Current Favourites | May & June 2019

Call me vain, but there’s something undeniably therapeutic from talking about the beauty products that I’ve been enjoying with friends, or writing about them online. Favourites posts and videos are some of my favourite content to read or watch and I kind of miss including them here. Let’s get started in remedying this:

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L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($13.99 CDN): For the most part, I’m not a terminal makeup repurchaser. One of the exceptions is this mascara. It has a large but regularly shaped natural bristle brush and a dry (right from the get-go) formula that creates loads of volume and drama with little product. Unfortunately, this mascara can get clumpy and too dry rather quickly. On the positive side, this formula  keeps me replacing my mascara tubes frequently. It’s the perfect formula that adds drama to my wimpy but long lashes that doesn’t smudge, flake, feel heavy on the eyes or require additional effort in removal.

Laneige Whitening BB Cushion ($47.80 CDN): There’s something about cushion style foundations that seem to leave my skin at its most radiant and natural-looking and this Korean offering provided on that front, whilst providing reliable broad-spectrum protection with a combination of mineral and synthetic actives and significant skincare benefits. The formula offers sheer to medium coverage but remains like a second skin and allows me to use enough product that I find I can rely on my makeup for my initial sunscreen application. Despite being sensitive to most chemical filters, I tolerate this octinoxate, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide combination well. I happily report that the formula is free of drying alcohols and offers a hefty dose of the pore normalizing and barrier repairing niacinamide and the antioxidant green tea. It’s the perfect sheerer base for the warmer weather in particular that I even find myself reaching for when I’m not grabbing other makeup.

Dior Forever Skin Glow 24H Wear Radiant Perfecting Skin-Caring Foundation ($64 CDN): I was also fortunate enough to discover a foundation formulation that I’ve been happily wearing every single day that I reach for a traditional foundation. I’m 99% sure that this is the reformulation slash replacement for Diorskin Star Foundation and I love it every bit as much. Yes it contains alcohol and fragrance – but at the very least it’s applied on top of your entire skin regimen – but it provides beautiful skin-like luminosity and medium-buildable coverage. I’m happy to say its a similar formula but slightly thinner in texture with more shade offerings.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in O1 ($50 CDN): This liquid illuminator was one of those products I had heard loads about but wasn’t excited to invest in. I ended up being really impressed with this pale golden beige liquid as an everyday highlighter. The giant doe-foot applicator makes it super easy to apply in specific areas such as the tops of the cheekbones and the formula lends that golden glow without highlighting imperfections in the slightest or reading as shimmer particles. I’m also a fan of how the formula is alcohol-free and features glycerin and squalane.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Mousse in Medium ($38 CDN): I’m all about embracing my fair skin throughout most of the year but lately, I’ve been into a bit of fake tan to even out my skin tone and add a bit of a golden glow. I’m happy that I picked up this alcohol-free one at the Sephora VIB Sale, as it is easy to apply, doesn’t irritate my eczema and applies easily and evenly. It’s a green-toned tan that isn’t overly dark but it’s enough to give my skin a golden hue and to even out marks on my legs and the like. I also find that it’s convenient to use, drying fairly quickly and not staining bedding.

Devacurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN): Having looser curls and waves, this was not a cream that I ever would have thought to try from Devacurl. However, I received it as a point perk from Sephora. I really enjoyed using this cream underneath a gel in the rising humidity and warmer weather for helping my curls clump together nicely and minimizing frizz. The first few ingredients are fatty alcohols, glycerin and coconut oil and it has some protein thrown in as well. It definitely adds control to curls but wasn’t overly heavy in my experience.

Hada-Labo Goko-Jyun Premium Emulsion ($26.65 CDN): This emulsion is the first product of its kind that I’ve ever tried and honestly, I’m seeing the benefits of adding this to my daily routine as a pre-moisturizer step. It contains five forms of hyaluronic acid, fatty alcohol, glycerin and squalene. Using it daily before moisturizer has really helped to plump up my skin and leave it more hydrated and calmed. I will comment that it contains mineral oil, but it is more substantial than your traditional humectant as a result.

Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment ($22/$47 CDN): As a bit of an acid-exfoliant aficionado, I feel strongly that I should hate this product. The marketing reinforces the myth that tingling means that a product is working — it doesn’t by the way – and it definitely more irritating than some other chemical exfoliants. I do wish that it was formulated without the vinegar, which is what gives that tingle sensation. However, I find the combination of niacinamide, lactic acid, citric acid, polyhydroxy acid, malic acid and salicylic acid provides dramatic resurfacing of my skin without irritation.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

Products I’ve Used Up | Take Two

Let’s skip as much of the introductory ramble as possible. I finished some products and I wrote a lot about them…


DevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Cleansing Conditioner ($32 CDN/ 355 mLs): Please forgive the old packaging of my bottle; I had forgotten that I still had a quarter of a bottle left underneath my sink. I’ve been trying it out again and my feelings haven’t changed. I really like the minty citrus scent and the slip that co-wash leaves in my thirsty tangly hair. Unfortunately, this product tends to make my scalp itchy in ways that conditioner washing with straight conditioners do not. I expect that my scalp hates the peppermint oil, which is a known irritant and when my scalp starts to itch, I can easily start to have an eczema outbreak… I didn’t really find it any more cleansing than a standard conditioner and although my curls liked the slip of this product, I just couldn’t do it on more than an occasional basis. It also gave my fine hair limper roots, which I did not appreciate.

Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Conditioner ($10 CDN/ 385 mLs): Loosely speaking, this product is kind of sulfate, silicone and drying alcohol free. It does contain standard alcohol but as far as I am aware, it’s acting as a solvent in the formula. I’m not sure how I feel about this but I definitely did not experience any sort of dryness as a result. It has a thicker consistency that does impart some moisture but isn’t as intensely hydrating and as slippy as I would prefer. It was a fine conditioner but it wasn’t my favourite because of these shortcomings. It’ s a good affordable conditioner with aloe, glycerin, coconut oil and fatty alcohols. Unfortunately, I did not find it to be curl clumping either. I feel like it would be better for those with thicker hair textures and less tangly hair than mine.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Frizz Defense Hair Masque ($16.99 CDN/ 354 mLs): I went an ordered this mask from Ulta because it was aimed at wavy hair – and I have waves with some curls thrown in there – and while I liked it, I wasn’t in love. It’s silicone-free, doesn’t have any drying ingredients and actually appears to be protein free. It had a thick texture that was smoothing and moisturizing but it didn’t do anything special for my finer strands. I think it would be better for thicker strands and those who are protein sensitive.

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Mask ($16.99 CDN/ 354 mLs): This has to be my favourite hair mask that I’ve ever tried and I liked this so much when I finished it – over a year ago – that I held onto the empty package like a true hoarder. It’s aimed at hair curlier than mine with higher porosity but I love it for my high porosity 2c fine hair. It has great slip and is super concentrated, providing intense moisture to my strands that help curls to clump, especially at the lengths. It has some protein in it too, which my hair appreciates but it’s very moisturizing overall and is very concentrated. The texture is rich but not heavy. I recently acquired a new tub and I’ve been loving having it in my life again. It’s silicone free and drying alcohol free.

Love Beauty & Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Conditioner ($10-12 CDN/ 400 mL): This was an impulse purchase that I made upon seeing that the product was silicone free and seemed to have an interesting ingredient list. I really liked it. It’s silicone-free, has nothing drying in it and doesn’t really contain anything that could build up on the hair. It has a great spa scent, moderate moisture and great slip. It’s a great conditioner that hydrates without adding weight and contains fatty alcohols, your usual slip agents, along with coconut and argan oil. It helped to clump my curls and added no weight to my hair. It worked as a standard conditioner and as a leave-in. I would buy again, especially because of how easy it is to come across in stores here.

Suave Essentials Ocean Breeze Conditioner ($2.77 CDN/ 887 mL): The Suave Essentials conditioners are one of those things that frustratingly aren’t readily available in Canada. However, I picked one up when ordering other products from Target online and I have to say that I was impressed with the light and thin conditioner. It’s silicone free and is mainly formulated with slip agents and moisturizing fatty alcohols. This makes it a great conditioner to use as a co-wash on my fine tangly hair and as a weightless leave-in conditioner. The thin runny texture is very curl clumping and leaves me with more volume than others. I’ll buy again when I place another order online.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner ($21 US/ 190 mL): These milky toners from Paula’s Choice have been an essential part of my skincare routine for a few years now and I wouldn’t want to switch them out. They add another layer of weightless moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss. There’s loads of anti-irritants, antioxidants and hydrating ingredients and nothing known to be irritating. It’s essentially a serum in liquid form that’s very calming with the ability to help repair the barrier.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment ($37 US/ 30 mLs): This 10% alpha hydroxy acid solution wasn’t an instant favourite but I grew to love the dual chemical exfoliant and serum enough to repurchase it, even before my bottle was empty. I find it to be an effective exfoliant and water-binder, with lactic, glycolic, malic, tartaric and salicylic acid – at effective concentrations – ,helping to smooth, brighten and even out my complexion. I find that the 0.5% of salicylic acid that the formula includes is enough to help prevent my skin from breaking out on my chin for the most part and I find the antioxidants and anti-irritants make the formula very easy to tolerate.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($33 CDN/ 7 mL): Despite having dry skin, I have somewhat oilier eyelids that are prone to creasing and wearing through eyeshadow in general. This is one of the few eyeshadow primers that I’ve tried that has consistently reduced the creasing I experience and increased the wear-time of eyeshadow. I’ve repurchased this.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Mystic Black ($13.99 CDN/ 8.5 mL): This dry volumizing formula has been a fantastic discovery in the last year or so. It’s so dry that it meets my standards for volume and curl without the risk of getting everywhere during application that wetter formulas have. It creates lots of drama in the lashes without being overly clumpy. My only complaint is that the tube gets grimy and the wand gets gunky earlier on than other mascaras so I find myself having to repurchase more often, which is probably a good thing for my eye health. I have repurchased and I will buy more soon.

What have you used up recently?
Maggie, x.

The Reviews | Mascara Madness

Long time no makeup post, eh? Well I’m going to try to ease myself back into these posts because I definitely do have makeup thoughts. Today I’m going to share some thoughts on different mascaras I’ve used recently. For reference, I have fairly long lashes that do curl naturally and sensitive eyes. I’m looking for volume primarily in my mascara and I prefer drier formulas. Here are my musings. I apologize in advance for some of my dingy-looking mascara tubes and that I lack the coordination to have pictures of the mascaras on my eyeballs:

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Maybelline The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara ($10.99 CDN): I don’t hate this mascara but I do hate the wand and kind of feel like I screwed up buying it. I should have put in my research beforehand and found out what wand I’d be dealing with before I bought the mascara. It’s a long skinny synthetic bristled wand that tapers to a point and kind of feels like it is jabbing into my eyeballs when I apply it a certain way. I like that the brush is large and gets in there for some drama quickly but it’s not for me. The mascara performed fine, adding some volume and length but it got too spider-y for my taste when built up. Essentially, it wasn’t one I was excited to reach for because of the wand. It didn’t smudge or flake particularly easy and it removed nicely. I’m lukewarm about this mascara and I kind of agree with their choice to discontinue their Spider Effect version of this mascara.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara in 873 Blackest Black ($13.99 CDN): This was another case where I didn’t do my research on the wand and made a poor buying decision as a result. It had a weird almost triangular shaped jab-y synthetic brush that was supposed to create fanned-out volume and get in close to the lashes for a tight-lined effect. I will say that it was good at getting close to the lash line and did offer good length and some volume and drama, without smudging or clumping much. The wand shape was a bit too weird for me and I guess I’m just not a synthetic wand kind of girl and I kind of wanted more volume than it did offer.

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Deep Burgundy/ Cobalt ($9.99 CDN): I had tried the L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara before and while I wasn’t floored by it, I did like it, and I found myself purchasing it when they released it in new shades again. I do really like the medium-sized regular natural bristle wand and how easy the wand applies mascara. It provides good volume, length and definition that is somewhat buildable. My only pet peeve with this mascara is that I found it started to flake on me rather early in the tube later on in the day or if I took a bit of a nap, in a way that I didn’t experience with some other mascaras. I also wish that the formula was more volumizing, as that’s what I look for the most in a mascara. I found myself quite liking the formula in coloured variations for some reason. The blue offering isn’t for me, as I don’t find it blue enough to make a statement and it’s not a particularly flattering hue on me. I really like the deep burgundy, though, for an everyday look thats flattering on my blue eyes when I don’t want the full-on black treatment. I will note that it’s not particularly dark and looks noticeably lighter than say black liner. I think it’s great on lighter eyes and would be fantastic on blondes that don’t love the look of black mascara on an everyday basis.

Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Tinted Primer ($11.99 CDN): I can’t give you a full review on how this one performed as a primer because I think I’ve only used it once or twice that way – I honestly can’t be bothered much with mascara primers. I did like the black tint and how much length, volume and separation it offered while still looking natural. As a primer, it being tinted was really helpful, as were the lack of clumps. I did notice an altogether more lash-y volumized look. I really like this mascara as an everyday one, as it’s not frighteningly black, is buildable and adds volume and drama while feeling light on the lashes. I like the medium-sized basic natural bristle wand too.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($13.99 CDN): This is a repurchase of mine and is quite possibly the best mascara I’ve ever tried. I love how dry and super volumizing the formula is, and it gives the most dramatic lashes that I’ve ever seen on myself, without making my sensitive eyes irritated. It can get slightly clumpy but I deal with it because I love the formula and the natural bristle large standard shaped wand. It’s not a bitch to remove and doesn’t smudge or anything either. Dare I say holy grail status?
 I will note that the tube is impossible to keep in good condition.

What’s your current mascara favourite?
Maggie, x.

July/August 2017 Favourites

Over the last few months I used things and some of these things are my favourite. Let’s get into it before too much rambling occurs:

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L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($12): I’m not someone who really ever ‘got’ what the hype was about the original Voluminous mascara – but it might be a me issue, as I vehemently hate the prized Maybelline Great Lash Mascara as well- and with this being housed similar medium-sized natural bristle wand, I expected it to be another mascara that clumped and didnt provide the volume and separation that I’m looking for. For me, this mascara proved itself as everything I wanted the original mascara to be – offering loads of volume and separation, along with a dose of length thats easily buildable. The formula wasn’t the driest to begin with but acted like a dry mascara in the best way. It performs well for me, doesn’t smudge or flake and gives me very voluminous lashes. I haven’t tried the Too Faced Better Than Sex to compare it you, if anyone’s wondering.

Lorac Pro 3 Palette ($58.33): I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this warm and kind of rose-gold hued neutral palette in the last couple of months and have been happily reaching for it, without grabbing other shades. I’ve gotten back into wearing more eyeshadow on a regular basis and I attribute it to the ease of this palette. The powdery nature of the shadows has been a learning curve, but I love the combination of the essential matte shades (‘pink nude’ as a transition shade, ‘clay’ to add depth in the crease, ‘cool taupe’ in the brows and to add depth to the outer corner, ‘terracotta’ in the crease for when I want something warm and mustardy and ‘jet black’ for when I want a liner or some smokinesss in the outer corner/lashline), along with options for lid colours – and two different highlighting shade options. On the lid, I’ve been liking ‘almond pearl’ as a barely-there iridescent champagne, ‘Light Pewter’ when I want something slightly taupe-y but still very neutral and ‘rose bronze’ when I’m looking for something with more depth. It’s an easy palette to work with and offers versatility for more subdued neutral looks along with smokier neutral offerings.

MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour in Light Plus ($38): Whenever I wanted to put a little bit of something on my face this summer, I happily reached for this sheer to light coverage multi-use product. As a lover of natural glowy looking skin, I use it as a tinted moisturizer of sorts but it can be used under or over foundation. It created a seamless look on the skin with a glow that held up all day long even on the sweatiest of days. It evens out the skin and adds a bit of glow that holds up for longer wear on my dry-combination skin and never looked greasy in the least and worked even when I went through a phase of horrible dry patches. I will note that this product tends to pill when its built up overly much. The ingredients are also fairly nice, as its formulated without drying alcohol or fragrance and contains a couple of antioxidants in the upper portion of the ingredients.

Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Alexander ($44): I feel like an absolutely ridiculous human being for singing praises for a miniature (but not that mini) lipstick that costs about forty five dollars but it’s a gorgeous comfortable cream formula that is smooth and creamy without gliding into lip lines or onto the face. It’s a nudey peach that’s in the colour family where it can be worn without a liner and without that much makeup on the rest of the face but might be on the paler side of my lips but better. I like its ease and it was a fun treat for myself.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Prismatic Amethyst ($46): Moreso in the beginning of the summer when I was so completely pale – I hadn’t seen the sun in months – I was loving this cooler pale pinky lilac highlighter. Now as I have a wee bit more colour, I find the cool silvery tone a little bit more difficult as it can look a bit jarring in comparison to my warmer complexion – but it looks nice when its used a little lower on the cheekbones. This would be an excellent one for cooler or quite fair complexions. It’s a pale pinky lilac that has a holographic silver shift that gleams and provides a sheen without visible shimmer particles. It’s flattering and a bit more subdued head-on than Becca’s other powder offerings. It doesn’t emphasize texture and can provide a flattering brightening effect.

Calvin Klein One Summer 2015 ($80): Even though it lasted – at most – six hours on my skin, I happily sprayed the effervescent lime gin and tonic scented eau de toilette on my pressure points this summer. It lingered longer on my clothes and hair, I note and it has that freshness and unisex citrus lean that I kind of adore. I wont go on about this because it was limited edition…

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.