September Favourites

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Not to give into the whole cliché in totality or anything, but this was definitely one of those frantic and busy months because it was getting back into the whole university swing of things while being bogged down with that cold that won’t quit and the like. There may have also been a wee bit of stress going on – perhaps. Although this was definitely not a month with the most interesting beauty-related experimentation going on due to lack of time and desire to get out of bed, I’m quite pleased with the group of products that I’ve gathered here.

NARS ‘Pro Prime’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($29)

I’ve had this raved-about primer in my possession since mid-August and have been using it consistently since then but this month it has solidly found its home as my favourite eye primer to date. Now, I have not particularly oily but deep-set creasing-prone lids and this one has come the closest to preventing that whole creasing situation in general and definitely reduces the effects drastically. I find that it works best when applied in the thinnest layer to the lids before any sort of makeup is applied to the face because giving it time to set definitely makes it work for the better – and too much product can give it the opposite effect. Although, it’s marketed for oily lids I don’t find any sort of crepey lid situation happening which is rather pleasant and now that I’ve gotten a hang of the learning curve, I’m definitely impressed.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

So apparently I’m feeling NARS this month and I’m aware that I should apologize for including this contouring duo in two of these posts back to back but honestly, I couldn’t leave this one out as I’ve been using (and loving it) on a daily basis and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t merely include it prematurely last month on a buyer’s high. The rosy tan and ivory soft-matte duo is simply that good. As I mentioned last month (and a myriad of other times), this powder contains an easy-to-use neutral-toned contour powder to sculpt the face and an ivory matte highlighting powder that I have found useful for quickly brightening the undereye area, while preventing any sort of creasing.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner in Brown(Out) ($30)

I’ve mentioned my love for this seriously budge-proof and uber-creamy liner numerous times since snagging it as a point perk from Sephora in August and I’ve been reaching for the deeper bronzy shade loads as of late. I quite enjoy the shade of brown, particularly that it’s deep enough to provide enough definition for me – as I’m typically a black liner kind of girl – and that it’s the perfect thing to run along your upper and lower lashline when you’re running short on time and/or are lazy but want something on the eyes.

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L’Oreal Glossy Balm in Ginger Candy ($9-11)

I appear to have fallen in love with yet another one of those lip pencils with you guessed it, a nice and balmy formula but this one might just be my favourite in terms of comfort and everyday wear. I’ve worn this neutral warm-pink toned nude that reminds me of a slightly more pink version of my favourite MAC Lipstick in Patisserie more than half of the month and it lived in my bag. It’s not particularly long lasting but it’s such an easy moisturizing formula that I didn’t mind in the slightest.

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist ($23)

As soon as I heard that these had launched in Canada, I was desperate to try one after hearing my favourite British babes rave about them earlier but I deliberated once I saw that their price tag was actually higher than MAC around these parts. I’m glad I went for this true rosy shade when I spotted these at Shopper’s with a bonus points promotion, as it has the most comfortable and lightweight but long-wearing formulation and has the most unique hue that sits between a neutral hue and a bolder shade. I might not have worn it quite as much as the glossy balm, but whenever I’ve been tempted to go for more colour, this one has found its way into the mix. There will be a post on this soon, I reckon, and I’m wearing it on my lips here.

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40)

I know that six weeks of consistent use isn’t quite enough to give the true verdict on a moisturizer but I’m fairly certain that this lightweight but rich moisturizer has nabbed the spot of my favourite moisturizer that I’ve ever tried. It is supremely hydrating while offering a good dose of soothing action with some potent antioxidants in the formula and I can’t fault this one in any shape or form. It also glides over the skin without any sort of tingling on the most irritated and dehydration of skin. I wasn’t sure that the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet could be topped but I’m glad to have been wrong.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Anti-Irritant Anti-Scratching Lipid-Replenishing Body Balm ($29.95)

I’m deeply saddened that I’ve actually used up my first bottle of this gentle niacinimide-rich body cream in the last few days and that sure is a testament to how much I love this non-irritating body cream. It doesn’t have any sort of irritating fragrance or alcohol but like anything else, it will sting on opened or irritated patches of skin slightly but unlike other creams that I’ve tried this has helped to reduce the itchiness of my eczema as well as heal the damage. It also absorbs strangely fast and I’m not one to complain about that.

What were your top products this month?
Maggie, x.
note: some affiliate links used above

 

The Monday Morning Edit

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Sometimes I think that it’s these posts that detail the products that you reach for consistently through your rushed and exhausted times can be the most telling, so inspired by Suzie’s post from ages ago, I thought I would show you a few of the products that I find myself reaching for on a rushed Monday morning, even when it hurts open my eyes in order to find them in the piled assortment that is my makeup.

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

When I’m in that zombie-esque state and can barely make it out of bed and change into real clothes, the last thing I want to do is mess around with my brows but still, I do feel that filling them in in some shape or form can make a huge difference. Enter this budgeproof tinted brow gel. Within moments, I can have my brows tamed and looking decent and the colour actually is appropriately cool-toned.

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara ($9)

While admittedly this mascara has improved in my books drastically since drying out a bit and being exposed to air, it still is not one of my favourites overall but it has its charms when you’re pressed for time and want as much lash drama going on with the most minimal time and effort involved this one really has ticked all of the boxes. It can bee a wee bit clumpier than I would like but it looks great when you just shove a little on prior to heading out the door – it’s not one that works when you attempt to spend time building it.

MAC Kohl Power Pencil in Feline ($19)

I know I’m in the minority when I honestly say that eyeliner is something that I have to reach for even when my abilities to hold my hand steady to draw a smooth line might be compromised and this one is a good option in this case because it applies nice and creamily smooth with impressive pigment and smudges out nicely, quickly masking any imperfections in the application. This liner gives instant impact but isn’t too crazy but it might not be ideal for anyone with smudging issues.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

I’m a girl who likes cheekbone definition whenever there’s any sort of makeup application involved so a contouring powder or a bronzer is a given, but this duo of shades is the most practical and nears the realm of being fool-proof. The rosy tan is a gorgeous contour shade that easily builds up to the desired (but subtle) intensity and the creamy shade serves another purpose, helping to brighten up the dark circle situation while ensuring that the concealer won’t suddenly be all over the face.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-Ist ($23)

I’ll spare you from the usual yammering on about the power of a bold lip to instantly brighten the complexion and all that jazz but the principle applies, however, on days when you wake as exhausted as I do, you don’t want to have to think about what to wear and have to worry about the maintenance and this liquid lipstick ticks all of the boxes. It’s a somewhat bold rosy shade that isn’t quite so much of a statement as a red that also wears like a champ and doesn’t transfer after it sets and lasts like a champ throughout the day. Obviously, it’s not disgusting on chapped lips either. You know how it is for me…

Annabelle Colour Control Instant Perfecting Luminous Finish Base ($17)

There’s something about those trance-like Monday mornings that seem to be associated with dull lackluster skin that you don’t exactly have time to dominate in the traditional way, so enter a radiance-boosting primer that both adds the glow factor and helps keep things a little bit smoother on the face.

What are your Monday essentials?
Maggie, x.

NARS Paloma Contour Blush

DSC_0725I’m pleased to be getting back into the habit of reviewing individual products and I’ll leave it at that. If you’ve been following me regularly around these parts, you’ll likely be aware of my favourable thoughts towards the contouring duo by NARS. I acquired the NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46 CDN) from Sephora via online order – as chronicled here and I’ve been using it ever since with pleasure. Obviously, my compact is looking a little worse for wear but this is what tends to happen with this style of rubberized packaging. T’is unfortunate. The “contour blush” is actually a powder duo, with much more of the contour shade to use in the 0.28 oz compact. In short, they are marketed to “create seamless, natural-looking definition with one sculpting product” and more specifically “the deeper shade enhances definition, while the lighter shade illuminates the high points of the face, providing an instant soft-focus effect without shine or shimmer” and I have to say that it achieves these claims. However, as lovely and angelic as this duo is, the price is rather hefty and the highlighting shade isn’t the ideal highlighter for me as I’m partial to shimmer on my cheekbones for that glow factor. Otherwise, it is impeccable. I have the middle shade offering and it might just be the most versatile suiting neutral-to-warm skintones of the quite fair to medium variety and it houses a bisque-hued cream shade for highlighting purposes as well as the ever-so-slightly-warm-tinged medium rosy-tan hue for contouring.

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Both shades are flawlessly formulated, with great buildable pigmentation and the easiest texture to blend in the world. They are nothing short of glorious powders, retaining an air of creaminess while being soft-matte textured powders on the skin. They don’t fade or require much work, either, and they are a natural option for sculpting on a daily basis in a subtle manner. It’s not an all-out fussy contouring duo. The contouring shade is ever-so-slightly darker than MAC Harmony and actually manages to blow it out of the water formula-wise as it provides that natural-looking shaping look to the cheeks without appearing too grey or stark. It’s also not orange-y or bronzer-like in the slightest, though, so it straddles the line of cool and warm. It’s definitely not muddy at all but has the ability to create instant cheekbones without much work or faff involved. You wouldn’t believe how versatile the shade is, either.

While I was initially a bit disappointed with the highlighting shade, it has grown on me as a finely-milled brightening shade for use setting my concealer that I use in hopes of camouflaging my hereditary dark circles as well as a matte highlighting shade that’s helpful used as a matte eyeshadow. I’m someone who is entirely too skeptical of the under-eye setting game to purchase a powder solely for that purpose but I have to admit the texture and subtle-pinky lean of the brightening powder do work nicely to smooth things out in a soft-focus way while brightening.

It appears that NARS has done it again; my recently-acquired credit card is cringing while I type this, clearly. It’s been over a month that this duo has been in my life and I’ve barely been able to do my makeup without it and I don’t want to. Obviously, I think this one is a gem and would recommend it in its $46 dollar glory… And to be helpful I thought I would provide you with a link but I do disclose that it is one of the affiliate variety because I believe in full disclosure, truth and all that.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma

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Have you tried any of the NARS Contour Blushes?
Maggie, x.