Top 18 of 2018

Some of my favourite posts to read and videos to watch are those detailing yearly favourites. However, I haven’t managed to write one since 2015. I’m remedying this now, after much thought on what products I would include. You can’t possibly imagine how much time I’ve spent thinking and thinking about this.  The way that I thought about the yearly favourites were the eighteen products that I relied on the most and got the best performance from throughout the year. I do note that some of these won’t surprise any regular readers here in the least and they aren’t products that just came out this year or products that I bought in the last year necessarily. Here we go.

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Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm ($39 CDN)

This fragrance and known irritant free balm cleanser was a late 2017 discovery that firmly has become my favourite makeup remover because it dissolves everything without stinging my eyes, blurring my vision – unless I’m an idiot and use way too much – or irritating my skin. It’s such a gentle balm cleanser that I managed to use it during an eczema flare when even water made my skin burn and itch without an issue. It’s nothing glamorous but removes even the toughest eye makeup and dissolves foundation better than anything else I’ve tried without that stripping factor. It’s so good that I can skip a second cleanse if I’m feeling lazy without getting under the skin bumps the next day.

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Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US)

Since trying out the Skin Recovery Toner in 2015, I haven’t wanted to be without one of these Paula’s Choice milky toners. Honestly, I tend to flip flop between this offering and the Skin Recovery one but just using one of them is essential for my skin that is prone to irritation, dehydration, flaking and eczema. It honestly provides many of the benefits of a serum in a milky liquid form. It’s obviously formulated without alcohol, fragrance and ingredients that are known to be irritating. It’s soothing and is incredibly helpful in maintaining a healthy skin barrier and repairing a compromised one with fatty acids, antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. It provides a soothing effect short term and long-term keeps my skin looking healthier and brighter, without dry patches and calmed.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA ($36 US) | review

Along with my prescription retinoid, – and more recently my azelaic acid – I rely on an AHA exfoliant to keep my skin smooth and clear on the whole and hydrated. This one keeps my pores from getting clogged and with the 0.5% salicylic acid and I find the glycolic, lactic, malic and tartaric acid formula to be gentler than pure glycolic acid but still have the same even-ing, brightening, smoothing and water-binding impact that single note formulas can have. More impressively, I love how gentle the formula is and how it combines the exfoliating ingredients with antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients. Essentially, it acts as a serum and effective exfoliant at once and I find it easier to tolerate, likely as a result of the antioxidants and anti-irritants.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer SPF 50 ($33 US)

It appears that I may have a thing for the Paula’s Choice RESIST line for dry skin, I’m realizing. I think that this is because they are chalked full of antioxidants and anti-irritants that make the formulas the most soothing and replenishing as possible, which my easily irritated skin needs. This is a very hydrating and cosmetically elegant lotion that is formulated with chemical sunscreen actives and is unique because it’s the only chemical sunscreen I’ve ever tried that has not immediately irritated my skin. I think I’ll always be a mineral sunscreen girl but I love this one for how it’s truly hydrating, isn’t greasy and never clings to dry patches in the way that mineral actives do. I think I tolerate this one because of the robust antioxidants and anti-irritants in the formula.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($72 CDN) | review

There’s no foundation that I’ve tried in the last three years that has knocked this cult favourite foundation from its spot as my go-to foundation. It looks incredibly skin like, even on my uneven texture and dry patches, and has a satin finish that lasts until I remove it on my dry thirsty skin. I like the medium-buildable coverage that it offers and how it will cover even reddened eczema patches, without losing that radiant finish. Without fail, this expensive foundation always makes me feel and look my best. Plus, it photographs fantastically.

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Laura Geller Balance n Brighten Baked Colour Correcting Foundation ($45 CDN)

Being someone with drier skin that doesn’t suffer from issues of makeup longevity, I have a tendency to skip powder altogether. However, I have discovered that I really like this one because of the light coverage it provides that mainly serves to cancel out redness of my face and because of the soft focus radiant (but without shimmer in sight) finish that it  provides over my t-zone. I tend to like wearing it if I’m going to be taking pictures and I loved wearing it in the unseasonably hot summer that we had. Also, the smoothing finish and coverage it provides works nicely as a low maintenance ‘foundation’ alternative on good skin days and days when I’m doing two or three minute makeup.

L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation ($20-25 CDN)

I’m beyond irritated that this foundation doesn’t seem to be carried by most drugstores in Canada anymore but I’m pleased that they haven’t discontinued my favourite lighter coverage base entirely. The cushion foundation is not the most economical option but as someone who rarely goes through foundation, it’s worthwhile for an easy option that’s almost undetectable on the skin and doesn’t cling to dry patches in the slightest. When I’m unsure of what to grab as a base and I don’t have time to think about it, I reach for this light to medium coverage offering because it’s hydrating, weightless and doesn’t cling to dry patches. The dewy finish is very brightening and it covers redness well but always looks like skin.

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Amber ($31 CDN)

As someone whose face just looks better with a bit of shading, I find myself often reaching for this cream-to-powder contour colour because it’s easy to blend into the skin and has a realistic grey tone that reads as a shadow. Also it works with both powder and cream products in my routine.

Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Wisp ($8 US)

I bought this putty-cream textured highlighter in a kit last year with a hefty dose of skepticism but I found myself really enjoying the gleam and sheen that this bronzier golden champagne highlighter provided to my cheeks. It’s one of those highlighters without obvious shimmer, I must note. Being fair, I find that I have to use a lighter hand but I love the luminous sheen it gives my cheekbones and how it adds life to my skin.

Physician’s Formula Eyebooster Lash Boosting Eyeliner & Serum ($15 CDN)

I feel like I’ve rambled on about how much I love this brush-tipped pen style liquid eyeliner so much recently but I do adore reaching for it on a daily basis because it creates a bit of a kitten flick with ease. I don’t have to worry about my eyeliner if I use this one. It removes easily and doesn’t really budge either.

Viseart Matte Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Mattes 10 ($100 CDN) | review

Ever since I picked up this expensive sunset-hued matte palette towards the beginning of 2018, it’s been my everyday go-to. I love how the shades have that flattering warm hue and that everything except a black is included for shade selection. Most of all I like that the shades crease on me the least of any eyeshadow formula, last for ages, blend like a dream and do not cause fallout. The red shade in this palette even got me on the red eyeshadow train.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette ($55 CDN)

It seems like whenever I do these kinds of posts, I can’t resist including a product or two that I’ve more recently discovered. This palette I might have only picked up at the beginning of November, but it has become a real favourite of mine since then. The colour choices are a bit more interesting than the Viseart, being a mixture of neutral mattes (with a few shimmers thrown in), along with some red and berry-toned shades. I love how it makes a nice one and done look and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with the more red shades. The formula’s powderiness doesn’t seem to leave fallout, either. Also, the formula is pretty easy to work with. I love the inclusion of a few shimmery shades for the lid and to add some dimension.

MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters ($9/$19 CDN)

I came close to including a selection of the MAC eyeshadows that I reached for some throughout the year but in all honesty, I mainly reached for this peachy champagne shimmery shadow. I’ve repurchased it countless times and when I wanted a lid shade, I always find myself reaching for this one and am pleased with how it looks.

MAC Brow Set in Beguile ($22 CDN)

While I might have a lot of brow, they are sparse and tend to look unnatural unless a lot of care is put into gently filling them in and taming them. This year, I discovered that using this brow mascara with a light hand held them in place and helped to fill in the sparse sections, without looking product-y or unnatural in the slightest. It was a godsend for when I wanted to do something with my brows but did not have the time or energy to really fill them in.

L’Oreal Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick in 360 Angora ($12.99 CDN)

My lip product discovery and favourite of the year was easily this liquid lipstick formula and my go to shade was this medium-toned greige shade. I have super dry lips and aren’t a particularly clean eater and drinker and tend to experience lip products wearing off unevenly through the day, accentuating my dry patches. I like a lip product that I don’t have to think about and this one fits the bill, especially because once I let this product set on my lips, it can last through a Christmas dinner. I also like how the formula doesn’t have a super dry feel but sets on my lips. Also, the colour is interesting enough that it feels kind of cool and different without being a bold or jarring colour.

MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare ($22 CDN)

As much as I like buying lip products, I don’t find myself reaching for them on a daily basis because I can’t be bothered with the upkeep and having to think about them. On days when I wanted some colour to my lips, I often found myself filling in my lips with this neutral coral-hued rosy pencil and topping it with lip balm or a sheerer neutral lipstick offering. It happily lived in my purse throughout the year.

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DevaCurl One Condition Delight Weightless Waves ($32/$62 CDN)

I have long porous fine wavy curls that tangles like nothing else in this world and this conditioner ticks all of the boxes for a daily conditioner; I can use it as a leave-in to keep my curlier underlayer of hair hydrated and defined without flattening out the wimpier waves that are prone to falling out on the top layer of my hair and as my standard conditioner of choice.  I have a ton of hair that requires a ton of slip to detangle and this fits the bill, whilst adding the dose of protein that gives my hair the bounce it needs to look good. It has great slip and provides moisture without weight for my thirsty locks. It’s free of drying alcohols and silicones.

DevaCurl B’Leave In ($27 CDN)

This year, I noticed that most of my good hair days – when I actually wore my curls and waves down – occurred after using this curl boosting product in addition to gel and whatever cream product I was using. This holdless gel-textured product added a weightless dose of protein to my fine hair and really boosted the bounce and curl in sections of my hair that are prone to wilting and falling flat. I’ve used this product before with good results but I rediscovered it this year when I started putting more effort into my hair again.

Any favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2016 Favourites

A monthly favourites post written by me and posted on time in 2016? Quelle horreur. Joking aside, I’ve been getting my beauty mojo back in the last month or so and I’m quite excited to share the standout products here. For the first time ever, the list isn’t even that long.

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OPI Nail Lacquer in Squeaker of the House: OPI’s fall collection, “Washington DC” has been one of the most exciting ones in years and I’ve ended up buying three of the shades and enjoying them all, however, this slightly warm medium taupe has made me fall in love. I love these taupe kind of shades but this one is unique because it has that touch of warm brown that most of these shades like, which can be much more flattering to a neutral or warm complexion. It’s so close to being opaque in a single coat but I suppose its more of an effortless two coater that almost applies itself, drying even and glossy on the nails.

KB Shimmer Don’t Play Koi: Back in September, I ordered my first indie nail polishes from Harlow & Co and while I’ve enjoyed them as a whole, this crelly and glitter mix has been my favourite and most worn. It has a sheerer white base that does not become even or opaque until two or three coats and is filled with matte grey and coral hex glitters and iridescent turquoise glitters of various sizes. On the nails, it has an interesting effect where the glitters peek through underneath the white base. Getting used to apply these formulas has been quite a learning curve – having to focus on evening out the base, while making sure to fish out the glitters and apply the across the nail.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner: Ever since Fall has hit and the humidity has died off, the weather has gotten chilly and we’ve been cranking up the heat, I’ve been obsessively patting on this milky toner after cleansing. It’s been a saviour, adding back barrier repairing and hydrating ingredients after cleansing – including antioxidant rich plant oils, hyaluronic acid and vitamins A and C – that you typically would find in a serum product, in the toner stage. Layering this milky toner feels like a breath of fresh air to my finicky skin and it definitely helps with keeping my skin soothed and hydrated throughout the day.

Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes: While I’ve been into indulging in a full-on skincare routine throughout the month, I do admit that at other times I’ve been quite lazy, just wanting to remove my makeup without the effort of going to the sink. These wipes are my favourite for this because they do remove makeup effectively but they do so without drying out my skin or causing any sort of irritation. The cloths are saturated with a  liquid that not only is formulated without alcohol or detergents but also are slightly hydrating and milky on the skin. I’m really not a fan of fragrance in skincare, but I do enjoy the calming spa-like scent.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation: I easily (and happily) wore this more recently released drugstore face offering five out of every six times that I wore makeup throughout October. More than that, I think that I can happily now add this to my roster of favourite foundations. It has nice medium buildable coverage but what’s truly impressive about the formula is that it reads like naturally luminous skin and has that light and weightless texture typically reserved for higher end offerings. I don’t love that denatured alcohol is one of the first ingredients but I’m willing to accept it on account of how nicely the formula sits over dry patches and how it makes my skin look and feel. I’m shocked that more people don’t speak highly of this foundation.

Clinique Cheek Pop in Rosy Pop: Despite being a self-professed blush addict, I hadn’t really been reaching for blushes throughout the summer and, instead, I had been on a strict bronzer kick. However, I once I pulled out this slightly warm toned rosy shade, I was back into that whole blush thing. The shade is bright but I like how it can be easily sheered out for that flattering flush on the cheeks. I’m normally into ultra-glowy blushes but the satin finish on this one is flattering as well.

Have you tried any of these? Do you have any favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

My Five Favourite Coral Blushes

For anyone else, or at least most of us, selecting your favourite coral blushes would not be a strenuous task involving a great amount of deliberation, however, I have a serious addiction to coral blushes of a sheeny luminous variety. Here comes the lowdown, beginning with the most expected choices:

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1. NARS Orgasm Powder Blush ($35/0.16 ounces) OR $218.75/ounce | review

Officially described as “peachy pink with shimmer”, this sheeny pink coral blush provides a strong golden glow with golden shimmer running throughout. As with all of my favourite blush choices here, I love the smooth texture and instant luminosity of the blush but this one is particularly easy because the pigment builds slowly and easily. I don’t believe that this shade is the most universally flattering blush out there like the previous hype would suggest but it is flattering even with its pinker rosy lean on my moderately fair warm toned skin. Out of the bunch this shade has the most visible shimmer but it’s not the most reflective of them all. This is perhaps the lightest shade of the bunch so it’s only suitable for fairer skin tones.

2. MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35/0.32 ounces) OR $108.35/ounce

I’m sorry for this, including a limited edition product that is not currently available but this “coral with golden bronze shimmering nuances” shade is a longtime favourite of mine with an amazing sheeny smooth formula so I had to include it anyway – but luckily the cult favourite shade seems to be repromoted every year or two so I’d keep your eye out if you’re interested. It has impressive pigmentation for a Mineralize Skinfinish and no visible shimmer particles and a flattering rusty lean to it. The permanent MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Cheeky Bronze ($35/0.35 ounces) is extremely similar but has more of that bronzy copper hue to it and MAC Style might be even closer, but a bit different in formula. It’s suitable for fair skintones to the entire spectrum of medium skin tones.

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3. MAC Frost Powder Blush in Style ($26/0.21 ounces) OR $123.81/ounce | review

This ‘frost’ blush is nowhere near as frightening as the name would suggest, it doesn’t have any sort of dated or unflattering shimmer particles or overly intense sheen. It has that flattering strong sheen that is similar to MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinishes but without that baked mineral formula. It’s a peachy coral with strong golden sheen throughout that is luminous in the best way, providing that golden luminosity and doubling as a highlighting product, accurately described my mac as “coral peach with warmth”. The blush has a lovely smooth texture with a nice sheen to the cheeks, a glow and a hint of overall warmth. It has kind of a orange-y lean so it’s not suitable for fair cool skin tones or among the palest of complexions, but it would be flattering for most – either as a blush or as a highlight for those with deep skin tones.

4. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat ($41/0.15 ounces) OR $273.33/ounce

This rather expensive blush has the least shimmer in it but it somehow manages to give just as much radiance without the shimmer particles and it reads as a satin, likely because of the Diffused Light powder that the blush is marbled with. It’s  described as a “vibrant poppy” and while I agree with the vibrant part of the name – it’s definitely vibrant and with the most pigmentation of all of the included blushes – I would describe it as more of a pinky coral mixed with a watermelon hue. Also, while it’s pigmented, it can be applied sheerly with ease. It’s a more unique colour than the rest, perhaps the least traditionally coral, with neutral rather than warm undertones and the same brightening effect. This unique shade would suit fair skin-tones with a light hand all the way up to those with the lighter end of deep complexions.

5. L’Oreal True Match Blush in N3-4 Innocent Flush ($15.99/0.21 ounces) OR $76.14/ounce

In the last two years I’ve discovered a great number of amazing drugstore products along my trials, however, blushes are among the most difficult products to find excellent versions of on a budget but this one performs along with much higher end offerings. It’s a more muted version of MAC’s Style that has a touch more pink along with the peach that flatters fairer skin tones (up to medium ones) and a slightly less intense golden sheen. The texture is smooth and it provides that luminosity that I search for while still lasting all day long. It’s incredibly versatile, providing that glow and sheen that brightens the face while being easy to wear with more intense eye makeup and lip colour.

From top: NARS Orgasm | MAC Stereo Rose | MAC Style | Hourglass Diffused Heat | L'Oreal Innocent Flush
From top: NARS Orgasm | MAC Stereo Rose | MAC Style | Hourglass Diffused Heat | L’Oreal Innocent Flush
 What’s your favourite coral blush?
Maggie, x.

 

 

The Weekend Post |The Current Shower Staples

 

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If you’re anything like me, there’s something instantly compelling about discovering the products that other human beings use and obviously you derive some sort of borderline twisted pleasure from being nosy and seeing the products that one uses in the shower. Because I tend to go on and on about products and I share my shower with my brother and other family members and therefore have a million products in there, I thought I would share my picks for the moment.

Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Cleansing Conditioner ($6-8)

I’m not entirely new to the whole cleansing conditioner thing, having used the L’Oreal EverCreme version previously with fairly good success and doing some plain old conditioner washing with similar success, but I’m still no expert on the whole thing. However, I would say that I’ve really been enjoying this one as its potent mint scent feels refreshing, particularly on the scalp and it both seems to cleanse nicely without weighing my hair down where my hair is the finest and works nicely as a conditioner to boot. I appreciate that this does work as a truly 2 in 1 product for me when I’m feeling lower key and the only thing I would change is the dimethicone (a non-water-soluble silicone) in the formula.

L’Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($8-10)

I must admit that I’ve only had this shampoo in my possession for a few weeks but since I’ve picked it up, I’ve been loving this nourishing shampoo. Out of all of the shampoos that I’ve tried this comes closest to the Pureology SuperSmooth for gently cleansing the hair with its concentrated but gentle formula, leaving my hair relatively untangled as a result without any sort of weighing down action going on. It has a nice subtle scent and works nicely on my finer wavy-curly hair. While it does contain a silicone, it’s one that does not build up on the hair and I appreciate this.

Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50)

I’m beginning to realize that I’ve neglected declaring my love for this rather indulgent but phenomenal hair masque after my initial ravings months ago. I was not using it for a bit in fear of running out of it but now that I’ve returned to it, I’ve been loving the concentrated silicone-free formula that somehow manages to detangle hair and nourish it like nothing else in this world with a hefty amount of coconut and sunflower oil without weighing hair down in the slightest. It’s amazing but pricy and I’m a huge fan of the brand in general.

L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask ($6-8)

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been very disappointed overall in my adventures in the drugstore for effective masks and also that this one has broken that streak a few weeks back here and my thoughts have not changed on the subject. While its not quite as concentrated as the Pureology, this offering is nourishing on my hair and definitely has a nice slip to it for detangling, despite only containing a water-soluble silicone and is effective without weighing down my hair in the slightest and it has a nice concentration of amino acids that I haven’t noticed a huge effect from yet but are impressive nevertheless. If only the scent wasn’t quite so synthetic-floral…

Aveeno Eczema Care Body Wash ($7-8)

While I haven’t raved about this endlessly, I’m sure that regular readers are aware of my love for this gentle and soothing soap-free and fragrance-free body wash and I couldn’t do this post without including this one. This is easily one of my most repurchased products for good reason; it’s not too expensive and it works for my extremely sensitive eczema-prone skin, even in its most horrific state. This is a really fantastic but basic product that I would recommend to anyone with body skin issues – and I can use it on my acne-prone back without any issues. I apologize if that was verging into TMI territory…

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish ($18)

I picked this up as my first foray into the British-based company (and into body scrubs in general) when I spotted the brand on for three for two at Shopper’s Drugmart maybe six weeks back and I have been particularly impressed. I’m not usually into that whole pink packaging thing but I do enjoy the novelty of it and the whole “now he’ll never know that all this time you’ve been flaking it” slogan and the subtly warm scent. Beyond all of those details, I’ve found this to not be too abrasive on my sensitive skin but leave it smooth and hydrated afterwards even on my rough patches of skin. Obviously, I don’t use it on broken out irritated patches of skin but it doesn’t seem to harsh on other patches compared to other scrubs that I’ve heard about and tried once or twice. This product has been one that really has provided that pampered feeling and hasn’t seemed to irritate things further.

What are your current shower staples?
Maggie, x.

The Weekend Post | The Current Loves

DSC_0945It might seem like all I do around these parts is rave about my favourite products but I’m not going to let my fear of repition get in the way of shring some of my favourite products of the moment with you. Don’t click off just yet; I promise that I’m going to speak of some new loves along with a usual suspect or two.

L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Repairing Mask

Despite being a girl who places high demands on her haircare, having such dry and tangly wavy-curly hair and consequently ending to go for higher end options, I’ve always held high regard for the L’Oreal line. With this said, I’ve been less than impressed by the other offerings that I’ve tried from this particular line and I’m pleased to report that this one has compared to the highest end counterparts. It’s not too heavy but extremely nourishing for my long hair and has nice detangling power to boot.

Garnier Deconstructed Texture Tease

I will admit that despite really enjoying this in the last week or so, I included it in the photo without thinking about how it would be the topic of discussion in my next post. Oops. Case in point — I’ll try to keep this brief. This is a colourless spray that instant texture and volume to the hair (roots in particular), adding grit to the hair with a dose of hold at the same time.

Dior Star Fluid Foundation

While this isn’t a foundation that instantly applies and looks like skin with the most glowing finish, I have grown to love this foundation and it is one that I love as it sets into the skin and wear it throughout the day, even after say the 10 hour mark. It sinks nicely into the skin and really blends nicely without being obvious on the skin despite being medium-buildable coverage with a nice satin finish that turns glowier throughout the day. I wish that the fragrance and/or chemical sunscreen didn’t make my skin tingle upon first use but I do love that the formula is nice and hydrating throughout the day and has that nice lightweight texture without involving irritating alcohol. It’s not an uber-dewy foundation but I love how it leaves the skin looking revitalized while feeling comfortable on my sensitive skin.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

This is definitely the item that has been previously talked about the most of the bunch but it deserved mention because I’ve grabbed for it daily, primarily for the middle limited edition shade, Incandescent Light as a nice highlighter with refined sheen that’s actually light enough to brighten the area head-on and to highlight the inner corner of the eyelid in a pinch. Also when I haven’t been feeling much on the checks, I’ll reach for the bronzier Radiant Light for that subtle glow.

L’Oreal Infallible Super Slim

After retiring my beloved Lineur Intense a few weeks back, I decided to pick this one up a a replacement and I must say that I’m at least as impressed with it, for slightly different reasons. Although it’s not as easy to create a smooth wing with this formula because of its firm controlled top that requires sufficient pressure to deposit product, I’ve been enjoying just how easy it is to control and create a precise line with it.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Now, I’ve had this mascara since I picked it up (in sample size) as part of my Sephora birthday gift back in June but I threw the small box into the back of my drawer, only o be recently duck back out and actually applied to my lashes. Although I’ve been enjoying the dramatic volume and impact that this gives to my lashes, I’m sure that I’ll fall in love more when the formula is less wet and I don’t have to be quite so careful with the wand. I haven’t been using higher end mascaras in ages but this might just have brought me back into the game because of the drama it gave to my lashes without clumping or heaviness involved. It might just be worth the splurge.

Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in 110 Kiss of Life

I’ve been really into the bold lip as of late and this fairly neutral red that leans slightly-orangey in tone has been my pick not only because of how much I love the shade but also because of how fabulous the formulation is. I wouldn’t describe the finish of these comfortable lipsticks as completely matte but they are semi-matte and don’t dry out your lips in the slightest, gliding on with full pigmentation and staying in place for 5-6 hours with some eating and drinking involved. Not only is this scarlet hue a flattering option with my dark hair and fair skin, but it’s also a low fuss shade to wear, being bold without requiring a whole lot of maintenance.

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September Favourites

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Not to give into the whole cliché in totality or anything, but this was definitely one of those frantic and busy months because it was getting back into the whole university swing of things while being bogged down with that cold that won’t quit and the like. There may have also been a wee bit of stress going on – perhaps. Although this was definitely not a month with the most interesting beauty-related experimentation going on due to lack of time and desire to get out of bed, I’m quite pleased with the group of products that I’ve gathered here.

NARS ‘Pro Prime’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($29)

I’ve had this raved-about primer in my possession since mid-August and have been using it consistently since then but this month it has solidly found its home as my favourite eye primer to date. Now, I have not particularly oily but deep-set creasing-prone lids and this one has come the closest to preventing that whole creasing situation in general and definitely reduces the effects drastically. I find that it works best when applied in the thinnest layer to the lids before any sort of makeup is applied to the face because giving it time to set definitely makes it work for the better – and too much product can give it the opposite effect. Although, it’s marketed for oily lids I don’t find any sort of crepey lid situation happening which is rather pleasant and now that I’ve gotten a hang of the learning curve, I’m definitely impressed.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

So apparently I’m feeling NARS this month and I’m aware that I should apologize for including this contouring duo in two of these posts back to back but honestly, I couldn’t leave this one out as I’ve been using (and loving it) on a daily basis and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t merely include it prematurely last month on a buyer’s high. The rosy tan and ivory soft-matte duo is simply that good. As I mentioned last month (and a myriad of other times), this powder contains an easy-to-use neutral-toned contour powder to sculpt the face and an ivory matte highlighting powder that I have found useful for quickly brightening the undereye area, while preventing any sort of creasing.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner in Brown(Out) ($30)

I’ve mentioned my love for this seriously budge-proof and uber-creamy liner numerous times since snagging it as a point perk from Sephora in August and I’ve been reaching for the deeper bronzy shade loads as of late. I quite enjoy the shade of brown, particularly that it’s deep enough to provide enough definition for me – as I’m typically a black liner kind of girl – and that it’s the perfect thing to run along your upper and lower lashline when you’re running short on time and/or are lazy but want something on the eyes.

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L’Oreal Glossy Balm in Ginger Candy ($9-11)

I appear to have fallen in love with yet another one of those lip pencils with you guessed it, a nice and balmy formula but this one might just be my favourite in terms of comfort and everyday wear. I’ve worn this neutral warm-pink toned nude that reminds me of a slightly more pink version of my favourite MAC Lipstick in Patisserie more than half of the month and it lived in my bag. It’s not particularly long lasting but it’s such an easy moisturizing formula that I didn’t mind in the slightest.

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist ($23)

As soon as I heard that these had launched in Canada, I was desperate to try one after hearing my favourite British babes rave about them earlier but I deliberated once I saw that their price tag was actually higher than MAC around these parts. I’m glad I went for this true rosy shade when I spotted these at Shopper’s with a bonus points promotion, as it has the most comfortable and lightweight but long-wearing formulation and has the most unique hue that sits between a neutral hue and a bolder shade. I might not have worn it quite as much as the glossy balm, but whenever I’ve been tempted to go for more colour, this one has found its way into the mix. There will be a post on this soon, I reckon, and I’m wearing it on my lips here.

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40)

I know that six weeks of consistent use isn’t quite enough to give the true verdict on a moisturizer but I’m fairly certain that this lightweight but rich moisturizer has nabbed the spot of my favourite moisturizer that I’ve ever tried. It is supremely hydrating while offering a good dose of soothing action with some potent antioxidants in the formula and I can’t fault this one in any shape or form. It also glides over the skin without any sort of tingling on the most irritated and dehydration of skin. I wasn’t sure that the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet could be topped but I’m glad to have been wrong.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Anti-Irritant Anti-Scratching Lipid-Replenishing Body Balm ($29.95)

I’m deeply saddened that I’ve actually used up my first bottle of this gentle niacinimide-rich body cream in the last few days and that sure is a testament to how much I love this non-irritating body cream. It doesn’t have any sort of irritating fragrance or alcohol but like anything else, it will sting on opened or irritated patches of skin slightly but unlike other creams that I’ve tried this has helped to reduce the itchiness of my eczema as well as heal the damage. It also absorbs strangely fast and I’m not one to complain about that.

What were your top products this month?
Maggie, x.
note: some affiliate links used above

 

Recent Skincare Loves

DSC_0731Despite the hormonal loveliness that I’m still suffering from, my skin has been as good as it can get and it has been for a good month or so and I’ve been wanting to share the more recent products that I have been loving. So let’s get cracking.

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La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($30)

I’ve been using this non-greasy but heavy duty moisturizing cream on my eczema-effected legs for about a month now, twice a day, and although it does sting the teensiest bit on open abrasions, this has not only soothed the issue but has helped to lessen the chronic itchiness overall. Unfortunately I’m nearing the end of this tube now but I will definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out, preferably in the larger size with somewhat of a sale. It’s free of fragrance, alcohol and all that jazz and nourishes the skin with glycerin and shea butter while containing the skin-repairing hero ingredient niacinimide. It actually helps the whole eczema situation so halleluiah. 

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Indeed Laboratories Facial Powdered Exfoliator ($30)

Not being a traditional scrub kind of girl, — they tend to leave my skin raw and irritated — this acid-infused exfoliating powder is quite possibly my ideal exfoliating product. Although it is a physical exfoliant with the rice bran powder in the formula, it doesn’t have that irritating grittiness that scrubs tend to have and it also contains some potent acidic goodness. This is one of those powders that you pour into your hand before mixing with water to create a foam before applying to your face and it does instantly brighten things up and springs them into action with that mild tingly sensation. This is definitely one to combat general dullness but I do lament that it does contain a wee bit of irritating alcohol but it’s towards the end of the ingredient list and its rinsed off the skin so I’m letting it slide.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($29)

This mask is a cult-favourite of many bloggers for good reason and I’ve previously sung its praises but not in a too frequent manner so I thought that it could be included again. The ingredient list didn’t look outwardly promising or bad and as a result this overnight mask was a product that I hummed and haw-ed about for ages and I’m glad that I finally went for it when I did. I would likely prefer it without the irritation that natural fragrance brings, but it does smell exactly like peaches and it has a rich creamy texture that doesn’t feel particularly heavy on the skin. It’s definitely potent in the nourishing and hydrating department and it soothes the skin during the process, dealing with dry patches quite effectively. I love this stuff, but it can sting slightly over irritated patches of skin.

DSC_0732First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($14)

In a way, I don’t know why I haven’t spoke about these gentle alcohol-free acidic pads but as much as I like these for their gentle efficacy, I’ve been hesitant about praising their goodness because I have heard that their pH is a little bit off to keep them effectively exfoliating the skin. However, I have found that the glycolic and lactic acid pads work for me, smoothing texture, brightening and adding radiance while still being nice and gentle on my skin. I also enjoy the reasonable price tag and lack of unnecessary ingredients in these pads, along with how concentrated with product they are — I can actually get away with using each side of the pad on separate occasions! Let me know if these work for you!

DSC_0733Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40)

Second to the La Roche-Posay, this is my most recently acquired item but I feel so strongly for this moisturizer that I feel I can declare my love after a month of use. If you’ve been with me for a while, you may remember that I loved the slightly milder formulation of the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and as difficult as it is to believe, I have to say that I’ve been enjoying this one even more. Without being heavy or greasy in the slightest, this emollient cream gives the skin a major boost of hydration and nourishment and doesn’t burn or sting even on my most irritated of skin and with its high antioxidant content, it almost feels like a treatment at the same time, soothing the skin effectively whilst being a moisturizer.

 Have you tried any of these? If not, what have you been loving recently?

Maggie, x.