March 2015 Favourites

While for the consensus of others who make content detailing their favourite products of the month, the theme that they’re working with is the beginnings of spring, warmth and sunshine, my month was full of snow, more snow, ice, a storm or five and zero times when the temperatures rose above freezing. However, don’t despair now; in April, we’ve had a few promising days when it’s been a good five or six degrees and I’ve been convinced that the seasons are changing despite the presence of huge snowbanks everywhere you go around these parts. Anyway, my March consisted of more cold weather, a good amount of weather-and-personal-stupidity-induced skin irritation and subjecting myself to an unhealthy amount of stress, reading, essay writing and sleep-deprivation. Fortunately, I have not amassed a large quantity of items to share and declare my love to and I’m thinking this is a somewhat of a more interesting lot of products… don’t hold me to it, though.

DSC_0491

  • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream ($20)

DSC_0492

Although I’m sure that my extremely irritable skin would have fared better with a fragrance-free moisturizer and with a product with more stable packaging, I was loving this soothing and nourishing margarita scented cream. Unlike just about every other scent with sugar in the name, it smelled more zesty than nauseatingly sweet and it moisturized without even stinging my eczema’d skin even though I was going through a flare up – thanks to my elevated stress levels and the problematic weather. I also adore how rich and concentrated the cream is and how it’s not just immediately absorbed into your skin, leaving the feeling and itchiness of dryness in its wake.

  • Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment ($30 US)

I didn’t receive my order from Paula’s Choice until the middle of the month, but given my love for the products – particularly this hydrating AHA-based exfoliant – I couldn’t hold back from including one. I love how this is formulated with a serum-like texture for added extra soothing action and moisture to my face and more than that, I love how it has effective AHA along with a small percentage of BHA to reap the benefits of gentle chemical exfoliation without irritating my skin further. Upon the first couple of uses, I could see the brightening and smoothing effects of the acids, even though they never leave my routine.

DSC_0495

  • Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55)

Throughout March, my face was extra dehydrated, irritated and sensitive because of my lovely stress response in my skin, the erratic weather/heating, my stupidly frequent use of a brand new retinoid product and my daily use of sunscreen on my sensitive skin – using this nighttime labelled oil before moisturizer in the morning and the evening has worked wonders to soothe, hydrate and help smooth the texture of my skin. It’s like a breath of fresh air for my skin and adds a bit of glow, which was helpful particularly under makeup.

  • Essie Cashmere Matte Nail Lacquer in Comfy in Cashmere ($9.99-11.99) | review

Despite the deadlines and general lack of extra time that I had available in March, I relied on painting my nails frequently as a means of relieving stress and it was almost always this greige polish that has the most interesting blue iridescence despite being matte. I reviewed it before, but in short it dries so fast that it’s kind of amazing but it unfortunately could chip pretty fast so I wore it with top coat. This aside, this has become one of my favourite polishes ever!

  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($8.99)

The fact that I was dealing with dry, flaking and irritated skin in March had me reaching for anything that promised to help foundation apply more seamlessly and highlight the whole skin situation less and the damp sponge application method seemed to fit the bill. I’ve tried a couple of these sponges and I’m rather a fan of this one because it expands drastically, gets appropriately squishy and has nice edges to get into the nooks and crannies of the face. It also leaves the face looking glowy too.

DSC_0499

  • MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Blankety ($19)

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom and I have this tradition where she lets me pick out a MAC Lipstick for Valentine’s Day and this year it took a bit of time before I headed to the standalone store so I didn’t pick up this slightly deeper pink-beige hued nude offering until the very end of February. I’ve actually been going for slightly smokier eyes lately and this lipstick definitely fits the bill but it has enough colour to it that it flatters when I’m not wearing loads of makeup. Before, I had been afraid that this classic shade would pull to brown/mauve on my pale lips but rest assured, it’s so good that it’s joined the ranks of my favourites. The formula is ridiculously good, too.

  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Chilled On Ice ($25)

When I was picking up my lipstick, I was struck by the desire to pick up another shade in MAC’s lovely cream shadow formula, and justified it because of all of the cream shadows I had seemed to be straddling the line of unusable. Although I’m not usually any sort of a glitter fan, I wound up going for this kind of white gold frosty shade that has gold microglitter running throughout. I’m pleased to report that this shade is pigmented enough to look nice on its own and that the formula of this cream shadow might be the best (even out of the paint pots), as it doesn’t actually seem to crease on me – or if it does, it creases the minimal amount like the NARS Pro Prime does. I’ve been wearing it as a base or as a base and my lid shade consistently.

MAC Chilled On Ice | MAC Blankety
MAC Chilled On Ice | MAC Blankety
What were you loving throughout March?
Maggie, x.

Saturday’s Daily Highlights 03.28.2015

Being in the last couple of weeks before that dreaded time known as the exam period begins and occupied with stressing, getting myself out of bed, reading and essay writing, I have not exactly been doing anything extensive beauty-wise on the daily. However, I went to a funeral for my good friends’ grandmother on Saturday, got all dolled up and was pleased with the results. I thought I would share some musings…

DSC_0481

DSC_0474

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Rose Ivory ($57): Laura Mercier’s famous foundation has recently been reformulated – into two varieties, one for optimal hydration and with an oil-free formula – so I’m afraid that I’m talking about a foundation that you can’t easily get your hands on and can’t provide any insight into the newly released formulas. I’ve mentioned before how my feelings towards this full-on-coverage kind of foundation tend to be fickle, vacillating from pronounced dislike to moments of love. I went well in with the moisturizer and smoothing primer beforehand and applied it with a dampened sponge and let me tell you, I was pleased with how relatively flawless my rather dull skin looked while boosting radiance and not looking heavy on the skin.

Essie Nail Lacquer in Wicked ($9-10): I definitely have a soft spot for these deep almost-black vampy purple shades and I’m loving this one, especially as my long favourite OPI Lincoln Park After Dark has neared the end of its life and thickened to an unbearable degree on me. This polish has an equally great formula and is definitely among the really excellent Essie polish formula, relatively even but the teensiest bit sheer on the first coat but totally opaque on the second and quick drying to boot – the only downside is like the OPI offering, it doesn’t have an amazingly long wearing formula. Anyways, I bloody love this colour and I’ve been enjoying it – it’s one of those kinds of shades that I feel the most comfortable in and it’s easy to work with.

Benefit Posietint ($36/ full size): I’m generally hesitant about using these gel stain products on my cheeks because they are the driest part of my skin and have textural issues that I live in fear of these liquidy blushes highlighting but I’ve worn this more milky bloom of pink shade on my cheeks a few times with success – and Saturday was one of those days and I loved the way it looked. At first I made the mistake of applying it with a damp sponge, which I later learned was a recipe for a patchy disaster (and remedied by applying more and blending with my fingers) but I was pleasantly surprised by how it glided on and had a seamless skin-like finish. I’m not always a straight-pink blush person but this hue went on my cheeks in a stunning brightening way that struck me as quintessentially Spring-esque.

DSC_0487

MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Blankety ($19): With a bit of a smokey eye going on and no desire to fuss around with my lipstick, I knew that I wanted to go with a fairly nude and no fuss product and I found myself reaching for this slightly deeper mauve-beige hued neutral lipstick that I recently acquired – thanks to my Valentine’s Day gift from my mother. It has that comfortable, opaque and creamy formula and is actually flattering on my fair skin despite being a bit deeper in tone and having more beige undertones, even without being paired with a liner. I’m in love.

NUME Classic Reverse Wands ($139): First off, I apologize for my hair; I was using a different dry shampoo and it was disastrous, leaving this weird white bit in the roots of my hair that you can see in the picture. I was feeling tempted to style my hair and go through the whole getting ready motions and I curled my hair with this curling wand – and I got the most compliments I’ve gotten on my hair in my life. Unlike just about any hot tool, it styles my hair quickly and actually lasts days even through the elements. It’s reverse shape also creates these nice mermaid kind of wavy curls that are tighter towards the top and looser at the bottom. When there’s another sale on, I want to pick up one of their more classic wands because I like this one so much. It’s honestly a godsend for difficult to style hair and the photo above doesn’t even do it justice.

What have you been enjoying lately?

Maggie, x.