Some Winter Empty Products

It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these posts. However, I realized that I had finished a good assortment of products that I have thoughts to share on. Sidenote: Rather than dwell on the Deva Curl drama when I talk about individual products, I will note here that I’m well aware of the scalp issues that people have experienced using their products and the reports of hair loss. I did experience itchiness and scalp irritation when using their cleansers and full on routine. However, I love the results of their stylers and the occasional treatment products. They aren’t for everyone though, and they certainly aren’t the be all and end all of products for textured hair.

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Deva Curl B’Leave In Miracle Curl Plumper ($26.55 CDN | 177 mL): This is actually my most repurchased hair product of all time and I’m going to repurchase it again. I’ve gone through at least four tubes of this product since my first attempt at the curly girl method years ago. It’s not actually a leave-in conditioner. It’s a smoothing thin gelee textured product that works fantastically on my fine delicate curls. It helps my curls that easily clump together maintain that clumped and spiral-y formation that they can lose at the drop of a hat during the drying process. It helps bulk up my waves and curls into spirals and adds bounce. It’s glycerin based product that also contains wheat amino acids and a couple of different kinds of hydrolyzed proteins high on the ingredient list.

Deva Curl Wave Maker Touchable Texture Whip ($36.54 CDN| 147.9 mL): Having finer hair, a looser curl pattern and wanting volume, I was convinced that this was going to be the curl cream for me. It wasn’t. It was so lightweight that I found I had to use lots of it and created texture and separation in the way I didn’t want. It separated my curl clumps. After I didn’t like this cream styler, I thought that maybe curl creams weren’t for me. I was wrong. It does have medium-ish hold on its own and contains way less glycerin than their other creams. I think this product could be great on baby fine hair that is easily weighed down and those wanting beachy kind of texture.

Deva Curl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN | 150 mL): I honestly don’t know if I would have thought  to try a different curl cream from Devacurl if I hadn’t randomly grabbed a sample of this from Sephora. I found myself pleasantly surprised by this curl cream and ended up purchasing it. It really helped to clump my curls together into spirals and gives the hair structure and moisture. It contains a whole lot of coconut oil and glycerin and a bit of protein. However, it’s not overly heavy and helped to control my hair (especially in the humid summer) while offering light hold. The subtle authentic coconut scent was pleasant.

Deva Curl Styling Cream Touchable Curl Definer ($38 CDN | 150 mL): I bought the original curl cream after I liked Supercream so much. It’s fairly similar to Supercream but is a little bit lighter and has a bit more hold — and can actually be used on its own without a gel or holding product — and doesn’t contain coconut oil. It’s also glycerin based and has a similar cream consistency. It helps my curls and waves clump together but might leave my hair with slightly more bounce and volume. It’s offers a little bit less control than Supercream though and has a sugary fruit scent. I bought it again.

Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel ($58.06 CDN | 946 mL): I consistently used this gel over the last year or so and there’s nothing I’ve gotten better results with. It has medium firm hold that will develop a cast that isn’t too tenacious and is fairly weightless on the hair. It contains a whole lot of glycerin and quite a bit of hydrolyzed protein. Both of those ingredients help to enhance my fine waves and curls, regardless of season. It plays particularly well with a cream underneath. I’ve repurchased the litre size again. This gel also leaves me with more volume than several others I’ve tried and dries faster than most gels.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($36 CDN | 355 mLs): It should speak volumes that I placed an order to specifically get this protein deep conditioner back into my life even before I was out of it and that I cut the bottle open to get every last bit out. It’s a great deep conditioner with out of this world slip. It contains hydrolyzed keratin as the fourth ingredient so it lends the strands a serious protein boost, while still being a super moisturizing treatment. It’s rich but relatively lightweight and always leaves my waves and curls a little bit bouncier and clumped after use.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Conditioner ($12-$13.49 CDN | 379 mLs): This ended up being an easily accessible medium weight concentrated conditioner. It had moderate slip and offered the right amount of weight and nourishment for my fine but incredibly thirsty strands. It’s silicone free and is comprised mainly of glycerin, shea butter, jojoba, argan and olive oil, along with a bit of hydrolyzed silk. It was enough moisture for multi day hair, encouraged my waves and curls to clump together in a nice way but didn’t weigh down my hair. It also worked as a leave-in; I’d buy again.

Aveeno Intense Relief Overnight Cream ($12.49 CDN | 208 mLs): This was a nice fragrance free cream that helped calm the winter dry itch and hydrated the skin nicely with petrolatum, shea butter and oat extract. However, it was so lightweight that I went through the tube very quickly, applying a generous amount twice a day to my legs and arms. I’ve moved onto richer creams that seal in moisture on my patches of eczema better.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer ($58 CDN | 30 mLs): This ended up being a very expensive moisturizing product for me, offering no sort of priming benefits beyond one of my standard moisturizers. It was smoothing in the way that moisturizers containing silicones are and had that kind of thick semi-oily feel that only coconut alkanes as an ingredient leaves behind. I experienced no issues but I also didn’t find that my makeup looked better or lasted longer with this primer.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner & Serum in Ultra Black ($15.99): I’ve gone through countless tubes of this liquid eyeliner and I’m sure that won’t be changing anytime soon. This brush and pen hybrid style liner turned me into a liquid girl. This pen creates a slim flick with ease in seconds and doesn’t require a steady hand.

What have you used up lately?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

The Review | DevaCurl DevaFuser

It’s been a ridiculously hot, humid and all kinds of crazy summer. I’m hoping to get back to regular posting soon – I know, I always say that. As someone who is always looking for volume and lift and has hair that takes forever to dry at the crown, I’ve always been intrigued by the DevaCurl DevaFuser Universal Diffuser ($68 CDN). It’s a supposedly-universal diffuser attachment that is shaped like a hand that is supposed to mimic the action of scrunching without the added frizz of manipulating the hair with the hands. The ‘inner core’ is ceramic, which increases the moisture retention in the hair, the shine and reduces frizz. They claim that it dries the hair faster, with increased root volume and definition as well.

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I have two significant issues with the universal attachment. The first issue is that it is not universal. I have a fairly standard sized dryer and the adapter attachment is too small to fit on my drier, resulting in me relying on the attachment itself remaining attached to the base of my dryer. In other words, I have to exercise extreme caution to even keep the diffuser on my dryer. For reference, I have an older model of the T3 Featherweight Dryer. I have to admit that I do enjoy using the hand shaped design to help dry my roots faster than they would otherwise and add some volume to my long waves and curls. My problem is that the hand shape does kind of disrupt my fine and delicate curl clumps when used in the lengths of my hair. This may be related to the attachment falling off of my dryer, though…

I do actually get good success using this diffuser attachment to dry the roots of my hair more quickly, with more ease and to achieve more volume. However, I get more defined and bouncy curls by using a standard bowl diffuser on my lengths. It’s true that I might have better success with a more narrow dryer but I’m kind of peeved because its marketed as universal. Also, those with curls and waves that are less delicate and prone to breaking apart or de-clumping might find that it gives nice results for the entire head. If you ask me, this diffuser is also more than a tad overpriced. The picture included is a picture of my hair diffused with this attachment at the roots along with a standard diffuser for the lengths for a few minutes.

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Has anyone else tried the DevaFuser?
Maggie, x.

 

The Review | Deva Curl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam

I originally tried out the DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam ($36 CDN/ 222 mLs) as part of one of the brand’s sets featuring products from their wavy line. I found myself liking the foam so much that I ended up purchasing a full-size of the product months later. I was not impressed upon realizing that the product had been reformulated by the time that I repurchased it. This reformulation was not for the better in my experience. It didn’t have as much hold and ability to help droopy curls spring up and tighten in my wavy hair. Both versions of the product are Curly Girl Method approved, formulated without silicones, drying alcohols or sulfates. As a sidenote, it’s also cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, if that is of interest to you, as well.

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The old version of this foam that I adored had a fairly similar ingredient list to the newer formula. However, the curl-enhancing ingredient changed from polyquaternium-69 to polyamide-1, which I simply don’t find to be as spiral and bounce boosting. Also, I noticed that the foam offered much less hold than the previous formula. Now, I’ll try to stop dwelling over the old formula that I preferred.

The brand markets the Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam as a product that primarily provides volume and frizz-protection, while being lightweight. It’s supposed to offer volume to curls, along with touchable definition and shine, whilst eliminating frizz. It offers maybe a light hold on its own in my experience (but my hair is heavy and higher porosity so I tend to experience little hold in products) and does help add volume and a bit of extra bounce to my curls in a weightless way. I definitely still experienced some frizz with this product and used on its own, I definitely would experience frizz. This foam is so weightless, though, that I think baby-fine wavies and curlies would love it. I can’t imagine it adding weight to anyone’s hair. I will concede it does add definition and a lighter hold and would be an option for those with hair that gets heavy from most products. For reference, I have 2c-ish hair that’s incredibly long, have high density fine strands and are higher porosity.

The foam is much lighterweight than a gel or even a mousse and functions as a curl enhancer for me, used before gel in my routine. It does add some extra definition, a touch of hold and some extra lift and bounce. It’s featherlight without being drying. I might actually prefer the product for refreshing, though, because the light hold helps combat frizz and my curls tendency to droop in areas, while helping to enhance them.

The scent of the product is light and fruity. Ingredient-wise, it relies on the polyamide-1 to enhance curls, add volume and protect against humidity via acting as a film former. The next ingredient is primarily a holding agent, matodextrin/vp copolymer. The remaining ingredients are your usual botanical extracts mainly. It doesn’t seem to contain any protein and the humectant, glycerin, only appears at the very end of the ingredient list. Polyquaternium-68 is also found very low on the ingredient list; I only mention this because I know that some find they cause build up.

I don’t think I would necessarily repurchase this formula as it is, but I will use my bottle up without complaint.

Have you tried this?
Maggie, x.

The Review | DevaCurl Set It Free

The number of hair products that I’ve bought in the last two or three months is terrifying, even to my product hoarding desensitized self. My posts might have died off in the last few weeks as I have not been feeling the greatest, but I’ve been experimenting with anything and everything to make my waves/curls look their best – without the aid of heat. Generally-speaking I’ve been following the curly girl method – well, technically in a modified way because I feel the need to use a few products with silicones – and I’ve been trying every single product combination that I can think of, both new and old. With this experimentation, I’m thinking about doing a series of curly hair product reviews. And obviously a product from the brand that started it all, Deva Curl seems to be the way to go.

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I’m not sure that I’ve ever spoken about the DevaCurl Set It Free Moisture Lock ($25) but there’s a reason for it. I’ve had this staple DevaCurl product for well over a year, yet I’ve struggled to come to a definite conclusion with how I feel about it. It falls onto that love-hate spectrum for me and from the reviews that I’ve read my experience is fairly usual – you either love it or you hate it. I simply can’t decide where exactly on the spectrum I fall. It’s a confusing product in the first place because of its versatility but I would have to describe it as a leave-in or moisturizing refreshing spray with some curl enhancing ability and hold.

If you’ve tried DevaCurl products or have had your hair styled by a Deva-certified stylist, I’m sure that you have had experience with this product – it’s part of the four step core Deva routine that they seem to use on just about everyone. I have two main issues with this product that stop me from really enjoying it and reaching for it on a regular basis – t’s scent and the feel in my hair. It smells like sour skittles in a way that cannot be described as anything resembling subtlety and does not dissipate and it feels sticky. Also, it feels product-y in the hair like you would not believe – regardless of how you use it. It does have its benefits, defining the curl, particularly at stubbornly flat roots, providing hold and reducing frizz, but the feel that it leaves in my hair – regardless of the amount used – leaves much to be desired. I’m not a fan of using it in freshly washed hair because of how unbelievably sticky it is and how it can separate my curls in an unflattering way. I don’t find it particularly moisturizing either and as someone who has unbelievably tangly hair, I hate how it has the tendency to tangle up my locks.

The one way that I do somewhat enjoy the product is as a curl refresher. It still can be a bit sticky and feels product-y, but it’s to a lesser extent and I don’t mind it because of the way it boosts my limp and flattened curls, refreshing the old product and adding a bit of bounce – all while depositing some hold that reduces frizz and ensures that the curls don’t fall afterwards.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lipids, Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire d’abeille), Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Ceteareth-20, PVP, Aminomethyl Propanol, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum)

Have you tried anything by DevaCurl?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

My Sephora VIB Sale Purchases

After last November’s Sephora VIB Sale disaster where numerous accounts were disabled, any orders reaching places other than the US were disabled – the second of which I suffered from but it ended up fine in the end – for some days and orders took forever to ship, I was shocked to find that my order went from being placed to arriving in my mailbox in two business days this time – and I’m in Canada and nothing is all that fast shipping-wise. There wasn’t even a delay and this kind of shocked me to no end. Alas, I did not order a ton of things – and I’m only going to show you half because the other half are to be stowed away until my Birthday in a months time – but I think I’m beyond pleased with the four items that I have to share. And because the order shipped so fast, I actually have had time to try out the goodies numerous times so I will be able to share more thoughts.

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  1. Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Natural Healthy Glow Powder Duo in 01 Clair – Brunettes ($60): Given that I’m a fair girl who loves bronzers but doesn’t own that many, -especially on the higher end side of the spectrum – the sale seemed like a good opportunity to go for a more extravagant one and this was the one I went for. I did my research beforehand and was intrigued by the limited edition product’s ability to both add that perfected radiance (a la Ambient Lighting Powders or Chanel’s Les Beiges) while adding a subdued buildable bronze hint to the face and I would have to agree with my findings. It’s a bronzer that suits me at my palest but has that lovely texture that adds warmth and general glow with its smooth semi-matte texture. It’s gloriously buildable, too and I really enjoy how the compact includes both the bronzer shade along with a pop of colour on the side. I chose the lighter of the Brunette offerings because I knew it would have more warmth than the blonde one but wouldn’t be dark in the slightest and because I’m partial to the more orange-hued blushes. I do enjoy the musky scent but I would assume that it is definitely not for everyone. P.S. The swatches do not do the product justice – they appear more sheer and light than it applies.

    the bronzer portion | the two portions blended | the blush crescent
    the blush crescent | the two portions blended | the bronzer portion
  2. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown ($23): After mentioning wanting to make my first foray into the world of the famous brow-centric brand 3747 times and including this product in a good number of wishes, I bit the bullet. I really like the product and I think I’m glad that I went with the darker ashier shade but I do have to be really careful that I do not put too much product on the brush. However, I do love the effects when I don’t get to product-happy.
  3. DevaCurl Deva Clips ($18.95): Being someone with naturally curly (wavy-curly to be exact) hair that I wear that way most of the time, it makes life easier for me to embrace my curls and go for products that actually help them look to my liking on a daily basis. Given that my hair is so heavy and I have limp flat issues towards the front, hair clipping at the roots is something that I’ve tried to master on countless occasions in order to get some volume and more root curl – and I’ve had limited successes. Even though it seems ridiculous to spend close to twenty dollars on clips, I actually bit the bullet and went for the pricy DevaCurl brand version. While I’m still figuring things out with the clips, I have had much better successes with these than any others that I have tried.
  4. Calvin Klein One Summer Eau de Toilette Summer 2015 ($65): I’m fairly certain that this is the second full-sized non-rollerball perfume that I’ve acquired ever and it’s been about six years since my last one but I had a hankering to buy a perfume during the sale. I ordered this year’s version of the scent without smelling it because I liked the sound of the notes an awful lot and it wasn’t too expensive to get a large 3.4 ounce container. I liked that it was unisex because I tend to prefer fragrances that straddle the edge of being somewhat masculine-inspired rather than the typical sweet fruity offerings and I was pleased because it actually did smell of a gin and tonic – in a way that does not read borderline alcoholic – and smells of a relaxed summer moment by the water without any hint of dreadful coconut, instead with a hint of citrus in the freshest way possible. I’m not always a packaging girl but I do love the ombre blue packaging.
Did you pick anything up at the Sephora sale?
Maggie, x.

 

The Beauty-Related Christmas Additions

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

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

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

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

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

June 2014 Favourites

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June has been a relatively nice month in these parts, both in weather and in my perceived overall temperament of the month, were it an animate human being. The month began (literally) with my twentieth birthday where I was gifted a much improved new camera — a digital SLR — and was able to make some improvements here at Beautylit & Ramblings so things were rather good on that front but in terms of my life outside of my little space on the internet, I achieved less than the ideal productive human being. Anyway, this is a roundup of my standout products throughout the month.

Bianca Topical Gel ($90 CDN):

I must say that adding the prescription retinoid gel that’s formulated impressively without irritating alcohol back into my routine wasn’t so fun last month as it is one of the only skin medication that actually is proven to cause purging for the first month or so and that didn’t stop for me until the beginning of the month and as one would expect, some scars do remain but now that I’ve gotten through this stage I’ve been happy with the improved texture of my skin and lack of general bumpiness brought on by rapidly increasing cell turnover. Weirdly enough, it also seems to help with overall brightness without irritating my skin like most other prescription and non-prescription strength products that work known to man. It’s actually the most money that I have ever spent on a skincare product but my dermatologist recommended it to me so I went for it knowing it wasn’t covered by insurance annoyingly — note, later I was reimbursed for half from University-based health coverage so it wasn’t so painful in the long run.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($26 CDN):

Every time when my skin gets irritated, broken out, dehydrated and/or scarred, I always come back to this oil consistently to quickly sort things out. The orange-tinged dry oil is lightweight but manages to instantly soothe and hydrate the complexion, helps with active blemishes and does miracle work with scarring, brightening the skin over time. I’ve been reaching for this loads to help with that whole skin situation.

Boots No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser ($12 CDN):

I’ve been using this cream cleanser to remove makeup and cleanse the face in general for going on three months but this month I really fell in love with this gentle and luxurious yet affordable offering especially while dealing with the general skin irritation and dehydration situation. With its convenient pump packaging, this rich cream cleanser removes makeup like a champ whilst soothing the skin and actually leaving it much more calmed and hydrated after removed with a washcloth. It does have some fragrance but it has a subtle spa-like scent that would lead you to believe that this is a much higher end product than the price would indicate, especially paired with the whole experience of massaging it in. I’ve deviated from my usual routine a little, in fact, as I’ve been enjoying going for this offering in the morning as well as it leaves the skin smoother and soothed in preparation for makeup and the like. It does come with a muslin cloth which has imparted me with the insight that I’m more of a facecloth kind of girl.

DevaCare Arc AnGel ($25/55 CDN):

I had gotten more into my hair in the last two months or so and I remembered loving my wavy hair last summer when I was using their gel as well as the leave-in protein treatment so when I was in the area of my salon, I picked the protein treatment up again and tried the firmer holding gel from the line in the economical huge litre tub. As with the Ultra Defining Gel, when used properly, scrunched in with care and all that jazz (in the style of the Curly Girl Method), this one gives great definition to my loose curls as well as adding life to the roots. However, this gel has to be my favourite because I find that I don’t need as insane of a quantity of it and it’s much more economical while providing even better definition and hold that keeps the shape in my hair for days. I’ve definitely been more of a fan of my hair this month and this is the product responsible for it.

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

I normally force myself to leave out products from these monthly posts that I’ve only had for the second half of the month, but after picking it up and talking about it here ,it has become a welcome addition into my daily routine and I can safely say that it’s my first primer love as of ever. The ridiculously named “CC” primer manages to not irritate my sensitive skin in any sort of shape or form whilst performing effectively; the opalescent silicone-based primer adds that luminosity that helps to blur imperfections rather than highlighting them and it also seems to keep foundation on the skin as it was applied for longer.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup in 10 ($48 CDN):

In the last month, I’ve talked about this new foundation that I’ve fallen for and I doubt I’ll be stopping anytime soon. I honestly can count on one hand the number of times I wore makeup that didn’t include this lightweight foundation and I was never happier with the way my face looked with all things considered. Being someone who suffers from dry patches and less-than-ideal texture on my face, I tend to avoid anything promising a velvety let alone matte finish but when I visited the Chanel counter at a local department store and let the lovely lady apply it to my face, I was sold. The fairest shade seems to be the ideal match for my skin and the lightweight formula looks and feels like skin, offering medium (but weirdly buildable) coverage with the velvety but luminous finish. This one manages somehow not to dry out skin in the slightest but control oil on my normal t-zone in a kind of unbelievable way. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it recently, but this really is the perfect lightweight foundation option for summer.

Annabelle Smoothliner in Black ($6-7 CDN):

It may or may not be apparent through viewing my posts in the last month, but I haven’t been feeling my usual winged liner — Don’t get me wrong, I may be wearing it in certain posts but I haven’t been loving it on — and because I’m a liner girl at heart, I’ve been forsaking it for this creamy waterproof offering. I’ve said this before but for me, these are the better version of the popular Urban Decay liners, actually creamy as compared to waxy and easier to smudge out. Because of its creaminess, this isn’t a liner that is super easy to create a precise line with but that’s a necessary sacrifice. Although they don’t last for 12 hours or anything on the inner rims on the eyes (probably because they aren’t the easiest to adhere too the inner rims), this is one of the very few that will remain on the upper waterline without transferring. Ahh, I’ve found a product to tightline with at last that doesn’t automatically transfer to the waterline and isn’t a menace to remove from my dry eyes at night.

Annabelle Lipliner in 405 Demure ($4-6 CDN):

So I hadn’t noticed how much I’ve been loving the affordable brand, Annabelle — woo, Canadian pride … jokes — but after putting this together, I’ve fully recognized this fact and have made a mental note to try more from this brand as I’ve been majorly impressed with what I’ve tried thus far. If you read my post a few weeks into the month where I picked this bargain up with a few others here,then I’m sure that you’re aware that I haven’t had this for the entirety of the month but it’s (yet again) another product that has fast-tracked its way into my daily staples. I didn’t use to be a lip-liner girl but after I picked this creamy rosy hue that sits as a warm-toned browned pink shade, I think I have been converted; its that perfect my-lips-but-better colour that suits my complexion (in my opinion) and works on its own or with a multitude of lipsticks ranging from nudes to rosy neutral kind of hues, perfectly suiting the next product worthy of mention…

MAC Patisserie Lipstick ($19 CDN):

I have sensitive and perpetually chapped lips and I’ve probably said this 47 times too many but here I go again. In the beginning of the month, I appear to have either burnt my lips spectacularly or had quite the reaction to spf in a lip product considering the chapped, sore and flaky lips that emerged and wouldn’t heal and when this happens and I want to wear a lip colour, moisturizing spf-free options such as MAC Lustres are a lifesaver. This shade is easily my go-to everyday kind of colour — a nude that isn’t exactly pale with some rosiness to it and the subtlest of brown undertones — and it might just be my favourite lip product of all time but independent of this, I’ve been slapping this on constantly this month, quite often over the above liner for increased longevity and a bit more of a kick on the pigmentation front. And case in point, the mother who only comments on my makeup maybe once every few months — more often and not in a way that resembles constructive criticism — has told me on a few occasions how nice this shade is, so I’m fairly certain is a good one.  And it actually moisturizes the lips and camoflages these kinds of situations impressively. I went on and on in more detail about the combination in a recent post here.

Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Pink Light ($14-16 CDN):

This is not a product that is any means new to me as it’s been with me since early Spring and I’ve thought it was a nice subtle pink-hued illuminator that added that dewiness without emphasizing any of the unwanted things on the face and blended into the skin impressively but since going for less of a dewy finish with foundation and wearing less makeup in general, the dewy cheekbone situation has been much more enticing. In other words, I’ve been pulling this tube out and have been applying a few dots on the cheekbones, even going a bit lower than usual and blending it with my fingertips.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($2.70 CDN):

There are very few makeup products available at the usual suspects that retail for such wallet-friendly prices and more than that, this hyped product has to be the perfect finely-milled warm-toned bronzer — because it’s on the warmer side of things, I do prefer it in the warmer months (especially when I’ve gotten some colour [while wearing SPF of course!]) but regardless it isn’t one of those bronzers that is just a touch away from being brick-hued and it has a nice texture to work with both for adding some shape to the face with a smaller brush and actually bronzing with a larger brush. I had been in the mood for more of a contoured effect in past months but as of late, I’ve been going for a much more diffused bronzed application of this one. It’s flattering and subtle on the skin while being lazy-girl approved, if you needed any further persuasion.

 

 

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                                         The products in use minus those of the lip variety
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                                         The lip products

 And hopefully to benefit anyone reading this — P.S. I kind of adore you all — I continued my swatching kick, featuring the coloured makeup products (minus the foundation) from this post. Unfortunately, none of my photo attempts seem to be in particularly good focus… forgive me?

DSC_0640                                          From the left: NYC Sunny, Revlon Pink Light, MAC Patisserie, Annabelle Demure Lipliner, Annabelle Black Smoothliner
 
I really was not intending for this post to be anywhere this long and for that I apologize and as always, I would love to know your thoughts on these products as well as your standout products of the month!
Maggie, x.