July Favourites

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This July was one of the worst months I’ve had in a while, to be honest, but I’ll spare you from too many of the details. I’m really not looking for sympathy either — in fact, I abhor the whole institution of writing things just to look for sympathy (genuine or otherwise) from others, so don’t mistake this. However, I have been loving beauty products and I must say that it’s been a particularly good month for product loving — and this month I haven’t had loads of time or energy for makeup and beauty experimentation so there’s a low-fuss theme going on.

Origin’s Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($28)

This was one of those products I had always wanted to try as many who I read with similar dehydration concerns to me seem to rave about this but it’s not stocked on the Sephora website and it’s not easily available anywhere close to me so I didn’t fully add it to the shopping list but when I went in to pick up the Hourglass Ambient Palette, I spotted this on the shelves and I couldn’t resist. It was amazing from first use, feeling lightweight and ultra-soothing on the skin, providing intense hydration with that slightly belly oil-rich feeling. I think this one might just beat out my The Body Shop one but I can’t be too sure. It does smell heavenly but I’m not a fan of scented skincare and could easily do without the peach fragrance. It’s truly intensively hydrating and not particularly thick feeling and actually can vastly improve dry flaky skin overnight.

L’Oreal Sublime Sun Alcohol-Free Quick Dry SPF 50 Sheer Finish Spray ($18)

I really never expected to include a body sunscreen in one of these favourites posts but here I am, once again surprising myself. I love the ease of spray sunscreens (as many others do) but I have easily irritated skin and suffer from eczema and some body acne (fun stuff) and this neither irritates with alcohol content, feels greasy or causes breakouts while providing solid sun protection. It does need a little bit of rubbing in in my experience but it’s so much easier and fuss-free than a lotion formula.

 Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($20/39)

After my lovely cousin picked this authentic Korean BB Cream up for me at Sasa in Hong Kong last summer, I became really obsessed with the stuff until Summer ended and forgot about its loveliness, especially as an all-in-one skincare-makeup hybrid product but I’ve been gradually adding it back into the routine and this month it’s been an essential. I don’t love it as a foundation as much as Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet etc. but the medium-coverage base provides fabulous sun protection and moisture while still looking fairly natural and glowy on the skin. I’m not someone who usually experiences oxidation but this one actually does and when it changes tone it looks phenomenal (not when you just put it on and this is why I’ve probably been neglecting this one). Another word of advice is that these sunscreen-heavy bases need to be worked into the skin well in order to have the desired effect in my experience. However, when I went to a music festival last summer this was a lifesaver – and a timesaver. You can order from the brand’s American site if you’re interested, by the way.

Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Lip Butter ($4)

With such sensitive and perpetually-chapped lips, lip treatments are essential for me and as a result, you’ll hear about them loads on the pages here. It’s not a miracle treatment but this affordable balm has been a savior for hydrating my lips without ever causing them to become irritated. It can give a milky cast to the lips but the balmy formula instantly soothes and brings moisture to the lips without any weird smell, taste or anything.

Now Solutions 100% Natural Shea Butter ($20)

Somewhere in the early phase of the month, I did something (presumably) that caused quite the painful and unsightly eczema flare-up on my legs and unfortuantely there doesn’t seem to be a miracle cure or fix for the whole itchy situation, applying this basic cream twice daily has helped to soothe the area, prevent itching and help to calm the situation more quickly. As of now, I’m pleased to report that the basic formula has helped my legs to recover tremendously.

L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in Universal Sun ($15-16)

I will admit that I’ve raved about this pigmented red-toned matte bronzer numerous times in the last month but in truth I have only done so because the formula and the colour are both so phenomenal. The smooth powder offers impressive buildable pigmentation that remains effortless to blend into the skin. It’s also nice that it wears like a champ. It’s not the most cool-toned or non-orangey of bronzers, with quite a strong red undertone and warmth to it but it is the perfect hue to add that natural-looking sun-kissed hue to the skin.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment ($14-16)

This is yet another rather pricy (for a product of the drugstore variety) product that I’ve mentioned my love for more than once or twice and have been wearing most of the time. Despite being a stain, the formula does not dry out lips, even after the flattering balmy ‘gloss’ has worn off completely. The lightweight stains also don’t highlight dry patches or textural problems on the lips like thicker formulas can and I’ve been addicted to the summery sheer-but-buildable muted tangerine hue.

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette ($21)

In the last year or so, I’ve become addicted to the results of filling in at least the sparse areas of my brows on a daily basis but in all honesty, I don’t love the effort it can take, especially lately as I haven’t been going all out on my makeup and this tinted brow gel seems to be the perfect solution. The cool-toned light brown hue matches my hair to a t, adding invisible looking definition to the brows that tend to look hairlike. True to its name, it stays in place on the brows until you remove it and can be worn alone for subtler brows or worn alongside some powder or pencil for more of a full-on look – but I’ve been just reaching for this one and it’s suited my laziness nicely.

MAC Eyeshadow in Woodwinked, Soft Brown & Smut ($12/18)

This month I’ve been using my MAC palette consistently and have fallen back in love with new colours to the palette and an old-standby — they are easy shadows to work with and consistently fabulous quality so they have suited my minimalistic mood nicely. The ever-popular antiqued-gold Woodwinked was rediscovered early in the month and I’ve become addicted to applying it all over the lid and blending it well to achieve that coppery hue, generally paired with some lazy-girl liner of some kind. The warm-tan matte Soft Brown and the dirty brown-taupe Smut were additions made throughout the month that I’ve been relying on equally as much. Smut is the perfect shade for smoking out the lashline and adding definition to the crease as it’s an interesting hue and doesn’t have much fallout while still delivering on the pigmentation front and Soft Brown has proven itself as worth the hype, being thrown through the crease for some depth as well as some transitioning-colour goodness. Oh MAC Eyeshadows, how I love thee…

What was your staple product from June?
Maggie, x.

The Daily Face #20

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It has been a good couple of weeks since my last ‘Daily Face’ post, strangely enough, so it goes without saying that it was time for another one. On another note, don’t get used to this whole two posts in one day kind of deal — it’s only happening because life has gotten in the way lately and this morning’s post was really meant to go up yesterday, so it truly is the post I wanted to put up today and I had the time, inspiration and focus to do so. With it being all Summery and whatnot paired with general life busy-ness, I haven’t been feeling like playing and faffing around as much with makeup so it’s on the more basic end of the spectrum for me and easily takes less than 10 minutes.

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DSC_1153First things first, I promise that the above shot is not doing my eyeliner justice — it’s the angle that makes the line look uneven, seriously. End Ramble. Seeing as I’ve accidentally gotten a bit of colour from the sun (whilst using good spf of course), I’ve been able to wear the lovely dewy Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation in 73 without having to work at blending the rather dark shade into my pale neck and therefore I did so. I was much too lazy to do that whole pinpoint concealing regime, but I had quite a red blemish on my right cheek so I covered it up (somewhat) with the Revlon Colorstay Concealer in Light and my finger. As per usual, I relied on the tiniest amount of the Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque to cancel out some undereye darkness. At this point I decided to run some of the MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette through the brows for some heavy-duty taming and some natural-looking effortless definition — before I went on and continued with the face.

I decided to use my loved MAC Harmony Powder Blush that I recently depotted to contour the face a bit and then of course, I decided to use a whole load of MAC products — apparently I’m having a bit of a MAC moment. For blush, I used another shade in my palette, MAC Tenderling Powder Blush, a rosy tan hue to add some warmth and colour to my cheeks with little to no effort. Then I went and grabbed the lovely Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette , running Dim Light throughout the t-zone for some finishing and blurring action and finishing with a dose of Incandescent Light to highlight the cheekbones.

As I have been for the last week or so, I went for the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded as my base to add some much-needed longevity. Then on the eyeshadow front, I stuck to three colours from my MAC palette that I’m currently obsessed with; Soft Brown was blended through the crease, the antiqued-gold Woodwinked went all over the lid and my recently acquired shade, Smut was placed in the outer corner and used to line the lower lashes. I’m having a bit of a love affair with all of these shades but Woodwinked might be the most noteworthy as I’ve had it for ages and have just recently rekindled my obsession with it. In the last week or so, I’ve also become reacquainted with my liner love, the effortless L’Oreal Lineur Intense and I obviously went for a subtle flick — that I repeat is much more on point in real life. Because we all know that mascara is a necessity, I’m sure you’re unsurprised to hear that I went for the Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara.

On the lips — you guessed it — I went for another MAC shade that I’m currently obsessed with and that shade is the MAC Lipstick in Kinda Sexy. While it’s a matte lipstick it’s not overly drying or unflattering on the lips but most importantly it’s the most flattering my-lips-but-better rosy peach shade with the subtlest brown-tinge to it. Neither words or swatches do this one justice, I’ll tell you…

Thoughts on this makeup?
Maggie, x.

 

Weekly Medley #26

Recently Updated20(1) Soaking up the sun as it reemerged (2) Continuing with the ‘Daily Highlights’ posts (3) Good thing I didn’t say I was on a ‘No Buy’? (4) I kind of Netflix binge-watched both seasons of this – (no regrets)  (5) A somewhat adequate picture of the day above (6) A daily face featuring my MAC Palette (7) An amazing and hilarious video, of course courtesy of ChelseaWears (8) Yesterday’s therapeutic wishlist post (9) My most liked post of the week and quite possibly my favourite post too – linked here

Another week has passed and therefore I’m coming at you with a Weekly Medley post – to state the obvious. It was really not the greatest of weeks but it was not the worst of weeks as it wasn’t physically debilitating like that hellish week during exams for me; it’s been a serious family one, my grandfather whom I’m rather close to, has been sick for a while but things have escalated for the worse rather quickly, requiring lots of care, and it’s difficult to stomach the whole situation. Being someone who struggles with anxiety (putting it mildly), it’s no surprise that I’ve been affected in an unusual way — I’m constantly on edge and unable to focus on any sort of task at hand and be productive. I’m not someone who cries easily over these things and exhibits typical emotional displays but I’m supposing that I’m experiencing it in a different way. The funny thing is that I never intended for this blog to become so personal but writing this down was so therapeutic that I’m letting it slide. I’m not usually one to go on and on about weather actually, but until yesterday, the weather was warm and muggy but constantly overcast and raining on and off so it wasn’t a great one on that front either, until now. Spoiler alert: the last couple of days have been gorgeous sunny ones of 30 degrees that have been spent down at the dock, swimming in the 25 degree water — woo! I’m sure there will be a bit more on this next week and scrambled through upcoming posts.

On a much more superficial note, this week lost points because my basement started to accumulate heat and lose it’s status as the most delightfully cool room to escape to – but I’m working on not leaving every single electronic device on to help matters so it might be more along the lines of a fault of mine. This wasn’t my most exciting makeup week or one where I was particularly into wearing makeup; I did wear makeup most days but on a few occasions I ended up wiping it off a few hours later because I was feeling rather ‘meh’ and on others I found myself merely wearing wearing some BB cream, brows and maybe mascara. However, when I was feeling makeup, I was consistently reaching for my (ALMOST FULL – :))) MAC Palette and loving it. I know I look either extremely sleep-deprived in the picture above or drugged-up but I promise that it was just my general non-photogenic nature coming through. I didn’t wear this combination again on the eyes but I did rather like it and it was somewhat different than what I’ve been reaching for on other days in a nice way. As I have been doing daily, I began with running Soft Brown loosely through the crease – blah blah blah, I’m sure you get it. All over the lid I went for the pale pearly unique Vexshade that I’ve hit pan on but have been neglecting for ages and then deepened up the crease, as per usual (as of late) with Swiss Chocolate. The star of the show might have been Sketch, as it was used to add the plummy smokiness, packed onto the outer corner of the lid and blended out with actual effort (and placed underneath the lower lashes), but I liked the overall look. The shades minus Vex, have been my staples this week along with the other 10 shades in my palette – with a few exceptions.

Two of my lovely confidants from High School (that I happily still am close to and see frequently) decided that they wanted to go beauty product shopping and obviously told me to come along and I agreed, faintly aware of the purchases that would occur as a result, despite being somewhat committed to my ‘Low Buy’. In my defense, I held onto my pennies (joking, we can no longer use pennies here) and watched them go somewhat to town at Sephora and MAC (*pats self on back*) but gave in at the drugstore for a few practical purchases that I was rational about and then we went into Lush and weirdly out of character, I couldn’t resist a purchase or two. On more occasions than I would like to admit, I can be found grumbling on about how ridiculously expensive drugstore makeup in Canada is in comparison to the US and how tragically unfair it is that we cannot return drugstore makeup but I felt both sentiments rather strongly (particularly the second) as I tried and tried the L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascaraand wish I had never allowed myself to look inside the drugstore with my friends (kind of) – or at least, wished I had the willpower to say that I would just wait it out for another mascara as I do have enough at the moment. In my defense, it was on sale and I had been hoping that it would be a really easy throw-it-on mascara that removed with minimal effort – a la Maybelline The Falsies, that has recently dried out completely on me. In the last post linked above, I ramble on about this product and four others in more detail that doesn’t reach the realm of excess tangential descriptions, IMO. Sweet success.

Funnily enough, I’m not actually a huge TV person, despite the shows that I’ve included in these posts as of late as I tend to watch them whilst doing other things but while doing so, I’ve found some really interesting ones that capture my attention by their own merits and complicated intricacies and the top spot in recent months might just go to Hannibal,which is a NBC horror show that can also be found on Netflix. It’s placed in the horror genre but it has that thriller-esque complexity that grabs my attention but at the same time, you need somewhat of a strong stomach in order to watch it. It’s psychologically intense (my cup of tea) but it’s best feature is the acting; Hugh Dancy is fantastic at playing the psychologically-troubled Will Graham, who has been pulled out of the classroom to help solve these complex murders and Mads Mikkelsen is just about as believable as the psychiatrist, Dr. Lecter, who has been brought in to theoretically ensure Will’s safety. It keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure. On the beauty-related front, I absolutely loved Chelsea’s latest video, “NEW IN: Skincare + Beauty Part Two”; with actual life busy-ness getting in the way, the hilarious but helpful Chelsea had taken a break from making videos and this has been among the first few videos of her return and I suddenly remembered why I missed them so much. Plus she’s such a genuine human being and her shop ships to Canada so I might actually have to order online.

How was your week? This sounds rather bullshitty (if that’s a word?) but despite lacking general functional human emotional stability, I hope yours was at least a little bit better than mine. Aaaaand I think I love you if you actually got through this little novella of mine!
Maggie, x.

P.S. I’m the last person to get Twitter and I most likely will be the most boring person to follow but if you’re interested in the occasional update, you can follow me @beautyandlit – because beautylit etc. etc. was already taken not because I absolutely loved the name…