February Favourites

DSC_0385I seem to be saying this loads (but it’s not exactly surprising considering that I’m your typical ranting stressed university student), I’ve been stressed and laden down with assignments, essays and such in particular this month. With all the deadlines and such, the hectic month sped right by and while I do have some rather exciting products to share, there was nothing particularly time-consuming or interesting going on in my makeup in February. I will warn you that the products seem to follow a theme, dealing with the crazy winter full of storms and general freezing weather. We’ve had snow and then some more snow with some freezing rain thrown in and my skin has been dry and a wee bit more delicate and has been looking more than a tad bit dull.

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Target Be Peaceful Jar Candle ($12.49)

Throughout February, I often found myself burning and enjoying this uber-calming eucalyptus and lavender scented candle. It has a strong enough throw, even though it’s toted as a stress-relieving candle but it’s not overwhelming even in my rather small bedroom. I’m definitely sad that Target is leaving us in Canada, just because I will no longer be able to get a hold of this candle…

Sephora Formula X Base Coat & Top Coat ($13/each)

A while back I redeemed my Sephora points for a sampling of Sephora’s house brand’s nail care offerings and now that I’ve tried the duo and paired it with other polishes, I have to say that they are absolutely fantastic. I was into painting my nails in February and tried four or five polishes but I appreciated having this duo that kept polish on my nails for a notable long time without being a hassle in the first place. They work actually at keeping nail polish nicely on the nails for a longer period of time and have proven themselves worthy of the slightly higher price tag.

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask ($23)

Even though I am one of those generally perpetually stressed human beings, I’m someone whose stress levels become easily visible in my skin. Considering the stress I was under (not that I’ve entirely escaped from it) and how cold and snowy the weather we’ve been having, it should not be a shock that my skin was in need of some soothing, revitalizing and hydrating action – and this was the mask that checked all of the boxes. There’s nothing remarkable about this mask other than just how soothing and non-irritating it was, which is a good thing considering that if there was anything remarkable ingredient-wise, they would not function properly in the jar packaging. It’s also impressive on the hydration front without being heavy. I actually wore this on some mornings, both by itself and under makeup…

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Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime in Blur + Redness Control ($11.99)

I have absolutely nothing of merit to contribute about this supposed redness-reducing and smoothing silicone based primer. I haven’t experimented with it enough and compared its effects to the effects of others (and no primer) and I haven’t seen a major difference but I have really enjoyed how this primer smooths the skin and helps foundation lie nicely on the skin and stay fresh for even longer while having a nice creamy texture that reaps the benefits of those silicone primers while having a more moisturizing base. It is green but I’m not really noticing any sort of color correcting effect.

Annabelle Stay Sharp Waterproof Lipliner in Java ($9.95)

While I haven’t gotten my shit together and organized my recent lip product buying spree at Target into a post, – it’s coming, I promise – I couldn’t talk about my monthly favourites without talking about this rosy liner with a hint of brown to it. It’s quite similar to my beloved Annabelle Lipliner in Demure – I have no idea how I didn’t realize this when buying it – but I have to say I slightly prefer the formula and colour of this one, as it’s creamy but even longer-wearing and has a stronger rosy hint to it along with some more depth. Despite being waterproof (which I generally associate with being drying and unflattering) and having a self-sharpening mechanism (which I never seem to have to have success with), this liner has impressed me majorly. It wears for ages and ages without being a problem for my mega dry lips and went with both my nude lipsticks to add some life to them and deeper shades.

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NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita ($31)

After the above lip liner, this was easily my most loved lip product of February and although I knew that I enjoyed the comfortable matte formula and the gorgeous true rose hue as soon as I got this in the mail months ago, February was the month that I fell in love with it. Being a shade that flatters with its warmth, sitting halfway in between a neutral lip colour and a true berry, Dolce Vita was a shade that I could throw on with even the most minimal makeup looks and look pulled together and throw on with anything.

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Raspberry/Opal ($33)

The glowier-than-glowy muted berry shade was ideal for February when I was not willing to put any sort of effort or time into my makeup application and my skin was looking drier and more dull than one would desire. The souffle formula almost seemed to blend itself with ease and the highlight built in was intense, illuminating and all kinds of wondrous. I love this formula an awful lot, I have to tell you, and I kind of love the whole marbling highlighter with blush colour situation. This was yet another shade that seemed to effortlessly add that warm glow to my face.

And lastly, my Garage Tartan Scarf deserves a shout out but considering that I got it as a Christmas gift and its no longer available in stores or the website, there wasn’t really a point lingering on it for too long. What were you loving in February?
Maggie, x.

 

Five Things (to Try): Winter Essentials

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Being as clueless as I am with photography, I’ve been rather pleased with my efforts as of late – so I’m not going to ruin that by taking dodgy photos simply because sunlight is not on my side. My apologies for using the general pictures I found available on the internet. It’s been some time since I’ve done any of these posts including my product loves and recommendations on a specific theme and it’s definitely been a trying time, being just so cold and snowy as of late so it’s rather appropriate. And it’s high time for me to share some of my winter weather favourites!

Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia ($2.99)

You might be aware that regardless of the season that I’m someone with dry and chapped lips problem but I’m sure as many of you have experienced yourself, I’ve experienced the dryness and irritation magnified with the subzero temperatures, blizzards and the like; this affordable balm is a fabulous antidote or fixer. The formula is kind of greasy, with loads of shea butter and mineral oil to latch onto the dry patches and soothe them immediately and can leave a milky cast that is less than flattering and not ideal for use before lipstick application. I tend to have issues with fragranced lip balms irritating my lips but this one does not in the slightest – and more impressively I actually love the warm vanilla scent.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($29) | review

In the same vein, harsher winters like we experience in eastern Canada leads to increased facial dehydration and seems to bring on the dry patches, even if you don’t classify yourself as someone with particularly dry skin as I tend to. I think a nice way to combat this dryness and increased dehydration is to add a more intensive moisturizing treatment at nighttime at the very least a few times per week. For me this overnight hydrating mask fits the bill, with a thick shea-butter-based texture that works to soothe the skin and more dramatically adding intense hydration, while still remaining lightweight and fast-absorbing on the skin. The only negative of this product is the added fragrance and essential oils so if I’m experiencing more severe irritation or sensitivity, I will go for the The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask.

Pixi Beauty Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach ($12)

There’s something about winter that tends to amplify just how tired you – your eyes specifically – look and any sort of dryness in the general area and this creamy but corrective formula works nicely to mask deep dark circles while still blending seamlessly into skin regardless of its condition. Although its irritating that the affordable concealer only comes in one brightening shade, it’s rather impressive just how comparable it is to higher end correctors such as the Bobbi Brown Corrector that I adore.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($31) | review

Most of us likely are no stranger to the idea of switching up our products seasonally but I doubt that many of us have considered switching out the setting powder in our routines. Even if you’re drier skinned as I am, a bit of setting powder can be nice to add longevity and cancel out any sort of subtle unsightly shine but when you’re on the drier side of things, there isn’t anything attractive about the dry powdery look that traditional formulas can contain. Regardless of where you fall on the oil production spectrum, I would recommend trying out this non-powdery powder because it does everything that a powder should do without making you look completely matte and flat or emphasizing any sort of dryness. While the powder is not translucent, I would not expect much coverage from the product – I would consider it to have light coverage at most.

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Raspberry/Opal ($33) | review

In the dead of winter, my cheeks can get rather dry – they are and have always been the area of my face the most prone to dryness – and my skin gets incredibly pale, drained and dull so I’m expecting an awful lot out of a blush — something with a smooth formula that glides over less than ideal skin and that adds that instant glow. An excellent one is this foolproof mousse-y formula with the muted berry tint and that champagne glow that makes the skin instantly look less dead.

What are your current seasonal staples?
Maggie, x.

 

My Sephora VIB Sale Goodies

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Believe it or not, I was somewhat restrained in my purchases during the sale, despite the alarming total cost of my order – a good bit more than half of my order was made up of Christmas gifts and things that I picked up for friends. It has to be mentioned that this year’s sale was a disaster, especially for us Canadians; first there was the overwhelming traffic that lead to the site crashing for everyone and then there was that issue where a good number of Asian accounts were disabled along with international checkout being cut down for the first couple of days. However, I ended up with everything that I intended to get and I’ve tried these four products, enjoying each one a good deal. It should be noted that although I may have gone slightly blush-heavy with this, I was surprisingly strong avoiding the palette trap completely.

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NUDE Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($45)

It had been a good long while since I indulged in anything resembling a higher end cleanser and since falling in love with gentle forms of cleansing in the last year and a half, I had made up my mind that I wanted to try something higher end. This raved-about gentle cleansing oil seemed to fit the bill, with an impressive ingredient list, filled with gentle concentrated oils and very few extraneous potentially irritating ingredient lists. I’ve tried it and have really enjoyed it, finding it gentle particularly on my uber-sensitive eyes and more than that I’ve been liking the different but still hydrating dry-oil texture along with the fact that the packaging isn’t messy in the least.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat ($41)

Diffused Heat in action
Diffused Heat in action

If you’ve been around these parts with me for any length of time, you might very well be aware of the intense love that I developed for the Ethereal Glow shade after picking it up April along with the fact that I’ve been wanting to try another shade (or three) since. I was tempted to go for the palette in the spirit of excess being more economical, but I decided to just go for the original shade that I’ve been longing for. Let me tell you, it has meant all of my high expectations since wearing it. It has a good deal of pigmentation and has more of a sheen than the Ethereal Glow shade and in its likeness, this blush offers the most gorgeous finish and somewhat unique colour. The shade is described as a vibrant poppy and while it appears to be in the family of those warmer-toned corals that I love, it has this strong rosiness of tinge of brighter pink to it that really flatters.

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Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Raspberry/Opal ($33)

I’m rather fortunate as a whole as my local Sephora holds a great deal of the brands that I’m interested in but I’ve always been more than slightly annoyed that it doesn’t carry Becca because I’ve heard so many great things about the brand. I knew that I wanted to try either one of the blushes or highlighters and it was easy to pick this one because it’s supposed to be like the Hourglass blush but with added glow – it’s formulated with their beach tints mixed with their highlighters for less than the price of the famous highlighters so I had to go for this one. Man, have I fallen in love. It leaves the most gorgeous intense highlight on the skin along with the muted rosy berry hue on the cheeks and applies easily, blending like a dream. I might have casually been dying over this during Tuesday’s post…

Raspberry/Opal in action + Dolce Vita on the lips
Raspberry/Opal in action + Dolce Vita on the lips

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NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita ($31)

This true warm rose hued lip offering in the gorgeous lip pencil format has been on my mind for a while now, as you may be aware from wishlists past and I used the sale as opportunity to give in despite the fact that it wasn’t exactly inexpensive and the shade wasn’t miles different from my beloved Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist. Again, I wore it on Tuesday and I’m in love not only because of the flattering hue but because it’s not drying and it lasted on my lips after eating an entire bowl of soup.

Did you partake in the Sephora VIB Sale?
Maggie, x.