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.

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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.

 

 

March 2015 Favourites

While for the consensus of others who make content detailing their favourite products of the month, the theme that they’re working with is the beginnings of spring, warmth and sunshine, my month was full of snow, more snow, ice, a storm or five and zero times when the temperatures rose above freezing. However, don’t despair now; in April, we’ve had a few promising days when it’s been a good five or six degrees and I’ve been convinced that the seasons are changing despite the presence of huge snowbanks everywhere you go around these parts. Anyway, my March consisted of more cold weather, a good amount of weather-and-personal-stupidity-induced skin irritation and subjecting myself to an unhealthy amount of stress, reading, essay writing and sleep-deprivation. Fortunately, I have not amassed a large quantity of items to share and declare my love to and I’m thinking this is a somewhat of a more interesting lot of products… don’t hold me to it, though.

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  • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream ($20)

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Although I’m sure that my extremely irritable skin would have fared better with a fragrance-free moisturizer and with a product with more stable packaging, I was loving this soothing and nourishing margarita scented cream. Unlike just about every other scent with sugar in the name, it smelled more zesty than nauseatingly sweet and it moisturized without even stinging my eczema’d skin even though I was going through a flare up – thanks to my elevated stress levels and the problematic weather. I also adore how rich and concentrated the cream is and how it’s not just immediately absorbed into your skin, leaving the feeling and itchiness of dryness in its wake.

  • Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment ($30 US)

I didn’t receive my order from Paula’s Choice until the middle of the month, but given my love for the products – particularly this hydrating AHA-based exfoliant – I couldn’t hold back from including one. I love how this is formulated with a serum-like texture for added extra soothing action and moisture to my face and more than that, I love how it has effective AHA along with a small percentage of BHA to reap the benefits of gentle chemical exfoliation without irritating my skin further. Upon the first couple of uses, I could see the brightening and smoothing effects of the acids, even though they never leave my routine.

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  • Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55)

Throughout March, my face was extra dehydrated, irritated and sensitive because of my lovely stress response in my skin, the erratic weather/heating, my stupidly frequent use of a brand new retinoid product and my daily use of sunscreen on my sensitive skin – using this nighttime labelled oil before moisturizer in the morning and the evening has worked wonders to soothe, hydrate and help smooth the texture of my skin. It’s like a breath of fresh air for my skin and adds a bit of glow, which was helpful particularly under makeup.

  • Essie Cashmere Matte Nail Lacquer in Comfy in Cashmere ($9.99-11.99) | review

Despite the deadlines and general lack of extra time that I had available in March, I relied on painting my nails frequently as a means of relieving stress and it was almost always this greige polish that has the most interesting blue iridescence despite being matte. I reviewed it before, but in short it dries so fast that it’s kind of amazing but it unfortunately could chip pretty fast so I wore it with top coat. This aside, this has become one of my favourite polishes ever!

  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($8.99)

The fact that I was dealing with dry, flaking and irritated skin in March had me reaching for anything that promised to help foundation apply more seamlessly and highlight the whole skin situation less and the damp sponge application method seemed to fit the bill. I’ve tried a couple of these sponges and I’m rather a fan of this one because it expands drastically, gets appropriately squishy and has nice edges to get into the nooks and crannies of the face. It also leaves the face looking glowy too.

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  • MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Blankety ($19)

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom and I have this tradition where she lets me pick out a MAC Lipstick for Valentine’s Day and this year it took a bit of time before I headed to the standalone store so I didn’t pick up this slightly deeper pink-beige hued nude offering until the very end of February. I’ve actually been going for slightly smokier eyes lately and this lipstick definitely fits the bill but it has enough colour to it that it flatters when I’m not wearing loads of makeup. Before, I had been afraid that this classic shade would pull to brown/mauve on my pale lips but rest assured, it’s so good that it’s joined the ranks of my favourites. The formula is ridiculously good, too.

  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Chilled On Ice ($25)

When I was picking up my lipstick, I was struck by the desire to pick up another shade in MAC’s lovely cream shadow formula, and justified it because of all of the cream shadows I had seemed to be straddling the line of unusable. Although I’m not usually any sort of a glitter fan, I wound up going for this kind of white gold frosty shade that has gold microglitter running throughout. I’m pleased to report that this shade is pigmented enough to look nice on its own and that the formula of this cream shadow might be the best (even out of the paint pots), as it doesn’t actually seem to crease on me – or if it does, it creases the minimal amount like the NARS Pro Prime does. I’ve been wearing it as a base or as a base and my lid shade consistently.

MAC Chilled On Ice | MAC Blankety
MAC Chilled On Ice | MAC Blankety
What were you loving throughout March?
Maggie, x.

Beauty & The Book #2

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Let’s start with my two (in)significant musings of note today: (1) I’m fairly certain that the only reason that I’ve found the time during this crazy season – in more ways than one – to actually whip out a blog post on a Tuesday or Wednesday (or maybe even Thursday for that matter…) is that I actually slept like a functional human being last night, along with the fact that I don’t have any impending deadlines this week and (2) that it’s the last week of Winter. Despite being one of those rare human beings that enjoy Winter, on account of the relaxed and cozy vibes that come along with it, I can understand the desire for the season to end – and I even share that desire – but the truth is that we are scheduled for yet another snowstorm tomorrow so it appears that Canada isn’t quite joining the changing seasons yet. Now, let’s get on my second installment in the series where I ramble on about my love for both a book and something of the beauty variety.

Thomas King’s “Green Grass, Running Water”

While it’s true that my love of books can only be described as insurmountable, I was not expecting to love it because I’m a terrible Canadian and have low expectations for pieces of ‘Canadian literature’ and that it was read as assigned reading for my Canadian lit class. It’s a really interesting, strangely humorous and poignant tale that describes the experiences of individuals of the Blackfoot community, particularly focusing on the intersection between the larger Euro-centric Canadian society and aboriginal culture. The writing is all kinds of beautiful, even whilst there is so much going on (especially in terms of the sheer number of references) and I’m partial to the dialogue and storyline that occurs between Coyote (the dancing and laughing demigod), the Lone Ranger, Robinson Crusoe, Ishmael, Hawkeye and the unidentified first person narrator.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($7.99)

Believe it or not, I have never used the actual Beauty Blender, nor have I been tempted to try it, let alone think about purchasing the hyped $26 dollars beauty sponge, however, I have to say that I’ve fallen in love with using this dampened sponge to apply foundation or concealer, especially on my currently very dry skin. As much as I was enjoying the purple Quo Beauty Sponge as an alternative to everyone’s favourite pricier offering, I have to say that this one takes the cake because of just how bouncy it is and how it absorbs water and expands after you wring it out to an even larger degree. I’m also partial to the smaller pointier end for some highlighting and concealing with minimal effort.

Any recent book or beauty recs?
Maggie, x.