Drugstore (Makeup) Essentials #2

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So I was feeling a wee bit nostalgic and strangely sentimental – sue me. An all around beauty product drugstore staples post was my first post ever, right after I discovered these fantastic beauty products that didn’t break the bank and since then I’ve tried um lots more, shall we say and I always like reading these posts so I thought a post with my budget-friendly staple products was in order as I haven’t been giving some of these workhorses as much credit as they deserve. As I’ve said many times before, in Canada drugstore makeup doesn’t tend to be nearly as affordable as it is in the states so I’m sure for many of you these hero products will be even more affordable, but price aside these are all fantastic products I always come back to. And I easily could have included 72835 products more…

Real Techniques Core Collection ($19-22 CDN):

I’m actually aware that everybody and their pet iguana declares their loved for this affordable hyped-up brush set but after spotting the set for the first time this summer, these four brushes have made their way into my daily makeup routine, so they are kind of a ridiculous bargain considering their quality. Everyone’s favourite, the buffing brush, was my first love from the set, initially seducing me with its ability to buff foundation into the skin to help it blend seamlessly, but I’m tempted to say that I now love the three other includes brushes as much; the contour brush is amazing for its intended use, namely sculpting the face efficiently, the pointed foundation brush blends concealer underneath the eyes like a dream and the detailer brush is responsible for my newfound ability to do Lisa-Eldridge-Induced pinpoint concealing.

Annabelle Smoothliner in Brownie ($7 CDN):

I’m pretty sure this is one of the few beauty bits that ever existed that are easier to get ahold of in Canada and that is rather pleasing, I must say — but I know that Americans at least can order from the website for reasonable shipping rates on the already reasonably-priced brand. This is easily the best affordable liner that I’ve ever tried but it’s up there among the best liners I’ve ever tried regardless of price as well and it’s the first non-black liner that I’ve found worked. It has that kind of creamy, long-wearing and pigmented formula that I had hoped the cult-favourite Rimmel Scandaleyes had but most certainly did not. The shade is also spectacular as it’s a rich deep brown that adds adequate definition unlike the other brown liners that I’ve tried in the past.

L’Oreal True Match Mineral Pressed Powder ($14-16 CDN):

While I wouldn’t say that it’s an exact dupe – oh how I hate that word – for the MAC Studio Careblend, it’s very similar – the only difference is the more minimal coverage and decreased longevity – and I’ve been hugely impressed with this as a girl who doesn’t really like powderiness and is looking for a non-powdery powder. It is one of those soft powders that I adore unlike the typically powder-y powders that cling to my dry patches and take away all life from the face. Although it blurs imperfections in the way that powders do, it has more of a natural velvet kind of finish and doesn’t take all luminosity out of the skin. But like many L’Oreal products, it’s not actually all that affordable…

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN):

So a review of this luminous foundation is long overdue and I do plan on getting one done in the general near future but in short, I’m still loving this one. This is one of those foundation  that under ideal skin conditions – ahem, by skin isn’t in one of its tantrum phases – is undetectable on the skin while offering light coverage that is easily built up to medium with the help of the buffing brush. I believe I wear the third lightest shade, Shell, that is a really good match, particularly undertone-wise as it leans on the warmer side of things without being so yellow and in my humble opinion the shade range does cater to us fairer-skinned ladies. It’s luminosity is nowhere on the questionable greasy side of things but in my opinion, unless you have skin that’s as dry as the desert, some powdering – of the t-zone at least – is optimal. I’ve read from others that the finish on this beaut is a natural satin one but in my opinion its glowier than that and not in a bad way.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($3 CDN):

What would a drugstore post of mine be if I didn’t throw in another reference to how much more ridiculously expensive drugstore makeup is here compared to the US? There are very few beauty products that are as inexpensive as this that you can buy in Walmart, Target and the traditional drugstores so it’s particularly impressive that for a toonie and a loonie or less, you can pick up this bronzer. Regardless of price, it’s one of my favourites, that is, it’s better than high-end that I’ve tried and it’s matte while having a smooth blendable texture. I know I’m in the minority of fair-skinned girls on this one as it is so warm and can verge on the orangey spectrum of things but on my neutral-to-warm skin, it isn’t problematic in the slightest and unless you’re extremely cool-toned and fair, I would be tempted to give it a go.

Maybelline Colorsensational ‘The Buffs’ Lipstick in Nude Lust ($9-10 CDN):

When I mentioned this before it my review of the two lipsticks from the new line of nudes, the lighter but much-peachier in undertone Blushing Beige received more appreciation from me but as time has gone on Nude Lust, with its slightly more flattering formula and slightly deeper tone with more of a beige-y hue to it has become a favourite of mine. The lipstick formula reminds me of an improved-upon MAC Cremesheen, as it has the same creaminess with good longevity but is a smoother texture that’s more hydrating and much more comfortable on the lips. I would have to posit this lipstick as halfway in between the true typical nude offering, MAC Creme d’Nude and the somewhat-nudey-my-lips-but-better offering, Patisserie; it has true nude undertones and isn’t so pale that it needs to be worn with a full-on smoky eye to be flattering without looking brown on my pale lips. It has a play-doh scent but I don’t mind it so much as it’s not overpowering.

L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($9-11 CDN):

So this product pick probably has your eyes rolling if you’ve been following me for a while, but I had to mention it considering it didn’t make its way into my first post of its kind and it is the epitome of what this kind of post is about. In the last six months since I’ve picked the felt-tip inky liner, I don’t think I’ve ever used it less than 4 times a week. It still remains nice and wet despite its frequent use, I’m pleased to report, but it isn’t so wet that it ever smudges and makes a mess. It’s pretty much a precise and easy to use brush that quickly can produce those thin everyday kitten flicks for those with less dextrous hands like mine.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic ($8.50 – 10 CDN):

In an ideal world where I did not seem to misplace lip crayons at the most inopportune moments, the product mentioned here would be the Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing but in that place called the real world, I appear to have lost said lip product and so I’m going with the similar but slightly lighter-rustier red Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic which I like only the tiniest bit of an imperceptible smidgen less because it’s not quite as hydrating with the more obvious cooling-mint sensation that can irritate the sensitive lips (boo) but at the same time has ridiculous good wearing power and is comfortable to wear and doesn’t show hideously chapped patches on your lips.

Bourjois Cream Blush in 04 Sweet Cherry ($20 CDN):

I know, I know, this isn’t actually exactly budget-friendly in Canada but it is in the UK for certain – I’m jealous of all of you who live there, by the way – but it is still more affordable than anything resembling higher end and is generally fantastic so I’m counting it here. For a true cream blush, this creamy-but-not-wet-feeling texture is much easier to work with than say the very creamy and emollient Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges without setting to that cream-powder finish that kind of negates the point of cream blush for me. I should mention two slight downsides to the product, however; not a ton of product comes in the compact product and it has that typical heavy and perfume-y scent. I have the deepest shade in the range because in the lighting I was working with the others looked deceptively sheer and light and I’m a fan of it nevertheless, despite its less exciting neutral rosy deep pink shade.

Sooo this turned into one of my marathon posts but I’m telling myself — and I mostly believe it — that it is completely acceptable and concise because it’s not an abstract tangent on a single product but instead one of my essential picks posts. What are some of your drugstore essential products?

Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

Hello, Spring

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If our weather yesterday was anything but the typical Nova Scotian (yes that’s a province in Canada, above Maine for reference) disgusting gloomy but not shivering-inducing rain, I wouldn’t have believed that Spring could have come so early but it wasn’t. And nothing says Spring like temperatures rising above zero for the first time since early October – and funnily enough I’m neither being sarcastic nor ironic here, it’s just spring isn’t all flowers and sunshine here, but to be honest I’m glad our weather doesn’t get too scorching because I’m not a happy camper when overheated. Alas, I wanted to share some product picks that are appropriate for the new season without doing a full-out edit post…
Avene High Protection Mineral Cream SPF 50 ($30 CDN)

Although I admit there’s not much sun going on here that could lead to sunburn and damage this time of year (I know I should always wear spf) but it’s nicer to find a formula to incorporate into your routine as soon as the skies are clear and this is the one for me. I’m someone who can rarely tolerate chemical sunscreen on my face without my skin turning reactive so this mineral-based one is a godsend. It’s fast-absorbing but moisturizing and has a slight pinky tint to avoid the white cast but the tint is rarely problematic as it is so sheer – but I do like to work it nicely into the skin as I have undertones that sit on the warmer side. Being someone who suffers from hyperpigmentation from past blemishes, wearing sunscreen daily especially when spending time outdoors is essential for worsening the uneven tone and not only does my skin like this one, it is easily the most effective sunblock that I’ve ever tried and it does not run into my eyes and burn.

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN)

Ever since Lisa Eldridge (and her wonderful youtube videos) have come into our lives, we all seem to be on the search for the undetectable foundation that can’t be seen even in a magnified mirror and this inexpensive one seems to be the best fit for my skin. Its light-to-medium-coverage formulation glides over the skin, evening it out and adding some luminosity – foundations tend to sit really heavily and noticeably on my drier skin but this one doesn’t and 130 Shell is my perfect shade as it’s fair and slightly yellow-toned but not too-yellow toned for my skin that sits not too far from neutral in undertone and certainly not pink.

Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her Nail Lacquer ($9 CDN)

I really like the idea of pastel nails for the springtime but they tend to be on the streaky/sheer side of things and I can find them sometimes a bit too girlie on me but the slightly grungier offering works for me. While still being a light polish, this shade stays on the nails for ages and provides really opaque colour without streakiness; I’d describe the shade as a dirty grey-green but that’s not giving it justice. I picked this one up in the dead-of-winter at Winners (the Canadian TK/TJ Maxx) for a few dollars less and I’ve been waiting to wear it since. It’s my kind of colour and is the longest-lasting polish I’ve tried on my nails that tend to chip easily.

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MAC Dreaming Dahlia Lipstick ($19 CDN) – limited edition

As I reviewed this one a mere couple of days ago here I figure I don’t need to go into detail about the whole shebang. The shade is a comfortable and forgiving warm-toned coral shade in my favourite lustre finish, adding that pop of coral to the lips in an everyday sort of way. It’s limited edition with MAC A Fantasy of Flowers right now but it should still be available. Highly recommended.

Bourjois Cream Blush in 04 Sweet Cherry ($20 CDN)

There’s something energizing and flattering about going for that bright pastel pink flush to the cheeks as springtime rolls around but I have issues wearing those cool-toned shades (think MAC Well Dressed) and this is an alternative that I’ve been loving). The Bourjois offering has a gorgeous creamy-but-not-wet kind of finish (although I do wish it contained more product) and Sweet Cherry adds that rosy bloom to my cheeks, while being a little deeper and warmer but still maintaining that rosy hue. I must try more of these… note to self.

Happy Friday! What products have you added to your routine for Spring?

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.

Urban Decay Naked 3

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I’m very late on the bandwagon with this one as I forced myself to resist buying it until the very end of January and after using it exclusively for two weeks – I think I wore an eyeshadow from a different palette maybe once – it’s safe to say that I’m in love and I’m not one to declare my undying love for a palette unless it’s something magical. I’m not saying that the formula of these shadows are magical but they are really nice shadows that one expects from Urban Decay (but with some fallout as can be expected from shadows of this texture) combined together in a versatile and flattering way – for my skintone at least. When I saw the first photos on the palette when its existence was rumoured, I was not interested one bit because those icy pinks do not suit me and I’m not into that whole extremely girly look. I’ve said it before I use the Naked 1 constantly and I’ve been happy with it as it contains the flattering warm shades for my skintone but some essential lighter shades are missing from the palette in my opinion. Because Naked 3 was cool-toned, I didn’t think it would be a wise choice for me but I’m pleased to say it’s not as it seems. Naked 3 is a warm-toned palette, but unlike the first in the series, it has more colour options on the lighter end of the spectrum and the shades lean on the warm rosy side rather than the bronzes and as much as I like bronzes, these shades are some of my favourites.

The general tone of the palette follows shades like MAC All That Glitters, NARS Kalahari and Urban Decay Hustle and Sin. In my humble opinion, this palette would be great for two specific groups of people (a) those who suit warm-toned shades and (b) those who want to work with warmer toned shades but find bronze-based shades pull to orange-y on them. I know it’s premature to say this but I think that this might be my favourite palette of all time, pulling ahead of the original Naked Palette.

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The shadows themselves are pigmented while still remaining easily blendable and smooth. The mattes are particularly impressive in formula here – I’m including Strange even though it’s listed as a satin here – and serve as flattering highlight, transition and crease shades on my moderately fair skin; the palette is versatile and great for travelling on account of the inclusion of these three staple shades. Strange is a pearly ivory shade with a rosy lean to it that is a highlighting shade, the transition shade is Limit, a light rosy-taupe and Nooner, the darker rosy brown, is my crease shade of course. A few of the lighter shades are prone to fallout but most of this can be prevented by being careful; the only shade I dislike working with is Dust, the pinky champagne shade as it is verging on glittery with fallout issues and doesn’t impart a great deal of colour onto the lid – nevertheless as it’s a light shade it is workable. Trick (coppery rose-gold) and Buzz (warm rosy-shade that is perhaps the pinkest but has some mauve-taupe in there for sure) can be prone to some fallout (but this can be remedied by applying it with the fingers onto the lid or tapping the excess off of the brush) but their texture and pigmentation is still great nevertheless – these have to be some of my favourite shades in the palette. And they don’t transfer onto the lid as glittery as they appear, I’m pleased to report. I can’t actually detect any of the microglitter like I could with Sidecar. The mid-toned shades seem to contain a refined shimmer and translate smoothly onto the lids; these include the more muted rosy-taupe shade, Liar, the darker taupe with mauve undertones called Factory and the more medium-toned mauve-taupe shade with some grey in it called Mugshot. The final two shades in the palette, Darkside and Blackheart, are the two truly deep shades in the palette that can be used (and I do frequently) to add definition and smokiness to the eye and they are both fantastic shades. Darkside was one of the shades that I didn’t expect much of and was flabbergasted when it blew me away – it’s a warm dark blendable grey with rosy-plum undertones and a satin finish. I’m also quite a fan of Blackheart, the palette’s “black” shade that is pigmented and workable without being chalky with gorgeous pink shimmer/glitter running throughout.

 Each of the shadows is full-sized (all twelve containing 0.05 oz of product each) and comes housed in the durable packaging that has a secure closure and a large mirror. It comes in a metal tin with copper swirled lettering over the rose-gold packaging. It came with the individual primer samples which didn’t really impress me but I can’t complain and I was quite a fan of the brush. The brush was a double-ended synthetic one, featuring a more precise paddle brush that is great for precise placement and a larger fluffier brush that works well for blending. I much prefer this brush to the one they brought out with the original palette. And of course it’s $52 US/$62 CDN. It’s worth that sum if you ask me and believe it or not I can be quite cheap.

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Have you picked the palette up? What are your thoughts?

Maggie, x.

The Daily Face #7: A More Minimal Approach

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I’m going to make my understatement of the year in the following sentence so be forewarned. I’m not the kind of girl who rocks the minimal makeup look. It’s not that I feel the need to wear makeup in public constantly – I’m fine going out without makeup and I do enjoy it on a regular basis – but I don’t see the point of the whole natural minimalistic makeup as I feel like slapping on mascara and foundation to be missing the whole value of makeup. I have the kind of face (especially my large eyes) that really benefits from more definition than that, however I love the look sported on the runway and whatnot of makeup with a slight pop of colour on the lips that looks like skin everywhere else without losing the benefit of makeup. Can anyone follow my logic here?

It’s actually frightening to think of how many occasions that I’ve attempted to write a post of this variety but failed in some drastic way. Inspired by the makeup goddess we call Lisa Eldrige (she embodies the not overly-made up makeup), this happened.

While it’s improved drastically in the last day or two, I’m going through quite a breakout on my face and one that’s quite difficult to cover on account of texture and general skin irritation at that and had to think about what foundation wouldn’t highlight all of that loveliness and I went with my recently purchased Revlon Nearly Naked for its luminous but seamlessly blending texture that provides a true medium coverage. I’m very pleased to report that it didn’t highlight the warzone currently occurring on my forehead while still covering the uneven tone. But first I did apply some Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, I might add. Inspired by Lisa even further, I used my Real Techniques Detailer Brush to do some pinpoint concealing with the second-lightest shade Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette – the colour was spot-on enough that I could actually see the benefit of the technique. Hmmmm. Oh, and the lightest shade was blended underneath the eyes to highlight and cover the bags.

I’m not always a powder kind of girl but I do find the MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder to help cover and blur texture imperfections and that’s sort of essential on a day like today. With my square face and all, I rely on doing some sort of contouring regardless of how casual I want to look and I used the contour/blush hybrid, MAC Tenderlingthat looks like skin while adding some shape.

I wore the hyped Rimmel By Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 107 on the lips, applied with a brush for a more natural, precise and effortless sort of effect. Note: this is a lipstick that I find difficult to wear as I don’t know what to pair with it – truly minimal makeup makes my lips look overly pronounced and too much going on makes the lipstick stand out in an unflattering manner on me due to its pink tones. The formula is one of my favourites, wearing for a long time without drying the lips and wearing evenly. There’s something I love about a bold lip with minimal looking makeup and the whole effortless but polished and awake look that it brings. I must take note of how I applied it today because I’m feeling it.

Of course, I wore my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette today and continued with my consecutive wearing streak but these flattering warm shades are ideal on me for an effortless yet defined makeup look. Having weirdly creasing-prone lids, I put the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Barely Branded on my lids underneath the shadows.

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First I put Burnout, the peachy golden shade on the lid and then I blended the mauvy-taupe Limit into the crease and the slightly darker Nooner lower down in the crease. Then I added some of the plummy-toned Factory into the outer corner and used the matte Strange to highlight. This sounds like a lot, I know, but it was quick to do and reads as simple definition on the lid. Although I actually really dislike the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Brown that everyone seems to be in love with, I find it overly waxy and unpigmented, I used this on both the upper and lower lashlines to add some definition to the lashlines without reading as liner. I really don’t understand the hype on this one. On the mascara end of things, I doubt you really even need to ask…. Same with the brows. I’m one of those people blessed with unruly yet sparse shapeless brows and filling them in is essential and obviously I used the ashy MAC Coquette eyeshadow and an angle brush from the same brand.

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Do you frequently sport minimalistic makeup? What do you reach for when you go for minimal makeup?

Maggie, x.

The Sort-of-Snowed-In Edit

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Being a typical Canadian, living a bit out of the city, I’ve come to expect these winter days frequently when mittens, scarves and hats are a necessity and if you lived anywhere else, nothing would be open and you would have the liberty of having a ‘snowed-in’ day but alas you must venture into the blowing snow and today is one of those days. I thought I’d provide a snapshot into the products I reach for. Er scratch that note about not having to venture through the blowing snow – my second class was just cancelled and I cannot bring myself to make the effort to go to my first class but I got ready as if I were going.

IMG_5330Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder ($36 CDN)

This is a flattering and instantly brightening, effortless sort of blush for me and although I raved about this after I bought it and then stopped mentioning it, it has remained a staple in my collection since I purchased it at the very beginning of October. The luminous warm rusty-pink shade is worth the rather hefty price tag especially on mornings when you resemble a breathing zombie.

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Maybelline ‘The Buffs’ Lipstick in 915 Blushing Beige ($10 CDN)

Like all good makeup tales, this one begins with an unsuspecting stroll down the drugstore aisles that resulted in a new product find and even better a discounted one – they’re on at Lawton’s at the moment for $8, if you were curious. I’ve been in a major nude lipstick phase for the last little while and ever since I’ve heard about these I’ve wanted to try one. They’re creamy with decent longevity on the lips but can highlight dry chapped lips slightly. I’m horrible with the whole name description game but I would have to say that it’s a warm-toned nude that’s fairly light with peachy-orange undertones. It strikes me as the shade that I wished MAC Shy Girl was – I backed to MAC’ed the shade – but somehow wasn’t, a peachy nude that doesn’t appear ghastly.

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Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($12-13 CDN)

I know, I know, the last thing in the world I need is yet another foundation but I’m running dangerously low in Rimmel Wake Me Up and decided to try this instead aaaaand it was on sale (at Lawton’s again) for ten dollars and maybe a dime or two. I hadn’t tried it in the past because I heard that it’s finish was on the natural-matte side of things and when I’m looking for a lightweight foundation I want luminosity but after hearing some recommendations for it and seeing it for a good price (in the Canadian drugstore world), I couldn’t resist picking it up and I’m glad that I did. I only picked this up a few days ago but I’m impressed. Just using the chart at the store, I picked up the warm-toned Shell and it’s an impressive match for my fair skin. It’s lightweight in texture, offering true medium coverage (slightly less than the Rimmel) and a slightly-dewy finish without any sort of shimmer or sheen to it. Note: I haven’t powdered it here and am hardly wearing any concealer. If only it came with a pump…

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter ($36 CDN)

I’ve had this product since I redeemed my Sephora points in the summer and I’ve talked about it before but I love highlighter; this liquid one is a subtle peachy-pink one that livens the face without looking ‘highlighted’.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)

I know I wrote about this in yesterday’s post but I’ve worn the palette every single time I’ve worn makeup since I picked it up and have been happy with the results every time. I think this is a versatile palette that provides every shade you need for a variety of different complete eye look. I’m enjoying the warm rosy palette more than I would have ever expected to. The matte shades are fantastic blah blah blah. Expect to hear more on this soon … cough-cough potentially at the end of the month in a certain kind of post.

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($45 CDN)

I’ve been using this moisturizer since August and it soothes skin regardless of how irritated it is. It’s one that is lightweight but protects skin from the elements that is a breath of fresh air for winter days like these and I attribute the fact that my skin has not turned into a sore, itchy, flaky and red mass to this product. It helps to repair the skin-barrier with it’s antioxidants and the lack of irritating ingredients and has stopped my skin from getting into the fragile state that it normally does. It’s not a miraculous product that removes all the stress from your skin but it can definitely help.

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OPI Malaga Wine Polish ($10 CDN)

If the bottle looks tiny, it’s because it came in a larger kit and I haven’t worn it long enough to provide specifics about longevity but the red-berry cream shade applies rather opaque (I’m only wearing one coat) and smooth and doesn’t chip off noticeably in a day or two on my chipping-prone nails. I haven’t been feeling traditional reds this winter but this deeper shade is a nice alternative.

The Body Shop Moringa Body Milk ($12 CDN)

I don’t think I had gone as far as to step into The Body Shop in the last two years and I don’t always buy into the natural-product hype as natural is not always better and like Lush, they tend to be laden with potentially irritating fragrance, however I was bored and I ventured inside and came out with this and I’m in love. It is scented but the fragrance is low on the ingredient list and the milk contains high concentrations of Babassu nut oils so I gave it ago. Did I mention that it smells bloody phenomenal and I’m not even much of a scent person. It doesn’t irritate my eczema on my legs which is an impressive feat in itself and it smells lovely without being overpowering. I’m shocked that I like the floral scent so much but it’s not particularly, girlie, sweet, fruity or artificial-smelling. It smells fresh and so far I’m loving the multi-purpose product that smells nice while providing much needed moisture to the body that absorbs instantly.

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What have you been reaching for on these cold winter days?

Maggie, x.

Makeup Additions #2

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Things have been a little hectic here and I apologize for neglecting the blog but I’ll spare you from rambling on about the craziness of university life as I’m sure you can fill it in for yourself if you so desire. It’s been snow-central this week so my product selections might have been inspired by the whole snowed-in motif that’s been going on here. These aren’t all necessarily brand spankin’ new products but these are the products that have been added into the daily rotation…

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)

So almost a month after my wishlist post and two months waiting since it came out, I finally picked this up and let me say that I am really enjoying it. There are a few shades with a glittery tendency that are difficult to work with (Trick, Buzz and Dust) a la Sidecar from the original palettes but they are light enough that I don’t find it to be a problem and these shades are very usable. Although this palette focuses more on lighter shades, there is a good variety of shades with different depth to create cohesive makeup looks unlike many palettes. At first I was wary of this palette because I expected it to be icier pinks but the shades are warm with a rosiness to it and on my warm-toned skin, both interesting and flattering. It seems really versatile thus far and I’m impressed despite all the hype. And there are three matte shades although they call one a satin and they are divine – the cream-coloured Strange, the light mauve-taupe Limit and the medium-dark rosy brown Nooner. I would expect this to be featured in daily face posts and a review soon.

wearing Strange, Limit, Nooner, Buzz & Blackheart
wearing Strange, Limit, Nooner, Buzz & Blackheart

Bourjois Sweet Cherry Cream Blush ($20 CDN)

It’s nice that Bourjois is available here in Canada but it’s annoying how much more expensive it is here than in the UK but this is a worthwhile purchase nevertheless. There isn’t a huge amount of product in the warm rosy pink pot (like the product) it’s a buildable formula that sets like a powder. In my experience this is longlasting with sheer but buildable colour payoff that blends seamlessly into the skin. It isn’t powdery-looking and flat but it doesn’t have any sort of shimmer in it either.

the cream blush in action with regular application
the cream blush in action with regular application
the blush built up
the blush built up

 

L’Oreal Super Blendable Crayon Concealer ($12-15 CDN)

I must apologize in advance for the state of my concealer (which is in W 1-2-3 if you’re interested) but it came broken inside the package and I wasn’t going to pay for a new one. It’s somewhat emollient but not overly so and provides nice buildable coverage that looks like skin and does not tend to highlight dry patches and stays put. I actually like this for undereyes and blemishes and I don’t feel that way about all concealers but it’s not the fullest coverage concealer out there.

Have you tried any of these? What have you added to your routine recently?