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.

 

The Spring Makeup Update

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We don’t really get that graduated transmogrification from the earliest signs of springtime to full-blown spring here, but rather it was snowing until a few weeks back and now it’s about 20 degrees and being an individual who typically feels generally warm, I’ve been wearing shorts so some of my recomendations here might be on the summer-esque end of the spectrum, so be warned. You know the drill; I’m not someone who believes that the seasons completely bind what makeup shades can be worn at a specific time but I do admit, I do enjoy these little changes in the daily routine to go along with the weather conditions. So here are my thoughts about these little changes:

The Transitional Bronzer: Throughout the winter, I tended to go for much cooler-toned products to shape my face such as my loved MAC Harmony, but as we come into warmer weather and are left looking a bit drained and dull from the winter – and pale in my case – we want to go for that golden glow, but it’s easy to go too far to the orange artificial-looking side of things. Simply put, you want a shade that will add warmth without having too artificial of an undertone or being too dark in contrast to your skin and for me this is the Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan($10). However, the shade is quite a warm-toned one that can lean on the orange side of things but is not particularly dark and the cream texture blends like a dream but I have fair skin that’s on the warmer side of things so I can suit warmer shades without going overboard, I think. I tend to apply it like a contour on my cheekbones and then blend it out towards my temples with the leftover product on the brush because I like the added definition on the cheekbones.

The Weightless Heat-Resistant Base: I know that we don’t typically use the world ‘base’ here in Canada to describe products that are applied all over the face but it was the only term that seemed to encompass foundations, tinted moisturizers and all the BB/CC creams in existence. Even though it may mean extra effort as far as concealer is concerned, there is something refreshing and appropriate with going for a somewhat sheerer, skin-like option on the face. However, this does not necessarily mean going for the dewiest thing in the world regardless of skin-type as I think it is important to make sure that it’s a low-maintenance option for all day wear despite the warming weather and the impending doom of oil-production. I’m definitely on the drier end of the spectrum but I think that my current love the Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup ($48) would also suit those with an oilier t-zone with its medium-coverage satin finish with a glow that appears skin-like. Weirdly enough, I’m almost always sensitive to chemical sunscreen but not the chemical sunscreen in this one but I’m not one to complain about this all-in-one everyday kind of foundation.

The Coral Lipstick: I’m sure some of you are not surprised about this one as I take any reason I can to go for anything of the coral variety but in this case I think it’s generally appropriate. Despite the fact that I find the formula unflattering on any sort of dry patches on my lips, I’ve been going for the softer tangerine-coloured Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Mischievous ($9) that lies on the more orange-end of the spectrum – but hey, orange is supposed to be particularly trendy this summer and it tends to suit me so I’m not going to complain.

The Subtle Gold Shadow: While I veer towards warmer shadows throughout the year given my colouring, I’m particularly drawn to them in the warmer seasons and MAC Woodwinked ($12/18) — second from left in the bottom row in the picture — has that golden tone to it but has that muted quality that makes it more Spring-appropriate and soft. The shadow is a cult-favourite for a reason, applying like a dream and staying put with ease.

The Expected Pink-y Blush: There’s nothing that screams Spring like that true pink flush of colour on the cheeks. Although I’m not wearing it in the above photo, I have been in love with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41) and wearing the satiny pale-pink that leans on the cooler side of things but is actually flattering and noticeable on my warm-leaning skin. The finish and texture of the blush seems to make it worthwhile the hefty price tag and it’s one of those easy blushes that gives you that flush to the cheeks that works with any sort of eye makeup or lip makeup craziness.

How have you updated your daily makeup for Spring?

Maggie, x.