Recent Drugstore Acquisitions (Minus the Lip Product Buying Binge)

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Do I really need to say anything more? Although I’m pleased to report that I have been fairly in control with my purchases as of late, I have acquired a nice number of new things from the drugstore in the last month or so. I’ve been pretty reasonable when you take the semi-crazy heavy load of purchasing at Target with its liquidation sale — it’s unfortunately leaving Canada — out of the equation at least, particularly when I bought over five lip products without batting an eye. I’m leaving the majority of the lip products out for a later overview post but there were a good few other Target buys worth noting and I picked up a few things today.

Curls Unleashed Lavish in Lather Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($14.99):

I’m typically very interested in these smaller brands created for use on curlier hair but more often than not, they tend to be rather difficult (or impossible) to get a hold of in Canada and are remarkably expensive. Naturally, with Target — the only place that stocks Curls unleashed — closing down and a small discount offered on all products of the hair variety, I couldn’t resist purchasing the promising sulphate-free shampoo. It does not disappoint in the slightest. It’s gentle, being free of sulfates but it also doesn’t have silicones to provide that nourished feeling and therefore is gentle enough on the hair but provides thorough buildup removal and leaves no sort of weight in the hair. The herbal lemon and rosemary scent is all kinds of amazing, too!

Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer in Blur + Redness Control ($11.99):

Eager to experience the skin smoothing and perfecting magic that primers have been touted as providing, I grabbed Maybelline’s new green-tinged redness correcting and imperfection correcting offering. I’ve been enjoying the silicone-based primer but unfortunately, I have not found the colour correction abilities to be overly potent, however, I have to say that I quite like the smoothing hydrating texture.

L’Oreal Infallible Advanced Never Fail Makeup in 603 Classic Ivory ($15.99):

I fully acknowledge that I have a monstrous foundation buying problem but the sale left me unable to resist. I’m a fan of L’Oreal in general and have wanted to try one of their foundations for ages – despite how pricey they are for drugstore – so I went for the natural-finish longwearing formula that has been regarded highly by Lisa freaking Eldridge. I find it to be more semi-matte than natural finish but I’m pleased to say that its a long-wearing base that actually works on my dry skin.

NYX Powder Blush in Cinnamon ($8.99):

Being interested in that natural rosy-cheeked effect, I’ve had my eye on a few of those matte red blushes over time so naturally, I was thrilled when I spotted the orange-red NYX beauty for the first time at my Target and it wasn’t tampered with, I couldn’t resist. It’s a nice blush to add that authentic rosy effect, but I have to admit that I haven’t fallen in love yet as it doesn’t quite provide that instant glow that I tend to find myself grabbing for.

Sonia Kashuk Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm in 02 Charmed ($9.99):

I couldn’t very well leave Target and its lovely sale without picking up something from their exclusive Sonia Kashuk line, could I? Being dry skinned and generally into that glowing life, I was intrigued by the multipurpose balm formula, especially when I spotted the true coral colour offering. It’s definitely a unique product but in a nice way. It doesn’t have the most pigmentation but it’s effortless to use and has that build ability that makes life easier; the texture feels gel-like, which is a nice departure from the potentially waxy consistency of a dewy balm product, but it also offers a bit of natural looking luminosity. The nail polish kind of applicator is actually fairly simple to use on both the cheeks and lips and I’ve found the formula to be compatible with both areas.

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Essie Cashmere Matte Nail Lacquer in Comfy in Cashmere ($8.99-11.99):

All February long, my close friend, Lauren and I, have been obsessed with the Cashmere Matte Collection from Essie so naturally I was more than pleased today when I spotted the collection after nearly a month of stalking the stores. This shade is part of the grege-y family that I adore and has that matte textured finish with kind of the most amazing blue iridescence. I’ve only just applied it so I can’t comment on longevity or anything but the formula is almost opaque in a single coat and dries like a champ, as far as I can tell. I’m very excited – can you tell?

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($7-8):

With the current weather lately and generally dry and lacklustre skin I’ve been going back to the damp sponge method of foundation application and my old one was falling apart, so upon spotting the beauty blender “dupe” at Lawton’s today (on sale for five dollars this week), I was not going to resist. As it’s still inside packaging, I will report back.

Have you done any drugstore shopping recently?
Maggie, x.

The Beauty Bargain |Annabelle A-14 Angle Brush

DSC_1378DSC_1377I don’t know about you, but for me there are few makeup products that are as unenticing to invest in as makeup brushes, despite how much of a difference they can make to makeup application. I might not always admit it, but brushes can make such a difference to how your makeup looks and the ease of application and it’s very exciting when you find comparable brushes on an actually affordable budget. And before you assume otherwise, I am actually talking about a brush not made by Real Techniques and it’s a bit more affordable too!

A few months ago, I was perusing the aisles of Shoppers Drugmart and somehow I ended up at the cash register with the Annabelle A-14 Angle Brush ($7-8 CDN) and while I may have felt a bit of buyers remorse then, I don’t have any sort of regret now. I bought it because of my intense love for my pricy MAC 266 Small Angle Brush – a lovely offering from MAC that does unfortunately set you back $24 dollars – and desire for a second one because of its versatility in my daily makeup routine. Brushes in this format are my staples for filling in my eyebrows with power but I also adore them for either gel or using eyeshadow as liner and I was getting frustrated about having to clean the brush after each use so I’m pleased to admit that while I wouldn’t call this more affordable offering a complete dupe, it’s extremely comparable in both shape and quality, working effectively to fill in eyebrows with powder – and it’s nice with the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade that I’m currently testing out – and line the eyes like its more expensive counterpart. The only difference between the two brushes is that the head on the Annabelle A-14 is a hair larger and not quite as dramatically angled… see for yourself below, if you’re interested, though:

DSC_1381 I’m disappointed to say that while the Canadian brand has a website that ships both here and to the US affordably with their products — they’re only available locally here in Canada — they’ve conveniently left their brushes off their website. I am not pleased in the slightest with this news, I’ll have you know. Nevertheless, if you have access to Annabelle, I would definitely recommend checking out their brush line with this one in particular.

What’s your current favourite beauty bargain?
Maggie, x.

The Review: L’Oreal Colour Riche Eye Primer

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Unless you’re one of the rare few who neither experience problematic eyeshadow fading and creasing, I’m sure you’re well aware of the importance of an eye primer and how difficult it is to find one that works for you. This tends to be especially true at the drugstore price point but going on two months back, I spotted the L’Oreal Color Riche Eye Primer ($10 CDN) and was intrigued enough to give it a go. In short, I’m glad that I did but it’s not the ideal primer for me, as I don’t suffer from particularly discoloured lids and have creasing issues that this does not entirely address. It definitely serves to present creasing better than a traditional base while still providing the coverage and colour-boosting benefits and it has less of that emollient texture that requires a good deal of waiting before eyeshadow application (or it will slide off), but it doesn’t quite provide the results of my new favourite high-end primer, the NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base and falls ever-so-slightly short of the more affordable Nyx HD Eyeshadow Base that I adore — but this one does have that more emollient texture that can make shadows slip and slide.

One thing that I noticed upon researching this product was how vague the claims were; even when used alone, it promises to even out the tone of the lids, even without any shadow being applied over the top and to provide even richer colour when applied underneath eyeshadow with so-called flawless wear. Roughly speaking, it does those things and this is something that I don’t necessarily take lightly. The tint of the pencil is a soft peachy colour that deals with discoloration well and the pencil definitely does intensify the payoff of shadows and helps to get more flawless wear, but it does crease on me after a long day of wear or summer heat – however, this creasing is remarkably less than with lesser primers and without a primer at all.

The final verdict? I definitely recommend giving this affordable base a go if you’re looking for some coverage on your lids or you aren’t asking miracles in a primer, expecting it to last through excessive heat and general extremely oily environments.

Have you tried this primer? What’s your favourite primer?

Maggie, x.

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The Pre-Fall Haul

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I can’t completely explain it in a comprehensible way but I kind of detest the word ‘haul’ and as a result I tend to tiptoe around posts of this type and call them by another name; however I’m just going to bite the bullet and call it what it is this time. As per usual, it’s not a massive supply and this one is a bit collective and it is centred around picking things up for the upcoming school year along with the usual pick or two. If you’re anything like me, this will sound all too familiar. Because I’m paranoid about violating disclosure policies, I’m going to say now that a few affiliate links will actually appear in this post.

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It was about a month ago when I picked up my first Bath & Body Works candles and that purchase included two fall-themes options, the Cayenne Caramel and the Spiced Pumpkin Cider 3 Wick Candles. I’m new to the candle party but I do find them nice and relaxing with the ability to help boost productivity too. The second candle was a safe pick for me as I typically adore those spiced apple/pumpkin scents but the first one surprised me- cayenne
And caramel did not sound appealing but it has that nice warm spicy feel to it with a hint of caramel sweetness. Somebody stop me now.

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Before getting to the beauty bits, I’m going to share the four items that have served to update the wardrobe for fall. It’s not large enough for a school bag but I first picked up the smaller red cross-body structured bag from Forever 21 because I’ve seemed to kill all of my cross-body styles and it seemed to be the perfect everyday bag when you don’t want to carry the content of your life with you. I mentioned picking up this thin light beige slouchy sweater from Garage in last weeks ‘Daily Highlights’ post but I feel compelled to include it again here. It has a cropped cut in the front of the sweater that graduates to a longer length on the sides and has an impractical but cute peekaboo back.

More recently I finished off these little wardrobe updates with another slouchy lightweight sweater and a new pair of jeans. The H&M sweater is nothing shocking, especially considering that it was just included in my ‘Weekend Wishlist’ post. It’s quite oversized and slouchy because I picked it up in a large – the only size I could find – and it will become a staple paired with jeans and leggings. The jeans were a far more surprising purchase for me as they were from Hollister, a store that I very very rarely venture into, let alone go as far as to try something on from. Hollister had all of their jeans on sale for $27 dollars and I loved the Blake Natural Waist Jeggings so much that I had to have them instantly. Despite their name, they are more of a high-waist jean and the waist served to really suck in the stomach and they were more than flattering on my non-existent butt etc.

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DSC_0416In my day out shopping with friends, we went all over, so of course I couldn’t help but checking out both major drugstores and ending up with more than a few items. First up, I hit up Lawton’s and ended up with six items, all but one of which were on sale. L’Oreal was on for 40% off and I was tempted to try out loads more but I was good and picked up the L’Oreal Glossy Balm in Ginger Candy ($6), a flattering and comfortable peachy nude and the typically-my-lips-but-better L’Oreal Collection Privee Lipstick in Eva’s Nude ($5). These both have impressed me as comfortable and flattering everyday lip options so I’m fairly proud of myself. There was quite a sale going on with La Roche-Posay, with most things on sale for more than the usual dollar or two off and I took the opportunity to try out the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP ($12.50) because it looked promising for eczema-ridden legs with its high niacinamide and shea butter content. I’m liking it thus far. 

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Then I found myself in the nail-care aisle with my polish-savvy best pal, Lauren and somehow ended up buying three items there. First off, I spotted the Sally Hansen Kwick-Off Moisturizing Nail Polish Remover ($5) and I couldn’t resist replacing my used-up pot with this one – it’s seriously amazing. Before heading through the cash, I noticed that Essie was on sale and I was compelled to pick up the gorgeous On A Silver Platter Nail Lacquer ($7), a gorgeous antiqued silver shimmer with cobalt glitter running throughout and the No Chips Ahead Top Coat ($7).

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I might not have spent much less at Shopper’s Drugmart, but I did come away with only two products, neither of which would be considered typically affordable drugstore products. Frustrated with my drier-than-dry lips, I went to pick up the pot of Rêve de Miel® Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm, but it was unfortunately out of stock so I went for the $9 stick format of the Rêve de Miel® Lip Moisturizing Stick in its place. Thus far, I can say it’s a nice balm but it’s not a rich and nourishing treat like I had heard the pot formula to be. The big purchase of the stop was in the high end section and was a palette that I somehow justified to myself as completely realistic as I hadn’t bought a palette in a while but I know it wasn’t strictly essential. The palette was the Smashbox ‘Photo Op – Cherry Smoke’ Eyeshadow Palette Cherry Smoke that contains eight smooth and pigmented warm autumnal eyeshadows for $39 US or $44 CDN. I’ve tried the palette out and it is fantastic, as the below evidence might indicate. I would return it to ease my guilty conscience if it wasn’t so beautiful and amazing.

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What have you picked up lately?
Maggie, x.

Five of the Best Beauty Bargains

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Rather than introducing you to yet another affordable beauty product that I hold in high regard as of now, I thought that I would give a roundup of the affordable products that I’ve been relying on and valuing heavily at the moment. I can’t promise that what I say about these products and the products themselves won’t have appeared around here times before, however. Isn’t a little repetition a good thing?

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L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in 04 Universal Sun ($15 CDN)– full post here

I can’t even. Honestly this newer bronzer release has blown me away and I haven’t been able to stray from the smooth-textured blend able soft-matte bronzer for long since picking it up. The formula is pigmented but easy to work with and doesn’t sit on the skin stiffly and unnaturally like most powders do and rather glides on creamily. These come in a variety of shades but I’ve only tried this medium-toned warm bronzer with reddish undertones and I love the colour for adding natural bronziness to my face whilst being able to add a bit of shadow to the cheekbones because it’s not orange-y in the slightest. I swear this bronzer is easy to use and builds like a dream and will never betray you by looking chalky or muddy. I’ll stop now… You’re welcome.

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Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser ($9-11 CDN)

This is definitely one of the unsung heroes of my personal assortment of beauty products, both in the sense that I don’t feel that others rave about the prowess of the product enough and that I don’t give it the credit it deserves on a frequent basis. It’s basically the gentlest cream cleanser in existence that not only doesn’t include detergents and therefore doesn’t strip or irritate the skin but also nourishes the skin. It’s only downside is that it’s not one that removes makeup well in the slightest. However, it’s a great second cleanser or morning cleanser that easily rinses clean.

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Annabelle Smoothliner in Black ($6-7 CDN)

Even without putting the wallet-friendly price into consideration, this is among the very best liners that I’ve ever tried and it’s my favourite for using on the top waterline because it does not transfer to the lower lashline or budge. However, it’s not absolutely perfect because the creamy texture ensures that it needs to be sharpened frequently (if not, it comes out really unevenly) and therefore the product goes quickly. With this aside, the waterproof formula is creamy rather than waxy and stays put for ages. The shade is a richly pigmented black and it also can be smudged nicely as long as you work quickly. In short, I love this liner and will repurchase it after I use it up which shouldn’t be too far into the future.

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DSC_0205From the top: L’Oreal Universal Sun, Maybelline Deep Bronze, Maybelline Pink Rose

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Light-Boosting Blush/Bronzer in 20 Pink Rose/ 60 Deep Bronze ($14-16 CDN) full post here

I’ve raved about the Deep Bronze shade time and time again as a gorgeous rosy copper blush (rather than its intended use) and that love has not wavered in the slightest and since having such success with that shade, I picked up the true rosy pink shade (Pink Rose) and have been enjoying that shade as well. They’re not the cheapest but the texture and formula of these powders is so gorgeous that they are truly a bargain; the shimmer is so fine that it reads like a glowy sheen, the pigmentation is on-point and lasts as such and they blend seamlessly into the skin like the most finely-milled of products. I highly recommend trying at least one of these.

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Rimmel Colour Rush Intense Colour Balm in Lady Marmalade ($7-8 CDN)

This is definitely the newest product (to me) of the bunch but I’ve worn it a good amount and it has been so impressive; it may just be my favourite of the balm pencils, at the drugstore at least. The true pinky-coral hue doesn’t lean so warm that it tends to pull out the yellow in the teeth and goes over dry patches like a champ, actually hydrating along the way with the balm quality but it also served so stain my lips after wearing it for an hour or two — the colour lasted for six hours through a snack and a small meal. It seems to both be comfortable to wear and effortless while still providing on the longevity front, at least if you leave it on the lips for long enough to set.

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What’s your favourite budget buy at the moment?
Maggie, x.

Beauty Thoughts: The Verdict

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Even for those of us in the blogging world that are neither sent the newest releases constantly nor are able to shell out recklessly for them, there are many beauty products that fall through the cracks after they are initially purchased — some will be granted reviews, some will be mentioned in passing but there are so many products left untalked about. I’m hoping to talk about some of the untalked about here without being incessantly wordy and detailed – hope being the key word here. By the way, these are exclusively products of the drugstore variety.

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara ($9-11 CDN)

I’m usually such a L’Oreal mascara fan and I’ve heard such great things about their latest mascara offering from my most trusted of sources, but for me this mascara is far too wet and much too clumpy for my liking. Although I have only had this for a short amount of time, I can safely say that I dislike it; however, I fully expect that I will dislike it less as it dries out but I’m not expecting miracles. Also, in typical L’Oreal fashion, it is difficult to remove despite not being a waterproof formulation.

Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup ($18 CDN)

Now I certainly did not go for this foundation offering to combat wrinkles (I’m merely 20) but as a foundation, I’m not wholeheartedly impressed with this one and I wouldn’t expect anything miraculous if wrinkles are your concern here. The funny thing is that I can’t say anything particularly bad about this longwearing medium-buildable coverage foundation but it lacked the quality of blending seamlessly into the skin and making the skin look smoother, radiant and improved rather than merely covering the skin itself. It has a satin finish, as well, and it doesn’t cling to dry patches particularly but it doesn’t leave the skin looking radiant or brightened. The shame is that my colour match was pretty good — Bare Buff, the second lightest shade in the range suited my moderately fair skin with warm beige-yellow undertones nicely. Plus, it’s not the cheapest thing out there.

Revlon Matte Balm in 230 Complex ($9-10 CDN)

I’ve said before that I was actually rather disappointed in Revlon’s matte balm offering, finding it slightly drying on the lips with the potent mint sensation and less than flattering over dry patches, but after everyone has raved about them and I’ve seen the gorgeous colour selection, I had to pick up another shade … for testing purposes, obviously. Unfortunately, I wasn’t any more impressed with the formula when I picked up this lovely peachy nude shade which was rather disappointing as I love the warm-toned flattering darker nude hue. They do wear on the lips for a long time, though. I’m still curious if the darker shades are more flattering on the lips as both of the shades I’ve tried are on the lighter side of things and their bold range is amazing – any thoughts?

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Revlon Colorstay Concealer ($10-12 CDN)

Believe it or not, I am actually moving into the territory of products that I actually wholeheartedly like. Despite not being among the fairest of the fair, I have great difficulty finding concealers of the drugstore variety that are neither too pink, too orange, too yellow while not being too dark but the beige undertones of 02 Light suit my skin like a champ for concealing blemishes and redness on my face. I find the liquid concealer too dry for use underneath my eyes but it’s ideal to quickly cover blemishes and redness as it doesn’t budge or show/highlight dry patches.

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Matte Lipstick in 111 Kiss of Life ($7-8 CDN)

From owning the bold berry-hued 107 that unfortunately doesn’t suit me, pulling rather fuchsia on me in an unflattering manner, I already knew that I loved the formula of this pigmented, semi-matte lipstick;it  manages to both last on my lips for about six hours and neither dry my lips out or cling to my dry lips unattractively. This shade is a bold scarlet hue with subtlest of an orange lean to its otherwise neutral base and has to be among my favourite bold lip shades ever — its formula merely boosts the appeal.

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Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts on them?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara

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I promise that I don’t adore every single mascara that I try, despite how things have appeared around here lately, it’s just that I’ve had very good luck in recent months in terms of picking up gems — first my staple Maybelline The Falsies, next the new love of mine, L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess and finally this one, the Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara. This mascara retails for the pretty standard $9 dollar pricetag and I have to say that it’s a really great mascara but it isn’t the be all and end all for me due to my preferences. As I’ve said before, I naturally have long and pretty curled dark lashes and I preliminarily look for volume and tend to favour drier formulas — because of this, the formula of this one is too wet for my liking. With this in mind, it’s much less of a wet formula than the hyped L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara and I prefer it as a result. It’s large brush is made of natural bristles and although I haven’t used it in a while, the mascara reminds me so much of an old mascara love of mine, the Benefit BadGal Lash Mascara and in a good way. The natural bristle brush ensures that on days like today when my eyes are sore and itchy (hayfever, woo), the brush does not feel like it’s jabbing into my eyeballs.

The mascara provides a good deal of volume, enough to be impressive on that front whilst not being the most volumizing mascara in the world. However, the mascara does not advertise to be, considering that it’s marketed as a volume and length mascara – on these terms it delivers. It’s really lengthening at the same time without verging into spider-lash territory. It doesn’t provide much separation or curl, though. It doesn’t flake or do anything else as annoying in my experience but actually removes fairly easily with my Bioderma and doesn’t cling to my lashes for dear life. This is a nice thing, by the way.

The bottom line? This is a really great mascara for volume and length that removes without much difficulty but it’s not so life changing that I will have to buy another tube as soon as this one dries out. And here are the before and after shots…

 

Recently Updated17From no mascara to close up with mascara, followed by a zoomed-out shot
 
What’s your current favourite mascara?
Maggie, x.