The Payday Acquisitions

There’s something life-affirming about waking up naturally and feeling sort of rested, on a nice summer day and not being woken by an alarm signifying that you are due at work in a rather short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like my new job and I’m not knocking that whole responsibility thing in general but I was enjoying the little vacation from its less appealing calls. Alas, I’m going to try to stop with that unrelated rambling thing and get to the point. In honour of receiving a couple of paychecks from my new job, I made a few celebratory purchases – yes, aside from the Paula’s Choice order – and I’ll begin with the three items that I picked up at a going-bankrupt sale from my only local Chanel Beauty counter. I’m more than heartbroken, by the way.

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Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in N0 10 and N0 50 ($65): Since their release a fair while back, I’ve desperately wanted to try out Chanel’s luxurious glowing non-powdery powders and took this 30% discount as an opportunity to pick up 10 as a sheerer setting powder, to add instant glow, a little bit of coverage and some SPF protection with a light dusting. I was going to stop there but I saw 50 as well and it (rightly so) struck me as the ideal medium toned contour or cooler toned bronzing powder. The foundations that I wanted were out of stock so I somehow justified the purchase of the extravagant powder in two shades and haven’t looked back. In terms of first impressions, the powders are smooth and give that seamless glowing look to the skin that I’m all about.

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Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious Defining Creme ($34.75): With my rebellious and petulant mass of dry and tangly fine wavy curls, I’m always on the lookout for a cream that will offer the hold and definition that I’m requiring while offering hydration and manageability to my hair. I might already have a few newer curl creams on the go but I couldn’t resist picking this one up with its discounted price, mainly because I adore Bumble & Bumble and was intrigued about its performance, being marketed towards finer curl types. My thoughts thus far are that it smells amazing in an understated way and offers some solid hold along with definition.

Prevens Paris Makeup Remover Wipes ($6-7): While I’m not exactly the greatest supporter of using makeup wipes, since trying some gentler options from Costco, Neutrogena and L’Oreal, I have succumbed to their allure for when I need to wash my face and remove makeup and I can’t be bothered to do anything else. Upon first glance, I was impressed with these ones because they are affordable yet don’t contain the harsh drying ingredients that many contain – namely irritating alcohols – and do contain nice hydrating ingredients like glycerin, oils and shea butter along with a couple of antioxidants. They do work nicely to cleanse the skin instantly without irritation or dryness but they unfortunately don’t leave my skin as soft as the L’Oreal Sublime Soft Soothing Cleansing Wipes do.

Studio Makeup Smooth Endurance Creme Eyeshadow in Souffle ($26): Well, the store where I work has recently acquired a few cosmetic brands and Studio Makeup has been one of them and I’ve found myself constantly showing this champagne cream eyeshadow to many customers and ah-ing over it. I figured that was a sign for me to try it out for myself and I’m not displeased in the slightest. The formula is creamy and comparable to Paint Pots and it’s essentially MAC All That Glitters in cream form.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($23): I’ve discussed my desire to sample Becca’s highlighters at great lengths in a variety of wishlist posts, so I had to snap up this more affordable smaller size of their standard famous liquid highlighter when I spotted it at my local Sephora (that doesn’t really carry Becca). I adore how well it meshes with my skin and agrees with my skin despite its finickiness, but most of all I adore the non-shimmery white gold luminous sheen that it leaves wherever its applied. Somehow it seems to add an intense sheen without any sort of visible shimmer; it’s sorcery, obviously.

Have you done any notable beauty shopping recently?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

I Used Up Products #4

DSC_1358I’m still on that I-now-have-time-to-blog-relax-sleep-and-bathe high but I’m doubly as excited to be bringing you a long overdue empties post that includes what I think are more interesting products. Alas, there are still no makeup items to be found…

DSC_1361Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($10-12 CDN) | review

In short, I really enjoyed using and might have even loved this budget-friendly cleansing oil but the packaging has irritated me to no end, spilling and leaking everywhere, refusing to dispense the last of the product and the label easily rolling off. It’ s a good one, effective at removing makeup – but I’m sure there are slightly more hardcore ones to be found – and leaving the skin (and eyes) cleansed and nourished with no sign of irritation. I’m still on the hunt trying other cleansing oil options but I would recommend this one packaging aside and I might very well return to it.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($13/26 CDN)

Being interested in the benefits of oils, rosehip in particular, I picked this amber-tinged bottle up from Winners maybe a year ago and it has been well loved and easily worth the money. I was using it as a nighttime treatment or dry, irritated skin treatment but over the last few much I had switched up my routine and had been applying it as a serum for extra oomph – and I loved it like that. It definitely does what it claims to, deeply nourishing and soothing the skin with its dry oil texture and helping to brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation over time. I would definitely repurchase but I may be receiving a different oil variation in a little less than two weeks, if you know what I’m getting at.

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense ($29.99 CDN) | review

I picked this “localized redness intensive serum” back in the spring when I was hankering to introduce a daily serum into my routine and while there was nothing outwardly bad about the product in the slightest, I harbored lukewarm feelings towards it. I enjoyed that it was in stable packaging, was rather affordable and that it was fragrance free, but it fell short of the claims merely providing some extra hydration and a little bit of soothing action. I don’t plan on repurchasing but I wouldn’t completely count it out as my skin didn’t have any adverse reaction to it.

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Aveeno Eczema Care Body Wash ($13.99 CDN)

While this is one of the most dull-sounding products ever, this soap and fragrance free body wash has to be one of my holy-grail products as it soothes and does not irritate my quite severe eczema on my body and my general extremely sensitive skin. It’s rather nice for shaving too – and I will keep on purchasing this, obviously. I’d tell anyone with dry or sensitive skin to give this a go.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Lipid Replenishing Body Care ($29.99 CDN)

Yet again, this is quite a basic-sounding product but it’s equally as much of a live-saver because of – you guessed it – my extremely irritated skin that suffers from eczema. It’s formulated without alcohol, fragrance or any of that irritating stuff and does not only include soothing and hydrating ingredients to combat skin issues; there’s a heady quantity of niacinamide, a cell-communicating ingredient that aids in the repair of the skin barrier that can reduce itching in the future and present the condition from reforming. It’s not a miracle cure but it’s the best thing that I’ve tried. I will warn you, however, that because the cream is rich but lightweight and not a balm or butter texture, it does sting over really irritated areas which isn’t so much fun – however, that does provide an incentive not to scratch. If you suffer from dry skin and general itchiness, I would give this a go.

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L’Oreal Oleo-Therapy Oil-Infused Conditioner ($7.99 CDN)

It appears that I have forgotten to photograph this budget-friendly conditioner but I’m committed to including it anyway. It was a nice rich but not overly heavy conditioner that was impressively potent for a drugstore offering, formulated with oils and without silicones. However, it wasn’t mind blowingly amazing and I would purchase it again, but I might be tempted to try different variations from L’Oreal’s line first. My only hesitation is that the mineral-oil in the formula might be weighing my hair down slightly but overall, I find this to be comparable to these higher end oil-enriched conditioners.

Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50-55 CDN)

Once again, product from the Pureology Hair Care range does not disappoint on either of the three fronts, the spa-esque fragrance one, the efficacy side or the concentration front. I have an inkling suspicion that its luxury ranges like this one that the L’Oreal Oleo-Therapy line was designed to emulate and while I can see the comparison, this luxurious masque delivers results that are worth the increased price tag. With using this 2/3 washes on my huge mass of long wavy curls, this lasted very close to a year which is rather legendary, detangled hair phenomenally and left my hair very nourished without being weighed down in the slightest. This is on the repurchase list, although I might try one from a different Pureology range because I’m curious. There’s also the fact that I’ve gotten more compliments about how I smell after using products from Pureology than I have wearing any fragrance. And it has a heady concentration of oils and does not contain silicones.

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair ($40 CDN)

I actually finished up this heat-protectant come leave-in conditioner ages ago but I just spotted it in my emtpies bag and had to talk about it. My only qualm with the product is that it doesn’t have a super-rich texture and that its rather expensive for the limited amount of product that you get but I think it’s a phenomenal leave-in styler/treatment if you don’t want to weigh down your hair and you have hair that cannot tolerate a lot of conditioning products. I enjoyed the effect the protein had on my hair and that it was not loaded with a ton of fillers, particularly when I used it prior to blow drying and/or straightening my hair as it left that smooth but lightweight feel. I’m not sure if I would repurchase it based on the sheer quantity of hair that I have and the fact that it contains dimethicone near the end of the ingredient list.

Bumble and Bumble Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme ($17/32.75 CDN)

As I mentioned in Saturday’s wishlist post, I’ve recently finished up my two ounce bottle of this versatile texturizing cream-gel and am sad to see the tube end. I will be repurchasing this. Two things that are really great about this Bumble and Bumble gem is that its mega-concentrated and that it works well across different hair conditions. I like it on my wavy-curly hair as it enhances curl while adding volume, texture and grittiness to my hair which I definitely need on the first few days of a wash. I love it, I just wish there wasn’t any silicones in it at all, but at least they only occur at the halfway point of the ingredient list. I also enjoy that this has a great deal of hold, especially considering that it is a cream product.

DSC_1362Bath & Body Works Mini Candles in Pumpkin Caramel Latte, Wasabi Apple and Flannel ($3/12)

Given my candle-burning obsession that began at the end of the summer, you had to be expecting that some candle empties would be appearing soon. While I enjoyed all three candles, I can easily place the three candles in a hierarchical order in this manner. I liked the typical-caramel scented Pumpkin Caramel Latte candle but wouldn’t rush out to buy it again because I might be getting caramel’d out and the scent is potent enough on this mini candle that I would be hesitant to pick up the three-wick version. I really enjoyed the unique Wasabi Apple candle and will certainly pick up another if the scent returns – the fresh apple scent was mellowed down with a cut of wasabi and I liked how relaxing and refreshing it was. The Flannel candle was definitely my favourite and it might just be my favourite candle scent ever and I went to repurchase the larger size of this scent a while back and was heartbroken to learn that it was only available as part of the Fall line-up. It has that slightly masculine and spicy vibe that Mahogany Teakwood shares paired with more of a rich muskiness, a pinch of citrus and less woodiness. I will be snapping this candle up the next time I spot it, believe me.

 What products have you finished up as of late?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #27/28

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Looking to catch up?

 Sunday July 21: 5 Current Lusts #3|Wednesday July 23: Two Mac Acquisitions | Friday July 25: Products Heavily in Rotation | Saturday July 26: The Daily Face #20

Sunday July 27: Beauty Blogger of the Month Award | Thursday July 31: My Go-To Spring/Summer “Lipsticks” | Thursday July 31 (again) : The July Roundup | Saturday August 2: July Favourites


I’m not one to exaggerate my personal situation to garner declarations of pity — “you poor thing!” etc. — from others but in all honesty, it has been a terrible too weeks, even aside from the obvious situation at hand. At the beginning of this week, my grandfather passed and while this was expected, dealing with this and quickly throwing together the craziness that came with a funeral with my rather large family was exhausting and stressful, even though it was nice to spend time with the family. I’ve been oddly emotional and sentimental, along with the expected exhaustion and stressed-out state. As a result of this, I’m sure you can gather that there wasn’t much excitement going on beauty-wise and my posts were more than a little sporadic but I’m not even blaming my inadequacies for that.

On a more positive note, I’ve dedicated some more time to the endeavour of further room re-organization and in the process of doing so, I found my small bottle of the Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish ($22 CDN) and it instantly brightened my mood — honestly. However, it is unfortunate that I appear to have very little product remaining and I might just have to purchase the full-sized one — it’s necessity. Jokesssss. On an even more positive note, for those of you that don’t know I still live at home (not the positive part) and the father arranged for our heat pump to be installed and therefore for all intents and purposes, we have air conditioning and it is quite possibly the loveliest thing in existence. I’m not one of those girls who adores summer; I enjoyed it for a bit but by now I’m sick of the heat and humidity and could do with some fall weather right about now. Don’t hate me.

Don’t think that because I’ve started a new paragraph that I’m done talking about the things that I love. The Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Rollerball wasn’t something that I had to even contemplate whether to include for two reasons — first, I’ve been addicted to applying the warm, spicy and slightly musky scent in the last week or two in particular and I completely forgot to include it in my monthly favourites. I’m planning on actually purchasing a larger size of this one, woah. Considering that she’s one of my favourites to both read and watch, it shouldn’t be shocking that I’m talking about Suzie’s “Haul & First Impressions” video but it’s worthy of note regardless; she’s so entertaining but genuine and I enjoy living vicariously through her and feeling like my spending habits are understood.

In terms of things of my own creation, I’m particularly pleased with yesterday’s “10 Indulgent Sunday Staples” , where I outlined the products that I’ve been relying on to feel pampered and a little bit put together with minimal effort, but it technically should be in next week’s post of this variety considering the date so I’ll mention another to feel like I’m not breaking my self-imposed rules. That post would have to be my “Go-To Spring/Summer ‘Lipsticks'” post and not just because I was pleased with how the photos turned out.

I genuinely hope for your sake that your week was marginally better than mine.
Maggie, x

December Favourites

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December was a weird month in particular this year; I won’t purposely try to make you all gauge your precious eyes out with cliched phrases such as ‘it passed so fast’ and ‘it was so stressful and busy’, although life seems to be full of the two lately. University kept me crazy busy and stressed for the first two weeks but as soon as the fourteenth hit, I was done and it was weird.

My skin has been duller than ever with abundant dry patches and I’ve perhaps gone a little too highlighter happy and my product of choice has been the old limited edition MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Pearl, which is a gorgeous glowy shimmery golden champagne.

It should be no secret that I’ve fallen in love with L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black($10 CDN) this month. It has more pigment than Maybelline Master Precise and is more precise and slightly easier to control. With this, it’s quick and easy to create a subtle wing on an everyday basis. This liner is fine enough to create the thinnest line, which I tend to struggle with.

I’ve had the MAC Eyeshadow in Sketch($12/18 CDN) since the end of the summer but I’ve previously found it to be chalky and difficult to pair with other shades without effort but this seemed to change this month. I’ve really enjoyed placing the “velvet” but pretty much matte plum shade in the outer v and it’s been gracing my face frequently, most often paired with rosier and taupe-y shades. 

The contour powder, sold as a blush, MAC Harmony ($25 CDN) is easily one of my favourite beauty products of all time – I included it in my recently posted yearly favourites – but it’s made it’s way back into the daily rotation this month as it functions nicely as a contour shade but has some warmth to it, without looking overly warm and orangey. It has enough rosiness to it that I can go without blush when wearing this and I adore it, especially with bolder lips.

In the cold weather as of late, I’ve been finding that my natural loose curls are determined to fall flat and lifeless along with their characteristic dryness. I’ve found that applying Bumble and Bumble Texture (Un)dressing Creme ($17/33 CDN) straight out of the shower adds volume and texture while still providing control either by itself or in combination with a curl-enhancing product with hold. I think this cream manages to be one of those universal products that adds great texture among all different hair types without leaving the hair dry — it’s concentrated and even with my abundance of hair, I’m still using my travel-sized product that I bought in the spring.

My daily use of Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance($24/40 CDN) and my love for it snuck up on me. This is the first foundation primer that I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a few) that proved to be worthwhile. A little bit prior to starting the blog, I saw the 15 mL size at my Sephora in the 100-point-perk case and it had to be mine… I can’t resist a good free beauty product and as a sample, the size was very generous. It’s tinted a peachy-gold sheeny shade that adds notable luminosity to the face (which I adore), doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin in the slightest and seems to help the foundation glide on more smoothly with the touch of hydration it provides. The thing is that, as I’ve mentioned far too many times before, I do not have issues with foundation longevity and this is generally what primers are aimed to do but I like this one because it helps to blend the foundation seamlessly along with illumination but I do not think it helps with longevity or prevents oil from breaking through. I think this is a great primer for drier and duller looking skin, especially for those who haven’t had the greatest success with traditional foundation primers.

Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright ($40 CDN) is indeed one of those products that takes you by surprise with its efficacy — that was horrible, I know, but I couldn’t resist. It’s a chemical exfoliant in serum form with lactic acid in a moisturizing base that I’ve been using pretty much nightly since the beginning of the fall and I didn’t notice the results at first but within a few months, it helped with the formation of clogged pore bump-like things on my forehead, faded the textured marks that blemishes always leave behind on my skin and seemed to brighten and even out my skin. I’ve received some compliments on my bare skin recently and I know it’s because of this cream-serum that exfoliates without being harsh or irritating – even on my sensitive skin, all I can feel is a slight tingle (and I tend to feel the tingle with even the gentlest of products).

This month I’ve been playing The Neighbourhood‘s I Love You($7 CDN) album nonstop this month. I’m sure everyone is familiar with them because of “Sweater Weather” but the whole album is just as good. The music is moody, slightly-grungy and angsty deliciousness. I don’t know else to explain it — if you like music that iTunes places in the “alternative” genre, give this a listen if you haven’t already heard it.

Have you tried any of these? What were your favourites this month?