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.
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.
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?
Generally drugstore blushes do not entice me in my frequent sweep of the cosmetics aisle as they’re one of the few products that I don’t have a drugstore favourite of. Even the hyped Milani blushes do not compare to my MAC, NARS and Benefit favourites. I’m pleased to admit that I found a radiance boosting cheek product in those very aisles that does impress me, and this is it.
These mosaic blushes and bronzers come with a great deal of product (0.31 oz) and feature a good-sized mirror and a questionably flimsy blush in the compartment beneath the product itself. Both in Canada and the US, this product is fairly expensive for a drugstore offering; it seems to retail for $7-10 US and $12-16 CDN depending on where you pick them up. There are six shades in all (four blushes and two bronzers) and I picked up the darkest shade of the latter offering, Deep Bronze.
The mosaic design of Deep Bronzefeatures a matte chocolate brown, a shimmery bronze, a satiny rosy burgundy and a golden champagne in sections that allow you to to control the colour by concentrating the product you pick up from certain areas of the product. In short, the general colour I seem to get is a luminous copper-leaning warm rosy bronze. I use this as a blush but it’s just as easily a shimmery bronzer. I also use a smaller brush focusing on the lighter colours and am able to get a nice highlight out of the product as well and this shade is remarkably different than the blended shade. I find this to be incredibly versatile – can you tell I’ve fallen in love?
The formulation of the blush-bronzer-hybrid struck me as remarkable upon my first use and my opinion hasn’t changed in the least since then. It’s pigmented, finely-milled and luminous, transferring as a sheen more than a shimmer or frost. While still being quite blendable and versatile in the colour intensity, Deep Bronzehas better-than-good longevity. This strikes me as a less frosty version of a MAC Mineralize Skinfinish with slightly better longevity and pigmentation in a traditional powder form at a fraction of the price.
Maybelline markets the highlighting bronzer with the tagline, “our multi-tonal bronzer palette highlights skin and softly contours cheeks for an instantly defined glow” and now that I’ve been using this product for weeks, I can say that I agree with reservations – the highlighting is a given but the contouring is so difficult to achieve due to the size of the different blocks of colour and mosaic products like these get muddled after a few uses, making it difficult to pick up any product without shimmer. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic product. On my dry skin, the product wore for 9-10 hours without fading which is similar to my favourite high-end blushes. Summary: colour me impressed.
If like me, you want your cheeks to look luminous but not artificial, these seem to be the happy medium. This could suit fair to quite deep skintones by the virtue of the pigmentation although it might be difficult to pull of on those on the fairer end of the spectrum with cool undertones. I’m warm-toned for reference.
I’m one of those pathetic girls who always as some sort of notebook on me to record my latest wish list and have about ten on the go at any given time on the phone and am constantly looking at the wish list but I’ve never done one of these posts because quite honestly I’m horribly fickle and have limited skill at putting the collage picture together – I have no shame.
Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator in Pink Light ($15 CDN)
I’ve heard that this “new release” from Revlon was actually the rerelease of a product they had discontinued but it’s irrelevant to me, all I knew was that I wanted this liquid highlighter. I’ve mentioned my love for the subtle but much-more-expensive Benefit Girl Meets Pearlbut I wanted to try something more obviously luminous and this seems to fit the bill. I don’t have any true pinky highlighters and wanted to try one out but I must note that my lusting for this shade is probably some sort of justification to “need” yet another face product.
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)
I’ve resisted getting this palette thus far but it’s no secret that it’s a struggle to not go to Sephora and nonchalantly “see if it’s in stock”. From my abundant posts on the Naked 1, you can see that I get a lot of use out of the warm-toned shades and I love their variety in shades but I struggle with the limited lid shades and Naked 3 is abundant in these. I don’t have a bunch of warm rosy shades but I really do like them and I find them flattering. It’s just so beautiful.
Urban Decay strikes again. This current lust has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the matching liner to the palette above but rather that I’ve been wanting to get into more interesting liner shades particularly for the waterline and the plummy-black and dark plum brown seem to hit the spot. As much as I like the formula of these liners, they’re not my absolute favourite as I have the driest eyes known to man and liner stays put in my inner rims like nothing else and these are hell to remove at the end of the night for me, their creamy texture makes you go through them so quickly and their waxy texture can be difficult on occasions but all in all I do like them and the shade selection makes it worthwhile.
Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder ($31 CDN)
Roughly-speaking I have long, very dry and fine curly hair that tends to get limp and I’ve tried dry shampoos before to add volume in between my infrequent washings with little success, finding that they only dried out the hair and caused horrendous tangle without adding volume and I’m wanting to give this a try. I remember trying a similar powder from Aveda years ago and I remember it working well and this one gives more product and Bumble and Bumble make fantastic texturizing products in my experience.
Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Creme Brulee ($6/8 CDN)
I haven’t ordered any Makeup Geek before and I don’t really have a reasonable excuse other than the fact that I’m not much of an online shopper but I’m really debating taking the plunge for this beauty. I’ve seen so many bloggers and vloggers talk about the warm brown transition shade and wear it that I’m convinced that I need to have it. I actually don’t have any of these warm transition shades that everyone goes on about because in store they seem to bore me.
What are you currently lusting after? Have you tried any of these?
After hearing the trusted Christine from Temptalia’s shining review of Marc Jacobs Color Eye-Con Palette in 204 The Starlet (and I recommend reading her review for superior shade descriptions and comparisons to other shades and more of a succint review), I had to see the beauty in person and upon seeing it, I decided that I had to have it and luckily my mother listened to my ravings and she gave it to me for Christmas despite her reservations about giving her clearly makeup-obsessive daughter yet another neutral palette – we do not share the same love of makeup, sigh. I’ve used this a great deal since finding it underneath the tree and I feel compelled to talk about the metallic oft-neglected palette.
I seem to have this tendency to forget to talk about the basics so I’ll begin with such details. The sleek black rounded and compact contains five shades with 0.24 oz (0.035 oz each so slightly smaller than the average full-sized shades) of product and luxurious packaging featuring a moderately sized mirror and a secure clasp closure. At Sephora, the palette retails for $59 US/$71 CDN. In line with the description of the palette, all shades are metallic but I must say they are refined shimmery shadows, more in line with Dior’s shimmery shades than Urban Decay’s and I don’t have a particular problem with the lack of matte shades but this won’t necessarily be an all-in-all palette. However, I wear this alone but also like to use alongside my staple matte shadows.
The shadows are among the best that I’ve ever tried – very longlasting, pigmented, iridescent, smooth, buttery and blendable – and they are technically neutral shades but they are very interesting for neutral shades and differ from the average neutral palette. Overall, the palette seems to be warm-toned (although there are one or two cool shades) and if you’re a fan of the Naked 1, I see you really being wowed by this offering. For some semblance of clarity, I’ll talk about the shades from left to right in the palette.
Shade One is a medium-toned purply taupe that reminds me of MAC Satin Taupe with more purple and lighter in colour and is similar but more purple-toned than the second shade in NARS Kalahari.
Shade Twois a peachy-pink champagne shade that has warm undertones, lighter than MAC All That Glitters but darker than Urban Decay Sin.
Shade Threeis a warm bronzy darkened chocolate brown that is similar to Urban Decay Darkhorse but is less green-based and more bronze.
Shade Fouris a light-medium true copper shade that I don’t own any shades that are similar to but I would describe this shade as being halfway between the uber-dramatic MAC Coppering and the more subdued MAC Woodwinked. It’s a wearable copper.
Shade Fiveis a relatively light silver with a noticable blue lean to it. It reminds me of the “eyelid” shade on the left hand side of Wet n Wild’s Blue Had Me At Hello.
Shade Sixis a medium-toned antiqued gold that I don’t own anything similar to and is much less warm-toned than say Urban Decay Half-Baked.
Shade Sevenis deceptive in the pan, as the shade pulls much more neutral and taupe in tone when applied onto the lids; it’s a medium-dark taupe-grey shade that to me looks like a darkened and greyed version of MAC Satin Taupe and reminds me of Urban Decay Mushroom.
The shades are all consistent in quality and this is one of those palettes that I wear all the shades on a regular basis – the metallic palette is surprisingly versatile in my experience. The champagne is one of those lid shades that I adore and the copper is subtle enough to be worn with more dramatic lips while still looking striking. The purply taupe is lovely in the crease. The gold is a stunning one and it seems wearable because it’s an antiqued tone. The silver is beautiful for a smoky eye – I wore it on New Years! – but can be difficult to wear on the regular because of its blue lean. The grey-taupe seems to be the perfect shade to smoke out the eye without creating much mess or fallout and the dark bronze is dark enough to use to define the outer corner and lashes. I think the palette was rather well thought out but I would only recommend if you’re a fan of shimmery shadows. This is a palette that I find myself reaching for both when I want to wear a bolder lip and need to tone it down on the eyes and when I want to go for some smoulder.
The Rating Breakdown
Pigmentation – 10/10
Longevity – 9.5/10
Packaging – 10/10
Value – 9.5/10
Overall Quality – 10/10
Total Grade – 49/50= 98%/ A+
Have you tried any products from Marc Jacobs Beauty? What do you think?
Although I’m self-professedly not the kind of girl who sticks to a daily makeup routine without changing it up a bit on the daily basis, lately I’ve been sticking to quite a “routine” of sorts and I thought I’d share as I haven’t done a daily face this year – what horror, har har har. This is the kind of makeup that seems to happen when (a) I make the effort to actually apply something and (b) I don’t want to think on autopilot.
So I might have lied; well kind of. I’ve gotten into a routine in terms of what products I apply and what I go for buttt as I’m not completely broke as I’ve picked up a few things lately there have been a few recent additions as well. The overall routine, however, has remained constant.
I’m convinced that I was delusional before when I thought I didn’t like Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation. Since doing my “shopping my stash” post, I’ve been reaching for this foundation exclusively – and that’s saying something because I’m a foundation hoarder and I can never seem to stick to one. It has a hydrating creamy consistency providing medium coverage that can be built and a slightly dewy finish. Particularly when paired with the Lancome La Base Prosilicone-y primer, it sits on my dry skin nicely, providing coverage without it looking obvious or making my skin look dull.
I’ve done something shocking, I’ve fallen back in love with my MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder, which I wear in the lightest shade after passing powder off for months because I don’t “need it” and worried about cakiness and the like. Maybe now since I’ve been a little more frugal with my foundation application or something, it’s made its way into the daily rotation. Applied with a powder brush, it adds a tiny bit of coverage and sets the skin and helps with imperfections such as pores and texture while providing a natural (not matte) finish. Unless I have an absolutely frightening dry patch, it does not highlight them at all and it’s amazing. Concealer has been my standard highlighting Rimmel Match Perfectionunderneath my eyes in the lightest shade.
For the last little while I’ve rambled on about my love of MAC Harmony Powder Blush for the daily contouring and bronzing job, but recently I’ve been reaching for the creamy Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan because there is something magical about the way it sits on the skin that’s worth the extra effort to blend in. Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighterends up on my cheekbones daily automatically for that healthy dewy sheen.
So I was at MAC a week ago and somehow I found myself at the register with a few products I’d been lusting after in my bag. I have no idea how this happened. Even though the last thing in the world I need is blush, I picked up the duo palette and had to pick up a blush to go inside along with the eyeshadows and I chose MAC Powder Blush in Tenderlingand I’m glad I did. It’s my first truly neutral blush that livens up the face without looking like blush and is that perfect complement to wearing a bolder lip in daytime life. It’s matte-but-not-flat and the warmish brown shade leans peachy in a flattering way. If you have colouring like mine, you need this in your life.
Although I do tend to rotate between specific eyeshadows, I’ve been reaching for this “eye” exclusively. After priming, I filled in my brows with my latest addition, MAC Coquette eyeshadow, which I purchased at the reccomendation of the salesgirl after I complained of my brows looking too red-toned despite whatever shadow I used. Hallelujah, she was right. I also used the shade in the crease. On the lid I wore the product that I’ve used up two times and have been lusting after to repurchase since I began this blog, MAC All That Glitterswhich has the nicest sheen to it without being over-the-top and sits halfway between a champagne and a copper. There’s nothing like this shade to wear on the lid when you want a lighter neutral colour but are bored of the usual champagnes. In the inner corner and browbone, MAC Dazzlelight has been my go-to as it’s not overtly shimmery and looks natural. For definition in the outer-corner of the eye, I used Clubbut this shade I tend to switch up. I’ve been wearing a thin but slightly-winged line of my well-loved L’Oreal Lineur Intenseand as always, I’ve been coating my lashes with good ol’ Maybelline The Falsies.This is one of those types of eye makeup that looks fairly natural on the lid but really defines the eye and looks polished.
If you know me, I’m not usually one to wear the same lip daily but lately I’ve been wearing darker lips (the blush makes this far easier) and particularly I’ve found myself going for MAC Dubonnet.Because of the amplified creme finish of the lipstick, it’s moisturizing but the formula does tend to slide around the lips with any sort of eating or drinking. I’ve discovered that blotting it slightly doesn’t reduce the hydration and really helps the lipstick to last longer with minimal maintenance – because of the creaminess of the shade, I used to find that if I wasn’t careful I could rub the lipstick off of my lips before it stained them creating that dreaded lipstick ring around the edges of the mouth.
It’s difficult for me to get the balance right while wearing the darker lips that I adore; I need to add definition to my eyes and cheeks to balance out the face or bold colours tend to look hideous on me and what I’ve been doing has helped me to get the balance right (in my opinion!) and I wanted to share. This is my low-key and effortless dark lip sort of makeup choice and I will continue to wear it, I swear.
Have you tried any of these products? What makeup products have you been reaching for daily?
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.
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.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Color Eye-Con No 7 in The Starlet ($71 CDN)
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 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.
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter ($36 CDN)
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.
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.
FACE:Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory, MUFE Cream Concealer Palette in 1, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer/Highlighter in Ivory, MAC Powder Blush in Harmony, Benefit Boxed Powder in Rockateur, MAC Semi-Precious Pearl Mineralize Skinfinish
EYES:Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded, Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No 7 in The Starlet, Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner in Black, Maybelline The Falsies Mascara, Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette
LIPS:Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry
Upon receiving some angelically beautiful beauty products for Christmas that I may or may not have casually hinted that I’d like with retail prices, colours and the location where they could be purchased, I had express my adoration for it somewhere and I figured it would be the most appreciated here. This is completely non-Christmas-y but I was completely happy with the result … ahhh
I used the nice-but-slightly-too-warm-toned Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette through my brows but I forgot to put it in the picture – whoops — but it’s growing on me. I also appear to have forgotten to include my limited-edition MAC Semi-Precious Pearl MSF — a wonderful product for highlighting regardless of whatever champagne-esque shade is currently available; it’s Christmas, forgive me?
I used my Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush for the first time today and I’m loving it for it’s precision and winging ability, although one might not assume that based on my questionable liner application. That’s not the star feature of the makeup for me though. After seeing the unique colours of this interesting neutral palette and reading Christine’s from temptalia.com shining review of it, I had to have it and thus far these might be the best shadows I’ve ever tried. They are so buttery, smooth and pigmented – and interesting! I stuck to the more plummy-taupe shades with the taupe in the crease, the lilac-tinted champagne on the lid, the burgundy-leaning shade in the outer v and underneath the eye, and I have got to say that they apply and blend like a dream. As an afterthought, I placed the silver in the inner-corner and it looks nice and festive. These shades, albeit more expensive, do give Urban Decay a run for their money.
My skin has been good the last couple of days, which I can only attribute to diet and my latest morning routine of applying organic rosehip oil after the Kiehl’s Stress Rescuer. This duo leaves my skin looking less dull and more dewy, allowing foundation to slide on and look more fresh. I used the tiniest amount of Rimmel Wake Me Up, concentrating on my cheeks, chin and nose and barely applying any to my forehead, leaving any blemishes covered with my recently-neglected concealer palette. I was actually quite happy with the skin, as it looked lightweight and glowy, while still covered somewhat.
The cheeks were the usual, MAC MSF and MAC Harmony Blush to add much-needed shape to my face and Benefit Rockateur was stippled onto the apples and blended back. Note to self: this trio creates lovely radiance while still looking winter-appropriate.
The Fresh Lip Treatment in Cherry was another Christmas gift and another surprisingly impressive one at that, providing the moisture from the original treatment while still packing a not-so-sheer amount of pigment onto the lips with a neutral-toned pop of a mixture of cherry and brick tones. These are Revlon Lip Butters on your preferred drug of choice, but I have only used it once. I do plan on a review in the near future.
Thanks for reading my daily beauty musings!
What makeup did you rock on Christmas Day/ winter holiday of another religious denomination (I at least try to be politically correct when I remember to….)? What did you think about today’s daily face? Er, I apologize if this post is a bit less focused and more jumpy than usual, but in my defense I’m more than a little over-caffeinated and over-excited.
September in a nutshell was crazy, stressful, busy and somewhat depressing. I spent much of it in a makeup rut, hard-pressed for time and generally sleep-deprived. Somehow this resulted in some clear favourites,
MAC Dubonnet Lipstick
This is an amplified creme finish lipstick (most likely my favourite) that is a deep berry red with some brown in it and neutral undertones. It is quite versatile as it can be worn as a subtle berry stain or as a deep berry bold lip. The formula is nice and moisturizing while still lasting on the lips. I think it’s that wearable but bold fall lip for me and although many skin tones can wear it, it is an ideal bold lip for fair skin.
Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder
I must admit that I purchased this product due to a moment of weakness and stress, but I can’t bring myself to regret it whatsoever. I surely did not need another blush, but this is a light-buildable rose-gold with a nice sheen and neutral undertones without being too glittery or shimmery. The colour is really finely milled and the shade is especially unique – a rose gold (not too pink or too peach but rather in the middle) without the coral-orange undertones of shades such as MAC Stereo Rose.
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Ever since I got back into school and those exhausting long days, I had been having issues with my eye shadow creasing and this fixed the problem. Boring favourite, I know.
Mac Harmony Powder Blush
Like most other people, I use this “blush” as a contour powder. I’ve talked about my love of this before, but I’ve gotten into using it slightly differently; I’ve been using it for more of a precise contour then just generally adding shape to my face. It’s sort of an odd colour – a matte, cool brown with reddish undertones. It looks natural as a contour but the ruddiness in the shade can prove to be a difficulty to some.
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
I’ve done a review of this foundation before and as it was then, my shade is Rose Ivory (which oddly has no pink undertones whatsoever…) but I’ve gotten quite into this foundation recently. With minimal product used, I find that you can achieve a good medium-buildable coverage with a slightly luminous finish. My only irritation is that it does stick to dry patches and is not flattering on me when I am having my drier days.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
My shade is 10 Light, which is a fair-light shade with yellow undertones. This is a really natural looking concealer with medium coverage and is easily blendable. I use it both underneath my eyes and on blemishes but I find that it wears off of inflamed blemishes more quickly than I’d like.
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Perversion
I know I mentioned this in last months favourites and all I’ve said about it before still applies but this month I’ve gotten really into tightlining with this and applying it in the waterline. This liner actually stays put and does not irritate my eyes.
A few weeks ago, I picked up the Studio Careblend pressed powder at MAC and as I knew it had been out for a year or two and I had not heard much about it, I decided to do a review. On their website MAC describes the product as “formulated to provide a smooth, virtually invisible, fresh-looking finish, this soft cream-like powder is carefully blended to provide the skin with extra care, nourishment and comfort” and I was fairly skeptical about the product. However, I needed a new powder and as powders can be fairly problematic for my dry and very sensitive acne-prone skin, I picked this one up, knowing that I could return it when it undoubtedly would either irritate my skin or break me out (and I hate wasting money on products that I can’t use).
Note: In Canada, you generally cannot return products that you’ve used.
After trying this for a few weeks, I can safely say that the Studio Careblend pressed powder from MAC is a good setting powder for those of us with dry and/or sensitive skin. However, take my opinion on this products merit for those of us with sensitive with a grain of salt; any ingredient in any product can break somebody out regardless of whether or not the ingredients are considered non-irritating or non-acnegenic. With that being said, I think this is a good option for sensitive skin regardless — many MAC face products (particularly powders… ahem…. studio fix powder …) either break me out or simply irritate my skin and this one definitely does not.
I am always skeptical of the claims made about beauty products in their descriptions of them — a powder is not ever going to so-called “provide the skin with extra care, nourishment and comfort” in my opinion/ experience. Like any other powder in the universe, this powder has the potential to look cakey and is visible on the skin, however I found Studio Careblend to set makeup excellently with a velvety feel on the skin and provide a surprisingly nice soft matte finish. This powder does not set and mattify your makeup with the cost of losing all of your radiance, somehow it allows both.
It is worthy to note that although this powder is geared towards drier skins, it can highlight flaky patches, similar to most face products that I have ever tried. MAC Studio Careblend provides sheer coverage that I am sure can be built up for fuller coverage. [Note: As I have skin that tends to be dry and flaky, I do not use powders on their own (as foundation) and therefore I cannot attest to their longevity and appearance on their own]. I found that when I used the powder to set my foundation, it made my face makeup feel undetectable on my skin, eliminating that dreaded ‘foundation’ feel, as well as making my makeup look fresher and last all day – keep in mind here, my skin tends to be dry so in general foundations last a long time on my skin.
I generally wear this powder over the top of Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation and occasionally Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation. I picked MAC Studio Careblend powder for $29 dollars CDN in the shade light, which was undetectable on my roughly NC15 skin.
Warning: selfie overload (as much as I loathe that word)
Verdict: If you are looking for a powder to set your makeup (or offer very minimal coverage) with a natural, soft-matte finish and velvety texture, particularly if you have drier skin, I recommend this powder for you. Any thoughts on this product, or MAC face products in general?
I will admit that in the past I’ve been a victim of the whole mentality that if a product is more expensive, it must necessarily be better, or “you get what you pay for”, however recently I have found some products that I adore at the drugstore that are at least as good (if not better than) their much pricier counterparts. So, here goes:
1. Neutrogena Extra Gentle cleanser: True to its name, this is a fragrance-free and irritation-free cleanser. Due to the fact that it does not contain any detergents, it is not the best makeup remover, nor does it provide an ultra-deep cleanse. This cleanser might perhaps be the best one that I’ve ever tried, easily better than ones with 3x the price-tag. I highly recommend this cleanser for sensitive and acne-prone skin, but it is also great for all skin types. In Canada, it costs around ten dollars.
2. Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation: This is a pretty new foundation for me, but I have been using it long enough to know that it does not clog my pores (and I have extremely sensitive, acne-prone skin). As I was in the market for a new less-expensive glowier foundation and I had heard great things about this foundation, I picked this one up in 100 ivory and was impressed. The only setback with this foundation is the colour range – there are only a few colours and are particularly limited in pale and dark shades. The finish is gorgeous and glowy and I find it has good medium coverage. It is also worth noting that this is one of the best foundations I’ve ever tried and outperforms foundations that cost 5x the price. In Canada it costs about 10-12 dollars.
3. EOS lip balm: These lip balms are great, super-hydrating and they aren’t sticky, shiny or anything. The ball-packaging is rather nice and they function as a skin-care product, not a balm for a glossy appearance (like Maybelline Baby Lips or the like). I highly recommend these for dry lips. I would imagine that they cost a bit under 10 dollars CDN – I’m not sure how much they cost individually because I bought them in a value pack at Costco.
4. Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner pen: In all honesty here, I am not the most even-handed and precise person while applying liquid eyeliner (or anything else for that matter) and this liner makes the job far easier. This liner (I have it in black) appears nicely matte and inky-dark. For some odd reason, I have the oiliest eyelids known to man and this lasts all day on me without smudging and removes easily with Bioderma (or any regular makeup remover). However, I must mention that you must hold the liner on its side so it is parallel to the lashline or the product will not have much colour payoff. I find myself reaching for this quite frequently to do a nicely winged eye look. I paid about 10 dollars CDN for this.
5. Maybelline the Falsies Flared mascara: Long story short – I really like this mascara. I have very sensitive and dry eyes and eye products frequently irritate my eyes so I was pleasantly surprised when this oddly rose-scented mascara did not. Naturally I have fairly long pretty curly eyelashes so I look for dramatically thickening mascaras and this one does the job. One of this mascara’s plenty appeals is that it removes quite easily with gentle makeup remover, while not flaking or coming off in any shape or form during the day. In my experience, this mascara does not imitate the results of false lashes but what one does? The Falsies Flared provides nice thick lashes along with some length and makes my lashes look rather nice at a fraction of the cost of other mascaras that I’ve tried that it works at least equally well to. I purchased mine at a local drugstore for 10 dollars CDN.
Note: I personally have not tried the original mascara. I’ve heard that the formula for the Falsies Flared and the Falsies original are the same, just the brushes are different. I am not a fan of the brush and find it to be a gimmick therefore if you have the original, I would not reccomend rushing out to purchase the flared edition.
6. Maybelline Colour Tattoo eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze: I’m sure this needs no explanation, so I’ll keep it short and sweet; by no means do I think this is an amazing but I think it is slightly better than MAC Paint Pots, making it the best eye shadow base I’ve ever tried. For me, this product is not crease-proof and not that I’ve tested it out myself, I doubt that these last 24 hours. Keeping that in mind, this cream shadow is great. The taupey-bronze hue is great for those of us who are cooler-in tone, as it allows us to wear that bronzy hue without looking orange. I find myself reaching for this shadow when I have to get ready in seconds – I apply this, shove some mascara onto my lashes and haphazardly fill in my brows. I find that this shadow is long-wearing and also helps other eyeshadows to really pop – even more than they would with a traditional primer such as Urban Decay Primer Potion. I know these are much cheaper in the states, but I picked mine up for ten dollars CDN.
Note failure to keep it short and sweet.
7. Bioderma Sensibio micellar water: I feel like I’m cheating by including this because although this product is sold at the drugstore, it is not particularly inexpensive but it is fantastic nevertheless. Above I mentioned that I have super-sensitive skin and this is multiplied tenfold for my eyes and they are also incredibly dry. I am one of those people who eyes always sting when they are removing makeup and miraculously this one does not sting, while still being quite effective. It’s also fragrance-free and soothing, therefore excellent for sensitive skin. I use it nightly to remove my face and eye makeup before cleansing my face and I adore it, however I find myself going through this product rather fast. I picked mine up at Shopper’s for 22 dollars CDN.
8. John Freida Frizz-Ease Curl Reviving styling mousse: As a wavy-curly girl, I have a slight obsession with trying to find the perfect product, I go through a ton of them and I am rather picky about them. It’s difficult to find good products, even more-so without spending a ton of money. This mousse is good, however. It has a good amount of hold without weighing the hair down, drying it out, leaving residue or making it hard or crispy. It’s also a alcohol and silicone-free product, which are rather difficult to find at any price point. I find that it gives me nice curl formation and I picked it up for around 10 dollars CDN.
If anyone in the world is reading this, I apologize profusely for being my usual, excessively wordy self and providing very minimal useful information. It appears that the products that I am preaching about are already hyped-up products and I most likely am presenting little to no helpful information. Anyways, salutations (because I find the word hilarious)!