The Beauty Bargain |Garnier Deconstructed Texture Tease Dry Finishing Spray


Being someone who has finer textured strands but a huge heavy mass of lengthy hair, the roots of my hair in the front really tend to fall flat and limp and in consequence I’ve become quite interested in these volumizing and texturizing sprays as of late. However I’m fairly new to the game, only previously having tried the Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo and a smaller size of the pricy Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish, that I loved but went through far too quickly for my taste. After this experience, I decided that I would give the Garnier Deconstructed Texture Tease Dry Finishing Spray as it was a much more affordable offering that claimed to do the same thing that the Thickening Dryspun Finish did (in the short time that I had it). While I wouldn’t say that it’s an exactly exchangeable alternative or ‘duplicate’ product, it’s a product that offers similar results but with a little bit more hold and less of that airy refreshed finish. The Garnier seems to be a mixture between the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish and the Cityswept Finish, although I admit that I have not tried the latter and am merely going off of what I’ve heard from others about it; it offers that bit added hold and control of the Cityswept but with more of that dramatic lightweight but buoyant mussing and texturizing effect that the Thickening delivers. However, I must acknowledge that I’m not as much of a fan of the scent of the $7 dollar offering — although it is a nice but strong fruity scent — and that it doesn’t operate as a freshening dry shampoo-like product in the same way, although I’m loving this stuff and am finding it to be a great alternative — but I don’t have hair that needs much refreshing action. And I should add that if you’re planning on spraying this liberally onto the roots from little distance away, you’ll see some amazingly huge voluminous hair but there may be some stickiness and crunchiness that you have to deal with.

TLDR? In short, I love this as a volumizing and texturizing spray, especially for the much-easier-to-stomach price, despite its extra hold and less airy hair refreshing ability.

 Have you tried any of these dry finishing sprays?

Maggie, x.

The Acquisition: MAC Style Blush




Hands up if you can remember when I spoke of a cheeky MAC purchase that occurred when out, goofing around and shopping with friends — honestly, I’d be surprised to find too many hands raised for that one — but you’d be more likely to raise your hand if you’re aware of my coral blush buying problem/ love… this has been chronicled here on many occasions. Ramble over. Did I need yet another coral blush; was this one so different than others in my stash to completely warrant purchasing? The answer to any sane person would be no but I can rationalize it to myself because it does differ from the dozen other coral blushes I own.

It’s my first frost blush from MAC and the finish is much different than I expected, not miles different from the Sheertone Shimmer blushes that I’m familiar with, simply with less obvious shimmer and a stronger sheen – and not an overpowering one or unflattering one at that. The texture, pigmentation and longevity on this one are all amazing — especially the longevity considering that this blush is not advertised as long lasting but lasted on me for 12 hours without fading in the heat. The colour of this one is a strong orange-coral with such a strong golden sheen running throughout that it has a duochrome kind of quality to it. This is definitely one that you have to be careful if you’re fairer with a cooler skintone because it has a tendency to flash orange; however, I’m relatively fair and I don’t have this problem because of my neutral-to-warm undertones. This is also a shade that would be gorgeous on medium to deep skins as well because of its pigmentation and orangey undertone. With it’s golden sheen, this one instantly adds glow to the cheeks and brightens my face and is a versatile one in my opinion because it’s a subtler shade with one layer and builds in intensity with the second (in a flattering way). I’ve shown this below here with a light application on the left and a slightly heavier one on the right:

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To reiterate, quality-wise MAC Style Powder Blush is top notch and given that it costs $21 in pan form and $26 in compact form for a whooping 0.21 oz of product, it is rather economical. It has quickly become a staple in my collection of blushes; I say collection despite how funny it sounds because I acknowledge fully that I might perhaps have a small problem. In the pan, Style does not look different than the MAC Springsheen Blush but when swatched, they are different and I prefer Style on account of the texture, gorgeous sheen and hint of orange-coral to it. However, it is even more similar to (not identical) to the limited edition MAC Stereo Rose MSF, but is a little bit more of an amped-up coral that leans more on the orange-copper side of things — in a good way. Both shades have that gorgeous sheen and if you’ve been wanting to try the MSF, I would recommend giving this one a go in its place.

Comparison swatches from top to bottom: MAC Style, MAC Springsheen, MAC Stereo Rose
Have you tried Style?
Maggie, x.

The Beauty Bargain: The Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balms



This might be surprising but as far as I’m aware, I haven’t given the Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balms ($9-10) the credit (through rambling form, of course) that they deserve; I mean I’ve mentioned before that I love them but they really are among the best of the best formulas in my opinion and I wear them constantly. Of all three of the Revlon lip pencils, they are easily the most moisturizing and forgiving on the lips along with having the most subtle mint-induced tingly sensation on the lips that can irritate some. The formula of these strikes me as a slightly amped-up version of the MAC Lustre’s in pigment with the same general characteristics — buildable pigmentation, actual hydrating quality on the lips and forgiving texture. The darker shades of the Revlon offering might have more longevity than the MAC options as well and they tend to be much more pigmented to boot! The brighter/deeper shades that I have do tend to stain the lips slightly and wear for a good 4-5 hours through some light drinking but nothing too strenuous the lighter shade that I have wears more at the 3-4 hour range but this doesn’t bother me as these lip products are so low-maintenance and fuss-free.

Others seem to complain about the visible shimmer/glitter found in these shades, especially as the colour of the product wears off, but I only notice the flecks in my lightest shade, 105 Demure, and even then I don’t find the flecks to be overly noticeable or problematic. Being one of the paler shades in the lineup, this one has the least pigmentation — beginning with sheer payoff but buildable to medium opacity — but at the same time it’s one of those foolproof natural-looking hues. It reminds me a great deal of my lipstick love, MAC Patisserie, but it has slightly more pink in it and a bit less brown but it doesn’t lean pink in the slightest, allowing those like me who cannot pull of pink usually to wear it in a flattering way.


120 Vivacious is a stunning punchy fuschia shade with some corally undertones to it but in all honesty I wear it the least because it’s such a statement lip on me – It pulls bolder than Ruby Woo on me! — but it is a stunning one and doesn’t resemble a cool-toned pink in the slightest. Along with the next shade, there is no sheerness to the opacity in this one by any means – without compromising its balmy texture, the lip crayon gives off vibrant payoff.


150 Enticing is easily the shade I’ve talked the most about as it was the one that was my gateway into the formula and I’ve had it since last year and this isn’t just by chance; it’s a neutral-toned deep red that seems to suit my colouring to a t. Because it’s a deeper hue, it doesn’t have the same dramatic punch that brighter shades do without stepping into vampy kind of territory and it seems to be that effortless dark lip. It’s certainly more of a Fall/Winter kind of shade but I’m known to wear it throughout other seasons…


Have you tried any of these – what were your thoughts?
Maggie, x.


Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara


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.


Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation


After the month or so that I’ve owned the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in 103 True Ivory ($9 CDN) and wearing it frequently, I feel confident enough to say that not only is it a foundation that is exceptionally good for being so budget-friendly but it also is a fantastic foundation in its own right. Looking for more proof? By the narrowest of margins, this was edited out of May’s favourites post but only because I had been adoring so many other fantastic products and the post was getting excessively long.


The packaging of the product describes the foundation with the following description: “Feather-light, liquid mousse blends flawlessly for natural-looking all day shine control… [s]ilky smooth formula leaves a perfectly matte, baby-soft finish… [l]ightweight texture won’t feel heavy or greasy”. While some of its claims correspond in a spot-on fashion to how the foundation applies in my experience, I wouldn’t describe this as a foundation that controls oil effectively. I’m someone on the drier and more dehydrated side of things with maybe a normal t-zone at this time of year and I find that regardless of whether I powder this foundation or not, it develops some shine — nothing ridiculously greasy-looking or anything — after three hours which is on par with how well glowier foundations control a wee bit of oil coming through on the forehead and such. All of the other claims are spot on and although it’s not advertised as such, this is a fantastic high coverage formula on drier skins as it actually doesn’t highlight dry patches in the slightest. The texture is a mousse and therefore sheers out into what appears to be merely perfected skin unlike other cream foundations without compromising on the coverage front, providing skin with buildable medium-to-full coverage that looks like skin. I’ve kind of mentioned it in previous posts but I’ll be more overt about it this time, I’m convinced that this is the more affordable and better alternative to Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation as it does the same thing but feels more lightweight on the skin and sits upon it in a much more natural way, especially for those of us who are more normal to dry. The only difference for me is that the Rimmel offering is a touch less radiant, instead providing a flattering semi-matte finish that glides over any texture-issues in the skin without leaving it dull and flat. Like the Laura Mercier offering, it wears a long time on the skin – (I showered with this on and it survived) – but will develop some shine during that time and unfortunately does tend to transfer.

The fragrance-free formula is a silicone-based one and lays more on the moisturizing side of things than not and doesn’t irritate my skin in the slightest. It doesn’t contain spf either and as you would expect, this foundation photographs fantastically, leaving the skin looking perfected but still with some subtle inner glow. I’ve worn this in extremely hot weather (with a separate sunscreen underneath) and although it does hold up impressively well, you can start to feel it on the skin in comparison to super-light foundations such as my new acquisition, the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet.

As I’ve said before, foundation sticks to my skin like glue so I tend to get insanely long wear out of most foundations but if you’re interested I would put this in the 12 hour category and add that unless you’re submerging your face into water it will remain intact – in other words, it seems to me to be water resistant. The lasting power of this one is fantastic but it doesn’t control oil particularly well like say MUFE Mat Velvet + would so it may require some powdering or oil-control products in the heat if you are oilier complected but I woudn’t skip this offering altogether if you are plagued.

As mentioned above, I wear the shade 103 True Ivory, which appears to be the fourth lightest shade in the range of eight that the foundation offers – however, most places only seem to stock 5-6 shades at any given time around here, the darker shades generally found in Shoppers and the lightest shade only to be found at Walmart and such around here. This shade matches me without any sort of tan (artificial or natural) but works with a bit of colour too but I’m fortunate with this shade range considering my moderately fair skintone. This foundation actually comes in a truly fair Light Porcelain shade so unless you’re absolutely porcelain-complected, you should be able to find a match, however those who have darker than a medium-toned skintone most likely wont be so fortunate. If you’re curious, I found the Ivory shade to be rather pink in comparison to its counterpart in my staple Wake Me Up so I went to the next shade that instead featured beige undertones.

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From returning to using my tretenoin-antibiotic gel for nearing three weeks, my skin isn’t at its clearest with the purging still evident on my visage, as you can probably tell from the before picture FYI but I still wanted to include the makeup-free image for comparison. Also, if you’re wondering why I look a little different, I’ve foregone the eye makeup in light of the little bump I had on my inner rim that’s almost gone – not to worry anyone, they’re harmless and I’m prone to them. And I’ve applied the foundation with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, going for a light good medium coverage layer all over and building it up on the lower cheek that’s quite scarred and on my red chin. I haven’t applied any concealer anywhere other than underneath my eyes and no powder either.

And finally the flash photo:




Have you tried this foundation? What did you think of it?

Maggie, x.


Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Eye Enchancing Shadow and Liner Palette in Nude Eyes Review and Swatches

The product in question
The product in question

I talked about this before in my monthly favourites but I figured a more detailed review would be a good idea. I have seen this palette at Canadian Drugstores for 13-14 dollars, although I picked mine up when Physician’s Formula was one Buy One Get One Free at Lawton’s (not that it matters to anyone). The palette contains 0.26 ounces of shadows, divided into 9 shades. Like its namesake, there is no separation between the colours in the palette (all nine shades reside in a single pan). According to Physician’s Formula, the nine shades are divided into three looks, “natural” (the lightest three shades), “playful” (the three shades in the middle) and “dramatic” (the darkest three shades residing on the left side of the palette) and each look includes a highlight shade, lid colour and crease-colour. The darkest shade in each look is made slightly narrower in each of the looks for some reason. The palette comes with a sponge-tip applicator with an angled top with the intent that it could be used to apply a shade as liner as well as shadows. The packaging is pink plastic covered by sheer black lace with a nice pink bow on the front and “Nude” written on pink written. It is smaller than the size of my hand and opens from the side to the right. The palette is magnetic.

The brush is alright; I have used it to apply the shadows and I think it is better than some other sponge-tip applicators but I much prefer to use my own brushes.

Swatches on bare skin taken without flash
Swatches on bare skin taken without flash
Swatches on bare skin, taken with flash
Swatches on bare skin, taken with flash

I’m going to describe each shade and my thoughts on it from the left to right as to provide clarity because they are not named. The first shade is a matte black with some silver micro-glitter running through it. The pigmentation of this shade is not phenomenal (it is not the blackest black by any means) and it is a bit chalky, however it is definitely a usable black shade for lining the eyes, darkening the outer-v and the like. The next shade is a shimmery medium-dark taupe-brown with purple undertones. I would say it is a close match for Urban Decay Hustle in both colour and quality. It is nicely pigmented and has a smooth texture that is easy to work with. The following shade is a light shimmery taupe with golden undertones. The texture is nice and smooth, pigmented and a really great shade that in my opinion is fairly unique. The crease-colour for the “playful” trio is another medium-dark taupe shade with the same sheen to it but with grey-undertones. Because it is so similar to the other medium-dark taupe shade, I also find it similar to Hustle – but I think it is not as close as the other shade but a picture will be included below. I think it is almost a darker version of MAC Satin Taupe. The middle shade in the palette is a shimmery light taupe with grey-undertones. It is very similar to the third shade from the left. It has good pigmentation and a nice texture to work with. The lightest shades in the palette are sheerer than the rest. It would be redundant for me to say it with each shade so I’m mentioning it now. They all have the same smooth texture. There is a baby-pink with golden sheen running through it. The adjacent colour is an outlier, however; it is a light warm brown with warm undertones and good pigmentation.The next shade is a shimmery warm light gold and the lightest shade is a golden-toned white. All of the shades have good longevity (the darker half a bit better than the lighter half) and they have a really impressive texture. I do have an issue with the shade range, however; I find too many of the shades to be similar and all of the shades have the same shimmery finish and due to these issues, this palette has limited ability to be an all-inclusive palette. Also, I would not agree with the claim that these eye shadows can be used as liner – the only shade dark enough IMO is the black.

Top to Bottom: Physician's Formula Nude second to farthest left, Urban Decay Hustle, Physician's Formula Nudefourth from left, MAC Satin taupe - taken without flash
Top to Bottom: Physician’s Formula Nude second to farthest left, Urban Decay Hustle, Physician’s Formula Nude fourth from left, MAC Satin taupe – taken without flash
Same as above but taken with flash :)
Same as above but taken with flash 🙂

I really like the packaging. It does not look cheap by any means and I think it is aesthetically pleasing. I also like how compact it is. It holds nine 0.03 oz (appx) eye shadows while being very small – 0.05 oz are the full-size of a MAC or Urban Decay shadow for reference.

Final Verdict– Not that I have any sort of grading scale or anything of the sort, I would say that this is a “B” product”. I think it is a nice palette but its downfall is how similar the shades are, the lack of different finishes and the sheerness of some of the lighter shadows (and chalkiness of the black). However, I think the shades are fairly unique. I quite like that the shades are taupey. In this sense, the shades are along the same lines as the ones in Naked 2 (which I don’t own). I would recommend this palette to anyone who likes shimmery shades, is looking for taupes and is of a light to medium skin tone (because they lack the pigmentation to easily work for those with darker skin tones) and frequently wears natural-coloured looks. This is a great, portable “toss it in your makeup bag” kind of palette.