The Review| Viseart Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette in 05 Sultry Muse

The claims on these eyeshadow palettes aren’t too outlandish, which I appreciate. In all honestly, I only tried out this investment piece of an eyeshadow palette after hearing countless people whose opinions I trust rave about the quality of these palettes – namely the Neutral Matte offering – and these people included makeup artists. I have mattes that I like and dont find myself overly excited by them so I went with the mid tone satin palette. Viseart emphasizes that these are professional palettes that can be used in a myriad of ways: to shade the eyes, highlight the eyes and to define the eyes, brows and contours of the face. The idea behind these palettes for personal use is that they allow the consumer to achieve professional quality results at home. They also claim that because the formula is manufactured in France in small batches, they are able to maintain pigment quality, powder integrity, and consistency. The back of my palette also specifically makes the claim that it houses the essential shimmery eyeshadows, formulated to be highly pigmented, smooth “with a homogeneous texture”, easy to blend and long-lasting without fallout. The Viseart Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette in 05 Sultry Muse retails for $100 CDN and the cost breakdown is $4.17 per gram. Note: The price per gram makes the product rather affordable as a whole as its even less expensive per gram than MAC eyeshadow pans, which have a cost of $5.33/gram. It’s an initial investment as a palette but you do get an impressive amount of product that if you use it, is easily worth the price.

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The packaging is nothing if not practical, and I don’t mind that it doesn’t have a mirror because its so compact and travel-friendly – I am someone who would want an entire palette to travel with, but you might not be. The clear lid lets you see the product clearly and I appreciate the secure closure that it has. The palette comes with 12 shades that cumulatively house twenty four grams of product. The textures mainly range from satins to shimmers, as Viseart says, but there are also a few more refined glitters in the mix. Before I get into my feelings or verdict on the palette, I’ll review the shades from left to right, in order of top to bottom – they aren’t named! Actually scrap that. Temptalia has somehow found the names. I take it that they were on the box and this was the one box that I haven’t hoarded.

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Yves– It’s a shimmery and slightly frosty neutral white with some fine micro glitter specs. It had fine pigmentation and a smooth enough texture to work with.
Camille– It’s a gorgeous mid-tone copper with a satin finish that deposits a sheen without using shimmer particles. It has a strong colour payoff, was easy to work with and had an extremely smooth texture.
Kifu– This shade was a bit more difficult to work with, as its a pale sheeny yellowed pale beige with chunks of micro glitter that make the shadow a bit more chunky and less smooth.
Gitte – This shade is a pale golden brown with warm peachy undertones that reminds me of MAC Patina with slightly more colour payoff, less taupe undertones and a stronger golden lean. It’s a shimmer in finish and has a gorgeous smoothness, despite its shimmer particles themselves – I’d call them microshimmers though.
Tym – This one is definitely a striking shade in the palette, as its a satin shade with no visible particles and an almost metallic kind of sheen. The formula on this one is perfect and its a slightly burnt-orange rosy copper kind of shade.
Jori – It’s a deep chocolate brown and a satin finish. The sheen is incredibly subtle on this one so it could easily be used to add depth around the lash line or outer v. It has very nice smoothness and pigmentation for the kind of shade it is.
Cindi – It’s a medium toned copper with burnt orange undertones that has a metallic-y kind of brightness. It’s a satin shade with some shimmer but no noticeable particles. It’s one of the silky shades. It has an identical formula and depth of colour to Tym.
Chantille – This is a smooth and silky medium-toned brown with rosy undertones. It hardly has any active shimmer particles and instead has a velvet texture with the smallest sheen.
Chloe – It’s the surprising cool toned, shimmery light silver with gunmetal undertones that has a less smooth formula because of the more substantial microglitters.
Melonie – This one is an ever-so-slightly lightened version of both Tym and Cindi, with more of a champagne kind of base that leans very coppery. It’s silky smooth and has a satin finish with an almost-metallic kind of sheen.
Diana – It’s a blackened charcoal with slight silvery blue shimmer running throughout but the base is satiny and it comes across as such. It has a great smooth formula, especially for the depth of colour.
Ceska– This ended up being among the more unique shades in the palette; it’s a subdued paled out gold with yellowy undertones. There aren’t particles of shimmer but the pearlescent sheen is definitely there.

Each and every one of the shades in the palette has excellent pigmentation, lasts as long as an eyeshadow will on me without creasing – I have the kind of eyes that prevent eyeshadow from staying put – and are easy to work with. I have no qualms about the formula of the eyeshadows and from a quality standpoint, they are phenomenal. The texture on the shadows is silky smooth but they don’t kick up a lot of powder or fallout at the same time, making them easier to use. There were a couple that didn’t have that smooth texture, as noted above, but they were easy to use and performed well regardless. The issue I have with the palette is with its design. The all shimmer palette isn’t practical as a standalone palette, even for a shimmer lover like me – I need to pull mattes for the crease at the very least. And in the picture below, I have used a matte transition shade and a matte crease shade to supplement the palette. Aside: the lighting is washing out the depth of the deeper shades in the photo below – they are much smokier in person. Also, I’m having the worlds worst skin day. I do note that Viseart is aware of this and chooses to create their professional size palettes with one exclusive finish, for the use of the professional who needs the confidence that their finishes are separate – and that there aren’t flecks of shimmer falling into the mattes, for instance. Whether or not this palette is worth the money will be up to personal preferences; if you’re in the market for some warm-toned shimmers with an excellent formula and don’t mind the initial investment, I would give these a go. However, since a variety of other brands make shimmers that perform well, I won’t say that you need to go out and get these. In all honesty, their mattes could be more of an essential as they are more difficult to find impeccable formulas in – but mattes just don’t excite me in the same way.

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Shades used: Camille, Gitte, Kifu, Jori & Diana
Have you tried Viseart?
Maggie, x.

 

The Review| Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer

Not only is the Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer ($19.99/11g) mighty expensive for a product from a drugstore brand,  its marketing is so gimmicky that any skeptic would pass by this product, deeming it all unfounded claims and minimal results. With these marks against it, the bronzer somehow managed to majorly impress me. And not just in that it’s-sort-of-kind-of-nice sort of way; I must say that it competes with my favourite bronzers.

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Ingredients: Talc, Synthetic Sapphire, Mica, Dimethiconol Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Fragrance/Parfum, Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Lecithin, Polybutene, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

Before I get into the part where I gush about my love for the bronzer, let’s get to the drawbacks that it has. There are only two shades that it comes in and I grabbed Bronzer, the darker of the two because it wasn’t all that much darker than the lighter offering and had those golden brown undertones that I tend to prefer. If you have medium to dark skin, I would say that you are likely out of luck with the range, as this one is maybe on the lighter side of medium. Physician’s Formula makes a big deal about their ingredients but I do note that the first couple of ingredients include talc and mica which are two minerals that people tend to have sensitivities to. Also they market the bronzer as being oil free on a technicality, instead they contain the butters which are essentially solidified versions of the oils themselves. The butters themselves do appear impressively high on the ingredient list, however, I must note that they will not improve the quality of the skin in the way that skincare products do – and Physician’s Formula argues that they do. My one last complaint is that fragrance appears so high on the ingredients list, especially of a product that boasts being superbly gentle on the skin. Note: The fragrance complaint is there but some will find the coconut scent incredibly pleasant and summery, especially in combination with the colourful packaging.

Just as Physicians Formula markets the bronzer to do, it applies with this creamy bendable texture that feels like a cream-powder hybrid – with the ease and practicality of a powder and the seamless finish and glow of a cream. Somehow it does manage to give that “lit from within tropical glow”, as cliched as it sounds. Because of the butters I assume, the formula is creamy and radiant but it reads as skin-like because the finish is satin-y without any noticeable shimmer. The pigmentation is medium but build able which makes it effortless to use even on my winter-pale complexion. I love its versatility for adding some warmth to the face in general and sculpting in smaller, more specific areas. On fairer skin, I think this bronzer will pleasantly surprise with its ability to add that sun kissed element without reading as orange-y in the slightest. For me, it’s highlight is that it lasts and lasts on the skin while adding that seamless glow to the skin. It doesn’t cling to dry patches or uneven texture in the slightest.

In terms of colour-comparison, I would be tempted to compare it to NARS Laguna because of its depth and golden brown undertones – but I haven’t examined them closely or anything.

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Have you tried the Physician’s Formula Bronzers?
Maggie, x.

A Round-Up: Most Popular 2015 Posts

The process of deliberating my favourites from the entire 2015 year in the last week or so and the process of writing the favourites posts themselves has left me in a reflective mood. I’m not usually one to do these posts, but I thought I would take a look back at my posts from the last year, and rather than picking my favourites to feature, I’m going with the most popular. Let me tell you, I’ve learned that my reviews are the most popular, and I now have some more motivation to buckle down and do more of these full-on reviews…

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  1. The Review | MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Cheeky Bronze

2.MAC LIPSTICK COLLECTION + LIP SWATCHES, MUSINGS & FAVOURITES

3. The Review: DiorSkin Star Studio Makeup

4.The Review: NYX Butter Lipstick in Licorice 

5. The Review | NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte 

6. The Review | Bath & Body Works Medium Candle in Brazilian Blue Waters

7. The Review | Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment

8. The Review: Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Raspberry/Opal 

9. The Review | Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil 

What are your favourite posts to read/write?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

Winter 2015 Luxe Box Review

I have seen the allure of the monthly (or seasonally where this one is concerned) allure of these beauty boxes but I’ve always been determined that they were not for me on account of their high cost and no guarantee of what products you would receive; in other words, I thought I was too much of a control freak in order to fork over the money for unknown products, regardless of the value. Somehow, though, I decided to try out the seasonal Luxe Box by Loose Button seasonal subscription box back in August, after hearing about how it shipped for free, was less of an investment and focused on higher end products, and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been really impressed with the two boxes that I’ve received, as they have interesting products and contain enough quantity for me to be willing to fork over the cash. It costs $24-$26 CDN per box, depending on the subscription and unfortunately is only available in Canada.

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Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Tinted Primer ($31/ 3g) [$10.33]: I was not exactly expecting to adore this lash primer, as I am not a lover of the mascara formula of the same name – and not loving the They’re Real Mascara was my hesitation about going with the switching out of four products for ones from Benefit option that I ultimately ended up going for. However, I found myself very impressed by this brown-tinted mascara primer. It functions as a nice volumizing and separating mascara on its own, even without any mascara on top, and layers to create dramatic lashes, all while being not as impossible to remove as its namesake mascara. What I love is that it feels lightweight on the lashes, yet covers all the bases.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($31/8.5 g) [$16]: I’ve heard all kinds of fabulous things about Benefit’s latest mascara release, however, I was hesitant to go out on a limb and try it for two main reasons: namely that I’m skeptical of higher end mascaras in general and that I’m even more skeptical of Benefit’s mascaras, especially those with rubber wands. I will say that it is worthy of all the hype because of the curl it provides the lashes, moderate separation and thickness it provides, and most of all because of the otherworldly length that it provides. I do enjoy that it’s less hellish to remove.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara ($31/8.5 g) [$16]: I might have been a wee bit disappointed to receive the popular and impossible-to-remove Benefit mascara but now that I think about it and have the lash primer of the same line to try, I am somewhat excited to give it a go again. It does give nice lengthened and volumized lashes but my issue with this is just how difficult it is to remove.

Benefit They’re Real Remover ($22/ 50 mL): The unquantifiable foil sample of Benefit’s makeup remover designed for their mascara did kind of make sense given the theme of Benefit products, however, it was my biggest disappointment with the box. Foil samples are always messy to use and the product quickly deteriorates for one, but most importantly, I’m really fussy about the products I use to remove eye makeup from my sensitive lids, and this is not the kind that I would even try. The amount of product is also very tiny.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar ($54/ 60 mL) [$54]: This product was unlisted on my card, so I presume that this is the bonus full-sized product that that extra $10 optional charge paid for, and I was impressed as it was a cult-favourite moisturizer that I had always been curious about, in a full size. It’s a cosmetically elegant moisturizer housed in attractive jar packaging but from my experience, I now know that it does not compare to my favourites, nor does it have a scent that I can stomach – it has a super strong herbal scent that does not seem to go away over time. I have been pleased to try it and I’ve been even more pleased that they seem to listen to my product preferences in my profile before sending out products.

The Face Shop Moisturizing Character Mask ($9/3) [$4]: I’ve been loving trying out sheet masks lately – even though they are mighty expensive for a single use product – so I was thrilled to see the nourishing mask in my box, especially when I saw that the ingredients were impressive, with glycerin and panthenol – and few irritating ingredients. I will admit that I haven’t actually used it yet so I can’t report back on that front, mainly because I wanted to make sure it was looking nice for the picture…

Star Looks Luxe Longer Eye Liner Pen ($19/ 10 mL) [$19]: I did not have high expectations for this brand, for some odd reason, but I was actually quite impressed with this liquid pen liner because it’s easy to use and doesn’t skip. My only complaint is that it is not an intense black shade, but I have been using it happily lately.

Teez Trend Cosmetics Read My Lips Lipstick in Roulette Red ($28.94/ 2g) [$28.94]: It’s nothing particularly unique or life-changing of any sort, but I have worn this deep muted plum-toned red lipstick and do quite like it. The formula is comfortable but did last on the lips and I found the muted quality of the shade flattering.

Paid | $34: Value | $148.24

What are your thoughts on beauty boxes? Maggie, x.

The Review | Aroma Actives Omega Rich Facial Oil

I really really am sorry about how I dropped off of the face of the earth this month. There were papers, exams and holiday season work craziness that prevented me from being able to do anything other than survive. I might have bit off a bit more than one can chew. Regardless, I’m coming at you today with a review of a facial oil. I’m kind of ridiculously into facial oils – it doesn’t matter what season it is, but I will admit that I’m particularly into them in dry winter weather – so when I had the opportunity to try the Aroma Actives Skincare Omega Rich Facial Oil ($28/15 mLs) through work I was all kinds of excited.

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The Aroma Actives line is the more affordable (but still marketed as natural line), created by Geraldine Howard, the creator of the well-known luxury brand, Aromatherapy Associates. And as you would expect, her products are loaded with essential oils, which essentially (hahahahah) is my only issue with the product. I don’t mind a few essential oils in moderation, but I find this facial oil slightly too irritating on my sensitive skin, because of how many known irritating essential oils feature heavily into the product. Namely, these are the Wood Oil, Patchouli Oil, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil and the Bitter Orange Oil.

I will admit that the essential oils do contribute to a lovely herbal scent – that reminds me so much of an Aveda Salon Spa – and the lightweight but nourishing texture of the oil is appealing, but given that I reach for an oil for their hydrating slash healing properties, anti-inflammatory action, soothing properties and antioxidants this fails to reach my expectations. After all, any sort of irritation from overly fragrant and possibly problematic oils is opposed to the purpose of oils in my routine as I find it irritating, which causes inflammation.

Ingredients:Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora Linalooliferum (Ho) Wood Oil, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii (Mongongo) Kernel Oil, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

With all this in mind, however, if you are a fan of essential oils and do not find that even the most fragrant ones cause a reaction in your skin, I might suggest giving this one a try. The formula is really sophisticated, nourishing while being lightweight and provides a luxurious experience without breaking the bank.

What are your thoughts on facial oils?
Maggie, x.

The Review| Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30

I’ve been using the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30 ($28/2 ounces) on an almost daily basis for months now, but it’s really in the aftermath of suffering through a cold and dealing with very dehydrated skin in the fall that I’ve appreciated  this extremely hydrating mineral-based SPF moisturizer so very much. It does not have the lightest texture and some might regard it as slightly greasy, but its ability to provide gentle mineral based protection without drying out the skin and instead, providing so much hydration that a separate moisturizer is not required beforehand. Essentially, it’s impressive because it manages to fulfill my expectations of a moisturizer, along with a gentle SPF product that my skin can tolerate within a single product.

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Product Ingredients:
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 3.85%, Zinc Oxide 3.12% (mineral sunscreens). Other Ingredients: Water (Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (thickener), Isononyl Isononanoate (skin conditioning agent), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil (non-fragrant emollient plant oil), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient thickeners), PEG-100 Stearate (emollient thickeners), Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agents), Pentylene Glycol (slip agents), Cetearyl Alcohol (thickening agent), Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), VP/Eicosene Copolymer (film-forming agent), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols (antioxidant fatty acid), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (anti-irritants), Glycerin (skin-identical/repairing ingredient), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredients), Allantoin (anti-irritants), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrogenated Lecithin (cell-communicating ingredient), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (stabilized vitamin C/antioxidant), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10/antioxidant), Ceramide NG, Methicone (silicone slip agent), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (cell-communicating ingredient) , PEG-10 Dimethicone – (silicone thickener), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient/skin-repairing ingredient), Tribehenin (skin conditioning agent), PEG-10 Phytosterol (emulsifier), Sorbitan Stearate (emulsifier), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (thickeners), Alumina (thickening/opacifying agents) , Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Aluminum Stearate (thickening/opacifying agents), Xanthan Gum (thickeners), Caprylyl Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative).

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It adds instant hydration that suits those who suffer from dry patches and generally dry-slash-dehydrated skin and it does not have an overly thick texture, as might be problematic if you suffer with clogged pores or breakouts along with dryness concerns. It has a lotion texture and a white cast, as expected, but it’s relatively sheer and blends into my fair skin with ease – and is minor compared to other physical sunscreens that are not tinted to conceal the cast. I do love how it instantly calms and soothes the skin, while preventing from further damage and irritation from the sun, with SPF and antioxidants. It’s an excellent one for under makeup in terms of making it apply smoothly without highlighting drier patches, but on any sort of oilier areas, it can create some shine throughout the day.

As with all Paula’s Choice products, – in my experience, at least – the Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion does what it sets out and claims to do, replenishing “dry, sensitive skin” and ensuring “a healthy barrier function while protecting from daily sun damage with gentle mineral sunscreens” and is “loaded with potent antioxidants, skin-identical ceramics and cell-communicating peptides to restore and help maintain healthy, radiant skin”. The standout ingredients include the high concentration of apricot kernel oil for combatting inflammation, the barrier-repairing sodium hyaluronate, the anti-irritant allantoin and a cocktail of different antioxidants, to name a few. Especially for those on the more sensitive end of the spectrum, I would recommend this mineral based SPF moisturizer, if you’re on the dry to very dry end of the spectrum. I think it might be too heavy duty for normal skin, but I can’t be completely certain…

Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo

This statement should essentially speak for itself: I have no qualms about saying that  Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo in 01 Clair – Brunettes ($60) is the best bronzer I’ve ever tried and I love it so much that I would easily use it every day without the smallest sign of regret and zero ounces of boredom. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you would already be aware of how much I love this sheerer bronzer, based on the number of times I’ve raved about it in favourites posts and the like – but if not, here’s a clue.

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This ‘healthy glow bronzing powder’ is unfortunately limited edition, so if you’re interested I would suggest acting fast. What differentiates these powders from Guerlain’s other myriad of bronzing formulas is that they consist of two different shades and focus on imparting the skin with a sunkissed radiance rather than an obviously bronzed effect. Guerlain asserts that these powders leave the skin comfortable and with a soft satin finish that achieves the glowing effect without obvious shimmer or sheen. The crescent of blush in the compact is also designed to revitalize the complexion, in addition to the bronzing hue adding that subtle glow. The most shocking thing is that Guerlain actually achieves its claims here.

The powder itself blends seamlessly with the skin, adding an effortless golden glow with the traditional bronzing shade and a hint of brightness with the crescent of peachy-coral colour. The powders feel indulgent to the touch and are the smoothest and most finely-milled that I’ve come across, imparting the skin with this perfect ethereal glow that doesn’t seem to fade or become patchy even after 10-12 hours. As Guerlain claims, the two shades have a soft glowing satin finish without any semblance of shimmer particles. I will warn you that the powder swatches pathetically in comparison to how it applies – especially in terms of pigmentation. I do assure you that it is far less sheer than the swatches might suggest. The bronzing portion is a yellow-based warm-toned shade that doesn’t read orange in the slightest and the blush crescent is a soft coral with a peachy lean to it. Also, I find myself reaching for the blush crescent individually so this whole fusion of the two shades is not overly gimmicky in my experience.

the bronzing shade | the blush crescent | a blend of the two
the bronzing shade | the blush crescent | a blend of the two

It’s housed in gorgeous compact two-toned packaging but does house a great deal of product (0.35 ounces to be exact). It’s definitely a sleek looking compact that has a nice sturdy closure and a practical mirror. I kind of adore how this tan and brown compact is both practical and undeniably luxe. There are three possible complaints one could make about this bronzing duo, however; there’s a strong (but pleasant) musky fragrance to this powder that does not dissipate particularly quickly, it is an investment purchase and that the four shades cater to those with fairer skintones pretty exclusively.

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before | after
 What’s your favourite bronzer?
Maggie, x.