February/March Favourites

So, erm, I’m alive. I don’t know whats wrong with me. I’m the worst. And I do promise that my 2016 favourites will make an appearance before June – not that I’d necessarily trust my promises at this point. Because I have this strange urge to release monthly favourites deep within my soul, I thought I might catch up by posting my February and March edit.

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Benefit Rockateur Box’o’Powder: After neglecting this seriously glowy blush for quite possibly an entire year, I’ve been consistently reaching for this beyond sheeny rose gold offering. It’s fast and easy, and leaves a highlighted rosy glow to my fair cheeks with one product. On medium and deeper skins, it would appear as a blush topper or highlighter but those of us on the fairer side can use it as a combination product. It’s great for making you appear alive and perking up the complexion.

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Brunette: I have a tumultuous relationship with brow pencils. In my experience, they tend to be oddly coloured, leave an unnatural kind of definition in the brows and are anything but cost-efficient. This offering I do like, however, as it has a nice slim tip and effective brush that creates natural ashy looking brows with minimal effort. I can see people going through this pencil quickly if they go to town with filling in their brows, but that’s not the case for me.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask: Throughout the winter, I’ve been loving this rich and almost impossibly soothing leave-on facial mask, even though I’m a skeptic of the difference between overnight moisturizing masks. I will note that I do enjoy that often these masks are extra rich and hydrating and that they often come in larger sizes and are less expensive than their moisturizer counterparts but, regardless, they are a rich moisturizer. It has a buttery texture but I’ve never experienced clogging issues from it and it’s one that stays with you even in the morning. It leaves my skin extra plumped and soothed with its hefty dose of emollients and oil-derived antioxidants. When my skin is upset in the dry and dehydrated sense, this is the closest thing to a cure. Its ability to decrease inflammation is noted. Plus, it’s an epic eye cream.

Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream: As someone who suffers from eczema, I must say that its awfully strange that my hands don’t tend to be an issue. However, from the dragging on winter my cuticles and my hands were suffering and I’ve been reaching for this hand cream as a result. Side note: it’s excellent for all around dry patches. The formula isn’t sophisticated but the petrolatum really sticks to your hands throughout the day and I’m sure the oat extract is soothing. Plus the natural scent of the extracts is soothing.

Sassy Girl Aroma Sleepytime Souffle Cup: Ever since I started venturing into the vendor wax world at the very beginning of the year, I’ve been enjoying myself tremendously and finding interesting scents that I’ve enjoyed melting. However, there have not been any blends that I’ve tried that have paralleled this seemingly simple offering. It’s a lavender, chamomile and spearmint blend that has something extra special and instantly soothes me. There’s something creamy about the chamomile that adds something extra relaxing to the lavender and peppermint which I adore. I will note that I also melted a chunk of Rosegirls Lavender Peppermint which I really did enjoy, just not to the same degree. I must acquire more…

Any thoughts or favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

May 2016 Favourites

Yet again, this month – I don’t actually know which month I’m referring to by the way – has been a complete failure for posts. I just haven’t been able to get myself around to posting. I’m not exactly sure why. Regardless, I’ve got some products that I loved throughout May to share:

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I couldn’t write a favourites post without including a product from last month’s post, to be completely honest. I’m still in this state  of obsession with the Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hempseed Oils High Porosity Moisture Seal Masque ($17.15) that I was in throughout April. I’m still very impressed because of how nourishing yet lightweight the masque is, especially without being exorbitantly expensive. I’m pleased to report that I have gotten used to the very fragrant floral scent. After using the accompanying Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hempseed Oils High Porosity Moisture Seal Shampoo ($15) for another month, I’m confident enough to say that it is deserving of almost the same praise. Without being formulated without any silicones (or harsh cleansers for that matter) it imparts impressive moisture and slip whilst removing residue and the like. I’m yet another one to join the Shea Moisture shampoo loving bandwagon. It hydrates and is impossibly gentle, which I love, all whilst not weighing down my finer strands in the slightest.

Being incredibly lazy in terms of removing my makeup and washing my face at night, I gravitated towards using makeup wipes in May. I tried out the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths ($11-12) and used them on a frequent basis, enjoying how gentle and soothing they were whilst removing makeup well. They are among the gentlest wipes that I’ve tried and impressed me, even with my beyond sensitive skin.

Fairly late in May, I had quite the drugstore beauty spree with one of my closest friends, and one of the results was the much-anticipated Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm ($17). It was a rather late acquisition to be included in a favourites post to be honest but the thick balmy potted balm was good enough to make the cut regardless. It’s soothing and nourishing, remaining on the lips all night and providing nourishment to the lips that lasts after it wears off. I’m partial to the matte finish that it leaves for under lipsticks.

When I got into the routine of wearing more face products on a daily basis,  I became committed to using  MAC Fix Plus ($26) to get rid of that makeup-y appearance and give my skin a luminous glow. It’s not exactly a novel product, but I will admit that the glycerin-based spray does what it intends to do and is hydrating – especially in comparison to the alcohol-based offerings.

Always eager to find the latest and greatest product to camouflage and brighten my dark undereyes, I’ve been trialling the Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector in Peach ($34) – with success. It’s not a daily product for me, I’m afraid, but it’s a great additional product underneath concealer to counteract the natural darkness that I have. The issue that I have with the corrector is that it is so pigmented that it requires a product applied over the top to hide the orange cast. However, it blends like a dream and supports the seamless application of a product on top.

My greatest two discoveries of May were colour products. The first of which was the fairly recently released Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Bronzer ($19.99) that I reviewed last month hereI’ll keep my ravings to a minimum as I did enough of that in the review but I must say that I have adored the neutral brown bronzer tone and the easily blended texture of the bronzer to add some shape and a golden glow to my skin. One of the product’s assets is that it requires almost no work to look nice. My other love that I have yet to mention is the MAC Versicolour Stain in Can’t Stop Won’t Stop ($28), an expensive but lovely balmy and glossy new-generation stain. It does not have the high colour intensity of a matte liquid lipstick or anything but the formula remains balmy and comfortable, whilst providing a lasting even stain on the lips hours after the product has faded. The medium peach (with a tinge of coral shade) is a great everyday one for me, adding some brightness without much effort or upkeep.

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The makeup in action

 

Any favourites to share?
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.

August Favourites

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DSC_0451Ahh, I suppose the summer is now coming to an end and to be honest, I’m not particularly sad about it for two different reasons. First off, I’m beyond done with the hot summer weather and am ready for more than a little bit of cooling down and also, this summer wasn’t a great one for me and I’m ready for a change of scenery. I’m sure I’ll change my mind as soon as the stress sets in, though. This month brought a smaller selection of products than my usual but I’m definitely pleased with this bunch as a whole… This post does contain affiliate links too.

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The Bath & Body Works 3 Wick Candle in Beach Day ($10.50 on clearance – now) was my first foray into the world of Bath & Body Works scented candles and I’ve been obsessed with this light and unoffensive but potent scent. I smells like a relaxing beach day, reading on the beach and the gentle crash of waves with the light lemon and lime, saltwater and light citrusy musk scent. It’s a nice relaxing and low-key scent that lingers nicely. Plus, finding this one on sale was rather nice and it softened the blow of spending fifty dollars on candles.

Also, on the “non beauty” front, I’ve been obsessed with my Forever 21 Coffee Understands PJ Set ($15.80). This should not be a surprise because I’m one of those people who are obsessed with comfort and these fit the bill on that one and somehow seem more appropriate to be lounging around in at random hours of the day than mismatched tops and bottoms. The set is nice and lightweight which was key for the weather earlier in the month and I do adore the cheeky and true ‘nobody understands me like coffee does‘ lettering on the top and the printed shorts. I’m saying that I wore out the top portion in public but I may have been spotted leaving the house, wearing it with leggings…

Before venturing into the usual charted territory, I have two more mentionables of the more random variety. I’ve been really loving watching Suits this month and I may or may not have had a slight binge watching episode where I went through three seasons in less than 24 hours. Without paying attention, I grabbed the fifteen dollar special issue of People Style Watch and despite its purchase happening my accident, I adored the ad-free issue. I loved how it wasn’t based on actual pieces or selling of items but rather about styling outfits for everyday life. The price-tag on this one was rather hefty but it might actually have been worthwhile – it did help me with recognizing what kind of pieces I’m looking for and what is essential/extraneous.

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By the second week of the month, I had pulled out the muted neon peach MAC Lipstick in Sweet And Sour ($19) and since, I have not put it down or gone many places without it. I will admit that it’s not gorgeous when my lips are looking a bit horrific but at a certain point, I couldn’t muster the effort to care and the gorgeous colour was worth it. It’s one of those shades that adds some colour to the face but isn’t out there in the slightest. In the latter half of the month, I had gotten lazy on the lip balm front and then managed to burn my lips — ow / ew — so I wasn’t reaching for the matte formulation as much, but I also enjoyed the flattering darker peachy-nude shade, known as the MAC Lipstick Kinda Sexy ($19). Despite being a matte formulation, this lipstick manages not to dry out my lips and isn’t completely unflattering on them either — unless they are both flaking and peeling…

Around the midpoint of the month, I picked up a few things at MAC, shortly after making an order to Sephora online and there are two products that were late to the party but I fell in love with so instantly that they were begging to be mentioned. It’s been almost every day that I’ve been reaching for the creamy and jet black MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline ($19) and I’ve been adoring it. The pencil glides on as smoothly as any one has before with almost a liquid-like appearance and can be smudged nicely until it sets, when it becomes long-wearing. Its only faults are how difficult it is to remove without an oil based remover and that it transfers from lower to upper waterlines so easily. Because of the formula, this pencil can reach small spaces that other pencils cannot and I’ve been enjoying this.

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Since receiving the NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46) with my Sephora shipment, I don’t think I’ve put on any makeup without going for the contour portion of this duo. It doesn’t look that amazing in the pan — it’s really a rosy tan shade — but its formula is so amazing that it provides an ‘instant cheekbones’ kind of sculpted effect without much effort at all. I’m in love.

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I wore the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($67) consistently this month, as I had in July but this month I was much more consistently pleased with the result. To be honest, I don’t use the golden Radiant Light powder often at all, but the other two shades were consistently gracing my face. Dim Light is a nice finishing powder that adds a bit of glow while blurring things slightly and I’ve been enjoying this as I’ve discovered not to put this on the sides of my forehead – it tends to look weird and out of place there — and Incandescent Light is a lovely subtle highlighter that simply reads as a glow on the skin that I’ve also been using to set my under-eye section. I reviewed the palette in full here, if you’re interested.

What were your standout products this August?
Maggie, x.

July Favourites

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This July was one of the worst months I’ve had in a while, to be honest, but I’ll spare you from too many of the details. I’m really not looking for sympathy either — in fact, I abhor the whole institution of writing things just to look for sympathy (genuine or otherwise) from others, so don’t mistake this. However, I have been loving beauty products and I must say that it’s been a particularly good month for product loving — and this month I haven’t had loads of time or energy for makeup and beauty experimentation so there’s a low-fuss theme going on.

Origin’s Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($28)

This was one of those products I had always wanted to try as many who I read with similar dehydration concerns to me seem to rave about this but it’s not stocked on the Sephora website and it’s not easily available anywhere close to me so I didn’t fully add it to the shopping list but when I went in to pick up the Hourglass Ambient Palette, I spotted this on the shelves and I couldn’t resist. It was amazing from first use, feeling lightweight and ultra-soothing on the skin, providing intense hydration with that slightly belly oil-rich feeling. I think this one might just beat out my The Body Shop one but I can’t be too sure. It does smell heavenly but I’m not a fan of scented skincare and could easily do without the peach fragrance. It’s truly intensively hydrating and not particularly thick feeling and actually can vastly improve dry flaky skin overnight.

L’Oreal Sublime Sun Alcohol-Free Quick Dry SPF 50 Sheer Finish Spray ($18)

I really never expected to include a body sunscreen in one of these favourites posts but here I am, once again surprising myself. I love the ease of spray sunscreens (as many others do) but I have easily irritated skin and suffer from eczema and some body acne (fun stuff) and this neither irritates with alcohol content, feels greasy or causes breakouts while providing solid sun protection. It does need a little bit of rubbing in in my experience but it’s so much easier and fuss-free than a lotion formula.

 Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($20/39)

After my lovely cousin picked this authentic Korean BB Cream up for me at Sasa in Hong Kong last summer, I became really obsessed with the stuff until Summer ended and forgot about its loveliness, especially as an all-in-one skincare-makeup hybrid product but I’ve been gradually adding it back into the routine and this month it’s been an essential. I don’t love it as a foundation as much as Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet etc. but the medium-coverage base provides fabulous sun protection and moisture while still looking fairly natural and glowy on the skin. I’m not someone who usually experiences oxidation but this one actually does and when it changes tone it looks phenomenal (not when you just put it on and this is why I’ve probably been neglecting this one). Another word of advice is that these sunscreen-heavy bases need to be worked into the skin well in order to have the desired effect in my experience. However, when I went to a music festival last summer this was a lifesaver – and a timesaver. You can order from the brand’s American site if you’re interested, by the way.

Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Lip Butter ($4)

With such sensitive and perpetually-chapped lips, lip treatments are essential for me and as a result, you’ll hear about them loads on the pages here. It’s not a miracle treatment but this affordable balm has been a savior for hydrating my lips without ever causing them to become irritated. It can give a milky cast to the lips but the balmy formula instantly soothes and brings moisture to the lips without any weird smell, taste or anything.

Now Solutions 100% Natural Shea Butter ($20)

Somewhere in the early phase of the month, I did something (presumably) that caused quite the painful and unsightly eczema flare-up on my legs and unfortuantely there doesn’t seem to be a miracle cure or fix for the whole itchy situation, applying this basic cream twice daily has helped to soothe the area, prevent itching and help to calm the situation more quickly. As of now, I’m pleased to report that the basic formula has helped my legs to recover tremendously.

L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in Universal Sun ($15-16)

I will admit that I’ve raved about this pigmented red-toned matte bronzer numerous times in the last month but in truth I have only done so because the formula and the colour are both so phenomenal. The smooth powder offers impressive buildable pigmentation that remains effortless to blend into the skin. It’s also nice that it wears like a champ. It’s not the most cool-toned or non-orangey of bronzers, with quite a strong red undertone and warmth to it but it is the perfect hue to add that natural-looking sun-kissed hue to the skin.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment ($14-16)

This is yet another rather pricy (for a product of the drugstore variety) product that I’ve mentioned my love for more than once or twice and have been wearing most of the time. Despite being a stain, the formula does not dry out lips, even after the flattering balmy ‘gloss’ has worn off completely. The lightweight stains also don’t highlight dry patches or textural problems on the lips like thicker formulas can and I’ve been addicted to the summery sheer-but-buildable muted tangerine hue.

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette ($21)

In the last year or so, I’ve become addicted to the results of filling in at least the sparse areas of my brows on a daily basis but in all honesty, I don’t love the effort it can take, especially lately as I haven’t been going all out on my makeup and this tinted brow gel seems to be the perfect solution. The cool-toned light brown hue matches my hair to a t, adding invisible looking definition to the brows that tend to look hairlike. True to its name, it stays in place on the brows until you remove it and can be worn alone for subtler brows or worn alongside some powder or pencil for more of a full-on look – but I’ve been just reaching for this one and it’s suited my laziness nicely.

MAC Eyeshadow in Woodwinked, Soft Brown & Smut ($12/18)

This month I’ve been using my MAC palette consistently and have fallen back in love with new colours to the palette and an old-standby — they are easy shadows to work with and consistently fabulous quality so they have suited my minimalistic mood nicely. The ever-popular antiqued-gold Woodwinked was rediscovered early in the month and I’ve become addicted to applying it all over the lid and blending it well to achieve that coppery hue, generally paired with some lazy-girl liner of some kind. The warm-tan matte Soft Brown and the dirty brown-taupe Smut were additions made throughout the month that I’ve been relying on equally as much. Smut is the perfect shade for smoking out the lashline and adding definition to the crease as it’s an interesting hue and doesn’t have much fallout while still delivering on the pigmentation front and Soft Brown has proven itself as worth the hype, being thrown through the crease for some depth as well as some transitioning-colour goodness. Oh MAC Eyeshadows, how I love thee…

What was your staple product from June?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #23

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(1) Just one of the many swatching-related fails of the week (2) The responsible Shopper’s purchases – gah (3) The beauteous “Weekend Makeup Staples” post over at VDM (4) I got a bit dressed up for my cousins’ graduation and took a picture obviously (5) I wrote and brought my “Summer Edit” post into fruition (6) The rediscovered love and a newfound one (7) My extremely lengthy favourites post is up here (8) My new Tom’s shoes (9) The glorious Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment

 

Ahh, don’t you love lazy Sunday’s where you neither wake up, feeling as if you’ve just finished working up a sweat at the gym (without having the knowledge that for once you got off your ass and did something) due to sweltering summer heat or with a disgusting taste in your mouth as a result of questionable three am snacking? Well, I sure do. As per usual, I don’t feel as if I accomplished anything that can be likened to any sort of great feat but it wasn’t one of those weeks that rarely involved leaving the house and consisted of reading blogs, writing a post or two and watching copious amounts of Netflix and Youtube. It was quite a week filled with spending time with my lovely extended family down at the dock/ pool — we live by the ocean and my cousins have a lovely pool — and then eventually watching two of them graduate high school, later celebrating by going out to dinner and in the midst feeling suddenly a bit old at my mere two decades of experience. More on the getting old note, I had another moment of the same realization when I was excited to see that sunscreen was on sale. In my defense, it is a really great spray sunscreen.

I’ve been soaking up the hot weather but unfortunately have been really slacking on the photo documentation front. I’ve been swimming in the ocean all week and it hasn’t been cold so things have to be pretty great – am I right? While I’ve been doing less than ideal at general life snapshots, I’ve been making a real go of it, going out of my way to take swatches on the regular and attempt to capture them somewhat adequately with photography. I’m also rather pleased with the six posts that I put up during the week. Moving away from my blog in particular, Anna’s “Weekend Makeup Staples”post was phenomenal, perhaps even more so than her usual posts. She knows how to write these chatty posts that have me scribbling down a thing or six down on the wishlist whilst being so so so so much more concise than I have the potential of being.

Now, I’m moving onto my personal standout items and this week I have one that’s not of the beauty variety – my new Tom’s that I picked up long after completely destroying my last pair that somehow manage to be extremely comfortable and not too horrible for my feet while being rather attractive with their blue and white print. There’s another two products on the beauty-front this week, as well. First up, I’ve rekindled my love for my all-time favourite, the Maybelline Falsies Mascara;I’ve had this one for going on six months so I had been thinking that it was irritating my sensitive eyes so I had cast it off to the side and although it’s certainly not advisable to use a mascara for so long, I brought it out again and instantly remembered how much I love this mascara especially when it’s getting to be dried out. I’m one of those girls who adore drier mascara formulas, by the way. At the beginning of the week, I spotted the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains for the first time in stores here and although I hadn’t been particularly excited by the news of the release, I couldn’t resist picking up the muted tangerine-coral Milan Moment hue, even at it’s rather steep price but it was worth it because I’ve fallen in love. The staining power isn’t the most impressive in the world, the pigmentation begins on the sheer to medium side of things and the precise wand can apply the liquid lipstain in a slightly streaky way at first but the formula doesn’t irritate my lips, appears to be unfragranced, is a dream to apply with its lip-gloss wand, lasts through eating and drinking but doesn’t dry out my lips unless I leave it on for so long that shine has faded and feels weightless and balmy on the lips – without any hint of stickiness in sight. The shade also happens to be a unique one and one of those ideal everyday shades for me. It might just be worth the $13-15 that they retail for here.

I think I’ve summed up things rather nicely and the ocean is calling my name so it appears that this post has come to a close. Happy Sunday everyone! How was your week? I’d love to hear any thoughts!
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

May 2014 Favourites

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I’m not one to get all nostalgic and sentimental — in fact, the whole institution makes me feel slightly nauseous — but here I am anyways. One: where has this year gone? The fact that tomorrow marks the beginning of the sixth month of 2014 absolutely blows my mind. Two: today marks the one year anniversary of my little blog, as hard as that is to believe. It seems equally as shocking to me. But here I am, bringing you my little selection of essential products from May that I originally thought was going to be quite a small collection but somehow they piled up and I couldn’t be happier to share them with all of you amazing people. This month, the products seemed to take on more of an everyday staples kind of vibe and I can recommend them all, as you will be able to tell from the below ramblings. I feel that I should warn you that you’re in for a long one… 🙂

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I can count on one hand (and not even using the thumb) the number of times this month that I haven’t used slightly amazing Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow in 734 Grege ($61 CDN) and I can honestly say that I loved the results of this versatile palette each time, as shocking as that might be to hear from someone who easily feels a bit ‘meh’ from sticking to the same makeup routine for too long. I’m sure some of you are not surprised that I included this as it’s been consistently mentioned in my posts within the last month but the love I have for this has far exceeded what I can generally convey. I think that it’s easy to neglect these seemingly less economical and less exciting smaller palettes when larger palettes are consistently released but this quint is one of those smaller palettes that houses the essentials without forgoing interesting shades. As I’ve come to expect from Dior, the shades are the longest wearing on me with equally-as-fantastic pigmentation and zero fallout but this quint in particular features an excellent edited selection of varying finishes and depths – because of this versatility I deem this particular palette to be splurge-worthy. The matte chocolate brown is a great option to be used as liner as well as in the outer corner, the satiny warm caramel shade is ideal for blending through the crease on me, the shimmery ivory is great for lightening and brightening the inner portion of the lid, the sheeny grey shade is a nice one to apply more precisely through the crease to add smokiness and the pale taupe sheeny shade is a gorgeous-but-basic lid shade. Together these shades create a variety of different “looks” – I hate that word but anyways – and they’re also helpful to have to pair with other shadows.

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After missing out on MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick ($19 CDN),the muted peachy coral when it was released last summer with MAC’s limited-edition ‘All About Orange’ collection so when it was recently made permanent, I made not and obviously could not resist picking it up for myself as soon as I finished my exams. It’s difficult for me to include lipstick in these favourites posts because it’s rare that I will be content to use a colour with this sort of frequency but I have been wearing this shade loads this month and by loads I wore it at least half of the time that I wore any sort of makeup. I don’t love the cremesheen formula of this one as it clings to any sort of texture problems on the lip area but it lasts and does not dry out the lips visibly so I can’t complain too much given the fun-but-everyday nature of the shade. This is not one if you want to make your teeth look whiter but you win some and you lose some…

When I wasn’t wearing the above lipstick, there was about a 90% chance that I was sporting the rose-hued Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 ($7-8 CDN) that with its brown undertones, gives that my-lips-but-better slightly deeper effect with a longwearing and hydrating formula to boot. I dedicated an entire post (here) to my newfound love of this lipstick that I rejected in the past for its overt brown hue. For me, the secret to pulling off this gorgeous everyday shade is to apply it with a lip brush for less intense colour payoff – and I wore it this way often.

I’m not ready to say that its superior to the ashy MAC Coquette eyeshadow for filling in my brows but I figured that I owed the L’Oreal Superliner Brow Artist in Blonde ($12 CDN) a mention considering that it’s a drugstore offering that actually does not look warm or red in my cool-toned brows and that it’s the easiest thing to use ever (only complaint is sharpening) and comes with both a wax to seal in the hairs and a handy little comb. All I have to say is that I really don’t think this shade would be ideal for blondes as I’m a medium brunette and this isn’t even particularly all that light. Did I mention that with this my brows stay put like a champ?

It appears that I’ve been enjoying L’Oreal products quite a bit this month which is kind of shocking as I hadn’t really noticed. Easily my most frequently worn blush was the L’Oreal True Match Blush in Innocent Flush ($13-16 CDN) a pigmented and finely milled peachy-coral with a golden sheen running throughout. It’s definitely not the most unique colour in the world, instead just another one of the many corals with golden sheen running throughout but these kinds of shades suit me and scream warm-weather-appropriate so I’m not one to complain about the lack of innovation.

The final L’Oreal product to grace this post is the Oleo-Therapy Oil Infused Conditioner ($9 CDN), I swear. I’ve been using this conditioner for a few months but this month was when I realized how great this product really was. On my dry curly hair this conditioner deeply nourished my strands, doing what it claimed, without any silicones (that I can see) and a high concentration of oils that remain lightweight. It’s rare that I find affordable conditioners to be as nourishing as this one and it also detangles nicely and smells luxurious to boot!

With the whole having curlier hair situation, the last thing I would expect to love would be a brush, considering that fingers are supposed to be adequate to detangle and all that but I have to say that I adore the Tangle-Teaser-copycat, namely the Goody Tangle Fix that I can’t recall the price of because I received it as a gift. I’m naughty and have been using it in the shower to detangle my hair prior to rinsing my conditioner out with this and I have to say its the most effective detangler that I’ve ever tried and I don’t even know anyone who experiences more tangles than me.

After embracing my paleness for years following my first foray into the gradual tanners, I’ve gotten to really appreciate the basic-but-noteworthy – to the point that I have completely ran out of my first tube of the Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer in Medium to Tan ($9 CDN) and have happily moved onto my second. I’m skeptical of the whole firming situation (and considering my age I can’t really comment to be honest) but this one is great because it’s intensely moisturizing and non-irritating as a moisturizer on my irritated eczema-laden skin, goes on evenly (with a few slight patches) without needing to exfoliate (my body cannot tolerate any sort of scrubbing action so self-tanner is generally out of the cards) and it doesn’t burn or irritate my skin despite its fragrance. I noticed that in the ingredients list, there’s no synthetic fragrance listed but rather caramel is included instead and I can assume that this is what gives it its authentic nice scent that my ulta-sensitive skin actually agrees with. The darker shade actually does suit my skin nicely, looking like an authentic tan on my warm-toned-but-not-golden skin with yellow undertones.

I haven’t been particularly obsessive about painting my nails this month but when I have made the effort, I’ve been consistently going for the pale cornflower Essie Bikini So-Teeny ($9 CDN) and haven’t regretted it once. It’s a gorgeous pastel hue and the formula lasts on my nails five days without major signs of wear so obviously it checks all the boxes. It’s not the most opaque formula (not shocking considering that it’s a pastel hue) but it doesn’t streak and goes opaque in two coats and therefore is impressive in my view.

I might just begin to have an actual emotional outburst if you recall my ramble on a few weeks back about rekindling my interest in style and I’m not one to display human qualities of the emotional kind. This interest has remained but a post hasn’t been in the works as of yet and style-wise, I’ve been obsessed with the comfortable and flattering, American Eagle High-Waisted Jeggings that I picked up towards the beginning of the month for mere third of the full retail price — $20 instead of $60 — in the pale grey shade. I’m a big fan of the store in general for the ease of shopping, the fit and general aesthetic of their clothes but I have to admit that this pair was something special – the regular length running a bit longer than usual so I didn’t have to order online to suit my strangely lanky legs, the slightly higher-waist sitting at the perfect height to flatter my not-so-tiny waist, the lightweight denim remaining comfortable even in the warmer weather.

This month, I’ve really fallen in love with Natalie’s blog, Thunderlove. I’ve mentioned her blog a few good times this month and when she commented on one of my posts where I linked her, I had a sort of fangirl moment – and I don’t have these easily. Both in videos and posts, she has an authentic and laid-back manner and also gives fantastic reviews, so obviously she’s golden.  At this point, she may fear that I’m stalking her but I promise that I’m not – I just kind found myself routinely scouring through her archives with no shame.

What have your standout products been this month?

Maggie, x.