July Empties: Actual Skincare & Makeup

I’ve got the day off and even though I’m feeling sort of like I’ve been run over my a miniature dumptruck I figure that it’s time for the second part of my empty products post from July. I’m only slightly bitter that I did not in fact manage to finally finish up a particular foundation of mine… I promise.



Sephora Collection Lotus Face Mask ($8/0.84 ounces)

I’m a bit funny about spending money on single use skincare so on my own I probably would not have bit the bullet and tried out one of Sephora’s newer sheet masks on my own but I will say that I was impressed with this moisturizing and soothing mask – it actually did what was on the label without any real amount of marketing nonsense or misleading ingredients. I felt hilarious with the mask on and was surprised to find that I still found it kind of large on my large face but I found that it came with a generous amount of product in the packet so although the mask was only one use, I got another two out of the excess product left on the sheet itself. It was really great for plumping up my skin, conquering dehydration and calming it overnight – in a visible way. I wouldn’t repurchase on a regular basis, but I would consider picking some up again on one of the buy-four-get-one free deals that Sephora has on.

Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster Trial Size ($15/0.12 ounces)

I really did enjoy this irritant and fragrance free oil when I had it to instantly nourish and soothe my skin and I do appreciate how unique this product is, being formulated without fragrant essential oils that can wreck havoc on the skin. With that said, this does not impress me enough to warrant purchasing the full size, especially when you take the smaller-than-average size of the bottle into account.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster Trial Size ($20/0.12 ounces)

On the other hand, I found that this Paula’s Choice 15 % vitamin c antioxidant did last for a longer amount of time and was so good that it prompted a second order when I missed it tremendously as part of my routine upon using up my bottle. Obviously a repurchase has happened and I’m enjoying incorporating my larger bottle into my daily routine because it has helped to smooth the texture and the overall clarity of my skin. It’s the best.

Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55/ 1 ounce) | review

This luxurious facial oil might not be the cheapest and does have the potential for some irritation with some synthetic fragrance and potentially problematic essential oils, but it has the most indulgent fluid texture and has helped to deeply hydrate and soothe my dehydrated sensitive skin. Because its pricier, I’ve switched to use a more affordable organic rosehip oil but I miss it terribly and am contemplating picking it up again.

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($46/2.5 ounces)

This Kiehl’s moisturizer is definitely a great one and it’s great for dehydrated sensitive skin – plus you do get a great deal of product for the price – but it’s not my absolute favourite and does not compare with the Caudalie one that I’m going to discuss next. It’s free of fragrance and all things irritating and has the nicest lightweight soothing texture with glycerin, shea butter and a few anti-irritants, but it’s not like an instant skin drink and treatment. I wouldn’t be opposed to using it again in the future but I have no immediate plans to try it.

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40/ 1.3 ounces) | review

After using up the lighter Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and loving it last year, I was shocked to learn that I did the impossible, fell for the richer formula even harder. I might even say that it approaches holy grail territory with the instant lightweight hydration and soothing factor with its blend of emollients and antioxidants. It was almost a repurchase in the first place being the richer moisturizer in the same line but I’m definitely planning on coming back to it again after finishing my current one on the go.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light ($31/0.35 ounces) | review

Being someone who finds it difficult to get along with most powders and use any quantity of them even when I do, but I’ve managed to use this soft matte natural-looking powdery until it shattered with just the inner rim remaining. It’s my favourite powder of all time, not offering much in coverage and just a small amount of oil-absorbing action but it doesn’t highlight dry patches, give a dry appearance to the skin or look powdery. I would definitely recommend this as a natural powder and will likely purchase again but I’m off to try others as I haven’t used many.

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighting Concealer in 860 Fair ($14-16/0.05 ounces)

While I don’t love the high (and noticeable) alcohol content in the formula or just how pink and uber-pale this concealer-highlighter brush product is, it converted me to the realm of these highlighting pens that brighten the area whilst adding some coverage in moments. I quite liked it for brightening, either on its own for less serious bag days or paired with a corrector underneath the eyes, on the nose, chin and the center of the forehead. The sheerer illuminating texture was great, though,for highlighting with a concealing product without looking too heavy handed or makeup-y and now I want to try out different products of the highlighting pen variety. It would be great for anyone uber-pale though as it might actually serve as a highlighter for them…

Use up anything as of late?
Maggie, x.




Five Things (to Try): Winter Essentials

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Being as clueless as I am with photography, I’ve been rather pleased with my efforts as of late – so I’m not going to ruin that by taking dodgy photos simply because sunlight is not on my side. My apologies for using the general pictures I found available on the internet. It’s been some time since I’ve done any of these posts including my product loves and recommendations on a specific theme and it’s definitely been a trying time, being just so cold and snowy as of late so it’s rather appropriate. And it’s high time for me to share some of my winter weather favourites!

Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia ($2.99)

You might be aware that regardless of the season that I’m someone with dry and chapped lips problem but I’m sure as many of you have experienced yourself, I’ve experienced the dryness and irritation magnified with the subzero temperatures, blizzards and the like; this affordable balm is a fabulous antidote or fixer. The formula is kind of greasy, with loads of shea butter and mineral oil to latch onto the dry patches and soothe them immediately and can leave a milky cast that is less than flattering and not ideal for use before lipstick application. I tend to have issues with fragranced lip balms irritating my lips but this one does not in the slightest – and more impressively I actually love the warm vanilla scent.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($29) | review

In the same vein, harsher winters like we experience in eastern Canada leads to increased facial dehydration and seems to bring on the dry patches, even if you don’t classify yourself as someone with particularly dry skin as I tend to. I think a nice way to combat this dryness and increased dehydration is to add a more intensive moisturizing treatment at nighttime at the very least a few times per week. For me this overnight hydrating mask fits the bill, with a thick shea-butter-based texture that works to soothe the skin and more dramatically adding intense hydration, while still remaining lightweight and fast-absorbing on the skin. The only negative of this product is the added fragrance and essential oils so if I’m experiencing more severe irritation or sensitivity, I will go for the The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask.

Pixi Beauty Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach ($12)

There’s something about winter that tends to amplify just how tired you – your eyes specifically – look and any sort of dryness in the general area and this creamy but corrective formula works nicely to mask deep dark circles while still blending seamlessly into skin regardless of its condition. Although its irritating that the affordable concealer only comes in one brightening shade, it’s rather impressive just how comparable it is to higher end correctors such as the Bobbi Brown Corrector that I adore.

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($31) | review

Most of us likely are no stranger to the idea of switching up our products seasonally but I doubt that many of us have considered switching out the setting powder in our routines. Even if you’re drier skinned as I am, a bit of setting powder can be nice to add longevity and cancel out any sort of subtle unsightly shine but when you’re on the drier side of things, there isn’t anything attractive about the dry powdery look that traditional formulas can contain. Regardless of where you fall on the oil production spectrum, I would recommend trying out this non-powdery powder because it does everything that a powder should do without making you look completely matte and flat or emphasizing any sort of dryness. While the powder is not translucent, I would not expect much coverage from the product – I would consider it to have light coverage at most.

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Raspberry/Opal ($33) | review

In the dead of winter, my cheeks can get rather dry – they are and have always been the area of my face the most prone to dryness – and my skin gets incredibly pale, drained and dull so I’m expecting an awful lot out of a blush — something with a smooth formula that glides over less than ideal skin and that adds that instant glow. An excellent one is this foolproof mousse-y formula with the muted berry tint and that champagne glow that makes the skin instantly look less dead.

What are your current seasonal staples?
Maggie, x.