The Wishlist-come-Birthday-Gift-Guide

I would normally say that more than one monthly wishlist post would be excessive on my blog but this May there’s going to sort of be two. My birthday is coming in a little bit over a week – I’m not saying this for attention, in fact I’m not a fan of this kind of attention – and after frequently being asked what I would like, I thought it would be interesting and different to put together a Wishlisty gift guide post, highlighting products that I think would be nice to receive as a gift along with a few that I’m lusting after myself:

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• Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer ($58): I might have prophetic insight that I will receive a pot of this multitasking concealer and foundation in SX04 for my birthday or I might have ordered it during the VIB Sale and sold it to my parents to gift it to me for my birthday. Regardless, a nice idea for beauty gift are the more expensive cult favourite products like this one that we might find it difficult to invest in for ourselves. This product has only recently become accessible to me in Canada and thanks to
Sephora’s recent acquisition of a few new hard-to-access brands, we now have access to some of these luxurious brands. It also helps that it should actually conceal without problems on my dry patches

•Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra ($41): I’ve raved endless times about my love for these expensive but gorgeous marbled blushes, and I’ve got my eye on the newly released shade – even though I already own far too many corally glowy blushes. This is another one of those indulgent products that are lovely to receive as a gift, especially because they are difficult to buy for ourselves.

•Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 04 Peach Club ($24): When you’re not 100 percent sure of the recipients make up preferences and what to go for, but you want to give a beauty gift, a nice bright lipstick is the way to go – this moderately priced one is my pick. I adore the comfortable formula of this liquid stain and I think orangey peach shade is a nice brightening one that would suit many

•Caudalie Glycolic Peel ($39): I’m partial to receiving beauty related gifts but I think many females would be thrilled to receive one of these extra pampering products that add a nice ritual to the whole skincare routine once or twice a week, and this gentle peel is particularly attractive to me for this purpose. I’m passionate about gentle acidic products and Caudalie as a brand so this brightening and radiance boosting mask-peel so it was kind of an easy choice. I seriously want to try this product.

•Bath & Body Works Medium Candle in Black Teakwood ($12.50): I think that candles are a great gift but depending on how well you know their scent preferences and their level of obsession with candles, it can be better to go with one of the smaller single wick candles because the scent won’t reach as far, won’t be as potentially as offensive and is not the same level of investment. A safe choice is this repackage of the popular refined and relaxing but cologne-y Mahogany Teakwood.

•Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Black Sands ($22.50): If you’re confident with your choice in candle scents and that your recipient enjoys candles with some strength, I would say to go for one of the classic three wick candles – this ombred-glass number is my current top pick. The packaging is absolutely stunning and the scent is supposedly a mix of aquatic and cologne-y, reminding one of the beach without any of that dreadful coconut. From my own experience, though, I would also recommend Sparking Limeade, Brazilian Blue Waters, Renew & Refresh and Bow Ties & Bourbon.

•’The King’s Curse’ by Phillipa Gregory ($20): I’m a huge lover of books but I think even the less enthusiastic would love to receive a copy of a book such as this one for a present. I would highly recommend any book of Gregory’s Plantagenet series if one has any interest in historical fiction at all – they are relaxing, informative reads that are also highly engaging. I’m eager to read this one, the newest release. Books do make the greatest gifts though, regardless of genre…

 Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Another Six Drugstore Favourites

I’ve done sporadic posts detailing my favourite or essential drugstore products for a while now, however, it has been a good number of months since I’ve done one of these. I also acknowledge that I’ve been featuring slightly higher end products as of late, so I’m making he first steps in remedying the lack of drugstore content around these parts. I am definitely about the budget beauty after all…

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  • LOreal Sublime Sun Quick Dry SPF 50 Sheer Finish Spray ($17.99): Spray sunscreen, while nothing new can be a complete lifesaver, being an easy option to use sun protection without requiring much in the way of effort and without the thicker greasy texture. However, I find that many spray sunscreens irritate my skin, being filled with alcohol and only seem to last for a few weeks but this sunscreen is an exception. It’s moisturizing while still being the lightest weight texture, meshes well with my skin and doesn’t seem to evaporate on the skin.
  • Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Soft Brunette ($11.99): I adore this thickening tinted brow mascara, even with the round brush and all, because it really works to tame my unruly brows and add some much-needed definition that matches my ashy toned eyebrows perfectly. It lasts for days in my brows in a way that nears being slightly annoying. I’m thinking that I might prefer this to MAC’s waterproof brow gel too but it does not add as much of a tint.
  • L’Oreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip in Carbon Black ($9-10): While the brush tip is not the easiest to wield, particularly in terms of holding a smooth and steady line, it’s affordable yet allows me to create the most precise wing out of all of the liners that I have tried.
  • Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 07 Nude-Ist ($24): Bourjois is a drugstore brand (even in Canada) but it’s not exactly the most affordable, or in the pricepoint that we would associate typically associate with drugstore brands. Regardless, I love this comfortable liquid lipstick staining product because it feels velvety on the lips, lasts for ages, is not drying but is comfortable on the lips. This shade is a gorgeous slightly brightened warm rose shade that I love for an everyday lip and even better, you don’t have to worry about it smudging on coffee cups or anywhere else.
  • L’Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer in Fair ($10-12): This highlighting pen runs among the fairest that I’ve ever tried and has that brightening pink tone so it works nicely on paler skin to brighten areas such as underneath the eye. However, I find that this pen works best when paired with another heavier duty concealer concentrated in the inner corners when my horrific dark circles are in sight – after all, a pale light-reflective concealer cannot cover such darkness.
  • NYX Butter Lipstick ($8.99): Ever since I’ve spotted these comfortable hydrating lipsticks around drugstores here in Canada at the very end of last year, I’ve been gradually trying a small selection of them and have fallen in love with the easy flattering, pigmented formula. The most pigmented shades are the brighter and darker shades – among which I own the coral-y Fireball and the deep burgundy-berry Licorice – but the more neutral shades are nice too, including the pictured warm-toned nude, Sugar Wafer (especially when paired with some liner).
What are your current drugstore favourites?
Maggie, x.

September Favourites

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Not to give into the whole cliché in totality or anything, but this was definitely one of those frantic and busy months because it was getting back into the whole university swing of things while being bogged down with that cold that won’t quit and the like. There may have also been a wee bit of stress going on – perhaps. Although this was definitely not a month with the most interesting beauty-related experimentation going on due to lack of time and desire to get out of bed, I’m quite pleased with the group of products that I’ve gathered here.

NARS ‘Pro Prime’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($29)

I’ve had this raved-about primer in my possession since mid-August and have been using it consistently since then but this month it has solidly found its home as my favourite eye primer to date. Now, I have not particularly oily but deep-set creasing-prone lids and this one has come the closest to preventing that whole creasing situation in general and definitely reduces the effects drastically. I find that it works best when applied in the thinnest layer to the lids before any sort of makeup is applied to the face because giving it time to set definitely makes it work for the better – and too much product can give it the opposite effect. Although, it’s marketed for oily lids I don’t find any sort of crepey lid situation happening which is rather pleasant and now that I’ve gotten a hang of the learning curve, I’m definitely impressed.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

So apparently I’m feeling NARS this month and I’m aware that I should apologize for including this contouring duo in two of these posts back to back but honestly, I couldn’t leave this one out as I’ve been using (and loving it) on a daily basis and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t merely include it prematurely last month on a buyer’s high. The rosy tan and ivory soft-matte duo is simply that good. As I mentioned last month (and a myriad of other times), this powder contains an easy-to-use neutral-toned contour powder to sculpt the face and an ivory matte highlighting powder that I have found useful for quickly brightening the undereye area, while preventing any sort of creasing.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner in Brown(Out) ($30)

I’ve mentioned my love for this seriously budge-proof and uber-creamy liner numerous times since snagging it as a point perk from Sephora in August and I’ve been reaching for the deeper bronzy shade loads as of late. I quite enjoy the shade of brown, particularly that it’s deep enough to provide enough definition for me – as I’m typically a black liner kind of girl – and that it’s the perfect thing to run along your upper and lower lashline when you’re running short on time and/or are lazy but want something on the eyes.

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L’Oreal Glossy Balm in Ginger Candy ($9-11)

I appear to have fallen in love with yet another one of those lip pencils with you guessed it, a nice and balmy formula but this one might just be my favourite in terms of comfort and everyday wear. I’ve worn this neutral warm-pink toned nude that reminds me of a slightly more pink version of my favourite MAC Lipstick in Patisserie more than half of the month and it lived in my bag. It’s not particularly long lasting but it’s such an easy moisturizing formula that I didn’t mind in the slightest.

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist ($23)

As soon as I heard that these had launched in Canada, I was desperate to try one after hearing my favourite British babes rave about them earlier but I deliberated once I saw that their price tag was actually higher than MAC around these parts. I’m glad I went for this true rosy shade when I spotted these at Shopper’s with a bonus points promotion, as it has the most comfortable and lightweight but long-wearing formulation and has the most unique hue that sits between a neutral hue and a bolder shade. I might not have worn it quite as much as the glossy balm, but whenever I’ve been tempted to go for more colour, this one has found its way into the mix. There will be a post on this soon, I reckon, and I’m wearing it on my lips here.

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40)

I know that six weeks of consistent use isn’t quite enough to give the true verdict on a moisturizer but I’m fairly certain that this lightweight but rich moisturizer has nabbed the spot of my favourite moisturizer that I’ve ever tried. It is supremely hydrating while offering a good dose of soothing action with some potent antioxidants in the formula and I can’t fault this one in any shape or form. It also glides over the skin without any sort of tingling on the most irritated and dehydration of skin. I wasn’t sure that the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet could be topped but I’m glad to have been wrong.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Anti-Irritant Anti-Scratching Lipid-Replenishing Body Balm ($29.95)

I’m deeply saddened that I’ve actually used up my first bottle of this gentle niacinimide-rich body cream in the last few days and that sure is a testament to how much I love this non-irritating body cream. It doesn’t have any sort of irritating fragrance or alcohol but like anything else, it will sting on opened or irritated patches of skin slightly but unlike other creams that I’ve tried this has helped to reduce the itchiness of my eczema as well as heal the damage. It also absorbs strangely fast and I’m not one to complain about that.

What were your top products this month?
Maggie, x.
note: some affiliate links used above

 

The Monday Morning Edit

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Sometimes I think that it’s these posts that detail the products that you reach for consistently through your rushed and exhausted times can be the most telling, so inspired by Suzie’s post from ages ago, I thought I would show you a few of the products that I find myself reaching for on a rushed Monday morning, even when it hurts open my eyes in order to find them in the piled assortment that is my makeup.

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette ($21)

When I’m in that zombie-esque state and can barely make it out of bed and change into real clothes, the last thing I want to do is mess around with my brows but still, I do feel that filling them in in some shape or form can make a huge difference. Enter this budgeproof tinted brow gel. Within moments, I can have my brows tamed and looking decent and the colour actually is appropriately cool-toned.

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara ($9)

While admittedly this mascara has improved in my books drastically since drying out a bit and being exposed to air, it still is not one of my favourites overall but it has its charms when you’re pressed for time and want as much lash drama going on with the most minimal time and effort involved this one really has ticked all of the boxes. It can bee a wee bit clumpier than I would like but it looks great when you just shove a little on prior to heading out the door – it’s not one that works when you attempt to spend time building it.

MAC Kohl Power Pencil in Feline ($19)

I know I’m in the minority when I honestly say that eyeliner is something that I have to reach for even when my abilities to hold my hand steady to draw a smooth line might be compromised and this one is a good option in this case because it applies nice and creamily smooth with impressive pigment and smudges out nicely, quickly masking any imperfections in the application. This liner gives instant impact but isn’t too crazy but it might not be ideal for anyone with smudging issues.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

I’m a girl who likes cheekbone definition whenever there’s any sort of makeup application involved so a contouring powder or a bronzer is a given, but this duo of shades is the most practical and nears the realm of being fool-proof. The rosy tan is a gorgeous contour shade that easily builds up to the desired (but subtle) intensity and the creamy shade serves another purpose, helping to brighten up the dark circle situation while ensuring that the concealer won’t suddenly be all over the face.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist ($23)

I’ll spare you from the usual yammering on about the power of a bold lip to instantly brighten the complexion and all that jazz but the principle applies, however, on days when you wake as exhausted as I do, you don’t want to have to think about what to wear and have to worry about the maintenance and this liquid lipstick ticks all of the boxes. It’s a somewhat bold rosy shade that isn’t quite so much of a statement as a red that also wears like a champ and doesn’t transfer after it sets and lasts like a champ throughout the day. Obviously, it’s not disgusting on chapped lips either. You know how it is for me…

Annabelle Colour Control Instant Perfecting Luminous Finish Base ($17)

There’s something about those trance-like Monday mornings that seem to be associated with dull lackluster skin that you don’t exactly have time to dominate in the traditional way, so enter a radiance-boosting primer that both adds the glow factor and helps keep things a little bit smoother on the face.

What are your Monday essentials?
Maggie, x.