Weekly Medley #7

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Since beginning this series close to the beginning of the year, I feel like (and I’m fairly certain of this intuition) I’ve been consistently rambling on about the woes of being a stressed university student suffering from nothing other than sleep-deprivation but judging from the response here, you’re enjoying these more random life-centric posts and I’m glad. This week was a bit of a breather in a sense for me, although I still had to do the usual bump and grind but I managed to sleep in a way that resembles a functional human being. Interestingly enough, with getting a bit more sleep it’s been even more difficult to get up in the mornings and the routine could only be described as rushed. Hey, I’m not complaining – but unfortunately my productivity will need to greatly increase next week.

I had a few hours to kill in town and after I studied in the library until I wanted to scream and then hit the mall and did something shocking – bought things that were not entirely beauty related. Without making a conscious decision to do so, I had realized that it had been ages and ages since I did any sort of clothes shopping and it might be because of guilt from spending too much money on beauty-related products again but I also haven’t been in the mood. As I’ve said before (99.9% sure), I am someone with an interest in fashion and the desire to look polished (in an effortless manner) but I’m someone who picks comfort over all and tends to throw clothes on in the morning without any sort of thought and I’ve realized that the pieces I love and should invest in are those that satisfy these two different philosophies. So, I’ll attempt to get to the point now: after popping into Dynamite, a Canadian-based store (that ships to the US and also has stores there as well, I believe) that I don’t own a tremendous amount of clothing from, I spotted this breezy bohemian blouse in the floral-but-not-girlie print. I’m someone who really loves the look of blouses but can sometimes find the material rather uncomfortable but this one felt really soft. Also, I was pleased that I could size up in this for less of a slim-fit without the rest of the dimensions swallowing my small-boned frame. If anyone is interested for comparisons sake, mine is a size medium and it comes in a few other colours as well and some of the other colours appear to be on sale as we speak. This is a typical clothing-love of mine, comfortable, slouchy and effortlessly pairing with slim-fitting bottoms. Oh and I think this is a blouse you can actually wear if you have boobs, if you catch my drift. And it’s actually called the button-down blouse and retails for $32.90 CDN.

Keeping with the non-beauty theme, I finished a book this week; if you’ve been following me for a while or know me in real life, you could probably gather that in itself this is not entirely shocking but as I’m studying English in school, reading another book amongst all my readings is a feat in itself. Although The Lost Prince, written by Selden Edwards is not a novel that you instantly can’t put down. I had been reading it a month ago and was a few hundred pages in and put it down because I wasn’t compelled to finish it. The thing about this novel is that the backstory is mysterious and complex and until you near uncovering it, you can’t quite figure it out but that is the point, I think. I ended up picking the novel back up a few nights ago and finishing the entire thing in mere hours and being as critical as I am, I really ended up enjoying it. It was one of those books that was the perfect mixture of interesting to read and compelling while still having some sort of meaning to it. The main character has premonitions of when events will happen in her lifetime but the author deals with it in a very realistic way and sets it in a historical timeframe with individuals such as Carl Jung without sacrificing it as a whole. The ending was satisfying and tied all the ends together that were puzzling throughout. If this sounds like your cup of tea, I would highly recommend giving it a read.

As someone who never accomplishes a significant portion of what I set out to do, I was actually somewhat satisfied with writing five posts over the last week or so and despite the haul-esque posts being out of my comfort zone, I was pleased with how they turned out and I’m not one to  be easily pleased with myself. Shameless self-promotion aside, I really enjoyed Elle Fowler’s “February Favourites” video at the beginning of the week. She was the first beauty you tuber who I began to follow and to this day I do enjoy her videos – she has dry skin like I do, is a reading fanatic and talks about her sleep issues so I pretty much had to enjoy watching her. She might not post tons but I do really enjoy her recommendations, although my wallet might not necessarily. And on the post front, Amelia Liana’s “Anti-Fatigue Makeup” was an enjoyable one.

Er, now I suppose I should be getting to the beauty product loves of the week and thankfully I kept it quite edited so this post will not end up with the word record for being the wordiest blogpost in history. I’ve been wearing the bright watermelon pink Tarte Natural Beauty Amazonian Clay Blush ($31) and with less time to get ready in the mornings, this has been a quick way to add some vitality back into the face. It’s not my favourite formula ever but it does last for ages and will not emphasize texture or anything so I suppose I can’t complain.

After showing it in a post earlier this week, I haven’t put the MAC Layin’ Low Paintpot($24) down. The matte medium warm-toned brown shade has been really versatile and although it’s not infallible as a primer, it performs slightly better than the popular Maybelline shadows and has some more versatile shade options but still keeps makeup crease-free for much much longer – my eyes are naturally really crease-y and creasing is an issue for me regardless. The shade is nice on its own and I also love putting shimmery shades on top because then the look isn’t overkill. It’s safe to say that I kind of have a cream eyeshadow obsession at the moment…

Last night’s time change is killing me but nevertheless happy Sunday (if there is such a thing)!

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What were your standouts from the week?

Maggie, x.

Haircare Additions #1

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Lately I’ve been in a bit of a hair mood; although adding Pureology’s Precious Oil Masque has made a world of difference, I’m still working on the routine (my hair is rather problematic), after our exam I celebrated with a few friends, going out to lunch and we decided to hit up the drugstore (Shopper’s Drugmart if you’re curious) as well and this happened. I have hair that resides in the space between wavy and curly and is perhaps the tangliest thing in existence (I get those horrid clumps) and it’s dry but can get kind of dead-looking so I’m someone who really can benefit from some product cocktailing and TLC…

L’Oreal Oleo-Therapy Oil Infused Conditioner ($10.50 CDN)

As life-changing as the aforementioned Pureology masque is, it costs $50 for a container and I have the kind of hair that just drinks up conditioner regardless of how concentrated it is and therefore I’ve been on the lookout for a lower-priced product to alternate with without sacrificing the nourishment. As I’m a fan of the whole sulfate-free range from L’Oreal and being someone whose hair loves oils, I snapped up this product as soon as I spotted it on the packed shelf. It smells divine and I’m feeling optimistic about the high concentration of oils in the ingredients.

Organix Kukui Oil Frizz-Defying Curl Cream ($8 CDN)

I believe this curl cream is also a new product, as I haven’t seen it before and I was pleasantly surprised to find it for a few dollars off. I’ve always been a fan of curl creams (generally used along with a holding product) as they tend to nourish the hair while defining it and preventing it from going as crazy as my hair usually does but after being completely disappointed with the Garnier offering, I haven’t been tempted to pick up another one but my dry tangly hair needs all the help it can get right now.

John Freida Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray ($11 CDN)

I’m someone whose hair becomes flat and undefined after being slept on but my hair is much happier when it’s washed quite minimally (twice a week on average) so I struggle with my hair in the morning. I always thought that these refreshing sprays weren’t worth their price tag and then I almost convinced myself to pick up the much pricier Bumble and Bumble alternative but then I saw this – the magnesium sulfate should help define curls, the glycerin and olive oil should help condition the hair and the use of amodimethicone should prevent it from weighing my hair down.

It feels weird doing another ‘products I bought’ type post so soon but I was excited for these three things and I’ll definitely keep you all posted. Have you tried any of these? Hair recommendations for me?

Maggie, x.

 

Drugstore Disappointments

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I’m someone who finds it rather difficult to give a scathing and negative review of a product as we experience products differently and I’m always skeptical of whether a product is really as bad as I’m making it out to be and we have different praises, but there are some products that despite my best attempts and prior research, do not work for me. As in the last four months or so I’ve tried a great deal of drugstore products (in the name of research of course…), I have some to share.
Garnier Fructis Style Curl Calm Down Anti-Frizz Cream

I had heard from people I know in real life that this was a nice product and I tried it, excited by the prospect that it contained a silicone that did not weigh down the hair and promised to provide moisture while defining my curls. I do have fine loose curls and this product weighed them down (which is rather hard to do to this degree) and left a heavy film on my hair rather than moisturizing. And it’s definitely not strong hold…

Tresemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo

Prior to picking this one up early in the fall, I had never tried a dry shampoo but I wanted to know what they were all about because I suffer from limp or flat hair and need some instant texture. I’m not someone whose hair gets dirty easily whatsoever so I was not necessarily looking for a product to cleanse my hair but I was surprised to not find it refreshing in the slightest. I can’t see this working at all on the fine/oily hair that its intended to and above that, despite being advertised as a volumizing product, it doesn’t seem to add any volume to the hair. I’ve since moved on to better things in this department, I’ll have you know.

Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer

After spotting this one at Walmart when I was going through my eyeshadow creasing crisis, I had to pick it up. I had heard some good things about this so I gave it a go, thinking that there was nothing to lose. I was wrong, let me tell you. This is the only primer that I’ve ever tried that leads my eyeshadow to crease more severely more quickly than if I were not wearing any primer. After maybe four hours, my eyeshadow was a creasy mess on both occasions when I wore this. The Maybelline Colour Tattoos knock this one out of the water in terms of helping shadow to stay.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 003 Brown

I’ve mentioned my disappointment in this product before but I had to include it here especially considering that everyone raves about these. I don’t find it super longwearing but more than that it’s a waxy consistency that doesn’t transfer well onto the lids or the waterlines. For me this is one of those pencils that despite how often I sharpen it, I can never achieve the desired amount of colour without pressing hard enough that it hurts. I do not understand the cult-favourite status of this product at all.

Have you tried any of these products? Were your experiences with them positive or negative?

Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #6

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Roughly, I spent the first half of my week in autopilot-mode, somehow completing assignment after assignment to keep up with the tight deadlines but as not much sleep had been happening prior to that, the second half of the week was spent catching up on sleep for once. However, it wasn’t an entirely drab week. Well, the weekend wasn’t at least. Saturday night was spent with some of my favourite females in the world, watching The Vampire Diaries, laughing hysterically and having a few drinks in there too and on Sunday, rather than studying alone, I made it a wee bit more entertaining with my longtime confidante, Laura. It’s safe to say that tonight will be a low-key early one by the look of things and I’m sure you can relate…

With February ending this week and March beginning, there were obviously a wealth of entertaining favourites posts and videos but this month, the results were even better than usual. Towards the end of the week when I caught up on some much-needed rest, I spent a good amount of time lounging in my bed listening to videos and reading posts and I have to say I really enjoyed the whole experience. I’ve kind of been stalking her videos and her blog itself but Suzy from Hello October’s “February Favourites” was a particularly good video of hers;entertaining to watch, relatable and informative.

Towards the end of the week, I discovered the blog, The Private Life Of A Girl, written by the lovely Sophie and I’m glad I clicked on it by chance. The layout of the blog paired with the phenomenal photography makes it a real treat to look at but it’s a fantastic read as well – don’t be fooled. When I discovered it, I kind of did that thing when I spent a good hour reading her posts and although it’s almost a month old, “Keep it Simple” was a fantastic read. I kind of am having a moment with minimalistic-makeup-centric posts, if you were wondering.

After, putting it onto the sideburner for its faff due to sheer laziness, I’ve recommitted myself to my By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($13/26 CDN). After reintroducing it into the routine, my skin seems notably more soothed and much less dehydrated and it has to be worth the effort. However, its amber-hue is disconcerting nevertheless. This oil also is a lifesaver on breakouts for healing them and soothing the irritation rather than irritating it further with the necessary harsh ingredients – and no, I do not mean chemicals; everything is a chemical when you think about it. This oil seems to be able to create the illusion of being well-rested when I’m so sleep-deprived that I can barely think.

Although my angst does definitely manifest to many areas of my life, my concealer angst that I’ve been facing in the last while has been notable – nothing was quite feeling right- and as a result this purchase happened a few weeks ago. Although I might not have chosen the most ideal shade for underneath my eyes, which is where I consistently need a well-performing concealer for, I’ve pleasantly surprised by the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in 125 Very Fair ($7-8 CDN) as it provides coverage without looking obvious underneath the eyes and on the drier red patches on my face. I can’t see any shimmer particles in the product but it is somewhat illuminating and this seems to suit areas of redness that I have after the breakouts are gone, matching my skin with its fair shade with a yellow tinge. If you’re buying a concealer to go underneath the eyes, don’t do what I did – actually go for a pink-toned shade but this can go on other areas of the face assuming that you’re not using it to cover spots with inflammation or notable texture.

Unfortunately in my exhausted and stressed haze, I’ve neglected to document a photo of me wearing the Bourjois Cream Blush in 04 Sweet Cherry ($20 CDN) but it has been a standout product this week nevertheless. Without lacking longevity, I’ve found that the warm rose shade shade in the cream-to-powder-but-not-chalky formula glides seamlessly onto the skin, providing that easy fresh bloom to the cheeks. I’ve had this since January but it hadn’t been receiving much attention from me and this week, this changed. Although the photo below is most definitely not from this week, I thought I would include it as it accurately shows the shade.

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What products have you been reaching for this week?

Maggie, x.

Products I’d Be Incomplete Without

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I apologize about the lack of posts lately but it’s been a crazy week and one that I’m glad to be finished at that – Happy Friday to you all! Although I cringe about using the word “Holy Grail” let alone use the abbreviation that reminds me of nails on the chalkboard, I wanted to share a few of the products that I can’t see myself as being content with functioning without and therefore I felt obligated to use the wretched term. As always, I’m sorry if this post is a little repetitive — if you’ve been a regular reader for more than a few months, you’ll have heard me ramble on a good amount about these — but I find these posts incredibly interesting and helpful. As I enjoy reading them so much, I’ve decided to write more of these long-time favourites that remain my go-to’s for months on end.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($22 CDN)
I know I know I know I know, I’m fulfilling the stereotype of the blogger obsessed with Bioderma’s famous micellar water but my love of it is genuine and not moved by the tremendous amount of hype that the product has. I have dry and extremely sensitive eyes and this is the only makeup remover that I’ve tried that both removes makeup effectively and does not irritate, sting or burn my eyes. I’ve been using this almost for a year and my only complaint is that I go through a bottle every three or so months. I haven’t tried any of the new micellar water alternatives that tend to be cheaper that have popped up in stores recently because I have a few backups left…

Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Serum ($40 CDN)

Although I don’t mention this product nearly as much as I mention the above product, I don’t love it any less. This serum is moisturizing with its creamy consistency but contains a high concentration of exfoliating AHA’s and over time, it’s radically improved the texture of my skin, has helped to even out my skintone and has really brightened my complexion. This is one of those no-fuss products that work in the way that they’re intended but with none of those extra frills that can sometimes irritate the skin despite their luxuriousness. It’s gentle yet concentrated yet effective; what more could you want?

MAC Coquette Eyeshadow (12/18 CDN)

Although this eyeshadow has only been in my life since the beginning of this year but I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it; It is “the product” for my cool-toned brows. Most shades go rather red on me unless they are not dark enough but this shade is perfect for filling in my brows with – the medium-dark khaki taupe shade may look somewhat gross in the pan but it works both in the brows and as a fantastic shade to add definition to the crease.

MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

After repurchasing the golden-peachy shade at the beginning of the year, I’ve remembered why I adored it in the first place and it has to be my favourite no-fuss lid colour that doesn’t look super noticeable on the lids but adds that flattering brightness to my blue eyes. It’s my perfect lid colour and plays well with other shadows. What more can I say?

L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($8-10 CDN)

I’ve mentioned this in loads of favourites videos and I’ve mentioned it for good reason. It’s the only liner that I’ve ever tried that creates the precisely-lined kitten flick without the effort of gel-liner. I’ve mastered the jet-black liner so that even with my shaky hands, I can pull of winged eyeliner in notably less than a minute.

MAC Patisserie Lipstick ($18 CDN)

This oft-mentioned shade might just be my favourite lipstick of all time and easily is my most-worn shade. It’s a flattering everyday no-fuss kind of shade with a comfortable and glossy formula. It’s a darker nude with warm pink undertones that adds some brightness to the face. It’s almost a my-lips-but-better on my ghastly pale lips. It’s a lustre formula and it’s extraordinary.

the lipstick in action!
the lipstick in action!

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($8-10 CDN)

I know I know I know that it’s no secret that this is my favourite mascara but it is a fantastic everyday one for me. Without being difficult to remove, the easy-to-apply buildable thickening formula applies like a dream in seconds. It’s not a particularly wet formula and this might be why it works so well for my long and curled wimpy lashes.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze ($12-16 CDN)

I didn’t intend for this to happen but I couldn’t narrow down any more from these three blushes but to be honest I’m not surprised being a blush fanatic. Last month I was rambling on and on about this blush and my love for it has not wavered – it’s a smooth textured blush that blends seamlessly into the skin and gives it a glow and it’s at a drugstore price. The warm coppery rose shade is to die for and I highly recommend it if coral shades suit you.

Benefit Boxed Powder in Rockateur ($36 CDN)

Ever since picking this up in early fall last year, I haven’t been able to remove it from my most loved makeup stash piled on my desk. It gives the skin that gorgeous glow that I love and sits seamlessly on it. The glowy rusty pink shade with warm undertones has never steered me wrong and with its versatility, it just works.

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35 CDN)

I’ve been going on and on about this lately and even though it’s available right now, I understand that it’s limited edition but I couldn’t be happy with this post without it. It has a similar formula to the two above – finely-milled and smooth as anything as well as pigmented on the skin and leaves the skin with the luminosity that I’m looking for – and it’s that rosy coral with a copper lean to it that instantly brightens my face. If I’m looking zombie-like and only have a few minutes to get ready, I always apply this and it solves it all.

What products couldn’t you live without? Have you tried any of these?

Maggie, x

February Favourites

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If January was all about the haze that comes with stress and exhaustion, February was definitely a continuation on the same spectrum, with the same constant anxiety and perpetual exhaustion but also with the complication of sleeping troubles (obviously deprivation ensued throughout the month and the threat of fast approaching deadlines that forced me to turn my stress into something productive. And although I love winter, it has to be said that I’ve been suffering through the drab and dreary winter blues, I’m afraid to say.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)

When I heard about this palette and saw pictures and videos featuring it for the first little while, I was not particularly impressed or planning to buy it but as time went on and I did more research, I had an itch that it would be a worthwhile purchase for me and man it was. This is one of the rare palettes that I can use to create a myriad of different combinations that I like without feeling compelled to reach for another palette – unless its for my eyebrows obviously. This wasn’t something I considered when I decided to buy the palette but the three matte shades are the hidden treasures of the palette, the workhorses in a sense. The rosy-taupe, Limit, works wonderfully as a transition shade on me, the darker rosy brown, Nooner, is one of my favourites for adding depth to the crease and Strange, the slightly pink-toned cream shade, highlights the eye without adding any extra shimmer. I’ve been rotating between using Burnout, Buzz and Trick on my lid and have been enjoying Darkside in the outer corner as well as Blackheart to deepen things up even more.

 Sally Hansen Kwik Off ($5 CDN)

Even after contemplating this all month, it shocks me that I’m becoming one of those girls who talks obsessively about something as mundane as nail polish remover yet here I am. This is the easiest way to remove nail polish ever. I keep this on the floor next to my bed and I can remove my polish effortlessly without truly moving. You just have to lazily swirl your finger around through the fluid-filled sponge and then you are done. What more could you ask for?

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN)

 After trying this foundation at the beginning of the month, I haven’t been able to take it off my desk since. Although I rotate through a few others, this has to be a new favourite of mine as I easily wore it most of the month. It’s a nice and lightweight foundation that can go on sheerly with a small amount of product applied with the fingers but it provides weightless medium coverage combined with my loved Real Techniques Buffing Brush while looking light and dewy on the skin. I appreciate that this foundation has that lightweight look and feel without being full of drying alcohols and I have to say Shell has been an impressive match on me. This is one of the few foundations I can go to if my skin is an irritated, dehydrated and flaky mess without worrying about it making the texture look worse. From what I’d heard I thought this foundation was one that offered more of a natural finish than a luminous one and I was going to pass it up but then I heard Lily Pebbles describing it as glowier and I decided to pick it up when it went on sale for ten dollars and a dime or two.

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask ($22 CDN)

I’m not ashamed to admit that when I picked this up towards the beginning of the month, it was an impulsive buy, resulting from stress-shopping so I wasn’t expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised by my love of this after expecting very little from it. It’s an ultra-gentle fragrance-free overnight masque that feels sort of thick and gooey on the skin that seems to be absorbed quickly and results in less dehydrated and dull skin in the morning, making the skin look rested when I’ve hardly slept at all. I’ve been using it 2-3 times weekly since picking it up and I have to say it consistently helped calm my skin, made it look more luminous and helped makeup to apply smoothly. The ingredients are pretty basic but they are effective for truly hydrating the skin. I recommend trying this out (or at the very least some sort of moisture mask) if dehydration is a skincare concern of yours.

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35 CDN)

This has received a great deal of mention from me here lately (in my weekly post from last week, for instance) but this has remained the blush that I’ve reached for day after day and for once it’s actually available as it’s being repromoted with MAC’s A Fantasy of Flowers collection. The texture of the blush is finely-milled so it sits in synergy with the skin and really helps to illuminate with its coppery coral bloom of colour that is not overly shimmering on the skin. This is one of those blushes that I put on and look instantly alive. If you tend to be a fan of corals and haven’t tried this one out, I recommend giving it a look before it’s gone. I don’t say these words often, but the cult-product is completely worth the hype, however I do have a thing for coral blushes…

Pantene Curly Hair Series Curl Shaping Gel ($6-8 CDN)

When I picked this gel up a month ago because if you have hair that’s on the curly end of the spectrum and wear it that way, a gel can be a lifesaver for definition and control of your curls but if like me you have hair that soaks up product and you have a whole lot of hair, it can get expensive going through higher end gels that I know and love and I was in great need of a nice one that didn’t break the bank. I generally associate Pantene with weighed down and silicone coated hair so I was surprised when I found out it was silicone-free while not being drying on the hair, providing a good deal of hold – but in my opinion not the extreme hold advertised. This gel gives really nice curl definition on my fine strands that I would classify as wavy-curls while keeping my dry and tangly hair in good condition. After being unhappy with my hair for a good couple of months, when I began using this a dramatic difference was seen for the better. It doesn’t weigh hair down in the slightest, I’m glad to say, while still being kind on the hair. 

Maybelline Blushing Beige Lipstick ($9-10 CDN)

Lip products rarely seem to be featured in my favourites posts and it’s not because I don’t love them but rather is that I don’t tend to commit to wearing one over a long period of time but I’ve been wearing this one from the new ‘The Buffs’ collection frequently this month. The formula is comfortable on the lips while still having good longevity and it has that cream finish that I adore. Blushing Beige was one of the shades I recently reviewed and although it’s a true nude colour in depth, the warm pink-peach undertones keep the shade flattering on the lips and away from the concealer lips end of things. This shade is a difficult one to describe and in light of this, below is a picture of it on my pale lips.

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What have you been loving this month?

Weekly Medley #5

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This has been a week of impossible paradoxes – both productive and wholly unproductive in totality; holed up at home on “spring break” (neither of those words seem to be a fair depiction of the time) with nothing to do but be productive and accomplish what I haven’t had time for in the usual rushing about that we call life. However, somehow when all you have to do is be productive with no distractions I’ve found myself to be completely unproductive in doing anything of profit as I become so focused on my unproductivity and my already high anxiety levels skyrocket. It has gotten to the point where I miss the escape in going to school and all the exhaustion that ensues because it’s sort of an escape from the whole solitude with your mind as your only company that drives me at least completely bonkers.

For some reason that I cannot comprehend (rationally at least), I’ve always had this vendetta against brown eyeliner – I never quite saw the point of it, as I never found black all that harsh on me – and after trying the Rimmel one that everyone adores with disappointing success, I was not planning on picking up another one but it was surprisingly affordable and there was a tester and it swatched amazingly well. Because I’m so scatterbrained, I’m afraid that I forgot to provide any details about the actual liner I’m talking about – whoops. Well, it’s the Annabelle Smoothliner in Brownie ($6-7 CDN) which is a creamy pencil that you sharpen with a consistency, pigmentation and texture that reminds me of the Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners except slightly less waxy and creamier. The shade is actually a whole lot more unique than expected as it’s an ultra-dark espresso brown that provides enough definition to act as liner on my dark lashes without looking as harsh as jet black. I picked mine up at Walmart and it was actually on sale for a bit over five dollars and let me tell you, that is rare in Canada. Oh and it’s available at drugstores throughout Canada but the website ships to the US with very reasonable shipping.

The fact that I included the MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35 CDN) as the sole blush in my top thirteen products of 2013 post should communicate the depth of my love for this shade but I must say that in my current zombie-like state I’ve been reaching for this daily. It’s a true coral shade with just a hint of pink to it – it pulls slightly orange-y – that imparts a gorgeous glow to the cheeks without emphasizing dullness and makes me look alive. I actually think this shade is worth the hype. Alert the media.

The Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bad To The Bronze ($9-10 CDN) is one of those products that I always recommend to others even though I can go ages without using it without ny sort of problem. Everyone loves this taupe-bronze shade I know and it functions well as a base (but it does crease on me after a good days wear) but is one of those rare few shades that I can just slap on the lid on it’s own and then throw on some eyeliner and mascara and be satisfied with the look. I’ve been reaching for this loads lately, both as a base and as a standalone shadow on those all-to-frequent days when I’m suddenly running out of time.

I wasn’t expecting to include her post here but because of essay-and-assignment-craziness, this post is a wee bit late and I felt compelled. I love Suzie’s blog, HelloOctober (she makes fantastic videos though, too!) for it’s impeccable style and easygoing manner but today’s “Off Duty Makeup” stands out to me as a phenomenal one. Being someone who struggles with minimal makeup but is fascinated by it nevertheless, these kinds of posts hold my interest and seem to be valuable as they lay out the essential quick-fixes.

wearing the blush on the cheeks and maybelline as a base
wearing the blush on the cheeks and maybelline as a base

What were the standouts from your week, beauty or otherwise? Let me tell you I’m glad this week is over!

Maggie, x.

The Daily Face #9: I’m not buying into that idea that it’s spring now but I’ll pretend for the sake of coral and to escape the winter blues

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I needed some cheering up and a change of scenery from staring blankly at the screen of my laptop and rather bland books and articles and naturally this resulted in a full-face of makeup that I was rather impressed with and featured probably my favourite way to wear my current obsession the Naked 3.

FACE: REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Rose Ivory, Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in 125 Very Fair, MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish, Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan EYES: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (Buzz, Nooner, Blackheart, Darkside and Trick), Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Perversion, L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black, L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara in Black, MAC Eyeshadow in Coquette (…brows….) LIPS: L’Oreal Colour Caresse in Sunset Angora

In the last ten days or so my skin has been extra dehydrated and irritated and on the days I’ve worn makeup at least, this has posed a few problems with my makeup application — there have been a few days when I stuck to my typical standbys and had ended up wishing I didn’t have anything on my face at all because it looked better before. I was feeling like a little more coverage so I went for the Laura Mercier Silk Creme which luckily is a fantastic match for my skin at the moment and was extra careful with the amount used and buffed it into the skin with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush that I adore for this kind of thing but always forget to mention. I’m quite pleased, however I hate how careful I have to be with this foundation. And I purposely applied the foundation right over moisturizer, allowing it to work as a primer of sorts to smooth it out all over my dehydrated skin.

Now that everyone seems to be saying that spring is just around the corner and all that jazz, I figured it would actually be justifiable to break out the coral shades that I adore and obviously I went for the limited-edition cult product that is available now by the way, MAC Stereo Rose which I have been faithful to for the last few weeks as my go to guy/gal.

The eyes were my usual but I’ve realized that I haven’t actually done a post showing this ‘eye look’ which might just be my favourite from the palette and likely one of my favourites of all time. The coppery rose-gold Trick is a favourite of mine worn all over the lid and I know I don’t even need to discuss my love of the matte crease and transition shades in the palette. Wearing Darkside in the outer corner with a little bit of Blackheart closer to the lashline might make my favourite slightly smoky eye ever and that is a large statement coming from a smoky eye lover like myself. I strangely felt like tightlining so I went for Urban Decay Perversion along with my usual, the loved L’Oreal Lineur Intense for a subtle kitten flick. No comment on the brows, other that I’m still loving the ashy shade from MAC aaaaand oddly enough I’ve been really going for the L’Oreal Mascara and it hasn’t even begun to dry up — I think this one will be a keeper.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, as I’ve been pretty diligent with the lip balm application but my lips went from being slightly chapped to quite chapped and decided to crack for good measure and they are starting to heal but I’m only starting to wear any kind of lip colour on them and I’ve been pretty careful with what. I was thinking as it’s nearing the end of February, coral might be appropriate and let me tell you, my poor lips and my working brain (as well) are loving L’Oreal Sunset Angora; the comfortable and actually moisturizing formula does not irritate the lips further and provides the perfect pinky coral hue. You know how I feel about coral.

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What have you been reaching for on a daily basis? If you have this palette, how do you like to wear it? I hope your Saturday is a little bit more exciting than mine…

Maggie, x.

Unheard and Under-Appreciated #2: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry

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blended out vs. standard application
blended out vs. standard application

 

It completely astounds me that I don’t hear much about these Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments as the tinted balm kind of products keep on increasing and increasing in popularity and these have got to be the best formula if this shade is anything to go by. After enjoying the sample of the regular lip balm and enjoying it tremendously for actually helping to heal and hydrate my chapped lips, I asked for a tinted one for Christmas and surely enough this one appeared underneath my tree and although it may not be a product I rave about frequently it’s one of those rare lip products that also has significant skincare properties as well – it performs well as a balm regardless of it’s pigmentation but it does well on that front too unlike the rest that I’ve tried.

The Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry retails for $26 CDN at Sephora, contains SPF 15 (with avobenzone and octinoxate) and 4.3 grams of product while promising to be a hydrating and nourishing lip balm while still providing a tint of colour. I’m one who tends to be a skeptic about products achieving their outlandish claims but I think this tinted balm does more than it even claims to do. It nourishes damaged and sore lips very well in the way that an effective balm only can while providing medium-buildable colour payoff that actually sticks around on the lips for 3-4 hours with some eating and drinking here and there without smearing or wearing off unevenly.

I’m someone who suffers from uncomfortably sore dryness on any sort of skin and in the winter here, I’m slapping on the lip balm like my life depends on it (and using the good stuff) and my lips are still sore and a bit chapped. The formulas that promise to provide moisture and colour that everyone and their cat raves about (Revlon Lip Butters anyone?) are just not cutting it, as my lips have gotten to that point where even these comfortable formulas are not sitting nicely and they need intense nourishment to soothe the less than ideal bits and without sacrificing the longevity and pigmentation, the Fresh Cherry Sugar Lip Treatment delivers. The balm feeling on the lips lasts for the full duration that the product remains on the lips and even when the product has faded, my lips are left feeling nourished which is extremely rare for me. They feel heavenly on the lips, just like a lip balm but without the waxy feeling of the lip butters etc.

The Cherry shade is a fairly bright cherry-red (as the name would suggest) that seems to lean brick red on me with neutral-warm undertones. Although the treatment first applies somewhat sheerly, they quickly are built up to full on colour. This is everything that I had hoped that the Revlon Cherry Tart Lip Butter would be but wasn’t — much more saturated with pigment, without shimmer while being intensely more moisturizing and forgiving on sore lips. This seems like the perfect shade to wear to class as it provides the nice red tone that adds life to my face in the mornings, requiring no maintenance while still moisturizing the lips very effectively.

the Fresh on the top with a sheer layer, the Revlon on the bottom built-up
the Fresh on the top with a sheer layer, the Revlon on the bottom built-up

I’m afraid to say that this balm is worth the hefty price tag and I foresee myself picking up a few more shades in the foreseeable future. The only thing I can find to criticize in the product is the size of the bullet — as it does not taper to a tip, it can be difficult to apply due to its strong pigmentation – but I really can’t complain on any grounds.

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What are some of your favourite under-appreciated products?

Maggie, x.

Three Things

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I apologize for the sheer abundance of rambly posts where I complain about some of the school-related woes that I have to overcome but it’s all that seems to cross my mind these days, however I often astound myself with my ability to procrastinate from the pressure of accomplishment itself. Somehow this is how a good number of my blog posts come to be. Hmmmm.
evidence of incompetency
evidence of incompetency (read below)

Why don’t I ever talk about anything fashion related here? Well, it’s not out of a lack of interest and that’s for certain; I’m someone who attempts to look somewhat pulled together but comfort is key in my world so sometimes (err most of the time) it just does not happen and in all honesty I’m a mediocre photographer at best and therefore impaired at taking nice style shots and the like. I’m willing to make an exception for this infinity scarf that I picked up from American Eagle a few months back for around $35 CDN and have been obsessed with ever since. I love infinity scarves and this one combines my love for fair-isle, looking festive and cozy while still looking presentable and polished.

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To be honest, it sort of astounds me that the NARS Golshan Satin Lip Pencil ($30 CDN) doesn’t get more love and mention from me here. I’ve been so close to including it in a few recent favourites posts yet I’ve found myself restraining from doing so because it’s not exactly something that I reach for day after day as it’s such a full-on shade. But, oh man, is the formula of the shade gorgeous – it glides over dry patches like a dream and leaves the perfect deep wine colour on the lips that lasts without requiring loads of maintenance. I’m going to be sad when spring truly comes and it will be no longer acceptable to wear the shade….

I gave the Marc Jacobs Beauty Starlet Palette ($71) a glowing review earlier in January and featured it in a few other posts but it’s something that I have mixed feelings about as an all-inclusive palette. The seven metallic shades are interesting offerings for a neutral palette and are fantastic quality shades but I don’t necessarily believe that it offers a variety of cohesive everyday looks on its own exactly. I had taken a break from using the luxurious palette for a bit but I dug it out today and was glad that I did. I did add my eyebrow shade, MAC Coquette, in the crease for some depth but still the champagne on the lid with the dark bronzy shade in the outer corner is a winning laid-back combination in my eyes.

I fear I must get back to digging through articles, researching for the essay that’s killing me (it’s a philosophy one) and making some headway actually writing my paper. What have you been loving in the last little bit? Any thoughts on the products I mentioned?

Maggie, x.