an easy palette to work with and offers versatility for more subdued neutral looks along with smokier neutral offerings.

MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour in Light Plus ($38): Whenever I wanted to put a little bit of something on my face this summer, I happily reached for this sheer to light coverage multi-use product. As a lover of natural glowy looking skin, I use it as a tinted moisturizer of sorts but it can be used under or over foundation. It created a seamless look on the skin with a glow that held up all day long even on the sweatiest of days. It evens out the skin and adds a bit of glow that holds up for longer wear on my dry-combination skin and never looked greasy in the least and worked even when I went through a phase of horrible dry patches. I will note that this product tends to pill when its built up overly much. The ingredients are also fairly nice, as its formulated without drying alcohol or fragrance and contains a couple of antioxidants in the upper portion of the ingredients.

Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Alexander ($44): I feel like an absolutely ridiculous human being for singing praises for a miniature (but not that mini) lipstick that costs about forty five dollars but it’s a gorgeous comfortable cream formula that is smooth and creamy without gliding into lip lines or onto the face. It’s a nudey peach that’s in the colour family where it can be worn without a liner and without that much makeup on the rest of the face but might be on the paler side of my lips but better. I like its ease and it was a fun treat for myself.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Prismatic Amethyst ($46): Moreso in the beginning of the summer when I was so completely pale – I hadn’t seen the sun in months – I was loving this cooler pale pinky lilac highlighter. Now as I have a wee bit more colour, I find the cool silvery tone a little bit more difficult as it can look a bit jarring in comparison to my warmer complexion – but it looks nice when its used a little lower on the cheekbones. This would be an excellent one for cooler or quite fair complexions. It’s a pale pinky lilac that has a holographic silver shift that gleams and provides a sheen without visible shimmer particles. It’s flattering and a bit more subdued head-on than Becca’s other powder offerings. It doesn’t emphasize texture and can provide a flattering brightening effect.

Calvin Klein One Summer 2015 ($80): Even though it lasted – at most – six hours on my skin, I happily sprayed the effervescent lime gin and tonic scented eau de toilette on my pressure points this summer. It lingered longer on my clothes and hair, I note and it has that freshness and unisex citrus lean that I kind of adore. I wont go on about this because it was limited edition…

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

August Skincare Empties

Contrary to what the lack of activity over the last six months or so might suggest, I am not dead. And I used up products:

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Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Mask ($3-4/20g): I’ve gotten into that whole sheet mask shebang and out of all the ones I’ve tried, these ones are my favourite – and I’ve used loads of them, in different varieties. They don’t contain harsh or irritating alcohol and, instead, contain beneficial ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, allantoin and hyaluronic acid. Most of all, they aren’t obscenely priced for a single use mask. After use, my skin feels soothed, plumped and enriched with a dose of dewy hydration. My favourite has to be the Radiance variety. Definite repurchase.

Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US/118 mL): Paula’s Choice toners weren’t one of the first products of hers that I tried, but they were among the most life-changing. I really liked this one, enriched with fatty acids along with her more typical antioxidant, hyaluronic acid and anti-irritant based formulas but I decided to repurchase the Skin Recovery  offering instead because I liked it about as much, with its milky texture and nice variety of anti-irritants, antioxidants and oils and you get more for less. In short, it’s great for fighting inflammation and repairing the barrier but it might not be as cost efficient as her other offerings.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% ($6.50/30 mL): This was my first foray into the brand and is a simple, AHA formula that isn’t irritating, is formulated at a functional pH and contains hyaluronic acid and a tasmanian pepper berry derivative to soften the blow of the acid. At first, I wasn’t in love with the gel formula because I didn’t notice anything different and didn’t find it as gentle as other formulas, but once I started layering my skincare again as I was dealing with dryness, I started to really enjoy how it resurfaced while drawing moisture to the skin. At first, I dealt with the tiniest tingle on my beyond sensitive skin but that did subside. I think I even repurchased this in the stronger formula a few days ago. Someone really needs to monitor my late night online shopping.

Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix ($20/30 mL): As someone who suffers with random bouts of seemingly random sensitivity, I decided to try Hylamide’s offering for this sensitivity. I can tell you that I liked the product but with all the jargon in the claims, I’m not sure it completely performs in comparison. It contains sodium hyaluronate to soothe and hydrate the skin, along with  lactobacillus ferment extract that has research supporting its ability to help with barrier repair and fatty acids that have the same function. It also contains a few plant extracts with anti-inflammatory activity. It’s not that I don’t like the serum – I did, and would consider repurchasing -, its more that these extracts that the serum boasts have questionable abilities to completely fix skin sensitivity and I hate how convoluted the language is on the website. This was a nice serum to layer underneath a moisturizer or oil to help reduce inflammation and sensitivity.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This cult classic is among the very best of affordable cleansers out there, fragrance-free and formulated without harsh cleansing agents. I have a couple of cleansers on the go so I won’t repurchase immediately but I definitely will. It’s excellent for sensitivity and dryness. Even though the ingredients are rinsed off, I think the hyaluronic acid, ceramides and fatty acids are a nice touch for barrier repair – but the real superstar ingredient is the lack of barrier disrupting ingredients in the formula.

Josie Maran Argan Oil: This was a sample sized product that I got out of one of those Sephora Favourites Kits that I adore but it was large enough that I deemed it worthy of mention. Seeing as I’m not a huge fan of essential oils in skincare for myself, I liked that this was purely an antioxidant rich plant oil, in an organic cold-pressed form. It wasn’t my absolute favourite and it wasn’t a sophisticated blend, but I enjoyed applying it to add a boost of hydration, do some soothing action and provide some extra nourishing. I don’t think I’d repurchase but it’s nice.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.