Weekly Medley #46

Recently Updated46I’m free and this whole feeling of freedom has been disorienting, feeling as if there must be six or seven things that I should be doing at the moment that have slipped my mind but I’m definitely pleased with the change of pace around here. By no stretch of the imagination has my week resembled anything interesting, on account of it being spent stressing, being unable to sleep, studying and finishing exams until the last couple of days where I have been thrilled to be doing absolutely nothing, but I’m not disappointed. I’m actually rather pleased with my influx of blog posts over the last couple of days — namely Saturday’s “A Holiday-Themed Wishlist”, Sunday’s “The Beauty Bargain | L’Oreal Collection Exclusive Lipstick in Doutzen’s Pure Red” and yesterday’s “I Used Up Products #4”. So its probably pretty obvious that I’m relieved that the semester has come to an end and that I now have some time to relax and enjoy the holidays. And blog, of course.

About a week ago, I stopped by Sephora, having my eye on a gift or two for friends and knowing that I had to spend a little bit more on myself and I could get $20 off of my purchase with their Christmas promotion. So I was pleasantly surprised on my visit into the store that there was a visiting Dior educator there and obviously I had to have a chat with her about my love of Dior quints and despite firmly believing that I did not need another one, even though the range is completely new, I came out with a new one and an unexpected one, the Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in 456 Jardin. Being much more a warm-toned neutral gal, I needed convincing on the predominantly green colour scheme and lack of matte shades but after the palette was applied to my eyelids, I was in love with the smoky look that wasn’t nearly as colourful as I would have thought. I’ve been enjoying using the palette, especially because the shadows are just so creamy and pigmented and they bring something a little bit different. My two favourite shades are the iridescent pink lid shade that brightens the lids and the amazing jewel-toned blue shade in the palette. I will admit that its not an all-inclusive palette for me and I like to add a neutral tone in the crease, but I just love it – can you even say that you’re surprised? I’m wearing the shadows above, next to the image of the palette by the way!

Honestly, my current loves have been having the time and energy to apply makeup items such as this one, the cooler weather, being able to sleep and burning candles, along with that whole lazy-day cozy vibe that I adore. If you were wondering the candle currently on rotation is the Bath & Body Works Spiced Apple Toddy 3-Wick Candle and as much as I adore it, man is it potent – in the best way possible.

I’m off to relax and maybe have a nice little afternoon reading-come-lay-down and make some tea – as I kind of have to wean myself off of the great quantity of caffeine that I’ve been ingesting in recent weeks.

How was your week?
Maggie, x.

A Holiday-Themed Wishlist

Recently Updated45

 

Don’t you worry, I’m not here to subject you to your umpteenth holiday gift guide post this week but I do have to admit that I do enjoy sharing the products that are currently at the top of my lust list and ramble on about them for ages. I will admit that I have slacked on all kinds of productivity on the last few days so I’m allowing myself the privilege of writing this post as a break from studying for my upcoming exams, so forgive me if things are a bit wordy and crazy sounding – warning. This is not simply a wish list at the moment because there is that simple fact that this is the time of year that there are gifts to be gotten, or at least this is how I justify writing this self-serving post…

I’ve been into the idea of trying a product or two from the luxurious cult-status brand since hearing everyone and their goldfish declare their love many times over but I’ve always had difficulty finding them in my area or on a hassle-free site for ordering. However, as I was walking around downtown the other week, I spotted the line on the shelves of a local salon and I’ve made note. The most exciting product strikes me as this one because of Tayler’s detailed videos on the brand that I may have watched a time or four and I see this becoming mine in the near future despite the frankly ridiculous price.

Since trying the rollerball version of this warm and rich fragrance in the early summer and falling in love – despite the unseasonal factor – I haven’t stopped loving it since and I’m about ready to go for a larger sized bottle. The oil seemed like a good idea given my sensitive skins general reaction to alcohol in products, my love of oils and the price.

Spoiler alert, I may have recently finished up my two ounce tube of this cream-gel and hankering to repurchase it. I find it to be a universal product and last for ages at that with its potency or concentration; on my wavy-curly hair, I find that it adds some volume, that grittiness that I love along with good curl definition. It’s great on straighter hair too for giving it that beachy look.

I may or may not be expecting to find this in my stocking this year, so in a way, it’s not a true wishlist item but I’m excited enough to include it. I’m a huge fan of Caudalie’s Vinosource range and particularly at this time of year when the perpetual dehydration of the face sets in, I’m into using oils before moisturizer to double up, soothe the face and add some vitality.

  • Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder in 52 ($24)

I’ve had this power on my list in the book o’ blogging for ages now because of the great things I’ve heard consistently from British bloggers about this creamy-textured non-powdery powder but as I was with my friend, walking around Shopper’s Drugmart (as one does), I touched it and fell in love with the epically creamy and smooth product. The angels were singing when I swatched it.

I never expected to be someone who would give into the Anastasia hype at all, as I’ve been happy with filling my brows in subtly with an angle brush and the grey-toned MAC Coquette Eyeshadow and in particular, I never expected to go for anything like the Dipbrow because it screamed full-on glamorous instagram brows to me – I tend to do better with the natural. However, I picked up a sample of the ashy shade a few weeks back and I’ve been enjoying just how much control you get with the product and how it does double duty in terms of filling in and setting things into place.

  • Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Golden Reflections ($61)

It would be an understatement to say that I love me some Dior quints and the interesting Golden Reflections variation that came out in their Holiday collection seems to tempting to resist. Back on the note of my extreme love for these, I may have bought Jardin with the Sephora money off thing and I don’t regret it the slightest on account of the amazing formula that’s pigmented, blendable and easy to use.

Every time I so much as enter Club Monaco, I instantly fall in love with at least one article of clothing. However, the store is rather expensive so I tend to invest in a piece now or then as an extravagance after its been placed on sale. I’m currently dying for this wine-hued sweater with that slouchy feel that I love and that cool girl pleating.

What’s on your wishlist?

Maggie, x.

*select affiliate links were used

Dior 5 Couleur Eyeshadow in Grege

 

DSC_0242

DSC_0234

DSC_0211

 

Although I will admit that I have a tendency to display fanaticism towards one product for a month or so after picking it up, declaring it to be the most essential palette, foundation, etc. in the universe, only to forget it one month or so later, moving onto another thing but my initial awestruck thoughts towards the Dior 5 Couleur Eye Shadow in Grege haven’t change since picking it up and declaring my devotion for it in the least concise manner in my May Favourites. While I know I’m far too fickle and inconsistent to declare this quint my favourite palette ever, with certainty I can say that for me it’s the best versatile small palette without question and that it’s valuable as an essential for me. It may seem rather expensive, costing $61 for five full-sized shades totaling 0.21 ounces, especially in comparison to the much-larger palettes (the Naked Palettes etc.) but in truth, a palette that is compact, housing versatile staples with no excess such as this one, containing both matte and shimmery shadows are worthwhile. I’ve come to expect fantastic quality shadows from Dior, smooth and pigmented without any sort of fallout and this palette makes good on those expectations of mine and then some. They also have the best longevity on top of that.

In a nutshell, this palette is a versatile but interesting everyday one that has the ideal mix of finishes, as said above. There’s a shimmery ivory highlighting shade, a satiny warm caramel shade that might be my favourite thing ever in the crease, a lighter pearly taupe sheeny shade, a subtly shimmery grey that leans slightly warmer than one would expect with its taupe undertones and a rich matte chocolate brown that is quite possibly the most impressive eyeshadow that I’ve ever tried. Overall the palette leans slightly warm but unlike other palettes with prominent warm tones, it’s not too far away from neutral. As I’ve said before, this palette is unbelievably versatile in the sense that it has every shade necessary to create an overall ‘eye look’ but also can be used to create a variety of different ‘looks’ by mixing up the shades. Here, I’ve shown the palette used without the grey shade but that shade is a lovely one as well. If you’re curious, the ivory is in the inner corners, the caramel was blended loosely through the crease and outer portion of the lid, the taupe was placed on the inner potion of the lid and the chocolate brown was placed and blended out in the outer corner. This might sound somewhat complicated as it makes use of four shades but it’s really quite simple, requiring little time to do while achieving the optimal effect.

DSC_0246

My swatch photos were all rather out of focus — I’ve yet to master the new camera in any sort of way as of yet — but I figured they would be useful nevertheless. Also, these swatches were light ones and when applied on the eye and layered they can easily be built up to full opacity, regardless of how they might appear. Now that I have this beauty in my collection, it’s unfathomable to do everyday makeup without it.

Have you tried any Dior quints?
Maggie, x.

 

Unheard and Under-Appreciated #1: Dior Earth Reflection Quint

IMG_2283_fotor
the lightest of swatches
Glorious, aren't they?
Glorious, aren’t they?

So Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow in 609 Earth Reflection isn’t completely unheard of as I wrote a shining review of it after I picked it up in the Fall and I went on about it in one of my monthly favourites posts but the quint definitely deserves to be talked about. I’m tempted to describe the shadows as the makeup equivalent of baby unicorns, as completely insane as that sounds; the completely iridescent quint of eyeshadows that aren’t over the top in the slightest have great pigmentation and have the most blendable buttery texture that do warrant the $61 CDN price tag.

The palette makes the daily eye just so easy. Without really noticing it, I kept reaching for this palette on the regular for multiple consecutive days and I’m not the kind of girl who wears the same makeup two days in a row – I’m bored easily, I’m afraid. Without being overly shimmery, the shades have that brightening and illuminating effect particularly on the inner corner and they are a godsend applied haphazardly on lazy mornings after sleepless nights. The five shades are perfect – enough shades for an eyeshadow addict like I am without having too much choice that can cultivate stress that I certainly don’t need. The two lightest shades are the best highlights but look nice on the lids when you want to look bright-eyed. The pale gold goes on the lid, a bit of the taupe goes on the outer portion of the lid and blended up into the crease, darkest shade is added into the outer corner for definition and a paler shade is added into the inner corner – viola, you’re done and ready to go… well after liner and mascara.

Although, I’d classify this offering from Dior as seasonless, there’s something about it that screams winter. The neutral taupe shades create that bright eye that reminds me of snow and feels right for the winter. If you’re looking for another strange comparison, these shades are like a coffee for your face as they are instantly energizing. Can you tell I enjoy this quint?

x,

Maggie

The everyday eye courtesy of Dior Earth Reflection
The everyday eye courtesy of Dior Earth Reflection
a closer look
a closer look

 

What’s your favourite under-appreciated product?

 

 

Base Bonanza: Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup

IMG_3184

 

Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup is marketed as a fluid liquid foundation that provides coverage but maintains the look of skin. The ingredients are supposedly 100% natural and active (whatever that means) and over time claims to improve the natural radiance of the skin and when worn provides a shine-free glow. Weirdly enough, although the foundation is listed at $54 CDN for the 30 mls container, but in my Sephora store it was $48 CDN. I’m not complaining. If you’re wondering, the shade I have is 11, a fair shade with yellow undertones. The product comes in a large but expensive-looking glass bottle with a nice pump. It contains SPF 15 and I tend to be sensitive to chemical sunscreens, but it does not appear to irritate my skin at all.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (3.00%), Titanium Dioxide (4.35%); Other Ingredients: Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Alcohol, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Isododecane, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Diphenyl Dimethicone/Vinyl Diphenyl Dimethicone/Silsesquioxane Cross Polymer, Isododecane, Dimethiconol/Methylsilanol/Silicate Cross Polymer, Stearic Acid, Mica, Phenoxyethanol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Alumina, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Undecyl Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, VP/VA Copolymer, Silica Silylate, Silica, Propylene Carbonate, Fragrance, Dimethicone, BHT, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Sericin, Linalool, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Glycerin, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Rhodochrosite Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Citronellol Balanites, Roxburghi Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Ajuga Turkestanica Extract. May Contain: Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

It’s difficult to agree with claim that the foundation improves the skin over time because the formula contains a good deal of irritating alcohol and fragrance, despite the inclusion of moisturizers and antioxidants. I would agree that the foundation provides substantial yet naturally radiant coverage. I would say it’s a natural looking foundation that provides coverage that’s on the lighter end of medium with a slightly glowy finish.

I have dehydrated and naturally dry skin that foundation tends to look really obvious on and as long as I don’t try to build this foundation up, it looks impressively natural on the skin (as if it’s just your natural skin) with a realistic glow to it. However, when I try to build it up, it begins to look quite obvious and loses that glowiness. I only find that it highlights dry patches when it’s been built up. When a smaller amount is worn and medium coverage is provided, the skin appears naturally radiant and not made-up. The texture of the product is remarkably skinlike.

The formulation is weightless; It’s difficult to feel it on the face unless you go as far as to poke your skin. In my experience, it does not transfer and leaves the skin feeling like skin. The foundation is not as dewy as one might expect from the marketing of the product, so it’s suitable for more of a combination skin seeking a glow that doesn’t read oily when on the skin, but it’s also suitable for skins on the drier side of things. Because alcohol can be drying and the lightweight texture of the product, I would say it isn’t suitable for the driest of skins but I can see it working for dry combination, normal and combination skin.

The shade range isn’t as impressive as say Make Up For Ever HD but is fairly adequate. The sixteen shades are ordered in terms of their various undertones and the shades do start nice and pale, so there are options for those with fairer skintones and there are a few shades for darker skins, but the selection is limited.

collllage

I do have the kind of skin that clings to foundation well but this one has impressive longevity, especially considering the radiant finish that it had. In the pictures, the only coverage on my face is the foundation (except I have some concealer underneath the eyes) so the bit of redness peaking through on my chin wasn’t covered in the first place, although that is where my foundation wears off first. I didn’t set the foundation with a spray or powder or blot or anything throughout the day. I wore the foundation from about noon to 11 pm and it hardly looked any different from when I applied it and had not worn off at all. Because I have dehydrated skin, I find regardless of what foundation I’m wearing (and primer/powder with it), it tends to stick to the skin in a slightly more obvious way once the moisturizer I was wearing underneath seems to vanish. On other days, I’ve remedied this with setting spray. The day was also a busy day – I was stressing, studying and out and about. The longevity of this foundation would make it a nice option for oilier skin-types looking for radiance without having to sacrifice longevity. Despite it’s finish, I do not find it highlights skin imperfections or pores in the least (but I do not suffer too much from the latter, so I can’t guarantee this).

The Claims- 8/10

Formulation – 9/10

Longevity – 9.5/10

Packaging – 9/10

Value – 8.5/10

38/50= 78% or B+

Have any of you tried this foundation? What are your thoughts?

The Daily Face #1: I actually wear this to class and look like a sane person

Collage

Face: Kiehl’s Stress Rescuer moisturizer, Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (Ivory), MUFE 5 Concealer Palette (1), Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer/Highlighter (Ivory), Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan, Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder, NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray

Eyes: NYX HD Eyeshadow Base, Dior Earth Reflection Quint, Maybelline Master Precise Black Pen-Liner, Maybelline The Falsies mascara, Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in Black/Noir, MAC Charcoal Brown eye shadow, Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette

Lips: MAC Patisserie lipstick

This is probably quite boring but this is the kind of post that I enjoy reading maybe the most — the makeup that I wear the most on an everyday basis (what I wear to Uni) and is a standard amount of makeup compared to others (you know the odd occasion when you don’t look like you’re wearing 10x the amount of makeup that everyone else is) and takes five minutes, max. It’s the perfect happy medium to make me feel put together and polished but does not scream overly made-up.

Being the foundation hoarder that I am, the foundation I wear on a daily basis varies depending on the state of my skin at the moment and general mood, nevertheless a favourite of mine for everyday (and is also up there for all time) is Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation. The almost invisible slight shimmer gives that nice glow while still providing a natural-looking medium coverage. Luckily for me, Ivory (the lightest shade) is perfect for my moderately fair skin for most of the year with its yellowy undertones.

I ran out of Urban Decay Primer Potion (sigh… :() and I have weirdly oily eyelids so I picked up Nyx HD Eyeshadow Base, which works better than Maybelline Colour Tattoos and and ever so slightly better than MAC Paint Pots but not as well as UDPP… but I can’t complain.

I’ve always had rather large and deep-set eyes and I’ve learned that outer-v definition can really make a difference for me and liner is essential. I put the Lancome on to tightline and applied a thin line on the upper lashes with the Maybelline. It was a complete splurge but I’m really enjoying my first Dior quint; I did quite a standard eye today with the golden champagne on the lid, the taupe in the crease and the deepest shade along the lashline and outer-v and I have to say that I’m a fan of the look.

I’ve struggled using the MUFE Concealer Palette for ages because the dark-correcting shade is just so orange and although it conceals dark circles, it can be very obvious but I’ve been putting the Rimmel on top and I’m impressed. The lip choice was obvious; the standard wearable pinky-brown nude MAC Patisserie. 

Benefit Rockateur is holding its place in my cheek product rotation and the Sonia Kashuk Creme Bronzer has been a pleasant surprise, finding it’s way into my daily makeup. Big deal right here. Um and my No-Buy might have maybe sort of turned into a Low-Buy after spotting the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray (First impression – lovely) and the limited-edition velvet matte top coat from L’Oreal……

Thoughts?

I may or may not have cut Benefit Rockateur out of the frame :)
I may or may not have cut Benefit Rockateur out of the frame 🙂 – see box to the far right

IMG_2365

Dior 609 Earth Reflection Quint

IMG_2272

IMG_2279

Dior palettes are the kind of makeup item I find myself gazing at longingly but never seem to purchase as they seem to extravagant and pricy but I have to say I’m glad I took the plunge and picked up this one.

The eyeshadow quint retails for $61 CDN for 0.21 oz of product and I picked mine up at Sephora. The shades are the typical size of a full prices shadow pretty much (0.042 oz each) and the cost breaks down to $12.20 per shadow which is not too bad granted all the shadows are to your liking – and luckily in this case they were for me.

Obviously this palette contains five shades. The darker shades do tend to be more pigmented but all the shades are impressively long wearing with a buttery, smooth and blendable texture with a beautiful finish. Like all of the palettes in this series, the shades are iridescent but manage to have that sheen without being overwhelmingly shiny or glittery which can be a difficult feat. The texture is so soft and amazing. There is slight fall out but I don’t believe it’s escapable.

This palette seems to me to have a taupe theme and is neither overwhelmingly cool or warm. The palette features a shimmery pale pink that is sheer in consistency and quite brightening, a pale gold champagne shimmery shade with the same consistency, a light gold-beige shade with more pigmentation, A silvery taupe with a hint of purpliness to it (sort of similar to Satin Taupe but a touch lighter and more golden) and a darker taupe shade that is slightly warmer and plummy.

Even the dark colours have that soft texture and blendability, which is tough to come by. Although I don’t own it, the overall colour scheme of the palette seems to be along the lines of Urban Decay Naked 2 but obviously with less selection. The lack of selection doesn’t bother me. I find myself enjoying this palette for its simplicity. Just using this palette I can create subtle day looks to a dramatic smoky eye and that’s hard to come by for me. It’s a nice palette to create entire looks from.

The lightest two shades are grey highlight shades for me, the pale gold looks great on the lid, the silvery taupe I either wear on the crease and the darkest shade I like to wear in the outer-v for more subtle eye makeup or in the crease for darker looks and it’s dark enough to be used as liner. I like having a palette that I use every shade in!

I would have to give this product an A rating because the only downside of the product is the lack of different finishes and the price. These shadows have really impressed me because of their buttery texture, pigmentation, texture and longevity. I decided that I was going to create actual categories for review purposes to make my perceptions of products less arbitrary:

Pigmentation – 9/10

Longevity – 9.5/10

Packaging – 9.5/10

Value – 9/10

Overall Quality – 10/10

Total Grade – 47/50= 94%/A

Far too expensive for your wallet? Although they are not quite as longlasting, buttery and pigmented, Physicians Formula Nude Eyes palette struck me as similar. It features the same taupe shades and beautiful iridescence. Those shadows are generally impressively soft.

IMG_2276

Top - Bottom: golden shade on upper left, pinky shade in center, light taupe on upper right, dark taupe on bottom left, highlight shade on bottom right
Top – Bottom: golden shade on upper left, pinky shade in center, light taupe on upper right, dark taupe on bottom left, highlight shade on bottom right