April 2015 Favourites

As a university student, April seems to come and go in the strangest fashion – it’s just a weird time, the first half (or more as was the case this year) full of the doom known as the exam period where the most menial tasks such as bathing become a hassle and makeup application can be somewhat laughable before leading to this weird sense of freedom when it’s all over but you can’t exactly process it. It’s also the time when Spring is beginning to rear its head, despite the snow still hanging out.  To get to the point, I might not have experimented with beauty or makeup all that often this month, however, I can report on some essential items for me.

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NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte ($37): Whenever I did that whole full-faced makeup thing and went for something on the lips, I happily grabbed for the slightly coral-tinged rose hued lipstick that I succumbed to at the end of March. The formula is ridiculously good and does all it claims – the formula hydrates the lips, lasts and actually stains the lips in the best way possible without any sort of drying effect or weird fading and just look good on the lips without requiring any fuss. I find pink colours extremely difficult to wear, however, I have to say that I adore this more neutral-pink offering, likely because of its slight tinge of coral and warmth that I adore, and it’s a bit more of a unique rosy neutral shade. This is a really great staple shade in my daily life because it works with anything, offering enough life to the face when worn with minimal other makeup but subtle enough to work with smokier eyes.

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MAC Eyeshadow in Bronze, Bamboo & Swiss Chocolate ($12-19): After popping the inserts out of my MAC palette in order to justify buying more eye shadows, – and picking up Bamboo and Bronze – I’ve really gotten back to relying on my MAC palette on the daily basis and these are the three shades that I’ve been reaching for. I’ve been constantly using my new Bamboo eyeshadow as a transition colour that blends into absolute nothingness in the best way possible, – (it’s lighter than Soft Brown) – Bronze, a true red-toned reflective bronze eyeshadow in the outer corner and along the lower lashline to add easy definition and the warm red-toned Swiss Chocolate to add some matte dimension to the crease or outer corner.

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Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($35): In my journey, searching for a way to get adequate sun protection on a daily basis without irritating my skin, making my makeup look questionable and drying out my skin, I’ve gone back to using my favourite authentic Asian BB Cream and I’ve been pleased with it. It has ridiculous sun protection, hydrates the skin nicely while adding medium-coverage with a more generous amount, only contains mineral actives and has loads of beneficial ingredients, such as the potent niacinimide along with other hydrating ingredients. On some occasions, I’ve been reaching for this as my sole base but on other days I’ve been using it pre-foundation as sun protection. I’m still of the belief that this is one of those few authentic multitasking products that function excellent both in terms of a skincare product and in terms of makeup application.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($20-48 US): Ever since I received my Paula’s Choice order, I have been incorporating my trial size of this potent vitamin c antioxidant product into my daily skincare routine – or at the very least every two days – but it was in April when I began to really reap the benefits and discover how much that I liked the stuff. While it seemed to tingle slightly the first couple of times that I applied it, the 15 % antioxidant treatment stopped triggering that response within a couple of uses – my bet is that my skin was a bit irritated from retinoid use and weather conditions, along with a little bit of being temperamental. Now I apply this antioxidant booster at least every second night in the serum stage and my skin drinks it up, immediately looking smoother along with just looking a bit brighter, even and less angry in the six weeks that I’ve been using it. I’ve been using it alternate nights with my prescription retinoid and I would have to say that it’s gentle and actually seems to help soothe the skin rather than leaning towards any sort of aggravation.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Rollerball ($26): When I’ve been feeling like making myself feeling a little (or a whole lot more) put together, I’ve been applying this warm and spicy vanilla scent. It’s uber warm but doesn’t have even the faintest touch of a sugary candy sweetness and is more of a winter scent to be completely honest. It reads a bit androgynous and lasts for ages on the skin without being overwhelming in the slightest.

Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Renew & Refresh ($22.50): It’s times like this month that I burn candles the most excessively; I find myself turning towards scented candles the most when I’m stressed out of my mind but some productivity needs to happen so obviously April was a candle heavy month. I loved burning this mellow but warm springtime scent – it was never overwhelming but potent enough, reading as fresh and calming with a hint of jasmine. For once, the candle appears to be named appropriately if you’re asking me.

What did you love during April?
Maggie, x.

 

December Favourites 2014

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Although in December I had more than a few new products added to the rotation, I have to admit that I probably wore makeup less than half of the time, much preferring to leave the time in the first half of the month for surviving the exam season and foregoing the whole application altogether simply to laze around at home in either pajamas or sweatpants. However, there are a good few products that I have been absolutely adoring over the last month…

Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Drama in Soft Brown ($10.99-11.99)

For months, I’ve heard great things about this fibre-infused tinted brow gel and I was ecstatic to find it on shelves here within the last month. I was even more thrilled when I discovered that the lighter brunette shade was on the ashier side of things, so while this gel does not have nearly as strong of a tint as the MAC Prolongwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette, I’ve been adoring how natural the product looks as a result of its colour and subtle pigmentation but brow-thickening effect. It does make a difference on its own but I’ve been enjoying pairing it with a bit of brow powder or another brow product to keep things in place and achieve a natural but defined brow. I actually like the ball tip applicator because I have a whole lot of brow towards the outer corner.

DSC_0133L’Oreal Collection Exclusive Pure Reds in Doutzen’s Pure Red ($11.99)

I may have only worn this semi-matte tomato red lipstick a good handful of times throughout December, but given how bold and gorgeous this shade is, I couldn’t resist including it. The warm-toned orange leaning red hue of this lipstick makes it very flattering on my fair skin and brunette hair and the comfortable formula with good longevity suits dry lips like mine well without any sort of worries. Within the last month I’ve been into that classic red pout, even on lower key days, especially paired with say a grey cozy sweater, skinny jeans and glasses. DSC_0131

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat ($41)

I didn’t exactly make a conscious effort to wear this blush all month but chances are that if I was wearing makeup, this blush was gracing my cheeks and I was feeling it. It’s just as great as the Ethereal Glow shade that I adore, albeit much more pigmented with its stunning somewhat bright warm rosy pink shade – I own a million blushes within this warm corally-pink family but this one is certainly unique, leaning much more rosy and I’ve been enjoying the instant flushed effect that it gives to the face and instant glow.

Diorskin Star Fluid Foundation ($50)

I’m not going to even touch on the fact that I’ve been promising an actual review of this foundation for months on end and have yet to write up a full post on it. Although my skin is surprisingly clear and hydrated at the moment, I put it through the ringer last month with exam-related stress and later holiday madness, but this surprisingly skin-like heavier coverage foundation provided the glow that I love, lasted ridiculously well and did not highlight the dry patches I was experiencing in the slightest. This one’s a keeper for many reasons and one of them is just how well it works under conditions of notable dry patches.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Eau de Parfum Rollerball ($26)

With December, comes the whole holiday season situation where you attend various gatherings where you want to look put together and all that jazz, even if you’re not much of a festive party goer like I am, and perfume tends to be something I reach for more frequently to achieve this and this has been the one I’ve reached for, namely because I’ve loved the fragrance to death since picking it up as a Sephora point perk ages ago and its finally seasonal to wear the slightly-masculine warm musky scent. The three notes are violet, sandalwood and vanilla and even my unsophisticated nose can recognize the floral, musk and good ol’ vanilla aspects and this scent feels very me without being offensive in the slightest. It doesn’t hurt that it lasts and lasts for ages, either.

“The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen ($25)

One of the very few things that I love as much as beauty products and lattes are books and as soon as I finished my exams, I headed over to Chapters and picked out this dystopian novel to devour and devour it, I did – in a matter of hours. It’s an ‘adult’ novel that has those guilty-pleasure aspects that young-adult novels seem to include with some depth that makes it a little bit more stimulating and thought-provoking. Its set in the near future where as a result of the decaying world and all that jazz, this group of people have rejected all modern technology and sailed to a new world, adopting a feudal lifestyle. I’m pleased to report that that this book is the first within a series and I’m eagerly awaiting news of the next book.

What did you love throughout December?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #27/28

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Looking to catch up?

 Sunday July 21: 5 Current Lusts #3|Wednesday July 23: Two Mac Acquisitions | Friday July 25: Products Heavily in Rotation | Saturday July 26: The Daily Face #20

Sunday July 27: Beauty Blogger of the Month Award | Thursday July 31: My Go-To Spring/Summer “Lipsticks” | Thursday July 31 (again) : The July Roundup | Saturday August 2: July Favourites


I’m not one to exaggerate my personal situation to garner declarations of pity — “you poor thing!” etc. — from others but in all honesty, it has been a terrible too weeks, even aside from the obvious situation at hand. At the beginning of this week, my grandfather passed and while this was expected, dealing with this and quickly throwing together the craziness that came with a funeral with my rather large family was exhausting and stressful, even though it was nice to spend time with the family. I’ve been oddly emotional and sentimental, along with the expected exhaustion and stressed-out state. As a result of this, I’m sure you can gather that there wasn’t much excitement going on beauty-wise and my posts were more than a little sporadic but I’m not even blaming my inadequacies for that.

On a more positive note, I’ve dedicated some more time to the endeavour of further room re-organization and in the process of doing so, I found my small bottle of the Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish ($22 CDN) and it instantly brightened my mood — honestly. However, it is unfortunate that I appear to have very little product remaining and I might just have to purchase the full-sized one — it’s necessity. Jokesssss. On an even more positive note, for those of you that don’t know I still live at home (not the positive part) and the father arranged for our heat pump to be installed and therefore for all intents and purposes, we have air conditioning and it is quite possibly the loveliest thing in existence. I’m not one of those girls who adores summer; I enjoyed it for a bit but by now I’m sick of the heat and humidity and could do with some fall weather right about now. Don’t hate me.

Don’t think that because I’ve started a new paragraph that I’m done talking about the things that I love. The Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Rollerball wasn’t something that I had to even contemplate whether to include for two reasons — first, I’ve been addicted to applying the warm, spicy and slightly musky scent in the last week or two in particular and I completely forgot to include it in my monthly favourites. I’m planning on actually purchasing a larger size of this one, woah. Considering that she’s one of my favourites to both read and watch, it shouldn’t be shocking that I’m talking about Suzie’s “Haul & First Impressions” video but it’s worthy of note regardless; she’s so entertaining but genuine and I enjoy living vicariously through her and feeling like my spending habits are understood.

In terms of things of my own creation, I’m particularly pleased with yesterday’s “10 Indulgent Sunday Staples” , where I outlined the products that I’ve been relying on to feel pampered and a little bit put together with minimal effort, but it technically should be in next week’s post of this variety considering the date so I’ll mention another to feel like I’m not breaking my self-imposed rules. That post would have to be my “Go-To Spring/Summer ‘Lipsticks'” post and not just because I was pleased with how the photos turned out.

I genuinely hope for your sake that your week was marginally better than mine.
Maggie, x

The Daily Highlights 06.07.2014

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Sometimes a girl just wants to ramble on about her noteworthy beauty products along with a random one or two highlights of her day without following any sort of other structure. Sometimes may just be today, if I wasn’t transparent enough in the sentence above. This is for the most part another low key Saturday but with the addition of meeting my closest friends from University who I love dearly out for dinner and it shall be fabulous.

Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino: This hella pigmented and affordable blush might have been passed over and neglected in recent months but last summer in the early days of the blog, I instantly fell out of this one but then about of month after I fell out of love, being as fickle as I am. The texture of the warm rusty berry shade with golden shimmer is a little dry and difficult to blend so unless it is applied carefully to your cheeks, it can go more than a little patchy, especially if you’re on the fairer side of the spectrum like me. Because of how wrong this blush has the potential to go when applied, I cast this aside early last Fall and have only just picked it up again on a whim. I’m careful to apply the blush sparingly with either my fanbrush that I’ve had for ages or the lovely Real Techniques Stippling Blush and I’m left with a flattering rosy flush that lasts for ages and ages on the skin without fading that looks kind of like the skin is naturally blushing but infinitely more attractive.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup in 10:Are any regular readers of the blog surprised? Earlier in the week in my daily face post, I kind of revealed my newfound obsession with my first Chanel purchase and it has only grown. The funny thing is that this isn’t a foundation I would expect to like with skin that lies on the dry and dehydrated side of things and balks at anything close to resembling a matte finish particularly if there is some alcohol content in the formula. I actually was interested in this one initially because there was notably less alcohol in this formula than the Vitalumiere Aqua and I wanted to try one of these weightless bases that just look like skin. While feeling like there’s nothing on your skin and not clinging to dry patches or the like despite the semi-matte finish, the liquidy base provides medium coverage that is buildable without looking dull and heavy fast. Also, the semi-matte finish also leaves some glow to the skin despite quickly setting to the velvety powdery finish and truly does look like skin. In my trials of wearing this thus far, it seems to be the perfect foundation for the summer heat as it holds up so well and feels like nothing. Plus I wore this and did some running and had less than a negligible sheen three hours later on my normal-ish t-zone. You can expect more raves on this soon and so many that you’ll be sick of me it appears.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Rollerball:Fun fact — I’m not much of a perfume girl, not because I don’t love nice scented things and the whimsy of it all but because I’m kind of selective with my obsessive beauty-related hoarding and spending. I’m not someone who loves the strongest fragrance in the world and who isn’t generally bothered by fragrance in everyday life but gets headaches from being in mere proximity to Bath and Body Works and the like and also can’t be bothered to add an extra step to remember but after picking this one up as one of those lovely point perks at Sephora, I’m enjoying it. It’s definitely more of an evening or done up scent for me but man is it one that I’m considering breaking my self-imposed rule for. It’s not stereotypically girlie in any way – especially not in that fruity way that I abhor – and has a slightly musky element to it paired with the warmth of vanilla but doesn’t go into too masculine territory. It’s not a shy delicate kind of fragrance but instead is one that is meant to be a little  bit stronger in the most understated way, giving of an air of that effortless cool aesthetic that I strive for. I hope some of this was written in comprehensible English but I wouldn’t bet on it per se…

Club Monaco Pastel Open Jacket (last year):Certainly within the last month (but I’m not sure exactly when), I talked about my interest in looking like a presentable human attire-wise and incorporating some style tidbits in with the beauty so here I am making good on this offer. This is definitely as splurge-y as things in my closet go, even though I got it on sale with my additional student discount as a special occasion gift but it’s one of those special pieces that fit like a dream and somehow seem worthwhile. The jacket itself is a muted seafoam shade with silver zipper accents on the sides and its open nature gives the jacket a laid-back kind of feel without compensating on the mega-flattering fit. I’m not one to delude myself into thinking that I have the means to spend this kind of money on clothes but the layout of the stores and the amazing clothes seem to have me wondering in on occasion against my own will – sort of. At the moment I weirdly have a thing for pastels so I couldn’t be happier to have invested in this piece.

Have you tried anything in this assortment?
Maggie, x,