The Essentials With Laura

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DSC_0750This isn’t anything close to resembling a sort of novel post, but I love reading the kind of posts where bloggers bring their friends into the mix and ask them about their staple products and I’ve been planning on doing one for ages so I bring you the first post of a series I hope to continue. So, here’s Laura, one of my very best friends since the day she was born that I now go to University with and I’m pleased to report my beauty-obsessive tendencies seem to have rubbed off on her. Success. Let’s get all nosy and into her staples…

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DSC_0752Urban Decay Naked Palette: “I’m not really an eyeshadow girl but I do go for Sin on the lid during the day and add other shades – usually Half-Baked, Smog and Toasted – into the mix for nights out and the like”

MAC Patisserie Lipstick: “If I feel like lipstick but nothing too statement, I go for this one. It’s a MLBB (my lips but better) kind of shade on me.” Note: I approve of this choice and I didn’t pressure her into it; she came out with it after being helped in the store without me being present. This is clearly an testament to how amazing the shade is.

L’Oreal True Match Foundation in N2: “I’ve been using this one for almost a year now and it’s just shy of full-coverage on me and I can go without concealer in less we’re dealing with that hormonal situation. It looks natural on the skin but does develop some shine on my oily t-zone after a few hours but it otherwise lasts”.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation in C2: This is a great powder, especially for when I’m in need of more coverage and don’t feel like going for concealer. It’s perfect for setting my foundation, getting rid of shine and I use it frequently for touching up – even then, it doesn’t cake”.

MAC Cubic Powder Blush: “This is my everyday blush shade of choice; it’s perfect for adding a natural flush to the cheeks and the muted hue is foolproof. I also like its more matte finish to sculpt the face”.

Benefit Bella Bamba Boxed Powder: “When I want to go for more of a pop of colour, I go for this blush as it instantly transforms my face. It’s a watermelon kind of shade with shimmer that isn’t too obvious on the skin”.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser: “This is the perfect concealer for underneath the eyes to get rid of dark circles that undoubtedly are caused by late nights and refusing to acknowledge my dairy intolerance. It’s a must-have for any student because it instantly fixes late night issues”.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 Fair: “It’s great for covering blemishes and actually is a good match for my fair skin. Also, it blends in easily with my foundation”.

L’Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara: “This is a great mascara for my itty bitty lashes — I’m still on the hunt for one to hold a curl but I love the volume and length that this one provides. The wand is the best part as its flexible with the nice “butterfly” shape to catch all of my lashes”.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium:” It’s the perfect match for my light brown hair and actually doesn’t turn my brows orange. My favourite part is the spoolie on the end; even if I’m not using the product, it helps to clean up the brows and the spoolie is great for blending out the pencil for a natural look”. Note: Laura’s brows look the best I’ve ever seen them due to this product.

Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil in 011 Sable Brown: “I’m not normally an eyeliner kind of person but if I’m feeling some added definition, I’ll add this one to my lower lashes and if I make the effort to sharpen it, it’s great for the upper lashline too”.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve: “It’s not a treatment but it’s also not too sticky and it’s great even for when I don’t feel like lipstick because it adds a nice healthy sheen to the lips while hydrating them”.

Benefit High Beam: This one is great for a natural looking highlight on the browbone, the tops of cheekbones and the corners of the eyes. It attracts the light rather than being obviously shimmery”.

Essie Bikini So Teeny Nail Lacquer:This is a really nice sky or periwinkle blue and it looks perfect on nails, consistently generating compliments whenever I wear it. I also love Meet Me At Sunset, a reddish orange that looks equally as amazing on fingernails and the toes“.

I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to look into someone else’s makeup staples with different (but still pale) colouring and skin concerns. Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

 

Weekly Medley #9

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I won’t try to bore you with the details as I’m sure if you’ve gone through the university ordeal yourself (or are currently undergoing the process), you know how stressful the few weeks before the end of the semester can be. I do suffer from anxiety and I am attention-deficit (diagnosed, if you were curious) and therefore making it through the day and remembering to bathe on a regular basis is difficult enough for me when I have so much that needs to be done and am so anxious and actually getting the work done that I’m stressing about is a whole other battle. It hasn’t been the greatest of weeks but I’ve survived without any sort of existential life crisis, so I can’t complain all that much.

I suppose I should mention that I was finding the whole structure of these weekly posts a little bit too repetitive so I mixed things up a bit this week. The posts haven’t been as regular as I’d like but things have been hectic for me and I’m glad I got as many up as I was able too – you’ll have to forgive me.  Although I wish I had gotten more posted here I was happy with my three posts last week: another edition of my Weekly Medley, a review of my MAC Dreaming Dahlia Lipstick that I adore and my early spring picks that I titled, Hello, Spring 

I would not describe myself as someone who rejoices in the beauty of nature and finds some sort of spiritual connection or anything of that variety but when I opened the blinds this morning, although there were remnants of snow on the ground, it was sunny, birds were chirping and it was glorious. Being able to glance at some actual sunlight and some kind of life outdoors does tend to help one in the task of not succumbing to the seductive oblivion of crawling underneath the covers and pretend that you’re asleep and don’t have a million things to do.

I’m not saying its easy to get out of bed and be a productive human being however. Sometimes despite our best efforts, nothing seems to come and out of this dry spell, sleep doesn’t seem to come either. When I’ve needed an escape I’ve turned to my good pal, playing The Sims and drinking a cup of tea. Somehow after the two, things look a little brighter and productivity seems to happen – there’s little in life that a few rounds on The Sims and a hot beverage can’t fix or at the very least, remedy.

It’s rare that I find a nail polish that I have enough love for (and do not grow tired of) to warrant a mention as a favourite product in these sorts of posts but Essie Maximillan Strasse-Her is worthy of this honour many times over. The dirty grey-green shade fits into the whole spring theme without being overly cliched and this polish has the best formula that I’ve ever tried – instantly opaque on the nails and lasting for almost a week on the nails, which is a record for chipping-prone nails like mine.

From the moment that I first swatched the beauty, I knew that the limited edition MAC Dreaming Dahlia Lipstick would become a favourite in my building collection of lip products with it’s gorgeous coral colour in the comfortable and effortless lustre formula but I didn’t expect for it to as versatile as it is. Although it’s a fairly bright colour, it can be worn with some colour on the cheeks and eyes without caution and it’s a great one for when I only have a couple of minutes to get ready.

In the next week or so, you can expect at least one skincare-themed post and perhaps another drugstore makeup review or two… but that’s all I’m giving you for now. It’s now back to lab report writing, essay editing and eventually assignment writing for me.

I wish you all a more relaxing Sunday than mine but at the very least, I hope it’s more productive!

Maggie, x.

Winter Essentials Edit – The Miscellanious Edition

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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?