February Empties

This empties post (to accompany January’s Candles Empties post), along with the makeup version of my 2015 Favourites post, have been two posts that I’ve been musing about for ages and have been putting off onto the back burner, but now that it’s now February, it’s time to get a move on both of them. Today, I’m starting with the empties before I end up burning through half a dozen or so candles and am due another one of those.

IMG_9064.JPG

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($8-9): I’ve mangled up my last one of these beauty sponges and have had no choice but to repurchase this more affordable version of those bouncy sponges that you dampen. It’s great especially for this time of year when my skin is even more parched than normal, because when you dampen the sponge, the foundation and concealer that you apply with it will be slightly sheered out, but stick to dry patches far less and look like skin.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Soft Brown ($11.99/7 mL): I really like the natural grey-leaning colour of this tinted brow mascara and I don’t even mind the large oddly shaped brush that it comes with – likely because I have bushier shaped brows – especially when I can’t be bothered to really do my brows but need some colour and definition in places. It’s also a nice one to set the brows in place on top of a brow product. It’s not life changing-ly awesome but I did repurchase it, instead trying out the darker shade in hopes of a bit more pigmentation.

L’Oreal Infallible SuperSlim Liquid Eyeliner ($9-10/1 mL): I really enjoyed this felt-tipped liquid liner because of just how easy it was to use, – even when caffeine had made me more than a little bit shaky – how fast it was to do a bit of a kitten flick and how the harder formula allowed for minimal mistakes when doing a simple line (and flick) along the lash line. The formula was a little harder and drier than I might always prefer, especially after the formula dried out from use – I suppose it’s still useable but my liner is over a year old now and it’s dry enough that I’m not pleased with the results. I recommend it and would think about purchasing it again – but I might try their newer liner first.

Diorshow Mascara ($34/0.33 ounces): Some months back, Sephora was offering a sample size of this cult classic mascara as a point perk and I couldn’t resist. I did actually end up really enjoying the formula and the brush – it had one of those huge brushes that I adore for building volume, a dry truly volumizing formula that was neither too difficult to remove or clumpy in the slightest, and one that offered some length and separation to boot. I’m not sure that I’m ready to shell out the cash for the full-size but I might consider it in the future, especially if it’s offered in a kit or something.

L’Oreal Sublime Soft Soothing Cleansing Wipes ($12.99/25): All things considered, these cleansing wipes are my favourite because if anything they are slightly hydrating – so they surpass the goal of being non-drying – and non irritating, either on my face or around my sensitive eye area. I’ll repurchase, even though I try not to be too much of a wipes person. The only ones that come close are the Bioderma ones that I’ve currently got on the go.

Sephora Perfecting & Brightening Pearl Sleeping Mask ($5/7 mL): I didn’t necessarily notice a profound difference in my skin after using it four or five times but I can say that it was not drying or irritating and did find it hydrating, soothing and plumping in the short term – and I enjoyed how I could get multiple uses out of the single mask (as compared to the sheets), along with how it was more comfortable to keep the mask on over time. I’ll perhaps repurchase – I’m just hesitant because there was not that significant of a difference and they are kind of heavily fragranced for my liking.

Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster ($48 US/ 20 mLs): This concentrated 15% Vitamin C ‘booster-slash-serum’ product is expensive, especially for a product that supposedly only has a three month shelf life – I used it for six and did not have any sort of issues – because of how reactive the ingredient can be, but it has a sort of effect that I didn’t notice immediately but now can see when I went without it, that cannot be achieved for any less. It’s brightening, smooths texture and definitely reduces inflammation and irritation in a way that’s all around impressive enough to necessitate a desperate re-purchase from me. It’s one of those great antioxidant serums to boost the effect of your sunscreen when used in the daytime and fight against free-radical damage and the like.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick ($8/0.14 ounces): This chapstick-style balm I suppose is the first lip balm that I liked well enough to use on the daily and place enough care to ensure that I didn’t lose it before finishing the stick. I have really dry and sensitive lips so many balms I actually find irritating and/or drying but this one was an exception – despite being a more lightweight textured balm that could easily be applied throughout the day and layered underneath lipsticks, I found it soothing and hydrating on the lips, in a way that stayed for a few hours at least on the lips. Before I even think about repurchasing, I want to try the cult-favourite pot version of the balm.

Eucerin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme ($8/14 ounces): While I found this cream decently hydrating and non-irritating on the eczema on my legs, it did nothing special to heal them or reduce itching. In other words, there was nothing wrong with this fragrance-free medium weight cream, but it was not exactly impressive either. I’m moving on. P.S. The whole oatmeal soothes and hydrates dry and itchy skin for 24 hours claim is bogus, if you ask me.

L’Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($8/250 mL): This sulfate-free shampoo reminds me loads of the higher end sulfate-free shampoos that I adore at a fraction of the price – it doesn’t irritate my sensitive scalp, doesn’t dry out my waves and doesn’t add to any tangling or unruly hair problems. It’s even comparable to the Pureology that I love at a fraction of the price – I just don’t find it quite as weightless. I’m partial to the perfume-y scent as well. I have too many shampoos on the go right now but I would repurchase this one or another from this range.

Pureology Curl Complete Moisture Melt Masque ($55/150 mLs): Usually I absolutely adore and endorse the splurge in Pureology haircare products but this masque was neither impressive enough or just plain concentrated enough to be worth the money. I’ll definitely purchase another Pureology masque but not this one. It was hydrating, nice and lightweight and had nice slip but didn’t have that impressive treatment aspect. I will say that it didn’t weigh down my waves at all on the positive side.

TreSemme Perfectly (Un)done Wave Creation Sea Foam ($6-8/236 mL): I was pleasantly surprised with this weightless but non-drying medium-hold mousse product – it left my hair weightless regardless of the products I cocktail-ed it with and it added lift and texture with some curl definition. It’s by no means holy grail but I would buy it again if I was yearning for that beachy effect. It’s also a product that I can see working universally across different hair types for that beach-y wave kind of effect.

Have you finished any products recently?
Maggie, x.

 

 

Another Six Drugstore Favourites

I’ve done sporadic posts detailing my favourite or essential drugstore products for a while now, however, it has been a good number of months since I’ve done one of these. I also acknowledge that I’ve been featuring slightly higher end products as of late, so I’m making he first steps in remedying the lack of drugstore content around these parts. I am definitely about the budget beauty after all…

DSC_0571

  • LOreal Sublime Sun Quick Dry SPF 50 Sheer Finish Spray ($17.99): Spray sunscreen, while nothing new can be a complete lifesaver, being an easy option to use sun protection without requiring much in the way of effort and without the thicker greasy texture. However, I find that many spray sunscreens irritate my skin, being filled with alcohol and only seem to last for a few weeks but this sunscreen is an exception. It’s moisturizing while still being the lightest weight texture, meshes well with my skin and doesn’t seem to evaporate on the skin.
  • Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Soft Brunette ($11.99): I adore this thickening tinted brow mascara, even with the round brush and all, because it really works to tame my unruly brows and add some much-needed definition that matches my ashy toned eyebrows perfectly. It lasts for days in my brows in a way that nears being slightly annoying. I’m thinking that I might prefer this to MAC’s waterproof brow gel too but it does not add as much of a tint.
  • L’Oreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip in Carbon Black ($9-10): While the brush tip is not the easiest to wield, particularly in terms of holding a smooth and steady line, it’s affordable yet allows me to create the most precise wing out of all of the liners that I have tried.
  • Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 07 Nude-Ist ($24): Bourjois is a drugstore brand (even in Canada) but it’s not exactly the most affordable, or in the pricepoint that we would associate typically associate with drugstore brands. Regardless, I love this comfortable liquid lipstick staining product because it feels velvety on the lips, lasts for ages, is not drying but is comfortable on the lips. This shade is a gorgeous slightly brightened warm rose shade that I love for an everyday lip and even better, you don’t have to worry about it smudging on coffee cups or anywhere else.
  • L’Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer in Fair ($10-12): This highlighting pen runs among the fairest that I’ve ever tried and has that brightening pink tone so it works nicely on paler skin to brighten areas such as underneath the eye. However, I find that this pen works best when paired with another heavier duty concealer concentrated in the inner corners when my horrific dark circles are in sight – after all, a pale light-reflective concealer cannot cover such darkness.
  • NYX Butter Lipstick ($8.99): Ever since I’ve spotted these comfortable hydrating lipsticks around drugstores here in Canada at the very end of last year, I’ve been gradually trying a small selection of them and have fallen in love with the easy flattering, pigmented formula. The most pigmented shades are the brighter and darker shades – among which I own the coral-y Fireball and the deep burgundy-berry Licorice – but the more neutral shades are nice too, including the pictured warm-toned nude, Sugar Wafer (especially when paired with some liner).
What are your current drugstore favourites?
Maggie, x.

The Current Rotation

DSC_0395

I’ve made many promises to myself to drop my whole woe-is-me, I’m a stressed, sleep-deprived, emotionally unstable groaning act but it has been one of those weeks when there’s something due every day… I’ve been mulling around with this post idea since Monday, I believe, and I actually was able to get the photo done nice and early – thanks to the recently longer days of adequate sunlight – but after barely finishing everything that had to be done this week on time and barely getting enough sleep to function, I was unable to muster the effort to lift my head, let alone write a coherent blog post. I have had feelings on products and I wanted to share them. Oh, and I’ve been really getting into the sunscreen on the daily as of late but I’ve flip-flopped around with two because of the general skin craziness situation, so I’ll have to share my thoughts at a later date:

DSC_0401DSC_0404

  •  Differin 0.3 % Adalpalene Gel *RX* ($95): You might have heard me harp on about how much I have loved the long-term effects of using a non-irritating (read not alcohol based) retinoid to both prevent my mildish acne on my face and provide healing and fade general imperfections and unevenness and that has not stopped. However, I realized that I was using my old prescription Biacna retinoid-antibiotic combo gel after it was quite expired and my prescription had expired – so it was due time to visit the doctor for a new one and I ended up changing to this more hydrating purely adalpalene formula with a boost in concentration. So far so good but I was stupid and decided to use it for three days in a row right after going a little heavy on the AHAs, of course when my skin was already a bit dry so I might have gone through a patchy and flaky few days…
  • NUDE Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($46): I splurged on this cleansing oil back in November’s Sephora VIB Sale and have been using it fairly consistently ever since – however, in the last month or two it has become a staple and I’ve been kind of obsessed with it in the last week or two with my dehydrated irritated skin to remove makeup with the least fuss and aggravation. I have to praise this cleansing oil’s supreme gentleness, soothing ability and hydrating texture, the fact that it’s actually effective without going to town but most of all, I love that the pump does’t leak or get messy in the slightest. I’m not sure it’s worth the price tag, though, to be completely honest.
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation ($9-12): Although it’s only a one ounce bottle and being a glowing formula, I wouldn’t have expected this one bottle to last such a ridiculous long time and as much as I enjoy the formula (particularly on drier more finicky skin), I am dedicated to finally finishing up my bottle. It has a thicker but moisturizing texture and its thickness is likely why the bottle seems to be never ending…
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer ($7-8): I’ve had this affordable concealer for awhile but I’ve been rather indifferent to the formula, seeing as the colour is a wee bit too peachy golden to be ideal for underneath my eyes and a little too sheer for my eye bags and the formula is a bit too illuminating for use on the rest of the face. In the last week or two, however, I’ve been using the illuminating formula over the top of corrector underneath my eyes and to provide a bit of highlighting in the centre of my face – because of the sheerness of the concealer and its creamy texture, it actually works layered on my dry skin while still looking smooth and natural. The shade I use is 125 Very Fair, which isn’t all that pale to be honest.
  • Benefit Girl Meets Pearl ($36): With my dull, dry and slightly irritated skin, it should almost be a given that I’ve been highlighter obsessed in these recent weeks to compensate for the dullness, dryness and general lacklustre skin and this easy-to-use liquid one has been my go-to. I love how it’s the easiest liquid product to apply even over powders and dry patches and the way that the colour sits halfway between a pink highlighter and a gold highlighter is strangely flattering, reading as luminous skin.
  • Maybelline EyeStudio Brow Drama in Soft Brown ($11.99): I have loads of unruly – but sparse – long crazy brow hairs and while I wish this formula had more pigment and ability to fill in the gaps, I actually find myself loving the large ball applicator for quick application and foolproof shaping. The formula lasts on my brows for a ridiculous long time and doesn’t smudge off at all and I’m very partial to the colour as it’s appropriately cool-toned and not insanely dark.
  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Chilled On Ice ($25): When I found myself wandering through MAC, on the lookout for a new lipstick, – a much-appreciated Valentine’s Day gift from my mother – I was transfixed by their lovely cream shadows, particularly those in lighter shimmery shades and I let myself go for it, as I’m kind of low on cream shadows in those shades that are not too dry to function. I surprised myself by reaching for a shade with some micro glitter along with my usual metallic finish, a pale whitened gold shade with a champagne lean to it that I believe originally came out years ago in the Cham-pale collection and has been made permanent since. I do have to say that these are my favourite creamy shadows based on their wear time and ease of use and I’ve been enjoying this shade as a base and as my whole eyeshadow – or just my lid shade – when I’ve not been up for much.
Have you tried any of these?
Maggie, x.