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.

The (Late) Monthly Roundup #6: May 2014

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Huh; it’s suddenly become clear to me that I’ve gotten into the routine of consistently putting out five or so posts per week and hitting above twenty posts per month, which was once difficult to produce on a frequent basis, but it seems to have become routine (somewhat) and I have to say that it feels good. On an expected note, it kind of blows my mind that we’re now into the sixth month and its equally as expected that it’s been a month of typical east coast weather fluctuations — the first half of May had a sunny day or two but the general theme was clearly overcast and/or rainy but the second half of the month quickly morphed into gorgeous hot summer weather. It was also strange in the sense that the stress of university was over but summer had not truly begun yet … or at least it hadn’t when I originally intended to get this post up.

01. The Evening Skincare Routine

To be honest, I included this post because I was happier with the associated photograph over the other posts included in this series but really the whole ‘skincare series’ in itself was a definite highlight of the month. After planning on doing skincare posts for months without action, I was satisfied with the results of the posts I brought out in the last month and hopefully you did too.

02. The Beauty Bargain: The Summery Bright Lip

This was yet another series I had been planning to add in the swing of things here for ages but in my usual fashion, I kept putting this off so obviously I was more pleased than not when I began bringing it into fruition and not only that, I was particularly happy with how the post came out in real life independent of the potential series.

03. Daily Face #14: The Usual + Unseasonal Lip Favourite

I was feeling much too self-indulgent here so I decided to feature perhaps my most-viewed post of the month, assuming that you enjoyed it in the same way that I enjoyed writing it. The deep red Revlon Lacquer Balm might have been as out of season as things get but it’s easy to wear and flattering so ‘who actually gives a damn’.

04. Spring Essentials

I must say that I struggled with selecting this post, not because it wasn’t one of my noteworthy posts looking back but instead because I’m not crazy about the associated picture. That aside, it was a post idea that had been spinning around my mind and seemed kind of difficult to make happen but somehow I managed to do a roundup of my favourite products of Spring rather than the generic kind of edit post.

05. An Apology to Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 08

It was exciting enough to rediscover the moisturizing lipstick that previously didn’t seem quite right on me but more than that, I enjoyed the more chatty, beauty-thoughts style of the post so much that I want to add more of these style kinds of posts that are neither full on reviews, edits or ‘looks’.

What were your May highlights?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

01.

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.

 

Spring Essentials

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As fun and entertaining as the generic full-on ‘Spring Edit’ kind of posts are to read, I decided to hold off on doing one at the beginning of spring and thought that instead I would share what my essential products were over the entire duration of Spring as these longer-term favourite products tend to be left without mention around here. So these products have most likely been rambled on here before (some more than others of course) but I thought I would share these staples regardless…

When I discovered the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41) in April and fell in instant love, I may have mentioned my love for it one or 224 times but considering that it hasn’t left the daily rotation stash since and I still find myself reaching for it over most of my blushes it deserved a wee bit more mention. The luminous-satin cooler-pink toned blush seems to actually kind of blur imperfections (sounds like crazytalk, huh?) while leaving the cheeks with that subdued rosy glow that seems to suit any sort of makeup combination. Considering the severity of my blush addiction, the fact that this has made its way into my top two or three blushes of all time is incredible. Who knew, a cool-pink would rise above the gorgeous corals in my books? 

Although the Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup ($48) only made its way into the final cut of one of my monthly favourites posts, it was easily my staple foundation for Spring. With its lightweight texture and ability to blend seamlessly into the skin while offering medium coverage, the radiant satiny foundation was perfection. Unfortunately with the whole faux-tan situation, the foundation is too light for me (I have shade 11 which matches me at my palest) but prior to this it was my everyday foundation. Being radiant but not overly dewy or ‘shiny’, this fit the bill for when the weather began to warm up and my skin turned into more of a dry combination skin type, with more of a normal t-zone compared to my usual all-around dry complexion. I may have to actually pick this up in a darker shade…

Although it is a bitch to remove, especially considering that it is not a waterproof formulation, the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($9-11) appears to have replaced Maybelline The Falsies in my heart as my favourite mascara over the last few months – shock-horror. The mascara produces dramatic lashes, both in the volume and length department but the separation offered by the brush keeps the lashes looking natural and defined, away from that clumpy mess. And, the separation from the brush allows this mascara to deliver for both top and bottom lashes. This mascara makes my lashes look ‘pretty amazing’, as in I’ve been complimented in real life for my lashes numerous times while wearing this one and this was while I was wearing glasses if you’re interested.

My love for the Maybelline The Buffs Colorsensational Lipstick in Nude Lust ($9 CDN) didn’t occur overnight — in fact, it’s neutral beige-almost-shadowy undertones put me off originally but over the past few months this shade has become one of my absolute go-tos with its non-drying formula that glides over dry patches, nice longevity and comfort as well as its status as a slightly darker non-ghastly nude that doesn’t pull brown. I don’t normally go for beige undertones in nude lipsticks but this one has convinced me to change my mind on that front; this is the perfect nude that can be worn on an everyday basis, regardless of whether you’re wearing a heavy smoky eye or just minimal makeup.

In general, I’m a real failure when it comes to documenting my nail polish trials and obsessions and this is evidence of one of them. I might not have always had this on my nails but the rosy-tan hue, namely the OPI Nail Polish in Tickle My France-y ($9 CDN) that I got for Christmas in the lovely Take Ten Mini Set from one of my favourite people ever, Lauren, who lets me talk her ear off about beauty products without getting annoyed, has been on my nails the most and I’ve been happy with the way they’ve looked. The formula isn’t the longest lasting ever but it does last above average on my nails and it does take a few coats to build up but the shade isn’t streaky so I can’t complain and it is pretty much foolproof, going with everything and adding some flattering warmth to my nails. I never would have expected to like this hue as it seemed kind of dull but I have to say that this amped-up neutral shade has its merits.

I mentioned the OGX Kukui Oil Frizz-Defying Curl Cream ($9-11 CDN) before in my March Favourites for good reason but as the weather has been getting warmer, I’ve fallen a little bit more in love with the lightweight but hydrating curl cream for my loose curls as it keeps them hydrated whilst keeping them as bouncy as can be and defined. I have the kind of hair that does well with glycerin-heavy lightweight curl creams as the weather gets warmer and this one delivers on that front for a bargain with a luxurious spa-like scent to boot!

I may have only discovered the Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($9-12 CDN) at the beginning of April but it’s proved its merits, joining the nightly rotation to remove makeup. Whilst it is mineral-oil heavy, – which is not necessarily a cause for concern – the slightly messy cleansing oil removes everything in seconds without irritating the skin in the slightest (and rather nourishing and soothing the skin) and when emulsified rinses clean. It’s one of those rare affordable cleansers that removes makeup and all that jazz gently (but effectively) while keeping with that luxurious feel, leaving the skin soothed even after its removal.

I have dry skin, to state the obvious but since the weather has become warmer and such, my forehead and t-zone have began to itch closer to behaving like a more normal skin type and the lightweight and fast-absorbing REN Evercalm/Hydracalm Global Protection Day Cream ($54 CDN) has been ideal for soothing the skin and providing hydration without feeling heavy. Although this moisturizer is not necessarily holy-grail material, I think its brilliant on someone with even combination skin to hydrate and soothe without feeling heavy or promoting shininess.

What have your spring essentials been?

Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

April 2014 Favourites

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April has been a unique months on two accounts, I’d have to say, and these two accounts are that whole University situation and the weather situation. Until the last week of the month, I’ve been overwhelmed by the mountain of work that I’ve had to achieve during the time and somehow ended up surviving the stress and sleep-deprivation of it all. Somewhere along the way, the weather here switch from April snow to a good number of gorgeous sunny days that actually make getting a burn possible in between bouts of spring rain. So this month has not been one of great experimentation or any sort of great dedication to a lengthy routine of sorts but I’m pleased with the staples that I’ve discovered. And below is a picture of most of the products in use i.e. the cream shadow applied heavily, the blush, mascara etc.

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 Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup in 11 Creme ($48 CDN): If you take a look at my posts in the last month, it should be no surprise that this was deserving of mention — I did mention my love for it a few times. I’ve reviewed it months ago and wrote that I like it but I have to say over the past few months it’s gone from a nice foundation in my books for that flattering everyday foundation that looks good without putting a lot of effort in. The finish is satiny with a side of luminosity but at the same time it doesn’t highlight imperfections and pores and it provides medium-coverage but cannot be built up past that without losing its ability to look and feel like your skin but perfected. It lasts for ages and ages; I may or may not have woken up with it still intact after New Years this year… And although it has alcohol, it doesn’t irritate my skin and it contains chemical SPF that doesn’t actually irritate my skin so I’m kind of convinced it’s sorcery. I’ve reviewed this before here but my thoughts have definitely improved!

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($10-12 CDN): After picking this up at the beginning of the month as the beginning of my foray into cleansing oils, it’s safe to say that my verdict on this affordable offering is favourable. Whilst the packaging seems to claim that the cleansing and nourishing action comes from the high-quality nut oils, when in reality the concentrated ingredient is mineral oil. However, despite the bad rap that mineral oil tends to get, it’s one of those really gentle but effective moisturizing and makeup-removing ingredients and does not universally clog pores. It’s a super-effective and nourishing makeup remover that I apply onto my dry skin with dry hands and then wet to rinse off with the aid of a washcloth. It takes a wee bit more effort than the good ol’ Bioderma or regular cleanser but it’s removal powers are outstanding. And I’m not one to complain about the skin-soothing sensation that it leaves behind. P.S. this product leaks like nothing else…

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light-Medium Bisque ($30 CDN): I’ve always kind of held onto the promise that I would never be one of those bloggers who raves about a product being their absolute favourite find of a month when they only had it for a few weeks but here I am doing so and I don’t regret it. This is because I might have only tried this under eye corrector on Easter after receiving it as a gift but I’ve noticed the tremendous difference every other time I’ve put on makeup since — it’s pink undertone actually covers my hereditary dark circles without leaving that peachy-orange cast even without a concealer on top despite my fairness. And the texture is a really nice one, I must admit – creamy and flattering underneath my under eyes that can look cake-y with concealer and this does not happen with the corrector and despite its creamy texture, it does not crease on me but then again, I do not have a tendency to experiencing concealer creasing.

Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in 1 ($45 CDN): This has been mentioned the odd time by me here and I seem to recall including it in a favourites post before but now that I have discovered that whole pinpoint-concealing thing with the aid of the Real Techniques Detailer Brush, the palette has hugely impressed me. The cream concealers have a high-coverage but creamy texture that doesn’t highlight dry patches unless they’re to that severe place when any type of cosmetic product will highlight them. Anddd, the colour selection is nice and versatile for my skin at least, although the peach-orange is not the right tone for correcting under eye circles in the slightest on me – but I have the corrector for that.

L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($9-11 CDN): Let me put it this way, if the non-waterproof version of this wasn’t such a bitch to remove, it would have long ago beat out Maybelline The Falsies as my all-time favourite. But it is a pain in the ass to remove but it is worthwhile for such big and defined lashes that aren’t clumpy, even when applied haphazardly to the bottom lashes. Despite being a glasses wearer, I’ve been given quite a few compliments on my lashes since using this one which is impressive. But do keep in mind that I have naturally long and curled but wimpy eyelashes. I went back to the Falsies to compare and I have to say that I actually prefer this one now that it’s had more air in it, if the removing issue was not a problem. It looks like I’ve actually succeeded in putting the intended posts up this month as I have my full-review here.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41 CDN): Now, I’m not saying that these shall-we-say-luxurious blushes are an absolute necessity but the texture, blend ability, longevity and overall quality here. Despite my lack of success with cool-toned pinks, this one remains on the skin in a flattering way — it appears on my skin like a natural rosy hue, not particularly cool-toned when it comes in contact with the skin but not warm-toned either. And the finish is a satin without any sort of shimmer but it weirdly leaves the skin with some luminosity as promised. I’ve been wearing his all month long with pleasure, as shocking as it might be, and I’m not growing tired of it; in fact, it seems to becoming that everyday blush for me as I had surmised in my review here.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Nude Compliment ($9 CDN): After giving my early thoughts on the limited edition shade of the famous cream shadows here, my love for the taupe-y shade did not falter in the slightest as I kept on wearing and wearing this cream shadow either on lid on its own or as a base. It’s quite versatile with how it can be built up and it has to have the best longevity in terms of any of these cream shadows in the range. The satin-finish gives that flattering gleam to the eyes but keeps shimmer overkill from happening when shades are worn over the top. Also, despite the grey-tones in the shadow, it doesn’t go overly cool-toned and draining on my warmer undertones. If you have a little opportunity to creep around your local drugstore for one of these beauties, I would definitely go for it. There’s more details on the product here!

L’Oreal True Match Mineral Gentle Mineral Powder in W1-2 Light Ivory ($14-16 CDN): With the weather getting warmer and the general exam-induced stress going on, my skin felt in need of a powder and despite not being a powder kind of girl, this one has impressed me big time. It leaves a velvety finish to the skin instead of totally mattifying it, is almost devoid of coverage and used in moderation, the powdery finely-milled texture allows for it to look undetectable on the skin.

The New and Improved Book of Blogging: I should begin by stating how cheap I am in matters excluding the purchasing of beauty products, lattes and the occasional indulgent meal; agendas or notebooks that cost more than a few dollars are not something I allow myself to go for. But I splurged (for me at least) on a trusty Moleskine at the beginning of the month and it’s impressed me with its durable hard cover and its handy elastic bookmark and for once I’ve stuck to my promise of keeping organized in the little book without constantly scribbling up pages and making new lists. If you’re someone like me who tends to take your little book everywhere with you, a more durable one like this is amazing in ways you cannot imagine. It may be nothing fancy but I’m happy to have it.

Hello October: Suzie’s blog has the perfect mixture of beauty-centric posts and lifestyle with some style thrown in and writes in a nice casual low-key story-telling kind of way. She’s one of my favourite bloggers all the time but I’ve been particularly obsessed this month, scouring through her posts as soon as they hit my Bloglovin feed. It’s one of those blogs that you read and look at the pictures of and have that whole relaxing unwinding experience and it’s completely genuine. It also may or may not be of significance that I relate to her eczema-induced angst. And she’s adorable.

So here it is, another unsurprisingly lengthy favourites post but it wouldn’t be one of these posts from me if it were any other way? What are a couple of things you’ve been loving this month?

Maggie, x.

 

March Favourites

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I know that since the beginning of the new year, I’ve been constantly rambling on and on about my workload and stress but this has just been quite a semester for me schoolwise but as we head into exams, this month has been the busiest and most stressful yet and it wont stop for another three weeks or so. Because there’s been so much on my plate, I haven’t really had time to put any thought into the beauty routine or put all that much time into it and oddly enough I discovered a fairly large mix of products that we’re essential this month – I think because of the lack of time to experiment or really think about it all.

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Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($6-8 CDN)

I’m kind of new to the whole dry shampoo thing, having hair that can go for ages without needing to be washed, but I found that this one brought some much-needed texture and volume to my loose curls.

Organix Kukui Oil Frizz-Defying Curl Cream ($9-12 CDN)

I have the kind of hair that (a) refuses to conform to any style other than my natural wavy-curls (b) is dry and the tangliest hair that I’ve ever heard of despite not being damaged on account of not being dyed and not using heat on it on the regular and despite my past experience with curl creams being reduced to weighing down the hair rather than defining the curls (with a few exceptions) and providing no sort of hold, I was tempted to pick this one up to try out. Yes it is silicone-based but I think the cream redeems itself with its high concentration of nourishing oils that does not feel heavy in the hair. This is much appreciated in the moisturization and tangliness department for me and the cream also helps to define the tighter curls I have towards the end of my hair into more of a spiral-y pattern.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume ($16 CDN)

I actually only picked this up a bit before the middle of this month but it was an instant love, providing results in the nick of time and generally just being a lifesaver. Towards the end of the month, the weather got really chilly (-20 C) and then we had a blizzard and this balm with vitamin b was sort of an absolute lifesaver. It really soothes and repairs the skin when it gets in that irritated fragile state – presumably because of its anti-bacterial and protective properties – and while being affordable is a savior for healing the lips, sorting out eczema while reducing the itching factor and sorting out dry patches on the face like a champ despite being that thick balmy texture. I don’t know why I put off picking up the versatile balm for so long, unless I go to that place where I recognize my lack of rationality…

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OPI Nail Envy ($18 CDN)

I’ve had this “nail strengthener” for a good year now and while I’ve liked it, I haven’t been compelled to rave about it until now. In my stressed-out state, I had taken to peeling and picking my nail polish off and this left my normally strong nails quite weak and flaky and this sorted it out rather quickly while also performing well as a top coat and base coat. Although I haven’t tried Seche Vite (but want to), I’ve tried a good number of topcoats and this one while nourishing the nails helps to keep polish on my chipping-prone nails for the longest out of the bunch. I wouldn’t normally be tempted to spend this kind of money on a topcoat but after receiving this one as I gift, I plan on forking out the eighteen bucks again.

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Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer ($7-8 CDN)

After loving the foundation from the same line and hearing great things about the medium-buildable coverage liquid concealer that blends seamlessly into the skin, I picked the bright tube up. I reckon that it’s similar to the Maybelline Fit Me concealer (albeit more illuminating) but the Very Fair shade in this concealer is a much better colour match for my fair skin with yellow undertones than any of the shades that the other concealer offers. Something more pink-toned would be ideal for underneath the eyes but this shade is a good match for the actual skin on my face and covers up discolourations effectively without highlighting dry patches.

Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It ($22 CDN)

This was one of my riskier purchases, as it not only provides manual exfoliation with its grainy texture and it promises to control the oil and unclog pores — products that have these claims tend to irritate and dehydrate my dry sensitive skin — but after going without a manual exfoliant for ages and wanting to go for something very gentle, being interested in trying the UK-based brand and seeing that it contained AHA’s (chemical exfoliant) in high quantities without irritating alcohol or drying detergent agents, I gave in. The risk paid off, let me tell you. It comes in a hygienic tube and comes out as a green clay-based textured scrub that promises to do double duty as a mask if left on for a few minutes. It smells lovely and minty due to the menthol and while it doesn’t irritate my skin per se, I know it’s not one of the ingredients I approve of in my skincare. It decongests the skin when left on for a few minutes while also buffing off dead skin cells and I find my skin afterwards is brightened and smoothed, with improved texture. Although it feels quite clean afterwards, it was not the kind of clean that results in patches of irritation and dehydrated skin – it was merely the clay. I quite enjoy how this performs double duty, especially when I’m both a little congested and dull as it remedies both issues at once with good results. I like to leave it on for the 4-5 minutes most of the time because it allows the AHA’s to stay on the skin longer and remain more effective. It is one of the gentlest of scrubs, just slightly grainy in texture rather than having microbeads, and it doesn’t make my skin react and become red as it tends to. I suppose I couldn’t talk about this without giving a mini-review, whoops…..

Victoria’s Secret PINK Warm & Cozy Body Spray ($8/ travel size)

As odd as it is, this is the first body spray that I’ve ever bought. They’ve never really appealed to me in the slightest and I tend to associate them with those sweet fruity smells of that I’m not a fan of but this one was different — while being sweeter than what I usually go for on account of the vanilla, the warmth and slight floral kick to it keeps it from going to far in that direction. Being a body spray, it doesn’t last for ages but lasts for a good few hours and is non-offensive. Overpowering scents aren’t my cup of tea and this is far from overpowering.

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 MAC Tenderling Powder Blush ($21/25 CDN)

After having this for a couple of months with a decent amount of use, I think I fell into love with this one this month. When you’re short on time but are a blush-bronzer-and-maybe-highlight-too kind of girl, these multitasking products are essential. The sheer tone finish is matte but the powder is a nice and soft one bringing that warm rosy-tan shade to both add definition and a little bit of colour to the face. It doesn’t look like anything on the cheeks, which I have been really appreciating as it both adds life to the face while pairing with any different sort of lip option. This is my first neutral blush love and it stood out for me when I wanted to wear a bolder lip while still looking relaxed.

MAC Dreaming Dahlia Lipstick ($19 CDN)

This has received a fair amount of mention from me in the last month, but I couldn’t go without mentioning it here. While still being actually hydrating and low-maintenance on the lips, the lustre formula provides a nice pop of coral on the lips. I’m someone who loves coral blushes and lipsticks as they seem to bring my fair skin to life and I expected to like this lipstick but I didn’t expect it to be as versatile as it proved itself to be. The forgiving formula lasts for around four hours without minimal eating and a bit of drinking and not only looks nice with minimal makeup but adds some colour without clashing with brighter cheek and eye products. It’s nice to have a slightly brighter but still easy-to-wear shade that suits minimal makeup to add some instant impact while still being wearable with any sort of makeup look. When you’re in a rush like I’ve been this month, it’s nice not to have to think about what I’m grabbing. Oh and it’s limited edition, sorry….

a moderate swatch

 

MAC Coquette Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

This trio of MAC makeup was not intentional and to be honest I didn’t notice the high volume of MAC products in this post until I began to write it. I know that as of late, many in the blogging/vlogging world of beauty seem to be set against MAC, and while I can see why in some instances, the brand remains one of my greatest loves. At the end of last month, I finally plucked my eyebrows again and in doing so, I somehow gave my unruly-yet-sparse brows some shape and my love of the ashy-taupe MAC Coquettesolidified further. The shade dubbed a member of the “satin” family (but matte in my view), delivers a punch of pigmentation with impressive texture, adding natural definition to my brows without delivering any sort of reddish tinge. The shade is a workhorse in my routine and I’ve been wearing it in the crease and outer corner of the eye and enjoying the quick resulting definition. I talked about this in January’s post but believe me when I say that it deserved another mention.

If you made it through my long-winded essay of a post, then well done. I’ve been strangely decent on the buying front lately and would perhaps enjoy hearing your favourite product(s) of the month in the name of research…

Maggie, x.

 

 

Products I’d Be Incomplete Without

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I apologize about the lack of posts lately but it’s been a crazy week and one that I’m glad to be finished at that – Happy Friday to you all! Although I cringe about using the word “Holy Grail” let alone use the abbreviation that reminds me of nails on the chalkboard, I wanted to share a few of the products that I can’t see myself as being content with functioning without and therefore I felt obligated to use the wretched term. As always, I’m sorry if this post is a little repetitive — if you’ve been a regular reader for more than a few months, you’ll have heard me ramble on a good amount about these — but I find these posts incredibly interesting and helpful. As I enjoy reading them so much, I’ve decided to write more of these long-time favourites that remain my go-to’s for months on end.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($22 CDN)
I know I know I know I know, I’m fulfilling the stereotype of the blogger obsessed with Bioderma’s famous micellar water but my love of it is genuine and not moved by the tremendous amount of hype that the product has. I have dry and extremely sensitive eyes and this is the only makeup remover that I’ve tried that both removes makeup effectively and does not irritate, sting or burn my eyes. I’ve been using this almost for a year and my only complaint is that I go through a bottle every three or so months. I haven’t tried any of the new micellar water alternatives that tend to be cheaper that have popped up in stores recently because I have a few backups left…

Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Serum ($40 CDN)

Although I don’t mention this product nearly as much as I mention the above product, I don’t love it any less. This serum is moisturizing with its creamy consistency but contains a high concentration of exfoliating AHA’s and over time, it’s radically improved the texture of my skin, has helped to even out my skintone and has really brightened my complexion. This is one of those no-fuss products that work in the way that they’re intended but with none of those extra frills that can sometimes irritate the skin despite their luxuriousness. It’s gentle yet concentrated yet effective; what more could you want?

MAC Coquette Eyeshadow (12/18 CDN)

Although this eyeshadow has only been in my life since the beginning of this year but I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it; It is “the product” for my cool-toned brows. Most shades go rather red on me unless they are not dark enough but this shade is perfect for filling in my brows with – the medium-dark khaki taupe shade may look somewhat gross in the pan but it works both in the brows and as a fantastic shade to add definition to the crease.

MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

After repurchasing the golden-peachy shade at the beginning of the year, I’ve remembered why I adored it in the first place and it has to be my favourite no-fuss lid colour that doesn’t look super noticeable on the lids but adds that flattering brightness to my blue eyes. It’s my perfect lid colour and plays well with other shadows. What more can I say?

L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($8-10 CDN)

I’ve mentioned this in loads of favourites videos and I’ve mentioned it for good reason. It’s the only liner that I’ve ever tried that creates the precisely-lined kitten flick without the effort of gel-liner. I’ve mastered the jet-black liner so that even with my shaky hands, I can pull of winged eyeliner in notably less than a minute.

MAC Patisserie Lipstick ($18 CDN)

This oft-mentioned shade might just be my favourite lipstick of all time and easily is my most-worn shade. It’s a flattering everyday no-fuss kind of shade with a comfortable and glossy formula. It’s a darker nude with warm pink undertones that adds some brightness to the face. It’s almost a my-lips-but-better on my ghastly pale lips. It’s a lustre formula and it’s extraordinary.

the lipstick in action!
the lipstick in action!

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($8-10 CDN)

I know I know I know that it’s no secret that this is my favourite mascara but it is a fantastic everyday one for me. Without being difficult to remove, the easy-to-apply buildable thickening formula applies like a dream in seconds. It’s not a particularly wet formula and this might be why it works so well for my long and curled wimpy lashes.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Bronzer in Deep Bronze ($12-16 CDN)

I didn’t intend for this to happen but I couldn’t narrow down any more from these three blushes but to be honest I’m not surprised being a blush fanatic. Last month I was rambling on and on about this blush and my love for it has not wavered – it’s a smooth textured blush that blends seamlessly into the skin and gives it a glow and it’s at a drugstore price. The warm coppery rose shade is to die for and I highly recommend it if coral shades suit you.

Benefit Boxed Powder in Rockateur ($36 CDN)

Ever since picking this up in early fall last year, I haven’t been able to remove it from my most loved makeup stash piled on my desk. It gives the skin that gorgeous glow that I love and sits seamlessly on it. The glowy rusty pink shade with warm undertones has never steered me wrong and with its versatility, it just works.

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35 CDN)

I’ve been going on and on about this lately and even though it’s available right now, I understand that it’s limited edition but I couldn’t be happy with this post without it. It has a similar formula to the two above – finely-milled and smooth as anything as well as pigmented on the skin and leaves the skin with the luminosity that I’m looking for – and it’s that rosy coral with a copper lean to it that instantly brightens my face. If I’m looking zombie-like and only have a few minutes to get ready, I always apply this and it solves it all.

What products couldn’t you live without? Have you tried any of these?

Maggie, x