February Favourites

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If January was all about the haze that comes with stress and exhaustion, February was definitely a continuation on the same spectrum, with the same constant anxiety and perpetual exhaustion but also with the complication of sleeping troubles (obviously deprivation ensued throughout the month and the threat of fast approaching deadlines that forced me to turn my stress into something productive. And although I love winter, it has to be said that I’ve been suffering through the drab and dreary winter blues, I’m afraid to say.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)

When I heard about this palette and saw pictures and videos featuring it for the first little while, I was not particularly impressed or planning to buy it but as time went on and I did more research, I had an itch that it would be a worthwhile purchase for me and man it was. This is one of the rare palettes that I can use to create a myriad of different combinations that I like without feeling compelled to reach for another palette – unless its for my eyebrows obviously. This wasn’t something I considered when I decided to buy the palette but the three matte shades are the hidden treasures of the palette, the workhorses in a sense. The rosy-taupe, Limit, works wonderfully as a transition shade on me, the darker rosy brown, Nooner, is one of my favourites for adding depth to the crease and Strange, the slightly pink-toned cream shade, highlights the eye without adding any extra shimmer. I’ve been rotating between using Burnout, Buzz and Trick on my lid and have been enjoying Darkside in the outer corner as well as Blackheart to deepen things up even more.

 Sally Hansen Kwik Off ($5 CDN)

Even after contemplating this all month, it shocks me that I’m becoming one of those girls who talks obsessively about something as mundane as nail polish remover yet here I am. This is the easiest way to remove nail polish ever. I keep this on the floor next to my bed and I can remove my polish effortlessly without truly moving. You just have to lazily swirl your finger around through the fluid-filled sponge and then you are done. What more could you ask for?

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN)

 After trying this foundation at the beginning of the month, I haven’t been able to take it off my desk since. Although I rotate through a few others, this has to be a new favourite of mine as I easily wore it most of the month. It’s a nice and lightweight foundation that can go on sheerly with a small amount of product applied with the fingers but it provides weightless medium coverage combined with my loved Real Techniques Buffing Brush while looking light and dewy on the skin. I appreciate that this foundation has that lightweight look and feel without being full of drying alcohols and I have to say Shell has been an impressive match on me. This is one of the few foundations I can go to if my skin is an irritated, dehydrated and flaky mess without worrying about it making the texture look worse. From what I’d heard I thought this foundation was one that offered more of a natural finish than a luminous one and I was going to pass it up but then I heard Lily Pebbles describing it as glowier and I decided to pick it up when it went on sale for ten dollars and a dime or two.

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask ($22 CDN)

I’m not ashamed to admit that when I picked this up towards the beginning of the month, it was an impulsive buy, resulting from stress-shopping so I wasn’t expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised by my love of this after expecting very little from it. It’s an ultra-gentle fragrance-free overnight masque that feels sort of thick and gooey on the skin that seems to be absorbed quickly and results in less dehydrated and dull skin in the morning, making the skin look rested when I’ve hardly slept at all. I’ve been using it 2-3 times weekly since picking it up and I have to say it consistently helped calm my skin, made it look more luminous and helped makeup to apply smoothly. The ingredients are pretty basic but they are effective for truly hydrating the skin. I recommend trying this out (or at the very least some sort of moisture mask) if dehydration is a skincare concern of yours.

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($35 CDN)

This has received a great deal of mention from me here lately (in my weekly post from last week, for instance) but this has remained the blush that I’ve reached for day after day and for once it’s actually available as it’s being repromoted with MAC’s A Fantasy of Flowers collection. The texture of the blush is finely-milled so it sits in synergy with the skin and really helps to illuminate with its coppery coral bloom of colour that is not overly shimmering on the skin. This is one of those blushes that I put on and look instantly alive. If you tend to be a fan of corals and haven’t tried this one out, I recommend giving it a look before it’s gone. I don’t say these words often, but the cult-product is completely worth the hype, however I do have a thing for coral blushes…

Pantene Curly Hair Series Curl Shaping Gel ($6-8 CDN)

When I picked this gel up a month ago because if you have hair that’s on the curly end of the spectrum and wear it that way, a gel can be a lifesaver for definition and control of your curls but if like me you have hair that soaks up product and you have a whole lot of hair, it can get expensive going through higher end gels that I know and love and I was in great need of a nice one that didn’t break the bank. I generally associate Pantene with weighed down and silicone coated hair so I was surprised when I found out it was silicone-free while not being drying on the hair, providing a good deal of hold – but in my opinion not the extreme hold advertised. This gel gives really nice curl definition on my fine strands that I would classify as wavy-curls while keeping my dry and tangly hair in good condition. After being unhappy with my hair for a good couple of months, when I began using this a dramatic difference was seen for the better. It doesn’t weigh hair down in the slightest, I’m glad to say, while still being kind on the hair. 

Maybelline Blushing Beige Lipstick ($9-10 CDN)

Lip products rarely seem to be featured in my favourites posts and it’s not because I don’t love them but rather is that I don’t tend to commit to wearing one over a long period of time but I’ve been wearing this one from the new ‘The Buffs’ collection frequently this month. The formula is comfortable on the lips while still having good longevity and it has that cream finish that I adore. Blushing Beige was one of the shades I recently reviewed and although it’s a true nude colour in depth, the warm pink-peach undertones keep the shade flattering on the lips and away from the concealer lips end of things. This shade is a difficult one to describe and in light of this, below is a picture of it on my pale lips.

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What have you been loving this month?

Maybelline ‘The Buffs’ Lipsticks in Blushing Beige & Nude Lust

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top: Blushing Beige bottom: Nude Lust
top: Blushing Beige
bottom: Nude Lust

“Spring Break” can be somewhat of a funny thing; when you think of said break, you most likely are thinking about partying down south and relaxing but in my reality, it’s going to be spent sleeping and trying to get some much-needed work out of the way. So this break (beginning today err yesterday now) does not actually feel like your average break (I’ve such a thing does exist) as it will involve a good quantity of labour but let me say that I’m delighted to have some time to breathe and laze around home in pyjamas with my hair in a messy bun, plopped unattractively on the top of my head. Step one is getting out some of these posts that I’ve been meaning to write for ages.

As always, it took ages for the Maybelline The Buffs Lipsticks Lipsticks to enter to the Canadian waters but when they did and went on sale while doing it, I was all over that display. The collection features numerous ‘nude’ lipsticks that would suit a variety of skin-tones ranging from the pale beiges to darker browns and I picked up two shades on the lighter end (but not the lightest) of the spectrum, 915 Blushing Beige and 920 Nude Lust. These are a part of the large colorsensational line and retail for $9-10 CDN and certainly less in the US. Blushing Beige applies (and swatches) paler than it appears in the tube so although the shades look similar in the tube, they are remarkably different on the lips. This shade is a warm-toned peachy nude that is on the lighter end of the spectrum but does not appear ghastly in the least. Nude Lust has a more neutral base and comes off as a medium-toned beigey nude with a wee bit of brown in it and none of that peachiness.

Both of the shades have that typical Maybelline play-doh smell that I may not particularly like but am not altogether bothered by. The entire Buffs collection comes in the unexpected packaging except the bullets are covered with a more opaque beige-brown lid that looks a great deal less cheap than the packaging of the much-loved Vivids line, if you ask me.

While the formula is not infallible, I was quite impressed with it overall. I’ve only tried these shades which are obviously both on the lighter end of the spectrum but I do find these shades highlight the dry patches in my lips ever-so-slightly – but I do have very dry lips which I do not actually in fact exfoliate… Both of these have a nice cream finish that last on the lips for 3-4 hours with slight eating and drinking which is impressive for how comfortable and lightweight they are to wear. I do not necessarily find them hydrating but I’m certain that they are not drying in the slightest and they are lightweight on the lips. The formula reminds me of MAC Cremesheen finish but to be honest I like these better (read: I don’t adore the cremesheen formula). They are fairly opaque but can be sheered out slightly.

These two shades have found a home in my purchase along with my stash of lip products that seem to accumulate and I’ve been enjoying wearing these loads. I love both of the shades for different reasons and the only thing that would make it better is if they kind of had a shade that mixed the qualities of the two, being slightly darker like Nude Lust whilst still having the flattering pink-undertone of Blushing Beige. Blushing Beige, on me at least, seems to be shade that I reach for when I’m wearing heavier eye makeup as it is a bit too light to be worn with more minimal makeup on the eyes, whereas Nude Lust can be worn wearing lighter eye makeup as it isn’t so pale – I’m aware that I’m stating the obvious here but it had to be done.

915 Blushing Beige
915 Blushing Beige
920 Nude Lust
920 Nude Lust

Barely Blushing is similar to MAC Creme d’Nude in both finish and colour, however it is slightly darker and has stronger peachy undertones. Nude Lust reminded me of MAC Patisserie but the Maybelline offering has much stronger beige undertones and the formula is much more opaque and less shimmery and glossy. Patisserie is very pink in comparison.

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Top-Bottom: Maybelline Barely Blushing, MAC Creme d’Nude, Maybelline Nude Lust, MAC Patisserie

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts?

Maggie, x.