The Beauty Bargain #5: Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain

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To tell you the truth, I used to think that the whole “the simplest things in life make me the happiest” was bullshit but as I sit down at the table, wearing clothing that would be acceptable to wear to the gym, enjoying the feel of my makeupless face and being thankful that it’s not boiling hot today, I sort of get it. I haven’t gone all out of character on you, I promise, though, as I’m here at least talking about all things makeup-wise. The product in question? The Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment ($14-16 CDN). I’ve more than hinted in a few posts that I’ve been loving this offering and now the time has come that I feel confident to provide a (glowing) review of the rather expensive liquid lip-stains.

The texture and formula was what initially impressed me and after use, it still strikes me as the standout attributes of the product. I’m not a lip-gloss girl and these looked like a long-wearing gloss-stain hybrid so I was nervous about the stickiness factor — I’m pleased to report there is no stickiness in sight. The nondescript-smelling liquid lip-stains glide onto the lips without highlighting dry patches in the slightest, with a somewhat glossy balm texture that reminds me of the L’Oreal L’Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks – with increased longevity, of course. Upon initial application (and until three hours where the stain only remains), the lips feel soothed, a bit hydrated and as comfortable as can be. Strictly speaking, the formula isn’t drying but it can be slightly on my sensitive chapped lips after the balm has worn off and the stain has been left for hours (without any balm application or reapplication) but unlike every other product that has this quality, they do not irritate my lips in the slightest and a wee bit of balm brings them back into health afterwards.

While these are flattering on my sore chapped lips and are remarkable in that aspect, they do apply sheerly at first, requiring some building up and can be a bit streaky or patchy at first, so they’re not infallible in formula. Also, the product itself isn’t a longwearing one but it’s the stain that the product leaves behind that is long-lasting; the glossy balm texture lasts about 3-4 hours on my lips with a little bit of eating and/or drinking but won’t last a meal or anything, but the even stain that the product leaves behind after being left on the lips lasts ages and ages. Unlike many lip products, my lips don’t feel raw after the stain is only left and the stain is even around my lips. They are low maintenance and because of this, I’ve found this one ideal as an everyday kind of shade. I’ve only tried the Milan Moment shade, which is a neutral-toned muted tangerine colour but the shade range is intensive with 11 or 12 shades in total, spanning from nudes into vampier hues. This shade is a unique one, adding a slight bit of brightness to the lips without being bold in the slightest — it’s about the lightest shade that could actually stain my pale lips — and flatters my warm undertones without being unflattering on the teeth. I’d say that stain lasts five to six hours, also, but if you’re looking for the longest lasting and most intense stain in the world, I don’t think these are for you. I think these are ideal for a low-maintenance staining lip colour that feels comfortable and hydrating on the lips instead of drying them out beyond belief. I definitely have my eye on more of these. I haven’t included a swatch photo of the shade in this post but I swatched it here, in my Summer Edit. And here I am, wearing it again here:

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Have you tried these yet? If not, do you plan on trying these?
Maggie, x.

The Beauty Bargain: The Summery Bright Lip

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Honestly I’ve wanted to begin this rather generic beauty blogger series but I’ve been angsting over creating a name that wouldn’t just be copying every other beauty blogger alive but I’m forcing myself to get over the drama and contemplation, going with the unoriginal The Beauty Bargain as I title to begin to share with you these affordable products that perform as well if not better than their higher end counterparts. The first product in question to begin this whole series – I actually do plan on making this a regular thing – is the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Stellar ($7-8 CDN), a glossy (but not overly so) vibrant coral liquid lipstick that stays put on the lips for ages even for those of us who might not necessarily be the neatest eaters for a good six hours without feeling heavy or sticky at the least.

I know I’m rather late to the party on this popular lip product but honestly I picked this one up at the end of the fall last year, wanting to try the formula that I had heard such great things about without truly realizing that it was not a seasonally-appropriate shade in the slightest. You know how I feel about corals, but I know bold coral lips are not a seasonless essential for the masses so I held off on sharing my love for this one until now. I haven’t gone for any other shades in the range as none of them have popped out at me as shades that suit me and that I don’t already own duplicates of so I can’t comment on that front but judging by the following of these, I believe its safe to assume that the formula is fantastic around the board. In my eyes there’s only one real downside to the formula, the creamy texture’s tendency to slip and slide before setting into their more satin finish, sliding onto your teeth if you’re not careful – but others might object to the candy-scent but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, especially in comparison with those artificial floral scents that lipsticks of the drugstore tend to have.

Aside from the fabulous pigmentation, longevity (i.e. wearing off evenly) and comfort of the lip lacquer, Rimmel Apocalips in Stellar is remarkable in it’s non-drying formula that glides over dry patches and uneven texture in the lips, especially considering the bold nature of the lipstick. If you’re looking for a comfortable long-wearing formula that applies precisely without loads of effort or skill on your part, I recommend this offering and I definitely recommend this shade if you’re after something bold but unlike the standard bold fuschias and reds.

This really doesn't showcase my application skills at their finest but I promise it looks much better in real life...
This really doesn’t showcase my application skills at their finest but I promise it looks much better in real life…

Have you tried any of these Rimmel Lip Lacquers?

Maggie, x.

Drugstore (Makeup) Essentials #2

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

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

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

Annabelle Smoothliner in Brownie ($7 CDN):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

Preliminary Musings on L’Oreal Colour Riche Eye Shadow

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Although there are a few exceptions, the general consensus in the beauty blogging world (if there is such a thing) is that eyeshadow tends to be a product that is worth investing in as drugstore offerings are a gamble, typically with little pigmentation, glitter overload and/or dry textures. Being generally impressed with the L’Oreal brand, I’ve been eying these quads for ages but have been hesitant in forking over the $12 CDN on something that can’t be returned — you cannot return drugstore makeup in Canada, if you weren’t aware — and could likely be a dud, but the shades looked nicely put together with a variety of depth and texture in shades, coming with a good deal of product, housed in the nice gold packaging… Yesterday I went into Lawton’s (a Canadian drugstore) and spotted these on for $7.99, I couldn’t resist.

I haven’t heard really anything about these shadows despite the constant blog perusing that I engage in and considering how impressed I was with the shadows, colour me surprised. Here I am yet again, talking about a product without mentioning what it is actually called and any sort of details about the shade, — I can’t help that this has me rather excited. I quite enjoy how these L’Oreal shadows do not have a name suggesting some ridiculous claim (L’Extrordinaire, anyone?) but rather gave it a sensical name, Colour Riche Eye Shadows, that is. They had a great selection of shades but I was drawn to 527 Sultry Seduction for its inclusion of a light shimmery shade, a medium-toned shade reminiscent of MAC Satin Taupe and the inclusion of two dark colours with minimal shimmer.

I’m tempted to say that formula-wise, these are my favourite drugstore eyeshadows in this quad form, with strong pigmentation, a blendable texture that reminds me of Urban Decay shadows — albeit with a slightly drier texture in some darker more matte shades, but impressive as a whole. They remind me of the Maybelline Eyestudio Quads, except with slightly stronger pigmentation and longevity and more of a variety in textures (i.e. shimmer vs. mattes). From washing them off from swatches and seeing them wear throughout the day, I would say the longevity is good but not amazing on my crease-prone lids, comparable to Urban Decay shadows — I have heavy-lidded eyes that despite not being oily or having smudging problems, tend to be prone to creasing, for reference.

Sultry Seductress strikes me as an everyday palette that is on the smokier side and can definitely be transitioned into evening with the inclusion of the darker shades – there are much more ‘neutral and subtle’ palettes in the range, without the inclusion of darker shades but being a fan of outer corner definition, this sort of palette was of far more interest.

Out of the four there’s only one frosty shade but it’s not overly frosty. It’s a pearly shade with neutral undertones, slightly pink in tone but with a hint of silveriness to it. The texture and pigmentation was rather impressive of this one and as a whole it reminds me of the lightest shade in my MARC JACOBS THE STARLET PALETTE. The fantastically textured and pigmented, warm taupe shade reminded me of the cult favourite MAC Satin Taupe and didn’t disappoint on the quality front – it was shimmery but not frosty. The darker shades were where I was particularly impressed, to tell you the truth — the slightly-warm toned medium-dark plummy-purple shade was fantastically pigmented despite its sheeny texture and the graphite shade, with some micro glitter in the pan (but doesn’t really appear swatched) was surprisingly pigmented and workable on the lid. The two darker shades aren’t the softest of shadows, with textures reminiscent of MAC’s velvets such as Sketch, but they weren’t difficult to work with in the least and high end shadows of these textures tend to have the same shortcomings. Although it has no truly matte shade, this palette impressed me with its darker colours and less shimmery finishes and ability to create a defined slightly-smoky plum-toned eye without incorporating another palette. There was some fallout with the lighter two shades, but it was extremely minimal for the darker ones, I’m pleased to report.

So here I am in the library at school, compelled to write a post detailing the budget-friendly quad that worked to create my kind of eye with minimal effort and a flattering result.

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 Note: These swatches were not heavy but rather a moderate swipe on bare skin

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What are your favourite budget eyeshadows? Have you tried any shades from this line?

Maggie, x.

 

Haircare Additions #1

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Lately I’ve been in a bit of a hair mood; although adding Pureology’s Precious Oil Masque has made a world of difference, I’m still working on the routine (my hair is rather problematic), after our exam I celebrated with a few friends, going out to lunch and we decided to hit up the drugstore (Shopper’s Drugmart if you’re curious) as well and this happened. I have hair that resides in the space between wavy and curly and is perhaps the tangliest thing in existence (I get those horrid clumps) and it’s dry but can get kind of dead-looking so I’m someone who really can benefit from some product cocktailing and TLC…

L’Oreal Oleo-Therapy Oil Infused Conditioner ($10.50 CDN)

As life-changing as the aforementioned Pureology masque is, it costs $50 for a container and I have the kind of hair that just drinks up conditioner regardless of how concentrated it is and therefore I’ve been on the lookout for a lower-priced product to alternate with without sacrificing the nourishment. As I’m a fan of the whole sulfate-free range from L’Oreal and being someone whose hair loves oils, I snapped up this product as soon as I spotted it on the packed shelf. It smells divine and I’m feeling optimistic about the high concentration of oils in the ingredients.

Organix Kukui Oil Frizz-Defying Curl Cream ($8 CDN)

I believe this curl cream is also a new product, as I haven’t seen it before and I was pleasantly surprised to find it for a few dollars off. I’ve always been a fan of curl creams (generally used along with a holding product) as they tend to nourish the hair while defining it and preventing it from going as crazy as my hair usually does but after being completely disappointed with the Garnier offering, I haven’t been tempted to pick up another one but my dry tangly hair needs all the help it can get right now.

John Freida Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Daily Styling Spray ($11 CDN)

I’m someone whose hair becomes flat and undefined after being slept on but my hair is much happier when it’s washed quite minimally (twice a week on average) so I struggle with my hair in the morning. I always thought that these refreshing sprays weren’t worth their price tag and then I almost convinced myself to pick up the much pricier Bumble and Bumble alternative but then I saw this – the magnesium sulfate should help define curls, the glycerin and olive oil should help condition the hair and the use of amodimethicone should prevent it from weighing my hair down.

It feels weird doing another ‘products I bought’ type post so soon but I was excited for these three things and I’ll definitely keep you all posted. Have you tried any of these? Hair recommendations for me?

Maggie, x.

 

Drugstore Disappointments

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I’m someone who finds it rather difficult to give a scathing and negative review of a product as we experience products differently and I’m always skeptical of whether a product is really as bad as I’m making it out to be and we have different praises, but there are some products that despite my best attempts and prior research, do not work for me. As in the last four months or so I’ve tried a great deal of drugstore products (in the name of research of course…), I have some to share.
Garnier Fructis Style Curl Calm Down Anti-Frizz Cream

I had heard from people I know in real life that this was a nice product and I tried it, excited by the prospect that it contained a silicone that did not weigh down the hair and promised to provide moisture while defining my curls. I do have fine loose curls and this product weighed them down (which is rather hard to do to this degree) and left a heavy film on my hair rather than moisturizing. And it’s definitely not strong hold…

Tresemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo

Prior to picking this one up early in the fall, I had never tried a dry shampoo but I wanted to know what they were all about because I suffer from limp or flat hair and need some instant texture. I’m not someone whose hair gets dirty easily whatsoever so I was not necessarily looking for a product to cleanse my hair but I was surprised to not find it refreshing in the slightest. I can’t see this working at all on the fine/oily hair that its intended to and above that, despite being advertised as a volumizing product, it doesn’t seem to add any volume to the hair. I’ve since moved on to better things in this department, I’ll have you know.

Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer

After spotting this one at Walmart when I was going through my eyeshadow creasing crisis, I had to pick it up. I had heard some good things about this so I gave it a go, thinking that there was nothing to lose. I was wrong, let me tell you. This is the only primer that I’ve ever tried that leads my eyeshadow to crease more severely more quickly than if I were not wearing any primer. After maybe four hours, my eyeshadow was a creasy mess on both occasions when I wore this. The Maybelline Colour Tattoos knock this one out of the water in terms of helping shadow to stay.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 003 Brown

I’ve mentioned my disappointment in this product before but I had to include it here especially considering that everyone raves about these. I don’t find it super longwearing but more than that it’s a waxy consistency that doesn’t transfer well onto the lids or the waterlines. For me this is one of those pencils that despite how often I sharpen it, I can never achieve the desired amount of colour without pressing hard enough that it hurts. I do not understand the cult-favourite status of this product at all.

Have you tried any of these products? Were your experiences with them positive or negative?

Maggie, x.

January 2014 Favourites

Pureology Precious Oils Masque, MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder, Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation, By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil, Maybelline Hi-lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze, L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black, MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow, MAC Coquette Eyeshadow
Pureology Precious Oils Masque, MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder, Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation, By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil, Maybelline Hi-lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze, L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black, MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow, MAC Coquette Eyeshadow

I’ve mentioned stress in passing before but I’m someone who legitimately suffers from anxiety and I’ve been anxious this month, not sleeping well, constantly tired and the like. It’s been one of those months when I’ve both felt and looked disheveled constantly, barely able to remember to wash my hair, apply nail polish and to slap some makeup on my face on the regular. However, I’ve had some good discoveries and rediscovered some products this month – this is a lengthier list than my usual but I’ve been loving some different things and continuing loving some of the same.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation ($11-14 CDN)

This was one of those products that I bought at the worst possible time for testing it; It was during that sore and irritated winter skin phase that I’m sure we all can relate to hating every product during – even more than that I was having texture issues from breakouts, you know how that goes. Pretty much I arbitrarily thought that this foundation was worsening my skin frustration and was convinced it was the wrong shade when in fact, although it’s not absolutely perfect it is still pretty good. I wear the lightest shade, 110 Porcelain Ivory, which I will note is not a particularly fair shade but rather a moderately fair one with relatively neutral undertones. This formula is dewy but not so overwhelmingly so that I don’t think a combo skin could wear it and provides medium coverage that is slightly build able but what I appreciate about the cream foundation is its hydration factor and it’s ability to sit nicely on drier skin after being worked in. The only thing about this foundation that is slightly irritating is that it takes some work to apply and isn’t a slap-and-go kind of foundation.

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

If you’re both as fickle and as beauty obsessed as me, there are very few products that remain constant in your routine as the months go by and the seasons change but this has proven to be one of the rare exceptions for me. I’ve used it almost daily ever since I picked it up a few months ago. It’s a rich black shade that is long wearing and the felt-tip applicator is foolproof for creating thin kitten flicks on the regular in under a minute.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($13/26 CDN)

This would be another choice of mine that should not be a surprise as I’ve featured it in a few posts in the last little while but it’s deserving of mention here. I’ve used oils in the past with minimal success as all-over facial moisturizers but after I picked this one up to use on top of moisturizers and nightly treatment, my feelings changed. It brings that much needed luminosity to the face, has impressive soothing powers and really helps to heal skin irritation and fade fresh scars that are left behind. It’s dry oil texture took some getting used to, however – it’s not that typical oil-y texture that I’ve come to expect.

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MAC All That Glitters eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

This has been granted a few mentions here in the past month  so I’ll try to give a quick recap but I can’t promise that it’ll be truly brief. After going through two of these in the past and repurchasing this at the start of the month, I’m confident to say that this is the perfect everyday lid colour. It’s a sheeny, nicely-textured peachy gold shade that is darker than a traditional champagne but darker than say a gold or brown shade. It instantly makes me look alive when I apply it.

MAC Coquette eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

At the very beginning of the month, I walked into MAC and after not buying anything there in what felt for ages, impressed myself by only picking up a few things and this “satin” shade that is matte in my view but exceptionally blend able for the finish was one of the shadows. I complained to the MAC girl about my brows always looking too ‘red’ and she said she suffered from the same thing as well until she used this shade and I was sold even before she put it through my brows. It’s a disgusting-looking cool toned medium grey-brown that looks quite ashy but it’s perfect on – natural while still providing definition. Charcoal Brown, you’ve been replaced; cool-toned brunettes take note.

Pureology Precious Oils Masque ($50 CDN)

If you haven’t just stumbled on this post by chance, you had to know that this was coming. After experimenting with more affordable conditioning treatments for months and suffering dry hair and tangles galore, this wow-ed me upon first use – and I’m not easily wowed. It’s a concentrated treatment, rich and nourishing containing a good quantity of oils that both helps to detangle the hair and helps to stop the tangles from forming and manages to keep my fine wavy-curly hair nourished without being weighed down and looking limp. I know it’s ridiculously expensive but I’m pleased to report it’s worth it.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($30 CDN)

One of my first posts on this blog was my review for this powder which I wear in Light, which is the fairest shade with yellow undertones. I had stopped using powder at all for ages but I rediscovered this one and fell in love all over again. It’s one of those rare finely-milled powders that does not highlight dry patches and minimizes the appearance of imperfections and takes shine down slightly without leaving the skin ‘matte’ and devoid of radiance.

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Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-light Hi-lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze ($12-16 CDN)

I can honestly say that I wore this “bronzer” – I wear it as a blush – twenty days this month and this is not something regular for me. This was a big moment for me on the grounds that it’s the first drugstore blush that I’ve ever loved. The luminous rosy copper shade had the nicest texture and pigmentation without being overly dramatic and adds much-needed warmth to the face. I’m restraining myself from going on now because I’ve rambled on about this more than enough…

Civilization V Game ($30 CDN)

Yes, I’m talking about a computer game here. I’m not a huge gamer by any means and I’m selective but there are a few I really like and this month I was addicted to playing the strategy game. I find it challenging and for some reason its a thrill and the whole world domination concept starting from the ancient world to present day is always interesting. If you enjoy ancient things or history-based games, I recommend this one. It’s addicting and is flexible in the ways that it can be won (victory through culture, social policies, science, war etc.) — what more could you want?

What have you been loving this month?

Maggie, x.