The Beauty-Related Christmas Additions

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I’m someone who really enjoys scrolling through posts detailing what others received for Christmas but I’m lacking the organization of pulling off a post of that magnitude without writing a small novel while I’m at it, so I’ve come up with a compromise here; I thought instead that I would give you a rundown of handful of gifts that I received of the beauty variety and share some preliminary thoughts and information while I’m at it. Also, I figured it would be helpful to share my most recent product acquisitions so you all would be able to let me know what you would be most interested in hearing about in coming weeks.

First off I thought I would begin with the couple of goodies given to me by my close friend Laura who has graced the pages of this blog before and her family – starting with the one and only makeup related item I opened – a Benefit Cosmetics Posiebalm and Posietint Duo. It’s no longer available online, but it came from a set that included a four-part set including a full-sized balm with a sample size of the matching cheek and lip stain – believe me I checked. I’m absolutely in love with the beyond comfortable warm-pink tinted balm and I enjoy the stain as well, but I was surprised to find out that the balm is far more warm-toned and corally than the stain. She and her family also got me the Essie Nail Lacquer in Wicked ($8-9), a blackened purple polish that is so up my alley that I haven’t been able to resist applying it to my nails – I’m sure some of you are well aware of my feelings for vampier polishes.

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I have to admit that the rest of the gifts, all of which came from my mother (and father too I suppose), weren’t quite as surprising because I sort of gave her a push, nudge or shove into the right direction but I’m equally as excited about these products. I’ve waxed poetic on my love for the Caudalie Vinosource range before so its only fitting that after falling in love with facial oils in the last year or so, I would want to try out their offering. The Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55)  has greatly impressed me thus far despite its hefty price point for intensely hydrating and soothing my skin with a few drops. Its a blend of oils, primarily composed of grapeseed oil, jojoba seed oil, sesame seed oil, sunflower seed oil and rose flower oil and although I know that its not fabulous for the skin, I quite enjoy the rosewater scent that the product has. The other skincare product that I received was a toner and I was curious because its been ages since I used one – I cut them out of my routine as they contained alcohol and like irritants – and this one seemed promising, formulated with soothing ingredients rather than the usual alcohol. The toner in question comes from a brand that I’m quite familiar with and fond of, Kiehls, and its titled the Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner ($22.50). The main claims or interesting particulars about the product are its inclusion of promising ingredients such as Sodium PCA, Aloe, Chamomilia Flower extract and Cucumber and claim to soothe and hydrate the skin and so far, so good.

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Given my recent rekindling of my interest in all things hair, it should not be particularly shocking that I asked for a few hair products for Christmas and magically they appeared in my stocking – poof. Ever since I got my first cut at my local Deva-approved salon, I’ve heard great things about the DevaCurl No Poo Cleanser ($25) and have consequently wanted to try the gentle detergent and silicone-free cleanser and I’m pleased to have it in my collection. It’s rather nice and I enjoy the minty sensation along with how its not drying in the least and is the gentlest on my knot-prone hair. A good couple of years ago, I remember being interested in the Sally Hershberger line, after seeing her videos online and so when I spotted a few of her products about a month back, I mentioned my interest and voila. The product in question specifically is the Sally Hershberger Glam Waves Texture Spray ($12.99), a product that I’ve tried and have been pleased with as a hydrating oil-enriched and mineral-infused product to add texture and moisture to both wet hair in the styling stage and to refresh my wavy curls without weighing them down in the slightest.

Were you lucky enough to get any beauty-related Christmas presents?
Maggie, x.

Winter Essentials Edit- The Makeup Edition

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Living in Canada, it has been snowing straight since early November and I swear as soon as we hit the middle of October, it wasn’t really “Fall” anymore; we have in fact had multiple storms and power outages. This might seem premature but in my world, it’s been Winter-esque for ages and it’s now acceptable (I suppose) to share some of my essentials now that it officially is Winter. Some of these products are newer additions to my rotation but many of them have been my staples for the last couple of months.

Revlon Enticing, NARS Golshan
Revlon Enticing, NARS Golshan

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan ($30 CDN)review here

This ultra-pigmented lip pencil has been a rather recent addition but whenever I’m going for a dark lip, it’s been the one I reach for. The long-wearing warm deep burgundy shade doesn’t cling to dry patches and actively moisturizes the lips somewhat rather than drying them out. The shade is a flattering warmer hue that is easier to wear than brighter and vampier hues.

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Enticing ($10 CDN)worn here

When I’m not feeling quite as bold but want to wear a reddish hued lip, I’ve been reaching for mint-scented and recently released jumbo pencil offering from Revlon. The dark cherry-red moisturizing lipstick feels like a weightless balm on the lips, wears for a decent amount of time and does so evenly and might just be my favourite drugstore lip product of all time. It manages to provide that pigmented-yet-buildable amount of payoff that allows the lipstick-balm hybrid to pack a good colour punch without requiring the maintenance and fuss of a traditional red.

Nars Golshan, Revlon Enticing
Nars Golshan, Revlon Enticing

Marc Jacobs Beauty Color Eye-Con No 7 in The Starlet ($71 CDN)

taken with flash, true to colour
taken with flash, true to colour
I forgot to take a picture of the darker grey but it's glorious.
I forgot to take a picture of the darker grey but it’s glorious.

This eyeshadow palette is undoubtedly an extravagant purchase – and I did only receive it recently… for Christmas – and it’s not something that I would describe as purely wintery but it seems to be the perfect palette for my daily eye makeup in the cold season. These might just be the most pigmented and creamy shadows that I’ve ever tried and are all metallic without being overly frosty or glittery in the slightest. The pinky champagne, like Sin in the Naked Palette that I declare my love for regularly, is my staple lid shade, particularly with a darker lip, the grey, one of the very few shadows in this hue that I find flattering, effortlessly smokes out and the dark warm coppery brown is that staple shade to define the outer-v. I could go on but there will be a review coming soon.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer
top - Maybelline, bottom - Rimmel
top – Maybelline, bottom – Rimmel

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light ($9-10 CDN)

Throughout the year, I constantly have dry and dehydrated skin but the season change to cold weather can magnify the problem. The dry patches that tend to emerge can cause redness and when you try to cover them with most concealers, the dryness is only highlighted but this concealer does not have that effect. It provides medium coverage and glides over dry patches. Particularly in the Winter when I get blemishes, during the healing process they can get dry and flaky and this is one of the only products that covers them without highlighting the condition of my skin. The only thing that could improve the product would be the colour range… it is kind of horrendous.

Rimmel  2-in-1 Concealer and Highlighter in Ivory ($7-8 CDN)

Including two concealers might seem a bit excessive, but this concealer really in essence is a highlighter that also provides some coverage. It highlights underneath the eyes while still covering dark circles and can be brought into the centre of the face and other high points which has that much needed luminizing and brightening effect.

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Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter ($36 CDN)

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

After our brief separation, when I had a brief affair with my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish, I’ve returned to the liquid highlighter and have committed to a monogamous relationship with said product. It’s illuminating due to its sheen, but is not shimmery in the typical way and the texture of the pale pink-champagne fluid adds a dewiness that cannot be matched, especially with powder products. Year round, I have a love of all things that provide luminosity but this is especially important in the winter with dull, paler and drier skin.

NARS Orgasm Powder Blush ($32 CDN)

Ah, blush, up there among my top beauty loves and consequently much more difficult to narrow down my essential down to one but I’m determined to do so and it came down to this one. I think I’ve mentioned this a few times as of late but after some neglect, my most-used blush of all time is getting its much-deserved recognition. The formula is smooth and doesn’t apply patchy, being quite build able and therefore versatile – It can be worn subtly on a more dramatic makeup day with say bolder lips or can be built up to a brightening warm pink-y flush. On NYE, it began to crumble slightly and I was tempted to crumble into the floorboards when it fell from the vanity to its luckily not fatal stroke. This might seem like an odd winter blush choice but it doesn’t pull corally on the skin, well on me at least.

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NARS Orgasm, Tarte Natural Beauty with flash

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty ($31 CDN)

So I might have lied. I succumbed to my intuition of the need to include a more typically winter appropriate blush. I know I’m definitely an outlier here as I’m not absolutely in love with the Amazonian Clay formula but Natural Beauty is a watermelon sort of colour, sitting between a pink and a red with versatile neutral undertones. The matte finish blush does in fact last insanely long on me and it gives that natural-looking winter flush that perks up dull skin.

What are your makeup picks for the Winter? x

Maggie

The Tired, Sick and Stressed Face

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Face: Lancome La Base Pro, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in 2.5 Warm Sand, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light , NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny, Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

Eyes: NYX HD Eyeshadow Base, Dior Earth Reflection Quint, NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny, Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 liner, Maybelline black Gel liner, Maybelline The Falsies Mascara, Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette (whoops forgot to picture….)

Lips: Revlon Pink Truffle Lip Butter

It can be difficult to muster the energy to put on makeup and wear some sort of semi-appropriate outfit when you have to be out the door on Monday mornings by 8:15 and you’re swamped by work and stress, along with being perpetually sleep deprived. Even though I’d rather hit the snooze button, I find myself reaching for a few products – I suspect this is because I get an unhealthy amount of enjoyment from makeup and use wearing makeup as justification of wearing lazy-day outfits every day while looking somewhat presentable and alive. So here is what happens on a typical day (when I’m not running uber-late) in order to feel somewhat polished but I’m not one with qualms about not wearing makeup and rocking the fourth-day-hair messy bun… end ramble.

My skin has been even more dull than usual, dry,red, sensitive and somewhat flaky and uneven which tends to pose some difficulties on the foundation front. I do generally suffer from foundation sitting on my dry patches awkwardly and its even worse this time of year. Although I’m a skeptic on the facial primer front, I’ve been trying out a few of my primer samples from Sephora and am trying to see if it helps any, as people always seem to claim it does. Today I used Lancôme La Base Proand it seemed to help the foundation glide over my drier spots (most of my face at the moment) to a small degree.

I would normally just whip out my trusty Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect but my skin is too dull and red for that to be enough today – my skin is getting back at me for late nights and subjection to stress. I’ve heard that Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation is one of the rare ones that can provide great coverage yet not highlight dry patches and her shades run so dramatically yellow that they do tend to neutralize the redness in my skin. I’m always nosy to find out what shade other people wear in foundation so I’m feeling compelled to elaborate that my shade is 2.5 Warm Sand. The coverage was medium buildable and struck me as a foundation like LM Silk Creme but better for those with drier patches – it didn’t completely hise dehydrated patches but it did not emphasize them by any means – and I would say they were less visible than when I wasn’t wearing foundation so colour me impressed.

I’ve kind of gotten addicted to tightlining my eyes with Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liner in Perversion daily, even though it tends to irritate me when it smudges onto the bottom waterline despite my best intentions for it not to but we can’t have it all – It doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes and actually stays put. Some migrated to the lower waterline and I couldn’t be bothered to remove it. I did this before my NYX HD Eye Primer because I find it has a really siliconey feel that tends to make creamy products migrate until it dries completely.

For eyeshadow, I started with NYC Sunny Bronzer in the crease and then finished with my latest obsession, the Dior Earth Reflection Quint (expect a review soon!). I used the iridescent golden champagne across the lid and the pink in the inner corner, a little bit more of the taupe shade in the crease and the darker taupe shade in the outer-v. The shades have great pigmentation, texture and longevity and the shades are in the golden taupe sort of family. I felt compelled to whip up a wing with Maybelline Gel Liner. I recently picked up Maybelline The Falsies and I remember why I love it so much. It’s my favourite mascara and creates the best thick lashes.

I ended up being quite a fan of the rosy Milani Red Vino on the cheeks (along with some NYC Sunny to contour … who doesn’t love contour?) and went for something easy on the lips with the browny-rose Revlon Pink Truffle Lip Butter.

That’s got to be one wordy daily makeup post — any thoughts?

Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder

Benefit Boxed Powder in Rockateur
Benefit Boxed Powder in Rockateur

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This blush recently came out and it’s true that Benefit dramatically reduced the size of the boxed powder for this one while leaving the cost the same – I paid $36 CDN for 0.17 ounces (compared to the previous 0.28). However, this is the first boxed powder that I’ve personally owned.

The shade is a fairly neutral (I could be crazy but sometimes I see an ever-so-slight warmth to it…) rose gold with a hint of peach in it but no coral somehow. When you first see the shade, it looks much more shimmery than it actually is; most of the shimmer is an overspray and disappears after a few uses, leaving a satin finish. Although I think the term is way overused, I find it to be finely milled with a gorgeous luminous finish. I find it easy to apply and doesn’t go patchy on my skin – my cheeks tend to get rather dehydrated so this is a problem that I face.

In terms of similar slash pretty-much-identical shades in my collection there is the limited-edition hyped MAC Stereo Rose MSF and equally well hyped Nars Orgasm but I have to say that the three shades are different from one another. Rockateur has the least shimmer and might be the most finely-milled (although Stereo Rose is a close second). Nars Orgasm has gold shimmer running through it and has more pink-coral in it. Stereo Rose is darker in colour, and with much more coral in it. The thing about Rockateur that is so unique is the absence of coral in the shade.

Top to bottom: Benefit Rockateur, MAC Stereo Rose, Nars Orgasm
Top to bottom: Benefit Rockateur, MAC Stereo Rose, Nars Orgasm

In terms of the greater picture, this is definitely one of my favourite blushes ever. It is very versatile; I appreciate that it is no-fuss in the sense that it goes with everything including dark lips. It has the nicest texture and has a nice satin finish. It has about average longevity and is gorgeous. On my somewhat arbitrary scale, I would grant it an A! Thoughts?

Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder on me!
Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder on me!

 

 

Naked Palette Attempt #1 Slash Wearable Red Lips for Day?

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FACE: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light, MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light, Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder, Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 021 Sun Light

EYES: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Urban Decay Virgin eye shadow (highlight), Urban Decay Sin Eye Shadow (lid), Urban Decay Naked eye shadow (crease and brows), Urban Decay Darkhorse eye shadow (outer v and as liner), Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner (tightline), Maybelline Eyestudio Black Gel Liner (upper lash line), Maybelline One By One Mascara in Black

LIPS: MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick

So I’ve gotten more into my Urban Decay Naked Palette lately. I’ve said that this mega-hyped palette is not one that I find myself reaching for as an all-inclusive palette for all different kinds of looks; I find it to be too warm and too shimmery to be ideal for me. It’s not something I find myself reaching for every day to create a multitude of different looks. But I figured I’d do a series of posts of looks I created with it, as boring as that may be because I know so many people have it.

I was going to go for a really subtle makeup look but then I found myself gazing longingly at my favourite red lipstick and you can guess the rest. I quite liked this look as a subtle and defined eye look. I would also consider it as a success of wearing a read lip during the day; I wore it out to the mall and didn’t get any odd looks. This lipstick is just so drying but its the perfect colour – MAC Ruby Woo is amazing.

Like many of us on this planet, I am quite a fan of those oh-so-easy peachy-champagne shades that you haphazardly sweep across the lid – Sin is excellent in this way. When I want to go subtle with my brows, Naked is the way to go and as a bonus, it is a great crease shade. I put Darkhorse in the outer-v and finished with the usual suspects.

Because the red lip is not exactly the most subtle look for a trip to the mall, I tried to go for really natural skin foregoing the foundation completely, only applying Maybelline Fit Me Concealer where I needed it and the light-coverage MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder. I’ve paired it with one of my latest splurges that I’ve been loving – the Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder that I most certainly did not need.

I plan on continuing this series of Naked Palette makeup looks. Any thoughts? 🙂

FOTD- Day to Night with Urban Decay Naked Palette

products used
products used

In the last few weeks I’ve been trying to be creative and make more use of my neglected Naked palette. The thing is I tend to find the palette too shimmery and too warm to be a palette to use for a bunch of different whole looks but I’ve been managing to create a few that I’ve liked. This one has by far been my favourite as I think it’s really pretty without being overdone, defined and versatile. This is the kind of makeup that I find suits casual days to going-out nights. It’s nothing spectacular, I just thought that I would share! 🙂

The look :)
The look 🙂
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my lip colour is off … whoops 🙂

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If you don’t have the colours I have, I’ll try to give some alternatives at the end; there’s nothing I hate more than a look I like but own none of the colours for.

Eyes:

1. I primed my eyes with Primer Potion and then I used the brush that comes in the Naked Palette to pat a good amount of Sin on the inner half of the lid and Toasted on the outer half and then blended the edges together.

2. So I sort of cheated a little – I used one shadow not in the Naked Palette. I used the darker shade of Nars Kalahari (the right side) in the crease with a fluffy blending brush.

3. I filled in my brows lightly with Buck on an angled brush.

5. I applied Hustle into the outer-v and then blended outwards with my MAC 239.

6. Using my angled liner brush again, I applied Hustle underneath my eye in the outer corner.

7. I lined my upper lashes with same brush using Darkhouse and smudged it. I also applied some on my MAC 239 brush and used it to darken the outer v.

8. I highlighted the browbone and brightened the inner corner with Virgin.

9. I used L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on my upper lashes.

I’m sorry but I maybe sort of used the same cheek and lip products as in the other look … but at least its proof of their excellence? 🙂

10. I used Rimmel Wake Me Up in 100 for my foundation which I really like the colour match for my skin, the glow it provides, its lasting power and that it’s not too noticeable.

11. I put the second-lightest colour of Make Up For Ever 5 Concealer Cream Palette – my shade is 1- underneath my eyes and onto rather pronounced blemishes.

12. I used Rimmel Natural Glow Bronzer in 021 on my cheekbones, forhead, temples, nose and blended it into my neck to bronze my face up slightly with a large blush brush.

13. I placed MAC Stereo Rose MSF on my cheeks with the same brush, blending it into the bronzer. I know this is LE, but I’ll talk about other options below 🙂

14. I put the tiniest bit of Benefit’s Girl Meets Pearl highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones.

15. With my finger, I dabbed some Bobbi Brown Rose Pot Rouge onto my lips.

This sounds long but it wasn’t and was rather quick and easy!

Alternative List

UD Sin – MAC Naked Lunch, MAC All That Glitters for darker skintones

UD Virgin – MAC Shroom, MAC Dazzlelight is a golden alternative

UD Toasted – MAC Sable is slightly darker, MAC All That Glitters is slightly lighter

Nars Kalahari (Darker Shade)  – I can’t think of anything extremely similar but UD Buck could be used in its place (if you’re warmer), MAC Charcoal Brown or Espresso – these are both matte although Kalahari has a sheen

UD Hustle – MAC Satin Taupe is similar

UD Darkhorse – Any brown darker than Hustle would work, I’ve heard Nars Cordura is similar, MAC Handwritten is similar without the shimmer but ever-so-slightly warmer, MAC Embark and Smut are also similar and they have some sheen to them

MAC Stereo Rose – MAC Springsheen is peachier, MAC Orgasm is pinker and lighter (without the bronze-ness) and Milani Coralina is slightly pinker and Rose d’Oro slightly more orange-leaning coral

Any thoughts? 🙂