April 2015 Favourites

As a university student, April seems to come and go in the strangest fashion – it’s just a weird time, the first half (or more as was the case this year) full of the doom known as the exam period where the most menial tasks such as bathing become a hassle and makeup application can be somewhat laughable before leading to this weird sense of freedom when it’s all over but you can’t exactly process it. It’s also the time when Spring is beginning to rear its head, despite the snow still hanging out.  To get to the point, I might not have experimented with beauty or makeup all that often this month, however, I can report on some essential items for me.

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NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte ($37): Whenever I did that whole full-faced makeup thing and went for something on the lips, I happily grabbed for the slightly coral-tinged rose hued lipstick that I succumbed to at the end of March. The formula is ridiculously good and does all it claims – the formula hydrates the lips, lasts and actually stains the lips in the best way possible without any sort of drying effect or weird fading and just look good on the lips without requiring any fuss. I find pink colours extremely difficult to wear, however, I have to say that I adore this more neutral-pink offering, likely because of its slight tinge of coral and warmth that I adore, and it’s a bit more of a unique rosy neutral shade. This is a really great staple shade in my daily life because it works with anything, offering enough life to the face when worn with minimal other makeup but subtle enough to work with smokier eyes.

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MAC Eyeshadow in Bronze, Bamboo & Swiss Chocolate ($12-19): After popping the inserts out of my MAC palette in order to justify buying more eye shadows, – and picking up Bamboo and Bronze – I’ve really gotten back to relying on my MAC palette on the daily basis and these are the three shades that I’ve been reaching for. I’ve been constantly using my new Bamboo eyeshadow as a transition colour that blends into absolute nothingness in the best way possible, – (it’s lighter than Soft Brown) – Bronze, a true red-toned reflective bronze eyeshadow in the outer corner and along the lower lashline to add easy definition and the warm red-toned Swiss Chocolate to add some matte dimension to the crease or outer corner.

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Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($35): In my journey, searching for a way to get adequate sun protection on a daily basis without irritating my skin, making my makeup look questionable and drying out my skin, I’ve gone back to using my favourite authentic Asian BB Cream and I’ve been pleased with it. It has ridiculous sun protection, hydrates the skin nicely while adding medium-coverage with a more generous amount, only contains mineral actives and has loads of beneficial ingredients, such as the potent niacinimide along with other hydrating ingredients. On some occasions, I’ve been reaching for this as my sole base but on other days I’ve been using it pre-foundation as sun protection. I’m still of the belief that this is one of those few authentic multitasking products that function excellent both in terms of a skincare product and in terms of makeup application.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($20-48 US): Ever since I received my Paula’s Choice order, I have been incorporating my trial size of this potent vitamin c antioxidant product into my daily skincare routine – or at the very least every two days – but it was in April when I began to really reap the benefits and discover how much that I liked the stuff. While it seemed to tingle slightly the first couple of times that I applied it, the 15 % antioxidant treatment stopped triggering that response within a couple of uses – my bet is that my skin was a bit irritated from retinoid use and weather conditions, along with a little bit of being temperamental. Now I apply this antioxidant booster at least every second night in the serum stage and my skin drinks it up, immediately looking smoother along with just looking a bit brighter, even and less angry in the six weeks that I’ve been using it. I’ve been using it alternate nights with my prescription retinoid and I would have to say that it’s gentle and actually seems to help soothe the skin rather than leaning towards any sort of aggravation.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Rollerball ($26): When I’ve been feeling like making myself feeling a little (or a whole lot more) put together, I’ve been applying this warm and spicy vanilla scent. It’s uber warm but doesn’t have even the faintest touch of a sugary candy sweetness and is more of a winter scent to be completely honest. It reads a bit androgynous and lasts for ages on the skin without being overwhelming in the slightest.

Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Renew & Refresh ($22.50): It’s times like this month that I burn candles the most excessively; I find myself turning towards scented candles the most when I’m stressed out of my mind but some productivity needs to happen so obviously April was a candle heavy month. I loved burning this mellow but warm springtime scent – it was never overwhelming but potent enough, reading as fresh and calming with a hint of jasmine. For once, the candle appears to be named appropriately if you’re asking me.

What did you love during April?
Maggie, x.

 

April 2014 Favourites

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April has been a unique months on two accounts, I’d have to say, and these two accounts are that whole University situation and the weather situation. Until the last week of the month, I’ve been overwhelmed by the mountain of work that I’ve had to achieve during the time and somehow ended up surviving the stress and sleep-deprivation of it all. Somewhere along the way, the weather here switch from April snow to a good number of gorgeous sunny days that actually make getting a burn possible in between bouts of spring rain. So this month has not been one of great experimentation or any sort of great dedication to a lengthy routine of sorts but I’m pleased with the staples that I’ve discovered. And below is a picture of most of the products in use i.e. the cream shadow applied heavily, the blush, mascara etc.

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 Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup in 11 Creme ($48 CDN): If you take a look at my posts in the last month, it should be no surprise that this was deserving of mention — I did mention my love for it a few times. I’ve reviewed it months ago and wrote that I like it but I have to say over the past few months it’s gone from a nice foundation in my books for that flattering everyday foundation that looks good without putting a lot of effort in. The finish is satiny with a side of luminosity but at the same time it doesn’t highlight imperfections and pores and it provides medium-coverage but cannot be built up past that without losing its ability to look and feel like your skin but perfected. It lasts for ages and ages; I may or may not have woken up with it still intact after New Years this year… And although it has alcohol, it doesn’t irritate my skin and it contains chemical SPF that doesn’t actually irritate my skin so I’m kind of convinced it’s sorcery. I’ve reviewed this before here but my thoughts have definitely improved!

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($10-12 CDN): After picking this up at the beginning of the month as the beginning of my foray into cleansing oils, it’s safe to say that my verdict on this affordable offering is favourable. Whilst the packaging seems to claim that the cleansing and nourishing action comes from the high-quality nut oils, when in reality the concentrated ingredient is mineral oil. However, despite the bad rap that mineral oil tends to get, it’s one of those really gentle but effective moisturizing and makeup-removing ingredients and does not universally clog pores. It’s a super-effective and nourishing makeup remover that I apply onto my dry skin with dry hands and then wet to rinse off with the aid of a washcloth. It takes a wee bit more effort than the good ol’ Bioderma or regular cleanser but it’s removal powers are outstanding. And I’m not one to complain about the skin-soothing sensation that it leaves behind. P.S. this product leaks like nothing else…

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light-Medium Bisque ($30 CDN): I’ve always kind of held onto the promise that I would never be one of those bloggers who raves about a product being their absolute favourite find of a month when they only had it for a few weeks but here I am doing so and I don’t regret it. This is because I might have only tried this under eye corrector on Easter after receiving it as a gift but I’ve noticed the tremendous difference every other time I’ve put on makeup since — it’s pink undertone actually covers my hereditary dark circles without leaving that peachy-orange cast even without a concealer on top despite my fairness. And the texture is a really nice one, I must admit – creamy and flattering underneath my under eyes that can look cake-y with concealer and this does not happen with the corrector and despite its creamy texture, it does not crease on me but then again, I do not have a tendency to experiencing concealer creasing.

Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in 1 ($45 CDN): This has been mentioned the odd time by me here and I seem to recall including it in a favourites post before but now that I have discovered that whole pinpoint-concealing thing with the aid of the Real Techniques Detailer Brush, the palette has hugely impressed me. The cream concealers have a high-coverage but creamy texture that doesn’t highlight dry patches unless they’re to that severe place when any type of cosmetic product will highlight them. Anddd, the colour selection is nice and versatile for my skin at least, although the peach-orange is not the right tone for correcting under eye circles in the slightest on me – but I have the corrector for that.

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($9-11 CDN): Let me put it this way, if the non-waterproof version of this wasn’t such a bitch to remove, it would have long ago beat out Maybelline The Falsies as my all-time favourite. But it is a pain in the ass to remove but it is worthwhile for such big and defined lashes that aren’t clumpy, even when applied haphazardly to the bottom lashes. Despite being a glasses wearer, I’ve been given quite a few compliments on my lashes since using this one which is impressive. But do keep in mind that I have naturally long and curled but wimpy eyelashes. I went back to the Falsies to compare and I have to say that I actually prefer this one now that it’s had more air in it, if the removing issue was not a problem. It looks like I’ve actually succeeded in putting the intended posts up this month as I have my full-review here.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41 CDN): Now, I’m not saying that these shall-we-say-luxurious blushes are an absolute necessity but the texture, blend ability, longevity and overall quality here. Despite my lack of success with cool-toned pinks, this one remains on the skin in a flattering way — it appears on my skin like a natural rosy hue, not particularly cool-toned when it comes in contact with the skin but not warm-toned either. And the finish is a satin without any sort of shimmer but it weirdly leaves the skin with some luminosity as promised. I’ve been wearing his all month long with pleasure, as shocking as it might be, and I’m not growing tired of it; in fact, it seems to becoming that everyday blush for me as I had surmised in my review here.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Nude Compliment ($9 CDN): After giving my early thoughts on the limited edition shade of the famous cream shadows here, my love for the taupe-y shade did not falter in the slightest as I kept on wearing and wearing this cream shadow either on lid on its own or as a base. It’s quite versatile with how it can be built up and it has to have the best longevity in terms of any of these cream shadows in the range. The satin-finish gives that flattering gleam to the eyes but keeps shimmer overkill from happening when shades are worn over the top. Also, despite the grey-tones in the shadow, it doesn’t go overly cool-toned and draining on my warmer undertones. If you have a little opportunity to creep around your local drugstore for one of these beauties, I would definitely go for it. There’s more details on the product here!

L’Oreal True Match Mineral Gentle Mineral Powder in W1-2 Light Ivory ($14-16 CDN): With the weather getting warmer and the general exam-induced stress going on, my skin felt in need of a powder and despite not being a powder kind of girl, this one has impressed me big time. It leaves a velvety finish to the skin instead of totally mattifying it, is almost devoid of coverage and used in moderation, the powdery finely-milled texture allows for it to look undetectable on the skin.

The New and Improved Book of Blogging: I should begin by stating how cheap I am in matters excluding the purchasing of beauty products, lattes and the occasional indulgent meal; agendas or notebooks that cost more than a few dollars are not something I allow myself to go for. But I splurged (for me at least) on a trusty Moleskine at the beginning of the month and it’s impressed me with its durable hard cover and its handy elastic bookmark and for once I’ve stuck to my promise of keeping organized in the little book without constantly scribbling up pages and making new lists. If you’re someone like me who tends to take your little book everywhere with you, a more durable one like this is amazing in ways you cannot imagine. It may be nothing fancy but I’m happy to have it.

Hello October: Suzie’s blog has the perfect mixture of beauty-centric posts and lifestyle with some style thrown in and writes in a nice casual low-key story-telling kind of way. She’s one of my favourite bloggers all the time but I’ve been particularly obsessed this month, scouring through her posts as soon as they hit my Bloglovin feed. It’s one of those blogs that you read and look at the pictures of and have that whole relaxing unwinding experience and it’s completely genuine. It also may or may not be of significance that I relate to her eczema-induced angst. And she’s adorable.

So here it is, another unsurprisingly lengthy favourites post but it wouldn’t be one of these posts from me if it were any other way? What are a couple of things you’ve been loving this month?

Maggie, x.