Weekly Medley #32

oR9A9%iBQxqpAoYQsSZC+w1

If you remember last week’s post, I’m sure you can recall that I was feeling “under the weather” and unfortunately I wasn’t feeling any better this week; that feeling transformed into a cold with the runny nose, dry skin and heavy fatigue but fortunately it’s not too much of a serious one of the head variety. At the beginning of the week, there was this onslaught of scorching weather and I wanted nothing less, given how I was feeling, so I was as happy as a clam when the cooler weather came along. Along  With the perpetual exhaustion and runny, the sahara dry, flaking and generally red skin was problematic, both on my face and body and two products that helped immensely were the above moisturizing mask and facial oil. Although the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask does tend to burn slightly upon contact with irritated skin, the thick and nourishing mask did work wonders on my reddened dry patches and general irritation, when I was applying it at night. I swear, my skin absorbed it instantly, it was that dehydrated.  On the soothing and redness-reducing front, the By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil worked wonders; whenever I didn’t have the mask on, this was slathered all over my face because I could quickly see the difference with this one. This was one that stopped the itching and took down to red irritated patches within hours. In short, this duo has restored the state of my skin tremendously and I adore both products — and slathering my face in both products.

At this time of the month, there’s an onslaught of favourites posts (and videos), which I know is redundant and irritating to some, but I salivate at the very appearance of them. I love favourites posts and videos like I love lattes in my sleep-deprived state. My absolute favourite of the ‘favourite’ themed posts/videos had to be Suzie’s and if you haven’t watched it already (and every other video that she has ever made), I would highly recommend giving it a go – here. She’s relaxed and amusing and can probably sell me just about anything… but honestly, she’s great.

I was also rather pleased with this weeks posts in general. It’s definitely rewarding to go through your archives and not even questioning whether you’ve uploaded a post or two. My three favourites would have to be my ‘August Favourites‘, ‘Beauty Bargain‘ and ‘The Pre-Fall Haul‘. Writing this down, I feel more than a little bit self-indulgent so I better stop myself. I’m back to classes on Thursday, as absurd as it feels and equally as absurd are my thoughts on my new Smashbox Cherry Smoke Photo-Op Eye Shadow Palette – I stand by what I said about the amazing pigmentation and general formula of these gorgeous shades but I don’t love it as a staple palette for putting together entire ‘eye looks’ and because of this, I might actually be returning this. However, the formula is so great. Angst.

How was your week?
Maggie, x.

The Daily Face Routine

IMG_7076

IMG_7073

In the last month or so, I’ve surprised myself by not only sticking to an unchanging face-routine of sorts but also being consistently pleased with the results. Considering my lack of commitment to foundations and the like, I thought I would share the routine that has been gracing my face daily with pleasure. As usual, I haven’t been using a primer daily but if I use one, I go for the generous sample-sized Laura Mercier Radiance Primer that has never steered my skin wrong in terms of irritation and the like and doesn’t help with pores, longevity and the like but helps the foundation to sit more nicely on the skin. I’m wearing it today, if you’re curious.

The foundation in question is the Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup ($48 CDN) and despite my lukewarm initial feelings about the foundation, I can say that I’ve fallen into love with it and this love is of the deep-commitment kind. The only thing I can complain about is the quantity of alcohol in the formulation but it doesn’t seem to outwardly irritate my skin so I’m thankful. The foundation is a satin-finish with a nice dose of luminosity but it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections in the slightest so its obviously a life-saver. It provides medium-coverage and can look like glowy skin as long as the skincare routine is in order – and your face isn’t flake city – and I’ve been liking the way it looks day after day. I’ve given the loved Real Techniques Buffing Brush a rest and have returned to the Quo sponge that I picked up at Shoppers ages ago that seems to actually function well, gliding over dry patches without soaking up the excess product that others do. And it doesn’t cost a fortune. My shade is 11 Creme, if anyone is interested.

Thanks to my discovery that using the Real Techniques Detailer Brush in combination with my Make Up For Ever 5 Concealer Cream Palette in 1 ($45 CDN) actually can achieve the magic that is ‘pinpoint concealing’, I’ve been employing the technique on blemishes and scars almost daily. It doesn’t make sense completely to me but by placing it just on the smallest areas, the skin can be concealed without looking artificial and this has been especially helpful in the last ten days when I got the yearly slightly-horrific exam-period breakout covering my cheeks and chin. It still isn’t gone yet but it’s beginning to go down into the scarring phase so at least it’s not painful anymore.

So, I have hereditary dark circles that cannot be eliminated despite my best efforts and I’ve tried a bunch of concealers with meh-like success, including the corrector in the above palette and for the first time I’ve found something that truly works beyond merely brightening the area. And it’s the hyped Bobbi Brown Corrector ($30 CDN)that I admittedly have not been using as long as the other products as I received it as a gift from my mother for Easter after contemplating getting it for ages and ages. Despite my initial skepticism, it actually works to cancel out the darkness underneath my eyes without leaving that unattractive orange cast even with concealer on top and it doesn’t make the under-eyes look dry or anything. I use the shade Light-Medium Bisque and the pink hue actually cancels out the darkness without requiring a concealer on top to get rid of the pink cast. I’m sort of kind of in love with this magical pot of corrector.

I’ve also been going for powder on the regular, as I’ve been able to apply the L’Oreal True Match Mineral Powder ($15-17 CDN) without having it look artificial, obvious or dull on the skin. I have the lightest shade of the warm-family in this finely-milled powder but I don’t think colour is especially important with this formula as the coverage is so sheer. Funnily enough, I’m not wearing any powder today after going out last night with some friends for drinks to celebrate a birthday and the end of the school year — my skin gets into this dehydrated state whenever alcohol seems to be involved and powder is rarely used in such a state attractively. I’m sure some of you know how it is. I’ve been using the Real Techniques Duofibre Brush to powder, if you’re interested.

Have you tried any of these products?

Maggie, x.

 

 

The Daily Face #7: A More Minimal Approach

IMG_5396

I’m going to make my understatement of the year in the following sentence so be forewarned. I’m not the kind of girl who rocks the minimal makeup look. It’s not that I feel the need to wear makeup in public constantly – I’m fine going out without makeup and I do enjoy it on a regular basis – but I don’t see the point of the whole natural minimalistic makeup as I feel like slapping on mascara and foundation to be missing the whole value of makeup. I have the kind of face (especially my large eyes) that really benefits from more definition than that, however I love the look sported on the runway and whatnot of makeup with a slight pop of colour on the lips that looks like skin everywhere else without losing the benefit of makeup. Can anyone follow my logic here?

It’s actually frightening to think of how many occasions that I’ve attempted to write a post of this variety but failed in some drastic way. Inspired by the makeup goddess we call Lisa Eldrige (she embodies the not overly-made up makeup), this happened.

While it’s improved drastically in the last day or two, I’m going through quite a breakout on my face and one that’s quite difficult to cover on account of texture and general skin irritation at that and had to think about what foundation wouldn’t highlight all of that loveliness and I went with my recently purchased Revlon Nearly Naked for its luminous but seamlessly blending texture that provides a true medium coverage. I’m very pleased to report that it didn’t highlight the warzone currently occurring on my forehead while still covering the uneven tone. But first I did apply some Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, I might add. Inspired by Lisa even further, I used my Real Techniques Detailer Brush to do some pinpoint concealing with the second-lightest shade Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette – the colour was spot-on enough that I could actually see the benefit of the technique. Hmmmm. Oh, and the lightest shade was blended underneath the eyes to highlight and cover the bags.

I’m not always a powder kind of girl but I do find the MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder to help cover and blur texture imperfections and that’s sort of essential on a day like today. With my square face and all, I rely on doing some sort of contouring regardless of how casual I want to look and I used the contour/blush hybrid, MAC Tenderlingthat looks like skin while adding some shape.

I wore the hyped Rimmel By Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 107 on the lips, applied with a brush for a more natural, precise and effortless sort of effect. Note: this is a lipstick that I find difficult to wear as I don’t know what to pair with it – truly minimal makeup makes my lips look overly pronounced and too much going on makes the lipstick stand out in an unflattering manner on me due to its pink tones. The formula is one of my favourites, wearing for a long time without drying the lips and wearing evenly. There’s something I love about a bold lip with minimal looking makeup and the whole effortless but polished and awake look that it brings. I must take note of how I applied it today because I’m feeling it.

Of course, I wore my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette today and continued with my consecutive wearing streak but these flattering warm shades are ideal on me for an effortless yet defined makeup look. Having weirdly creasing-prone lids, I put the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Barely Branded on my lids underneath the shadows.

IMG_5404

First I put Burnout, the peachy golden shade on the lid and then I blended the mauvy-taupe Limit into the crease and the slightly darker Nooner lower down in the crease. Then I added some of the plummy-toned Factory into the outer corner and used the matte Strange to highlight. This sounds like a lot, I know, but it was quick to do and reads as simple definition on the lid. Although I actually really dislike the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Brown that everyone seems to be in love with, I find it overly waxy and unpigmented, I used this on both the upper and lower lashlines to add some definition to the lashlines without reading as liner. I really don’t understand the hype on this one. On the mascara end of things, I doubt you really even need to ask…. Same with the brows. I’m one of those people blessed with unruly yet sparse shapeless brows and filling them in is essential and obviously I used the ashy MAC Coquette eyeshadow and an angle brush from the same brand.

Recently Updated

IMG_5367

Do you frequently sport minimalistic makeup? What do you reach for when you go for minimal makeup?

Maggie, x.

MAC Recommendations #1: The Basics

IMG_4987

IMG_4976

I don’t think that MAC is by any means the be all and end all of makeup but they are among my favourite brands and they were the company that kindled my makeup love and I might have slightly sentimental feelings toward the cosmetic store. Somehow I haven’t talked about the brand very much considering how often I use the products on a daily basis. From forcing my friends who are not beauty-obsessed into conversations about MAC and later-on trips, I know that many find the store extremely intimidating (moreso than any other high-end brand) and I can understand that but there are some real treasures there and quite often their products are very economical – not that much more expensive than drugstore and at a fraction of the price of Sephora brands without sacrificing quality whatsoever. I don’t have a massive collection of MAC makeup but MAC is easily the brand that I own the most makeup of and I thought I’d attempt to challenge myself into giving my five ten recommendations: here goes…

IMG_4982

1. MAC Powder Blush in Harmony ($21/25 CDN)

If this isn’t the first post you’ve read of mine I’m confident that this hardly needs any explanation. It’s considered to be a blush by MAC (and it might be nice as one on dark skin) but it’s the ideal contour for fair and medium skin. It’s slightly warm toned but the rosy brown does not have any of the oranginess of a bronzer so it’s able to add shape and definition to the face looking natural while still adding some flattering warmth to the face. If you are darker than medium in colouring or find this difficult to show up, I know Blunt is equally as nice and if you’re lighter it should suit you. I do know that those with cooler-toned skin that’s as fair or even fairer than mine can find Harmony slightly red-toned and I’ve heard that Prism and Cubic are good alternatives. These are all matte obviously. Coincidentally these are all fabulous matte shades to use in the crease as well, even though they’re not marketed as eye shadow.

top: Dazzlelight, Vex, All That Glitters bottom: Coquette, Charcoal Brown, Satin Taupe
top: Dazzlelight, Vex, All That Glitters
bottom: Coquette, Charcoal Brown, Satin Taupe

2. MAC Eyeshadow in Coquette ($12/18 CDN)

I have naturally unruly and large but sparse brows and there’s nothing like a matte eyeshadow that fills them in in a natural manner. I used MAC Charcoal Brown for ages which I still do really like but recently I discovered Coquette which is slightly cooler toned and looks like a gross khaki grey in the pan but fills in the brows without looking red, giving a natural appearance to them. The formula is great in these shadows (Coquette is technically a satin but it’s matte on) and they also are great for adding depth in the crease. I would reccomend Charcoal Brown for warmer brunettes, Omega for blondes and I’ve heard Brun is great for darker brunettes. This shadow is that workhorse product that may not seem super-exciting but is functional and worth the money. 

3. MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters ($12/18 CDN)

This veluxe pearl eyeshadow is buttery, easy to work with and pigmented and is that perfect everyday lid shade that is neither too light or too dark – a shimmery but not glittery golden-peach shade that can’t be duplicated. I’ve been through two of these in the past and went without it for ages and now that I’ve picked it up it’s what was missing from my life. It’s a fairly universal shade but the cooler-toned fair skinned might find it to be slightly too coppery and I’ve heard that they favour the lighter pink-champagne Naked Lunch and on darker skin, Woodwinked can be a better option.

shown in Light
shown in Light

4. MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($32 CDN)

This might be a shocking product inclusion as I’m not a powder kind of girl but I’ve rekindled my love for this and this is easily my favourite powder of all time. It doesn’t have much coverage to it but it has enough to even out the skin when worn alone and sets the skin without looking matte and losing all of it’s glow. It gets rid of excess shine without being completely matte and its finely milled-texture sits nicely on the skin without clinging to dry patches. Anyone on the drier side of things would enjoy this but I know that those needing more oil control adore MAC Studio Fix Powder, which has more coverage to it and might not look quite as seamless but it’s a great powder nevertheless. I wear the lightest shade in the powder but Studio Fix has a much wider shade selection.

IMG_4986

5. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose ($35 CDN)

If you’re looking for a glow to your cheeks and particularly if you’re looking for a gorgeous highlight, these cult favourite products that tend to be released as limited edition items in the abundant collections are an offering to consider. I know that some can complain about the frostier shades of these can highlight larger pores for some but that can be remedied with a pore smoothing primer, or powder but I don’t have this issue and I didn’t even when I had more of a true combination skin years ago. I adore the infamous Stereo Rose that is limited edition but will be appearing as a repromote in the upcoming spring collection and I recommend it if this sounds good to you. This is one of the darker offerings, acting as more of a highlight-blush duo in one product – it has nice pigmentation, fabulous texture and has that sheen without being frosty. It’s a coppery pink-coral, I’d say. For lighter skin-tones it works as a highlighting blush of sorts and I know it works for darker ladies as well as a highlighter. On my warm-leaning skin this is an instantly brightening shade that is perfect when you only have a few minutes to slap on some makeup before heading out the door. I haven’t tried them personally but there are also some permanent options that I’ve heard so much about – Soft and Gentle is supposed to be a great champagne-peach shade that is a versatile highlighter.

Have you tried any of the products here? I would also love to have any recommendations!

Base Bonanza: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

IMG_4807_fotor

I have managed to talk about this foundation very frequently here without giving an actual review. Whoops. This was the first Drugstore foundation that I tried and was wowed by the great quality of – it’s better than many higher end ones I’ve tried. In short, in my view Rimmel Wake Me Up is a fantastic foundation, well for me at least.

IMG_4809

IMG_4815

IMG_4819

INGREDIENTS: AQUA/WATER/EAU, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, GLYCERIN, TALC, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, DIMETHICONE, CRAMBE ABYSSINICA SEED OIL, BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1, DIMETHICONE PEG-10/15 CROSSPOLYMER, MICA, VINYL DIMETHICONE/ METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER, LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, LECITHIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM PCA, DIMETHICONOL, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE, UREA, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, SILICA DIMETHYL SILYLATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, POLYQUATERNIUM-51, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TREHALOSE, GLYCERYL POLYMETHACRYLATE, DISODIUM EDTA, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, PEG-8, HEXYL CINNAMAL, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, LIMONENE, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, TOCOPHEROL, TRIACETIN, BENZYL SALICYLATE, LINALOOL, BHT, GERANIOL, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE, CITRONELLOL, BENZOIC ACID, SODIUM LACTATE, PALMITOYL OLIGOPEPTIDE.

Well I couldn’t find this foundation on Rimmel’s Canadian site oddly enough so I had to make due with the UK one even though the UK formulation is slightly different, as in it contains SPF whereas the one I have does not. Basically it claims to be light and moisturizing on the skin, gives an instant flawless natural-looking finish and has a visible anti-fatigue effect with peptides and a “moisturizing vitamin complex”. To me this sounds like it was made to be in the vein of Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect with the radiance claims and vitamin ridiculousness – Bourjois is known for its claims to do with vitamins and antioxidant which I am quite skepical of. Nevertheless, I find that these foundations differ. Wake Me Up isn’t quite as dewy in my opinion but has the radiance nevertheless with increased longevity and coverage. On the UK website Rimmel describes the product as “Rimmel’s first liquid foundation that instantly reawakens skin with a healthy, radiant glow” and the “light, moisturising texture applies smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft and comfortable all day” and “gives an instant flawless, natural-looking finish” with its “visible anti-fatigue effect with peptides and a Vitamin Moisturising complex”. Like with every other foundation on the market, it does not make the skin look instantly flawless and I’m skeptical of the ingredients doing anything magic, but I believe it achieves on the rest of its claims.

It’s a thicker yet somewhat weightless tacky (until it sets) liquid consistently. It’s even more viscous than MUFE HD. It provides medium coverage that is somewhat buildable on the skin. As promised, the formulation is light and hydrating and the ingredients are the ideal ones for my skins particular needs. It’s free of irritating alcohols, although it does include some fragrance and contains a high concentration of silicones, which I know break some people out but on my dehydrated skin, they help the foundation to sit more nicely over the skin. The good amount of glycerin in the foundation explains its hydrating properties. I really can’t see the shimmer in the foundation unless I squint really hard at the bottle under harsh lighting and I definitely cannot see the shimmer on my face in any sort of lighting. In other countries, the foundation seems to contain spf but in Canada it does not appear to – this is a godsend to me because my skin tends to be reactive to formulations including chemical SPF.
As a whole, the colour range of Rimmel’s offering leaves much to be desired even compared to other ranges at the drugstore but the lightest shade of the six, ivory, a moderately fair shade with yellow undertones suits my skin perfectly which is a rarity for me. The shades really only cater to those with moderately fair skin to those with medium skin tones.
Keep in mind here that I do have perpetually dehydrated skin, but I do not think that this foundation can be described as truly dewy, as say Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect but it does provide a bit of radiance and glow to the skin. It’s slightly glowier than a satin finish and the shimmer particles that I can’t detect seem to highlight the naturally high points of my face and powdered (although I rarely wear it this way) it looks like a natural finish. However, I know the finish of a foundation varies across different skin types and it generally applies glowier on an oilier skin. I would describe it as luminous-looking on the skin.
rimmel
Because this foundation is not truly super-dewy and has surprising lasting power on the skin – I find that on it’s own it lasts 12+ hours everywhere except on inflamed blemishes -, it’s suitable for a variety of skin types. Those with  slightly dry skin, normal skin and combination skin would suit this foundation the best if they are looking for some natural-looking luminosity with longevity and coverage. It does not cling to dry patches but does not effortlessly and invisibly glide over major ones either.
I’m tempted to say this is my favourite foundation. For my dry skin, it’s a failsafe option regardless of the state of my skin is, for instance whether I’m suffering through blemishes and abundant dry patches or if it’s acting its slightly dehydrated self. I don’t think a single week has gone by where I haven’t worn this foundation when I got it in the spring and there are months when I pretty much wore this exclusively.
The packaging is quite nice-looking especially for the price point, albeit quite large and impractical for travel. It comes in an asymetrical glass bottle with a large orange cap and has a matching orange pump. I’m happy to say this affordable foundation actually has a pump!
worn with full-faced makeup
worn with full-faced makeup
both taken with flash: right after application on the left and twelve hours after on the right
both taken with flash: right after application on the left and twelve hours after on the right
The Claims: 9/10
Formulation: 9.5/10
Longevity: 9.5/10
Packaging: 9.5/10
Overall Quality: 9.5/10
Total: 46.5/50 or 93%, A+

x,

Maggie.

If you’ve tried this foundation, tell me your thoughts below! I’m also always open to recommendations 🙂

A Day in the Life: Lazy-But-Productive Sunday

the workstation
the workstation feat. comfy attire – aside: Lululemon leggings are heavenly

I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted to reading beauty blogs (pretty much a given considering that I write one) and my greatest addictions are ones that incorporate their lives into the mix as well, without completely veering off from beauty-related territory – Suzie’s Hello October, Amelia’s Liana Beauty and Alix’s I Covet Thee, to name a few.

I feel compelled to warn you that I have an extremely boring life and rather rarely do anything interesting so lower your expectations before reading further. For years, as I’m such a procrastinator, Sundays have been that day when I have to be productive but endeavour to do so in the laziest way possible. My general life philosophy is rather lazy and you might have already guessed that I write the majority of my blog posts on my bed and take a good number of my pictures without having to move. You caught me.

On the agenda today is the usual readings and assignments that I should have already done, thinking about cleaning the catastrophic state of the room and blog post writing and/or planning and doing something to fix the state of my nails – It’s screwing with my mind writing  a blog post about blog post writing.

the authentic "no-makeup face"
the authentic “no-makeup face”

Skin; while mine is nowhere even close to the realm of flawless, I have been receiving compliments on mine in real life and can easily say it’s the best I’ve had since I turned thirteen and I’ve been planning on doing a full-on skincare update for some time now but I never seem to get around to it. I thought I’d share what products I’ve been grabbing in the morning religiously.

I’ve been cleansing with the gentle but annoying to use on account of it’s lid, Bioderma Hydrabio Cleansing Milk ($25 CDN) in the mornings (although I use it on occasion at night as it removes makeup well) and I like it. It never makes my sensitive, easily-irritated skin angry looking afterwards and for that it might deserve a gold star. Unless my skin is particularly sore (which thankfully it is not at the moment) I use the most gentle chemical exfoliant, the Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($16 CDN) that (along with my nightime chemical exfoliants, Peptabright and the Neutrogena one) I attribute the increased brightness and radiance in my skin to, as well as the radical reduction in the pesky chin  breakout bumps and the clogged pore situation on the forehead. It works without irritating the skin whatsoever so my naturally-flushed skin is less flushed than it has been in ages believe it or not. The skincare trio was completed by slathering on a good layer of the soothing but not heavy Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($42 CDN). Sometimes I add an oil for good measure, but this is how it’s been in the mornings and I’m happy with the results my routine has given me.  Following with the laziness theme, I can’t be bothered to apply makeup – and this is a sign of skin improvement.

winter is not my friend when lighting is concerned
winter is not my friend when lighting is concerned

Now I fear I must conquer the frightening sight that is my neglected nails and move onto the more difficult stuff. x

most frightening application of Essie Sand Tropez and my latest love in tub form
most frightening application of Essie Sand Tropez and my latest love in tub form

Maggie

What did you do today?

 

 

 

Daily Face #5: I Sort of Have a Routine *Gasp*

IMG_4596_fotor

Although I’m self-professedly not the kind of girl who sticks to a daily makeup routine without changing it up a bit on the daily basis, lately I’ve been sticking to quite a “routine” of sorts and I thought I’d share as I haven’t done a daily face this year – what horror, har har har. This is the kind of makeup that seems to happen when (a) I make the effort to actually apply something and (b) I don’t want to think on autopilot.

So I might have lied; well kind of. I’ve gotten into a routine in terms of what products I apply and what I go for buttt as I’m not completely broke as I’ve picked up a few things lately there have been a few recent additions as well. The overall routine, however, has remained constant.

I’m convinced that I was delusional before when I thought I didn’t like Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation. Since doing my “shopping my stash” post, I’ve been reaching for this foundation exclusively – and that’s saying something because I’m a foundation hoarder and I can never seem to stick to one. It has a hydrating creamy consistency providing medium coverage that can be built and a slightly dewy finish. Particularly when paired with the Lancome La Base Pro silicone-y primer, it sits on my dry skin nicely, providing coverage without it looking obvious or making my skin look dull.

I’ve done something shocking, I’ve fallen back in love with my MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder , which I wear in the lightest shade after passing powder off for months because I don’t “need it” and worried about cakiness and the like. Maybe now since I’ve been a little more frugal with my foundation application or something, it’s made its way into the daily rotation. Applied with a powder brush, it adds a tiny bit of coverage and sets the skin and helps with imperfections such as pores and texture while providing a natural (not matte) finish. Unless I have an absolutely frightening dry patch, it does not highlight them at all and it’s amazing. Concealer has been my standard highlighting Rimmel Match Perfection underneath my eyes in the lightest shade.

For the last little while I’ve rambled on about my love of MAC Harmony Powder Blush for the daily contouring and bronzing job, but recently I’ve been reaching for the creamy Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan because there is something magical about the way it sits on the skin that’s worth the extra effort to blend in. Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter ends up on my cheekbones daily automatically for that healthy dewy sheen.

So I was at MAC a week ago and somehow I found myself at the register with a few products I’d been lusting after in my bag. I have no idea how this happened. Even though the last thing in the world I need is blush, I picked up the duo palette and had to pick up a blush to go inside along with the eyeshadows and I chose MAC Powder Blush in Tenderling and I’m glad I did. It’s my first truly neutral blush that livens up the face without looking like blush and is that perfect complement to wearing a bolder lip in daytime life. It’s matte-but-not-flat and the warmish brown shade leans peachy in a flattering way. If you have colouring like mine, you need this in your life. 

Although I do tend to rotate between specific eyeshadows, I’ve been reaching for this “eye” exclusively. After priming, I filled in my brows with my latest addition, MAC Coquette eyeshadow , which I purchased at the reccomendation of the salesgirl after I complained of my brows looking too red-toned despite whatever shadow I used. Hallelujah,  she was right. I also used the shade in the crease. On the lid I wore the product that I’ve used up two times and have been lusting after to repurchase since I began this blog, MAC All That Glitters which has the nicest sheen to it without being over-the-top and sits halfway between a champagne and a copper. There’s nothing like this shade to wear on the lid when you want a lighter neutral colour but are bored of the usual champagnes. In the inner corner and browbone, MAC Dazzlelight has been my go-to as it’s not overtly shimmery and looks natural. For definition in the outer-corner of the eye, I used Club but this shade I tend to switch up. I’ve been wearing a thin but slightly-winged line of my well-loved L’Oreal Lineur Intense and as always, I’ve been coating my lashes with good ol’ Maybelline The Falsies. This is one of those types of eye makeup that looks fairly natural on the lid but really defines the eye and looks polished.

If you know me, I’m not usually one to wear the same lip daily but lately I’ve been wearing darker lips (the blush makes this far easier) and particularly I’ve found myself going for MAC Dubonnet. Because of the amplified creme finish of the lipstick, it’s moisturizing but the formula does tend to slide around the lips with any sort of eating or drinking. I’ve discovered that blotting it slightly doesn’t reduce the hydration and really helps the lipstick to last longer with minimal maintenance – because of the creaminess of the shade, I used to find that if I wasn’t careful I could rub the lipstick off of my lips before it stained them creating that dreaded lipstick ring around the edges of the mouth.

IMG_4602

IMG_4600

IMG_4573

It’s difficult for me to get the balance right while wearing the darker lips that I adore; I need to add definition to my eyes and cheeks to balance out the face or bold colours tend to look hideous on me and what I’ve been doing has helped me to get the balance right (in my opinion!) and I wanted to share. This is my low-key and effortless dark lip sort of makeup choice and I will continue to wear it, I swear.

x,

Maggie.

Have you tried any of these products? What makeup products have you been reaching for daily?

Winter Essentials Edit – The Miscellanious Edition

IMG_4553

IMG_4543

IMG_4551

It’s taken a bit of adjustment to get back into the swing of things blogging-wise now that school has started up again even though I was only off for a month and this post was long overdue, a companion to my recent makeup post. This is going to be a little more chaotic and disorganized – a summary of the beauty bits that have proved essential to me in this winter weather when it’s difficult to muster the effort to lift yourself out of bed in the morning.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark Nail Polish ($9-10 CDN)

Recently I’ve mentioned that I’ve turned into a usual nail-painter but I haven’t been mentioning particular products because I can’t commit to anything, ever but this polish may be the exception to the rule – before starting the blog, this was the only nail polish that I mustered the effort to apply over and over again but then I lost it and it was tragic but luckily I got a mini-size for Christmas again. As cliched as it is, I love the vampy almost-black-but-not-quite shade, particularly in the winter with purple-undertones and a opaque cream finish. It has good longevity on the nails and is almost fully opaque after one coat. Because of the darkness of the shade, it makes a statement of sorts but doesn’t involve the effort of pairing everything with of a red or bright.

Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her Polish ($8 CDN/ 6)

I know I’m horrible for including a limited edition polish from what I believe was the Spring 2013 but I picked this up recently at the Canadian version of the TK/TJ Maxx enterprise called Winners which I’ve recently become very interested in rummaging around through. In the last few months, I’ve grew a little bit tired of the red polish and I think this is an alternative option that still is seasonally appropriate with it’s wintry iciness. The formula of the polish is phenomenal, very opaque and it lasts on my nails for the longest of any polishes I’ve tried – I can get a week out of this on my chipping-prone nails. The colour is a paled-out dirty green with a greyish lean to it, which does not sound attractive but I love it. It’s a lighter and dirtier version of the famous (but also limited edition) Mermaid’s Tears, that is my staple summer polish.

China Glaze Nail Polish in Ingrid ($8 CDN)

Years ago, when I was going through one of my brief periods when I was determined to give nail polish a go (before quickly abandoning the seemingly futile effort) I picked this one up after OPI You Don’t Know Jacques was sold out pretty much everywhere and the salesgirl told me this one was very similar. The formulation is fantastic (as all of these mentioned are as I’m very impaired at nail polish application), not quite as long-lasting as the Essie but it wears for a long time and applies very opaque with minimal streaking. I’m beginning to notice that I seem to like slightly-grungy and dirty colours; yet again this is a dark taupe with fine golden-brown microshimmer running throughout and it’s much more amazing than this description is suggesting. I usually hate shimmery and absolutely detest sparkly polishes but this one is the exception for me. It’s easier to wear on my warm-leaning skin because it leans slightly more on the brown side.

Aveeno Skin-Relief Body Wash ($8 CDN)

I suffer from eczema along with generally very sensitive body skin and this is a great gentle body wash that does not irritate my skin even in it’s fragile state. I didn’t realize that this contained fragrance as it’s hardly detectable and non-irritating but I do want to give the fragrance-free one a go sometime. The worst eczema I suffer is on my legs and it’s quite painful and by far this is the best thing to shave my legs with due to it’s gentleness and the instant hydration in provides. I sort of can’t believe I’m talking about body wash but alas…

Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright Serum ($40 CDN)

With sore winter dry and irritated skin, a chemical-exfoliant with acids sounds like the last thing you need but it’s been a saviour for me. The formulation of this serum is hydrating but concentrated with the lactic acid that exfoliates the skin without being abrasive and it’s one of the only things that has helped to reduce the severity of the dry patches I do get. It doesn’t burn on the skin either and beats manual exfoliation in ways other than gentleness, as it helps with pigmentation and dullness – the latter which is a large concern of mine and I imagine it to be an issue that many face with winter pale skin.

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

I’m an avid blog reader myself and before I was always dismissive when I read posts boasting about the wonders of oils on the complexion. It’s not that I was worried about the oiliness or anything of that sort but more of that I’d been down that road before with minimal success. This one has been a recent addition in my routine every night and every morning or two, bringing much-needed radiance to my face paired on top of moisturizer (or the serum above). It really seems to moisturize and soothe irritated and dry skin but also works wonders on angry breakouts – but mine are the dry itchy kind so keep that in mind. This was another purchase from Winners.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($26 CDN)

This glorified lip balm is very expensive and I haven’t purchased a tube as I’m still working on the sample from the Sephora birthday gift but as much as I hate to say it, it’s worth it. I have naturally dry and chapped lips and this performs the best at hydrating them after the balm wears off rather than just coating the lips which many others do. It outperforms the close contender, the more affordable and popular EOS balms.

Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50 CDN)

Yes, this masque is ridiculously expensive and I’ve only used it a handful of times but I already know it’s worth it. I have the kind of hair that is death to untagle, eats up conditioner and is difficult to keep hydrated and this product is worth it to me. It has that amazing spa-like scent but I would purchase this even without the scent – It’s one of the rare masques that actually is concentrated and a quarter size is more moisturizing than palmfuls of other (not cheap) intensive conditioners and I rarely find that. It doesn’t weigh down my insanely dense mass of fine-textured wavy hair while leaving it feeling nourished for longer than a few hours. I find it keeps the hair soft and helps my hair to curl in the way I like. It’s beautiful, that is all; it’s that perfect wintry hair-saving treatment.

Bumble & Bumble Texture (Un)dressing Creme ($17/34 CDN)

I’ve rambled on about this before but in the winter my hair really begins to lack life and just hang and regardless of your hair type, this treasure adds texture and vitality without tangling and drying the hair. This has really become a staple product when you’re headed out the door in a minute or two and your hair is catastrophically flat and dull.

x

Maggie

What are your winter essentials? Have you used any of these?

& I’M A BREATHING BEAUTY BLOGGER CLICHE: Shopping The Stash #1

IMG_4313_fotor

You know you have a slight excessive beauty-product buying problem when you are constantly scouring the shelves of Sephora, whatever local department store there may be in your area and the magical emporium known as the drugstore – if you’re in Canada, Shoppers is my pick – for the latest treasure and were likely induced to do so by stress (you know how it is) when really all you had to do to find such treasures would be to scavenge through the assortment located in your bedroom known as the stash.

I know it’s in vogue currently to talk about the black impeccably-lined-up-co-ordinated-and-quite-frankly-still-intimidating store otherwise known as MAC Cosmetics as an overrated location of beauty product purchase, but it was my first makeup love and to this day, I still adore a good number of products in their selection. I don’t care how outdated I sound but their eyeshadows are fantastic and generally speaking, the products give you great bang for your buck. Before I’ve written amounts that could make an extremely disorganized essay, I’ll attempt to move onto blabbering about the neglected products.

MAC Club Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

I really can’t explain why I use Club so infrequently. It’s in my older Mac quad that I successfully took the divider out of to fit more in that I look through a time or two during the week and when I do so, I resolve to use Club – somehow it never seems to happen. It’s a nicely textured, pigmented, creamy and whatever warm brown with a green duochrome that whenever I pass through MAC with a friend, I attempt to convince them that they need in their life. It’s one of those versatile medium-dark shades that can be worn in the outer corner on the daily but can also create that (relatively) effortless smoky eye — if you’re a regular reader here, you should know that I adore the smoky eye and especially the effortless variety.

MAC Club eyeshadow in all of its glory
MAC Club eyeshadow in all of its glory

MAC Springsheen Powder Blush ($25 CDN)

MAC Springsheen
MAC Springsheen

I’m fairly certain this was one of my earlier blush purchases and that I made it in ninth grade. I remember wearing this constantly until Sephora opened near me and from the moment my eyes met the matte-black packaging of NARS Orgasm, I tossed this one onto the side. It’s another one of those coral shades with fine golden shimmer throughout but it’s more of a true warm-toned coral than the infamous NARS blush. The texture is at least as good as the blush in comparison and I do rather like it on. My theory is that it pulled too bright back when I thought I had pink-undertones and constantly looked flushed as a result of the tragedy; now that I match my foundation to my much more yellow-toned body, I don’t have this issue whatsoever. Lesson learned: learn how to match your foundation correctly to your body and everything else will fall into place.

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

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation in 110 Porcelain Ivory
Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation in 110 Porcelain Ivory

Ah, this would be one of the all-too-frequent stress-induced purchases that somehow manage to happen after dry winter skin frustration and a long busy day,week, etc. at school. I bought this in the time when every foundation looked slightly terrifying on my skin with dry patches galore and as I have dry skin and this was toted as a great dewy moisturizing formula (by Rosanna, from youtube’s rpiercemakup) at a good pricepoint…. It happened. This was in the phase a month or two back when I kept piling on the foundation to cover the skin irritation and consequently it looked even worse and I cast it aside, forgetting all about it. As with all other Maybelline face products, the shade range is horrendous but the medium coverage formula is a nice one especially on drier complexions. Obvs. I would expect to hear more on this from me in the foreseeable future.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107($7-8 CDN)

Rimmel by Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107
Rimmel by Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107

It’s doubtful that writing the full title was really necessary and was tempted to merely write “that dark Rimmel lipstick”, as this is such a commonly praised product this year. I bought this in the fall and I liked the candy-scented longwearing but not drying matte lipstick but it wasn’t as vampy as I expected and I forgot about it. I think it’s more of a cool-toned berry red shade than it appears and somehow this made it’s way into the abyss of my cluttered lipstick drawer. I’m really going to try to wear this more and it bewilders me that I don’t use it more. It’s about as pink as I can go without looking ridiculous – if you’re new to this blog, I LOOK TERRIBLE IN PINKS and consequently have an abundance of red-toned shades. Yes, this lipstick, easily referred to as “that lipstick” that seems to be featured on every beauty blogged (and loved also) is worth it.

Rimmel 107, MAC Club, MAC Springsheen
Rimmel 107, MAC Club, MAC Springsheen
products in use: wearing the Maybelline foundation, MAC Springsheen on the cheeks with some highlighter and MAC Club in the outer corner and crease of the eye - taken with flash :)
products in use: wearing the Maybelline foundation, MAC Springsheen on the cheeks with some highlighter, MAC Club in the outer corner and crease of the eye and “that lipstick” applied onto the lips poorly and then blotted – taken with flash 🙂

Have you tried any of these products? And I’m even more curious to see if I’m the only one who completely neglects great products – if you’re like me, I’d love to know your discoveries from your stash! x

Maggie

 

 

Winter Essentials Edit- The Makeup Edition

IMG_4213_fotor

Living in Canada, it has been snowing straight since early November and I swear as soon as we hit the middle of October, it wasn’t really “Fall” anymore; we have in fact had multiple storms and power outages. This might seem premature but in my world, it’s been Winter-esque for ages and it’s now acceptable (I suppose) to share some of my essentials now that it officially is Winter. Some of these products are newer additions to my rotation but many of them have been my staples for the last couple of months.

Revlon Enticing, NARS Golshan
Revlon Enticing, NARS Golshan

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan ($30 CDN)review here

This ultra-pigmented lip pencil has been a rather recent addition but whenever I’m going for a dark lip, it’s been the one I reach for. The long-wearing warm deep burgundy shade doesn’t cling to dry patches and actively moisturizes the lips somewhat rather than drying them out. The shade is a flattering warmer hue that is easier to wear than brighter and vampier hues.

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Enticing ($10 CDN)worn here

When I’m not feeling quite as bold but want to wear a reddish hued lip, I’ve been reaching for mint-scented and recently released jumbo pencil offering from Revlon. The dark cherry-red moisturizing lipstick feels like a weightless balm on the lips, wears for a decent amount of time and does so evenly and might just be my favourite drugstore lip product of all time. It manages to provide that pigmented-yet-buildable amount of payoff that allows the lipstick-balm hybrid to pack a good colour punch without requiring the maintenance and fuss of a traditional red.

Nars Golshan, Revlon Enticing
Nars Golshan, Revlon Enticing

Marc Jacobs Beauty Color Eye-Con No 7 in The Starlet ($71 CDN)

taken with flash, true to colour
taken with flash, true to colour
I forgot to take a picture of the darker grey but it's glorious.
I forgot to take a picture of the darker grey but it’s glorious.

This eyeshadow palette is undoubtedly an extravagant purchase – and I did only receive it recently… for Christmas – and it’s not something that I would describe as purely wintery but it seems to be the perfect palette for my daily eye makeup in the cold season. These might just be the most pigmented and creamy shadows that I’ve ever tried and are all metallic without being overly frosty or glittery in the slightest. The pinky champagne, like Sin in the Naked Palette that I declare my love for regularly, is my staple lid shade, particularly with a darker lip, the grey, one of the very few shadows in this hue that I find flattering, effortlessly smokes out and the dark warm coppery brown is that staple shade to define the outer-v. I could go on but there will be a review coming soon.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer
top - Maybelline, bottom - Rimmel
top – Maybelline, bottom – Rimmel

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light ($9-10 CDN)

Throughout the year, I constantly have dry and dehydrated skin but the season change to cold weather can magnify the problem. The dry patches that tend to emerge can cause redness and when you try to cover them with most concealers, the dryness is only highlighted but this concealer does not have that effect. It provides medium coverage and glides over dry patches. Particularly in the Winter when I get blemishes, during the healing process they can get dry and flaky and this is one of the only products that covers them without highlighting the condition of my skin. The only thing that could improve the product would be the colour range… it is kind of horrendous.

Rimmel  2-in-1 Concealer and Highlighter in Ivory ($7-8 CDN)

Including two concealers might seem a bit excessive, but this concealer really in essence is a highlighter that also provides some coverage. It highlights underneath the eyes while still covering dark circles and can be brought into the centre of the face and other high points which has that much needed luminizing and brightening effect.

IMG_4224

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter ($36 CDN)

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

After our brief separation, when I had a brief affair with my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish, I’ve returned to the liquid highlighter and have committed to a monogamous relationship with said product. It’s illuminating due to its sheen, but is not shimmery in the typical way and the texture of the pale pink-champagne fluid adds a dewiness that cannot be matched, especially with powder products. Year round, I have a love of all things that provide luminosity but this is especially important in the winter with dull, paler and drier skin.

NARS Orgasm Powder Blush ($32 CDN)

Ah, blush, up there among my top beauty loves and consequently much more difficult to narrow down my essential down to one but I’m determined to do so and it came down to this one. I think I’ve mentioned this a few times as of late but after some neglect, my most-used blush of all time is getting its much-deserved recognition. The formula is smooth and doesn’t apply patchy, being quite build able and therefore versatile – It can be worn subtly on a more dramatic makeup day with say bolder lips or can be built up to a brightening warm pink-y flush. On NYE, it began to crumble slightly and I was tempted to crumble into the floorboards when it fell from the vanity to its luckily not fatal stroke. This might seem like an odd winter blush choice but it doesn’t pull corally on the skin, well on me at least.

with flash
NARS Orgasm, Tarte Natural Beauty with flash

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty ($31 CDN)

So I might have lied. I succumbed to my intuition of the need to include a more typically winter appropriate blush. I know I’m definitely an outlier here as I’m not absolutely in love with the Amazonian Clay formula but Natural Beauty is a watermelon sort of colour, sitting between a pink and a red with versatile neutral undertones. The matte finish blush does in fact last insanely long on me and it gives that natural-looking winter flush that perks up dull skin.

What are your makeup picks for the Winter? x

Maggie