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

 

Testing, Testing

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It’s so easy to let products that you’ve purchased slip into the cracks because you’ve finished talking about them as an addition to your monstrous stash of beauty-related products but aren’t ready to devote an entire post in the product’s name and I wanted to remedy this somewhat — viola, these posts were born where I provide my thoughts on products that have likely been mentioned before but not discussed conclusively. Here are some products that I have been using (for either testing purposes or enjoyments sake) and an abridged account of my thoughts about them. I should warn you that there are a few affiliate links below, before your read on…

1. L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($9)

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Some of you may be aware that I gave the Miss Manga Mascara a miss in my previous ‘the verdict’ post and while I stand by my original assessment of the mascara — too wet and easily clumpy for my tastes –, it has grown on me as it’s dried out notably. I may or may not have accidentally left it without the cap on for a day or two and this may or may not have improved the formula in my view. It’s definitely a dramatic mascara that doesn’t require too much building to get to its effect and can look spidery if too much is applied or if you’re not careful but it’s definitely one that I’ve been liking when I’m just shoving on a brush or two on each set of lashes before running out the door. Like many other mascaras from L’Oreal, this can be a bit of a bother to remove and it does sit on the more wet side of things formula-wise but as it has begun to dry out I’ve been liking it for its ‘instant drama’ effect.

2. Revlon Highlighting Palette in Peach Glow ($11)

DSC_0530After hearing Amelia Liana and Lily Pebbles rave about the ‘Bronze Glow’ shade of this product, I had been keen on trying out this product and did so in June. In conclusion, it’s not a product that I am wowed by but it’s not a bad product by any standards. The highlighting palette serves as a very subtle highlighter and it does have less than stellar pigmentation – so those who are wary of obvious shimmer and glow-overload could very well find this ideal. The overall assortment of colours included in the compact strikes me as rather strange; on the one hand, there are two obviously deeper bronzy shades (top and middle), two paler peach-leaning champagne shades (second from the top and the bottom) and a very pale shade that is more yellow than neutral. Swatches would be appropriate here but there’s this issue where my battery of my camera is dead and the charger appears to have run off, so I hope you can let it slide. On the same note of my shortcomings, I didn’t actually attempt to use these as eyeshadows but I wouldn’t expect the lighter less pigmented shades to work well for this purpose…

 

 3. NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

DSC_0531If you’ve been keeping up with things around these parts in the last few weeks, you will likely be completely unsurprised by my glowing review of this contouring powder duo. The rosy-hued tan matte contouring powder is absolutely fantastic; with amazing pigmentation, blendability and longevity, this shade easily provides an instant natural-looking sculpted effect. I’ve found that it’s a tool that gives ‘instant cheekbones’ and I do thing it has surpassed my old love, the MAC Harmony Powder Blush for contouring. The lighter soft-matte highlighting shade isn’t as ideal for me as the darker shade as it doesn’t have any sort of sheen and I tend to love sheen in highlighter; however, it’s nice for brightening up the center of the face and setting the undereye area. Being the middle shade of the range, Paloma is an ideal shade for my skin and will suit neutral to warm complexions that range from moderately fair to maybe medium in depth. It’s natural-looking effortless sculpting at its finest.

 

 4.NARS ‘Radiant’ Cream Compact Foundation Refill ($45)

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Being a sample-sized pot from Sephora, this might not be the most attractive product to photograph but I have been using the generous amount frequently and have been on the fence of purchasing it for more than a little while — but I’ve decided I must have the luminous cream foundation. Fiji is ever-so-slightly pale for me at the moment but I’m convinced that it will be perfect as soon as I start to pale out and remain for the majority of the year – “the golden peachy undertones” actually seem to be working for me and my neutral-warm skin. It’s a medium coverage foundation that is kind to drier patches – although it doesn’t hide them by any means if they are extremely serious – and leaves the skin looking polished but still skinlike. The foundation is definitely luminous but it doesn’t venture into oily territory as hours wear on; in fact, it tends to remain looking the same until it is removed. Unlike heavier-coverage cream foundations that I’ve tried before, this looks like skin and adds some glow and doesn’t highlight every little patch of dryness on the face. It also is slightly moisturizing and feels like nothing. It should also be noted that the compact is purchased separately from the refill.

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

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Despite the hype this colourless eyeshadow primer receives around the blogosophere, I cannot report that it is either infallible or lifechanging, but I can say that it is the best primer I’ve tried on my weirdly crease-prone lids. Like other products of this kind, it’s performance depends on giving it the proper time to sink in before shadow application and applying the smallest amount and I find I can get some (mild) creasing with this, but the wear I get with this primer tops the wear that I get with the rest. Plus it doesn’t take much time to sink in and isn’t problematic to use in any other sense.

Note: The abundance of NARS products was completely accidental. Whoops.

6. Indeed Laboratories Facial Powdered Exfoliator ($30)

 

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This powder exfoliator, that turns into a foamy liquid when mixed with water, was an impulse purchase on my part, back in June when I spotted it for the first time ever around these parts, for ten dollars less than the typical price; I didn’t regret it and I still don’t. It’s definitely an effective and unique exfoliating product and not just because of its powdered format — It doesn’t have any sort of harsh microbeads and pairs the physical exfoliating action of the rice bran powder with those fruit acids that I love dearly. This is a product that I love and would recommend to anyone who would like to try out an acidic exfoliant (but doesn’t want to irritate their skin) and chemical-exfoliant lovers alike because there’s enough action for it to be effective in brightening, smoothing and refining the skin but there’s no painful sting or irritation after the fact – no stripping, redness, etc. However, because this is only going to remain on the skin for a small amount of time, it would not have the benefit of a lotion or gel that is not rinsed off, of course. ‘exfoliate’ is what I would call a revamped new-generation ‘scrub’ – without the negative effects of the scrubbiness. Did I mention that I like acids and hate that this brand refuses to capitalize the names of any of their products?

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Have you tried any of these? What have you been testing lately?
Maggie, x.