June 2014 Favourites





June has been a relatively nice month in these parts, both in weather and in my perceived overall temperament of the month, were it an animate human being. The month began (literally) with my twentieth birthday where I was gifted a much improved new camera — a digital SLR — and was able to make some improvements here at Beautylit & Ramblings so things were rather good on that front but in terms of my life outside of my little space on the internet, I achieved less than the ideal productive human being. Anyway, this is a roundup of my standout products throughout the month.

Bianca Topical Gel ($90 CDN):

I must say that adding the prescription retinoid gel that’s formulated impressively without irritating alcohol back into my routine wasn’t so fun last month as it is one of the only skin medication that actually is proven to cause purging for the first month or so and that didn’t stop for me until the beginning of the month and as one would expect, some scars do remain but now that I’ve gotten through this stage I’ve been happy with the improved texture of my skin and lack of general bumpiness brought on by rapidly increasing cell turnover. Weirdly enough, it also seems to help with overall brightness without irritating my skin like most other prescription and non-prescription strength products that work known to man. It’s actually the most money that I have ever spent on a skincare product but my dermatologist recommended it to me so I went for it knowing it wasn’t covered by insurance annoyingly — note, later I was reimbursed for half from University-based health coverage so it wasn’t so painful in the long run.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($26 CDN):

Every time when my skin gets irritated, broken out, dehydrated and/or scarred, I always come back to this oil consistently to quickly sort things out. The orange-tinged dry oil is lightweight but manages to instantly soothe and hydrate the complexion, helps with active blemishes and does miracle work with scarring, brightening the skin over time. I’ve been reaching for this loads to help with that whole skin situation.

Boots No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser ($12 CDN):

I’ve been using this cream cleanser to remove makeup and cleanse the face in general for going on three months but this month I really fell in love with this gentle and luxurious yet affordable offering especially while dealing with the general skin irritation and dehydration situation. With its convenient pump packaging, this rich cream cleanser removes makeup like a champ whilst soothing the skin and actually leaving it much more calmed and hydrated after removed with a washcloth. It does have some fragrance but it has a subtle spa-like scent that would lead you to believe that this is a much higher end product than the price would indicate, especially paired with the whole experience of massaging it in. I’ve deviated from my usual routine a little, in fact, as I’ve been enjoying going for this offering in the morning as well as it leaves the skin smoother and soothed in preparation for makeup and the like. It does come with a muslin cloth which has imparted me with the insight that I’m more of a facecloth kind of girl.

DevaCare Arc AnGel ($25/55 CDN):

I had gotten more into my hair in the last two months or so and I remembered loving my wavy hair last summer when I was using their gel as well as the leave-in protein treatment so when I was in the area of my salon, I picked the protein treatment up again and tried the firmer holding gel from the line in the economical huge litre tub. As with the Ultra Defining Gel, when used properly, scrunched in with care and all that jazz (in the style of the Curly Girl Method), this one gives great definition to my loose curls as well as adding life to the roots. However, this gel has to be my favourite because I find that I don’t need as insane of a quantity of it and it’s much more economical while providing even better definition and hold that keeps the shape in my hair for days. I’ve definitely been more of a fan of my hair this month and this is the product responsible for it.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Luminous Finish Instant Perfecting Base ($17 CDN):

I normally force myself to leave out products from these monthly posts that I’ve only had for the second half of the month, but after picking it up and talking about it here ,it has become a welcome addition into my daily routine and I can safely say that it’s my first primer love as of ever. The ridiculously named “CC” primer manages to not irritate my sensitive skin in any sort of shape or form whilst performing effectively; the opalescent silicone-based primer adds that luminosity that helps to blur imperfections rather than highlighting them and it also seems to keep foundation on the skin as it was applied for longer.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup in 10 ($48 CDN):

In the last month, I’ve talked about this new foundation that I’ve fallen for and I doubt I’ll be stopping anytime soon. I honestly can count on one hand the number of times I wore makeup that didn’t include this lightweight foundation and I was never happier with the way my face looked with all things considered. Being someone who suffers from dry patches and less-than-ideal texture on my face, I tend to avoid anything promising a velvety let alone matte finish but when I visited the Chanel counter at a local department store and let the lovely lady apply it to my face, I was sold. The fairest shade seems to be the ideal match for my skin and the lightweight formula looks and feels like skin, offering medium (but weirdly buildable) coverage with the velvety but luminous finish. This one manages somehow not to dry out skin in the slightest but control oil on my normal t-zone in a kind of unbelievable way. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it recently, but this really is the perfect lightweight foundation option for summer.

Annabelle Smoothliner in Black ($6-7 CDN):

It may or may not be apparent through viewing my posts in the last month, but I haven’t been feeling my usual winged liner — Don’t get me wrong, I may be wearing it in certain posts but I haven’t been loving it on — and because I’m a liner girl at heart, I’ve been forsaking it for this creamy waterproof offering. I’ve said this before but for me, these are the better version of the popular Urban Decay liners, actually creamy as compared to waxy and easier to smudge out. Because of its creaminess, this isn’t a liner that is super easy to create a precise line with but that’s a necessary sacrifice. Although they don’t last for 12 hours or anything on the inner rims on the eyes (probably because they aren’t the easiest to adhere too the inner rims), this is one of the very few that will remain on the upper waterline without transferring. Ahh, I’ve found a product to tightline with at last that doesn’t automatically transfer to the waterline and isn’t a menace to remove from my dry eyes at night.

Annabelle Lipliner in 405 Demure ($4-6 CDN):

So I hadn’t noticed how much I’ve been loving the affordable brand, Annabelle — woo, Canadian pride … jokes — but after putting this together, I’ve fully recognized this fact and have made a mental note to try more from this brand as I’ve been majorly impressed with what I’ve tried thus far. If you read my post a few weeks into the month where I picked this bargain up with a few others here,then I’m sure that you’re aware that I haven’t had this for the entirety of the month but it’s (yet again) another product that has fast-tracked its way into my daily staples. I didn’t use to be a lip-liner girl but after I picked this creamy rosy hue that sits as a warm-toned browned pink shade, I think I have been converted; its that perfect my-lips-but-better colour that suits my complexion (in my opinion) and works on its own or with a multitude of lipsticks ranging from nudes to rosy neutral kind of hues, perfectly suiting the next product worthy of mention…

MAC Patisserie Lipstick ($19 CDN):

I have sensitive and perpetually chapped lips and I’ve probably said this 47 times too many but here I go again. In the beginning of the month, I appear to have either burnt my lips spectacularly or had quite the reaction to spf in a lip product considering the chapped, sore and flaky lips that emerged and wouldn’t heal and when this happens and I want to wear a lip colour, moisturizing spf-free options such as MAC Lustres are a lifesaver. This shade is easily my go-to everyday kind of colour — a nude that isn’t exactly pale with some rosiness to it and the subtlest of brown undertones — and it might just be my favourite lip product of all time but independent of this, I’ve been slapping this on constantly this month, quite often over the above liner for increased longevity and a bit more of a kick on the pigmentation front. And case in point, the mother who only comments on my makeup maybe once every few months — more often and not in a way that resembles constructive criticism — has told me on a few occasions how nice this shade is, so I’m fairly certain is a good one.  And it actually moisturizes the lips and camoflages these kinds of situations impressively. I went on and on in more detail about the combination in a recent post here.

Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Pink Light ($14-16 CDN):

This is not a product that is any means new to me as it’s been with me since early Spring and I’ve thought it was a nice subtle pink-hued illuminator that added that dewiness without emphasizing any of the unwanted things on the face and blended into the skin impressively but since going for less of a dewy finish with foundation and wearing less makeup in general, the dewy cheekbone situation has been much more enticing. In other words, I’ve been pulling this tube out and have been applying a few dots on the cheekbones, even going a bit lower than usual and blending it with my fingertips.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($2.70 CDN):

There are very few makeup products available at the usual suspects that retail for such wallet-friendly prices and more than that, this hyped product has to be the perfect finely-milled warm-toned bronzer — because it’s on the warmer side of things, I do prefer it in the warmer months (especially when I’ve gotten some colour [while wearing SPF of course!]) but regardless it isn’t one of those bronzers that is just a touch away from being brick-hued and it has a nice texture to work with both for adding some shape to the face with a smaller brush and actually bronzing with a larger brush. I had been in the mood for more of a contoured effect in past months but as of late, I’ve been going for a much more diffused bronzed application of this one. It’s flattering and subtle on the skin while being lazy-girl approved, if you needed any further persuasion.




                                         The products in use minus those of the lip variety
                                         The lip products

 And hopefully to benefit anyone reading this — P.S. I kind of adore you all — I continued my swatching kick, featuring the coloured makeup products (minus the foundation) from this post. Unfortunately, none of my photo attempts seem to be in particularly good focus… forgive me?

DSC_0640                                          From the left: NYC Sunny, Revlon Pink Light, MAC Patisserie, Annabelle Demure Lipliner, Annabelle Black Smoothliner
I really was not intending for this post to be anywhere this long and for that I apologize and as always, I would love to know your thoughts on these products as well as your standout products of the month!
Maggie, x.







An Everyday Lip Combination



There are very very few things that I like less in life than bullshitting around the truth so I’m just going to cut to the chase; this post is only happening because a, I liked my makeup and b, I managed to get some decent shots of it and therefore it had to be documented here. However, when I picked up my pen and my moleskin book of blogging, inspiration struck me instantly — me, the girl who doesn’t tend to be faithful to daily routines and doesn’t really do that whole lip combination thing has found a staple one as of late and that begs for some sharing. I might even be converted to the realm of lip liner more than once a year.

Putting a balm down first, as obvious as it appears, makes a world of difference to sensitive chapped lips like mine and for this I like the moisturizing but not particularly glossy or fussy EOS Lip Balm in Summer Fruit ($3). These balms might not work miracles but they’re a nice hydrating balm that work without any sort of fuss.

I’m sure regular readers around these parts might be rather surprised about talking a lip liner as an everyday staple but rest assured, I have not had a personality transplant but rather the uber-affordable Annabelle Lipliner in 405 Demure ($4-5) has stolen my heart and might just have converted me. The creamy but precise liner is a warm muted rose that strikes me as the perfect cliched ‘my lips but better’ shade for me that can be worn on its own as well as a liner with other lipsticks etc. And if you’re wondering, this Canadian brand is available to you Americans on their website for affordable shipping rates…

The lipstick has been mentioned many times before around these parts, which should not be surprising in the least considering that MAC Patisserie Lipstick ($19)is easily my favourite lipstick of all time with its flattering hue — a slightly sheerer version of the above liner, a glossy rosy shade with some subtle understated brown to it that flatters my pale lips — and it’s actually moisturizing texture that doesn’t highlight dry patches on the lips or irritate them when they’re in the lovely chapped state. There is miniscule shimmer in this shade but I never notice it on my lips, even when these fade. I know for some MAC’s Lustres can be glorified and overpriced tinted balms but for me they’re the best balmy lipstick that still offers on the pigmentation front and sticks around without much fuss. I must pick up more… it’s clearly a necessity.

The trio is comfortable to wear but still sticks around for about four hours with some minimal eating and drinking in there. Aaaaaand without looking obvious on the lips, it makes my lips look sort of symmetrical and brightens the whole face. A few of the items here may or may not be gracing a monthly post at the end of the month, if you know what I mean. Spoiler Alert.

What’s your go-to everyday lip?
Maggie, x.

Lip Product Addict Tag




I was certainly not tagged to do this tag and I’m aware that it was originally created as a video by the lovely Estee (of essiebutton) and Amelia (of Liana Beauty) so I’m taking a few liberties here but after reading/watching more than a few of these, I couldn’t resist doing this one so here goes:

1. Favourite balm or treatment?

Although it’s not strictly a balm intended for use on chapped lips, the best repairing treatment for my chapped sensitive lips is easily the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5($16 CDN), which is a thick cream-textured product that aims to soothe sensitized, irritated and itchy skin all over the body (lips included) and works the best to soothe chapped flaky lips than anything else I’ve tried. It’s not something that has the ideal texture etc. for putting on before lipstick as it’s a cream and looks white on the lips but it’s definitely worth the impracticality- and it contains more than emollient ingredients, formulated with anti-bacterial ingredients and concentrated vitamin B5.

2. Best eye-catching red?

With its abundant praise in recent years, the uber-drying vibrant scarlet-red lipstick with slight blue undertones, MAC Ruby Woo($19 CDN)has been rewarded status as the bog-standard classic red but despite that it is my absolute favourite when I’m going for that bright red statement lip. When paired with some simple liner and standard shadow and mascara, the bold lip offering looks stunning and compliments my warm-toned fair skin. I’m not normally a fan of drying lipsticks but this one lasts like no other and does not slide around whilst not highlighting lip imperfections. In my opinion, this is a stunning red especially if you have yellow or olive undertones — I’m certainly not olive but my friend is and it looks stunning on her as well!


3. Best luxury and drugstore?

My lipstick hoarding problem or obsession of sorts is actually a fairly recent one and in light of this, I don’t own too many truly luxury  lip products — MAC excluded — but I do love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry ($26 CDN), as it provides impressive colour payoff, legitimate nourishment, texture and longevity. Although these are marketed as glorified tinted lip balms, this one actually provides the hydration of a balm whilst delivering pretty-much opaque payoff that lasts on the lips for hours. I need more of these in the interest of research of course…

I’ve had many more drugstore lip product discoveries in my lipstick hoarding life so this was a more difficult choice to make but when it came down to it, the Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing($9-10 CDN) comes out on top on all fronts — the deep-red with neutral undertones, a rather autumnal or wintry shade, provides impressive pigmentation and longevity while being effortless to use and not only comfortable on the lips but also slightly hydrating. If you’re someone who suffers with dry flaky lips like yours truly, I highly recommend giving these a go.

I now realize that the two look similar so I’ll clarify: the Fresh is on the left and the Revlon is on the right below:














4. Best MAC Lipstick?

Ugh, this is such a difficult one as MAC’s lipsticks are truly among the most loved in my collection but this one had to go to MAC Patisserie Lipstick($19 CDN)as it is that no-fuss perfect everyday shade that I can slap on without a mirror (or any sort of thinking capacity) and always looks good. The lustre formula ensures that it is actually hydrating on the lips and has a sheerness to it and shade-wise it can only be described as a warm-toned dark pink-nude with some brown undertones to it. It’s that cliched my-lips-but-better shade on me and for this I adore it.


5. Most disappointing?

Although I wouldn’t describe the Revlon Lip Butters as a necessarily bad product – in fact, I like a couple of them – but I do not believe that they hold up to the hype that surrounds them. I don’t find that they feel lightweight on the lips and offer moisture like a balm. While they aren’t particularly drying on the lips, these are lacking in terms of hydration on the lips and have a waxy consistency that can actually highlight dry patches and texture on the lips.

6. Liner?

I don’t have much experience on the liner front and the ones that I have tried thus far have failed to impress me so I would have to stick with precision lip brush application to master the shape when I’m bothered or am applying a bold lip.

7. Best Gloss?

I really really detest lip gloss as a whole — in fact, it’s why I wasn’t crazy about lip products in the past. I hated that whole heavy sticky feeling of lip gloss so much that I was put off but I have to say that I do like the L’Oreal L’Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick in Nude Ballet ($12 CDN). The lipstick-gloss hybrid feels lightweight on the lips and is somewhat nourishing, gliding easily over uneven texture on the lips. Nude Ballet is a gorgeous nude with warm pink-brown undertones, in the same vein of Patisserie that offers rather impressive pigmentation. Too bad about the typical L’Oreal scent if you know what I mean…


8. Something extra!

I couldn’t write this post without giving a mention to the Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipsticks after mentioning the Revlon Lacquer Balms above but as much as I like the formula of the matte offerings, I actually have come to prefer the original Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 ($7-8 CDN),housed in the black packaging despite the rather brown and ‘mature’ feel to the hue. For one, this formula is extremely comfortable to wear and forgiving on the lips, lasts a good while and the scent is much more appealing — rather than having that candy-smell that Rimmel stays true to, there’s vanilla thrown into the mix with this one. I love the formula so I have to try more of these but I have been enjoying this shade when applied with a lip brush as it doesn’t come out as masking and brown but rather as a flattering neutral shade that is slightly darker than my natural lip.


I probably shouldn’t be as surprised as I am by how wording this post is but I doubt you’ve come to expect anything else. If you’ve done this tag or plan on doing so, I would love it if you commented the link below so I could check it out!

Maggie, x.